>> Art Basel Miami is officially under way today, but a few fashion houses got a head start on the festivities yesterday. Swarovski hosted a dinner at Soho Beach House, Dior unveiled its first pop-up shop — and first artist collaboration, with Anselm Reyle — and Fendi opened its "Craft Alchemy" installation, drawing a colorfully dressed crowd that included Giovanna Battaglia, Naomi Campbell, and Dasha Zhukova.
Posts for December 2011
>> Brush off the cold in this season's moody, full-spectrum blooms. Spring's favorite print gets darkly dramatic for Winter in high-contrast palettes and large-scale patterns — often digitized for extra impact. Spotted all over the Fall 2011 and Resort 2012 runways — think Jil Sander, Erdem, Celine, Givenchy, Mary Katrantzou, and more — these gorgeous blooms aren't your grandma's ditsy florals; these prints are bold, dramatic, and the perfect way to dress up the holiday. Click through to shop our picks in the slideshow.
Photo: Greg Kessler
>> Alexa Chung's new show, 24 Hour Catwalk, now has a premiere date and a preview video. The reality series — which follows four new designers each episode as they compete to create a three-piece collection and stage a runway show within 24 hours — kicks off Tuesday, Jan. 10, at 10 p.m. EST on Lifetime. Joining Chung — who hosts — are Cynthia Rowley, Derek Blasberg, and publicist James LaForce serving as the judging panel. [People]
>> Burberry brought its British friends and faces — Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Cara Delevingne, Alexa Chung — to Paris last night for the opening of its newest and biggest store in Paris. Christopher Bailey, too, was on-site at the 10,000-square-foot flagship — which spans four floors and is located at 56 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré — and had plans to eat steak-frites while in town. After the store cocktail, the crowd decamped to the British ambassador's residence nearby, where British pop band The Feeling gave a live performance and Chung DJed.
>> Give gorgeous, keep it simple, and go classic. From sublime splurges to super-luxe stocking stuffers, these 25 beauty essentials are totally guaranteed to spread the chic — this season and beyond. Click through to shop them all, now.
>> Michael Kors went West for Pre-Spring 2012 — literally, picking up his inspiration while on a trip to Phoenix. Ann Bonfoey Taylor, the American socialite-cum-Olympic skier who served as that inspiration — she was just the subject of an exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum — represented "Nan Kempner on the range" to Kors, the designer explained. Turquoise and crimson pop up amongst the primarily black and white collection, which boasts harness detailing on everything from bags to dress straps.
>> Francois Lesage, acknowledged widely as the greatest couture embroiderer, died today at age 82. He had been ill for a number of years but remained active in his eponymous business until recently.
Maison Lesage was founded by Lesage's father, who collaborated with early 20th-century designers like Vionnet at Elsa Schiaparelli. Lesage took over his father's firm at 20, later joking: "[I was] born on a mound of pearls and glitter. It never occurred to me to do anything else. I still sleep in the bedroom where I was born."
Under Lesage's 60-some-odd years of leadership, the house worked with a diverse group of clients, including Dior, Givenchy, Balenciaga, and Christian Lacroix. The company has been owned by Chanel since 2002. "Our role is to be chameleons," Lesage explained in recent years. "With Karl [Lagerfeld], I am Karl. With Christian, I am Christian . . . We receive a sketch and it is up to us to interpret. The couturier is the architect, we are the decorators."
Maison Lesage will continue under newly appointed artistic director Hubert Barrère. But, as Karl Lagerfeld said at the time of Chanel's purchase of the house in 2002: "There is no couture without embroidery and no embroidery without Lesage."
>> Not that long ago, Karlie Kloss and Chanel Iman were introduced to the industry on the girlish February 2008 cover of Teen Vogue. Fast forward three and a half years, and Iman is renting a private island off Jamaica to ring in her 21st birthday, while Kloss is earning Gisele Bundchen comparisons for her body-baring Vogue Italia December 2011 cover story, "Body by Kloss," shot by Steven Meisel. Appropriately enough, Kloss, who got herself a trainer six months ago, recently named Bundchen her favorite model growing up: "Oh, my God, Gisele, of course! Gisele is the ultimate." See the full NSFW editorial in the slideshow.