いっきゅうブログ

いっきゅうブログに反応があった・・

ご無沙汰してます。いっきゅうです。

去年の12月に配信した「いっきゅうブログ」の中で「麺打ちの玄さん」こと 同級生の大島まつきくんが

東海テレビ「ぴーかん」で、難病にもかかわらず世の為、人の為に、凄く頑張る生き様を 取材された映像を添付しました。(いっきゅうも少し取材に協力)

その添付映像が、今更ながら(7か月も経ってるのにすみません!)結構、反応があり評判が良いと分かり、すごく嬉しく思います。

で!実は、ぴーかん取材映像には、後編があったんです。

ぜひ、観てもらいたいので添付致します。

前篇の彼のコメントで、「明日、起きた時に立てなくなってる

かもしれないので、今日の事は、今日やっておく!」

と、言うのがガッツンときます!!  

林は「まぁ明日から~」ってのが多いです。

※あしたやろうはばかやろ~です。

彼とは、一週間後(8/7)のバレー部OB会で会う予定なので、

応援してくれる人が、たくさんいる件を伝えます。

ところで、みなさん「なついあつ!」いゃ「暑い夏」と「不景気」に負けずにがんばりましょう~!

真夏ですが、好きな格言で「夜降る雪は積る。」ってのがあります。 深い言葉ですね!!!

