Friday, September 25, 2009

Interview With Red Carpet Photographer Frazer Harrison


All of this talk of the Emmy red carpet has me remembering my interview last week at New York Fashion Week with photographer Frazer Harrison.

Frazer Harrison is a ruggedly handsome, outspoken Englishman, based in Los Angeles as an entertainment photographer for Getty Images. You’ve seen his work in magazines, the Internet, anywhere there’s a celebrity event. When looking at magazine photos of the red carpet, be it the Academy Awards, the Emmys or even the VMAs, you’re apt to see Harrison’s photographs of Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Charlize Theron, even Paris Hilton. (But that’s hardly Harrison’s fault.)
(Frazer Harrison)
We met inside the cavernous lobby of Mercedez Benz Fashion Week, and settled down on the huge stone fountain for a quiet conversation. The talk ranged from fashion to Hollywood to the difference between photojournalism and paparazzi.

(Photo: Elisa DeCarlo)

Since his bailiwick is the red carpet, Harrison admitted that the runway media pits are not his favorite places to be.

(Isaac Mizrahi/Photo: Frazer Harrison)

We started with casual conversation about the shows. Asked which fashion shows he thought were the worst, he immediately answered, “Daviddelfin. And Duckie Brown. Those shorts looked like diapers. I looked at those shorts, and I wondered, where’s the colostomy bag?”

We were joined by his publicist. The talk turned from New York fashion to Hollywood. Harrison much prefers the red carpet, and has spent years honing his ability to get the perfect picture. There’s a generic Young Hollywood pose, hand on hip, one foot forward. Harrison wished some of the female stars would leave their hands at their sides for a more interesting picture. He urged those who would wish to walk the red carpet to “practice the pose that works for you, however you like it.”

“A very small number of actors and actresses know how to work the red carpet,” Harrison observed. “Most of them have no idea how to pose. They jump up and down; they don’t know where to look. To know how to work the red carpet, you look straight, you don’t react to the shouting.”

Then how to get that certain celebrity to look into your camera when you’re surrounded by screaming colleagues? “You’ve got to have a trademark,” he said. “I yell ‘Over to the English guy!’ or, if it’s a big star like Drew Barrymore, ‘I’ll make you famous’!” He laughed. “That’s a line from a movie.”

(Amy Poehler at the Emmys/Photo: Frazer Harrison)

What is his biggest red carpet peeve?

“Celebrities don’t need to be led down the red carpet on a leash, by their publicists” he replied.

“It has to be done,” his publicist interrupts. “They spend too long—“

“Leave them alone,” Harrison responds. Harrison felt that the biggest problem with today’s red carpet is that there is not enough real celebrity. (Your faithful correspondent heartily concurs. ) “It’s been taken over by reality television stars,” he said, noting that few of them have the genuine charisma of real celebrities.

And digital photography has made photographers lazier, he stated. “You used to wait with your camera for that perfect shot,” he said, lifting his camera and carefully pretending to aim it at a moving celebrity. “Then you get that perfect shot. Nowadays, it’s just—“Harrison swings the camera, making a rat-a-tat noise. “You get hundreds of pictures.”

As a longtime professional photojournalist, Harrison gets most exercised when compared to the paparazzi. “None of us like to be called paparazzi. They’re scumbags. Photojournalists capture moments. What are remembered on the red carpet are the real moments, like Clark Gable hugging Marilyn Monroe. I call those action shots, or war pictures."

(Kathy Griffin at the Emmys/Photo: Frazer Harrison)

"When the history of Hollywood is written, those are the pictures that will be used. The line is slim [between photojournalists and paparazzi], because we’re both taking candid shots.”

However, he chuckles as he remembers an encounter with Liz Hurley during the Hugh Grant scandal. Harrison was at the airport, trying to get his shot, when he backed into a concrete post and fell. Hurley looked down at him and said, “Serves you right, fucker.”

But, says Harrison, “You don’t judge a person in the moment.” Sometimes the celebrity is under stress, but then that same celebrity will be perfectly friendly at another time.

"Everybody has their own thing," he concluded. "You have to ask yourself, 'what's special about me'?"

