Quiz Yourself on a Year of Fashion News

Beyonce and Jay Z at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Benefit Celebrating the Opening of Charles James:Beyond fashion. Photo: David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com

Trust us, Monday late afternoons/early evenings are better spent quizzing your fashion chops than reading emails. Thankfully, The New York Times has offered up a quiz on the most happening fashion moments of 2014 — test yourself, right this way.

STYLE SCOOP: Suzy Menkes Leaves NYT for Vogue, Kendall Jenner Walks Givenchy, JLaw Falls In Dior. Again.

Suzy Menkes will leave the New York Times to join Condé Nast International at all of the international Vogue websites. Big moves, and big losses for the NYT this year — Suzy Menkes now, Cathy Horyn just before fashion week, and Eric Wilson who decamped to InStyle.

Jennifer Lawrence fell in Dior. Again. At the Oscars. Again. Girlfriend is the clumsiest couture wearing chick we’ve ever heard of, and we kind of love it. Watch a GIF here.

A little nepotism in Paris — Yeezy’s soon to be sister-in-law Kendall Jenner walked in the Givenchy show Sunday. ‘Ye and fiancée Kim Kardashian are buddy buddy with designer Riccardo Tisci.

David Lynch’s set design for Kenzo included this creepy, hallow-eyed, grey head. So.

Kenzo-RF14-9818

This Week’s Line-Up: Andrew Goldberg’s Birthday, “Wildchild” Party, and “Broke House”

It feels like spring and I’m lazy and just want to lay out in McCarren Park with the puppy but, alas, there are too many things that need to be done. Writing this leads the list, then it’s coffee at House of Small Wonder which, if I was smart, I wouldn’t tell you about. On Wednesday I celebrated Octavia McKinney’s birthday party at Chinatown Brasserie on 4th Avenue. We had a small room all to ourselves as we all took in Octavia’s undying beauty. She has been a club fixture, employee, and general menace to society for nearly 20 years. After a great dinner at this underrated restaurant we headed to The Boom Boom Room – yes, I insist on calling it that. It’s still the best room in the city.

We listened to old classmate, DJ Fanny Chan, offer up a lounge house-sound to a beautiful crowd. She will be DJing again tonight for Vida at the Hotel Americano from 7 to 10pm. Fanny is living the New York Dream. Formerly one of the most sought-after bartenders in New York, she has moved on to DJing to support herself while pursuing her fashion design career. She is one of a million people who have made it here by working in nightlife on the way up. A vibrant nightlife supports creatives: the people that make this city a cheerful place. As we left The Standard and headed into the night, we passed a threesome who were dejected – obviously told "no" by the Boom Boom door gal. The female of the three tearfully and forcefully told her male companions in a thick southern drawl,"I don’t really care if we get in. Their Hogs and Heifers looks like a perfectly nice place!"…and it is.

Tonight, I am trying to get to the Abrons Art Center where Heather Litteer known as Jessica Rabbit AKA Rabbit will strut the stuff that dreams are made of in Broke House. You only have a few days to catch this act which, according to The New York Times, is an undeniable hit.

Tomorrow I am continuing my rock and roll adventures with a visit to Candice Fortin and Pam Glam’s “Wildchild : Down and Dirty Dance Rock” party. It will feature a live performance by Jogyo and will be at 107 Stanton Street. I have never been to this spot but I hear it’s an old theater foyer or something like that. I also hear it’s dirty and decidedly undone. Sounds like a perfect place for imperfect people to gather and let loose.

Next Wednesday I will attend Tao Strategic Group honcho Andrew Goldberg’s birthday bash at Avenue. Andrew is one of the great people in this business and I expect hordes of scenesters and no meansters at this jungle-themed event. I’ll be talking about this again but figure I will spend the next few days scoping out an outfit. Tarzan won’t work for me anymore.

Why That Recent NYT Nightlife Article Makes No Sense

I’ll be at BOW, 199 Bowery at Spring, tonight and maybe even tomorrow to check out the latest and sure-to-be greatest offering from bon vivant Travis Bass. The 199 Bowery space is an EMM Group foray to the wonderful world of downtown. There is an attitude out there that nightlife needs to deliver uniformity or even predictability for success. EMM group seems to be taking a different approach and should be commended for their effort. A recent NY Times article " A Night Life Veteran Bets On Social Media," is not worth the paper that I didn’t read it on.

