Friday, February 21, 2014

Wang's $8,000 Colour-Change Coat

Alexander Wang´s latest collection is available to pre-order already from Moda Operandi- giving us an early insight into what it costs to create a coat out of heat-sensitive (or, as Wang calls it, "thermo-reactive") fabric.

The coats - which start off a dull green-brown, but become a vibrant yellow, lime, blue or purple when exposed to heat - will retail at $7,995, with a $3,998 deposit required to pre-order.
Alexander Wang
Sported by Karlie Kloss, Jacquetta Wheeler, Joan Smalls, Kati Nescher and Jourdan Dunn on the catwalk, the coats - already intriguing - piqued even more interest when the high-tech fabrication was revealed. The heat-sensitive skirt and top suit - worn by Hilaru Rhoda, daria Strokous and Anne V at the show - begin at $2,550, and all look similar until their underlying colour is revealed.

But, Wang fans, do not despair. The shin-guard mules - probably the shoe that most editors have been dreaming of since the shows began - will retail at a comparatively affordable $995, while the pocket-covered tunics that opened the show are priced from $895. Although you may just have to be content with their original colour.

Milan Fashion Week Latest

This weekend sees some of Milan's biggest names take to the catwalk, from Dolce & Gabbana to Missoni, but today we're still talking about last night´s Prada show - always one of the most influential collections of the season. For autumn/winter 2014, Miuccia Prada gave us colourful shearlings, geometric prints and sheer chiffon trimmed with Mongolian fur - so we can expect to see high-street derivations in their multitudes next season.

Miuccia Prada
Today's line-up starts with Les Copains, in which former Hugo Boss and Salvatore Ferragamo designer Graeme Black will make his debut as the label's new creative director, and ends with Versace - an excellent way to begin any weekend. Prepare to see Donatella's strong, sexy women hit the catwalk in some of the most glittering and powerful creations you're bound to see this season. Alexa Chung also joins the panel of the International Woolmark Prize, the final of which takes place at the city's La Triennale Museum today. Chung will join fashion luminaries including Frida Giannini and Franca Sozzani to decide which of the finalists should scoop the prestigious prize.

Bottega Veneta is up first on Saturday, followed by Giorgio Armani's latest protégée, Au Jour Le Jour, the second emerging Italian label that he´s chosen to show in his catwalk Teatro. The first designer he offered his mentorship to, Stella Jean, has gone onto achieve great success, now with international stockists - so we look forward to seeing more from Armani's latest design stars. Au Jour Le Jour is known for its playful cartoon-like prints, a look that starkly contrasts with Mr Armani's. Then to Roberto Cavalli and the glamorous flamboyance that he has built his label name upon, before polar opposite Jil Sander - where we can expect plenty of clean lines and understated versatile classics - and ending with Pucci, always an array of exotic colourful prints and embellishment.

Sunday gives us three Italian style favourites - Marni, a label that consistently punctuates the wardrobes of fashion editors; Missoni, one of Milan's ultimate fashion family dynasties; and finally, Salvatore Ferragamo, a brand known for its luxurious, elegant staples.

Cavalli: Stop Copying Me, Kors

Roberto Cavalli has launched another attack on fellow designer Michael Kors, accusing the American of copying his designs - an allegation that he first levelled in December 2013.

"Mr Michael Kors, he copies everything!" Cavalli told Miami's  Haute Living magazine. "It's really a scandal and nobody has the courage to say anything. It's really not fair."

Roberto Cavalli
Kors, known for his amiable manner and many fashion friendships, has remained silent on Cavalli's comments - and the Italian hasn't expanded on which pieces he believes have been plagiarised.

The American designer  recently became a billionaire,following his company's Initial Public Offering, while rumours of a Cavalli IPO have never come to fruition - with the label instead in talks to sell a minority share.

Rihanna To Launch Own Label

Rihanna wants to launch her fashion label soon. Although the singer has revealed little else about what the line might involve, she thinks that fashion has played a large role in the success of her career.

"It's not all down to my voice," she said. "There's people with way more talent than I when it comes to singing; bigger voices. But people want to know who you are. Fashion is a clear indication, a way to express your attitude, your mood."

Rihanna has created collections for two fashion labels before - her first was for Emporio Armani Underwear and Armani Jeans in 2011, and the second for high-street brand  River Island, which she co-designed with Adam Selman.She is currently the face of Balmain and counts an impressive list of designers as fans, from Tom Ford and Peter Dundas to Alexander Wang.

"There is no one else that excites me more," Wang told  American Vogue."It's raw, it's smart, it's everything pop culture needs to move forward."

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Rihanna Sued By Photographer

Rihanna is being sued by photographer Philipp Paulus for allegedly plagiarising his images for her 2010 S&M music video. Paulus claims that the video mimics the set, production and photos from his fashion series, Paperworld, in which a model appears held to a wall by plastic, taped with large X marks - a scene that also features in Rihanna's S&M.

The New York-based German photographer has filed for an injunction and is seeking damages, after the issue couldn't be resolved privately. The case will come to the court in Stuttgart, Germany, on April 15. If Paulus wins, Rihanna's video could be banned from YouTube and television.

Copycat Rihanna?
This is the second time Rihanna has faced legal action from a photographer, after David LaChapelle sued her in 2011 for $1 million for supposedly duplicating his imagery in the same video,S&M.

Burberry’s New Girl: Watch This Face

As Burberry´s first ever Indian campaign star, Neelam Johal hopes to pave the way for more ethnic diversity in fashion. The 18-year-old - who hails from Coventry - will hit the catwalk for the brand during its London Fashion Week show today.

"It makes me feel great knowing that I've opened doors for other girls like me," Johal told us. "It felt - and still feels - amazing."

Johal was first scouted when she was 13, then signed with Models1 when she was 14, although she didn't start modelling in earnest until she finished school. She was always interested in fashion, although originally not in the area she has ended up.

"From about the age of 14 to 16, I had my heart set on becoming a fashion journalist," she said. "I ordered so many books to try and educate myself on the industry; I still have the books now. Fashion is a major aspect of my life, not just because of my job, but because I have a genuine interest in it."

Neelam Johal
She made her catwalk debut for Burberry last season, and  a campaign shot by Mario Testino, soon followed. In it, Johal appears alongside Jamie Campbell Bower, Malaika Firth and Jean Campbell.

"I'll never forget the moment when my agency told me I got the campaign," she recalled. "They called me in after a casting and told me I had a go-see at the agency, but really I didn't and my booker was just waiting for confirmation that I'd got the campaign so that she could tell me to my face! When she broke the news to me, I started crying and my whole agency was crying with me and clapping. It just felt too good to be true, it still does."

Although she loves working with Burberry (especially on-set mealtimes, in which Christopher Bailey, Testino and the campaign crew eat together), Chanel, Givenchy, Hermès, Balenciaga and Kenzo are next on her model wish list. An acting career is also a strong possibility.

"I've been asked to go into Bollywood a lot, which I'm open to," she said, before adding, "but maybe in a few years' time because I feel like I'm only just getting started with modelling and I have so much more to achieve."

When she isn't mixing with fashion's top names, Johal can be found cooking or reading at her family home in Coventry, or at a rap concert. Perhaps tellingly, Naomi Campbell is her all-time model hero.

"In my opinion, she has paved the way for models and shown us that you can make a career out of this and branch into different avenues," she said. "I also admire her because she has broken down many barriers within modelling, and had an incredible career."

Sunday, February 16, 2014

London Fashion Week Arrives

London Fashion Week  has arrived - a five-day extravaganza known for producing some of the world's most exciting and dynamic fashion talents. Over recent seasons - and especially under the watchful eye of fashion powerhouse Natalie Massenet - the city's reputation has slowly changed from being home to creative, but often commercially unsavvy, designers, becoming a place that nurtures emerging talents and puts them on a global stage. The industry is now worth an impressive £26 billion to the British economy.

Two of the season's big tickets will be Christopher Kane and JW Anderson, both of which have received investment from luxury conglomerates LVMH and Kering respectively. Burberry and Tom Ford will once again draw big crowds, as two of London's best-known names. Mulberry has already got the fashion press talking with its Sunday photo call, at which campaign star Cara Delevingne will unveil a "creative project", with whispers she could be the latest star to have a bag named after her. With no creative director yet appointed at the helm, the label will not hold a catwalk show this season - instead hosting an intimate dinner for friends of the brand.

We look forward to seeing what the city's creative mainstays - Erdem, Mary Katrantzou, Jonathan Saunders, Roksanda Ilincic and Henry Holland - have in store, a group who have progressed from being the new generation to lucrative businesses, embracing new chapters in their careers - with many opening standalone shops in the coming months. We'll also be keeping a firm eye on the Peter Pilotto catwalk, this year's BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund winner.

New to the schedule this season are Mother of Pearl, Whistles, Joseph and Marks & Spencer - the latter of which will unveil its autumn/winter 2014 Best of British collection with a series of presentations at Somerset House on Monday. Joseph celebrates the 25th anniversary of its famed Fulham Road store this season, launching a capsule collection created by labels including Giles, Balmain and Jonathan Saunders.

So which new names to take note of? Thomas Tait's complex simplicity is still causing a stir in fashion circles, while Simone Rocha - who won Best Emerging Womenswear Designer at the 2014 British Fashion Awards - is expected to impress again with her strong, contemporary take on romance. For eveningwear, we'll look to Barbara Casasola - whose floor-length dresses are truly lessons in modern elegance.

If London Fashion Week has already whet your shopping appetite, stop by at´s pop-up store at 29 Duke Street, which will be selling pieces donated by fashion editors to raise money for charity.

Who Does Rankin Think Is “Horrible” To Photograph?

Rankin has photographed some of the world's most famous names - from Kate Moss and Emma Watson to David Bowie and the Queen - but, he says, there is one group of people that he finds more challenging than all others - politicians.

"Horrible," he said. "There's nothing there. What they do is they have a face. There's something there when you're talking to them, but as soon as you pull the camera out, they have a face. A photographic face, they've obviously practiced it in the mirror."

However, he isn't averse to working with the world's more controversial political figures and would happily photograph both Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-Un because it's "part of my job". Previous politicians to pose for his camera include Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Mikhail Gorbachev.

"I would shoot him, yeah," he tells The Independent of Jong-Un. "It's just that fascination of being able to go there and see it all and, you know, things that no one sees. I'd photograph anyone if I thought it was going to be interesting to me and for the people who would be looking at my photograph. I wouldn't ever shy away from that."

Is Harrods Opening In NY?

Harrods could soon have a location in New York, the chairman of the company's executive board, Ahmad Al-Sayed, has revealed - as the company looks to open a long-mooted Harrods hotel. The famous London store is eyeing potential locations in the Big Apple as well as "other prime cities" - but stressed that the landmark Knightsbridge store would not be replicated overseas.

"Everything is for discussion, and we are studying different ways of expansion," he said, adding that Heathrow Terminal Two's new standalone Harrods watch store will "recreate the opulence" if not completely echo the celebrated Knightsbridge site.

Harrods Hits NYC?
Since Qatar Holding, a global investment house founded by the Qatar Investment Authority, bought Harrods in 2010, the firm has invested £250 million, WWD reports, and Al-Sayed says the company doesn't intend to stop there.

"I invest in retail, I invest in commodities, I invest in infrastructure - I invest in different kinds of [businesses]," said Al-Sayed of the investment vehicle, which is also the principal shareholder of supermarket Sainsbury's. "We are like fund managers: When we decide on our investment, we check what suits our portfolio and then we make a decision."

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Chanel Takes Dubai

Karl Lagerfeld will host his next  Chanel pre-spring / summer 2015 show in Dubai. The event will take place on May 13, when temperatures average around 100 degrees.

The brand is known for staging its pre shows in distant locations and extravagant settings, from Miami and Singapore to Los Angeles and, most recently, Dallas. Details of the venue have not yet been released, WWD reports.

Chanel Hits Dubai
Chanel has five ready-to-wear stores in Dubai. In October 2010, Lagerfeld announced plans to create his own fashion island, 20 miles off the coast of Dubai, named the Isla Moda. It is hoped that the project will be completed this year.

Anticipation Grows For Beckham’s Victoria Collection

Fans of Victoria Beckham´s contemporary line -  Victoria, Victoria Beckham - who are logging on excitedly to see pictures of the new collection will be disappointed, as images of the pieces were not released this morning as scheduled.

Usually presented to press and buyers the day after her mainline offering - which debuted on Sunday - the collection will not be shown this Fashion Week. Beckham and her team are still working on the creative around the range, which won't be ready for a couple of weeks.

Victoria Beckham
Beckham isn't the only designer beset by delays of one kind or another, L´ Wren Scott has also cancelled her show - set to take place this Sunday in London - due to production delays in key show and couture pieces, WWD reports. Instead, the designer will unveil her autumn / winter collection via social media before meeting retailers and editors in her Paris showroom in March.

LFW: Ones To Watch

Carrie Ann Stein, Sarah Ryan, Hiroko Nakajima and George Styler have been named as Fashion Scout´s Ones To Watch for the autumn/winter 2014 season and will showcase their collections this February at London Fashion Week

A Central Saint Martins graduate, Carrie-Ann Stein won the first Umbria Cashmere District Award in 2012 and her designs are underpinned by striking silhouettes and experimental textiles.

LFW: Talent
Styler, meanwhile, takes a sociological approach to knit - exploring the idea of freedom through clothing. Continuing with the knitwear train of thought is Central Saint Martins-trained Hiroko Nakajima, whose focus is on graphics, colour and the idea that fashion is wearable art.

Last up to complete the line-up is Sarah Ryan, who can already boast showing at both Berlin and London Fashion Weeks in her career. The Limerick School of Art & Design graduate works to create form-flattering designs.

Previous Ones To Watch Fashion Scout alumni have included Eudon Choi, Hermione de Paula, Phoebe English and David Longshaw. This year's selection was chosen by an industry panel that included Hilary Alexander and designer Georgia Hardinge.

The Fashion Scout Ones To Watch show takes place this Friday, February 14, at 3.30pm.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

How To Take Selfies Like A Supermodel

In these days of Instagram, lessons on how to look great in photos are naturally popular. Today’s lesson teaches you how to take selfies just like a supermodel. Admittedly this video does more than a little cheating – featuring the likes of Karlie Kloss and Candice Swanepoel, it’s ‘taught’ by supermodels.

Couture Dreams In Paris

The ultimate fashion fantasies come alive at Paris´s couture extravaganza - the magic of fashion begins here. Stop dreaming and start believing.

It's immediately clear that Paris is hosting the haute couture shows from the exceptional amount of porter action at London's Eurostar terminal. Usually porters are noticeable by their complete absence, but during the haute couture they flock around St Pancras, pushing trolleys of Louis Vuitton trunks and Hermès handbags along the platforms and escorting fur-clad shoppers to queue jump at passport control.

In this age, couture houses travel the world taking their designs to the clients, or they reach them digitally, but there are still a number of women who like the experience of spending a few days in Paris looking at the most exquisite clothes in the world, and holing up in the city's palatial hotels Le Meurice, the Plaza Athénée, Le Bristol and their favourite, the Ritz, currently closed for refurbishment.

Paris is a city made for the night-time - its beautiful turn-of-the-century street lamps offering a far more attractive glow than London's brutal lighting and illuminating the gilded statues of the many impressive historical buildings that line the boulevards and the Seine. Yet, on couture Sunday, the streets were empty of traffic and pedestrians. "Where is everybody?" I asked my driver. "In Paris? In January?" he shrugged. "They sleep."

No sleeping at Donatella Versace's high-voltage show, though, which kicked off a season staged in the high-ceilinged enfilade that seem to be a dime a dozen in Paris and which were perfect settings for the splendid spectacle that is Haute Couture.

Versace's girls are always fast. Their legs longer, their hair straighter, their lips larger than at any other house. And what a pack of them strutted the white catwalk to the staccato beats of Lady Gaga's "Donatella":I'm Blonde, I'm Skinny, I'm rich and I'm a little bit of a bitch

At which other house might you see a crystal-embroidered, hooded, white silk-jersey romper suit? Or full-length fur stoles? Or a skin of a white suede trouser suit? Or Karlie Kloss, high stepping like a thoroughbred pony in purple fur? The show was designed as a tribute to "the fluidity and provocation of Grace Jones", and made manifest in a number of cowl head-coverings that might come in handy for the Middle Eastern customer - so important nowadays to couture business. The cowls were integrated into Versace's legendary eveningwear, famous for its miraculous cut and way with invisible tulle, and allowing as much of the body to be exposed as to be covered.

At the celebratory after-show dinner, Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci, Mario Testino and Azzedine Alaïa joined Donatella and Gaga - the latter arriving, like a tiny Versace hamster, in belted white fur and a jewelled cowl straight off the catwalk, before throwing off the cowl and changing into a black bustier to pose throughout the meal for pictures with her host. Sisters under the skin, or at least under the blonde hair.

Another Italian, Tod's owner Diego della Valle, rode into couture town this season on the back of his ownership of Schiaparelli. Last summer he commissioned Christian Lacroix to design a small number of gowns, but for this season, with new designer Marco Zanini in place, the Schiaparelli show was the whole shebang before an audience that included Carla Bruni, Elle Macpherson and Farida Khelfa.

The scene was set by Stella Tennant, who marched down the runway in a long printed crepe dress like a member of the French Revolution - her crazed tricorn hat giving her a Republican touch. Elsa Schiaparelli was known for her extravagant surrealist touch, and it would have been tempting to try and emulate her style, but Zanini cleverly managed to avoid the too direct referencing which could have resulted in parody. He offered instead some of the most wearable outfits of the couture season, pairing feather-lined reversible jackets with evening gowns and flat feathered sandals, along with a bride in a trouser suit. Backstage, where the models lined up against a wall for the clothes to be examined in closer detail, milliner Stephen Jones (who had worked on the dramatic hats) said: "Everybody has always said I should be doing Schiap. It's only taken 30 years!"

