Author/socialite Plum Sykes and her twin sister, fashion designer/socialite Lucy Sykes Rellie are turning 40 today. Jay-Z is celebrating his 40th birthday, too. Tyra Banks turns 36. Marisa Tomei is turning 45. Saturday Night Live's Fred Armisen is 43. Actor Jeff Bridges is 60. Ugly Betty's Kevin Sussman is 39. Former porn star Nikki Tyler is 37. And former game show host Wink Martindale turns 75 today. A handful of weekend birthdays are below.
• Did Beyoncé really send a look-alike to stand in for her at an art museum in Vienna so she could go shopping instead? That's what many Austrians seem to think, and the museum now says it plans to issue a protest. And here we were thinking decoy body doubles were just for presidents and mafia kingpins. [AFP]
• James Gandolfini erupted at a group of paparazzi outside the Waverly Inn the other night. Fortunately—for the drama-loving masses, at least—they kept their cameras on during the episode and it was all caught on tape. [TMZ]
• Real-life roommates Chace Crawford and Ed Westwick might be splitting up, since Chace is reportedly looking for a loft of his own downtown. [P6]
• Mel Gibson and Russian singer Oksana Grigorieva made their first public appearance together last night at an X-Men screening in LA. [People]
• Strippers at Sapphire East's opening were supposedly told not to take their clothes off until after Samantha Ronson finished her set, since she's "so girl-crazy, she can't concentrate." [P6]
At last, an answer to the age old question: What does a spectacularly surgically-enhanced, platinum blonde, post-op, forty-something tranny smell like? Steamed rice, mandarins, bergamot, orange flowers, strawberry, and cucumber, with just a dash of Cristal. Yes, Amanda Lepore the Fragrance has arrived, and can be yours for just $950. Naturally, it comes in a sparkly disco ball-shaped bottle, and even better, it's fermented, so will linger on and on. Yum!
• Richie Rich is back. Traver Rains won't be by his side, but Richie will show a solo collection during Fashion Week, and muses Amanda Lepore and Lydia Hearst will be in attendance, natch. [WWD]
• Proof that bling really is dead: Kimora Lee Simmons says she's toning down, since "now's not the time to be running all over and flaunting the money that we don't have." [WSJ]
• André Leon Talley's interview with Michelle Obama from the March issue of Vogue is now online. [Style.com]
• A roundup of what's left of the fall/winter collection at various stores. [MAS]
• A list of Valentine's Day-inspired goodies. [Pipeline]
• Remember Rachel Zoe's lawsuit last week? Yea, well, t-shirt designer Christopher Sauvé isn't putting up with any of it. [NYM]
• You can rest easier now. Jessica Simpson is launching a luggage line. [SW]
It's Amanda Lepore's birthday today! At least we think it's her birthday and we think she's 41, but she's been known to fool people before. Others celebrating today: Margaret Cho is 40. The New Yorker's Calvin Trillin is 73. Novelist Joan Didion is turning 74. Little Richard is 76. Knicks center Eddy Curry is 26. Child star Frankie Muniz turns 23. Actor Nick Stahl is turning 29. And model Shalom Harlow is 35. Weekend birthdays after the jump.
Transgender nightlife queen Amanda Lepore is inarguably awesome in her fabulous cartoonishness. Now the "My Pussy" singer is part of a Jawbone Bluetooth advertising campaign, which isn't so surprising when you consider she's also done advertisments for M.A.C. Cosmetics, Swatch, Armani and MTV. The ad appears in this week's New Yorker—is America ready? They sure as hell better get ready. In her words: "My pussy is famous; my pussy is expensive." [Copyranter]
Every year, the most awful people in New York jet to Vienna for the Lifeball, a fancy-dress fundraiser for HIV/AIDS research. On the Austrian Airlines private charter this year: pseudo-heiress Lydia Hearst, the character upon whom Ugly Betty's Amanda Sommers should have been based; ubiquitous plump-lipped tranny Amanda Lepore; club kid Richie Rich; gender-bending party promoter Andre J.; scene photographer Patrick McMullan; and a disgusted Gawker spy. The Lifeball's worthy cause typically protects the absurd celebrity freeloaders-but not this time. Here's Lydia Hearst at the first night's cocktail party, abandoned by her airplane snog-buddy, Markus Schenkenberg. After the jump, our correspondent's shocking tale of mile-high blow and blow-jobs.
Amanda (born Armand) Lepore, New York's favorite post-op transsexual, has been a ubiquitous figure on the downtown nightlife scene since her induction in the early 1990s as a fixture at Michael Alig's "Disco 2000" parties. Lepore says she started wearing women's clothes at age 14, while still in Cedar Hill, NJ, where she was born. As a teenager, she befriended a transsexual at a club who started giving her hormone pills in exchange for Lepore's elaborate, handmade outfits. By the time she reached her senior year of high school, she'd undergone sexual reassignment surgery, paid for by her high school boyfriend's parents. After moving to New York, Lepore became a fixture at downtown clubs, where was paid, as she puts it, "to dress up, look freaky and flashy and over the top, and to dance." She gained wider renown through her friendship with superstar avant-garde photographer David LaChapelle, who considers Lepore his muse and has featured her in numerous projects, including a "Time Tranny" watch released by Swatch in 1999. In 2003, Lepore released her first single, a trance song written with her notable drag queen friend Lady Bunny, and has since released two albums and a number of singles ("My Pussy," "My Hair Looks Fierce," and "Cotton Candy," to name a few). She's also appeared in music videos by other artists, such as Elton John, Grace Jones, and her friend and frequent collaborator Cazwell.
The Village Voice's Michael Musto very nearly got his ass kicked by an overzealous bouncer last week at Amanda Lepore's birthday party at Lotus. Worse yet, he almost didn't get in. "The security guy at the door—one of those power-mad, not-loved-enough-as-a-child types—actually gave me a hard time because I don't have a driver's license or walk around with my passport taped to my forehead," writes Musto. Or possibly the door dude was made suspicious by a grown man showing up to a nightclub via rickety bicycle? [VV]
Now that Britney and Lindsay have retired from crotch shots, it's time someone filled the unwanted nudity void. And who better to do so than incredibly overexposed trannie Amanda Lepore and her rock hard nipples? As punishment for their sins, we sent Intern Stephanie and the one-and-only Nikola Tamindzic to Taschen's SoHo store where photographer-music video director-celebrity loverboy David LaChapelle and his favorite shemale gal pal autographed copies of his most recent collection, Heaven to Hell. View our gallery here or Nikola's here.