the Insiders


Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro
photo courtesy of Baltz & Company
In the ongoing fight of tony restaurants to stay afloat, the Upper East Side has incurred another casualty: Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro.

The eatery's owner François Payard announced its closing this past Sunday -- citing "untenable rent increases being levied by the landlord" -- and for me that means Saturday morning breakfast will never be the same.

Though the Lexington Avenue boite catered to all manner of culinary cravings, from lavish dinners to sandwiches, chocolates, sorbets and of course, their tantalizing tart selection, it was the weekend petit dejeuner that always had me sold.
The power of celebrity, L.A. style, is something to behold.

Drivers stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the 405 freeway last week opened their car windows to talk about Michael Jackson. For a brief moment, the entertainer brought them together during a week in which show business luminaries Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon also died in Los Angeles.
Jack Dorsey
photo courtesy of PMC
Two weeks ago, Alice Tully Hall was filled with designers, retailers, models and muses for the annual Council of Fashion Designers of America awards. In terms of attendance, there were very few surprises. Save for one: Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter. What was a techie doing in a room full of fashionistas? I checked in with Dorsey to find out.

WWD: What was your impression of the CFDA awards (in 140 characters or less)?

Jack Dorsey: I had a great night! Amazing designers all around, a look into part of the industry I've never seen, & an inspiring will to push creativity.

WWD: I heard you were invited by CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg? How do you know each other?

The original cast of "Melrose Place," circa 1993.
photo courtesy of Fotos International/Getty Images
It seems like the Nineties are coming back in a big way in fashion (Doc Martens and plaid shirts, anyone?) so it's no surprise television is following the trend.

First, there was the new "90210," and fast on its heels is an updated version of "Melrose Place," coming this September to the CW.

A screener of the show landed on our desks last week, and we couldn't resist taking a peek, having been addicted to the original series, which debuted in 1992.

Directed by the usually high-brow Davis Guggenheim (an Oscar winner for "An Inconvenient Truth" and husband to Elisabeth Shue), the new "Melrose" pilot showed that some things haven't changed since the original series, created by Aaron Spelling, ended 10 years ago.
Cameron Diaz in a J. Mendel dress, Van Cleef & Arpels earrings and bracelet watch, and carrying a Roger Vivier clutch.
PHOTO BY Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage
Cameron Diaz has been making the rounds this week promoting her new flick "My Sister's Keeper."

After appearances Wednesday on "Good Morning America," "Live with Regis and Kelly" and MTV, the leggy blonde hit the red carpet for the film's New York premiere in a one-shouldered J. Mendel frock.

Nude and gold Pierre Hardy sandals, a Roger Vivier gold clutch and 1960s estate diamond jewelry from Van Cleef & Arpels finished the look.

As J. Mendel designer Gilles Mendel told WWD, "Cameron is the quintessential California girl, so it is very fitting that she was the first to wear a dress from my resort collection, which was inspired by the ocean. I can't imagine it looking better on anyone else."
After sitting down with Jennifer Lopez back in January 2007, I was optimistic that after several years of ups and downs, this time she was going to make it in the apparel business.

At the time, she was introducing justsweet, a young contemporary replacement line for her JLO by Jennifer Lopez brand, which was being pulled from the U.S. market to, the company said, focus on global expansion. The samples were well done and Macy's buyers were psyched about launching it. And, after six years in business and with her JLO label, Lopez was finally completely involved in the design of her own line -- something she was consistently criticized for.

"Five years ago, I had a lot to learn about this business," she admitted in 2007. "And as I learned, I became more involved in the day-to-day. Now I am in the office all the time, and I have been since we did the fashion show [in February 2005]. I was there every single day, going over every tiny detail. As I got through the learning curve, I became more involved and will continue to be."

Well, that involvement didn't seem to help after all.
A look from DSquared2
photo by Davide Maestri
Z Zegna's homecoming show dropped the curtain on Milan Men's Fashion Week on Tuesday. The U.S. retailers say they're happy because designers delivered solidly commercial collections with enough zing to awaken consumers' buying impulses.

