Jay McInerney's latest book, How It Ended, was feted at the 21 Club on Wednesday night. On hand for the occasion: McInerney's wife, Anne Hearst, Brooke Shields, Candace Bushnell and Charles Askegaard, Gay and Nan Talese, Morgan Entrekin, Nina Garcia, Pamela Fiori, Bob Colacello, Richard Johnson and Sessa Von Richthofen, Peggy Siegal, Muffie Potter Aston, Bettina Zilkha, Cornelia Guest, Debbie Bancroft, Valesca Guerrand-Hermes, Nina Griscom, Somers White Farkas, Patrick McMullan, Robert Couturier, George Farias, Tatiana and Campion Platt, Kimberly Rockefeller, Pamela Gross, Harry Slatkin, Dana Hammond, Harry Benson, and Deborah Norville. [PMc, VF, P6]
While Stylista failed to thrill viewers or indeed expose anything about real life at Elle—we'll see if Marie Claire's soon-to-debut effort in the same vein, Running in Heels, does any better—the show did make a minor celebrity out of the mag's fashion news director, pretend Ice Queen Anne Slowey. Anne, along with her new puppy, Edie (after Sedgwick, like Leigh Lezark's dachshund, or Beale?), shares her fashion week opinions with Elle.com, the most important one being the answer to that perennial dilemma: Should one wear a designer to his/her own show? "As a rule, no. Certainly, never a full look. Maybe a piece if it's not too obvious. But never change from one show to the next. That looks old-school and ridiculous, and you run the risk of looking like you work there." Advice to take to heart unless, of course, you actually want to give the impression that you work for a designer.
Andrew Saffir's Cinema Society hosted a screening of He's Just Not That Into You at the Tribeca Grand on Wednesday night. Guests at the screening and after-party, hosted by Stardoll and Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti, included Lindsay Price (left), Olivia Palermo and Johannes Huebl, Michael Kors, Amy Sacco, Anne Hearst and Jay McInerney, Rachel Roy, America Ferrera, Helena Christensen, Eva Amurri, Mamie Gummer, Cuba Gooding Jr., Maggie Rizer, Annelise Peterson, Zoe Kravitz, Lisa Bonet, Lorenzo Martone, Marina Rust Connor, Chris Benz, Christian Siriano, Reed Krakoff, Dori Cooperman, Taylor Momsen, Carson Kressley, Poppy Delevigne, Jane Seymour, Genevieve Jones, Patricia Clarkson, Shoshanna Lonstein Gruss, Irina Pantaeva, Dylan Lauren, Jeff Gordon, Kiera Chaplin, Liam McMullan, Derek Blasberg, and one of the stars of the film, Ginnifer Goodwin. [PMc, Wireimage, VF, Style.com, NYO, FWD]
The few dozen people who still read print magazines will have noticed that the January glossies are more anorexically skinny than ever before. Elle is no exception, so it's no wonder that the mag is determined to pin its fortunes on a medium that remains relevant: TV. But since Joe Zee and Anne Slowey's uninspired (and lightly-viewed) Stylista has officially failed to make up for Elle's loss of Project Runway, Hollywood powerhouse agency CAA has just been tasked with finding new shows for Elle. So if you've got a concept that's brilliantly novel but still involves the humiliation of striving wannabes, elimination rounds featuring dramatic pauses/clunky music, and plenty of tears and tantrums, you now know where to pitch.
