We weigh in on yesterday’s Dior Couture flop. Is Bill Gaytten going straight to the guillotine? | Hollywood yohana

Yesterday marked the start of Fall 2011’s Paris Couture Week. Though couture is often luxe and intricate, one house stands apart from the rest in boldness and charisma: Christian Dior. But as the cloud of former Dior designer John Galliano’s ongoing trial still looms over the industry, critics suspected the collection would be different due to his absence of direction. To our surprise, “different” turned to out mean shocking, and frankly disappointing.
The collection was what can only be described as an overzealous attempt to rework what is known as Dior. It seems to be of widespread opinion that from the patterns to the cuts, the ensembles simply did not belong in a couture collection. Overall, there was a vast lack of direction and vision, with colours and materials clashing all over the runway.
At the end of the show, creative director Bill Gaytten took a bow, accompanied by his first studio assistant, Susanna Venegas. He seemed elated to be at the head of the runway, but that’s probably because he didn’t see the giant elephant in the room with the “It Wasn’t Galliano” sign around its neck. Gaytten is already set to take over Galliano’s self-titled label, and though there were suspicions that he’d be taking over for the estranged designer at Dior, those can probably be put to rest. Is Gaytten going straight to the guillotine?

Women’s Wear Daily: “To Gaytten and Venegas’ credit, they did not play safe, opting for visual overstatement on multiple levels: shape, color, pattern. Unfortunately, these swung way too cartoonish, especially in the tailored pieces, all mixed graphics and cumbersome lines, while in a series of flagrant caftans the models did their part, flailing endless arms like Pat Cleveland wannabes.”
Lucinda Chambers, fashion director of British Vogue: “Every house needs a point of view and it has to come from the designer—sadly that’s what was lacking in today’s show.”
Suzy Menkes, the International Herald Tribune: “John Galliano brought to the house a finesse and exquisite lightness that, with his departure, has blown away like confetti in the wind… This carnival of a show looked like a bunch of party-goers had done a witty, wacky take on Dior extravaganzas.”
Cathy Horyn, the New York Times: “Things must be very strange these days at the House of Dior, judging by the haute couture show we saw this afternoon at the Musée Rodin. All sorts of weird vibes, along with a lack of design leadership… I like Mr. Gaytten. He’s a sweetheart, but he is not a designer.”
Bernadette Morra, editor-in-chief: “I don’t know whether this is a fair comparison or not. But the criticism of Gaytten’s first couture show for Dior reminds me of a WWD story that appeared in January 1997 after Alexander McQueen’s first couture collection for Givenchy. The theme was a send-up of the Golden Fleece and the collection was widely panned. WWD kindly printed a remark McQueen had made shortly after his appointment to the house. ‘People aren’t going to get wonderful things overnight.”


Polyvore takes to the runway during New York Fashion Week | Hollywood yohana

Consider it the people’s choice awards for online fashion: Polyvore has partnered with Cover Girl to bring four alumni designers from the Fashion Institute of Technology to the runway during New York Fashion Week. The shows will take place today, February 13, at La.venue in New York but, naturally, Polyvore will also be streaming the shows live.
One the four runners up is Calgary-based, New York–native Lauren Bagliore, who handed over her designs to the Polyvore community for inclusion in thousands of digital collages. “Some of the sets these people have come up with are just amazing,” she says. “I want to find them, and meet them, and hire them! They just understood my aesthetic completely.”
And to really hit home the notion of democratized fashion, Polyvore is further rattling the institution of NYFW by recruiting 23 fashion bloggers from across the States to walk the Polyvore Live runway, including Rachel Nguyen from That’s Chic and model/blogger Natalie Suarez of Natalie Off Duty.
Up next: public votes for the next H&M designer collaboration. We kid, we kid. Kind of.


