Sunday, November 30, 2014

Primary Colors: In the Mood for Mondrian

This week the fashion and art worlds’ orgiastic, champagne-fueled meeting at Art Basel in Miami Beach looms large. The fair officially begins next Thursday, December 4, but there’s a full schedule of parties from the 2nd onwards. 

To get in the spirit, we’ve turned an eye to the two milieus’ long and fruitful relationship, and to a household name who exemplifies it: Piet Mondrian. The Dutch painter was known for his strict palette of primary colors—he used red, yellow, and blue with black-and-white accents exclusively from 1921 on. 

The fashion set was taking notes as far back as 1933, when Hermès sent forth a luggage series inspired by the artist’s oeuvre. Three decades later, in 1965, Yves Saint Laurent gave the world his Mondrian frocks. Fast-forward 50 or so years, and the color combination still resonates. There was Olivier Rousteing’s blingy, crystal-encrusted ode to the artist at Balmain, a clingy Flyknit-inspired top at Alexander Wang, and Junya Watanabe’s army of pop paper dolls. And that’s just for starters. 

Walking on Water at Ralph Lauren

A four-dimensional fashion show on water? No problem at Ralph Lauren, a company with ties to New York as deep as its pockets.

During fashion week, the designer took over Central Park’s Cherry Hill Lake to make a statement with Polo for Women, a major push for the firm. The show’s technology was groundbreaking. Pretaped against a green screen, the models were set into a digital, brick-by-brick re-creation of New York street scenes: brownstones, the Brooklyn Bridge, parts of the skyline, the Polo store, the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park. The 10-minute video was projected against a five-story-high water image on the lake, creating a holographlike effect.

Ralph Lauren
“The reason to do this is not just for fashion week or for a fashion show but to create something that was mobile,” said David Lauren, Ralph Lauren Corp´s executive vice president. “We’re talking about taking it to Singapore and [elsewhere] as we roll out Polo stores around the world.”

The production, at 9 p.m. on a brisk Monday night, made a splash as Ciara, Kendall Jenner, Karlie Kloss, Diane Von Furstenberg and Barry Diller and the entire Lauren clan looked on.

It started with the digital moon rising and ended as the man himself (or, rather, his hydro-holographic image) took a runway bow on the lake and danced a little Fred Astaire move.

It prompted quite a reaction from the crowd, which included Ben Stiller, who has been teasing a Zoolander sequel for some time. He was overheard whispering to the designer after the show, “I’ve got a part for you.”

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Extreme Marketing: DIESEL

Diesel's new denim range falls under the umbrella concept of weather, which includes three main categories: tornado, wind and rain. Each reflect respective weather conditions through rips, fades and washes make Diesels new range the must have denim this winter.

Lets have some fun in extreme conditions: The carwash fashion show

Carwash Fashion Show
Diesel likes to do things differently. That’s why we’ve created a Diesel fashion show with a twist. See beautiful people get trashed as they experience a real life carwash. If you thought seeing a catwalk model fall over in high heels was funny, just wait till you see this!

In Store Weather Simulation
Let’s get the punters involved! Place a capsule that simulates weather conditions in-store
and give people a chance to try out the denim in a storm.

Live Feed Window Displays
A live feed to screens in the window display and to ad banners will create even more attention.

All clips are placed on a YouTube channel for all to enjoy. And top rated videos deserve top rated prizes – get shed loads of hits and you could soon find yourself in Tutunendo, Columbia, the wettest place on earth (locals claim that once it rained non stop for 836 days!).

Mulberry Appoints Johnny Coca

Mulberry has appointed former Céline accessories design director Johnny Coca as its new creative director. He will be responsible for all of Mulberry's collections, including ready-to-wear, reporting to Godfery Davis chairman and CEO.

"I very much look forward to joining Mulberry as its new creative director and to leading a new design direction at one of the very best British brands," the designer said today.

Johnny Coca
"We are delighted that Johnny is joining us," Godfrey Davis added. "He has a wealth of international luxury and fashion experience that will help us bring new energy and innovation to Mulberry."

So what do we know about Mulberry's new man? He hails from Sevile and studied art, architecture and design at the École des Beaux-Arts and École Boulle in Paris. Roles at Bally and Louis Vuitton honed his skills as an accessories specialist and led to his role at Céline. Fluent in four languages, Coca brings an international flair to the British brand - but also has a strong foundation in London. He has tutored students at Central Saint Martins and intends, the brand says, "to ensure that Mulberry continues its tradition of encouraging new young talent as he helps to build the next generation at Mulberry".

Coca was just one of the talents linked with the job in recent months and comes to the role more than a year after previous helmer Emma Hill´s departure. His tenure at Mulberry will begin on July 8, 2015.

Is Kanye Leaving Music For Fashion?

Kanye West is rumoured to be set to leave his first love, music, behind - at least for a time - to allow him to focus on fashion. West's most recent offering was a collection of trainers for Nike - but the rapper and producer has defected to the company´s main rival and wants to dedicate more time to designing.

Kanye West
"After his next [collaboration] with Paul McCartney comes out, he's going to step away from music and concentrate on clothing," a source told Page Six. "He got a $15 million signing bonus from Adidas, but his line has been pushed back four times because he hasn't had enough time to work on it."

West launched his eponymous label with a Paris Fashion Week show in October 2011 but cancelled his third showcase less than a year later - shuttering his brand shortly after. He later launched a collaboration with APC, which sold out within a day.

Galliano Coming To London?

John Galliano is rumoured to be making his return to the London fashion scene next week at the British Fashion Awards.

Industry sources have revealed that Galliano will present Anna Wintour with her Outstanding Achievement Award - according to WWD - which, if it proves to be true, will mark the designer's first public appearance since the announcement of his appointment at Maison Martin Margiela.

John Galliano
It's not the only update that has prevailed ahead of the prestigious ceremony next week. The BFC has announced that Edward Enninful will receive the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator. Currently fashion and style director of W Magazine, Enninful has worked with the most respected fashion houses in the world in his varied roles of contributor, consultant and director.

"Edward is not only one of my dearest friends and brother, but he is also one of the most outstanding people I have ever had the pleasure of working with,"said Naomi Campbell. "His unique talent, drive and imagination are poured into his work, making him responsible for some of the most heart quickening imagery in the history of fashion."

The British Fashion Awards take place next Monday, December 1. Click back on the night to see the evening's attendees arrive.

What Is "Posh" Style Now?

When the BBC's documentary on society magazineTatler, Posh People: Inside Tatler, aired yesterday evening, we witnessed copious spray-on denim, not-so-natural blondes, a graffiti-covered castle, thrift shopping at Portobello's Poundland store and Jilly Cooper sporting an on-trend draped scarf. Is the fashion sense of the upper classes evolving? And just what do we know about Sloane style now?

