Saturday, September 27, 2014

Anderson’s Winds Of Change Blow Loewe

JW Anderson hosted his first catwalk show as creative director of Loewe this morning - unveiling the changes that he has long envisioned in the Spanish heritage house: brighter, lighter and more daytime was the promise.

"When I think of Spain, I think of being on a beach," he said. "It's not serious, if you know what I mean? Because I don't think Spanish culture is serious in that way. It is not heavy… I think Loewe had become heavy, and I wanted it to be lightened up. I wanted it to feel fresher, sharper."

The New Loewe
Lighter and more colourful it was, but the changes don't stop there. Apparel - which the brand seemingly restated its interest in by ready to wear designer Anderson´s very hiring, replacing former Mulberry helmer and undusputed bag enthusiast Stuart Vevers - will receive a renewed focus, Anderson admits, which is not to say the brand's devoted bag lovers will be disappointed.

"Fundamentally, ready-to-wear is the character. If you do not believe in the character, you do not buy the bag - I 100 per cent believe in that," he said. "You have to want to be that woman. It has to have global appeal, but it doesn't have to have mass appeal… When this brand started, they did not set out to make vintage bags. They went out to make modern bags. So, there always has to be the modernity, no matter what decade you're in."

Far from being a young creative voice only, Anderson is revelling in the business demands of growing and evolving a world-famous house.

JW Anderson
"I do fundamentally want to quadruple this brand," he told WWD of Loewe, clarifying that it's a personal mission and not a target set by LVMH. "I look at sales every morning. If I'm in an airport, I'm at the store. If I'm in Paris, I'm in the store. You have to do that… I want to know what is selling, in what quantity, to whom, and why did they buy it?"

Is Carven's Wonderboy Going To Ricci?

Is Carven creative director Guillaume Henry set to take the helm at Nina Ricci? Following murmurs last week that Ricci helmer Peter Copping is headed to Oscar de la Renta the rumour mill has been searching for a possible successor - and it seems that Henry could be it.

Ricci said to have met with several young talents - including, reportedly, with rising Brit star Simone Rocha - but Henry's pedigree of transforming a sleeping French giant may prove too alluring. Copping's gentle revolution at the house, which he took creative control of in 2009, returned to the brand's signature feminine aesthetic following his predeccessor Olivier Theyskens's more dramatic interpretation. For his part, Henry has said before that he has no desire to plumb the archive of a heritage brand - and could certainly be relied upon to inject his own brand of modernity into the house.

Guillaume Henry
Henry burst on to the fashion scene almost five years ago as the first designer at relaunched former couture house Carven. Compared to Yves Saint Laurent, and lauded for producing collections that were both critcally acclaimed and commercially successful, he became one of French fashion's new darlings.

Ralph Toledano, president of the fashion division at Puig, Ricci's parent, had no urge to comment on the speculation while at the brand's show yesterday, stating simply: "We don't comment on rumours," while Henry himself swatted  WWD´squestions on the matter with a frank: "We are at Carven, and it's important."

Carven, Ricci, De la Renta and Henry have all, as yet, remained quiet.

From Herrera To Karan?

While  fashion departure causes ripples, jumping ship to helm a competitor can make waves: but it seems Caroline Brown is far from squeamish.

After four years as Carolina Herrera president, Brown revealed that she was stepping down just yesterday, but is today already being linked with a top job with one of New York's other grande dames: Donna Karan. Although the move has not yet been confirmed, WWD reports that Brown is set to assume the role of CEO.

Caroline Brown
LVMH - which owns Karan - has been searching for an executive to succeed Mark Weber, who took the role in 2006, for some time. Pierre-Yves Roussel, chairman and CEO of LVMH Fashion Group, is said to be spearheading a new strategy for the New York label and will continue oversee the brand, as he does Marc Jacobs International, where he serves as chairman.

Brown helped the Herrera label achieve four consecutive years of growth during her tenure, and expanded the company in numerous directions, including digital and distribution. She will leave her current role at the end of the year.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dolce & Gabbana Say Ole!

"Latin, gorgeous, sexy - they stay true to themselves," said ageless, iconic supermodel Linda Evangelista, as the last shorts-wearing torero, with flowers in her hair and a symbolic gilded heart on her chest, marched off the runway into the arms of  Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana.

Dolce & Gabbana
What a love fest of the Latina spirit the duo put on to close the Milan Summer 2015 season! Everything from columns of black lace to corsets to bullfighter jackets added up to a sultry Carmen look, all accompanied ­by soaring operatic music.

"Amore!" "Love!" said Domenico backstage, as he fixed a barely-there skinny stretch of a black dress, and arranged another more romantic design smothered in carnations.