Fashion, they tell me, is ultimately supposed to be about feeling good about oneself—be your best every day! your clothes are your calling card! All that miserable shit. But really, or at least according to Stylista, the stultifying bungle of a fashion editor competition show, it's about being cruel to yourself and to others until you've been declared the harried, bedraggled victor. It's about people scratching their nails into themselves and others and holding on for dear life, no matter how much blood everyone loses. But most importantly it's about not being fat. Not convinced? Read on for a recap of this, the fifth and worst, episode of muck. The first mini-challenge was to pick out a little gift for Amy Sacco (right?), who runs Bungalow 8 or something. The teams paired up and dashed off to stores to find fun gifties! Wicked grumble-chin Megan paired up with Chinese-speaking Brown University cliché Johanna. They got a cashmere scarf or something. Another team, Dyson the Vacuum Cleaner and Barbie bobble-head Katie, bought a fancy Vintage Chanel brooch. And team Token (the Angry Black Lady! the Sad Fattie!) cobbled together a huge basket of toiletries and passed it off as a "Travel Survival Kit" or some such nonsense. Naturally Team Token came up the losers, and because why the hell not, Grumble-chin and Johanna won. But then they were split up to be team leaders! The big challenge was to go to a party at Bungalow 8 (synergy!) and act—in a scene so ripped from Devil Wears Prada that I hope someone, anyone, who works at the show just threw their clipboard up in the air and stormed out while yelling "I fucking quit!" when the "idea" was proposed—as Anne Slowey's (she of the wobble heel) field guides. You know, remembering everyone's name and stuff. You remember that scene. Emily was sick. And then the real sad part began. Before they rushed home to "learn" flashcards of all the guests' faces and personal details, they were told that they could each wear an outfit plundered from the ramshackle little fake Elle closet that the show has put together. Squeals and gay-claps abounded and everyone raced in to get their grubby little mitts on some top-drawer threads. Except for one. I am, of course, referring to Sad Fattie, otherwise known as Danielle. I don't call her Sad Fattie because I think she's that in real life, but that's how she was presented on the show and it was just cruel. Of course nothing fit her in the closet, and the producers had to know that would happen. The weight issue was going to come up eventually, and I guess they just decided that they would dictate when. So of course she got really upset, because who wouldn't, and didn't want to go to the party at all and no one knew what to say. Well, Johanna calmly lectured her (and us) that skinny and tall is what's beautiful no matter what and that's just that. Sorry, Fattie. And then Dyson said, I shit you not, that the issue "has been the elephant in the room." Poor. Choice. Of. Words. (Though, darkly, darkly funny.) Then there was a whole scene with her eating pizza and talking about not having much of an appetite and close-ups of puzzled looks and I just... It was just terrible. Thankfully, Danielle collected herself eventually, put on her best dress and steeled herself for the party. Meanwhile her teammates Johanna and Katie were trying to memorize names and faces and details. Well, Johanna was, obsessively. With fancy flashcards. Katie was just eating popcorn and expressed no interest in doing anything else. Everyone, including the good Lord above us, sighed resignedly and just did a "boing boing" fist bump on those tig ol' bitties. The day of the party! It was so planned out and fake! The teams stood next to Anne, who appeared to be trying to hide the fact that she was slowly farting, and whispered (read: shrieked) names and details into her ears. Team Johanna failed epically. Johanna apparently has some brain problem that doesn't allow her to translate what people look like in a photograph to what they look like in real life. Too bad. Katie? Katie, who was wearing a little black blouse as a dress, brazenly admitted that she just spent all her time looking up at the mirrored ceiling to see if her lip gloss was smudged. "I didn't study at all," she cheerfully admitted. Nice. Way to go. Boing. Boing. Team Grumble-chin, ugh, did really well, and then it was time to make the page layouts. I don't really ever pay much attention to this because it's really just not done well enough to be remotely interesting, so I just stared at the mirrored ceiling we have here at Gawker HQ (watched it in the office this morning) to see if my lipgloss was on straight (boing boing) and then paid attention when the judging started. Whatevs. Obviously Johanna and company lost, though, GRRRRRRRRRRR, Katie got off the hook by doing "a good layout" even though it looked like the Brayton Road Times newspaper that my sister and I used to make on the home computer. Whatever, Anne said she was safe, motorboated her for a while, then sent her off. So we were left with China and Fattie, and, well, of course it was time. Danielle was told much nicer things than other eliminees— because you can't treat overweight people like normal adult people! their feelings are fragile like Jell-O and if you make them sad they will get even fatter!—and was asked to leave. And, sigh, what of course is Anne's catchphrase send-off line? "You're not the right fit." Fucking figures.