This just in: The Prince and Princess of Monaco are coming to Toronto! | Hollywood yohana

 Royalty is coming! Announced this morning, the Monegasque Princely Family will be in Toronto on November 2, 2011, for the grand opening of the TIFF’s Grace Kelly: From Movie Star to Princess exhibit. Kelly’s son, Prince Albert II, and his new wife Princess Charlène will officially open the exhibition, which features many of the former Princess of Monaco’s fashionable items including, as we reported in July, an exact replica of her wedding gown, her Hermès “Kelly Bag”, her original dresses, and her tiara. The Bell Lightbox will also play many of Kelly’s films throughout November and December, including Rear Window and Dial M for Murder. As Princess Charlene paves her way as a royal fashion plate in her own right, we’re anxious to see if she’ll channel her mother-in-law’s classic glamour at the opening.


Sébastien Peigné and Nicola Formichetti of Mugler are bringing sexy back | Hollywood yohana

Sébastien Peigné and Nicola Formichetti of Mugler

Strategic cut-outs, thigh-high slits and body-con shapes: Sébastien Peigné and Nicola Formichetti of Mugler are bringing sexy back.
Reviving Mugler is a monster task. After designer Thierry Mugler took his final runway bow at his couture show in July 2000, this kinky house of cool (remember Demi Moore’s bondage-style dress in 1993’s Indecent Proposal?) started flatlining. Ten years later, the resuscitation began. In 2010, following months of speculation, Nicola Formichetti (Lady Gaga’s stylist) was tapped to lead the revival of the French house known for its over-the-top theatricality and sex appeal. Besides outfitting Mother Monster, this 34-year-old half-Italian, half-Japanese, techno-savvy superstar is also the fashion director for Vogue Hommes Japan and global retailer Uniqlo. His debut Mugler womenswear show during Fall 2011 Paris Fashion Week had the twitterverse buzzing about its latex-dipped leggings, body-stocking dresses and the catwalk pièce de résistance: Gaga, smoking in every sense of the word.


MEN’S FASHION: André 3000 on hair moods, ugly hands and a mythical Outkast album | Hollywood yohana

MEN’S FASHION: André 3000

André 3000, real name André Benjamin, along with actors Adrien Brody and Gael García Bernal, is featured in the Masters of Style campaign, created by Gillette to promote its recently introduced Fusion ProGlide Styler, a tool that combines the functions of shaver, trimmer and edger. Benjamin, too, is a triple-threat talent. As half of Outkast, the Atlanta-based duo, he became one of hip hop’s most acclaimed musicians. He has also won praise as a menswear designer since launching his label, Benjamin Bixby, in 2008. And as a dresser, he’s known for being one of the best. He’s been celebrated in fashion magazines, and in Slaves to Fashion: Black Dandyism and the Styling of Black Diasporic Identity, an academic work of groundbreaking cultural history, his name shows up on the very first page.
Let’s catch up on the musical action. Last year, you earned a Grammy nomination for a track with Beyoncé. In February, Converse presented “Do Ya Thang,” your collaboration with James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, and Gorillaz. Is an Outkast album due to come out in 2012?
“To be honest, no, there is not an Outkast album in the works. I know there’s been a lot of talk in the internet world. I don’t have Twitter or Facebook or any of those kinds of things, so I haven’t had a chance to address it.”

Who chose the clothes you wore in the Masters of Style campaign?
“I just brought a bag of things, and I would pull out things that would work. We’d send pictures back to the bigwigs at Gillette, and they’d say, ‘This works, this doesn’t.’”
Where is that double-breasted jacket from?
“That’s my own. That was from Benjamin Bixby. That’s a Bixby polo shirt under it and Simon Spurr jeans. I’ve had the hat for ages. It’s kind of like an old straw hat that I just can’t get rid of.”
There are also shots of you in a great black cardigan with orange stripes.
“That’s actually from the last Bixby collection that we ended up not making because we ran out of steam. I had to stop. I’m looking forward to the new Bixby.”
How often do you change the style of your facial hair?
“I don’t go too far away from what I have been doing. Movie roles aside, I just kind of keep it the same.”
Are there any movie roles coming up?
“Yes, but it’s too early to give too much information. I can say that this year and next year are going to be really exciting for music and film and fashion.”
The hair on your head—how often does that change?
“It depends. I go through moods. Sometimes I want to cut it clean and just be really neat, and sometimes I want to wow it out. Right now I’m going through a phase where I’m letting it grow. Sometimes it’s braided, sometimes I let it out like a complete ’fro.”
What attention do you pay to manicure and pedicure?
 “I kind of do it myself.”
Guys seem to need help in knowing how to take care of their hands and feet. What would you tell them?
“It’s funny, because I have a 14-year-old son. The only thing I say is, ‘You know, girls don’t like ugly hands, and they don’t like you touching them with ugly hands.’ I’m not really heavy on feet. I’m a ruffian in that way. Not that I have claws or anything like that.”
What about fitness?
“I like to walk as much as I can. Walking every day is good for thinking.” 


Music festival style snaps: Bonnaroo 2012 | Hollywood yohana

This past weekend, the sweatiest diehard music fans flocked to Manchester, Tennessee for this year’s instalment of Bonnaroo, where the legendary likes of Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Beach Boys were all holding court on the headliner stage. And just as the grit and grime are guaranteed at such a festival, so were the awesomely free-spirited styles that photographer Stephen McGill snapped for us. Have a peek!


Nail Corner: MFW edition! Prada eyes meet Prada nails | Hollywood yohana

Without a doubt, one of the most inventive beauty looks from Milan was at Prada. Those eyes! Style.com called it a “tricolour layering effort on lids”—shades of deep blue, shimmering purple, electric orange, and greasy black all stacked together. Despite how exciting the Prada look is, it’s extremely editorial and not so much a “try this at home!” style. So rather than toning it down for the face, I took the vibrant makeup to my nails. After all, six colours in one manicure? Totally doable. 


5 red and pink manicures that were made for Valentine’s Day! | Hollywood yohana

 There’s nothing better than a holiday to inspire a great manicure—and for us, Valentine’s Day sits at the top of the list. After all, pink and red are the most popular polish colours available. From tiny hearts to handwritten love letters, we have five manicures to share that are sure to, at the very least, inspire a night in with your true love: nail polish.


Nail Corner: Lots and lots of floral dots for a Marc Jacobs Resort-inspired manicure! | Hollywood yohana

 Sometimes a collection is full of items that seem to be just begging to be turned into a manicure. Case in point: Marc Jacobs Resort 2013. The endless colour blocking and pattern mixing makes quite the mood board for anyone with a super-saturated nail polish collection. From sequined stripes that could be mimicked with metallic polishes to micro-gingham prints that are full of DIY transfer potential, it was hard to choose just one look for this week’s Nail Corner. But in the end, bright, layered florals won out—and all you need to duplicate this design are a few dotting tools and your favourite punchy-coloured polishes.


We love Ivana Helsinki’s dreamy, luxe dresses | Hollywood yohana

If we lived in Baltic Europe, we would already be watching Paola Suhonen, the designer behind Finnish brand Ivana Helsinki. Suhonen’s clothes are captivating yet simple—she works mostly with cottons and wool fabrics, classic styles, fun prints—and each collection has a completely unique look.
Suhonen started the line 15 years ago, but says that it was building up for years before that. “My whole life has been one creative project,” she explains, and her inspirations are seemingly neverending. “Music is my great passion. I love Jack White, roadtrips, interesting people, good energy, my rescue dog Affe, old ‘70s films by Jörn Donner and Ingmar Bergman, great detective books…” she lists off. Seems like our kind of girl.

Her website shows 10 of these collections, and many more look-book style galleries that are styled to perfection—like the cheeky Leaving Circus, in which sad clowns looks incredibly chic. We are currently fawning over her Fall 2011 collection, called Velvet Lake, whose mosaic-style checkered knee-high boots, beehive hairdos, peacock-feather prints, and luxe winter-perfect dresses make us want to run away to the forests of Finland, taking only a photographer and maybe some hot chocolate.


