Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

Category: models

Plus-size blogger poses in 'fatkini'

We've all done it: meticulously gone through our Facebook or other publicly shared photos to ensure we don't look anything less than perfect. Taking into account this careful curating, you'd be hard pressed to find someone who willingly shares a picture of herself in a bathing suit. But enter fashion blogger Gabi Gregg. The plus-size fashionista proudly posted pictures of herself on her blog Gabifresh in what she calls a "fatkini," a striped black-and-white two-piece bathing suit.

She also asked other plus-size women to post pictures of themselves in swimsuits, and she published them in a gallery called "31 Hot Sexy Fat Girls in Skimpy Swimwear" on

"As a size 18, my swimwear posts tend to gain way more traffic than my regular outfit posts," Gregg wrote on xoJane. "I attribute this to the fact that our culture is so obsessed with having a 'beach ready bod,' that the mere idea of someone my size in a swimsuit, let alone a bikini, is shocking to most."

The size of models has become a real issue in the fashion community, spurring debate as to whether models should be exclusively rail thin or whether other body types should have a fighting chance. Aggressively thin girls have been the norm for years, dominating the runways and gracing the covers of major magazines, whereas models size 10 or 12 have been labeled "plus." Gregg's photos succeeded in further fueling the conversation.

"I love my body; we should reject these fashion rules," she told "Today" host Tamron Hall in the video above. Hall asked Gregg to respond to critics who say Gregg is encouraging obesity.

"I'm not promoting obesity or a healthy lifestyle," Gregg told Hall. "The truth is we have to live in our body right now, no matter where we are on our jouney to health."

Gregg's attempt to go against the grain prompted positive comments on her blog.

Lace N Leopard wrote, "Oh em ghee! I LOVE this! I am so scared to wear bikinis and I feel that this one would really be flattering. Ordering now >>> Thanks you look wonderful!" Christina of Profresh wrote, "Hi I'm Christina and I'm effing jealous of you! Girl, look at that boom-boom-body! Love it girl and you inspire me daily to be comfortable to be who I am and not make excuses. Love you girlxxReply."


Strong currents in women's swimwear

National Spelling Bee word morphs into a T-shirt

Missoni closes Rodeo Drive store

-- Jenn Harris

Video: Gabi Gregg talks to "Today" host Tamron Hall about her swimsuit photos. Credit:

Wilhelmina open casting call for models over 30

Wilhelmina 30+ Model Search

Is 30 the new 20? For Wilhelmina models it is.

The modeling agency has teamed with Macy's and Miraclesuit swimwear to host an open casting call for women ages 30 and older at the Macy's at South Coast Plaza on Saturday. The casting, scheduled from noon to 5 p.m., is open to women of all sizes.

Ten women will be selected to travel to New York City to compete for a grand prize that includes a Wilhelmina contract; fashion spread in O, the Oprah Magazine; a $1,000 gift card from Macy's and a $1,000 Miraclesuit swim wardrobe. The winner will be chosen at an exclusive final runway show. Adam Glassman, creative director of O;  supermodel Roshumba Williams; Stacy Fuller, vice president of Wilhelmina Women; and Bruce Waldman, vice president of public relations for Miraclesuit, will make the final selection.

Those who can't make it to the casting call can register to enter online. All model search registrants will receive a $20 savings pass to use at

-- Jenn Harris


Frugal Fashion: Coco Rocha pretty in a peplum

Paint your face and nails in 'Dark Shadows' colors

Fashion News: Scarlett Johansson gets star; David Beckham gets kiss

Photo: Wilhelmina 30+ Model Search. Credit: Wilhelmina.

Fashion News: Meghan McCain poses for Playboy

Meghan McCain tells what it was like campaigning for father John in the last presidential campaign, but also strays into some racier territory in an interview in April's Playboy magazine

Meghan McCain, 27, tells what it was like campaigning for father John in the last presidential campaign, but also strays into some racier territory in an interview in April's Playboy magazine. She kept her clothes on for the photo accompanying the interview and is dressed in a patriotic red sequined dress with blue heels. [New York Daily News]

Simon Spurr, nominated by the Council of Fashion Designers of America for its Menswear Designer of the Year award just last week, mysteriously left his eponymous label on Friday, with no comment on why. [WWD] (Subscription required.)

Most models start working between ages 13 and 16; the parents of those 18 or younger rarely accompany them to castings and jobs; 76.5% have been exposed to alcohol or drugs on the job; and close to 30% have experienced sexual harassment, according to a survey by the Model Alliance

Ann Magnuson, emceeing the annual REDCAT Gala in Los Angeles on Saturday night, nailed all the reasons to love a gala. It's an excuse, she said, "to take your furs out of storage, your diamonds out of the safe deposit box ... get your hair done ... and pick out a gown from your favorite atelier." [Society News LA]

Demi Moore, who was hospitalized in January following her split with husband Ashton Kutcher, looks to be the picture of health in photos from her latest ad campaign for Helena Rubenstein. [Metro]

Rihanna's jeans collaboration with Armani may be just the beginning. Ultimately, she said, she wants to be a fashion designer herself. [Elle]

Meanwhile, tennis great Venus Williams is getting back into fashion design with the relaunch of EleVen by Venus Williams. [WWD] (Subscription required.)

The Ecology Center, a nonprofit organization based in Michigan, tested 99 pieces of jewelry from stores including Claire's, H&M, Forever 21, Wal-Mart, Hot Topic and Target for lead, cadmium, chromium, nickel, brominated flame retardants, chlorine, mercury and arsenic. The results showed more than half the items contained high levels of hazardous chemicals. [The Cut]

The Duchess of Cambridge made her first official speech Monday, and surprised the fashion world by wearing a blue dress from Reiss' fall 2008 collection that her mother Carole wore two years ago. [Fashionista]

And with spring just a day away, note that bird prints are popping up on all kinds of garments for this season. [Wall Street Journal]


Megyn Kelly's classic style

"Hunger Games" fashion comes to fiery life

Runway Rundown: Simon Spurr for spring 2012

-- Susan Denley

Photo: Meghan McCain and father John McCain on the campaign trail in 2008. Credit: Keith Srakocic / Associated Press

Fashion News: Kathy Ireland offers advice to Kate Upton

Kathy Ireland and Kate Upton

Kathy Ireland, who appeared in 13 consecutive Sports Illustrated swimsuit editions, including three covers, has some advice for this year's cover girl, Kate Upton.

Upton needs to set the agenda, not just react to the sudden fame coming her way, Ireland says. “So many young people say, ‘I’m just going to see what happens.’ It’s so much more powerful to make things happen and have a plan.” She should know: She's built a $2-billion-a-year empire and is featured on the cover of the Feb. 27 edition of Forbes.  [Forbes]

Teenagers lined up seven hours ahead of time to wait for Katy Perry to introduce her false eyelashes collection with the European brand Eylure on Wednesday in an Ulta pop-up shop at the Americana at Brand shopping center in Glendale. [WWD]

Italian fashion label MaxMara has named 15-year-old actress Chloe Moretz as its "Face of the Future." She is to be be honored with a dinner in Bevely Hills in June. [Telegraph]

Thursday we mentioned that Raf Simons is leaving Jil Sander (speculation is that he probably is going to Dior). Now word is he is being replaced as creative director at Jil Sander (the label) by Jil Sander (the woman and founder). [Cut]

The Duchess of Cambridge is at the center of a flap over fur. It seems the International Fur Trade Federation posted a picture of her in what seemed to be a fur-lined jacket on its website. This, of course, upset the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which complained to her representatives. They, in turn, insisted that the fur federation remove the post. She was wearing a fake, they said. [Cut]

Instead of naming one best new American menswear designer as it does most years, GQ has named six for 2012, Los Angeles Times writer Adam Tschorn reports. [Los Angeles Times]

