Mr Blasberg
10:08 am

LONG LIVE LINDA. MY COVER STORY ON THE ULTIMATE EVANGELISTA

20/09/2013, General

‘Twas a dream come true: For the October issue of Harper’s Bazaar, I was assigned a story on my supermodel fantasy, Linda Evangelista. Few models have inspired and conspired like she has. And she did not disappoint. When we met she was in head-to-toe Lanvin. She was fiesty. She was fierce. She was everything I wanted and more. 

“Linda does not do social media.” The Linda in question, the one talking about herself in the third person, is Linda Evangelista, the monumental ’90s supermodel and fashion-industry rabble-rouser. It’s a rainy day and we’re sipping coffee in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, a few blocks from the penthouse apartment she bought more than a decade ago, debating the pros and cons of the Internet. The pros? “You know when an airline loses your luggage? That’s when I wish I had Twitter,” she says, flashing that high-fashion smile.

The cons, of course, involve things that come up when one Googles oneself. “If I’m ever feeling real good about myself, all I have to do is go online and read a blog or two, and it brings me right back.” Indeed, the life of Linda Evangelista provides colorful search results. She was a small-town Canadian girl who moved to New York in the ’80s and, along with cohorts Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, and Christy Turlington, became one of the world’s most sought-after supermodels. She filled fashion magazines with glamour and tabloids with drama. She was a diva. She changed her hair color 17 times in five years. She married Gérald Marie, the head of her Paris agency, at the age of 22, then left him for (and almost married) the actor Kyle MacLachlan. In 2006, she had a son, Augustin James, but refused to name the father. (It was later revealed to be the French businessman François-Henri Pinault.) Most recently, she dated Hard Rock Cafe cofounder Peter Morton before splitting with him this past spring.

Evangelista, 48, became known for being the industry’s best in front of the camera and the industry’s worst away from it. In 2001, she was sued by her former agency Wilhelmina for defrauding it of commissions before the agency dropped the case. Not that bad press mattered. She was still booked solid. That’s what led to the infamous quote that pops up with any Internet search of her name: “We don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day,” a reference to her fellow supes, and one that she hasn’t been able to live down since. And last year, when she took Pinault to Family Court in Manhattan to sue him for child support, the media (myself included) reviewed her court ensembles as if it were a fashion show.

What Evangelista finds most appealing about social media is the idea of speaking directly to those fashion fans who grew up idolizing her. “Maybe I should start a blog,” she says. “You control it. You can correct things that are said about you. That’s the first thing I’d do.” Like, for instance, the details that were reported in her child-support case—that she allegedly sued Pinault for $46,000 a month, though her lawyer insisted she was not seeking a specific amount of money, and she eventually settled for an undisclosed sum. Evangelista says she was surprised at all the attention, since the headline-making behavior recalled a former version of herself. “Motherhood is my whole life now,” she explains. “It’s the best. I am so fulfilled.” The week before we met, she spent a month vacationing with her family in Canada, at a house she rented in Muskoka Lakes. “This place was the furthest you can be from five-star. It was basically one step up from camping.”

The notion of Evangelista as a mother hen on float trips is hard to reconcile with her haute couture alter ego, a dichotomy she readily acknowledges. “There are lots of things you don’t know about me,” she says. “I do needlepoint, I do crochet, I cake-decorate.” She says she’s a proficient chef and a barista, and can play a mean accordion, a skill she acquired growing up in St. Catharines, Ontario. (“I have two in my apartment, but they have dust on them. It’s more of a winter thing.”)

When she’s not working, days that used to be spent shopping, sleeping, and on the beach at her house in St.-Tropez are now filled with crafting, specifically macramé, and playdates. And while Evangelista refuses to speak about her son, whom she calls Augie, a few bons mots slip out. “Let’s just say I have a child who doesn’t like fashion. He wants jerseys. We watch sports and go to games. I do boy things now.” As for dating, since splitting with Morton, she’s single, not dating, and happy about it. “I look at it this way: I have been so lucky in love,” she says, adding with a cryptic smile, “Except for two times.”

