“Will you come with me? I’m just going to make a quick stop at Pat Cleveland’s book launch and then we can go to dinner. It will only take a few minutes!”
We arrived without knowing exactly what to expect. In the main hall of the Jane Hotel, a few dancers were getting ready (kind of unusual for a book signing, I’ll take note for my next book) and we were a little bit early, so we went to look for a glass of champagne.
Fifteen minutes later, the room started to fill up. The dancers got started and they were joined by a few drag queens. As the audience formed, we started picking out familiar faces around us. Glittery outfits. Big throaty laughs. My friend and I started to feel really young—really young and really boring in our jeans and t-shirts.
Because half an hour later, we realized exactly where we were. At Studio 54, but thirty years later. We went for another glass of champagne.
Suddenly, it was a party. A real party. Everyone was talking to everyone. Everyone was dancing. We noticed someone who looked exactly like Blondie. Fabulous. I had to talk to her.
“Don’t tell me I look like Blondie, I’m warning you!!!”
“But you do! You look like Blondie, and it’s a compliment! How do you do your makeup like that, it’s so pretty!”
“I love makeup, it’s my thing. Plus, I knew I was going to come to this party tonight so yesterday I went and got like three liters of Botox injections. What do you think, does it look okay? Is it good? Now I’m thinking about getting my neck done. What do you think?”
Then Pat Cleveland arrived—gorgeous. Impressive. Really. Around her, there were men, women, a lot of extremely beautiful women, probably model friends—I wouldn’t be able to guess their age, probably around 60 or 70. I watched them chatting, having fun, getting their photos taken, goofing around.
When a woman with gray hair, deep wrinkles, and no makeup, beautiful in a Jane Birkin way, passed by me, I asked: “Did you used to go to Studio 54 too?” She nodded with a big smile and we started chatting with her and Blondie.
It was interesting. They were probably from the same generation, but one had decided to let herself age, while the other didn’t. They were both beautiful, each in their own way.
In what was now a dense crowd, and – oh, there were also women who had obviously been the victims of the first wave of plastic surgery. Lifts, strange stares, suspicious-looking smiles. In a dark corner, Amanda Lepore, the human doll, was posing for whoever wanted a picture.
We stayed a lot longer than fifteen minutes, and once the party started to reach its peak, we decided to leave. The crowd was getting suffocating, and besides, we were past the age of having a great time at the club, it was time for our quiet little dinner of organic kale and avocado, haha.
But we were thrilled about our journey through space and time. Ecstatic. The party was amazing, full of good vibes, laughter, sharing, and fun. New York really must have been an incredible place in the 80s.
At one point, my Jane Birkin was talking about her children and she said to me: “My kids love my friends, and they couldn’t care less about age. It’s so strange how everything changed: when we were young, we wanted nothing to do with old people!!!”
As for me, I wanted everything to do with these “old people” – I hope the two of them will become my friends.
That’s exactly what I learned from this party. Getting older is no longer what it once was. Today, getting older is whatever you want it to be.
Physically, we can choose to stay fresh, to take care of ourselves, to look whatever age we like. We can dress how we like. We have the right to be sexy, show our legs, drink a little too much, travel, have lovers, have fun.
We can also choose to age naturally—let our hair go gray, let our wrinkles settle in. It’s a choice, and contrary to what some people want us to believe, it’s not about giving up. I’m sure it’s nice to let your age show a little bit, to have a different kind of charm, a new take on life, a new role.
Today, and maybe for the first time, thanks to these amazing baby boomers who have been redefining things since the 70s and just can’t stop, we can look at life as a series of new beginnings, and thumb our noses at the obsession with youth, an obsession that’s so uninteresting.
Because an ideal party is an all-ages party, where everyone brings their own point of view, their own experience, and most importantly—their own joie de vivre.
– – –
And me? At one point, Tatjana Patitz, absolute top model of the 90s, walked by and gave me a big smile. So beautiful, super natural. Her look was very simple with flat, natural leather sandals—Tatjana just never seems to stop being chill. I hope to have the same vibe one day.
What about you? Are there people you find inspiring for their art of aging well?