>> Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Robin Givhan has landed a book deal to write about the supermodel-studded Grand Divertissement à Versailles fashion show, which in 1973 pitted five American designers (Oscar de la Renta, Stephen Burrows, Halston, Anne Klein, and Bill Blass) against five French designers (Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior by Marc Bohan, Hubert de Givenchy, Emanuel Ungaro, and Pierre Cardin) at the Palace of Versailles. Put together by Eleanor Lambert, the publicist who invented the Best Dressed List, the show used exclusively black models like Pat Cleveland, Bethann Hardison, and Billie Blair and was attended by 800 guests, including Princess Grace of Monaco. Givhan’s book will be “an in-depth look at how the Grand Divertissement a Versailles set a diverse group of American designers against the lions of French fashion in a seismic cultural event and turning point in the history of American fashion.” Givhan is also the author of Michelle: Her First Year as First Lady. [DFR]
Posts for October 2011
>> The final challenge of this year's CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund competition — a fashion show by all 10 finalists at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles — took place last Thursday. “You’re never really a spectator at your own show, so it’s an amazing experience," said second-time finalist Joseph Altuzarra. "I wasn’t so much looking at the girls as at people’s reactions in the audience.”
Ryan Murphy, Bee Shaffer's current boss — both were in attendance — revealed another project Altuzarra has on his plate: designing some costumes for Murphy’s new movie based on Larry Kramer’s play, The Normal Heart.
>> Fresh off dressing Chloe Moretz in head-to-toe Kenzo over the weekend, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim have unveiled their Spring 2012 Opening Ceremony collection, inspired by the major music festivals of the world, from England to the US to Argentina. Shot by Tim Barber and styled by Sara Moonves, Daiane Sondré, Hyoni Kang, and Camille Rowe model metallic anoraks, cat-faced dresses, and lug-soled suede sandals. The collection hits stores starting in February 2012.
>> Karl Lagerfeld, who stopped showing his signature collection on the runway in September 2010, will be back in January with two new signature lines.
Karl, an 100-piece masstige women's line priced at about 60 to 300 euros ($95 to $450), and the higher-end Karl Lagerfeld Paris line — priced 300 euros to about 2,500 euros ($411 to $3,425) — will both be introduced on Jan. 25 during Paris Couture Week. The Karl line will then make its debut exclusively on Net-a-Porter, with sales on KarlLagerfeld.com starting Feb. 28, while Karl Lagerfeld Paris will first be sold for Fall 2012.
Of the relaunch, Lagerfeld says: "I just want not too expensive clothes that people may like and perhaps want to wear. That was my concept for a long time, but my business partners in the past wanted to be like Chanel or Fendi without putting behind what is needed to be like that ... Now I am feeling we are ready for the right job — the way to do things right in a modern, unusual way.”
The Karl line boasts a "street" and "rock" attitude, according to Pier Paolo Righi, the new president of Karl Lagerfeld, and is mainly targeted at women in their late teens and early 20s. It is rife with denim and leather, silvery jeans, and black cocktail dresses with plunging backs. The tags show Lagerfeld's profile, complete with sunglasses and ponytail, embedded in a K.
>> Halloween is all about dressing up, so why not glean a little costume inspiration from those who make a living out of creating the perfect look — all year round? Here, we've asked 13 fashion insiders to share their favorite costumes from Halloweens past; click through to see Pamela Love, Chris Benz, Madewell's Gigi Guerra, and more all decked out in their Halloween finest. Plus, find out which designer got name-checked as having the best costume ever — by two different people — and which sweet treat tops more than one insider's favorite candy list . . . all here, in the slideshow.
>> Colorful, hand-painted pearls and baguettes are back for Tom Binns's Spring 2012 collection, mixed amongst sparkly Swarovski crystals and safety pins. Cameos get a neon dip-dye treatment and crystal collar necklaces are emblazoned with the words "Punk" or "Rich B*tch." Click through to preview the collection, currently available for preorder on Moda Operandi.
>>At the end of last month, Sidney Toledano, president and CEO of Dior, said he expected to have news on Dior's new designer "in the next few weeks." Not a day later came reports that talks between Dior and the front runner for the position, Marc Jacobs, had been tough and at a standstill.
Now, however, WWD reports: "Negotiations with Marc Jacobs . . . to become Dior’s next couturier have been progressing, sources said this week. It is understood . . . Phoebe Philo remains the preferred candidate to succeed Jacobs at Vuitton, should the American designer conclude a deal with Dior."
Dior, which has now been without a creative director since March, reported that its revenues were up 17.6 percent in the third quarter — suggesting that the brand is more potent than the famous designer behind it.
>> The full Versace For H&M lookbook is here. The collection, which launches in select countries on Nov. 17 and in the US on Nov. 19, runs from $19.95 costume jewelry up to $299 for a leather jacket and the studded leather dress Anna Dello Russo wore. Also included in the offering for the first time — home decor, which consists of pillows, priced $29.95 and $39.95, and a bedspread, at $149.
“The collection for H&M is the essence of Versace,” Donatella Versace stated. “For the collaboration we’ve brought back from the archives, as well as from more recent collections, some of the icons of Versace, such as the bright prints, the Greek key, and daring cuts. I can’t wait to see how H&M’s wide audience will make these pieces their own.”
A complete look — plus price info — in the slideshow.
>> French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy gave birth to a daughter — her first child with her husband, French President Nicolas Sarkozy — today in Paris. The baby — whose name is unknown — was delivered around 8 p.m. this evening and is the first child born to a ruling French leader since Napoleon. Prior to giving birth, Bruni-Sarkozy had said she will not be releasing baby photos. The child is the fourth for Sarkozy, who has three sons from two previous marriages, while Bruni-Sarkozy, 43, has a son from a previous relationship. [People]
UPDATE: The Sarkozys have named their daughter Giulia, Bruni announced on her official website: "I am deeply touched by the many messages of congratulations that I have received since the birth of our daughter Giulia. On this happy occasion, my husband joins me in expressing our warmest thanks to all those of you who sent us these tokens of your kindness." [HuffPo]
>> The Visionaries: Tom Ford documentary that has been promised for some time now — "You know I've never let anyone film me like this before," Ford tells the cameras — finally has a premiere date.
This Sunday, Oct. 23, at 8 p.m. EDT/PDT on OWN is it: when Ford talks about being laughed at for wanting to make a movie and gives a tour of his design studio. Director Michael Bonfiglio, who followed Ford — all access — from his return to womenswear in September 2010 through this past February when he opened his Los Angeles store, says of filming the designer: "I think the most memorable thing, actually, was when I finally showed Tom a rough cut of the film. I flew to Los Angeles to show it to him, and I was very nervous. Given how particular he is about his work — and especially because he's a filmmaker — I was anticipating leaving the screening with ten pages of notes about things he wanted changed. We screened it at a hotel, and he brought one of his colleagues to watch it with us. I sat a little bit behind him, so I could see his reactions as he watched — and about 10 minutes in, I could tell he was pleased. When it was over, he had a big smile on his face, told me he loved it, and essentially had no notes — aesthetic or otherwise."
The trailer and a few clips from the film, below.
Ford gives a tour of his design studio in London:
Ford talks about why he returned to fashion: