>> Are Ali Michael and Matthew Gray Gubler Dating? —Ali Michael and former model Matthew Gray Gubler (who stars on CBS's Criminal Minds and appeared in (500) Days of Summer) were snapped last Thursday exiting Urth Cafe in Los Angeles together (pictures at Fashin). That, coupled with the fact that they have been consistently Tweeting back and forth at each other since the end of July — including both talking about attending a mummy exhibit two days after they were photographed together — has caused speculation that they may be dating. Then again, they are both repped by DNA models, so it could also just be purely platonic. [Fashin, @GUBLERNATION, @alimichael]
>> THE MODELIZER —Abbey Lee Kershaw, who was originally only supposed to sit out New York Fashion Week due to a knee injury, is now sidelined for the rest of the season, explaining her absence from Gucci yesterday, where she is a current face of the brand. Apparently she was cleared by a doctor to walk Milan and Paris, but when she arrived in Milan and went to castings for a day, discovered that she wasn't ready to walk in the shoes. Currently, she's back in New York; still no word on fellow MIA models Ali Michael and Caroline Trentini and whether they'll be making an appearance this season. [Frockwriter]
>> INSIDER WIRE —It was recently rumored that Coach paid Ali Michael $50,000 to appear in their Spring 2009 campaign, and now another rumor has hit the airwaves about the brand — a rumor that, if true, could bring even more money back into the Coach coffers. Although neither party would comment, LVMH is said to be eyeing an acquisition of the accessories brand. [WWD, TFS]
>> THE MODELIZER —Those new faces looking to break through shouldn't give up just yet — two catwalk veterans, Abbey Lee Kershaw and Ali Michael, are leaving their usual spots at New York Fashion Week vacant this time around. Abbey Lee, who's appearing on the March 2009 cover of Vogue Australia instead, is sitting Fashion Week out due to knee surgery (no word on whether she'll make it to Europe), and the cause for Ali's absence is unknown — big campaign, maybe? [Fashionista, Fashionista]
>> The 2009 Vogue Paris calendar — which comes as a supplement to the December/January issue — arrived a little early. Fourteen different girls are featured, photographed by Terry Richardson and styled by Carine Roitfeld as pinups in Louis Vuitton lingerie and shoes. Jourdan Dunn is a sexy nurse, Ali Michael a sexy cheerleader, Eniko Mihalik graces the cover as sexy kitten — Carine even included a spread for the solar months, with patrons saints Alber (Elbaz), Gareth (Pugh), Lara (Stone), and their ilk celebrated.
Gallery is NSFW.
>> Phillip Lim created the mascot skirt of Fashion Week earlier this year — not kidding, I've seen it on at least one person every day this week — and if the attendance to his newest collection's presentation is any indication, Spring 2009 will be smooth sailing for 3.1 Phillip Lim — the Tent was packed to the gills with fans, including friends Richard Chai and Irina Lazareanu, both sitting front row.
Christian Louboutin designed ruffled heels for the collection, eliciting covetousness in many — in fact, the whole Spring 2009 season is about ruffles for Phillip. The treatment in some of the dresses and skirts reminded me of a tamed version of Marc Jacobs's Spring 2007 ruffles, but among the hazy smoke that hovered on the runway, the real standouts emerged — the stiff, open-edged zipper pieces, and the jewelry Eddie Borgo made for the occasion.
>> The Tents are loaded with plenty of freebies, but these might be the cutest — to go along with Fashion Week's election theme, someone took a page out of Henry Holland's book and printed model slogan campaign buttons for Coco Rocha, Lily Donaldson, Hilary Rhoda, Ali Michael, Jessica Stam, and Agyness Deyn. Apparently, Agyness has been seen wearing Stam's around, and Stam wearing Coco's . . .
>> BLOWING THE COVER —So who will it be: a shocked Audrey Marnay, or a soft Ali Michael? You can choose one or choose both; Each girl has a cover of the Fall edition of Leith Clark's girly cult magazine, Lula #7, out Sept. 8. [TFS]
>> THE MODELIZER —Regardless of all the ballyhoo that surrounded Ali Michael's abrupt fashion week departure in February, she's coming back for more, and says she'll be doing the New York, Milan, and Paris shows in September: "I just moved to New York this summer, so things are going full force." [Dallas Morning News]
>> ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL —Fresh on the tail of the news that the model of the future is with personality, Ali Michael may just be the one to fit the bill — she's got public speaking down pat, anyway. First Sportmax, now Anna Sui with Agnete Hegelund: her Fall 2008 campaign bill of health is definitely clean. [TFS]