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It seems there’s barely a topic in American life that can’t wend in short order toward Donald Trump. But the presence of glass exhibitors at The Salon: Art + Design, which opened Thursday night at the Park Avenue Armory? Yes, even that.
Jill Bokor is the executive director of the show, which typically opens on the Thursday after Election Day. (Thursday’s opening benefited the Dia Art Foundation.) Over a recent coffee at the Americano, Bokor recounted what she calls “the misery of two years ago,” when the shock of Trump’s presidential win was still very new and, for many, very raw.
On that opening evening, attendees found their focus diverted from shopping. “They wanted to look, they wanted to see each other and they wanted to sob,” Bokor recalled, though she added a quick inclusivity caveat: “I mean, there were probably people there who’d voted for Trump.”
The following Saturday, typically the event’s biggest day, traffic woes generated by anti-Trump demonstrations caused a dip in show traffic, which caused a dip in sales, and crappy sales led some vendors to drop out. That left Bokor challenged “to make lemonade out of lemons.” Or at least to procure highfalutin vessels for lemonade, because at that
Hollywood can’t get out of its own way.
This week’s news that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will add a most popular movie Oscar not only sent civilian social media into conniptions, but also the Hollywood press and Oscar voters. Reaction was immediate and one-sided, mostly variations on, “what the heck were they thinking?”
Getting less attention, but as important, is the decision that, in the interest of keeping the broadcast to a viewer-friendly three hours, some awards will be presented during commercials, with winners getting their few seconds of fame via edited snippets as at the Tony Awards. That move speaks to an identity dilemma: Is the Oscars’ primary function the acknowledgment of achievement or entertainment? In a perfect world, the two would beautifully coexist, but the world is far from perfect, and Hollywood is hardly a nonprofit enterprise.
An Oscar statue.
Still, it takes a village to make a movie. It’s sad that the organizers of this mega event, supposedly creative thinkers, can’t conjure a better way to reverse the ratings bleed (down 19 percent last year), than to de-emphasize the essential contributions of off-the-radar types. Before the new Popular Oscar gets added, there are 24 awards, which sound
Remember the 40-hour work week? Even if you don’t, you’ve probably heard of it. Much of the employed world has left it far behind, and much of the world’s employed now take an approach somewhere between philosophical and pragmatic — whatever it takes to get the job done; constant connectivity has won; lucky to have a job.
All of the above duly considered and acknowledged as legitimate, fashion nevertheless seems extreme in its can-do/will-do gusto. Case in point: this Sunday’s official lineup of CFDA-sanctioned presentations and shows. The Fashion Calendar lists three: Lorod, from 2 to 3 p.m.; Victor Glemaud, from 4 to 6 p.m., and Alexander Wang, at 8 p.m.
In the big picture of a world in turmoil, a random working Sunday may seem a small matter, and as a societal class, show-going fashion employees make poor victims. But given the reality of this industry — the 24/7 relentlessness of the primary show schedule; the parameters of this endless, whatever-it-is-we’re-in-now season that began in early May and will carry on at least through July couture week, encompassing clothes characterized as fall, resort/cruise and spring — was it essential for the CFDA to add a summer Sunday to the schedule? A perusal
It looks like Bridget Moynahan wants the eagles to fly!
The unofficial “Oprah for President” movement officially launched. Many women looked lovely in black.
Two points hardly of equal weight, but the social media frenzy over one does not negate the legitimacy of acknowledging the other — inclusive of noting the brands and designers who helped the women realize their looks — particularly at a televised awards ceremony which, until now, has been considered an entertainment show largely dependent on its fashion element for its success.
Had the red-carpet frenzy spun wildly out of control long before Sunday night’s Golden Globes? Of course. And in fact, it’s not a situation limited to the red carpet. On any given day, any fashion journalist will find in her or his mailbox a litany of e-mails from junior p.r.s across the industry boasting that “this or that house is delighted that this or that celebrity wore this or that dress/skirt/handbag/loafer to this or that event — or on the street outside of Starbucks.” The notification stream falls somewhere between tedious and embarrassing. However, most people in fashion know that if someone’s wearing a piece of something you love, you’ll probably mention it. If you don’t know whose it is, you’ll ask. If that makes us all shallow,
Pierpaolo Piccioli is a man of his word. On a brief trip to New York earlier this month for a benefit for Every Mother Counts, he agreed last-minute to a chat with WWD — no major agenda, just a catch-up during which he would reflect on his first full year as solo creative director at Valentino. Somehow, time ran away, as tends to happen, and Pierpaolo flew home. But unlike time, he didn’t run. Rather, we spoke on the phone last week.
WWD: You’ve had quite a year, your first full year as solo creative director at Valentino. What have been the biggest changes for you?
