the Insiders


May 24, 2010 11:44 AM


Memphis Mojo

Montego Glover as Felicia Farrell in the Tony-nominated "Memphis."
photo courtesy of Joan Marcus
Montego Glover's work day consists of fan kicks, long leaps and lots of high notes--all in four inch stilettos. But the star of the new Broadway hit "Memphis" takes it all in stride. "I'm in heels the entirety of the musical," Glover says with a laugh.

Last night WWD caught up with up-and-coming British chanteuse VV Brown before she took the stage at Express' 30th anniversary bash, co-hosted by Vogue and held at Eyebeam Studios in Chelsea.

Brown, who's slated to tour with P!nk in Europe this summer, was featured in WWD back in October. Since then, the 26-year-old's penchant for vintage threads (she has her own vintage e-tail site, teased hair, and lots of sparkles and feathers hasn't waned. Here, in Brown's own words:

WWD: You're wearing bright green lipstick tonight. What's that about?
VV Brown: I really feel like 2011 is the year when people are going to become more eccentric with their makeup, like David Bowie. I think the way that music is going and culture is going is much more eccentric.

WWD: Do you think that has anything to do with Lady Gaga?
VVB: I don't know. I'm from Europe, where people dress like that all the time. We're used to very extravagant clothes.

May 20, 2010 5:17 PM


The Next Big Thing


Last night, WWD hit Creative Time's annual Spring Benefit Gala, held at Jing Fong banquet hall in Chinatown. While guests such as Chuck Close, Klaus Biesenbach, Beth Rudin DeWoody and evening honorees Andrea and Marc Glimcher of Pace Gallery mingled and munched on dim sum, we took the opportunity to ask their picks for the art world's next big star.

After the jump, the results:

May 19, 2010 5:13 PM


Color Coded at DVF Gallery

Oil painting by Natasha Law

London-based painters Lucy Soni and Natasha Law (sister of Jude) will unveil their latest oil painting creations at a joint exhibition, "Licking Out Of the Same Bowl," on May 19 at DVF Gallery, adjacent to Diane Von Furstenberg's flagship store.

"No Prenup" by Rachel Hovnanian

Rachel Hovnanian may have used dolls and doll house furnishings to create tableaus for her latest photo exhibit, but the 24 white-washed images that make up "Too Good To Be True," opening May 26 at Colette Blanchard Gallery on the Lower East Side, aren't exactly kid friendly.

In one, cheekily titled "The Collector,"  a man reclines with a cocktail while a woman--clad in a beauty pageant sash and crown--stands stiffly before him. "This one is about what happens when you become a trophy wife, how you just become an object," explains Hovnanian. Another, called "No Prenup", features a young female sitting on a bed, engulfed by piles of shopping bags from every luxury label imaginable--Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Versace--as a noticeably older male looks on. "The shopping precludes these people from having an intimate relationship," she says.

One of the more surprising moments of my telephone interview with Mitzi Gaynor was hearing her say, "I was not, I don't think, a good movie actress." The remark came in response to our conversation about the different chapters in her career and her switch from the silver screen (she only did 18 films) to variety specials. "I loved being a movie star," she said. "But I don't think I was all that good. The camera always got in my way. I don't know. I was never, ever totally comfortable [in film] the way I am onstage or on television."
May 13, 2010 7:13 PM

Eye, Fashion, Men's

Kellan Lutz: Ab Fab

On Saturday, actor Kellan Lutz will be at Macy's Herald Square to promote his provocative Calvin Klein Underwear campaign. And where the "Twilight" heartthrob goes, lots of braced-faced, elbow-swinging tweens, clamoring for a peek at the hunk's now famous abs, will follow.

WWD spoke with the rookie sex symbol about superstardom and what it's like to be photographed in your skivvies.

WWD: So the next Twilight installment, "Eclipse," comes out next month, how do you prepare for all the craziness that comes with that?
Kellan Lutz: I really look at it as going to Six Flags or an amusement park. The first time, you don't realize what that long line of people waiting there is for, so when you get out of the car and everyone is screaming your name it's like, 'Oh my god.' It's surreal. But after the second time around, you realize you can't really prepare for it. You just know it's going to be one of the biggest moments and best memories of your life.
Martin Amis at home.

Martin Amis' latest book, "The Pregnant Widow" (Random House), comes out in the US on May 11. The story, which takes place in a castle in the countryside near Naples, is a comedy of manners and centers on a clutch of 20-somethings test-driving free love in the summer of 1970. I'd interviewed Amis - a literary legend in the UK - a few times over the phone, and had found him frank and forthcoming. I also knew he had a long history with Women's Wear Daily - one of his former girlfriends is the biographer and author Julie Kavanagh, a former London correspondent for W and WWD in the early Seventies. Clearly, I couldn't wait to meet the man and pick his famously big brain about everything from his novelist father Kingsley Amis, to his old pal Saul Bellow to the books he was teaching at university and who he was voting for in the UK's latest general election. 

Sinking happily into the cushions of a fire-engine red velvet sofa in Amis' sunny sitting room, I felt like the sole guest at a fabulous literary festival, firing off questions and getting thoughtful and witty answers back. Herewith, an excerpt from our hour-long interview:

WWD: How long did it take you to write the book?
Martin Amis: I struggled with it for six years and then I abandoned what I was writing, which was a long autobiographical novel. Then, after two horrible weeks, I realized that with luck it would be two novels. What was wrong with it was trying to combine them.
WWD: There's much talk about physical beauty - and its power - in the book.  
Amis: It's the most invidious subject on earth because no one really knows what beauty is. We all sense it, don't we? But it's very hard to define, and very hard to see it in human worth or virtue - but there it is.

Last Thursday, my colleague Kim Friday and I headed up to Northampton, Mass., for a piece on Kim Gordon, who has come out with a number of art publications and, this Friday, will unveil her second exhibit of the spring season. (Read the whole story here.) We couldn't cram everything into the article. For starters, there's Gordon's cozy three-story brick house, which deserves a write-up of its own. It's home to Gordon, husband and fellow Sonic Youth band mate Thurston Moore, their daughter Coco and Moore's niece Louise, who lives in one of the many guest bedrooms on the top floor.

Gordon's house is wonderfully lived-in, with random boxes, artsy-craftsy cushions and tchotchkes everywhere. (The latter, she noted, was a Moore hobby; he has a penchant for picking up tabletop odds and ends from his travels.) Walls come in chartreuse, turquoise and egg yellow. And there are books everywhere, including those arranged in neat little stacks on practically every flat surface -- some random, others curated. "Thurston does that," Gordon explained. "He's a book person." Naturally, the music touches abound, too, as in the tiny Joey Ramone plastic figurine on top of one television or the light-switch covers boasting photos of Gordon and Moore performing in concert.

Michael Kors at the Golden Gate Bridge
Greetings from San Francisco -- one of my favorite cities in the world. Stopped by the Presidio for the Hitchcock views, had amazing dim sum for lunch at Tommy Toy's, went to a benefit fashion show for the San Francisco Ballet followed by drinks at the Tonga Room, which is like a tiki bar on steroids.

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