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2012 April 3

Catching Up With...Town & Country's Jay Fielden

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(NEW YORK) Oh, how your Daily loves a catch-up with fabulous Media Issue superstars of NYFW seasons past! Last night afforded the opportunity to chat with Town & Country's dapper, drily affable EIC, Jay Fielden. The mag co-sponsored a Cinema Society and Sony Pictures screening of Damsels In Distress, the sharp new film by director Whit Stillman (the brilliant mind behind Metropolitan and The Last Days of Disco), and splashed the slew of female co-stars—aka "damsels"—on the cover of the "Alpha Girls"-themed April issue. Fielden puts an open call out for screening invites, and shares his resourceful and sweet solution to milk-ing his java when the gallon's run dry. Thanks, Jay! 

What’s been happening at the Hearst Tower since we spoke last
Oh my gosh, so many things!

OK, what’s something that went down today? A coffee order?
There's an interesting answer for that. This morning, there wasn’t any milk left in my house, so I had to use my childrens’ leftover cereal milk in my coffee. It was the kind of cereal that has a little cinnamon in it, and it was actually quite nice. I was grossed out initially, but it ended up being pretty tasty.

What are your thoughts on WWD’s “Cult of Brand” article on EICs and the stuff they shill?
I don’t read newspapers until the evening, unfortunately, so I haven’t read it yet. I’ve heard that it’s there…and I’ve definitely been told that I should read it. 

Off the cuff, are you part of T&C's cult of brand?  
I don’t know. I think my brand has co-opted me into its cult!

What would the first Fielden-branded item be?
A breakfast cereal. Why not? It would be cinnamon-y.  

Gotcha. So are film screenings a regular occurrence on your agenda?
I love to go to screenings, but I don’t get invited enough. I think people figure the editor-in-chiefs don’t want to be going to screenings, and that we’ll send someone else, but I’m really the one who wants to be going. I really do love movies!

Why did T&C jive with Damsels in Distress, with them as cover subjects and you as a screening sponsor?
The worlds overlap so nicely—and the way Whit [Stillman] treats a world that might seem a bit stodgy or snobby in other hands is handled with wit and irony through his sharp storytelling. I try to do the same with Town & Country. So it just seemed like the obvious thing to do. 

Which of Whit’s tricks would you like to crib?
I love that Whit is courageous enough to make a movie you need to watch attentively. If you’re not careful, you’ll miss a lot of the jokes. In the age of The Hunger Games or what have you, that’s not the norm. I don’t think that more than eight people get killed in this movie, and there are only three explosions…(laughs) That takes a lot of courage, and I’d like to have the same approach to running Town & Country.

What are your thoughts on the term ‘damsel’?
Well it’s kind of a lovely word to say. I immediately think of somebody very beautiful, but with a life that has not completely been revealed to herself yet. Damsels also seem like women who need to be saved.

Do damsels read Town & Country?
I hope we have a few!

What kind of damsel readership rate are we talking?
A good 20 percent of damsels would be fine. 

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