The Eight-Day Week
The cutesy-named “Purses and Pursenalities” luncheon benefits the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club, and this year it honors five fabulous and oft-photographed faces: Betsy Pitts, Claudia Overstrom, party vet/party snapper Patrick McMullan, Susan Meyer of preppy shoe line JP Crickets and socialite/jeweler HRH Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia. The master of ceremonies is decorator Thom Filicia, who became famous on the reality show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and there are of course handbags by designers such as Stuart Weitzman, Cole Haan and Douglas Hannant to buy at the silent auction, so make sure your Gucci coin purse is well stocked with credit cards.
Sure, you’ve seen a hundred shots of Katie Holmes celebrating at The New York Observer‘s 25th Anniversary Party by now. If you didn’t know what Rex Reed looked like, now you do. And those pictures of Spike Lee, Mayor Bloomberg and Chuck Close? Sure, we could see how some could be Read More
The Eight-Day Week
It’s Saint Patrick’s Day, and we beg you to avoid the Blarney Stone at all costs. Start your day with a big bowl of Lucky Charms cereal, which is naturally magically delicious—and those neon-colored marshmallows will help soak up any day-drinking you plan on doing. Later that night, the already-inebriated St. Paddy’s Day chic set Read More
Macho Macho Men
It’s a well-known adage that if you are old enough to remember Studio 54, you’ve probably aged out of any knockoffs of the infamous Midtown debauch-party. But all rules were suspended on Sunday night, when Michael Musto—The Village Voice’s answer to “What would Oscar Wilde have said if asked to comment on the ’80s for VH1?”—held his ’70s Disco Extravaganza at 54 Below.
The venue 54 Below is located, as the name might lead one to expect, directly below the former Studio 54. Walking into the gilded underground hall, the Transom found it hard to discern what sort of patrons were attending the evening. Not drag queens, exactly—there was one man wearing a giant fur stole and some kind of 12-gallon hat—though it was certainly a flamboyant crowd. And why not? Accompanying the host of the evening was the ’70s cover band Elektrik Company, along with two individuals named Snooky & Tish, billed as Mr. Musto’s “glittering sidekicks.” (No, it wasn’t that Snooki.) And this was all before the evening’s special guests!
The first time The Observer met Niki and Shaokao Cheng, it was July, during the opening night of Julio Gaggia’s art show. Mr. Gaggia, the boyfriend of the plastic surgeon Mark Warfel, was preparing his work “Living Art: Chelsea Boy Apartment,” during which he would live for five days as a window display model at the BoConcept furniture store on West 18th Street. He spent the week eating, sleeping, working—and performing other, less-mentionable activities—in a showroom that divided him from gawkers outside with a pane of glass.
While we lounged about on the display furniture, socialite photographer Patrick McMullan brought over a petite woman with short, pixie-cropped hair.
“Niki is one of the few Power Asians in New York society,” he loudly whispered, flourishing Ms. Cheng before us. She smiled shyly and posed for a photograph before excusing herself.
It would be two weeks before we realized that Ms. Cheng and her husband owned the store where we had dropped more than one canapé between the cushions of a $3,000 couch.
In fact, the couple owns all five locations of the Danish furniture store in New York City, and another two in New Jersey. But the stores themselves aren’t the reason Mr. McMullan calls the Chengs “Power Asians.” Rather, it’s the couple’s seemingly innate social instincts, their ability to leverage a fairly cookie-cutter, mid-market design base into a celebrity-filled social whirl. One might say “Only in America,” or (even worse) “Only in New York,” but this wouldn’t exactly cover it. There is a certain type that thrives in Manhattan no matter what they’re selling, no matter where they’re from, no matter how few resources they have upon arriving.
While Fashion Week was winding down at Lincoln Center Wednesday night, Diane von Furstenberg was sequestered on the 10th floor of a nondescript Lexington Avenue building. Across the giant storeroom of the mostly digital antique dealer 1stDibs, Patrick McMullan was snapping Bill Cunningham as he took a picture of a small watercolor on the wall. Nearby, Anderson Cooper hovered around his mother, who, in a stunning red kimono, greeted guests to her first solo art show since 2001.
An Unbroken Series of Successful Gestures
The girls, so many girls, dressed in pastel-colored wraps that bared shoulders and the swells of their cleavage, clacked their Louboutin heels up a SoHo staircase one muggy May evening.
At the landing, visibly breathless and sweaty, their eyes lit up. They had entered the penthouse loft of Edward Scott Brady, the boyishly handsome world traveler, former classical cello virtuoso and “retired entrepreneur,” who was throwing a “Welcome Back Bash” to honor his return from his seventh trip around the globe.
Menace to Society
There’s a reason that the Hamptons Jitney is the one bus that New York’s elite will deign to place their fancy tushes on. The air-conditioned anti-Greyhound actually showed up on time Friday afternoon, and the nice lady who came to take our credit cards gave me two cartons of lemonade and a bag of Bachmann’s Party Mix.
Because it’s not a party without Bachmann’s Party Mix.
I made sure to grab a window seat because I was determined to keep an eye on the road. It was time for me to figure out where exactly the Hamptons were. The last time I ventured a guess, it was deemed so clueless that my publicist, R. Couri Hay, had to step in, spinning my ignorance as some kind of adorable party trick.
As Seen in SCENE
If you haven’t met Priyantha De Silva, there’s still a good chance you’ve encountered him, perhaps when he was pretending to be someone else: cherubic cocktail chaser, uncredited Academy Award-winning producer, conspicuous Condé Nast editor, philandering philanthropist, ICM agent or the creator of the Kardashians. Some say that if you put your ear to a martini, you can almost hear his overdone debonair voice: “What do you mean I’m not on the list? Don’t you know who I am?” Priyantha De Silva was that really, really sweaty guy of Sri Lankan descent who successfully crowbarred his way into progressively higher social circles, ultimately crashing down into of Manhattan’s most closely guarded venues: Rikers Island.
The Wee Hours
In the wake of last Saturday’s Purple Magazine party, we were left with several questions: What is it about Fashion Week mag soirées that seems to whip everyone into a frenzy? What mysterious gravity does Olivier Zahm carry that sucks the clothing off of so many stunningly beautiful women? How is Lindsay Lohan even still Read More