>> For the Fall 2011 edition of of J.Crew's higher-end Collection, leopard appears on a shrunken calf hair jacket and a felted wool fedora (the latter done in collaboration with miller Albertus Swanepoel); a pink shift dress features sequins applied by hand; and light florals grace a silk chiffon maxiskirt. See the full offering in the slideshow.
>> Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen can now add shoes to their ever-growing repertoire. The duo has teamed with Toms to offer three takes on the brand's classic espadrille — all with a luxurious, Olsen-cool slant, of course. Made from Italian-sourced wool, leather, and/or cashmere, the Toms + The Row shoes come in an urbane palette of soft greys and plaid.
Retailing at either $140 or $150 — about three times the Toms mainline collection — the selection isn't quite as affordable as your usual pair of slip-ons, but, just like the main line, each pair sold will also benefit a child in need. "Toms + The Row customers will have the ability to give back and create change with a single purchase," expains Ashley. Mary-Kate adds, “Having the opportunity to be a part of something so meaningful has made the collaboration with Toms special to everyone at The Row.” Click through to see the three new styles, available online now at Toms.com.
>> Starting tomorrow through Oct. 3, the wedding gown Sarah Burton designed for Kate Middleton will be on display to the public at Buckingham Palace as part of “The Royal Wedding Dress: A Story of Great British Design." In addition to the gown, Middleton's handcrafted Alexander McQueen bridal shoes (size 8, with three-inch heels), the diamond acorn earrings gifted to her by her parents, the Cartier Halo tiara she wore that was loaned by the Queen, and a silk flower replica of her bridal bouquet are all showcased for close viewing. There's also a 5-minute film about the creation of the dress, featuring Burton.
Among those details that were not visible from the wedding telecast: the wedding train's elaborate individual panels, which were deliberately engineered to hold their shape as the bride walked the long aisle, and the pumps' lace covering. "It was a feat of engineering,” Burton says of her design, adding: “It needed to be light." The dress is estimated to have cost £250,000 (approx. $408,000) and according to curator Caroline de Guitaut, its waist size is "small."
De Guitaut added that it was Middleton's choice to put the dress on display: "The Duchess considered a number of options, and then decided that she would like it to be displayed here at Buckingham Palace, which of course was the scene for the celebrations after Westminster Abbey, so it is very fitting that it should be shown here exactly where the reception took place.”
The Queen and Middleton inspected the exhibit today; a video can be seen here.
>> Play on to the dark side. Jason Wu showed inky florals for Resort 2011, Valentino offered vines of black lace for Spring 2011, and coming soon for Fall 2011? A whole host of enigmatic blossoms in dusky hues from the likes of Bensoni, Chris Benz, and Lanvin (left), just to name a few. Victorian drama, it seems, is here to stay. Slip into the long shadows of Summer with these darkly romantic pieces — and let them linger straight through Fall.
Image courtesy of Greg Kessler
>> 1940's film noir inspired the new batch of Miu Miu sunglasses for Fall 2011. Shot on Hailee Steinfeld by Bruce Weber for the Miu Miu Fall 2011 ad campaign (as seen in the gallery), the new frames feature oversized, angular cat-eyes and lots of retro-glam colorways — think ochre tortoise shell and metallic glitter-acetate. Click through to get an up-close look at the full collection available in stores this September.
Images courtesy of Miu Miu
>> Versace may have done without a blonde for the Fall 2011 collection campaign, but Donatella Versace couldn't leave blondes behind for an entire season, as evidenced by her new eyewear and accessories face. Versace cast Candice Swanepoel — who is also appearing in Tom Ford's campaign — in that portion of her Fall 2011 campaign, shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. [Fashion Gone Rogue]
>> Thom Browne has just signed with talent agency William Morris Endeavor "for representation in all areas," which includes everything from film to television to strategic partnerships and sponsorships. There was no indication as to what the partnership might bring, but Browne joins WME's Branded Lifestyle group, which also represents John Varvatos, mentor on NBC’s upcoming reality series, Fashion Star; Cynthia Rowley; Jenna Lyons; Rachel Zoe, who has a reality TV show, The Rachel Zoe Project; and Rodarte, which after signing with WME worked on costumes for Black Swan. [Deadline]
>> Nicolas Kirkwood's Resort 2012 collection is rife with riffs on snakeskin — the material caps the toe of a brogue, gets the metallic treatment on a chunky slingback sandal, cross-crosses on a tie-up flat, and weaves through a T-strap platform. Glitter fiends, meanwhile, will be sated on a sparkly, strappy rosette sandal, and neon nuts have a highlighter yellow and pink lace pump in the offering. The whole collection, in the slideshow, is now available for pre-order on Moda Operandi.
>> Vogue's September 2011 issue will boast 584 ad pages, with an increase of 50 pages — or 9.3 percent — over its September 2010 issue (By comparison, Vogue had its all-time high — pre-recession — in 2007, with 727 ad pages.). Elle's September 2011 issue was down 6.8 percent to 350 ad pages; Harper's Bazaar came in at 308, a 2.2 percent gain; and W increased 3 percent to 255 pages. When announcing the magazine's numbers yesterday, Vogue publisher Susan Plagemann added that Vogue plans to roll out another website aside from Vogue.com in December, but she wouldn't give further details. [Ad Week]