Style.com wants to tell you who the cool kids are. They've compiled a field guide to "2008's Coolest Cliques" using the following six dubious categories: The New (New) Bohemian, The European Union, The Swans 2.0, The Catwalk Queens and The New Kids on the Blog. Julia Allison is mentioned three times! The whole thing is rather irritatingly in ad-maximizing slideshow form and the commentary is anodyne, so here's a condensed and snarkier version. Buckle in, kids. We'll get through this together.
1. The New (New) Bohemian
Core Members: Tara Subkoff, Arden Wohl, Leigh Lezark, Stella Schnabel, Waris Ahluwalia, Chiara Clemente, Leelee Sobieski
Style.com says: With their creative-class roots and Opening Ceremony duds, these free-spirit types are giving the anemic benefit circuit a badly needed shot in the arm. Find them anywhere "It" is at-from fancy galas to the smoky back room at the Beatrice. Suggested conversation starters? Indie filmmaking, whatever patron saint Chloë Sevigny is up to now, headbands.
Absurd quote: "We're always looking for answers. Some people are looking for it in a socialite maybe. But you know, it just depresses me: Some girl named Peaches who lives in the Bronx…looks at this world and says, 'Oh wow.' And I would never want to give off something that is an illusion, because you hurt people that way. And they're already struggling so much-the people." -Arden Wohl
We say: If these people are bohemians, then we're a goddamn mango. There's nothing free-spirited about putting on a $4,000 dress you didn't pay for and then hitting a $10,000-a-plate dinner (which you also didn't pay for), even if you follow it up with a night of indoor smoking at "The Bee." Anybody who uses "headbands" as a conversation starter should be punched in the face immediately, and have their headband stolen so they no longer have anything to talk about.
2. The European Union
Core Members: Vladimir Roitfeld, Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, Tatiana Santo Domingo, Margherita Missoni, Stavros Niarchos, Andrea Casiraghi
Style.com says: What do young moneyed Euros do in New York? Stick together. More cliquish than seventh-grade girls, this group's regular haunts include Cipriani, Da Silvano, and anywhere else that can charge $35 for a plate of pasta and keep a straight face. They also congregate at the Washington Square Park town house of longtime couple Tatiana Santo Domingo (the Colombian beer heiress) and Andrea Casiraghi (Princess Caroline of Monaco and Hanover's son). Margherita Missoni, who dates Casiraghi's stepbrother, Ernst of Hanover, is arguably the most outgoing of the bunch (and the most liable to mingle with the other social groups). But Stavros Niarchos, who's reportedly romanced Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, has his own unique way of sampling American culture.
Absurd quote: "I've been in New York for four years now, and I feel that I have done it. It's a place where you can be busy all the time without ever doing anything." — Margherita Missoni.
We say: Busy all the time without doing anything? They could have a career in blogging — if they had careers. Apparently, one of the E.U.'s favorite "hotspots" is the British Airways' entertainment space at JFK, which pipes in the scent of freshly cut grass (you can't have them breathing QUEENS AIR, after all). Also, Stavros Niarchos? Bring your Valtrex prescription!
3. The Swans 2.0
Core Members: Amanda Hearst, Tinsley Mortimer, Fabiola Beracasa, Lauren Santo Domingo, Zani Gugelmann, Claire Bernard
Style.com says: This group is a closed set. Olivia Palermo, for example, has yet to recover from last spring's misstep-you know, when the now-defunct Web site Socialiterank.com published a letter that Palermo supposedly penned, apologizing for her status-seeking ways. It's still unclear if the missive was a hoax or an honest plea, but, no matter, it fell on deaf ears. Palermo's persistence has kept her at some of the parties, but not all the right ones. If you're not in the club yet, you probably won't be. Meanwhile, these socials-now inching into their thirties-can do no wrong. Tinsley Mortimer made a questionable move, posing for the cover of the New York Post's weekend glossy, Page Six Magazine, and no one blinked a false eyelash.
Absurd quote: "Paris Hilton brought to light the existence of the socialite to Middle America and the world. Before, it was either models or actresses-but socialites were, most times, born into this lifestyle. That's what fascinates people. It's a continuous lifestyle that people are fascinated by. But it's not all the media's fault. You know, it's us posing for the cameras and going out and exploiting the spotlight for our careers." -Fabiola Beracasa
We say: Olivia dodged a bullet, wethinks. Actually plenty of people blinked (and cringed and shuddered) at Tinsley's neurotic, self-consumed weight loss confessional. Also, no one really became "fascinated" with Paris until she started getting naked. Pretty much no one in Middle America has ever heard of Zani Gugelmann. In fact, they probably think that's the name of the ring master at Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey's Circus.
4. The Art Stars
Core Members: Dan Colen, Dash Snow, Ryan McGinley, Aaron Young, Nate Lowman, Mirabelle Marden, Melissa Bent, Amy Greenspon
Style.com says: Despite their "whatever, dude" mien, Colen, Snow, and their scruffy tribe of Lost Boys know that a gift for self-promotion is just as important as having a way with a paintbrush. Their biggest sell-apart from their actual art, of course-is their cooler-than-thou posse, of which everyone below 14th Street seems to want to be a part. "You realize that, like, your social context has a lot to do with, like, your success," Colen recently articulated.
Absurd quote: "It's funny to me that Dash [Snow] has become like a rock star, but he's so paranoid. That comes from graffiti culture-like, you want everybody to know who you are and you're going to write your name all over the city, but you can't let anyone know who you really are. It's, like, this idea of being notorious." -Ryan McGinley
We say: Full disclosure: We know next to nothing about art, so we can't even tell you if these dudes actually sell their shit. But everything you need to know can be found in the phrase "cooler-than-thou posse." And a person's popularity (excuse us, their "social context") shouldn't be determined by their success. It should be determined by the quality of their drugs.
5. The Catwalk Queens
Core Members: Lisa Cant, Gemma Ward, Lily Donaldson, Caroline Winberg
Style.com says: The only thing more intimidating than standing next to a model at a party is standing next to four models at a party. Especially when they're all giggling and taking pictures of each other on their camera phones and just generally having a waaay better time then you are. Curious as to how this sorority of gorgeousness operates, we turned to our trusted source on the inside, who gamely broke down the group dynamic: "Lily is the funny one, although Lisa has a good sense of humor, too. Gemma started off timid, because she's a long way from Australia, but is now comfy being a ringleader. And Caroline is just always up for a good time." So there you have it. Oh, and there's this: Aside from Donaldson, who dates Vladimir Roitfeld, everyone's single. Gentlemen, start your engines. (OK, forget it, you have no chance.)
Refreshingly non-absurd quote: "I had come straight from my auntie and uncle's farm, and I was wearing this big gray barn jacket with mud all over it. When the scout came up to me, I said, 'No, thank you.' But my friends were like, 'Hell, yes!' They forged my mum's signature and pushed me in front of the cameras." -Gemma Ward on breaking into modeling
We say: Anyone who's ever stood next to four models at a party and had to duck to avoid their protruding, malnourished sternums knows that it's usually more frightening than intimidating. What looks great in a picture can be kind of horrifying in person.
6. The New Kids on the Blog
Core Members: Leven Rambin, Hud Morgan, Mary Rambin, Julia Allison, Emily Brill, Devorah Rose, Annabel Vartanian, Kristian Laliberte
Style.com says: This year's crop of newbies owes a lot to the gossip bloggers who, under pressure to churn out a certain number of posts a day, are always ready to make a scandal out of a tidbit. Gawker.com's obsessive coverage of Julia Allison (including plenty of bikini shots) heightened the Star magazine editor's profile immeasurably. In case readers are itching to know more, there's always Allison's own navel-gazing site, Itsmejulia.com. In fact, a lot of these kids have turned to the Internet to document the minutiae of their daily life, from party-hopping (Emily Brill's Essentiallyemily.com) to Restylane injections (Mary Rambin's Stylebymaryrambin.com). If Truman Capote, notorious divulger of social secrets, were around today, he'd be out of a job.
Absurd quote: "I want to be New York's answer to Rachel Zoe…. Yeah, Nicole Richie did fire her and called her a bitch, but you know she worked her way up to that. She's one of my idols." -Kristian Laliberte
We say: Oh noes! It's all our fault! At the risk of adding fuel to the fire, we'll just say this: The last time we saw Leven Rambin she was getting her hair did at our salon a few months ago. She texted the entire time. While she was getting her hair washed, some man friend perched on the end of the chair facing her and she had her legs up in the air draped OVER HIS SHOULDERS. Then she ran out on the bill.