Jil Sander's final J+ menswear 2011 collection for Uniqlo: It would be an exaggeration, though only a slight one, to say that tears were shed here when we heard that Jil Sander and Uniqlo would be parting company after three happy years together. But certainly there were a few long faces.
I mean, now where will we buy fabulously cut work trousers for less than £50? However, perhaps we should draw some consolation from the fact that the designer's final +J collection for the company, which goes into selected branches and online tomorrow, is the biggest and (to my mind) best to date - though its very strength only serves to remind us of just what we will be missing when Uniqlo's shelves have been emptied.
And what we'll be missing is quietly good design, featuring great tailoring and quality fabrics, at very reasonable prices. I know, radical or what? It's a wonder more companies haven't cottoned on to the idea. I snuck along for a preview of the autumn/winter men's collection a few weeks back and came away longing for a cold snap. The standout piece? For me it was a beautiful, very simple, slim-cut cashmere double-breasted wool top coat, which I have as good as made up my mind to buy, to replace an M&S one that I've worn so much over the past 10 years that it has gone shiny at the elbows. It's a steal at £249.90, when you consider that it could easily pass for mainline Jil Sander or Helmut Lang of old.
I also loved a charcoal flannel blazer with a shawl collar edged in black satin, which you could take preppy, teaming it with blue jeans and a shirt and tie and V-neck sweater, or dressy, with black jeans and a plain shirt buttoned-up to the top puritan-style. Oh, and then, of course, there are the trousers, which fans of past +J ranges will know are among the best out there for the price (£49.90). This season they come in soft flannel, felted wool and brushed cotton. I'll be logging on in the early hours of Thursday, when the pieces go online, to stock up on a few pairs before the hordes descend. They're undoubtedly classics and, given that this is the +J swansong, who knows, they might yet even become collectors' pieces.
Fashion news 2011: Emma Watson comes up smelling of roses: After months of sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes images, the full length video of Emma Watson's Lancôme Trésor Midnight Rose perfume advertisement has finally hit screens. The advert, which is almost two minutes long, was directed by fashion photographer Mario Testino and is Watson's first role as ambassadress for the brand.
Returning to the purpley haze of 'real life' Watson and the Parisian gent (played by male model Cyril Descours) meet again and as he attempts to return the hat to its rightful owner, a magical moment occurs. Of the advert Watson said, "What I love about this story that we put together is that it's almost fate, like chance, that brings the two of them together… You never know what's going to be around the corner. That's what we wanted to get across in the fragrance: that life is magical with little surprises."
While the Potter chronicles have come to an end, Watson is clearly reluctant to leave her magical roots behind. While her trilby is far more fashionable that Hogwarts's Sorting Hat, we still think Dumbledore should arrive and award Descours '10 points for Gryffindor' for good citizenship.
Look all Photos of Emma Watson's fashion hits 2011:
Men's Fall-Winter Trends 2011: Plaid Squares Off in Menswear: The 1990s' most popular pattern came back in modern shapes and silhouettes during the men's fall/winter shows.
Japanese fashion house Kenzo went as far as presenting head-to-toe plaid looks, but there were also a few more subtle options: Paris-based designer Alexis Mabille showed plaid vests, and Dolce & Gabbana's trendier label D&G had blazer/bomber jacket hybrids in plaid.
Dutch duo Viktor & Rolf used plaid and tweed in many of their outfits, while Richard Chai opted for a lumberjack aesthetic and Vivienne Westwood's Red Label had plaid mini kilts and suits.
Fashion news 2011: What New York is buzzing about this fashion week: Helmut Lang's first show in five years, 3D technology, and no Gwen Stefani (but Avril Lavigne) -- this New York fashion week, which kicks off with Fashion's Night Out on September 8, comes with a few surprises.
While hurricane Irene wreaked havoc on the event's official schedule -- due to evacuations, designers didn't finish their collections on time, causing brands including Theyksens' Theory and Marc Jacobs to postpone their shows by several days -- there will also be some additions as well as no-shows this season. Helmut Lang is readying its first fashion show since 2006 for September 10, Zac Posen sheepishly returns from Paris after two seasons (he'll show on September 11), and Isaac Mizrahi won't stage a show at all this time around; instead, he will send out a lookbook. "We think that sounds modern," he wrote on his blog. "Of course next season we'll be planning our fabulous lollapalooza fashion show -- a 3D in theaters near you."
Speaking of 3D, the technology is the talk of the season in New York, after forward-thinking designers like Norma Kamali and Nicola Formichetti for Mugler announced they would show 3D videos instead of (or in Mugler's case, in addition to) runway shows. "Video is more descriptive, more entertaining and, really, the most detailed way to present a collection," Kamali stated. Her collection will also be made into a 3D lookbook, which will be available at normakamali3d.com from September 15. Meanwhile, Lady Gaga favorite Formichetti created a 3D avatar of his tattooed model muse Zombie Boy aka Rick Genest that will be part of a video to be shown at his pop-up store in Tribeca at 57 Walker Street.
As for celebrity clothing lines, Gwen Stefani will be missed this season: the singer and designer will not attend her L.A.M.B. fashion show as she is busy recording her band No Doubt's first album in ten years -- and fashion fans agree that the announcement of Avril Lavigne's Abbey Dawn show is only cold comfort.
