A lot of people say that New Year’s Eve is no fun, they never have anything to do, they’re never invited anywhere, yada yada yada. But why are y’all leaving things to chance? One thing I’ve learned in life is that if you want to have a party, your best bet is to throw your own. That’s what I’ve done since 2000. I started then because Y2K demanded action. It was a new millennium. Oh, and the world was expected to come to an end. I simply had to gather up all my friends and family and break out the Champagne to toast our potential survival.
My gorgeous sister Terri outdid me when it came to ensuring a good time during that crucial celebration: She brought a lampshade from home, just in case.
I wore a Diane von Furstenberg dress and a Cathy Waterman choker. I long ago sent the DVF dress to a new home, but I still have the Waterman piece, naturally. Jewelry has staying power. One day, my niece Sabrina will have this necklace, if she wants it.
Once I got started, I couldn’t stop, and I continued to be the New Year’s Eve hostess with the mostest until this Thursday. Because I’m not an irresponsible asshole, there were no guests ringing in 2021. I stayed home, made mulled wine, and went through my New Year’s archives. I went through my archives so thoroughly that I finally figured out what the hell I was up to for New Year’s Eve 2001. That’s been a long-running mystery. I didn’t have a digital camera and there aren’t any files floating around cyberspace. But in a dusty box in the back of the cabinet lurked printed evidence that NYE was at home that year.
There was no date written on the back of the photo, so I used my powers of deduction to determine provenance. It’s true that you can probably find me and two friends sitting around wearing plastic tiaras any day of the year, but the party horn my friend Phil has screams New Year’s Eve. I didn’t move into this apartment until 2000, so it couldn’t be earlier. And it couldn’t be later, because New Year’s Eve celebrations from 2002 to 2021 are well-documented, as you’ll see below. Bonus clues: The sleeveless turtleneck was the same one I was wearing on Sept. 11, 2001, and I re-wore the red sequined pants for the following New Year’s Eve. Sherlock Holmes ain’t got nothing on me!
I think I know why this was the only NYE party at home: First of all, it’s more glamorous and less labor-intensive to be out on the town. Secondly, my dog Gigi was not a people person. I have a vague memory of sweeping up Gigi and locking her in the bedroom after a child at the party tried to befriend her. Definitely not worth the stress for any of us. Hence, out we went after that — very often to Balthazar, a restaurant in Soho. Unfortunately, I rarely made any effort to photograph my whole outfit for posterity until I started blogging in 2007. For example, all my party pictures from New Year’s Eve 2002 look like this.
Only a photo I took at home, later, provides a glimpse of the clue-worthy red sequined pants.
Same thing in 2003. I really regret not taking a photo of the tight black leather pants I wore this night, because I outgrew those pretty fast. Alas.
Again in 2004! This post-party photo is the only one that shows a little bit of my navy-blue Versace dress. God, I’d love to fit into this one again.
For New Year’s Eve 2005, the only photos were you can see any details of this red Versace dress were taken in the ladies’ room of Rosa Mexicano. I switched restaurants because I was worried my regular guests were getting bored.
For New Year’s Eve 2006, I was back at Balthazar. Did I take a full-length photo of my vintage Clovis Ruffin dress at the actual celebration? Of course not. But at least I took one in the apartment hallway. As you can see, I also think New Year’s Eve is a great excuse for a hairpiece!
I took an almost-complete outfit photo for New Year’s Eve 2007, with one shoe in the photo.
In July 2007, I started this blog. I created it to promote my jewelry line, but it coincided with a boom in fashion blogging, and I was friendly with a lot of fashion bloggers. Inspired by those wimmins, I made an effort to increase the quantity of my outfit photos, although I never caught up to them in quality. But even without the added impetus to capture a full look, I probably would have gotten some good photos from New Year’s Eve 2008, because I combined the regular NYE festivities with my belated 40th birthday celebration. This was a bigger party than usual, so we had it at a restaurant called Butter. I’ve posted one full-length photo of my vintage Versace from that night a lot. The picture below hasn’t gotten as much love. I was thrilled with that split skirt and the made-for-viewing underskirts, as you can see.
For New Year’s 2009, I went back to not taking any outfit photos during the party, which was back at Balthazar, but at least I got one in the apartment hallway.
While ringing in 2010, I managed to take a full-length photo with my friend Stacy at Balthazar. Party pictures are definitely more fun that apartment-hallway pictures.
We were at Balthazar yet again for New Year’s Eve 2011. Not only did we take an outfit photo at the party, but both my shoes are fully in the photo! I still have those Pradas.
I wore gold sequins to welcome the year 2012, and so did Tina, Stacy, and Amanda! I loved it. Not only do I not feel bad about wearing a similar or even the same outfit as someone else at a special event, I’m going to have a whole photo op! We shook things up a little by celebrating at Indochine.
I was definitely the only one wearing this vintage Christian Francis Roth dress at my back-at-Balthazar New Year’s Eve party in 2013.
To celebrate 2014, I re-wore the vintage Versace dress from six years earlier. I love how there are now slow-fashion hashtags on Instagram. I’ve been slow-fashion for decades. The balloons are from … guess where? Balthazar. I think I stuffed them into the trunk of a taxi to bring them home.
When I say I’ve been slow-fashion for decades, I mean it. For New Year’s 2015, I wore the same red Versace dress I wore for NYE 2005, except this time I took a proper photo of it.
My friend Julie found the secondhand Brian Lichtenberg dress I wore in 2016. We were not at Balthazar that year. GASP! The restaurant was Narcissa … where maître d’ Kevin from Balthazar was now working.
New Year’s Eve 2018 wasn’t quite as glam as previous years because I took the party to Iceland. I mean, the country of Iceland, not a restaurant named Iceland. You’ve got to bundle up to go out to the traditional New Year’s Eve bonfires there, so I wore a sweater, snow boots, and a suede skirt. If you’re a fireworks lover, New Year’s Eve in Reykjavík is absolutely amazing.
We went back to Balthazar to ring in 2019. It was like coming home.
And then came the past 12 months. I didn’t do the “How It Started … How It’s Going” meme when everyone else did this fall, but my New Year’s Eve 2020 lewk vs my New Year’s Eve 2021 dishevelment begs for the treatment.
Seriously, though, there’s more to the 2021 than meets the eye. At 11:55 p.m., I was barefoot and wearing a pet-hair-covered Yelawolf concert t-shirt that I’d slept in, but I suddenly decided my glass of pink Champagne deserved a little better. I quickly put on my 2010 Miu Miu shoes — I was already wearing my 2010 Prada glasses — and I grabbed a t-shirt with my late friend Chiara’s photo on it. The button by Elissa Stein says, “Fuck 2020 and Republicans,” and the Justice face mask is from Black Lives Matter. Those jeans didn’t have a big gaping hole in them back in April. The wear-and-tear of this year created that. My five-minute, ultra-casual look ended up representing a lot of issues close to my heart: remembrance, justice, resistance, social responsibility, and slow fashion. It’s not glamorous, but it’s very me.