the Insiders


Showing posts by Rosemary Feitelberg- Ready to Wear & Sportswear News Editor
Nadal and Sharapova Behind-the-Scenes.

Michelle Obama in an Isabel Toledo design.
The Black Artists Association's criticism of Michelle Obama's inaugural outfits has touched off a firestorm of debate about race.

The association criticized the First Lady for not including clothes from an African-American designer in her inaugural wardrobe that covered Narciso Rodriguez, Isabel Toledo and Jason Wu, which WWD first wrote about in its Jan. 22 issue. In a subsequent item five days later, BAA founder Amnau Eele stressed she wasn't speaking on behalf of designers. As her nonprofit's name suggests, it is made up of artists, not designers.

Nonetheless, Eele's comments have set off a backlash. 

Miguel Adrover
Miguel Adrover greets you like a stranded man on an island might -- limbs flailing, wide smile, waist-length scraggly hair -- and you can't help but share his sense of urgency.

The sleepy Mediterranean island of Majorca is home but he seems determined to prove himself once again in New York. Come Sept. 7, he will show off his signature collection for Hess Natur, a $100 million, 30-year-old German mail order label with unbelievably, environmentally friendly practices. Adrover readily admits he is over the catwalk, tardy designers, celebrity-heavy fashion shows and overpriced disposable clothes. "For me, the big challenge is leaving my home and getting the opportunity to show in the city where I grew up and got my support."

James Ivory
Merchant Ivory Productions is housed in a nondescript office building in Manhattan's Midtown. There was no main-floor shakedown or snippy receptionist instructing you to wait -- just a knock on the door and James Ivory presented himself with the familiarity of a distant family friend you haven't seen in a while.

His tendency to speak in the plural seemed reflexive. Clearly, he doesn't see himself as a one-man show. And any mention of his longtime partner, Ismail Merchant, triggered vivid recollections of their escapades in India or elsewhere. Ivory laughed as he recalled how Merchant was in the habit of saying, "Shoot Jim, shoot," but added, "Not that I wasn't ready to shoot. Perhaps it wasn't the right moment."

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