Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

Category: Diane Von Furstenberg

New York Fashion Week Fall-Winter 2011: DVF's frontier disco party


Diane von Furstenberg threw herself a frontier disco party, outfitting her runway with mirrored poles and turning up the beat. The theme was "American Legends" (DVF herself is certainly one), and the influences ran the gamut from the Southwest to 1970s glam, accessorized with Old West flattop hats and round sunglasses.

It wasn't wrap dresses but gaucho pants that took center stage. And they actually looked pretty great, with tall suede boots with fringe running down the back. (Those boots are going on my fall shopping list for sure.)


The other key piece was the knee-length skirt, also worn with said boots. One version came in plum crepe, slit high on the side, topped with an oversized pomegranate-colored crepe tunic top over a black turtleneck. The look was one of several to suggest a new pared-down but colorful approach to dressing.


The wrap dress was almost entirely absent (save for the final look, a black sequin wrap gown). Instead, she showed a black-and-cream "hearts trail" print peasant dress, and a breezy blue-and-gold polka dot chiffon sleeveless gown.

But this was a collection about separates more than anything else. And if anyone can get women in gauchos, DVF can.

-- Booth Moore in New York

Photos: Looks from the Diane von Furstenberg fall-winter 2011 runway collection shown during New York Fashion Week. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson and Peter Stigter / For The Times.

Your morning fashion and beauty report: Heather Morris 'Flirts,' Gwyneth Paltrow shocks and British Vogue picks 20 best-dressed


-- Heather Morris -- you know her at Brittany on "Glee"-- has been tapped as brand ambassador for Flirt, a beauty line owned by Estee Lauder. Through next fall, the blond dancer/actress will promote products such as All That Lash mascara and Luv-A-Licious fragrance. [WWD]

-- The amazing white, lace-up Pucci dress Gwyneth Paltrow wore to the Los Angeles premiere of "Country Strong" is getting a lot of buzz of the shock-and-awe variety: Why didn't it fall off? What, no knickers? How can a woman older than 25 get away with that? Well, she could, she did and FabSugar  shows some similar, albeit less risky, alternatives. 

-- Speaking of amazing dresses, Fashionista has a snapshot of Nicole Richie in the very, very froufrou Marchesa ball gown that she wore at her wedding. It is not a look just anyone could pull off, with a tight fitting bodice that blooms into the frilliest puff of a tulle skirt. But Nicole looks lovely!

-- Lady Gaga, Kate Moss, Emma Watson, Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Kate Winslet are among the fashionable ladies on British Vogue's list of 20 best-dressed in 2010. [Vogue UK]

-- Designer Diane von Furstenberg will be among honorees receiving the AmFAR Award of Courage in February. She and fellow recipients Bill Clinton and Elizabeth Taylor are slated to receive the awards at a gala thrown by the AIDS foundation in New York. [WWD]

-- Exhibition, a new luxury magazine, has an unusual plan: to publish once a year and explore just one topic. The inaugural issue will be on newsstands globally in January and will be dedicated to lipstick. That's right: lipstick. Who knew we needed an entire issue of a magazine devoted to it? [BellaSugar]

-- For next fall, men's suit designers are shifting away from the 1950s "Mad Men" aesthetic to clothing with more body and strong patterns such as herringbones, tweeds and plaids. [WWD] (subscription required)

-- Susan Denley

Photo: Heather Morris flirts on "Glee" so it's fitting that she is the new face of Flirt. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Your morning fashion and beauty report: What do Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga have in common? (Hint: They both rock!)


We are pleased that two of our fashion icons are on Forbes'  list of the 100 most powerful women. And how different in style, looks, spheres of influence, talents and so on  can you be than Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga? Go girl power! [LAT]

Steve Madden has upped his investment in Betsey Johnson and now owns the company. [The Cut]

I keep thinking that Diane von Furstenberg is popping up everywhere lately. Now she's just signed a deal for a new beauty line. [WWD]  (Subscription required.) 

