Fashion

Weekly Words: 19th August 2017

“Ganni – Copenhagen Spring 2018” – Vogue Runway


Ganni is one of the latest scandi-brands to hit the big time. After Acne Studios, Ganni is growing to be the most talked about Scandinavian brand yet instead of conforming to the classic minimalist aesthetic favored by brands from the region, Ganni brings color and fun. I first heard of the brand a few years back when I stumbled across a mesh leopard print dress. It was sheer and flirty. I was instantly struck by the price tag. Ganni is at that sweet contemporary price point like T by Alexander Wang and The Kooples. What makes it even cooler is that the brand is stocked by retailers at all levels, from ASOS to Net-a-Porter. The Spring 2018 collection, shown at Copenhagen Fashion Week, has further solidified the brand as a go-to for cool fashion girls, with sunny yellows and wide leg pants and an abundance of denim.

“Steve Madden’s YSL Knock-Offs”

Will Steve Madden get off with this copy? I first noticed these some time last week and forgot to post about them. They were too direct a copy for me to ignore so here I am mentioning it this week instead. The Saint Laurent glitter boots, covered in rhinestones with an inimitable slouch silhouette were one of the buzziest pieces on the FW17 runways. The boots had a wait list by the time the show was over. Now they are getting an insane amount of editorial coverage with all of the top publications featuring them in their glossy pages. The actual Saint Laurent adverts have an image that is cropped solely on the boots. The brand just knows that they are a top item. It makes sense, then, that Steve Madden would make a copy. They want to get the sales too. Honestly, I hope that people don’t buy the Steve Madden ones because I feel like this look was just so unique and iconic that it would be a shame to buy an imitation. I also wonder if Saint Laurent will sue over these boots? They are just a little too close a copy for comfort in my opinion. Here they are on pre-order at FWRD for $10000. The Steve Madden CRUSHING boots can be found by clicking the subheading link!

The Face Halo

Normally when I watch videos on YouTube of beauty gurus shilling products I realize that it is just that – them talking about products that they have been paid to promote. However, I came across Chloe Morello’s video on a new product that she is involved with, The Face Halo, I was immediately intrigued because the video demonstrated instant results. It was not a gimmick, not a lie, not a con. After thinking about it for a day or two, I ordered a pack myself. For $22 you get a three-pack of double-sided microfiber discs which are used to remove makeup. You simply wet the pads, hold it to your face, and swipe the makeup off. It sounds too good to be true but it genuinely works. For the eye area, you have to hold a little longer to get the product to loosen. No makeup remover involved, no unnecessary products, and zero waste. You simply rinse the pad after use and throw it in the washing machine with your light laundry when it needs a deeper clean. I’m so impressed and am literally telling all of my friends to buy it. It feels less dragging on the skin than makeup wipes do and it will save you money and the planet in the long term. I haven’t used it long enough yet to see a marked difference on my overall skin (if pores are less clogged, if not using oils helps me) but I am feeling very positive about this product thus far. If you don’t believe me, go on YouTube and check out the demonstrations!
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Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: 12th August 2017

“Here’s the Full Lookbook for Kith and Coca-Cola’s Nostalgic New Capsule Collection” – Complex

I’ve spoken about Kith quite a few times now because I really like the store. I think it is really cool and does a tremendous job of drumming up anticipation and creating a great sense of urgency around its products. Most of the time, I will look at something and think about it for a while before purchasing whereas with Kith you know that you have to get it instantly or it will be gone. Throughout the summer they have been releasing new logo tees every week, each of them generating a round-the-block line and selling out online almost instantly. The t-shirt program is surely highly profitable for them and a fun, creative outlet for the designers. However, the new Coca-Cola collaboration is a large feat for the brand, and for women’s Creative Director Emily Oberg who worked on the capsule collection. I really like Emily too. Based on interviews I’ve heard (like last week’s Improper Etiquette podcast), she seems like a genuine person with a good head on her shoulders. Plus, she has a killer Instagram so that helps in the social media age. The Coca-Cola collection itself features styles for both men and women, hoodies to swimwear and everything in between. The pricing is pretty standard for Kith’s limited edition drops too – fairly high but potentially worth it if you’re a fan/eager reseller. By the time you read this (Saturday), it will have launched the previous day and probably have already sold out. I’ll let you know if I end up buying a piece.

