There Goes the SchneighborhoodRichard Gere has put his apartment in Julian Schnabel’s Palazzo Chupi on the market, private-equity execs come down to earth, Sam Zell continues to be wacky, and Jeff Zucker and Harvey Weinstein fight like a couple of queens over ‘Project Runway’ in our daily roundup of real-estate, finance, media and law news.
in other news
Nina Garcia, Joe Zee and Anne Slowey Are in the Running Toward Becoming the Top Reality Stars of ‘Elle’Nina Garcia, of Project Runway fame, will no longer be the most famous editor at Elle. That is, if Elle creative director Joe Zee and fashion news director Anne Slowey have anything to say about it. WWD is reporting that the two Elle staffers are in negotiations to appear on the new Tyra Banks reality show about wannabe assistants at a fashion magazine that was announced yesterday, tentatively, and might we add creatively, titled Fashionista. That’s pretty gutsy of them, to allow two different reality shows to co-exist at the same publication. To have three reality stars living in the same house, so to speak. Won’t there be an awful lot of tension and competition over things like who got more airtime who the editors are making look like the mean one and who looks thinnest onscreen and who better put down that
Chris From ‘Project Runway’ Gives Good (Lettuce) Head
Okay, okay, so Chris March and Christian Siriano’s couture dress on Project Runway last night was positively delicious. But you know how they’re always talking about Chris’s costume-designing experience, and you never really get to see it in action? Well, here’s a genuinely tasty blast-from-the-past video from the nymag.com archives featuring Chris’s work on a “Salad Fashion Show” for Wishbone Salad Dressings last May (click above to view). Witness as Chris chops a head of lettuce off its stalk moments before shoving it on a model’s hat. This guy was ready for Project Runway the day he was born.
Salad Fashion Show [NYM Video]
‘Project Runway’ Star Has New Video, May Have New Show
So, during last night’s D.E. Shaw holiday party, recently withdrawn Project Runway star Jack MacKenroth was telling us about his relationship with Dale Levitski from Top Chef. Even though they are indeed seeing one another, they’ve only been on like four or five dates, MacKenroth explained. But Bravo producers are already exploring a reality show about them. Which may be why even though Jack is no longer on Project Runway, he is so happy in the above video (click to view). And by “happy,” we mean GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY.
Jack Not Letting Project Runway “Shocker” Get Him Down [Towleroad]
Related: The ‘Top Chef’-’Project Runway’ Mashup We’ve Been Waiting For [Grub Street]
Lies and the Lying Arabs Who Tell ThemMEDIA
• The New Republic pulled back on its long-embattled “Baghdad Diarist” series, admitting they could no longer stand behind the author, an army private serving in Iraq. Meanwhile, The National Review suffered its own Middle Eastern credibility scandal and struck back in a novel way: “As one of our sources put it: ‘The Arab tendency to lie and exaggerate about enemies is alive and well among pro-American Lebanese Christians as much as it is with the likes of Hamas.’” Yikes. [NYT Mixed Media/Portfolio]
• Big layoffs ahead at NBC News? “There are going to be firings very soon — everybody is terrified,” according to a “former network insider,” who claims tens of millions in cuts will happen in the next two weeks. [Jossip]
• New NBC programming honcho Ben Silverman is looking to clear up a conflict of interest and cash in on his old production company, which Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter to Rupe, is buying for around $200 million. Not bad for a guy who built his career on stealing foreign shows like The Office and Ugly Betty and then repackaging them for the U.S.[NYP]
Token ‘Project Runway’ Hottie Doesn’t Always Support Clothes-WearingWe don’t want to use the word inevitable, so let’s just say that at last, the predictable nude photos of a Project Runway cast member have hit the Internet. Jack Mackenroth, who we already know is HIV positive and leaves the show on the fifth episode after falling sick with a staph infection, is now fully on display for all fans of … fashion. (Mackenroth also has a cameo in the upcoming Sex and the City movie as “Hot Guy #17,” according to Ben Widdicombe’s Gatecrasher column.) It appears he posed for photographer Frank Louis (extensively, and in the buff), thereby exposing himself not only as a lower-back-tattoo enthusiast but also as this season’s most flagrant media hound. Which producers probably won’t mind, considering they pimped his underwear-clad body in the first episode. Go to Queerty.com for all the pics in their bulbous glory, because here at Daily Intel we have a strict “Tell, Don’t Show” policy about celebrity dongs.