"Heart!" said Stefano, offering his word for a collection where sacred hearts were worn on the breast and in clusters across short dresses. Even more Spanish in spirit were ruffled polka-dot dresses with the D&G signature black brassiere on top.

The Spanish Influence For This Season
The duo knows just how to add another layer to their heritage pieces, and to update their Mediterranean spirit. This season, they channelled the Spanish influence on southern Italy and Sicily which goes back centuries.

But this show was no costume party. Even denim had a place: jeans encrusted with sparkle, but with a more sensual and modern cut than you would find on a rhinestone cowboy.

The game was one of memories of the past melding with the present: black widows with chiffon-covered hair but also with blood-red lacy, racy miniskirts. Or a noble operatic cape in scarlet brocade, like curtains at La Scala, were set against a skinny black pantsuit with a frilly white shirt.

The clothes themselves matter on the runway of course - especially to buyers - but a powerful show also has to be about atmosphere. It must be instantly identifiable as a brand offering. And who would not immediately recognise as D&G the bold patterns, the shapely bodysuits and intense decoration.

Just in case one of those black, sporty workout garments looked too plain, it was set off with a symbolic Spanish carnation in the hair and a transparent handbag in which stood a Dolce doll.

So it was "ole" to the D&G duo and "arrivederci" to Milan.

Marchesa's Couture Costume For Kylie

As Kylie Minogue makes what will no doubt be a triumphant return to the stage tonight, with her Kiss Me Once tour kicking off in Liverpool, we can exclusively reveal that she will be dressed in none other than Marchesa.

Marchesa's designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig -  who made their own return to the UK at London Fashion Week earlier this month - also designed the songstress's costume for the Met Ball earlier this year, making this new collaboration a natural progression.

"When Kylie approached us to design her costume for her European tour, we jumped at the opportunity," the designers told us. "Kylie is lovely to work with and we were thrilled to work with her again - this project was definitely a collaborative process. Kylie liked a gown that we designed for our spring/summer 2012 collection, and we used that as a starting point and began sketching a few options for her review."

Marchesa For Kylie
Designing for the red carpet is, however, a different thing entirely to conceiving a creation that needs to withstand Minogue's famous dance routines night after night, but - of course - that's something that Chapman and Craig took in their stride.

"We were careful to keep her needs in mind while designing, as her costume would need to be both comfortable and easy to move in for her performances," they said.

For Minogue's part she couldn't be happier.

"I'm thrilled to be collaborating with Marchesa," she told us. "They have created a stunning couture gown, which absolutely shines during a beautiful moment in the show. Working with the Marchesa team has been a lot of fun. Georgina and Keren are true delights."

Choupette: The Collection

If Karl Lagerfeld's famous feline friend Choupette was not content with a publishing deal, a beauty contract and 38,000 Twitter followers, she now has a dedicated fashion collection to keep her purring.

Choupette Kagerfeld
Her devoted owner has designed a capsule collection comprising T-shirts, sweaters, bags, coin purses and shoes, all of which feature a cartoon of the cat's face (albeit a more menacing side to her than we're used to seeing), under his eponymous line. Since Lagerfeld has already pronounced Choupette is "the most famous cat in world", we are fully expecting her first dedicated collection to leap off the shelves when it drops in November.

Bag From Choupette´s Collection

Karl On Show

Fifty years at the helm of Fendi and more than three decades as the main man at Chanel not to mention countless independent projects, is something worth celebrating - which is precisely what The Bundeskunsthalle museum in Bonn will do next year when it holds a retrospective on the life and works of Karl Lagerfeld.

Karl Lagerfeld
Lagerfeld will be pleased to know that the exhibition is in safe hands. Lady Amanda Harlech, the designer's long-time friend, advisor and muse, will act as curator - with help from another of his friends, the publisher Gerhard Steidl - and chart Lagerfeld's rise from his young designer days to becoming one of the fashion industry's most feted figures.

The exhibition will run from March 27 to September 13.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Moschino Barbie Collection

Last season it was all about the McDonald's Golden Arches and Spongebob SquarePants, but for Spring Summer 2015, Jeremy Scott looked to Barbie for his inspiration. And possibly Elle Woods from Legally Blonde.

Barbie Glamour
The Moschino fashion show in Milan pretty much broke Instagram as soon as the front took their seats. It was mainly down to the pictures of all the Moschino branded Barbie dolls and fabulous pink vanity mirror/phone cases that were waiting for them, and that was before the show even started.
Barbie Themed Accessories
The fifteen minute fashion show saw models strutting their stuff down the catwalk (and when we say strut, we mean a sassy 'I know I'm hot but I'm like, totally girly, too' way) and they all wore seriously voluminous wigs (platinum blonde if it worked) and the entire first half of the show was all bubblegum pink.

