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Versace Whitney Ball: The Nineties are Back, Baby!

October 20, 2009

IMG_1793Genevieve Jones, Purple Editor in Chief, Olivier Zahm, and Susan Kirschbaum

(*All text and photos by Susan M. Kirschbaum)

Some of us remember the Nineties. The grunge (Kurt Cobain and motorcycle jackets); the acceptance of graffiti as fashionable (Stephen Sprouse); the Wall Street yuppie and American Psycho (the book, by Brett Easton Ellis); and larger than life colorful  clothing (Versace)  Last night at the gala for the Whitney Museum of American Art — co-hosted by Donatella Versace and actress Penelope Cruz (neither whom I spotted), all the Nineties’ elements spun into effect.

Yuppies, or young collectors, grabbed markers in the basement to draw slogans and stick figures on the walls. Biker jackets seemed de rigueur with the slick guys, including Purple Mag editor Olivier Zahm, who has always worn one. His pal Terry Richardson donned a flannel shirt (another Nineties’ staple and Terry has probably sported them  ever since…) Social girls skirted round the room in long sleek Versace gowns, some in turquoise or gold (Lindsay Lohan, in a shorter version); and Alexandra Richards in sexy black that reminded me a bit of Tom Ford circa 1997, for Gucci. There were plenty of keyhole backs so you can see the arch of the spine through a slight round hole of fabric. Dubious waitresses even served basil flavored ice cream cones (remember Nineties’ nouvelle cuisine?) “Yuck!” Terry Richardson said.  Always the risk taker, he bit down and almost flinched while looking desperately for something sweet.

“This is kind of like Gossip Girl meets Sex and the City.” Stylist Masha Orlov and I joked. Last night’s Whitney proved a real New York convergence, a few generations smashed under one roof. Even Taylor Momsen, who plays Jenny on Gossip Girl made an entrance in a taupe Versace gown, slit all the way up the side. I overheard one  guy say. “She’s sixteen! She looks fifty.”  I guess that really would mean Gossip Girl meets Sex and the City.

IMG_1782From Whitney/Versace graffiti wall…. RED LIPSTICK…. bloodshot eyes.. OMG

IMG_1788Alexandra Richards, in Versace, perfects a heart on the wall


IMG_1785 Gavin Doyle– in Michael Stipe style hat (90’s) — and his fetching girlfriend Pernilla

IMG_1800Purple Mag cutie Caroline in her new glasses look with the lovely Masha Orlov, also in cool frames

IMG_1791Olivier Zahm, Masha Orlov, and Terry Richardson

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