Archive for the ‘Gossip’ Category

Juicy Scoop of the day

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

We Hear That…

My old friend Richard Johnson* signed off from his “beloved” Page Six gossip column in The New York Post today after 25 years.

He’s on his way to Los Angeles with his wife Sessa and their beautiful daughter, where he cryptically says he is doing something in digital media for the Rupert Murdoch media empire. Of course, me being a former gossip columnist, I got the scoop on what’s next. But being a former gossip columnist, I know that you keep the best info to yourself; that’s how you get your sources to trust you. Former Fleet Streeter Emily Smith is taking over Page Six, and Richard assures us she’ll be just as Six-y as he was. Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to his next act, which he’ll debut sooner than you imagine.

* I first met Richard at the White House Correspondents Dinner at the Washington Hilton back in 1989, when I was a Washington Post cub reporter covering the event and he was a big time New York gossip columnist schmoozing with the powers that were. When Washington Post reporter Lois Romano and I launched The Reliable Source gossip column in the paper’s Style section in January, 1992, Richard gave us a kindly good-luck nod in his column, and if I remember correctly, called me an “intrepid brunette” reporter.  I got a little miffed about the “brunette” bit–I liked to think of myself back then as a dark blond. Here’s the good-luck nod back, my intrepid blond reporter friend…

Bye-Bye Karl?

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Rumors Abound at the House that Karl has Helmed since '83

Just as I wrote in Newsweek three weeks ago, the rumors that Karl Lagerfeld is soon retiring from Chanel and that Alber Elbaz will replace him are continuing to bounce around. Some predict it will be in 2012 —Lagerfeld’s 30th anniversary with the house. Sounds plausible—particularly if Lagerfeld and his boss, Chanel Global CEO Maureen Chiquet are indeed sparring, as I was told. In the meantime, editors and retailers are still gasping at the beauty of Lagerfeld’s Chanel Spring-Summer 2011 show earlier this week. “Perfection,” Neiman Marcus Fashion Director Ken Downing told me yesterday. “Just perfection.”

Watch here and see for yourself: Chanel RTW 2011 Spring/Summer

* How much do we love the score, which is a mix of Bjork, the Verve, and my favorite movie soundtrack composer John Barry. Hope they recorded it. I want it on my Ipod.

Contretemps

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

I’ve been hearing for weeks the rumor that designer Stefano Pilati was about to get axed

Yves Saint Laurent in London

from Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche. Now it’s been picked up by my friend Richard Johnson at Page Six:

The next fashion designer to get the ax could be Stefano Pilati, who replaced Tom Ford at Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche. “Paris has been flooded with rumors that Pilati’s position is under threat and that headhunters have been actively interviewing potential replacements,” Godfrey Deeny reports on Fashion Wire Daily…

“No surprise,” was the reaction when I ran the rumor past a fashion editor friend of mine last week. I agree. Besides not doing much for the house design or sales-wise, he is horribly unreliable. I had my own experience first hand when he stood me up for an interview for Newsweek back on a Sunday afternoon in June, 2007—after weeks of rescheduling it by his people and four days before my several-page-long story was due. I was told he didn’t show up was because he was too busy doing fittings. The real reason? He was attending parties at the Venice Biennale. After three more days of the press office promising me they would make the interview happen, he blew me off entirely. I begged the Gucci Group brass to produce Frida Giannini of Gucci as a replacement, and kindly and quickly they did. While I was writing the piece at record speed, a gigantic bouquet of roses arrived from Pilati with a note, not apologizing, mind you, but simply explaining he had missed our rendez-vous due to a “contretemps.” I wanted to send the flowers back, but was too busy writing to deal with it, much less get them in water. Once the piece was published, I sent Pilati a note saying I enjoyed seeing photos of him in Women’s Wear Daily at his “contretemps” and that it was too bad we’d never officially meet since I decided never to put myself in the position of getting stood up by him again. I have not written about Pilati or Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche since then. Until today.

Stephano Pilati

Back in the days when couture houses were small and family-owned and run, such

Hasegawa Kyoko wears Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, 2003

behavior was excused, even coddled—particularly at Yves Saint Laurent. The only other designer who didn’t show up for an interview with me in my 25 years of covering fashion was Yves Saint Laurent himself: he slipped out the back door of his office at 5, avenue Marceau rather than meet with me. What is it with that house??

But these days, luxury brands are run by executives who want to make money and doing things like alienating the mainstream press and making clothes that don’t sell aren’t seen as charming, eccentric or avant-garde anymore. Business is business.

Which makes the industry talk that Olivier Theyskens—who was sacked from both Rochas and Nina Ricci for producing complicated clothes that don’t sell—is a leading candidate for the Saint Laurent gig an extremely puzzling thought. Doesn’t YSL CEO Valerie Hermann have Google?

Or maybe Theyskens simply has The Gilroy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vON_uWFyrgE

* Hint magazine is now reporting that Pilati has just signed a new three-year contract at Saint Laurent, after Raf Simons, designer for Jil Sander, and Hedi Slimane, the ever eccentric Frenchman who once designed the Saint Laurent men’s wear line, turned down the job. That should give Hermann plenty of time to find just the right person to replace Pilati.

The Man Who Would Be President

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

edwards1No; Elizabeth. It’s your husband who’s rather “pathetic”

A Pretty Thick Shake

Friday, March 13th, 2009

American celebrities just don’t get it. 

During an early morning layover in Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport on his way to Malaysia, N.E.R.D. frontman Pharrell Williams put on a little show–and a pretty weak one at that, considering the Grammys–to try to sway a pair of McDonald’s workers to sell him some Frankenfood before the place was open.

But as Oprah Winfrey  learned when she was turned away at Hermes a couple of years ago, when a French business is closed, it’s closed, and they do not care who you are.

The workers, obviously unimpressed by Williams “Big Mac-Filet O’ Fish-Apple Pie” riff, complete with a spin and slide, walked out as the shocked singer sputtered, “Where are you going?”

My guess: to have a smoke.

Note: Unlike Winfrey, Williams can’t claim racism as the reason the workers decided to follow company, union and national employment rules and deny him service: they were of color too.