Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

Category: Vera Wang

Fashion News: Kristin Chenoweth grabs eyes at American Country Awards

Kristin Chenoweth dressed to get attention at Monday's American Country AwardsKristin Chenoweth dressed to get attention at Monday's American Country Awards, held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Onstage in one bit she performed as co-host, she wore jeans with a grotesquely padded rear end. But her red-carpet dress from the fall 2011 HONOR collection was pretty eye-grabbing too, leading me to the question: How low cut is too low cut? [Celebuzz]

Do you ever look at photos of models -- lingerie models, especially -- and think real women don't look like that? If you look at H&M's holiday lingerie ads, you'd be right to think that way. It seems that the ads use computer-generated bodies (with photos of real women's heads attached through digital magic). [The Cut]

Julia Restoin-Roitfeld has designed a lingerie collection for Kiki de Montparnesse that will be available for sale online and in boutiques starting Dec. 14. [The Cut] 

Some items from the final clothing collection that singer Amy Winehouse designed for Fred Perry were released for sale on Tuesday to coincide with the release of her final album, "Lioness: Hidden Treasures." Proceeds will go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation. [Telegraph]

Does the music piped into stores annoy you? Gap is trying something different, teaming with streaming music start-up Roqbot in an experiment that allows customers to use their Androids or iPhones to decide what music to play. The experiment is going on at a Gap store in San Francisco. [Rolling Stone] 

Michael Kors announced its initial public offering last week, as I mentioned Monday, and now Kors' business partners, Silas Chou and Lawrence Stroll, are said to be eyeing Vera Wang as a potential business to invest in. [WWD] (Subscription required.)

Wang, by the way, designed the blue gown Michelle Obama wore to the Kennedy Center Honors on Sunday night. [Los Angeles Times]

Model Lauren Scruggs, who runs the fashion blog LOLO and who had worked in wardrobe on "Gossip Girl," was severely injured when she accidentally walked into a small plane's spinning propeller at an airport in Texas on Saturday. [People]


Paul Smith "Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy" prints benefit amFAR

Brand identity: Christopher Bailey's job is to guide Burberry to a fashion-forward future

-- Susan Denley

Photo: Kristin Chenoweth at the American Country Awards on Monday. Credit: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Poll: Which living face of fashion belongs on a U.S. stamp?

Are Ralph DVF and Tom Ford Stamp Worthy
On the way into the office this morning, I heard NPR mention that the U.S. Postal Service is waiving its requirement that someone be dead for five years before appearing on its postage stamps, and is asking the public for suggestions.

My brain was in overdrive the rest of the commute. Surely there's some living, breathing person from the world of fashion and style who deserves to be so honored, right? Even if you disagree on that point, there's got to be someone who'd at least spur the sales of stamps (which, with the money problems the U.S. Postal Service is having, is more to the point.)

By the time I made it to my desk, I had the following short list:

Ralph Lauren (really, who epitomizes the American dream better?)

Marc Jacobs (once delivered late, your mail now arrives precisely on time)

Diane von Furstenberg (this stamp would be designed to wrap around the letter)

Vera Wang (probably a go-to for mailing out those wedding invitations)

Tom Ford (the stamp could have its own five-o'clock shadow)

Although I briefly considered tattoo artist/clothing line inspiration Don Ed Hardy, I left him off the list since the stamps might end up leaving a bad taste in your mouth. Who deserves your stamp of style approval? Vote on one of the five or post your own choice in the comments section.


New York Fashion Week: Marc Jacobs

New York Fashion Week: Ralph Lauren

New York Fashion Week: Diane von Furstenberg

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: From left, American fashion designers Ralph Lauren (Credit: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images), Diane von Furstenberg (Credit: Karl Walter/Getty Images for DVF) and Tom Ford (Credit: Mikhail Metzel/AP Photo)

Wedding throwdown: Kim Kardashian vs. the royal wedding


The Kardashian family could be considered America's own form of reality television royalty. Kim Kardashian first popped onto our radar as a socialite and the girl in that, ahem, steamy video, but it wasn't long before she and her family built an empire. Sure they don't actually have any royal privileges of any kind, but when it comes to throwing a wedding, or any sort of lavish affair, Kim is sure to get the royal treatment.

