Partying With Sebastián Faena and Gray Sorrenti

Sebastián and Grey sing their new track “Save Your Life.”
Photograph: Vincenzo Dimino

This week, I spent a while with individuals I admit I’ve lengthy admired (from a distance, on social media) for being enviably cool and seemingly completely cool about being cool. Is {that a} not very cool factor for me to confess? Nonetheless, on Thursday evening I went to the speakeasy-ish cocktail lounge Socialista for a celebration hosted by Sebastián Faena and Gray Sorrenti. Sebastián — or “Seb,” as everybody calls him — is an Argentinian filmmaker and photographer who’s shot everybody from Rihanna and Gaga to Gigi and Cindy Crawford. His uncle owns the Faena hotel in Miami. And Grey is the 20-year-old daughter of the Italian American trend photographer Mario Sorrenti. (You would possibly acknowledge the photos he shot of his then-girlfriend Kate Moss for Calvin Klein; his brother, Davide Sorrenti, was additionally a widely known photographer.) Grey is within the household enterprise too, having already photographed celebrities like Rihanna and J.Lo and campaigns for luxurious manufacturers together with Loewe and Saint Laurent. Oh, and her boyfriend is pink-haired everyone-wants-to-date-him Gossip Girl actor Evan Mock — making them a New York Gen-Z “It” couple.

Seb and Grey and Evan are buddies, and this get together was in honor of Seb’s new undertaking, an EP known as Save Your Life, which was impressed by his mom’s dying final yr. Grey collaborated with him on it when the three of them had been all quarantining at Seb’s Connecticut dwelling, directing a music video and singing on one of many songs.

Final Thursday was a night of Gossip Lady celeb sightings, disconcertingly beautiful individuals, and free-flowing French 75s. By the top of the evening, I used to be scurrying dwelling, feeling perhaps just a little blah compared to this crew of younger New Yorkers with multi-hyphenate skilled titles and actually fabulous pores and skin.

8:02 p.m. | Earlier than the get together, I’m to satisfy Grey and Seb for dinner at Cipriani, which is downstairs from Socialista. The sidewalk out entrance is teeming with slick-haired American Psycho varieties and their youthful, designer-clad dates; when one of many latter, a trim lady with excessive cheekbones and free curls, walks up and lights a Newport, I mistake her for Grey. The true Grey arrives whereas I’m nonetheless recovering from the embarrassment, trying louche-chic in blue denims and a black tank prime. Seb is equally casually scorching, in denims and a white V-neck tee, with a shaggy, indie-rocker haircut. I used to be informed the boyfriend, Evan, can be becoming a member of us, however Grey acts as if that was by no means the plan: “He’s not allowed to come back,” she says playfully. Clearly, I’m disillusioned.

8:10 p.m. | On the desk, I chat with Grey about our Halloweekends, and she or he tells me her mates had been accountable for the “raid” on China Chalet, the notorious dim sum restaurant by day and late-night get together spot that closed through the pandemic. Apparently they had been capable of dance for a few hours earlier than the police shut it down. “I miss it,” she says of the place — which I by no means bought to frequent — reminding me that on the fringe of 21, she’s a real scorching youngster within the metropolis. “Me and Seb? We prefer to dwell life,” she says when the bread arrives and so they don’t contact it.

8:25 p.m. | The restaurant is loud, filled with suited males talking boisterously over one another, so Seb suggests we feature our bellinis and martinis upstairs to the not-yet-open Socialista, a high-ceilinged, “Cuban-inspired” lounge lit by huge globe-y chandeliers. Seb is anxious, darting across the room eradicating a “reserved” placard from the desk, softening the lighting, and requesting the thermostat be turned as much as 74 levels. Dinner arrives, and I ask how they met. They joke about assembly in school earlier than Seb finally, considerably mysteriously, admits that they related “by means of somebody I used to know.” This somebody apparently had a “Grey Sorrenti” tattoo, which piqued Seb’s curiosity about what made this Grey individual “so particular.” Speaking with the duo, it turns into clear that regardless of their age distinction, Grey occupies some form of maternal position for Seb. When Seb considers one other martini, Grey warns him to “decelerate!” earlier than rolling her eyes and telling me, “I’m the grown-up right here, the one who has to observe issues.” He, in flip, is a complete mama’s boy. “Grey’s not regular. She’s like an vintage in a means. I don’t consider Grey as different. I consider her as me,” he says, including he was jealous of Evan after they first met. “I didn’t like him at first.” Grey agrees with a giggle: “Neither did I.”

