It sure sounds like Alexa Chung had some things to get off her chest about fashion, body image, and self-esteem. The British former model and television presenter had to temporarily shut down her Instagram in April after her followers started commenting obsessively about her body in ways almost anyone would find distressing — people regularly called her body "disgusting," "ugly," "gross," and worse, and others said that simply posting pictures of herself going about her daily business was tantamount to promoting thinspo. (Apparently taking a picture with your mum wearing sunglasses and a shirt dress is now thinspo!) In a new interview, Chung says:
"I think it's about time people stopped judging women on their appearance and more on their intellect. Like you can appreciate my style without having to appreciate my weight. It's not actually mutually exclusive. I just get frustrated because just because I exist in this shape doesn't mean that I'm like advocating it."
Oh — and as for getting recognition for her style, it's not like Chung professes any feelings of entitlement to that, either. She says the whole thing is "really weird":
"I modeled for so long and didn't get any results from that so then it was like, really? I've been dragging my ass around castings for years without anyone saying, oh you've got unique style. I think it was very much a case of being in the right place in the right time. I've really just been ripping off Jane Birkin. Sorry, has no one else seen a picture of Françoise Hardy? Look it up. I'm just the middle man."
On the topic of body image, Chung continued:
"I just think that whole culture of hatred, and also feeling like it's your right to judge people when you don't know them is really fucked up. So I'm pleased I experienced that side of it, so I can learn to be a better person on the other side of it. I'm sure in the past I've been judgmental too...Self esteem, that's something you got to work on yourself. I know for me it's different day to day."
She's fucking right on. This culture of publicly policing women's bodies hurts us all. [Fashionista]
Victoria's Secret angels discuss the meaning and cultural impact(s) of "seduction" in this video. [YouTube]
Meanwhile, Miranda Kerr went blonde for a Vogue Italia shoot. [FGR]
Isabeli Fontana is on the cover of Schön. [Fashion Copious]
Versace's latest scent for men is called Eros and features a scantily clad man's naked torso in the ad. Just the kind of subtle touch we've come to expect from the Versace company. [WWD]
We are in love with this black-on-black patterned manicure today. Apparently, all it takes is some glossy black polish, a matte top coat, and some tape for the stripes. [The Beauty Department via Lucky]
- Oh, and right on cue, here's Karl Lagerfeld to mansplain anorexia:
"I'm sorry to say that it's a subject I consider ridiculous for several reasons; the story with the anorexic girls — nobody works with anorexic girls, that's nothing to do with fashion. People who have that [anorexia] have problems to do with family and things like that...There are less than 1 per cent of anorexic girls, but there more than 30 per cent of girls in France — I don't know about England — that are much, much overweight. And it is much more dangerous and very bad for the health. So I think today with the junk food in front of the TV it's something dangerous for the health of the girl."
- Annie Leibovitz confirmed she shot back-to-back covers of American Vogue — Rihanna for November and Anne Hathaway for December. Rihanna already Tweeted about her cover, too. [Fashionista]
- In his monthly email to J.C. Penney customers, C.E.O. Ron Johnson included a discount code entitling recipients to $10 off any purchase of $10 or more at a J.C. Penney store. That's interesting because it sounds suspiciously like, well, a discount — and Johnson's entire strategy since taking over the retailer has been to cut prices overall but get rid of coupons, discounts, and scheduled sales. The company says it is not changing strategy, just offering customers a one-off freebie. [WWD]
- J. Crew head Mickey Drexler went to Hong Kong to fete the retailer's entry into the market, via the department store Lane Crawford. [WWD]
- Vintage dealer Cameron Silver was also unimpressed by Hedi Slimane's Yves Saint Laurent collection. "If you're going to present yourself as the messiah then you better deliver the 11th commandment," said Silver, who called the collection "too referential." [The Cut]
- Fashionista asks the question, "Why are so many editors leaving magazines for retail brands?" For the money, duh. [Fashionista]
- Around 60 people at Condé Nast just lost their jobs. The layoffs hit publications including Self, Brides, and GQ, as well as the corporate communications department. [WWD]
- Brian Atwood opened his first store in New York City. [WWD]