Finally, there is a new YouTube channel this season, which will broadcast more than 30 of the shows as well as beauty videos, recaps, and trend reports.
Fashion news 2011: Show Schedule for New York fashion week 2011: Here is the complete show schedule for New York fashion week, which starts September 8.
09.00 Nicholas K, Studio (live stream)
09:30 Porter Grey, BOX
10.00 BCBGMAXAZRIA, Theater (live stream)
11.00 Richard Chai, Stage (live stream)
13.00 Supima, Studio (live stream)
14.00 Tadashi Shoji, Stage (live stream)
14.30 Candela, Box
09.00 Emerson, Studio
09.30 Electric Feathers, Box
09.30 Project Runway, Theater
11.00 Luca Luca, Stage (live stream)
13.00 General Idea, Studio
14.00 Rebecca Taylor, Stage (live stream)
14.30 Mara Hoffman, Box
17.00 Helen Yarmak, 730 5th Ave, 23rd floor
17.30 Tommy Hilfiger Men's, High Line's Chelsea Market Passage, 14th St At 10th Ave
18.00 Nicole Miller (live stream)
18.30 Joy Cioci, Box
18.30 Concept Korea, Avery Fisher Hall
19.00 Cynthia Rowley, Stage (live stream)
20.00 Academy of Art University, Theater
21.00 Falguni & Shane Peacock, Studio
09.00 Ruffian, Studio
10.00 Lacoste, Theater (live stream)
10.30 Pink Tartan, Box
11.00 Jill Stuart, Stage (live stream)
12.00 Son Jung Wan, Studio
14.00 Adam, Stage
15.00 Vivienne Tam, Theater (live stream)
15.30 Farah Angsana, Box
16.00 Honor, Studio
18.00 Charlotte Ronson, Stage (live stream)
19.00 Rafael Cennamo, Box
19.00 Monique Lhullier, Theater (live stream)
20.00 Eva Minge, Good Units, 356 W 58Th St
21.00 Venexiana, Studio
10.30 Katya Leonovich, Box
11.00 Lela Rose, Studio
12.00 Derek Lam, Stage (live stream)
13.00 DKNY, 547 W 26Th St
14.00 Tracy Reese, Studio (live stream)
14.30 L.A.M.B., Box
16.00 Diane Von Furstenberg, Theater (live stream)
17.00 Jen Kao, Studio
17.00 Y-3, 82 Mercer St
18.30 Guishem, Box
19.00 Custo Barcelona, Stage (live stream)
20.00 Tommy Hilfiger, Theater (live stream)
21.00 Timo Weiland, Studio
09.00 Jenny Packham, Studio
09.30 Callula Lillibelle, Box
10.00 Carolina Herrera, Theater (live stream)
11.00 Carlos Miele, Stage (live stream)
13.00 Rebecca Minkoff, Studio
13.30 Pamella Roland, Box
14.00 Donna Karan, New York, 547 W 26Th St
15.00 Vlov-Qingqing Wu, Stage
16.00 Yeohlee, TBA
17.00 Norman Ambrose, Studio
18.00 Betsey Johnson, Theater
18.30 Jad Ghandour, Box
19.00 Perry Ellis, Stage (live stream)
08.30 Michael Angel, Box
09.00 Tory Burch, Alice Tully Hall
09.30 J.Crew, Studio
10.00 Badgley Mischka, Theater (live stream)
11.00 Vera Wang, Stage (live stream)
13.00 Diesel Black Gold, 711 12Th Ave
13.00 Zang Toi, Studio
13.30 Bibhu Mohaptra, Box
14.00 Herve Leger by Max Azria, Theater (live stream)
15.00 Argentine Designers, Stage
18.30 Improvd, Box
19.00 Tibi, Stage (live stream)
20.00 Narciso Rodriguez, Theater (live stream)
21.00 Malan Breton, Studio
09.00 Norma Kamali, David Rubenstein Atrium
09.30 Rochambeau, Box
10.00 Michael Kors, Theater
11.00 Nanette Lepore, Stage
12.00 Ports 1961, New York Public Library, Celeste Bartos Forum
13.00 J. Mendel, Studio (live stream)
13.30 Nomia, Box
14.00 Chado Ralph Rucci, Theater
15.00 Milly by Michelle Smith, Stage
17.00 Shamask, Studio
18.00 Anna Sui, Theater (live stream)
18.30 Juan Carlos Obando, Box
19.00 Elie Tahari, Stage (live stream)
20.00 B Michael America, Museum of Natural History, W79th St
10.00 Ralph Lauren, 275 Hudson St
12.00 Guli, Studio
12.30 Sergio Davila, Box
14.00 Calvin Klein Collection, 205 W 39TH ST
16.00 Naeem Khan, Stage
17.00 Made In Africa: By Arise Magazine, Avery Fisher Hall
18.00 Elene Cassis, Studio
20.30 Marc Jacobs
Fashion news 2011: British Fashion Awards 2011 nominees revealed: It's the pride of Glasgow vs the Duchess of Cambridge's favourite designers for Designer of the Year, while Georgia May Jagger goes head-to-head with women twice her age for Model of the Year crown.
The designer of the Duchess of Cambridge's wedding dress was today nominated for one of the most prestigious prizes in fashion.