8:40 p.m. | Choosing at a shiny mound of tuna tartare, Seb and Grey speak about their varied ability units in music and images and movie. They each insist that they don’t know a lot about trend, although she walked for Alexander McQueen as an adolescent and he retains referring to Carine Roitfeld by her first title. “I really feel like trend images is prostitution. Since you’re promoting footwear and luggage,” Seb dares to enterprise. “I just like the artwork of trend,” Grey responds, explaining that she’s extra fascinated about “movie and photograph books.” They seek advice from themselves as “nerds” and “geeks,” however I doubt anybody has ever thought that about both of them. He’s a flirty romantic, speaking about previous sexcapades with boys and worldly travels for work and much more about his love for Grey. She’s the extra subdued listener, however she’s clearly a pressure to be reckoned with. “Once I was 9, I couldn’t wait to be 10,” she says, which explains her properly. “We name ourselves the perfects,” Seb says, a half-joke. “As a result of I’ve by no means met somebody as … good.” And truthfully, I don’t even thoughts the self-flattery. I be ok with myself once I inform a joke that makes them snort.

Seb takes a break.
Photograph: Vincenzo Dimino

9:10 p.m. | As company begin to arrive, Seb and Grey rehearse their track on the piano he had carried into Socialista earlier at present. When he seems up from the keys, into her eyes, he messes it up.

9:30 p.m. | Rapidly, the room begins to fill with “family and friends,” primarily sweet-smelling, modern younger individuals (a.okay.a. fashions) but additionally early arrivees like the worldwide inventive director of MAC and Sophia Lamar (who wish to have a phrase with me). It’s, I understand, probably the most self-conscious I’ve felt in a room this yr. Seb, self-conscious himself about speaking an excessive amount of at dinner, zooms throughout the room to apologize: “I felt like Shirley Temple,” he says, explaining that he’s actually simply very excited a couple of new chapter in his life, one through which he feels extra glad. To elucidate all of it, he leaves me together with his iPhone, the place’s written a collection of swiftly typed paragraphs in his Notes app explaining his profession, the silver lining he’s found, and the way he didn’t essentially fuck his approach to the highest (although he has fucked rather a lot alongside the best way). “I beloved being a hustler… I wished to be Jean Genet, Rimbaud, Livanov, Sweet Darling, all of them. I wished to crawl within the swamp that NY was to me,” I learn between sips of my martini. “To make use of my physique as a instrument to get what I would like: I nonetheless love the fantasy of it.” On the finish, he quotes Sylvia Plath: “The reality loves me.” There was one thing about it I discovered touching.

9:35 p.m. | In a sea of younger and funky, I ask somebody who’s neither what he thinks of the scene. “These are the most popular younger individuals in New York,” the person says, declaring the fashions Blue Lindeberg and Jane Brooks. He continues, “It’s very telling that we’re upstairs from Cipriani proper now. The final time I used to be right here was for a billionaire’s celebration. J.Lo was the star visitor.”

10:13 p.m. | Overwhelmed and taking a short breather with my cocktail within the restroom, I understand Seb and Grey are within the stall subsequent to me. All of us emerge on the identical time, and Seb rushes again to the get together as a result of he’s misplaced Grey’s digital camera. “I’m excited for him to shine. It’s not my track. It’s his track, you understand? He’s wished to do that is complete life,” Grey tells me once I ask how she’s feeling concerning the efficiency. As for herself, she’s presently recovering from being sick and is just a little frightened about her voice, which remains to be girly if extra raspy than regular. “Grey?!” somebody yells from outdoors the restroom. “Grey? Jesus Christ, I heard your voice. You gave the impression of Mrs. Doubtfire.” It’s Evan, who’s much more of a flawless, cocky babe in individual than you’d think about him to be. Tonight he’s carrying sun shades, crimson fingernails, diamonds, pearls, and, perhaps as a nod to his native Hawaii, a metallic shark’s-tooth necklace.

Sebastián, Grey, and Evan at Socialista.
Photograph: Vincenzo Dimino

10:19 p.m. | It’s showtime, so Seb and Grey rise up within the entrance of the room to offer a speech, which principally reaffirms what I’ve been observing all evening: They actually, actually (platonically) love one another. “Grey’s part of me in a means. I don’t assume I may’ve accomplished this with out her, however perhaps I might’ve you understand?” Seb says, calling himself a late bloomer and saying this newly woke up ardour is arriving late in his life, in “God’s time.” “How late?” the boys round Evan heckle from the again of the room. On display, we watch Grey’s music video, that includes footage each of herself and of Seb’s mom at her age, then one other for a track known as “Synthetic Irresistible,” that includes a “main male mannequin” (per the partygoer subsequent to me) who seems a bit like Seb singing the track into his personal reflection in a mirror. When the duo subsequent takes their place on the piano to sing, Evan, standing on prime of a close-by banquette, actually swings from the ceiling and angelically mouths the lyrics. After the efficiency is over, he rejoins his bro posse, pushing previous different partygoers and making bizarre cricket noises. They remind me of high-school boys of their senior yr.

