Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

Category: Prada

Your Morning Fashion and Beauty Report: Princess Beatrice's hat sells for big bucks. Rihanna makes a classy entrance at the Billboard Awards. Jimmy Choo changes hands.

Jimmy Choo is being sold to Labelux GmbH, a German luxury goods holding company that also owns Bally shoes, clothier Derek Lam and jeweler Solange Azagury-Partridge. Choo, which was founded in 1996 and rose to fame when its stilettos were featured on HBO's "Sex and the City," has changed hands three times in seven years. [Wall Street Journal] (Subscription required)  

Arihanna Rihanna looked sedate and elegant when she arrived at the Billboard Awards in Las Vegas on Sunday night, wearing a white blouse, white jacket, white trousers and nude Christian Louboutins. But it was a different story when she performed her hit "S&M" onstage with Britney Spears. Then the fishnets, thigh-high boots and leather corset came out. Still in white, though. [Telegraph]

We've got  more pictures from the awards over on The Envelope (including the one of Rihanna and Spears in their "S&M" costumes). 

The much-talked about Philip Treacy hat Princess Beatrice of York wore to the royal wedding, below, fetched $130,000 on eBay, sold to an anonymous buyer. Proceeds will go to benefit UNICEF and Children in Crisis. We think selling the hat shows that the princess has both a sense of humor and a heart. [People]

Balmain plans to launch a new diffusion line, Pierre Balmain, with a first collection scheduled for Spring/Summer  2012. The line will skew younger than the traditional Balmain brand. [Telegraph] 

It's worth watching Beyonce's new music video for "Run the World (Girls)" for the clothes alone. The singer wears seven different designer outfits, including Alexander McQueen, Gareth Pugh, John Paul Gaultier, Emilio Pucci and Normal Kamali. She even walks hyenas on a leash, clad in a cream couture gown by Givenchy.  [Telegraph]

Prada got the official go-ahead for its initial public stock offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, expected to take place June 23 or 24. The company plans to sell a 20% stake. [The Cut]  

--Susan Denley

Photo: Left, Rihanna looking elegant on Billboard Awards red carpet. Credit:  Reuters. Princess Beatrice, at the royal wedding, in the Philip Treacy hat that fetched a pretty penny at auction. Credit: Getty Images 

Mother's Day gifts: Tote-ally chic

Mother's Day is Sunday so every day this week we have ideas to inspire your gift-giving

Name a mom whose life isn’t filled with toting and whose tote isn’t overflowing. So what better gift than an updated tote to help keep her pulled together at the beach and beyond? A glam slam in the season’s favorite stripes, this sequined Prada tote is sure to become mom’s on-the-go go-to. The pop of color, shimmer and print instantly wake up her most basic tee-and-short errands uniform, plus we love the idea of toting sequins to the pool. Prada Paillettes Tote Bag, $1,350 at the Prada boutique in Beverly Hills. Call (310) 278-8661.

Or polish off her poolside style with a tote and matching plush oversized terrycloth towel by Calypso St. Barth in one of four fresh, globally-inspired prints. This coordinating duo is guaranteed to save packing stresses. Yes, you deserve a day at the beach, just for giving it. Beach Towel, $175, and Beach Tote, $120, in one of four patterns at or Calypso Home, Brentwood.


Aspadebag Embellished with seashells and emblazoned with that message all moms have in their heads, Kate Spade’s straw tote and hat (the season’s must-have oversized floppy) pretty much spell it out: Mom Needs A Vacation…NOW! We suggest going for one piece or the other (no need to hammer in the message) and slipping in an airline ticket to any destination that has a pool or beach or a sandbox nearby. We bet she won’t even really care where—or whether it’s one-way. Kate Spade A Day Away Gemine Tote, $225, and I Need A Vacation Floppy Hat, $95, at or Kate Spade Century City, (310) 788-0791.

--Ingrid Schmidt

Thursday: The best-dressed table

Photos: Top, Prada Paillettes tote, courtesy of Prada; middle, Calypso St. Barth tote, courtesy of Calypso St. Barth; bottom, Kate Spade tote,  courtesy of Kate Spade.