Fortunately, when it comes to moi, I do not have to ask. But Frazer Harrison is definitely a special gentleman. He's never done a nude shoot, but seemed amenable to one at a future date. Be sure, I know how to strike a pose!


Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Monday, September 21, 2009

The 2009 Emmys Worst Dressed


The plane touches down soon, so I'll run through this list rather quickly. There was, shall we say, an embarassment of riches when it came to Worst Dressed. I like to break them down into Categories.

Leading the pack was one of the Kardashian sisters--I confess, all I remember about their first names is that they begin with K. This cheaply made white dress has K Kardashian 1 channeling 70s Cher, but not in a good way. K Kardashian 2 opts for pregnancy yawn dress and breasts.
Blake Lively, who usually looks so lovely, opted for Bad Taste Times Two. First, this overly revealing red dress by Versace cut too low in the front and back and side:
For the HBO after-party, she chose to wear even less:
Well, it's got sleeves, anyway.
Anna Lynn McCord went for the almost-no-dress-at-all look. Pity, if the skirt was three or four inches longer and the top fit properly it might have worked.
Even though Miley Cyrus was nowhere to be seen, several celebrities opted for oufits that added years to their ages.
The usually impeccable Tina Fey wore an uncharacteristically frumpy unflattering Gucci black gown and old-fashioned updo. She looked like someone's chaperone.
Hayden Panettiere acheived the same effect with a similar hairdo and a blah red dress by J Mendel Resort.
Christina Applegate, late of Samantha Who?, simply had to deal with too much dress, by Basil Soda.
Leighton Meester had the same problem, in this white pouffy nightmare:
As did Drew Barrymore, in this bland pale pink Monique Lhuillier tulle prom number. Her hair is drawn back to hide the black underlayer, which is a pity, because it would have added a much-needed pop.
As I wrote earlier, Kyra Sedgwick looked as though a fairy vomited on her dress:
Your faithful correspondent is definitely in the minority on Olivia Wilde's mint green chiffon over nude Marchesa dress, but I dislike the faux one shoulder look and there is a huge heavy back zipper. Plus the woman needs a sandwich desperately.

And finally, Jenny Garth wins the coveted WTF? Award for this strange black combination:
That is all for now. I still haven't finished writing about New York Fashion Week! Work, work, work.
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

The 2009 Emmys Best Dressed


Despite a banging hangover, I have handed over that damn tiny computer to my assistant and we're on the plane back to New York. Praise the Lord and pass the Bloody Marys.

As usual with red carpet award shows, the Emmy Awards were a tremendous yawn. Too many actresses play it safe with their silhouettes, jewelry and hair. I miss Bjorn. Or is it Borg? Whatever, the crazy singer in the swan get-up.

However, some actresses were absolutely top-notch, and herewith I present my personal list of the Emmy Awards Best Dressed.

Christina Hendricks showcases her bombshell figure in L'Wren Scott navy and black lace:

Glenn Close's sexy black ruched dress was even better in the back, with cut-out detail that was sexy without being overdone. Look out, Helen Mirren!

Sigourney Weaver can be counted on to look stunning on the red carpet, and once again she delivers in this red silk David Meister creation

Chandra Wilson celebrated her bounteous beauty in a black Pamela Rolland gown with white crystal beading:

The unfairly overlooked Lisa Edelstein (Dr. Cuddy on House MD) went for old-fashioned sexiness with smoky eyes, tousled hair and a gorgeous navy dress with accents of white on the top and bottom.

Speaking of curves, Vanessa Williams was spectacular in this teal Rafael Cennamo silk bustier dress:

You might have guessed that I preferred the curvy ladies over the younger stick figures who were dressed in quiet good taste. Boldness is beauty!

My Worst Dressed is coming next. After another Bloody Mary and some aspirin.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Sunday, September 20, 2009



That's it for my life has no meaning any more. Oh, shut up, Bryan, I hope you get tonsillitis.

Hugh Laurie was robbed! It's an outrage! A scandal! I need another drink! "House M.D." is the greatest show on television and because of Hugh Laurie!!!!!!

Bob Newhart is blathering about something...what does it matter? Maybe I can corner Hugh at the bar and console him if I can't find Chris Noth. At least if Lisa Edelstein isn't around. (Her dress is spectacular, but so is mine.)

