2012 February 27

Ajak Deng: Future Editor?

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Milan fixture! Milan fixture!
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We've spotted model Ajak Deng everywhere in Milan, and finally caught up with her at Dolce & Gabbana to find out why she's sitting this season out.

Why are you sitting front row at every show?
I've never really been on the other side, and I've been modeling for what...fifteen years? I'm modeling in moderation, but I don't mind coming to watch. I've walked for Dolce & Gabbana in the past.

What's it like backstage at a Dolce & Gabbana show?
They are such fun boys and very involved. They truly adore women, which I think is beautiful. 

We understand you are guest editing for magazines these days. What have you learned about being an editor?
Editors work! We run around as models from show to show, but this is a lot of hard work. It's not just going to shows. You have to deal with the weather. You have to go to presentations and meetings and you have to write notes and make sure you remember everything. It's not just seeing it. You are not just doing it for yourself. You want to give the readers the truth.

What are some of your memories of modeling in Milan?
It's a lovely city to come to! The food! The hardest part is when you haven't tried the runway with the shoes and then the show is on! There was one show that was so slippery. As the other models and I were walking past each other, we were looking at each other like: Watch it! This is terrifying! Let me just make it to the end of the runway. There was another show that had a wooden floor and it was beautiful, but as soon as you walked out there, you were slipping and sliding. We were holding on for dear life, but we made it.

Do you remember what designers they were?
I don't want to be rude...

2012 February 24

Milano Nuggets

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Julia Sarr-Jamois at Alberta Ferretti Julia Sarr-Jamois at Alberta Ferretti
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What's going on in Milano? Here are a few sights, sounds and bits Chic's been noticing in recent days!

PROJECT...RUNAWAY?! Joanna Coles, Grace Coddington, Ariel Foxman, and Hal Rubenstein appear to be sitting this season out. We miss you!..."There are probably some places that he'd be better suited to, and I'm not naming them."- Michael Carl on "rumors" that Raf Simons will be replacing Amy Odell at "The Cut"...Hamish Bowles (always the gentleman) escorting Anna Wintour to her car on the earlier side at the Valentino/Vogue dinner last night...Editors! They're Just Like Us! Cindi Leive struggling to find her coat check ticket while leaving the aformentioned dinner. It happens (happened) to us all...SPOTTED: Anja Rubik front row at Versace...CHUM ALERT! Vogue's Virginia Smith, T's Sally Singer, and model Ajak Deng sharing mucho giggles front row pre-Blumarine. What was so funny, ladies?...Kate Lanphear getting into the grooves of "Tell Me That I'm Not Dreaming" by  Was (Not Was), plus Material's "Bustin Out" at Just Cavalli...OVERHEARD! "You always know it's a bad show when the audience starts clapping in the middle of it." (We'd never dare mention the show!)...Shoe designer Ruthie Davis showing for the first time in Milan...SHAZAM ALERT! Versace girls strutted to Das Glow's "Lost Sight" and Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" during the show...Still no sign of Karlie Kloss! Where will she end up?...Franca Sozzani, Susie Bubble, Nylon's J. Errico, Condé Nast Traveler'Mark Connolly making an appearance at Bulgari's party pre-Versace at the Bulgari Hotel, but all eyes were on Wonderland's gorgeous Julia Sarr-Jamois..."Funniest Publicist Ever" award goes to...Bulgari's Hilary Heard. Dry and charming. J'adore! 

2012 February 24

Sergio Says! Weekly Musings from Marie Claire (and Beyond...)

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Hamming it up with Isaac Mizrahi Hamming it up with Isaac Mizrahi
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The wait was well worth it for Sergio's two weeks' worth of deliciousness! On the menu: hardcore, and quite poignant, reminiscing about Whitney and Adele, plus a killer playlist for your listening pleasure. Glad to know Chic isn't the only one listening to "Disparate Youth" on repeat for the last 48 hours straight (no, seriously). Here's to the weekend, cheris

When THE BOSS calls, I run as fast as I can. Today my running began at 7 a.m. for an early morning taping of the Project Runway All Stars after-show. The recap show is co-hosted by JoCo and Isaac Mizrahi. Or as I refer to them, Will & Grace. Needless to say, my day was packed with errands: picking up skim cappuccinos, pouring countless cups of tea, delivering THE BOSS’ outfits and accessories to the set, ordering lunch, taking photos, lint-brushing my life away, tweeting and adding my two cents to all things Joanna. It was so much fun, and not only did I get to witness firsthand the bond between Isaac and THE BOSS, but I got to hang with all of my fave Project Runway designers. Obviously I can’t reveal a thing, or a certain member of the Weinstein Group will send the cast of Mob Wives my way. And although I love Big Ang (call me!), I don’t wanna mess with her. Back to All Stars! Everything you know about Isaac is true: hilarious, clever, snappy, and beyond knowledgeable on EVERYTHING fabulous. Now multiply that by 10, add a pinch of RuPaul, Bette Davis and Lucille Ball, put them in a blender and—voila!—there’s Isaac. IsMiz and JoCo had everyone on set in stitches. They both have a thing for tall tales, ABBA, and dispensing fashion advice. And most importantly, I learned that no one can pull off the look of shoes sans socks better than Mr. Mizrahi.

