Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

Category: Celebrity Clothing Lines

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.

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Hollywood's top 25 most powerful stylists are celebrated

Charlizetheron


There's no denying the influence of a celebrity stylist. Their work fuels our fascination with red carpet glamour and can help propel their celeb clients into superstardom (not to mention lucrative ad campaigns) by establishing a memorable style arc or sometimes, with just the power of a single dress.

The Hollywood Reporter is celebrating some of these individuals, most of whom (with the exception of Rachel Zoe and Brad Goreski) remain largely behind the scenes, with their second annual Top 25 Most Powerful Stylists list. Along with red carpet staple Jimmy Choo, the publication held an inaugural luncheon to celebrate the stylists, some of whom appear on one of four different covers of the current issue of the Hollywood Reporter. Zoe Saldana

Kate Young, stylist to Michelle Williams and Natalie Portman, took the No. 1 spot this year. Second was Leslie Fremar, the woman responsible for helping Charlize Theron look so stunning. Petra Flannery, stylist to Zoe Saldana and Emma Stone, came in third, and fourth went to Elizabeth Stewart, who works with Jessica Chastain and Viola Davis. Theron, Stone and Chastain appear on the magazine's cover along with their respective stylists, as do Jeanne Yang and her client and design partner Katie Holmes. You can check out the entire list of power stylists here.

Beyond just posing for a cover with their stylist, Saldana, Theron and Holmes, further showed their support by attending the luncheon, as did Ellie Kemper (styled by Jessica Paster, No. 17) and Alice Eve (styled by George Kotsiopoulos, No. 23).

Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez's style team Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn also made the list for their work. The duo had just flown in at 2 a.m.  Wednesday from a Lopez video shoot, stopped through the luncheon and were off to the set of "American Idol" to get their star client set for taping. The duo, who also style Lily Collins and Rachel McAdams, started styling together six years ago after meeting in the wardrobe department at MTV. Rihanna's "Umbrella" video was their first job as a team. "Working together makes it so much easier," says Zangardi. "We try and do everything together, but sometimes have to split up because there's so much going on." They claim that a signature styling element they impart to most of their clients is jewelry, specifically rings. Haenn illustrated the look by putting out her hands, which had striking diamond rings (a mix of H Stern and custom designed) on each finger. Naturally, the two have a jewelry design project in the works, no doubt something fans of their clients' style will be clamoring for.

Katie Holmes and YangStylist Penny Lovell, who works with Ginnifer Goodwin and Rose Byrne, was a newcomer to the list and attributes the success of her 15-year career to really knowing and understanding who each of her clients are and exactly what they want to wear. "It's very psychological and I love psychology," she says. "Clothes are your second skin. It's so personal." She adds staying extremely organized is another key to being a great stylist, especially when the top tier of those in her profession are often juggling five to six jobs, ranging from red carpet to concert tours, at once.

"It's also important to remember that this is a business," Lovell says. "Styling is fun and very creative, but it's not just playing dress up. You have to remain professional."

Many of the stylists who made this year's list have turned their regular gigs into high-profile endorsements and clothing lines (Young is the only stylist to be signed with CAA and has recently been named editor-at-large for Macy's, Yang designs a collection with Holmes and Kotsiopoulos is a co-host on "Fashion Police" on E!), proving they certainly understand the business side of styling, moving out from behind the camera and closer to the spotlight.

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-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photos: Charlize Theron, top left, and stylist Leslie Fremar attend the Hollywood Reporter's inaugural luncheon to celebrate its top 25 top stylists' list. Zoe Saldana, center, attends the event, as do Katie Holmes, bottom left, and her design partner Jeanne YangCredits: Jeff Vespa / Getty Images for the Hollywood Reporter (top); Andreas Branch / patrickmcmullan.com (center and bottom)

Fashion News: Grammys 2012 showed glamour with a touch of wack

Katy Perry
The red carpet at Grammys 2012 on Sunday had its share of glamour but mixed in some wackiness too, our Melissa Magsaysay reports. Think of Katy Perry's aquamarine Elie Saab gown, with her hair dyed to match, or Nicki Minaj's ruby-red Atelier Versace nun's habit. [Los Angeles Times]

Juicy Couture has named David Bassuk co-president of the brand, for which he previously served as a consultant. [WWD] (Subscription required.)

Uniqlo is developing a line of tennis wear with one of the sports' rising stars, Kei Nishikori. [WWD] (Subscription required.)

Los Angeles-based Rodarte plans to unveil its first shoe collection during its New York Fashion Week show on Tuesday.  [The Cut]

Follow our All the Rage blog for coverage of New York Fashion Week from Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic Booth Moore and reporter Adam Tschorn.