What would happen if you threw the world's worst people into a room together and then, right before locking the door behind you, you said "oh, and only one of you is going to make it out alive"? I reckon you might get something like the madness and desperation of Stylista, The CW's swishy competition series about a group of nincompoops competing for a non-job at Elle magazine. Last night was the fourth episode, and it stunk. As usual. But I watched it, as usual. Carry on with me after the jump for a grim detailing of the proceedings. Grumble-chinned Megan, still the World's Worstest Person, continued her campaign of bitchery and double speak. She, at 22 years old, called out the little 19 -year-old pixie from NYU for being too young to be in the competition. Which is silly because grumble-chinned "boutique owner" 22-year-olds don't really know anything more than cute and perky editors of their large New York City university's fashion magazine. But Megan was grumble-chinned in her grumble-chinned convictions, so she grumble-chinned her way past logic and into the fallow fields of unabashed grumble-chinnedness. Kate, who hasn't been the same since the helium accident, wept and moaned and tried to keep up with the big kids by saying nasty things in return when they said nasty things to her, but it just didn't work. Tis pity, really, because some grumble-chinned people who will go unnamed really need to be taken down a peg or eight. Other people yelled too, including Fatsy, Gay Black Guy, and Gay Fake British Guy (that is TOTALLY a fake accent, he's probably from fucking Maryland). Basically half of this episode was people yelling at each other, trying to debunk each others' qualifications. Which is just sad! There, there guys. Stop the fightin' and the bickerin'. None of you are qualified. There were, as always, two challenges: the first was to throw some clothes in a sack for Elle fashion director Anne Slowey's jaunt to the Hamptons. She met them in the middle of the cobble-stoned street in the Meatpacking District, and sifted through the items awkwardly. I'm betting you that if you press a button behind her ear or something, her front will open up to reveal a little alien creature desperately pulling at levers, trying to manipulate this unwieldy human machine. She's the most graceless woman in fashion, after Michael Kors. No, scratch that. Miss Kors is more graceful than this old windup toy. Anyway, little NYU nymph was declared the winner of the Fashion In A Sack challenge, and some shall-not-be-named people were expectedly grumble-chinned about it, saying bitchy passive aggressive things to the camera. Sigh. Nancy NYU picked the teams for the big challenge, and stuck Megan and Kate together, along with Ashlie the Yelling Black Girl and Danielle the Token Fat Girl. What a miserable team! Of course they would win! The task was to take a Tory Burch (I don't care if that's not spelled right) outfit and do a photoshootz forz itz! Team Grumble-Chin decided to go "retro" because Kate found an old TV whose shininess attracted her. That explains why on long drives, she'll sometimes just pull the car over and wander into an empty field, toward a piece of metal glinting in the sun. It was a sort of "bored 60's, 70's housewife" vibe (or whatever) though Megan tried to argue that "retro was the late 1960's, no the 1970's." She said it with such authority, that it almost impossibly sounded even dumber! American Girls: Grumble-Chin Learns A Lesson time. Retro is a general adjective (or sorts), not a specific time period. Stop being dumb. Team NYU Bobcats decided to get some mannequins and make their model sad to be at a party. Dyson the Vacuum Cleaner decided that the theme should be Gossip Girl. This was later hailed as brilliant ("the idea just suddenly came to me") by all involved, which is true. Because some homo thinking about Gossip Girl while working on fashions in 2008 New York City is almost as fantastic and beautiful a synaptic leap of inspiration as sitting on the toilet and coming up with the idea "bad smell." Well done Dyson. Well it wasn't enough anyway, because they lost and Team Miserable got the grumble-chinned win. Megan remains to grumble-chin another day, and that makes me sad and mad and oh! Kate's still hangin' on too. They're like the Abbot & Costello of some hellish torture world. So, they're the Abbot & Costello of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Then the Anne Slowey axe fell: My First NYU Doll went home which was too bad because I wanted her to prove grumble-chin wrong. At least she didn't have far to go. The Post-Reality Show Loss R Train Ride Of Shame. Also sent home (two people!) was Gay Fake British fellow _______. I don't remember his name. Whatever. He was sort of cute in a really stupid fake British way, and I felt bad for him. But he seemed of good cheer when he left. I would have been too. I mean, Indiana Jones and Marion were happy to be the fuck out of that pit of snakes in Raiders, weren't they? Those sun-starved little Injun kids were thrilled as punch to be hot footing it out of Mola Ram's torture cave in Temple of Doom, yeah? And everyone in the audience was breathlessly happy to be fleeing Crystal Skull, for sure. Gay Fake British must have had similar feelings, as he clicked his heels, opened his umbrella and promptly got hit by a crosstown bus. Sad story. So that's that. The show soldiers on and somewhere right now they're oiling Anne Slowey's stiffening metallic joints and grumble-chin's grumble-chin is chinnily grumbling while the same indifferent sun beats down mercilessly on all of us. Isn't Fashion fabulous?
