Joan Vass, Who "Broke Every Rule Of The Business," Dead At 85S

"She broke every rule of the business." After he arranged a meeting for her with a prospective licensee who was interested in producing Joan Vass sunglasses, linens, and sheets, "my mother rejected everything. She said, ‘I don't like any of these people.' I said to her, ‘It's not personal, you don't have to like them. You'll have complete say and we'll get 10 percent.' My mother was never about the money." [WWD]

  • Reports the New York Times: "It was at a dinner party with the actress Cynthia Harris that Ms. Vass, who had no formal fashion training, was introduced to the pleasures of knitting. Ms. Harris told her it helped pass the time while on movie sets. Ms. Vass began creating designs, which were made by women around the city working cottage-industry style, so that many of the first pieces were slightly irregular and in unusual colors. Ms. Vass said she was interested in helping older women develop marketable skills. 'Each woman picks her time — some knit only on the bus going to work, some work full time,' she said. 'A poet does all my sewing samples.'" Ironically, the Joan Vass label persists today, produced under license. [NYTimes]
  • According to rumor, Anna Wintour is set to receive the Legion d'Honneur from Nicolas Sarkozy later this year. [WWD]
  • Gwyneth Paltrow is the new face of fancy watch brand Baume & Mercier. Hehe, "face." Geddit? [WWD]
  • Fashion brands — knocking off the work of the designers Kate Middleton wears is all well and good, but don't get any funny ideas about naming your tat after the princess-to-be. "It is highly unlikely that we would have any objection if a company wanted to call a dress 'The Kate dress' — Kate isn't specific to Catherine Middleton," says a royal aide. "It may, however, be a different scenario if it was called the Catherine/Kate Middleton dress as that impacts on personal copyright. Or indeed if a company was suggesting a dress was officially endorsed by Catherine." [Vogue UK]
  • In other Kate Middleton "news," local crazy person Liz Jones hopes Middleton's wedding dress won't be silk, because despite the fact that silk production has dramatically less environmental impact than comparable synthetics, the thought of all those poor, defenseless widdle silk worms dying for fashion just gives Liz a big sad. [Daily Mail]
  • And in even more Kate Middleton "news," she went to a winter wedding and wore: A black skirt, a black velvet jacket that had some kind of an embellished closure, and a sheer black top. The grannies at the Daily News think Middleton was "showing a bit too much of her birthday suit." [NYDN]
  • And yet more: Jasper Conran is the latest designer to volunteer his services in the royal wedding dress department. [Telegraph]
  • Tommy Hilfiger last year co-founded a company to mass-produce quickie tie-in clothing lines for musicians. That company is said to be near signing a deal with Universal Music, which could mean Hilfiger would be rolling out clothes for artists including the Rolling Stones, The Who, Lady Gaga, Guns N' Roses, Metallica, and Justin Bieber as soon as this fall. [WWD]
  • Aishwariya Rai, 37, has apparently been replaced by Freida Pinto, 26, as the face of L'Oréal in the world's largest democracy. [Daily Mail]
  • This video about Dita Von Teese and her corsetier, the legendary Mr. Pearl, is strangely touching. [YouTube]
  • InStyle's list of Ten Ways To Live Life Like A Supermodel mostly sounds like Ten Ways To Live Life Like A Real Bore Who Can't Even Cut Her Hair. [InStyle]
  • Miranda Kerr gave birth to a baby boy. Her husband, Orlando Bloom, and parents were close at hand. [X17]
  • Amanda Seyfried looks scary-pretty in her first Clé de Peau ad. Seriously. Her skin fairly glows but her eyes are following us. Close tab. [Racked]
  • Justin Bieber, despite not wearing nail polish himself, motivated so many girls to buy his namesake polish collection for OPI that it immediately sold out at the 3,000 stores where it was stocked. [WWD]
  • Under new editor-in-chief Brandon Holley's watch, Lucky will be incorporating more bloggers into its operation, in some as yet undefined fashion. Holley even held a meeting where the magazine's entire staff, from interns on up, was required to name their favorite fashion blogs. And the mag is holding a conference on fashion blogging, to run concurrently with New York fashion week. [Fashionista]
  • Wolfgang Joop's label Wunderkind seems likely to fold. It has just laid off most of its staff, and canceled its upcoming Paris show. Wunderkind was founded in 2003, and its backers said last year that they hoped it would turn a profit by 2012. [WWD]