Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

Category: Prada

Miu Miu, Zoe Cassavetes and the future of short fashion films

MiuMiu_short_movie_ThePowderRoom_2 

These days, fashion houses are rolling out short films faster than you can say, "Action!" Chanel has produced several, the most recent being the bizarre "Window World" directed by Karl Lagerfeld; Dior's  "Lady Grey London," starring Marion Cotillard, premiered in December; and L.A.-based photographer/director Lisa Eisner teamed up with Devendra Banhart on a short film for eyewear brand Oliver Peoples released earlier this month.

But what about the quality of these pieces? Are they really any more than 3- or 4-minute commercials? Do they really qualify as entertainment?

Miu Miu is the latest to join the fashion film fray with "Powder Room," directed by Zoe Cassavetes,  best known for her 2007 feature film "Broken English." Out this week, it's the first in a series of "Miu Miu Women's Tales," which will be unveiled on the brand's website in the coming months.

Miuccia Prada, who designs both the Miu Miu and Prada lines, was early to the fashion film genre. And she's been behind at least one film that has artistic, not just commercial value. That would be "Trembled Blossoms," created around the spring/summer 2008 Prada collection. The CG-animated, fairy-in-the-Prada forest tale was directed by James Lima, with concept artwork by Los Angeles-based illustrator James Jean. And it is engaging (even the second and third time) in an acid-trippy kind of way.

Trembling 
Cassavetes' film for Miu Miu, on the other hand, isn't nearly so impressive. The action takes place at Claridge's Hotel in London in -- you guessed it -- a powder room.  And the players are model-actresses, which may be part of the problem.

Audrey Marnay enters, takes a mint, slides her finger across a glass table and crumples down onto a white sofa. Then, two mean girls come in. Marnay steals furtive glances at their fab Miu Miu shoes. They spritz perfume, powder their noses and take off. Marnay gathers herself, slides back into her own fab Miu Miu shoes (black glitter heels), and prepares to head back into the night. Reads like a commercial to me. MiuMiu_short_movie_ThePowderRoom_1

You can watch the film at www.miumiu.com and see interviews with Cassavetes and the cast, if you are so inclined, as well as behind-the-scenes footage. (There's lots of discussion about the powder room as sanctuary, etc. )

Studies have shown that several fashion films have increased the number of visits to designer websites. But are they attracting new eyeballs or just the people who are already fans? Maybe it doesn't matter.

Still, if the future is branded entertainment, let's make sure it's really entertaining.

-- Booth Moore  

Photos: Top and bottom images from the Zoe Cassavetes-directed short film "Powder Room." Courtesy of Miu Miu. Middle image from the James Lima-directed film "Trembled Blossoms." Courtesy of Prada.

Milan Fashion Week: Prada layers it on

Prada4
Sometimes Miuccia Prada can be a tough riddle to unravel when it comes to inspiration, but this season's  theme was as easy to see as the three-page show invitation printed on see-through plastic, the striated, stacked and meticulously sliced finger sandwiches served to arriving guests and the double-decker runway framed in wrought-iron fencing designed by architect Rem Koolhaas.

We're talking layers here, people. Not the jacket-over-sweater-over-shirt kind of layers -- although that was certainly part of it -- but layers of personality, mood and time.

One layer that was definitely present was what might be considered old-school Prada (or, if you want to add another layer, "Prada doing Prada") -- boxy black three-button jackets, some with high, short notch lapels, others with fold-down collars in various sizes, as well as austere-looking black polo shirts.

Prada photo gallery

Continue reading »

Milan Fashion Week: It's easy seeing green

Rage_green
The glam gals of the Golden Globes weren't the only ones in the green zone this week. The runways of Milan turned out to be chock full of verdant hues too -- solid shades of bottle, hunter and emerald green at labels like Salvatore Ferragamo, Moncler Gamme Bleu and Roberto Cavalli; smart green and purple tartans at Vivienne Westwood; and light-catching Lurex V-neck pullovers at Prada.

What's behind the oasis of greenery in the midst of the Fall and Winter 2011 collections? Maybe, as the economy finally turns a corner, it's the fashion community's subconscious yearning for an altogether different sort of green -- as in cash money.

-- Adam Tschorn in Milan, Italy

More coverage of Milan Fashion Week

Photos: Guys in green garb were on the runway at (from left) Prada, Vivienne Westwood Man, Salvatore Ferragamo and Moncler Gamme Bleu. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson & Peter Stigter / For the Los Angeles Times

 

 

Your morning fashion and beauty report: Astrological signs and Zodiac shift cause fashion problems. Oh, no!

Amarilyn
-- News Thursday that an astronomer contends that the Zodiac has shifted and that there is a 13th astrological sign has the blogosphere abuzz, but have you thought of the fashion implications? Let's say you have a Virgo T-shirt. Toss it. You might really be a Leo. The full gravity of this situation came to my attention over dinner last night when a companion suddenly realized the unthinkable implications. "Oh, no," she moaned. "I've got Scorpio tattooed on the back of my neck -- but now I'm a Libra." This is just one reason the rise of temporary tattoos, which I've mentioned before, is such a good thing -- you never know when what seems permanent (true love, the Zodiac) turns out not to be. [All the Rage] 

-- Maybe Marilyn Monroe is a better bet for permanance than the stars of the celestial variety mentioned above. She may have been dead for 48 years, but her image seems eternal, and we'll likely be seeing even more of her now. Authentic Brands Group LLC has acquired the intellectual property rights needed to use Marilyn on fragrances, jewelry, clothes and cosmetics. [WWD] (subscription required)

-- Flesh-and-blood stars have the same problems as the rest of us: "Modern Family's" Sofia Vergara, trying to find something to wear to Sunday's Golden Globes -- she's a nominee -- tweets from the dressing room: "Nothing fits meeee!" [People]

-- Fashion fans watching the Golden Globes red carpet arrivals on TV are probably a good target audience for the new Calvin Klein Collection ads, which are slated to debut then and continue airing throughout NBC's broadcast of the awards. Women's Wear Daily reports that Fabien Baron directed the commercial, which features Lara Stone and Tyson Ballou and was shot in La Jolla. The ad showcases the full collection, including clothes, clutches, belts, sunglasses and furniture. [WWD] 

-- This one is hard to picture: Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour rapping on Sean "P Diddy" Combs' new album, "Last Train to Paris." But she does, and she isn't the only one repping the fashion industry. The album, by Combs' new group Diddy Dirty Money, also features André Leon Talley, Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger, Isaac Mizrahi and Zac Posen. [Telegraph]

-- Trying to appeal to the next generation of shoppers, Wal-Mart is launching a beauty brand for tweens, GeoGirl. [WWD] (subscription required)

-- In another sign that fashion is global, Prada is opening new research and design offices in Paris and Hong Kong, marking the fashion house's first such outposts outside company headquarters in Milan. [WWD] (subscription required) 

Luxury e-tailer Bluefly has created an online fragrance boutique stocked with hundreds of upscale fragrances including Chanel, Hermes and Bulgari discounted 40%. [WWD] (subscription required)

-- Susan Denley

Photo: An eternal star, Marilyn Monroe. Credit: Milton H. Greene 

Prada gets personal

Pradabags 
If your Prada bag or trolley case has been looking a little blah lately, fear not, the Italian house has a new service to spruce up your accessories while giving them a personal touch.

Starting Jan. 15, Prada will offer a made-to-order lettering service exclusively online at prada.com0006  and in select Prada boutiques. Tote bags, backpacks and trolley cases in either saffiano leather or camo print can be emblazoned with colorful, varsity letter-style initials made from saffiano leather.

This is the first time Prada is offering such a service, especially with these fun, graphic letters. No doubt anyone who gets their initials splashed across their carry-on (Prada-style) will be the most chic person in the airport security line.

Prices are available upon request.

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photos: Prada bags with letters from the made-to-order lettering service/Prada

Your morning fashion and beauty report: 'Daring Diva' Rihanna, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Middleton among names on best-dressed lists

Arihanna

-- People magazine is looking back over the year and has picked its 10 most stylishly dressed celebs. Making the best-dressed list: Jennifer Aniston (dubbed the American Classic), Rihanna (the Daring Diva), Jessica Alba (the Mix Master), Lea Michele (the It Girl), Zoe Saldana (Red Carpet Queen), Gwen Stefani (Rocker Mom), Kate Middleton (Princess in Waiting), Rachel Bilson (Denim Darling), Olivia Palermo (Uptown Girl) and Diane Kruger (Runway Renegade). Cute categories, though Kate Middleton's says more about her state-of-being than fashion. What do you think? Are these ladies the right choices?  [People]

-- Across the pond, fashion watchers are reviewing British trendsetter Alexa Chung's best looks of the year. [Telegraph]

-- But Fashionista has gone all out, picking its 30 best dressed of the year. Yep, 30! (The list includes many of the ladies listed above.) It's been a very fashionable year, the editors say. [Fashionista]

Now back to the nitty-gritty: As the year wanes, lots of deals are being struck in the fashion world. 

-- The bankrupt denim purveyor Rock & Republic has been acquired  by VF Corp. for a reported $57 million.  [WWD] (subscription required)

-- Meanwhile Nordstrom has acquired a stake in children's retailer Peek...Aren't You Curious [WWD] and Chinese menswear powerhouse Trinity Ltd. has agreed to take over fashion house Cerruti. [WWD] (subscription required)

-- Everybody's diversifying. Designer Roberto Cavalli announced plans to open 15 clubs and five cafes in cities around the world [InStyle] while jeweler Boucheron has signed a fragrance licensing deal with Inter Parfums SA. [WWD] (subscription required)  

-- Prada announced plans to stage a fashion show in Beijing [WWD] and American Eagle is set to open stores in Japan [WWD], showing that the lure of markets in the East is growing ever more powerful. 

-- Susan Denley

Photo: 'Daring Diva' Rihanna looked every inch the part at this year's American Music Awards.  Credit: Mike Nelson / EPA

Your morning fashion and beauty report: Keith Richards looks the part at book party, Angelina Jolie looks the part at premiere, 'Black Swan' reminds us of other ballet looks

Blackswan
-- Keith Richards looked like the aging rock god he is at a party thrown by Louis Vuitton at the Gramercy Park Hotel in honor of his autobiography, "Life." There was the eyeliner, the bandana holding back the graying mane and the skull-bedecked scarf tossed around his neck. His wife, former model Patti Hansen, says she still hasn't read the book all the way through, because after 30 years of marriage, "you kind of figure you know the story." [WWD]

-- Angelina Jolie looked radiant at Monday night's New York premiere of her new film, "The Tourist," dressed in a long-sleeve white gown, slit almost to the hip, from Atelier Versace. Brad Pitt looked decidedly more casual in a sweater, scarf and the stubble that seems to be mandatory for male stars. [People]

-- In honor of the ballet film "Black Swan" (pictured above), Fashionista has posted its top 10 picks for best ballet-inspired fashion pictorials. Work from mags including Vogue, Elle, Harper's Bazaar and InStyle is included and a couple feature stars, such as Julianne Moore channeling a Degas ballerina in Harper's in May 2008 and Zoe Saldana en pointe in InStyle in April 2008.

-- Prada's Miuccia Prada boosted her art-world credentials on Monday night when she presented the award to the winner of the 2010 Turner Prize at the Tate Britain in London. The fashion designer is a collector of contemporary art. [Telegraph] 

-- Lauren Luke, one of YouTube's best known beauty advisors, has a book and a cosmetics line under her belt. Now she's about to launch an ap for iPads, iPods and iPhones. [BellaSugar]

-- Stocking stuffer idea, via StyleSectionLa: a cute pair of fingerless gloves. They seem to be, er, All the Rage. Why? Because you can wear them while texting, of course!

-- Susan Denley

Photo: "Black Swan" director Darren Aronofsky on the set with star Natalie Portman. Credit: Niko Tavernise / Fox Searchlight

Prada launches a collection of customizable sunglasses

Lettering prada privateTapping into our current fascination with all things personalized (thanks, Facebook), Prada will launch a collection of sunglasses exclusively at The Sunglass Hut on Thursday that enables wearers to customize the letters and symbols on the temple of their frames.

The collection, called PradaPrivate, features chic, oversized plastic frames in black, white and tortoiseshell ($365 each) that come with 45 letters, numbers and symbols (a heart, a skull and a star, chiefly) that are interchangeable.

Each sunglass arm has a tiny removable section that screws on and off, allowing the letters, symbols and numbers to be screwed on in any configuration.

So you can sport your initials one day, and "E+J" the next. Because shouldn't your sunnies — at the very least — be all about you?

-- Emili Vesilind

Photo: PradaPrivate's interchangeable temple pieces. Credit: Prada.

 

Prada opens a salon-like store at the Beverly Center

Prada Los Angeles Beverly Center int 1

Prada has opened a store in Los Angeles at the Beverly Center — its first at an L.A. mall (the brand has an imposing, Rem Koolhaas-designed location on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills). 

The 2,422-square-foot space, designed by architect Roberto Baciocchi, stocks the label's ready-to-wear, bags, accessories and footwear collections for women and men.

Prada Los Angeles Beverly Center int 3The shop's layout is a series of polygonal spaces — one for each collection — separated by floor-to-ceiling mirrors.

Both the men's and women's sections feature glass display cases and couches upholstered in velvet — in a lilac color for women and a wheat hue for men. The boutique's somber facade is covered in veined black marble, framing a large entrance and curvilinear display windows.

Although the trend in designer stores has been to design boutiques that resemble residences, there's nothing homey about Prada's mirrored facades and formal furnishings.

And that's a good thing. It's more old-school atelier than crash pad. 

--Emili Vesilind

Photos: Prada's new Beverly Center store. Credit: Prada

Your morning fashion and beauty report: Looks are both beautiful and funky at Latin Grammys. Jason Wu turns his hand to wedding dresses.

Apaloma
Camila, a soft Mexican rock band, won for song and record of the year for "Mientes" on Thursday at the Latin Grammys -- which took place at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas -- as our colleague Reed Johnson reports. But Alex Cuba may have been among the most interestingly dressed (which, or course, is our main concern here at All the Rage). Cuba, who won for best artist, sported silver high-top sneakers, a purple leather tie, white blazer and jeans and a glittery belt buckle. It was the tie that really turned our heads. There were plenty of beautiful looks on the red carpet, such as singer Paloma Michelle, above, in a sweep of scarlet. [LAT] 

Reed Krakoff's first fragrance will be in keeping with his modernist style and the upscale position of the brand. We're talking hand-crafted Murano glass bottles and rare French hyacinth absolute in the scent.  [WWD] (Subscription required.) 

Meanwhile, to mark the 150th anniversary of it founder's birth, Lalique is pulling out all the stops with its new Fleur di Cristal scent. It contains top notes of bergamot from Calabria, pink peppercorn and jasmine sambac. [WWD]  (Subscription required.)

You like chocolate? You like fashion? We give you the Chocolate Fashion Show, held in New York this week, where the clothes on the runway were made out of...chocolate! [StyleList] 

Actress Eva Mendes is ahead of the crowd. She was recently spotted wearing one of Prada's carnival-themed dresses from the atelier's collection for next spring -- possibly the first time the dress has been seen off the runway. And she looked adorable. [Telegraph]

Designer Jason Wu is coming out with a capsule collection of five wedding dresses for Net-a-Porter. [StyleSectionLA]

That's all for now, but come back for more! Later Friday on All the Rage we'll tell you about weekend shopping, the latest on the controversial Brazilian Blowout hair straightening treatment and take you to a get-together of Hello, Kitty fanatics!

--Susan Denley

Photo: Paloma Michelle at the Latin Grammys. Credit: AFP/Getty


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