We've long heard of a fabled downtown Manhattan scene that's at the nexus of art, fashion, and media. This scene, one hears, is filled with impossibly thin people with asymmetrical haircuts and skinny jeans, who all have vague jobs as "stylists" or "designers" (of what, one wonders?), and have an air of trust-fundedness that's even stronger than their Williamsburg counterparts. Last evening, Gawker Associate Editor Doree Shafrir and fill-in photographer Alice Wetterlund stumbled upon said scene at a launch party for The Last Magazine, a big fancy coffee table book that chronicles a whole bunch of independent magazines, at Visionaire Gallery, where they learned that the audience for Blue States Lose is a lot larger than they'd ever suspected. (The evidence, such as it is, can be found here.)
Feeling woefully underdressed, or at least woefully unfashionable, I arrived at Visionaire Gallery, the "spatial extension" of
ber-limited-edition and fancy Visionaire magazine. Lining the walls were issues of various artsy magazines, from familiar ones like the now-deceased FACE to more 'zine-y publications. Everything, and everyone, was very high-concept—they were all working on projects, or had their own fashion labels I'd never heard of, or were making documentaries about obscure figures in the art world. But they were all drinking spiked Red Bull in plastic cups, which made me feel a bit better. They couldn't be that cool, could they?
Oh, but there's noted fashion photographer Nigel Barker! Yum. Emily got her photo snapped with him, thereby fulfilling a long-held dream. Why was he there, we wondered? Well. He had worked on a magazine in the exhibit called There, an issue of which featured a cock head, he told us helpfully. Then a girl whose photo we took told us that she was a model and an artist, and she had also been in the New York Times! Someone else told us she was an "innovation consultant" and she got paid to "make stuff up." Oh, and then we saw Misshapes Greg. We didn't think he came out of his lair before midnight, but there he was, looking pasty yet ... smiling?
But then I started getting weary. I'd had the same conversation at least a dozen times (Person: "What's this photo for?" Me: "Gawker." Person: "Oh, I love Blue States Lose! I read it all the time! Blah blah blah"), and I couldn't take it anymore. Also, it was getting crowded—numbingly so—and everyone was precariously balancing multiple cups of Red Bull and vodka on the glass cases. I foresaw disaster, not least of all for myself. Elbowing our way through the crowd, we managed to escape into the cool, dark night.