Sunday, May 25, 2014

Frida On Gucci: I'm Not Going Anywhere

Frida Giannini may have been in her role at the creative helm of  Gucci for almost a decade, but that doesn't stop whispers in the industry about her job security - with some even touting designers including Riccardo Tisci or Joseph Altuzarra to succeed her at the head of Kering's most lucrative label. Typically practical and easy-going, the Italian has brushed off the rumours, revealing why she generally refuses to dignify them with a response.

"These rumours are self-generated, and even engaged Francois Henri Pinault, who came to Rome and told me they were not true. Actually, he was concerned that the rumours would not let me work serenely," she said. "We don't want to [officially] deny such absurd rumours stemming from nothing. It would be stupid. There is good harmony, although we know it's a delicate moment for the markets."

Frida Giannini
Despite her insistence that she is going nowhere for the time being, she is realistic about the need for brands to regenerate - and doesn't intend to keep working into her later years.

"If you ask me if I will be here at 60, I would say no," she added. "I think that at a certain point there must be a change and you have to make room for the new and younger generations."

As well as revealing that expanding the Gucci Premiere couture line and adding a homewares offering were on her brand agenda, the designer spoke passionately about the non-profit elements of the Gucci world - including Chime for Change, and a 10-year-old partnership with UNICEF, which has so far raised more than €13 million.

"We are investing more time and resources in activities that we believe in. Obviously, without the company's support none of this would exist. François-Henri Pinault is very sensitive to all this and he is the first to motivate you and ask for suggestions," she told WWD. "It's a drop in the ocean, but it's now part of my job to give back."

Armani's New Protégé

Giorgio Armani has announced that the next designer to show, at his Armani Teatro space during Milan Fashion Week in September, will be Christian Pellizzari. He is the latest up-and-coming name that Armani has invited to present in the space, an initiative that the legendary designer established to support and encourage the next generation of Italian talent.

"I am proud and flattered to have been chosen by the undisputed international fashion icon that is Giorgio Armani," said Pellizzari. "During my career, his talent, consistency and timeless style have always fascinated me. I hope to live up to his iconic theatre with my fashion show, as this is an important step for me in my creative and professional life."

Christian Pellizzari for Armani
If the last beneficiaries of Armani's invitation are anything to go by, Pellizzari should expect a packed house. When Stella Jean showed her first collection in the space last September, it was one of the most talked-about shows on the Milan schedule, as was the next recipient, Au Jour Le Jour, which showed in February this year. It is proof of Armani's continuing support and promotion of the Italian fashion industry, following his joining of the Italian Chamber of Fashion in November last year.

"Offering young and promising designers a real opportunity for visibility is something that I'm passionate about. I like to discover individual visions and regain the energy that is the mainspring of success," he said.

Chanel Takes Dallas Skiing

Chanel is going from the Lone Star State to the Colorado mountains as the brand prepares to launch a pop-up shop in Aspen next month.

Karl Lagerfeld showed  his Metiers d´Art Paris - Dallas collection in Dallas, Texas, last December - and now the collection will be showcased in a small modern boutique with a "uniquely Aspen vibe," WWD reports. Sadly, those who buy it won't be hitting the slopes in their new attire - since most of the resort closes in April for the summer season.

Chanel in Aspen
The store opening will be celebrated with a party on June 26, but shoppers hoping to grab a piece of Chanel's Wild West will have to be fast: it will close after just 10 days on July 6.

Inside Cameron’s Shoe World

Cameron Diaz´s latest role, as the  artistic director of shoe label Pour La Victoire, has got her thinking about the kind of women she wants to dress (or shoe). Having most recently played  one third of an everywoman trio in The Other Woman (playing the serious workaholic alongside Kate Upton's naive babe and Leslie Mann's sweet-natured wife), Diaz has had plenty of time to think about the kind of woman that appeals to her - and her girl is a passionate one.

"My goal as artistic director is that our brand doesn't presume to tell you who or what you should be, it is meant to help you be who you are," she said. "We believe in celebrating victories, large or small, from personal to professional to creative, and empowering women who are fully engaged in their passions."

Cameron Diaz
To epitomise the Pour La Victoire woman, Diaz has enlisted model and filmmaker Olya Zueva to appear in the campaign - heaping praise upon much more than just her looks.

