Jews in the News: Diane Von Furstenburg, Michael Kors and Barbara Hershey

The Council of Fashion Designers of America, which runs Fashion Week, and whose current president is DIANE VON FURSTENBERG, 66, and whose current vice is MICHAEL KORS, 54, issued a statement recognizing the importance of the holiday, but noting its hands were tied because the European equivalents of Fashion Week are staged right after New York and the Council does not have the option to switch the date.


A number of Jewish style directors, fashion directors, and fashion journalists noted that they planned to observe the holiday. Here are some of their comments about the “overlap”: “I do feel guilty about being completely unavailable for a full two and a half days, but if I’m going to piss someone off, better the fashion gods than God, you know?”; and “The overlap did really bother me. I’m relatively observant—obviously I’m going to pick the ram’s horn over the showing of tortoiseshell”; and “It’s like being an entertainment writer and taking off the Oscars.”


Other Jews in the fashion industry admitted they will attend some Fashion Week events during Rosh Hashanah. Some said they will also try to observe the holiday as they can (mostly by going to services in the morning and going to afternoon shows). Some big name designers (like MAX AZRIA, 64) didn’t respond to inquiries, but the Tablet reporter ferreted-out that they apparently would go ahead with their regular shows.


In my next column: some notes about celebs celebrating the High Holidays in Hollywood


At the Movies


Opening on Friday, Sept. 13 is “Insidious 2”. It is a horror/fantasy, like the first “Insidious” (2011), which garnered generally good reviews and was the most profitable film of the year (cost $1.5 mil; made $95 mil). Once again, Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne play a couple who battle demons from “The Further” who want to take over Wilson’s soul or the souls of their kids. BARBARA HERSHEY, 65, reprises her role as Wilson’s mother, with LIN SHAYE, 69, returning as Elise, a family friend and paranormal expert. Elise, by the way, was killed near the end of the original film—but, you know, fantasy/horror films have tons of plot devices to “revive” a dead character.


Shaye’s best known role is Magda, the friend and neighbor of Mary (Cameron Diaz) in the comedy hit “There’s Something About Mary.” If you’ve seen the film, you’ll recall that Magda was incredibly overtanned and that she had a little dog which caused big problems for Mary’s suitor, Ted (BEN STILLER).


Sergey Brin's Break-Up and New Girlfriend


Last Thursday, Aug. 29, the news broke that Google co-founder SERGEY BRIN, 40, had separated from his wife, ANNE WOJCICKI, 40, and that he had a new girlfriend, AMANDA ROSENBERG, 27, a marketing director for Google Glass. Brin’s Jewish parents left the former Soviet Union in 1979, tired of the anti-Semitism which had impeded their respective academic careers and despairing of the prospects for their son.


Brin wed biologist Wojcicki in 2007 and the couple now have two children. Neither Brin nor Wojcicki (whose mother is Jewish) are religious, but they did have some Jewish touches at their secular wedding: a chuppah-- and Brin stepped on a glass. Anne’s sister, SUSAN, 45, is an important Google executive who has known Brin since Google was founded in 1998. There’s much speculation on how the break-down of Brin’s marriage will affect Susan and Google, generally.


As I write this, most sources say that Brin separated from Anne before he began dating Rosenberg. Here’s part of what the Daily Telegraph, a UK paper, wrote about Rosenberg on Aug. 30:  “She initially worked for [Google] in London before last year moving to San Francisco to work at its Silicon Valley nerve centre. Rosenberg wrote an online blog soon after she arrived – ‘I’m part of the master race that is the Chinese Jew or Chew, if you will. Born in Hong Kong but bred in the UK.’…Rosenberg is understood to have an English father and a Hong Kong Chinese mother who worked as an investment banker.”



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