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Category: Fashion Diary

Fashion Diary: Technology meets Fashion Week

Gwen stefani lamb kxpawhnc
Gossip, first impressions, trends in the making, celebrities and style setters.

This is shaping up to be the season when the runway comes to you.

Hundreds of designers will present their fall collections during the monthlong runway circuit that kicked off Wednesday in New York and ends in mid-March in Paris with a stop in Milan along the way. And although the runway shows used to be exclusive events -- closed to all but select editors, store buyers and stylists  -- fashion houses increasingly are extending the reach of their blockbuster productions by using the Internet.

For several seasons now, fashion show attendees have been taking their own amateur video and photos and posting them online using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. So it was only a matter of time before designers got on the bandwagon. Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren and Dolce & Gabbana are among those who have experimented with bringing their runway shows to the digital space.

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Fashion Diary: Alexander McQueen, an appreciation

Alexander mcqueen tribute alexander mcqueen

Alexander McQueen, the fashion world's reigning provocateur, was found dead Thursday morning at his home in London. He was 40. The police have not released an official report on the cause of death, but his press representatives at KCD Worldwide said it appeared to be suicide.

As a designer, he was not only a technical genius -- as comfortable tailoring an Edwardian-inspired suit as draping a kimono with a 25-foot train -- but a creative genius too. His theatrical runway productions were frequently controversial, casting models as witches and mental patients.

"A gifted iconoclast, who could just as easily be creating art as fashion" was how Mimi Avins, then the Los Angeles Times' fashion editor, described McQueen upon seeing his clothes for the first time in 1996.

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Fashion Diary: QVC will be at the Oscars

Qvc shopping Gossip, first impressions, trends in the making, celebrities and style setters.

QVC is coming to the Academy Awards.

That's right, QVC.

The home shopping network is turning the red carpet into a literal marketplace, throwing a live-for-TV party at the swank Four Seasons Hotel on Oscars weekend, and inviting celebrity guests to mingle and sell in front of the cameras, in hopes that a little Tinseltown glamour will rub off on hometown America.

It's a genius idea, really. Considering how much time and money go into product placement during awards season, the red carpet might as well be a sales floor. And one with affordable products, as Versace probably isn't going to sell a lot of $20,000 plus crystal-embroidered gowns (like the one Drew Barrymore wore to the Golden Globes), but might sell quite a few bottles of Crystal Noir perfume.

It shouldn't be long before we're able to point and click -- Marion Cotillard's Dior lip gloss here, Tina Fey's Christian Louboutin pumps there. But until then, QVC is hosting two three-hour live broadcasts March 5 (6 to 9 p.m.) and 6 (6 to 9 p.m.), selling everything a woman needs to get ready for a glamorous event.
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Fashion Diary: You can't keep up with (or keep down) the Kardashians

Kardashian bebe Gossip, first impressions, trends in the making, celebrities and style setters.

Last week, reality TV royal Khloe Kardashian shook hands with President Obama at the White House.

The "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" star had been invited by her husband, basketball player Lamar Odom, along with other team wives, to the ceremony honoring the L.A. Lakers' NBA championship. And though the collision-of-cultures handshake wasn't quite so jarring as when President Nixon greeted Elvis Presley at the White House in 1970, it was close.

The White House is just the latest corner of the world that the ubiquitous Kardashians have conquered. And next month, they are hoping to take over your closet when they debut a runway collection for trendy clothing brand Bebe at New York Fashion Week.

The Bebe-Kardashians line, which was designed by the brand's in-house team with input from Kim, Khloe and Kourtney, will be in Bebe stores shortly after the Feb. 16 runway show, bucking the traditional six-month lag time from runway to rack. The runway show is expected to be webcast live at Bebe.com and may be incorporated into the plot of the Kardashians' reality program.
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Fashion Diary: Feisty fashion publicist Kelly Cutrone gets real on her new Bravo show

Diary-510 Gossip, first impressions, trends in the making, celebrities and style setters. A regular feature by fashion critic Booth Moore.

Mind the pitchfork; here comes "Kell on Earth."

After stints on MTV's "The Hills" and "The City," fashion publicist Kelly Cutrone is starring in her own reality show starting Feb. 1 on Bravo. She's also publishing a memoir/guide, turning her take-no-prisoners approach to the fashion business into a message of girl power.

Cutrone founded the fashion PR firm People's Revolution in 1996. And if you're not familiar with her reputation, the headline on a 2008 New York Observer profile says it all: "The Dark Angel of 'The Hills.'" That story solidified her on-screen persona as a tough-as-nails boss who says it like it is, whether it's firing an intern, muscling an uninvited guest out of the front row or barking at an underling through a headset at a fashion show.

But Cutrone is also a deeply spiritual person who believes in the power of the Goddess, and a mother hen not only to Whitney Port, but to dozens of other aspiring fashion types. Typically dressed in black (usually Martin Margiela or Yohji Yamamoto) with jet black hair and no makeup, season after season she is consistently more interesting than anything on the runway.

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Fashion Diary: Quarterbacking the red carpet

Golden globe arrivals
The fashion community in Los Angeles has tripled, maybe even quadrupled, now that the Golden Globes are upon us. The world's finest jewel-encrusted clutches and cuff links, slinky gowns and tuxedo shirts are being messengered around the city for celebrities to consider (eeny, meeny, miny, moe). And publicists for all the major fashion houses -- Chanel, Giorgio Armani and Dolce & Gabbana -- are standing at the ready at their hotels to hot-foot it to fittings with tailors in tow.

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Fashion Diary: Roll the credits on the spring runway season

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Gossip, first impressions, trends in the making, celebrities and style setters. A regular feature by fashion critic Booth Moore.

