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Victoria’s Secret Angels Attempt To Sing ‘Deck The Halls’.

The models may be beautiful in their red, holiday-appropriate lingerie, but their singing skills aren’t exactly up to par! WATCH their interesting rendition of ‘Deck The Halls’ in this sexy video right here!

After seeing the Victoria’s Secret Angels storm the runway during the 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show I was left wondering if there was anything these gorgeous gals couldn’t do — well rest assured, apparently singing doesn’t top their list of talents! While watching them flub the lines to “Deck The Halls” is so funny, the girls still look sexier than ever clad in red holiday lingerie around a Christmas tree in this new video.

Starring Candice Swanepoel, Lily Aldridge, Alessandra Ambrosio, (who wore this year’s $2.5 million Fantasy Bra down the runway!), Miranda Kerr, Erin Heatherton, Lindsay Ellingson and Doutzen Kroes, the girls get festive in their latest video — but apparently they didn’t spend enough time rehearsing! They put their own spin on decking the halls and recreated the Christmas classic in a very unique way.

We recently got to catch up with Lily, who shared her holiday plans with us and spilled on what it was like getting to hang with Justin Bieber at this year’s show. Miranda also chatted with us about her experience strutting her stuff down the runway, and how she plans on celebrating the holiday season with her son, Finn.

Watch the video of the Angels below and tell us what you think of their singing skills! If you can’t get enough of the models, be sure to tune in to the CW tonight at 9 o’clock to catch an encore of the 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. From the show-stopping performances to the gorgeous models and the sexy lingerie, it’s sure to get you in the festive spirit!

In The models | Tags:  | 

Kendall Jenner’s Edgy & Mature Fashion Shoot For ‘Blank’.

It’s hard to believe you’re looking at a teen in Kendall’s latest high-fashion shoot, where the 17-year-old embraces a mature, edgy look. Check out all the pics right here!

Sporting dramatic winged eyeliner and a bright red pout, Kendall Jenner looks so mature in her edgy, high-fashion shoot for Panama magazine Blank. From the bright red tips on her nails to the dramatic dress with gold cuffs, (and structured shoulder pads!), her look on the cover of the mag is pure ’80s glamour — and she pulls it off flawlessly! Kendall was clearly pleased with her work, sharing a sneak peek with her fans on Twitter — and her famous fam was quick to congratulate their little sis!

While most reality stars catch some flack when they try to branch out in the fashion world, Kendall’s working hard to establish herself as a model — and it looks like her work and dedication is definitely paying off! The teen has already established her cover girl status with her Miss Vogue debut, and we’re loving the slew of eye-catching metallics, leather and dramatic, over-the-knee boots she’s sporting for Blank.

Kendall is growing up in front of our eyes, and she continues to morph into more mature versions of herself for the slew of shoots she books — she has come a long way from her first campaign! Aside from modeling, Kendall is also working on a clothing line with her sister, Kylie. The teens, (who are the youngest in the Kardashian reality fam), also have a sci-fi novel in the works — it seems like the gals are taking after their hard working fam!

What do you think of Kendall’s high-fashion shoot? While she certainly looks stunning does it bother you that she takes on such a mature image for the spread?

In Tips | Tags:  | 

Fashion’s good, bad and ugly moments of 2012.

Every year fashion offers up the good, the bad and the ugly. But what the industry is really built on — and consumers respond to — is buzz.

Here are the top moments of 2012 that made our heads turn:

Angelina Jolie at the Oscars. The leg that peeked out of the high thigh-high slit of her Versace gown was the most exciting appearance on the red carpet. The gown fit perfectly into the sleek, simple, sexy mould that Jolie favours, but it was Jolie’s picture-perfect pose to expose just enough thigh that launched a thousand memes. Her companion Brad Pitt gets an honourable mention for his scruffy appearance in a Chanel fragrance ad that left many scratching their heads.

Michelle Obama and Ann Romney’s matching hues. The wives of the presidential candidates turned out to the second debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in practically the same shade of hot pink. But they weren’t by the same designer: Romney’s was by Oscar de la Renta, and Obama’s by Michael Kors. A potential matching prom dress-style embarrassment was chalked up to timing: October’s breast cancer awareness month.

Marc Jacobs’ Louis Vuitton show. Many of the designer runways seemed more of the same — stark stages, thumping music and audiences distracted by their electronic gadgets — but the Louis Vuitton fall catwalk in Paris commanded attention. Models dressed in their very best travelling clothes stepped off a reconstructed retro steam train. Valets carried the vintage-inspired hat boxes and vanity cases. The trip seemed refreshingly refined and modern.

Two-tone Stella McCartney dresses. McCartney, no stranger to the red carpet, has created a style that celebrities can’t get enough of. Her ultra-flattering “silhouette” dress has become almost ubiquitous. It features one colour on the bodice and back, and a graphic opposite on the sides and sleeves. Kate Winslet has worn several versions, and Brooklyn Decker, Kate Moss, Edie Falco and Liv Tyler have, too. The best turn might have been Jane Fonda at the Cannes Film Festival.

Beyonce’s back-from-baby body. Some new mothers claim they feel sexier than ever. Beyonce was living proof at the Met Gala, the important industry event co-hosted by Vogue’s Anna Wintour. Beyonce’s skin-tight, largely sheer — save the bodice beading and feathered fish-tail train — gown by Givenchy announced that Ivy Blue Carter’s mom wasn’t going to hold back. An honourable mention goes to Jessica Simpson, who dieted her way to a Weight Watchers ad then wound up pregnant again.

007′s slim suits. Daniel Craig’s wardrobe in “Skyfall” is impeccably tailored — and quite tight. Unlike the James Bonds that came before him who all liked the traditional looser, longer cut of a Savile Row-style suit, Craig, whose wardrobe is created mostly by Tom Ford, takes his suits Euro style with tapered legs and shorter rises. There’s no question Craig’s super spy Bond will go down in history as one of the best, but it’s fair to ask if he could pull off those impressive chases in clothes that tight.