But Schiap was not the only old kid in town: the house was joined also by Hussein Chalayan's debut demi-couture show for Vionnet. Unsurprisingly, given the choice of designer, this was not couture for the Texan fundraising circuit, relying as it did on seamless dresses of floor-length pleating, belts of industrial rubber and a palette of acid yellow and white. Setting it all against a backdrop of street detritus in a covered cobbled courtyard, Hussein established Vionnet as a house to watch under the excited gaze of its new owner, Goga Ashkenazi.

Reinvention has long been the name of fashion's game and, at Christian Dior, Raf Simons continues his determination to make the house his own. To this end, a huge bronze box positioned in the Musée de Rodin (where previously Tom Ford had positioned his YSL), reflected back the beautiful proportions of the museum as the audience walked though the gardens to reach it. Once inside, conventional architecture and proportions were thrown to the wind: for the show space, Simons installed a white Flintstone-style cave, housing rough plaster walls and erratically shaped skylights.

Although mindful of the established house codes, this season Simons took Dior girl clubbing, focusing on mini dresses with asymmetric trains, floating layers that slipped from the shoulder, perforated fabric at every turn (even in the case of the famous Bar jacket) and always the slimmest trousers in town. Matched with sequin- and crystal-embellished skate shoes, and you got the picture of a couture house in youthful transition.

The young Dior customer will also have taken notes at Giambattista Valli, now established as one of the most desirable up-town designers in Paris. Valli girls are Euro elegant, with long bronzed legs, and a readiness to go dancing after a late dinner. This season he swapped some of his more rigorous couture shapes for a sassier feel, giving his girls a slouchy insouciance as they strolled - hands in deep couture pockets. Draped mini hems, jewelled and beaded flowers on thick duchesse silk, and bouquets of crystals on quilted silk, dominated the show.

Valli's show ended just before dinner but, at the Chanel Atelier, it was all work. Unlike most couturiers, Karl Lagerfeld creates a Sun King-like court around his fittings: black-jean-and-leather-jacket-clad models tumbled out of taxis at the front door of the Rue Cambon studio, all followed by assorted press and friends. Meanwhile, on the fourth floor, activities were in full flow as outfits were adjusted and accessorised. The Chanel couture studio is a privileged opportunity to see how the art of couture lies in the extremes of detail - where the hem of a dress might be altered by less than a millimetre, and the proportions between the end of a sleeve and the waist are subject to forensic discussion. Amanda Harlech, Lagerfeld's long-time aide and creative sounding board, dressed in fin-de-siècle-style black Commes des Garçons, entertained the guests while Karl explained his vision for the next day of Club Cambon.

"Cara," he said from behind his desk, as Cara Delevigne appeared in the opening outfit of tightly waisted tweed, "Show them how you run." Ever game, she demonstrated the dainty trot that would be on show the next day, like a child in a ballet class.

The "run" was instrumental in creating the young, relaxed Chanel mood the next morning. In a show filled with light and movement, guests were invited to Club Cambon, which emerged under the dome of the Grand Palais. Seated within walls of iridescent panels, the odd anticipatory silence only gave way as the panels slid open to reveal a full orchestra, two curved staircases and a cascade of girls in Chanel's specially woven tweed speeding down the stairs in the now famous Chanel trainers - each hand-made to go with its outfit - in lace, beads, sequins and tulle. Beat that, Dr Martens.

The trainers dominated the show, lending the evening dresses, embellished with exotic feathers and waterfalls of sequins, a casual ease and allowing the more usual Chanel suiting (this season with full drop-waist skirts and crop jackets, and all sporting a tight corseted waistband) a more relaxed approach

Later in the day Giorgio Armani dominated proceedings, hosting not only his Privé show, but also a travelling exhibition of his couture pieces - and a dinner. The show veered heavily into the exotic territory of the East that so often informs his designs: there were beaded headscarves with every gown, low Cuban heels and a long and often voluminous silhouette that all contributed to a show that lived up to its nomad theme. Afterwards guests descended to /The Eccentrico/, an exhibition designed to demonstrate not only the breadth of Armani's vision but to dispel forever any thought that he might only be about a beige trouser suit, and displaying everything from the superheroes-themed dress he created for (yes again) Lady Gaga to the vivid checked prom-style dresses and sheaths of Japanese-inspired silk. He made his point most elegantly.

Lebanese couturier Elie Saab has a thriving couture house and is an example of a designer who finds it worth his while to move from Beirut to Paris to show. As the go-to designer for a beautiful wedding gown his couture was a riot of colour showing off his renowned evening wear.

