2010 December 21

La Vie en Ruffian: The Gossip Girl Interview at Michael's

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Ruffian designers Brian Wolk and Claude Morais are not only new columnists for Chic Report, but they are the only ones to channel their inner Barbara Walters. Devour this divine interview with their favorite Gossip Girl gal!

"For our first lunchtime interview at Michael’s, we chose our favorite gossip girl, actress Amanda Setton. This legendary culinary hotspot has been a watering hole for the finest actors, actresses, and directors of our time. The extraordinary contemporary artwork and finely crafted delicious cuisine was the perfect backdrop for our ingénue Amanda and her charming boyfriend Ryan Lynn.

Claude: Happy Birthday Amanda! You just returned from Italy yesterday. Work or pleasure?

Amanda: Italy was lovely. I was filming a fictional experimental biography based on the life of the Italian filmmaker Pasolini. It was mainly thought gestures and expression rather that dialogue. The director and filmmaker friend of mine, Cathy Crane, shot completely in black and white on her vintage 20-year-old Bolex camera.

Brian: Have you been to Italy before? Are you Italian?

Amanda: Actually, it was my fourth trip, but my first to Bologna, which was magical. It is a lovely town that has lots of students and young people because of the university there. No, I am not Italian, although I definitely passed for Italian while I was there. I’m Jewish.

Brian: Since Gossip Girl takes place in a high school, we thought it would be fun to ask you a few questions about your high school experience…

Amanda: Oy! Sure, go ahead.

Brian: What was your high school status? Were you a fashion kid? A theatre nerd? An athlete?

Amanda:  Actually, I wasn’t really a fashion-conscious kid. While the others were running around with designer bags, I was a rebel and made a messenger bag out of my brother’s old cargo pants. I actually used the legs for straps! I would bedazzle my own clothes.  I was always “do it yourself."

Claude: How did you and your handsome boyfriend Ryan meet?

Amanda: I guess I should let Ryan answer that.

Ryan: We met on a short-lived show on NBC called Mercy. It was at a fitting early in the morning, and I was a bit hung over from the night before. I came to the fitting and saw this girl (Amanda) who I thought was super pretty, but she wouldn’t stop talking. I soon found out that in fact we were playing boyfriend and girlfriend. Amanda made me feel comfortable, and helped me get into character. Over the next few days on set, the romance built steadily.

Amanda: The last day we had our big kiss, I was nervous and excited. We have been together ever since!

Claude: How did you land your part on Gossip Girl?

Amanda: I got out of college, got an agent, and within weeks, got an audition for Gossip Girl. It wasn’t even on TV yet. I got a call back and ultimately tested with a series regular. The first role I tested for I did not get, and I was devastated, but less than a month later, I received a phone call over Labor Day weekend. It was for the role of Penelope. I went back in and I got the role, and started shooting a few weeks later.

Brian: So since this is for Chic Report, I hear you come from a fashion family? Doesn’t your grandfather own stores?

Amanda: Yes. My grandfather owns Strawberry, Boltons, Chuckles, and Pay Half.

Brian: That’s amazing, you’re a fashion heiress! You’re like Paris Hilton!

Amanda: Not quite, but I love my grandfather, and they do have some great stuff there. I think it is all about how you put things together, mixing high and low. That’s what life is about.


Claude: salad nicoise, with the tuna well-done
salad nicoise, with tuna rare and seared
filet mignon
ravioli and oysters





2010 December 21

Professor Kate?

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We’re never sure what to believe when it comes to wacky Kate Moss stories coming out of the UK, but they are certainly fun to report. In an interview with Company magazine, Kate reveals her plans when she finally retires from modeling. “I think I could definitely open up a modeling school," she tells the mag. Her motivation? "It honestly can be very humiliating. It's not just like, 'Hold your left leg in your hand.''’ And what are the potential names for the school?  “Kate’s Modelling School? Moss’s Models? Put Moss’s Models Down.” We’ll keep you posted on this developing story….

2010 December 21

Does Vogue's List Make an Impact?

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It's a slow fashion news season, so Vogue's release of its 2010 Impact List perked us up a bit. Predictable? Perhaps---but we'll take anything today.


Most Awaited Comeback: Tom Ford

Brilliant Collaborations:  Olivier Theyskens for Theory and Alber Elbaz for Lanvin

BIggest Loss: Alexander McQueen

Future Supermodel: Arizona Muse

Designer Muse In-the-making: Emma Watson

Most Inspired Casting: Carey Mulligan to helm The Great Gatsby

You know it's a party if: Waris Ahluwalia shows up

The Invitation Everyone Will Want: Naomi Campbell's wedding

And finally...

