It was a Beyoncé and Rihanna power hour inside the Gilded Lily on Friday night. The crowd of twentysomethings parted only for the likes of Justine Skye, Keke Palmer and Ty Hunter, his Ty-Lite lighting the path, who were slowly making their way to the back upper level to greet the woman of the hour. Throughout the night, Bella Hadid would be seen dancing and singing along with her friends behind the DJ booth, where she would eventually take her turn next to Nicole Sky. But in order to witness the fun, you’d have to first get in.
“You must be 21 and over,” a bouncer yelled outside the venue in the 20-degree weather. Sighs and “aw mans” could be heard in response from the dozens of youth waiting to be let in. There was a general feeling of disorganization, as people showed invites on their phones, tossed around names and caught the attention of those in charge. Hell, even a press invite couldn’t guarantee you immediate entry. It seemed as though everyone would have to wait in the cold, dry air — at least for a little.
Inside, Hadid was unreachable. Her hair in braids, she wore a black asymmetrical crop top and black lace-up pants. Sparklers were being carried her way and there was a constant flow of people trying to get next to her.
“Justine Skye is gonna sing in a little bit,” said Alexandra Fitzpatrick, director of business development at Paper, near the coat check. “She’s performed at a few Paper parties before, so she’s Paper family.”
Sure enough, Skye took over the microphone around 11 p.m. to sing her latest single, “U Don’t Know,” as well as “I’m Yours.” She was repping the Roc Nation family, who was sponsoring the event by way of Tidal. “They’re a huge partner of ours,” Fitzpatrick said of Jay Z’s streaming service.
As Skye performed, Hadid took a seat on the ground near her. She stared up at her purple-haired friend much like a child watching her favorite cartoon.