The Foreign Report

Tautou and the real Chanel

French actress Audrey Tautou is set to play Coco Chanel in an upcoming biopic. I've only ever seen her in Amelie, which annoyed me so deeply that I hold it responsible for my never Netflixing anything else she's been in.
British modeling legend Twiggy is putting out a book on style for the More magazine demographic. Considering the numerous occasions she showed up to panel on ANTM dressed like a Kentucky hooker in a chiquita banana blouse, I'm hoping it's not a bestseller.


Target vs. Wal-Mart : Cheapo Fashion War

Wal-Mart is positioning itself to one-up Target this year in the big-box retailer fashion department. In the next few months the store will carry juniors brands l.e.i. and Ocean Pacific, and they recently signed a long-term deal with "mom clothes" designer Norma Kamali.
Some see them really surpassing the old bullseye now that the latter has lost their biggest design star Isaac Mizrahi to Liz Claiborne.
Still, Target just hooked up with Converse One-Star to offer clothes, shoes and accessories that are quite cute. And the designers they're pulling for their Go: International collections still weigh more in bold-face than all of Wal-Mart's (oh-so-90's) prospects put together.
And really- you can get away with saying "I got this at Target." But the name Wal-Mart will never not be associated with sweatpants and gun sales.


ANTM: Paulina Proves Me Wrong

Tyra hearts bums. Again.

*Number one lesson learned on America's Next Top Model this week: Paulina Porizkova is a cunt. What a pleasant surprise! I'm sorry for doubting her. But she's still no Janice Dickinson.
"You look like Robin Wright Penn-- only a transvestite," she said to Dominique and then walked right on to the next ho, no apology, no "but you're still pretty," nothing!
She also told Amis she had bad skin and squishface Barbie from Worcester (who left before even hearing any feedback on her homeless photo shoot) she was a bit "High School Musical."

* Speaking of the homeless photo shoot, they had a HOMELESS PHOTO SHOOT. Where they dressed up like Depression-era railroad hobos and posed with for-real homeless girls, who should rightfully have killed an eaten them (even if each girl carries on her frame little more than a cracker's worth of nutrients) for participating in yet another Tyra-wannabe-Oprah stunt. (She posed as a homeless woman on her talk show recently too.)

* Did anyone else notice there were only 18 people watching the Badgley Mishka runway show in Times Square? Times Square! Where there are like 8 million people out and about even at 4 a.m. on a Tuesday. Last year's unattended walk-off in China was one thing, but damn.

*"Tyra Mail" this season is apparently being delivered via ticker tape. The sound of 12 barely literate girls slowly reading scrolling text in unison several times an episode may make or break this show for me.

* Saleisha's Cover Girl commercials are the least convincing things I've seen since the Sheer Cover ads.

Next week we'll see what will always be the season highlight-- the makeovers. We'll also find out what "ignorant shit" Scout Silverman said to Fatima. (I'm assuming it's about either her vag or her African-ness. Scandal!)
[ Short clip of this week's show here.]

$1 Makeup - Check It Out

A friend just pointed me to this website called selling a ton of makeup for $1 (it's their brand e.l.f. which has been featured in O Magazine, InStyle, Seventeen, People, etc.) And no it was not bought out by Nordstrom, that was a rumor that got squashed ages ago.
For some cheap eyeliner, lip gloss, nail polish, false eyelashes, powder, shadow, etc. hit it up. I've never tried it but what the hell, for $1 who doesn't like getting prezzies in the mail?

Hipster T-shirts, Indeed

If you get me this I'll burn it a little.

Check out these neat drawing T-shirts by Brooklynite Dana Veraldi. Do it, before she starts selling at Urban Outfitters and every Nylon-worshipping douche gets one before you.
"Free Lil' Kim" is lame but I like the grandma with the oxygen tube in her face and I'm ordering the Andre Leon Tally. (Cost is $25.)
She also has some that are of her friends, which I think might be amusing to wear. Then again, I'm also the type of person who finds a photo of a black family on the ground in a supermarket parking lot and hangs it on her fridge.

