We're just a month away from adding affordable Jason Wu to our wardrobes with the launch of the designer's Target collaboration — that is, if we can get a piece before it hits eBay. At first we could only speculate what it might look like — we suspected Wu's signature femme with girly accents and quintessential charm. Now we're treated to a first look that delivers those essential elements with Peter Pan collars, sweet knits, and ladylike handbags. Click on for the first images of the limited-edition collection and a peek at Wu's Target campaign — then mark your calendars for Feb. 5 and prepare for the shopping mayhem.
When it comes to gorgeous gowns, you can't beat the red carpet, and this year's star-studded events definitely left us swooning over starlets left and right. From Mila Kunis's lovely lavender Elie Saab gown at the Oscars to Anne Hathaway's full-length shine at the Golden Globes, we fell head over heels for a bevy of fantastic frocks — 15 to be exact! To see all our top picks from the carpet rouge, watch our video now!
>> Jason Wu's "regal" Pre-Fall 2012 collection is inspired by Indian maharajas and the colorful illustrations of Charley Harper. "Combining the two meant a strict silhouette with stately embellishments," Wu explained. Both evening dresses and daywear came hand-embroidered, and Wu doubled the size of his year-old accessories collection, introducing the Daphne leather frame bag, named after Daphne Groeneveld.
Emma Watson looked angelic in a two-piece Jason Wu ensemble at the London premiere of My Week With Marilyn. She paired her embellished blouse and pencil skirt with ankle-strap Jimmy Choo sandals and toted a leopard Charlotte Olympia clutch. Vintage drop earrings and a patent bow belt finished off Emma's red-carpet style. Shop our editors' picks now to copy this lovely look.
>> Marc Jacobs, long the favorite to take over at Dior, may not be headed to the house after all. Talks between the two parties have once again halted, WWD reports, and Dior has stepped up both the pace and depth of negotiations with other designers — Alexander Wang, Raf Simons, and Jason Wu, in particular. Riccardo Tisci is also still in the mix, but given his strong momentum at Givenchy, is viewed as unlikely to be appointed.
Although last month, talks between Jacobs and Dior were said to be progressing — Bernard Arnault reportedly flew into Manhattan to meet with Jacobs — and there was no explosive breakdown, Arnault and Dior recently decided to move onto another scenario — in part because Jacobs requested that he take his Vuitton design team to Dior, which would leave Vuitton without creative support, and Phoebe Philo, the preferred candidate to take over at Vuitton, reportedly prefers to continue at Celine.
The Dior search is said to be focused on finding a designer — young or mature — with an affinity and respect for the brand's glamorous DNA, and a vision for taking it forward, post-Galliano. However, one source told WWD: “It is not impossible that [Arnault] resumes his talks with Marc.”
When our evening style sensibilities crave something a little more snappy, we look to the tuxedo. Tuxedo looks dominated the Fall runways at Jason Wu, Tibi, Dolce & Gabbana, and Moschino, then on sharply dressed celebs like Olivia Palermo and Evan Rachel Wood. Not that the tux is new on the scene; we owe it to greats like Marlene Dietrich for making the menswear evening staple a glamorously cool option for us girls. With holiday season approaching, and with it, a bevy of parties, we totally plan on utilizing the look via slim black trousers, tailored suit jackets (leather lapels optional), and blouses with crisp contrast piping. If we're feeling particularly snazzy we'll finish the look with a playful bow tie and a classic pair of heels to counter all the boyish charm.
Clockwise from top left: Marlene Dietrich, Jason Wu Fall 2011 runway, Mason Margiela 4 Tie ($75, originally $98), Olivia Palermo, Topshop PU Trim Ankle Grazer Trousers ($80), Equipment Bret Colorblock Blouse ($208), Gap Suede Bow Pumps ($80), Marwood Lace Bow Tie ($141), Tibi Black Tuxedo Jacket With Leather Trim ($505)
Still in need of an awesome Halloween costume idea? Don't worry, we've got you covered! We asked a few of our favorite trend-setting celebrities and designers what they plan on dressing up as this year — from a palm tree to a fairy to something very hairy, watch our video to get some creative Halloween costume inspiration. On Allison: Topshop jacket, Frieda and Nellie bracelets.
>> 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."
Celebrities gracing the red carpet in vintage-inspired frocks and gowns have us spellbound: their old Hollywood glamour has never felt more elegant or modern. Jason Wu, Miu Miu, and Salvatore Ferragamo's Fall runways laid the groundwork for a retrofit take on ladylike, and it's having a major impact on the red carpet. Our favorites, like Kirsten Dunst, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and Diane Kruger have inspired us to channel the trend in femme, '40s silhouettes, delicate embellishment — and a perfect red pout. Click through for all the celebrity inspiration, then shop a few of our favorite options to wear the look.