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Oh, Come On, You've Seen Irma Sandrey

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Irma Sandrey is an actress, a dancer, and an acting instructor. She's a member of the Actors Studio and a teacher at the Lee Strasberg School. So what's her fashion Method? On the day New York's Amy Larocca caught up with her, it was fur, lots of fur. "I do feel sorry for the little animals," Sandrey says between giggles, "but … " But, indeed. It's cold in New York these days! Irma Sandrey [Video Look Book]

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Good Eats for Fashion Plates

With Fashion Week almost here, some of you may have switched gears, thinking less about “Where can I find the perfect piece of foie gras?” and more about “How can I fit into a size 0 by Saturday?” We can’t presume to help you with that one, but we can recommend three guilt-free, non-Atkins options for eating well as the models parade into town.

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Don't Mess With Bill Moyers's View

Red Hook: The shady demolition of the Revere Sugar Factory is making the neighbors furious. [Gowanus Lounge] Brooklyn Heights: Want a Mexican restaurant? It's yours for only $389,000. [Brooklyn Heights Blog] Chinatown: Some major street changes are in place, including a buffered bike lane on Grand Street, making it safer to eat sticky pork buns while cycling. [Streetsblog] Clinton Hill: Looks like the topiary-stealing first reported two weeks ago by Brooklyn Record continues. Who's the sticky-fingered horticulturalist? [Clinton Hill Blog] South Slope: Developer Gregory Rigas has been quietly been buying up — and not so quietly demolishing — mucho property on Fourth Avenue between Prospect Avenue and 16th Street. [Brownstoner] Upper West Side: Bill Moyers leads a pack of angry rich people against the New-York Historical Society's plan for a high-rise condo off Central Park West and 76th Street. [Curbed]

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Al Franken Decides He's Good Enough, Smart Enough to Run for Senate

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It's semi-official: Al Franken is running for the U.S. Senate from Minnesota. This info, coming from a "senior Democratic official," retroactively explains the former Upper West Sider's hasty exit from Air America earlier this week. (He'd already moved himself and his show back to his home state two years ago.) But those that expect the race to be a nice comic diversion from the other 2008 carnage should look elsewhere. Franken is not a novelty candidate — not that that would be a problem in Minnesota, post–Jesse Ventura — and Republicans there, rather than dusting off old Stuart Smalley clips, are already saying unfunny things like "Minnesotans will reject Franken's divisive, scorched-earth attacks." He was also a close friend of Minnesota's liberal, lamented Paul Wellstone, who died in a plane crash in 2002; a Franken candidacy is likely to invoke the specter of the popular senator. At any rate, this should be interesting. Franken to Run for Senate in Minnesota [USAT]

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Hillary and Chuck (and the Baileys) Take the Senate for Chinese

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Chuck Schumer's favorite Chinese restaurant in Washington was closed for a private party — his Positively American book party — Tuesday night, and Bernie Sanders, the Brooklyn-born Socialist senator from Vermont, was impressed. "This is a historic night," Sanders said, picking string beans straight from the buffet and chatting with Jerry Nadler, the West Side's man in the House of Representatives. "I've been coming here for years and I've never seen it shut down, but they shut it down for Schumer. He has reached the top. He has shut down the Hunan Dynasty."

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So What Have You Done With Your Life?

FINANCE • Time to feel bad about yourself. Crain's unveils its 40 Under 40 list. [Crain's] • Merrill Lynch will pay out $40.3 million to settle claims that it provided misleading research to investors about Internet stocks. [Bloomberg via DealBreaker] • Instead of simply giving their employees more money, small businesses try to dupe them into thinking jumping out of an airplane is a perk. [NYT]

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Susan Orlean Thinks You're Fat

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Long before politicians realized their idiotic public gaffes would be indexed forever in YouTube, writers faced a similar but somehow graver problem: ill-advised books published early in their career that stick around on shelves forever to haunt their authors. On Radar Online today, Claire Zulkey catalogues many of those wish-they-were-forgotten titles, hitting many of the greatest hits, like Lynne Cheney's sapphic romp and Scooter Libby's oddly bestial mystery. We were most interested, however, in a less well-known work that made the cut. New Yorker scribes Patricia Marx and Susan Sistrom — that's Susan Orlean to you — apparently once interrupted their careers to author the compelling The Skinny: What Every Skinny Woman Knows About Dieting and Won't Tell You!, which, according to Amazon commenters, is a "sick book by unhealthy women" filled with "tips on self-destruction." We'd love to ascribe this detour to youthful desperation, but the book was published in 1999 — one year after The Orchid Thief and while Marx was firmly ensconced in a career as a novelist and Saturday Night Live writer. The book's money quote? "Eat all you want, but never swallow. Spit always." And to think of all the money Si Newhouse has wasted on their expense accounts. Read in the Face [Radar Online]

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Bush Visits Wall Street, Discovers Income Inequality

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The president was in New York yesterday, and he brought some odd tidings for our city's financial industry. In a speech strategically delivered across the street from the New York Stock Exchange, George W. Bush — who on a trip to New York years ago delivered his famous "Some call you the elite, I call you my base" line — spoke out against excessive executive pay and lush severance packages. Meantime, an editorial in the same day's Wall Street Journal posited that any legislation curbing executive pay would immediately translate into higher taxes. As the person hectoring the gaggle of Wall Streeters about fiscal modesty was the same person who had drastically cut taxes for everyone in attendance, the listeners could be forgiven for mild confusion. The Sun calls the crowd's response "muted." But of course it was: The real target audience for the speech was the general public. "The fact is that income inequality is real," said Bush. "It has been rising for more than 25 years." And you're first noticing that now, George? Pardon the pun, but that's rich. Bush Warns Wall Street on Pay [NYS] George W. Bush: The Elite, My Base [YouTube]