They were elated with Ermenegildo Zegna and Giorgio Armani, two of the most vital brands for their businesses. They said Armani's show was his best in years, if not the best they'd ever seen, which was hugely reassuring since the Maestro is recovering from hepatitis.

June 23, 2009 5:19 PM


Newman's Own

Jaime Ray Newman in BCBGMaxAzria at the Whitney Art party in New York.
photo by Steve Eichner
Last week actress Jaime Ray Newman stopped by WWD to talk about her new ABC series "Eastwick," an hour-long "Desperate Housewives"-esque drama based on the film "The Witches of Eastwick" and co-starring Lindsay Price and Rebecca Romijn-O'Connell.

It turned out Newman was more engaging than the show, so here's what you need to know about the pretty, petite redhead:

Full Name: Jaime Ray Newman


Suburbs of Detroit
Soul Cycle in Bridgehampton.
Unlike hard-charging spin classes with thumping techno music and barking instructors, SoulCycle classes are conducted by candlelight and combine yoga and meditation techniques with fat-incinerating spin workouts that provide upper and lower body toning. "It's making exercise joyful," says Julie Rice, who founded SoulCycle three years ago with former real estate agent Elizabeth Cutler.

Frequent visitors to the Upper West Side and Bridgehampton locations include Chelsea Clinton, Tiki Barber, Brooke Shields and Katie Lee Joel -- even Bill Clinton has swung by as part of a fundraiser at the studio during Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

Back in September, I covered a dinner that Brazilian retail giant Iguatemi hosted at Pastis. Bebel Gilberto, daughter of famed Brazilian bossa nova master Joao Gilberto, performed afterwards and though she stands barely over five feet tall, she commanded the room of fashionistas and party people like few I've seen before. She cooed songs from her latest album "Momento," shook her hips and undulated her arms. She was magnetic. Tonight, she plays Town Hall.

In anticipation, I caught up with Gilberto via e-mail.

WWD: What do you like/dislike about performing in New York?

Bebel Gilberto: I love performing in N.Y.-it is my home town and the city where I was born!!!!!  I love new york!!!!

Actresses have lots of options when it comes to red carpet dressing--sequins à la Balmain, vampy satins, minidresses, gowns, even leather pants like Angelina Jolie. Their male counterparts, not so much. It's usually just a suit, though "Year One" star Michael Cera didn't even bother with that, instead opting for worn jeans, sneakers, a plaid shirt and a green sweater at his premiere.

So thank god for Johnny Depp, who literally stopped traffic in his sharply tailored Ralph Lauren Purple Label three-piece suit at last night's Chicago premiere of "Public Enemies." The actor paid homage to his onscreen alter-ego, Thirties bank robber John Dillinger, with wide pinstripes and a Neil Lane watch chain. He added a bit of movie star glam with mirrored aviators and a few undone buttons.

The only quibble fans might have with the look is that Depp's Mickey Rourke-esque 'do covered his famous face.
PHOTO: Johnny Depp in Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Neil Lane and his own Cartier watch. CREDIT: Getty Images
I was never one for Greek life in college and my usual routine of getting ready for black tie events in a fluorescent-lit bathroom with my colleagues doesn't seem like a fair substitute. So entering Ric Pipino's new Centre Market Place salon Wednesday night, I felt like I had been transported to a posh and well-equipped sorority. Alexis Bryan Morgan sat in one of three chairs having her tresses done; Claire Bernard was in back with huge rollers in her hair; Tinsley Mortimer was having base applied to her face, and Genevieve Jones and Zani Gugelmann walked in toting garment bags with their dresses for the evening. The only thing missing was a kegger and a few Zeta Chi boys.

Instead, there were platters of prosciutto and cheese and chilled bottles of rosé and white wine that Pipino and makeup artist Alexa Rodulfo had set up for a group of girls attending that evening's Whitney Art Party. Pipino held court in the dove grey painted front room with a gaggle of stylists, while Rodulfo set up shop with three assistants in the back among upholstered furniture.