Tattoos, androgyny or die-hard hip-hop fan are not really the hallmarks of a Tatlergirl - or are they? Take Cara Delevingne, Edie Campbell, Jean Campbell, Suki Waterhouse, Alice Dellal and Lady Mary Charteris - the group of "posh" mostly early twentysomethings who have risen to the top of the international fashion world. Their cover-girl good looks are equalled by good breeding, but it's their instinctive (as opposed to inherited) sense of style and raw, self-deprecating British humour that unleash daily Instagram storms. In the wake of the hipster backlash, never has "posh" had such broad possible appeal, or seemed quite so fun.

Jean Campbell
Cara plays a streetwise Brit team captain with Pharrell or Selina Gomez in tow, Edie is the outdoorsy one, Jean the ethereal catwalk crush, while Suki sits at Harvey Weinstein's table, and Mary epitomises glam rock'n'roll. The girls' low-maintenance, homegrown look is particularly prized by Chanel and Burberry - the latter's coveted campaign is a fashion industry finishing school for the new generation of "posh" girls scooping the lucrative spring/summer '15 campaigns. Edie, Cara and Suki are all Burberry ad alumni as is Kate Moss, the posh girl's ultimate style heroine.

"Posh is more relevant now," says Sophie Goodwin, Tatler's style editor (seen delighting over Poundshop finds in episode one of the magazine's BBC documentary). "You used to have to be super-groomed and monied. Now it's about anti-polish." It's also about having a business plan - west London's bright young things are most likely to launch their own or a collaborative fashion brand, like Hannah Weiland's faux-fur label Shrimps or Theodora Warre's eponymous jewellery line.
Suki Waterhouse
The Chelsea girl's also adapted her late-night scene. On a school night she's at Loulou's, the Firehouse or Little House, while house parties are seeing the strongest revival since the Eighties, with Scotland becoming the destination of choice for wild weekends in the country. Internationally, the classic Sloane's jet-set trail has faded into non-existence - the new rule on travel is to keep it strictly best friends only and install the privacy of a secluded party whirlwind anywhere in the world you can access on air miles. The dress code? Black-tie hang-ups don't apply, this is about occasion-less dressing that works in any time zone and enables the most fun. Cara, after all, is rarely seen in anything but trousers, advocating her own brand of tomboy realness rather than supermodel glamour - her go-to red carpet look is a fearless slashed-neck suit and scraped-back hair.

Likewise, boarding-school styling tricks prevailed on the winter catwalks - parkas or knits paired with shimmering minidresses, kilts and ornate heirloom chandelier earrings are the latest indicators of a deliberately-don't-care socialite style revival and there isn't an alice band in sight.

Up And Coming: Lais Ribeiro

Lais Ribeiro (pronounced Lie-ees) may not be Victoria´s Secret´s most famous Brazilian (she has some competition on that front from veterans including Alessandra Ambrosio and Adriana Lima), but she's certainly a contender for having the most diverse CV of shows under her belt.
Lais Ribeiro
As well as stepping onto the catwalk for almost every major brand so far in her career, she also holds the dubious accolade of being the only Victoria's Secret model to be named for the show and then fail to appear. It was later revealed that she sprained her ankle backstage ahead of the 2012 show, but was back for 2013. 

Ahead of this year's event - which she will appear in as long as there are no mishaps.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Is A Chanel Campaign Next For Kendall?

Karl Lagerfeld has confirmed that he has chosen Kendall Jenner as the face of the spring/summer 2015 campaign for his eponymous brand, WWD reports, prompting feverish fashion discussion as to whether Chanel could be next for the former reality-television star.

Jenner has walked for the French house for several season now and is one of the most talked-about models of the year, but being chosen to front the Lagerfeld campaign - which is always shot by the man himself - is seen as the final seal of approval before she secures fashion's biggest campaign crown (Prada and Louis Vuitton not withstanding).

Kendall For Chanel
She was joined at the shoot - which has already taken place at the designer's Paris studio - by fellow Lagerfeld favourites Sasha Luss, Ming Xi and Baptiste Giabiconi. Jenner was named the new face of Estee Lauder earlier this week - another of the industry's biggest campaigns.

The news makes the possibility of Jenner walking in the Victoria's Secret show - something she has long asserted was her "dream" - much less likely, since Chanel´s Metiers d´Art show is taking place on the same night as the lingerie extravaganza: in London and Salzburg respectively.

Chanel Empire Reaches London

Chanel may already have several standalone stores in the British capital, but now two brands from its stable are opening here, too. Maison Michel, an early 20th-century French milliner, and Barrie, the Scottish mill behind much of Chanel's knitwear, have been given own-brand units in one of London's oldest shopping spaces - Burlington Arcade, off Piccadilly - prompting a lot of questions. Why did Chanel acquire these brands? Why promote them as separate entities? Why do they need their own stores? Why London? And, most importantly, is Chanel becoming an LVMH and Kering-style conglomerate? Luckily, Bruno Pavlovsky - Chanel CEO and also CEO of both of the aforementioned brands - is in a patient mood.

"What we are doing at Chanel, in respect to our investments, is to help enable us to create and design what we want for Chanel," he stated simply. Where LVMH might spot a young label with potential for growth, Chanel is only interested in symbiotic relationships, he explained. Every label that the French fashion behemoth has invested in - including French tannery Bodin Joyeux, couture embroider Lesage, lingerie label Eres and watchmaker Bell & Ross - has some "use" to the brand, so then why not just absorb them into Chanel? Why give Barrie - now a standalone ready-to-wear brand with its own seasonal collections as well as a knitwear supplier - its own store? Pavlovsky smiled kindly, as if the rest of the fashion world was slightly missing the point.

Bruno Pavlovsky
"We are different," he grinned mischievously, "we choose the opposite approach. In order to continue to be creative, our brands have to continue to work with many designers. If you work all the time with the same brand, at some point you stop developing your creativity. Different designers and different requests mean that you have to be more agile, you have to adapt yourself. And Chanel benefits - directly and indirectly - from this agility. They need to build their own autonomy and not be merged with the big group."

The idea of a bird being allowed to fly free rather than kept in a gilded Chanel cage is a romantic one, but from a practical perspective total freedom in business could cause problems. Like a jealous lover, would Chanel stop Barrie from potential dalliances that may prove harmful or hurtful? What if Givenchy or Dior wished to court its Scottish love?

"It's happening already," Pavolovsky said confidently - seeming somewhat pleased that his new investment is still attracting such admiration. "Both Chanel and Barrie work with many other brands, many of the big names, and there is no contradiction or problem with that. There are strong links between Chanel and these brands, or course, but in order to be creative you also need to see a broad landscape. You have to be able to go out, work with young names, big names - as long as they can foster their creativity, we are moving in the right direction." Choosing to open the store in Burlington Arcade was on purpose, because this arcade is a bridge between yesterday and tomorrow. It is a good place for these brands to be.

