Friday, May 18, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

Happy Friday fashion lovers. Welcome to this week's news round-up...

Donna Summer working the sequins in Thank God It's Friday (image from
We begin with farewells to the Queen of Disco, Donna Summer who died yesterday at just 63 years old. If you want to know why Summer's dance tunes were so seminal then you could do no better than to read Alex Needham's analysis for The Guardian. Of course, music and fashion so often go hand-in-hand and Donna Summer's psychedelic eye shadow, mega watt hair do and slinky gowns revved up the glamour vibe of her disco tunes. A true game changer.

Donna Summer, off duty but disco as ever (image from
May I suggest you listen to this mesmerising tune while you read the rest of the news?

In happier news, the Roitfeld dynasty this week welcomed its latest member, Romy Nicole Konjic. Carine Roitfeld's daughter Julia gave birth to her first baby with Swedish model Robert Konjic. And what more stylish way to have one's birth announced than via a tweet from Mr Derek Blasberg who tweeted on Wednesday 'Congratulations to proud Momma @RestoinRJulia! (And thus, the chicest grannie ever: Carine Roitfeld!) Can't wait to meet the beautiful baby!" It was later confirmed that the former French Vogue editor's new grandchild was a girl.  Might little Romy make her modelling debut in Granny's new magazine, set to be released in the Autumn?

Julia and Romy the bump in the latest iD (image from
British fashion stamps: Norman Hartnell (image from
Ever since e-mail, tweeting, face booking and texting became our main modes of communication, the humble letter or post card has taken on a special, sort of nostalgic feeling. Now the Royal Mail is appealing to the scribe in fashionistas everywhere with their new collection of stamps celebrating post-war British fashion. The stamps include outfits by key British designers from the past 60 years including Ossie Clark, Vivienne Westwood and the Queen's favourite Hardy Amies. The stamps have been shot by acclaimed fashion photographer Sølve Sundsbø. You can buy the full set for a bargainous £6 here.

British fashion stamps: Alexander McQueen (image from
British fashion stamps: Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell (image from
Congratulations to the brilliant Selfridges which was this week named the world's best department store by The Intercontinental Group of Department Stores. I feel like I'm going to be spending lots of time in Selfridges this summer as they have so many exciting celebrations in store for the Jubilee and Olympics. I went to the launch of Brittanica, an exhibition of dresses made from Vogue patterns from the early 50s with hats by Stephen Jones last week. That's on until 24th June. But there's plenty more to come... tea parties on the roof, crazy golf and a shop where you can buy everything the Queen has- her bag, her gloves, her dog (maybe?). Find out the details here.

A pic we took at the Britannica launch
When Vogue put Adele on the cover last year, there was considerable controversy about how a non-model sized person had been presented by the magazine. In fact, it seemed like there such a hoo-ha that the issue should surely have been a big seller. Well, no. Alexandra Shulman revealed in a talk this week that the Adele cover was actually one of the worst sellers ever. In fact, Shulman says she still can't tell which covers will be the most successful, despite twenty years at the helm.

An interesting new angle on the great skinny models debate this week, with a new study which suggests that if models resembled the target audience of the products they were advertising better, then consumers would  be more inclined to make a purchase. Ben Barry, who conducted the study, explained:

"My study found that women increased their purchase intentions by more than 200 percent when the models in the mock ads were their size. In the subgroup over size 6, women increased their purchase intentions by a dramatic 300 percent when they saw curvier models. Conversely, when women saw models who didn't reflect their size, they decreased their purchase intentions by 60 percent, and women over size 6 dropped their purchase intentions by 76 percent."

N.B These sizes refer to the American system so size 6 is size 10. 

Estee Lauder in 1961 (from
There are plenty of family businesses started by one member and then handed from generation to generation to carry on the philosophy carved out by the founding member. One such company is Estee Lauder, now in the hands of Aerin, the granddaughter of the eponymous founder. However, Aerin has now decided to make a name for herself and is launching her own brand called simply, Aerin. She has long been involved at a high level at Estee Lauder but has now chosen to take inspiration from the brand's archives and gift it a modern twist with Aerin. She told WWD “It’s very much a lifestyle brand, which I think is very much how Estée started. It was always about lifestyle photography and an environment and a world. It’s not necessarily an age group — it’s a state of mind". Aerin will encompass not just beauty but jewellery and home products too. I'm looking forward to the book which will be published next Autumn. 

The Vogue family give us some more great covers this week. The French edition has chosen Gisele as their poster girl for the health issue which launches the health initiative agreed to by all the titles. The carefully placed sand marks clearly underlining the healthy but slim, fit and aspirational proportions of her posterior. The cover announces 'The Return of Curves".

Image from

The Italian titles focus on Africa with Ban Ki Moon gracing the cover of L'Uomo. I understand he's the UN Secretary General, and thus has a lot of influence when it comes to policies which might help African nations get out of debt cycles and corruption, but I'd like to have seen an actual African. 

Vogue Italia focuses on Africa (image from
Happy Birthday to Beyond Retro , the brilliant vintage empire which turns 10 this month. To celebrate, there is a series of gigs, talks and events. I'm hoping to make it to 'Flooded with little Joan Crawfords: Hollywood in London in the 1930s' at the Soho store tonight. Very generously, the Beyond Retro people are also hosting their first ever sale, and it's a goodie- 50% off everything. The sale is taking place over the weekend so make sure you get yourself down the Brick Lane store.

Simone Rocha at LFW AW12 (image from
Simone Rocha was one of the highlights at February's London fashion week. So we'll be tuning in to on Monday at 3pm to check out her interview on the site.

And finally, a King Karl video special to round off the working week.

The first is from Chanel and sees the designer talk about his Cruise collection which was shown at Versailles on Monday. Listen out for his thoughts on how Mademoiselle herself might have liked the offering....

And Cannes film festival is in full swing, but Lagerfeld's appearance in Jean Roch and Snoop Dog's new video puts our minds firmly in St Tropez. I adore Karl's role as the keeper of the gates to paradise/ St Tropez and the very retro cloudy, heavenly intro. 

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