exercise in contrast

Garance Doré (and Scott Schuman, in audience) at a seminar at the Fashion Institute of Technology

pullover: Ilaria Nistri, 2010 | pants: Geld Iaz, 1998 | rain boots: Jeffrey Campbell, 2010 | bag: GF by Gianfranco Ferre, 2008 | eyewear: Fiction, 2010


omg guess who i met! Garance Doré! **squeeeeee**

AND i met Scott Schuman too! **squeeeeeeee** again. (they are so cute it’s ridiculous.)

it was raining so i wore the karma galoshes, maybe they even bring good luck!

dinner at Nuela afterward, since it’s so close by. a lot of the really good stuff— like the foie gras balls that Sam Sifton is too stupid to eat in one bite even though they were like the size of fucking M&M’s, the bacalau fritters, and the sea urchin ceviche— is gone. this is what happens when you don’t play food politics and haven’t spent enough time kissing the retarded food press‘s ass. you can no longer afford to keep the best stuff (and staff) in house, because there’s not enough demand for it. muther fukkers.


*[ UPDATE: By request, this post has been modified to facilitate searches for the following commentary below on Shala Monroque and Larry Gagosian. ]*


41 thoughts on “exercise in contrast”

  1. well, i don’t know b/c i am from the boonies, but increasingly people don’t want to eat foie gras, veal, etc. for ethical reasons. is that part of the problem perhaps? i’m a foodie but i turned veg 20 years ago for those reasons; don’t miss the dead animal. i throw a mean dinner party and no one can believe it. many excellent american chefs are learning to cook tasty dishes w/o starting everything w/chicken broth.

  2. hi Cicily!

    okay, you definitely have a point there. and it’s true, i do have a certain anti-foodpress prejudice, i admit.

    i’m all for ethics (and sustainable measures) for sure– but in this particular case, i doubt it’s the ethics that are the problem, as Nuela continues to serve other meat dishes, as well as tuna…

    actually, if the food press were to shift their focus more toward promoting ethical practices (including addressing genetically modified foods, the monopoly of “big agra,” over-fishing of the seas, etc) instead of their own pompous personal predilections and politics, maybe i’d be less averse to their insensitive livelihood-damaging opinions.

    it would be difficult for me to give up meat entirely, but i have absolutely no problem cutting down and/or spending more money for free-range natural-fed humanely-treated locally-grown organic food products of any kind.

    in any case, thank you so much for weighing in.

  3. I’m surprised that they didn’t take your picture for their blogs. I love your designs and you are definitely one of the most stylish people I know. But it’s cool that you met them. Were they nice? You should have told them about your blog! They would love it.

  4. hi Jackie!

    aww, thank you! :)
    actually i did tell them. sigh, i don’t know if maybe i was overly gushy or what, but maybe i scared them to death or something.

    i sent them both an e-mail the next day too, i invited them to dinner at either Gusto Ristorante or Centro Vinoteca, because i’d read in the Times that Garance Doré moved to NY and they both live right in the neighborhood together now. oh! and i’d also told them about the book and whatnot, because a few weeks back, we’d seriously considered writing an outline for a whole episode of the series that essentially entailed me meeting them, and we wanted them to play themselves… it’s kinda a long story.

    i mean, they seemed very nice when i met them– Scott had even remarked, “we love dinner!” but then i never got a response to my e-mail from either of them.

    oh i don’t know, this is what always happens, i see or read something and i get so excited sometimes, and then i just fire off an e-mail gushing like a fool. and somehow things never come out right, ha ha ahaa remember what happened with Gawker? oh my god to this day i get upset when i think about what happened, and i get so incensed when anonymous trolls or whatever act like it’s nothing or it’s normal. and it’s only the rare person like you that makes me feel better and keeps me going when you reaffirm the iniquity of it all. i guess the lesson is i should learn to be more detached or aloof or whatever, it certainly doesn’t pay to be friendly and effusive, that’s for sure.

    but whatever, that’s just people, i guess. i actually haven’t looked at either of their blogs lately. i hate to admit it, but i suppose the incident has soured me a bit. it all makes me remember why i turned my back on fashion for awhile there and concentrated more on the restaurant thing. back then i’d been so jaded about fashion with all the superficiality and politics and catty bitches and everything, it was kinda a relief to dive into the F&B thing.

