Franca Sozzani has finally spoken out about Vogue Italia's decision to pull one picture of Karlie Kloss in a twisty-pretzel pose from its web site. She says that she was wrong to un-publish the photo. "I believed I could avoid a pointless debate. I made a mistake," she admits. Sozzani now believes she it would have been better to "leave the picture and let everybody express their opinion freely. The picture is beautiful and that's all." She says the image, which was widely criticized for portraying Kloss as very thin-looking — many people assumed she'd been Photoshopped into the odd pose — was not "heavily Photoshopped." Sozzani also says that Kloss isn't anorexic, and her muscles and work for Victoria's Secret, "the underwear line that loves real women par excellence," proves that — apparently, once you're a model and you book VS, any eating issues you may have had are magicked away! It is literally impossible to model for VS and be anorexic. Sozzani further says that she wishes there were "photography courses to educate many people who work in this field who don't know anything about the history of photography." We're all for greater photographic and body literacy — and no, we never thought that Vogue Italia had 'Shopped Kloss into that position — but what's missing from Sozzani's explanation is an understanding of the broader social context. Why is it that the "experimental" photography high fashion values always happens to highlight and glorify extraordinary thinness? [Vogue.it]
Fashion intern horror stories
A friend of mine interned for a socialite who was involved with a lot of charities. She was in a town car on her way to a charity event with her intern. The socialite thought that her intern had a better top than she did. She forced her intern to switch tops in the town car or else she would have been fired, seriously. She never returned the top and insists to this day it is actually hers when she wears it in her office in front of the intern.
Sociopaths: they walk among us. And in fashion they kind of run things. UPDATE: We're just going to leave this photo here. It's of a most famous supermodel, Kate Moss, wearing a white suit in the Spring-Summer, 2006, Stella McCartney campaign. Which was shot in St. Barth. [Fashionista]
- Apparel industry leaders are mad at Newt "put poor children to work" Gingrich. The Republican permanent presidential candidate recently called child labor laws "truly stupid" and suggested under-privileged children could be taught the value of an honest day's work by mopping and scrubbing their own school bathrooms under the watchful eye ofBumble the Beadle-like "master janitors." (Gingrich later said he just meant it would be nice if kids could help out with light cleaning duties or assist the school librarian, never mind that getting a 12-year-old to wipe off a whiteboard doesn't require repealing any existing labor protections.) The fashion industry, you see, has a certain problem with child labor. (And sweatshop labor, and coerced labor, and dangerous labor. But America loves its $9.99 t-shirts.) The ability of American clothing brands to pressure their suppliers to cut into their profit margins by hiring actual adults, even though as Gingrich knows children are much, much cheaper, depends heavily on having the moral high ground in the debate. "We try to set an example in the U.S. for partners around the world to follow their own laws," says the president of the American Apparel & Footwear Association. "When you have a candidate for president advocating relaxation in those laws, it calls into question the commitment." The head of the National Retail Federation questions Gingrich's benign view of child labor. "Uzbekistan is a great example of the problems of child labor. Here you have children pulled out of school by the government to go out and work in the cotton fields in fairly demanding physical agricultural labor, where they are exposed to pesticides and potentially dangerous conditions. It is a deplorable situation." It's estimated that around 211 million children ages 5-14 are currently working worldwide; 120 million of them are working full-time and in dangerous conditions. [WWD]
- Behati Prinsloo, who was discovered when she was 15, would like to remind everyone that most models begin their careers as children.
"There's no one that looks after models...You're 16 and thrown into this world of adults, and you have to be an adult. You have to deal with everything, you have to deal with your money and with rejection. You grow up really quick. It's very stressful, it's a lot of traveling, a lot of time away from family, a lot of dealing with stuff you shouldn't be dealing with at that age...You have to figure it out on your own."
And Uncle Terry, let's not forget him. [Fashionista]
- Victoria Beckham was "embarrassed" to talk about her fashion line with Marc Jacobs. "We went out to dinner one night, and he said, ‘I saw that you put out a collection,'" she tells Elle. "I felt embarrassed to tell Marc Jacobs that I — me, ex-Spice Girl, married to a footballer — was creating a fashion line." [NYDN]
- Anna Wintour went on CBS yesterday to talk up Vogue's new online archive — annual subscriptions: $1600 — and she said that in order for a Vogue cover to be a Vogue cover, "It has to look like Vogue." Vogue is Vogue, and the Vogue-iness of Vogue is the key to its being Vogue, you see. "Can being on the cover of Vogue change a model's career?" asked a reporter who apparently hasn't looked at a cover of Vogue since 1997. If she had, she'd know they don't put models on the front of American Vogue. That just wouldn't be Vogue, would it? [CBS]
- It's that time of year, that time when dwindling December days become long, dark nights of the soul, that time when we realize another year is evanescing before our eyes, and we tend towards contemplating What It All Means. Have we accomplished our goals? Have we actually sort of begun to think about what we might need to do in order to accomplish our goals? Is it time for another drink? In journalism, this turn towards reflection expresses itself in end-of-year stories. God, end-of-year stories, aren't they just the worst? Yes, yes they are. Anyway. Women's Wear Daily says Bernard Arnault was the Top Fashion Newsmaker of 2011. He fired Galliano, y'all. And also smiled wolfishly at Hermès. [WWD]
- Robin Givhan thinks that in the year 2011, "fashion's definition of beauty became more ethnically diverse thanks to the sweeping grace of world traveler Haider Ackermann." Of the 4,657 women's wear looks presented at this past New York fashion week, 3,837, or 82.4%, were given to white models. [TDB, Previously]
- Somehow, Kanye West's V party — in which he blew $1 and $2 bills over the crowd — didn't make WWD's list of the "best" 2011 fashion parties. Epic fail. [WWD]
- This article claims to explain the science behind skincare products that "recreate that dewy teenage glow." Because teenage skin is totally what we want to go back to. [WSJ]
- Glamour's ad pages were down 7% from 2010-2011, and newsstand sales through October are down 17% on last year. So the ladymag — traditionally one of Condé Nast's top performers — is getting a redesign. Glamour is promising new columns and new contributors, and has hired a former art director of Nylon, in order to look "hipper." First redesigned issue comes out in March. [WWD]
- Alice Dellal is rumored to be the next face of a Chanel handbag campaign. [WWD]
- America's Next Top Model winner Whitney Thompson — who looks great as a brunette, incidentally — is starting a dating website for plus-size folks called The Big And The Beautiful. "My biggest problem in online dating was that I would meet these guys and I would put on the site that I was a plus-sized model and then you know, guys wouldn't want to date me," she says. "But then I would just put a model and then when they met me they would be disappointed, so there was no happy medium." [NYDN]
- Neiman Marcus is going to be the accessories sponsor for Project Runway All-Stars. [WWD]
- And now, a moment with Elle style director Kate Lanphear. Kate, how do you feel about your following on street style sites?
"The street-style thing is hard for me to talk about, because it makes me pretty wildly embarrassed. I get really, really shy. It's like hearing your own voice on an answering machine."