Here's another cool costume idea for Halloween (yes, it's just a couple of weeks away and we're tossing out ideas here at All the Rage when we find good ones). Take your inspiration from "Sex and the City 2" and go Abu Dhabi style, with a turban, big gold jewelry, maybe a belly dancer outfit. [FabSugar]

Valerie Plame wore -- what else? -- Giorgio Armani at the Giorgio Armani and Cinema Society-sponsored opening of the film "Fair Game." In the film, Naomi Watts plays the former CIA agent. Sean Penn plays her husband Joseph Wilson. [WWD]

Tamara Mellon plans to launch a Jimmy Choo fragrance line. For some reason, that just seems odd to me. [Elle UK]

-- Susan Denley

Photos: Top, Michelle Obama with the world's most powerful man. Credit: Pascal le Segretain / Getty Images.  Bottom, Lady Gaga performs. Credit: Michael Buckner / Getty Images

Your morning fashion and beauty report: Christina Applegate designs a pendant. Diane von Furstenberg is the toast of Milan Fashion Week.


First off, it's been hot in Southern California. And I mean record-breaking, thermometer-breaking, triple-digits-where-I-live-by-the-coast hot. So of course the important question is what to wear? The old advice is still the best: dress light, dress in layers you can (modestly) peel off as necessary, and carry a shawl or sweater if you're going to work in, say, an over-air-conditioned icebox of an office. (Ahem, as I am myself.)  

Just in time for Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, breast cancer survivor Christina Applegate has teamed with designer Alex Woo to create a pendant whose sales will go to help her foundation, Right Action for Women, which helps at-risk women get screened for the disease. The pendant is a graceful tree within a circle, available in silver ($198) or gold ($998.) [People]

Donna Karan is relaunching her e-commerce site, joining a number of designers (like Marc Jacobs) and mass retailers (like Nordstrom) who've either launched or relaunched recently. [WWD] (Subscription required.)

We've noticed that Diane von Furstenberg seems to be everywhere these days, and if she isn't hosting some wonderful party, she is the toast of one. Earlier this week, in Italy for Milan Fashion Week, she was the guest of honor at a soiree and "visual homage" to her work and life thrown by Lapa Elkann and Franca Sozzani at Elkann's Italia Independent HQs. [WWD]

Sarah Burton says she will bring a new lightness to the house of Alexander McQueen in the women's wear collection she'll debut Oct. 5. Burton was named creative director after McQueen's death in February. She worked with the cutting-edge designer for years as his right-hand assistant, but says she won't try to copy his trademark theatrical style in her own shows. [Vogue UK]

If the 150-model public fashion show in New York a couple of weeks ago seemed extravagant, consider this: French department store Galleries Lafayette is organizing a synchronized multiple-city show to take place during Paris Fashion Week that they hope will involve 10,000 "models" -- actually, real people wearing their own real clothes. More than 50 cities in France, plus Berlin,  are supposed to participate. Hey, mes amis, I don't think this is quite the same as gathering 150 supermodels together in the same place to show designer clothes.  [StyleList] 

Macy's Herald Square flagship and Bloomingdale's in NYC are the latest retailers in that city to be hit by bedbugs, the scourge that's been spreading for several months now to the alarm of store managers and shoppers alike. [WWD] (Subscription required.)

-- Susan Denley

Photo: Christina Applegate at a women's cancer fund event earlier this year. Credit: John Shearer / Wireimage

New York Fashion Week: Diane Von Furstenberg's goddesses

Dvfrap What was Diane Von Furstenberg, princess of print dresses, to do in  a time when fashion is paring down and cleaning up?

Turn to simple draping and graphic designs, that's what. And it was a welcome departure from so many seasons of chiffon layers, sequins and doodads.

Dvfcu Dresses (T-shirt and wrap styles in spring's longer length) came in stark, classical Greek-inspired two-tone, "broken wave," "Greek key" and "scroll" prints (more akin to her original designs from the '70s.) It was great to see the wrap dress evolve into chic wrap jumpsuits and rompers too. 

Dvfgoddes She added some easy sportswear separates to the mix, including khaki linen cullottes, a cloud-print trench coat and a brick-red toile suit with cropped pants. The finale? Gold goddess gowns of course, to continue with the Greek theme.

-- Booth Moore in New York

Diane Von Furstenberg spring-summer 2011 runway collection photo gallery

Photos: Looks from the Diane Von Furstenberg spring-summer 2011 runway collection shown during New York Fashion Week. Credit: Jonas Gustavvson & Peter Stigter / For The Times

Your morning fashion and beauty report: Newest 'Gossip Girl' shows fashion flair. Dax Shepard shows off his tattoo.


