Friday, February 28, 2003

New Book "Full Frontal PR": How Full Of It? How Up Front? and How Much is it PR?

We just got our review copy of Richard Laermer's "Full Frontal PR", the much hyped book that claims both to demystify how pr works and is a step-by-step guide to how to generate that almighty "buzz" for your own product or service. We are going to review this book in the near future, as soon as we find someone in fashion pr qualified to give us an informed review.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Marilyn Kirschner's Article on

Our editor-in-chief Marilyn is also a guest columnist for some other sites. She has a regular column on Cynthia Nellis site called "Off the Cuff". The current article Dressing for the Fashion Shows is all about how and what to wear during New York fashion week.
10 Best Looks from the Fall 2003 New York Fashion Shows

Our senior fashion editor Bernadine Morris chooses her "10 Best Looks" from the New York Fall 2003 shows. From mini skirts to bomber jackets, some of her choices are not "the usual suspects". Click for the full story.

Monday, February 24, 2003

Ralph Rucci & the Schmooze Factor

In case you missed his show we have highlights - click here for 10 photos from the collection.

We thought Ralph Rucci's show was one of the very best of the season. But we noticed, if you did not, that neglected(?) to include Ralph's show in their photo gallery of the New York Fall 2003 collections. We can think of a number of reason's why Ralph was not included, but what one fashion insider told us may be closest to the truth.

Ralph does not schmooze the editors at all. He is very much like Geoffrey Beene in many ways. He like Beene keeps his distance from the fashion media. And they in turn, just don't know how to deal with him. So they choose either not to acknowledge him or, at the most, give him little play in their columns.

Saturday, February 22, 2003

Excerpt from our NY Fashion Industry Report for Members On Jared Stern...

And finally, my award for 'Most Accurate Fashion Journalism' goes to The New York Post's 'Page Six' reporter - Jared Stern. NOT! He didn't even get half the facts straight in his bit about Elsa Klensch and the Assouline Book Party for Fashion People - the delightful new book of colorful and expressive caricatures illustrated by the wonderfully talented Gladys Perint Palmer. It's destined to be become a collector's item I might add.

In addition to misspelling Gladys' name (it was spelled Prenit instead of Perint), in his Friday, February 14th column (which Gladys referred to as "ridiculously exaggerated") Stern reported:
Fashion Doyenne Elsa Klensch went ballistic over a catty caption at Assouline's "Fashion People" book bash in the Bryant Park tents on Tuesday evening. Klensch was perusing the book of caricatures by Gladys Perint Palmer when she happened upon one of herself captioned, "After CNN canceled 'Style with Elsa Klensch' in February 2001 there was NOTHING to watch at 7:30 am (Pacific Time). Klensch's face turned into a rictus of fury as she rounded on Palmer shouting "They didn't cancel me. I quit! You never checked with me. I quit! I quit! I quit!" Before hurling the book and storming off to the amazement of fellow guests Miguel Adrover, Andre Leon Talley, Suzy Menkes, Fern Mallis, and Elizabeth Saltzman.

Ms. Palmer told me she was embarrassed by the article, and gave me the facts as they really happened:

1-"Elsa didn't go ballistic"
2- "It wasn't a catty caption - Style with Elsa Klensch was canceled...for whatever reason"
3- "I did check - how on earth would I have remembered it was canceled in February 2001?"
4- "Her face did not change (what is rictus?)"
5- "She didn't shout - she spoke firmly"
6- "She did not hurl the book - she put it down firmly"
7- "She did not storm"
8- "Ellen - not Elizabeth was at the party"
9- "I like Elsa Klensch and I repeat - there's nothing to watch at 7:30 am Saturday morning (Pacific Time). It was a terrific show."

Good work Jared!

- Marilyn Kirschner

Friday, February 21, 2003

Our Latest New York Fashion Video Report : "The New York Shows"
Today marks the return of our regular broadband video report covering the New York fashion industry. See links at left to run video. This report is, as always, written and hosted by our editor-in-chief Marilyn Kirschner, The report covers the Bryant Park Fall 2003 show period. You must have the Real Player installed on your computer to run the video.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Speculation is Fun: Who is Going to Replace Anna?
Who knows, but life is short and even stranger. Anna Wintour is at the top of her game, but if tomorrow she runs off with her boyfriend and becomes God forbid a Scientologist, or even worse a practicing Republican, who is going to replace her as editor-in-chief of Vogue?