Kardashian married basketball star Kris Humphries on Saturday in Montecito in a wedding spectacle that by all accounts rivaled the royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton earlier this year. Both high-profile couples went all out for their big days, but who did it better? It's time for a good old wedding throwdown.

The gown:

Kate Middleton walked down the aisle in a Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen white silk gown with detailed Chantilly lace sleeves. This was a big moment for the Alexander McQueen line and its designer, as noted by our own Booth Moore. For the reception, Kate donned an ivory gown with diamante waist embellishment, also by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.

Kim Kardashian wore three custom gowns by Vera Wang. The exact order is at the moment unclear but Us magazine reports that the first was an ivory ball gown that featured a full tulle skirt, basque waist and a bodice and train covered in hand-pieced Chantilly lace applique. The second was an ivory georgette mermaid gown with hand-pieced Chantilly lace applique on the bodice and a skirt with hand cut-organza petals and Chantilly lace motifs. For her final gown, Kim wore a bias-cut crepe back ivory satin gown with circle skirt and V-neck.

The jewels:

Kate Middleton sparkled in Queen Elizabeth II's jewels. She borrowed a 1936 Cartier tiara from the monarch for her big day.

Kardashian wore more than $10 million of exclusive Lorraine Schwartz jewels, including a diamond-encrusted headpiece. Kim and Kris also exhanged Lorraine Schwartz wedding bands.

The coverage:

The entire world got to watch the royal couple wed, with live feeds from major networks and a multitude of specials.

Kris and Kim decided to give their wedding top-secret status -- and to make money from it. The couple sold the rights to their wedding footage to E!, which produces Kim's show "Keeping Up With The Kardashians." Fans will have to wait until October (gasp!) to watch Kim and Kris walk down the aisle. 

Major dough:

Usually when a couple gets married it involves major splurging. CBS' reported that when Kate and Will got hitched, it cost the royal family an estimated $34 million, and that was after some serious budgeting.

It's no surprise that Kim has turned her star power into profit with her clothing store, clothing line and perfume line, but who would have thought she'd find a way to make money off her own wedding? According to, Kim not only scored major wedding freebies, but also made some serious cash. She held the wedding at Google exec Eric Schmidt's house, received nearly a half a million dollars of free bubbly from Perrier-Jouet Champagne and wore a comped $20,000 Vera Wang wedding dress. 

Here is a breakdown by the New York Post of Kardashian's estimated $17.9-million profit:

-- Two-part TV special: $15 million.
-- Sale of wedding photos to People: $2.5 million.
-- Sale of rights to engagement announcement to People: $300,000.
-- Sale of rights of bridal-shower photos to OK!: $100,000.
-- Paid to have the bachelorette party at Tao Las Vegas : $50,000.

The guest list:

Europe's royal elite, as well as celebrities such as David and Victoria Beckham and Elton John, joined a guest list of about 1,900 for the royal wedding, the Independent reported.

Serena Williams, Eva Longoria and Lindsay Lohan were among the 450 guests who attended the Kardashian-Humphries wedding, USA Today reported.

Who do you think did it better? Comment and let us know.

-- Jenn Harris


Royal Wedding coverage

Royal dress: Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen

Fashion News: Kim Kardashian wed. Marc Jacobs to Dior?

