>> For Alber Elbaz, it's all about what's fresh — even as this year marks the designer's 10th at the helm of Lanvin. To celebrate, Elbaz has worked "new fabrics, new technologies, and new volumes" into Pre-Fall, combining statement-making shapes with some very innovative materials. Full-skirted frocks are done up in lace-bonded wool, oversized trenches come in patent leather gabardine, and flouncy cocktail dresses are constructed from airy tech fabrics. Large-scale cameo necklaces, square-buckle belts, and super-svelte leather gloves punctuate the looks.
On the recently announced Louis Vuitton fragrance: "Perfume is something I wanted to do here since the beginning, I don't know when it will be launched but we are in the process of working on it — there was a perfume back in the Twenties, a very niche little thing."
On the upcoming "Louis Vuitton — Marc Jacobs" exhibit, opening March 15 in Paris: "It's a really great honor. It's going to be a super animated, really great exhibition. I'm really proud of everyone here, proud for everyone here. As a New Yorker, I love Paris and I never in my wildest dreams as a teenager dreamed I would have a job working for this big luxury company. Now 15 years on, there is this thing at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs at the Louvre — it is really beyond my wildest dreams. It makes me very emotional — in a good way."
On not going to Dior: "It's a great honor to be considered, and Mr. Arnault is a super intelligent man and a very smart man and it was certainly a very great honor for him to know that I was capable — and not only capable but that I am someone that he would have wanted for the job. But I am very happy to be here. There is so much more left to do and building Louis Vuitton into a fashion company is something nobody else can say they really started."
On how the decision was made: "We agreed that it was probably best for everyone."
>> Alexander Wang's playful sportiness and menswear-inspired tailoring are back for Pre-Fall 2012. "We started with the idea of tromp l'oeil, something quite classic but less in a whimsical way and more the idea of deceptive textures and patterns," Wang explains. Thus, the season's pencil skirts, structured jackets, and cropped trousers are punctuated with cleverly tactile details: peekaboo pleats, mesh knits "printed" with geometric burnouts, and fine wools coated with a suede-like metallic. Accessories include a clutch in the form of a jumbo eyeglass case and a miniature version of the Rocco bag called the "Rocky."
>> The Palm Springs International Film Festival kicks off the 2012 awards season — and the first of the year's red carpet glamour. At Saturday night's Gala — which celebrated films such as Young Adult, Tree of Life, and My Week With Marilyn — the gowns ran the gamut from ethereal to dramatic: Charlize Theron stunned in black Lanvin (left), Angelina Jolie looked angelic in a gauzy Elie Saab, and Michelle Williams sparkled in blush-toned Prada. See those — plus two more — here, in the slideshow.
>> Falling temperatures and dry air can wreak havoc on hair and skin — not to mention the fragile beauty psyche. Update your routine and stay fresh as Spring with these Winter-ready beauty essentials. With natural ingredients, delicate fragrances, and lush textures, these ten products — some new, some tried-and-true — are sure to keep you gorgeous even through the coldest seasonal chills.
>> The week was full of stunners: Michelle Williams in Jason Wu, Alexa Chung in Marc Jacobs, and Emily Blunt in Marios Schwab. But the real star of the week? Rooney Mara, who dazzled her way across Europe in a storm of Pre-Fall 2012 gorgeousness. See all those — plus looks from Rachel Weisz, Emmy Rossum, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and more — here.
>> Candice Swanepoel — who will cover this year's Victoria's Secret swimsuit catalog — shows off the brand's Brazilian-inspired bikinis on the beaches of Tahiti and Turks & Caicos in this behind-the-scenes video. "I always look forward to getting the catalog in my mailbox every year!" Swanepoel told Elle. Get a preview — and see fellow angels Miranda Kerr, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Lily Aldridge— here.
>> Mila Kunis has been named the new face of Christian Dior. The actress — who also appeared on some of the top-selling magazine covers of 2011 — will front Dior's 2012 worldwide media plan, including the Spring ad campaign. Photographed by Mikael Jansson, the campaign will debut in China on January 15, and will hit the US January 29 when it appears in The New York Times. "Mila Kunis is a very talented young actress; she embodies the true modern woman." Delphine Arnault, deputy general manager at Dior told WWD. "We are looking forward to a long relationship with her."
Kunis agrees. "I find that Dior is an incredibly grounded house. I always thought what Dior does is so sophisticated, feminine and beautiful," the actress said. "They made me feel incredibly comfortable. I can’t say it was the hardest thing to do."
Kunis joins a long list of acclaimed actresses — Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron, Marrion Cotillard — who have served as the brand's models and ambassadors. "Christian Dior designed several costumes for the movies and maintained personal relationships with such actresses as Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth, Ava Gardner, Sophia Loren, Marilyn Monroe, Liz Taylor and Grace Kelly," Arnault explained. "It is thus only natural for the house of Dior to continue to develop a very specific and personal relationship with actresses."
>> New year, new bag. Prada launches the Pyramide: a clean-lined lady bag to go with all those chic midcentury roadster ensembles the brand sent down the runway for Spring 2012. Hitting stores mid-January, the Pyramide is made from woven-embossed Serrafino leather and comes in an array of colors — black, baby yellow, pale blue, and cherry red — all with contrast leather piping for just a hint of sporty '50s cool. Click through to get an up-close look, now.
>> Neo-noir comics were the inspiration for Phillip Lim's Pre-Fall 2012 collection, and the designer is offering up accessories — in the form of graphic-art clutches, transparent-paneled Pashli satchels, and superhero zip-booties — to match. Click through to peek those pieces and more, available for pre-order on Moda Operandi now.