Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

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Your morning fashion and beauty report: Newest 'Gossip Girl' shows fashion flair. Dax Shepard shows off his tattoo.

Katie

 "Gossip Girl's" newest starlet, Katie Cassidy, is already showing fashion cred worthy of that sartorially savvy crew. She's been spotted sitting front-row among celebs like Sarah Jessica Parker and Diane Kruger at New York Fashion Week shows, went to W's September issue celebration at Saks this week (dressed in a gold Diane von Furstenberg shift) and says she would totally wear clothes designed by castmate Leighton Meester (when Meester gets around to doing a celebrity label, that is.) [People]

Luckily for Dax Shepard (Crosby Braverman on "Parenthood,") the show's producer decided the large tattoo of a tree on his forearm would be in character, thus sparing him what he estimates would have been two hours in makeup each day. Warning to those contemplating a tattoo: the tree is there to cover a former tat that went out of style. Making me wonder: what will eventually cover the tree? [Toronto Sun]

Hermes has taken an unusual step for a Western label, creating a new luxury brand specifically for China. [WWD] (Subscription required.)

I am imagining Christina Aguilera singing "Imagine" at a party celebrating the release of a new Montblanc "John Lennon" fountain pen (priced at $920).  I am imagining Yoko Ono saying how touched Lennon would have been at the honor. I am imagining if all you need is love, why do $920 pens even exist? Well, they do, and all this actually really happened this week.  A portion of proceeds from the sale of each pen will go to aid children's music education programs. [WWD] 

Florsheim (hint: the shoes your dad or granddad wore) is plugging into the love for retro and freshening up its image with a popup store in Manhattan. [WWD] (Subscription required.)

Elle has sparked criticism for a cover photo of "Precious" star Gabourey Sidibe in which it appears her skin has been lightened considerably. The cover is one of four being used for the magazine's 25th anniversary issue. The other three show Megan Fox, Lauren Conrad and Amanda Seyfried. In a statement Elle says that nothing "out of the ordinary" occurred. Sidibe's photo was not retouched "any more or any less than the others," the statement said. My interpretation: don't believe any of these women really look like their magazine photos. [The Telegraph]  

-- Susan Denley

Photo: Katie Cassidy was styling even in a former role as Ella Sims on 'Melrose Place.'  Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

 
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