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See Michelle Obama’s Second Official White House Portrait

Image via White House Flickr; official portrait by Chuck Kennedy

I am trying to find an interesting angle to this whole "The White House just posted Michelle Obama's second official portrait to Flickr" post, and I've got nothing, which must mean this is a successful expression of the form. Official portraits aspire to blandness and it's a bad sign when they produce news, because it's never positive. Case in point: the horrifying first Palace-commisioned painting of Kate Middleton which made the Internet rounds earlier last month. When you're the wife of a leader of the free world, all press is not good press. A lot of press is bad press. 

So hurrah: Obama's second term White House portrait is perfectly ordinary. The photo showcases her controversial bangs but that's only because they're situated on her head, the centerpiece of the image. The First Lady shows her unconventional demeanor and relaxed manner with off-center pearls but come on, they're pearls. If words cast shadows, no one would ever have to use the words "pearls" and "conventional" in the same sentence

The First Lady pairs the necklace with a dark navy dress. It's cute. It has elbow-length sleeves; there's even an asymmetrical seam running down the front. But "bold fashion choice" it is not. 

Wedding ring, glossy pink lipstick, neutral nails: I am practically falling asleep but still, this is one for the literal history books. 

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Does Rihanna’s River Island Collection Look Better On Cats?

Rihanna showed her River Island collection as part of London Fashion Week and the critical reception has not been positive. It hasn't even been neutral. The Daily Beast was particularly blunt, using adjectives like "hideous," "slutty" (okay, Tom Sykes, is that like, an official fashion term or something you just like to say about what women are wearing?) and "predictable" to describe it. It's too bad Rihanna was looking forward to seeing the "reaction from … the fashion press."

As our own Chrissy Makkas said on the TFS Twitter, "Why design a clothing line if you're the only person on earth who will (kind of) look good in it?" I thought Chrissy had a point, but wondered — what if Rihanna's River Island collection wasn't for people at all? Would the line would look better on cats? 

No, but at least the cats aren't ruined by what they're wearing. (It's hard to ruin cats.)

The Rihanna x River Island collection will launch on March 5th at Opening Ceremony in the US and the UK. Cats not included. 

Images via WENN

PreviouslyRihanna to Debut Her River Island Collection at London Fashion Week

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Kate Middleton’s “Baby Bump” Wears MaxMara to Its First Public Appearance

Image via Getty

Today, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, the pregnant human woman formerly known as "Kate Middleton," appeared in public at the Hope House, an addiction treatment center in South London. The whole occasion was obviously just a photo op designed to showcase Middleton's never-before-seen pregnant belly and the Duchess dressed appropriately, choosing a printed blue MaxMara wrap dress which practically screams, "There is a royal life forming in my belly!" 

The MaxMara dress is currently sold out. No word yet on whether the label is in talks to produce a maternity line. 

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You’ll Either Love or Hate Heidi Klum’s Interview Germany Cover

Image via Interview Germany's Facebook

Here's Heidi Klum looking like someone else entirely (fellow model Claudia Schiffer, maybe?) on the cover of Interview Germany's March Issue. From a strategy standpoint, it can't be smart to squander the German model's celebrity by publishing a cover where she looks unrecognizable, but I like the surreal aspect of the image — which balances Heidi's obscured face with the overexposed photo print on her swimsuit — and respect its boldness. 

I'm being too mild: in reality this cover made my heart sing. I decided to make my own face-print swimsuit, but unfortunately had a hard time following Heidi's lead and not making myself the center of attention. Since I ended up using a photo of my own face, I decided my creation had to be menswear:

I've already recieved three orders. 

A magician's never supposed to reveal her tricks, but since I'm not a magician I can tell you how to customize a pair of board shorts with a giant photo of your face: Click over to Shortomatic.com. Or you can really go for it with a personalized bikini at Kinimatic.com.

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Karen Walker Enlists the Advanced Style Ladies to Front Another Quirky Eyewear Campaign

New Zealand designer Karen Walker always comes up with the coolest campaigns for her wildly popular eyewear range, and this season is no different. For her latest collection, she’s teamed up with Ari Seth Cohen of the equally fantastic Advanced Style blog, who cast four of his favourite ladies to front the Spring 2013 campaign.

Joyce, Linda, Lynn and Illona, aged between 65 and 92, were shot in their own New York City apartments wearing KW shades paired with a bunch of “model’s own” statement accessories. The collection itself is an attention-seeking mix of oversized geometric shapes and contemporary materials. Giant circles, modernised cat eyes and angular squares are rendered in lucite, tortoiseshell, candy-hued pastels and even glitter. Impeccable styling matches each pair to its model’s dazzling sense of personal style.

It’s a great way to show off the range, which is a prime example of the designer’s ability to consistently be fun and eye catching while remaining timeless and a little bit sincere. It also provides a very compelling reason to treat yourself to a new pair of shades, because you know you’ll be wearing these ones for many decades to come. 

See the full campaign over on Ari's blog.

 

Images: Advanced Style 

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Toronto Fashion Week Fall 2013 Lineup Revealed

Have you been following the New York Fashion Week coverage? The week was a whirlwind of loved and loathed trends and, if you're already mourning its end, I have some good news: Toronto Fashion Week — or should I say World MasterCard Fashion Week? — has released its preliminary lineup so you can start looking to secure your passes.

The event will once again take place at David Pecaut Square from Monday, March 18 to Friday, March 22 (that's less than a month, y'all!) under the watchful eye of IMG Fashion Events and Properties, whose knowledge and international expertise are helping to propel Canadian fashion to a larger stage.

"March marks our second season producing World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto and providing a venue where designers can share their newest collections with Canada, as well as the worldwide fashion community," said Jarrad Clark, Director of Global Production. "We are dedicated to building a platform that encompasses all Canadian fashion initiatives while using IMG Fashion’s global knowledge and expertise to support both established and emerging designers."

So how about those designers? There's an eclectic mix of seasoned designers and newcomers, with the likes of Pink Tartan, Bustle, Joe Fresh and VAWK returning to packed crowds. Meanwhile, The Collections, which has previously been held offsite at the Burroughes Building, will secure a runway spot for its designers that include Chloé comme Parris, Laura Siegel, Sid Neigum, Klaxon Howl, Matthew Gallagher and Thomas Bálint. Rounding out the other designers to show at the Fall 2013 week is ASHTIANI by Golnaz Ashtiani, Bustle, Chloe comme Parris, Rudsak, Stephan Caras and Mackage.

There's no word on whether the ultra-stylish Ikea Monkey will walk at any of this seasons shows and calendar slots could still fill with more familiar names in the coming weeks, but for now, it's beginning to look a lot like fabulous.

Image via World MasterCard Fashion Week/Ashtiani

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