“Do Fashion Collaborations Need a Revamp?” – BoF

Continuing on the same theme of collaborations, Business of Fashion posted this interesting article about fast-fashion and designer collaborations like the H&M X [insert brand name] and the similar offerings from Target. The piece argued that the fast-fashion stores like the aforementioned should make the collaborations more like streetwear drops which generate buzz and have high resale values almost instantaneously. People camp outside for drops. People get in fights over drops. This is really what some people live for (and make profitable businesses from). The article came about after the news of the H&M x Erdem collaboration failed to generate the same level of noise that previous collaborations have (like Balmain, Alexander Wang, and Versace have, to name a few). The choice of Erdem did seem curious to me when the news was first announced because I didn’t realize that the designer had enough mainstream success to really warrant a collection. I don’t mean for that to sound negative but generally the brand that collaborates with H&M is one of the biggest brands in that moment in time, so for Erdem, a young London-based brand celebrated by the fashion set for the beautiful and intricate embroidered pieces, to receive the same honor seemed strange. However, H&M’s communications director reiterated that they are excited about the brand and that they have many others on the list for the future. Regardless of who the name on the banner is, the collection will sell well and there will be people waiting for the store to open to get their hands on the goodies. I’ll be interested to see what the pieces in this collection look like and how they can replicate the small details for a smaller price-point.

“The 2018 Met Gala Theme Is Here — & It Might Be Controversial” – Refinery29

Hussein Chalayan (1996)

Fashion and religion. Sounds like a strange combination at first glance but surprisingly there is a lot of crossover. If this Refinery29 article is anything to go by, Andrew Bolton will be dissecting that crossover in great detail and placing all of the overlaps in a neatly curated exhibition at the Met starting next May. If this is the case, I am excited because this also means we could get some really amazing Met Gala looks next year. Fashion and religion don’t sound like they go hand in hand, but many designers force them to. Religion is often about modesty yet fashion can be extremist, baring all and showing off. Many designers use religious iconography in their pieces too. Think of Dolce & Gabbana’s various odes to Catholicism, like dresses with the Virgin Mary embellished on the chest and large crosses. I think this could be a really interesting exhibition to see and I can already think of a few pieces that I can imagine may be included – Nicki Minaj’s Versace pope outfit, Hussein Chalayan’s veils that got more and more naked by the outfit back in the 90s, and lots of Jean Paul Gaultier. There are also various different routes that this could follow as there are so many religions and interpretations of them out there. This could be one of the most thought-provoking Met exhibitions in years and I can tell already that I want the coffee table book when the time comes!

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Fashion, Personal

Lookbook Video – Summer Brights

I decided that in my week before beginning my job and internship I was going to style a little shoot. Originally I had planned to bring in a model but then I thought I should just try it out myself, and I think it turned out pretty nicely. What was intended to be just a small photoshoot turned into a lookbook video. Honestly, I like the outcome. It was fun to shoot. I got a new camera so I have been playing around with it and trying to work out the settings etc. This was a cool, creative project for me. Maybe I’ll do some more!

This was filmed at the beginning of June, so two whole months ago now. As I had mentioned before, I started off this summer thinking that I wanted to do styling and personal styling on myself seemed like a good avenue to go down. I thought about making more videos like this for YouTube and doing various lookbooks but alas decided against it. Since I waited so long to post this, the majority of the pieces are unavailable now, having been heavily discounted in the summer sales. Apologies for the inconvenience of this and if I choose to make a similar video in the future I will definitely be more timely!