Supermodel reunion at the London Olympics. Gold was the new black at the closing ceremony with a parade of supermodels wearing gilded gowns in a tribute to British fashion. Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell both had on Alexander McQueen, Georgia May Jagger’s was by Victoria Beckham, Karen Elson was in Burberry, and Stella Tennant donned a Christopher Kane Swarovski-crystal catsuit. The soundtrack — of course — was David Bowie’s “Fashion.”

Another supermodel reunion at New York Fashion Week. Alexander Wang’s show has become must-see viewing, partly for influential hipster clothes, but also for the model line-up, a who’s who of top catwalkers. It was a coup even for him, however, to get the likes of Gisele Bundchen, Carmen Kass, Frankie Rayder and Shalom Harlow, who all very rarely do shows, to walk in February. Start the wish list now of who he’ll nab for his debut at Balenciaga next year.

Miley Cyrus’ cropped cut. When Cyrus cut off the long hair her fans had become used to, she took some heat. She has said (and Tweeted) repeatedly, though, that she was pleased with the new punk-pixie look and was sticking with it. Short hair turned out to be a big trend, with Alicia Keys, Rihanna and Anne Hathaway all ending the year with much shorter locks than they started with.

Julianne Moore at the Emmys. Moore’s neon-yellow Dior Haute Couture outfit (really a sweater and ball skirt) spawned a love-it-or-hate-it debate among armchair style critics. What was largely left out of that conversation, however, was that it was Raf Simons’ big celebrity debut for Dior, which he took creative control of after the John Galliano scandal. At least Simons can claim the better reviews when it came to his showdown of next-gen designers at historic French houses against Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent Paris.

In Offers | Tags:  | 

What would you give your fashion or beauty hero for Christmas?

“Monica Bellucci. I’d give her the best moisturizer brand in the market today, like La Mer, so it would help preserve her beauty. For me, she has the most perfect, timeless, effortless beauty in the world.” — Paolo Maranan, makeup artist

“Not one but three grandmas: Iris Barrel Apfel, Tita Gilda Cordero-Fernando and my very own lola, my dearest Mommy Dolly. Now these three women I adore have real style! I’d make them my signature KT muumuu dresses with heavily embroidered & bead-encrusted necklines –– in garnet red, aubergine and Schiaparelli pink!” — Kate Torralba, designer and musician

“My beauty hero is my daughter Amara because she reminds me every day with her infectious laughter, wide smile, and impromptu dance numbers that being beautiful is about finding joy in the smallest things in life. If I could give her anything for Christmas, it would have to be a day with her favorite band, One Direction! She loves them to bits!” — Donna Cuna-Pita, fashion director at Cosmopolitan

In Beauty | Tags:  | 

Zippers, Stitches, and GIFs: FIT Looks at Fashion and Technology.

Outside the entrance to “Fashion and Technology” at the Museum at FIT, Hussein Chalayan’s Spring 2007 runway show plays on a loop. Animated by elegant, invisible robotics, the clothes begin to metamorphose through decades of fashion history. A chaste Edwardian gown sheds its corsetry, revealing a beaded flapper dress. A curvaceous ’50s silhouette shrinks into a ’60s shift. Chalayan’s lyrical, shape-shifting collection serves as the exhibition’s epigraph as well as its teleological conclusion. Told exclusively through selections from the museum’s costume collection, “Fashion and Technology” (on view through May 8) charts technology’s influence on fashion from the Industrial Revolution to the present day.

Inside, a video loops Burberry’s 2011 holographic runway show with models bursting into thin air. Freedom of Creation’s 2005 3-D printed garment prototype sits in a glass case. After these expository frontispieces, you’re taken back to the Industrial Revolution. Spinning jennies, sewing machines, and synthetic dyes are shaking up the means of clothing production. A machine-knit men’s waistcoat from 1870 and a machine-stitched wedding costume are evidence of a nascent fashion industry. Cotton supplanted linin and wool as the fabric of our lives.

As one heliotrope taffeta day dress from 1860 can attest, the color purple — once reserved for monarchs and clergy — became available to the burgeoning bourgeoisie though the invention of aniline dyes. With the onset of Art Deco, we begin to see the deployment of technology as, not only a means, but an aesthetic. One jacket of avant-garde persuasion is decorated with zeppelins and skyscrapers. Newfangled substances like cellophane and Bakelite became the scintillating, confetti-like stuff of flapper dresses. Charles James and Elsa Schiaparelli married form and function by deploying the zipper as a decorative device. One forward-thinking (yet sadly anonymous) designer created an evening bag with an electric plug and socket as a clasp.

In Exclusively | Tags:  | 

After the Spartan ethos of WWII, when fashion generally courted necessity rather than imagination (rayon became big during this era because it replicated the look of silk at a fraction of the cost), the space-age couture of Andre Courreges, Pierre Cardin, Emilio Pucci, and Yves Saint Laurent signaled a resurgence of formal experimentation. A trio of mini dresses from 1968 — a brown Courreges designed for recreational space travel, a hot pink Cardin made from three-dimensional embossed fabric, and a Harry Gordon photo print dress depicting a rocket launch — encapsulate the giddy excitement of the Space Race.

In the 1990s, fashion became infatuated with a new technological frontier. The celestial mystique of outer space became eclipsed by the vast cosmic Xanadu of cyberspace. Jean Paul Gaultier’s “Mad Max”-inspired spandex jumpsuit, with its biomorphic matrix of spots, is a pioneering example the now-ubiquitous digital print. Kenneth Richard’s iridescent vinyl mini skirt and belly shirt ensemble is the bottled essence of late-’90s cyber kitsch.

The exhibition brings you up to date with an outfit from Mandy Coon’s Spring 2013 collection. Inspired by the seismic motions of a MIDI audio file, the look is evocative of the much-ballyhooed New Aesthetic, an artistic zeitgeist based on the collision of the digital with the real. A reaction against retro-minded post-postmodern hipster culture, the New Aesthetic is a jamboree of pixilated, aggregative cyber-reality. Louise Gray’s 2012 dress, which lifts the pattern of a QR code as a graphic trope, fits neatly into the New Aesthetic’s vocabulary of 8-bit graphics, hash-tags, and animated GIFS. But, as critic Bruce Sterling has suggested, this vocabulary can be laden with spurious metaphysical claims and uncritical machine love.

