The historic Algonquin Hotel—most known for being the birthplace of the Vicious Circle, a Who’s Who of literary critics and greats including Dorothy Parker, George S. Kaufman, and Heywood Broun—is now the current home of cat fashion shows. That’s right, the 112-year-old landmark plays host to the burgeoning world of cat fashion, and this Saturday, we stopped by to see it IRL. We have a thing for pet fashion, as you may know.
The annual show, which raises money and awareness for the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, included both a reception (with “cattails!”), raffles, and a kitten adoption truck from alliance partner Bobbi & the Strays. This year’s theme was Broadway—meaning we got to see all types of meowsers kitted out in tiny vests, tutus, and other stage-ready attire. Unfortunately, there was no catwalk (dashing our great expectations), but rather a salon-type of setup where the mewdels (yes, this is really what the cats were called) were posed prettily in a hotel suite on the second floor.
Our first mewdel, Zeus, wore a green taffeta shirt lined with jewels as an homage to Elphaba of Wicked. The back of his top featured a hand-painted flying monkey and (our favorite detail) a tiny witch hat featuring Dorothy’s iconic ruby red slippers and striped stockings of the former Wicked Witch of the East.
ROCK OF AGES
Cody wore wore a denim harness with velcro closures, studs, and fake fur in order to portray Sherrie from Rock of Ages. Also of note? Hand-painted flames on the hem of Cody’s skirt.
Troubled teen Tracy Turnblad was portrayed by Martini-Beethoven, who was outfitted in a tiny red weave and a Hairspray-inspired school uniform. We wouldn’t be surprised to see her smoking cigarettes with other wayward kitties in the girls bathroom. (We can only assume that John Waters would be just as amused by that visual as we are.)
Ferrara wore a red satin cape with fringe detail and a sequined headpiece in order to portray bad-girl flapper, Roxie Hart from Chicago.
Shy Lily rarely left her cat carrier, but here she is wearing a wedding dress and veil from the infamous wedding scene in Mamma Mia!.
Milo was decked out in head-to-tail pink (he even had pink-polished claw!) to play Elle Woods from Legally Blonde. Fun fact: Before Milo was adopted by Aimee Henkell, he was raised by a chihuahua (much like Elle’s dog, Bowser). Milo paid homage to his chihuahua pal on the back of his shirt.
Here’s Lightning dressed up as one of the bullies from Heathers. The Kurt and Ram costumes inspired us to get back-to-school ready in some plaid ASAP.
VITO VINCENT AS HIMSELF
Vito Vincent, we were told, went as “himself.” The self-proclaimed “actor, comedian, and model” wore a tiny gold tuxedo, and you know what? We can totally get down with that.
Our favorite part of the cat fashion show had to be Ada Nieves, mom to Martini-Beethoven and costume designer for all of the mewdels. Ada, as always, was a great resource and graciously modeled the tiny Tracy Turnblad weave she made for her cat. Here, she shares the spotlight with R2D2, who went as the eponymous Phantom from the Phantom of the Opera.
The event brought attention to a great cause, and while some animals found forever homes, we found a new summer cocktail. So really, we were all winners.