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Condé Nast for Wal-Mart: Here’s a Partnership You Didn’t See Coming

Welcome to the media-commerce not-industrial complex: today's WWD reports that Wal-Mart's glossy magalog, BeautyScoop, was created for the mass retailer by Condé Nast, the luxury publisher which houses VogueNew Yorker, Vanity Fair, W, Glamour, Lucky, et cetera et cetera ad nauseum. 

Even though the magazine company does use the shopping publication to promote women's titles like Allure, Glamour, Lucky, and Self, not only is the name "Condé Nast" absent from the pages of BeautyScoop, but both Conde and collaborator Wal-Mart refused to make an official comment about the partnership despite having several days to do so. Yes, this was a secret fashion collaboration, which is the best thing I didn't know existed. It just fills me with so much joy. 

Since Condé-Mart and Wal Nast were both acting super shady (it's like they're shame dating, I love love love it!) about their newly-forged bond, WWD relied on anonymous sources and actual investigative reporting to get the story, which made for a gripping read (that is, as "gripping" as business news can be). I'd say this was the Watergate of fashion, but WWD is itself owned by Condé, so all the reporter really needed to do to get this story was loiter outside of work with all the smokers, not like, penetrate the FBI.

Honestly, if they weren't being so secretive about their relationship, there'd be no reason to make fun of this partnership. BeautyScoop was a major coup for Conde, earning the magazine company extra much-needed ad dollars and a broad audience. The catalogue features standalone content that was created by a separate editorial staff, so it doesn't compromise the publisher's (facade of?) integrity. Wal-Mart, for its part, gets Conde's sweet expertise and a beauty shopper which borrows the best of Nineties teen girl mags. 

Images via WWD

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The Buzz Latest News

Ikea Monkey is a 2012 Fashion Highlight

Every year, my Christmas gift buying list consists of family members, friends, and my dog. I'm not saying that I dress him up in Paris Hilton-esque chihuahua tutus and booties, but he does have a Santa hat and reindeer antlers in his clothing stash to get him in the festive spirit. Pampering your pet has become a big business in recent years and some of the most stylish fashion leaders just so happen to be of a furry nature.

In a review of the top 10 fashion highlights of 2012 published on Tuesday by The Guardian Newspaper, fashion writer Lauren Cochrane relayed that the year had been dominated by pet fashion and notably influenced by designer Karl Lagerfeld’s pampered cat, Choupette, and reality TV star Kim Kardashian’s late cat, Mercy. But despite their strong pedigree backgrounds and celebrity ownership, these couture creatures were all trumped by Darwin, the rhesus macaque monkey who wandered into a Canadian branch of IKEA in a very smart shearling coat — where does one buy such a darling miniature coat anyway? — instantly stealing the crown for most fashionable pet.

Yep, The Guardian has named Darwin among 2012's biggest fashion highlights. And rightly so. He launched a slew of memes, GIFs, and "Who wore it best?" jokes after capturing the world’s attention when he escaped from his owner’s car (searching for Swedish meatballs and 99 cent ice cream no doubt) on that fateful day in December.

                                                            Ryan Gosling, you'll never win this one.

Now, currently living at a sanctuary — though his owners are calling for his return — Darwin no longer wears diapers and his dashing shearling, but his memory and fashion sensibility lives on as we splurge on our pets' ever-expanding closets this Christmas.

Images via YouTube

The Buzz Latest News

Accessories Brand Cynics Totally Nails the Photography of Tommy Ton in a Mock ‘Street Style’ Campaign

When they’re not busy predicting apocalypses, the Mayans have a more constructive way to pass time, which is advocating the idea that each of us has an intimate connection to all life. They express this with the greeting “In Lak’ech,” meaning, “I Am You, You Are Me.”

It’s this dictum that banality-shunning accessories label Cynics has appropriated with its latest jewellery collection. It’s all about intertwining separate elements, with colour and precious metals linked and layered to complement one another and create striking statement pieces. Though Cynics has put their signature borderline-subversive spin on the whole thing via campaign, applying the Mayan saying to the way we’re all digitally and materialistically — rather than spiritually — connected.

We’re talking about street style blogs of course. More specifically, we’re talking about the accessories-focused photography of street style wizard Tommy Ton, and the way his photographs create a polychromatic ripple effect across computer screens worldwide. Cynics’ campaign replicates his iconic style through photographs showcasing four key looks: brights, pastels, edgy, and multi-tone, and by incorporating the requisite neon clutch, iPhone, and organic/exotic beverage.   

The backdrop is Circular Quay, the previous home of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, and photographer Byron Spencer’s ‘street style’ models are all well-practiced fashion bloggers: Carmen Hamilton of Chronicles of Her and Vogue Spy Style, Brooke Lazarus of The Topknotter, and Emily Fang of Little Black Book

The whole idea is funny ‘cause it’s true, but effective because the photographs are inspiration folder-worthy in their own right. If the world really does end today, the zipper cuff would be an especially good bet for ensuring you go out in style. 

Images courtesy of Bleach PR

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Today in Boys: Graham Winfield from Sight Management

Yesterday, TFS Forum Buzz editor Chrissy Makkas posted a feature about a recent crop (haha) of models who've cut their hair. (You should read it.) The article included a slide profiling Travis Cannatta (and his new V Magazine-approved hair), which uhhh … piqued my interest in the wonderful world of fashion boys. Sorry, models. Male models. 

Fashion is one of the few industries where the pay gender gap is reversed. If you are a working male model, bless your heart (and mom) for being so pretty — but also, boy am I ever glad not to be in your expensive leather ankle boots, which you're probably in debt for to your agency. (Not that aspiring high fashion female models are neccessarily better paid, they just have better prospects. If you want to read more about the bleak economics of being a working model, Pricing Beauty: The Making of a Fashion Model by Ashley Mears is the book.)

Anyway, I thought I would maybe sometimes pull a few photos of an attractive male model from the tFS Forums "Hommes" boards, just because we deserve eye candy and these boys deserve to get jobs.

This turned out to be harder than I'd expected. I wanted to find someone good-looking, but models are good-looking by definition — without exception, always. So I had to resort to judging the personalities of people I'd never met, which is very rarely productive.

I ended up choosing a model with only one post to his thread, because there wasn't enough information about him to turn me off (no, I am not fun to date). His name is Graham Winfield and he's with Sight Management. He's way cute (that jawline! that hair!) and has already mastered model-face. Someone give him a job, plz. 

Images via TFS Forums

If you'd like to nominate someone for "Today in Boys" which I hope will become a semi-regularly occuring feature, go for it in the comments. You'll be doing a good deed. 

The Buzz Latest News

Givenchy Couture Is Going On Semi-Hiatus Effective Immediately :(

Givenchy is getting out of the couture show racket for a little bit, beginning with the next round of Paris shows scheduled for January.

The news about this is a little confusing, because there's some reason to believe that designer Riccardo Tisci will resume press showings of Givenchy couture at a later date, and this is just a temporary hiatus. The French fashion house confirmed to WWD that it "does not rule out couture presentations in the future." Here's the mystery: Why, exactly, did Givenchy make this decision now and what would need to happen for the brand to resume its participation in Paris' Haute Couture fashion week?

To be clear, Givenchy will not stop making couture, the brand will just stop showing it. There'll be lots of couture-y goodness to be had on red carpets near and far, particularly as Tisci is co-chairing the Met Gala next year, and so we can look forward to lots of Givenchy one-of-a-kind gowns at the so-called "fashion Oscars."

This latest development is in line with Givenchy's previous decision to shift away from the more traditional runway show and to a smaller, presentation-style format for its couture line in 2010. Despite all the fuss people are making about Raf Simons' efforts to develop a "new couture" at Dior, couture has held a precarious position in the fashion industry in recent years. Couture is expensive, time-consuming, and skill-intensive to create — and with fewer and fewer clients for the custom-fitted clothing, the collections have indeterminate value for modern fashion houses struggling to adapt to a new economic climate. Givenchy's move to cut its presentations is sad for anyone that likes looking at the pictures that come out of Paris during couture week, but it's a smart decision — and maybe a harbinger of what's to come. 

Image via IMAXtree

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Miu Miu’s Spring Campaign Stars at Least One Model You Really, Really Like (Especially If You Really, Really Like Bette Franke)

For the Spring 2013 campaign, Miu Miu took a page out of parent brand Prada's book, choosing to forego the hard casting decisions by hiring every girl that made it to the short list. It was a varied bunch of model types: the only thing Adriana Lima, Doutzen Kroes, Arizona Muse, Malgosia Bela, Bette Franke, and Martha Hunt have in common is that they've now all been photographed by Inez & Vinoodh for Miu Miu's Spring 2013 ad campaign.

Despite being surrounded by some much bigger names/faces (like Adriana Lima, Doutzen Kroes, and Arizona Muse) Bette Franke is the real star of this campaign. Even when she's not looking at the camera or someone's hand is blocking her face, I barely register the other models in the shot. 

If Franke does have a co-star, it's Miu Miu's latest offering of shoes. The clothing is nice and everything (I mean, I would wear everything Franke is wearing in every picture, but some of the animal print and billowy denim dressing the other models is not my scene), but the shoooooesssss. I don't know how to express my longing and desire to own shoes like that and be the kind of person that owns and wears shoes like that (that's just a figure of speech, I'm actually perfectly happy being the boot-wearing person that I am) except by saying, shoooooesssss. 

The campaign is set in a house I'd like to visit, and I think these are women I'd like to know. That is, this would be a house I'd like to visit and these would look like women I'd like to know if I wanted to live in an ambiguously sexual and kind of depressing love nest and be surrounded by people that often act in unnecessarily selfish and erratic ways.

I think that when I was a kid, I imagined I would become like one of these women someday (so dark and faux-soulful), not realizing that women like this exist only in luxury Italian fashion campaigns. That's a good thing: the models here might look beautiful, but they also look like they're a second away from having a nervous breakdown. Wish someone could make having it together look as aspirational as being a mess. 

Images courtesy of Miu Miu

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