In Generally | Tags:  | 

The meandering trajectory of fashion has been paved by successes and failures. Some innovations have become time-tested conventions (see the zipper or the sewing machine), while others, such as the nylon wash-and-wear business suit, seem to have gone the way of the dinosaurs. Though it was made in 1997, Simon Thorogood’s hooded gown is chillingly relevant. It’s evocative of a Jedi’s mantle and it was actually inspired by real-life “Star Wars” technology: the shape of pilotless aircraft drones. It is one of the few garments in the exhibition that gives pause to technology’s inevitable dark side. For all its intelligent curation and encyclopedic detail, “Fashion and Technology” misses an opportunity. The show’s tidy technological determinism doesn’t leave room for examination of the social, economic, environmental, and human consequences of mechanization, from cotton’s role in the 18th-century slave trade to the economic exploitation the drives fast fashion’s supply chains.

The future of fashion can simultaneously inspire curious wonder or Luddite horror. Clothes could be decked with LED lights, rigged with microscopic robots that monitor your heartbeat and check your Facebook. Garments could be printable from the comfort of your home. At the end of the exhibition, a screen displays backstage footage of Diane Von Furstenburg’s Spring 2013 show, recorded on Google glasses worn by the models and by DVF herself. The technology — a tiny computer that lives on your face — is creepy. The video’s content — mostly the backs of models heads — is boring. The glasses — a thin aluminum headband with nose pads — are ugly.

The Google/DVF collaboration cannot be further from the protean magic of Chalayan’s show. The two films bookend the possibilities of what partnership between technology and fashion might mean. It can remove the human hand from construction or lend a hand to skilled craftspeople, entrench neo-Brutalist design aesthetics or allow for formal experimentation, and produce cyborg-like disassociation or foster critical engagement

In DVF | Tags:  | 

Lady Gaga’s Little Sister, Natali Germanotta, Gets Fashion Debut.

Fashion must run in the Germanotta family because Lady Gaga’s little sister, 20-year-old Natali, shined in her fashion debut.
Germanotta, a student at Parsons The New School for Design, posed for the digital fashion website wearing Alaia, J Mendel, and Proenza Schouler. Gaga’s sister, who rarely steps into the public eye, struck a pose in her family’s New York City restaurant, Joanne Trattoria, along with some friends.
Natali admitted that she juggles her fashion studies at Parson along with playing an active role at the family eatery, which received harsh reviews earlier this year. (The New York Daily News called it “the worst thing since herpes.)

“I do a little bit of everything and adore my family,” Germanotta told the fashion site.

The fashion shoot “Buon Natali” shot by photographer Marvin Joseph shows Gaga’s little sister in demure, high fashion poses. However the dramatic details, like a high chignon and flashy jewels inspired by 1950′s Italian cinema, was meant to be a juxtaposition to her big sister’s over-the-top audacious style.

“Everything about the shoot was over the top from the oversized meatballs and the 20 pound fish on the table to the big hair and jewelry,” ViralFashion.com’s creative director, Christian Fleres, said. “We had drama in mind the whole time, for that day everyone was playing the superhero version of themselves.”

While she is much a stranger to the public eye, Natali Germanotta has accompanied her sister Gaga to events before. In 2010, the younger Germanotta starred in Lady Gaga’s music video for “Telephone” and, most recently, walked the red carpet with her sister at the 2011 CFDA Fashion Awards.

According to Contact Music, Germanotta has also posed for Teen Vogue and Interview magazine before the ViralFashion shoot.

In Debut | Tags:  | 

Kevin Arpino Plays to a Silent Audience.

Tall and tan with a wrist full of jangly silver bracelets, Kevin Arpino shouted into his cellphone in a room full of fashion models.
“We need black pipin’,” he said, his profundo basso voice twisted by Dunhill Internationals and a strong North London accent. “Pipin’!” he repeated.His assistant on the other end didn’t understand. “Piping,” he added with urgency, stressing the “g.” “For the pillows.”
“Such is the price of being English,” he said, but the models didn’t crack a smile. They couldn’t. They were fiberglass.

Mr. Arpino, 60, was standing in the disarrayed showroom of Rootstein Display Mannequins in Chelsea, where he is the creative director. It was the eve of the Retail Design Collective, a three-day event in early December known informally as Mannequin Fashion Week. Showrooms across Manhattan parade new hands, torsos and life-size figures. And though these models can’t use Twitter or Instagram, there is glamour nonetheless.

The hot ticket was the unveiling of Mr. Arpino’s newest collections, which he presents every year in Rootstein’s showroom on West 19th Street. “This year, it’s going to be all black and white,” he said, his dark eyes glittering. “Just like a photograph.”

Brash and particular, Mr. Arpino, who wears only black and white year-round, is a polarizing and powerful figure in the land of plastic people. Some call him the emperor of the windows. His collections (he usually releases two a year) are bellwethers for the small, tight-knit industry.

Though few outside the industry know Mr. Arpino’s name, his work is seen at all retail levels, from high-end stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, Hermès, Lanvin, Chanel and Ralph Lauren, to mass brands like Zara, Juicy Couture and H & M.

Starting at $1,300, Rootstein mannequins aren’t cheap. The company manufactures 10,000 mannequins a year in factories in Tokyo, London and New York. “I refuse to manufacture in China,” Mr. Arpino said.

In Tall | Tags:  | 

Rootstein was founded in 1959 by a South African window dresser living in London named Adel Rootstein. Her innovation wasn’t to cast celebrities as mannequins (Mary Brosnan had made mannequins of Babe Paley in the 1940s) but to use youthful models. Her 1966 mannequin of Twiggy remains a milestone.

