Dissident Artist Ai Weiwei Alludes To Arrest In New W Cover

W magazine has done something genuinely bold: it got prominent Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei to direct the cover shoot for its brand-new art issue. Because Ai is still under virtual house arrest in China, he participated in the shoot and gave directions to photographer Max Vadukul and model Sui He via Skype. The cover image, in which Sui is handcuffed by two men, recalls Ai's photographs of the Tompkins Square Park riots of 1988, and of course the artist's own confinement in China. Inside the magazine, Sui is photographed being taken into custody and transported to a disused part of Rikers Island jail. Ai was imprisoned in China for 81 days without charge earlier this year, and his movement within the country and contact with the media have been restricted. Sui is Chinese herself, and a relative newcomer to modeling; there was a rumor that some Chinese models W approached about the shoot were unwilling to work with Ai for fear of official reprisal. For more about Ai Weiwei, Evan Osnos's 2010 New Yorker profile is a good start. [NYTimes]


Dissident Artist Ai Weiwei Alludes To Arrest In New W CoverThis David LaChapelle portrait of the late Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow is now on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London. [Vogue UK]
Dissident Artist Ai Weiwei Alludes To Arrest In New W CoverJeremy Scott's latest Adidas collection includes sneakers that look like apes. [@pabloolea]
Speaking of lower forms of life, in this video Terry Richardson plays in a room full of Terry Richardson cut-outs. Very Malkovich. [Terry's Diary]
Dissident Artist Ai Weiwei Alludes To Arrest In New W CoverHere's Steven Tyler in an ad for the Macy's line he fronts, Andrew Charles. Tyler says he loves fashion: "Somewhere in 1967, when I was in high school, I remember getting made fun of because I wore cowboy boots. I sewed buttons on each side of the cowboy boot, which I attached to my pants, so they wouldn't ride up…I loved it so much, and got made fun of by kids in my school and kids in my band. I would have my clothes made in 1971, I bought bolts of stuff, and they made jackets and pants. Those styles I would wear, and Joe [Perry, Aerosmith guitar player] would come over and say, 'That looks great. Do they make that for men?'" [WWD]
  • You didn't forget about Kim Kardashian's lawsuit against Old Navy, did you? Oh, thank goodness. Well, Gap Inc. is defending itself vigorously against allegations that it profited off Kardashian's image by hiring a model who looked kinda actually really a lot like her (and who is dating the reality star's ex) to shill for Old Navy. Gap's lawyers are arguing that their use of the lookalike is protected by the First Amendment, and transformative use. [THR]
  • There is almost nothing in this world that we would like to do more than attend an intimate Lanvin show with live commentary by Alber Elbaz. [WWD]
  • "I'm a walking label no?" said Karl Lagerfeld. "My name is Labelfeld not Lagerfeld. I have a sort of Alzheimer's for my own work, which I think is a very good thing. Today too many people remember what they did — just forget it all and start again. I just forget it all and start again. And start again. Forget it all and start again. Forget it allandstartagain. Forget it all. Forget it all. Forget it all. Forget it all. Forget it all. Fuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..." Then someone changed his batteries, and Lagerfeld began talking about Renaissance printmaking. [Vogue UK]
  • Former Vogue Paris editor Carine Roitfeld says Marc Jacobs would be great for Christian Dior. "Marc is used to working for a big brand and he's been working at LVMH for 12 years now. He understands the company, how it works and how to work with them. He's been given the shoulders to do the Dior job already. He's never done couture though, so I'd be really excited to see him do couture for Dior. He's a very smart person. If Marc gets the job, I won't miss a single show." [Vogue UK]
  • Roitfeld says she was approached about doing a Barbie in her own image. She turned it down. [Figaro Madame]
  • Andrej Pejic dressed in his usual style to meet the Queen. "I'm wearing a Paul Smith blazer, because I wanted to wear at least one British designer, with a vintage Versace pencil skirt and just some heels. I wanted to just be myself — androgynous — and play with the masculine blazer and pencil skirt. It's also a bit Nineties, which I love." [Vogue UK]
  • Today in odd trend pieces: some U.S. soldiers are getting their eyebrows threaded in Afghanistan. [WSJ]
  • Taylor Swift officially launched her perfume, Wonderstruck, at Macy's yesterday. A second women's scent is already in the words, but the singer has no intention of lending her name to a clothing line. "Maybe at some point in life I will, but you can only chase so many rabbits before you lose them all." [WWD]
  • Central St. Martins fashion M.A. head (and not-too-close collaborator of Kanye West) Louise Wilson says she's a little worried now that her institution has moved into a brand new campus. "My worry is that they will think we're elitist and glossy and that people will be put off applying because of the hype. The truth is that we're dirty and it's hard work and it's all about what the students put in, the hard work they do — not about what the college gives them." [Vogue UK]
  • Could there be a solution in sight for the contretemps over September 2012's show dates? Milan unilaterally moved its fashion week up to conflict with New York's and London's. Diane von Furstenberg, the president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, went to Milan to launch her new perfume — and do a little fashion diplomacy. She met "amicably" with Mario Boselli, her Italian counterpart, and he came to her party the next night. "We are friends, we've known each other for a long time and we are going to solve this," says von Furstenberg. "What's done is done, but we want to turn a page and start working on the 2013 dates," says Boselli. Developing. [WWD]
  • The Hollywood Reporter is launching a fashion blog called the Fash Track. [DFR]
  • Yves Saint Laurent is making a play for the skincare market with a new anti-aging line called Forever Youth Liberator. Here's the spiel: "a line based on glycobiology — the science of glycans — and the discovery by scientists that with age the number of glycans in the skin diminishes, hindering skin's regeneration. The development of products that take this discovery as their basis depended on the finding of glycan synthesis." Glycans. There is literally every day a new way to fail at being a woman. [WWD]
  • And now, a moment with Michael Kors, who explains how to stand out on the red carpet:

    Don't wear a mermaid dress in a jewel tone. Wear a pair of pants, something short, or flat shoes. And don't borrow jewelry or a dress.

    [WWD]