"What's it like?"
That is the question almost everyone asks me about covering the criminal trial of Brooke Astor's only son, Anthony Marshall -- Tony, to friends and his defense attorneys -- who is accused of a laundry list of charges including grand larceny and scheming to defraud his mother. Prosecutors say he stole paintings and valuables and also unduly influenced Astor to change her will by $60 million in his favor when she was suffering from Alzheimer's.
It's definitely been a surreal experience to sit in the drab courtroom at Manhattan Criminal Court and observe not only Marshall, but his third wife, Charlene, and a parade of very grand witnesses including Annette de la Renta, Nancy and Henry Kissinger, Barbara Walters, Patsy Pulitzer Preston, Met curator James Watt, Vartan Gregorian and Graydon Carter dissect the life of one of New York's legendary personages in a place where it's not unusual to see a perp being marched around in handcuffs. (In fact, the other day when I was going through security another visitor got nabbed for bringing pot with him to the courthouse.)
"What's it like?"
Three years later, Kreiss is still on the family payroll but he's making a serious effort toward a more creative path: He's created a series of silkscreens featuring kooky cartoon characters. The exhibit, titled "Say Hello to My Little Friends," opened Thursday night at the AFP gallery.
After two years of legal wrangling, days of testimony and thousands of pages of court documents, Trovata and Forever 21 are back at the starting line because of a mistrial over allegations the cheap-chic retailer knowingly copied Trovata's designs.
Covering the fine jewelry market, I've tried on some fantastic pieces -- 50 carat rocks at Graff, vintage Mauboussin collars at Siegelson, even a tiara or two -- but none as pedigreed, iconic and original as Coco Chanel's matching set of Verdura Maltese cross cuffs.
Fashion has such a giddy air of wealth and excess around it that it's difficult to fathom when seemingly high-riding designer companies falter.
I'll never forget the disbelief in the WWD newsroom in New York back in 1998 when the paper got word that Chanel Inc. was dissolving its partnership with Isaac Mizrahi and shuttering the business.
It was dÃ©jÃ vu when I walked into Christian Lacroix's headquarters on the Rue de Monceau in Paris on Wednesday to learn the company had filed a petition seeking court protection from its creditors. It's always disheartening to see a wildly creative designer -- at Lacroix, even the wires coming out of the receptionist's computer are festively decorated with wooden beads and glittering rings -- run up against a wall.
in my experience is not necessarily true of all newsmagazine editors (all two, that is)." And although he found the new Newsweek lacking in clarity or originality, he urged readers to pick it up and judge for themselves, adding, "Don't forget to cancel your subscription to Time while you're at it."
Few are asking that question more than Dana Thomas, the Paris-based fashion writer best known for her book "Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster," which documents and criticizes the rise of the mass luxury market.
Women behaving badly.
Both descriptions neatly sum up the insanity that was the twice-yearly Manolo Blahnik press sale last Wednesday morning.
Upon my 7 a.m. arrival (the sale started at 9 a.m.), a waiting room at the Warwick Hotel had about 45 eager yet calm hopefuls awaiting the key to the castle (a lettered ticket passed out in order of arrival by two unflappable public relations women). The closer to the start time the sale got, the more packed -- and less civil -- the room became.
A few hundred feet east on Ericsson, a crowd of about 40 photographers and cameramen stood behind metal barriers in front of the New York Police Department's First Precinct. They huddled under beach umbrellas and plastic ponchos and refused to seek refuge from the downpour. Kiefer Sutherland could arrive at any minute to turn himself over to police.
This is the kind of symbolism a decent fiction editor might call too obvious. It's hard, though, to deny the slightly childish air that surrounds a celebrity perp walk.
One, Allure editor in chief Linda Wells, managed to procure a drink after the bar closed just before 7, mostly through prolonged begging. She later offered to share the bounty, a vodka soda, with Reader's Digest's Tom Prince and Departures editor in chief Richard David Story. "I don't have swine flu," she added helpfully. (They declined.) Nearby, New York magazine film critic David Edelstein, a finalist for columns and commentary, bickered with event staff over his rebellious refilling of his Diet Coke.