Your morning fashion and beauty report: Clairol recalls hair dye kits, Lady Gaga channels Alexander McQueen and Robyn gives us a sneak peek before Coachella

Robyn, the Swedish singer who is scheduled to perform at the Coachella music festival this weekend, gave fans a sneak peek with a free performance in West Hollywood last week, sponsored by AMP Radio. She showed the same kind of upstart style our Booth Moore wrote about here and here in our preview of the stylish ladies of Coachella. For the local crowd, Robyn wore a cropped, yellow, quilted jacket lined in deep red, paired with some brightly patterned leggings. Under the jacket, she had on a white tank whose ornate, crisscrossed back was revealed when she shed the jacket. [Mondette]  

Agaga Lady Gaga believes she's channeling the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen, who committed suicide last year. Proof? "Right after he died, I wrote 'Born This Way,'" she said in an interview in the May issue of Harper's Bazaar. "I think he's up in heaven with fashion strings in his hands, marionetting away, planning this whole thing." Um, OK. [People]  

H&M, long interested in sustainability, has launched a new eco-conscious collection that's bound to win fans with its chic looks as well as its eco-credentials. Said fashion writer Genevieve Fox: "Looking at H&M's stylish new 96-piece range, you wouldn't know it complied with its 'three-P' sustainability commitment to people (good working conditions and deals for farmers); planet (reducing emissions); and profit." These clothes aren't hippie-dippy, she says, they are modern and cute! [Telegraph]

In another sustainability breakthrough, Marks & Spencer is making what it calls the world's first carbon-neutral bra and panty set. The lingerie, which will be sold online, are made in an "eco factory" in Sri Lanka where energy use reportedly has been reduced by a third.  The factory is powered by hydroelectricity produced on a nearby river and by solar panels on the roof. To offset the rest of the carbon dioxide produced in making the lingerie, the company plans to plant 6,000 trees in the area every year -- one-fourth of them trees whose fruit can be sold to make money for the local community. [Telegraph]

Meanwhile, with Earth Day approaching on April 22, PopSugar has rounded up five of its favorite eco-friendly L.A. shops, such as Studio Root 66 in Highland Park and Raven + Lily on Sunset. [PopSugarLA]

Proctor & Gamble has voluntarily recalled 10 Clairol Natural Instincts shades. Apparently the ColorFresh Revitalizer in the kits -- used to refresh the color after two weeks -- is mismatched with the shades. [StyleList]

Stanley Siegelman, former assistant managing editor of Women's Wear Daily, has died of cancer at age 87. Siegelman was a coauthor of the 2005 book, "Fashion, Retailing and a Bygone Era: Inside Women's Wear Daily," which included chapters from seven former editors. [WWD] 

Prada's spring/summer collection is hot, the Telegraph points out: It's already been featured on 15 magazine covers around the world, including Elle, Vogue Japan and Harper's Bazaar Australia. [Telegraph]  

News for budget-conscious fashionistas: Wal-Mart plans to make more room in its stores for clothing, and less for electronics. [WWD] (Subscription required.)

And Sears is rolling out full-on cosmetic counters at 100 of its most trafficked stores. [BellaSugar]

-- Susan Denley

Photo: Cover art for Lady Gaga's "Born This Way." Credit: Interscope Records 

[Updated] Your morning fashion and beauty report: Lily Allen launches ready-to-wear, Eliza Doolittle models for Moschino

Alily Pop singer Lily Allen, left, and her sister Sarah Owen, who opened the London vintage boutique Lucy in Disguise six months ago, are launching a ready-to-wear collection by the same name. [Telegraph] You can get a peek at sketches of the clothes over on FabSugar. 

British singer Eliza Doolittle, who is scheduled to perform in a couple of weeks at our Coachella Valley music festival, has got the fashion thing going on too. She models her favorite pieces from Moschino CheapAndChic's spring/summer 2011 collection for a short video shot at Maison Moschino, Milan. The clothes she picked are available online at [Telegraph]

Retailers in London's West End are upset with the government over damage to their stores during weekend riots by demonstrators upset with the government (and with some of the shop owners too). Topshop, for instance, was a target because of owner Philip Green's alleged maneuvers to avoid taxes. Fortnum and Mason, Boots and the Ritz Hotel were among other targets. [Financial Times]

It may be a time of recession, but luxury purveyor Prada reported Monday that it closed 2010 with record sales and profit. [WWD] (Subscription required.)

This doesn't have to do with fashion but I can't resist: For Tuesday lunch in L.A. and environs consider popping over to Umami burger, which will donate $1 for every burger sold then to the Red Cross fund for Japanese earthquake/tsunami relief. The fundraiser is taking place at Umami locations on La Brea, North  Cahuenga, in Los Feliz, Santa Monica and Studio City [PopSugar L.A.]

You've heard the old saying of British nobility that it's important to have "an heir and a spare?" Princess Diana had a spare wedding dress, it turns out ... a second gown ready to go just in case details of gown No. 1 leaked out before the big day. I wonder if princess-to-be Kate Middleton -- whose gown seems to be a state secret -- is following that example? [People]

And in case you missed it, our Booth Moore was in London recently and checked out Kate's favorite haunts, including boutiques, hair salons, restaurants and clubs. [Los Angeles Times]

-- Susan Denley

[Updated: 3/29/11 9:30 AM: In an earlier version of this post, the headline spelled Eliza Doolittle's first name incorrectly as "Liza."]

Photo: Singer Lily Allen, who is launching a clothing line with her sister. Credit: Bloomberg News

Post-Prada, artist James Jean is again in fashion


James Jean’s illustrations of fairylike deities garnered him a cult following, with comic book fanboys at one end of the spectrum and high-end designer Miuccia Prada at the other. Four years ago, Prada tapped Jean, 31, who lives in Santa Monica, to draw his sprite-like figures for a store mural in the Epicenter stores that ended up livening her spring 2008 collection of apparel and accessories.

The collaboration was so well received that Jean was able to take a break from commissions. “After Prada, I felt like it was the perfect time to retire from doing commercial work and concentrate on my fine art,” he said. Jean’s new work will be exhibited in a show, “Rebus,” opening Saturday at the Martha Otero Gallery and running through April 30. The gallery notes describe his latest work as depicting “fictionalized subconscious representation of deities in an apocalyptic decaying romanticized setting.”

But the Taiwan native is still partial to fashion. In conjunction with the show, he collaborated with brand OVM for a collection of Japanese-made print scarves entitled "Lotus War" featuring his ethereal figures crawling into an anamorphic skull. The silk twill accessories come in a limited edition of 100 for $385 each, available at starting Saturday and through Martha Otero, who can be contacted at

Jean, who has exhibited at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and has work in the permanent collection of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, is still enamored of Prada.  Would he collaborate with the Italian fashion house again? “I would if they asked me,” he said.

The gallery, at 820 N. Fairfax Ave., is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

-- Max Padilla

Scarf photo courtesy of James Jean

Milan Fashion Week: The top shows and takeaways


The big news in Milan was the continued interest in updating classic couture shapes with unusual colors, fabrications and surface embellishments.

We saw it done best at Jil Sander, where designer Raf Simons made outsize drop-shoulder coats, tunics and dresses with martingale belts look completely modern, by showing them with sleek, skiwear-inspired knits and stirrup pants.


At Bottega Veneta, Tomas Maier used ladylike, 1960s-inspired coats and sleeveless shift dresses as canvases for incredible work with layers of lace and print.


The 1960s trend took a mod turn at Versace, Alberta Ferretti and most notably at Prada, where coats and coatdresses with low-slung belts came in solids, windowpane checks, decorated with contrast piping, shag fur or silver-dollar sized paillettes.


Fashion's love affair with fur is still going strong. Marni's Consuelo Castiglione was the most inventive with fur, showing a modern-looking, zip-front mink blouson jacket, a full-length fur coat sheared into a diamond pattern, and a stiff, molded black leather jacket with a broadtail hem.


Also carrying over from spring, vivid color, seen most clearly at Gucci. Forest green, rust, mustard yellow, peach and teal blue were all hot hues, used to spectacular effect in Fendi's collection of arty, English country chic.

As for accessories, the Mary Jane with a chunky heel is the must-have. And why carry just one bag when you can carry two?

Now onto Paris. But not before naming the top five collections out of Milan: Bottega Veneta. Fendi, Marni, Prada and Jil Sander.

--Booth Moore in Milan

PHOTOS: Milan Fashion Week fall-winter 2011 top five shows photo gallery

Photos: Looks from the Jil Sander, Bottega Veneta, Versace, Alberta Ferretti, Prada, Marni, Gucci and Fendi fall-winter 2011 runway collections shown during Milan Fashion Week. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson and Peter Stigter / For The Times.

Milan Fashion Week: Miuccia Prada brings childlike wonder back to fashion


Showing her collection against the backdrop of a two-story, dollhouse-like set, Miuccia Prada brought childlike wonder back to fashion.

The collection revolved around short coats and coatdresses with low-slung belts, oversized buttons and a 1960s vibe. They came in powdery colors, sheer solids or windowpane checks, decorated with contrast piping, shag fur or silver-dollar-sized paillettes that jingled when models walked.


There was a homespun, Butterick-pattern feel to these clothes, a sweet naivete that hearkened back to a time before luxury brands had name recognition with toddlers, when style and fashion were learned at home.


Paired with glittery, two-tone boots with Mary-Jane-style straps, plush caps with chin straps, and round sunglasses, the collection built on the mod trend we saw at Burberry in London.

But more than that, as the models clutched their handbags close like teddy bears, it was a reminder of how we all fell in love with fashion in the first place -- as children playing with dolls and dollhouses, dressing in our Sunday best, and thinking our mothers were the most stylish people on the planet.

