Friday, June 27, 2014

Posen's New All-American Job

Zac Posen is the new creative director at America's oldest fashion brand, Brooks Brothers, where he will head up the label's womenswear collection.

"I am truly honoured and excited to be embarking on this incredible opportunity to take the Brooks Brothers women's brand into the future while respecting its deep, rich American heritage as an institutional company," said Posen of the appointment, which will see his first collection for the label debut for spring/summer 2016.

Zac Posen
"We are thrilled to have Zac join us as creative director of our women's Collection," Claudio Del Vecchio, chairman and CEO of Brooks Brothers, said. "As soon as we met, it was clear to us that he had a true understanding of our brand and its storied 196 year heritage as well as the creativity to modernize our offerings within the category."

There is currently no suggestion that Posen will leave his eponymous line, which will make him a very busy boy indeed. Thom Browne, meanwhile, will remain in control of Brooks Brothers Black Fleece collection.

Kate Moss T-Shirt Pulled

A t-shirt featuring Kate Moss´s controversial quote, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels", has been pulled from the shelves at Hudson's Bay Company. After receiving complaints on Twitter and other social media platforms, the Canadian retailer tweeted that the item of clothing would be "removed online and from stores immediately".

"We truly value our relationship with our customers and take their concerns seriously and we recognise that many took offence to the item," said a statement from the company. "In this particular instance, while we respect the designer's art, due to the overwhelming response and the sensitivity of the matter, we made the decision to promptly remove the T-shirts from our stores and from"

Kate´s Controverial Quote
Kate Moss made the statement during an interview with WWD in 2009, and caused immediate outrage in the national press with accusations that she was promoting eating disorders. The designer of the T-shirt, Christopher Lee Sauve, explained his reasons for creating the piece in a statement.

"Fashion is created to be either celebrated, adored, or hated and deplored, quite like the industry itself. The particular T-shirt in question showcases an infamous quote by supermodel Kate Moss as a nutrition label - most, if not all, of my designs showcase some type of statement pointing out the absurdity of fashion, and this one item is no exception," Sauve said. "I fully understand and comprehend the severity of an eating disorder and I do not condone celebrating such pain. My sincerest apologies to anyone that I have offended with my designs. I believe wholeheartedly in my work, however, and I can't apologise for that."

Cara For Topshop

Cara Delevingne is the new face of Topshop, and will take up her role later in the summer - although Topshop is not commenting on the hire as yet.

The supermodel will appear in the British brand's autumn/winter 2014 global campaign - becoming the first solo face to do so. Although no images are available as yet, the Vogue cover girl will front the company's advertising across print and outdoor, as well as appearing on its in-store graphics.

Delevingne - who is a two time Victoria´s Secret model - has fronted campaigns for British labels including Mulberry and Burberry, as well as international brands from DKNY to Yves Saint Laurent. Adding more strings to her modelling bow, Delevingne has also created a collection of bags for Mulberry, and has turned her hand to acting - starring in Anna Karenina, London Fields alongside Johnny Depp, and Michael Winterbottom´s The Face of an Angel.
Cara Delevingne
We can only hope that her design skills - honed at Mulberry and with a capsule collection for DKNY - will inspire Philip Green to enlist her to create a Kate Moss-style collection for the high-street brand. Cara Delevingne For Topshop... just imagine the queues.

Meet The New Face In Footwear

Following in the (if you'll pardon the pun) footsteps of designers including Sophia Webster and  Jimmy Choo, Kay Whitehouse became a student at London College of Fashion's Cordwainers with a view to launching her own label - and her latest accolade might just help her make a success of that business. As well as receiving vast technical knowledge from the college's professors and lecturers, Whitehouse has just added a placement within the Saks buying team to her forthcoming plans - meaning that her commercial awareness and financial nous will also be honed.

Kay Whitehouse
"It still hasn't sunk in that I will be going to NY," she said. "I am excited about it all, but I am especially looking forward to being in the centre of the footwear industry in the world's most vibrant city, seeing the development of the world's fashions at first hand and experiencing Saks's operations and in particular the buying activity. After university I hope to find a design position within the footwear industry. But my ultimate dream is to one day have my own footwear brand on the shelves of Saks."

With a collection conceived on the day that her parents told her that they planned to sell her childhood home, Whitehouse won over the judges with her modern-craft offering. Nostalgiac and playful, while still entirely wearable, the collection displayed not only her artistic vision and eventual skilled execution, but also her awareness of what women want.

"We saw an opportunity to be a part of the future of footwear," Elizabeth Kanfer, Saks' senior fashion director of accessories, said of the American store's involvement in the competition. "The collaboration with Cordwainers allows Saks Fifth Avenue to create a dialogue with emerging talent that will hopefully create a lasting relationship with the future designers in the industry. The winner of the design challenge is offered an internship in the buying office at Saks and this provides insight into how a business is run, which we have learned is invaluable for a new designer."

