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Vogue’s Annie Leibovitz-Lensed Hurricane Sandy Editorial: Tribute or Tasteless?

Vogue's Feburary Issue includes a big editorial photographed by one of the glossy's frequent contributers, Annie Leibovitz, which stars Karlie Kloss, Kasia Struss, Arizona Muse, Liu Wen, Joan Smalls and Chanel Iman — a veritable Fashion Dream Team USA. I know this isn't the 90s and we're not allowed to call people supermodels anymore, but a rose by any other name would look as fierce, you know? 

The reason Vogue pulled out all the stops: a Hurricane Sandy relief aid tribute post. Cue exasperated sighing. Vogue likes to pretend its wardrobe staples are all crisp cotton shirts and ballet flats, but everyone knows that the magazine could never get dressed in the morning (err, put out an issue every month … boy this metaphor is really rough) without questionable and clueless editorial decisions. Like this one.

I'm going to take a different approach to this CONTROVERSY IN VOGUE post, because I do realize that the only thing more predictable than Vogue doing something scandalous is bloggers being scandalized. So I'm going to try to restrain my glee as I stir this big steaming pot of controversy. I obviously think Vogue is always in the wrong always, both as a person that works on the fashion Internet and as a principled human being — and I will express how and why I think this editorial is tasteless and dumb, but I will also play devil's advocate in Vogue's favor, just so that I don't bore myself. 

Vogue's "Storm Troupers" Editorial Is An Appropriate Tribute to Hurricane Sandy Relief Workers: As a New York-based publication, it should be completely understandable why Vogue would want to use its wide reach to "raise awareness" (as they say in the biz) for the heroic efforts of the first responders and public servants who jeopardized their lives in the immediate aftermath of the storm. The East Coast was devastated by Hurricane Sandy, and New York was no exception: over 800,000 residents lost power following the storm and recovery efforts are still underway across New England — the House of Representatives just passed a measure to provide $51 billion for further relief. Whatever you think of fashion and the fashion industry, there's no denying that Vogue is a central NYC institutution and that in this city, there's a strong and admirable tradition of disparate parties coming together in the wake of tragedy. To say that Vogue produced this editorial cynically — in an attempt capitalize on the public's gratitude to and concern for the heroes of Hurricane Sandy — is in itself cynical. 

Furthormore, Vogue should be commended for so prominently featuring the real faces of Hurricane Sandy relief in its chic moneyed pages and also for selecting a racially diverse cast of models.

No, This Is Just Tasteless: Ugh, defending Vogue was so hard. 

Look, despite what I believe was an earnest desire on Vogue's part to celebrate the men and women that really did put their lives at risk — men and women that are probably ready to put their lives at risk for New York City every day — this editorial is cheesy and in poor taste. The glossy couldn't help itself, making its favorite models the real stars of this editorial and treating the very people it was ostensibly celebrating as "heroes" as little more than set pieces. 

I respect Vogue's impulse, but still I find it sad that the magazine couldn't run a tribute feature that truly honored the thing it purported to be honoring by giving it space to be itself, instead of lodging it beside the same thin 18-year-old girls and pretty dresses that dominate every other page of the publication. I get that Vogue is a fashion magazine, but do you think that if Playboy wanted to run a tribute to the heroes of Hurricane Sandy, they would do it by plopping a topless lady next to a bunch of firefighters? Nope. They would just run some actual photojournalism. Because you can be a special interest magazine and still acknowledge that the rest of the world exists. 

Images via Vogue

 

 

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Today in Boys: Dominic Carisch from Storm Models

Today's Tuesday, which is as good a day as any to take a dip into the pool of male models located in the tFS "Hommes" Forum. 

In the premiere installment of this series (read it here!), I learned it can be difficult to find an already-established model who seems to deserve an extra nudge of attention — so I think going forward, I'm going to stick to the boys that are just starting out. It's all in the spirit of fashion, because nothing's better than the next big thing. 

Dominic Carisch is not new like a newborn baby, but he'll probably be a new sight for your eyes. Signed with Storm Models in London, Dominic first made an appearance on the tFS Forums in August 2012. He just made a respectable showing on the Milan men's runways, walking for Philipp Plein, Dirk Bikkenberg and Vivienne Westwood

His flaws, because why not tear someone down so you can build them back up again: Dominic is almost a little bit too much of a pretty boy for me (that's almost a compliment) and I'll tell you right now that I avoided posting any of the topless pictures floating around in his tFS thread because he's so chesty it's practically pornographic.

But yeah, I don't think I really need to write that much to persuade you that this boy is a very good looking boy. And there's something just a hair off about his face … his jawline is not quite symmetrical, and he's better for it. 

Okay people, please remember that as pretty as he is, he is a suffering, struggling working male model probably surviving off free champagne and toast crumbs. Hire him, take his picture, pay him for it. 

Images via TFS Forums

PreviouslyToday in Boys: Graham Winfield from Sight Management

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Interview Russia Gives ScarJo the Pop Art Treatment

Image via TFS Forums

You know what? I don't like this. Interview Russia's February cover featuring Scarlett Johansson popped up on the TFS Forums early this morning and even though there are only a few comments in the thread at the moment, they're all overwhelmingly positive. So let me tread carefully, as my opinion may be in this (rare, you know?) case, an unpopular one. (Also, sorry: have been reading so many old novels and now I fear I sound like the other other Boleyn girl — you know, the one that lives in Brooklyn and spazzes out over clementines and boys. Mmmhmm, I sound just like that.) 

I am perhaps equally interested in Scarlett Johansson and Marilyn Monroe — and by that I mean, not very. Even though she's appeared in three million movies, ScarJo can't act her way out of a fuzzy fitted sweater. And that's precisely why she's famous, for wearing fuzzy fitted sweaters in expensive movies. 

Marilyn Monroe is another story, talent-wise. However, she's dead. Like, really really dead. This has been the case for a long time! We get it. Dead, not alive. Like, she cannot walk or breathe or eat or love or give interviews. Get it, Interview? Marilyn Monroe has nothing interesting to say, because she is dead! Scarlett Johansson has nothing interesting to say either, but that's not because she's dead but because she's not very interesting. 

Yet still. Here we are, staring at an image of ScarJo channelling Marilyn. Get it? Because they are both buxom Hollywood blondes — no, no one has ever before made a connection between the legendary Marilyn Monroe and a busty blonde working actress. Yes, Interview Russia is truly visionary. 

Another stroke of genius: the pop art effect. GET IT? Because there is an original Andy Warhol print of the real Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn Diptych, 1962) and also Warhol was behind the original iteration of Interview magazine in the U.S. And so pop-artifying a picture of ScarJo embodying Marilyn Monroe for the Russian edition of Interview magazine makes so much sense it's … okay, so fine, I have something nice to say: ScarJo looks really really good. Salable, sure. And if this cover does move magazines on the newsstand — which it probably will — then JobWellDoneInterviewRussiaISuck. 

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PPR Acquires a 51% Stake in Christopher Kane

Following his unexpected departure from Versace's Versus brand and speculation that he might succeed Nicolas Ghesquiere at Balenciaga, Christopher Kane sold a 51% stake in his eponymous brand to French holding company PPR, securing the London-based designer's foothold on the luxury fashion scene. 

The label joins Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen as PPR's British subsidiaries, and will likely similarly benefit from its new partner's extensive experience in developing luxury brands. 

The Scottish-born designer attended British fashion cradle Central Saint Martins before settling down to forge a career in London in 2006. Within the past few years, he's solidified his standing as a member of the city's emerging young designer scene — a group which includes Jonathan Saunders, Mary Katrantzou, Matthew Williamson and Giles Deacon — receiving plenty of praise and awards from the fashion world at large. His label now employs 26 people.

In terms of initial expansion, Kane has his sights set on a retail boutique — “A shop is a dream, a real stamp of approval,” the designer tells Style.com's Tim Blanks — and a leather goods line. Whatever's ahead, all this success is his due: Congratulations!

Image via WENN

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Vince Camuto Injects Color Into Spring Denim

Vince Camuto, a man with a lifestyle concept that first began with shoes, only recently brought his namesake line to Canada this fall, making its debut at select locations of The Bay. Obviously, if you love beautiful shoes at reasonable price points, then Camuto — who co-founded Nine West and recently added Lucky Brand footwear to his portfolio — is your go-to designer. But lately, Camuto has also been expanding into other areas, namely a denim-based collection that he calls TWO by Vince Camuto.


With a fresh fit, luxurious touches and quality execution, the TWO brand embraces a woman's zeal for life and confidence with adventurous colour choices, pairings, clever layering style and surprise embellishments. It's both timeless, intrinsic and priced for accessibility within a younger audience with the denims retailing for $89 to $109, skirts for $59 to $99, cotton loungewear and leather panelled leggings for $69 to $99, knit tops for $39 to $79, blouses and sweaters for $69 to $99, and leather jackets for $199 to $399.

Speaking on his latest line, Camuto says: "The line offers an utterly fresh sensibility. TWO by Vince Camuto introduces an elevated take on laid-back dressing and is a natural extension of the Vince Camuto lifestyle. TWO by Vince Camuto is our first foray into this space and we're excited to offer today's modern woman a perfect blend of effortless styling and downtown chic while consistently delivering on the promise of exceptional value and attention to detail for which the Vince Camuto brand is known."

The freshly dip-dyed, neon-centric concept will hit Canadian stores this spring, but if you can't wait until then, here's a sneak peek of what will be on offer, including Canada's biggest and best sellers: the laid back, comfort fit VC shirts. What would you pair them with?

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Manning Cartell’s AW2013 Collection Will Have You Wishing for Winter Already

Leave it up to the three sisters behind Manning Cartell to stuff as many of next season’s trends into one hospital-grade clean collection.

A heavily ornamented middle finger to the Australian summer heatwave, AW2013’s lookbook is a pretty good roundup of everything you should be looking forward to when the temperature drops below 20. Matchy-matchy suits? Check. Man-sized coats that seem to defy gravity? Check. Prints that remind you of both geometry lessons and art class? Check and check. White after Labour Day? Why the heck not, especially if it’s trimmed with blingy gold zippers that may or may not serve any utilitarian purpose.  

Other things guaranteed to get you noticed include a sequin jacket and two pairs of killer leather pants. The sleek, skinny black ones are Manning Cartell at their uncomplicated best, while the maroon ones are the best thing to ever feature leather, drawstring and elastic all at the same time.

The last six months have been big for the Manning Cartell sisters. They gave their Strand Arcade store a slick revamp to celebrate five years in the business in August, and six-handedly made “bridesmaid dress” a less anxiety-ridden term by launching a line just for the ladies of the bridal party. This latest collection is a pretty great example of how they’re able to do so much while looking like they’re really not doing that much at all. 

 

 

Images: 10Magazine

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