ちなみに、我社の22年度の重点課題(張り紙)は「初心忘るべからず」と「笑売は昇売となり勝売となる」です。

では、「陽転思考」とか「天国体質」で、不安や起きてもいない心配事はぶっ飛ばしていきましょ~

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<p> </p>eGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHR%2Bk7huUTK5GduMziZZw2K6rSnCeVSnLO4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFV<p></p><p><br> Click the image above to view the full photogallery. Our correspondent has finally broached the gates of the Prada sample sale. "It's pretty orderly in here," she reports. Clothes are priced as marked, and there are fitting rooms. We don't expect the place to stay tidy for long, though. The...<br> <br> <br> </p> <p></p>Actually, the items mentioned taste pretty good. I ate worms, beetle larvae and python when I lived in Nigeria many years ago. People ate the worms, fried in oil, lightly sprinkled with salt, in the same way people here snack on potato chips. It took me a year to work up the nerve but when I finally did I began to eat them as regularly as everybody else. Beetle larvae were eaten raw or fried. They literally walked across the plate but, like the worms were delicious too. I ate python stew in my husband's village. After the snake was beheaded, skinned and eviscerated, it was cooked with palm oil, tomato, cayenne pepper, and a green veggie, called Bitter leaf. It was then, served over rice. The meat was succulent but, there was not enough of it - like eating a chicken back. <br><br>Being from the South, I've eaten plenty of rabbit and buffalo, as well as tortoise and alligator. Buffalo is like beef delux and a heck of a lot more healthy. Rabbit is also a tasty meat that is healthy. <br><br>In my view, regardless of what is eaten (as long as it is not human), whether it tastes good or not really depends on the cook.<p></p><p>MILAN - The Prada winter fashion show was pure entertainment from the real live actors modelling the clothes, to the huge red-carpeted runway set in the ballroom of an invented palazzo, to the eccentric and at times dramatic outfits.</p><p>Such Hollywood A-listers as Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Gary Oldman, Tim Roth, Emile Hirsch and Jamie Bell walked the runway with a naturalness that confirmed their talent as perfect players in the Prada pageant.</p><p>Most of the actors wore the collection's staple overcoat, long, black and elegant with wire-rimmed sunglasses tucked like a handkerchief in the breast pocket.</p><p>Only Adrian Brody donned a double-breasted red overcoat with a black velvet collar and fur-trimmed lapel, and sported matching red-lensed, round sunglasses.</p><p>Overall Miuccia Prada's winter 2013 collection presented Sunday, the second day of the four-day Milan menswear preview showings, spoke of a man who likes to be both eccentric and mysterious, is quite sure of himself and at times a bit of a snob.</p><p>He wears brooches that look like medals on his jacket, prefers vests to sweaters and likes the arrogance of a high stiff collar on his white shirts. He's not embarrassed to wear underwear as outerwear and toss off his overcoat to reveal a pair of boxer shorts paired with a tuxedo shirt and gartered knee socks.</p><p>Somewhat of a dandy, he prefers his hair long, as is tempted by the eccentricity of a moustache.</p><p>Leave it to Miuccia, who every season proves to be the most creative of Italian designers, to put on a show where despite the thrill of Oscar-winning actors playing the part of models, the clothes still kept the leading role.</p> <br><p>It's late at night and a friend takes out a small Prada pouch; in it - his collection of pharmaceuticals, he's got everything from Adderall to Xanax, throw in some Vicodin for good measure. I'm there with my best friend, it's a rainy day, we've rushed over, the meds have mixed and we're on the rescue. Making sure he's okay. </p><p>Last year, over the summer, I was with a friend in the park; we were joined by an acquaintance, who pulled out a backpack full of little boxes, clear and full of multi-color pills. This is the newest trend, bags of pharmaceuticals handed out like candy corn. I heard, through the grape-vine, that brings harrowing news, that he was discovered naked in bed, his heart given out. </p><p>I briefly dated someone, by briefly, I mean, we met ... had a drink. He was cute enough to drag home, make out and kiss, then he became too comfortable. Confessions poured out. He'd only had one drink, maybe two. He was on Lexparo, he gushed this quickly, the glazed look in his eye was striking and frightening, he rattled on about his latest suicide attempt with surprising ease. Needless to say there wasn't a second get together, I tried to kick him out - yet it was one hell of an effort. I should have known the look, the washed over smile that's both eerie, sometimes human, but mostly bland. Someone on an SSRI never seems to have a sparkle in their eye. </p><p>Last year (or was it two as well), in one of the most harrowing moments of my life, I crashed off Celexa, my shrink at the time, had referred me to a sort of ambivalent psychotherapist that took my money and gave me a prescription, after prescription. I discovered the calming effects of a small dose of Ativan at that time. He took out his pad, gave me pills and never followed up. Then one day my insurance ran out, because I was a waiter, and was instantly fired, because that's just what happens. Let me also note, that it's very uncommon for waiters in New York to have health insurance. </p><p>Crashing on Celexa was this mind numbing - altering concept, I wrote about it , a blow by blow of each sullen moment, as the drugs strong hold left me weak and listless, I understood first hand, how people could easily commit suicide when withdrawing if unsupervised. To this day, I get about one person a week, asking for help, reaching out in desperation because the drug hasn't worked or they're trying to quit.</p><p>Most just chose to comment and leave their story, take a moment to read them. This drug, even though it seems to mask depression, giving the illusion of normal so important in our culture, is nothing but a wrapping, a shroud for the mind, a mist of detachment. I liken it to a pink sheet wrapping my emotions, when the drug wore off, all at once - the torrents of happiness and sadness and those things that I've never been able to control well - came gushing. During withdrawal, it acted as a permeable membrane, allowing only sadness. How masterful these drug companies are. </p><p>Now scientists are developing Orexin A, that's supposed to cure the need for sleep. Originally developed for the military, there are net rumors that it will be available by prescription. I'm sure it'll be the next Adderall. </p><p>I'm sitting at my favorite bar, having my vodka soda, talking to my hot bartender crush. We're talking about the new hot nightlife trend, Adderall. At cocktail parties it's whispered about, it's a better high then coke and you're more in control. Someone is trying to convince someone to get it for them. Someone has it, there are rumors, it is wanted. The hot bartender is telling me he has a source, he winks. It's ever so mysterious. He tells me, he likes to take it, when he's cleaning his apartment, it's better for focus. I imagine him dusting in the buff and sigh. Someone else mentions, "it's great for weight loss, that's what all the skinny celebs are taking". </p><p>Most everyone I know is on a pill or trying to get one; everyone I know is trying to cure something. My friend, with the Prada pill bag, was trying to cure a broken heart. This most impossible promise, that everything will be fine if you just take a pill. </p><p>A few months ago, I went to my primary care physician. I confessed I was a bit bummed. He causally offers a prescription for Lexapro, tells me it's great. I cringe; try not to run out of the office screaming madly, I explained the hold it had on me. He smirked, "it couldn't have been that bad". </p><p>Rapidly, a pill will mask the symptoms of everything; we will forget who our natural selves are; as we pop big pharma like they're M&Ms. I'm happy I'm detoxing shortly, no booze, just tea. I've always been a watcher and observer, trying to balance the writerly need to experience and the compassionate need to listen to stories and understand. </p><p>Gawker has called us the creative classes. But I don't think pill-popping is confined to just the artsy types. Dash Snow comes to mind. But it's rampant in CEO culture, with the wealthy, with those that have access and want to try new things. After all, pills are expensive, so pill-popping is for the rich. </p><p>Our culture pushes us to try the newest latest shinny object, weather it be tech, clothing, accessory or drug. Then again, aren't they all sort of the same thing. </p><p></p><p>Check out the book,<br>[]</p><p>My blog and other work,<br>[]</p> <p> Follow Alex Geana on Twitter: </p>As an investor, this interests me a lot. Amazon seems unstoppable. However, high fashion is tough. When I bought myself a Prada suit at Barneys for my birthday, I was surprised to find out that I wear a 36 Prada suit jacket (but I wear a 38/40 in Paul Smith and Zegna). Also, Barneys tailored the suit for me after I bought it. <br><br>Designer clothing is one of thing you can't really showroom, because fit is everything. Fit matters less in a pair of LL Bean jeans than it does in a Lanvin blazer or a Gucci shirt. <br><br>I stopped ordering designer clothing from Bluefly, because I could never get the fit right. However, I still order designer shoes from Bluefly, because a shoe size is a shoe size. <br><br>If Amazon can work out some sort of avatar-based virtual dressing room, it'll put department stores out of business. Barneys is already on the ropes. I love Barneys. I love Amazon too, but I never see any super models when I'm shopping at Amazon.<p>We know the ; but what would you do-woo-woo for a different kind of Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 4.0 perhaps?</p><p>While you can attempt all manner of feats to obtain a Klondike Bar, there's not much to get Google's Ice Cream Sandwich (the announced in October) if your own an older Android smartphone. Samsung's Galaxy Nexus smartphone was and comes pre-loaded with ICS; it remains with Ice Cream Sandwich, as owners of non-Galaxy Nexus and non-Nexus S phones await their updates. </p><p>So when can you expect Ice Cream Sandwich to be available on your Android phone? Below, we've rounded up the latest, manufacturer by manufacturer:</p><p>SONY</p><p>If you've got a Sony Xperia, Ice Cream Sandwich should be arriving at the end of March or beginning of April 2012. In , Martina Johansson of Sony Ericsson provides a timeline for the roll-out, writing that Sony's developers are busy "merging...current Xperia software with the new features in Android 4.0." The big update is due in a few months and will come first to the Xperia arc S, the Xperia neo V and the Xperia ray; these will be followed by the Xperia arc, the Xperia PLAY, the Xperia neo, the Xperia mini/mini pro, the Xperia pro and the Xperia active. </p><p>Basically, all your Xperia devices are going to get Ice Cream Sandwich eventually, ; there is no firm release date for the Tablet S as of yet, however. </p><p>By way of explanation for the wait, Johansson also lays out the process for integrating Android 4.0 with Sony's own software. Since many mobile manufacturers place their own skins or flavors on top of Android (think Motorola's MotoBlur or HTC's Sense), it takes some time to satisfactorily combine the two. These bullet points serve as a nice primer on the ICS delay for all manufacturers:</p> <p>SAMSUNG</p><p>Samsung's Galaxy Nexus already has Ice Cream Sandwich, of course, and most Nexus S phones should have already received an over-the-air update. The status of Android 4.0 for other Samsung smartphones is less clear. Here's what we know, for now:</p><p>- Samsung Nexus S phones on December 16. If you own a Nexus S, you should be using an Ice Cream Sandwich device at this point.<br>- The Samsung Galaxy S II of 2012, as will the . <br>- The Samsung Galaxy S and Samsung Galaxy Tabs were both on track for Ice Cream Sandwich, until they weren't, until they were again, maybe. Basically, Samsung claimed that they would update the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab to Android 4.0 and then announced that they would not, due to the limitations of the device's RAM and ROM to run both ICS and a bit of touch-interface software called TouchWiz simultaneously. Now, apparently bowing to consumer pressure, Samsung is re-examining ICS for the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tabs, . </p>UPDATE: As of January 3, Samsung said it will not introduce a full ICS upgrade for the Galaxy S smartphone.<p>LG</p><p>Ice Cream Sandwich updates to LG devices will start in Q2 2012 (that's some time between April and June) and will come in two phases.</p><p>1. In the first phase, the Optimus LTE, Prada Phone by LG 3.0, Optimus 2X, Optimus Sol, myTouch Q and Eclipse will all get ICS. This will begin in Q2 2012.<br>2. In the second phase, the Optimus 3D, Optimus Black, Optimus Big, Optimus Q2 and Optimus EX will be updated. That will start in Q3 2012, or some time between July and September 2012. </p><p>Missing from the list, : the LG Nitro HD, the G2X, the Thrill 4G, the DoublePlay, the G-Slate and the MyTouch. </p><p>MOTOROLA<br></p><p>There's not a boatload of Motorola ICS info -- especially on specific phones -- though the company, which Google recently agreed to acquire, is gearing up to push forward Google's newest mobile OS to its handsets. </p><p>- The Motorola Droid RAZR will get Ice Cream Sandwich in early 2012, . <br>- The Droid Bionic and all Xoom tablets will be upgraded to ICS eventually, . <br>- No updates on the Droid X or Droid 3, the Atrix 4G or the Photon 4G; Motorola says it is "planning on upgrading as many of [its] phones as possible."<br>- On specific devices, a post on the official Motorola website from December 7 had this to say about specific devices and ICS: "[O]ver the next month we will be determining which devices will get the upgrade and when -- and we will communicate this as information becomes available." It's been about twenty days since that pronouncement; look for additional details and decisions about individual Motorola phones and Ice Cream Sandwich, then, within the next two weeks. </p><p>HTC</p><p>Finally, we come to HTC, maker of several well-selling Android handsets, including the popular HTC Evo. is all we've heard:</p>Ice Cream Sandwich is coming in early 2012 to a variety of devices including the HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation XL and HTC Sensation XE, as well as the HTC Rezound*, HTC EVO 3D, HTC EVO Design 4G* and HTC Amaze 4G* through close integration with our carrier partners.<p>We also got a glimpse of what is supposedly one of HTC's first Ice Cream Sandwich phones, the HTC Ville, . BGR says the Ville is set to launch in April. </p><p>-----</p><p>And that's almost everything we know on the mobile Ice Cream Sandwich front! Developing and testing a new Android operating system can clearly be a difficult and lengthy process for the manufacturers, so all of this is subject to change and could become irrelevant overnight. In the meantime, we'll keep you updated on all the latest major developments in the Android 4.0 world as the news breaks. </p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p> <br><p>The is definitely a time to experiment with fashion, but model Anja Rubik took experimenting to a whole new level on Monday night.</p><p>Rubik, who showed up on the arm of designer Anthony Vaccarello, was also wearing one of his creations: a cream-colored satiny dress with gaping holes in the, uh, chest and lower abdomen areas. Not only was Anja doing our favorite meme, , but when we saw her in person on the red carpet, we were afraid more than just her leg was going to pop out.</p><p>It's not like Anja's afraid to show her body -- she posed for the . But, first , and now Anja... is there about to be a whole new trend? Are hipbones the new cleavage?</p><p>And ... there's no way she's wearing underwear with that, right? Just sayin'.</p><p>Check out Anja's dress below and weigh in: is her look a fashion home run?</p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p>Click below to see the rest of the!</p><p><br> </p> <br><p>When we watched dance her fashionable butt off in a new music video for H&M, we started thinking about how much we love when models and editors shake it for the camera. </p><p> with Anja Rubik to celebrate the relaunch of Vogue Paris' website, Raquel Zimmermann has and it's no secret that </p><p>Take a look at the fashion videos below and let us know which is your favorite?</p><p></p><p>Want more? Be sure to check out Stylelist on , , and .<br><br><br></p>Coco Chanel and Anna Wintour both managed to become living incarnations of that 20th-century obsession (that we now take entirely for granted),...<p>If we were asked to assemble our dream dinner party, our fantasy guests would likely include Anna Wintour, Sarah Jessica Parker and Michelle Obama.</p><p>The crazy thing is, it's actually happening. As you might have heard, in New York on June 14 -- and as it turns out, our favorite Vogue editor-in-chief will be in attendance as well.</p><p>The good news? There are invites up for grabs for . The bad news? Anna Wintour is making the whole thing sound very, very intimidating in </p><p>The clip, released by the Obama 2012 campaign today, was filmed right in Anna's famously cavernous office for maximum scare-factor. And despite wearing a cheery scarf around her neck, Anna keeps her voice clipped and cool and offers nary a smile.</p><p>Geez, as if meeting SJP, FLOTUS, POTUS and Anna wasn't already nerve-wracking enough.</p><p>Would you dare to dine with Anna? Check out the video above. If you'd rather embrace Anna and Obama from afar, you can pick up some (see the pics below!)</p><p>And if you're more of a Romney fan... well, . Seriously.</p><p></p><p>"Sporty" is rarely a word we associate with . But and the woman turns into a expletive-spewing, beer drinking, foam finger-wearing sports maniac!</p><p>Well, sort of. Wintour, an avid tenis fan, engaged in some moderate cheering and even cracked a smile at Wimbledon 2012 this weekend, which she attended with partner John Shelby Bryan. The editrix watched from the Royal Box (you know, ) and socialized with Important People including Miroslava Vavrinec, Roger Federer's wife. (Anna's a big Federer fan, .)</p><p>So what does the ruler of the fashion world wear to a tennis match? Prada, of course. We stand corrected: it was Marc Jacobs!</p><p>Check out Anna going (moderately) wild for her favorite sport.</p><p>PHOTOS:</p><p></p><p></p><p>Want more? Be sure to check out HuffPost Style on , , and .</p><p>Radar:</p><p>Although head Vogue-ette Anna Wintour has previously made light of her ex-assistant Lauren Weisberger’s best-selling roman a clef, we hear the Devil may care after all. Sources say Wintour has been doing everything in her power to ensure the film version of The Devil Wears Prada fizzles—even threatening to blacklist some of the fashion world’s biggest names if they agree to do cameos.</p><p>When Wintour got wind that producers had been recruiting major designers for walk-on roles, sources close to the film say she unleashed a flurry of phone calls intimating to the aspiring thespians that they’d be persona non grata in the pages of her high-end glossy if they participated. </p><p></p><p>Hey, remember that time when ?</p><p>Yes, it really happened. On Wednesday night, the Vogue editor-in-chief found herself in Colbert's unflatteringly lit, garishly decorated studio (so very un-Vogue), sitting for an interview for an episode of </p><p>And of course, because Anna is made of pure magic and genius and all things cunning and clever, her "Colbert" performance was actually quite charming. Despite Colbert's protestations -- "Don't suck me into your gay world!" -- Anna managed to get Stephen smiling... and knocked him down a few pegs. </p><p>Colbert was all, "I don't really trust Prada, because my understanding is the devil wears Prada. And this is a Christian nation, madame!" And Anna was all, "That movie was so last year. Really, we've gone way beyond that movie." Stephen, you just got served. </p><p>Not one to be deterred, Colbert also made sure to ask the burning question we've all been dying to ask Anna:</p>"Is there ever a time you can not care about fashion? Do you ever just say to yourself, 'Today, to hell with this!' put on your zebra-striped sweatpants and go to Long John Silvers and just lose yourself in a pile of batter fried shrimp?"<p>See how Anna responded (as well as her thoughts on ) in the clip above. </p><p></p> <br><p> is rumoured to be pregnant with her first child. </p><p>The 29-year-old Devil Wears Prada actress and her fiance Adam Schulman reportedly arranged a dinner in New York on Thursday night to announce the happy news to family and close friends.</p><p></p><p>A source told RadarOnline.com:</p><p>The party celebrated into the wee small hours at the Picholine restaurant on Manhattan's Upper West Side and, according to the source, the actress was said to have a visible baby bump.</p><p> they said.</p><p></p><p></p><p>The couple - who have been together since 2008 and engaged since November last year - have yet to set a date for their wedding.</p><p>Meanwhile, has revealed how much fun she had playing Catwoman in the forthcoming Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises.</p><p>She told The Daily Record: </p><p>> IN PICS: PREGNANT CELEBS<br></p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p><p>SAN JOSE, Calif. &mdash; An attorney for Apple told a jury Tuesday that bitter rival Samsung faced two options to compete in the booming cellphone market after Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone to critical acclaim in 2007: Innovate or copy.</p><p>Samsung chose to copy, making its smartphones and computer tablets illegal knockoffs of Apple's popular products, attorney Harold McElhinny claimed.</p><p>Samsung "has copied the entire design and user experience" of Apple's iPhone and iPad, McElhinny told a jury during his opening statement at the patent trial involving the world's two largest makers of cellphones.</p><p>In his opening statement, Samsung attorney Charles Verhoeven countered that the South Korean company employs thousands of designers and spends billions of dollars on research and development to create new products.</p><p>"Samsung is not some copyist, some Johnny-come-lately doing knockoffs," he said.</p><p>Verhoeven asserted that Apple is like many other companies that use similar technology and designs to satisfy consumer demands for phones and other devices that play music and movies and take photographs.</p><p>For example, he said several other companies and inventors have filed patent applications for the rounded, rectangular shape associated with Apple products.</p><p>"Everyone is out there with that basic form factor," Verhoeven said. "There is nothing wrong with looking at what your competitors do and being inspired by them."</p><p>A verdict in Apple's favor could lead to banishment of Samsung's Galaxy products from the U.S. market, said Mark A. Lemley, a professor and director of the Stanford Program in Law, Science, and Technology.</p><p>A verdict in Samsung's favor, especially if it prevails on its demands that Apple pay its asking price for certain transmission technology, could lead to higher-priced Apple products.</p><p>The witness lists of both sides are long on experts, engineers and designers and short on familiar names. Apple CEO Tim Cook is not scheduled to testify.</p><p>On Tuesday afternoon, Apple designer Christopher Stringer wrapped up the first day of testimony discussing his role in helping create the company's iPhone and iPod during his 17 years at the company.</p><p>Dressed in a tan suit, the bearded and long haired designer said because of Apple's desire to create original products, he and his co-workers surmounted numerous engineering problems such as working with the products' glass faces in producing both products over a number of years. Stringer said he was upset when he saw Samsung's Galaxy products enter the market.</p><p>"We've been ripped off, it's plain to see," Stringer said. "It's offensive."</p><p>Trial resumes Friday with the testimony of Apple senior vice president for marketing Philip Schiller.</p><p>Cupertino-based Apple Inc. filed its lawsuit against Samsung Electronics Co. last year and is demanding $2.5 billion in damages, an award that would dwarf the largest patent-related verdict to date.</p><p>The case marks the latest skirmish between the two companies over product designs. A similar trial began last week, and the two companies have been fighting in other courts in the United Kingdom and Germany.</p><p>In the patent case, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh last month ordered Samsung to pull its Galaxy 10.1 computer tablet from the U.S. market pending the outcome of the patent trial. However, she barred Apple attorneys from telling jurors about the ban.</p><p>Apple lawyers argue there is almost no difference between Samsung products and its own, and that the South Korean company's internal documents show it copied Apple's iconic designs and its interface.</p><p>Samsung counter-claims that Apple copied its iPhone from Sony. In addition, Samsung alleges Apple is using some of Samsung's own inventions without payment, such as a computer chip at the heart of the iPhone.</p><p>Samsung lawyers also stressed the company has been developing mobile phones since 1991, long before Apple jumped into the market in 2007.</p><p>Also at issue at the trial are some of the most basic functions of today's smartphones and computer tablets, including scrolling with one finger and zooming with a finger tap.</p><p>Tuesday morning's proceedings began with a bit of drama.</p><p>First, a juror pleaded with the judge to be released from the trial, saying she suffered a panic attack and spent a sleepless night after belatedly discovering that her employer would not pay her salary while she served. A sympathetic judge granted her request and left the jury with nine members.</p><p>Then the judge rebuked John Quinn, one of Samsung's attorneys, for refusing to stop a line of legal argument the judge said she had ruled on numerous times.</p><p>"Mr. Quinn, don't make me sanction you," the judge said as the lawyer continued his argument. "Please. Please. Please, take a seat."</p><p>Quinn relented and sat down, but his tenacity underscored the high stakes of the trial that is costing both sides millions of dollars in legal fees and expenses. Battalions of lawyers from prestigious law firms are working overtime to file myriad court documents.</p><p>The most senior lawyers on each side charge upward of $500 an hour for their representation</p><p>Legal experts said that most patent disputes are resolved way before trials that can bring unpredictable and ruinous verdicts.</p><p>"A patent case of this magnitude has the possibility of impacting phone technology for years to come," said Manotti Jenkins, a patent attorney with no stake in the trial. "Given the substantial revenue that is generated by smartphone technology, companies are likely to prompt more litigation of this type and continue to use the courts as an attempt to protect and expand market share."</p><p>Like most normal people everywhere, we adore Miranda Priestly -- so ruthless but with a heart of gold! Anne Hathaway -- so bumblingly green but then wins in the end! The clothes -- so chic!</p><p>Well, at least they were chic six years ago in 2006, when the lovable flick was first released and we first rooted for Andy Sachs to survive at Runway in all of her argyle skirting and earnest ambition. The most iconic okay, the best scene in the movie is the montage set to Madonna's "Vogue" of Hathaway morphing from frumpy duckling to Chanel-feathered swan with a little help from Runway's sample closet.</p><p>But we recently watched the movie again at a girls' night, and as we quoted most of the movie's lines back verbatim, we kept analyzing the film's fashion. In six short years, what hath time and trends wrought of all those statement necklaces?</p><p>Of course, trends from 2006 haven't quite yet garnered the LOL-ness we usually reserve for looks from 20 years ago. (We can't wait to see what people think of ombre hair in 2032.) We suspect the tweed newsboy caps aren't gracing too many heads these days, but some of the movie's style -- red lips, blunt bangs -- seems here to stay.</p><p>We can't decide on our own, so check out the slideshow below (and watch the Vogue scene!) and tell us which looks you think are still trendy in the comments.</p><p>PHOTOS:</p><p></p><p></p><p>The Wall Street Journal:</p><p>Pope Benedict XVI is appealing to a new group of admirers: marketers seeking not blessings but pontifical product placements.</p><p>Since his election last year, the pope has been spotted wearing Serengeti-branded sunglasses and brown walking shoes donated by Geox. He owns a specially engraved white Apple iPod, and he recently stirred much publicity with a pair of stylish red loafers that may or may not be from Prada.</p><p></p> <br><p>wwd.com:</p><p>Stylists like Rachel Zoe, Arianne Phillips and Nancy Steiner are used to earning top dollar to make celebrities look camera-ready. But recently they had the tables turned on them, posing for painter Kimberly Brooks as part of her new series "The Stylist Project." And much like her aesthetically attuned subjects, Brooks took a highly detailed approach in rendering their likeness. </p><p></p> <br>Click here to leave a comment.HuffPost High School welcomes a lively, thoughtful debate in the comment section. Keep in mind that the articles here are penned by young authors, so please keep criticism respectful, and help us to keep this a safe and supportive place for writers of all ages to contribute.<p>I had my very own Carrie Bradshaw moment this week: I bagged a Balenciaga for 25 quid! The Shrug - oh yes, handbags this posh have their very own names - nestled on my arm as I dashed between meetings. It whispered sweet nothings as we sailed around the supermarket and even brought glamour to a sweaty, crowded bus journey. Standing room only? An armpit shoved in my face? With The Shrug by my side I could rise above it all. </p><p>Needless to say, our love affair didn't last. After discovering that designer bag rental is the latest credit-crunch way to remain on-trend, I hired The Shrug for a week to add some oomph to my outfit at a very posh function. Just like Cinderella, however, my bag was on the clock. As midnight chimed we scuttled home, then tearfully parted company next morning, when I lovingly wrapped The Shrug inside The Jiffy and posted it back to its rightful owner. </p><p>Still, my few days with the Balenciaga reminded me that, in these cash-strapped times, it's more important than ever to find short-cuts for living the high life. After all, just because the economy has nosedived, we don't want to, do we? Sure, our budgets might be getting tighter than our skinny jeans, but that doesn't mean we're ready to stop having fun. Recession or not, we still want a home that looks great, a wardrobe to rival Carrie Bradshaw's and enough left over to enjoy a special dinner at the end of a hard week. Not easy on a credit-crunch salary, but I'm on a mission to prove that it's possible to find ways to wear Prada on a Primark budget.<br> <br>Every week in Skint in the City I'll be sharing my efforts to live like a million dollars on a less-than-wonderful wage. From feathering my nest for free to grabbing the luxe look for less, I'll bring you a warts-and-all account of my adventures in riding out the recession with style and passing along all the tips I learn along the way, such as where to ferret out the best spa deals and how to cut corners when it comes to entertaining friends. </p><p>Having spent years living on a titchy salary in some of the world's most expensive places, including Barcelona and St Tropez, I've learned plenty of tips from my continental sisters; such as how to buy Pucci and enjoy supper at the must-go restaurants while living on the slimmest of budgets. I've learned to decorate apartments on a shoestring in some of Europe's property hotspots, but it's not been plain sailing. Just recently, for example, I fell in love with the tobacco-coloured walls of a Parisian bistro and set about trying to recreate them at home. The result? Let's say it was more Scunthorpe Working Men's Club circa 1952 than a 1930s bistro by the Seine. </p><p>Still, now that I'm happily settled back in Glasgow, my quest to bag the high life on a shoestring budget continues. Week by week, I'll be road testing ways to live like a million dollars on a credit-crunch wage and finding out how to cut corners without anyone noticing - and I want to spread the news.<br> <br>This week's been a busy one. As well as renting The Shrug for a fraction of its retail price I also arranged a house-swapping holiday. Yep, I've just agreed to hand over my home to a total stranger and her family, in return for using her place in Malaga over Christmas. Free accommodation and all we pay is the flights. Barmy or brilliant? Time will tell. Her house comes with a pool, so swapping Glasgow's southside for southern Spain seems like a no-brainer - on paper at least. </p><p>In preparation I'm now packing away all the things that are too good / embarrassing / shabby to share with my guests, and cleaning the house like it's never been cleaned before. The thing is: can I trust my fellow-swappers not to trash the place? In my quest to save a few quid, have I gone too far? My guests have assured me that they're very laidback, but some of their recent questions are making me wonder. I'll let you know how it goes. </p><p>You can read more tips for living stylishly on a budget at .</p><p>Follow Ashley Lennon on Twitter:</p><p>NEW YORK &mdash; Lauren Weisberger has made another deal with the devil.</p><p>Simon & Schuster announced Thursday that the author of "The Devil Wears Prada" has a sequel planned for next April.</p><p>"Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns" continues the adventures of former magazine assistant Andrea "Andy" Sachs, now a bridal magazine editor, and the imperious boss she thought she had escaped, Miranda Priestly.</p><p>Published in 2003, "The Devil Wears Prada" was adapted into a hit film of the same name starring Meryl Streep as Miranda and Anne Hathaway as Andy.</p><p>Weisberger is a former assistant at Vogue and Miranda is widely considered a fictionalized version of editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.</p><p>By Linda Rosenkrantz for </p><p>Want to give your baby a name that truly telegraphs a sense of style? One way is by going directly to the world of high fashion: representing several different cultures, the names of many 20th/21st century fashion design icons prove to be exceptionally distinctive, diverse, creative and inspirational. Here are the Nameberry picks for best :</p>Community Notice:We've made some changes to our badge program, including the addition<br>of our newest badge: Community Curator.From big, bouffant hair at Prada to smoky &quot;rock chick&quot; eyes at Pucci and Cavalli, take a look below for the lowdown on the biggest trends to emerge from Milan Fashion Week.Click here to leave a comment.HuffPost High School welcomes a lively, thoughtful debate in the comment section. Keep in mind that the articles here are penned by young authors, so please keep criticism respectful, and help us to keep this a safe and supportive place for writers of all ages to contribute.<p>History was made in dramatic style on Sunday as Ben Ainslie won his fourth consecutive gold medal, making him the most decorated Olympic sailor of all time.</p><p>Huge crowds came to watch the talented 35-year-old as he battled the choppy seas in his Finn dinghy named "Rita".</p><p>Ainslie has beaten the current record held by great Dane Paul Elvstrom who won four golds between 1948 and 1960. </p><p>Together with the silver medal he won in 1996, Ainslie now has an incredible five Olympic medals in five consecutive Games.</p><p>Danish Sailor Jonas Hogh-Christensen gave the Brit a run for his money but Ainslie managed to finish in the top spot.</p><p>Speaking after the race he described himself as "speechless" and made a special mention to Hogh-Christensen's performance.</p><p>However, when asked if he'd be sailing again in the 2016 Olympic Games, he replied "never say never, but I'd be surprised if you see me in Rio".</p><p>Earlier in the day British hearts were broken on the water as Sweden denied Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson gold in the Star class.</p><p>The defending Olympic champions sailed exceptionally throughout the week and came into the medal race with an eight-point lead over Brazil's Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada.</p><p>However, it was Sweden, not Brazil, that proved Percy and Simpson's undoing as the Brits lost their crown to Fredrik Loof and Max Salminen.</p><p>The British pair came into the medal race with a comfortable lead, knowing fourth place or better would guarantee them gold.</p><p>They also needed to finish sixth or higher should third-place Sweden win the medal race, which, unfortunately for Percy and Simpson, they did.</p><p>Britain entered the final leg of the race in sixth but slipped away in the last 100 metres to finish eighth, handing Loof and Salminen gold on the Nothe Course.</p><p>Percy and Simpson had begun the race strongly and rounded the first mark in fifth, with main pre-race rivals Scheidt and Prada eighth.</p><p>The Brazilian pair moved up to fifth at the second mark, but Percy and Simpson remained in front and crossed the mark four seconds ahead.</p><p>The Brits were having to hold their nerve to keep Scheidt and Prada at bay, but opened up a three-place gap with a marvellous turn at the third mark. Sweden rounded the fourth mark in the lead and Great Britain in fifth, while Scheidt and Prada were ninth of the 10-boat fleet.</p><p>Percy and Simpson's attention soon turned to Sweden instead, who threatened their gold medal position.</p><p>The Brits needed to finish sixth or higher if Loof and Salminen won the medal race, but suffered on the final downwind as they went from as high as fourth to finish eighth overall to mean ended up with silver.</p><p></p><p></p><p>Justifying a massive shoe collection may just be the central conflict between women and men, but now it's become a major issue in one woman's public divorce.</p><p> that , a professional poker player and self-proclaimed "," is being sued by her ex-husband for failing to report during their divorce proceedings. Beth's shoe collection includes around 700 pairs of Louboutins and it's even been featured on an episode of MTV's Cribs. (Related: Does anybody else remember when Beth Shak was on ?)</p><p>The shoe connoisseur's ex-husband Daniel Shak claims he never knew about all of these pricey heels and that Now we're sure their Fifth Avenue pad was a decent size, but we can't help but wonder how 1,200 pairs of shoes can be hidden in any New York City apartment? And isn't it just so typical of a guy to be completely oblivious to a woman's amazing shoes? Beth told the New York Post:</p>I’m shaking my head over this whole thing. He is saying he didn’t know the closet in our master bedroom existed.<p>Beth doesn't seem to be too shy about her stockpile, last year. Apparently, it took a national television segment to get her ex-husband's attention, because he now claims that he's entitled to 35% of her estimated $1 million shoe assortment. </p><p> for more information and tell us what you think in the comments below.</p><p></p><p>Check out Beth Shak's massive shoe collection!</p><p></p><p>Want more? Be sure to check out HuffPost Style on , , and .</p><p>The came and went, with dozens of stars walking the treacherous Metropolitan Museum steps. But after two hours of the step-and-repeat routine, was nowhere to be seen. </p><p>We waited and waited, for at least 30 minutes. Maybe Blue Ivy couldn't get a sitter? Maybe she and Jay-Z were simply watching the livestream from their Tribeca pad? </p><p>But of course, in Beyonce came, accompanied up the stairs by none other than Andre Leon Talley. And the dress was worth the wait: a dramatic black lace Givenchy confection, almost completely sheer from top to bottom. Seriously, you could see the outline of Bey's entire lower body. Did Tina Knowles have a say in this?</p><p>It was a much racier, more complicated look than we were expecting -- and we can't decide how we feel about it. Check Beyonce's dramatic entrance. Do you love this look?<br><br></p><p></p><p></p><p><br></p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p> <br><p></p><p>Celebrity minions really do get all the best jobs don't they? Just who doesn't want to be Beyonce's professional tail feather fluffer?</p><p>As Bey made her red carpet return at last night's impossibly glamorous Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations Costume Institute Gala (aka the Met Gala), her first outing since giving birth, she needed a little help showing off her, errm, understated gown.</p><p>The dress, made by Givenchy couture, was embellished with hundreds of crystals and featured a huge feather train.</p><p></p><p>Let's hope she wasn't moulting all over that red carpet. </p><p></p><p>> IN PICS: THE MET GALA 2012 RED CARPET<br></p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p> <br><p>The 2012 Met Gala red carpet was dazzling per usual, with style showstoppers like Rihanna, Rachel Roy, Paula Patton and Solange Knowles killing the red carpet with their fabulousity. </p><p>But it would be Solange's big sister aka Sasha Fierce aka Queen Bey akathat would steal the show...Beyonce!</p><p>Can we just reflect on the fact that on January 7, 2012 the mega star gave birth to beautiful baby and on May 7, 2012 she stepped out in a gorgeous sheer gown?</p><p>Sure, she has a team of people helping her get back to bootylicious form for her --but bravo all the same. </p><p>The ultra see-through black lace Givenchy design was a little bit Las Vegas showgirl and whole lot of fabulous! Super sexy yet still sophisticated. </p><p>The 30-year-old "Love On Top" singer was escorted down the massive red carpet by none other then our favorite Vogue editor-turned-reality show star Andre Leon Talley. </p><p>Beyonce is hands down the best-dressed star in our eyes. What do you think?</p><p>Check out Queen Bey's amazing ensemble and ALL of the looks from the star-studded event in the slideshow below...</p><p></p><p></p><p><br></p> <br><p>Beyonce has given fans a sneak peek at her next music video for her single I Was Here, filmed in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations, with some stunning photos of her performing on stage.</p><p></p><p>The video will debut on World Humanitarian Day, 19 August, to shine a spotlight on humanitarian work and encourage people around the world to get involved by doing something good for others.</p><p></p><p>Earlier this week the Crazy In Love singer met with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon inside the UN General Assembly Hall in New York City, where they discussed the new campaign.</p><p><br>Beyonce posted this photo of herself with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on her Facebook page</p><p>She is 'donating' the video to campaign bosses in a bid to encourage one billion people around the world to get active in their communities. </p><p></p><p>SLIDESHOW: Beyonce performs for the first time since giving birth...<br></p><p>As every student is made well aware of on a daily basis, internships and work experience places are proving increasingly crucial to opening doors and opportunities in later life and with 50,000 more graduates than in 2007, competition is fiercer than ever. With one in three entry-level jobs being taken by graduates who have already carried out work experience placements and internships at that particular company, it is clear that it's time to start climbing the arduous ladder.</p><p>I do however question whether companies offer these ludicrously sought after placements to ardent employees simply in return for slave labour with no further prospects or whether work experience provides an insight into the 'wonderful world of work.' Besides, many people maintain the view that the best intern and work experience opportunities in fields like politics, finance and the media are going disproportionately to those who are already privileged and well connected.</p><p>As I am sure you have guessed from me writing this feature, I want to enter the viscously competitive world of journalism and the media and anyone in my position knows the work experience application drill. One must dedicate at least four hours to sending out 'generic' and overly zealous covering letters to every newspaper and magazine under the sun. It is also crucial to ensure that you have appropriately edited the name of the company in each mail (an embarrassing error made by one of my friends when writing to Elle magazine explaining how she would 'love to undertake work experience for Cosmo'; pretty awkward.) Then, one must await their fate. Subsequently, an incoming email immediately lights up but after four years in 'the work experience game' I am never naïve enough to get my hopes up. This is outcome number one, one which I have come to refer to as 'why did you even bother?' and usually comes from a prestigious magazine like Vogue informing you that your meticulous effort of an email has 'bounced' because the recipient's inbox is full. That is, 'full' of thousands of pitiful, neglected emails just like yours for spaces that have already been filled by journalist's brother's-girlfriend's-17 year old-sister who have no clue what they want to do in life but are quite fond of the idea of sitting at a desk and gossiping about celebrities in their school half-term. If your email doesn't 'bounce' then you may be confronted with outcome number two: a reply informing you that your recipient is 'out of office and will reply to you upon their return' (cue a slight lift in your hopes) '...but if you are emailing regarding work experience, there are no available placements until the year 3000.' Great.