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AT HOME WITH YVES: In spring 1968, before the stirrings of student revolt, a power shift of another kind took place in the French fashion world. On “Dim Dam Dom,” a Sunday night TV show targeting French women, Coco Chanel named Yves Saint Laurent as her successor, while simultaneously accusing him of copying her. Saint Laurent’s shy but categorical riposte, on the following month’s show and since stored in the National Audiovisual Institute’s archives, is set to get another airing via DVD release, along with “Tout Terriblement,” a documentary about Saint Laurent screened by Arte Editions in 1994. “First of all, I’m very flattered that Mademoiselle Chanel deigned to take an interest in what I’m doing and that she designated me her successor,” he told “Dim Dam Dom.” “But I am not at all in agreement when she says I copy her.” If he copied her, Saint Laurent declared, he wouldn’t be successful: “I think also the big difference between me and Mademoiselle Chanel is that I try to bring women a style that allows them to adapt their style to my dresses and allows them to develop their personalities. While a woman who wears Chanel resembles Mademoiselle Chanel.” Equally enthralling, the accompanying 48-minute film by documentary maker Jérôme de Missolz, narrated by the late Saint Laurent and Jeanne Moreau, promises a frank portrait of the designer recounting the ups — “I love glory. Glory is a feast” — and downs: “Pierre Bergé is surely right when he claims I was born with a nervous breakdown.” Had Saint Laurent ever married, he would have married Victoire, he declared of the model and muse. And his one regret? “Not to have invented the jean.” The DVD, which will be released in November, comes with an endorsement from Saint Laurent himself. “You have, with a rare sensitivity, captured and understood everything I have tried to express for many years,” he wrote to de Missolz when he first saw the film.
— Ellen Groves
This story first appeared in the July 23, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
CLOTHESLINE: Five months after launching NYCFashionInfo.com, the New York City Economic Development Corp. is considering licensing the rights to the site to a private company. That would give the green light for advertising and more lifestyle-driven content. Geared for designers, manufacturers and retailers, the site is purely informational with more than 5,000 showroom contacts, market week dates and fashion-related links. About $100,000 was invested in the site to get it running, but thus far only 2,000 unique visitors come knocking each month, according to NYCEDC project manager Eric Johnson.
Needless to say, the NYCEDC is eager to ramp up the site’s traffic to indirectly woo more out-of-towners beyond the 500,000 who typically visit Gotham for fashion market weeks each year. Down the road, NYCFashionInfo.com could trumpet market week-related parties, downtown shopping tours and trade show shuttle bus service to further that cause, Johnson said. In addition, to try to avoid providing a laundry list of telephone numbers and addresses, companies are being encouraged to offer more detailed information about their respective businesses. “We want to make sure buyers are aware of their existence. We’re going to reach out to people in the industry. It’s about them getting business,” Johnson said. “We want to do what we can to continue to engage them and we want the site to be a tool that is as useful and up-to-date as possible.”
— Rosemary Feitelberg
AMY’S TURN: A camera crew was inside New York’s Bungalow 8 last week, shooting scenes for an upcoming reality series for Bravo starring the boîte’s proprietress, nightlife queen Amy Sacco. “It’s a reality show, but I don’t know if anyone’s going to believe my reality,” she said, over sips of a vodka and soda. “It’s going to be funny. It’s about what’s so awesome about this city, and the great characters I’ve gotten to know. We’ve shot with Yvonne Force Villareal, Patrick McMullan and Donna Karan.”
The show will follow Sacco as she prepares to open an upcoming branch of Bungalow 8 in Amsterdam — there’s also one in London — and another as-yet-unnamed New York club.
The show is executive produced by Sacco and Michael Flutie’s Madwood Films. Flutie is a fashion industry veteran who previously ran Company Model Management. His firm is now involved in both talent and brand management for clients such as Mary Alice Stephenson, Dr. Lisa Airan and Kyan Douglas of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” Flutie most recently brokered the deal for Faith Hill and Tim McGraw’s fragrances with Coty Inc.
At the Bungalow 8 shoot with Sacco, the scenery was filled out by cast members from “Under the Arch,” a semiscripted Web series also produced by Flutie that follows the lives of a group of NYU students and recent grads, including Sean Patrick Murray, who came up with the original concept. “We’ve created a virtual community online for the youth market that we think is very groundbreaking,” said Flutie of the site, which hosts Webisodes of the series as well as interactive features with cast members.
Flutie is in talks with potential fashion advertisers for the site, Underthearch.tv, which launched in beta test mode this summer and goes fully live at the beginning of the new school year.
— David Lipke