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Link Buzz: Vanessa Friedman Doesn’t Think Sustainable Fashion Is Possible

  • Vanessa Friedman fashion critic

    Image: Getty

    In a speech delivered at Copenhagen Fashion Summit, newly appointed New York Times fashion critic, Vanessa Friedman, argues that "sustainable fashion" is a contradiction in terms, and that consumers and designers will have to rethink their relationship to clothing to deal with the challenges posed by the current fashion system. [FashionEditorAtLarge]
  • If you hate wearing tights, you are a mystery to me. [FabSugar]
  • J. Crew is launching a new "low-priced concept." [Racked]
  • Alexa Chung thinks normcore is "offensive." [Fashionista]
  • Never have bacne again. That way you never have to say the word "bacne" either. [BellaSugar]
  • Marc Jacobs does NOT like the Met Gala dress code this year. [Vogue UK]
  • Kelly Cutrone intends to gift a goat to Lena Dunham. [WWD]

The Buzz Latest News

Jourdan Dunn is Not Happy with Lily Allen

Lily Allen has done a great job recently of offending a whole load of people since she came back to the world of pop with her new album Sheezus, from posting naked pictures of herself to making fun of Beyonce's "Drunk in Love' video, but now she has landed herself in hot water again with feisty British model Jourdan Dunn.

jourdan dunn lily allen twitter 620

(images L-R: Getty, WENN)

Dunn called Allen up on her lyrics of her song "Insincerely Yours" which is featured on Sheezus, where Lily pretty much takes on the mastercrew of British models and their "ugly children." Dunn, who is a mother, tweeted Allen asking, "Ermm @lilyallen who's 'ugly kids' was you talking about in this song??"

jourdan dunn tweet 620

Instagram @missjourdandunn

Allen was quick to respond saying, "It's a reference to something another artist said about my children on Twitter," which was probably in reference to the comments made by Azealia Banks last July, but Lily further tried to remedy the situation saying, "[I] only mentioned you cause your name rhymes with 'one'. Sorry."

Good old Dunn wasn’t really up for that, though, and hardly being the wallflower, retorted to the singer with a rather sarcastic response: "@lilyallen Ohhh because my name rhymes with 'One'!!!! Look at you, you lil lyrical genius!!" the 23-year-old replied.

Then of course, Allen responded with a friendly, “Get out more.”

It must be tiring for Allen, having to constantly validate her lyrics, although this may start to make her think twice about what and who she is singing about. As far as her Twiter rants go, she simply ended this battle with, "I'm sick of explaining my lyrics to people, they're pop songs, no more, no less. If you don't get it or like it, look the other way. Simples." There has been no response from model Dunn as yet so perhaps that has settled it.

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Amanda Seyfried Is ‘Captivating’ On UK Elle’s June Cover (Forum Buzz)

American actress Amanda Seyfried has landed herself her first UK Elle cover for its June 2014 issue. Seyfried who is currently promoting A Million Ways to Die in the West is photographed by Kai Z Feng. Elle's fashion director Anne-Marie Curtis tapped Seyfried to wear a Melissa Odabash bikini and textured jacket by Roberto Cavalli for the cover shoot.

UK Elle June 2014 Amanda Seyfried


"That's great she got that cover. I want to see the editorial now," enthused catherine88.

"Another beautiful cover for June! Amanda looks great here in the white jacket against the greenish background. Her hair and makeup are perfect, too," commented justaguy.

Naya was also delighted: "Wow, she really does photograph wonderfully!"

As was pixiedust1603: "She's really captivating on the cover. I have major hair envy."

I'm in the exact same boat. This is probably the best cover Elle has done since Candice Swanepoel's from last year. You can check out Amanda's cover story within the thread and feel free to join the discussion here.

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Bling of Ire: Are You Eye-Rolling Over the Clooney Engagement Ring?

Images: SIPA/; FilmMagic

Images: SIPA/; FilmMagic

“He helped design the ring.”

This sentence tends to set me off. The increasingly popular notion that the average guy, purely by virtue of his desire to pop the question, is magically transformed into a jewelry designer. Ask the guy you’re casually dating to venture into a jewelry store, and chances are he’ll break into a cold sweat. But once he’s made the decision to spring for a diamond, suddenly, he must be imbued with the ability to not only speak intelligently about galleries, shanks and mountings, shoulders, bezels and underbezels, but also has achieved some modicum of artistic flair to create an engagement ring that couldn’t otherwise be conceived by, you know, someone who designs them for a living. Don’t guys just point to ready-made rings in glass cases anymore?

