Monday, March 25, 2002

I was disappointed by much of what I saw on the red carpet at the Oscars. I was expecting more from Nicole Kidman...pretty pink Chanel, but with all the choices she had, I was expecting to be blown away (and wasn't) ...Halle Berry is hands down, the most gorgeous star in Tinseltown, but her illusion top dress was a bit too obvious and predictable...she doesn't need all of that to augment her beauty and sex appeal. But Jennifer Connelly is the new 'it' girl...great actress, gorgeous, and never makes a fashion mistake (as far as I can see so far). Loved her Balenciaga...the pale coloring, and the slightly 'tattered' style was a welcome relief from gratuitous see through, glitz, and beads. And the chic scarf was a wonderful change from all the blinding (and borrowed) jewels. She is a class act, and a fashion plate to boot! Worst dressed? Two way tie between Gwyneth in her black mesh top by Alexander McQueen: it looked like something you would see at a gym in Hoboken...and how unflattering it was with her braless droopy, tiny 'boobs'! Her bad posture didn't help, nor did her braided hairdo. The other? Cameron Diaz, whose hairdo looked like something the dog left over for breakfast...surely she can afford a hairstylist. The floral Ungaro wasn't awful, but it wasn't really great either. Maybe these women have too many choices of what to wear, and it becomes too overwhelming for them.

Saturday, March 23, 2002

Equal Time for Critics of is known for editorials criticizing others for their actions, contents or deeds. But if you dish it out, then you also have to be willing to take it! So in that spirit we want to share with you, our gentle readers, some of the all time classic "put downs" of us sent in by others that are archived in our letters to the editor section. We believe by sharing these "gems" with you, we will give you a good laugh and it may tell you as much about the sender as it does about us. We will post additional emails in the near future.

First up is a note several years back from Horacio Silva, that "boy-about-town" columnist for Chic Happens, the tawdry and popular gossip column of Lee Carter's His e-mail was in response to an editorial the publisher of Lookonline Ernest Schmatolla did on then editor Liz Tilberius's handling of Harper's Bazaar. In this note he takes the publisher to task for not knowing the meaning of words, for a lack of intelligence, for "an eyesore" of a website design, and advised that the site would be better off just offering a series of useful links. I would say dear Horacio covered just about all of the bases with this note. If "attitude" had a voice, this e-mail would be an opera!

"Not enough intellectual horse-power..."

"It's a shame you have neither the intellectual horse-power to follow through with your ideas, some of which are okay, nor the financial backing to show how much better you would do things given the chance. As it stands, your efforts seem undergraduate and underfunded. There was a good story there about Liz Tilberis's grandstanding and the decline of Harper's Bazaar as the front-runner in fashion publishing but instead we get the inane grumbling of someone who probably didn't get invited to the book launch. I'm certainly not a fan of Tilberis -- who is? -- but she deserves the respect that a well-balanced, intelligent piece would have afforded her.

Meanwhile, don't you think it's a bit rich of you to talk about "visual aesthetics" (by the way, aesthetics can only be visual) when your site is such an eyesore? I wish you the best, but it's time for you to rethink what you're doing. Why not restrict yourself to a well presented and useful set of links? At least then your site will have a purpose. I'm sorry to sound harsh, and by the way I'm on the side of the underdog, but at the moment I have to agree with the dude from Hurricane." - Horacio Silva

And here is short little ditty from Amy Spindler, Style Editor of the The New York Times Magazine and friend of all "boys about town" in response to our e-mail complaining that our 'What's Black & White and Available All Over?' feature article was used for more than just the basis of a NY Times Magazine article the following month:

"I've never looked at your website and have no plans. to do so. It is a very obvious idea, and an equally obvious headline, since that was the biggest trend of last season. We don't need websites to tell us that. I guess it is a coincidence." - Amy Spindler

And speaking of the "dude from Hurricane" e-mail that Horacio agreed with - here is another of our all time favorite insults. We call it the "The Shnook On-line" email. It concerned our editorial on "7th on Sixth" barring links to other fashion sites by the CEO of Hurricane Interactive who put up the first 7thonSixth site...

