Friday, December 15, 2006

Eau de Kate

To all my friends who have complained of Kate Moss overdose, I apologize in advance. In a matter of months, you will be able to not only look like her (courtesy of Topshop's Moss-designed line) but also smell like her. Rumor has it that Moss will soon join the ranks of celebrities bringing out their own perfume. Trade newspaper Women's Wear Daily reports that Moss has signed a fragrance licensing deal with Coty, the beauty firm that she already works for as the face of Rimmel make-up. Let me guess - top notes of gin, middle notes of marijuana and a drydown of stale cigarettes? Err...maybe not! The deal is strictly hush-hush for the time being, but I'll keep you posted.
Back in the days...Kate Moss in an ad for Calvin Klein's Obsession

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Kiss me quick!

I love the retro packaging of Bésame (Kiss Me) cosmetics. This beautiful gift set, which includes lipstick, powder and blusher, makes a perfect Christmas gift.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Edgy scents

Wondering what to get your teenage daughter this Christmas? How about a perfume that marries edgy packaging with top quality fragrance? Romano Ricci, the great-grandson of famed designer Nina Ricci, has launched a brand called Juliette Has a Gun - a name sure to go down a treat with fans of rock bands and action movies à la Kill Bill.
Juliette Has a Gun
The two fragrances available at Colette

"Lady Vengeance" and "Miss Charming" are two fragrances concocted for the house by Francis Kurkdjian, the top perfumer behind such hits as Narciso Rodriguez for Her, Elizabeth Arden Green Tea and an absolute favorite of mine, KenzoKi White Lotus. The perfume range is available exclusively at Paris trend emporium Colette, which has loads of other goodies in store this month (more on which later).

Monday, November 27, 2006

Daks goes hip

Venerable British label Daks is about to get an injection of hipness thanks to multi-tasking London designer Giles Deacon. In a perfect example of the hi-lo collaborations that characterize fashion today, Deacon will be designing the luxury women's collection for Daks starting next spring, about the same time his designs for high street retailer New Look hit stores.
Giles Deacon
Giles Deacon holding his British Designer of the Year award at the recent British Fashion Awards

Daks is best known for sensible pleated skirts and sturdy raincoats of the type favored by Her Majesty herself. "I loved the idea of working with a true British luxury brand. And it doesn’t hurt that they have royal warrants," Deacon told industry paper Women's Wear Daily. "I want to transform it into an ultramodern British tailored clothing collection. There will be a lot of coats, jackets, suits — and I hope I can pop a few frocks in there, too."

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Emmanuelle Béart in H&M campaign

The latest celebrity to grace an H&M advertising campaign is French actress Emmanuelle Béart, best known for her roles in "Manon des Sources" and "Mission: Impossible".
H&M's Christmas lingerie advertising campaign, which has been described as "pornography" by one Swedish member of parliament

At the risk of being ungracious, I have to assume these images are heavily photoshopped. Emanuelle Béart is 43 and on these pictures, she looks like 21. They also prove that she is far from the curvy beauty celebrated by French Elle in a now-famous cover shot.
Béart's infamous Elle cover

I saw Emmanuelle when she was on the jury at the Cannes film festival, and she is tiny. An absolute sparrow!

Galliano does French Vogue

French Vogue's guest editor this December is the British designer John Galliano, who next year celebrates 10 years at the helm of Christian Dior.
John Galliano
John Gallliano taking his bow on the catwalk

The issue includes extracts from his collection diaries and several photoshoots by longtime collaborator Nick Knight (even though Knight has just been replaced as the photographer for Dior's advertising campaigns by Craig McDean). Previous Vogue guest editors have included the Dalai Lama, Sofia Coppola and Kate Moss, though surprisingly, this is a first time a designer has been asked to do the honors.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Blame Vuitton

Marc Jacobs continues his tradition of collaborating with other designers and artists at Louis Vuitton. For the French label's cruise collection, he has enlisted cult punk stylist Judy Blame to customize LV-monogrammed denim shorts and bags with his trademark chains and safety pins. The highly collectible pieces are available this month!
Louis Vuitton

Monday, November 20, 2006

Model Lohan?