Then again, the average guy isn’t George Clooney, amirite?

I realize I sound a little cranky on the topic, but honestly, the coverage of Clooney’s engagement to UK lawyer Amal Alamuddin has been more than a little breathless, especially with regard to the ring. And while the sparkler is indeed quite beautiful—an emerald-cut diamond estimated at 7 carats, flanked by two tapered baguettes and set in platinum—can we all at least agree it doesn't exactly represent a quantum leap in ring design?

There’s a great scene in 1995’s To Die For, in which Illeana Douglas, as Janice Maretto, discusses her feelings about Nicole Kidman’s character, Suzanne, who designed the rings for her wedding to Janice’s brother, Matt Dillon as Larry Maretto: “Larry, he was so proud, you know, ‘cause Suzanne designed the wedding rings all by herself. You want me to describe them for you? They were round and gold. I mean, big f**kin’ deal.” 

Every single time we’re deluged with frenzied reportage of a male celeb who designed something round and gold (or, in this case, platinum), I think of this scene. Brad Pitt garnered coverage as a “co-designer” twice, first with Silvia Damiani for his ring for Jennifer Aniston (Pitt later partnered with Damiani on a full-on wedding band collection. Hint: they were round and also…gold!), and then again with Robert Procop for Angelina Jolie’s ring. When did he find the time to make World War Z?

And, of course, because it’s Clooney, there’s an added element, prominently positioned within the first sentence in most of the stories you’ve read this week: the diamond was ethically mined. Such a detail makes sense when you combine Clooney’s well-documented activism in Darfur and South Sudan with Alamuddin’s work as a human rights attorney. For the uninitiated, “ethically mined” means the diamond was likely sourced outside those violence-ridden regions in which conflicts are widely thought to be financed by the sale of stones that have come to be known as “blood” diamonds. The mining doesn’t employ child labor or any other form of worker exploitation, and the stone was excavated by a method that did not impact the environment in any negative way.

In 2003, a certification for conflict-free diamonds, known as the Kimberley Process, was created. And while we should eagerly support these philosophies, you will find environmentalists and political activists who have called into question the reliability of the Kimberley Process, noting that it’s a morass of ethical issues and legal loopholes. It’s also important to note that “ethically mined” and Kimberley Process certification aren’t synonymous; it’s actually a huge conversation that can’t simply be glossed over with a passing mention from your publicist.

Indeed, among the many comment boards out there dishing on the Clooney diamond (I’ve decided to just call it that from now on, like the Hope or the Tiffany Yellow), a few observers have astutely pointed out that if you wanted to really embrace the most eco-conscious choice, why not go with an antique ring? Alamuddin strikes us as a stylish woman, and vintage rings are becoming increasingly popular (not to mention, they're the most eco-friendly option, as they require no mining), so perhaps she would have been into a Victorian or Edwardian-era ring with its own romantic backstory?

But no, Clooney was likely welcomed into a private room—or, just as likely, a briefcase of stones was brought to him—and he pointed to something he liked as an exceptionally educated jeweler explained a variety of details on cut, carat weight, clarity, etc., and decisions were made from there. But this does not a ring designer make.

When I mentioned this on Facebook earlier this week, a colleague chimed in, “Hey, it’s a gorgeous ring!” I don’t deny that for a second. It’s chicly simple and ultra-classic—so ultra-classic, in fact, that it distinctly reminds me of perhaps the most captivating engagement ring of all time: the 10.47-carat emerald-cut diamond, flanked by baguettes and set in platinum, designed by Cartier and commissioned by Prince Rainier to present to Grace Kelly in 1956.

No jewelry house has taken credit for the Clooney—no surprise, given the feverish press and the typical reticence among jewelers when it comes to dishing details on celeb clients—but it wouldn’t surprise me if Cartier likewise recreated the diminutive skating rink now residing on Alamuddin’s left hand. Clooney, after all, is a guy who embraces the classic glamour of old Hollywood—his Los Angeles home was once owned by Clark Gable. It would feel quite natural if he reached out to a classic jewelry house, and the design of Kelly’s ring was used as a jumping off point. (On a side note, if you ever want to enjoy both a good look and a wink at Kelly’s ring, check out 1956’s High Society, her last film before becoming a bona fide princess, in which she wears her IRL sparkler. Conveniently, you can catch it today on Turner Classic Movies at 12:30 p.m. ET.)

