Nicole Ari Parker Wore an Ethereal Oscar de la Renta Gown for the YoungArts Gala

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Last night in New York City, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Temple of Dendur became a glitzy gala space to celebrate 40 years of YoungArts—the American foundation that supports young artists through a variety of competitions and awards. In attendance among the well-clad crowd was And Just Like That’s Nicole Ari Parker, who wore an ethereal white Oscar de la Renta gown for the occasion. The actor says she wanted to come out and support the organization, recognizing that it’s important to foster young, creative talent. “The artists speaking about their journey with YoungArts and then performing was amazing,” says Parker. “It was great to see how impactful the foundation is.”

Given the evening had a glamorous, uptown feel, Parker took the event as an opportunity to play dress up for the night. When searching for an ensemble, she was immediately drawn to a current-season look from Oscar de la Renta: A white, long-sleeved gown with sheer sleeves and a deep-V neckline. “The spring collection is so beautiful. It was a joy to wear,” says Parker of the flowy design. “The ethereal quality of the dress felt like it was from another era.” To accentuate it, Parker accessorized with dazzling diamond jewels from Boucheron, including a jaw-dropping statement necklace. “[Boucheron’s] Florent Bonadei handpicked the set with me to complete the look,” says Parker. Hair stylist Takisha Sturdivant-Drew did a chic updo, while a soft glam was applied by makeup artist Vincent Oquendo.

Unlike last evening’s ultra-dressy look, Parker says she typically approaches red carpet dressing with a dash more timidness. “I’m usually very shy on the red carpet and only do them if I have to because of work,” says Parker. “But it’s sooooo nice to be out again, that right now I love dressing up.” If she does end up slipping into a statement look for the night, however, she does say the ensemble requires a few must-haves. “The look can be understated or full whimsy—but I need to be able to move in it, hug friends, and dance later,” says Parker. 

As for what’s next for Parker? You could say she’s just a little busy. “I’m developing a few projects, looking forward to getting back on stage soon, and the second season of And Just Like That is set to shoot this fall,” says the actor. Parker adds that portraying her super-chic character on And Just Like That has definitely caused her to up her own fashion game off the screen. “My character Lisa Todd Wexley picks up her kids in Mark Davis bracelets, a Libertine suit, YSL pumps, and a Veronica Silicani bag,” says Parker. “So yeah, I will be reevaluating my entire wardrobe and life choices this season.” 

Below, see how Parker got ready for last night’s YoungArts gala. 

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