"Kay is a totally dedicated student whose passion for her subject shows in everything she does," Sue Saunders, Cordwainers course leader of the BA Hons in Footwear, told us. "As a designer she is never satisfied until she has worked out every tiny detail for every shoe. Her eye for line and colour is superb, while her individual style comes through in the handcrafted elements of her work. Through the real-world experience with Saks, Kay will learn how to balance her creativity with consumer needs and profitability; an invaluable lesson for a young person wishing to work in the fashion business."

Louis Vuitton Museum To Open

The long-awaited Foundation Louis Vuitton museum will open on October 26,LVMH boss Bernard Arnault has announced.

Situated on the outskirts of Paris, the new museum takes up a massive 126,000 sq ft in the Jardin d'Acclimatation, and houses 11 galleries containing the corporate art collection of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. In addition, it will also play home to special commissioned exhibitions, as well as one-off performances and events in its capacious auditorium.
Louis Vuitton Museum
"This is a small payback to the public, and to our employees," Arnault told French television station TF1, reports WWD, describing the art that would be on display as "a pretty eclectic mix".

Jean-Paul Claverie, Arnault's advisor and manager of LVMH's philanthropic activities, said: "It will express the artistic, cultural and emotional values, as well as the art of living, promoted by Bernard Arnault and the LVMH group, but it is truly a charitable foundation, devoted to the public as a whole."

The first exhibition on display will focus on the development of the new space, which was designed by architect Frank Gehry, and will run until Jan 5th.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Anna Wintour´s Harsh Advice

Anna Wintour has some harsh advice for fashion students. Namely, all of you need to stop dreaming about setting up your own line and get a job already

Anna Wintour descended from the lofty floors of Condé Nast to dispense some “off-the-record” advice to aspiring designers and students at Central Saint Martins earlier this month. Alongside the newly appointed International Editor, Suzy Menkes, the American Vogue editor imparted some tough-love advice on how to make it in fashion to an audience that included CSM students and past graduates and designers like Simone Rocha.
Ana Wintour
Given that Wintour has guided Alexander Wang, Rodarte and Proenza Schouler and a long list of others to success over her 25-year tenure at Vogue, following her advice might give you a good chance of following suit. Here’s what we learned:

Starting Your Own Line Does Not Guarantee Success
"I do think there is a tradition in England, that you can do anything with nothing,” Wintour noted. “The only thing I worry a little bit about, going straight from school to starting your own business, is not that many succeed… I personally would advise you to think carefully before you start your own business, and consider possibly working for a designer or a company whose work you admire.” Or, as Simone Rocha added from the audience: “It’s not just about one road.”

For God´s Sake Find Some Gainful Employment

“Go get a job,” Wintour stated in no uncertain terms. “Whether it’s working as a designer or working in a restaurant and then doing your own thing in your own time, it’s a reality of life. In the end it’s going to be helpful to you and so many others.” And once you’ve established your brand, don’t sniff at mid-season collections. “The basic truth of the matter is that 80% of what sells in the stores are the mid-season collections: resort and pre-fall. So when you’re ready, don’t ignore it, because it’s going to be something that will help you pay the bills.”

Don´t Fork Out Thousands On A Runway Show

"Please listen to me when I say: an interesting creative presentation is just as effective as a fashion show," Wintour pleaded. "I see people who are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for fashion shows, which I simply don’t think is necessary. A presentation gives us all an opportunity to meet you, rather than to go and sit in some dark room somewhere and wait for you to start, then (have) no time to say ‘hello’, and rush off to the next one." Considering fashion students are already lumped with over £50,000 worth of student debt, it's good to know you don't need to take out a loan the size of a small country's GDP to put on your graduate show.

Don´t Be Shy

Wintour might rarely appear without her trademark sunglasses and scarper as soon as a show finishes, but wannabe designers need to put themselves out there as much as possible. “We started a fashion fund back in 2001 after 9/11 to support young designers in the States (and) what we’ve done recently is that when they have an application form we also ask for a video," Wintour said. "How they present themselves publicly is important. In today’s world you have to interact. You can’t be some difficult, shy person who is not able to look somebody in the face; you have to present yourself. You have to know how to talk about your vision, your focus and what you believe in.”

But Don´t Be An Instagram Exhibitionist
Wintour may have been the first to put a hashtag on the front cover of Vogue (shoutout to #worldsmosttalkedaboutcouple), but she was quick to advise against equating Instagram likes and Twitter follows with sustainable success. “It’s possible in today’s world to be instantly famous, whether it’s through Instagram or whatever platform it may be, but it’s a very different matter to be successful financially and in the long-term,” she noted.

