In True Gala Fashion

- story by Sara Gorelick

While America braces itself for the height of prom season, the world cocktail community took its own fashion cues at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic Gala, one of the highlights of the 4 day festival. To be in the vicinity of Bryant Park on the evening of Friday, May 13th, was a treat for the eyes as thousands of men and women dressed to the nines stood in line outside the Public Library. While the wait turned out to be far longer than most expected (upwards of an hour and a half for those unlucky enough to be at the back of the line), the time outside afforded passerby a glimpse into an unexpected runway.

With the red carpet rolled out for guests, sponsors and press, everyone became a star. Dashing men dressed in black tuxes and suits, while the ladies in-waiting-of-a-cocktail were a rainbow of colors in dresses of all lengths. Pedestrians were delighted to see the attendees and were curious as to what celebrity was getting married or famous politician was inside. Upon learning the event was all in the name of a good cocktail, excitement on the streets escalated.

"It was so refreshing to be out on a Friday night in the city and see hundreds - maybe thousands! - of adults under the same roof dressed to the nines," said Amy Capetta of "The women looked chic while the men looked dapper. And yes, maybe "dapper" is an old-fashioned word, but getting all-dolled up, even in NYC, seems to be a thing of the past."

And the fashion wasn't just for the ticketed patron. Bartenders and mixologists working behind the bars perpetuated the classy cocktail ambiance of the evening, dressed in traditional vests and button downs. This traditional attire stems from centuries ago and continues to be the go-to style for mixologists. Industry pros were impressed to see their colleagues and friends decked in their finest threads, affording them the opportunity to see familiar faces in new styles. "Like the cocktails these bartenders create, the guests presented well, mixed well, and all brought to the table their own individuality - everyone stood out!" said Scott Goldman, president of Cardre Noir Imports.

While the cocktails stole the show during the MCC, the fun of dressing to impress at the Gala came in a close second.

Please check out the official photo gallery here...