Thursday, February 28, 2002

It is nice to see Vogue & trying to keep up with the trends. Vogue's March 2002 'On the Spot: trend of the month' report by Alexandra Kotur ( in that really her last name?) was on everything and everyone wearing leopard (see their report). Of course, if you read Marilyn's 'In The Market Report' for January 21st It's like Camel Only Better you already know all about this hot trend!

I applaud Richard Tyler for going on record and stating that he is "feeling somehow transformed" over the relevance of high-ticket fashion in a post-war Sept.11 world, as reported by WWD, February 28, 'Tyler's New Laid-Back Line'. As he put it "'who wants to spend a $1,000 on a shirt? I think our priorities have shifted...I think even women with means want real clothes- a great pair of well-constructed trousers for $150 (retail), a jacket for $270." To that end, he is getting ready to launch a secondary line- called Tyler- priced at one tenth (yikes) of his signature collection. I wish more designers would follow his lead---most designers' secondary lines are merely priced at about 1/2, and let's face it, half of $2,000 is, well, still expensive.
Bonnie knows what women really want: Bonnie Fuller is the new editor in chief of Us Weekly, two years after the title changed to a weekly from a monthly schedule. "Its mix of celebrity, style and pop culture news has paid off. I'll be building on what's been done." Fuller said. "I think many women have a vast appetite for celebrities and entertainment news." Hey I got another new idea, how about putting Gwyneth Paltrow on the cover?

Monday, February 25, 2002

Speaking of Gwyneth.....YUK!!!!! After having read Plum Sykes' revolting 'homage' to her, ("The Power of a Fashion Icon") I can honestly say that I will never be a fan. It was truly nauseating....from the endless pictures, to the dizzying description of the contents of her closet (including all the free furs, jewels, and couture clothing she was given, many in multiples, never worn, with labels still intact). But most revolting, is just how obviously taken she is with herself. I can't count how many times she used the word 'me' (''it's'', ''that's kind of me'', etc. etc. etc. She even had the gaul to admit that a commercial on tv really bothered her because she felt they were ''ripping'' off her style ("I saw one the other night for an outlet and it was completely dressed up in my kind of style...I was like, hey wait a minute, that's kind of me.") Unbelievable...Gwyneth, just so you know, you didn't invent style. Plum Sykes referred to the star good naturedly as 'the world's classiest label slut'. Well, in my opinion, it takes one to know one!
Well, everything is back to normal at Vogue. The March 2002 cover is guess who? Yes, you are so right, Gwyneth Paltrow is once again back in front. Anna can never have too much of her; the "style icon" that she is. What about future covers? How about a Hollywood mother/daughter combo? We suggest Susan Sarandon and her latest co-star Eva Amurri. Eva is Sarandon's daughter with Italian director Franco Amurri. Sarandon and 17-year-old Eva Amurri play mother and daughter in The Banger Sisters. Now talking about more "bang for the buck," Vogue could sure cover a lot of bases with this pair!

Sunday, February 24, 2002

The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology is hosting an exhibition with the theme 'Red'. Over 100 items of clothing, accessories and textiles are on display from Thursday, February 14 (Valentine's Day) through April 20, southwest corner of Seventh Avenue at 27th Street. Admission is free. For more information, call 212-217-5800. Our spies tell us that not one of Pauline Trigere's gowns - she loved the color red - is on display. So if that is the case, here is a photo of a Pauline Trigere Red Gown - circa 1992 - featuring a sweetheart neckline with antique jewelry photographed by me for a feature editorial in Palm Spring's Life Magazine. This particular photo was not used, but it has always been a personal favorite of mine and Trigere herself said she liked it.

Friday, February 22, 2002

Jared "JP" Stern is at it again. He should rename his 'Fashion Biz' Column The Tales of Paolo Zampolli. It seems that everytime "JP" does a model related story -and there are a lot of them - he peppers his column with Paolo Zampolli said this, or Paolo Zampolli did that... and on and on! You begin to wonder what is this special relationship between these two guys? Maybe Paolo is just introducing "JP" to some of his agency's pretty young models? Who knows, but one thing is for certain, Stern is sure going out of his way with all these free plugs for Zampolli and his agency ID Models - giving his pal the kind of press that usually is very expensive to get. It makes you wonder...oh, and when it's 10PM, do you know where Paollo Zampolli is?