Stars including Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz, Gary Oldman, Demian Bichir, Emily Blunt, John Krazinski, Kimora Lee, Kenneth Branagh, Djimon Honsu and Kristen Davis attended a dinner Wednesday night to benefit international relief organization Oxfam America and the Green Carpet Challenge, which encourages designers to craft celebrity gowns from sustainable fabrics, Times fashion critic Booth Moore reports. [Los Angeles Times]   


Stargazing, chili dog eating, scarf buying this Oscars weekend

Fashion News: Talk turns to Oscar gowns at Charlie Chaplin fete

Rooney Mara, Kate Beckinsale at Costume Designers Guild Awards

 --Susan Denley

Photos: Kathy Ireland, left, and Kate Upton. Credits: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times; Michael Loccisano / Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

Fashion News: Sports Illustrated model Kate Upton heads to Vegas

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover model Kate Upton

So if you're Kate Upton promoting your Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover, where do you go after launching the magazine in New York? To a beach, maybe? Well, no, you and 17 other models featured in the issue head to the desert. Las Vegas, to be     specific. At least there are some great swimming pools there. But is this photo of her on the plane to Vegas not the cheesiest ever? [Las Vegas Sun]

The choice of Upton for the cover is stirring up more public commentary than the annual swimsuit issue has provoked in years. On the positive side: She marks a return to a more curvaceous, less stick-like model. Negative side: Couldn't SI have sprung the bucks for a bit bigger bikini, some folks are asking. Those asking are probably not SI subscribers -- more likely their wives and girlfriends. The bikini is, as I noted in a previous column, very tiny. [Washington Post] 

We all kind of know that high heels and flip flops aren't really good for us. But neither are flats (they often have too little arch support) or the toner shoes with rocker bottoms that claim to firm leg and butt muscles. Prevention Magazine took all four styles to a high-tech motion analysis laboratory and tested them on real women to see just how bad they are. Surprise! Regular sneakers do a better job than the rocker bottoms at toning leg and butt muscles. And indeed none of these styles -- even flats -- provides optimal walking comfort and all can cause physical problems. [Prevention]

Ellen Olivier over at Society News LA attended a brunch Sunday honoring Les Ballets de Monte Carlo's weekend production of Cinderella at Orange County's Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and she says the party was abuzz with talk that Prince Albert II and his bride, Princess Charlene, plan to attend this year's Academy Awards. If so, it is believed that it will be the first time a member of Monaco's royal family has attended the Oscars since Albert's mother, Grace Kelly, left Hollywood in 1956 to marry Prince Rainier. [Society News LA]

Twiggy is launching a womenswear line for British retailer Marks & Spencer. The model, one of the super "it girls" of the 1960s, has been the face of the brand since 2005. [Telegraph]

Joe Jonas got the crowd excited when he attended Jeremy Scott's presentation at New York Fashion Week. [The Cut]

You can follow Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic Booth Moore and reporter Adam Tschorn's coverage of New York Fashion Week on our All the Rage blog.  

Miu Miu has come out with the third film in its Woman's Tales series (which Moore wrote about last year) , debuting "The Woman Dress" at a party Tuesday. The plot: Three witches turn a woman into a dress. Why? Don't ask me. I don't get it. And it didn't inspire me to want to buy anything from Miu Miu, either. See what you think.



A closer look at the hair in the hunger games

Kate Upton and Mark Sanchez rumors are heating up again

New York Fashion Week: Thom Browne's Tim Burton moment    

-- Susan Denley

Photo: Kate Upton en route to Las Vegas. Credit: Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

Fashion News: Is model Kate Upton dating N.Y. Jets' Mark Sanchez?

Sports Illustrated / Victoria's Secret model Kate Upton may or may not be dating N.Y. Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, but rumors of a possible romance are heating up. [NY Post]

Lady GagaLady Gaga looks either kind of sinister or like she could be wearing clothes made of trashbags as she arrives in Tokyo on Tuesday to perform on a Japanese TV show. But something about the silhouette reminds me either of Cruella De Vil (sans furs) or Jessica Rabbit.