Mr. Andy Russell, a former owner at the defunct Moomba – the most overrated club in history – is gathering groups of people to joints around town early in the evening. The creatures of the night will be just stirring or putting on their outfits while Mr. Russell’s crowd gathers at places bound to be chic after they leave. It rants about the acceptance of the same ol’ same ol’ attitude of bringing like-minded people together.

Clubs are wonderful when like-minded individuals mix with people who dress, behave, and generally think differently are thrown in. The "novel" idea of having parties early so that people can be in bed by midnight is not only nothing new, but reeks of old and tired. Jerry and Mimi Rubin did this networking thing decades ago before social media made networking so easy. They drew 5,000 suit-and-tie types that didn’t want to mingle with the hipsters and those "other" types. The OMG complaint about being in a real club which will even have a door policy later in the evening is sooooo lame. This is a way for clubs to get early revenue; it’s been around and forever and there is nothing wrong with it. Andy’s crowd has a right to gather, but why the Times Inc.?. It is a tried and true way for the older set to go out and meet and agree, and it sounds as boring as anything I’ve heard about in a while. Charity events serve this purpose and exist for a good cause. 

This Sunday, a good cause requires the presence of some of these suit-and-tie types and others who want to mingle. The children and supporters of New York Foundling are having a reception at the Palace Theatre, 1564 Broadway at 47th Street, where attendees will enjoy a matinee performance of the Broadway show Annie the Musical. Attendees will include:

"Staten Island-based Foundling families, many of whom have never seen a Broadway show, and who have been trying to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The Foundling purchased tickets for the children and their families with money donated from a campaign to support “real-life Annies” across New York City . The Foundling is hosting a pre-performance reception at the Palace Theatre featuring a special performance by students from The Foundling’s charter school in the South Bronxwho will serenade Annie composer Charles Strouse with their own rendition of “Tomorrow.” CNN “Starting Point” Anchor and Foundling volunteer Soledad O’Brien will emcee. (This short performance is scheduled to begin at 1:00pm.) Other guests include the original “Annie,” Andrea McArdle, Annie producer Arielle Tepper Madover, director James Lapine,  and Annie the Musical cast members.

Bill Rudin, vice chairman & CEO of Rudin Management Company, Inc. and Anthony Watson, chairman and CEO of EmblemHealth, Inc. will be honored for their strong and continuous support for The Foundling."

There are hundreds of events where good hearted people can meet and mingle with like-minded types.

A dinner for non-like-minded people will celebrate artist Kevin McHugh as he heads to Art Basel 2012 with all those Art-y Basel types. The dinner hosted by Patricia Fields, Wendy Williams and DJ Danny Tenaglia will be at THE OUT NYC, 510 W. 30th street, where thinking outside the box is encouraged. Kevin’s art is Pucci-inspired and will be previewed at the soiree. DJ Alex Perez’s sounds will dance around the conversation. 

Last on today’s list of things to do and, of course, not do will be Saturday’s “Wildchild” party at 107 Suffolk St., 11pm. Pal Ian El Dorado will DJ. My friend, Facebook and otherwise, Joy Rider will host and I can’t miss it. There, I will bask in rock and roll and hang with like-minded people that I like.

A Nightclub In A Water Tower? Underground Clubland Alive & Well

Somewhere along the line, people forgot that Memorial Day was a day of rememberance. It is a pause before summer fun, when we need to remember those who gave their lives so that we could enjoy ourselves. The world seems to be getting worse with only a bad end in sight, and as we cling to the things that distract us from certain realities, we must honor those who gave up so much and who are in harm’s way as we sip expensive swill. If you see a uniform this weekend, club people, push him to the front of the line; somebody buy the man or woman a drink or at least hold open a door for them. Respect is in order. 

I’m not sure where I will spend my weekend. I like it like that. I may have a DJ gig out East, but if not, it will be spent walking dogs around my beloved Williamsburg. I’ll try to take advantage of the great escape and attempt to get into St. Anselm again as the last few attempts have proven futile. Two-hour waits are the norm and I don’t do that. Unless my girlfriend is shopping for shoes.

I am constantly bombarded with talk of "the good old days." People often want to reminisce about a time more wonderful. I remember having fun and all that, but refuse to agree with the assertion that life in clubland was better back in the day. I think the perception of clubs is a perception of how you were at that time.

