Howl at the Moon: Le Souk’s Tuesday Night Party

We day-walkers believe Tuesday night is not meant for raging. Where premature partying is concerned, it’s widely accepted that Thursday night is the official unofficial start the weekend in the city. So what to make of The Wolf Party at Le Souk Harem held on, of all days, a Tuesday night? It’s there you’ll find those nocturnal creatures that believe every night out is the weekend.

Le Souk Harem. The name has already been established as a den of sin from its previous location in the East Village. Moroccan-French cuisine and hookahs hardly seem like a fit for a party meant for wolves, but somehow it works. Every Tuesday the venue is packed to the gills with studded, spiked, and inked partygoers all dying to do the whole “see and be seen” thing. And they really make an effort, trading worn leather jackets for face paint, wigs, and other ornamentation.

Markko Donto leads this bevy of brooding boys, dancing the night away in outfits that would make Lady Gaga lust. The slew of hosts include nightlife veteran Michael de Guzman, newcomers Jgarc Beair, Tanner Caldwell, Samuel Valentine, and Rachel Landry, and a slew of other party enthusiasts. Weekly go-go dancers mix with other guests, who take to dancing on the tables themselves. Think electrorock mash-ups and a little dubstep. Special performances by fire-dancers and alternative burlesque performers help give the party an “anything goes” feel. Though nightlife has been missing that certain something since the mega-clubs closed down and bottle service started up, some of it can be found in the crazy costumes and genuine crowd enthusiasm at the Wolf Party.

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Zac Posen Confirms: Spring Is for Brunch, Bloody Marys

When I arrived late to a brunch at Le Caprice yesterday, gentlemanly host Zac Posen interrupted his meal mid-bite to graciously welcome me to his affair. I was already riding high with anxiety—arriving late only to discover that the room was filled with the most recognizable faces in the fashion and journalism worlds. But his warm welcome, combined with the fact that I was about to enjoy some mid-day cocktails courtesy of Belvedere Bloody Mary, put me immediately at ease.

image I’ve always had an issue with Bloody Marys, the issue being that I’ve never particularly liked them. (Even though I’ve never actually ordered one, only accepted the pre-made concotions that come with pre fixe brunch menus.) With guests like Leigh Lezark, Dani Stahl, Kate Lanphear, Derek Blasberg, Gordin Nicol, Ann and Pat Cleveland, Jessica White, Marjorie Gubelman, Zani Guggleman, Masha Orloff, Stephanie La Cava, Poppy de Villeneuve, Michelle Harper, and Mia Rosing in attendance, I new that I was not about to imbibe a weak or watery concoction. In fact, Zac himself designed the special menu, including his own favorite brunch offerings to be especially paired with bespoke Bloody Mary cocktails. Indeed, these Bloodys were like no other: the classic variety on offer was made with pitch-perfect spice thanks to the incredible, award winning flavor with which the vodka is infused. It brought pep to the Pineapple Mary, the dynamic Very Mary, and the Bloody Veggie.


Mind you, I had to immediately head back to work — therefore I imbibed freely. Zac’s menu, which featured eggs, steak tartare, a duck salad, and a shrimp burger, was about as big of a hit as his designs. People table-hopped like mad, chatting about the news that Zac will be designing Josephine de la Baume’s wedding dress for her upcoming nuptials (she’ll marry Mark Ronson later this year). Zac also decorated the menus with sketches of Le Caprice’s chic servers. On the back of each menu he inscribed, “Being a New Yorker, born and bred, brunch is a part of my vocabulary. It’s where business deals are built.” A few weeks ago, he hosted a similar brunch with Belvedere Blood Mary at the Le Caprice in London.

Anticipating the spring weather, the meal got me incredibly excited for my next Bloody Mary (now I know I’ll have to order it with Belvedere Bloody Mary vodka), which, unfortunately won’t be happening again during the workweek. The Zac Posen Belvedere Bloody Mary menu will be available at Le Caprice New York starting this Saturday through June 26th.

Favorite Bloody Mary Cocktail Recipes: Belvedere Bloody Mary Classic 1.5oz Belvedere Bloody Mary 3 Drops Tabasco 0.5oz Lemon Juice 2 Bar Spoons Worcester Sauce 4oz Tomato Juice

Belvedere Pineapple Mary 1.5oz Belvedere Bloody Mary 3oz Fresh Pineapple Juice 0.75oz Fresh Lime Juice 2 Bar Spoons Simple Syrup 2 Dashes Orange Bitters 1/8 Bar Spoon Smoke Paprika (Hot)

Nightlife Ramblings: Tripping Through the Meatpacking

The first thing I think when I approach the Rebecca Taylor shop and lay eyes on a mini-red carpet hemmed by actual paparazzi is: “Looky here, a surefire blogger circle-jerk party!” Actually, the first thing I’m thinking is “It’s fucking March and I’m getting pelted by hail and freezing rain.” But back to circle jerks.

