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Was Jessica Chastain the Right Choice for the Mickalene Thomas W Mag Covers?

A few days ago, publicist Tara Solomon Instagrammed the picture below, breaking the news that Jessica Chastain had (as our British friends say) nabbed (all?) four covers of W's January Issue. (h/t TFS Forums)

I have a problem with something here, as usual. 

The accompanying caption on the top cover in the picture below reads, "Jessica Chastain: Hollywood's It Actress Plays Muse to Artist Mickalene Thomas." Thomas has long been an art world star (hers was the first official portrait of Michelle Obama), but she's been having a particularly moment-y moment at the moment, due to a solo show at the Brooklyn Museum

A question for everyone involved: Why is an artist famous for her complicated representations of black female sexuality making pretty pictures of a white starlet for a fashion magazine published by Conde Nast?

I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around why, when Thomas' entire career has been (I think) exclusively about representations of black women, she and W didn't seize the opportunity to elaborate on the themes of her work by photographing a black actress. Many people criticize the fashion industry for perpetuating a homogenized (young, white, thin) standard of beauty which excludes many different kinds of people, including racial minorities. It's a real issue, everyone knows it. There was an opening here to address it* in a way that could have been interesting and provocative, consistent with the artist's body of work, and appropriate to W. Instead, the image above, though pretty, looks like a flattened, defanged version of Thomas' most iconic pieces. That sucks.

*Just a disclaimer: Maybe they somehow did it in a way that's not coming across in the Instagram picture. I've only seen the image included here, so the final product and packaging might communicate something else. Maybe. 

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Kate Middleton Is Having a Royal Baby

The most glamorous figure of our time, Kate Middleton, was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in London today due to a glamorous case of morning sickness. (How very. Now I want to vomit, too.) Yes, she's having a baby. Yes, it's been confirmed, so steel yourself for the next episode of Kate Middleton's Life, brought to you by every media property everywhere, ever. The world will soon be nothing but glow and maternity wear. 

Okay, here you go: Representatives of the palace confirm that the Duchess is in the “very early stages” of her pregnancy, so she's going to spend a couple days hanging out at the hospital being nutritioned and hydrated before returning home to Clarence House, where she'll require Please tell me that every woman that's ever had a baby is rolling her eyes right now? 

Since the British Parliament passed a law changing the guidelines for succession (gender is no longer a factor, how progressive!), Kate's baby will one day rule England, regardless of sex. 

I feel sorry for Kate Middleton. Sure, she married a Prince, so she did consent to a private life turned out for public consumption (televised weddings might seem commonplace by this point, but I still think they're weird and gross), but being a vessel for the future ruler of England sounds extremely unfun, practically a Rosemary's Baby situation. I would lose my mind. I guess that's one of the infinite reasons I'm not a princess.

All my misgivings aside, I'm sure she and Prince William are very happy. Congratulations!!

Image via Getty

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Roxanne Nikki Blasts Vancouver with an Exclusive Pop Up Boutique

With gale force strength, iconic Canadian brand Roxanne Nikki is back with a blast to titillate the city with an exclusive Vancouver pop up boutique featuring the Fall 2012 womenswear and menswear collections.

The Roxanne Nikki woman struts in statement coats and jackets that marry effortlessly with avant-garde takes on the little black dress, slim pants, one-piece show-stoppers, and pencil, circle, and wrap skirts. All are multi-functional and many are reversible.

For men, high fashion meets heroism to emanate a futuristic feel. His style embodies a vintage heart in a future world. Mix-and-match signatures include single-breasted jackets and coats with zippers and distinctive draped collars in unexpected fabrications. Quilted leathers and zip gussets add clever attention to detail. Pants range from super slim to bias cuts and future retro militant silhouettes dominate tunics and shirts for this collection’s chic yet masculine looks.

Innovative materials, textures, and luxury are tantamount to the label’s blend of rich faux furs and leathers balanced by sumptuously urbane wool, all made-to-order from exclusive textile mills in Europe.

"The inspiration for this collection resonates with my constant desire for originality, luxury, and super chic modernity. I design for modern men and women who are not afraid to make a statement and embrace their identity as an individual. So every piece I create must have personality, be coveted, and be multi-faceted," says Nikki. 

