Oh my God!!! What a week: Oscar luncheon, New York fashion week, Anna Nicole, Vera Wang and Tim Gunn. Not to mention the Grammys this past Sunday. Where do I start, and what do I talk about? To be totally honest I only want to talk about Anna Nicole and fashion week ... I could give a sh** about an Oscar luncheon and what Hollywood puppets wore to their exclusive muppet feast ... I want to talk about what celebrity did to that poor girl, I want to talk about drug addiction and recovery and how no one helped her but in fact encouraged her self-destruction for their own amusement.
I want to talk about the possibility of a Jim Thompson-type murder mystery and how a topless dancer became a Playboy playmate, turned Guess jeans model, became bride to an 89-year-old oil man, lived a dream that turned into a nightmare, lost her only son, gave birth to a brand-new life, then predictably yet grossly and shockingly lay down and died for all of us to see; leaving a clamoring pile of pathetic men scrambling desperately for her money and using her newborn baby as the tool to do so. How this cast (Howard K. Stern, Larry Birkhead and "PRINCE" Frederick Von Anhaldt) seem more like Stepford husbands or the type of scum floating at the top of a hallowed stew dreamt up by David Lynch than real-life humans. But my involvement (to be clear) with Moviefone and this blog is to cover fashion and red-carpet events ... so I'll have to mix that in a little.
On Monday, Feb. 5, I flew into New York with my new collection, ready to take sales appointments and set up my showroom to take appointments from then until Feb. 23. And it all went swimmingly. I saw the buyers for Kirna Zabet in Soho, Susan of Burlingame in San Francisco, Bergdorf Goodman, and a couple more whose names escape me right now ... all in the first two days, and all who placed orders ... it was very exciting. The next 100 appointments over the next 2.5 weeks should be great!
In the meantime, I was also there to meet with key industry people to try and find a company to partner up with in order to expand my business; among them the president of Marc Jacobs, the manufacturer for Ralph Lauren denim and Tim Gunn ... the newly appointed mentor and captain to steer the ship of the Claiborne company. All this went well also, especially my meeting with Tim, as it was really my first interaction with him outside the TV game show where we met, and one set in a truly professional environment: my sales showroom. It felt great to sit with him and show him my new collection. Also on my agenda during fashion week was to finish an interview/story for New York magazine, so I had a photographer along with me covering this "A day in the life of" for that purpose.
So Wednesday I went to the Vera Wang show, which blew me away. It seems Vera has reached a point in her life (post the death of her father) where what is important to her is a true expression of her inner self ... and right now that translates into Japanese-inspired, slightly morose, authentically dark and empirically designed pieces of genius that move people rather than clothe them. I didn't want the show to end, and I don't recall seeing one piece that felt like a misstep.
After the show I was hanging out with the photographer from New York magazine, taking pictures with fans, signing autographs and going on about how great the fashion was that I just witnessed when the photographer leaned over, looked me in the eye and directed me to glance down at her blackberry. And that is where I read it for the first time: "Anna Nicole is dead. Do you want to respond and cover?" Now this is her job ... to shoot such breaking news ... but it really made me sad. There was a ton of sadness in her eyes, and a ton more exchanged silently between us, but she was being asked to treat the news like a McDonald's employee taking an order and asked to hold the pickles on a cheeseburger. It all made me feel "funny". Very uncomfortable, and mostly lucky. Now I'm not going to keep going on about this tragic event, but I do want to go on record as saying ... I hope the truth is exposed. Whatever that means ... if she was killed, I obviously hope that comes to light, but if her death was accidental and the result of a life spent burning at both ends, then the truth about how this is an indication of what celebrity can do to a person, and the responsibility EVERYONE has in having a hand in what happened. This beautiful woman lived and put her life out for all of us, and what she got in return was just to be used, never thanked and then finally destroyed.
We left the Mercedes tents, hopped in a cab, and never talked again about Anna Nicole. Instead she asked me what I was doing aside from Cosa Nostra and my fashion business. I told her about this Moviefone blog and how I was researching Oscar gowns and planned on talking about my favorite ever. I told her that I was a huge fan of Edith Head, costume designer for movies like 'All about Eve,' 'The Sting' and 'Roman Holiday' ... and most importantly the creator of my favorite Oscar gown ever: a violet blue chiffon dress that matched Elizabeth Taylor's eyes (1970). She said she didn't really care or know much about fashion, that her life recently had been spent in Africa covering heavy topics, and that her husband was a photographer too and he had been covering the war (yes, we are still in a war). I couldn't help but feel a little silly, because the next thing I was occupied with was the Oscar luncheon!! WHO CARES!!!!! Especially when I look at the participants, and once again am totally unimpressed by what they are wearing. I liked what Tracey Edmonds wore, and liked Adrianna Barraza's baby-doll dress (it looked like one I'm offering this season, just with a little less attention paid to detail than mine).
And the men ... AGAIN!! ... The men were dressed like aging New Jersey mafia types (have you seen the movie 'Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai'?). Funny to imagine Alan Arkin and Peter O'Toole sitting together in a closed-down Italian restaurant; chairs up on the tables, napkins tucked under their chins twirling spaghetti on forks in spoons discussing how to handle the new (cocky loose cannon) kid Will Smith, whom the mob has sort of adopted (uncharacteristically) from the neighborhood. Even though he's not Italian, but seems to really love hanging around. Well, here's hoping for a non-mob mentality for the Oscars!