Zac Posen Masquerade Ball

November 20, 2008 at 6:27 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

I was reading a Daily Candy email a couple months ago and it mentioned an upcoming charity ball put on by the Young Patrons of Lincoln Center. They were honoring the amazing designer Zac Posen. Zac designs for ALL the celebrities these days – dresses, bags, shoes – you name it! His show at fashion week was THE one to get into. He’s also super young – only 28 years old!

Anyway, I decided to cover the story for Better TV. I asked Liz to come along as my assistant because 1) I knew it’d be more fun with her there and 2) Sometimes when you’re stuck on a red carpet, you need people to do things for you. She agreed.

I found out a few weeks before the event that Uma Thurman would be giving out the award to Zac at the event. Bonus! Always good when you cover an event to have an A list celebrity in attendance.

The event was held in the Time Warner Center’s Allen Room. If you ever have the opportunity to attend an event there, do it, no matter what the event. You won’t be sorry. The glass walled room looked out over Columbus Circle and the park. Dazzling at night. My photos are a little blurry due to the low light, but you can get an idea.

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There were three levels and each level had its own bar and food station.

And at the top level you had your silent auction items. From trips to luxury Vegas hotel The Wynn to designer bags made by Zac Posen, there was a mouthwatering array of goods up for grabs. Sadly we are too poor to do any grabbing!

I really liked this dress, though.

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After wandering around a bit, it was time to go back out to the red carpet and wait for the celebs to arrive. The thing you need to know about celebs and the red carpet is the lesser celeb you are, the earlier you arrive. Not sure how the powers that be work it, but it’s true everytime. That meant Uma would come last. But she couldn’t come too late, we assured ourselves. After all, she was giving the presentation. And the presentation was set for 9:30.

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This woman is an actress on Law and Order. I don’t watch the show and I’m too lazy to look up her name now. Anyone?

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I was more excited about the Gossip Girls, to tell you the truth! Nicole Fiscella, who plays Isabel Coates, and Amanda Setton, who plays Penelope. We LOVED both their outfits and they were really friendly and fun to interview. Now I’ve met four of the actors on the show. Just gotta get Blake Lively someday!!

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And Amanda’s shoes were beyond awesome.

We also interviewed two Olympians – who won silver medals for fencing. I think Liz had a crush on the dark haired one.

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Next came Zac Posen himself. Sans Uma. He was adorable though. And super friendly. Wearing a coat of ermine and a mask he made himself. He talked about dressing Uma – a goddess of our time.

Now we just had to wait for Uma. So we waited. And waited. They brought dessert out. Liz snagged us some candy apples.

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We began to get bored. Standing on the red carpet for three hours will do that to you. So we took some masked photos while we waited.

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Then we were told that Uma was too nervous to come out on the red carpet before her speech (huh?!) and that she’d come out for photos AFTER her presentation. Meaning we had to wait LONGER. Grr. Doesn’t she know I want to go home and to bed? Halloween is tomorrow and I want to be well rested!

So she gives her speech and presents Zac with his award.

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And then, after another wait, she finally comes out on the red carpet. I think Liz took some video with her camera – so hopefully she’ll post that soon. But to recap it was about five seconds of prancing around with Zac – no talking to the media – and then running off the carpet yelling peace and love. Three hour wait for THAT!

Bleh. The world of celebrity is just so ridiculous. It’s like a power play. She was sitting around at 9pm, but knew the photographers would wait all night if they had to, so she decided not to make an appearance. Just so disrespectful to them and their time. And then to not even talk to us after making us wait so long…well, I can’t say I am going to look at her in the movies the same way again.

I do want to point out that none of this is the fault of the Young Patrons of Lincoln Center. They put on a great party and everyone seemed to have a good time. Their publicist, Kate, was really helpful and good at keeping us up to date. I felt a little bad for her with the Uma thing. After all, she was just the messenger.

Anyway, that’s about it. Overall a fun night.

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And here’s the video of the final product, as aired on Better TV.

Marianne

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Crazy Blind Date

November 3, 2008 at 8:05 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Better TV had a week of dating stories and I was originally assigned a “Cupid Cabbie” story – about a cab driver in Brooklyn who hooks his passengers up. Pretty cute, though not really that useful for the general public. So I found something better – CrazyBlindDate.com. Just as its name implies, you get set up on a blind date…by a computer! I swear it’s not as “crazy” as you might think. Take a look!

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Books for Boys

November 3, 2008 at 7:58 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

With all of life’s high tech distractions, it’s sometimes hard to get a boy to just pick up a book. So we headed over to Scholastic to find out their recommendations on books boys will actually enjoy reading. Here’s what they suggested!

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Homemade Tomato Sauce

October 29, 2008 at 4:47 pm (better tv) (, , , , , )

Here’s an oldie but a goodie. Making homemade tomato sauce with Italian restauranter Donatella Arpaia. She owns some fab NYC based restaurants including Mia Dona, Anthos, and David Burke and Donatella. She learned to make tomato sauce from her own Italian family and is now passing along the secrets to Better TV.

