Impressive hit job by Lynn Hirschberg, this profile of YSL mastermind Stefano Pilati in today's New York Times Magazine (interestingly, it was not run in "T" magazine or in the Style section -- ah the magic of chance). The Fonteyn/Madonna slam is funny because at least that Milanese smartypants, Pilati -- unlike other, more practical colleagues of his -- can be bYotchy with style, and it keeps things supergay the way we like our fashion designer catfights, but arguing that Tom Ford is a hack is like arguing that Valentino doesn't understand red or Bellini didn't understand melodic lines -- simply unreasonable and against all evidence.
And as much as OC digs (and owns some precious specimens of) Stefano's stuff -- she really does, he is indeed very talented -- this is clearly personal, not professional, and someone who runs a house as important and historical as YSL should know better than that.
The 1990s -- blissful 1990s when OC was quietly growing up between piano lessons and marathon reading sessions of dogeared copies of Italian Vogue during class -- are Prada and Ford. Everything that influenced what people wore outside of movie premieres (there, it was Gianni Versace's domain) and photo sessions with Mario Testino, it came from Miuccia & Tom, not necessarily in this order.
Going all Fonteyn vs Madonna and holding one's breath until Lynn Hirschberg will say you're right can not even change this fact.
It's been nonstop event partyparty in Milan since Saturday night, the inception of Milan Fashion Week Menswear Spring/Summer 2009 kicked off with a party at the Versace mansion on via del Gesù -- but as of now we're having trouble recovering from the Mortal Kombat between Tom Ford and Frida Giannini, the "usurper" who took over the House of gucci when Ford and Domenico De Sole left in 2004.
Last night saw two party going on simultaneously, Gucci's and Tom Ford's, and Tom made a point of dissing Frida in front of everybody saying, "Her invitation must have been lost in the mail". At the Gucci party, la Giannini coolly explained "I haven't invited him, he hasn't invited me". And we like Frida well enough -- especially because she just gave a shoutout to our dear "Magnum PI", whom we see as the perfect blueprint for a kicka$$ Elisir d'Amore as we wrote last year -- as source of inspiration for her new men's collection -- and we really have no bYotch in this dogfight, but we have to admit that Opera Chic does have a weakness for Ford's brashly pansexual appeal -- so visiting his new 5-level store in Via Verri (the former Zegna store) was a special treat -- lots of marble and crazy animal skins and vintage theater seats (from Franco Zeffirelli's collection), with a "privé" and open bar and a beautiful garden upstairs for VIP clients of his bespoke line -- it's all very 1960s swinger millionaire bachelor, a cool vaguely creepy vibe that's salvaged in the end by Ford's obvious skills at making skeevy look smart (just check out Terry Richardson's crazy X-rated fotos for his new campaign, more images in a link NOT SAFE FOR WORK, go here). During our visit we were also very impressed by Stefano Gabbana's more&more ripped state, and by his really rawking glistening blood-red earrings.
Also, Tom -- who lived here for five years during the Gucci era -- chose as his personal Milan headquarters the Hotel Bulgari (round the corner from his via Borgonuovo showroom), and that's pretty cool (we still like the Duomo Park Hyatt a lot, but all the cool kids seem to be staying at the Bulgari as of late). Tom Ford party at 9 via Mozart was indeed rawking -- as, we are told, was Frida's gigantosaurus party at the Hotel Diana, but we weren't there sorry Frida! -- not to mention we had the chance to hang out, among others, with Friend Of Tom Janet Jackson who, had she chosen to become a opera singer instead, would have singlehandedly raise the profile of the entire business (I mean think of a Traviata CD with this NSFW Janet cover).
Sunday night was a huge Prada party (la Miuccia gets big props for playing classical music at her latest show the other day) to celebrate their new perfume, which was overshadowed by Franca Sozzani's party at palazzo Litta for the Uomo Vogue 40th Anniversary Celebration (founded in 1968 by Flavio Lucchini), with all the fashion reps like the Etro family, Cavalli, Armani, the missonis', Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, John Malkovich and Tilda Swinton.