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GIRL ABOUT TOWN: Now it's Beckham the fashion house builder: David turns up in a hard hat to work on new flagship branch of Kent & Curwen

David Beckham must be getting bored in his early retirement. Not only has he recently completed a 4,000 piece Lego castle for his daughter Harper, he has shocked owners of global fashion brand Kent & Curwen by turning up in a hard hat to work on the building of its new flagship London branch in Covent Garden.

And to make matters worse, he's muscling in on wife Victoria's fashion empire – her own flagship store is just around the corner.

Though few celebrities who put their name to fashion labels do much more than cut ribbons and collect cheques, David has been seen on site at the store, due to open in September, prompting friends to wonder whether he has a little too much time on his hands these days.

Sources close to his business partners tell me that he is simply passionate about the brand – and with good reason, since his company earns five per cent of retail sales and ten per cent of the wholesale business. The source tells me: 'David has long had lots of fashion collaborations under his belt, but rarely has he ever been so hands-on.

'He has been seen offering advice at the building site. He is proud that he's working for a British brand and feels lucky to have time as well as cash to invest.'

Boundaries have become an intriguing subject for Brand Beckham. While some territory is being encroached upon, others walls are going up – not least in their country house which has been built as three separate living spaces, as I reported last month.

I'm told that Victoria has had little to do financially or otherwise with the £6.15 million Cotswolds property and has left its costly redevelopment to David.

Indeed a source tells me that her name may not even be on the deeds, saying: 'Victoria has told David it is his project and she isn't going to get too involved. She is busy enough as it is with her own work.'

But I can reveal that David, 42, has ensured the property will still get an injection of 'posh', even without input from his former Spice Girl wife, particularly in the garden. He has enlisted the services of former Scots Guard Marcus Barnett, former royal equerry turned landscape artist, who has won three gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show.

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From N.E.R.D to Bella HadidOff-Whites Virgil Abloh Talks Influences


With a home base in Chicago, a dozen stores around the globe (including a brand-new one on Mercer Street in New York’s Soho), collaborations in the works with the likes of Nike and Ikea, and fashion shows on two continents (there is talk of something “small and intimate” at his shop during New York Fashion Week), Virgil Abloh’s life is defined by movement.

Come October 12, he’ll find himself front and center at Manhattan’s Milk Studios, where he’s participating in Vogue’s inaugural Forces of Fashion conference. The Off-White founder will be sitting down with Heron Preston and Vogue’s Chioma Nnadi to discuss exactly how, in a fast-changing industry like fashion, he keeps up the cool factor—both his own and that of his brand. Hint: It helps to have Hedi Slimane, Juergen Teller, and Pharrell Williams as influences.

Naturally, Abloh was on a plane when he answered our questions about the people, places, and pop culture moments that have defined his career so far. His is the first interview in a series we’ll be posting with Forces of Fashion’s designer participants. Watch this space for more, and visit vogueforcesoffashion.com to purchase tickets.

Designer: Hedi Slimane

Hedi’s past predictions of what is and will be anti-fashionable and fashionable have proven to be spot-on, but beyond this concept, his career has exhibited how to remain strict to one’s vision and successfully lead a fashion house.

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Bella Hadid on why you will never see her smiling on the red carpet Not any time soon.

For Bella Hadid smiling down the runway or the red carpet is not a priority, so much so, her impenetrable stare has become somewhat of a signature for the 20-year-old.

And while it’s not a matter of resting bitch face – who isn’t a fan of that? – Hadid relayed to The Guardian it is simply a matter of not feeling comfortable in front of the camera.

“People meet me sometimes and say: ‘You’re so different to what I expected.’ People always tell me I seem mean or intimidating on social media. But I really love engaging with new people,” Hadid told The Guardian.

“I feel uncomfortable, sometimes, smiling in front of the camera. It actually took me until probably this year to really understand my face.”

Recently, Hadid also opened up to The Telegraph about feeling uncomfortable about her new found fame. Telling the publication she went from “just speaking to her horses and her mother” to a celebrity overnight, something she wasn’t quite prepared for.

“I feel like I’ve rushed into becoming a woman, so now I just want to be a teenager again,” she said.

Yes, even 20-year-old rising supermodels get insecure too.

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Beauty roadtest: facial skincare

‘I’ve started to look for products that will brighten my face,’ says Pam Lucas, our All Ages model

By Guardian Weekend magazine’s All Ages model Pam Lucas, 68

I read somewhere once that you shouldn’t put anything on your face that you wouldn’t put in your mouth, and I’ve tried throughout my life to stick to that. That’s why I like all my skincare products to be pure and natural. My usual routine is to wash with Dr Bronner’s soap, and follow that up with a pure vitamin E oil or apricot kernel oil. Even though I’ve always had good skin (I put it down to living in the country as a teenager and having an Indian mum who couldn’t bake sweet desserts), as I’ve got older, I have started to look for products that will brighten my face, lighten any discolourations and smooth wrinkles.