</p><p>I have, however, occasionally been lucky enough to experience outcome number three: an offer of a weeks work experience which literally feels like Christmas and your birthday all at once until you realise that after spending thousands of pounds on a degree you are jumping for joy at the prospect of working for free; weird. This week can evolve into one of two situations. Either five days of pure boredom in an office full of 50-somethings who perceive you as nothing more than an inconvenient good-for-nothing hopeful whose only purpose is clearing out old newspapers or making tea. You then proceed to stare at a computer screen until your eyes psychically ache, read the most obscure news articles about flying cats and use the spare time 'constructively' to delete over 1,000 junk emails whilst pondering all the people you could stalk on facebook if only you weren't surrounded by prying eyes. Or, your week could evolve into an extremely worthwhile and enjoyable experience with people who are genuinely grateful of your free labour and sincere interest in your chosen field. I was lucky enough to experience this warm and welcoming reception at Now magazine. The office was super-swanky with a grand reception hall adorned with marble floors serving as the perfect catwalk for the 30-something's in their Louboutin court shoes armed with Blackberry in one had and skinny latte in the other. Celebutante gossip flew around the office all day long and luckily I was seated near the editor listening in for all the latest on Chez and Ash's relationship whilst nonchalantly carrying out my assigned research on the potentially more controversial and far more cerebral papal visit. My week culminated in an interview with Drew Barrymore and Justin Long followed by 'question time', better known in the media world as shameless stalking and a firing of questions at The Saturdays. Upon my departure I wrote a standard thank you card with a cheeky 'I hope to see you again soon' line and on I went, only to be replaced by another hopeful intern a week later. The whole week was uncannily similar to a scene from 'The Devil Wears Prada' and the yummy mummies always arrived late to the office, but made up for it by leaving even earlier. This was the moment when I decided that I most definitely wanted to write slander about tinsel-town and get paid for doing it.</p><p>In today's incredibly competitive labour market, work experience matters more than ever when it comes to securing that first climb up the networking ladder and it really is crucial to get your hands on some even if it means making tea for snooty old men.</p><p>One crucial thing I have learnt from work experience is that when/more to the point IF I land a journalism job, I will spare a thought for the bright-eyed, over dressed young faces in my office plonked next to the photocopier with fear and confusion in their eyes. Been there, done that, time to do it all again, for free.</p><p>Follow Bianca London on Twitter:</p>eGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHR%2Bk7huUTK5GduMziZZw2K6rSnCeVSnLO4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFVeGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHR%2Bk7huUTK5GduMziZZw2K6rSnCeVSnLO4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFV<p>Are we at the dawning of the Asian model? Are Liu Wen and Shu Pei on their way to Naomi Campbell or Kate Moss's iconic status? Judging from the kind of work the two models are getting, it seems that fashion has found new leading ladies in these Chinese beauties. </p><p>Wen is the first Asian face of cosmetics giant Estee Lauder. She also appears in the new Gap ads. Pei, while being the face of Maybelline, also appears in almost every leading magazine this month as the face of Vera Wang. They joined Du Juan as China's best-known model exports. </p><p>For its December 2010 issue, U.S. Vogue had a spread featuring eight Asian models, namely, Juan, Tao Okamoto, Lee Hyun, Hyoni Kang, Liu Wen, Bonnie Chen, So Young Kang, and Lily Zhi. It was a move that was, like most things in fashion, met with applause and criticism. There were those who approved of Anna Wintour's effort to be inclusionary in the pages of her magazine, which is almost always completely white-washed, and there were those who viewed the gesture as an act of tokenism, a way to appease those who clamor for diversity. Vogue has featured Asian models in every issue since.</p><p>For his spring couture show for Givenchy, Riccardo Tisci, one up majority of the fashion designers by having an all-Asian lineup. Before Tisci, this move was unheard in the international fashion arena where Asian models were limited to one or two at most shows, with the exception of Prada, which had not cast an Asian model for its runway show until recently. Prada is a late adapter when it comes to diversity. It had its first black model only a couple of years ago, in 2008 to be exact, after decades of runway shows.</p><p>Asian male models too are on the rise. Louis Vuitton cast its very first Asian model Godfrey Gao for its spring campaigns, following similar castings from Prada, Ermenegildo Zegna and Giorgio Armani. In fact, before everyone jumped on the Asian bandwagon, Giorgio Armani was one of the firsts, if not the first, big-name contemporary designer to appoint an Asian model as the star of his ads. In 2008, Japanese-Chinese actor Takeshi Kaneshiro fronted the Emporio Armani campaigns. Louis Vuitton, Prada, Zegna and Armani all have significant presence in Asia and consider China one of their biggest markets worldwide.</p><p>It's hard not to take notice of the Asian fever that's gripping the market. All that's missing is a Vogue Italia All Asian issue similar to their best-selling Black Issue. Is Franca Sozzani working on one?</p><p>There have been models of Asian descent in the past. Perhaps the most popular is Filipina Anna Bayle who has been dubbed the first Asian supermodel. Of course, the incomparable China Machado ranks up there too. There's also Tina Chow and Devon Aoki. But never has there been such a resounding Asian force in the international fashion scene as there is now, which begs the questions: Are brands signing up Asian faces to gain a better hold of the growing Chinese consumer market? Is this their way of relating to their new consumers who lapped up luxury goods on a daily basis?</p><p>If so, how come Louis Vuitton decided to have Caucasian models in its seemingly 1920s Shanghai-inspired ad campaign for its women's clothes and not three of the eight models Wintour chose to feature in her magazine? Or is Louis Vuitton still banking on Asia's colonial mentality and Asians' aspiration for white skin and blond hair to sell its cheongsam heavy and panda printed collection? Who would sell more Louis Vuitton cheongsams? Wen and Pei or the Mandarin collar garbed trifecta of white models (Freja Beha Erichsen, Kristen McMenamy and Raquel Zimmermann) in Louis Vuitton's campaign?</p> <p>Follow Blue Carreon on Twitter:</p><p>Nicola Formichetti is on an Asian tour. A couple of weeks ago, I met him in Hong Kong for his pop-up Nicopanda store. During my one-on-one with him, he revealed to me that he was going to Bali for a quick break right after the store event. On Twitter, he took his followers on holiday with him via the photographs he tweeted of Bali's sights and beaches. Today, he was in Singapore for the week-long fashion festivities in the city. </p><p>First on his agenda was a sit-down conversation with British fashion journalist Colin McDowell, who has been a strong supporter of Singapore's fashion scene. The conversation is part of a series of talks and workshops for the Asia Fashion Summit. Tomorrow, he will show Mugler's fall 2012 collection, which he said he has tweaked for Singapore's Audi Fashion Festival. </p><p>Below are the highlights from the McDowell-Formichetti conversation:</p><p>On his fashion education...<br>I did not study fashion. I moved to London and I lied to my mom and told her I wanted to study architecture. I stayed at the university for one week and I went clubbing for the next three years. I don't recommend that to anyone. </p><p>On breaking into the fashion industry...<br>I started working in a cutting-edge store in SoHo in London and that's where I met everyone. Working in a store and being a shop assistant, if you don't know what to do and you like fashion, I think it's a great way of getting into the business because you do windows, cleaning, and everything. That was my school for two years, working in a shop and that's how I met people in magazines and designers.</p><p>On being half-Asian...<br>I am 34 years-old, but I look younger because I am half-Asian.</p><p>On the impact of social media...<br>I love the whole digital world we are going to. I loved when the bloggers were sitting front row and typing and the editors were, "Argh"... I loved it. I loved the fact that we are all on the same level now. So you have to be good at what you do.</p><p>On Twitter's reaction to his work...<br>It's like your friends telling you if they like something you did. It's so fast. I get to talk to so many people through social media. </p><p>On meeting and working with Lady Gaga...<br>I was listening to her music three or four years ago. She was known, but not famous. I saw her in an outfit that looked like she copied it on Style.com. I wanted to do a shoot with her but many magazines declined. V magazine agreed, but nobody wanted to lend me clothes because she wasn't cool. Too vulgar. People were really quite against her. Very few were supportive like Alexander McQueen and Prada. Prada always says she likes bad taste. Now that I think about it, maybe she likes Lady Gaga because she likes bad taste. </p><p>Gaga made my creations alive. That was very exciting for me. It was like my creation had a voice. </p><p>On working at Mugler...<br>Creative director sounds amazing but I am just a collaborator. I just have a great team, a great atelier. And I just sort of help them out (laughs...), I do more than that. <br>I got the call two years ago and I declined at the very beginning. Thierry Mugler was my absolute favorite and I didn't want to insult him. I was very scared. Gaga convinced me to call them back.</p><p>On building a brand...<br>It has to be pure and has to come from you. If you think about money too much at the very beginning that's not a good way to start. We creative people should focus more on creative and money will just come. </p><p>On suffering for his craft...<br>I always go in as if it's the first time, as if I am 18 and living in SoHo. I don't suffer.</p><p>Read more from me on </p> <p>Follow Blue Carreon on Twitter:</p><p>Over the past few months, college presidents from across the country have founded a unique literary genre. Writing separate but nearly identical letters to their respective communities, countless presidents have hailed the virtues of a liberal arts education and the inherent strength of their institutions. They have lauded their resilience and their hope for the future. And then, mixed in there somewhere, they slip in another little detail: "We're out of money."</p><p>One cliché employed by all of these presidents is that the ivory tower is not immune to the economic recession. Indeed, colleges and universities--private and public, large and small--have quite a bit to worry about these days. With the declining markets, they are seeing higher costs of borrowing, an impact on the size and quantity of donations, and sinking endowment revenue. Revenue from endowments often account for a sizable chunk of operating budgets, often covering about one-third of annual expenses. Many colleges and universities have set records in the last couple decades for generating unprecedented returns from an asset-allocation mix that looks very different from what most individuals typically maintain. Many of the wealthiest institutions tend to be light on blue chip stocks and treasury securities, and heavy on illiquid assets, such as private-equity, hedge funds and real estate and commodity holdings. This means that returns are heavily correlated with market performance; when times are good, their endowments swell. But nowadays, not so much.</p><p>Colleges who promise need-based financial aid will also see unpredictable rises in spending as individual families find it increasingly difficult to pay steep tuitions. Compound all of this with the escalating costs of energy--the energy required to heat countless dormitories and academic buildings through a cold winter--and you begin to see a bleak future for America's colleges and universities.</p><p>In some ways, the financial crisis is more difficult for these non-profit educational institutions than for businesses. Colleges are held to higher moral standards than businesses--perhaps rightfully so. Students and faculty are hesitant to apply corporate models to their beloved institutions. Many view universities as havens from the world of fiscal concerns, where the life of the mind and the lives of students are protected above all else. They are even more uncomfortable with the traditional corporate solutions to balance budgets: increase prices, cut programs and layoff workers.</p><p>College administrators are thus faced with some difficult decisions. Even Harvard University, with an endowment greater than the GDP of some small countries, is facing the largest budget shortfall in its 372-year history. Harvard College will have to trim its 2009-10 operating budget significantly, to the tune of $100 million, freezing salaries and postponing searches for most tenure-track faculty.</p><p>Similar concerns exist at smaller liberal arts schools. At Vassar College, I am Editor-in-Chief of The Miscellany News, the campus newspaper since 1866 (). Vassar has lost about $250 million from its endowment over the past few months, and like many comparable institutions (Amherst, Williams, and Wesleyan) it will need to trim next year's operating budget accordingly.</p><p>This is the difficult part.</p><p>Conversations about budget cuts almost always create sharp divides between a college's constituencies. Faculty members suddenly distrust administrators, administrators begin to fear alumnae/i reactions, and students may begin to resent their alma mata for cutting a particular office or program.</p><p>Despite student protest and complaints, Arizona State University will unceremoniously end contracts with more than 200 adjunct instructors. At Williams College, athletes are worried that budget cuts would affect their equipment and travel costs. Bowdoin College plans to freeze non-essential campus construction beginning next year. At Wesleyan University, the administration has made a controversial proposal to increase its enrollment by about 120 students over four years in order to take in an additional $3.9 million in revenue. Many students and alumnae/i fear that this will mean larger class sizes and a diminished quality of education.</p><p>Vassar, too, has been forced to make controversial budgetary decisions. Last week for example, some alumnae/i and students questioned a plan to not renew the contracts of two adjunct professors in the English Department. These professors were liked by students, and specialized in the popular area of creative writing. The elimination of these two positions, the College has said, is part of larger need to reduce spending on faculty salaries by about $750,000 in 2009-10. While some have complained that the move will harm the creative writing program, administrators maintain that the staffing plans will only mean a reduction in 70-80 courses out of the 1,200 or more that Vassar offers, and that this move is necessary to balance the budget.</p><p>After interviewing students, staff, administrators, faculty and alumnae/i, I find myself at somewhat of an emotional crossroads on the issue. On the one hand, I see students rightfully indignant when the economy threatens their favorite professors or programming. "Why would they cut something so essential? Why can't they cut something else, anything else?" Part of me starts to get angry right along with them.</p><p>A few hours later, I'll interview an administrator, chomping at the bit to ask them pressing questions. Then I'll notice their slumped posture--visibly exhausted and anxious, bags under their eyes and coffee cups overflowing their trash bins. They are, I quickly realize, working themselves as hard as they can to ensure the financial future of the College, often staying late hours and weekends. Suddenly I become empathetic. After all, aren't these administrators being asked to do the impossible, to balance budgets that cannot possibly be balanced?</p><p>Everyone has watched the news for the past few months, but somehow few people expect national events to affect students' experiences in America's colleges, or students' ability to afford those colleges. Tufts University has not only given up construction of new sports and laboratory facilities, but its chief financial officers are considering eliminating the school's need-based admissions policy. "The target of being need-blind is our highest priority," Tufts president Lawrence Bacow told The New York Times in November. "But with what's happening in the larger economy, we expect that the incoming class is going to be needier. That's the real uncertainty." The University's latest prediction is that the financial aid budget will need to rise by about $4 million next year. Students have been up in arms about revoking financial aid, but the administration feels like it has its hands tied. "Everyone is going to have to sacrifice," Bacow told the school's concerned student government. Schools of all sizes will almost certainly have to become more need-sensitive in their admissions this year, and will likely be offering smaller aid packages. Tuition will likely increase at many schools too, making it increasingly difficult for many to achieve a college education.</p><p>Kalyani Phansalkar, a sophomore at William & Mary College, knows that first hand. Phansalkar was unable to register for spring semester classes because the College was quickly forced to raise tuition as the economy sank. "My parent's budget is still tailored to the former tuition," she wrote in her college newspaper. "The difference between the two prices remains outstanding."</p><p>Her sense of hopelessness was matched only by that of William and Mary's President Taylor Reveley. "No other college or university in America has had to overcome more adversity than William & Mary," he wrote in his community letter, as if trying to reassure himself as much as the students and faculty. "We will be fine."</p><p>Higher education will be hurt by the economy. Students will receive less aid, non-tenured faculty will be let go, and support staffs will shrink. But the key to mitigating these truly unfortunate financial realities will be communication and discussion between administrators, employees, graduates and students. One letter from the president bemoaning the loss of the endowment--along with vague predictions of budget cuts--is not enough. College administrators should make sure to be as transparent as possible. Despite the crippling decline of Wesleyan's endowment, their president Michael Roth has met with the student government multiple times in the past few months, and issued information through blogs, letters and even Web site dedicated to the financial situation with an informational video. Wesleyan will be forced to make extensive budget cuts, but at least no one will be kept in the dark.</p><p>Seeing the early effects of the financial crisis on the macro and micro levels, I'm reminded of a lecture I saw at Vassar in 2006 by Williams College economist Gordon Winston, discussing research on the economics of higher education that he completed with Vassar president Catharine Bond Hill, argued that colleges are "part church and part car dealer." (The more technical term is donative commercial non-profits). On the one hand, colleges are businesses that charge prices for their services and operate under financial constraints. On the other hand, they are charitable institutions that receive donations and subsidies from individuals and the government. Though they charge a price for their product, that price (tuition) is heavily subsidized and does not nearly cover the production costs (hiring the faculty, heating the buildings, etc.) Fundraising professionals will frequently remind students that although the sticker price of an education might be between $30,000 and $40,000, the actual cost of delivering that education is closer to $60,000 or $70,000.</p><p>As Winston implied, institutions of higher education do not, and should not, emulate a corporate economic model. Colleges and universities not only are driven by financial concerns; these institutions are driven by idealism. Dedication to financial aid, to public service, and to ideas--all of these attributed strengthen education in America, even if they don't necessarily benefit colleges' bottom lines. While hastily announced price increases or layoffs might be acceptable in the corporate world, they do not apply so neatly to the realm of higher education. Even in a time of economic peril, liberal arts education demands discussion and debate. Difficult choices will certainly have to be made, but administrators across the country should remember to balance their role as church and car dealer.</p><p>These lofty moral standards demanded by students, faculty and the public are costly to institutions, but they ultimately help college administrators set priorities in a time of fiscal crisis--because unlike AIG, Lehman Brothers or General Motors, America's colleges cannot afford to fail.<br></p><p>Politico:</p><p>In a room just off the Oval Office, Brian Mosteller carefully pens a to-do list on a little white notecard. In the coming hours, he will monitor all the comings and goings in the West Wing, as well as all the practical details of those events. And so his list mixes the monumental and the mundane.<br></p><p></p> <br><p></p><p>Carey Mulligan and Marcus Mumford have been notoriously private about their relationship, but the pair came out of hiding last night to make their first public appearance as a married couple.</p><p>They were spotted sneaking out of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Gala afterparty in New York, along with pal Florence Welch in the wee hours. </p><p></p><p>With his arm around his new wife, the couple looked loved up as they posed for the waiting paps. </p><p>Wearing a stunning sparkly gold frock, Carey was also seen earlier in the evening proudly flashing her big rock as she posed on the red carpet.</p><p></p><p>The couple wed in a private ceremony last month, which took place in a converted barn on a working farm in Bridgwater, Somerset - glamorous, we know - but some star power was added by guests Sienna Miller, Jake Gyllenhaal and Colin Firth.</p><p>> IN PICS: THE MET GALA 2012<br></p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p> <br><p>Ever since became the creative director at in 2008, the French fashion house has become one of the most highly-regarded brands. Known for minimalist clothing and accessories, Celine's leather bags and shoes have appeared on everyone from to . </p><p>But the has us scratching our heads, especially when it came . Unlike the wood platforms and nude-colored loafers of previous seasons, Celine's latest collection featured blue, red, lilac and yellow furry stilettos, shoes with trompe-l'oeil toes and sandals that remind us of those Adidas slip-ons that are a mainstay by pools everywhere. <br> <br>Check out the craziest shoes from in the slideshow below, and keep clicking through for more outrageous footwear from fashion week so far:</p><p></p><p>Want more? Be sure to check out HuffPost Style on , , and .</p><p>A Chinese restaurant in Kentucky has been closed down by officials after roadkill was found inside its kitchen, reports say. </p><p>Last week, customers dining at stuffed inside a trash can that was dragged into the establishment's kitchen. </p><p>"It was really disturbing. There was actually a behind the garbage can,” one customer told WTVR.com. "There was like a tail, and like a foot and leg sticking out of the garbage can and they wheeled it straight back into the kitchen." </p><p>Environmental health inspector Paul Lawson was soon called in to verify this gruesome claim.</p><p>According to WTVR.com, Lawson said that when he entered the restaurant's kitchen, he stumbled upon "." </p><p>"Upon arrival, I confirmed they did have a deer carcass in the facility,” he said.</p><p>Lawson told Lex18.com that the animal " by the time he arrived, which raised "many health and illness" concerns. </p><p>Officials say the restaurant owner's son admitted to bringing the deer -- which had allegedly been roadkill found along Interstate 75 -- "," Lex18.com reports.</p><p>The restaurant was immediately shut down and the owner's son was cited for having a "." </p><p>“They said they didn’t know that they weren’t allowed to,” Lawson said, adding that he was concerned that the restaurant has brought roadkill onto its premises. </p><p>According to WTVR.com, the owners of the restaurant told Lawson that they had intended "." </p><p>But this was little consolation to some patrons.</p><p>"I don't think I'll ever eat Chinese food ever again," said one customer who says she was dining at the restaurant when the deer carcass was hauled in. </p><p>Lawson said the after an inspection proves that it has been completely cleaned and sanitized, WYMT reports.</p><p>Though some customers of this Kentucky restaurant were thoroughly repulsed by the thought of a roadkill feast, dead animals peeled off the tarmac is the food of choice for some daring diners. According to an earlier report by The Huffington Post, a U.K. man named for more than three decades. </p><p>In the United States, it is legal in some states to -- whether that be for the dead animals' pelt or for food.</p><p>PHOTOS: ANIMALS IN THE NEWS<br></p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p><p> is perhaps not the most demure of celebrities. She's , and -- all on national television. But, while filming her in Los Angeles last week, it looks like she's managed to combine all three of those style trademarks plus an added bonus: huge mesh cutouts.</p><p>We're not talking about small detailing here. We're talking gaping, side boob and rear-revealing holes all over her dress. That's certainly one way to get attention for your upcoming single. paired the LBD with towering hot pink heels and a matching pink ombre 'do (but since , we suspect it was a wig).</p><p>The 31-year-old singer during the shoot, but we really didn't know what we were in for until we saw these latest photos. Now we're definitely curious to see the actual video and whatever ensembles she'll be wearing. Could she possibly beat the bizarre risqué factor of this dress? Well, if anyone could, it's definitely our girl Christina. But we still have one more lingering question: Why is she holding a baseball bat?</p><p>Check out the photos below and tell us what you think of this, um, interesting look.</p><p>PHOTO:</p><p></p><p>Its finally here- MUSIC VIDEO shoot day!!!!!!!!! Get ready guys!!!!!!!!!! </p>— Christina Aguilera (@TheRealXtina) <p>Check out our roundup of the wildrest dresses of all time. Do you think Christina's should be added to the list?</p><p></p><p>Want more? Be sure to check out HuffPost Style on , , and .</p><p>We always hold our breath when steps onto the red carpet: will she carefully clothe her curves or surrender to a cascade of ill-chosen ruffles?</p><p>In other words, will she repeat , widely declared a fashion flub?</p><p>Tonight on the , she just might have: the "Mad Men" star wore another Christian Siriano frock with yet another strapless top, another low-cut neckline and another wave of ruffles down her side. Even the folds on the bust line appeared to be the same, as if Siriano cut the torso off the 2010 dress and stuck it on the new one.</p><p>After , we're stunned Hendricks would choose to (partially) resurrect it. Sure, she toned down the flouncy-ness. But the cut and even the color were nearly identical, leading us to wonder if this dress will be received as critically as the first.</p><p>But Hendricks probably doesn't mind, considering she still loves the original Siriano pick. , "I thought that dress was stunning. I stand by that dress to this day. I had just gotten back from my honeymoon, and I felt beautiful in those pictures." So why not repeat it? </p><p>Check out the two dresses and tell us what you think! </p><p></p><p>See the rest of the fashion!<br></p><p>Want more? Be sure to check out HuffPost Style on , , and .</p><p>How to follow last year's record-breaking Savage Beauty Alexander McQueen exhibition? The Met has turned to 'Ugly Chic', surreal style, skeleton dresses, lobsters and torn flesh.</p><p>Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations is the title of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute spring 2012 exhibition; launching this week with the annual Met Gala Ball. Featuring 90 designs and 30 accessories by Elsa Schiaparelli spanning the 1920s - 1950s and Miuccia Prada covering the 1980s to the present; the exhibition explores how the two designers subvert our notions of taste, beauty and glamour.</p><p>Elsa Schiaparelli, whose fashion house closed in 1954, has been eclipsed in our collective memory by her rival Coco Chanel who dismissed her as 'that Italian artist who makes clothes'. In 2012, though, Schiaparelli is enjoying a popular revival with the help of the Met exhibition and 'The Hunger Games'. One of the biggest hits of the year so far with record takings at the box office, the film heavily references her 1930s haute couture in its Capitol Citizens' costumes. This belated recognition is all good news for Diego della Valle, the chief executive of Tod's, who bought the Schiaparelli brand back in 2007 with plans to relaunch it with a perfume and accessories line. He took the opportunity this week, whilst all fashion eyes are on New York for the exhibition and Gala Benefit, to introduce French actress and model Farida Khelfa as his muse; with a new designer to be announced in September according to the New York Times.</p><p>It's somewhat ironic that Schiaparelli's business failed to survive the years of post-war austerity, yet is being relaunched amidst a period of European austerity budgets and economic uncertainty - let's hope this time round the House of Schiaparelli achieves longevity. Although it's clear the designer's influence never really went away - so many conventions of modern fashion were started by Schiaparelli: she was one of the first designers to produce ready-to-wear collections and stage runway shows using music and tall, thin models. Schiaparelli also created the wedge heel; graphic pattern knitwear featuring surrealist trompe l'oeil imagery; the signature colour 'hot pink'; even Jean Paul Gaultier's torso shaped perfume bottle is a modern homage to Schiaparelli's 'Shocking' perfume bottle from the 1930s.</p><p>Schiaparelli provoked and scandalised 1930s society - I think if Schiaparelli was still alive she would find a natural affinity with Lady Gaga and Miuccia Prada; her shoe hat and tear dress were equally shocking in their time as Nicola Formichetti's meat dress is today.</p><p>Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations runs from May 10 - August 19, 2012 at . The institute houses a historical collection of thirty-five thousand costumes and accessories and is the home of the Irene Lewisohn Costume Reference Library, one of the world's foremost fashion libraries. The annual Gala Benefit is the main source of funding for the institute and enjoys heavy support from the fashion industry.</p> <br><p>Follow Christine Babington Smith on Twitter:</p><p>Schiaparelli provoked and scandalised 1930s society - I think if Schiaparelli was still alive she would find a natural affinity with Lady Gaga and Miuccia Prada; her shoe hat and tear dress were equally shocking in their time as Nicola Formichetti's meat dress is today.</p><p>The carpet may have been red, but at the , the color of the night was pink. SHOCKING pink, . And it was Coco Rocha who outdid everyone's pink dresses, jackets and shoes with bright pink hair. </p><p>The brunette model's ends were totally dip-dyed, popping against her yellow jumpsuit. And that jumpsuit! (and with to show for it). She finished the look with a pink top and pretty pink shoes, natch.</p><p>Chris Benz and Julie Macklowe both had pink hair, Hamish Bowles wore a pink tuxedo jacket and Paul Patton was swathed in a pale pink shade. But we'd venture to say Coco had . What do you think of her ombre strands?<br><br>PHOTOS: </p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p>See the rest of the red carpet arrivals from <br></p> <br>eGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHR%2Bk7huUTK5GduMziZZw2K6rSnCeVSnLO4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFV<p>London Fashion Week launched a new initiative this year, Fash/On Film, to celebrate the relationship between film and fashion. Last week a series of 'fashion films' were screened in London's Canon Cinema, interspersed with director's Q and A sessions and live catwalks. Although this venture is new, cinema's infatuation with fashion has been long-running and, until recently, unrequited. In the past two decades, films about fashion - The Devil Wears Prada, Coco Before Chanel, A Notebook on Cities and Clothes, to name but a few - have made box office hits, as well as successful documentaries. On the flip side, fashion designers are trying their hand at film or directly using it as a source of inspiration. In 2009 Tom Ford declared himself a film director with the visually stunning, albeit appallingly scripted, film A Single Man. Another new project this year, Green Cut, - a collaboration between the British Film Institute and the British Fashion Council - challenged eight famous designers, to each create a bespoke piece that offers a contemporary take on a classic film. Participants included Tom Ford, Stella McCartney and Jonathon Saunders.</p><p>In his documentary, A Notebook on Cities and Clothes, exploring the work of the designer Yohji Yamamoto, Wim Wenders starts out with the following proposition: "maybe fashion and cinema have something in common?". The film ends with the idea that the fashion designer preparing a catwalk is not so different to the film director working on his or her final edit. Both, in Wenders' words, are establishing a 'montage', a sequence of images. Montage is, arguably, at the heart of both cinema and the fashion show. A friend who recently went to a fashion show for the first time remarked that she felt like she was watching a short film. </p><p>The film world has recognised people's fascination not just with clothes per se, but with the fashion industry as a whole - with the air of glamour that surrounds it and the powerful people that run it. Now, The Devil Wears Prada and Coco Before Chanel, fun as they may be, are by no means works of art and use fashion as a storytelling device as much as a central theme. But mainstream cinema's interest in fashion is part of a broader ontological affinity between the two artistic mediums and their worlds - a correlation recognized by the earliest filmmakers. It is no coincidence that film and fashion as we know it today were born almost at the same historical moment and from the same impulse: the emerging self-conscious 'modernity' of the early 20th century, which sought new modes of expression using new technologies. </p><p>So, what exactly is this affinity? Firstly, at an ontological level both film and fashion deal with movement and the ephemeral. Fashion deals with what is 'in' - this is constantly changing and part of the attraction. The fleetingness of what is in vogue makes fashion, as Wim Wenders discovers, "by definition, always in." Clothes are also, largely, about physical movement: how they sit and move on the human frame, not on the hanger or the terrifying faceless mannequin. Hence why catwalks are the showcase method of choice and why online shopping sites provide videos of models walking in the clothes as well as photos of the clothes themselves. Early cinema was distinguished from the other six arts by its unique ability to 'realistically' capture movement: this technological facility initially became cinema's raison d'être. Shorts from the late 1990s simply show a train arriving at a station or the frenetic movement of city crowds. Bauhaus and Dada films from the early 20th century - or what we would now stigmatise as 'video art' - are interested mainly in capturing the movement of shapes, silhouettes and shadows, rather than in a strong narrative. Abbie Stephens' film for Emilio de la Morena, Traces, showcased at London Fashion Week 2012, focuses mainly on dramatic lighting and shades of black and white, drawing inspiration from these early films. Traces feels more like an early silent film or a contemporary music video than a contemporary short film. Fashion film is taking cinema back to its roots. </p><p>In recent years the fashion industry seems to have recognised the similarity between the catwalk and film; or rather, substituted the latter for the former. At Paris Fashion Week 2008, to great critical acclaim, YSL ditched the catwalk in favour of film to showcase its autumn/winter menswear collection. Presenting clothes through film has the advantage of not only allowing viewers to see the clothes close-up and from different angles simultaneously, but also of presenting the clothes - and the lifestyle and persona seemingly inherent to them - in a more stylized and therefore effective manner; for what is fashion if not self-stylization? </p><p>Increasingly more 'fashion films' are being commissioned by various designers. Is this merely another indication that the fashion world is branching out further into the area traditionally considered 'art'? Or is there something special about the relationship between the fickle worlds of film and fashion that will make it a happily-forever-after? Could fashion film ultimately replace the catwalk?</p><p>I have this completely unscientific theory about why certain celebrities attract gay followings. It works perfectly for idols like Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, and Madonna and lust objects like Adam Levine and Chris Evans. But there is one celebrity who mucks the whole thing up: Anne Hathaway. </p><p>My theory suggests that our devotion to these stars derives from a form of gaydar. The reason some performers ping for us over others is simple: They have immediate , and we somehow pick up on it. In every way, Anne Hathaway is the whole package. She is everything we traditionally love in a female star. So why, then, is she not more universally adored among gay men?</p><p>Anne is beautiful and talented. She has a gay brother and is devoted to LGBT equality. When it comes to her film choices, she has serious gay cred: The Devil Wears Prada, Brokeback Mountain. Even The Princess Diaries is the kind of movie some gay could be reflexively quoting around a Fire Island pool party at any hour of the day or night. </p><p>She sings! She dances! Her love life is terrible! Remember when she dated that international con artist? We gays eat that stuff up. As Liza Minnelli has made clear, she who suffers most, wins. Nevertheless, Anne Hathaway lands in some kind of gay blind spot, and not just in Love and Other Drugs when Jake Gyllenhaal's nudity caused rampant tunnel vision in the few gay men who went to see it. </p><p>I keep waiting for the situation to turn around. Just this past weekend I went to see The Dark Knight Rises, in which (as many reviewers pointed out) her Catwoman ends up stealing more than just a pearl necklace. In one scene she not only wears a fabulous hat but punches some guy through it. It left me incredulous. She is working her ass off for us, in razor-sharp spiked heels, no less. Anne Hathaway practically demands that we love her. I've seen less aggressive bids for our attention on Grindr. So what more do the gays want?</p><p>I wonder if it's merely generational in this case. During the more repressed 20th century, we idolized ladies on the screen who boldly expressed themselves in ways that we couldn't. We hung on their every cutting remark, heavy-lidded stare, and padded-shoulder shrug. When Bette Davis walked across a room to shake the stuffing out of Miriam Hopkins in Old Acquaintance, she released the pent-up rage deep inside gay men everywhere. And if she doesn't give Mildred Pierce that check.</p><p>But now, in the more open 21st century, we don't need to have women of a certain age live our lives for us. Our actual experiences play out now without the need to layer our emotions on someone else's drama. We delight in Miranda Priestley's diatribe about cerulean sweaters because , not standing in for us. Soon it becomes more important to lust after Ryan Gosling in Drive than imagine ourselves as Diane Keaton in Something's Gotta Give (although, seriously, what gay doesn't want that Hamptons house?). We don't need a dame of the silver screen to grace the covers of our magazines when nice, hot straight guys like Channing Tatum or Ben Cohen will happily drop trou for our amusement. Perhaps we don't need Anne Hathaway the way we used to need gay icons, simply because we cut out the middle man (or, in this case, middle woman) in our steady march for equality. </p><p>There are some suggestions I could make for Anne, if she still wants us, ways she could improve herself in the eyes of this fickle community. (Of course, all that assumes that our failure to accept her is somehow her fault and not ours.) A messy booze problem might win us over. Her performance in Rachel Getting Married is a nice preview of what we might like to see from Anne on a future airing of Entertainment Tonight (though the Real Housewives and a thousand have pretty much soiled that grand tradition; it might be hard to break through the white noise). Perhaps a short run on Broadway? Oh, but there she is, already way ahead of us. Later this year she is appearing as Fantine in the . And she shaved her head! Shaved! And you know she didn't do that to get on the cover of Maxim. Come on, gays. There hasn't been so naked a bid for gay attention since Faye Dunaway turned the arched eyebrow into a form of divinity. </p><p>That Anne Hathaway is firing on all cylinders for us. The least we can do is get on board and enjoy the ride. For old times' sake.</p> <br><p>Follow Derek Hartley on Twitter:</p><p>MILAN &mdash; Miuccia Prada never met her designing compatriot Elsa Schiaparelli in life but the two are being united in an exhibit on the sidelines of Milan Fashion Week.</p><p>The Metropolitan Museum of Art has paired designs by the two female Italian stylists from decidedly different eras in what it calls "an impossible conversation" &ndash; impossible because it never happened.</p><p>Prada, 62, expressed surprise when asked if she had ever met Schiaparelli &ndash; only to be reminded that she had died in 1973 at age 83. The older designer's heyday was in the 1930s, making her memory much more remote.</p><p>"When I think of her, I think of the past," Prada told reporters Friday after the exhibit was introduced.</p><p>The ballroom in Milan's Royal Palace, which is adorned with statues damaged in World War II bombings, contained pairings of the two designers' dresses, showing apparent similarities that fade when their techniques and inspirations are considered.</p><p>"I honestly see more differences than similarities," Prada said.</p><p>The exhibit, which will run at the Met from May 10-Aug. 19, includes two dresses both inspired by the Indian sari.</p><p>Schiaparelli, who was influenced by the Surrealists, took inspiration from a famous 14-year-old Indian princess of the era to create a long printed orange silk chiffon evening gown that drapes lightly over both shoulders.</p><p>Prada, who is at the forefront of contemporary design and who often explores technique in her creations, was inspired by how a European traveler would interpret a sari. Her minimalist dress in golden fabric is shoulder-less with an elegant accordion side pleat.</p><p>The two also sewed insect motifs onto separate garments. Schiaparelli placed her Botticelli-inspired bugs on lapels, reflecting 1930s dinner society that put the focus on the waist up. Prada, who often focuses on the waist down, put her bug on a skirt, said curator Andrew Bolton.</p><p>Despite the exhibit, Prada said she doesn't take direct inspiration from earlier designers, like Schiaparelli, but rather from periods.</p><p>"Every decade represents a moment in the life of a person," she said.</p><p>Reflecting on Schiaparelli's era, Prada said today perhaps people are less eccentric because they have more freedom to express themselves.</p><p>"I'm interested in the limits of eccentricities, because too much eccentricity is ridiculous," she said.</p><p>The Devils Wear Prada star Emily Blunt has revealed she might be interested in revising her role as Miranda Priestly's catty assistant Emily Charlton in a sequel to the hit comedy-drama, but only if she's not forced to lose weight.</p><p><br>Emily Blunt and Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada</p><p>Speaking to The Huffington Post UK about rumours that Blunt said: "What Meryl said was she'd do it if she didn't have to lose the f***ing weight, that was her quote. </p><p>"And I'd probably say the same because they made me lose weight for that. I was playing that character who was on the edge of ill thin just desperately trying to maintain her weight."</p><p>However, she added: "I feel with sequels you can be in tricky territory because that movie was so special and cool, so we'll see if everyone else wants to do it." </p><p>READ: Emily Blunt on her 'The Five-Year Engagement' co-star Jason Segel: 'He has a real repertoire for fake orgasms'</p><p>Author of The Devil Wears Prada Lauren Weisberger, which the film was adapted from, announced that she was working on a sequel to her best seller - titled Revenge Wears Prada - recently. However, progress on the book is said to be moving at a glacial pace.</p><p><br>Emily Blunt at The Devil Wears Prada premiere in 2006</p><p>In the meantime, Blunt is pretty busy. Her latest film, The Five-Year Engagement, is currently in cinemas and her next film, starring alongside Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is in post-production.</p><p>She told us: "I'm really excited about Looper coming out in September, it's a futuristic thriller and the coolest movie I've ever done.</p><p>"I'm really lucky to be in it. I play Sarah who lives on a farm and she gets embroiled in all of the time travel mess that goes on in the movie, I can't say too much about it."</p><p> </p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p><p></p><p>Meryl Streep, who plays a tyrannical fashion magazine editor in the film "The Devil Wears Prada," does not wear shoes by the Italian fashion house.</p><p>"I own one pair of Prada shoes. They make my feet hurt," the American actress told the latest edition of French magazine Madame Figaro, published at the weekend.</p><p></p> <br><p>NASHVILLE, Tenn. &mdash; A mutt who sat on doggy death row for more than a year before given a reprieve is now officially free from government captivity and headed toward TV stardom.