22 November 2012

21 November 2012

The Sexiest Model Alive

Isn't Jon Jon a beauty? What a lucky tiger.

19 November 2012

Sexiest Man Alive?

PEOPLE Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" 2012 is Channing Tatum, 32. He's fat. I know people like to pretend otherwise but I have to be honest on my own blog - Mr Tatum is fat!

Why isn't it Prince Harry? Or Matthew Goode? Or even Justin Bieber? It isn't convincing at all.

The Cod is Everywhere!


Grace Coddington is appearing everywhere and nowhere as charmingly as she does here, on the iD cover. Promoting her new book, Grace: A Memoir, The Cod dishes the dirt on Anna Wintour in a few revealing moments:
Every so often I have lunch with Anna at her request. These days, though, I get worked up beforehand, usually thinking, 'This is finally the time she'll say, "You're getting on a bit. You're looking tired. I think you should take it easy,"' as a prelude to gently asking me to step down. In fact, the last time we went out, I dared to say, 'I thought you were going to tell me to leave.' At which point Anna laughed and said, 'No, as long as I'm here, you will be, too.' 

"I think (the Ben Stiller shot by Annie Leibovitz for a couture story in Paris) was decided upon, really, because Anna had a crush on Ben. She gets these occasional crushes - Ben, Puff Daddy, Roger Federer."

"In the end I think Anna gave up on my styling covers since I'm not good with famous people. We used to use the occasional model, but the sales difference was so marked between them and celebrities that it's now 100 per cent pop and movie stars. Fashion is just a part of what the magazine stands for today, which may be hard on old-timers like myself but is definitely the modern way. I'm grateful to have lived through the 10 years or so I did at American Vogue when fashion was the most important element."

16 November 2012

Great Scot

Yes, let the wailing begin, but remember it could have been worse. Scottish designer Christopher Kane has reportedly been appointed as the creative director of Balenciaga. Though the news has not been officially confirmed by either Mr Kane or Balenciaga, it is widely reported that Mr Kane will replace Nicolas Ghesquière, who helmed the brand for the past 15 years to much acclaim before his departure was announced two weeks ago. News of Mr Kane’s hiring isn’t entirely unexpected as he was was on PPR’s short list of designers up for the job alongside Mary Katrantzou, J W Anderson, Thomas Tait, Joseph Altuzarra and Alexander Wang. I told you it could have been worse. 
A graduate of Central Saint Martins, Mr Kane established his brand before 2006 when he went on to collaborate at Versace, helping to reestablish the brand’s lower-priced Versus label. As yet, no word about whether he will entirely leave his post at Versace, where he's sorely needed.

15 November 2012

Lion Queen for Vogue Russia

Grrr...!
Poor Linda: There's no end to the indignities that can befall her - she should only work with Steven Meisel! I don't think comedy was intended by Aunty Karla, who shot this. What is she wearing???

He Said She Said

"I have so much respect for John Galliano's technical skill and the fantasy, it's just something that I don't find relevant now, especially when it restricts a woman, because in every other area they have so much freedom." - Raf Simons

14 November 2012

Anne Hathaway by Anne Leibovitz

It's a little strange isn't it, this Vogue December cover? 
It certainly doesn't look very festive, despite the jewel colours. Anne Hathaway not only looks decidedly matured for someone just turned 30, she looks positively stricken. In the story, she says she was “obsessed” with losing weight for her role in the upcoming film version of Les Miserables. To shed 25 pounds from her already skinny frame, Ms Hathaway tells Vogue she started with a cleanse, and then spent two weeks eating nothing but dried oatmeal paste: “I had to be obsessive about it — the idea was to look near death.” 
She does look that way on the cover. But while Ms Hathaway doesn’t plan on staying extra thin, she is set on keeping a variation of the short hairstyle she wears in the movie, even though it requires her to get haircuts every three weeks.

But let's get to the business of how awful this cover is: Ms Hathaway looks tired, in pain, unhappy. Her spaniel eyes look like they are drooping and about to slide off her cheeks. It isn't friendly or positive, just disagreeable. Also, conceptually, it's not very different from her previous Vogue cover, with the same rich strapless gown and jewel tones!

Of Eye Shadow and Politics


You may think that there's nothing behind Karl Lagerfeld's sunglasses except powdered ponytails and Beloved Baptiste, but Aunty Karla surprised me by whipping out his Shu Eumura eyeshadows for this sketch to commemorate President Obama's  second term in the White House. A little clicking later yielded more unusual subjects like the portrait of Steve Jobs. Of course there were the usual ones of Chanel, I liked that one where Chanel is talking about the mini - obviously, Chanel is a mouthpiece for Aunty Karla's own thoughts by now - Lagerfeld is Chanel!  

