51-Year-Old Gallic Supermodel Walks For Gaultier

  • Taylor Swift is launching a line of sundresses that will cost $14 and be sold at Wal-Mart. However! She says she's not like all those other celebrity "designers" who are all too happy to claim the title. "I like people who have worked their entire lives to become designers," Swift says. "I think that they have their place as designers and I have my place as a musician, and I'm going to pretty much stick to that." Huh. If Taylor Swift isn't a designer, then who designed the line? Or did the dresses simply spring, fully formed, from the fingertips of a bevvy of 14-year-old Indonesian sweatshop workers? [The Cut]
  • A Real World: Brooklyn cast member has become an underwear model. Scott from New Hampshire is the new face of Baskit Underwear's organic line, "Pure." [Racked]
  • The Japanese government held a runway show in New York to promote young Japanese designers on the international scene. [WSJ]
  • On the occasion of Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli's first collection for Valentino, which will be shown today at couture week in Paris, the man himself has praise for the pair — and some choice words about his successor, Alessandra Facchinetti, who was fired after just eight months with the company. At the time of her appointment, Valentino, who left his company a year ago, would only say, "I've met her. She's pretty." After Facchinetti was dumped, he let rip: "[Chiuri and Piccioli] always demonstrated an enormous respect and love for my work. There is an existing archive with thousands of dresses where they can draw and take inspiration from to create a Valentino product that is relevant today. It is a shame that their predecessor didn't feel this need." Today, he'd like to remind everyone that, despite his affinity for Chiuri and Piccioli, he "categorically denies" helping them design their first collection. "If I decide to attend the presentation of their collection, it will only be as a supporter of two people I love and who have been close to me for many years," he said. All right then! [The Cut]
  • Polyvoweled supermodel Iekeliene Stange was interviewed by Style.com on the occasion of her first solo photography show. She has this to say about fashion photography: "I think these days fashion photography is very restricted and lacks a lot of creativity. There’s always certain items that need to be shot in certain ways and you don’t have as much freedom. Very often these days it seems to be more about socializing and who knows who, rather than about actual photography." A pretty bold statement to make. [Style.com]
  • Lydia Hearst's Pringle of Scotland ad leaked, and the trustafarian model has her patented dazed expression. Still, it's nice to see her actually, you know, working as a model. After last season's campaign efforts, which were a long way from her Prada heights, one would have sooner expected Hearst to turn up in an ad for Pringles than Pringle of Scotland. [The Cut]
  • American Express, which, as a fashion week sponsor normally gets one designer to be in a special AmEx branded fashion show in the tents that card-holders can pay $150 to watch, is taking a slightly different route this fashion week. Diane von Furstenberg will be the featured talent, but instead of re-creating her Fall/Winter 09 show of a few days prior, she'll showcase looks from the current spring season. Things you can actually buy. (Of course, AmEx card-holders could also just walk into a DvF store to see her spring collection. But think of how it'll look on the runway, with hair and makeup and lights and music!) Ms. von Furstenberg will also do a Q&A with André Leon Talley before the show. The 850-seat venue is expected to sell out. [WSJ]
  • Poor sales numbers at Swatch had a predictable effect on the company's performance for 2008. Gross profits rose less than expected, by 4.3%, to 6 billion Swiss francs ($5.2 billion). The company is predicting modest sales increases for 2009. [WWD]
  • H&M had a better-than-expected fourth quarter, although it closed with disappointing December sales. Net profits for the brand jumped 9.4% to 5.09 billion Swedish kronor (about $626 million), up from last year's 4.65 billion kronor. Analysts had predicted a rise to 4.85 billion kronor. Overall profits for 2008 were up 13%; the chain is going to continue its expansion. [WSJ]
  • Which is good news, because I'm already getting excited about Matthew Williamson for H&M, which hits stores this April. The designer himself will model in the ad campaign, alongside Daria Werbowy. Solve Sundsbo will shoot. [WWD]
  • The 85% off sales of designer goods may have permanently affected the market. According to a new study, sales of luxury products are expected to fall between 3% and 7% in 2009, at least partly because now that consumers have seen how low prices can get, they feel like $600 is too high an asking price for a pair of shoes. I would agree! Some labels are going to permanently lower their prices, others might continue shifting production to Asia. [WSJ]
  • Angelina Jolie wore a Max Azria dress to the SAG awards...backwards. I can actually see how it would have looked way too revealing if she'd worn it the "right" way around. Who among us has never turned a favorite sweater backwards for something new? [The Life Files]
  • Project Runway's 5th season, which is still the subject of litigation in California, will still show at New York Fashion Week. But the designers featured, and whether there are any decoys among them, will be kept secret from the audience. Also Nina Garcia's writing another book, presumably to keep busy while the lawsuit shakes out. [Fabsugar]
  • Betsey Johnson's reissuing a 35-piece capsule collection of garments from her archives. They'll only be sold at Opening Ceremony in Los Angeles and New York. And, I'm willing to predict, on eBay. [WWD]
  • Oh. My. God: Lou Doillon and Charlotte Gainsbourg were shot by Annie Liebovitz for American Vogue. Did Anna Wintour just get a clue? [WWD]