What You Missed in New York City This September (According to Linux)
This is What You Missed Last Month (According To Linux), in which nightlife it girl Linux takes us behind the velvet rope and into the VIP section of Scene City. Through her extreme (sometimes exaggerated) lens, Linux gives the tea on what really happened at every party-of-the-century that floods your Instagram feeds. This September, follow Linux on her journey to the most celebrity-filled parties that carried NYFW this year. (A note from the author: don’t take what she says too seriously—she’s just a club kid after all!).
Fashion Week, open-bar week, four-outfit-changes-per-day week— whatever you want to call it, yes, it should be a federal holiday, and yes, it is a sport. Twice a year, the stars who can’t handle New York City year-round fly in from LAX to take over the clubs and bars that we locals call home. During this time, all of our carefully built up clout goes out the window. Remember the bouncer at Ph.D. who always lets you skip the line? When Rihanna’s in town, he doesn’t know you anymore. What about your best friend, that DJ who always puts you on his list? Not this time— he has to do something for Jeremy Scott, so don’t expect a response. This year, I managed to snag invites to some of the most major parties of the month, and if I don’t run my mouth about them, did they even happen? So, prepare yourselves—there’s going to be a lot of name-dropping—and remember, readers: it’s not personal, it’s just fashion week!
September 7: Christian Siriano After Party @ Tao
In the many years I’ve lived in New York, I wear the fact that I’ve never once been to Tao as a badge of honor. What kind of a club charges $10,000 for a bottle of Veuve just to send it out with plastic champagne flutes? On the first day of New York Fashion Week, Christian Siriano—the most prominent small man in the New York fashion scene— popped my Tao cherry with his show’s afterparty at the Chelsea hotspot. Typically, you go to Tao to watch Scott Disick flirt with 19-year-olds, but thankfully Siriano brought a different kind of celebrity to the table. I arrived with Slayyyter and Aquaria— we helped ourselves to the open bar, before I stormed Selling Sunset’s Christine Quinn, talked to RHONY’s Leah McSweeney about crystal meth and dealing with haters, and drunkenly emailed Slayyyter’s unreleased song to the DJ to force an impromptu performance. Finally, at 2 AM, Christian Siriano arrived, and we all danced to top 40 songs until the bar closed. On my way out, I dropped a champagne flute on the sidewalk, and it didn’t break! Now I know why they’re plastic.
September 10: Christian Cowan After Party @ The Stranger
Of all the things that happened on Fashion Week Friday, the Christian Cowan after party at The Stranger really stands out. After hundreds of fashion shows and at least as many outfit changes, nothing felt more comforting than being surrounded by a swarm of famous YouTubers-who-no-longer-post-on-YouTube. Gigi Gorgeous finally remembered my name! Bretman Rock is so hot! I touched Nikita Dragun’s shoulder and said hi, prompting her to immediately scream at her bodyguard, “What did I say? Nobody’s allowed to touch me!” At midnight, Tinashe lipsync’d to her song, “2 On.” It was major! By 1AM, the open bar ran out of vodka and tequila, forcing us to drink an ungodly number of whiskey cokes. While I was ordering my fifteenth, I looked around the room and realized all the famous people were missing. I saw a bouncer guarding a door by the bathrooms, and immediately knew that behind him was the VIP-VIP. I scammed a wristband from Christian Cowan’s PR guy and snuck past the security guard. Inside, I found the YouTubers I had been searching for, but there was one fatal flaw of the VIP-VIP: no music was playing. My adderall had kicked in, and I was not about to let this iconic opportunity go to waste. I plugged my phone in and played Tinashe’s “Party Favors,” thinking she would be happy about it (she immediately left). Everyone else followed, leaving only me and Christian Cowan. Thanks for the invite Christian, now can you please text me back so I can return these clothes to you?
September 11: Ladyland @ Brooklyn Mirage
After being postponed countless times because of COVID restrictions, Ladyfag—New York’s most iconic mother-to-be—was finally able to host the third rendition of everyone’s favorite gay festival, Ladyland. On her birthday, and smack in the middle of Fashion Week, Ladyfag shook the town by filling the Brooklyn Mirage with thousands, and thousands, and thousands of people. It was certainly a nightlife family affair— Skin did a set in a giant warehouse nearby, while Aquaria DJed on another stage outside. In the center of King’s Hall, New Orleans drag wrestling troupe, Choke Hole, did two wrestling performances. Round one featured a sexy double-D cup queen named Jassy Biz and a bug-thing named Raid. Round two featured Brooklyn drag queen Ruby Fox and yours truly. Can you believe it? I wrestled my best friend in front of hundreds of people. In the end, Ruby won the gold. After the wrestling show, we ran to the main stage to see Caroline Polachek—who was sensational—open for the evening’s headliner, Christina Aguilera. Yes! For an hour, Xtina performed our favorite aughts-era hits. It was the best festival I’ve ever been to, hands down. Ladyland was worth the wait!
