Buzz Bissinger is having a sexual midlife crisis. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Friday Night Lights stopped having sex with his wife "several years ago," he writes, and "began to wonder about sex and sexuality and where exactly I fit in in the complex spectrum." He started experimenting with sex with men, in being a "dominant leather master," in cross-dressing, in sex clubs. And he spent $600,000 on clothes that make him look like a Russian music producer.
• The Carolina Herrera dress that Anna Wintour wore on Dave Letterman's show this week? She wore it to the CFDA Awards back in June. Uh oh! [Stylelist]
• Zac Posen is the latest designer to bid goodbye to Bryant Park this Fashion Week. He'll be staging his show at The Altman Building instead. [WWD]
• Another good thing about the recession: There are fewer crappy catalogs getting stuffed in your mailbox. [AP]
• The September Issue doesn't open in theaters until Friday, but it seems some people (above) are already sick of all the publicity. [NYShitty]
• Are Americans finally shopping again? Maybe. Retail sales were up slightly in April. [NYT]
• Gucci has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Guess? Inc. [BN]
• Alessandra Stanley's Times review of Bravo's Project Runway-ripoff, The Fashion Show, featuring Isaac Mizrahi, Kelly Rowland and Fern Mallis, wasn't especially favorable. [NYT]
• Agy Deyn is now pitching bottled water. [Sun]
• Leigh Lezark is the new face of Mango. [Nylon]
• Michelle Obama wore Michael Kors—not Alaïa—to the Time gala the other night. [FWD]
• If you've ever wished you could meet Adriana Lima dressed up as "a modern-day Cleopatra," you'll get your chance this Saturday. [NYM]
• Topshop opens tomorrow, in case you haven't heard. [NYT, Racked, NYM, Glamour, Pipeline]
• If you wish to bypass the madness in Soho, the first-ever Balenciaga outlet in the U.S. opens tomorrow at the Woodbury Commons. [NYM]
• The British media just about melted at the sight of a J. Crew-clad Michelle Obama today. [WWD]
• The Costume Institute gala is a mere four weeks away but getting people to sponsor tables hasn't been easy work for Anna Wintour. If you notice fewer mentions of Burberry, Versace, and Gucci in future issues of Vogue, now you know why. [FWD]
• Dowdy retail chains are trying to spiff things up in order to appeal to "modern women who are now shopping for style within their means." [NYT]
• Resort season isn't quite what it used to be. [WWD]
• Why is Lorenzo back in NYC? Where's Marc? It's a mystery! [Fashionologie]
It's a noble tradition: journalists going undercover and obscuring their real identity, in order to serve the public by bringing them the unvarnished truth about the real issues of the day. And no issue is currently more pressing than the one Eric Wilson takes on in today's Times: Given the grave economic situation, are the sales clerks at Madison Avenue boutiques still complete bitches?
♦ André Leon Talley has joined the chorus of disapproval over Sarah Palin's wardrobe budget: "Wal-Mart hockey moms would never spend $150,000 on clothing." Then again, he's not so unhappy with what he's seen so far: "I thought that she was totally pro-Jackie in that knit suit." [The Cut]
♦ Meanwhile, that Louis Vuitton bag that Palin's daughter, Piper, was spotted with? It was quite likely a fake. [Fashionista]
♦ In tribute to Richard Blackwell, the UK Sun does its own worst-dressed list, honoring Rachel Zoe, Britney Spears, and Sharon Stone. [The Sun]
♦ The "luxury mall" in the basement of the Plaza has opened. [NYO]
♦ Pat Field's debuted her line for HSN today. The Carrie-like dresses cost $150 a pop and each order comes with a subscription to Vogue. "If only Anna Wintour would go on the air and shill along with Pat Field." [The Cut]
♦ Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen might be feuding, their neighbors might hate them, but their fashion empire keeps expanding: They've just signed a deal with Steve Madden to create a shoe line under their Elizabeth and James brand. [WWD]
♦ Rachel Zoe is "a pox on humanity—exploiting an aesthetic of dissipation, invading our collective consciousness and spraying it with dummy dust," says Ginia Bellafante in the Times, who clearly needs to get in touch with her feelings more. [NYT]
♦ So what are luxury brands supposed to do now that their rich customers are distinctly fewer in number? Market themselves like religions, according to brand strategist Lucian James. [JC Report]
♦ The CEO and president of Gucci, Mark Lee, is stepping down, and will be replaced by Bottega Veneta's Patrizio di Marco. [WWD]
Heroic woman of dance Madonna has been working for almost a year on a documentary about the obscure African nation of Malawi, her pet cause ever since she adopted a son from the country in 2006. The Material Girl tells Interview magazine (in editor Ingrid Sischy's farewell issue) that, at the time, she "didn't know where Malawi was." That's what makes adoption logistics so difficult [NYP]! To further help the imperiled nation, Madonna teamed up with the good people at Gucci for an ostentatious luxury fundraiser that coincidentally also helped to promote the opening of Gucci's flagship store in NYC. And now it's clear that Gucci's commitment has not flagged—they're selling some items that will be very useful for Malawi-bound "jungle doctors":
Gucci's new flagship store on 5th Avenue [Photo via Racked] opened today&mdash the one that was in no way related to the blockbuster luxury bash at the UN Wednesday night, which was done only with the children of Malawi in mind. And coverage of that fabulous night keeps on coming, today in the form of an ET video (after the jump) that features shots of actual African children amongst the celebrity throngs, and this quote from Drew Barrymore: "I think that it's great to have fashion and philanthropy sort of intertwined, because people care about fashion. So when you combine the two, it makes it fun."
Well, you'll be happy to hear that the purely altruistic GUCCI/ Unicef fundraiser for Malawi went off smashingly last night at the UN; no thanks to you, cheapskate, who didn't even buy a single $2000 ticket. Luckily for Africa, people like Madonna, Ashton Kutcher, Tom Cruise, and J-Lo are willing to put the welfare of refugees before their own needs. Some of them even showed up in new Gucci outfits, in order to help the company, which is a force for good in this world. Madonna took on the accusations "made mainly by bloggers" that the event is a sickening, decadent fashion orgy, a sham passed off as a benefit for a charity that is run by the co-director of the Kabbalah Center . The Material Girl doesn't pay attention to that talk, because it's that same old "controversy surrounding anything that involves change." You go! And Gucci CEO Mark Lee clarified that it is just "a coincidence" that Gucci is opening a new flagship store in NYC this Friday. To emphasize the point, they even scrubbed the original press release!
It's great that Tea Leoni, Madonna, Timbaland, and Alicia Keys can take time out of their shiny lives tonight to attend a fundraiser for UNICEF. Because they all support UNICEF, and are each determined to raise money for the suffering people of Malawi, you see. Purely coincidental is Gucci's co-sponsorship of the event. The high fashion brand is also extremely concerned with Malawi, and whatnot. And did they mention that this event will celebrate the opening of their NEW 5th Avenue flagship store? That is only a secondary concern, of course. Gucci is actually very popular in Malawi. And why wouldn't they be, with products like these: