Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

Category: Adam Tschorn

London Olympics: Switzerland a sartorial standout at opening ceremony

Team Switzerland's opening ceremony uniforms at the 2012 London Olympics earned positive comments from All the Rage readers

Forget the medal count. In the first competition of the 2012 London Olympics -- the global runway show known as the opening ceremony's parade of nations -- it looks like Team Switzerland did it right.

Over the weekend, a couple of All the Rage readers were anything but neutral about their feelings for that country's gray-and-red ensembles. After bashing Team Canada's uniforms (described here), a reader from Montreal posted a comment Friday evening declaring: "For two weeks I am purely Swiss. They show style!"

That was followed by a Saturday morning email from another reader, who held forth on the wardrobe choices of several of the teams (including the rumpled-Elvis look of host team Britain), noting that "the Swiss looked snappy."

If there was an opening ceremony uniform you thought was a sartorial standout -- good or bad -- let us know by posting a comment.


London Olympics: What to watch on Monday

Chinese maker of U.S. Olympic uniforms baffled by backlash

Olympic games and the tricky science of telling men from women

 -- Adam Tschorn

Left photo: Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka leads his team into the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London on Friday. Credit: Adrian Dennis / AFP/Getty Images

Right photo: A view from above of the Swiss team's snappy gray-and-red ensembles. Credit: Quinn Rooney / Getty Images

Marilyn Monroe nail salons, cafe in the works

Glamour room
In working on a story for Sunday's Image section about how Marilyn Monroe's brand continues to march on a half-century after her untimely death I ran across all kinds of licensed products and properties bearing her name and likeness, many of which appear in a companion piece running in the same issue.

Photo Gallery: Marilyn Monroe Merchandise

But two of the more ambitious are the separate projects underway to open both a chain of Marilyn Monroe cafes and Marilyn Monroe nail salon-day spas -- both of which are being done in cooperation with (and licensed through) the company that owns the bulk of the Marilyn Monroe estate.

Continue reading »

Revealed: Canada's Olympic opening ceremony uniforms

HBC Canada 2012 Olympics
Sure, the stateside broadcast of the opening ceremonies are just a few hours away, but we thought we'd pass along the sketches of Team Canada's opening ceremony outfits that just landed in our inbox.

Created by the Hudson’s Bay Co., the uniform consists of a bright red parade jacket with the country's name in white and red across the chest that takes its inspiration from the color-blocking motif of the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. That's layered over a tailored white dress shirt; the women's version has the official Canadian plaid on the shirt placket, and the men are accessorized with a necktie in the same plaid. Tailored khakis and white sneakers round out the uniform.

“We want our athletes to walk in the parade wearing a stand-out piece that reflects the Canadian spirit and who we are as a nation,” said Hudson’s Bay Co. senior vice president and fashion director Suzanne Timmins in the press announcement. “The Canada Parade Jacket was a natural choice, and it captures Canada’s love for the outdoors. It is also practical and versatile -– two characteristics we wanted to highlight when designing the look.”

We're told replica versions of the jacket -- in red, black and navy for men and women -- as well as Hudson's Bay Co.'s other 2012 Olympic gear is available online at and across the nothern border at all Bay and Zellers stores until September 2012.

Our compatriots over at the Showtracker blog posted these details on Friday night's NBC broadcast:

"The opening ceremony, directed by Oscar winner Danny Boyle and featuring an expected 15,000 performers, will air at 7:30 p.m. Pacific and Eastern time in the U.S. And expect the fun to go until midnight." 


High fashion at the 2012 opening ceremonies

Chinese maker of U.S. Olympic uniforms baffled by backlash

Team USA's Ralph Lauren-designed made-in-China opening ceremony uniforms

 -- Adam Tschorn

Photo: Sketches of Team Canada's opening ceremony parade uniforms for the 2012 London Olympic games. Credit: Hudson's Bay Co.

Fashion News U.K. edition: McCartney, Branson, Olympic egg cups

Virgin lawyers charges copyright infringement, Stella McCartney goes cartoonish and Olympic egg cups and the like may help push merchandise sales to $1.55 billion at the 2012 Games
With all eyes trained across the pond, where the opening ceremony of the London Olympics will soon be getting underway, we thought it appropriate to focus on some of the latest fashion news coming out of Britain. 

Virgin territory: Lawyers representing Richard Branson's Virgin empire have reportedly asked a new New York City-based eco-friendly denim line to stop using the name "I Am Not a Virgin," according to the Telegraph. Apparently they consider the name a copyright infringement, though we just consider it the funniest name to emblazoned on a pair of jeans since Guess. [Telegraph]

Cartoon McCartney: Stella McCartney is launching a seven-piece capsule collection of kids' clothing -- and a book -- themed around a cartoon character called "Little Miss Stella," British Vogue reported. The character was originally created by author/illustrator Adam Hargreaves to appear on a fashion show invitation for the designer, so any resemblance to the Beatles trippy animated movie "Yellow Submarine," is purely unintentional. [British Vogue]

Olympic egg cups: The real gold in the London Olympics will be in the estimated $1.55 billion worth of Olympic-themed merchandise -- from Union Jack bed sheets to egg cups -- the Wall Street Journal reported will be purchased over the course of the Games. We don't know who'd shell out good money for an Olympic-themed egg cup, but the fact that they even exist made us think about our favorite SCTV sketch from ages ago. A spoof on "Chariots of Fire," called "Chariots of Eggs," it featured Daryl Hall and John Oates facing off with members of the Second City Television cast in a spoon-and-egg race. [You can see a YouTube clip here]. [Wall Street Journal]


From Juicy Couture to Skaist Taylor

Frugal Fashion: Ellen DeGeneres, Portia de Rossi

Lines from Launch LA: Field Notes serves up the write stuff

-- Adam Tschorn

Photo: Sales of Olympics merchandise, like these Union Jack emblazoned pieces being sold in Cardiff, Wales, on June 25, may reach an estimated $1.55 billion, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Credit: Julian Finney / Getty Images

Lines from Launch LA: Field Notes serves up the write stuff

Launch LA Field Notes

New trade show Launch LA, which opened its doors at Santa Monica Airport's Barker Hangar, delivered on its promise to serve up a smartly curated mix of apparel, footwear and accessories that spoke to the Southern California lifestyle, but the first brand I want to highlight isn't a clothing label. It's a pocket-sized notebook.

To be honest, I've known about Field Notes for a while now, ever since my wife picked up a three-pack of the 48-page stapled graph paper memo books ($9.95) during a J. Crew shopping trip. It was part of the brand's 50-state "County Fair" collection and each of the blue, red and yellow covers (representing the ribbon colors awarded at a county fair) was printed with the name and outline of the state of California. 

At first I didn't think anyone would share my obsession with the retro-flavored, decidedly analog note-taking medium, but when I recently gave one to my sister-in-law and she immediately held it aloft and proclaimed it "so Wes Anderson," I realized she had a point.

Designed, printed and manufactured in the U.S. using the Futura typeface (this information is among the facts printed inside the back cover), they're exactly the kind of thing you'd expect to see turn up in the hands of a character from Anderson's latest movie, "Moonrise Kingdom." 

National crop editionIn a partnership between Portland, Ore.-based Draplin Design Co. and Chicago-based Coudal Partners, Aaron Draplin found inspiration to create the 5-year-old company's flagship product in the old-school agricultural memo book used by crop inspectors and farmers.

Michele Seiler, who was representing the brand at Launch LA, said J. Crew started stocking their wares several years ago. "We'd decided we didn't want to go into stationery stores where we'd be competing with a bunch of other brands, and focused on men's fashion stores where we'd be seen as a $10 add-on to a $100 purchase."

And there is a certain element of seasonal style to the books, especially the limited-edition runs of specific colors (including neon hues for summer and icy whites for winter 2011) and themed editions like the aforementioned 2010 County Fair edition (which Seiler says has been so popular that it has been brought back as a permanent offering) and a red-covered fall 2011 "Fire Spotter" edition ("celebrating forestry and tall towers").

The most recent, for spring 2012, which harks back to the memo books' agricultural roots, is the "National Crop" edition ($23.95): custom-boxed sets of six notebooks, each paying tribute to one of America’s top six (legal) crops; corn, soybeans, hay, wheat, cotton and sorghum. Each of the 7,500 boxes in the limited run also contains an embroidered logo patch. 

Is it silly to fall in love with a tiny little memo book? Probably. But it's a whole lot less silly than falling in love and not having some place to jot it down.

Local stockists can be found at the Field Notes website, which also offers an e-commerce option.


