She's maneuvering the world of high fashion using instinct, experience and a WILD and ROWDY past!
Two days later, Nova’s gone viral! Her images are stunning and the WINONA, INC. Instagram site, our Facebook page, Twitter feed, all are getting slammed with hits and likes. The phones haven’t stopped ringing. Nova is making LOTS of noise around town! Several designers call and want to meet with her and I call each one of them personally to let them know her deal. Guess what? Nobody cares. In the meantime, Desi and I play phone tag. I wonder if he’s discovered her little secret yet? Well, it wasn’t so little, from what I got a peek at the other day. Shit. Girlfriend’s packin’.
Fashion Week is just around the corner. I decide to flex my muscle and make Nova THE hot new face on the runway this season. My team—photographer, hair, makeup and wardrobe stylist— is seriously kick-ass and we carve out a full day to shoot her. Oh. My. God. Nova photographs like a dream. But there’s something else. An edge. It’s in her eyes. Her smile. It SO works and I skip towards the dressing area, giddy as a groupie, to show her some of the shots we’ve taken. Give her a few tips. But when I step around the corner? My eyes almost roll right out of my head. Nova is standing there, naked. And guess what? Nova is a boy.
Winona dress inspired by Adriana Iglesias
On the walk to La Colombe Coffee, Desi takes center stage. Nova is digging him. And why wouldn’t she? He attended his bi-monthly Guggenheim board meeting today dressed very smartly in Tom Ford. But this? This can’t happen. Desi does his thing and that’s strictly between him and his man, Truman. Usually. But Nova is twenty years old, fresh off the boat and in my charge. Right now I need her to be fully focused on her career. Not flipped inside out by some middle-aged, switch-hitting cockhound just killing time. Desi knows better than this. What is he trying to do to me?
Desi shows up at the agency this afternoon just as the staff, Curtiss, Terri, Marc and I, are signing Nova. She’s Indonesian. A stunning beauty. Almost six feet tall and as lean as a racehorse. Have I got plans for her! But Desi is smitten. He can’t tear his eyes away. We pop the cork on a magnum of La Grande Dame 2006 and between the six of us, we kill it quickly. Then Desi invites Nova out for coffee. I know how he gets about the exotic types. Especially if he thinks they’ll look good together. Smelling trouble, I insist on hanging out with them. I invite Marc, my office manager, to come along, too.
I love Desi. And Desi loves me. But I’m convinced that when it comes down to what he wants, there’s never been a more selfish, self-serving prick on the planet. Yeah okay. I’m a close second. I’ll admit it. But right now Desi is quite taken with Nova, a brand new WINONA, INC. protègè. And he’s getting in the way, threatening all of my big plans for her. That’s right. Nova is a woman. At least, that’s what he thinks.
I was thirty-six and in an off-and-on-again thing with a hot young musician, the bass player for a British acid-rock band. While on holiday in London, he ran into an old girlfriend and a month later, she squeals to the press that she’s pregnant with his kid. Well. Feeling betrayed, I reacted. The lead singer had been throwing signals my way for months so one night I let him sing me right out of my panties. And when the bass player found out, he lost his mind. He and the lead singer started going at it every day during rehearsals until finally losing it completely, they kicked the shit out of each other on stage, in Chicago, in front of 15,000 fans. The band called it quits that night. Yeah. I Yoko’d them good. A week-long gig in Nairobi was my ticket out and I bounced the next morning at 6am. See ya!
It was a long night. For some odd reason, the CFDA’s usually are. But it was just as star-studded as ever and that’s always good. Held at the Hammerstein Ballroom, with the after party at the Samsung 837 space and the after-after party at The Standard, NICOLE KIDMAN, LUPITA NYONG’O, JANELLE MONAE, BROOKE SHIELDS, PAT MCGRAFT, THE SUPERMODELS, GLORIA STEINEM—they all came through. Bringing all sorts of fabulous fashion. But the BIG shoutout goes to MEG RYAN. She wore Christian Siriano and looked fantastic! Kicked er’bodies ass. Finally! It takes some people a lot longer than others to recover from the BIG, big chop. But it looks like America’s Sweetheart is back. And I’m out—
Winona’s lace gown inspired by Alexander Wang
For about ten years I worked almost every day. Outside of vacations and my stints in rehab, I was a busy girl. So getting to that weekly anger management class was hit or miss. But here’s the deal. It’s simple. When I go to a pricey restaurant and order a steak cooked rare, that’s what I want. When I have to send it back and you bring me another steak, more burnt than before, now you’re just fucking with me. If GWYNETH PALTROW and her then-fiancè BRAD PITT had not overheard the snooty waiter call me a prima donna, I would have gone to jail that night for sure, along with Desi. Instead, I threw the steak against the wall—my contribution to their art collection—and Gwynnie, with her nose way up in the air, suggested we all leave. They called us Rowdy Royalty in the press the next day. Desi had just arrived in New York. For him it was a fabulous entrèe.
As a model, I was a major risk-taker. If my photographer was one of the gods, the wardrobe amazing, and the money just right, I’d do almost anything for a shot. But how was I supposed to know on the night I partied like 1999 with PRINCE after his show at Radio City that the next day, photog Steve White would have me hanging off the edge of a tower downtown? I felt like crap. But fear and the DONNA KARAN I was wearing kept me steady. Steve got off two rolls of film, the shot appeared in BAZAAR and only I can see the sheer terror in my eyes. Everybody else thought I was one bad bee-yotch. “You’re a trooper!” Steve said to me after it was all over. “How you were able to upchuck in mid-air and completely miss the gown is just beyond me!”