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Million Dollar Decorators Returns with a 3,000-Pound Dining Table, Black Patent Leather Drapes

Tonight Bravo kicks off a second season of Million Dollar Decorators, the wildly amusing docu-series that follows quiptastic interiors gurus Kathryn Ireland, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Mary McDonald, and Jeffrey Alan Marks as they go about their appointed rounds (Nathan Turner, the fresh-faced kid brother of the bunch, has been pruned from the cast). The season opener follows the progress of Jimmy Choo co-founder Tamara Mellon’s Manhattan dining room to be. The space is Bullard’s “disco frenzy” wink at the red lacquer library that Albert Hadley designed for Brooke Astor, but it’s out with the chintz and in with black patent-leather drapes, a suite of Paul Evans chairs recovered in red leather, zebra-stripey chevrons, and a custom white marble dining table that, at 3,000 pounds, will need to be hoisted through the living room window. “Good grief!” says a wide-eyed Bullard, when his assistant relays the news. “I’ve never, in my entire career, had to use a crane before.” Will the $50,000 table make it safely into the penthouse? Can Bullard locate the man who has apparently absconded with $10,000 and Mellon’s future fireplace? Will McDonald’s mercurial client change her mind, again? Can Ireland and her Diana Vreeland-esque housekeeper find relaxation in wine country? Will a tipsy Ross Cassidy locate the ice cream he seeks? Tune in tonight to find out.

Christian de Portzamparc’s One57 Gets Turn in Hurricane Sandy Spotlight

Ze crane! The flaccid crane at One57, slated to be the tallest residential property in Manhattan.

Sandy came, she saw, she conquered–and she made a global megastar out of a building project that already had garnered plenty of buzz among New York real estate mavens and architecture buffs: One57, Extell’s 1,000-foot mixed-use tower designed by Christian de Portzamparc. On Monday afternoon, as the storm winds strengthened, the crane at the construction site buckled with a boom that those in the vicinity at first mistook for a thunder clap. Cut to a frightening shot of the crane’s top portion dangling like a limp tree limb and poised to plummet 90 stories below to the Manhattan thoroughfare of West 57th Street.

On TV, the injured crane and the luxe tower-in-progress got almost as much airtime as drenched, windbreaker-clad correspondents and, as coverage wore on and darkness set in, provided rain-pelted reporters with a few moments of respite from the cameras. CNN’s Piers Morgan located a “crane expert” and then pressed him to concur that a total collapse was imminent. Donald Trump chimed in on Twitter. There were no mentions of Portzamparc (or of Tomas Juul-Hansen, who is masterminding One57′s interiors), only of the “several billionaires” that had already purchased condos in the 95-unit building. Meanwhile, the crane is hanging in there. “Our hope is that tomorrow they’ll be able to find a way to pull it in, and then cable it to the building so it’s not going to fall,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a press conference today.

HGTV to Build Life-Sized Gingerbread House at Mall of America

At the Mall of America, bigger is better. In addition to 520 stores and 50 restaurants, the 4.2-million-square-foot complex is home to a towering LEGO robot, a giant green sea turtle (among the 10,000 creatures at the Sea Life Aquarium), and a roller coaster known as the SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge. The holiday season inevitably brings a new crop of outsized attractions and this year, design is in the mix as HGTV readies its Holiday House, a life-size gingerbread manse that will debut in the mall’s rotunda (hang a right at the 44-foot-tall Christmas tree) on the day after Thanksgiving. No word as to whether actual gingerbread is involved, but the house will host a steady stream of demonstrations, meet and greets, and other events with the likes of Genevieve Gorder, Vern Yip, Carter Oosterhouse, and Sara Peterson, editor-in-chief of HGTV Magazine. Even Scrooges with no interest in the house’s thrice-daily “spectacular holiday light show” can stop by on the way home to have purchases gift-wrapped by HGTV elves.

ELLE, Yes: Joe Zee on Life as a Creative Director

At a time when “creative director” can mean everything from head designer to heavily remunerated brand ambassador, Joe Zee is the real deal. In this second installment of our three-part interview, he peers out from his perch near the tippy-top of the Elle masthead to describe his typical day (or lack thereof). “I work with all the visuals from cover to cover, so when you read the magazine, whether it’s the model, the celebrity, the styling, the fashion, the photography, all those things come into my play,” Zee explains. “It’s really sort of helping to define a visual signature for the magazine.”

Watch Part 1: Joe Zee puts it All on the Line

Joe Zee to the Rescue! Face-to-Face with Fashion’s Favorite Fix-It Man

When not masterminding the look and feel of Elle, Joe Zee keeps busy coming to the rescue of floundering fashion designers. With his irresistible combination of no-nonsense advice and Gucci suits, the indefatigable creative director is currently starring in the third season of All on the Line with Joe Zee, which airs Monday nights on the Sundance Channel. In this first segment of our three-part interview with Zee, he discusses his experience on the small screen, things to watch for in the new season of All on the Line, and the importance of keeping it real on reality TV.

Quote of Note | Salman Rushdie

“It’s kind of Byzantine, halfway between Western and Eastern. It looks like a picture of a broken world.

I think everything in the bookstore tends to scream, and it’s nice to be the one not screaming.”

-Salman Rushdie, discussing with Andrew Wylie the cover design—by Alan Hebel and Ian Shimkoviak of theBookDesigners—for the U.S. edition of his new book, Joseph Anton: A Memoir (Random House), in The Fatwa: Salman’s Story, a documentary by Alan Yentob now airing on BBC World News

Stephen Colbert Lauds Amateur Fresco Restorer’s Pluck, Entrepreneurial Spirit

Whether at the slap-happy climax of a local news broadcast, amidst a sea of chuckles on a morning show, or via the unceasing stream of “Oddly Enough” clickbait, it has been all but impossible to escape the story (and the cringeworthy evidence, pictured above) of the botched restoration of a 19th century fresco that was once the pride of the Sanctuary of Mercy Church near Zaragoza, Spain. The world pounced on the freshly disfigured Jesus Christ in “Ecce Homo,” once so skillfully rendered by Elias Garcia Martinez, after its fumbled “restoration” at the hands of a well-meaning parishioner. BBC Europe correspondent Christian Fraser compared the ruined portrait to “a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic,” and it wasn’t long before the swollen Christ emerged on Twitter (“Washed my head! Big mistake!” tweeted @FrescoJesus) and spawned a Tumblr: the Beast-Jesus Restoration Society. But leave it to Stephen Colbert to offer a fresh take on the story. In a recent segment, he turned the focus on the 80-year-old restorer, one Cecilia Gimenez, naming her his “Alpha Dog of the Week” (past honorees include JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater, Silvio Berlusconi, and Domino’s Pizza) in spectacular narrative fashion:

Joe Zee Returns for Third Season of All on the Line

Joe Zee is back to reprise his rescuing of fashion designers who are struggling to make it work (oh wait, that catchphrase is taken). With his irresistible combination of no-nonsense advice and Gucci suits, the zippy Elle creative director stars in the third season of All on the Line with Joe Zee, which premieres tonight on the Sundance Channel. The show’s third season opener finds Zee trying to talk some sense into the creative odd couple behind New York-based Unruly Heir, maker of “outlaw prep” menswear (including a rather ingenious seersucker hoodie). Deeply in debt and lacking in diligence to move forward with their mission to bridge conservative and fashion-victim menswear, partners Joey and Jon are facing make-or-break time. Can Zee shake them out of their preppy-hipster comfort zone before it’s too late? Will Scoop buyers be impressed by Nantucket-flavored streetwear? And what does Mario Lopez have to do with all of this? Find out tonight.

Jeff Koons, ‘World’s Most Expensive Birthday Clown,’ Visits The Colbert Report

Last night on The Colbert Report, our intrepid host welcomed “renowned American sculptor” Jeff Koons. “His work sells for millions, but I’m willing to sell his half-eaten cheese tray for twenty grand!” said Stephen Colbert at the top of the show. Click to watch the artist explain his “Balloon Dog (Blue),” the museumgoer’s experience, and the importance of arts education.

Back in NYC, Project Runway Hits the High Line

In New York, one day you’re in and the next day you’re out. Then, many days later, you’re rediscovered by preservation-minded neighbors, photographed by Joel Sternfeld, saved from demolition, and reimagined by James Corner Field Operations with Diller Scofidio + Renfro. And, just like that, you’re back in again! The abandoned railway-turned-public park that is New York’s High Line becomes even more fashionable this week, thanks to a collaboration with Project Runway. With nine seasons, two networks, and one legal brouhaha under its shiny neon belt, the reality TV competition show returns on Thursday with 90-minute episodes filmed on location in New York (the opening challenge takes place in Times Square). Get a headstart on season ten by heading to the High Line, which is being temporarily transformed into a virtual runway: jumbo digital screens installed along a portion of the Chelsea Market passage will feature interactive digital images of Runway staples Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn, Michael Kors, and Nina Garcia, and fashion photographers, who according to Erika Harvey at Friends of the High Line, “will react in real time as park visitors strut their stuff while walking along the elevated park.” The “Make it Work Moments” installation opens this afternoon and runs through Thursday.
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