DVF, Presidential Ski-Bunny; Pam Anderson's Vivienne Westwood Ads Debut

  • Diane von Furstenberg attended the inauguration with her oldest African-American friend, André Leon Talley. She hobnobbed with Oprah and David Axelrod, then dressed up in, um, a ski suit to watch the swearing-in. [Financial Times]
  • Poor Peter Som sounds like he's having a hell of a time. He left Bill Blass to focus on his eponymous line, only for his financial backers to, well, back swiftly away. The Cut asked how he was doing, and he told them, "Shit happens. Sometimes it's a lot, sometimes it's a little. So I think everyone's going through some tough times...Why don't you ask me some questions about Michelle Obama's dress?" Turns out he submitted sketches of a long, white gown — "I guess I was in the ballpark, right?" — but obviously wasn't Michelle Obama's final choice. The way I see it, while a Google bump and a Good Morning America interview might have given him some press, the fundamentals are still what counts. And his ability to design beautiful clothes women want to wear is, at least, recession-proof. [The Cut]
  • Clearly Som is not the only one in fashion hurting. Abercrombie & Fitch, which had extremely poor fourth quarter sales, laid off 50 workers at their Ohio headquarters. The mall store sees itself as an aspirational brand, so it refuses to discount its wares to move units during any downturn — their sale-happy competitors have no such compunction, which is part of the reason for Abercrombie's double-digit slide in same-store sales since August of last year. Further layoffs have not been ruled out. [Reuters]
  • For another view on the recession, check out this interview with Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce, conducted back in September, just as the financial news was going from bad to awful. It's a snapshot of two men who, like we all were back then, are still grappling with the daily news of a world economy in a slow-motion crash. Says Gabbana, "The money hasn’t changed, it’s the mentality." Dolce offers, "Maybe we go well with crisis?" before pointing out a trend piece in Corriere della Serra about the financial crisis bringing people together. Gabbana shoots back, "Yes, but I’m also tired of reading this stupid stuff. I’m sick of it. We said the same thing after September 11. We just continue to do our job in the same way, maybe putting more energy, more fantasia, more creativity into it." As worthwhile a strategy as any. [Interview]
  • Other designers plowing resolutely ahead without saying 'boo': Brioni, which introduced a made-to-measure suit that can cost up to $43,000 in October, and Hermès, whose limited-edition silk Josef Albers scarves of last fall cost $2800 each. The "elite of the elite" have bought 30 of the suits, astonishingly. [WSJ]
  • Supposedly, LVMH's Bernard Arnault and PPR's François Pinault have buried the hatchet. What kind of world is it where two French luxury-industry billionaires who share a last-name syllable can't get along? [Financial Times]
  • Iman compared herself to a duck in an interview with E! Canada. Because ducks look calm and collected, but are paddling furiously beneath the surface. A writer for the National Post, apparently unable to grasp why a supermodel would find an animal metaphor useful in describing her personality as opposed to her looks, takes this to mean Iman has body-image issues. [National Post]
  • A stage manager who worked on the set of "Lipstick Jungle" is being charged with the theft of almost $30,000 worth of costumes. Designers who had lent the production their clothing and accessories noticed unreturned items going up on eBay. [CNN]
  • Jason Wu is feeling the love this week. The 26-year-old designer of that one-shouldered white gown got his very own profile in the Times' "Sunday Styles" section, right ahead of fashion week. Reporter Eric Wilson mentions Wu was taking interviews in between working on his fall collection, but offers no further details of the intriguing fur-fest. (Wu told Fashion Week Daily fall would be all about fur. And "luxury.") [NY Times]
  • Inaugural fashion coverage would not be complete without a lengthy, considered piece by Robin Givhan all about the styles of dress of the attendees not named Obama. [Washington Post]
  • For reasons unclear, Spanish feminists protested a Zara store in Madrid. [The F Word]
  • J Peterman, the company best known for "Seinfeld" gags and a real-life 1999 bankruptcy, is back. [MSNBC]
  • Awesome lady Jane Birkin watched the Hermès men's show in Paris wearing an Obama pin. [WWD]
  • Chloe Sevigny talks to the Times about her style, but gives no information about that unisex collection she's presenting this week in Paris. She does, however, shop for hosiery from a guy who is "like the Soup Nazi, but he sells socks." [NY Times]
  • Meanwhile, Padma Lakshmi has a line of fine jewelry she'd like very much to sell you. [WWD]
  • The Fashion Design Council of India has a new program: model rehab. It's like industry exit counseling, to get you a new job when the clients stop booking you. [Hindustan Times]
  • Jim Horne, male model of the 40s and 50s, and first cover subject of the newly renamed Gentleman's Quarterly, died at age 91 in New York. The business certainly was different then. [NY Times]
  • Women shoppers are increasingly angered by the poor construction of budget fashion items. Complaints because of unwarned shrinkage, fading, breaking zippers, running dyes, and embellishments that fall off at the first wear are up 22%. Let's not take it anymore! Until there is another sale at H&M. [Independent]
  • Marc Jacobs has palatial new digs in someAndre Balazs-developed condo building in SoHo. It's 2,500-square-feet, presumably expensive. [New York Post]
  • Pam Anderson's Vivienne Westwood campaign is out. Shockingly, the pairing results in a less than demure aesthetic...let's just say Pamela Anderson's breasts are prominently displayed. Which is more subtle than the pics themselves! [Fashionista]
  • At least they're going out with a bang: Hartmarx Corp., the Chicago company that owns Obama Inaugural tux-maker Hart Schaffner Marx, has filed for bankruptcy. [WSJ]
  • Kanye West "promotes" his new Louis Vuitton-collab sneakers in a bizarre new video. Which is to say, he proclaims that he's changing his name from "the Louis Vuitton Don" (?) to "Martin Louis the King, Jr." (?) then declares, "and until then, I will be in the building, swagger, until one hundred thousand trillion." [Racked]
  • Speaking of odd collaborations, we don't even want to imagine what kind of douchey teen will carry the new Ric Owens Eastpaks to school. At the very least, the inkstains had better be solid gold. [Fashionista]