Maison Michel
In line with the autonomy prescribed, each brand has its own creative director - but each of these designers also holds a role at Chanel, completing the circle as it were. Barrie's creative director, Odile Massuger, has created two collections for the 1903-founded brand, but also oversees knitwear for Chanel; while Laetitia Crahay, artistic director of the Maison Michel collection, is also head of jewellery at Chanel. This openness on the part of the brand calls to mind the freedom afforded to Karl Lagerfeld himself, who is also creative director of Fendi as well as Chanel - and has many other creative outlets, from photography to designing his eponymous label.

"Fendi, Dior, Vuitton, Chloé!" Pavlovsky joked. "There's a long list! I don't see any contradiction with what he does, or with what I do in overseeing all three brands. When Lagerfeld is working on Chanel he is completely focused on Chanel. For my job, too, you have to be focused on one thing at a time: Chanel is bigger, so takes more time of course, but these brands are developing and need a lot of attention, too."

Chanel has been praised for creating jobs at the once-struggling Barrie mill in the Scottish Borders - and there is more to come.

"In two years, we have already recruited 50 people, and in the next three years we will recruit 100 more people," Pavlovsky revealed. "The first priority for recruitment is the local area - which is possible for some roles, not for others, and so to develop that more we have opened an internal school within Barrie to make the growth within the region possible. Training takes between six to 18 months so at this stage it is still difficult, but the training is helping."

The London store openings, too, have engendered much discussion, situated as they are on one of the capital's "old" retail sites rather than the more popular Mount, Dover or Albemarle Streets.

"For these two labels, the collections are doing quite well - both have had a boutique in Paris for around a year - so the obvious place for the next store was London," he said. "For Barrie it's more like coming home than opening internationally, but we will look to open in the other key fashion cities later. Choosing to open the store in Burlington Arcade was on purpose, because this arcade is a bridge between yesterday and tomorrow. It is a good place for these brands to be."

So is this the beginning of Chanel Incorporated - a massive conglomerate set to take over the fashion world?

"Yes and no," he said. "Chanel is first and foremost about Chanel. We have so many things that we continue to develop that we want to always to focus on Chanel. Never forget that these brands will all help us to continue to design our collections for the next 20, 30 years. So, they are not here just as a new brand, they are here because they have a specific know-how that makes sense for other brands - including Chanel. These labels have existed for a long time and the only way to keep all the know-how of these companies available for the big brands - Chanel being part of the big brands - is to develop their own brands."

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Three Weeks With Coco Chanel

A new book of Coco Chanel pictures - taken over just three weeks in 1962 by photographer Douglas Kirkland - shows a new side to the formidable and brilliant "Mademoiselle". Kirkland, who spent 21 days with Chanel in her apartment in the Ritz, at the studio preparing for a catwalk show, and on a weekend trip to Versailles, revealed that he built a friendly relationship with the designer - but never saw her remove her signature hat.

"I assumed, like many French people at the time, that she didn't speak English," Kirkland explains in the book. "Then one morning I turned a corner in a narrow hallway at the atelier and found myself face to face with her. She looked straight at me and said 'Salut.' I froze, not knowing how to respond. After a beat, in her low voice, she said in perfect English, 'I just said hello to you.'"

Kirkland - who has photographed stars including Angelina Jolie and Marilyn Monroe - is releasing 100 copies of a deluxe limited edition version of the book, complete with a signed print, priced at $250, while the standard edition will retail at $50.

Deposed Margiela Designer Headed For Céline?

Is Maison Martin Margiela´s former designer Matthieu Blazy headed to Celine? The designer, whom the house - in line with its policy - has never spoken openly about, was responsible for Maison Martin Margiela´s much-landed couture line but the arrival of John Galliano at the brand's helm has thrown his position into doubt.

Matthieu Blazy
Now "market sources" are whispering that Phoebe Philo has engaged the designer to join the Céline studio following his departure from Margiela WWD reports. Galliano brought his own team to the brand when he arrived - including Vanessa Bellanger, his Dior muse and confidant; Alexandre Roux, his former right-hand at both Dior and his eponymous label; Jean-Yves Mustiere, most recently at Roberto Cavalli; and his former studio manager Rafaele Hardy.

Philo is said to also have enlisted a former Chloé collaborator, Yvan Mispelaere - who went on to work as design director at Roberto Cavalli, Gucci and Diane von Furstenberg - although, unsurprisingly, Céline has also made no comment.

The Victoria's Secret Show Costumes

The themes from this year's Victoria's Secret show - which give us a hint at the costumes and staging that we can expect on the night as well as how the models might be dressed - have been revealed, and they are unsurprisingly dramatic.

Gilded Angels, promising "goddesses drenched in gold leaf" opens the show;Exotic Traveller sees the models adorned with mirrors and jewels exploring "Mongolian, Asian and Indian influences"; Fairy Tale melds Shakespeare with the Brothers Grimm dressing the girls as "firefly-like pixies" - expect wings aplenty; Dream Girl will transport us back to the Fifties, channelling a boudoir babe in fluffy slippers; University of Pink takes the company's younger label to the street with graffiti prints and oodles of attitude, inspired by Jeremy Scott, Kenzo and vintage Versace; while this year's finale is Angel Ball - a monochromatic celebration of both classic tuxedos and elegant gowns.

Last year´s themes included one British Invasion that hinted that the show would this year make its debut in London for 2014. The sketches of this year's looks feature representations of models including Candice Swanepoel.

Topshop Vs Rihanna: Round Two

Topshop has launched an appeal against the ruling that banned it from selling T-shirts bearing a picture of Rihanna.The garments were removed from all Topshop branches after the singer complained that the image may lead her fans to believe that she had endorsed the product, which she had not, and the judge agreed that the use of her image amounted to "passing off" - a common law term used in Britain to enforce unregistered trademark rights.

The two-day case got underway yesterday at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, the Daily Mail reported from court, where a rack of the T-shirts were displayed. The lawyer speaking for the retailer, Geoffrey Hobbs, asserted that Rihanna's legal team had misused the law on passing off to claim that "only a celebrity may ever market his or her own character".

"Unlike in some other countries, in the UK celebrities have no legal right, as such, to control the use that is made of their image," Mike Gardner, a partner and head of intellectual property and commercial at Wedlake Bell, commented. "But if a product is marketed in such a way as to suggest, incorrectly, that they have endorsed or approved it, then this can amount to illegal passing off."

"Although each case is different, if Topshop fails to overturn the ruling, this may discourage other retailers from selling similar items in the future and may lead other celebrities to take a tougher line in policing their rights," Gardner went on. "But if Topshop is successful, celebrities and their management teams may have to think more about how they can best protect their branding in countries like the UK which do not recognise image rights."