10:50 p.m. | Outdoors on West Broadway, I discover Grey having fun with a post-show smoke. She’s been sick, so the cigarette in all probability isn’t a fantastic thought, and once I inform her I’m additionally smoking, regardless of a current lung an infection, she teases, “You’re so fucked up! Ache is acquire, child!” We speak together with her buddy, a tall, darkish, and good-looking DJ-stylist in a ripped Rick Owens sweater, who says, “I’m not an enormous fan of the Socialista.” Grey encourages him to come back again upstairs: “It’s a shitshow, however I believe it’ll be enjoyable with us there!” It’s additionally actually scorching inside, regardless of the now-chilly climate, which reminds Grey of the drafty, under-heated condo the place she lives with Evan (and generally Seb). Proper now, she says she’s planning to maneuver to Brooklyn, someplace with a backyard the place she will dwell alone for as soon as. “I would like my very own germs and my very own area,” she says. “I bought all of the boys, all of Tompkins Sq. Park in my condo.” If solely, I believe to myself.

11 p.m. | Again inside, I plop down on a sofa with a boy in a colourful sweater who seems to be Stevie Surprise’s son Kailand Morris, who simply moved to New York. “Evan’s my boy. Grey’s dope. All of the homies are dope. I simply wished to come back and assist,” he tells me. Thus far he’s loving town, what he calls a “culturally superior space,” presumably extra so than his native Calabasas. I ask what he does, however as with others within the room, that’s not essentially a simple query to reply. He performs the drums. He fashions (lately in adverts for Hole). He designs. All of this to say: He identifies as an “artist,” however that’s perhaps too cliché to say, so he prefers “polymath,” you understand, “like da Vinci or Kanye.” Additionally like many others within the room, he’s mature past his years (20) — which is most obvious when he orders us all one other spherical of drinks. “Have you ever had a French 75 earlier than?” he asks.

11:10 p.m. | “What’s happening, my brooooooo?!” Kailand yells when Gossip Lady actor Eli Brown joins our sales space for a spherical of “75s! 75s! Cheers! Cheers! Cheers to the years! 75s!” The 2 of them inform me about their current journey to Europe, the place they partied in Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, and Paris. “It was fucked up. We did all the things and nothing,” Eli says. He’s additionally comparatively new in New York, having moved right here to “to take a job” (modesty!). Sadly, his employers beneficial he transfer to Williamsburg, and he’s no fan of all that “fucking gentrification: Complete Meals, Blue Bottle, Chipotle, Sweetgreen, the works.” Which isn’t what he signed up for. “I dwell in Brooklyn and I really feel like I’m half-assing residing in New York,” he says. Evan walks over and places him in a neckhold. They go to snap {a photograph}, however not with out placing their sun shades on first.

On the left: Eli Brown from Gossip Lady.
Photograph: Vincenzo Dimino

11:21 p.m. | Right here’s one thing else I’ve discovered over the months about partying in New York: The fancier the venue, the faster individuals are to imagine they will smoke inside. That’s actually the case tonight as the group begins lighting up all throughout the room. “I believed for this occasion they could let it slide,” a waitress says in passing as she pleads with partygoers, none of whom are paying consideration, to please extinguish their cigs. Eli tells me he too was simply berated for smoking, so he put it out on the nook of his drink. Then the waiter tried to take his drink, however he wasn’t accomplished with it but.

11:25 p.m. | The “It” couple is kissing. It’s arduous to look away.

11:29 p.m. | Somebody introduces me to “a complete legend,” an older, dark-haired lady in a leopard-print coat who’s Grey’s grandmother. She instantly exhibits me a household image on her cellphone. “We’re positively the identical character: very outgoing, get together individual, all several types of mates, full of affection and life,” she says, speaking about Grey. “She’s like me: She loves to bop, she loves good meals, she loves boys and males” (tonight, after all, it’s boys). I ask if she’s having fun with the get together, however little do I do know she’s no stranger to this membership or the membership scene. “I used to come back right here when there have been Russian mobsters with their hookers,” she says. “Again within the day, I frolicked with Warhol. I frolicked at Max’s Kansas Metropolis. I used to be a semi-groupie … I had a fantastic run.”

12:18 a.m. | It looks as if Grey and crew are about able to take their get together elsewhere — the boys are boisterous, radiating as a lot vitality as a huddle of soccer gamers — so I resolve to move out myself, fairly truthfully intimidated and overwhelmed after spending an evening round a gaggle of people who find themselves each youthful and hotter than me. However first I’ve one final smoke with Grey, who waves the supervisor away when he tries to cease us. “I’ve probably the most enjoyable with him — Evan,” she says, trying over at her boy together with his boys, batting her eyelashes.

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