Ann M. Murray
The CW is strengthening its fashion reality show arsenal by launching an Apprentice-meets-Devil Wears Prada series called Stylista in the fall. The show introduces a new resident devil–I mean editor: A fashion director of Elle magazine who goes by the name of Anne Slowey. And if a show where young, dumb twenty-somethings are thrust onto the world of fashion to work for a boss whose idea of constructive criticism is to tell you you’re dressed like a clown isn’t enough drama for you, consider the real behind-the-scenes drama: The rivalry between editor Anne Slowey and Project Runway’s Nina Garcia, as neatly documented by New York Magazine.
[Watch Nina Garcia in action on Project Runway]
You see, Anne is the fashion editor who remained at Elle while Nina Garcia was ousted during her stint on Project Runway. Both women are headstrong and climbed to the top all on their own. They are also a study in polar opposites:
Staffers often reference a pair of videos on the magazine’s Website that peeked inside the closets of Elle editors as proof of how incompatible they are: Slowey’s is small, East Village, overflowing with vintage finds; Garcia’s is cavernous, color-coded, and situated in an apartment overlooking Central Park. Where Slowey got into fashion by accident and mostly to be around other creative people, Garcia had “total conviction” it was where she belonged. Where Slowey got into fashion by accident and mostly to be around other creative people, Garcia had “total conviction” it was where she belonged. In a book she wrote called The Little Black Book of Style, Garcia evocatively summons the moment of epiphany: the day her 15-year-old “Colombian princess” self, clad in a miniskirt and heels, first took in the sight of her new classmates at Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Massachusetts, who were uniformly decked in khakis and duck boots. First, she was horrified at the sight of her classmates, then mortified for herself, then she felt a renewed commitment to dress the way she felt most beautiful.
The rift between them developed because of the fact that both women were hired under different Elle editor regimes, but it worsened when Garcia’s Project Runway duties took her far away from her office duties. When Garcia went off on maternity leave, all bets were off. Slowey even hired a spiritual cleaner to “cleanse” the post-Garcia vibes of the office. When maternity leave was over, the staff had turned against the Runway judge. “They hate her,” the magazine quoted a former staffer as saying. “And no one really knows why. They just call her, like, ‘the evil one’ or ‘the monster.’?”
Nina has since left for Marie Claire and is continuing her duties on Project Runway, while Anne Slowey will begin her reality show duties on Stylista this fall. Only time will tell who will come out victorious in this war of the fashionistas, but one thing is for sure. We will all be watching.