Today In Mindless Extravagance:
Introducing The Diorphone


Apparently, the folks at Christian Dior are unbothered by the economic slowdown that has most American companies quaking these days. To prove it, tonight they will be officially unveiling the Diorphone which they designed in-house and will be available next month in Dior Boutiques and select watch and jewelry retailers for a mere €3,500 which would be about $5,100 at current exchange rates - chump change, really, for the Russian/Arab billionaire types it is aimed at.
Or should we say their wives/girlfriends/mistresses/spoiled daughters? Embossed with Dior's signature "cannage" pattern, the phone replaces the usual menu icons on its touchscreen interface with the house's signatures like a tiny Lady Dior handbag, for example. Honestly, this phone looks too girly even for most of the gays, in our humble opinion.
One interesting innovation is a miniature "twin" phone called "My Dior" that can be clipped to an easily accessible spot and used as an extension when the phone rings and is buried at the bottom of your great big Dior bag.
It also doubles as a mirrored compact.
See? Ultra-girly.
We can't help wondering that if tech-savvy Hedi Slimane were still at Dior Homme a more masculine version would also be introduced. The wireless twin extension is actually an interesting innovation, and stems from the fact that the folks at Dior have developed the phone's design themselves rather than turning to one of the major manufacturers like Giorgio Armani (Samsung) or Prada (LG) did.
As in the cases of those other designer models, however, we find it unlikely that any American carriers will support the Diorphone, leading to a situation like Prada's where it is not officially sold in the U.S. (not even in Prada stores) and only available in unlocked versions from independent electronics retailers who may not be all that jazzed about selling a $5,100 phone with no discounts.
Dior CEO Sidney Toledano seems sure that mobile phones should reflect the more luxurious mindsets of their owners, yet we wonder whether even the wealthy will be willing to spend such a sum for a tech item with a short lived obsolescence.
Oh who are we kidding? These are people who think nothing of spending at least an equivalent amount on a dress with an even shorter life span.
Of course, if $5,100 still sounds cheap to you, there will be a diamond studded version for $27,000 (€18,000).
Perhaps they should just be sent directly to Saudi Arabia.
Dior Brings Luxury to the Cell Phone (WWD)

Today In Beauty Queens:
Tiaras Cause Drug Addiction Hazard

MrsnewjerseyThis weeks Dior resort show looked more extravagant and star studded than any show held during our regular Fashion Week last February (with the possible exception of Marc Jacobs). While J.Lo, Charlize Theron, Christina Aguilera and a requisite Gossip Girl were all in attendance, the "celebrity" (and we are using that term charitably in this case) we find most intriguing is Sherryl Pascal, Mrs. New Jersey, American Beauty.
Yes, that's Mrs. New Jersey.....American Beauty. Why she was there, we have no idea, but she attended the show in full sash and tiara. Somebody loves her regalia. That alone is remarkable, but it's this quote from WWD that we find so entertaining:

She accessorized her peach Dior capris with a proud pageant sash and a giant Swarovski crystal tiara. "It gives me a blinding migraine," she said. "But it's nothing a Percocet can't take care of." Medicated or not, Pascal is willing to suffer, or make others suffer, for her fashion obsession. "I turned my son's room into a shoe closet," she admitted. "He sleeps somewhere else."

This s a woman who takes her title seriously, with a pride that makes Suzanne Sugarbaker look like a shrinking violet. We can just imagine her, a few years down the road, in rehab, explaining to her counselors that she never would have developed that debilitating painkiller addiction if it hadn't been for that damn tiara.
Somebody get her a soap opera.
And a martini.
Resort Mas Grande (WWD)

Disturbing Runway Trends: Raf Simons Chunky Feet and Dior's '80s Pants

Rafsimons1We have fallen behind our usual keeping up with Mens Fashion Weeks for next Spring and Summer in Milan and Paris due to tragic technical difficulties, but now that we are once again fully recomputerized, we have slooged through most of them on line. Surprisingly, we haven's seen as many egregious affronts to reality as we generally expect. Even Prada, who an usually be counted upon for some thoroughly hellacious accessory, was relatively subdued. Oh, sure, there are plenty of looks that fairly scream "Please, somebody throw a pie at me!"Rafsimons2 but they were of the predictable sort, like John Galliano's usual dirty faced road warriors in underpants or Etro's dressed-in-the-dark pattern clashes.
We did find some amusement in Raf Simons' colorful boots with  short-shorts look from his hiker-inspired collection. They look like some sort of colorful robot feet from the the early 80's cheerfully clomping their way down a cartoon mountain trail. As for the short-shorts, we don't expect to see them catching on anytime soon, although now that the difference between shorts and long pants has shrunken to only a few inches, it would be nice to see that pendulum swing the other way just a bit.Diorhomme1
Also worth noting were the billowing high waisted trousers at Kris Van Assche's debut at Dior Homme (lower right). It seems the '80s are a well that designers can't keep themselves from going to these days, but it's always a game of picking what to revive and what to leave to history. While he still showed plenty of skinny suits, Van Assche decided to break out with some looks that were crisp and tailored on the top and harem-y on the bottom.
Because that's the look we've all been waiting for.

Dior's Cruise Show: Cruel Shoes & Twisted Ankles for '08

MilanaMaysshoesJohn Galliano brought his Christian Dior Cruise '08 collection to a star studded audience - Charlize, Penélope, Dita, Kylie, etc.- at 7 World Trade Center this week. Once a minor showroom affair, this collection was transformed into a top flight 64-exit runway extravaganza with the best models and an elaborate set, and while the clothes showed Galliano continuing in top commercial form, the most notable thing about it appears to have been the shoes. It's not that they were so pretty, but that they were apparently lethal. Just look at them. Veteran runway walker May Anderson stumbled badly and needed assistance to make her way back up the runway, and model Milana Bogolepova fared less well, falling. Twice.
We aren't cobblers, but it seems to us that decorating the soles of stiletto sandals with spheres is nothing but a recipe for disaster. Why not try walking on a floor full of loose marbles? It's as if nobody noticed that this is not how feet are designed to work. We don't like to accuse designers of hating women, but, really, isn't this some sort of whimsical torture, watching beautiful, leggy girls try to balance themselves upon increasingly ridiculous footwear? Other than as some kind of twisted schadenfreude, How is that appealing?
Dior Cruises (WWD)
Christian Dior Resort 2008 (

Au Revoir Hedi Slimane. Bonjour Kris Van Assche at Dior Homme

Wwd03292007WWD's Thursday headline reports that Hedi Slimane and Dior have finally parted ways after a protracted contract negotiation that dragged on for nearly a year. The dispute reportedly was over ownership of Slimane's soon to be launched signature brand said to finally include a women's collection. The celebrated designer was allegedly reluctant to relinquish commercial control over his own name. Who can blame him? Jil? Helmut? Kris Van Assche, a former Slimane assistant whose signature label has been attracting admirers, was supposed to be on deck to take over Dior Homme last year, and is now reportedly negotiating to step in for real. What's it all mean? Next year we will be anxiously awaiting the debut of the Hedi Slimane Collection, and Dior Homme, the collection Slimane concieved after his unhappy departure from Yves Saint Laurent, will probably continue on in much the same direction.

UPDATE: Cathy Horyn reports on her Times blog that Kris Van Assche signed his contract today. Wouldn't it be amusing if Gucci winds up backing Slimane in a new label? Irony, or just a way to dig at Tom Ford? We shall be watching developments closely.

Galliano Bounces Back: Dior Haute Couture Spring 2007

Dior1_2 Dior2_2 Dior3_1


The Shophound is a little bit tied to the desk this week, so we may not be able to get out and about like we usually do, but since it's Couture Week (or Couture Four Days) in Paris, there is still plenty to entertain us. Since making fun of Haute Couture is like shooting fish in a barrel, it's important to see it from a different point of view, and today's news is John Galliano's return to form at Christian Dior. After a couple of dreary Prêt-à-Porter shows and last season's inscrutable couture parade, the designer has tightened his focus and rediscovered his muse as Madame Butterfly. Crazy proportions? Clownish makeup? Bizarre hairstyles? Sure they're all there, but this time he replaced the freakishness with poetic fantasy, put it on the best models working today, and you can see all the ideas that can be adapted into actual clothes to wear in real life. These are things you want to see up close to admire the estimable workmanship of Dior's atelier, but for now we will settle for the next best thing by viewing the collection here on (bigger pictures than

Fashion News: Galliano Goes Hollywood For Real?