New SoCal trade show set for July 2012

Fashion critic Booth Moore shops the coast

Kendall Jenner is Beverly Center's face of FNO

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: At top, three-packs of Field Notes' California "County Fair" edition memo books ($9.95) on display at the Launch LA trade show in Santa Monica on July 25. At bottom, a six-book boxed set of the brand's spring 2012 "National Crop" edition ($23.95). Credit: Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times

Kendall Jenner face of Beverly Center's Fashion's Night Out ads

Kendall Jenner for Fashion's Night Out
Kendall Jenner, of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" reality TV fame, has been tapped as the face of the Beverly Center's 2012 Fashion's Night Out advertising campaign.

According to the shopping center's reps, the16-year-old offspring of Bruce and Kris Jenner, older sister of Kylie Jenner and half-sister to Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian, will appear on assorted and sundry billboards, in print and across various social media platforms in the run-up to the fourth annual global shop-stravaganza, which is scheduled to take place Sept. 6.

The advertising campaign, which depicts the Wilhelmina model kicking back in an over-sized shoe box, was shot by photographer Moshe Brakha and styled by George Blodwell. In the ads, Jenner wears an orange haute couture gown by Georges Chakra paired with a pair of purple Giuseppe Zanotti stiletto heels. 

This year, the Beverly Center, which traditionally goes all-in for the evening of extended shopping hours and special retail events, has two fashion shows, a video address from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and yet-to-be-announced celebrity appearances on the drawing board.  


A Ferris wheel for Rodeo Drive

FNO scores with NYC fashion show 

FNO 2011 in L.A.: Nicole Richie, stilt-walkers and a Gucci Fiat

-- Adam Tschorn

Photo: Kendall Jenner, model and fixture on "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," wearing a Georges Chakra gown and Giuseppe Zanotti heels in the Beverly Center's ad campaign for the upcoming Fashion's Night Out global shopping event. Credit: Moshe Brakha

OPI's latest lacquers put Germany at your fingertips

OPI Germany Collection Fall 2012
Teutophiles, break out your finest lederhosen and fire up the Volkswagen, because OPI's Fall/Winter 2012 collection is inspired by, wait for it, ... Germany!

The Germany by OPI collection consists of 12 shades the company describes as inspired by Berlin and the way that fashion hub "blends classic looks with the avant-garde."

It's not the first time OPI has let your fingertips do the walking through foreign lands, past collections have been inspired by Holland and Russia -- and the company even messed with Texas for a Spring/Summer 2011 collection that was an homage to the Lone Star State.

And whether or not you're down to decorate your digits a la Deutschland, the collection is worth checking out for the punny names alone. The shades include:

Don’t Pretzel My Buttons (which the company describes as: "a haute honey-beige that can always make you smile"),  My Very First Knockwurst ("… and what a magical rosy-nude rendezvous it was!"), Berlin There Done That ("a traveling taupe that’s seen it all. (Yep, that too)."),  Don’t Talk Bach to Me (there’s nothing mellow about this sassy lime-yellow!"),  Nein! Nein! Nein! OK Fine! (a bodacious black-olive? We say 'Ja! Ja! Ja!'"), Unfor-greta-bly Blue (everyone’s favorite Fräulein loves this über shiny blue"), Every Month Is Oktoberfest ("Prost! Here’s to the prettiest plum in the Biergarten"), Suzi & the 7 Düsseldorfs ("the most beautiful bright purple of all,"), Deutsch You Want Me Baby? ("a self-assured shade of shimmering red-orange"), Danke-Shiny Red ("you 'Bitte' try on this ravishing ruby before it’s too late!"), German-icure by OPI ("the best burgundy shimmer in the business,") and Schnapps Out of It! ("shake off the blues with a shot of fall’s must-have mauve!").

Germany by OPI marches into nail salons Aug. 8 (alas, too late for German Olympians to show their colors at the July 27 London opening ceremonies) with a suggested retail price of $8.50. Local stockists can be found through the brand's website


Dip into 'Dark Shadows'-inspired cosmetics

Year of the Dragon: Nailing the crackled lacquer look

'Kustom Beauty' at your fingrtips -- the new nail art boom

 -- Adam Tschorn

Photos: OPI's Germany-inspired Fall/Winter 2012 collection includes (from left) My Very First Knockwurst, Every Month Is Oktoberfest, Don't Pretzel My Buttons and Danke Shiny Red. Credit: OPI

DC, Converse give Batman and Bane the All Star treatment

Batman bane converse
Just in time for Comic-Con -- and in advance of the movie's July 20 release -- Converse is rolling out its "Dark Knight Rises" Chuck Taylor All Star collection, which will be sold exclusively through Journeys boutiques and website.