Miracle Makers: Stem Cells

Stem cells? Maybe it's not completely predictable......



2010 December 21

Chic Obsessions: Rachel Blumenthal of Rachel Leigh

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Which Jean Georges restaurant has captured the heart of Rachel Leigh jewelry designer Rachel Blumenthal? We ask, she tells.

“My current obsession is ABC Kitchen. I love everything about this place, from its mix and match vintage table settings, stunning wood tables and eclectic use of lighting and the locally grown food that is equally decadent. My favorite must-trys right now are the buttermilk pancakes with lemon curd and the crab toast with lemon aioli. I live in the neighborhood, so its proximity is a plus, too. I’m also obsessed with the Alejandro Ingelmo riding boots. I should be his brand ambassador. I eyed them at Bergdorf. They're very practical for running around between meetings, but I particularly like them because of the feminine, classic style. They're not overly chunky. They have the perfect amount of embellishment on the outside to make them distinct.”


2010 December 21

Chic Chat With Kim Vernon

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Chic Report welcomes Kim Vernon to our growing list of columnists. Her remarkable editorials kick off with "Time for Change."

"There is much talk about change in our industry. Big talk. Big speculation. Commentary on who, what, why. Barneys provided the holiday season kick-off. Mark Lee's first big changes had jaws dropped. But why? Shouldn't you empower your CEO to make decisions, no matter how they are perceived? Barneys has to change, in some ways, to be more profitable. We all know that.

Change can be great for people. Who can't wait to see what Julie Gilhart does next? I will be clapping when she decides. And Jim Gold, go for it. Rought times are in the near past for Neiman Marcus, so get ahead of things. Reshuffle the deck. Wake people up. No gasping, applauding. We are all replaceable. And now Carine Roitfeld? So what? Leaving at the top! She'll remain a star in the fashion world with her 'personal endeavors!'

Only a few changes cause trepidation for the fashion populous to consider. Karl not at Chanel? Miuccia not at Prada? Well, Calvin isn't at Calvin, and Valentino isn't at Valentino. At some point, Armani won't be at his helm. And so on! Making changes takes guts and smarts! And they don't always seem best, at first, and sometimes, they sure do fail. But our big fashion/retail show goes on—differently, but it does. Let's not mourn the past, and instead, celebrate it and move on! Happy New Year!

And one more thing.......I miss Ingrid Sischy's Letter from the Editor page in Interview."


Kim Vernon is an industry veteran who opened her consulting company four years ago after working for brands such as Calvin Klein and Prada. Vernon Company works with brands to stimulate growth through branding, marketing, licensing, distribution, funding, and strategic planning.





2010 December 21

Sports 101 with Adam Brecht: Let's Tackle Football!

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Chic's resident jock Adam Brecht continues his tireless quest to teach us anything he can about the elusive world of football.

"Football season is on, mon cher!  Yet you look pale, fashion friend.  Let me read your mind! You think: This football, she is a foreign language to me. How can I ever understand? 

Worry not! Fashion and football have several things in common! With this handy guide, you'll soon be as comfortable in the Jets VIP box as you are at Don Hill's.

The Seasons.  Fashion or football, cher, it's all about the season! This season ('Too busy, can't talk!), last season ('Help me forget!'), next season ('Will he even be around?'), the season is the basic unit of time. Football has one season annually.  Fashion has several.  But really.  That's just detail! Don't worry yourself!

The Players. Whether it's Astroturf or fashion runway under your pricey footwear, call yourself a player, player! Football has 11 players whose goal is simple: run the ball to the end of the field sans fumbling. That's like 11 models walking to the end of the runway without tripping. Football has 11 other men trying to stop the first 11. Fashion has...hello! Catfight!

Scoring. Football or Seventh Avenue, you know they're keeping score. Don't even pretend. Football has four ways to score: touchdowns, extra points or two-point conversions, the field goal and the safety. Fashion also has four ways to score: Fashion Week. Red carpet. Major award. And your own movie.   

On Your Marks.  What would football or fashion be without the dominating Mark and Marc?  For the New York Jets, that's Mark Sanchez, the quarterback -- key player -- who sets the direction, draws the crowds and always intrigues the press.  In fashion, well, you know that!

There now. Don't you feel better?  Soon you and your Vespa will have a permanent parking slot at Meadowlands Stadium. No, that's not the boite on Crosby Street. It really is in the Meadowlands."



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