The University of Pennsylvania Law School became the focus of Louis Vuitton's lawyerly ire after a student group parodied the company's famous monogram print on poster art to advertise a symposium on trademark law. Instead of LVs and quatrefoils, those are little TMs and ©s. Clever right? And an obvious example of protected parody for non-commercial or educational purposes, given that nobody is likely to confuse an Ivy League college for a handbag store. Louis Vuitton didn't think so, and its lawyer Michael Pantalony (real name) sent the university an apoplectic cease-and-desist. Penn's response was pitch-perfect: it explains that parodies of material that would ordinarily be trademarked or copyrighted are protected under the law, cites a trademark-parody case that Louis Vuitton lost (those "Chewy Vuitton" doggie toys are totally legal), and follows up by inviting Pantalony to the symposium so that he might learn a little bit more about IP law. And that is how you say "Fuck off" in legalese. [BoingBoing, UPenn Law School]
- The Toronto Star has a long article about Robin Givhan, fashion bloggers, and the state of fashion criticism today. Givhan argues that many bloggers are "too cosy" with the brands they cover, and "review" shows that they've been compensated with clothing, airfare, car service, and accommodation to attend. The paper further points out that bloggers are "often young women untrained in the craft of criticism" who can get things wrong. This argument would be more convincing if either Givhan or the Star had differentiated between "style" bloggers who have their individual standards for accepting freebies and "news" bloggers (some of whom are, ahem, demonstrably untroubled by the prospect of being struck off a designer's invite list), and which most people read with different expectations. This argument would also be more convincing if Robin Givhan said she actually read any blogs, which she doesn't. "Givhan says she doesn't follow bloggers." As for critics, the traditional news media model is breaking down:
The brave independent voices remaining include Virginie Mozart [sic] at Le Figaro, Vanessa Friedman at the Financial Times, Colin McDowell at the Sunday Times, Bridgette [sic] Foley at Women's Wear Daily, [Cathy] Horyn at the Times. And of course Givhan herself.
What do you call those news sources that are always getting things wrong, again? Let's ask Bridget Foley and Virginie Mouzat, two women one should probably have a passing familiarity with before writing any stories about the state of fashion criticism for major daily newspapers. [Star]
- Apparently, in the sequel to Zoolander, Derek and Hansel have each fallen on hard times. Which is just about the biggest cliché opening of movie sequels, right? What will it take to get the guys together for one last job... Ben Stiller says, "They're both totally out of it and have to start from scratch. And then there are things set up at the end of the first movie that we're able to build on, like Derek and Matilda have a son, and Mugatu went to jail. There's a lot there, I'm excited about the idea of doing it. It feels like it's getting close to going." [StyleCaster]
- The latest from the Christian Dior rumorouroboros: Marc Jacobs might take the creative director job, after all. But Raf! [Vogue UK]
- Here is an important update on Kanye West's shoes, the precariousness of which models had complained about during the collection fittings: Jourdan Dunn says the shoes "were actually okay! They fixed them!" This has been an important update on Kanye West's shoes. [FBD]
- Flaunt's style director and co-founder actually liked the shoes so much he believes it might be worthwhile for Kanye to build his brand around accessories, not clothes. [Fashionista]
- Christina Binkley of the Wall Street Journal — incidentally, another fine critic whose existence was overlooked by the Star — says that Kanye cribbed too much from Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci. "This Kanye West collection was so Givenchy-esque that it's embarrassing that Givenchy designer Ricardo Tisci was an expected guest," wrote Binkley. "Ten points off for copying the smart guy sitting next to you." But the critic did say the rapper's second runway collection was "a massive improvement" over his first. [WSJ]
- In other fashion/music industry crossover, Tommy Hilfiger is becoming an "image advisor" on American Idol. [WWD]
- Abercrombie & Fitch in Italy apparently has a policy that dictates that sales assistants have to drop and do ten push-ups (guys) or ten squat thrusts (girls) whenever a manager says so. In an email, the company says creepily, "This way, we will all learn from our mistakes." Labor organizers are upset by this policy. [Guardian]
- Brad Goreski had worked at Vogue's west coast office for only three months when he jumped ship to assist Rachel Zoe — leading, he says, Condé Nast to blacklist him from ever working for any publication it owns. UPDATE: A tipster points out that this can't be true because as of last August, Goreski was covering the men's shows for Details, which is owned by Condé. [Fashionista]
- Korean designer Lie Sang Bong, who shows in Paris, had his models walk down the runway with round circles of brown makeup on their white faces. It's like he wanted to hop on 2009's cutting-edge blackface trend, and then lost his nerve. [HuffPo]
- And now, a moment with male model Brad Kroenig, who did not walk the Chanel show, and his 3-year-old son Hudson, who did. The New York Times sets our scene: the Ritz, a juice date with reporter, father, and son.
"I want to order!" Hudson said. "I order food. I want a hot dog! And cake!"
"He's never even had a hot dog," Mr. Kroenig said. "You know, we make him eat healthy."
"I throw yuckies on you!"
[...] As if on cue, Hudson picked up a gilded fork and thrust it prong-first toward Mr. Kroenig's invaluable bicep. Without blinking, without even looking in Hudson's direction, actually, Mr. Kroenig deflected the blow, and several more that followed.
"We had a deal, remember?" he said. "Show him the markers Karl gave you."