Ann Taylor, the great American mall-based retailer in the midst of a fashionable turnaround, has partnered with the Council of Fashion Designers of America/Vogue Fashion Fund on a design challenge.
Ten finalists for the 2010 award for emerging designers (including Prabal Gurung, Joseph Altuzarra, Christian Cota, L.A.'s own Gregory Parkinson and Billy Reid, winner of the $300,000 award) have made one-of-a-kind looks now being auctioned on eBay.
The designers were asked by Ann Taylor's head of design Lisa Axelson to create "a look for a modern, professional woman," and the results include trench coats, shirt dresses, statement accessories and more.
The only catch? That modern, professional woman must be a size zero.
Which doesn't sound like much of a design challenge to me. A bigger challenge would have been to create a look for a modern, professional woman who is a size 8 or 10 or 12 or 14. Guess they worried that the photos wouldn't look pretty. And from the photo at left, you can see the stylist had to clip model Karlie Kloss' size zero Prabal Gurung dress to make it even more form-fitting.
For those who are not sample size, there are accessories on offer, including a pair of Moss Lipow sunglasses, which have the lowest starting bid of anything in the lot--$450.
The auction runs through Feb. 10 and all money raised will go to support the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund.
Model Karlie Kloss wearing the Ann Taylor-inspired look by Prabal Gurung, with the designer. Courtesy of Ann Taylor.
It's turning out to be quite a year for Billy Reid. In February, the Florence, Ala.-based menswear designer won GQ magazine's award for best new designer, which resulted in a collaborative Levi Strauss workwear-inspired capsule collection that hit stores this fall.
Then, on Tuesday night, at a New York City gala, he took home the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund prize.
Reid was chosen from a field of 10 finalists that included Altuzarra's Joseph Altuzarra, Christina Cota, Gregory Parkinson, Eddie Borgo, Prabal Gurung, Loden Dager's Oliver Helden and Paul Marlow, Moss Lipow, Pamela Love and Robert Geller.
The top honor includes a $300,000 cash prize and business mentoring. Runners-up Eddie Borgo and Prabal Gurung will also be paired with business mentors, and each of them will recieve $100,000.
Created by the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Vogue magazine, the award is now in its seventh year. Past winners of top honors include Proenza Schouler (2004), Trovata (2005), Doo-Ri Chung (2006), Rogan (2007), Alexander Wang (2008), and, most recently, Sophie Théallet in 2009.
Mariah Carey has confirmed, on "The Today Show" Thursday, that she and husband Nick Cannon are expecting. Not a surprise to fashion followers, who have been speculating based on the loose, floaty styles she's been wearing lately. [LAT]
To mark the fifth year it has been collaborating with up-and-coming designers, Target is partnering with 17 past participants in its Go International initiative for a collection of dresses, to be available starting in March. [WWD] (Subscription required.)
Derek Lam plans to design an exclusive ready-to-wear collection for EBay that will debut in February. [WWD] (Subscription required.) Meanwhile, he tells FabSugar about the coolest color combos for women -- he likes navy and brown together, as well as salmon with pink and khaki.
Spanx might be considered a girl's best friend, but now they've come out with a T-shirt and underwear collection for men. [People]
St. John is looking to boost its international profile and has named two new senior executives to take on that mission. [WWD] (Subscription required.)
Every now and then, a survey comes along that confirms what you already knew anyway. Consumer analyst Mintel just did one that showed that 1 in 7 Brits has no reason to wear a watch. [StyleList] I'm guessing the same holds true for Americans, since it is so easy to find the time on a cellphone or iPad. So this actually makes status watches even cooler, since hardly anyone else will be wearing one.
