Deep Soap: ‘General Hospital’ Deemed Unworthy of Vera Wang Gowns

Steve Burton and Kelly Monaco of 'General Hospital' (Photo: ABC)

Steve Burton and Kelly Monaco of 'General Hospital' (Photo: ABC)

Vera Wang Gate Is The Latest Soap Twitter Scandal

Designer Vera Wang has earned the wrath of “General Hospital” stars.  The company turned down the opportunity to outfit Kelly Monaco for her character Sam’s recent weddings even though the show was willing to pay full retail price for the gown. The story was broken by GH’s most outspoken tweeter, Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis), who claimed Thursday on Twitter that an employee of the designer’s Los Angeles boutique refused to let the show’s costume designer, Mary Ianelli purchase a gown, claiming that the store’s employee said, “We dont do television & definately (sic) not DAYTIME television.”

It seemed somewhat unlikely particularly since Kim Kardashian just wore Vera Wang for her recent made-for-television wedding. A representative for Vera Wang told Styleite, “Grahn’s accusations were surprising and unusual.” The fashion blog went on to report, “The source says the Vera Wang press office would “love the exposure” of being on a show as big as General Hospital — and pointed out that Wang’s dresses — bridal and otherwise — have been all over television. The source added that turning down a sale under any circumstance would be “very strange.”

Itarri issued her own statement confirming Grahn’s story saying, “Our audience, they claimed, was not their targeted market. Never once did I ask to borrow any gowns from Vera Wang. Our intention was to purchase, NOT borrow, so it was insulting to be treated like I was asking for hand outs.” She added that she was told to go to David’s Bridal and purchase a dress from Wang’s mass market line.

Then GH alumna Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo tweeted that the same thing happened when Itarri attempted to purchase a Vera Wang dress for Brenda and Sonny’s wedding, one of the most high-profile daytime weddings in years. She was so incensed that she canceled her plans to purchase a Vera Wang dress for her own wedding. Giovinazzo wrote:

I wish Vera Wang’s Co. would be honest. They said that they would do VANESSA’S personal WD but no dress for GH. ? Oscar De LA R said yes…Vanessa doesn’t believe in treating people differently because of some “who’s cool and who’s not game, so she canceled her personal……..Wedding dress at Vera Wang and 4 her bridesmaids and went Oscar de la renta and Carolina Herrera!!!!!!!!!!! for her W dresses. VW can GFH. We then got our BrideM dresses and the guys suits from JCREW! Beautiful stuff. We made our own club where EVERYONE is welcome & cool enough

The timeline seems a little weird on this one since Giovinazzo got married shortly before she returned to GH, in July 2010, while Sonny and Brenda did not tie the knot until February 2011, but maybe the soap nuptials were planned well in advance.

My take on this is that I suspect Vera Wang’s Los Angeles boutique has a snobby Studio Services employee who has probably been turning down all sorts of sales to television shows she deems are not high brow enough to be worthy of the brand. She is not only generating bad publicity, she is costing the company thousands of dollars. It does not make sense for a brand that does lines for Kohl’s and David’s Bridal to turn down all of the free publicity that comes from having their wedding gowns featured on a television show. Sam’s wedding dress was even featured prominently on the reality series “Dirty Soap.” I bet thousands of GH fans bought Laura’s wedding dress, or an imitation, back in the day.

L.A. boutiques are full of self-important Maxie Jones wannabes who delight in acting like they are the arbiters of taste and style. An employee of a different designer boutique once told me it was unreasonable for me to expect that I would ever be able to buy clothes that would fit me properly without alterations because I am short. Needless to say, I never set foot in the place again. Grahn’s Twitter campaign has exposed a bad employee, who may or may not be acting in accordance with the company’s policy.

There is a possible good P.R. angle to this saga. Whichever company manufactured the t-shirts that Sam and Jason wore for their actual ceremony should issue a press release offering to provide free T-shirts to any other TV shows willing to have characters sport the casual look for their weddings.

Fiona Hutchinson Returning to One Life To Live

Another “One Life To Live” actress is returning before the show’s ABC finale. Fiona Hutchinson, who played Gabrielle, announced via Facebook: “Brace yourselves, I have some wonderful news to share with all of you. I am returning to One Life to Live as Gabrielle. I have two shooting dates. The first date is Tuesday, October 25th; the second shoot date is Tuesday November 15th… I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what they have in store for Gabrielle. She is dead but with daytime, who knows?”

Gabrielle suffered one of daytime’s most undignified deaths. She was murdered in a bathroom in 2004. It is possible that she could appear in dream sequences, but given the number of people who have returned from the dead in Llanview lately, it’s also possible that she is somehow still alive. The character was known for her rivalry with Tina. With Andrea Evans back on the canvas, it seems likely that the two will share scenes.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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