It's hard, right? A seemingly harmless girl marries into an institution of a family, enjoys the finer things at their expense, and is then swept up in a storm of blame and hate and criticism when the dark reality of the fabulous funds become known. Is it really her fault? Sure, she bears the same last name, but we can all agree she's just an innocent bystander, no? Wrong place, really wrong time?
In the case of Joss Sackler, the aspirational creative / Marie Antoinette of opioids, the lines are less blurred. And by her own making. In continually supporting her husband's family, the force behind Purdue Pharma, the developer of OxyContin, and admitting no fault in the documented personal role the family played in the aggressive, irresponsibly misleading peddling of the drug, she's welcomed the slings and arrows of such literally outrageous fortune.
It's not as if a released statement saying "sorry," would smooth everything over. Let's be real. But a lack of one sure as hell doesn't help her "poor rich me, it's not my fault" case.
Yesterday, Sackler held a fashion show for her pet project of a social club turned fashion label. And despite my strong feelings about her family, I was there. Sitting front row no less. Upon receiving the invitation, I thought I was simply RSVPing for Elizabeth Kennedy's show, a designer known for her gala-ready, Upper East Side approved line of formal gowns and dresses. Very GofG stuff. Though when receiving my confirmation, I noticed another name - "ELIZABETH KENNEDY's debut collection for LBV c/o Joss Sackler 2020."
Forever a curious cynic, I couldn't not go. I had far too many questions to not see this controversial spectacle for myself.
First off, why would Elizabeth Kennedy dig herself into such a PR hole? There's no evidence that the two were previously friends, so clearly the money must have been real good. I mean, apparently Sackler tried to pay Courtney Love $100K just to attend her fashion show. A move so outwardly stupid and deliriously deliberate that we're not even going to devote the time to unpacking it.
But I digress. As reported by WWD, Kennedy left her namesake brand last year, filing a $1.3 million lawsuit against the company, claiming she was pushed out by her largest investor. So, with legal fees surely piling up, and having recently become a mother, the opportunity to be LBV c/o Joss Sackler's Creative Director was probably an offer she actually couldn't refuse.
Next, who would be there? Now I'm not going to name the people who were there. Mainly because, hell, I was there, and god knows it wasn't in support. So who am I to throw stones at others who many have attended in the same spirit, right?
Just kidding. That was a lie. Of course I have to talk about some of the people who were there. Like that Million Dollar Listing guy Ryan Serhant who Instagram storied "Amazing work!!!! @lbv_official @josssackler. Or Jazmin Grimaldi who posted 13 Instagram stories from the show, including "Congratulations on a fantastic show @lbv_official @josssackler @elizabethkennedynewyork."
As reported prior to the presentation, many of those invited ultimately did not show. So with a number of empty front row seats, bodies were plucked from the second row in an attempt to fill things up.
View this post on InstagramPc @patrickmcmullan #lbvss20 #lbv @lbv_official
A post shared by Joss Sackler LBV (@josssackler) on
What would the clothes be like? I'd say they definitely had Versace and Paco Rabanne on their mood board. Lots of corseted styles, bustier pieces, boxy silhouette jackets, disc dresses, and most bizarrely, chunky, oversized gold phoenix belts on just about everything. A motif so eye rolling, you could judge the collection solely on just that. While I must admit there were 2 or 3 looks I would be happy to borrow, wear, and then return slightly torn (as all good editors do), I don't think you're seeing these pieces anywhere. The name on the tag aside, the collection, like the entire event, felt off.
I don't know what Joss Sackler thought would happen. I don't know if she thought no one would notice her, no one would care, or that she had been forgiven. All I know is that for such a serious linguist, the syntax of this whole situation was pretty broken.
[Photo via @josssackler]