LOOK ONE

Zara bralet & pants, not pictured ASOS heels

LOOK TWO

Zara t-shirt, ASOS dress, Old Navy jacket

LOOK THREE

Zara top & pants

LOOK FOUR

Zara top & pants

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Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: 5th August 2017

“The Blogger Divide: Converters or Brand-Builders?” – WWD

Chiara Ferragni active collection is coming and you'll love it ⚡️ @chiaraferragnicollection

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There’s an ever-evolving conversation about influencers and what their influence actually means. How does it translate into sales or awareness for brands and why even work with them (and pay them the exorbitantly high figures that they do)? With the rise of micro-influencers and brands gravitating towards those with a smaller but more engaged following, the place of the true influencers (1m plus followers on a platform) has been wavering. However, this WWD article shows that influencers are now separated into further subcategories, converters or brand-builders. Converters are the ones who actually drive sales and tend to have a smaller but more engaged following. They help the brand make sales and the influencer make money via affiliate links. Brand-builders are the ones like Chiara Ferragni who have huge followings (in Ferragni’s case, she has 10m on Instagram) but don’t necessarily convert these views into sales. However, neither type of influencer is better than the other and brands continue to work with them both. I’d be interested if there was a website out there that would be able to give you a list of all of the influencers and how their conversion actually works out so you’d be able to see who really is the most influential.

“Anthony Vaccarello’s Vision” – Harper’s Bazaar

I enjoyed reading this interview with Anthony Vaccarello, Saint Laurent’s creative director. Saint Laurent has been one of my favorite brands for as long as I can remember even caring about fashion and it is one that I keep up with season after season. Vaccarello had some large shoes to fill, entering the role after Hedi Slimane departed, but I’d say he has done a good job keeping the same level of buzz (or perhaps even growing it, marginally). Remember those slouchy glitter boots which had a waitlist at Saks the day of the runway show? They retail for $10000, FYI. I liked Vaccarello since a couple of years ago, when he was showing in Milan with the sexed-up Versace level of glam designs that put him on the map. I feel like his designs at Saint Laurent are just an extension of these with an added twist thrown in for good measure. This interview goes a little more in depth about Vaccarello’s life and career history. I’m always curious to hear people’s stories, especially those who are in a position that I admire. I’m excited to see the next Saint Laurent collection come the Spring shows!

“Vogue to Host Fall Conference with Star-Studded Designer Lineup” – Fashionista

#vogue100

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Vogue Magazine is hosting a conference in October and no it doesn’t sound like that boring kind that your parents may have gotten sent to when you were a kid. They’ve managed to line up the best of the best in the industry as their speakers and have developed a one-day program at Milk Studios in Manhattan that seems like a genuinely interesting and valuable day to attend. Sounds great, until you see the price tag. A single ticket costs $3000. This is extremely prohibitive. I wonder how many companies will be willing to shell out this much for a ticket for employees and/or how many people will be willing to spend this much cash, personally, on such an event. The cost seems prohibitive. According to the Fashionista article, they will be releasing heavily discounted student tickets but I imagine even these will run for around $500. It’s a shame because when I first read about the event it seemed akin to the Vogue Festival which British Vogue hosted in London a few times. You could purchase tickets to individual talks for (I think) around 50 GBP (I don’t remember the exact price) and you had access to trend talks, styling sessions, and free manicures and hair & make-up. I initially thought this conference may have been a similar thing but evidently, it is not. Vogue is focused on professionals. I think it is sad that the cost is so high because the speakers are really amazing and I think the talks would be super valuable for people to hear, especially those who are trying to break into the industry. I’m waiting to hear what the student price is!

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Fashion, Shows

Fashion Flashback: Alexander McQueen SS07

This is one of the most iconic Alexander McQueen collections due to the finale dress. Made with real flowers that rotted off during the show, the dress was meant to represent the idea that beauty decays and is not forever. This particular piece has been analyzed time and time again by fashion scholars, museum exhibitions (Savage Beauty, for example), and die hard fashion kids on Tumblr. However, the rest of the collection is just as extraordinary. Overwhelmingly pretty and romantic, the collection is a standout from the designer and in my top three favorite shows of his.

I feel like we just don’t see runway shows like this anymore. Clothing is much more commercialized nowadays with things ready to be worn straight off the runway and on Instagram. You can’t imagine people wearing McQueen’s designs for likes, because they weren’t that kind of pieces. People often debate whether fashion is an art form and with McQueen’s designs it is easy to argue that it is. He created beautiful, intricate, museum-worthy pieces that were not made just to be sent to retailers to sell on the shop floor. If you see McQueen in Barneys it won’t look identical to the runway pieces because they make modifications to make the collection more sellable and wearable for the everyday customer. I’m so curious as to what this collection will have looked like in the stores because you know the big gowns will have been changed, but I wonder by how much.

