>> After reports yesterday that Sarah Jessica Parker is parting ways with Halston — WWD confirms that the two parties are in the midst of terminating their agreement — Harvey Weinstein, too, is said to be on the way out, according to WWD's sources.
A Halston statement could be coming as soon as today, although it's unclear whether it will address Weinstein's next move with regards to the label. The Weinstein Company acquired Halston with Hilco Consumer Capital in 2007.
Ryan Gosling popped up at his first Cannes event this evening looking dapper in Salvatore Ferragamo for the Cinema For Peace inaugural dinner honoring Sean Penn for his charitable efforts in Haiti. Leonardo DiCaprio and rumored flame Blake Lively took a break from lounging so he could stop by to say a few words while Robert De Niro, Naomi Campbell, and Uma Thurman sat in the audience. Ryan's arrival in France is later than most of the star-studded crowd as his upcoming flick Drive, costarring Carey Mulligan, is closing out the film festival. Carey debuted newly dyed brown hair this week in preparation for her next role starring opposite Leonardo in The Great Gatsby. The cast of the Baz Luhrmann remake of the classic is close to complete with Joel Edgerton now playing Tom Buchanan after Ben Affleck reportedly passed on the role last month. Carey's not the only link between Leo and Ryan, as Ryan was also momentarily romantically tied to Blake last Fall.
Sarah Jessica Parker dazzled in a white Dolce & Gabbana gown at The Weinstein Company's Vitamin Water-sponsored soiree in Cannes last night. Harvey Weinstein presented previews of their upcoming slate including My Idiot Brother, which debuted at Sundance, and My Week With Marilyn, which is out later this year and stars Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe. Sarah Jessica took the stage to present a five-minute peek at I Don't Know How She Does It, the romantic comedy she recently filmed. She admitted she was a bit nervous to show off the project in front of the crowd, but the funny and touching clips left me eager to see the finished product. The movie stars Sarah as a working mom trying to juggle her career and family, and it features an ensemble cast including Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Munn, Christina Hendricks, and Greg Kinnear. Harvey gushed a bit about Sarah up on stage, saying that his friend Anthony Minghella would have loved her for the part. SJP then changed and was off to the Cannes Film Festival premiere of TWC's Wu Xia. Don't miss all our coverage of Cannes straight from the action in France!
Jennifer Garner enjoyed a low-key meal with a group of friends, including Harvey Weinstein, in NYC last night. Jennifer took off from LA earlier in the weekend and was deep in conversation over a glass of wine at yesterday's meal. Jennifer and Harvey worked together on the political satire Butter, which also costars Olivia Wilde, Ashley Greene, and Hugh Jackman. The film is set to open later this year, but before then Jen has a growing list of projects on her plate. She recently wrapped The Odd Life of Timothy Green in Atlanta, and up next she'll share the screen with Andrew Garfield in Back Roads. Jennifer's trip east came after celebrating the royal wedding by watching the ceremony and proceedings over a special brunch for her daughters, Seraphina and Violet. Harvey's in the Big Apple for work, but he's also supporting his wife, Georgina Chapman, the cofounder and creative designer at Marchesa, who will be styling some lucky celebrities for tonight's Met Gala. We'll be bringing you all the looks from the red carpet live so be sure to check back to see all the gorgeous fashion!
>> Halston, which was acquired by Hilco Consumer Capital and Harvey Weinstein's The Weinstein Company in 2007, is said to be looking for some more funds these days. According to a source familiar with the situation, WWD reports, the brand has hired an investment bank to explore its options, which could range from a cash infusion to a sale of the whole company.
The contemporary Halston Heritage label, of which Sarah Jessica Parker is president and chief creative officer, has been gaining traction since its launch a year ago. It “was definitely a viable business,” says the source, but the company needs more growth capital and the investors don't want to put more money in after four years. It could be tough to do a deal, however, the source warns: “It’s a very complicated structure and dynamic at the board level."