Lucky hosted its fifth annual "Lucky Shops" last night inside the Metropolitan Pavilion. Lucky editor Kim France and publisher Gina Sanders welcomed Leighton Meester, Jessica Szohr, Georgina Chapman, Katrina Bowden, Alexandra Richards, Charlotte Ronson, Thalia, Beverly Johnson, Ginny Barber, and Michaela McManus, who all did a little shopping to benefit the Robin Hood Foundation. [The Daily, PMc, Wireimage]
It's a Zen-worthy philosophical riddle: If all the boldfaced names who turn up to a store opening deny that they themselves would dream of wearing the clothes, does that neutralize the PR value of their presence? At the launch of Juicy Couture's Fifth Avenue flagship last night, the guest list was a publicist's wet dream—or would have been—if The Transom hadn't asked people what they thought of the label.
On last night's episode of Stylista, the contestants were divided into teams and tasked with devising a "shopping" page, one of those cheap-to-create catalogue-ish pages that highlight an alleged trend. When the hour of judgment rolled around, one team got roundly scolded by Joe Zee and Anne Slowey for not bothering to include store details and prices because, Anne frowned, what on earth is the point of looking at something if she cannot instantly totter off to purchase it? Elle would never feature clothes that aren't actually available to anyone, right? Um, not exactly, as the Times' Eric Wilson discovers during an intrepid investigation into what those three tantalizing little words, "price upon request," actually mean.
What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up, like Lorraine Hansberry? Or does it put on hideous clothing and affect sad little mannerisms and appear on a bargain basement reality show shot in Tyra Banks' basement starring a blonde hobo lady all gussied up and uncomfortable in fancy clothes? Well, that's what happened to eight or nine fashion wannabes who flounced their way through The CW's second episode of the tremendously silly and kinda boring fashion magazine editor competition show Stylista last night. Yeah, I watched the damn thing again. If you did too, or if you're just morbidly curious, sally forth with me after the jump for the minutes from this screechy meeting of the Sadness Club. Umm... let's see. Where to start. Oh, everyone was awful. The first competition, the Assistant's Challenge, was to go to Elle's 'style closet' (I'm convinced it was not the real one, it was tiny) and put together an ensemble for an unforgiving mannequin. The clothes had to be selected using various fancy fashion terms, like "darting" and "empire waist" and "not ugly." Pretty much the only ones to not tragically fail were sassy (read: black) front-runner Ashlie (Ashlee? Ashley? Ashleigh? Veronica? Susan? Harper's Bazaar? Destin, Florida?) and Megan, the queen bitch with the weird muddled chin. As usual, the big-breastuhted Kate embarrassed herself by sucking on some helium and then going into a "shanti! shanti! shanti!" trance and wrapping the mannequin in swatches cut from neon hot air balloons. Then she knocked the mannequin to the ground and stood awkwardly, slowly farting. I imagine. Oh and Anne Slowey was all "I think she got dressed... on craaack" and I wanted to slap her because saying something or someone is "on crack" stopped being funny about ten years ago. So Megan won the challenge and acted silly about acting bitchy—she does this thing in the solo interviews where she cocks one arm up, like this without the cigarette and it's like she practiced in the mirror how to pose while being evil—and assigned Ashlie (Tiffany? Cranberry Walnut?) to a shitty team. Back at the pad, the two titans clashed about how they don't like each other and Ashlie called Megan the devil's handmaiden and somewhere in New Orleans' Garden District Anne Rice was like "awww yeah, new book title y'all!" The other terrible, horrible, no good, very bad thing that happened back at the house was that Danielle, the poor lone overweight girl in the house, was filmed eating in every scene. Like it was either a sad part of her obesity or the producers were just being really cruel. And I felt really bad—almost bad enough to pour out my rosé and turn off the TV and go to bed! Almost!—and hoped she'd do well the next day, because she seems like a sweet lady. And she did do well! The Editors Challenge was to go to a mysterious, ching-chongy, probably murderous, far East land called 'Chinatown' and find a hidden gem for white ladies who live in Danbury. You know, like a wedding shop (team fattie! Sorry), a super chinky tea shop! (TEAM LOSE, MEGAN. SUCK IT), and a spa (secret front for hookers? of course! it's Chinatown!!!!!) They had to get a story on the place plus photographs then, of course, put together a one-page layout. Everyone was fighting and bellowing at each other as they all desperately realized that literally no one in the room had any talent or ability for this whatsoever, so yelling seemed like the only option. Like kids in a bad school play. YELLING MY LINES ABOUT THINGS!!!!! LA LA LA. Then poor Gay Dude began getting hives and having a panic attack. Like a srs panic attack that left him moaning and writhing on the floor. Oddly I too was moaning and writhing on the floor at this point, mostly because I was out of wine and the store was closed. But! Both we noble spirits soldiered on and I ended up staying up to watch something more edifying (Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning), and Gay Dude ended up going home. He got the ol' hives-ho. hahhahahahahahaha. Team Token Sad Fattie won and I was happy. The only important thing about this show, really, is that Anne Slowey, despite being the Countess du Elle, cannot. walk. in. a. damn. pair. of. heels. She teeters and galoompfs and leans back on her haunches and like leads with her center of gravity to stay upright. It's spectacularly dumb and embarrassing for everyone involved. It's like the editor of Cat Fancy being allergic. But for some reason, Anne wanted to be on the show. Maybe it was her dream, to one day be on television. And was it realized, or did it fester like a sore, and then run? The show certainly festers like a sore and I fear I may run away from it. Or will I just explode?