Yet even with her various hiatuses from the spotlight, Evangelista is as super as ever. She was featured on the cover of Italian Vogue‘s “25 Years of Fashion” special issue this past summer, and recently starred in campaigns for Chanel Eyewear, Hogan, and Talbots. And the supermodel’s appreciation for her three-decade-and-counting career has grown over time. The images she created with photographers like Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Peter Lindbergh, and Norman Parkinson (not to mention her iconicBazaar covers) have become part of fashion history. “I knew they were legendary, but I didn’t know how relevant their work would become. Now I’m like, ‘Linda, you fucking idiot!’ I didn’t appreciate it at the time, and I regret that.” Francesco Scavullo was another master, and one of the few who got her to undress in front of the camera. “He said I had to do a nude with him, and I finally said, ‘Fine, but you’re cropping it. You can’t go past my chest, and I’m turning my back.’ That was my nude. It’s beautiful.” She remembers when makeup artists and hair stylists didn’t have teams of assistants, when the backstage cabine was the size of an airplane bathroom, and admits to being nostalgic for that era. “It was more personal. It had more energy.”

Evangelista says that in pre-digital-camera days, she felt she was creating art with photographers, which isn’t always the case now: “These young whippersnappers have brilliant eyes and ideas, but they’re not old-school enough for me.” She misses the great technicians who didn’t rely on computer wizardry. “When we were satisfied with how our Polaroids looked and we moved to film, those pictures did not need retouching. Now everything is [done in postproduction]. Sometimes I look in the mirror and see wrinkles in the clothes or streaks in my makeup or a glob of mascara on my eyelashes, and it pisses me off!”
Talk about intimidating: Can you imagine doing Linda Evangelista’s makeup? It would belike playing the piano for Mozart. “Sometimes I just say to a makeup artist, ‘Listen, I don’t know what you’ve heard about me, but you’re doing my makeup and it’s going to be all right.’ Sometimes they do things like, when they get to my mouth, they hand me the lip pencil. And I say, ‘Oh, no, you do it. Just give it a shot.’ “

Evangelista is quick to crack a joke, which raises the question: Could the model the industry loved to paint as bitchy and cynical actually be playful with a killer sense of humor? “I don’t know,” she says. “I’m just too honest. I say what other people wouldn’t. I like to be tongue-in-cheek.” Her nasal, winging voice, immortalized in Isaac Mizrahi’s 1995 documentary, Unzipped, when she moaned backstage at a fashion show about always being stuck with flat shoes while Naomi got the heels, now lets loose with punch lines and double entendres. I tell her that Karl Lagerfeld calls her “the best.” “The best what?” she snaps back. “The best complainer?” And she’s not afraid to poke fun at herself. “Want to know what I’m doing when I’m not working? Therapy—individual, group, all of it.”

Still, few can boast the kind of fiercely loyal cadre of friends that Evangelista has built for herself. Famed photographer Steven Meisel is one of her closest confidants. So is Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, the French stylist who Evangelista says “acts like a mom to me. She is very protective, caring, nurturing. And she yells at me!” And the hairstylist Garren, who was largely responsible for her colorful crops and fluorescent bobs through the 1990s, Evangelista calls a big brother.

Earlier this year, too, it was revealed that she was the only one of John Galliano’s famous friends who visited the designer in rehab following his 2011 dismissal from Dior. “I hadn’t seen him in a long time, and I suspected he wasn’t well,” she recalls. “When I was brought up-to-date on the situation, I asked, ‘So, who’s going to see him?’ and they said no one. I booked a ticket and spent the day with him, and then went right back to the airport. I didn’t want him to be alone.” She didn’t tell anyone; Galliano was the one who spilled the beans. “I’ve always been there,” she adds. “If you speak to people in this business who’ve known me for 30 years, they’ll tell you. All the stuff that is said about my ways and my personality is far more interesting than the truth.”

Her friendship with Galliano aside, Evan gelista refuses to be pinned down when asked to pick a favorite designer, even when I point out that she’s wearing head-to-toe Céline. “No! It’s like asking a mother to pick her favorite child!” She does say that she’s adamant about supporting American labels. And she reveals a recent go-to: the Row, the line by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Evangelista says she was at Barneys and a sales associate was pushing a leather skirt on her, and she asked who the designer was. “I said, ‘Those two little girls? I’m not trying it on.’ But she put it in my dressing room and I put it on, and it became my favorite skirt.” She calls the Row a reliable label now. “I think those girls were put on this planet to be designers, not actresses. I really respect them now. I didn’t want to, but I do.”

To hear Evangelista talk about fashion is to listen to a woman describe her first true love. “I still crave fashion. I still love fashion. I mean, I’ve traveled the world to work in studios. Nobody put me in bathing suits on a beach.” She wasn’t the sexpot; she was the supermodel we wanted to dress up and project our fashion fantasies on. But when I mention the S-word, she says, “I don’t even know what that means anymore. Is that era over? Who is a supermodel now? Is everyone? Is no one?” She squints her eyes and smiles. “You can call me whatever you want to call me. All I know is this: I’m still here.”

above photo by Derek Blasberg, all others by Terry Richardson for Harper’s Bazaar

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9:05 am

A DIARY FROM LONDON FASHION WEEK: SPRING/SUMMER 2014

18/09/2013, General

Am I the only one who finds it ironic that we call it London Fashion Week when it’s really over three days and it’s mainly over a weekend anyway? Although, I will say, those three days are so jam packed with fashion shows, appointments, dinners and parties, it does feel like a week. Actually, it feels like London fashion month. I mean, these Brits don’t hold back, do they?

I got to London on Saturday morning. (Missed my original flight, got on the next one standby, middle seat in the back of the plane, arrived delirious.) And my first show was one of my favorite new designers: JW Anderson. He’s an Irish lad, gregarious and charming as ever, and I loved his collection of modernist clothes that were folded and fascinated. I sat next to Lady Amanda Harlech at the show, and she was oohing and ahhing all the way through. Later that day was Henry Holland’s show, which always puts a big smile on my face. He’s one of the most loved designers of LFW, which was made very clear when I had to squeeze into my seat next to every chic chick in town, including Alexa Chung, Daisy Lowe, Leigh Lezark, Mary Charteris, Harley Viera Newton, Atlanta de Cadenet and Kelly Osborne. Also at the show? Harry Styles. Bestill my heart. (Scroll down to the bottom of these pictures for a money shot of me and Harry.)

What else happened in London? Burberry seduced us with a rose colored – and, at the finale, rose petal covered – show, and Tom Ford blinded us with a show of sparkled-to-death, drop dead glamorous fashions. My favorite look of Tom’s was a colorful disco ball mini dress and thigh high boots that filled the room with bold spots when it came down the runway. And the kids impressed too: Christopher Kane channeled some flower power, Erdem went lacey but not racey, and I loved the rainbows at Jonathan Saunders.

Besides the fashion, a big part of LFW is keeping up with the fun. And this season’s social schedule was book ended by two fabulous magazine fetes. W magazine and its September issue cover star Cara Delevingne took over the newly opened The Edition Hotel, Ian Schrager’s latest property, for a rip-roarious party on Saturday night. And I mean they took over the whole hotel: From the lobby to the restaurant to the basement club to something called The Punch Room. And when they closed those rooms down, it was up to the rooms. The Another Magazine fete was something else too. Jefferson Hack had an enchanted forest theme, but there were more evil Red Queens than Alices in this Wonderland.

Captions, from top: Tickling the ivories with Pixie and Alexa after the Erdem show; Alison Mosshart at a party for Equipment; the very charming Douglas Booth, who will be the new Romeo later this year; Zoe Kravitz in Tom Ford; a well bowed Carine in a Comme des Garcon coat, leaving Christopher Kane; Caroline Sieber and Downton Abbey’s Lady Edith; Sienna, Poppy and Mary at the Another Magazine party; a very stimulating Beckham spotting; Kelly Osborne doing her best Home Alone impression; Henry Holland’s front row, which included Leigh, Alexa, Pixie, Daisy and Mary; Lily Allen and Nick Grimshaw at Giles’ show; the hot Momma that is Elisa Sednaoui; Natalie Massenet and her mad hatter Erik at the Another party; me and Beth Ditto; Caroline and Jade at the Longchamp store opening; Christopher Kane being very popular after his show; Poppy and Laura at Erdem; Tom Ford at his bow; Cara Delevingne in a bat hat at Giles; Alexa and Pixie doing a double DJ; the finale at L’Wren Scott; Cara getting in a fight with her cheeseburger costume; Dominic Jones and Kate Lanphear; flowers from Tom Ford; Poppy in repose; JW Anderson receiving backstage well wishes; and the fan shot heard around the world, Me and Harry Styles

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10:03 am

A DIARY FROM NEW YORK FASHION WEEK: SPRING/SUMMER 2014

14/09/2013, General

Now I know I’m getting old. Why? Because hangovers last for more than a morning. Because now, when I stay up just a little bit later than I probably should, I am tired a little longer than I think I should be. Or such was the case with fashion week this season. You see, in yesteryears, I was able to do the cocktail circuit as well as the morning shows. Top secret Lady Gaga show where she keeps us waiting till 1am to hit the stage? No problem, I can still make it to Victoria Beckham at 10am the next day. (I did. I still don’t know how either.) But, jeez, it’s not as easy as it used to be.

So, here I am going through my NYFW diary on the plane to London for LFW with a delirious smile on my face. It all started just a week ago on such a high note: Victoria’s Traina’s birthday dinner at Le Grenouille on the Upper East Side. It’s one of the most beautiful restaurants in New York, and the Traina sisters are one of the most beautiful group of girls I’ve ever met. And only for her would designers like Jack McCollough, Lazaro Hernandez and Alexander Wang leave their studios before their shows to show some love.

This was a big season for live music acts. Lady Gaga gave Stephen Gan and V magazine a special sneak peek of her new album with a top secret gig at a club on Bleecker, and on the same night Nicki Minaj performed at the Alexander Wang show. (Much to my amusement, this week I got into a little Twitter tiff with Nicki, which was covered by Life + Style magazine. What? The elevators are big enough for more than one queen, Barbie girl. Ha!) A highlight, or maybe lowlight, from Alex’s party was when Joan Smalls and I were dancing on a table in the VIP area – and it collapsed. Like, it just crumbled. Never a dull moment. Pharrell turned up at the Calvin Klein party to perform a set, and my friends, siblings Sasha and Theo Spielberg, performed at Diane von Furstenberg’s dinner on the Highline after her show.

Speaking of Alexander Wang, my partner in crime this week was Natasha Lyonne. She picked me up for that show and had me in stitches throughout the entire car ride, fashion show and car ride home. She popped up a few other times too, like the Opening Ceremony rave on the Pier 26. Fashion week is best digested with a smile.

Carine Roitfeld’s documentary, Mademoiselle C, premiered during fashion week, which I thought was a fantastic glimpse into the life of a modern fashion icon. It will undoubtedly be compared to The September Issue, which chronicled the creation of Vogue’s biggest issue of the year, under the tutelage of Anna Wintour, but they are two very different films. Like the women themselves, Wintour’s is more polished. Carine opened up more, and as she told me at the party, she had no idea it would have been such a personal project that captured so much of their emotion. The parties for the two documentaries were much different too, with Carine swinging around the Four Seasons Pool Room with Kanye West on her arm. My favorite part of the film? The scenes with Karl Lagerfeld. In one, he’s pushing a stroller, which is something that only Carine could get him to do.

As for the fashion shows, the New York collections didn’t disappoint this season. Marc Jacobs’ show was legendary, and not just because it took place while a torrential downpour tortured everyone outside and the room temperature in the Lexington Avenue armory was ridiculously hot. Backstage after the show, he told me it was Tropical Victorian, and indeed, my favorite parts were the ruffled, vintage feeling dresses at the end of the show. I also loved Proenza Schouler (my date to the show, Linda Evangelista, said she was particularly taken with the ‘palazzo culottes’) and Alutzarra, which was a super sophisticated French take on American sportswear.

The most memorable moments of fashion week, as is often the case, were the impromptu ones. Lily Donaldson took me on a bar crawl on the first night of fashion week that had us screaming to Lil Wayne in the backseat of a taxi, and a few nights later I found myself at Odeon after it had closed with Frankie Rayder and Karen Elson giving runway through the tables. The manager warned the girls that they might get hurt, and they politely warned him that they were professionals.

And finally, there was the eye candy. Not just with my super saucy supermodels, either. I’m looking at you Noah Mills and Alexander Skarsgard. Scroll down for pictures of those studs and more fashions.

