Ah yes… C’est Chic!. WL was the festival’s official magazine sponsor again this year. Last year was easier. Working the sponsorship led to several deep revelations: my title should be executive editor/event planner; expresso and cigarettes are conducive to brainstorming; and French women, although sexy, change their minds entirely too much.
I knew I was in trouble two months before C’est Chic! whilst having lunch at Blue Duck Tavern (1201 24th St. NW) with festival director Lysbeth Sherman and WL associate publisher Anais de Viel Castel (who’s French but doesn’t smoke, drink expresso nor change her mind too much … perhaps she’s been in the U.S. too long). Sherman mentioned that she wanted to fly Karl Lagerfeld to D.C and have a fashion show. I thought it was an excellent idea and countered we should do it at Dupont circle or at a national monument. I now realize this was complete lunacy. Over the next two months, in between tuna salads and tea at Blue Duck Tavern, and expresso and cigarettes at the French embassy, our plans changed more than Hillary’s stance on the war in Iraq. Then there was the day I talked WL fashion stylist Lana Orloff down from the brink of a meltdown while she shopped with Sherman in an attempt to find her an outfit for the photo-op I set-up with Sherman, Elizabeth Rivasseau (who, by the way, is simply lovely) and Washington filmmaking impresario Grace Guggenheim. In the end, Sherman finally chose an outfit, the women looked gorgeous, the events were wonderful, WL provided French wine, plasma televisions, coverage, lots of VIPs guests, and L2 owner Anthony Lanier got his wish of us not running the opening party pics so his member club could remain “mysterious.” Ever the artist, Lanier, also asked us to run a page of black boxes instead.
I did make it to the MenzFit celebrity fashion show. They kindly asked me to be one of their celebrity models, thanks to the encourgement of new mom Aba Kwawu (congrats Aba). I’m not a celebrity, but I moved here from L.A. where everyone thinks they’re one, so it came naturally. The true celebrity that night was Matthew Selby – the first man to benefit from MenzFit in the city of brotherly love. Rhonda Willingham started the organization to provide suits to men – be they ex offenders, homeless, or recovering substance abusers – looking to get their lives back on track. It’s a great organization and I recommend it to men looking to help their fellow man this holiday season (www.menzfit.org).
Another party I couldn’t miss was the WL style party at The Space (903 N St. NW). We invited the five style mavens from our November cover – a volatile mix of divas indeed. Everyone played nice. We were all happy to see the issue’s cover on WRC-TV NBC4 recently. The local news station did a segment on D.C. paparazzi. I don’t really think we have any here – our event photographers are not paparazzi. If anything, they get stalked by people wanting their photos taken. Not even TMZ could maintain a presence here; it’s just not “Washington” … we prefer private investigators.
The fact WL creates all of our covers is a blessing and a curse. Other luxury magazines in town get covers sent in from corporate offices asunder: here’s a B-list celebrity and a model no one knows; congratulations you have a cover. Washingtonian gets away with using concepts covers: slap some chopsticks on the cover and presto! you have the “100 cheap eats” issue. It would be nice to have that, but having Washington-related people grace our cover makes us a Washington magazine. The downside is that we go to print in four days, and, yes, we’re still debating the cover. I think we should go with Paul Wharton again.