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Friday, February 11, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"History's first verdict on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was rendered late Tuesday night, Feb. 1, when thousands of protesters forced the autocrat to vow not to run for office again. The president, they chanted, had to go. On Friday, Feb. 10, Mubarak gave his answer: an unexpected but defiant no. Should this have been a surprise? Not really. From police brutality to persecution of minorities, from the arrests of journalists to the suppression of political dissent, Mubarak's Egypt has been a textbook police state. For 30 years, anger and frustration brewed among his subjects, bottled up and sealed with fear. Mubarak's latest intransigence is just another illustration of why the protesters are in Tahrir Square to begin with. Over the past three decades, Mubarak did not personally torture alleged criminals or beat protesters in the street." (ForeignPolicy)


"Fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg, still recovering from a broken nose and facial fractures suffered during a ski accident in Aspen last month, put on a brave face to be honored at Wednesday night's amfAR Gala at Cipriani Wall Street. Her husband, Barry Diller, related how an 'idiot' knocked her down and, 'there she was, lying in the snow with blood all around her, and her face had blown up like Quasimodo,' adding that her first words were, 'My cheekbones, my best feature!'" (PageSix)


"After entering a packed ballroom to the strains of 'Eye of the Tiger,' the former House speaker said the administration poses 'a fundamental threat to freedom' by 'centralizing power' in Washington. He said Obama's team is 'anti-job,' 'anti-small business' and guilty of 'utter, total hypocrisy' on offshore oil drilling. And, he said, 'this is an administration that doesn't want to tell us who wants to kill us.' Perhaps the greatest insult, the former House speaker suggested Thursday, was that Time magazine had recently paired Obama and Ronald Reagan on the cover. 'I hate to tell this to our friends at MSNBC and elsewhere: Barack Obama is no Ronald Reagan,' he said. The CPAC shindig is part carnival, part networking function and part ideological pep rally, spread across a sprawling Marriott in Northwest Washington. It is also an enormous bazaar where organizations from the Eagle Forum to the John Birch Society to the Weekly Standard peddle their wares." (Howie Kurtz)


"It was an eyeball-to-eyeball meeting of the world's most iconic glasses. Spectacular, you might even say. Last night, at the amfAR gala, Woody Allen spoke to The Observer about his friendship with Elton John. 'Yes, I'm excited,' Allen said in reference to the song Elton would be performing with Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, and Dionne Warwick. 'I mean I know Elton slightly—he's been to my house for dinner and I know him and I like him very much.' What about Stevie? 'Have I, have I seen him?' said Allen. 'Um, just in passing. I haven't been to any concerts or anything, no. But I very rarely go to concerts, of any sort.' Maybe Woody doesn't spring for tickets all the time, but he does maintain his long-time residency playing jazz clarinet at The Carlyle. 'Yeah I do, I do,' he conceded. Then he sighed. 'But it doesn't count, it's not up there on that level,' he said in that despondent tone, and gestured with a limp hand toward the stage where the icons would soon stand. He thanked us and pulled out the chair for his wife, Soon-Yi ..." (TheObserver)


"Perhaps no other athlete personified New York City and the 1970s quite like Walt 'Clyde' Frazier, the Hall of Fame guard of the New York Knicks championship teams. An unflappable floor general with lightening quick reflexes, Clyde was a showstopper off the court, as well—a man-about-town who could often be found sporting a sealskin coat, “Clyde” hat with a four-inch brim, and platform shoes. So it’s no wonder, too, that his 1974 book, Rockin’ Steady: A Guide to Basketball & Cool, was a one-of-a-kind, time capsule classic ... I met with Clyde courtside before a recent home game, and he was still the epitome of style and cool—decked out in a lavender corduroy suit with matching alligator boots, Clyde was positively gracious and loquacious as he shared memories of the old school Knicks of Barnett, Bradley, and Reed, as well as thoughts on N.B.A. fashions of today." (VanityFair)


"We do wonder if people like antiques dealer Niall Smith will exist in the years to come – easy company, humane, funny, a voracious reader, a raconteur utterly without pretension who says what he wants to say, knows history but is not unconditionally in love with the past. He’s SO Irish: brogue, booze and books (another ‘drinking’ interview) -- it’s fabulous. And for someone who deals in stuff, he rarely buys anything for himself. He loves the things he has, albeit in a careless sort of way. When he discovered that one of his dogs (now in ‘doggy heaven’) was regularly peeing on a Chesterfield, even as the dye stained a pricey rug, the rug went, not the dog (‘that bastard Bobo’ was his name). His eye for a piece, though, is unerring and we fell in love with the furniture in his apartment. 'Mica Ertegun,' he told us, 'says, Niall, you’re going to have a wonderful funeral pyre. You’ve such lovely wood.” (NYSocialDiary)


"When you think of The National, you think heartbreak music; you think punch-drunk love and moody lyrics for poetic intellectuals. But last night at Milk Studios in the Meatpacking District, where DeLeon Tequila, along with M.A.C. Cosmetics hosted an intimate party to kick off Fashion Week, The National really killed it. The festivities began with copious amounts of ta-kill-ya. Jalapeno margarita? Tequila sunrise? Straight up on the rocks? Check. Check. Check. And of course, in pure hipster spirit, enough PBR cans for all of Brooklyn to shotgun. (Oh, and just in case you wanted to prepare in advance for that hangover, there was coconut water, too.) The dress code was lots of black pants, red lipstick, fur jackets and high heels. The crowd ranged from camera-happy photographers, to music magazine geeks to well-known fashion bloggers -- like Susie Bubble and Yvan Rodic -- to extremely tall models to Zach Braff. At 11 p.m. sharp, the Brooklyn-based quintet took the stage. Lead singer Matt Berninger, who was indiscreetly boozy in a finely tailored suit, started off with a slower tune, the haunting 'Anyone's Ghost,' from last year's High Violet -- a Best of 2010 chart-topper on any self-respecting music snob's list." (Papermag)


