Michelle Cool In Kors; Will Christian Lacroix Be Saved?

  • Michelle Obama wore Michael Kors to celebrate the National Design Awards winners on Friday. "What I love about design is the artistic and scientific complexity that becomes useful," said the first lady, to a crowd that included Francisco Costa. [WWD]
  • Meanwhile, Ikram Goldman — the Chicago boutique owner who is the closest thing to a stylist for Michelle Obama — is in New York to view pre-fall collections. Although Goldman won't comment on anything the first lady might or might not wear in future, she did say that Thakoon Panichgul (whose clothes have been worn by Mrs. Obama before) had produced "probably my favorite collection that I've seen so far." [Style.com]
  • And the fashion love for the Obamas goes beyond mere dresses: Jacquetta Wheeler pulled an André Leon Talley and volunteered for the campaign for three weeks in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, last October. The supermodel described the 17-hour days she pulled as "the most interesting and rewarding thing I've ever done in my life." [Vogue UK]
  • Wannabe model Amber Le Bon is too "free and liberated" for university. [Telegraph]
  • After the rejection, by the administrator of the bankrupt company, of three bids for Christian Lacroix's fashion house, a fourth more "serious" offer has been received from Italy's Borletti group. If a buyer is not found by the end of this month, the current owners, Florida's Falic Group, plan to shutter the house and continue just producing goods that license the Lacroix name. [WWD]
  • Three words: Hello Kitty Sneakers. Fourth word: $145. [HighSnobiety]
  • Amber Valetta has announced a design partnership with Los Angeles label Monrow. The supermodel's pieces — t-shirts, simple dresses, and blazers — very closely mirror Monrow's existing offerings. [Elle UK]
  • Scott Schuman got drunk at a party in his honor in Toronto and decided to give a speech described by one guest as "rambling" and "nonsensical." That same night, he went on the record with Globe and Mail reporter Amy Verner. What ensued was an object lesson in why not to give interviews under the influence: Schuman leveled spurious attacks on designers James Coviello and Peter Som ("When I had my showroom in New York, [I told them], 'You have to build your brand,' and they didn't listen"), disdain for the media that have helped make him ("I don't need another interview with any other magazine or newspaper in the world") and plenty of bragging about his own sexual prowess ("I'm pretty good at the sex. And pretty good at picture taking. That's about it. Garance is pretty happy. And the hotel-room neighbours are pretty pissed.") "Garance" is Garance Doré, the French street style blogger for whom Schuman left his wife of 20 years — who had financially supported him after his showroom business failed — Christa. [OmgBlog]
  • Isaac Mizrahi's QVC just-announced program sounds like it might be zany good fun to watch when it launches in December. Called "Isaac Mizrahi Live!" it'll weave the designer's pitches between his extemporaneous monologues about life and his other daily activities. It'll be filmed in his real New York studio. The show will also sell Mizrahi's cheesecakes — which he, an accomplished home cook, fine-tunes the recipes for and decorates. Hopefully they'll find time to plumb his affection for the word "sauté" as well: "I liked the way it sounded — sauté, sauté, sauté!" [WSJ]
  • There is an astounding 46.6 square feet of retail space for every single person in the United States. But, as we all know, this recession is causing that number to fall. Businesses are closing up shop entirely: regional department stores like Mervyn's and Gottschalks, as well as chains like Steve & Barry's, S&K Famous Brands, Abercrombie & Fitch's Ruehl, and Pacific Sunwear's D.e.m.o. and One Thousand Steps. Troubled retailers that still hope to survive this downtown are nonetheless shutting stores left and right: Jones Apparel Group is closing 225. Ann Taylor, 163. All told, 8.1 million square feet of retail space was vacated during the last quarter. UBS Securities expects a contraction of 10% in retail space over the next few years. [WWD]
  • San Francisco artist Stephanie Syjuco decided to counterfeit designer handbags — in handicrafts. Her crocheted objects created after brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry, and Chanel are intended as a "critique of a political economy," and you can watch a short documentary about Syjuco's project. [Threadbared]
  • A slightly more par-for-the-course tale of handbag counterfeiting is buried in the story of last week's New Jersey money-laundering and corruption case, which led to the arrest of 44 businessmen and politicians. The government informant who helped make the case claimed his fortune came from the fake handbag business. The FBI gave the informant large sums of cash, which he then gave to the defendants to launder; his explanation for how he came by the cash was caught on tape. "The business is very good now because the market's down — economy's down, and everyone wants to buy. Instead of spending $1,000 for a Prada bag, we sell it for $200; Gucci bag, $300. It's $1,200 in the store," the informant, who is believed to be 36-year-old rabbi's son Solomon Dwek, said in June, 2008. [WWD]
  • Oh, look: someone figured out how to make money from a fashion website by combining editorial content, user-generated content, and e-commerce. Magazines take note. [NYTimes]
  • Inventors have discovered how to turn used coffee grounds into a soft, breathable, but water resistant fabric. [Guardian]