Gothamist today points us to a week-old Observer profile of The Bench, the park bench in front of the American Apparel at Houston and Orchard Streets, which apparently has been turned into a sort of hipster anti-scene scene, especially on Saturday nights. And who's apparently the token celebrity to frequent The Bench? Project Runway alum Jay McCarroll, natch. Which, when you think of it, comes as no surprise at all. Of course the dude hangs out on a park bench; he's homeless.
The Bench Bunch [NYO via Gothamist]
Earlier:Is Jay McCarroll Homeless? He Sure Said So (and So Did His Publicist)
Several of Manhattan's chicest moms, including Nina Garcia and Cynthia Rowley, ditched their kids to catch a private screening of The Nanny Diaries. Peggy Siegel, the iron-thumbed PR doyenne who hosted the event, was on vacation in Italy. But even though it was after midnight over there, she still insisted upon babysitting her own kiddies, aides John and Andres. Their BlackBerrys lit up all night ("Is everything all right?" "How is the dinner?" "WHAT IS GOING ON?!") as they tried to keep tabs on stars like Laura Linney and Alicia Keys. Meanwhile, Rowley was feeling pangs of guilt after the movie. "How can you feel good about watching it?" she asked Daily Intel. "I definitely felt like I should be at home eating peanut butter out of a jar and singing songs in French to my kids!" —Jocelyn GuestBonus Party Lines:What made Nina Garcia nearly "drop dead," and other quotes from the Nanny Diaries screening.
In this week's cover story on the challenges facing winners of Bravo's reality shows, New York's Jennifer Senior noted that two years after winning Project Runway's first season, Jay McCarroll is still homeless in New York, using his studio and other people’s couches as crash pads. How did Senior know McCarroll was homeless? He told her so. But once the fact appeared in print, he denied it, posting mocking YouTube videos of himself wandering city streets with a cardboard sign reading “Will Design for Food.” Then his best friend and publicist, Nancy Kane, responded more aggressively, as publicists and best friends are wont to do: She left an angry voice-mail message for Senior Tuesday charging that the suggestion McCarroll is homeless is “unequivocally untrue.” She went on: "His studio is a live/work space, and it might not be ideal, but it is more than a lot of people have in New York City, and he pays rent every month.” Later in the day, however, she must have realized this wasn’t much of a response; in fact, it was exactly what Senior had written. So Kane proceeded to tell various gossip columns that New York Magazine had fallen for a hoax. Jay, she said, in fact lives in a beautiful apartment building at 72nd Street and Riverside Drive. Perhaps. (Why Kane's so defensive we don't know. There’s no shame in struggling for your success, which was the whole point of Senior’s story.) We'll choose to believe the version enshrined in her voice mail, reported in the magazine, and detailed by McCarroll himself. Don't believe us? Take a look at the transcript, after the jump.
Lindsay Lohan's bodyguard claims Dina and Michael weren't the best parents. Maria Bartiromo pissed off PETA by posing in a Michael Kors coat with fox-fur cuffs. The Box smelled like burnt hair for two hours after a patron's hair caught on fire. Jay McCarroll's friend says he has an Upper West Side apartment, contrary to what the designer told New York. Katie Couric belted out "Sweet Caroline" at a piano bar in Nantucket. Harvey Weinstein picked Clint Eastwood to compose the score for John Cusack's new movie. City comptroller Bill Thompson says he was able to buy an apartment in Brooklyn shortly after graduating college in 1974, but his daughter couldn't even afford to rent one. Chris Noth will be in the Sex and the City movie.
Jay McCarroll, Project Runway's first-season winner and a major character in Jennifer Senior's "The Near-Fame Experience," the cover story in this week's New York, is not, it appears, happy with how he was portrayed in the piece, particularly with Senior's characterization of him as "still homeless in New York." Where did she get such an idea? Well, probably from this direct quote:
"I haven't been living anywhere for two years," he says. "I sleep at other people's houses. I sleep here [his sewing-machine- and fabric-filled studio] if I'm drunk."
And how do we know he's not happy about this? He's posted to YouTube at least six videos mocking the characterization, largely filled with him wandering lower Manhattan while repeatedly howling, "I'm homeless, I'm homeless," and "Will design for food." One version — we kid you not — is set to Crystal Waters' "Gypsy Women," which makes no sense contextually but at least blocks out the howling. It's the best one.
UPDATE: McCarroll heeds our advice, maybe? He's removed all the videos except the Crystal Waters version. Be thankful.
Jay McCarroll Homeless Crystal Waters Remix [YouTube via Radar]
The Near-Fame Experience [NYM]
Long before there was Project Runway there was Gen Art, which has been scouting and showcasing new talent in art and fashion for nearly fifteen years. Gen Art's ninth annual International Design Awards and Runway Show was at Hammerstein Ballroom last night, and it featured young talent you’ll likely see at the Bryant Park tents in a year or two. (Gen Art has nurtured famous stitchers like Zac Posen, Rebecca Taylor, and Vena Cava.) The names to watch out for from last night's show? We have no idea, but Kim Friday, the nice WWD editor we were sitting next to, suggests these: ardistia, T-County, Julianna Bass, and especially the design collective Form, which everyone was buzzing about. We, meanwhile, hunted down the more familiar names.
As the Fug Girls pointed out, Project Runway winner Jeffrey Sebelia was the first on his feet at the end of Vera Wang's fashion show. Jada Yuan caught him as he headed out the door.
Are you in town seeing other shows?
This is it.
Why just Vera?
Because I love what she does. It was a beautiful show. It was just deliciously soft. It was so sort of edgy and dark. I like her direction.
What have you been up to since the end of Project Runway?
Selling my Cosa Nostra men’s and women’s lines and doing really well.
Jay McCarroll is lying low this Fashion Week. His first collection, which debuted in the fall, will be released next month by Urban Outfitters. What's next? Certainly not a reunion with Tim Gunn. We talked to McCarroll at the Gen Art fashion showcase, where he took the opportunity to get his feelings about the Project Runway host off his chest.
Your spring 2007 show was great.
Yeah. I thought it was good. No one fucking said anything.
We’re glad Bravo resisted the urge to overexpose Project Runway, but it’s killing us not to have a Bryant Park show to make bets on. So we found the next best thing: Tim Gunn, in the front row of the Heart Truth show.
If there's one thing we've learned in our two days of roaming Bryant Park, it's that there is no such thing as "Hurry up, the show starts in 30 seconds."
Our evening began with a 6 p.m. Karen Walker show, her first-ever U.S. presentation. Now, when neither of you is a local and one of you was born without a sense of direction, it's best if the other is not terribly trusting. Sadly, that's not the case.
1) Wow, we are in the front row and not to be dorks, but it completely rules!
2) Pre-med majors would do well to sit here for anatomy class; one sheer red Felder Felder dress in particular gave us a clear view of all the model's reproductive organs and their nearby friends.
3) Is that... that's not Bruce Dern in the second row, is it?