-- Booth Moore in Milan, Italy

Prada fall-winter 2011 runway collection photo gallery

Photos: Looks from the Prada fall-winter 2011 runway collection shown during Milan Fashion Week. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson and Peter Stigter / For The Times


Milan Fashion Week: D&G's ABCs

Milan Fashion Week: Gucci's film noir in color

Milan Fashion Week: Max Mara's nod to Katie Holmes

Milan Fashion Week: At Alberta Ferretti, the odd mod squad

Milan Fashion Week: At Fendi, English countryside chic by way of the art studio


Gifts with a Presidents Day Twist: White House pet project

Prada 02 277 
It’s one thing to have a First Dog and/or First Cat who signs paw-stamped autographs, makes an occasional television appearance and pens a book or two (a la Millie, President George H.W. Bush's springer spaniel). But it’s something else entirely to have a tobacco-chewing ram named Ike and a herd of sheep grazing the White House lawn (we’re talking about Woodrow Wilson); a pet alligator and a bevy of silkworms (step right up, John Quincy Adams); or a herd of elephants from the King of Siam (don’t be shy, Mr. James Buchanan).

And then there is the out-and-out White House zoo that broke loose under both Calvin Coolidge and Theodore Roosevelt. Among Coolidge’s menagerie were a dozen dogs, a donkey, bobcat, lion cubs, bears, a pygmy hippo named Billy and the furry favorite — a leash-walking raccoon named Rebecca, picked up from the White House in a limousine during renovations.

TeddyFamous for his love of animals and the outdoors (not to mention his iconic bear association), Roosevelt may have had the biggest collection of all. It included a dozen horses, dogs, snakes, a pony that famously rode the White House elevator, a blue macaw, lion, hyena, coyote, zebra and bears. On a hunting trip in 1902, when the 26th president refused to shoot an old, injured bear and ordered that it be humanely put down, the pair were widely depicted in newspaper cartoons — inspiring a store owner to create a new toy, “Teddy’s bear.” The rest is history. And we think it would make Teddy proud to know that he’s kissed the fashion sky now, so to speak, by influencing fashion powerhouse Miuccia Prada (Prada fabric bear key chains with appliqué detailing and gold-plated hardware, $180 each at

Happy Presidents Day!

--Ingrid Schmidt

Photos: Top, Prada's teddy bear key chains. Courtesy of Prada. Bottom, President Theodore Roosevelt. Credit: Conkwright and Winn.

Your morning fashion and beauty report: Christina Aguilera, Lea Michele face off at Super Bowl; Lady Gaga's Vogue cover gets a tweet; and Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom launch new fragrance

Achristina Alea
Lots of attention is being give to Christina Aguilera's flubbing of the national anthem at the Super Bowl. She did mess up, but she at least looked good doing it in her black Dolce & Gabbana suit. Meanwhile, Lea Michele's version of America the Beautiful was spot-on, but that bulky coat and too-big-looking pants? What was she thinking? You can vote on which was the better singer over at our Ministry of Gossip poll. And comment on this post if you have thoughts about their attire.

Lady Gaga tweeted her first-ever U.S. Vogue cover on Sunday. As you might expect, she looks fairly tame and more sophisticated than usual -- this is Vogue, after all -- but is wearing a short, bobbed pink wig along with a jumpsuit by Haider Ackermann. [BellaSugar Australia)

Khloe Kardashian and husband Lamar Odom are launching a unisex scent, "Unbreakable," which is slated to hit stores Feb. 12. [Us] 

Sister Kim Kardashian looked mesmerizing in her ultra-sexy Super Bowl commercial for Skecher's Shape-ups, which she says was fun to shoot. [People] 

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has acquired botanical skincare brand Ole Henriksen. [WWD] (Subscription required.)

Brands including Gucci, A|X Armani Exchange, Converse, Calvin Klein, Nautica and Oakley are offering 3D glasses for spring ... but do we need them? [WWD] (Subscription required.)

Barney's chief Mark Lee says the store has dropped all new Prada merchandise other than menswear and shoes. [The Cut]

"Hairstyles: Ancient to Present" by Charlotte Fiell, just released in the U.K., traces the history of all the many things women have done to achieve the latest coiffures. The top style of 1772 was 'the full headdress' or 'opera box', a style 4 feet from the chin to top of the head. A magazine that appeared about the same time listed more than 3,700 hairstyles. Seems like we have it pretty easy today. [Telegraph] 

--Susan Denley

Photos: Top, Christina Aguilera singing the "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the Super Bowl. Credit: Tannen Maury / EPA; Bottom, Lea Michele performs "America the Beautiful." Credit: Mark J. Rebilas / U.S. Presswire 

SAG Awards: Hailee Steinfeld in pint-sized Prada



Hailee Steinfeld is wearing a candy-striped dress from the spring Prada collection and a Solange Azagury Partridge "lips" ring. A fun, colorful look, perfect for a teenager. Another good call for this up-and-coming style star.

-- Booth Moore

Actress Hailee Steinfeld, from "True Grit," arrives at the 17th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. Credit: Lucas Jackson / Reuters.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


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