The Telegraph newspaper has issued a rare apology and full retraction of an earlier article. The reason? The newspaper claimed that Michelle Obama had had an Agent Provocateur store in Manhattan closed down during business hours so that she could go on a $50,000 lingerie shopping spree in privacy. Also with Obama at this event was a high-spending Qatari princess. The story seemed fishy — Agent Provocateur released a statement saying it never commented publicly on its high-profile customers, and the White House issued a flat denial — but with this retraction comes an acknowledgement that the whole shopping trip described by the Telegraph was actually a complete fiction. "We would like to make clear that the 'shopping spree' involving Her Highness Sheikha Moza and Michelle Obama that we referred to in fact never occurred," writes the editors of the paper. "We apologise for the distress and embarrassment this article caused." [Telegraph]
W's new issue has two covers. Both feature Kate Moss, and both were shot by Steven Klein, but one depicts "Good Kate" and the other depicts "Bad Kate." Both will haunt your dreams forever if you look directly into Kate's freaky, freaky eyes. Instead of interviewing the supermodel for the issue, W had Will Self write an essay about her. Representative sentence: "Inescapably British, the Rolls-Royce Spirit of Ecstasy gene-spliced-perhaps by some model-agent Dr. Moreau — with the iconic Jaguar." [W]
SAt Costello Tagliapietra's show yesterday, every seat had a little pro-marriage equality pin. Appropriate, considering this was the longtime partners' first seasonal show as a married couple. They stuck to what they do best: beautifully draped jersey dresses in some eye-catching AirDye prints. This season, the prints looked a little bit biomorphic.
SChicago-based designers Creatures of the Wind say their fall collection was inspired by The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies, a 17th-century book by Robert Kirk. [WWD]
SCynthia Rowley showed a fall collection that was dark and well-developed, with embroidered satins in deep colors (one made a nice jumpsuit) and moody, swirling prints.
STadashi Shoji's dresses, on the other hand, were pure 20s/30s elegance.
SAnd Vice magazine threw a fashion week kick-off party. In case you can't tell how un-seriously the folks at Vice take fashion, it featured a doggie fashion show. The poor leather-clad puppies looked frankly terrified as they negotiated the runway — which was actually a stripper platform; this was at the Westway — on their leashes. And a thousand "DOGGIE STYLE" blog tags were born.
- Actress Shailene Woodley has no regrets about wearing those hideous toe-shoe abominations to a black tie event: "I got them from REI, and if people spent as much time thinking about the genocides going on in Africa and around the world as they do the shoes that actors wear to after-parties, the world would be a much more peaceful environment." Fair point. In honor of the actress, we shall now spend the 0.05 seconds it took to figure out that those shoes were not an appropriate choice for a formal event considering those unspecified genocides Woodley evidently cares so much about. [Vulture]
- Alice & Olivia is now making condoms. [Refinery29]
- Fergie has signed on to become drugstore cosmetics brand Wet N Wild's first celebrity spokesmodel. Fergie says the brand has strong positive associations that date back to her teens:
"In Hacienda Heights, there were a lot of beautiful chola girls. They wore Wet N Wild. I would watch them put on their eyeliners and lip liners at school. The big thing for the eyeliners was to heat them up and put on the black eyeliners smooth. They would also line their lips with dark lip liner.…Their faces were like palettes. I would try to emulate them."
- The Giants player who said Gisele Bündchen should "stay cute and shut up" rather than comment on her husband Tom Brady's teammates' Super Bowl performance has apologized. He still thinks Gisele is cute, though. [NYDN]
- And in more "Catch the fucking ball"-gate reax, Adriana Lima says, "I think we should leave the girl alone." [P6]
- Time has a brief history of New York fashion week, which has its origins in World War II, when international journalists couldn't get to Paris for the collections because of the occupation. New York designers stepped up to the plate. [Time]
- The Cut has a nice slideshow of famous people sitting in fashion show front rows, going back to the days of Rita Hayworth. Celebrities at fashion shows: as old as fashion shows themselves, apparently. [The Cut]
- On that note: Christian Louboutin sent his entire spring collection to Blake Lively. But shoes aren't the only accessories Lively loves: "I would love if I could wear little cut-off gloves every day," the actress says. "That would make me so happy. I'd go to a grocery store in a beautiful hat with lace dripping over the eye." [People]
- Ahead of his show tomorrow, Christian Siriano — whose boyfriend, Brad Walsh, last season wrote a blog post expressing his frustration that certain critics don't seem able to move beyond Siriano's Project Runway origins — diplomatically broaches the topic of his enthusiastic commercial reception and his somewhat more mixed reception among the fashion-editorial-industrial-complex establishment. Does he think critics know what they're talking about, asks the Times?
