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.

Damien Hirst’s “End of an Era”

Posted in Art by unknownhipster on February 9, 2010

Damien Hirst is one of those rare artists who once in a while produces an artwork that gains more instant awe than that of a new Ferrari parked on the street.

And he is one of the few artists today who challenge Money and Power with means that speak at equal level to the most wealthy and powerful.

A master of Vanitas,  he always find entertaining ways to remind the viewer  of Death, or that diamonds, no matter how many or big, are nothing.

“Judgement Day,” a thirty-foot long gold cabinet filled with 30,000 manufactured diamonds, is an ironic slap in the face of the shallow, while a consolation for the broke.

Viewers in front of “Painful Memories/ Forgotten Tears.” Gold plated,  glass and cubic zirconia.


Ancient Greek philosophers — and more recently,  psychedelic gurus — used the same rhetoric to one-up kings and rich merchants,  but somehow with less efficiency than an entire shark, or a bull’s head, submerged in formaldehyde solution.

Terry, the master of Fashion vanitas, was there !


The exhibition is called “End of an Era.” I don’t know if it refers to some political or financial analyses about the end of our era, or if it states that a particular body of Damien’s own work,  had come to an end.

Although the opening was on a Saturday, the uptown gallery (limos waiting outside) was buzzing with famous artists and important people.

The only way to know if somebody was less well-known was to see if he was taking pictures of others. Come to think of it, a lot of people were actually taking pictures of each other,  like at an entrance of a Fashion show.

This neck-tie works well with dots.


Rose’s necklace amusingly echoed the diamond paintings.


Damien was surrounded by people asking for autographs and handing to him various books or objects to be signed. A skateboarder even had a Damien dots new skateboard signed. I couldn’t see if he drew a big skull on it, as he did for some others of his fans.


Like Karl, Damien wears lots of Gothic rings : skulls and gargoyles.


A simple post-it signed by Damien


Larry talking with Mick


It turned out that the only discreet viewer was the real rock star, Mick is in a dark crewneck  sweater worn under a navy suit. Why does he looks so cool ? Of course, he has seen it all, even  Jean-Luc Godard filming the Rolling Stones recording “Sympathy to the Devil.” But while “One+One” could have been the coolest documentary,  JLD got carried away by vanity,  French intellectualism,  or some girlfriend’s advice,  and added all these revolutionary  theories sequences that required so much coffee for the viewer.

Unlike Damien’s works.

Mick walking along « Judgement Day ».



All that happened

Posted in Art by unknownhipster on August 10, 2009
Reading on my vintage Duke Kahanamoku Maui longboard

Reading on my vintage Duke Kahanamoku Maui longboard

I love surfing.

If you paddle a little further than the other surfers, beyond the breaking line, not only will it keep you away from the harsh competition, but it also leave you plenty of time to read, think, or simply do nothing.

And at the end of the day, when everybody’s gone, you just catch a wave back to the shore.

It’s upon my return to civilization that, looking at the Purple Diary, I realized all that happened when I was surfing.

Beautiful sunset in Biarritz

Beautiful sunset in Biarritz

While Terry was busy shooting a Pirelli calendar, Olivier was kissing more girls in a night than most people in their entire life. And he was also taking hundreds of new photographs of the sexy Natacha Ramsay in unexpected locations.

"Natacha Ramsay in Arizona", after Olivier Zahm

"Natacha Ramsay in Arizona", after Olivier Zahm

And this is how I learned about the death of Dash Snow, the fantastic artist with a fantastic name.

Before I read Glenn’s beautiful eulogy, I only knew of Dash from pictures in a 2008 issue of Purple.

Dash Snow, after Purple

Dash Snow, after Purple

Even the hipsters I questioned at the time were uncertain when it came to describing Dash’s work. Some said he was doing Polaroids. Others that he was handsome : « You have no idea with the beard, but he is incredibly handsome ! »

But even if you haven’t seen his collages or anything else, you could tell he was a true artist by these photographs, just like when you see a picture of Marcel Duchamp playing chess, Jackson Pollock putting own his paint-dripped shoes, or Picasso proudly standing in his briefs.

The effect is the same of Dash choosing an LP, drinking a beer in bed, or wearing a dress.

"Dash Snow in his Bowery studio", after Purple

"Dash Snow in his Bowery studio", after Purple

For this is how one knows he is confronting a real artist : when you feel a little square or slightly overcautious !

By the way, on my last day of surfing, I flooded my ipod while listening to « Perfection as a Hipster », by God Help The Girl.