Category Archives: A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life: Elle Magazine and MTV’s The City, Sonia Rykiel pour H&M with Chanel Iman

Hey Glamazons!

What a night. Ferocia and I are already tired and New York Fashion Week hasn’t even started yet. The reason behind our sleep deprivation? A string of fabulous launches and parties that took place in the city yesterday evening, from the Guess by Marciano and Elle Magazine event to the Sonia Rykiel pour H&M knitwear launch.

Dressed in my Topshop military jacket, leggings and studded boots, I met up with Ferocia (in a cute ruffle top) at Sephora on Fifth Avenue to check out the limited edition Stella McCartney Stella perfume necklace (the perfect VDay gift! Ferocia will give you more on that later). After chatting with the fab PR rep and spraying on Stella (which smells amazing), we prepared to traipse through the NYC cold downtown for the Elle Magazine event.

Held at the Guess by Marciano store in Soho, the party drew out the glitteratti of the New York social scene. A handsome crowd of editors, bloggers, socialites and tastemakers mingled and sipped delicious cocktails (served by equally delicious and handsome waiters).

After breezing past the line, Ferocia and I walked inside and right into a taping of MTV’s “The City.” The MTV filming crew surrounded a gorgeous, fresh-faced Whitney Port (is she really that tall or am I really short?), her friend Roxy and…the sole reason I watch the show–Elle Magazine Creative Director, Joe Zee. I’ve followed Joe Zee’s career for ages and think he’s as talented as he is adorable. We took a picture together above. Don’t you just want to squeeze his cheeks?

While MTV filmed, Ferocia and I made the rounds, running into some of our friends from POSHGLAM, MTV and Elle Magazine—and fans of the blog who we were so excited to meet! (P.S. if you ever see us out and about, please don’t be scared to say Hi! We love to see the faces behind the comments).

Check out our pic with one of our fave publicists, Laura Hinds and Shaun Harrison of MTV. Yes, if you work in entertainment, wearing black is a requirement, lol. Fun times!

Next, we hopped into a cab and ventured to the Sonia Rykiel pour H&M knitwear launch. Held at Bobo, a swanky venue downtown, the party had a posh, Parisian vibe with dark, moody lighting and an intimate, well-dressed crowd. The party was hosted by Rykiel’s daughter, Nathalie and celeb guests like Michelle Williams, Amanda Hearst and Leighton Meister and Kelly Rutherford of CW’s Gossip Girl came out to show support.

Though I gave the knitwear a glowing Glamazon review last month, I found it to be even more chic, vibrant and wearable in person. I’ve got my eye on that pale pink sweater dress – very sexy sophisticate.

After seeing the clothes, we headed downstairs to check out a casually-dressed Chanel Iman spinning the tunes from Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” to Cheryl Lynn’s “To Be Real.” With her boyfriend by her side, she kept people moving nonstop on the dance floor (maybe a new Solange-esque side hustle is in her future?).

Though we could have danced all night long, Ferocia had a editor event for Salvatore Ferragamo’s new Women’s fragrance this morning, and I had an interview scheduled with Marc Bouwer (the talent behind the dress Beyonce wore to the Heat launch party) this afternoon. Not to mention, that we’re storing up all the sleep we can before the runway shows start.

Still, it was a fabulous night totally worth the cold…and the perfect way to start what promises to be a fun-filled Fashion Week!

Kisses,

Coutura

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Anna Wintour, Kelly Cutrone and Why Bitches Will Never Go Out of Style

Hey Glamazons!


Yesterday marked the debut of Kelly Cutrone’s new Bravo show, Kell on Earth and today marks the launch of her new book, “If You Have To Cry, Go Outside…And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You.” Her character, made famous on MTV’s The City, is a melange of qualities made for TV stardom: she’s a certified bitch, reminiscent of Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada and yet, she can be a kind and nurturing mentor as seen in her interactions with Whitney Port. 


