PR WINNER OF THE WEEK: “A” (PR PERFECT) to Iraq’s Labour and Tourism Syndicate for organising the first fashion and beauty show since the U.S.-Iraq war began in 2003. Held in a small Baghdad hotel, the show is one of several events designed to promote a return to normalcy for Iraqi citizens and restore Bahgdad’s reputation as a vibrant Middle Eastern hotspot. It was even more significant because beauticians were targeted by religious militants during the war and forced to conduct their trade in secret. High marks to the syndicate for recognizing that beauty can, indeed, be more than skin deep.
PR LOSER OF THE WEEK: F (“Full Fiasco”) to John Galliano. Oy vey! What was the controversial fashion designer thinking for his first major public appearance in NYC this week following his scandalous dismissal from the House of Dior? Fired from his perch because of woefully anti-Semitic remarks that were caught on camera, he turned up at NY fashion week in the garb of a Hasidic Jew. Those in the know said the suit was dark blue, not the customary black, and the look was closer to a dandy than one of the faithful. But everything down to the ringlet curls and large hat was just so, and a bit too-too close for comfort. Defenders claim it’s Galliano’s routine attire, while others are outraged. Bottom line, wasn’t there an easier, less controversial wardrobe choice? John, it’s time for damage control, not further damage.
THE PRV “THERE’S NO ‘THERE’ THERE” AWARD TO Toni Braxton, who announced earlier this week that she would be retiring from her career as a singer in order to focus on acting. Well forget this ho-hum Pope business! As much as we love La Braxton, PR proclamations such as these are unnecessary, and rather transparent bids for media attention. They also invite sarcastic responses, such as this: The world will likely go on without a new release, especially since “never” statements usually start the clock ticking on a comeback album five years hence.