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Oscar de la Renta Is Bringing John Galliano Back Into the Fold

John Galliano, Anna Wintour, Oscar De La Renta in 1990 via Getty Images

It's almost fashion week, which means Oscar de la Renta is back in the pages of WWD courting controversy. Last season, he entered into a very public and very childish feud with fashion critic Cathy Horyn, taking out an ad in the print version of the industry trade publication to call her a "stale three-day-old hamburger." 

Though the insult totally cemented his reputation as a creative genius, it did not do a lot for public perception of his maturity level. But based on his comments in today's issue of WWD, it's become apparent that the New York-based designer does not actually care what people think of him. 

In any other case, I'd be all like, #respect — but this case involves helping fashion bogeyman John Galliano revive his career. Sorry, #norespect. 

I know there's an argument to be made for giving Galliano a second chance after his 2011 disgrace, but I personally do believe his behavior was unforgivable. If you need a refresher course: two years ago, the then-Dior designer was filmed making truly vile anti-Semitic and racist comments at a Parisian cafe. He was drunk, yes — but then again he also said, "I love Hitler." I don't know how acquainted you are with intoxication, but love of Hitler is not actually a common side effect. (As a consequence of his actions, Galliano was fired from Dior and his namesake label — the John Galliano brand was owned by Dior holding company LVMH — and fined €6,000. He went to rehab and his French Legion of Honor Medal was revoked.) 

Here's my reasoning: Let's set aside Galliano's so-called genius, and imagine a parallel, but more mundane scenario. Haha, let's make it about boys! If a friend came to me and said, "Maximillian [her boyfriend] got really drunk last night and told me he thought me and my entire family should have been exterminated in concentration camps and then he passed out. But this morning we talked about it and now we're fine. I'm gonna marry him and have his babies," my response would probably be like, "Wow, Maximillian has always seemed like kind of a jerk, but I didn't know he was evil. I'm sorry, but I don't think he is The One. In fact, I think you should have nothing to do with him ever again." "But I love him," says my friend, "And he didn't mean it! He was just so drunk. He's an alcoholic and he's going to enter a treatment program." Wow, sorry. This was supposed to be a really light and fluffy example, but it's getting really heavy. My imagined self was about to start looking up Al-Anon programs. 

The point I'm trying to make: I believe there's a limit to how much we can forgive what people say and do when they're intoxicated. I'm not saying we should imprison Galliano for life, but I don't think it's right to welcome him back with open arms and to help him reestablish his glamourous, high-profile career. It sets a bad precedent, sends the wrong message. And so on. 

De la Renta, however, disagrees. He tells WWD that he's invited the former Dior designer to join him in his New York studio in the lead-up to fashion week: “John and I have known each other for many years and I am a great admirer of his talent. He has worked long and hard on his recovery and I am happy to give him the opportunity to reimmerse himself in the world of fashion and reacclimate in an environment where he has been so creative.”

Galliano also made a statement: “I am an alcoholic. I have been in recovery for the past two years. Several years prior to my sobriety, I descended into the madness of the disease. I said and did things which hurt others, especially members of the Jewish community. I have expressed my sorrow privately and publicly for the pain which I caused, and I continue to do so. I remain committed to making amends to those I have hurt.”

Well, I guess we'll see how this plays out. I do believe it would be better for you, me and everyone we know — even Galliano himself — if he could just live quietly among friends and stay out of the public eye. Yes, forever. 

The Buzz Forum Buzz

Malgosia Bela, Isabeli Fontana and Sui He Star in Roberto Cavalli’s Spring 2013 Campaign (Forum Buzz)

In a complete about-face from the spare, stark image she portrayed in the Alexander Wang campaign we highlighted yesterday, Malgosia Bela donned smoky eyes and printed clothes alongside Isabeli Fontana and Sui He for the opulent Spring 2013 Roberto Cavalli campaign (photographed by Mario Testino).

Roberto Cavalli Spring 2013 - Malgosia Bela and Isabeli Fontana photographed by Mario TestinoRoberto Cavalli Spring 2013 - Sui He and Isabeli Fontana photographed by Mario Testino

Whether you love it or hate it, you can always depend on Cavalli for over-the-top, in-your-face and even borderline garish clothing and imagery. In this case, it seems most forum members were loving it (despite the excess of face-erasing Photoshop).

“Gorgeous!! They all look very sexy and powerful,” thiago:) posted.

Roberto Cavalli Spring 2013 - Malgosia Bela and Isabeli Fontana photographed by Mario TestinoRoberto Cavalli Spring 2013 - Malgosia Bela and Isabeli Fontana photographed by Mario Testino

“Who would have thought that Malgosia and Isabeli would be stunning to look at together?” cottonmouth13 asked, apparently surprised but pleased with the model casting.

ALAUU wrote, “Talk about glamazons. They look amazing.”

Roberto Cavalli Spring 2013 - Malgosia Bela and Isabeli Fontana photographed by Mario TestinoRoberto Cavalli Spring 2013 - Sui He photographed by Mario Testino

There’s definitely something really strong and powerful about these images and the women are undoubtedly giving off that glamazon vibe ALAUU mentioned, but maybe it’s just me… I find it the campaign to be more intimidating and aggressive than anything else. I don’t want to be these women, but I probably want to stay out of their way.

And, just for kicks, because these are apparently now requisite – a campaign video: 

Images: facebook.com/RobertoCavalli

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Rihanna to Debut Her River Island Collection at London Fashion Week

Rihanna's first-ever fashion collection for River Island will debut at London Fashion Week this February. I know. That's like, tomorrow.

This is the most highly-anticipated designer debut since Kanye West's Dw clothing line launched at Paris Fashion Week for Spring 2012. Just kidding. The only reason anyone was looking forward to Kanye's Dw brand launch was because from the moment it was announced, it seemed like it was going to be a hilarious disaster (unfortunately, it was merely a disaster). A Rihanna x River Island line, on the other hand, will probably be wearable and good, as River Island has actual experience in making clothes and Rihanna is simply great. 

The Barbados-born pop star told Vogue UK: "Launching at London Fashion Week is a dream come true for me. I have wanted to design my own collection for a long time and to present my collection for River Island alongside all of the other great design talent at LFW is a real privilege. I can't wait to see the reaction from my fans and the fashion press!"

Her fans and fashion press will all probably be like, "Yeah, good job Rihanna!"

The collection will launch on March 5 and be available at Opening Ceremony in the US and Japan. 

Image via WENN

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Tommy Hilifiger Sketches Inauguration Outfits for the Obama Daughters

Tommy Hilfiger imagines Malia and Sasha Obama's Inauguration Outfits

WWD asked designers to sketch possible inauguration outfits for birthday girl Michelle Obama, and three of the twelve designers that participated (Bouchra Jarrar, Nanette Lepore, Chanelalso included some fun looks for Sasha and Malia Obama, whose much-discussed election night frocks have apparently made them fair game for the fashion industry. But one of the people consulted by WWD — Tommy Hilfiger — went a step further: skipping over the First Lady entirely, the iconic American designer focused all his efforts on the younger Obama set. You can see what he came up with above. 

Hilfiger told WWD: “My designs for the first daughters are inspired by American spirit with bold pops of color in classic red, white and blue. Sasha’s cropped tux jacket over an A-line silk dress takes a youthful twist on her mother’s classic style. Malia has great style, and I thought it would be fun to see her in a fashion-forward tuxedo jumpsuit.”

His "tuxedo jumpsuit" is cool, but totally outside of the realm of possibility. Hilfiger designed something for a fashion plate — someone other than Malia Obama, a 14-year-old schoolgirl whose father just happens to be the President of the United States. It's a little disturbing how easy it is for a designer like Hilfiger to envision a child like Malia as a luxury mannequin. I'd like to introduce you to fashion's often distorted worldview, I don't know if you're acquainted?

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Karlie’s New Hair Cut Poised to Change Hair Forever

Because this is going to be the fourth time we've featured Karlie Kloss' no-longer-brand-new shortish bob on The Fashion Spot, you might think we really, really like it. Well, I can't speak for everyone else, but at least personally, I'm not like, obsessed with it or anything. It's just hair.

"Just hair?!" I know, I know, I'm talking crazy.

Well, how about this: I think it's kinda mousy, sry. Karlie can, of course, afford to look a little mousy, I'm just saying it's not her finest look. And the reason we've been bringing it to your attention has less to do, I think, with the actual style, and more to do with its news value. Karlie Kloss, Top Model, Cut Her Hair. Bam! Aren't you interested in the fact that Karlie Kloss did something, anything, to her hair? Yeah.

So is The New York Times

Today we have to talk about Karlie's hair because the paper has 1) given it a name — "The Karlie" #howcreative and 2) foretold that we'll soon be seeing The Karlie everywhere we look. Hello, self-fulfilling prophecy! If the long bob hadn't been a trend before — just kidding, the long bob is not a new thing at all. We first ran an article about "The Lob" in May 2011, after a crop of total nobodies like Anne Hathaway, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba and January Jones started clogging the wire photo agencies with their sleek sorta-short hair. 

I think maybe I have no sensibility for beauty trends, because sentences like this one — "The Chop marks a turn away from the beachy waves ubiquitous on everyone from Hollywood actresses (think of Sofia Vergara) to suburban teenagers" — sound (to me) to be among the stupidest you could ever construct in any language.

Since suburban teenagers imitate Hollywood actresses, isn't it natural that they would have similar hair styles? And since Karlie Kloss is a high fashion model, belonging to a style universe that stands apart from the mainstream, does her hair really mark "a turn away" from the kinds of looks favored by TV stars? Most importantly, haven't people been wearing their hair in different ways since like, forever? The only difference between Karlie's hair now and her hair before The Big Cut is seven missing inches. It's a generic style and there's nothing wrong with that, it just seems far less radical than if she'd gone for a pixie cut, even.

On the other hand, if Karlie Kloss ever gets a half-shave, I'll be all like, "Let's shut down the entire Internet to talk about it!!"

Image via Getty

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The Model in Alexander Wang’s Spring 2013 Ad Campaign is Really White (Forum Buzz)

We’re used to seeing Malgosia Bela with long flowing hair, and a natural-colored skin tone (most of the time), but leave it to Alexander Wang to subvert the model’s image for his Spring 2013 ad campaign. Steven Klein was brought in to shoot the campaign, which was art directed by Pascal Dangin – the campaign marks the first time they have worked with the label. The stark images feature an alternately blonde and brunette Malgosia with skin painted white to achieve a ghostly pallor; though perhaps the intended effect was something more along the lines of a resemblance to a marble statue?

Alexander Wang Spring 2013 ad campaign - Malgosia Bela photographed by Steven KleinAlexander Wang Spring 2013 ad campaign - Malgosia Bela photographed by Steven Klein

“The mop on Malgosia's head is an absolute disaster but aside from that it's a great [campaign],” Elfinkova posted. “Wang is one of those designers who, because of their insane popularity, have the privilege to produce a stark, artsy ad like this. I really appreciate campaigns that don't blatantly try to shove a lifestyle down my throat and instead produce interesting, eye-catching photos.”

“I am speechless this is so good, Malgosia is amazing,” elle_gb shared. “This is unique and intriguing.”

Alexander Wang Spring 2013 ad campaign - Malgosia Bela photographed by Steven KleinAlexander Wang Spring 2013 ad campaign - Malgosia Bela photographed by Steven Klein

Other forum members couldn’t get past the hair, the skin, or the overly editorial feel of the campaign, but I appreciate the effort to not rest on convention and present images that make us think and maybe even make us feel uncomfortable (aggressive crotch shots, I’m looking at you). Alexander Wang is innovative, provocative, and not afraid to try something different in his quest to outfit the urban warrior woman. Those are all traits that should serve him well now that he’s added Balenciaga to his résumé.

Alexander Wang Spring 2013 ad campaign - Malgosia Bela photographed by Steven KleinAlexander Wang Spring 2013 ad campaign - Malgosia Bela photographed by Steven KleinAlexander Wang Spring 2013 ad campaign - Malgosia Bela photographed by Steven Klein

Images: facebook.com/alexanderwang

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