Mr Blasberg
11:23 am

My (Completely Unsolicited) Review of ‘The End of the Rainbow’

08/08/2012, Fast + Louche

Yeah, that’s me outside the theater, giving a high-five to Judy

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          I’ll be honest: The main reason I came to see End of the Rainbow, the Broadway play chronicling Judy Garland’s late in life tragic five weeks at London’s Ritz Hotel for a desperate concert series, was because I thought I should. I felt obliged. Judy is an icon for my people and I wanted to pay homage. So it came as a surprise to find that this play, and most notably the outrageous and raw performance from Tracie Bennett, who plays Garland, completely transcended camp fag hag-ory. This play was good, and good in its own right as a tragic musical tale.
         The play opens at the Ritz, with Garland, hard on her luck and heavy coming down on pulls, already trying to hoodwink out of her hotel bill. Garland’s story is well known: At the end of her life, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and Esther from (my favorite) Meet Me In St. Louis had self destructed into a addict and alcoholic. Before Drew and Lindsay, she was the original child actress unraveled. This is where the play catches up with her, in her (often times comedic) downward spiral. Garland is wild, talented, frail and amusing. The play’s writer, Peter Quilter, gives her some of the best one liners in Broadway history. My favorites? “Every time I’m drinking water I feel like I’m missing out on something,” she drawls. “I think of all the tablets I could be taking.” Or later, “Skip down the yellow brick road? I could have flown down it.” These are references to her addictions. Like when she says, “You could have shoved cables in me and I could have powered Manhattan.” A few others: “I wanted to put on more foundation but I forgot my bucket and shovel,” and, “My chin and tits are in a race to my knees.”
          The play is basically three characters — Garland, her fifth husband Mickey Deans and her pianist Anthony — all fighting for her survival, she herself included. There are tantrums and things thrown, all interspersed with knock-out-drag-out performances from Bennett. There were some annoying moments; I didn’t like how conveniently and stereotypically gay Anthony was. (One line that sticks out: “I did my Mom’s makeup every Saturday and she was still shocked when I became a homosexual.”) But the story is still there, the heart wrenching famous tale of an icon on the verge of collapse, and it’s so well done you can’t take your eyes off. The story of an addict that is so addicting.
         A few words on Bennett’s performance: She was outrageous. Absolutely mesmerizing and overwhelming. I’m never the first one standing for an ovation. Truth be told, I typically only begrudgingly get up when whatever grey haired betty in front of me stands and I want a better look at the dancers. Not this night. I was on my feet before Bennett’s last note. She was tiny, loud, perfectly timed and sensational, much like Judy herself. And just in case anyone wondered what kind of pipes she really had, after the ovation she came out for an encore and killed it again. In the program notes we see that, in real life, Bennett is young, even pretty. But as Judy she is unkempt, downtrodden, even disgusting. It’s a total transformation. She is everything in this play. She could have done it in a white room alone, and I would have still been on the edge of my seat.
          The play ends not too long before Garland dies in London at the age of, get ready for it, 47, in 1969. (Frank Sinatra would pay for her New York memorial, which 20,000 people would flock to.) She talks about being immortal, about still standing after all she had been through. Well, she did fall. But for a few more weeks, Bennett digs her up again. The show is on till August 18th. Go!
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And shhh, this is a shot I stole during the intermission. (I hope I don’t get sued of this. But Bennett was that F-ing good.)

10:30 am

Some Summer Missouri Memories

07/08/2012, Fast + Louche

A sunset on the Lake of the Ozarks

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Look, I’ll be the first person to admit that I’m a lucky boy who gets to go to some amazing places.
A quick glance at this blog sees me in Peru with Mario Testino and Shanghai with Marc Jacobs, and that’s justin the past few weeks. But, while I’m so happy and fulfilled to have these experiences, when it comes to summer plans, my favorite thing to do is go home to Missouri. It’s where I grew up, it’s where my family is. And, at the end of the day, even after my travels around the world, it’s still one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been. Where else can you go vintage shopping for perfectly worn in Levi’s for under a dollar whilst eating an all-fried, call-carb diet?

