C.J.: Stylist gets called up to big time: Fashion Week

  • Article by: C.J. , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 5, 2012 - 8:31 PM

Tres Jolie Salon stylist Benjamin Rodich is in NYC for Fashion Week to work with Jason Wu, among other fashion designers.

"I'm most excited probably about the Jason Wu show, because I love his designs, love that he's young and in the forefront of the fashion industry right now -- gowns and all of that," Rodich said of the creator of the formal attire First Lady Michelle Obama wore to inaugural balls.

"And I'm just excited to be part of the buzz. This is like every hairdresser's dream, very few hairdressers' reality. It's a dream come true, everything I've looked for in my whole career. It's very intimidating and humbling. I am going into it with no expectations and no ego, which is the best way."

An audition video helped Rodich land one of six spots nationwide for local stylists. Rodich also said the account executive for Kerastase and Shu Uemura, Gretchen Orr, played a huge role in helping him secure this honor, as she "has been rooting and putting her hand up for me the last year. I was just auditioning to get a job as an educator with the company, teaching at other salons throughout the Twin Cities. Fashion Week was not even something I thought would be a possibility as I tried to get on the radar."

Rodich is scheduled to work on a team led by Odile Gilbert, the internationally renowned French coiffure, that will style for Wu, Creatures of the Wind and Suno.

Monday, when I interviewed Rodich, he wanted to credit his success to Tres Jolie Salon owners Bryce Jermain and Jason Stiller. "Two of the most incredible people I've ever worked for in my life," said Rodich, "to say nothing of my fellow stylists, who inspire me daily."

The bright lights of the big city should not woo Rodich away from Minnesota. "My whole family is here; my mom, Char Cohodes, grew up here," said Rodich. "I'd have to make a lot of money to live that New York lifestyle the way I want to do it."

Elbowing the stars

David Mann had a unexpected comedy reunion last month in the Hamptons with Alec Baldwin.

Mann, chief harassment officer (David's exact words) of Summit Property Acquisition, took time off from buying homes in bulk for renovation to go on a vacation on New York's Long Island. Mann refused to say whose small party in the Hamptons he was attending when he ran into the actor, rumored second-time dad-to-be and "Words With Friends" airline scofflaw.

"Do you remember about 10, 12 years ago, Alec Baldwin was at the Fine Line for a Democratic fundraiser? I asked for a picture by [saying to Baldwin], 'How about a picture with a good-looking Jewish guy?'" Mann asked.

Not only do I remember the 2002 item, I still have the photo up on my wall that captures Baldwin giving Mann a look that could be loosely translated: Who does this jerk think he is?

Despite the expression on Baldwin's face, the two got along famously in the alley, where they swapped 15-year-old boy humor.

"Well, fast-forward to an August party in the Hamptons. I saw him and reminded him about [the Fine Line encounter] and he actually started laughing, telling me he remembered. I proceeded to tell him that now [insert more 15-year-old boy humor here] ... .

"I didn't get a picture this time because it was a small private party and I did not want to seem like a star-struck fan," said Mann.

Via Twitter, I sought Baldwin's recollection of this latest encounter. He has not responded.

Mann is reportedly moving in rarefied celebrity circles these days. An EXCELLENT source tells me that Mann was having a romance with a TV celebrity. However, Mann was absolutely inscrutable; he emphatically denied the romance when I peppered him with this woman's name Friday as we were touring his Kenwood residence. It's being renovated for the Fall 2012 Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase starting Sept. 28.

I'm thinking there's no way Mann's four-level, 5,100-square-foot house will be ready by then. An Atlanta project manager/designer friend of mine who was in town said it's going to be close.

A blurb in the Parade of Homes mag reads: "This home was built for and by one of Minneapolis' most eccentric, neurotic and eligible bachelors and is truly as aesthetically pleasing as its owner."

Eccentric doesn't begin to describe some aspects of this home.

"I've got the lions that roar at the entrance. ... The $7,000 toilet. A motion detector raises the seat."

Some of my favorite elements were the mirrors, accented in brushed stainless steel, that glide up the wall to reveal the medicine cabinets, which don't look deep enough to store much.

But you still can't get away from that 15-year-old boy humor -- the stuff that makes Baldwin laugh.

C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or cj@startribune.com. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on Fox 9 Thursday mornings.

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