"Olya has been an amazing partner in this endeavour - she is the embodiment of the spirit of PLV," Diaz told Lucky. "She is interested and interesting and she truly lives life with her eyes wide open. She is modern, self-possessed and relatable, with an effortless sense of personal style."

Moschino Brings Its Boys To London

Moschino is bringing its Fashion Week spectacular to the capital for London Collections Men this June. The show will be the Italian label's menswear debut in the city, as well as new Moschino creative director Jeremy Scott's first men's collection.

"The choice of London originates from the desire to express wit and humour," a spokesperson for the brand said. "A city where the crowd is international, the casting is interesting, and the atmosphere has the right and appropriate vibes for the first men's collection designed entirely by Jeremy Scott."

Jeremey Scott
And obviously Scott, a favourite with famous faces including Rita Ora and Katy Perry, wouldn't want to disappoint the girls.

"Beside the menswear, some spring/summer 2015 women's pre-collection looks will also be presented," the brand confirmed.

The show is scheduled to take place on Monday June 16 at 6pm.

Who Made The Fashion Rich List?

Not one with a fortune under £85 million made it into The Sunday TimesRich List top 1,000 this year - and the fashion industry is responsible for a healthy slice of that growth.

The industry is buoying the money-makers in Europe, with 10 of the 25 richest people having made their earnings in the fashion, beauty or luxury-goods industries, while the richest person on the continent is Amancio Ortega, the Spanish founder and owner of Zara's parent group, Inditex.

The guide also notes that the Beckhams' combined fortune has risen by £10 million to £210 million this year, thanks in no small part to the continued growth of  Victoria´s label, but the couple are still some way behind fashion's top earners. The Weston family, which controls Selfridges as well as Primark, lead the list with £7.3 billion; Arcadia owner Philip Green is third in the industry, with a fortune of £3.88 billion; while the owners of Matalan (John Hargreaves and family - who also own shares in Julien Macdonald and Nicole Farhi), New Look (Tom Singh and family), Monsoon (Peter Simon and family), Mulberry (Christina Ong and family), and River Island (Bernard Lewis and family) also make the fashion list.

Fashion Fortune: The Beckhams
Francois Henri Pinault and wife Salma Hayek, who reportedly moved to London this year, were fifth on the fashion millionaires list, with a wealth of £2.38 billion.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Petra Palumbro: The Next Big Thing?

Next Models has signed Petra Palumbo, a London College of Fashion graduate who is fast becoming known for her own signature style and her skills as an embroiderer. Recently, Petra's eye for design has also caught the attention of several luxury labels, including British brand Dunhill, with a view to collaborating.

"I am excited to have joined Next Model Management because it will give me the opportunity to explore new challenges in fashion branding, as well as push my career further and in new directions," Palumbo said. "I am also hoping to encourage and inspire people of all generations to hand-embroider creative designs."

Petra Palumbro
The daughter of Lord and Lady Palumbo, Petra developed her design skills under her mother's watchful eye. The duo work together at Tapisserie - the family business - creating unique, hand-painted embroidered pieces, from handbags and canvases to Christmas stockings and doorstops.

"We are so excited to be representing Petra," Faith Kates, founder and owner of Next Models, told Vogue. "She is a beautiful British girl with an exciting creative passion with real heritage. Her designs bring this art-form right up to date and make it totally relevant in today's fashion landscape. Stunningly beautiful and so bright, Petra is a fantastic addition to the Next global roster."

Dunst's Guide To Dressing

Kirsten Dunst´s wardrobe in new film The Two Faces of January will inspire you to stock up on vintage dresses ahead of summer, but the actress - who has worn couture gowns as well as beautiful costumes in countless films and on hundreds of red carpets over the past two decades - isn't too nostalgic about clothes.

"My mum gave me this ring - it was her 16th birthday present, she wanted a bow and then her aunt put a diamond in it for her - and that's something I always wear, but I'm someone who will buy something and wear it non-stop until I'm so sick of it, so I'm not that precious about clothes," Dunst admitted. "I'm sure that one day when I get married or whatever it'll be different," she added, shaking her head at the suggestion of a Chanel Couture wedding dress one day hanging in her wardrobe, smiling: "I'll do Rodarte."

