Archive: September 2010

Charlie Le Mindu’s naked fashion show

In contrast to the few articles who reported on it, Charlie Le Mindu’s naked fashion show for spring/summer 2011 hardly caused a stir in London. Over the years, Fashion Week has seen its fair share of weirdness as designers attempt to break the Last Taboo. However, according to the lack of coverage Le Mindu’s runway spectacle received it seems that full frontal nudity is practically a cliché.

The 24-year-old French wig maker unveiled a collection of black beehives, leopard print playsuits, bottle millinery, bright pink platforms and full-frontal nudity during his second collection at Fashion Week.

Born in rural France, Le Mindu studied hairdressing at Vidal Sassoon and Toni & Guy before turning to wigs and opening a studio in Shoreditch, East London where he’s now based.

Launching his label only a year ago he has generally been successful at grabbing the fashion media’s attention, thanks, in no small part, to his impressive client list, which includes Lady Gaga, MGMT, Bloc Party, VV Brown and Jodie Harsh.

At last year’s Fashion Week, he unveiled a full face headdress made of real mice and rat carcasses, outraging animal rights activists.

“I really like mice and rats,” he said at the time, “But everybody doesn’t like them and I just wanted to show people it could be really beautiful.” When asked if he was worried about the public’s reaction, he said: “It’s better to make them beautiful than give them to the snakes.”

Full collection here

Manolo Blahnik’s save marriage’s

Every day I ready terrible, PR articles that proclaim rubbish like “Cheese Will Make You Live 20 Minutes Longer”, “Tree Hugging Made Me A Better Parent” and “Vodka Cured My Itchy Nose” or whatever is the latest pseudoscience miracle cure is. Today, Vogue Online made me less of a pessimist with a report I can really jump on board with.

Manolo Blahnik has proclaimed that his shoes have saved couples from marital trouble.

“The male reaction to heels is half normal and half perversion, but some men tell me I’ve saved their marriage,” he says. “The first thing men look at are a woman’s legs, and there is nothing more flattering than high heels.”

The footwear legend, whose shoes are worn by all from Sarah Jessica Parker to Naomi Campbell, admits that he has little interest in the world of celebrity.

“It’s not the vulgarity of it – vulgarity’s ok and bad taste is ok too, sometimes – although when all those football people buy your shoes…Really I’m not interested in all that.”

Who does Blahnik think has worn his designs best?

“Princess Diana was special. She wore my shoes with such grace and had a luminosity I’ve only seen matched by Julie Christie. Maybe Kate Moss has something of that too, now, because she’s funny as well as being beautiful, but really the whole celebrity phenomenon is only of importance because it makes you money.”

Second Beth Ditto collection reveals gap in the plus-size market

From The Guardian, by Mariannne Kirby

In the earliest hours of September 17, while the customer service representatives for Evans, the UK plus-size fashion retailer, slumbered in their beds, an international fatshion (fat fashion) frenzy was brewing on Twitter. Plus-sized shoppers in the US and below the equator in Australia and New Zealand refreshed product pages and traded 140-character thoughts on the highly anticipated Beth Ditto collection.

In 2009, Beth Ditto, equally famous as lead singer of the Gossip and for her eclectic style choices and bold personality, worked with Evans to release a collection reflecting in-the-moment trends. The collection struck a nerve with its iconic pieces – and quickly disappeared from stock rooms. When word of Ditto’s second collection hit the internet, fatshionistas from all over the world were poised, credit card numbers at their finger tips, and ready to buy.


Tom Ford’s secret collection

Making a surprise return to the fashion frontline, Tom Ford, who famously reinvented the Gucci brand, hosted a secret runway collection exclusive to 100 people, setting a new standard for the meaning of power in the fashion industry.

Fashion Month is a period when designers are eager to receive as much coverage, column inches and global reach as possible as they show their latest collections to a mass of journalists, celebrities and people-to-impress. However, Tom Ford, who did not appear on any schedules for New York fashion week has, yet-again, turned the fashion rule book on its head by hosting a secret show during New York Fashion Week.


