Archive | September 2009

Interview With Red Carpet Photographer Frazer Harrison

All of this talk of the Emmy red carpet has me remembering my interview last week at New York Fashion Week with photographer Frazer Harrison.
Frazer Harrison is a ruggedly handsome, outspoken Englishman, based in Los Angeles as an entertainment photographer for Getty Images. You’ve seen his work in magazines, the Internet, anywhere there’s a celebrity event. When looking at magazine photos of the red carpet, be it the Academy Awards, the Emmys or even the VMAs, you’re apt to see Harrison’s photographs of Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Charlize Theron, even Paris Hilton. (But that’s hardly Harrison’s fault.)
(Frazer Harrison)
We met inside the cavernous lobby of Mercedez Benz Fashion Week, and settled down on the huge stone fountain for a quiet conversation. The talk ranged from fashion to Hollywood to the difference between photojournalism and paparazzi.

(Photo: Elisa DeCarlo)

Since his bailiwick is the red carpet, Harrison admitted that the runway media pits are not his favorite places to be.

(Isaac Mizrahi/Photo: Frazer Harrison)

We started with casual conversation about the shows. Asked which fashion shows he thought were the worst, he immediately answered, “Daviddelfin. And Duckie Brown. Those shorts looked like diapers. I looked at those shorts, and I wondered, where’s the colostomy bag?”

We were joined by his publicist. The talk turned from New York fashion to Hollywood. Harrison much prefers the red carpet, and has spent years honing his ability to get the perfect picture. There’s a generic Young Hollywood pose, hand on hip, one foot forward. Harrison wished some of the female stars would leave their hands at their sides for a more interesting picture. He urged those who would wish to walk the red carpet to “practice the pose that works for you, however you like it.”

“A very small number of actors and actresses know how to work the red carpet,” Harrison observed. “Most of them have no idea how to pose. They jump up and down; they don’t know where to look. To know how to work the red carpet, you look straight, you don’t react to the shouting.”

Then how to get that certain celebrity to look into your camera when you’re surrounded by screaming colleagues? “You’ve got to have a trademark,” he said. “I yell ‘Over to the English guy!’ or, if it’s a big star like Drew Barrymore, ‘I’ll make you famous’!” He laughed. “That’s a line from a movie.”

(Amy Poehler at the Emmys/Photo: Frazer Harrison)

What is his biggest red carpet peeve?

“Celebrities don’t need to be led down the red carpet on a leash, by their publicists” he replied.

“It has to be done,” his publicist interrupts. “They spend too long—“

“Leave them alone,” Harrison responds. Harrison felt that the biggest problem with today’s red carpet is that there is not enough real celebrity. (Your faithful correspondent heartily concurs. ) “It’s been taken over by reality television stars,” he said, noting that few of them have the genuine charisma of real celebrities.

And digital photography has made photographers lazier, he stated. “You used to wait with your camera for that perfect shot,” he said, lifting his camera and carefully pretending to aim it at a moving celebrity. “Then you get that perfect shot. Nowadays, it’s just—“Harrison swings the camera, making a rat-a-tat noise. “You get hundreds of pictures.”

As a longtime professional photojournalist, Harrison gets most exercised when compared to the paparazzi. “None of us like to be called paparazzi. They’re scumbags. Photojournalists capture moments. What are remembered on the red carpet are the real moments, like Clark Gable hugging Marilyn Monroe. I call those action shots, or war pictures.”

(Kathy Griffin at the Emmys/Photo: Frazer Harrison)

“When the history of Hollywood is written, those are the pictures that will be used. The line is slim [between photojournalists and paparazzi], because we’re both taking candid shots.”

However, he chuckles as he remembers an encounter with Liz Hurley during the Hugh Grant scandal. Harrison was at the airport, trying to get his shot, when he backed into a concrete post and fell. Hurley looked down at him and said, “Serves you right, fucker.”

But, says Harrison, “You don’t judge a person in the moment.” Sometimes the celebrity is under stress, but then that same celebrity will be perfectly friendly at another time.

“Everybody has their own thing,” he concluded. “You have to ask yourself, ‘what’s special about me’?”

Fortunately, when it comes to moi, I do not have to ask. But Frazer Harrison is definitely a special gentleman. He’s never done a nude shoot, but seemed amenable to one at a future date. Be sure, I know how to strike a pose!


Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

The 2009 Emmys Worst Dressed


The plane touches down soon, so I’ll run through this list rather quickly. There was, shall we say, an embarassment of riches when it came to Worst Dressed. I like to break them down into Categories.

Leading the pack was one of the Kardashian sisters–I confess, all I remember about their first names is that they begin with K. This cheaply made white dress has K Kardashian 1 channeling 70s Cher, but not in a good way. K Kardashian 2 opts for pregnancy yawn dress and breasts.
Blake Lively, who usually looks so lovely, opted for Bad Taste Times Two. First, this overly revealing red dress by Versace cut too low in the front and back and side:
For the HBO after-party, she chose to wear even less:
Well, it’s got sleeves, anyway.
Anna Lynn McCord went for the almost-no-dress-at-all look. Pity, if the skirt was three or four inches longer and the top fit properly it might have worked.
Even though Miley Cyrus was nowhere to be seen, several celebrities opted for oufits that added years to their ages.
The usually impeccable Tina Fey wore an uncharacteristically frumpy unflattering Gucci black gown and old-fashioned updo. She looked like someone’s chaperone.
Hayden Panettiere acheived the same effect with a similar hairdo and a blah red dress by J Mendel Resort.
Christina Applegate, late of Samantha Who?, simply had to deal with too much dress, by Basil Soda.
Leighton Meester had the same problem, in this white pouffy nightmare:
As did Drew Barrymore, in this bland pale pink Monique Lhuillier tulle prom number. Her hair is drawn back to hide the black underlayer, which is a pity, because it would have added a much-needed pop.
As I wrote earlier, Kyra Sedgwick looked as though a fairy vomited on her dress:
Your faithful correspondent is definitely in the minority on Olivia Wilde’s mint green chiffon over nude Marchesa dress, but I dislike the faux one shoulder look and there is a huge heavy back zipper. Plus the woman needs a sandwich desperately.
And finally, Jenny Garth wins the coveted WTF? Award for this strange black combination:
That is all for now. I still haven’t finished writing about New York Fashion Week! Work, work, work.
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

The 2009 Emmys Best Dressed


Despite a banging hangover, I have handed over that damn tiny computer to my assistant and we’re on the plane back to New York. Praise the Lord and pass the Bloody Marys.

As usual with red carpet award shows, the Emmy Awards were a tremendous yawn. Too many actresses play it safe with their silhouettes, jewelry and hair. I miss Bjorn. Or is it Borg? Whatever, the crazy singer in the swan get-up.

However, some actresses were absolutely top-notch, and herewith I present my personal list of the Emmy Awards Best Dressed.

Christina Hendricks showcases her bombshell figure in L’Wren Scott navy and black lace:

Glenn Close’s sexy black ruched dress was even better in the back, with cut-out detail that was sexy without being overdone. Look out, Helen Mirren!

Sigourney Weaver can be counted on to look stunning on the red carpet, and once again she delivers in this red silk David Meister creation

Chandra Wilson celebrated her bounteous beauty in a black Pamela Rolland gown with white crystal beading:

The unfairly overlooked Lisa Edelstein (Dr. Cuddy on House MD) went for old-fashioned sexiness with smoky eyes, tousled hair and a gorgeous navy dress with accents of white on the top and bottom.

Speaking of curves, Vanessa Williams was spectacular in this teal Rafael Cennamo silk bustier dress:

You might have guessed that I preferred the curvy ladies over the younger stick figures who were dressed in quiet good taste. Boldness is beauty!

My Worst Dressed is coming next. After another Bloody Mary and some aspirin.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog



That’s it for my life blog…life has no meaning any more. Oh, shut up, Bryan, I hope you get tonsillitis.

Hugh Laurie was robbed! It’s an outrage! A scandal! I need another drink! “House M.D.” is the greatest show on television and because of Hugh Laurie!!!!!!

Bob Newhart is blathering about something…what does it matter? Maybe I can corner Hugh at the bar and console him if I can’t find Chris Noth. At least if Lisa Edelstein isn’t around. (Her dress is spectacular, but so is mine.)

Who is that female British twit?

Sigourney Weaver5, gborgeous as always.



There’s Chris Noth…I need a tuxedo’d shoulder to cry on. It’s just all so WRONG!