I made it home for nearly a week this month. What was on the agenda? First and most importantly, I met my nephew for the first time. William David Blasberg was born to my brother Chris and Angie on June 25th, and the family couldn’t be happier. I also made my pilgrimages to all my local thrift stores, and headed to the Lake of the Ozarks (which I like to refer to as the Hamptons of the Midwest) for swimming, skiing and boating. And finally, I managed to work in two of St. Louis’ most important activities: a Cardinals baseball game and a trip to Ted Drewe’s Frozen Custard.

Introducing the adorable William David Blasberg, the newest Blasberg. (Lord, help us all.)

One of the first things on my Missouri To Do list? A stop at Imo’s. Best pizza in the world

One of the best things about the Lake of the Ozarks is the punny names of places. Take, for example, Big Dick’s Halfway Inn, which is a small hotel run by a fat guy called Richard. Another favorite place on the lake? The Bear Bottom, which would mean something completely different if it was located in Chelsea

I love the architectural minimalism of the Niangua Bridge

“Captain Derek” has a certain ring to it, no?

First mate? Monster, of course

I gave my parents this terrycloth Chanel beach bag because I thought it would be cute on their boat, and the chicest way to transport towels and suntan lotion. But, as with everything nice that I give my parents, they ‘save it for good’ and never use it

Look at Will! He’s already learning some major poses. (I think he gets that from me)

I was extremely impressed with myself that I managed to find a (state-required) life vest that matched my Dolce & Gabbana swim trunks. It’s all about the total waterski look

Yes, it’s a hidden talent: I know my way around a wake

The drive to the Lake is an interesting one: It’s a mix between an episode of COPS and a Clint Eastwood film. This town, called Sleeper, was completely desolate and wrapped around this one train intersection

Dad’s toy: A Harley Davidson. (But don’t worry: It only has about 12 miles on it)

Know what’s not fun? The heat in this town. When your car says it’s 104 degrees, it’s time to pull over and have a drink

Oh, yes, there are moments when I just love Missouri. Like when I found this school vending machine which had been converted into a hillbilly cigarette dispenser

 Does anyone remember my Aunt Mary? (She was the one who broke out the batons in a green sequined mini dress at my 30th birthday party. Feel free to have a look at the video.) This is the view from her house in the Ozarks. I can’t think of a more beautiful way to wake up

Aww, my wonderful parents, Bill and Carol, in their element

Go Cardinals! 

The best thing to do after a Card’s game? Ted Drewe’s famous frozen custard, of course. I went with my friend Meghan, who also scored us those sick seats at the game

Look what I found: One of the original collages that I made when I was in middle school and high school and used to wall paper all four walls of my bedroom, and the ceiling. This one, obviously, had a crimson theme. Look closely for pictures of Princess Diana, Raquel Welch, Demi Moore, Marilyn Monroe and Robin Williams. (Yeah, I was all over the place.) I wonder what a therapist would say about this…

 

 

12:00 pm

Thom Browne on Style and Consistency

06/08/2012, From Elsewhere

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Back in the day, Thom Browne was one of my first big designer interviews. It was a profile for 10magazine, I was in my very early 20s, and I can remember being nervous and excited and sweaty. It was in the middle of a hot Manhattan summer and his studio was all the way in Chelsea. However, it being Thom and all, a man who was redefining men’s suiting and someone I admired, I felt a sartorial obligation to wear a buttoned up shirt and suit jacket. Which meant when I got off the A train (did I mention I lived in Brooklyn at the time?) and to his office, I had to literally strip off my clothes on the corner of 11th Avenue and 24th Street amongst Jersey commuters and crazy street walkers to cool off and let my shirt dry out. Oh, that glamour of being a fashion journalist.

When I was in Paris for the couture shows earlier this summer, the fine folks at Mr. Porter asked me to interview Thom again, and I was only too happy to obliged. Who is Mr. Browne? The Allentown, Pennsylvania-born US designer, whose own rigid uniform is a testament to his bestselling aesthetic, who rose to fashion fame when he started his own label in 2001. His shows are some of the most anticipated on the menswear fashion circuit: he has shown men in 18th-century inspired clothes for a royal feast in a ballroom in Paris; in New York he did a show inspired by the sport of tennis and showed suits paired with huge crinolines; in Florence, and this was perhaps my favourite show, he had 40 identically dressed men at a phalanx of desks looking more dapper than a whole season of Mad Men. To welcome his eponymous label to the mens site, I caught up with the designer to talk about the convenience of wearing suits every day, political style and what he thinks makes for a snappy dresser.

