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Kate Moss and Lea T embrace the latest Love cover

My love affair with Love covers continues with the latest edition of the magazine, which sees transsexual model Lea T. and a masculine-styled Kate Moss lock lips for the androgyny issue, bluntly titled, “This is hardcore”.

Editor Katie Grand told the Telegraph how she met Riccardo Tisci’s muse, Lea T., remembering, “I was by the pool at the Copacabana Palace Hotel when I saw her. At first I didn’t notice her gender; just that she was wearing Givenchy couture and looked amazing!”

Lea, born Leandro Cerezo, the son of Brazilian football player Toninho Cerezo, was discovered by Givenchy’s creative director Riccardo Tisci. She went on to star in his campaigns, pose for French Vogue and the cover of Italian Vanity Fair. I wrote an in-depth article about her: here

The striking image for Love, shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, will no doubt see issues flying off the shelves. Unfortunately, this will probably be over-shadowed by the simultaneous Justin Bieber cover, as Beliebers or Bieberites (or whatever the hell the kids are calling themselves these days) scramble over themselves to own anything and everything with his face on it.

Renowned for releasing multiple covers per issue, it appears that Justin Bieber’s feminine looks have landed him the tounge-in-cheek cover shot.  Although it hasn’t been released how the Bieber/Love connection was made, I wonder if the singer was informed that his cover would in fact be for the androgyny issue. I hope the answer is yes, and that the performer, who has even inspired a website, ‘Lesbians who look like Justin Bieber‘, where readers can send in pictures of female lookalikes, was fair game.

The latest issue of bi-annual Love magazine goes on sale on February 7th.

Breaking barriers: Transsexual supermodels

As the muse of Givenchy’s creative director Riccardo Tisci, supermodel Lea T has graced the catwalk at the label’s recent Haute Couture show and stars in their new campaign. However the 28-year-old Brazilian model, and newest fashion rising-star, was actually born Leandro Cerezo and is currently undergoing hormone replacement therapy in preparation for a full sex-change.

While it is rare for a transgender model to break into high fashion as Lea has done, she is not the first to have experienced success in the industry. Last year transgender actress and model Patricia Araujo got a standing ovation at Rio de Janiero Fashion Week and was described as the event’s most spectacular model.

A fan of androgyny, bisexuality and all things that blur the line between gender stereotypes, when I first read about this story I thought that this was the beginning of something special. However, Lea’s career choice, and the success she’s experienced in it, has still provoked the anger of her Catholic family.

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Marc Jacobs becomes first top fashion label to create plus-size line

Found on The Guardian website:

Marc Jacobs, one of the world’s most successful design labels, is set to become the first major fashion houses to produce a clothing line catering for women bigger than size 14.

Although there is yet to be an official announcement, Robert Duffy, president of the Marc Jacobs label, wrote about the move on Twitter, confirming that the company was in the early stages of discussions to produce a plus-size range. He said that it would be a year before the line was available.

“We are in talks now. For plus sizes,” Duffy tweeted. “Listen, we are in the very beginning stages of talking to a partner about plus sizes.” He also revealed the problems he has buying clothes. “I’m a big guy 6ft 4in, 210 lbs. [It’s] not easy for me to find clothes,” he wrote. “Of course I can have them made. I know how everyone feels. I try to diet but… I don’t like the phrase plus-sizes. Any suggestions?

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Eastern delights or fundamentalist fashion?

When I went for lunch in Camden the other day a woman passed me in a Burka covered in pink faux-Chanel logos. I’ve kicked myself ever since for not asking for a photograph. This extreme integration of Eastern and Western style amused me for days because can the Burka –a symbol of shame, uniformity, obedience and confinement – ever be considered a fashion item when fashion can be so liberating? To begin with, I should say, this piece is not an attack on religion but an observation on how something that shocks transforms into “fashion” through reinvention and acceptance. After all, we’re still living with a generation that remembers Punk.

When I was in a lecture with Colin McDowell he repeatedly emphasised the importance of Eastern fashion and how this was an essential area to be looking at in the near fashionable future. In my opinion, in this globalised world, Western creativity is drying-up and our amalgamation with the East brings a new perspective, which will undoubtedly see the face of fashion change unrecognisably. In a report by WGSN (Religion Revisited) Claudia Mastrangelo, brand consultant for Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Sergio Rossi told the womenswear trends team, “Today, our fashion sense is an almost imperceptible blend of ideas and materials from both East and West.” Living in a multi-cultural society, this seems obvious; however, could there ever be a point where Eastern silhouettes overtake Western style? Will we one day be throwing out our LBDs in favour of a modest, head covering dress inspired by the Burka?

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Outrage over Vogue photographs

French Vogue has never been one to tiptoe around controversy. Recently it has published photos of supposedly pregnant models puffing cigarettes [see pictures to the right], supporting devil worshipping and leather-clad glamazons kissing with blood pouring from their mouths.

Now, though, the magazine may have gone too far for even the most dedicated followers of fashion. Its October edition features pictures of Dutch model Lara Stone in which the naturally pale-skinned blonde’s face and body are painted black. The photo shoot, styled by the magazine’s long-time editor, Carine Roitfeld, provoked outrage today as its subject spread through internet forums and fashion websites. The US blog Jezebel criticised the decision of Roitfeld and photographer Steven Klein to alter the model’s skin colour, accusing them of cultural insensitivity.

“What Klein and Roitfeld should know … is that painting white people black for the entertainment of other white people is offensive in ways that stand entirely apart from cultural context,” it said. “France and Australia may not have the United States’ particular history of minstrel shows … but something about the act of portraying a white woman as black ought to sound an alarm, somewhere.”

French Vogue said the magazine was unaware of any controversy. Neither Roitfeld nor Stone’s agents at the IMG model agency in New York or Paris were available for comment.

Dominique Sopo, president of the French organisation SOS Racisme, said that even if the shoot was not racist in intention it was certainly “tactless”.
“If the aim was artistic, and not to pass off the model as a black girl, the fact that it produces such reactions shows that the world of images – advertising, fashion, whatever – is now paying for its long tradition of not allowing black people to show their bodies in public.”

Before starting this blog, perhaps in my naivety, I didn’t realise just how political fashion was and how many people it’s capable of offending. I suppose the clue is in the name; people are worried that behaviour they deem offensive will become “fashionable” and therefore acceptable.

It never seizes to amaze me at how diverse the fashion industry is (business, politics, creative) and how much it affects us; that selling clothes can cause so much controversy, how the clothes are made can cause so much controversy, that a picture can cause so much controversy.