Pam’s selfie. Photograph: courtesy Pam Lucas

The This Works Stress Check Face Oil (£40) has a lovely smell, is very relaxing, and a little goes a long way. It contains no synthetics, and it really smoothed out the dark patches around my mouth. I loved the Neal’s Yard Rejuvenating Frankincense Oil (£32). It took about 30 minutes to sink in properly, but it felt soothing, had a gorgeous smell and made my skin look really healthy.

The Boots No7 Youthful Replenishing Facial Oil (£15) had quite a nice scent, but contains a few chemical ingredients, and I needed more than the two to three drops recommended. Aesop’s Fabulous Face Oil (£39) sinks in well, and three drops covered my whole face and neck; plus its scent of juniper berries, ylang ylang and jasmine petals is delicious.

If I had to pick a favourite, I’d be hard pushed to choose between the Aesop oil and the Neal’s Yard.

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Vivienne Westwood is at her outlandish best for menswear show

Despite what Zoolander might have you believe, fashion shows are usually sedate affairs: models slink down the catwalk silently; audiences clap politely; designers take modest little bows.

Thank goodness, then, for Vivienne Westwood, who closed her menswear show in London on Monday afternoon riding the shoulders of a muscle-bound male model/acrobat while wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the word “Motherfucker”, before singing the praises of Jeremy Corbyn backstage.

Westwood’s victory lap was a fitting finale to one of her most outlandish fashion shows in recent years, featuring ballerinas twirling en pointe, dancers spinning around in giant metal hoops and contortionists bending into crab-like poses.

The clothes covered the traditional Westwood bases – pinstriped suiting, T-shirts with campaigning slogans, corseted dresses – presented in surreal, unexpected ways. Many models wore fishnet tights with rubbish stuffed into them – crushed cans, empty plastic water bottles – and from red noses to bobbly-textured white painted faces, the makeup was pleasingly weird.

Notably, the collection featured dozens of Westwood’s signature gowns – sophisticated black and taupe va-va-voom creations with pointed necklines of the kind worn by Nigella Lawson in the noughties . But this time they were presented on male models and styled in anarchic ways, paired with popsicle blue hair, or with litter stuffed into crumb-catcher necklines.

As ever, this was a collection with a message. Notes distributed at the show explained that a repeated circle motif that appeared to be “a spotty animal print” was actually “meant to be the noughts which endlessly multiply money by 10 over and over. We only need a few to save the rainforest but billions disappear every day in global inflation”.

Other repeated patterns included playing card-like symbols which, the notes said, were a heart symbolising “love, free world & IOU”, a diamond meaning “greed, rot$, propaganda”, a phallus, which stood for “war”, and a triangle which represented “giants like Shell and Monsanto who rape the Earth”.

After the show, her porcelain skin decorated with magenta scribbles around the lips and eyes, Westwood received compliments from a fascinating crowd of wellwishers, including middle-aged men wearing paper crowns straight from the pages of Where the Wild Things Are and young women with black lipstick and pierced septums.

Westwood explained the significance of her T-shirt, saying: “We are fucking the Earth. This is Nasa information, it’s official information, but the world is ignoring it. There will only be 1 billion people left by the end of this century, because the Earth will be mostly uninhabitable. This is where we’re heading and it’s disguised from us.”

Still, it was not all doom and gloom. “I want to talk about Jeremy Corbyn,” she said. “What I want to say is that Corbyn won the future – that’s what that vote means. Because the young people voted for him; that really is a movement forward, because they want to go more green.

“It’s the Trumps and the Theresa Mays of this world who want to go backward and keep the fossil fuel industry going, have unfair distribution of wealth. And the press are purposely confusing this, living in a world where they think they have so much power, but people saw through it. [The press] don’t know what’s happening on social media. But Jeremy Corbyn’s really got his finger on the pulse. It’s brilliant.”

Westwood’s show at the Seymour Leisure Centre, in London’s Marylebone, was the high-profile finale of a men’s fashion week short on blockbuster brands – the tentpole names of previous seasons, Burberry and JW Anderson, have decamped to show their men’s collections during womenswear and Florence’s Pitti show respectively – but packed with imagination and homespun creativity.

Gender fluidity was a major theme, with genderless gowns, theatrical presentations and punky art-meets-fashion bricolage generating buzz for young designers including Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, Art School and the wonderfully weird Rottingdean Bazaar. All of them could accurately be described as the twirling, whirling, eccentric disciples of Westwood.


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A fashion designers guide to perfecting your winter wardrobe   Winter made easy.

After a successful London Fashion Week presentation, Vogue caught up with Mulberry’s creative director Johnny Coca and naturally the topic of nailing winter dressing – who doesn’t look to the heritage brand for inspiration? – came up.

  Talk us through your inspiration for the autumn/winter ‘17/’18 collection and how that came to life.

  “This season I began by going through the Mulberry archives in Somerset, looking at pieces from the early collections in the 1970’s. We then mixed this with the British aristocracy of different eras including the 1920’s and their lifestyle such as country pursuits and equestrian activities. Making something British feel new – a new mood to the British attitude.”

