Call it the Downton Abbey effect. Or maybe it's because of the recent London Olympics. Whatever the reason, Americans are reportedly co-opting traditional British terms at an ever-increasing rate. And the biggest participants in linguistic Anglomania of all? Fashion people.
"Fashion people live to sound British, the same way they over-pronounce French and Italian words because of those country’s fashion week's," Scene magazine editor Peter Davis explained in a recent New York Times article. "I have heard people who grew up far from London uttering that a runway collection was 'brilliant' or just 'bril.' Fashion editors worry they will get 'sacked' if their next issue or story is 'rubbish' and not 'clever' enough."
Not that this is really new, but crikey. Don't tell Glenn Beck.
Like any father figure would, PPR chief Francois Pinault defended Hedi Slimane against some of the less kind things critics have said about his debut collection for Saint Laurent. In the process, he also sent a thinly veiled zinger in the direction of Cathy Horyn, and may well have put an end to the war of words between the critic and the designer.
"Hedi Slimane did a remarkable job. I liked last Monday's fashion show very much — the Saint Laurent collection exceeded my expectations," Pinault said. "The house needed both a renovation and a return to its roots and, with Hedi, we have started down that road. I totally stand by the house of Yves Saint Laurent and the decisions made by its teams or its artistic director, and I didn't appreciate that some people tried to use me by linking my name to chatter about invitations or the seating of this or that person."
By "some people," Pinault may have meant Horyn, who wrote in her review of the collection that Pinault expressed dismay when he found out Horyn hadn't been invited to the show. The unfavorable review spurred Slimane to write an open letter posted to Twitter and other missives decrying Horyn as a "schoolyard bully and also a little bit of a comedian." Those tweets have now been deleted. One wonders, now that Pinault has gotten what effectively is the last word in this saga, whether he asked Slimane to put those barbs away in the first place?
Hedi Slimane batted back against Cathy Horyn on Twitter once again Wednesday night, responding to her comment that his reaction to her critique of Saint Laurent's Spring 2013 show was "silly nonsense."
"The perfect integrity of The NewYork Times, and its writers, is not precisely 'just silly nonsense,'" Slimane tweeted. He continued, "What is a 'silly nonsense' to me is Catty [sic] Horyn still singing her tired bias tune for the nyt. This is an embarrassment for the newspaper."
The volleys started Monday, when Horyn wrote a post about Slimane's debut show for Saint Laurent (to which she wasn't invited), calling it "a nice but frozen vision of a bohemian chick at the Chateau Marmont. . . . Mr. Slimane's clothes lacked a new fashion spirit."
Slimane responded with an open letter Tuesday, calling Horyn "a schoolyard bully and also a little bit of a stand-up comedian." The letter continued to say that she would never be invited to a Saint Laurent show. Horyn told WWD on Wednesday that the war of words was "just silly nonsense to me."
Photo courtesy of Yves Saint Laurent.
"In the world right now, fashion is sh*t," said Yohji Yamamoto backstage at his 10th anniversary show for Y-3. "It's too sexy, it’s too cheap-looking. I want the future — new street fashion."
What's new for Yamamoto is a selection of refreshed classics that will undoubtedly help move the sportswear conversation forward without necessarily reinventing the wheel. The garments themselves spoke to a refined athleticism — some in straightforward black and white, others wildly multicolored. The women's clothing, from double-breasted jackets to elegant printed dresses, was cleanly tailored, but sporty enough to perform if the occasion called for it. The men's clothing at times carried a comfortable slouch, most noticeable in an oversize short sleeve mesh hoodie.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the collection, though, were the many ways Yamamoto used the iconic Adidas three-stripe logo: everything from women's blazers and knee-high socks to men's trousers and printed t-shirts were decorated with it.
Could rumors about declining sales of Rachel Zoe's clothing label be related to concerns about the future of her Bravo reality show? Some sources say the line isn't selling as well as expected — despite indications from her business partners that they're "very happy" with its performance.
The show was an important promotional tool for the clothing, but so far it hasn't been renewed for a fifth season, and uncertainty about its future has been in the air for months. Last December, Zoe's husband Rodger Berman told Fashionista it was "still unclear" whether the show would return for a fifth season. This February, Zoe — who had at that point started her own television production company — told WWD, "After four years, maybe there's something to be said for starting something new."
That may explain why unnamed sources told Page Six Monday that Li & Fung — the Chinese retailing firm that backs Zoe's collection — "is panicked" about the future of the line, and that consumer interest in her wares has hit its peak. Alan Chartash, Li & Fung's chief strategy officer in the United States, said that was not the case.
"We're very happy. Apparel launched a year or so, and since that time, we've launched footwear, handbags and we're launching a line of jewelry exclusively with Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman," Chartash said. "We're supportive of Rachel and the continuation of the brand. Like any clothing line, it ebbs and flows, but we're very happy with the apparel sales."
Representatives from Bloomingdale's and Saks Fifth Avenue, which also sell Zoe's clothing, had not responded to requests for comment as of this post.
Update: Bravo announced today that it has picked up The Rachel Zoe Project for a fifth season that will follow the stylist as she oversees her expanding business and family. Zoe herself said today during the Lucky Fabb conference that rumors of her business suffering are untrue. "My business is up significantly. Just launched jewelry, things are going well," she said. "None of those points from the NY Post article were true and it got picked up by everyone. Our retailers didn't even blink, though, because they know the truth."
