Valentino Scorches His Fellow Designers on the Way OutNobody knows how to burn bridges like a fashion designer on the way out. Valentino, the Italian womenswear legend who retires this month after 45 years in the industry, decided to go right for the toiles in an interview with reporters this week. “I certainly won’t miss the fashion world. It’s ruined! Everybody’s doing the same things. What’s missing is challenge, creativity, cheerfulness. These days it’s all about numbers! To continue working in an environment which says nothing in particular to me would be a bore,” he sniffed. “This environment is no longer stimulating.” In case that criticism wasn’t specific enough for you, the 77-year-old took aim at some of his longtime colleagues in the industry.
On Miuccia Prada: “[She] knows what she wants … even if we don’t share ideas about clothes.”
On Giorgio Armani: “In the course of 40 years, he has created a great style — but vulgar.”
On Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana: “[They were] shy at the beginning — now arrogant.”
On Donatella Versace: “[Her brother] Gianni’s talent was unique — but what grit she has!”
Valentino will be replaced at his eponymous company by former Gucci designer Alessandra Facchinetti as the company tries to expand. Asked about her talent, Valentino turned generous. “I’ve met her,” he said. “She’s pretty.”
Valentino takes parting shot at ‘ruined’ industry [London Independent]
Diane Sawyer Forgets to Ask Katie Holmes About the HubbaspermDiane Sawyer interviewed Katie Holmes on Good Morning America yet neglected to ask her about the rumor that she was impregnated with L. Ron Hubbard’s sperm. New York Giants Plaxico Burress, Antonio Pierce, and Ruben Droughns went to Home nightclub in Manhattan after flying back from Dallas and ordered $1,000 of Bacardi, vodka, and Champagne, but forgot to tip their waitress. Waiters at Brasserie 44 in the Royalton Hotel thought they discovered Frank Bruni’s notebook, but it turned out to belong to someone else (and they slipped in some Bruni ass-kissing to boot!). Jil Scott picked up a male model at an Allure fashion shoot and took him to Nobu. Keith Olbermann’s quote to Playboy that “Fox News is worse than Al-Qaeda” did not go over well with many of the magazine’s readers.
So, Wait, Was ‘Gossip Girl’ Realistic or Not?Can you believe it’s really over? Like, you won’t be getting any more Gossip Girl until fall 2008? Why can’t we get this for the next ten months instead of the goddamned election? It would prove the same amount of highs and lows, except without all of the unflattering self-judgment. Lucky for you, we’re still reeling with withdrawal. So to satisfy your (and our) cravings, we’ve gone back through all of our obsessed recaps and broken things down character-by-character. Below, witness our Electoral College–inspired evaluation of the reality and fake-ality of Gossip Girl via its most important characters.
New York: Don’t tease. Only five years after Sarah Jessica Parker said that Manhattan was the fifth lady on Sex and the City, Gossip Girl creator Josh Schwartz explained that New York was the, um, twelfth character on his new show. As far as roles on Gossip Girl go, New York’s was by far the most violated. Brooklyn geography was mauled like a blonde’s left boob on prom night. The Upper East Side’s dimensions were exaggerated like a jock’s staying power the morning after prom night. And the meatpacking district was pushed around like the returns manager who spotted those mysterious stains at a Mr. Tux the day after the morning after prom night. But through it all, the city was honored with luxurious locations shots, glamorous interiors, and ambitious editing that brought Dumbo, Yorkville, and Williamsburg within arm’s reach. Sure, there was that whole Brooklyn real-estate problem. But the producers clearly did their best with Manhattan (arranging shoots at The Box and Marquee? Touché!) , and it was all done with love. Reality Index: 60%.
Pandit and Willumstad to Share the Ultimate Power?FINANCE
• The newest Citigroup rumors suggest a “tag team at the top”: Financial whiz Vikram Pandit will take over as CEO, while the more socially astute Robert Willumstad handles chairman duties. We’re just not sure “tag team” means the same thing for us as it does the Times? [DealBook/NYT]
• Morgan Stanley issued a full recession alert for the U.S. economy today in the oh-so-subtly titled “Recession Coming.” Meanwhile, a recent Journal poll of top economists puts the risk of recession at 38 percent. [Telegraph, WSJ]
• Thirtysomething Blackstone real-estate guru Jonathan Gray is getting rather comfortable in the top tier of the young establishment. [DealBook/NYT]
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]
Surprising No One, Rupert Murdoch Says Death of ‘Times’ Would Be ‘Nice’MEDIA
• Rupert Murdoch minces words: “When asked whether he was aiming to kill the New York Times, Mr. Murdoch replied simply: ‘That would be nice.’” Meanwhile, isn’t this a fun graphic in Murdoch’s Post? [Guardian]
• Murdoch may get a little help thanks to Morgan Stanley, who sold off their entire 7 percent stake in the Times. But one analyst says Morgan Stanley is the real loser, since the firm completely failed to change the Times’ structure and took a big hit on the sale. [NYP, NYO]
• n+1 continues its campaign to corrupt young minds, slipping pamphlets under the doors of unsuspecting Columbia freshmen. [NYS]
Walters Says Greenspan Always Gave Bad AdviceFINANCE
• Alan Greenspan’s old flame Barbara Walters complained the G-man never gave good advice, insisting back in the seventies that she avoid an apartment on Fifth Avenue because it was a “bad investment.” [NYP]
• Henry Kravis got a little egg on his face thanks to the collapse of the $8 billion Harman buyout. Steve Schwarzman gets bragging rights or an excuse to back out of his own impossibly huge deals. [Deal Journal/WSJ]
• With computers taking over, the NYSE plans to cut the trading floor down by half from its historic high. The famous Main Room and “the Garage,” opened in 1903 and 1922 respectively, will remain open. [NYT]
in other news
Brad Pitt Makes Derek Jeter Weak in the StirrupsOMG! Brad Pitt and his magical face went to see the Yankees play last night! And they totally won! Pitt and his son Maddox, 5, sat in Mayor Bloomberg’s box. At one point, Derek Jeter came over and actually gave Maddox a bat and a ball. “He loved it,” the normally reserved Pitt told the press happily about his son. But then, as usual, the Post had to make it personal — asking where Angelina Jolie was that night. “Hey, we got three other kids!” Pitt shot back. Wait, really? We had no idea
Pitt ‘Pops’ up in Bronx [NYP]
in other news
Angela Lindvall Proves Americans Still PrettyModel Angela Lindvall, who has been lying a bit low in the past year or so, has re-signed with IMG Models just in time for Fashion Week. Fashionista reports that the former Victoria’s Secret catwalker (now the face of Zara) will be walking in the shows, and, knowing her star power, you can expect to see her a lot. A couple of things of note about Lindvall: She’s 27, which is like being 74 in model years. She also has two kids. And she’s an environmental activist. But perhaps the most refreshing thing about her is that she’s American. Since nearly every other major model is Brazilian, Russian, or Canadian, we were beginning to think we were declining as a nationality! But it seems, the Yanks are back. Check out Lindvall’s stats and pics in New York’s new Model Manual, where you can learn everything you need to know about more than 200 models who will be stomping down the runway in Bryant Park next week.
Angela Lindvall: Back to IMG [Fashionista]
The Model Manual
Ron Burkle’s Village Woes Just BeginningBillionaire Ron Burkle’s gotta be regretting buying Sky Studios, the spectacular Village penthouse that was formerly a glamorous event space. A judge just ruled that brides-to-be who had previously reserved it for weddings can still use the multi-tiered apartment (which has a rooftop pool) for their nuptials — even though Burkle now owns the space and is presumably itching to move in (or make it nice and sell it). The Post reported that he plans to make it a residential palace. But we’re thinking that Burkle will have other reasons to regret the purchase. Last time Daily Intel was there, managers told us that the reason it was turned into an event space instead of a private home was that leakage, heating, and structural problems (not to mention unfabulous service-elevator access) made it virtually unlivable. Though, frankly, for our own rooftop pool in the summer, we’d live in a yurt for the rest of the year.
Wedded Diss to Bliss [NYP]
What High-End Market Trouble? Plaza’s Versace Units Snapped Up
Not worried by mortgage-market meltdown or stock-market volatility or spiking rates on jumbo mortgages? Still looking for a prime place to park your millions? We’ve got some bad news, then: The Plaza is nearly sold out. Indeed, even the two much-photographed, Donatella Versace–designed model apartments — dubbed “white” and “black” for their dominant color schemes and used by the building’s hotel-to-condo redevelopers to attract potential purchasers — have been snapped up, a Plaza source told us today. The 1,212-square-foot one-bedroom unit, which faces Central Park, fetched $6.9 million, while the 2,656-square-foot two-bedroom, with both park and western views, went for $12.5. (Neither of those prices includes the Versace trimmings, which would have cost who knows how much more.) But don’t give up yet, highfliers determined to live in a converted hotel space. The Pierre penthouse is still on the market, for a mere $70 million. —S. Jhoanna Robledo
show and talk
Runway Repeats at Parsons Senior Show!
Monday’s senior collections shown at Parsons spotlighting the class’s top designers raised a question: How closely did these students study the runway? These “top collections” looked like top knockoffs to us. Julia Medvedev’s black bodice dress (above) echoed a Versace silhouette. And Sean William Salim’s gold pants were all too reminiscent of Ghesquière’s robotic creations at Balenciaga. Lora Nova even regurgitated Gareth Pugh’s see-through stripes. But it wasn’t all copycats. Boaz Eli, one of Parsons’ Womenswear Designers of the Year, showed garments that were flattering, well cut, and most important, original. More look-alikes after the jump. Kendall Herbst
De Niro and Bowie, Kushner and Trump, Wenner and Nye Make NiceRobert De Niro and David Bowie were cordial at Vanity Fair’s party for the Tribeca Film Festival, despite reports that De Niro is mad that Bowie’s High Line Festival comes right after Tribeca. Also at the party: “Friends” Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump (as we told you yesterday). And Jann Wenner, with cuckolded boyfriend Matt Nye. Amy Sacco will open a hotel in the financial district. CBS’s Bob Schieffer and Lesley Stahl may have been behind a hit piece on Katie Couric in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Speaking of Couric, her cell phone ringtone is the Pussycat Dolls’s “Don’t Cha.” Bill Clinton is going to a party at Gabriel Byrne’s house to fundraise for Hillary. Les Moonves went to go see his son’s rock band play at the Plumm.