Who is that female British twit?

Sigourney Weaver5, gborgeous as always.



There's Chris Noth...I need a tuxedo'd shoulder to cry on. It's just all so WRONG!

Elisa and Bucky the Wodnerdog

Emmys: Live Blog/Jon Stewart Is My Favorite Garden Gnome


The Daily Show won for Best Variety and Other Types of Shows That Aren't Reality. Mon Dieu, they just showed a clip of Hugh Laurie! Be still, my heart! (This photo is before he got that awful buzz cut. First chin stubble, now head stubble? I don't understand. It could be worse, Hugh could be one of those balding men with ponytails.)

Did I miss the Dead People segment? We're already into Drama. Just as well, far too much death around these days.

Oh, dear Lord, Sarah McLaughlin is singing a's the Dead People segment, where a celebrity's popularity is STILL measured by how much applause they get. I'm going back to the bar.

Robert Prosky is dead? Fred Travelena? Ricardo Montalban?

I really must get out more. At least I knew about Patrick Swayze, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson.

The Mentalist star is very handsome. Too bad the show is lousy. Oh, my, I think perhaps I've had too many Cosoms...cosmos...Cosmos.

Glenn Close looks magnificent...she could give Helen Mirren a run for her money. (She'd probably like to give Helen Mirren a run for her money, but thaté neither here nor there) love the back detail on her gown. "Tot, Tate, ted" sounds like a 60s brock band.

damn this tiny keyboard!

Later. I need another drink.

Emmy Awards, continued live blogg


I think I might be geting th4e hang of this teeny little notebook computer. Who's the midget who introduced Brendan Gleason? Who's Brendan Gleason?

Patricia Arquette's breasts are threatening to explode. Jennifer Love Hewitt is pretending to have breasts. They must have pleated her chest.

Deerhilla Walsh, winner for Best Direction of a Miniseries, has a beautiful vintage-style dress. My favorite so far tonight. The accent doesn't hurt, either.

Oh my goodness, Alec Baldwin just strolled by,,, damn, he turned and went back to the stage! Chris Noth around?

Jessica Lange won for something. Lovely green gown, dahlings, movie star glamour. (Is she wearing a bandage on her arm? She keeps giving herself CPR. AFter that french actress nad pregnant Heidi Klum, this Emmy ceremony might have the most medical emergencies in history.)

Too many commercials, not enough liquor. I gave Bucky half a Benadryl and he's snoozing happily in his Louis Vuitton carrier. My poor little darling had to miss Fashion Week, how can I not bring him to the Emmy Awards?

Keefir Sutherland and some woman with breasts in a pink dress are announcing a winner of something. I think I will try to find Chris Noth.

Elisa & Bucky the Snoring Wonderdog

The Emmy Awards: Neil Patrick Harris & I Both Want John Hamm


I'm here at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles live blogging for the Emmy Awards, and I have made an enormouss mistake: I bought one of those little notebook computers and I am typing this myself. The keys are tiny and typos are unaviaoldable. JHowever, I shall soldier on regardless. /////

Neil Patrick Harris, in white tuxedo did an amazing opening number. We both lust after John Hamm, as what sentient being wouldn't? Tiny Fey looks absolutely matronly in that black dress and updo. She also is dressed the same as the Emmy presentation girls.

In an upset for Comedy Best Supporting Actress, Kristin Chenoweth won, wearing a crusty silver minidress and begging for a job.

Except for the crusty silver drss, she reminded me of James Mason in "A Star Is Born" when Judy Garland wins hte Oscar.


Sarah Silverman is sporting a jaunty mustache, a nice change from the ubiquitous nude lip. It helps her give an icy glare to lead actress winner Toni Collete, who forgot to wear her makeup.

Oh, God, Alec Baldwin! Why does he want to look like Rob Lowe? You're mine, Alec, we're getting together at the Entertainment Tonight afterparty, never mind that blonde hag you're with! Of course you won, you are a comedy god. One hopes you will forget our unfortunate encounter in the air when I sneezed on your suede jacket shortly after the Inauguration. (Of course, as I wrote then, sober people remember everything, dammit.)