Pierpaolo Piccioli: I think that I work more spontaneously, less over-thinking. I always start the collection with a reflection about the time, and then I work very, very spontaneously. It’s a more instinctive, more direct, more emotional approach to the work.
That is the difference. When you work in twos and you respect each other, you have to confront, you have to arrive to a common point. It’s the only way to work together, to arrive at a good point on which you agree. But when you are alone, I’ve just learned in this year, you can
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Oh, Donna, Donna, Donna, Donna, Donna. Your words were not taken out of context. You spoke them into the camera, the entire gist there for the viewing. People who know you and your career and your four-plus decades of dedication to women’s empowerment find it hard to believe that you meant what you said, but you said it: “You look at everything all over the world today, you know, and how women are dressing and, you know, what they’re asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble.”
Your comment implies solidarity with Harvey Weinstein’s “apologetic” view of his sleazebag activities: The culture made him do it. Yes, you released a clarifying statement, but that’s not enough. You’ve got to address this head-on, in conversation. I’d like it to be with WWD and me. But somewhere, with someone. Soon.
• • •
The greater issue, of course, is not about Donna Karan’s strange, out-of-character red-carpet comment. It is about vile behavior tolerated by various subcultures within the greater culture. The culture of power. The culture of sanctimony and hypocrisy that often emanates from Hollywood. The culture of sexual predation in certain circles of power, that
Bridget Marquardt is expressing gratitude for everything Hugh Hefner did for her.
Just hours after E! News confirmed the Playboy founder had died of natural causes, the Girls Next Door…
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“The automobile has become our national sex symbol,” wrote William Faulkner in a lengthy evidentiary musing on sex and cars in “Intruder in the Dust.”
Faulkner had but words and wits — and whiskey — to make his point. On Tuesday, Ralph Lauren will support a similar thesis with evidence of a more tangible sort when he shows his fall wear-now collection in the upstate garage that houses his world-class car collection. Three hundred guests will be transported by car — alas, those of the traditional car service variety, no vintage red Ferraris — to the event in Bedford, N.Y., 40 miles north of Manhattan. The collection has been seen before, in museum exhibitions in Paris and Boston. But this is the first time Lauren will open one of his properties for a fashion show.
Asked about the dramatic change of venue, Lauren told WWD that, in considering fashion focus on “experiences,” he thought this would make an interesting tie-in to his fashion perspective. “When someone gets into a beautiful car, it enhances their world. If you get into a racing car, it’s sexy.”
WWD: So Ralph, why Bedford?
Ralph Lauren: It’s one of those things. I was working on my collection and I
Before the presidential campaign and election, Ivanka Trump self-identified and was perceived as a businesswoman passionate about women’s empowerment. You’d have been hard-pressed to hear someone speak negatively about her, with words such as lovely, hard-working, self-directed and genuine typical descriptives.
And then, Dad ran for president and won.
Throughout and after the election, and especially since her role in the Trump administration shifted from merely “daughter,” as she said she initially intended, to G-20 Summit-attending formal adviser, Ivanka has taken her hits, critics questioning not only her qualifications but also her motives and her silence in light of various presidential outbursts. Following President Trump’s shocking equal assignation last weekend of “blame on both sides” when white supremacists, many brandishing swastikas, stormed Charlottesville, Va., to protest the planned removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, the criticism escalated exponentially, with many wondering, how could Ivanka not speak out?
Whether or not she knew just what she was getting into in accepting her White House role, surely Ivanka knows her father, and she is accustomed to life in shared spotlights, his and her own. Though thrust into the former as a child when her parents’ public marital woes made for tabloid grist, she chose the latter early on. An adolescent flirtation with modeling crossed over to television; at 15,
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Can Lanvin make a comeback? That is front-and-center among the many questions swirling around what should prove a fascinating spring 2018 season. While fashion’s current revolving-door mode has set up numerous designer debuts, including those of Clare Waight Keller at Givenchy and Natacha Ramsay-Levi at Chloé, curiosity surrounding the house founded by Jeanne Lanvin in 1889 is unique for two reasons: First, its current fashion identity as perceived by the majority of the fashion-buying population is defined by the work of Alber Elbaz rather than by any concept of its founder; and second, what, from the outside looking in, appears to be a business-side philosophy and infrastructure not intrinsically supportive of the creative process and perhaps lacking a baseline pragmatism.
Given those two issues, is it possible for Lanvin to regain its not-so-long-ago luster? It is, but it won’t be easy. To the first point, exchanges with several retailers revealed a unanimous thought: There remains a customer who still craves the work of Alber Elbaz, and is currently underserved by luxury market alternatives.
Incoming creative director Olivier Lapidus arrived with high hopes and enthusiasm for his new role. In a conversation with my colleague Joelle Diderich, he professed no knowledge of the
“You do not give Monsieur Alaïa parameters!”
