>> Phillip Lim created the mascot skirt of Fashion Week earlier this year — not kidding, I've seen it on at least one person every day this week — and if the attendance to his newest collection's presentation is any indication, Spring 2009 will be smooth sailing for 3.1 Phillip Lim — the Tent was packed to the gills with fans, including friends Richard Chai and Irina Lazareanu, both sitting front row.
Christian Louboutin designed ruffled heels for the collection, eliciting covetousness in many — in fact, the whole Spring 2009 season is about ruffles for Phillip. The treatment in some of the dresses and skirts reminded me of a tamed version of Marc Jacobs's Spring 2007 ruffles, but among the hazy smoke that hovered on the runway, the real standouts emerged — the stiff, open-edged zipper pieces, and the jewelry Eddie Borgo made for the occasion.
>> Alexander Wang's sweat-inspired Spring 2009 collection, featuring shiny-faced models, was quite appropriate — yesterday had the fashion crowd dripping from heat, and today, Tropical Storm Hanna blew in just in time for Alex's show.
Not that the weather would keep anyone away; Anna Wintour attended Alex's show for the first time ever — a symbol of his quick rise. As the lights went down, the sunglasses went on, and she only broke pose a couple of times — once to consult Virginia Smith's program, and the other to fiddle with her BlackBerry.
The show was definitely a different experience, now that Alex has moved on from Erin Wasson, collaborating with stylist Alastair McKimm instead, but all of the classic Wang elements — zippers, leather, a slouchy, downtown feel — were all there. The only major slip up was at the end, when all the models — stellar cast, I might add (Jourdan Dunn!) — took their final tour and got stopped up returning backstage. We're talking line of models, basically at a standstill, at the end of the show. Alex skipped out, did his usual jump and punch the air routine. And then Anna ran out.
>> Take working-class fashion, add a pinch of Joy Division, and you've got the inspiration David Neville and Marcus Wainwright were drawing on for their Spring 2009 collection. The Rag & Bone show changed venues this season from the upscale Cipriani to the more hard-edged Pier 94 — a change from polished to slightly edgy that you could also say was reflected in the clothes.
Black wraparound leather belts with threateningly sharp silver spikes accented so many of the looks, and are sure to be a must-have — but even the typical Rag & Bone tweedy suits were rock-n-rolled up with a leather mini, like Julia Dunstall's closing look, or a silvery silk sheen, like Jessica Stam's blazer.
The model cast was full of high notes — stalwarts like opener Sasha Pivovarova or Coco Rocha — and the coveted new girls like Aline Weber and Liu Wen. Arlenis Pena was there too: she's had a big day, between being named as the new face of Lancome and slipping up at BCBG this morning.
>> THE MODELIZER —Show season is upon us in just two short weeks, and show packages are starting to surface. Marilyn commissioned Glynis Selina Arban to photograph its stable of girls — including Liu Wen, Caroline Trentini (left), Arlenis Pena, and Eniko Mihalik — in a Spring-worthy ethereal way. [Of the Minute]
>> Although it's too soon to tell what kind of lasting impact the all-black issue of Vogue Italia might have, preliminary indications that it had an effect are there.
Just this morning, Fashionista reported that Lancome signed VI model Arlenis Sosa Pena as their new face. If true, she joins Daria Werbowy in what is sure to be a lucrative, high-profile position for the company — outstanding for a newcomer like Arlenis.
More big news this morning for the July VI flock: Topshop announced VI cover girl Jourdan Dunn, along with Karlie Kloss, Kori Richardson, and Amanda Laine, as their Fall 2008 campaign girls — another sure-to-be-well-paying, high-profile campaign (images below).
Finally, The Imagist recently reported that advertising clients are already asking casting agents to be more "inclusive" for their future ad campaigns, as a result of all the attention Vogue Italia has gotten. The industry appears to be moving in the right direction, but only time will tell. Now, how about some more attention for girls like Lakshmi Menon and Daul Kim?
>> This morning, the July 2008 Vogue Italia hit stands, and we've got the scans to prove it. The magazine features an 11-page spread, "Elegance as a Form," with Yasmin Warsame and devotes 9 pages to America's Next Top Model alum Toccara Jones in addition to the two editorials we've already seen: Naomi Campbell's 9-page luxe spread and the 25-page ode to new girl Sessilee Lopez.
But I saved the best for last: "Modern Luxe" by Steven Meisel, spanning 15 pages, and featuring everyone from Noemie Lenoir to Kiara Kabukuru to Jourdan Dunn.
>> THE MODELIZER —Arlenis Sosa Pena, who hails from the Dominican Republic and just got signed to Marilyn in March, doesn't speak a wink of English. The girl is hot — she's already joined Oscar de la Renta at his Costume Institute Gala table and appears in the July issues of both Vogue Italia and Vogue. Funny, though, she was interviewed for Vogue's July article "Is Fashion Racist?" but they didn't bother to get her a translator; Models.com, on the other hand, had no problem rustling up a translator for their impromptu video with Arlenis . . . [The Cut, Models.com]
>> What a way to ring in a new day . . . and hopefully a new age. The first photos from the much-hyped July 2008 "black issue" of Vogue Italia have dropped. The cover looks to be a four photo foldout, with vets Liya Kebede and Naomi Campbell joining up-and-comers Jourdan Dunn and Sessilee Lopez for top honors.
From the cover teaser words, expect more of the same mix of the experienced (Alek Wek, Alva Chin, Gail O'Neil, Iman, Kiara Kabukuru, Karen Alexander, Tyra Banks, Veronica Webb, Yasmin Warsame, Pat Cleveland) and the new blood (Arlenis Sosa Pena, Chanel Iman, America's Next Top Model contestant Toccara Jones) inside.
Enjoy your first peek in the gallery below.
>> Since hype continues to swirl around the all-black July issue of Vogue Italia and probably will do so until it comes out, I thought it would be fun to keep a running list of who is supposedly involved: