Photos by Wilsonmodels

With more dazzling royalty than the centuries of events at Buckingham Palace, The Imperial Court of New York held its 33rd annual extravaganza, Night of a Thousand Gowns, at the posh Marriott Marquis in the heart of Manhattan, this year benefiting the Trinity Place Shelter.

The most lavish gowns and sparkling jewels paraded the red carpet while celebrity photographers, including Get Out!’s own Wilsonmodels (Jeff Eason), captured and kept alive the air of magnificence forever.

I was honored to be accompanied by my fabulous friend, the infamous Michael Musto, star journalist, TV personality, TRAX record recording artist, actor, film sensation, author and the most popular, sought after, diversity activist on the planet of Manhattan.

Featured guest performer Debby Holiday, a Billboard Top 10, internationally popular singer-songwriter and dance chart sensation, rocked the house. When asked what the honor of being chosen to perform meant, she replied, “For me, it means honoring diversity, it means honoring people getting together and doing something all in one space and helping so many others, and having a great time while doing it.”

She went on to say, “This is a community I very much cherish.” Holiday has new music out called “Free 2 Be,” which is half dance and half rock n’ roll. According to Holiday, the message of the song is: “You are free to be whatever the hell you want to, whatever makes you happy, whatever makes you feel good.”
Guests were also treated to the court’s rendition of “Little Shop of Horrors” by Skyla Versai, a drag veteran of the famous Lips Restaurant, and a special performance by seasoned Broadway dancers staged by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Needless to say, the dinner was over the top, the goodie bags were loaded with diamonds and jewels and the silent auction was inundated with sensational items, with all the proceeds going toward the beneficiaries.

We said goodbye to Empress XXXII Gayle Banter and Emperor XVII and Regent Emperor XXVII Rob Hunter de Woofs and welcomed the new Empress Imperial Crown Princess Royale Chuleta Devine and the new Emperor Imperial Crown Prince Royale Antonio T. Ventura to the throne. Queen Mother of New York Absolute Empress Coco Lachine made a glittering appearance as well. When the new empress was asked what her new title meant to her, she answered, “Right now it hasn’t sunk in for me.” The new emperor exclaimed, “I’m overwhelmed!”

It was a marvelous production, a night of love, caring and bursts of color and eclectic magnificence. Get Out! magazine was proud as always to be included as a sponsor, and to support “Night of a Thousand Gowns.”