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Mila Kunis is Dior’s New Girl

2011 was a banner year for Ukrainian born former TV star turned Hollywood starlet Mila Kunis, she got cast in a number of supporting roles in highly acclaimed films and took the leading lady role in a rom-com opposite Hollywood hunk Justin Timberlake plus the fashion world lavished their praises on her as the 28 year old actress finally established her sophisticated yet sexy red carpet style. Now Ms. Kunis is kicking off 2012 as the newest face for Christian Dior as the face of their Miss Dior handbag line.

“Mila Kunis is a very talented young actress; she embodies the true modern woman,” Dior’s deputy general manager Delphine Arnault told British Vogue. “Her performance in Black Swan was remarkable. She is very gifted. We are looking forward to a long relationship with her.” Kunis will join Black Swan co-star Natalie Portman, another one of Dior’s girls since 2010 many speculated that Ms. Portman who was born in Israel might sever ties with the french fashion house after their former creative director John Galliano was recording spouting an anti-Semitic tirade in a Paris bistro. However with Mr. Galliano long gong it seems Natalie has no problem remaining with the brand.

In an interview with Women’s Wear Daily Kunis is quoted as saying “”I find that Dior is an incredibly grounded house, I always thought what Dior does is so sophisticated, feminine and beautiful.” Which sounds like a perfect fit for the stunning young actress who is fast becoming one of the hottest names in both film and fashion. Check out this link to some of the sample photos at the Huffington Post and see if you can even bring yourself to disagree. Here at Promgirl News we can’t wait to see where the rest of 2012 will take this Ukrainian beauty.

The First Images of Jason Wu for Target Hit the Web

While designer Jason Wu’s collaboration with retail giant Target may be more than a month away (the first pieces hit shelves on February 5th) a few sample photos from the capsule have already started to pop up online and considering that many pieces will be available for $60 or less, it is definitely something to be excited about. Images given to T Magazine and Glamour suggest that much like Wu’s main line this collaboration will be feminine, flirty and fun with plenty of nautical inspired spring dresses, pleated skirts and his signature Peter Pan collars complimented by a full range of accessories including some very stylish spring handbags.

The most interesting part of Wu’s newest retail collaboration is that unlike many collaborations we’ve seen recently, such as Missoni for Target and Versace for H&M, Wu seems to have resisted the urge to reinterpret pieces from his eponymous label into fast fashion counterparts and has instead offered up an entirely new collection while maintaining his signature style. In an interview with T Magazine Wu told the editors “My goal was not to duplicate anything from my main collection. Instead I designed completely new clothes and accessories that reflect my taste and have a voice of their own.”

While its safe to say Wu had plenty of help from the Target creative team as well as his own design studio it is still refreshing to see a big name designer offer up an affordable retail collaboration made up of brand new looks and styles. While Wu won’t be hyping the collaboration to the same level that Missoni and Versace did last year it is still safe to say that many of these pieces will be sought after enough to make February 5th a busy day for Target locations nationwide. Look for more images from the collection, including a completed look book, to be released as we get closer to the launch date and if you seen anything you like, make sure to mark the 5th of next month on your calendar because there is a good chance supplies wont last long.

Next For Kendall & Kylie

Kendall and Kylie may have the Jenner last name, but ask any Hollywood insider, these girls are the last of the Kardashians. The two have already followed in their sisters footsteps, obviously they have a hit TV show on the E! channel (with the rest of the Kardashian krew), the pair has kicked off their modeling career with some major spots in New York fashion week, they have received the honor of being named Hollywood’s most stylish sisters, and now like their older sisters, Kendall and Kylie will have their own jewelry collection. So will their jewelry collection show up in Dash (Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe’s boutique)? Or what about with the Kardashian Kollection at Sear’s?

Well, no word yet on where the fun jewelry products will be available for purchase. However, Glamhouse Production is the company that has signed the deal with them, and quite frankly couldn’t be more ecstatic. “With their popular show on E! Entertainment Television, millions of teenagers look to Kendall and Kylie for style advice, so they were truly a perfect fit for the company and I’m thrilled to partner with them.” President of Glamhouse Productions, Pascal Mouawad said while swooning over the news.

And for the girls, well they are pretty excited as well, as any teenage girl would be about her (and her sister’s) own line of jewelry. Kylie and Kendall released a statement saying, “We love accessories, and it’s amazing that we’re going to have our own line to be able to wear every day—and for our friends to wear, too!”

The jewelry will be advertised to girls right around the same age of the youngest Jenner-Kardashian’s just in time for next year’s holiday season. Females, ages 12-19 is the target market and with the girls being so stylish (they won Hollywood’s most stylish sisters, beating out Kourtney and Kim!) that teen age group will be sure to jump on the opportunity to wear pieces designed by Kendall, Kylie, and the Glamhouse team.