"I do and I don't," he said. "I don't think some fashion critics have been in a Neiman Marcus or a Saks Fifth Avenue in a long time, which is what it is."
And after working with a new stylist, Danielle Nachmani, to present a more pared-down collection to buyers and press, editors and critics responded positively. But Siriano says that Vogue's taste isn't his customers' taste: "What Danielle loves, her favorite pieces every season, are usually what every other fashion industry person loves, and usually we never sell one of them. So think about that a little bit." [NYTimes]
- J.C. Penney's new C.E.O. Ron Johnson went on television to defend his company's choice of Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson. A hate group called One Million Moms had attacked the chain for picking DeGeneres, because she is a ladyperson who has sexual sex with her lady wife, and the moms think that is icky. "One of the great things about America is that you can speak your mind," says Johnson. "We stand squarely behind Ellen as our spokesperson, because she shares the same values as we do." Johnson says keeping Ellen on was "a no-brainer." [CBS]
- Trouble is brewing between ex-spouses Chris and Tory Burch. Chris retained his co-chair position in Tory Burch's company after their divorce, but he's been looking to sell because now he wants to start his own lifestyle brand. And there's the rub. Reports Women's Wear Daily: "The media world is aflutter over reports that Christopher Burch's new concept, C. Wonder, has ruffled Tory Burch's feathers to the extent that the designer may be looking into potentially suing her ex-husband for trade dress infringement or usurpation of corporate opportunity." [WWD]
- There's a rumor that Vena Cava, [DFR]
- Nicole Miller says her fall collection is very '70s-inspired. "I'd seen this picture of Jimi Hendrix that I really liked but, you know, I don't stop at one thing. I started researching that period and then I was looking at these old pictures of Marianne Faithfull and old movies from the '70s like Zabriskie Point and Wonderwall. It just sort of got me thinking about how all those times parallel today. They were marching on Wall Street back then and they're marching on Wall Street now." [Time]
- Meanwhile, 20 pairs of snakeskin-embossed leather shoes made specially for Miller's show were seized by U.S. Customs. It took more than a month for the designer and her Asian shoe broker to prove to customs' satisfaction that the shoes were not real snake skin. Importing python and cobra skin products is illegal in California, along with alligator and crocodile products. [WWD]
- Alessandro Dell'Acqua (who lost the rights to his name) finally has a new job: designing for Les Copains, which is mainly known for its knits. [WWD]
- Tod's SpA will be allowed to finance the renovation of the Colosseum, after all. [WWD]
- We don't recommend reading "fashion week food diary" thingees as a matter of course — too weird, and self-reported data is inherently unreliable — but we couldn't resist Waris Ahluwalia's, which includes a suspicious quantity of fish oil. Waris, whence the buttered popcorn? [The Cut]
- Calvin Klein and Calvin Klein Inc. have made a $2 million donation to Klein's alma mater, FIT. [WWD]
- And now, a moment with Miguel Adrover. Miguel, you're 46, and your story in the industry is a long and complex one; how have you seen fashion change?
"I take this opportunity to express myself very seriously. When I was young, I took off to London. I remember the late age of punk, the early age of the New Romantics. I remember Vivienne Westwood, I remember Body Map, and all the social moments that were related to clothes…bands like Bow Wow Wow, or Leigh Bowery. To be avant-garde and modern at that time was to take a risk, almost on your life. Today, it feels like it's the other way around. Lady Gaga is dressed by a famous designer. The bands have stylists. For a lot of people I know, it's only corporate, and it's all based on sales. You can get perfume from Mariah Carey, you can buy clothes from Madonna. That is not exciting for me anymore."