Cdiorcoutaw06mmbIt seems that Megaproducer Harvey Weinstein was so taken with the off-the-charts wacko theatricality of John Galliano's recent Dior Haute Couture show that he has offered to help the designer start a filmaking career. That should be no problem for Galliano, because, really, how much time could it really take to oversee two Haute Couture and four Prêt-à-Porter collections a year for Dior plus four women's and two men's collections for his own label, not to mention shoes and accessories for both houses? He could knock out a feature film on weekends and lunch hours, no problem. Look how well it's turned out for Tom Ford. (Vogue UK)

90750363_c The Shophound may be getting a little weary of all those giant omegas embroidered on every backside in the city, but apparently nobody else is, so ever-growing premium denim brand True Religion is opening it's first East coast store in (where else?) SoHo. The store will be open in mid-November at 130 Prince Street (formerly home to Barry Kieselstein-Cord), and we will be there to report. (WWD)

2006_07_dvf2 If it feels like they've been working on Diane Von Furstenberg's 14th Street palace of wrap dresses forever, it's because they have. Things are looking up. They have been inserting staircases through the roof which means the new store should be ready...someday. (Curbed)

Dior Does Dungeons & Dragons or John Galliano Goes Crazier Than Ever

00010mNow that the Men's collections are over it's time for Haute Couture Week! Or rather what has dwindled down to Haute Couture Three Days! is getting a workout this month, and as usual, no show is more entertaining than John Galliano for Christian Dior. Now we don't have to take the word of a reviewer (although Cathy Horyn always has a worthwhile comment or two,) we can just look at every exit online, and form our own opinions about clothes that will never see the inside of a store, or in this case the back of anyone but a model.

More after the jump

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And The New Hot Shopping Area Is...Wall Street?

2006_06_37wallSoon there will be another reason to go shopping way way downtown besides Century 21. Curbed  and WWD tell us that Tiffany & Co. will be opening its second New York Store in a 1906 Beaux-Arts tower at 37 Wall Street in April 2007. Heaven knows there's heaps and heaps of dough down there, but so far the notable retail scene has consisted mainly of the aforementioned discounter and business wear stores like Brooks Brothers and Hickey-Freeman. Expect a dramatic presentation as Tiffany will restore as much gilded age grandeur as possible, in efforts to outshine its new neighbor, Hermès which will open at 15 Broad Street next year.

Krisvanassche It looks more and more like Hedi Slimane is on his way out at Dior Homme. Belgian designer Kris Van Assche has been tapped to wait in the wings should Slimane bid adieu. An obvious choice, the Belgian Van Assche whose own collection will be four seasons old next month, was assistant to Slimane at both Yves Saint Laurent and Dior, so don't look for a huge change in direction should the scenario actually come to pass. (WWD & Vogue UK)

Mulberry Bleecker Street hasn't been eclipsed just yet. Mulberry, the British luxury leathergoods house is finally establishing a foothold in the US with its first stateside store at 387 Bleecker opening in August. It will be the only store oustide the UK to offer the Bespoke accessories collection, which allows the customer to chose what color and type of leather they want. Perfect for us because we like things the way we like them!

Fashion News: Is Hedi Slimane Saying Au Revoir To Dior?

Hedi_1Is menswear superstar Hedi Slimane ready to bolt from Dior Homme, the line created especially for him to design? UK & Women's Wear Daily report that contract talks have reached an impasse over money (what else?), creative control and a future Slimane women's collection. Is willowy, doe-eyed Slimane a prima donna, or a canny negotiator? We'll find out soon enough, especially if Dior finds itself with a Tom Ford situation.

18belll_1 Ginia Bellafante's gimlet-eyed essay in Sunday's Times on the portrayal of fashion journalists in "The Devil Wears Prada" is merciless:

"The Devil Wears Prada" is the first film to take a 21st-century view of fashion, moving beyond the myth of its practitioners as visionaries, revealing them instead as the exacting functionaries they are: those who live and dress and think according to the seasonal edicts of global conglomerates.

Ouch! We never read the book, but this movie can't open soon enough if only because the sight of Meryl Streep in full-on power bitch mode is a rare and delightful sight to behold.

00520m Is Ralph Lauren making a deal with JC Penney? WWD reports that in his quest to conquer every possible retail channel, Lauren is mulling the prospect of creating an exclusive label for the store that poisoned Halston's career. Satan is sharpening his ice skates as we speak.

And for something completely different, check out our report on Saturday's Anti-Violence Project rally and march on Towleroad.