So exclaimed Barneys New York chief executive officer Daniella Vitale, referring to the exclusive capsule collection Azzedine Alaïa designed for the store in celebration of his long and fruitful presence there — now 35 years and counting.
The collection consists of eight dresses, some inspired by — though not replicas of — looks sold at the store through the years. It debuts at all Barneys doors on Friday and will be heralded with windows at both New York locations — Madison Avenue and downtown — and the Wilshire Boulevard store in Beverly Hills, as well as with in-store “World of Alaïa” vignettes.
Vitale’s proclamation came in response to something of a rhetorical question: Did Alaïa have carte blanche or did you give him parameters? Yet the gusto with which she answered did more than just amuse. It spoke to the core of Alaïa’s long-term staying power, both at Barneys and in general. Alaïa is a genuine creator, famously uncompromising in his adherence to his specific, highly refined aesthetic and disinterested in diluting the message so as to appeal to a broader audience — a position he has maintained through his current partnership with Compagnie Financière Richemont, which obtained a stake in Alaïa’s
Designer departs from storied house. Hasn’t Kering been there and done that recently, when it replaced Gucci’s Frida Giannini with Alessandro Michele? Yet here we go again, with Alexander Wang leaving Balenciaga after what seems like a truncated stay, despite completion of his three-year contract.
Whatever the reasons behind the split, it’s safe to assume that if both sides had been delighted with the relationship, they’d have found a way to continue on despite Wang’s understandable interest in building his own brand and seeking the revenue with which to do so. (WWD reported this week that he’s close to signing a deal with General Atlantic, the growth equity firm headed by William Ford.)
Wang is now on to the rest of his life and career, an extremely talented and still-young designer. He got a bit of a raw deal from the moment the ink was dry on his Balenciaga contract, not from Kering but from the legions of onlookers who opined about the gravitas of the house codes and whether a guy with a youth-oriented, street-centric aesthetic could rise to the occasion. Suddenly, Wang wasn’t a gifted, savvy designer who’d launched his brand within a strata that made sense for his audience,
Blink and it will be August. That means that New York Fashion Week is right around the corner.
In anticipation, earlier this month the Council of Fashion Designers of America unveiled its new fashion week logo, the result, Steven Kolb told my colleague Lisa Lockwood, “of the process of creating New York Fashion Week as a brand.”
The B-word. Is there no fashion entity immune to its lure? What does it mean, to create NYFW as a brand? Is it necessary? Should the organizers of NYFW have, as a stated goal, even a secondary one, to promote the week as an entity?
If yes, might such promotion trump promotion of most of the 350 or so brands showing under its umbrella?
Launched as a trade organization for the purpose of advancing the interests of its members individually and American fashion as a whole, the CFDA retains that purpose, as articulated in its mission statement: “To strengthen the influence and success of American fashion designers in the global economy.” Along the way the CFDA itself became a brand, not accidentally but with systematic and voracious attention to promoting itself as an organization. That’s fine; most trade organizations promote themselves as entities separate and apart from
It’s perhaps not surprising that Bridget Everett—a six-foot-tall, classically trained singer, who uses her breasts as props, and routinely sits on the faces of her audience members—would feel at home in the amorphous, anything-goes community of New York City’s downtown performance scene. Her act is neither a comedy show nor cabaret—it’s vaudeville meets raunchy storytelling, set to filthy, hilarious, and really pretty vocals. But ineffable as her act may be, when it started getting attention from more mainstream venues, Everett found herself with a foot in both worlds.
“I’ll walk into a room and I’ll be on a lineup with a bunch of guys or just comics and I’ll have to work twice as hard because they’re not used to seeing a six-foot-tall woman without a bra,” Everett told us by phone. “And, in the world of cabaret, people are also not used to seeing a six-foot-tall woman not wearing a bra. So there’s challenges wherever I go because I don’t feel like I fit a particular mold.”
Despite this balancing act, Everett has been embraced by almost everyone. In 2013, she performed at Carnegie Hall with Broadway mainstay Patti LuPone. She closed out two season finales of Inside Amy Schumer. In 2014, Everett began performing her uproarious, expletive-laden, boob-brandishing show Rock Bottom at Joe’s Pub in Manhattan. Now, Everett is breaking yet another boundary and taking her act to television with her first Comedy Central special, Gynecological Wonder. We chatted with the “alt-Cabaret provocateur” about her new special, becoming friends with Amy Schumer—and their shared devotion to chardonnay.
How many shows did you film to make the special?
We did two shows in one night but it’s almost all taken from the second show. I was a little bit more warmed-up, and I had a little more chardonnay. I was in the zone.
Have you always brown-bagged chardonnay for your performances?
