Ms. Obama: Oh, This Old Thing?

  • Michelle Obama wore Tracy Feith yesterday. She has yet to warn any designer what she's wearing — which is kind of awesomely normal. It must be the best surprise one could get. [WWD]
  • There's a slick "behind-the-scenes" video of Madonna's shoot for Louis Vuitton. Marc Jacobs explains his casting choice, and our girl from Detroit says she thinks MJ is "kinda hot" in her weird pan-European accent. [The Life Files]
  • Remember when pink-obsessed Russian orange juice oligarch heiress/designer Kira Plastinina’s chain of stores was depressing because it proved the wealthy will get ahead regardless of talent and cutting taxes for billionaires only encourages them to do dumb-shit things like giving 15-year-olds stores to "run"? Well, now it's depressing because the recession is here and suddenly the rich not having more money than they know what to do with is, you know, A Problem. Less than one year (and one Sweet Sixteen party with Chris Brown) after its US launch, the firm is in bankruptcy court, owing over $54 million. Employees were turfed out on the street. Russia! magazine has a timeline. I suggest you use it to occupy your forebrain as you ponder the moral correctness of feeling schadenfreude at the expense of a schoolgirl. [Russia!]
  • Michelle Obama might be at NY Fashion Week. She certainly will soon be entertaining overtures from Fern Mallis, the IMG vice-president who runs the event. Mallis wants to propose some charity initiatives that would be a good fit for the new first lady. [NY Mag]
  • Imagine what an impact she could have on fashion week during this economy of lowered expectations: Yesterday, in addition to crashing J. Crew's site with her choice of gloves, Michelle Obama made Isabel Toledo and Jason Wu the 70th and 11th most-searched terms on the internet. [NY Times]
  • As my mother would say, some people just have no class. "Designers" are already lining up to copy Wu and Toledo's inaugural looks. [NY Daily News]
  • Whatever happens, don't expect this fashion week to be like fashion weeks past. As you know, there's a general trend away from the Bryant Park tents and towards cheaper presentations in designers' own spaces, or towards group shows to split costs. Also pretty much nobody is having an afterparty. However, registrations and sponsorships are about the same as last season, and the total number of fashion week events is only down to 197, from 225 one year ago, so...maybe it won't be so bad? [WSJ]
  • Giorgio Armani showed the quilted pants that he claimed Dolce & Gabbana ripped off in Milan; now there's a photo for comparison. They look like two pairs of pants that are ugly in the same way. [Guardian]
  • Hussein Chalayan has sensible advice for aspiring fashion designers: the most important thing — even and perhaps especially in these days of Lauren Conrad and Project Runway contestants, more memorable for referring to themselves in the third person than any garment they may have sewed — is not to become your own brand. It's to make good clothes. And to learn how to work as part of a team. Hussein Chalayan is wise. [Elle UK]
  • Coach's profits fell 14% in the last quarter of 2008, and the company is scaling back its expansion plans as a result. Ali Michael was paid a reported $50,000 to shoot Coach's fall 2009 campaign last week. [WSJ]
  • NOOOOOOOO! Filene's Basement is to close almost a third of its stores. Damn you, recession. Don't they understand that now more than ever do we need designer wares at 90% off! I will go and cry into the hem of my latest Filene's find now. [Boston Globe]
  • Scott Schuman's The Sartorialist is to become a photography book. [Reuters]