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Nancy Lee Grahn
GH star gives Vera Wang a dress down
Posted Friday, October 21, 2011 1:10:21 AM
What was supposed to be a simple outing to pick up a wedding gown has turned into anything but a walk down the aisle. A reported dispute between an employee at a Vera Wang store and General Hospital's costumer has a GH star -- and fans -- seeing red.
In the world of daytime, fashion house brawls have typically been left to the fictional storylines of The Bold and the Beautiful. But, as the saying goes, sometimes reality is stranger than fiction. In what has become an unlikely war of words, General Hospital star Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis) and costumer Mary Iannelli are going head-to-head with renowned stylist Vera Wang.


According to Iannelli and Grahn, the situation arose when Iannelli visited Wang's Melrose Place store with the intent of purchasing a wedding gown for use on General Hospital. Upon learning of Iannelli's intentions, a salesperson in the store objected.


"Our audience, they claimed, was not their targeted market," Iannelli wrote in an email to the fashion blog Styleite. "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 handouts."


The incident was first brought to light when Grahn posted several messages on Twitter earlier this week. In the postings, Grahn alleged that the salesperson at the Vera Wang store stated that the company doesn't "do television and definately (sic) not DAYTIME television."


Since those first tweets, Styleite spoke with an unnamed source at Vera Wang that questioned Grahn and Iannelli's accounts of what transpired -- and the company took to Twitter to assure consumers that it loves all television shows.


"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. Wang recently dressed Kim Kardashian for her wedding to basketball player Kris Humphries, and before that, its dresses had been featured on shows like The View, Oprah, and The Martha Stewart Show. The source added that turning down a sale under any circumstance would be 'very strange.'"


In addition to being barred from making the purchase at the Los Angeles boutique, Iannelli also stated that the shop's salesperson instructed her to purchase some of Vera Wang's mass-marketed products from David's Bridal. Vera Wang also sells lower-priced merchandise at Kohl's and Zales.


Grahn followed up her Twitter postings with a much longer post that offered more details on why she'd made her post.


"My other intention was, frankly, to get folks a little riled up. To refer to the 'Daytime audience' as those that would only appreciate her 'lower-end' line was simply offensive," Grahn explained. "Now in fairness, I have never met Vera Wang. She may very well be a lovely woman. She certainly is a talented one. This incident was with the studio representative at her Los Angeles store. I believe it is fair to assume that this representative was acting in accordance with Vera Wang's company philosophy. If that is not the case, I would challenge Ms. Wang to address the specifics of this incident because I know Mary, and I have every reason to believe that this truly occurred."


Wang has not commented publicly on the incident. Calls made by soapcentral.com requesting a statement have not been returned.


However, the designer's official Twitter account did address the situation on Thursday evening.


"Don't believe RUMORS. We believe in FASHION FOR ALL!! We have lines at Kohl's, David's Bridal and Zales," the company wrote on its @VeraWangGang account. "Fashion is EQUAL OPPORTUNITY! Its (sic) worth noting we dressed our beloved [former Days of our Lives star] Lisa Rinna for her WEDDING to Harry Hamlin. The facts show we love ALL TV, that's all folks!"


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