the Insiders


David Hasselhoff has always existed as an abstract to me; a pop culture construct that lives more in reruns and forwarded YouTube links than real life.

It was a bit of a shock to the system, then, to meet The Hoff, as he is known, Thursday night at the Bryant Park Grill.

October 29, 2009 5:11 PM

Eye, Media

Women and Changing the World

"Women don't have to hate men to get ahead," former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said.

And she should know.

"I used to want to be a journalist," said Albright, who was among a score of successful women who headlined the sixth annual Woman's Conference on Tuesday that drew about 15,000 people to the convention center in Long Beach, Calif. "But when I told my husband's boss what I planned to do, he said, 'Honey, you better find something else to do. So I did."
October 29, 2009 11:29 AM

Eye, Fashion

A Fashion Backdrop to Dye For

Behind the scenes at the shoot
Behind the scenes at the shoot.

Stylists at WWD are no strangers to creative photo shoot locations. Abandoned subway cars, bowling alleys, surf lodges -- you name it, they've probably shot there. But what to do when an editor's inspiration is a painting of a lush garden, but autumn is in full blaze? Do it yourself!

Enter the WWD art department.

October 28, 2009 1:24 PM


On Target: NYC Art Battles

Two months ago, while all of Manhattan was in a frenzy over Fashion's Night Out, two artists at Intermix engaged in an art battle. While shoppers watched, the painters smothered mannequins in neon yellow, sky blue and gold lacquer. While it helped stir up excitement for the night itself, the demonstration was also being taped for the Web series "RADAR: Art Battles," which starts its second season today.

Emma Willis
Emma Willis
Photo by Colin Thomas
Emma Willis is London's first lady of men's shirts. Make that the only lady of men's shirts.
With the recent spate of documentaries, designers young and old have been getting plenty of face time these days. But as much as these behind-the-scenes, no-holds-barred portraits can prove revealing — and entertaining — they can often be more about the director's perspective than their subjects' voices. So I was especially excited to hear from them at the Friends of the Costume Institute's season opening event "Young Americans: Designers in Conversation."

Photo by Steve Eichner
As a reporter covering events, I often spend a lot of time simply waiting for celebrities to arrive.

Last night's Versace-sponsored Whitney Studio Party was no exception. After the likes of Alexa Chung, Chanel Iman and Nicole Trunfio had done their step and repeat due diligence, a packed cluster of photographers and press waited and waited and waited some more for Lindsay Lohan. As the time ticked by, I watched the press pit on the red carpet slowly empty out as reporters either gave up hope or moved around to stretch their legs. When Lohan finally showed up, around 10:40 p.m. for a 9 p.m. start time, the currently blonde-tressed actress cum fashion creative director was unusually loquacious.

WWD: Who are some of your favorite artists?

The latest delivery.
Working on a cultural beat, I receive a rather broad assortment of baffling and, at times, worrying items: endless books on eating and sexual disorders; an embroidered tissue box cover, and even a duct tape DIY tiara kit. The most recent object to land on my desk was a rust-colored Velcro strap-on fur tie. Finally, an answer to my daily sartorial dilemma.

Lindsay Lohan and Estrella Archs backstage at Ungaro.
photo by Stephane Feugere
Placing a celebrity up front at a fashion show is a surefire way to cause a commotion. Now try putting one backstage.

Having a bird's-eye view last Sunday as Lindsay Lohan prepared for her debut as Emanuel Ungaro's artistic adviser made for surreal viewing.

Exactly how much input did Lohan have with the collection?
October 5, 2009 6:23 PM


Hands On with Kia Pedersen

An untitled Pedersen piece.
photo by Joseph Pluchino
Kia Pedersen wants museumgoers to get a feel for her artwork -- literally. Hence the name of her latest solo exhibit, "Please Touch." "Everyone walks in and the first thing they say is, 'Can we really?'" Pedersen said on Thursday night at her opening at KPF Gallery in New York City.

Her guests took instruction well, getting their hands on etched copper plates, intaglio-style prints and textured canvases, which were puckered by multiple gesso applications.

Marcus Samuelsson and Zac Posen.
I recently spent an afternoon with Marcus Samuelsson and Zac Posen in Samuelsson's Harlem apartment. The two were cooking a late lunch together as a sort of dry run for the dinner they'll be making with Giada De Laurentiis on Saturday as part of the New York City Food & Wine Festival. (Ticket sales from the event will benefit hunger relief organizations Food Bank For New York City and Share Our Strength.)

We got to talking about the similarities between the food and fashion worlds -- how everything is rooted in the visual, why it's important to start with good ingredients and good fabrics and how both disciplines unify form and function.

Photo by Eric Hopper
Unless you have been living under a rock, even the least interested follower of fashion can see that the Eighties are back. And since now many things from that period are at or nearing their 25th anniversary, it was a happy coincidence that downtown synth-pop band Book of Love held a concert Sunday, timed with the rerelease of their 1986 album.

The timing is perfect for me, who came of age in the Eighties, to recall that certain slice of East Village life as veteran designers like Marc Jacobs and relative newcomers such as Alexander Wang and Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler try to capture in their aesthetics the time and feeling in New York when Book of Love burst onto the scene.

October 1, 2009 5:18 PM


Soul Sister Marva Whitney

Photo by Jacob Blickenstaff
Last weekend, Soul Sister No. 1, Marva Whitney, rolled onto the stage like a fire engine in a glittering red outfit and a will to be heard.

It had been decades since the nearly forgotten performer had gigged in the New York area, but she showed the packed house at Southpaw in Brooklyn that some people never change. Whitney, once known as one of the loudest, hottest and rawest female voices of funk, still had all of her power. After singing alongside James Brown in the late Sixties, traveling as far as Vietnam and Africa with the notoriously difficult showman, Whitney was cast out of the limelight. For many years of her adult life, the vocalist worked as a secretary.

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