Model Liza Irizarry says she plans to sue Selita Ebanks for assault and battery, claiming the Victoria's Secret Angel punched her in the face and broke her nose outside a Miami nightclub last year.
Irizarry, who works for Telemundo, says she kissed Ebanks's boyfriend on the cheek in greeting when she saw him in front of the Dream club in Miami. She alleges that a drunken Ebanks did not react well to her salutation. "When she saw me, she said, 'Don't be kissing my man," Irizarry said in an interview. "That's when she hit me on the nose. I went to swing back; that's when all her friends jumped in. I felt hair-pulling and fists coming at me."
Irizarry says the nose injury required surgery days later. Her suit will seek damages covering pain, suffering, and medical costs.
Ebanks's lawyer, Paul Rothenberg, said the suit "is nine months old and completely without merit" and called Irizarry's claims "baseless."
Miller, 30, and her fiancé, Tom Sturridge, 26, named the baby Marlow. The new mother and father have been in a relationship for over a year and revealed that they were expecting a baby in January. Miller was spotted sporting an engagement ring in February.
We sat down with the Museum at FIT's Valerie Steele — widely recognized for graduating with the first PhD in fashion — to talk about fashion's place in academia and the groundbreaking exhibit she's planning for next year.
Steele dropped out of high school when she was 15, then attended Dartmouth for undergrad and Yale for her doctoral studies in modern European cultural and intellectual history. In her first semester there, a classmate's paper on the Victorian corset led Steele to an epiphany: she wanted to study fashion.
"It was just like a lightbulb went on," Steele said. "All of my courses, after that, whatever the assignment was, I would write about the history of fashion."
Her professors balked when she presented the idea of a doctoral dissertation "on the erotic aspects of Victorian fashion," but Steele pressed ahead and wrote it anyway. "I'm nothing if not stubborn, and I was convinced that they would realize eventually that of course fashion was a perfectly valid field to go into."
Nevertheless, Steele says she was "completely unemployable" for years after she graduated and ended up as an adjunct professor of fashion history at NYU, Columbia, Parsons, and FIT. She didn't have a "real full-time job" until she was named the chief curator at the Museum at FIT in 1997. She was named its director in 2003.
Since getting that first job, Steele has written books about shoes and the intersection of Eastern and Western modes of dressing and founded the scholarly journal Fashion Theory. At the museum, Steele has curated exhibits on everything from corsets to Japanese fashion. The exhibit she has planned for next year, called Queer Style: From the Closet to the Catwalk, will focus on gay designers.
"I think that's kind of one of the most important and fascinating shows that I've ever worked on because it makes you look at the whole history of modern fashion from a new angle," Steele said. "Everybody knows that there's lots of gay people in fashion, and there have been lots of gay designers: Dior, Saint Laurent, Versace, et cetera. But nobody's ever really thought consciously to put the gayness back into fashion history and say, 'Why are there so many gay people in fashion?' and 'Is there a gay aesthetic?' and 'What have been the influences of having so many gay people in fashion?'"
"When I saw that Raf was going to be at Dior, I was just like 'Yay!'" she said. "Dior was someone who really experimented with silhouettes and line and Raf's perfect for that. And then with Hedi Slimane, that sort of androgynous sexiness is in a way an important part of the Saint Laurent DNA."
Both designers have graduated to new heights in their professions. But in a way, Steele founded her field via her own will and determination. She said that's the key to being successful in any area of fashion: keeping at it.
"Once I knew I wanted to do fashion I just did it — even though I wasn't making any money at it," Steele said. "And I think that if you do love fashion and you want to go into fashion, you have to be immensely self-directed and just do it. I think that's the main thing."
Photo: Valerie Steele photographed by Aaron Cobbett.
XOJane's former beauty and health editor Cat Marnell caused a stir when she left the website last week, and she explained the events that led to her departure in a recent interview.
Things had been going well for Marnell until she "just had some personal stuff go down." That included running out of the prescription medications she uses, leaving her phone at the office, and having the Internet in her apartment disconnected. After becoming depressed and going to bed "for a week," Marnell said she knew she was going to get fired for not turning in her weekly quota of posts — so she beat her boss Jane Pratt to the punch and announced that she'd be leaving.
"I've been on a big cocktail of drugs since I was 15, and when those things ran out I couldn't call my psychiatrist because I didn't have my phone. And my body just couldn't get up and go to the office and get the phone and face them, and be like, 'Oh yeah, I haven't done posts,' and have them angry at me, especially when I'd just met with HR. So, I was just like, f*ck it. You know, f*ck this life . . . This was just my way of quitting basically."
Marnell is now working on a book, which she describes as "a memoir about all my pills, and doctor shopping. It's about my days at Condé Nast, which I loved. I worshipped everyone I worked for, and I worked very hard. And it's about being a beauty editor, and about nightlife, and graffiti writers, and getting away with everything in my crazy life. I live in extremes and I believe in doing that, but you do pay a price."
Source: Instagram User alexagreenstadt
So which 12 women will serve as his muses? Karlie Kloss is rumored to be on the list, but no other names have been announced so far.
McCurry is best known as a photojournalist, and rose to fame after shooting the well-known 1985 National Geographic cover photo known as Portrait of a Girl With Green Eyes. In shooting the Pirelli calendar, McCurry joins a list of esteemed photographers that includes Mario Sorrenti — who shot last year's calendar — Terry Richardson, Karl Lagerfeld, and Richard Avedon.
Photo: Saskia De Brauw by Mario Sorrenti for the 2012 Pirelli Calendar.