Monday, June 3, 2013

Lily Cole Goes Wild

Lily Cole has made her first foray into jewellery design, creating a line of pendants, rings and bracelets. The collection, launched today in partnership with, is made using Amazonian wild rubber.

The model was approached by Sky Rainforest Rescue last year with the offer of visiting Brazil to experience wild rubber tapping. The idea of creating a fashion collection from the raw material soon followed, something which appealed to Cole's interest in finding trade as opposed to aid solutions for global climate issues.

"For me, the collection is a metaphor of what is possible. I hope we can use the material in many other products in the future," she told us. "Jewellery is also a good way of communicating the value and delicacy of the rainforest it represents. Wearing it against skin can connect us with a place and a dialogue that is seemingly far away."

The 25-year-old was involved with entire design process, from the initial rubber-tapping through to final production. The jewellery's aesthetic was inspired by an old pendant she owns from Africa, which contained a prayer encased inside metal.

"In this instance, the rubber itself became the prayer," she explained. "I wanted the jewellery to feel valuable but also vulnerable - as a metaphor for the rainforest. I wanted it to be something people would both love and treat delicately. I am more interested in the story behind the objects than the process of design itself, but design is an inherent part of a lot of what I do, and important for communicating ideas."

Sky Rainforest Rescue is an initiative helmed by Sky and WWF, with the aim of saving a billion trees in the Amazon rainforest - and of which the model is an ambassador. Cole also enlisted fervent climate campaigner Vivienne Westwood to join the project, who designed a dress using the same wild rubber - which Cole wore to the recent Met ball.

"I am excited to explore the rubber industry as a vehicle for green economics, which, if scaled, I see as offering real hope to the rainforest," explained Cole. "I like the green economic approach of this specific Sky Rainforest Rescue initiative, and am excited to see what can be done in the future to create long-term structural change."

Elizabeth Hurley's New Model Man

Next Model Management  has signed Elizabeth Hurley´s nephew, Miles Hurley, as its latest acquisition. The London-born 16-year-old was first scouted in Camden Market when he was just 13, and the agency has been honing his modelling skills ready to launch his career ever since.

"We knew straight away that he had an amazing look and he has grown into such a handsome guy, really strong - like a supermodel to be honest," said Sarah Vickery, head of Next's men's division. "We have just started sending him out to see casting directors now like Russell Marsh - we hope to get him in the men's shows in June. Miles will go on to work with the high-end luxury brands and magazines; we have very big plans for him."

When he's not meeting world-famous casting directors, Hurley enjoys playing football and going to the gym. His must-have grooming product is his hair gel and his favourite film is Scarface - so, Hurley gene pool aside, he's your average teenage boy. Watch this face.

Victorias Secret Angel Goes Au Natural

Victoria´s Secret  Angel Lily Aldridge is the latest model to voice her dislike of Photoshop. The 27-year-old blasted the industry's tendency to "go crazy" and over-retouch images.

"I honestly don't like Photoshop," she said. "I think that when people Photoshop things, all of a sudden you're like, 'That's not even me anymore.' It takes away the natural beauty of a person."

Aldridge follows fellow Victoria's Secret alumni Gisele Bundchen in lamenting the increase of Photoshopping.Budchen spoke out last week to call for photographers to take a more natural approach.

"I think Gisele had just said something like, there's no more rawness, like the little quirks," Aldridge told the Huffington Post. "You know, I have a gap in my teeth and sometimes people take it away. But I'm like, 'I love my teeth.' You know, that's me. A little is fine, but don't go crazy."

Escape With Philip Treacy

What do hats and holidays have in common? Just ask Phillip Treacy and he'll tell you: escapism. That's why, when the famed milliner was offered the opportunity to design hats specifically for holidaymakers, he jumped at the chance.

The designer teamed up with Thomson travel agents to create a collection of limited edition sunhats for women and children - to be presented free of charge to guests at the new Sensatori resort in Turkey.

"Sometimes packing a great hat is the last thing you'd consider - but it's a key item for practical reasons, to protect from the sun, as well as for decorative purposes," he told us. "Hats are about escapism and so are holidays and hotels - it's about having an experience that you wouldn't normally have in your everyday life. People want to dress up a bit on holiday. It's about enjoying oneself!"

Treacy took inspiration from the glamorous pool parties of the Fifties in Palm Springs and Beverly Hills ("imagine Liz Taylor by the pool"), for the wide-brim designs - which come in a variety of colourways and feature bendable wire in the rim, allowing for the ultimate in poolside posing. The initiative also marked the designer's first foray into childrenswear.

"Children are very specific - they'll either like it or dislike it. But the best part is that they don't worry about it, they just have fun. It was really fun to do. I get inundated with hat designs from children from schools, from various competitions that they do. So far I've never made any of them, but I always reply and say, 'Oh, I've got competition!'"

H&M For All: A Healthy Start

H&M  has pledged to only use healthy models, with the aim of representing a diverse spectrum of women in its campaigns and adverts.

"We have a huge responsibility here," said H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson. "We're a large company, many people see us, and we advertise a lot. We want to show diversity in our advertising and not give people the impression that girls have to look a particular way. By and large, I think we've succeeded: we've many different kinds of models from different ethnic backgrounds. In our last campaign we had a somewhat more buxom model, and now we're using Beyonce,who's a bit curvier as well. I believe that the models in our advertising should look sound and healthy. There are models who are too thin or obviously underweight, but there are also those who're just thin, and they're the ones we should keep working with, as long as they look sound and healthy."

Persson added that, although the company's intentions are good, that there is still room for improvement. He admitted to having made "mistakes" in the past concerning the label's choice of models.

"I don't think we've always been good," he told The Metro. "Some of the models we've had have been too skinny. That's something we think a lot about and are working on. We're not blind to the issue. But I have to be honest and say that some of our models have been too skinny. That's not OK."

The Swedish brand also reportedly adhered to the demands of its campaign star, Beyoncé, who was allegedly annoyed to discover that the shots had been retouched and demanded that only natural pictures could be used. A spokesperson for the firm declined to deny or confirm the rumours, stating only that "both H&M and Beyoncé are very happy with the campaign".

Saint Laurent Recruits Cara - Watch The Film

The unquestionable model of the moment, Cara Delevingne, has landed herself yet another campaign: as the new face of Saint Laurent.The 20-year-old stars in the fashion house's autumn/winter 2013-14 advertisements alongside musician Cole Smith of band DIIV.

The images were shot by creative director Hedi Slimane  - his first autumn/winter campaign since joining the brand in March 2012. Since joining the label, the designer has made a point of making the brand synonymous with the music industry - selecting a series of emerging and established artists to star in his campaigns, including Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson. It makes the choice of Delevingne all the more poignant, given her not-so-secret desire to work in the music industry.

While it's the model's first appearance in the Saint Laurent mainline campaign, it's not strictly her debut for the house - she's currently the face of YSL´s Beauty Baby Doll mascara.

The Denim Revolution: Will You Join

THE denim revolution is upon us. This month both Harrods  and Selfridges launch new spaces dedicated to the time-honoured fabric - proving that the versatile material is just as relevant today (if not more so), than it ever has been.

Selfridges' new denim studio - which opens in June - is the result of the biggest ever investment into one department within the London store. Featuring over 11,000 pairs of jeans from across 60 different brands, the space spans an impressive 26,000 square feet and features a dedicated personal shopping and fitting area - including an on-site tailoring service that will get your perfectly-fitting jeans back to you within two hours.

"From the outset, the creation of The Denim Studio has been about integrity. Deni, is a lifestyle - as part of that we understand that those beautiful heritage labels like Levi's and Lee are equally as important and exciting as J Brand, Hudson and Paige," explained Judd Crane, Selfridges director of womenswear. "What you tend to find in most department stores' denim offer is a mix restricted to, predominantly, skinny fits and printed styles. While the demand is certainly there for those pieces, it can feel superficial - we're exploring the idea of something more comprehensive here."

The department also features a dedicated Primark jeans pop-up - complete with self-service checkout system - alongside a new J Brand  flagship boutique. The latter has also created an exclusive collection - the Little Black Jean line - to exclusively celebrate the launch.

"Denim is a high producing category for the store and of course women love their denim, so it was a wise investment," Jeff Rudes, founder of J Brand, told us. "We wanted to create an environment that reflected a combination of J Brand and Selfridges aesthetics; something that spoke to a modern contemporary brand, with understated luxury and effortless style - and to showcase the exciting product offer that was developed for Selfridges."

Likewise, Harrods new denim shop - which opens on May 30 - promises to redefine the way that customers experience denim within its store. With a focus on summer styles, the latest contemporary labels and high-fashion unique and luxury pieces, the fourth floor boutique features exclusive styles from some of the denim world's leading brands - from 7 For All Mankind, to Paige, Rag & Bone and Current/Elliott.

"This is the first stage of a significant investment plan that will see the transformation of our current department into a completely refurbished new area, designed by Richard Found, to house the best of denim and contemporary - renamed as the Fashion Lab" Helen David, Harrods' head of womenswear, told us. "The new environment is a sleek urban space that will set off a modern edgy area to appeal to the customer."

The 9,000 square-foot Fashion Lab features a Jeans Therapy service, whereby shopping experts will be on hand to offer denim-related guidance and advice. The unbiased advisors are entirely independent - so not affiliated with any particular label - to ensure that customers leave with the best possible fit. While the first stage will be rolled out now, a second stage will see the space expanded to a full 34,000 square feet by November.

"Denim continues to have wide appeal, and sits at a price point where it is accessible to everyone of all ages. The continued growth of denim in both shape and fabric ensures that the category has a diverse customer base," explained David. "Our customer is always looking for the best in terms of fit and fabric, and is willing to spend more to obtain this. As denim has developed with more luxurious fabrications the pricing has increased, however our customer continues to seek the highest quality and design."

The Collaborations Of Karl

Karl Lagerfeld  is fond of a collaboration. In the past, the designer has partnered with H&M on a high street line, Shu Uemura on make-up, Melissa on jelly shoes and even LA-based brand Tokidoki on a mini statue of himself - to name but a few - but there are certain products that he'd draw the line at.

"Toilet paper? Support stockings? Condoms?" he said, before jokingly adding: "But maybe. You know, I am mainstream. This exclusivity, it's old-fashioned. The product has to defend itself."

The Chanel creative director also touched upon his notoriously outspoken nature - with the likes of Adele, Michelle Obama  and Pippa Middleton having found themselves at the receiving end of one of his acid-tongued comments in the past.

"People are very nice to me, even though I'm known for saying rude things," he admitted. "It's quite funny to have managed to become famous despite not being an actor, a singer and not being 15-years old. Not a day goes by where I don't get presents, drawings, dolls from fans."

And ever wondered what makes the designer angry? Things not going entirely his way, and people who complain of boredom.

"Things that are not happening as I wish [make me angry]. The things that take time. And people who say they are bored, even though I don't spend time with these kinds of people," he told French magazineMadame Le Figaro. "I think that it's a crime to say you are bored when time is so precious and there are so many things to do in life: read, learn, watch."

The Duchess Meets Raf Simons

The Duchess of Cornwall was given a tour of Dior´s Avenue Montaigne atelier yesterday, hosted by the label's CEO, Sidney Toledano. She also met with the label's creative director, Raf Simons.

The Duchess looked inside the fashion house's extensive archives, before being taken to the couture atelier where the category's director, Catherine Riviere, introduced her to the craftsmen and women who are responsible for creating Dior's most expensive and intricately-made pieces.

The visit comes as part of Camilla's first official solo overseas trip to Paris - a two-day sojourn which ended yesterday. While in the city, she also made an appearance at the Louvre, posing for photographs next to the Mona Lisa, and took a stroll around a local market.

Sonia Rykiel's New Footwear Partner

Luxury footwear brand Robert Clergerie , helmed by Roland Mouret, has signed a five-year license with fellow French label, Sonia Rykiel. The shoe company will manufacture and distribute Sonia Rykiel shoes from the spring/summer 2014 collection onwards.

The news signals the start of significant change for the Sonia Rykiel fashion house. The brand outlined a three-stage development plan in December 2012 - focusing on the modernisation of the mainline collection, the repositioning of the younger Sonia by Sonia Rykiel diffusion line and the expansion of accessories. Enter Clergerie.

"We are honoured to have our ateliers and our savoir-faire at the service of a French brand which is so dear to many women and to contribute to the success of Sonia Rykiel's expansion," said Eva Taub, president of Robert Clergerie.

Both labels are owned by investment firm Fung Brands, which also holds a stake in Belgian handbag company Delvaux. Roland Mouret was named creative director of Robert Clergerie in July 2012, and unveiled his first footwear collection for the established brand in September.

"With Sonia Rykiel and Robert Clergerie, we are investigating in houses with a strong identity and very rare know-how," said Jean-Marc Loubier, president of Fung Brands. "It is therefore natural to play on the dynamics and internal synergies of our group and, in turn, to accelerate the development of these companies."

Suzy Menkes Opens Her Wardrobe

Suzy Menkes is giving the public a chance to buy pieces from her personal wardrobe with an online auction. From July 11 until July 22, will host a sale featuring over 80 items from the veteran fashion journalist's vast collection, including clothes, bags and accessories by names such as Emilio Pucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Lacroix and Chanel.

"I have never thrown anything out of my wardrobe since 1964," Menkes said. "If I had a large open space in my home, I would dedicate it, like an art gallery, to my collection. But there is something sad about clothes laid in a tomb of trunks. They need to live again, and this auction provides the opportunity for them to walk out in the sunshine, to dance the night away and to give someone else the joy that they gave to me."

Highlights from the collection include a quilted Chanel clutch bag bearing the name "Suzy" in gold caps, Saint Laurent tuxedo trouser suits and vintage Ossie Clark dresses from the Seventies. Prices start at £200. Menkes - who was last week named international fashion editor of the soon-to-launch International New York Times - follows in the footsteps of Daphne Guinness and Anna Piaggi whose wardrobes have both gone under the hammer.

"There are some people who seem to see further than others and Suzy Menkes is one of those," said Christie's fashion department director Pat Frost. "Whenever you speak to her - on the occasion of the Anna Piaggi and Daphne Guinness sales, for example - you always get something beyond the ordinary run of conversation. You can always rely on her to put a collection into context and see beyond the hype. I was therefore delighted when she told us she had decided to entrust Christie's with the sale of her wardrobe, as I knew that this was not going to be a wardrobe full of fashionable black uniforms. As she says, clothes are like friends - in this case good friends who conjure up good times."

Azzedine Alaia’s Menswear Debut

Azzedine Alaia has created menswear for the first time, designing the costumes for a production of The Marriage Of Figaro opera in Los Angeles. The project is part of an ongoing partnership between architects, fashion designers and operatic productions.

"I've never done men's clothes before and opera costumes are difficult," Alaia told Suzy Menkes. It's not his first foray into costume; the designer has previously created outfits for a French ballet, (A Thousand and One Nights by Angelin Preljocaj in Aix-en-Provence). "Ballet costumes are easier that opera because they are designed for movement," he explained.

The colourful set for the performance of Figaro was designed by Jean Nouvel - the artist that Alaia credited as the reason for his involvement in such an unusual project, situated half way across the world from his Paris base.

"Azzedine and I have been friends for many years and I see him as an architectural designer, with the structure, the geometry and the texture," said Nouvel.

The four performances of The Marriage of Figaro took place over the weekend at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, which saw Alaia's final designs take centre stage. For the men: bare chests, simple trousers and shapeless white suits; for the women, Alaia's signature skater skirts, sleek leather and knitted dresses, reports the International Herald Tribune. Alaia also dressed several members of the orchestra.

Last year, architect Mr Gehry and the Rodarte sisters collaborated on a production of Don Giovanni. For 2014, Zaha Hadid will create the set and Hussein Chalayan the costumes for a reimagining of Cosi Fan Tutte.

Miu Miu Not Joining Milan Fashion Week

DON'T expect Miu Miu to return to the Milan Fashion Week  schedule any time soon. The Italian brand has been a regular fixture at Paris Fashion Week since 2006 - and Miuccia Prada intends for it to stay that way.

Leading Italian brands have been under pressure recently to show in the country's fashion capital ( not least from Giorgio Armani), in order to try and revitalise Milan Fashion Week. But while Prada shows in Milan, sister label Miu Miu doesn't - and according to Prada Group CEO Patrizio Bertelli, that's due to timing.

"Miuccia is in the studio day in and day out and into the night. She creates the shows and follows every aspect, it is materially impossible to create two shows a couple of days apart," he said. "It there were another show a week later - she'd go there!"

The designer herself supported his statement: "It's the way we work, it's impossible. Nobody does it," she said.

Italy's fashion council, the Chamber of Fashion, has recruited a team of high-profile names in a campaign to rejuvenate Milan Fashion Week  - including Bertelli, as well as Tod's chief  Diego Della Vale, Angela Missoni, Valentino CEO Stefano Sassi, Gucci chairman and CEO Patrizio di Marco, OTB boss Renzo Rosso and designer Silvia Venturini Fendi.

"I look to the future. I was obliged to take part [in the new Chamber projects], the Camera has worked well and Valentino and Renzo Rosso's brands don't show in Milan, either," Bertelli told WWD. "One must not be rigid, but have an expanded vision of things."

Dunhill´s New Boss

Alfred Dunhill  has appointed Fabrizio Cardinali as its new CEO. The businessman was formerly CEO at Lancel until his departure from the brand in October last year.

The Italian entrepreneur succeeds Eraldo Poletto, who quit the brand last month, and will take up his new role from June 1. Cardinali has also previously worked at Dolce & Gabbana and Diesel.

Compagnie Financière Richmont - the luxury Swiss group that owns Dunhill - paid tribute to Poletto and thanked him for "his contribution to the brand," reports WWD. His next move is not yet known. Lancel's chief operating officer, Gianni Serrazi, will act as CEO until a permanent replacement for Cardinali is named.

Beyonce Turns Stylist: Shop Her Dresses

Beyonce Knowles is no stranger to a designer gown, but has just shared her sartorial expertise for the first time - curating an edit for dress rental site, Rent the Runway. The website specialises in lending designer dresses for a fraction of the cost it would be to buy them.

The singer has selected her favourite pieces from the site's offering to create the Beyonce Boutique range - offering her fans "the ultimate Queen B experience". In keeping with the 31-year-old's own stage-worthy style, the edit includes lots of shimmering sequined party dresses, printed and patterned mini-skirts, skimpy jumpsuits and little lace numbers, combined with a selection of eye-catching statement jewels. Prices range from around $200 (£132), to $4,000 (£2,650), for the dresses.

"Making women feel confident and beautiful is something I've always been passionate about. That's why joining forces with Rent the Runway was so organic," said Beyoncé, reports USA Today. "It's more than just access to beautiful clothes; it's about making women look and feel their best."

It's the first time the singer has collaborated with a brand on such an initiative - other than having had "personal input" into the styling of her recent H&M swimwear shoot. We wonder if it's a sign of more fashion-focused projects to come? 

Model Invasion To Hit Cannes

A model invasion is set to hit the Cannes Film Festival  tonight, thanks to the impressive roll call for Carine Roitfeld's amfAR fashion show. Names such as Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Karlie Kloss, Alessandra Ambrosio, Joan Smalls, Liberty Ross and Karolina Kurkova will take to the catwalk this evening, modelling a series of gold gowns and jewellery from leading fashion houses.

This year's event, The Ultimate Gold Collection Fashion Show, takes place at the famed Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc and will feature 40 models in total. The gold theme was selected in tribute to the late Elizabeth Taylor and because "it represents warmth, love and success," said Roitfeld.

The evening will also feature live performances from Dame Shirley Bassey, Duran Duran, Ellie Goulding and Hot Chelle Rae, while a series of as-yet-unnamed celebrities will participate in the annual fundraising auction. An exhibition of work from photographer Annie Liebowitz will also be on display, and amFAR chairs and ambassadors including Sharon Stone, Jessica Chastain, Heidi Klum, Milla Jovovich and Naomi Campbell will act as honorary hosts for the evening.

Other fashionable names to appear in tonight's catwalk show include Anna Dello Russo, Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, Lily Donaldson, Jessica Hart, Irina Shayk, Isabeli Fontana, Izabel Goulart, Sui He and Toni Garn - to name but a few - wearing custom-made creations from the likes of Tom Ford, Alexander McQueen, Dior, Givenchy, Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Prada. The models arehavealready been spotted flying into the South of France for their fittings - including Huntington-Whiteley, who wasseen having her dress tweaked by Giovanna Battaglia (left). Watch a preview video of the show preparations below.

The Wait Is Over: J. Crew Arrives In London

J. Crew has finally arrived on British shores, with the opening of a pop-up store in London's King's Cross and a collaboration with Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.

The label's creative director, Jenna Lyons talked the college's MA knitwear design students through the project herself yesterday - a brief in which students must design a cashmere piece in keeping with J. Crew's aesthetic. She will then choose the most outstanding applications to put into production globally, selling the pieces in stores and online. The winning students will be taken through the entire process - from design to fit to detail to store, a journey that will take them to international factories where the items will be made.

