A non-celebrity, Laura Simpson is best friends with Jennifer Lawrence, a major celebrity — as well as Dior spokesmuse. The two were thick as thieves at the Oscars, where Laura was Jennifer's plus one. Hers was the neck JLaw inadvertently grabbed as she took one of her trademark tumbles on the red carpet. Now, Laura has written up that episode and more on her MySpace, which apparently still exists. She talks about the ceremony and the after-parties, mentioning who was super-cool and tactfully not mentioning those who weren't. In all, she describes a glamorous yet stressful and pretty phony scene — lacking in food and booze. Here are the best bits...
"How did I get invited to the 86th Academy Awards, you ask? Well, my best friend took me as her date. I met her seven years ago at an event where we both didn’t know a single person. We hit it off over a mutual respect for Chandler Bing, and we've been eating pizza together ever since."
"Right before you get to the red carpet, you get to Westboro Baptists with huge yellow signs of pictures of Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Walker saying BURNING IN HELL and other despicable things. It's so surreal and hate-filled, I feel like I am heading to my own personal Salem Witch Trial."
"We finally arrive at the red carpet and as we exit the car, my date eats shit and uses my freshly done Lauren Conrad up do to break her fall. The crowd goes wild. There are flashbulbs and people circling yet no one asks if I need any help because unless you are famous at the Oscars, you are completely invisible."
"...you realize you are STARVING and haven't had any food since breakfast at 9 a.m. It's hot and you feel like you're going to pass out. After waiting for my date's category, her dad and I decide to hit the bar and just watch from the monitor behind the bar and slam a few drinks to make this tolerable."
"My date comes out after her category and we decide to watch the rest of the show in the greenroom where there is pizza. This is where the presenters and winners are hanging out and it's pretty jarring. Some guy picks up my purse that had fallen off my seat and I say 'Thank you… Channing Tatum' and my dress gets caught on Jennifer Garner and we awkwardly laugh and someone tries to separate us. The lovely pregnant Kerry Washington asks me if she could have the Slim Jim in my purse."
"After the show we go backstage where I meet Brad and Angelina. Brad Pitt smells amazing, like nothing I've ever smelled. Eventually we ask what cologne he's wearing and he tells us, 'I don't wear cologne, it's just my musk I guess.' I have to choose not to believe him because it would just be unfair to mankind. Angelina is gorgeous and elegant and they are like The Sun and The Moon."
"...[I] decide to follow Bill Murray around the party. At one point he looks in my direction and winks at me while dancing to 'If You Want My Body and You Think I'm Sexy' by Rod Stewart—a moment, I now realize, my whole life had been leading up to."
"I get home around 3:30 a.m. with an earring/hair headache and major Barbie feet. The whole experience was completely exhausting, overwhelming and surreal. I think what I took most away from the evening was how lovely all the women were. Actresses tend to get a bad reputation but every woman I met was lovely, witty and introduced themselves to me even though I wasn't famous—even Anne Hathaway. And Kerry Washington, if your marriage doesn't work out… CALL ME."
You wouldn't think an innocuous, oversized, and rather slouchy thick-knit coat from Libertine's runway a year ago would be especially ripe for imitation, but someone at Valentino apparently thought otherwise. The similarity is striking — really, there can be arguing that the former informed the latter. But is it copying or tweaking an idea? Does the fact that it's an established house doing the appropriation lend credence to the original? And is this kind of 'influence' as pervasive as people say, and does that make it ok?
Delfina Delettrez, an Italian jewelry designer with a surrealist slant, has a new collection out in collaboration with Yoox. Called Frozen Garden, it's comprised of two things — flowers and creepy crawlers of the cute sort, à la caterpillars and grasshoppers — rendered as gold rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings.
This video, created by PES — the Oscar-nominated (Fresh Guacamole) stop-motion animator — depicts a strange world bringing all of those things together...
Even at 79, Giorgio Armani can still strap on his boxing gloves and go to the mat. After his fall collection in Milan yesterday, which Anna Wintour very visibly skipped as she moved on to Paris, he held a post-show press conference and took no prisoners.
Never mind that La Wintour has repeatedly taken a less-than-adoring view of the Milan collections and that his was the only major show on that last day of the Milan calendar. Point is, no one snubs the industry titan; he was going to mouth off.
And it didn't end with the Vogue editor-in-chief and recently anointed artistic director of all Condé Nast magazines. Armani's vituperative rant also ensnared other Italian designers and the Camera della Moda itself. WWD has the blow-by-blow. Here are the best bits...
“There are some who prefer to snub the Giorgio Armani show and go to Paris...She [Wintour] took an airplane, dumped Mr. Armani and went to Paris.”
“When we decided to show on the last day, other big brands were involved. But currently this is an empty day. Is this protecting Italian fashion? Where is the Camera? I rejoined it, but I can always exit again. I can just put in a phone call.”
“Why should I always be the moron [translated from an expletive] penalized because of a person, who, for better or for worse, like or dislike it, is powerful? I feel penalized."
"She said she was sending her people. But if you go to see your dentist and he puts you in the hands of his assistant, what’s your reaction? They told me ‘She went to see the Privé in Paris; she has no time to see the ready-to-wear in Milan.’ She is influential and powerful. But, perhaps, I'm influential as well.”
