The onetime Prada campaign girl will likely convert to Islam to marry the eldest son of the Aga Khan. By Misty White Sidell
You may recognize American model Kendra Spears from her fall 2009 Prada campaign, shot by Steven Meisel, in which she appears with a head of frizzed hair, wearing rich velvet jacquards and avant garde highwater bondage boots. Or from a Teen Vogue spread that same year, in which she was labeled as one of the modeling industry's break out stars.
But now Spears has been cast in a whole new role: she's about to become a Muslim princess. Last week, His Highness the Aga Khan, Imam of Shi'a Ismaili Muslims, announced the engagement of his eldest son, Prince Rahim Aga Khan (age 42), to the Seattle-raised model (age 24). The marriage will make Spears the princess of a nearly 15-million-person-strong Islamic group.
Never mind "The Rachel." Now, everyone's rushing to get the Maggie bouffant.
First came news that Margaret Thatcher’s death had instigated an uptick in the sales of her favorite handbag. And now the same thing is happening with her signature pillowy, bouffant hairstyle, reports The Daily Mail. Hairstylist Maximiliano Centini told the paper “We have now done the style for over 100 women, it is a surge.”
The hairstyle’s draw has a lot to do with Thatcher’s own personal style. Long revered for her ability to appear both feminine and powerful, Thatcher’s personal taste paved the aesthetic way for contemporary politicians like Hillary Clinton. It’s appropriate, then, that actress Flora Raffles MacLaughlin (one of Centini’s patrons to recently receive the style) thinks her new ‘do “is the perfect mix of feminine style with a hint of masculine power. I think for a modern woman that is now an ideal balance. When my other model and actress friends saw it they were immediately intrigued. I have been turning a lot of heads.”
and Balenciaga releases its first ad campaign under Alexander Wang's creative direction.
Downton Abbey Fashion Line: Good news for all you Victoriana fans out there: Downton Abbey’s executive producer Gareth Neame has confirmed that a line of Downton products is on its way this year—including a range of clothes. Neame said in an interview with CNBC, “We’ll be working across an entire range of products coming out this year. From fashion, apparel and homeware and furniture, to wallpapers, beauty products and stationary.” A release date for the various products has not yet been set. [Vanity Fair]
Post-Natal Corsets are a Thing: In the new issue of Net-A-Porter’s magazine The Edit, Jessica Alba reveals that she got back into shape after the birth of her second child with the help of a corset. “It was brutal; it’s not for everyone,” the slim actress said. “I wore a double corset day and night for three months. It was sweaty, but worth it.” However odd, The Daily Mail has charted the post-baby girdle as a growing trend amongst new moms. [The Daily Mail]
Pointer Brand, a 100-year-old American farmwear staple, has recently become popular among international trendsetting men. By Misty White Sidell.
The classic image of an American farmer, with his thick-ply jacket, rugged jeans, beat-up boots, and John Deere equipment is well engrained in the minds of many Americans. But it’s certainly not the first thing you think of in relation to fashion.
That notion, however surprising, is now quickly changing—thanks to Pointer Brand, the 100-year-old private farmwear label owned and produced by L.C. King Manufacturing Company. The onetime go-to brand for sartorial farming staples (like overalls) is now sought after by male trendsetters in urban American hubs, as well as Europe and Japan, for its classic, nongimmicky designs. Even famed Tokyo-based designer Junya Watanabe, enlisted the label for an ongoing collaboration.
The retail giant might have worked with the Bangladesh factory that collapsed, killing hundreds. So why is its stock suddenly rising? Daniel Gross on Penney’s paradoxical comeback.
Sometimes it seems like the department-store chain JCPenney is simply gathering evidence for a business-school study in crisis management.
Customers enter a JCPenney store in New York. (Mark Lennihan/AP)
And the Pinaults donate sculpture to China.