 

Will Sweetheart Emily Blunt Keep the ASA from Souring on YSL Opium?

Definitely one of the most surprising pieces of news out of fashion world over the last few weeks is Emily Blunt’s newest role as the face of Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium fragrance. While the British actress’s beauty is certainly not in question her well know sweet and down-to-earth demeanor seems the complete opposite of the storied and often controversial YSL fragrance which she will be representing. The first 60 second spot for the fragrance, which will be hard to miss by this time next month, features Emily in a black tuxedo and gold jewelry sharing screen time with a very real leopard which certainly goes a long way to giving the images some bite. However it is still a far cry from the YSL Opium ads earlier this year that scandalized Britain and earned a ban from the notorious Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after numerous complaints that the model’s dancing style simulated intravenous drug use.

Blunt herself seems a little surprised at YSL’s choice, when asked by the Telegraph as to why she was chosen Emily replied “I don’t know. I’ve no idea. There was no one else? They made a mistake, a terrible mistake.” All self deprecating humor aside perhaps Blunt is the smart choice for a fragrance that has often ended up on the wrong side of controversy in recent years. In addition to the ban put in place by the ASA earlier this year, YSL came under fire back in 2000 for an Opium billboard featuring a naked Sophie Dahl which after nearly a thousand complaints was also banned throughout the UK. Perhaps Ms. Blunt’s presence will help add a little nice to YSL Opium’s naughty rep. One thing is for sure, controversy certainly didn’t ward Emily away. In fact she told the Telegraph:

“There’s such an aura of scandal around this perfume that I have quiet attached to the idea of doing it from the word go. I’d been asked to do a couple of things but none were as classy as this. And I got to work with a leopard.”

Gisele Is Officially Givenchy’s New Girl

To understand how much of a compliment this is to Givenchy and Ricardo Tisci’s Spring/Summer 2012 collection, you first must realize that Gisele Bundchen does not need to walk down runways anymore. In fact despite what the magazine covers, lingerie line, ad campaigns, and many other exploits would suggest Gisele Bundchen doesn’t really even need to get out a bed anymore. The world famous Brazilian supermodel and her all star NFL husband Tom Brady are in fact the world’s highest paid celebrity couple. While we are certain that Gisele is not modeling for Givenchy for free, or even on the cheap, what we are pointing out is that a woman in her position has the luxury of choosing which brands she wants to lend her name to; so when she appeared on the Givenchy runway this past September it turned a lot of heads and help build up some interest in the newest collection by Tisci.

Well it turns out that all those rumors about Gisele being Givenchy’s new girl were right on the money because the first images of the S/S 2012 ad campaign have hit the net and the blond Brazilian beauty is front and center channeling her most brooding aura in aid of Ricardo Tisci’s stormy new ad campaign. Coming on the heels of a fierce Fall/Winter 2011 campaign that featured legendary supermodel Naomi Campbell the new Gisele centric campaign is a sign that Givenchy wont be pulling any punches when it comes to advertising next year. The french fashion house has seen their fortunes rise in the last few years with the rebound of the international luxury markets and with Tisci in the creative director role they are showing no signs of loosing momentum. Link over to Huffington Post style section to see the first sample image or head to Givenchy’s site to see the full array of what is sure to be one of the Spring’s hottest collections.

Marc Jacobs Calls Couture Archaic

A couple of months ago Promgirl News touched on the ever more obvious fact that, in a 21st century fashion world where runway images move at the speed of email and the hottest trends from Europe can be ordered off Net-A-Porter the minute they are released, the once celebrated world of haute couture is becoming less relevant. In our article we noted how many designers, such as the revered Azzadine Alaia, have forsaken traditional haute couture in favor of high end ready-to-wear which some have taken to referring to as semi- or demi-couture. Well it turns out that Mr. Alaia is in good company because in the January issue of Vogue writer Jonathan Van Meter interviews Louis Vuitton’s Marc Jacobs about conversations he had with Christian Dior execs regarding the possibility of becoming their new Creative Director and Mr. Jacob’s take on Dior and couture may surprise you.

