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August 28 2014

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5 posts tagged "Arianna Huffington"

Plugged In But Disconnected

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The jury is still out on whether it was a perfect choice or an ironic one to have Arianna Huffington chair a Q&A panel after last night’s screening of Disconnect. The film is a biting commentary on everything that’s wrong with the Internet. But perhaps the media queen is a shining symbol of everything that’s right with it. The ensemble film follows three plot lines of characters colliding and failing to connect because of their addictions to the internet and technology. In a surprising casting decision, Marc Jacobs makes his acting debut as Harvey, an online porn kingpin. “I may have undersold the role to Marc,” said director Henry Alex Rubin on just how difficult filming a movie role can be. Jacobs interjected, “We were filming until 9 a.m., after fourteen hours outdoors on the coldest day of the year!”

The film is inspired by some headlines Rubin read in the New York Times a few years ago, all about different accidents and bizarre incidents revolving around the internet. Huffington asked if Rubin was trying to teach us a lesson. Said Rubin, “I didn’t approach this with any sort of theory or polemic. I just wanted to make things as real as possible. I approached it like a documentary.” And it was Rubin’s approach to the film that made Huffington such a supporter. “The internet magnifies everything and accelerates the impact,” said Huffington. “There’s no question that there is a snake in the garden and the movie captures it—loneliness and disconnect. We are drawn to technology and use it as a refuge.” Huffington encouraged the audience to “start a national conversation” by voicing their views about the movie on The Huffington Post.

Photo: OWen Hoffmann/ Patrick McMullan

Destination: Iman

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Iman can truly do it all. The supermodel, who practically invented the “model-slash” moniker, is CEO of her eponymous makeup label, regularly hawks her Global Chic fashion and accessories collections on HSN, runs a home decor line—and now you can tack on editor in chief to Mrs. Bowie’s ever-growing résumé. Destination Iman, which launched last night with a fête at the Dream Downtown’s Electric Room and drew the likes of Karen Elson, Joan Smalls, Coco Rocha, and Elettra Wiedemann, is the style icon’s first online magazine dedicated to her jet-setting lifestyle, fashion tips, and beauty advice.

“Twenty-year-olds would stop me on the street and say, ‘How do you take care of your skin? How do you look like this?’” the 57-year-old told Style.com, clad in a figure-flaunting Hérve Léger dress. Such run-ins led the beauty maven to write a blog post about aging chicly,which she e-mailed to girlfriend Arianna Huffington, who immediately wanted a monthly column. Soon after, the concept for Destination Iman was born. Last night’s party theme? “Paris: Noir et Blanc,” based on the freshman issue’s focus on the City of Light, which covers everything from Iman’s favorite hangouts (404 and Raspoutine) to what cookies she brings her daughter’s teacher (William Greenberg’s Black & White). “I was going to wear this vintage black and white YSL tonight,” Iman admitted. “But it needed space and there’s not much room here. That would be a disservice to Saint Laurent.”

Each month, readers can expect a column penned by Iman dubbed Ageless Chic, which speaks to the over-40 crowd—just don’t call her outlook aging gracefully. “That’s giving up,” Iman deadpanned. “Women have to pull it together. For fashion, you suffer.”

Photo: Jesse Lirola / BFAnyc.com

A Healthy Breakfast

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On the ride up to the seventh floor of the Museum of Arts and Design today, Arianna Huffington and Maria Cornejo chatted on the need for coffee and other morning matters. It was half past 8 a.m. after all, and Huffington was a panel member for the CFDA Health Initiative’s “A Well-Balanced Life” discussion. (The news magnate was joined by other busy ladies: Elettra Wiedemann, Monique Péan, Karolina Kurkova, and moderator Alina Cho, who brightened the room in a sunny yellow print frock.) The conversation covered practical tips. Huffington, for one, sang the praises of getting a full night’s sleep. “For me, there is nothing more healing,” she told the audience that included Francisco Costa, Joseph Altuzarra, Prabal Gurung, and Olivier Theyskens. She also touched on something she nattily called “GPS for the soul,” which includes activities that keep people centered (read: weekend yoga). Wiedemann, meanwhile, recommended self-development, such as enrolling in graduate classes. And Péan, a former Wall Street banker turned jewelry designer, advised carrying on-the-go protein during fashion week.