A while ago, a journo I admired taught me about blogger circle jerks, otherwise known as “the plight of the boring party with the bold-faced name.” Basically, it’s when pseudo-gossip bloggers—the most rampant kind—attend parties only to post generic photos of whatever star was in attendance the next day. These sort of people are to blame for the downfall of events as we once knew them: They ruin the atmosphere as they wait with a puss on until a celebrity appears, and then wreak havoc as they swarm said celebrity like moths (with bad manners) to a flame. And this, boys and girls, is where celebrity handlers come from. You can’t even have a proper tequila shot or do a proper line in a bathroom with a celebrity anymore, because they need their handlers to beat off these eager bloggers. It’s like a big circle jerk with no climax.

Anyway, this is what’s happening when I first arrive to the Rebecca Taylor opening party in the Meatpacking District. I can’t even make it through the front door, because the sight of 30 Rock‘s Katrina Bowden has turned some perfectly normal folks into slack-jawed zombies. Then I’m moving toward the corner to dump off my umbrella, and even when a glacier of ice slides off it, and lands on a girl’s bare back, she doesn’t so much as flinch. The celebrity trance is powerful. So I’m stuck in the front of the store, utterly aware that the bar and general sanity is located in the back. The masses are pushing toward Bowden, who looks so skinny, by the way (you’re welcome Kat! Kiss, kiss). So I start pushing too, with polite “excuse me’s,” naturally. Katrina is wearing both Rebecca Taylor and a general look of annoyance, because this kid in front of me is all up in her business, telling her handler that he needs his 5 minutes with her because he has “a dinner,” which, in case you didn’t know, is the new way to sound busy and important. “A dinner reservation” sounds too generic, but “a dinner” could mean something else: Lagerfeld could be present at “a dinner.”

I make it past this very important blogger and his dinner plans, and I’m home free, a straight bee line to the bar. No champagne left, and martini it is! Rebecca Taylor is looking proud as a peacock because she’s celebrating 15 years in business with this store opening. She’s looking radiant too, because inside it’s spring and we’re all surrounded by frothy frocks on hangers and on people like Alice Eve, Tika Sumpter and Selita Ebanks, who looked absolutely gorgeous. I really wanted to talk to her, since I had interviewed her once for a magazine article, but just as I went to set down my Baked by Melissa cupcake, I remembered that she wasn’t too happy with a quote we used thinking she would laugh along with us. She did not, and we had egg on our faces. Or I did, actually. So instead, I just spent the evening staring at her like everyone else.


Then, of course, there is this guy here that I see at absolutely every party I go to. You know him, even if you don’t. He’s always with a Russian or Swedish girl with huge breasts, or taking pictures of Russian/Swedish girls with huge breasts. I don’t know how he does it; the partying and the girls. I ask him about it, too. His newest big-breasted Russian is one he recently met on Facebook a few weeks ago, and now she’s living in his apartment. He’d call her his “Penthouse Pet,” but he lives on the second floor. She’ll stay for a few weeks and then move on, that’s what happens. “They want the party penis,” he tells me. It’s weird to hear the word penis around such precious spring dresses, and I look at them as if they’ve overheard.

image Then it’s off to Soho House, which is crawling with people who have the same sort of game as this playboy, and then to Villa Pacri, which has the Last International Playboy’s art hanging in it. Villa Pacri is a really great place, and the friends who have gathered in a quiet corner booth are a nice departure from playboy land. But I’m too drunk from Pacri’s Latin Lovers—a cocktail that tastes like a smoothie, but is actually a lethal combination of Tanqueray Ten gin, Carpano Red vermouth, fresh orange, passion fruit and berries topped with Aranciata Pellegrino. I trip through slush to find a cab, and head home to take it out on my boyfriend, who in all actuality, is not friends with any party-penis hunting, big-breasted Russian Swedes on Facebook. It’s only midnight.

Facehunter’s Fashion Week Speed Dating & BLK DNM Party Snaps

Street style photographers have been out in full force this week, bothering and validating the beautiful and well-heeled in equal measure. Personally, I find it incredulous that people would be anything but flattered if one of these rogue paparazzi stopped them for a quick pic — I know people who spend their Saturday afternoons stomping around Soho in couture in the hopes of bumping into the Sartorialist.

