Lagerfeld Is Shockingly Vain; Angelina's Stylist Spills SecretsS

  • In a stunning revelation that will surprise no-one, Karl Lagerfeld's ex-assistant says the Kaiser is "an unbelievable narcissist." Who "needs an eternity to get ready in the morning." [Blackbook]
  • Hilary Swank on the tough reality of Cannes: "I'm starving and the music's so loud I can't hear a thing." [WWD]
  • In a plan expected to be announced today at City Hall, New York city boutiques will throw a party to kick off the next fashion week, on September 10. Anna Wintour and Mayor Michael Bloomberg are behind the idea; stores will stay open till midnight running promotions and designers will be in attendance. Fashion Week is traditionally an industry event focused on buyers and editors. Maybe this could be a good way to capitalize on an opportunity to target the actual public, and retail? [Cityroom]
  • Ending a long search, Halston has chosen London designer Marios Schwab as its new creative director. The label had been rudderless since the departure of Marco Zanini in early 2008. [WWD]
  • Some contend that Michelle Obama's purported magical effect on clothing sales is a media construct. J. Crew's CEO, for example, believes that while the First Lady has given the company vast free publicity by favoring its cardigans, she has not necessarily driven sales. This is a view backed up by JP Morgan's research report on the company. Several J. Crew items the first lady has worn are even on clearance. (Of course, it's entirely possible that many of the younger, less-established designers Michelle Obama has favored would have a different experience to report. Jason Wu and Thakoon have to be feeling her patronage in their sales.) [The Big Money]
  • That doesn't stop the fashion world from going giddy over Mrs. Obama. [WWD]
  • French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld: "Fashion is not about clothes, it is about a look." [Guardian]
  • Anna Wintour's 60 Minutes segment was watched by 10.2 million on television, and drew an unknown number of online viewers. [Folio]
  • Tim Gunn just got a new apartment — "Most of the apartment is aubergine. It's like living in a bruise." In between repainting, he's traveling to promote the new season of Project Runway, and pick designers for the next. He also recommends you read Adam's Navel by Michael Sims. [Blogging Project Runway]
  • Carolina Herrera, who is often glimpsed in a crisp, white shirt, gets hers at the Gap. Sort of — designer friend Patrick Robinson sends her them by the dozen, and she gets them monogramamed. But if you, mere pleb lacking designer friends, want to buy them off the rack, they cost $44. [Style.com]
  • Manhattan might be getting a Nordstrom Rack. [WWD]
  • Angelina Jolie's stylist seems surprisingly grounded, for a woman whose most recent splurge was an $1,100 Gucci dress. (Which she is thinking of returning, since she saw a similar style at H&M.) [LA Times]
  • The New York Times' Cintra Wilson cast her critical-shopping eye on Derek Lam. "There is absolutely nothing wrong with Mr. Lam's desire to create ruling-class finery; it's lovely, top-shelf stuff, and he should make no bones about the fact that his creations are not warm, fun, affordable or sensuous," writes Wilson. "They are formal, uptight gift wraps — silk boxes in which women may demurely present themselves, with politesse, deference and flawless snobbery, to a world of rich and powerful men." [NY Times]
  • First-quarter earnings for Philips-Van Heusen, parent company of Calvin Klein and Van Heusen, among other brands, sank by 47% on last year's numbers. Sales declined by almost 11% during the period. [Crain's]
  • Key words for this Marks & Spencer commercial, starring Twiggy: "value" nostalgia recession "quality" penny pennies prices trust penny. [Guardian]
  • Current Marks & Spencer print model Marie Helvin is 56, and and pretty fantastic. "Please shoot me if I'm doing this in my 80s," she tells the Times of London. "Anyway, one day I won't be able to...I've had an amazing life, done lots of fantastic things. I never wanted children, so that's not an issue." She's also open about having had an abortion. [Times of London]