"My name is Jordan Harris and I am the CEO and President of Hurricane Interactive. Get it right or you will look even more idiotic! Ernie, if you are trying to be a "business man", you should learn to choose your fights wisely. I am not your enemy, I own a company that makes a profit. I am not in the business of "non for profit" the way you are. Maybe if you learned how to deal with people you would actually gain some credibility and make some money. No one gives a crap about your little Website, do your self a favor and go back to doing whatever it was you did before you decided to self promote yourself through a front-end called Shnook On Line". - Jordan Harris

And on making friends and influencing people comes an email from Mr. Timothy Hudson claiming to run an on-line retail fragrance site called He emailed asking for us to put up advertising about sale items from his site on the Fashion & Beauty Internet Association site that The Look On-Line hosts in exchange for a 10% commission on sales generated from the site. I informed Mr. Hudson that " Our policy is not to give away advertising space. Few good sites ever run that kind of promotion. If you cannot afford to pay for advertising, you cannot afford to run it." In response to our email this is what he wrote us:

"Thanks for all the info, since you must be right about good sites being able to afford advertising and that no good sites create any quality relationships that are mutually beneficial. Hey I've got a really good idea. Go to your bathroom, take the plunger there sitting in the corner and shove it up your ass." - Timothy Hutton

And finally out of the mouth of babes...

JEES you guys..! dont you have any money to hire GOOD Writers!!! your writers are HIGHLY unprofessional. JEEZ, i think that even my baby sis can write better! Please do something about your magazine. I am not the only one who feels this way. i think your WRiting and your editorial time SUCKS BIG TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - name withheld

Friday, March 22, 2002, the site where "celebrity gossip runs amuck" has been in the news as of late. Brandusa Niro, the controversial founder & CEO of the site (along with her husband) has been removed and replaced with a new CEO Lynn Krominga, a former exec at FWD parent Revlon. WWD reported the event last Friday. Readers got the sense that WWD was gleefully highlighting all of FWD's troubles. There is also talk about publishing FWD's 24/7, that awful weekly fashion/celebrity magazine that debuted with four "test" issues late last year and then was stopped. All we can say is just what the world needs, another tabloid style fashion & celebrity based magazine.

And speaking of tabloid celebrity gossip, we wonder just what is the relationship is between and Fashionwiredaily? has a number of links from several fashion sections on the site to FWD content. See the following sections: 'insider' and 'focus' and 'celebstyle'. Perhaps this relationship between FWD publishing house AMI and Murdoch's News Corporation goes beyond just sharing content? One thing AMI, FWD and the News Corporation all have in common, they can never be accused of underestimating the bad taste of the public.

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Yuk! Sorry, I leafed through the April issue of Harper's Bazaar, I was bothered and annoyed by the cloyingly sweet perfume insert...couldn't wait to find out what it was, and throw it just happens to be Vera Wang's new eponymous perfume....I find that most of new commercial fragrances that launch these days are all alike, and much too obvious....

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

We just heard that KRT Public Relations is closing. Since 1994, KRT was a full service creative marketing firm offering ongoing public relations, brand awareness initiatives, event and fashion show production, and marketing consultation. The partners all wish to pursue other projects. Past clients have included Daryl K, Wink, Levi¹s RED, Levi¹s Vintage Clothing, The Terence Conran Shop, and Le Parker Meridien Hotel.
Mixed signals on Roitfeld?

The following note is from a friend just back from the Paris Shows: "Word here is that Carine Roitfeld is out at French Vogue and will be back working with Ford at YSL. Her last issue was a real stinker in the eyes of a lot of people here, and while her personal style is certainly emulated on some runways, it is by no means universally appreciated. She was still clunking around in last season's YSL gladiator sandals and even SHE knew she could do better (trust me on this one Ernest, it's an editor's intuition)."

Our friend continues "The only editor more currently reviled is probably la Wintour, for the big mess she started in insisting on jammimg all the shows together and hurting the younger designers tremendously by flagrantly ignoring them. Marilyn and I are obsessed with discussing Wintour, and I'm sure you'll be going 'oh no, not this again' but no one touches Wintour for appearance among the top journalists and editors. Carine looks like a lost school girl."

Monday, March 18, 2002

I'll bet the folks at PETA were happy to see their favorite target- Anna Wintour- decked out in fur in the Style section of the New York Times. Even though the weather was reportedtly spring like and balmy, she refused to give up her beloved fur! She certainly is consistent though......