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Celebrity Jewelry Maker Rosena Sammi

October 29, 2008 at 2:29 pm (better tv) (, , , )

Another segment I did for Better TV. This one is a profile of jewelry maker Rosena Sammi, a former lawyer, who takes the ornate styles of ancient India and creates modern, wearable pieces for present day. Her jewelry is favored by stars like Naomi Watts, Lindsay Lohan, Kristin Bell and Jesicca Alba.

It’s really beautiful – even more beautiful in real life than what you can see on this clip below. I’d love to own a piece myself. But, of course, all my jewelry, for now at least, is strictly the costume kind! 🙂

Take a look!


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Gypsy Behind the Scenes report

October 2, 2008 at 6:37 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

I’m a bit behind on my blogging this week – been busy!!

On Tuesday night I filmed my behind-the-scenes at Gypsy segment for Better TV. We were taken around the set by Leigh Anne Larkin, who plays Dainty June in the show.
She’s great in the play and great in real life – really friendly and down to Earth! She did a great job showing us around the set and introducing us to everyone.

Here she is in the show…

And yes, we got to go in the dressing room of the show’s star, Patti Lupone. She was extremely charming and really funny, too. I think everyone in the cast is in awe of working with such a Broadway legend.

Fun fact about Patti? She has an Elvis bust in her dressing room. 🙂

We also interviewed the kids who play Baby June and Baby Louise. So well spoken – they were almost like little adults. They’re really talented too – I think they’ll go far.

One thing I noticed about Broadway? There’s no glamour. These people work their butts off six days a week – often doing two shows a day. They aren’t getting rich and unless you’re a legend like Patti (or once won American Idol), you’re not going to be stopped on the street by fans. The dressing rooms in these old theaters are tiny and the backstage area small.

Still, these amazing, talented actors and actresses are making a living, doing what they love and entertaining the rest of us – and that, at the end of the day, is what’s important.

Here’s the final segment from Better TV.

Marianne

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Better TV: New Mom Uniform segment

September 15, 2008 at 8:42 pm (better tv) (, , , , )

Another segment I did for Better TV. This one’s on creating a new mom wardrobe. Moms can look stylish and skip the sweats – even with the busy baby schedule.

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My Day at Fashion Week

September 12, 2008 at 11:17 am (better tv) (, , , , , , )

Yesterday was quite an amazing day. I got to experience NYC’s legendary Fashion Week through the eyes of an insider. Someone who gets invited to all the shows, is given front row seats, throws parties for the designers, etc. Now you’d think that type of person would be snobby beyond belief, but Mina Jacqueline Au is a doll. She is so sweet and treated me and my cameraman like we were her friends instead just some annoying TV crew. You don’t often get that level of genuineness from this world – she’s a rare breed.

Anyway, we started the day at around 11:30, heading up to Vallery Joseph Salon on the Upper East Side (79 and Madison) to meet up with Mina, who was getting hair and makeup done.

Mina Jacqueline Au getting ready for the day

Then we hopped in a car service and headed down to Bryant Park for the Rebecca Taylor show. Mina’s good friends with Rebecca so we were able to slip in backstage, where there was much media madness.

Photogs backstage at Rebecca Taylor Show

Mina Jacqueline Au doing step and repeat

Rebecca Taylor

Then we went to be seated. They let me have front row. I felt like a celeb. AND I got a great view of the show.

Me at Rebecca Taylor Show

The pre-show crowd was madness, too! Everyone searching for a seat and trying to pinpoint the celebs.

Pre-Rebecca Taylor Show Madness

Here’s a random celeb spotting. Anyone know who this is?

Celeb

Everyone took a seat and the show started. I love Rebecca Taylor’s stuff. The dresses are so gorgeous. Pretty colors and fabrics. I wanted them ALL. 🙂 When I interviewed her later, she said she found her inspiration from the Out of Africa author.

Rebecca Taylor Show

Rebecca Taylor Show

Rebecca Taylor Show

Booties are IN this fall, people. And all the models in the show were wearing them.

Rebecca Taylor Show

This was my favorite dress of the collection. I love the color and the sparkles. I really would love to own it.

Rebecca Taylor Show

By the way, models in real life? Almost freakish. They’re not only skinny, but they’re Amazonian tall. I guess I already knew this, but it was a little different seeing it in person on a runway. After the show I saw some of them walking off to smoke cigaretes. Of course.

Outside the show we saw this guy. I think he was also a celeb or designer. Anyone know? He said his kilt was Gaultier. Of course it was!

After the show we went over to this delicious restaurant called Artisinal at Park and Madison. They specialize in cheeses. After seeing those skinny models, I decided to eat some mac and cheese in their honor!!

Mina threw a post-show cocktail party for Rebecca Taylor there. Anisha Lahkani, author of the book Schooled and Jill Fairchild, “What to Wear” publisher (and daughter of W Magazine founder and fashion world legend John Fairchild) were co-hosts. Wine, cheese and fondue. Delicious! Rashida Jones from The Office was there, as was Ramona, one of the “Real Housewives of New York.”