‘Project Runway’ Gay Gets Naked [Queerty]
Earlier: New ‘Insider’ Anchor Accused of Having Hot, Naked Body
Bon Jovi to Play His Part and Play Your Game on ‘Project Runway’?Remember when everyone was talking about how maybe Jon Bon Jovi was going to run for governor of New Jersey? Well, it turns out he’s already earned himself a much more important seat: in one of the judges’ chairs of Project Runway. That’s right. Tomorrow night, according to Fashion Week Daily, His Joviness will be giving Bravo’s most popular show a bad name. Until now, we’ve never taken a moment to imagine how Bon Jovi and fashion could possibly be related, so we were flummoxed as to what his exact role on the show might be. But whatever it is, we’re guessing the TRESemme Hair Salon is about to get much more pivotal.
Exclusive: Bon Jovi to Judge Schmattes with Heidi [Fashion Week Daily]
Update: In all fairness, we just discovered that this news was in Ben Widdicombe’s Gatecrasher column in October. Back then, Widdicombe also reported in the breath that contestants would design for Sarah Jessica Parker, and we must have blacked out temporarily, because we missed the end of the sentence!
Sarah Jessica Parker Doesn’t Hate All of Her CastmatesJames Mackenroth, a contestant on the upcoming season of Project Runway, may have been voted off in part because of a staph infection made worse by his HIV. Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Hudson filmed a scene for the Sex and the City movie together at the Carlyle Hotel, and SJP gave JHud a CD! A-Rod and Martha Stewart posed for photos together at Nobu 57. Contrary to a previous “Page Six” report, attendees at the Rolling Stone reunion in San Francisco actually did drink the Champagne that Jann Wenner sent. James Gandolfini pulled out of appearing at a John McCain fund-raiser in New York because of “scheduling conflicts.” Anderson Cooper thinks Britney Spears is underreported on.
Arianna Huffington and Cory Booker — We Really Did Not See That ComingMEDIA
• Blogosopheric scoop of the month: Looks like Arianna Huffington and Cory Booker may be dating. [NYDN]
• Elizabeth Spiers’s crazy idea for Portfolio: Fire Joanne Lipman and put Tina Brown in charge. Wow. Elizabeth Spiers writes for The New Republic? [TNR]
• Keith Olbermann’s news show to run before NBC’s Sunday Night Football. You can go home, after all! [TV Newser, NYT]
Is Jay McCarroll Homeless? He Sure Said So (and So Did His Publicist)
In this week’s cover story on the challenges facing winners of Bravo’s reality shows, New York’s Jennifer Senior noted that two years after winning Project Runway’s first season, Jay McCarroll is still homeless in New York, using his studio and other people’s couches as crash pads. How did Senior know McCarroll was homeless? He told her so. But once the fact appeared in print, he denied it, posting mocking YouTube videos of himself wandering city streets with a cardboard sign reading “Will Design for Food.” Then his best friend and publicist, Nancy Kane, responded more aggressively, as publicists and best friends are wont to do: She left an angry voice-mail message for Senior Tuesday charging that the suggestion McCarroll is homeless is “unequivocally untrue.” She went on: “His studio is a live/work space, and it might not be ideal, but it is more than a lot of people have in New York City, and he pays rent every month.” Later in the day, however, she must have realized this wasn’t much of a response; in fact, it was exactly what Senior had written. So Kane proceeded to tell various gossip columns that New York Magazine had fallen for a hoax. Jay, she said, in fact lives in a beautiful apartment building at 72nd Street and Riverside Drive. Perhaps. (Why Kane’s so defensive we don’t know. There’s no shame in struggling for your success, which was the whole point of Senior’s story.) We’ll choose to believe the version enshrined in her voice mail, reported in the magazine, and detailed by McCarroll himself. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the transcript, after the jump.
