the Insiders


Jude Law as Hamlet.
When I settled into my seat at the Broadhurst Theatre for a recent preview of the Donmar Warehouse's "Hamlet," I expected to be enthralled by Jude Law's performance. And his sinewy, intelligent and often humorous turn as the Prince of Denmark did not disappoint.

Less expected, though, was my fascination with the production's set. When my eyes weren't focused on Law's mournful soliloquies (and to be honest, his undeniable comeliness), I was mesmerized by the gray tones and wintry air that permeates the walls surrounding him. A dismal, death-ridden castle has never looked so appealing.

September 28, 2009 5:28 PM


Italia Imported

Nudo Olive Oil
Fashion isn't Italy's only game right now. The country's also all about the culinary arts, but, as it has gone with fashion, the global economic downturn has hit Italy's agriculture industry hard.

One company is fighting back, one tree at a time. Nudo's "Adopt an Olive Tree" program is exactly as it sounds. For $150 a year, foodies Adopt an Olive Tree in the Le Marche region, follow its progress for a year and then reap its benefits: four 500-ml. tin of extra virgin olive oil pressed from their tree in the spring and three 250-ml. tins of flavored extra virgin olive oil (i.e. lemon, chili and mandarin) the following fall.

The 25th London Fashion Week -- so anticipated for so long -- is already winding down. There's giddiness in the air, with all the late-night parties, cocktails, dinners and flowing Champagne.
September 21, 2009 7:33 PM

Eye, Fashion

High Energy Emmys

After enduring a bleak year, Hollywood was in the mood to party at the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards. Even the heat couldn't spoil the festive mood on the red carpet and at the after parties. Another welcome change -- the carpet fashions looked brighter with the profusion of red, white and blue dresses -- and barely any black.
Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin
Photo by Thomas Whiteside

Last Monday, I spent an hour alone with Aretha Franklin in her hotel suite in New York. Room service had just delivered a cart of tea sandwiches and crudités.

"Are you sure you won't join me?" Franklin asked as I entered the room. "They ARE good." (I hesitantly put a few pieces of fruit on a plate. Lame, I know, but I could barely speak, let alone eat a sandwich.)

Mick Jagger
Mick Jagger and L'Wren Scott
Photo by Kristen Somody Whalen

Though he's been dating designer L'Wren Scott for just a few years, Mick Jagger is certainly no newbie to the fashion world. As a Rolling Stone, he worked with "loads of stylists, millions of them," he told me at the dinner he threw during New York Fashion Week for his girlfriend. But lately he's become particularly interested in the production side of things. Here's a snippet of our conversation about style -- men's, women's and his great-grandfather's.

For the last few days, talk among the fashion crowd sounds a little like "green is the new black," "short is the new long," "faux is the new fur." The same goes for foodies this week: restaurant SD26 is so the new San Domenico.

Since opening in 1988, San Domenico has operated as a posh Italian restaurant on Central Park South, favored by Uptown society and power players. But when the rent was quadrupled this fall, owners and father-daughter team Tony and Marisa May were forced to move the eatery to a more affordable spot on 26th Street (Marea took over the Central Park space).
Jude Law as Minx.
As Jude Law begins previews for his 12-week run as Hamlet on Broadway, audiences can take in an equally dramatic version of the actor next week when Sally Potter's film "Rage" is released simultaneously on DVD, and on mobile devices and online, via Babelgum. Shot interview-style on a blue screen, "Rage" tells the behind-the-scenes story of a fashion show gone very wrong, with actors like Judi Dench, Eddie Izzard and Dianne Wiest playing, respectively, a fashion critic, a fashion house financier and a fashion house manager. An almost unrecognizable Law stars as Minx, a celebrity supermodel whose look comes courtesy of makeup artist Morag Ross.

A trained artist from the Glasgow School of Art, Ross got her maquillage start with BBC London. Her first film was Derek Jarman's "Caravaggio," and she has spent the past 20 years working on multiple movie sets with the likes of Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton. Ross spoke with WWD about transforming Law into a gender-bending mannequin.

Kanye West, Jay-Z and Rihanna.
courtesy photo
Jay-Z performed to a jam-packed Madison Square Garden on Friday night for his benefit concert to support the New York Police and Fire Widows and Children's Benefit Fund.

Tickets for the concert were $50 and sold out in minutes. The crowd, as described by music journalist Touré on his Twitter, was a mix of "'hood, prep, white, black, working class, trust fund rich."

Concertgoers got more than their money's worth: Jay-Z brought hip-hop's biggest stars with him on stage, including his wife Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Kanye West, Diddy, Pharrell, Santigold, and Kid Cudi.
The fact that Lindsay Lohan arrived two hours late to her WWD shoot -- for Wednesday's front-page story announcing her appointment as artistic adviser at Emanuel Ungaro -- isn't going to shock anyone.

Nor will news that she smoked a constant stream of Parliament Lights (which she had requested, along with soda and Red Bull, from catering) during hair and makeup and in between posing in Ungaro spring looks.
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