Philippe Starck Pans the New Royalton LobbyPhilippe Starck doesn’t like the $17.5 million redesign to the Royalton Hotel, which he once designed. Heatherette isn’t having a show this Fashion Week, and Richie Rich may be out for good! Russian model Natalia Vodianova had what may be her last catwalk during the final Valentino show in Paris and plans to take the designer to Moscow for a week and then to Brazil for Carnivale. Contrary to rumors, Puff “Diddy” Daddy says he is not considering changing his name back to Sean Combs. Paris Hilton and Stavros Niarchos hung out at the Beatrice Inn. Michael Richards and a blonde girl ate at a vegan restaurant at Columbus Circle. Cindy Adams claims that the writers’ strike will be over in two weeks and that Mayor Bloomberg is 50-50 about whether to run for president. Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner and boyfriend Matt Nye just had twins via surrogate parent. New York Times writer Alex Kuczynski will have a baby via surrogate mother in April.
Why Heatherette Canceled Their Show: Our ReasonsWe love, love, love Heatherette — even though their show is a glamorous debacle every year, and even though we’re not always sure where to buy their clothes. Traver Raines and Richie Rich, the house’s creative team, are nice, fun, energetic, and brilliant. Every season their train wreck of an exposition is the highlight during Fashion Week. That’s why we are hit hard by the news that they won’t be showing this February. They were supposed to show at Roseland Ballroom this year, too, which would have meant that everyone could have come, and the after-party would have been glorious. We’re trying to find out why they’ve bailed (they “prefer not to comment,” but we’ll get it out of them — we run with the same gays, after all), but in the meantime, we’ve compiled a top ten list of reasons they might have called off the show:
1) They’re only doing a “Cruise” collection this year.
2) They, like so many other small fashion houses, fell victim to great glitter shortage of 2008.
3) The only chaps they could find had asses.
4) Tinsley ate something.
5) Boy Meets Boy went back on the air.
6) A six-foot-eight drag queen has Richie and Traver locked up in a basement somewhere in the Village because she didn’t get into their last fashion show, even though she WAS INVITED.
7) Lady Bunny ate Lydia Hearst. Totally kidding. She flossed with her.
8) Someone actually wanted to buy something from last season’s show, and they had to figure out how to make it again.
9) Richie broke an axle. On his roller skate.
10) Their Amanda Lepore popped.
Heatherette Cancels Fashion Show [Fashionista]
Traver Rains Loves Him Some Cow BallsAll this time we thought that Traver Rains’s ever-present cowboy hat was just an affectation. It turns out that the silent half of fashion-design duo Heatherette — maybe he just can’t get a word in when partner Richie Rich is around? — is a real Marlboro man. “I grew up in Montana on a cattle ranch,” Rains told us at the Lunchbox Auction at Saatchi & Saatchi on Thursday. Really? Does he know how to, like, rustle or wrangle or whatever one does to cattle? “Rope. Yeah,” he said, all Heath Ledger–like. “I spent more time on a horse than not, growing up. I was Brokeback before Brokeback was cool.” One of the specialties that ranchers rustle up around the campfire, Rains says, is Rocky Mountain oysters. And those are? “It’s fried cow balls. After they’re snipped,” Rains told us, covering his mouth and giggling coyly. We were, for once, speechless. “Um, they’re like, fried, breaded, um, you know the things hushpuppies! That’s what they remind me of.” Alas, Rains moved to New York in 1999 and has not eaten Rocky Mountain oysters since. He doesn’t know of a place that serves them in the city. “That would be fun,’ he said. “I would love to take my friends out and torture them with that.” —Bennett Marcus
Related: We can solve this problem! Where to Get Cow Balls [Grub Street]
Murdoch Mulls the Liberation of WSJ.comMEDIA
• Murdoch is hinting heavily that he’ll take WSJ.com free, but Dow Jones CEO Richard Zannino doesn’t think it’s such a great idea. [WSJ]
• Well, we’ll be — Portfolio pulling down pretty good ad pages. [NYP]
• Roger Ailes, former CNBC president now with Fox Business Network, making many CNBCers interested in switching teams. It may be many things, but it won’t be boring! [NYO]
Miss Manners Hates Your BlackBerryFINANCE
• Blackstone founders Stephen Schwarzman and Pete Peterson shot up 30 places to No. 4 in Vanity Fair’s annual ranking of “The New Establishment.” Henry Kravis, who made the list for the first time, will have to console himself with No. 51. [VF, DealBook/NYT]
• Maybe CEOs aren’t all automatons after all: Scholars found that the death of a child or wife typically results in a 15 to 20 percent hit on profits — though the death of a mother-in-law often means good news for business. Let’s just hope they’re not confusing cause and effect, here. [WSJ]
• Beat this, Spence girls: The daughter of Qwest CEO Edward Mueller gets free use of the corporate jet to help ferry her from Denver to California for high school. [DealBook/NYT]
Goldman, Merrill Open Books, Loosen CollarsFINANCE
• The SEC is investigating whether banks and brokerages are hiding subprime lending losses. Goldman and Merrill are the first to be scrutinized. [WSJ]
• This is how bad the market is right now: Even music bloggers are worried about it. [DealBreaker]
• KPS Capital Partners is ditching its MetLife Building penthouse for a two-story space on 66th and Lex that leaves room for expansion. [Deal Journal/WSJ]
Arts Club Honors Heatherette — But Why?