Sarah Burton was named creative director of Alexander McQueen just 16 months ago but has since become one of the world's best-known fashion designers thanks to that unforgettable Royal wedding commission for the Duchess and her maid of honour, Pippa Middleton.
Now Burton, 35, has been nominated for the Designer of The Year Award at the 2011 British Fashion Awards. Pitted against her is Erdem - himself a favourite of The Duchess during her recent tour of Canada - and the exciting young Scotsman Christopher Kane.
The British Fashion Awards, which will take place in late November, threw up plenty of hard-to-call categories when today's full list of nominations was announced.
The Designer Brand of the Year category has the-now London-based Tom Ford named alongside the FTSE-igniting might of Burberry and the starry appeal of Stella McCartney and Victoria Beckham.
Model of The Year, meanwhile, sees the gap-toothed newcomer Georgia Jagger, the 19 year-old, daughter of Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall, nominated against two supermodels in their 40's. Both Kristen McMenamy, 46, and Stella Tennant, 40, have enjoyed a rush of commercial and editorial work in the last 12 months.
J.W. Anderson, 26, has been showing his men's designs at London Fashion Week since 2007 and won raves reviews from international buyers and editors when he debuted his first womenswear in February. This wins him two nominations in the Emerging Talent section; one for menswear, and one for ready-to-wear.
Unveiling the list today Harold Tillman, Chairman of the British Fashion Council, said: "This year's nominees demonstrate the breadth and creativity London has to offer. The fashion brands and designers that are based here set the trends across the globe."
As well as the categories listed below, there are three other British Fashion Awards announced on the night; an "Outstanding Achievement in Fashion Award" for an influential, much-loved British fashion icon, a "British Style" award for a dashingly-dressed fashion inspiration, and finally the "Red Carpet" award.
This, says the BFC, "gives recognition to a British designer who is creating global awareness of their designs in the media". Sarah Burton doesn't talk in public all that often, so she might like to start practicing.
Fashion news 2011: Samantha Cameron's fashionable charity walk: Samantha Cameron displayed her dedication to both charity and fashion today as she led a one mile charity walk in a pair of three inch Topshop heels.
Before the walk Mrs Cameron was joined in Downing Street by British fashion designers including Sarah Burton, Christopher Bailey and Erdem Moralioglu - all of whom wore flats.
Alongside them posed Dr Hajara Kera, also sensibly shod, a midwife based in rural Nigeria. She was there to represent Save The Children, the charity that benefitted from today's awareness-raising event.
Later truck-drivers honked their horns and passers-by double-taked as Mrs Cameron led her group of fashionable walkers through the streets of Whitehall to Somerset House.
The Topshop shoes, which Mrs Cameron bought last year, were teamed with a sleek black Joseph trouser-suit and a Save The Children T-shirt.
The British Fashion Council said that all of the designers on this morning's walk have been nominated for this year's British Fashion Awards. The full list of nominees will only be announced this evening, but others definitely included - because they were spotted on today's walk - include Christopher Kane, jewellery designer Jordan Askill and Emma Hill of Mulberry.
Fashion news 2011: Alexa Chung on her love affair with Sixties fashion: If any girl today is synonymous with the effortless gamine, look which came to define the Sixties, it's Alexa Chung.
The model turned TV presenter and fashion designer has all the attributes required to pull off the look with aplomb: Bambi-esque limbs, doe eyes and ability to make girls swoon with envy at her wardrobe without looking like she's made any effort at all.
For the October issue of Harper's Bazaar, Alexa has gone back in time, modelling a range of new season designs in the Sixties style in and around David Hockney's Notting Hill flat, and talking about how her love affair with the decade began.
"My ex-boyfriend [photographer David Titlow] showed me Antonioni's 1966 film Blow-Up in my late teens. I remember seeing Jane Birkin. And I couldn't believe it. She even made just wearing a pair of tights look sexy. . . I think the Sixties vibe suits my body type, which is skinny legs and a boyish frame."
Chung, who recently split with Arctic Monkey's front man Alex Turner also revealed how she's seduced by the iconic romances the 'It' boys of the day had with the world's most beautiful, and stylish, women:
"It's the groupie vibe that I'm attracted to. They had these amazing love affairs, and both the men and the women were made amazing by them. The girls in the Sixties were never overshadowed by the men they dated. You can talk about Jane Shrimpton without having to mention Bailey or Terence Stamp first."
But Chung, who has two new fashion television shows in the pipeline and a new collection for US label Madewell in store now, confessed there is a downside to being a style icon:
"I fell out of love with the Sixties for a while. I think because I was so identified with it. It's like Sienna Miller when she did boho, then suddenly stopped because she was like, 'F**k. What else can I do, because I've done it?' Everyone copied my sodding coat for a while too. It was my Harrods kid's vintage one. Every girl suddenly had one and I was like, 'Arrgh!' I got really bored of smock dresses and loafers for a while. But I feel like I'm ready to fall in love all over again."
Fashion news 2011: Rosie Huntington Whiteley is the new face of M&S: It's out with normal looking celebrities and in with the beautiful people at Marks and Spencer as David Gandy and Ryan Reynolds join Rosie Huntington Whiteley for their autumn campaign.
When it was announced earlier this month that Marks & Spencer were axing their celebrity packed ad campaigns (the ones who brought us a smug gaggle of famous girls pretending to be normal), it was assumed the high street stalwart were on a cost-cutting drive.
Rosie Huntington Whiteley and Ryan Reynolds in the autumn 2011 campaign.
When it was announced earlier this month that Marks & Spencer were axing their celebrity packed ad campaigns (the ones who brought us a smug gaggle of famous girls pretending to be normal), it was assumed the high street stalwart were on a cost-cutting drive.
Not so it seems after M&S today announced that their new campaign line-up includes Victoria's Secret model, Burberry Body babe and Transformers actress, Rosie Huntington Whiteley; Hollywood actor and ex Mr Scarlett Johansson, Ryan Reynolds and male supermodel, David Gandy.
Rosie and Ryan make quite the pretty picture, cosying up outside the St Pancras Grand hotel for M&S' high end line 'Autograph', in pictures which are sure to make her boyfriend, action star Jason Statham, green around the gills.
"Rosie and Ryan are the perfect fit for Autograph - beautiful, exclusive and absolutely contemporary. On set, they worked together to deliver a mesmerising performance which allowed us to capture shots that literally sizzle with excitement and an air of mystery" says Steve Sharp, M&S Executive Director.
Reynolds seems equally pleased with the casting, "I was thrilled when M&S asked me to be in their campaign and Rosie was a pleasure to work with."
We bet she was Ryan. The gorgeous Rosie has become 2011's unofficial pin-up girl after a string of drop-dead sexy red carpet appearances and an eye-catching turn for Burberry's recently launched 'Body' fragrance which sees her pose naked but for a strategically placed trench coat.
David Gandy meanwhile - he of Dolce & Gabbana tight, white trunks fame - leans artfully against the handlebars of a vintage Piaggio looking V V dapper in a sharp blue wool blazer and coordinating piercing eyes.
Gandy was captured by renowned fashion photographer Uli Weber in Lecce, Italy in 'continental mood' for the Collezione Autumn 2011 collection.
But never fear, if the old favourites are close to your heart you're still in luck, as Lisa Snowdon, Jamie Redknapp and Twiggy will still be heading up the M&S Woman and Man ranges, so expect a snazzy Christmas dance routine to be hitting a TV screen near you soon.
Fashion news 2011: Why Marc Jacobs is the world's most influential designer: Those with even a fleeting acquaintance of Bernard Arnault, the chairman and CEO of LVMH, know never to second-guess this most canny of business titans. So while it may look certain (at time of writing) that Marc Jacobs will move from the creative helm of Louis Vuitton to grab the top job at Dior, let's wait until the signatures are dry.
Marc Jacobs backstage with models after his Louis Vuitton spring/summer 2011 show
That said, the smart money has been on Jacobs since Galliano's tragic meltdown in a Paris bar. For all the heat about Haider Ackermann and the talk of Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci, Jacobs's only credible competitor is Alber Elbaz, who, perhaps not forgetting how it felt to be hung out to dry at Yves Saint Laurent in favour of Tom Ford in 1998, says he is staying safely at Lanvin. As for longtime Dior and Galliano staffer, Bill Gaytten, who created July's Dior Haute Couture collection, not for him a Sarah Burton at McQueen-type transformation. His role remains that of understudy, forced into the footlights only until a bigger star ushers him back into the wings.
Marc Jacobs is already the consummate LVMH designer, delivering buzz and business in equal measure. On buzz, this is the designer that sets the agenda, to the point that, right now, fashion editors are busy changing flights to and from the New York shows in a fortnight's time, following an announcement that Jacobs's show for his eponymous label must shift backwards by four days, after hours lost in the workroom due to Hurricane Irene. You don't miss Marc.
While the collections he shows in New York are edgier than his work for Louis Vuitton in Paris, where he has been creative director since 1997, not only would no fashion editor dream of missing Vuitton, these days, everyone turns up not fashionably late, but half an hour early, such is the importance of getting the first look at the new shoe or the new bag which will be copied all over the high street.
Just how influential Jacobs has become is evidenced by collections that, at first, can garner the response, "You have got to be joking!", only to shift the silhouette much later. One recent example is the Vuitton show for spring/summer 2011, where a return to decadence was spelt out even before the first model appeared, by three stuffed tigers positioned on the faux marble runway. While we haven't seen many animal-head sweaters elsewhere, Jacobs's larger message - move over minimalism, it's time for bold clothes - is writ large. So highly is the esteem with which Jacobs is held both in France and in the US, that he has both a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters and the recipient of several CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) awards, including the lifetime achievement gong, although he's still only 48.
Marc Jacobs is one of very few designers, ever, who have changed the course of fashion. The story of his grunge collection for Perry Ellis of 1992, influenced by what was bubbling up on the Seattle music scene, parallels a fashion moment in the life of Yves Saint Laurent. In 1960, the precocious Saint Laurent, who had taken over at the world's most famous fashion house following the death of Christian Dior, got edged out after having shown bomber jackets and thigh-high boots in crocodile in a beatnik collection that shocked the bourgeoise, because - sacre bleu! - rich women were never going to be influenced by the look of the street, were they? Decades later, triumphant fashion editors wore badges trumpeting "Grunge is Ghastly", after Marc Jacobs was sacked from Perry Ellis because his mismatch of floaty dresses over waffle knit T-shirts teemed with beanie hats was never going to catch on, was it? If Jacobs does go to Dior, Saint Laurent's brief legacy there of busting down the barriers of assumed good taste is likely to gel with him far more than the arch New Look.
