The last presidential debate was held last night, and both the FLOTUS and the would-be FLOTUS looked very nice. But Fox news has an important question: is Anna Wintour secretly pressuring fashion designers to steer clear of Ann Romney? The obvious and correct answer is, well, no. But here's Fox's reasoning:
Over the past year, the Vogue matriarch — who many say has enough power to make or break fashion careers – has become one of President Obama's leading financiers. Wintour has raised over half a million dollars for the incumbent, hosted numerous lavish dinners in his name and even enlisted designer pals like Marc Jacobs and Thakoon Panichgul to design pro-Obama products...And according to fashion industry pros we talked to, no one wants to risk annoying Wintour.
Well, duh. Of course nobody wants to piss off Anna Wintour. But that doesn't mean fashion's reluctance to embrace Romney — few brands and designers are willing to go on the record about her even to take credit for her outfits, with the notable exception of her favorite designer, Boston-born Alfred Fiandaca — is due to Wintour reigning over the industry with some kind of cobalt blue gloved iron fist of politics. Occam's razor suggests that more than anything, fashion is probably regarding Ann Romney with a measure of polite skepticism for reasons much shallower than politics — like Michelle Obama's relative youth and the way she has distinguished herself through her style. Given Michelle Obama's reputation for elegance and glamour, it's no wonder that people in fashion are just generally way more excited by the thought of dressing her than they are by the thought of Ann Romney. (Romney's dress last night, by the way, was by Oscar de la Renta. Michelle Obama's was Thom Browne.)
"It is just that Michelle brings such a unique, vibrant and youthful style and the average woman can see herself wearing many of her outfits, so designers want everyone to know that she is wearing their clothes," explained entertainment/lifestyle commentator Valerie Greenberg. "And even though Anna Wintour has a reputation for being tough, I don't think she would let her political views dictate the designers she chooses to feature in the pages of Vogue."
Ding, ding, ding. [Fox]
Here is the full Iris Apfel cover editorial from the new Dazed & Confused. [FashionCopious]
This Harper's Bazaar Spain cover with Eugenia Volodina is fucking amazing. Technical term. [FGR]
Joanna Lumley is: auctioning off several of her Patsy costumes from Absolutely Fabulous for charity, giving us so many ideas for Halloween. [Telegraph]
Dita von Teese says, "I like having makeup on; I like the discipline it requires." She talks about her beauty routine and how there are all kinds of things:
"that you just don't do around guys — like how I do my hair if a guy's watching, how to make the process glamorous, so it doesn't look crazy. I won't go around with the hot rollers and all the clips in front of a guy that I'm dating, so, I know how to curl my hair with a curling iron, and use duckbill clips so it looks nice when I'm doing it. Or, I would never let a guy see me while I'm dyeing my hair — except for my ex-husband, who used to see me dye my hair because I would dye his hair, too. We would have black hair-dyeing parties. [Laughs] That was the only exception. But there are certain things to be discreet about during the seduction process. Men like to watch you get ready, but I kind of tailor things a little bit for when they're watching. My beauty book is going to be totally different from what's out there. I'm going to tell you that you have to pluck the nipple hairs off your nipples before a date."
