New York Fashion Weavz: Ain't No Party Like a Pussy Party

My friend Chaia and I are sitting on a low brick wall on the patio of a club in the West Village. An inebriated young man, late twenties, early thirties, introduced himself to me a few seconds ago as a representative from "the office of Chris Christie." I have just asked the inebriated young man why a representative from the office of New Jersey's Republican governor is attending a Fashion Week party being thrown by OK! Magazine in the West Village on a Monday night.

"Because politicians get the most pussy," the inebriated young man says.

"That…'s not really what I asked."

Inside the club, away from the inebriated young man who, I will find out later, is actually a former representative from the office of Chris Christie, several women in their forties and fifties are crowded into a booth, knocking back drinks and shrieking to be heard over songs about bitches and asses and concrete jungles where dreams are made of. Waiters who are not really waiters walk around with trays bearing Rock Your Hair "Spray It Hard" hairspray.

The women are the stars of Bravo's Real Housewives franchises. For the past few years, I have dedicated my life to memorizing their malapropisms and catty asides with a fervor that the most eager cult member would find off-putting.

The hairspray comes packaged in a hot pink bottle decorated with rhinestones.

"Whoa, man, she's from Gawker," the drunk young man's friend chuckles. He closes his eyes and shakes his head.

"This is just talking," soothes the pussy enthusiast.

"This is all off-record," ventures the friend, to me.

"Wellllll," my friend Chaia and I begin in unison. I have brought Chaia to the OK! Magazine party so that she and I could meet some of our favorite Bravolebrities in person. "No."

***

I meet Chaia outside the subway around 7 p.m. Monday night. I am wearing a cobalt blue dress and brown boots. Like the heroines of many teen novels, Chaia has long brown hair and large green eyes. One side of her head is shaved, for Street Style. She is wearing a black and white dress.

"That dress makes your boobs look big!" she says.

Good to see you, too, Chaia.

When Chaia and I arrive at the small club where OK! Magazine's Fashion Week party is being held, a British man checks my name and asks if we would like to do interviews "on the carpet." Now Chaia and I are celebrity journalists doing interviews on the carpet.

The first person forced to interact with us is Maggie from Bravo's reality series Gallery Girls.

"I like her," I tell Chaia before she arrives. "She's cute." By this, I mean that Maggie appears small on television.

"I don't," says Chaia. "She twirls her hair constantly."

With Maggie standing before us, I ask if she's noticed she has any bad habits from watching herself on film.

"I twirl my hair constantly," she says.

A few minutes later, Gretchen from the Real Housewives of Orange County glides up, and I compliment the skin on her chest, which is covered in a fine layer of sparkly dust. She tells us that tons of people were staring at her earlier in the day because she was wearing a white dress. Chaia speculates that perhaps people were staring at her because they recognize her as Gretchen from the Real Housewives of Orange County.

Vinny from Jersey Shore (brought in by OK! as a last-minute replacement for DJ Pauly D., which suggests, cruelly, that the two are interchangeable) is about to start expounding upon the differences between New Jersey fashion and New York fashion when the screen of my smartphone suddenly lights up. I am recording everyone on my smartphone. My mother is calling. I press "ignore," because what are moms but non-celebrities?

"One exists, one doesn't," he begins, as my mom leaves a voicemail asking me a question about her cell phone. "[In New Jersey], girls come out in a dress and then, by the end of the night, it's just ripped off. It's on the floor. It has throw-up all over it. Whereas New York is just tall models wearing, like, weird scarves."

Chaia and I are not wearing weird or even traditional scarves, but our dresses also do not have throw-up all over them, so we come out ahead.

To our right, another celebrity journalist who foolishly arrived without her friend Chaia is interviewing Melissa from the Real Housewives of New Jersey. She pressures Melissa to speak about "the last good book" she read, a task akin to asking a good-natured Dachshund to identify its favorite sonatas.

"I don't read," says Melissa with a smile. I turn my head, eager to catch her back pedaling out of this corner. She courageously bulldozes right through it.

"You know, I really don't read," she repeats. And again: "I don't read."

After several seconds, Melissa is able to identify one book she might read, if ever she were to read: Fifty Shades of Gray. However, since Melissa does not read—you know, she really doesn't—it is unlikely she will ever read this book or any book.

She is very tan and friendly, though.

A few celebrities walk by whom neither Chaia nor I recognize. To avoid having to ask them any questions, I tell Chaia to pretend to write important things in the notebook I have brought, while I look over her shoulder as if to give her "notes." This is what she writes, in cursive:

Writing writing writing talking a LITTLE but mostly writing

We have escaped from the Unknown Celebrities, and they have escaped from us.

A car pulls up and through its rear window I discern a familiar silhouette. I grab Chaia's arm and whisper, "OHMYGOD. RAMONA."

A car pulls up and through its rear window I discern a familiar silhouette. I grab Chaia's arm and whisper, "OHMYGOD. RAMONA."

Real Housewife of New York Ramona Singer steps out of her chauffeured vehicle and very nearly into a puddle. A homeless man bounds up and begins talking to her. She teeters away from him unsteadily, heels catching on cobblestones.

Her tits are out to Tuesday. Her dress is her signature "Ramona Blue"; I realize that my dress is not "cobalt" but, rather, "Dark Ramona Blue." I shimmy my shoulders in excitement. Chaia checks her pulse.

