It was probably only a matter of time, but Brazilian Supermodel, NFL Wife, occasional Actress and general Media Sensation Gisele Bündchen is now a singer having recorded a cover of the Blondie classic "Heart of Glass" with French DJ and Producer Bob Sinclar. She doesn't embarrass herself, but there's no chance she is going to make you forget Debbie Harry either. Whether this is a new career direction remains to be seen, because it looks like Bündchen and Sinclar recorded the single as a part of the summer campaign for H&M that features the model in her native garb, a bathing suit —or a few bathing suits to be precise. You can see Bob Sinclar make a special appearance at H&M in Times Square this Friday, May 2nd from 6 PM to 8 PM to lauinch the campaign. Customers will get 20% off the new collection and the chance to hear a set from an exceptionally fine International Superstar DJ if only for a couple of hours. Will Gisele be there? Not that we have heard, but stranger things have been known to happen, and it wouldn't be a bad idea if she is serious about this singing thing. In any event, all revenue from the single (available exclusively on iTunes) to UNICEF's ongoing education initiatives. Judge Gisele's newfound talents for yourself in the video after the jump
Emmett walked the Nautica Black Sail runway three times this afternoon, but clearly the most memorable pass was this one. It brings a couple of questions to mind, the first being: Will Nautica's relatively conservative customers really go for a black leather bathing suit? The second, of course, is: Who's looking at the bathing suit?
One of the things that makes Nautica an ever-popular show during Fashion Week has always been its stellar model casting, even for Fall collections that require shirts in every look. While so many man's runway shows lately have been turned over to callow young casts who look like they are counting the minutes until they can get back on their skateboards, Nautica has always cast models who reflect their customers —or at least a highly idealized version of their customers. Take Emmett here. He looks like he knows his way around a gym, or perhaps some other fitness enhancing athletic apparatus. He can really sell that bathing suit (which is actually rubberized cotton), and he looks like he knows it. While not every model in the cast necessarily had as prodigiously developed a torso as Emmett has, they all looked like grown men who could order a drink without being carded, which is refreshing these days. As usual, the Nautica lineup included seasoned modeling veterans like Clint Mauro, Ollie Edwards and Garrett Neff, kind of like the way women's designers in the '90s used to pack the runway with supermodels. Though in seasons past, Nautica has staged static presentations, it looks like they have permanently switched to the runway, which must be a relief to the models who previously have shown the Spring collections by standing (and usually sweating) for an hour in the hot September sun on the roof of the nearby Empire Hotel.
Were there any clothes in the show?
Well, of course there were. Whole outfits in fact. This was Nautica's Black Sail collection, which is a bit more exclusive and adventurous in design than the regular line you might find in department stores. You might not find that leather-esque pair of board shorts at every Macy's, but there were also all kinds of great knits and outerwear in a subtle, washed out color palette that will eventually filter down to the brand's main assortments. Check out our gallery below to see the some of the rest of the guys.
A few years ago, there was a great deal of concern over the lack of racial diversity on the Fashion Week runways of New York and the rest of the world, and The Shophound took it upon ourselves to tabulate how well the shows we saw represented models of color. In the ensuing seasons, the situation appeared to improve, and we stopped counting faces in part because we found ourselves paying more attention to the models than the clothes. The folks at Jezebel, however have been vigilantly tracing such data, and this week they reported that though things may have improved in the past, last week's shows showed something of a backslide in diversity with white models taking up a whopping 82.7% of the runway appearances in New York's fashion shows (see one of their many charts at left). Though some designers offered more diversity than others, most shows featured only a relative few appearances by models of color. In fact, there were 13 shows which featured no non-white models at all.