    hahahahahaa but then dealing with all the catty bitches in the food media all those years disgusted me to my fucking core. i mean i’m so grateful guys like you encouraged me to do the style blog thing, i would probably have never even known about any of it if you guys hadn’t showed me the links to those blogs, i am not even kidding, i had no idea. and i thought they were so great, so light and amusing and visually engaging, it was really an inspiration to me seeing their work and what they were doing and how much fun they seem to be having with it.
    but i guess that’s not what they want to hear, or maybe they hear it so often they just don’t give a shit.

    omg that totally reminds me! the last time i looked at garancedore, there was a picture of Shala Monroque, that’s another thing that maybe affected me. holy cow it’s kinda nuts, do you know who she is?

    anyway, to try and make a interminable story long, i first met Shala eons ago when she was working at Nobu57. the opening maitre d’ there was Harold, and when i’d arrived for my dinner reservation, he was so sweet saying how much he loooved my book. well he must have mentioned it to Shala who was working with him at the podium, because then she was super sweet to me too, telling my she haaad to read it. that’s how we met.
    i ran into her a few times here and there after that, and she was always so nice and beautiful and elegant, i really liked her.
    fast forward several years later— a mutual friend happened to mention Shala is blogging at The Pop now (it was right when she first started). i was so excited i went looking for her right away, and then when i realized her e-mail address was nowhere on the blog, i reached out to her in the comment section just like our mutual friend suggested.

    it turns out Shala was working with and featuring on her blog some old very good clients of mine like Olympia Scarry, Goli Samii, and Elizabeth Von Gutman! i was sooo thrilled, i left a comment saying how happy i was to find her and see her doing so well and please give my regards to the others. and i included a link to Geld Iaz just to remind them (in case they didn’t understand or put the two and two together. they know me as “geld,” not abbe).

    so then i was kinda a little heartbroken to find a day or so later, that not only had she not responded to me, she’d actually DELETED my comment.
    now— after all these years and with everything that’s happened to me on the internets, i gotta say the one thing i just can’t abide is shady blog shit. delete my comment? i mean, why? why the fuck do people do that? i fucking can’t stand it. and i don’t know if she did that because of her boyfriend Larry Gagosian or what— i mean yes obviously i made jokes about him in my book (looong before they started dating), and i’m well aware he’s quite friendly with You-Know-Who, but i mean, seriously? that sort of stuff is just so odd to me.
    i mean like for example, when the whole thing went down with Keith McNally and Gusto’s chef, Alina and i were able to still sit down comfortably like two old buds despite our husbands’ quandary. i think we even laughed about it. don’t get me wrong, i totally admit having a snicker when the goes-around finally came-around for Keith (just like i’d predicted), but that doesn’t mean i don’t still love Alina. am i making sense? just because we’re wives now doesn’t mean we have to get all Stepford about it, yes?

    anyhoo our mutual friend must have mentioned to Shala how disappointed i was, because then suddenly weeks later out of the blue i get a cold and distant but cordial e-mail from Shala. so i go to check, and lo and behold, there is my message in her comment section right where i left it.
    sigh, whatever.

    what was my point again? oh yah, the photo of Shala on garancedore the last time i checked. ha aha ha ha haah yah. that was the last time i looked at it.

    and i hate to say it, but now that old feeling about fashion is kinda coming back now. the further i get into the style blogging, the more i recall why i started hating fashion in the first place. omg dude, it’s kinda a nightmare out there. you knooow what i mean.
    yes, i hear what you’re saying, other friends and PR peoples tell me the same thing, but sometimes i’m really not so sure i want the “exposure.” it’s so nice just being around you guys who ‘get it.’ and now with the whole reality series thing happening— ugh it kinda scares me.

    WOW i’m babbling, holy shit.

    in any case what i mean to say is:

    love you! thank you so much! xoxo


  5. Abbs, holy $#!% is right, LOL! This should be a blog post all on it’s own. I edited it, but just to put in the right links so it’s not confusing to anyone else that wants to read it. ;)

  6. OK, I just had to google half those people, and it’s pretty hilarious that for Shala Whatever, Google brings up a PX This post where somebody is asking in the comments who the hell Shala is.

    So I gather she’s an ex-hostess that’s with Larry Gagosian now. Just like Keith’s wife.

