ROLLING FLAT: It seems Jann Wenner apparently isn’t that popular with the MTV crowd. In its first viewing on Jan. 7, Rolling Stone’s MTV reality contest “I’m From Rolling Stone” attracted only 369,000 viewers. A spokeswoman from Rolling Stone declined comment Wednesday, and MTV did not respond to calls by press time.
Meanwhile, FX’s tabloid drama “Dirt” saw its ratings fall 35 percent to 2.4 million viewers in the show’s second week, compared with 3.7 million at its debut. Though the results were disappointing, perhaps future guest star Jennifer Aniston, who is best friends with “Dirt” star Courteney Cox, will help boost the show’s interest. It hasn’t yet been determined when or in what capacity Aniston will appear. Meanwhile, Web gossip writer Perez Hilton, who will play himself, will appear in episode 12. — Stephanie D. Smith
KATE’S NEW BAG: As many know from reading published reports, Kate Moss has swatted away rumors she wed Pete Doherty on a Thai beach earlier this month and wore a silver dress to do so. But as of next month, she can be seen in the spring Longchamp campaign clutching a silver bag on what appears to be a black beach.
The similarities may end there, but despite the tabloids’ tenacious coverage of all things Moss, Longchamp was committed to using her for the third time in its advertising. In fact, Longchamp thought it would be “a little hypocritical” not to use her, according to marketing director Marie-Bénédicte Verspieren.
Moss’ friend Mario Sorrenti photographed her in a studio at Manhattan’s Pier 59. The ads, designed to play up the white or silver bags, break early next month in the March editions of Vogue, In Style, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle.
Longchamp, which has distribution in 80 countries and nearly $260 million in annual sales, expects the images of Moss to help sell out “a few thousand units” of the $720 Mini Rival bag, which will be available at its 100 freestanding stores and some of its 2,000 retail accounts.
Moss, meanwhile, continues to be in demand as a model and frontwoman. Last month, she reportedly signed a fragrance licensing deal with Coty Inc., and her clothing collection for Topshop bows in April. The latter already has created a swirl of controversy. A British newspaper reported that Moss’ pal, Katy England, creative director at Alexander McQueen, actually designed the line. A Topshop spokeswoman said Tuesday that England was consulting on the collection, but was not on the design team. England’s spokeswoman was unavailable for comment. — Rosemary Feitelberg, and Nina Jones, London
ROAD KILL: It looks like those magazine gremlins will do anything to keep the February issue of W magazine and its transgender photo shoot with Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce out of the conservative Midwest. Early Wednesday, a tractor trailor carrying a load of Ws collided with another truck, resulting in at least one pallet of magazines haphazardly falling onto Interstate 71 in Cincinnati. Those that drove by the crash saw cover subjects Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig marred by the accident. All kidding aside, no one was said to be injured, but the Cincinnati Enquirer reported the crash involved a large spill of diesel fuel. The accident blocked two lanes on the interstate from 7 a.m. to approximately 3:45 p.m. The truck that contained the issues of W — as well as other magazine titles — was en route to a plant in Cincinnati.
A W spokeswoman said it is too soon to know how many magazines were thrown from the truck or how the accident will affect newsstand delivery. She added that more details will not be obtained until today. — Amy Wicks
D&G’S AD TROUBLE: Meanwhile, other racy images involving Dolce & Gabbana have gotten the company into some hot water in the U.K. Two images from the designers’ men’s and women’s fall campaigns have been banned in Britain after the country’s Advertising Standards Authority ruled they glamorized knife violence. In one of the shots, which the designers said were intended to evoke the Napoleonic period, three male models brandish knives while a fourth lies with a wound on his forehead. In another, a female model swoons, wounded, in the arms of another model in military garb.
While Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce insisted in a statement the campaigns took their inspiration from “[the] paintings of the well-known French artists Delacroix and David” and “[did] not represent any act of aggression,” the ASA upheld the 157 complaints about the ads by readers of the London Times and The Daily Telegraph.