More Reasons to Hate Olsens

Want a piece of this, Mary-Kate?

The Olsen twins' expensive yet suck-tastic "high fashion" line The Row this season is offering a $4500 coat made of kangaroo fur.
Beyond that being gross, bizarre and mean... I just don't see why they don't use their own hair. In fact, I don't see why they aren't forced into a boxing match with each kangaroo to determine whose hair will be made into a coat.


Small Bites

Dior Fall '08
(Photos: Danielle Oberauch)

I don't know what else to say about the latest 60's Mega-Barbie collection from Dior but that I'm mad, completely mad about it. Not only the clothes, but the hair and makeup as well.
Now I can't decide if Catherine from Rock of Love 2 was really ahead of the game, or has just hung on to the look since the real 1965.
Word is we'll be seeing a knocked-up Nicole Kidman on a fall Vogue cover, shot by Annie Leibovitz (of course.)
Hey-- is it ok to Botox with a bun in the oven? If not, no wonder they shot the image so soon... before she reverts to a real-age state.
Let's pray it's not another naked Demi/Britney/Christina shot.
There's an indoor smoking ban in PARIS now? The world must be coming to an end. Then again, Jarvis Cocker's comment to WWD that "it's a good excuse to leave a room" is an apt one. Why deny the French that privilege?
P.S. What do you think he's doing with Wes Anderson? A soundtrack or maybe acting?


ANTM Cycle 10 Off to Predictable Start

So clearly I was in no rush to post about the premiere episode of ANTM Cycle 10. As any loyal fan of the series knows, the first show basically an hour of skinny girls (and a few "plus sizes"...a.k.a. size 6) screaming and running for various reasons-- most of them Tyra Banks. That and there's little to no suspense as to who will be the final group because their photos are already up on the website.
Still, there were a few moments/things worth mentioning before we get down to this week's episode, the "screaming and running into the house," episode.

* Tyra made her entrance on a football field as a bizarrely made-up hysterical valley girl prom queen, with Jael and Amanda and Michelle (the creepy twins from The Shining) in wigs cheerleading. What? (Oh and speaking of Jael, a good friend of mine spotted her in an L.A. club recently. Fully detailed report coming soon.)
* Somalian Iman-lookalike Fatima announced right off the bat that she'd been a victim of female circumcision, to which faux-hawked aggro lezbot Marvita asks "Does that make you feel like less than a woman?" What irony, considering the dick dangling between her own legs.
* Last season Miss J had an afro that got progressively bigger each episode. The season before it was a flower pin on his lapel. This season it appears he has the girls names velcroed to his shirt.
* Did anyone else notice that one particularly painfully thin girl who didn't make it to the final 14 was not shown in a bikini like the other contestants in her interview? She must have looked severely rugged, cause I saw a hell of a lot of rib cages on this episode.

Immediate conclusions: Stacey Ann is Danielle from Cycle 6, Dominique is a man, and Allison (a.k.a. Sarah Silverman a.k.a. Scout Willis) sucks the most.

P.S. They are casting Cycle 11 right now, so get on that shit (if you happen to be under 26, underweight and have high hopes for a future on the Surreal Life.)

Who Do They Have Their Hanes On Now?

Nice tag line.

I'm pretty sure the last time I wore Hanes undergarments, I was in the third grade and it wasn't my decision. However, that doesn't mean there aren't women out there who still buy their panties in a "pack." (Sexy.) Apparently Hanes believes strongly that these pack panty (and manty-- hawked by the illustrious star of "Snow Dogs") wearers also have an affinity for former C-list has-beens who haven't had a successful project in at least five years. Jennifer Love Hewitt-- last seen in some show about ghosts that no one watches, and now Sarah Chalke, from that show Scrubs that wasn't ever good and if it was it was 3 years ago. Sarah Chalke who shall forever be "new Becky," (and in my eyes the lesser Becky. We love you, Lecy Goranson!)
Who will they get their Hanes on next? I vote Sarah from Charles in Charge.


