It all started at the Cannes Film Festival, where The Bling Ring held its first-ever premiere. Since then, Emma Watson has been providing us spotlight-worthy premiere looks — one even more chic than the next. The movie doesn't debut until Friday, June 21, so we can expect more fabulous red carpet moments to take in, but in the meantime, check out all of Emma's chic — and very charming — Bling Ring promotion ensembles right here.
Love her style, hate her style, or love to hate her style: it seems that quite a few fashion designers have had something to say about Kate Middleton's sartorial choices. Roberto Cavalli is the latest to speak out about the Duchess of Cambridge, and he's hoping to bring out her sexier side. Some industry insiders praise her for wearing high street, while some wish she'd fully embrace the grandeur of "being a princess." With her due date quickly approaching, we can expect even more fashion types to weigh in on her maternity and postbaby style. But for now, a look at Middleton's effect on the fashion world below.
"It's a shame she doesn't wear more designers. I don't really like the high street getting so much of the credit. I understand that there would be an array because you need to relate to so many people in the market, but she is a princess. If I were a princess, I'd be like, 'Oh yeah, bring it on.'"
— in a November 2011 interview with WWD.
"Kate Middleton has a nice silhouette and she is the right girl for that boy. I like that kind of woman, I like romantic beauties."
— in an interview with The Sun.
- Brazilian shoe brand Melissa has unveiled sketches of its collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld. [Telegraph]
- An H&M employee reportedly leaked that the fast-fashion retailer will make its much-anticipated online launch this June. An H&M spokesperson, however, said no such date has been determined. [Racked]
- In other ecommerce news, Carven has launched an online boutique to accompany the opening of its flagship on Paris's Left Bank. [WWD]
- BCBG Max Azria Group Inc. has tapped the financial services company Blackstone to advise the brand's potential $1 billion sale. [Business of Fashion]
More of today's fashion news you want to read, right here.
Salma Hayek made a stylish appearance at the Christopher Kane Fall 2013 fashion show during London Fashion Week yesterday. She wore a purple Christopher Kane dress with a dramatic hat and a Saint Laurent purse. Salma was joined at the show by husband Francois-Henri Pinault, the CEO of PPR, a fashion conglomerate that owns Christopher Kane and other high-end brands like Saint Laurent and Gucci.
Francois-Henri was recently profiled by T Magazine about his career, but glimpses of his private life with Salma shined through. Salma admitted that she was "mean and nasty" with her now-husband when they first met because she was an activist and was "not into fashion at all." However, her attitude has changed since she started dating Francois-Henri, and now Salma is usually decked out in luxury brands. The big question is what she will wear this weekend at the Oscars, where Salma is slated to present an award. Don't forget to vote for your favorite movies and stars in our Oscar ballot for a chance to win $1,000 and an iPad!
If Christopher Kane is feeling a new kind of pressure now that he's under the PPR umbrella, his Fall 2013 collection certainly didn't show it. In fact, the broad-shouldered army he sent down the runway looked pretty darn confident — and tough enough to handle any extra expectations the designer's new luxury backing might hold.
Proving he's content to just be himself, the designer mixed plenty of his classic signatures — kilt-inspired closures, metallic floral appliqués — with a bucket-load of new ideas. An opening series of power coats and A-line skirts, for example, featured camouflage in various shades and textures; some came in vivid blue hues on fuzzy fleece wool, others in murky grays decorated with matte satin. Also in the mix were sheer minidresses and coats embroidered with large-scale flower motifs, velvet cutout dresses with oversize knit stitches, and off-the-shoulder satin dresses fringed with rounded feathers. "It's been a great year and I just had so many ideas that I couldn't live without," the designer explained backstage.
It's the kind of craftsmanship that you would typically only expect of couture that came down the runway for Christopher Kane's Fall 2013 collection. It's what Kane does best — looks that surprise, entertain, draw you in, and differentiate this lineup. The Fall 2013 collection is jam-packed with thoughtful, playful, and whimsical details that feel artistic and bold but wearable. Sharp outerwear with bold pops of blue and luxe fur finishes were just the primer for the urban-feeling camo prints and tough-girl kilts and leather that unfolded next. But that wasn't even the half of it — Kane's vision seemed to be on overdrive as look after look launched something new and distinct from the one that came before it. The urban warrior was followed with a textured story, where dresses were sculpted in swirls and patterns, then something more like floral appliqué, until the show culminated in a confection so full and brimming with delicate, full-bodied embellishment that the garment itself seemed to be living.
PPR just bought a new little brother for Gucci. After months of speculation, Christopher Kane's eponymous label is now a member of PPR's stable of luxury brands. On Monday, the French conglomerate purchased a 51 percent stake in the company and revealed plans to help it grow internationally.
Some of those plans include adding another ready-to-wear line to the Kane umbrella and opening the brand's first freestanding store, which will probably set up shop in London next year.
"Christopher Kane is already established as a luxury label and has a tremendous intrinsic growth potential," said PPR CEO Francois-Henri Pinault in a statement. "We thus have great ambitions for the brand and will enable it to benefit from our expertise and know-how while providing the space for it to further develop its own creative identity."
Though PPR now owns a controlling share of Kane's label, Kane told WWD that the company "understands and appreciates our creative independence." That said, PPR has not ruled on appointing a new CEO for the brand at a later date. Currently, Kane's sister Tammy runs the business side of the company.
Both sides agree that the primary objective for Christopher Kane is expansion.
"Our long-term ambition for the company is obviously to grow it into a globally recognized brand," Kane said. "We do not plan to make any immediate or major changes to the way that the business is currently managed. All growth will be gradual and organic."
Rumors that Kane's label would join PPR began shortly after he left his position as the creative director of Versace's secondary brand, Versus. At the time, Balenciaga, another PPR brand, had just announced that its longtime creative director, Nicolas Ghesquière, planned to leave the company. Some believed Kane would replace Ghesquière, but that job eventually went to Alexander Wang.
While there's been no official announcement on whether PPR will invest in Christopher Kane's eponymous label, the latest reports suggest the firm is getting closer to making a deal.
Unnamed sources have told WWD that Alexis Babeau, managing director of PPR's luxury division, has interviewed candidates to be the brand's new CEO once it becomes part of PPR's portfolio. Kane currently runs the business with his sister Tammy.
Rumors that PPR would add Kane's label to its stable of brands — which includes Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, and Gucci, among others — started going around when Kane left his position as the creative director of Versace's secondary line Versus. At the time, it was rumored that Kane would come to PPR to replace Nicolas Ghesquière as the creative director of Balenciaga, a job that eventually went to Alexander Wang. Kane has reportedly been in talks with PPR since November, but so far nothing concrete has come from the meetings.
PPR's executive team is having discussions about backing a new brand, but it's not known yet who the lucky designer to join the fashion conglomerate will be.
"We have been talking about investing in a new luxury name," said PPR CEO Francois-Henri Pinault in an interview with the Financial Times. "We have no more young brands since Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney have all passed the €100 million mark (just over $132 million at current exchange)."
When PPR makes an acquisition, Pinault said, it usually tries to break into an area where it's underrepresented. For example, the firm recently purchased Qeelin, a Hong Kong jewelry operation. Before that, Boucheron was the only jewelry unit in PPR's luxury portfolio. Pinault also made it clear that PPR "will not buy a promising brand and try to move it into another sector."
And though there has been speculation that PPR has been in talks with Christopher Kane, the firm's method of buying new brands would suggest that his label might not be the right fit. Kane's product is certainly different from other PPR brands. But as far as his business model is concerned, Kane's brand is a smaller, younger version of what PPR already has in its stable. Christopher Kane, Stella McCartney, and Alexander McQueen all offer high-end women's clothing — even around the same price point — and all three brands speak to a modern British design sensibility. If PPR did invest in Kane, it would be at odds with how Pinault has described his brand-buying methods.
Still, this hasn't stopped industry observers from honing in on Kane as a possible contender for PPR's investment. He's been a free agent since he left his position as the creative director of Versace's Versus line to focus on his own brand last month. Kane was even mentioned as a possible replacement for Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga.
Sources told WWD that Kane has been in talks with the French luxury goods conglomerate — which also owns Alexander McQueen, Gucci, and Yves Saint Laurent — about financial backing for his line. This news comes hot on the heels of Kane's departure from Versace's Versus line, which he designed for six seasons. It also comes just two days before Nicolas Ghesquière is set to leave Balenciaga.
Speculation that Kane would replace Ghesquière has been floating around since Ghesquière's departure was announced earlier this month — but a Kane spokeswoman called those rumors "unfounded." Ghesquière, who, rumor has it, may start his own label with LVMH, was spotted last week having dinner in Paris with LVMH's Delphine Arnault, Dior CEO Sidney Toledano, and Camille Miceli, Dior's artistic director for costume jewelry.
In any case, it's not unprecedented for a big firm to make an investment in a small brand on the condition that its designer works for one of its larger houses. For example, when LVMH bought a stake in Marc Jacobs's line in 1997, he ended up as the creative director of Louis Vuitton. Whether the same will happen with Kane and Balenciaga remains to be seen.