Monday, December 22, 2008

The Angelina Effect

Nicole Richie is considering adopting an African orphan. But, far more shocking than the aforementioned news, which ran in China Daily today, is the photo (below) which accompanied the news story.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christy Turlington in W Spring '09

Proof that aging gracefully is not an oxymoron... (and that supermodels are aliens).

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tribal Chic Is In

Says Elle UK. Good news for M.I.A.'s newly launched clothing line, Okley by M.I.A.. And, for me, as I'm planning on buying in bulk these fantastic (and fantastically inexpensive) beaded necklaces from Madison and Woodward.

This speaks to me on many levels...

From the Editorial Corrections of the Year (courtesy of Andrew Sullivan)...

Correction of the Year

One of the year’s most coveted awards goes to none other than Dave Barry. Here’s how the famous humor writer chose to correct a misspelling he made in a column published by the Miami Herald:

In yesterday’s column about badminton, I misspelled the name of Guatemalan player Kevin Cordon. I apologize. In my defense, I want to note that in the same column I correctly spelled Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarak, Poompat Sapkulchananart and Porntip Buranapraseatsuk. So by the time I got to Kevin Cordon, my fingers were exhausted.

Other Favorites

In the June 20 “Culturebox,” Jonah Weiner stated that Lil Wayne was the first hip-hop artist to fantasize about eating his competition. Other rappers have contemplated consuming their rivals.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Kubrick (courtesy of the impossible cool).

Advertising Hits New Low

Are your eyelids worth 100 British pounds? Some brands think so.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What Women Want...

hasn't changed in 80 years. According to a 1928 article published exactly 8 decades ago today, "a bottle of perfume, a scarf, a jewel, a bag, powder, rouge, a negligee, a flower, anything that is not an actual necessity, but a charming extravagance, is an agreeable gift to almost any woman."

Attention Lou Reed Fans

As if the incessant So. Cal rain weren't motivation enough, one more reason that I'm wishing I was back in NYC tonight...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cannibalistic Squids Losing Their Appetite

Another perfect example of fact reading stranger than fiction: it turns out global warming isn't so great for cannibalistic Humboldt squids (aka: Giant Squids). The increase of acid in ocean water, caused by our own cannibalistic tendencies toward Mother Earth, is making the utterly terrifying creatures lethargic. Don't think they're so scary? According to the Times, the squids "come to oxygen-rich surface waters at night in swarms of up to 1,200... and feed with such ferocity that injured members of their own species are torn apart." But, now, in most cases squids' metabolic rates have been depressed by as much as a third, and they're half as active. In other words, climate change is kind of like the South Beach diet for squids; only it's served with a side of anger management.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Gossip Girl's Discount Product Placement

*Courtesy of Bryanboy
Daily Candy does someecards and they're kind of awesome. The best of the bunch below...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

According to Merriam-Webster, the top five words of 2008...

New Yorkers mark your calendars...

Lincoln Center is hosting a Scorsese retrospective from Dec. 26-31, screening classics like Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Mean Streets and No Direction Home on the big screen.

Booze Begot Radiohead Collaborator's Record Label

Artist Stanley Donwood--the face behind nearly all of Radiohead's inimitable merch and cover art--is launching a record label. Of the project's conception he has this to say...

'SIX INCH RECORDS' is a project that may take a little explaining. The story begins around the time of Christmas 2006, when I drunkenly decided to become a record label boss. Every man needs a hobby, or so the cliché has it, and if I was going to make a late-stage attempt at normality then that was one of the things that I should do. So, still reeling from red wine, I typed out a email to three musicians that I knew, suggesting that I release their music on my as-yet-unnamed record label.

Ah, the power of inebriation...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Eco Chic: Nicolas Ghesquière Likes His Latex

"I'm not saying I'm Stella McCartney or anything... but although it's not seen that way, latex is, in fact, very noble because it comes from trees. It's a natural texture," says Balenciaga's Nicolas Ghesquière in a recent article in the Independent. As if the designer's SS09 collection--one rife with drool-worthy futuristic metallic jackets and motorcross pants--wasn't enough reason to love the man, he's considerate of his ecological imprint as well.

While Ghesquière isn't the first to work with the fabric that's traditionally seen as more S&M than serious fashion (the aforementioned article cites Giles Deacon's SS08 collection as precedence), with Balenciaga's SS09 line, as the Independent so wonderfully puts it, Ghesquière "has taken this fashion bull by its none-too-salubrious horns and run with it." According to the designer, the division between kink and couture lies in a layer of silk separating the latex from ones flesh. "It's a softer image, not about fetishism at all," he explains. At this rate, maybe non-sustainable garments really will be a thing of the past. Regardless, going green never looked so chic.