September 12: Interview’s Official VMA’s After Party @ 1OAK
After being snubbed by Interview at the last party they threw at Nordstrom, I finally landed an invite from Mel Ottenberg to the magazine’s VMA after party at 1OAK on Sunday. Well, he didn’t invite me, this other girl at Interview did, but OMG— I finally felt like part of the family! My honest review of the party? It was awesome— it easily wins this month’s FOMO Award. Doja Cat, who hosted the VMAs earlier that night, hosted the party. I knew the door was going to be fucking impossible, so I got there at 8PM. I was gabbing with Geordon Nicol, of Misshapes, about Madonna’s new documentary when Madonna herself suddenly arrived! Wearing sunglasses over a veil, the Queen of Pop settled herself at her table while a swarm of photographers captured the moment. I didn’t want to stare, so I turned to look at the other end of the room, only to lock eyes with the Music Video of the Year winner, Lil Nas X. I elbowed Aquaria and said, “Omg, that’s Lil Nas X. Don’t you know him? Can we go say hello?” She agreed (perks of having a famous best friend!), and we walked up to LNX’s table. I wanted to tell him how iconic he was and congratulate him on his win, but even though I was standing in front of his table I was completely invisible to him— I think he’s heard enough of that for a lifetime. After my introduction flopped, we gave up and went back to Mel’s table to replace our paper straws, which had become soggy and unusable after a few sips. I stayed until 3AM, and on my way out I ran into Doja Cat on the dance floor, vogueing with her friends while the DJ played “WAP.” After failing to get her attention as well, I noticed the fresh bottle of vodka at her table. I made a cocktail for myself, but before I could drink it, her friend took the glass out of my hand, smiled at me, and said, “You can leave now.” My heart sank, and I was like, “It’s open bar, girl. It’s fine!” The friend smiled rudely to me and repeated herself: “Like I said, you can leave now.” I set my drink down— maybe Doja’s rude friend was actually the universe speaking to me. It was time to leave. I smiled at my bully and decided to head out. Madonna…Doja Cat…Lil Nas X…oh my!
September 13: Official Met Gala After Party @ Boom Boom Room
Who’s idea was it to schedule NYFW, the VMAs, and the Met Gala all in the same week? I need to speak to someone in the scheduling department! Just kidding, we all know I wasn’t invited to the actual Met Gala, but I was invited to the after-parties! Out of all of them, I was the happiest with the party at Boom Boom Room. As with most of these celebrity parties, it’s best to get there early. Don’t worry, it’s not embarrassing to be the first one to arrive. It’s better to secure access and hide in the bathroom for an hour than to be trapped in a mosh-pit outside begging to enter. Of course, Evan Mock was the first person I saw once I walked in, adjusting his Thom Browne latex mask so he could drink his cocktail. Mazurbate was DJing, and sporting a fresh haircut and fitted tuxedo. I went to get a glass of champagne because that’s what you’re supposed to drink at events like these, when someone behind me complimented the Mugler suit I was wearing. I turned around, and it was Timothée Chalamet. Chalamet, who I was surprised to learn is taller than me, was also wearing all white. We gagged for a second about how we were matching, before someone came over and swept him away to the other side of the room. I joined my friend, the model Jacob Bixenman, and Troye Sivan’s manager, who were enjoying the sliders that were being passed around the room. I told them how happy I was to finally meet some people from L.A. who actually eat meat. That’s when all the stars started arriving. I had a front row seat as Madison Beer, Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, and everyone else I’ve been binge-watching on Netflix this summer trailed into the rooftop bar. On my way to get another glass of champagne, a girl complimented my white eyeliner— I thanked and keep walking, until my friend whispered, “Why did you just walk away? Bitch, that was Lorde!” I turned back around to try to save the moment, but she was already gone. I’m not usually one to get starstruck, but after a week of little sleep, I was having trouble tricking a roomful of A-list celebrities into thinking that we’d met before. After a while, I managed to find my friend Kim Petras— a star I actually know— and took fame-shelter at her side. I ended the night on the dance floor with Symone, Troye Sivan, and Kacey Musgraves. By 3 AM, the room was emptying, so I shared the elevator with the House of Avalon and headed home to my long-awaited slumber.
Seeing New York City restored to its full glamour this month was extraordinary. Watching the bartenders I’ve known for years pour drinks for Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid was surreal. But surrealism aside, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t ready for things to go back to normal. There’s a reason we all choose to live in New York, and not Hollywood. Having said that, I should confess that I’m writing this from the pool at Dumbo House, and my Aperol spritz just arrived. Everybody enjoy the last moments of summer, and get your Halloween looks in order. I’ll see you in October.