Phyllis Stine’s Diary: Story Proposals for Harper’s Bazaar

J une 28. Flight 199 to Los Angeles, American Airlines. Dear Diary: C’est moi , Phyllis Stine. Who else should it be in Seat 2A?

Très désolée . Très, très désolée … not to mention desolate, disconsolate and heartbroken. Ferociously depressed. It has been over two years since Mr. Stine went the way of all rich first husbands. Have tumbled since in divorce purgatory, trying to get myself set up with a good future. Have worn everything anyone in fashion ever told me to wear and applied myself to any number of notions, as you, Dear Diary, can attest, but none have worked out. Woman plans and God laughs. Is that it?

People say I should stop looking for a paying job and do charity work, but I find I don’t have time for charity work. Whereas, I feel it is my destiny to be paid to do things that stimulate the economy, a.k.a. fashion.

En route today to L.A. because why not? Besides, Maxfield’s, the marvelous store, is having its private sale this week. By invitation only.

Am wearing oatmeal cashmere and silk T-shirt and leggings by Michael Kors for Celine and 5-inch green leather and plastic Prada heels.

What’s wrong? Didn’t get Harper’s Bazaar . Thought it was mine. The denouement of my turn-of-the-century turmoil. Instead, as everyone knows, job went to Katherine Betts, a Fieldston-Choate-Princeton-educated WASP who was married in a John Galliano couture wedding dress in a Sag Harbor church. Amplifies meaning of “Look British, think Yiddish.” My turf, and I think she’s on it.

Prepared long memo of ideas for what stories I would do if I were editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar . Handwrote them on my Cartier letterhead, sprayed a wee bit of Fracas on the pages, and sent them around to Cathleen Black, president of the Hearst Magazines Division. Although Ms. Black never responded, everyone said my proposals were the talk of the fashion media set, so I was very hopeful and ordered new clothes accordingly. (Look, it’s the Grand Canyon outside my window. Such a void.)

I listed enough features and fashion ideas to fill three months of issues. For instance:

Fabulous and Forty! The Bigger, Better Implants.

Sleeping With Monet. Why buy pictures when you can rent?

How to Adopt the Miller Sisters.

Is Wrestling You?

Past Lives, New Face. A special real people report and cover story profiling Elizabeth Christensen, the 39-year-old British woman who has spent about $156,000 over the past 12 years and had 23 cosmetic surgery operations to look like Queen Nefertiti, whom she believes she was in a past life. Dazzling!

Getting to Woods: Anne Bass’ New Country Hideaway.

Squeezing Bill Blass: Seven Socialites Teach You How to Hug and Social Kiss.

The Way to a Man’s Heart Is Through His Stomach: Taking Care of Him After Cosmetic Surgery. Sidebar: Dr. Patricia Wexler Shops for the Best Post-Op Recliners and Ice Buckets.

Why Jackie Wore Pink: 10 Women Who Bought Things From Jackie’s Auction Tell How Their Lives Have Changed.

Sex: Does It Make You Want More New Clothes or Less?

Around the Block With Manolo Blahnik: Sarah Jessica Parker Taps Her Way Through the Triborough Area in the Newest Shoes.

Size Matters: Getting Him to Give You a Bigger Diamond, and Other Wedding Secrets.

Bruce Weber Photographs the Dalai Lama and Some Dishy Monks in the Adirondacks.

Brainwaves: Mario Sorrenti X-Rays the Brains of Fashion’s Greatest Thinkers.

The New Political Activism: Our Readers Fight Buckingham Palace So Fergie’s Daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, Are Not Asked to Renounce Their Titles When They Turn 18.

Great Nudes: Helmut Lang Naked on St. Barts, a Special Paparazzi Report.

Ask Carmel: Psychic Maria Papapetros Channels Advice From Late, Great Bazaar Editor Carmel Show.

Bulemia: Get Off My Back. Women Defend Their Right to Purge.

To cinch the deal, I knew I had to come up with an arresting idea for getting Harper’s Bazaar onto television, hence the following awards ceremony show.

Picture it: The Versailles Fashion Awards . International socialites, models, singers and actors compete in their own categories for best entrance at historic Versailles. Picture it: a special style council of about 30 or 40 men and women fashion designers and fashion editors are dressed in period 18th-century Versailles court costume and are seated in a circle around a fire. (Got this idea from a book I bought.) Contestants in each category–Missy Elliott as a musician, Madeleine Albright as a stateswoman and Stephanie Seymour as supermodel, Ricky Martin and Lenny Kravitz, etc …–must penetrate this circle by bowing slightly to everyone, then advance straight to the master or mistress of the circle, played by one of our advertisers, and greet said advertisers, then retreat without clumsily disarranging his or her fine clothes, lace ruffles and headdress of 36 curls powdered like frost in a truffle forest. Absolutely fabulous television. Think it was Groucho Marx who said, “Refusal is elegance.” But I refuse to think that way.

You see, despite my giddiness, I am capable of some big ideas sometimes.

June 29. Chateau Marmont hotel. Besides Maxfield’s private sale, I was supposed to see Sherry Lansing about consulting on new film entitled Personal Shopper, as I have known them all. She canceled because Allan Carr is dead. Hollywood terribly upset. It’ll pass. Wear Louis Vuitton mirror tank, Chloe denim pants with tuxedo stripe, Christian Dior aquamarine satin crepe shoes with diamond buckles, diamonds by the yard and gold Rolex. Retreat to Michele Elyzabeth Salon Privé on Sunset Boulevard for caviar facial (literally, caviar) and it comes to me: my next move. Go home and get on board Hillary’s Senate campaign.

Billy’s List: Quiz time!

1. On New Year’s Eve, a new ball will drop in Times Square. Whose ball is it?

a. Tiffany’s.

b. Waterford Crystal’s.

c. Gucci’s.

2. What are civets and why are they endangered?

a. French seamstresses in a union that Bernard Arnault would like to see broken.

b. British footmen and they are hard to find.

c. African animals whose scent glands are scraped for musk perfume.

3. Who recently designed a line of hospital gowns?

a. Cynthia Rowley.

b. Susan Lucci.

c. Tommy Hilfiger.

Answers: (1) b; (2) c; (3) a.