International Best Dressed Poll

International Best Dressed Poll 2001/2002 Ballots for nominations to this year's poll are in the mail. "This poll, conducted annually since 1940 with the help of an international committee of fashion authorities, has as its sole purpose the maintenance of a continuous historical record of fashion evolution, marked by a list of prominent personalities who, in the opinion voters and the finalizing committee, has significantly personified that year's most memorable expression of influential personal style." - Eleanor Lambert, Coordinator

The poll was created by New York fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert. Some of the better known individuals included in this year's "suggestions for consideration" by the committee to the voters are: Women: Penelope Cruz, Tiffany Dubin, Goldie Hawn, Jade Jagger, Marina Rust, Hilary Swank, Kate Moss, Dawn Mello, Nicole Kidman, Mrs. Hernry Kravis, Blaine Trump, Catherine Zeta Jones, Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer, Chloe Sevigny, Ceclia Dean, Enid Nemy, Mrs Alfred Taubman; Men: John Bartlett, Tom Ford, Steve Martin, Brad Pitt, Sting, Taki Theodoracopulos, Jon Bon Jovi, Tom Cruise, Tony Blair, Richard Lambertson, Patrick McCarthy, Bryant Gumbel, Michael Douglas, and Lars Nilson.

The final decision will be announced in the Spring.'s publisher Ernest Schmatolla and Editor-in-Chief Marilyn Kirschner are among the over 1,000 voters selected worldwide to participate in the poll. For more information about the poll, contact Eleanor Lambert Public Relations at 212-754-3046 or fax: 212-826-2834.

- Ernest Schmatolla

Thursday, February 21, 2002

It appears this blog is already getting a reputation. We asked a number of well known publicists and journalists to contribute to this column, but while a few have registered none of them have "gone all the way" and contributed anything. In fact, one scared rabbit (if America is a nation of sheep then fashion is an industry filled with scared rabbits) associated with 7thonSixth emailed me the other day to say that contributing to the column was "scary." Translate "scary" to mean anyone who she feels makes critical comments directed at IMG on or about the running of 7thonsixth, but by inference also the questioning of Anna Wintour's judgement in putting Sarah Jessica Parker on the cover of Vogue, and/or calling WWD and John Fairchild to task for blacklisting Pauline Trigere for so many years. "Scary' is just another word for doing and saying politically incorrect things. This makes me a "loose cannon"; someone who cannot be trusted among and with the "almighty ones".

It seems OK for members of media to hold up for ridicule or reproach the personal habits of the high & mighty of our industry (Page Six's Richard Johnson has made a career of it and it never seemed to bother his wife Nadine Johnson whose pr firm represents many a fashion heavyweight), but God forbid you should question what they do in their jobs. Of course once these same people lose their high positions, then it is open season. It is not who you are but who you work for that counts. Yesterday you were an editor and everybody wants to know your opinion; today you are unemployed and your phone is dead and you are as good a dead. Anyone who has worked high up on a magazine masthead knows what happens when they lose their job. They will tell you it is the one sure way to find out who your real friends are!