 

Captions, from top: Me and Terry Richardson at some club on Bleeker Street, where Lady Gaga threw a top secret concert in honor of Stephen Gan and V magazine; Jessica Alba and those weird twins from Spring Breakers; Stephen and Gaga; Proenza Schouler’s Lazaro Hernandez and Lily Donaldson; The Carine; me and current Vanity Fair cover star Kate Upton; Noah Mills and Alexander Wang at the designer’s afterparty; Joan Smalls and Naomi Campbell at a party for Interview magazine; sweet Toni; WSJ. Magazine’s Magnus Berger and Kristina O’Neill with a very handsome Matthew Moneypenny, and yes that’s a real name; Lily putting her face on in the taxi; riding in the backseat with Natasha Lyonne to the Alexander Wang show; the fashion professional at work: Lauren Santo Domingo at Moda Operandi HQ; Hanne Gaby on the dance floor at Alex’s party; Nicole Richie and Andre Leon Talley; Magnus, David and Giovanna squeeze in a beer before the Thom Browne show; Alexander Skarsgard being appropriately sexy at the Calvin Klein party; Gaga in concert; Christie Brinkley, still smoking; Not An Average Joe, Nicole and me; Dree Hemingway and CK’s Francisco Costa on the dancefloor; Georgia May Jagger backstage at Marc Jacobs; me and The Linda; Lou Doillon in concert; Frankie Rayder and Karen Elson at Odeon; Angela Lindvall and Irina Shayk at the Vanity Fair party; me and Jess; Theo and Sasha Spielberg in concert at DVF’s dinner; James Rothschild, Nicky Hilton and me at Gaga’s concert; Alexandra Richards and Patti Hansen; Karolina Kurkova helping Carmen Carrera with some adjustments; Cory Bond and Vogue’s Hamish Bowles; Lily Aldridge, Tabitha Simmons and Karen at Carine’s party; Harry and Petey Brant; me and Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough; Heidi Mount and Joan making Hello Kitty backpacks work; Leigh Lezark and Courtney Love; three kids of the 1990′s, Amber, me and Karen; Inez and Vinoodh; Noemie Harris and Jason Winberg at the CK party; Terry and Sky Ferreira at a party for WSJ. Magazine; my muses, Dasha Zhukova, Lauren and Karlie Kloss; Victoria Traina’s birthday party crew, including Ms. Danielle Steele, my icon

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10:40 am

HERE’S A LOOK AT YOU, SUMMER!

05/09/2013, General

It can be hard to define summer in the fashion industry. What does one include as time off and time on? And I mean really on? The way that I will sum up summer is the time elapsed between the Cannes Film Festival in the South of France and a relaxing, quiet weekend I had at a ranch in the Northwest of America. So, what has transpired since then? I hung out with a bunch of gorgeous girls on the Riviera, went to Rome to celebrate my friend Francesco Vezzoli’s opening at the Maxxi Museum, headed to Venice for the Bienale with the Brant boys, made a stop in London for Gucci’s Chime for Change benefit, and then finally headed back to New York for the CFDA Awards. The following weekend I headed home to Missouri for my nephew and godson’s first birthday, but made it back to New York for the amFAR gala – and then it was back to Europe, first for the Liasiasons au Lourvre  and the haute couture shows. Back to New York, briefly, for a soccer tournament and then back to Europe for Natalia Vodianova’s Love Ball in Monaco. I finally came back to the good ole United States for some quality down time with the family in Missouri and ultimately a badminton tournament at my friend Lauren Santo Domingo’s house. Last up was Montana, where I had no cell reception and no contact with the outside world, which was a change of pace for the safari I’m about to go on: New York Fashion Week. Check back in a week for all the fun from #NYFW


