>> Not only did Stella McCartney introduce her Fall 2011 ad campaign — shot by photographers of the season Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott in the topiary garden of a private Oxfordshire, England home, featuring Natalia Vodianova — today, she also rolled out a new iPad app edition and e-commerce for 28 more European countries, including France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
New features to the iPad app include backstage footage from her Fall 2011 show in Paris and a “making of” video of the dresses McCartney designed for the most recent Costume Institute Gala, while the enhanced e-commerce site now boasts a “reserve in store” option that allows customers order online and pick the order up in the store of their choice, and the ability to book private in-store shopping appointments online.
The theme of this year's Love Ball was White Fairy Tale, setting the tone for an ethereal, incredibly beautiful evening on the grounds of Valentino Garavani's 17th century Chateau de Widewille. While they were there to raise money for Natalia Vodianova's Naked Heart Foundation, which builds playgrounds for impoverished neighborhoods in Russia, fashion played a huge role. Most of the attendees, including Anne Hathaway and Olivia Palermo, chose white and silver dresses in keeping with the dress code, but there were some bold exceptions. Natalia wore a striking Valentino red gown and veil, while Daphne Guinness made a statement in a rainbow hued gown. Click the slideshow to see the gorgeous looks from the Love Ball.
>> To close out the Fall 2011 couture season, Natalia Vodianova invited a who's who of fashion to her White Fairy Tale Love Ball last night, hosted at Valentino Garavani's Chateau de Wideville estate on the outskirts of Paris. Her goal? To raise money for her Naked Heart Foundation, which has already built 60 playgrounds in 44 Russian cities.
She succeeded in pulling in 2.3 million euros ($3.3 million) from the night, which included a fashion show featuring 45 custom dresses created by Olivier Theyskens, Alexander Wang, Stella McCartney, and every designer in between. Although the night's dress code called for white or silver gowns, Vodianova, for her part, wore a scarlet Little Red Riding Hood-inspired confection by Garavani himself — the first dress he has made since retiring in 2008. “I always wear red to my events,” Vodianova explained.
A video from the festivities, below.
>> In tune with the roaring panther prints of Givenchy's Fall 2011 collection, the accompanying ad campaign sees Naomi Campbell, Natalia Vodianova, Kristen McMenamy, and house favorite Mariacarla Boscono each roaring for the lens of Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. Get a look behind-the-scenes at the shoot, for which Riccardo Tisci imagined the four new Givenchy faces as “dark 1950s pinups,” captured individually atop a printed cushion in a corner. [Style File, WWD]
>> Although it has been rumored for some time — and denied by her rep as recently as March — Natalia Vodianova has confirmed that she and husband Justin Portman, whom she married in 2001 (and with whom she has three children), are separated: "It's really sad. It has been a while. We didn't want to talk about it. We still don't. Our children are very much aware of it. It's OK. We're still in a very sensitive position right now, and trying to do things as amicably as possible, so I wouldn't want to talk about it at all. I don't think I ever will want to, because it's strictly between my husband and me."
When asked if she was currently seeing someone else, Vodianova replied: "This is not really something to discuss at the moment. It's sensitive." However, when prodded about whether she was in love, the model said: "Mmm-hmm. Yes, definitely." She would not, however, divulge an identity. Vodianova has recently been snapped with and linked to British financier Sasha Pesko, who used to date Eugenia Silva.
>> To celebrate its official launch, London agency Viva Model Management has released a series of its talent — including Natalia Vodianova, Raquel Zimmermann, and Maryna Linchuk — captured without any makeup or hair styling, and sans any kind of retouching. Scott Trindle shot the collection of black and white images over the past year in his Dalston flat, when each model was visiting London.
"[Trindle's] images stood out because it was just so interesting and rare for us to see the girls like that; he shot them with no additional hair, make-up or styling," Viva's director Natalie Hand explained. "They were shot exactly as they were in person, exactly how they were when they walked through his door. And they looked really beautiful. The blemishes added to their charm. And you could definitely learn something about the model's real character from the pictures."
Lara Stone, Penelope Cruz, Natalia Vodianova and More Pop Up on the 2011 Cannes Film Festival Red Carpet
>> The first couple of days of the Cannes Film Festival brought us appearances by the likes of Karolina Kurkova, Diane Kruger, and Alexa Chung; with the weekend past, Natalia Vodianova and Lara Stone have joined the fun in Calvin Klein, Tilda Swinton brought out a Haider Ackermann look, and more than a couple of Chanel couture looks hit the red carpet. All that and more in the slideshow.
The gorgeous Natalia Vodianova arrived with Valentino Garavani by her side, adorned in the designer's feather-and-sequin embellished couture. The gown plays with volume, proportion, and texture, but if there's anyone who can stand up to the bold style, it's this model beauty. Natalia carries it effortlessly, keeping hair slicked back and adding a sultry smoky eye. What's your take?Vote on all of our Met Gala polls here!
>> Natalia Vodianova walked a couple of shows in Paris last week (Givenchy, Hakaan), sat in a few more front rows (Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Stella McCartney, Christian Dior), and even found the time to run the Paris half marathon for her Naked Heart charity in between. Her three children accompanied her front row to Stella McCartney, but her husband, Justin Portman — to whom Vodianova has been married since 2001 and who usually pops up wherever she is — was nowhere to be seen. The couple has been plagued by rumors of separation recently, and sources tell Page Six they have been spending less time together; Portman was reportedly at their house in Uruguay during the shows. Vodianova's rep, meanwhile, says: "They are still married. She is traveling and very busy with her career." [NY Post]