Elisa and Bucky the Wodnerdog

Emmys: Live Blog/Jon Stewart Is My Favorite Garden Gnome


The Daily Show won for Best Variety and Other Types of Shows That Aren’t Reality. Mon Dieu, they just showed a clip of Hugh Laurie! Be still, my heart! (This photo is before he got that awful buzz cut. First chin stubble, now head stubble? I don’t understand. It could be worse, Hugh could be one of those balding men with ponytails.)

Did I miss the Dead People segment? We’re already into Drama. Just as well, far too much death around these days.

Oh, dear Lord, Sarah McLaughlin is singing a ballad…it’s the Dead People segment, where a celebrity’s popularity is STILL measured by how much applause they get. I’m going back to the bar.

Robert Prosky is dead? Fred Travelena? Ricardo Montalban?

I really must get out more. At least I knew about Patrick Swayze, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson.

The Mentalist star is very handsome. Too bad the show is lousy. Oh, my, I think perhaps I’ve had too many Cosoms…cosmos…Cosmos.

Glenn Close looks magnificent…she could give Helen Mirren a run for her money. (She’d probably like to give Helen Mirren a run for her money, but thaté neither here nor there) love the back detail on her gown. “Tot, Tate, ted” sounds like a 60s brock band.

damn this tiny keyboard!

Later. I need another drink.

Emmy Awards, continued live blogg


I think I might be geting th4e hang of this teeny little notebook computer. Who’s the midget who introduced Brendan Gleason? Who’s Brendan Gleason?

Patricia Arquette’s breasts are threatening to explode. Jennifer Love Hewitt is pretending to have breasts. They must have pleated her chest.

Deerhilla Walsh, winner for Best Direction of a Miniseries, has a beautiful vintage-style dress. My favorite so far tonight. The accent doesn’t hurt, either.

Oh my goodness, Alec Baldwin just strolled by,,, damn, he turned and went back to the stage!

Hmmm…is Chris Noth around?

Jessica Lange won for something. Lovely green gown, dahlings, movie star glamour. (Is she wearing a bandage on her arm? She keeps giving herself CPR. AFter that french actress nad pregnant Heidi Klum, this Emmy ceremony might have the most medical emergencies in history.)

Too many commercials, not enough liquor. I gave Bucky half a Benadryl and he’s snoozing happily in his Louis Vuitton carrier. My poor little darling had to miss Fashion Week, how can I not bring him to the Emmy Awards?

Keefir Sutherland and some woman with breasts in a pink dress are announcing a winner of something. I think I will try to find Chris Noth.

Elisa & Bucky the Snoring Wonderdog

The Emmy Awards: Neil Patrick Harris & I Both Want John Hamm


I’m here at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles live blogging for the Emmy Awards, and I have made an enormouss mistake: I bought one of those little notebook computers and I am typing this myself. The keys are tiny and typos are unaviaoldable. JHowever, I shall soldier on regardless. /////

Neil Patrick Harris, in white tuxedo did an amazing opening number. We both lust after John Hamm, as what sentient being wouldn’t? Tiny Fey looks absolutely matronly in that black dress and updo. She also is dressed the same as the Emmy presentation girls.

In an upset for Comedy Best Supporting Actress, Kristin Chenoweth won, wearing a crusty silver minidress and begging for a job.

Except for the crusty silver drss, she reminded me of James Mason in “A Star Is Born” when Judy Garland wins hte Oscar.


Sarah Silverman is sporting a jaunty mustache, a nice change from the ubiquitous nude lip. It helps her give an icy glare to lead actress winner Toni Collete, who forgot to wear her makeup.

Oh, God, Alec Baldwin! Why does he want to look like Rob Lowe? You’re mine, Alec, we’re getting together at the Entertainment Tonight afterparty, never mind that blonde hag you’re with! Of course you won, you are a comedy god. One hopes you will forget our unfortunate encounter in the air when I sneezed on your suede jacket shortly after the Inauguration. (Of course, as I wrote then, sober people remember everything, dammit.)

Project Runway is up for an Emmy. DAMN! The Amazing Race won…why? There is no justice! At least the designers know how to do something, unlike 90% of reality television particiapnts! My BFF Tim Gunn was robbed! Robbed, I tell you!

Speaking of PR, here is a picutre of an incredibly pregnant Heidi Klum on the red carpet:

Oh, they’re doing the miniseries…I’m heading to the bar for a Cosmo.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Mon Dieu, what has Kyra Sedgewick have on?? It looks as though a fairy vomited on her.

SOme Frencyh actress is rasping through an acceptance speech…she sounds like she has a bellows in her generous bosom.