Kylie Checks Out Couture; Marc Jacobs' West Village Death Grip TightensS

  • Kylie Minogue was in Jean Paul Gaultier's front row yesterday because she's looking for outfits for her American tour, which kicks off in October. Might we suggest this? [Elle UK]
  • In the 1930s aesthetic of some of the couture shows — especially Gaultier's — some observers see the influence of our current economic crisis. We'd argue that anyone who saw Jean Paul Gaultier's crocodile overalls and furs and thought "This is the new frugality!" is blind, but whatever. [Reuters]
  • Marc Jacobs is extending his reach in the West Village of Manhattan. The designer already has five stores in a radius of as many blocks, but he still expects to open a sixth in the neighborhood next February. The space, at the corner of Bleecker and West 11th Sts., has been occupied by the Biography Book Shop for over 20 years. "The space is now worth eight times what the Biography Book Shop was paying," said building owner Alexander Brodsky, who added that Marc Jacobs would be paying more than $400/sq. ft. The fate of the book store is unknown. [WWD]
  • And here's Jacobs on those bunny ears Madonna wore to the Met ball, which she also sports in the fall Louis Vuitton ad campaign: "There's a girl who works for us, Lucy, she's on the design team, and Adrian, one of the boys, was tying a little bit of fabric around and it reminded me of bunny. We were thinking of all these different things like can-can dancers, and I saw this piece of fabric wrapped around Lucy's head and said, 'Bunny ears, that's what we need to finish this look.' So we made all these radzimir bunny ears and that's how it happened. I like the kind of Playboy, French coquette aspect to it." Jacobs also referred obliquely to the extensive use of Photoshop — "The solarization that they're doing to the pictures is going to give a really dramatic effect" — and confirmed that the painter Tamara de Lempicka had been a reference. [Fashionologie]
  • Celebrity fashion lines are not faring well in the market downturn. A round-up of those that have closed: Mandy Moore's Mblem, Heidi Montag's Heidiwood, and Jennifer Lopez's Sweetface and JLO by Jennifer Lopez. Paris Hilton also closed her unsuccessful line with Dollhouse, and Lauren Conrad put her clothing line "on hiatus" (although she did hit back with a lower-priced range for Kohl's). Interestingly, lines where the celeb doesn't have the star branding role — Justin Timberlake's William Rast, Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B., Jay-Z's Rocawear — are proving more resilient. [WWD]
  • That doesn't mean fashion houses don't still believe celebs can move product. Marion Cotillard is in another new ad for Dior's Lady Dior handbag. [GlamChic]
  • Diane von Furstenberg totally wishes Brüno had crashed one of her shows. [WWD]
  • New York bumped into prominent couture consumer Daphne Guinness on the street, and asked her about her outfit. Guinness was wearing a fitted black dress by L'Wren Scott, black scarves, asymmetrical cat-eyed sunglasses, and 7" red platform Mary-Jane heels. [The Cut]
  • An exhibit at the Museum at FIT, which opened Tuesday, explores fashion's relationship with politics. Included is everything from white suits worn by suffragettes to Jean-Charles de Castelbajac's sequined dress with Obama's face. Of course, also still open at the Museum at FIT is the Isabel Toledo retrospective that features Michelle Obama's inauguration day outfit. [WWD]
  • We've officially found the limits of Mrs. Obama's fashion appeal: Russia, apparently, is immune to the charms of her sheath dresses and belts. "Her clothes are modest and neutral," said local designer Denis Simachev. A Russian fashion historian attributed the cool reaction to a difference in taste, the Russian being somewhat more outré: "A lot of Russians think that when something shines, it's beautiful." [WWD]
  • Meanwhile, the White House is locked in a war of words with an Italian luxury goods brand over a clutch purse. VBH claims that Michelle Obama carried its black crocodile envelope clutch, sticker price $5,950, during a meet-and-greet with President Medvedev and his wife Svetlana. The White House says the purse was a black patent clutch that cost $875. Please let the Obamas not be stupid enough to lie about something so minor and so easily disproven. [NYDN]
  • Everybody's favorite pervy photographer, Terry Richardson, is being immortalized in a 7.5" action figure. [Slamxhype]
  • The Wall Street Journal road-tested some vegan shoes, and found that faux leather and suede are getting realer looking by the minute. Pity two of their four offerings cost over $150, and one costs over $1,200. [WSJ]
  • Isaac Mizrahi curated a summer show at the Julie Saul Gallery in Chelsea, which opens tonight. The busy designer modestly says the principal theme is just "work I like by people I like," but Mizrahi goes on to explain how his famous sense of color has been informed by his favorite artists over the years. "Every time I think about color I refer to Julia Sherman," says Mizrahi. "Those Julia Sherman reds next to pale, pale pink, my Spring collection is going to be all about that. I feel like people are really open to color now. When I launched in ‘87 and I did super-bright colors, they loved it, but they didn't buy it. They'd shoot it, they'd laud it, but they'd wind up buying black. I'm talking about New York, now. The South is a different story-that's always been a haven for me. But here in the city, these days-it's nuts, color is what flies off the rack. My own line, and Liz Claiborne, too. More color sells better."
    [Style.com]
  • Shoe designer Jimmy Choo says you should wash your feet in warm, salted water every night before you go to bed. Also he says that Malaysia is beautiful and you should visit. [Daily Mail]
  • In case you're not already reading BryanBoy, plus Susie Bubble, the Sartorialist, Jak & Jil, and Fashion Toast, here are a few reasons why you might want to.
    [TDB]
  • Once upon a time, Kira Plastinina was just another teenaged Russian orange juice heiress with a love for pink clothes. Then Kira wanted a fashion chain, so her dad bought her one. The stores did well enough in her home country and in Ukraine, but Plastinina had her her eyes set on a higher prize: the American market. So her dad agreed to pay for Kira Plastinina stores all over the East and West coasts, and threw a launch party/16th birthday where he paid Paris Hilton and Usher to show up. Within seven months, the whole hot-pink operation had been shuttered, and Kira's U.S. vehicle, the K.P. Clothing Co., was in Chapter 7 liquidation with debts of over $54 million. Which outcome, one might think, would put paid to little Kira's notions of world chain store domination — but no! Cleverly disguised under a new business name (Pink Square) and a new brand (K. Plastinina), the teenaged tycoon reopened two of her former Los Angeles locations. Which is where protesters from a building company that did $2.5 million worth of unpaid work went to go find her yesterday. "The point of all this is that there are still people suffering because of what [the company] did," says Aaron Rectenwald, who built Kira eight of her original American stores. "We haven't gotten the attention of management yet so we'll be coming back until we do." [WWD]
  • The 17 workers suing New York-based retailer Scoop for allegedly giving them bogus promotions to salaried positions to avoid paying them overtime staged a protest outside Scoop's SoHo store yesterday. The former employees, most of whom are from West Africa, also allege that Scoop fired people who were in fact legal residents for supposed immigration violations. Scoop's current owners released a statement that read, "Although these allegations are against Scoop's previous management, we've conducted an internal audit to insure the company is in compliance with local, state and federal wage and hour laws. Scoop's current wage and hour practices are conducted in accordance with all state, local and federal laws." The chain's founding owners had no comment. [WWD]
  • Gap Inc. expects to expand into Thailand by next Spring. The company as a whole will, however, close more stores than it will open in the next fiscal year — 100 compared to just 50. [WSJ]
  • Over 3,000 pairs of Charles by Charles David high heeled shoes sold at Nordstrom Rack from April to June of this year are being recalled. The recall affects various colors and styles of shoe, and was put into effect because the heels of the shoes can easily detach while the wearer is walking. If you're affected, you can take yours back to the store for a full refund. [UPI]