What was Heatherette duo Richie Rich and Traver Raines doing being honored by the stuffy old National Arts Club on Gramercy Park South last week? To be honest, no one was quite sure. “I was so taken aback when they called me,” Rich said, looking around him. “It’s like going to Naomi Campbell’s house. I was like, ‘Wow. I’m actually doing something with myself.’” Club president O. Aldon James Jr. explained the rationale: The club wants to be hipper. “They do not need this award,” James said. “Our award needs them.” But were the risqué fashion designers — Heatherette recently brought buttless pants to the runway — the best pick for an institution so unfashionable as to have an old-style dress code? “Oleg Cassini would protest that,” James indignantly replied. “He was a member for 40 years!”
show and talk
Nutritious, Delicious Couture
What could be better than fashion and food? Yesterday we rushed to Vanderbilt Hall to catch Tim Gunn hosting the Wish-Bone Salad Show. Designers Richie Rich and Traver Rain compared the experience to summer camp, and the models looked bewildered. “There’s some lettuce going on there. Or maybe some other vegetables,” the Asian Salad said vaguely. Backstage, one model sported onion shorts while another counted the string beans on her dress. Gunn said he preferred to accessorize with food, but our favorite model embraced the whole aesthetic: “I am the carpaccio salad.”
Wish-Bone Salad Fashion Show by Heatherette [NYM]
Barbarians at the Energy GridFINANCE
• A group led by Kohlberg Kravis is taking energy giant TXU private for $45 billion, besting the Blackstone record by $6 billion. But can Kravis beat Schwarzman’s party? [NYT]
• Gary Crittenden named Citigroup CFO. Job description: Fix CEO Charles Prince’s mistakes. [NYT]
• Goldman media banker Sebastian Grigg may defect to Credit Suisse. [DealBook/NYT]
Choose Your Own Gossip Adventure!Rush and Molloy let you write your own Lindsay Lohan item. Larry King used to gamble, owes a lot of people in Miami money, according to a new book. Art-mag publisher Louise MacBain has not yet made her annual $50,000 donation to the Watermill Foundation. Richie Rich’s new boyfriend is causing trouble for Heatherette staffers. Paris Hilton dropped her best friend Kim Kardashian because Kim was getting too popular. Lydia Hearst threw an award statue into the crowd at the Paper magazine Nightlife Awards, because Moby told her to. Jennifer Connelly gained some perspective shooting Blood Diamond in Africa. Before arriving at the Casino Royale premiere attended by Queen Elizabeth, VIPs had to memorize a pamphlet on royal protocol. The cover of Vanity Fair’s “Hollywood” issue feature Brits Kate Winslet and Helen Mirren but not Cate Blanchett. Newly single Kid Rock may be back with his ex-girlfriend. Drew Barrymore still wears Uggs. Cindy Adams loves Will Smith’s new movie, does not love Mel Gibson’s. A mausoleum for Fidel Castro is being built on a mountaintop in Cuba. Former Facts of Life star Kim Fields is preggers. Joan Collins loves to sign autographs for fans, despite a recent “Page Six” item to the contrary. A kosher steakhouse opened in L.A.; Mel Gibson and Michael Richards have yet to dine there.