A Collection In Bright Pink
We loved everything about this show; the chain belts, the cute coordinated  pieces, the fun bikini tops, the abundance of sequins, the towel dress, the roller-skating model who did a little spin at the end of the catwalk, and the personality coming from each and every model who graced the catwalk.

Barbie Beach Wear
Let's not forget that Jeremy Scott is the king of accessories, this show saw a boom box handbag, a perspex clutch, a bright yellow camera, a pink suitcase, and a flip phone, y'know, to call Ken to ask him to pick her up.(He is currently in Fire Island with his friend Kevin.....)

Total Accessorisation
The finale of dresses (not forgetting the white pearlised tuxedo), had our inner 7-year-old-self shrieking with delight - it was like a game of Fashion Wheel, and who didn't love playing Fashion Wheel?

Pearly Queen
But if you're worried you won't be able to buy the Moschino Barbie collection until next Summer, do not fear! Available now on you can buy a selection of the pieces; from a Barbie emblazoned T-shirt to a Moschino sweatband, right down to the amazing phone case. It's also being sold exclusively at Browns online and in store on Sunday.
Barbie In Person
We told you Barbie was making a comeback!

Karl Lagerfeld: Words Of Wisdom

In fashion, the word ´iconic´ is used loosely to describe anything,or any one. However, one person worthy of this accolade is Mr Karl Lagerfeld (otherwise known as the Kaiser Karl), who is almost as famous for his sound bites as for his lauded design work for Chanel, Fendi and his own, eponymous label.

From scathing remarks - he once described Yves Saint Laurent as "very middle-of-the-road French, very pied-noir, very provincial" - to the outlandishly over the top - "The iPod is genius. I have 300"
This week was certainly no exception as Lagerfeld expressed his distaste for the ´selfies´ or obscurely angled duck faces which have become commonplace on our social media feeds. 

"They are this horrible thing where you are distorted. The chin is too big, the head is too small. No, this is electronic masturbation."

This quote, sits in well with the ongoing catalogue of ´Karlisms´, or his pearls of wisdom that he imparts to ´his public´ on an increasingly regular basis. Below are some of the diamonds in the Queen of fashion´s crown.

Karl Lagerfeld
“The only love that I really believe in is a mother’s love for her children.”

“Never use the word “cheap”. Today everybody can look chic in inexpensive clothes (the rich buy them too). There is good clothing design on every level today. You can be the chicest thing in the world in a T-shirt and jeans — it’s up to you.”

“We live in a dark and romantic and quite tragic world.”

“People who do a job that claims to be creative have to be alone to recharge their batteries. You can’t live 24 hours a day in the spotlight and remain creative. For people like me, solitude is a victory.”

“I’m very much down to earth, just not this earth.”

“Fashion is a language that creates itself in clothes to interpret reality.”

“The woman is the most perfect doll that i have dressed with delight and admiration.”

“I like to reinvent myself — it’s part of my job.”

“The secret to modeling is not being perfect. What one needs is a face that people can identify in a second. You have to be given what’s needed by nature, and what’s needed is to bring something new.”

“We need houses as we need clothes, architecture stimulates fashion. It’s like hunger and thirst — you need them both.”

“I want everyone to wear what they want and mix it in their own way. That, to me, is what is modern.”

“Luxury is the ease of a t-shirt in a very expensive dress.”

“Absurdity and anti—absurdity are the two poles of creative energy.”

“In a meat-eating world, wearing leather for shoes and even clothes, the discussion of fur is childish.”

“Buy what you don’t have yet, or what you really want, which can be mixed with what you already own. Buy only because something excites you, not just for the simple act of shopping.”

“Reinvent new combinations of what you already own. Improvise. Become more creative. Not because you have to, but because you want to. Evolution is the secret for the next step.”

“When people want to be liked for what they did, they should stop.”

“I never touch sugar, cheese, bread. I only like what I'm allowed to like. I'm beyond temptation. There is no weakness. When I see tons of food in the studio, for us and for everybody, for me it's as if this stuff was made out of plastic. The idea doesn't even enter my mind that a human being could put that into their mouth. I'm like the animals in the forest. They don't touch what they cannot eat.”

“Fashion and music are the same, because music express its period too.”

“Stuff your brain with knowledge.”

“Don’t overact the story of your name. Overact the story of your work.”

“The elegance is as physical, as moral quality that has nothing common with the clothing. You can see a countrywoman more elegant than one so called elegant woman.”

“Fashion is about going ahead, not about memory.”

“I do my job like I breathe — so if I can’t breathe I’m in trouble.”

“Fashion is about two things: the evolution and the opposite.”

“Fashion is neither moral or immoral, but it is for rebuilding the morale.”

“I had an interview once with some German journalist—some horrible, ugly woman. It was in the early days after the communists—maybe a week after—and she wore a yellow sweater that was kind of see-through. She had huge tits and a huge black bra, and she said to me, ‘It’s impolite; remove your glasses.’ I said, ‘Do I ask you to remove your bra?”

“Forgiveness isn’t something I’m preoccupied with — turning the other cheek isn’t my trip.”

“If you stick to something doggedly, you are off to a bad start.”

“I would like to be a one-man multinational fashion phenomenon.”
“These are fat mummies sitting with their bags of crisps in front of the television, saying that thin models are ugly. Fashion is about dreams and illusions, and no one wants to see round women.”

“Slang is the suitcase of the damned, my dear. CHECK IT.”

The History Of Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton was a French box-maker and packer who founded the luxury brand of the same name over 150 years ago. From humble beginnings in the French countryside, Vuitton's skill, innovation and determination quickly saw his signature trunks coveted by the world's elite. Now, with Marc Jacobs at the helm as creative director since 1997, the house has expanded its offering to include bags, clothing, shoes, accessories and jewellery, making it one of the most valuable luxury brands in the world.

Louis Vuitton
Vuitton was born on August 4, 1821 in Anchay, a small working-class settlement in the east of France. His father, Xavier Vuitton, was a farmer and his mother, Coronne Gaillard - who died when he was 10 - a miller. 
At the age of 13, tired of provincial life and of his strict stepmother, Vuitton left home for Paris. The 292 mile journey took him two years on foot with stops to carry out odd jobs to support himself along the way.

Upon arrival in Paris in 1837, Vuitton became an apprentice at a successful box-making and packing workshop - a craft that was highly respected at the time. Within a few years he had gained a reputation as one of the best in his field in the city.

Vuitton's fortunes rose again in 1853 when he was appointed the personal box-maker and packer of the Empress of France, Eugenie de Montijo - the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. The Empress charged Vuitton with beautifully packaging her clothes for transportation between the Tuileres Palace, the Château de Saint-Cloud and various seaside resorts. The position opened the doors to a new class of elite and royal clientele.

Vintage Louis Vuitton Trunk
In 1854 Vuitton married 17-year-old Clemence-Emilie Parriaux. Shortly afterwards he left the shop he had apprenticed for and opened his own box-making and packing workshop in Paris. The sign outside read: "Securely packs the most fragile objects. Specialising in packing fashions". He also began creating his trunks in canvas instead of leather, which gave them the advantage of being hard-wearing and waterproof.

1898 Advert
Four years later, Vuitton introduced stackable rectangular shaped trunks to a market in which they had previously been rounded. Demand for the innovative and convenient trunk, which addressed the requirements of increasingly popular travel by train, was such that he had to expand into a larger workshop outside of Paris. 

Stackable Luggage
In 1867 Vuitton was awarded a bronze medal at the Exposition Universelle, an international exposition organised by Napoleon and held in Paris, which further increased the popularity of his work.

During the Franco-Prussian War, from 1870-71, Vuitton's workshop was looted and destroyed. Once the war ended he set up a new workshop in an aristocratic area of central Paris.

Vuitton introduced a trunk in a beige and red striped canvas in 1872. The design appealed to the new Parisian elite and helped secure the brand's position as a luxury offering. 

The Original Louis Vuitton Trunk
In 1889 Vuitton won a gold medal and the grand prize at the Exposition Universelle, which once again helped to bolster the popularity of his work.

Vuitton continued to work until his death at the age of 72 on February 27, 1892. He left control of the company to his son, Georges Vuitton.

In 1896, in response to widespread copying of the brand's patterns (a problem that continues to plague the house today), Georges created the famous LV monogram canvas - featuring diamonds, circles and flowers - to distinguish the brand's products.

Variation Of A Theme
The Louis Vuitton building, the largest travel-goods store in world, was opened on the Champs-Élysées in 1914 and counted Coco Chanel as a patron.

Louis Vuitton Paris
Bag shapes that remain popular fashion staples today were introduced throughout the 1900s. The Steamer bag, a smaller piece designed to be kept inside the luggage trunks, was introduced in 1901. The Keepall bag was debuted in 1930 followed by the Noé bag, which was originally designed to carry Champagne, in 1932, and, in 1966, the cylindrical Pappillon bag.

Papillon Luggage Bag
Thanks to advances in technology and a new coating process, a supple version of the monogram canvas was created in 1959. This allowed it to be used for purses, bags and wallets.
In 1997 Marc Jacobs was appointed the house's first creative director and was charged with introducing men's and women's ready-to-wear collections. At the time, Jacobs told US Vogue: "What I have in mind are things that are deluxe but that you can also throw into a bag and escape town with, because Louis Vuitton has a heritage in travel."

Monogram Canvas
Jacobs collaborated with designer Stephen Sprouse in 2001 to create a limited-edition line of bags featuring "Louis Vuitton" written in graffiti over the monogram pattern.