It should be noted that Jezebel compiled their data from the top 151 women's runway shows covered by Style.com, and did not include many other less prominent designers collections or men's shows like Nautica which, in particular, has always featured a diverse lineup. Another factor to consider is that many of the industry's top models have been skipping New York's show season altogether in recent years, including recognizable faces of color. Joan Smalls, on of the industry's biggest names skipped New York entirely, but made her way to Europe for Tom Ford, Gucci and Fendi, so far. Despite Jourdan Dunn's welcome return to New York's runways after several seasons, many popular models of recent years who added to diversity like Arlenis Sosa, Lakshmi Menon and Chanel Iman have made their presences scarce in New York. This may be partly a result of the widely held belief that fewer and fewer designers in New York are now paying their models in actual cash, offering clothes instead, or in some cases, just the valuable exposure of appearing on a prestigious runway. That is a subject for a different though not unrelated discussion, though it hardly makes it worthwhile for many of the top faces to even bother with New York Fashion Week at all.
As we wrote this post, we took a few minutes to watch Prada's fall collection livestreamed from Milan. Among a cast of recognizable veteran stars including Adriana Lima and Jessica Stam, who pick and choose their runway appearances, we saw no dark skinned faces at all*, which is, unfortunately, not unusual for the brand. We did see a few Asian models, however. According to Jezebel's data, designers are more likely to hire models of Asian ethnicity than darker skinned ones, and it's not to difficult connect the dots to the importance of the vast and fast growing Chinese market. It's too bad that a sophisticated and influential brand like Prada, and they are not alone in this apparent practice, appears to be using such a simpleminded approach to diversity in their casting —to the extent that they are using any approach at all.
Click over to Jezebel for their full report and meticulously calculated statistics. It is both illuminating and disappointing.
*After checking the runway looks we realized that Prada did cast Cora Emmanuel, a black model, whom we didn't immediately recognize in the live streamed show. So that's one out of 48.
Fashion Week’s Models Are Getting Whiter By Jenna Sauers (Jezebel)
The Shophound knew that Marimekko's runway show yesterday afternoon would be a little extra special when we got the invitation in the mail, packaged in its own little Marimekko print pouch. So far as we know, the famous Finnish textile and print company has never held a fashion show in New York, so this would be a special event of a sort to begin with. In many ways, the show was exactly what we expected —in a good way, with happy smiling models in easy sportswear made from the company's inimitable printed fabrics, but the we heard an extra cheer from the photographer's riser, and we realized that 81 year-old supermodel Carmen Dell'Orefice was on the runway. Applause rippled through the audience, and as happy as people were to see her, she looked even more thrilled to be seen, adding a few extra flourishes and and a bit of playful mugging to her first turn on the catwalk. A few more exits later, there were more cheers, this time for the original Halstonette, Pat Cleveland and her inimitable runway sashay, and then, after a couple more looks, '80s icon Carol Alt took her turn in the spotlight for more applause. Each model soaked up the attention and beamed it back to their audience, acknowledging that their little moments on the runway were indeed all about them, and a recognition of their resilience over the decades. By her second look, Carmen practically danced her way down the runway, but then she was having a pretty special day herself having already been profiled on the "Today" show only a few hours earlier. In almost any other show, such a departure from the current zombie-like runway style would be seen as atrocious form. Any kind of preening or recognition of the audience in anyway, would be seen as an unprofessional distraction, but not at Marimekko, where even the non-superstar models were directed to be cheery and upbeat. It's perfectly on-brand for the company whose signature prints couldn't be brighter or more optimistic, and of course the appearance of the three veteran models underscored its timeless, ageless appeal. Marimekko managed to inject a welcome lack of pretension into New York Fashion Week, an event that always threatens to crumble under its own self importance. In another departure from current fashion show protocol, the show's PR staffers made sure that every attendee left with the same multicolor, geometric printed tote bag that seated guests found under their benches, and offered them with a smile and thanks. Call it Scandinavian egalitarianism, if you want, but it's the kind of common courtesy that has become all too rare during New York Fashion Week, when even seated guests sometimes don't receive a simple run of show. Let's hope Marimekko makes a habit of showing its collection in New York. Everyone else could learn a little from their example in so may ways.