</p><p>Prada, the 4-year-old pit bull mix that was ruled vicious and ordered put down, was released Thursday from Nashville's Animal Control facility, where the dog had been held since January 2011.</p><p>Prada was ordered put down after attacking several other dogs. A judge spared the dog's life after the Villalobos Rescue Center in New Orleans agreed to take the animal.</p><p>The center is featured in Animal Planet's reality TV show "Pitt Bulls and Parolees," which puts ex-convicts and abused dogs together so both man and animal can be rehabilitated</p><p>"Prada loves these people," Nicole Andree, the dog's former owner said after a representative from the rescue center came to Nashville to collect the dog.</p><p>Andree, a 35-year-old childless real estate agent, fought a lengthy court battle to spare the dog, vowing never to stop until she got Prada off death row. But she had to agree to give up her beloved pet to save the animal's life. The judge lifted the death order after Nashville lawyers said they would not object if Prada went to the rescue center. The dog, however, must stay there for the rest of its life.</p><p>Andree says she plans to visit Prada at the center. She believes the dog will have a good life there.</p> <br><p>New York TimesGina BellafantePosted Monday June 19, 2006 at 10:11 AM</p><p>Former NYT fashion reporter Bellafante sasy "The Devil Wears Prada" is an accurate depiction of the fashion industry, seeing in it echoes of her own experience falling in love with clothes and working with people singularly obsessed with the industry from spouting stats on hemlines and supermodels to assistants pulling all-nighters in order to advance up the chain. Bellafonte is silent, however, on specific details of her own experience and whether she had her own Miranda Priestly barking ridiculous demands in her ear at 4 am. In other news, thank goodness being a size 6 is acceptable for blogging.</p><p>Related: Tales from the beauty-mag trenches: Jolie in NYC ( and ). </p><p>For this new series, I'm taking a look at my inspired pieces for the season. Lucky for you, I'm going to be delving into my wish list and picking out my favourite pieces from both sides of Regent Street.</p><p>Let's start with a bit of honesty. Knitwear for winter is about as innovative as pastels for spring. But really, this season is a great friend of the jumper. The pull for wool is inevitable, and I couldn't love it more.</p><p>Winter dressing is fun. I like to think of it as an exercise in wearing all your favourite clothes at once, a thought that is far too exciting. This season, pair your winter warmers with an oxblood pencil skirt (FYI, it's the new colour), go for simple chic skinnies and ankle boots for super-adorability, or contrast over lace for the ultimate autumn texture. The season has rocked up in tones and shades; we said au revoir to colour blocking and bonjour to textures. From animal embellishments to Jil Sander's real Baseball-luxe, you are totally spoilt for choice with this little lot.</p><p>Autumn Winter 2012 cooked up an excellent banquet of wooly treats, treating everyone to a piece of the action. There's the boyfriend knit, a dose of pop-art chic and happy to go slogan-crazy pieces that are just dying to get in your wardrobe. That's just as well really, as there's a real possibility that I have forgotten what it's like to be cold. London never seems to get quite cold. The underground is a melting pot, and a good brisk tourist-dodging walk is not only good for your temperature but your legs, bums, and tums too. </p><p>To match your fabulous winter wardrobe, with the all new demi-heel and trouser suit, slip one of these beauties and snuggle down into winter. You can thank me later, I'm just loving each and every one of these fabulous jumpers.</p><p><br></p><p><br>Try a little bit of what you fancy from Moschino Cheap and Chic, such a cutie (£407 at )</p><p><br>Keep it simple with DAY Birger et Mikkelsen's easy knit, perfect to add to your essential autumn collection (£135 at )</p><p><br>Channel Acne's royal purple in this simple yet fashionably effective jumper, perfect for an on or off-duty look. (£190 at )</p><p><br>The real sportsluxe from Jil Sander (£310 at )</p><p><br>Pay homage to the season's obsession with animal knits in By Malene Birger's adorable sequinned lion jumper (£225 at )</p><p><br>K is for...KENZO. And quite right too in this gorgeous autumn shaded jumper (£205 at )</p><p><br>Get ahead of next season as Fashion Month arrives with this perfect striped chunky knit from Urban Outfitters. Very Marc Jacobs, darling (£55 at <br>)</p><p><br>MWAH. Love from Markus Lupfer. So much love for these amazing knits that are definitely making it into my winter wardrobe... (£290 at )</p><p><br>Keep it simple with See by Chloe's divine red knitted sweater (£285 at )</p><p><br>Snuggle down in Topshop's slouchy grey jumper, with the perfect metal complement for a little rough edge. Oh so lovely... (£55 at )</p> <br><p>Follow Eleanor Doughty on Twitter:</p><p>There are moments in fashion when you recognise something that will change the landscape of our fair industry. It happened at Jil Sander in September 2010 when Raf Simons transformed neon colours into a palatable concept with that skirt. But now, the new 'it' item has arrived, storming catwalks and constructed by the real who's who in fashion. If you are looking for the defining autumn addition then this is it. Seriously. Introducing, the trouser suit.</p><p>It sidelined for years before being exalted once more, hidden in a midday shadow by asymmetric skirts and outdated preconceptions of what a trouser suit should look like. Upon the entrance of Vanessa Axente, walking in Prada's AW12 show, the revolution re-began. A black trouser suit adorned with jewels at the ankle and lapel broke us in gently to the print extravaganza that followed. </p> <p>Muiccia Prada's collection read like the spoof school uniform rulebook, a guide of how not to dress. Breaking all the rules your mother ever taught you about getting dressed (unless your name's Allegra Versace), it defiantly stepped out in the midst of our braver, pattern clad bodies. Described by some as genius, others as so-bad-it's-good, there is no doubt that, as standard, Prada delivered a show stopping collection. Thank goodness the show didn't stop, the two-tone wedges weren't slowing down.</p> <p>This autumn, the trouser suit isn't just about coordinating prints. It's a lesson from Italy about how and why to wear trousers; the collections are instructive and precise. In a distinctly less 1999 Ally McBeal mode, trousers are now eye-catching, powerful yet feminine. And really, what more could you want from your new sartorial best friend?</p><p>Like many fashionable themes, this trend would not have emerged without a great pinnacle of style. All hail Yves Saint Laurent. Changing womenswear from the moment his 1966 summer show opened, the tragic genius revolved the perspective of women in trousers. Yves' changed the world; the masculine black tie uniform was transformed into a palatable piece of high fashion. Yves produced the sexiest form of masculin/féminin; it will never be seen again. Original hipster Francoise Hardy had a set ordered specifically, a testament to the chicness of 'Le Smoking'. Only Saint Laurent himself might have known just how much impact that suit would have. </p><p>Blame the recession, if you will, for 'useful' fashion's renaissance. Queen Phoebe [Philo, of Celine] designs for real women in mind, making clothes that present solutions, not make us wonder 'where can I actually wear that?' The trouser suit ticks that box, the ultimate sexy-in-your-boyfriend's-clothes glamour combined with an oh-so practical edge, practically tipping the cap to high fashion. And it was everywhere. <br> <br><br>Celine pulled out jumbo oversized coats that juxtaposed tapered trousers, all characteristically architectural, ranging across the colour spectrum. In contrast, standing proud amongst an array of well-established houses is a K-Mid favourite in Emilia Wickstead. Not edgy like Acne, or the cool, streamlined Celine solution, the New Zealander's endlessly chic display was effortlessly all there, light and breezy but sensible. Sensible is truly the word. Her simple yet effective, soon-to-be classic additions to the every day woman's closet don't pull the power card out of the pack, but just subtly lie there. An understated collection, like the designer herself perhaps, but the one and only pair of trousers in there showed what pastels for autumn are all about.</p><p>Stella McCartney intertwined a casual rock baroque mode with everyday clothes of the working woman. Introducing the pantsuit as an accessible addition, Stella's are much less 90s grey pinstripe and so, so much more elegant yet undeniably cool. But do we expect any less from the Queen of British luxury? I think not. Trousers have regained dignity as something to be desired and cherished. Merci, Mrs Prada.</p> <p><br>Some trends do not lend themselves to maximum appeal, but like almost no other, you can rely on the trouser suit to work for you. Yes, you. From wide legs that do flatter, to uber-chic ankle-grazers, there's plenty happening. If you're in any doubt, ask yourself what would Yves want. He'd want you to go for it. So do. It suits you.</p><p>Images courtesy of Jil Sander, Prada, Miu Miu, Celine, Emilia Wickstead, Stella McCartney.</p> <br><p>Follow Eleanor Doughty on Twitter:</p><p>Dressing 'casually' can be a problem. Like many things, the more thought you put into it, the room there is for error. Highlights of my recent fashion discoveries include the sad realisation that my Rive Gauche blazer is the only thing to pull off big shoulders, complex layering assumes the look of one going hiking, and the effortless colour blocking tactics are only possible with precision training, and an unlimited tonal wardrobe. To the latter sentiment, one (and by this I mean me) may resemble one's seven-year-old self's paint palette. And that's not something I'd like to remember.</p><p>Thinking about what to wear in the morning is often just a little too complicated. Stick to what you know usually works best, often sufficing as the solution to my frequent ensemble dilemmas. This season, I sense a real solution. Introducing minimal maximisation... or rather, the rise of the oversize. </p><p>I realise that excessively large sized clothes may not be immediately appealing. Like layering they are fraught with difficulties largely associated with 'does my bum look (too) big in this?' Despite this, that very exclusive nod to fashion is all there in the act of the oversized. Be not fooled, this is no excuse to gorge on Godiva's delectable chocolate-covered strawberries, or to stop that excellent running habit you've adopted. Whether I'm referring to the one in Louboutins to the bus stop, or the 5k I'll leave to you.</p><p>Husbands beware, the 'Bridget, that's not your coat' trend can be actually be put into practice, making extensive appearances on the catwalk and reducing models to their even more skeletal selves. Roksanda Ilincic literally pulled out all the stops with almost inflatable looking coats, going Olympic-style sumo against the oversized trend. Championing more of a bedtime than Olympic Park vibe, Chloe matched the covetable Parisian sensibilities with a British sporting edge in creating a very comfy collection of coats, while Celine fell back on elegant yet minimalist functionality, as is their timeless mission. </p> <p>Pair an oversized boyfriend blazer with a slick pair of trousers for the perfect complement to the new season a la the queen of casual chic and those wedged trainers, Isabel Marant. The Parisian worked an almost impossibly chic boyfriend blazer with simple skinny trousers and stilettos for her take on oversized. Now who said fashion was tricky?</p><p>Not everyone chose macho man for their autumn theme song; Raf Simons' last collection for Jil Sander generated a well-deserved standing ovation from the Milan crowd, exhibiting perfect large scale minimalism. The absolutely divine pastel coat, seemingly more at home in your grandmother's dressing up box than the catwalk, sealed Raf's place in fashion history.</p> <p>Coats were not alone in this trend's domination. Prada showed the ultimate high fashion geek chic brogue, super high, and super clumpy yet ultimately powerful. Almost so bad they're fabulous, Prada's shoes literally lift you into the fashion limelight. A broad selection of large than life tote bags more suited to a weekend in the Cotswolds than a trip to Waitrose with the kids emerged. We've all done it, bought a huge handbag and proceeded to fill it with as much as possible. This is regrettable yet inevitable position to be in, and made all that easier by Valentino's Mary Poppins effect hold all.</p> <p>In a strange sartorial hybrid, the rise of the oversize signals minimalism within a much larger idea. While shapes might be overbearing, concepts are minimal, forming the perfect combination of micro macro. Minimalism, the chic Parisian's favourite, favours a simple way of living and dressing that can be easily incorporated into AW12's biggest and boldest trend. </p><p>In a season that celebrates the waist, we are treated to a splendid array of cuddle-me coats. Thomas Tait's wide collar pea green number was almost as inviting as MaxMara's maximum lengths in coordinating colours while Commes des Garcons struck a floral chord with a cape-like piece, enough fabric to wrap up half the finale girls. During all of this, the clean architectural lines we have come to expect have not been forgotten in construction. Big, bold and beautiful does not signal the end of tailoring, it has simply streamlined to perfect the utterly sensationally casual in oversized looks.</p> <p>So if Michelin men don't take your fancy and Chloe's dressing gown look is just a tiny bit too appealing, invite Raf Simons into your life and champion oversized simplicity. With that coat, you barely need a dress. Cough, did I really suggest that? Financially viable though, let's be honest.</p><p>Images courtesy of Roksanda Ilincic at Starworks, Chloe, Celine, Isabel Marant, Jil Sander, Prada, Valentino at Karla Otto, Comme des Garcons, Thomas Tait.</p> <br><p>Follow Eleanor Doughty on Twitter:</p><p>This year, more than any other year, I woke up starving. I was fasting. The smell of ' bagels in the toaster forced me to stay in my room and linger in bed just a bit longer (I don't do well with temptation). You see, I don't fast on a regular basis. But, I am Jewish and my family and I observe the holiday of . . Jewish people traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and prayer. This is the holiest of holidays and we make the obligatory visit to the temple. It's ironic (or actually sad) that the Temple is normally less-than-full. However, on Yom Kippur, the sanctuary is standing room only. By the looks of the overflowing parking lot, most of us would do proud as we have chosen to "</p><p>As I got dressed and applied a little makeup, I cursed the headache that was taking over. Apparently, my head (and energy level) missed my morning cup of coffee. However, fear, tradition and a guilty conscience reminded me that fasting (and repenting) was not a choice. I grew up in a traditional Jewish home. My own (always stylish) mother always led the way by example. A simple, classic black or beige St.John suit was as "flashy" as my mom got on this holy day. This holiday was about repentance, she often reminded me. No need for too much makeup, or a fussy dress. I often looked at the Jewish women who had chosen not to fast, or not to participate in prayer. I did not recognize many of the faces, and wondered if they were new to the community? Draped in their fanciest frocks, which often included a large and elaborate hat-and-purse combo, a fashion show of sorts often took place in the sanctuary. I remembered my mom's elegant and appropriate style, and got dressed in a loose-fitting black Tahari dress. No belt or ruffles, just a plain dress.</p><p>As I walked out my front door, my friend-slash-confidant-slash-keeper of secrets, the UPS man, bumped right into me. I could not resist the urge to open the box right away, and boy, was I glad I did. The box contained a highly anticipated pair of black patent leather peep-toe Prada pumps. It would be a sin not to wear my new shoes! I put them on right away. I thought about my mom's flat sandals. She often reminded me that this holiday required a lot of repeated sitting and standing. Never mind, I thought. I can still wear these new shoes. Like I said, I'm not great with temptation.</p><p>This year, my husband and I were given an honor, and we needed to be standing on the bimah at 11 a.m. sharp (the bimah is a pedestal located in the front and center of the temple). As I jumped out of my car and started to walk, I realized that these new pumps were extremely tall and dare I say -- uncomfortable. My legs shook and my toes started to ache. I was already regretting more than just my sins; how would I sit and stand all day in temple? How would I ever walk in front of the entire congregation without falling? I barely made it inside the temple before my name was called out, and my husband and I walked to the bimah to read from the Torah. Not only was my walk up to the front of the temple painful and scary, but my time standing on the bimah was even more difficult. As I read the passages, all I could think about were my shoes. I was in pain and hoped nobody could tell.</p><p>PHOTO:</p><p></p><p>Thankfully, I did make it back to my seat without falling. Throughout the rest of the service I complained (internally) and wondered: Should I sit down and rest my feet, or take my shoes off and remain barefoot? I did neither, and opted instead to suck it up and deal with this ridiculous situation. I mentally chastised myself and wondered if perhaps this same shoe existed with a lower heel, or if my new shoes were even refundable? Of course, this question led me to do a quick search on my iPhone. (Don't worry: The sound was off and the entire search lasted no more than five minutes). It wasn't long after my Google search that we were back in the car on the way home. I couldn't help but to feel badly about the morning's service. Yes, I had fasted, and I had attended the Yom Kippur service. However, while I had been physically present, my mind and thoughts were not where they needed to be. I obviously had more in common with the fancy-frock females than I wanted to admit.</p><p>I used my time in temple to worry, complain and Google my style choices and quandaries. I am ashamed of this, and wrote this post as a confession (I know, it's a little late). This whole Yom Kippur/shoe episode got me thinking about a bumper sticker I recently saw. It read, "Don't judge me because I sin differently than you do." Prior to this Yom Kippur, I had not understood the elaborate hats or makeup. Now I get it: We have to each make a conscious effort to be present and honest with ourselves. I knew where I needed to be, and Saks.com was not it. So, I apologize now for the sins of last year, and promise to do an extra good deed (or two) to make up for style sins. </p><p>Want more? Be sure to check out HuffPost Style on , , and .</p><p>www.mydaily.co.uk:</p><p>Elle MacPherson wore an absolutely stunning Prada dress to the launch of Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model in Soho. Unfortunately, when you opt for a look this memorable, you should probably make sure that another celebrity hasn't already nabbed your big moment.</p><p>Like Eva Mendes promoting her movie The Other Guys back in November 2010, for example.</p><p></p> <br><p>At the beginning of The Devil Wears Prada, Anne Hathaway's character explains the reason she ended up at Runway is because the choice was between there and an Auto magazine. At times when I have least to do, I like to think I got the work placement Anne turned down.</p><p>If you're going to stage a fashion comeback, where better to do it than the ?</p><p>The brand, co-star of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new Costume Institute exhibit, is on track to be revived by its current owner, Diego Della Valle. Women's Wear Daily reports that Della Valle, who purchased the rights to the long-dormant brand in 2007, and is on the hunt for a head designer. "The designer’s introduction," says the press release, "will take place in October."</p><p>According to WWD, will be the first products to hit shelves in February 2013. </p><p>The Elsa Schiaparelli brand has laid dormant since 1954, although Schiaparelli herself lived until 1973. An Italian native, "Schiap" began designing in Paris in the late '20s and grew to become one of the most prominent designers in the '30s -- even more prominent, some would argue, than her peer and rival Coco Chanel. ( "that Italian artist who makes clothes.")</p><p>Schiaparelli's fashion house suffered from World War II and she shuttered the business in 1954. But her name and legend lived on for fashion lovers and, in 2006, Della Valle purchased Schiaparelli's trademarks and archives with an eye on resuscitating the brand.</p><p>And it would seem now is the perfect moment. The exhibit, which kicks off tonight with the , puts the two Italian design legends in conversation, comparing their work and suggesting new ways to understand their designs. </p><p>To compare the two idiosyncratic designers might literally be an impossible undertaking ("They are not taking into consideration that we are talking about two different eras, and that [Schiaparelli and I] are total opposite," ). But it is undoubtedly good for Schiaparelli, whose name is lesser known in the contemporary fashion world. The Costume Institute's new exhibition will not only honor her legacy but also put her name on the public's radar -- so what better time to push the brand back in stores?</p><p>Read more about -- and check back here this evening for coverage of the Met Gala, where the museum will officially unveil </p><p>Discover Elsa Schiaparelli in the vintage photos below:<br></p><p>Want more? Be sure to check out HuffPost Style on , , and .</p> <br>eGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHGtdTrlO6FQ53rI4f%2FNo7oyXAvVcpcAPr4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFV<p>"I was lying underneath him just crying with laughter," says Emily Blunt as we sit in a London hotel room discussing fake orgasms.</p><p>She's talking about the hilariously awkward scene in her latest film, , where her on-screen fiance, Jason Segel, tries to have sex with her after hearing some very bad news.</p><p>Blunt laughs: "Every time he'd change it, so each fake orgasm came with a different sound or a different facial expression. It was that dreadful anticipation each time of not knowing what he was going to do next. I was in tears… he did like 12 takes, it was ghastly. He has a real repertoire for fake orgasms."</p><p>"Is that from experience?" I ask. "It must be, right?" the Golden-Globe winner and Devil Wears Prada star jokes.</p><p><br>Emily Blunt is one of the current crop of British stars carving up a storm in Hollywood</p><p>British actress Blunt isn't usually seen in rom-coms - which she says are "something you've got to be careful with" - and when producer Judd Apatow (Bridesmaids, Knocked Up) previously tried to snare her for projects she turned him down, so why did she say yes to The Five-Year Engagement?</p><p>"I think it was just the right time and it was the right part. I really wanted to work in that style of comedy, very improv-based comedy, because I think that's where you get between two people the best most natural, most true-to-life depiction of what a relationship actually is and it gives a sort of messiness that's true to love. </p><p>"This film didn't have the same sort of glossiness that most romantic comedies have, where it's some dreadful premise." </p><p>In the film Blunt plays Violet, an academic who goes after her dream job. The problem is she's just got engaged to a chef named Tom (Segel). The story looks at what happens when this seemingly perfect couple keep getting tripped up on the long walk down the aisle. </p><p><br>Emily Blunt with co-star Jason Segel, who made her "cry with laughter"</p><p>"If it had been the other way round and the woman was the one making the sacrifice, then people wouldn't kick up such a fuss, but I remember when I started to do press for this film people would say 'God, Violet's so selfish,'" says a fiery Blunt. </p><p>Equality is a topic that comes up twice in our interview. The Adjustment Bureau star - who made it down the aisle almost two years ago to wed (US version)The Office's John Krasinski - asks: "Why not have it all? You can have it all, you can flourish and have your dream job and you can get married. It's a struggle but that's all part of the fun. I think it's about time there was more equality and men just have to be OK with it. Male egos just have to get on with it."</p><p>And when I ask her what she thinks about people saying women can't be funny in films, she cries, "Oh give me a break!" before adding: "We're not given parts where we are allowed to be. </p><p>"You're usually given the little lady at home who is kind of a square and you're enabling the guy to run around and save the world being hilarious. </p><p>"It's great Bridesmaids happened… I think Hollywood had this preconception that only funny men get bums on seats and that theory has kind of been shattered."</p><p>Blunt's obviously enjoyed her foray into comedy and she admits she'd like to do more but "doesn't quite know when," adding: "I don't know if I'm going to rush into another romantic comedy, but I'd like something else with a comedic element. I think that type of genre can get quite fatigued."</p><p>Proving her diversity as an actress, Blunt gives me a hint of her next film, starring alongside Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. </p><p>It's a far cry from the overpopulated rom-com genre: "I'm really excited about Looper coming out in September, it's a futuristic thriller and the coolest movie I've ever done.</p><p>"I'm really lucky to be in it. I play Sarah who lives on a farm and she gets embroiled in all of the time travel mess that goes on in the movie, I can't say too much about it." </p><p>The Five-Year Engagement is in cinemas 22 June. </p><p><p><p><p></p><p>Want a career in fashion or beauty journalism? Forget writing skills -- think Queen Bee aggression.</p><p>"I'm sorry, who are you? I don't believe we've met," says my editor to me about five minutes before I leave her magazine premises and my job as her fashion and beauty intern for good. I've been in the job for a day and a half.</p><p>A knee-jerk reaction you might say, but I only needed this short amount of time to know that there was little opportunity for me in an environment where the chief editor had no clue who I was, the web editor used her lunch hours to consult her plastic surgeon, and the editorial assistant felt it catastrophic that her fingernail couldn't be manicured because it was in plaster. <br> <br>Many probably had some reservations that Lauren Weisberger's 2003 New York Times bestseller The Devil Wears Prada, and 2006 film of the same name (starring Meryl Streep) were a tad far-fetched in their overly-catty representation of the fashion and beauty magazine industry, both after all being categorized as light-hearted stylish comedies despite their rumored basis on a real life scenario. Sadly however, such a scenario is not so comical when its reality is experienced, with many large and well-known publications valuing over skills of writing and creativity an individual's ability to be artificial and aggressively theatrical in their appearance, manner and role within an editorial team. </p><p>Speaking to others who have undertaken fashion and beauty internships, it is clear to see that the process is a matter of survival rather than enjoyment. </p><p>"Unfortunately my [work] experience was quite similar to what you described as it was in the body and soul section -- so full of catty women who weren't very friendly at all. Needless to say I haven't been in touch with them," says Annabel Smith who undertook a placement at a national newspaper following her time as a student at Leeds University. </p><p>For an intern trying to break into the business, experiencing this environment for the first time can be soul destroying -- their mere existence is only acknowledged if another member of staff wants something. So why do some fashion and beauty journalists feel the need to intimidate office newbies or interns through ego-fueled theatricality? And why is there such a strong desire for a clear staff hierarchy within their offices? (The intern being placed at sub-basement level).</p><p>Women can sometimes be rude or difficult when interacting with other women in order to assert authority. Professor Fiona Wilson from the University of Glasgow claims that research has found some women to have "Queen Bee Syndrome" when in managerial positions. This theory is based on a beehive containing one superior Queen Bee surrounded by other subservient bees (known as drones). </p><p>Traits associated with Queen Bee Syndrome include a woman distancing herself from other female colleagues, or refusing to help other women climb up the workplace hierarchy. A woman may use this tactic to retain power, or (if she is in a mixed gender office), because she feels that aggression or an "alpha female" approach is key to progression and promotion in male dominated territory.<br> <br>During my brief stint as a health and beauty intern, the main thing that struck me was the frequent evil glare administered by my colleagues against the atmospheric office backdrop of eerie, tense silence.<br> <br>As psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig explains: There are multiple social cultural reasons for this kind of behavior. There are fewer women in top spots of employment compared to men. Women in positions of power may see other younger women with their life ahead of them as a threat. For that reason they do not wish to embrace or encourage interns. Instead, they see a newcomer as a potential replacement for their own position.</p><p>Discussing her research and communication with others on this issue, Dr. Ludwig also mentioned that both men and women generally found that working for a male boss was more enjoyable. In men and women the marked boundaries between social and professional life are also very different. In women, it is far more complex. One minute two female colleagues can be speaking intimately about personal issues, the next they can be talking about hard business. Because of this, emotions can run higher in a female-dominated environment, meaning the potential for more misery.<br> <br>"We are also less accepting of 'bitchy' women than we are to aggressive, power-orientated men. Men are generally less intimate, less competitive, and less likely to think of another employee as a threat to their territory or position. This may be due to self esteem, which also appears stronger in men," she added.</p><p>Interns considering a fashion or beauty journalism career shouldn't take the awkward silences and catty comments too seriously... in some instances they clearly (and unfortunately) come with the job. Female employers may pay close attention to your writing and research skills too, though sadly not necessarily for the positive reasons you're thinking. </p><p>Follow Emily Louise Overy on Twitter:</p><p> (in Prada) and inside, the 21-year-old actress talks Hermione, her admiration of Patti Smith and her own ties to the design community. The glossy writes that Watson has deliberately championed the work of "newer, edgier designers, such as Hakaan Yildirim and Erdem Moralioglu," and Emma explains, "I thought, If people are going to write about what I'm wearing, then I would wear young British designers who need the publicity." </p><p> her three-time collaboration with fair-trade clothing company People Tree:</p>"It was such hard work," she admits with a laugh. "I didn't realize what I was taking on. I was doing twelve-hour days on Harry Potter and then coming home to work for two more hours, sizing and cutting designs." She even paid to have the clothes photographed properly and supplied three of her friends to be the models. A few months ago she received a call from Alberta Ferretti, who wanted to collaborate with her on an eco-friendly line called Pure Threads. Emma was so happy, she says, "I practically cried."<p>Check out Emma in Vogue and to read the rest, . And take a look at .</p><p></p><p>WATCH: </p> <br><p>Eva Mendes stepped out to the "The Other Guy" photocall in Madrid on Thursday wearing -- a teal-and-black striped, strapless dress with brocade print on the sides. Way to get it while it's hot! Or before it even came out of the oven.</p><p>She paired the frock with black, peep-toe stiletto platforms.</p><p>Check out Eva's dress -- scroll down for a side-by-side with the runway look, shown at the end of September -- and tell us what you think. </p><p></p><p></p><p></p> <br><p>American actress Eva Mendes has let down her guard down in an interview with Marie Claire, describing Ryan Gosling as "amazing" and revealing her supe...</p><p>After Alexander McQueen in 2011, is paying homage to Italian designers Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada. The exhibition Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations will explore the striking affinities between these two iconic women from different eras.<br><br>In the galleries, emblematic ensembles by Schiaparelli and Prada will be presented with videos of imaginary conversations between the two designers directed by Baz Luhrmann, focusing on how both women explore explore similar themes in their work through very different approaches.<br><br>"Given the role Surrealism and other art movements play in the designs of both Schiaparelli and Prada, it seems only fitting that their inventive creations be explored here at the Met. Schiaparelli's collaborations with Dali and Cocteau as well as Prada's Fondazione Prada push art and fashion ever closer, in a direct, synergistic, and culturally redefining relationship."<br><br>~~Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Metropolitan Museum of Art<br><br><br><br>Drawn from The Costume Institute's collection and the Prada Archive, as well as other institutions and private collections, signature objects by both designers will be arranged in seven themed galleries.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>The exhibition is on view from May 10 through August 19, 2012, preceded on May 7 by The Costume Institute Gala Benefit.<br>Via </p> <p>Follow Evelyne Politanoff on Twitter:</p><p>MILAN &mdash; Everything is coming up flowers on the Milan runway.</p><p>Floral references during the second day of Milan Fashion Week womenswear previews on Thursday ranged from the graphic motif to romantic bouquets or jungle foliage.</p><p>It's not a sexy season. Collections for next summer are more romantic than racy and sheer fabrics suggest more than they show.</p><p>The silhouette is loose and flowing &ndash; with skirt lengths both baby-doll short and granny-dress long. Trousers, too, are wide with the 1960s palazzo pajama making a comeback. Sporty shorts and pedal pushers are often paired with feminine blousy tops. A pastel palate kept the looks demure, while gold, silver and bronze add flash.</p><p>Bows and ribbons lend romance to the season, cinching waistlines, gracing floppy hats or wrapping an ankle. But the flower grabs the headlines in most of the shows &ndash; setting a wide range of moods.</p><p>PRADA</p><p>Miuccia Prada &ndash; one of the fashion world's most out-of-the-box thinkers &ndash; for next summer takes apart the kimono to discover its most basic silhouette. Then, she puts it all back together again to come up with a full collection of imperial outfits.</p><p>The central motif of the new collection is a graphic flower, often with a bright red center, which appeared on bags, tops, dresses, wraps and eyewear.</p><p>Prada has reinterpreted the Japanese Geisha sandal complete with split-toe tabi sock, which she crafted from leather with a zipper up the back, suggesting they could be footwear in their own right.</p><p>The impact of the entire collection was otherworldly, a reflection of Prada's reach for conceptual fashion where idea trumps fit. The kimono showed up as a wrap, a top tied neatly in the back, a skirt formed out of panels or just a simple tunic dress. Fabrics were shiny silk and satin.</p><p>Shoes were over the top, wedge and platform sandals, always worn with the tabi sock at times in contrasting gold and silver. The latest Prada palate includes soft pink and sage but the basic color scheme stuck to black, white and gray &ndash; all the better to show off the flower emblem and highlight red accents.</p><p>The collection was decidedly warm weather, but Prada also devised wraps and three-quarter sleeved coats, often of fur, for chillier climes. Here too, the flower motif made the difference. The basic bag was a small summer shopper &ndash; more for the boutique than market</p><p>EMPORIO ARMANI</p><p>Emporio Armani is Giorgio Armani's second line aimed at a younger client, and that is just where the "maestro" was headed in his latest spring-summer collection.</p><p>Teenage models strolled down the runway in sweet pastel silk shorts, their curly hair brushing the shoulder of the matching tapered jacket. Ballerina flats tied in a demure silk ankle bow, dainty leather driving gloves, and a sporty pastel bucket bag completed the ingenue look.</p><p>In his show notes, the designer called his spring style "clean."</p><p>Natural colors with touches of opaque gold and bronze underlined the down to earth feel of the collection.</p><p>There is a good deal of layering in the Emporio collection, with fluid knit-wear, silk tops and jackets with small shoulders and a barely marked waist combining with either a short skirt or a pair of soft straight pants gathered at the bottom, to create a well put together, young look.</p><p>BLUGIRL</p><p>Romance is in the air at Blugirl. It's in the sheer fabrics, silken ribbons and golden lockets.</p><p>But if all that gives the impression of pastoral innocence, not so quick.</p><p>In fashion notes, the label that targets a younger audience said the collection was inspired by the "ethereal dreamy girls" in the photography of David Hamilton, whose best-known work features grainy images of young women, often nude or semi-nude.</p><p>Designer Anna Molinari's collection is as long on lace, organza and eyelet materials, as it is short on undergarments.</p><p>Molinari layered sheer over sheer, animal prints under plain, creating a romantic effect without ever really covering up. Underneath she fitted silken culotte panties with lace trim and nothing more. Silk ribbons were tied prettily around the waist, or around floppy brim hats.</p><p>The silhouette was loose, but lengths varied from short skirts and culottes to maxi-dresses. Pleats and ruffles added shape and volume. Shades were decidedly pastel, until evening hit, and then Molinari turned to gold sequins and beading.</p><p>The look was completed with high-heeled lace-up leather booties in colors ranging from pastels to gold.</p><p>MAX MARA</p><p>Whether in leopard prints or safari wear, the Max Mara woman is the hunter not the hunted.</p><p>The Max Mara collection evokes the jungle, where foliage prints provide natural camouflage for the animalistic spirit ready to spring &ndash; a mood captured in curve-hugging dresses in stripes of spotted and floral prints.</p><p>The silhouette is both free, with loose blouses of light fabric, and controlled, with fitted skirts that often finish below the knee. Safari touches are present throughout, including large pockets, rolled-up sleeves and button tabs on shoulders.</p><p>Blouson tops have large, lightweight hoods, for taking quick cover to scurry away, unrecognized.</p><p>In keeping with the theme, the collection's palette is rooted in earthy tones like camel and olive green, complemented by leopard, floral and sometimes plaid prints as well as icier tones of blue and green.</p><p>LOS ANGELES -- Federal customs officials have stopped more than 20,000 pairs of counterfeit luxury shoes from tip-toeing into the U.S. from China.</p><p>U.S. Customs and Border Protection Spokesman Jaime Ruiz says four shipments of fake Christian Louboutin (loo-boo-tan) shoes were seized Tuesday, and another shipment was seized July 27.</p><p>Ruiz says the shoes could have sold for a total of $18 million in the U.S.</p><p>The vaunted French designer's shoes come in an array of colors and styles, often commanding thousands of dollars per pair from well-heeled customers.</p><p>Celebrities and royalty have been known to wear Louboutins, which have red soles.</p><p>The knockoff shoes were likely destined for swap meets or sale through websites.</p><p>Ruiz says the shoes were very good counterfeits and will likely be destroyed.</p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p>eGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHR%2Bk7huUTK5GduMziZZw2K6rSnCeVSnLO4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFVeGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHR%2Bk7huUTK5GduMziZZw2K6rSnCeVSnLO4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFVeGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHR%2Bk7huUTK5GduMziZZw2K6rSnCeVSnLO4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFVi have enormous respect for daniel radcliffe (who reminds us that young people CAN have character) and everybody loves emma watson, but rupe was always my favorite in the hp movies.... <br><br>Life is so lonely. I am a 50-year-old doctor. I’ve been living alone since my wife passed away 2 years ago. Maybe I should get going so I got a profile on …… r?chh??k??. ? om …… under “denver50”. It’s the best place to meet CEOs, pro athletes, doctors, lawyers, investors, entrepreneurs, beauty queens, fitness models, and Hollywood celebrities. Maybe you can take a try.<br><br>it doesn't hurt that he's pretty hot, too... - but he really could use some help with his hair and clothes...<p>We've teamed up with Greta Larkins, the genius behind the brilliant Tumblr in a weekly series of animated runway shots.</p><p>In this , Larkins takes on a pink and orange metallic trench from spring 2013 collection for at . While we know the British model (and Burberry face) has a tiny waist naturally, we can't stop staring at this mesmerizing image. Is the new corset?</p>Want more? Be sure to check out Stylelist on , and .<p><br>For previous Fashion Gifs, take a peek in our gallery below: <br><br><br></p><p>We've teamed up with Greta Larkins, the genius behind the brilliant Tumblr in a weekly series of animated fashion shots.</p><p>This week, FashGif takes on this long striped dress from collection which was presented during . Does this dizzying print make you feel like you're seeing double, too? </p>Want more? Be sure to check out Stylelist on , and .<p><br>For previous Fashion Gifs, take a peek in our gallery below: <br><br><br><br></p>my particular favorites from paris were rick owens and ann demeulemeester. beautiful, mysterious and flattering. i would buy everything from the rick owens collection and just float through life. i loved the muted colors and( black).<br>so much of paris was derivative and garish(marc jacobs for louis vuitton),....like it was all done before (and it was)and the patterns were migraine inducing.<br>and can anyone explain to why in certain collections (givenchy, miu miu, marc jacobs) the models are deliberately made to look ugly, gaunt, and very angry. i realize the clothes should speak for themselves and the models are the accessories but what is the point of the smirks and snarls??????<p>We've teamed up with Greta Larkins, the genius behind the brilliant Tumblr in a weekly series of animated fashion shots.</p><p>This week, FashGif takes on this diamond-patterned dress from collection. With a moving dress like this, you would be guaranteed a spot on our . </p>Want more? Be sure to check out Stylelist on , and .<p><br>For previous Fashion Gifs, take a peek in our gallery below: <br><br></p>eGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHR%2Bk7huUTK5GduMziZZw2K6rSnCeVSnLO4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFVeGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHR%2Bk7huUTK5GduMziZZw2K6rSnCeVSnLO4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFVeGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHGtdTrlO6FQ53rI4f%2FNo7oyXAvVcpcAPr4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFVeGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHR%2Bk7huUTK5GduMziZZw2K6rSnCeVSnLO4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFV<p>,09.27.2012</p><p>Podiatrist; CEO and President of Foot Products Enterprises Inc.</p><p>With all of the new fall styles of boots and booties available this fall it is important to make sure your feet are properly manicured and supported. Blisters in the back of the heel, corns on top of the toes, ingrown toenails and arch cramps can come back to haunt you again.</p><p>From Samantha Critchell at AP:</p><p>NEW YORK -- New York stores were jammed Thursday for Fashion's Night Out, where shoppers rubbed elbows with celebrities - sometimes quite literally.</p><p>Amateur photographers jockeyed with paparazzi to get pictures of Victoria Beckham and stood on banquettes to get a glimpse of "Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi. The hope was that the event, a brainchild of Vogue Editor Anna Wintour, would help at the cash register during New York Fashion Week, which opened Thursday.</p><p>"It's a nice night. We're tired of waiting until the recession ends," said Stuart Weitzman.</p><p>The shoe designer played ping-pong with customers at his store, and confessed that as a former high school ping-pong champion, he was a bit of a ringer. "It relaxes me. I play two or three times a week."</p><p></p><p>Security had to close off Bergdorf Goodman's seventh floor, where Lakshmi judged a cook-off between designers including Cynthia Rowley &ndash; who made tipsy tomatoes, described as "upscale Jello shots" &ndash; and Peter Som, who made panko-fried oysters.</p><p>The winner: Lela Rose, the crowd favorite for her corn crepe topped with lobster and cilantro salsa.</p><p>"There are far more people than I was expecting, but I should have known everyone would want to meet Padma," said Linda Fargo, fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman.</p><p>The store's elevators were overflowing and women wore cocktail dresses as they snapped up hors d'oeuvres and drinks in the lobby. The Olsen twins served cocktails and Beckham posed for pictures.</p><p>"I was not expecting this type of turnout," Lakshmi said. "I was just hoping the room would be full."