But, as Yvan Rodic, aka Facehunter, notes in his short film on the Nowness, camera stalking New Yorkers can be tricky. Just try going up to a pretty stranger without the help of alcohol. Luckily, there were libations last night at the BLK DNM launch party, where Rodic busied himself shooting willing participants.

Facehunter Takes Manhattan on

In the film, he outlines his reasons for being drawn to people, and they have nothing to do with his own sense of style. He shoots people who have a certain aura or edge about them, regardless of whether if he likes their outfit. More reasons he might snap your pic: you’re beautiful or interesting; you’re willing to take direction for the pose (no standing on one foot!), which means you’re not running late to something (because you’ll rush the process). Also, play it cool. “When a girl is too willing to be photographed it’s a turn-off.” Accordingly, act like you’re not going to Google him the second you find a laptop — sort of like dating! Rodic would agree. “Fashion week is like speed dating,” he says about the week at hand, “my rejection capacity is around 10%.”

Last night he shot pretty, interesting, unrushed, friendly fashion folks at the launch of Johan Lindeberg’s BLK DNM collection in SoHo. Here are a few of his speed dates: image Arden Wohl & Tara Subkoff are Fashion Week speed dating pros with a “rejection capacity” of zilch, no doubt.

image Fashion Week Speed Dating tip: Wearing a Leica case as a necklace is a great way to break the ice and attract other photographers, which means facehunters will think you’re the opposite of desperate, because you could just photograph yourself if you really cared about getting your picture taken. Right?

image Johan Lindeberg @nytimesfashion: At the BLK DNM party. Johan turned the former Deitch space into virtual retail. DL #nyfw

image Max Vallot & Langley Crisman @nataliecwhite: Pretty sure my boob fell out of my dress at least 6 times at the BLK DNM party. #hotmess

Pop-Ups: Fashion Week Escapes

Ankles aching from those Acnes? Mind reeling from all the small talk? Eyes bleeding from all those looks? Instead of waiting for nightfall to indulge in free, mind-erasing booze, find peace and diversion from all of your self-inflicted (and trendy) agony at some of these temporary pop-ups, meant to cure the neuroses of the fashionable masses during New York Fashion Week.

image Get Sketched at W Union Square The DL: The W Hotel is kicking off the season with in-residence fashion illustrators from Parsons The New School For Design in the Living Room of W Union Square. The artists will be sketching fashionable folk and locals looking for a quick retreat—and treat: those sketched will be able to keep their piece of art. When: February 9th – February 17th, 1:30PM-6:30PM Location: The Living Room at the W Union Square

image Park Here: Pop-Up Park The DL: This retreat is for everyone sick of the oil-slicked slush covering every curb. Enjoy a bit of indoor springtime with an artificial indoor park brought to Manhattanites by Openhouse Gallery. I visited on a recent night when Urban Daddy and Nobu hosted an indoor movie screening of Kung Fu Panda, but anyone can go daily for just a buck. Bring your own picnic, or pick out lunch from the gourmet food carts. When: Open daily from 11AM-6PM until February 13th Location: 201 Mulberry Street

image Lia Sophia Suite Retreat The DL: Jewelry line, lia sophia, will be hosting a lounge suite for weary fashion folks stomping around Lincoln Center. lia sophia co-owner and Creative Director Elena Kiam and Nylon’s Dani Stahl will host the lounge, offering up a space for people “to recharge their body and electronic devices” and get their makeup touched-up by the Bobbi Brown cosmetics team. Also on hand: booze. When: February 13th—15th, 10AM—7PM Location: The Empire Hotel, 9th Floor, Suite 924

Parties: The Fashion Week Effect on Nightlife

Fashion Week has descended upon New York City, anointing new and yet-to-be-opened venues with its holy presence. Fashion houses and fashionable rags have shouldered their way into seen-and-be-seen restaurants and night spots, and have sold off their first born in order to offer their party guests a first look at some unopened places, like The Mondrian and the Darby’s buzzy basement. The perennial question: Whether to elect tried-and-true spots (or, in the case of Alexander Wang, gas stations and bounce houses) over what could be just a flash-in-the-pan hotspot. Herewith, a rumor-mongering and totally useless look at where all the week’s parties shall take place.

