Just when you thought Gov. Sarah Palin had every stitch of her life unsewn, another hemline came loose last week when it was revealed that the Republicans had spent $150,000 in campaign money on her campaign wardrobe. (Although it was McCain’s adviser who made the purchases, and the cost was apparently unknown to Palin.)
But is this just another example of double standards in the media? Nobody bothered to go through thousands of pages of public records to calculate the total figure Hillary Clinton spent on her wardrobe while vying to be the Democratic Presidential candidate. While she has a totally different style to Palin, the 61-year-old reportedly had the majority of her pantsuits tailor-made by L.A. designer Susanna Chung Forest with every jacket costing around $3,000 and pants around $2,000.
Despite the public outcry, several top designers and stylists to the stars have told Tarts there was nothing excessive or inappropriate about the GOP funding the Alaskan governor's $150,000 designer wardrobe, as they say image plays the most critical role in one's success. After all, Hollywood starlets spend far more on a single accessory amid their Oscar season campaigns (or more likely are given it for free and then it is written off in taxes), and they don't have to be in three different states every single day for months on end.
"She is running for vice president, and both the President and vice president of the United States should be iconic. She should be someone we look up to on many levels, and her image is this country’s image," says Stacey Bendet, designer and owner of the world-famous Alice + Olivia. Maternity clothes designer Liz Lange (whose garments are worn by big names like Kelly Ripa, Kate Winslet and Reese Witherspoon) agrees: "She is the center of major media attention and she needs to look the part of a professional while on the campaign trail."
And according to Carmen Electra's personal stylist Amanda Reno, fashion can make or break someone in any field. "It can change the way you feel and act, your mood and the way the world sees you," Reno tells Tarts.
But "Project Runway" sensation Nick Verreos (who has dressed the likes of Heidi Klum, Eva Longoria and Kathy Griffin) disagrees, saying that while Palin's look "exudes confidence and command," her uber-glam garments make her a hypocrite.
"It [the $150,000] would not have been an issue unless she did not portray herself as this 'everyday run-of-the-mill Soccer Mom,' who is just like 'you and me.' It just came off as hypocritical for Palin," he said. "This argument that the RNC just 'gave it to her'; well she could have taken the high road and not accepted."
But wouldn't there be more reason to complain if a woman in such a powerful position was donning the fur-trimmed hoodies and puffy jackets she wears to watch her kids play sports on a Saturday morning?
"Palin's style is clean, classic, and conservative, as I believe it should be," says leading stylist Rebecca Resnick, who works with everyone from Lindsay Lohan and Pete Wentz to Mariska Hagitay and Jamie-Lynn Sigler. "She is very much in the public eye and under constant scrutiny, so the more classic and sophisticated she comes across will only better her in the end."
And who knows, perhaps Palin's shopping spree did something to boost our very unfashionable economy. "Palin's purchases helped those individual stores greatly," agrees Verreos. "Especially in these sour economic times, where every day we learn of more and more retail chains closing. I am sure the sales people and store managers in St. Louis' and New York City's Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as Minneapolis' Macy's and Neiman Marcus were very, very happy".
Anne Hathaway stars as a reforming rehabber in the drama "Rachel Getting Married" but it turns out that her not-so-attractive and choppy hairstyle was initially inspired by top British supermodel, Agyness Deyn.
"When I was reading the character Agyness Deyn had just come out and emerged as this new, young force. I just pictured Kym [Hathaway's character] as a punker who was probably high and decided to cut it and it didn’t work," Hathaway says. "I went to my hairstylist and he actually let me help cut it off, it was fun."
Despite the dramas in Anne’s personal life due to the fraud charges against her former flame Raffaello Follieri, her professional life couldn’t be better as she currently stands as one of the most in-demand actresses. But fame and fortune aside, Hathaway is prepared to fall.
"Nothing lasts - it’s coming and it’s going to crush me at some point," she adds. "If you go into acting and think you are always going to be at the top of your game you’re setting yourself up for defeat. Right now things are easier, but I don’t expect it to last."
The whole reason big corporations spend big bucks on big launch parties is to get press, and in order to do so one needs a strong selection of star-studded names to attend. So while the likes of Maggie Gyllenhaal, Cynthia Nixon, Naomi Watts and Julianne Moore made the effort to get all jazzed up to attend the launch of the swanky new Blackberry Bold in New York on Tuesday night, invited attendee Marc Jacobs was overseas jet-setting.
Oh, but that apparently didn’t stop the big-wig designer from specifically requesting that a (free) device be still sent to him ASAP. Like he can’t afford to buy his own, right?
Second to William Morris, The Gersh Agency is Hollywood’s longest-running Mecca for talent having been around since 1949 and represented hundreds of A-listers in the film, television, production and sports arenas. But the Hollywood staple has been turned into turmoil after pretty much losing its an entire division of young Hollywood stars.
Talent VPs Chuck James and Laurie Bartlett (who were both with Gersh for over a decade) made waves when they recently moved on to ICM and between the two of them took their extensive client base including Megan Fox, Mena Suvari, Elisha Cuthbert and Josh Duhamel.
So we hear Gersh is in the prowl and looking to poach a hot agent (or two) with a good list of Hollywood hotties...
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