 

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Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: 29th July 2017

Pat McGrath Joins British Vogue as Beauty Editor-at-Large” – Fashionista

Since Edward Enninful’s editorship of British Vogue was announced big changes have been underway at the magazine. Not only has he replaced the Fashion Director, but he has been assembling his own dream team, filled with some of the major players of the industry. Honestly, all of the biggest names you can imagine are signing on to work at the magazine. I believe that it will become the leading fashion magazine, at least in insider opinion, by the end of the year. Pat McGrath, everybody’s favorite makeup artist and glitter giver, is now the beauty editor at large, with big names like Charlotte Tilbury and Guido Palau named as beauty contributors. The Fashionista article linked above also mentions all of his new appointments such as Jane How and Marie-Amélie Sauvé in the fashion department and Adwoa Aboah as a contributing editor. I’m so excited to see Edward’s first issue and how it all turns out.

“Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing Sets Up Shop at the Root of His Pop Culture Obsession” – Fashionista

Can you believe that Balmain didn’t already have a Los Angeles store? I couldn’t, but alas Olivier Rousteing has opened up the brand’s one and only LA based boutique on Melrose Place, one of the city’s most desired addresses just off Melrose Avenue. The store launched with an event attended by Kim Kardashian and it was the first time that I have spotted the Kardashians in Balmain for months now. The brand seems to have fallen out of their favor and, with that action, out of the public’s consciousness. It’s a fickle world we live in. Regardless, the new boutique looks like it will be a beautiful store to shop in. The design is very classy and features a stunning outdoor space (photographed above). I think I’ll make a visit to the store when I’m back in LA at the end of summer.

“Warby Parker Does Streetwear, Collaborates with Virgil Abloh” – Refinery29

Accessible and cool eyewear brand Warby Parker has teamed up with fashion industry darling Virgil Abloh for a collection of three pairs of sunglasses. Aptly named “Small Sunglasses”, “Medium Sunglasses”, and “Large Sunglasses” (quotation marks included), the three styles are unisex and priced at just $95. Although I can imagine that the smallest size will sell out the fastest (everybody loves those mini-styles nowadays), I personally prefer the large as I like my sunglasses oversized. As of the launch date (July 25th), I’m still deciding if I want to purchase a pair. It is a pretty cool collaboration and I can imagine there will be a decent resale value. Plus, they look really good.

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Editorial, Fashion

Vogue Japan – September 2017

This is one of the first September covers released this year and I love it. I have spotted some very mixed reviews about these covers online, yet I have to say that Vogue Japan has done an amazing job in my eyes. Luigi & Iango’s photography style mixed with the hair and make-up and overall styling leads to a Bardot meets Bonnie & Clyde vibe that I love. Yes, the models all look impossibly smooth in the skin and they are totally flawless. However, I like that style and I think these covers are all really great (besides Doutzen’s solo cover). I’m excited to see the entire editorial in print and I hope to get my hands on this issue as soon as possible!

Photography by Luigi & Iango, Styling by Anna Dello Russo

Anna Ewers

Lara Stone & Natasha Poly

Doutzen Kroes

Lara Stone

Vittoria Ceretti & Anna Ewers

Joan Smalls

Natasha Poly

Vittoria Ceretti

@fendi by @luigiandiango @voguejapan @anna_dello_russo @yumilee_mua @pg_dmcasting #love#covergirl#luigiandiango

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Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: 22nd July 2017

