How Our 21st Birthdays Stack Up to Karlie Kloss's Over-the-Top Bash

There was way less Dolce & Gabbana and Vogue and way more Zara and puking in sinks.
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Leah Chernikoff
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There was way less Dolce & Gabbana and Vogue and way more Zara and puking in sinks.
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This weekend Karlie Kloss turned 21. She might seem older than that, since she's been gracing runways and magazine covers and ad campaigns for the last seven years (yes, she's been modeling for a whole third of her life). But she's only just now able to legally crack open a PBR. Still, she's no ordinary 21 year old. In advance of her 21st, man about town Derek Blasberg organized the leggy supermodel an A-list bash attended by everyone from celebs like Emma Watson to designers like Prabal Gurung to Kloss's model besties Cara Delevingne, Joan Smalls, and Jourdan Dunn. Kloss wore red Dolce & Gabbana and dined on Momofuku treats. Vogue chronicled the whole thing. And the fun didn't stop there. For her actual birthday, Karlie and her fam (that includes her three K-named sisters Kariann, Kristine, and Kimberly) went to Disney World.

It's, well, not the way we remember ringing in 21. There was way less Dolce & Gabbana and Vogue and way more Zara and puking in sinks.

Take a trip down memory lane with us as we compare our 21st birthdays to Karlie Kloss's glorious one.

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Karlie Kloss’s 21st birthday party was officially documented by Vogue.com.

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Kibwe took Polaroids. Digital photography didn’t exist yet... neither did iPhones or (gasp!) Instagram.

"I spent my 21st birthday as I did many more to come: I was working as a designer for Michael Kors and my February 10th birthday fell smack dab in the middle of fashion week. Between fittings (as this was the pre-iPhone era) my co-worker Trevor and I took important calls on our Manolo Blahnik pumps."

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Karlie Kloss celebrated her 21st birthday at the Paramount Hotel in Times Square.

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Dhani partied in a basement in the Lower East Side... and brought her own drinks.

"A friend of a friend had just opened up a secret bar in a literal basement under a Spanish American restaurant deep in the Lower East Side. All my friends came and we brought cupcakes and our own alcohol and played our own music on a juke box. Also pretty sure I made a fool of myself in front of my then-internship boss (whose friend owned the bar). I avoided getting sick though by following my rule of sticking to one type of alcohol--cheap champagne, in this case."

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Karlie Kloss finished off her birthday weekend with a trip to Disneyland with her parents.

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Steff’s parents helped her clean up after barfing drunk people at 2AM.

"My loving boyfriend planned me a surprise birthday party. It was the hottest day of the summer that year - 107 degrees! - and he told everyone to come to our tiny apartment. When we got there we found all our friends sweating their brains out. Even worse, I figured out about the surprise midday. Even even worse, because of the heat everyone got WAY too drunk and two passed out people ended up "sleeping" (read: barfing) the whole night on my bathroom floor. Even even even worse, none of my other friends would come back to help me deal with the drunks. Oh yeah, and the worst part: my boyfriend invited my parents to the party. It was sort of a blessing since they were the only people who would come back to my apartment at 2am to help me clean up the drunk people."

Kloss and Emma Watson, looking classy (Taylor Jewell/VOGUE)

Kloss and Emma Watson, looking classy (Taylor Jewell/VOGUE)

Karlie’s 21st birthday party was attended by A-listers like Emma Watson, Cara Delevingne, Tyra Banks, Francisco Costa, and Prabal Gurung.

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Leah sat in a bar all day while her friends stopped by between finals.

"My birthday always fell during finals. Luckily I didn’t have one the next day so I installed myself at the local bar in Brunswick, Maine--Joshua’s Tavern (it’s still there and it’s awesome - free popcorn!)--and my friends took study breaks to come down and buy me shots. I don’t remember much but I think I had a lovely time. And I think I’d still take Joshua’s over The Paramount any day."

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Karlie Kloss’s birthday party involved a custom-made Momofuku Milkbar Karlie’s Kookies Kake.

David Yi pre-sink-puke but post-shots

David Yi pre-sink-puke but post-shots

David downed (and subsequently vommed) cheap Mexican food.

"I went to a local college bar near USC where I downed around nine different drinks in a span of 30 minutes. My friends and I ended the night at Del Taco where we tried to overeat to soak all of the toxic sludge in our stomachs. I ended the night running to my friend's sorority then, in a daze, making it to my apartment where I puked in my sink. The next day I went to wash my face and there, in the sink, was a huge erm... Mexican surprise."

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Karlie Kloss wore a dress by Dolce & Gabbana for her 21st birthday.

Lauren in her tube top and Octopi skirt

Lauren in her tube top and Octopi skirt

Lauren wore an H&M tube top and a bubble skirt from a local Brooklyn designer.

"I was living in the NYU dorms for the summer. On my birthday, I went to work at The Landing, and the owner gave me the best gift ever: a bubble skirt from Octopi, one of the cool local designers she stocked. I'm wearing it in the picture, along with a tube top from H&M. I felt so cool and fun and so excited to be in NYC. That night, I went to some really terrible bar in the East Village, then up to Mad River on the Upper East Side (another terrible bar) and by the time I came home I spent all the cash that my Uncle had given me as a gift the week before on chicken wings for my friends who had come into the city to celebrate."

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For her first legal drink, Karlie Kloss sipped on champagne and margaritas decorated with tiny umbrellas.

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Nora chugged Bud Light from a pitcher and almost threw up.

"I had just moved back home from school for summer when I turned 21. At midnight the night before, my friends took me out to this skeevy college bar with $3 pitchers and sticky floors in my hometown that was closing 45 minutes later (