"We're the freaks and geeks of New York," Kelly Osbourne declared triumphantly on stage last night in the Great Room at the W Hotel Union Square, where she was hosting the W Love hangOVER Ball to benefit amfAR.
Whoops and cheers followed: it seemed her audience, which included Karlie Kloss, Prabal Gurung, Jason Wu, Gary Clark, Jr., Stefano Tonchi, Zac Posen, and many others, was on board with the "freaks and geeks" appellation. It was a true ball: dozens of nimble, sexy, fierce competitors posed, vogued, contorted, and threw shade in pursuit of bragging rights, audience adoration, and nifty little W trophies. Ladyfag and Jack Mizrahi emceed; Edward Enninful, Fergie, Fatima Robinson, Simon Doonan, Hector Extravaganza, Mickey Boardman, and Andre Mizrahi judged (10s were the order of the evening), and Paris, well, Paris burned.
We caught model Lily Donaldson swigging straight from a bottle of white wine in the first row; she was fully invested in the proceedings. "I've got some rhythm," she'd confessed earlier, during cocktails. "I already asked Bryan if I could get onstage at the end."
For Richard Chai, the hangOVER Ball inspired a trip down memory lane. "I'm that kid that grew up going to clubs in New York, and grew up going to Sound Factory and Junior Vasquez, and it was all about the voguing houses back then—there was House of Xtravaganza, and all the different houses—so it was part of my growing up in New York," Chai said.
When we ran into our pal Simon Doonan, we were curious: if a House of Simon were to join the Houses of Xtravaganza, Ninja, Revlon, et al., what would its main characteristics be? "Everyone in my house would be very short," Doonan mused with his characteristic frankness, "and have to wear top and bottom false eyelashes."
Soon enough, we got Doonan reminiscing about the ball-scene heyday in the '80s, which he was fortunate enough to witness. "My favorite ball category ever," he confessed, "was 'Looking like you're going someplace better later.'"
Last night, the only better place anyone could think to go, once the last pose had been struck, was the afterparty at Lilium—thankfully, right downstairs. —Alexandria Symonds