To a certain generation, there was nothing like the disco era. To others, the 80s were the end all. Many without knowledge of those eras or the roaring 20s for that matter loved the good ol’ days of the 90s and 2000s. 

I think there is always a scene. My memories take me back to Danceteria and Save the Robots, The World and Area, and the Paradise Garage. But today, I love The Box and the underground Brooklyn stuff and Frankie’s Westgay at Westway, and Patricia Fields’ crew and their Chicken and Diamonds party, and anything Susanne Bartsch does, and a zillion other soirees. These are the good ol’ days and dont let anyone talk you out of it.

I read in the NY Times about a water tower in Chelsea that some genius built out and made into a small illegal joint. It was up a dozen flights of stairs and a scary ladder through a small hole etc. This shit is happening, but in an age where everyone knows everything in a second, it’s harder to keep "underground."

I gotta go, but before I do, I’d like to honor my dad who at 90 and a veteran of World War 2 is still  making memories.

Follow me on Twitter here

Photo: NYT.

The First Time I Heard and Saw Donna Summer

The news of Donna Summer’s death from cancer at the age of 63 shocked me out of my un-routine routine. I went to iTunes and downloaded half a dozen of her hits for use last night while DJing at Hotel Chantelle. Although it is the rockiest of rock nights, with a high probability that everybody in attendance had at one time owned a "Disco Sucks" T-shirt, it felt important to pay respect. At 3am I started mixing disco hits – and every other song was a winner from Donna. The crowd responded. It was "Love to Love You Baby," "Love Hangover", “Bad Girls,” and then Gloria Gaynor’s, "I Will Survive". Diva after diva… and the crowd went wild. The sound of well-produced dance music over a solid club sound system is one of the unique attractions of nightlife. “McArthur Park” was a near-religious experience. They ooo’d and ahhh’d and understood the loss as her voice rang clear.

I first heard “Love to Love You Baby” on my third date with a stewardess back in the mid ‘70s. We were hanging with her stewardess friends at their stewardess apartment when the record was put on. It was put on to turn me on, as I had been missing the hints that my world-weary stewardess was tossing tired of waiting for me to make my move. I caught the eye contact between her and her co-conspirators and understood my job. The 17 minutes of moans in “Love to Love You Baby” was worth a thousand words. After that affair, I retreated to my rock world, aware of Donna Summers’ hit factory but not very interested. Although “Bad Girls,” “Hot Stuff,” and her other mega-hits dominated disco – the most fun era in club history – I was a rock and roller and remain so. I was grunge before there was a name for it. I was a punk with ripped jeans and Ramones T’s. Disco was for the bad cologne, the polyester set.

Over the decades, her anthems were heard at parties and disco nights. She was unmistakable, undeniable. Her voice held even the disinterested in awe. Around 1989 I had the Red Zone, a popular club in the West 50s.

We had booked a Donna Summer event where she was to openly apologize for something she had denied even saying. She was quoted as saying "AIDS was a punishment from God for the immoral lifestyles of homosexuals.” She wanted her gay family to rejoin her, rejoice in her. In 1989 we were all losing scores of friends to AIDS-related illnesses. The hideous statement from a diva whose fan base was the gay community was beyond dumb …if it were true. Few believed her denials, and the event was being held to clear the air. ACT-UP disagreed and picketed the event. Donna never left her limo and that was that. Her protestations and lawsuits did little to regain her lost fans.

Over the years, I would hear a track on the radio or at a club and was awed by her talent…her way of hanging every impossible note and underlining every lyric. It was mid-last decade and I was asked if I wanted to see her perform at some corporate affair at Exit, another club in the far west 50s. Owner David Marvisi figured I might want to see her, but no one I called cared, no one wanted to go. I went alone. I stood in the sound booth, 15 feet above and in front of the stage, and waited. I had no expectations. I had no idea what I was going to see.

She came out in complete darkness, singing the intro to “McArthur Park” and I got goose bumps. It was beyond amazing. When the beat came on so did the lights and she was a DIVA, DIVA, DIVA. The corporate suits flocked the stage to see what all their money had paid for. Donna delivered. I welled up with tears. She was an overlooked star playing to an un-hip corporate card-crowd. The crowd should have been queens, hipsters, club kids, and the wonderful instead of the mundane. She gave them her hits and smiled that show-biz smile, but all I could feel was what could have been.

