Planning the annual Out 100 party can be a thankless task. Gay men who fancy themselves relevant in the New York fashion-media-PR-nightlife party circuit angle for a place on the guest list, but once there can't possibly say something nice about the party. Even if you want to be seen there, you can't act like you actually want to be there.
Not that there aren't valid quibbles: Who really thought a crowd this big wanted to hear a speech from someone most of them couldn't see? Or, for that matter, watch a car commercial from one of the sponsors?
But the producers at Shiraz hit the all-important basics for Out magazine's November 17 affair at Skylight SoHo, with moody, not-too-bright lighting and freely flowing drinks—with a slight wait at the Belvedere bars but nobody at all at the Peroni setup. (Waiters in sunglasses with trays of full glasses convinced some to switch to beer.)
In addition to the sponsored bars, Target set up a lounge with a photo booth where guests could pose and later see their photos projected in the otherwise sparsely decorated main party space.
Whether the guests would cop to having fun or not, they did plenty of mixing and mingling, and, “Oh, hi, how are you? What are you up to? We'll totally have drinks before the holidays get crazy ...”