With Cutrone as the star, the show promises to be full of bitchy, power struggles between cold, dehumanized bosses and hurried-looking assistants struggling with depression, insanity and bad hair days. Peppered with celeb sightings and New York Fashion Week shows, it’s sure to be another addictive Bravo hit.


But it highlights a deeper issue I’ve faced several times in my career.


If pushed to the limit, I can certainly be a bitch. Exhibit A: If you mess with my siblings, I turn into a tiger with an insatiable desire to beat you into submission (not physically, but you know what I mean). But in general, I’m a friendly, warm, even giggly person.


I like to have fun and get along with people—and my work ethic is very much internally-driven (and kind of psychotic, I would stay at the office until the wee hours night after night) so bitching at me won’t make me work any more diligently or effectively. It will only make me resent you. And me being bitchy, when unprovoked, just doesn’t come off real (imagine Beyonce trying to curse, something to that effect).


My boss at The Magazine blamed my aversion to ‘bitchiness’ as a sign of my naiveté. A legend in the the industry, she had worked in Fashion for years at every major publication in the business. She’d styled every celeb from the latest ‘It’ Girl on the cover of Elle to the old Hollywood royalty that grace the pages of Vogue. She had every photographer worth his weight in film on speed dial. And according to her, she didn’t get there by being nice.


Our theories clashed one day when I was fulfilling a last minute request to get robes for a celebrity to be featured on the cover. I had already called in robes and gotten them cleaned, but this celebrity only wore Tommy Hilfiger, a delightful little detail the production team discovered and shared with me the day before the shoot.


So like any trained journalist, I put the harassing skills I learned at my town newspaper to use. I started calling and emailing incessantly to get the robe to our office by 5pm to be sent to LA, which means the messenger would have to pick it up on a rush by atleast 4pm. The Tommy PR guy, who I adore fondly, was doing everything he could to get the particular robe to my office, including calling stores to borrow it (since it wasn’t in the showroom). But when I gave my boss an update, she didn’t think he was moving fast enough.


She told me to send him an email demanding that we get the Tommy Hilfiger robe right away or all hell (a la Kell on Earth) would break lose. Ugh…okay. I channeled my inner bitch and sent him a message that relayed the urgency and inadvertently, my desperation. I copied my boss, pressed send and proceeded to get back to panicking.


Ten seconds later, literally, my boss calls me in her office. The production manager is there, too. She tells me to sit down and close the door. She folds her arms. Her eyes are glaring and the air in the room is suddenly thick. My mind is racing. Did I remember to pack extra garment bags? Pick up the Ralph Lauren? Give her layout instructions to the Art Director? Order flowers for the Gucci PR Coordinator that just had a baby? I’m near panic attack when she finally begins her rant.


And it’s about…my email?


For ten minutes, my boss, who curses out at the minimum one person per day, chastises me about my use of the phrases like “please,” “I would appreciate,” and “as soon as humanly possible.” (According to her, the appropriate word was “NOW!”) That was not the way to get ahead in this business and thank God she was there to teach me that now. The production manager, who had become a pseudo-celebrity working in the industry since the 1960’s, agreed wholeheartedly. I couldn’t have been more confused.


Fast-forward to another job I did writing for a TV show. On Day One, I have the quintessential eager beaver attitude of a new worker, introducing myself to everyone, engaging in small talk and connecting over shared loves of Karl Lagerfeld, Law and Order: SVU and Cold Stone ice cream. And then, I meet my boss. She seems totally normal at first. Long legs, beautiful, silky hair, a cheery voice and a razor-sharp mouth. She likes my writing style and energy and it seems like we are definitely going to hit it off. And then she pulls me to the side and tells me, “Don’t take it personal if I say or do bitchy things to you. I’m not evil, just serious about my work.”


Well, fortunately for her, I’ve dealt with a string of bitches in my fashion career and totally know not to take it personal (or rather, respond professionally and firmly and then cry privately in the bathroom). So it wasn’t her command that bothered me. It was the tone. She said it as casually as her request to always respond rapidly to the PR people. As if handling her bitchiness in the right manner was simply a job requirement.


