Mana Contemporary hosts VIP guests at private preview of Marilyn Monroe exhibit in Jersey City

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Ruth Gruca looking fabulous and giving ‘Orange Is the New Black’ an entirely different meaning!

Mana Contemporary in Jersey City held a private preview of their new Marilyn Monroe exhibit, Marilyn: Character Not Image, curated by Whoopi Goldberg on Saturday night and it brought a slew of stylish VIPs. While the Hollywood icon’s infamous “Happy Birthday Mr. President” dress acted as the centerpiece for the show, the guests put their own fashion on display, setting the tone for a night of elegance and style at the September 24 evening event. Take a look at some of the best-dressed of the night.

Don’t ever underestimate the power of a good smize!

Antwaun Sargent and JiaJia FeiChris Monroe | InsideJersey.com

Antwaun Sargent and JiaJia Fei

Fall has officially arrived, so of course we’re loving dresses with leaf prints and wide leg pants.

Chris Monroe | InsideJersey.com

Writer and photographer Crystal Wells with IMG Corporate Communications Specialist Maura McGreevy

Their shoe game was strong! We’ll take one of each please.

Chris Monroe | InsideJersey.com

Celebrity fashion stylist Isabel Dupré with B.J. Gray

Effortless beauty with minimalist style.

Chris Monroe | InsideJersey.com

Visual artist Verdiana Patacchini

The ladies of Mana Contemporary make monochromatic fashion look so easy!

Chris Monroe | InsideJersey.com

Mana Contemporary associates Senior Graphic Designer Poliana Duarte, Assistant Director Catherine Sippin and Editorial Director Alex Zafiris

Just because the weather’s getting cooler, doesn’t mean you can’t wear awesome skirts.

Chris Monroe | InsideJersey.com

56 Henry gallery owner Ellie Rines with artist Cynthia Talmadge

Bubble jackets will never go out of style!

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Architect Charles Renfro with Ido Tadmor, choreographer and Artistic Director of the Israeli Ballet

We’re suckers for cheetah print.

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Steven O’Brien with Natalie Raben, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Lower East Side Business Improvement District

Peep-toe over the knee boots and a camo choker? We so approve!

Chris Monroe | InsideJersey.com

John Williams, Mana Café’s David Panayiotou and Public Relations Director for exhibitions and projects for Yigal Ozeri Studio LLC

Everything about this outfit screams YES!

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MADE’s Global Fashion Director Ruth Gruca

Brunette bombshells with impeccable taste in shoes.

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Shannon Gorman, Mekanism Brand Manager Claire de Lannoy and associate teacher Debra Schwartzreich

Because wearing white after Labor Day is a major DO!

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4 EON co-founders Davide Bolis and Ilaria Cannavacciuolo

Friends that slay together, stay together!

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Artist Kaoruko, Japan Society’s Gallery Officer Masako Shiba and Gianna Guo, Managing Partner at Pegasus Art Advisory

And of course, the night wouldn’t have been complete without transgender model Amanda Lepore, who grew up in Cedar Grove, giving Marilyn a run for her money!

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Fashion muse Kyle Farmery with socialite and performance artist Amanda Lepore

I got to chat it up with Whoopi herself about her involvement with the exhibit. The Oscar-winning actress even gave me a tour of her favorite pieces from the gallery.

Chris Monroe | InsideJersey.com

Actress Whoopi Goldberg with OMJ producer Morgan Murrell

Marilyn: Character Not Image will be open to the public starting Sunday, September 25 through October 22. For more information about the free exhibit, click here.