Okay, so is Marc Jacobs really, really, really the new guy at Dior? And who, for that matter, is in at Vuitton? | Hollywood yohana

Recently, we talked about the rumours speculating Marc Jacobs’ move from Louis Vuitton to Dior; but today the issue has gained further momentum. Dun dun dun!
Sources claim that Bernard Arnault has officially named Jacobs as Galliano’s replacement at Dior, and an announcement is forthcoming. Moving down the fashion industry ladder, our next question inevitably is: Who will be replacing Jacobs at Vuitton?
Surprisingly, or not, all fingers point to Phoebe Philo, the woman credited for turning around the now-coveted Céline. Don’t fret, Céline lovers—it appears that Philo will simultaneously act as Céline’s creative director, meanwhile taking on Jacobs’ job at Vuitton. Pressure much?

Fashionista: “A Dior spokesperson was reached and they said, “I have no comment,” which we all know is code for “probs.”
The New York Observer: “Since he took over at Louis Vuitton in 1997, Mr. Jacobs has seen the brand’s value and reach increase immensely. Mr. Arnault will expect to see a similar growth spurt at Dior once he moves Mr. Jacobs from one LVMH brand to another.”

Susie Sheffman, fashion director: “I can’t wait for the domino effect this shakeup will have in Paris. Bring it on! With Marc Jacobs in at Dior, the return of the It bag can’t be far behind.”


What we think about baby Gaga aka Natali Germanotta designing | Hollywood yohana

Does artistic genius run in the family? When your older sister is Lady Gaga, there has to be some crossover. Natali Germanotta, who is being labelled “Baby Gaga,” is setting out to prove that she too possesses creative talent. News has broken that the 19-year-old is creating costumes for Simon Says, the Off-Broadway show set to premiere this fall in New York.
Germanotta isn’t exactly a stranger to the world of fashion and music. Whether or not you noticed, she appeared in Lady Gaga’s video for “Telephone” and accompanied her to this year’s CFDA awards. Judging from what we’ve seen, the girl’s got style! Beyond that, she has interned for designer Allison Parris and currently studies fashion design at Parsons the New School for Design.
It’s likely that Germanotta will have a high-profile career in fashion, but the question is: Will she bear resemblance to her sister’s style or set her own trends? Will her work resemble Gaga’s designer favourites, like Mugler, McQueen, and Versace? Perhaps, when designing, Germanotta is inspired by the likes of Hermès and Céline… Actually, we  highly doubt that.

Allison Parris, designer: “Natali has an edgier sense of style like her sister. Initially when she went to the Grammys a few years ago, she wore one of our little lace trapeze dresses, but she styled it up with leather and hardware. She is so nice and so easy to work with.”
The Cut: “So she’s black lipstick and razor-blade shades to the core, perhaps…Imagine the admissions officers getting that application.”
StyleCaster: “If this costume design gig falls through, we bet that Lady Gaga could make a quick phone call to Nicola Formichetti at Mugler or Jean Paul Gaultier or Donatella Versace (OK, pretty much anyone) to find Natali another sick internship. Perhaps she can design for the Haus of Gaga? Either way, when it comes to the next generation of great American fashion designers, we should probably keep an eye out for this girl.”
Siofan Davies, contributor: “Good for her for going the commoner route by going to Parsons, rather than doing two internships and starting her own label. The school is competitive and demands a lot of work, so if she ignores the short-cut doors her sister could open and sticks with the program until the end, I’ll be impressed. Let’s keep in mind that two fashionable and talented sisters in one family isn’t a stretch—Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen, Laura and Kate Mulleavy, Jodie and Danielle Snyder of Dannijo. I’d really like to see Jessica Simpson and her sister Ashlee have some kind of style swap with Lady Gaga and Natali, though. Hilarious.”


