THE MEDIA BEAT: When Sharon Osbourne needed a fashion week correspondent for her new talk show, she wasn’t interested in the Mary Alice Stephenson type. She took the Tommy Lee route instead, sending the rocker out to report on the latest trends. Well, he did manage to get to a couple of shows, but found himself being reported on instead. At Esteban Cortazar on Thursday, Lee offered his opinions on such fashion trends as visible thongs: “I like thongs, but the kind on my feet, not the kind you wear in your ass.” On his own personal style: “I’m definitely rock ’n’ roll, I really don’t care about getting dressed up. The messier the better!” So was he really the right person for this assignment?
“I do like fashion,” Lee said. “I just enjoy watching it.”
GIRL INTERRUPTED: Fashion folk aren’t nearly as hard-hearted and jaded as one might think. That was apparent Wednesday night at the Anna Sui show as an eight-year-old girl managed to crack everyone’s cool. As the music blared, she bopped up and down to the beat on the lap of Allure creative director Paul Cavaco. Egged on by Cavaco and Vanity Fair illustrator Tim Sheaffer, the little lady leaned out and waved energetically to every model as she made her way back up the runway. Her adorable antics soon captured everyone’s attention, and even with fashionable lovelies like Sofia Coppola and “O.C.” star Samaire Armstrong sitting demurely in the front row, all eyes were on the diminutive blonde.
While some less-seasoned models stared straight ahead and tried desperately to ignore the spectacle, pros like Angela Lindvall, Naomi Campbell, Liya Kebede and Karen Elson took it in stride, smiling, winking and waving back.
And just who was this little star of the show? “This is Evie Goodman Gimbel. Tonne’s daughter,” Cavaco explained, referring to Vogue’s current fashion director, Tonne Goodman, and his co-fashion director several years ago at Harper’s Bazaar. “She knows all the models’ names.”
So who is Evie’s favorite? “Carmen!” she exclaimed, before clamoring to go backstage.
COME WHAT MAY: The May Co. will team up with Hearst custom publishing this fall to produce a beauty-oriented magazine for its customers. Said to be a way to drive business in core beauty categories, the project — to be edited by Seventeen magazine alum Annemarie Iverson — will take on a beauty-book feel, with features on such items as top mascaras, new fragrances and high-tech skin care. The first issue will be out in November, with others to follow seasonally.
MODEL CITIZENS: Cindy Crawford took a turn or two for Esteban Cortazar, but don’t count on seeing Christy Turlington on the catwalk any time soon. “A few loyal friends like Marc Jacobs and Helmut Lang ask me to regularly, but I have no desire to. When I said goodbye to it, I had no interest in going back,” she said Thursday night at a Nuala-sponsored party and benefit sale for Steve McMurry’s work to benefit Adopt-A-Minefield.
Three weeks is the countdown for the arrival of her first child, but Turlington and her husband, Ed Burns, are keeping the potential names under wraps. Suntanned and radiant, Turlington said pregnancy “has been like a nine-month spa for me.” But she’s still working away and plans to keep doing so for her Puma-backed yoga-inspired line. In fact, Herzogenaurach, Germany, Puma’s hometown, will be her first postpartum trip in December.
Another guest at the Visionaire Gallery show, Helena Christensen, whose photography is on display at the Proud Central Gallery in London through Oct. 4, was also focused on other things. A New Zealand publisher plans to release a book of her photography next fall. “Each photograph is very calming and eerie. There’s a certain stillness but it’s also a little disturbing to get you going.”
SHOP TALK: Liza Minnelli, Denzel Washington, Lenny Kravitz, Lauren Bush and P. Diddy livened up the front row of Zac Posen’s show on Thursday, but when Claire Danes arrived there, but not at Narciso Rodriguez’s show earlier in the week, there were instant rumors that the fashion-loving actress had changed her designer camp. Not so, Danes said, offering up an apology to Rodriguez for missing his collection. “I was in L.A. rehearsing for a film,” she said. “I am terribly disappointed about it.” Ironically, she’s preparing for her role in “Shopgirl.”
FLORIO SHOWS: Steven Florio, chief executive of Condé Nast Publications, made his fashion week debut Friday morning at Ralph Lauren’s show, in the front row next to Anna Wintour.
“I don’t do this. They do this,” said Florio, pointing to Cindi Leive, editor in chief of Glamour. “I do it for Ralph. I’ve known him 35 years. My wife used to work for him when we were newlyweds, and he gave her time off when we had our first baby. Ceo’s don’t belong at fashion shows,” pronounced Florio, quickly adding, “Except this one.”
FABULOUS AT 50: Chloé hit its golden anniversary and celebrated with a bash at its Madison Avenue boutique Thursday, where the stars were vintage Chloé pieces brought in just for the event. There were older pieces designed by Karl Lagerfeld in the Sixties and Seventies as well as newer looks from Stella McCartney’s time at the helm. All were paired with newer accessories and pieces by Phoebe Philo. Highlights included a turquoise brocade number from Lagerfeld’s spring 1965 collection and a white chiffon dress from Lagerfeld’s spring 1975 collection. This was the fifth stop for the party, co-sponsored by W magazine, which traveled to Chloé boutiques around the world in cities such as Tokyo, Paris and London.PLINER’S PLACE: Donald J. Pliner is digging deep for the opening of his new boutique in Beverly Hills. He’s spending more than $1 million on the four-hour bash, which will take place on Wednesday. The company is transforming the rooftop of the store into a rainforest extravaganza, complete with a real waterfall, exotic animals and nude painted models wearing only Pliner accessories. Co-hosted by actor Mark Wahlberg, the opening celebration will also benefit The Mark Wahlberg Foundation with a silent auction.
PRETTY BOYS: Jean Paul Gaultier learned a new English word at lunch Friday in Paris: metrosexual. “Metro, like the subway?” he asked with a quizzical expression. To him, it just sounds like a new word for yuppies. But Gaultier was way ahead of the trend anyway, having introduced the first makeup line for men several months ago during men’s fashion week in Paris. The products hit shelves in Europe last week and have been selling like cold beers at a soccer match. In Paris, stores including Sephora and Galeries Lafayette have sold out of some items, according to a spokeswoman for the brand. Gaultier, who coincidentally praised to the moon Johnny Depp’s swishy, mascara-smeared performance in “Pirates of the Caribbean,” was proud to report that one of the bestsellers so far is a double-ended eyeliner and concealer, packaged to look like a writing pen.
CLEAN SWEEP: It’s been less than a year since Olivier Theyskenstook over at the dusty house of Rochas. But the precocious Belgian has already done some serious housecleaning. Last week in Paris, he quietly opened a revamped boutique on Rue Francois 1er. The 1,600-square-foot, gallery-like space replaces the fusty moldings and Louis XV style of the old shop. Meanwhile, Theyskens also helped cook up the house’s newest fragrance, Poupée, or “Doll,” which will be launched this year. Photographer Horst Diekgerdes has already shot the campaign.
MURDER HE WROTE: Sam Baker’s first novel, “Killer Heels,” may very well refer to death-by-Blahnik. Baker is the editor of Company, a popular British fashion title that’s sometimes likened to Cosmopolitan. His book tells the story of Annie Anderson, a young Fleet Street crime reporter, who’s tired of her hardboiled job and becomes a fashion correspondent for Handbag, a fictional fashion magazine. Then, during New York Fashion Week, she witnesses the murder of Mark Mailer, an up-and-coming designer. The book is described as mixing the thriller elements of Emily Barr’s “Backpack” with the backstabbing glamour of Lauren Weisberger’s “The Devil Wears Prada.” It’s been causing quite a stir in the U.K. “There are names of real fashion designers in the story,” said a spokeswoman for Orion, which is publishing the novel. “Sam has worked in the fashion industry for many years. He’s been to all the big shows in New York, Paris and Milan. He gives a real insight as to how the fashion industry works.” “Killer Heels” will be published in March 2005.
SHOW TIME: Is it a couture show or a cabaret? The fashion factor will run high when Lido in Paris inaugurates its new $9 million show, “Bonheur,” or “Happiness”, in early December. Couture embroidery master Francois Lesage is already working on embellishing the costumes designed by Edwin Piekny, known for his elaborate Las Vegas creations. Couture milliner A. Michel and flower and feather house Lemarie have also been recruited. Chanel acquired the three specialty couture ateliers last year. Meanwhile, Stephane Marais will do the makeup and coiffeur Alexandre Zouari will do the hair. Later in December, the Lido will open a new cabaret hall near the Opera, on the Right Bank. It will be called Le Taitbout.