Tennis player/fashionista Maria Sharapova interviewed herself about the holiday season in a  Q&A posted on the Daily Front Row. Sample question: What is the best part of the holidays, Maria? Answer: What a stupid question, Maria! [Daily Front Row]

Star magazine is reporting that some products endorsed or sold by members of the Kardashian clan are made in Chinese sweatshops. The lines named include K-Dash by Kardashian, the Kris Jenner Kollection and Kim Kardashian's ShoeDazzle shopping site (not, they hasten to add, products  sold at Sears).  [Radar Online]

A representative for the family says this is the first they've heard of the sweatshop claims and would never condone such a thing. [Radar Online]

What do the fashion-famous do for the holidays? A check-in with folks such as Mark Badgley, James Mischka, Alber Elbaz, Tory Burch and John Paul Gaultier — among others — seems rife with words such as "caviar," "Palm Beach" and foie gras. [WWD]

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has upped its stake in Hermès, and now owns 22.3% of the luxury label's international capital. [WWD]


Top 10 fashion trends of 2011

Dressing the heroine of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"

Fashion News: Kardashian Christmas card features tuxedos in 3D

— Susan Denley

Photo: Lady Gaga strikes a pose as she arrives in Tokyo. Credit: Franck Robichon / EPA


Fashion News: The bunny lends an ear on Lindsay Lohan Playboy cover

Somebody leaked a copy of Playboy's Lindsay Lohan cover, and on it she seems to be wearing nothing but a chair -- a chair shaped like the bunny logo, whose ears help cover what needs to be covered for newsstand sales. [Los Angeles Times]  

Kate Middleton in ZaraIs the Duchess of Cambridge getting too predictable? Maybe so, says the Telegraph. The former Kate Middleton wore a dress by Zara (sold for about $110 at today's exchange rates) to a concert at Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday night. It looked somewhat similar to (though somewhat shorter than) an expensive designer dress by Erdem that she wore on her summer trip to Canada and California. Could she be in a rut? [Telegraph]

More than $60 million worth of diamonds were used in WSJ magazine's shoot for its feature, "Portrait of a Lady," in the December issue. The piece features four notable women, all over 55, showing off their senses of style -- and the diamonds. (Pretty formidably, too.  They include Joan Juliet Buck, 62, former editor of French Vogue, and famed art dealer and curator Clarissa Dalrymple, 70.) All of that bling required 16 security guards for protection. [WSJ]

A photo from model Karlie Kloss' nude Vogue Italia shoot, the one in which she was dubbed the new "body" (replacing Elle MacPherson), is popping up on pro-anorexia websites. [Fashionista]

Rooney Mara, star of the upcoming "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," has helped design a necklace for Kora, the company that specializes in jewelry made from items found in and crafted by people in developing communities in Africa. (Think of things like cow bone polished into beautiful bracelets.) Kora is the enterprise of the L.A. design duo of Amy Walker and Maxandra Short, whom our Melissa Magsaysay wrote about over the summer. [People]

Speaking of "The Girl," a first look at costume designer Trish Summerville's capsule collection for H&M inspired by the title character came out Wednesday. We posted video, in case you missed it.

Stella McCartney celebrated the opening of her first store in Rome on Tuesday. [WWD] (subscription required) 

Oscar de la Renta is developing his first in-house children's collection. [WWD] (subscription required)

Lauren Scruggs, the model and fashion blogger severely injured when she accidentally walked into a plane propeller on Saturday, is able to walk and talk again, but faces a long recovery. [People]


Jenni Kayne launches lifestyle blog

Designer clothes for kids: Nothing too good for baby

Frugal Fashion: Tilda Swinton at the Gotham Independent Film Awards

-- Susan Denley

Photo: The Duchess of Cambridge in her Zara dress Tuesday night. Credit: Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Frugal Fashion: Hilary Rhoda in animal print at 'Young Adult' screening


If you've flipped through a fashion magazine in the last five years, you're sure to recognize  Hilary Rhoda's face. She's the all-American beauty with the signature killer eyebrows. At 18, the Maryland native captivated the fashion world when Nicolas Ghesquière handpicked her to walk in the Balenciaga spring show in 2005.