I don't even know what I want to say to Ramona. The only things I can think of are things Ramona has already said to other people: "Lightbulb on my head. Pinot on my head," "You're making a mountain out of a holemill," and so on.

Luckily, Chaia and I have ended up in the very worst place to be in line: right after The Lady Who Asks Too Many Questions.

I do not know where The Lady Who Asks Too Many Questions works. Perhaps for a website, perhaps for a print magazine, perhaps merely for herself, because she enjoys taking notes on humans. Here is the modus operandi of The Lady Who Asks Too Many Questions:

  • 1. A celebrity will approach.
  • 2. The lady will ask too many questions.
  • 3. The celebrity's eyes will glaze over and someone (From OK!? From the club? From heaven?) will swoop in and escort them away.
  • Some of the celebrities—Ramona and la Comtesse LuAnn de Lesseps in particular—look over at me and Chaia while answering the many questions of The Lady Who Asks Too Many Questions. Do they mistake us for her younger assistants, who have great Street Style? Are they looking to us to rescue them from the tsunami of her questions? And wouldn't that be just something: to see your favorite Bravolebrity being buffeted about by rushing waters, and find yourself frozen in place, so paralyzed with nerves and excitement about what you'll say to them once you rescue them, that you wait too long to toss them a rope and they drown?

    That is what it's like listening to this lady's endless barrage of questions about embarrassing Halloween costumes.

    The only New York Housewife who is not broken by The Lady Who Asks Too Many Questions is Ghost of the Grey Lady herself, Sonja Morgan, who comes as close to telling me and Chaia "I hate my co-star Aviva Drescher" (or, "My co-star Aviva Drescher has one leg and two faces," or, "My co-star Aviva Drescher has one leg and zero scruples," or, "My co-star Aviva Drescher has one gay husband and four lovely children and despite this I still hate her") as a person can come without actually saying these things.

    After speaking to Sonja, who also reveals we will see her bare buttocks in tonight's episode of Housewives (no big deal; they've been broadcast several times before), and who tells me, with flirtatious eyes, to "be kind" in my write-up, Chaia and I head into the club, ostensibly to watch the celebs in action, but mostly because we are hopeful there will be free food there. There is only wine and vodka.

    We quickly locate the Bravo celebrities all clustered in two booths near the rear of the club. The Housewives are on one side, waving drinks and yelling at one another (not angrily, though, because there are no cameras around). The Gallery Girls are on the other, looking miserable in their lacey black dresses (two Gallery Girls) and floor length jumpsuits (two other Gallery Girls).

    After dancing for several minutes (Street Style: 9, Sense of Decency: 2), Chaia and I break for drinks, which we order at the bar. Chaia observes that the population of the room is largely made up of white women, ranging in age from 21 to late 50s (hi Housewives!) and middle-aged black men.

    One such middle-aged black man sidles up to me, as I keep a weather eye on the wine horizon.

    "I wish I had words to say to you. But I don't. I don't know the words."

    I say "Oh!" and smile and shrug. I believe this is his way of telling me he is not a native English speaker. The conversation that might have been, if only he'd had the words.

    "This is my producer. I'm a songwriter," he continues. Now I realize he is not foreign; just drunk. "Your presence is…overwhelming."

    Chaia and I slip away through the crowd. My presence overwhelms the room.

    Shortly after we sit down outside, Team Formerly-of-Christie makes its appearance.

    The one who does not have thoughts on pussy asks Chaia if she is Jewish. She is not.

    The one who does have thoughts on pussy asks me if I am Jewish. I am not.

    "Are you half Dominican?" he asks. No. "Are you half Columbian?" No. "Are you Venezuelan?" No. "Are you Puerto Rican?" No.

    "You are just naming countries in Latin America," Chaia observes.

    He asks me if I have a card. I do not. He asks me for my phone number. I tell him I don't give my phone number out to strangers I meet at parties. He is surprised to discover I think of him as a stranger. I point out that he is a stranger. We compromise by deciding that he will write his contact information in my notebook. He writes "Brandon Brice"—former Director of Education and African American Affairs under Governor Christie, and current employee of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey—and then a mobile number. They depart.

    Enter: Gallery Girls. Enter: Songwriter from the bar who found my presence overwhelming. The songwriter and his producer approach us to continue our conversation even though no one knows the words. The Gallery Girls maintain their distance, hair twirling on bored index fingers.

    The songwriter steps on my foot as he comes over.

    "How many times have I stepped on you tonight?" he asks.

    I tell him I haven't been keeping track.

    "At least two," he tells me.

    "Okay, twic-"

    "IT WAS INTENTIONAL, BITCH."

    He asks me what my type is. I tell him my boyfriend is my type. He asks if my boyfriend is a good guy. I tell him yes, because my boyfriend is the kind of guy who doesn't come to OK! Magazine parties.

    "She thinks I'm hitting on her!" he yells at his friend, disbelieving. We walk away.

    In front of the bathrooms, OK! has contrived a makeshift hair salon where one guest at a time can sit and have his or her hair mussed with Rock Your Hair gel.

    This is a fun party.

    Previously on New York Fashion Weavz: The Shows.