His show was followed by that of Jean Paul Gaultier who is now the only major French couturier showing. This April, London's Barbican hosts an exhibition of Gaultier style and we can only hope that it includes the same high spirits that Gaultier brings to his shows. Butterflies of all kinds were the theme of this couture, wings of silk floating down the catwalk - the waist of the butterfly making a strangely effective silhouette, if rather overworked when worn by Dita von Teese. Gaultier flies the flag for the often neglected Crazy Horse kitsch-side of Parisian style, but when you get past the glam and visual noise, he still cuts an immaculate tuxedo.

It is currently left to the new team of Valentino to produce the final show of the season, and my preview in their Place Vendome headquarters was a masterclass in creative passion and intensity. This season, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli used an operatic woman as the starting point for their collection, drawing, they explained, on the emotion of that art. But they took her journey the long way. By the time of my visit, the team of seamstresses brought in from Valentino's Roman atelier were putting the finishing touches to a collection that encompassed appliqué gorillas, antique lace, a cloak of feathered butterflies and simple yet immaculate pillars of crepe. The finale dress of grey tulle embroidered with the inhabitants of a satin jungle had been started three months ago. Showing on a catwalk hand-painted by a team from the Rome Opera House, the duo showed an understanding of the dream of haute couture, an art where clothes are individually designed, stitched, woven and constructed as once-in-a-lifetime pieces, a world away from the fast fashion universe most of us inhabit.

Harrods Stages Catwalk Shows In The Sky

Harrods has partnered with British Airways, in what will be the start of the world's most stylish and luxurious flights, where catwalk shows will be staged on board in the sky. The collaboration was celebrated last night with the first of the shows, all of which will take place on the new A380 flight route from London to Johannesburg midair, featuring looks by Stella McCartney, Victoria Beckham and Ralph & Russo.

"Harrods is delighted to have partnered with British Airways, bringing together two iconic British brands, to create a spectacular event," said Harrods managing director Michael Ward. "Celebrating the exceptional design of the A380, we were able to present the talent and creativity of our most respected British fashion designers, in a unique experience at 30,000ft."
Harrods: Sky High Fashion
Although the store can't divulge details of its future shows, each catwalk outing will be curated by Harrods and will be staged on press-only flights.

Topshop Gives Adidas A Makeover

Topshop has teamed up with  Adidas Originals to create a 20-piece collection, launching in stores on March 20th.

The collection will infuse sportswear with femininity, and can be worn for both fashion and performance. Styles include tailored tracksuit bottoms with Adidas's signature triple stripe; slouchy scoop-neck vests with drop armholes; athletic shorts with floral detailing; and hoodies baring the Adidas logo. The range will also include footwear, with new interpretations of the sport brand's Superstar, Tech Super and Attitude trainers. Prices start at £25 for a vest and rise to £90 for the Tech Super trainers.

Topshop Goes Adidas Style
The news only cements fashion's current obsession with sports luxe, with Riccardo Tisci and Chanel recently launching reworkings of trainers.

Topshop Hits Fifth Avenue

Topshop is opening a store on one of the world's most famous retail streets, Fifth Avenue - but it still won't beat London's Oxford Street megalith for sheer square footage.

The 40,000 sq-foot Manhattan space - the brand's second biggest flagship, despite being less than have the size of the 90,000 sq-foot central London hub - is situated adjacent to the famous Rockefeller Centre, and will carry both the Topshop and Topman brands.

Topshop Goes NYC
"In addition to our flagship stores expansion, we are continually developing our and $ sites, and our on-going partnership with Nordstrom continues to develop," Sir Phillip Green said. "I am very excited about Fifth Avenue, having looked for a location there for many years, and I believe this corner is both hugely prominent and perfectly located for our brands. I am also delighted to be entering new markets for the first time in the other great cities."

The new Manhattan flagship joins another Topshop standalone in the Big Apple, situated in downtown NY, on Broadway. Arcadia opened 80 key sites for the two brands during the past 12 months, and will open 15 more stores in eight countries - including Russia, Turkey and Vietnam - over the next year.

Meet Armani’s New Protégées

Girogio Armani has taken another emerging Italian label under his wing, choosing Au Jour Le Jour as the next brand to show in its Teatro catwalk space during Milan Fashion Week later this month.

Its French name might not make it sound very Italian, but Au Jour Le Jour creates all its collections in Italy. Founded in 2010 by Mirko Fontana and Diego Marquez, its aesthetic is a fusion of Italian quality and sophistication teamed with a modern, colourful edge. Think stonewash denim decorated with embroidered badges, as well as bomber jackets, shirts and dresses covered with playful, cartoon-style prints. Silhouettes range from fitted - including pencil skirts and ribbed jumpers - to voluminous, with full-skirted PVC dresses and mannish wool coats.

