The overwhelming reaction to Lady Gaga's new single, "Born This Way," is that it's a rip-off of Madonna's "Express Yourself." Rihanna has just been sued by photographer David LaChapelle for using images inspired by his own in her video for "S&M." Where is the fine line between inspiration and theft?
• Gwyneth Paltrow is planning to give up her contract with Estée Lauder so she can focus on her website Goop.com, per the ever-reliable Daily Mail. More troubling: The paper says her plan is to "become an Oprah Winfrey-like lifestyle guru." [DM]
• Michelle Obama returned to NYC today. She attended the reopening of a wing at the Met (where she wore a coat by Isaac Mizrahi coat and sat next to Ralph Lauren, Iman, and Anna Wintour). Then it was over to opening night at the American Ballet Theater. [WWD, NYT]
• An excerpt from Lauren Conrad's debut novel has been posted online, in case you feel up to tackling some heavy literature. [Teen Vogue]
• Valentino, diplomat of fashion: "I saw the pictures of the Metropolitan gala evening last week and I never saw something more ugly." [Guardian]
• Speaking of Valentino, Time Out's current issue tests out self-tanners. [TONY]
• Fashion photographer David LaChapelle's two-bedroom pied-à-terre at 170 Second Avenue is now up for sale for $1.65 million. The apartment has been discounted by $100,000 since first hitting the market this fall. [NYM, PDE]
• Furniture designer Vladimir Kagan and his wife, needlepoint artist Erica Wilson, have sliced $1 million off the price of their 3,840-square-foot co-op at 1185 Park Avenue, which they put on the market for $8.75 million in December. [Cityfile, Corcoran]
• After spending more than two years in contract, it looks like artist Jeff Koons should soon be closing on the purchase of a six-story townhouse at 11 East 67th Street. The home was originally listed for $18.75 million; Koons is expected to pay in the neighborhood of $10-12 million. [NYT]
• Former Newsday publisher Raymond Jansen has lowered the price of his home in Lloyd Neck to $1.99 million, down from the original asking price of $2.795 million. [Newsday, Sotheby's]
Fashionista-forward photographer David LaChapelle conceived and executed the commercial above for the UK's Boots druggist chain. Therein, various glamorous (sorry, "glamourous") model types express far too much enthusiasm for Boots's cheap-ass cosmetics while engaging in holiday-related domestic tasks. We could do without the majority of the clip, in favor of more turkey-stuffing and bathtub brussels sprouts.