As for business, there's no one else - not even Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel - who can pump out the products that pop. That Louis Vuitton now does $5 billion in annual sales certainly looks good on Jacobs's resume. Add to that the fact that you don't hire him solo: you also get the bonus of Robert Duffy, whose steady business savvy has backed up Jacobs's creative cool since 1984.
But why would Jacobs want to move? Whisper it, but, after 14 years of reinterpreting the LV monogram, he might be bored. The new challenge at Dior is the chance to create haute couture. Back in 1996, when the job was last up for grabs, Jacobs told me: "If Christian Dior wanted me, why would they want me to be what it was? Haute couture can be about a T-shirt as much as a ballgown. The ballgown is obsolete." Might the chance to reinvent glamour in a truly modern way still entice?
As for Arnault, there's some other considerations. The top jobs at Chanel and Giorgio Armani must surely come up within the next five years (although Lagerfeld has named Haider Ackermann as his favoured successor). Having lost Galliano forever, he can't risk losing Jacobs. Then there's the issue of the immense stress of the Dior job; in a year, the creative director of Dior must produce two ready-to-wear collections, two couture collections, and a cruise collection, a demand equalled only at Chanel. Whoever gets the Dior job hardly gets a weekend off, and the constant scrutiny could drive another fragile talent to drink, drugs or an excess of prescription medication. While "reformed heroin addict" is an unlikely plus on anyone's CV, that Jacobs has proved able to face his addictions might, perversely, be in his favour. He's already been to hell. His support system is in place to stop him going back.
If Jacobs is the new man at Dior, this creates a vacancy which could, in turn, be fortuitous at a time when the Louis Vuitton mega-brand risks becoming the victim of its own success. These days, it's all about China, yet hip Beijingers damningly dub LV "a second-tier city brand", which is to say, now those hicks from the sticks living in petro-rich Urumqi can get it, we're over it. What do they desire instead? Céline, of course, like all the other chic young women. The other big rumour now? That Phoebe Philo, now all grown up into a major, mature talent will reboot Vuitton. But then who then goes to Céline? Or does Philo juggle both? Get ready for the next round of musical chairs.
Fashion news 2011: Clothing firm expands recycling initiative overseas: Japanese fashion brand Uniqlo is expanding its All-Product Recycling Initiative to all its stores in the key markets of the United States, Great Britain and France from September 1.
The company introduced a Fleece Recycling Campaign in Japan as far back as September 2001 and expanded the scheme to all Uniqlo products in 2006.
The system was first adopted at the company's stores overseas in March of this year, when it went live in South Korea, but now the company is taking it global and intends to have the scheme operating in every country where it has a branch.
Since 2006, Uniqlo has collected more than 11.51 million items of clothing brought back into its stores by customers. The items are then passed on, through independent agencies and NGOs, to people living in refugee camps, survivors of disasters and others in need, the company said.
"At Uniqlo, we believe it is our corporate social responsibility to maximise the value and usefulness of the truly great clothing we produce by collecting, reusing and recycling all of our products," the company said in a statement.
"When we launched the All-Product Recycling Initiative in 2006, we initially intended to recycle clothing for industrial use," it added. "However, most of the items we received from our customers were still wearable, so we shifted our focus from recycling to reuse and began donating the items we had collected to refugee and Internally Displaced Persons camps throughout the world."
From September 1, customers who have bought Uniqlo goods in the US, UK and France will be able to return them and know that they will be put to good use.
Clothing that is soiled or wet cannot be accepted, and customers are being asked to wash the items before returning them. Uniqlo will also accept financial donations to support people in need.
Uniqlo has risen from humble beginnings in Japan and has become one of the pioneers of "cheap chic."
Its global expansion has come in the face of stiff competition from foreign firms that are cashing in on consumers' preference for cut-price clothing, such Spain-based Zara and Sweden's H&M, which earlier this year launched a range called the Conscious Collection featuring clothes made from "greener" materials and some recycled fabrics.
Fashion news 2011: Vogue Italia sticks two fingers up to the 'slave earring' debacle: Vogue Italia's editor-in-chief, Franca Sozzani, has always been an independent thinker. While other editors search for the next big model, photographer or celebrity to grace their September issue cover to steal a march on their rivals, Sozzani turns up late to the party and makes everyone feel like they're overdressed.
Vogue Italia's September issue cover starrin Stella Tennant.
As her latest cover - the last of the big September issue covers - is revealed, so is the diametrically opposed outlook of each of her Vogue siblings.
Mario Testino? Pah. Sozzani will take Steven Meisel thank you very much, the man responsible for every single Vogue Italia cover since 1988 (330 and counting...).
And who needs Kate Moss' wedding, or Monaco royalty on your front page when you've got a surly-faced 40-year-old supermodel (Stella Tennant), in a mind-bogglingly tiny corset, wielding a rather ominous-looking pair of scissors in a leafy backyard? (Surely that cover line should read Avant Gardener?).
It seems the Vogue family is basically a better dressed version of every other family on earth after all: made up of clashing characters who rub along together and make nice at family get-togethers because, well, they're stuck with each other.
But if you're in any doubt as to where Vogue Italia fits in this blissfully dysfunctional dynasty, stop for a moment and consider the statement being made by Tennant's heavily adorned face here.