"I visited England many times when I was growing up and the arts and culture is so much more prevalent here than in California where I later moved to," Lyons told us at the briefing. "I wanted to come to boarding school in the UK, then arts college in London, but it never worked out and I ended up going to Parson's in New York. [The J.Crew team and I] wanted to share our point of view with others, but also to see J. Crew through the eyes of others. Collaborations introduce us to new people."

But the collaboration doesn't end there. J. Crew is also offering one CSM MA student a scholarship every year for the next three years, chosen by Lyons and MA fashion course director Louise Wilson.The bursary will cover tuition fees and accommodation for a year.

"J. Crew was coming to London and wanted to give back to creativity, so of course they came to Central Saint Martins," said Louise Wilson. "I would like to think that as a leading American brand, and as we are as a leading institution, they are creative and we are creative - it was a happy accident that they wanted to support education. Without brands' support, we would be dead in the water. We met through their fortuitous imagination. This is about live learning."

For Lyons, setting the brief on knitwear was an obvious choice.

"Knitwear knowledge isn't as prevalent in the US," said Lyons. "Here, it's a much bigger deal. You guys love a knit. Then, when we first started having these discussions about the pop-up, it made sense to work with the college. Hosting the pop-up here gave the students a sense of who we are, especially because styling is so important to us. The individual pieces can be mixed in a quiet way or you can wear them as we suggest. It's about encouraging students to think outside the box."

The move will doubtlessly raise J. Crew's UK profile ahead of the launch of its debut London flagship store, which opens on Regent Street in November.

"We wanted people to have a personal connection to us," said Lyons. "We want people to have a point of view, that's what Central Saint Martins cultivates. If you never expand your world and push the boundaries of what you can do, it's hard to carve your piece."

Why Hermes Products Are Worth The Wait

Hermes´silk scarves can take up to two years to painstakingly create, as the label's craftsmen and women print up to 40 different frames to produce just one scarf - a process not dissimilar to the making of a stained-glass window.

"That's just an example of one of the more lengthy and intricate processes," said Hermès Metiers director Guillaume de Seynes, a sixth-generation member of the Hermès family and the man responsible for protecting the high levels of skill involved in creating the brand's products. "The bags made of crocodile skins require a great deal of craftsmanship too. It's a very precious, delicate skin and each model is hand-stitched, then turned inside out right at the end of the process, to ensure that no seam is left seen. If that stage goes wrong, you lose days of work."

A selection of these arduous processes will be available for the public to see up close this week, as the French fashion house opens an exhibition at which the label's employees will hold a series of workshops when products will be created live. Craftsmanship and quality are Hermès bywords - it takes up to 18 months for staff to be trained to the high levels of expertise that the family-run business is renowned or. Even the top-level executives are required to spend two days in the workshops when they first join, where they are forced to produce a leather item.

"It was a disaster for me," recalled de Seynes. "I am not very good with my hands. I created a small purse which I still have - it was impossible to sell it was so bad. It makes you feel very humble when you see how much expertise is needed to make each product. It's like a complicated recipe."

De Seynes worked at Lacoste and in the Champagne business before joining the family firm. The label's emphasis on luxury and quality was instilled in him from a very early age.

"I remembering how odd it was discovering that not all objects were made with the same care and time - that plastic existed," he said. "My mother used to buy all our clothes as children from Harrods and I remember having to wear my best outfits to wear inside the workshops - I must have been about eight."

So far, Hermès has remained resilient towards the difficult economic crisis, managing to fight off competition from luxury conglomerates such as Kering and LVMH to create its own unique place in the market. Nonetheless, LVMH,  the company owned by Bernard Arnault, is still a controversial subject - it is currently under legal investigation after allegedly using unfair trading to obtain shares in Hermès, acquisitions the firm has branded as an "attack".

"The best way to be yourself is not to look at others," said de Seynes. "I am not interested in what others are doing. We need to focus on being innovative and recreating the techiques we will have developed over the years. Someone asked my grandfather once, 'What does luxury mean to you?' And he described it as 'an object that you can repair'. It's not very glamorous, but it's an accurate way of explaining what we do. In troubled times, people are looking for quality more than ever."

And what of the future of the brand? How will the house uphold its traditions while still remaining relevant and desirable? He maintains that its women's ready-to-wear, helmed by Christophe Lemaire, is still a "paradox", as the label strives to balance seasonal trends with the label's rich heritage.

"There is a saying, 'everything changes, nothing changes.' The world and the customers are changing - there are new spending habits and we need to adapt to that," he said. "But, at the same time, our values need to stay the same - craftsmanship, quality, creativity, dream and surprise. It is my ambition to marry the two in the future."

Fendi’s Karl Lagerfeld Tribute

Fendi will hold a Karl lagerfeld exhibition during Paris' Couture Fashion Week in July. The showcase will feature the designer's photography - with particular focus on his pictures of Rome's historical fountains.

The Italian fashion house is currently funding the restoration of the famed Trevi Fountain - among others - as part of its four-year Fendi for Foundations plan, which will be highlighted in the exhibition. The photography showcase will be housed inside a series of domes along the banks of the Seine near the Pont Alexandre III Bridge - close to the site of Fendi's new Paris store at 51 Avenue Montaigne, reports WWD. The exhibition will run from July 4 to 14 with no admission fee, and the pictures featured will be published in a 120-page book.

Fendi's restoration plans are expected to culminate in 2015 with a grand fashion show staged in front of the Trevi Fountain in Rome, in celebration of the fashion house's 90th anniversary.

Snoopy´s Fashion Comeback

The Rodnik Band  has teamed up with famed comic strip Peanuts on a playful fashion project. The British-based label delved into the artwork archives to design a capsule collection featuring Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the gang.

"The Peanuts office in the UK had been following Rodnik designs over the last couple of seasons, and they got in touch suggesting that it could be a fun idea to do something together," Colbert told us. "It was an amazing phone call! I have always loved Peanuts' comic strips - I would see them everywhere when I was growing up. They are such cute, varied philosophical characters and they have a profound sense of humour - it's amazingly light yet very deep."

The womenswear label, helmed by Philip Colbert, is renowned for its fun and often surreal sensibility - with plenty of bold colourful pieces covered in pop art prints. The new collaboration with Peanuts features ready-to-wear dresses and separates alongside sequin-adorned accessories.

"There is a fun synergy between The Rodnik Band and Peanuts - humour is something that works through each Rodnik collection and it felt like a natural fit to bring the Peanuts character into the Rodnik world," explained Colbert. "They are true icons of pop art and have survived from the Fifties through to now."

The Rodnik X Peanuts collection will land in selected stores in September, with prices ranging from £29 for a T-shirt to £300 for a sequin dress. Click through the gallery for an exclusive preview.

Paco Rabanne Designer Exits

Paco Rabanne´s womenswear designer, Lydia Maurer, has left the brand. The 30-year-old held the position of artistic director at the Paris-based house for the past year.

Maurer was promoted from her role as a studio design Director in June 2012, following the departure of former creative director Manish Arora. The German-born designer first joined the brand in November 2011, having previously worked at Givenchy and Yves Saint Laurent.