Under Mr. Arpino’s stewardship, Rootstein’s collections have been theatrical and occasionally controversial. Previous collections have been devoted to sadomasochism, vegetables and “The Great Gatsby.” In 2010, Mr. Arpino came under fire for his Young and Restless collection, which featured hobbledehoys with 27-inch waists. The Guardian ran a piece headlined, “Skinny Male Mannequins Raise Eating Disorder Fears.”

Mr. Arpino remains unabashed. “If you want to blame someone, blame the designers,” he said, before adding, without apology, “Unfortunately, clothing looks better on tall and skinny people.”

For many shoppers, mannequins are the 50-something women of the fashion world: invisible in plain sight. But for Mr. Arpino, each is a person with a story. “I know all of these girls,” said Mr. Arpino, gently popping off the arm of a mannequin named Tamara. “She’s only 19. She was the runner-up for Miss Russia beauty pageant.”

The process of transforming a living model into a fiberglass mannequin takes a year and a half. Mr. Arpino not only oversees the highly technical production, but also the stylistic direction. It requires one to be finely attuned to seasonal trends — skinny jeans call for skinnier legs, higher heels for more relevéd feet.

Mr. Arpino typically holds castings during London Fashion Week in September. Models sit for hours in little more than a bikini over a three-week period at Rootstein’s studios in West Kensington. “Models are essentially just breathing mannequins,” he said. “So it’s not terribly difficult.”

In Innovation | Tags:  | 

There they are sculptured into life-size clay models as Mr. Arpino tweaks the poses. The clay models are then made into a mold and cast in fiberglass. “Look at these things,” Mr. Arpino said, knocking one of them hard on the sternum. “They last forever.”

The same could almost be said of Mr. Arpino, who has been in the business for 30 years. “One reason Adel picked me,” he said, “is because I knew who the good girls were because I had worked with them.”

Under his direction, mannequins have been made from Yasmin Le Bon, Dianne deWitt and Pat Cleveland. Recent models have included Agyness Deyn, Coco Rocha and Erin O’Connor. “If they can sell fashion in magazine, they can sell fashion in a store,” he said.

This had been an unusually busy season. Mr. Arpino unveiled three collections this month, which were displayed in various tableaus in his Chelsea showroom.

“These are from the collection Sojourners,” he said, pronouncing it as if it were French. The languid mannequins swanned in repose. “Models are the new Gypsies, you know. These girls are from Poland, Russia, Lithuania.”

The other collections were an abstract line, Lift, and another realistic one called Street Boys. The latter, homeless-seeming, were skinnier than the Sojourners and had scruffy stubble.

Mr. Arpino has shown a knack for identifying emerging beauty and capturing its ascent. But to stroll through the showroom is to acknowledge how fleeting that beauty is. ‘“That’s Irie. That’s Dianne. That’s Joe,” Mr. Arpino said, the mannequins looking as youthful as the day they were cast.

There’s one mannequin that Mr. Arpino has vowed never to make: of himself. “Years ago Adel asked,” he said. “But I’d prefer not. It’s just a little too Dorian Gray for my taste.”

In Sculptured | Tags:  | 

The stand-out fashion moments of 2012.

Every year fashion offers up the good, the bad and the ugly. But what the industry is really built on — and consumers respond to — is buzz.

Here are the top moments of 2012 that made our heads turn:
Michelle Obama and Ann Romney

The wives of the presidential candidates turned out to the second debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in practically the same shade of hot pink.

But they weren’t by the same designer: Romney’s was by Oscar de la Renta, and Obama’s by Michael Kors.
A potential matching prom dress-style embarrassment was chalked up to timing: October’s breast cancer awareness month.

In Good | Tags:  | 

London Fashion Week: Burberry Prorsum Goes Glam Metal.

Designer Christopher Bailey is looking to Burberry’s future through the glamour of its past and finding that it is very bright . . . and metallic, too. He ensured that his signature Prorsum collection – the heritage label’s upscale line and seasonal piece de resistance of the London Fashion Week schedule – shone very literally for Spring 2013.

Entranced by old school “British glamour” and the excitement of space age materials, Bailey found a way to combine those elements at Kensington Garden’s runway show this week. Like Marc Jacobs, he’s not really in the mood for pants, it seems, with many of the show’s looks focusing on metallic swimsuits or hot pants paired with (equally elemental) capelets – and, of course, Prorsum’s signature trenches.

This season, those coats come in unabashedly feminine jewel tones like electric pink, emerald and amethyst, while the gleaming sateen dresses and fantastic plastic handbags continue the retro-gamine-from-the-future vibe. Corsets accented many of the key looks; burleseque darling Dita Von Teese, watching from the front row, was surely riveted.

Music is integral to any Burberry proceeding, and this season’s soundtrack of Birdy, Ren Harvieu and Tom Odell – all recent additions to the brand’s musical family – provided a meditative, soothing sonic contrast to all the wham-bam flash of the runway show. Burberry is at a pivotal stage in its 156-year history; it’s one of Britain’s oldest and most fondly observed sartorial institutions, yet under Bailey, it’s a symbol of modern musical youth. The English troubadours harkened to a rustic past, while the electric clothes on the runway indicated Bailey’s head is lit up with dreams of a tech utopia, the kind 20th century optimists longed for but never actually created. Burberry’s pop cultural plight has been a guitar-laden one, leading them through rock, punk, folk, and pop on the runways and at their intimate concerts. They might want to invest in electronica next if they want to stay ahead of the curve.
Tellingly, over on Regent Street, the new Burberry store is an innovative bastion of technophilic cool (with over 100 screens installed, it broadcast the Spring 2013 collection in real time). But Bailey will always have a soft spot, a certain reverence for the beauty and decadence of Britain’s cinematic past. Through digital means, he aims to resurrect it. With his new collection, he’s given the allure of the Vivien Leigh era a cyber-charged makeover.

In Collection | Tags:  | 

Lana Del Rey Debuts Lynchian H&M Commercial.

Lana Del Rey’s creepy, low-lit ad for H&M hit the web this weekend and, naturally, everyone has been quick to point out its “Lynchian” qualities. The short clip’s noir, discomfiting mood – and likeness to the filmmaker David Lynch’s canon – is enhanced by Del Rey’s doleful cover of Bobby Vinton’s 1963 dewy-eyed prom song “Blue Velvet.”