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All Hail the Top Chef

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Well, hey, who'd have thunk it? Turns out Ilan won Top Chef. (Of course he did. No surprise ending has been this preordained since John Faso thought he stood a chance against Spitzer.) But, still, even though the result wasn't in doubt, the great existential question of reality television demands attention: What did it mean? Thankfully, Grub Street's Josh Ozersky joined New York's favorite couch potato, Adam Sternbergh, to answer just that question. Read their colloquy on Grub Street. Ilan Won, Yes, But What Does It All Mean? [Grub Street]

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Anderson, Celebutante

Fox News compares Anderson Cooper to Paris Hilton, and CNN isn't happy. (Which we imagine was the point.) Steve Madden will underwrite Fashion Week's Designers for Darfur even though IMG backed out. Hillary Clinton is trying to infuse her campaign with some stand-up comedy. Jeremy Piven jokes that he'd like to settle down with a girlfriend if he weren't "gayer than Liberace in 1972." Parsons fashion chairman Tim Gunn to become chief creative officer of Liz Claiborne (but still do Project Runway). Bill Clinton will not be the next president of Harvard.

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Trans Fats Versus Razor Blades; ‘Times’ Inspired by Our Restroom Report

Bruni ponders bathrooms, giving a shout-out to Grub Street's Restroom Report; apparently the Sultan had a pretty nasty encounter with the ones at Gordon Ramsay. [NYT] Hamptons officials loosen up and consider lifting the music ban in restaurants — if there's very tight regulation of it. [NYP] E! wrap-up on the Top Chef finale, including a plate-by-plate account of the competition’s Last Supper, which is more interesting, to us anyway, than whether Ilan got his money and new oven. [E!] Related: Ilan Won, Yes, But What Does It All Mean?

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Public Life Means Having to Say You're Sorry

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Inspired by Italy's Veronica Lario — who in a front-page letter printed in yesterday's La Repubblica requested a public apology from her husband, former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, for flirting with and ogling various comely young women and then, even more remarkably, received one — we'd like to see if we, too, can elicit a public apology or two.
To everyone involved in ground-zero reconstruction:
It's been five freaking years, and this is all that's been accomplished? You should be ashamed of yourselves, all of you. (And, yes, at this point that includes you, too, sainted widows and family members.) We think you owe us — all of us, all New Yorkers — an apology.
Sincerely, Daily Intel

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Cuomo Follows in Spitzer's A.G. Footsteps, Tackling the Big Issues

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A press release issued yesterday afternoon by Andrew Cuomo's Attorney General's Office:
Department of Law, The State Capitol, Albany, NY 12224
Department of Law, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271 Department of Law 120 Broadway New York, NY 10271 News from Attorney General Andrew Cuomo FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Press Office / 212-416-XXXX ONTARIO COUNTY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER BANNED FOR FAILING TO DELIVER PHOTOS AND DECEIVING CONSUMERS Prohibited from operating in New York State and must pay over $10,000 in restitution and penalties

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So Dark the Con of Man

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• The Times declares Spitzer's political honeymoon over; the governor's first state budget, which cuts $1.2 billion from health care and increases spending by 6 percent, seems guaranteed a hard time in both the State Senate and the Assembly. [NYT] • Firefighters: Every time we come dangerously close to deifying them, they do something crazy. Like, in this case, by buying fake "St. Regis College" diplomas online, at $500 a pop, and submitting them to the Fire Department for promotions. [Newsday] • A Long Island con-artist duo lured married marks into one-night stands, videotaped the trysts, then proceeded to blackmail them. The scammers' photos, printed in the Post, make the "luring" part positively puzzling. [NYP] • In a feat of participatory journalism, a Daily News reporter spends a "day dressed like Sienna" (Miller). For our money, she looked more like JT LeRoy. [NYDN] • And a New York marketing firm scared the bejesus out of Bostonians with promo signs for Aqua Teen Hunger Force, which the Boston Police Department somehow mistook for bombs. Nobody objected here, where "a box of fries … giving passerby the finger" is a relatively normal sight. [amNY]

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Wal-Mart Claims Proof of Fired Marketing Veep's Affair

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The operatic battle between Wal-Mart and its fired senior vice-president of marketing communications, Julie Roehm — the juiciest Madison Avenue scandal in years, and the subject of an upcoming piece in New York — escalated today when Wal-Mart claimed it had "irrefutable and admissible evidence" that she had an affair with Sean Womack, a vice-president who reported to her. "Julie Roehm didn't tell the truth about the inappropriate relationship with one of her subordinates," Wal-Mart spokesperson Mona Williams said from London. "Despite these denials, Wal-Mart now has irrefutable and admissible evidence of the relationship" between Roehm and Womack. "I would not tell you this if we didn't know it was true." A romantic relationship between employees violates Wal-Mart policy. The company apparently decided to respond after Roehm filed a lawsuit seeking money she claimed Wal-Mart owed her. The suit also referred to "false and malicious" statements by Wal-Mart in the press.

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Will Woody Allen Escape the Upper East Side?

amFAR New York gala. Cipriani, 110 E. 42nd St., nr. Vanderbilt Ave., 6:30 p.m. An AIDS charity benefit so gala-riffic that Woody Allen is (scheduled to be) venturing south of 59th Street for something besides a Knicks game. Other expected guests include Beyoncé, Sharon Stone, Liza Minnelli, Michael Eisner, Richard Gere, and Rosie O’Donnell. • Joey McIntyre performance. Plumm, 26 W. 14th St., nr Fifth Ave., 11:30 p.m. On the guest list: Drew Lachey, Joey Lawrence, and 400 VH1 producers.

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