It is like picking the next Pope. Who will the white smoke signal for next? So we are starting a poll. Our number one choice, at least who we think wants it the most and has spent ten years getting herself positioned, is Vanity Fair editor Elizabeth Saltzman. She has one of the sweetest jobs in fashion today. Of course, if she ever became the editor of Vogue she would actually have to do some work.

Anyway, Let us know who you think. E-mail us with your choice or choices. All responses are confidential. We will post the results of this poll if we get enough responses.

Sunday, February 16, 2003


If you think New York had its intrigues with the timely (or untimely rather) firing of Lars Nilsson immediately following his fall/winter 2003 show for Bill Blass...I have a better one for you. I have heard from a very very reliable source, that there is a rumor floating around Paris that "Tom Ford is close to out at YSL and Lou Lou de la Falaise is being considered." Lou Lou of course, would have been an obvious choice from the beginning, with her contacts, close association to Yves, and her incredible personal style, of course. Interestingly, she recently launched her own eponymous collection......stay tuned!
Josh Patner's Column

I loved Josh Patner's column in the Style section of The New York Times ("They Make Me A Designer Again")...It mixed keen personal insights and social observations with heartfelt emotion, and parts of it made me laugh out loud. It's obvious that Josh is passionate about his craft....and it's also obvious that there are young ones out there who at the early stages in their designing careers, are passionate as well. This is admittedly a very difficult time to be in the fashion business, and to be designing clothes.
I don't envy those who are intent on continuing in this career path. As for Josh, as he questions, "Will I ever walk down the runway again? Who knows." It seems to me that if he decides to embark in another direction, he might think about writing.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

More on Ralph Rucci & Cathy Horyn:

Dear Ernest--well said. Cathy Horyn thinks that because she's added vulnerable blonde streaks to her hair and is now kissing up to Ghesquiere and Oscar, all is ok and all is forgotten.

Cathy would make a great war correspondent. She's tough, a good writer and she obviously doesn't have a clue about what fashion is. Ralph Rucci is the best we have in America right now. The French are not among my current faves, but let's face it, they do know their clothes and Rucci is the only American they currently want on their couture list. And Ralph Rucci couture is rapidly acquiring the dream international client list. What's up with Cathy Horyn? She is so losing any fashion intuition she might ever have been credited with! - name withheld
Chado Ralph Rucci:

Simply a magnificent collection from beginning to end. RTW brought to the couture level. Ralph is an American designer up there with Geoffrey Beene. We have so few designers today who are first rate like Rucci and he has to go to Paris to be appreciated.

Reading Cathy Horyn's review of him today in The New York Times makes us wonder. She went on and on about Seventh Avenue's other Ralph - a designer Cathy views with rose colored glasses. The photo of the fur trimmed satin parka over a sequined top and satin skirt Cathy chose to feature in the Lauren review looked ridiculous. Ms. Horyn calls it a "modern mix", we call it closer to a "modern mess". If your were at the Rucci show you know which Ralph was really the star this season.

Friday, February 14, 2003

Zac Posen Dances On:

Is Zac the next Miguel Adrover? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, we shot a video of him at his show's after party at The Four Seasons last night dancing it up with a variety of " babes." And then fashionista Michael Gross - who is still pretty annoyed at us - getting one on one with Zac to the beat of the music. Click here to see the fun: Real Player Broadband Video: Cable or ISDN Real Player Low Band: 56K

Thursday, February 13, 2003

On Lars Nilsson Being Fired:

Well, I must say that I am not in the least bit surprised by the news this morning that Lars Nilsson had been fired from Bill Blass, just days after his fall show. Even though I didn't admit to being really disappointed with his collection on the blog (I really don't like being mean or negative, and Lars is such a nice guy and such a gentleman- one couldn't help rooting for him to 'do good')...I was.