 Captions, from top: Milla, Jourdan, Lily, and Rosie in Cannes; Natalia in Cannes, Dita and Mark, Isla Jen and Dasha in Cannes; Mattia in Venice; Francesco in Rome; R.J. and Andy; taking time to smell the roses in Venice; Petey in repose; my purchase in Venice: a gondolier’s hat, which I love; not quite clear skies, but still gorgeous; Pixie, Florence and Poppy; Rita and Poppy giving cheek; Lauren, Lazaro and Jack at the CFDAs; Nicole and Alex at the CFDAs; Lily and Alessandra at the CFDA after-party; Dan and Douglas after the CFDAs; Jessica and I after the CFDAs; Tory and Kristina; Milla and Karlie after the CFDAs; Will in his element; Birthday boy; no place like home; Karlie at the launch of her Frame Denim collection; Eniko and Lindsey looking glam; Leigh, Candice and Olivier are hooked; Giambattista arrives; Milla, Bianca and Olga, coming into the Louvre for the Liaisons gala; Diana performing; Emma and Mena at Versace; Naomi at the Versace party; the master himself: Azzedine; Lea and Christian in Paris; Kristina and Carine looking haute in Paris; Baz leading Karlie down the stairs and into the rose garden at Wideville; Riccardo at Wideville; Vera in paris; Rose McGowan at the Fendi dinner; Alexa striking a pose; Dorian on the metro; only in Paris; Jared on stage; Patrik and Christopher inVienna; Caroline: the beautiful bride, Vanessa and Mike in Vienna, Joan and Karlie in Brooklyn, a gorgeous view from the Brooklyn Bridge, Supernova Natalia in Monaco, Camilla and Mario in the casino, James and Harvey showing some sweet love at the Love Ball; Sofia in Monaco; the Kaiser himself in Monaco; Tyra and Karlie smize-ing at Karie’s 21st; babe on a boat; there’s no place like home in St.Louis (x4); Dree loves my shoes; Alexa in the Hamptons; In the Hamptons; Ludi loves his toys; Starvos, Jess, and Alexa take a ride; Heart of Americana, Montana (x4)

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8:00 am

A REAL SLIDE SHOE: MY BELOVED SUMMER SANDAL

31/08/2013, Derek of the Day, General

I’ve never hard such a response to a pair of sandals. The simple, three-stripe, navy blue Adidas flip flops I ordered on Amazon in the spring as my go to summer footwear had quite a reaction on my social media. And the comments ran the gamut. Some said they were ugly, passé, skewing too grunge; others said they were chic, classic, comfortable.

For me, they’re all of that and so much more. The sandals are most importantly extremely nostalgic. In case I needed to remind my dear reader, I fancy myself a closeted jock (remember when I played soccer on the V team?) and these were the sandals that I wore to countless games and tournaments when I lived back in Missouri. Nowadays, these sandals are probably the only thing that both me and my brother, an accountant who lives in Texas, both have in our wardrobes. And, if I may be so bold, these little pieces of plastic go with everything: With jeans and a T-shirt, with a bathing suit, with khaki trousers and a button down. I’ve worn them to cocktail parties and spin classes. Well, to be honest, maybe I’ve worn them too much. (Not that the people at Another Magazine would agree with me. They love them too.

Finally, these bad boys are a little bit of gender equality. Remember the fuzzy, fur lined sandals that Phoebe Philo did at Celine? Why can the chicks get by with a comfortable and stylish slide? So, these are the mens version. And so much cheaper.

 

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9:51 am

THE TIME THAT NICOLE RICHIE TOOK MY CUTICLE VIRGINITY. ON CAMERA.

28/08/2013, General

I have a confession: I have never had a manicure. There’s a few reasons for this. One is that I’m too cheap. I grew up in Missouri and paying people to trim your nails is considered rather decadent. Another reason? When I was little I saw a 20/20 episode that investigated the dangerous, fatal germs in nail parlors. That stuck with me. Anyway, my friend Nicole Richie got wind of this, and with her friend Simone Harouche, they gave me my first buff and polish this summer. Nicole is hysterical. Not because she tells good jokes or is good at physical humor or anything. What gets me in stitches is her dry wit, arrogant pronouncements and the weird, amazing, ridiculous things that just fall out of her mouth. So, I can safely say that my first time was certainly memorable. And not just because it was caught on tape. Does that make this a cuticle sex tape? (PS. We did another video too, so get ready for that post.)

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7:51 pm

EVERYTHING LOOKS BETTER SET TO THE SWEET SOUNDS OF TAYLOR SWIFT. EVEN JAY-Z.

