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The New York Times’ Fashion Director Vanessa Friedman Sounds Off

Vanessa Friedman

Image: Getty

If there’s one person you can count on to be a straight shooter in the fashion industry, it’s Vanessa Friedman. The New York Times fashion director and chief style critic recently sat down with Paper‘s Mickey Boardman to talk John Galliano, bad reviews and more in her signature tell-it-like-it-is style. Here are the highlights:

On bad reviews: “If you aren’t willing to say when something doesn’t work, then when you say it does work it doesn’t mean anything.”

On designers’ reactions to her reviews: “I’ve been spoken to — politely. And disagreed with. But it’s never resulted in anything more than that…Mr. Armani spoke to me once.”

On fashion’s high-intensity production schedule: “Whatever you think of Gaultier ending his RTW, the idea that you would be like, ‘Hey, I’m just not going to do this anymore’ is an interesting idea.”

On diversity in the industry: “I think it’s also that when people get into power who are representatives of minorities, that’s when the situation shifts.”

On John Galliano: “He could have said, ‘I’m going to open my own house and I’m going to do made-to-order garments for certain women. I’m just going to be super special and protective of my own mental health and reputation and everything.’ Fashion probably would’ve loved that and applauded him. So I feel like, in a way, there was this chance to do something really daring and use his history and all the mess to kind of produce something really different. But he didn’t take that.”

[via Paper]

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See Who Vogue Paris Tapped to Guest Edit Its December/January Issue (Forum Buzz)

Our forum members have been speculating for weeks about the guest editor for Vogue Paris’ annual Christmas issue and we finally have our answer. Inès de La Fressange takes over and stars on two covers for the double-issue, both lensed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. Styled by Emmanuelle Alt, the 57-year-old Parisian appears in a nude black and white image for the first cover, while on the second, Inès personifies true Parisian style in a black leather trench.

Vogue Paris December 2014 January 2015 Ines de la Fressange


Of course, the minute the cover surfaced, our forum members began to deliberate. “How gorgeous, just perfect! Excited to see what she did with the issue,” enthused Miss Dalloway, who got us off to a positive start.

“I like this a lot. Especially how the layout complements the image,” complimented kokobombon.

Also impressed was Zelda Zonk, who commented, “Wow, so great to see her on the cover of Vogue Paris, I wasn’t expecting it at all! It’s a very beautiful cover.”

But have Mert and Marcus gone too far with the retouching? “Indeed a very pleasant surprise to see her, but I really wish it was shot by someone like Inez & Vinoodh or even Testino. Someone that would make her look her age. Mert & Marcus’ retouching is always unappealing to me,” wrote Marc10.

“Great seeing Inès here, but they’ve completely Photoshopped all the character that made her such a unique and stunning model. Yes, she still looks great, but doesn’t really look like her,” agreed justaguy.

“I mean it’s Photoshopped within an inch of its life (but that’s M&M for you) however I think it’s a pretty stunning cover. It’s very classic,” credited Cosmic Voices.

Sharing the same sentiments was honeycombchild: “Beautiful cover but I’m with the comments about M&M’s retouching. We’ve got to a horrible point in our culture where you’re simply not allowed to look your age in magazines, regardless of how beautiful you are, like Inès. It’s scary and sad, should be a proud thing to look fantastic for your age, not some morphed thirty-year-old smooth version of yourself.”

Check out the thread and view both covers in full for yourself. Which is your favorite? Tell us inside the thread here.

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Watch: H&M’s Holiday Spot with Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett Is Finally Here!

What do you get when you cross one giant Diana Ross style wig with a troupe of top models, a jazz legend and tons of gold confetti? H&M’s new holiday video. The Swedish retailer tapped Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett for its “Magical Holidays” seasonal short, which takes you from Gaga’s hotel room to a fabulous Christmas party with all the trimmings — glitter, snow, comfy-looking sweaters and of course, beautiful models.

Joan Smalls appears in the ad, and is transported from a small, friendly gathering in a cabin to a very glamorous fete where Gaga and Bennett perform a rendition of “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing).” Sasha Pivovarova also gets in on the action, happily dancing through the entire spot.

