Friday

Peter Braunstein : The Fashion, 'The Factory', The Prison


Women's Wear Daily (WWD) fashion writer Peter Braunstein The Halloween Sex Fiend, the New York Post has dubbed him; a brilliant fashion writer, would say his colleagues at Women's Wear Daily. The tragedies surrounding WWD fashion journalist Peter Braunstein, who was sentenced yesterday to 25 years in a New York prison -- and not, controversially, a mental institution -- are disturbing. It's clearly been devastating for Braunstein's torture and sexual assault victim, a former fashion co-worker. God, grant her the spirit to shed the scars surely left by Braunstein's bizarre, 13-hour "mostly intellectual" abuse -- and the painful, open court trial.

As could be expected, this Vanity Fair article puts the victim's hellish night with Braunstein in context:

"It was a performance," says a longtime friend (of Braunstein's), one that was full of symbols, although nobody was sure of their meaning. There were the expensive designer shoes that he allegedly used to humiliate the victim. There was the video camera with which Braunstein, a devotee of Andy Warhol, appeared to record the assault, as if invoking some aspect of Warhol's oeuvre. There were also, as New York's police noted, the striking similarities between the Halloween attack and one of the best-known photographs by Guy Bourdin, the renowned, and savagely misogynistic, French fashion photographer. The 1968 image showed a woman wrapped in plastic sheeting, tied with packing rope—and holding Charles Jourdan shoes.

Famous fashion photo by Guy Bourdin, which Braunstein had his victim pose similar to
Equally disturbing and thought-provoking is what Braunstein's family members are telling the media. His 74-year-old father, Alberto Braunstein, doesn't understand why Peter was charged with "so many" counts. Let's see... Peter acquired an NYFD uniform, faked a fire in an apartment building, forced his way into a co-worker's unit, held her hostage, forced her to perform various sexual acts and drugged her.

Alas, there's nothing so strong as a parent's love. Even after the adult child emails you a message like this:

Had you said to me 20 years ago what you did at the Picasso the other day—the put-downs about the play, the inane, pathetic jealousy, the relentless negativity—they'd still be scraping pieces of you off the walls… You don't deserve love, respect, or sons, for that matter… You were always a brooding, self-absorbed man/child, but with old age you've become patently malevolent. You're a toxic piece of shit…
Conversely Peter Braunstein's brother, Allan Starkie, in a New York Post interview about yesterday's verdict sounds more concerned about the tainted reputation of their degreed family. The brother then divulges a dark, family secret:

Starkie said Braunstein's trouble started soon after he learned of a well-kept family secret. Braunstein was born after his mother had an affair with her sister's husband, Starkie's father. "Peter is the offspring of my father and my aunt," Starkie said. "As soon as he found out, he committed his first crime."
Sad but true, here's a hot-selling book and possibly a movie begging to be scripted. One that'll possibly be written by Allan Starkie, who authored the tell-all book about Dutchess Sarah "Fergie" Ferguson. Or by Braunstein himself, to the extent that he survives prison life.

...And I fret my family's dysfunction. But that's a story for my own memoirs... Ask me the sordid details now, and I'll clam up worse than Andy did here:


Links:

~ Peter Braunstein's "manifesto" tells of his desire to kill Anna Wintour, the Vogue magazine "devil who wears Prada"

~ Full wcbstv.com video interview of juror Tanya Rivero, explaining why they didn't buy Braunstein's mental defense

~ FindArticle archives Braunstein's past fashion column works for W, including this one on the Sheer Blonde Twins

~ Dateline transcript about Halloween night in 2005, when Braunstein dressed as a NYFD fireman handling an emergency in order to enter the victim's apartment

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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Regardless of what Branstein's father feels, the jury made the right decision. There is a difference between being insane and irresponsible vs. angry and vengeful. The man knew exactly what he was doing every step of the way.

Chicago 2016 said...

Braunstein looks like Clive Owen.

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