13 November 2012

SLUT!


Let's all pray (to the fashion gods) that this controversy never dies down!

Robert Pattinson wore Gucci

Robert Pattinson wore a Gucci  micro houndstooth, two button suit, shirt and tie. Pat Pat is looking impossibly dapper and dry browed isn't he? At the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 2 premiere in LA Live in on November 12. 

07 November 2012

Four Movies and a Flight

On a recent trip, I buckled down with the goal of watching four movies by the time I got home, flying not being one of my favourite things to do. I don't like anything about flying do you? These were the four movies I watched: 
To Rome With Love
He's taken us to London, Barcelona, Paris and now Woody Allen has landed us at yet another luxury-tourist European capital, Rome. It's pretty and escapist and great in that honeyed sunset lighting and picturesque and familiar setting kind of way. In this ensemble/omnibus movie (it's got Judy Davis, who's always so droll!), not all the jokes come off, but on the whole it is engaging, undemanding fun with gags that are one-liners but milked for slightly more than its worth. It's a warm, slight movie, far from the greatness of his earlier ones, but fun nonetheless. I want to highlight that Allen's movies are always nicely styled, and all the actors look prosperous and attractive. I was especially thrilled to see the patrician Flavio Parenti (below), whom I first discovered in I Am Love in this movie playing the activist/lawyer Michelangelo. And Jesse Eisenberg who plays the architecture student is creamy-cute!

Bel Ami
Pat Pat and Kristin Scott Thomas
Can you resist a costumer with Uma Thurman and Kristin Scott Thomas? Robert PatPat plays a pale, vampiric Belle Epoque social-climber with greasy hair under his hat and suggestively poufy breeches and seduces both Uma Thurman and Kristin Scott Thomas. Of course I had to watch this! Adapted from a novel by Guy de Maupassant, the unsympathetic protagonist, a would-be journalist, Georges Duroy clambers clumsily from a roach-infested garret to the poshest salons of literary Paris. I've never read the book, and the movie doesn't make me want to, as the script seems sketchy and cliched and none of the characters seem particularly sympathetic or indeed interesting. I think the story's point is that Pat Pat  is both foxy and self-deluding, but Pat Pat just comes off as petulant and sulky and in need of a good shampoo. Pat Pat always looks clammy and unwashed and I'm sure Ms Scott Thomas (who seems to be in a separate, better movie) must have fought the urge to bury her nose in a hanky doused with Jicky. There's lots of Pat Pat's white, thickly-fleshy body in this movie if that's what you are into.
No judgements!

Farewell, My Queen

This much lauded period piece about the French Revolution is told from the perspective of a servant to Marie Antoinette in Benoit Jacquot’s rather claustrophobic film. Most of the film is situated in smallish chambers or hallways and seems unfamiliar, a sort of 'fresh take', I suppose, but one does like a bit of grandeur and pomp in period movies, doesn't one? Sidonie Laborde (Lea Seydoux) is the queen’s devoted “reader,” and Marie Antoinette (Diane Kruger), who spends most of her time considering patterns for new dresses and dithering over her infatuation with the beautiful Duchess Gabrielle de Polignac (Virginie Ledoyen in too brief an appearance) seems mostly bored out of her wigs. It's not escapist fare and I clutch at the introduction of  a handsome gondolier (Vladimir Consigny), who isn't even necessary to the plot. How sad. This movie could be of special interest to history buffs, who will appreciate the “behind-the-scenes” speculation, but I'm not sure this is all that good an idea for in-flight entertainment. Much has been made of Ms Kruger's portrayal of Marie Antoinette, but I almost want to say I prefer KiKi Dunst's in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette
Magic Mike 
Could I have missed this?
This is the perfect movie to watch just before you land because it's silly fun, and you can rush through it with your finger on the forward button and still enjoy it entirely. Inspired by Channing Tatum's stint as a male stripper, director Steven Soderbergh's comedy uncovered Alex Pettyfer for me, and that's enough. He's dreamy and a Brit and if you can hug his image all the way to the hotel like a double cashmere coat . Matthew McConaughey is the big daddy stripper, and despite the chocolate bar abs doesn't register as sexy. There's just a hint of erotic energy (unapologetically targetting the reliable gay dollar)- there's ample, if unthreatening, man candy, of course, fit for the mainstream. The script isn't polished or strong on character with no narrative originality or emotion, you don't really care about the girlfirends, and the poverty and drugs never seems real. But you can almost read this movie as a bromance because it seems more about male camaraderie and the buddy element is the emotional core of the movie. If anything, the friendship between Tatum and Pettyfer is the main narrative - it's Brokeback Lite. The Chinese uncle sitting next to me was so riveted by the stripping scenes that he actually leaned over and asked me what I was watching - I told him, pointing to the title in the the menu, and then he turned it on, put on his headphones and studiously ignored me me for the rest of the movie. Well, at least one person enjoyed the flight.

