Monday, April 11, 2011

PR Bitch-Fest Spans Two Continents!

It's been the talk of the town in coffee bars and at smart shindigs over flutes of champers and canapes. Sydney-siders excitedly discussing the slap-down given by Murdoch newspaper columnist Ros Reines of the Sunday Telegraph to local charity boy Rupert Noffs and New York celebrity fashion publicist, author and reality TV star Kelly Cutrone.

 Reines called Cutrone's recent visit to Sydney for Noffs and a Gideon shoe store opening 'tragic' and accused her of 'creating mayhem' and infuriating organisers of the $2000-a-head Prix de Marie Claire Awards when Cutrone and Noffs failed to appear after being given tickets to the event. The full piece can be read here.

Not that the Awards themselves got off easy. The host of that event and editor of Marie Claire, Jackie Frank got a good dressing down as well.

Trying to get anyone to go on the record about the spat though has been a Herculean task. No-one locally seems to want to  upset Ms Reines and in the Big Apple it seems Ms Cutrone's name carries considerable weight as well.

Michael Musto, top columnist on New York's Village Voice responded with an enigmatic : "I don't really know what to say about Kelly. Perhaps you should talk to Patrick (McMullan), he knows her well".

Patrick McMullan, New York's top society snapper, a contributing editor on Vanity Fair and host of a TV fashion show  was oddly silent and didn't return the Shuttle's call. Messages left for McMullan usually bring a response at an ungodly hour when he returns from his nightly rounds of New York's top parties and he's always up for a good natter about the latest happenings.

Reines, whose twitter moniker is 'tabloid terror' and who described herself as 'ruthless' in a Spectator piece continued : "On Twitter last week, Cutrone asked whether I was OK or just "vicious". When it comes to being vicious, it takes one to know one."

Calls to Cutrone's New York People's Revolution public relations firm for a comment were met with "we'll get back to you with a statement eventually". It never came.

Kelly Cutrone at Gideon Shoes.
Two other top New York publicists agreed to speak as long as their names weren't used.

One who said he regularly ran into Cutrone socially and at industry events said:

 "Kelly doesn't suffer fools gladly but she can be  forthright at times and has upset some people. But she's so damned good at her job she's readily forgiven. She's had an amazing ride to the top and I really respect her. Reading the piece by Ros Reines though-she should be writing for one of  the New York dailies, they could use her !"

A female publicist who has worked with Cutrone on various projects said :
"there's been quite a bit of chatter about the Ros Reine's piece and everyone thinks it's a bit of a scream. Most people seem to think that if Reines and Kelly met under other circumstances they'd get on like a house on fire, they seem so similar. Gideon's by choosing Kelly to promote their shoes in the US made a wise choice, there is none better at pr"
Rupert Noffs

As for Rupert Noffs he simply sent a diplomatic " Ros is just doing what Ros has to do " reply to our email.

Perhaps the last word should go to a well known Sydney face and a regular attendee of the town's best parties who was at Paddington's swish La Scala restaurant's first year birthday bash last Tuesday evening :

  "oh thank God for Ros. She breathes some sort of life into what at times seems like a completely moribund social scene."

Coming up : Rupert Noffs-charity runs in the family