Has M&S Finally Found Its Groove?

Every season I arrive at the launch of the new collection with a familiar sense of unease: will they succeed in pinning down what women will want to wear next season? The retailer has been guilty of delivering hit and then miss collections as it struggles to define its handwriting (industry speak for the kind of clothes a store is recognised for), and so it's under pressure to perform from customers and City traders alike. Hurrah, then, for whatever they're putting in the Percy Pigs at Marks & Spencer HQ, because spring/summer 2015 looks like the store is finally getting there.

The changes that style director Belinda Earl and her team have been ushering in are now taking hold. Throw in the retailer's recent half-year results, where womenswear sales were up 1.3 per cent during the first five months of the year, and it begs the question; are things beginning to look up for the high-street bell-weather?

"Everything is coming together," says Earl, of her latest and fourth collection for the retailer. "The quality, the new styles, the ad campaigns - it's all filtering through. It was never going to be a one-season turnaround."

So, if the first half of 2014 has gone reasonably well for womenswear (we're talking cautious green shoots of recovery), then what's to love about spring next year?

Happily the store is making a play for that stylish yet predictable thing that it once did so well. Next season brings a gentle nudge of elegant, wearable fashion, rather than a chaotic fumble to find and show off The Next Big Thing.

In fact, the collection is light on the trend hits of previous seasons (rememberthat pink coat), and instead there are items to subtly slot into your wardrobe, whether you're flush or frugal, aged 30 or 60.

There's a Seventies midi-skirt in brown (real) suede, topstitched in cream and priced at £199 - it's a brilliant bit of Ali MacGraw styling. Then there's a perfectly good suedette version at £39.50 for the woman on a budget (or equally the woman who balks at spending £200 on a skirt). The rusty pink, lightweight cotton trench coat is a hit (perfect for spring trips to posh pub gardens), and the kimono coats with judo belts and bejewelled tan chunky-heeled sandals are star buys, as is the Breton-stripe column midi-dress, to be worn with a denim jacket until true summer bursts onto the scene - and M&S has plenty of those to choose from.

Denim is a category that speaks to Earl's vision of M&S: stylish yet workaday clothing for the every woman, and the retailer is making a big deal of the blue stuff this season, with denim dresses, jumpsuits and jeans (there's even a pair in the collection that promises to pert-up your behind with cleverly placed pockets and considered seams).

This collection isn't brimming over with fizz-factor, but it is a comforting vision of what you want to see on the rails of M&S if you're looking for an emergency, smart skirt for a party; have spilt something on your shirt while having a power lunch (at your desk); or want to try out a trend, but need a bit of hand-holding, too - and isn't that what M&S is there to do?

Pirelli Calendar 2015

Shot by Steven Meisel, styled by Carine Roitfeld and with Pat McGrath on hand as make-up artist, next year's Pirelli calendar - entitled Calendar Girls 2015 - brings together 12 of the world's most sought-after models. 

Isabella Fontana
Gigi Hadid, Candice Huffine, Carolyn Murphy, Cameron Russell, Isabeli Fontana, Adriana Lima, Raquel Zimmermann, Karen Elson, Joan Smalls, Natalia Vodianova, Sasha Luss and Anna Ewers all take their turn in front of Meisel's lens, which marks the 42nd calendar for the brand. More information on this legendary publication will be available once the official press statement is released.

NEWS Victoria's Secret Headliners And UK Air Date Revealed

Taylor Swift will headline this year's Victoria´s Secret show in London. The American singer, who will perform at the showcase for the  second year running, will share the billing with Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande and Irish musician Hozier.

Also announced today is the news that the show will indeed be screened in in the UK. British network 4Music will show it on Wednesday, December 10 - just one day after America - at 9pm.

Victoria´s Secret
The evening itself is sure to be a fun one for Swift who - as well as having close friends including Karlie Kloss walking in the show - is also firm friends with Sheeran. The British musician worked on Swift's 2012 album, Red, and joined her on stage across north America during the accompanying tour. Swift is also a big fan of Hozier - posting a video of herself air-drumming along to one of his songs on Instagram as proof - while the Irish musician, in turn, called her an "impressive human being".

The show will take place at Earl's Court Exhibition Centre, London, on December 2.

The New Waterhouse To Watch

Suki Waterhouse may have been turning her attention to acting of late, but there is another Waterhouse ready to share the family-fashion reins. Her younger sister, Immy, has just been signed to the same agency as Suki - Next Model Management - and it appears that she is already benefitting from her big sister's experience.

"Suki has shown me that hard work pays off and rejection is a big part of it," Waterhouse told us, upon the announcement. "Like Suki, I'm not typical height-wise for a model - so she advised me to just forget about those stereotypes."

Height aside, while the two share an agency and a last name, they bring something very different when in front of the camera. While Suki's penchant for the Sixties carved out a niche look that saw her become our  Today I´m wearing star back in 2012. Immy's long golden hair and playful persona has more of a Californian beach-babe vibe.

Immy Waterhouse
Having finished studying drama at school, travelled South Africa, and dabbled with modelling before (she fronted last summer's George at Asda campaign), her first big job is yet to come - and the one she has in mind is not an obvious choice.

"My dream campaign would be Chelsea FC - I'm a stickler for football!" she revealed. "But really I'd love to be a part of a change, something that turns heads, something that is hard-hitting. Topshop would be cool."

Beyond that, though, she would prefer to place what comes next in the hands of fate.

"I'd like to keep the future for my imagination," she said. "As David Bowie says: 'Five years, my brain hurts a lot,' and I couldn't agree more."

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Romeo Beckham For Burberry

It’s that time of the year again, when brands and department stores compete for the best Christmas TV advert of 2014 and Burberry is the first fashion power to take the plunge with its first ever global festive campaign.

Romeo Beckham
Launched with a four-minute film entitled From London with Love, the campaign features 12-year-old Romeo Beckham, who lands his second major job for the British luxury brand. The dimple-cheeked son of David and Victoria Beckham stars in the campaign, which celebrates gifting during the festive season, as a cupid boy who delivers a gift to a young couple, played by British models Hannah Dodds and Anders Hayward, who then take him on a magical journey of romance across London.

They are surrounded by music and dance as 50 impeccably dressed dancers give a performance inspired by the “golden age of cinematic musicals” to a song by British songwriter Ed Harcourt titled "The Way That I Live", which is due to be officially released in December as a single.

Romeo, who has clearly inherited some moves from his Spice Girls mum is featured dancing clad in a mini-me version of the brand’s iconic Heritage trench coat, cashmere scarf and a black suit – matching the older gentleman dancers - and even a golden raincoat from the autumn/winter collection.