When I first interviewed you 10 years ago, I wore a shirt and tie in the dead heat of summer because I was nervous you’d think I was a schlub if I didn’t. I was a sweaty mess. Have you found that you often make men want to dress up?

I didn’t know that! I thought that’s how you always dressed. It’s funny: people have told me that I make them want to put a suit on, which I take as a compliment. But, to be honest, what’s important to me is that someone has their own style. Anyone who is confident in themselves is much more stylish. A well-dressed man doesn’t have to be in a suit.

Phew. Good to know.

Style and taste aren’t always the same thing, remember. But if someone is into something, be it skirts or graphic T-shirts, let them do it. More power to them. There just has to be a level of a taste.

You redefined what it means to have the modern, avant-garde men’s fashion show. Was that always your intent?

It started from my desire to provoke guys to see a classic idea differently. To think in a new way about something they know very well. That’s what all the collections are about, actually. And, I do like to entertain.

How long does it take for you to come up with the ideas behind your shows and collections?

Sometimes it takes five minutes. It’s the ideas that are easy, but producing them is what takes time. The concepts also change as we make them; I let myself move and evolve as the collection comes together.

Are there ever moments when you’re creatively blocked?

Yes, there are those times. It’s like when a writer has writer’s block. But for whatever reasons, it always works in the end, thankfully. The problem is having a fear of the creative block. If you’re constantly open to inspiration, it will come to you. The worst thing a man can do is pressure himself into an idea.

Do you have any routines for getting inspired?

Watching old movies. Sitting in a park. Having a drink. Going for a run.

So you’re not exactly checking the blogs?

For me, inspiration is very rarely computer related. It’s classic movies, old books, looking at people in the streets of New York. Sometimes it’s just closing my eyes and waiting for an idea to come.

Have you ever looked at something you’ve done and thought, “Now, that’s just too crazy”?

Yes. And that’s when I know I should be doing it.

You’re never timid or anxious about a show?

I do sit back every once in a while and think about it. I never want it to be offensive. I don’t want to cross the line of it becoming too costume. I want it to be interesting. Provocative but not profane.

You just want a reaction.

Someone can hate the idea, or they can love it. I just don’t want them to leave a show thinking, “That was nice”. “Nice” isn’t the reaction I desire.

You once explained to me that the men’s suit is actually quite a simple uniform.

It takes me five minutes to get ready in the morning. I don’t understand why some men think a suit is so difficult to wear when often it’s the easiest thing to put together. I could get dressed in the dark.

Really? Five minutes?

Yes. Besides, I think it’s nice to look as if someone didn’t spend too much time getting dressed. Especially for a guy. Style is a lot more interesting when it looks effortless.

I once had a conversation with Ms Carine Roitfeld about how a suit can hide a lot of sins. Specifically, the example she used was that a politician, for the most part, always looks good in a suit. But it can be dangerous when you see them in their “daywear”, such as in Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops on family vacations.

It’s true. I think there’s something very polished and powerful about a man in a suit. But still, some politicians look better than others, and that really comes down to fit. The suits don’t always fit as well as they should, which is when the look falls apart.

What tips would you have for a man buying a suit?

The most important thing is the fit. Find someone who knows what they’re doing, and then find what works for you and stick to it. Find the khakis that look best on you, work with a tailor that fits your clothing to you in the right way, and grow into yourself and your style. Once you’ve done that, everything becomes much easier.

So for you, it’s about consistency.

There’s something very confident about someone who looks as if they could wear the same thing every day.

For more from this chat with Mr. Browne, see the whole story on Mr. Porter HERE.

5:08 pm

RIP Gore Vidal: Personal Recollections on a Contentious Literary Genius

01/08/2012, General

My prized photo of a smiling Gore Vidal, which aren’t common, basking in the glory of the Bosphorus in Istanbul in 2010. 

