The Nina Ricci debacle: Sarah Jessica Parker gets nothing for nothing
In the film "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," a group of friends share a pair of well-worn jeans. In the realm of Hollywood celebrity, such a thing could never happen. Why? Because actresses don't like to share or be upstaged. Cathy Horyn, on her NYT "On the Runway" blog, wrote yesterday about how Sarah Jessica Parker feels duped for being loaned a dress that had been spotted on Lindsay Lohan and a socialite. (See bottom right photo of Lauren Santo Domingo at recent Met ball.) Parker notes that the house's designer, Olivier Theyskens, explicitly told her that the dress would be making its debut at the "Sex and the City" premiere in NY -- on her sculpted back, (see right).
Parker told Horyn: “In the big picture, this is not important, but there is a relationship between the entertainment industry and fashion. We’ve watched sales dwindle and we’ve watched people be less inclined to spend money on clothes.”
The Rage loves the passive-aggressive threat appliqued to Parker's statement. Yes, it was unfair of Theyskens and the house to deceive her, but wasn't this a loan? For the record, the president of the parent company of Nina Ricci explained that they didn't perceive a dress worn publicly by a socialite as competition. That's an excuse as slippery as wet marble stairs.
Still, notice that Parker alludes to the "relationship" between designers and actresses, which, in essence, is: Give me free clothes to wear on the red carpet. (Of course, certain actresses have contracts with designers and wear their looks exclusively or money gets exchanged to ensure that a label is worn on a big night.) Parker's comment about dwindling sales seems to suggest that only red carpet exposure will save a label. Um, do you really think SATC fans ran out to buy this silver gown after seeing it at the premiere?
The Rage has always liked Parker and appreciated her down-to-earth sentiments about celebrity and fashion, but this whole brouhaha is giving her hives. Why can't Parker tsk tsk the house, but also acknowledge that in this economy, a $10,000 gown merits more than one wearing. What's so dreadful about wearing a dress that someone else has donned for 5 hours?
Imagine how refreshing -- and sensible -- it would be if there were a sisterhood of the traveling red carpet gown?
Photos: WireImage; PatrickMcMullan.com