We can't believe we're about to say this about an actor, but perhaps Samuel L. Jackson should have been born a fashion designer. Apparently he's been mouthing off to the Armani people for years about how they should do their thing.
Sarah Jessica Parker is not confident that her unreleased movie, Spinning Into Butter, will ever see the light of day. Barack Obama and his wife are slated to attend the opening of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Oprah on Thursday. Cosmetics heir Olivia Chantecaille got engaged to banker boyfriend Ren Grady. Gossip Girl's Blake Lively took a bunch of friends shopping to Armani Exchange on Fifth Avenue. Shake Shack is opening a location on the Upper West Side! Sting, Diddy, and Josh Hartnett all hung out at Half Nelson producer Charlie Corwin's birthday at Socialista, which is now back open after the hepatitis scare. Michael Musto will appear on the cover of The Village Voice spoofing this magazine's Lindsay Lohan shoot.
Nobody knows how to burn bridges like a fashion designer on the way out. Valentino, the Italian womenswear legend who retires this month after 45 years in the industry, decided to go right for the toiles in an interview with reporters this week. "I certainly won't miss the fashion world. It's ruined! Everybody's doing the same things. What's missing is challenge, creativity, cheerfulness. These days it's all about numbers! To continue working in an environment which says nothing in particular to me would be a bore," he sniffed. "This environment is no longer stimulating." In case that criticism wasn't specific enough for you, the 77-year-old took aim at some of his longtime colleagues in the industry.
On Miuccia Prada: "[She] knows what she wants … even if we don't share ideas about clothes."
On Giorgio Armani: "In the course of 40 years, he has created a great style — but vulgar."
On Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana: "[They were] shy at the beginning — now arrogant."
On Donatella Versace: "[Her brother] Gianni's talent was unique — but what grit she has!"
Valentino will be replaced at his eponymous company by former Gucci designer Alessandra Facchinetti as the company tries to expand. Asked about her talent, Valentino turned generous. "I've met her," he said. "She's pretty."
Valentino takes parting shot at 'ruined' industry [London Independent]
• The newest Citigroup rumors suggest a "tag team at the top": Financial whiz Vikram Pandit will take over as CEO, while the more socially astute Robert Willumstad handles chairman duties. We're just not sure "tag team" means the same thing for us as it does the Times? [DealBook/NYT]
• Morgan Stanley issued a full recession alert for the U.S. economy today in the oh-so-subtly titled "Recession Coming." Meanwhile, a recent Journal poll of top economists puts the risk of recession at 38 percent. [Telegraph, WSJ]
• Thirtysomething Blackstone real-estate guru Jonathan Gray is getting rather comfortable in the top tier of the young establishment. [DealBook/NYT]
Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn picked up her Birkin bag and went to New Haven yesterday to address Yale students about her writing and the business of clothes. “I have tremendous amounts of freedom,” Horyn told them of her position at the Gray Lady. “If Armani pulls his ads, no one blames me and I don’t have to worry about it — so I don’t." (And yet, she regularly orgasms over the Italian designer.) Horyn dug deeply into the intricacies of the business, even letting students in on a little secret: “The Internet is where the action is,” she said. “People are out there who love fashion who aren’t coming from the front row.” Oh! That's what she must have been doing by going to a college to address some lowly scholars. Bringing fashion to the masses! The Yale Daily News asked junior Michael Huang how she did. “I think that a lot of what people said might have gone over people’s heads," he said. Oh, dear. Maybe she started with the wrong masses.
Horyn Snubs Fawning Fashion Reviews [Yale Daily News]