Lindsay Lohan was in London during my vacation there last week and - more disturbing than the countless pictures of her baring her crotch - comes news that she shot the new advertising campaign for Miu Miu over the weekend.
Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan looking a little rough in London last week

Miu Miu using celebs in its ad campaigns is nothing new - previous models for the super-cool brand include Drew Barrymore, Chloe Sevigny and Kim Basinger. But do they really want to be associated with the scandal-prone teen queen? Rumor has it that Lohan was due to shoot a campaign for Louis Vuitton earlier this year, but they wisely decided to pass.
Miu Miu
Kim Basinger and Camilla Belle in the Miu Miu spring-summer 2006 advertising campaign

Addendum: This just in!
Lindsay burning a tabloid article about herself in this Terry Richardson shot for GQ

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Stella for skin

I'm back from a holiday in London and excited to discover that Brit designer Stella McCartney is launching a skincare line.
An advertisement for the skincare line due to be launched in 2007

In line with her commitment to animal protection, the products will be totally organic (a fast-growing trend in skincare). I liked the Stella fragrance she launched in 2003, although I sometimes thought it smelled too much like a room fragrance. Recently, I have been wearing Stella In Two (an amber solid and peony edt, to be combined as you wish) which is a more sophisticated variation on the original. The amber is, as my sister would say, totally "more-ish".
Stella In Two

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Love Courtney

Courtney Love has had almost as many comebacks as Liz Taylor, but I am thrilled to see her looking her edgiest best on the cover of the latest edition of Pop magazine.
The Pop cover by Mert & Marcus

Lest her fashion influence be obscured by the tabloid antics (which include incidents of air rage and flashing her breasts at strangers), it is worth remembering that Love has starred in advertising campaigns for Gianni Versace shot by Richard Avedon - this was when even Versace, the king of bling, was doing heroin chic in the 90s.
A visual from the Versace campaign featuring a clean Courtney

She has also shot some dubious spreads with kitschmeister David LaChapelle, including a picture in which she cradles a dead Kurt Cobain lookalike that has angered fans of the late singer.
The cover of David LaChapelle's upcoming book "Heaven to Hell"

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Nostril mystery

What is up with Kate's nose?
Kate Moss

Chloé, je t'aime!

Chloé is supposed to be in a bit of a rut since the departure of its designer Phoebe Philo in January, but I confess I can't get enough of this season's collection. I love this tunic from its diffusion line, See by Chloé, available for a (relatively) reasonable 235 euros at Net-A-Porter.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tom Ford Black Orchid

Like many people, I am totally over the sleek, sexed-up aesthetic that Tom Ford peddled at Gucci until his departure from the brand in 2004. So it's just as well that the bottle for his new perfume, due to be launched this month, is a paragon of 1930s style.
Black Orchid
The campaign stars Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, the daughter of the editor of French Vogue

Ford has patented the world's handful of black orchids, using headspace technology to capture and replicate their essence. The fragrance has top notes of French jasmine, black gardenia, ylang ylang, bergamot, mandarin and citrus; a heart of Tom Ford black orchid, spicy floral orchid accords and lotus wood, and a drydown of patchouli, incense, amber, sandalwood and vanilla.

After returning to fashion with eyewear and a limited edition collection for Estée Lauder, Ford is quietly building his empire with a dozen fragrances planned for next year in addition to a menswear collection. His first freestanding store is slated to open on Madison Avenue next spring, though Ford continues to insist he has no plans for a women's collection. Let's wait and see!

Addendum: Ford has just announced he is also working on a collection of luggage and high-end jewelry. March on, Napoleon!

Accessories mania

It's not enough that I am still lusting for a pair of Chloé platforms, fashion editors have to rub my nose in their top picks for NEXT SPRING! Check out the candy box of options on and weep for your credit card.
Marc JacobsStam
The Marc Jacobs blush metallic Little Stam bag - inspired by readhead model Jessica Stam?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Mouret at the Gap

I'm counting the days until the Roland Mouret collection goes on sale at the Gap - mark Nov. 7 in your diary! I've finally had a sneak preview of the dresses, courtesy of French Elle.
Models present the outfits at a press breakfast

Consisting mainly of tunics, they are not quite as exciting as I expected, but then they chose to photograph the clothes on models who are prancing around, so it's hard to tell how they fall. There is one sharp-shouldered number very much in the spirit of the Galaxy that is definitely worth a snoop.
The Galaxy dress

The Mouret collection features 10 dresses, ranging in price from $85 to $150. It will be sold at 160 Gaps in the U.K., Ireland and France and should hit the New York stores a few weeks later. I have found this season's offerings from Gap really disappointing, except for the stretch jersey polonecks which I have bought in black and grey (they look really great layered under a short-sleeved dress or with an oversized V-neck sweater with cropped sleeves). This could have a similar effect for the chain as the Karl Lagerfeld collection for H&M. In addition, part of the profits will go to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, so you don't even have to feel guilty.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Get in the Saddle

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of John Galliano at Christian Dior, trendy Parisian multibrand store Colette will sell exclusive limited edition Saddle bags starting on Dec. 4. This should be only the start of a series of celebrations at Dior in 2007!
Dior Saddle

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Karl's tunes

If you feel the urge to vogue around your living room, order the world's most fashionable soundtrack now courtesy of Karl Lagerfeld...
Karl CD

The designer, who famously owns more than 70 iPods, highlights his favorite tracks from Stravinsky to the Pipettes.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Real beauty

This one has been doing the rounds. It is quite impressive!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Kylie Darling!

Finally, the name of Kylie Minogue's scent has been unveiled - in true showbiz fashion, it will be called Darling. The fragrance, which will launch in Britain next month, is described as a "chypre-floriental" perfume. It features top notes of passion fruit, freesia and lychee, heart notes of lily and boronia and base notes including sandalwood, amber wood and vanilla.

"Having your own fragrance is like a dream for a woman," Kylie was quoted as saying in Women's Wear Daily. "I use ‘darling' a lot. My mother calls me darling. I call my friends darling. It's almost so old-fashioned it has come around again. It's sweet, personal, loving and affectionate. It's a term you can use for anyone — it's not just for your lover or your child, you can use it for everybody. And it's a little showbiz."

The scent is a democratic one. The eau de toilette will be available in a tiny 15-ml size that will be priced at 15 euros in Europe, about $19 at current exchange rates - perfect for a young girl buying her first perfume. Like many girls of my generation, I started out with Cacharel's Anais Anais. Even now, the smell of it brings back a wealth of memories.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Diana Vreeland

Oh, I couldn't resist!
Kate Moss

I have become slightly hooked on You Tube. Like everyone, I enjoyed watching the video of the man who fell through the glass while trying to photocopy his bottom at the office...but I still prefer these semi-artsy movies by fashion photographer Nick Knight...

The Beckham effect

I must confess to a guilty fascination moment during fashion week. New pals Victoria Beckham and Katie Holmes caused a sensation by appearing together at shows including Chanel, Giambattista Valli and Yves Saint Laurent.
Victoria & Katie
(Photo Greg Kessler/

It was day six of the ready-to-wear shows and I must confess to feeling somewhat jaded, having interviewed Kanye West, Lenny Kravitz and Dita Von Teese and spotted Janet Jackson, Monica Bellucci and the Olsen twins, to name but a few. So I was surprised when I could not peel my eyes off the tiny Demoiselle Beckham, wearing skinny jeans and a black cape with gold embroidery, standing in the cordoned-off VIP section after Stefano Pilati's show for YSL. With her sleek bob and pert little nose, she is ultra recognizable and - dare I say it - has star quality. OK, I hang my head in shame. Those who want to check out the Beckham effect in the flesh can join several hundred other fans at her book signing at London department store Selfridges on Monday.


"We've had an unprecedented number of enquiries about Victoria's appearance at the Selfridges Oxford Street store. Judging by the huge amount of people wanting to be here for Victoria's visit on Monday, I think That Extra Half An Inch will be in a lot of Christmas stockings this year – it's obviously going to be a best seller," store director Tracey Mann was quoted as saying on

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Gucci iPod

Talk about exclusive! To celebrate the opening of its new flagship store in Tokyo, Gucci has come up with the ultimate party favor. Guests and press attending a celebration dinner on Nov. 2 will walk away with an iPod engraved with the Gucci logo and cased in a silver logo-embossed leather holder.
The Gucci iPod

Gucci is only producing 1,100 of the iPods, which are designed as luxury press kits. They will contain a press release about the new store in the trendy Ginza neighborhood, as well as images from catwalk shows. Owners of the iPod will be able to download a custom-made playlist by R&B singer Mary J. Blige, who is slated to sing at the reception. This one has "beg, steal or borrow" written all over it!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Magic McQueen

The show of Paris fashion week, for me, was Alexander McQueen. We arrived after dark in a heavy downpour at the Cirque d'Hiver, a 19th century circus venue. But any feelings of tiredness or hunger were quickly forgotten as we settled expectantly into balcony seats rising around a circular wooden stage, over which hung a chandelier.
The musicians at Alexander McQueen's show

A chamber ensemble from London's famed Academy of St. Martin in the Fields - the women dressed in elegant lilac gowns - joined a harpsichord to play Haendel's "Sarabande" (which was used on the soundtrack of Stanley Kubrick's movie "Barry Lyndon") as the chandelier pulsated light and rose into the rafters. Models emerged in dresses merging the influences of the 18th century (with Lyndon-esque jackets in pastel tapestry florals), the Edwardian era and characters as diverse as Vegas showgirls and the infamous Marchesa Luisa Casati. The last dress, made entirely from fresh pink blooms, shed petals in the model's wake.
A dress with padded hips

Too much choice! (Photos: Joelle Diderich)

McQueen's shows are more like happenings, in the sense that they straddle the border between fashion and art. It's difficult to imagine buying this kind of dress off the rack, but there were also some great trouser suits and beautifully fitted jackets that can make the transition from boardroom to chic soirée. And McQueen recently expanded his offering with a denim-based diffusion line, McQ.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Low-fat Lagerfeld

As predicted, I couldn't keep up the posting during Fashion Week! So here are some belated goodies. After seeing Karl Lagerfeld's show, I could not resist asking him about the skinny models debate (I mean, have you see the arms on Irina Lazareanu, his latest favorite?). Well, he waded right in there. Offensive doesn't begin to cover it. But then, ever since his diet, Karl is unapologetically rude about overweight people.

Skinny fashion muses Lily Donaldson and Irina Lazareanu

Karl "Lose Weight Now, Ask Me How" Lagerfeld (Photos: Joelle Diderich)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Dior goes sober

It was the usual madness at Christian Dior, with a guestlist including Janet Jackson, Kanye West, Lenny Kravitz, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (who did that weird staring thing) and Monica Bellucci (a.k.a. the face of Dior Rouge lipstick). Jackson has the biggest bodyguard I have ever seen. That man just ploughs through a crowd. In fact, I believe he could part the Red Sea. Also there was the lovely Dita Von Teese, who has the most flawless porcelain skin I have ever seen. She is truly charming and smart.
Dita Von Teese
Dita Von Teese advertising campaign for Vivienne Westwood - the perfect mariage of beauty and fashion

Venue - equally spectacular.
Grand Palais
I rest my case (Photo: Charles Platiau/Reuters)

Now, the clothes. Hm. Ah. What to say? Gray. Joan of Arc. Calf-length skirts. OK, I'm being unfair. There were some beautiful dresses. But what is up with the new sobriety? John Galliano scared the life out of me by taking his bow with no pyrotechnics, no astronaut suit, no mohawk...but in a gray suit. Yikes!!! Is this the end of fashion as we know it?
Some lovely red carpet numbers and a sensible Galliano (Photos: Remy de la Mauviniere/AP, Charles Platiau/Reuters)

Us leaving the show...!

(Photo: Charles Platiau/Reuters)

Take that, skinny models!

Loots of kookiness today with shows by Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood. Gaultier shot the whole skinny models debate straight out of the water by doing a show on the theme of aerobics, and then sending out an oversized model to illustrate it. Ahaha, those crazy French! You gotta love them!
A model at the Jean Paul Gaultier show (Photo: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters)

The audience went wild, though you wonder how most of these people would react if the same woman showed up at a fashion magazine or department store applying for a job. Still, kudos to JPG for the statement. The French designer plans a big party on Saturday night to celebrate 30 years in business. Women's Wear Daily reports that leading fashion editors will do magic tricks (this I'll pay to see). Anna Piaggi, the grande dame of Italian fashion, voiced some concerns about her turn as she congratulated Gaultier backstage, but he was egging her on with encouragements. Good thing she already wears a magician's cape!
Anna Piaggi
Anna Piaggi of Italian Vogue

Vivienne Westwood was in fine form with a collection labeled "I Am Expensiv" (sic). She said it was a reaction to logo-driven consumerism. I asked her about an interview from 1987 in which she criticized the fashion for "asexual bodies". I thought it was interesting given the current debate on skinny models, but she denied ever making the comment. When I said the quote was taken from the catalogue of her retrospective at the Victoria & Albert museum, she went into a rambling critique of the book's author, Claire Wilcox. To me, it's one thing to change your mind about something you once said, but it's another to deny you ever said it. Still, Westwood is her own mistress and she has genius enough to make you pardon a few inconsistencies. The best thing about this show was the catwalk comeback of Sarah Stockbridge, Westwood muse extraordinaire from the 1980s.
Sarah StockbridgeSarah Stockbridge
Sarah Stockbridge, then and now (Photo on right: Jacques Brinon/AP)

I told her that I remembered seeing her on the King's Road in the 1980s and being just blown away. Those were the days of the mini crini and rocking horse shoes. Sarah told me she now has kids but still works as a fittings model for Westwood. She didn't know she would be in the show until this morning, but said she couldn't refuse because her 8-year-old daughter would never have forgiven her. Sometimes, it's great to be reminded just why I wanted to work in this industry. Sarah Stockbridge is one of the reasons.

Yohji and Elvis = bliss

The Yohji Yamamoto show was my favorite so far this season. Although the chairs are always incredibly small and uncomfortable (designed for Japanese derrieres, it seems), the decor was stunning - the main amphitheatre of the Sorbonne university. This is a new setting for shows in Paris and will also host Karl Lagerfeld's show on Wednesday. The clothes were beautiful: lots of men's morning coats, some accessorized with monocles, worn over crisp white shirts with high collars. This very androgynous look was counterbalanced by some black silk bustier dresses with basket skirts. Think Morticia goes to the prom. Best of all, though, was the soundtrack of Elvis Presley tunes. His voice positively reverberated off those old French walls. The effect was so eerie, it gave me goosebumps, especially on "Crying In The Chapel," which is a personal favorite.
(Photo Pierre Verdy/AFP)

Viktor & Rolf

Viktor & Rolf wowed the fashion crowd by transforming their show venue into a retro ballroom with champagne, ringside tables for top editors and crystal chandeliers. A couple opened the show with a display of ballroom dancing, which set the theme for a show heavy on flesh-colored bodystockings and diamante trim. Rufus Wainwright and a string orchestra provided live accompaniment. I'm a big fan of V&R, but this time I thought the theatrics outweighed the clothes. There was none of the virtuosity of last season's debutante gowns dipped in silver. That's the danger with gleaning style tips from ballroom dancers, I guess.
Viktor & Rolf

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Paris kicks off fashion week

Paris fashion week has officially begun, and I can already report the first celebrity sighting. Lenny Kravitz took in the Balmain show, and I have a feeling we will be seeing plenty more of him this week. "I love Paris and so I'm here with my daughter, just taking her around to a couple of shows," he told reporters.
Balmain's spring-summer collection (Photos: Remy de la Mauvienire/AP)

Kravitz's former costume designer Laurent Mercier - known to friends as the cross-dressing Lola - used to design for Balmain. His replacement, Christophe Decarnin, is doing a pretty good job of reviving the brand with super sexy little dresses that have already been picked up by Audrey Tautou and Sofia Coppola.
Audrey Tautou rocking a Balmain look at Cannes (Photo: Karwai Tang/Alpha/Globe Photos via

No sign of a ban on skinny models here (the show featured Australian model Gemma Ward, a.k.a. The Alien). It was a totally different scene at Martin Margiela, who traditionally uses non-professional models. The draped white set created a seating conundrum for the dozens of standing-room guests.
The Margiela set at the Fine Arts school in Paris (Photos: Joelle Diderich)

The collection was based on nude bodystockings which served as the basis for tailored suits with extra-long legs (don't try to run for a taxi in these) and a deconstructed stars-and-stripes motif (stars on one side, stripes on the other).
(Photos: Joelle Diderich)

Things are going to get pretty manic in the next few days, so I can't promise I will post every day, but I will do my best to keep you up to date!