Project Runway is up for an Emmy. DAMN! The Amazing Race won...why? There is no justice! At least the designers know how to do something, unlike 90% of reality television particiapnts! My BFF Tim Gunn was robbed! Robbed, I tell you!

Speaking of PR, here is a picutre of an incredibly pregnant Heidi Klum on the red carpet:

Oh, they're doing the miniseries...I'm heading to the bar for a Cosmo.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Mon Dieu, what has Kyra Sedgewick have on?? It looks as though a fairy vomited on her.

SOme Frencyh actress is rasping through an acceptance speech...she sounds like she has a bellows in her generous bosom.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fashion Week: I'm in WWD for Upstaging Kathy Griffin!


Your faithful correspondent has occasionally been trailed by the paparazzi, but nothing prepared me for the BARRAGE of flashbulbs when I entered the Isaac Mizrahi show! I know I looked divine, and perhaps the press was simply tired of photographing reality stars and socialites. And I managed to tick off Miss Kathy Griffin, as you can read in this article from Womens Wear Daily:

Do have a look. I have not seen any pictures of that event, but I'm sure they will be popping up soon.

And I have to take back my strong words about French documentary filmmakers. They found me on Thursday afternoon. I was interviewed at length for an upcoming Sundance Channel special on the Academy Awards red seems that few people at Fashion Week were willing to actually express an opinion. You know moi, dahlings, I always express my opinions.

The Mizrahi show was beautiful, entertaining, and even quite funny at times. Quite a bit like your faithful correspondent. More later.

Here I am, approximately nine hours later, after the Tommy Hilfiger show.

For details of all of the fabulous outfits I wore during Fashion Week, with copious photos and information on where to buy them, please do take a look at

You'll enjoy it immensely, I promise you!

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A New York Fashion Week Thank You...


Most of my staff may be total incompetents, but the people "behind the scenes" at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week have made many things infinitely more tolerable to your faithful correspondent. And so before I go on to review more shows or try to write something philosophical about The State Of Fashion today, I wish to thank those, shall we say, little people who grease the wheels of the mighty engine of MCFW.

1) The IMG press office. Despite being continuously deluged and frantic in their small outdoor cubicle, they consented to my bringing an assistant, were always polite and patient with my many requests, and remained unflappable in the face of hysterical reporters and photographers. And somehow found the time to send out media alerts every day. I can barely keep up with this blog-thing, heaven knows how they do it.

2) Citadel, the security staff. These handsome gentlemen (and a few women) turned out to be very pleasant company while one waited in the endless lines. Some of the men have to stand for more than 12 hours a day. If I had to do that and deal with the continual parade of lunatics who attend Fashion Week, I would probably bring a machete in my purse. Or Bucky, who could inflict just as much damage with his razor-sharp teeth. Plus, they are quite easy on the eyes.

3) McCafe. Ordinarily I would not set my high-heeled foot in a McDonald's. Too many of the great unwashed, you know. However, their coffee bar was a lifesaver! Especially when I asked for an iced mocha with an expresso shot and whipped cream! Those caffeine and sugar bombs kept me going for hours on end.

4) The Lu Biscuit girls. These beautiful young girls, mostly aspiring actresses, were always amusing to converse with. Intentionally, I mean. Highly observant and intelligent, and they gave one chocolate biscuits! What more could one ask?

5) Fern Mallis and Lynn Yaeger, for reasons they will understand.

Fern Mallis

6) The technical crew, who kept the tents from collapsing on all of us, or the floors from collapsing underneath us. (Imagine the huge piles of fashionistas screaming "Don't you know who I am?" at the rescue crews.) Plus, they were good looking men, and you know how I feel about that.

(Hubba hubba)

7) The Information Desk Staff. Not only did they give me scads of reading material, they tried to help me when:

Un Grand Merci Not You To:

The French documentary crew who had me rush to Bryant Park at noon for an interview, only to stand moi up! Now you know why so many people do not like the French. And the phone number they gave me was in France! For almost an hour, the staff at the IMG Information Desk tried to help me dial the number, to no avail. Je crache sur les producteurs de documentaires français de films.

Off to the tents - more later, dahlings!