Stephen Sprouse Graffiti
The house has cultivated a strong celebrity following under Jacobs' direction and many models, actors and musicians have been the face of the brand. For the Core Values campaign, introduced in 2007 and aimed at showcasing the brand's travel roots, celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Bono, Sean Connery, Keith Richards and Catherine Deneuve have appeared. Other campaigns have included Natalia Vodianova, Christy Turlington and Kate Elson for autumn/winter 2010-11; Madonna for spring/summer 2009; Diane Kruger, Chloe Sevigny, Christina Ricci and Scarlett Johanssen for spring/summer 2007; Scarlett Johanssen for autumn/winter 2004-05; and Jennifer Lopez for autumn/winter 2003-04.

Angelina Jolie For Louis Vuitton
In 2012 the house won a landmark ruling in the US protecting it from large-scale international counterfeiting. The ruling helps stop the import of goods into the US that illegally bear the brand's trademarks, and penalises companies that facilitate the trade of those goods.

In the same year Louis Vuitton was named the world's most valuable luxury brand for the seventh year in a row in a study conducted by Millward Brown Optimor. Valued at $25.9 billion (£16.5 billion) it beat Hermes, valued at $19.1 billion (£12.1 billion) in second place and Rolex, at $7.17 billion (£4.57 billion) in third place.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fashion´s Night Out: London

With only four days to go, Fashion´s Night Out is nearly upon us. For one night only, the capital's streets will be transformed to celebrate London style and the largest shopping event of the year, with department stores, designer boutiques and high-street chains throwing open their doors to the public for a fabulous night filled with fashion, food and lots of fun.

Fashion Night Out London
Don't miss the Vogue-approved round-up of where to be on the night for  customisation, beautification and pit-stop snacking, before you plan your route with the help of the official FNO map. See you there!

Moschino: Buy It Now

Jeremy Scott wowed the fashion crowd once again last night with his Barbie-themed spring/summer 2015 collection for Moschino, but for those that can't wait until it drops in its entirety, there is an exclusive capsule collection available to buy now.

Moschino´s Capsule Collection
Inspired by the iconic doll, the 28-piece edit comprises T-shirts, sweaters, bags and headbands - not to mention a mirrored iPhone cover that allows you "to check you are photo‐ready before taking a selfie," according to a statement from the brand.

Scotland In Vogue Through The Years

"Scotland, thank God, is not for everyone," said Vogue in 1964. "To recommend a Scottish holiday to most foreigners," it continued, "would be like recommending a skiing holiday to a man with no legs." Bluntly put, perhaps (not to mention politically incorrect), but this was not intended to be flippant or disloyal to its northernmost readership. What Vogue meant was that while outsiders may venture north to enjoy its breathtaking scenery, its purple-topped mountains and clear-watered rivers and its almost limitless vistas of staggering beauty, to appreciate Scotland fully, you must fully belong to her.

Celtic Connection
Vogue did not and would not pretend to belong. And so, for much of the last century, Scotland was to Vogue a foreign country, where they do things differently and in tartan and wrapped up against the cold. If it did not quite block its ears to the skirl of the pipes, Vogue made, in its uncomprehending infancy, full use of cultural stereotypes. On early covers, girls dance reels in plaid skirts, while ladies' kilts (a novelty to the true Scot) were "hardy as in the days of clan battles and soft as a loch mist."

Rugged Beauty
In 1924, a harbinger of the autumn season found a tartan-coated woman, alone on the wind-blasted moor with a shotgun. Above her, the clouds form, darkly, the word "Vogue". But if British Vogue was obvious, then at least it was affectionate: an early cover for the American edition showed simply a collie wearing a Tam o' Shanter - and appearing to wink. The Glorious Twelfth (from a southern perspective) featured annually throughout the Thirties and, with a break for the war, continued well into the Fifties: "About the beginning of the second week of August, Euston Station gets a new look, a new smell. There's a tang of tweeds in the air; dogs sit patiently panting, the platform's littered with game bags…" Vogue also knew that the finest badminton racquets, teak yacht wheels, fishing waders and granite curling stones came out of Scotland, too.

Historical Fashion Influences
Inevitably, Scotland means tartan and Vogue has often caught the tartan bug. Designers from Coco Chanel to Vivienne Westwood have eagerly embraced the fabric's cross-hatched textures and glorious colours. Elsa Schiaparelli, too, once swathed herself and her salon top to bottom in plaid. "Done right there is something special about it," the Scottish writer Robin Douglas-Home once told the magazine, "something that indefinably heartens the spirit by making you feel part of a large family." Overdone, tartan feels like an end-of-the-pier joke, but when Vogue's logo turned plaid in November 1989, it was that year's bestseller.