“I am at Vuitton, and I am very happy there,” Jacobs told Van Meter “I’ve been saying that for a long time. There have been on-and-off conversations about Dior. I don’t know; maybe someday in the future, maybe years from now, I may end up going someplace else, maybe Dior. But right now I am at Vuitton, and all that matters to me is that that’s where I am and I’m going to keep doing my thing. The irony in all of this is that I don’t dream of doing anything else, or I didn’t. My greatest challenge is to do something better than we’ve done the season before. The idea of couture doesn’t hold that thing for me. It’s archaic – in my opinion. I mean, I am really interested in the craftsmanship behind couture. But I can explore all that in ready-to-wear. With couture, one dress each season is photographed by a couple of magazines; there’s no advertising; it reaches 20 customers. I don’t feel there is anything lacking in what we do. I get to work with these amazing craftsmen. Maybe not the same ateliers that would make a couture dress, but again, we are not in a deficit for working with people who create beautiful things. I am not sure I ever looked at couture as this great opportunity.”

As the old fashion saying goes, three instances makes a trend, if Mr. Alaia is one and Mr. Jacobs the second it shouldn’t be long before we see another big name designer eschew couture in favor of high end ready-to-wear.  After all, in a world where you can find the most fashionable luxury online anytime it only makes sense the the appeal of couture level craftsmanship would outgrow the Paris ateliers who once commanded an industry to come to them.

Paris Puts Its Foot Down in Fashion Week Scheduling Debacle

Just when it looked like this whole mess was about to get straightened out France’s Chambre Sydicale de la Haute Couture has put its foot down, right on top of Milan. For those who haven’t been following the biggest feud in fashion the play by play goes something like this: For the last few years New York, London, Milan and Paris have each presented their fashion weeks one after the other with the understanding that fashion month was to start on the second Tuesday in February and September. New York and London claim they were under the impression that this was a permanent agreement, while Milan and Paris insist that the “second Tuesday rule” only applied for the last three years and is now moot. So when New York scheduled their 2013 Spring shows to begin on September 13th 2012, London followed suit and scheduled their shows for the next week the problem is, so did Milan! Suddenly editors and retail buyers the world over were thrown into a panic at the thought of having to choose between the London and Milan fashion weeks. Milan refused to push their dates back saying that it would not give their designers the time needed to fulfill orders, New York didn’t want to move forward because it would mean making designers, models and support staff work during the labor day weekend.

Finally after much back and forth between the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and Italy’s Camera Nazionale de la Moda a tentative agreement was reached that would push New York up to the 6th of September and allow everyone to reschedule in accordance with the second Tuesday rule. However it would still require France and Italy to move their dates back slightly to accommodate London Fashion week. While it looked like Milan was ready to do so, Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) is now reporting that Paris is still refusing to budge. Didier Grumbach, president of the Chambre Sydicale de la Haute Couture was quoted by WWD as saying:

“It was perfectly open and clear and very obvious that our members could not accept this, we fall at the end of the calendar. All of the member houses agreed that this would make them very late in taking orders, which in turn would be penalizing for deliveries. It’s an industrial reason: you’re a manufacturer, you need your orders early.”

While Mr. Grumbach’s  point is legitimate many find it hard to believe that a couple of days (which is the push back New York, London and Milan were asking of Paris) would have much of a detrimental effect on producing orders. Another theory is that Paris is using this opportunity to make their competitors in Milan squirm. With the Paris Fashion week unmoved Milan cannot shift theirs back and it is still overlapping the end of London’s fashion week, which is exactly what the Camera Nazionale de la Moda has desperately been trying to avoid every since publishing giant Conde Nast threatened to send all of its editors to London over Milan. Conde Nast is the corporation behind such fashion mags as Vogue, Glamour and W; and without their editors in attendance coverage of the Milan catwalks would be anemic.

No word yet on whether Conde Nast’s threat still stands now that Milan is trying to be accommodating, but with Paris doing the exact opposite you can bet that their are a lot of unkind words for the French being thrown around Italian fashion houses this week.

And The New World Record Goes To…

Generally, when one hears news of a world record being broken, and of course topped, Ripley’s and former Superman, Dean Cain come to mind. However, just the other day a different kind of world record was set; one that has a little more class than ‘longest jump on a dirt bike.’ Last Tuesday night, the auction for Elizabeth Taylor’s elaborate jewelry collection took place and needless to say, not one single auction has ever made that much money. Now the bigger question, how much money was accumulated from the sale of her jewelry estate? Take a deep breath – the Elizabeth Taylor auction brought in over 115 million dollars, which is well over the amount that the former record holder made. Previous to the now famous Liz Taylor auction, was the 1987 Geneva auction held by the Duchess of Windsor; auctioning her private jewelry collection brought in over 50 million dollars. A fun fact about the two auctions and their vague relation; Liz Taylor actually purchased the Prince of Wales brooch from the Duchess of Windsor, and that one piece of fine jewelry sold for over 1.3 million dollars on Tuesday!

