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Anna Wintour's already a powerful force in fashion ... but can she negotiate?
The claws are finally coming out over at Vogue over Anna Wintour's choice of Sylvana Soto-Ward to replace the magazine's beloved director of special events, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who announced her departure earlier this month.
Wolkoff left some big stilettos to fill: As the organizing force behind all of Vogue's epic yearly events, Wolkoff had secured her reputation by skyrocketing the popularity of Vogue's biggest annual party, the Met's Costume Institute Gala. When she announced she was leaving, rumors flew the party might not even take place in 2010. Budgets had been cut to the minimum across the board at Vogue (as well as everywhere at Conde Nast), and people had started to panic: Who could ensure that the circus-like spectacle would endure forever?!
Of course, all that panic was for naught, since Wintour announced Wilkoff's replacement very quickly (no doubt to quell the churning sounds of the fashion world's rumor mill). And Soto-Ward seemed perfect: Not only was she an in-house editor (she was, at the time, the magazine's accessories editor), she was practically a lifer, having been Wintour's assistant back in 2003. Sure, it wouldn't be easy--both the magazine and the museum have faced cut-backs of late, and even the guest list was said to be unclear (which Vogue vehemently denied). But she could handle it! Heck, people had lovely things to say about the Portland-in-August wedding she's currently planning. Cute!
Well, the gloves are now coming off. According to Page Six, there's some major concern within the offices that Wintour has put some high-level tasks under the purview of a woman who, according to one insider, "has never done any planning." Oh yeah, all that cute little wedding organizing? Apparently she didn't even plan her own engagement party! Anna passed it off to Vogue's in-house planning team. Even worse, Wintour has reportedly hired some "real workhorses" to "pick up the slack." Even though Vogue reportedly has "every confidence" in Soto-Ward, it sounds like things are starting to come to a boil ...