Vogue Goes Tartan
Kilts present some Scotsmen with complications because, if one were to be strict about it, only Highlanders can wear them. Or, at a pinch, Lowland Scottish children at weddings and, of course, soldiers of the various Scottish battalions. When Lee McQueen became Alexander, he embraced his heritage completely. One collection was titled "Highland Rape", its successor "Widows of Culloden", which firmly nailed his colours to the nationalist mast, and at formal events he began wearing full Highland dress. There were several solecisms: his calf-length lace-up bootees should properly have been worn outdoors - and only then if there was the promise of sword dancing. The bonnet with pheasant-feather cockade and cloak were simply fraudulent. Marc Jacobs makes striking personal use of the kilt as daywear in tartans that may not be his own and without a sporran. And a kilt without a sporran is essentially a tartan skirt.

Rich Photographic Heritage
As a backdrop, Scotland has provided the magazine's photographers with an almost infinite variety. Surely, over the years, they would concur with Lady Stanley of Alderley who, on a fashion outing to Edinburgh, proclaimed: "Crossing the border to Scotland is just as interesting as crossing the Channel."

The hills of the west coast, the sea lochs and their small, often uninhabited islands gave American photographer Don Honeyman pause for thought. "The sea seems to flow and yet remain in the same place, and the cough of a porpoise breathing comes at you across two miles of tide," wrote Scottish historian Neal Ascherson in an accompanying dispatch. For Norman Parkinson in 1953, sheep-dipping at a farm near Thurso was the perfect setting for the season's sage-green coats. To Tim Walker it meant a road trip to the Highlands with friends Karen Elson and Erin O'Connor in a camper van decorated with the lion rampant and a saltire. In 1947, Lee Miller's journey north was a cultural trek to the Edinburgh Festival to hear a performance of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, conducted by Bruno Walter, as close to Mahler himself as anyone ever got.

Picture In The Plaid
In his 1961 essay for Vogue, Ascherson lamented the uneasy feeling that Scotland's glories and landmarks were "stagey, unrelated props left by a departed company". He continued in the same vein: "Scotland's tragedy is that she no longer has a national face, an unacknowledged public life of her own with its plain roots in Scottish history. Edinburgh is a capital without political life…" Fifty-three years later, he may find himself surprised.

Gabbana's Love Letter To Dolce

It will be 30 years next year since Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana started their eponymous label, but as Gabbana proved this week by penning an open love letter to Dolce, the love between the two men is still going strong.

"Dear Domenico, I have never written you a letter before. Perhaps because between us there has never been a need for many words," the letter reads. "A glance has always been enough for us to understand each other. This is the first time that I have ever written to you, and I must confess, it all seems quite strange to me."

Gabbana penned the letter, which was then published in Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, as a part of The Festival of Letters that is currently taking place in Milan, in the same week that Dolce & Gabbana will show its spring/summer 2015 collection during the city's fashion week.

Love Letter
"When we are interviewed, our comments blend quickly in a play of continuous comings and goings: I start a topic and you bring it to its conclusion, you are about to finish a thought and I interrupt, I repeat and I conclude your initial idea," the letter continued. "With pen and paper, everything is different: the words are more difficult, they have a deeper value, one which remains unique, as unique as you are and as you will always be for me. We have created Dolce & Gabbana together from nothing, and with the power of our love we have achieved all that we have. By supporting each other we have been able to overcome many difficulties and many prejudices. And even today, thanks to the emotions that bind us inextricably to each other, we continue to face together the joys and sorrows that life holds for us. You are my family."

Domenico & Stefano
The men, who have not been romantically involved with one another for some time, have weathered the good times and the bad together - most recently the tax evasion case that found the pair guilty for the second time (they are in the process of appealing again.)

"Many years have passed since I first heard your voice on the other end of the phone; everything and yet nothing has changed. The love I felt then has only transformed, continuing to fill me with wonderful emotions. You are unique and you remain so in my life, just as this letter which I now write will also remain unique. I love you, Stefano," it concludes.

Inside The Most Edited Wardrobe In Fashion

Fanny Moizant - the founder of designer resale site  Vestiaire Collective - makes it her business to encourage women to sell their past designer purchases (well-loved or never even worn) on to a new home: but does she practice what she preaches?

"My wardrobe is very, very small," Moizant laughed. "Certainly very small for someone who works in fashion! At the beginning of a new season, so like now, I will shop and shop, because I know that in a couple of months I will sell those pieces. I have certain labels that I love, and I want to get new pieces when I see them, but then I move on to a new obsession."

To describe someone's style as "typically French" feels like lazy journalism, but in the case of Moizant it really couldn't be more descriptive. From her perfectly natural tan to her subtle blonde highlights, her look screams (or rather huskily whispers) effortless chic - and her "uniform," as she describes it, is as simple as it is stylish.

