>> Balmania is clearly not entirely over. One Miu Miu dress style (two colors) scored at least three fashion magazine covers over the Summer, but in the months since, a Fall 2010 gold Balmain dress — originally worn by Anja Rubik on the runway — is besting the Miu Miu dress twice over, with six covers so far. The Balmain look was first spotted on Abbey Lee Kershaw's August 2010 Vogue Germany cover, and has since been sported on covers by Cindy Crawford, Anna Dello Russo, and Natalia Vodianova. At least one more cover may be on the way — Anne Hathaway is said to be wearing "sparkly gold" Balmain on Elle UK's December 2010 cover.
>> Set on the French Riviera in Saint Tropez with the models arriving on motorboats from a yacht in the harbor, Chanel's Cruise 2011 show reflected the '70s throwback party atmosphere emulated in Karl Lagerfeld's short film shown last night. Natasha Poly opened barefoot in a pastel print dress, and Karolina Kurkova and Abbey Lee Kershaw danced down the runway in knits. Toni Garrn and Jacquetta Wheeler made runway returns, and Crystal Renn, riding the current "plus size model" wave, made a cameo.
For the finale, front rowers like Anna Mougalis, Carine Roitfeld, Andre Leon Talley in a green cape, Emmanuelle Alt, Diane Kruger, Vanessa Paradis, and Franca Sozzani witnessed Lagerfeld's bodyguard Sebastien Jondeau pulling up on a motorcycle (which temporarily stalled) with Georgia May Jagger on the back. Then, appropriately, to a Rolling Stones soundtrack, Lagerfeld appeared in a purple jacket for his bow — and Abbey Lee threw her arm around Karl's shoulder.
>> Last runway season, Toni Garrn only walked a select few shows in Paris because she was supposedly focusing on her studies, and for Fall 2010, she didn't walk any: her agency told Zeit she was finishing up final exams to graduate this Spring, instead. She did, however, make time to shoot with Miles Aldridge for Vogue Italia's March 2010 issue.
>> For his second major runway show in Paris — last time around he surprised everyone with a video presentation instead — Gareth Pugh, went softer, androgynous, and gray. None of his until-now trademark hard-edged black and white palette to be seen — gray covered the model's faces, hairs, nails, bodies, and even blocked out their eyebrows. Toni Garrn walked for the first time this season.
Showstopping plumed mohawk headdresses are an editorial shoe-in, and will perhaps soon be seen on front row guest Rihanna, dressed in Pugh, who marked the designer's first major celebrity front row guest (Adrian Grenier and Michael Stipe also attended). Both menswear and womenswear were combined into one show this season, which ended with the Cranberries' "Zombie" playing — perhaps symbolic of the season's "gender-bending zombie look," as the Los Angeles Times's Booth Moore put it. More details from the show here.
>> Three Models Supposedly Skipping Fashion Month for Studies, A Fourth May Also Be Taking a Break —Although it's possible that they still may pop up in Paris or Milan, three top models: Sigrid Agren, Toni Garrn, and Georgina Stojiljkovic are all supposedly skipping out this season to focus on their studies. And Gucci face Myf Shepherd — who surprisingly only walked eight relatively low-profile shows (except 3.1 Phillip Lim) in New York and so far none in London — has apparently said that she's thinking of taking a break, as well. [Styledotcom Twitter, TFS, Frockwriter]
>> Models Missing from the New York Runways: An Update —With only one more day of New York Fashion Week to go, a number of top models still haven't set foot on a catwalk. Anja Rubik finally appeared at Michael Kors this morning — so did Carmen Kass and Jacquetta Wheeler — but Catherine McNeil — who is supposedly booked all through the New York shows on another job — Toni Garrn, Lara Stone, Anna Maria Jagodzinska, Sigrid Agren — who's rumored not to be doing any shows this season — Tanya Dziahileva, Raquel Zimmermann, and Georgina Stojiljkovic are all totally MIA. In other modeling news, Jessica Stam joined the increasingly large number of models bleaching their hair — she debuted the new hue today at Anna Sui. [Fashin]
Zara's look books are always dangerous territory — they tempt us with runway-inspired looks for way less. For Fall '09, Toni Garrn models LBDs with prominent shoulders a la Balmain, faux fur vests, tweed coats, military-inspired details, and lots of crisp white shirts. This one puffed-shoulder dress is clearly inspired by Dolce and Gabbana's Fall line. I have to be frank, Zara's Fall '08 with Sasha Pivovarova tempted me way more, but that doesn't mean I won't still go into the store. Who knows, I may even fall in love, like I often do in Zara. What do you think?
>> A number of designers are sticking very close to ideas from seasons past for the Fall 2009 round of ad campaigns — Louis Vuitton went for Madonna "Part Deux," Versace's set features the same model — Gisele Bundchen — doing the same pose she did for the house's Spring 2008 ads, and now Donna Karan, who decided last season to save money by taking her runway photography and reinterpreting it for the ads, is using the same tactic this season.
The set of Fall 2009 ads that appear on the front page of Karan's website all feature Toni Garrn, one in the look she wore down the runway. In the other two ads, it appears that Toni's head was Photoshopped onto the bodies of Anya Kazakova and Sasha Pivovarova — the stances on both bodies are identical to those in the runway photos of the collection on the website.
>> Before heading back to the States from Venice, a number of Chanel Cruise attendees — and show strutters like Toni Garrn and Siri Tollerod — made a stop over in Vienna for the annual Life Ball AIDS charity spectacular Saturday evening. The town hall was surrounded by 2.5 million liters of water trucked in for this year's marine theme, and the guest list topped 40,000.
Amber Valletta opened the motorcade in a blue crystal-covered chariot, Anja Rubik was in attendance wearing her favorite label as of late, Balmain, and Sessilee Lopez sported a blonde wig for one of her turns during the catwalk festivities. Heather Marks, Iris Strubegger, Emina Cunmulaj, Eliza Cummings, Kinga Rajzak, Sara Blomqvist all also participated, plus first-timer Stephanie Carta, who described the experience as "a fantasy world of glitter and botox and some kind of neverending celebration."