“I wanted to bring an owl with me this morning” [referring to Dolce & Gabbana’s show theme]. “I think that the exaltation of the idea that designers can be just completely free to express their fantasy is really dangerous. I’m very happy that others do what they do. I respect my colleagues. I’m happy with what I do, but I feel like a black swan in doing clothes with a function and with an attention to the commercial aspect."
“It’s very easy to do a V-neck dress with a bold print" [possibly referring to Prada]. "It’s more difficult to make a suit or a jacket look new. It’s easier to freewheel."
"Nobody is courageous enough to say that if the fashion industry wants to be supported by the Italian government, we have to offer a product which is not only smoke and mirrors but that has a functionality and can bring economic results. Otherwise, fashion loses its credibility."
While James Murphy, he of LCD Soundsystem fame, has always made crowd-pleasing alterna-pop tracks, he has higher aspirations. Specifically, arranging sounds that transcend music altogether and become a more integral part of people's lives. Now that LCD Soundsystem is but a fond memory, it seems he'll have plenty of time to devote to his latest aural pursuit, the Subway Symphony.
He explains thusly: "The sound of the subway is kind of a drag. Every time you swipe your MetroCard, the turnstile emits a flat, unpleasant 'beep.' Each turnstile emits its own beep, all of which are slightly out of tune with one another, creating a dissonant rubbing-styrofoam-on-glass squeak in stations all around New York City."
"What I propose to do is to create a series of 3 to 5 note sequences, all unique, one for each station in the subway system. These sequences will be part of an intersecting larger piece of music, which would run from station to station, and cross one another as, say, the 4, 5, 6 line (one musical piece) intersects with the L, N, R, Q and W (another musical piece) at Union Square. At each turnstile in Union Square, as you tap your new tap and ride card, a pleasant bell tone will sound, in one of a set of possible notes, all related to that station's note sequence. The effect would be that at the busiest times, like rush hour, what was once cacophony would now be music."
"I think people who do what it takes to live here and work here — the commutes and the crowds — deserve a small sonic gift." So while bedraggled users of the city's archaic subways, particularly those in shamefully neglected outer boroughs, might wish for more pressing updates to the system, at least they'll feel slightly less miserable while stranded on a lonely platform, fading to grey.
Unlike her lovable loose cannon of a sister, Franca Sozzani (Italian Vogue editor-in-chief and endlessly quotable un-PC font), Carla Sozzani keeps a relatively low profile. As a former gallerist in Milan, she quietly opened Galleria Carla Sozzani in 1990, which exploded just a year later into the fashion/design concept store — thought to be the first — known by everyone today as 10 Corso Como. It is now a bustling space dedicated to the explorations of culture, literature, culinary art, and music. There is even now a boutique hotel, where many of fashion's cognoscenti stay when in town for Milan Fashion Week, as they are this week.
In May, Rizzoli will publish a monograph of the store, authored by Carla Sozzani herself, called A to Z. And it is exactly that, an A to Z dictionary of her universe, beginning with Azzedine ("Since 1980 I have sat at his long table in the atelier. We eat and talk late into the evenings, speaking of new plans and recalling wonderful times we have shared") and ending with The Little Zen Companion ("With both Eastern and Western poems, parables, haiku, and sayings, it is a serious and evocative way to view life. And each page is delightfully short"). Naturally, as she's hardly the type to be contained in a mere 26 letters, she indulges in multiple meanings for each. Perhaps the sweetest is S, which stands for Sisters ("Like DNA, we will always be joined. Winding around each other—alike and not alike").
Hilariously profound and profoundly hilarious, these 'switcheroos' are the brainchild of Canadian photographer Hana Pesut, who traveled to particularly fashionable spots around the world — Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and her native Vancouver — and photographed couples before and after they swapped clothes. Amid renewed discussion of transgender models and Putin's anti-gay laws, switcheroos offer another perspective on gender and dress codes — and have recently been published in the Switcheroo Book.
We like celebs. We really do. It's nice to see Hugh Jackman out and about, actually having a good time, and Lupita Nyong'o at Calvin Klein, clearly appreciative of her newfound stardom. It's the other ones we find annoying, those who show up every Fashion Week, or who are so obviously there only because they have a new 'project' to shill. "They're friends of the designer!" publicists will shriek. That may be, but they're also taking up valuable seating space. Is this the new-and-improved Fashion Week promised us by IMG? We think not.
So here they are, the most annoying of the annoying celebs at the New York collections. Did we miss anyone?...
Gwyneth Paltrow at Hugo Boss
Blake Lively at Michael Kors
Perez Hilton at Jeremy Scott
Colin Farrell at Edun
Dakota Fanning at Rodarte
Test your knowledge with this cheeky short video — created by filmmaker Christian Borstlap with creative agency The Ambassadors — showing the couturière's famous firsts, from the use of trompe l'oeil to her collaboration with Salvador Dali. Most of her designs and actions were, of course, intended to be "shocking" — a word that, with an exclamation mark at the end, became the name of her best-selling fragrance, launched in 1937. Nowadays the revived label is directed by Marco Zanini, whose first couture collection last month stayed true to Schiap's surrealist tendencies. The future looks...pink.