THE BLOGGERS’ VIEW: Fashion week has traditionally produced some entertaining blog posts from fashion writers who provide quick hits from runway shows and bad behavior from celebrities. This season, though, a kinder, gentler tone has emerged. A sign of these uncertain economic times? Perhaps, but more likely an indication of the more frequent fashion week usage of Twitter, which has emerged as a new home for snark and gossip. Here, a few comments posted by bloggers during the shows.
— Amy Wicks and Stephanie D. Smith
“Why isn’t Michelle [Obama] texting me? When she was raising money for her husband’s campaign, girlfriend was in communication 100 times a day. Now I am watching the show of the guy who designed her inaugural gown and…nothing.” — Lynn Yaeger, blogging about the Jason Wu show on nymag.com
“Just arrived at the Marc Jacobs show, with many fewer people. These times…No set or bleachers, just red carpet. Said hello to André Leon Talley, who was cloaked in his genuine matador cape. ‘Is it a Snuggles?’ I said.” — Cathy Horyn for nytimes.com
“Tinsley Mortimer is at Baby Phat. Is this what the end of the world looks like?” — Twitter on nymag.com
“‘What am I supposed to say about the clothing — my wife designed it,’ said [Harvey] Weinstein, who is married to Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman. With his influence in Hollywood — and the fact that his movie ‘The Reader’ is up for the Best Picture Academy Award on Sunday — he could have inside knowledge (and, likely, influence) over stars’ red carpet choices. In fact, he made the point of adding, ‘I know a lot of movie stars who are going to be wearing some of this stuff to the Oscars on Sunday.’” — Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan for wsj.com
“An hour or so later, back in the tents, Diane von Furstenberg offers an even sicker idea: giant hats festooned with steroidal pom-poms. I’m not very happy at DVF. Even though I used to swear I would never be one of those jerks who makes a fuss about her seat, and that any seat would be just dandy for me, I am in row six at DVF and can only observe the top two-thirds of the models’ outfits, which appear to favor panne-velvet animal prints and big plaids. (Is this a trend? Isaac Mizrahi recently described his fall Liz Claiborne creations as “flapper meets lumberjack.”) But don’t trust me; I can’t really see anything from where I’m sitting. In fact, when Di comes out at the end of the show and stops halfway down the runway to kiss a ringleted person sitting next to Barry Diller, I think maybe it’s her daughter — but it turns out to be Diana Ross.” — Lynn Yaeger for nymag.com
“All of those fashion week parties and late-night blogging sessions have meant lots of under-eye concealer, double coffee intake, and an increasingly embarrassing round of daily affirmations (“I can walk in high heels, I can walk in high heels!”). So nothing made me light up more than the scene awaiting me outside of Tommy Hilfiger’s show this morning…Cute boys. In cute Tommy Hilfiger clothes. Holding espresso and macaroons. I like to think it’s Tommy’s way of being my daily affirmation. ‘You’re almost there, Tracey. Just one more day to go. Just one more day.’” — Tracey Lomrantz for glamour.com
MEMBERSHIP EXPIRED: New York Magazine and American Media Inc. have dropped out of the Magazine Publishers of America, according to a Thursday report in Advertising Age, following a decision by Hachette Filipacchi Media to also forgo MPA membership this year. The decision for the publishers comes as most are tightening their budgets and eliminating costs where possible to bear down in the midst of the recession. Membership dues to MPA are based on a publisher’s advertising revenue and circulation. AMI has been in financial chaos in recent years, but earlier this month the company completed a financial restructuring that gave bondholders a majority of the company’s common stock and avoided the near-term threat of filing Chapter 11. Nonetheless, on Thursday, AMI posted a $190.7 million loss for the third quarter ending Dec. 31, compared with a loss of $13.9 million the prior year. The company recorded a $217.8 million noncash impairment charge during the period. Total operating revenues for the quarter were down almost 12 percent to $101.3 million.
Meanwhile, New York said of its decision: “At the time we were asked to rejoin MPA for 2009, we knew the industry was going to have a difficult year and that we would have to allocate our resources carefully. While we decided to sit out 2009, we hope to be back with the MPA in the future.” The move does not affect Adam Moss’ board position on the American Society of Magazine Editors, the editorial division within the MPA. He, along with Elle editor in chief Robbie Myers, will remain board members through April, when members vote on officer positions at the annual meeting.
ALL FOR CHARITY: Jessica Stam dashed from the Tommy Hilfiger show on Thursday to shoot an ad campaign for Saks Fifth Avenue. Stam did the shoot without pay, as it was for charity: water, an organization that provides safe drinking water to people in developing nations. Saks supports the charity and will sell an exclusive T-shirt, which Stam models in the campaign, to raise money for the organization.
NO DIVIDEND FOR THE TIMES: Just a few months after the New York Times Co.’s board reduced its fourth-quarter dividend, the board voted on Thursday to suspend its quarterly dividend on Class A and Class B common stock. “Today’s decision provides the company with additional financial flexibility given the current economic environment and the uncertain business outlook,” said chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. “We have taken decisive steps to reduce capital spending, lower operating costs and reevaluate our assets.” Sulzberger said that by suspending the dividend, he hopes to decrease debt and improve liquidity.