Friday Notes: Ralph to Bring Rugby to Paris, Stefani to Bring Scoop to Greece

Rugbyfront_2• Is there anything more authentic than a Ralph Lauren Label named after a sport?
Don't answer that.
Paris retail maverick Colette seems to think not, so to celebrate the Rugby World Cup in France this September, she will feature an exclusive mini-boutique from Rugby,  Lauren's most recent retail concept, to celebrate the sporting event.
The Shophound has never been to Colette ourselves, but we are increasingly bewildered by the industry's fascination with this shop. We have been to Rugby (the store) and it struck us as a bald attempt to compete with Abercrombie & Fitch in typical Lauren fashion by producing his usual preppy basics at a lower price point with only slight variation from his main lines. This, of course, would be to compete with a retail juggernaut which has achieved success by hijacking many of Ralph's own merchandising concepts, including his main photographer, Bruce Weber. A special group of rugby shirts will be produced only for Colette and the Rugby store on University place here. We wonder what Ralph's next sport-named label will be. Curling, perhaps?
Scoopbelvedere Scoop's Stefani Greenfield is also looking abroad for expansion. With branches of Scoop as far away as Miami and Dallas, Greenfield is about to open her first overseas venture on the Greek island of Mykonos in conjunction with the Belvedere Hotel there. If you are going to expand internationally, it's as good a place as any to start, perhaps better. The 300 square foot beach shop will be a precursor to a 1000 square foot boutique she is planning for next year, but given her track record, we expect the Greek islanders to be running around in Brazilian flip-flops by this time next week.Karenmulderdior
• And finally, though the week got broken up here by the July 4th holiday, in Paris it was all about Haute Couture,  which though routinely pronounced dead is apparently going gangbusters, propelled by the current luxury boom creating double digit increases in all the houses that are left. There's talk that some which have recently abandoned the expensive division (Balmain, Ungaro, Nina Ricci) are thinking about getting back into the game  All those things that everyday folks think are too absurdly expensive to sell are checking like mad, and that includes six-figure haute couture gowns. After all, women need something to wear with their million dollar jewels while riding in their Maybachs.
This season is full of anniversaries including Lacroix's 20th and Valentino's 45th which he will celebrate by returning his show to Rome this weekend. The biggest of all, however was Christian Dior's 60th, marked by a bash at Versailles and a runway reunion extravaganza of supermodels like Naomi, Linda, Shalom, Amber and even our '90s fave Karen Mulder. As much as we would like to report on some real crackpot runway disasters, the tribute to artists through the ages looked mostly beautiful in Galliano's typically theatrical way.

Galliano Bounces Back: Dior Haute Couture Spring 2007

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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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