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Giambattista Valli is Launching a New Label

Image: SIPA/WENN.com

Image: SIPA/WENN.com

Giambattista Valli is expanding his brand, adding a new label to the roster. The designer will unveil his latest line, Giamba, during Milan Fashion Week this September, which he says will run "in parallel to the designer brand." Valli promises this new label will be more "playful, underground and sexy," though he thinks this new side of him will appeal to his current fan base as well as new customers.

Giamba will churn out two main and pre-season collections per year, under the umbrella of GBO, a company Valli set up with Mario Bandiera to oversee ready-to-wear production and now, Giamba collections. We don't know much yet about price points, but I wager Giamba will be slightly less expensive than its main sister label–and significantly less than Valli's couture offerings.

I guess we'll have to wait until September to find out. It'll be exciting to see what Valli has up his sleeve!

[via WWD]

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Emily Blunt Doesn’t Look Like Herself on the UK Harper’s Bazaar July Cover (Forum Buzz)

As the July issues start to flood the forums, the latest magazine to surface is UK Harper's Bazaar. The July 2014 issue features Emily Blunt, who is currently promoting Edge Of Tomorrow with co-star Tom Cruise. Emily is seen here on this vibrant and summery cover wearing Christopher Kane, photographed by Alexi Lubomirski.

UK Harper's Bazaar July 2014 Emily Blunt

IMAGE CREDIT: DIGITALSPY.CO.UK VIA TFS FORUMS

"It's just a bad cover shot of her, her face does look changed, so unless it's a weird angle they caught her from, it was done in post production. It just makes me mad, because you can look at any paparazzi candid or red carpet shot, and this woman is gorgeous, needs NO messing with her face!" commented Miss Dalloway.

"My thoughts exactly. Most of the paparazzi pics of Emily are much better than this," replied Nymphaea.

Tinsley V shared the same sentiments: "Yikes. This makeup is very wrong for her. I think that's what's giving off this overly Photoshopped vibe. She has a slightly larger mouth and nose which are more exaggerated by the bold lip … the light eye makeup draws even more attention to the bottom half of the face and then the eyebrows are too heavy."

"Oh my, she looks like two different people from the cover to the editorial. In love with that landscape shot of her in green. The colour palette is certainly fresh and a nice change from all the dowdy covers we've been seeing lately, but that is not a good angle/post-production work," agreed Cosmic Voices.

However, not everyone agrees. Forum member ohmycolin enthused, "This cover is sosososososo gorgeous, I absolutely adore the colour scheme, nice and a fresh and airy and summery and Emily looks radiant!"

Check out the thread for previews of Emily's cover story and join the discussion here.

 

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Meet Tessie, Mulberry’s New Affordable Range

If you cast your minds back to the beginning of the year, you’ll remember that Mulberry issued a profit warning reporting that it had severely suffered over the holidays, and many were left guessing that its luxury price tag was finally becoming a little too much for the brand. Fast forward almost six months and a new, more affordable collection is born.

tf1

It’s always great to splash out on an extra expensive piece of arm candy but can most of us realistically justify spending up to £2000 on a new handbag? The news of a range that’s still an investment, yet not so crippling on the purse strings, has been well received by the majority, save for the odd bag snob who refuses to pay so little for Mulberry. Years ago, when Mulberry initially launched, its price points were nowhere near as steep as they are now and the new Tessie range, which starts at a much more reasonable £495, is reminiscent of the brand's earlier pricing.

Nail the mini bag trend with the mini small satchel or opt for the classic full size. Or, choose between a casual cool slouchy hobo and a smart shopper. You can view the collection in a choice of timeless colourways online at Mulberry here.

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Are School Dress Codes Sexualizing the Teenage Girls They Aim to Protect?

Image: Fox 13 News

Image: Fox 13 News

Utah's Wasatch High School is in the news today, after several female students found their yearbook pictures were Photoshopped to show less skin, namely, clavicles, shoulders and tattoos. These are the actions of a high school in Utah–not a high school in Saudi Arabia.

The students are understandably pissed. Not only were the girls not wearing anything inappropriate or overly-revealing, it's that some students' pictures were Photoshopped for decency (which they were informed was a possibility before taking the pictures), while others were left as is. "I feel like they put names in a hat and pick and choose who," Sophomore Rachel Russel told Fox 13 News. "There were plenty of girls that were wearing thicker tank tops and half of them got edited and half of them didn’t."

And she's right. There are two photos in which girls are wearing a denim vest over a sleeveless blouse. In one image, sleeves were added, and in another, the shoulders were left bare.

Wasatch High School has since released a "sorry-not-sorry"-style statement, in which they apologize not for Photoshopping girls who weren't at all dressed indecently in the first place, but for not being more consistent in their editing: "In the application of these graphic corrections, the high school yearbook staff did make some errors and were not consistent in how they were applied to student photos and the school apologizes for that inconsistency.”

(more…)

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Does Naomi Campbell *Really* Need This Much Photoshop?

naomi campbell photoshop bazaar vietnam

Image: FashionGoneRogue

The last few times we've posted stories calling out magazines or brands for gratuitously using Photoshop, I've noticed more and more readers speaking out in defense of the practice. Many of you agree with the Nick Knight statement on airbrushing: "If you want reality, look out the window."

naomi campbell photoshop bazaar vietnam

Image: FashionGoneRogue

Clearly Photoshop and the fashion industry aren't breaking up anytime soon, but I think most of us would agree that there are good and bad ways to use the technique. If you're airbrushing an image to create an aesthetic effect, that's one thing, but completely distorting a person's body so that it better conforms to a boring standard of perfection has nothing to do with creativity. Of course, media producers are always going to use some amount of airbrushing to make images aspirational and to present a fantasy, but shouldn't there be limits? How much Photoshop is too much Photoshop?

Consider these images of Naomi Campbell, which are from Harper's Bazaar Vietnam's June issue. One tFSer called out the one on the right: "They usually Photoshop Naomi a lot in magazines, but I think they went too far with this one." And indeed, Campbell's skin glows like plastic and her already-big lips are comically swollen. The supermodel is one of the world's most beautiful women; does she really need to be made beautiful-er? Do her pixels really need so much smoothing and rearranging?

[Images via FashionGoneRogue]

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American Apparel’s Tumblr Is So Porny, and Not Just Because of the Brand’s Advertising

american apparel ad 2007 topless

Image: americanapparel.tumblr.com

American Apparel aligns its brand with pornography more blatantly than any other retailer I can think of — and that's been the case for years. Take the ad above, which ran in 2007: I'm sure I don't need to point out the boobs, which aren't just there — lazily hanging around like lifeless props, as they do in some advertising — but are made titillating (sry) through the erotic act of undressing. That ad is all about the boobs, even though it's selling a vest. However you feel about American Apparel's porny ads (as well as the repeated sexual harassment allegations against the company's CEO and founder, Dov Charney), there's no denying that these campaigns have attracted a lot of attention and helped the brand secure its position as one of America's most ubiquitous clothing retailers. (By December 2010, AA had expanded to 273 locations.)

Although American Apparel's "sex sells" approach has helped the brand in many ways, the notoriety hasn't always worked to the company's advantage: Not everyone wants to buy clothing from a company whose image and, if by some accounts, company culture is rooted in the exploitation and objectification of women.

A slogan I saw at the American Apparel on east Houston Street last weekend seemingly acknowledged the squeamishness some people may feel about shopping there: "We may not be politically correct, but our ethics are good." The sentence (as I remember it) was plastered on the wall in giant block letters near the entrance. Although there's nothing more annoying than a person or a brand shrugging off legitimate concerns as "politically correct" minutia, I was struck by the accuracy of the slogan. American Apparel's advertising, brand and approach is ridiculous and offensive (again, setting aside the allegations against founder Charney, since we're talking about the business as a whole), but as a clothing company, AA operates in a fairly ethical way, especially compared to its fashion industry peers:

  1. Manufacturing in the U.S.: According to the company, the average American Apparel factory worker earns $25,000 a year, which is not exactly a comfortable income, but is above the poverty line. (By comparison, the minimum wage in Bangladesh was recently raised to $68 a month, which means the average factory worker will take home $816 annually.) 
  2. Reasonable prices: You'll pay more for a dress at American Apparel than you would at Forever 21, but given the solid quality of most items and decent factory working conditions, the prices seem fair. (Compare this pair of sparkly American Apparel stockings, which go for $17, to this $1300 pair of Saint Laurent tights.)
  3. Wearable basics: Although American Apparel is notorious for its bad 80s acid trip neon offerings — "American Apparel will make you look like a fat hooker," Jezebel proclaimed in a widely-read piece in 2008 — the bulk of the retailer's inventory is made up of seasonless staples: T-shirts, bodysuits, sweaters, simple skirts and dresses, all available in a wide variety of colors. 

american apparel ad topless

Image: AmericanApparel.Tumblr.com

American Apparel is doing a lot of things right, so why hasn't its advertising advanced past the same boring porny bullshit the brand has been churning for years? Yes, the company made a couple of highly-publicized strides in a different direction (such as its plus-size model contest, which snubbed the real winner of the contest for her satirical entry photos), but all in all, most American Apparel ads are just more of the same. (The photo pictured on the right is dated February 2014 and captioned, "Marissa wearing the Angeleno Jacket.")

And to make matters worse, the company apparently has no desire to pivot away from the easy sex stuff, even now that American Apparel has established itself as one of the country's biggest fashion brands. The retailer's Tumblr, for example, doesn't even restrain itself to posting nekkid brand advertising — a significant portion of the content is just unambiguous porn. Some selections (nsfw, of course): a woman performing oral sex, a man sucking on a woman's breast and fondling her genitals, more genital fondling. You get the point, I'm sure. 

Of course, Tumblr's dirty little secret is that a big chunk of its traffic comes for the site's many porn blogs, so American Apparel is possibly just trying to fit in with the community. Still, it's depressing that they're not even trying. If the company really wants to persuade skeptics that its heart is in the right place, it might have to work harder to engage with its customers. Not all of us are so easily impressed by boobs.

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