"Jeans, they're the first thing," she listed. "Skinny, blue or black mostly; a loose top - so a silk blouse, a cotton shirt, a jumper, or a sweatshirt; some heels; a good bag. I could count on one hand the number of times that I wear something different from this! I love to be able to see everything when I open my wardrobe, which is one of the reasons I keep it so minimal."

Might the wardrobe-cleansing compulsion come from her mother - where most little girls learn their fashion rules, or see an example of what they later do not want to copy?

"My mother was definitely not a hoarder," Moizant said thoughtfully. "There are a few pieces that I remember her wearing that she still has: an Alaia suit from the Eighties with big, big shoulders - but otherwise no. She's similar to me. I have a few pieces that I wouldn't sell: certain pieces of jewellery; things that remind me of my children; a Chanel bag from years ago, but there are very few things I would say I feel sentimental about."

Fanny And Her Streamlined Wardrobe
Moizant has recently transported her entire life, including her two daughters, to London where her husband works - setting up a Vestiaire Collective office here on arrival. The more sentimental among us (not that anyone here would admit to having slept wearing a pair of shoes because she loved them so much) might ask about the impact of her sartorial cleanliness on those daughters, currently aged seven and eight. Won't they one day complain that her edited wardrobe cost them a one-off Dolce & Gabbana dress, or a limited-edition Dior clutch?

"No," she shrugged, smiling, "they'll have new things they'll want. One of them is a tomboy right now, although the other is a little more interested in fashion, but when they grow up they'll decide what they like without me, I'm sure!"

Far from producing the sort of angst that spending causes in the hearts of many of us, Moizant's shopping addiction is balanced by another addiction.

"If I'm looking over my bank statement alongside my husband and he says, 'Look, you spent this much, and this, and this!' I say, 'Yes, but have you seen the other column? I sold this, and this, and this, and this!'" she laughed. "That's the way I shop now. If I spent as much as I do without intending to sell them later, I'd feel so guilty, but because I know I'll make that money back in a few months I can buy what I love."

Cara's Latest Hollywood Role

Cara Delevingne is about to add yet another Hollywood role to her CV, as it has been announced that the model and actress has been cast as Margo Roth Spiegelman in the forthcoming Paper Towns.

An adaptation of John Green's cult young-adult novel, the film will be directed by Jake Schreier and follows characters Margo and Quentin Jacobsen, played by Nat Wolf, as they embark on a trail of clues to take revenge on those who have wronged Margo.

Cara Delevingne
Having captivated the fashion world since she arrived on the scene, Delevingne does seem a natural fit to play the mysterious Margo - as the synopsis reads on IMDB: "Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge, he follows."

Author Green voiced his excitement at Delevingne taking on the role last night on Twitter, saying, "Very exciting announcement!  @Caradelevingne will play Margo Roth Spiegelman in the Paper Towns movie". The film is slated for release in 2015.

Another Addition To The Versace Clan

Francesca Versace has given birth to her first child, a daughter. The London-based designer, who is the niece of Donatella Versace, welcomed the baby yesterday afternoon in Italy in order to be close to their family and friends.

"We are filled with love and happiness from the birth of our little girl and we look forward to our journey together as a family," Versace and her partner, model and actor Cristhopher Meireles Leoni, told us today.

Fashion Family: Versace
A representative for the couple confirmed that both mother and baby are "very well" and that they are "enjoying their time together".

Daughter of Versace CEO Santo, Francesca graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2006 and became a designer in her own right. In 2011 she took the reins of Vogue's Today I'm Wearing, sharing her wardrobe choices for a month.

Jean Paul Gaultier To Stop RTW Collections

Jean Paul Gaultier is stopping his women's and men's ready-to-wear lines, citing "commercial constraints" and the "frenetic pace of collections" as the reasons why. The designer - and his majority stakeholder, the Spanish fashion group Puig - will continue to produce his haute couture collections, as well as his fragrance and accessories ranges.

"We looked at various possibilities considering the present state of the company and we have reached the same conclusion," the designer said. "For some time, I have found true fulfilment in working on the haute couture and it allows me to express my creativity and my taste for research and experimentation. At the same time the world of ready-to-wear has evolved considerably. Commercial constraints, as well as the frenetic pace of collections don't leave any freedom, nor the necessary time to find fresh ideas and to innovate."

Jean Paul Gaultier
"After more than 38 years spent producing men's and women's ready-to-wear collections, it seems to us that the time has come to stop some of our activities and to concentrate principally on the development of the haute couture, of perfumes and to certain collaborations that I have not yet had time to explore," he continued. "This is a new beginning, I will be able to express again my creativity fully and without constraints."

