Our site lives by the party cycle - Sundance in January, then Fashion Month, SXSW, The Hamptons, Fashion Month, Benefit Season, Art Basel, Holiday parties, New Year's Eve, and back to Sundance. Even with the help of Foursquare logs, it's hard to remember which nights were magical and which ended in disaster, so we polled a collection of friends in fashion, technology, and nightlife to tease out the most memorable moments and best parties of the year that was.
The left coast had a surprising amount of shout-outs with Coachella leading the pack. Designer Rebecca Minkoff gave it first place due to "sun, music, the pool and good peeps," while Texts From Last Night co-founder Ben Bator singled out the Hanger party: "It was carnival themed, open till 4 and there were bumper carts. And a chipotle truck." He gave the LA Prada book party high marks as well, and Social Primer's K. Cooper Ray raved about Ruthie Somers's Great Gatsby themed birthday party where Drew Barrymore, Lulu de Kwiatkowski and Janie Bryant were dressed to the 1920s. A little farther east, the tech world convened for SXSW's annual conference-cum-nerd-party where digital strategist Rex Sorgatz had a particularly memorable time at the Gawker/i09 Time Bender after-party "mostly because I punched a hotel security guard." Back in New York, fellow internet partier Dennis Crowley crowned his Foursquare Day party at the Hotel on Rivington best bash. TED did its part to help programmers party as well, with Vie Society reporting on
The random late night dance party at TED where the gorgeous LXD Dancers taught us how to break dance while Jake Shimabukuro jammed with a roster of Oscar winners, child prodigies and Natalie Merchant ... fortunately, we were able to capture all this on our new Googlephones gifted that night from Sergey and Larry.
Skinny dipping, break dancing, and fist fights? Tech Stars might be the new rock stars after all.
Perhaps the polar opposite of the tech set's hoodies and longnecks, Fashion Weeks abroad had a host of memorable parties. Grandlife's social media director Steven Rojas was most impressed by his own lavish blowout with Opening Ceremony at Le Baron for Paris Fashion Week where The Misshapes, Harley Viera-Newton, and Alexander Wang came out to play. DJ Becka Diamond favored Pam Hogg's London Fashion Week party boat on the Thames and CA Creative's Carol Han went rogue with the selection of Charlotte Ronson’s store launch party in Shanghai as a front runner for international party of the year.
Mia Moretti and her boyfriend, LeAm, were the darlings of Art Basel, so fittingly her favorite party was Paper Magazine's Rainbow City with N.E.R.D. at Art Basel where Pharrell and giant inflatables held court.
It might seem like the best places to party in 2010 were far flung, but New York still reigned supreme. Most notably was Kanye West's surprise performance at The Boom Boom Room. Courtney Love did her part to keep rock and roll alive this year; besides stopping by every party worth having, she played one of Nur Kahn's legendary Don Hill's Sessions where she covered several Lady Gaga songs and begged for cigarettes.
Alex McCord loved the WWD 100th Anniversary Party at Cipriani 42, calling it a "great night with amazing dresses on display," and we have to agree. Every model, magazine head, designer, and fashion friendly celeb in town made it to midtown for the fete.
In a nod toward places that might make our must party list next year, Opening Ceremony held their XXX Holiday Party at the stealth mode Westway. Owners/hosts Matt Kliegman and Carlos Quirarte hung with all the downtown cool kids and a nicely naughty pack of what Absolut's Josefine Forssio dubbed "highly acrobatic Santa trained pole dancers."
Can 2011's parties top 2010's? Starting at midnight on New Year's Eve the competition will be on and we'll be covering all of them.