>> Roberto Cavalli is the latest designer to pick up photography, but Alber Elbaz got involved with magazines in a different way. Elbaz conceived the December 2009 cover of Vogue Brazil, featuring Madisyn Ritland and photographed by Stephane Gallois, as well as an editorial inside, "The Fabulous World of Alber Elbaz" with Ritland and Elsa Sylvan. He even makes an appearance in the last shot, peeking out under a floral hat.
>> Some thought that Vogue Paris's August 2009 cover with Daria Werbowy all decked out in Burberry check looked too blatantly like an advertisement, but in the context of Inez van Lamweerde and Vinoodh Matadin's 65-page accompanying editorial inside — with a plethora of models, each embodying a different brand's identity — it all makes sense.
It's a few of the magazine's usual suspects — Anja Rubik doing Gucci's "glam star" in fauxhawk, Kamila Filipcikova striking an eyepopping McQueen silhouette — plus a few new faces like Regina Feoktistova and Ranya Mordanova in Gianfranco Ferre and Junya Watanabe, respectively. The trifecta of stylists that produced these images — Joe McKenna, Emmanuelle Alt, Carine Roitfeld — prove that there is creativity to be found within the bounds of a studio shoot, after all.
>> ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL —Spring 2009 campaigns are all about going with the straightforward, traditional house image, and David Sims's interpretation of Balenciaga in all its robo-avant garde glory is no exception. Although there are ten campaign faces, Elsa Sylvan's shot is first out of the gates — fellow campaign model Diana Farkhullina confirmed back in November that each girl has her own ad. [TFS]
UPDATE: Hanne-Gaby Odiele's (below) and Iris Strubegger's Balenciaga ad just showed up. [Women Paris]
>> For Fall 2008, three of the big campaigns that every model wants to catch — Prada, Balenciaga, and Miu Miu — all went with one big name — Linda Evangelista, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Vanessa Paradis, respectively.
Come Spring 2009, all three labels have decided to switch things up by using a large number of new faces — Prada is using eight models (Anna Jagodzinska, Giedre Dukauskaite, Katrin Thormann, Nimue Smit, Sigrid Agren, Toni Garrn, Viktoriya Sasonkina, Ymre Stiekema); Miu Miu is using eight models as "accessories" to campaign star Katie Holmes (Darya Kurovska, Elena Lomkova, Imogen Morris-Clarke, Katie Fogarty, Myf Shepherd, Sophie Srej, Tilda Lindstam, Yulia Leontieva); and Balenciaga is going with ten models (Amanda Laine, Anabela Belikova, Anna Jagodzinska, Anya Kazakova, Diana Farkhullina, Elsa Sylvan, Hanne-Gaby Odiele, Iris Strubegger, Katie Fogarty, Kinga Rajzak).
Surprisingly, there are only two girls overlapping between the campaigns: Anna Jagodzinska in Balenciaga and Prada and Katie Fogarty in Miu Miu and Balenciaga, and especially in Miu Miu's cast, some girls — Tilda Lindstam, Yulia Leontieva — are very new faces. Although some are skeptical, especially in the case of Miu Miu, that all the models cast will make it into the final shots, it's notable that all three labels, which usually go with one face, have all decided that power comes in numbers this season. Get to know the chosen faces in the gallery below.
*image: source, source, source
>> Amongst significantly less hubbub — no Net-a-Porter selling his clothes right off the runway this time — Roland Mouret debuted his second collection yesterday under his new RM by Roland Mouret moniker. The new set of dresses are definitely cut from the Mouret cloth — sheaths tailored with precision, oragami shapes — but for a man who's been using the same silhouettes since 2005, it's time to grow the aesthetic, not stand still in time.
>> Alessandra Facchinetti's first couture collection at Valentino represents a nerve-racking, generational hand-off, but Giorgio Armani was there in the front row to lend support and represent the old guard.
The collection had the palpable feel of a different designer, as it should — more structure and pared-down tailoring, with most of the detail left to the back of the garments, and more subdued colors than the pastels Valentino had been playing with. However, Alessandra did stay true to the three most guiding parts of the Valentino aesthetic: femininity, ruffles, and of course, Valentino red. In fact, that same Valentino red painted the final look of the collection — a stunning chiffon number.
>> Usually Christian Lacroix's designs are a little too overwrought to speak to me, but something about this set sits just right.
Maybe the scarlet backdrop is to blame, setting off all the intricate detailing with its vivid hue: the peekaboo lace sleeves, the bell-shaped cocktail dresses, the gossamer tufts; or maybe I've just gone buggy for Lacroix's insect-inspired fantasy world. If so, I'm not the only one: the attendees showered the designer with carnations at the end of the show.
>> Seeing a Chanel couture collection is a thrill, but the clothes are always rivaled by what new, huge installation Karl Lagerfeld has plopped in the center of le Grand Palais for the models to stream out of. In recent seasons, there's been a giant tweed jacket and a larger-than-life carousel; This time around, it was a gigantic set of organ pipes.
The show started with a fugue of ominous organ music, and together with the central pipe installation and the tube-like detailing on many of the intricate dresses, reflected the inspiration which had come to Karl during a concert.