the Insiders


The Eye desk sees some interesting books pass our desks, but the one that arrived on Wednesday took the cake. "How to be Famous: Our Guide to Looking the Part, Playing the Press and Becoming a Tabloid Fixture," by Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt. If only we were kidding.

The book's cover is designed to look like a tabloid, lots of pinks and yellows and a happy couple shot of Speidi. Inside, there are the same paparazzi shots of the two reality stars that have run ad nauseum in Us Weekly, Star, InTouch and the like. But it seems this time the photos serve another purpose: to illustrate Pratt and Montag's erudite prose about how to achieve and maintain celebrity status.
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage.

New York's unseasonably cool summer has finally thrown down a week of humid, makeup-melting days. That didn't stop Rose Byrne from test-driving one of fall's much-noted looks, the bold shoulder, Tuesday night at a Brooks Brothers-sponsored Cinema Society screening of her new film "Adam." While fellow attendees like Eva Amurri and Charlotte Ronson went the sleeveless route, the slim Aussie worked a baltic blue lace, mock turtleneck dress by Christian Cota with a structured shoulder, accessorized with Brian Atwood patent leather heels and Bottega Veneta fine jewelry and clutch. "I find Rose to be captivating: she always gets me emotionally involved with her characters," says Cota of Byrne. "She has that special combination of delicate beauty and strength."

And, apparently, a taste for resourceful style: the frock is from the archives of Cota's fall 2008 collection. Which proves that shopping your wardrobe and staying on trend is possible -- though it helps if that closet belongs to a fashion designer.
The cover of the invitation. COURTESY PHOTO

Oh, those clever "Taking Woodstock" publicists. Enclosed in the invitations for Wednesday night's Gilt Groupe and Quintessentially-sponsored premiere of the 1960s-themed flick is a single rolling paper and a plastic baggie filled with what looks like pot.
July 24, 2009 6:37 PM


Second Act

Jenna Bush

With all the talk of Malia and Sasha Obama, it's easy to forget that less than a year ago there was another pair of Presidential daughters in the spotlight. But on Thursday, Barbara Bush and Jenna Bush Hager did their best to draw attention to UNICEF and its Project Sprinkles effort, which helps fight malnutrition among children in Guatemala. While her peers mingled
around the bar at The Gates, a newly brunette (and, it appears, newly poised) Jenna Bush spoke with WWD about why this charity is close to her heart and how she and sister Barbara don't see as much of their parents these days as they'd like.

WWD: How did you decide to support UNICEF?
Jenna Bush: I worked in the field with UNICEF in Latin America for a year. I wanted to find a way to still keep engaged even though I don't still live in the developing world, and there weren't many ways for my generation to be involved. [Now] we have 30 really dynamic people on UNICEF's Next Generation, this new committee, who are really interested in making visible
change. So it's fun to be with such an energetic group that has so many
different ideas on how to improve the world.
WWD:: Why Guatemala?
J.B.: Guatemala has the worst malnutrition rates in Latin America, and one of the worst in the world. It seems like such an easy problem to fix, but it's really not. [Project] Sprinkles is fantastic because it's so cheap and effective. A kid can put [the sprinkles, which is a packet of powdered vitamins] on something, an unfortified tortilla, and it provides them with all the nutrients they need for a day.

July 24, 2009 3:54 PM


Mizrahi Unzipped

Isaac Mizrahi
Isaac Mizrahi
Photo: Steve Eichner
Long before Valentino was luring crowds to theaters with his documentary "The Last Emperor," Isaac Mizrahi hit the big screen in "Unzipped." The 1995 flick, directed by Mizrahi's then-boyfriend Douglas Keeve, follows the designer through the making of his fall 1994 collection (you may remember it as the one with all the neon faux fur).

A look from the Matthew Williamson collection shown at Soho House.

Pool parties have been a hot ticket since the days of elementary school, and on Wednesday night Soho House hosted a grown-up version -- though at this one, nary a splash was heard.

As part of the club's Wednesday night "Skinny Dip" rooftop party, nattily attired members and their guests -- some reclining on chaise lounges, others eating supper at nearby tables -- watched as Matthew Williamson's pre-fall fashions were paraded down a poolside runway. But not before the dance duo House of Ninja performed a cross between a Tibetan warrior dance and Eighties-style voguing. (This was intended to tie in with the collection's "Tibetan warrior meets rock 'n' roll" conceit.) There was also a vocal set by Valerie Geffner, which began with some vigorous throat singing. However, a promised acrobatic burlesque troupe did not appear.

Betsy and Walter Cronkite in 1992.
Betsy and Walter Cronkite in 1992.
Photo: WWD Archives

Sometimes a once-in-a-lifetime experience can leave a lasting impression. When journalistic icon Walter Cronkite died last week, the first thing that came into my mind was a brief encounter WWD had with him in 1992.