Buddy Up For The Sake Of Business
“It’s unusual, in my experience, for a creative designer to also be good at understanding facts and figures,” Wintour observed. “It’s important to have someone to talk to and discuss everything with and bounce ideas off. I have not seen too many successful designers who’ve managed alone, without their business partner.” After all, it’s worked for Alexander Wang and his brother, Dennis; Marc Jacobs and Robert Duffy, and Christopher Kane and his sister, Tammy.

Watch Anna Wintour in The September Issue below: 

The End of the Hipster: How Flat Caps and Beards Stopped Being so Cool

Meet Josh. Josh is a 30-year-old artist/chef who lives in a converted warehouse in Hackney, east  London. Josh has a beard, glasses and cares about the provenance of his coffee. He pays his tax, doesn't have a 9-to-5 job and, along with his five polymathic flatmates, shuns public transport, preferring to ride a bike.

Josh: Hipster
On paper, Josh is the archetypal hipster – just don't call him one: "I don't hate the word hipster, and I don't hate hipsters, but being a hipster doesn't mean anything any more. So God forbid anyone calls me one."

At some point in the last few years, the hipster changed. Or at least its definition did. What was once an umbrella term for a counter-culture tribe of young creative types in (mostly) New York´s Williamsburg and London's Hackney morphed into a pejorative term for people who looked, lived and acted a certain way. The Urban Dictionary defines hipsters as "a subculture of men and women, typically in their 20s and 30s, that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics". In reality, the word is now tantamount to an insult.

How to Identify a Hipster
So what happened? Chris Sanderson, futurologist and co-founder of trend forecasting agency The Future Laboratory, thinks it's simple: "The hipster died the minute we called him a hipster. The word no longer had the same meaning."

Fuelling this was a report last month from researchers at the University of New South Wales who discovered that the hipster look was no longer ´hip´. In short: the more commonplace a trend – in one instance, beards – the less attractive they are perceived to be. And in 2014 we may have reached "peak beard". Could it be that the flat-white-drinking, flat-cap-wearing hipster will soon cease to exist?

Sanderson thinks it's more a case of evolving than dying. Talking to the Observer last week, he suggested there are now two types of hipster: "Contemporary hipsters – the ones with the beards we love to hate – and proto-hipsters, the real deal." And herein lies the confusion.

"Historically, proto-hipsters have been connoisseurs – people who deviate from the norm. Like hippies. Over the years, though, they inspired a new generation of young urban types who turned the notion of a hipster into a grossly commercial parody. These new hipsters want to appear a certain way, to be seen to be doing certain things, but without doing the research. So they appropriated the lifestyle and mindset of a proto-hipster."

It's a definition neatly summarised in the song Sunday by Los Angeles rapper Earl Sweatshirt."You're just not passionate about half the shit that you're into."

The problem is that it is now almost impossible to differentiate between the two. "Hipsters are more interested in following; proto-hipsters are more interested in leading. Yet they look the same, so how are people to know the difference?"

Sustainable Hipster Transportation
This lack of visual disparity has probably led to society's fondness for hipster-bashing. As Alex Miller, UK editor-in-chief of Vice, explains: "I couldn't define a hipster. I guess it's 'The Other'. But as a general term it's blown up because people finally realised they had a word to mock something cool and young which they didn't understand."

It's an age-old scenario. In Distinction, his 1979 report on the social logic of taste, French academic Pierre Bourdieu wrote that "social identity lies in difference, and difference is asserted against what is closest, which represents the greatest threat". So our inability to define a hipster merely fuels the enigma.

"And as you can imagine, this is greatly exasperating to proto-hipsters," says Sanderson.

It hasn't always been like this. While the definition of hipster hasn't altered vastly over the years, there was a time when it was considered to be something both meaningful and specific.

The word was coined in the 1940s to define someone who rejected societal norms – such as middle-class white people who listened to jazz. Then came a reactive literary subculture, realised through the work of beatniks such as Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs. It was Norman Mailer who attempted to define hipsters in his essay The White Negro as postwar American white generation of rebels, disillusioned by war, who chose to "divorce oneself from society, to exist without roots, to set out on that uncharted journey into the rebellious imperatives of the self".

A decade later, we had the counter-culture movement – hippies who carried their torch in a fairly self-explanatory  fashion divorced from the mainstream. The word mostly vanished until the 1990s, when it was redefined so as to describe middle-class youths with an interest in "the alternative".

In the "noughties", hipsters became the stuff of parody, via Chris Morris and Charlie Brooker's satire Nathan Barley, which earmarked the "twats of Shoreditch". Nowadays, though, anyone can appear to be a hipster provided they buy the right jeans. From the twee adverts featuring hipster-style couples to the cocktails served in jam jars at the trendy incomer bar the Albert in EastEnders, "the idea of the hipster has been swallowed up by the mainstream", says Sanderson.