So I started thinking about my new boss, my old boss and Tommy Hilfiger-gate…about Anna Wintour, Nina Garcia and Kelly Cutrone….and about how there are few, successful women in this industry who aren’t widely regarded as bitches…and I wondered, do we need to be bitches to be successful?


Fashionistas, Beauty Girls and working women in general, what do you think? Fellas, do you have to be tough to be taken seriously? Discuss.


Kisses,


Coutura

A Day in the Life: I Heart Ronson for JCPenney Summer BBQ Bash

Hey Glamazons!

As soon as I got the invite for the I Heart Ronson BBQ at the Piers, I knew I couldn’t miss the event! Of all the JCPenney lines (including Fabulosity), I Heart Ronson is the most meticulously executed and expertly designed. On August 20th, I had the pleasure of attending the star-studded event with Beautylicious and Michel (who both have amazing blogs you should absolutely check out) and it was as fun as I expected.

We thoroughly enjoyed the music, which included a performance by Mark Ronson, the free drinks, the It-girl celeb sightings (Alexa Chung, Hillary Duff, Mischa Barton, Zoe Kravitz (who I adore!)) and the beautiful view of the Hudson river. The food left something to be desired but who cares when you’re bbqing on a pink I Heart Ronson grill? Exactly.


Zoe Kravitz looking adorable as usual!

The Ronson family – too cute!

The socialite du jour Genevieve Jones was there.

Mischa Barton made an appearance in a black and pink floral ensemble.


It-Brit girl Alexa Chung showed up to the festivities.


Yours truly having a glass of wine overlooking the Hudson.

They even had a closet for editors where you got to choose one piece from the Fall collection. I snagged the paisley print dress and Beautylicious scored a chic, boyfriend striped cardigan (see both in the first image below). Can’t wait to wear it during Fashion Week! The whole collection is amazing—sophisticated, effortless chic with a vintage feel. Check out the rest of the Fall 2009 looks, available at select JCPenney’s stores for next to nothing (seriously, the price range is $15-$72).








Kisses,

Coutura

Photos: Starpulse.com. Nitrolicioius.com.

A Day in the Life: Vogue September Issue Premiere


Hey Glamazons!

Just in time for Fashion Week, The September Issue, premiered last night at the MOMA museum in NYC. The documentary followed Vogue for nine months as they created the September 2007 issue, which sold 13 million copies and weighed in at 2 kilograms. Whoa. As every magazine junkie knows, the September issue is the single, most important issue of the year for fashion books. And as fashion books go, Vogue is the bible.

I’m always curious to compare the behind-the-scenes chaos at other magazines to ours as the closing of any issue—especially September—finds me sleep-deprived, depressed, hungry, drained and lifeless. I’m sure they’ll be plenty of insider magazine moments that relate to my everyday existence from nerve-racking, finger-biting meetings with the editor-in-chief to celebrity tantrums and breakdowns on photo shoots. Rumor has it there’s a lot of tension between Anna Wintour and Vogue stylist and former model, Grace Coddington (who reportedly argue about whether the photographer’s stomach (below) needs retouching; aren’t the sickly thin models enough?!).


Critics promise that’s it’s filled with more drama and controversy than “The Devil Wears Prada.” Can’t wait to see it! A who’s who of the fashion industry saw the film yesterday at the star-studded premiere and naturally, they were dressed to the nines. On the guestlist? Fashion royalty Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Phillip Lim, Rachel Roy, Tory Burch, Zac Posen, Jason Wu and Vera Wang. Celebs Chanel Iman (and boo), Renée Zellweger, Sienna Miller, Cassie, Diddy and Diddy’s car.

Check out the red carpet pics below and let me know if you’re planning to see the film when it opens in NYC on August 28th and everywhere else September 11th.

Queen Anna Wintour hit the red carpet with Sienna Miller wearing a Thakoon dress

Renée Zellweger looked sickly in Carolina Herrera.