Remembering the life and work of Lillian Bassman | Hollywood yohana

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of legendary fashion photographer Lillian Bassman who succumbed to natural causes yesterday at the age of 94.
Bassman got her start as a photographer for Harper’s Bazaar, working there from the late ‘40s until the mid-‘60s. Her goal was always “to present women in the way I felt about them… feminine, serene, and elegant.”
On film, this translated into an uncanny ability to play with light and dark, while magnificently capturing the beauty and movement of the model. Her work had a touch of mystery, and we could only dream of being one of the long-necked, stylish muses in her photos.
Bassman took a lengthy hiatus in the ‘70s after trashing 40 years of prints and negatives—but came back full force in the late ‘90s. Her renewed career showed talent that was just as brilliant as ever, with the publishing of old fashion images that she found in her home. She worked right until the end of her life.
As an artist, Bassman was a true chameleon in that she was able to embrace the new digital technology and reinvent her skills. We’re sure Bassman’s work and commitment to her craft will be honored for its great impact in fashion photography and live on indefinitely.
WWD: “… talent for capturing intimate moments and then heightening them in the darkroom, made Bassman a prized figure during a long career at Harper’s Bazaar.”
Harper’s Bazzar: “The world has lost not only a great artist but also one of my personal heroes. […] We will be forever grateful for her brilliant contributions to the history of Harper’s Bazaar.”
Bernadette Morra, editor-in-chief: “Lillian’s life story is truly a glimpse into another world. In 2000, when I was still fashion editor at the Toronto Star, David Graham went to interview her in her Upper East Side coach house. It was a fascinating interview, with Lillian recounting battles with Bazaar editor Carmel Snow and describing how she and the model would do hair and makeup for her Bazaar shoots because that’s the way things were back then. She also admitted to tossing out all her old negatives because she didn’t think anyone would ever be interested in her early work. ‘Who cares about yesterday’s fashion photography?’ Lillian told Graham. More people should care.”


A tale of two fashion personalities: The scoop on Tyra’s and Tavi’s adventures in writing | Hollywood yohana

Other than fashion, what do 15-year-old blogger Tavi Gevinson and Tyra Banks have in common? They’re both set to release books in the near future. While book launches are nothing new to the fashion world, the typical material is usually limited to collections of glossy photos or instructive style guides. You may (or may not) be shocked to find out that this isn’t the case with either Tavi’s or Tyra’s upcoming ventures.
In true Tyra style, the talk-show host and former supermodel hit the streets of New York on Tuesday in a pink catsuit and a “smize” (a sparkly, gold feather-shaped eyepiece named after the term she coined on America’s Next Top Model) to promote her upcoming fantasy novel, Modelland. The antics didn’t end there, though, as Banks stopped by Good Morning America to talk about the book, scheduled for release on September 13. Apparently, she’s been working on Modelland for five years—the plot is loosely based on her life and is being described as Harry Potter with models instead of wizards. You have to give Tyra some points for imagination, right?
As for Tavi, she seems to be avoiding the fiction route and sticking to what she knows best. After a sleepover with Marisa Meltzer, the Style Rookie blogger and Girl Power author came up with the idea to publish a book on teenage experiences. The proposed zine-style Diary is said to include diverse content: from instructions on how to make a friendship bracelet to a manifesto on teenage crushes, and even some art from Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy. Because being friends with the Mulleavy sisters and having sleepovers with 34-year-old writers is really something most teens experience.
Tyra Banks on her eyepiece: “Okay, so. In Modelland, this fantasy world that I created for my novel, if you find one of these—which I call a Smize— it increases your chances of getting into the most exclusive school in the entire world, the school that creates the most amazing supermodels called Intoxibellas. It increases your chances 90%.”
Adam Vossen, StyleCaster, on Tavi: “If the book contains even half of the wit and all-over-the-place pop culture references that Style Rookie has (Tavi calls Miss Havisham of Great Expectations an HBIC–I totally LOL’d) then I for one will totally buy it.”
Ellie Krupnick, Huffington Post, on Tyra: “To accomplish her goal of total cultural domination, Tyra has enrolled in Harvard Business School, shacking up in the dorms and studying alongside her stunned classmates. In addition, of course, to gunning for her Pulitzer for ‘Modelland’.”
Amy Odell, The Cut, on Tavi: “The soonest the book could come out [is] a year from now — assuming it sells. But it’s Tavi so it probably will.”
Michael White, Managing Editor: “It makes sense that Tyra’s book is a fantasy while Tavi’s is firmly grounded in reality. It reflects where both of them seem to live their everyday lives.”