I bought my first iPhone last week and within days used it to make my inaugural foray into mobile commerce -- purchasing a pair of shoes from Urban Outfitters. I logged onto the retail site at home after dinner and, with the shoes in my shopping cart, all I had to do was enter a credit-card number. Consumers can skip that step, too, if they want the site to store the number. The shoes arrived within days.
Dorothy McGowan
Dorothy McGowan
Photo by Melvin Sokolsky

Models aren't generally the most loquacious bunch. In fact, talking seems to be generally discouraged among their numbers: they are meant to be visual entities, whose mystique is only heightened by the lack of verbal insight they give. As such, it is usually assumed they don't have very much to say.

Fortunately, Sixties mannequin Dorothy A. McGowan was perfectly at ease last Friday evening when the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Harold Koda and historian Kohle Yohannan chatted with her before a screening of William Klein's "Qui êtes-vous Polly Maggoo?" in which she stars. (It was part of a film series in conjunction with the current "The Model as Muse" exhibit at the Met's Costume Institute. This Wednesday, Isaac Mizrahi will speak about his documentary "Unzipped.")

Fran LebowitzFran Lebowitz

Fran Lebowitz and Diane von Furstenberg are long-time friends, so it was little surprise seeing the acerbic writer at von Furstenberg's store last Wednesday night for a party. The bash was for Gloria Vanderbilt and her new book "Obsession: An Erotic Tale" (which von Furstenberg confirmed was "very, very, very, very erotic).

July 17, 2009 1:54 PM


Grate-Est Hits

The Grates: Patience Hodgson, John Patterson and Alana Skyring.
Courtesy photo

Fronted by the bouncy, effervescent Patience Hodgson, Aussie alt-rock trio The Grates took the stage Wednesday night at downtown spot Pianos and quickly made an impression with its edgy, catchy pop anthems.

'Girl's Make-up Room.'
Credit: Dan Graham and Hauser & Wirth, Zurich; London

Feelings of anticipation arose within as I crossed the threshold of a two-way mirrored pavilion, "Girl's Make-Up Room." It's one of Dan Graham's glass and perforated metal, large-scale pieces in the conceptual artist's first ever career encompassing show in the U.S., "Dan Graham: Beyond," which is up at the Whitney Museum of American Art. How would I see myself in the mirrored and metal reflective surfaces? How would I perceive other people? How would others see me?

Much as fashion and make-up afford ways in which people show themselves to the world -- and can be seen by others -- Graham's eye-popping sculpture-and-architecture as art tosses back images of one's self, images of others milling about the Whitney's expansive fourth floor gallery, and the occasional look at another visitor looking back at themselves in the pavilion's facade.

July 16, 2009 11:56 AM


Straight Shooter

David Scott Smith
photo by Sarah Stolfa
When someone bellies up to a bar by themselves, they're usually looking for the bartender to pour them a drink and lend them an ear -- not bust out a camera and pop a flashbulb.

Photographer Sarah Stolfa, who worked for almost a decade at Philadelphia dive McGlinchey's, didn't use quite such guerilla tactics when shooting her loyal customers for her book "The Regulars," but she does shed light on what are otherwise private moments.

"I was very interested in photographing people in this public space where it's okay to go alone but also wanting interaction with other people," she says. "I would take my time [between shots] to try and see if I could get that public mask that people have to kind of dissolve."
Civetta Ristorante
Courtesy of Civetta Ristorante

Fans of Sfoglia's critically lauded Italian cuisine, but not its month-long reservation wait or locale on Manhattan's Upper East Side have a new boite to frequent.

Nacho Figueras
photo by Steve Eichner
When "Gossip Girl" returns this fall on the CW Network, Serena and company will be sharing the screen with a real-life member of the Manhattan social swirl -- Nacho Figueras.

Figueras, who spends his days playing polo for the Black Watch team and posing for Ralph Lauren's Polo Fragrances, will appear on the season premiere, which airs Sept. 14.

I caught up with the hunky Argentine to gossip about the gig (his first TV role), which he filmed this month.

In my mind, a summer visit to Washington D.C. is likely to entail battling hot, muggy weather and guys in cargo shorts and flip flops. Less so, a hopping night scene and exciting cooking.

So when I headed to the nation's capital last weekend to visit friends I was more than pleasantly surprised by the nocturnal options. (Unfortunately, the fashion met my low expectations. Overheard exchange: "Why are all the people in D.C. so unattractive?" "Because it's like camp here: everyone just goes around in shorts and T-shirts.")

1931: From left to right James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Edward Woods and Joan Blondell star in the original 'Public Enemy.'
Photo by: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
No detail was too small to recreate in movie "Public Enemies," about the rise and fall of Thirties bank robber John Dillinger -- and that includes the manicures.

Makeup department head Jane Galli fashioned a vintage nail look for Marion Cotillard, who plays Dillinger's main squeeze, Billie Frechette, a humble coat-check girl who still managed to pretty herself.

"Michael Mann, our director, his attention to detail is phenomenal," Galli said. "When I got the project, I read everything and anything I could about the Thirties. During the Depression, women, even if they had no money, they did their nails in red, and they also wore their lipstick."

