Monthly Archives: September 2010

Luxury accessory brands must be in mourning: Latterly famous for owning a reported 100 Hermes Birkin bags, Victoria Beckham has switched sides this season from buyer to seller, adding leather (and croc, and lizard, and suede) arm candy to her eponymous brand. It completes her – or, to be specific, it completes her transition to multi-dimensional brand, complete with entry-level aspirational accessories.

Composed of clutches, shoulder bags, and starring a large boxy bag named – yes – the Victoria, which looks like a cross between a Birkin and a shopper, with a flat top closure for easy access (this was smart), the line also includes a large unisex travel bag large enough to fit a football. “I had to make something David could use,” quoth the woman who once indirectly dubbed herself Mrs Goldenballs. Perhaps Golden Bags might be a better title, though.

When LVMH, the elephantine luxury group bought 49 per cent of Edun, the high-minded business-for-Africa-driven fashion line started by a few years ago Bono and his wife Ali Hewson, eyebrows were raised. But judging by the chumminess Ms Hewson and LVMH Inc chief executive Mark Weber were demonstrating backstage before their first show on Saturday (full of designer Sharon Wauchob’s rough-edged crisp white shirts and bloc print silks), the partnership is peachy-keen. Consider the verbal Rodgers/Astaire tango:

“Any company starting out needs an infrastructure, and that’s a lot of what we’ve been providing,” said Mr Weber, standing with Ms Hewson. “All the stuff you don’t really want to think about when you are committed to a mission: human resources, legal issues.”

“We were spending a lot of our time running from one fire to the next, putting them out,” said Ms Hewson. (Translation: LVMH helps with the boring corporate stuff!) Read more

Jason Wu’s spring/summer 2011 show just took place in NY and gave me a little frisson of delight, not so much because of what was on the runway – nice uptown tailoring with sheer blouses for spice, petal-bedecked skirts – but because of what the stuff on the runway had to do with some other stuff off the runway.

Mr Wu, for those who might not know, is a young Asian-American designer mostly famous for being the guy who made Michelle Obama’s inaugural white fantasy gown, but whom I admire because of the creative approach he has taken to funding his company. Read more

President Obama may be accused of waffling over his agenda by liberals and Republicans alike, and may find himself with his back against the wall as the mid-term elections loom and been forced into today’s press conference in order to defend himself against all that.

But in one respect at least he has demonstrated inarguable and admirable consistency: his clothes. Pretty much any time he has to make an important public appearance – and the September 10 event, only his second live press conference in 15 months, certainly qualifies – he appears in a dark blue suit (complete with that little ‘yes-I’m-a-patriot-but-I’m-aware-of-others-and-don’t-want-to-rub-it-in-your-face’ American flag pin), white shirt and blue tie. Read more

Two interesting new relationships popped up on the fashion radar on September 9, to be publicly consummated in November.  Read more

Fashion, especially during show time, is not politically correct. This we know. It is, despite momentary urges to prove itself otherwise, sexist (when it comes to models, there’s a big gender imbalance in pay, though not necessarily the way you think); ageist; and size-ist (the latter two do not really need explanation).  Read more

Today Mayor Bloomberg is going to open New York Fashion Week. This is an exciting thing. Not so much because breath is bated as to what suit he will wear, or because of the nominal reason for the executive appearance (the move of the shows from Bryant Park to Lincoln Centre), but because of what it says about money and politics. You didn’t think he was just doing it for the skirts, did you? Read more

The White House is not the only entity thinking stimulus this week. Just after Obama announced his new plan to get the economy moving, Fashion’s Night Out version 2.0, aka this year’s bigger and better sequel to last year’s global consumption-spurring party, was launched.  Read more

So there I was, in my physical therapists office, waiting for my reconstructed Achilles tendon to be pummelled and pinched, when the receptionist started chatting away about fashion week. “I’ve been hearing about nothing else,” she said. “My boyfriend is in construction, and he’s been working like crazy on this renovation of the third floor of Tom Ford’s store, to get it ready for his first women’s wear show next week.” In this world, you never know where the leaks are going to come from.
 Read more

The Vanity Fair New Establishment 100 list has just been unveiled, and its criteria for picking “the 100 most influential” are increasingly impenetrable. Read more

For someone who likes to be seen as a white knight, moral and true, Tony Blair made a odd sartorial choice for the cover of his much ballyhooed-memoir, A Journey. Read more