  Any ways you envision the Mulberry woman wearing the pieces in particular?

  “I want women who love my clothes to play with the product- I champion the mix and max attitude. The street style in London is always such an inspiration to me.”

  What's your favourite piece(s) from the collection?

  “The Amberley bag is a key new style this autumn. It comes in a satchel and miniature form too. The colour palette is a rich rust, chocolate brown and mustard –mirroring the autumnal colours of the British countryside.”

  What advice do you have for nailing winter dressing this year?

  “Purple tones and quilted fabrics. Mix and match the old and new. Imagine you are searching through your mother and your grandmothers wardrobes and pulling out the best pieces for yourself.”

  Once a shows over talk us through what you're thinking.

  “Onto the next one!”

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  Foundraes Beth Bugdaycay on Making Jewelry With Meaning, Her Recent Trip to Turkey, and the Symbol Shell Never Use

  Who doesn’t want a piece of Foundrae right now? Celebrities love it (Kristen Stewart, Zoe Saldana, and Lorde among them), fashion editors like to shoot it, and women are buying it, too. It’s heirloom-worthy fine jewelry that’s also cool and unconventional, but the main draw is founder Beth Bugdaycay’s use of meaningful symbols: Her sleek cigar band rings, cuffs, and necklaces are stamped with familiar emblems like stars (for energy and divine guidance), infinity signs(for karma), scarabs (for protection), lions (for passion), arrows (for friendship and love) and snakes (for rejuvenation), always in 18-karat gold and glossy champlevé enamel. “For me, the whole idea of using symbols is about self-expression, but also self-discovery, and viewing these pieces as artifacts of your journey,” Bugdaycay explains. To wit, her pieces look best stacked and layered together—she calls it “building your story.” “Symbols satisfy our deepest quest for expressing ourselves and leaving our mark [on the world]. I love studying how they evolve with people and cultures.”

  On a recent month-long family trip to Turkey, Bugdaycay made a study of the country’s ancient symbols and their connections to art, religion, and culture. For instance, she found that Iznik pottery, one of Turkey’s oldest art forms, typically comes with two prominent motifs: three blue dots and two wavy red lines. “The three dots are everywhere,” she says. “I knew they had to mean something, and I really had to research to find out that they were called Chintamani. It’s actually a Sanskrit word for a wish-fulfilling Buddhist symbol,” she continues. “I found it so amazing that their culture [which is predominantly Muslim] has been influenced by other religions, too. That Buddhist symbol is all over their art and textiles. It really touched me—I feel like we all just need to open our eyes and see that this sort of thing is everywhere.”

  Similar to the way Turkish culture has reinterpreted symbols over thousands of years, Bugdaycay also twists and reimagines symbols in her jewelry. The main colors in Iznik pottery—white, cobalt, and red—also appear in her enamel pieces, and for Spring ‘18, she took inspiration from an antique Turkish charm bracelet with tiny symbols on the jump rings (the small gold loops that connect each charm to the bracelet). “That’s the ‘found’ in Foundrae,” she says. “It’s about taking found objects and turning them into something new and modern. I’m never going to just do a replica of an antique.”  One symbol she won’t be repurposing? The eye. “The eye is universal in every culture,” she says. “It’s one of the most common symbols in Turkey, because it symbolizes protection and warding off evil. But I’ll never use it, because I don’t believe there are people out there wishing you evil. I just don’t. We have symbols of protection in our collection like the scarab, but for me, that’s more about protecting yourself from your own negativity. The eye can imply that you should be frightful of people, or blame others for anything negative in your life . . . It feels a little xenophobic.” Amen to that. You can scroll through more highlights from Bugdaycay’s trip, plus an exclusive first look at a few Spring ‘18 pieces, in the slideshow above.

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Ultimate Inspiration

Olgana Paris’ Designer On Why Coco Chanel Is Her Ultimate Inspiration

LAUNCHED 2014

BASE Paris

MADE IN Italy with embellishment done in a haute couture atelier in Paris.

CREATIVE PROCESS “My inspiration starts by observing women on different occasions.”

SHOP TALK Bergdorf Goodman, Tsum, Level Shoes, Harvey Nichols. “We are in four continents and 40 countries.”

BREAKTHROUGH MOMENT “When I saw my shoes being worn by someone on the street.”

WISE WORDS “Be yourself and be ready to work hard.”

WORST ADVICE “Lower the costs on production.”

INSPIRATION “Coco Chanel, just Coco.”

PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT “Six months after my brand was

launched, Olgana Paris was among the top 10 red carpet shoes.”

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The best multi-purpose balms

Multi-taskers have had to eat a sliver of humble pie recently, thanks to ‘research’ suggesting that doing more than one thing at once can have a deleterious effect on quality. Depends what you’re doing I suppose. Walking and breathing? Quite doable for most of us. Moisturising and softening? All part of the same function. Ergo, when it comes to one-stop, do-it-all beauty products, the key to satisfaction, I think, is to choose those whose promises are mutually compatible.