This latest campaign follows Romeo’s modelling debut at the age of 10, when he led Burberry´s spring/summer 2013 print campaign. His modelling career got off to a flying start with his image emblazoned all over glossy magazines and giant banners worldwide.

The film was launched last night in a star-studded event at the brand’s 4,000 square-foot global flagship store on Regent Street in London. From London with Love was was directed by multi-talented Chief Creative and CEO Christopher Bailey, who’s known for handpicking home-grown actors, musicians and personalities to star in his campaigns and shows.

Commenting on Romeo’s second job for the house, Bailey said: "It continues to be an utter joy working with Romeo.

"He has charm, style and great energy! I'm delighted that he's the lead role in our festive campaign."

Cara Delevingne stars in Topshop’s Christmas campaign

British fashion power Topshop has today released its Christmas campaign, which stars supermodel Cara Delevingne.

The video ad opens with Delevingne declaring: “Happy Holidays! … Why was I waving like that, that’s very lame, sorry.” But besides her 'festive' message, the film guides shoppers through this season’s party dressing with the help of Delevingne who sports the new collection whilst jumping around and playing with Christmas tree baubles.

For the Holiday season the British high-street brand comes into it's own with party pieces like a black strapless bodysuit, a baroque style dress, a white dress with feather trim, and glittery accessories.

The Christmas ad follows  Topshop´s first solo campaign ever starring Delevingne for the autumn/winter collection with the festive campaign produced by the same team. It was shot in London's private club Annabel's by photographer Alasdair McLellan and styled by the brand's creative director Kate Phelan.

Delevingne has now become a regular in Topshop’s adverts. Her first appearance for the brand was in 2010 when she featured in the campaign video for Kate Moss' collection for the store.

The video embraces the brand's British heritage with clues that it's shot in the capital including Delevingne holding a Houses of Parliament snow globe souvenir.

Sea and Be Seen: Charting Fashion’s Love Affair With the Ocean

The Spring ’15 runways fairly teemed with marine life and seafaring motifs. Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiura and Pierpaolo Piccioli sent out sheer dresses embellished with starfish, shells, and fiery pieces of coral. At Rodarte, the Mulleavys plumbed the possibilities of tidal pools and came up with an ethereal shipwreck of a collection, replete with filmy fishnet and sea urchins. Even Anthony Vaccarello grounded his signature sex appeal with brass anchor accents and porthole grommets. And that’s to say nothing of the countless takes on marinière stripes and sailor pants spotted on the runways of New York, Milan, and Paris.

In fact, there was so much sea life on the runways, we couldn’t help but wonder if designers were offering an oblique commentary and even a lament of sorts regarding the state of our planet. And for good reason. Just last week, a U.N. panel issued its direst warning yet: Unless drastic carbon emissions are enacted soon, we face the flooding of major cities and entire island nations, not to mention global food shortages and mass extinctions of plants and animals.

Baz And Barney´s Light Up New York

If you've ever seen a Baz Luhrmann film or viewed Catherine Martin´s costume designs up close you know the husband-wife duo doesn't really do "subtle" or "understated."

It's what makes the collaborative couple a perfect match for Barneys New York,as the three collaborated together on the retailetrs 2014 holiday windows and gift line.In a city where each department store is trying to outshine the competition, the holidays are all about making things big and bright — which happens to be Luhrmann and Martin's specialty, as they proved at Thursday nights unveiling.

A little rain wasn't going to damper the occasion outside Barneys' flagship on Madison Avenue. Under a banner which read "A life lived in fear is a life half lived," a cappella group Pentatonix performed Christmas carols as the whole story of the windows unfolded. The concept is so outlandish, it's really best summed up by the release: "a contortionist b-boy elf, a wise old ‘True Owl’ who speaks the truth, a graffiti-ing squirrel who makes use of his gold spray paint through Barneys and beyond, and Celestina the ice princess, eternally skating and longing to be set free — with the whole mythical world ruled over by the Luna and Solar Queens."

As the whole thing hit its crescendo with the Luna and Solar Queens performing an operatic cover of Madonna's "Holiday" from the balconies above, confetti cannons fired into the air — it was something that could have come straight out of one of Luhrmann's films (more like the joyous scenes towards the beginning than the heart-wrenching ones towards the end, of course).

Then a lively drumline lead party-goers to the Central Park Zoo just a few blocks away, which had been turned into a magical forest (real-life fairy Dakota Fanning fit in perfectly) complete with wood nymphs on stilts and a man dressed as a fox carving an elaborate ice sculpture. Dinner was held under a Hogwarts-worthy canopy of branches and floating candlesticks, tables and chairs nestled in a thick carpet of leaves.

And when Pentatonix ended dinner by standing on their chairs to perform an incredible Beyoncé medley and an encore performance (demanded by Luhrmann) of Ariana Grande's "Problem," guests took to the dance floor — none more enthusiastically than Martin herself. Oh, and that ice sculpture? Turns out it was a fancy ice luge from which guests could take shots of liquor.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Armani Takes Fashion Week Stand

Giorgio Armani has confirmed that his eponymous brand will show on the sixth, and final, day of Milan Fashion Week in February, in a move that signifies a stand against the Italian autumn/winter 2015 show season being shortened to five days, as was the case this September.

"I want to personally thank Giorgio Armani who gave proof of great sensitivity and generosity towards the Italian fashion system," the Italian Fashion Chamber president, Mario Boselli, told WWD.

Giorgio Armani
The confirmation of the schedule also indicates that Armani has been placated by the Italian Fashion Chamber. The designer was extremely vocal in February in his critique about the way the Chamber had managed the schedule, which allowed for fashion editors to leave Milan early, therefore missing his show because he was the only "big name" to show on the last day.

"There are some who prefer to snub the Giorgio Armani show and go to Paris," he said at the time. "When we decided to show the last day, other big brands were involved. But currently this is an empty day. Does this mean protecting the Italian fashion? Where is the Camera? I rejoined it but I can always exit again. I can just put in a phone call."

J Crew's Culinary Colour Wheel

Pesto, Peppermint Ice, Warm Chicory, Melted Caramel, Espresso - J Crew's autumn/winter 2014 collection has a tasty ring to it, and now we know why.

"People really respond to food," said Tom Mora, head of women's design. "I've never heard a person not feel happy about eating. It's that emotion or smile on your face. These colours all have distinct smells or tastes to them."

It seems that the inspiration is endless for the design team, who pick up new names for the company's colour wheel wherever they go.

J Crew
"Whether we're going on a trip to Spain or to the Twenties in Berlin or the California coast, you start thinking of what that does in your head," Mora told the Huffington Post. "That's where you start getting the words you can kind of associate with the colours as well."