Luke O'Neil, a Boston-based culture writer for the online magazine Slate,says it is the same in the US. "I've even noticed what I call the meta-hipster: a person who sidesteps the traditional requirements and just wants to skip ahead to the status. Like putting on glasses and getting a tattoo somehow makes you a hipster," he says.

But while Miller agrees that hipster has morphed into a negative term, it is less about the word and more about what it represents: "Growing up, we just used other words – 'scenester' at university, 'trendies' at school – and they mean the same. Hipster has simply become a word which means the opposite of authentic."

Not everyone agrees. At Hoxton Bar and Grill in east London, 24-year-old graduate Milly identifies with hipsters: "I mean, that's why we all live in east London. It just feels so real, like something creative and cool is happening."

Manny, a 28-year-old singer who has lived in Dalston for more than five years, likes the sense of community: "Young people haven't got jobs or work and they need it. It's like a tribe, like goths. I hope hipsters aren't dead, because I just signed a year lease on my flat."

Miller adds: "We've never written about hipsters as a subculture at Vicebecause I don't think hipsters are a subculture. However, I do appreciate that people like the idea of belonging to something, so I suppose on that level the idea exists." As O'Neil explains: "Whoever said [hipsters] wanted to be unique? I think it's more about wanting to belong."

So what next? "I think hipsters will have an overhaul. There will be a downturn in this skinny-jean, long-haired feminised look over the next few years owing to the rise of the stronger female role model," says Chris Sanderson." And in its place? "A more macho look, almost to the point of caricature, in a bid for men to reinforce their identity."

Only Artisan Coffee for the Hipsters
Perhaps this explains the phenomenon of "normcore", a term coined by New York trend agency K-Hole in their Youth Mode report last autumn. Though widely derided by the fashion world, this plain, super-normal style is arguably a reaction to the commodification of individuality, the idea that you can buy uniqueness off the peg in Topshop. "Normcore doesn't want the freedom to become someone," they say. "Normcore moves away from a coolness that relies on difference to a post-authenticity that opts into sameness."

It sounds like a joke but, says Sanderson, it might actually might be a thing: "It's the opposite of what people think is hip now, but it's also very masculine – which ties in to the return to blokeiness."

But for many, including Josh, the desire to categorise people is infuriating. Arvida Byström is a Swedish-born, London-based artist, photographer and model. Though sometimes identified as a hipster aesthetically speaking, her work, which focuses on sexuality, self-identity and contemporary feminism, would suggest she is much more than that. Sanderson would describe her as "someone who leads not follows".

She balks at the idea of being a hipster: "I haven't been aware of people calling me a hipster. I certainly don't identify as one. What is a hipster, anyway? It is such a general term. I don't even know if they exist any more."

But as Josh says: "I don't see why you can't just be a guy in east London liking the stuff that's around without being branded as something."

TNT Stages Fashion Show With Gas Masks in NYC

Matters of survival: However otherworldly, TNT staged a gas mask-laden fashion show and art installation Thursday at the DIA in West Chelsea as a precursor to Sunday’s debut of its post-apocalyptic drama “The Last Ship.” Even the show’s leading man Eric Dane was floored by the likelihood of it all. “I never thought that starring in ‘The Last Ship’ would lead to gas mask fashion,” the actor better known for his “McSteamy” role on “Grey’s Anatomy” told the crowd before the lights faded to black.

Models hen hit the runway in Irene Luft-designed garments and serious gas masks designed by an assortment of  designers and artists. Various screens around the gallery flashed  video footage that was a cross between sci-fi and artistic. While Luft had jetted in from Munich for the show, Dane and his costar Rhona Mitra winged it from Los Angeles to plug their Michael Bay-produced show. As for any real-life end-of-the-word experiences, Dane told, “We had an earthquake a few weeks ago in Los Angles and now that I have children that felt apocalyptic.”

Having lived in Manhattan for a stretch including when his wife Rebecca Gayheart was on Broadway, the actor said, “I love the city. It’s alive. I dig that. but I can only handle it in short spurts. I love to drive so I really miss my car when I’m here for a long time. I like getting out and driving.”

Dane dressed for Thursday’s Armageddon-inspired event in a black motorcycle jacket and black jeans, and Mitra did him one better, wearing a futuristic, perforated printed dress. Her choice was not a label driven one. “I don’t know whose dress it is. Actually I wore it on a shoot the other day and I literally grabbed it on my way out of town. I thought it was perfect with the weather and everything,” she said. “I probably shouldn’t say who the shoot was for because I probably shouldn’t be wearing it tonight.”

Another type of decision is approaching,  whether to attend a party at her friend Alice Temperley’s before Comic-Con. “It’s difficult to wean yourself away from those parties. They’re so lovely. All my best friends are there and my brothers are there so you really want to stay there. To extract yourself and come back to the circus is sometimes a difficult thing.”

