Amid the usual chaos backstage at Baby Phat, Jada Yuan managed to catch up with not only label designer Kimora Lee Simmons, but also Tyra Banks, Robert Verdi, Star Jones, and Vivica A. Fox, who each testified to Kimora's "fabulosity," as Fox put it. "Kimora is big, she's over-the-top, she's a grande dame," said Banks; "she taught me 'off the hook' and 'off the chain' — and the chain is actually diamonds, when it's Kimora's chain," added Verdi. Indeed. Watch the video for more.
There’s nothing like bookending day one with a pair of genuine national treasures: Liza Minnelli at breakfast time, and come supper, that deeply understated legend of Lycra-blend we call Kimora Lee Simmons. Tonight’s Baby Phat show was everything we’ve come to expect from the exceedingly subtle model turned designer, right down to the feathered hot pants, visible garter belts, and getups that felt inspired by Atonement via a few head injuries and maybe a martini.
Last night we ran into noted fashion photographer Nigel Barker at Maggie Norris's pre–Fashion Week party, and we're happy to report that the man who can most often be found sitting behind the judge's stand on America's Next Top Model does in fact have legs. We asked him if he was going to be bringing his expert opinion to Tyra's new show, Fashionista, in which women will compete to become assistant editors at Elle. "I was asked to come onboard today!" he said. "I said I'd love to." So what is it going to be like? we asked. Will it be like America's Next Top Model only less pretty, and more passive-aggressive? "I think the fashionistas are going to go out there and realize how hard and how cutthroat and ruthless this industry can be," he said. But won't it be kind of mundane? He waved this away. "People are obsessed with all aspects of this industry," he explained. "It's sexy, it's cool, it's unattainable." Which is why, we guess, none of the Top Models have gone on to become, you know, top models. Speaking of the industry: Doesn't Nigel ever miss being a real-life fashion photographer? Apparently, this hit a nerve. "I shoot all the time," he huffed. "Every day! Yesterday! I'm doing a big David's Bridal campaign, and I just did some stuff for Microsoft. I'm a photographer, that's what I do." But what about, um, fashion? He nodded sagely. "You never see me when I'm taking pictures because I'm on the other side of the lens. Look closely at their eyes, and you'll see my reflection." —Amy PreiserFor more up-to-the minute Fashion Week madness, check out New York's new blog: The Cut!
That's right. According to Reuters, Tyra Banks and the producers of America's Next Top Model are going to do a similar show about a group of young people competing to be assistant editors at a real fashion magazine. We can see it now:
Olandra: Oh, my God, you guys! We've got Tyra mail.
Other girls: TYRA MAAAAAILL!
Urethra: Tyra says we have to make an online index of book reviews. It's an ongoing project that she'll check up on in a few weeks!
Olandra: OMG. I'm so nervous. We're also in charge of that crotchety old freelancer who never sends in any of her fact-checking. That's, like, two semi-permanent assignments.
The Heavy One: And we just got handed that half-page front-of-book spread about sequins! I've talked to like five publicists this week. Man, this is just like when I was an editorial assistant. I can't wait until I get to be an assistant editor!
Urethra: Who says you're going to be America's Next Top Assistant Editor? You have a confrontational personality and you don't own enough pencil skirts.
The Heavy One: I just don't like the way this show has changed me. I miss my boyfriend and my standard business hours.
Pootie: F---ing hell, does anybody know whether the text goes up or down when you put the paper in the fax machine?
Olandra: You ass hat, there's, like, a diagram. [Under her breath] Watch this, you guys, she's not even going to dial nine.
Riveting television. We can't wait.
'Model' team tapped for fashion-mag reality series [Reuters via Fashionista]
Remember when we were surprised that, after "The Cry," Hillary Clinton suddenly was turned into a minority candidate? She is a woman, after all, but until recently both she and Obama had done a good job of sidelining their gender and race. Well, now we're really surprised. John Edwards is now claiming to be a accepting the title of "minority candidate," because he is the only white male running in the Democratic primaries. The above clip (click to view) is from an episode of The Tyra Banks Show to be aired on Friday. In it, you'll see the following exchange:
Tyra: What does that feel like to be a minority and to be a white male?
Edwards: It feels like you have to fight hard for everything you get.
Tyra: [Offering up a high five] Give it to me because I'm a black woman.
Next thing you know, the Republican candidates will be claiming to be minorities. And then we'll know the apocalypse is nigh.
Edwards Talks to Tyra Banks [Time]
Related:Hillary Clinton: Minority Candidate
Governor Spitzer lauded Kerry Kennedy during a speech his rival Andrew Cuomo was at, knowing that Kennedy and Cuomo went through a bitter divorce after she cheated on him. CNBC "Street Sweetie" Erin Burnett is catching heat at the network for the Men's Health story she wrote titled, "Eight Things That Would Impress Me," which made her look like, well, a girl who likes to be around money. New Jersey Net Jason Kidd's girlfriend, Hope Dworaczyk, is pregnant. Stars and publicists hate working with Men's Vogue because the magazine double-books covers. Jessica Seinfeld may or may not have plagiarized from a third cookbook. Cindy Adams claims a New Hampshire pollster told her before the primary that Hillary Clinton was gonna win by six points.
