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Your morning fashion and beauty report: Kate Middleton gets a coat of arms. Lauren Conrad launches a beauty site. And Tom Ford sells used cars?

April 20, 2011 |  8:48 am


Canadian used-car salesman Dale Wurfel is using a photo of designer Tom Ford -- whose name is synonymous with elegant panache -- in an ad. An ad that in all likelihood comes as a surprise to Ford. Endorsing used cars wouldn't seem to be his thing. The photo isn't the one above, but it's similar in terms of looking, well, hot. It's taken from an old fragrance campaign featuring Ford, and shows the designer, tie undone, eyes smoldering, with the tag line, "You know you're not the first. But do you really care?" [Telegraph] 

Kate Middleton was spotted shopping at Banana Republic -- and yes, we do care. The Wedding (and yes, I've decided it deserves capitalization) is next week, after all, and Miss Middleton is likely buying items for her trousseau. And, yes again, you can expect her every move to be documented over the next few days, maybe even for the rest of her life.  [Telegraph]  

Meanwhile, Kate has a new -- and super-important -- accessory: a coat of arms. The Middleton family was just granted one by the College of Arms in London. It's a necessity for the family of the presumed future queen of England. Kate herself will only use it until she marries; then hers will be combined with Prince William's. [WWD]

Lauren Conrad has launched, a website full of hair and makeup tips she's amassed over the years. The photo and video how-tos star Conrad, her longtime hairstylist Kristin Ess and her makeup artist Amy Nadine. [People]

Every prom season it seems you hear of some creative people coming up with truly one-of-a-kind dresses. Not many can top this: Kerrin Frey of Wisconsin crafted daughter Tara's dress from thousands of bright Starburst candy wrappers, carefully folded and woven into an overlay for a muslin dress. She also made a vest for Tara's date. The project reportedly took six years. This mom knows how to plan ahead! [StyleList] 

Gold prices are soaring -- they zoomed above $1,500 an ounce Tuesday before easing back a bit to $1,495.80 -- and this is having an effect on jewelry designers, who are finding it prudent to use a bit less of the precious metal in their baubles. [WWD] (Subscription required.)  

Sporty meets chic in footwear for this fall, with new sneaker wedges straight from the runway. That's right: a sneaker upper on a wedge bottom. Cute! [WWD]

Designers Oleg Cassini (he dressed Jackie Kennedy) and Ralph Rucci (Whoopi Goldberg, Gwyneth Paltrow) will be added to the Fashion Walk of Fame on Manhattan's Seventh Avenue this summer. [N.Y. Daily News]  

Women's Wear Daily is reporting that Gianfranco Ferr√©'s new owner, Paris Group, has ousted the brand's creative directors, Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi. [WWD]

-- Susan Denley

Photo: Tom Ford. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times