First Lady Michelle Obama wore a blue floral dress from the Jason Wu for Target collection when she visited a family in Florida over the weekend. [The Cut]

Michelle Williams wore a bespoke gown by retailer H&M to the BAFTAS over the weekend. [Telegraph]

"The Artist" mopped up awards at the event. [Los Angeles Times]

Forget celebrity performers (like Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj) — now fashion designers Prabal Gurung, Betsey Johnson and Peter Som are all doing nail-polish collaborations. [Racked]

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— Susan Denley

Photo: Katy Perry in Elie Saab gown and dyed-to-match hair at the Grammy Awards 2012. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

New Nike Kobe VII System Supreme drops Dec. 22

Nike Kobe VII System Supreme

Coming on the heels of the news that there will, indeed, be a 2011-12 NBA season, is the announcement that there will be a new Kobe-endorsed pair of kicks to accompany it. The shoes will hit stores just three days before Bryant and company hit the hardwood on Christmas Day against the Chicago Bulls.

Photo Gallery: The new Nike Kobe VII System Supreme

The Nike Kobe VII System Supreme, scheduled to launch Dec. 22, isn't just an athletic shoe, it's a "system," apparently, because it has two inserts. One provides ankle support and a second cushions the midfoot. They can be switched out by the wearer depending on the style of play. (Take that, cross-trainers!)

Here's the description of the different inserts from Nike: 

If a player’s game is based on speed, there is the Attack Fast insert that features a Phylon midsole with Nike Zoom units in the forefoot and heel for the ultimate in lightweight responsiveness. It also has a low-cut, power-stretch cuff that hugs the foot for support. Its sock-like fit eliminates the need for a traditional tongue and innersleeve, keeping the shoe lightweight.

For games that get intense and physical in the paint, there is the Attack Strong insert. It offers a full-length Cushlon midsole and an ankle cuff for a plush, comfortable ride with great support.  The sensory cuffs are made of an engineered power-stretch material that is padded and perforated for comfort and ventilation.

There's a predator theme to the new shoe, with a polyurethane outer shell that boasts a raised pattern inspired by the coloration and textures of leopard, great white shark and black mamba. (On some versions of the shoe, a separate graphic pattern layered beneath the outer skin will reference one of several deadly creatures: leopard, great white shark, poison dart frog or gray wolf.)

The Nike Kobe VII System Supreme, which comes with two midsoles and sleeve heights, will retail for $180. The non-supreme version, a.k.a., the Nike Zoom Kobe VII System, which comes with a single midsole, is priced at $140. 

Those who don't find the specifics of the new shoe exactly to their liking can customize the fit, cushioning and color options through the Nike ID program. A preview of the customizable Kobe kicks is scheduled to debut at the Nike ID Facebook page Dec. 12. 

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-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: The new Nike Kobe VII System Supreme has a predator-inspired textured exterior, left, and inserts, right, that can be swapped out depending on the wearer's style of play. Credit: Nike

Should the Kardashians be considered a brand?

Kim Kardashian Sydney Australia
Several of the comments posted in response to my recent Los Angeles Times article, co-written with Calendar section's Yvonne Villarreal, about the potential economic impact of the Kardashian-Humphries divorce on the family's brand, raise an interesting question:

Is there really a Kardashian brand to begin with?

Some of the marketing and branding experts I spoke with -- including CultureRanch's Eli Portnoy (who has the long view of several decades in the business) -- answer with an emphatic "no."

"I don’t think they’ve earned the right to be called a brand," Portnoy said. "I'd rather call it the Kardashian business' because the word 'brand' is being overused. The concept is to establish a substantive, meaningful relationship with an audience. The Kardashians haven’t done that, and without it you are not going to be a long-term brand, you’re a fad -- short-term fluff."

Portnoy name-checked Kathy Ireland and the Olsen twins as examples of celebrities he feels have built business empires -- and brands -- by bringing something to the table. "Even Paris Hilton -- love her or hate her -- a least there's a brand there that she's trading on; the heritage of the Hilton hotel brand and the notion of old-money America."

Though "brand versus "business" may sound like a matter of semantics, Portnoy says it's a crucial distinction to make when trying to figure out the impact the 72-day marriage will have.

Portnoy contends that by focusing on multiple brand extensions (multiple reality TV shows, clothing collections, fragrances, shoe and liquor endorsements and the like) instead of building a meaningful brand relationship with consumers, there is no brand loyalty.

"It's a case of the emperor's new clothes," Portnoy said. "There isn't anything behind the [wizard's] curtain, and I think that level of deal-making we saw going on is going to wane. People are going to stop investing themselves in it."

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-- Adam Tschorn +

 Photo: Kim Kardashian promotes the Kardashian Kollection in Sydney, Australia. Credit: Tracey Nearmy / EPA

Madonna and Lola look for the next Material Girls

Madonna and Lola conduct a Material Girl model search
The original "material girl" and her tween offspring are setting out to find a few real girls who can represent their Material Girl brand in a spring-summer 2012 marketing campaign.

