Monthly Archives: July 2013

Christiane Amanpour is the chief international correspondent for CNN, host of an eponymous interview programme, and is also global affairs anchor of ABC News. She grew up in Iran and in Great Britain and joined CNN after university. As a reporter, she has covered many conflicts as well as interviewing heads of state such as Iran’s former president Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad and the former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.

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It’s been almost a week but I am still processing the succession of outfits that appeared on the great and good at the recent Sun Valley conference. The annual gathering of media and tech executives offers possibly the most concentrated examples of how moguls dress when they dress down.

You know that saying about “dress for the job you want”? Well, for anyone who wants to look like a power player not just in the office but out of it (or while pretending to be out of it but still thinking about it), Sun Valley provides a primer in what to wear. Which is what? According to Forbes’s style file, “attendees wear luxurious, casual, low-profile attire, but still aim to look stylish”. Serial participant Diane von Furstenberg, who also has a small pop-up shop during the conference, says: “Everyone makes a point of being as humble and as laid-back as possible. We get some T-shirts and sweatshirts and most guests wear them.” Read more >>

I did an interview in tomorrow’s paper – it will be up soon on-line – with Christiane Amanpour, the ABC anchor, CNN correspondent, war reporter, mother, and all-around very impressive woman, that I really hope everyone will read (and I think that’s the first time I’ve ever written those words in a blog). Not because I wrote the piece, but because for the first time I can remember, a really powerful woman has been secure enough in her own intelligence and position; secure enough in the level of respect she commands; to be absolutely comfortable talking, at length, about clothes.

Specifically her clothes, and why she wears what she wears when, say, she is in the field, or in the studio, or interviewing various Presidents, or going to the White House Correspondents’ dinner. It’s a breakthrough, and I don’t say that lightly. Read more >>

Floriane de Saint Pierre, one of the most powerful luxury headhunters in France (she’s the go-to people placer for Kering), is spearheading yet another fashion award, Eyes on Talent, along with ITS (International Talent Support, an on-line platform) — this one specifically geared toward bringing up and coming design talent to the attention of big brands. Well, they just announced their 2013 winners, and guess what? Of the 13 awards, sponsored by brands like Yoox, Diesel and Swarovski, almost half the winners came from major new markets: South Korea and China. Think this is a coincidence? I don’t.
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There’s something rotten in the state of e-tail – or so it seems. In the last week, both Kate Bostock, the old retail hand filched with great fanfare from M&S by ASOS.com, and Sarah Curran, the founder of My-Wardrobe.com, have left their respective e-ventures – both departures coming just after Aslaug Magnusdottir left her job as CEO of ModaOperandi.com, which she helped launch, last May. Three high-profile executives leaving three of the more successful (and established) fashion etailers in two months? This strike anyone else as weird?
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Just as her former Presidential First rival is inaugurated as the face of Bulgari, Valerie Trierweiler, current First Partner of France, also upped her lux ante, appearing during Bastille day ceremonies not just in a bright pink ensemble, but with a Christian Dior bag – one with little dangling C and D charms no less. Check it out by her feet, left. These things in these situations don’t happen just by-the-by. So what do we make of this? Read more >>

As the royal babywatch enters what are presumably its final days (or even hours) I admit: I cannot wait for the Royal Windsor baby to be born – not because I’m actually panting to see said heir, but because hopefully it will stop the flood of emails I get every morning heralding yet another fancy baby product. Now, I get that this seems an extraordinary opportunity for the high-end baby market, which is currently one of the fastest growing segments of the high-end fashion market, with brands from Dolce & Gabbana to Gucci, Burberry, and Fendi launching kidswear. I get that the Duchess of Cambridge is one of the most influential figures around when it comes to moving product. But what I don’t get is why everyone thinks she is going to move really expensive product. Read more >>

One of the more notable moments of the recent Paris couture week occurred at a very fancy party hosted by Bulgari in a former palace now used as the Chamber of Commerce on Avenue Friedland. As attendees milled around the gardens, swilling champagne, snacking on stuffed tomatoes and chatting to the various executives – outgoing chief executive Michael Burke (who has moved to Vuitton), incoming chief executive Jean-Christophe Babin and Francesco Trapani, head of watches and jewellery at LVMH – models sporting elaborate jewels mingled with guests such as Milla Jovovich, Alexa Chung and Bradley Cooper.

Of all the executives, models and celebrities in attendance, however, none drew as many sideways glances and surreptitious whispers as the new face of Bulgari’s Diva collection and the star of its forthcoming ad campaign, resplendent in black trouser suit and 43-carat sapphire necklace – France’s former first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. Read more >>

During the couture shows the hottest topic of conversation runway-side was, unquestionably, whether or not Marc Jacobs (left, at the last Vuitton womenswear show) was going to stay at Louis Vuitton – and if he wasn’t, if Nicolas Ghesquière, late of Balenciaga, was going to get the job. Well, since then, the rumour has only gotten stronger on the blogosphere — google “Marc Jacobs leaving Louis Vuitton” and you get over 3 million responses. But amid all the speculation, there’s one fact no one seems to know.
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The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists were just announced, and on the ten-brand list is one – Veronica Beard – that seems increasingly emblematic of a new trend in fashion: women entrepreneurs who want to Be Like Tory. Read more >>