Far from buttoned-up couture, Dunst's style is as effortless as her laugh - and dresses, which solely compose her wardrobe for the film, are a particular favourite

"I like a cute, easy dress when I'm not working," she told us. "I find jeans less comfortable than dresses to be honest - because everyone wears such tight jeans these days! I like putting together a nice outfit, but mostly I like comfort. It depends on my mood."

She is, it's worth noting, braving a pair of tight black skinnies and a jumper today, her flaxen hair and signature dimples as pretty as they've been throughout her 20-year film career. Dunst's allure is generally more demure than some of her contemporaries - one couldn't imagine Scarlett Johansson or Mila Kunis, for example, playing the role of Colette MacFarland - but the carefree prettiness we viewers see often needs a little more effort.

"Sometimes you feel prettier than other times," she shrugged. "Sometimes, like last night [for the British premiere of The Two Faces of January, left], I love my hair and make-up, I love my dress, my shoes; so I'll feel pretty. But other times, I feel like, 'Urgh - I'm a little too much here,' but it's too late! I can't say, 'Can you fix my base?' 'Can you redo my hair?' It's not going to happen, so sometimes you just feel better than other times."

Feeling good in terms of her work, however, is a sensation that Dunst is very au fait with: "I think I've gotten good at choosing the people I work with." Perhaps more than any other actress of her generation, she has worked across every genre of film: from blockbusters and rom coms, to period dramas and comedies. Immediately before this critically acclaimed Patricia Highsmith adaptation, Dunst appeared in the sequel to Anchorman with Will Ferrell.

"There are so many independent films right now that you can pore your heart out in some great role and sometimes it'll blow up and it's great, but a lot of times they're maybe on direct TV, so it's hard to want to put so much effort in to something that you don't know how it will turn out," she admitted. "I wouldn't do a film that I didn't have a good reason to talk about. I think if I'm falling in love with it, then other people will, too... I would love to work with Quentin Tarantino, he's my dream director."

Kirsten Dunst
Working with accomplished screenwriter but first-time director Hossein Amini was no such risk, however, thanks to his "beautiful taste" and a few other winning factors.

"For me it was the story first," she said. "I loved the script and Viggo [Mortensen, her co-star] was attached already, and I've always wanted to work with him, so that's what drew me to be part of the film. Sometimes it's about the role for me, but most often it's about the actors I want to work with, the director and the story."

It's hard to imagine Dunst, with her eclectic CV and easy-going manner, being much of a planner, but she does have some goals in mind as she enters her third decade in film.

"Producing," she said. "I would like to have directed more in the next 10 years, for sure. And I'd like to have children, so that's in the plan, too."

Chanel's Dubai Show In Full

Only Karl Lagerfeld could transform a barren desert island into a decadent paradise within a matter of weeks - all so that Chanel's eastern goddesses could have the perfect backdrop on which to sashay.

Guests - including an exotically attired Tilda Swinton, Freida Pinto, Laura Bailey and an array of real-life princesses - reached Lagerfeld's Chanel island from the mainland in traditional wooden boats and were ushered out of the sun and in to tents. From Chanel's take on the petrol can (quilted, of course) to seemingly traditional Middle Eastern carvings (which, in fact, all bore the double C logo), the show and its surroundings had plenty that was classic Chanel, with the twist that we all expect from the designer.

Lagerfeld feels sure that Coco Chanel "would have been fascinated by the Middle East, just as she was fascinated by China and England", he told The Telegraph. "Dubai's a city that rose out of the sea and desert in less than 30 years. It's like Atlantis - and now it has the tallest building on the planet. Once that honour went to the Eiffel Tower. Then the Empire State Building. Now it's here. That shows you how the world is changing. This is such a modern city I wanted to avoid anything folklorique. I couldn't have done a collection in Dubai that wasn't modern."

Who Told Cindy To Remove Her Mole?

Cindy Crawford's sister encouraged her to get rid of her famous beauty mark - calling it her "ugly mark" - but the supermodel's mother convinced her not to.