    Well, Abbsterpiece, it’s not that hard to figure out after seeing all those other articles about her that she’s trying to cash in on her new cache now, and maybe her plebeian past embarrasses her. Do you think Vogue would be that interested in an former restaurant worker? “It girl”, “jet setter”, “editor-at-large” and “art consultant” are just some of her titles I saw on Google, so I wouldn’t be surprised if hearing from you freaked her out a little. I didn’t see a single mention of her F&B past anywhere, and I barely saw anything linking her to Gagosian, either.

    I’m not condoning it, but all I’m saying is it’s not that surprising.

  7. Oh, and as for you inviting those other two for dinner at Gusto/Centro, screw them, take me instead. Name the date/time, and I’ll gladly be there with bells on.

  8. I think DJ hit it right on the head. What’s up with that? Remember when WSJ had that big article about Genevieve Jones with the stipple portrait? It was all about her being an It Girl, and how fabulous she is, with all these famous friends, and a “mysterious” source of income, and not one single word about her dating Francesco Clemente. Is the press in collusion to hide these things? And what for? Or are they just that stupid?

  9. What a great find. Followed a link from a story about Sartorialist. He sounds sort of uppity, so maybe that’s why he never answered your email. His loss…. I wouldn’t turn down free dinner either!

    After a short look around, you’ve got a new fan now if that’s any consolation. :)

    Great blogs you have!

  10. Hi, Abbe! Just wanted to let you know I posted a link to your comment at NY Mag.

    But you wanna hear something crazy!? A little while ago I came across this NY Times article about Larry Gagosian.

    Funny how his ex-GF talks about in the article still keeping in touch with him, because “love is not a priority” for him. Someone else mentions “he loves seeing his name in The NY Times.”

    Well, it’s CRAZY that you mention Genevieve Jones in these comments! Not trying to be mean or anything, but if you happen to run into LG again, you might want to tell him that along with his name in The Times is his picture. So when he goes out late at night, people can recognize him, but more importantly, THEY CAN SEE WHO HE IS WITH!!!

    Is the art world that small!?! Geeeeeeezzz!!! Now THAT is “cosmic freakiness!!” ;)

  11. Hey, Ferrer! I just approved your comment – sorry about that, any comments with links have to accepted by a mod first.

    Thanks for posting the link! As a small token of our appreciation, we can send you a copy of PX Me as soon as it comes out. It sounds like you might really appreciate what it’s all about, because it addresses alot of what you said in both your comments. :)

    There’s more info about it here –> http://www.pxthis.com/2011/08/px-me-the-sequel-to-px-this/

    Please send your email or delivery address to px.this AT gmail. I didn’t bother approving your other repeat comments, so if there is something else you’d like to add publicly, please re-post, but keep in mind comments with links take longer. Thanks again! :)

  12. aww thank you so much, Ferrer!

    heee, the last time i saw Larry Gagosian was at The Setai in Miami during Art Basel. but i never say anything to him, are you kidding?

    by the way, it wasn’t me that mentioned Genevieve Jones in the comments up there, that was my buddy MILFweed.
    but hahahaa ummm, yah. i do have a few friends who work at Boom Boom in The Standard. that’s alls i’m sayin.


  13. So, is it the Art World, the Restaurant/Nightlife World, or the ‘It Girl’ World that’s small?

    Maybe it’s NYC that’s small. When are people going to wise up already? For every slick publicist, or rich asshole, or BS story, there’s always going to be a PX This.


    Those articles in New York Mag and NY Times(and this whole media shtick), by the way? Classic.

  14. abbe you seem to know Shala a little, so tell us how on earth did she meet Gagosian?? Was she an escort or a prostitute? she seems very shady to me…

  15. hi Ellie!

    actually i wouldn’t say i know Shala well, but i guess, apparently more than her media coverage has revealed until recently. no, Shala was not an escort, she was a hostess in several very popular NYC restaurants, and as i remarked several times in my first book, PX This (which was a diary about my own personal restaurant experiences), Larry Gagosian was not a difficult person to meet at all since he did frequent those places, as did many many many others of his stature.

    long before they started dating, i had already joked in my book about his affinity for cute young girls, particularly of the ethnic variety– which had already been noted in the press, by the way. not for nothing though, mutherfukkers like that are a dime a dozen in the NYC fine dining world, forealz.
    obviously Shala, who was always elegant and amiable at the front desk, would have amply fit the bill.

    uhh, i don’t know whether Shala was aware of his reputation with women, so i really couldn’t tell you whether it was naivete or cunning that brought them together if that’s what you’re asking. but whichever it was, i hope she’s happy. quite frankly, i think she could have done much better, but maybe that’s just me. i have absolutely no idea what her priorities are– like i said, i don’t know her very well.

    sorry, hope that answers your question! thanks for commenting! :)

  16. Whoa, followed the link from NY Magazine and so glad I did. Thanks, Ferrer. Would have replied on that thread, but don’t care enough to sign up as a commenter there. Those people give me a headache sometimes.

