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What To Wear to AFAN's Black & White Party Saturday Night

Photos: Erik Kabik

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AFAN's 28th Annual Black & White Party is one of the most extravagant events out there with guests trying to outdo each other with their costumes. The theme for the event, of course, is attire in black and white, but some of the guests go for the most outrageous looks to stand out.

This Saturday when the event comes to The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel is no different. Jabbawockeez, Jubilee!, Melody Sweets, Skye Dee Miles, Limelight and more entertain. Tickets are $40 here and go up at the door.

Here, Antioco Carrillo, executive director, Kirk Ryder, director of business development, Crystal Kovacs, development director, and Evan Walsh, development manager, talk about what to wear to the party, where to shop, what some of the most memorable fashions from the event are and more.

AFAN's Black & White Party always features some outrageous fashions. What do you suggest people wear to the event?
Kirk Ryder: Something that expresses themselves and their sexier side.

Antioco Carrillo: Something they've never worn before and have always dreamt of wearing.

Crystal Kovacs: Be daring! Wear something that you've always wanted to wear but were too afraid to wear it to a club!

Evan Walsh: Something classic that catches your eye. Or Spandex.

What are some of the most memorable outfits from years past?
KR: Balloons with a Twist made these awesome dresses completely out of balloons last year. Technically, they're not an outfit but Skin City Body Painting has done incredible art masterpieces on models walking around the party.

AC: A few years ago, these ladies in their 60s wore these immaculate dresses and then accessorized just their heads — feathers in their hair, elaborate hats, crazy fun makeup. They looked great and really stood out!

Where do you suggest people shop for looks?
EW: Top Man at Fashion Show and accessories from Macy's.

KR: Savers. You have to search but you can find great stuff.

AC: I know I can always find things at Fashion Show. Macy's never disappoints.

CK: Macy's, of course!

Do you think monochromatic black or white is better than mixing the two?
AC: It depends on how you feel. If you feel more comfortable in all black, then wear all black.

EW: Black with a pop of white makes a statement.

KR: Black and white together.

CK: Mix it up!

How about makeup? Are you expecting guests to go all-out with black and white nods with makeup?
AC: Makeup is where people can use that color they can't wear in their outfits. I love a red lipstick on a woman.

EW: Women can express their colors that way. We want to see bright color eyeliner, eye shadow and lipstick.

CK: Use your makeup to accent your outfit. Use your makeup as your pop of color!

Why do you think the fashions at the Black and White Party have become so outrageous?
EW: I think people most expect non-profit events to be a formal gala with a tuxedo and a gown. We've allowed our community to run with their creative sides for this event.

AC: AFAN's history tells us that there's always been space for creative people to express themselves. This is a non-traditional party and we want it to be fun.

KR: It's Vegas, baby; you've gotta step it up to stand out.

How have the fashions changed over the 28 years of the party?
AC: It changes with what's in style now.

EW: People are less conservative now and feel they can express themselves freely.

KR: It's all led by the fashion trends of the day.

What tips can you offer guests on how to dress?
KR: Never sacrifice fashion for function. If you're uncomfortable and look fabulous, it's all worth it.

CK: Wear a fierce outfit, but keep it simple with the shoes.

If I wear color, will I be kicked out?
EW: You won't be kicked out, but you don't want to be the one person in a sea of black and white wearing yellow, do you?

AC: Every other year, we recognize people who have made significant contributions in our community with the "Right to Wear Red" at the Black & White Party. This year being AFAN's 30th anniversary, we are honoring some of our founding members so we want to give them the recognition to stand out.