The multi-city contest called the Material Girl "Lucky Stars" model search (have we mined old Madonna songs enough yet?) is to be held at Macy's stores in major cities throughout the U.S., starting in New York on Wednesday and ending in Los Angeles at the Beverly Center on Nov. 19.

Not a 5-foot-9 twig who looks great in a denim mini and lace-trimmed socks? Not to worry. Madonna and Lola said in a statement that this is not your standard model search. "It's more about attitude. We are looking for a stylish, adventurous, creative, free spirits."

Ten finalists will get the chance to meet Lola and appear in a national marketing campaign. And there’s a $5,000 prize for each of the winners (tuck that away for college or to help Mom and Dad pay for your braces).

First step for Material Girl model hopefuls: Bring a photograph of yourself to one of the open calls and be prepared to tell the Material Girl judging panel (led by Kelly Osbourne) why you should be the next Material Girl.

Contestants can also upload their photograph to www.materialgirlcollection.com and explain in 100 words or less why they should be selected.
 
The judging panel will narrow down the entries to 36 semi-finalists, and those entries will be placed online (also at www.materialgirlcollection.com) to be voted on by the public. The 10 girls with the highest number of votes will be flown to New York, where Madonna and Lola will choose the winners and the new faces of brand's spring 2012 campaign.

Here are the dates and locations of the open calls, in case you or someone you know feels like she's got what it takes to be the next Material Girl.

I'm still waiting for the open-call vogue-ing contest.

Herald Square, New York – Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Dadeland, Miami – Friday at 6 p.m.
State Street, Chicago – Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 5:30 p.m.
Union Square, San Francisco – Saturday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m.
Beverly Center, Los Angeles – Saturday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m.

-- Melissa Magsaysay

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Photo: Material Girl model search graphic. Credit: Iconix Brand Group Inc.

Nicole Richie has designs on a star brand

Richie
Is tabloid sensation-turned-designer Nicole Richie poised to become the next big celebrity fashion brand?

Following in the footsteps of Jessica Simpson and Rachel Zoe, Richie, 30 -- whose adoptive father is Lionel Richie -- launched her House of Harlow 1960 jewelry line in late 2007, adding shoes in 2009 and bags in June 2011. Last spring, she debuted ready-to-wear under the label Winter Kate.

Her designs are an extension of her paparazzi-ready personal style -- witchy woman, rock goddess, '60s and '70s vintage princess.

Richie hosted the kickoff festivities for L.A.’s Fashion’s Night Out in September and sat front row at the Louis Vuitton runway show in Paris earlier this month. Come February, she’ll be in our living rooms every week, as a mentor on NBC’s new “Fashion Star” designer competition series.

Richie will be making a personal appearance at Nordstrom at the Grove from 6 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 10. Anyone who makes a Winter Kate or House of Harlow 1960 purchase will get the opportunity to meet her.

I had the pleasure of interviewing her a few weeks ago at her Hollywood Hills house. There's a lovable, Elle Woods quality to the mother-of-two, whether she's jetting off to Mexico for her girls-only 30th birthday, or hitting the Los Angeles Flower Market every Saturday with two friends. Read more about her fashion ambitions in my story in this week's Image section.

--Booth Moore

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Nicole Richie at work in her home office. Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times.

Fashion News: Melissa McCarthy gets into plus-size design

Melissa mccarthyMelissa McCarthy designed her own dress for this year's Emmys, she says, because she couldn't find anything she liked in plus sizes. Now she wants to design a plus-size clothing line to help other non-tiny women feel good about themselves. [Us]

You've heard of New York, Paris, Milan... but did you know Hoboken, N.J., hosts a fashion week too? It does, and among the models strutting the runway over the weekend was Johnny Weir, the Olympic-skater-cum-fashionista. [The Cut]

There was one item Stella McCartney couldn't provide for dad Paul's weekend wedding to Nancy Shevell --- the eternity band Paul slipped on Nancy's finger, with its 5 carats of square cut diamonds. That came from jeweler Neil Lane. [People]

Hermès opened its first store in India last week, and added something new to its wares: its first ever saris. The store is in Mumbai. [WWD] (Subscription required)

Marni is the latest upscale label to branch into children's wear, announcing a line for girls 2-12 years old for fall 2012. [The Cut]

--Susan Denley

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Photo: Melissa McCarthy  accepting her Emmy for lead actress in a comedy series in September. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press   

Fashion: Shannon Tweed, Gene Simmons wed. Target taps Jason Wu.