"Apparently, if it was on the right side it was a beauty mark, and if it was on the left it was an ugly mark," Crawford said. "I would get teased by the other kids in school, so I definitely wanted to get it removed. But my mother always said, 'You know what your mole looks like, you don't know what the scar is going to look like.' Now it's so much just a part of my face that I don't think, 'Oh, how's my mole doing today?' But it's the thing that made people remember me, and it made a lot of women who also have beauty marks identify with me. They set you apart. Honestly, though, if I was designing my face from scratch I don't know if I would have designed it with the mole."

She explained the secret of her international appeal ("In Italy they think I'm Italian, in South America they think I'm Latin, and in Greece they're, like, 'Are you Greek?' There are a lot of places in the world with people with brown hair and brown eyes") and also said that the reason that she keeps doing editorial shoots rather than retiring is so that she can avoid becoming a permanent "throwback Thursday" on social media - a phenomenon that she compares to "a little pet that's always hungry, like a Tamagotchi."

Cindy Crawford
Crawford also revealed that her daughter, Kaia, has certainly acquired some of her mother's skills - even if she doesn't have the same political ambitions.

"[Kaia and her friends] play dress up, and I'll take their photos. I did a shoot with them last weekend and it's just so funny looking at Kaia's body language," she told  Into The Goss. "Modelling is just in her DNA or something, it's crazy. But I think she likes acting more than modelling... who knows? She's 12. I wanted to be the first woman president at 12 so, you know, things change. I don't think becoming president is something I could do any more - I don't want to take a pay cut."

Fashion's Night Out Returns

Fashion´s night out will return to London this year on September 23.

It will mark the sixth year of the international event, which was created initially in 2009 to celebrate fashion and boost the retail economy during challenging financial times. Since it proved such a massive success, it was continued and is now one of the highlights on the annual fashion calendar.

"After successfully transplanting the initiative to Manchester last year to share the experience with a new audience, we're returning Fashion's Night Out to London, focusing on Oxford Street and Regent Street in recognition of all the new retail activity," said Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman. "We're looking forward to thousands of shoppers joining us in the great mix of department stores, high-street and designer brands."

Fashion´s Night Out
As in previous years, Vogue staff will be positioned at various spots on the programme to offer styling advice, interview famous fashion designers and make sure that everyone is having fun. Other cities also taking part include Paris, New York, Delhi and Beijing.

Friday, May 9, 2014

John Rocha To Retire From London Fashion Week

John Rocha  has retired from London Fashion Week, the designer has confirmed this week.

The news will come as a surprise to many, who consider Rocha to be producing his best work to date. For the designer himself, however, that makes it the perfect time to retire from his eponymous brand.

"If I stay, I want to have something to say and I always want to keep the standard high. The last couple of collections I looked back on and I thought to myself, 'that is really the best work I can do'," said Rocha contentedly. "For the last few years I can see lots of talented people and designers coming up and with so much young talent you have to work so much harder, and I'm not going to do it until I drop!"

It was in 1985 that Rocha first took to the London Fashion Week schedule, and in the 29 years that have followed he has accomplished worldwide fame thanks to his collections that bridge the gap between ready-to-wear and haute couture, not to mention raise a family with his wife and business partner Odette. From the sleek, diaphanous lines of the Nineties to the voluminous silhouettes and signature froufrou head pieces of late, Rocha's talent for creating timeless designs while remaining current at the forefront of the industry is what has won him countless accolades, including Designer of the Year at the 1993 British Fashion Awards and a CBE in 2002 for his contribution to the fashion industry.

So why after such an illustrious history is he stopping? "People ask me why, and it's because I want to do more with my time. I left Hong Kong in 1971 and I have never been back to spend Chinese New Year with my family because it always falls in February during the shows. In 40 years I have never taken more than ten days holiday at once. At this point in my life I want to live by my calendar and not the Fashion Week calendar. Stopping allows me to do that. It's not an overnight decision, Odette and I have been talking about it for some time."
John Rocha
In similar situations, the creative director baton is passed to a new designer, but having been so hands on with every element of his collections for so long, it isn't something Rocha wants to do.

"I can tell you every element of every single look from each collection - one to 30 - without looking at a picture - my label is all done by me. When I stop nobody could take over - I've made that decision."

Bringing the main line to an end does not, however, mean redundancies are on the cards for anyone that currently works for Rocha. "As we focus more of the licensing parts of the business on the high street, the design team in Dublin will be redistributed," he said. "It's important for me to restructure the office so that everyone still has a job and be able to tell everyone what they will be doing in five years - in ten years even!"

So what is next for the man himself? "I want to explore my design philosophy in different mediums, and I'm very interested in architecture," he says, referring to his recent involvement in Château La Coste, the hotel-meets-art project in the sweeping, lavender-rich hills of En Provence that brings art, architecture and land together. That and lots of fishing trips we are assured.

But while his name will no longer appear on the schedule, the Rocha legacy lives on through his daughter Simone, who was herself awarded emerging womenswear designer of the year at the 2013 British Fashion Awards. It means that for those that will be sad at the thought of not seeing Rocha in the Somerset House tents, they won't be too disappointed as he'll be there, sat on the front row as a proud father.

"Simone can continue the family tradition in fashion," he smiled. "In the last couple of collections people finally understand what I'm about and I've achieved more than I ever thought. But for now I'm embracing the future. It's time to move on."

Hollywood Fur Ban Upheld

The fur ban in West Hollywood has been upheld by a federal court.The area's city council enforced the ban, which prevents local retailers from selling fur apparel, in 2011, but it was recently challenged as unconstitutional by accessories boutique Mayfair House.

"It's not over yet," Elizabeth Solomon, a spokeswoman for Mayfair House, told WWD. "We are surrounded by home design stores that sell fur chairs and fur rugs. That is where the issue is. Why is this just directed to apparel? Just be fair and apply it across the board."

Fur Ban
Retailers found to be selling fur are subject to a fine of $200 for the first offence, $400 for the second offence, and $800 for a third offence within a year - as well as a $50 administrative fee for each offence.

"West Hollywood is one of the nation's most animal-friendly cities - a notion that's just incompatible with the inhumane treatment of fur-bearing animals," Ralph Henry, deputy director for The Humane Society of the United States Animal Protection Litigation Group, said in response. "We applaud the court's decision to uphold the city's groundbreaking ordinance. The ruling makes clear that the constitution does not prevent West Hollywood or any other city from using its lawmaking powers to protect animals by prohibiting the sale of cruelly produced products."

West Hollywood is home to many designer boutiques that carry fur products - including Balenciaga, Rag & Bone, Alberta Ferretti, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Christian Louboutin - as well as smaller independent retailers, which are reportedly bearing the financial brunt of the ban.

Olivia Palermo's Wedding Dress Secrets

Olivia Palmero won't follow in the footsteps of famous brides including Diana, Princess of Wales, Elizabeth Taylor, Jacqueline Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn by wearing a full-skirted "cupcake" gown when she marries fiancé Johannes Huebl. Much like the fashion blogger and entrepreneur's day-to-day style, her wedding look will be carefully thought out.

"First, I'll consider what the venue is and what the feel is. But no matter where I marry, you're not going to see me in a huge cupcake dress. As beautiful as they are, they're just not me," she said, adding that there may even be more than one dress: "I don't think it has to be over-the-top, but I think it is fun for the different phases of the wedding."

Olivia Palermo
Although known as a designer muse - with friends including Valentino and Roberto Cavalli - Palermo is most famous for her personal style, and revealed that her look for her big day will still be very much in her own hands.

"I have a small list of people I work with, and they do an amazing job, so I'm sure one of them will help me," she told  Bridges Magazine of her beauty look for the wedding. "Or, I can do it myself - even better! I do all my own hair and make-up myself every day."

Charles James Label Reborn?

Charles James may be making a fashion comeback, if rumours are to be believed. The British-American couturier's work will be celebrated by an exhibition at New York's Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this year - which kicked off with last night's Met Ball - but, if Harvey Weinstein has his way, that may not be the last we hear of the label.

"Talks have been ongoing to breathe new life into the Charles James name," a source told Page six, adding that the Weinstein Company is talking with James's children - Charles Jr and Louise - about a licensing deal with an option to buy the company. "There is a lot of interest to carry on Charles's legacy."

Charles James
Weinstein is said to have enlisted his wife, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, and her brother, Edward, as creative consultants. The film mogul has dipped his toe into fashion before - he invested in heritage label Halston along with Sarah Jessica Parker and others, but sold his share in 2011.