Photos: Kris Humphries and his fiancée Kim Kardashian in Los Angeles this month, left; Prince William and Kate Middleton after announcing their engagement. Credits: Matt Sayles / Associated Press; Kirsty Wigglesworth / Associated Press

Fashion News: Kate Moss, John Galliano and a lovely gown

Jamie Hince and Kate Moss 
Kate Moss' recent wedding makes up a spread in Vogue's September issue, which includes details about how her beautiful gown came to be. Her inspiration was the Great Gatsby, her designer (as we know) John Galliano. The two discussed ideas over the phone, then met  with "bags full of bits, and pulled tulle and sequins and veils and flowers out," Moss said. "And then we just kind of pinned things together, like the old days, you know?" [Vogue]

Meanwhile, Galliano calls designing the dress "creative rehab," after his firing by Dior in the midst of a scandal over allegations that he made anti-Semitic comments. [Vogue]

London label Issa -- a favorite of the Duchess of Cambridge -- is looking for someone to design a new print for its upcoming collection, a new model for the runway, and an intern. Those who have what it takes can apply at, a website launched to help newcomers get into the fashion business. [Telegraph]

Speaking of the Duchess -- as if she weren't thin enough (and photos of her seem to always send commenters into spasms of concern over whether she has an eating disorder) -- the magazine Grazia admits to photoshopping her waist to waspish proportions on its May 9 cover shot of her walk down the aisle. [The Cut]

Chanel is issuing a new version of the classic 1970s scent No. 19. Originally named in honor of Coco Chanel's Aug. 19 birthday, the new Chanel No. 19 Poudre retains the lightness of the original while adding crisp green notes and iris. [Racked] 

Accessories maker Botkier reportedly intends to send Sears a cease-and-desist letter contending that a handbag in the new Kardashian Kollection that debuted this week is a rip-off of the Trigger Clyde bag from Botkier's 2009 collection. [Fashionista]


Kate Moss marries Jamie Hince

Lady Gaga, Rihanna help sell Vogue

Dressing Southern belles, maids for "The Help"

-- Susan Denley

Photo: Jamie Hince and Kate Moss on their wedding day, with Moss' daughter Lila. Credit: Jonathan Short / Associated Press

Your Morning Fashion & Beauty Report: Creator of Kate Middleton's see-through dress launches collection. Leighton Meester stars for Vera Wang. And Karl Lagerfield dives into chocolate.

I swore I wasn't going to write a word about the royal wedding, especially after Booth Moore's great coverage of the wedding fashion here at All the Rage early -- really early! -- Friday morning. But then this marginally related tidbit caught my eye: Charlotte Todd, who created the see-through dress that reportedly got Prince William's attention when it was modeled by Kate Middleton back when they were in school, launched her own design firm on the eve of the wedding. The 12-piece collection includes a tube dress similar to the one Kate modeled. Of course. [Telegraph]

There have actually been some other weddings lately, btw. LeAnn Rimes marrying Eddie Cibrian in a Malibu backyard, for instance. Rimes wore a handmade Reem Acra gown featuring all-over pearls in a range of sizes and white paillettes on nude silk chiffon. She accessorized with snakeskin shoes. [People]

Ameester "Gossip Girl's" Leighton Meester introduced Vera Wang's latest fragrance, Lovestruck, to a standing-room-only crowd at the designer's Manhattan apartment this week. Meester will appear in ads for the fragrance,  which is being released in the U.K in June and the U.S. in August. [WWD] 

Photo gallery: The royal wedding

The multitasking Karl Lagerfeld's latest endeavor? He created a hotel suite at La Réserve in Paris constructed entirely of chocolate, complete with a life-sized likeness of model Baptiste Giabiconi lounging on a quilted white bedspread edged in delicate broderie anglaise. Master chocolate-maker Patrick Roger reportedly used 1.5 tons of chocolate for everything, right down to the carpet and the books on the bedside table. Why? Publicity for ice cream brand Magnum. [WWD]

The American Apparel and Footwear Assn.'s Image Awards, held Wednesday in New York, raised $1.1 million for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Among the honorees: Ruben Toledo won the Fashion Maverick Award; David Koch, the Humanitarian Award; William Rast was named brand of the year; Ugg Australia, footwear brand of the year; and Neiman Marcus, retailer of the year. Mark Weber, chief exec of LVMH Inc. and chairman of Donna Karan International, took home man of the year honors. [WWD]   

Was it just a few days ago that a huge hubbub blew up when the J. Crew catalog featured a photo of creative director Jenna Lyons painting her young son's toenails in what many thought was a sweet moment of mother-son play and others thought was a sign of the end of civilization? Now designer Isaac Mizrahi confesses: He always paints his toenails, he said at a fundraiser for Good Shepherd Services, a children's charity he's involved with. Let's see, he is a successful, creative person who mentors disadvantaged children -- despite having painted nails. [The Cut]    

Walgreen's plans to update its stodgy beauty aisles with a slick, more modern offering. [WWD] (subscription required.) 

-- Susan Denley


Royal Wedding: Something borrowed

Royal Wedding Dress: Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen

Royal Wedding: Mothers and stepmothers play it safe

Royal Wedding: Samantha Cameron's body-con look

Royal Wedding: Doors open and the Beckhams are in the (Westminster Abbey) house

Royal Wedding: Will queen's sunshine yellow be next Pantone color of season?

Photos: a royal wedding

Interactive: Your guide to the royal wedding

Photo: Leighton Meester, who stars in ads for Vera Wang's new fragrance. Credit: Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

Your morning fashion and beauty report: Pundits wonder if Kate Middleton will wear a tiara on her wedding day.

Adiana This is the week of the much-anticipated royal wedding in Britain, and the drumbeat of speculation has reached a fever pitch. Besides all the rumors over the identify of the designer of the bridal gown, now there's talk of tiaras: Will Kate Middleton wear one or not? Will it be the Russian Fringe, the diamond tiara worn by the queen, the queen mother, Queen Mary and the Princess Royal? Will it be the Spencer family tiara worn by Princess Diana (above)? Or will the queen give Kate a tiara as a wedding gift, as she did her other daughters-in-law? I guess we'll just have to wait till the big day Friday to find out. [Telegraph]

No one knows yet who designed Kate's dress, but Isaac Mizrahi has advice for whomever it is. Having designed "millions of wedding dresses," he says he can empathize. "It's so stressful, because you always think something's going to fall off right in the middle of the most important day of [the bride's] life," he says. The solution? Tranquilizers. [Cut] 

Speaking of weddings, no one knows how to dress a bride like Vera Wang, so when she gives her 10 top tips for getting through the big day beautifully, I pay attention. Among them, always step into your gown. Do not -- repeat do not -- pull it on over your head. Why? By the time you are putting on the gown, your makeup has been done and you really can't risk a lipstick smear on your dress. [WWD]

For a wedding closer to home, "Grey's Anatomy" is planning one, to air May 5. Followers of the crew at Seattle Grace know that weddings on the show can be fraught with angst -- remember Burke leaving Cristina at the altar? Meredith and Derek's postponements? Izzie flatlining after marrying Karev?  This time, no matter how it turns out, we will at least get to see two wedding gowns, because the couple in question are Callie and Arizona. [BuzzSugar]   

The trend of lingerie this fall? Sweet, girly ruffles are back. [WWD]

Interior design firm Tony Duquette Inc. is suing J. Crew over the use of a leopard print. [WWD] (Subscription required)

Macy's is taking several steps toward being more eco-conscious this year, including rolling out hangers made of recycled material. [WWD] (Subscription required)

-- Susan Denley

Photo: Prince Charles and Princess Diana, wearing her tiara, on their wedding day in 1981. Credit: Associated Press 


Your Morning Fashion and Beauty Report: Dukan diet might be helping Kate Middleton lose weight before the big day and Miranda Kerr is already back in bikini shape

Akate -- The Dukan diet, popular in France and with celebrities reportedly including Gisele Bundchen, Jennifer Lopez and, possibly, Kate Middleton (OK, the latter is just speculation on some people's parts because her mother is on it, but it seems as plausible as a lot of other wedding speculation), is due to hit the U.S. with the publication next week of "The Dukan Diet," by Dr. Pierre Dukan, a French physician. How does it work? Kind of similar to Atkins, heavy on protein, restrictive with carbs. But hey, this is a French diet, so it does allow a little wine. Sign me up. (But I think Kate looks perfectly fine without dieting.) [FitSugar] [The Star]

-- Some things just aren't fair: Model Miranda Kerr had a baby in January (with husband Orlando Bloom), and this week she was snapped posing in a bikini in Malibu for a Victoria's Secret campaign. [StyleList]

-- Taking a different tack, curvaceous TV chef Nigella Lawson hit the beach in Sydney, Australia, wearing a burkini ... kind of a hooded jumpsuit made for swimming and usually worn by Islamic women to protect their modesty. Lawson wore it to protect her creamy complexion. But I have to say it would be useful for any celebrity trying to avoid paparazzi bikini shots. [Telegraph] 

-- Work by renowned fashion illustrator Rene Gruau, who died in 2004, is going up for auction at Christie's in London. [Telegraph]

-- Chloe Malle, the 25-year-old daughter of Candice Bergen and the late director Louis Malle, has been named social editor at Vogue. [WWD]

-- "Hussein Chalayan by Hussein Chalayan," a book that delves into the work of the experimental British fashion designer, is due to be published in July by Rizzoli. Chalayan's work has made a splash in the worlds of fashion and art and has been the subject exhibitions in museums and galleries around the world, including five solo shows in London, the Netherlands, Tokyo, Istanbul and Paris. He has been named British Designer of the Year twice. And he is only 46. [Telegraph] 

-- Cynthia Steffe is expanding its new Seamline Cynthia Steffe collection of contemporary dresses for fall. Seamline is priced below the main Steffe line. [WWD] (subscription required)

Wedding roundup:

-- Vera Wang has unveiled her new bridesmaids' line for David's Bridal, which will ship to stores in late June. [WWD] (subscription required)

-- Priscilla of Boston is adding a new line by Marchesa, Eterna by Marchesa, starting this fall. [WWD] (subscription required) 

-- Los Angeles has some gorgeous places to take wedding photos, and PopSugar suggests several including the Disney Concert Hall, the Venice Canals, Echo Park Lake and others. [PopSugar L.A.]

-- Susan Denley

 Photo: Kate Middleton, whose mum is on the Dukan diet. Is she? Credit: Indigo / Getty Images 

Your morning fashion and beauty report: Kanye West gets into scarves, Reese Witherspoon wears pink, American Apparel launches denim line

Akanye Rapper Kanye West, a dabbler in fashion who recently completed a design internship at Fendi, is launching a collection of scarves incorporating artwork inspired by his album "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy." The limited-edition pieces will be sold exclusively at the Colette boutique in Paris and online at M/M (Paris). [Telegraph] 

Splendid, known for its soft basic wardrobe pieces for men, women and children, is coming soon to the Grove in Los Angeles. Look for a summer opening. [Mondette]

Splendid's expansion is good news, especially because the retail scene in L.A. seems to have been especially hard hit in the past year or two with a number of boutiques (including Fred Segal Fun, Tracey Ross and Petro Zillia) closing up shop. [PopSugar LA]

When Reese Witherspoon married Jim Toth recently she really was a blushing bride: She wore a custom-designed Monique Lhuillier blush-hued gown with a Chantilly lace corset bodice and full tulle A-line skirt. A nontraditional choice but she did look pretty in pink. [People] 

Former French Vogue editor in chief Carine Roitfeld, already on board to be guest editor and stylist at Barneys New York this fall, was tapped by Karl Lagerfeld to style Chanel's fall-winter ad campaign as well. [WWD]