The Nautica presentation yesterday at Lincoln Center was, surprisingly, what we would call a cluster#@¢¥, (or, as Cee Lo Green would say on SNL, a clusterFORGET). Maybe it's just because the line is popular. Maybe everyone knows that it always has a platoon of the best male models (including their usual all-star team of Brad Kroenig, Clint Mauro, Garrett Neff, Chad White etc.) or maybe everyone heard that last season they served a lavish lunch spread. For whatever reason, it was a madhouse, and tough to photograph even for seasoned pros. Thankfully, the fine folks at Nautica made 93 hi-res images available including an abundance of backstage shots documenting the entire process of pulling the show together. And what do they feed the models for lunch while they are getting primped and styled for the show?
And just to show us how little all those calories affect them, there were a number of shots of the guys getting dressed, and undressed, with their abs still washboardlike. We'd have to hate them if they weren't all so damn beautiful.
Sadly, there was no lunch spread for us this season, which is probably a good thing since the crowd was already pretty pushy. We did, however, leave with a lovely hand rolled cotton pocket square which will look jaunty with a navy blazer when Spring comes (if Spring ever comes).
After the jump, a selection of shots by The Shophound and from Nautica
For years, an Estée Lauder contract was one of the modeling industry's biggest prizes, given to a single model who would typically represent all the company's by herself. In the past decade, however, the brand has multiplied the roster, and announced this week that Puerto Rican born Joan Smalls (pictured left in an official image) will join the brands lineup. This is significant not only because the Lauder contract remains a plum achievement and Smalls is a beauty whose career ignited in 2010, but also because the company has been without a model of color since Liya Kebede's contract expired a few years ago.
Smalls, as well as newcomers to the brand Liu Wen from China and Constance Jablonski from France, joins longtime spokesmodels Carolyn Murphy, Elizabeth Hurley and main face Hilary Rhoda at Lauder. Her addition finally allows the team of models to represent a fuller spectrum of beauty than it ever has —something that the company, which has grown to be an enormous force in the beauty business, has been slow to do in its flagship brand.
Well, better late than never.
It's already Tuesday and we haven't written anything about UNIQLO this week, so if you are waiting until May for the chain's Costello Tagliapietra collaboration, model Agyness Deyn and her sister Emily have something to tide you over until then. When UNIQLO approached the famous catwalker for a project, she turned to her sister who has started her own fashion company. The two took Polaroid photos of their favorite New York activities which will decorate a line of T-shirts and tanks for the chain's UT line. The result of their efforts will be available at the store this Friday April 30th.
We have no word whether or not the popular model will be making any appearances to promote the collaboration, but if you stop by the store this Friday, look for the tall, striking bald chick. Aggy has relinquished the bowl cut seen at the right and was recently photographed with her famous locks completely shorn.
Aggy Approved Tanks and Tees (Modelinia)
Collaboration Anticipation: Costello Tagliapietra Hits UNIQLO in May
ATTENTION ALL MOTHER-DAUGHTER MODELING TEAMS:
Comptoir des Cotonniers Looking For New Faces This Weekend
For all of you who are too old or too young (or too sane) to audition for Tyra Banks' America's Next Top Model, this Sunday, March 28th, Comptoir des Cotonniers will host its seasonal Mother-Daughter modeling competition in its SoHo boutique for the upcoming Fall 2010 campaign. The French chain (owned by Fast Retailing, parent company of UNIQLO) has long made mothers and daughters a theme in their advertising campaigns. The lucky winners will represent the brand for the season and be whisked to Paris to walk in the Fall Fashion Show on May 31st. Then they will be flown to whatever exotic location has been chosen to shoot the Fall advertising campaign. Flights, hotels and all expenses are included as well as clothing vouchers to use while shopping in Comptoir des Cotonniers stores.
So practice your signature walks. By next week, you could be a supermodel.