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When I first met Gore Vidal on the Bosphorus in Istanbul in 2010, where he was appearing on a literary arts panel with a celebrated Turkish journalist, who was female and, thus, completely terrified of him, he was an elderly lion. Weathered, worn down, but still contentious and still ready to roar. Like any self-respecting American who considers himself even the slightest but literarily inclined, I was already a fan of Vidal’s work. I had read stories like 1948’s “The City and the Pillar,” which was a scandal in its day because of its thinly veiled homosexual undertones, and 1968’s “Myra,” about a man who has a sex change. I was too young to have seen him guest host for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, run for political office (which he did twice), spar with Norman Mailer on the Dick Cavett show, or see the debuts of his plays on Broadway. (A revival of his play “The Best Man” is currently on Broadway, starring Cybil Sheppard.) But I didn’t miss his appearances as voices on both ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘The Family Guy.’

I’m with my family in Missouri at the moment, and when mother told me about Vidal’s death when I woke up this morning the first thing I thought about was the adventure to Istanbul. Bound to a wheelchair and attended by a longhaired Adonis male nurse who, at one point, jumped into the Bosphorus in nothing but his underwear and waist-length curls, Vidal was in fighting form. I can remember him referring to our home country as “The United States of Amnesia,” and taking no prisoners when it came to idle conversation. To ask him a question, be it about the fall of Rome or his love for the Italian Riviera, was to possibly incite a fiery discourse on a wide variety of topics, from politics to Hollywood to family dynasties. What I remember most, however, was the twinkle in his eye and the slight smile that would gather in the corner of his mouth when he knew he had just said something particularly provoking. Or ridiculous.

It took some digging today, but I found my notes from that meeting, and what he said then is still as accurate and, probably because of its accuracy, provocative as it ever was. Behold, the highlights:

On Obama’s election: “He has my good wishes, even my love. And I feel for him. I recommend he reread his Aristotle, but as a warning: He was not very optimistic.

On Obama’s shortcomings: “He’s too intelligent for a dumb country like this one. I think Obama is appalled by Obama.”

On Jackie Kennedy: “Jackie had a great comic sense. And being the First Lady of America kept her laughing all the time.”

On Jackie becoming an American icon: “I was the first famous person in the family. And I think Jackie appreciated that.”

On John F. Kennedy: “JFK wanted adventure, wanted to be on a boat, collecting girls all day long. Everyone needs a hobby.”

On Norman Mailer: “Annoyance was one of his charms. He lived publicity. He thought his name in the paper was the best thing in the world. I regarded publicity as an annoyance. He never changed, which is not a compliment. But it’s a testament to his character.”

On being labeled various things by the American press throughout the years: “The media doesn’t portray me accurately at all. If it’s difficult to deal with me, then you don’t have to deal with me.”

On the future of America: “When things get as bad as things in our republic have got, you can’t get it back.”

On his contribution to American politics: “I’ve given a lot of serious thought to a country that didn’t deserve it.”

On Woodrow Wilson: “Woodrow Wilson was a fool.”

On the finances of modern governments: “When people start talking about democracy, look for your wallet.”

On his contributions: “I don’t have ideas. I have commentaries.”

On fellow writers: “Most writers are idiots. They want to tell the truth because they’ll never know it. They are infantile.”

On new works: “A new book? No one reads the old ones, so why would I write a new one for no one else to read?”

On the film Caligula: “I’ve never seen Caligula, but I’m told its one of the worst films ever made.”

On wealth: “Money is a tomb.”

Gore Vidal was brilliant, mean and amazing. One late night in Istanbul, after a fancy dinner, we all ended up back the hotel where many of us were staying, winding up in a room and all sharing (probably too many) drinks. It was fantastic that Gore Vidal was there, propped up on a corner, dropping observant yet crude remarks and setting off on an occasional well spoken tangent. It was hazy and it was hilarious. At one point, he asked my friend Leigh if she were a lesbian, offering a few colorful remarks about girl-on-girl alternative lifestyles. He was provoking us, as he had provoked generations. After he said it, that little grin, the grin of a man who is supremely confident and supremely smart, showed up on his face. Which is I’m sure the same grin on his face now, wherever he has ended up in his afterlife.

To read more on the life and death of Gore Vidal, check out the obituaries in The New York Times and The Washington Post.

