Hit & Run: Like mother, like daughter

Author: By Harriet Walker

The Shoreditch Nerd look – or Geek Chic, as the glossies have dubbed it ? has
been around for a while now, with style mavens Helena Christensen and Chloë
Sevigny donning the NHS-style frames in homage to the original Hoxton
hipsters. Alexa Chung and Peaches Geldof quickly followed suit, and a trend
was born, one that young Lourdes then picked up on.

As well she might. For all her tender years, Lourdes is no newcomer to the
fashion and celeb circuit; she even appeared onstage with her mother at the
MTV awards at just eight years old.

And she certainly appears to have a natural confidence in the glare of
publicity she has known all her life. “In terms of being comfortable
with fame, well, no one is more famous than her mum,” says Mark Frith,
former editor of Heat magazine and author of The Celeb Diaries. “So
many celebrity parents feel the need to push their kids out of the way [of
the cameras] and protect them, but Madonna has sensed this confidence that
Lourdes has, and let her into the spotlight to see how she copes.”

But confidence and an eye for trends do not necessarily a fashion icon make ?
a ubiquitous term, maybe, but one that fits her mother better than any other
pop princess. Madonna is not an icon in the way that Victoria Beckham and
Nicole Ritchie are, inspiring dozens of copycat high-street pieces and
Zeitgeist weight scares, but is admired for her constant acquisition and
re-interpretation of images: the glam Goth, the earth mother, the cowgirl ?
even the strumpet. Madge is a leader of fashion, not a follower. Or,
arguably, she was, until she started picking up trends that have already
been chewed up and digested not just by younger celebs but by her own
daughter.

So will Lourdes Ciccone Leon soon become cooler than her mum? Frith thinks so. “Lourdes
has been raised in the spotlight, and public performances are part of her
life. She has the best grounding possible to go as far as she wants. It’ll
be the easiest thing in the world for her when she grows up to do whatever
she wants to.”

Why Jeremy Piven is the mogul’s mogul

Ari Gold: insecure, tyrannical, awful ? but somehow loveable. Is this how
Hollywood likes to see itself? Jeremy Piven, who plays Gold, the
unscrupulous movie agent of HBO’s Entourage, seems to be making a career out
of playing his masters as compelling grotesques. This week, he opens on
Broadway in a revival of David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow, as the head of
production at a major Hollywood studio.

Like so many Hollywood stories, Piven’s is one of rags-to-riches. Blink and
you’ll miss it, but he had a cameo role in Robert Altman’s The Player in
1992. He spent the Nineties and early Noughties in relative obscurity,
bringing his trademark nervous energy to such films as Heat, Grosse Pointe
Blank, and Scary Movie 3, before he rediscovered his niche inside the suit
of a Hollywood operative ? this time Ari Gold, whom he has been playing
since 2004.

When, then, the producers of Speed-the-Plow were casting the role of
impressionable Hollywood bigwig Bobby Gould, they decided to give the
super-agent a well-deserved promotion. Piven has received lengthy standing
ovations at preview performances of the play. Perhaps it’s simply industry
insiders, relieved that once again, their reputations ? as ruthless,
corrupt, but, more to the point, charismatic ? are in safe hands. Tim
Walker

How to p-p-p-pick up a penguin

When a group of migrationally-confused penguins were found in north Brazil
this week, the authorities commissioned a Hercules military aircraft to
return 373 of them to colder climes. Ferrying penguins around surely
presents a logistical problem. How do you, well, pick up a penguin? Can they
be wrangled? “They always move as a group, so it’s quite easy,”
says Tim Savage from London Zoo. “If you get one going the right way,
they’ll all follow. They’re a bit like sheep.” So does the zoo use
specialist sheep dogs trained in penguin herding? “No. We just wave our
arms around.” Harry Byford

The wheels have come off

Overheard on a Canary Wharf-bound Tube train packed with jittery traders: “My
Porsche dealer won’t even make an offer on my 911, to take it off my hands,
so now I’m stuck with a sports car I paid 60 grand for on finance. The way
things are, I’ll have to try to sell it on PistonHeads.”

PistonHeads.com, I discover, is not some dodgy car auction, but rather a web
portal on which classifieds for Porsches et al are up 80 per cent, as
cash-strapped traders try to “inject some liquidity” into their
finances. No, I don’t feel sorry for them either. Jamie Merrill

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