As Elizabeth Taylor was quite an icon in the worlds of fashion, jewelry, cinema, and even relationships (she was married a number of times), it was only right that prior to the auctions first call, a short video from the 1960’s was played. In the video, Liz is sunbathing while speaking with Richard Burton over the telephone. Richard is inevitably at a jewelry auction on Liz’s behalf and she tells him, “Darling, it sounds like things are going for ten times their [estimated] price, Holy cow.” Following that statement, Liz does what most would consider to be the unthinkable, she tells him to buy it all!

With Liz’s fabulous life now only left to memory and a number of films and photographs, all the buyers of her jewels will carry on a bit of her, along with those that will benefit from a portion of the auctions’ proceeds going to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.

 

 

Has Dior Finally Found a Creative Director in Raf Simons?

First is was Azzedine Alaia, then the Alexander Wang rumors started, next everybody was talking about Marc Jacobs, so now when rumors of a discussion between Bernard Arnault and Raf Simons begin to circulate we are almost hesitant to report them. However even Women’s Wear Daily is reporting that Mr. Arnault and the Christian Dior management team are closing in on a possible deal that would put Mr. Simons in the long vacant Creative Director slot at Dior. The storied French fashion house has been without a Creative Director for 9 months now, ever since the dismissal of John Galliano which was triggered by the designer himself and his now well know anti-Semitic rant at a Paris bistro.

While the Christian Dior label has suffered little in the absence of a Creative Director, their runway shows have been continuously flat and received  lukewarm receptions from the fashion world at best, a far cry from the hotly anticipated and highly exclusive shows that the house held under Galliano. So it stands to reason that while no real damage has been done yet, the brand risks loosing valuable market credibility and consumer mind-share with each passing season. Some are already suggesting that courting of Raf Simons is a settling of sorts on Dior’s part after talks with so many other designers fell through, after all Mr. Simons in know for minimalistic and spartan clothing designs, not exactly the bread and butter of the Christian Dior name. However the designer has a loyal following from his six plus years as the Creative Director of Italian brand Jil Sander as well as his own eponymous label; and those supporters have been vocal in insisting that Mr. Simons is more than up to the task of filling the void at Dior.

A few months ago we reported on an interview given by Bernard Arnault, Chairman and CEO of LVMH, Dior’s parent company, in which the most powerful man in fashion indicated that he had perhaps had enough of larger than life personalities like Galliano and the instabilities they bring to fashion houses. So it could be argued that the selection of the sublimely subdued Raf Simons is less of a settling and more of a change in direction for the persona surrounding the Dior label. How much that change will effect their signature products and designs remains to be seen, but considering that Mr. Simons has still not committed and that he is still under contact with Jil Sander there is still the possibility that all this speculation could be moot. For now the saga of Dior’s Creative Director search continues, but hopefully not for much longer.

Gingrich’s Child Labor Comments Concern Fashion Industry Leaders

In the seemingly never-ending dog and pony show that primary elections have become, some candidates would be willing to say almost anything to grab the attention of a fickle 24-hour news cycle. So perhaps it was for that reason that former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich recently went on record as saying that US child labor laws were “truly stupid.” The comment, which came during a speech Gingrich was giving at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, was in reference to a theoretical program Gingrich has been promoting to improve work ethic in poor neighborhoods while cutting the government’s costs. Gingrich’s suggestion is that public schools do away with unionized janitors in favor of paying students to keep the buildings clean.

However the comments regarding child labor laws have earned Mr. Gingrich plenty of reproach from the US fashion industry where sweat shop labor, often involving children, is treated as a very serious matter. Kevin Burke President and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association had the following warning for the presidential hopeful:

“This is a particularly sensitive issue because it involves children, we as an industry are sensitive to child labor and other industries are as well. We try to set an example in the US for partners around the world to follow their own laws. When you have a candidate for president advocating relaxation of those laws, it calls into question the commitment. I hope the Speaker clarifies his remarks at some point.”

Toward the end of last week Gingrich did clarify, saying that in no way was he suggesting that children should be operating heavy machinery or doing anything dangerous. Though sometimes the dangers faced by workers in the fashion industry are not obvious to the outside observer, or even the workers themselves until it is too late. This year alone has seen workers in Cambodia fall ill due to fumes generated by production machinery and deaths in Turkey that have been attributed to silicosis, a disease of the lungs caused by breathing in silica fumes generated when distressing denim in an improperly ventilated work space. These are just a few examples but they highlights the hidden risks faced by many textile and garment workers, so it is safe to say that if Gingrich or any other politician even attempted to roll back child labor laws, for whatever reason, they had better not expect any support from the US fashion industry.