In the commercial, Del Rey appears chillingly mannequin-like as one of her favorite Americana personalities, a lounge singer. She croons the song while wearing a pink angora sweater and leggings in front of an audience of waxen people who dab their eyes with hankies. Nearby, three equally emotionless clones of Del Rey sit on a velvet sofa in matching sweater-and-skirt combos. The singer pouts her way through a hypnosis session and a mysterious phone booth call, surrounded by action but never reacting. She remains unfazed throughout the clip, making it feel darkly humorous (and very self-aware). As a little man runs by at the end and pulls the power supply, silencing her, she finally appears in on the joke and cracks a (muted) smile.

In Alonso, Avril Lavigne, Collection, Designer, Designers, fashion designer, Gucci, Heidi Klum, Jessica Chastain, Khloe Kardashian, Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan, Milan Fashion Week, Oprah Winfrey, Organize, Qualities, The Good LIfe, Uncategorized, Vanessa Hudgens | Tags:  | 

Milan Fashion Week: Gucci spring/summer 2013.

Lisa Armstrong on why Gucci has turned its back on black for spring/summer 2013.
Once it was the only bankable shade in town, but has black finally had its day? In the UK this past summer, it almost became extinct. One retailer told me recently that she could sell anything at the luxury end of the market – so long as it wasn’t in black.In New York, where a funereal wardrobe used to be a condition of residency, fashionistas have been drenched in colour and suffused with noisy patterns. More implausibly still, French fashion editors, while not abandoning black entirely – les pantalons colores, jamais! – are, in a courageous, heretical gesture, mixing it with a little white.

Nonetheless, while jewel hues and flamboyant prints are fashion’s equivalent of Mamma Mia – escapism from economic gloom. Nonetheless – you’d expect Gucci to maintain a position at the murkier end of the spectrum.

In Milan Fashion Week | Tags:  | 

Gucci has spent the best part of 20 years honing its archytype, art directing some of the most consistent advertising campaigns and catwalk shows in the world. An after dark kind of creature who sleeps in until after lunch (an effective approach to avoiding calories) and lives a substantial part of her life in a twilight zone, Gucci woman has smoky eyes, ruthlessly subjugated hair and a weakness for dominatrix clothes. She hardly changes. When she does occasionally wear colour it’s dusky, smoky – or blindingly white. Soft shades are for ageing wives who can’t risk black next to their faces. Pastels are for wimps. Gucci woman is neither.

But even a construct as established as Gucci’s can be tweaked. Recently the brand has adopted the wholesome, horse-riding Charlotte Casiraghi of Monaco as one of its models. Gucci’s head designer, Frida Giannini, spoke of an aristorcratic muse this season. The starting point, she explained, came from “Richard Avedon and Gian Paolo Barbieri’s historic photographs”.

In Gucci | Tags:  | 

When she talks of history, she means the 1970s: bell bottoms and bell sleeves, belted tunic-come-shirts-come-jackets, swirling prints and show-stopping, long organza dresses with scooped-out backs and cascades of stiff, architectural ruffles. Above all she means colour – yellows, turqoise, cobalt but also pinks Depending on your cultural heritage, it was reminiscent of those grand American hostesses at play in Palm Beach – or of Margot from The Good LIfe .

Either way it made for great pictures and the footage being shot from the side of the catwalk on Super 8 film by a Gucci photographer, will presumably surface shortly in a retro-tinged campaign.

Meanwhile, I wouldn’t want Gucci loyalists to think there was no black. It’s just that once the black section would be the only clothes that actually sold. Now, even at Gucci, you can’t be so sure.

In The Good LIfe | Tags:  | 

Designers draw on array of inspiration for NY fashion week.

The luna moth. Oscar Wilde. Eighteenth-century Japanese scrolls. An obscure Bauhaus artist. Antique porcelain. Quick, what do these things have in common?
Don’t know? Try this: The Duchess of Windsor. The Arab Spring. The Beatles’ 1960s encounter with the Maharishi. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” — not the play, silly, the 1935 movie. The dragonfly.
Give up? OK, we’ll tell you — each of these things was a declared “inspiration,” or theme, for fashion designers this year as they plied their wares at New York Fashion Week.
Why do designers even need such a thing, the uninitiated may ask? Well, many say it helps them organize their thoughts as they travel through the creative process. “It’s the kernel that makes the popcorn grow,” says Jeremy Scott, whose typically outrageous designs attempted to channel the Arab Spring this year, with some Harlem added in (more on that later).
But there’s also the pesky issue of having a good answer ready backstage, when you get that inevitable question as the cameras flash and the tape rolls: “What inspired you?” And you can’t just say, “I wanted to make pretty clothes.”
Which is a bit frustrating to designer Nanette Lepore. “Actually, sometimes it annoys me that everyone wants a theme!” she says. “I mean, it really does help when I have a strong one to work with. But often, what you have is just a few notions.”
At the shows that ended Thursday in New York, a number of over-arching mini-themes emerged. For example: Insects.
As in, the luna moth, which lives for only about a week. Indian-born designer Bibhu Mohapatra saw one, and it inspired his spring collection. “The luna moth is like a woman — she is constantly evolving,” he said backstage.
For Sophie Theallet, another rising designer who has dressed Michelle Obama, it was another insect who stirred her creative juices: the dragonfly. “It’s viewed differently by different cultures, sometimes as evil, sometimes spiritual,” she said. “I wanted to show how the woman I am dressing can be anything at any time.”