The collections weren't just compelling this season, many of them were downright gripping. Just look at this amazing shot from John Galliano's show last week. The movie clapboard invitations set the scene for a "girl goes to Hollywood to become a star" theme. And the show didn't disappoint, with stunning visuals and a special effect that had bubbles falling from the ceiling and exploding into puffs of smoke in the models' wake.

The bias-cut chiffon gowns might have been fit for a starlet, but they didn't break any new ground for Galliano. But does that really matter anymore? He probably could have shown the same Hollywood-inspired collection he did a year ago; and between all the bubbles and Prince in the front row, no one would have noticed. Call it a sequel.

Coming on the heels of Rodarte's feathered Gothic romance in New York, Raf Simons' sultry strip down in Milan (complete with a soft-core film clip), Chanel's high-class barn-raising, Hermes' grassy tennis match and Alexander McQueen's Atlantis blockbuster in Paris, Galliano's cinematic tale underscored that fashion and entertainment are growing ever closer each season. (And I'm not talking about Lindsay Lohan's turn as creative advisor for Emanuel Ungaro.)

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London Fashion Week: Gingham checks and romantic echoes

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LONDON -- Next spring, when we're all wearing gingham checks, it will be thanks to designer Christopher Kane, who affirmed his role as leader of the new Brit pack with a spring collection that was directional enough to start trends that will trickle all the way down to Target.

There was something both sultry and sinister about Kane's juxtaposition of mismatched tablecloth checks, sheer lingerie-like panels and corset boning on dresses in baby pink, lemon yellow and cappuccino brown gingham check, with pleated skirts or thigh high slits. Sweaters sliced open in back also offered a flirty, peekaboo effect.

Kane's romantic mood was echoed elsewhere during the strong spring runway shows here last week, in the powdery hues, floral prints, gentle draping and sheer layers, as well as in the earlier New York shows at Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang and Donna Karan.

At Burberry, the week's most star-studded front row -- Victoria Beckham, Freida Pinto, Agyness Deyn, Emma Watson and Gwyneth Paltrow -- gathered to see Christopher Bailey's sugary sweet collection. Trench coats, thigh high dresses and skirts in salt water taffy shades of gauzy organza, silk and satin were twisted, knotted, looped and ruched to within an inch of their lives. The technique, which made for a more conceptual collection than anything Bailey has previously done for Burberry, occasionally gave even the most lithe models unwanted lumps and bumps. But all was forgiven during the finale, when silver confetti rained down on the runway.
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Fashion Diary: Lindsay Lohan named artistic adviser of house of Ungaro [UPDATED]*

Lindsay-lohan-ungaro Gossip, first impressions, trends in the making, celebrities and style setters. A regular feature by fashion critic Booth Moore.

In what seems to be a desperate bid for relevance, the troubled house of Emanuel Ungaro announced today the appointment of Lindsay Lohan as artistic adviser [UPDATED 12 p.m. An earlier version of this post’s story and headline stated that Lindsay Lohan was Ungaro’s new artistic director. She is the artistic advisor]. Estrella Archs (who has worked for Nina Ricci, Emilio Pucci, Christian Lacroix and Prada) was named chief designer. Apparently, the two have been collaborating on the spring collection which will be shown in Paris on Oct. 4.

"Twenty-first century muses are extroverts whose personal style and experience gives them strong creative and artistic focus. Thus our vision of combining the eye of the ultimate luxury consumer, a celebrity," said Mounir Moufarrige, president of Emanuel Ungaro.

The house was bought by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Asim Abdullah in 2003 and has had a revolving door of designers since then, most recently Miami wunderkind Esteban Cortizar.

It's a puzzling move for several reasons, the least of which is that Lohan's status as muse is questionable. (Doesn't she have a line of leggings?) In a time when everyone is mad for the 1980s, and so many designers (Nicolas Ghesquiere, Marc Jacobs, Phillip Lim) have dipped into the Ungaro archives for inspiration -- the brash prints, sculpted sleeves and ruffled cocktail confections -- it's sad that the original house cannot get it together. Oh well, who knows? Maybe it will work. Stranger things have happened. One thing's for sure: We'll all be paying attention.

-- Booth Moore

Ungaro runway photos: Fall 2009 | Spring 2010

Story: More on Lindsay Lohan's leggings line

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Photo: Lindsay Lohan, new artistic director at the house of Ungaro. Credit: PR Newswire

Fashion Diary: Norma Kamali reinvents the runway

FASHION DIARY Gossip, first impressions, trends in the making, celebrities and style setters. A regular feature by fashion critic Booth Moore.

New York Fashion Week is a little over a week away, and it's shaping up to be a tough season. Not only is the economy a challenge, so is the Internet. The speed with which photos of runway looks travel around the world is making the whole seasonal exercise of fashion weeks seem more and more ridiculous. (Designers traditionally show their collections six months in advance for store buyers and the media, so we're getting ready to see spring '10.) Because by the time a designer original hits the racks, you've already bought the knockoff at Zara or are on to something else completely.

So it's no surprise that designers are rethinking how they can use the Internet to their advantage, including Norma Kamali, whose presentation titled "The Democratization of Fashion" will be held on Sept. 17 at the Soho Apple store. 

 “Between new technology and the economy, the fashion industry will never be the same,” explained the New York designer whose greatest hits over the last three decades have included parachute dresses, sleeping bag coats, Grecian gowns and screen-siren swimwear. “It makes you stand back and say, ‘If I continue doing what I’m doing, I may not stay in business. It’s time to rethink and look at what’s working and what’s not.'”

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