Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Today in his column on Portfolio's Website, Jeff Bercovici tells us that former Sassy and Jane magazine editor Jane Pratt only got the lead in her new VH1 show, American Ugly after Brandon Holley, who was hired to replace her at Jane, and Atoosa Rubenstein, her former Sassy intern, turned it down. Yeoch. We bet she was all "Victory is mine" after that. We couldn't reach VH1 to see when the show, a sort of reality version of Ugly Betty in which Jane and co-star mustachioed nineties stylist Phillip Bloch "advise unfashionable women on how to run a fashion magazine," was coming out; but according to the MySpace blog of an Australian girl called Cherie Lucas, who sounds like she was a contestant, it's already wrapped: "To say it was an amazing experience would be an understatement … I got to work with amazing people, we had a beautiful set and a wardrobe to die for … hahahah!!! they put me in some crazy stuff! all in the name of reality TV!" Indeed. Our question: Does Pratt + Bloch + 2008 + a weird premise + hyperventilating Australians = a sucky show or an awesome one? "I got to meet Gloria Gaynor (I will survive/amazing singer and writter)," Cherie writes on her blog. "She sang for us then we sang for her! she blew me away!" We're starting to think maybe awesome?
Mixed Media [Mixed Media/Portfolio]
Cherie Lucas [MySpace]
Update: Boo, Jane is not going to be on the show, after all.
• Bill Keller on Rupert Murdoch: "I don't know Rupert Murdoch, he is a combative 76-year-old newspaper guy with a tabloid soul and more money than God. With those resources at this stage it looks like he will do whatever the hell he wants to do. I don't think he is going to be constrained by some strategic planning consultant telling him what he can do. That makes him very hard to predict." [Media Mob/NYO]
• Meanwhile, the Times gave Sam Tanenhaus still more power, expanding his purview beyond the Book Review to the halcyon halls of "Week in Review." It's hard to tell if this is Keller's endorsement of Tanenhaus's talents or just an absurd overselling of some serious cost savings. [Radar]
• Jon Stewart shows he's a real mensch and begins paying his staff just like all the other late-night hosts (Even though Stewart is paid far less himself.) Daily Show staffers never even missed a check. [Mixed Media/Portfolio]
Ben Affleck slipped out of the premiere of his Gone Baby Gone to go watch the Red Sox game. (Ben says he left because he gets nervous during his screenings. Cindy Adams thinks he's getting "gorgeouser and gorgeouser"). Fifty of the world's greatest chefs are having dinner tonight at Le Bernadin to celebrate the book My Last Supper. Le Cirque owner Sirio Maccioni shelled out $7,000 for a 1.1-pound Italian white truffle. Tim Robbins had his birthday party on Tuesday at the Beatrice Inn. Barneys creative director Simon Doonan thought Phillip Bloch had gone blind, though he was actually just preparing for a movie role.
At Betsey Johnson's show Tuesday afternoon, her granddaughter made her runway debut. Johnson handed the baby off to daughter Lulu before turning her trademark cartwheel. At the end of the runway, stylist Patricia Field joined the designer for a little boogie, which exposed a bit of Johnson's black thong.
So far, our sojourn here at Fashion Week has been fun and fascinating and, surprisingly, pretty organized. But no more. The Baby Phat show was a total mob scene literally: A fight broke out in the front rows while we were waiting for the show to start.
Admittedly, after standing in line in the lobby for what felt like about ten years (fine, it was probably more like 45 minutes), we felt a little violent, too. Especially when we realized we were going to be suffering the slings and arrows of Standing Room Only Seating.