The people of Fashion Week were taking bets.
How late will Courtney Love arrive at Hiro Ballroom?
One hour? Two hours?
Will she show up at all?
And will she even be any good?
It was Tuesday night, two days before Lincoln Center would open its tents, but those hungry for early action braved the rain and trekked west on the promise of seeing all the guises of Courtney Love — last wife of Kurt Cobain, notorious oddity, fashion aficionado, frontwoman of Hole, mother of the photographer’s fixation named Frances Bean Cobain — onstage singing her songs and playing the guitar. There was money on whether or not she could do it.
Well, these people didn’t get to cash out. She was scheduled to go on at 11:00, and by 11:30, she was halfway through a scorching version of “Sympathy for the Devil.” When she promised an “old song,” she played “Celebrity Skin.” Everyone sang along.
The party celebrated the tenth birthday of ONE Management, a modeling firm headed up by Scott Lipps (who, after a last-minute change of talent, sat in on the drums) and was co-hosted by Nur Khan. DeLeón Tequila for everybody! The models imbibed, as did the mortals who seemed content with just gawking at them.
The party began at 9:00, so there was the requisite lull that lasted until the night’s only performer went on. Before this newfangled Hole lineup took the stage, the projection screen displayed the agency’s greatest hits. In one clip, Chris Isaak serenaded Helena Christensen — a ONE model — on the beach, smothered in sand, rolling her slim frame in the ocean. It’s the video for Mr. Issak’s hit song “Wicked Games.”
Courtney Love probably wasn’t a big fan.
“White people doing blues is gay unless you do it right,” Ms. Love said to the crowd.
And then Courtney Love did it right.