In Memoriam: Countess Esterhazy’s Column Gets The Axe
There’s nothing I associate more with W magazine than my grandma. And though at face value, this may seem like it says something about W, I’ve always thought it said more about her innate sense of style, zest for life, and all around Zsa-Zsa Gabor brand of fabulousness. Which is why I was so sad to read that with the reign of Stefano Tonchi firmly underfoot, Countess Louise J. Esterhazy’s back of book column was getting the axe.
Esterhazy was the nom de plume of John Fairchild — yes, those Fairchilds — whose father most notably created Women’s Wear Daily. Fairchild, now 83, stepped down as publisher of W when he turned 70, but continued his dryly acerbic musings on the decline of high society every month. W’s June issue is the last to feature Fairchild’s wit, and honored the author with a compilation of his greatest hits. Our favorites:
“Does [Karl Lagerfeld] wear gloves because his fingernails are dirty, or because he bites (his nails, I mean)?” —February 2006
“Who today would rather read about society ladies like Nancy Cunard and Gloria Guinness, fast as they were for their times, when they can read things about Roseanne that once would have been confined to gynecological offices?” —November 1995
“Don’t hesitate to marry for money. It’s as acceptable in modern New York as it was in Renaissance Italy. And don’t be afraid to marry often.” —September 1987
“To me, [Nicole Kidman] looks like an overdressed kangaroo.” – 2004
“I say, let’s have happy clothes. You could reply that’s frivolous in this troubled world, but do you really think dressing like an existential nun with suicidal thoughts is going to solve Bosnia?” – 1996
“If you want a snapshot of fashion today, just look at the way people dress on airplanes—shorts, sweatpants, T-shirts, sandals. And I’m talking about business and first class.… Soon people will just arrive naked and slip right into one of those fold-down beds. It will make it quicker to join the mile-high club.” —May 2001
Just two months ago, my grandmother ripped out Esterhazy’s page from the January issue of W (she likes to take her time reading them), annotated it, and mailed it to me. It was about the internet. The section she’d underlined most vigorously read:
“There are…plenty of ways [the computer] makes people lazy. For instance, children now type their thank-you notes rather than handwrite them.”
Her intent was duly noted, and I purchased a set of blank note cards from Kate’s Paperie that same day.
[via NY POST.]