Since then, Rhoda has appeared in campaigns for Pucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci and Givenchy. She has walked the runways for the world's top designer labels, including John Galliano, Louis Vuitton, Karl Lagerfeld and Oscar de La Renta, to name a few.

Off the runway, Rhoda has mastered the art of understated elegance. She manages to look nothing less than perfect whether she's wearing a gala gown or jeans and a T-shirt.

She recently made an appearance at the Cinema Society and Dior Beauty screening of "Young Adult" at the Tribeca Grand Screening Room in New York. She was contemporary casual chic in a pair of stiletto camel leopard-print jeans by power design duo Current Elliott, a silk button-down blouse, blazer and classic pointy black heels. She accessorized with a thick black belt and cozy camel beige cowl neck scarf. 


Animal prints are everywhere this fall, with snakeskin, cheetah, zebra and leopard prints showing up on clothing, accessories and even iPad cases. These prints continue to be hot items for the holiday season. For Rhoda's jungle look, get her Current Elliott stiletto camel leopard print jeans at Nordstrom for $198. For some budget-friendly options, try the Andrew Charles animal printed skinny twill jeans in a snakeskin print from for $59.99, snow leopard printed jean from for $39.50 or the Tripp NYC leopard jean for $66 from 


Rhoda kept the rest of her outfit subtle, letting the leopard print remain the protagonist. For a similar tame blouse get the Sparkle & Fade boxy chiffon blouse for $59 from And for a classic black heel, try the  Flax Ninewest pump on for $69.


Accessorize like Rhoda with the Frenchi waffle knit infinity scarf for $22 from and a classic  Leather belt from for $16.50 or the Pieces Flamini belt for $18.18 from

Each piece is a versatile closet staple you’ll be able to recycle throughout the seasons. Animal print for spring … why not?

For more tips, resident stylist and market editor Melissa Magsaysay gives us the scoop on how to wear the season's hottest animal prints.

Happy shopping!

Have an outfit you're dying to buy but need a frugal alternative? Email us a picture. We're up for the challenge.


Frugal Fashion: Cara Delevingne's cocktail dress with an edge

Frugal Fashion: Jessica Biel sparkles at GQ 'Men of the Year' party

Frugal Fashion: 'Twilight: Breaking Dawn's' Kristen Stewart in a mini

-- Jenn Harris

Top photo: Model Hilary Rhoda attends the Cinema Society & Dior Beauty screening of "Young Adult" at the Tribeca Grand Screening Room on Nov. 18 in New York City. Credit: Andrew H. Walker /Getty Images

Jean photos, from left: Andrew Charles animal printed skinny twill jeans ($59.99); snow leopard printed jean ($39.50); Tripp NYC leopard jean ($66)

Blouse and shoe photos: Sparkle & Fade boxy chiffon blouse ($59); Flax Ninewest pump ($69)

Accessories photos: Frenchi waffle knit infinity scarf ($22); leather belt ($16.50); Pieces Flamini belt ($18.18) 

Iman adds Platinum Collection to growing list of brands

Iman and her Platinum Collection

When it comes to supermodels, the big ones tend to be remembered for specific attributes. Cindy Crawford for her beauty mark, Linda Evangelista for her chameleon-like qualities, and Giselle Bundchen for that body. But with Iman, who came to the U.S. from her home country of Somalia in 1975 to model, it's hard to pinpoint just one thing. It's not only her otherworldly physical attributes, long neck and statuesque figure, but her enterprising foray into beauty, home and fashion (she's just launched the Platinum Collection -– a line of outerwear Iman and her Platinum Collection: Ponyhair & Leather Carryall and accessories exclusive to HSN). And then there's her charity work with organizations including the Children's Defense Fund, Action Against Hunger, Raise Hope for Congo and Save the Children, for which she serves as an ambassador.