So, sigh, last night was the premiere of the new CW reality series Stylista, in which a bunch of sad and insecure "fashion people" compete for a shitty editorial assistant gig at Elle magazine. Their woodenly cold and Miranda Priestly-esque overseer is Anne Slowey, the fashion director for Elle and enemy of Project Runway judge Nina Garcia. And what happened last night? Well a tired old formula creaked out from behind the curtain and sputtered and died before the episode even ended. The contestants, who appear to be the understudies for circus performers, all trotted out and stood in their assigned gates. There was Kate the big-boobed halfwit, Arnaldo the soulful minority guy with funky hair, William the fey British lady, Megan the weak-chinned bitch, Danielle the overweight girl, etc. Blah blah. Upon their arrival at the show's HQ, Megan, as if prodded by some unseen producer!, immediately started acting bitchy about everyone, talking about how she used to own a boutique and she is so very very experienced for someone who is 22-years-old. She also oozed insecurity and miserable sadness, so while you know in your heart of hearts that you should pity her, you... meh, kinda don't. William was dressed up as a gay droog and everyone sort of snickered at him behind his back. Then came the first challenge in which the foolish contestants were told to hoof it down to a deli to provide a healthy morning meal for the impending Ms. Slowey. Aiee! To a deli they all went, picking out silly things like, um, celery and a pineapple. Blah blah, they put their little trays together and then Anne came galoompfing in. It was sort of telling about the Ice Queen role she's been pigeonholed into that neither her clothes nor her shoes seemed to fit, and that she seemed wildly uncomfortable the whole time. Willy got dressed down for his ridiculous chimney packer ensemble, the overweight girl was told that her glasses were nice, and the girl who was least prepared, Ashlie who got lost on the way to the deli, won for being "a minimalist" I believe it was. So. Yeah. Next the idiots were tromped off to see a fellow named Joe Zee, who critiqued their style to prepare them for an upcoming challenge. The busty Kate got a reprimanding for being a little too revealing, and that Megan character smirked in her sad little self-satisfied way. None of these kids got picked first for capture the flag at summer camp, did they? Like not one single one of them, not even one time. Again, sigh. The big challenge was to make yourself business presentable. This was an editorial challenge! So it involved having a little fashion show for the pursed-faced Anne, then putting together, in small teams, a mock-up Contributors page. All three teams epically shit the bed, but in the end Arnaldo was sent home because all he could talk about was how he wanted to be a writer—signified by his carrying a notebook all the time because that is not a devastatingly 1992 Ethan Hawke of a cliche at all! So the affable boring dude went home and the be-boobed Kate got to stay another day. But not before she broke down because everyone hates her clothes and she likes them!, so she wept and Megan and her little gal pal DyShaun (which I believe is a brand of vacuum cleaner) said mean things to her. And that's really what these shows have come to, isn't it? 1) I'm so sick of people trying to defend fashion as anything but frivolity by saying that it's "wearable art!" and that it "makes people feel good!" because, um, by and large it's insanely expensive silliness that, in the end, makes most people feel miserable because it's not the right fit and they can't afford it and why can't they be skinny like the Olsens. If you want to be looks-obsessed and shallow, fine. But just admit it. There's nothing wrong with having a shallow job (umm..?) as long as you don't pretend it's something it's not. 2) Upon discussing this with a friend last night, we wondered: why do these shows seem hellbent on finding people with near-unrealizable dreams so they can tear them apart, beat them down, and crush them mercilessly for supposed entertainment? And, more importantly, why do these contestants submit themselves to this? Haven't they seen at this point? Especially on the C-fucking-W, which has churned out season after ungodly season's worth of America's Next Top Model wastrels who will never amount to anything? Sure one of these Stylista kids is actually going to get a job and a place to live out of this, but they'll forever be tainted by this low-production-values, Miranda Priestly-wannabe, ugly gay mess of a series. Shame on all of us for indulging the whole enterprise, really. That said, see you next week.
