The Vanity Fair cover of Caitlyn Jenner was a coup de foudre. Everyone at the magazine deserves praise for the cloak-and-dagger mission–but today The Times singles out VF fashion and style director Jessica Diehl for a personal profile and effusive plaudits.
Uh oh. It might be the kiss of death. Those of us with long memories recall that the woman who styled the VF cover shoots under the Tina Brown regime, a Neopolitan dynamo named Marina Schiano, got canned after she kept pushing herself into the spotlight with the celebs.
Somehow or other, Marina managed for a while to get published upfront in every issue a candid pic of herself directing, a la Cecil B. DeMille on dexadrine, the logistics of photographing the cover girl or the cover boy. At some point, Miss Brown, or perhaps her colleagues, had had enough of Miss Schiano’s auto-puffery and pfft she was out the door.
Which is not to suggest that Miss Diehl is a self-promoter—those who work with her say she is gracious—and also not to suggest that VF editor Graydon Carter is reluctant to showcase his staff. (By the way, VF is on an upswing and the rejuvenation of its website is a sterling success.)
But if living well is the best revenge, Marina has had hers. She retired to Brasil, to the idyllic fishing village of Trancoso in Bahia. She arrived in Trancoso (as did your humble editor) long before international trendies made it into the #1 jetset resort in South America, and she’s been gloriously content ever since, designing jewelry and sipping caipirinhas.
You remember the back story of Marina Schiano. She ascended from selling Yves Saint-Laurent clothes in his shop to positioning herself as a muse and confidant of the maitre himself. She also enraptured Andy Warhol and he put her on the cover of Interview. Oh, and when Marina needed a green card, she was married off by Yves to his buddy Fred Hughes, the raffiné Texan who was Andy’s business manager and choreographed Warhol’s peregrinations through the upper reaches of European society.
Marina has seen it all and knows where the bodies are buried. Perhaps one day she will disinter a few in a hardcover book. Then the merde will hit the fan. And the book will fly off the shelves.
An Italian eyewear brand has “teamed up with the Andy Warhol Foundation” to produce a line of sunglasses whose designs “borrow from” Warhol’s drawings.
I can already hear your snarky reactions: “How crass”, “How gauche”, “How disrespectful of the Great Artiste.”
Wrong. People who knew Andy, and there are still a bunch of us around who did, well remember him rattling on forever that his big ambition was to have merchandise inspired by his work available for sale to ordinary people in ordinary stores at ordinary prices.
“That’s when you’ve really made it big in America,” Andy would say.
Well, it didn’t happen in his lifetime and perhaps this is not exactly what he envisioned. The price is a non-proletarian $530 and the outlet is the MoMA Design Store, not Walmart.
Still….Andy would love the name of the company: Retrosuperfuture. If he were here to appropriate the name, he would, in a nanosecond.
In California, keeping up appearances is everything, and with the relentless drought and restrictions on water use it has spurred, people are getting creative.
“In the land of movie stars and cosmetic surgery, it is perhaps not surprising grass-painting is proliferating,” writes the WSJ. “One company advertises its paint is ‘like a face-lift for your lawn’.”
Homeowner Margarita Odelberg said, “I got sick and tired of looking at what looked like a pile of hay. Now when I look at it, I’m thrilled. This green potion is magic.”
She and her husband Zevon rejected options others have been choosing. Artificial turf? “Cheesy.” Letting the lawn go a natural brown? “Depressing.” A rock-and-cactus garden? “Our daughter couldn’t roll in it.”
Presumably Little Miss Odelberg is rolling merrily along in the spray-painted grass.