A Trend I'll Pass On

I'm just not a fan of people's natural body smells. Oily-scalp/dirty-hair tops the list of things that make me want to die when pressed up against someone in the confines of a subway train. So this? This scares me.
If you live around other human beings, wash your fucking hair at least every third day. And if you choose to forsake a considerate level of hygiene, please move to a remote corner of the earth where no one can smell you and take those people who use crystal deodorant with you.


Get Ready to Feel Old

Frances Bean Cobain in Harper's Bazaar
(Photo: Jeff Riedel)
Frances Bean Cobain is a teenager, and she's in the new issue of Harper's Bazaar (see the spread here.) Refreshingly, based on the interview included, she doesn't feel entitled to fame and success and underage nightclub entrance just cause her parents are rock icons. Rumer, take note.

Russian Teen Bringing Her Stores to U.S.

Kira Plastinina (leggings) at the opening of one of her stores.

It's easy to be a "design phenom" at age 15 when your billionaire daddy is backing you, innit? (Not to mention probably hiring people to design clothes for you and then shooting them in an alley when they're done so there are no witnesses to your lack of involvement.)
However, I'm curious to see what's inside a Kira Plastinina store (average price about $48, alluring physical resemblance to Forever 21.) Apparently NYC and LA will know in April, when the first of her 50 planned U.S. stores open.

Mad for Plaid

Y-3, D&G, Jaeger and House of Holland
(Photos: Marcio Madeira,

Want to get a jump on your fall wardrobe? Put tartan on your list. The Scottish patterns were all over the runways this season in New York, London and Milan. Designers showed it in classic pleated skirts, dresses, jackets and even antlers in colors that ran the gamut from classic reds, blues and greens to electric purple.
Among the purveyors of plaid: D&G, House of Holland, Jaeger London, Y-3, punk diva Vivienne Westwood (of course). Shockingly, Burberry showed none.
Here are a few cute plaid pieces to get you started:

Coat: Victoria's Secret, $138; Pink purse: Target, $24.99; Belt: American Eagle, $9.99; Boot: Urban Outfitters, $34.99; Tote: Lulu's Fashion Lounge, $32; Dress: Urban Outfitters, $24.99; Blouse: Delia's, $14.99; Jacket: Forever 21, $29.80.


Whole Lotta Lace at Prada

Prada fall '08
(Photos: Marcio Madiera,

Miuccia Prada went lace crazy on her Fall '08 collection in Milan yesterday, with an emphasis on black and fuller-coverage cuts. She also showed some vomit-inducing beige, white and powder blue iterations, which appeared more heavily textured.
I see the more delicate black lace sheaths coming through as a fall trend. It's classic, ladylike and wearable. She also showed some camel monochromatic looks in sleeker fabrics that were very 1970's , which could viably translate as a real-world trend.

Can Oldham Save Old Navy?

Oldham: Creepy, but talented.

Old Navy's bid to be trendier and younger over the past year or so has not been working out at the cash register. (Notice how the commercials lately have not been families and kids playing outside in colorful clothes as they once were, but instead feature model chicks traipsing about the city.) Maybe because young hip women don't like boxy tops and bad jeans? As a result, their president has left her post after just 16 months, and they're on the lookout for a new one.
Todd Oldham signed on in September as creative director of the brand, but according to Old Navy we have yet to see his influence. Come June we should see the first signs of it, and he will be full force by fall. The possibility of Oldham designing a line of home goods for the store is not off the table, either.


Get Yer Used Paper Cup! It's Gucci, After All...

What did I tell you?
When Gucci decided to stock coffee carts in NYC with promotional paper cups to trumpet their new flagship store opening earlier this month, I knew it was just a matter of time. And now, ladies and gentlemen, thanks to eBay user twinkle7714 you can purchase a "slightly used (coffee was poured into it)" paper cup for $14.99 + $7.99 shipping!
No bids yet, and just over a day to go.
I hope to god they never make Marc Jacobs toilet paper.

Does Anyone Wear Max Factor?

Someone must, cause they can afford to pay Gisele Bundchen $2.5 million to replace bionic skank Carmen Electra as the face of the company for the next two years. (Gisele got the boot from Victoria's Secret last year... you know, cause she's old... I mean 27. Apparently women stop wearing panties right around then.)
I don't know what my aversion to Max Factor is, but I think I've only purchased one product from them in all my 27 years. And I buy makeup all the time, due to my beauty A.D.D.