Au Jour Le Jour
"We are excited about the great opportunity that Giorgio Armani has given us," duo Fontana and Marquez said in a statement. "He arrived at an extremely significant time for our project, which we continue to work on with passion, determination and above all with the desire to create new styles. For emerging - and more importantly independent - designers, being sponsored by such an influential name not only represents a unique chance in terms of visibility but also serves as an incentive to do better, to show just how precious the attention that has been given to us really is."

Armani announced he was opening his catwalk home to aspiring Italian designers in June last year, in a bid to encourage and nurture the country's emerging fashion talents. His first protégée, Stella Jean - known for her vibrant ethinic-inspired creations - became one of the industry's most-talked about names, after showing in the Armani Teatro in September 2013, with pieces selling out within a week of hitting stores.

Schiffer Turns Film Producer

Claudia Schiffer is adding another film credit to her CV by becoming executive producer on her director husband Matthew Vaughn's latest film, The Secret Service. She is also overseeing the cast wardrobe, hair, make-up and interiors.

The film - based upon the comic book of the same name - has a fashion link, and is about a group of spies who use a gentleman's tailor as their front. Colin Firth and Samuel L Jackson have been confirmed as stars, although David Beckham, Elton John, Taylor Swift and Adele are also rumoured to have roles, The Telegraph reports.

Claudia Schiffer
Schiffer acted as executive producer on Vaughn's film, Kick-Ass 2, and has also acted in films including Love Actually, Ritchie Rich and played herself in Zoolander.

LVMH Dreams Big For Marc Jacobs

LVMH boss Bernard Arnault wants the sale of Marc Jacobs to be as lucrative as Michael Kor´s hugely successful IPO. Kors - who went public in 2011 - now has a market capitalisation of $15 billion, with stock having surged 215 per cent.

"If we could do something along those lines, or even half, everyone will be happy," Arnault said.

Jacobs left Louis Vuitton in October last year, to focus his attentions on his eponymous label which is now heading for an IPO. He was replaced by Nicholas Ghesquiere, who makes his catwalk debut on March 5 at Paris Fashion Week. Arnault is confident that his new recruit will not disappoint.

Marc Jacobs
"He's someone with huge potential, in line with the spirit of Vuitton - creative audacity with extreme refinement," he said at an annual results presentation, WWD reports.

LVMH  also reported a slight rise in profits in 2013, increasing by 0.4 per cent to €3.43 billion euros compared with €3.42 in 2012. When asked why growth wasn't faster, Arnault attributed the figures to "less dynamism" in emerging markets, especially China; weakening of currencies such as the dollar and yen; as well as a "more reasonable growth strategy" at Louis Vuitton and a slower rate of store openings.

Elite Models' New Signing: Arsenal's Aaron

Aaron Ramsey,  an Arsenal and Wales footballer, has signed for Elite Model Management London. The 23-year-old midfielder - famous for his prodigious playmaking talent, and an eye-watering leg-break (if you didn't see it, do not Google it) that saw him out-of-play for nine months in 2010 - has been enlisted for the agency's new celebrity division, alongside talents including actress Rose Byrne and singer/songwriter Lianne La Havas.

"I was approached by Elite and it was perfect timing - and a great opportunity for me, as I had been thinking about doing some other things outside of my football career," Ramsey explained. "Obviously football is my main focus and always will be; I would never jeopardise that for anything. So I will have to manage my time well so that I can also take advantage of all the amazing opportunities that Elite can offer me."

Aaron Ramsey
Used to taking direction from some of the game's best-known managers - from Arsène Wenger, his Arsenal boss, to Wales manager Chris Coleman - Ramsey is not intimidated by fashion's biggest names. Working with a certain London-based Texan is appealing, he reveals, although one of the designer's risqué fragrance campaigns may be a long way off.

"I'd love to work with Tom Ford, his label is a real favourite of mine," he told us. "At this moment in time I wouldn't want to do any shoots with my kit off… I don't think my fiancee would be too happy about that! I still have to get used to pulling poses for the camera - it doesn't come naturally to me - I feel lost without a football close by!"

Italy Falls For Some Scottish Romance

A Scottish designer, and former intern to Alexander McQueen, has been tipped by Italian Vogue as one to watch. Following a recent visit to Judy Clark´s Edinburgh studio, the magazine's culture and travel editor, Federico Chiara, called her collection "romantic art".