in the magazine
Jay McCarroll Will Design for Food
Jay McCarroll, Project Runway’s first-season winner and a major character in Jennifer Senior’s “The Near-Fame Experience,” the cover story in this week’s New York, is not, it appears, happy with how he was portrayed in the piece, particularly with Senior’s characterization of him as “still homeless in New York.” Where did she get such an idea? Well, probably from this direct quote:
“I haven’t been living anywhere for two years,” he says. “I sleep at other people’s houses. I sleep here [his sewing-machine- and fabric-filled studio] if I’m drunk.”
And how do we know he’s not happy about this? He’s posted to YouTube at least six videos mocking the characterization, largely filled with him wandering lower Manhattan while repeatedly howling, “I’m homeless, I’m homeless,” and “Will design for food.” One version — we kid you not — is set to Crystal Waters’ “Gypsy Women,” which makes no sense contextually but at least blocks out the howling. It’s the best one.
UPDATE: McCarroll heeds our advice, maybe? He’s removed all the videos except the Crystal Waters version. Be thankful.
Jay McCarroll Homeless Crystal Waters Remix [YouTube via Radar]
The Near-Fame Experience [NYM]
Busy Tim Gunn Moves, Guides, Films
After sixteen years in his West Village apartment, Project Runway host Tim Gunn finally found time to move this weekend to his new Chelsea digs. He’d rescheduled the move four times to make it “as stress-free as possible” between filming the first two episodes of his new show, Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style, based on his book of the same name. “I’d say I’m not a fashion Svengali,” Gunn told us at Project Ruffway the other night of his role on the show. “I’m not going to throw clothes at you and say, ‘If you wear these, all of your fashion woes will be fixed.’ I’m much more of a fashion therapist.” While Gunn films Project in June, producers will look at “tons and tons” of tape for the first two episodes and figure out how to structure the show. “When we go back and do it in July, it should be smoother and better worked out,” said Gunn, who’s taping episode two this week. It’s doubtful he’ll have time soon to install shelves for his 75 boxes of books he moved, but he plans to unpack everything himself, rejecting the idea of a personal assistant. “I couldn’t stand it,” he said. “I’ll wash my own underwear, thank you.” —Amy Odell
Tim Gunn Goes to the Dogs
The fourth season of Project Runway starts taping next month, and Tim Gunn warmed up last night with Project Ruffway, a dog fashion show he hosted in a Chelsea gallery space. A benefit for Stray From the Heart, which rescues stray dogs around the globe, the show featured designer fashions for dogs and their walkers. A dog fashion show, it turns out, is a lot like a people fashion show. Looks were shown in the categories of eveningwear, weekend, resort, and “ruff and tumble” (“whatever that means,” Gunn unhelpfully explained), and many models, all adoptable or recently adopted, came from South America. Clothes were by top designers like Nicole Miller and Juicy Couture; Champagne was the drink of choice, though many well-heeled attendees sipped “Hair of the Dog” cocktails made with blood-orange juice, Champagne, and vodka; and the theme was taken seriously: hors d’oeuvre included little bone-shaped sandwiches of roast beef and grilled cheese and French fries in tiny bone-patterned paper cones.