Wednesday, February 20, 2002

Hats off (Phillip Treacy, of course) to Cathy Horyn of the NY Times for finally recognizing the exquisite talent of Ralph Rucci. I have always felt that he was the most underappreciated designer in the tents. Dressers love to work his shows for the sheer pleasure of handling the clothes. The cashmere was especially plush this season. Every design for the Chado collection is a work of art. And if the fashion show audience could only see the inside of each garment from the silk-lined pockets to the hand-printed lining of the furs. The attention to detail is so precise that the show could be run inside out and still dazzle the crowd.
The Look on Line's Publisher, Ernest Schmatolla, and I, were invited to be on Woolite's 5th Annual Fashion Forum Panel, held on Tuesday, February 19th at the 5th avenue offices of Fashion Group International. Moderated by Diane DeWitt, considered by many to be one of the very first 'supermodels' to strut the runway, and still looking amazing, I might add, we joined Mary Lou Luther, Editor, International Fashion Syndicate; Michael Maeko, VP Publicity, Saks Fifth Avenue; Richard Mauro, VP Design, Marketing and Merchandising, Joan Vass USA; and David Rodriguez, Fashion Designer; to answer a variety of questions which will eventually serve as guidelines for the consumer. Topics included how the events of 9/11 have effected what was shown on the runways, whether or not fashion designers are plugged into the current zeitgeist (and which ones seem to 'get it' best), which designers will serve as inspiration for the 21st century, whether there will be a return to the traditional dress codes in the workplace, and what fabric innovations we can expect to see in the next 50 years. Since the New York Collections just ended, it was fun to come together and rehash the week, the trends, and talk about the future of fashion. A special thanks to Eileen Brangan and Alex Riabov of Brushfire Marketing who did a great job in organizing and hosting the event.

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

After seeing the New York Collections, it's obvious that stylists will be searching elsewhere for Red Carpet Creations for their 'star' clients for the upcoming Academy Awards. In the name of political correctness, big time evening was almost non-existent, even Badgley Mischka went uncharacteristically low-keyed this time, and I doubt anyone but Julia Roberts will want to wear a long black 'naive' shapeless dress.

Monday, February 18, 2002

Email from Barbara Berman: Fashion moves forward from 7th on Sixth to its larger size counterpart CurveStyle. Catherine Schuller, its creator, wanted to call the event 14th on Sixth, but "you- know- who" wouldn't allow the title. A documentary of the plus-size fashion industry, Curve, will debut on February 27 at the NY Film Academy and yes - it's open to the public. I'll be dressing the models for the first-ever designer showing of the full -size fashions of Krizia, Givenchy and Oscar. And yes, again, the event is open to the public on March 6 at the Puck Building. Let's hear it for the girls! And by the way, I saw way too much celulite backstage at several designer shows. I guess the girls know the fall fashion scene won't include swimwear.

Saturday, February 16, 2002

The Fall 2002 New York shows are over. IMG, in the name of making money, took all of the spirit and much of the joy out of this season's shows. They charged everyone more but gave less. Part of what made fashion week was the buzz created by people that surrounded the shows. IMG cut out most of the fashion press and buyers from sharing a very important part of fashion week. By pushing people out the door as soon as possibe, by not offering them a place to rest, to sit, to reestablish relationships, to gossip, to meet new people, and to have a relaxed conversation about what they saw and what they would be seeing, IMG provided the worst form of corporate environments. IMG just does not understand or care about the nature of our industry. It would be easy to blame Fern Mallis, after all she has been running the shows for years, but she is now just another employee of a private, profit making organization that adheres to a bottom line. Their stake in our industry is limited to just how much money they can squeeze from designers and sponsors.

Some of IMG's missteps this season included: no place to sit or hang out between shows and limited amenities (since there was no reason for people to stay some sponsors were overheard complaining that their was little or no traffic to their areas). And after sending a letter out informing the $30 registrants that no goody bags would be made available, in fact, goody bags were sent out to a select group of people by personal messenger. This action alone created a great deal of animosity and a lot of people wanted to know just what the $30 free for registering was for. We have heard from many that they do not see any point in registering next season. And let's not forget about all of the people who had their checks returned to them at the beginning of the season because they were not considered important enough even to be members of this $30 select group who got nothing for their money except for the "honor" of appearing on a list that served little purpose. IMG did nothing, absolutely nothing, to encourage the industry to look to the future with optimism. If you were not there Friday morning for the opening of Fashion week with the Mayor, there was no other planned formal reception of any kind to attend or participate in.

