Kevyn Aiken's uplifting entertaining idea to celebrate his friend Michelle's birthday, and life in general: an Optimism 2009 party.
The invite read:
"Please join us in raising half-full (or preferably completely full) glasses in honor of maintaining an optimistic point of view, keeping the economy afloat, and perhaps most importantly, Michelle's birthday. Attire: Dress optimistically. Optional: Wear something purchased within the past month. Rose-colored glasses encouraged."
Kevyn lives downtown in a spacious one-bedroom with high ceilings and tall windows. Since Kevyn always throws wonderful parties (that carry on well into the morning), it's fitting that this entry is about how he shares his home--and how clever he is with the Optimism idea.
I'm still not quite sure what Kevyn does exactly, but it something terribly important, because he's run marketing departments for titles like Vogue and Allure, as well as PlanetOut. I'm just happy that he'll accompany me to Sephora and show me how to hold makeup brushes. He also introduced me to the shade Orgasm from Nars. He insists it's the #1 blush in America and says it suits most women's skin wonderfully. (I think he's right).
While Kevyn normally has sturdy business cards imprinted with words like "Senior," "Executive" or "Vice President," he's currently out of a job, like so many others. But he's confident he'll find something again soon. Maybe time off is a good thing, he's thinking? Time to record those new songs he's written, finally take that trip to Machu Picchu and spend time with friends. "Unemployment?" he scoffs. "Funemployment!"
So off I went to the Kevyn-and-Michelle event in my Nars blush and a recent purchase: a $6 t-shirt I'd just bought from H&M. (New tees are especially special.) We cheered the birthday girl with "half-full glasses" and enjoyed happy-tizers like "Toasty Smiles with Olive Tapenade." With the help of votive candles floating in half-full glasses of water tinted with red food coloring, the world looked pretty rosy after all.
Fast-disappearing happy-tizers. Sexy shenanigans at the bar. In New York, someone always brings fancy cupcakes.
Kevyn painted the white stripe that continues around the forest-green room. There's always dancing. And guitar performances. And the fit trainer-friend who observes from the corner armchair with a very optimistically full glass of straight vodka.
It's always crowded--it's where the booze is. Here, bright orange roses in the view from the living room's bar.
BedroomCoats are piled on the bed. A striped tie holds the curtains back to reveal the skyline at night. Orangey-red Campari is great for rosy drinks. Smoking is allowed near the open window and a handful of colorful lighters.
ambitious men have color-coordinated closets?! Pretty shirts, vibrant ties, rows of jackets. Bins for grouping: "Navy/Tan socks," which the cleaning lady cannot read and so is not true unless Kevyn re-sorts. Fuchsia shirts, ostracized and wrong-facing. Kevyn, what's the reason? Please tell us. Final thought while taking these pictures: I'm at the kind of party where everyone's out of the closet. Why am I in this one?
BathroomIt could happen to anyone--a gift gone wrong. Kevyn was once given a rubber ducky, so he gave it an appropriate home in the bathroom. Bad idea. Before you could say quack, he'd become The Guy Who Collects Rubber Duckies. They poured in from friends, they're everywhere and they've taken over. Says the resident, "I've never bought a rubber ducky in my life!" And still, look what happened...
Drinks were finished. Taxis were hailed. The living room was a disaster. And it was wrong, so very, very wrong, to go dancing at Splash at 3 am when you're meeting your tax guy at 10 am, but it's an Optimism party. You can't say no at an Optimism party, can you?