Nicolas Ghesquière Breaks His Silence: Former Balenciaga creative director Nicolas Ghesquière is finally addressing why he left his post at the helm of the storied brand. In an interview with System magazine, Ghesquière reveals that his departure was primarily caused by creative differences between himself and the label's management. "It all became so dehumanised," Ghesquière said. "Everything became an asset for the brand, trying to make it ever more corporate – it was all about branding. I don’t have anything against that; actually, the thing that I’m most proud of is that Balenciaga has become a big financial entity and will continue to exist. But I began to feel as though I was being sucked dry, like they wanted to steal my identity while trying to homogenise things. It just wasn’t fulfilling anymore." Ghesquière also hinted that other designers in similar situations may soon jump ship as well: “What’s interesting is how my split from Balenciaga has encouraged people to get in touch with me, and they’ve said, ‘Me too, I’m in the same situation. I want to leave too.’” [Business of Fashion]
Alber Elbaz Backs Hedi Slimane: Many of fashion's biggest players have voiced their frustration with Hedi Slimane’s new creative direction at Saint Laurent, but at the British Vogue festival this past weekend, Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz had the final word: “Hedi is a very, very, very talented designer,” Elbaz said in conversation with Browns's CEO Simon Burstein, according to The Cut. “It's not that I say that because I know him, but I know his work, and both of us worked at Saint Laurent at the same time. I think he's a very, very talented guy, and we just have to give him time to really build a story.” [The Cut]
On Friday, the State Department released a list of gifts that high-ranking U.S. officials received in 2011. Among the items? His and hers Dior bathrobes from the Sarkozys.
If the State Department proved one thing when releasing a list of gifts that federal employees received from foreign administrations in 2011, it’s that high-ranking politicians command an impressive amount of swag—even if they don’t actually get to keep it.
According to a federal registry document issued by the State Department on Friday, President Obama and his family got thousands of dollars worth of gifts from foreign dignitaries. The document, which details all gifts received by United States officials in 2011, is clear to point out that while officials don't get the swag for themselves, the U.S. Government had to accept the items through official procedure because “non-acceptance would cause embarrassment to donor and U.S. Government.”
The disgraced designer will teach a 3-day master class at Parsons, but an anonymous Change.org petition objects to the appointment.
On Sunday evening, news broke that John Galliano would teach a 3-day master-class series at Parsons, The New School for Design. It appeared to be another layer in the designer’s mounting comeback, one which he’s been working towards since shortly after a 2011 video of his anti-Semitic remarks had him fired from the helm of Dior. There was an overall positivity surrounding the Parsons news. But judging from a petition filed on Change.org, not everyone is happy about Galliano’s latest achievement.
The author of the petition is anonymous, so it’s uncertain if it was written by a member of the Parsons student body. Regardless, its author felt compelled to speak on students’ behalf. “Hiring someone who has made such horrific comments shows that the school values Galliano over their entire Jewish community,” the petition reads. “It shows they value him over their students’ respect, peace of mind, and heritage. It is disgraceful to hire someone who has made such inhumane comments.”
and Fashion Week kicks off in Pakistan.
Rick Owens’s Not-So-Cozy Home: WSJ. Magazine got a sneak peek inside the Parisian living quarters of dark fashion design star, designer Rick Owens, and the rooms are expectedly haunting. The rustic space, which formerly served as the headquarters of the French Socialist Party, is furnished with a taxidermic monkey and minimalist furniture designed by Owens himself, including Alchemist chairs, a pine plywood bed, and a concrete sink. [WSJ]
Ryan Lochte’s Faux Perfume: Ryan Lochte is breaking into the beauty market--on the Internet at least. In a new sketch for comedy website Funny or Die, the Olympic swimmer "promotes" a fake perfume called “Pool Water,” which allows those who wear it to smell just like he does in the pool. Lochte even hints at a “special ingredient” in the product, referencing his confession to Ryan Seacrest that he urinates in pools. “They don’t call it eau de toilette for nothing,” he says with a wink. [Funny or Die]
and the adorable Kiernan Shipka chimes in on Justin Bieber's Chanel face mask
The Return of Mom Jeans: Mom jeans are back, according to Fashionista’s recent shopping trip to TopShop. It’s there that one of the site’s writers discovered that the store is stocking a new pair of high-waisted, loose-fitting, tapered jeans called the ‘MOM.’ [Fashionista]
Victoria Beckham In Vogue Talks?: Victoria Beckham is reportedly in talks to land her first solo US Vogue cover. Sources tell UK tabloid The Daily Star “Posh is in talks about an upcoming cover and a feature where she’ll talk about leaving Los Angeles, David’s move to Paris, and her new daughter. It’s a big deal, and she wants it. Editor in chief Anna Wintour enjoys making people work for it.” This would not be Beckham’s first Vogue cover appearance. She appeared alongside her Spice Girls band mates on the front of publication’s January 1998 issue. [Daily Star]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art's new costume exhibition, PUNK: Chaos to Couture, tries to pay homage to the gritty, subversive, late-1970s movement. But has punk-inspired high fashion added to its legacy-or destroyed it?
Makeup for men is on the rise—and it’s no longer a taboo. Alessandra Codinha reports.