Monday, June 23, 2014

Spanish Influence of Sicily in Dolce&Gabbana Spring/Summer 2015 Menswear

From the Fall/Winter 2014/2015 menswear collection that was inspired by the Norman Kings who once conquered the south of the Italian peninsula as well as Sicily, Dolce & Gabbana looked to the Spanish period of the island's history, specifically the 16th to early 18th Century period from 1576 to 1713 for its Spring/Summer 2015 collection.

It was during that time that Sicily ruled by the Spanish Kings saw an economic boom, and the evolution and adoption of an architectural and cultural style that would be known as Sicilian Baroque.

'The Sicilian Baroque style came to fruition during a major surge of rebuilding following the massive earthquake in 1693. It is recognizable not only by its typical Baroque curves and flourishes, but also by its grinning masks and putti and a particular flamboyance that has given Sicily a unique architectural identity.'

And thus it was on first day of Men's Fashion Week in Milan on 21st June that the Italian label unveiled what would be a fashion cauldron of prints and passionate reds - a melting pot as Spanish meets Sicilian.

The designs that were showcased contained elements that brought the archives back to life, celebrating what was then the wealthy and often extravagant aristocracy that governed the lands and their favourite sport-of-the-day, Bullfighting.

In addition, the Spanish dance of Paso Doble with all its extravagance also contributed to the narrative, with majolica, torero-inspired outfits, passionate red suits, and flamenco style polka dots on full display.

The sportswear section was loud and unabashed, harking back to Corrida (Spanish for bullfighting) where the toreros, the gladiators of the Iberian peninsula, took to the stage greeted by fans and blood-red finales.

Materials featured ranged from terry cloth cotton to Mikado and even double-duchess silk, a fabric that has featured prominently in the Italian label's couture creations - the Alta Moda Collections.

Passementerie with its elaborate trimmings of embroidery adorned single-breasted tailored jackets, scooped waist coats, shirts with extravagant collars, calf-length tapered trousers emphasised the silhouette of the male physique - highly appropriate for men who dare take on the persona of the modern-day matador.

Prints saw the new addition of the bull motif - the symbol of Spain - as well as majolicas often seen in the Italian house's collections.

It would be at the hands of the Italian masters that are Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana that we are able to go back in time, and appreciate the amalgamation of the two rich Mediterranean cultures updated today for the fashion forward.

Sicily of Spanish Future Past? Olé, Olé, Olé!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Dolce&Gabbana Womens FW 2014-15: Advertising Campaign With Claudia Schiffer

German supermodel Claudia Schiffer fronts an eminent cast of fairies and medieval princesses in an enchanted forest for her star reprisal in Dolce & Gabbana's ad campaign for Fall 2014 season. She stars alongside a cast that includes Bianca Balti, Nastya Kusakina, Kate Bogucharskaia, Evandro Soldati, and Noah Mills.

Photographed by none other than Domenico Dolce, the models in flowing dresses resemble little red riding hoods in fur and female knights in bejewelled chainmail all fit aptly into the theme of "Enchanted Sicily" - the inspiration for the collection.

Claudia stars as the queen of the fairies. Here she is characterised as a modern Titania who fluctuates from dreamy chiffon dresses to Dolce&Gabbana classics. The very real yet ephemeral beauty of Claudia is mesmerizing even 20 years on.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The LCF BA Show

London College of Fashion brought graduate season to a close last night as it showcased the collections of its 26 best BA students across the disciplines of menswear, womenswear, fashion textiles, fashion contour and accessories.

The theme of the evening was collaboration when it came to the winning collections: Victoria Smith (womenswear) and Hae-Na Kim (textiles) for best overall collection; and Sofia Ilomen and Jinhee Moon (womenswear) and Mengna Ye (millinery) for best use of colour and textiles.

Smith and Kim went light, bright and colourful in a collection of billowy and ballooning shirts and dresses in shocking shots of cerise and blue, while Ilomen and co gave us Seventies-style Little Bo Peeps, all glittered up in a patchwork of frills and floppy hats.

London College Of Fashion
And if collections weren't shiny and spangly, they were trailing - ribbons, ropes, twisted and distressed denims or frayed fabrics sprawling. Or they came in a state of undress - coats designed to fall off shoulders and slink into another beneath, dresses and tailoring perching on and then unravelling around the body.

Menswear, as we have been seeing across all graduate collections this year, was especially strong: Xunfeng Shan gave us an elegant slant on utility combining ruched chiffon and strapping while Carl Jan Cruz opted for a softer take on skater styles with frayed and stiff denims and tunics styled with dainty scarves.

Cindy Spills Her Secrets

Cindy Crawford is sharing the secrets of her success in a new book, tabled for release in autumn 2015. Published by Rizzoli, the book won't rest only on the thousands of beautiful images of Crawford that have been taken through the years.

