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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres





"Beautifully set up. A nice kiss from the very attractive and charming David Lauren as I arrived. A kiss from Jonathan Newhouse. Hellos to Fabien Baron. All happy making. This was the press show and the one time I should have had my camera for the folks. If you did not read the name on the program you probably could not guess whose collection it was. It is a whole new direction for Ralph. Fun, young, colorful. Mod and modern, retro and up-to-date combined in a winning way.
The opening nine outfits were black and white, school girl as in Sasha's opening outfit. Knee socks, brimmed English school boy caps, chunky-heeled Mary Jane patent shoes. Outfit 10 was Katya in an English Dandy type double faced jacket with a black and white tattersall shirt and double faced wool pants. The collection continued with some great black and white separates and dresses, and an easy white ottoman ribbed mock turtle neck with matching ribbed knit mini skirt on Este (look 17)" (NYSocialDiary)


"To London for a brief visit to meet Spectator readers, as nice a reason as I can think for getting on an airplane, except for an assignation with Rebecca Hall, my latest obsession with the fairer sex. Our new digs in Old Queen Street remind me a bit of my school days, not that the Spectator’s building is ivy-covered red brick, but more of a mystical communication with the past. Who knows what goes on in one’s brain, especially when lots of booze and no sleep are the main ingredients left in that tired old sponge? Many of us were raised with a certain image of dignity—starting with good manners—that is not easily found in the hot spots I frequent nowadays. No sooner had the party begun before I realized this was going to be old-fashioned and different. Interpersonal ease, the euphemism for today’s lack of manners, was as absent as rabbis in Saudi Arabia. How delightful it was to be approached by strangers who shyly introduced themselves and said nice things about one’s writings. In the modern world expressiveness is all, i.e., 'Let me hang it all out so I can show you my inner self.' This crock was not in attendance last Friday at Old Queen Street (nor was my old queen buddy Nicky Haslam). They say you cannot have too much Schubert, whom I listened to about a trout on my way to the party, any more than you can have too much of a perfect afternoon in the Spectator’s garden meeting readers and getting totally drunk on booze provided by the beautiful and windswept looking deputy editor, the same one who left me standing in a church along with the Cardinal who would have officiated ... A brief drink with the beautiful 18-year-old Spectator intern who blushed when I poured her a whiskey, and then it was on to LouLou’s to meet blonde female company and my friend Tim Hanbury, plus Princes Pavlos and Nikolaos of Greece. The night went on and on and then it was time to meet my little girl for lunch, but the less said about that the better. Daughters do not like to see their fathers in a certain state—it makes for lèse majesté—but I enjoyed the flight back because I finally got some sleep." (Taki)


"Rick Stengel, Time magazine’s top editor for the past seven years, is leaving for a job with the State Department. While the appointment has yet to be confirmed by the US Senate, Stengel is in line to become Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Sources confirmed the news, first reported by PoliticoCapital New York and Politico, to Media Ink. Stengel’s tenure was longer than either of his two predecessors, Jim Kelly and Walter Isaacson. Nancy Gibbs, who was moved into the role of deputy managing editor two years ago, is widely expected to move to replace him. Gibbs, who has been at the magazine since 1985 and is well regarded by insiders, would be the first woman to run Time magazine." (P6)


