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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"The negative, even dismissive, talk about the Obama White House has reached a critical point. The president must change key personnel now. Unless he speedily sets up a new team, he will be reduced to a speechmaker. It’s mostly a matter of relocating the Chicago and campaign crowd who surround the Oval Office and inserting people with proven records of getting things done in Washington and the world. To be fair, it’s not clear whether the bad judgments on priorities, practicalities, and steadiness come from Mr. Obama or his White House team. Maybe he overpowers them in discussions, or maybe he gives them a role in policymaking far beyond their experience in that realm. Unless you’re there, you don’t know. But Mr. Obama is the president, and except for the right-wing crazies, most Americans still recognize his great talents and promise. It is he who’s got to be helped. So it is they who’ve got to go." (Les Gelb/TheDailyBeast)



"For the 281st time in the last ten months Roger Ebert is sitting down to watch a movie in the Lake Street Screening Room, on the sixteenth floor of what used to pass for a skyscraper in the Loop. Ebert's been coming to it for nearly thirty years, along with the rest of Chicago's increasingly venerable collection of movie critics. More than a dozen of them are here this afternoon, sitting together in the dark. Some of them look as though they plan on camping out, with their coats, blankets, lunches, and laptops spread out on the seats around them. The critics might watch three or four movies in a single day, and they have rules and rituals along with their lunches to make it through. The small, fabric-walled room has forty-nine purple seats in it; Ebert always occupies the aisle seat in the last row, closest to the door. His wife, Chaz, in her capacity as vice-president of the Ebert Company, sits two seats over, closer to the middle, next to a little table. She's sitting there now, drinking from a tall paper cup. Michael Phillips, Ebert's bearded, bespectacled replacement on At the Movies, is on the other side of the room, one row down. The guy who used to write under the name Capone for Ain't It Cool News leans against the far wall. Jonathan Rosenbaum and Peter Sobczynski, dressed in black, are down front. 'Too close for me,' Ebert writes in his small spiral notebook." (Esky)



"In regards to the ballyhoo about the Jersey Shore cast and their wanting to attend fashion shows. First of all I know for a fact that several designers invited them to sit front row. And even the illustrious Simon Doonan was quoted as saying, 'The thing that’s so fabulous about them is their complete and utter lack of pretension. That is a much needed ingredient of Fashion Week.' Agreed ... maybe not at Chado Ralph Rucci. The fact is, no one wanted to pay a fee for them, so it was smarter for MTV’s Emily Yeomans, communications manager, to say that none of the cast had plans to attend shows, nor had any designers invited them. Try with all your might to hold onto the value of that brand, dear." (Imeanwhat)



"Olivier Zahm's recipe for the perfect fashion week party? 'I need my friends, the people I work with, and also beautiful ladies,' the Purple magazine founder said, taking in the crowd at the dinner he hosted at Nur Khan and Paul Sevigny's new restaurant, Kenmare, Sunday night. And there were plenty from each category in attendance, thanks to revelers such as Chloë Sevigny, Terry Richardson, Jefferson Hack, Irina Lazareanu, Waris Ahluwalia, Tallulah Harlech and Zac Posen, as well as new parents Leelee Sobieski and Adam Kimmel, for whom the event provided a welcome excuse to step out sans little Louisanna. (It was Valentine's Day, after all.) 'Our baby nurse had the last three days off and now she's back on,' Sobieski explained, borrowing her fiancé’s iPhone to show friends a video of their baby, sleeping and smiling. Daphne Guinness' late arrival, on the arm of David LaChapelle and with a cane-hobbled André Balazs in tow, made for the evening's most dramatic entrance, dressed as she was in a mesh face veil, intricately embellished bodice and dress and a feathery accessory whose function was indeterminate." (WWD)



"Frequent NYSD readers know I am an avid reader of obituaries, particularly those published in the European press, especially the British and most especially Telegraph of London. The Brits are less formal in their reports of people’s lives. Eccentricities, bad habits, even crimes are freely described when applicable. However, beyond that are the astonishing characters – the ones you find in novels or films – where bravery or courage step in and elevate the man or woman. Such is the following from this week’s Telegraph about a man who most likely never heard or never even would have heard of had it not been through the dispatches in memoriam. This is a good story. The only question I might have in the end is who will play Horace a/k/a Jim in the movie, and who will play Rosa in this suspense/romance? From the Telegraph in London. 'Horace Greasley, who died on February 4 aged 91, claimed a record unique among Second World War PoWs – that of escaping from his camp more than 200 times only to creep back into captivity each time.'" (NYSocialDiary)



"Rose Bar was definitely not the most romantic spot in New York City last night, but it was clearly the place to be. A performance by Axl Rose and Guns N’ Roses attracted models and muses (Irina Lazareanu, Daphne Guinness), celebrities (Ryan Phillippe, Adrian Grenier), and out-of-towners here for Fashion Week to what the P.R. materials described as a special Valentine’s Day show at one of the city’s 'most intimate venues.' And despite the doorman’s aggressive no-plus-one policy (testing the bonds of more than one couple) and pushy maximum-capacity crowd, it was sort of intimate. You got to see Axl Rose up close: the huge jewels on his fingers and wrists, some trickles of sweat on his chest, and, finally, during the last song of the set, his red bandana, which had been hiding under an old-fashioned felt hat all night. You also got to shimmy past models, receive split-second, haphazard embraces from moshers, and wait with Russell Simmons in the unisex bathroom line." (VF)



"London’s Beauchamp Place, the Knightsbridge street that’s home to a Pizza Express and to Bruce Oldfield’s couture salon for society ladies, hasn’t been a locus of cool for at least a decade. But over the past few months a clutch of big names, including Lord Rothschild, Ginevra Elkann, Arpad “Arki” Busson, Pia Getty, Alejandro Santo Domingo, Marc Rich, Zaha Hadid and Peggy Rockefeller Dulany, has quietly been converging on number 30, a 19th-century town house with an anonymous black awning, opaque windows and a shiny brass doorbell. They’ve all been taking part in an alternative London experience: dining on a mix of Italian and Persian food, discussing cultural attitudes toward philanthropy or the latest play at the Royal Court Theatre, and assembling around the fireplace upstairs to listen to live performances by flamenco guitarists or by Indian musicians on the dilruba and the tabla ... In other words, flashy champagne-spraying types need not apply. 'Money is no longer a currency; culture and taste are the new currency,' says Farman-Farmaian, who opened the club with funds from founding members. One member puts it another way: 'You’re not getting the Botoxed, collagen-lipped set here.' Paintings and drawings by the first artist-in-residence, Alexander Sandy White, are displayed on one of the club’s upper floors, and in October members were treated to dinner and Persian music at London’s temporary Museum of Everything, which showcases work by noncommercial artists. Farman-Farmaian has even begun publishing The Beauchamp Journal, a quarterly that features original writing and criticism by members.
" (WMagazine)

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