Just last week Sozzani had to apologise after being accused of racism for runnning a style feature on Vogue.it entitled 'Slave Earrings'. The blame for that slip-up was placed on "very bad translation", but you don't need to speak Italian to translate the message on this cover: 'You don't like 'slave earrings'? Stick this up your nose!'
Yes, Vogue Italia is most definitely the sullen, petulant teenager who doesn't want to be seen dead with her parents.
The hoop in Tenant's nose could be coincidence or a subtle shock tactic, but eIther way this disturbingly beautiful cover image makes for the most arresting of the four big Vogue's big month.
Fashion news 2011: Marc Jacobs may become Dior creative head: U.S. designer Marc Jacobs is in talks with LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton to replace John Galliano as the creative director of its Christian Dior fashion house, according to a report in Women's Wear Daily.
Designer Marc Jacobs takes a bow during New York Fashion Week 2011
Jacobs, who is currently the top designer at Louis Vuitton -- also part of LVMH -- in turn could be replaced there by Phoebe Philo, the creative head at Celine, another component of the French luxury conglomerate's stable, WWD reported on Monday, citing sources.
Meetings are set to take place in Paris this week between Dior officials and legal representatives for Jacobs, WWD reported.
Representatives for LVMH and Marc Jacobs' Paris office declined to comment.
Dior has not had a creative leader since LVMH fired designer John Galliano in March after a video surfaced of him making anti-Semitic comments at a Parisian bar.
Galliano, who blamed stress and alcoholism for the outburst, stood trial in June in Paris on charges of anti-Semitic behavior. The court is set to deliver its ruling on September 8.
Fashion news 2011 - Brioni fashion label to close women's line: Italian couturier Brioni said Wednesday it was closing down its women's line and ending its contract with designer Alessandro Dell'Acqua to concentrate on its men's collection.
"The decision was necessary to re-focus resources on the menswear business, which has recently become more competitive and global," said the luxury label -- a favourite with stars like Pierce Brosnan, Cary Grant and Al Pacino.
Founded in Rome in 1945, the label had over 300 shops across the world by the 1990s and began expanding successfully into womenswear, signing up the Neapolitan Dell'Acqua in May 2010.
The announcement comes after a month of rumours that Brioni was planning to close down its women's line under pressure from luxury conglomerate PPR, which is in talks to buy the brand.
In its statement, the label denied the move had "any link" with the rumours.
Fall-Winter Fashion Trends 2011 - Go floriental this season or try clashing colors: This fall's prints vary between florals and Asian-inspired designs, while unusual color combinations are set to mix up your wardrobe.
Sass & Bide 'clashing' colors 2011
Flower prints also came as part of oriental outfits, as seen at Jil Sander and Mary Katrantzou. Meanwhile, transition your polka-dotted summer pieces into fall like Marc Jacobs did, and stripes -- like Commun's -- will go well with the continuing color-block trend.
Jil Sander floriental fashion 2011
Brands such as Sass & Bide combined seemingly clashing colors like orange and pink or pink and red for fresh-looking outfits, while others including Blumarine went for one bright hue from head to toe.
If you want to stay loyal to fall's more traditional color palette -- mustard, wine, olive, and brown -- turn to the likes of Miu Miu or Mulberry for inspiration. One of the season's trendiest prints, tartan (as seen at Sonia Rykiel, for instance) goes especially well with these hues.
For some more fresh takes on patterns, try printed transparent blouses under cardigans or just sheer printed maxi dresses (e.g., John Galliano) or opt for printed pants (e.g., Derek Lam).
Fashion news 2011: Joan Rivers' Fashion Police under fire: Joan Rivers has carved a hugely successful career out of offending people, whether through her stand-up comedy, or her role as judge, jury and executioner of Hollywood red carpet fashion.
So it comes as no surprise that, as the nemesis of badly dressed celebrities approaches her 79th birthday, she's less bothered than ever about who she upsets, or how.
On her E! Entertainment channel show Fashion Police Rivers runs a segment called 'Starlet or Streetwalker' in which a panel of celebrities laughs at photos of scantily clad women with their faces disguised and try to guess whether they are a Hollywood star, or a prostitute.
So far, so funny? Not according to Rachel Lloyd, the founder and executive director of Girls Education and Mentoring Services , a survivor led organisation dedicated to ending commercial sexual exploitation.
Lloyd, herself a 'survivor', has started an online petition to get Rivers to pull the segment which she regards as 'incredibly offensive and damaging'.
"I watched with growing discomfort as I realised that these women - poor women, desperate women, drug-addicted women, women under the control of a pimp, women who are victims of violence and exploitation - were being used to highlight wealthy celebrities' poor fashion choices," says Lloyd.
"Mocking Celebrity X for wearing an ill-advised $15,000 couture gown to the Oscars is quite different than mocking a woman who is literally living on the streets. I doubt if E! would have fashion segments called 'Homeless or Hollywood?', 'Drug Addict or Debutante?', 'Poor or Posh?.' Yet because these women are not 'just' potentially homeless, drug addicted, and definitely poor, but are 'streetwalkers,' prostitutes, whores, hookers, they're considered fair game."