    This is hysterical. Love your blog, Abbe. Very stylish and intelligent. You kick Shala’s ass, ha! Did you notice how commenters on that article were asking for stories of women who have alot more to offer than just “name-dropping” and a rich boyfriend. Shala might be elegant, but unfortunately, she didn’t really come off so great in that interview. Not much going on upstairs it seems. I can see how an impressionable young hostess could fall for Gagosian’s “charms,” and I don’t type those quotes lightly. I also live in NYC, so I know exactly what you mean, Abbe.

    Have you ever read Steve Martin’s Object of Beauty? Not surprising that those two get along so well- Martin is another one obsessed with the dumb, young pretties. He mentions Gagosian very favorably so often, I’m sure they have a lovely bromance.

    Anyway, just wanted to say what a refreshing discovery, keep up the good work. And now, off to get your book on my Kindle! Looking forward, I’ve been to almost every place where you’ve worked… :-D


  17. she “doesn’t want to talk about him” she just wants to make sure that he loves her is mentioned in the title. lol

  18. @ Jason Has-Binn


    Can we officially make “to Kimora” a verb now?

    Only I don’t know whether to say “Larry Kimora’ed Shala” or she Kimoraed him.

  19. Thanx for you reply Abbe it was very enlightening ! I did not know Gagosian had a thing for “ethnic” girls ;) yeah Shala probably met him while working as an hostess. Anyways the thing that bothers me about the NYmag article is that she spread her legs for some rich old dude, she is now able to buy all the Prada and Chanel she wants with HIS money and BAM she becomes a style icon! Somegirls have all the luck lol

  20. hey i hear ya, girl!
    alls i’m sayin is that i actually liked her and i thought we got along pretty nicely. i don’t really understand homegirls who get all diva once they start moving up the ladder. it happens a lot in this city though, it’s kinda crazy. but whatever!

    well, if it’s any consolation, money can buy Prada and Chanel, but it can’t really buy happiness. or a sense of fulfillment, no matter how crafty your publicist is. despite how great and glossy things look on the outside, i can tell you i know more than a handful of beautiful, smart, talented, self-respecting, and hardworking girls who wouldn’t change places with her right now. no joke.

    this city really is just way too small.

  21. oh wow, thanks TL!

    please let me know what you think about it, i would love to hear your opinion. thank you so much! :)

  22. Shala was always kind of a diva. I used to work with her and even tho she could be nice sometimes, she was always late or would call in sick. Not really a good worker, mostly wanted to hang out by the podium.

  23. Holy crap what did I miss? I was away and just got back. We had to rush and make it home before the hurricane uggghh!

    OK that’s funny because I saw Whatserface on the cover and I did read the article. But I didn’t even remember we talked about her before. Sorry Shalalalala Whatever but the whole thing was just so sad. I was wondering wtf because it didn’t even make sense. The article is called This is Why So and So is a Fashion Icon and it didn’t give any valid reasons. So she is a style icon for fucking Larry Gagosian? LMAO WTF?

    Oh Abs TL is right. You kick her ass. If is she is a ‘Style Icon’ then that must make you a Style Superstar or something LOL how flattering! I swear the media just gets stupider and stupider. Art consultant!?! And they never mentioned him or her lack of education/experience before ROTFL No wonder their industry is dying. How much did they get paid to write that BS. Soooo pathetic.

  24. @DJ
    Exactly! Can you imagine how people who got Masters in Art History and then spent years interning or working for peanuts in museums or galleries must feel? If John Galliano has to deal with Kimora being a ‘Fashion Designer’ no wonder he has such a big drug and alcohol problem.

  25. I don’t understand the hate on this board: don’t many white women do the same? Just recently I’ve read some article of a white chick from England barely 22 who’s landed in NY in no less than a swanky apartment in Williamsburg and as a ‘fashion buyer’ at a reputable well-known fashion outlet. I suspect the ‘musician boyfriend’ is pulling the strings. In the interview she was also hailed a ‘fashion icon’and you see all these girls going gaga over her-to this, no one bats an eyelid, but the moment it happens to a black woman everyone has something to object. Double standards…..