Photo by Niki Nikolova/FilmMagic
Over the last few weeks, my colleague Jessica Iredale and I have been mourning Michael Jackson. Yes, we recognize that he was accused of child molestation and his behavior over the last few years has made him the mayor of Crazy Town (or Neverland, as the case may be). But the man we choose to remember is the musician. Which is why our ensembles as of late have been more Motown than 7th Avenue.

The day after his death, I wore silver hi-top Hogan sneakers to the office. Not a literal imitation of Jackson, but I felt they were shoes meant to moonwalk. Then on Tuesday, the day of Jackson's memorial, Jessica came into the office in a metallic silver Yigal Azrouel cardigan. "It's my tribute outfit," she said.

Aside from one mail room staffer in a Michael Jackson concert t-shirt, there were very few editors watching the televised memorial coverage with us (could it be that everyone, finally, is over this?), leaving Jessica and me to think we were all alone in our pop culture grief. That is until I got a press release about Kate Moss, spotted in London, wearing Repetto's black patent leather "Jackson" loafer.

"She's one of us," Jessica said enthusiastically after I showed her the email.

Not really, considering that neither of us are eternally chic, formerly drug-addled supermodels. But it appears that when it comes to Michael Jackson, we're not the only fashion folk paying tribute. And if we hit Bergdorf's fast enough, we can at least walk in her shoes.
Forget having a lucrative life. Postmortem profits may be the true measure of an American icon¹s popularity. To be the top dog in the hereafter, Michael Jackson is going to have to best
Elvis Presley, Charles Schulz, Heath Ledger and Albert Einstein, who took the first four spots in Forbes' list of highest-earning dead celebrities last year with a combined one-year take of $123 million.
July 8, 2009 3:58 PM


Parisian Haute Cuisine

Perched atop the Palais de Tokyo museum, eatery Nomiya offers Paris' best view of the Eiffel Tower. Just don't call it a restaurant. It's an art and food installation, say the space's representatives.

Open for one year only, Nomiya (named after the small bars found in Japan) is a modernist glass and metal pod housing kitchen and dining areas.

Culinary director Gilles Stassart has designed five-course menus intended to "bridge the plastic and culinary arts." Sample dinner items include a fish roll with yogurt and crushed beetroot.

The brainchild of appliance manufacturer Electrolux, Nomiya is a part of the brand's "Art Home" concept which also includes a rooftop terrace, herb garden and cooking classes. Lunch costs 60 euros ($85); dinner, 80 euros ($113).

Palais de Tokyo, 13 Avenue du President Wilson, +33-1-47-23-54-01.
PARIS -- Couture, the apex of the fashion pyramid, is on the cusp of big change, and it's happening at a speed unfamiliar to a world that requires stitches, hand-wrought, one after the other, for hundreds of hours to make a single dress.
It's made for a confounding week (make that three days), with Christian Lacroix's on-a-shoestring high fashion collection, possibly his last, greeted with a standing ovation and one of the hands-down favorites of the week. Two French journalists even unfurled a giant banner proclaiming "Christian Lacroix Forever" at the end of his show.
July 7, 2009 2:17 PM


Chow Italia in Paris

Few visitors go to Paris for Italian food, but Caffÿ dei Cioppi is out to change that.

Run by husband-and-wife team Fabrizio and Frederica Ferrara (he's Sicilian and a former sous-chef at the Relais du Plaza Athenée, she's Milanese and a former pastry chef at Rose Bakery), the restaurant offers a daily-changing menu of "a little bit of everything we like," says Fabrizio.

While Fabrizio's brother oversees the wine list, the couple takes turns at the stove in full view of their guests. Specialty dishes include linguini with clams, pasta alla Norma and risotto.

Lunch or dinner costs between 15 to 20 euros, or $21 to $28, excluding wine. Reservations are a must.

Caffÿ dei Cioppi, 159 Rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine, +33-1-43-46-10-14.
A necklace from Loulou de la Falaise's latest collection
"They're based on deadly looking flowers-- very mysterious with strange colors," said Loulou de la Falaise, of the couture jewelry line she will present at L'Eclaireur's Boissy d'Anglas store from July 6 to 8.

The 13-piece collection, which includes one-of-a-kind earrings, necklaces and bracelets crafted from glass and semi-precious stones, was inspired by Charles Baudelaire's "Fleurs du Mal" (Flowers of Evil).
WEST NYACK, N.Y. — Anyone who has been to the Palisades Center will understand why it annoys me on a number of levels. (No pun intended.)
On Wednesday, Us Weekly identified Arnold Klein, 64, as the biological father of Michael Jackson's two oldest children. But just who is Klein, aside from being a prominent cosmetic dermatologist to a man famous for doing too much at his cosmetic dermatologist's?

As it turns out, he's the cosmetic dermatologist to lots of other people who appear to have spent too much time and money in his offices. According to published reports, patients besides Jackson have included Cher, Elizabeth Taylor, and Dolly Parton.
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