In the basement boiler room of the celebrity-industrial complex, burned by its machinery but still pulling the levers, is a man named Rob Shuter.
A former top publicist, with a glittering roster of clients that included Jennifer Lopez, Diddy, Bon Jovi, Alicia Keys and more, Mr. Shuter was fired from Dan Klores Communications (DKC) in 2007 after a string of missteps involving Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson. Not all of them were his fault, but it didn’t matter. The writing was on the wall, as blogs and newspapers had already begun to depict him as a tabloid villain—the archetypal lying publicist, whose infamy overshadowed his clients.
It was publicly messy, but Mr. Shuter landed on his feet. Following a stint at OK magazine, he launched the Naughty But Nice column for AOL/Huffington Post (now published on his own website). And now he is reinventing himself once again, taking his online gossip personality to the TV screen.
Big Apple Idolatry
- Debbie Harry made a pretty cryptic comment on the elections, saying “I am thinking we have been invaded by aliens who have reduced the intelligence level of the entire fucking country to cement.” Did she mean little green men or illegal immigrants from Mexico? And aren’t aliens usually portrayed as being light years smarter than the average Joe the Plumber? They figured out space travel, how stupid can they be?
After the Runway
As New York shovels up the Fashion Week embers around town after the onslaught, The Observer still has a few loose ends. One thing we wanted to know in all the ruckus was how the new comers had fared.
Kara Laricks, the winner of NBC reality show Fashion Star, is certainly a new face in the crowded sea of designers. Under the tutelage design mentors Jessica Simpson, John Varvatos and Nicole Richie, Ms. Laricks convinced the buyers’ judging panel from H&M, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue that her creations were worthy of the $6m capsule collection award. The show was a hit: Nielsen TV Ratings Data reported 4.81 million viewers for the finale, and NBC has already renewed Fashion Star for a second season and begun casting. We caught up with Ms. Laricks after her first presentation at Runway@Pier 57 last week to get all the buzz about her début. Were her masculine-feminine-meets-1920s-Japanese matchbox looks a triumph or did she she fall flat?
What did it feel like to finally present your first bona fide fashion week presentation?
I felt vulnerable! In the past, if my collection was not well received, I was under the protective wing of The Academy of Art University, NBC, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, H&M … this time, the pressure was all on me. However, there was never any question as to whether or not I would continue designing post Fashion Star and I knew “sticking my neck out there” would be worth the risk no matter what the response. Now that my first collection has been shown at New York fashion week and the reviews are rolling in, I feel exhilarated, proud and accomplished. Can’t wait for the next!
Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Kimmel Live (2003-present): George Clooney
Ellen DeGeneres, The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2003-present): Jennifer Aniston
Jimmy Fallon, Late Night (2009): Robert DeNiro
- Conan O’Brien, The Tonight Show (2009-2010): Will Ferrell
Katie Couric’s new talk show, Katie, has announced some of its first guests–and it tends toward supermarket-checkout celebrities. Ms. Couric’s first show is to feature Jessica Simpson’s first TV interview since giving birth to daughter Maxwell, reports Deadline, with a performance by mom-friendly act Sheryl Crow. Other big names booked for the fall include Read More
Donatella Versace has announced that she’ll sponsor the Whitney Museum’s 2008 Gala on October 20th, and will collaborate with Julian Schnabel, Marc Quinn and Wangechi Mutu on creating three pieces of jewelry to be auctioned during the event. [WWD]
Diane von Furstenberg was re-elected as the president of the Council of Read More
When Jessica Simpson landed at New York’s JFK airport on Friday night, seven National Guardsmen swarmed around the smiling star. Dressed in dessert-colored camo fatigues, the kitted-out soldiers rushed Ms. Simpson to her waiting Escalade. But! Despite the fact that all that public-funded protection seems totally warranted for such a national treasure, National Read More
Pat O’Brien was nowhere to be seen on the midtown set of ET’s bastard child ‘The Insider’ last Friday afternoon. Instead, cater-waiters stalked the floors of his set with glasses of champagne, beer (which tasted suspiciously like Heineken) and Smart Water.
Much of the crowd present was composed of members of the German American Read More
At the Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum on May 2, you might have expected designer Michael Kors to be flanked by New York socialites. Instead, he turned up on the arm of Dukes of Hazzard star Jessica Simpson, who was wearing a strapless black silk frock emblazoned with loud scarlet Read More
The start of January, with New Year’s resolutions not yet fading into memory and hangovers from the long, sad tedium of 2004 still lingering, seems like an appropriate time to take stock of a few things.
The credit-card debt towering over our heads. The friend we refused to bail out of a small-town lockup. The Read More