I really haven't been thrilled with any of his collections except for the first one, where he showed promise with chic tailoring and the casual, elegant 'day for night' aesthetic that had been the signature of Bill Blass. I couldn't help but feel that Lars was projecting a bit too much of his Scandinavian folk roots (even the soundtracks accompanying the shows seemed rather folksy). And unfortunately, I don't think he possessed that kind of 'larger than life' aura or personality (a la Bill Blass) that develops a loyal following.

Lars took some time prior to his show, to give me some of his thoughts on fall, and to tell me what his inspirations were for the season....and it sounded so great! Based on his animated descriptions of shape, fabric, pattern, etc, I was really hopeful that this would be a strong collection for him (which he sorely needed, because it has been obvious that he had not yet made a mark on the Bill Blass label yet...certainly, he was not really carrying on the Blass legacy nor was he really courting that customer). Of course, this is the second time in just a few years that a designer for the label had been let go immediately following the show (remember Steven Slowik?) What the label needs is a very strong designer with an aesthetic which follows in the mood of Bill Blass...there will never be another Bill, but surely, there are designers out there who can successfully carry the mantle. I certainly wish Lars the best of luck in whatever he does next.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Continuing Highlights of the Week...

Michael Kors finally struck that perfect balance...finally, a show that didn't lean on cliches...retro, ladylike, sweet, edgy...Michael's shows have tended to be too much about just one idea, be it Aspen, California, Park Avenue Princesses, etc. This time it was unapologetically urbane, sexy, modern, and full of great items, which is what stores keep saying they are doing well with. All proportions were represented..he did long greatcoats and short mini versions...Some things were skinny, others were voluminous- but his proportions were always right on. The color theme, which was pretty much about black, was not dull minimal black, but sexy black. Many of his leathers had silver studs, there were fringed beaded pieces, and there were his usual great coats. This was dressed up sportswear at its best. Oh, and he nabbed Naomi Campbell along with her incredible legs and bod....Congratulations! - Marilyn Kirschner
Kudos to Oscar de la Renta, who continues to make his elegant chic designs somehow youthful enough to imagine they're being worn by the younger set (well, okay, so the RICH younger set)...His studded motorcycle jacket worn with fitted pants and knitted cap are prime examples. But he also stays true to his signature and aesthetic, which is a nice change from many other designers. I must say, I also thought Lars Nilsson showed a strong collection - the day portion was for me, the strongest part of the line, and Behnaz Sarapfour put together a beautifully rendered group of day and evening clothes, all shown on elegant, beautiful models with their hair worn in a French Twist (that, and the high ponytail are the two big hair trends on the runways) with a flat pale pink ballet slipper like shoe. It was chic, dreamily refined, and of course, will be very pricey.

And Marc Jacobs and Jill Stuart continue to prove that one need only shop their local thrift shops, flea markets, and vintage stores, if they want to get the look for less. Many of their designs look like my closet! And is it just me, or am I already sick of the 60's? Thank God then, for Narciso Rodriguez with his modern vision, which also proves that nothing packs more impact than black and white! One more observation, whatever Alek Wek wears catches my eye...she has such strong beauty and carries with her a most wonderful runway presence. -Marilyn Kirschner

The Daily Launch Party:

'The Daily' had their fashion week party Tuesday night. It was a crowded noisy affair with people standing outside in the cold for quite a while before being allowed in. Once in it was wall-to-wall people. Fairly young, self-conscious group many of whom were standing around smoking and posing. There were also a lot of burley guys - you know the type - big shoulders over developed from heavy weightlifting in tight suits puffing away at big fat cigars in their mouths. Nothing to eat at all. It looked like mostly low level advertising people - perhaps sponsors of 'The Daily' - but we could find no fashion people to speak of except for Fern Mallis and Robert Verde who made sure he was photographed standing next to her. It was not at all what we expected and after an hour we made a hasty retreat. -Ernest Schmatolla

Monday, February 10, 2003

Michael Gross Column's Blind Item is a New Low:

"It's only for the summer," you told all who asked when your husband moved out last year. But fall has turned to winter - and he's not only stayed away, he's shacked up with somebody else, and by all accounts, is happy as Snoopy after nailing the Red Baron. And now, everyone's wondering if you'll keep your post position on Manhattan's fast track without his power to propel you ... " - The Word 02-09-03

The above invective is one of the meanest blind items we have read in years. Everybody in the industry knows that the above item is about fashion publicist Nadine Johnson and her husband the editor of Page Six of the New York Post Richard Johnson. I mean really, from someone of Michael Gross stature as a great writer for him to stoop to the level of say hintmag's gossip monger Horacio Silva is very sad. From Silva we have come to expect that kind of nonsense and who, by the way, as the paid pet of Amy Spindler, thinks he can blind item just about anybody's personal or private life.

Nadine can be real difficult at times. That is true. We also had plenty of trouble with her in the past. But it is also true that Michael sounds like he is trying to even the score with her for past "injustices" that he thinks she has committed against him. Regardless of the truth of what he said, all he really accomplished was to make Nadine into a victim and call into question his own reputation as a writer worthy of respect.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Same Old, Same Old...

Well- we're not even into the third day of Fashion Week, and two annoying trends that have usually come to mark Fashion Weeks of the past have already emerged: the annoying musical soundtracks that seem to accompany even worse fashion shows....and Judy Licht personalizing all her compliments by telling the designers she's interviewing how much she can see herself/her husband/her friends wearing their FABULOUS designs. Well, I suppose it's good to be able to rely on certain things in life. What else? everyone's obsession with Anna Wintour....not only will she most probably be on the cover (as well as inside) every fashion week glossy distributed during the shows, but when I tuned into WE Channel's Full Frontal Fashion, they were replaying a documentary made about her several years ago, which originally aired in London.

Nice surprises...William Barrett's Blue Khaki launch: real clothes for real men- chic, elegant, and luxurious..held at the new venue in the Tents- The Atelier- which is open, light, and spacious... Keanan Duffty's unexpected use of vintage dolls to show his men's and women's collection at in Soho.... Pierrot's always innovative and whimsical knitwear.... Kenneth Cole's new graphic, clean lines... Rebecca Taylor's short and sweet homage to Chrissie Hynde replete with 'charming' touches (literally), and Tracy Reese's vintage inspired (and Chanel inspired) frothy, feminine confections. It's obvious that black and white is staging a comeback, Mod is hot again, as is corduroy and velvet...and Courrege's space age designs will be serving as inspiration for many a collection. Oh yes, and jumpers and white boots are back with a vengeance.

Also back in force is Bill Cunningham, who told me on Friday that it was his first 'official' day back at his job at The New York Times. His eyes literally lit up as he enraptured about the Christian Dior hosted Frick party held the night before, which drew all the city's socialites (who were decked out in amazing couture- lives!!!), and he looks as good as ever. It's hard to believe that only recently, he went through some rather serious medical procedures...Seeing him in front of the Tents, always signifies that Fashion Week is really under way! But talking about clothes and fashion, I must say it's kind of hard to think about what to wear, and where one's seat is, in light of all the scary news these days. Hopefully, there will be enough high moments, with wonderful and wearable clothes, to cheer us all up and give us all something to dream about!
If the Jacket Fits Wear It!
(From "Rene P" who is a good friend of

I thought my fashion maven friends would appreciate this.

Tomorrow is my last day at IBM so today I went to clean out my closet 590 Madison Avenue. When I left I was a little depressed so I went to Chanel to see if I can brighten up my spirits with some amusing little trinket.In fact, I flew past the trinkets to the second floor having visions of a divine all-purpose black jacket. IBM was very good to me :-)

Except for a security guard there was no one there. I waited a couple of minutes and finally a harried young lady emerged from a dressing room asking me if she can help me. Before I could answer, she disappeared again through another door.

After several minutes of back and forth, me following her around as she disappears behind various doors, she tells me that yes, they have black jackets but not on the floor! She will bring them down as soon as finishes ringing up her customer.