American Apparel, in the news much of the time lately for bad stuff (financial problems, sexual harassment claims, as my colleague Andrea Chang has reported), hopes to have some good news, as its new denim line hits stores Tuesday. [Fashionista]

Aerin Lauder, a senior executive and high-profile face for Estée Lauder, plans to launch her own brand as well. [WWD] (Subscription required)  

Vera Wang is bringing back her Lavender label after a yearlong hiatus as a capsule dress collection at Neiman Marcus. [WWD] (Subscription required)   

The business and romantic relationship of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé is explored in the documentary "L'Amour Feu" (Crazy Love), screening later this month at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. For fashion fans this is a must-see.  [StyleList] 

And what would a fashion and beauty news roundup be without something about Kim Kardashian? She's appearing on the May cover of British Cosmopolitan's "body issue," clad in a yellow bikini and talking about cellulite -- not that it looks like she has any! [Daily Mail] 

-- Susan Denley

Photo: Rapper Kanye West, who is offering a collection of scarves based on his album. Credit: Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

Your morning fashion and beauty report: Lady Gaga starts a column for V, Britney Spears wears Dolce & Gabbana and Dior holds off on replacing Galliano

Agaga Lady Gaga, columnist: Starting with the issue that hits newsstands May 12, she's to write a regular column for V magazine. [WWD] (Subscription required.)

British "It" girl Alexa Chung is modeling for Italian footwear brand Superga, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. She styled the shoot, too. [Telegraph]

Dolce & Gabbana is on a roll with pop stars. Britney Spears wears several items by the designers in publicity photos for her new album, including a sweet polka dot body suit. Last week, Kylie Minogue saw them for a fitting. [Telegraph]

I've been on the edge of my seat waiting to see who will replace John Galliano as creative director at Dior. But for a number of reasons -- legal difficulties dissolving the disgraced designer's contract, parent company LVMH's takeover of Bulgari, concerns about maintaining the viability of the latest Galliano-designed collection -- a choice is unlikely before fall, sources tell Elle

A big oops for Levi's. The jeans purveyor has agreed to pay more than $1 million in back wages to 596 employees for wage and hour violations. [WWD] (Subscription required.)  

Michelle Kessler Sanders has been tapped to be the first creative director for the burgeoning Vera Wang Group. Like the designer herself, Sanders has had experience both in retail (Donna Karan, Juicy Couture) and editorial (Vogue and most recently the New York Times' T magazine.) [Cut]

Kari Sigerson and Miranda Morrison quit their design jobs at their shoe brand, Sigerson Morrison, on March 15, 20 years after thay founded it. The label's parent company, Marc Fisher Footwear, is planning an overhaul of the business. [Cut]

Longchamp's opened its biggest store in Asia with a celebrity-studded party in Hong Kong. [WWD]

 -- Susan Denley

Photo: Lady Gaga, singer and ... columnist? Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times


New York Fashion Week: Vera Wang plays one note


Vera Wang wrote in her show notes that she was inspired by stylish American women such as Lady Emerald Cunard and Wallis Simpson, who mixed with English aristocracy in the 1930s. Their free-spiritedness was probably what she had in mind when she paired technical outerwear with delicate, 1930s-inspired pleated chiffon dresses.

But that seemed to be the extent of this one-note collection. There were fur-trimmed satin parkas, faille sleeveless coats and vests, and a dozen variations on the same chiffon multi-pleated and tucked dress (which requires a rail-thin physique to pull off), done in different lengths and different shades of drab taupe, black, gray and mustard.


OK, so maybe there were a few skirts -- but they looked just like the dresses with the tops chopped off.

This isn't the first time Wang has done endless permutations of the same idea. Maybe it's the curse of designing bridal wear for so long that has made it difficult for her to think outside the box.

-- Booth Moore in New York

Photos: Looks from the Vera Wang Fall-Winter 2011 runway collection shown during New York Fashion Week. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson and Peter Stigter / For The Times.


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