>> ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL —A number of designers are sticking to what works for the Fall 2009 ad campaigns, and Donatella Versace is taking it to the extreme — a new preview of Versace's upcoming ads (left), features Gisele Bundchen looking almost exactly the same as she does in a shot from the brand's Spring 2008 campaign (right). Marc Jacobs, too, is sticking with a formula at Louis Vuitton, pairing Madonna and Steven Meisel for the second season, but for his own label, it sounds like he's forgoing a celebrity face in favor of multiple models. [TFS, ONTD_FF, TFS]
Posts for May 28th 2009
>> Christian Lacroix, filed a petition for protection from creditors — the equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection — in a Paris court today, which will then decide whether to restructure or liquidate the company.
Lacroix CEO Nicolas Topiol said he plans "a continuation of the business, but the crisis has definitely hit us below the knees." He declined to say how much was owed, but did say that ready-to-wear sales for Fall 2009 were down 35 percent and losses for 2008 were about $14 million on overall revenues of approximately $42 million. He characterized couture sales — Lacroix's bread and butter — in 2008 as “flattish,” but far better than those for ready-to-wear.
Today's petition throws the status of Lacroix's Cruise 2010 and Fall 2009 couture participation, both coming up — the latter in early July — into question, but Topiol said both collections are still in progress. A scaled-back couture presentation is "most likely" — the strain of finances on the company was already visable during the Fall 2009 show, which was held in a parking garage with only broken mirrors providing decor — and noted that couture remains Lacroix's "most flexible business because we do most of it internally and we have a very dedicated group of clients.”
Some restructuring, including job cuts for some of the firm's 125 employees, is expected, but a sale of the company is also a possibility — Lacroix's owner, Falic Group, has been in advanced discussions with a group of Swiss investors. Topiol's take-home message? The filing “doesn’t mean the end of the story. It’s the beginning of another chapter.”
>> THE MODELIZER —Rumors are circulating that Vogue Italia is taking extra measures to keep its covers secret until they come out — apparently they've starting using nondisclosure forms forbidding anyone working on set from leaking details — but apparently there's no such policy for Vogue Paris. Sessilee Lopez tweeted about a Vogue shoot she did with Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin today, and COACD confirmed it was for Vogue Paris — her first with the magazine. No word on whether it's for a cover or inside the book. [TFS, TFS, SessileeLopez Twitter, COACD Twitter]
>> In the March 2008 issue of Vogue, premier retoucher of fashion photographs, Pascal Dangin, tweaked a total of 144 images, from ads to editorial spreads, and in The September Issue, which focuses on the making of Vogue's September 2007 issue, Anna Wintour definitely displays a reliance on retouching, asking Mario Testino to superimpose cover girl Sienna Miller's head from one shot onto her body in another shot, and requesting that a cameraman's gut from an editorial shot be diminished, to Grace Coddington's dismay: "Everybody isn't perfect in this world. It's enough that the models are perfect."
When digital manipulation programs first came into use in the early '90s, reports Eric Wilson for The New York Times, art directors originally used them to create a heightened sense of reality like images achieved through movie special effects — "hyper real" style, as former The Face art director and current Love creative director Lee Swillingham coined it — as a reaction against the images of supermodels that looked too perfect. Editors weren't suggesting the resulting look be attainable, Swillingham explains: “We were trying to create a future fashion. You could do something that looked gritty and real or something that looked like plastic.”
>> INSIDER WIRE —More victims of the recession have emerged — apparently London designer Emma Cook, whose boots for Topshop have created a frenzy in their own right, is discontinuing her line next Fall, and Veronique Branquinho is closing her 11-year-old fashion house due to a sharp drop in Fall 2009 orders and a number of canceled orders and non-payments for Spring 2009. It sounds like the latter will be devoting her time to her new artistic directorship at Belgian leather goods brand Delvaux. [Papermag, WWD]
>> CNN Asia sat down with Miuccia Prada in Seoul recently for her first TV interview in three years, putting together almost 25 minutes worth of footage. They got the shy designer to talk about everything from hating "the cliche of fashion designers" to the stress of the job to her view on the acquisitions of Jil Sander, Alaia, and Helmut Lang — but unfortunately missed out on asking her about the lack of diversity on the runways.
In the first clip, Prada talks about her design philosophy:
Basically I think that sometimes [my designs] look strange and not perfect because I don't like things that are obvious, and so I always try to introduce something that is wrong, something that is different. Just beauty by itself is too easy.
It's very much about what I like, but also [about] analyzing what's trendy and why people like something and trying to find an ironic way to look at it from outside. For instance, when I did the lace [for Fall 2008], I asked why women always like lace. [I] try to analyze the reason this is something [women] like at the moment [and] try to understand why things like pink roses, lace, animalia . . . women can't give up.
>> INSIDER WIRE —Marios Schwab was just named the new creative director at Halston, but apparently it's not the first job he's been in the running for: "This was my second or third time in talks with a house, and we’re living in such a weird time, I was skeptical that the Halston people would go with a relatively young, relatively conceptual designer." [Style File]