Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

Category: Ann Taylor

Your morning fashion and beauty report: Earthquake shakes Oklahoma, leads to T-shirts. In more normal news, Julianne Moore and Heidi Klum have new fashion deals.

Julianne Moore will be the face of Talbot's spring campaign, following super model Linda Evangelista, who fronted for fall. [People]

And Heidi Klum is repping Ann Taylor's holiday collection. [InStyle]

Seems like everyone really does want to be like California. There was an earthquake -- an earthquake!-- in Oklahoma -- in Oklahoma! -- on Wednesday, and already the T-shirts are out. Alternative radio station Radio OKC is selling "I survived the Oklahoma earthquake" tees for $17.95 (a portion of which goes to support the station). [Radio OKC] Though the magnitude 5.1 quake was felt in five states, it caused only minor damage and a few minor injuries. 

Rumors abound that L'Oreal is going to buy -- ding, dong -- Avon. [WWD] (Subscription required.)

Meanwhile, Alexander Wang denies rumors of a Nike collaboration. [WWD] 

Consignment boutique Decadestwo is finally launching an e commerce site. [People]

Ralph Lauren is opening a women's flagship on New York's Madison Avenue on Thursday. [WWD] (Subscription required.)

Paris-based Faith Connexion has opened a branch on Melrose in L.A. [Mondette] 

-- Susan Denley

Photo: Julianne Moore. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times

Your morning fashion and beauty report: Philip Treacy hats inspire 'Project Runway.' Miss Universe costume capers. Chrissie Hynde's fruitful romance.


We've been on the bandwagon about the return of hats for some time now, and on Thursday night, "Project Runway" jumped on too with a challenge inspired by sublime Philip Treacy headwear. [EW]

The Miss Universe contest will be taped in Las Vegas next week, and maybe it's the Vegas ultra-glitz, uber-tacky influence but the national costumes the contestants will parade in are causing some flaps back home. A British beefeater wearing wet-look leggings? Miss USA as the presidential seal? Miss Australia in a get-up described as "a dingo's breakfast?" It won't be fashion, but at least it should be entertaining. [Telegraph]

Tommy Hilfiger's new fragrance brand, Loud, goes in a new direction, based on gritty Gen Y music. [WWD] (Subscription required.)

Rocker Chrissie Hynde's romance with much, much younger Welsh singer JP Jones inspired songs, an album, a new band and now an eco-friendly clothing line, Fairground Luck, which the two are launching. [WWD]

Ann Taylor, in the midst of a reinvention that Times' fashion critic Booth Moore explained on Sunday, swung to a profit for the second quarter of this year, with same-store sales up 6.1% after a big loss in the same period last year. The new strategy seems to be working. [Wall Street Journal] 

When Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week gets underway in New York on Sept. 9, it will move from the familiar tents at Bryant Park to new digs in Damrosch Park and Lincoln Center. [Wall Street Journal]

Model Miranda Kerr, a.k.a. Mrs. Orlando Bloom, is expecting. What does this have to do with fashion (as opposed to my crush on all things Orlando)? Um, we can expect to see her wearing some cute maternity clothes in the next few months! [StyleList]

-- Susan Denley

Photo: Chrissie Hynde will launch a fashion line. Credit: Joel Ryan / Associated Press

Your morning fashion and beauty report: Madonna dishes on Material Girl line. 'Eclipse' star Kristen Stewart does the red carpets in style. And is Lady Gaga channeling a male model?

 Madonna talks more about the new Material Girl line that we told you about last week, which she and daughter Lourdes Leon are launching at Macy's in August. A Material Girl is "an adventurous human being," she says. No surprise there! [WWD]

Rumors are swirling that new male model Jo Calderone, picked up recently by SHOWstudio in Sicily, is none other than Lady Gaga in disguise! I dunno; seems to me the lady has enough on her plate, but then again..... [Huffington Post]

J.C. Penney inks a deal for Aldo shops-in-shops, another step as the mass-market, middle of the road retailer tries to go more fashionable. [WWD] (Subscription required) 

"Twilight" fans, rejoice! The new film in the series, "Eclipse," opens Wednesday and to get in the mood take a look at how stunning Bella...oops, we mean Kristen Stewart...has looked on the red carpets. [FabSugar]

Kristenstewart  Meanwhile, find out how Stewart got her new red locks for an upcoming film role in "On the Road." [In Style]

Turkish designer Hakaan, a star at London Fashion Week, wins the Andam fashion award in Paris and will present there in October. [Telegraph]

Proctor & Gamble, looking to relaunch its Pantene hair-care line, has done massive psychological research into, well, bad hair days. [Wall Street Journal]

Even man's best friend isn't safe: Photoshopping "fiends" at Ralph Lauren put an entirely new head on a polo-wearing dog. [Huffington Post]

LOFT Style Studio (formerly Ann Taylor Loft) shows off its fall collection at the Chateau Marmont. [Mondette]

The scene was summery at the opening party for Louis Vuitton's redesigned St.-Tropez store. [Vogue]

--Susan Denley


Top: From the Material Girl line:  Motorcycle jacket in denim and PVC, cotton and cotton poly suspender T, tulle mini, metal multi-chain necklace, ballet flats in rubber and PVC. Credit: Thomas Iannaccone / Women's Wear Daily

Bottom: Kristen Stewart sports red locks. Credit: Stefano Paltera / For The Times 

Ann Taylor previews its trend-right fall collection at the Soho House

ActressSo_Donat_60440208_600 Everyone knows that when you're looking for a basic black suit, Ann Taylor is a good place to start. But — surprise, surprise — the mid-priced chain is also becoming a destination for fashion-forward looks.

The brand has been on a rejuvenation kick since hiring new designer Lisa Axelson in 2008, and seems to have hit its stride in terms of transitioning from a house of mere "basics" into a mid-priced bastion of ladylike style.

The brand's ultra-feminine fall 2010 collection was on full display last night at West Hollywood's Soho House during a preview party that lured actresses Sophia Bush, Eve, Anna Kendrick and Taraji P. Henson, among others.

Hung on racks and scattered on tables and artful stacks of books, the retro-tinged collection jibed beautifully with the club's old-world decor.

Christine Beauchamp, president of Ann Taylor, said the brand has been working to spiff up its image since 2008, adding, "We love what Ann Taylor stands for as a heritage brand. We believed there was an opportunity to make the legacy modern."

Much of the collection reinterprets classic pieces, added Beauchamp, such as the shirt dress and the pencil skirt. "We're responding to our clients' desire to be more fashion-forward."

The collection, rendered in black, gray and a selective palette of metallic neutrals and jewel tones, features fantastic chunky knit sweaters (including a Norma Kamali-esque cocoon cardigan), cocktail party-ready wool coats and leather jackets, smart pencil-skirted day dresses, black ankle boots with Victorian-style button detailing and a dazzling array of blingy '20s-inspired jewelry  — from trinket-heavy rhinestone-and-pearl necklaces to Art Nouveau-esque silver-and-rhinestone wrist cuffs.

"We're exuberant about accessories," noted Beauchamp with a smile. "We always say, 'A little sparkle goes a long way, but a lot of sparkle makes you happy.'"

-- Emili Vesilind

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Photo: Sophia Bush and Eve at the Ann Taylor previews. Credit: Donato Sardella/Wireimage.


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