Reading this transcript of Tom Ford answering frankly posed questions about race is an awkward experience. The designer careens from defensiveness, to dismissiveness, to insecurity, to something perhaps approaching how he actually feels, to downright tone-deaf distastefulness. Ford, who has always favored ethnically diverse runway casting — he's often credited with launching the career of Liya Kebede when he was at Gucci — tells Time Out Hong Kong that choosing racially diverse models is a responsibility of designers: "When you do a fashion show it's very important and it's a responsibility to represent a multicultural cast." But he also says, "When you grow up in America, contrary to popular belief, we are racially blind because we've had Japanese and Chinese families, five generations, living in America. So we grow up with Asian-Americans, African-Americans, European-Americans." Ford describes himself as "colorblind" when it comes to race. When the reporter tells the designer that she tried on some of his clothes, Ford, apparently anticipating a criticism, interrupts with "Did they not fit?" And then launches into this lengthy defense:

First of all, we did have some fitting problems with this collection and you know this is my first collection and I did it in three months because I was working on the Oscars until March and then I had to hire my team, find manufacturers, find my studio, set it all up, and finish [the collection] from April to July because that has to be ready for New York. So it's a tiny collection. And to be quite honest, there were some fit discrepancies between things. [Thinking aloud] Umm, but no, it would be fine.

"But will it fit everybody?" asked the reporter, who wanted to know about the differences in designing for Asian people versus for Westerners. It's a good question; bodies are different (though of course they differ far more among racial categories than they do between them) and fashion design is, on a fundamental level, a matter of choosing who will be able to wear your clothes. The body of the eventual wearer is encoded in the garment. Ford replied, "If we have to talk about things like this, Americans are too fat. And in London they are starting to get fat too. So I have to say that if we have to talk about race system and nationalism, I find it refreshing that everyone Chinese is slim." [TOHK]

Rachel Weisz and a lion pose together for Bulgari's new perfume campaign. They've used this trick before. [SB]

Karl Lagerfeld, who we all know doesn't use computers (he has "people" to do that for him) sure loves his pens. So he now has a namesake line of pens. "I wanted a fountain pen in a certain way," he explained. [WWD]
Karl Lagerfeld's pen is apparently so impressive it merited not one but two items in today's Women's Wear Daily. [WWD]
Karl Lagerfeld read Buddenbrooks when he was eight years old. What did you do when you were eight, hmm? Read a Little Golden Book? You amateur. [NYTimes]

Heidi Klum is looking very Photoshop-fabulous on the cover of Russian GQ. [ONTD]

Bob Mackie is auctioning off 46 of his "thousands" of fashion sketches at his website, [WWD]

Here's a picture of Coco Rocha, Arizona Muse, and Karlie Kloss in Paris. [@CocoRocha]
Elle finally published something about the rumor that Arizona Muse and Freja Beha Erichsen are an item. Online mutterings about same have been going around since October of last year; back in February, a reliable source who lives in Erichsen's building told us she'd seen Muse making evening visits. Erichsen, one of the only out female top models working today, has dated Catherine McNeil (openly) and (allegedly) Irina Lazareanu in the past. Erichsen and Muse covered Vogue Italia together earlier this year. [Elle]

The Council of Fashion Designers of America is selling $35 tote bags decorated by designers including Diane von Furstenberg, Reed Krakoff, Marchesa, and Jason Wu. The totes come emblazoned with the anti-counterfeiting slogan You Can't Fake Fashion, and will be sold on eBay. [Elle]

Here's fall's Juicy Couture campaign. Raquel Zimmerman looks like she's trying really hard to make that Hot Topic-ish plaid suit look interesting. [WWD]

Prada's stripe-tastic collection scored 77 spring fashion magazine covers. Gucci took 69, while Dolce & Gabbana nabbed 63. [Fashionista]

  • Sources within the British military say that Kate Moss asked an RAF base located five miles from her Cotswolds home to consider rerouting or delaying flights scheduled to land and take off during her wedding ceremony, so she and Jamie Hince wouldn't have to hear any jet engines. The base "politely" refused. [Star]
  • The Telegraph picked up on the he-said-he-says-he-didn't-but-we-have-the-tape back-and-forth between Lady Gaga stylist Nicola Formichetti and W magazine over the former's comments about how he hates dressing "fat people." [Telegraph]
  • Lawyers for Patrice Lataillade, the former executive who is suing Marc Jacobs International and its president, Robert Duffy, for allegedly fostering a hostile work environment by watching porn on company time and making employees do pole-dances for him, denies the company's counter-claims that Lataillade was fired for perpetrating a multi-year, multi-million-dollar fraud. MJI says it fired Lataillade not in retaliation for his sexual-harassment complaint, but for inflating sales figures and otherwise fudging the company financials to make himself eligible for bigger bonuses. But his lawyers' latest filing reads, "More senior executives than plaintiff reviewed and signed the statements prepared by executives other than plaintiff in full consultation with Deloitte & Touche, an outside accounting firm. In addition, the LVMH finance department in Paris monitored virtually daily the MJI financial reports." And, allegedly, all of these audits and company oversight "failed to unearth the ‘misconduct' that defendants only now allege." [WWD]
  • Cathy Horyn says anyone in Paris should "make a point of seeing the Hussein Chalayan retrospective at Les Arts Décoratifs." [On The Runway]
  • This is maybe bullshit, maybe interesting. According to a survey done by a fashion market research and trend forecasting firm, when deciding whether to buy a new item of apparel, men and women rank the following factors thusly: "is a brand I've had success with" is top for both men and women. "Has the features and benefits you want" is second for women and third for men, and "is your style" was third for women and second for men. "Offers good value for money" was fourth for men and "offers real solutions for you" was fourth for women. "Fits well" was fifth for women. "Is comfortable" was ranked the sixth top priority by both genders. The fact that both men and women described themselves as dubious of brand extensions — a brand known for quality clothing, say, licensing its name to bed sheets — and celebrity brands is described by one of the surveyers as an example of us not knowing our own minds. "Consumers don't admit that they're easily influenced. If you ask, ‘Did you buy that Ford Edge because you saw Derek Jeter driving one in a commercial?' only about 5 percent of consumers will say yes. But if you look at it scientifically, the number is more like 27 percent." Scientifically, we're all liars? [WWD]
  • Speaking of which, Jessica Simpson has a new perfume, "I Fancy You." [CM]
  • Nicole Richie is going to be a judge on "Fashion Star," NBC's upcoming fashion reality show. [P6]
  • Break out the champagne, everybody! American Apparel finally had a month in which it sold more neon unitards and "Afrika"-print scrunchies than the same period last year. Three per cent more, after controlling for new store openings, to be precise. Thus ends the troubled company's 27-month run of successive declines in same-store sales. Often these declines were steep into the double-digits. Could the company have finally found bottom? [WWD]
  • American Apparel will have to pay over $300,000 to a former employee who was repeatedly called "nigger" by a superior, Sean Alonzo, who is the brother of American Apparel creative director Iris Alonzo. The company's defense, which was rejected by arbitrators? Alonzo was just singing along to some rap lyrics, and the ex-employee, who was black, just took it way too seriously. [Gawker]
  • Anna Wintour wore Chanel to receive her Légion D'honneur award of merit from Nicolas Sarkozy. [WWD]
  • Anderson Cooper says having a fashion designer for a mother was unusual at times. "Suddenly I started to see her name on people's butts and that was a little strange." [YouTube]
  • Erin Wasson, who recently finished shooting a movie called Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Assassin waxes acquired-nostalgic: "I kind of feel like I missed the boat a little bit on the days of old. I wish that I was there at Woodstock. I wish that I was sitting on a tour van with a bunch of musicians." [WWD]
  • The agency Next London, which had been running a model search in conjunction with Fabulous, the fashion supplement to the News of the World, has broken off its involvement with the competition because of the tabloid's phone-hacking scandal. That scandal's been known for some time, but apparently the recent revelation that the News of the World hacked into a missing child's voicemail and deleted messages, causing the girl's family to hope that she might still be alive, was apparently too much. [Facebook]
  • Fashion blogger Bip Ling has been named a face of Forever 21. [FashionMonitor]
  • A lot of fashion houses have recently named young, barely known designers to creative director positions. Olivier Rousteing was appointed to Balmain, Umit Benan to Trussardi, Alistair Carr to Pringle of Scotland, and Ling Lui and Dawei Sun to Cacharel, for example. The reasons for this are many: there's a limited number of "star" designers to go around, fashion can't be a game of musical chairs forever, and also, uh, newbie designers come relatively cheap. Whatever the case, new blood is exciting. We're keen to see what these kids do. [WWD]
  • It would be pretty weird if we found out the name of the new Maison Martin Margiela creative director because the dude listed the job on his LinkedIn. Mathieu Blazy, you win one Internet today. Either that or you Massive Fail. You can hardly expect us to know which anymore. Can we drink yet? [Fashin]
  • Valentino says it sells tons of couture. Like, so much couture! Its couture business is booming, says Valentino*. (*Not a publicly traded company that has to release audited sales figures.) [Reuters]
  • Thomson Reuters' same-store sales index for the month of June shows that the retail sector performed better than expected: sales rose 6.5%, rather than the 4.9% analysts had anticipated. [WWD]
  • First Saks, now De Beers. Everyone's opening stores in Kazakhstan. Dictatorships: So hot right now. [WWD]