 "Gossip Girl's" newest starlet, Katie Cassidy, is already showing fashion cred worthy of that sartorially savvy crew. She's been spotted sitting front-row among celebs like Sarah Jessica Parker and Diane Kruger at New York Fashion Week shows, went to W's September issue celebration at Saks this week (dressed in a gold Diane von Furstenberg shift) and says she would totally wear clothes designed by castmate Leighton Meester (when Meester gets around to doing a celebrity label, that is.) [People]

Luckily for Dax Shepard (Crosby Braverman on "Parenthood,") the show's producer decided the large tattoo of a tree on his forearm would be in character, thus sparing him what he estimates would have been two hours in makeup each day. Warning to those contemplating a tattoo: the tree is there to cover a former tat that went out of style. Making me wonder: what will eventually cover the tree? [Toronto Sun]

Hermes has taken an unusual step for a Western label, creating a new luxury brand specifically for China. [WWD] (Subscription required.)

I am imagining Christina Aguilera singing "Imagine" at a party celebrating the release of a new Montblanc "John Lennon" fountain pen (priced at $920).  I am imagining Yoko Ono saying how touched Lennon would have been at the honor. I am imagining if all you need is love, why do $920 pens even exist? Well, they do, and all this actually really happened this week.  A portion of proceeds from the sale of each pen will go to aid children's music education programs. [WWD] 

Florsheim (hint: the shoes your dad or granddad wore) is plugging into the love for retro and freshening up its image with a popup store in Manhattan. [WWD] (Subscription required.)

Elle has sparked criticism for a cover photo of "Precious" star Gabourey Sidibe in which it appears her skin has been lightened considerably. The cover is one of four being used for the magazine's 25th anniversary issue. The other three show Megan Fox, Lauren Conrad and Amanda Seyfried. In a statement Elle says that nothing "out of the ordinary" occurred. Sidibe's photo was not retouched "any more or any less than the others," the statement said. My interpretation: don't believe any of these women really look like their magazine photos. [The Telegraph]  

-- Susan Denley

Photo: Katie Cassidy was styling even in a former role as Ella Sims on 'Melrose Place.'  Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

Fordham University launches Fashion Law Institute, a first for the industry


Wednesday morning, before Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week got underway at its new Damrosch Park home, the fashion industry's legal landscape was being reshaped just across 62nd Street at Fordham University's Lincoln Center campus.

That's where fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg brought down a wooden gavel tied with a pink grosgrain ribbon, marking the official opening of Fordham Law School's Fashion Law Institute.

"As someone who has been around this business a long time, I can tell you that a lawyer who understands fashion is a very important thing," Von Furstenberg told the crowd.

So important, in fact, that von Furstenberg personally donated $50,000 to help fund the new program, an amount matched by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, of which von Furstenberg is president. She said she is convinced the new program would be beneficial to the fashion industry after meeting the professor who will serve as its academic director.

"I was immediately impressed by Susan Scafidi, Von Furstenberg said. "She was wearing one of my wrap dresses with the epaulets, and she'd changed the buttons on it and given it nicer buttons."

More impressive, Von Furstenberg said later, was that Scafidi seemed to genuinely understand the vagaries of the law as they apply specifically to the fashion industry.

"It's not that the laws are any different, but if the lawyer speaks the same language from the start it makes things a lot easier. There are a lot of issues you need to get to early."

Von Furstenberg wasn't the only one to sing Scafidi's praises at the press conference. "Professor Scafidi created the first course in fashion law, so it's only fitting she's at the helm of the world's first fashion law center,"  said the dean of Fordham Law School, Michael Martin. The program will focus on the five most important aspects of the law as they apply to fashion designers: "intellectual property, business and finance, international trade and government regulation," Martin said.

Said Scafidi: "We want to address all the legal issues that arise throughout the life of a garment, from the designer's original idea to the consumer's closet."

While intellectual property rights (dealing with trademark, knock-off and counterfeit issues) are the first thing that spring to mind when thinking about the intersection of the law and fashion, Von Furstenberg said that for a young, emerging designer, negotiating the world of legal contracts is even more important. "When you're just getting started, there is tremendous [legal] exposure, and signing a contract that you don't fully understand can be one of the biggest problems."

After the press conference, Doug Hand, a lawyer who has worked with the Rag & Bone label and the CFDA, also pointed out that funding a fashion brand often leads back to some unique intellectual property challenges. "Other industries have two major ways of funding -- competitive finance [a stock initial public offering, for example] or mergers and acquisitions. With fashion there's a third: a licensing transaction." Hand said that properly understanding a designer's or brand's rights and responsibilities in a licensing agreement is crucial.