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

Go over to Shop where Candy Pratts Price pitches her latest must haves of the moment - you know "the things you never get tired of wearing" like a Bulgari "Tubogas" wrap bracelet watch in 18-karat gold for a mere $19,600; why not stock up and buy two? Or a Mikimoto Cultured-Pearl Strand "Every girl needs a string of pearls, and matinée length is the best. Any shorter and it will look chokey and childlike." price: starting at a mere $3,220; or a Hermès Black vernis Kelly bag - price on request. Price on request? Enquiring minds wanted to know! We called Hermes Order at Hermès stores (212) 751-3181 and they connected us to the handbag department. We asked the nice lady who answered the phone how much was the bag, describing it as best we could from the picture on the website, and she told us it was about $4300. She said they do keep a couple of the black bags on the selling floor but if we wanted to order another style or color the waiting list was about a year long. We then asked her the 64K question, was anybody calling her from reading Candy's column on asking for information on or buying the bag? "No" she answered, saying there were no calls from anyone mentioning they saw the bag being offered on website - and she was the one to know if, in fact, there were any such calls coming in. She was not even aware that was promoting their bags on the site. Not that Hermes needs any special promoting, but since Hermes advertises in Vogue the editors may be giving them a free plug on the website. It does sort of make us wonder just who Candy and the editors thinks is reading her column?
Poor Anna Wintour...I wonder how it feels to lose your status as a world class muse? It seems the new editor in chief of French Vogue, Carinne Roitfeld, is now the paparazzi's favorite front row celebrity, garnering lots of attention for her style (well, she was Tom Ford's Gucci 'stylist' for years). Time was, Anna's 'bob' was the most celebrated hairstyle among editors...well, it's been replaced by Carinne's trademark edgy, choppy, straight, cut that almost obscures her vision. And Kal Ruttenstein, who had once admitted to using Anna Wintour as his 'muse' and inspiration, has changed his affections and his attentions to Carinne (he told WWD that she has the "best legs and the best shoes".) Ahhh, such is life at the top!

Monday, March 11, 2002

After reading in WWD, how Ginia Bellafante was being 'barred' from Yohji Yamamoto's show because of the scathing review she gave him last season, (which had her unsuccessfully trying to sneak in with Cathy Horyn's ticket), I wonder whether Cathy will be blocked from the Celine show next time around. Yikes...she reduced her coverage of Michael's Paris designs to one sentence, saying that he "floundered with a collection for Celine on Friday that seemed to be one note....". I do think that Michael is relying too much on what he considers to be his 'signature' luxury sportswear, but without adding any irony, sense of humor, or sense of joy. While I did think his show in New York last month had some great items, Celine did not appear to be overwhelmingly inspired, relying on the predictable and expected. Michael was quoted as boasting that in his opinion, the word 'Michael' has come to be used as an adjective, which describes his 'school' of design. That's fine, but one can't just sit back and rely on that philosophy without working on modernizing and refining it.

Thursday, March 07, 2002

Why do designers and stylists adhere to the adage "if the shoe doesn't fit, wear it anyhow?" I was so sorry to read the NY Times coverage of the potentially career-ending walk of Michelle at the Gucci show. She's a lovely new face who no doubt was coerced into wearing shoes that didn't fit properly. After all, do you make a fuss about the shoes in your first Gucci appearance? Isn't that the job of the divas? I have dressed far too many shows where the girls were forced to walk the runway in shoes with broken heels, stuffed toes, loose ankle straps and my personal favorite - shared shoes. With all the time and money spent on the clothes, the models should be entitled to put their best foot forward.
I think the house of Pucci may have to re-think its appointment of Julio Espada as head of design. His third attempt to breathe 'new' life into the famous Italian label only helps to reconfirm my belief that nothing can compare with the original versions, (especially those from the 50's, 60's and 70's), thereby increasing the value of one's vintage pieces. I think it's a bad idea for a design house built on its eye popping prints and colors to try and go 'subtle' and low-keyed---after all, so many others do just that (and do it better). In the pictures of the Milan collections that appeared in both WWD and the New York Times, Versace and Missoni looked more Pucci, than Pucci. Such a shame, Julio is such a nice guy, (and talented to boot), but he should not try to alter the very essence of the label.

Wednesday, March 06, 2002

Keith Kelly of The New York Post reports that Fairchild Publications is planning on a new magazine aimed at the 40 plus woman. The working title of the magazine is "Elizabeth" which happens to be - surprise of all surprises - the middle name of their hot editor-in-chief of Jane Magazine the one and only Jane Pratt. Mary Berner, CEO of Fairchild which publishes Jane, thinks Jane Pratt would be just perfect for the job and she is taking a hard look at the new project. Oh, did we forget to mention that Jane Pratt just happens to turn 40 very soon? Perhaps next on the drawing board for Fairchild will be a pet magazine named after Jane's dog, then a retirement magazine named after Jane's grandmother, and then a "in-service magazine" named after her maid. Plans for the first cover may include Gwyneth Paltrow looking a little older than her years.

Monday, March 04, 2002

From British Vogue online: "Tom Ford abandoned his recent foray into the realm of hippy chick to return to the path of the sexual predator for autumn/winter 2002. Black chokers an crucifixes hung where plunging necklines bared alabaster throats and voluminous capes tied across white chests, promoting a Gothic vision for next season." Am I the only one to find the use of crucifixes as fashion accessories in bad taste? If nothing is sacred, does that mean we must necessarily profane everything? What's next for Tom (not just to single him out as there a number of other designers who do it also), tattoos of pink triangles worn by his models on the runway as some kind of new fashion statement?