Jeremy Langmead leaves Esquire for Mr Porter

The Esquire editor, Jeremy Langmead, is to leave after three-and-a-half years to take a new role at the online menswear website Mr Porter.

Langmead, who has edited the National Magazine Company-owned monthly since March 2007, will be replaced on an interim basis by deputy editor Dan Davies.

He has been hired by Net-a-Porter Group to take the new position of editor-in-chief of online retail site Mr Porter.

Esquire was one of the shining lights of NatMag’s mixed bag of circulation figures in the most recent Audit Bureau of Circulation report, with sales up 10.3% year-on-year in the first six months of 2010.

“I’ve loved working at Esquire for the past three years and have felt extremely proud to be at the helm of such an exciting, creative and innovative brand,” said Langmead. “I am sad to go but I leave Esquire knowing that it is in the capable hands of a passionate, brilliant and hard-working team. I am confident that it has a great future and will grow from strength to strength.”

Davies will take on the role of acting editor from 8 October until a replacement for Langmead is found.

Source: The Guardian

Lanvin for H&M

Confirming the collaboration with high-street brand H&M, Lanvin’s artistic director Alber Elbaz and head of menswear, Lucas Ossendrijver have agreed to design a range that will arrive in stores 23 November.

Customers will also be able to buy the collection online, following the store’s recent announcement that it is launching its first ecommerce site in September.

Elbaz said, “H&M approached us to collaborate, and to see if we could translate the dream we created at Lanvin to a wider audience, not just a dress for less,” he said, “I have said in the past that I would never do a mass-market collection, but what intrigued me was the idea of H&M going luxury rather than Lanvin going public. This has been an exceptional exercise, where two companies at opposite poles can work together because we share the same philosophy of bringing joy and beauty to men and women around the world.”

Previous successful designer collaborations for the Swedish highstreet giant include Stella McCartney, Sonia Rykiel and Jimmy Choo.

Essentials 100% ‘real’ women issue for October

Taken from The Guardian, by Carrie Dunn

“It felt like the right time to do it, and right for us, really,” says Jules Barton-Breck, editor of Essentials. The October issue of her magazine, already on sale, is claimed to be a UK first – a glossy that’s entirely model- and celebrity-free.

Despite the fanfare, rejecting models and celebrities in favour of “realness” is nothing new. Dove launched its Campaign For Real Beauty in 2004, using “real” women in its ads, and tying them in to a global awareness-raising project of promoting female body-acceptance. Debenhams now bans airbrushing in its swimwear ad campaigns, claiming the aim is “to help customers make the most of their beauty without bombarding them with unattainable body images”.


American Apparel: Where did it all go wrong?

In August, American Apparel announced that it was close to running out of cash and may not have sufficient liquidity necessary to sustain operations for the next 12 months. Its debt climbed by 32% to $120.3m during the second quarter and they estimates it will make an operational loss of $5m to $7m for the quarter to 30 June, compared with a profit of $7.3m in the same period a year ago. What that boring business talk translates to is: American Apparel probably won’t survive the recession. It got too big, too quickly.

Founded as a wholesale business in 1998 by Dov Charney, in 2000 it moved into retail, and by 2005 it was a hot brand featuring regularly in style sections. The Guardian had named it label of the year and in 2009 Charney was a finalist for Time’s 100 most influential people in the world. American Apparel, known for its cotton basics, sporty get-up and ridiculous price tags, justified its mark up with added value in two areas: more sex and less exploitation. And in the last 12 months, the company has taken a ferocious knock on both counts.

Charney’s perverse tendencies are hardly new news. The maverick Canadian entrepreneur apparently relishes his reputation as a pervert and a libertine. One industry insider calls him an “odious character about whom I have heard nothing but bad things, particularly concerning his recruitment techniques and the way he treats female employees”. There is, he adds, a “certain over-reliance on oral sex during interviews over assessing their retail experience”.