She continued: "My favorite store for everyday clothes is Diesel. They have great pieces. But recently I’ve been obsessed with Alexander Wang."
Recently signed with the modeling agency IMG, she offered some photo-shoot advice: "I drink lots of
Her eyes were ringed with smoke, achieving, style argot aside, a level of chic one suspects is far in excess of heroin’s pharmacological potential. Was this really the same sweet girl who hunched over a Singer in her family’s decrepit DUMBO loft, desperately trying to spin seamstress skills into social gold?
"Jenny’s going through a lot of changes." Her teeth are imperfect—the right canine protrudes a half-millimeter too far, leaving too much gum between it and the adjacent bicuspid. "She’s been interning for Eleanor Waldorf the whole summer."
Was it an internship with the noted designer (and mother of Blair) that delivered a dark-moth Taylor Momsen from fuzzy Jenny Humphrey?
"I couldn’t really relate to the storyline actually. I mean, I’ve never actually worked at a place—like a restaurant or something."
The giggle was most unusual—a knowing giggle. Sometime later, Ms. Momsen, looking imperiously blasé and perilously balanced on stilettos, marched into the venue to the beat of "I Kissed a Girl," Katy Perry‘s ubiquitous summer hit. A reverent path cleared among the pretty young PR toilers and friends of friends of friends, adults partiers dressed, contra Ms. Momsen, like characters from Gossip Girl.
The Transom happened to have been trailing her at a tight remove, trying to inconspicuously scrawl findings into a notebook pulled out of our left hip pocket—no reporting allowed inside!—and we were startled by her suddenly putting on the brakes to embrace an older gentleman with unclear intentions, and so we swerved our torso at the last second, providentially missing a collision but allowing the hairier side of our left forearm to brush, just slightly, against the back of that Joan Jett biker jacket.
The Transom was reminded, oddly, of veal.
Was fun being had at this event?
It’s hard to say, not least because, depending on the accounting method, something between 30 and 100 percent of the crowd was getting paid to be there. The planning was certainly conscientious. Lest the more loutish names on the guest list get any ideas, the lower shelves around the sales floor were cleared of merchandise; only an NBA power forward would’ve had the wingspan to snatch that shiny Botkier satchel in the corner, and then it wouldn’t really flatter your shape anyway. Relieved of media duties, the cast members largely swarmed to a roped-off area behind a cosmetics counter recommissioned to hold two turntables, two MacBook Pros, two stacks of Moleskine notepads, and two identically and aggressively styled DJs with symmetrically asymmetrical haircuts.
They did the work of approximately one iPod Shuffle.
Which is to say, the scene resembled that really sleek party on that really great Gossip Girl episode.
The Svedka cocktails were inordinately large, and strong. Leaning against an empty display case, Michael Morris-founder of a high-end concierge service and "the most connected guy in NYC," according to Page Six Magazine-liked what he saw: "Leighton Meester looks flawless tonight."
Some seconds later, Mr. Morris held up his wedding ring to clarify he wasn’t gay. Really? The Transom wondered whether our culture of contrarianism reached the point where a man who notices the perfection of a beautiful young woman must be a homosexual. "Oh, no. It’s just that word ‘flawless.’ It’s kind of a gay word."
Anna Sui arrived and started loudly posing for pictures.
And so it went, until a frisson of inexplicability shuddered through the set-piece.
A gaunt brunette gawked in horror. "Who are those little girls? Did they just come in off the street?"
Actually, yes. The teal velour was unmistakable, as was the raspy squeal. She was joined by an even smaller, rattier specimen, in fuchsia. As it happened, Mr. Daman, an affable fellow whose personal style runs to gold cravats, saw the girls milling about outside and invited them in to his party. Joyous little terrors, they galloped around the room for a half hour or so, shrieking and snapping and jumping up and down at their good fortune. Then they tried to get a drink at the vodka bar, and were mercifully escorted out.
Who—or what—were they? The fuchsia one was Margaret Halliday, age 13; the red-carpet pugilist was one Billie Holden; both were of Fort Lauderdale. "We’re staying at the Ritz-Carlton," Ms. Holden said, with their parents. And how were their evenings?
"Omigod, omigod, this is a-MA-zing," said Ms. Holden. "It’s the most awesome thing that’s ever happened."
Like striving Jenny Humphrey and sullen Taylor Momsen, Ms. Holden turned out to be 15 years old. But she had neither outer-borough angst nor designs on releasing an album during her summer vacation. Despite her fortunate accident of birth, she also had the good cheer to realize young that she’d never be an actor, in either sense, and so she might ravenously observe—and expose—them. So yes, before the guards sent her out, another question needed asking.
Is Billie Holden Gossip Girl?
I’ll never tell.