V for Very Nice

What a fresh and inspired cover by Jean Paul Goude (styled by Carine Roitfeld) and it does so say Hitchcock and Psycho at the same time, which is what effective communication should be? Pity though that you can't quite tell that she's supposed to be Scarlett Johansson?

“I think that something needs to be weird in order to have a real beauty. Beauty can be quite boring, especially if you’re talking about beauty that doesn’t last. And what lasts is exactly the thing that maybe wasn’t pretty at first — it comes over time to be beautiful or interesting or exciting.”Carine Roitfeld

Sayonara Vogue Homme Japan

If you see certain young (and not so young) people of varied genders (wearing bowl cuts and Rick Owens boots) sighing and wringing their wrists in despair, you will know the reason: Their style bible, Vogue Hommes Japan will cease publication following its September 2012 issue. 
They all think a naked torso and rubber gloves = edgy but one needs to ask  "why"?
Launched in September 2008 as the geisha counterpart to the long-running and L'Uomo Vogue, Condé Nast Japan has pulled the plug on Vogue Hommes Japan to shift its resources to launch a Japanese version of GQ StyleGQ Style will, similarly, be a semiannual standalone entity (first issue September 2013). Masafumi Suzuki, the current editor of GQ Japan, will oversee the publication.
Vogue Hommes Japan fashion director Ms Nicola Formichetti (also the creative director of fashion house Mugler, the long-time collaborator of Lady Gaga's and the fashion director of high street store Uniqlo), said Condé Nast had decided to switch its men's publication globally from Vogue to GQ StyleThe Chinese, Brazilian and American editions of the publication all met a similar fate, folding within five years of their launch. 
How creative is this? Batman mask and lipstick? Black and white picture?  Naked guy? 

Ms Formichetti sighed: "I loved the issues we made. Each issue was a chance to collaborate with the best creatives in the world. Our goal was to push the boundaries of fashion and oh boy did we take it there!" If indeed they were the world's best creatives, then the world is a poor, desolate place, because besides bringing a certain narrow camp, theatrical aesthetic to light, I don't see what the magazine's virtues are. Certainly, none of it is particularly groundbreaking or relevant, given the excesses already familiar in all sorts of Japanese media. 

Ms Formichetti also hinted that he is set to pursue a new print venture (horrors, roll eyes) with two of his colleagues from Vogue Hommes Japan

06 November 2012

Calvin Klein As One

Last week, Calvin Klein fashion was reunited under one roof with its underwear and jeans division after fashion group Phillips-Van Heusen agreed to buy rival Warnaco for USD 2.9 bn (£1.8 bn). The deal comes 15 years after the CK underwear and jeans businesses were licensed to Warnaco. 
The entire Calvin Klein universe will now come under the control of Tom Murry, who has been in charge of Calvin Klein at Phillips-Van Heusen. Having global control of the two largest apparel categories for Calvin Klein – jeans and underwear – will allow Phillips-Van Heusen to unlock the full potential of this powerful designer brand. Phillips-Van Heusen bought the Calvin Klein brand in 2003, which was established by Mr Calvin Klein in the late 1960s, it went on to transform the men's underwear market in the 1980s and propelled its advertising models to fame. The sale will be finalised next year.

Balenciaga, Goodbye

What is the fashion world coming to? Balenciaga is said to be in advanced negotiations with a successor to its star designer Nicolas Ghesquiere, 41, whose surprise departure has rocked the fashion industry. A shortlist of candidates already exists, as the label's designer of 15 years would leave on 30 November, promising that this transition will not be the drawn-out one like the recent drama at Dior. Dior took a year to name Raf Simons as successor to its disgraced designer John Galliano.
Ghesquiere's parting with Balenciaga was unexpected to say the least. The company’s announcement said that the parting was “a joint decision”. Ghesquiere is one of the darlings of fashion, and unarguably one of fashion's biggest talents whose collections for Balenciaga received critical raves. He has designed for the label since 1997, reviving the label and making Balenciaga relevant for a new generation.

Originally founded in 1937 by Spanish designer Cristobal Balenciaga, the house was known for a sculptural use of volume, sharp suits and colour, until Balenciaga retired in 1968. Ghesquière gave these codes a modern touch and was one of the first to dust off an iconic house and introduce a whole new generation of fans to the brand.