After September 11th, it is even more important that our industry's semi-annual fashion shows becomes more inclusive, more exciting and still first and foremost in the interests of our industry. The current IMG produced version is targeted mainly at a national audience. The MTV'ing of the shows, to make them another mass entertainment vehicle like the Oscars or VH1 Fashion Awards, is in line with IMG's core business - to promote their clients' interests. But IMG interests and those of our industry may not be the same. IMG owns 7thonSixth but are we just there to be players on their stage? Does IMG success come on the backs of our industry? At the rate it is going, most of us in the industry should just stay home and watch the shows on television. Maybe that is just what IMG wants.

Friday, February 15, 2002

Fairchild Publications (WWD) are hypocrites when it comes to Pauline Trigere! They speak well of the dead, but least anybody forgets, for years and years WWD completely ignored Trigere. Such pettiness by publisher John Fairchild for some perceived slight extended to his editors refusing to attend any of Pauline's shows and they would not even mention her name in their publications. Finally, around 1990, Pauline wrote and published an open letter in the New York Times addressed "Dear John" to Fairchild stating that all should be forgiven. What may have irritated Fairchild even more was Pauline's outspoken support for fellow designer Geoffrey Beene who WWD had another ongoing feud with for years. So petty was WWD, if they had to mention Beene at all, they would not even use his real name. Imagine two of our greatest American designers being blacklisted because they would not kiss John Fairchild's a*s. It was only in the last couple of years would WWD "bury the hatchet" with both Trigere & Beene. It may have finally became clear even to WWD that such blatant arrogance on their part was damaging their own publication's creditability thus negatively effecting the almighty bottom line.
Bob Mackie's tribute to Broadway on Thursday was better than Prozac! It was blissfully old fashioned. un-cool, and un-hip, relating to nothing else on the runways this week. He even got a standing ovation. Talk about going back to one's roots... and Bob still looks as good today, as he did 20 years ago. It was also refreshing to see front row fixtures actually SMILE. Interestingly, with everyone talking about changes post 9/11, and how fashion people have opened up and become more human, more friendly, it seems that nothing has changed within the elite fashion world. Most 'celebrity' editors still look as if smiling takes too much effort, and they prefer to exude an aloof, intimidating, and distant aura. What a bore!

Thursday, February 14, 2002

Josh Patner's article in the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times is a refreshingly honest statement of the frustrations of a talented and creative designer who has regularly attained industry praise for his work but is eluded by financial success. The answers to his questions, however, jump out from his own summary of the Tuleh experience. Josh never suggests that Tuleh is based upon a sound financial model or that it was properly capitalized at the outset. Is it reasonable to assume that a company commited to the proposition of sparing no expense to achieve design and product quality will ever succeed? How important is the capital and financial component of a fashion business and how much control and ownership should be allocated to the financial partner? How many product categories ie., clothing, fragrance, accessories, shoes should a startup aspire to include under its umbrella? How should precious financial resources be spent: production, public relations, advertising? Should a young designer aspire to recognition, fame or commercial success?
Pauline Trigere, one of the greatest names in American fashion, died in her sleep last night. We heard that her family wanted to take her to the hospital last night, but she refused because she had a hairdresser's appointment this morning! That sounds very typical of her - stubborn to the end. I had the opportunity to work for Pauline for a number of years as "house photographer" for her shows. She was always very demanding but oh, so much fun to be around. Pauline Trigere was for me always bigger than life. Such a great lady. A real original - she will be missed by all of us.
It was chaos trying to get into the Oscar de la Renta show- because he uses fur, I think everyone was afraid of a Peta attack. He did not even come out for a bow after the show- I guess he didn't want a pie in his face. Security even checked my bag on the way in, and a lot of front row editors, were having a hard time getting to their seats. The show was fantastic...hardly minimal, which of course, one expects from peasants, but done with a modern and most importantly, young hand....I loved it!