More Celebrity Fragrance

Shakira smells like...

Shakira exists in my library of mental images as a whirling mass of tangly hair and a Tarzan costume-- an image that doesn't conjure an association with good smells. Nonetheless, the same company that brought you the old classic Spirit of Antonio Banderas has decided to help the belly-dancing Colombian yodeler design her own line of fragrances. (Look for it in your local drug store next to the BOD spray.)


It's All Downhill After Liv

Over the years, it looks like Bongo has lowered it's standards, don't you think?

(Liv Tyler, Kristen Cavalleri, Vanessa Minnillo, and current poster girl Kim a position she's probably very familiar with)

I Dare You...

Worst. Mascot. Ever.

Oh, KMart. Why can't you ever get it right? Not once have you ever offered anything remotely hip in the way of clothing. Is your professional trendspotter a one-eyed Quasimodo living in a basement in Mormon country? Is your head buyer an ex-con named Starkeisha who thinks G-Unit is the Marc Jacobs of the future? You need help.
Unfortunately the only way you're asking for it is through a crappy "style ambassador" contest that allows the winning entrant ONE DAY to weigh in on your designs. And even more unfortunately that person will be someone who aspires to win the other part of the prize, $10,000 in Kmart gift cards. That person will probably not tell you how far off the mark you are.
Seriously, your two latest attempts at hipness? Piper&Blue and Wckd? (Check them out if you have a nearby bag to vomit in.)
To the public, I dare you to enter the contest when it starts March 9 in the worst outfit you can conjure. (which isn't up yet, of course)

The GAP Gives Free Music Downloads

The Gap, a brand that has thus far already roped many musicians (good and bad) into ad campaign appearances-- some just as models, others actually performing-- is expanding its musical tie-in trend and getting 'em fresh out of the oven. With their "Sound of Color" campaign, they're offering the public free downloads for 30 days-- five songs by emerging musicians and five music videos by different filmmakers- that are supposed to represent colors.

Seattle indie band The Blakes do the color blue ("Magic")
Danish rockers The Raveonettes do the absence and sum of all colors ("Black/White")
Techno artist Dntel does red ("Turning Red")
L.A. folkie Marie Digby does yellow ("Paint Me In Your Sunshine")
Hip-hop artist Swizz Beatz does green ("Candy Paint")

You'd think, being The Gap and all, they'd have covered khaki. Maybe Colbie Caillat was busy?
Get the free songs here. Ends March 15.


Is London Going Goth?

A Queen Amidala/Marilyn Manson homage at Gareth Pugh.
(Photo: Marcio Madeira.

Looks like goth is having a flare-up in London. Between Lily Allen's getup at Luella Bartley's show, Gareth Pugh's futuristic costume collection, and almost-black lipstick being rocked on models in more than a couple of shows so far during LFW, it's hard to deny.
Who this side of the pond is going to dare to wear it first? And more importantly, who isn't going to look like shit in a style inherently unattractive to anyone but morose 8th graders?
It's all about the mix and match, people. A dash of demon-warrior goes a LONG way.

Hannah Does Haircare

Hannah Montana hair care... yikes.

Miley Cyrus aka Hannah Montana is coming out with a 3-product hair care line (shampoo, conditioner, and of course... SPARKLE SPRAY) which will sell for about $6 each.
Girlfriend has been rockin a gnarly-ass hooker weave lately, so I don't know that she's exactly the poster child for hair at the moment.