Mora is, however, certain of what wouldn't work."We don't want to start naming names in terms of a town or get too specific," he revealed. "That confuses people. They need to get it immediately from the sound of the name. Sometimes when you have a name that doesn't include the colour, like dusty cobblestone, it kind of does feel like a cobblestone. They still know what that is. [But] sometimes the two words together, like burnt something or ripe something, are like, ew!"

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Westwood Advises: "Eat Less"

Vivienne Westwood has advice for those who cannot afford to buy organic food: eat less. The designer and campaigner made the suggestion yesterday as she dropped off a petition to Downing Street protesting against genetically modified foods.

"You've got all these processed foods, which is the main reason that people are getting fat," she said, The Independent reported. "They're not actually good for you - they don't give you strength, they give you weight. I eat vegetables and fruit. I don't eat meat; I believe meat is bad for me… But if there was a movement to produce more organic food and less of the horrible food, then organic food would obviously be a good-value price, wouldn't it? We need to change to a green economy and a green world and that is easy to do. The alternative is hell."

Vivienne Westwood
When a BBC Radio interviewer challenged her with the words: "Not everybody can afford to eat organic food", she retorted: "Eat less!"

New York Fashion Week's New Name?

New York Fashion Week could be getting a new moniker if, as rumours suggest, it is about to cut ties with its headline sponsor. The event, officially known as "Mercedes Benz Fashion Week New York", is reportedly talking with new sponsors as it plans a revamp in the coming months.

The week moved from Bryant Park, its home since 1994, to Lincoln Centre in 2010 - and has suffered from something of a crisis of confidence ever since. Headlines have proclaimed it too accessible and not innovative enough and, as a result, IMG - which produces the event - is reportedly planning to move it to another venue.

New York Fashion Week
The new site, unconfirmed but thought to be in Downtown Manhattan, is hoped to lend the showcase some much-needed kudos: "The general consensus is that it's just not cool to show at Lincoln Center," one longtime insider said, The Cut reports. Many of the city's top designers show off-schedule - and at NYFW in September, a top Hollywood publicist was overheard saying, "I would only let my actresses go to London or Paris shows. New York's just not as important or A-list." Meanwhile however, others suggest that the announcement could just be part of a negotiation tactic ahead of the venue changes: "Mercedes may walk," a highly placed individual in New York fashion told the Hollywood Reporter. "But I doubt it."

"Mercedes-Benz is a valued global partner of ours across fashion, sports and several WME-IMG properties, including Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York, where they remain our title sponsor," IMG asserted today.

Model Decision Time: Victoria's Secret Vs Chanel

When Karl Lagerfeld decided to hold his Chanel Métiers d'Art show on the same night as the annual Victoria's Secret extravaganza (December 2), he gave some of the industry's best-known models a very tough choice: which should they walk in? Some, including the Angels, have no real choice to make, either because they are not Chanel favourites or because - like Karlie Kloss or Candice Swanepoel - their contract with the American lingerie giant will make the decision a no-brainer. But what about the rest?

Chanel: The Ladies First Choice?
Brit girls Jourdan Dunn and Lily Donaldson, who often walk for Chanel, have both already spoken of their preparations for the Victoria's Secret show - as have other Lagerfeld favourites Joan Smalls, Josephine Skriver and Devon Windsor. Still sitting on the fence, perhaps still deciding which way to jump, are some Chanel girls - including campaign face  Cara Delevingne and catwalk regular Malaika Firth - who walked for Victoria's Secret last year, but who haven't yet confirmed that they will again. Newcomers like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, who were slated to make their Victoria's Secret debut this year, are now less likely to, considering the lure of Chanel on the other side of the Alps.

All eyes will be on the airline tickets that will surely begin to pop up on social media later this month: destination London, or destination Salzburg?

Martin Margiela's Galliano Verdict

Martin Margiela has given his approval for the appointment of John Galliano at the helm of the label he founded. The famously reclusive designer hasn't issued a formal statement, but a source close to 
him told WWD that he had given the choice the "thumbs up."

John Galliano
The Belgian designer officially left his eponymous label in October 2009 and declined to comment on the following developments - which saw designers including Marios Schwab and Matthieu Blazy helm the design team, without being publically named as creative director. 

Despite implementing a policy that all members of the design team should wear identical white lab coats - and that the studio should be recognised as being responsible for the collection rather than one designer - reports suggest that Margiela himself has long been keen to "see a leader at the label".

Galliano has already been spotted close to the brand's Paris headquarters wearing his white lab coat as he and his team begin work on their debut offering.

Tim Walker And Kate Moss's Fashion Film

Tim Walker´s film of  Kate Moss´s 40-person shoot gives us an exclusive glimpse of the hilarity that ensued over the day. Theodora Richards gets thrown around by Gwendoline Christie; Beth Ditto gives Moss advice; Luke Treadaway gets tied up; Cara Delevingne goes for a handstand; there's a lot of tongue from Pixie Geldof; and a lot of people fall over. Don't miss the party.

Cara Unveils Her Mini Mulberry Collection

The ever-helpful Cara Delevingne knows just what you want for Christmas: a stocking filled with tiny leather treats from Mulberry, each created by her own fair hand - or at least from her own quirky imagination.

"I designed my Cara bag to look elegant but I also wanted the collection to be functional and practical when travelling," she told us of the small leather goods offering for Mulberry. "The accessories do exactly the same. Make-up pouches, passport holders, phone covers; they are all so useful when you are rushing around and they keep your handbag orderly! This is a beautiful range that complements the main collection and I have also personalised it. Look out for the lion rivets and the camo pieces; my favourite print."

Cara Delevingne For Mulberry
Featuring wallets, purses, iPad sleeves, phone covers, zipped pouches, and passport holders (which the model says she seems to lose every time she travels), the range is created in camouflage-printed leather (inspired by Delevingne's love of hiding from her teachers at school), and classic Mulberry oak - and has thus-far proved almost as well-liked as the girl herself.

"Cara is so popular at Mulberry that a baby lamb has been named after her!" Anne-Marie Verdin, Mulberry's brand director, told us. "Cara the lamb is contentedly grazing outside our factory in Somerset. Our collaboration with the real Miss Delevingne has been a fantastic project, and the Mulberry Cara Delevingne Bags are flying off the shelves, with new versions available in time for Christmas."

Sunday, November 9, 2014

DVF: Fashion´s Sexiest Cowboy

Diane Von Furstenberg´s brain must be an exhausting place to be. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the mind that conceived one of the defining dress shapes of the second half of the twentieth century - a metaphor for female empowerment in the Seventies and the one garment that truly represented both women's sexual and social transformation in that decade - is an ever-moving entity, sharp and easily bored.

