The Unknown Hipster

Philosophy on-the-go-go at Indochine party

Posted in Parties by unknownhipster on November 25, 2009

Andy and Jean-Michel

I like to think that once upon a time at Indochine people like Warhol or Basquiat were sitting in these very same booths, beneath the banana leaf murals and eat the very same delicious entries. (Althought I don’t know if they were really into eating).

It used to be a place for artists, my friend Glenn told me.

Carine, André, and Anna

Then the artists were joined by the Fashion people, but as he pointed out, nowadays, Art and Fashion are more or less the same.

And it’s true that people who think of one at the exclusion of the other are usually not very funny, or much artistic. This works both ways.

Friday night was Indochine 25th anniversary party and I skipped a philosophy lecture to arrive early.

The charming Nadine, orchestrating the guests.

Some people in amazing costumes were already waiting anxiously outside the tent, and then once inside we queued in front of the stairs into the restaurant where most of the action seemed to happen. At irregular intervals the charming Nadine would appeared from behind the curtains, and with the magnaninous power of a blond goddess saved a few human beings by letting them in.

The tenebrous Lady Fag

Once saved, I elbowed my way to the center of the booming crowded room. But most of the guests were too gorgeous –or too tall, as is the case with some of the superstar drag queens – to be pushed on the side, and I finally had to retreat in the basement bar and dance floor, which some insiders refers to as Under-chine and had not seen open for decades.

Todd’s straw hat state of destruction is far more sophisticated than one would thought.

Casey, one of the best dressed men of the night, was wearing a thrift store $10 suit

The elegant and cool Jean-Marc, hero of the party.

The amazing Sophie-Anne, from Paris.

With a moustache, Hamish revealed an entirely different personality.

Gabi and Adi wearing their own extraordinary designs

I’m not so much of a dance person. I would rather read a book, or talk to someone, so I went up to the go-go dancer poles and asked one of the prettiest go-go girls if it would bother her if we had a little chat while she was working. I had  to shout over what I recognized as an old  B52s tune, without the certainty to be heard. She shooked her head, but it was not clear what the answer was.

From Art, or Fashion, I insisted, what do you think is… It seemed she meant go-go dancing is an Art form, like everything else.

For those who missed the party, a commemorative book has just been published by Rizzoli : Indochine, Stories, Shaken and Stirred. The limited edition available at Indochine even comes with a free set of labelled paper napkins and two pairs of chopsticks.

13 Responses

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  1. la flore et la faune said, on November 26, 2009 at 7:59 am

    Well, gogo dancers are good speakers. I used to talk with one during and after her show. A student working on Giacometti. BBBB = Beautiful brain, beautiful body.

  2. Marie said, on November 28, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    LOVE the drawings!

  3. Kurt said, on November 28, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    I had to laff reading through your piece on Indochine for having frequented it in the past. Before there was Indochine there was Lady Astor’s, the cocktail lounge in New York in the late 70s and early 80s, same place, same purpose. A private table in the low lit red velvet palm court ambiance gave a girl the reason to dress for an evening of dinner and drinks. Both were famous for their Nigronis. A banquette of good-looking Greenwich Villagers at either of the venues lead to pretty much the same sort of late night out.

    I lived on 10th Street and was dating Georgia Ray Gunn, Anna Winteur’s co-stylist at Viva, and Lady Astor’s and Indochine were the places where the fashion journalists, retailers and garmentos met up with the weirdos of the downtown art and nightclub scene. It was all very amusing. There were a lot of very pretty women and gay men and it looks like there still are. You piece brought back precious memories of nights out.

    My little sister’s friends at nearby haunts, Danceteria, the Mudd Club, and Club 57, where she bartended, liked to step it up and the Colonnades on Lafayette was it.
    My Cuban brother-in-law, Oli Sanchez, and pals Fred Sutherland built Undochine, a remarkable short lived phenomenon of a nightclub downstairs from the restaurant/lounge. David McDermott found an art deco department store in New Jersey that was being torn down and they bought and customized the interior woodwork to new wave deconstructed reconfabulated décor for dancing. We danced mambo there with Ruben and Isabel Toledo.

    Sometime I’ll host the unknown hipster to Harlem. Harlem’s so hip it hurts. You’ll have to come back uptown sometime.

    • unknownhipster said, on November 28, 2009 at 6:06 pm

      Thanks for sharing your memories!
      I think all known and unknown hipsters should visit your fantastic bookshop, Jumel Terrace Books, in Harlem

  4. taryn said, on December 4, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Nice depiction of lady fag. To know her is to love her. Adore your drawings.

    ~taryn xx

  5. Tiffany said, on December 4, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    love the drawing with andre, anna, and carine

  6. Berenice said, on December 5, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Amazing drawings and interesting anecdotes. I especially like the depiction of Bill Cunningham; he’s a unique man.

    All the best, Berenice (from Quebec).

  7. heartbb said, on December 9, 2009 at 2:10 am

    amazing post…your drawings and point of view are wonderful.
    i almost feel like i was there.
    loving kurt’s story too!! oh how i wish i could have experienced nyc back then…and mambo’d.
    harlem IS so hip it hurts.

  8. Thomas Christopher said, on December 27, 2009 at 5:47 am

    just pure fabulousness, that’s it.

  9. sophie said, on January 29, 2010 at 2:58 am

    Have a nice day !
    And thanks again for the smiles.

    • unknownhipster said, on January 29, 2010 at 10:58 am

      So nice to know it made my London muse smiling!

  10. Valerie said, on March 3, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    AH Indochine in the 80’s was the best. Although the party seemed very Fabulous.

  11. MGF said, on March 16, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Hamish’s drawing is just génial, the move of the hand is sooo great !!!

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