Copycats May Soon Be Jailbirds

Copying. It's something we all have been annoyed by and accused of at one time or another, even way back in grade school. Some say the greatest compliment is imitation, and I tend to agree. On the other hand-- how can you determine whether that person stole your idea in the first place? How do you know you didn't unknowingly steal the idea from someone else? No one can trace the root of an original idea, especially in terms of style. (Check out this great article in the UK Telegraph on the subject.)
Still, the who started it fashion battles have been going on forever. Back in the grunge days, it was Courtney Love vs. Kat Bjelland on who invented the "kinderwhore" look. Just this past fall, Kate Moss started a ruckus at a wedding accusing Sienna Miller of hijacking her boho aesthetic. But, did they both steal it from Mary Kate Olsen? And did she steal it from Stevie Nicks? Who probably stole it from someone else?
Can you really say who started it, when all fashion (and music and art and everything creative) is just bits and pieces of other things? Well kids, it's up to Congress now.
It's a battle of high end designers vs. the folks who knock off styles at prices we the masses can swing.
Want to guess whose side I'm on?
If I were the high end designers, I'd be proud to know the world was following my lead and fewer people were out there dressing like shit thanks to my inspiration-- whether they do it in my $10,000 piece or the $19.99 version at Forever 21. Take that elitist attitude and shove it up your rich asses.

(Photo: Mick Murray)


The Catwalk Boombox

Kim Gordon gets a little MJ love.
(Getty Images)

If you were lucky enough to get into the following fashion shows last week, this is what you enjoyed (or endured):

- Oscar de la Renta had a live performance by Regina Spektor as his models strode the catwalk.
- Marc Jacobs had a live performance by Sonic Youth during his shockingly on-time show.
- United Bamboo was DJed by Karen O, who played almost exclusively music by female musicians.
- Bill Blass had his ladies strut to a remix of Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence."
- Anna Sui played The Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."
-Chloe Sevigny had god-awful reggae band The Slits play her party for her line for Opening Ceremony.
- And last but not least, everyone and their pet poodle had the MisShapes DJ their afterparty.

Crimes of Advertising

Not only is this Diesel ad completely bizarre (sure, I get the message- Vanity is for idiots, wear these ugly pants), but are they serious? Wonky overalls, garbage-bag waisted pants and Easter egg colored jeans? Bad clothes + bad ads = fire everybody.
Which is worse: this ad, or this one?


Small Bites

America's Next Top Model winner Jaslene walking for Jillian at the PR show last week.

Of the five Project Runway finalists (that's Sweet P, Chris, Christian, Jillian and Rami) who showed at fashion week on Friday morning, guest judge Victoria Beckham said there was one whose collection she would wear everything from. (My guess is it wasn't Chris, who used pieces of weave hair on some of his shit. Seriously, only Hedwig can pull that off.)
For those who want a spoiler on the looks shown, check out the WWD coverage here and FWD coverage here.
P.S. for some reason Tim Gunn WASN'T EVEN AT THE SHOW!
I just read this article about a 21-year-old "model wrangler" (cattle terms describing anorexics - there's irony) in the Sunday Times. When I finished it I daydreamt an entire made for TV movie in which he is disfigured in a huge accident and then discovers the true meaning of life.
On the cover of the March Vanity Fair: Emily Blunt, Amy Adams, Anne Hathaway, and Jessica Biel, all in pretty dresses. Hey remember that song from Sesame Street "one of these things is not like the other"? Totally applies. One of these things is a dude.


When You Say No to Zoe

Apparently Rachel Zoe got shut out of the Marc Jacobs show (pics here) because she was late, and then started screaming and cursing and trying to plow past the bouncers even though she's built like a splinter spearing a raisin. Classy!

Here's the convo one dude overheard at the afterparty:
RZ: Literally, Marc, it took me 45 minutes to go twenty blocks. I get out of the car, I get to the gate, they’re like, “It’s started,” and I go “You don’t understand, he’s my friend, I gotta fucking get in there!” I was so mad.
MJ: I know, Jason told me.
RZ: Oh my God, I was so mad.

I will bet you 8 million dollars he rolled his eyes as he walked away from her.


Phasing Out the (Literally) Fishy Products

(Image: Natalie Dee, who is so cool.)

