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A QUESTION OF TRUTH: It was an indisputably inspiring moment: “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts, diagnosed last year with breast cancer, triumphantly strutting down the runway of an Isaac Mizrahi show on a dare, sans wig, the front row full of whooping and clapping well-wishers.
“She’s at the REAL Isaac Mizrahi show at the REAL fashion week,” Diane Sawyer had intoned from the studio. Introducing the show, she said, “This is no joke — ladies and gentlemen — this is for real.” Her co-anchor told viewers, “She has real models, a real audience, real pressure, the big-time magazines — this has to go well.” Sawyer helpfully added, “And of course all the fashion critics are there” for what she went on to call the “debut” of the collection.
Yes, Nina Garcia (of Elle and “Project Runway,” of course) was in the front row and Mizrahi was sending models down the runway with looks from his fall collection, but the actual show for press and buyers had taken place the afternoon before, not live in the early morning, and with different models. So was GMA playing a little fast and loose with the facts? Why not just concede the show was a special presentation paid for by and produced by the morning show, with a front row decidedly different from the collection’s real debut?
“Certainly we were not trying to make it seem that it was his one and only showing,” said a spokeswoman for GMA, “but it’s the first time the majority of America was able to see it….We wanted to bring fashion week to people around the country.” As for the claim of “big-time” editors and critics, the spokeswoman said that in addition to Garcia, GMA staffers and breast cancer survivors, staff from Ladies’ Home Journal and People were among attendees.
A spokesman for Mizrahi said, “We thought it was beautiful and inspiring….We had a fashion show yesterday to which we invited guests and which was reviewed in newspapers across the country. We decided to have another fashion show on television the next day.” As for the show of it being the actual big event by co-anchors Sawyer and Chris Cuomo, “I watched it and I think they were doing it more tongue in cheek — for them it was more entertainment, not so much fashion journalism,” the Mizrahi spokesman said. — I.C.
GROUNDHOG DAY: Marc Jacobs’ fall show tonight may stir up bitter memories for those editors who waited almost two hours for his spring show to begin last season. But at least Glenda Bailey kept a sense of humor about it. For its March issue, Harper’s Bazaar, with the help of Jacobs and his team, reenacted the drama behind the delay, casting a gaggle of characters from that fateful night. The designer, of course; his business partner Robert Duffy, and Kate Waters, his director of public relations, as well as KCD’s Kerry Youmans, Renee Barletta, Julie Mannion and president Ed Filipowski all appear in the 12-page photo essay shot by Peter Lindbergh. Helena Christensen starred as a frustrated celebrity waiting for the show to start. Allison Sarofim, Cindy Sherman, Kim Gordon and Genevieve Jones sat half-asleep in the front row. Harper’s Bazaar editors and their thinning patience were even depicted on film, with Melanie Ward and Kristina O’Neill looking desperately for other ways to pass the time. At least Christensen had an upside to the wait — she got to wear a look from Jacobs’ collection for the occasion. — S.D.S.