Scarlett Johansson for Mango

In the past, Spanish store, Mango, has worked with Milla Jovovich and Lizzie Jagger but new poster face Scarlett Johansson is Mango’s most high-profile celebrity model to date.

The Girl with the Pearl Earring actress, who took over from co-star Penelope Cruz as the face of the High Street label earlier this year, has posed in a series of stunning images to promote the store’s new collection, taken by famed fashion photographer Mario Sorrenti.

The fashion label said of its new star: “She is an extraordinary personality, fun, young. She’s Mango’s ideal urban woman, independent and cosmopolitan.”

The photos show the 24 year old with short peroxide blonde hair, smouldering against a graffiti-covered wall. The shoot sees her wear pieces from an Eighties-inspired collection; including T-shirt dresses, embellished miniskirts and polished tailoring, flaunting her famous curves. While the edgy rock-chic leather remains, the leopard-print of early autumn has been replaced with inky blues, black and pale grey.

Scarlett, who recently married fellow actor Ryan Reynolds, made an appearance in Munich, Germany earlier this week to launch the campaign. Dressed, naturally, in head-to-toe Mango, she wore a sleeveless printed pussy-bow blouse with a beige pencil skirt and co-ordinating platform peep-toes (see images to the right, top image). It was a far cry from Scarlett’s usual vintage-inspired look, which is often compared with the style of Marilyn Monroe.

However, it’s these images that have prompted a mixed reception from the fashion press, with some, like Instyle, praising the ‘strong direction’ being taken by the chain and others, for example OSOYOU, criticising its bland neutrality. I’m just surprised that this shot has been publicised as heavily, as it really doesn’t do justice to the collection, let alone to Johansson.

Megan Fox for Armani

Fashionistas worldwide have been left unimpressed as 23 year old idiot Megan Fox has be announced as the new face for high-end fashion line Armani. According to published reports, Fox will receive a six figure payment to pose in underwear for the fashion retailer shot by fashion photographers, Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.

Hours after the rumour was confirmed, fashion blogs begun dissecting the news and have reached a fashionable verdict. They don’t want her. The move has struck some bubbling controversy amongst the fashion crowd, with some claiming Fox is “not notable for being credible” and is somewhat undeserving of her fame, let alone a prestige celebrity endorsement.

One blogger said, “How can Victoria Beckham, a globally known fashion icon, be replaced with someone who has no brains, no talent, no style and no respect? There are a million better picks than Megan Fox.”

Others believe Fox’s otherwise ‘trashy’ image will taint the sophistication and stylish appeal of the Armani brand and that although she is a popular choice, she may not be a suitable one.

Fans of the actress support her new endeavour, claiming the project may encourage the seriousness of her career, while others speak of its counterpart, stating Fox does lack seriousness in her career and would be a more suitable spokesperson for Target.

Ouch.

Fox, famous for leaning over a broken down Camero in the first Transformers flick and for learning over a motorcycle in the sequel, hinted at the prospect some weeks ago. According to the now confirmed reports, the star will appear in a series of print and billboard advertisements for the brand but will not be photographed with male spokesperson, Cristiano Ronaldo.

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.

Surface To Air teams up with Solve Sundsbo

This month fashion label and creative agency Surface to Air has not only masterminded Uniqlo’s first store opening in Paris but has also teamed up with Norwegian, fashion photographer Solve Sundsbo who has designed a capsule collection for the company.

Creating three prints entitled Parrot, Hair Dress and Dry Clean Bag the photographer has developed three key pieces with the fashion team: a top, a dress and a fabric bag printed with the famed lensman’s stunning, trippy, ethereal images, all of which can be seen here

Prices start at 140 Euros.

Irving Penn obituary

Parts taken from The Guardian, read the full article here

Irving Penn, who has died aged 92, was one of the great photographers of the 20th century. His fashion pictures appeared in Vogue from the 1940s onwards, but he became known, too, for his portraits of writers, artists, celebrities, children and tradesmen, as well as his studies of tribesmen, nudes and still-lifes, which found beauty in decaying fruit or cigarette ends. He once claimed that “photographing a cake can be art”.

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Chad Pitman for VMAN

VMAN magazine’s PR sent Design Scene advance previews of 3 fashion spreads by Chad Pitman, photographing some of the most wanted in the fashion industry.

The spread features Garrett Neff and Baptiste Giabiconi (photographed by somebody other than Mr. Lagerfeld). I think they’re really rather good.

VMAN’s (Issue #15) is hitting the newsstands September 15th.

Uma Thurman for W magazine

Being a fan of Tarantino films, I’ve always been a fan of Uma Thurman; considering her one of the most attractive women in the world.

This month, the actress and former model does an editorial shoot for W magazine, in which the 39-year-old smoulders on a couch, clad in a feathered stole and black stockings and suspenders, with Marilyn Monroe style peroxide hair; I love the glamorously dark aesthetic as she looks like a tragic actress on the way down the greasy pole of celebrity.

Photographed by Stephen Kleine. Read the full story on W’s website: here.

MJ by Catalogue magazine

Argentinian magazine Catalogue sent Design Scene a preview of their Michael Jackson Tribute pictorial coming from their September issue (photographed by Natasha Ygel and Jimena Nahon.) I thought these images, especially the cover image, were very well shot.

Lagerfeld talks Lily

To say that I was surprised when I heard that Lily Allen would be the new face of Chanel Cocoon would be a bit of an understatement. I’ll happily hold my hands up and say I just don’t get her. Here’s this relatively pretty, outspoken girl whose debut video showed her as, frankly, a scaly. And now she’s the face of Chanel, one of the most luxurious fashion brands in the world. Well clearly Mr Lagerfeld saw something in her (and I can’t help but think that new BFF Ms. Moss helped) and who am I to question the genius that is Karl Lagerfeld.

With less than a fortnight before the new collection is launched in stores, Lagerfeld talks to Vogue about why he chose Allen. “I love Lily Allen,” Lagerfeld said of his choice. “She looks a lot like Gabrielle Chanel and she is a self-made woman. She is cool, young and extremely witty.” I can’t say I agree.

Allen, who last week became GQ’s Woman of the Year, modelled the luxury sportswear bags for a shoot with Lagerfeld himself. The collection that includes shopping, bowling and trolley bags, purses, wallets, toilet bags and clutches in a variety of colours means that Lily should have no shortage of arm candy for the new season.