Belly Shirts For American Dudes; dVb By Victoria Beckham DroppedS

  • Yes, it's fashion week, yes, there are better things to talk about, and yes, we'll get to them after the jump, but first: Toby Keith's clothing line debuted. It's worse than we thought. [TMZ]
  • London's fashion week, small but mighty as always, starts today and only runs for four days. It's a strange paradox of British fashion that, while some of the top designers — McQueen, Galliano — are from the UK, and London's Central St. Martins is acknowledged as one of the best fashion schools in the world, London fashion week has never quite managed the automatic prestige of New York's, Milan's, or Paris's (which is, not incidentally, where Galliano and McQueen both show). [Reuters]
  • André Leon Talley went nuts for Vera Wang's show in her new downtown store. [The Cut]
  • Who invited Julia Allison to Philip Lim? He doesn't make pink clothes. [Observer]
  • WWD gets its own loving spoof! Worldwide Womenswear Digest, or WWWD has stories like "THE PARENT TRAP: Bee Shaffer shocked to learn most parents don't have yearly hug limits" and "Diane von Furstenberg Debuts Controversial Spinach Wrap Dress." Awesome. [The Cut]
  • Leanne Marshall, who won this show called Project Runway this one time, completed a cross-country move and finished her entire fall collection in a few weeks. She says the only thing that's hard about designing from her Brooklyn apartment is keeping her cat out of her sewing. [People]
  • Bravo's replacement for their lost treasure, to be called The Fashion Show, will be hosted by Isaac Mizrahi, Fern Mallis...and Kelly Rowland. [Variety]
  • In the front row at Calvin yesterday afternoon, Eva Mendes explains the concept of a fashion show to newbie Kate Beckinsale: "It's a little like going to a museum and seeing a beautiful exhibit, except it's emotion." Did she mean, "in motion"? [WWD]
  • SIR — Thank you for your measured post considering the economic value of the fashion industry. I'll resist the temptation to call any of the economists who would argue that "creative innovation that matters is somebody in a lab at MIT coming up with a more efficient battery or solar cell. It is somebody at Stanford coming up with a way to make computers smarter or cancer more preventable. I just can't get excited about some frou-frou fashion designers and the magazines that feature their creations" pointy-headed misogynist assholes (who probably dress poorly and were made fun of for it in high school). [The Economist]
  • There is justice! Crocs lost $33 million last quarter. [WWD]
  • The three shareholders in De Beers — a mining company, the government of Botswana, and the family of company chairman Nicky Oppenheimer — have together loaned the diamond company $500 million as sales have softened because of the economy. The loan is interest-free for two years. De Beers had record sales in the first three quarters of 2008, but the last quarter was flat, and analysts expect 2009 to be even worse. [Reuters]
  • Wholesale prices of US-made apparel rose in the month of January, despite concerns about deflation. [WWD]
  • Brazilian designer Alexandre Herchcovitz is able to afford to show in New York partly because of his home country's lavish support of the arts. This season's show cost $170,000, around $70,000 of which came from the Brazilian government. I'm always mystified by the huge numbers some designers give as their budget costs for models — Herchcovitz claims he spent $90,000 on models a year ago — and I have to wonder, are they counting the "cost" of the trade they offer as payment to the girls who work the show? Because as far as I can recall, Herchcovitz is one of the many to "pay" in clothes. Not that giving away clothes isn't a cost to a designer, but I don't think it's unreasonable to recognize that providing some of your product for free is a different class of cost than actual out-of-pocket expenditures. [NY Times]
  • Versace is dipping a nervous toe into the turbid waters of internet retail. [WWD]
  • And Celine Dion wants you to smell Chic like her this April. [WWD]
  • After Victoria Beckham agreed to sell her upscale line of dresses exclusively through Bergdorf's, Saks, which had been among the first to support her dVb by Victoria Beckham denim line, decided to drop the pants. Kitson and Henri Bendel stopped restocking dVb last year because of poor sales. [NY Post]