Taking pictures as we chat; enquiring where someone's bag is from, if the temperature can be increased in the room and whether something can be moved from here to there; cutting unwanted stitches from her jacket - one gets the feeling that Von Furstenberg is never not "on". Her thirst for knowledge is unquenched by years of learning and the joie de vivre that drives that thirst is palpable. Her beauty, in pictorial form, adorns the walls of the exhibition space that we meet in, and her real-life appearance is just as luminous and undeniable as it was thirty-odd years ago as she sashayed through the doors of Studio 54. Alone. Wearing cowboy boots.

Diane Von Furstenberg
"The feeling of independence that I had when I started my business, I still have that today," she smiled. "When I arrive alone somewhere, I love it - I love to be alone. I'm very much a cowboy. And I do still have the fantasy of having a man's life in a woman's body."

It's not hard to imagine - reading Von Furstenberg's memoir, The Woman I Wanted To Be, or flipping through the pages of The Journey of A Dress, a Rizzoli picture book celebrating her greatest invention, the wrap dress - how the designer's allure first captivated a generation of women. Her stories of doing exactly what she pleased while looking unbelievably sexy are legion, and for women in the Seventies she embodied the type of woman that many of them longed to be: independent and feminist in their thinking, but still keen to look beautiful and feel sexy. Fashion hadn't yet answered the conundrum of what a sexy feminist looked like - and suddenly there she was. Exotic in her appearance, royal by marriage (having recently wed Prince Egon zu Fürstenberg), she arrived in New York to sell her collection - and her own brand of independence without a hint of man-hating - and women bought it, and bought it, and bought it.

"My role in fashion is to give women tools that are effortless, sexy and on-the-go," she said. "That's what my contribution is. I'm not a minimalist sack kind of designer. It's not that I don't like it, or that I don't respect it, but what is really important - for your life, for your brand, for everything - is to be true to yourself. It's not good when you lose yourself."

President of American fashion's governing body, the CFDA, for a record-breaking 10 years, she supports young designers - and encourages them to support each other - as she and her peers, including the late Oscar de la Renta, have always done.

"When you are older and you have been successful, it is important to give back," she said of her role. "There was a moment that, when they asked me to be on the board, I felt like an outsider. And I was so touched that they asked me. New York designers are really like a family: even though we compete, we support each other, and that is very special to New York."

I did not know what I wanted to do, but I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be. I wanted to be an independent woman, a woman who runs her own life, who's in charge of her life.Diane Von Furstenberg

Despite appearances, life hasn't been all leopard-printed roses for the pretty Euro princess turned grande dame of New York fashion. Her business has floundered, twice significantly; she's beaten cancer; and she talks of romantic betrayals and disappointments openly in her memoir. But, Von Furstenberg - the daughter of an Auschwitz survivor - is defined by her resilience. Her ability to throw herself, not just into work, but supporting causes that she believes in even when things are not going as she would like appeals to every person's urge for contentment. To find that without need for external reassurance is deliciously appealing.

"It's my personality, it's just who I am," she shrugs of her ability to bounce back from setbacks - both personally and professionally. "The book starts with my mother and I think that helps you understand me a little. It really wasn't until after she died that I understood the impact that she had on me."

Her irrepressible spirit is helped by an innate lack of sentimentality. She's a no regrets, no backward glances kind of girl - and if her current appearance is anything to go by, doing exactly what you please is certainly good for the complexion. Maybe worries really do give you wrinkles?

"My mother always told me 'Fear is not an option'," she told us, "So, scared? No. I don't get scared. Not of things you do. I love to look at old pictures - I keep everything and I love to look back - but I'm not nostalgic. It's not like I say, 'I wish we were back then'. I'm very happy to be old enough to have danced at Studio 54 and young enough to have experienced the digital revolution."

A fellow Studio 54 fan, Yves Saint Laurent - although famous for popularising tailoring for women - once lamented that he wished he had invented the blue jean, but is there any invention, other than the wrap dress, that Von Furstenberg wishes she could put her name to?

"No," she smirked. "I never thought of that. I think one is pretty good already, no?"

Diane von Furstenberg's new books - The Woman I Wanted To Be and Journey Of A Dress - are available now, and she is currently appearing on House of DVF, a documentary search to find the brand's new global ambassador on E!

How To Be Lagerfeld's Bodyguard

Not since Kevin Costner has a bodyguard caused quite such a collective swoon as Karl Lagerfeld's personal protector, Sebastien Jondeau. Handsome, French, and - crucially for a bodyguard - not afraid of a fight, Jondeau has caused almost as much hysteria as the man he is protecting at recent appearances. Always first to tap into the zeitgeist, Lagerfeld has enlisted him as the face of his new eponymous collection - and here Jondeau shares all on his secrets to success, including: "prevent surprises" and "practice combat sport, but keep your face intact".

Harvey Nichols Injunction To Stop Anti-Fur Protests

Harvey Nichols is seeking an injunction to prevent anti-fur protesters from picketing its stores in England and Wales. The department store has asked the court to restrict how and where those opposing the sale of fur can make their presence felt near its stores.

The formal application requests that protesters be banned from handing out leaflets, using megaphones or loudhailers and congregating within 50m of Harvey Nichols stores. A campaign group calling itself "Heartless Harvey Nichols" maintains that the protests, three of which have taken place in the past month alone, have been peaceful and constitutional and that the order is "an attack on democratic freedoms".

Harvey Nichols
"The order being sought by Harvey Nichols is a direct attack on those who oppose the sale of fur," the group said in a statement today. "If granted, this injunction could result in those people being banned from entering high streets across the country and being prosecuted for entering their stores."

Meanwhile, the department store explained that the injunction was in order to protect its staff: "Harvey Nichols takes the safety of our customers and our staff very seriously. The injunction is a precautionary measure being taken in response to increased activity from anti-fur campaigning groups."

Balmain's Boy On The London Store

Balmain´s Olivier Rousteing is opening the brand's first European flagship in London, and the designer asserts that the British capital was a natural choice for the label's first store outside Paris.

"London is a very important city for Balmain, we have always had a very loyal clientele so it all came very naturally," Rousteing told us today. "Opening Balmain's first European flagship was quite an obvious choice for the house and Mayfair was the most ideal location for Balmain. South Audley Street is definitely a new shopping destination in the city and Balmain is very happy to be one the first houses to settle there."

Olivier Rousteing
The store itself, as expected, will channel Rousteing's signature easy French glamour - with perhaps just a soupçon of British spirit.

"We have worked with Joseph Dirand, the architect who oversaw the Paris flagship 2009 transformation, to translate Balmain French refinement into an English vocabulary," Rousteing explained. "The new 200sq m boutique has been created as a unique elegant London pied-à-terre that channels the classically sober English style, it is Balmain's second home."

Not only Balmain's second home, one would imagine, but also a stylish base for an army of Balmain fans from this side of the Channel - including some of Rousteing's favourite Brit girls: "Katie Grand, Charlotte Stockdale, Cara Delevingne, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Jourdan Dunn."

