Alexander McQueen is denying the reports that it has been approached to make Kate Middleton's wedding dress — but if McQueen were the chosen brand, it's unlikely the house would be permitted to confirm it to the press. The Daily Mail writes that Middleton "is thought to have picked the designer after being impressed by a modern silk strapless gown made for the 2005 wedding of Sara Buys to Prince William's step-brother, Tom Parker Bowles."
And, as Cathy Horyn points out, why shouldn't it be Alexander McQueen? The house is thoroughly British, and McQueen was probably the best British designer of his generation. He regularly took inspiration from British history and tailoring in creating his collections — a tendency his successor, Sarah Burton, shares. Middleton, who used to work as a buyer for a retail chain, also knows her industry, and while the McQueen brand is popularly seen as "edgy," among fashion folk it's pretty much universally loved. [Daily Mail, On The Runway]

Here's a first look at Blake Lively's Chanel campaign. Quoth the girl who gossips: "I've just always believed you should put a lot of positive out there. When I have bad days, I just eat lots of chocolate ice cream and dance to the ‘Lion King' soundtrack. It's really odd, but it's true." Hakuna matata, friends. [WWD]

Kate Winslet is on the April cover of British Vogue's April issue. [Vogue UK]

Britney Spears is on the cover of the new V. Cover pull-quote: "The bitch is back and better than ever!" [The Cut]

Rihanna is technically topless in this new Nivea campaign. The company says it chose her because "no other world star has more fans on social networks like Facebook than Rihanna." [NYDN]

  • "Galliano is gay and ‘gipsy'. What does he think Hitler would have made of that?" Insightful news analysis, as always, from the Daily Mail. [Daily Mail]
  • Dior still doesn't have a head designer. (Galliano was fired after that little being-a-closet-Nazi incident you may have heard about last week.) Fashionista relays the latest scuttlebutt: "Sources inside the house of Dior tell Fashionista that the rumor within the company goes like this: Riccardo Tisci is most definitely in, and Carine Roitfeld will serve as the label's stylist. Roitfeld was most recently linked to Hedi Slimane's rumored takeover of YSL, although the Stefano Pilati-directed label's expertly placed piece in the Times seems to have muffled those whispers." [Fashionista]
  • Women's Wear Daily handicaps the candidates: "A pure talent, [Riccardo] Tisci has already passed the couture test. Yet in his six years at Givenchy, he has indicated a limited range, one sprung from an aesthetic perhaps too dark and brooding for the global behemoth that is Dior." Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy stablemate Phoebe Philo "seems like a long shot. The question of whether she could do couture at one of the two houses that allegedly retains a real business in the genre looms large." Marc Jacobs "would make all the sense in the world: remarkable talent; proven ability to transform a major luxury juggernaut; loves to work a reference; could undoubtedly do couture; never-ending buzz (albeit with a down side). But even were he interested, what, then, becomes of Vuitton? Few fashion designers have proven as gifted at turning out frenzy-causing accessories. Thus, replacing Jacobs at Vuitton might prove more onerous then hiring for Dior." Alber Elbaz "has everything going for him." Haider Ackermann makes "gorgeous clothes. Chic, seductive, adult, beautifully crafted. Still an emerging talent, he carries something of the excitement of discovery." Rodarte's Kate and Laura Mulleavy: "In its marriage of artistic edge with prettiness, their aesthetic seems suited to Dior. They have at times gone dark and even hard, with a romance that sidesteps arch. And their exquisite runway creations are de facto couture." [WWD]
  • Hermès C.E.O. Patrick Thomas drew gasps at a press conference when he compared his company's position as the target of a hostile takeover from Louis Vuitton Moët Hennesy to being raped. "If you want to seduce a beautiful woman, you don't start by raping her from behind," said Thomas, before announcing that Hermès' net income rose 46%, to $559.8 million, between 2009 and 2010. LVMH, which has a history of hostile takeovers, stealthily acquired just over 20% of Hermès beginning late last year. [WWD]
  • Another family-owned luxury brand, Bulgari, just sold a 50.4% stake to LVMH for $2.6 billion. The Bulgari family also gained two seats on the LVMH board. [WWD]
  • Into the category of "intimate apparel designed by Real Housewives Of New York cast members" we have a new entry: Bethenny Frankel! Her "Skinnygirl" shapewear line will presumably target the same market as Jill Zarin's "Sqweez Couture." [WWD]
  • This weekend, Yves Saint Laurent designer Stefano Pilati was profiled very sympathetically by the Times. Of the rumors — the very persistent, but unsourced, rumors — that Pilati's job is in jeopardy, he says, "You know, it affects me. I am a creative person, so I am very vulnerable by nature." Recently, after ten years of losses, parent company PPR announced that Yves Saint Laurent had turned a profit. [NYTimes]
  • And in other designer job upheaval rumors, the Times is reporting that Hannah MacGibbon, the creative director of Chloé, may be replaced at the house. "Her contract is up after this season, according to people knowledgeable about the house, who said the reaction to her show on Monday could determine whether her contract is renewed," writes Eric Wilson. "That said, it's unusual for a designer to negotiate a new contract so close to the expiration date of his or her last one, and what's more, Chloé is said to have already interviewed other designers." [On The Runway]
  • Chloé, however, denies MacGibbon's contract is even up for renewal. [Vogue UK]
  • There was a rumor that Kanye West had applied to study for a master's in fashion at Central St. Martins college in London, one of the world's best fashion schools. Those rumors are false, says the college. "He isn't coming to study the MA course but he did visit the college regarding a separate issue last week." [Vogue UK]
  • Bernard Henri-Levy is very interested in street style: "Fashion is a language, and what is interesting about fashion today is that there is no longer fashion. That is, there is an appropriation of fashion by people in the street. There was a time when you saw a woman who was a high-fashion model, who was a caricature, a cartoon of real life. But now people are more free with their fashion. The most interesting people make their own fashion out of what designers offer them. Women on the street have become hackers of the fashion world. They break the code; they undo and redo. It is the democratization of fashion today that interests me." [WSJ.]
  • Katy Perry is the new face of the hair styling tool line GHD. [WWD]
  • Iman had the temerity to go to Dean & Deluca in SoHo, and look at produce. She also may have passed a shelf of olive oil. Just a regular old crazy Sunday afternoon for that Iman. [Daily Mail]
  • Don't expect to see Claudia Schiffer back on a runway anytime soon. "Nobody believes me, but I'm very shy — much better in small groups of people than on a stage with everybody looking at me," says Schiffer. "I understood that I had to do it when I was modeling but now, since I don't have to do it, I'd rather not. Designers are very clever at trying to persuade me to do it each season and it's flattering that they do, but nothing would change my mind." In fact, the longtime muse of Karl Lagerfeld won't even be at the Chanel show this season — Schiffer is launching a clothing line, and says she's too busy to attend. "I want to meet all the press and buyers personally — it's that kind of project." [Vogue UK]
  • Kate Moss has cut the asking price of her London home from £8 million to £7 million. Samuel Taylor Coleridge once lived there, but apparently the area is not "fancy" enough for high-end buyers. [Daily Mail]
  • The Telegraph asked the long-haired, androgynous model Andrej Pejic if he would ever consider a sex change. "Yes, if I was offered a Victoria's Secret contract," he replied. "You'd have to, wouldn't you? I couldn't imagine doing it any other way. But, at this point I'm comfortable with who I am now." [Telegraph]
  • Gisele Bündchen danced the samba on a float at the Rio Carnival. She wore a kind of bedazzled gold tank top to do it. [Daily Mail]
  • Constance White is the new editor-in-chief of Essence. [DFR]
  • Terry Richardson shot a campaign for a Sears house brand. [WWD]