"It's not just a coffee-table book with images, although that will be part of it," the supermodel revealed. "It's not a biography. It's sort of a hybrid book. It'll come out in the fall before I turn 50, so it's kind of a way to celebrate turning 50 as opposed to dreading it."

Cindy Crawford
Since her days as one of the world's highest-paid supermodels, Crawford has put her name to several new projects - including her skincare line, Meaningful Beauty.

"Beauty changes as I get older," she told  WWD. "I've always found that beauty and confidence are synonymous. If you feel confident, that's what people see. I always tell people to fake it until they make it."

Louis Vuitton's World Cup Case

It seems that everyone is partial to a spot of  World Cup fever - including Louis Vuitton. The brand has revealed that its monogrammed case, commisioned by FIFA and especially designed to carry the solid-gold World Cup trophy, will make its second appearance at this year's hotly anticipated final.

The case, which was first designed for the 2010 World Cup held in South Africa, was hand-crafted in Louis Vuitton's famous Asnières workshop and has all of the brand's signature detailing, including brass locks, monogrammed LV canvas and hardware corners.

Louis Vuitton
But it's not the first time that the brand has been associated with a major sporting event. It also made the trunk that holds the world's oldest trophy, America's Cup, which dates back to 1851.

David Gandy's Underwear Designs

After years of modelling them on catwalks from Milan to Paris, David Gandy has designed his own underwear collection, exclusively for Marks & Spencer. The capsule collection, entitled David Gandy for Autograph (M&S's premium department), comprises 28 items ranging from boxers and briefs to sleepwear.

"Partnering with a great British brand like M&S felt the perfect fit right now," Gandy told us. "We've been working closely for a few years, so it felt like a natural progression to collaborate with them on my own range."

Making the jump from model to designer is no easy transition, but it is one that Gandy found easy to make.

"I've genuinely enjoyed every part of the process and feel proud of the results," he said. "I wanted to combine quality of fabrics, good design and fit, and an element of style with each piece to form the basic essentials for the range."

David Gandy
The model hasn't abandoned being in front of the camera completely though. Fans will be pleased to hear that he will be donning his designs for the accompanying campaign ("I still enjoy modelling, and that has given me various opportunities to explore other things too - it will always be at the heart of whatever I do.")

Gandy - who is currently the face of the M&S Collection Menswear label - follows in the footsteps of Rosie Huntington-Whitley, who first modelled for the department store before creating her own range of women's lingerie, Rosie for Autograph. It went on to become the fastest selling underwear range in the store´s history, and if Gandy's own collection proves to be as popular, he's game to continue.

"I have to be honest, from sketching designs, choosing the fabrics, adding personal touches and even down to the packaging, I've been really involved and thoroughly enjoyed it," he revealed. "I'd love to do more if the opportunity came along."

David Gandy for Autograph will launches in London on September 18, after which it will be available in stores worldwide and online.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

London Collections: Men S/S´15 J.W. Anderson

J.W. Anderson is London's odd man out, a designer of clothes whose enduring peculiarity has made him fascinating and frustrating in equal parts. And he's never much helped matters with his own neurasthenic rationales. But the directness, theaccessibility of Anderson's new menswear collection suggested a breakthrough rather than a breakdown. True, he claimed "the personality of the bourgeois woman" as an inspiration, and the pink-carpeted setting of his show was, he said, intended to convey the atmosphere of "a shoe salon" where such a woman might spend time. 

Scarcely a promising scenario for a collection of mens-wear, but gender blurring has always been an Anderson trait, and here it yielded clothes whose softness and languor were—what else?—oddly appealing, especially in the bias-cut tops that slipped off the shoulder or the hip into loose scarf-ties. "Sleepy eroticism" was the impression he wanted to convey. He succeeded, with some help from Michel Gaubert's skittering, jazz-inflected soundtrack. 



Anderson also talked about "perverting classic men's shapes." Coats became fluid coatdresses. Jackets were slashed open at the back. A cabled cardigan was cropped and zippered, its neckline scooped dangerously low. Yet there were also pieces that were as straightforward as anything Anderson has ever made. Striped polos with matching pants, for example, or tank tops, or a finale that might as well have been his version of baseball shirts. And the show opened with cap-sleeve tops patterned after the work of octogenarian carpet designer John Allen, which were items of bucolic loveliness.

True to character, Anderson felt compelled to point out the dropped pockets, which made the models stretch their arms. "A bit creepy," he mused. "It feels normal, but it's not." It seems he just prefers things twisted, though this collection proved his personal preference needn't get in the way of our desire. Besides, normality is an overrated concept.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Olivier Theyskens Exiting Theory

Olivier Theyskens announced today that he is leaving Theory. Theyskens has been with the brand since 2010, when he designed a hit capsule collection, Theyskens' Theory. This past February, Theyskens showed his first Theory runway show after Theyskens Theory was discontinued. The Belgian-born designer made headlines when he first joined the company, bringing his dramatic, moody aesthetic to the minimalist, tailored, contemporary sportswear brand.
Olivier Theyskens
“I am grateful for Olivier’s extraordinary contribution to Theory over the past three and a half years, and I am particularly excited to see what he does next. While he has already accomplished so much, I am confident in the power of his artistic skill and believe his future will be very bright,” Andrew Rosen, chief executive officer of Theory, told WWD.