Wednesday, February 13, 2002

marc jacobs shoes in paris have the same cache that prada shoes once had here. all the fashionistas over there are oohing and ahhing over anything marc. except for alain tondowski shoes, marc's shoes are the most coveted item in paris this spring. sorry to read his show was not up to par.
Not a good week for Marc Jacobs. His collection that previewed Monday night at the New York State Armory got pretty much panned with the one notable exception WWD. They liked his cleaned up grunge looks. Of course Marc was known as the "King of Grunge" back in the late 1980's. I remember his muses at the time included Ellen Saltzman's daughter Elizabeth, who I once saw - and will NEVER forget - at a Jennifer George fashion show "grunged out" wearing a chest high rubberized suit with suspenders - the kind designed for fisherman to wade in shallow waters. Elizabeth was still in her wet & wild table top dancing days before she decided to settle down, get married, develop that austere look and work at getting herself just the right position at Conde Nast to take over Anna Wintour's job when it comes available. And who could ever forget Marc's last collection for Perry Ellis - it literally brought the house down and closed the women's RTW collection for good.

Marc is now accused by some in the media of turning a blind eye to the "new reality" of post September 11 fashion with a show that was frozen in pre-September 11th terms. Worse, his collection seemed to more than a few fashion pundits as inappropriate, confused, grungy and that dirty of all dirty words "politically incorrect." Strange things to hear about a guy who is the "poster boy" for all things hip and tuned in. But maybe he knows something we don't?

Tuesday, February 12, 2002

I just got around to reading Lisa Marsh's article in the New York Post's Fashion Supplement on who sits in the front row of fashion shows and why. The supplement appears to have been successful in garnering ads but as an editorial product it was in our opinion, and in most others who we have spoken to, a poor if not tacky production. It looks like the "fine hand" of Fashionwiredaily in the page design and reminds us of their now defunct 24/7 Magazine. Anyway Lisa included most of the usual suspects but there were some pretty strange omissions. First on my list of choices would certainly not be Lauren Ezersky (read our 1997 profile on her) Maybe front row at some of the smaller downtown shows would be appropriate for her but I mean really "Behind the Velvet Ropes" is an obscure show on public access channel 35 (Robin Byrd Show and Midnight Blue also run) where host Lauren practices what we call the art of "kneepad" journalism - an especially virulent form of fashion celebrity groveling. Granted Lauren is a fixture - if not an antique - now for almost 20 years covering the shows and she does writes a column for Paper. But she hardly compares to Fashion Television's Jeanie Becker whose show reaches millions. And what about Linda Wells and Paul Cavaco and the others at Allure? How about the editors of Elle Magazine? And speaking of Elle where is Elle's coverage of the New York Fall 2002 shows? Click on to and their runway coverage is still the Spring/Summer 2002 shows. The only thing up to date on this site is the Mercedes-Benz ad. I guess they felt they could not compete with!

Monday, February 11, 2002

The Eleanor Lambert Press lunch on Sunday was very nice. Eleanor had one of the biggest crowds ever. Bernadine Morris introduced me to Suzie Menkes. I finally met the "legend" after so many years seeing her at the shows. Geoffrey Beene showed up as well as Elsa Klensch. A lot of familiar faces - I think even Glenda Baily was there but not sure - and the bake ham was great as usual... Our editor Marilyn Kirschner is sure on a roll, she has appeared twice now on Full Frontal Fashion being interviewed about the vintage outfits she was wearing; got a front row seat at Anne Klein and even Merle Ginsberg, the Entertainment Editor of 'W', turned around from her front row seat to tell Marilyn just how great she was looking. By the way, some of Marilyn's vintage clothing and accessories are now going on sale at Bergdorf Goodman.
Interesting to note that with all the hoopla over limited invitations being sent out, there was not one show I attended (including Alice Roi, Luella Bartley, and Bruce) where even those without any tickets were able to find good seats.

Sunday, February 10, 2002

Message Saturday night from Barbara Berman a Lookonline subscriber: "Just got back from dressing two shows at the Puck. Not much excitement or buzz. No signage, no hospitality, no sponsor materials, no celebs, no A-list models, but a nice attempt by Rand M to salvage the season for the less affluent or influential designers."