“Why Does Every Model Look Like Kylie Jenner Now?” – Racked

GQ @gqmexico @gq_germany @mrmikerosenthal

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Racked made a good point that upon perusing various e-commerce sites and teen-focused retailers, a lot of the models looked like or were styled like Kylie Jenner. This doesn’t come as a surprise to me as this is something that I have noticed when looking on these stores. Conveniently so, some of the brands name-checked in the article are stores that Jenner herself has promoted on her Instagram at one point or another – FashionNova and the infamous badly photoshopped photo of her butt in jeans, PrettyLittleThing and the orange dress that kept selling out after she wore it to one of their parties, House of CB, a brand worn by all of the sisters. Other stores like Missguided often curate an edit around “Kylie Jenner” style pieces, either inspired by what she has already worn or by what they think she would wear. It makes a lot of sense that all of these retailers would do this given that their customer base tends to be interested in all things Kardashian. They are the same age as the Jenners (or a little bit younger), will dutifully copy and buy anything that they are instructed to, and manipulate their own appearance to look like the lipstick mogul. It’s only common sense that the brands would then use models who look like Kylie to sell their products because that way their customers can imagine theirselves looking like that to. It is a fairly easy look to achieve with the right make-up products (and perhaps a trip to the doctor’s office for the most dedicated few). Say what you want about Kylie Jenner (and the rest of her family for that matter), but one thing that is undeniable is their influence on teenage girls and on teenage culture in general.

Elle USA August 2017 cover

This cover screamed vintage Madonna at me as soon as I picked it out of my mailbox. Everything looks very Italian and the hair style and make-up made me think of Madonna circa the 1991 shoots with Steven Meisel. Couple that with the Dolce & Gabbana corseted bustier and it’s a material girl in front of our eyes. Emilia Clarke, best known as the platinum blonde from Game of Thrones, makes sense as a cover star given that the latest series of the show premiered last weekend. The Dolce & Gabbana outfit is also apt as she signed on as the face of their perfume earlier this year, with her debut campaign for the brand set to launch in September. The cover was shot by Alexi Lubomirski and styled by David Vandewal.

Zara FW17 campaign is shot by Steven Meisel, styled by Karl Templer, creative direction by Fabien Baron

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Fashion, Opinion

The KarJen Fashion Empire

I hate to admit it but I’ve fallen into the Kardashian’s trap. It started off innocently, watching their show whilst eating breakfast in the morning if I had nowhere to rush off to and now I’ve found myself invested in their external businesses, purely because of what I’ve seen on the show.

I’ve been vocal in the past about my distaste for the Kardashian/Jenners in the fashion industry and I still stand by that partially. I don’t think Kendall should be booking all of the modelling jobs she is but you also can’t knock her for getting a paycheck and taking advantage of the awesome opportunities that come her way. You can’t knock Kim for sitting front row at fashion shows or wearing vintage Galliano or Vivienne Westwood (as she has been favoring recently). If she gets invited to the shows and has the resources to wear these clothes, of course she would. And finally, I can’t knock Kanye for his Adidas line because that truly is his passion and you can see that clearly.

The things that I refused to give the Kardashians a pass for in the past were their clothing lines. I’m not a huge fan of the celebrity designer trend and the fact that just because they have a well known name they can easily find financial backers and launch a line like its nothing. However, since watching the show and learning a little bit more about the brands coming out of the KarJen klan currently, I’ve become slightly more intrigued.

First off, there is Kendall + Kylie, a contemporary line sold in stores like Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom. They sell clothing, shoes, and accessories. It was a full-on brand from its very first season. On an episode that I just watched (a late repeat), Kendall and Kylie are at their showroom in New York with Nicole Phelps from Vogue Runway. Phelps is there to review the collection. When the pair are taking her around the showroom, they pick up some of their favorite pieces and describe them as cool and simple and can’t say much more than that. They can’t describe their customer besides the fact that she used to be a California girl but is now more than that. Phelps doesn’t seem too impressed. I know that the show is scripted to some extent but I do feel like Kendall and Kylie’s lack of descriptive adjectives to really explain to Phelps what their collection meant and stood for was genuine. They aren’t really involved in the creation of the line besides giving final approval and being the face of the brand and that is evident. Their role aside, the merchandise is actually cute and if you were to see it on the floor in a Nordstrom store you would probably buy it. The only downside to the brand is the price-point. They wanted to differentiate the line from others they have done in the past, like the PacSun collection or the Topshop collaboration. This was meant to be more high-end and the prices reflect that, although I don’t think there is that much of an evolution in the styles shown. In the end, Nicole Phelps wrote a very fair review for Vogue. 