10:55 am

Happy Birthday to a Very Lovely Lady: Leigh Lezark

30/07/2012, Fast + Louche

 

Leigh Lezark is a woman of many hats. (I mean that literally and figuratively because, well, she looks good in a hat.) With the Misshapes she’s one-third of the DJ; with Chanel she is a brand ambassador; and, as I learned just last week, with home videos she is a visionary director. Watch the VIDEOS she made for my birthday party here. Well, the loveliest Leigh I know celebrated her birthday on Thursday night with dinner at the Standard Hotel and then a dance party on its roof. It was fun. Perhaps too much fun, in fact.

Scott Meriam made novelty Leigh masks…

…which provided all sorts of amusement, as seen here with Dani and Lyle

Costello Tagliapietra’s Robert and Jeffrey

 

Me and Karlie at dinner

Leigh with fellow birthday boy Dorian Grinspan (welcome to your 20′s, buddy) on the roof

Ladies and gentlemen and ladies who used to be gentlemen: The amazing Sophia Lamar

Jordan, Olivier, Leigh and me outside the Standard

 

11:58 am

Best Birthday Gift Ever: Pictures of Myself (The Karlie Polaroid Series)

26/07/2012, Fast + Louche

It’s like I wrote in my books Classy and Very Classy: If you’re ever stumped on what to give someone as a present, give them a picture of themselves. A nice framed picture of a group of friends is the perfect birthday or hostess gift. (NOTE: Just make sure it’s a nice picture, though. Not a driver’s license photo or anything too embarrassing. And nothing to narcissistic, OK?) Well, when it came to my birthday party in St. Louis, MO, earlier this year, my St. Louis sister Karlie raised the bar on the novelty portrait present. She took these fabulous Polaroids, and gave them to me at the end of the weekend.

Me and my Mom at the barn dance; Harry, Poppy, Giovanna and Karlie

Barbara and Nate; Karlie and Lyle

Giovanna, working her Dolce & Gabbana prints on the dance floor; My aunt Mary, who’s baton twirling routine was a personal highlight, getting my fringe into a tizzy. (Click here if you haven’t seen Mary’s dance. You won’t regret it.)

Nate planting a kiss on Cory while his wife, Bekah, looks on with Trish; Lauren, Robert, me and Dasha

Me and Poppy; Karlie and those wild and crazy Brant Boys

Poppy, Petey and Jessica; The boys on the bus ride home: Geordon, me, Lyle, Dan and Ben

Gio using a Budweiser flag as a blanket (very appropriate); Cory, Nate, me and Karlie dancing on a hay bale (also very appropriate)

Taylor making sure there are no sleeping children on the school bus; The Blasberg family

Evan Yurman, one of my very first friends when I moved to New York (we met when I was a freshman) and his wife Ku-Ling with Petey; The St. Louis Trinity: Karlie, me and RJ

The one and only Monster; Barbara, Nate and me in the haystacks

My Dad and his sister, Mary; Poppy and Karlie

Me and Dasha on the dance floor; the marvelous Misshapes Geordon and Leigh, who DJ’ed the barn dance wearing the best costumes of the night, courtesy of Jeremy Scott

The best pizza in the entire world: Imo’s; me with Lauren Sharp, one of my oldest and best friends from home, who played the unofficial (and underpaid) party planner for the weekend

Back on the bus: Lyle, Barbara and Taylor; Rachel, stripping down to the basics

Jessica in the novelty T-shirts my mother had made up, made even more novel by the unintentional Hitler mustache; Karlie, Eugenie and Harry on the dance floor

My friend Kristina and her daughter Stella; Petey and Karlie

That Budweiser flag, which we bought at a Value Village the day of the party, sure came in handy. It was a blanket, a rally towel, even a cape; Cory, Bekah, Karlie, RJ and Barbara

9:36 am

Soccer Balls and Baseballs and the Olympics: An Unexpected Athletic Moment

26/07/2012, General, Observations

The view from the CFDA’s box at the Mets game, left; some delicious Chelsea sugar cookies at the football (sorry, I mean soccer) match at Yankee stadium, right

Maybe it has something to do with the uniforms, because who doesn’t love a man in uniform? Or maybe it has something to do with my renewed interest in physical activity, and how I joined the V magazine soccer team this summer. (Don’t laugh. I played in high school. I’m actually pretty good with a ball.) Whatever, for some reason, I’ve been feeling particularly sporty lately, even in my social life. Already this week I participating in two huge displays of organized athletic competition: the Chelsea football match (yes, I said football and not soccer, shut up) at the new Yankee Stadium, which was the first time that a soccer game had been played there; and then a few nights later, I was at CitiField in Queens to see the Mets baseball game with the Council of Fashion Designers of America. See, it’s not just me: Lots of fashion folk are feeling athletic, apparently.