The label also launched its ecommerce store this week, a key "development for a fashion house like Balmain," Rousteing added - but aside from the important business of fashion, Rousteing already has his eye on a spectacular London opening party.

"The opening will be about friends having fun," he said. "London is more about individualism and freedom, it is a very inspiring city that I love to visit, and it's so close to Paris!"

Galliano Loses Unfair Dismissal Case

John Galliano has lost his wrongful dismissal case against his former employers. The designer - who last November was granted the right to have his complaint heard in a labour court in Paris - was today ordered to pay both Christian Dior and John Galliano a symbolic €1 each as the court threw out his damages claim.

Galliano, who was in court to hear the verdict, had asked for damages of between €2.4 and €13 million for his dismissal in 2011. The designer asserted that, in knowing about his addictions, Dior and Galliano's parent company LVMH had a duty of care to him that they had neglected.

John Galliano
"The two companies were fully aware of my state I took Valium so I could get through fittings," Galliano said in French, WWD reported from the courtroom. "I can't let the 17 years I spent and enjoyed at Dior be blackened like this. During these years as creative director of this house, I did not realise that its success, multiplying its sales by four, came at a destructive and exorbitant cost: my physical and mental health. Always more work, always more obligations, always more pressure, a dangerous and pathological spiral, without control."

Kirsty Hume's Fashion Comeback

Kirsty Hume is making a fashion return. The model - who was shooting Chanel campaigns when many current catwalk faces were shooting, well, nothing but baby snaps - is back with a vengeance, and this time she has even bigger plans.

"This career just sort of happened back then, so I was like, 'OK' and did it. I think that happens to a lot of girls who have another plan; mine was art," the Ayrshire-born, LA-based beauty told us. "Now, I would love to develop a knitwear line. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time actually. I studied permaculture in northern California and I feel that I can combine that interest in sustainability - as well as my arty side, I've always painted - with my fashion experience. Plus, I'm a big knitter. I have lots of plans in the pipeline."

Famous for noting that the most exciting part of her modelling life was "the money", Hume has always been - to all intents and purposes - a reluctant supermodel, but the next decade will be anything but, she asserts. Famous by 18 and expecting her daughter at 27, she was credited as having "retired" after a decade in the business, but explains that she actually never consciously removed herself from fashion - she just slowly begun saying "no" to more jobs than she said "yes" to; a concept that many a previously career-driven new mother can relate to. But, now that Hume's daughter Violet is 10 - and is securing her own modelling work with brands like Zara thanks to her inherited good looks - it's time to turn her attention back to her career.

Kirsty Hume
"I think being in LA, just from a very practical point of view, contributed to the perception that I was 'retiring' from fashion because I was just that much further away from the hub and everything that was happening," she said. "But also, I had my daughter. I spent 10 years very focused on her and now I've begun thinking, what do I want the next 10 years to look like? What do I want to do?"

At 38, Hume still retains the same sense of otherness that set her apart as a model in the Nineties. The only Scot on the New York scene; the only long-haired, fairy-pure wood nymph in a sea of grungy club kids; the only 19-year-old emanating wisdom to rival your grandmother, she has always been different. She shifts uncomfortably at any suggestion she is special - any mention of her beauty makes her visibly cringe - but one topic makes her eyes sparkle: her homeland.

"I've always missed Scotland," she nodded. "I grew up on the beach. I miss the cold, fresh air, and the wind! I have a picture on my desk in LA of me and my mum and my brother on Ayr beach, with jackets up to our eyes, smiling away. It's the first thing I do when I get home; just go to the beach and breathe some fresh air. I was standing outside my dad's house a few nights ago and the wind was amazing. Just having my feet planted on the earth in Scotland, it feels like I'm home. My dad thinks I'm crazy!"

She has a quality of the Scottish literary heroine about her - calling to mind Sunset Song's Chris Guthrie with her talk of "the land" - and how alien she feels in LA is almost palpable, slight California twang notwithstanding. Hume's memories of Scotland often describe her mother - windswept and smiling, who she lost as a teenager - and err on the wholesome and affectionate side, as only someone who left their hometown before boredom and disaffection set in can do. Her daughter, with soon-to-be ex-husband Donovan Leitch, is as American as apple pie, however, and it's clear that the thought of removing her from her native country in order that Hume can begin the next phase of her life weighs heavy on the model's mind.

"I'm really ready to leave LA," she admitted. "Violet's dad is from there, and she has lived there for the past 10 years, but I definitely think a lot about coming home to Scotland. My dad is 80 now... and I'm sad that my daughter is growing up with no sense of my culture."

Flipping through images of Hume - who was walking in the Victoria's Secret show alongside Gisele Bündchen and Stephanie Seymour, or for Gianni Versace at the Ritz in Paris, while many fashion names were still at school - provokes awe for many; obsessed with the stories, relationships and memories that must have been forged in such a seminal time, but Hume retains a down-to-earth absence of nostalgia about the era.

"I didn't really understand why  Victoria´s Secret wanted me.¨she shrugged. "I'm not exactly a classic lingerie girl, I didn't think. I'm quite a quiet person and not really someone who relishes being dressed up and put on a stage... I became a face of Chanel beauty when I was 19 and it feels like another life when I think about it now, but in many ways it felt like another life even then! 'Where am I?! What am I doing?!' I never really made a decision to leave fashion, but this definitely feels like a conscious return. I'm ready to embrace my life, in several different ways, and stepping back into modelling and fashion is a big part of that. I'm back!"

Valentino's Couture Road Trip

Valentino is taking its couture show on the road - and the label's designers, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, are in for a busy couple of months as a result. The Paris-based brand will travel to New York in December to present the offering as it opens its Fifth Avenue store, before showing as usual in Paris in January during Couture Week.

Then, come July, the designers will travel to Rome - their home town and alma mater - to host a couture show to coincide with another flagship store opening, in the ancient Italian city. The label plans to return to Paris for the couture shows in January 2016.

Fashion commentators - including The New York Time´s Vanessa Friedman - have interpreted the news as yet another signal that the traditional couture show schedule, and all that goes with it, is losing traction, and that brands are focusing on putting themselves where the customers are.

"The choice is important because the brand, led by the Valentino chief executive Stefano Sassi, is one of the mainstays of the ever-shrinking Paris couture schedule," Friedman notes. "Its exquisite shows are among the most highly anticipated of the week, along with Chanel, Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier and Armani Privé. Valentino's willingness to go its own way, even if just for a season, would have to give fellow fashionistas pause."

With Dolce & Gabbana already showing couture in Italy - the designers' home market and inspiration for many of their collections - and now Valentino following suit, we may soon see other brands take the couture show on the road in pursuit of new business for the age-old art.