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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"To say the fashion industry loves to complain about riffraff style bloggers and C-list celebrities hijacking Fashion Week is like saying the Kardashians love publicity: the behavior's consistent, it rarely brings about significant results, and it's insufferably self-indulgent. But, one thing that does change is the focus of the fashion community's eye-rolling. Eric Wilson writes in The New York Times that back in 1941, members of the International Ladies Garment Workers' Union "balked" at inviting journalists to visit the showrooms, "not seeing how writing about clothes would help sell them." (Now, of course, not only are editors and fashion journalists a keystone of the fashion week structure, they're also some of the most vocal whiners.) Since the days of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, fashion's collective annoyance has trained its lens on everything from the size and scope of fashion week (or, rather, fashion month) and the over-shadowing presence of the celebrity front row circus to unwieldy street style hoopla and hackneyed personal style bloggers. But just as fashion likes to take the most démodé styles and make them "mode" again, so too does the pendulum seem to swing back-and-forth when it comes to this backlash." (Papermag)


"Popular New York society couple Dorrit and Todd Morley have separated after 14 years of marriage. We are told Todd — the CEO of G2 Investment Group and a co-founder of Guggenheim Partners — and Dorrit split during the summer. The couple, who have three kids, said in a statement, 'We recently have separated and are working together to determine what is best for our family. We have not decided whether to divorce and for the sake of our children ask for privacy.'  Dorrit, the daughter of grumpy Observer columnist Michael Thomas, and Todd — also chairman of the Forbes Private Capital Group — married in 1999, when he was described by the Times as looking 'like a model in a Ralph Lauren advertisement.' His brother-in-law, also named Michael Thomas, added to the Times write-up, 'Todd is the most unassuming master of the universe . . At his place in Southampton, it’s open house all the time and not exclusively six-foot-tall blond models.' A source added to us, 'Southampton is a small town, people may choose to take her side. He may not find it quite as friendly.'" (P6)


"Over the weekend, I got caught up in reading 'The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy' by David Cannadine. I’ve had this extraordinary book for years, for so long that I have now two copies, one more recently published. It was originally published in hardcover in 1990.  It’s a tome, 600 or 700 pages. I probably first bought it in paperback a few years later. It was another one of those books that I bought because of the cover. In fact the newer different cover was as alluring as the original and I bought it a second time last year, having forgotten that I owned it. Anyway, I am glad to have two copies, one updated. Mr. Cannadine is a scholarly writer. You have to pour yourself into the thicket of information about a world, a way of life, a point of view that is unimaginable to us Americans — or anybody else for that matter.  It’s jammed with facts and information detailing an epoch. In fact, I’ve never finished it. I just go back every now then mainly because I’m curious about something. The British aristocracy in its 19th century heyday at the height of the Industrial Revolution and old Queen Victoria was a way of life that is still imitated, perhaps, in a kind of faux way – and maybe now moreso than ever. Nowadays the plutocrats have their fantastic and fabulous lairs and estates, yachts and jets, greater than anything, technologically than the British aristos could even have imagined. However, back then they lived on a different planet and they lived well. So well that when Americans see depictions of that way of life (all coming from the UK), such as Upstairs, Downstairs, Brideshead Revisited, Downton Abbey, we swoon to the dramas they provide about that way of life. Because you can only think (without thinking), I’d take that. Of course, that was not exactly what it’s cracked up to be in retrospect (which makes it all the more believable to us working stiffs). Because as all good things come to an end with one Sundown or another, so it was for the Brit. Aristos a century and more ago." (NYSocialDiary)


"'You mean like, Angelina’s a bitch and Brad is great?'  That’s former longtime Daily News-er, Joanna Molloy, replying to a question about what we might expect to find in her forthcoming memoir with George Rush, 'Scandal, A Manual: The Inside Story of America’s Infamous Gossip Columnists.' As Rush & Molloy, the husband-and-wife team wrote the Daily News’ premier gossip column for 15 years. They met when both were working on the rival Page Six column at the New York Post. There are plenty of war stories. 'When Sean Penn called, it was usually to yell,' recalled Ms. Molloy. 'He was totally yelling at me because he had been with another woman that wasn’t [his wife] Robin Wright. And he just kept calling and yelling, ‘I haaave a family! I haaave a family!’ I said, ‘well, you didn’t think about that when you were horizontal.’' These days, having a celebrity scream at you personally would be called 'access.' 'The ones who pick up the phone themselves are always interesting to me,' Ms. Molloy said. 'Most of them delegate the yelling.' 'Jay Z called to really have a conversation about trying to understand why I did a certain item. And I came to understand him more, because he said, ‘look, there are jealous people out there, and they put lies up on the internet.’' Mr. Rush recalled, 'Julia Roberts tried to use flowers a couple of times.'  Ms. Molloy interjected: 'Two dozen tulips is his price! He totally killed my item about someone who she was sleeping with'—the actor Benjamin Bratt—'for a couple dozen posies.' 'And she calls him up and says ‘oh George, this isn’t news. We don’t want the spotlight on it.’' Ms. Molloy’s Julia Roberts impression sounds remarkably like Ginger from 'Gilligan’s Island.'” (Observer)



"A story written by a young Ernest Hemingway and rejected by Vanity Fair in 1924 has his estate still seeing red. Harper’s Magazine has been picked to publish the literary lion’s 'My Life in the Bull Ring With Donald Ogden,' in its October issue, despite a reported recent request to publish it by Graydon Carter’s Vanity Fair. Hemingway submitted the story at age 25 to the mag’s Literary Hors d’Oeuvres section, but then-VF editor Frank Crownshield responded, 'With our regret . . . we cannot use it, clever and amusing as it undoubtedly is.' Hemingway’s son Patrick sniffed earlier this year: 'I’m not a great fan of Vanity Fair. It’s a sort of luxury thinker’s magazine, for people who get their satisfaction out of driving a Jaguar instead of a Mini.'" (P6)

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