Shake It Up! Even if You Look Strange…
“Return of the Jedi,” Christmas version? Robes given to people smoking on the roof at Anthony Haden Guest’s party
(All text and photos by Susan M. Kirschbaum)
“Ho, ho, ho, and a bottle of rum!” Not sure if that’s Santa Claus or a pirate, but that’s what I kept hearing between my ears as witty scribe and illustrator Anthony Haden Guest toasted the relaunch of his book “The Last Party” in a flashback style penthouse this week. Illuminated by crimson lights and warmed up with free cocktails, hundreds of survivors of Studio 54 — the subject of Guest’s book –shook down on the dance floor.
Some, likely, wore outfits saved from the good ol’ days. I spotted vintage sequined tights — now selling at Top Shop in the modern age!– and a fiftyish woman in a sweater mini dress, sporting go go boots and pony tails. One guy hopped around to “Staying Alive “and then grinded to “Push Push in the Bush” near the knit mini dress dame. A standout — Clarissa, the Parisian lady, once designer Thierry Mugler’s muse — perched on a sofa with her signature Cleopatra like black bob and fitted black outfit. A veritable reunion, as Mr. Guest, aka, dear ol’ Anthony, hugged everyone in his corner spot at the bar. Not sure if he knew all of these folks, but they sure seemed glad to embrace the chance to boogey together, to the tunes they knew in disco glory days.
This appeared a far cry from the usual hipster haunts where image rules and not far away, a camera or IPhone is stashed to capture a hot moment for a FACEBOOK page. These people didn’t give a damn. They’d done it all and were brave enough to whip out the old clothes on changed figures. They even donned giant red robes, provided by the party, for rooftop runs with cigarettes. That bit seemed quite cool and I recommend robes to my contemporaries for future parties! Perhaps, it could ignite a new New York holiday tradition.
Speaking of traditions, I am thrilled to see that ballet is making waves again, in both society and the cool world. As a teen in training at Pennsylvania Ballet, I used to scoff at the social ladies who would visit each year to see us in our Nutcracker kit. But, at a recent reception at uptown jeweler VBH, I learned of the late Lucia Chase, a remarkable lady who bankrolled American Ballet Theatre in the early days and brought in dancers Rudolf Nurevyev (also a Studio 54 alum), Mikhail Baryshnikov, and the nymphlike Gelsey Kirkland. Ms. Chase, the subject of a new biography, “Bravura,” written by her son Alex C. Ewing, not only funded ABT but began her training at age forty, taking character roles with the company. And just yesterday, I got my holiday e-card from V Man, a video shot by Hedi Slimane (see link below) featuring Oscar Nilsson, a promising young male dancer, from the Royal Danish Ballet.
Take it as you will. Perhaps Hedi was more impressed with his gorgeous physique. But, as we head into 2010, I say, “Bring on the Dance!” Nothing better in economic reshuffle and changing times than to move, shake it up a little!
Whether you are a young turk or old geezer, get down! Get down! At least that’s what I think they used to say at Studio 54!
Happy Holidays, my friends!
Looking snowy while making the holiday party rounds, artist Terence Koh pops in….