Donna Summer’s death is a stop-the-presses event. I was to tell you about a bunch of things today in detail, but a few lines will now have to do. On May 18th through the 20th, Roseland Ballroom hosts the New York Tattoo Convention. Clayton Paterson, a friend and organizer, was hooking me up with a photo of man-about-town Steve Bonde for a story, but… in short, he was the Stray Cats photographer back in the day and started this tattoo convention stuff in 1998. He wrote a couple of books: Tattoo with an Attitude and Marked for Life. Everybody in the ink community is going – and so am I.

I was also to discuss the end-of-season run of Daniel and Derek Kochs’ unstoppable hit brunch “Day and Night” at Ajna Bar, 25 Little W.12th St. I would also have talked about the International Contemporary Furniture Fair at the Javits Center on May 19-22 where you can see all the furniture and fixtures of next year’s clubs in advance.

Lastly, I would have mentioned the piece in yesterday’s NY Times about Justin Ross Lee, international man of controversy. In that, the Times referred to me as "an authority on nightlife.” Now that I am official, I’m going to put down the pen, grab a diet Ginger Ale, and sit back and listen to "Last Dance."

New Worst Book Ever Is On Its Way

Most of us – upon being proved a laughable plagiarist/journalistic fabricator and fired from our staff writer position at the New Yorker – would go ahead and disappear from public life for maybe more than a year. But disgraced hack Jonah Lehrer has bounced back already, it seems, signing a deal with Simon & Schuster to write a book about—I don’t think I can say this with a straight face— the "power of love.” 

So much amazing detail here, provided by Julis Bosman’s subtly savage report for the New York Times: the proposal is a whopping 65 pages long and “heavily footnoted,” yet retains the hilariously generic title “A Book About Love” and won’t be ready till late 2014. Here’s the first horrid excerpt, which Bosman has the good sense to juxtapose with quotes from editors gushing about Lehrer’s unusual and all-too-rare talent:

“I feel the shiver of a voicemail message. I listen to the message. I have been found out. I puke into a recycling bin. And then I start to cry. Why was I crying? I had been caught in a lie, a desperate attempt to conceal my mistakes. And now it was clear that within 24 hours, my fall would begin. I would lose my job and my reputation. My private shame would become public.”

Besides the obvious thrill of schadenfreude here, can anyone demonstrate how this writing is any way better than what turns up on the average “my life is a mess” Tumblr? Simon & Schuster are sitting on a gold mine.

Follow Miles on Twitter here

The Most Racist Reactions To The New Orleans Shooting

Not really sure why 19 people getting shot at a Mother’s Day parade in the 7th Ward of New Orleans isn’t bigger news right now, especially given the focus on terrorism lately—it doesn’t even seem to be on the front page of the New York Times website! But it’s still news, and horrible people are still saying horrible things about it just because the victims and probable shooter are black. Let’s dive right in!

fds
Ah, so not only are African-Americans violent, they’re lazy. Two for the price of one!
 
df
 
Oh yeah that makes a lot of sense.
df
 
Actually, we never bother to blame these people anymore, since we all agree it is their fault.
df
 
There’s a charming subtlety about this one, no? Hints of a fruity, citric flavor.
f
GO TO YOUR ROOM.
 

Breaking News: Nerds Are Still Sexist

Between the pervert-dungeons of Reddit and the free-floating bigotry that is any Facebook feed, you’d think we would have quit being surprised by the sexism baked into the internet. It’s still offensive, naturally, but this New York Times op-ed about Wikipedia relegating our country’s notable female authors to an “American Women Novelists” subcategory has such a hopelessly narrow focus it’s almost funny.

Once again, let me reiterate: the Wiki nerds’ move to shorten the unwieldy “American Novelists” list by ghettoizing the writers without a penis is galling and wrong and more than a little stupid, organizationally speaking.

But you know what? My cousin was a Wikipedia editor when he was eleven years old. I don’t expect great things from that bunch.

I mean, take this accidentally hilarious (and humblebraggy) paragraph from the op-ed:

"I belong to an e-mail group of published female writers called WOM (it stands for Word of Mouth). Some of the members are extremely well known. On Tuesday morning, when I made my discovery of this sexism on Wikipedia, I sent them an e-mail about it."

The discovery of sexism on Wikipedia? That’s like saying Christopher Columbus discovered … eh, you know. I hate to say that nerds will be nerds, but I have a sinking feeling they will.

Follow Miles on Twitter here.