"I had a double espresso at 4, but I could use another one now," said Pipino, as he wielded a can of hairspray. "I think we're doing 11 girls tonight--but keep bringing them on."

Below: Ric Pipino and Alexa Rodulfo at work. PHOTOS BY KEVIN HATT. _DSC1308.jpg
Cataclysmic financial swings overtook just about everybody last year and most businesses somehow muddled through. The real action -- the retail fallout -- might be just beginning.
But it's hard to guess what will happen when we're all recovering from whiplash.
Alexa Chung's wardrobe is now just a double-click away. After each daily broadcast of the Brit "It" girl's new MTV chat fest, "It's On With Alexa Chung," producers will post links on to e-tailers where viewers can purchase the hostess' on-camera ensemble.

When I interviewed Chung back in May, the Brit hadn't yet decided what she would wear for her show's first episode, which aired on Monday. What Chung ultimately selected -- an oversize button-down from Kova & T, Les Chiffoniers black leggings and studded gladiators -- is now itemized on the show's Web site.

Well, almost all of it is: The Snuggie Chung donned during a segment with Jack Black is missing.


Above: Alexa Chung and Soulja Boy on the premiere of "It's on With Alexa Chung."
Meryl Streep, "Plenty"
Photo by Brigitte Lacombe

How many photographers can count Meryl Streep, Gregory Peck, Jimmy Carter, François Truffaut, Nelson Mandela and Louise Bourgeois among their many subjects? New York-based French snapper Brigitte Lacombe displays her vast array of portraits in her new retrospective book "Lacombe anima/persona," out June 30th from STEIDL/dangin.

The hefty, stark 420-page tome showcases images from over more than three decades of toil from 1975-2008. Kevin Kline sports his "Hamlet" makeup from a 1999 production; Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda are caught off duty while filming "9 to 5"; and Bob Dylan hangs out on his California ranch.

And Lacombe¹s settings--everything from the Cannes Film Festival to the Paris Peace Accords--are as diverse as her human models, a product of her deep cultural immersion. Since her early beginnings as an apprentice at Elle, she has worked as a behind-the-scenes photographer on the film sets of directors like Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Mike Nichols and Sam Mendes; been a staff photographer for Lincoln Center Theater for seven years, and shot stories for Conde Nast Traveler.

Talk about range.

For more information on "Lacombe anima/persona" please visit

June 15, 2009 6:13 PM


Hamptons Report

Designer Lucy Sykes Rellie in her New York City studio.
Photo by David Turner

Lucy Sykes Rellie dishes to WWD Eye about Rita Schrager's party for Gigi Levangie Grazer in Southampton and other affairs out East this weekend.

Our friends David Neville and Gucci Westman came to our house in Watermill with their son Dash who is the same age as our youngest, Titus. On Saturday morning we went to Gin Boswick's in East Hampton for a pool party and then we came back home and got ready for the party Rita Schrager was having at her house for Gigi Levangie Grazer's new book "King Takes Queen."

Carnegie Hall typically conjures up images of elderly ladies and gents dressed to the nines and sitting quietly, listening to an orchestra play Beethoven's Symphony No 5 in C Minor.

But Thursday night, the venerable institution played host to a flood of youth more commonly found at Bowery Ballroom. The occasion was a rare acoustic concert by alt-country group Band of Horses. For many in the audience, it was their first visit to the concert hall, and they stood gazing and snapping photos of the four stories of gilt-edged balconies.

"The place we played in last night looked just like this, I swear," drawled lead singer Ben Bridwell.

Those Wal-Mart folks are a hearty bunch. If nothing else, "Mr. Sam," instilled in his employees an appreciation of the early-to-bed, early-to-rise adage and a serious work ethic, leading by his own 16-hour-day example. I was reminded of this when I attended the company's media day and annual shareholders meeting last week in Fayetteville, Ark.