12/08/2013, Observations

An avid reader of this blog will know that I travel quite extensively. And even though I manage to work in quite a bit of socializing (and drinking) while I do it, most of it’s for work. Which is why I’ve tried to spend a bit of quality time away from my computer on this last bit of summer, before we get thrust back into the fashion week swirl. But there are a few things in this world that make me want to flip open this laptop. Jay-Z is one of those things. So is Marina Abramovic. And certainly, so is Taylor Swift. So, when a friend of mine forwarded me this video of Jay-Z’s ‘Picasso’s Baby’ set to Taylor Swift’s ’22,’ I knew I had to come out of holiday mode, if even only for this post. (Last month, I posted my take on the concept of Jay-Z’s making of the video, which I missed because I was in Paris reporting on the haute couture shows, but I was still moved to discuss because it reminded me of Pop art and Pop music mashups of yester decades.) I have made no secret of my affection for Ms. Swift and her sweet country songs. So, the idea of Jay-Z’s music video laid over her track, ’22,’ the tale of young female adolescence, which I probably also have more affinity for than a grown man should, put a giant smile on my face. Have you seen it? If not, check it out here:

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12:54 pm

Two Killer Kookies and 21 Candles: Happy Birthday, Karlie Kloss!

03/08/2013, Fast + Louche, General

 

You can take the girl out of St Louis, but not the St Louis out of the girl! Karlie Kloss, whom I refer to as my leggy little sister since we grew up so near each other in America’s great Midwest, had a big birthday this week: She (finally) turned 21! Though, she often jokes that she’s 21 going on 41 since she started working when she was 14, turning up in a Calvin Klein show on an exclusive New York fashion week appearance the same week she started high school in Webster Groves, Missouri. Despite logging in more frequent flyer miles than even I can count in the past seven years, she has maintained a sweet charm that has made her one of the most popular ladies in the business.

So, just how popular? Let’s get back to this birthday, which we celebrated with a fete I oragnized at the recently refurbished Paramount Hotel in Times Square. Her best buddy Jourdan Dunn, who turned 21 on the same day she did, showed up with Cara Delevingne and immediately hit the dance floor. Tyra Banks turned up and turnt it up, and so did Karlie’s pals Joan Smalls, Cynthia Rowley, Emma Watson, Lauren Santo Domingo, Giovanna Battagalia and Harry Brant. But the guests of honor were the rest of the Kloss Klan. Her mother and father were there, as was all three of Karlie’s sisters (Kariann, Kristine and Kimberly), as were her grandparents. And yes, Grannie Stella hit the dance floor after Karlie blew out the candles on her birthday cake. Oh yes, that birthday cake. The birthday girl spoiled us when we wheeled out two giant Karlie’s Kookies.

For more pictures, head over to Vogue’s coverage of the big night. 

Captions, from top: Karlie and her balloons; Cara, Karlie, Jourdan and me; Joan striking a pose on the dance floor; the fashion designers Prabal Gurung and Cynthia Rowley; Francisco Costa between two Klosses; Jenke and Giovanna; Lauren; Josh; Chanel Iman; Karlie and her grandparents; the entire Kloss Klan; Harry, Karlie and Lauren; Karlie’s cakes (kakes?); Harry; Chris Bollen and Patrik Ervell giving Cythia a seat; Cara, Jourdan and Karlie on the dance floor; Karlie and Jourdan having a dance off; me with the girls; Tyra and Karlie, getting their smize on.

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9:19 am

SPREADING THE LOVE (BALL) ON THE FRENCH RIVIERA

30/07/2013, Fast + Louche, General

Natalia Vodianova looks like an angel. Her beauty is ethereal, her seduction is sweet. But just because she has the grace of a swan doesn’t mean that she’s not kicking beneath the water. To wit, her Naked Heart Foundation is an international philanthropic powerhouse, largely because of the work that she single handedly has done. Nearly 10 years ago, she founded the charity to build playgrounds in underprivileged villages, first in her native Russia and now abroad. She has hosted galas around the world, in New York, London and Moscow. Her most recent stop was in Monaco, and I was only too happy to support my friend on yet another of her successes. Not that it took much convincing. Three days on the Riviera, with a ball and Russian ballet at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo? Fiiine, I’ll go.

The fashion was tiptop. Natalia wore custom-made Christian Dior haute couture. Princess Caroline of Monaco was in Chanel haute couture. The other princess of Monaco, Charlene, wife of His Serene Highness Prince Albert, was in Atelier Versace couture. And the men too turned up in their Riviera best. My favorite? Eugenio Amos, husband to Margherita Missoni, who’s striped double-breasted jacket hit the 1960’s theme on the head. (Margherita, nearly nine months pregnant, looked divine in her Missoni creation too.) Even Harvey Weinstein cleaned up nice, blushing when the master of ceremonies, James Corden, smooched on him during a smoke break.

