Dear Shaded Viewers,
Even though it involves a lot of schlepping (the tree was especially a bitch this time), my tree-trimming party is my favorite New York event of the year. This one was my most successful, I feel. My humble 5th-floor walk-up apartment was packed with downtown legends, close friends and all sorts of fascinating creatures. It’s one of the last bastions of bohemianism left in the hideously over-corporatized East Village.
This year, the ornament theme (and dress code, which is really more of a state of mind) I chose was Fellini vs. Pasolini. It was inspired by a lifetime of Italian cinema fandom, frequent trips to Italy, and a costume exhibit from a few years ago curated by my friends Clara Tosi Pamphili and Alessio De Navasques during the AltaRoma fashion event in Rome.
As always, my “dress code” was inspired by the codes of the great, gone weekly party in the Meatpacking district Jackie 60:
Dress Code: Robes, headdresses and gilded jockstraps suitable for Satyricon-style bacchanalia; Anna Magnani earthy unkempt realness; Terence Stamp bisexual seductiveness and Toby Dammit dandy delirium; Enrique Irazoqui crown of thorns and stigmata Jesus freak chic; Ecclesiastical Fashion Show runway realness; 120 minutes of Fascist depravity; grotesque Roman prostitute looks for cash-strapped crossdressers; Arabian Nights warrior ensembles for brazen bulldaggers; layers of marabou, liquid eyeliner, top and bottom false eyelashes, and Piero Gherardi couture for Juliet of the Spirits and 8 ½ ultra-glamour; Marcello Mastroianni sexual avariciousness and Anita Ekberg voluptuousness, homosexual communist political posturing, and Giorgio Moroder Italo-disco dolly decadence.
New York’s most important dandy, Patrick McDonald, Freak Chic founder and bon vivant around town Gazelle Paulo and designer Nancy Bacich.
Parade of stars: renaissance man Sean Carrillo, Warhol Superstar (one of the 15 in the world remaining) Bibbe Hansen and, of course, the eternal cowboy Randy Jones.
Randy Jones and me in my kitchen! This was toward the end of the party, so I was displaying a boozy countenance (and an 8 1/2….t-shirt).
My long-time friend Jay Blotcher created this ornament. No, it’s not the aftermath of the much-hated SantaCon—it’s a Christmas-ized version of the fascist depravity of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s most notorious film, Salò, or The 120 Days of Sodom.
Another piece by Jay Blotcher: one of the most notorious scenes from Salò. The sequins bring an air of festivity to this abominably sadistic moment. Merry Christmas!
A few people created mashups of the theme. My friend Corey Sabourin took the opening scene from Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita and substituted the statue of Christ with Karl Marx (a nod to Pasolini’s communist affiliations.)
The brilliance of Bruce Benderson: this mashup ornament combines Pasolini’s The Gospel According to Saint Matthew with Fellini as Christ and an 8 1/2 banner concealing the inevitable death erection.
Poets Drew Gardner and Katie Degentesh with writer and glamour doll Carly Sommerstein. We were all gagging over that sensational pantsuit!
Superstar power couple: fashion writer Joselle Yokogawa and legendary breakdancer Crazy Legs of Rocksteady Crew.
Straight To Hell magazine impresario Billy Miller. His dapper jacket channeled Marcello Mastroianni.
Billy’s ornament, which is so large my tree almost fell over when I hung it, is inspired by Pasolini’s communism. Friedrich Engels appears on one side…
…Karl Marx appears on another…
And let’s not forget Pasolini’s insatiable homosexuality.
Speaking of, here’s a louche, sinister screen grab from 120 Days of Sodom on an ornament by Mark Morgan Pérez.
Guitar pedal mad genius Jonny Steele, Hollywood producer Leanne Murphy and art collector Mark Morgan Pérez.
A heavy rap session in my bedroom with Gazelle, Drew, Katie and Swedish actress Helena.
Writer extraordinaire Christopher Voigt assesses the tree-trimming progress.
A harmonic convergence of legendosity: Randy Jones and Patrick McDonald.
The flip side of Todd Thomas’ ornament. Well, yes, that is Tadzio from Death in Venice. Not Fellini or Pasolini, but we do love Visconti, so it’s right at home on my tree.
Well, aren’t these ingenious? Fellini and Pasolini scenes adhered to rigatoni by Joselle Yokogawa.
My longtime friend Camille Paglia could not make it to the party, so she sent her ornaments virtually:
“Representing the planks laid down, end to end, by the middle-aged prostitute to access her flooded basement rooms in the shoddily constructed postwar apartment complex that Marcello Mastroianni ends up in, on a manic lark by the chicly ever-bored Anouk Aimee in La Dolce Vita……”
The tire treads are for Pasolini. Ouch!
Having your photo taken with Randy Jones at my Christmas party is the New York rite of passage du moment. Here he is with Katie Degentesh…
….and the beat goes on. You can’t stop the music. No one can stop the music….
With Joselle Yokogawa.
With South American chanteuse Carlota Gurascier and PR poobah Jay Blotcher.
With Joselle again and Crazy Legs.
And the casting for the remake of Boys in the Band has begun! Turning!
And it just ain’t a party until the Rosenberg Twins show up! Charles enjoys the hammam-like climate in my apartment (thank you, global warming!) as Alan stays miraculously dry. Grace under humidity, darlings!
Philly Abe and her pal Jeffrey Keefe. Look at those cheekbones!
The sacrificial rite of the organic prosecco potion: Alan Rosenberg, John Kelly and writer Nancy Stout.
Artist Mo K. and Carlota.
Associate Director of the Glennda Orgasm Archives Stevin Azo Michels and artist Scott Neary.
Stevin Azo contributed a rather curious and beautiful ornament for my tree. I’m waiting for those babies to hatch!
Katie Degentesh brought this enchanting sperm whale.
Gazelle Paulo brought a bejeweled cross for some Catholic glamour…
…and some chianti. Now that’s Italian!
Art director Dan Liu and his boyfriend William brought bunny dolls that whimsically represent their coupledom.
Swedish actress Helena went all free-form with her Pasolini/Fellini interpretation, so I’m not sure what this references…
…and the flip side is a handsome wild boar.
It just wouldn’t be my annual Christmas party without my world-famous radis farcis au chèvre.
Livin’ la dolce vita: Philly, Bruce and Scott.
Happy holidays, dolls!