DIARY OF A DOT-COM FASHIONISTA: Between a two-day taxi strike to kick off fashion week and the now-mythic two-hour delay for the start of the Marc Jacobs show, the bloggers had plenty to discuss during this New York season. Since more of the online community had access to the shows than ever before, more off-the-cuff commentary was provided on the clothes, the people and the bubbly after parties. From the models who guest blogged for magazines such as Glamour and Elle to dot-com veterans such as the Fug Girls, and a few establishment fashion critics writing for their newspapers’ Web sites, here are excerpts from the past week.
On Marc Jacobs, before, during and after the runway show:
Cathy Horyn, on her blog for The New York Times: “I’m sitting at Les Halles, having a burger with my son, and I’m hearing via the grapevine that the Marc Jacobs show, which was delayed until 10 p.m., has now been moved to 11 p.m. Is he going to serve breakfast? Several editors here at the restaurant, by chance. Stay tuned….”
“I see people were up before the birds to have a whack at the Marc Jacobs show. Such a delicious debate, I might add. (And ‘rules’ about length and quality of comment on the blog? Horrors! Let’s build another prison.) About four minutes into the Jacobs show, after seeing the finale line and then the first of the cutaway dresses in bugle-beaded black silk or jersey over lingerie, I felt he had definitely done something different. All the time I say to young designers, ‘Give me a new contemporary version of sexiness. Show me something other than a sweetheart neckline, a corseted waist and an Alaïa homage.'”
Robin Givhan, on her blog for The Washington Post: “The show was called for 9 p.m. It began at 11:05. Mr. Jacobs offered no explanation. He left that to his publicists, who said that he was waiting for clothes to arrive. (As if someone woke him up Monday morning and startled him with the news that he had to prepare a spring collection. Hate it when that happens.) Before the show began, Mr. Jacobs did not apologize for keeping people waiting. He had invited people to come see his show. He wants them to treat him and his work with respect and yet, the delay apparently did not call for an apology. Would it have killed him to send an intern to Kinko’s to make copies of a note of apology to place on each seat? Would that somehow have lessened his reputation as the arty, cool kid who doesn’t give a shake?”
This story first appeared in the September 14, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Her advice on when to start a show: “When the big hand is on the 12 and the little hand is on the 9, it’s time to start the show.”
Jezebel: “Not only is Marc Jacobs on every editor’s s–t list, including Vogue editor Anna Wintour’s, he should probably also keep an eye out for some PETA-hurled red paint. His on-and-off boy toy Jason Preston reportedly showed up to Marc’s show and after party with a dead-mouse brooch pinned to his lapel, designed by Jacobs himself, of course. Discuss: Was Marc more talented when he was a slightly chubby blow-ho? Either way, Benjamin Moore “Tricycle Red” will add a much-needed splash of color on that roadkill.”
And, on his rant in WWD: “Jacobs has until February to think about where he’s going to show his fall 2008 collection: snooty, impatient New York or snooty, impatient Paris. Marc, seriously, you might want to think about this one. New Yorkers just yell when made to wait; Parisians will literally flog you with baguettes if you pull that kind of crap.”
Tracy Lomrantz, for Elle: “I arrived [to Marc’s after party] with a massive hangover, was handed a gift bag and, when I was finally ready to leave at 2 a.m., had to stand in line and try and be pushy with the KCD ladies to avoid said line. Or maybe that’s just what it feels like to me, since I have been to 22 parties in the last 6 days. Believe it — my feet ache, my liver hates me and my meals for the last 72 hours have consisted of canapes and late-night pizza. All in the name of fashion!”
On fashion week do’s and don’ts
Tinsley Mortimer for Glamour: “Do keep your hair and makeup from the night before if you have an early show the next morning.
“Don’t go to a street fair and get zeppolis and crepes in the middle of fashion week!!
“Don’t tell your husband you have had a stressful day if you have just come home from some shows.
“Don’t imitate the models’ walk as soon as you leave the show.”
On model behavior:
Selita Ebanks, for New York magazine: “Later was Rag & Bone — we didn’t get the greatest seats, which was a downer. All is well, though: I had my fiancé, Nick, with me, and I admit I was looking fierce in my Zara top.”
Maggie Rizer, for Elle: “The end of my journey was a taxi ride to the Phi show. Just as I was about to get out of the taxi, the driver turned around saying ‘What happened to you?’ Being confused, [I asked] what he meant [and] he replied, ‘You’re soaking wet and your face is bright red!’ It’s just what you want to hear before sitting with the best dressed watching the best-dressed and professionally put-together models. So, as one would, I ducked into the closest Starbucks, threw some water on my face, gave myself a free pass and speed-walked into the show (being nearly 35 minutes late by now). No big deal: First I look like a mushroom, then questionably fully dressed, this time, a wet dog. Oh well — the show was 1,000 percent worth it!”