"Maurer's determination and her unique sensitivity in terms of the artistic and experimental universe of Paco Rabanne are going to enable us to pursue the renewal of our house in the long term," said a spokesperson for the label at the time of her promotion. "We are confident that her personal vision and talent will position Paco Rabanne amongst the most desirable avant-garde fashion brands in the very near future."

Maurer's next move has yet to be confirmed, reportsWWD. A successor has not been named. See Maurer's last collection for the label below:

The Big Burberry Record Breaker

Burberry  broke its company records last year, as annual pre-tax profits rose 14 per cent to £428 million in 2012, thanks to a boost in Asia - where sales increased 13 per cent. The region now represents 35 per cent of the label's sales.

Total full-year group sales grew eight per cent to £2 billion, while retail revenues were up 12 per cent. Sales in Europe and the US increased by six per cent. The impressive figures come after the brand issued a profits warning in September, when sales in China slowed.

"Finishing the year with a strong retail performance both online and offline, Burberry achieved record revenue and profit in 2012-13," said Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts. "Looking ahead, although the macro environment remains uncertain, Burberry is well positioned with opportunity by channel, region and product. With the integration of beauty in April, we have added another exciting growth platform. Our brand momentum, proven strategies and closely connected global team provide confidence in Burberry's future performance."

Calvin Klein High Street Line

Shoppers  could soon be treated to a second Calvin Klein Collection  high street collaboration. Womenswear creative director Francisco Costa  has hinted that he's working on a partnership to be debuted in the near future.

The designer recently collaborated with US department store Macy´son a limited edition capsule collection - a first for the New York-based label - and it seems that Costa's caught the collaboration bug.

"I just did this line for Macy's," he said. "I'm in the process of doing another line for somebody else, with another company, through Calvin."

Intriguing. The designer also went on to talk about some of his most high-profile clients and dressing Katie Holmes for the recent Met ball - who, he revealed, opted for a last-minute dress swap before the big event.

"[Katie Holmes] had fitted the dress, loved the dress and I said, at the last minute, that I had another dress I'd like to try. She says, 'Oh my God, I like this dress better,' and she really brightened up," explained Costa. "So I said, 'That's the one we have to go with'. The original dress was beautiful, very much like the spring collection that's in the [Costume Institute] exhibition - it's a beautiful bustier, deep green with a peplum and separate skirt."

Renowned for his chic simplicity and minimal approach to design, it perhaps comes as little surprise that Costa didn't take too much notice of the ball's punk theme.

"Who wants to look at a theme?" he said. "It's not about a theme when you're getting dressed - it's about looking beautiful. It's about looking gorgeous."

The Brazilian designer also revealed that his favourite red carpet moment of all time (and there have been a lot of them): dressing Jennifer Lawrence for her first Oscars appearance in 2011. The actress was nominated for Best Actress for her role in Winter's Bone.

"I think Jennifer was amazing just for the fact that she came out of nowhere and her image was so different that how she had been portrayed and it made such a statement - I thought she was so beautiful," he told Fashionista. "Everything worked, the hair, everything was amazing."

Harrods Owners To Buy Versace

Qatar Holdings, the company that owns Harrods, is said to be "looking carefully" at investing in Versace. A spokesperson for the Italian label declined to comment on the speculation this morning.

Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore reports that the conglomerate would offer financial support along with private investment fund Fondo Strategico Italiano (FSI), which is owned by state financing company Cassa Depositi e Prestiti. Is it thought that the acquisition is part of a deal between Qatar Holdings and the FSI, which was signed in November 2011, to invest in Italian fashion and food.

Versace chief executive Gian Giacomo Ferraris said in April that, although an IPO was off the cards, the company is keen to "explore ways to be competitive against larger fashion conglomerates", looking at "options which could accelerate the brand's further success".

LVMH’s “Secret” Hermès Plan

LVMH has once again been accused of planning a "secret" takeover of Hermes. French marketing authority AMF released a 115-page report suggesting that the luxury conglomerate had been quietly building its stake in the label for many years under different aliases - despite claims to the contrary.

Details from the report were published in a front-page article in French newspaper Le Monde this weekend, entitled "LVMH's very secret plan". The article included the revelation that LVMH allegedly began investing in Hermes back in 2001 via various subsidiaries under the code name "Mercure", with small accumulations lower than the amount that is required to be declared by a public company, reportsWWD. The news is in stark contrast to LVMH's claim that the acquisition was "unexpected" and "not planned".

The two brands are currently in the middle of a lengthy legal battle over LVMH's controversial 22.6 per cent stake in Hermès, with the latter accusing the former of manipulating stock prices and unfair insider trading. LVMH responded by filing a lawsuit in return against Hermès, complaining of false allegations and blackmail.

The conglomerate surprised the industry by first announcing a 17.1 per cent stake in the rival company in October 2010, which was then increased to 22.3 per cent in December 2011. Fearing a complete takeover, the family-run company questioned LVMH's tactics and branded the move "an attack". LVMH is now the second-biggest stakeholder in Hermès International.

In April, LVMH boss Bernard Arnault spoke out  to defend the acquisition, insisting that his intentions were "friendly" and denying any planned takeover of the label.

"We have no intention at all of increasing our stake to play a role in this company," said Arnault. "We want instead to be friendly supporters of one of France's finest companies - and that's all."

Rihanna Sues Topshop

Rihanna  is reportedly suing Topshop  for selling T-shirts that bear pictures of her face allegedly without her consent. According to The New York Post, the star's management team have been negotiating with the British high street brand to try and resolve the situation for the last eight months, without success, and international law firm Reed Smith have now been instructed to deal with it.

A spokesperson for Topshop declined to comment on the reports.

Is David Beckham Launching His Own Menswear Label?

We don't know. But we hope so. With news of David Beckham´s retirement rocking the nation, nay, the world, speculation has been rife with suggestions as to what this could possibly mean for brand Beckham - and what the soon-to-be-former footballer will do with all that spare time.

While a lucrative five-year contract as an ambassador for Sky has already been confirmed (so he'll still be a fixture in the sporting world), we're more interested in what the fashion future may hold for the 38-year-old. A spokesperson on behalf of Beckham's management hinted at new projects on the horizon.

"Over the next year, we will see his business grow and expand. The sky is the limit really, in terms of what he can do globally," they told WWD. "Just look at what Victoria [Beckham] has done." A representative from H&M confirmed to us this morning that he will continue to work with the high street retailer on his popular bodywear line - with a new range set to launch later this year.

"David Beckham is a great sportsman and a great style icon, and to us that is how he will be looked upon also in the future," they told us. "We are very happy with the collaboration and look forward to launching the new collection this autumn."

No stranger to an endorsement, Beckham has appeared in campaigns for numerous companies throughout his 20-year career, including Emporio Armani, Breitling, Adidas, Police, Gilette, Samsung and Pepsi - allowing him to amass a wealth of over £165 million, making him one of the world's highest-paid athletes. We doubt the barrage of offers will start to wane any time soon - branding experts have predicted that his fortune will actually increase more rapidly post-retirement, with more time to focus on commercial opportunities.

