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Memo Pad: Lapham Roasts Celeb Culture... Juicy Couture's Billboard Debut...

Rather than celebrate our celebrity-crazy culture, Lewis Lapham gave it a royal roast recently.

fashion-memopad/news
Appeared In
Special Issue
WWDStyle issue 01/31/2011

CLOSE TO HOME: Juicy Couture is about to make its spring ad campaign debut on a Sunset Boulevard billboard in Los Angeles — a first for the brand — followed by a series of print images that break in March magazines. Staying true to the brand’s West Coast heritage, Lori Goldstein styled models Daria Strokous, Hanne Gaby and Viktoriya to channel a carefree, bohemian spirit that is more of a throwback to California style in the Seventies. The ads, shot by Steven Meisel, will run in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, W, Elle and InStyle.

 

— Amy Wicks

Appeared In
Special Issue
WWDStyle issue 01/31/2011

LAPHAM’S SHOOTING STARS: Rather than celebrate our celebrity-crazy culture, Lewis Lapham gave it a royal roast recently with help from Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mandy Patinkin, Alec Baldwin and Linda Emond. Judging from all the self-mocking, it was clear that all of the VIPs were in on the joke. Who knew Baldwin could do such a convincing Andy Warhol impersonation? And after a lofty introduction by Oskar Eustis, Hoffman took to the stage and shrugged, “Whatever he said.” (Like the rest of the evening’s notables, the Oscar winner offered his services for free.) Taylor Mac serenaded Patinkin before dashing out the door for his curtain call at “La Mama.”


The variety-show-type gathering at Joe’s Pub marked the release of Lapham’s Quarterly’s celebrity issue. During a Q&A with Eustis, Lapham said, “We’ve gotten to the point in America and in the early part of the 22nd century where celebrity is the most precious commodity in a consumer society….That being said, celebrity is an old story.”

Beyond the old tales, movie cameras, TV screens, Facebook and the Internet have created “an immense abundance of celebrity in our culture,” Lapham said. “It’s a manufactured product. It’s probably one of the biggest products that we make in the United States. It is made by the media, and the media really drives a Faustian bargain. They make somebody a celebrity, and in return they get fame and riches, exacting the penance of having to become part of the feast of this public ritual.”

More simply put, as Bob Dylan or any celebrity will tell you, there is a dark side, Lapham said. “The thing is, when you become a celebrity, it turns a subject into an object. You become a product, a commodity. And a consumer product was meant to be consumed.”

Asked by WWD if there were any celebrities he has envied over the years, Lapham said with a laugh, “I’m really envious of all of them.”

 

— Rosemary Feitelberg