>> THE ZEITGEIST —The It Brit invasion continues, and though all the naysayers were poised to boo Eliza Cumming's April 2009 Vogue Italia cover, the visual treatment has turned them into a crowd of believers — perhaps just this once. While Eliza is climbing the fashion ranks, two other It Brits are about to hit the mainstream by way of MTV. Daisy Lowe just signed to do a fly-on-the-wall documentary series of her life, and Alexa Chung is moving to New York, hinting that she'll be continuing her TV career stateside, with rumors placing her in the hands of MTV. Sounds like the network looking for their next Lauren Conrad in the British sector, now that she's said she's moving on. [Models.com, Daily Mail, Grazia]
>> INSIDER WIRE —Steven Meisel's obsession with the Brit it-girls continues. It all started when he photographed Pixie Geldof and Daisy Lowe for Pringle Spring 2009. He was so enamored, he placed Pixie on the cover of Vogue Italia February 2009 with Daisy and Eliza Cummings inside; then came a portfolio for W March 2009 with Daisy, Eliza, Portia Freeman, and Peaches Geldof. Now, it's rumored that he's shot Eliza Cummings again — this time, for the Vogue Italia April 2009 cover. She has been having a runway moment, walking Rodarte, Marc Jacobs, Luella, and Missoni . . . [Fashionista]
>> BLOWING THE COVER —Folly or flattery? It seems the new thing for Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott to do for major March or September covers is to remake another magazine's old cover — in September 2008, they redid Patrick Demarchelier's iconic Harper's Bazaar cover with Nadja Auermann for W using Kate Hudson, and now, for Vogue Paris's March 2009 cover, they've reinterpreted Iris Strubegger from Steven Meisel's 1992 Vogue Italia cover with Kirsten McMenamy. And for those of you who were wondering about the Teen Vogue Paris rumor — Carine Roitfeld says it's just that — a rumor. [Models.com, The Cut]
>> Even after the groundbreaking all-black July 2008 Vogue Italia and the newly inaugurated President Obama, models of color are still having trouble taking the runway in Milan. After three days of menswear, only Giorgio Armani and Donatella Versace cast black models; Jil Sander, Gucci, Missoni, Burberry, Trussardi, Bottega Veneta, Gianfranco Ferre, Roberto Cavalli, and Prada did not.
Frida Giannini, who has cast exactly one black female model since since she took the reins at Gucci in 2005 — Chanel Iman — blamed modeling agencies: "I think it would be great if there was an industry initiative on this issue, because I am always looking for black models, or even Chinese or whatever, for the shows. I’m after a specific kind of look, and I request the agencies — I asked last season — to send me someone interesting. But they never send me anyone very new."
Finger-pointing seems to be the go-to excuse with this issue, but the owner of New York agency Red says he flew out three promising black models, who ended up with "amazing options, options I’d never seen before on black guys" for Prada or Jil Sander. Unfortunately, they all fell through before the shows.
Even Franca Sozzani, editor of Vogue Italia, who had such a hand in pinpointing the issue, seems ready to push it aside, blaming the lack of diversity on the fact that designers might see it is "too obvious" to cast black models the week of Obama's inauguration. “It has nothing to do with a racist attitude."
>> INSIDER WIRE —032c, a Berlin-based art and culture magazine, scored a rare interview for its new "Post-America issue" with Steven Meisel — and Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell both weigh in. The man has photographed two decades worth of Vogue Italia covers — speaking of which, he has a new favorite subject — Katrin Thormann, who he's put on the cover in both November and December Vogue Italia. [The Moment]
>> BLOWING THE COVER —Two blondes — Katrin Thormann and Toni Garrn — scored the Persona-inspired November 2008 Vogue Italia cover, and it sounds like Steven Meisel is on a blonde kick again for future issues: "five or six . . . blonde (and blonde-ish) girls — those fresh new faces that overlap with that certain coveted blue chip campaign — have all been flitting in out of LA for VI." The new Prada girls, anyone? [TI]
>> IN THE LOOKING GLASS —The too-racy-for-Vogue Italia Steven Meisel spread that got picked up by V Magazine? It has Anna Selezneva, Daul Kim, Iris Strubegger, and Naty Chabanenko participating in a little crotch-grabbing, a little voyeurism — it's definitely NSFW and is generally more tame than expected, based on the preview — see for yourself. [The Cut]
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This morning marks the launch of Holiday Sugar, a special site designed to give you gift guides and holiday advice for every person and holiday occasion under the sun. Even your pet needs some holiday love!
>> It's not often that Vogue Italia will shy away from a boundary-pushing Steven Meisel editorial — together, they've covered race, terrorism, plastic surgery, drug abuse — but apparently it stops when it comes to sex.
Earlier this year, Meisel shot a sexually-charged series of photos based on the UK trend of "dogging," in which couples engage in explicit activities in parked cars, parks, or other public places. The project was supposedly set to be Vogue Italia's September 2008 cover story, complete with three-page foldout cover, but was pulled because it was "too much, too sexy, too over the top" according to a commenter on The Imagist.
Rumors swirled that the editorial was sentenced to limbo forever, and there was talk of W Magazine picking it up, but curious minds will be happy to know that it has landed in the new issue of V Magazine — 28 pages of model-filled images that mark Meisel's first — albeit inadvertent — shoot for the magazine. As for the featured models, Daul Kim, Iris Strubegger, Anna Maria Jagodzinska, and Anna Selezneva are all said to be included, with at least one more unnamed girl involved.
>> THE MODELIZER —Perennial redhead Olga Sherer just debuted a new hair color — burnished brunette — a change which was said to be encouraged after a brainstorm with Steven Meisel. Speaking of Meisel, he's just put a limited-edition Meghan Collison puzzle on the market for preorder: $750 will get you 1,000 pieces of that beguiling patterned Vogue Italia edit, with a box signed by Meisel himself. [Of the Minute, Fashionista]