By BEN DETRICK
Without meat dresses or controversial interruptions, the MTV Video Music Awards, held Sunday at Madison Square Garden, lacked some of the event’s usual spectacle. But afterward, there were plenty of opportunities to see and be seen as after-parties spilled across Manhattan.
Around midnight, crowds began pouring into Vandal, a clubby restaurant on the Bowery, for a party hosted by Republic Records. Guests included the Jonas brothers, Jaden Smith, the rapper Desiigner, and enough young women wrapped in ’90s-era chokers to outfit the Buffalo Bills.
Some conversations turned to Beyoncé’s epic 15-minute “Lemonade” medley. “Beyoncé showed them all how it was done,” said Heidi Klum, a judge on “America’s Got Talent.” Nick Cannon, the host on the show, wore a white turban and seconded Ms. Klum’s assessment. “Beyoncé is the best performer of our generation,” he said. “M. J. and then her.”
Nearby, in an elevated V.I.P area, Ariana Grande was perched on the knee of her new beau, Mac Miller, the rapper from Pittsburgh.
Others discussed Kanye West, who delivered a monologue and debuted a new video. Dascha Polanco, an actress in “Orange Is the New Black,” was impressed by the oiled-up physique of Teyana Taylor, who dances provocatively in Mr. West’s video. “I was like, ‘Look at her body!’” Ms. Polanco said. “She just had a baby.”
In Chelsea, DJ Khaled hosted a raucous party for Epic Records at the nightclub Marquee. The building thundered with records from Chedda Da Connect and Migos, and Yo Gotti performed “Down in the DMs.”
Guests bobbing in the choppy sea of revelers included Jennifer Lopez, Busta Rhymes, L.A. Reid and Janelle Monáe, who wore a leather jacket with “Black Girl Magic” inscribed on the back.
Khaled, whose fame crescendoed alongside Snapchat ubiquity, wore a tracksuit slathered with Goyard print and spent much of the night with his iPhone at arm’s length, filming himself. At one point, a minion fetched a cloth to wipe down the screen. “Don’t ever play yourself,” Khaled shouted into a microphone, employing one of his catchphrases.
The night’s biggest shindig was at Up & Down, where Rihanna celebrated her Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, and the sidewalk was a thicket of paparazzi, stymied hopefuls and oglers. “I’m a little stressed out,” said Richie Akiva, the club’s owner, as he surveyed the scene.
It was slightly less frenetic inside, where Champagne sparklers illuminated a room packed with A-listers like Naomi Campbell, Chance the Rapper, Kevin Spacey and Dave Chappelle. “Let’s keep it New York,” bellowed DJ Mustard, dropping Young M.A.’s summer hit “Ooouuu.” Amber Rose and Tinashe ascended banquettes to dance.
Rihanna showed up fashionably late around 3 a.m., arriving with a presidential-caliber phalanx of security. She had Drake in tow, and they linked hands as she shepherded him to a cloistered back corner.
Makonnen, the rapper from Atlanta, wore a black Clash T-shirt and scoped the swarming multitudes from the bar. Had he attended the V.M.A.’s or, at least, watched on television? “I spent the day at Central Park,” he said.