Whether Rivers, whose Fashion Police co-hosts include Kelly Osbourne, will be moved by the campaign remains to be seen. But with other segments on the show including 'Rack Report' (in which a celebrity is guessed based on her cleavage), 'Bitch Stole My Look' (who wore it best), and 'Guess Me From Behind' (game's in the name), suffice to say she's not out trying to win any awards for being TV's Mrs Nice.
The petition 'Stop E! Fashion Police's "Starlet or Streetwalker" Segment!' has already gathered 1244 signatures on campaign site change.org. If you want to add your weight behind it, sign up now.
Brioni autumn-winter 2011 collection at Milan Fashion Week: Italian fashion house, Brioni, is shutting down its womenswear line at the end of this month and ending their contract with creative director, Alessandro Dell'Acqua. Brioni's Italian plant, which exclusively manufactured the womenswear collections, is to end production in September.
Having parted ways with his eponymous label in 2009, Dell'Acqua joined Brioni last year with plans to open eight to 10 new stores, and grow the womenswear line.
'The appointment of Alessandro Dell'Acqua represents the Group's desire to strengthen the womenswear collection, which has been source of great satisfaction for some time' said Andrea Perrone, president and CEO of the Brioni Group, at the time.
Though all parties have declined to comment, according to WWD these plans may have gone awry amid ongoing talks between Brioni and French luxury conglomerate PPR, who are interested in an acquisition of the Italian brand.
It is not yet clear whether the label will present at womenswear collection during Milan Fashion Week , where they are scheduled to be showing on September 25.
Fashion news 2011: Beauty and brains - Model Thea Stratton heads to Cambridge: While many students are still ploughing through the misery of the clearing system trying to find a university place, one talented girl is sitting pretty.
18-year-old up-and-coming model Thea Stratton is heading to Cambridge to take up a place studying engineering after securing three A's and one A* in her A Level exams.
Oxford-born Thea, who is signed to top internationally agency Next Models, has been fitting her modelling jobs for Vogue (for which she was photographed by Mario Testino), Dazed & Confused and Another magazine around her maths, further maths, physics and French studies.
"I worked really hard for my exams and I'm so happy with the results I've achieved, my family are really proud too," Thea told us.
"I've been able to fit my modelling in during my school holidays which has been great, and the money I've made will help keep my student debt down a bit I hope".
Discovered by a Next model scout on a beach when she was 14, Thea went on to be put on an exclusive for Givenchy show in Paris in 2009, meaning she could only appear in their show that season.
But how do the two diverse aspects of her career compare?
"An engineering degree is very different to the glamorous world of modelling, and the degree I'm doing is 97 per cent male so being one of the few girls on the course is going to be different from the shoots and catwalks too where I'm normally with all girls."
Thea, whose distinguishing feature is her strong eyebrows, plans to carry on modelling alongside her studies where possible, following in the footsteps of established model and actress, Lily Cole, who recently graduated with a double first in history of art from Cambridge.
"She's a beautiful and intelligent model that our new faces division scouted and then developed," Amanda Bretheron, president of Next Models, London told us.
"She has now moved onto the main board and is starting to work with some brilliant clients. We are so proud of her amazing results. Clients love her, we love her and now Cambridge will love her!"
Fashion news 2011: Mad Men fashions land at Banana Republic: Devotees of the hit television series Mad Men - about a Sixties ad agency where the style is as important as the plot - will soon be able to tap into the characters' immaculate dress sense thanks to a collaboration between the show's costume designer and American-based retailer Banana Republic.
Janie Bryant, the woman behind Joan Holloway's (played by Christina Hendricks) figure-hugging work dresses and Betty Francis's (immortalised by January Jones) prom-perfect gowns, has teamed up with the store to launch a range for men and women.
"Sixty years ago, there was a different code of what was presentable. There was no going out of the house without stockings, pantyhose, slips and garters, and long-line bras. Now you go out of the house in sweat pants," says Bryant.
But the Mad Men- branded range won't border on television costumes: the clothes are modern and suited to the world of work.
"It's about good tailoring - it's more buttoned up and polished," explains Simon Kneen, Banana Republic's creative director.
Gone is the enhanced hourglass created with bust darts and high waistline, while the favoured Sixties palette of acid green and mustard yellow have been updated in sophisticated shades of navys, reds and blacks. Fabrics have stretch and are more lightweight, making the designs altogether more comfortable.
"I have always loved dressing up," says Bryant, who has been nominated for an Emmy award for her Mad Men costumes. "It's exciting that people want to learn about that [era] again."
The new clothing line, which launches on Thursday, August 25, and features slim suits for men, also provides a temporary fix for Mad Men fans awaiting the show's return next year.
Fashion news 2011: Vogue Italia accused of racism for 'Slave earrings' feature: The feature, published on the Vogue Italia website on August 5, was accompanied by product images of large, gold-hooped earrings and a short burst of copy by Vogue writer Anna Bassi describing the trend, dating from 2010.
"Jewellery has always flirted with circular shapes, especially for use in making earrings. The most classic models are the slave and creole styles in gold hoops. If the name brings to the mind the decorative traditions of the women of colour who were brought to the southern Unites [sic] States during the slave trade, the latest interpretation is pure freedom. Colored stones, symbolic pendants and multiple spheres. And the evolution goes on."
But within hours of being published, the feature faced stinging worldwide criticism, the strongest of which claimed Vogue Italia was guilty of a "disgraceful" attempt to "glamourise slavery".
