Kylie Minogue is continuing to follow in Madonna's footsteps, this time by launching her own collection at H&M, as the Material Girl did two months ago. As you know if you've passed through Soho lately, Minogue will have you covered this summer, with a small, fifteen-piece beachwear collection. It debuted today, and we visited the Fifth Avenue flagship for a peek. The line is done in sea colors — aquamarine, turquoise, sea foam, silver, white — and breezy cotton and rayon. The clear hits will be the embroidered tunic dresses, in white and aqua, and the metallic bikinis and one-pieces with sexy, dipping necklines. Of course, in typical Minogue form, there’s a splash of camp: silver turbans and mini-skirts so tiny they leave little to the imagination. Even better, you can feel good about your purchases; 10 percent of the proceeds will go to WaterAid projects in Africa. —Kendall HerbstEarlier:Madonna Excitement at H&M? It's Like a Prayer
What could be better than fashion and food? Yesterday we rushed to Vanderbilt Hall to catch Tim Gunn hosting the Wish-Bone Salad Show. Designers Richie Rich and Traver Rain compared the experience to summer camp, and the models looked bewildered. "There's some lettuce going on there. Or maybe some other vegetables," the Asian Salad said vaguely. Backstage, one model sported onion shorts while another counted the string beans on her dress. Gunn said he preferred to accessorize with food, but our favorite model embraced the whole aesthetic: "I am the carpaccio salad."
Wish-Bone Salad Fashion Show by Heatherette [NYM]
Couture doll maker Beatrice Alexander Behrman is long gone, but her cheeky spirit lives on at her Harlem doll factory, Madame Alexander. We were recently notified of additions to the company's collection of so-called fashion-editor dolls, pictured above, which prompted us to check in with some real-life fashion editors for a reality check. After the jump, Linda Wells, editor-in-chief of Allure, Eva Hughes, editor-in-chief of Vogue Latin America, and Cleo Glyde, style director of Marie Claire present their reviews.
Zac Posen, clad in a white tuxedo, gabbed with the ladies at Bergdorf Goodman today. After a luncheon to celebrate his new beauty product, the Front Row Facial, Posen dropped down to the third floor to show off his new and hugely celebrated fall collection. His latest designs have a newfound touch of sophistication from joyful outbursts of color, like neon-green cocktail dresses, to architecturally inspired pieces, like Gwyneth Paltrow's Oscar gown (pictured), Posen has made an aesthetic advance. We aren't the only ones taking notice. Actress Lucy Liu, Posen's date to last week's Met Gala, "really loves" the collection, Posen admits. So how did the two meet up? "We dressed her for Vanity Fair, you know. And I sort of met her through that and really liked her." "She's a powerful, intelligent woman," he adds. Considering the crowd at the trunk show today, Liu isn't the only smart girl placing orders. Kendall Herbst
A special exhibit of clothing by self-crowned "King of Fashion" Paul Poiret just opened at the Met, and our cameras took a tour. In the early twentieth-century, the Frenchman liberated women from the corset, introduced a vivid color palette, and was the first designer to socialize with his clients. His "naïve and spontaneous" approach continues today through designers like Proenza Schouler, says Andrew Bolton, associate curator of the Costume Institute. "Poiret believed that women should dress in the way that suited them most, not just following trends."
Poiret: King of Fashion Video [NYM]
A visit by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II may be a state occasion, but it's not exactly a fashion event. After all, she’s been wearing boxy suits, major hats, and skirts of that curious Hasid-chick length for as long as anyone can remember. How'd she do on her just-winding-up American tour? Here's a blow by blow.
If you didn't make it to the red carpet for last night's Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, boy, do we have some good news for you. New York's intrepid party reporter Jada Yuan was there, and we've got her on video admiring the outfits, chatting with celebs, and learning that Harry Connick Jr. knows little about fashion and Christina Ricci knows even less about her date. Watch Jada's report; it's almost like being there — but with no need to get dressed up.
Video From the Costume Institute Gala [NYM]
The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art held its annual gala last night, celebrating the Institute's new exhibit, "Poiret: King of Fashion." The theme for the night? Freedom, as Paul Poiret famously released women from the confines of corsets. And perhaps in his honor, or at least continuing in his tradition, Jessica Simpson nearly busted out of her Roberto Cavalli dress, while the usually well-dressed Julianne Moore was thisclose to having a nip slip in her white tuxedo blazer. Kate Moss, America Ferrera, and Cameron Diaz, however, all looked stunning. But the big winner was Sandra Bullock — yep, Sandra Bullock! — who looked drop-dead gorgeous. There are pics of all of them, plus many, many more, in our Costume Institute slideshow.
