The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Saturday, March 27, 2004  

Assuming the Style Network is “Big”

Thanks to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Beth Gillin, I learned yesterday that Brini Maxwell, the retro home stylist whose program I used to watch regularly on public-access television in New York, now has her own show on the Style Network (the very existence of which I also learned from Gillin’s article), airing Friday nights at 10:00 p.m.

Truth be told, when I lived in New York I watched Brini’s program when I remembered it was on, and if I was actually at home, and if Lifetime wasn’t running one of their stock-in-trade terrible movies that I like so much. Similarly, I missed “The Brini Maxwell Show” last night, too. I meant to watch it, and now I can’t remember if I forgot it was on, or if I wasn’t home, or if Lifetime was running some masterful and memorable nouveau film noir featuring Joan Van Ark or Meredith Baxter.

I’m not sure Gillin will appreciate my saying this, but strangely enough she seems to be in her element while reporting about Maxwell and the new program. (“Retro Chick With Quite a Shtick.”)

Gillin writes:

On an outing in the city’s Chelsea neighborhood, she’s a vision of citrus hues in a vintage Bonnie Cashin jacket of lime, lemon, orange[,] and pink plaid, color-coordinated beaded earrings and flower pin, and severely pointed yellow shoes that, yes, hurt her feet. “But look at those kitten heels -- aren’t they adorable?” she asks. Her blond pageboy is perfectly arranged, her makeup understated.

So it seems almost rude to bring up the persistent reports that she’s not an actual woman, but a performer named Ben Sander. Brini sets the record straight.

“I am a woman,” she declares. “But the man who created me, isn’t.”

Now that was tastefully done, handled with aplomb even, and I mean by both Maxwell and Gillin.

See you next week, Brini.

[Post-publication addendum: For more on Brini Maxwell, see Edwin Drood. (Link thanks to Julia.)]

The Rittenhouse Review | Copyright 2002-2006 | PERMALINK |