‘Twas a night to remember. Maestro Valery Gergiev conducted the orchestra, Diana Vishneva of St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Orchestra took the stage for a breathtaking ballet, and all was under the artistic direction of the adorable Vasily Barkhatov. The highlight of the live auction was when Novak Djokovic bid on a private tennis lesson with his rival Rafael Nadal. We ended in the casino, myself on the arm of Camilla al Fayed, who with Harvey Weinstein commandeered a roulette table.

I am not a new witness to Natalia’s charitable efforts. I was at the launch of the Naked Heart Foundation at Diane von Furstenberg’s studio in 2004, and all of her subsequent Love Balls. [I profiled Natalia recently for the Wall Street Journal too, and we discussed her charitable efforts]. But this night left something so sublime in my memory. It harked back to a decadent and, dare I say it, royal time of long ago. In the name of a charitable spirit, we celebrated Russian culture. The event raised more than $4million for the Naked Heart, which is a sum that will do great service to children around the world. Mario Testino, who was at these festivities too, gave Natalia the nickname SuperNova. And in this weekend, it was clear to see why.

Captions, from top: Natalia at the Hotel de Paris in Monte-Carlo; the Kaiser and I, me and Karl Lagerfeld; the Monaco royal family with the patrons of the evening, including Natalia, Antoine Arnault and Lagerfeld; Camilla and Mario in the casino; James Corden and Harvey Weinstein showing some sweet love at the Love Ball; Margherita and Eugenio; Antoine, Natalia and Mario on the terrace; Alexandre de Betak and his fiancé, Sofia Sanchez; the ceiling of the Opera; Monaco’s harbor at sunset; Camilla and I at a dinner that Mario hosted for Natalia the night before the ball on a friend’s boat; Camilla and I; my friend Tatiana’s dog, Daphne, getting ready for bed; Noor Fares showing one of her faces; Eugenio, Tatiana and Andrea at dinner; Caroline and Karl in conversation; Astrid Munoz striking a pose before dinner; Natalia, spreading the love; Ulyana Sergenko; Sofia waiting for her cards; Harvey, Natalia and Camilla, at the Love Ball’s after party

 

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9:00 am

Soccer, Showers and a Sunset: A Perfect Saturday

22/07/2013, General

Here’s a secret: I’m a secret jock. No, really. I was the 2000 Missouri Scholar Athlete back home, and I graduated with a doctorate in athletics from my high school. My favorite sport was soccer, and the opportunities for me to show off my (relatively) good ball handling skills (let it go, you perverts!) are few and far between. Which is why I was so happy when V magazine entered the Adidas Fanatic Tournament this weekend, held on Pier 5 under the Brooklyn Bridge. We got flossy uniforms and had a sunny day and gorged on hot dogs and Heineken’s after our games. All that in short shorts. A perfect Saturday.

So, how did we do? We won two games (suck on that, Opening Ceremony and Steven Klein’s assistants, which are the two teams that we beat) and lost one. Which isn’t bad considering we only had one practice and the last time I touched a soccer ball was this time last year. And I probably won’t touch one again till next year.

While we didn’t win the championship, it wasn’t for lack of glamour with our cheering section. Karlie, Joan and Sigrid all made the trek to Brooklyn to whoop it up for us. As did Karlie’s Terrier, Joe, who we had to smuggle in. We needed a mascot, didn’t we? At the end of the afternoon it rained, and I mean it RAINED. Drenched. I was on my bike and on the Brooklyn Bridge when it came down. Not that it really mattered since I was already soaked. It was a pre-shower shower. But the cherry on the sundae of my Saturday was a brief relief in the storm, when the clouds parted and I found myself almost entirely alone on the Bridge, glistening in the rain water and the sweat of the city. The bad part of the day was that it had to end.

Captions, from top: The V team on the sidelines; the Brooklyn Bridge in all its glory; me and Joan Smalls; Joan, Sigrid and Karlie are quite the cheerleaders; the red shirts; Joan, me and Karlie on the sidelines, and please note the battle wound; V takes the field; supermodel competition from Jacquelyn, who played on The Last Magazine team; Karlie and Joe; me on the field; the long bike ride home.
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