</p><p>Outside Tiffany & Co., all lit up in blue, people lined up for a coffee cart on the street. Inside were a DJ and Vogue editors offering styling assistance.</p><p>At Bendel's, women lined up to have red lips drawn on by Gucci Westman, Revlon's global artistic director. Eric Damon, costume designer for "Gossip Girl," helped shoppers choose accessories and posed for photos with them.</p><p>"I'm helping girls mix and match, over-accessorize and overindulge," he said.</p><p>It was difficult to judge the impact of the event &ndash; held at stores all over the city. Justin Timberlake was making an appearance at Saks, Charlize Theron at Dior, Kate Hudson at Stella McCartney. Oscar de la Renta was singing to loyal customers. Wintour herself made an appearance at a Macy's in Queens.</p><p>But everywhere, people said the event brought something much-needed back to fashion: fun.</p><p>"Fashion has been so flat. The party element hasn't been there," said Terri Coleman, partner in the brand Tuccia, who made custom sandals at Henri Bendel's in 30 minutes or less for a steady stream of clients. "This gives them a reason to have fun."</p><p>Some shoppers jumped at the chance to spend. Keith Carollo, 37, said he bought a $250 Proenza Schouler wallet and a second copy of a book he already owns by Ruben and Isabel Toledo so that he could have each signed by the designers at Barney's.</p><p>"I've been super excited. I'm a very big fan of fashion," he said.</p><p>But others came just to see celebrities.</p><p>"Tonight is a browsing night," said Jessica Evans, 27, who went to Bergdorf to see Lakshmi and the Olsen twins. "It's a little too crazy, but I will come back."</p><p>One person, at least, was in the mood to shop &ndash; Victoria Beckham: "Because I'm in New York, FAO Schwarz and toys for the kids."</p><p>___</p><p>Associated Press reporter Megan K. Scott contributed to this report.</p>Read our page.<br><br><p>Follow HuffPost Style on and become a fan of HuffPost Style on !</p> <br><p>Today I'm launching Jaime King's Picks. Every Wednesday, I will be doing a piece about my favorite stylin' things for women, men and the home. My goal is to inspire you and to share with you that the secret to true style is surrounding yourself with things that make YOU feel great. <br><br>I am dedicating my first post to Arianna Huffington who said "Jaime, we need to make flat shoes chic." Three years ago Arianna's high heel got caught in a grate and she broke her ankle. Last year I fell while doing a movie and broke my tailbone. I quickly jumped right back into my heels for my red carpet events, and this led to months of physical therapy. Needless to say, I wasn't the only victim of this epic fashion fail. Between the doctors in their lab coats and the injured women who begged to take off their sneakers and slip back into their Louboutins, the office was a fashion war zone. </p><p>Unless you're Victoria Beckham, you probably look like a drunken sailor after five minutes in these things we call stilettos. Even dear Victoria is rocking flats now on doctor's orders. <br><br>I know it may sound nuts, but I WANT TO MAKE FLAT SHOES CHIC! They are terrible for your body, cause countless painful injuries, they make your legs look insanely sexy and long, but I digress.... Slide into some fabulous flats. You know you want to! There is nothing more endearing than effortless elegance, and here are some awesome picks to start you off on the right foot.</p><p></p>Courtesy photos<p>1. Prada Oxford Loafers <br>I adore these! They are my go-to flats right now. With all the colors available, you can really make them your own. I love their boy/girl vibe. Every time I rock them, guys stop me on the street wanting them for themselves! $795, for store info.</p><p>2. Juicy Couture Lace-Up Rider Boots<br>The long clean line and the classic front laces of these boots will keep you looking pulled together and elegant. Pair them with jeans and a Burberry leather jacket or a long cashmere sweater dress and yum is the word! $425, .</p><p>3. Doc Martens Christina Flats<br>These are a great twist on the brand we know and love. The copper finish makes your little sweet dress sexier and any casual look edgier. This is the perfect shoe to highlight the metallic trend for fall. $70, .</p><p>4. Dieppa Restrepo's Lordy Loafers <br>For the boys! I know. You always get to wear "flats." Dieppa Restrepo has the coolest shoes for men and women. The Lordy is my fave for you guys. These sublime slip-ons come in a multitude of colors, making them a versatile pairing for everything from tees to tuxes. $225, .</p><p>5. Dr. Joseph's Life Steps <br>These orthotics are my new find that EVERYONE needs to know about. These in-soles have been life-altering for everyone I know who wears them, including myself. This brilliant doctor has made specific orthotics for any shoe selection. They come in three selections. One for your sports sneakers, one for your flats and one for your heels. They keep your posture aligned and when you can't resist slipping into those towering heels, slip these in and voila! Your pelvis and back will stay in place and you, my fashionable friend, will stay on the straight and narrow. $49.95, .</p><p><br></p><p>6. Eco-Friendly Synthetic Grass <br>For the home. Nothing is better for your tired feet than a gigantic heating pad! This amazing eco-friendly synthetic grass from ForeverLawn has changed my life. It's always a vibrant green, with no dirt and no watering necessary. It is my guests' number one spot to sprawl out and relax. This is my favorite way to calm a stressed body and sore muscles. In the sun, it warms up and I lay down and kick back. At night, spread out under the stars and ask a friend for a foot rub. Run your tired feet over the grass and it's like a mini-massage. Crazy, but AWESOME! And your friends will be in awe of your forever beautiful garden. $8-$12 per square foot, .<br></p><p></p><p>You could never accuse Florence Welch of being conservative when it comes to fashion and she proved just how kooky she can be in New York yesterday.</p><p>The Brit singer was spotted being interviewed for ABC News yesterday in this headache-inducing, kaleidoscope patterned two-piece which she matched with a pair of clunky heels.</p><p></p><p>And it didn't take long before she was spotted by autograph hunters who followed her around the Big A.</p><p>A few hours later she ditched the trouser suit for another eye-popping outfit when she attended the Met Gala in a tiered Alexander McQueen number.</p><p></p><p>Any other day of the week and that would have been the most talked about dress of the evening - but that honour went to Mr .</p><p>>IN PICS: MET GALA 2012<br><br>Oh well, maybe next year, Flo?</p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p> <br><p>NEW YORK &mdash; Like bookends, Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada sit at opposite ends of a long, elegant table for their chat. There are crystal wineglasses and an ornate chandelier. They cover fashion, of course, but get into broader topics of politics and exotic places, feminism and popular culture.</p><p>The banter is lively, thoughtful and friendly, although sometimes they have very different opinions and aren't afraid to voice them. Schiaparelli says the top of an outfit is the most important because in her day (the 1930s-'40s), when Cafe Society was all the rage, women were seen only from the waist up, sitting at a restaurant table. More than 50 years later, Prada put the emphasis on what's below the belt because that's what she found more dynamic and exciting.</p><p>"The skirt has always been one of my primary focuses. Everyone knows that you have to be very beautiful from the waist up, and less sophisticated from the waist down. But to me the waist up is more spiritual, more intellectual, while the waist down is more basic, more grounded. It's about sex. It's about making love. It's about life," says Prada. "It's about giving birth."</p><p>Counters Schiaparelli: "(When I began my career, I) did not know anything about dressmaking. (My) ignorance in this matter was supreme. Therefore my courage was without limit and blind. (My) designs (became) more and more daring. Up with the shoulders! Bring the bust back into its own, pad the shoulders and stop the ugly slouch! Raise the waist to its forgotten original place! Lengthen the skirt!"</p><p>Together, Schiaparelli and Prada make a compelling "Impossible Conversation," which is what the curators at the Metropolitan Museum of Art call the unusual exhibit at the Costume Institute that opens to the public Thursday.</p><p>Inspired by a Vanity Fair series from the 1930s that paired disparate celebrities, the exhibit unfolds in intimate short films directed by Baz Luhrmann that star Miuccia Prada herself and actress Judy Davis, portraying Schiaparelli, who died in 1973. The two women are accessorized by a deep display of archival outfits, ranging from an embellished skirt from Prada's 2012-13 spring collection to the surrealist hats Schiaparelli made with Salvador Dali in 1938.</p><p>The presentation and subject matter couldn't be more different from last year's big success story, a retrospective of Alexander McQueen, the Met's most popular fashion exhibit ever.</p><p>"It's not at all like McQueen," says curator-in-charge Harold Koda. "That was fantasy and not intrinsic to what people wear. This show has a much more subtle representation of artistry that infuses fashion, but it's always subsumed under the reality of clothing that no matter how extreme, it can still be worn."</p><p>Koda wonders whether the garments' practicalities reflect the designers' gender.</p><p>"I'm wondering if pragmatism is a quality that would come out of conversation of a lot of women designers; that somehow a woman needs to feel comfortable in her clothes," he says.</p><p>He draws other parallels between the Italian-born women, including their interest in contemporary art, their provocative aesthetic and their broad definition of "beauty."</p><p>"They presented things that most people might say were unattractive and made them be chic," Koda says.</p><p>Part of the exhibit is categorized into looks that are "ugly chic," think discordant combinations; "hard chic," the military- and menswear-inspired silhouettes; and "naif chic," drawing inspiration from the sweet styles of children and turning them tougher.</p><p>Both designers seem aware, though, that despite their reputations to like the unconventional, their customers tend to be straightforward.</p><p>"Curiously enough, in spite of (my) apparent craziness and love of fun and gags, (my) greatest fans were the ultra-smart and conservative women, wives of diplomats and bankers, millionaires and artists, who liked severe suits and plain black dresses," Schiaparelli was quoted from her autobiography "Shocking Life." (Fodder from the book dictated Schiaparelli's half of her conversation.)</p><p>The rest of the show covers the classical body and exotic body.</p><p>Some of what visitors will see:</p><p>_Schiaparelli's cape in black silk velvet with an embroidered image of the Greek god Apollo from 1938-39; a "Shoe" hat, crafted with a cone heel, from 1937-38; a black silk crepe de chine evening dress printed with matchsticks from 1935; a bolero in pink silk crepe embroidered with circus elephants and acrobats from 1938.</p><p>_Prada's retro 1950s cruiser-car stilettos with a fin-shaped heel and red plastic taillight from 2012; a signature black nylon dress with zipper closure from 1995; a blue-and-gold matelasse Lurex cocktail dress from 2002; a white cotton-canvas top embroidered with monkeys, bananas and baroque scrolls paired with a skirt of pink-and-black striped cotton canvas from 2011.</p><p>Koda said these two were really the first and best choices for the conversation that he conceived with co-curator Andrew Bolton because there was a comparison and contrast for every look, detail and idea.</p><p>He allowed, however, "It could have been (Madeleine) Vionnet and (Azzedine) Alaia."</p><p>"Impossible Conversations" opens Thursday and runs through Aug. 19.</p><p>___</p><p>___</p><p>Bloomberg:</p><p>Prada SpA, the Italian fashion label that makes Miu Miu bags and Church's shoes, hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Intesa Sanpaolo SpA and UniCredit SpA to arrange an initial public offering planned for next year.</p><p>The proposed listing will depend on ``market conditions,'' the Milan-based company said in an e-mailed statement today. Law firm Bonelli Erede Pappalardo will act as legal adviser.</p><p>An IPO may value Prada at about 5 billion euros ($7.2 billion) and would be the biggest in the luxury goods industry, a person familiar with the plan said last month. Prada, which has scrapped three listing attempts this decade, is focusing on Miu Miu, Church's and its namesake brand after selling the unprofitable Jil Sander and Helmut Lang labels.</p><p></p> <br><p>Bright nautical colors, traditional burgundy, cornflower blue, or vibrant green and, obviously, blue and white.<br> <br>Possibly thanks to the Olympic Games, or the recently ended Wimbledon and Roland Garros competitions, sports are dominating the runways in Milan. Already in Florence show was based upon sports garments: from shoes to side-stripe pants that looked like tracksuits, yet flawlessly cut.<br> <br> sent down the runway a pure and colorful collection, mixing shades of blue with burgundy, greens and grays, showing total refinement in the shapes of the loose t-shirts with contrasting neck trimming. The girls wore sporty and colorful fur coats and looked incredibly chic and sensuous. New materials and shapes, from duster coats to jackets. A new way to interpret sports without looking ordinary.<br> <br>Also Moncler Gamme Bleu, inspired by sailing boats and featuring sailors dancing tip tap, was totally sporty, with more conventional colors like yellow, blue, red and white. The nautical theme was explored in a traditional way without innovative touches, with the exception of a few more eccentric, but not easy, garments.</p><p> played with metallics getting inspired rather by car bodywork colors and creating contrasting details. Young and fresh and showing a well-defined style.</p><p>The first 'comeback' collection by looked 'very Jil' and featured linear and sharp and always extremely refined shapes. An example of understatement and style.<br> <br>Also at a sporty mood was in the air, always revisited and reinterpreted by Thomas with his signature volumes and colors.<br> <br>I have lately emphasized the importance of exercise to be healthy and beautiful. With this sports obsession being in shape will be a must. For all of us, and not just for men, because we all know that a strong trend affects everyone.<br> <br>Including women, as seen at Prada and with other womenswear pre-collections. Stay tuned, stay in shape.</p> <br><p>Follow Franca Sozzani on Twitter:</p><p>As one of fashion's most outspoken figures -- or , the industry's "agent provocateur" -- Franca Sozzani knows a thing or two about controversy. </p><p>But the Vogue Italia editor-in-chief's latest role is unequivocally positive: Sozzani is the first-ever Goodwill Ambassador for Fashion 4 Development, a global awareness campaign that uses diplomacy, business, media and creative industries for the purpose of ending poverty, reaching gender equality and creating global partnerships through fashion. </p><p>It's a more formal step in the activism Sozzani has embraced for years, as the editor has taken stands on tough issues like race and body image through the pages of Vogue Italia. Working with an organization and creating a systematic program takes it to a new level. </p><p>Sozzani explained, "It cannot be something abstract, like, 'OK, I would like to have the black girls [in the magazine],'" referring to . The idea, she says, is direct action on a larger scale: "Not just, say, to help one girl to become a model or one to become a designer. We want to create something that’s much more of a system, to help many people."</p><p>It's an exciting new role for the Italian editor, who is already particularly busy with Milan Fashion Week kicking off today. In light of her country's biggest fashion event of the season, we made sure to ask Sozzani what we can expect this week -- and how she feels about , which appeared in the magazine's most recent issue. </p><p>Below, excerpts from our chat with Sozzani.</p><p>HuffPost: Given that we're about to start Milan Fashion Week, are there any Italian designers that you're looking forward to seeing or a rising star that we should look out for?<br> <br>Sozzani: We just found a few new designers who we saw at this contest that we do every year [the “Who Is On Next?” design competition, co-sponsored by Vogue Italia]. We saw them in July with the winter collection, so we're excited to see how they evolve. <br> <br>We cannot find a new talent, a big talent, every season -- it's impossible. But we can find the young people that their dream is to become a designer, step by step. I think that some of the people that have been chosen in that past, like Aquilano.Rimondi, Albino – they all came out from this contest and they have amazing work.<br> <br>HuffPost: Is there one particular show that you're very excited for coming up in Milan?<br> <br>Sozzani: As everybody knows, we're always waiting for Prada, always waiting for big labels -- because Muccia Prada, she's showing every season and the way she does something completely different from the season before… So sometimes people like, sometimes less. But it's the feeling that she is going on. She's amazing all the time and that’s very interesting and very important. And many others they do because... well, we have Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Gucci, we have a bunch of big labels.<br> <br>HuffPost: Even though you've put plus-size models in the magazine and been a big advocate of different body types, that it's a slow process or even a nearly impossible process for plus-size models to really break through. Do you think that's something we are going to eventually see on the runway, if not right now on the normal runways?<br> <br>Sozzani: Are you talking about girls who are not anorexic and not so skinny?<br> <br>HuffPost: Yes.<br> <br>Sozzani: Honestly, you know, when they ask me what I think of the runway, I'm not a fortune teller. The only thing I can say is that when we had couture in Paris, I saw many more women than little girls. This is a little bit of the feeling, that I feel from all the designers, that it's time to get more women -- and when I say women, I mean girls with shapes, not totally skinny skinny skinny.<br> <br>Because [the models] are so young, so probably changing a little bit with age -- because when they are 14 and 15 they're not natural in their bodies. Maybe just choosing about 18 or 19 [year-old models], you’ll kind of a different kind of body. So you have someone more sensual, more feminine, with more shape.<br> <br>HuffPost: Speaking of the really young bodies, something that had been addressed in New York Fashion Week was the guidelines that were established for not having a model below the age of 16. Is that a thing that’s been a similar problem of the runways of Milan, to have girls who are simply too young?<br> <br>Sozzani: They say all the time, I hear for years, “Not less than 16, not less than 17…” And we know that some girls are 14 or they just lie about their age to get on the runway. But you’ll see that it probably this year won’t happen, because more or less everybody agrees that it should be a little more grown-up, with more grown-up girls.<br> <br>HuffPost: One of the things that was mentioned in the Newsweek/Daily Beast article is your friendship with Anna Wintour, but also the differences between the magazines and the different cultures. What is the difference between what you can do with Vogue Italia versus what can be done in the American magazine, given the different culture?<br> <br>Sozzani: We are different cultures and we are different countries. We are a country of 15 million, not even, people and you are 200 million people. And everywhere in Italy is about cities and you [in the US] have miles and miles and miles of country. It's a completely different mentality as soon as you leave New York, you leave Los Angeles, you leave Dallas, you go inside another world.<br> <br>So I get it -- because with American Vogue and the work that Anna’s doing has to be correct, even sometimes politically correct. She cannot say something or do something that could be immediately controversial, you know, in your country.<br> <br>If I am controversial -- and I am all the time controversial [laughs] -- today, it’s part of the magazine. It's not like someone could say, “Oh, did you see what Italian Vogue did? Oh my God, no…” It's not possible. No, they just say, “They did [it].” Some things you like more, you like less, and not everybody likes in the same way. You expect, in a certain way, that I do things that are not politically correct. It’s not politically correct and it’s not on the same line every month -- you know, one month they like, one month they dislike, one month they think it's genius, and one month they think is too much. It's part of the magazine.<br> <br>But you can do this because we have Italy, first, but we also have 40 percent of the magazine is sold in the United States, in England, in many other countries. It's taken as an experimental magazine, not like a magazine that goes in the family – I mean, American Vogue does over a million copies, and we do 145,000 copies. It's a different approach.<br> <br>HuffPost: Speaking of running into controversy, you mentioned in the Newsweek article, “Bring back Galliano.'” Can you expand on that...is it for the sake of Dior or because he's forgiven?<br> <br>Sozzani: About Galliano, I don’t want it to become a big deal. I understand that it's getting a big story. But it was not in this way that I wanted to say.<br> <br>I said that -- Jacob [Bernstein] was writing what I thought, so everything was perfect[ly accurate]. But what I say and what I mean is that there’s been time for the mistake that he did, for which I completely agree in the attitude and the way that Mr. Toledano and Mr. Arnault made the choice, because I would have made exactly the same choice. It’s not like I would say, as I told to Newsweek, “Oh bad boy. Come on, keep cool, go away for a holiday and when you’ll be better, come back.”<br> <br>I only say that what he did with his talent was genius, what he did was very good for the shows and all of his collections and that he is a really talented person who made a bad mistake. But I didn't mean hire bring him back. I only say that it’s a pity that he’ll not be there anymore. It’s completely different.<br> <br>HuffPost: One last question: do you think Marc Jacobs would be a good replacement over at Dior, as the rumors go?<br> <br>Sozzani: I think that it would be a great idea because I love Marc, I know that he is a big-name person and he's very modern. He could make a change. Because after Galliano if you go after the same style, you will only have a bad copy. Marc has such a modern attitude, with everything that he touches. And he would completely change the attitude and I think it would be great, yes. I totally like him a lot. </p><p><br></p> <br>eGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHR%2Bk7huUTK5GduMziZZw2K6rSnCeVSnLO4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFVeGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHR%2Bk7huUTK5GduMziZZw2K6rSnCeVSnLO4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFV<p>Fashion is getting fiesty.</p><p>First in Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld's directions, and now Giorgio Armani has opened up his moth about the corporate ways and outlandish designs of brands like Prada and Dolce & Gabbana. </p><p>, the designer got critical after his Milan menswear show on Tuesday:</p>Armani also suggested that houses like Prada and Dolce & Gabbana make men look ridiculous, and blamed the press for not being more critical about clownish runway styles that men don't wear. Prada is "ingenious" for her "irony," he said, "and bad taste that becomes chic." But, certain Prada collections are "sometimes ugly," he noted, and stil always get positive coverage in the press. "You know why..."<p>:</p>His outburst contested how houses such as Prada and Dolce & Gabbana make men look ridiculous and blamed the press for not being more critical about clownish styles that men don't wear.<p>Armani , saying, "Fashion is in the in the hands of the banks [and] the stock market [...] It no longer belongs to the owners, but to those above them."</p><p>The statement was taken to be a direct comment on . Armani added that, unlike his own debt-free company, "Prada's problem is that they have to pay back the money that the banks spent to build up the brand." </p><p>For more, read up at and . </p> <br><p>Say goodbye to your interlocking "G" logo Guess bag. The over who has rights to that famous "G" has finally reached an end -- in Gucci's favor.</p><p>U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin , which represents the profit Guess made from using certain unauthorized Gucci trademarks, according to The Fashion Law.</p><p>The court also against Guess' use of three of the four challenged designs.</p><p>The $4.6 million payout, however, is a tiny slice of the $120 million the Italian company had originally asked for, claiming Guess' appropriation of the "G" logo confused customers and caused them to lose profits.</p><p>, alleging that the LA-based fashion brand "diluted its brand" by imitating four specific Gucci designs: the green and red stripe; the interlocking "G" pattern; the square "G" and the brand name's delicate script font. The new court injunction will prohibit Guess from producing any of these patterns except for its script logo.</p><p>The Gucci vs. Guess lawsuit finally went to court last month and quickly heated up; Guess CEO and denied any wrongdoing, saying, "You interpret your own way with your own brand."</p><p>It looks like some of Guess' alleged knockoffs will now be a thing of the past.</p><p> and check out a few Guess and Gucci products below to see what all the fuss was about.</p><p></p> <br><p>We thought in a day was enough. But then Gwynnie got dolled up for the and let even more spill out. </p><p>The star walked the Met Museum steps wearing pale purple Prada frock, a short little thing featuring playful paillettes on the pockets. The dress also featured a high halter neckline with deep plunging sides, baring a sexy dose of skin for those of us with a 360 degree view. </p><p>Yes, we know . But with a dress this cute, on a person so fabulous? We're inclined to give Paltrow a pass and declare this racy look a win. </p><p>What do you think of Gwyneth's Met Gala dress?<br><br></p><p></p><p>Click below to see the rest of the!<br></p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p> <br>eGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHR%2Bk7huUTK5GduMziZZw2K6rSnCeVSnLO4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFVeGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHR%2Bk7huUTK5GduMziZZw2K6rSnCeVSnLO4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFVThank goodness, some people left in the world aren't stupid.<br><br>English Mon, Nov 28, 2011, 8:35 AM<br>I am English and live in England, this country is getting more and more ridiculous every day.<br><br>Dan Mon, Nov 28, 2011, 9:15 AM<br>If you're that much of a moron to take action from a harmless photo, perhaps you should commit suicide... Geezus, your intelligence factor has to be several notches below the general population, and it may time for you to excuse yourself from the human race. YES, there are definitely SOME PEOPLE with TOO MUCH TIME on their hands. * of teens hit by trains? Are you serious?<br><br>Liz Mon, Nov 28, 2011, 9:19 AM<br>When I first saw the photo I guessed they banned it for showing a teen in an unsafe location, but suicide never entered my mind. I think we are going too far in trying to protect our kids from everything that might be unsafe; it's resulting in breeding common sense OUT of the human race.<br><br>Lola Mon, Nov 28, 2011, 9:21 AM<br>Might as well not advertise anything related to fashion in Britain since people are so apprehensive and thick headed to understand the concept of art in fashion.eGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdXTnR8lDy1nAhURRmUXMV2AaVPEOuupAuYTMVnj6Vl2nbYBKVLP34TWSAfIJlERCn2KAfzbLqPIytSSPuGr9zqh%2Bv%2BnYysuVd2pWdaG8BbM2MgjDVOxaTbPa8OPNJL6JeElqpQo%2FPRMzeGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHR%2Bk7huUTK5GduMziZZw2K6rSnCeVSnLO4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFV<p>With the economy on shaky ground, these holidays will be a struggle for many Americans. Indeed, at all, and even of those that do. </p><p>That sentiment would be in line with indications that poorer consumers are tightening their belts this year, . </p><p>Overall, experts expect holiday retail sales , about half of last year's increase, according to the the National Retail Federation. Though millions of shoppers rushed to stores on Black Friday , a recent poll found that .</p><p>But that's not stopping America's luxury retailers from pushing some truly extravagant gift ideas. </p><p>For those with few spending limits, there's quite literally a boat load of potential gifts to choose from. Luxury department store Neiman Marcus has already worth $395,000 a piece and . </p><p>Likewise, the Robb Report, a luxury and lifestyle magazine for the ultra wealthy, , with items ranging from antique cars to private yachts with helicopter pads. And for those looking for a more intimate way to show off their wealth, Victoria's Secret is offering a diamond studded "Fantasy Treasure Bra" for $2.5 million (). </p><p>Then again, there's always Santa Clause.</p><p>Here are some of the most extravagant gifts on the market this holiday season:</p><p></p> Subscribe to the ! <br><p>; or, the next film to prove dominance in summertime is no fluke.</p><p>The new dramedy from Sony stars as a married couple who have lost their spark. It's only when they visit a marriage counselor (played by Steve Carell) that they start to lit each other up again ... at least until sex is brought up as the next step on their path to reconciliation. (Watch the awkward results from Carell's carnal request in the exclusive clip above.)</p><p>For Streep, "Hope Springs" will likely be the latest in a string of summer successes at the box office. In June of 2006, the three-time Oscar winner starred in "The Devil Wears Prada," which earned over $325 million worldwide. She followed that up with "Mamma Mia" in 2008 ($609 million) and "Julie & Julia" in 2009 ($129 million).</p><p>Of course, Streep isn't alone in "Hope Springs": As Carell proved last year with "Crazy Stupid Love" ($142 million worldwide), he's got the magic touch when it comes to adult-themed summer movies as well.</p><p>Directed by David Frankel (who also helmed the aforementioned "Devil Wears Prada"), "Hope Springs" arrives in theaters on Aug. 8. Watch the clip above and check back for more on the film in the lead up to its release.</p><p></p><p>While Fergie (Pea not Duchess) wasn't breaking a sweat at the Don-a-Matrix Training launch on 17 March, she was still sizzling, thanks to a pair of Prada flame shoes in (what else) St Patrick's Day green.</p><p></p> <br><p>R.J. Cutler's The September Issue and last year's The Devil Wears Prada have ripped the frilly veil off the $2 trillion global fashion industry, revealing it as the last bastion of a bunch of autocratic dinosaurs. Even for a dedicated non-fashionista like myself, it is shocking to see the iron grip that the fashion potentates have had over this huge marketplace, and equally refreshing to see the revolution that is clearly brewing to dethrone them.</p><p>For someone who is more familiar with the worlds of entertainment, media and politics, the recent slew of behind-the-scenes fashion movies is like taking a trip back to the days of Tammany Hall politics or movie mogul Hollywood. Seeing Anna Wintour dismissively pronouncing "I don't like black" as cowed assistants hurriedly remove all remnants of black clothing from the upcoming issue of Vogue is a lot like watching a Chicago political boss haul in a hapless City Councilman and summarily fire him or having Sam Goldwyn casually toss out a script by F. Scott Fitzgerald.</p><p>The point is that whether you are a politician or a movie producer or a fashion editor, you are ultimately supposed to answer to the voters or the audience or the readers. When a system gets so top-heavy that decision makers show only contempt for their constituents or customers, then you know that system is doomed to fail. Sure, the system can hum along nicely for years, but in the end, there will be a revolution that will bring the corrupt system down with a crash.</p><p>Today, that revolution has come largely through the internet, which gives voters, audiences, magazine readers, consumers and everyone else not only access to more information more quickly, but also the ability to communicate our ideas and feelings to one another much more easily. Gone are the days when politicians could simply close the doors and make secret deals. With C-SPAN and YouTube, much more of the public's business is done in the open, whether politicians like it or not.</p><p>With the internet and digital technology, all kinds of entertainment are being democratized, whether it is the creation of low-budget films, the recording and distribution of music, or the blossoming of personal videos on YouTube. It is a global burst of communication and creativity that involves everyone with access to the internet. No longer can the fashion doyennes have exclusive runway shows that are selectively leaked to favored publications, because within minutes of the show there are photos and videos online. No longer can designers hold off for months in offering their clothing to the public, because consumers want to buy it now and manufacturers will rush to sell it to them. And no longer can a few powerful people dictate fashion from the top down, because there is a growing fashion revolution from the bottom up, as more designers find underground, web-based outlets to reach consumers.</p><p>The global economic crisis has hastened the demise of the already toppling fashion establishment. It is as if consumers have awakened after a decade of mindless spending and asked "Why did I pay all that money for something I didn't want or didn't like just because someone I don't respect told me to buy it?" Clearly, this is the beginning of a mass uncoupling from the giant advertising machine whose main purpose was to get consumers to buy things they didn't need or want. And it may even be a backlash against the Bush years, when crazy spending beyond our means was epitomized by President Bush, who urged us all to put aside our concerns about war and terrorism and "go shopping."</p><p>Not there is anything wrong with shopping, or fashion, for that matter. Beauty and style are universal and timeless concepts, and are hallmarks of our humanity. But having these very personal modes of expression hijacked by aging potentates who display little more than scorn for the tastes or wants of average consumers stretches credulity. A very telling moment in the September Issue is near the end when Anna Wintour is presenting the issue to her bosses at Conde Nast, most notably Si Newhouse. After seeing her parade through the Vogue offices like some kind of third-world dictator, we see her timidity and anxiety as she presents her work to her real bosses -- the advertising world that pays the bills. It brings to mind slogans from revolutionary periods in the past, "The Queen is dead! Long live the Queen!" </p> <p>Follow Hoyt Hilsman on Twitter:</p><p>Think presidential campaigns are the only ones that can sling mud during an election season? Think again. There are a lot of hotly contested issues, not the least of which is where -- and from whom -- you will get your news. Comedy Central's Indecision has taken a proactive approach to getting your vote by releasing attack ads directed at their two biggest competitors: Brian Williams and the Internet (also knows as the place that has all the porn).</p><p>Take a look at the Brian Williams attack ad above and the Internet version below. Then think very carefully about who you want to spend election night with.</p><p></p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p><p></p><p>MILAN - Miuccia Prada never met her designing compatriot Elsa Schiaparelli in life, but the two are being united in an exhibit on the sidelines of Milan Fashion Week.</p><p>The Metropolitan Museum of Art has paired designs by the two female Italian stylists from decidedly different eras in what it calls "an impossible conversation" — impossible because it never happened.</p><p>Prada, 62, expressed surprise when asked if she had ever met Schiaparelli — only to be reminded that she had died in 1973 at age 83. The older designer's heyday was in the 1930s, making her memory much more remote.</p><p>"When I think of her, I think of the past," Prada told reporters Friday after the exhibit was introduced.</p><p>The ballroom in Milan's Royal Palace, which is adorned with statues damaged in Second World War bombings, contained pairings of the two designers' dresses, showing apparent similarities that fade when their techniques and inspirations are considered.</p><p>"I honestly see more differences than similarities," Prada said.</p><p>The exhibit, which will run at the Met from May 10 to Aug. 19, includes two dresses both inspired by the Indian sari.</p><p>Schiaparelli, who was influenced by the Surrealists, took inspiration from a famous 14-year-old Indian princess of the era to create a long printed orange silk chiffon evening gown that drapes lightly over both shoulders.</p><p>Prada, who is at the forefront of contemporary design and who often explores technique in her creations, was inspired by how a European traveller would interpret a sari. Her minimalist dress in golden fabric is shoulder-less with an elegant accordion side pleat.</p><p>The two also sewed insect motifs onto separate garments. Schiaparelli placed her Botticelli-inspired bugs on lapels, reflecting 1930s dinner society that put the focus on the waist up. Prada, who often focuses on the waist down, put her bug on a skirt, said curator Andrew Bolton.</p><p>Despite the exhibit, Prada said she doesn't take direct inspiration from earlier designers, like Schiaparelli, but rather from periods.</p><p>"Every decade represents a moment in the life of a person," she said.</p><p>Reflecting on Schiaparelli's era, Prada said today perhaps people are less eccentric because they have more freedom to express themselves.</p><p>"I'm interested in the limits of eccentricities, because too much eccentricity is ridiculous," she said.</p> <br>unfortunately she exhibits an extreme lack of self confidence or perhaps just bad taste which surprises me constantly. she went totally overboard with the implants. they really trivialized her as a woman of substance which I always thought she was. I simply dont understand her apparent bottomless need for attention. I dont understand it at all. And she does tacky things hawking her wares which I never thought she would do or want to do. She should be the icon and the brand not the desperate peddlar dragging her handbags on her fathers show in the most inappropriate places. She has a little Kardashian in her and it strikes a not so nice note. The boys seem to not have that craving for attention and I like them better.Here's a quick holiday photo postcard from two New York powerhouses - Lady Gaga and Barney's. Gaga's Workshop is Mother Monster's charity pop up within Barney's men's store on Madison Avenue for the festive season. On a street made famous by its Mad Men advertising past, this successful coupling of two iconic brands is an innovative, not to mention thoroughly enjoyable, form of chugging with 25% of all sales going to Gaga's Born This Way Foundation.<p>Prada is classic. Since its inception, Prada has made the man look as elegant as possible - but every now and then, like the man -- Prada deviates from the script adding the element of surprise and intrigue. This was the case during Milan Fashion Week when its latest collection. </p><p>This collection, ironically - showed more colors than Prada's spring collection. Purple, yellow, and a vivid magenta took to the runway nestled in overcoats, blazers, suits, and cardigans to accentuate, while trying not to intimidate. Everyman doesn't necessarily look good in every color. Still, Prada does a good job of bringing together their collection of color amidst their trademark gray, blue, and black. This year, khaki made a guest appearance that was just enough to tease the fashion senses without dulling them. </p><p>My favorite look for the collection:</p><p>One of the things that I liked the most about this collection was the appearance of brighter colors. The collection comes off as a fresh perspective. My favorite piece epitomizes the feel for the men's element of the Prada show. A light-tan overcoat with buttons impeccably placed on the breast and torso of the coat along with black/blue slim slacks dominated the model who also wore a yellow/brown sweater underneath with a basic blue shirt. I will say that Prada did a horrid job of choosing the model, which looked absolutely sickly in the look. Just the same, the perspective was strong and well-stated. <br></p><p>Follow James Sanders on Twitter:</p><p>Fashion and art: both luxury goods, both highly desirable, both totally different in their function.</p><p>One is in its broadest sense crucial to survival, preserving modesty and protecting from the elements. The other's function, to quote Oscar Wilde, "is quite useless."</p>René Gruau, Rouge Baiser (image courtesy of East of Mayfair) <p><br>So where does the co-mingling of these two worlds come from? Is it cynical überbranding propelled by the PR machines of the fashion industry who want to top their glamour quotient with the exclusivity and wealth found at museum benefits, in art galleries and auction rooms or is it a genuine exchange of creativity? </p><p>The obvious intersections between art and fashion that come to mind are are recent well-known collaborations between fashion houses and artists. Richard Prince and Takashi Murakami, for example, designed the most recognizable bags of all time for Louis Vuitton. It is also worth noting that Francois Pinault not only owns Christie's (the biggest art business in the world) but also the fashion conglomerate Gucci Group. Similarly Miucca Prada invests heavily in the arts through her Fondazione Prada. No Fashion Week or major Art Fair passes without a show or event that involves a collaboration between a gallery, museum, designer, starchitect, celebrity, model, artist, magazine editor and a major fashion brand, supported, of course, by the appropriate luxury liquor brand. Thedesirable new sponsors for museum shows are no longer banks and insurance companies, but sexy names like Gucci, Prada and Armani. The caché of one megabrand feeds another and vice versa. </p> <p><br>But this isn't how fashion and art were initially intertwined -- at the turn of the last century, the two were inseparable. Before the advent of modern fashion photography, magazines like Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and La Gazette du Bon Ton were filled with fine drawings of clothes and accessories rather than glossy photo spreads of supermodels. Fashion illustrators were given free range to interpret the spirit of each decade through their own personal vision and style. The most famous names among them were Erté, George Lepape and Christian Bérard in the first half of the century and the visionary René Gruau and Antonio (Lopez) in the latter half. These artists didn't simply draw fabric on mannequins, they created the flair, glamour and desire surrounding each trend through their illustrations and advertisements. </p>Antonio & Juan Ramos, For Italian Vanity (Image courtesy of East of Mayfair) <p><br>This tradition persisted alongside fashion photography as late as the 1990's, but was eventually replaced almost completely by the more effective, practical and versatile medium. The very first modern fashion photographs were shot by Baron de Mayer and fine art photographer Edward Steichen. Soon after, the work of Steichen, Cecil Beaton (also a fashion illustrator) and Horst P. Horst developed fashion photography into a serious art form. </p><p>The photographers who followed in their wake are household names such as Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Peter Lindbergh, Steven Meisel and Mario Testino. These icons created images that have shaped our perception of style and beauty immensely and remain highly collectible artworks today. </p><p>While the Mert & Marcus, Craig McDeans and David Sims of today may not be quite as well known to those outside the fashion industry, many brands are also looking beyond their borders and engaging fine art photographers to enhance their visual branding. Most recently, the brilliant minds behind Bottega Veneta have secured the likes of Robert Longo, Jack Pierson and Alex Prager to give their campaigns a serious artistic credibility, Diane von Fürstenberg's summer campaign contained surreal echoes of Dali and John Baldessari and Marc Jacobs commissioned artist Rachel Feinstein to design the spectacular set for his latest New York runway show. </p><p><br>While one could interpret such choices as a clever PR strategy, no better than a luxury brand slapping their logo on a serious cultural event, it is clear that the relationship is not one-sided. The art world is hardly being highjacked by high end brands -- it is just as enamoured with the fashion industry and both can feed each other in different ways. As long as the creative output is convincing (despite being very commercial) and allows both sides to take advantage of new ideas, audiences and resources without undermining artistic integrity, the romance will stay alive.</p><p>Janina Joffe is the co-founder and director of .</p><p>Jean Paul Gaultier is as well known for his remarkable designs as . The famed French designer recently to discuss the new documentary about him by one of his former models and muses, Farida Khelfa that recently debuted at the Rio Film Festival in Brazil. What happened?</p>Khelfa's film is one of an increasing number of documentaries and dramatic features set in the fashion world. Whether Valentino: The Last Emperor or The Devil Wears Prada, Gaultier has watched most of them. However, he has mixed feelings about the way the camera has captured his professional world.