Elisa and Bucky the Still Sulking Wonderdog

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Project Runway Season Six: Morons Of The Runway


As I mentioned in my previous post, Project Runway has definitely had an effect on my perception of fashion. I keep having this strange deja vu that the NYFW runway shows all have looks I've seen on PR. Maybe it's sheer exhaustion.

However, I did watch Project Runway in the middle of the night sometime this past week, so forgive me if this summary has less precision than usual.

The challenge for the designers was to dress their models for "an industry event." The models became clients, and quickly demonstrated why their greatest skill is walking. One model ran a string of completely unrelated adjectives to describe what she wanted to her stunned designer. I think punk was in there somewhere, and perhaps ethereal.

When my new BFF Tim Gunn told Qrystil that her brown/black dress looked like it had "rolled around in bed," she panicked and pulled all of the brown fabric off, making a dull black dress. "Use some brown trim!" I yelled at the plasma, startling Bucky, who was dozing at my side. I knew she was doomed.

(Off topic: is there any chance Jay Leno might die? Everyone else is. He's the right age. Beg your pardon, a random thought.)

Christopher sent a cute bright green dress down the runway, and R'amon's dress was sweet, except for the huge corsage in the front. If the model turned her head sideways too fast, she could get a nasty paper cut on her face. Logan had to try to make a lacy 50s dress but it came out a "hot mess," as they say.

My favorite outfits were Epperson's brown stretch dress, and Nicolas's white fitted dress. However, Althea won for a stiff three-piece suit with a diaper skirt. Qrystil got the auf for her black dress, even though Johnny's purple satin looked like it had been sewn in the dark.

Where is Michael Kors?

One gathers that the follow-up, Models of The Runway, had the models wearing their creations to said industry event. Yawn.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Fashion Week: Tadashi Shoji Looks To The Past


Perhaps Project Runway has spoiled certain aspects of fashion for your faithful correspondent, or perhaps it’s the need for designers to cut back in this uncertain economy. Not only that, an extensive knowledge of fashion history is not always a good thing to have inside the tents.

If I had to pick the single most uninspired show I have attended this week, regrettably it would have to be Tadashi Shoji.

As his dresses swept by, I found myself thinking, “Oh, a lovely draped black 40s evening gown…a ho-hum beaded beige 1960s A-line mini…another ho-hum beige mini, but with rope trim all over it…” and so forth.

Tadashi Shoji has been making draped and swirled dresses longer than most fashion bloggers have been alive, it’s “what he does” as one indignant young woman informed me when we discussed the show afterwards.

However, another problem your faithful correspondent had with Mr. Shoji’s collection was the often poor construction. This is not something I have not encountered on the runway before.

Several hems of the shorter dresses puckered and bubbled as the models walked; each dress had a shiny bobbing back zipper tap that caught the overhead lights as much as any of the intricate beadwork.

One dress made of alternating thin strips of solid and sheer fabric was stiff and moved poorly. It makes a smashing photograph, but in action, it stuck out awkwardly from the model’s hips as she walked.

This long dress looked like bits of bubble gum wrapper had gotten caught in the skirt.

To be fair, many of the dresses were quite appealing and the color palette was pleasing to the eye, mostly beige and sand with soft greens, blues and reds. One green dress was beautifully woven, exactly like the gold dress Gordana sent down the runway in last week’s Project Runway.

Good thing Heidi Klum was not in attendance, or there would have been a chance that Mr. Shoji would have been auf’ed.

All photos Getty Images

Marc Bouwer Does Not Care For Skinny Models


Before taping his “virtual runway show” with heiress Lydia Hearst last week in a studio by the Chelsea Piers, designer Marc Bouwer explained the concept behind his Spring 2010 collection. And expressed some surprising thoughts on fashion models.

When asked why he had made such a radical change from his Fall 2009 collection, which had featured soft nature colors and flowing shapes, Mr. Bouwer responded: “What is the most non-traditional spring color? Red. Mix it with white, then a rich royal blue, the prints. And of course, black.”

“My inspiration is the 80s woman,” he said of his collection. “But empowered and beautiful. My collection is the 80s with a nod to the future. Two years ago I wouldn’t be doing this.”

Marc Bouwer and Lydia Hearst
Photo by Elisa DeCarlo

I then asked him what has become my standard question: would he consider making clothes for a woman my size? Unlike other designers, he didn’t give me a blank stare, but smiled.