"Whom the gods would destroy, they first render plump and juicy. That is how foodies are brought down to earth. Last year it was Guy Fieri, the spiky-haired, garishly tattooed showman chef and host of Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, who found himself served on the sacrificial altar: glazed with honey, decorated with pineapple medallions, and then devilishly sliced up by the New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells, whose review of Fieri’s Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar tourist trap in Times Square was the Schadenfreude dance party of the season. 'Why did the toasted marshmallow taste like fish?' asked Wells, like a prosecuting attorney with Maalox lips. 'And when we hear the words Donkey Sauce, which part of the donkey are we supposed to think about?' The destructive impact was seismic, amplified by the excitable Internet into a cause célèbre. It was considered by many a deserving, scathing comeuppance for Fieri, who had parlayed his higher-octane Barney Rubble TV personality into a schlock canteen intended to fleece the innocent sheep already paying extortionate prices for Broadway musicals. At least Hooters has, well, hooters. Then it was Paula Deen’s turn in the barrel. It wasn’t her lo-falutin meals but her ungoverned mouth that turned her into the punch line of a national laugh track. Her gingerbread world collapsed after the leak of a deposition involving a lawsuit lodged against her and her brother, Earl (Bubba) Hiers, by a former employee alleging racial and sexual discrimination in their Savannah, Georgia, restaurants. Deen was asked by the plaintiff’s lawyer if she had ever used the n-word, to which she fatefully replied, 'Yes, of course.' That 'of course' was her undoing. So many assumptions were packed into those two little words, none of them pretty. If Deen had couched her admission in a cheese-drenched macaroni bed of regret, offering something along the lines of 'I’m not proud of this, but there were times when that inexcusable word escaped my lips,' she might have received leniency from the swift-to-condemn media chorale always eager to swoop. But the blithe matter-of-factness of 'of course,' combined with the ditsy doo-dah of old-plantation romance wafting through the rest of her remarks, indicated that there wasn’t much depth to her reflecting pool." (VanityFair)



"In case you don't know, these parties aren't like real parties. It's fabricated fun, imposed from the outside. A vision of what squares imagine cool people might do set on a spaceship. Or in Moloko. As we come out of the lift there's a bloody great long corridor flanked by gorgeous birds in black dresses, paid to be there, motionless, left hand on hip, teeth tacked to lips with scarlet glue. The intention, I suppose, is to contrive some Ian Fleming super-uterus of well fit mannequins to midwife you into the shindig, but me and my mate Matt just felt self-conscious, jigging through Robert Palmer's oestrogen passage like aspirational Morris dancers. Matt stared at their necks and I made small talk as I hot stepped towards the pre-show drinks. Now, I'm not typically immune to the allure of objectified women, but I am presently beleaguered by a nerdish, whirling dervish, and am eschewing all others. Perhaps the clarity of this elation has awakened me. A friend of mine said: 'Being in love is like discovering a concealed ballroom in a house you've long inhabited.' I also don't drink, so these affairs where most people rinse away their Britishness and twitishness with booze are for me a face-first log flume of backslaps, chitchat, eyewash and gak. After a load of photos and what-not, we descend the world's longest escalator, which are called that even as they de-escalate, and in we go to the main forum, a high ceilinged hall, full of circular cloth-draped, numbered tables, a stage at the front, the letters GQ, 12-foot high in neon at the back; this aside, though, neon forever the moniker of trash, this is a posh do, in an opera house full of folk in tuxes. Everywhere you look there's someone off the telly; Stephen Fry, Pharrell, Sir Bobby Charlton, Samuel L Jackson, Rio Ferdinand, Justin Timberlake, foreign secretary William Hague and mayor of London Boris Johnson. My table is a sanctuary of sorts; Noel and his missus Sara, John Bishop and his wife Mel, my mates Matt Morgan, Mick and Gee. Noel and I are both there to get awards and decide to use our speeches to dig each other out. This makes me feel a little grounded in the unreal glare, normal. Noel's award is for being an 'icon' and mine for being an 'oracle'. My knowledge of the classics is limited, but includes awareness that an oracle is a spiritual medium through whom prophecies from the gods were sought in ancient Greece. Thankfully, I have a sense of humour that prevents me from taking accolades of that nature on face value, or I'd've been in the tricky position of receiving the GQ award for being 'best portal to a mystical dimension', which is a lot of pressure. Me, Matt and Noel conclude it's probably best to treat the whole event as a bit of a laugh and, as if to confirm this as the correct attitude, Boris Johnson – a man perpetually in pajamas regardless of what he's wearing – bounds to the stage to accept the award for 'best politician'. Yes, we agree: this is definitely a joke." (Russell Brand)

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