I once asked Andy Warhol-someone quite content with his own identity-“Who would you want to be other than yourself?” He told me: “The Pope.” Andy went to Roman Catholic mass every Sun.–but–what he responded to was the pomp, the Popemobile, and the absolute power. The Pope’s a monumental celebrity. I’m sure AW would say Benedict’s smokin’ red PRADA treads are “really great.”
1. I love all the characters on The Sopranos. David Chase has created some of the most memorable in cinematic history. But I’ve got to give it to my new favorite: troubled pre-teen Goth kid, little Vito. You just have to love him. Kudos to director Timothy Van Patten on another great job. In his debut episode we saw chubby little V, w/ perfect attitude & makeup, manage sitdowns w/ 2 mob bosses – while never giving an inch. When taunted in the school locker room little Vito really stirred the sh*t – by actually defecating!!! P-HEW!
2. In a dark, but ultra exclusive recess of sunny LA is the store that revolutionized luxury retailing: Maxfield. The innovative concepts of the singular outpost on Melrose Ave. have been copied by exclusive stores across the globe for more than than a generation. The owner, Tommy Perse, always had IT. W/ an incredible eye & an attitude of complete disdain for the customer, he is Little Vito all grown up & calling the shots. I hadn’t been to Maxfield in a while, but it is still breaking ground.. now in a very personal, all-Tommy way. A friend was in from NY & wanted to shop. At Maxfield, Tommy’s decadent curio collections currently have equal space w/ the clothes. I’d bet most are eBay purchases marked up into the stratosphere & carefully chosen consignments from tony Melrose Place antique shops. The private fetishes of Tommy Perse are on display & for sale: shrunken heads; vintage porn; strutting stuffed chickens wearing the most finely wrought skull jewelry imaginable, & the ultimate in hard-ons—giant rock crystal dildos. All are mixed w/ clothing from Balenciaga, Prada, Hermès etc. I’m positive he did paid major $$$$ for his highly provocative showpieces– those primo examples of exotic cat taxidermy. The 2 huge stuffed leopards that prowl the front counters could scare lesser mortals than Roy Horn & make PETA scream. I imagine the shock value of the snarling embalmed predators is priceless to the proprietor. Deyrolle in Paris is the place that has been quaintly doing the “Ye Olde Curiosity Shop” thing since 1831—but it took Tommy Perse to bring it here – & pervert it. Anyway, my friend made a hefty purchase, and on the way out we ran into Perse—now an aging boomer sporting super long white rock & roll hair & clothes. How did he greet us? True to form—w/ trademark disdain. I was always struck by his taste & nerve, although I recognize everything he’s touting now is about one thing – death.