In Organize | Tags:  | 

Speaking of time, some designers dig way back into it for their themes. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, for example, designers of The Row, were inspired “by the 18th century scrolls of Ito Jakuchu, depicting the Japanese traditions of bird-and-flower paintings.”
Not bad. But Thom Browne will take your old scrolls, Olsen twins, and raise them one German artist from the Bauhaus school. Browne’s show — an elaborate performance, really — was an homage to the 1920s artist and choreographer Oskar Schlemmer.
From Bauhaus to Dadaism: Designer Phillip Lim said he was exploring a literary technique — via clothing — used by Dadaists in the 1920s and William S. Burroughs in the 1950s. Not to ignore the ’60s, Marchesa designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig channeled the Beatles’ experience with the Maharishi in India.
And Reem Acra, who designs glamorous evening gowns, said she was inspired by contemporary sculptor and artist Aaron Young and his motorcycle-themed work: “The abstract and destructive energy of his pieces are taken to create a defined, sophisticated and compelling statement on femininity.”
Some designers choose current events. Scott, an acknowledged bad boy of the fashion world, said he was inspired by the Arab Spring — with Harlem added in. He had long veils to go with see-through dresses, some Arab headdresses — paired, of course, with thigh-high alligator boots — and, to dress up that tired tank top, a slew of metallic mini-M16 automatic rifles.
Sometimes a show’s theme is less in-your-face, er, clear. Watching last year’s Rodarte spring show was like slowly solving a puzzle. A sunflower print here, a painter’s smock there, some “midnight blue” — only afterwards did the Mulleavy sisters, the much-admired designing duo, reveal that their theme was, of course, Vincent van Gogh.
This year the Mulleavys, asked their inspiration, said it was “medieval and role playing games.”
Like them, Wes Gordon was partial to corsets this season. But the young designer wasn’t thinking medieval. “A high priestess,” he pronounced, when asked his theme. “A woman who’s powerful, alluring and feminine, but at the same time dark and sinister.”

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Are you an old-movie buff? Mark Badgley and James Mischka had a show for you: Their spring inspiration was the 1935 film version of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” starring James Cagney. (Their fall collection had channeled the 1920s German film “Metropolis.”)
And they weren’t the only designers thinking about that Shakespearean play. “The Dream,” a ballet inspired by the play and danced by American Ballet Theatre, was the theme of Christian Siriano’s spring collection. The fourth-season winner of “Project Runway” said he had tried to recreate the ballet’s tulle-filled, pastel-colored world.
Straightforward enough. Sometimes, though, it’s a little hard to get the connection, not just between a designer’s inspiration or theme and their clothes, but even between the different elements of the theme. To wit, designer Naeem Khan’s theme: “The Duchess of Windsor: Exotic Gardens, Fiery Skies, and the Arabian Sea.”
So what’s the link between Wallis Simpson and those other things?
Maybe not much. “When you’re designing a collection, you can be super-focused on one thing or you can go a little wider,” Khan, who famously designed a shimmering state-dinner gown for Mrs. Obama, told an audience later. “This collection went a little wider.”
Lepore can relate to that. The ebullient designer literally danced offstage following her runway show. Backstage, her many themes were dancing through her head.
“Well, I was still looking at Oscar Wilde, from last season,” she said. “And we were recently in Ireland, and I was looking at all the greens, so clover was a theme. And of course, there’s the porcelain, those beautiful pieces from the porcelain room at the Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin.”
But wouldn’t it be enough, as she herself mused, just to have some pretty fashion ideas? Like her own lovely mixes of bright green prints with black-and-white checks and stripes?
Reed Krakoff seems to think so. After finding several ways, following his well-received runway show, to say that he was adding sensuality to sporty looks, the designer concluded: “I don’t really ever have a theme.
“It’s just something that evolves over time,” he said. “It’s about creating something that makes sense. Something that feels right.”

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Lindsay Lohan lands new modelling gig

Troubled actress Lindsay Lohan has landed a new modelling gig after signing on as the face of French Connection UK’s scent Friction.

The Mean Girls star, who was last month named the celebrity spokesmodel for JAG Jeans, stripped off and struck a seductive pose with male model Petey Wright for the fashion label’s latest fragrance campaign.

The brand has posted both the male and female product packages on its official website alongside a tease which reads, “What better way to describe a fragrance that generates so much heat? fcuk has once again shocked, amused and provoked buzz worthy chat with friction, the newest fragrance duo to join the bold and seductive fragrance dynasty.”

The scent is “an alluring blend of fresh citrus, sensual musk and warm woods”.

Lindsay Lohan reteamed with Yu Tsai, the photographer behind her Playboy magazine shoot, for the eye-catching ads.

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Avril Lavigne designs line of nail Polish

Singer Avril Lavigne has created a range of edgy nail polish designs for top beauty company Sally Hansen.

The Sk8er Boi hitmaker, who already has a fragrance brand and clothing line Abbey Dawn, has extended her fashion empire by releasing a limited-edition collection of self-adhesive nail strips for Sally Hansen’s Salon Effects.

She tells Women’s Wear Daily, “This is pretty much the coolest thing… I’m a really visual person; I like creating, and I love to have fun with colours. I think this offers self-expression, and it’s a really smart, versatile way to show your style. I think my fans will really like it, because it’s easy and simple and fun.

“I was really excited… since they’re super quick. You clean your nails, peel the strips and apply them, file and go. I’m superfast at it, so it takes me like five minutes to do my nails. And it’s super cool because the designs that I came up with are my personal style and vibe – they’re rock ‘n’ roll and fun and bright and colourful. You have sparkles and little stars – they are cute.

“For me, I’ll be flying on a plane and be like, ‘S**t, I need to do my nails.’ I can do these on a plane; I’ve done them in the car.”

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, Austin Butler PDA Continues in Hawaii

Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler have taken their romance to beautiful Hawaii, and they aren’t holding anything back! Beaches, bikinis, and a lot of kissing have consumed the lives of these lovebirds and they aren’t slowing down yet!

Celebuzz has posted the new set of PDA-filled photos, showing that Vanessa and Austin are having a wonderful time just being together. VHudge is in Hawaii doing promotion for Journey 2: The Mysterious Island but that doesn’t mean that she’s all work and no play! She saw a great opportunity to bring her beau with her to frolic in the water and what not—and that is exactly what she did!

Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler have taken their love from LA to Miami and back again, and their romance is definitely red-hot. They look so into each other and just so in love. It’s great to see them getting along and being able to express their feelings for each other, even if people think it’s “too much.” Really, it’s the paparazzi that’s making it awkward—these are just kids on vacation… and in love!

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Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom Are Back in Dallas

Khloe Kardashian had a great time visiting her family in Los Angeles but she is thrilled to be back in Dallas—with her hubby! She definitely missed her Lam Lam and she is so happy to have Lamar Odom home with her!

“Just landed in tFile:Khloe Kardashian 2009.jpghe Big D… My hubby just landed too,” Khloe Kardashian tweeted on Saturday night. She had been missing her man—and understandably so! It is never easy being married to someone who has to travel a lot for work and that is just something that Khloe Kardashian and Lamar have had to get used to. They have Skype dates when they are apart and while it helps, there is nothing like them being home together.

Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom seem to have a very healthy relationship. They care about each other and they are just really connected in a way that most people could never understand. It’s great to hear that are both back in Dallas, safe and sound, and hopefully they will be spending a lot of alone time together today!

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Oprah Winfrey in India; Obama Will Win Presidency Again!

Fans are loving Oprah Winfrey in India. Obama will win presidency again is what the former television talk show host claimed in an interview session at the Jaipur Literature Festival in Jaipur, in the western Indian state of Rajasthan, India.

How does Oprah Winfrey know President Obama will regain the presidency in 2012? She doesn’t know that he will win, but Oprah did endorse Barack Obama in 2008.

Oprah Winfrey claims she is confident President Obama will continue his work and will go on to do even better things after he wins the 2012 United States Presidential Election. While visiting India, Oprah was reported by the Times of India wearing a mustard silk ‘salwar-kameez’ with a pink chiffon dupatta and sporting golden bangles. Oprah has traveled the world and always does a great job of Oprah Winfreyabsorbing local culture.

Oprah Winfrey has been touring parts of India as she films segments for her television network OWN. The talk show host’s influence is strong but does she have enough pull on the U.S public as the last election?

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Kim Kardashian Divorce Doesn’t Stop Her From Indulging Wild Side

Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries’ divorce may have put the reality TV show starlet on the defensive—even now she’s still catching flak, being booed at basketball games and more. For that matter, her ex is also dealing with his own fair share of backlash. Nevertheless, the drama apparently hasn’t tamed Kim Kardashian fashionable side, as she has rocked a plethora of look-at-me, statement-making ensembles of late, including her glam-fabulous black gown outing for the Golden Globe Awards after-party circuit. One of her most recent exits has been slightly less formal, but no less incredible: a SpiritHood, worn with an animal print blazer, naturally.

No stranger to self-exposure, Kim Kardashian tweeted a photo of herself in a Spirithood, which is a cozy and furry animalistic hood with ears and all! No matter that Los Angeles certainly isn’t experiencing frigid temps—it’s all about indulging that wild side! The fashion statement comes in all incarnations of wildlife, from a tiger and polar bear to a snow leopard, husky and the list goes on. It’s a bit hard to tell from the TwitPic, but it seems Kim might be rocking the red fox version. And it looks quite foxy on her, especially when paired with her leopard jacket!

File:Kim Kardashian 2009 Tribeca portrait.jpgKim Kardashian definitely pulled off the rather interesting trend that might look like a poor excuse for a Halloween costume or a Disney character on some. But she’s not the only star who has taken a stab at wearing the Spirithood. As Celebuzz reports, sister Khloe Kardashian also put one on; hers translates as a bit less glam, but also a bit more fun than Kim’s version. Vanessa Hudgens has also tried one on for size and it looked quite adorable at that. As for perhaps some less successful brushes with the wild trend: Singer Pink has been spotted in a panda hood, which she probably shouldn’t have worn. Ditto for Jon Hamm (yes, there are Spirithoods for men!) who certainly was not channeling Don Draper with his animal topper. Hmm… now where is Kris Humphries’ hood?!

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Heidi Klum and Seal Divorce: Is Partying to Blame?

Right now the couple seems to be trying to work things out, but Heidi’s hubby is going to have to calm down if he wants to keep the sexy supermodel in his life—apparently his love of partying has something to do with why they’re considering calling it quits.

A love of partying also might have played a part in Katy Perry and Russell Brand’s divorce—Russell is a recovering addict who reportedly wanted to start a family, while Katy seems to be a party girl who isn’t ready for kids yet. If these allegations about Katy and Russell are true, then it’s a good thing they decided to split up before having a kid—divorce can be so much worse with children involved.

Unfortunately, there are four kids involved in Heidi Klum and Seal’s divorce. But having so many kids might have something to do why while Heidi’s hubby has been partying so much lately—he’s approaching 50, so perhaps the musician is trying to recapture the glory of his “Kiss from a Rose” days (you know he had to have a lot of groupies and a lot of parties to attend back in the mid-90s). He and Heidi Klum only had a few short months together before becoming parents, so this might have also been hard on him—she gave birth to another man’s baby (her daughter Leni) a few months after they got engaged in 2004.

Seal’s been a great husband to Heidi Klum and a great father to their four kids since then, but perhaps he’s just freaking out with a midlife crisis of sorts. Here’s what a source told The Mirror about his worsening erratic behavior: “Seal seem to have been partying a lot more often than usual. When they had their holiday in Ibiza in the summer last year Seal hit it hard, was out at clubs and with his friends a lot and Heidi was left with their kids trying to enjoy herself. The cracks were appearing and everybody was talking during that trip. He seemed off the rails.”

So of course Heidi Klum is going to be angry at her hubby for leaving her with the kids while he parties; such behavior would certainly upset any wife. The couple has also been spending a lot of time apart, something that might have also played a part in the divorce of Katy Perry and Russell Brand.

So do you think Seal will settle down now that he realizes that he might lose Heidi Klum, or is he just too desperate to live the life of a single man once again?

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Jessica Chastain: Producers Guild Awards Fashion

Jessica Chastain joined fellow stars George Clooney, Evan Rachel Wood, Angelina Jolie, her The Tree of Life co-star Brad Pitt, and many more at the Producers Guild Awards. The Beverly Hilton Hotel event was yet another red carpet occasion this awards season.

