Thursday, 28 January 2010

Behind The Scenes At Vogue

This is a cute behind the scenes clip of Jessica Biel's first cover for US Vogue.

The real star, however, is the tortoise, who has Mario Testino running around in circles, trying to get it to strike a pose:

Balmain Goes Real

Balmain, the brand as famous for its amusingly high price tags as its super cool catwalk looks, is getting back in touch with reality and bringing out its first diffusion line.

Balmain Blue Label will be in stores in time for the arrival of the autumn/winter collections, and be priced at approximately 40-50% less than the main line.

This can only be good news, given that a shirt will currently set you back about £ 2 000, and you could be looking at a £ 60 000 receipt for a crystallized cocktail dress.

I have no doubt that the range will garner as much attention as the high-end catwalk collection, which counts Madonna and Kate Moss amongst its fans.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Dior vs. Armani

It's apparently dresses at dawn for the Haute Couture house Christian Dior and its Italian competition Armani Privé.

Following Dior's scheduling of an additional show during Haute Couture Fashion Week, coinciding almost directly with that of Giorgio Armani's, Dior effectively prevented the latter designer from booking the models he wanted, who had also been booked for Dior.

Giorgio Armani has accused Christian Dior of showing him a lack of respect, even going so far as to send a scathing email to the press, detailing his frustration.

Fashion rivalry at its best.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Is 40 The New 30?

Bulgari's new ad campaign starring Julianne Moore - and two very photogenic exotic birds - is proof that beauty and youth do not always have an inverse relationship.

Julianne Moore looks as divine as ever, and even the enormous gob-stopper emerald earrings she wears do not manage to eclipse her beauty.

She is not alone as an over-30 poster girl for a luxury brand: Claudia Schiffer is back as the face of Salvatore Ferragamo, looking ever so ladylike, and Christy Turlington returns to our favourite fashion magazines via Bally's ad campaign.

Clearly our 30s are the new age of desirability.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Lara Stone - Louis Vuitton Preview

You must check out this sneak peek at the making of the forthcoming Louis Vuitton ad campaign with my absolute favourite model Lara Stone.

Surely you will agree that you have never seen such a magical setting for an ad...nor such a talented dove!


Vanessa Paradis Returns to Chanel

In keeping with the current vogue for dispensing with models for ad campaigns, Vanessa Paradis has been asked to reprise her role as the face of Chanel's fragrance Coco.

No doubt the result will be fabulous, and I am reminded of a previous collaboration between Mrs. Depp and Chanel, when she filmed a highly glamourous and witty commercial for the same scent.

Dressed in a couture burlesque outfit, and swinging inside a gilded birdcage, Vanessa Paradis tweets like a delicious bird as she is watched by a hungry, white Persian cat.

Check it out here:

Carrie On

Sex and the City may be over - at least on the small screen, and who knows how many more big screen sequels Sarah Jessica Parker can pull out of her designer handbag - but Carrie lives on at Halston, thanks to the revived iconic brand snapping up SJP as a creative consultant.

Since she will have an active design role, what can we expect?

I'm betting a whole host of classic SATC silhouettes, such as the Halston Heritage dress she already sports for the provisional sequel poster.

Watch this space...

The Politics of Fashion

There are strong rumours that Tony Blair is about to be made advisor to the world's biggest luxury goods group, LVMH.

If true, he would be well prepared for the at times cut-throat and back-stabbing politics of the fashion industry.

It ain't such a long road from the politics of 10 Downing Street to the fashion of Avenue Montaigne...

Choo-Choo Train Calls At Ugg

I can't believe that Jimmy Choo has just announced a co-branding project with Ugg Australia. Later this year, in the autumn, they plan to launch a limited edition collection of women's sheepskin footwear.

I really don't get how a brand that launched itself on a four-inch high heel and splashings of sexy, red carpet glamour, can even conceive of getting into a creative bed with Ugg, the brand that creates boots that are the absolute antithesis of desirability.

Still, Jimmy Choo's collaboration with Hunter did produce the first pair of beautiful wellies, in black mock-croc.

So I guess we will just have to wait and see if there's proof that creative opposites do attract.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Where Have All The Models Gone?

Julianne Moore for Bulgari, Madonna for Dolce & Gabbana, Megan Fox for Armani...these days, if you're a fashion model, chances are you wouldn't be able to get yourself arrested in an ad campaign, let alone do your job and model in one.