In addition to offering a fashion law survey course, Fashion Law & Finance, Fashion Ethics, Fashion Retail Law, and a class in sustainability and development, the new institute hopes to host legal seminars and help law students get real-world experience by working with the CFDA and New York's fashion community.

"What better time to do this than right now, with Fashion Week moving right to our doorstep?" Scafidi said.

Legal pinstripes never looked so stylish.

-- Adam Tschorn reporting from New York

Photo: From left, Susan Scafidi, academic director of Fordham's new Fashion Law Institute, Fordham Law School dean Michael Martin, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, CFDA Executive Director Steven Kolb and Sheila Foster, associate dean of academic affairs, at the Sept. 8 opening of the new institute. Credit: Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times

Martha Stewart takes on fashion in her first prime-time interview special


The name Martha Stewart conjures up images of striped linens, puffy souffles and leaf blowers. So it's surprising that the lifestyle doyenne has chosen fashion as the subject of the debut episode of "Martha Stewart Presents," a new prime time interview special on the Hallmark channel.

"Martha Stewart Presents: The Women Who Dress America," a one-hour special  scheduled to air Sept. 19 at 9 p.m., will celebrate four modern-day fashion forces: living legends Diane von Furstenberg and Donna Karan;  Jenna Lyons, president of J. Crew; and Tory Burch, the queen of seaside prep.

The show will be formatted in the style of a traditional talk show, with Stewart engaging in conversations with famous faces from various realms. And like Barbara Walters' sporadic specials, this one will happen only occasionally; a second “Martha Stewart Presents”  is scheduled for November.

Timed to coincide with the close of New York’s Fashion Week, the show is hoping to "dig beneath the surface" to find the sources of inspiration for each designer.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring our viewers a different side of the world of fashion," said Stewart in a press release, "and a better understanding of the challenges and rewards of being on fashion’s front lines.”

Do you think Stewart (who, let's be honest, is almost always photographed in a smock-like button-front shirt) is the right person to interview four of fashion's most illustrious designers?

-- Emili Vesilind

Photo: Martha Stewart attends a party earlier this year wearing a smock-like shirt. Credit: Peter Foley/EPA

Weekend Shopping: Decadestwo shoe sale, Arcade boutique's 'Arm Candy' book signing and Hervé Léger opens at South Coast Plaza

IMG_1720 (2) Opening

Hervé Léger boutique opens Thursday at South Coast Plaza. The first Orange County boutique for Hervé Léger by Max Azria, which covers 1,022-square-feet, will carry the ready-to-wear collection basesdon the iconic bandage dress plus swimwear, shoe and bags.

3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa. (714) 549-5932. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday.


Ladies, set the alarm on Saturday (July 24), Decadestwo is holding another $150 one-day shoe sale on labels Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo and others.

8214 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 655-1960. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Continue reading »

Your morning fashion and beauty report: Who is Lady Gaga wearing in 'Alejandro?' Looks from the CMT awards, Net-a-porter branches out

Country's biggest stars, and some Hollywood royalty, wore a mix of designers at the CMT awards Wednesday night. Red carpet looks included Taylor Swift in Galliano, Leann Rimes in Mara Hoffman, plus Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Nicole Kidman, Jada Pinkett Smith and even Snooki and The Situation. [People]

Designer Thom Browne is branching into women's wear -- again. [WWD] (Subscription required)

Meanwhile, online retailer Net-a-porter is branching into men's wear, with plans to launch Mr Porter in January.  [Telegraph]

Lady Gaga's new "Alejandro" video features styles from Emporio Armani, Alexander McQueen, Haus of Gaga (of course) and more. [Huffington Post] 

Diane von Furstenberg shares her secrets for hosting a dinner party, such as the one she threw this week for French film director Daniele Thompson: Act like a guest. [WWD] 

Katherine Heigl, en route to London Wednesday for that city's premiere of her new movie, "Killers," tried out a very retro, hairsprayed-to-the-max bouffant, in shades of brown.  [People]

Get an inside look at how Decadestoo lands never-worn designer clothes to sell on consignment and a peek inside the closet of a socialite with too many Chanels in her Malibu vacation home's closets. [Wall Street Journal]

Designers keep rolling out those Cruise '11 collections. From Zac Posen to Balenciaga and Michael Kors, looks are fresh and fun. [FabSugar]

-- Susan Denley

Photo: A men's look from Thom Browne's Fall 2010 collection. We wonder what he'll do for women?

Credit: Peter Stigter and Jonas Gustavsson for the Los Angeles Times


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.