That's A Wrap: Yokoo's Otherwordly Knits

A big thank you to Susie Bubble for turning me on to Yokoo--the eye-catching knitwear line that's currently up for grabs via Etsy. From over-sized, tightly-knit mufflers, to loose-fitting neckwarmers that double as hoods, the line is chock-full of covetable pieces. In addition to highly-functional knits there are also chain necklaces, which look like the love child of Flavor Flav and a needle-wielding octogenarian. One of our favorites is the Braided Spice chain (no doubt named for its paprika coloring), which works as both necklace and neckwarmer. As if it couldn't get any better, most of the pieces are priced well under $100. For more from the Woody Allen-obsessed designer behind Yokoo, check out her Flickr account, which likewise showcases her non-knit photography and a spattering of fun 'inspiration' images.

Factory Fashion: Legendary Photographer Paul Jasmin Does Band of Outsiders

Band of Outsiders and Boy--the men's and womenswear collections, respectively, from LA-based Scott Sternberg--are synonymous with innovative seasonal presentations (in the past Sternberg has employed Kirsten Dunst, Michelle Williams and Max Minghella as models, traded the catwalk for video installations, not to mention Band of Outsider's site consists solely of a bare-boned blog). Not surprisingly, for Band of Outsiders' holiday collection, Sternberg is at it again. This time around he's enlisted photographer Paul Jasmin (who was once romantically linked to Bruce Weber, worked in Warhol's factory, and provided the eery voice behind Hitchcock's Mrs. Bates) as the model for looks that include a three-piece, mustard yellow velvet suit and sumptuous cashmere topcoat with raccoon collar. In typical Band of Outsiders fashion, the look book is entirely shot on Polaroid film and pictures Jasmin in a stylishly-outfitted bachelor pad. Another favorite from the collection: a silk Jacquard Dinner Jacket that screams 'talk of the Christmas party.'

October Anniversary: Eco-Friendly Jewelry With Inborn Fashion Cred

Like most good traits—prominent cheekbones and a full pout included—a sixth sense about fashion tends to fun in the family. Want proof? Just look to models Missy and Frankie Rayder, Twenty8Twelve’s Savannah and Sienna Miller, and designer Richard Chai and Odin co-owner Edward Chai. And, now, joining the ranks of siblings sharing the fashion gene are Petra and Olga Nemcova.

The latter (the younger sister of model Petra) is one-half of the team behind the recently launched jewelry line, October Anniversary. The brainchild of Nemcova and partner Alexandra Tavel, the collection is made from recycled metals sourced from eco-friendly factories--10% of profits of which are donated to Happy Hearts Fund. Currently, October Anniversary includes three collections of rings inspired by different natural settings—the seashore, the garden and the wild (think snakes and elephants). The metal working is in some cases unbelievably intricate, and each piece comes in either gold or silver. October Anniversary also includes key necklaces so nominally priced ($30) you may not stop at snapping up just one.

Bladerunner: EGR Channels Ridley Scott's Classic

A Shaded View on Fashion's Diane Pernet just featured a few shots from a recent photoshoot for EGR--a fledgling Mexico City-based fashion line--with photographer Jamie Luca. The styling is overtly inspired by Rachel from Ridley Scott's epic Bladerunner. Given the fact that Halloween is just around the bend, not to mention our appetite for fresh, imaginative fashion editorials is insatiable, we've included a few outtakes for your viewing pleasure. For the full SS09 line, check here.

Artful Fashion: Curators Pose For Yohji

In recent years the art world has offered endless inspiration for fashion designers from all walks of the industry. Louis Vuitton has partnered with both Takashi Murakami and Richard Prince, printmaking maven Diane Von Furstenberg incorporated iconic Warhol images into her last collection, while Adam Kimmel has enlisted famous artist faces (and friends) like Dan Colen and Hope Atherton as his look book models for years. Now, Yohji Yamamoto is following suit with the spring look book, Exhibit Y, for his more affordable line, Y's, says T's The Moment (which itself took part in furthering the trend with the past fashion spread, "Hang Time," that substituted art handlers for models).

Yamamoto hand-picked half a dozen leading curators, including Hans Ulrich Obrist and Angeline Scherf, to showcase his pared-down collection of classic trousers, trenchcoats and an updated take on the tuxedo jacket (tails and all). As in the past, the look book will take the place of a collection presentation, which means you can spend the rest of this season guessing what non-fashion industry faces will guest star as models next.

Mug Shots: Magazines Put Their Best Face Forward

In a recent post, resident Manila-based fashion blogger and Marc Jacobs muse, Brianboy, points to the recent trend of fashion rags using closely cropped photos of models faces as covers. The phenomenon doesn’t exactly translate to the likes of stateside glossies such as Glamour, Elle and Vogue, which have all subscribed to a slightly different prescription for covers season after season (the 3/4, hand-on-hip body shot topped off with a blow-out). While the look is nothing new, Bryanboy asks: why the resurgence now? And, more specifically, is the trend’s resurfacing during the current financial crisis coincidence, or not?