<p>"I didn't like, for example, Prêt-à-Porter," he says of Robert Altman's mid-Nineties comedy drama, complaining that it wasn't sarcastic enough. Nor did he much care for The Devil Wears Prada itself. "Anna Wintour is a lot more monstrous than she is described!" he laughs of the 2006 film, which features Meryl Streep as a formidable fashion editor not unlike US Vogue's editor-in-chief, Wintour. Ask about his attitude toward Wintour and he is a little evasive. Is she a positive figure? "She is a figure," is all he will say. </p><p>Ouch. We bet that someone won't be featured in an upcoming issue of a certain American magazine...</p><br> <br><p>www.mydaily.co.uk:</p><p>What's this? Jennifer Aniston in something other than a Little Black Dress? We could barely contain our delight at first clocking these pictures of the actress in LA, wearing not only a gorgeous floral print, but a colourful one at that...</p><p>Abandoning her usual funeral attire without a backward glance, Jen was positively blooming as she posed for pictures outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre in this adorable floral Prada dress, paired with leg-lengthening nude heels. </p><p></p> <br>eGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHR%2Bk7huUTK5GduMziZZw2K6rSnCeVSnLO4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFV<p>Lately, I have been hearing more and more women my age talk about how difficult it is to date, make new friends, or have any kind of deep relationship with another person. I'm starting to think the phrase, "If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere," is being taken a little bit too seriously. Let's face it, New York: we're obsessed with our careers. We're so scared to not making it, that our personal lives often fall by the wayside. There's a great quote in The Devil Wears Prada, when the young heroin solemnly looks to a co-worker for advice with a personal problem, missing her boyfriend's birthday party for a work event, and he promptly answers, "Let me know when your entire life goes up in smoke, then it's time for a promotion."</p><p>Hey you, answering work emails in the movie theater, I'm talking to you.</p><p>How many times have we missed a friend's birthday party, or a cousin's communion because we've had to work on the weekends? Or maybe it's because we're just too burnt out from the week. And what about dating? No, I don't mean meeting someone at Argo Tea on your lunch break for 45 minutes because that's all you have time for. I mean real, deep, all-consuming dating. Or god forbid, falling in love and getting married. Yes, I understand you may have to take a week off from work for your Honeymoon but don't worry, there will be plenty more data for you to enter into Excel when you get back.</p><p>Now ladies, I know what you're thinking, there are no good guys out there so why even put down the Blackberry to let one buy you a drink? Don't you miss the fun of getting ready on a Saturday night? Or chatting about it with your sister the next day over brunch? I know that a lot of guys are work obsessed too, and it's not always easy to find out who's wild and free. I'm not suggesting you go down to the Lower East Side and try to lure one over with the smell of Clove cigarettes and patchouli oil (if we're being frank, the smell of incense just doesn't do it for me anymore fellas). And while I know his flexible barista work schedule fits into your 65-hour work week, and his acoustic rendition of Morrissey's "Girlfriend in a Coma" shows you what a sensitive soul he has, do you really need to hear it for the third time in a row at two o'clock in the morning?</p><p>Try Match.com (it's not that scary!), or meet your friend's co-worker she's been dying to set you up with, even if he does work on Wall Street and you've sworn off "the suits." Stop dating the same yuppie who's been stringing you along for four months without committing. I can guarantee you he's sleeping with someone else. Let me save you a trip to the gynecologist and a 10 day round of antibiotics. Please take my advice. Remember what the book says? He's really just not that into you. I'm sorry.</p><p>The point is ladies, there's more to life out there. If you have the type of job where your boss won't let you go on vacation, even when you've told him five months in advance, tell him to shove it. And don't get me wrong, I love New York, but we all really do need to calm down.</p><p>Contemporary art is the world's newest social and economic currency. Culture and art have become luxury products merchandised and promoted around the globe like handbags and Italian loafers. With the internet enabling us to study, discuss and experience art in ways not imagined before, artists work across medium and disciplines. Painters become film makers. Photographers become sculptors. Actors become performance artists. </p><p>Indeed, contemporary art has become the cultural fabric and language of the world we inhabit, a rich landscape of creativity, choice and innovation. </p><p>Art is more accessible, more integrated in our lives and more utilitarian than ever before in history. What's best is that everyone can now buy real art made by recognized contemporary masters for modest prices. With works priced from $30 to $5000, this year's Artworld Gift Guide for the Holidays brings affordable and near-affordable works from some of the world's greatest contemporary art legends. </p><p>This year's curated artist choices include:<br>Louise Bourgeois<br>Nick Cave<br>Jessica Craig-Martin<br>Peter Doig<br>Elmgreen & Dragset<br>Jim Hodges<br>Isaac Julien<br>Paul Pfeiffer<br>Andy Warhol<br>Carrie Mae Weems<br>Kehinde Wiley</p><p></p><p></p><p>Louise Bourgeois is undeniably one of the greatest female artists of the 20th century. Born in France but living most of her life in America, Bourgeois made paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, and other works including textiles. She was prolific and excellent in all aspects of her work. Made just prior to her recent death, this limited edition print showcases her trademark red. As an object of beauty, as an investment, as an homage to an artist who will long live in the pantheon of great artists, this work will stand the test of time on every measure. <br></p><p></p><p>Combining elements of dance, music, fashion and theatre, artist Nick Cave creates Sound Suits, sculpture which incorporates all these elements. This limited edition photo of a Cave Sound Suit in action conveys the artist's obsession with movement, musicality and craft. Nice Cave is surely one of the most important contemporary artists working today. While his works are waiting list only for art collectors, you now can enjoy have a Sound Suit in your home thanks to this editioned photograph. </p><p>http://aceditions.com/products/soundsuit-number-1</p><p></p><p></p><p>TheLink daughter of a famous artist and well-respected in her own right, Jessica Craig-Martin has created a photographic multiple that is suggestive and sexy. Is this a still from American Gigolo, a party pic from your last trip to LA or a fantasy? </p><p></p><p></p><p>If you're heading to the beach for the holidays, there's no better artist to take with you than Trinidad-based artist, Peter Doig. His paintings often feature scenes like the one reproduced in this all cotton, beach towel. Why pay over $2 million for a DOIG painting at auction, when you can wrap yourself with this masterpiece, then throw it in the washing machine? </p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p>"Alongside a desolate stretch of highway outside the small Texas town of Marfa (pop. 2,121), a solitary white monolith emerges from the desert sand emblazoned with the most powerful word the world has ever known: Prada. Created in 2005 by Berlin-based artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, Prada Marfa is sculptural reconstruction of a Prada store, complete with actual Prada shoes and bags from the Fall 2005 collection displayed in the window. Yet, there is no working door, leaving the viewer as a perpetual window-shopper. Now Prada Marfa is essentially a minimalist sculpture paying homage to the town of Marfa, Texas--once home to revolutionary minimalist artist Donald Judd--while documenting a fleeting moment in the ephemeral tastes of fashion, forever as unattainable fetishized items of desire.-Drew Tewksbury" </p><p><br></p><p></p><p>Nothing says art world extravagance like these sunglasses made famous by the great patroness, muse and art world paramour Peggy Guggenheim. Designed by American artist Edward Melcarth, these glasses come from Italy, like Guggenheim herself, who held court over her salon from a Venetian villa on the Grande Canale. You too will feel like a doyenne looking at the world through these blue tinted glasses! </p><p></p><p></p><p>Every year, famed art collector, billionaire Peter Norton commissions the hottest contemporary artists to make gifts for his friends in the art world. Who is on the list to receive these amazing gifts? Leading curators, collectors, big donors and influencers in the art world, naturally. Jim Hodges was recently commissioned to make one of the annual gifts, and now, thanks to the Museum of Modern Art's gift shop, you too can be wrapped in the elegance and beauty afforded to Norton's nearest and dearest. </p><p><br></p><p></p><p>Isaac Julien's films and photo still images transport viewers to extreme and exotic landscapes, along the way exploring issues of race, immigration, and class. This image taken from Julien's True North series is exceptionally beautiful, juxtaposing the black woman in the Icelandic landscape. </p><p> </p><p> <br> <br></p><p>Paul Pfeiffer's use of video stills in this tryptich show everything but the ball! </p><p><br></p><p></p><p>This poster was printed to commemorate a gallery show hosted by art world genius Larry Gagosian. While Andy Warhol, surely the most important 20th century American artist, is known for his iconic portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, Jackie O, and Liz Taylor, his earliest work focused on elevating the images of every day consumerism like Campbell's Soup cans and Coca-Cola. Nothing says POP ART better than a Warhol Coca-Cola image. This will make the perfect gift for the young enthusiast. Everyone desires to begin his or her collection with a Warhol. Nothing says POP like Andy Warhol's Coca-Cola image. <br></p><p></p><p>This black and white photo comes from Weems' "Kitchen Table Series" which portrayed Weems in various domestic scenes in which the artist performs various stories, creating a narrative about relationships, family, race, sex and society. The work is evocative, mysterious and dramatic. What more can one hope for in the art we live with?<br> <br><br></p><p>The author first met Kehinde Wiley over a decade ago thanks to The Studio Museum of Harlem's Thelma Golden. Wiley, known primarily for his luxuriously baroque paintings, takes inspiration from the classical Renaissance Court artists.</p><p>His works are portraits of beautiful young men in heroic poses, elevated far above their contemporary context. By going back in a historical context, Wiley raises up his young black men. </p><p>The editioned sculptural work here positions the subject as a King of France, specifically inspired from a marble bust of Louis XIV. </p><p>A bright new face has been added to the crowded Web, drawing a large readership and uploading more than 900 stories in its first twelve weeks. Still in soft-launch, The Jim Luce Stewardship Report () is focused on "Connecting Goodness."</p><p>Covering Faces, Issues, World Affairs, Life Style, the Arts, and Video, JLSR offers articles by a global mix of over 50 writers since its spring inception, including the American Ambassador to Haiti, the Sri Lankan Ambassador to the U.N., and the new JLSR Health Editor, Dr. Steven Becker. The group page for contributors and friends already has more than 600 members.</p> <p><br>The portal's mission is to engage the world to improve it. It is about bettering ourselves so that we can do more to better humanity. It is accepting the responsibility we have as human beings -- Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Humanist, or None of the Above -- to actively help better the world. </p><p>The Stewardship Report focuses on what my Jewish friends call tikum olem. Christians, the Social Gospel. Muslims, helping the unfortunate - a key tenet of Islam. Buddhists, mindfulness with a purpose.</p><p>For me, this has meant helping orphaned children in the developing world though Orphans International Worldwide (). My passion. Your focus might be the arts, the environment, women's issues, gay rights, housing. JLSR is for all of us who care, and who are frustrated that we do not know how best to make a difference. We can collectively heal the world. This site will feature information about and ways to do that.</p><p>The Stewardship Report includes profiles, social diary, business, children, conflict resolution, connectivity, education, environment, eyewitness, health, viewpoint, politics, United Nations, news and views from Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Mid-East, South Asia, Developing World, as well as Artists, Cultural, Dance, Film, Fine Arts, Literature, Music, Museums, Theater, Photography, and the Performing Arts. The most-read section is .™</p><p>The Jim Luce Stewardship Report Index™ ("The Luce Index™") ranks thought leaders and global citizens on ten confidential criteria which collectively indicate the individual's ability to create positive social change. The theme of The Stewardship Report is Connecting Goodness, and The Luce Index™ ranks leaders in their ability to do so. Luce Index™ scores are updated frequently and may be used for public use with attribution to Luce Index™. More than 300 thought leaders and global citizens are already ranked (and written about).</p><p>Skype Interviews. One benefit of getting to know heads of state and CEO's is that they know much more about the world than I do. Take Josh Silverman of , for example. He turned me on to software that records videos from Skype calls. I can now interview heads of state anywhere in the world and create a record of it on-line. I would like to Skype-interview Arianna Huffington in Washington, Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Bono, Michelle Obama, Muhammad Yunus in Bangladesh, Oprah Winfrey in Chicago, the Dalai Lama in India, and Elie Wiesel in Los Angeles.</p><p>With ad revenues increasing, the editorial team has announced the portal's first editorial calendar. The Fourth Quarter has been set as follows:</p>October is all about Culture: film, literature, theater, and the arts. Plus music, dance, architecture, and photography. I personally want to interview one of my favorite authors, Sri Lankan-Canadian Shyam Selvadurai. Look for special features on Jazz at Lincoln Center, Clive Davis, and even Vodou Rock.<p><br>November we tackle Health. Why are people in my family dying of cancer? Where are we now with HIV & AIDS? Our health editor will help us answer questions. I also want to cover NGOs and health, looking at Doctors without Borders and The Smile Train.</p><p>December is the Holiday Season - a time for Peace and Hope - and we shift to universal good will and a search for unsung heroes. Know any? Desmond Tutu, Peter Yarrow, and Bob Edgar of Common Cause are big for me. Also a look at giving around the world.</p><p>The First Quarter of 2011 is eclectic:</p>January is the month to look at child care around the world, including my passion: orphan care. I want to learn more about SOS Children's Villages and better explain the mission of Orphans Interntional Worldwide. Do you know the difference between Family vs. Full Care? What's up with UNICEF and CARE? If WorldVision is willing to help kids, does it matter that at heart they want to convert them to their version of Christianity? It does to me - I think it is immoral.<p><br>February is all about love and relationships. Gay Marriage. Gay Immigration in the U.S. Gay Valentines in... Jamaica? Should I go check it out? Interracial love can be as challenging today as romance was for Romeo and Juliet. And yet it is also more common than ever in our history. How about intergenerational romance? Foster families?</p><p>March is about poverty, in the Developing World - and in the United States. Do you have any idea how many Americans today receive Food Stamps? How does poverty differ from New York City to Port-au-Prince and New Delhi? Child porostituiton is a problem in Phnom Phen - and in Brooklyn.</p><p>The Second Quarter of 2011 is what your mother warned you never to discuss in public: religion, politics, and finances.</p>April is about religion - or lack thereof. I would love to interview the Episcopal Presiding Bishop, Dr. , , and the . Would I be foolhardy enough to attempt a definitive five page article on What is Christianity? Islam? Buddhism? Hinduism? Humanism? You bet.<p><br>May is about politics, when we re-visit in Cambodia, in New York, and all our friends in between. JLSR deals with Goodness, so you will have to read about Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin elsewhere. I would like to chat with George Bush, however. And interview Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Maybe even Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton!</p><p>June we get serious and discuss finance and our economy. I will find experts who can explain the world in ways that we can understand it. If the Chinese can make that lamp at Home Depot for me to buy for $30, what's the problem? There is one - let me explain it. What about Wal-Mart? And where are we with unions in this new millennium?</p><p>The Third Quarter of 2011 will be as follows:</p>July will feature stories on the Environment and Going Green. Environmentally-friendly reconstruction efforts in Haiti and other stories will run during this month. A close-up on mHealth, mEducation and mCommerce and how they impact Social Change. Chats with people close to the Aga Khan, the Earth Institute at Columbia, and the Rockefeller Foundation.<p><br>August will focus on Travel, including pieces on "Almost Heaven, West Virginia," "Puerto Rico - More than Ricky Martin," and to beat-the-heat, "Book Now for Dog Sledding in Alaska!" Plus the best of Africa, Asia, the Mid-East, of course Europe and the Americas.</p><p>September brings us to the more sobering topics of both Human Rights and the Environment. We will learn more about Universal Human Rights Declaration of the U.N. and the NGO Human Rights Watch. A look at Robert Kennedy and the Waterkeeper Alliance is planned.</p><p>And voila - the first year of The Jim Luce Stewardship Report () is in the bag. It seems so simple, yet of course, it isn't.</p><p>"There is a fine line between another blog and a news and views portal," states attorney , an advisor to JLSR. We are positioning the Stewardship Report between the and - both of which Jim Luce has written for."</p><p>John Lee of . is our Lifestyle Editor. Dr. Steven Becker is medical editor, and Veejay Sai is a lifestyle contributor, interviewing fashionistas such as Agatha Ruiz de la Prada.</p><p>Presently, viewers are primarily spread between ten countries: the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Cambodia, Germany, Malaysia, France, Ireland, Netherlands, and Singapore. The average time readers spend on each story is over five minutes. The JLSR goal is to reach 500,000 unique viewers per month in 2010. At present, readers speak over 30 different languages.</p><p>Recent readers have logged on from Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, China, the D.R., Greece, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Laos, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, the Ukraine, U.A.E., and Vietnam.</p><p>Be prepared for an exciting year with lots of e-books on the horizon. Our writers will tell you what you want to know from around the globe. Whether it's in Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Mid-East, South Asia, about politics, religion, or the arts, The Jim Luce Stewardship Report intends to grow into a portal you call home. Connecting Goodness!</p><p> is published by Luce Publications, established in 1984.</p>See also by :<p><br><br></p><p>Follow Jim Luce on Twitter:</p><p>Fact: There are 28 Springfields in the U.S. according to the United States Census Bureau</p><p>It's not even the most-recurring place name in the country. But for every uninspired destination name, there's one that's so wacky, you might wonder whether some town official from way-back-when named it on a dare. </p><p>In some cases, that's not far from the truth. But family names, language gaps and indigenous species have more to do with the far-fetched place names of middle America. Get your trivia fix right here. </p><p></p><p>Karlie Kloss may be a fierce supermodel with legs for days, but she’s also a super adorable teenager from St. Louis. The W cover girl is featured in W Editor at Large Lynn Hirschberg’s latest “Screen Test,” in which she discusses being a teen model, being forced by Carine Roitfeld to do ballet at a Prada store, and what high school was like, which wasn’t very long ago for the 19-year-old.</p><p></p>Botox, plastic breasts, air brushed photos, bleached hair,calling women"hoes and b*****s", first name has to be Kat( a little humor), honor killings,partial birth abortions used as birth control,muslim "stoning" of women, turning runaways into prostitutes,teenage pregnancies,mothers abusing babies,the porn industry, legitimate rape cases and false rape accusations,teachers not getting fired for having intimate relations with students(male and female) and more. What are we doing to our moms,daughters, nieces, aunts, grandmothers,etc,etc? We need more laws, stricter penalties, less probations, better protection, less plea deals, family units( two people raising children not that a single person can't but is becomes a financial problem) Women's organizations have to get involved in these social problems instead of a 3rd grader who kisses a little girl on the cheek and wants sensitivity classes for the 7 year old boy.Got it?<p>Kate Middleton proves yet again that she's just like the rest of us. Well, sort of.</p><p>Like many women, Kate opted out of watching the football game with her husband on Friday. Instead, she joined 150 kids for a performance of "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" in London's Kensington Gardens. </p><p>The Duchess' outfit choice was another another nod to the common folk: a teal Zara dress paired with a black blazer from Whistles. She accessorized the low-key look with black satin pumps and clutch and a pair of drop earrings.</p><p>Kate's been known to wear every now and then ( and ), so we already knew that girl could just as well as . But some of her more democratic sartorial choices .</p><p>Do you think her look was high-low perfection or ?</p><p>PHOTO: </p><p></p><p>Check out some more pictures from Kate Middleton's kid-friendly outing below.</p><p></p><p>Want more? Be sure to check out HuffPost Style on , , and .</p><p>Vogue editrix Anna Wintour recently sat down as a guest , batting down The Devil Wears Prada puns and teasing Colbert about his out?t. At one point, Colbert asked Wintour why she bothered with fashion -- and if she ever just had an urge to give it all up, throw on a tracksuit and go to Long John Silver's. Leave it to Colbert to ask the poignant questions. But Wintour doesn't lack a sense of humor, and so she played along congenially before bringing the point back up: Does fashion have merit? If so, what?</p><p>Colbert's query was more than satire, as I've faced similar lines of questioning. I've felt the need to defend fashion, and my interest in it, ever since I started reading Vogue as a sophomore in high school, trying to convince peers that yes, I could still be intelligent and read fashion magazines; yes, fashion is a natural place for art, love, history and culture to mix; and yes, there were articles in there. I'm certain I'm not alone in believing fashion is much more than the clothes on a model, much as I'm certain I'm not the only one who's received skeptical responses to their interest in subject.</p><p>Over the years, I've heard a variety of criticisms. To all of you naysayers, I wish I could shut you down with a verbal smackdown like the one Meryl Streep in?icts on Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada -- bless that woman -- but I don't have deliverance of that fortitude. At least not now.</p><p>I'll start with this. Agreeably, many of the prices in the fashion world are toeing the proverbial "outrageous" line, especially when compared to, say, the cost of a fedora from Target (and I love their fedoras). I'll admit that. However, in reality, very few people in the world today can actually afford couture, and the median household income of the women's luxury magazine readership falls at roughly $63,000 -- a far cry from salaries cut out for consistent spending on esteemed fashion brands. Even if one does have the money to spend on luxury items, clothes ring up at the lowest end. There's no question. But if so few people can actually afford the clothes that are being produced, what's the point?</p><p>Allow me. In the same way that most people who admire a Picasso will never be able to buy one, the majority of people who pine for an iconic Chanel suit will never feel that wool against their skin. Nevertheless, much as one can still appreciate Picasso's pieces and his invaluable contributions to the art world as co-founder of the cubist movement, one can still look at early Chanel designs and see how themes of women's empowerment and activity were manifested in the designs. You don't have to love cubism and you don't have to love Chanel, but perhaps there should be some semblance of equal understanding and respect. See my point?</p><p>I've decided fashion can be two things. It can be as simple as something you put on to make yourself feel beautiful, or as dynamic as something illustrative of culture, time and its transformations. As someone with previous fashion closet experience, I admit that holding a jewel-encrusted Dolce & Gabbana bodysuit, or running my hands over a pair of Charlotte Olympia mother-of-pearl Dolly shoes is an experience in and of itself -- and one mostly limited to luxurious trappings of the industry. But I would also I submit that those who take time to see past the surface of fashion -- those who understand its currents, in?uences, messages and history -- are able to see its merit.</p><p>Miuccia Prada, heralded designer and head of the iconic Prada fashion conglomerate, is so simple it's often overlooked:</p>"Fashion is the ?rst step out of poverty. You have nothing and then you put something on. It is one of the ?rst things you do to elevate yourself. ... Why are people scandalized by spending money on clothes? Everybody is so passionate about this -- there's a resistance to fashion -- an idea that to love fashion is to be stupid. Clothes are very intimate. When you get dressed, you are making public your idea about yourself, and I think that embarrasses people."<p>As a society, we're taught not to judge a book by its cover, yet we often do. In this same spirit, I'd urge you not to judge fashion merely with a glance. Even if you think Wintour is an ice queen with a bias (for the record: I do not) and your only association with Prada is that the devil wears it, trust me on this one: As far as fashion goes, there's more than meets the eye.</p><p>I remember a time when the words "Olympics" and "style watch" used in the same sentence amounted to little more than counting the sequins on the tiny tumbling leotards of gymnasts, preppy lusting over the equestrian britches and giggling at the swimmers' Speedos before they elongated to those little shorts Ryan Lochte sports oh so well. But that was in the yesteryear of the pre-digital era when if you missed a match or a meet, there was no replaying via livestream and empty seats and other faux pas were kept on the quiet in the non-existence of Twitter. </p><p>The 2012 Games are, one could argue, the first truly social media savvy installation of the world's greatest sporting event, which in turn means that with the increase in the number of eyes fixated on moments both on and off the courts, and infinitely more channels on which to discuss infinitely more topics than say, the score, the fields of play have now become fields of fashion. </p><p>Consider: "Since Beijing hosted the summer Olympics in 2008, smartphone ownership has skyrocketed to 107 million, a 456 percent increase in four years. Facebook accounts have increased 900 percent and the number of Twitter accounts has gone from just under 1 million to 300 million in 2012" </p><p>Now consider: "The athletes' parade during Friday's opening ceremony might as well have been a catwalk show, with some of fashion's biggest names - Armani, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Stella McCartney - designing the team uniforms" </p><p>You can always count on the fashion industry not to count themselves out of a multi-media friendly spectacle. The 2012 Games cements it: from here on out, every global media event-sporting, political or otherwise - is now fair game for a fashion event. In terms of marketing, it doesn't get any better than this spur-of-the moment real-time engagement, positioning Prada pool-side and Hermes against the hurdle. </p><p>Who cares what the athletes are doing so long as they look chic doing it (in 140 characters or less)? Double up on national pride, free models and large-scale social media exposure. For brands, Olympic visibility means accessing a market via social media that is not limited to runway related interests, that is to say, a broader demographic that may or may not find such fashion week hi-jinx and luxury fashion in general a touch elitist, inaccessible and generally inapplicable to their lives, and therefore, uninteresting. It's a (back)stroke of genius for designer brands looking for ways to engage newer and bigger audiences via their viral channels all the year long, particularly in the fashion slow-down months of July and August. </p><p>Giorgio Armani's duds for the Opening Ceremony included a navy blue suit with soft two buttoned jacket in cotton jersey teamed with classic trousers, a light blue cotton shirt and a regimental tie for him and a softer version of the same for her. Stella McCartney tapped her longstanding association with Adidas to create the on and off duty gear for team UK (Union Jacks all around) and herself caused quite the stir Instagramming away from the Opening Ceremonies as she cheered on a "Hey Jude" crooning Papa Paul clad head to toe in a delightfully chic shimmery gold number. </p><p>The Jamaican team had its duds designed by Cedella Marley (daughter of Bob) for Puma and Ralph Lauren took some good old fashioned American flack for outsourcing (or was it off-shoring?) the manufacture of Team USA's kit to China. Hermes neatly arranged riding jackets for France's equestrian team (some saddles would be nice too guys, mais pas?) and Salvatore Ferragamo designed the official uniform for the tiny Republic of San Marino. Karl, in true Lagerfeld style, left the German team to their own unchic devices and cashed in for himself launching, ahem, the Team Karl collection at Selfridge's. The Kaiser accordingly that he would not be watching the Games as he likes the "idea" of it better than the actual event. Team Karl obviously plays in its own thinner, much less sweaty league. </p><p>The British Fashion Council also announced that a consortium of emerging British talent had a hand in designing costumes for key segments of the Olympic Opening Ceremony. Over the course of the last year Suttirat Larlab, Creative Director for Danny Boyle (who orchestrated the Opening Ceremony), toured the studios of the best of British based new young designer talent in the run up to the big event and selected three to partake in it all. Christopher Shannon, Michael Van Der Ham and Nasir Mazhar were the qualifying finalists gleaned from the East End for Britain's homegrown sartorial team, creating the looks for 350 out of the 1200 dancers that performed on opening night. </p><p>The style spectacle also spills, just like fashion week, off the pitch and into the sidelines: Michelle wore Mendel and Kate sported Kane, as presses releases lining my inbox over the weekend informed me. And as I keep my eye to Instagram, you can bet there will be some street style scouts on the loose and round-ups of the "best Olympic outfits" coming to a slideshow near you. </p><p>While the impetus behind fashion's social media sanctified Olympic love affair undoubtedly circles back to a commercial/marketing objective, the implications are rather positive ones. An industry that is normally associated with all sorts of unhealthy practices and substances slipping out of its lofty stilettos and into a pair of sneakers so as to celebrate the human body in all its properly nourished and psychically honed glory seems like a positive enough move to me. Athletes, on account of perpetual training rather than perpetual hunger, make great models that send strong, healthy messages and it's great to give these inspirational individuals a chance to shine in an arena other than their own. Who's to disapprove of the likes of Michael Phelps soaking in a Louis Vuitton bath as opposed to smiling up wholesomely from a Wheaties box? So long as we still pay attention to the actual sports, a little side serving of style never hurt anyone.</p><p>I suppose the only question left is WHEN will one of our stylish fashion friends lend a helping hand to those poor scrunchied gymnasts still straggling in the mid-nineties? Gabby Douglas would look great springing across that floor in a little Pam Hogg number, don't you think?</p> <br><p>Follow Kristin Knox on Twitter:</p><p>As you can probably tell (or most likely have seen or read for yourself, depending on how closely you involve yourself with the show milieu), the street style thing of late has transcended to a whole new dimension of CRAY. So much so that this season I even witnessed a former Sidewalk Queen declining would-be paps (but then again maybe that was because we'd ALL seen that Christopher Kane embroidered bomber before...). Even Anna Dello Russo seems to have calmed down, changing only three thrice daily instead of five times and even lowering the altitude of her headgear. That being said, in the last season or two, I've noticed a shift in the ubiquity of "trend" from being designer and runway led to street style championed. These days, there seems to be more diversity amongst catwalk creations than there are individuals loose on the sidewalks -something of a fashion industry irony. As show orbiters pin down the rules of street style attraction to a fine science, the result is a gamut of items and trends, from "edgy" and hipster to the power luxury and editor, that have been overexposed. So below I've collated 10 trends which I sincerely hope, come next season, are relegated to the archives in every sense of the word.</p><p>1) The Neon Cambridge Satchel<br>They've been around for at least three seasons now, probably reaching their apex in appropriateness in September or even during the menswear shows in the summer. At first they were punchy, then they were personalizeable and now they're pariahs. Not that I don't love a good Cambridge Satchel, but the neons/stars/polkadots--it's all too much. Just give me classic brown, put some books in it and basta. </p><p></p><p> 2) The Glitter Booty-Miu Miu or Otherwise<br>I'll be the first to admit I was head over glitter heels for these booties when they first shimmered onto the circuit about a year ago. In September, I swear there were more glitter boots on the loose than street style photographers, leaving a trail of sparkling sidewalk like Lucky Charms wherever they went. This season, I have to say (and I HATE this phrase but here goes) they just looked so last season. I am a firm believer in the myth of the trend, that is to say, I believe you should just wear whatever you want when you want, it's all a question of how your style it. But sometimes, pieces with such strong personality negate excessive styling and so what you end up with is an army of similarly simply clad girls all boasting the same statement bootie. Thus the time for all tinkerbell inspired footwear to go back in the box has come.</p><p></p><p>3. Versace for H&M<br>By the time fashionistas were queuing round the world during all hours of the night to get their hands on the stuff, I was already sick of Versace for H&M, having had more press releases about the incremental implementation of the collaboration than had Kate Middleton stepped out in public hand and hand with the Queen having forgotten her flesh-tone tights. Yes, really. Hence why yours truly was slumbering peacefully in her bed while a good portion of the fash pack battled it out all over the globe, their brave early morning tales clogging up Twitter whence I woke. And where, pray tell, did all this sold out Versace for H&M go? It went straight to fashion week. Be it the printed tops and skirts or, even more prevalent, the studded mosaic biker jacket, Donatella's foray into fast fashion was the uniform of the season. Just remember they call it "fast" for a reason. </p><p></p><p> 4) Bright Dip-Dye<br>I will concede, about this time last spring I was practically in tears when my hair stylist refused to sear bleach into the tips of my hair to then dunk it in auburn to create what I was convinced would be the most ah-mah-zing ambre dip dye ever, refusing to "destroy" my natural color and texture. Fast forward six months later, and I revoke the title I bestowed upon him of London's grinchiest hair stylist who doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. The dip dye thing was so visually exciting when it first trickled like spilled Kool-Aid across the tresses of the so-called "hipster sect" of the fash pack, making for great photos against derelict brick walls, all the more so as cool kids were quick to match their tangerine locks to their tangerine trousers, their green tips to their green tops, and so on and so forth. But since we tipped the new year, it's felt a bit dipped out to me, with only the subtler dip dye jobs--such as varying shades of honey blonde--still registering chic in my book. Time to whack off those ends and start again, ladies. </p><p></p><p> 4) Blue Hair for Him & Her<br>On the subject of hair, I'd like to say: blue is not the hue. This season, on the crops of both men and shortly shorn ladies, blue hair dye was seen on way too many individuals. Tavi went for the grey/blue granny-meets-cookie-monster look what feels now like years ago and was not lauded for it then. Come on boys, back to the salon you go. </p><p></p><p>5) Prada Creepers<br>They're EVERYWHERE, on men and women alike, Prada's raffia woven brogue flatforms are now a scourge on our sidewalks. Personally, I've never really warmed to the flatform, preferring to either wear (call me old fashioned) flats or platforms. Even the miniature of Marc Jacobs at his own exhibition with Louis Vuitton features the designer sporting a pair. I feel a flatform intervention coming on...creep away, creep away (and take your little blue stripe with you please). </p><p></p><p>6) Side Plait<br>As much as it pains me to say it, its time to untwist your side plaits. While I still personally love a good braid, especially when one does not have time to wash one's hair between fashion partying straight into one's 9AM show, we're now coming up on year two of the trend and I find myself drawn to sleeker pony tails than braids these days. </p><p></p><p> 7) Celine Luggage Totes<br>Some of you may try to hack my site for this one, but I do think the Celine luggage tote could benefit from a short bow out. Celine is like crack for street stylers and over the seasons, editors, bloggers, buyers and models off duty have discovered that a Luggage Tote in any size, shape or color will land you on someone "Best of Fashion Week X" list. So what began as a sort of 21st century edition of a Birkin-status bag, that is to say, heirloomable bags so expensive and so exclusive they can only be obtained by long waiting list, now feels over saturated. I'm not saying the loose the Luggage indefinitely, just check them into the baggage hold for a season or two. </p><p></p><p> 8) Valentino's Studded Patent T-bar Pumps<br>Somewhere on the road, I overheard someone say that you can tell who's having a moment by the footwear most spotted during fashion month, a useful line of reasoning which I filed away til now. Following this logic, the designer of this season would have to be Valentino, because his studded t-bar pumps were spotted on some of the most stylish feet from New York to Paris, so much so that I'd say they're on the cusp of overexposure. That is to really say, fine for February, stash away for September. </p><p></p><p>9) Le Petit 2.55<br>I still kind of want one, but I will hold back as long as I can. These pocket-sized Chanel 2.55's have been cropping up on all sorts of arms this season, and I can totally see why. They're cute, collectable and CHANEL (not to mention their quaint jersey quilt costs the same as a pocket of a regular leather sized 2.55). On some refined editors, the little 2.55 was a new variant on a classic accessory of which you know they have the better part of an army stashed away at home. On others, it screamed: "I Chanel because I can." And that's not a covetable label for anyone. </p><p></p><p>10) Novelty Cameras<br>Thanks to folk like Lomography and retailers like Urban Outfitters, novelty cameras and things to put on your camera have become the kitsch must have of bloggers worldwide. However, having tried very unsuccessfully to wrangle one myself, I can confirm that they are not the handiest of things for having with you at shows, and you wind up posing more with it than you do behind it. My fashion week camera philosophy is thus: if it doesn't improve your image quality, do you really need it? The same goes for "cute" camera cases and things resembling necklaces supplementing for camera straps.</p> <p>Follow Kristin Knox on Twitter:</p><p> tends to establish her own signature styles, from to . But while hanging with her pal Donatella Versace in Milan this week, Gaga decided to recreate someone else's legendary look: Elizabeth Hurley's safety pin dress. </p><p>The pop star was seen exiting her Milan hotel on Tuesday , complete with the plunging neckline, the embellished straps and the gold safety pin sides. Gaga even had her "hair" (which we're guessing was a wig?) dyed brown like Hurley's. </p><p>The one key difference: Gaga had on those ubiquitous platform boots of hers. Hey, it ain't a Gaga outfit without treacherously high footwear, right?</p><p> before, but this dress might be the most memorable. which she attended with her then-boyfriend, Hugh Grant. The racy Versace dress got so much attention it earned its own nickname ("That Dress"), was memorialized with and is still one of the most famous items ever designed by Versace (along with , natch). </p><p>So who better to revive the safety pin dress than Queen of the Wild Dresses herself, Lady Gaga? .</p><p>PHOTOS:</p><p></p><p></p><p>What other legendary dresses could Lady Gaga revive?<br></p><p>Want more? Be sure to check out HuffPost Style on , , and .</p><p>When the time comes to settle down, where should an Angeleno look for the best spouse? Amongst the skinny-jeaned, headbanded hipsters of LA's Eastside? Or the golf-playing, Prada-wearing preps of LA's Westside?</p><p>The answer may surprise you. The vast majority of Angelenos who use the leading dating site for married people seeking affairs, , live on the Westside. Only one of the top 10 adulterous LA neighborhoods is on the Eastside. </p><p>Another cheating statistic that sets Angelenos apart is our penchant for nighttime love, AshleyMadison spokesperson Shari Cogan told The Huffington Post. While most American AshleyMadison members have affairs between 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. with only 18 percent having affairs after 5 p.m., 47 percent of LA members rendezvous between 5 p.m. - midnight. Perhaps it gets a little too hot and steamy in LA's year-round "broad daylight"?</p><p>Finally, LA members are also looking to have an out-of-state affair more than the average US member. While 10 percent of male members on AshleyMadison purchase the "Traveling Man" feature across the US, 19 percent of LA men purchase the feature (almost double the national rate), Cogan told HuffPost. When asked in what city these LA "traveling men" are looking to have a secret liaison, New York was the overwhelming top choice, with 47 percent of male Angelenos wanting a Big Apple affair.</p><p>Across the City of Angels there are more than 475,000 cheating members on AshleyMadison, according to the site. Sound like a lot? Los Angeles actually didn't even make the top-10 list of US cities with the most cheaters. That somewhat surprising is as as follows, in order: Washington, DC (love them politicians!), San Antonio, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Boston, Chicago, Dallas and Orlando. According to a spokesman for the site, high-ranking cities are filled with powerful people, and "the more successful you are, the more prone to cheating you are."</p><p>Still, while Angelenos are not top cheaters, we're definitely not prudes. Six of the top 10 US neighborhoods that "" are in LA, according to personality tests taken nationally by singles on . We also , according to a Trojan Condom survey.</p><p>Click through LA's top cheating LA neighborhoods:<br></p><p>When we exchange our Prada bags for Baby Bjorns, we also unwittingly check off the box that says "mothers don't drink." But just because we popped out a baby does not mean we still don't want to pop the Veuve Clicquot!</p><p>Why is it that as soon as we become mothers, we are expected to leave our cosmos at the bar and settle for reruns of ? Are all mothers who crave a glass or two of wine regarded as closet alcoholics?</p><p>When I was single and living in New York City, I regularly went out for a drink with the girls. I loved these evenings (or Saturday afternoons or Sunday brunches) -- they were a fabulous mix of fun, laughter and group therapy with smart, funny, like-minded women. After I married and moved, I continued the tradition with new friends, sharing a glass of wine with a gal pal after work or on the weekends in my new city. My friends and I always referred to these nights as "going out for drinks" or "cocktails with the girls."</p><p>So you can imagine my surprise when, after having my twins, the happy hour invites stopped and were suddenly replaced by e?mails and e-vites for Moms' Book Club, Mommy Spa Day, Make Your Own Purse Night, Mother of Twins Club and- - well, you get the idea. In my sleep-deprived, housebound-new mommy state of mind (did I mention that I was socially starved after weeks of pink and blue onesies?), I dusted off my English major literary prowess and drove to suburbia to my first Moms' Book Club.