Fashion gods, Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta

Rachel Roy always looks so regal and radiant. And love that Michael Kors statement, chain-link necklace.


A newly blond Jessica White. What do you think of the hair color? Not a fan. The bandage
shoes are glam though (Just bought a pair of Manolos like it I can’t wait to rock during Fashion Week!!)

Diddy being very divo on his car – he knows how to make an entrance.

Chanel Iman looks every bit fashion goddess in a Versace mini (and loving the neon heel on those sandals). She brought her boyfriend along – so cute!

Diddy, Cassie and the adorable Zac Posen, whose fashion show made my life last season.


Yes! Cassie is winning these days! The black jumpsuit with plunging neckline and killer pumps are

so tough-luxe! The neon pink nails add the perfect, feminine touch. Love it!


Still don’t know how to feel about that cut though…it just looks odd.


Kisses,

Coutura

Photos: Vogue.com. Concreteloop.com.

A Day in the Life: Kelis (Nas and N.E.R.D.) Was Here

Hands down, one of the best things about this job—next to free products and meeting celebs—is the industry event. Whoever came up with it is truly a genius! The first and most important advantage: it’s FREE. Which is great for an entry-level budget. (And bad because I’m so spoiled now I wouldn’t pay a $25 cover to see Tupac resurrect himself from the dead in front of an audience at Madison Square Garden). 

And they’re always sponsored by a liquor company, so the specialty drinks and hors d’oeuvres are complimentary as well. That means the sponsors feed me and transport me to a state of inebriated bliss, then ambush me with ads and samples of their new product. And now every time I think of Adidas, let’s say, I’ll remember my full stomach, delicious cocktail and untouched bank account and of course, I’ll give it rave reviews in the magazine, right?

Tuesday night at the Smirnoff Experience/Cornerstone party was no different, atleast at the beginning. Ferocia and I undergo our normal glam routine so we don’t look like we spent the day working like field slaves. The flats are replaced with sky-high heels (hers, knee boots; mine, peeptoe booties) and liquid eyeliner and boldly-hued lip gloss wake up our tired faces. MAC’s tinted lipglass ($14, maccosmetics.com) works wonders. 

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Trust me, you should’ve seen what I looked like before the lip color! Love it!

This takes longer than expected of course (I’m on permanent CP time) so by the time we meet up with Beautylicious and cab it to Capitale, the line of industry insiders, inhumanely beautiful models and Faux-Rells (the trucker hat, fitted shirt wearing N.E.R.D. frontman wannabes) stretches down and around the block and keeps going. Umm, four words: hell to the no. 
At times like these, I’m always contemplating turning around, pulling off those devilish heels and tight leggings (I finally got them from H&M!) and crawling under my covers. But luckily, we spot our Uberlife friends near the front of the press line (which of course, is shorter, they treat you like royalty). And after standing for what seems like a century, we ambush our way into the club. Scrumptious pink lemonade and Smirnoff concoctions await us at the bar. And to our left is the cutest, most adorable glamazon ever!

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Love the red glasses!
She stops us for a polaroid photo op and poses the question: If you were a cocktail, what would you be?

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I want to say Poison (cue Bell Biv Devoe, big booty and a smile!) but we have to represent for the blogs so we go with Beautylicious, Coutura and Ferocia.

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So glam!
And then the concert starts.

The token black VJ over at MTV, Sway, comes out and warns us all that this is not your regular industry event, this is “real hip hop.” Despite the fact that his beanie hat looks like it would pop and explode if he stuffed one more dread inside, I have to agree with the man.

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He goes on to introduce Jamal Woodard, the actor who plays Biggie in the upcoming film, “Notorius.” Spitting image! He performs the first verse from “Juicy,” as everyone raps along word for word, followed by a verse of his own (he wasn’t bad, believe it or not).

The legendary Grandmaster Flash makes an appearance and immediately puts any DJ-turned-celebrity to shame. He spins everything from Rapper’s Delight to Dope Boy Fresh…and the entire crowd can’t stop moving! Then a couple of independent label rappers come out and do their thing and one message is clear: hip hop is alive and well. 