The drive from Northwest Arkansas Airport to Bentonville is pleasant enough, passing green pastures dotted with horses, cows and charming ramshackle barns, a scene that is occasionally broken by gated McMansion communities, followed by more bucolic scenery.

I checked into my hotel on Wednesday evening, ordered a tostada chicken salad from the all-Mexican-food restaurant menu and watched "The Devil Wears Prada" (twice). Watching the machinations and ridiculous striving of aggressive New Yorkers made me feel more at home while in the hinterlands.

The Jane Hotel, the West Village's answer to the 'pod-hotel' craze, opened the doors to its ground-floor lounge this week.

Called the "Ballroom," the cavernous space offers cocktails from 6 p.m. on for hotel guests as well as the public. Carlos Quirarte and Matt Kleigman, the people behind NoHo hotspot The Smile, will oversee the operation.
A suite at Ace Hotel.
photo by Thomas Iannaccone
Guests at Manhattan's newly-opened Ace Hotel won't have to go far to pick up souvenirs.

Project 8a, an offshoot of Lower East Side boutique Project No. 8, will open its doors inside the wallet-friendly hotel this summer.

Like its downtown counterpart, Project 8a will feature men's and women's clothes and accessories from labels like VPL, Tom Scott and Margiela.
Quincy Jones and Prince Edward.
photo by Randy Brooke
It's been a big few weeks for British royals visiting New York.

First, HRH Prince Harry played polo on Governor's Island last week, and on Tuesday, HRH Prince Edward (Harry's uncle) hosted a midday cocktail party sponsored by Rose's Mojito and Chandon at Donna Karan's West Village studio in honor of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award International Association.
It's early June and students across the city are breathing a collective sigh of relief as their summer vacations begin.

My inner dork, however, misses the days of lectures and learning so Monday night, I decided to check out "Dances with Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream" at Hunter College's Kaye Playhouse.

Coralie Charriol Paul
Photo by John Aquino

Coralie Charriol Paul is founding her own film society.

Called React to Film, the series will screen documentaries that address topics near to the jewelry exec's heart like nutrition, the environment and AIDS research.

"I'm now a mother of two, and I feel that there is a lack of conversation and discussion on important matters," said Paul, who has a young son and daughter.

Bradley Cooper.
photo by Steve Eichner
There's something a little counterintuitive about hosting an open bar to celebrate a movie called "The Hangover." But that's exactly how the Cinema Society and Details magazine feted the new "bromantic" comedy, which stars Bradley Cooper, Justin Bartha, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis, Thursday night at the Yard of the Soho Grand Hotel.
It is not every day WWD has occasion to interview an astronaut. Buzz Aldrin, who, with Neil Armstrong, was one of the first men to walk on the moon 40 years ago come July 20, wasn't expecting to speak to us either.

"Women's where what?" he asked as we sat down at the Omega flagship on Fifth Avenue, where the watch brand had asked Aldrin to attend the launch of its special edition Speedmaster Professional. The timepiece has the distinction of being the watch Aldrin and Armstrong wore while floating around the moon.

The watch brand is turning that association into a new marketing campaign to break next month. And it is not alone -- Louis Vuitton tapped Aldrin and two other American astronauts to feature in a print ad shot by Annie Leibovitz, also hitting magazines next month. In the meantime, expect plenty of moon-inspired fashion spreads, editorials supporting (or decrying) the space program, and wistful profiles of the Apollo era. It's moon madness time.
An array of colorful Saltwater sandals.
photo by Thomas Iannaccone
As WWD's senior accessories editor, each season I see the best of the best.

But my latest accessories discovery wasn't from a chic Parisian salon, slick Milan runway or hip downtown New York showroom; rather, it came from the playgrounds and play spaces of Queens and Brooklyn.

I first noticed the colorful Saltwater sandals on a mom in a park in Sunnyside, Queens, not where I usually find fashion inspiration.

Then I spotted a junior-size pair at my daughter's gymnastics center in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (OK, maybe you can find some hipster style happening there).

