Paper Magazine Takes Over Library

By John Capone
|  Wednesday, Sep 9, 2009  |  Updated 3:05 PM EDT
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Paper Magazine Takes Over Library

Getty Images

Sean Lennon and Kemp Muhl.

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The Paper magazine 25th anniversary party, at the New York Public Library of all places, was everything the mag is: a little weird but sort of venerated, full of downtown scenesters, smart, loud, bright and fun. With familiar faces from the magazine like Amanda Lepore's stretched visage in the (sort of) flesh to Mr. Mickey dancing in a sequined jacket, the crowd mirrored a typical issue of the magazine founded 25 years ago to chronicle New York's Downtown (it's since expanded and looked as far afield as LA's Downtown).

One would have to imagine that the New York Public Library was chosen as a venue for its proximity to the tents of Bryant Park not the books of the Rose Reading Room. But the great hall of the library made an apt setting: the trannies and club sleaze so much a part of Paper merged with the egg-headed intellectualism also so much a part of it, and it all seemed comfortable in the air of respectability the marble staircases and pillars leant. There was even something a historical exhibit sponsored by HP (also celebrating its 25th anniversary), where guests could print out their snapshots right on the spot and compare them the decades of Paper's photos.

Mark Ronson DJed and the Virgins opened for Queen Latifah and Liza Minelli: all in all, not your typical bill, but wholly appropriate background music for club cocktails in a library with the likes of Lydia Hearst, Isaac Mizrahi, Michael Musto, Sean Lennon, Samantha Mathis, the boys from Hanson, and Anna Sui. At one point it seemed as if a group of very young boy catalog models decked in the preppy de rigueur that seems to fixed itself at Fashion Week for the past few years were hired to recreate a spastic version of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video, jumping on each others shoulders and flailing spastically at the base of the stage while the Virgins played. But maybe they were just having fun.

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