Gwyneth Paltrow Does Not Mingle With Hoi PolloiAnd that includes Katie Lee Joel. Plus, Brooke Shields bristles at an improv group’s tasteless jokes and people turn up their noses at Russian billionaires, in today’s selective gossip roundup.
Nigel Barker Is a Real Photographer, Okay?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 Preiser
For more up-to-the minute Fashion Week madness, check out New York’s new blog: The Cut!
in other news
Coming Soon: ‘America’s Next Top Assistant Editor’!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]
‘America’s Next Top (Spokes)Model’ Comes to ChelseaMost reality/ talent-show contestants have earned their spots on TV by waiting on line for hours, doing their thing for some judges, and schlepping out to Los Angeles. But when Smartwater (“Hydration you can feel!”) sponsored an America’s Next Top Model audition in a Chelsea club last night, there was one more step: The eight tri-state finalists gathered at Stereo also had to flack the product — even posing with a bottle of the stuff — in hopes being sent west. They’d arrived at eleven in the morning for hair, makeup, and, one assumes, some Smartwater brainwashing. And it took. By the time the event started at 8 p.m., nearly every word from the girls touted the water’s substance and style.
The Best Employees Get Hired, and Other Lessons From ‘Top Model’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]
it happened this week
In a pre-election week punctuated by acts of contrition, none was sorrier than John Kerry’s mea culpa for seeming to instruct a group of college students to do their homework lest they “end up in Iraq.” Having single-handedly halted Democratic momentum, Kerry said, “I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted.” President Bush, who has lately donned a hair shirt over piddling aspects of his handling of the war, nevertheless vowed never to fire Rumsfeld or Cheney. Congressman Charles Rangel said he was sorry for calling the veep a “son of a bitch,” but showed no pangs of conscience for observing that Cheney hadn’t “shot anyone in the face lately.” Remorseless campaigner Andrew Cuomo showed he had no hard feelings toward ex-rival Mark Green by accepting a $50,000 donation from Green’s developer brother, Stephen, before scolding current opponent Jeanine Pirro’s “shameful” paying of her driver $148,000 in county-funded overtime.
NTSB Confirmation: Lidle’s Plane Crashed Turning to Avoid LGA AirspaceThe National Transportation Safety Board issued a detailed update this afternoon on its investigation into the October 11 crash of a light plane that killed Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and his flying instructor, Tyler Stanger. The update fills in some gaps while confirming the broad outline of the tragedy as it has already been reported: The two — and the NTSB still doesn’t know which of them was actually piloting the Cirrus SR-20, and it probably never will, NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway says — were on a jaunt up the East River and attempted a U-turn to the left to avoid restricted airspace around La Guardia.