Eww! Did you know a lot of cosmetic products contain oil from shark livers? SHARK LIVERS.
And not even just some weirdo $800 French eye cream company-- Unilever brands like Dove, Ponds and Vaseline use it in creams, glosses and lotions. Shu Uemura uses it in some lipsticks.
The ingredient is called "squalane" or "squalene." Keep an eye out for it, as it's still on the shelves.
Fortunately because of pressure from save the whales types (and possibly an anti-grossness activist or two), they're "phasing out" the fish squish this year and replacing it with something plant based. L'Oreal used to use it in all of their skincare products, but stopped in 2006.


I Hate Agyness Deyn

I'm dying to know if I'm the only one who was over British model Agyness Deyn (real name Laura Hollins) before they even met her.
Named Model of the Year at the 2007 British Fashion Awards, she's been all over the runways and the magazines lately, not to mention the party pages wearing awful Cosby Show castoffs like the above sweater and pretending to be a DJ (P.S. does every young famous idiot have to pretend that? Is it a law?)
She has one of the most boring faces I've ever seen-- literally off a doll assembly line-- with no character whatsoever. Legend of Billie Jean haircut aside, she's nothing unique. She looks like a boy I wouldn't want to fuck (uh, and anyone who knows me knows I'm game for a girly-man.) But everyone from W Magazine to Perez Hilton thinks she's the balls.
Am I missing something?

Kenneth Cole Loves Your Tats, Real Person

After 25 years as a brand, Kenneth Cole is going for a new attitude.
How so? Edgier ads featuring "real people" (ehmahgawd, brilliant! Oh wait, no. More like late to the Benetton party...) are going in the fashion mags and they're going to be promoting via YouTube with what they hope will be viral videos. Which unless they contain nudity, the consumption of feces or someone getting whacked in the nuts, won't be viral at all.
(Don't get me wrong, they make a good shoe. I'm just saying.)
Oh and if you do dig the brand, take note that by fall Kenneth Cole Reaction is changing names to Kenneth Cole New York. And they're launching a line of manties in April.

Bad News for Macy's Peeps

While not yet pulling a Filene's, Macy's is struggling in this "tough sales climate." They're going to be downsizing to the tune of 2,550 positions and 9 store closings, according to Women's Wear Daily.


Oh So Cho

Benjamin Cho fall '08
(Photos: Marcio Madeira for

Designer Benjamin Cho is one of those rare art hipsters who is actually an artist. His fall collection had a lot of exaggerated sculptural designs with gigantic flowers and weird antennae that came off of them (which look cool but just nauseatingly remind me of Karen O), and also the hottest metal-ringed black mini-dresses I've ever seen.
Another interesting element was the incorporation of puzzle piece shapes and lipstick kiss stains (the latter showed up on his signature audience swag- a tote bag- which I will buy from you on eBay if you have it cause its so cool.)
Also cool, is this deer head he sent down the runway. It makes me love him all the more.


Heavens to Betsey

Betsey Johnson fall '08
(Photos: Marcio Madeira for

Betsey Johnson came at fashion week full force yesterday with a wild array of... well... Betsey Johnson clothes. Always a designer for the vibrant, somewhat kooky girl, the cartwheeling senior citizen showed high waists, bright red and blue, chiquita-banana ruffles, and borderline-costumey rocker gear for fall '08.
She may not be for you, but you can't help but love her.

Candy Darlings

Adorable and hyper-talented young designer (who also happens to be the college friend who once sewed a weave to my head) Chris Benz showed these gorgeous ensembles yesterday:

The boy certainly knows color.
Unfortunately, he used real fur in his collection (shame!) Finding that out really soured the beauty of his whimsical colored fur coats for me. Only models and Muppets should die in the name of high fashion- not innocent animals.

Viva Glamourous

As I mentioned a couple months ago, Fergie-Ferg is the latest tranny to pimp M.A.C.'s charitable (the M.A.C. AIDS Fund) Viva Glam lip products. Well, the ads are out:

Message well stated-- M.A.C. makeup makes even Fergie look good. (The lighting doesn't hurt either.)
On another note... how hot is that bustier?!


Gratuitous Image

That's Kiera Knightley, doing her best Twiggy impression on the cover of Canadian mag Strut.
It's a good look for her. Much better than that "pinching-nostrils-closed-and-forcing-weird-pout" face she does in movies to seem intense.