Victoria Beckham  released a statement yesterday, paying tribute to her husband of 14 years:

"The children and I are so proud of David, it's been an incredible journey for us all as we have watched him play at clubs all over the world throughout the last 15 years. Myself and the children have cheered him from the stands, as he has held high trophies with his teams at Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan, LA Galaxy and Paris St Germain," she said. "This was not an easy decision to make, and to me and the children he will always be an amazing sportsman and a devoted husband and father. He is, and will always remain, a true ambassador for sport and is not just an inspiration to myself and our children but for millions of people worldwide. We are all excited about the next chapter in our lives and the adventures we will explore as a family."

So, on the subject of exploring new ventures as a family, what would be better than a collaboration between husband and wife? We'd love to see David make his mark in the high-fashion industry and work on a menswear side-line for the ever-expanding Victoria Beckham empire. It wouldn't be the first time that the husband-and-wife duo have worked together (who can forget those his-and-hers Armani Underwear adverts?), and we know from his work with H&M that he has an interest in design. Or perhaps he'll make his long-awaited catwalk debut? While the aesthetically-pleasing star has featured in many an editorial shoot, we've yet to see him appear on a runway. (Dolce and Gabbana once credited him for revolutionising menswear - so our money is on them.)

Or, just maybe, we'll be treated to some David Beckham sportswear - for which his ongoing partnership with Adidas would serve as the perfect springboard.

Who knows what the future holds for brand [David] Beckham - chances are, it'll be none of the above - but whatever the outcome, we'll be watching with keen interest.

John Lewis On The London Catwalk

British  high street stalwart John Lewis is joining the London Collections: Mens schedule for spring/summer 2014 - the first time that the brand has shown during any of the capital's fashion weeks. The presentation - that will feature the latest from the John Lewis & Co line - will take place on Saturday June 15. The chain has also been named the official supplier for the menswear showcase.

"John Lewis has been a member of the British Fashion Council board for three years," said John Lewis brand and buying director Peter Ruis. "We are really pleased to take our involvement in this fantastic event to the next level, and I am delighted that John Lewis will be supporting London Collections: Men this season. It's great to see London regaining its crown as the home of great fashion."

The brand joins high-profile names such as Dolce & Gabbana, Rag & Bone, Burberry and Jimmy Choo who have all joined the line-up for the showcase's third event. John Lewis & Co - one of the company's privately owned labels - will see a makeover for spring/summer 2014, mixing traditional pieces found in the chain's archive with a modern, fresh approach. Since its launch in 2011, the line has proved popular with customers, with sales doubling year-on-year.

"John Lewis & Co really underscores what we're about as a fashion retailer," said buying director Matt McCormack. "Designed entirely in-house, it brings together the highest quality fabrics, uncompromising design details and traditional English manufacturing techniques - something that has been missing from British menswear on the high street."

Armani : Milan Comes First

Giorgio Armani  has called for leading Italian brands to host catwalk shows solely in Milan in an effort to re-establish the fashion capital. An initiative is currently in place helmed by Italy's fashion council, the Chamber of Fashion, with the aim of rejuvenating Milan Fashion Week.

So far, Armani has declined to join other high-profile figures such as Prada's Patrizio Bertelli and Tod's Chief Diego Della Valle in the official association - preferring to remain a non-member "for now". However, he has shown support for what he describes as a "good initiative" and maintained that he shares its goals - but clarified that all relevant Italian brands showing inside the capital ("a really important signal"), was a condition upon him joining.

"[In order for Milan to be] an important hub of international fashion, the most important names in the sector must maintain or [return]," he said. "I realise that this would mean for some brands to review their company policies and to also accept some compromises, the same compromises or sacrifices that I have made, so that the shows would last six days. In fact, I have always believed that it was important to avoid being conditioned or pressured from abroad in the organisation of our calendar."

The designer explained that, for many seasons now, he's strategically chosen to show his main collection on the last day of Milan Fashion Week, in order to persuade international press to stay until the end.

"Naturally, this has over time created different problems, such as, for example, in some cases, the absence of some of the most important journalists from my shows," he said.

The spring/summer 2013 season saw a clash between the four main international show capitals - culminating in New York and London agreeing to move their dates, in order to avoid running over into Milan's schedule.

The Return Of John Galliano

CAN we expect a television appearance from John Galliano in the near future? The designer is said to be considering a tell-all interview on US talk show Charlie Rose - a programme known for featuring leading politicians, actresses, writers, musicians and leaders, from Bill and Hilary Clinton to Leonardo DiCaprio, Dolly Parton and Hunter S Thompson.

Galliano's publicist, Liz Rosenberg, has thus far denied the claims telling WWD that "there are no plans in place regarding TV appearances for John at this time." Executive producer for the show, Yvette Vega, said that nothing had been confirmed, but didn't rule out a future interview with the designer.

"We are open to interviewing people whose views represent a wide range of opinions, from Bashar al-Assad to Bono," she said.

Galliano has already given Vanity Fair an exclusive interview for its July issue, available to buy on June 7.

Would You Rather Go Naked Than Wear Abercrombie?

LA Based writer Greg Karber has launched a new campaign to urge the public to donate any unwanted Abercrombie & Fitch clothes to the homeless, after one of the brand's district managers said that its collections weren't intended for "poor people". The company reportedly burns faulty clothing, rather than giving it to charity.

"Abercrombie & Fitch doesn't want to create the image that just anybody, poor people, can wear their clothing," the anonymous brand manager is quoted as saying. "Only people of a certain stature are able to purchase and wear the company name."

The alleged policy follows Abercrombie CEO Mike Jeffries' comments, in 2006, about the label being "absolutely" exclusionary and solely aimed at "cool, good-looking people". In response to this, Karber created a film - above - in which he buys Abercrombie pieces from a charity shop and gives them to homeless people in Los Angeles. He then urges viewers to join his #FitchTheHomeless crusade, in a bid to rebrand the label.

This morning, Jeffries released a statement on Abercrombie's Facebook page, arguing that his former comments were "taken out of context".

"I sincerely regret that my choice of words was interpreted in a manner that has caused offence," said Jeffries. "A&F is an aspirational brand that, like most specialty apparel brands, targets its marketing at a particular segment of customers. However, we care about the broader communities in which we operate and are strongly committed to diversity and inclusion. We hire good people who share these values. We are completely opposed to any discrimination, bullying, derogatory characterisations or other anti-social behaviour based on race, gender, body type or other individual characteristics."

The Dolce Boys Hit London

Dolce & Gabanna has joined the London Collections Men´s event line-up. The designer duo will open the upcoming schedule with a fashionable soirée and present their summer 2014 tailoring collection on June 15 - in celebration of the opening of their fourth boutique in the capital.

"We are thrilled to welcome Dolce & Gabbana to London Collections: Men, and we are delighted that they are opening this season with such a high-profile event," said Dylan Jones, LC:M chair and editor-in-chief of GQ. "London welcomes Domenico and Stefano and hope they decide to have an event here every season."

The event will be held at the new store, located at 53-55 New Bond Street - described as a "one-of-a-kind space, designed and created exclusively for London". The label's existing London boutiques are located on Sloane Street and Old Bond Street.

"London has always been one of the cities we love the most. It's not by chance that we have decided to open this particular store here," said Dolce and Gabbana. "British sense of style is part of their DNA, it's been part of their culture for ages. Just like in Italy. When Dylan invited us to come, we couldn't say no!"