No Need for Dropping Bar Names Tonight, Stella McCartney will be watching out for our furry friends along with PETA, Tim Gunn, and Olivia Munn (last name rhyme-a-thon!) at her store for PETA’s Fashion Week fete. Also tonight is Waris Ahluwalia’s party at The Wooly to celebrate the buzzy launch of his line “Waris Loves You,” with and Karen Elson is rumored to perform with The Citizen’s Band. Not to be outdone, Fendi will be at Saks Fifth Avenue along with The New York Botanical Garden and a slew of fashion fixtures like Genevieve Bahrenburg, Byrdie Bell, and Lauren Remington Platt. We know this game all too well: we’ll have to leave our Frye boots at home. One place we can wear our beloved booties is the RETNA graffiti party at 560 Washington Street with fashion royalty, Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld, with an after-party at good ‘ol Indochine. Itinerary: Stella McCartney The Wooly Saks Fifth Avenue Indochine

Hotel Playgrounds The James has proven to be a great new nightlife addition, frequented by a slew of designers and celebrities, which means the hotel’s newbie restaurant, David Burke Kitchen, will be a big draw for the fashion crowd, and the rooftop bar Jimmy, will be packed—per the usual. But really, the buzz is all about the VMAN party rumored to be held at the not-yet-opened Mondrian—more specifically, Imperial No. Nine, chef/cool-guy Sam Talbot’s new restaurant therein. Reason for the buzz: VMAN’s cover featuring Kanye West with money in his mouth, shot by Karl Lagerfeld. We’d love to see the confirmed guestlist, pretty please? And of course, don’t discount The Standard Hotel. Although it’s not spanking-new, Boom Boom room will continue to dazzle, and blogger workshops for the Independent Fashion Blogger’s Evolving Influence conference (featuring Proenza’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez) will be held at Le Bain. Itinerary: The James David Burke Kitchen Jimmy The Mondrian Imperial No. Nine The Standard Hotel Boom Boom Room Le Bain

On the Verge Speaking of Le Bain, the French connection will see to it that the delayed Le Baron New York will have a proper place to party. Aside from Alexander Wang (who may just be hosting a chill party at his Soho store opening on February 15th) another person everyone is trying to befriend in time is Andre Saraiva. His Paris club, Le Baron, has always been the spot for Paris fashion week, and conveniently, the New York outpost is rumored to be opening in March. Though it’s been reported that it isn’t officially ready in time for NYFW, that doesn’t mean it can’t host private events and quiet gatherings for Saraiva’s closest friends. But instead of temp fate (or the Community Boards) the splashy Le Bain will host Le Baron and family on two separate occasions: on Friday with Kitsuné celebrating “Kitsuné Parisien” with hosts/music done by Gildas, André Saraiva, Annabelle & Alexander Dexter-Jones, and Grand Marnier from 11-4AM. On Sunday, the Nouveau York weekly will also host “Late Night with Le Baron, with music by Alex from Tokyo, Manu (Supreme Records) and Lee (Hamsa). The Darby has been open for a while, but rumors point to a private basement opening party this Friday, with a subsequent party open to the public (whatever ‘public’ means to the Darby folks) next Wednesday. Also on everyone’s mind: Westway, a former strip club resurrected, has bloodlines from The Smile and The Jane. Charlotte Ronson’s after-party is one rumored party slot in Westway’s schedule. Itinerary: Le Baron Basement of The Darby Westway

The National Plays Mac & Milk: A Chill NYFW Kick Off Party

With a PBR can in my pocket and a glass of DeLeon Tequila in my hand, I negotiated the crowd at Milk Studios, getting tangled in groups of familiar, bold-face names I only get to glimpse but twice a year (not including resort and couture week, if I’m lucky). Last night’s Mac & Milk Fashion Week FW11 kickoff party brought out fashion week friends like Josh Lucas, Liev Schreiber, Tara Subkoff, and Vogue’s Valerie Bolster, models like Le Call and Irina Lazareanu, and ShopBop’s Kate Ciepluch, all excited to catch a performance by The National.

The Brooklyn-based band—more or less virgins on the fashion scene—was an unusual, last-minute booking confirmed by MAC & Milk’s organizer, Jenne Lombardo, at around noon the previous morning. This by-the-seat-of-your-pants attitude, along with the National’s homey, worn-in sound, set the tone for the party, belying Fashion Week’s usually high maintenance temperament.

image The party started at 9PM, but the show didn’t start until 11PM, which left some antsy, and tipsy on DeLeon margaritas: @carolhan: If the national doesn’t go on soon, I may or may not keel over and fall asleep on the floor of milk.

image Although the scene was more on the chill side, the fashion get-ups were still cause for sartorial concern: @elvainadine Missed you Mac n Milk! Only place where my weird for the office leather leggings merit stifled yawns. #nyfw Likewise, I couldn’t help but think, “Are you fucking kidding me?” after looking around at some of these “fashionistas” get-ups.

image Ironic connection? Yesterday was “National Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day.”

@casey_kettleson And now I really love The National. Thanks Milk. Good party.

Photos: Patrick McMullan (Main) and I Think You’re Swell

Mint&Serf to Unveil Installation with Club Kid Pals

Street artists Mint&Serf, also known as The Mirf, are set to unveil yet another art installation at Garment District house club District 36. The duo will be joined by BrooklynStreetArt to celebrate The Mirf Room’s unveiling at the 14,000-square-foot dance club. Mind you, Mirf has already taken over the walls, the entryways, and the stairwells here, and now their original work will adorn The Mirf Lounge, a separate room dedicated to the Moscow- and Brooklyn-born talents. It’s been said that The Mirf is so dedicated to District 36 because it hearkens back to their old-school party days spent in the city’s quivering mega-clubs of the 80’s. It’s no wonder they’ve tapped a slew of club kids—new and veteran—to help them celebrate on February 4th.

image The Mirf Room

Return to the roots of electronic music and join Mint&Serf and BrooklynStreetArt as we celebrate the unveiling of the Mirf Room at District 36.

Music By: Larry Tee: A New York City-based DJ, club promoter, and music producer who coined the term Electroclash, helped to launch the careers of such artists as RuPaul, Scissor Sisters, Fischerspooner, Peaches, W.I.T., and Avenue D, and who’s collaborated with club kids Amanda Lepore and Princess Superstar. Casey Spooner of Fischerspooner: Artist, musician, and cofounder of the Electroclash band Fischerspooner back in 1998. Dances With White Girls: Notorious bi-coastal party animals that make incredible dance music.

When: Friday, February 4th Details: Open bar 10—12AM. Invite only.


NYC: The Poetry Brothel’s Top Spots for Poets

The Poetry Brothel, produced by The Poetry Society of New York, is a conceptual group that presents poets as characters—or “high courtesans,” as they say. The Brothel aims to take poetry outside the classroom and lecture hall and “place it in the lush interiors of a bordello.” Made up of a cast of “Whores” who put on innovative events staged to feel like the fin-de-siècle brothels in New Orleans and Paris, this band of poets strives to evoke the avant-garde movements and French Symbolists of the 19th century. The poets act as whores, calling their audience their “Johns” and, as you can imagine, the events are not your Mother’s poetry readings. Their next event isn’t until January 23rd at The Back Room (invite below), but the group has offered up a list of their favorite nightlife places where poets can bide their time until then. Here is the Poetry Brothel’s top places to live the poet’s life: places where poetry is inspired, where poets hang out, or maybe where one can find the ghosts poets past.

1) The Back Room – as much as we hate to plug our own venue (not really, we’re whores), Sunday nights at The Back Room are the best nights to meet poets, listen to poetry, talk about poetry, and be inspired to write poetry, because all those things are exactly what we at The Poetry Brothel aim to do.

2) The Brooklyn Bridge – I don’t know about you, but most of the poets I know are broke half the time. (See Mike Todd’s famous quote: “I’ve never been poor, only broke. Being poor is a frame of mind. Being broke is only a temporary situation.”) Grab a flask of homemade absinthe, a moleskin journal, and a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge; you’ll be seeing ghosts and writing poems in no time. If you’re feeling friendly, you’ll probably also run into a few Walt Whitman fanatics.

3) Goodbye Blue Monday – It’s a bar, coffee shop, art gallery, antique store, music venue, etc, with an artist-in-residence at all times. They have poetry readings most Friday nights (The Stain of Poetry) and some other nights throughout the week. The decor is as bizarre as the clientele, a mix of weirdo and beautiful poets, musicians and visual artists. Good times.

4) KGB Bar – Hosts literary readings almost every night throughout the week, and on Monday nights they’re always good. Best American Poetry series editor David Lehman started the Monday night reading series there back in the early 90’s, and since then, it’s become somewhat of a literary mecca. If you want to hear award-winning poets in an intimate setting, KGB is the place to do it. Get there early. It’s small and fills up fast.

5) Cafe Loup – On Tuesday and Wednesday nights particularly, Cafe Loup is the place to go to meet up-and-coming poets. Professors and students alike in MFA programs at the New School and NYU go there after class to drink and mingle with each other in a more informal setting. In addition, many of the major readings throughout the year (Best American Poetry, National Book Critics Circle Awards, National Book Award) take place at the New School Auditorium (which is a block away from Loup), and Cafe Loup is always the after-party destination.

Runners up include: Bowery Poetry Club Chelsea Hotel Battery Park City Raines Law Room Rose Live Music