Be careful if you happen to visit Castellammare di Stabia, a small town south of Naples, Italy. The mayor has told the police to fine any woman wearing a mini-skirt or showing too much cleavage. Could be an idea worth borrowing to boost our city coffers! [Guardian]
Vera Wang threw a party Wednesday night for the 29 new members inducted this year into the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Getting into the group is an arduous process, new inductees Rebecca Minkoff and Robert Geller said, which involves putting together a portfolio and providing references. [The Cut]
-- Susan Denley
Photo: Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey Credit: Gabriel Bouys / AFP/Getty Images
A fashionista needs a vehicle just as stylish, so heads up: James Bond's 1964 Aston Martin Silver Birch DB5s -- the one used in chase scenes in the movies -- is going to auction Oct. 27. [Wall Street Journal]
Louis Vuitton got in trouble in Britain for implying that some machine-made items were handcrafted. But does it make a difference if the quality is so good that the consumer can't tell the difference? Maybe not. [Wall Street Journal]
Cameron Diaz is the cover girl for British Vogue's July "ageless style" issue, which is out this week. [British Vogue]
Come September, readers will be able to peek into the homes of 115 fashion designers in a coffee table tome to be published by Assouline and the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Among those included are Carolina Herrera, Diane von Furstenberg, Donna Karan, Josie Natori and Ralph Lauren. [WWD]
Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Stefano Gabbana -- why are all these guys who design clothes taking them off for the camera? [WWD]
Angela Missoni's Cruise 2011 collection looks to Africa and the 1960s. [WWD]
Former Liberian President Charles Taylor's lawyers tried to stop Naomi Campbell's "blood diamond" testimony Monday in the Hague. [Huffington Post]
Michael Kors wins the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award. [WWD, subscription required]
Olympian Shaun White talks about new footwear line he and his brother are doing for Target. [WWD]
See 10 outfit-inspiring hats for summer. [FabSugar]
Oscar de la Renta is accusing Max Mara of being a copycat. [WWD]
Does your hair stylist love you or hate you? [StyleList]
Heidi Klum's success on "Project Runway" is leading to a new Lifetime series in which the model and her singer husband Seal will travel the country as they provide couple's counseling to those in need of celebrity advice. [New York Magazine]
-- Susan Denley
Photo: Seal and Heidi Klum attend the 2009 Oscars. Credit: Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times
Womenswear designer Sophie Théallet was named the winner of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in New York City last night, with jewelry designer Monique Péan and menswear designer Patrik Ervell named as runners-up.
The sixth recipient of the top honor, Théallet will receive $200,000, with Pean and Ervell each receiving $50,000, to help the emerging designers pursue their design plans.
You may not be familiar with Théallet's name (you can read a full bio from the designer's website by clicking here), but there's a pretty good chance you will. Past winners of the top prize are Alexander Wang (2008), Rogan (2007), Doo-Ri Chung (2006), Trovata (2005) and Proenza Schouler (2004).
-- Adam Tschorn
Photo: CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner, designer Sophie Théallet, right with hairstylist to the stars Frédéric Fekkai center and Fekkai's wife, Shirin von Wulffen, at the last night's awards dinner in New York City. Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for Vogue
The 2009 Council of Fashion Designers of America/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists brought their designs to the Chateau Marmont last Friday for a runway show beneath the palm trees and billboards in the hotel’s back garden.
Sally Singer, fashion news director of Vogue, introduced the 11 women's wear, menswear, jewelry and accessory designers, who have worked in everything from banking to wardrobe styling and have trained under the likes of Helmut Lang, Karl Lagerfeld and Ralph Lauren.
Each designer showed five spring/summer 2010 looks. The afternoon's highlight was Ohne Titel, designed by Alexa Adams and Flora Gil, who met as students at Parsons School of Design. Their knit dresses, tops and leggings are really fabric art—a marvel of stark architectural lines, body-conscious banding and draping inspired by Egyptian wall paintings. (The two were also feted on Thursday night at the salon-style Zainab boutique in Hollywood, which carries their collection. )
Both Gary Graham and Alabama Chanin showed edgy prairie looks (corsets, petticoats and ticking stripes for Graham; homespun layers and fraying embroideries for Chanin), while L.A. shoe designer George Esquivel’s handmade boots and lace-up shoes looked lived in and loved.
