On Tuesday night actress Nancy Lee Grahn (who plays the attorney Alexis Davis on General Hospital), fired off several angry tweets about how someone at Vera Wang told the show’s costume department that the brand didn’t want its dresses on a soap opera. But according to Vera Wang, no one from General Hospital reached out to them to begin with.
In her tweets, Grahn accused a sales associate at the fashion house’s Melrose Place store in Los Angeles of telling its wardrobe staff that “we dont do television & definately not DAYTIME television….” Grahn went on to say that General Hospital offered to buy the dress, but they were kicked out of the store.
A source at Vera Wang said over the phone Wednesday afternoon that Grahn’s accusations were surprising and unusual. The source says the Vera Wang press office would “love the exposure” of being on a show as big as General Hospital — and pointed out that Wang’s dresses — bridal and otherwise — have been all over television. Wang recently dressed Kim Kardashian for her wedding to basketball player Kris Humphries, and before that, its dresses had been featured on shows like The View, Oprah and The Martha Stewart Show. The source added that turning down a sale under any circumstance would be “very strange.”
But according to Mary Iannelli, General Hospital‘s costume designer, that’s exactly what happened. Iannelli wrote in an email that the store told her to go to David’s Bridal, where Vera Wang sells a lower-priced collection.
“Our audience, they claimed, was not their targeted market,” Iannelli wrote. “Never once did I ask to borrow any gowns from Vera Wang. Our intention was to purchase, NOT borrow, so it was insulting to be treated like I was asking for hand outs.”
In fact, our source told us that denying a TV request doesn’t happen frequently — and when it does it’s a special circumstance.
“It’s sort of like a non-compete. Sometimes, I’ve had several shows ask me at once, and then I’ve had to decline a new request,” when a sample dress couldn’t be in two places at one, the source said.
Requests for comment from Grahn were not returned as of this posting, and maybe that’s because she feels she’s said what needs saying. Grahn’s tweets widely accuse Wang of being an elitist brand that’s too good for the masses, but its lower-priced lines for Kohl’s, David’s Bridal and Zales say otherwise.
“We’re one of the few designers that have really made an effort to have something for everybody,” our source said. “We love all of our customers equally.”