- Chanel C.E.O. Bruno Pavlovsky says the company may consider beginning to maybe possibly sell or think about selling its clothing and accessories online. In 3-5 years. "Perhaps two years, three years, five years from now, we will start to sell [clothing] online," he says, adding that the brand does sell cosmetics and perfume online. [BoF]
- Meanwhile, Karl Lagerfeld is shooting the spring Chanel campaign this week in New York. His cast: Stella Tennant and 15-year-old model Ondria Hardin, whose career — Hardin has been working essentially full-time since the age of 13, when she booked a Prada campaign — has been controversial because of her extreme youth. Organizations including the Council of Fashion Designers of America recommend that companies not hire models under the age of 16 for runway work, and Vogue has a stated policy against hiring children under 16 for editorial work, either. "She doesn't look 15," says Lagerfeld. "She looks 18 or 19." Well, in that case... [WWD]
- Grace Coddington, on how she picks her assistants: "The most important final question I ask them is ‘Do you like cats?' because if they don't they're not in my life." [Fashionista]
- That dude from The Mentalist scored a Givenchy fragrance campaign. Huh. [WWD]
- Model Chrissy Teigen says she and John Legend haven't really planned their wedding yet beyond the guest list, but she has picked out a dress: "I'm doing Vera [Wang]. There's nothing like putting on a Vera. The difference is so amazing. You feel like a princess." [Us]
- The latest in the HMX bankruptcy: Ron Burkle's company is interested in acquiring both the brands HMX owns (Hickey Freeman and Hart Schaffner Marx) and the factories that make HMX the largest remaining maker of men's suits in North America, with a workforce of around 1100 unionized garment workers in the U.S. and Canada. Interestingly, both Obama and Romney wear HMX suits: Obama favors Hart Shaffner Marx, Romney Hickey Freeman. [WWD]
- Dries van Noten:
"I don't design for myself. I design something keeping in mind that it has to please a lot of women. I always compare my job with a good baker, someone who can make very good cakes. You can make the most beautiful cakes imaginable and many of them. But when it's not really so delicious and people aren't eating them, there's no sense baking them. It's the same thing with my job. If people aren't buying, it's not just about the financials; there's no sense in making those things. At the end, we are fashion designers; we are making clothes. We are not making a kind of illusion. Of course, other people are creating an illusion because the money comes from the perfume, the lipstick, the handbags and shoes. We are more than 90 per cent clothes. For most brands, it's 30 per cent clothes, 30 per cent accessories and all those things. And [our] 93 to 94 per cent are clothes and things that I showed on the catwalk. It's not like I have the other pre-collections and the jeans line. For us, this is the collection we make and this is the collection we sell."
- Meanwhile, suppliers are concerned about the rising cost of labor in China (not to mention inflation) and the purported lack of skilled garment workers. Minimum wages have been rising sharply in China, by 45% in Beijing (to $2,140) and by 32% in Shanghai (to $2,440) in the last two years. [WWD]
- Style.com failed to get to the bottom of who's making those "Ballinciaga" and "Giraunchy" t-shirts that people in fashion were wearing around the shows this season. The makers would prefer to remain anonymous because they work in fashion and are worried about how their t-shirts will be perceived. [Style.com]
- NBC says there was a reason that its piece on Tory Burch, Chris Burch, and C. Wonder, which aired this weekend, didn't include any specific comments from either ex about the lawsuit they are currently embroiled in: taping wrapped on September 14 and Chris Burch filed suit on October 2. "We went back to both of them for a comment," says reporter Harry Smith. "Neither of them wanted to touch it." Chris Burch, who still owns a significant share in the company that he founded with his then-wife, is suing Tory Burch for allegedly interfering with his new business. Tory Burch is rumored to be considering a lawsuit against Chris Burch over the similarities between the two companies. [WWD]
- Liberty Ross filmed a short video for Alexander Wang, the designer in whose show she recently walked. Ross says vague things about how this year included "the end of some things and the beginning of something else. Beginnings and ending are always really exciting." [Style.com]
- Mulberry cut its guidance for the year and its stock price fell 25%. [WWD]
- In case you have ever wondered about Mario Testino's sexuality:
"I've never wanted to call myself any sexuality, because I hate the idea of taking freedom away from you, and I think we all can be everything. I understand that at moments you have to define it, but my sexuality has been so wide and open, and that's what's influenced my way of working. I think it's given me freedom, my sexuality."
Testino also says once Anna Wintour summoned him to shoot her passport photo. [Guardian]
- The New York boutique Kirna Zabête is collaborating on a limited-edition collection with Nine West. The shoes will hit stores in February and retail for $49-$169. [WWD]
- And now, a moment with Sessilee Lopez. Lopez walked in Philip Treacy's millinery show, which was styled with items from Michael Jackson's wardrobe. Lopez got the "Thriller" jacket:
"At one point, I was standing in the lineup and felt someone caress my back. At first I thought it was somebody from wardrobe, but I turn around, and it's frickin' Lady Gaga. She was like, 'Oh, my god, you're wearing "Thriller" — can I try it on?' I was like, 'No. I am keeping this on as long as humanly possible.'"
Lopez also says she is about to start filming her first movie, which she describes as "like "Mahogany" meets "Boyz in the Hood." It's really cool, and there are a lot of great actors in it." [WWD]