The Unknown Hipster

Carine’s karaoke

Posted in Fashion by unknownhipster on October 4, 2011

Out of boredom on a recent Saturday afternoon, I was trying out some pants at Supreme when when my friend  Victoire called to ask if I wouldn’t mind accompanying her to the party being given by Barneys for Carine Roitfeld.

A few minutes latter, as I was walking with renewed energy on Lafayette Street, she called again : « they want to know what our favorite songs are, it’s  karaoke ! »

Had I gone to Tokyo at least 15 times and always successfully avoided karaoke parties to finally get trapped into one in NY ? Is there a more depressing scene than drunks trying to read the upcoming lyrics on a TV screen to blaring 80s hits ?

Carine in a gold vintage dress

But of course, as masterminded by Carine, it was going to be something else, and with high anticipation we made our approach to Westway, the former strip-club, where the party was happening.

Limousines were jammed on Clarkson street, and squads of it girls and models on high heels were carefully navigating the cobble stones, exposing  their million dollars legs to the outdoors spotlights.

I was in fear that somebody would push me on the stage, just for fun. What would I sing ? The only song I know is Syd Barrett‘s « Effervescing Elephant ».

It turned out to be the most professional karaoke event one could witness. The Fashion people all hit the stage – which looks rather like a catwalk –  with stunning confidence. Not only they never sang out of tune, but they could dance across the stage back and forth, and do all the things performers do like pointing at the crowd, and probably pole dancing as well.

A cross-disciplinary talent that you could hardly imagine among true rock stars who usually show a lack of expertise when it comes down to Fashion : shiny jackets with wide shoulders, leather pants, etc…


The flashes on iphones burnt out during Anna della Russo’s number

The Italians were especially good. Even the cynical fashion assistants have to change their minds when they realized their most feared celebrities were showing genuine warmth, good humor, and sincere emotions. Everybody sensed a historical moment when Valentino’s rendition of « My Way » almost one-upped Sinatra’s Vegas version.

Valentino singing « My Way »

As we left the party and walked along the West Side Highway with imagined scenes of endless rehearsals in burgundy bathrobes late at night in the privacy of the hotel’s palace suite, a small anonymous car overloaded with men suddenly pulled along the sidewalk. All the doors opened at once and the passengers bursted out like undercover policemen about to seize somebody.

A young lad in a torn tee-shirt ran out of the car to take refuge against a wall, where he theatrically faced his pursuers. Among the gang’s sinister faces we were relieved to recognize Terry Richardson’s,  thanks to his plaid shirt and signature moustache, this time he didn’t had his thumbs up but was aiming his Powershot at the young actor.

Terry immediately started to fire flashes at his subject, who obligingly gave varied poses.

It seemed the complete New York Fashion scene had decided to unfold  in just one night.

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.