Finally, when I saw the third pair in the course of a week on my friend Julia, who is stylish in an I-don't-follow-trends kind of way, at a ballet recital in Flushing, Queens, I had to ask, "Who makes your sandals?"

Coco Rocha with her cousin Erika Campbell

On Sunday, a newly raven-haired Coco Rocha wrangled 20 of her fellow models from the Elite agency in Canada to board a bus from her native Toronto to the sleepy town of Barrie, Ontario for the Runway for Ride fashion show.

The show, which also featured non models like members of the local fire department, benefited Sears National Cancer Ride, a charity for children battling cancer.

Rocha says she was inspired to organize the fundraiser after her 11-year-old cousin Erika Campbell told her about a friend's bout with a rare form of leukemia. "I wanted to get involved by doing what I do best," said the catwalker, who helped the event rake in over $10,000.

New York night owls have been wandering aimlessly ever since their roost the Beatrice was shuttered in April with scant evidence of reopening. While mourning its passing, Beatrice habitues have been seeking a replacement, trying Cabin Down Below, spiffy sports bar Warren 77, ever-present Rose Bar and, now, Avenue.

It helps that Paul Sevigny and his Beatrice crew have taken over Tuesday nights at the just-opened Chelsea venue. Last night the playlist was the same as the Beatrice -- retro pop staples like "Laid" by James and The Knack's "My Sharona" -- and regulars like Purple's Olivier Zahm, actor Brady Corbet and artist Aaron Young mixed with hordes of young models and bearded chaps in Panama hats. The only thing missing was charm.
Photo by Dominique Maitre.
Sometimes, the only answer is the obvious.

During the two-month siege of interviewing, fact-checking, writing, editing and late-night office dwelling that resulted in WWD's 100-page L'Oréal Milestone opus -- published June 1 -- there were a few light, bright and unexpected moments. One came at the beginning of my interview with Lindsay Owen-Jones, the non-executive chairman, who during his 18-year-run as chief executive officer built L'Oréal into the beauty industry's global leader.

OJ, as he has long been known, is not one to regard lightly.
Glenn Close.
Courtesy image.
Every time I go to the movies, I'm still astounded by the $12.50 cost of tickets -- practically the same price as a month's worth of Netflix. So I was intrigued to receive an email about the new ecologically-minded film "Home," which is being released this Friday (also World Environment Day) globally and completely gratis. Who could pass up free entertainment that
also earns you conscience points?

Supported by PPR's Francois-Henri Pinault and produced by Luc Besson, "Home" is the pet project of French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, a devotee of environmental causes whose work over the past ten years has been carbon offset -- any carbon dioxide emissions generated by his occupation have been counterbalanced by putting money toward providing clean energy for those in need. For "Home," Arthus-Bertrand spent the past three years shooting exclusively aerial, HD footage of over 50 different countries to tell the visual story of humans' simultaneous impact and reliance on nature and the planet's resources. An English version of the 90-minute film is voiced by Glenn Close, while Salma Hayek narrates a Spanish one. As a means of neutralizing its production carbon footprint, the makers of "Home" are
financing a project for the diffusion of anaerobic digesters in the Hassan region of India.

"Home" will be shown Friday at 9 p.m. EST on the National Geographic Channel and can be viewed on YouTube. A special premiere will be held Wednesday at the FIAF's Florence Gould Theater and this Friday, there will be a Stella McCartney-sponsored screening in Los Angeles. Other public screenings are planned for New York and Boston with support from Puma and the French Embassy.

Thursday night, men's wear retailers, vendors and editors joined in remembrance of Stan Gellers, the Fairchild reporter who, in his 50-year career, was loved and renowned for his hard-boiled journalism, his tireless support of the tailored clothing industry and his infamously hot head.

It was a truism in men's wear that you weren't anybody until you had been yelled at by Stan. And in the two years that I worked with him, I witnessed a lot of nobodies become somebodies.

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