"Every market has its own particular character and the Italian one is no exception. We're a bit conservative, maybe," Chiara told us. "That said, sometimes we need and love a touch of the British eccentricity that fuels Judy's imagery. Her clothes are not for everyday life, and they don't try to be simple, but her theatrical twists - combined with a taste for tailoring, and the use of Scottish fabrics and lace - makes her fashion appealing to me."

Judy Clark: Up and Coming
Decreed the Scottish Womenswear Designer of the Year by the Scottish Style Awards, Clark revealed her first ready-to-wear collection at a fashion show in Edinburgh last week - and plans to take her designs to Milan Fashion Week next month for the Pitti Immagine Fashion Fair in a bid to attract Italian buyers.

"I was delighted to welcome ItalianVogueinto the studio," Clark said. "They were particularly impressed by the Scottish textiles that I used throughout my collections and studied the textured linings and hand-stitched embellishments in my bespoke ranges. They liked that the handwriting I've established as a bespoke designer could be carefully documented through an innovative ready-to-wear line."

Inside Dolce & Gabbana's Alta Moda

The Dolce & Gabbana couture experience is unique in more ways than one. For starters, only a handful of editors are invited. Instead, the gilded salons of the Milanese penthouse where it is held are mostly filled with friends of the house and top-spending clients - with husbands in tow.

There is no seating plan; here, the 150 guests are allowed to sit wherever they please, and lastly, you won't ever see these clothes on the back of a celebrity - no matter what their status - because real couture customers don't want to see their gown paraded on anybody else. Every Alta Moda piece is a one-off; it works on a first-come, first-served basis and, as a result, the feverish race to order as soon as the last model exits is palpable, even in this grand room scented with expensive perfume and a million flowers streaming from vases and pergolas.

This season marks the Italian duo's fourth couture collection. They said they wanted to transform women into living works of art and in doing so, it looked as if they had rifled through the art collections of their most elite clientele: Van Gogh's sunflowers were replicated in a silk dress with gem-encrusted sleeves, while Manet's white lilacs popped up elsewhere, and so, too, masterpieces by Renoir (in actual fact, these pieces are the result of long negotiations with international museums in order to secure reproduction rights.)

D&G Alta Moda
Elsewhere, billowing ballgowns in fine black tulle were bedecked in hundreds of silk roses, so wide they skimmed over guests' feet as each one wafted by. Floor-trailing pyjama coat-dresses in candy pink edged in bordeaux piping with crystal buttons and sweeping bow belts followed. There were plenty of day-looks to excite too, ideal for benefit luncheons the world over - an off-the-shoulder midi-length dress in cornflower blue was particularly pretty. With each look more spectacular than the next, the expressions on husbands' faces said it all: it was adding up to be an expensive afternoon.

Swarovski Gives A Catwalk Preview

Swarovski has unveiled the designers who will form its Collective - the group of talents, both emerging and established, who will receive support from the jewellery brand - for the forthcoming autumn/winter 2014 season, and in doing so have offered us a glimpse of their new collections.

Mary Katrantzou, Emilia Wickstead, Fyodor Golan, Michael van der Ham and Huishan Zhang make up the London contingent; Prabal Gurung, Rodarte, Suno, Wes Gordon and Brandon Sun are the New York names; and Anthony Vaccarello, Maxime Simoëns, Alexis Mabille, Tex Saverio and Masha Ma will be Swarovski's beneficiaries in Paris.

Swarovski Goes 3D
"Putting our crystals into the hands of creative talents always seems to inspire, and results in the most extraordinary experimentation," Nadja Swarovski, member of the Swarovski executive board, said. "Members of the Swarovski Collective continue to amaze us with their ability to fuse crystal so imaginatively into their collections. This season is no exception and we are thrilled to welcome some exciting new talents into the programme for autumn/winter 2014."

"We love the drive and hunger of the Swarovski Collective to try new ideas," the Fyodor Golan duo added. "With their support we have been able to create special 3D dresses that we will debut this season."

Kate Moss’s Haunting McQueen Campaign

Kate Moss  is the new face of Alexander McQueen, and, surprisingly, it is the first time that the supermodel has fronted a campaign for the brand. She also stars in a futuristic film, which was inspired by Sixties British cult thriller,Peeping Tom.

The haunting short is seen through the eyes of an unknown voyeur who follows Moss through a darkened street, while holding a replica doll version of the model, before she enters a desolate building and begins to take off her clothes. As expected from McQueen, it is every bit as otherworldly and sinister as you might imagine.

Kate Moss for Alexander McQueen
The images and film were shot in East London by long-time McQueen collaborator Steven Klein. Moss was a good friend of the brand's late eponymous founder and appeared as a ghostly hologram at the end of the designer's autumn/winter 2006 show.