"At the three shows she attended during last September's New York Fashion Week, a then-21-year-old New Yorker named Leandra Medine was, for the most part, an innocent bystander. A year and 10,000 Twitter followers later, Medine—now better known as the Man Repeller, after her blog by the same name—will be shoulder pads-deep in the action. During the last nine months, blogging from her parents' apartment on the Upper East Side, Medine has staked out a spot in the fashion world as head cheerleader for style choices that offend delicate sensibilities of the opposite sex—which she has dubbed 'sartorial contraceptives.' The more fashion-forward the look, the theory goes, the more sexually unappealing it tends to be." (Observer)


"A model trips and falls on the runway at the Christian Siriano show at New York Fashion Week yesterday. The shoes were from a range the designer had created for budget store Payless." (DailyMail)



"Waris Ahluwahlia is one of New York's many polymaths. He's a designer, actor, artist, fashion muse, style icon and story teller. He's also one of the few Sikhs here to be called a man-about-town - women adore him - and is photographed at the chicest events wearing a custom made Savile Row suit, pocket square, Indian cashmere scarf and a turban ... House of Waris, his jewellery company, has been described as 'idiosyncratically beautiful' - all pieces are handcrafted in Jaipur, and so Ahluwahlia splits his time between India and New York. The one of a kind pieces are sold at Colette in Paris, Barneys in New York and Liberty in London, amongst other luxury stores. Now he has designed a more affordable diffusion line called ' Waris Loves You ', which is on sale now. Karen Elson performed with her band - wearing feather headdresses - at a glamorous launch party in New York's landmark Woolworth building on Thursday night. Of his varied work, Ahluwahlia says: 'This is all just an expression. I am less comfortable saying I am a jeweller and more comfortable saying I am a story teller.'" (Telegraph)


"Movements in culture and art no longer gel and dominate for a decade or so at a time, but ebb and flow by the season, each one borrowing gratuitously from something that came before it. For music, save today’s disastrously bad radio pop (which survives as the last bastion of old distribution models and thanks to the easy manipulation of pre-teen girls), this means no more definitive sound. No more definitive rockstar. Jagger is the last." (2DMBlogazine)


"Last month, some rumors began circulating about Antoine Fuqua‘s gestating biopic of rapper Tupac Shakur with an April start date being whispered for the film. We made some inquiries and were told an April production start for the film wasn’t in the cards as Fuqua would be busy shooting the pilot for Fox‘s 'Exit Strategy.' But it’s clear that some of those rumors had a basis for truth as the film is definitely moving forward and while it might not lens in April, don’t be surprised if in May the pieces start coming together.Deadline reports that filming is set to begin with 'Tupac' in late spring or early summer and that casting is underway (leaked character lists are what got those rumors last month started in the first place). While the logline for the film vaguely says that the picture will chronicle 'the life and legacy of Tupac Shakur, including his rise to superstardom as a hip hop artist and actor, as well as his imprisonment and prolific, controversial time at Death Row Records, where he was steeped in the East coast/West coast rap war,' last year it was revealed that the script would follow Tupac on his final days while flashing back to the final four years of his life." (IndieWIRE)


"“It’s a frigid night out. Only someone as hot as Nicole Richie could bring everyone out tonight,” explained a grinning Linda Fargo. And it was true. While it was certainly hard to ignore the the lobster mac-n-cheese puff pastry rolls and Winter Apple Smashes, a vanilla vodka and cider concoction, Richie maintained a magnetic pull on the crowd in the back of the Bergdorf resto last evening. Apparently, the petite Winter Kate / House of Harlow 1960 designer finds amusement most everywhere ... The Angeleno turnout also included Cory Kennedy, who bounced around the room from DJ pal to photographer friend and back again. Would she be taking photos for her blog tonight? 'Duh.  It just may take three years for them to get posted. By that time, someone could be out of the scene and then in it again.' Despite her recent move to Manhattan, Kennedy’s lax west coast attitude was obvious, thanks to her anarchy symbol-emblazoned backpack, massive pirate-striped shirt and long messy coif. 'This crowd is very bizarre and interesting,' mused Andrew Bevan, style features editor of Teen Vogue. Later on, a lone party crasher attempted to snag every mini cheeseburger and pear tartlet that swished out of the kitchen. The interloper proved a bit too bizarre for the Bergdorf lot and was escorted out by security." (TheDaily)


"Security was tighter than usual at amfAR's New York gala this year—it's part of the deal when you've got a former president in the room. Bill Clinton ('still our hottest president,' Diane von Furstenberg avowed from the dais) was among the evening's honorees, and proved as good as anyone in the world at getting a high-wattage benefit audience to lend an ear. With von Furstenberg also being honored, the fashion crowd turned out: Helena Christensen attended as a guest of Olivier Theyskens, whom she'd never met before the car ride over, and Julia Restoin-Roitfeld came en famille; during cocktails, she broke off from her mother, Carine, to greet Stefano Tonchi in a way he might be getting used to: 'I loved you on Gossip Girl!'" (Style)


"Nick Denton threw a nice party at his Soho pad last night to celebrate the launch of the new Gawker. After the place had reached critical mass, Denton dimmed the lights and rallied the troops. He thanked everyone for handling the Tsunami of twitter hate that came along with the redesign. He called out Rex Sorgatz about their pageview bet and announced to his editorial team that he would give them his winnings from the wager as a motivational bonus. Special thanks went to Congressman Chris Lee and all the pervy policiticians who make Gawker tick." (Observer)

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