Last week’s Met Gala — or what is generally referred to as “fashion’s biggest night out” — isn’t the only fashionable art game around.

“Artful Noir: an Evening of Art and Fashion for a Compassionate Cause,” may just be the swankiest art and fashion event this side of Manhattan.

A $125 ticket, this garden party fundraiser for the Friends of Southern Ocean County Animal Shelter (FOSOCAS), will “blend art and fashion in a beautiful and magical space,” according to Cricket Luker, owner of the fashion retail store Wildflowers by the Lighthouse and Wildflowers Too! Art Gallery in Barnegat Light and creator of this tony event. Specifically, Artful Noir benefits the organization’s “Someone Helped Me” fund, which assists pets and pet owners in need.

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Some of the fashions from Wildflowers by the Lighthouse, one of the hosts of Artful Noir.

Luker, a printmaker and tile maker by trade, is a work of art in her own right, with a tuft of closely cropped, stark white hair, who adorns multi-patterned fabric art direct from Wildflowers by the Lighthouse. She is a staunch animal lover who, along with being a member of FOSOCAS, fosters cats through the Southern Ocean County Animal Shelter.

Her stores, one of fashion and one of art, enable her to “bleed art-to-wear and art into different events,” like in the case of this inaugural Artful Noir that will take place 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, May 19.

When discussing the event, you can hear the excitement in Luker’s voice. It’s reminiscent of a child speaking of an upcoming first trip to Disney World.

“It’s at a beautiful two-block compound — it’s stunning. And between the two (buildings) is nestled a terraced garden with many different flowers and trees — it’s magical,” she says, adding that she even met with landscape architects to really set the scene.

wildflower by Alembika

Fashions from Wildflowers by the Lighthouse in LBI are a big part of the swanky Artful Noir event on Saturday.

The beachfront compound where the soiree will take place is one of Barnegat Light’s premier homes, or “a megamansion,” as Luker calls it.

The fashion part of the evening includes live models sashaying throughout the garden paths, donning flowy European fashions provided by Wildflowers by designers like Ray Harris. The more artsy side includes a performance by Ceremonial Strings, a string trio, which will grace guests with violin music, as well as original works by artists like Sandi Kosinski, Susan Barnes and Don Keesey from Wildflowers Too! and other LBI galleries such as Solace Gallery, Ann Coen Photography and Swell Colors Glass Studio.

Art and handcrafted items will be for sale, and there will also be a silent auction. Additionally, the event will offer house tours in the main building.

“There will be a lot of activity, there’s lots for people to do,” Luker says. “The concept is mysterious. Artful Noir doesn’t have a specific theme. The theme is about art and fashion and blending it in an elegant space.”

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