With focus turning to the show season and tough casting decisions, the mood veered in a more serious direction. Kurkova related the pressures models face with body weight and image. In her successful career, she has dealt with health issues, she said, and teared up when mentioning her husband’s devout support throughout that rough patch. Huffington talked about her youngest daughter Isabella, who battled an eating disorder at age 12. But if there was one takeaway from the morning go-around, it was that mentors help light the way. Wiedemann said her father was her rock. For example, when she had to wear a back brace as a young teen (“it was real-life Romy and Michele,” she said), he steered her toward swimming. He was also a former model and he met her mother, Isabella Rossellini, on the set of a Calvin Klein shoot. To which Wiedemann cheered to Costa, “Thanks, Francisco!”

Photo: Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com

Girl Power, All Grown Up

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“I’m the token man,” Salman Rushdie half-joked at last night’s Women: Inspiration & Enterprise cocktail party. It’s true, he was entirely outnumbered. The celebratory rooftop fête (with a short set by Estelle) capped off a day-long symposium hosted by Donna Karan, Sarah Brown, and Arianna Huffington (pictured), that featured a formidable showing of the fairer sex—notable panel speakers included Queen Rania of Jordan, Jimmy Choo’s Tamara Mellon, Nora Ephron, and Christy Turlington Burns. Rushdie, for his part, seemed to be enjoying the ratio just fine. “He loves women!” writer pal Kathy Frette, who stepped in to emcee a panel last minute, chimed in. “I’ve known for Salman for 25 years. We have a group of women that get together, and he’s the only male invited.”

Proceeds from the inaugural symposium went to benefit the White Ribbon Alliance, which aims to bring international awareness to maternal health issues worldwide. That’s something co-host (and mother) Karan is passionate about; the designer curated a runway show for the cocktail that featured white dresses (meant to symbolize purity and rebirth) donated by the likes of Stella McCartney, L’Wren Scott, and Marchesa. For those feeling for some relatively guilt-free shopping, pieces will go for auction on CharityBuzz.com. Coming off a hectic fashion week, you would think Karan would have runway fatigue, but the designer was amped from the day’s speakers. “The symposium was amazing. I mean, the stories you heard were just incredible,” she said. “How can you not believe in change in the world when you get such an amazing group of women together?”

Photo: Joe Schildhorn / Billy Farrell Agency

For Arianna Huffington, It’s Daughter Knows Best

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Shoppers looking for shoes at Barneys’ Beverly Hills store last night got more than they bargained for: Specifically, Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post senior editor Willow Bay, Barneys’ Julie Gilhart, and designer Rozae Nichols discussing sustainability, the death of print media, and “joy-triggers” (a term Huffington coined for the simple pleasures in life). They’d gathered to celebrate the Barneys launch of Nichols’ Ian line (named for her husband, but for ladies only), which creates joy-triggers of the laser-cut dress variety. “For me it’s all about the classics…pieces that won’t be obsolete and that will work for you,” Nichols (pictured with Huffington) said of her creations, which are inspired by minimalist art and by her travels.

Given that Ian is manufactured locally in Los Angeles, and that human and labor rights is a central issue for Nichols, it usurped a large portion of the panel’s focus. It’s an issue that was also close to the heart of one notable attendee, Waris Ahluwalia. “If I get something, it’s from brands I believe in,” says Ahluwalia who, in fact, gets most of his clothes custom-made. “I work with craftsmen around the world; I know their families. I know how they work and I know how they function. We’ve been separated from where things are made, whether it’s food or clothing. I know where my eggs come from and I want to know where my clothes come from. It’s consumption and it can’t just be blind.”

Huffington, on the other hand, leaves her decision making, at least when it comes to shopping, to her daughters. “When I go to a store, it’s always with my daughters. I never go on my own,” admitted the media mogul, who was wearing her own Ian white silk blouse with gold embellished overlay (a Huffington family pick). “I typically go to the places they want to go, and I love to see the new trends and what the young people are buying.” Occasionally, though, the young people do not love to see what she’s bought. “I remember once I was leaving the house,” Huffington laughed, “and my daughter [said over] the intercom, ‘Fashion emergency, do not let her leave the house.’”

Photo: Ryan Rickett