A fracas over seating at the Zac Posen show on Sunday night ended with an editor from the French magazine Jalouse slapping a public relations executive in the face. Fashion week, man.
Half an hour before the show's scheduled start time, fire marshals forced the show organizers to remove 60 seats — which apparently caused a total seating meltdown, with invited guests arriving to find their seats no longer existed. And without a seat assignment to sit in and judge others by, how would anyone in fashion know that their relative power and importance had been noticed and validated? Marie José Susskind-Jalou, the publisher of the influential French fashion magazines Jalouse and L'Officiel, was one of the people who had lost her seat, and apparently was not re-seated. The long wait and some "humiliating" treatment from Posen's P.R.'s angered Susskind-Jalou and her team, including daughters Jennifer Eymere and Vanessa Bellugeon of Jalouse and L'Officiel, respectively. During a contretemps with Lynn Tesoro, the head of P.R. for the show, someone slapped Tesoro.
Women's Wear Daily reached Eymere, who owned up to being the slapper:
"I said, ‘Don't speak to my mom like this. You have to stop to speak like that.' I said, ‘Be careful, I am going to slap you,' and she kept doing it, and it just happened.
"I am sorry, I know it's bad to do that," she added. "It was a small slap. It was not strong. I didn't hurt her, it was just to humiliate her. She humiliated my mom, and I humiliated her in front of her crew. Voilà. I just said at the end, ‘Now you know you don't fuck with French people.'"
We're just astounded someone slapped someone at the Zac Posen show — and it wasn't Naomi Campbell. Posen later sent the Jalouse and L'Officiel team a note of apology. [WWD]
Laura Smalls, the little-known designer whose dress Michelle Obama wore at the Democratic National Convention last week, says the First Lady's selection has certainly raised her profile and spurred press and buyer interest for her fashion week show, which takes place tonight. But she turned down an on-camera interview with Inside Edition. "I answered some questions," says Smalls, whose business has one other full-time employee, her husband. "But I didn't want to go on air because I don't want to trade on the First Lady's name." [WWD]
Yesterday, Karen Walker showed a spring collection full of mid-century modernist references — cropped pants, a particularly awesome mustard yellow suit, and atomic age prints. But Walker wisely avoided offering too literal a vintage interpretation, dropping the restriction and stiffness that can make some 50s-and 60s-style clothes look like so much Leave it to Beaver gender-role cosplay. Standout pieces included the short-sleeved sweatshirt with copper metallic sleeves and a beaded neckline.
Lynn Yaeger saw the eye makeup at Donna Karan and made the inevitable conjunctivitis joke. [The Cut]
- Equity, the U.K. union that extended membership to fashion models in 2007, has released a ten-point list of minimum standards for models' working conditions to be presented to the Trade Union Conference for approval. The list includes provisions governing truly basic stuff like maximum working hours, breaks, privacy while changing, and insurance should a model be injured on the job. [Telegraph]
- Diana Wang, the former "Head Accessories Intern" at Harper's Bazaar who is now lead plaintiff in a 3,000-strong class-action lawsuit that alleges the magazine violated labor laws, says working in fashion had been her dream. She worked for a year after graduating from college to be able to afford to take Bazaar's unpaid internship, but found herself working from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. five days a week performing such tasks as answering the accessories editor's phone and writing down the caller's name on a little piece of paper and holding it up so her boss could decide whether or not to take the call. Oh, and delivering new outfits to magazine editors between shows at New York fashion week so they'd have something fresh for the street-style photographers. Unpaid internships, by law, are supposed to be of educational benefit to the intern — and no benefit to the employer. When Wang finished her internship, her boss refused to serve as a reference on her job applications. "He said, ‘I don't think you're ready and you should do another internship,'" recalls Wang. "I feel confident I will win," she says. "What they were doing, they were never going to stop doing. While I was there, they talked about the prestige of having Harper's Bazaar on your résumé as if that were a justification for all of the humiliating work you did. It was never going to stop." [The Cut]
- Elizabeth Olsen says don't expect her to be launching a namesake clothing line anytime soon — she's seen what her sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley go through with their business, The Row, and it's not for her. "I would never want the responsibility of putting stuff out there for other people," says the younger Olsen. "I think it's the most brutal business that exists." [People]
- Senator Chuck Schumer has reintroduced a slightly modified version of the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act, which previously stalled in the House. Both the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the American Apparel and Footwear Association support the proposed law, which would offer limited copyright protections to original clothing designs and prevent "deliberate copies that are substantially identical to protected designs" from being sold in the U.S. Last year, Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough of Proenza Schouler were among the designers to lobby Congress in person in favor of an earlier version of the bill. [WWD]
- Pippa Middleton is "not accepting fashion week invites," according to her P.R. company. [@ElleUK]
- It's pretty simple to get Fran Lebowitz to come to your fashion show: "I have to know you for 30 years," says the writer. So if you're a fashion designer who first met Lebowitz during the fall of 1982, she is now considering applications for next season. [WWD]
- Rachel Zoe is opening a blow-dry salon in Midtown called DreamDry. [People]
- A disgruntled former Gucci network engineer has been sentenced to 2-6 years in prison for hacking into the company servers and email system after he was fired. [WWD]
- Not content with shopping a tell-all book, Calvin Klein's porn star ex Nick Gruber is now developing a reality T.V. show "basically about me being in a relationship with Calvin," says Gruber. That Gruber and Klein broke up nine months ago would seem, to Gruber, to be no barrier to a show about their relationship. "It's also me trying to figure out who I am as a process of coming from his lifestyle from New York to LA [where he now lives], at the same time being the straight boy and still [liking] men and women." [P6]
- Burberry shares fell 17.5% after the company announced that retail sales had risen 6%, year-on-year, in the last 10 weeks. Same-store sales were flat, but, Burberry noted, "decelerated in recent weeks." Those results are still pretty solid, and Burberry did not cut its guidance for the rest of the year, but the stock fall is testament to just how nervous investors are. [WWD]
- Whatever the ATL twins are, they sound awful. [The Cut]
- There's a rumor that Nicola Formichetti is adding handbags to the Mugler collection he creative-directs. [WWD]
- Fragrance and beauty giant Coty is postponing its initial public offering, originally scheduled for October, until next year. [WWD]