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Fast Fashion Chains Continue to Flood Australia’s Retail Market

h&mIn a heavy blow for local boutiques but an irresistible temptation for slaves to fast fashion, overseas chains Forever 21 and H&M are both launching their inaugural Australian flagships in early 2014.

Forever 21 will see festival-ready fringing and patterned leggings take over a two-level, 1900-square-meter space in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall. The brand has opened 480 outlets worldwide since its birth in 1984.

“Australia is a terrific market and we hope to make a lot of customers happy. We are satisfied to have a strong landlord help us embark this journey. We will be penetrating the market in a sustainable manner," Forever 21 director, real estate and development Jatin Malhotra told Rag Trader last week.

Just how sustainable this penetration (or saturation) of the local market remains to be seen. In the last few months, local design luminaries Lisa Ho, Kirrily Johnston and Collette Dinnigan have all bowed out of the game owing to crippling debts, and while fast fashion isn’t solely responsible, it’s difficult to see how the availability of $30 carbon copies of runway looks benefits the local industry.

Swedish behemoth H&M will take over a 5,000-square-meter slice of the GPO building in Melbourne. It will be a full “concept” (AKA freakin’ huge) flagship, comprising not just women’s and menswear but H&M’s entire home offering of towels, bedding, curtains and other affordable home goods.

“We are excited our first Australian store will be at such a landmark location as the GPO," said Hans Andersson, Country Manager for H&M Australia. "We are looking forward to opening our doors to the Australian customers and offering them the H&M shopping experience with fashion and quality at the best price. It will be a unique retail experience and we hope they will enjoy our full concept assortment."

Other American and European retailers to have set up shop in Australia include Topshop and Zara. Uniqlo has also announced it will be making the move next year.

We’re far from immune to the appeal of a $24.99 galaxy print cat sweater, and will be among the first in line when doors finally open (or at least a week later, after the danger of getting trampled by replica Balenciaga Ceintures has subsided). But try not to forget about the local guys in the process. 

The Buzz Forum Buzz

Vanessa Axente Wows in New Calvin Klein ‘Endless Euphoria’ Campaign (Forum Buzz)

image credit: fragrantica.com via the tfs forums

image credit: fragrantica.com via the tfs forums

It’s doubtful any other model of her generation will ever reach the same level as Vanessa Axente in terms of exclusivity and blue chip work. Like no other model in the last few years, Vanessa has racked up work with only the best photographers and clients. Her latest coup is a new fragrance campaign for the scent ‘Endless Euphoria’ by Calvin Klein, shot by Steven Meisel. Fans of the Hungarian model were pleased not just with the fact that Vanessa landed the campaign but also with how the image turned out.

“What an absolutely stunning shot, can't wait to see that face plastered everywhere, one of my favorite campaign shots of her ever,” posted teaars. 

And Nepenthes swooned, “Congratulations, Vanessa!! I absolutely love that shot. She looks like a nymph; so ethereal! Looking forward to more shots!”

However, even though there is usually little dispute about the quality of Vanessa’s work, many forum members did not add to the praise found in the model’s tFS thread.

“She's not convincing here. Natalia's the ultimate Euphoria girl for me, and this coming from someone who's indifferent towards her,” shared Flashbang

Nymphaea agreed. “Indeed not convincing, her right eyebrow is too much hauled up, doesn't look right. Also the colors on her face don't feel natural,” she wrote. 

I am personally not the biggest fan of Vanessa’s look, but this campaign made me go “Wow!” There is not really much worth criticizing here because it’s simply a great image, if you ask me. Keep it up, Vanessa! 

The Buzz Forum Buzz

Cara Delevingne for Vogue UK: ‘The Model Who Was Liked Into Superstardom’ (Forum Buzz)

Vogue.co.uk

Vogue.co.uk

Less than a year after she made her Vogue UK cover debut, Cara Delevingne returns for the January 2014 Issue. Photographed by Alasdair McLellan, the British model wears a head-to-toe Saint Laurent look of red leather pants, a leopard print blouse and a paneled black tuxedo jacket.

Trying to understand how the fashion styling is relevant to the current decade may be above my skill level (or as Kite put it in the forums, "That outfit……………what?") and so is the accompanying caption ("Cara Delevingne: The model who was liked into superstardom") — but I can always appreciate a well-tousled head of hair. 

Some more notable forum commentary, for your time: 

Mikel: "I don't like her pose at all, she is just standing there."

Greenway: "Everything apart from her outfit is absolutely gorgeous."

CommanderTMugler: "It's not bad, the outfit looks like something you would see on Alessandra Ambrosio or Miranda Kerr wearing on their everyday lives [ed. note: sick burn.], her hair looks great too just her face looks so bland."

ALAUU: "I've never thought of Cara as particularly likable. I'm not really feeling this cover at all."

HodanChloe: "Lmao, they couldn't even wait 12 months to give her another cover?"

HeatherAnne: "Color scheme :heart: Cara looking beautiful :heart: An outfit I'd actually wear :heart: This is refreshing."

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The Buzz Latest News

How to Dress for Comfort and Style at the Airport, Courtesy of Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga / Image: WENN.com

Lady Gaga / Image: WENN.com

I guess you do what you can to stay relevant. It's all about how you market yourself, and you shouldn't judge a woman until you've gone through airport security in her shoes. It just goes to show, most of us couldn't handle the challenges Lady Gaga faces everyday, but at least we can all relate to her casual jeans-and-a-tee-shirt traveling ensemble. 

The Buzz Latest News

Sui He Returns as the Face of Shiseido’s Spring 2014 Makeup Collection

Image: tFS Forums

Image: tFS Forums

The image above was just posted to theFashionSpot forums.
The image above is an ad from Shiseido's Spring 2014 Makeup Collection campaign.
The image above stars the model Sui He

Sui He first appeared as the face of Shiseido for the cosmetic giant's Spring 2013 campaign. / She was the first Asian model to represent the beauty brand. (Some called it a "major moment.")

The model's previous campaigns for Shiseido were shot by the legendary British photographer, Nick Knight. / For all we know, he photographed Sui He for this latest campaign, too. 

The Buzz Latest News

Gwyneth Paltrow and Tracy Anderson Have a New Show and We Have the Trailer — AMAZING!

Image: WENN

Image: WENN

Nothing says, "Hello, it's Tuesday!" quite like a press release delivered on a Tuesday.

ME: Hello, Tuesday!!  What do you have for me today?

TUESDAY: Some very exciting news: AOL has announced a new 10-episode web series from lifestyle guru Gwyneth Platrow and her exercise trainer, Tracy Anderson.

ME: Wow, just wow. Tell me, what is it called?

TUESDAY: It's called “The Restart Project” and it will premiere on Monday, December 16 on Aol On.

ME: Aol On?

TUESDAY: Google it. (You can also use another search engine, like Bing.) It's the world's biggest and best AOL-branded online video destination. 

ME: AMAZING!

TUESDAY: It's funny you should say that. It really is amazing. "The Restart Project" is about amazing women who do amazing things and also work out. 

ME: They find the time to work out?

TUESDAY: Totally, but it's not just about fitting into a pair of skinny jeans. Gwyneth and Tracy are inspired by women who have overcome hardship, injury and setbacks to triumph in the face of adversity. 

ME: I'm inspired by that, too. 

TUESDAY: Yes, we'll hear their inspiring stories firsthand, whether fighting back from a career-ending injury or transforming their lives and bodies through diet and exercise.

ME: Is there a trailer I could watch, or something?

TUESDAY: 100%. I am Tuesday and I have this $h*z under control:

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