"When they bought Halston, Harvey was part of a consortium," said a source. "He always believed in licensing. In this case, the Weinstein Company would be the sole partner with the James family. So there would be one voice, with the Weinstein Company running the business."

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Marc Jacobs's Met Ball Outfit

Marc Jacobs has revealed that he isn't as excited as he has been by the Charles James Met Ball dress code this year.

"I mean it's not as exciting as wearing a lace dress and boxer shorts. But that was only for  Miuccia Prada," Jacobs said, referring to the famous Comme des Garcons ensemble he wore to the 2012 bash when the dress code was "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations".
Marc Jacobs
Calling this year's theme "much more straightforward", Jacobs won't be pushing the boundaries as he is oft expected to do. "I think it will be black with white tie, as the dress code asks for. I'll be wearing Saint Laurent," he told The Cut, revealing that he will be escorting actress Jessica Lange to the event on Monday night.

V&A To Host Horst Exhibition

The V&A will host a retrospective of the life and work of German photographer Horst P Horst this September entitled Horst: Photographer Of Style.

As one of the leading photographers of the 20th century, Horst's diverse archive spans the opulent salons of post-war Paris, the introduction of ready-to-wear to the extravagant studio set-ups of the Eighties and Nineties, and collaborations with fellow luminaries Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dali along the way. As a result, the exhibition has been a long time in the making.
"In 2008, when we viewed the collection of the Horst estate, we were immediately struck by the quality and breadth of his output," Susanna Brown, curator of the exhibition, told us. "Horst ranks alongside Irving Penn and Richard Avedon as one of the 20th-century's master photographers. To my mind, he is an ideal V&A subject because the work resonates across the various V&A collections, covering not only fashion but also themes such as interior design, Surrealism, Hollywood film and theatre."

It was still no mean feat editing the expansive archive down however.

"With Martin Barnes, senior curator of photographs, I examined each one of the thousands of vintage prints and felt privileged to have been allowed access to the extensive Condé Nast Archives in New York, London and Paris," said Brown. "The Paris archive contains his earliest black and white pictures, from the Thirties, while New York houses thousands of later photographs and exquisite colour images. Some of Horst's images have become icons of photography so it was definitely hard to edit down, as he was so prolific during his 60-year career."

Horst's long relationship with Vogue is also well documented in the exhibition, which opens on September 6 and will run until January 4, 2015.

Fendi's Alchemy

As the mind behind the renowned Fendi baguette, and now the new customisable version of the Peekaboo bag, it's no surprise that Silvia Venturini Fendi knows what gives accessories the got-to-have factor.

"It's alchemy," the designer told us this morning as we previewed the new Fendi flagship store on New Bond Street - all soft carpets and artfully designed furniture, displays of gorgeous shoes and walls of the aforementioned bags, all bright, bejewelled and embroidered.

"It's when you see something you can't leave without. I'm not a shopaholic so it's difficult for me to think 'I need this'," she said, explaining that her creative process usually starts out with thinking about how she doesn't actually need anything. Then she thinks about things that are missing and it builds from there. "What do I need? Sometimes it's very stupid. I ask myself a lot of questions," she said, pointing out that she never looks at what others do, instead staying committed and working every day in her own Fendi world.

Silvia Venturini Fendi
Among some of her most popular creations has been the monster keyring - a fuzzy little critter that you'll see dangling joyfully from many a bag.

"I had been on a beautiful holiday in Brazil with one of my best friends," she explained of its inception - the colours inspired by the tropical birds she saw there. "We thought let's do something fun, we wanted something light. It's an anti-stress and it's like a little friend," she described, likening it to being a guardian of the handbag.

The Pradasphere Is Unveiled

The Pradasphere is finally open. This morning Harrods unveiled its eagerley-anticipated collaboration with Prada - an exhibition celebrating the history of the brand and the ideas of its founder Miuccia Prada.

"Welcome to the Pradasphere, a collection of remarkable objects arranged to reveal our complex, often intertwined, obsessions as manifest in everything from fashion and accessories to art, architecture, film and culture," a placard greeted us as we arrived for a first look at the space. "It is also an unabashed celebration of exquisite materiality and craftsmanship, a paean to the rare and the finely wrought, and a whole-hearted endorsement of the stylistic iconoclast."