Screenshot of the Kendall + Kylie Instagram account which boasts 4.4m followers

The next KarJen brand that I was interested in is the Kids Supply, Kim and Kanye’s childrenswear capsule collection. Because of the size, I instantly find childrenswear adorable. It helps that North West is the best dressed child in the world (besides the extremely age-inappropriate lace and mesh shirts that they used to dress her in) so I feel like the couple know how to dress kids. The collection featured an embroidered bomber with “Calabasas” motifs (which was reversible too), mini slip dresses, caps with “kids” embroidered across the front, and t-shirts. There was a small product selection but it sold out within the weekend. Some items are on pre-order. I liked this line and I’m honestly not mad at the couple for trying to enter the childrenswear market. The pricing was high but you also cannot criticize someone for that. It’s like when people laugh at Gwyneth Paltrow and her exorbitantly priced gift guides on Goop. It’s not for everybody and that’s ok. It doesn’t mean that it is an invalid market to target just because you don’t fit into their income demographic.

Screenshot of the Kids Supply e-store

Finally, the brand which I was actually the most impressed with and would love to see in person is Khloe’s denim line. Launched in October last year and entitled Good American, the line features jeans, skirts, and jackets in sizes 00 – 24. It is meant to cater to every body shape and fit and flatter all. I think that’s a bold statement to make yet everybody who I’ve seen wearing the jeans looks amazing. Khloe and her partner have done a good job on the fits, with the Good Cuts with the released hem being my personal favorite style. The premium denim market is pretty full, with brands like Paige, Frame, and J Brand being longstanding stars. However, Khloe’s line managed to disrupt the norm and proved to be Nordstrom’s second biggest launch ever. The line itself was the biggest denim launch of all time. It made $1 million on its first day. Pretty impressive for a reality tv star, huh. I think that figure alone just shows the bankability of the KarJen family. It makes sense that they want to capitalize on the fashion industry while they can. Their looks are some of the most influential.

Kylie in Good American

I have softened on the KarJen family. I used to think of them as representing the decline in culture (and I guess that argument still could be made) and everything that was wrong with modern society, but now I can appreciate their hustle. This family is damn good at business and knows how to build brands. It will be interesting to see how long each of their brands continue for. In the past, there has been Kardashian Kollection (a collaboration between Kourtney, Kim and Khloe) which was sold at Sears. This line was unsuccessful. They have the DASH boutiques which are more of a tourist destination than a fashion spot. Then Kendall and Kylie have their previous collections and brands. As with everything, the brands will live as long as they continue to be popular. Judging by social media and sales figures, they’ll be here to stay for a while.

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Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: July 15th 2017

“Does the fashion industry still need Vogue in the age of social media?” – The Guardian

Following Lucinda Chambers’ interview last week which shook the fashion industry to the core, The Guardian have explored some of the issues that were brought up further, namely Vogue’s influence in the fashion industry in the age of social media. Since fashion shows are live-streamed and anyone can share their opinion online, traditional magazines like Vogue no longer dictate styles and trends in the way they used to. In fact, they are now influenced by social media whether that be by the pieces they feature in their editorials (often the buzziest looks from shows) or the models they cast. The magazines that are faring well in the industry are the publications who embrace the rise of social media by featuring influencers on their covers or in their pages. The Guardians’s article, penned by Karen Kay, details this all further.

Vogue Italia July 2017 Covers

Vogue Italia has undergone a rebrand since the new editor in chief took the helm. That includes retro styling and a different typeface on the covers. I personally love the new look. This magazine cover is funny to me because I didn’t even realize that the male model was nude until adding this image to my post. I have seen it so many times and failed to catch that detail as Grace Elizabeth is truly the focus of the shot. The images are shot by Steven Meisel and styled by Benjamin Bruno.

“The End of an Era: Colette to Close Its Doors” – BoF

On its 20 year anniversary, Colette, the famed Parisian multi-brand boutique has decided to shut down. The news came as a surprise given that the store is doing well and having various celebrations for their anniversary. For example, for every month this year they are giving an entire floor of the store to a designer. So far they have already hosted Balenciaga, and in the future will be hosting the likes of Sacai and Thom Browne. They are in talks with Saint Laurent, a brand that they formerly had issues with when Hedi Slimane originally took over the creative direction, to take over the store space. It will be sad to see Colette go as they were famed for their selections and for being one of the best multi-brand stores in the entire world.

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