The art crush at the 2022 Dallas Art Fair (Photo by Exploredinary)
I‘m a veteran of the art fair circuit. If only the Girl Scouts had a merit badge. They’re a marathon, not a sprint, so you’ll need to stay hydrated and of course, be well-dressed. With Dallas Art Month upon us — and its cornerstone, the Dallas Art Fair — I wanted to use my seasoned expertise to give some advice on outfits. To make things simple, I’ve divided them up into two categories for men and women: what to wear to the Dallas Art Fair, day and evening editions.
A Day Dressing Guide to the Dallas Art Fair for Women
On the shoe front, be prepared for lots of walking and standing. For flats, go with these adorable Miu Miu penny loafers. They’ll give you a studied schoolgirl look and also will make you look slightly edgy. Depending on Dallas’ weather that week I’d even say you could get away with wearing some cute white socks with them.
Staying in the comfort lane, go with a Rosie Assoulin polo dress. Rosie’s designs have always veered towards the architectural. I love the ease of this outfit that you can throw a denim jacket (Loewe makes one that I adore) over if it’s cold inside
The only accessories you’ll need (never want to look too “done up” for an art fair — gallerists might not take you seriously if you try and make a deal with them) are a great day bag, I suggest this Prada raffia tote in petal pink which looks ideal for either a gallery’s booth or the sandy shores of St. Barths, and potentially sunglasses.
A Day Dressing Guide to the Dallas Art Fair for Men
No jacket required. You aren’t at your office, so you can leave your suit/blazer at home. Go with a simple, comfortable sweater and pants. I like the ease of a v-neck version with a white button-up shirt with a button-down collar underneath. Hopefully, you already have a black cashmere Brunello Cucinelli in your closet. If not go out and snap one up tout suite.
Finish off your polished, yet casual look, with some edgier sneakers. I instantly fell in love with these Maison Margiela replica painter splatter canvas ones. They’ll make you look like you will instantly be able to recall the last exhibition you saw at the Tate Modern.
An Evening Dressing Guide to the Dallas Art Fair for Women
At night, we party. (Or at least dine at amazingly chic restaurants.) Since your day will likely be entirely filled, have a great outfit laid out beforehand for a quick change. Go for something a little edgy and sexy for nighttime. The easiest way to achieve that: a Saint Laurent tuxedo jacket. The current season offers one up in silk satin that loosely drapes with a ’70s vibe. You can go with or without something underneath. If you feel the need to have something underneath, then perhaps a simple slip or rocker t-shirt.
It makes a statement all on its own — so pair it with jeans, a fabulous pair of strappy-heeled sandals (like these Cult Gaia metallic ones with an intriguing sculptural heel), and a clutch. You’ll look ever-so art world girl on the go.
An Evening Dressing Guide to the Dallas Art Fair for Men
For the boys, time to throw on that suit. In today’s world, a little formality when the sun comes down is greatly appreciated, and there are a multitude of options. You can buy off the rack — in that case, I’d suggest going with a Thom Brown head-to-toe look. And don’t buy into the stereotype that everyone in the art world wears black. Opt instead of something classic in dark gray — timeless and seasonless.
You can also opt to have a suit made. No longer do men need to head to London’s Savile Row and shell out what often amounts to five figures for something made-to-measure. Dallas has a few tailors and custom clothiers and a new one on the scene is Hive & Colony at NorthPark. You can easily have something made for you there (and receive it in three to four weeks) for $2,000 or under.
Dallas Art Fair, Foundation Preview Benefit Thursday, April 20 from 4 pm until 2 pm, and General Admission from Friday, April 21 through Sunday, April 23. Fashion Industry Gallery, 1807 Ross Avenue, dallasartfair.com.