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Monday, August 25, 2008

Lunacy Is Sexy

Why you need to know Erik Dienel-Reese, by PLAY...





I was introduced to Erik at a party I threw in Zurich back in June. Pouty and skinny, with pale blue eyes and prominent cheek bones, he's a fashion wet dream come true—enough for fellow guest, photographer and living legend Walter Pfeiffer to shoot an entire roll of film on the spot, something he never does. The theme of the party was Ready-to-Play, so I asked Erik if he were up for a private session. He was, and as you can see he makes excellent plaything material.

During the shoot, we found out we had a mutual friend in Terence Koh. Erik loves a good fashion anecdote, so he proceeded to tell me how he borrowed Terence's gold-plated Balenciaga leggings for a night of hard dancing and drinking at Berghain, the dirtiest club in Berlin. "The next morning, my legs were totally scratched up, but who cares? Lunacy is sexy," he told me, shrugging off the leggings' $30,000 price tag, a conservative estimate. His recklessness earned Erik a part in Terence's GOD film, a tale of latex, lust and death.

While he works for a top ad agency in Zurich, Erik considers his Berlin apartment his home base. But this isn't some bachelor pad. The penthouse belongs to his Jewish intellectual family, located in one of the two towers framing Frankfurter Tor square on Karl-Marx Boulevard. Built in the 1950s in typical Stalinist style, the towers were once home to Communist Party officials. Now they house the fashionable elite of the capital. Not surprisingly for Erik, even the penthouse is something of a celebrity. "I discovered our front door in one of Hedi Slimane's books," he told me. If Hedi had gone inside, he would have discovered an even more spectacular 1300-square-meter roof terrace, the perfect setting for the notorious New Year's Eve parties Erik throws for the city's bored jeunesse dorée. "Billionaire kids going overboard, aristos throwing up, A-list lawyers and champagne everywhere—the whole shebang," Erik says, recalling last year's antics. "We had to have the staircase reconstructed, but it was worth it."

But Erik isn't your typical playboy airhead. At fifteen, he received two Crosses of Merit (the highest honor the Federal Republic of Germany hands out to individuals), awarded for first aid services he and his classmates performed when their hometown of Dresden was hit by the Great Flood of 2002.

So, with looks, pedigree, intellect and glamour, it's no wonder our German whiz kid is being chased by many a prominent and moneyed aristo-girl looking to sex up her family's gene pool. Though Erik seems vaguely tempted by the prospect of an HRM title and a Brideshead Revisited lifestyle, he has no plans to give up his eligible bachelor status any time soon. He's more interested in hanging out with rock stars. There's a private Pete Doherty concert in the works, much to the delight of his mother, a huge fan.

We can safely assume the social rise of this modern-day Dorian Gray will be nothing less than meteoric. But whatever the future holds, Erik will make sure things stay naughty and vice. And since we like happy endings, we finish off with an exclusive Hint offer. Five lucky readers will be on the guest list of Erik's New Year's Eve bash to ring in 2009. Email us with why you want to go, and don't forget pictures. Start planning your outfit now.

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