Rebecca Taylor and Mina Jacqueline Au

After the cocktail party, Mina and I got changed for the nighttime show and party.

Marianne Mancusi and Mina Jacqueline Au

She had a room at the Shoreham hotel in the Penthouse. It was an amazing hotel room with a glowy sink! I want!

Glowy sink at the Shoreham

I wore my Betsy Johnson dress, which I must admit I bought at Buffalo Exchange in Williamsburg. I’m poor! But I LOVE this dress all the same.

Me in Betsy Johnson

Then we headed back to the tents to the Custo Barcelona show. I saw socialite Tinsley Mortimer – who recently guest starred on Gossip Girl – in the front row – and stole a pic.

Tinsley Mortimer at Custo Barcelona

Unfortunately this show was packed to capacity so I was stuck back in standing room only. So my pics aren’t as good.

Custo Barcelona Show

Custo Barcelona Show

Custo Barcelona Show

Custo Barcelona Show

After the show we headed to Marquee to a private party thrown by Kerry Cassidy. She’s currently filming a reality show for Bravo along with Devorah Rose so you’ll probably see more of her soon. Jacob joined me for the party and we got drinks (as worktime was over!) and people watched.

Then we went back to real life and ate Gray’s Papaya hotdogs and went to bed. It was a dream day, though exhausting. I don’t know how socialites do it. Honestly it’s more work than a 9-5 job! 🙂

Here’s the final segment, as aired on Better TV.

Marianne

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Cabbage Patch Kids 25th Anniversary

September 9, 2008 at 7:26 pm (better tv) (, , , , , )

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Today I went to Toys R Us in Times Square to do a story on the Cabbage Patch Kids 25th Anniversary. There was a big birthday party with cake and ice cream and a lot of excited moms and kids. Xavier Roberts, otherwise known as the creator and the guy whose signature was on all the kids’ butts

Look in the background of the picture and you’ll see what looks like a cabbage patch kid statue. It’s actually a cake! Made by a Food Network chef (whose name escapes me at the moment.) It was pretty amazing. I’ll post a better visual once my segment is done and uploaded to Better TV.

For the birthday celebration the company re-created all the original Cabbage Patch Kids from that first year. I couldn’t find the one that looked identical to mine unfortunately, though I saw one that was close. It’s okay though – cause I still have my original cabbage patch kid. Her name is Constance Georgia. She escaped the fire cause she was still at my mom’s house.

I was one of the lucky ones who got a cabbage patch kid during that crazy year where people were allegedly murdering one another for the dolls in toy stores. I had seen my friend Michelle get one for her birthday in September and told my mom I wanted one. Being the early Christmas shopper she is, she went out and purchased one for me and put it away. Then the craze started. My parents told me later they were very tempted to sell the doll for a significant amount of money – she might have funded their entire Christmas shopping list! But they decided in the end that I should have my doll.

Of course they told me that they hadn’t been able to get one and said I needed to be understanding that it was impossible. I understood, but was immensely disapointed. I wanted one SOOO BADLY! So imagine my excitement when Christmas morning I opened my first gift and there she was!!

She’s a little worse for wear now, but very loved. And I’ll never forget the story about how she came to be under the tree. So even though today I thought it was a little strange to see THAT MANY PEOPLE lined up to share in a new Cabbage Patch celebration, I guess in a way I understand…

Here’s the final clip, as aired on Better TV.

Marianne

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Sherrilyn Kenyon

August 17, 2008 at 3:55 pm (better tv) (, , , , )

On Friday afternoon I headed over to conduct an interview with the lovely Sherrilyn Kenyon, whom I adore. Sherri and Liz and I bonded over the costume controversy at RWA last year and I’ve loved her ever since. (Of course I love her books as well.) I interviewed her on camera for my Better TV feature. She really has an inspirational life story about overcoming ridiculous obstacles to become such a worldwide success!

Sherrilyn Kenyon interview

Mike tried to get a good over-the-shoulder shot, but she said can’t type with someone looking over her shoulder. So we had her pull up the Dark Hunter website instead. She told me that people have met on her bulletin boards and ended up getting married to one another! And she’s always being introduced to babies with her characters’ names. I do think Acheron would make an awesome name. 🙂

Sherrilyn Kenyon interview

And check this out! Acheron’s coat on the bed! Now get your minds out of the gutter!

Acheron Jacket on bed.

Sherrilyn’s been on tour all over the country for weeks now (with her partner-in-crime Dianna Love Snell, who we love as well!), promoting her latest book, Acheron. (Amazing book, btw.) And yet, when we headed to the booksigning later that evening to get video of the fans lining up to meet her, she spent time with every single person and signed and took photos. It was amazing – I don’t know how she has the stamina. I think that’s part of the reason she’s so well loved – in addition to writing such amazing books, she’s just a great person who really cares deeply about her fans.

Here’s the final segment, as aired on Better TV:

Marianne

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