Comptoir des Cotonniers Mother Daughter Model Casting, March 28, 2010 from 2 to 6 PM, 155 Spring Street between Wooster Street & West Broadway, SoHo
Was it just yesterday that we mentioned that the Men's Fall 2010 collections in Milan were looking dull and gray? Well, they are, but there are a few exceptions. It's been a few years since we got over our obsession with all things Dsquared2, but we have still found their runway photos consistently entertaining. Usually, they can be counted on for stellar model casting and styling —creating an always diverting parade of mostly fresh faced, occasionally trashy and often scantily clad hunks.
But not this season.
This time around, they have chosen to style their models to look as if someone took a 2X4 and smacked the shit out of them before they hit the runway.
It's different, no?
Bruised and blood-spattered, that's the look for next Fall, with models sporting all manner of black eyes, bloody noses and various other lacerations. And at the end, the designing Caten twins sported matching surgical gowns featuring little pink triangles and sprayed with blood, like a pair of cheery, little, gay, vivisectionists (Oh, and that's not a lady between them in the picture. It's Tokio Hotel lead singer Bill Kaulitz.). Perhaps they are making some kind of sophisticated intellectual statement, but let's face it, it's Dsquared2, and they have never exactly been seen as deep.
There are just so many different kinds of wrong going on here that we can't even begin to list them, as if the studded leather hockey jersey isn't enough to be upset about.
Definitely not dull and gray though.
It's probably good that they didn't invite Rihanna this year.
Dsquared2 and other Men's Fall 2010 collections can be viewed a GQ.com in new, crisp full-screen mode
New York has something of an embarrassment of riches when it comes to fashion museums with a continuing roster exhibits not only from The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, but also The Museum at FIT as well as occasional shows from the likes of the Museum of the City of New York and others. We are currently graced with two major shows including the Met's "The Model As Muse" extravaganza and FIT's "Isabel Toledo: Fashion from the Inside Out". The two shows are so different that it is almost pointless to compare them, except that one succeeds admirably, and the other sadly disappoints.
Isabel Toledo's profile has risen dramatically since Michelle Obama chose the designer's now famous lemongrass wool lace ensemble to wear at her husband's inauguration in January. Curators Valerie Steele and Patricia Mears get that famous outfit out of the way quickly, showcasing it alone in the exhibit's anteroom. Famous as it is, it is not Toledo's most interesting work, although photos showing its creation reveal that the original design was slightly more elaborate.
The show really starts in the museum's cavernous main room. While she has been well known to the public for only a few months, the designer has been admired by fashion insiders since her first show in 1985, and this presentation focuses on her rigorous design philosophy and innovative techniques, not unlike FIT's previous shows on Madame Grès and Ralph Rucci.
Most examples are accompanied by abstract flat sketches of the garments' patterns, illuminating Toledo's ingenious cutting methods. For all the focus on the technical details of dressmaking, the show could run the risk of becoming a dry academic exercise if it weren't for the gorgeous clothes. Toledo's style runs the gamut from puritanical to erotic (sometimes within the same outfit), and her wit and humor comes through in the mysterious alchemy that great designers work with their creations.
Her inventive hand with materials and sculpting garments puts her on a par with Rucci and Azzedine Alaïa, another Obama favorite. The show almost skips over Toledo's brief but promising tenure as the designer for a revived but aborted Anne Klein Collection (the accompanying catalogue goes into greater detail) except for a painstakingly tailored coat in pink wool and a series of silk pongee "Broomstick Librarian" dresses handpainted by the designer's husband and collaborator, Reuben. He also provides a 500 foot paper frieze filled with his inimitable drawings and paintings of his wife's work circling above the exhibition spaces.
It's their collaboration that is at the heart of the show –another strong and thoughtful showing from the team at FIT
And now uptown to the Met.
More about the Costume Institute after the jump as well as videos about both shows from The Met and New York Magazine.