Pictures From the Costume Institute Gala [NYM]
Earlier: 21 Questions: Harold Koda [NYM]
Stella McCartney popped by Bergdorf Goodman yesterday afternoon, peddling her new fall line to the adoring, middle-aged crowd mobbing the third floor. The collection, in typical Stella form, gave a nod to the environment: Polar-bear sweaters and oversize knit coats are her alternative to glamorous fur toppers. "I think it's important to stress that you don't have to be 100 percent perfect," McCartney said of the fashion industry's recent moves toward greenness. "Every little bit helps. We try to do what we can." One way: She's offering a new vegan cosmetics line, which she coyly whispered is now available now at Barneys and Sephora.
Project Runway's second-season winner Chloe Dao is in talks with Neiman Marcus about designing a line for the high-end department store, Tim Gunn said earlier this week. "Chloe wants to contain kind of a bubble of a career, and she has it," Gunn told us at the Parson benefit the other night. "I mean it's not going to be overnight, immediate commercial success, only because of the daunting aspects of production and how you wind all that up and seize the market." Gunn heard the news from Neiman's execs; Dao's rep at Lizzie Grubman PR declined comment on any deals in the works but could announce one to design iPod accessories for a different Texas-based company. "She likes her life," Gunn said. "She likes living in Houston. She manages it well, and I'm really proud of her." —Amy Odell
Monday's senior collections shown at Parsons spotlighting the class's top designers raised a question: How closely did these students study the runway? These "top collections" looked like top knockoffs to us. Julia Medvedev's black bodice dress (above) echoed a Versace silhouette. And Sean William Salim's gold pants were all too reminiscent of Ghesquière’s robotic creations at Balenciaga. Lora Nova even regurgitated Gareth Pugh's see-through stripes. But it wasn't all copycats. Boaz Eli, one of Parsons' Womenswear Designers of the Year, showed garments that were flattering, well cut, and most important, original. More look-alikes after the jump. Kendall Herbst
The Rodarte designers, sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, had their turn for a Bergdorf Goodman trunk show this afternoon, and they brought along both their acclaimed spring collection and the less-well-reviewed fall line. There's “controlled volume, draping, curiosity, playfulness” to these new designs, Kate said, but some critics haven't been too impressed. Robin Givhan of the Washington Post, for example, argued that the work “needs maturity and better technique.” How did the designers handle that reaction? "We have a vision, and it’s going to take a lot of time to develop it," Kate told us. "You’re not always going to get everything perfect." She said that she was pleased to have critics talking, even if they didn't love what they were saying. The worst thing is when it’s more of a lukewarm reply, she said. "If you do a collection, it should be that a lot of strong opinions come out." At least the Rodarte collaboration with the Gap has been critically praised. But don’t hold your breath for a full low-priced collection. "We’re still experimenting with our own label and growing it," Kate said. "All of our efforts are going towards that." —Kendall Herbst
Diminutive designer Thakoon Panichgul had his Bergdorf Goodman trunk show this afternoon, providing a first look at his fall garments, a markedly more somber palette than his rose-hued summer wears. Bergdorf bigs were helping privileged clients find their perfect pieces, but what we were curious about was the couturier's new collaboration with the Gap. How does a high-end designer make clothes for the khaki-clad masses? "What it boils down to in this day and age is about the ability to design for all sorts of people," he told us. "They're two different worlds, but what links them together is the design sensibility. I think that as a young designer you can never take for granted anyone’s business. It broadens the interest by doing things like the Gap." He would consider doing more low-price projects, he told us, if the right opportunity came along. "For me, it’s never about low-end," he said. "It’s a lower price point, but it doesn’t suffer in design." For now, though, he's considering a menswear collection. "It’ll be interesting to see what I might think up for it," he said, "because I’m so small." —Kendall HerbstEarlier:Proenza Schouler Comes to Bergdorf Goodman, FinallyAt Marchesa Show, Harvey's Girl Wishes Halston Well
Hedi Slimane, the hollow-eyed waif designer for whom Karl Lagerfeld lost 90 pounds, is out at Dior Homme, according to WWD’s redoubtable Paris bureau chief, Miles Socha. Even though Slimane is an international superstar who single-handedly made a moribund label into the hottest thing on the planet his ultraskinny black suits changed the way men dress he’s reportedly getting tossed from the LVMH-owned company for diva-ish behavior and protracted contract negotiations. (His contract was left unsigned for nearly a year, as reported yesterday.)
The Bergdorf Goodman parade of trunk shows continues, and today it was Marchesa's turn. Designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig were there to talk about their line of feathered, beaded gowns, seen often at red-carpet events. But we were more interested in asking them about a different label. Chapman dates Harvey Weinstein — which might have something to do with why you see their designs on those red carpets so frequently — and Harvey just bought Halston. A new opportunity for the Marchesa girls, perhaps? "That’s nothing to do with us,” Craig was quick to say. And Chapman was quick to position it as someone else's project. "I’m very excited for them," she said of the new Halston family. "I think Tamara" — that's Tamara Mellon, the fashion exec Weinstein installed to run the brand — "is a fantastically talented woman. I mean, what she’s done with Jimmy Choo is just incredible, and, um, I keep my fingers crossed for them.” Got that? For them. Not for her. —Kendall HerbstEarlier: Proenza Schouler Comes to Bergdorf Goodman, Finally
Last night's "Court-ture '07" fashion show (featuring clothes by Jared M. and, of course, Rochester Big & Tall) was another odd development in the NBA's attempts to get classy. It was only last off-season that commissioner David Stern instituted the league's dress code, to the chagrin of players like Tim Duncan, who called the rules "retarded," and Stephen Jackson, who said the ban on chains was a "racist statement." Fast-forward to yesterday's event at the NBA Store in midtown and there's Jared Jefferies (in a "very spring" pink shirt) and Kenyon Martin (wearing dubious fabbed-out golfer chic) hanging lefts on the catwalk.
Omigod! A new celeb-driven line at H&M! Let's get there fast, before everything sells out! Knowing the mob scenes that develop whenever a new, hyped H&M collection launches — we're veterans of the great Viktor & Rolf Rush of '06 — we headed over to the Swedish chain's Fifth Avenue flagship this morning to witness Madonna Madness '07, the debut of the Material Girl's second H&M collection, the first that she actually had a hand in designing. Drew Barrymore, Kirsten Dunst, Carmen Electra, Stella McCartney, and Gwyneth Paltrow have all reportedly ordered pieces — and, if the scene on Fifth was any indication, they might be the only ones wearing them: The line had barely reached the corner of 51st Street when the doors opened at ten o'clock. "So I guess everything will be gone in two hours?" joked one shopper, who said she was a veteran of H&M's crazy Karl Lagerfeld debut. Not likely. —Kendall Herbst
You can find lots of high-end labels at Bergdorf Goodman, but you couldn't find Proenza Schouler there — until today. The Proenza boys — Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez — brought their latest designs to a trunk show at the Fifth Avenue department store to celebrate their line's new home in the store. Mannequins displayed the fall collection, as did a few real, live, wandering models, and the boys mingled with Bergdorf execs and other invited celebs. McCullough explained that their design process starts with sketches focused on silhouettes and colors, rather than with larger themes, and Hernandez added that they usually start with the details and move on to larger shapes. These days, he said, "we're really into designing coats and jackets," which explains why so many showed up on their runway last month. And what's coming for the September shows? They wouldn't say. For now, they said, they're focused on Proenza's first-ever resort collection, to be followed by a sunglass line — "classics like aviators, but with a twist" — and, after that, bags. All of which you'll now be able to find at Bergdorf. —Kendall Herbst
On Monday night, Uma Thurman scheduled a special preview appointment to shop the Madewell spring collection, located in a private showroom near Astor Place. The "store" is open to New Yorkers for just eight days (tomorrow through Friday, and then next Monday to Friday) by appointment only. And to make the call, you need the "secret" phone number. Inspired by the Massachusetts workwear company founded in 1937, the spring women’s collection (currently available only at the label’s two stores in Dallas and L.A.) includes garment-dyed denim, washed “boyfriend” shirts, and an assortment of cool and girlie skirts, dresses, and accessories, ranging from $12.50 for tanks and tees to $248 for the flat, equestrian boots. The renowned jeans range in price from $75 to $115. Often likened to the hip and modern French label A.P.C., Madewell is owned by the J. Crew Group but bears virtually no resemblance to the classic, preppy label. The Manhattan pop-up store has garnered impressive fashion buzz owning to its semi-secret, exclusive viewings. For those who are not privy to the private shopping experience this week, do not fear: More Madewell stores are opening soon. This Friday, a branch opens in Austin, Tex., and in May, stores arrive in Short Hills, New Jersey, and Las Vegas. New Yorkers will have to keep waiting, however, as a permanent Manhattan spot has not been chosen. Sources swear that it will open before the end of 2007. Until then, women can just scour the city for that secret phone number. Doria Santlofer