Richard Kaye, EVP and chief marketing officer at Hilco Trading, Hilco Consumer Capital's parent company, had no comment on any future plans for Halston.
>> Mario Testino photographed Anna Wintour for the April 2011 cover of WSJ. — likely at her request (he often shoots Vogue's covers). Because if there's one thing about Wintour, it's that she does things on her own terms.
Si Newhouse (chairman of Advance Publications, which owns Vogue) attests with an anecdote about a Fashion's Night Out meeting Wintour held in Paris, which had 30 international Vogue editors and publishers in attendance: "It was the first time anybody had gotten them all together. She didn't need my authority to do it — she has a remarkable ability to impose her will. If I had had reservations, she probably would have gone ahead anyway."
Marc Jacobs, too, confirms: "If I get a request for something I don't want to do, first I get an email, then a phone call from someone at Vogue, and now I don't even bother to say no — I know the next call is from her." And New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who Wintour has worked with on a number of initiatives — including Fashion's Night Out — says: "Behind all Anna's grace and poise is some pretty tough resolve. She's not a person you want to say no to."
Even the Costume Institute has bowed to Wintour's requests (she has raised a grand total of $75 million for the organization, after all). For last year's gala, she had a 30-foot hot-air balloon trucked in from South Dakota to float above the museum's Engelhard Court. "When we first saw it, we go, 'Never! We can't have gas in the museum!' " says Met president Emily Rafferty. "Anna's changed our attitude — she's brought us to new levels of thinking of what we can do, but without ever losing sight that we're working in a museum context here."
Needless to say, Wintour's reach extends much further than fashion. Harvey Weinstein, who has known Wintour for 15 years (and more recently married Marchesa's Georgina Chapman), notes: "I'm a streak player, but Anna's there, good or bad. When I wasn't doing so well, Anna would throw a party and put me next to Bernard Arnault." Although he declined to be specific, Weinstein said that he had several business deals come out of that party. And Baz Luhrmann, who just recently cast Wintour favorite Carey Mulligan to star in his upcoming film adaptation of The Great Gatsby, says: "I always talk to Anna about what I'm up to, and I always listen to what she has to say."
Within fashion, too, Wintour is more than just an editor. As Francois-Henri Pinault, head of PPR, says: "She tackles things that are really much bigger than what any other editors take on." Because of Wintour, Pinault is currently discussing how to financially support young designers with the French government. But Wintour never straight-out asks him to do something: "She's much more subtle than that."
She's also something of a matchmaker — whether it's designer to brand (in the case of placing John Galliano at Christian Dior back in 1996; Bernard Arnault — chairman of LVMH, which owns Dior — says of Wintour: "She pointed us towards unexpected choices. I speak very openly to her, and this was quite audacious — it was not about picking the big names of the moment. It took her to see that there was a stylistic closeness between John and Dior. She was the discoverer.") or brand to financier (in the case of Bottega Veneta and Gucci Group or Michael Kors and Sportswear Holdings). "She does this very discreetly, but she's really a kind of consigliere to the entire fashion and retail industry," one former colleague who worked closely with Wintour says. Another former colleague, who attended several corporate matchmaking meetings with Wintour, adds: "I came to realize that she's really the McKinsey of fashion." As for Wintour's word on the matter? "We can suggest," she says, "but in the end, everybody makes up their own minds."
It sounds like Wintour isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Vogue is Conde Nast's most profitable publication, Si Newhouse confirms, adding that he has no successor in mind: "Never. I hope she's here 10 years from now, 20 years from now." Wintour, for her part, says: "With all the new media outlets out there, with all the noise, a voice of authority and calm like Vogue becomes more important than ever. The more eyes on fashion, the more opinions about fashion, the more exploration of fashion around the world, the better it is for Vogue. Vogue is like Nike or Coca-Cola — this huge global brand. I want to enhance it, I want to protect it, and I want it to be part of the conversation."