Pradasphere at Harrods
Iconic dresses encased in glass displays, books that demand to be devoured and the most memorable pieces from the history of the brand - among many more unmissable objects - make up this unique emporium. Upon showing us around, a Harrods spokesperson introduced the exhibition as, "the recurrent cultural themes that are evident in Mrs Prada's work", describing it as, "a natural history museum of Prada". Our favourite kind of history.

Dolce and Gabbana To Appeal Latest Verdict

Following  yesterday's guilty verdict at the appeal for their ongoing tax evasion case,Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have vowed to once again appeal the decision at the Corte di Cassazione - Italy's supreme court.

The designers and their accountant, Luciano Patelli, were found guilty of tax evasion last June and were each sentenced to one year and eight months in prison. Yesterday's decision upheld the guilty verdict, although reduced the prison term by two months.

Dolce & Gabbana
"I am speechless and astounded, this sentence is inexplicable," Massimo Dinoia, Dolce and Gabbana's lawyer, said immediately after the hearing. "After all, the general prosecutor already realised that there was really nothing to the case. We will surely present our appeal to the Corte di Cassazione. This is an unfair verdict and we are sure the Cassazione will reform it."

According to Italian law, however, none of the defendants will have to serve jail time as their sentences are below the two-year minimum in Italy.

Inside The V&A's Wedding Dresses Exhibition

It may be entitled Wedding Dresses 1775-2014, but the Victoria & Albert's new exhibition charts so much more than just the all-important white dress.

Telling the story of the evolution of the bridal gown - from when white first became de rigueur to the increased media focus on high-profile nuptials - the exhibition is displayed across two floors, opening on the first with the oldest gowns from the late-18th century and then showcasing the last 50 years of fashion on the mezzanine level.

The chronology allows the exhibits to show how weddings have evolved - alongside many of the gowns are films or photographs of the bride who wore them and line drawings of the buildings in which the couples were married, fascinating details are peppered throughout on plaques, while there are also outfits worn by grooms, page boys and bridesmaids.

Curator Edwina Ehrman worked on the exhibition for five years, acquiring many new pieces for the museum's archive along the way and filling many of the gaps in its extensive collection of wedding fashion. In no particular order, she told us she was particularly thrilled to acquire pieces from Kate Moss and Jamie Hince, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, Dita Von Teese, Katie Shillingford and Mary Charteris - the final of which, designed by Pam Hogg, she describes as a "really key dress, it's quite interesting to see their collaborative take on the wedding dress".
Kate Moss & Jamie Hince´s Wedding Attire
"A good wedding dress should reflect the period in which it's worn," Ehrman told us - a sentiment that allows the exhibition to explore trends of the times, whether it be the drop-waists of the Twenties, the glamour of the Thirties or the growth of more innovative and unconventional outfits.

Wedding Dresses 1775-2014 runs from May 3 until March 15 2015.

The Kate Countdown

The wait for Kate  is very nearly over and to celebrate her latest collection for Topshop, the supermodel herself will be in store at the Oxford Street flagship this evening at 6pm and it will all be live-streamed.

Not only that, but from what we could see this morning as we made our way to work, the windows have been removed which means fans of Moss might get even closer to her than they hoped.
Kate Moss for Topshop
Following the launch the collection will be available to shop, until the doors close at 10pm.

What are you waiting for?

Gucci's Garden

Gucci will take part in the Chelsea Flower Show this May, by presenting a garden based on its signature Flora print.

The exhibit - which will be created by landscape and garden designer Sarah Eberle and will be displayed in the Fresh Garden area of the annual extravaganza - will mark the first time the brand has taken part in the horticultural event, and for creative director Frida Giannini  it has special significance.

"Flora was the very first iconic design motif from Gucci's storied past that I decided to revive and reinterpret," Giannini said. "Since then I have used it on bags, dresses, scarves and as the inspiration for a series of fragrances," she said.

Alongside the garden, various other Flora-themed activities will take place to celebrate the event, reports WWD, including the release of a limited-edition Lady Lock handbag range that will feature the traditional print, and artisan workshops in the label's Sloane Street store during the dates of the show.