Perhaps we’re all just being subconsciously swept into the Olympic spirit, which officially starts tomorrow with the Opening Ceremony in London. I’ve always had fond memories of the Olympics. Fond vague memories that is. My third grade teacher, Ms. Hagan, was obsessed. She had VHS tapes of her favorite events taped from various Olympics (Moscow in 1980, Barcelona in 1992, etc), and as a ‘treat’ would let us watch them in class. But it’s weird: Apart from Michael Phelps, I don’t really remember many of the athletes. And the only reason I remember him is because I still think whoever posted a picture of him taking a drag from a bong in the off season is a total wanker. Who else? Nancy Kerigan, because she got beat with a pipe? Keri Strug, because she screwed up her ankle at just the right moment? Ryan Lochte, because he has blue eyes and was on the cover of Vogue?

I just love the pomp and circumstance of the Olympics. (Though, for the record, I want to be no where near them: No thank you when it comes to international swarms of tourists descending on water polo matches with expensive cameras and $20 water bottles.) I love the sense of pride and excitement we have for athletes we’ll probably not see next time. And I really like Bob Costas. But, I’m not doing the best job surmising what it means to be a modern Olympic viewer. For that I turn to the New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik, one of my absolute favorite writers. In a recent Talk of the Town piece entitled ‘Team Spirit,’ which ran in The New Yorker last month, he did a fabulous job of explaining the amusing qualities of modern society’s obsession with the Olympics. It’s fantastic. (You can find the entire piece HERE.)

We are about to enter that period, which occurs every four years, when Americans become passionate about athletes we have never heard of participating in games we do not follow trying to please judges we cannot see according to rules we do not know. The fullness of our ignorance never diminishes the pitch of our Olympic enthusiasm. Those cute girls with the ribbons—rhythmic gymnasts, that’swhat they’re called—and the synchronized swimmers, mimicking one another’s every move, like Harpo and Groucho in the mirror scene in “Duck Soup,” will briefly become as beloved as any Yankee shortstop or Celtics forward. “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” we chant, until the two weeks of games are over, and even the most prominent Olympians may find themselves making their way home from the top step of the podium to the bottom rung of the D-list. (Ask Bruce Jenner, once the world’s greatest all-round athlete—with the medals to show for it—now playing for Team Kardashian.)

9:40 pm

Mr. Blasberg’s Missouri Dirty Thirty Caught on VIDEO (Twice!)

23/07/2012, Fast + Louche

I knew that when I invited the Misshapes, the New York-based DJ trinity, to come to St. Louis, Missouri, I wouldn’t regret it. And, true to form, when I celebrated my birthday with a barn dance at my Uncle Fred and Aunt Tina’s barn on a few hundred acres of untouched natural Midwestern wilderness, their tunes did not disappoint. (They even got my Mom dirty dancing on several occasions.) But what came as a bonus were these videos. Leigh Lezark can spin records and create visually stimulating moving images? The lady can do it all.

First up, a video of the extravaganza, from pig roast garden party to hayride sing-a-long to the barn rave. Look out for cameo’s from Giovanna (taking Dolce & Gabbana prints to a place they’ve never been before), Karlie (working a hula hoop one  second and a Budweiser flag the next), and the Brant boys (sashaying like no one’s business). Obligatory walk off, and a few rather embarrassing Missouri moonshine-induced dance from yours truly, include: 

But the pièce de résistance? The hoedown’s special guest performance: My very own Aunt Mary, who’s childhood of baton twirling paid off in a major way when she stunned the crowd with this performance to Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’:

8:41 am

Taking the Louis Vuitton Train to China

20/07/2012, General

A Louis Vuitton fashion show in Paris is an event. The shows have transcended being a mere presentation of next season’s clothes to become a fashionable spectacle of decadence. Marc Jacobs once told me that one reason he keeps upping the ante on the show is because he knows that, since he shows on the last day of the collections, he has to ‘dazzle’ his audience. Well, dazzle was an understatement for this most recent one, which started when an actual train pulled into the Louvre with 48 models calmly composed in its seat. So sensational was that first train ride, Vuitton packed it up and brought it to Shanghai to fete their store opening here, and restaged that entire show. (As I mentioned here before, it’s all about trains right now.) I was only too happy to see that train again, not to mention the gilded, sparkled, bejeweled looks and the insanely decadent handbags and luggage, which were carried by porters behind the models. All in all, not a bad first trip to Shanghai, if I may say so myself.