Listen, I’m all for a guy being involved in the look of the ring he’ll present to seal the deal. But there’s an abyss of difference between “being involved” and headlines or lead paragraphs that trumpet your mad skillz as a ring designer. Such positioning does a disservice to those who have devoted their lives to this highly intricate, exhaustive craft. And honestly, we’d still love Clooney just as much if he admitted that he pointed to a ring in a glass case, wouldn’t we? Because ultimately, love springs eternal—just as we once thought about his bachelorhood.

The Buzz Latest News

17 Ways Kim Kardashian (Might Have) Made Anna Wintour Laugh

Yesterday on InstagramKim Kardashian posted a photo which showed her sharing a meal with Vogue editor Anna Wintour The shot captures the pair in conversation: Kim is frozen in speech, with baby North West snuggled on her lap; there's a bemused smile creeping across Wintour's face. 

The caption:

"when Anna met North! Oh and told us about our Vogue shoot! #BestDayEver #NorthOnlyPayingAttentionToHerDaddyTakingThePic"

Verrrry interesting, but that is hardly enough information to satisfy our curiosity. What is Kim Kardashian saying here, that brought a smile to Wintour's sweet lips? Below, we consider 17 important possibilities: what would it take to make Anna Wintour laugh?

Kim Kardashian Anna Wintour Vogue cover Kim Kardashian Anna Wintour Vogue cover


The Buzz Latest News

#TBT? Five Big-Name Fashion Designers Who Had Ties to the Nazis

As a disclaimer: a designer's political views don't necessarily have anything to do with the strength of his or her work, but that doesn't mean we should ignore the facts. And although we love fashion because it's beautiful and creative, some elements of its history are dark.

For example, a handful of the 20th century's most legendary designers were closely tied to Naziism. In some cases, this is a byproduct of the historical circumstances: During the Nazi occupation of France, which began in 1940, designers were forced either to collaborate with the Nazis (who saw immense value in the French fashion industry, and even considered relocating it to Vienna or Berlin) or close their doors*. Although it's understandable that some didn't have the courage to resist Nazi occupiers, others went out of their way to embrace the regime. 

Below, we've assembled a list of five big-name designers with ties to the Nazi party:

Image: Getty

Image: Getty

Coco Chanel

Published in 2011, Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel's Secret War exposes Coco Chanel's activities as a spy for the Third Reich. The New York Times review of the book opened thusly: 

"Gabrielle Chanel — better known as Coco — was a wretched human being. Anti-Semitic, homophobic, social climbing, opportunistic, ridiculously snobbish and given to sins of phrase-making like 'If blonde, use blue perfume,' she was addicted to morphine and actively collaborated with the Germans during the Nazi occupation of Paris."

Cristobal Balenciaga 

Some suspect that Balenciaga's success in Nazi-occupied Paris had something to do with the designer's close relationship with Hitler's ally, General Franco. According to Stitched Up by Tansy E. Hoskins, Balenciaga designed many dresses for Franco's wife prior to the start of the war and, decades later, even came out of retirement to create a wedding gown for the fascist leader's granddaughter.

However, he stood up to Hitler when asked to relocate the French fashion industry to Berlin: According to the designer himself, “Hitler wanted to transfer the French couture to Berlin. He sent six enormous Germans to see me … to talk about it. I said that he might just as well take all the bulls to Berlin and try and train the bullfighters there.”

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton: A French Saga reveals that the leather goods house had strong ties to the Vichy regime in Nazi-occupied France. Louis Vuitton was the only brand allowed to operate a store on the ground floor of Hotel du Parc, which was used as the premises for France's puppet government, led by Marshal Philippe Pétain. According to The Guardian, the luxury brand also produced items "glorifying Pétain, including more than 2,500 busts, a fact not mentioned in any of its business records." 

The family's eldest son, Henry, was a regular at a popular Gestapo cafe, and "was one of the first Frenchmen to be decorated by the Nazi-backed government for his loyalty and his efforts for the regime."

Christian Dior

Although Christian Dior never professed Nazi sympathies, as an employee of Lucien LeLong during the occupation, he dressed a a clientele of wives and mistresses of high-ranking Nazi officers. Although his niece, Françoise, was vocal about her Nazi views, his sister Catherine (the Miss Dior), was a member of the Resistance.

Hugo Boss

The German designer joined the Nazi party in 1931 (Hitler came to power in 1933) and created the uniforms worn by the Hitler Youth. The company also used forced labor from Nazi prisoners in its factories. In 2011, the company issued a formal apology about its activities during the Second World War. 

[Hat tip: Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion]

*For more about this, read Fifty Years of Fashion: New Look to Now, by Valerie Steele. 

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