The art of parties and beyond

Acne Paper

Oct. 16: With its heady, original treatment of a wide range of cultural subjects, Acne Paper has established itself as one of the more satisfying fashion and non-fashion reads since the pimple-named Stockholm clothing label started the publication back in 2005. The just-released hefty issue seven, for instance, with Tradition as its theme, includes contributions by Noam Chomsky and Nan Goldin, as well as a superb story on Belgian tapestry manufacturer Yvan Maes.

Fittingly, to celebrate the launch, the biannual chose a venue that oozes bookish gravitas, the New York Public Library on 42nd Street, where a soigné group of people filed into the marble landmark and up to the third-floor rotunda. The motley guest list included musicians Michael Stipe and Ed Droste of Grizzlybear; Acne Paper editor-in-chief Thomas Persson and style icon Iris Apfel; mannequins-cum-muses Erin Wasson and Elise Crombez; and artist Rita Ackerman and Zac Posen, who, puzzlingly, showed up in what looked like head-to-toe purple pajamas.

The problem with such a venerable location, however, is that it makes everyone slightly stiff. So it took a little time and a lot of alcohol to loosen up the crowd. Finally, chic lollygagging morphed into a real party, even though nostalgic poopers kept saying it couldn't beat last year's Acne-Lanvin shindig in Paris. That was before the evening's highlight, a performance by opera singer Anthony Costanzo. The gifted contralto (that's the rare voice that falls between tenor and soprano), who amazingly sang—and won first prize—in a competition that very morning, chose two Handel arias. It says something about the strange, baroque power of his performance that within minutes he managed to silence a tipsy, chatty and blasé fashion crowd who otherwise wouldn't have noticed if the pope were doing cartwheels. Visionaire co-founder James Kaliardos summed it up best: "If you close your eyes, you would think it's Maria Callas. It's shocking to think he has balls."

Afterwards, some of us headed to Mr. Black, where fierce-looking singer Jonté (who is, supposedly, big in Japan and whose resume includes Acne Paper cover boy, Grace Jones lookalike and Beyonce choreographer) hosted the unofficial after-party, the debauched details of which should probably remain a secret.

—Suleman Anaya

Read previous party reports in Jetsetera Archives

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