“Fashion is for everyone,” he replied. “Beauty exudes from the woman. My clothes are meant for all women. Embrace it, wear it. Wear clothes that make you feel beautiful. We have to use the skinny models for the camera. But I don’t like it.”

And indeed, Mr. Bouwer has designed for curvaceous celebrities Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce. His Spring 2010 collection is full of clothes that could be worn by a woman of any size. If I did not worship Oscar de la Renta, Marc Bouwer could easily become my favorite current designer.

The collection launches officially this morning at I know that I shall be watching.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

The Mad Fashionista Featured In The Three Tomatoes!


I couldn't be more pleased...The Three Tomatoes, the website "for women who aren't kids," featured moi this Tuesday morning in their latest newsletter, praising my chic outfit (the Ellen Christie large felt hat and Re/Dress black suit). And urging their readers to follow my Mercedes Benz Fashion Week coverage, as well they should (their readers, that is.)

You can read all about it at And while you are there, browse the site for shopping, entertainment, and fashion information for stylish New York women!

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fashion Week: Custo Barcelona Does Fringe And More Fringe


As you might have guessed by now, I am not what you would call a “club kid,” so perhaps I am not the target demographic for the Custo Barcelona men's and women's show on Sunday night in the Tent.

The music was a floor-shaking David Bowie remix, with “Dream Genie” heavily featured. This was apropos, as a few of the outfits looked like cheap I Dream of Jeannie knockoffs. Designer Custo Dalmau likes to call his fabric “yarns,” which translated into endless bathing suits with brightly colored crochet-look ponchos over them. There was more fringe on that runway than a herd of 1960s go-go dancers. Go ahead and call it texture if you like.

The male models were all exceedingly handsome, if handicapped by their clothes. There was one interesting suit in a mottled pattern:

One poor juvenile had to wear an outfit with fringed sleeves and wide fringed gaucho pants that reminded one of nothing so much as a maraca player in a 1930s Spanish musical. And I am by no means a fan of the newest trend of male clam diggers, as dear darling Mama used to call those strange mid-calf pants (as distinct in style from cropped pants or flood pants in that they have no inherent style).

During a lull in the day’s activities, an IMG employee remarked to your faithful correspondent that she has never seen the models as thin as they are this year. Given that they normally look like they had been released from Auschwitz hours before the shows that is quite a statement. But it is true; some of the models’ thighs, seen close, are absolutely painful to see.

Backstage, before I was trapped next to the diminutive Mr. Dalmau (cf. my earlier post) I watched the male models being posed ala New Kids On The Block; they were quite adorable in their own clothes, if a tad on the underfed side. This sign hung by the entry to the runway:

Now at least I know why models never smile...take a look at the sign on the right side. However, the rest of it is quite inspirational, in a vapid sort of way.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Fashion Week, Day Five: Where To Buy My Vintage 80s Look!


Today was a fairly easy one inside the tents. All I had scheduled were the Tadashi Shoji and Gottex shows, and a few interviews, so I decided to dress a bit more casually and comfortably. But with no less fabulosity--I have a reputation to maintain, after all!

I'm wearing a 100% silk vintage 80s Adele Simpson wedge dress, with shoulder flanges and three quarter length sleeves. It is from Re/Dress New York, and helped me survive the day in style! It shows you how versatile this store's offerings are, to say the least. (And it will be returned, freshly dry cleaned, next week!)

My hat is from Off Broadway Boutique on 72nd Street, and it's darling! The "flower" is made of leather, and the center is actually a metal zipper! The store carries them in a variety of colors, including silver and gold. You simply must go there and try them on!

Until later,

Elisa and Bucky the Wonderdog

Monday, September 14, 2009

Random Musings On Fashion Week S/S 2010


I have a few moments to sit quietly at home, sipping a cappuccino. Bucky is in my lap; he's been in a deep funk because I have left him at home this time. In February, his lunging at Anna Wintour was not to be tolerated. Bad enough he's already bitten Andre Leon Talley! (Search this blog for the entire story.) I've been musing over the first four days of New York Fashion Week.


