the Insiders


Showing posts by Elisa Lipsky-Karasz- Deputy Eye Editor

Trading Places with 'Melrose Place'

The original cast of "Melrose Place," circa 1993.
photo courtesy of Fotos International/Getty Images
It seems like the Nineties are coming back in a big way in fashion (Doc Martens and plaid shirts, anyone?) so it's no surprise television is following the trend.

First, there was the new "90210," and fast on its heels is an updated version of "Melrose Place," coming this September to the CW.

A screener of the show landed on our desks last week, and we couldn't resist taking a peek, having been addicted to the original series, which debuted in 1992.

Directed by the usually high-brow Davis Guggenheim (an Oscar winner for "An Inconvenient Truth" and husband to Elisabeth Shue), the new "Melrose" pilot showed that some things haven't changed since the original series, created by Aaron Spelling, ended 10 years ago.

Dapper Depp

Actresses have lots of options when it comes to red carpet dressing--sequins à la Balmain, vampy satins, minidresses, gowns, even leather pants like Angelina Jolie. Their male counterparts, not so much. It's usually just a suit, though "Year One" star Michael Cera didn't even bother with that, instead opting for worn jeans, sneakers, a plaid shirt and a green sweater at his premiere.

So thank god for Johnny Depp, who literally stopped traffic in his sharply tailored Ralph Lauren Purple Label three-piece suit at last night's Chicago premiere of "Public Enemies." The actor paid homage to his onscreen alter-ego, Thirties bank robber John Dillinger, with wide pinstripes and a Neil Lane watch chain. He added a bit of movie star glam with mirrored aviators and a few undone buttons.

The only quibble fans might have with the look is that Depp's Mickey Rourke-esque 'do covered his famous face.
PHOTO: Johnny Depp in Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Neil Lane and his own Cartier watch. CREDIT: Getty Images

Hall of Fame

Carnegie Hall typically conjures up images of elderly ladies and gents dressed to the nines and sitting quietly, listening to an orchestra play Beethoven's Symphony No 5 in C Minor.

But Thursday night, the venerable institution played host to a flood of youth more commonly found at Bowery Ballroom. The occasion was a rare acoustic concert by alt-country group Band of Horses. For many in the audience, it was their first visit to the concert hall, and they stood gazing and snapping photos of the four stories of gilt-edged balconies.

"The place we played in last night looked just like this, I swear," drawled lead singer Ben Bridwell.

On the Avenue

New York night owls have been wandering aimlessly ever since their roost the Beatrice was shuttered in April with scant evidence of reopening. While mourning its passing, Beatrice habitues have been seeking a replacement, trying Cabin Down Below, spiffy sports bar Warren 77, ever-present Rose Bar and, now, Avenue.

It helps that Paul Sevigny and his Beatrice crew have taken over Tuesday nights at the just-opened Chelsea venue. Last night the playlist was the same as the Beatrice -- retro pop staples like "Laid" by James and The Knack's "My Sharona" -- and regulars like Purple's Olivier Zahm, actor Brady Corbet and artist Aaron Young mixed with hordes of young models and bearded chaps in Panama hats. The only thing missing was charm.

Astor Court: Covering the Brooke Astor Trial

Brooke Astor with a portrait of her husband Vincent in the background, 1976.
Courtesy of the Fairchild Archives

"What's it like?"

That is the question almost everyone asks me about covering the criminal trial of Brooke Astor's only son, Anthony Marshall -- Tony, to friends and his defense attorneys -- who is accused of a laundry list of charges including grand larceny and scheming to defraud his mother. Prosecutors say he stole paintings and valuables and also unduly influenced Astor to change her will by $60 million in his favor when she was suffering from Alzheimer's.

It's definitely been a surreal experience to sit in the drab courtroom at Manhattan Criminal Court and observe not only Marshall, but his third wife, Charlene, and a parade of very grand witnesses including Annette de la Renta, Nancy and Henry Kissinger, Barbara Walters, Patsy Pulitzer Preston, Met curator James Watt, Vartan Gregorian and Graydon Carter dissect the life of one of New York's legendary personages in a place where it's not unusual to see a perp being marched around in handcuffs. (In fact, the other day when I was going through security another visitor got nabbed for bringing pot with him to the courthouse.)

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