The problem was simple: too much of a good thing. "We were seeing lots of pictures of stars in great outfits and couldn't always find a place for them," says senior editor Elizabeth Fenner, who heads up PEOPLE'S fashion coverage. The solution? Expand our one-page Style Watch section to three pages and cover everything from hair to handbags to heels. The makeover begins in this issue on page 75. We've also added to Style Watch a new weekly column called Behind the Seams, by Steven Cojocaru, our West Coast style editor. "We will finally have enough room for the good, the bad and the truly egregious," says Fenner.
She will lean heavily on Cojocaru, who is already putting the heat on his sources to provide great behind-the-scenes fashion dish. "It's just like The Sopranos on TV," he explains, referring to his methods of squeezing out information, "except I'm threatening to take away their stilettos and their python-print hip-huggers." No one said this was a pretty business. (His first column appears on page 77.)
Cojocaru, who grew up in Montreal, was born for style commentary. His mother, Amelia, once was a dressmaker. "She's from the Zsa Zsa Gabor school of fashion," he says. "Imagine lots of fuchsia housecoats with glitter." While attending Concordia University in Montreal, Cojocaru covered parties for the Canadian fashion magazine Flare. In 1991 he moved to Los Angeles and began a freelance writing career that included a style column syndicated in more than 100 newspapers.
Since joining PEOPLE in 1994, Cojocaru has been a fixture at hundreds of East and West Coast parties on the magazine's behalf—always decked out in his own eclectic vintage wardrobe, which includes zebra-patterned bell-bottoms and a cherry-colored fake-fur coat. Over the years he has learned how to chat with the glamorous (his favorites include Minnie Driver, Goldie Hawn and Salma Hayek
) about fashion. "We have great fluffy exchanges about their dresses," he says. "I love it—and it keeps me gainfully employed."
And in vintage shoes.