The decision to shut down the ready-to-wear arm of his business could result in the loss of "several dozen" jobs, reports WWD, although no comment about the restructuring of the label has been made. His last ready-to-wear women's collection will go ahead as planned on Saturday September 27 at Paris Fashion Week.

Galliano's "Step-By-Step" Fashion Return

John Galliano has given his first major television interview  since 2011 and revealed that he is making slow but definite progress towards his fashion return. Speaking on French news programme Le Supplément, the former Dior designer revealed some of the ways that he is dabbling in fashion - including mentoring four students at Central Saint Martins and venturing "back into creativity" with his role as  creative director for Russian perfumery chain L´Etoile.

John Galliano
"Step by step," he responded when asked if he planned to return to fashion design, adding: "I mean, I had it all, and I wasn't happy. Today, I'm happy."

Galliano also spoke about his partner, Alexis Roche, WWD reports, who has been a great support over the past few years. Noting that he hopes one day to "explain what happened" in person to Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH which controls Dior, Galliano maintains that things are moving in a "hopeful" direction.

Comeback Interview
"Although I have lost a lot, I have gained so much," he said. "I mean, I'm alive today. I've been able to work on myself, and, eventually, when I do come back into the industry, I know the industry won't have changed, but my perspective on it has changed."

Another step was taken back into fashion for the designer last week, when the Costume Institute selected an image of his work from his time at Dior to announce the Metropolitan Museum's new show, Chinese Whispers: Tales of the East in Art, Film and Fashion. Whether Galliano will attend the Met Ball - which marks its opening each year -  as he has so many times before, remains to be seen.

Fashion Says "Let's Stay Together"

If it wasn't for the small matter of his London Fashion Week show today, Christopher Kane would surely be participating in the Let's Stay Together rally later in Trafalgar Square, as voting in the Scottish Referendum on Thursday draws ever closer. Kane - who is just one of a host of talented Scots who have made an impact on international fashion, supported by the British Fashion Council, over the past 10 years - has already made it clear which side of the fence he stands on by  signing a petition created by the ´No´ campaign alongside many other ex-pats as well as non-Scots. And he's not the only one.

Fashion Says No
"I can't imagine a Britain without Scotland," said Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman - adding that she would be attending the rally if it didn't clash with today's LFW shows. "It would be like losing a limb. On a personal level I think Scotland is a beautiful place and love spending time there. But more important is the fact that we would both be so much the lesser without each other."

Kane and fellow designers Holly Fulton, Jonathan Saunders and Louise Gray won't be voting on September 18, since they all reside in London, but tonight's rally hopes to convince those who will that we are better off within the union.

In Bed With Gandy

David Gandy has revealed his debut underwear collection for Marks & Spencer with a video, and of course we have an exclusive preview."I've wanted to collaborate to start my own line for a long time, but I wanted to work with a British brand," Gandy told us. "I've been more and more involved over the last couple of years in the creative and styling of my Marks & Spencer campaigns and they proposed the idea of collaborating with them on an underwear, sleepwear and loungewear line. Being British and underwear experts, it was a great place to start and to learn about the design process."

And the most important considerations for making great underwear?

"Firstly comfort and fit - they are the main priority for me," he said. "I've always thought that you should never be aware that you are wearing the underwear, secondly I don't like too heavy branding and thirdly the quality is important so that it keeps its shape. Personally, I wear briefs or hipsters."

Stella Launches Green Carpet Collection

Stella McCartney drew the starriest crowd of London Fashion Week so far last night as she launched her Green Carpet Collection at the Royal Institution of Great Britain in Mayfair.

Stella McCartney
Colin Firth, Paul McCartney, Drew Barrymore, Salma Hayek, François-Henri Pinault, Samuel L Jackson, Peter Blake and Mario Testino were just some of the big names that joined the designer to celebrate the three-part ethical offering: one part comprising four ball gowns made of left-over fabric from McCartney's studio (the models' portraits were being inked by artists from the Prince's Drawing School live); a range of shoes and accessories made from sustainably recycled materials; and a collection created from a brand-new organic cady that McCartney has developed.

Fashion Meets Art
"This is a fabric that I am definitely going to incorporate into my own collection," she told us at the event. "I've been coming away from fittings over the last couple of weeks thinking 'Wow' - these are all recycled materials. In the fashion industry they burn all these thousands of metres of fabrics, which to me is crazy, so I'm recycling it."

Ethical Fashion
Co-hosted by BFC chairman Natalie Massenet, Anna Wintour and GCC founder Livia Firth, the venue was completed with a bar, a band, a woodland forest, an artist's studio, and a magician's room, much to the delight of McCartney and her crowd.

Key Pieces
"It's about having fun," she smiled. "Paris is my time of the year that is the catwalk - for the rest of the year I want to do something different and exciting for people. I want to give people a good time."

Mission accomplished.