That was actually a gift from friends and they gave it to me on Christmas, it’s actually an insolated wine bag. It helps keep the wine cold throughout the show, which is nice because if I really get talking it can be like two hours.
I feel like you and Amy Schumer need to start a chardonnay company.
You know, you are 100 percent right about that. And we both love the same chardonnay: Rombauer. And we’re like, “Why won’t Rombauer sponsor us?” I don’t know if they want to keep their distance from us or they just don’t know how deeply in love we are. When Amy and I text each other, it’s not even, like, “Hey, do you want to get a drink?” It’s, like, “Rombauer?”
Was your friendship with Amy born out of your shared love of chardonnay?
That’s what’s kept us together. No, we met at a comedy festival up in Montreal and I sort of, like, hang back in my room during those sorts of situations because there are so many comics and so many people and it can be a little overwhelming. And Amy was like, “Get out of your room, come down, let’s have some chardonnay, walk around, and say hello to people.” I wasn’t always like that but it seems like the wilder and more outrageous my stage persona becomes, the more withdrawn and reserved I become in real life. I just think just takes so much out of me on stage, so when I’m not on stage, I like to sit at home with some Rombauer and my dog Poppy.
Has your stage presence gotten more outrageous over the years?
Yeah. When I’m stage, I just feel like the beast is out of the cage and I’ve got to go fucking crazy. And the more fun the audience is having, the further I’ll go. I want it to be memorable for them and most importantly, I want it to be memorable for me. That’s what makes me think I have the best job in the world. I get to drink all night and sit on people’s faces. It’s not a bad way to make a living.
Has your audience involvement ever backfired?
Oh, it’s backfired before, sure. And I’ve definitely had my fair share of walkouts. But that for me is a good sign that I’m doing something right. I want people to have a very clear and distinct reaction. I don’t want to participate in something that’s, like, take it or leave it. I really want to have an impact.
Do you feel like the comedy scene has changed a lot since you began performing?
It’s funny because I really consider myself more of a singer and a cabaret performer . . . I would have to say the comedy world has evolved at least to the place where it’s allowing and embracing something like what I do. I can’t recall a time in recent years you’d see someone doing cabaret on Comedy Central. I think people are more willing and open to see not just the guy standing there in the hoodie telling dick jokes but like a woman with a plunging neckline with her titty hanging out and thinking that’s funny, too.
Gynecological Wonder airs on Comedy Central on Saturday, July 11
The post Meet Bridget Everett: The Raunchy Cabaret Comedian You’ll Never Forget appeared first on Vogue.
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Hannibal Buress, Bridget Everett and … 1:34
“Magic Mike XXL” struts into theaters this weekend, so Hannibal Buress, Bridget Everett and Pete Holmes come up with male stripper names.
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My daughter moved from her native New York to Los Angeles not knowing how to drive. The intelligence therein aside, driving didn’t come easily. Fearful of having to ditch the comedy-writing dream and move home, defeated by driving (she failed the road test twice) she happened upon the now (sadly) defunct Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy and passed the test soon thereafter. During one early-morning lesson, Grainne marveled to her instructor Russ about his professionalism compared with that of her previous instructor. “We have to be professional,” said Russ. “We’re brand ambassadors.”
Brand ambassador. I first heard the handle, or at least it first resonated, years ago when W ran a story on a band of Italian socialites recruited by Giorgio Armani. I found it hilarious — the silliest, best nonjob in the world. A decade-plus later the term resides firmly within the professional lexicon as legitimately as any job title, particularly at the luxury sector, as the response from the Mercedes instructor suggests.
Official brand ambassadors are all around us, utilized nowhere with greater resonance than at Dior, which recently welcomed a newcomer into its fold. With the launch of her “Secret Garden” video, Rihanna joins Marion Cotillard and Jennifer Lawrence touting Dior
The tennis club on Fire Island matched opponents according to skill. One day many years ago, after most pairings were set, two women remained on the bleachers. They introduced themselves one to the other as Donna and Patti, clueless at the time that their names would, among a limited circle, become linked as indelibly as any great pair — Lewis and Clark, Abbott and Costello, Bert and Ernie. After years of friendship, Patti Cohen would go to work for Donna on May 16, 1983, and (save for a four-month hiatus midway through), leave exactly 32 years later, her last official day Friday, May 15, 2015.
The tennis ladies talked a bit before hitting the court. Later, Patti discussed her day with houseguests, including her woeful tennis loss to a long-armed woman named Donna Karan. “Don’t you know who that is?” exclaimed a friend whose mother had a fashion store in Baldwin. “She designs Anne Klein!” Patti didn’t. The next week Donna was a tennis no-show, but returned the following week with an explanation. She and her partner Louis Dell’Olio had gone to Bloomingdale’s to meet the Queen. Yes, that Queen. They took the subway — doubly pragmatic: it stops at Bloomie’s,