Amanda Lepore is a legend. And while the iconic blonde is probably best known for some of her couture body parts, what really impresses me is her stamina.
Last Tuesday night, in a penthouse at the Gansevoort Park Avenue Hotel, Lepore hosted the first night of a new weekly party she’s doing with Kenny Kenny and Joey Israel. Since the lady herself had requested my presence—via an all-caps email, no less—I threw on my high heels and went. When I arrived, it was obvious that all of New York nightlife had shown up; no less than Joey Arias took to the stage around 1 a.m. to perform an impromptu song. Unfortunately, due to a snafu with the management, the rooftop never opened and Kenny Kenny stormed out and quit.
Then, on Saturday night at the Highline Ballroom, Lepore celebrated the release of her new album, I…Amanda Lepore. At the club, the room was arranged more cozily than usual, with couches in a semi-circle, the VIP sections on each side. On the bill were The Ones, Jonté, Bishi, Roxy Cottontail, Deluka and Neon Glitz, as well as hosts Joey Arias and Ana Matronic, and DJs Jon Jon Battles and Bill Coleman. Guests included Susanne Bartsch and Pat Field. Getting into the VIP section was a must, since the inhabitants included Courtney Love in a basic black dress and not too much makeup—nice of her to not upstage the woman of the hour. Also in the pack were photographersDavid La Chapelle, Marco Ovando and Karl Giant, whose photos were blended into a series of videos projected onto a screen. La Chapelle mounted the stage and dedicated a poem to Lepore, his muse for the past 10 years.
Lepore finally appeared, carried aloft by a bevy of male dancers—in jackets but no pants—singing her song "My Way." The platinum blond didn’t just stand around looking pretty, but made her way through her other numbers, like "Champagne," "I Know What Boys Want," "Cotton Candy," "Marilyn" and "My Hair Looks Fierce."
"I don’t know much about clothes but my hair looks fierce," she sang. She had a point, since she often wears as little clothing as possible. To break up the performances, her long-time collaborator Cazwell performed "Get My Money Back," "I Seen Beyoncé at Burger King" and "All Over My Face."
Taking a breather from all of the excitement, a friend of mine found Love smoking a cigarette outside of the club. Playing dumb, he asked if she was living in New York these days. "I’ve lived here for two and a half years, but no one believes it with my L.A. attitude," she said. "I live with my gay. I can’t be without my gay."
That was a feeling that pervaded the entire evening.