Next up, N.E.R.D. They put on an amazing show and pull out all the stops from groupies to guitars. Ferocia has more on that later (she got to know Pharell real up close and personal ;-)!
And finally, DJ Green Lantern starts playing “Made You Look,” and Nas slips onstage to the roar of the crowd. He starts the set with songs from “Untitled,” which he casually refers to as “the nigger album,” even though his record label famously forced him to change the title…comedy. 

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His rendition of “Black President,” (produced by Green Lantern) is especially moving given that we are 30 days away from the election and the rest of the country had watched the second presidential debate earlier that night. And Johnny Polygon comes out to add his smoldering, husky vocals to the song…truly a beautiful moment!

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After teasing us with the first few seconds of “Street Dreams,” he starts “If I Ruled the World,” to the delight of the packed room. In the middle of his second verse, he says “Are you coming out baby?” facing the group of people on the left of the stage. And without as much as a glimpse of an asymmetrical cut, I know Kelis is coming to join him. I can barely contain my excitement!! I’m happier than a gay man in a locker room! Clearly, almost everyone at the club feels the same way…
Of course, Miss Info was there and caught it all on film!

And then, I realize this is their first public appearance together since wearing matching N-word shirts to the Grammy’s. And that it comes amidst a swirl of rumors of marital strife and infidelity. This is much more than a random appearance onstage. This is deliberate.

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We’ve all read the stories plastered on blogs and whispered over restaurant tables from NY to LA. It goes a little something like this: Kelis is cheating on Nas (who is too fine for that, btw) because he spends all his time smoking and reading instead of indulging in a more exciting, fast-paced Hollywood lifestyle. The plot thickens with a sex-tape featuring Kelis and some mysterious man that allegedly took place post-wedding vows. Plus, as somebody in the crowd points out, she’s slept with both Pharrell and Nas, who performed one after another and even were onstage together at some point during the show.
My take? It’s not my business or anyone else’s. They’re entertainers and both amazing at their craft. He’s a rap legend, she’s a swagger icon. And that’s where it ends. The prying and speculation is intrusive and really disrespectful.
I don’t know when it occurs to me—maybe after the kiss he plants on her cheek as she walks offstage, or when he turns to her and raps “I love you, love you baby,”—but at some point, it becomes clear that we are either witnessing a marriage crumble or a strong couple stand up for their union and reputation. And that’s when a usually vapid, sometimes superficial industry event gets personal and sad.
But Nas seems determined to quell pesky rumors about his marriage. He lovingly quips that he’s her biggest fan and says matter-of-factly that “a lot of girls have been biting her style.” Umm, can you blame them?

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Kelis is the bad girl’s bad girl. The few celebutantes that hint at risk-taking run back to the status quo as soon as they end up on a worst-dressed list. Kelis, on the contrary, could care less what anybody thinks about her. She’s onstage in front of a crowd of industry heavyweights sipping on a half-full glass of wine and looking…well, let’s just say “dazed.” 

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She’s wearing a tie-up black jumpsuit with dainty white trim on the pockets, a black lace bra, white lace stockings (the kind your mom used to put you in for Sunday school) and pearls. Unstudied glamour. Stylish and fierce. This is a girl who knows what she likes, from designs shaved into her close-cropped cut to plaid blouses with leopard boots. She won’t make apologies for any of it.

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And matching her fiercely independent spirit to a tee, Nas ends his segment with a middle finger to McCain. You gotta love them! I miss the era of celebrities who boldly took a stand regardless of what criticism or praise they garnered as a result. Say what you want about this couple, they’re not afraid to be different.

All in all, it was an amazing night, from the performances to the cocktails to the hors d’oeuvres (especially the hot dogs and mustard, lol, you know i love food!). But at the end of the day, Sway was right: the event was free and sponsored (thanks, Smirnoff!), but far from “industry.”