More from Rizer: “The Alexander Wang show is this afternoon, and I’m pretty sure I know what I’m wearing. I just can’t tell if it’s see-through or not? Well, the dress is pretty beautiful. Yesterday, I looked like a mushroom and today I’ll be…half-dressed? No, I’d better figure this out. So, the boots in the picture above: I really, really love them. They’re beautiful, supercomfortable, and make you look 12 feet tall. They’re fun. A weird thing happened last night when I wore them, and I think I was mistaken for a hooker. And that’s not a good thing. I had just walked outside to get a cab, and I was walking down Christopher Street (mistake #1) and this (I’ll try to be as tactful as possible) disgustingly drunk, dirty, homeless man came up to me and said, ‘Oh baby, if I was your man, I’d love you all night long.’ Yeah, I threw up a little bit in my mouth.”
On show time:
Horyn: “Last night I bolted out of the L.A.M.B. show, nearly knocking over the publicist Paul Wilmot. Sorry, Paul. If ever there was a reason for a pop star to concentrate on her vocal skills, it was Gwen Stefani’s fashion meltdown. Among the words I wrote in my notebook, until my pen came to a stop, were ‘blob,’ ‘very last season,’ ‘bad secretary,’ ‘astonishingly bad’ and ‘Ditzville.’ I’m amazed — now — I had that much to say.”
The Fug Girls, for New York magazine: “Marchesa designers Keren Craig and Georgina Chapman were marked for second-row seats [at Jennifer Lopez’s show], but were able to plop down in the front row. One photographer even whispered, ‘Hey, that’s the chick that’s dating that guy!'”
On door policies:
Fug Girls: “We were loitering outside Calvin Klein, doing our usual ‘are we in the right line?’ dance along with everyone else, when things got a little exciting. Anna Wintour stopped…and looked right at us. And gestured! And then we realized that she was not, in fact, giving one of her henchmen the high sign to take us out once and for all, nor was she calling us over to tell us that she just loves our shoes — but rather that she was pulling a Vogue staffer standing near us out of line to come inside with her. We’re pretty sure our hearts will start beating again any minute now.”
On downtime during shows:
Givhan, on visiting the new Saks Fifth Avenue shoe department during the two-day taxi strike: “And how smart were those Saks folks to invite over a bunch of fashion editors, ply them with alcohol and then let them loose in the shoe salon? Oh yeah, a spectacular pair of Chloé pumps in chocolate brown had my name all over them. So what if they had a 4-inch heel. The taxi strike ends on Friday!”
On sound check:
Rizer: “I can’t quite place exactly what kind of music it was, but you’d know it if you heard it. Let me try….Pretend you can hear me singing it…da da di dot dot dot dot de da de da da datta dada dada da da di dot dot daaa. You know what I mean? Is it called ragtime? Nah…isn’t that more like ragtime cowboy, thinkin’ ’bout you now, boy…ragtime cowboy Jooooe…? I don’t know what I’m saying. Oh, yeah, Anna Sui.” — Amy Wicks, Stephanie D. Smith and Irin Carmon
DOUBLE VISION?: Imitation may be a form of flattery, but sources said a recent H&M campaign got the folks over at Chloé hot under the collar. Eagle-eyed fashion bloggers also have been crying foul after spying similarities between the Chloé and H&M ads, which both feature a trio of models — with Freja Beha Erichsen and Anja Rubik in both — with similar hairstyles, poses and attitude. “It’s more of a coincidence,” said an H&M spokeswoman. “It’s unfortunate we happen to have some of the same models.”
She noted that the retailer’s campaign, lensed by Solve Sundsbo last spring, was in a style H&M felt was “very modern.” (Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin shoot Chloé’s ads.) The H&M ads appeared in monthlies and outdoors in the U.S. and Germany, but the campaign is winding down this week, the spokeswoman said. — Miles Socha
NEW AT TIME INC.: The Time Inc. Business and Finance Network, which includes Fortune, Money and Fortune Small Business magazines, and cnnmoney.com, has been rebranded as the Fortune/Money Group, starting today. Group president Vivek Shah said he is creating a new sales and marketing organization that will be overseen by one executive (who has yet to be named) who will be responsible for all print and digital advertising revenue. In an internal memo to employees, Shah said: “We will conduct an exhaustive search to identify the right person for this key position.”
Also, as part of the reorganization, Hugh Wiley, group associate publisher, is now the publisher of Fortune, and Brett Wilson, previously associate publisher/North America for Time magazine, is now the publisher of Money. They will both report to the new head of ad revenue. Wiley and Wilson also will be hiring marketing directors to assist in the development of brand-level opportunities. In addition, Alan Ives is CNNMoney’s new senior vice president of sales. Ives joins the Web site from ABC, where he was vice president of digital media sales.
As part of the restructuring, group publisher Mike Dukmejian and Lisa Bentley, group associate publisher, are leaving Time Inc. Michael Federle, group publisher, has agreed to stay on through the end of the year as a senior adviser to Shah.
Fortune, meanwhile, has hired Suzanne Kapner as a writer for its Web site. “I will cover retail and other areas,” Kapner told WWD. She will join Fortune Sept. 24 from the New York Post, where she has worked for more than four years.
Changes also took place over at competitor Condé Nast Portfolio on Thursday, as Dan Golden was named a senior editor, effective in October. Golden also will contribute pieces to the magazine. He joins Portfolio from The Wall Street Journal, where he served as deputy chief of the Boston bureau. — A.W.