A spokeswoman for the ASA said publications that print the images would face action from the Periodical Publishers Association. “We reminded D&G of its duty to prepare ads with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society,” the ASA said in a statement.
However, the British audience may be more sensitive than most — the designers maintained in the statement that the campaign “has been displayed on billboards and published in various magazines around the world, without complaint.” — Nina Jones
MODEL BEHAVIOR: As if the modeling world needs any more scrutiny given the controversy surrounding the use of underweight models at fashion shows, VH1 on Feb. 20 will unveil “The Agency,” an unvarnished journey through the groomed halls of the Wilhelmina Modeling Agency. The stars of the seven-episode series are the agency executives themselves, while the mannequins are bit players — and treated as such by bookers like the potty-mouthed Brit Becky, who gives cutthroat critiques of models’ body parts.
“I want you like a bloody stick next time,” she quips to a model who had put on weight (though where such weight had settled is invisible to the viewer). “It’s like the Pillsbury Dough Boy,” she says as she grabs another model’s stomach. “You’ve gotten fatter, and I’ve just said the F word.” And when she assesses a walk-in prospect, she asks, “Is she a bit wonky or is it me? She got funny teeth? Is she lopsided?”
Are such comments damning given the current model controversy? Wilhelmina president Sean Patterson doesn’t think so. “There are agents I believe handled it in a decent way, and some that handle it in a slightly more questionable manner,” he said diplomatically. “The reason we’re willing to put that out there is that we embrace all types of beauty in the agency,” he added, alluding to Wilhelmina’s highly successful models in its plus-size and sophisticates’ divisions. However, those models and castings are rarely touched upon in the show. “If we get more seasons, they will become serious plot subjects for us,” Patterson added. Meanwhile, one episode demonstrates how Wilhelmina tells underweight male model Owen that he needs to put on weight through diet and exercise, as clients repeatedly comment on his bony appearance.
The show features cameos from designers and clients including Tommy Hilfiger. Diddy and Roberto Cavalli also participated, but due to editing, both ended up on the cutting room floor.
Overall, Patterson defends the industry’s demands for perfection. “The model agencies are a middle man, which then are called up to deliver what clients are asking for.” — S.D.S.
IT’S A MUSTO: In his 20 years writing a gossip column for the Village Voice, Michael Musto has fileted closeted gays, run more blind items on Courtney Love‘s drug use than anyone can count, and helped authorities apprehend one club-kid killer in the form of Peter Gatien protégé Michael Alig. So it seems natural the party for his new book, “La Dolce Musto,” held at Susanne Bartsch‘s Room Service event on Tuesday, was as eclectic as one of his columns. In other words, lots of women who apparently have gone under the knife and lots of men dressed like them. Seen in the crowd were Joan Rivers, Ivana Trump, Justin Bond, Mariel Hemingway, Rosie Perez, Daniel Nardicio (a nightclub promoter who throws underwear-only gay parties), and Michael Lucas, the self-promoting porn czar whose behavior at the party earned the scorn of the guest of honor. “I haven’t written anything nasty about anyone here, but there’s going to be something about Michael Lucas in my column next week,” said Musto. “He completely ignored me because he was busy sucking up to Perez Hilton, and then when he finally acknowledges me, it’s to peddle an item about one of his tired movies!” — Jacob Bernstein
KEEP SPINNING: Spin magazine has finally named its new editor in chief, although the magazine’s top title is simply called editor now. Doug Brod, who has been serving as acting editor in chief, is taking the helm. The magazine’s former editor in chief, Andy Pemberton, left in June. Spin has brought on Steve Kandell in the new position of deputy editor. Kandell was most recently the senior editor at Blender. Spin also hired Michelle Egiziano as photography director. The position has been filled by freelancers since Kathleen Kemp left the magazine in March. — A.W.