Saturday's schedule of shows included Jason Bunin's mens and womens fall/winter collection. One reason I was looking forward to it because he took the time to comment on Bernadine Morris' editorial 'Why Isn't Fashion Flourishing'? He assured Ms. Morris that she would not be disappointed if she attended his show, because he felt satisfied that he was addressing the needs of modern men and women with his designs. Well, sorry to say Jason, I was disappointed-----the collection somehow 'missed' in mood, color, and silhouette, the skirts were too short, and the evening dresses were a big mistake. You should have stuck with your softer, more whimsical sportswear.

Saturday, February 09, 2002

Judging from the first day of shows, 7th on Sixth seems very serious about security. While there are no metal detectors to pass through, the number of entrances has been reduced from 4 to 2, and you do need an invitation to even get into the tents. In other words, the tents will no longer be a 'lounge' for fashion groupies and other fashion wannabees. Fern Mallis was in fine form as she introduced Mayor Bloomberg at the outdoors early morning opening day ceremony, which was attended by many fashion designers, including Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, Betsey Johnson, and fashion bad boy Jeremy Scott, who is showing here for the first time. Trying to compare Fashion Week to the Olympics, Fern announced "Let the shows begin"

Friday, February 08, 2002

The choice of running Sarah Jessica Parker on the cover of Vogue is a new low for Anna Wintour, Vogue Magazine and American fashion. It is the triumph of celebrity over style where bad taste and bad morals are celebrated on the cover of our greatest fashion magazine. It is not Sarah Jessica Parker's great beauty (God forgive me for saying she is so ugly!) or her personal sense of style or glamour that got her the cover. It is her success in a TV show that some people have embraced as great entertainment while others have called 'soft porn' that now, according to Anna Wintour, makes her a style icon of sufficient magnitude worthy of being celebrated on the cover. And Vogue and 'Sex And The City' HBO producers are certainly taking every opportunity to cash in on this show's success. The kind of co-branding and joint marketing going on here in the name of selling magazines and HBO subscriptions would, even today, put a smile of the face of Tina Brown! At least Anna let's be honest. Why not put a real whore on the cover like Monica, instead of a second rate actress who just plays one. And Monica is better looking! And I can just imagine what is going to come next. How about 'Sex And The City' boutiques where you can buy the latest creations you see on the show - and having Candy Pratts Price pick out her favorite looks on the show to sell on the website. Hey, maybe Candy can even do a guest appearance on the show! But then again, when it comes to 'Sex And The City', Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker. ;-)
ernest---you've hit a nerve with me. the reason i decided to focus on french fashion is because i receive a good reception in paris. after i was invited to join the french federation of couture, doors opened up immediately--the same kinds of doors that were closed to me in new york. in paris i am invited to top shows, often given amazing seating, invited to parties and so on. in new york it was always a struggle. i became friendly with a few press offices, but it seemed more often than not it didn't matter to the new york fashion industry whether fashionlines covered their shows. watching second string celebrities prancing around in the front rows while i stood in line for 90 minutes just to gain admittance, only to be pressed against hundreds of other people in the back of the room, i decided i'd had enough. i love new york and i love new york fashion, but major changes need to be made before i return.
There has been a cut-back in the number of fashion related websites and others who were allowed to register with 7thonSixth this season. We have heard reports that checks were sent back to those sites who were not on the accepted press list. Of course being on the 7thonSixth press list does not get you into any major show. In fact one has to wonder just what do you get for the $30 fee to begin with? As just about everybody knows the major designers work from their own invitations lists and use the 7thonSixth list basically as reference. For the smaller shows and lesser known designers anxious to fill their seats the 7thonsixth list is used as a one of the factors in determining who gets invitations. However it must be said that Fern Mallis has found a way to bruise egos with this heavy handed approach. It is bad enough that more and more of the out-of-town press no longer feel welcome at the shows as they see their seats being occupied by a growing collection of socialites, Eurotrash, hangers-on and "connected" thrill seekers whose only purpose for being at the shows is for there entertainment value.