One blogger called Chezney, wrote "There is absolutely nothing fashionable about the history of enslaved Africans."
Angry readers mounted a campaign where followers could tweet Italian Vogue to register their fury.
Demanding a full apology and the withdrawal of the feature it continued: "In this latest example by Vogue Magazine, we want the ad removed immediately and we want a specific apology to Black women because Black womens' supposed slave narratives were used in the promulgation of the ad."
Marianne Smith wrote: "Are you serious? I hope that you get truly humiliated for this worldwide vogue. This is disgraceful. You should be ashamed. Since when does an African design for earrings become a "slave" design. This will backfire on you badly and I'm going to make sure that happens."
Other angry posters put up the private email address of Vogue writer Anna Bassi.
The Telegraph contacted Vogue Italia's editor in chief Franca Sozzani, who also writes a blog for the vogue.it website. She told us: "We apologise for the inconvenience. It is a matter of really bad translation from Italian into English. The Italian word, which defines those kind of earrings, should instead be translated into "ethnical style earrings". Again, we are sorry about this mistake which we have just amended in the website".
Sozzani is famed for tackling the controversial topics which orbit the fashion world head-on.
The July 2008 issue of the magazine was entirely dedicated to black girls and their website hosts a 'V Black' section dedicated to black models, celebrities and bloggers; alongside 'V Curvy' aimed at plus-size women.
Sozzani also fronts an online campaign 'Vogue.it Against Pro-Anorexia Websites' which petitions to shut down sites offering advice and encouragement to girls who want to stop eating. The campaign already has 9,424 signatures.
In a recent Vogue.it blog post, Sozzani tackled the issue of racism in the fashion industry.
"It is true that there are very few black models around," she wrote pointing out that there is however "a new generation of models coming from Tunisia and Morocco. Northern Africa. Their skin is amber-colored and not precisely black."
"There are many black beauties around and there would be even more if agencies would choose to scout in those countries. Instead, all agencies go to Eastern Europe, as if it were the only breeding ground for models."
"Involving racism is totally inappropriate and also an easy choice. Finding real solutions is more challenging and burdensome. We try to do our best through Vogue Italia and the website, with a dedicated channel, so why can't others do the same instead of complaining or, worse, condemning?"
She ends by pointing out that the present issue of Vogue Italia's sister publication, L'Uomo Vogue, featured Beyoncé on the cover, following cover turns by Jay-Z, Puff Daddy, Snoop Dogg.
The fashion world may have to rethink other accepted terminology. Bracelets worn on the upper arm are traditionally referred to as 'slave bangles', while America's First Lady, Michelle Obama, inadvertently kicked off a race row last year after a fashion pundit from Associated Press referred to her Naeem Khan dress as a 'nude strapless gown'.
The news agency was compelled to revise its reference to the dress colour from "flesh" to "champagne" after one fashion editor objected, asking: "Whose flesh? Not hers."
Fashion news 2911: luxury fashion by the Olsen twins: When she was starting college, Ashley Olsen did something many fashion-conscious teenagers do: she set out on a quest for the perfect T-shirt.
But Ashley had more resources than most students, so she employed a factory in Los Angeles to work with her and create what she had in mind.
It took a year and a half, on and off, but eventually she and her twin sister, Mary-Kate, got something they felt was right not only for their petite frames, but also on all the other women of various ages and sizes they tried it on.
The secret, they say, is the French seam running down the back. 'It's cut from one piece of fabric,' explains Ashley, who is the older by a few minutes, and tends to take the lead when discussing business. 'It's about the drape and the fabric. And finding the balance between the two.'
'It's made on a lingerie machine,' adds Mary-Kate, fingering the silky, diaphanous sample that is hanging on a rail behind us. 'A lot of thought has to go into it.'
Having put in so much effort, they decided to try to sell this T-shirt, and came up with the concept of The Row, a high-end, luxury clothing label based in New York, manufactured mainly in America but also in Italy, and named to evoke the kind of quality tailoring and fit synonymous with London's Savile Row.
'I did feel there was a need for luxurious basics, to wear with couture,' explains Ashley, who at just over 5ft 1in is slightly taller than her sister. 'When you're small like I am, you need things to break it up, or not look like you're in the full look. So it started with that concept, and just kind of grew from there. It's pieces that we feel are missing, or that we want. We make the best quality, things that we would shop for, that we appreciate and find beautiful.'
On paper, the past few years haven't been the best time to launch a luxury label. But despite the high-end prices - that basic T-shirt sells for £195 on Net-a-Porter, a camel wool coat is nearly £2,000, with a pretty lace shirt at £995 and dresses for £1,500 and upwards - since its launch in 2006 The Row has grown quietly, organically, into a force to be reckoned with.
Last month it was shortlisted for the New Talent award at America's prestigious CFDA Fashion Awards, and in April the label had a major feature in US Vogue and also received the endorsement of First Lady Michelle Obama, who wore its pleated skirt for an appearance on television.
The Row appeals to a clientele that is, on the whole, older than its 25-year-old designers: working women who are willing to spend money on quality, but don't necessarily want to shout about it with loud logos. With understated, classic pieces that fit beautifully, feel good against the skin and won't look dated after one season's wear, it has thrived through the recession, building a loyal following of repeat customers.