Dolce & Gabbana follows newcomers Rag & Bone, Jimmy Choo and Burberry Prorsum in joining the LC:M line-up for the first time. This year's schedule will run from June 15 to 18.

The JW Anderson For Versus Triumph

Versus  by JW Anderson - it's the most hotly anticipated collection since, well, Christopher Kane for Versus - and last night's launch didn't disappoint. With Chloe Noorgaard, Harley Viera Newton, Mena Suvari, Heidi Klum and Paloma Faith swathed in it for a launch event in New York's Lexington Avenue Amory that turned into a full on night club later on - complete with performances by Angel Haze, Grimes and Dead Sara - it was couched by Donatella as a "new look for the Versus Versace tribe".

JW Anderson's contribution was limited, however, to a capsule collection presented among a core collection designed by the wider Versace team - the combination of which was heralded as a "whole new era for Versus". Anderson, we all know, loves a bit of Nineties and he infused it powerfully into this latest project, adding what he called a "sharpness to the bridging of male and female" that he is also well known for. It meant tops cropped high above skirts that were slashed over both thighs, with enlarged safety pins to remind us all exactly where we were. Gold lions heads were buttoned down silk jersey minidresses, slashed this way and that to show off plenty of perfect Versace toned flesh - male and female - dubbed "newly appointed rebellious Versus princes and princesses" by Vogue's Emma Elwick-Bates.

Neon ribbed knits over lace underskirts and bold Zebra striped leather gave the collection Anderson flare wrapped tightly in Versus signatures as if the new tribe have taken a classic and romped with it to make it their own.

"With the same jarring modernity of the classic Versus campaigns which starred Kate Moss alongside her brother Nick, this capsule is slickly relevant," goes on E E-B. "Think patent dungaree micro dresses and bold zebra lines, with everything abbreviated - from slashed micro T's to the knits.

Kate Bosworth For Topshop

Topshop  has launched a collection inspired by Kate Bosworth.The 16-piece range is designed to be the perfect festival wardrobe, including shorts, dresses, waistcoats and shirts.

"I've always had a love of fashion. To gain learning experience from the Topshop design team has been a great opportunity for me," said Bosworth. "Our intent was to create fresh, wearable, and effortless festival pieces. I am proud of our work together and I adore these pieces, they fit perfectly with the mood of the Topshop Festival collection."

The actress' relationship with the high street store started at Christmas, when she sung in Topshop's festive video campaign, shot by her fiancé, Michael Polish. The muse has already worn a few of the collection's new pieces - stepping out in the patterned waistcoat and brown ankle boots  at Coachella in April - but she'll offer her take on how to best wear the range through a short interactive film, named The Road To Coachella, once again directed by Polish. Each item featured in the video will be available to buy, including the soundtrack, which users can download from iTunes.

"Kate and I were discussing the summer trends and how she had been one of our inspirations," said Topshop creative director Kate Phelan. "She was here working with us on our Christmas project and the next day Kate came in with all these incredible images and references and shared what her ultimate festival outfits looked like. It is an organic extension of Kate's fashion sense aligned with the Topshop brand - we think that's fresh and exciting."

Topshop's festival celebrations don't end there - the brand will host a series of secret pop-up gigs from exciting emerging talents at various locations all over the world, events open to randomly selected customers. A music partnership is also in the pipeline, with details to be unveiled later this month.

Louis Vuittons Guide To London

Louis Vuitton  has created a very chic addition to your holidays with the launch of a series of city travel books, starting with Paris, New York, London and Easter Island. Each spring, the fashion house will enlist the talents of an emerging artist, beginning with Japanese illustrator Natsko Seki who has created a tome based on London, launching in stores today.

"Louis Vuitton is a global luxury brand, and I knew of its great contribution to the creative fields," Seki said of why she was first attracted to working with the label. "I felt honoured when the company first approached me. They trusted my decision and allowed me the freedom to develop my ideas and work on my own."

The books will act as a pictorial accompaniment to the label's popular city guides, which feature handpicked addresses of where to stay, shop, eat and drink in different international destinations. Known for her fusion of hand-drawing, photography and technological skills, Seki has offered her take on some of London's most notable sights - including the Tate Modern, the Mayor's Office and Regent's Canal.

"There were places that I definitely wanted to draw from the beginning, but the list of places expanded as I started this project and walked around the city," said Seki. "I looked up Japanese guide books, as they are really good too, and Louis Vuitton was also helpful in giving me advice."

Alexander McQueens Global Expansion

Alexander McQueen  will ship to 100 different countries from tomorrow, when its new-look website is unveiled. Up until now, delivery has only been available to around 30 different destinations.

Customers from Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada, India and South Korea will be able to shop online from the first time - alongside many other new locations. The shipping expansion coincides with the launch of several new localised-language versions of the site, allowing customers to browse in French, German, Italian and Japanese.

The site's redesign will provide a "more cohesive vision and clearer navigation" for visitors - across both the Alexander McQueen mainline and McQ diffusion brands - and, as well as an e-commerce offering, will feature archive catwalk stills, videos, lookbook imagery and advertising campaigns.

Milan Fashion Week Makeover

ITALY's leading fashion names are working together to rejuvenate Milan Fashion Week  through personal involvement and financial backing. The fashion capital has lost momentum in recent seasons, due to fuller schedules in London and Paris.

Italy's fashion council, the Chamber of Fashion, has recruited new members - including Prada boss Patrizio Bertelli, who has been named vice president, Tod's chief  Diego Della Vale, Angela Missioni, Valentino CEO Stefano Sassi, Gucci chairman and CEO Patrizio di Marco, OTB boss Renzo Rosso and designer Silvia Ventura Fendi.

"We are all guilty, designers and entrepreneurs alike.," said Bertelli. "We've been selfish and did not catch the opportunities offered in the Nineties. We simply believed that Milan would continue to be successful. The composition of markets has made the position of Milan more critical. The whole system should recite the mea culpa, but now that we've realised this, we are working on revitalising Milan."

Topics currently under discussion include the show calendar, profile-raising events and the search for a new Chamber of Fashion CEO.

All Saints On Screen

All Saints  has launched a film production division. AllSaints Film will deliver several products a year, exploring everything "from music, style and street documentaries to cutting-edge moving image installations".

The company will commission young innovative filmmakers as well as producing its own in-house content - under the supervision of AllSaints creative director Wil Beedle.

"So much of what we value at AllSaints is best conveyed through moving image - the attitude of bands, creative disruption, or simply the evolution of AllSaints as a brand. To want to share these elements is the most natural thing," Beedle told us. "Having a fully operational film division allows us to commission and create in-house exclusive content that can be quickly, broadly and nimbly shared with our ever-growing global community. As a brand that prefers ongoing digital communications to, say, seasonal print campaigns, we feel that film truly is the medium of our times."

The division won't be limited to fashion-focused films: it'sfirst release is New Music City, a film about the emerging Nashville music scene, focusing on the Kings Of Leons´ independent record label, Serpents and Snakes. The documentary features interviews with the band and live performances from this year's SXSW festival.

