In their free time — that is, when they aren't busy creeping on Cara Delevingne at McDonald's late at night — Splash News likes to hang out with its paparazzi friends, stalking Cara as she makes her way home from the Burberry offices, just on the off-chance that a frantic search through her bag, looking for misplaced keys, releases a clear baggie filled with finely ground white powder into full view.
So that's what happened last Wednesday. Splash News managed to capture two almost-perfectly rendered photos of Cara's little baggie floating through the air. Fine, I'll link, but I don't feel good about it.
Sarah Doukas, founder of Storm Agency, which represents Delevingne — as well as some other models with "party girl" reputations (like Kate Moss) — warns against making quick assumptions based on provocative tabloid stories: "I basically just spent a lot of time on the phone trying to reassure her big clients that you can’t believe everything you read and, unfortunately, all press actually is good press in this world we live in…So keep calm, don’t have a knee-jerk reaction."
Doukas is responding to the news that H&M is considering terminating its working relationship with Delevingne as a result of the paparazzi photos. "We have a zero tolerance policy towards drugs, and this also forms part of our advertising policy," the company said to The Daily Mail. "Our team will evaluate the evidence over the next few days. If the story is true, then we will take action."
There's no use pretending the white powder in the bag is likely not cocaine, but I don't think that should be a matter for public concern. Possession of cocaine in the UK is illegal and the substance is both dangerous and addictive but even disregarding the drug's high-fashion associations, more people use cocaine in the UK than anywhere else in Europe. Especially young people. It's not admirable or respectable, but it's also not uncommon, and acting scandalized doesn't do anything to actually address the problem or help people struggling with substance dependencies. Delevingne is a rich British model. Quite frankly, I'd be more shocked if she hadn't ever dabbled with blow. To be clear: I'm not condoning drug use of any kind for anyone, but I just don't understand why anyone would expect Delevingne to be a role model. Her success is predicated on her unusual beauty, goofy fashion sense and aristocratic father's wealth, not on her reputation as an anti-drug crusader. If you're looking for a moral beacon, get thee to a nunnery.
Image via WENN
Image via Twitter/Eric Wilson
The Metropolitan Museum's new Costume Institute exhibition, PUNK: Chaos to Couture, opens for member previews tomorrow (the gala benefit is set to take place this evening). Punk fashion is getting the art show treatment from one of the largest and arguably most prestigious museums in the United States. This should be a real thrill for anyone that cares for novel experiences.
Eric Wilson from The New York Times just tweeted the preview photo above, a replica of the toilets at iconic punk venue, CBGB — "[they're] complete with ciggie butts," he wrote, "Met will never be the same again."
Wish that were true, but despite the attention to detail, there's no indication that the toilets are functional, which seems like a missed opportunity. Making Anna Wintour and other fancy fashion show guests use a disgusting bathroom "complete with ciggie butts?" That would have easily justified the existence of the entire exhibition. Otherwise, this installation is either a diorama or, to entertain the high-concept possibilities, some sort of terrible, boring reference to Duchamp's Fountain, a way of claiming punk as a conceptual art or tying it to 20th century experimentation in anti-aesthetics.
Another way this is a missed opportunity: As you might know, the former CBGB space is currently a John Varvatos boutique. Let's see what that bathroom looks like…
Related: You Know What's Not Punk?
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There's always a small amount of buzz whenever a plus-sized model lands a fashion first. Excitement is mixed with the disbelief of naysayers who question whether anyone beyond a size 0 belongs in the industry. Boo-urns to them. Making baby steps this month, Elle Quebec is featuring their first plus-sive cover model, Justine Legault.
Joining the slow-blooming renaissance in plus-size modeling, Justine Legault is quickly taking the fashion world by storm with her 5'9" and a U.S. size 14/16 frame. But size aside, she's a real stunner with an admirable attitude to boot. Her pictorial has her suggestively flashing her thighs in a barely-there white shirt dress, blonde hair styled in natural waves, with a smouldering green-eyed stare popping from the page. In another photo she dons a coral colour dress with her hair slicked back and her bright lips daring to rival Georgia May Jagger.
A Quebec native, Justine — whose dream was once working behind the camera — was given her first break at the age of 20 by an agency looking for a plus-size girl. In her cover interview with the mag she recalls, "'At my first photo shoot, I remember hearing the photographer call my agent on the phone and say, 'Oh my god! We've got something here!'"
But the path to an Elle Quebec cover hasn't been easy and Justine has been dealt with fair portion of criticisms: "How many times have people told me during an audition: 'I don’t like your hair, I don’t like your teeth…?' I didn’t listen to those people and I continued to have confidence in myself. I prefer to remember compliments from people who like me how I am, and believe in me."
Still, she continues to break ground in the industry, all with a casual confidence and sense of humour. When asked about her beauty regime, she matter of factly replies, "My beauty regime is similar to that of other models. Except that I love a good meal and I eat very well!"
Images via Elle Quebec
“This is the most important fragrance moment we’ve had in a decade.”
— Jane Hertzmark Hudis, the global president of Estée Lauder
Image via FashionGoneRogue
In an effort to reclaim their fragrance legacy, cosmetics brand Estée Lauder is launching a new scent called "Modern Muse," their first new offering in the fragrance category since 2003. If I were a heritage brand with a weakness for facile puns and I was launching a new perfume with the word "Muse" in the title, I would probably do as Lauder did and pull model Arizona Muse to be the face of the campaign. The first glimpse, from the Craig McDean-lensed print ad, appeared in WWD today; a TV spot shot by Stuart Dryburgh is also in the works.
The fashion industry.
Honestly, I'm losing my mind trying to pretend this year's Costume Institute punk exhibit ("PUNK: Chaos to Couture") isn't really happening. I realize that I haven't yet seen the show and also that curator Andrew Bolton was aware of the complexities inherent to putting together a museum exhibition which essentially celebrates the way the fashion industry helped commerce appropriate and defang the punk subculture (or, as he puts it: "Although punk’s democracy stands in opposition to fashion’s autocracy, designers continue to appropriate punk’s aesthetic vocabulary to capture its youthful rebelliousness and aggressive forcefulness.”) — but the way the fashion Internet is vomiting up the word "punk" right now… it's giving me emotional problems. "I'll show you punk," I say as I punch my Apple computer in the face.
Even if the exhibit itself turns out to be thoughtful, all the hoopla surrounding the upcoming Met Ball ("fashion's Oscars") is anything but. In The New York Times, Eric Wilson reports that a lot of gala guests are having a hard time planning their outfits for the big event (because rich people don't actually want to look like crusty gutter punks, go figure): "Gill Linton, the chief executive of the site, said she suspects most guests will end up playing it safe, as in safety pins as accessories."
The problem is: safety pins were originally worn by punks in a utilitarian, non-decorative way — to hold tattered clothes together. Punks didn't want to spend money on clothing, in part because they were broke, in part because they objected to the fashion industry on principle and didn't want to feed it. Punk is anti-fashion at its core.
Look, I completely sympathize with anyone who wants to experiment with their look, express some hidden part of their personality, or just wear something fun — I just think that the best style is also substantive.
Image via Getty