The trending topic of the day: (still) Whitney Houston. I worked with Whitney on numerous occasions, from organizing a remix and video for her Greatest Hits, to putting together her Just Whitney DVD (I was thanked on the actual album). Seeing Whitney in the flesh was a truly unforgettable experience, and the most memorable times replay in my head as if they just happened yesterday...The time when Whitney flew in to Puerto Rico to surprise all of us during an Arista Records company retreat (I still have it on video, as I sat in the first row screaming louder than a little girl meeting her teen heartthrob). Waiting for hours in the cold for Whitney to finally show up and perform at Lincoln Center for ABC’s Good Morning America (she was two hours late); our trip to Barcelona for the 2002 MTV European Music Awards, when I bumped into Chris Martin as I was leaving Whitney’s dressing room. But my favorite, most cherished moment was the 2004 World Music Awards in Las Vegas—I was one of the lucky few to witness Whitney’s spine-tingling rehearsal for the Clive Davis tribute.  She brought the house down the next day with a medley of “I Believe in You and Me” and “I Will Always Love You”. Unforgettable…

There’s nothing more gratifying than seeing an artist you adore take the world by the balls and bring it to its knees. Case in point: Adele. On September 14, 2010, six months before 21 hit the charts, I brought Adele to the Marie Claire office to meet the staff. Adele spent at least an hour in our conference room playing me most of the album, including  “Rolling In The Deep” and “Someone Like You” (which made me shed more than a few tears). Adele was raw, unapologetic, and adorable beyond words. I even interviewed her on THE BOSS’ purple couch, which to this day stands as my fave interview ever. (Of course that will all change the day dear Liz Rosenberg grants me a minute or two with my idol Madonna). Adele talked about craving cigarettes the second she wakes up even before brushing her teeth, her major crushes on Benicio Del Toro and Mark Ruffalo, and referred to her curves as “lumps and bumps”. Fast forward to this morning, when a press release from Adele’s publicist Benny arrives in my inbox:


Not to mention the six Grammys, which has tied the record held by Beyoncé for most Grammys won by a female artist in a single year (not to mention Eric Clapton’s record for most Grammys won by a British artist in one night). Adele swept the top three categories—“Record of the Year,” “Album of the Year” and “Song of the Year.” The album has sold over 18 million copies worldwide and is nowhere near slowing down. This is the part where I shall reenact the “Told You So” song from Will & Grace. Told you, told you, told you so!

One of my fave comedians, Kristen Johnston—“the hot blonde with the big rack” as someone on Twitter recently referred to her—invited me to a hilarious evening of celebrities reading excerpts from other celebrity bios, to benefit SLAM, a non-profit for recovering teenage addicts. The event was held at the Triad Theatre and organized by Kristen, who’s own powerful story of substance abuse is documented in her touching memoir, Guts: The Tiny Endless Follies and Tiny Triumphs of a Giant Disaster, out March 13. First things first: as I am about to enter the theater, some lady mistook me for Andy Cohen. That’s a first for me, considering I’m about 10 years younger and, I’d like to think, much cuter. When I finally got inside, I saw Kristen, who called me over to come meet Andy at the bar. I replied, “I’m not here for him, I’m here for you." Kristen's response? “Oh whatever, bitch!” On to the show! I laughed nonstop for two hours. Wouldn’t you, with this lineup? Bobby Cannavale reading from David Hasselhoff’s memoir; Andy Cohen reading Countess LuAnn de Lesseps’; America Ferrara took on Melissa Gilbert’s sexcapades with Rob Lowe. Plus, Heather Matarazzo (Welcome to the Dollhouse) made me cry with laughter over the poetry of Suzanne Somers. But Kristen stole the show with passages from Cindy Crawford’s diaries, penned on the set of Fair Game. If that wasn’t enough...as I took my prime seat a few feet away from the stage, Gina Gershon—aka Cristal Connors from Showgirls—planted her beautiful self in front of me, her hair (once again) smelling like lilacs and patent leather. A few minutes later, seductively, she started eating a kebab, in front of my very eyes. I've gotta admit, I was bewitched, bewildered, and confused about whether the main show was on stage or being performed right in front of me by the lovely Ms. Gershon.

Whatever JoCo wants, JoCo gets…The amazing beauty team at Tom Ford sent over Maria Riskakis, one of their stellar make-up artists, to show THE BOSS the latest Tom Ford beauty has to offer. Where are you, Yohji Yamamoto, Balmain and Pierre Hardy? Don’t you want to come over and share your latest with me? Seriously. Call moi.