In the run-up to holiday season, it’s worth finding ones you love – being forced to check luggage in because you’ve breached those draconian flying restrictions is the kind of multitasking we can all do without. The following are all quite different in texture, but all heroes of the bathroom cabinet. Two or three of these products in the right combination and you’re good to go just about anywhere.

Cult classic

Launched in 1930, this deservedly retains cult status because, thanks to its vitamin E, petrolatum and salicylic acid, it delivers four simple goals: it seals in moisture (thereby soothing), provides lasting shine (on lips, lids and cheekbones), exfoliates gently, and is terrific on feet.

Dermatologist recommended

This is rich in antioxidants, panthenol and glycerine (which moisturises without leaving an oily residue), this helps scratches and scars heal, softens and hydrates dry skin, and is nifty in cases of sunburn. It doesn’t clog pores and gets the thumbs up from some serious dermatologists.

All-rounder

Developed by plastic surgeons as a post-operative treatment, this can be used as a moisturiser, but I prefer it to target problems. It cools, soothes, tightens and can relieve psoriasis, eczema, bruises, stretchmarks and burns. Containing arnica, madecassoside and peptides, it’s a real beauty all-rounder.

For something special...

This is different from the above in that it feels like a treat, while doing some serious work. Altitude Oil calms and supports the immune system.

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Kate Hudson has unveiled a buzz cut

Kate Hudson has unveiled a buzz cut, but what do you need to consider before going for the chop?

Hollywood actress Kate Hudson has said goodbye to her signature long, blonde curls, unveiling a buzz cut yesterday on set for her new film Sister.

She's not the only celebrity to channel a shorter look, earlier this year, Kristen Stewart took to the red carpet with a platinum blonde buzz cut, and so did pop star Katy Perry. While Stewart has reported said her new style is practical, neither celebrities have explained what encourage them to go for the close shave.

It's just celebrities tapping into this trend either, for the past few seasons designers have been championing a handful of models with shaved heads, creating a noticeable 'buzz' around the buzz cut. "It's definitely having its fashion moment," says Andrew Barton, creative director for Urban Retreat at Harrods. While Hollywood starlets from Angelina Jolie, Sigourney Weaver, Charlize Theron and Demi Moore have all embraced the shears in their time, models such as Ruth Bell, Kris Gottschalk and Alek Wek have brought the cut back into the limelight.

While few of us would willingly tap into the hard-to-wear micro trend, for those who are tempted we've asked the UK's leading hairstylists what you need to contemplate before going for the chop...

Consider your facial shape

Your head shape and facial angles are huge factors in determining whether you can pull off a buzz cut. "Angular face shapes with elfin features can pull this off the easiest," says hairstylist and Herbal Essences ambassador Ben Cooke. "It’s probably a style to avoid if you have a round face though." Although, Cooke adds that a slightly shorter back and sides and a bit more length on top does soften the style and make it more flattering for all face shapes.

Before heading to the salon though, hairstylist Garry Gill recommends, "Wearing your hair completely back off the face to get use to the possible look and feel for a few days."

Think about your lifestyle

The one aspect of a buzz cut that we can all appreciate is that it is low maintenance. You can quite simply get up and go in the morning. Although celebrity hairstylist Paul Edmonds warns, "If you love your new buzz cut, then expect to book in for regular salon trips in order to maintain it." And, if you want to replicate Kristen Stewart's look completely, bleaching it will also add to upkeep. To stop it looking dry and brittle, reach for oils like Shu Uemura Essence Absolue, £39.

Take into account your growth pattern

"Cowlicks and widows peaks won’t work well with this style as the hair can grow out in multiple directions" says Sam Burnett, KMS global style council member. He also advises that people suffering from psoriasis and dandruff should skip the platinum finish. "Bleaching directly on the scalp can also aggravate some skin conditions,” he says. A thorough consultation with your stylist will be needed as they will be able to analyse your hair growth patterns and look at any scalp conditions.

Don't let you age put you off

"It's down to your personality rather than your age that will determine whether you can pull this look off," believes Toni & Guy creative director Indira Schauwecker. Paul Edmonds, who was responsible for Annie Lennox's buzz cut, agrees, "Annie rocks this look, as does Tilda Swinton. Annie’s is shorter with texture on top, while Tilda sports a much longer length, but they both play well with colour as they go for that platinum blonde look, which is striking.

"This trend can work for older women, but I would say that it is best to go with soft feathering for a more delicate look." Tresemme's UK hair ambassador Aaron Carlo makes a good point though, "You need to ask yourself if you hide behind your hair, because if the answer is yes, then this look isn't for you."

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Five biggest festival fashion trends at Splendour in the Grass

Five biggest festival fashion trends at Splendour in the Grass

As much as they are about music, festivals are about fashion too.

As the earliest, and one of the biggest, for the festival season, Splendour in the Grass is a good forecast for what fashions you can expect at other festivals throughout the year and over summer.

Festival fashion has always been about letting go of your inhibitions and wearing bold, daring outfits, but trends come and go.

Sweet and whimsical looks are being replaced by edgier outfits –think fishnets instead of maxi-skirts.

While flower crowns have been a festival mainstay, they seem to have finally fallen out of favour, replaced by a rather sparkly alternative. Which brings us to our first festival fashion trend:

Glitter, glitter everywhere

Glitter was the most popular festival decoration at Splendour. And unlike flower crowns, glitter is a much more versatile decoration.

Many festival goers chose a simple swipe of glitter on each cheek, but in keeping with the 'more is more' festival fashion ethos, it was also popular along hair parts, in beards and along collarbones.

For those wanting to take the look even further, the 'disco boob' was popular and consisted of a full chest of glitter with crystal nipple pasties. And if the outfit involved exposed bottom cheeks, you bet they would be covered in glitter.

Underwear as outerwear

Speaking of exposed bottoms, underwear as outerwear was a popular look. Key for those daring to bare was a killer bra and high-waisted underwear, covered in sheer skirts, dresses or tops. Fishnet stockings often completed the look, paired with well-worn Dr Martin boots.

80s and 90s revival

Looking around the crowd you would have been forgiven for thinking you had been transported back 30 years, with fashion from the 80s and 90s making an appearance in a big way.

Think boldly coloured tracksuit jackets, patterned shirts and tiny, sporty sunglasses (and throw in a sunglasses chain for good measure).

It might have been due to the cold, but double denim was also a bit hit among the music fans.

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Your Weekend Trip a Breeze

These Duffle Bags Will Make Packing for Your Weekend Trip a Breeze

The best thing about an out of town trip (aside from the actual trip) is planning for it. Choosing the destination, booking accommodations, and being in transit builds so much excitement for the vacation. The not so fun part is packing for it. As much as we try to pack a week in advance, a lot of us put it off till the very last minute maybe even the morning of the trip. There may not be an easy way to remedy this but having a functional and cute-looking travel bag might motivate you to start packing ahead of time. You can pick the duffle bag that best suits the destination you’re going to, a waterproof bag if you’re headed to the beach or a minimalist one for business trips. To make decision-making easier, check out our duffle bag picks and grab one before your next trip.

Herschel Novel Duffle

This ideal weekender not only has enough space for clothes and essentials but it also has a shoe compartment for that extra pair you might need. It also has a storage sleeve for small items like chargers, a waterproof zipper, and a shoulder strap, making it easier to carry.

Stella McCartney Pink Essentials Sports Bag

If you have to squeeze some work in while you’re on vacation, this sports bag from Stella McCartney has a laptop compartment. Aside from fitting your work things, it has enough space for your other vacation needs, complete with shoulder strap and a crocodile emboss finish for that stylish touch.

Poler Classic Carry-On-Duffel

Having carry-on luggage can sometimes be a hassle but this duffel is the perfect size for overhead compartments in the airplane. For extra storage space, the duffel features two exterior pockets and one interior pockets.

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Rethinking New York Fashion Week

Rethinking New York Fashion Week

Things are not looking good for New York Fashion Week. Recently, Thom Browne, Proenza Schouler, Rodarte and Altuzarra all announced their departure for Paris. These are arguably the most creative American designers that New York really cannot afford to lose, because the city’s fashion week already has a reputation for being something of a creative snooze-fest, heavy on sportswear and cocktail dresses, and light on new ideas. Ask almost any European editor about New York Fashion Week and their eyes glaze over. Few of them actually want to come here of their own volition.

With the exception of Marc Jacobs, there is not much left on the New York Fashion Week calendar that is exciting. To be sure, there are important commercial names on the schedule, like Michael Kors and Tom Ford, who is moving his show to New York this season, but they are not the brands the industry expects to produce fashion with a capital “F.” A couple of former millennial favourites, such as Alexander Wang and Jeremy Scott, are also staying put for now, but their fans have largely moved on to the newly hyped brands like Vetements and Off-White.

Of course, the brightest spot on the New York calendar is Calvin Klein under Raf Simons. But while the designer’s first collection for the brand was praised in public, it left most editors I talked to privately unexcited. His presence was supposed to re-energise New York Fashion Week the way Helmut Lang did in 1997, but the current exodus would suggest otherwise.

Who is to blame? Well, the CFDA is surely one culprit. Commenting on the recent departures, Steven Kolb, the CFDA’s president, told American Vogue: “Not one of these brands would be able to show in Paris if it weren’t for New York. They’re all winners of the Fashion Fund or participants, and they were able to get their start because of how democratic and open American fashion is.” The statement was made to mitigate the damage, but it made New York sound like a B-grade breeding ground that prepares fashion talent for departure to one of the real fashion capitals of the world. The CFDA clearly prides itself on supporting young designers, yet I know brands that have been knocking on the CFDA’s door for years to no avail.

The CFDA is still by and large a reference system that requires a power broker to crack. The revolving door of nominees for its annual Fashion Awards is also a testament to how little creative star power New York really possesses. Perhaps that’s why some downtown brands, like hipster darlings Eckhaus Latta, seem content to stay away from the CFDA altogether.

The lack of the independent fashion media in New York is another factor, especially compared to London and Paris. There is no American i-D, or Another or Purple, publications that have historically championed independent fashion talent. What’s more, there is no support system in the American fashion academia that would allow European magazines like London’s 1Granary, Helsinki’s SSAW and the Paris-based Vestoj to flourish.

But the biggest problem with New York is the established view that fashion is first and foremost a business. The pressure here is not to create but to sell, hence the insipid sportswear that permeates our runways. This type of thinking often starts at school. At Parsons, one the city’s top art and design schools, fashion design courses are taught conservatively and when talented students do appear, as they inevitably must, they are often snatched up by the big commercial fashion businesses, where instead of being given creative freedom, they are forced to design shirts with polo players on them.

So what can be done in order to revive New York Fashion Week? One short-term solution is attracting marquee brands to the city. Why not offer to finance the show of a creative American talent like Rick Owens and lure him away from Paris, even for just a season? Why not invite “special guests” each season? Pitti Immagine successfully does this in Florence during its Pitti Uomo trade fair. How is it that they are able to get Off-White, one of the most talked about brands of the moment, to stage a show in Florence ahead of New York?

New York City itself is an incredible asset. And yet Skylight Clarkson Square, operated by IMG and home to roughly 40 of the 140 shows on the official calendar, is one of the most dispiriting and boring places to stage fashion. Why not try to work more closely with officials to open up some of the city’s most iconic properties for shows and presentations? Give Supreme money and let them organise a skateboarding competition on the steps of the New York Public Library.

New York Fashion Week also needs a more discriminating selection process for who can show on the official calendar in order to make the event less bloated. The Federation de la haute couture et de la Mode in Paris has one hundred brand members, but the CFDA has more than five hundred. And though the council has recently made improvements to the New York Fashion Week schedule, eliminating the second Thursday of the week, tighter curation would be welcome.

But at the end of day, what needs to change more than anything in New York is the deeply embedded thinking that fashion is a business like any other — because it isn’t. Fashion is also about creativity, excitement and the spectacular, and we should learn to celebrate that instead of pushing designers to sell above all else. There exists a very clear business model for putting exciting creations on the runway while selling their more simplified versions to stores and pursuing more commercial ventures without sacrificing integrity. Comme des Garçons is a shining example. So are Rick Owens and Thom Browne. New York Fashion Week will only be reborn when we stop thinking like mere businessmen, teach our fashion students that creativity comes first and make New York City itself an exciting place in which to show.

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Louis Vuitton Debuts Its Connected Watch

If you’ve ever perused the Louis Vuitton City Guides while imagining an escape to far-off lands (with monogrammed trunks in tow, of course), you’ll likely be a fan of the French label’s latest timepiece, which has been crafted with your wanderlust in mind.

The Tambour Horizon debuts today and represents Louis Vuitton’s inaugural entry in the smartwatch market. At 42 millimeters, it’s slightly smaller than other recently launched smartwatches — TAG Heuer’s Connected, for example, measures 45 millimeters — and that concession to size is likely rooted in a desire to appeal to both men and women. Indeed, a choice of 60 interchangeable straps — 30 for men, 30 for women — includes the brand’s iconic LV Monogram print, a detail that’s sure to draw the interest of those devoted to their Alma and Speedy bags.

But it’s the technology within that draws the lion’s share of the attention. Like the growing range of Connected watches, the Tambour Horizon allows you to access email, receive texts and perform other functions via its Android Wear 2.0 system, which works in concert with both Android and Apple iOS devices. The wearer is also able to create myriad custom dials, many featuring design elements well known to Vuitton fans. The brand is ultimately positioning the Tambour Horizon as a partnership between its Parisian heritage, Geneva-driven craftsmanship (the three stainless-steel case styles, in either brushed or polished finish, are manufactured in Switzerland) and electronics developed in Silicon Valley, courtesy of Google and Qualcomm.

That marriage has been woven through Louis Vuitton’s “Art of Travel” DNA to create features sure to appeal to globetrotters, from a GMT function with 24-hour display on the dial’s rim to “My Flight,” which stores your travel info and keeps you apprised of terminal and gate numbers, delays, remaining flying time and more. Those famed City Guides likewise have been folded into the technology so the wearer can access nearby restaurants, hotels, landmarks and other attractions in real time via the watch’s geolocation function. The Tambour Horizon also performs the duties of a world timer, taking its cue from Louis Vuitton’s Escale watch to track the time zones of 24 world cities (the look of the Escale’s flag-embellished dial is also a choice on the Tambour Horizon).

“Our clients want new technology, it’s important, but they want to have our savoir-faire on their wrist,” says Hamdi Chatti, vice president of watches and jewelry for Louis Vuitton.

Pricing for the Tambour Horizon is $2,450 for the Graphite or Monogram model and $2,900 for the Black model; each comes on a black rubber strap embossed with “Louis Vuitton Paris,” with additional interchangeable straps priced between $300 and $500 each. The watch is available in select Louis Vuitton boutiques.

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Spokane woman gets two wedding dresses stolen in break-in

A woman is heartbroken after finding out that someone broke into her home and stole her wedding dress.

This happened in the Shadle neighborhood while the woman was out of town.

Megan Martens-Haworth has since installed security cameras. Someone busted down her door, and ransacked her home. They stole a lot of items, like jewelry and a safe, but the most heartbreaking for her was when she discovered a garment bag was missing. Inside was her wedding dress and a dress that she was creating as an art piece.

“I have a hard time imagining the type of people that would take somebody’s memories,” she says.

The second dress had her family ancestry on there. It had pictures of her great grandmother, and her grandmother. She started working on the dress before her own wedding, as a way to remember her history.

But what’s even more stressful for her is that this isn’t the first layer of stress she’s dealing with. She was visiting her family in Wyoming because she has a double mastectomy scheduled for Monday morning. So since she’s going to be unable to go look in consignment stores and online for her dresses, she’s hoping others can keep an eye out.

“I would hope to have them back. I wanted to give my wedding dress to my daughter and I wanted to have that artwork forever,” she says.

She says this break-in likely happened between June 29 and July 1. She has reported this to police and is working with insurance to see what can be done.

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Bella Hadid Rocks Amazing Jewels

Bella Hadid Rocks Amazing Jewels—and Little Else—for V Magazine

What’s more Bella Hadid than being absolutely smothered in Bulgari jewels? The model wearing stacks of those pricey jewels, while rocking head-to-toe denim, Dior make-up and a pair of sparkly Manolo pumps.

Styled by Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, who Hadid calls “the Fairy Boss Mother” on Instagram and shot by Terry Richardson, Hadid is decked out in plenty of Bulgari baubles and a variety of other colorful jewels in V Magazine‘s Americana Issue. Seriously, in one shot, she even turns a gold chain of chunky rings into a belt. The very bare denim looks are from Zadig & Voltaire, DSQUARED2 and GUESS.

This week, the younger Hadid sister was busy running around Couture week in Paris; she opened Alexandre Vauthier‘s show and walked the runways for both Fendi and Maison Margiela. She also made a dazzling appearance at Dior’s 70th anniversary fête. She’s come quite a long way since her first couture catwalk, alongside her sister Gigi, for Chanel in January 2016.

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make way for revolutionary red

Move over, millennial pink, and make way for revolutionary red

Future historians may call this the question of our time. In this age of millennial pink, what do you wear if you are not a millennial? Evidence is stacking up in favour of a rich, arterial colour we’ll call revolutionary red. We see it on TV’s The Handmaid’s Tale, where Margaret Atwood’s maids’ vestments indicate fertility, menstrual blood and wanton sexuality. It’s in the red statement jackets seemingly worn by all female politicians, to the point of it becoming a sartorial franchise. And it’s all over fashion and the catwalks of Iceberg, Kate Spade and Max Mara and in the revival of the Baywatch-inspired swimsuit. Revolutionary red is everywhere.

First, some background. Millennial pink, a sort of dusty salmon, was born from the dialogue around gender: where once pink indicated femininity, the shade came to symbolise a post-binary, inclusive world – the colour rebranded as a genderless tone, and worn by men. To wit: the cover of spring’s Fantastic Man – Steve McQueen shot in front of a millennial pink backdrop. So when Gigi Hadid, millennial poster girl, wore head-to-toe millennial pink last week, something had to give: #millennialism arguably peaked.

Revolutionary red’s timing is also on point thanks to the TV adaptation of Atwood’s novel, whose themes of authoritarian patriarchy bear a dark comparison to Trump’s America. While the characters are trapped in nightmarish subservience, the show – and the colour red – are symbolically fighting back, just as 2017 has become the age of talking back. Millennial pink may be the colour of gender politics, but red boasts a greater association with protest.

“It’s impossible to get away from red’s radical roots and the way it became part of the anti-establishment design canon,” says Patrick Burgoyne, editor of Creative Review. It became the colour of “cool”, just like the Che Guevara posters that once lined student walls. “Its original meaning has been subverted and co-opted.” Simply by wearing or using red, you can associate yourself with a movement without committing to it.

Red has always been used in fashion and branding, of course. It’s cheaper to print with fewer colours and an arresting shade of red gets the most bang for your buck. If you are a politician, and you want to get noticed when you are, say, meeting Donald Trump for the first time as leader, then wearing a red jacket (as Theresa May did in January) will do the trick. Ditto Hillary Clinton, whose fight for the presidency was carried out with the aid of her Nina McLemore red jacket. See also Ruth Davidson, Diane Abbott and Nicola Sturgeon, who regularly choose screen-friendly red jackets in public. For female politicians, red transcends political ideologies. It is about being a woman in a man’s world.

For the rest of us, the change is welcome. Revolutionary red is a chance to wear a colour that means something other than “I’m young”. In short, kids, it’s red or dead.

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Fashion dominates Africa's biggest horse race

Combining high fashion with sport, nearly 50,000 racegoers marked the 120th anniversary of Africa's biggest horse race on Saturday at a packed course in the South African coastal city of Durban.

