More of those ever-popular high/low designer/mass retailer collaborations are heading our way. Department store Neiman Marcus is teaming up with discount chain Target to offer limited-edition lines from a whopping 24 different designers this holiday season. The collaborators include big names like Marc Jacobs, Diane von Furstenberg, Carolina Herrera, Prabal Gurung, Jason Wu, Oscar de la Renta, Derek Lam, Band of Outsiders, Thom Browne, and Tory Burch. (The photo above, crowded as it is, doesn't even show all of the designers involved.)
Each designer contributed at least three items, and the whole collection spans everything from men's, women's, and children's apparel and accessories to sporting goods, home decor, and pet accessories. Everything will be priced between $7.99 and $499.99. (Most items will be less than $60.) And when the collection goes on sale on December 1, it will be available simultaneously at both Neiman Marcus and Target, as well as on both chains' respective Web sites.
"We gave the designers a lot of latitude," says Target's executive vice president of merchandising. "The collection will have far-reaching appeal. It will resonate with consumers who shop with Neiman Marcus or Target or both. It will be a diverse mix of exceptionally designed product at great values. Some of the designers chose to create things in their wheelhouse — what they do everyday. And some really wanted to do different things." [WWD]
Noted supporter of "green" fashion Livia Firth now has a clothing line. The former producer says that her first collection — just a black dress, two black hats, an embroidered pashmina, and a necklace — is intentionally limited in scope, to underline the importance of "building a sustainable cupboard, which can slowly fill with good quality, classical pieces with a twist which are produced keeping in mind the ecological impact and social justice implications." The garments are made from organically grown fibers and vegetable-tanned leathers. [Telegraph]
L.K. Bennett — Kate Middleton's favorite shoe company — got Emily Mortimer to be in its fall ads. [WWD]
Vintage dealer Cameron Silver live-Tweeted and Instagram'd the exclusive Dolce & Gabbana début couture show that took place in Taormina, Sicily. Members of the press were not invited — except for a few editors, like Anna Wintour and Franca Sozzani, who apparently don't count as "press" to D&G — but Scarlett Johansson and Marpessa Hennink were there. The clothes included a lot of black lace, white lace, and some vaguely Marie Antoinette-shaped dresses that were hand-painted. Sozzani called the show, "A jovial and entertaining night. And serene, without the pressure that sometimes official events make you feel." [Fashionista]
Karen Elson, Coco Rocha, Hanne Gaby Odiele, Fei Fei Sun, Mirte Maas, and Jamie Bochert are among the models who star in the latest Diesel ads. Shot by Steven Meisel. [WWD]
Yayoi Kusama checked out from the Japanese mental institution where she has been a voluntary inpatient since 1977 to come to New York to celebrate her retrospective at the Whitney — and her Louis Vuitton accessories collection. It is the first time the artist been to the city in many years. "When I was living here in the Sixties, it was like the city was at the utmost point of the world. There was more energy. Today it lacks energy." But, Kusama says, "Here in New York, so many people are happy to see me. It moves me a lot. I don't know where my energy comes from." She continues, "I don't know why I am so prolific. You should ask my hands. When I paint, some things come out and I don't know." When asked why she lives in the hospital, Kusama replies simply, "Because I am sick." [WWD]
Anna Dello Russo's favorite milliner, Alan Journo, says that he loves having the editor as a client. "Thrilling! What an incredible energy! How many do you know like her?" But if you were thinking of picking up a Russian doll fascinator or a cage-veiled "J'ADR" topper, be forewarned: Journo says his prices are "between high and very high. I'm an expensive guy!" [Fashionista]
Ukrainian model Alex Yuryeva was excited to book the Dior couture show last week, because it meant she got to see Raf Simons' first women's wear collection for the house up close (and before the rest of us). "I was superexcited to see the clothes because we've all been waiting for over a year, thinking ‘Who's it going to be?,'" she said. "Couture brings out all the designers' pure creativity. You see these beautiful dresses up close that most people never get to see and you learn so much more about fashion and the craftsmanship, seeing the designers work on these pieces in front of your eyes." [WWD]
Cathy Horyn is also a big couture booster. In her survey of the latest collections, she writes:
The thing is, fashion is a rotten, rotten business. Tough. Full of compromises and shallow values. Designers complain, rightly, that they don't have enough time to design. The world is awash in goods.
Psychologically, then, couture is necessary, maybe more than ever. In the 1970s and '80s, its relevance was challenged by one hostile or indifferent group after another, though mainly working women who didn't have time for all that froufrou.
Now, though, couture seems like paradise — a think tank but way more fun.
Paper magazine's Mickey Boardman says his first job was at an aluminium siding factory. "I worked in an aluminum siding factory in Elk Grove Village, Illinois the summer after freshman year in college. My mother hooked me up with the job. I later worked at the Hawaiian Tropic suntan lotion factory in Tomoka Estates, Florida." [Fashionista]
Thom Browne is going to the White House. Michelle Obama will host the men's wear designer and the other winners of the National Design Award at a reception this Friday. [WWD]
Sophie Théallet won the U.S. regional final of the Woolmark prize. She pockets $100,000, and proceeds on to the international competition. [WWD]
British Vogue is getting into the for-profit education business. It plans to begin offering a 10-week "Vogue Fashion Certificate" course in London in January of 2013, before adding a year-long "Vogue Fashion Foundation Diploma" qualification in October. To enroll in the short course will cost a student £6,600, or just over $10,200. The long course will cost £19,560, or $30,400. It's unclear whether the Condé Nast College of Fashion and Design will be accredited. [Vogue UK]
New York magazine is expanding the Cut fashion blog. [NYTimes]