Last night, Ports 1961 showcased their Fall/Winter 2010 collection on Bloomingdale's fourth floor. There was quite a turnout for the event, a mini fashion show and cocktail reception, as Mad Men star Christina Hendricks was billed as the host.
"Christina Hendricks, star of Mad Men, will host a cocktail reception and will be on hand for a special presentation of the Ports 1961 Fall/Winter 2010 Collection at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street," read the release.
It's true, she was there, and looked stunning in a Ports 1961 sheath dress. And she graciously and patiently signed autographs and posed for photos with adoring fans for nearly an hour. But her actual involvement with the Ports 1961 presentation was suspiciously limited. She never once took the stage during the presentation, and the 10 or so press outlets who had attended the event with the promise of interviewing Hendricks, myself including, were left without quotes. I was told, rather cryptically, when I got to the fourth floor, that Hendricks would not be conducting any interviews.
The clothes were gorgeous, and we're seriously coveting the textured thick tights the models were wearing, but the real story was Hendricks' sudden lack of involvement with the Ports event. The reason Hendricks was forced to back out of the event, according to a source, has to do with her contract with London Fog. She's the face of the brand and there was some concern that if she was an active part of the Ports 1961 presentation and conducted interviews on behalf of Ports 1961 she would be in breach of contract with London Fog. And nobody wants lawyers involved.
All parties involved--Bloomingdale's, Ports 1961, Hendricks' team, and the press--were frustrated by the lack of communication. We even noticed that the commentated fashion show (InStyle mag and Ports 1961's president Jacqui Wenzel narrated) was set against an innocuous Bloomingdale's backdrop, rather than a Ports 1961 backdrop, which would be standard for an event like this. Perhaps a failed effort to try to make it OK for Hendricks to appear on stage and be photographed?