“The world is going through a crazy financial turmoil. Are these ‘face-only’ covers a result of a cost-cutting move? It’s cheaper to shoot in a studio rather than an elaborate set…” he writes. And, if that’s the case, given the increasingly temperamental print industry, can “magazines sell issues based on faces and just faces alone?” The answer remains to be seen, but in the meantime we take no issue with the trend as long as covers like this Liv Tyler stunner are kept in the mix.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Zoe Project: Fake Tans & Train-Wrecks Galore

Rachel Zoe’s new Bravo reality show aired a preview episode last night, and it looks good… like empty-calorie gluttony kind of good. If this half-an-hour segment is any sign, the series is sure to put both Elle’s Stylista and Vogue’s Model.Live to shame. Zoe (far right in photo at left) is an excessively tanned celebrity stylist who famously credited herself as more influential than couture's reigning Ice Queen, Anna Wintour. There is some truth to this, considering her stick-thin, bronzed, Starbucks-toting, boho-chic signature look is now the norm with regard to Hollywood’s young starlets. As you can imagine, the show is jam-packed with drama that’s too good not to be staged. There are tears, a flood (and not in that order), and, of course, the quintessential fashion moment when Zoe – clad in bug-eyed designer sunglasses and a fur shrug that surely cost as much as could feed a small village – tells her aspiring assistant Brad, “it’s clothes. We’re not saving lives.” You can say that again.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Recession Takes Toll on NY Fashion Week, Are We Nearing the End?

No one is explicitly saying it. But the fact that a handful of well-known designers are pulling out of NY Fashion week at the same time that the economy is headed in a seemingly endless downward spiral is a pretty strange coincidence. P. Diddy just announced that there will be no Sean John show this fall (and, yes, unfortunately that means no K Fed sitting front row too). Aussie design-duo Sass & Bide pulled out of NY Fashion Week just a few days ago, claiming they were too busy with production. Meanwhile Band of Outsiders’ Scott Sternberg, who debuted his women’s line, Boy, alongside Band of Outsiders last fall on a boat behind the Chelsea Piers, has opted to produce a look book starring Michelle Williams as opposed to an entire presentation. So, what’s it all mean?

Considering a runway at the main Mercedes Benz-sponsored tents costs designers $100,000 (and that’s not including paying for top models or hair and make-up teams), the option of putting a look book online or holding a significantly more low-key presentation or a trunk show off the Bryan Park path is enough to sway designers both young and old. Besides, as a friend and fashion editor recently put it: “the biggest secret with regard to the fashion industry is that it’s broke!”

With substantive international shows taking place in nearly a dozen cities – from Milan and Paris, to Sydney, Sau Paulo and Stockholm - there’s less of a reason for younger, less financially stable designers to show their collections stateside. Furthermore, fashion shows in general carry less and less importance, considering only an elite few actually get to see the clothes first-hand. Meanwhile, images of the shows are online and at the public’s disposal before all of the guests have cleared their seats. As the distribution of images and information has changed, so has the relevance (or lack thereof) of these increasingly unnecessary presentations.

While NY Fashion Week will surely stick around for countless seasons to come, as long as the economy is stuck in its current stupor there’s no doubt it’ll have a harrowing affect on the shows. But, in the end, maybe it's not such a bad thing. Not only would fewer shows be easier on the environment, it'd save all the poor fashion editors from wearing their heels down running from tent to tent, and from fighting over who gets to sit front row.

Sean John names Dawn Robertson new president [Fashion week Daily]
Sass & Bide Forgo New York Fashion Week in September [Fashion Week Daily]
Look book trends and Coolness [Coutorture]

Monday, August 4, 2008

Italian Vogue Pays Homage to YSL, Rips Off Make Me A Supermodel

It's been a good summer so far for Italian Vogue, which debuted its now infamous “All Black” issue (which really wasn’t that black if you count the overwhelmingly “white” ads, but that’s another story...) last month. It sold out entirely, prompting a reprint. In its subsequent August issue, the rag is at it again with "Silent," a fashion shoot set in a cemetery, conceived in homage to the late designer Yves Saint Laurent who passed away earlier this summer. The spread is classic Italian Vogue: lots of black, a touch of goth, and a generally somber mood (not to mention not a non-white model in sight). But, it caught our eye for a distinctly different reason. Steven Meisel’s 12-page spread seems oddly reminiscent of Make Me A Supermodel’s 10th episode challenge in season 1 - a cemetery shoot with beauty photog Christopher Micaud. Could it be?! Is high fashion so drained of fresh ideas it’s stealing from last season's reality television? It is a well-known fact that magazines recycle editorials as fast as they recycle trends and cover subjects. But, from the rag that brought us the "All Black" issue, I would have expected more. Ironically, when describing the shoot on Make Me a Super Model, Holly says, "this is like Italian Vogue - something you'd see in a high fashion magazine." Guess she was right. While the similarities aren't exact, they're a bit too close for comfort. You be the judge when Italian Vogue and Make Me A Supermodel go testa to testa after the jump.

Silent [Kanye Univeristy]

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Alisa Gould-Simon is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn.