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STRANGER THAN FICTION: In Style is jumping into its partnership with “Gossip Girl” with two pedicured feet. For one, editor at large Ariel Foxman and assistant managing editor Honor Brodie will have cameos in the Oct. 27 episode. Foxman and Brodie play themselves and attend a housewarming party at the home of fictional characters Lily van der Woodsen and Chuck Bass.
When the show airs, instyle.com will cover the party as a “real” event, with photos of the characters attending the party and provide a 360-degree virtual tour of the Van der Woodsen/Bass “home.” The magazine’s October issue will also include an interview with “Gossip Girl” production designer Loren Weeks and coverage of the set’s wares, which includes pieces from Ralph Lauren and ABC Carpet & Home.
CW network reached out to the magazine as the show began filming its second season. Foxman and Brodie shot the scene in two days last week at Silvercup Studios in New York. Brodie, who oversees In Style’s home stories, said she studied her line for two weeks while on vacation with family; Foxman also studied long and hard for his performance.
“I spent an entire beautiful, sunny weekend indoors watching the DVD of the first season with a friend over [Labor Day] weekend. I practiced my one line with my family members. The day of my shoot, my dad called and left the line on my cell phone. I don’t think he’s ever seen the show,” he said.
Foxman also prepped by getting a haircut right before the shoot. He wore his own Thom Browne suit, while costume designer Eric Daman provided a Thom Browne Black Fleece shirt and tie. Brodie wore a floral print dress by Walter, and her own Jimmy Choo shoes, a move she later regretted. “I thought actors have it easy until I realized I merely sit behind my desk in Jimmy Choos,” she said. “I completely underestimated standing there for stretches at a time.”
In Style has been “Gossip Girl” obsessed since the first season. Its Web site includes the feature “Get the Gossip Girl look,” a shopping guide to clothing and accessories worn by fashionable characters including Serena van der Woodsen (played by Blake Lively) and Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester).
– Stephanie D. Smith
FASHION OVERLOAD: Is there such a thing as too much fashion TV? Marie Claire is about to find out, throwing its hat into the increasingly crowded field of style programs. The magazine on Tuesday revealed a deal for a new reality TV show, “Running in Heels,” which will air on The Style Network and follow 10 Marie Claire editors and interns in their professional as well as personal lives. But viewers shouldn’t expect to see editors’ catfights and interns wailing over bottles of wine at home about their jobs; “Running in Heels” aims to be the kinder, gentler fashion magazine program – even if it’s the bitchiness that sells. A magazine spokeswoman said the staffers will be shown “in a positive light,” adding, “This will be a different kind of show.” Those watching will see one editor get married, for example.
The title’s editor in chief Joanna Coles has been game so far, inviting the cameras into meetings, runway shows for Peter Som, Jason Wu, Vera Wang, Rock & Republic and Thakoon and she plans to have the cameras come to her home.
“This will not be like ‘Stylista,'” added the spokeswoman, regarding the show from competitor Elle coming to the CW next month.
In addition to Coles and fashion director Nina Garcia, the show will follow Lucy Kaylin, executive editor, Zanna Roberts, senior fashion editor, Zoe Glassner, senior shopping editor, Sergio Kletnoy, executive assistant to Coles, and Paula Knight, market editor.
But isn’t Garcia involved in another reality show called “Project Runway?”
Yes, and Marie Claire continues to be in talks with The Weinstein Co. about being involved with the sixth season on Lifetime. The Marie Claire spokeswoman claimed “Running in Heels” won¹t focus heavily on Garcia but she will be involved. Which raises the question – is Marie Claire a stepping stone toward a bigger career in TV and outside the magazine world? Garcia told WWD that she never sought a career on TV – but with two shows under her belt, it’s anyone’s guess now.
– Amy Wicks
SO THAT’S WHY HE DID IT: Lauren Weisberger may have turned a year at Vogue into a best-selling book or two, but Sean Avery has done her one better: the hockey player is taking his brief internship at Vogue earlier this year straight to the movies. New Line Cinema (which also brought the world the “Sex and the City” movie) said Tuesday that it had signed a development deal with the hockey player to produce a film based on his time on what the studio described “one of the most prestigious environments in the business.”
Three writers from Contrafilm, which recently produced “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” are attached to the project, as are two New Line producers. New Line president Toby Emmerich said, “Audiences worldwide have an immense curiosity about the fashion world, and this project should deliver comedic insight that will appeal to a wide range of audiences.” Said a Vogue spokesman, “Everyone here had a great time working with Sean this summer.”
– Irin Carmon
LIFE CELEBRATION: Among the editors in chief clamoring for reality shows, revelatory memoirs and (though they’d never admit it) blog mentions, Food & Wine editor Dana Cowin tends to be of a more private sort, rarely talking about herself in public. But there were special circumstances leading up to her first-person essay in the October issue of O: The Oprah Magazine – namely, her struggle with breast cancer. The essay manages to also tie in Cowin’s vocation, since it’s about parties she threw along the way to deal with the diagnosis and treatment. She even broke the news to her staff in the magazine’s wine room, over pink Champagne and pink-frosted cupcakes.
Then, midway through chemotherapy, a potluck pie party was named “If Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemon Meringue Pie.” The postradiation party, “Wishing Well,” this time with chefs in tow, will be this week at The Spotted Pig.
ALWAYS FEED THEM FIRST: The dramatic gesture among magazine publishers has lately seemed in decline – along with revenues, perhaps – but Glamour’s Bill Wackermann brought it back earlier this week by sending a handful of advertisers, for its Web video project, a fried chicken and strudel meal prepared by Wallsé’s Kurt Gutenbrunner. A tuxedoed waiter delivered the “TV dinners’ to Estée Lauder, Burberry and Revlon, which are the New York-based sponsors for the new Glamour.tv (Dockers, in San Francisco, got a catered lunch). The Web-based channel will launch with three shows: a makeover show featuring the actress Debi Mazar, an interview-style show on Hollywood Moms, and an entertainment show with Giuliana Rancic and Molly Simms.
As always, the philosophy is spending a little money to make money. Faced with an industrywide ad-page slump – Glamour’s pages are down 10.2 percent through September – everyone is hunting for brand-extending ways to make up for lost revenue. Web sites that magazines consider up to snuff with their brands require massive investments and making money on them is often an elusive goal.
Publishers are giving it a shot by pushing the boundaries: Glamour.tv, like Vogue.tv before it, is driven by the business side, which conveniently frees the editorial side from having to get its hands dirty by directly hawking products themselves. According to the magazine, “Glamour will create programming inspired by sponsors’ brands similar to the way TV shows were produced in the 1950’s: the content itself will feature brand, product and spokesperson integration, plus click-to-buy links to advertisers’ Web sites.”