  26. oh come ON. if you want to scream racial prejudice, you have definitely come to the WRONG place. i am going to take the liberty of “speaking” for some of the others here, most of whom i know personally, and assure you that if i had raised similar points about “white women” (where should i start? Paris Hilton? Kim Kardashian? Anna Wintour?)– all of whom have gained fame and “iconic” status in the fashion world through dubious means, despite a glaring lack of discernible talent and/or technical skills– the “hate” would be just as palpable, as it is in many many many discussions throughout the internet that address such topics as this, by people who are just as (if not more) indignant about the pervasive injustice of the media in judging a person’s worthiness not on MERIT, but on MONEY and CONNECTIONS.

    i can’t opine about some dumb 22 year old english chick in Brooklyn– simply because i don’t know her personally, i’m wholly unfamiliar with her story, and far more importantly, i actually just don’t give a shit.

    did she work in the restaurant industry once or something? did she insult me by rebuffing my sincere greeting in some kind of dimwitted attempt to undermine me out of a some sort of bizarre, pathetic, petty, and competitve gesture of animosity?
    if so, then please by all means bring me her name and e-mail address, and i will be happy to bestow upon that uppity pretentious social-climbing spoiled-bitch of a diva the same kind of “hate” she deserves– i don’t care how milky or pasty she is.

  27. by the way

    “ellie” is pretty much the only “hater” in this thread that i don’t know personally or haven’t corresponded with extensively.

    and her IP address indicates she comes from MARTINIQUE.

    but yea, i am SO SHUR she’s indignant just because she’s a racist.

  28. LOL.

    What Abbe nailed.

    Besides, I brought up Kimora as an example, and since both she and Russell Simmons are black, they cancel each other’s race out, amiright?

  29. @ dick penis

    kimora is 1/2 black. so in ther case ur only allowed to be 1/2 racist. pls erase 1/2 ur comment.

  30. Huh! OK so I happened to find this thread by also following the link from NY Magazine. I was looking thru this month’s Vogue and noticed Shala Monroque in an ad. That was my first “who?” Then a few pages later I noticed her again but only because the pic wasn’t very good. Purple fur? Oh honey. I realized it was the same girl so then I thought “OK, who the hell?” Google google, and found this thread. Which I loved btw, hysterical! Read it all the way thru and learned a few things, love it. Actually do know about Larry Gagosian, bc I live in NY too ;) A friend of a friend actually dated him, but that’s another story.
    Anyway, picked up the Vogue again a little while later and guess what’s further into that same issue! A whole article about Larry Gagosian!!! Have you seen it!? OMG sick!! Having just read this thread, it was so funny I had to come back and look at the dates here again to see when all this was written.
    Uhhh, was that editorial supposed to be damage control? It was about “Gagosiennes,” all the women that work for him with a big pic and everything. Funny tho, they’re all white….. so bread is for lunch but chocolate is for dessert?? LOL, sorry!! But it’s so crazy! Was it supposed to show how it’s not weird if people spot him out with other women? How come Genevieve wasn’t in the pic with all the white women? And if Shala is also an “art consultant,” why isn’t she a Gagosienne in that pic either?? No mention of her at all, btw. So crazy.
    The best part is the pic of Larry, who prob never smiled like that in his whole life. The bright color suit and the airbrush of his pockmarked face is classic. And I shit you not, there is also a quote where he makes a toast “to love”!! But not about Shala :O
    Just had to say Kudos! Best thing I’ve read in a long time! Love your blog too, btw. So jealous! :) xx T

  31. Just had to say thanks for this great informative thread. Amazing. God bless “teh internets,” long may it reign. I also followed the Google breadcrumbs…… I’m off to use the glossies to line my catbox, and the rest I will use for kindling. Cheers!

  32. So, does no one else find it interesting how this all played out?

    Shala became famous for dating Gagosian and being besties with Dasha Zhukova. Zhukova and Ambromovich are divorced now, and Gagosian is being roasted for being besties with Ambramovich.

    And suddenly NY Post doesn’t need to protect their bestie powerful, white men anymore?
    Can we make “to ‘Stein” (see Epstein/Weinstein) a verb now too? It means “to 180 your opinion, because it looks so blatantly shady now”.



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