Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

Category: St. John

Fashion News: Vera Wang designs Kim Kardashian's wedding gown

Kris Humphries, left, with fiance Kim Kardashian -- Vera Wang is designing Kim Kardashian's wedding gown. “Vera has been a close family friend for a long time and we had talked about this moment for years,” Kardashian wrote on her blog Monday. Her wedding to basketball player Kris Humphries is planned for Aug. 20. Wang also designed the gown for Kim's sister Khloe when she wed the Lakers' Lamar Odom. [People]

-- Cast members of "Glee" will reportedly make appearances in L.A. and New York Sept. 8 as part of Fashion's Night Out, the shopping and fashion spectacular launched by Vogue a few years back to stimulate industry sales. [New York Post]

-- Nicola Formichetti, the designer behind many of Lady Gaga's memorable looks and creative director for Mugler, plans to launch his own line, with a sneak preview in a pop-up shop during New York Fashion Week in September. [Telegraph]

-- Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen launched a redesigned website on Monday. It includes behind-the-scenes features and improved shopping. [WWD]

-- Rihanna got in the spirit Monday, wearing a red and gold bikini costume and feathered headdress in a festive Kadooment Day parade in her native Barbados. [People]

-- Ralph Toledano, former chairman and chief executive officer of Chloé International, has been named chairman of the board at St. John, the Irvine, Calif.-based maker of classic knitwear for women. The brand has struggled to appeal to younger buyers, in recent years trying a parade of celebrities in its advertising, including Gisele Bundchen, Angelina Jolie and Karen Elson. [WWD] (subscription required)  

-- Kelly Rowland is the face of Empress, a new women's scent from P.Diddy. [The Cut]

--Susan Denley

Photo: Kim Kardashian, right, with fiance Kris Humphries says Vera Wang is designing her wedding gown. Credit: Mark Thompson / Getty Images


Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries' wedding registry

For celebrities, the sweet, flowery or fruity smell of success

Helen Mirren, David Beckham are 'Bodies of the Year'

Your Morning Fashion and Beauty Report: At Cannes, Rachel McAdams does sultry while Tilda Swinton does subdued, and Kate Winslet is the new face of St. John


Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn, the stylists behind the super-revealing, firecracker-red lace dress that Rachel McAdams donned in Cannes, talk about dressing celebs for the red carpet and the impact J Lo (another one of their A-list clients) has on fashion. WWD

The dress code at the Cannes Film Festival may be "less is more," but it's nice to see a star sport something a little more subdued and still look amazing. Tilda Swinton might be one of few actresses that can wear a silky button-down blouse at the skin, I mean, film fest. She looked great in a billowy white blouse tucked into the waistband of a simple black pencil skirt. The ensemble echoed the Jil Sander look she wore to this year's Golden Globes. StyleList

New moms such as Miranda Kerr and Penelope Cruz have shed their baby weight in what seems like no time at all. Cruz, who was pregnant while filming "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," talks about how she lost her post-baby weight, and of course, it seems just way too easy. Us Weekly

Kate Winslet is joining the likes of Angelina Jolie and Karen Elson as the new face of Orange County-based brand St. John for its fall 2011 ad campaign. Winslet is on a roll: She is currently the face of Lancome and an "ambassador of elegance" to Swiss watch label Longine. Telegraph

Emma Watson, who like Winslet is a British beauty and face of Lancome (Watson for its scent Tresor Midnight Rose), wants to add an eco-friendly cosmetic component to the brand. Can this Ivy League-educated ingenue get the almost-80-year-old cosmetic label to go green? Fashionista

Burberry had a bash to celebrate its new Convent Garden store, which attracted beauties and brand loyals such as Lily Donaldson and Julia Restoin Roitfeld. WWD

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photo: Rachel McAdams wearing a Marchesa gown at the Cannes Film Festival. Credit: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images


St. John to open concept store on Melrose Place

St. John, the Irvine-based luxury brand, is opening a concept store on Melrose Place on Monday. The gallery-like space will feature St. John clothing as curated by the brand's creative director George Sharp, who has infused new life into the brand during his two years in the post.

I'm touring the space Friday and am interested to see what Sharp has chosen. Although St. John has enjoyed financial success, it has never been embraced by the fashion elite -- stylists, editors and the like. That's largely an image problem. Because despite having a broad range of styles, St. John is still associated with matchy-matchy suits. Department store buyers seem to reinforce that image by stocking their selling floors with the most conservative styles.  

The new concept store is open through March to coincide with awards show season, and it should be a chance for Sharp to show us what St. John is really made of. I'll report back after I've seen it.

St. John Concept Space opens Monday at 8459 Melrose Place.

--Booth Moore


St. John honored by the government for being awesome to its military employees

St. john Irvine-based apparel brand St. John-- which recently traded Angelina Jolie for Karen Elson, right, as the face of the brand -- was honored Thursday morning by the California Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an agency of the Department of Defense.

During a ceremony at the company's largest sewing facility in Irvine, the brand was presented with the "Above and Beyond Award," the "Seven Seals Award" and the "Patriot Award" in recognition of "extraordinary support of its employees who serve in the California National Guard and Reserve."

How did a clothing company come to earn such accolades? National Guard serviceman Magul Ahmath, who's a clerk in St. John's finance department, nominated the brand. He was deployed to Iraq for a year, starting in August 2008, and kept in close contact with the office while serving overseas.

Ahmath's supervisor, Sally Reese -- who received the "Patriot Award" and the "Seven Seals Award" -- "came up with the idea to organize care packages for Magul and his unit in Iraq," said Dan Burke, executive vice president of administration at St. John, who accepted the "Above and Beyond Award" for the company. "The idea really caught on in our company – a number of departments took turns putting together care packages with food and candy and small gift items, along with provisions that are hard to get in Iraq like socks and shaving kits."

The packages, which were sent biweekly, also included hand-written notes from employees. And Reese often took personal messages from Ahmath to pass on to his wife on the rare occasion he was able to call the U.S. but could not reach her. But, perhaps most magnanimous of all the company's niceties was the fact that St. John held Ahmath's job for his return.

Burke said the honors came as a huge surprise to the company, but that the ceremony was action-packed. "We had the color guard from the National Guard and the All-American Boy’s Chorus sang the 'National Anthem,' " he said. "It was tremendous."

-- Emili Vesilind


St. John ads get rid of a (Kelly) Gray

St John deserves a look

St. John and its faithful

Photo: Model Karen Elson in St. John. Photo credit: St. John


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


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