Vogue Thailand's November Issue cover featuring Naomi Campbell (above) was first posted to Facebook yesterday by photographer Marcin Tyszka, who shot the cover image and editorial spread. The response was immediate and in the tFS Forums, mostly unfavorable, with some members suggesting that the publication had whitewashed Campbell's skin: "Naomi was recently a guest on the Jonathan Ross show and her skin was beautifully dark," wrote Cosmic Voices. "It's such a shame that retouchers aren't only over-Photoshopping but in fact lightning skin tone."
The sentiment was echoed by a handful of outlets, most forcefully by The Gloss: "It’s hard not to see a racial side to this—they lightened her skin and eyes for god’s sake. This shows just how insidious beauty standards can be, and even a supermodel could be prettier. She could be less black."
Today, Vogue Thailand shared a screenshot (below) showing Tyszka's email response to a critic of the cover. The photographer didn't respond to charges of racism directly or discuss airbrushing, claiming the effect was "a question of [lighting] + make up" and that the "pastel tones" are his standard style.
"[I]f you see the rest of the story — all the pictures are like this," he wrote, "everything is light including her skin…she has perfect skin condition — no wrinkles at all — thats [sic] why we wanted to go for close up — to show how perfect her skin in. Naomi is always super sexy – our idea was to create the Prada  look — more light - pastel - sweet – soft."
Tyszka continued, saying that Campbell's agent "loved" the photos, as did "other supermodels." He did acknowledge that it may be "surprising to see her like this," but says the choices were intentional, that the look was created as a fashion statement: "This is what we wanted."
We've reached out to our friends at Vogue Thailand to confirm whether the photos were manipulated and will report back with their statement. [Update: The publication responded with a statement that you can read here.]
Update: While we were prepping this post, Tyszka shared the final version of Vogue Thailand's November cover, which will go live tomorrow. Campbell's skin is undeniably darker in the second image:
Follow-up with Vogue Thailand statement: Vogue Thailand Explains Its Controversial November Cover: We Had No Intention of Making Naomi Campbell Look ‘Whiter’ or ‘Pale’
Abbie Cornish might like to switch things up career-wise (the actress moonlights as a rapper under the alias MC Dusk), but when it comes to her wardrobe, she sticks to what works: Namely blue halter necks and belted waists.
At the Wallis Anneberg Center for the Performing Arts gala last week, Cornish opted for a floor-length satin gown that was remarkably similar in DNA to the one she wore to Warner Music Group’s 2013 Grammy celebration back in February. The fancier Ferragamo version was elevated to gala status with lustrous fabric and glitzy embellishments, but the cut is almost identical. Even her Old Hollywood hairstyle is waved and parted in the exact same places.
Well, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?
instagram/nikipauls via the tfs forums
French top model Aymeline Valade was the campaign queen of the Fall 2012/Winter 2013 season, having been featured in campaigns for Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Bottega Veneta, Donna Karan, McQ and Reed Krakoff. After that followed a long drought period with very little major print work and not a single campaign in Spring 2013. In the Spring 2014 runway season, she was nowhere to be seen. So what does a top model do when her career seems to be drastically dwindling like that? Yep, she goes platinum blonde. Albeit sympathetic towards the fact the fading model is trying to revive her career, tFS forum members were not happy about the change.
“I'm far too attached to her dark femme fatale look to really appreciate this right now,” wrote Cold.
And Marc10 posted, “I hate it so much, it washes her out.”
“Oh yeah I hate it too. It seems like a desperate attempt to revive her career…” agreed anlabe32.
Aymeline was not the only model to recently pull off the platinum blonde stunt. Ava Smith, an American model who could not follow up an impressive runway season with any notable campaigns, had the same idea. She had decent success this Fashion Week but forum members mostly found the new hair to not do her any favors.
“The hair doesn't look very natural but with a face like that it doesn't matter she still looks very beautiful,” commented Melly5525.
image credit: imaxtree.com
It’s safe to say both Aymeline and Ava will not the repeat the success of Sasha Luss, whose transition from dark blonde to platinum blonde paid off and catapulted her from being a runway filler to becoming one of the most sought-after models of the Spring 2014 season. Which model do you think pulls off the extreme platinum blonde hair best?
Yesterday morning, Kanye West paid a visit to Big Boy's Neighborhood, a radio show on Power 106 in Los Angeles, to discuss why he would hypothetically turn down a job at Louis Vuitton (a conversation America needs to have):
"If I had the opportunity to design now for Louis Vuitton, I wouldn't because the prices are just too extreme. And I don't want to use my message to have kids be saving up that much, to be a part of what the ideas are. And that's the problem, to me, with luxury. "
Okay? That's a bizarre statement for three reasons:
Kanye was already presented with the opportunity to design for Louis Vuitton, and he jumped at the chance: In 2009, the performing artist developed a line of premium sneakers (retailing around the $1000 mark) with the French fashion brand.
The prices may be extreme now, but they're projected to rise. Louis Vuitton executives recently hired a new accessories designer, Darren Spaziani, to launch a line of "hyper-luxury" goods to help combat lagging sales in Asia, a cooldown which is partially attributed to market saturation and increasingly sophisticated tastes.
Luxury fashion brands do promote hollow aspirational materialism, but Kanye's hands are soiled either way. West releases his records through Def Jams and Roc-a-Fella records, both subsidiaries of Universal Music Group, which is the single biggest music corporation in the world — the LVMH of the music industry. He's also on the verge of marrying Kim Kardashian; her hobbies include endorsing products and inviting paparazzi to photograph her Rodeo Drive shopping trips.
Followed with a fairly lucid explanation of how fashion operates:
"One thing that's good — I don't totally agree with everything H&M and Zara do — but one good thing is that they were able to break that idea that creativity and these things you really want, have to cost a million dollars.
That's the whole concept, they take the most talented kids — a lot of them went to [Central] St. Martins in London. That's where Alexander McQueen went and Phoebe Philo and Riccardo Tisci (Phoebe Philo is the designer at Celine, Riccardo Tisci is the designer at Givenchy and of course McQueen is McQueen, who passed away). And then they get assigned to these major corporations. Either the Kering Group, which is Gucci Group, or LVMH.
And what happens is, they have a process where they work on clothes. The same way I work on an album. There might be ten people in a studio, thirteen people in a studio, a knitwear designer, shoe designer, fabrics designer, silhouettes, menswear designer … all that. And then they do these fashion shows twice a year – the clothes get released and they get sold to Bergdorf's or Barneys or something like this — like, three, four months later.
And the prices are really based on this perception, this idea of luxury. They get sold to you, where you see a girl laid out on a rock, on a side of a rock, and it's like, a Gucci ad at the bottom of it."
And then he flashed a surprising glimmer of depth:
But I realized, the only real luxury is time, that's the only thing you can't get back — time with your family. And people need to understand that the true art is just like, life itself.
It was just a glimmer:
You know, it's kind of unfair that with me and my level of communication for the past ten years… You know, people say 'Oh, he's arrogant!' And I'm like no, I'm the most influential person in fashion in the past ten years.
There's a video:
Fashion people. Halloween. Instagram. This Grace Coddington x cat picture —> should be all you need to click. [Fashionologie]
Kim Kardashian is sauntering around wearing white lace dresses like she's got a wedding coming up, or something. [FabSugar]
If your skin breaks out because you've been breaking a sweat, I covet your problems. [BellaSugar]
"Where's the Newest Place to Hashtag? On Your Wrist, Obvi." [SheFinds]
Jay Z feels that he is being "demonized" over his Barneys deal. [USAToday]
Jeremy Scott has been appointed creative director of Moschino. [Moschino blog]
So here’s my confession: Last Wednesday I bailed on Toronto Fashion Week to attend the first international store opening of White House/Black Market in Yorkdale Mall. Of course, you can forgive my truancy from the tents because this was quite a significant event given the MASSIVE fan base WHBM commands in Canada, which as I discovered from a quick chat with President Donna Noce, was one of the main reasons that convinced the store to expand into Toronto.
Staying true to the U.S.-based brand aesthetic, the Yorkdale store featured an array of black and white trend pieces, this season speckled with the colour de jour, imperial purple. Floral print sweaters and scarves, suede Mary Janes, svelte fitting black pants, starched collared shirts, prim blazers and winter overcoats canvas the walls with prices in the low to midrange of smart essentials (think LOFT and Ann Taylor), while the store's crème de la crème, the shimmering jewelry, is delicately displayed at the back.
I fell in love with the statement collar necklaces, bedazzled with candy-like gems and dainty pearls, which while on the pricier side ($70 for a heavy-set necklace piece), could invoke a “wow” with even the simplest of white shirts.