OBSSESSED: hipster and fashionista “It” girl, Santigold is back with the hypnotic “Disparate Youth." Next up is “Hot Right Now," a wicked dance collabo between one of England’s hottest Drum & Bass and Dubstep DJ’s - DJ Fresh and Jay-Z’s latest discovery, the super sexy, Rita Ora.  Another one of my fave collabs is “We Are Young” by Fun, an American indie pop band and the lady in black (and white), Janelle Monae. I also love “Terribly Dark” by Sweden’s indie artist Frida Hyvönen. And finally, too good for words mash-up called “Whitney” by Norwegian Recycling that consists of Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”; Florence + the Machine’s “You’ve Got The Love"; Bruno Mars’ “Grenade," and Adele’s “Set Fire To The Rain”. Catch you next week! Until then, follow me at @SergioKletnoy for my daily words of wisdom. 

2012 February 24

Front Row Body Language

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Franca Sozzani & Robert Rabensteiner Franca Sozzani & Robert Rabensteiner
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Speed texting at Trussardi? Slouching a bit at Missoni? We hear you loud and clear! Renowned body expert Patti Wood decodes your "non-verbal" messaging...Check out our Gallery for the photographic evidence!

“She’s extremely exhausted here. The shoulders are down, the legs, the eyes—everything is just … hanging. She’s not very happy about being photographed, so that’s affecting my read, but I like very much that she’s resting her shoulder against him. She’s saying, ‘I trust him. I can be myself.’ And I like how their heads are stretching a little towards each other. He’s a bit anxious. You can see by his foot and hand placement. If you look at the weight of his body, it’s down and slightly towards her at the shoulder.”

“Are these the ones that got that Target contract? I read all about that! You can tell they’re a lovely family. She [Angela] is curving in towards him, and the older gentleman [Ottavio] has that open-mouth-with-teeth-showing smile that guys only do when they’re actually happy. And look how relaxed his hand is on her shoulder—it’s not grippy. There’s real affection there. I like that Angela has a bit of her weight on him, which tells me there’s trust in their relationship. The other women [Rosita] has an enormous amount of energy. You can tell she’s a ball of fire.”

2012 February 24

From The Daily Milan! Man on the Street

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Little Italy! Little Italy!
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The Daily Milan hit Mulberry Street in New York’s Little Italy neighborhood to test the local love of Italian fashion!

Antonio Jautar, 30, sales associate
Who’s your favorite Italian designer?
I have so many! Christian Louboutin.
He’s not Italian.
He’s not? I like Armani, too. He’s nice.
How much Prada do you own?
I don’t got no Prada. I have Ferragamo shoes, though.
How do you kill time before shows?
I just make fun of everyone. I’m a practical joker.
Why do you love Roberto Cavalli?
He makes great sunglasses!
What does Gucci mean to you?
People struggle to make ends meet, but they’ll always buy Gucci.

Chris Owens, 27, "in the tourist industry"
Do you wear a lot of Italian designers?
I don’t.

Which city is home to Italian Fashion Week?
Sicily. The Vatican.

How do you kill time before the shows?
I ask the people next to me about the city.

What does Gucci mean to you?
Very expensive.

Why do you love Roberto Cavalli?
I don’t know who that is.

What’s the most Italian thing about you?
I love spaghetti and lasagna.

Why did the PM of Italy step down?
Wasn’t he forced down?

Laura Lombardi, 53, manager of a cigar stand
How do you kill time before shows?
I’d love to smoke a cigar.

Which city is home to Italian Fashion Week?
Rome. On the steps!

Not quite.

What do you love about Roberto Cavalli?
I’m not too familiar with that man.

What does Gucci mean to you?
Classy! Very smart.

What’s the most Italian thing about you?
I cook everything! You name it.

Who’s your favorite Italian?
Naturally, Sinatra. And my son!

Who is the most intellectual designer?

Cha Cha, 71, owner of Cha Cha's in Bocca restaurant
We understand you’re the mayor around here.
That’s what they say. It’s a non-paying position.
How would you describe Little Italy fashion?
In the past, suits and ties. Today, there’s no fashion.
Who is your favorite Italian designer?
Sergio Tacchini. I wore his jogging suits and sneakers.
You were on The Sopranos!
Only the last two seasons.
How do you kill time before the shows?
Watching the beautiful girls.
Did you kill anybody on The Sopranos?
I had everybody wiped out, but I didn’t do the killing myself.
Who’s your favorite Italian?
DeNiro, Al Pacino, Danny Devito...Tony Danza’s my best friend...I can’t answer that.



2012 February 24

What Happened To Karl's Cat? Fendi Reveals!

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Fendi fills us in! Fendi fills us in!
Chic Cam
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Did Chic hear what we thought we heard? Backstage after the Fendi show, we grabbed a moment with Silvia Fendi to get a (teensy-tiny) update on the condition of fashion's favorite furball. 

Did we just overhear Karl Lagerfeld say his cat Choupette was in the hospital?
Oh, yes, but now she's well and back home.

What was wrong? 
She had a high temperature. When he came back from Rome, he found her sick, but now she's well.

Thank goodness! Have you met the cat?
Just in photos. A lot of photos!

Do you have a cat?
No! A dog. I have a Jack Russell terrier named Lucky. 



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