Attention Eaton Centre frequenters: Wilfred is set to open its first boutique in Toronto | Hollywood yohana


To the joy and excitement of Toronto based Wilfred fans, the label has announced that it will be opening its first boutique right in the Eaton Centre. Known for its soft , easy and feminine pieces, to date the collection has been available exclusively at Aritzia stores. That is until the end of the summer when the store (meant to evoke a historic apartment) will open its doors.
If that’s not enough, every single piece from all three lines will be stocked. So whether you prefer the classic vintage vibe of signature Wilfred, the casual effortlessness of Wilfred Free or the more luxurious Le Fou, you can get your hands on pretty much anything your heart desires. The scheduled opening is on August 25th and if you can’t wait that long to get your Wilfred fix head over to Aritzia where the label will continue to be sold.


Toronto shop notes: Need a denim fix? | Hollywood yohana

G-star Raw Spring 2012

Check out G-Star Raw’s debut flagship store (328 Queen St. W., 416-977-8828, ) for all of your blues and beyond. This large industrial space (think concrete, steel and wood) houses the brand’s full fashion spectrum, from its street style–inspired women’s and men’s collections to footwear and accessories. Stop by the denim wall and pick up a pair of noir Arc 3d Super Skinny jeans: Clémence Poésy, the French actress known for her role on Gossip Girl, rocks this style in the brand’s spring campaign. 


5 minutes with Valérie Dumaine | Hollywood yohana

Valérie Dumaine

Valérie Dumaine  has been outfitting Montreal’s style set since 2004. Known for her sleek, sophisticated separates, she carries this pared-down aesthetic into her own closet too. Here, she shares her spooky sources of inspiration.

How would you describe your style?
“Lately, my direction has been related to the fabric. I found a new company in Bangladesh that prints on silk; the prints are very abstract, but I try to work with that. The Tesla tunic reminds me of Poltergeist, when the TV turns into static. I like that it’s kind of creepy.”
What is the inspiration behind your fall 2011 collection?
“I was going for something very elegant, with more sober lines than usual, a minimalist Jil Sander look.”
What were your design inspirations for fall?
“It’s never about a specific inspiration or concept—I just do what feels right. There are often short visuals that run in my head, like mini film trailers on repeat. I think, to a certain degree, I wanted to do something that felt a bit slowed down.”
You lived in Berlin for some time. How did that experience shape you?
“I’ve always been influenced by [that part of] Europe—the Bauhaus and clean lines.”
What inspires you?
“During college, I was listening to industrial music and wearing black. These days I’m more into classic rock and metal.”
How do you unwind?
“My boyfriend and I watch a lot of horror movies.”


Male order: The return of the borrowed-from-the-boys look | Hollywood yohana

Shoe Muse

Luckily for Calgary, Dani Izzo of Check Mate Shoes has opened an additional boutique, ). With the return of the borrowed-from-the-boys look this season, now’s the time to slip into a cool pair of oxfords or brogues.

Among the store’s stellar selection of menswear-inspired styles, there’s the Miz Mooz label. Made of buttery Italian leather, the wingtip-inspired bootie ($200) features classic men’s tailoring with a feminine twist. Or try the Nash (shown, $145), a chic lace-up brogue that works well with trousers or a skirt. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Visit the Fly Trap—Canada’s first Fly London concept shop, located at the back of the store—for more fierce footwear styles.


FASHION plates: Daphne Guinness | Hollywood yohana

 What makes Daphne Guinness a fashion icon? It could be the instantly recognizable platinum and black–striped hairdo, the sky-high heels, or the over-the-top collection of couture clothes and extravagant jewellery. More so, though, it’s the heiress’s fearlessness when it comes to the way she dresses. The Museum at FIT (like so many others) has taken notice and will host an exhibit of Guinness’s clothing collection starting in September. We can’t wait to check out the lineup, which is sure to include some pieces by Guinness favourite Alexander McQueen, so in honour of the occasion we bring you a Daphne-themed edition of FASHION Plates. Take a look through our picks for how to channel a bit of Daphne with every look.