show and talk
‘Runway’ Winner Dao to Design for Neiman’s?Project Runway’s second-season winner Chloe Dao is in talks with Neiman Marcus about designing a line for the high-end department store, Tim Gunn said earlier this week. “Chloe wants to contain kind of a bubble of a career, and she has it,” Gunn told us at the Parson benefit the other night. “I mean it’s not going to be overnight, immediate commercial success, only because of the daunting aspects of production and how you wind all that up and seize the market.” Gunn heard the news from Neiman’s execs; Dao’s rep at Lizzie Grubman PR declined comment on any deals in the works but could announce one to design iPod accessories for a different Texas-based company. “She likes her life,” Gunn said. “She likes living in Houston. She manages it well, and I’m really proud of her.” —Amy Odell
At Parsons Benefit, Tim Gunn Promises Best ‘Runway’ Contestants YetDespite reports of low turnout for Project Runway’s season-four auditions last month, Tim Gunn called them the best ever. “We could have cast three seasons of Project Runway based on the quality in the numbers that we saw,” he said last night at a Parsons benefit attended by Bill Clinton, Mayor Bloomberg, and Donna Karan. “And when the designers are better, frankly, they’re really more fun to work with because you can really have a design dialogue as opposed to that hem’s falling down, why is the sleeve doing what it’s doing?, look at all this bulk — that isn’t fun.” Though busy with a new book, a Project Runway spinoff, and new job as CCO of Liz Claiborne, Gunn won’t leave Runway any time soon. “If there’s a season five for Bravo and for the show, there’s a season five for me because I can’t get enough of it,” he said. —Amy Odell
Bravo Makes Tim Gunn WorkFASHION
• Tim Gunn will carry on for another season of Project Runway. Bravo executives can now breathe. [Downtown Darling]
• Vogue’s May issue spotlights the ten new top models, including Jessica Stam, Chanel Iman, Coco Rocha, and Agyness Deyn. [Fashionologie]
• Henry Holland knockoffs continue to flood the market. The culprit this time: Urban Outfitters. [Fashionista]
‘Radar’ Finds a Permanent(ish) Home
Back in October, the Observer reported that third-time’s-the-charm Radar magazine was thisclose to moving into a permanent office. And it wasn’t just any office; the space near Columbus Circle was home to Esquire until the new Hearst Tower opened. “I think it’s all but signed,” Radar editor Maer Roshan said at the time, noting that old Esquire posters still dotted the walls and that the space came with “the apparatus of making magazines.” But he also told Off the Record reporter Michael Calderone that he wasn’t taking the space in an attempt to ape the venerable men’s mag’s success: “I’m a great fan of Esquire, but it didn’t really play a role in our decision.” And a good thing, too, judging from the mass e-mail just arrived from Radar senior writer Jeff Bercovici.
New Park Slope Parents Site Prepares Families for Lactation, Preschool, DeathLook up “inevitable” in any online dictionary, and you’ll now find a link to the newly overhauled Park Slope Parents Website, parkslopeparents.org, a just-gussied-up HTML outgrowth of the popular listserv and “The Ultimate Destination for Those Rockin’ the Brooklyn Bugaboo.” (Actually, the real tagline is “Your resource for raising children in Park Slope, Brooklyn,” but you can consider this our official entry.) So what does online child-rearing in an overpriced, overfetishized sector of an outer borough entail? We went to the “Sneak Peek Week” site to find out.
Anyone Want to Buy a Lad Mag?MEDIA
• Felix Dennis puts Maxim, Stuff, and Blender officially on the auction block. [NYP]
• Did David Lynch plan this advertising campaign? Annie Leibovitz shoots Scarlett Johansson, David Beckham, Beyoncé, and Lyle Lovett for ads promoting Disney theme-parks. [Radar Online]
• Steve Rattner thinks newspapers should be nonprofits, but Jack Shafer says that’s a horrible idea. [WSJ and Slate]
in other news
Charmin’s Times Square Toilets, Open for Flushing
Charmin, the toilet-paper people, today opened their temporary promotion in Times Square, that suite of twenty neat-and-always-clean public restrooms, and, naturally, the Gothamist kids have photos, bless their panda-loving hearts. After a close examination of the pix, we’re pleased to report that the stalls look as clean and homey as promised. (Remember that they’re open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily and that they’re cleaned by an attendant after each use.) Finally, there’s someplace other than the Crowne Plaza or the Marriott Marquis to add to our mental Rolodex of Times Square places to go when, well, we have to go. Have you been? Tell us about it (but not the gross parts, please).
