Meet The Real-Life Edina Monsoon From Absolutely Fabulous


There is a real-life Edina Monsoon, you guys, and her name is Lynne Franks. Franks was a notorious player in London’s fashion P.R. industry in the ’80s and ’90s, and was friends with Jennifer Saunders, who based the character of Eddie on her. Franks seems to own the whole Absolutely Fabulous thing — she titled her ’97 memoir Absolutely Now and says she loves the series, which is coming back for three more episodes this winter — but has one quibble: “I like to think that my taste in clothing was marginally better than Christian Lacroix,” she says. “But the show was pretty spot on, actually.” Katherine Hamnett, a designer Franks once represented, described meeting her as being “like an avalanche hitting you.” Franks was legendary for her parties (“It was the most genius party — very aristo-posh English — with transvestites”), her power, her insane outfits (she wore a dirndl and orange-and-purple hair to Studio 54 — while eight months pregnant), her drug and alcohol use (she once passed out in a bowl of onion soup at 5 a.m.), and her neglectful parenting. When she quit P.R. in the early ’90s, she became a Buddhist. Now she dotes on a Labrador-Jack Russell cross called Noodle, runs a women-only business club she founded, and basically, Lynne Franks is our hero. In her honor, let’s re-watch the “Is it a bee?” bit. Lynne Franks, we raise our Bolli-Stolis in your general direction. [WWD]

The Hunger Games nail polish line has inspired a parody. It includes colors like “Important Reminder Purple” — the bottle comes marked with “This is a death tournament, not a fashion show” — and “Greasy Sae Surprise,” the color of raccoon gallbladder. [Refinery29]

Deborah Turbeville shot Valentino‘s spring campaign in Guanajuato, Mexico. [WWD]

Michael Pitt — who played Kurt Cobain in that Gus Van Sant movie — is now a face of Prada. In 2005, Pitt actually turned down a Miu Miu campaign (Miu Miu had men’s wear back then) because he didn’t think it would be good for his image. [Fashionista]

Prada, by the way, is selling these headphones for $595. [Interview]

Holy eyebrows, it’s the new YSL campaign. [WWD]

Early concept sketches for Emma Watson’s Lancôme campaign have leaked. And they are really pretty. [Nylon]

Saskia De Brauw, who as we now know has pubic hair, is on the new cover of Vogue Japan. [DS]

  • Victoria’s Secret model Marisa Miller has one tip to lose weight: eat naked. “Eating smart is all about having an awareness of your body. The most obvious way to do that is by seeing it,” says Miller. “So when you’re trying to lose weight, spend more time wearing less. I don’t think I could eat a plate of nachos naked — could you?” Oh, Marisa. Is that a dare? [NYPost]
  • I wanted to create clothes for women in their 40s and 50s and 60s who have careers and are sexy and don’t want to look like grandmothers,” says designer Joseph Altuzarra. [Forbes]
  • Taylor Swift is rumored to be on the February cover of Vogue. [Fashionista]
  • In other cover rumors, Justin Bieber is supposedly the next cover star of V. [P6]
  • Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy‘s attempt to initiate a hostile takeover of Hermès continues: the company just increased its share holdings from 21.4% to 22.3%. Further stock purchases will be made more difficult by Hermès’ recent decision to group more than 50% of its shares in a non-listed holding company. [WWD]
  • Mindy Kaling, WHO IS GOING TO BE IN THE COMMENTS ON THIS VERY SITE TODAY, YOU GUYS, told Bill Clinton to get the Alexander McQueen book from the Met show. A recommendation we whole-heartedly second. [Styleite]
  • Leandra Medine of the blog the Man Repeller got engaged. But when she shared the news, commenters who apparently believed a little too literally in Medine’s blog title got really angry and behaved like total assholes. [Racked]
  • Five of Princess Di‘s dresses are going on display at Kensington Palace. [WWD]
  • Diana Vreeland‘s grandson Alexander has collaborated on a Diana Vreeland-themed line of stationery. [WWD]
  • Here is a story about ice-skating with Vera Wang. [The Moment]
  • And now, a moment with jewelry designer Pamela Love. Pamela, what is your favorite holiday memory?
  • “Once over New Year’s, a group of my friends and I went upstate and stayed in a cabin in the woods during a blizzard. We got bored so we walked to a local dive bar wrapped in blankets (and a Snuggie). By the end of the night I was playing drums for the bar’s house jazz band.
  • [WWD]
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