DAYTIME GETS DOLLED UP: Mary Alice Stephenson will once again be surrounded by petulant divas this fall — which isn’t to say she’s going back to full-time work at a fashion magazine. Stephenson, the former fashion director at Harper’s Bazaar who’s still on the masthead as contributing fashion editor, will be producing and staring in segments for ABC Daytime. The clips will be interspersed with soap operas such as “All My Children” and “General Hospital,” as well as ABC’s morning shows. Stephenson calls them “advertorial snippets, which will air alongside traditional commercials. It’s a unique format we’ve created in which women can learn about fashion on TV. Advertisers will be able to sponsor the segments. I’ll show my picks in various style-oriented industries — clothing, beauty, cars, household products.” The 10 ABC-owned markets guaranteed to air the segments — local affiliates also will have the option of picking them up — reach an average of 20.3 million viewers a day. Thirty-two percent of those viewers have six-figure household incomes. While the demographics might be right, luxury brands may not be able to get past the stigma of daytime TV, especially if the price of sponsorship is too high (ABC execs couldn’t be reached for comment on how much a TV advertorial will cost).
ABC Daytime has offered advertisers unusual platforms to reach viewers before. In 2002, it partnered with Revlon on a storyline in “All My Children.” The plot? Revlon tried to poach one of Susan Lucci alter-ego Erica Kane’s employees — a move that in return cost the company several million dollars in ad buys on the program. — Sara James
THE PARTY MACHINE: Forget bioethics — cloning yourself might just be the only way to make it to all the events magazines are throwing during fashion week. Allure kicks things off Wednesday morning with a breakfast at the Four Seasons to celebrate this year’s Best of Beauty winners. In the evening, Black Book and WWD’s sister publication, W, get artsy: Black Book celebrates its fall art issue at the Deitch Projects gallery in SoHo, while W toasts the advertisers in its Image & Art program at Philips, de Pury & Co. But Wednesday’s most coveted invite is to Condé Nast Media Group’s “Fashion Rocks” event at Radio City Music Hall, where Beyoncé Knowles, Usher, Andre 3000 of Outkast, Alicia Keys and others will be kicking out the jams. On a mellower note, Organic Style is hosting a shindig at Hue for September cover girl Angela Lindvall. Condé Nast, like WWD, is owned by Advance Publications Inc.
Deep breath, and on to Day Two. First, there’s Vogue’s soiree at the Chelsea Art Museum, marking Ann Taylor’s 50th anniversary and featuring an auction of Annie Leibovitz photos. Meanwhile, Us Weekly will be getting down at the Bryant Park Hotel in honor of Patrick McMullan. Then it’s Paper’s 20th anniversary gala at the Ukrainian Institute, Vitals’ launch party at the Maritime Hotel and Wallpaper’s gathering at Lever House in honor of architect Hans J. Wegner.
Come the weekend, the pace lets up a bit. Vogue will host cocktails Friday evening at the main branch of the New York Public Library. The event, which will benefit the library, will include readings by Sean Combs and Vera Wang. Later that night will be Index magazine’s after party at the Maritime for Terry Richardson’s new show at Deitch Projects. Saturday’s hot ticket is Baby Phat’s post-show rave-up at the StyleLounge, whose sponsors include Elle and Elle Girl.
The revelry resumes Monday night with a party at the Bryant Park Hotel for musician John Cale, hosted by Interview editor Ingrid Sischy and Betsey Johnson. Also planned for Monday are the opening of Self magazine’s Self Center and a gathering at Bergdorf Goodman to preview the first men’s fashion issue of T: The New York Times Style Magazine.
On Tuesday, you can nurse your hangover with Glamour at the Royalton, where editor in chief Cindi Leive will be holding court. After dark, there’s Cottage Living’s launch party in the Hudson Street building, where “The Real World: New York” was filmed, and the Maxim-hosted kickoff for Marc Ecko Collection at Table 50. Now warm up that petri dish. — Jeff Bercovici
SHOW SOME SPINE: Clearly, the lad mags have borrowed heavily from Cosmopolitan’s sex-and-service formula — after all, former Maxim editors Keith Blanchard and Mark Golin both worked for the raunchy women’s monthly before landing at Dennis. Now it’s payback time for Cosmo editor in chief Kate White. “I don’t have anything against stealing a great idea and doing your own variation on it,” said White, who in January began featuring slivers of a shirtless man on the spine of her magazine. “Someone pointed out to me that Maxim had been doing a picture that evolves as you stack the magazines on a shelf. I loved the idea of readers realizing there’s this really hot, buff guy on the spine.” Readers who correctly guess which model is featured have a chance at winning $10,000. “We get a ton of e-mail — women want beefcake,” explained White. “They want to see them without their shirts, and probably without their pants, too.” Readers will get even more beefcake for their buck in November when the magazine ships its annual Cosmo Men issue. This year, Matt Damon graces the back cover of the magazine — though he’ll appear fully clothed. Groused White: “It’s hard to get some of those A-list celebs to strip down.” So much for those days of Burt Reynolds on the fur rug. — S.J.
HIS AND HERS: After Time Style & Design’s anemic summer issue, editor Kate Betts promised the next one would have a bit more meat on its bones. And so it does: The quarterly’s fall issue, which is polybagged with this week’s issue of Time, weighs in at 76 pages — a far cry from the summer issue’s 28. The new issue also features a redesign by new art director Henry Connell intended to “give the magazine a little more of a masculine feeling,” according to Betts. While Style & Design is aimed at a dual audience, only about a third of its readers are male, compared with just more than half for Time. As it happens, one of the issue’s two fashion stories is on “The New Androgyny.” Fur coats, kilts, diamond-encrusted heart pendants — what could be more masculine-feeling than that? — J.B.
HATCHET JOB: All she wanted was the butcher knife. Nearing midnight at the Distilled Spirits Council party last week during the Republican National Convention, Ana Marie Cox coyly asked a server to borrow his blade to pretend to stab the watermelon with the “Bush” carving for a New York Times photographer. But it was no-go due to security reasons. Better known as “Wonkette,” the sprightly Beltway blogger, Cox is bewildered by her newfound popularity. “How pathetic is it that they are taking pictures of me at this party? There’s famous from D.C., which is really bad, and famous for Republicans, which is lower,” she said.
“What’s great about my having my picture taken at this party — as pathetic as that is — is that everyone here feels better about themselves because pictures are being taken,” Cox said. “I feel like a humanitarian.” A year ago, Cox was working as “a content monkey” at AOL. These days her zingy copy has a loyal following well beyond Capital Hill. “I must have won some sort of cosmic lottery — or lost it,” she said. — Rosemary Feitelberg