Nikki, a Winnipeg native, sold her first collection in 1994 before relocating her fashion business from Montreal to Vancouver. Her instincts and passion served her well, garnering the designer national awards and international recognition as one of Canada's top talents. These days, the brand has a stand-out quality that has the stars taking note. The Roxanne Nikki collection has been worn by celebrities such as Carmen Electra, Bai Ling, Christina Milian, Kate Linder, Stacy Francis, Kristanna Lokan, Divine Brown, DJ Photek, and Jesse McCartney. The star following is a statement of her success and now she wants to share her talent with Vancouver. 

The Roxanne Nikkki pop up boutique shop featuring the designer’s modern and edgy collections for women and men is on the second floor of the International Village (88 West Pender). The chic shopping destination is open from 12-7 p.m. on December 6-7, and 12-5 p.m. on December 8-9.


The Buzz Latest News

Link Buzz: A New ScarJo Fragrance Ad; Posing 101 with Molly Sims

  • Here's Scarlett Johansson for Dolce & Gabbana's "The One Desire" fragrance. My one desire would probably be no more hatred, anywhere in the world. Or, more selfishly, a life of unparalleled health. Yours? [FashionETC]
  • Net-a-Porter is launching a print magazine because if you look at the computer for too long you will lose your mind. [Fashionologie]
  • If you've ever been photographed before, you'll probably want to know what Molly Sims' secret-weapon pose looks like. [BellaSugar]
  • If you're wondering whether Diane Kruger ever gets it wrong, the answer is yes, but whatever. [FabSugar]
  • What's Fred Savage doing now, when he's not starring in my fondest memories? [Starcasm]

The Buzz Latest News

Summer Just Got Twice as Nice Thanks to a Second Capsule Collection From Vanishing Elephant

You know how you always want what you can’t have, and then when you have it you don’t really want it anymore? Not so with previously menswear-only Vanishing Elephant and the womenswear collection they finally released in March this year after being inundated with requests from female fans after the brand was launched in 2008.

Vanishing Elephant’s debut Spring 2012 womenswear collection proved so popular that it sold out, and to compensate they’ve unexpectedly dropped a second capsule range which is now available in stores. There are pastoral liberty print shirts aplenty complemented by high-waist minis in navy corduroy and loose-fit trousers screaming to be unsystematically cuffed at the hem.

Again, relaxed yet careful tailoring and silky, breathable fabrics are hallmarks of the designs, with intricate details like a crisp Peter Pan collar doing their duties for the requisite “contemporary twists.” Also, shoes: If your summer brogues aren’t perforated and neon-accented or patent and covered in dreamy florals, don’t even bother.

The Vanishing Elephant High Summer women’s edit is now available in stores and online.   

Images: Vanishing Elephant

The Buzz Latest News

J.W. Anderson Replaces Christopher Kane as the New Versus Designer

J.W. AndersonIt’s been quite the year for 27-year-old J.W. Anderson which has seen him showcase his collection at London Fashion Week thanks to being selected as a NEWGEN recipient, create a fab Topshop collection, and acquire a loyal celebrity following including Alexa Chung, Daisy Lowe, and Pixie Geldof. Now, fresh from winning the British Fashion Awards’ Emerging Talent award earlier this week, Donatella Versace has officially released a statement saying that he’s set to design the next Versus capsule collection. So, as we bid a fond farewell to Christopher Kane after 3 years designing Versus, we know that he’s set to be replaced by a designer that is equally as edgy. 

Anderson’s Plans for Versus

Anderson has stated that the Versus line exemplifies purity, and explores the relationships between a boy and a girl, a girl and a girl, and a boy and a boy. How will this translate to his designs? A white palette, clean cuts, and an androgynous aesthetic, perhaps? Your guesses are as good as ours, but there’s no doubt that we’re in store for quite the treat.

The collection will feature both women’s and men’s ready-to-wear pieces, as well as accessories, but you’ll have to curb your enthusiasm as the line will not available until next spring.

Images: Lia Toby/

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