Marc Jacobs on Wintour's cold reputation: "She gets such a bad rap. She stands by the people she believes in, and if you're not one of those people, perhaps you take a different view."
Wintour's take on her reputation: "I care deeply about my friends and my family and they know it, but work is work."
Wintour on cover choice regrets: "I'm not terribly proud of putting the Spice Girls on the cover."
Wintour on the John Galliano scandal: "This is all so tragic."
Wintour on being criticized for using the same people in Vogue: "I try to remain open to new people, but obviously there's a stronger element of trust with people you've known for a long time. I think we have a Vogue vocabulary, and there are certain people we like to have as the backbone of the magazine — Vogue's signposts. We try very hard to integrate the familiar signatures with people we feel are new and up-and-coming, but I would rather err on the side of being a little more familiar than being too . . . What's the right word? . . . Edgy."
WSJ. on Wintour's morning habits: "When I met Wintour in her big, artfully tidy office at Vogue, she had been up since 5 am — her normal waking hour. On most days she goes off to play tennis at 6, but lately she's been nursing a sore elbow and can't play. Which didn't mean no tennis."
Anne Hathaway celebrated the end of a very successful Oscars hosting gig by hitting the dance floor at the Weinstein party. She grabbed onto someone's little gold man, presumably from one of the many The King's Speech wins, to show off her moves and her arm muscles with the heavy statue. Her boyfriend, Adam Shulman, watched on and joined in on the fun as onlookers snapped pictures with their phones. Anne picked her red Atelier Versace for the festivities, which was one of seven looks she wore on stage. James Franco and Anne's performance earned mixed reviews, and Buzz thinks she could have done it all on her own. James also released the full video of their Grease homage that ended up on the cutting-room floor. He apparently wasn't in the mood to hit the town last night, since he skipped his own ultra-exclusive bash to head back to school on the East Coast.
Hollywood's exciting run-up to the Oscars continued with a dinner thrown by Harvey Weinstein and Dior at Chateau Marmont in LA yesterday. The brand's newest model and Academy Award nominee, Natalie Portman, couldn't make it since she was busy traveling to the West Coast with her fiancé, Benjamin Millepied, but plenty of other stars came out to celebrate. It was Halle Berry's second glamorous event of the week after she donned a hot red dress for the Costume Designers Guild Awards, though this time she made it a date night with boyfriend Olivier Martinez by her side. Hostess-to-be Anne Hathaway took a break from her show preparations for the evening out amid rumors that she and James Franco will perform a song from Grease on the stage. Busy Philipps returned from the snowy East Coast to pose with pal Rosario Dawson, while actors Gerard Butler and Adrien Brody took a minute to chat. Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Meyer, and Michelle Trachtenberg were among the other guests to toast the upcoming Oscars, where we'll be broadcasting live from the red carpet and backstage. We're also giving away a Samsung TV, so be sure to fill out BuzzSugar's ballot for your chance to win!
Ryan Gosling posed with his onscreen family, Michelle Williams and Faith Wladyka, as well as their director Derek Cianfrance at a special Blue Valentine luncheon in NYC today. The event was hosted by The Weinstein Company, and the whole crew had a lot to celebrate since they won their appeal to bring the movie's rating down from NC-17 to R yesterday. Ryan and Michelle have had a full week promoting the film on the East Coast, including at Tuesday's premiere, where Blake Lively was spotted sneaking in the side door. She stuck by Ryan's side for the afterparty, and this afternoon he addressed the rumors of romance. Ryan said of Blake, "She's an incredible actress; she's a good friend," and when asked more generally about relationships in the industry, he quipped, "You're not allowed to have friends in this business." Blake is known for her sexy style, and she earned new respect for her work in The Town, while Ryan's big heart and charm make him so very hot. Not to mention he doesn't take himself too seriously, which makes Blake, whatever their status, a very lucky girl.