The latest collaboration between Converse and DC features a Batman shoe printed with an image of the Caped Crusader from the movie and a sneaker that pays homage to the villain Bane, with his image screen-printed on the canvas upper, and, as befits a baddie, a predominantly black shoe with a red racing stripe accent. 

Both versions feature QR codes hidden in their woven labels that can be scanned to access special comic-book downloads and have a suggested retail price of $59.99.

Both shoes are supposed to be available as of today, though, as of this writing we could only locate the Bane hi-top at Journeys website.


A Nolan-free 'Justice League'?

DC X Converse: Wonder Woman and Killer Croc kicks

Christopher Nolan takes Batman to a new place with "Dark Knight Rise'

Photos: The Converse "Dark Knight Rises" Chuck Taylor All Star collection includes a new Batman style, left, and the first sneaker to bear the likeness of Batman's new nemesis Bane. Credit: Converse

Ebay's Brad Goreski-hosted pop-up hits Westside Pavilion* [Updated]

Ebay has enlisted celebrity stylist, reality TV star and man-about fashion-week Brad Goreski to help draw attention to the fact that the online auction site has rejiggered (the company uses the word "simplified") the way users list items for sale.

To that end, Goreski, stylist Danielle Nachmani and a handful of eBay fashion sellers (dubbed the Chic Squad) are hosting pop-up kiosk events across the country that explain the new process by helping individuals list an actual item they've brought in such as a handbag, pair of sunglasses, shoes or a dress.

The peripatetic pop-up, which started in New York City last month, has already rolled through Dallas and is slated to hit Los Angeles July 13 and 14 before heading to San Francisco. Goreski & Co. are scheduled to staff the Ebay Selling Style Studio at the Westside Pavilion, 10800 West Pico Blvd.* (directly in front of Nordstrom) from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (we're told his old Brad self will be on hand Friday, June 13 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., with the Chic Squad holding down the kiosk the rest of the time).


Hollywood's 25 most powerful stylists

Brad Goreski takes fashion week -- and the world -- by storm

Q&A with Brad Goreski about his new reality show -- and Rachel Zoe

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: At left, Brad Goreski mans the Ebay Selling Style Studio, at right, the pop-up's first stop in New York City on June 8 and 9. Credit: Ebay

*[UPDATED 12:32 p.m. 7/12/2012: An earlier version of this post incorrectly listed the location of the Ebay pop-up. It will take place at the Westside Pavilion -- not Westfield Century City -- on July 13 and 14.

Olympics 2012: Ralph Lauren reveals U.S. team opening ceremony outfits

Opening Ceremony - Lochte_Clay_Lanzone_Mitts
Athletes Heather Mitts (soccer) and Tim Morehouse (fencing) showed off the uniforms the U.S. Olympic team will wear during opening ceremonies for the London Summer Games on NBC's "Today" show on Tuesday. The uniforms, by Ralph Lauren, have been kept under wraps till now.

For women, the uniform includes a white blouse, knee-length cream skirt and fitted navy blazer featuring the official U.S. Olympic Team patch and an embroidered Big Pony logo on the chest. There's also a cotton scarf in -- ta da! -- red, white and blue stripes.

The men's uniform includes cuffed cream flat-front trousers, a club-collar cotton sport shirt with a red and navy necktie and a double-breasted blazer with peak lapels. The blazers feature the official U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team patches, as well as the embroidered Big Pony logo at the chest. 

Topping things off for men and women is a navy beret with red and white stripes and the official U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team patch and embroidered Big Pony logo.

The athletes will parade in the uniforms July 27. But fans can go online to purchase copies of some pieces now, along with a selection of other apparel related to the games.


Olympics 2012: Gear, garb and goods for the armchair athlete

Designers are part of the team for Summer Olympics

Ralph Lauren reveals Olympic closing ceremony uniforms

--Susan Denley

Photo: Past and present Olympic athletes model the Ralph Lauren-designed uniforms they'll wear at the opening ceremonies of the London Summer Games on July 27. From left, they are Ryan Lochte (swimming), Bryan Clay (track and field), Giuseppe Lanzone (rowing) and Heather Mitts (soccer).


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