Chelsea’s SVA Theater was packed to the brim with old friends and ever-youthful energy on Sunday night, as a crowd gathered to hoot, holler, and ‘yassss!’ for the world premiere of film maker Myra Lewis’ first project, Love Is In The Legend. The infectious documentary charts the events and context of an evening in 1988, which brought the underground ballroom scene from Harlem downtown and gave it the added flair of the infamous Paradise Garage resulting in a mashup of music, art, fashion, and dance that would change New York culture forever.
The House of Field Ball—”the Ball that changed it all’—in September 1988 is remembered as the meeting of the worlds of Seventh Avenue fashion, the downtown underground club kids, and the Harlem Houses. In other words, forget Madonna’s Vogue—this was truly the night that introduced the influential movers and shakers of the creative world to voguing.
Lewis, who was on MC duty that very night, compiled the film using archival footage and film photography inter spliced with present day interviews. The film features clips of Patricia Field, Deborah Harry, Betsey Johnson, Steven Meisel, Andre Leon Talley, Dianne Brill, Barbara Dente, Giorgio Di Sant’Angelo, Mary McFadden, Malcolm McLaren, Willi Ninja and David Spada, Marc Jacobs, Elizabeth Saltzman, and Veronica Webb, among many others.
Attending the screening—which also included a dance display from four of the legendary children featured in the film and a Q&A panel discussion with those involved—were Myra Lewis, Marc Jacobs, Patricia Field, Carlos Leon, Les Trois Chevaux Chef and owner Angie Mar, Sally Lapointe, Ryan Raftery, Jose Gutierez Xtravaganza, Char Defrancesco, Paul Alexander, Connie Fleming, Chi Chi Valenti, Johnny Dynell, the film’s editor Yanni Feder, Menna Olvera, photographer Tina Paul, Cesar Valentino, Richard Alvarez, JoJo Americo, Nick Newbold, Princess Magnifique, Michelle Saunders, Mark Bozek, and Lauren Pine, among others.