More confirmation that reality TV's latest star, Stylista's Anne Slowey, is not really the queen of mean she plays on camera: The Transom meets her at the show's premiere and reports that she's "nothing like the icy, stern fashion editor mimicking Meryl Streep mimicking Anna Wintour whom we saw in the previews for the show." And contestant William Buckley reveals: "Anne can party, can party harder than anyone. Trust me, I've seen it. She can drink me under the table." [NYO]
Stylista debuts tonight, and all the mildly-enthusiastic reviews reveal something more important than whether or not the show is actually worth watching: Apparently, we live in a world so ironic, where the line between reality and fiction has been trampled on to such an extent, that we can't even watch a woman pretend to do her job and dole out abuse to eager victims on a set created to resemble an office without suspending our disbelief for one second. Stylista's star, Elle's fashion news director Anne Slowey, is playing a part, you see, and although she's playing it quite well, that won't stop everyone from pointing out that she's doing Meryl Streep doing Anna Wintour:
In its review of Elle-focused reality show Stylista, the Times finds plenty to like, surprisingly. It seems hippie editor Anne Slowey does a surprisingly convincing impersonation of Meryl Streep imitating Miranda Priestly standing in for mean old Anna Wintour of Vogue. (So much for those embarrassing preview clips from a few months ago.) The catfighting is inspired and "novel." And yet that's not what will hook you on the show. You'll watch because you are aching to pretend, for an hour each Wednesday, that the brutal hierarchy of yesteryear lent work an elegant simplicity. Writes the Times' Gina Bellafante:
♦ Did you expect Anne Slowey to play down the reported feud between herself and Nina Garcia? Au contraire: "I'm not even really conscious of the fact that, oh yeah, she used to work at Elle," bitches Slowey. [NYO]
♦ Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman has joined old-school jeweler Garrard as a guest designer. Good to know she's feeding the joint account now that husband Harvey's career isn't exactly on fire. On a related note, Marchesa's having a sample sale this week. [WWD, Teen Vogue]
♦ Kate Moss's transition from elusive to overexposed is officially complete, as she provides interview answers that miraculously manage to be even more mundane than the questions. Her "fail-safe party item," you'll be scintillated to hear, is a "little black dress." [Times UK]
♦ Last night Jessica Stam hosted an impossibly chic soiree in Paris, which was attended by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Emma Watson, Leigh Lezark, Lauren Santo Domingo, Kate Bosworth, Lazaro Hernandez, Tinsley Mortimer, Alexander Wang, and Ryan McGinley. [stylefile]
♦ Stylista has released a preview, and the most interesting details are: They've cast a fat girl for dramatic tension, and Anne Slowey, for all her Ice Queen imperiousness, can't walk in her four inch heels. Oh, and it looks like Joe Zee's going to be a big bitch to the contestants. [Jezebel]
♦ What does the fashion world think of Sarah Palin's outfit choices? It's a chorus of "no comment," except for Simon Doonan, who offers some advice: "Nothing she wears will cause anyone to budge, so she might as well enjoy her clothes and go for a little flamboyance. I'm seeing a little Jackie Rogers, a little vintage Mackie." [WWD]
» The Liv Tyler-hosted party for Hearts on Fire diamonds at the Rose Bar was the hottest ticket in one of the busiest social weeks of the year: Leonardo DiCaprio, Alexandra & Theodora Richards (who DJed), Keith Richards, Elizabeth Banks, Catherine Keener, Mena Suvari, Dave Navarro, Ellen von Unwerth, Tara Subkoff, Alan Cumming, Tinsley Mortimer, Adrian Grenier, Sean Avery, Emma Roberts, Monet Mazur, Richie Rich, Ingrid Sischy, Jamie Burke, Russell Simmons, Lauren Santo Domingo, Diego Garcia, Andrew Saffir and Daniel Benedict all stopped by. [The Daily/Paper]