Cathy Horyn wrote a brilliant front-page article in The New York Times on Friday, about high fashion falling to earth. As much as your dutiful correspondent adores the shows, one has to ask oneself at this time: is it worth it?

On the one hand, the spectacle, the showmanship, the exquisite workmanship of some of the clothes is simply breathtaking. Some garments have brought tears to my eyes for their sheer beauty. Some outfits have made me wonder what drugs the designer was consuming when he created them.

On the other hand, the voracity of the media is one thing. But observing the same voracity in the eyes of desperate “people of the moment” and want-to-be “people of the moment” is another thing altogether.

For instance, last night, backstage at the Custo Barcelona show I was SQUASHED between Mr. Dalmau, who is tiny, dozens of PYTs and show-crashers. Some of them leaned back on my capacious bosom as if it was an armchair. (One knows they have an exaggerated sense of entitlement, but my breasts are not included, thank you very much.) Somehow one simply could not escape being next to Mr. Dalmau; the crowd simply carried me across the dressing room.

Moi, trapped behind Custo Dalmau (and holding onto a dress rack for dear life)

My face was also pinned by the back of a television camera. When I howled, the swine of a cameraman was completely unapologetic. If it had been Tori Spelling, who was at the Christian Siriano show, he would have been groveling. God knows she probably wouldn’t have even felt it through the Botox and the heavy makeup.

Backstage Tori glued herself to poor Christian’s side until he grabbed his bodyguard and ran out of the room. True story, dahlings.

My dear friend funkoma wrote a blog post on a related topic, “To Be Young, Pretty And Stupid.”

The shining exceptions to this behavior, besides my wonderful on-site assistant Bella Fierce, have been the darling Tim Gunn (who remembered me, causing a girlish blush to rise to my cheeks), the ever-gracious Fern Mallis, Marc Bouwer, Jack Mackenroth, Christopher Straub, and many of the bloggers I have been fortunate to meet this time at the rodeo.

Tim Gunn Greets His Public


It should not come as a surprise that, in addition to the paramedics outside the tents with crash carts of Ensure and methamphetamines, there is no food served inside the tents. Free cocktails abound, as does some sponsor's water, Muscle Milk (blech) Coke and Diet Coke, and “mocktails” served up at the Fashion Week juice bar by Belgian restaurant Rouge Tomate, prepared by Rouge Tomate’s mixologist, Rainlove Lampariello. I have no responsibility for the person's name, but let me tell you, the drinks are actually quite delicious. The lemonade with cucumber and mint was an absolute lifesaver before getting back on line for a show. (Your faithful correspondent holds off on the liquor until after the shows are must keep a clear head.)

However, backstage at the Vivienne Tam show, there was an array of goodies. I was so surprised, I photographed them. Then I grabbed a goat cheese sandwich and broke the symmetry of the display.


Overheard at the Wednesday night Saks Fifth Avenue celebration: “Saks is a legend," gushed Rachel Zoe. "You come to New York, and this is where you go! It's been around forever, and it's one-stop shopping. Plus, it's Saks! It's Saks Fifth Avenue.”

Stylist Philip Block on clients with bad taste: “I’ll dress them, but they’re not to give me any credit on the red carpet!”

Tim Gunn after the Christian Siriano show: “I feel like a proud papa!”

Half the people one stood next to, usually to a bored, footsore security guard: “Don’t you know who I AM?” Invariable response: nothing. They hear it all day.

Almost any designer save Marc Bouwer when I ask, “Would you ever consider designing for a woman my size?” Invariable response: a frozen stare, and then a few gulps.

That’s all for now. I’m off to prepare myself for my interview with Frazer Harrison, celebrity photographer, so I need to write out a list of rude questions.


Elisa & Bucky the Sulking Wonderdog

All photographs Elisa DeCarlo

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fashion Week: Christian Siriano's Collection!


Here is a slideshow I made of Christian Siriano's mouthwatering Spring 2010 collection. Please do forgive the quality of the photographs! At the end, the terribly shy designer gave a quick bow and ran offstage.

More photographs and information to follow later. In the audience was the fabulous Tim Gunn, sitting next to Kristen Johson, with Tori Spelling nearby. Fortunately for Tim, Tori wasn't too nearby. One did not want him to get any skank on his suit.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog