Local ad agency competes on reality show ...


Seattle advertising agency Wong, Doody, Crandall, Wiener recently competed for a national account with Subway, the sandwich chain.

On TV.

The agency's work, filmed at WDCW's Los Angeles office, will appear on a "sneak peek" of episode one of AMC's new reality show The Pitch at 11 p.m. Easter Sunday, immediately after the hit series Mad Men. The eight-part series, featuring other agencies competing for other accounts, resumes on April 30 at 9 p.m. 

Dozens of agencies declined requests to be on the show, but for WDCW the decision seemed clear. “We ask our clients to take risks, and we told ourselves that we should take a risk. Why not?” said Tracy Wong, chairman and executive creative director, in a phone interview. Wong said the company has nothing to hide, so it had little to fear by being on the show.

Still, Wong saw a screening of the Subway episode and says he isn’t happy with AMC’s edits. He had hoped the show would portray WDCW’s “Democracy of Good Ideas” process, which emphasizes a creative process he designed to minimize egos and drama. “We are inclusive and somewhat consensus driven, which is different from most businesses and very different from most ad agencies,” he said. “It was captured well during the filming, but didn’t come out well in the edits.”

Wong thinks editors were looking for drama, and since his firm had relatively little, he said most of the show is devoted to McKinney, the North Carolina-based agency competing for the Subway account.

“What people will see in the show is not a lot of us,” Wong said.

Did WDCW win the competition?

“Not necessarily,” Wong said, quickly adding that he's actually not allowed to say.  

Life & Style: Dressed to Impress

Life & Style: Dressed to Impress

SAM rejoins the fashion-exhibit trend with a stylish tribute to Yves Saint Laurent.

The idea of fashion as artistic expression isn’t exactly new. But museums have latched on to it in a big way, ever since the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York surprised itself in 2011 with a record-shattering show on the work of the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen.

Fashion exhibits — as distinguished from fashion shows — are now all the rage in museumland. The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) mounted its first major fashion exhibit in 2013 with Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion. Bellevue Arts Museum closed a successful three-month run of Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair in August. EMP Museum has the eye-popping World of Wearable Art running through January 2, 2017. 

And now SAM is back with Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style. Colorful and stylish without being over the top — just like an Yves Saint Laurent design — the YSL exhibition provides via 110 outfits a thorough examination of the French designer’s 40-year career as high priest of haute couture.

The reason for such thoroughness is that Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé, saved everything. From sketches and swatches to actual garments and accessories from each year Saint Laurent was designing — 1962 to 2002 — the SAM exhibit is a fashionista field trip.

Yes, the Mondrian cocktail dress from 1965 is here. Ditto the women’s tuxedo (1966) and the women’s pantsuit (1967), which helped move from outré to de rigueur the notion of women wearing slacks for dress-up occasions. Exhibit guest curator Florence Müller of the Denver Art Museum succesfully conveys Saint Laurent’s belief that garments should reflect attitude.

And whether the garments — even Saint Laurent’s exquisite pieces — move fashion from craft to art in the esthetical conversation is ultimately immaterial. As the fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi told CBS News when the Jewish Museum in New York City showed Mizrahi’s own work earlier this year, “Good work meets a level. … Good work deserves to be looked at.” 

Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style
Through January 8, 2017. Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave.; 206.654.3100; seattleartmuseum.org.