So, yeah … that’s me in the center of that photo, pretending to eat salad. It is from the ad campaign to introduce Isaac Mizrahi’s first collection for Liz Claiborne, which Stephanie Rosenbloom wrote about in the NYT last week. This blog post is an attempt to answer some of the questions I’ve been frequently asked about this over the past couple of weeks and months.
Frequently Asked Question #1: What the fuck?
Yeah, I know, right?
Frequently Asked Question #2: No, seriously: how did this happen?
The idea behind the campaign was to use “real women” of various ages and sizes. Some of these women were friends of Team Isaac, others were found by Jennifer Venditti, a casting director who knew me because she made an amazing documentary a couple of years ago called Billy the Kid, which I wrote about. I went and met the photographer, Arthur Elgort, tried on some clothes, danced to a Prince song while stylists and various Liz Claiborne people stared at me, and the following week they asked me to do it. We shot for two days, starting the morning after the election. They had my hair colored at Garren and cut on set. They provided us all with free Spanx, but I ditched mine after the first shot because they made me feel bulky and weird.
Frequently Asked Question #3: But you’re a film critic! Why would you do this?
A lot of reasons, actually. I really do love clothes, even if I’ve often felt excluded from traditional fashion. I’ve been an Isaac fan ever since watching him base a collection around Nanook of the North in Unzipped. For a day and a half of work, they paid me more than I make in a month. And I’m kind of hoping some how, some way, I’ll figure out a way to get a book deal out of it. Any help toward that end would be much appreciated.
Frequently Asked Question #4: Did you get to keep the clothes?
Frequently Asked Question #5: Did you write that blurb about yourself on the Liz website?
No, but it’s not completely fictional, and ultimately, I support the idea of a company trying to associate their product with the consumption of classic movies. On set, they asked me something about my personal style, and I repeated something I’ve said before, about how glamour should always be a little fucked up, like it started perfect, but then you stayed out all night — like the first scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I will be the first to admit that my own personal style always kind of goes back to the idea of Audrey Hepburn on a bender.