September 05, 2008

Friday, September 5: A Triple Espresso Kind of Day


Step auf: Ten successful seasons in New York, 30-plus stockists, degrees from Parsons and FIT and couture certification couldn't keep designer Jerry Tam, creative director of FORM, from being brutally and unceremoniously dumped off the first episode of "Project Runway" this season. But even though he got knocked down, he's getting up again - with generous help from Supima cotton and a show venue atop the Atelier condo building.

"Was I martyred?" asks Tam. "Probably. To tell you the truth, it gives me anxiety when I talk about it. I've kind of had to turn it off.

"I got a lot of negative feedback and lot of criticism. It's a great show, but, unfortunately, it wasn't in tune with what I'm doing," Tam says. "But if you can say no to Harvey Weinstein, please tell me how."

As for his future on reality TV?

"The reunion show was canceled," Tam says. "I have a ticket to go to the ["Project Runway"] show, but after producing our show, I'm going to be a little tired. I'm not above it, there are just some people I didn't get along with and I don't need to expose myself to it. But if I go, I'll wear my hat and be very proud."

Fashion & Finance: Recession, shmecession.

Geren Ford - she of the ultra-wearable punch-colored separates sold at Barneys and Henri Bendel - is the only designer we know who's never lost money on her collection. In fact, and in spite of the recession, she's raking in millions. On a visit to her makeshift studio tucked away on the second floor of ultra-posh Bowery Hotel offshoot Lafayette House - "I always stay here when I'm in New York," she says - Ford tells us that after six years in business and three Gen Art-sponsored shows, she's finally ready to bust out on her own.

Her first solo show was held Wednesday night - and she's surely in for another successful season. "I started this company with $5,000 in fabric," she says. "I made a pair of white drawstring pants and sold them to my friends. My background is in commercial production, which is less expensive [than traditional sampling]. I've always worked with my own money."

Isn't that scary, especially when stores aren't buying as much this season? Not really, she says, "We're not too established and not just starting out - we're known enough not to be a risk."

Q of the Day: Are you dieting for Fashion Week?

"No, I starve myself all year round" - James Boehmer, international lead artist for NARS

"I'm doing the opposite of dieting. Like a bear going into hibernation, I'm eating lots of fatty foods - since there's no time to get good meals in during Fashion Week, I've got to store up reserves now. At least that's what I tell myself when I order the truffle fries at Kingswood." - Susan Cernek, senior fashion and beauty editor at