The 56-year-old stopped modeling in 1989 after 16 years in front of cameras, on runways and as a muse for designers such as Yves Saint Laurent and Halston. Post-modeling, she turned her beauty know-how into big business with her Iman Cosmetics line in 1994. She began blending her own foundation while on photo shoots because there were no shades that suited her skin, thus giving her the idea to create a line of cosmetics for women of color.

"Three days after I arrived in the U.S. in 1975 to model, my first job was for American Vogue," Iman said recently over breakfast at the Beverly Hills Hotel, in town to be honored with a Rodeo Drive Walk of Style award. "I had never worn makeup or high heels. I did not know what foundation was. The makeup artist asked me, ‘Did you bring your own foundation?’ He had nothing for me."

Iman and her Platinum CollectionIman recalled the makeup artist mixing several colors together for her. She began doing the same, taking various shades of foundation she found in stores to make something that matched her skin tone. "For the 16 years that I modeled, I always carried my own blend. I was never unprepared. I mixed my own until I stopped modeling."

Her cosmetics line boasts a full range of products, but she said her foundations are still the "hero" product because of the array of shades available. But she stressed that the line is not designed for a specific ethnic group so much as it is for individual women.

"When you go into a shoe store, there are no sections," she said. “Why should there be sections for different ethnicities when it comes to makeup?"

Her successful beauty business paved the way for a collection of clothing called Global Chic, a line of under-$100 women's separates and accessories, which is sold exclusively on HSN. This fall, she's added a higher-end line of clothing, outerwear and bags, the Platinum Collection.

"My clothes are chic; they're classics reinvented," Iman said.  "I leave the trends to H&M and Zara because they do it so well." Iman and her Platinum Collection

The Platinum Collection is priced slightly higher than her Global Chic line -- for example, around $200 for wool coats and faux fur pieces and luggage items under $400. She has put an emphasis on practicality and versatility. For example, a wool coat that costs under $200 comes with several interchangeable faux fur collars that gives the wearer six ways to wear the piece. There are traditional silhouettes and wardrobe basics such as riding boots, trench coats, shearling vests and black leather skirts. Bags are done in punchier colors, such as green and red.

“When it comes to my clothes, I like color, but not in-your-face color,” she said. "I like to provide color as you need it. For instance, a red bag can lift everything up and is easier to wear than all red."

Though her fashion business has taken off, she said it's certainly not something she envisioned doing while modeling for some of the biggest names in the industry. She was adamant about not referring to herself as a "designer," but rather as someone who interprets trends and creates and curates a lifestyle line.

But her firsthand experience working directly with designers certainly has honed a keen, sophisticated sense of style.

"When I would walk in [to a fitting or photo shoot], the designer would ask me, 'How would you wear this, how would you put this together?'" she said about her modeling days. "You were a muse."

-- Melissa Magsaysay


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Photos: Top, left and bottom: Iman modeling looks from her Platinum Collection of clothing and accessories. Top right: A ponyhair and leather carryall from the Platinum Collection. Credit: Iman Platinum Collection


Missoni family, Iman receive Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Awards

Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Iman Missoni
The stage was barely big enough to hold all of the members of the Missoni family who traveled from Italy to Beverly Hills to receive the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Award on Sunday night. It was the first time the honor has been bestowed on an entire family.

Photo Gallery: Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Awards

On hand to celebrate were Ottavio and Rosita Missoni, the family patriarch and matriarch, who founded the knitwear empire nearly 60 years ago; their daughter Angela Missoni, who designs the collection; and Angela's two brothers Vittorio and Luca, who run the business.

The third generation was well represented too. It included Margherita Missoni, star of the recent Missoni for Target commercial, who is now designing for the company in Milan; Ottavio Jr., who is learning the ropes of production; and actress Jennifer Missoni, who is carrying on the family name in Hollywood.

The colors and patterns of their designs "are like the notes of a beautiful love song," said family friend and self-described "Missoni junkie" Quincy Jones, who presented the award to what he dubbed the

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