The art of parties and beyond

Agyness Deyn, i-D

APRIL 4, 2008

Daryoush Haj-Najafi pays homage to Queen Aggy...

Agyness Deyn's takeover as Britain's premier supermodel continues. Fresh from appearing on the cover of Time, she's now guest-edited the latest issue of i-D and appears on its six different covers, the first time the magazine has dedicated an entire issue to a model. For its launch party at David Waddington and Pablo Flack's Bistrotheque, a feast of fish and chips with mushy peas was served, cutely referencing Agyness's former stint at a fast-food joint—a far cry from where she is now. Guests included—deep breath—i-D's main man Terry Jones, Jade Parfitt and hubbie, avant-jewelry designer Judy Blame, DJ and magazine publisher Princess Julia, gallerist Maureen Paley (sporting a fetching Winehouse-like beehive), menswear authority Tim Blanks, designer Roksanda Ilincic and artist-turned-designer David Saunders of David David.

All eyes were on the naughty table, where London's new movers and shakers sat, including it-er than it artist Matthew Stone and his boyfriend (Jefferson Hack's favorite couple in London, as told to REM's Michael Stipe), plus Jodie Harsh ("I'm just a drag queen so I can become a household name"—and wow, hasn't she done just that?) and Carri Mundane of Cassette Playa, who was decked out in Pharrell Williams' Ice Cream label. (She occasionally styles shoots for his other line, BBC.) Also at the table were Burberry poster boy and pop star Patrick Wolf, fellow weird friend and singer Bishi, performance artist The-O and Pam Hogg, whose recently revived label, worn by Kylie Minogue and Siouxsie Sioux, is big London news.

At Agyness' table sat Kelly Osbourne and Henry Holland, while spotted elsewhere were Christopher Kane, accessories queen Katie Hillier (and consultant to Marc by Marc Jacobs), Arena Homme Plus's Jo-Ann Furniss, hot men's photographer Alasdair McLellen, dirtydirtydancing's Alistair Allan and set designer du jour Gary Card, a baby-faced David Hockney lookalike who's currently starring in a eight-page shoot in Another Man. Everyone was drinking "Aggy on the Rocks" (Belvedere vodka, Old Jamaica Light ginger beer, lime and angostura bitters), while the girl of the hour hosted a pub quiz with Sunday Times and Grazia columnist Paul Flynn, handing out top-dollar prizes from Burberry, Marc Jacobs, Zandra Rhodes and Vivienne Westwood, to shrieks of delight from the crowd. Following dinner, guests retired to the Napoleon Bar downstairs for après-dinner darts.

So just why is Agyness so shiny, so appealing? For years—after the Amazon era and Dionysian super waifs—models became ever more blank doll-like figures on which photographers projected their fantasies. But Agyness is different. First, at 25, she's relatively old for a model, but at the same time young enough at heart to think nothing of clubbing with teenage friends—and instinctively dressing the part. Then there's the bleached boy cut, masculine enough to mix it with the guys yet beautiful enough to get them. It's the modern way. If David Beckham was deemed just gay enough for mass consumption, Agyness is just dyke enough. Like models of the Eighties, Agyness doesn't come across as a passive little plaything, but a chick with her own plan and her own opinions—therefore genuinely sexy. Ben Reardon couldn't have concluded his Editor's Letter in i-D any better than with a quote from his mum: "She stands out because she looks lovely!'

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