Thursday, February 07, 2002

it does my san francisco heart proud to read the praises of the GAP by marilyn--and while i thought i'd never be unfaithful to my levi-strauss blue jean obsession (i love my levi's like some people love the sf 49ers or the giants) i want to recommend Seven jeans. they are pricey ($115 and up) but when you wear them, you won't need a facelift, you'll look so hot! with high heels and a chiffon vintage blouse, you will be killer--some guys i know are even wearing them! they are low low low and cut just questions asked---you will be the coolest one on the scene. just look at michelle pfeiffer on this month's cover of InStyle. photo shop aside, that's quite a tribute to the "ageless woman of a certain age", and check out the jeans she is wearing! in paris this january, a stylist tried to buy mine right off me, and i enjoyed the way the french were checking my jeans out all over the place, trying to figure out what brand they were!
We all know and love the Gap for their inexpensive basics (I am especially fond of their fitted ribbed cotton turtlenecks), but their new line of khakis are especially great. The Sadie pant- which is available in 3 colors, sits low on the hip, has a really flattering cut, long slightly flared leg, is comprised of cotton with a little stretch, and is only $49! Since safari will be such a big trend for spring, these are worth checking out.

Wednesday, February 06, 2002

I'm a young-ish quasi-hot editor and I would love to attend Eleanor Lambert's open house! I faxed in a request but have not received an invite. Have they been mailed out yet?
Did anyone else watch Judy Licht interview Bill Blass on MetroChannel's Behind the Label on Sunday Night? Great to know that Mr. Blass has really recovered from his throat cancer---he still looks great. I liked the part where he took fashion editors to task, for dressing in boring and funereal black all the time. He said he couldn't stand it when he came onstage after his show had ended, and looked out at the audience, to see a 'sea of black' He has been quoted as saying that in his opinion, rich women don't wear black- though he ackowledged that it is a very New York 'thing', and the little black dress is forever. And he singled out Anna Wintour for her refusal to wear black, and her love of color. His designs are indeed 'forever'. I recently found two fabulous Bill Blass for Bond Street coats from the 60's, which elicit compliments from strangers when I have worn can't say that about too many things these days!
My favorite event (it has become a tradition for me) during fashion week is Eleanor Lambert's Open House Party for the Press.(Sunday February 10th 12Noon-4PM by invitation; phone: 212-754-3045 fax: 826-2834.) Ever since I became involved in Fashion as a photographer in 1985, I always look forward to going to her beautiful upper 5th Avenue apartment where she serves her famous buffet lunch featuring that marvelously sweet baked ham. Invited members of the press and many of her personal friends sit together in her living room and cozy den talking fashion and renewing friendships that were many times started right in her living room. Eleanor is called the first fashion publicist. For more than 50 years, she has help establish and promote many designers' careers and she started the "Best Dressed List". Perhaps more importantly, Eleanor is credited with first bringing into New York the out-of-town press during what was then called - in the 1950's - 'Press Week". Editors would be put up at several major hotels - like the Plaza and The Pierre - and the runway shows would be held right in the same hotels. This was all organized by Eleanor. She is truly a 'Grande Dame' of American fashion. It is interesting to see who regularly comes up to pay their respects. Over the past few years I have seen among many others: Geoffrey Beene, Robert Lee Morris, Adrian Landau and Bill Blass all drop by to say hello. Elsa Klensch is always there as well as Ruth Finley and Bernadine Morris. Very few of the young "hot" editors or designers ever show up. Many of them do not even know or care who Eleanor Lambert is or what she has done. Of course 50 years from now I doubt anyone will ever pause a moment and remember any of them. There is something to be said about honoring tradition...see you there!