Charmin’s Times Square Bathrooms Are Open for Your Business [Gothamist]
Earlier: Finally, You May Squeeze the Charmin
it just happened
News Corp. Stays Classy, Cancels O.J. ProjectWord is just out that News Corporation has canceled both O.J. Simpson’s scheduled book, If I Did It, set to be published by Judith Regan’s imprint of News Corp.’s HarperCollins publishers, and the accompanying two-part television special, to be hosted by Regan, for News Corp.’s Fox network. Because, of course, any time you have O.J. Simpson, Judith Regan, Rupert Murdoch, and Roger Ailes involved in a decision, you’ve got to expect them to take the high road.
News Corp. Cancels O.J. Simpsons Book and TV Special [FoxNews.com]
new york fugging city
The Fug Girls Watch the ‘Runway’ Finale, Have Warm HeartsLast night, our long national nightmare ended, and we all found out who took home Project Runway’s big prize. The triumph of alleged cheater Jeffrey Sebelia, that tattooed bad boy turned emotional wreck, moved us to misty eyes … but did we all respect ourselves for it in the morning? Fug Girls Heather and Jessica hash it out over IM.
Heather: I’ve never been so happy to be slightly wrong.
Jessica: I know! Somehow, during the course of this episode, I decided I really wanted Jeffrey to win.
Heather: I am a sucker for a heartwarming story, and his is a doozy. Drugs! Attempted suicide! The crushing pain of an epic neck tattoo! Adorable offspring! It’s all there.
Tim Gunn Wears Banana Republic Jeans
Name: Tim Gunn
Job: Chair, Department of Fashion Design, Parsons; Mentor, Project Runway
Neighborhood: West Village
Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
Depends on my mood. Up: Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Down: Thomas Wolfe’s character C. Green, who leaps to his death from a hotel window in You Can’t Go Home Again.
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
Restaurant: Gotham Bar & Grill. Other: At the home of my dear friends Bea and Jerry Banu.
In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
Put out fires!
new york fugging city
The Fug Girls Play Bookie, Make ‘Project Runway’ OddsWe’re not really betting women — well, except for all those days at the track, and those weekends in Vegas, and that football pool. Oh! And March Madness. Okay, so we are really betting women. With the finale of Project Runway mere hours away, here’s a highly unreliable, knee-jerk handicapping of the four designers left.
Our incredibly unscientific odds-making methods include weighing the snippets of finished outfits and works-in-progress that we saw in last week’s episode; combing through the photo galleries of Laura, Michael, Jeffrey, and Uli’s respective runway shows; and using our finely honed psychic abilities to read Michael Kors’s mind. (Oh, he’s not going to send us any dresses, but he does like your hair like that. So good job, you).
So what odds are we giving?
new york fugging city
The Fug Girls Watch the ‘Project Runway’ FinaleThe Fug Girls are some of our favorite fashion experts — you may remember their splendid snarksmanship from nymag.com’s Fashion Week coverage — so we asked them to weigh in on the Project Runway finale. We now present the first in a two-part series.
For the first half-hour of part one of the Project Runway finale, we were just twiddling our thumbs waiting for all the finger-pointing to start. Sure, seeing Michael Knight’s dad leading a prayer circle was nice, and we never get tired of five unruly Laura Bennett spawns creating havoc in her house while she cleans up turtle poop in enviably glam dresses and heels. And though we were interested in the clothes — would Uli Herzner show up with twelve identical sundresses in mildly different splashy prints? Might Jeffrey Sebelia arrive wearing a tee reading “Save Angela’s Mom”? — what we really wanted to see was the big drama everyone knew was coming: Laura accusing Jeffrey of cheating. And we had to wait almost 40 minutes for that.