Shannon Tweed and Gene Simmons -- engaged since July, together something like three decades -- tied the knot over the weekend at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Tweed wore an ivory Priscilla of Boston gown and carried a bouquet of roses. [People]

Seth Rogen married writer Lauren Miller over the weekend, too, in Sonoma, Calif. So far no word on what we really care about: what the bride wore! [People]

Fresh off its hot -- I mean hot enough to shut down the website -- Missoni collaboration, Target is planning a capsule collection with Jason Wu. [WWD] (subscription required) 

Kanye West finally did it -- his long rumored new fashion collection debuted on the runway Saturday at Paris Fashion Week. Afterward he celebrated with a party at Paris nightspot Club Silencio with well-wishers including Lindsay Lohan, Jared Leto, Dean and Dan Caten, Bar Refaeli, Chanel Iman and designers Jeremy Scott and Olivier Theyskens. Scott, an advisor to West, said, “This is no J.Lo basics line.” Of West, Scott said, “I adore him and I think that he is such a passionate and genuine artist in A look from Kanye West's Paris show every sense of the word.”  [WWD]

West's clothes leaned toward black leather and metallics trimmed in fur and would be worn by "edgy, cool girls with sophisticated, luxe taste," says FabSugar

Elsewhere, critics were not kind to West, "a rapper who has the presumption to show 'his' very first collection in Paris during prêt-à-porter -- supposedly the summit for true creativity in fashion," fumed Lisa Armstrong in the Telegraph. "It was the equivalent of Karl Lagerfeld launching a hip-hop career: i.e. absurd." She compared sitting through the show to an "hour long MRI." [Telegraph]

Over at Stella McCartney's Paris show, dad Sir Paul and his fiancee, Nancy Shevell, were among the attendees. So were Rachel Zoe and Rodger Berman. [Telegraph]

Those Middleton girls usually look pretty demure. But not so Pippa on Saturday night. She wore a slinky red gown cut down to there to show quite a bit of cleavage at the Boodles Boxing Ball, a charity event at London's Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel. [FabSugar] 

The United States was among eight countries that signed an anti-counterfeiting pact in Tokyo over the weekend. [WWD] (subscription required)

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-- Susan Denley

Photo: A look from Kanye West's debut collection, for Spring-Summer 2012, shown during Paris fashion Week. Credit:  Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

Nicole Richie in fashion, at work and at home [Updated]

Nicole Following in the footsteps of her blond celebrity brethren Jessica Simpson and Rachel Zoe, Nicole Richie has a fashion line that seems like it's ready for takeoff.

Richie launched the House of Harlow 1960 jewelry line in 2008. Last spring she added ready-to-wear* under the label Winter Kate. (Her backer is Montreal-based Majestic Mills.) And although she hasn't yet had a show or presentation during New York or Los Angeles Fashion Week, there is evidence she is upping her fashion profile, making personal appearances to promote the brand, and hosting the kickoff festivities for L.A.'s Fashion's Night Out earlier this month at the Beverly Center. She's also starring in NBC's "Fashion Star" designer competition series (along with Simpson) beginning in January.

Her designs, like Richie herself, are very boho, witchy woman, rock goddess, '60s and '70s vintage chic. For fall, there are fringed velvet bed jackets, firefly-print maxi dresses, silk camisoles and short-shorts, but no pants that I can tell. Accessories include beaded moccasins, velvet booties and ponyskin bags in the $195-to-$695 price point, and jewelry has antler, chevron, arrow and stud motifs.

When I visited Richie on Monday, she had just returned from a girls' weekend in Mexico to celebrate her 30th birthday. She even showed me the red beaded dress she wore on her birthday night, a vintage piece purchased at L.A.'s The Way We Wore, which she chopped off to make micro-mini short.

Richie's house -- which she shares with husband Joel Madden of the band Good Charlotte, and their two kids Harlow and Sparrow -- is canyon cool with natural wood floors, a sunken living room, big brick fireplace, kilim rugs, fur throw pillows, a terrarium, and two taxidermy chickens dressed in aristocratic finery.

Winterkate1 
There was incense burning, Hendrix on the sound system and the family cat, an Abyssinian named Gypsy, roaming about, even jumping in front of the camera during our photo shoot. And befitting a rock 'n' roll household, the bar cart was well stocked.

Stevie Nicks would feel right at home in Richie's office, which looks out over the treetops. Her antique desk is covered with line sheets and sketches, and there is a red-feathered tribal headdress (a gift from Madden) sitting on a side table. (She also has a downtown studio, where her design team is set up.)

Seeing her house was a nice entree into Richie's sense of style. Stay tuned for my story about the tabloid sensation-turned-brand builder (and novelist!) in a few weeks.

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-- Booth Moore

Top photo:  Nicole Richie during a Fashion's Night Out event earlier this month at the Beverly Center. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times.

Bottom photos: The Winter Kate fall 2011 look book. Credit: Hugh Lippe.

[*Update 9/29/11, 3:09 p.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly described the Winter Kate label as including footwear. It does not.] 


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