In the menswear category, Simon Spurr is a rising star for slim-cut suits that are American prep with a dash of British tailoring. He said afterward that he wished his pieces had been ironed before hitting the runway, but I kind of liked their rumpled texture. (Decades' Cameron Silver wore his support on his sleeve -- literally -- turning out in one of Spurr's suits.)
The crowd was a chic one, filled with celebrities (ranging from the familiar faces, Eva Mendes, Mary-Kate Olsen and Jessica Alba, to relative newcomers including recently redheaded Lily Collins and "Glee's" Dianna Agron, who was bound for LAX and the World Series, where the cast would sing the National Anthem before Game 3).
There were plenty of designers looking on too (Juicy Couture’s Pamela Skaist Levy and Gela Nash Taylor, Russell Simmons, Jeremy Scott, J.C. Obando, Chrome Hearts’ Laurie Stark, Toms Shoes' Blake Mycoskie and Trovata's John Whitledge), along with hairstylist Frédéric Fekkai, the beauty partner for the event.
Model/designer Erin Wasson was dressed very Venice Beach boho, in blousy print pants and motorcycle boots, and carrying an ethnic handbag. (She was bound for the beach for Halloween, to go camping with her dogs and swim in her birthday suit, she said.) Commenting on her recent turn as preppy purveyor J. Crew’s catalog cover model, Wasson said she had heard more comments about that than anything else in her career. Apparently, some people in the blogosphere considered it a betrayal of her edgy image. Her response? "Hey, a model's got to work."
After the show Vogue West Coast Senior Editor Lisa Love, in a dress by Obando, a finalist from last year's competition, escorted guests to the lobby for Champagne, macarons and tea. The winner of the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund prize, which includes cash and industry mentoring, will be announced in New York on Nov. 15.
-- Booth Moore
Top photo: A spring look from Ohne Titel. Credit: Donato Sardella /WireImage courtesy of Vogue.
Bottom photo: A spring look from Simon Spurr. Credit: Donato Sardella /WireImage courtesy of Vogue.
Ashley OlsenElizabeth and JamesMary-Kate OlsenOlsen TwinsOlsenboyeThe Row
A celebrity fashion collection doesn’t have to be an oxymoron (we’re still waiting to see how Lindsay Lohan’s future as artistic advisor to Paris house Ungaro will pan out -- regular readers of All the Rage may recall that it didn't begin well). Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s forays into the rag trade have been met with kudos from the industry. In July, the 23-year-old sisters were inducted into the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America, along with Alexander Wang, Jason Wu and J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons, on the basis of their design work on luxury label the Row and the contemporary-priced Elizabeth and James collection.
Now the Olsen twins have set their sights beyond the racks at Barneys and specialty boutiques and targeted the suburban closets of American teens and tweens with their exclusive collaboration with JCPenney, called Olsenboye.
Olsenboye, an Olsen family name, follows the theme of an oversized-sunglasses-wearing globetrotter who gleans wardrobe ideas from young women in fashion capitals. In keeping with the theme, the department store visuals will feature travel trunks, passport stamps and luggage stickers.
The Olsenboye prelaunch lineup, which premieres Nov. 6 in 50 select Penney’s and online, features cropped blazers, jean leggings, oversized peace-sign graphic T-shirts, a striped waffle-knit thermal, hooded sweatshirts, bags and footwear. A full ensemble will debut in February, including handbags and shoes. The pattern-heavy collection is meant to be mixed-and-matched -- florals, plaids and stripes -- in the trademark Olsen boho style.
Olseboye follows Penney’s reasonable price points, retailing from $20 to $50, and arrives in a wide size range, from 0 to 15.
Last Thursday (Oct. 22), when the Council of Fashion Designers of America celebrated its newest members at New York’s the Four Seasons, Ashley Olsen told the organization that she and her sister got their first taste of design by altering adult-size clothes to fit their then-preteen frames: “That’s really how we got into tailoring,” said Ashley. “We always loved it.”