Tuesday, February 05, 2002

to marilyn--anna's makeup secret is a good artist with a light touch. but i'd love her plastic surgeon's number. she looked terrific in paris! the ensemble that wowed everyone was a powder blue cashmere tutleneck, matching skirt, and a sensational dior reversable blue fox coat. (the silk side was a blue chinoise print.)

to ernest and marilyn--good luck at the shows! i especially hope to hear your thoughts on balenciaga, rick owens and little zac posen!
Thank you for posting a note Christine! I just got from Deborah the last issue of the Fashion Calendar published before the New York shows. It is over 16 pages long! There must be over 150 shows and other related events going on beginning the end of this week. We at lookonline are pretty well set for this season. I cannot tell you how proud I am of having both Marilyn Kirschner and Bernadine Morris cover the New York shows for the site. They are certainly the equal in knowledge and experience of any other two editors no matter who they are! Of course having good editors does not mean we get invited to every event. However, suprise of all surprises this season we finally got invites for Ralph Lauren's show - after being told last year by their PR department that "no one who works for Ernest Schmatolla will be allowed in". It seems I wrote and said some mean and nasty things about RL's public relations people past rude treatment of Marilyn and they took what I said very seriously. Unfortunately, we have not received any invite to the NY Post Fashion Party. I so looked forward to meeting Jared Stern and his twin brother(?) Paolo Zampolli. Nadine Johnson continues to exclude us from her A-List. I guess she is afraid that if we were invited we would dilute the A-List gene pool. But we should not be too hard on Nadine, afterall she must still be in mourning over the closing of Talk Magazine - and it means certainly that hubby Richard is going to have to work harder to find other things to "talk" about in his column.
Speaking of Anna Wintour, I have a sneaking suspicion that she has undergone some sort of plastic surgery recently (maybe just an eye lift). She was a guest on several recent television shows, looking more refreshed and younger than ever....bags under her eyes seem to have disappeared...and she seems to have benefited from an artful use of eye make-up. Oh, and by the way Christine, thanks for the compliment!!!!! I think you're especially witty too.

Monday, February 04, 2002

In defense of Anna Wintour Ernest Schmatolla invited me to this blog. this is my first time to blog. i want to write in defense of anna wintour, who routinely takes a bad rap by the fashion press. i have seen her at the fashion shows in paris, and the couple of times i have talked to her she was always enthusiastic--not cold. she is elegant and obviously driven, good qualities for a fashion editor, i'd say. she may not have the intellect of bernadine morris or the wit of marilyn kirschner, but i'd take her in a heartbeat to kate betts who is well, a bit dowdy, or carine roitfeld, who looks like a 12 year old boy in need of a bath. i'd like to tell a story to illustrate the kinds of interruptions this woman goes through during the course of her work day. i was sitting behind her and patrick mccarthy at the ungaro show a couple of weeks ago. about five minutes before the show was to start, a woman with a big microphone and a tv cameraman walked up to wintour. "excuse me, anna, anna, anna? i'm blah blah from blah blah in canada. i won't ask you about couture as i know couture isn't your forte, but could you tell us how trends are started?" wintour politely (but wisely i would say) declined to answer. "well then patrick, will you answer the question for us?" mccarthy replied, "if she won't answer, then i won't." i have heard that wintour makes her younger staff tremble with fear when they see her. this is often the effect an attractive, super chic and hardworking editor has on her staff. to quote joe e. brown in "some like it hot", "nobody's perfect!" even anna.
Posted by Ernest Schmatolla, the publisher of This is my first attempt at publishing a "blog" or weblog on New York fashion. I take fashion very seriously at, perhaps "toooooo" seriously, so here is a place to let my hair down (what is left of it anyway) and tell my readers what I really think is interesting, funny or just stupid! I have invited about 100 top editors, publicists, designers, and fashion website publishers to contribute to this "blog", but it remains to be seen just how many of them will make the effort and contribute to this experiment in crass (?) communications!

What has been on my mind lately is how many major fashion sites I find just plain boring or even worse. Tops on my list is, a site that never met a press release it could not rewrite as a major news report; a very ugly site whose publisher Jack Yan
seems to have an overwhelming preoccupation with lady's underwear, who disses just about everyone important in our industry but God forbid you should say anything negative about any of them, whose publisher never even heard of the name of Grace Mirabella and is proud of it(?); and a site with beautiful artwork contributed by Ruben Toledo but I just can't help wondering if their daily editorial selections are independent or paid for by advertisers?

Oh, and my choice for this year's "Webby Award" in fashion is At least what they do is original. Funny how they are not even nominated. Well, that is what's on my mind for today.