Thursday, July 10, 2008

Madonna's Brother Tell All Book Drops July 15th

Madonna's misery continues today as details of her brother's tell-all book emerge.

Christopher Ciccone claims that the singer - who has been rocked by divorce rumours as well as allegations that she is behind the marriage break-up of baseball player Alex Rodriguez - loves her career and herself more than husband Guy Ritchie.

The claims come amid widespread speculation that Madonna's marriage is breaking down and the allegations have angered the volatile pop star, sparking a huge family row.


In turmoil: Divorce rumours and allegations of an intimate relationship with Alex Rodriguez looked to be taking their toll as the singer left her apartment yesterday


A spokeswoman said last night that Madonna was 'upset' by the book, in which Ciccone, a gay decorator and chef, depicts his sister as manipulative and self-obsessed.

'I hope that it is Kabbalah's lesson that she is not the centre of the universe,' Ciccone wrote in one of a number of barbed comments in Life With My Sister Madonna, which is due for release on Tuesday.

Yesterday the pop star emerged from her New York apartment looking tired and despondent in a sign the pressure of the past month is beginning to take its toll.


Tell-all book: Madonna pictured with Christopher in 1998, she is said to be 'upset' by the claims in his upcoming memoir

Her husband Guy Ritchie was seen leaving the Central Park West residence separately, accompanied by the couple's seven-year-old son Rocco.

The 49-year-old has been linked to the £50million marriage break-up of Rodriguez, the world's most expensive baseball player, and his wife Cynthia.

Reports claim that Rodriguez, 32 - in the first season of a £139million, 10-year contract with the New York Yankees - made a series of visits to Madonna's New York flat, and that he converted to Kabbalah, the mystical Jewish movement followed by Madonna. Cynthia, 34, filed for divorce earlier on Monday.

Madonna issued a statement Sunday saying that she has 'nothing to do with the state of his marriage or what spiritual path he may choose to study,' referring to reports that the she had introduced the sports star to Kabbalah.

The scandal comes just weeks after reports that Madonna and Guy marriage was on the rocks.

However the singer's estranged brother appears to defend their marriage in the 342-page book, published by Simon Spotlight Entertainment.

Ciccone says that he believes the couple are "passionately committed" to staying married, with the help of Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism.

He describes Ritchie as a man's man undisturbed by homophobic humor, whose emergence in Madonna's life marks 'the death knell' of the Ciccones' brother-sister bond.

Ciccone portrays Madonna as a show business survivor - bossy and self-absorbed, sometimes compassionate, mindful of 'how little faith many people once had in her.'

Ex files: Alex Rodriguez with wife Cynthia, whose divorce lawyers have criticized his association with Madonna

His memoir includes everything from gossip about Madonna's sex life.

It says she lost her virginity to a 'guy named Russell', says ex-husband Sean Penn was referred to by Madonna as a 'paranoid control freak' and that Warren Beatty, another of Madonna's lovers, allegedly cornered Ciccone at a party and quizzed him intensely on what it was like to be gay.

The book offers snapshots of Bruce Willis allegedly chatting up other women while still married to Demi Moore, of Ciccone dancing with Moore at a drag queen club, of Madonna allegedly kissing Gwyneth Paltrow on the mouth during a New Year's Eve dance at which Ciccone said that he and Ritchie almost came to blows.

Ciccone, 47, worked often with his older sister, designing and directing her Girlie Show tour in 1993 and serving as artistic director of her 1991 documentary, Madonna: Truth or Dare.

But in his book, he says they are no longer close.

Cashing in: Christopher Ciccone's book - which couldn't come at a worse time for his sister - is due for release next week

Madonna's representative, Liz Rosenberg, said last night that the singer had not read the memoir but found it 'very upsetting' that Ciccone 'has decided to sell a book based on his sister.'

'I would have to assume she has come to terms with the fact that they do not have a close and loving relationship,' Miss Rosenberg said.

'And with the book coming out, I assume that will remove the chances of that ever happening.'

Life With My Sister Madonna was co-authored by celebrity biographer Wendy Leigh, who has written books on Liza Minnelli, Grace Kelly and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Simon Spotlight, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, has announced a first printing of 350,000.

Earlier this year, stores were asked to order the book "blind," without knowing the author or subject. Last month, the publisher released the subject matter - and the name of the author.

In 2006, William Morrow offered a mysterious tell-all that turned out to be by Princess Diana's former butler, Paul Burrell, who had already written about her. Retailers were angered and the book sold poorly.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fashion Whispers SLIMANE Edition

Your HG is jumping up and down for joy praying that the wicked whispers of the fashion world are true. Could it be? Is *heart skips a beat* our fashion G*d Hedi Slimane making his return to the world of Dior Homme? At the same time we hear that LMVH is also trying to set up an eponymous line for Hedi. We don't care we just want Hedi! BTW today, July 5th is Mr. Slimane's birthday, and Your Holly Golightly is sending out extra special birthday wishes to our fashion idol - Happy Birthday Hedi Slimane!



Summer Reading

**Your HG apologizes for the MIA status as of late, you know how the warm weather calls us all to the sandy beaches of the Cape. In celebration of the summer's beach blanket bonanza I find it only acceptable to tell you about a new summer read. And what's better than a book that combines both our love for literature and *happiness* the Hermes Birkin Bag. So run to the nearest book store and pick up Bringing Home the Birkin.**

Here's a quick Q+A with the book's author Michael Tonello.

Questions for Herms hype–buster Michael Tonello.
Widely prized, legendarily elusive, and outrageously expensive, the Hermès Birkin bag possesses a mythic stature. In his new book, Bringing Home the Birkin (William Morrow, $25.95), Michael Tonello, cofounder of Boston-based advertising collaborative Team, proves you don't have to be married to Tom Cruise to snag a $25,000 It bag—or to resell it on eBay.

Q: You say the bag's fabled two-year wait list is, in fact, a fable. So how do you get your hands on a Birkin?
A: Money talks. Then money talks some more. If you spend $1,000 on something else at Hermès first, the bags magically appear. Between September and Christmas 2004, I purchased and resold 130 or 140 Birkins.
Q: Didn't Hermès catch on to your game?

A: I had a half-dozen credit cards, all with slightly different names. But there were still a few stores where I became persona non grata.
Q: It was rumored that an advance copy of your book went for nearly $1,000 on eBay. It seems you took luxury marketing techniques to heart.
A: We gave out press copies in a Birkin-shaped box because we wanted to put the book on par with the Hermès brand. I'm trying to get it into the hands of celebs. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that word of mouth fuels itself.

Monday, June 2, 2008

YSL The End of an Era

1936 - 2008

Yves Saint Laurent, one of the most influential designers of the 20th century, died on Sunday after a year long battle with brain cancer.

The 71-year-old designer was part of a generation of designers including Christian Dior and Coc Canel that made Paris the fashion capital of the world. His designs have been said to empower women throughout the world. He once said: “Fashion is not only supposed to make women beautiful, but to reassure them, to give them confidence, to allow them to come to terms with themselves.''

Tributes have been pouring in from all over the fashion world with Tommy Hillfiger describing his sadness at the loss of a “creative genius” and a “legendary talent.” Calvin Klein designer Francisco Costa said Laurent had “revolutionized modern fashion” while France's Prime Minister said Laurent had “contributed to France's influence in the world.”

Yves Saint Laurent was born Aug. 1, 1936, in Algeria. He first emerged as a promising designer at the age of 17, winning first prize in a contest sponsored by the International Wool Secretariat for a cocktail dress design.

After only three months as a student he was introduced to Christian Dior, then regarded as the greatest creator of his day. Dior was so impressed with Saint Laurent's talent that he hired him on the spot. When Dior died suddenly in 1957, Saint Laurent was named head of the House of Dior at the age of 21.

In 1962 he opened his own haute couture fashion house with Berge. The pair later started a chain of Rive Gauche ready-to-wear boutiques. Saint Laurent's simple androgynous designs were his hallmarks. His navy blue pea coat over white pants, his smoking jacket remade the tux as a high fashion statement for both sexes. Beatnik chic also came in the sixties. Showing that women could wear tailored men's clothes became a statement.

In 1983 the Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted a show to his work, the first ever to a living designer and in 1985 he was awarded the Legion d'Honneur. Rive-Gauche, his ready-to-wear label was sold to Gucci in 1999 for $70 million cash and royalties, still has boutiques around the world.