What is it with One Brooklyn Bridge Park? A tipster says three celebrities are checking out the luxe 449-unit condo project, whose former incarnation was headquarters for the decidedly un-luxe Watchtower, a magazine published by the Jehovah's Witness. Model Bridget Hall was recently spotted at the building, presumably for a tour, as has another catwalker, now turned reality-TV-and-talk-show host Tyra Banks. Hilary Swank is said to be interested in the property, too, and is apparently expected for a look-see soon. According to the Brooklyn Eagle, the building's transformation has piqued such interest that its waiting list of potential buyers was 3000 strong earlier this year. Real-estate doyenne Elizabeth Stribling bought two units there, and now her posh brokerage firm, Stribling & Associates, helps market the project. —S. Jhoanna Robledo
Somehow, despite having a hit show on CBS, Jennifer Love Hewitt has always been best known as that girl from adolescent sob-fest Party of Five. But thanks to the recent combination of a revealing black bikini and a paparazzo’s long lens, she’s now most famous for the contours of her thighs. While having our cellulite plastered all over the Internet would have us crying into a bottle of tequila, Hewitt’s reaction — a quiet, sane post to her blog — was both low-key and dignified. So we’re wondering two things: Who knew Jennifer Love Hewitt, of all people, would become our real-girl hero, and why was she the first person to hit the high road?
Marc Jacobs may have given a Cartier engagement ring to his on-again, off-again boyfriend, Jason Preston. Tyra Banks dropped her manager, either because he was a prima donna or because her investment-banker boyfriend told her to. Britney Spears backed out of recording a Timbaland-produced duet with Justin Timberlake. It's unclear why. No cameras or cars are allowed at the fund-raiser Oprah is throwing for Barack Obama at her California ranch, which is expected to draw George Clooney, Halle Berry, and Jamie Foxx. Harvey Weinstein is offering $100,000 to anyone who can identify the Upper East Side mom who inspired The Nanny Diaries. (Some speculate it's Preppy Handbook author Lisa Birnbach.) Marc Ecko's CEO threw $500 in cash around during a company-sponsored booze cruise. Norman Reedus, Helena Christensen's baby daddy, is making a movie in which Richard Nixon sleeps with a hooker and then kills her. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon dined at Le Cirque with two tables' worth of security guards.
So last night we stopped by Centro Vinoteca, the buzzing new restaurant from chef Anne Burrell. Tyra Banks was there on a double date with friends and her new beau, banker John Utendahl. The staff immediately popped a bottle of Champagne for her as she and her orange wig sat down in the coveted corner booth upstairs. Also there, among a gaggle of pretty girls, was adorable 'mocialite and former Queer Eye design guru Thom Felicia, who was celebrating a new big life decision. He and his boyfriend are going to make a gaybie! One of their friends will provide her own egg and uterus, and if it's a girl, they're going to name it "Lake." If it's a boy, they'll name it "Lago." Awesome.
Related:Batali Protégé Goes For Her Share of the Limelight [Grub Street]
Bobby Brown beefed up security in Australia because he still thinks Osama bin Laden is after him. Former party girl Taylor Stein, who just had a baby with William Lauder, has dated a lot of very, very wealthy older men. A documentary producer claims Bobby Kennedy got into a shouting match with Marilyn Monroe the night she died, and not in the bedroom where her body was found. Mom of the Year Dina Lohan is being sued for allegedly failing to pay back a $400,000 loan she used to jump-start Lindsay's music career. ABC misspelled Whoopi Goldberg's name in a press release announcing her as the new host of The View. Rudy Giuliani made up for the fact that the Yankees lost Eric Gange to the Red Sox by raising $350,000 at a Greenwich fund-raiser. Chelsea Clinton tried, and failed, to quietly read Harry Potter on the 6 train. CBS News execs are not pleased with the performance of some of the company's interns. Tyra Banks attended a party for her Air Force cadet brother, who is going to Iraq.
Paris Hilton has landed a starring role in a movie set in the year 2056, "when a plague nearly destroys the human race and survival is dependent upon being able to finance a pricey organ transplant." Anne Hathaway got into a fight with her boyfriend (who is being sued by Ron Burkle) during a screening of her movie in East Hampton, but she stayed with him at the after-party until the cops shut it down at 1 a.m. Madonna strolled into the Reebok Sports Club on Columbus Avenue without checking in. Tyra Banks and her family ate at Serendipity 3. The two assistants from Jane who were cast in SoapNet's Fashionista Diaries have been moved to CosmoGirl. Usher's pregnant girlfriend, whom he was slated to marry on Saturday until a last-minute cancellation, checked into a hospital for "pregnancy complications," though it may just be a ploy to get him back. Ivana Trump is set to get married for a third time, to Rossano Rubicondi.
There were two great life lessons to be gleaned from last night's installment of America's Next Top Model. One is that the best employees are the ones who have job, and the other is, as contestant Natasha helpfully pointed out, that some people have war in their countries. What's it all mean? Vulture explains — and recaps the whole episode — in this week's installment of Tyrade!
Tyrade!: ‘America's Next Top Model’ Gets Phototastic! [Vulture]