</p><p>Once there, I quickly learned that you cannot judge a book club by its cover. When I arrived at my first "meeting," instead of the provocative book discussion I had expected, I was greeted with a formal wine tasting, followed by a gourmet dinner and after-dinner drinks that lasted well past midnight -- on a weeknight! And then the same thing began to happen again and again: Make Your Own Purse night offered pitchers of sangria, Mother of Twins Club was drinks and appetizers at a local pub, Mommy Spa Day featured mini-spa treatments accompanied by perfectly chilled Pinot Grigio and finger food at the country club. Soon I saw a trend in all these mommy events -- they were our respectable, socially acceptable alibis for drinking. This got me thinking (and talking) about the strange double standard between the non-moms and the new moms. didn't have a chapter titled: "Top 10 Cute Ways for New Mothers to Secretly Steal a Cocktail." What happened to just saying (or even shouting) "I need a drink!"?</p><p>As I talked with other moms about this (over an Irish coffee during Knitting Club, of course), a common thread emerged: even when they try to hide it, all mothers (single or married, first-time or veteran) regularly celebrate, relax, and -- yes -- escape with a cocktail, all in the spirit of being a better mommy. A glass of Pinot Noir, a chocolate martini or a pomegranate margarita -- the cocktail does not matter, but the escape and the ability to temporarily blur reality does. Once, on a plane ride back from Las Vegas, another mother told me in a hushed voice that her nightly cocktail was her "mother's little helper," filling that time we all call the witching hour (just after the children's dinner and before Daddy returns home). The more I talked about this to friends and relatives, the more confessions I heard. One mom always jokes, "it's 5:00 p.m. somewhere" while pouring a glass of Chardonnay and calling her sister for a virtual drink date. Others have a weekly or monthly Moms' Club meeting that is never canceled. More attend Moms' Shopping Nights that involve strolling along quaint New England streets where each boutique offers sips of their favorite libations (one store owner and mother told me that these shopping nights can turn into shoplifting nights if the ladies get too tipsy).</p><p>Sitting at the computer with a glass of my favorite port, I have a realization: We really aren't any different than our single sisters. Sure, we are moms now. Okay, we left the city for the suburbs. Yes, we have children. Yes, some of us drive minivans, and many of us now call happy hours "moms' nights." But we will never pack away the Prada. We still have shrines to our Jimmy Choos. We will never, ever don mom jeans or need a . Regardless of labels and outdated stereotypes, we will always love and crave our cocktails with the girls. We are still as complicated and delicious as the perfect martini.</p><p>As I finish my drink before heading out to the Go Green Trunk Show at a nearby mom's house, I think that maybe I'll host the next event: a cocktail party.<br></p><p><br>Recipe: The Momtini<br>Prep time: 20 minutes (2 minutes to pour, 18 to drink)</p><p>Mix equal parts friends, fun, and your favorite alcoholic beverage.<br>Serve immediately and, if possible, without children. </p><p># # #<br>Excerpt by Laura Rossi Totten from "Mom's Club: The New Happy Hour" from MAKE MINE A DOUBLE: Why Women Like Us Like to Drink (Or Not), edited by Gina Barreca. Used with permission from University Press of New England, .<br></p> <p>Follow Laura Rossi Totten on Twitter:</p><p>Most perfume ads are sexy. .</p><p>So we were surprised when, , Prada released this highly un-sexy clip for its new fragrance, Prada Candy. </p><p>Lea Seydoux, , jabs, jumps and flings herself at her attractive, black-clad dance partner in the video. She also lets her skirt fly up quite often, revealing a pair of bunchy, too-big panties. </p><p>It's not a bad ad, per se -- it certainly expresses the bright, carefree vibe Prada was going for. But Seydoux's herky-jerky dancing and strange, monotone yelling is just a tad awkward to watch. And the panties -- oh, the panties. </p><p>WATCH:</p><p></p> <br><p>Between , her and , was one of the most highly anticipated stars on tonight's (at least, one of our most highly anticipated stars).</p><p>So when she stepped out on tonight to chat with E!'s Ryan Seacrest, we held our breathe... and then exhaled in partial relief. Her new 'do, a trendy pixie cut, looked perfectly coiffed -- super chic. Her makeup was all smoky eyes and nude lips, which never gets old. And her Prada dress... well, that's where we ran into troubles. </p><p>The gunmetal gray was sophisticated as was the lace. But there was something about the high-waisted cut that struck us as unflattering. so we know there's a great body hiding under there somewhere.</p><p>Check out Lena's outfit for her big Emmys debut. Do you love it or loathe it?</p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p>See the rest of the Emmys 2012 red carpet fashion!<br></p><p>Want more? Be sure to check out HuffPost Style on , , and .</p><p>Lily Allen is the latest style star to let Vogue UK get a peek of her clothing collection by documenting a month's worth of outfits for . </p><p>The singer and showcases her unique brand of high-low dressing, pairing high street finds with the likes of Prada, YSL, Balenciaga, Philip Lim, The Row...it's enough to make a girl green with jealousy.</p><p>Take a look at a handful of Lily's outfits and to see what else this down-to-earth fashionista has worn -- .</p><p>(All photos courtesy of Lily and Vogue UK)</p><p></p> <br><p>Well, she's definitely had enough practice getting dressed for court.</p><p>After some real style missteps like that and , it seems Lindsay Lohan's finally hit her stride when it comes to courtroom style. The been on an upward tick lately, with that earlier this month and the back in October.</p><p>But today's hearing might have been the occasion for Lilo's best courtroom look yet. Clad in an ivory Celine cardigan, matching Prada trousers, sunglasses and neutral pumps by Versace, Lindsay sped her way past photographers in Los Angeles this morning and into her hearing. Her punchy accessory? A Dior leopard print handbag, which added just the right zing.</p><p>And Linds' sartorial smash must have earned her some good karma in the courtroom: the judge praised her for completing her community service (at the morgue!) and for attending her required therapy sessions, </p><p>Linds is due back in court next month; here's hoping she keeps up the good work (and style).</p><p>Check out photos below.</p><p><br></p> <br>Rituals in the Arts have been part of human history since the beginning.Art is created to be experienced by others and engages us in community even when our reactions to Art are deeply personalized. You are welcome to like "Modern Art District" on Facebook.<br>Facebook.com/ModernArtDistrict<br><br>If you have more questions please contact.<br><br>Modern Art District<br>National Design Consultant<br>Jacqueline Correa<br>Phone: (512) 200-4ART<br><p>To commemorate 150 years as a unified country, six of the biggest luxury Italian labels have<br>come together to create a truly stylish exhibition of the season. "The style. The glamour. The<br>sophistication. The sex. All are part of the unique Italian fashion mix." says fashion writer Colin<br>McDowell about the Masters of Art photography exhibit at the Somerset House. The exhibit will<br>run through 14th August and will showcase imagery from Italian houses like Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, Missoni and Prada.</p><p>The collection highlighted Gucci's first print campaign back in 1922 to Prada's chic and<br>understated campaign with Christy Turlington in 1994 and Madonna and her dishwashing ways<br>in the 2008-09 Dolce & Gabbana campaign.</p><p>From bags to scarves and shoes, the Salvatore Ferragamo collection focused on product<br>imagery. The Missoni presentation was represented with the Italian house's symbolic striped<br>knitwear. Giorgio Armani emphasized collaborations with Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot.</p><p>Each designer in the exhibition has distinctively selected their best-loved images showcasing the<br>talents of renowned photographers which include Aldo Fallai, Steven Meisel and Mario Testino<br>and great models like Kate Moss, Isabella Rossellini and Amber Valletta. This exceptional collection portrays definitive moments in fashion for Italy.</p><p>"It is a great personal honour to have curated an exhibition in Somerset House--so quintessentially a British building, but base on the Italian rules of architecture--featuring the great names of Italian fashion: Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, Missoni and Prada.</p><p>Follow Lorelei Marfil on Twitter:</p><p>So The Iron Lady has arrived. Too lefty? Too righty? Offensive? Inaccurate? Streep? (Take a breath whilst remembering how fantastic she was in The Devil Wears Prada - then continue) An American as a Brit? The wrong choice? With the same rigour as Moses's parting of the Red Sea, The Iron Lady has . The politicians. The film-critics. The feminists. </p><p>Hold those debates. We have a better lesson to learn.</p><p>Thatcher may have done a lot of questionable things, but the lady knew how to power dress. As the film's shows, Thatcher's reign of terror depended on getting into character. The voice, the mannerisms, the gestures, and perhaps most crucially, the look - all engineered to boost her authority. The blue jackets. The court-shoes. The pearls. The perfect-for-thwacking-somebody-across-the-face handbag. </p><p>As I glanced around the cinema audience, Milton Keynes's finest, I saw no such sartorial panache. I was clad in my high street best - battered Converse and some kind of shaggy blanket masquerading as a cardigan. To my left there was a drab zip-up hoodie. To my right a floral tunic dress paired with Ugg boots. I even saw a woman in (whisper it) Crocs. CROCS. All around there were jeggings.</p><p>Jeggings. The strongest contender for 2012's worst design of the year award. They were everywhere, multiplying like some sick virus right before my very eyes. Ladies, don't you see, it's hard to command any sort of respect when wearing River Island denim-lycra with faux-pockets? </p><p>The high street has let us down. The products it pushes at us with such fervour - the 'hottest looks' and 'must haves' - suddenly seemed lacking as I stared at Streep-Thatcher on the giant cinema screen sashaying into parliament in a midi-skirt and blazer. Call me old-fashioned, but none of the trends available to women in most shops seem to celebrate, support or enrich us like Thatcher's wardrobe did for her. Instead they sexualise us, diminish us or, in simple terms, make us look ridiculous. </p><p>Just imagine today's high street finds on a female prime minister. A nice wetsuit-style neoprene t-shirt perhaps? How about some pleather quilted shorts? Take the crop top. Magazines and shops are going crazy for it. So sweet! So charming! Pair it with a sequin pencil skirt! Strike a pose! Vogue! It's everywhere. Seriously - try talking about something important with your belly-button on show. Try it. That visible sliver of flesh not only looks agonisingly bad, the worst kind of 90's throwback, but also automatically lessens the wearer's IQ by about 40%. Intelligent, opinionated women reduced to looking like aged members of Atomic Kitten. I'm all for freedom of dress, but has it really come to this? </p><p>What The Iron Lady does is reinforce that age-old adage, that clothes maketh the man. Sure Thatcher was a lot - and I mean a lot - more than a snazzy handbag, but that doesn't change the fact that appearance was vital in creating her veneer of power. I'm not suggesting that we all start donning Maggie-inspired twinsets but there is something to be said for properly embracing clothing with clout. </p><p>Power dressing comes along ever few years as some kind of trend. Nestled snuggly in the page of magazines alongside 'nudes', 'tartans' and 'fringing'. As if women are only legitimately allowed to look like a powerful female after Alber Elbaz has shoved a model down the runway in a pencil skirt and shoulder pads. As if we only want to dress with authority once every three years during the Autumn/Winter season. </p><p>Men have the suit. That classic disguise. The layman's equivalent of superman's red pants and cape. They put it on and suddenly they're transformed. Before, a dishevelled boy, after, a man, a real man, like Don Draper. Men also get the tie. Like that magic 'talking stick' passed around at primary school, it gives the holder the divine authority to speak, to be listened to and to be taken seriously. What do women get in return? We have no wizard-like neckpiece, no sartorial sandwich-board demanding that we be acknowledged. </p><p>Remember Teresa May's 'cubist coat'? Course you do. Remember what Cameron wore that day? Or Miliband? No. Naturally. Men get to hide behind the power of the suit, whilst women flounder at the style wayside. Struggling on, through the mounds of high street tat, hot-pants designed for skeletal teenagers and dresses for the cast of Geordie Shore, looking for something, anything, work appropriate.</p><p>Important lessons can be learned from the recent flood of historical dramas. Mad Men helped remind us all that we have a waist. Let's hope The Iron Lady helps remind us all that it's okay to look smart, powerful, and even a bit intimidating. (On a side note - take note, men of Britain, of the sheer sex appeal of a red-velvet smoking jacket. See Douglas Booth in the Christmas hit Great Expectations. Swoon.)</p><p>Just as Thatcher had to transform her style to cement her status, the high street needs to transform its attitude towards the powerful female. Stop treating her as a passing trend, as fleeting as the polka-dot, as worthless as tulle. Hidden behind the jeggings, there is an Iron Lady in all of us.</p><p>Follow Lou Stoppard on Twitter:</p><p>PARIS - Marc Jacobs, more than anyone, knows that it's not what you say but how you say it. The Louis Vuitton showman thus capped an incredibly strong Paris fashion week — with help from artist Daniel Buren — by building a life-size shopping mall inside the Louvre.</p><p>Understatement is not a word in Jacobs' vocabulary, so a collaboration with the minimalist artist — who made the famed striped columns in Paris' Palais Royal — might have raised eyebrows. But Buren rose to the occasion.</p><p>"(The Louvre) was already big, all I did was make it bigger," said Buren, with trademark humour. "It was others that called me a minimalist, not me."</p><p>The sky's the limit when you're backed by Europe's richest man and LVMH-owner Bernard Arnault, with whom he mingled before the show.</p><p>Meanwhile, Miuccia Prada, who herself presides over a lucrative fashion empire, felled a small forest in aid of her presentation for Miu Miu, one of the final day's other big shows. Fashion insiders clutched wooden invitations as they walked down a wooden "red carpet" and into the auditorium with a 30-meter (yard) wooden runway, and the show's huge wooden-tiered seating.</p><p>There was some irony that the collection was held at Paris' grand Environmental Council.</p><p>Paris Fashion Week designers are often described as show-stopping, but none more than Elie Saab. The Lebanese designer threw huge graphic chunks of moon rock down the catwalk as set, to evoke his more geometric theme. Unfortunately, one attendee didn't pick up on the visual props and tripped head over heels — slightly delaying the show.</p><p>Trends on the ninth exhausting day of the season included prints — both graphic and colored — as well as sheer transparencies and cutouts.</p><p>LOUIS VUITTON</p><p>What do you get if you mix up the world's most famous checks and Paris' most famous stripes? The answer: Louis Vuitton, whose 1960s style spring-summer fashion show twinned the iconic checked Damier pattern with a set designed by artist Daniel Buren.</p><p>Buren created four full-scale escalators, featuring his signature 8.7cm stripes, which wowed spectators inside.</p><p>"It's exquisite, beautiful," said 29-year-old Christina Malaki. "What a spectacle."</p><p>In fashion terms it was strong, with most of the 64 retro looks delivered in Mary Quant-style checks that made a bold optical statement in black and white, as well as browns, grey and leaf green.</p><p>Slightly puffed rounded shoulders, miniskirts, beehives and a few exposed midriffs pointed to one thing: The swinging 60s are back.</p><p>The silhouettes — often flat and loose— prioritized the Damier above the female form, which rippled nicely in skirts as the models, who walked in pairs, filed by with handbags.</p><p>Louis Vuitton is a house that is proud of its tradition, but also likes to evolve. The collection saw the ubiquitous monogram banished for the first time.</p><p>Instead, one recurrent feature was, so say the program notes, "the smallest sequins ever produced."</p><p>Thousands of microscopic sequins brought a dazzling metallic shimmer to dresses and skirt suits, though when it was used on the blocked Damier pattern it was slightly too much.</p><p>"It's all about being graphic. (Buren's escalators) are a mathematical equation," Jacobs told journalists after the show.</p><p>Another math equation will come from the buoyant receipts from this, a highly saleable collection.</p><p>It's a fair bet that by next year this bold check will be everywhere.</p><p>MIU MIU</p><p>Miu Miu's spring-summer 2013 show in Paris had a wintery vibe.</p><p>Despite the slightly off-kilter season it was a slick display, with lashings of faux fur on coats and stoles with dyed patterning at the brand often seen as Miuccia Prada's baby sister offshoot.</p><p>It picked up nicely on this season's fascination with prints as contrasting explosions on loose skirt suits — sometimes resembling the negative of a photograph.</p><p>As ever, it remained demure, but interesting back features graced a few reversed boxy tops. Alongside looks in denim and the prints, it gave the clothes a distinctly cool edge which reached its peak in a few eclectic, asymmetrical pieces.</p><p>Only a master like Prada can make a tiny strapped cropped camisole work underneath a thick fur coat, accessorized with leather gloves and jeweled Roman sandals.</p><p>Uber-cool actress — and Miu Miu spokesperson — Chloe Sevigny watched from the front row.</p><p>ELIE SAAB</p><p>Elie Saab, master of the va-va-voom silhouette, broke out of his strict mould for his spring-summer 2013 show in Paris.</p><p>The Lebanese designer must have been feeling in an adventurous mood: He dabbled in graphic details and floral prints in Wednesday's show.</p><p>But never fear, his bread-and-butter traffic stopping dresses and sequins were still there — in cerulean blue and vermilion. After all, it's what his buyers and celebrity wearers such as singer Taylor Swift on the front row expect and love.</p><p>But the palette this season was updated to include a beautiful cobalt, which in turn exploded into fluorescent colour prints on gowns, some full length, others above the knee, that fluttered by in silk muslin.</p><p>Saab included the odd peplum and some '90s looks with black-and-white geometric lines.</p><p>The catwalk set of graphic angular moon rocks signalled to fashion insiders even before the show started that Saab would move in this direction.</p><p>______</p><p>Thomas Adamson can be followed at http:/ /Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP</p><p>Microbiologists are closer to understanding a strange ailment that causes snakes to act drunk and even tie themselves in knots.</p><p>Experts have identified an ailment they call "," a disorder which causes snakes like boa constrictors and pythons to regurgitate food and "stargaze," a term for staring off aimlessly for long periods of time, MedicalDaily.com reports.</p><p>“Some of the symptoms are pretty bizarre," Michael Buchmeier, professor of infectious diseases at the University of California, Irvine, told reporters. The snakes "tie themselves in a knot and they can't get out of it." </p><p>Experts claim for the disease, according to the New York Daily News.</p><p>Until now, arenaviruses have never been seen in reptiles. The usually effect rodents and other mammals, including humans, Buchmeier said.</p><p>"The fact that we have apparently identified that may predate the New and Old World is very exciting," Buchmeier said according to SBS.com.au.</p><p>The investigation was inspired by an outbreak of IBD among snakes at the Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco. After looking at DNA samples from infected boas and pythons, researchers identified signs of an unusual virus normally found in rodents.</p><p>Joe DeRisi, a senior author of the study said that while IBD can devastate collections, zoos and aquariums that it infiltrates, there is no evidence the disease can spread to humans, according to the New York Daily News. Still, researchers want to figure out how the arenavirus gets transmitted from snake to snake.</p><p>GALLERY: ANIMAL IN THE NEWS<br></p><p></p><p>It's billed as 'the most glamorous night of the year' but there was one guest at this year's Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations Costume Institute Gala (catchy) who had his own distinct take on glamour: step forward Mr Marc Jacobs.</p><p>The fashion designer is no stranger to an outlandish outfit or five having been spotted in a and a over the last few months.</p><p>But for last night's bash at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York he opted for this delightful transparent, lace errrm, Dress? Oversized shirt? Overcoat? Who knows, but it showed off his crisp, white boxers a treat.</p><p></p><p>Add into the mix black socks and a pair of pantomime shoes and you've pretty much got the worst celeb outfit of the year so far - an accolade previously held by... Marc Jacobs.</p><p>Other celebs who coughed up $25,000 for a ticket to the bash - and showing Marc how it should be done - included Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, Cameron Diaz, Rihanna, Beyonce and Scarlett Johansson. </p><p>> IN PICS: SCHIAPARELLI AND PRADA: IMPOSSIBLE CONVERSATIONS COSTUME INSTITUTE GALA<br></p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p> <br><p>The first thing you see when you enter the Metropolitan Museum's exhibit is a large screen. On it, a scene with a dinner table and a crystal chandelier against a black backdrop. There are two women sitting at opposite each other, engaging in conversation. Miuccia Prada is played by herself, and Elsa Schiaparelli, who died in 1973, is played brilliantly by Judy Davis. Schiap's words are taken from her autobiography . This first film clip sets the scene; the two designers talk about how it was not their plan to be a fashion designer.</p><p><br>As you work your way through the "Impossible Conversations" exhibit, now open through Aug. 19, you can't help but thinking lucky for us they became not just designers but iconic figures in the fashion world. It seems hard to believe that Prada was, as she says, never influenced by Schiaparelli.  In the "Waist Up / Waist Down" section, the ornate Schiap jackets pair so well with the embellished Prada skirts that you have a hard time believing that they were made some 60 to 70 years apart. They seem to be cut, so to speak, from the same cloth. And so it goes throughout the exhibit.</p><p><br><br>Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art</p><p><br>These two designers are both Italian, but generations apart, with Schiaparelli working in the 1930s to 1950s and Prada designing today. They are very much alike but also very different.  The exhibit beautifully plays up these similarities and contrasts, in both the clothing on the mannequins and in the imagined dialogue between the two women. There are seven film clips, each serving as a backdrop to different scenes in the exhibit.</p><p><br></p><p><br>In Schiaparelli's day, ornamental hats were the big thing. She's famous for her shoe hat, a result of a collaboration with the Spanish artist Salvador Dali. For Prada, ornamental shoes are her thing, and her latest collection is of shoes inspired by vintage cars. Vintage Cadillacs with tail fins are re-imagined as shoes, complete with tail lights.</p><p>A sense of whimsy and art are recurring motifs in the two designers' collections. Yet in their impossible conversation the women disagree on calling fashion designers artists. Prada dismisses that label; Schiap embraces it.</p><p><br></p><p><br>So it may be no surprise then that Prada was reportedly reluctant to participate in this project, a collaboration of the Met's Costume Institute curators Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton with renown film director Baz Luhrmann. She wasn't too keen on being compared to another designer. But she told reporters that now she likes the exhibit. She posed for a photo-op with Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour at the press preview on Monday. Apparently there was doubt about whether or not Prada would show up for that night's Costume Institute gala, because she fell off her high platform shoes, but she was there.</p><p><br></p><p><br>Throughout the seven film clips in the galleries, Schiap and Prada rarely agree. Schiap says she designed the fabulous and sometimes playful hats, necklaces and jackets to celebrate a woman's beauty. In her cafe society, women were seated and the lower half of the body was not seen. Prada abhors frilliness and decorations near the face.</p><p><br><br>Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art</p><p><br>The two women talk about how they try to avoid clichés of women and conventional  beauty.  Schiap says her mother called her ugly; Prada fights beauty. Some of Prada's designs can be downright dowdy. But Prada does manage to create something beautiful out of mismatched prints and fabrics, as seen in the "Ugly Chic" section of the exhibit. Prada says if she's done anything, "It is to make ugly appealing." Agreed.</p><p><br></p><p></p><p><br>You can't help but notice that Prada is much more reserved, even to the point of being depressing, compared to Schiaparelli. Prada says it's impossible to shock the fashion world, as Schiap was able to do. She can't do evening gowns.</p><p>Schiap and Prada never come to any resound conclusion to their conversation at the end of the exhibit. Schiap tries to get Prada to agree that fashion design is art: "Never, Schiap, never."</p><p>At the end, it's not hard to imagine that Schiap and Prada would have a conversation and lively debate were they living at the same time. And they do agree in the last film clip that they'd probably be friends. You come away from the exhibit with the feeling that both women are extremely strong personalities who celebrate women through design in similar ways. And I can't help but wonder who might be in an impossible conversation with Prada in the latter part of the 21st century.</p><p>Follow Mary Orlin on Twitter:</p>eGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHR%2Bk7huUTK5GduMziZZw2K6rSnCeVSnLO4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFV<p>The Metropolitan Museum of Art hosts a variety of fancy exhibits every year, but perhaps the most fancy is the Costume Institute's yearly exhibit.</p><p>This year's exhibit is called "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations" and imagines the two female Italian designers having a conversation over a fancy meal that they never actually eat about fashion, their influences, their lives and their design philosophies. Their designs are also featured side by side so as to show the women's similar, yet sometimes opposing, takes on the female form.</p><p>What follows now is an impossible conversation about the exhibit itself. It is a conversation that would happen if the negative (read: contemptuous critic) and positive (read: supportive fangirl) sides to myself could extract themselves from my psyche and were caught on film by Baz Luhrmann.</p><p><br>Negative Me: It was too crowded to get a clear view of the entire exhibit, right?<br>Positive Me: Oh, I don't know. If you're patient and polite to the people around you, you could get around the throngs to see everything.<br>Negative Me: So, you have an opinion?<br>Positive Me: Oh yes! I really liked it. Schiaparelli's and Prada's work was exquisite.<br>Negative Me: The designers' work was gorgeous. The actual exhibit was crap.<br>Positive Me: No, it wasn't!<br>Negative Me: Yes, it was! It was designed by curators as a cutesy fan fiction experiment. I mean, filming Prada talking to Schiaparelli... but since Schiaparelli is dead, they got Judy Davis to play her? What does that have to do with fashion or design?<br>Positive Me: First of all, you better not be throwing any shade at Judy Davis. She was and is magnificent. I couldn't tell if she was sticking to some pre-ordained script or if she was improvising off of the clearly unrehearsed Prada.<br>Negative Me: Oh, don't get me wrong, Judy Davis is a goddess. She was amazing.<br>Positive Me: Wasn't she?<br>Negative Me: But why? Why set up a fake interview at all? It was pointless.<br>Positive Me: Well, I found it to be a theatrical interpretation of the larger metaphor that the exhibit represented.<br>Negative Me: Okay, that's bullshit.<br>Positive Me: The world was built on bullshit. Consider manure.<br>Negative Me: Manure smells bad. Explain your bullshit better and don't hide by being cute.<br>Positive Me: Okay, okay, okay. So, culturally and historically, the reason women care so much about fashion is that until very recently, we weren't allowed professional, legal or vocal ways of expressing ourselves. Fashion was a way of articulating our feelings about ourselves and our feelings about how we do or don't fit into our society.<br>Negative Me: Women love fashion because it's a way to adorn themselves to attract men sexually and to intimidate other women socially.<br>Positive Me: Sure, fashion is often used like that, but in the cases of female designers such as Schiaparelli and Prada, you can't deny that their designs must reflect their opinions of -- and aspirations for -- women.<br>Negative Me: I think you're overthinking this. I think you want an intellectual reason for why you like pretty dresses and sequins so much.<br>Positive Me: Just go with it for now.<br>Negative Me: Well, you're dragging me into it.<br>Positive Me: I'm gently directing. Anyway, when you look at the work of Schiaparelli and Prada as presented in this exhibit, you see that they work with very similar motifs, reflecting how they want similar things for women. They want women to escape conventionality and possess autonomous power.<br>Negative Me: That's not true. In the exhibit, Prada said that although she wants women to be powerful, she also wants them to be subservient to men.<br>Positive Me: She wants women to be everything and anything they want. In many circles that still is a revolutionary thought.<br>Negative Me: It seemed to me that Prada herself felt hindered by the opinions of others. Whereas Schiaperelli's inspiration came from confidence, Prada purposely avoided certain topics and materials and silouhettes so as not to feed certain critics. Prada seemed like she didn't have a definitive stance on what she wanted -- for women or her work -- but Schiaperelli did.<br>Positive Me: Well, not to be morbid...<br>Negative Me: You'd never want that.<br>Positive Me: No, but Schiaparelli is dead. Her work as a whole now exists as a definitive statement. Prada is still living and evolving. Also, Schiaparelli can't speak for herself anymore beyond what she left behind, so maybe she would disagree more.<br>Negative Me: This is the problem with letting an actress -- or a curator -- speak for a dead person. Especially if that dead person is supposed to have a discourse with a living person. <br>Positive Me: Well, I'm still not convinced it was a bad idea. I mean, the clothes themselves are similar, but incredibly different. I mean, you can see an obvious discourse in the design itself.<br>Negative Me: Seriously? The way it was curated made it look like Prada ripped off all of Schiaparelli's design ideas. <br>Positive Me: I think in art, the phrase is "was inspired by." For instance, the impossible conversation style of this piece was inspired by the exhibit.<br>Negative Me: Bitch, please, you didn't know what you were going to write about this week so you ripped off the exhibit.<br>Positive Me: Look, I thought it was really interesting how Schiaparelli thought the interesting part of a woman was above the waistline (face, mind, intellect) and Prada thought it was below (sex, reproduction, earthiness). That alone created a fascinating discourse on ideas of women.<br>Negative Me: That's a fancy way of saying that Schiaparelli was good with hats and jackets and Prada is good with shoes and skirts. Personally, I like purses.<br>Positive Me: Me too!<br>Negative Me: Purses were never addressed.<br>Positive Me: Well, they're accessories.<br>Negative Me: So are hats and shoes.<br>Positive Me: Hats were about Schiaparelli's connection to the head and shoes are about Prada's connection to the Earth.<br>Negative Me: This is bullshit again.<br>Positive Me: Purses only symbolize a woman's wealth and possessions -- which I think represent her independence.<br>Negative Me: Quit preaching. I'm the choir. <br>Positive Me: Hey, stop being mean! I'm on your side.<br>Negative Me: Back to the exhibit... If you're still hammering home the idea that the purpose of the exhibit was to show how fashion presents a way for women to have a voice, then why did the curators make it difficult to read and hear the women's actual words?<br>Positive Me: Well, they had the filmed interview portions throughout the exhibit and they had placards with quotes from both designers on the pieces shown. I don't see how they made it difficult to read and hear the designers.<br>Negative Me: Do you remember how you couldn't read the placards because they were on the ground and people were crowded around them?<br>Positive Me: Yes.<br>Negative Me: Do you remember how you couldn't see the film because the garments sometimes blocked your view of them?<br>Positive Me: Yes.<br>Negative Me: Do you remember how it was difficult to hear the film because of all the visitors around you complaining how they couldn't see the placards?<br>Positive Me: Yes.<br>Negative Me: What the hell was with those trompe l'oeil mirrors in the last room? You had to explain to two different little old ladies that they were mirrors.<br>Positive Me: Well, that was the "surreal body" room so the trompe l'oeil idea was clever.<br>Negative Me: That one little old lady almost walked into a mirror.<br>Positive Me: I stopped her!<br>Negative Me: You couldn't stop yourself from buying the book about the exhibit from the gift shop.<br>Positive Me: It was pretty! And I had 20% off for Member Discount Days!<br>Negative Me: Please make sure the internet knows that you've seen the exhibit because of the Met Member preview days. You did not get to go to the Met Ball because you are poor and unimportant.<br>Positive Me: I'm very unimportant. But I do pay my rent in NYC and I could afford Met Membership this year after taxes. So, I'll argue on the poor point.<br>Negative Me: You live in Queens and work an office job to pay your rent in Queens even though you're a writer. You're poor.<br>Positive Me: Okay. I'm poor.<br>Negative Me: So, did you see anything else interesting at the museum on your Personal Day from your office job, or did you just save little old ladies from walking into mirrors?<br>Positive Me: I saw the Rembrandt they're borrowing from Kenwood House.<br>Negative Me: And?<br>Positive Me: It's another picture of Rembrandt.<br>Negative Me: He did a lot of those. It's like, seriously, dude, stop being so self-obsessed. It's like you're a blogger or something.<br>Positive Me: I'm a blogger.<br>Negative Me: Yeah, and you're self-obsessed. You also don't know when to finish pieces or where to edit them.<br>Positive Me: Rembrandt was really self-obsessed, though.<br>Negative Me: Well, he's allowed to be. Unlike you, he was important.<br>Positive Me: I still really liked the exhibit. The clothes were very pretty and it made me feel inspired to go out and be a more powerful woman.<br>Negative Me: You just want to justify spending too much money on a summer wardrobe.<br>Positive Me: Yeah, pretty much, yes.</p><p>Follow Meghan O'Keefe on Twitter:</p><p>After author Lauren Weisberger announced that she was working on a sequel to her best seller The Devil Wears Prada -- titled -- there was only one question on every fashionista's mind: Is Meryl Streep ready to reprise her role as cutthroat fashion magazine editor Miranda Priestly? </p><p>At the Crystal + Lucy Awards on Tuesday night, Streep told "Access Hollywood" that she hasn't heard anything about the project, but she'd be interested in reprising her infamous role. However, there is one thing that could keep Miranda Priestly from returning to the big screen. </p><p>"I guess I would have to lose the f--king weight," she said. </p><p>Fortunately for Streep, the progress on Revenge Wears Prada is moving at a glacial pace, so it could be a while before she steps into Miranda Priestly's fabulous heels again. </p><p>Watch the hilarious moment in its entirety above. </p><p></p><p>Related on HuffPost:</p><p>Meryl Streep has proven yet again that age is no barrier to success. The 62-year-old actress snagged a third Oscar for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in "," adding to a post 50 career that has included everything from a musical to comedies to intense dramas. This 2012 "Best Actress" win comes after a dry spell of 29 years: in 1983.</p><p>To Streep, this win is particularly special: "It's an overwhelming feeling ... and I think it might be even sweeter that it's so late in my life, you know?" said Streep in the above video. "To be recognized when you're young and happening and on the way is one thing but -- well it's all so improbable in my life to be where I am at 62. It's like a miracle. And I'm really, really happy."</p><p>, making her the most-nominated actor ever. In addition to her Oscar wins for "Sophie's Choice," "Kramer vs. Kramer" and now "The Iron Lady," for her roles in "The Bridges Of Madison County," "Doubt" and "The Devil Wears Prada," among others.</p><p>The Hollywood icon -- who some described as an -- joked during her : "When they called my name I had this feeling I could hear half of America going, 'Oh, no. Oh, come on. Why? Her. Again. No.' But, whatever."</p><p>While we'd hate to disagree with Meryl Streep, it seems there were plenty of friends and fans cheering her on as she claimed the "Best Actress" Oscar. </p><p>From Alec Baldwin's congratulations:</p><p></p><p>To Kirstie Allie's support:</p><p></p><p>These tweets weren't the only love that Streep received last night. Check out our slideshow below for some of our favorite Oscars tweets honoring Streep.</p><p></p> <br><p>Having seen the misery associated with divorce on many occasions, I hope that 'Hope Springs' encourages other, real-life couples to save their relationships rather than splitting up for good.After all, I'm sure I'm not alone in loving a happy ending.</p><p>As one of the greatest actresses of all time (yep, we said it), is a magical on-screen chameleon, transforming into characters as different as Miranda Priestly and Julia Childs with utter effortlessness. </p><p>But there is some behind-the-scenes effort involved... on the part of the costume designers, at least. The age-old saying "the clothes make the (wo)man" was never truer when Meryl slipped into Maggie Thatcher's skirt suits, Senator Shaw's power blazers or, yes, Miranda Priestley's luxe Prada duds. And Meryl owned every single look. </p><p>So to celebrate today, we're taking a look back at the actress' most memorable on-screen looks. Which is your favorite? Vote in the slideshow below.</p><p></p><p><br> The annual Met Gala ball may not be as well-known as the Grammy, Golden Globe or Academy Awards, but its star-studded red carpet is always host to some of the best looks of the year. Also known as "fashion's Oscars," the event attracts stars of TV, film and music as well as the biggest runway models and fashion designers. Some of our favorite young style icons came out last night to celebrate the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute's new exhibition, which honors legendary fashion designers Miuccia Prada and Elsa Schiaparelli. </p><p>We found some stunning photos of young celebs we love -- from Glee couple Lea Michele and Cory Monteith to the always-glamorous Emma Roberts and Dakota Fanning -- alongside fashion elite like Anna Wintour and Sarah Jessica Parker at the big event in New York City. Check out the slideshow below for some unforgettable looks from the most style-savvy up-and-comers in Hollywood. </p><p>Who has your vote for best-dressed? Share your thoughts in the comments below or tweet ! </p><p>Celebrities and the designers who love them will gather Monday night for the .</p><p>More than 700 famous faces are expected to attend the $25,000-a-pop event, meaning that if each guest paid for a ticket, $17.5 million would be raised in a single night.</p><p>“This fundraising event is The Costume Institute’s main source of annual funding for exhibitions, acquisitions and capital improvements,” said Nancy Chilton, the senior press officer/adviser to The Costume Institute, which is something of a miniature museum within The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It houses a collection of 35,000 costumes and accessories from the 15th century to present day.</p><p>The theme of this year’s event is "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations," and it will explore the similarities between Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada.</p><p>But not every guest really shells out the big bucks to party at the Met. It was reported last week that Sports Illustrated cover star to Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, one of the event's co-hosts, in order to attend. But paying full price is a rarity, and plenty of guests are given discounted or comped tickets in order to ensure lots of famous faces on the steps of the art museum on the big night.</p><p>According to Chilton, The Costume Institute Benefit raised $10 million in 2011.</p><p>What will the stars wear tonight? Take a peek at the best Met Gala fashion from 2011:<br></p><p>Related on HuffPost:</p> <br><p>Get ready to (politely) rock the casbah: the is going Sid and Nancy for its 2013 Costume Institute Exhibit.</p><p> the museum's big spring exhibition, will "highlight the origins of the punk movement and draw direct connections to haute couture and ready-to-wear creations that it has inspired for the past three decades," Women's Wear Daily reports.</p><p>Instead of focusing on one designer's retrospective like or 2012's " show, then, this year's exhibit will include looks from Azzedine Alaia, Ann Demeulemeester, Dolce & Gabbana, Marc Jacobs, Rei Kawakubo, Alexander McQueen, Alexander Wang and Rodarte. With funding from both Moda Operandi and Conde Nast, the show will pinpoint the origin of punk designs in the early to mid-1970s in both New York and London and trace the influence of punk stylings throughout the decades. (If from 1994 doesn't make it in, we're quitting fashion forever.)</p><p>But the Met's punk exhibit will have some big Doc Martens to fill. In 2011, attracting over 650,000 visitors and netting 23,000 more memberships for the museum. While last year's , the costume institute has hosted popular exhibits on , and in recent years.</p><p>"Punk: From Chaos to Couture" will kick off with the annual Met Gala on May 6, hosted by Rooney Mara and Riccardo Tisci, and the exhibit will be on public display from May 9 to August 11, 2013. We hear is already waiting in line.</p><p></p><p>Take a look at the stunning guests from 2012's "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations" opening gala!</p><p></p><p>Want more? Be sure to check out HuffPost Style on , , and .</p><p>Michelle Dockery stood out from the crowds, even among the immaculately dressed A-list stars at New York's Met Gala Ball last night, as she arrived in a floor-length black and gold dress.</p><p>Complete with a pair of gloves that could have come straight from the set of Downton Abbey, Dockery, who plays the independent Lady Mary Crawley in the hit ITV period drama, shone as she turned up at one of the biggest nights on the US showbiz calendar.</p><p></p><p>She was joined by Laura Carmichael, who plays her younger sister Lady Edith in Downton, on the red carpet.</p><p>British talent wasn't short in supply at the Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. </p><p>Other guests included singer Florence Welch from Florence and the Machine, Emily Blunt, Transformers star Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Drive star Carey Mulligan and Mirror Mirror actress Lily Collins.<br><br>PHOTOS: All the Met Gala red carpet photos...</p><p></p><p></p> <p>NEW YORK, N.Y. - It's known as one of the most glamorous red carpets of the year, with movie stars, models and even a few star quarterbacks putting on their most fashion-forward outfits for the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute gala.</p><p>Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady, Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, Heidi Klum, Tim Tebow and Florence Welch were among those to weave through the tented grand Fifth Avenue entrance to celebrate the new fashion exhibit that compares and contrasts the designs of two Italian women: Miuccia Prada, who wore a pantsuit to the event, and the late Elsa Schiaparelli.</p><p>Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, serves as hostess of the event, and she wore a white gown with lobster-motif gold embroidery by Prada. Carey Mulligan, Wintour's co-chairwoman this year, wore a Prada cocktail dress with metallic fish-scale beading, and Gwyneth Paltrow had on a steel-blue Prada dress with heavily embellished pockets.</p><p>Among others donning Prada: Eva Mendes, Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman and Linda Evangelista.</p><p>Unlike other big celebrity red carpets, where designers just want to hear the stars utter their names as the creators of their dresses, they are the A-list dates here. Michael Kors escorted Hilary Swank, wearing a red halter gown; Parker, in a metallic floral-print gown with long sleeves and belt, came with Valentino; and singer Lana Del Ray, cloaked in a long black cape, came with Joseph Altuzarra.