After foolishly losing hold of megastar editor and Project Runway judge Nina Garcia, Elle has been scrambling to recreate its TV buzz with a reality fashion show called Stylista, in which contestants vie to become a fashion editor. The presumptive star of this effort, Anne Slowey, starts with several strikes against her. She did an unconvincing Miranda Priestly imitation in an embarrassing trailer for Stylista; looked like the loopy hippie to Garcia's polished fashion plate in a New York magazine profile and some Web videos; and came up through the ghettoized editorial side of Elle rather than the fashion side. Enter Sunday's Page Six Magazine profile of Elle creative director Joe Zee, "the celeb whisperer" who, face it, is poised to be Elle's real breakout TV star, Slowey be damned. There are any number of reasons, but you can start with the fact that Zee got Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley to pose naked together in Vanity Fair:
Is fashion too gay? I know, I know, that is like asking, "do Americans love Jesus too much?" Like, maybe they do, but in general neither side is attempting to carbomb the other into submission and that is why Toqueville loved it here! But speaking of French transplants: many in the publishing world believe that Elle, America's second-biggest (and first-best) fashion magazine, has gotten "too gay" under great helmsman Joe Zee, who succeeded longtime "director" Gilles Bensimon, a lecherous Euro modelizer (who once was married to 'Elle' Macpherson!). Gilles was pushed out of the magazine in a protracted power struggle with Editor-in-chief Robbie Myers* that famously culminated in the firing of style director (and least gay person on Project Runway) Nina Garcia, and in came Joe at the beginning of last year. Gilles, who basically defined the magazine's look after 22 years in the job, liked to celebrate the "Essence of Woman"; Joe, a refugee from the male shopping rag Vitals, is more of an "Essence of Faghag" type. Opening arguments after the jump!Here, boiled down, are the arguments pro and con, which I gleaned in the process of chronicling the Anne Slowey-Nina Garcia Project Runway Stylista saga a couple weeks ago. As a non-consumer of fashion, I don't have a very strong personal opinion on the matter, but I bet I know someone who does! (Ha ha ha, well, my boss duh.) JOE ZEE'S ELLE = TOO GAY. Joe Zee is too gay. He is so gay he immediately brought in his gay boyfriend to work as the web editor. He thinks everyone should dress like Mary-Kate Olsen and he only likes gay celebrities like Mariah and Lindsay, except he is probably over Linds now that she is actually really gay. Everyone who loves him and thinks he is so nice is just fooled by the fact that he is a gay man and everyone knows gay men act nicer than straight men but deep down they are STILL MEN. Also he has ADD and is a self-promoter. When Gilles and Nina and their crew were running things, the magazine was classier and not so trendy and the halls were filled with the sounds of cool accents screaming at one another. Now everyone screams in American. Gilles' style was more timeless and feminine and less consumerporny and that's how it differentiated itself from Vogue. And seriously, why do you think Gilles is Tyra's favorite photographer? JOE ZEE'S ELLE = JUST GAY ENOUGH Whatevs! You are in America now, and in America people who like fashion (Marc! Tom! Christian Siriano!) are GAY. Like is it just through some bizarre series of unrelated circumstances that Elle resurrected its whole business thanks to its appearance on the gayest show on the gay network? And where do you expect all those mediagays to work, anyway? Men's magazines???? Hahahahahahahaha sorry, but the Fashion Week galas are just slightly better in women's! Oh, and Joe's boyfriend can actually code HTML, which is just a little more than slightly more qualified than we might say for that ex-wife Gilles made "editor in chief" of Elle Accessories! In any case, the rising generation of fashion consumers is a bunch of Fashion Spot-posting Project Runway marathoning MK-idolizing Santogold-muxtaping Andy Sachs wannabes with just the sort of warped priorities that sell fashion magazines, and you know what? When that generation invariably arrives in New York to waste its twenties buying boots and learning the hard way that there is no such thing as a free bump, it is going to need some real friends and guess what THOSE FRIENDS ARE ALL GAY. Okay everybody, recess! We'll follow up with some exhibits from both sides once we're reunited with our scanners.