Thursday, April 17, 2008

Marilyn Manson Has a New Girlfriend

That's Manson's girlfriend on the left. Isn't she the spitting image of his ex, Dita Von Teese (right)?

Wait a second, that's not a new girlfriend. It's his cradle-snatched beau of many months, 20-year-old Evan Rachel Wood from Thirteen. Would you have recognised her in a million years? What's with channelling your boyfriend's ex?

Not since Lisa Marie Presley hooked up with Michael Jackson in the 90s has a female been spotted taking such obvious style cues from her lover (though Presley wasn't imitating any ex wives, she just started to look like Jackson himself).

But then Michael supposedly copied HIS style from Diana Ross, whom he was said to be deeply in love with. So Jackson was an intermediary, influencing Lisa Marie Presley to adopt Ross's style in much the same way that Dita Von Teese's look has migrated to Evan Rachel Wood through the romantic conduit of Marilyn Manson. It's all a rich tapestry.

In a bizarre gender reversal, Brad Pitt is often spotted playing style floozy, trying on his girlfriends' looks the way a flippant shopper tries on pantsuits.

It's that much more disturbing with Evan Rachel Wood because she's so young and impressionable, and because the transformation was so full-on (remember her as a mousy-haired tomboy?)

images: Wired, Getty

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Christian Lacroix Hits New York! This Calls For A Retrospective...

French designer Christian Lacroix opened his first New York store yesterday on swish East 57th street (home of Chanel, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton). This big name will fit right in - but why has it taken him so long?

Asked why he waited twenty years to set up shop in America's fashion capital (could it be a snub? How French!) the mild-mannered designer simply said:

'...I prefer to do everything with good timing, with a good location.'

Fair enough. To celebrate this milestone in Franco-American relations, let's check out what Lacroix has been up to for the last eight years.

2000 Wacky patterns, cropped jackets and parade of ever-changing trouser cuts. Lacroix's designs at the turn of the century betray a definite party sensibility.

2001 Toning it down (just a little), blackening it up and playing with coloured tights long before any of us were even dreaming of it.

2002 Voluminous shapes and loud patterns (and pigtails) sound a final death knell for the sober, streamlined nineties.

2003 A brief love affair with skin took us all by surprise.

2004 Flirting with the fifties and sixties, and abandoning that reliable old red ready-to-wear setting for good.

2005 Russian-tinged glamour took everybody's breath away.

2006 Patterns galore! And the girliest vibe to date

2007 A more mature outlook, darker colours and a an outer-space aesthetic.

2008 Coats bulked up and colour was almost nowhere to be seen at the spring ready-to-wear show.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Marc Jacobs' New Handbags for Louis Vuitton

More on Marc Jacobs: his line of handbags for Louis Vuitton has provoked lots of chatter in the blogosphere. The 'Joke Bag', especially, is getting lots of hate, both for daring to be a quirky version of everyone's favourite, the tan monogram bag (the Joke Bag is basically a classic LV with some pink and faded sections and a string of jokes printed on the side - innovative, I guess) and for the fact that the jokes on the bag are actually - get this - sexist. Yes, this is a women's handbag. They're sexist in a cutesy 1950s way (jokes your harmless old grandpappy would tell, because he doesn't know any better) but still sexist. Here's a couple:

'Every time i meet a girl who can cook like my mother, she looks like my father.'
'My wife went to the beauty shop and got a mud pack. For two days she looked beautiful. Then the mud fell off.'

And they're not especially funny. Can Marc do anything right? For those who haven't seen his candy-coloured new Louis Vuitton line yet, here's a choice selection.

My favourite, I think, and one of the least colourful (usually I'll go for the most, but this line is out of control!). Those pink ovals look like real candies you've stuck to the side because you couldn't finish them.

The infamous 'Joke Bag'. See the classic monogram, fading to make way for the jokes? I don't like the whole design and colour scheme. Faded brown is just 'yech' in my book, unless we're talking about really beautiful, aged leather.

A whole bunch of bags squished together to make one giant superbag! That teeny orange purse sitting askew in the middle really drives the point home.

This one's called the 'Speedy'.
Colourful monogram + leather straps + beads + pendants. Yowza!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Victoria Beckham Goes All Bai Ling (And Kind Of Creepy Looking) For The New Marc Jacobs Ad Campaign

A new photo from Marc Jacobs' ad campaign featuring Victoria Beckham has just been released. And what a shot it is! Bloggers from all over the web are bonding gleefully over the sheer... well, fugliness of this shot. The blotchy skin! The awkward pose! The terrible hair-piece/synthetic fringe (obviously designed with a black-haired, baby-faced Asian girl in mind, not a sinewy white girl with an asymmetrical blondish-brown 'pob')! The visible bra! The weird clear straps holding her dress up, carefully matched to the piece of material around her neck which is apparently supposed to pass for a necklace! The way that industrial-strength spray tan finishes suddenly at her wrists, giving way to lily-white hands! The harsh, unflattering light! Oh. My. God. What were they thinking?

Normally I'd be the first to stand up and say that artistic experimentation in fashion photography should be welcomed and encouraged. Who wants to see another picture of a long-haired nymph shooting us her best pout and flattering three-quarter face view?

But I have to say: nothing about this shot really sits right, does it?

Someone told me recently that they like Marc Jacobs' ads because they're not *about* being perfect. They're about capturing a real, intimate moment. That's a great philosophy, but I think it was a real mistake to try it with Victoria Beckham. Let's face it, she's all ABOUT fakeness. From that tan to that razor-cut hair to the malnourished, exercise-ravaged body to the synthetic minis and the permanent pout... she's turned herself into an almost alien being. Her whole look is geared towards looking great on the red carpet, when she's wearing a tonne of makeup and an expensive dress. Take her out of her natural habitat (a glamorous party or photo shoot) and she just looks kind of odd. Seeing this picture is a bit like seeing her in the kitchen in the morning, reeking of Lancome tanning lotion, with rollers in her hair and an incredibly bright light casting shadows under her eyes. I thought she was cuter before I saw this! And that's a shame, because I hate fakeness.

But if you pick the fake look you have to commit to it :( No poorly-judged, half-assed experiments with 'naturalness' and 'intimacy'! Where was her publicist when she needed him?

Maybe it would work if she was paler. Lay off the fake tan if you know the lighting will show you up. And lose the plastic strap necklace. And match your fringe to your hair!

Ooer. *Shudder*