Designer Prabal Gurung has just previewed the new uniforms he designed for Sephora, and they're a big change from the plain black ensembles you're used to seeing. Now, male "cast members" will have their choice of sleek, black separates with red detailing, and women will be wearing fitted pantsuits with blazers or black trapeze dresses with red accents. The classic palette and sophisticated feel of the new attire is chic, and there's something a little futuristic about the styling, too. All in all, it's a Prabal Guring collection beauty aficionados are sure to see frequently.
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Photo: Mango's Spring 2012 ad campaign starring Kate Moss
>> Pre-Fall 2012 has Prabal Gurung forgoing his signature glitz and instead opting for something else: everyday wearability. His reference point — the rough-and-tumble grittiness of life in India — is apparent not so much in the elegantly crafted separates on offer, but more in the spirit of powerful fluidity that surrounds them. "It can be harsh, really, but it's still beautiful," the designer explained.
In keeping with recent tradition, Gurung's also released a video to accompany the collection. This season's offering: a hypnotic, kaleidoscopic rendering, set to the tune of DJ Pictureplane's song "Body Mod" and featuring models Alana Zimmer, Hanne Gaby, Kate King, and Ming Xie.
This week on Twitter, we caught up with some of our fashionable favorites on the set and out at play. Peter Som shared a behind-the-scenes look at the photo shoot for his Pre-Fall lookbook, while Rachel Roy took in a basketball game with her daughter. Meanwhile, Cat Deeley got silly during the tryouts for So You Think You Can Dance, and Jessica Alba had a very special visitor at her office. Click through to see all of this week's fashionable photos now!
It's been about 10 years since Sephora employees got uniform makeovers, and now they're taking it up a few notches, as Prabal Gurung is creating new uniforms for the beauty retail juggernaut. "My intention was to reflect the style and playfulness of shopping in a Sephora store, but to also make sure they would be functional in such a fast-paced environment," Gurung explained to WWD.
Starting in April (in Sephora's North America locations only), you'll see female beauty advisers decked out in fitted black pantsuits with red detailing or black shift dresses highlighted with red trim. Male employees will don black shirts and pants, along with black sweaters with red accents. "The dress incorporates one of my favorite design elements, offering a flash of vibrant red, while the women's pant suit and the separates for men give a sleeker, more tailored look," Gurung explained. So if you don't already have several reasons to visit a Sephora, soon you'll have a new one: to admire the advisers' haute new ensembles.
Source: Flickr User Mike Saechang
Lady Gaga launched her newest endeavor at Barneys New York last night — a whimsical Gaga Workshop just in time for the holiday season. Filled with trinkets inspired by Lady Gaga's childhood and career, the fifth floor of Barneys has been transformed into eight mini shops, complete with a huge Lady Gaga spider, a wig boudoir, and an out-of-this-world bookstore. Celebrities and designers came out to support the singer, including Blake Lively in a stunning cobalt blue suit from Elie Saab's Spring 2012 Runway. Surprisingly, Lady Gaga opted for a more conservative ensemble for the evening, a custom tweed Chanel gown designed by Karl Lagerfeld, tres chi! On Allison: Topshop top, House of Harlow necklace, JewelMint bracelet.
Blake Lively managed to show some skin in a suit last night at Barneys New York's launch of "Gaga's Workshop." The bright blue Elie Saab look was finished off with lace-embellished shoulders. It was her latest daring look after wearing a revealing Marchesa number Saturday to the Gossip Girl 100-episodes celebration. Blake had the company of her small screen buddy Matthew Settle last night, as well as Neil Patrick Harris, David Burtka, Brad Goreski, and Alexander Wang. We caught a moment with the actress, and Blake Lively shared her holiday must-haves. She told us she's currently buying lots of Chanel and Brunello Cucinelli for the colder weather.
Lady Gaga herself was on hand to celebrate the opening of her holiday collaboration with the iconic department store. Gaga was decked out for the occasion in a white Chanel gown that was customized by Karl Lagerfeld. There are tons of details about Lady Gaga's Barneys workshop — the installation, which takes over the shop's entire fifth floor, included eight shopping stations customized by Gaga and her team. Fans can browse a jewelry nook, a bookstore, and a boudoir that sell over 170 limited-edition Gaga-themed products as well as some of her favorite items from childhood. The store-within-a-store is open now and will be until Jan. 2, 2012.
Sarah Jessica Parker headed Down Under for the premiere of I Don't Know How She Does It in Melbourne, Australia. The trendsetting actress chose a pretty, metallic purple Prabal Gurung dress for the event, which she paired with black accessories. Watch to see why we love this look! On Allison: StyleMint top, Lia Sophia ring.
>> Designers are clocking an increased demand for the high-end side of ready-to-wear — demi-couture, as it's called. Mary Katrantzou's Jewel Tree dress, left, which required four studios putting in more than 150 hours to make, caused one seamstress to cry, and retails at $14,200, sold 18 units this Fall. Matthew Williamson president Joseph Velosa reports: "Pieces over $5,000 now account for six percent of our business. To put that into context, two years ago we sold nothing at that price." And Azzedine Alaia joined the couture schedule in July, showing what he called "semi-couture" — pieces which could be purchased as-is — to much acclaim.
Although these clothes have price tags that run mid-four to five figures, they are sold off the rack through the typical retail channels, rather than involving the time commitment of multiple atelier fittings like a couture piece does. Katrantzou's Jewel Tree dress, for instance, is currently available on Net-a-Porter and can be delivered next day.
Jason Wu, who has a houndstooth tweed overcoat with gold bullion embroidery for $15,000 and started using Paris ateliers like Lesage and Lemarie a few seasons ago, says: "Between all the designer collaborations and everything that's going on, we need to give people a reason to buy. There are some things that just can't be done for cheaper."
And Prabal Gurung, who is selling a hand-painted organza and braided chiffon gown for $15,000, adds: "There's a customer who wants this stuff, but it's like one in each city. You hope to sell a lot, but five total is great."
>> After chatting with Ralph Lauren during the last season of her talk show earlier this year — "It took me 25 years to score an interview with [him]," Oprah Winfrey said of the designer — the two reunited for a sequel interview last night. The black-tie event, which raised more than $7 million for the Ralph Lauren Center For Cancer Care and Prevention in Harlem and Lincoln Center For the Performing Arts, brought a crowd ranging from Anna Wintour to Naomi Watts to the entire Lauren clan.
Pre-interview, Lauren admitted: "I don't know what she's going to ask, but if I can't answer, I'm going to run." Prabal Gurung, in attendance, hoped that she would ask Lauren about his secrets to success: “I just want a few formulas that I can take back to the office.”
Without further ado, Winfrey introduced Lauren, saying “He designed the fabric of America as we really all know it today, but we’re here tonight because Ralph Lauren is more than just a tastemaker — he’s a lifesaver," before asking him about how he's maintained and reinvented his brand over so many years: "You copy — that's why I am still here, Oprah," he quipped, drawing laughter. More seriously, he added: “I never went to fashion school, I never had the training. It came from inside. I know what it’s like to yearn for something and not have the money to buy it." He also admitted: "After doing this all this time, my hands still get sweaty before a show."