Theyskens said, “It has been an amazing opportunity to work with Andrew and to benefit from his knowledge in this dynamic segment of fashion. I will always cherish our friendship.”

Theyskens: A New Direction
According to WWD, Theyskens plans to pursue other design projects. Pre-spring 2015 will be his final collection for Theory.

Theyskens came to Theory from Nina Ricci, where he was artistic director for two years. Previously he helmed Rochas for four years as creative director, a post he took after designing his own namesake collection.

Victoria Beckham's Fall Collection Gets The Artistic Treatment

In February, designer Victoria Beckham showed her  eponymous fall 2014 collection —full of sleek, feminine pieces—to a crowd of admiring fans, including her family.The designer chose not to show her diffusion line, Victoria Victoria Beckham, on the runway this season, however, opting instead to go a more artistic route.

Shot by contemporary art photographer Todd Hido, the collection—comprised of colorblocked tunics, lady-like shifts, and youthful, bug-print dresses—is shown in a moody, dramatic light. With the emphasis on texture this season, from the intricate embroidery and sparkly lamé to the delicate glass beading and rich, velvet fabric, Beckham chose to debut her collection, not with a traditional look book, but with a video that would highlight the detailed garments and bring the clothes to life:

"The idea of telling a story and using different characters enabled us to work together to create something different from the usual Look Book format both in photography and film," Beckham said of the collaboration.

Victoria Beckham
Enjoy the short film shot by Hido and check out the Victoria, Victoria Beckham fall 2014 collection, now available for pre-order, on

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Dame Angelina

Angelina Jolie has been made an honorary Dame in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in recognition of her tireless campaigning against sexual violence in war zones.

"To receive an honour related to foreign policy means a great deal to me as it is what I wish to dedicate my working life to," Jolie said. "Working on the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative and with survivors of rape is an honour in itself. I know that succeeding in our goals will take a lifetime and I am dedicated to it for all of mine."

Angelina Jolie
As Jolie is an American citizen, she cannot be officially addressed as a Dame, so will receive the award from Buckingham Palace on an honorary basis, reports the BBC.The announcement comes after a week of campaigning in London for the actress, who co-hosted the End Sexual Violence in Conflict Summit with foreign secretary William Hague.

Other public figures honoured in the list include fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, who will also be made a Dame; actor Daniel Day Lewis, who received a Knighthood; Dame Maggie Smith, who will join the Companions of Honour; and cancer fundraiser Stephen Sutton, who has been made an MBE, following his death last month.

John Galliano Opens Up

John Galliano has opened up toFrench psychiatrist Boris Cyrulnik about the anti-Semitic comments that he was recorded saying in a Paris café in 2011, which led to his dismissal from Dior.

"What happened in the Parisian café, La Perle, was a defence mechanism," he told Cyrulnik, in the interview for French publication Le Point. "I repeated a pattern that I had known as a teenager and I was in an explosive mix of drugs and alcohol. February 24, 2011, I was no longer myself. I said the most terrible, the most unbearable, the most horrible thing."

When asked if he felt he had been punished too much for his actions Galliano said: "I've lost, but I also gained a lot. I'm a creative person, and no one can take that away from me. I've been told I committed professional suicide because it was the only escape from the terrible pressures I was facing", reports  WWD.

John Galliano
The interview is the most revealing since Galliano's 2013 televised interview with Charlie Rose, in which the fashion designer said he hoped that he would be given a second chance.

After stints at  Oscar de la Renta, and various collaborative projects including one with Stephen Fry (designing the stage costumes for the playwright's forthcoming production) and one with British Vogue ( working as a guest fashion editor on a fantastical shoot with muse and friend kate Moss), it was announced in May that Galliano would be making a move to beauty, working as a consultant on beauty projects with Russian company LÉtoile.

Stella McCartney For War Child

Stella McCartney  has joined forces with War Child to launch Draw Me To Safety, an international art project that has been designed to raise awareness of how children that are most affected by war see the world, while at the same time offering cognitive support to the most vulnerable.

The project will ask young people, aged between eight and 15 in the UK and in conflict-affected countries, to create artwork based on the question: What makes you feel safe? McCartney will then create a fashion item based on the finished pieces, the profits from which will go directly to War Child.

"This project is about young people standing with children affected by conflict," McCartney said. "Children see the world with clarity and honesty. War Child UK and I are excited to share their insights through art that will raise awareness and encourage the world to do more to protect children from war."