03 November 2012

THE KATE MOSS EXPLOSION

"Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." - Kate

I haven't been this excited over a magzine all year! December's Vanity Fair brings to us a Kate Moss explosion: with the stunning cover, and the news is that a new coffee-table book dedicated to Kate, 38, is now in bookstores. Kate: The Kate Moss Book is a deluxe retrospective of the work of the world's most famous model (by the predictable roster of photographers Mario Testino, Karl Lagerfeld and Hedi Slimane), it is co-edited with Jefferson Hack, her ex and the father of her daughter, Lila Grace, 7.
With Christy Turlington (the unlikeliest BFFs?)
We've been staring at Kate's face for over 30 years now, and we're still staring at her covers and campaigns. Meanwhile she's been raking in her millions – as of now, she's still one of the highest paid models in the world – and that means one of the highest paid models of ALL TIME. But what she really thinks and really feels, is closely guarded, as sphinx-like, she rarely grants interviews or comments to the press; Is this a strategy to keep us all interested? Because the silence surely increases the impact of some the most facile of her revelations.

Why do I fond her fascinating? I think it has to do with the triumphant durability of the one least likely to succeed - the little flawed one that could and did. Kate has achieved the longevity - the permanence - that no other model before her has despite not being the most beautiful or amazonian. She is snaggle-toothed, bow-legged, wonky-eyed. Yet, she has worked in fashion for over three minutely-recorded decades: in that time, Kate launched trends, defined styles, became an icon, the very definition of what it means to be a model. Other iconic models have been frozen irrevocably as the definition of an era – Twiggy will always mean the 1960s, Lauren Hutton the 1970s, Jamie Dickenson the 1980s. Linda Evangelista the 1990s – and though they enjoy pop-up revivals, only Kate represents the constantly evolving face of fashion. Three decades in fashion is a long time.

She was the scrawny face of grunge in the early 1990s, and her name became synonymous with heroin chic by the mid 1990s. At the turn of the Noughties, she morphed into a rocker chick. Her wide appeal enabled her to appear in ad campaigns for brands pitched at every segment of the market from Rimmel to Louis Vuitton. She has sold everything to everyone.

Kate became a celebrity in her own right. Celebrity culture, as the internet took hold, made Kate a star: her appeal flourished in a thousand stylish outfits with nary a wardrobe malfunction in sight. Or rather, her wardrobe malfunctions became style signatures. It was her personal clothes, her choices, rather than any particular label, that people noticed and coveted. This was quickly parlayed into profit in 2007, when she collaborated with Topshop on a line for which she was reportedly paid £3m. She launched her own perfume, published a book, and designed for Longchamp.

Candid images from her life, which are ubiquitous, had as much impact as her ever-growing portfolio of magazine covers (more than 400). Pictures of Kate with her various boyfriends including Johnny Depp, the pasty Pete Doherty, the effete Jefferson Hack, her husband (Kills musician) Jamie Hince are commonplace, as are images of her living the model life in Glastonbury, Ibiza or Phuket. Whether at her local or the Ritz,

Kate was always a newsmaker: back when she started, she was criticised for promoting anorexia. Her association with heroin chic continues to dog her, and exploded in the 2005 scandal when The Daily Mirror ran photos of her apparently snorting cocaine. Although she was never charged with any drug offences, she retreated to rehab at The Meadows, after losing lucrative contracts with H&M, Burberry and Chanel. But in no time, she staged a blazing comeback with Burberry and Chanel and within a year, her earnings reportedly doubled from before the scandal.

Basically, the Vanity Fair interview could have been titled "Poor Thing Kate": it purportedly is about how sad  her early experiences in the fashion industry were, and how vulnerable she really is/was. For instance, at the July 1990 cover shoot for the Face that launched her career, with late photographer Corinne Day, Kate locked herself in a lavatory and cried because she was asked to go topless. Fabien Baron, then creative director for Calvin Klein's controversial ads, gave her an eight-year contract for the company because of those pictures. But for shooting a set by Herb Ritts, in which she posed with Mark Wahlberg, Kate had another melt-down. "It didn't feel like me at all. I felt really bad about straddling this buff guy. I didn't like it. I couldn't get out of bed for two weeks. I thought I was going to die."

These revelations feel inauthentic, and disingenuous, because Kate's entire ouvre seemed to be one big orgy of exposure. What's your take on Kate's fascination?

02 November 2012

Robert Pattinson's Halloween Special

This may not strike you as a particularly happy marriage but Robert Pattinson has reportedly (LA Times) signed on as the new face of men's fragrances for Christian Dior Parfum. The alleged deal would fetch the always greasy and unshaven Pat Pat around $12 million over three years for multiple ad campaigns.This would be the first significant endorsement for Pat Pat, as he's focused primarily on staying as white as a lump of unwashed whale fat sweating is a dank underground chamber. Let's hope Pat Pat will do a Mrs Brad Jolie in those Chanel No 5 ads and give us another good reason to turn up our noses. I can't wait.