When Saint Laurent announced his retirement in 2002 and the closure of the Paris-based haute couture house, it was mourned in the fashion world as the end of an era.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Boston Nightlife Needs Help

Recently I hit the town with some of my favorite girlfriends. We began our night at the Liberty Hotel's Alibi. While I usually love this trendy former prison turned swank hotel lounge, that night something was off. Maybe it was the fact that the doorman insisted he id-card everyone, and well to borrow a line from Cher Horowitz 'an I.D. doesn't really go with this outfit.' I turned my Louboutin around and returned with my proof of age -- moisturizer does a face well. Inside was utter chaos. The usually low-key, high fashion lounge was filled with loud ruffians dressed "trying" to impress.
After my cocktail (which now was made with an overload of minced mint--umm NO) and now with a headache from the overly crowded scene, the girls and I headed to "suppose hot spot" Saint. We headed downstairs to the lounge...You call this a lounge? It was basically a dressier college frat party. The once present couches were no more and people were packed in to a small dance area with one long bar. I was ready to call it a night, but didn't want to rain on the parade as one friend had taken to chatting up a decent looking Aussie. I made my way to the bar "a diet coke please" (why waste calories on such a night). It was right at that moment I felt a jirating thing against my leg - I had had a familiar experience with a friend's chihuahua, but surely no dogs were out at a club. Totally repulsed I turned to see the source of the leg-humping...ugh a greasy haired Boston-boy...listen guys, humping a girls leg is not considered dancing, and will only get you a diet coke to the face. Luckily for him I was thirsty but I did insist he go find another leg or pole to enjoy.
I had had enough. WHAT IS WITH BOSTON's LACK OF QUALITY NIGHTLIFE. Tip Boston, add more swank and lose the sleaze...oh and please bring back couches and bottle service, it keeps the freaks away.

Thank you xoxo Your Holly Golightly

Artist You Should Know: Chuck Close

Artist: Chuck Close

Friday, May 9, 2008

NYMag Does Lagerfeld

“I Love Fashion!” “I Love the Girl!” The force that is Karl Lagerfeld powers through Chanel’s preshow prep like a black-clad dervish with a powdered ponytail throwing out new ideas. This season: camellias and double-Cs on the carousel, not on the girls.

The white ponytail, the dark glasses, the always-black jacket and jeans. Karl Lagerfeld is one of—if not the—most recognizable fashion designers in the world, and a seemingly endless source of new ideas. Twice a year, in the span of two months, he presents four new collections: Chanel couture in January and, a month later, ready-to-wear for Fendi, Chanel, and his own Karl Lagerfeld label. And each collection has its own, distinct point of view. He’s also cheerfully verbose, with opinions on any topic ranging from celebrities to diets to other designers’ work. In the few days before a show, Lagerfeld manages to oversee the goings-on of his presentations (including the involved creation of a huge Chanel carousel set) while coolly meeting the demands of the fashion press and his celebrity friends.

Have you previewed the clothes before? I photograph a dossier de presse [press kit] about a week before the show. It’s a dress rehearsal for the hair and makeup teams, as well as the studio with the clothing and the shoes. Most of the important looks are often not ready then—a week before is a long time in dressmaking—but it’s important to do these photos to see where we are.

Which editors visit the studio? People I really like and respect (they are even allowed not to like what they see) and who have their own opinion about fashion, style, or looks. No flattering—please! And celebrities? Last season it was the Olsen twins, who are divine, talented, and so clever. I love the Olsen twins. But “celebrities” I don’t know well, I prefer not to see them in the studio before the show. Editors are used to fittings and unfinished things. But it’s different if the “celebrity” is a close friend.

How did your initial inspiration change over the course of the fittings? I decided to de-accessorize the clothes and deconstruct the tweed. I put the accessories as symbols on the merry-go-round and showed a collection with few accessories, except beautifully worked buttons and belts. As others showed tons of necklaces, I was happy not to do it as I normally do.

What external influences affect your creative process? I want to know everything. I want to see everything, and this curiosity helps me to find inspiration in the most unconnected of strange situations. But there is no rule—or only one: Keep the eyes open and do it your way.

What’s it like before the shows? There are two days in which each girl comes to have her final fittings and hair and makeup tests and Polaroids taken for the running order. I also visit the set—late in the evening after the fittings, but also during the daytime to see the light, as we show in the morning. People think the last 24 hours are crazy—but a collection has to be ready before.

What was the idea behind the stage set, with the carousel covered in Chanel icons? We had all the symbols typical of Chanel: the camellia, the buttons, the pearls, the handbag, everything. But in the show there was almost nothing, just one small handbag. Logos and branding are so important in the world we live in. They are the experience of luxury. In a big part of the world, people cannot read English or French—but they are great in remembering signs.

After so many years, how do you approach each collection fresh?
I love fashion!
I love the girl!
I love to watch times change!
I love to do fittings!
I love to photograph clothes, and
I love sketching them.
I am not blasé, and I only believe in the next collection. I am never satisfied with myself and that is what keeps me going—I have no post-satisfaction.