"Kings of Leon and their record label Serpents and Snakes operate from the other side of the world to our home of Spitalfields, yet their spirit and attitude are things we see in ourselves," explained Beedle.

New Music City - produced by SomeSuch & Co - will be available to view on from Tuesday May 21. To celebrate the launch of AllSaints Film, the brand's Earlham Street London store will be transformed into a screening room - complete with vintage seats flown in from a Nashville theatre.

M&S SOS: Belinda Earl´s First Collection

Belinda Earl, formerly of Debenhams and Jaegar, is unveiling her first collection as style director of Marks & Spencers today in a move that many hope will turn the sleeping high street giant's fashion fortunes around. Not an easy challenge - so where did she start?

"We spent lots of time asking customers what they wanted and talking to the staff in store," Earl told us. "What they want is the quality back and the trends interpreted to fit and flatter them; they want to look their best."

Upgraded fabrics, attention to detail and an emphasis on mixing timeless classics with newness have contributed to a collection that is so far looking like it could be M&S' most successful fashion step for some time.

Earl is rumoured to have been given a £1 million salary alongside a brief to bring M&S back into our wardrobes from its forgotten place at the back of our underwear drawer.

"We'll be putting more mannequins in stores to display our targeted collections and how they can be coordinated," goes on Earl. "Our core customer is 45 and over and they are incredibly important to us, but we're now targeting a 30+ customer too.

"We've really raised the bar - there will be destination coat and dress departments in every store with prices from £45 to £85 - there is plenty for everyone."

Is JW Anderson The New Gianni Versace

Donatella Versace has offered her new protégé and Versus designer, JW Anderson, the ultimate praise by comparing him to her late brother, Gianni. Anderson unveils his debut collection for Versus tonight in New York.

"He is not afraid to dare, he is not afraid to provoke. He's not afraid of a mistake," said Versace. "It's very like my brother - if you criticise less, you're safe. I hate that word. I hate that way of thinking. What's different about Jonathan is that he thinks about the marketing, the buying. He sees everything together - the provocative, the daring, but also how they'll wear it."

The designer's collaborative range, comprising 31 looks, will encapsulate the subversive androgyny of the JW Anderson mainline. The event will be accompanied by performances from Angel Haze, Dead Sara and Grimes.

"Unisex is the most modern thing that a lot of people do not touch on," Anderson told WWD. "The whole collection has to feel jarred. I think there's a sharpness of the bridging of the [male and female]. When something is ugly and wrong, I feel that it's right. You're not used to it."

Cara Bares All For Marc Jacobs

Cara Delevingne is the latest fashionable face (and body), to pose nude for Marc Jacobs´ campaign against skin cancer. The model - and our currentMiss Vogue cover girl - posed naked on one of the designer's famous "Protect The Skin You're In" slogan T-shirts.

Other high-profile names to have bared all for Jacobs' nude tees in the past include Kate Moss, Victoria Beckham, Bar Refaeli, Heidi Klum, Naomi Campbell, Dita Von Teese and Miranda Kerr. The designer first set up the initiative in 2006 to raise money for the New York University Skin Cancer Institute.

The green 100 per cent cotton T-shirt featuring Cara Delevingne is available to buy now on and at the Marc Jacobs Mount Street store in London, priced $35 (£23). All proceeds from sales of the product go to the institute.

A Rebranding For CK Calvin Klein

CK Calvin Klein will undergo a rebranding later this year. The accessories and clothing label will be renamed simply as Calvin Klein, to be featured on a platinum label.

The process will begin in the autumn, starting with watches and jewellery.The fragrances will remain named CK and CK One. The move is part of a wider strategy to unify the Calvin Klein brands under one umbrella.

"I believe that this rebranding, and the efforts we are taking to enhance our own bridge apparel and accessory offering, will benefit the brand image and result in the enhancement and expansion of the Calvin Klein lifestyle," Tom Murry, CEO of Calvin Klein told WWD.

In November 2012, PVH Corp - that acquired Calvin Klein in 2003 - consolidated with Warnaco group that holds the licenses for its denim and underwear labels. The deal was valued at $2.9 billion (£1.7 billion) - the year's biggest clothing-industry acquisition.

The brand's mainline, Calvin Klein Collection, remains unchanged - and will sit alongside two other categories: Calvin Klein platinum label, a "bridge" tier for sportswear and accessories; and Calvin Klein white label, the "base" tier of sportswear and accessories - that also includes Calvin Klein Jeans and Calvin Klein Underwear. Each of the three categories will have its own advertising and distribution.

Nicole Kidman For Jimmy Choo

Nicole Kidman  is the new face of Jimmy Choo. The Oscar-winning actress will star in the brand's autumn/winter 2013-14 campaign - the first since Sandra Choitook over the helm as sole creative director.

The imagery was shot last month by photographer Mikael Jansson and is described as having "a cinematic feel that hints at the power and seduction of the Jimmy Choo woman". The adverts will premiere globally in August issues.

"I've always loved fashion and often use it as a way to get into character," said Kidman. "There is a lot of complexity, mystery and femininity to the Jimmy Choo woman."

The 45-year-old has previously acted as a brand ambassador for Omega watches and Chanel No.5 fragrance.

"I'm such a great admirer and feel enormously honoured to be working with Nicole Kidman," said Choi. "Nicole is one of the finest actresses in the world, who I knew could convey the empowered glamour of the brand. But she is also so nuanced and refined; she brings an attitude of defiance, strength, sensuality and elegance."

The Vogue cover girl was recently announced as a member of the Cannes Film Festival judy, so we're expecting to see plenty of scene-stealing footwear gracing the Croisette.

Conde Nast Opens Photography Library In Edinburgh

Revisit  some of fashion's most beautiful photographs from the past 100 years as Condé Nast opens its archives for a new exhibition, opening on June 15 as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival. The display features 160 images of the early work of luminaries such as David Bailey, Cecil Beaton,  Edwin Blumenfeld and Corrine Day.

"I was looking at strong, powerful works which announced the mature work of these photographers," said exhibition curator Nathalie Herschdorfer. "There is a Helmut Newton  style, a David Bailey style, a Peter Lindberg style, a Miles Aldridge style. The works in the show announce the best of these styles. This is a walk through the 20th Century because looking at fashion images shows also the way that the society has changed and evolved. Each image tells a story and invites us to engage with it, but it also encapsulates something of the tastes, the aspirations and the dreams of its time."

Herschdorfer was given access to the international Condé Nast archives, in New York, London, Paris and Milan, from which she chose pictures by 80 leading photographers to include in the exhibition, offering a comprehensive insight into a century of fashion imagery. She credits publisher Condé Nast himself for building the foundations of such an impressive archive, after he scouted Irving Penn, Edward Steichen and William Klien.

"Mr Condé Nast understood that a powerful cover would bring him more readers," said Herschdorfer. "The first Vogue covers are works of art. In the early Twenties, he realised what the photographic medium could bring to his magazines. He was a man of his time and was looking ahead. He wanted to work with people who were talented artists and not necessarily good practicians. The vision of the photographer was recognised as a value, then the photographer was asked to adapt it to the magazine's needs."

Coming Into Fashion: A Century Of Photography at Conde Nast opens June 15 until September 8 at Edinburgh City Art Centre.