Valentino Collection For Gap Is A Big, Ruffled Mess

  • A tragic explosion at a ruffle factory in rural Italy led to the release of the complete khaki hideosity that is the Valentino for Gap collection. Ruffled jackets, ruffled hoodies, ruffled t-shirts, and ruffled cargo pants are included. [Daily Mail]
  • Gap unveiled the collection at the opening of its first Italian store. [WWD]
  • At last, Nicole Richie has explained 2006’s vogue for enormous frames: “When I wear sunglasses, it’s because I don’t wear makeup.” [WWD]
  • J. Crew is said to be planning to take itself private, according to the Times‘ DealBook blog. Reports are that the retailer is working with the same investment bank that bought it from its founding family, in 1997, and which handled its initial public offering, in 2006; if the deal goes through, all investors’ shares will be bought out and the company will be removed from the stock exchange. Normally, companies go private — and take on significant debt in doing so — to deal with long-standing issues away from the regulatory scrutiny of the public markets. But J. Crew is a retail (and fashion) darling, and its performance during the recession has been fine. Fashionista, however, is reporting that things have turned a tad in 2010: “We’ve heard from sources within the company that while men’s sales have continued to rise at a rapid pace, women’s have been stunted as of late.” J. Crew is expected to announce its latest quarterly results tomorrow; C.E.O. Mickey Drexler presided over a huge sales increase and expansion at the Gap, before an almost equally significant slump led to his firing. Drexler was most recently heard from at length in the New Yorker, telling his staff that J. Crew has been “undervaluing” its offerings and should raise prices because its customers will continue to pay more. “A guy, once he trusts the brand,” said Drexler, “he doesn’t worry about the price.” [NYTimes]
  • Blake Lively reportedly bought 30 pairs of Christian Louboutins at the brand’s members-only sample sale. [Fashionologie]
  • “Demand from the U.S. no longer sets the world’s prices,” says a J. C. Penney executive. “The days of inexpensive apparel are over.” [WWD]
  • A designer who recently participated in an all-nutria fur fashion show said, “Usually when you’re making art, you’re not completely disgusted by your materials, so I really liked that. I was like, Oh gross! Gotta keep going. Oh no, this is horrible! Gotta keep going.” [The Cut]
  • Milan’s prosecutor confirmed that Stefano Dolce and Domenico Gabbana have been indicted on charges of tax evasion. The designers could opt to admit guilt and negotiate a fine with authorities, or fight the charges at a trial. If found guilty, they could be held liable for up to $1 billion in fines and back taxes associated with the 2004 transfer of their brands, Dolce & Gabbana and D&G, to a Luxembourg-based holding company (which they also own). [WWD]
  • A portrait by the German neoclassical painter Johann Zoffany, which somehow ended up in Gianni Versace‘s art collection after being stolen in a burglary in the 1970s, has been returned to its original owners. The Versaces were unaware of its dubious provenance. [P6]
  • Karl Lagerfeld put a sexy dude model in the Pirelli calendar, which he shot this year. Normally, Pirelli only features sexy lady models. Hello, Garrett-Neff-posing-as-Baachus! [Fashionologie]
  • The U.K.-based Fair Trade Association says that subsidies paid to cotton farmers in the U.S., India, China, and the European Union compromise the ability of African cotton farmers to compete in the global market. [WWD]
  • Britt Maren, on her glamorous life as a runway model: “I had heard at Balenciaga they were probably going to do something to my hair, but there were just a lot of ideas being thrown around. I thought they were just going to give me lighter blonde highlights or shorter hair. They did it the day before the show, with five or six of us getting a dramatic change. I just remember the hairstylist went through 10 bottles of bleach that day — my hair was bleached three times to get the right shade.” She also walked in the Lanvin for H&M show in New York last week, but wasn’t allowed to shop the collection that night, as were the editors in the audience. “Maybe on Sunday I can try to get something from H&M,” said the 20-year-old. [W]
  • The Lanvin for H&M collection debuted in Europe and Asia a few days after the U.S., and there as here, would-be shoppers queued overnight. [WWD]
  • Lily Cole has written an op-ed against the Conservative-led government’s proposed education cuts. She argues that the tuition hikes amount to a regressive tax, and will discourage children from low-income families from pursuing higher education, for fear of taking on insurmountable debts: “I feel so sad to think that we are about to lose what I regard as one of the country’s most wonderful and enviable assets. I have always been proud when I tell my American friends how little going to university in the UK costs (at least compared with the American system); that there is relative equality of opportunity because all universities and courses cost the same amount; that had I not been fortunate enough to get plucked ‘from obscurity’ (whatever that obscure word means) and thrown into the surreal world of dresses and dollars I could still, from my modest background, have aspired to a higher education at one of the best universities in the world…A more privatised system may improve education standards (the proponents argue) but not if the universities have reduced budgets (which the universities argue they will).” [Guardian]
  • Coco Rocha has lowered the price on her Gramercy Park 2-brm (as seen in Vogue!) to $1.59 million, from $1.65 million. [NYTimes]
  • Karen Elson‘s music career began after her husband, Jack White, overheard her practicing a song she was writing, literally in the closet. Her first album, The Ghost Who Walks, was released this summer. (It is pretty excellent.) [Telegraph]
  • New York’s School of Visual Arts is adding a graduate program in fashion photography. Dennis Freedman, W‘s former longtime creative director, and the retoucher extraordinaire Pascal Dangin, will both be on the faculty. Freedman once said of Dangin, “He has this ability to make moves in someone’s facial structure or body. I’ll look at someone, and I’ll think, Can we redefine the cheek? Can we, you know, change a little bit the outline of the face to bring definition? He, on the other hand, will say, ‘No, no, no, it’s her neck.’ He will see it in a way that the majority of people don’t see it.” [WWD]
  • Antoine Arnault, son of Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy head Bernard, is leaving his post as communications director of Louis Vuitton to head up the lesser-known LVMH brand Berluti. [Vogue UK]
  • Pacific Sun “only” lost $7 million during the third quarter, compared to a $10.9 million loss it incurred during the same period last year. [WWD]
  • An engineer in Colorado claims to have developed TSA-scanner-proof underwear. [NYDN]
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