"There are children across the world who don't know what safety means because all they have ever seen is conflict," Rob Williams, chief executive of War Child UK said. "Draw Me to Safety is about the power of children's voices to talk directly to the world."

The collaboration was announced at yesterday's Global Summit To End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London, which was hosted by Angelina Jolie and William Hague.

Stella McCartney & Angelina Jolie
"These are moving examples of how children who have lost so much see the world," said Jolie. "I hope that this campaign will bring their world closer to us all, and that many people will feel inspired to help protect vulnerable children living in conflict zones."

Cara Delevingne Turns Designer For DKNY

Cara Delevingne has added yet another string to her already impressive bow by designing a capsule collection for  DKNY.Adding to a CV which includes her burgeoning acting career and her collaboration with Mulberry,  alongside her two Vogue covers (and one for Miss Vogue), multiple campaigns and extensive catwalk history, Delevingne shared the news on her Instagram account last night, saying: "Get Ready!!! It's Coming... #Cara4DKNY", alongside a picture of what appears to be the official logo for the collection.

Cara Delevingne
The news was quickly confirmed by the brand, who revealed that the 15-piece collection is "mostly unisex" and includes beanies, T-shirts and a leather motorcycle jacket with removable sleeves, all featuring details with "a special meaning to Cara". Delevingne has featured in multiple DKNY campaigns, including those for the spring/summer 2014 collection.

Additionally, budding models will have the opportunity to get involved in the collaboration, with Delevingne also announcing that she will help to cast two or three fans to join her in the campaign for the collection. The model called upon her Instagram followers to "post a pic of yourself looking fresh to your Instagram and tag #CaraD4DKNY and #CaraWantsYou between now and 16 June" for the opportunity to join her in New York for the shoot.

The collection will be available in stores and online at the end of October, with prices starting at $70 for accessories (about £41.50).

Monday, June 9, 2014

Biker Beckham

David Beckham has been a fixture on the fashion front for some time, but his collaboration with Belstaff - for which the former footballer has designed a capsule collection - will cement his fashion designer status once and for all when it launches tomorrow.

"Deciding to work with Belstaff was the easiest decision to make, as I already have a few vintage Belstaff classic jackets in my wardrobe. That, coupled with the fact I'm a biker, made it a perfect fit," Beckham said. "My moto capsule collection is a reflection of what I wear day to day when I'm biking or relaxing."

David Beckham for Belstaff
So what can we expect from the 10-piece range? "I buy a lot of vintage pieces and my collection reflects that feel," he told WWD. "It all fits together and I wear every item in it."

Bondage-Inspired Bordelle Gets In The Swim

Designer Alex Popa of Bordelle made her name creating intricate, often eye wateringly expensive demi-couture bondage-inspired lingerie - so her next move may surprise some: swimwear. Although the categories have unarguable similarities, it is the differences that really challenged the London-based entrepreneur.

"In terms of construction, swimwear is not as complex as the science that goes into making a structured underwire bra," she explained, "however I found it surprisingly difficult to simplify a complex and detailed design concept. Sometimes simplicity is the hardest to achieve, and swimwear cannot be too overbearing to allow for maximum tanning. Bordelle's swimwear plays with the signature idea of strapping and the allure of harnesses on top of the swimwear, as opposed to the obvious and abundant styles out there that heavily focus on cut-outs. Not that I am one for practicality! But who would want to be tattooed by the sun after a day on the beach or lounging by the pool?"

Although it's more difficult for Popa to spot her lingerie fans than a ready-to-wear designer, who may encounter their creations as they walk down the street, Bordelle lingerie has been spotted on Beyonce in music videos and social media posts.

"Bordelle lingerie is very popular with artists and I love that the real creatives, famous or not, have identified and supported our niche," she added. "It's obviously impossible to spot anyone in the underwear, so with the swimwear I am excited by the fact that I can finally get to see our product being worn! I would love to see Gwen Stefani in a piece."

Suki The Fashion Designer

Italian trainer brand  Superga has tapped  Suki Waterhouse  to not only model its wares, but design them too.

The new string to Waterhouse's bow comes hot-off-the heels of the announcement earlier this week that she is slated to star in the forthcoming Hollywood blockbuster Insurgent.We asked the Burberry campaign star how she channelled her inner Christopher Bailey for the project.

"I spent a lot of time putting paper over my laptop screen and tracing things for inspiration, that bit was tricky," she told us. "I was in Paris over that time, so ideas came from shop windows and my experience there. It was a really interesting process, I learnt a lot."

Suki Waterhouse
Comprising three styles in the brand's popular flatform style, she described the collection as "happy little hearts," and when pressed to see if she has any more forays into designing world, she divulged: "I loved doing it, so let's see what happens next."

So, what has she taken away from the project? "A new enthusiasm for a moodboard."

Look forward to late August when they launch.