The annual "Durban July" handicap race attracts one of the continent's most fashion-conscious crowds, with the trackside glamour and party atmosphere often threatening to overtake the horse action.

"Me and my friends always come here for the entertainment and fashion, we know nothing about horses and betting," said Thina Thusi, a 31-year-old public relations manager from Johannesburg.

"We usually start planning for this day from February - the clothes to match perfectly, plus travel arrangements and entertainment," she said. "It requires a lot of money."

The race, held at Greyville racecourse on the first Saturday of July, traditionally attracts a host of South African celebrities and politicians keen to be seen at one of the country's biggest social occasions.

President Jacob Zuma is usually a regular at the race, surrounded by loyal ANC party supporters and wealthy business leaders who pay thousands of dollars for access to the powerful elite.

But the ANC held a major conference in Johannesburg this weekend, keeping Zuma away and depleting the political contingent at the track.

Among the crowds was renown fashion follower Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, as well as Bongi Ngema, who is one of Zuma's four wives, King Letsie III of Lesotho and many television personalities.

'A national day'

For fans, the race combines a fun betting opportunity with old-world charm and South Africa's exuberant modern social culture.

"Everyone wants to be at the Durban July, It's like a national day, the country comes to a standstill," said Gill Mostert, spokeswoman for Gold Circle, the country's racing and betting company.

"Fashion has always been a big part of the Durban July, even in the 1900s. People of all ages, even grannies from old-age homes, set out to dress well and have fun."

This year's theme - The Colour of Magic - saw participants experimenting with multi-coloured outfits and outlandish hats, vying for best-dressed prizes.

Ladies in high heels and men in tuxedos and designer suits paid limited attention to the horses, as champagne and buffet lunches were served in dozens of plush marquees lining the trackside.

As live music drifted across the course, models dressed by top South African designers such as Terrence Bray sashayed down makeshift runways at several fashion shows.

The first recorded race event in South Africa took place in 1802, since when the sport has developed into a major gambling draw.

Saturday's 12 races were expected to attract 200-million rand ($15 million/13 million euros) in bets from punters nationwide.

According to Imagine Racing magazine, a win in the race "places a horse in an elite group of equine champions and paves the way for a potential stud career."

Tourism officials said the event generates about $20 million in revenue for the city of Durban.

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the Pantless Look

Even Céline Dion Is Doing the Pantless Look

We’ve reviewed many of Céline Dion’s latest fashion looks, including her all-pink one with sky-high Casadei pumps and her faux-leather overalls with Giuseppe Zanotti x Kanye West heels.

In the past 24 hours, she has embraced two major trends. On Tuesday, the superstar singer stepped out of her hotel in Paris wearing a blue sweatshirt and matching wide-leg sweatpants by Off-White. She completed the look with white sneakers, proving that even at age 49, she can rock streetwear just as well as any young star.

On Wednesday, she completely changed her look. She stepped out in a dramatic python jacket and brown suede thigh-high boots — both from Balmain’s fall ’17 collection. Dion’s boots came up so high on her leg that even her short T-shirt covered the top of the boots, making them appear to be pants. She seemed to be loving her ensemble as she waved to cameras outside her hotel.

Dion’s stylist, Law Roach, continues to create a parade of looks for Dion that continue to surprise and impress. The singer is doing a lineup of shows in France before a few in the U.K. She’ll then head back to her residency in Las Vegas in the fall.

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Protests in France against the fashion for thinness

Protests in France against the fashion for thinness

Protests are growing more frequent in Paris against the fashion of thinness imposed largely by the dressmakers, but also by the more recent activities of a sporting generation.

While the latter is a more or less natural slimness, the dressmakers insist that all and sundry should adapt their forms to the tubular fashions of the day, even when these forms have far more in common with a sphere.

Elderly women in particular, it is alleged, have done themselves much harm by drastic dieting and too much exercise. It is not given to everyone, for instance, to roll the length of the dining-room twelve times every morning before breakfast without feeling shattered after the event.

Probably it is girls who are the worst sufferers from the fashion. Heartrending examples are given by the anti-slim protestants of girls who go without every form of sweet, and work and play all night and all day in order to retain the required slimness. There are others who run sport to death in the interests of their figures.

Nor is thinness the only dangerous fashion of the moment. There is the fashion for no hats, which has gained greatly among young French girls. This, it is alleged, has produced innumerable cases of sunstroke and even erysipelas. There are the everlasting high heels and there are the glass bangles which, it is alleged, break very easily, and thus puncture the arm.

Of all these fashions, however, the most drastic is certainly that of slenderness. In the case of professional mannequins and others connected with the dressmaking trade it is, of course, essential. The dresses shown by them are tighter than would be worn by any ordinary mortal, and the mannequin could not sit down in them even if there were no danger of creasing them.

There are, however, extreme cases. It is likely that on the whole the fashion is a healthy one. It is certainly healthy by comparison with tight waists and tight shoes, and even the comfortable embonpoint which used to be largely due to over-feeding. It is natural that those to whom slenderness is a problem should agitate for a fashion rather more comprehensive in character.

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