The other extreme competition for the central role in a fashion shoot is the Original Supermodel, those heroines of the 90s, who rarely strode down a catwalk without the the fellow members of their exclusive clan: Claudia Schiffer is a regular face of Chanel, Naomi Campbell is the mannequin du jour at Yves Saint Laurent, and Linda Evangelista recently fronted Prada's collections.

That is not to say such talented beauties as Julianne Moore do not merit their Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot-photographed ad campaigns. Clearly it took a step up from the modelling rung on the creative ladder to act out Jean-Leon Gerome’s famous painting, Odalisque, for this particular shoot.

What next, then, for the model? If the fashion jobs are being booked by award-winning actresses and supermodels who have lasted long beyond their expected sell by date, what work is left for the garden variety mannequin?

The only way, it would seem, is up. Up the aforementioned ladder, up towards a career treading the boards or acting out on film sets, where models can compete with actresses for the attention of all types of camera lenses on the red carpet, rather than just those with fashion photographers behind them.

One model who seems to have realised this faster than her contemporaries, is Lily Cole. She has all but given up her modelling career following a successful turn in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

A word of warning, however, to all those model-turned-actresses: the requisite retouching that is carried out before any shoot is published in a fashion magazine, does not automatically translate to the big screen.

As former model Sharon Stone puts it so well:
When you're a regular gal, you look in the rear view mirror, and in the bright daylight you see that line around your mouth, but when you're an actress and you see that line up on the big screen, it's, like, seven feet long.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Gaga & Fashion Make A Fine Romance

Lady Gaga's new song may be a fabulous melodic reasoning for avoiding a Bad Romance, but it is also an absolutely fabulous display of outrageous fashions that rarely gets an outing following their catwalk debut.

Most notable are the Alexander McQueen "armadillo" shoes, that even model Natasha Poly refused to wear at the Paris Fashion Week show, for fear of breaking her photogenic neck.

Luckily for us, Lady Gaga knows no fear of fashion, as you can see for yourselves right here:

Vol de Jour

Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel have proved to be a most successful creative combination.

The designer's new short film for the fashion house is just as fabulous as the collections he imagines for the legendary label.

Featuring the great Lara Stone, it's one to watch.

Check it out here:

One Size...Fits All?

Terry Richardson has shot a controversial fashion shoot for the forthcoming issue of V Magazine.

It features Crystal Renn - the world's most in-demand plus size model - next to 17 year old new face Jacquelyn Jablonski.

One presumes the "One Size Fits All" message is supposed to "comfort" women around the world in the knowledge that even if you aren't as slender as the teenage girl Jacquelyn Jablonski, you can still hope to look as good as the shapely woman that is Crystal Renn.

I wonder if there will ever be a time when the media do not take it upon themselves to tell us how much we should weigh, and what dress size we should wear. Who cares whether your clothing labels feature a size 6 or a size 16; what matters is how you feel about yourself, not how others feel about you.

Fashion is supposed to be fun, a frivolous way to express one's creative sensibilities.

If only the magazines would cease to make it more complicated than it really is.

Move Over Madonna

My favourite model, Lara Stone, is replacing Madonna as the new face of Louis Vuitton, in the brand's forthcoming ad campaign for the new season.

"It’s the choice of a new supermodel," Antoine Arnault, Vuitton’s Communications Director, told WWD.

It's also the choice to have an actual fashion model front the campaign, over one of the familiar celebrities who now regularly decorate the covers of the international fashion magazines; and who, in my opinion, strike the same dull pose and not so brilliant Colgate smile - whether they are "modelling" for Vogue or Cosmopolitan.

Hooray to the return of the supermodel!

Counting Down To Sex and the City 2

Yes, that's right: the sequel to Sex and the City is around the corner.

Just a few months to wait until Carrie & co. return for another collection of high fashion outfits, high drama antics, and high, high heels.

Check out the trailer here:

Gaga for Mouton Collet

Lady Gaga has turned her uniquely stylish attentions to the original talents of Parisian jewellery design duo Mouton Collet.

One of the music industry's most creatively attired performers, Lady Gaga chose a horned Mouton Collet headpiece for a recent outing in London.

The design was a first for Matthieu Mouton and Nicolas Collet, whose brand specialises in beautifully handmade silver jewellery inspired by nature and the animal kingdom.

Check out the collection at, and snap it up before it all disappears into Lady Gaga's wardrobe...