It’s as if the low-brow and high-brow grids on the venerable approval matrix have clashed and melded into one: the months-old Mansion New York “ultra-lounge” (though at over 10,000 square feet, it clocks in as more of an über-club) unveiled its powerHouse Library on Thursday night as the latest among its mansion-themed rooms. While French maids attend to the bottle service needs of rowdy patrons bumping and grinding in the main ballroom, rising above it all (literally, in the mezzanine) is this sophisticated space peppered with Persian rugs, paisley-upholstered leather banquettes in rich jewel tones, dazzling orb-like chandeliers and, of course, dark wood bookshelves stocked with new releases and classic backlist titles from DUMBO contemporary pop culture and art book publisher, powerHouse books.
Though the South Beach import has successfully lured fashionistas (Zac Posen, It-model Agyness Deyn, Heatherette’s Richie Rich, and Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, daughter of French Vogue’s editrix), music mavens (Spice Girls Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton, the Misshapes, Kanye West, and Grammy-nominated DJ Bob Sinclar) and the famously useless (Tinsley Mortimer and Kim Kardashian), this latest addition aims to attract the cerebral sensibilities of nearby Chelsea art insiders who normally wouldn’t step foot near the former home of Studio Mezmor and Crobar.
Judging by the eclectic crowd that showed up to the launch event, this effort was realized as old mingled with young, perusing The Karl Lagerfeld Diet while grooving to the beats of DJ Frank Delour, sipping complimentary cocktails from the open bar, and canoodling in various dimly lit corners. While page-skimming is about as deep as most guests would go, the mere presence of literature hopefully sparked deeper conversation than the standard club banter (topic: the merits of choosing top-shelf liquor over well— discuss amongst yourselves!). But regardless of the level of discussion, the miraculous part about the night was that you could actually have one without shouting over a blaring Britney Spears mash-up.
Sure, this library may assume a relatively less din compared to Mansion’s more bustling rooms, but it will be far from quiet: it will serve as host to a series of launch parties and private receptions in conjunction with art shows in the nearby Gallery. Next up on April 10th is a book launch party for photographer Brian Finke’s “Flight Attendants,” which captures the glamorous job of working 40,000 feet in the air. Other upcoming book launches include one for “Callas Kissed Me…And Lenny Too!” and “25 Under 25: Up and Coming American Photographers,” both inevitably more entertaining (and refreshing) than another celebrity-endorsed shindig.
For more info, check out http://www.powerhousebooks.com/.