Watch the ad in full below.

[H&M YouTube]

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Is Kendall Jenner Changing the Face of Fashion? Dazed & Confused Thinks So (Forum Buzz)

Dazed & Confused magazine proclaims loud and clear that Kendall Jenner is changing the face of fashion on its Winter 2014 issue. The new face of cosmetics giant Estée Lauder stars on three covers for the issue (including a special edition cover) in an attempt to showcase her versatility. Amongst many recent high-profile gigs, Jenner is about to front a campaign lensed by Karl Lagerfeld and appears in a lengthy fashion story for US Vogue‘s December issue — but changing the face of fashion? Let’s see what the forums have to say on the subject.

Dazed & Confused December 2014 Kendall Jenner


“I actually like the first one even if I don’t like the changing the face of fashion cover line,” writes Oxymore, within minutes of the thread surfacing on our forums earlier today.

Tinsley V adds her two cents and comments, “Yeah Kendall Jenner, quite the fashion revolutionary … *vomit*.” Ouch!

Also left unimpressed is mistress f: “YIKES ‘changing the face of fashion’? Really? This is the magazine equivalent of a click bait. No thanks.”

A glimmer of hope from forum members? “I’m so excited to have something different. I do like the three covers, especially the first one. The preview is interesting too,” enthuses GivenchyAddict.

We’re pretty certain the thread will receive a lot of action over the next few hours. It’s early hours for much more deliberation but be sure to check out all three covers and view some previews of Dazed‘s Winter 2014 issue inside the thread here.

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André Leon Talley Is’s New Fashion Director

Image: WENN

Image: WENN

Can’t stop, won’t stop: André Leon Talley is bouncing back from his exit from Zappos Couture with a new project he’s working on with WWD confirms that the editor has been tapped as the fashion director for the producer and his smart accessory, the bracelet. 

Will and Talley have been palling around for quite a while now — they arrived together at Louis Vuitton’s Monogram dinner a few weeks ago looking very buddy-buddy. Now, we know why the pair has become so close. The bracelet is a device that allows the wearer to play music, answer texts and phone calls, update their social media accounts and monitor their fitness. It is one of many smart fashion items bursting onto the scene, so it is extremely important for Will to set his brand apart — we’re assuming that is where Talley’s eye and expertise come in. 

It will certainly be interesting to see if Talley’s influence makes or breaks the product.

[via WWD]


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Melissa McCarthy Is Launching a Clothing Line Next Fall

Image: WENN

Image: WENN

Melissa McCarthy is the latest celebrity to throw her name behind a clothing line. Except this is more than just a vanity project. Melissa famously mentioned her intent to start her own line after having to deal with the challenges of dressing her plus-sized body. As she told Redbook, “When I go shopping, most of the time I’m disappointed. Two Oscars ago, I couldn’t find anybody to do a dress for me. I asked five or six designers—very high-level ones who make lots of dresses for people—and they all said no.” Now, the dream has become a reality. With the help of Sunrise Brands, the actress is launching a clothing and accessories collection for women that will hit shelves in the fall of 2015.

Melissa is no stranger to designing. She’s actually a trained designer, having studied at FIT in her college years. According to WWD, the actress says it was shoe designer Brian Atwood who at the time encouraged her to ditch her pinking shears and try her hand at comedy. 

Melissa’s line will bow with a selection of casual sportswear options in a range of sizes that will include straight and plus. The brand has yet to be named, but it already has its lineup for next season in order. Prices are reasonable, ranging from $39 for a top to $118 for bottoms. The second collection promises to be more contemporary as well as more expensive. 

Melissa said she teamed up with Sunrise on the project because she felt “they were committed to changing the plus-size game.” Still, her line has a lot left to do before it makes its debut in stores. For one, it needs to figure out which stores are going to even carry the collection. Melissa is reportedly courting many retailers and has the intent to make the range available online. 

We honestly can’t wait to see what she comes up with. We’re very familiar with Melissa the actress, but it will be very cool to see her in the role she trained for as a designer.

[via WWD]