The wondrous Clemence Poesy with Louis Vuitton’s wizard, the amazing Marc Jacobs

Shanghai’s skyline at night

Me with a few ladies on the post-show dance floor: Lana del Rey, who sang at the party; Alexa Chung; Poppy Delevingne; and Momma Makeup herself, Pat McGrath

Coco Brandolini

Superstar DJ Jeremy Healy on the decks at the afterparty. Apparently, the fashion party culture that is so alive and well in cities like London and Paris doesn’t exist in China, which is why Louis Vuitton made a conscious effort to keep it festive. They booked Lana, Jeremy and two other DJ’s. And umm, it worked.

Marc’s right hand woman: Love magazine’s Katie Grand

Team Louis Vuitton is a fun one: That’s their president, Yves Carcelle, hitting the dance floor with Julie de Libran. (Well, to be honest, they’re hitting the banquette. By that point, people were dancing on tables.)

Alexa and Pat enjoying the view from our club seating. The venue was right on the river in a temporary space. Which means, yes, Louis Vuitton built a train station, stage and nightclub for one night only in the center of Shanghai

Yves and the ladies! From left: Elizabeth von Guttman, Antonine Peduzzi, Luisa Orisini, Alexia Niedzielski and Coco Brandolini

A view from atop the grand staircase at the new Vuitton store

Alexa and I having a salute in the lobby of the Park Hyatt

Poppy Delevingne and her handsome better half James Cook

Huo Siyan, who is an actress in China and very, very polite

The Louis Vuitton train pulls into the station, which, like it did earlier this year in Paris, got a round of applause from the audience

Alexa on the train after the show. Every single detail and every single meticulous feature was carefully recreated as if it were an actual train. Simply amazing. (Well done, Faye McLeod!)

The master of millinery, Stephen Jones, who was responsible for the fabulous hats at the show

Poppy and I in a novelty shop where we found but did not buy the coolest sunglasses ever. It may be our biggest regret in life

Louis had some serious wheels. The six of us met with a Chinese medical doctor that Vuitton had organized, and I had my first acupuncture experience. The verdict is still out on that one. I really wanted to like it, but the entire time I was laying down all I could think about was how ridiculous it looks to have all these needles stuck in my flesh. He also told me I had lots of toxins in my body, and I needed to stress less and sleep more. So, essentially, I flew all the way to Shanghai to hear the same thing my mom tells me every day back home

Alexa wondering a local market. I was skeptical about venturing into the markets because, well, I don’t particularly like getting shoved around stinky places. But this one was quaint and cute, and had good stuff.

And finally, the man himself: Marc Jacobs, having a giggle on his train after the show. It’s hard to believe that in less than two months, it’s show season again and Marc will wow us again.

 

3:49 am

Mr. Blasberg’s Best Dressed: August Issue

19/07/2012, From Elsewhere

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The new August issue of Harper’s Bazaar is on stands now, and in it is one of my favorite Mr. Blasberg’s Best Dressed columns yet. (Well, I guess I say that every week.) The reason? It looks at three of my favorite fashion people: original super Linda Evangelista, the daringly dressed designer Marc Jacobs, and the icon that is Miuccia Prada. All three have kept me sartorially satisfied of late. First, Linda’s courtroom looks were fabulous. (Is it weird to admit I was disappointed when she and her ex settled so quickly out of court?) And then there have been the absolute amusement with which I’ve seen Marc put together his looks of late, from pink polo shirt dresses to full on lace cocktail frocks. And finally, proving that, in fashion, it’s the women who often wear the pants, I can’t help but salute Miuccia’s brocaded pant suit looks.

PS. I’m working on next month’s column now, so leave any favorite fashionable moments in the comments! And to read my weekly Mr. Blasberg’s Best Dressed list, go to www.harpersbazaar.com/bestdressed