Whenever curator Stacy Engman walks into a room, flashbulbs follow and heads turn. Her outrageous wardrobe – which includes 800 Philip Treacy hats, cat-eye shades festooned with Swarovski crystals, and over-the-top couture creations – makes her stand out in the crowd. Engman’s sense of style puts her in the dying breed of eccentric dressers like Daphne Guinness, the late Anna Piaggi, and Vogue Japan editor at large Anna Dello Russo.
With such an eye-catching look, it’s easy to forget that the enigmatic Engman carries academic credentials in the form of a master’s degree in contemporary art at London’s Sotheby’s Institute. When the National Arts Club decided to bring fresh air into its stuffy halls by adding a contemporary art division, it called on Engman to lead the department. The first event she organized, in 2008, was a performance art piece that recreated 12 scores from the ’60s Fluxus movement. In 2010, a show of artist-designed tarot cards that included works by Tracey Emin and Nan Goldin put Engman in the spotlight yet again. Engman left the position last year, but she continues to have a strong presence in the art-world circuit.
Engman’s wardrobe earned her a place on ARTINFO’s art-world best-dressed list, and naturally we wanted to know more, so we invited her to be an ARTINFO Tastemaker. She agreed and told us about her favorite floral culinary delight and her go-to milliner of choice (see above).