Finally, she stops, looks at me and asks me what size. I say 8. "Really?", she asks me to take off my coat. Then, looking at me, with a sad smile, she says, "Have you ever worn Chanel?"

Saturday, February 08, 2003

The Incredible Rudeness of the French Fashion Industry Toward the American Press:

To my friends, colleagues and correspondents:

Normally I do not send my own editorials, but this time I have really had it with the French. This last couture week was really too much--the rudeness towards Americans that is so much a part of Paris life has escalated. I am sick of spending my time and money to report back to our international audience about the fashion industry of a country as flagrantly rude and uninformed as France. Please read my editorial, published this month in, and pass it on to others if you wish. By the way, the former secretary of state mentioned in the piece is George Shultz, a friend and Stanford colleague of ours.

all my best,
Christine Suppes
editor in chief

New York Post Drops Fashion Wire Daily Content

Bad news sure travels fast. We heard a rumor that the Post ended their deal with FWD. Sure enough, when we went to the Page Six website all mention of Fashion Wire Daily or articles written by them were no longer to be found. Frankly, we could never understand why the NY Post would pay to run the same articles that could be found on so many other sites. And certainly it must have occurred to paying subscribers of FWD that they were paying for the same articles that were running on other sites for free or for far less cost.

FWD is certainly facing increased competition since WWD went up with their new site last month. Which would you rather subscribe to for $99: WWD or Fashion Wire Daily? We think the answer is a "no brainer." Frankly, the NY Post dropping FWD content may actually be the best thing to happen to this struggling website. What can be more stupid that to give out the same content for free on one popular website that you are charging subscribers for on your own!

We sent an email over to FWD for their comments. But as has been our relationship with this site in the past, they will probably just ignore us.

And this just in from a source familiar to the situation:

FWD content deal was originally struck with NY Post when there were far fewer reporters covering fashion and retail (only Libby Callaway and Evelyn Nussenbaum, instead of LC, Lisa Marsh, Farrah Weinstein, Jared Paul Stern and so on). I understand the company wanted to get into fashion coverage and this was an easy quick fix. It also helped that James Murdoch's wife was working for FWD at the time.

If you look at blind items on Hintmag's Chic Happens, I think you'll notice mention of a certain online fashion editor. It seems this editor who also seems to be doing the selling for his site switched in to catty fashionista mode when he found he wasn't being renewed and started disparaging the above mentioned reporters. Not very professional ... And not a very good karmic move in an industry where you can be asking your intern for a job in five years, huh?

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Report on this Winter's Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show:

This winter's Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show offered proof that New York's fashionists still need to shop. As the clock was ready to strike 1am last Friday the line waiting to get in grow to over 300 and the crowd of hungry shoppers didn't stop until we closed on Saturday night. We have serious designers, collectors and retail customers that always find the means to buy. Quite a buzz surrounded our exhibition of Dean Sonnenberg's collections of period corsets and corsets collected Cathie Jung. Cathie's eagerness to share her corset collection was centered on her open discussions and the ever-changing modeling of her favorites.

The gate was filled with noted designers and celeb's. The regular sharp eyes from Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan were busy picking up possible inspirations. Cynthia Rowley and Betsey Johnson were shopping at their favorite vendors. The design teams from Marc Jacobs, Armani and J. Crew were actively working the floor.

Celebs guest included Clare Danes, Molly Sims, Patti Hansen and Lorraine Brocco. Suzanne Vega came to shop and shot part of a future video at her favorite dealer, Alice Linholm, from Right to the Moon Alice. Katy Kane from New Hope, Pa sold a most beautiful blue Fortunay gown. Laura Millin, of Cats Pajamas, reported brisk sales of her outrageous collection of hats and bags. Maureen McGill, of Daybreak, was busy wrapping up great furs and bright spring florals. And new vendor Kay West, from Harwich Port, Ma, reported active sales of her outstanding collection of 1920's -1970's fabulous gowns and dresses.

The Pavilion was a constant hub of high energy and happy buying customers. A good time was had buy all. Don't forget our next show April 25-26, 2003. Visit our special exhibition " In Step: Three Hundred Years of Shoes".

(The above report was submitted to us by the organizers of the event)