The Fashion Patrol quickly IDed what Jessica wore at the awards. Her sparkling, black Balenciaga gown had spaghetti straps, a fitted bodice, and a flowing, floor-length skirt. The cleavage-baring number did not really stand out on the red carpet. And while her jade earrings were certainly eye-catching, her hairstyle could have been improved.

At the Coriolanus premiere in New York City this week, Jessica Chastain fared better. Jessica wore a Monique Lhuillier Pre-Fall 2012 dress. The lace dress was a beauty, though the rise-and-fall hem is never an easy look to pull off.

Jessica Chastain’s week in style did not end there. The actress charmed the crowd at The Late Show with David Letterman in mint green Karen Caldwell, and donned Armani for the opening night of Cirque du Soleil’s OVO.

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Creative types in Baton Rouge continue to gain opportunities within the film, multi-media and music industries. Now, one local artist is hoping to kick-start that same momentum for local fashion designers.

“You’re always going to have a brick wall no matter what you do, but it’s really about ramming it down I think,” Anthony Ryan Auld, a Baton Rouge fashion designer said when asked what advice he would give to other designers who are frustrated due to a lack of resources.

Auld has witnessed a whirlwind of activity since graduating from LSU in the spring of 2010. After studying for an extended period in Paris, he returned home and was cast on the Lifetime hit show, Project Runway. Although he made it far in the competition, Auld left with out the big prize.

Rather than accepting defete, Auld found his own way to ram down the brick wall though a website called Kickstarter.com.

“You set yourself up with a time, you set yourself up with a goal. If you make your goal you get the money. If you don’t make your goal you don’t get the money,” Auld said with a smile when explaining how the site works.

Auld created a Kickstarter account back in December. His project involved two things: launching a new collection, and bringing awareness to his non-profit organization.

Several years ago Auld was diagnosed with testicular cancer – a fact that was made public during his time on Project Runway. Utilizing his new found fame, Auld began working on the non-profit group as a way of providing support for others with, or dealing with issues related to cancer.

As for his main objective, Auld succeeded in raising the funds need to begin momentum on a two-day fashion event to debut his new line. He plans to invite some big names to attend.

“There’s no telling who will come, you know, tim, heidi?”

Invitations have already gone out to his fellow Season 9 contestants, which is fitting considering that his departure from the show was a large source of inspiration for his new designs.

“After I left the show I was really in a dark place,” Auld reveals. “I was just really questioning ‘is this what I really should be doing and is this what I, you know, really want to do, is it worth it,’ and to pull yourself out of that and say, yes.”

Auld hopes the Baton Rouge-catwalk will serve a greater purpose than just a night’s entertainment. Rather, he hopes the event will be a small catalyst for a new era of fashion in Bayou Country.

“Louisiana isn’t really known for fashion,” Auld explained. “If we actually set ourselves apart and say ‘hey, we can do this, we’re good at fashion, we have all this talent here in Baton Rouge, in New Orleans, in just Louisiana in general,’ then with these movies coming in, they’re not going to bring in stylists, they’re going to want stylists from here. They’re going to want people to make garments for them.”

A way of making that happen is to provide a showcase for other designers at the March event. His hope is to utilize his Project Runway status as a way a sort of springboard for other designers looking for a leg-up opportunity. Then, a possible snowball effect could happen, which would continue to grow more opportunities within a state that continues to grow in regarding to all fields within the entertainment industry as a whole.

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Don’t let the drab workwear fool you, Felix Alonso says. D.C.’s fashion scene comes alive at night — but it’s almost always behind closed doors.

“In Washington, you don’t see fashion in the streets,” Alonso said. “But when you go out at night, oh my goodness, the ladies really sparkle. Privately, Washington is as high-fashion as any city in the world.”

Alonso should know. The designer in his 60s has spent the past 40 years making custom gowns, cocktail dresses and business suits for Washington’s elite. He has dressed four generations of Kennedys, as well as Hillary Clinton, Nancy Kissinger and countless ambassadors’ wives.

When Alonso arrived in Washington in the 1970s, the city wasn’t ready for high fashion, he says. Today, business is booming — so much so that Alonso is unveiling a new ready-to-wear line that will be sold throughout the United States, Europe and Australia.

His upcoming line, called Felix Alonso, will make its debut at a trade show in New York City next month. It will be sold in showrooms in Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta, as well as in Paris and Barcelona. Alonso is also in talks with Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman to carry his clothing.

“It’s really a start-up with 40 years behind it,” said Jill Cohen, a local entrepreneur and friend of Alonso’s.

The company already has a wholesale presence in Europe, where Vogue by Alonso clothing is sold in high-end department stores such Galeries Lafayette in Paris and El Corte Inglés in Spain, but Alonso says his new label will be priced more moderately.

Alonso is financing the new venture himself. He and his brother and son, who run the European arm of the company, have invested $4 million so far in the project.

It may be a difficult transition for a man who has spent most of his career working behind the scenes. Much of Alonso’s success lies in the close relationships he has forged with his clients. How will that translate to a mass international market? Alonso says he’s not sure.

Still, he’s optimistic. Alonso expects sales of $28 million in the collection’s first year, and says there’s a need for well-made clothing that falls somewhere in between mid-range department stores and haute couture.

“Many of my clients are finding that when they need a dress or a gown, they have to go very high-end to the $3,000 range, or down to the $300 range,” he said, adding that dresses in his new line will cost between $500 and $1,200.

Alonso’s current business has benefitted from the recession-resistant nature of the Washington economy, and from a constant rotation of well-heeled foreign visitors ranging from business executives to diplomats.

“Embassies are our bread,” he said. “An ambassador’s wife needs at least two garments a month – for dinners, teas, luncheons.”

His made-to-order clothing ranges from classic business suits and blouses to more whimsical pieces, such as a gown made entirely of purple Swarovski crystals and topped with a sable fur collar. Just the fabric cost him $14,000, Alonso says.

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