</p><p>Jason Wu brought model Karlie Kloss, who wore a mostly hot-pink gown with an underlay of black beaded lace; Karolina Kurkova, in a rose-gold sequin gown and beaded cap, attended with Rachel Zoe; and Doutzen Kroes wore a one-shouldered, black-and-white gown as she walked arm-in-arm with Roland Mouret.</p><p>January Jones could have stopped traffic in her bright yellow custom Atelier Versace bustier gown, and model Coco Rocha also went the bright route, matching pink curls in her hair to the tank top she wore under a vintage taxi-yellow suit.</p><p>Other fashion moments:</p><p>— Scarlett Johansson in a custom bustier gown embroidered with gold thread and pearls and a long tulle skirt by Dolce & Gabbana.</p><p>— Ashley Greene in off-the-shoulder Grecian gown in white silk with chiffon pleats and fringe by Donna Karan, who also made Nina Dobrev's black-and-gold asymmetrical gown with a pooling train inspired by a gown Paltrow used as a costume in "Great Expectations."</p><p>— Bundchen in a high-slit black gown by Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci, who also dressed Liv Tyler, Kanye West, Rooney Mara, Alicia Keys and Beyonce, who more a sheer black gown with strategic beading and a purple ostrich-feather hemline.</p><p>— Jessica Chastain in a corseted blue satin dress with crystals, pearls and crinoline by Louis Vuitton. Vuitton, designed by Marc Jacobs (who wore a black lace get-up), also outfitted Dakota Fanning in a lavender organza gown.</p><p>— Cameron Diaz in a long-sleeve, crystal-fringe embroidered gown by Stella McCartney, who also dressed Kristin Wiig in an orange lace dress.</p><p>— Welch in a cream-colored, organza tiered dress by Alexander McQueen's Sarah Burton, who also dressed Cate Blanchett in a black feather gown with ostrich hem.</p><p>— Rihanna in a black leather gown with crocodile-style embossing by Tom Ford, who additionally wardrobed Justin Timberlake and Brady.</p><p>— Sofia Vergara in a silver-embroidered illusion column dress with fan-style pleated tulle bodice by Marchesa, which also dressed Leighton Meester in a gold embroidered illusion dress.</p><p>— Amy Adams in a cream one-shoulder silk chiffon gown with black velvet insert from Giambattista Valli Haute Couture.</p><p>— Emily Blunt in salmon pink gown with cutouts by Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein, who also dressed Rosario Dawson. Klein's menswear creative director Italo Zucchelli wardrobed Victor Cruz and Amar'e Stoudemire.</p><p>— Camilla Belle in a delicate ivory tulle beaded dress from Ralph Lauren, who also dressed Michelle Dockery of "Downton Abbey" and Tebow.</p><p>— Renee Zellweger in a black illusion gown with an open back by Emilio Pucci.</p><p>— Katharine McPhee in a coral-colored, square-neck embroidered gown.</p><p>— Jessica Pare in a gold-and-bronze, second-skin sequined gown by L'Wren Scott, who came with boyfriend Mick Jagger.</p><p>— Amber Heard in an orchid-colored bustier gown by Zac Posen.</p><p>— Dianna Agron in a jade-green gown by Carolina Herrera with a peplum and snakeskin wrap belt.</p><p>— Brooklyn Decker in a slate-blue pleated gown with floral appliques by Tory Burch.</p><p>— Lea Michele in a blue gown with plunging neckline by Diane von Furstenberg.</p><p>— Claire Danes in J. Mendel white silk asymmetrical gown with embroidery.</p><p>— Ginnifer Goodwin in a Monique Lhuillier tangerine silk chiffon cap sleeve gown.</p><p>— Kirsten Dunst in an orange-and-cream, double-breasted, jacket-style gown by Rodarte.</p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p> <br><p> is often called fashion's Oscars, but honestly, we think it's bigger than that. Where else do you get every major Oscar star and fashion's most powerful names all together on one red carpet?</p><p>At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, of course, where Anna Wintour, Miuccia Prada and Carey Mulligan are welcoming the most glamorous stars on Earth at tonight's Costume Institute's annual ball. This year, fashion's finest are celebrating Prada as well as , who together comprise the Costume Institute's new exhibition, </p><p>So who's showing up to fete Prada, Schiap and all of fashion's finest? See our continually updated slideshow for all the red carpet glam. Vote on your favorite look of the night, follow for live-tweeting throughout the night and check out and .<br></p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p> <br><p>After the party it's the after party!</p><p>The 2012 Met Gala was Monday night, and the biggest stars strutted in the most impressive dresses with the greatest designers alive. The Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit at the center of the evening was the Costume Institute's "Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations." captured the gleaming madness of the red carpet arrivals spectacularly, but once the ball was over the same beautiful people and dresses headed to the real party -- the after parties. </p><p>Mick Jagger, Emma Stone, Karlie Kloss, Cloe Sevigny and more ran around town from parties at the Boom Boom Room and the Ukrainian Institute of America. Knick Amare Stoudemire escorted Ciara Princess Harris, Jason Wu was arm in arm with model Karlie Kloss, and Justin Long spent a lot of time hanging out with a dude with a giant radio around his neck. </p><p>Of course the only to way to pretend to have been there is to browse these photos, below. So check them out!</p><p><br></p> <br><p>As you might have heard (if you have that thing called the Internet), tonight is the . </p><p>While most of the fashion press is previewing the exhibit as we speak, Vogue editors are wrapping up their dress fittings and doing hair run-throughs for the Queen of the Met Gala herself, Anna Wintour. According to (including this AM), the Vogue editor-in-chief requested that the editors attending tonight's ball send her pics of themselves in their chosen dresses with several different hair options. Oh, and .</p><p>Yes, cue the Anna Wintour as Regina George jokes. (Think if Grace Coddington wears her signature black instead, Anna will shriek, "You can't sit with us!!"? We would die.) </p><p>The color choice, it would seem, is in honor of Elsa Schiaparelli, who was known for her signature "shocking pink." Schiaparelli is one of two designers being honored at the which will compare and contrast Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada. </p><p>Fashionista did us a solid by , so we have an idea of what to expect. But we're still truly baffled by the idea of Wintour herself wearing pink. green, black, earth tones and the occasional orange -- but picturing the famously icy editor in fuchsia is a tad difficult. </p><p>In about six hours, we won't have to picture it -- all will be revealed on the Met Gala red carpet, livestreamed on , (the event's sponsor) and . We'll also be chronicling the stars every move both here and And you don't even need to wear pink to follow along. </p><p>What will the stars wear tonight? Take a peek at the best Met Gala fashion from 2011:<br></p> <br><p>Just when (SCF is totally a real ailment -- ask any fashion blogger), a new announcement worth talking about: Mia Wasikowska is the new face of Miu Miu!</p><p> and there are a few more , all showing the "The Kids Are All Right" actress in maroon floral prints against a blindingly bright background. </p><p>The color palette is bizarre and the mix of prints garish but totally work, achieving a perfect balance of ugly-chic as only Miuccia Prada can. </p><p>The Mia-Miu Miu pairing, which will presumably replace , makes perfect sense and not only because of the cutely matching names. Like Miu Miu, Mia is a well-known name but not in-your-face famous, and she experiments with both movie roles and beauty choices for playful, unpredictable results. </p><p>The ads aren't our absolute favorite of the season (that honor goes to ) but we're definitely excited to see what else Mia and Miu Miu will do together. </p><p>Below, see the spots as well as a shot of Mia at Miu Miu's Spring 2011 fashion week show. </p><p>PHOTOS:</p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p> <br><p>Does fashion follow politics?<br> <br>With every politician invoking the need for change, the fashion industry seems to be capitalizing on it.</p><p>A rundown of the latest or what is soon to be the greatest trends--and why I love them.</p><p>1. Tie Dye. The fashion expression of freedom and creativity is back. And it's one of the fairest trends of all. No need to envy the pixie stick wearing a Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton number. Because this is one trend you can add your spin to it. Or make that rubber band. How to avoid looking like you're a tourist or hippie? </p><p>2. Punk hair. Not mohawks. It's more of the strands of fuchsia, hot pink, and violet hair. I'm thinking it's a great way to cover up frizzies or excuse my bad hair days. Manic Panic, anyone? It's sooo... Vivienne Westwood!</p><p>3. Bonding with women over political picks and not shoes. It's become the cocktail fodder of choice amongst the most stylish.</p><p>4. Beads! Beads! Think love beads. Ain't nothing stone cold about them.</p><p>5. Cut-off jean shorts. Buying two sizes up in jeans sans guilt? It's just what everyone could use. The only annoying part is that you still have to shave your legs.</p><p>6. Headscarves. Rain and humidity can get to your head.</p><p>7. Pink slips. Hopefully, it's only going to be of the silk variety.</p><p>Michelle Obama and Jill Biden spent their 100th day in Washington bagging food for hungry children at the Capital Area Food Bank. .</p><p>For the occasion both women went super casual. The first lady wore cropped gray capri pants and a yellow argyle cardigan with silver and metallic pink sneakers. Dr. Biden did preppy chic in a blue and white striped shirt paired with cropped white pants and silver flats.</p><p>UPDATE: The first lady's kicks are Lanvin cap toe sneakers, as ID'd by websites and and the , and range between $540 and $565 . The argyle sweater is from J. Crew, of course.</p><p>See photos below.</p><p></p> <br><p></p><p>A Conversation with Matt McGinley from The Gym Class Heroes</p><p>Mike Ragogna: Hey Matt, how are you doing?</p><p>Matt McGinley: Hey Mike. </p><p>MR: Thanks for sharing some time with us while you're on tour. </p><p>MM: Actually, I'm at home, which is slightly more comfortable than a tour, but unfortunately, with less music being played. We were on tour and our singer Travis got pretty ill, so we're kind of just taking it day by day and unfortunately canceling shows as he was in the hospital. So, that's kind of where we're at right now. </p><p>MR: Sorry about his illness.</p><p>MM: It's all good, we're all human and everyone needs time to get better.</p><p>MR: Speaking about getting better, you guys seem to be getting more high profile, like on "Stereo Hearts" with Adam Levine joining you. What's the story behind that song?</p><p>MR: So how did "Stereo Hearts" come together?</p><p>MM: That's a song that we actually worked on with producer Benny Blanco. He kind of came to us with this rough skeleton of a song--it had that reference chorus in there. We thought it was really cool and we started working on it, and the possibility of getting Adam Levine to sing that chorus was presented to us. It was kind of something we just jumped at. We've been big Maroon 5 fans since their first album, Songs About Jane. Obviously, it's a huge opportunity for our band. I always tend to think of us as the perpetual underdogs. Whenever we're presented with the opportunity with working with other incredible artists, it's always a big deal for us.</p><p>MR: Let's take everybody back to when you and Travie first got together to start the band. </p><p>MM: Yeah, I had just started high school and I met Travis the first day of school. He was in my math class and gym. He was a few years older than me, so it was a little weird that we had math class together. I think Travis has always been this wise, intelligent, academically underachieving individual. It kind of only made sense that he would be a few years behind when it came to math because he was more interested in art and poetry. We sort of linked up in Gym Class, and typically, we would hang out and talk about music, while the other kids got athletic and sweaty. It was a connection for us, and he was actually playing drums in another band. I was playing drums in another group of guys that would later become Gym Class Heroes. We didn't have a singer, we were just playing these weird instrumental, funk, jazz songs that would really go nowhere and drone on and on. We were playing a friend's party, and Travis' band was playing there as well. When we were sort of just jamming, he came up and grabbed the mic and started rapping over the stuff that we were creating. It just kind of clicked. We could tell even the small group of kids that were there to watch us perform were really into it as well. Gym Class Heroes really began after that, really just with the sole purpose of making music for our friends. That was always our barometer of whether a song was good or not, whether our friends were into it or not. To me, that's going to always be at the forefront of why we're writing music. I guess it becomes more difficult to do as you progress in your career in terms of establishing yourself as a mainstream, commercial or radio artist. With this new album Papercut Chronicles II, it's kind of something to strive to get back to as far as the naivety and writing songs that don't identify or subscribe to one type of music or a certain type of song structure. On the original Papercut Chronicles, we didn't even have proper songs. It might just be a 60-bar verse and then an outro. That's something that we kind of tried to get back to on this one. </p><p>MR: Cool. By the way, you guys definitely aren't underdogs anymore.</p><p>MM: I don't think I will ever be happy to hear that. (laughs) I sort of like the challenge of constantly feeling like you have something to prove. I definitely don't want to ever lose that spirit and become content or relegated to any success we have. I think once you're content with where you're at, you're kind of losing. We would like to be Charlie Sheen winning as underdogs for the rest of our career. </p><p>MR: How does the creative process work with the group?</p><p>MM: It really goes a variety of ways and we don't really have a particular formula. With Gym Class Heroes, there's really not one songwriter in the band. I know a lot of bands have one guy who really fleshes out the song and then brings this thing to present to the band. Sometimes, I see bands like that, and I just say I wish we had that because it just seems so easy to hear other songwriters talk about that. For us, it tends to be a collective process and a bit of a democracy when it comes to writing songs. Everyone in the band has their own background, and I think it's great. Everyone has their own superpowers, almost, that creates something stronger than we can create on our own. </p><p>MR: Right, like if Travie comes in and is starting to rap something, it's not like you're going to back that down. Is the dynamic that whoever is bringing something in is a pro at it so you leave them alone?</p><p>MM: No, I don't think so. It's important that everybody be into it. If we're writing a song, and someone plays something that just isn't connecting, you can kind of sense it without having to have a sit down discussion with them about it. At the same time, I think it's important to be open with how you're feeling and just be keeping communication alive when you're writing. I think we're all reasonable enough people where it's not going to affect us deeply and it's not going to hurt us deeply if someone has constructive criticism. Maybe fourteen years ago when we started the band, it would have been a different story. I definitely remember Travis and I having really heated arguments over parts of the song. Looking back on that, I think we've grown a lot and become more mature to the point that it doesn't need to escalate to that level; but in a way, I kind of miss that. I kind of miss just being so passionate about a certain part that I actually would have to get into a verbal altercation with my singer. It's kind of interesting because on the first Papercut Chronicles, I think we were still in that immature headspace. Some of those songs on that album never would have made it on that album if not for one of us really getting vocal about it and pleading our cases. Looking back on it, I'm so happy those did happen because I'm so excited we have those songs in our catalog of music. </p><p>MR: There's the song "The Fighter" with Ryan Tedder, its concept, to me, being the idea of living life fully 'til you're dead. Are you in that headspace?</p><p>MM: I want to be. I think at times, I'm definitely not. If anything, that song is a rowdy anthem for never giving up and standing up and getting your stuff together. I think that's one of the more inspiring and special songs on the album. I can't wait to get it out there and I'm hoping people take the message as personally as we intended to write it.</p><p>MR: Linking to that theme, there's "Life Goes On." That's your new single with Oh Land right?</p><p>MM: Yeah, it's kind of a gray area. It's sort of a soft viral release. I don't know if it's getting pushed to commercial radio or anything like that. Definitely, a really awesome song.</p><p>MR: It really speaks to me, especially the midlife crisis lines. (laughs) </p><p>MM: Yeah, for sure. To us, it's definitely from the heart. We've spent the last years of our lives perpetually on tour, constantly away from family, friends and loved ones, so the songs are kind of a response to some of the feelings of dealing with being away from girlfriends, wives, kids and everything. I think it's kind of a little voyeuristic peek into our personal lives for the last six years. </p><p>MR: Linking on to that, there's also the song "Ass Back Home" with Neon Hitch.</p><p>MM: Oh yeah, that's a song we are super stoked on. We're actually working on the video for that tomorrow in New York. </p><p>MR: What's the background on the song "Ass Back Home." </p><p>MM: That's another one that's very reflective of the touring lifestyle. We've always had this idea of shooting a video in a documentary style tour video (style). So, we're kind of going to shoot that one, in a way, from the cameraman's perspective or watching like you're on a journey and a ride with us, coming along to the shows and the backstage and tour buses, and dressing rooms. It should be a fun one.</p><p>MR: "Stereo Hearts" was a number top ten record, right? </p><p>MM: It could be, I'm really bad at following the charting success of the songs. </p><p>MR: That's a healthy sign. </p><p>MM: It's really difficult for me to think about the marketability of the songs. I think as long as I can passionately play the songs every night, that's the most important thing. </p><p>MR: I want to ask you about the song "Holy Horses**t Batman!" It takes so many swings at religion in a lyrical, poetic way. What's your viewpoint about even being solicited about religion? Which is the premise for this song initially in the lyrics. </p><p>MM: As far as the song goes, that song took a pretty drastic turn. It's an interestingly phrased song as far as the lyrics go. It's not really confirming or denying the religious aspects. For me, personally, I really identify with those lyrics because I'm not necessarily for or against religion, I'm still searching just like anybody. I think the song puts it out there that we're people that don't have all of the answers and are confused just like everyone else. That song's really interesting, it's one of my favorites. When we originally wrote it, it was a song called "Rain, Rain," and Travis lyrically re-imagined it and that's something we've never explored in our music. I think Travis is kind of known for tackling for a huge range of concept and themes. To finally address religion in a song, even as a member of the band, it's something we're finally tackling. Some people can receive it with an open mind and hopefully make some people think. </p><p>MR: Is "Solo Discotheque" what I think it's about?</p><p>MM: I haven't really picked Travis's brain about that track, but I think it's basically about dancing around your room naked. At least that's what I get from listening to it. That's definitely a pretty important song for this album because we probably wrote 30 to 40 song ideas for this album and that was the very first song idea we wrote. It was sort of darker melodies and tones on that one, it kind of steered the album as a whole really in that direction. That's a pretty important song for this record. </p><p>MR: What advice might you have for new artists? </p><p>MM: I think first and foremost, artists have a lot of success when they put the most emphasis on the music. I think people tend to have this notion that if they get the right people to hear my music and I will achieve success. I think if you're doing something right and you're doing something special and important, then people will find you. The world we live in right now with the internet, it's giving artists the opportunity to get outside of their home, town, and country with the click of a button. It's a pretty important avenue for artists to utilize the internet, and being able to a garnish humongous following without leaving their bedroom. </p><p>MR: What are your thoughts about Occupy Wall Street? </p><p>MM: I don't know much about the issues, to be honest. If nothing else, I'm glad people are taking a stand on something. It's an interesting thing to watch from an outsider who knows little about the issues. I was actually staying in New York for a few days last week and when I got home, I was super bummed out that I didn't go down there to check out what was going on firsthand, instead of having to read about it in the news.</p><p>MR: Do you have any words of wisdom? </p><p>MM: Live long and prosper. (laughs) </p><p>MR: Any predictions about Gym Class Heroes over the next year? </p><p>MM: We're going to be out on the road a lot, always playing live is so important to us. We just hope to remain consistent and making quality music. </p><p>MR: Papercut Chronicles III?</p><p>MM: That's hard to even think about. I think we might table that one for a second and explore some other areas. Who knows...in ten years...come back to complete the trilogy.</p><p>MR: Hope to talk to you again before that. Thanks so much, Matt. </p><p>MM: Thanks a lot, man. </p><p>Tracks:<br>1. Za Intro<br>2. Martyrial Girls<br>3. Life Goes On - with Oh Land<br>4. Stereo Hearts - with Adam Levine of Maroon 5<br>5. Solo Discotheque (Whiskey Bitness)<br>6. Holy Horses**t, Batman!<br>7. Ass Back Home - with Neon Hitch<br>8. Nil-Nil-Draw<br>9. Lazarus, Ze Gitan<br>10. The Fighter - with Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic<br>11. Kid Nothing And The Never-Ending Naked Nightmare</p><p>Transcribed by Theo Shier</p><p><br></p><p>A Conversation with David Nail</p><p>Mike Ragogna: David, you've been on tour with Taylor Swift, you've had top ten country singles, and you have a new album, The Sound Of A Million Dreams. Do you feel the momentum?</p><p>David Nail: Yeah, I think that there's a combination of a lot of things. Just spending a few years out on the road and really huffing it...I think we played one hundred-seventy shows last year and we're probably going to have that many again this year. It's just about having a record out and then going on the road to more or less try to build it, and we've done that. We've had six or seven really strong spots throughout the country where we've gone in as a complete unknown, and then slowly, over time, we're now almost on the verge of outgrowing some of the venues. Take, for example, in Carbondale, Illinois, where we'd actually never played before, and we darn near sold the place out. I really think this record is going to enhance that growth, you know what I mean? It's a better record than the last record. I think it's more intriguing on the ears. It's bigger and hopefully, it will entice people to want to come out and see us live, which I think is our strongest asset. </p><p>MR: As far as the songwriting, you've got Keith Urban, Scooter Carusoe, and Billy Montana. Actually, before we get too much further here, I want to congratulate you on your World Series performance.</p><p>DN: Thank you so much. It was definitely a blur. I was telling someone earlier that it seems like that was a month ago, and it was only about five days ago. We flew in--it was kind of a blur of two days--and then the next day, we were back out on the road, so there was not really a lot of time to digest it all but it definitely felt good.</p><p>MR: Nice. Did you get to visit with either of the teams while you were there?</p><p>DN: I have several people that I'm friends with and in touch with on the Cardinals--I don't really know any of the Rangers. But I saw a few guys at a couple of parties after the game. For the most part, they were obviously running a mile a minute too. It was nice and it was very satisfying to see them accomplish such an amazing thing.</p><p>MR: David, what's the story behind "Let It Rain" on The Sound Of A Million Dreams? It was written by you and Jonathan Singleton, but what else have you got?</p><p>DN: This is the first time we'd ever written together. If you know anything about Jon, he's a a phenomenal guitar player, a great singer and right away, he just started playing that guitar riff. In a weird way, my excitement level went from really excited to just extremely fired up because I'm not a great guitar player, so to have someone sitting across from me playing something so unique made me know that it was really special. It really came together rather easily. As he began mumbling words and singing some of the melody, a lot of what he was saying was really good, so we tried to just take it. It's obviously a very unflattering subject matter, but we were trying to just showcase a guy that truly acknowledges the significance of what he had just done and is willing to do whatever it takes to make up for this mistake, if that is even possible. It was really, really easy, and some of it just sort of fell out and actually Jonathan and I have gotten together a couple times since. We're always kind of dumbfounded by why we can't recreate that same kind of chemistry. </p><p>MR: I love how in the song, you see that that just one night of infidelity upsets the whole trust that you've built up, in this case, over seven years.</p><p>DN: You can have the most amazing relationship--five years, ten years, fifty years--and all it really takes is just that one moment to throw a wrecking ball into all of that.</p><p>MR: Now, I don't know if this is ever going to be a single, but my favorite song on the album is "She Rides Away." What an emotional recording.</p><p>DN: Thank you so much. That's definitely one of my favorites. That's a song where we got the demo and it was really different than anything we'd heard before, and really different than anything I had ever really entertained recording. The more I listened to it--I don't want to say that I knew it had potential because the demo was great, but I just felt like this was something we could elaborate on and really make cool even more so than it already was. So, we went in, and to be honest with you, in a weird way, we really struggled with it. It was a tough one to get down. We couldn't, for whatever reason, figure it out. We were all kind of sitting in the studio and one of the guitar players had remained in the actual studio itself and began messing with this guitar effect. We all just kind of looked at each other and said, "Wow, that's it." We went back in, and all of a sudden, there was just this new found energy. I can remember listening to the first few mixes that we got and emailing my producer to say, "Man, I think this is the coolest thing we've ever done." It's just really unique and really different from anything we've ever done before.</p><p>MR: I love the concept that she tells you right from the start that she's going.</p><p>DN: That's one of my favorite lines that I've ever recorded, "She told me when I met her she would leave me, like it was written in red letters." It's just such a genius line. It's that classic case of that one you know is probably bad from the start, but for whatever reason...you know it's bad, but you just can't keep from chasing after it.</p><p>MR: Yeah, I know what you mean. I want to ask you something about your history here. This is officially your second album, but technically it's your third, right? You had one that was self-titled that never came out that you worked on with Keith Stegall.</p><p>DN: Yeah, back in '01, I made a record for Mercury Records. We had a single out and it didn't do very well--barely charted I think. To be honest with you, that was a huge heartbreaking moment, but looking back, it was so necessary. I had moved to town at twenty years old and got a record deal very quickly, then the next thing you know, you're making a record, doing a photo shoot in LA, and it's all this craziness. As a young kid, I just thought, "Wow, this is easy." I made some choices that I definitely wouldn't make now at thirty-two years old. I think it was a classic case of not being ready and being extremely young. So, I spent the next seven or eight years kind of figuring out my way, and lo and behold, I ended up back at Universal, this time on MCA, with a lot of the same people, and it was just an amazing opportunity. They've been like family to me for a long time.</p><p>MR: Well, at that point, you had Luke Lewis overseeing everything, and I think that changed the vibe of how the creative teams and promotional teams are working records these days.</p><p>DN: Yeah, Luke's an amazing boss, and I told him the other night, "The freedom that you allow your artist's to just go and do their own thing is truly an amazing thing." </p><p>MR: Yeah, in the old days, the truly good A&R guys were the ones who used to leave the artists alone and just sort of facilitated. The nasty A&R guys were the ones who always seemed to need to manipulate things and become back seat producers.</p><p>DN: Totally.</p><p>MR: Let's continue with your history. What got you into country music?</p><p>DN: My father was a band director and listened to all kinds of music. He had a very extensive record collection, and really, country music wasn't a part of that. So, I grew up listening to everything. I was in my late teens before I realized that all my friends weren't listening to Elton John, The Beatles, The Stones, The Commodores, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and Lionel Ritchie. I was astonished to know that that wasn't the current music. Then, in the '90s, I found country music with everybody else, and just enthralled myself with it. I really began to research the history of the genre, and that's when I found a guy by the name of Glen Campbell who really just completely changed my life as far as singing. Even today, I try to emulate the strength and power of his voice, both from a range standpoint and also a communication standpoint.</p><p>MR: When I was a kid, Glen Campbell was the first country artist that I came to love. There are a lot of people that are really sad right now that Glen has recorded and released his last album.</p><p>DN: I think that he just has that cool factor. There are certain people who have that aura of, "It doesn't really matter what I'm dealing with right now, I'm just cool." There's a degree of kind of a James Dean-esque quality to his persona. If you talk to people who've known him for years, they'll tell you, "Oh, he's just a regular guy. He's so down to Earth." I think there are only a few people that have that aura--you think of like a Tom Brady or Michael Jordan, where there's just this pristine film around them, and Glen has just always been one of those guys to me.</p><p>MR: Getting further into your history, you were a Pi Kappa Alpha over at Arkansas State.</p><p>DN: In my childhood, I was kind of the classic case of, "Okay, I can say that I've done that now." Even now, I guess there's a degree of that in how I live my life. I went to junior college, I played baseball, and I was like, "Okay, I can say I've done that now." While I was doing that, all my friends were in other schools, joining fraternities and sororities, and I'm hearing all these stories about how fun it is, and I wanted to be able to say that I did that. So, I moved back home and went to college at Arkansas State, about forty-five minutes from where I grew up. I joined a fraternity and I learned how to party. I formed some great friendships, and after being there for a year and a half, I could say, "Well, I can say I did that. Now, I need to figure out how I'm going to do this music thing, which is what I want to do for the rest of my life."</p><p>MR: Right. Now, we talked about your unreleased first album, but you did put out I'm About To Come Alive. You're first single off that was the title track, "I'm About To Come Alive," which, of course, is the Train song from their My Private Nation album. What turned you onto Train and especially to do that song?</p><p>DN: Well, in my mid-twenties, I started singing at a place called The Tin Roof in Nashville--it was really the first and only time I had performed regularly around town. I was going through a rough stretch personally, and I was a huge Train fan already. I've always been a huge fan, and I think Pat is the best singer I've ever heard, male or female. The My Private Nation album came out, and a buddy of mine got the record early, so we were driving around and he played me that song. I can remember exactly where we were when I first heard it and I don't think I got through the whole song before I began starting it over. I immediately started playing the song live. Obviously, it wasn't a single for them, and still so many people had never heard it, so most of them would never have known that it was a Train song. I think people that would come see me play would always talk about it and assume that it was one of mine. I've always said that that's one of the true un-enjoyable moments, to have to break the news that, "No, that's not, in fact, one of my songs. I just think it's brilliantly written." When it came time to make that first record, Frank, my producer, had caught wind of this acoustic version of the song that I'd done and he just said, "Hey, it's obvious this song is extremely close to you and means a lot to you. I just think we should do it." It just was the perfect title of the record too. Here I am at twenty-eight years old, making my introduction to the music world out there after eight years of ups and downs. It was very ironic that it served as the title too.</p><p>MR: And you also had the hit "Red Light" off of that album, and "Turning Home," another biggie from that album.</p><p>DN: Yeah, I've always said that "Turning Home" was the most important song of my career. It's brilliantly written, and it's the first song I ever felt like, "Man, here's a song that I can really sing." I just gravitated towards the emotion in it. It got nominated for a Grammy, and I think it's kind of been my signature song.</p><p>MR: Can you go into the songs "Half Mile Hill" and "That's How I'll Remember You"?</p><p>DN: "Half Mile Hill" was the last song that we cut and kind of the last song that came in the picture. It's a very reflective song of your youth. I really wanted to stay away from those songs because they were so much a part of my first record, but when I heard this song, it just killed me, and it was really just a matter of it being an amazing song. We really thought it would be just a bonus track, but it turned out so great. Every time I'd sing it in the studio, I just felt like it was an extremely important part of the record. "That's How I'll Remember You" is one of the first songs we cut. I'm a huge baseball fan, so the fact that it references baseball in the second verse was really cool for me. I think we've all been there when you break up with somebody and you kind of refuse to acknowledge the bad. You just want to focus on the good and leave everything pleasant. </p><p>MR: And sometimes because there is so much passion involved, you just can't do the right thing in those situations.</p><p>DN: Yeah, for sure.</p><p>MR: I wanted to ask you about your GAC appearance on the show Day Jobs. How did it go?</p><p>DN: It was great, man. It was an awesome opportunity to kind of go back there and relive that summer of my life. </p><p>MR: What advice do you have for new artists?</p><p>DN: Get your college education first. I moved to town at twenty years old because I'd dropped out of three colleges, and there have been a whole lot of sleepless nights where I wonder if I made the right decision. You look when my first record came out, and hell, I could have been a doctor. I could have stayed in school for eight years or ten years. I was so fixated on moving over here and getting in the business at an early age, and I just think that having that background in education is a really important part. I'd also just tell them to write and to sing as much as possible. I made a record--and thank God hardly anybody heard it--when I was twenty years old. I didn't know how to sing then, and I didn't know who I was, I was just singing. There was nothing unique or different about me, and I hadn't lived enough to really tell the sort of stories that are at least interesting. I think that life experience is extremely important and I think that you have to have a little of that out before you start telling stories every night.</p><p>MR: Looking back at David Nail from when you first started 'til now, what is the biggest growth?</p><p>DN: Well, it's definitely harder to stay in shape. I could eat whatever I wanted to back then, but now, my metabolism is slower. I think that the biggest thing is just finding my voice. There was probably about three or four years there where all I did was sit in my bedroom with a twelve pack of beer, a guitar, and just sing for five or six hours straight. Those nights, I learned how to not only sing, but I kind of developed my voice, and hopefully, some sort of unique niche that there is a place for out there.</p><p>MR: Very nice. Now, you're going to be picking up touring again for this album, right?</p><p>DN: Oh yeah. We're working 'til the end of the year, and then we'll take off for the holidays. I'm not exactly sure where we'll start for the New Year, but we'll be working hard, man. The road is kind of, in a weird way, my mistress. I'll complain and want to go home, but then when I get home, I complain and want to get back out on the road. It's one of those things that my wife probably doesn't enjoy, but it's what I do now.</p><p>MR: Well, everybody's got their thing to do, as you pointed out in "Songs For Sale."</p><p>DN: Yeah, exactly. That song more or less just kind of says my philosophy. I'm no different than you, I just sing for a living. My job is no more important than yours, and in fact, in the grand scheme of things, it's probably the least important.</p><p>MR: But your job does give a lot of people joy.</p><p>DN: Well, this is what I was born to do, so the fact that people pay money for a record or to come see us play is icing on the cake and definitely makes all the travel and stuff worth it.</p><p>MR: What song haven't we talked about on this album that you feel a special connection to?</p><p>DN: Probably the song that was the most fun to record, and one that I just enjoy playing every night would be "Grandpa's Farm." This is a song that I heard one day. There's a guy by the name of Adam Hood who is a great singer-songwriter in town, and I had gotten a compilation of about forty of his songs. "Grandpa's Farm" was the first song on it, and it just blew my mind. It was really different, and it kind of reminded me of some old school kind of Elton John, Black Crows in it. It's just been a blast to play.</p><p>MR: Yeah, it rocks nicely. Thank you very much, David, for taking the time to talk with me today.</p><p>DN: My pleasure. I appreciate it. Any time. </p><p>Tracks:<br>1. Grandpa's Farm <br>2. Songs For Sale <br>3. Desiree <br>4. She Rides Away <br>5. Let It Rain <br>6. I Thought You Knew <br>7. Catch You While I Can <br>8. Half Mile Hill <br>9. That's How I'll Remember You<br>10. The Sound Of A Million Dreams <br>11. Catherine</p><p>Transcribed by Ryan Gaffney</p><p><br></p><p>A Conversation with Mike Hranica from The Devil Wears Prada</p><p>Mike Ragogna: We're talking with Mike Hranica from The Devil Wears Prada, how are you Mike?</p><p>Mike Hranica: I'm doing great.</p><p>MR: Lets talk about the recent album, Dead Throne. What was the approach creatively this time out?</p><p>MH: It was a little different than what we usually do when we write records, but at the same time, it was fundamentally the same in some regards. We wrote it a little bit different. Ever since we did our second record, it was a very confrontational realization that when you do a new record, the expectations are so exponentially higher. We've always dealt with that, and that plays a big part in when we write new music, but at the same time, we go into a record pretty loose. We never go into a record saying we need to have this and this, it all comes out pretty natural. The big difference musically was that we did focus on the heavier side of things, that's what we focused on when we did the Zombie EP last year, and fans really seemed to like it. Writing heavier music is not something that's unnatural to us, it felt very organic. We leaned in that direction and just went with it.</p><p>MR: You have a mobile game that coincides with the Zombie EP, how did that work?</p><p>MH: Really, when we did the Zombie EP last year, there's so much fun stuff you can do with a conceptual record like that. As far as when we put out the record, there was the comic book that you got if you pre-ordered it. It's just little things like that that give you room to explore when you did something like we did with the Zombie EP. I think the idea was founded by our drummer Daniel who always has creative ideas as far as online and social networking. He had the idea to do the app a long time ago. Unfortunately, through back end changes, we weren't able to do it. Early this year, it actually came into picture and became a reality. It took a really long time to make, we put out the game not that long ago. There goes a lot to go into coming up with a game like that. There's a lot of bands with apps, but ours is taking up the most space in my phone as far as apps, because it's pretty extensive. It is a full-blown iPhone, iPad, and iPod game. </p><p>MR: You guys probably know how many downloads of the app there are, it must be doing pretty well.</p><p>MH: Yeah, I don't have the exact number. With a lot of the app stuff, I've taken a back seat because there are much bigger app nerds in the band then myself. It has been great, I've seen a lot of great things. I've looked in the app store at the five star review thing, and last I looked, it was four or four and a half stars. So, I'm stoked and it's a fun project to do. Obviously, there is a lot more to do with a game like this. It's been a lot of fun and it's definitely an interesting market to be moving in as far as in the band world. There's always new things that come up that bands have to catch onto. The app store and the app world is definitely something to put some concentration into. </p><p>MR: And you guys are no stranger to Guitar Hero either. </p><p>MH: True. </p><p>MR: Do you play those games?</p><p>MH: I've played Guitar Hero. Again, Daniel our drummer, when we started our band, he was the only one with money because he was the only one with a full time job. The rest of us were in school or in college, and I remember he bought Guitar Hero as soon as it came out. It was sort of this abstract or strange idea for video games, but obviously, it just blew up huge. I remember going to his mom's house and playing it there years and years ago. I really think that was the last time I played it, but I couldn't be happier with The Devil Wears Prada on those games. There's a number of bands that I started listening to back then because I heard it on the game. I actually just saw something on Twitter where it said something like, "I just listened to this band The Devil Wears Prada, thanks Guitar Hero." It does a world of good, gaming like that.</p><p>MR: Now, you're classified as "metalcore," right? </p><p>MH: Something like that. </p><p>MR: It seems like this album is rocking harder than your previous one, With Roots Above And Branches Below. It seems like you guys are getting tougher as you're progressing as a band.</p><p>MH: Definitely. You know, it was weird, when we did With Roots Above..., we kept being called "screamo." I thought, "We've never tried to be a screamo band," but I play the old records and I guess I could see it be screamo. It was a realization for me when we did With Roots Above..., we're not trying to be that. The real good, post-hardcore and screamo bands these days are ashamed to call themselves screamo because it's such a bad stereotype with how many bad screamo bands there are. We did With Roots Above... in 2009. We were never setting out to be screamo, we were focusing more on metalcore. I wanted to put that in focus and put that on track, that was kind of what we did. The thing is that the songs and recordings are heavier now than what they were earlier, but I think a lot of the aggression has always been there, it just took us a few records and years to find how to control that, put that into a song, and record it. Since the beginning, we've always thought of ourselves as being aggressive and hard hitting. We're a six-year-old band now, and it took us to Dead Throne and started with ...Roots Above... to find how to record that, and really capture that whole sound. </p><p>MR: Are you getting a second glance by the Christian community as you're getting harder? Is there any kind of backlash? </p><p>MH: We might. When we did the Zombie EP, as soon as it came out, we thought we were going to get crap for this. People are going to buy like, "They're not Christian." The only thing we can do is laugh at it. To be frank, it's entirely ignorant. We can't pay attention to things like that anymore. To me, not trying to put myself above the criticism or judgment of other Christians, I make sure that the discipline I put myself through is all I need as far as making sure that the sound and the lyrics is what it needs to be within a Christian perspective. To answer you honestly, I don't know, there could be people out there that could be saying, "Death Throne is so heavy and evil, they're not Christian anymore." It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest bit, because we take flack from Christians all of the time; "I hear they cuss," or "I hear this guy drinks beer." I kind of just turn a deaf ear to people criticizing us for the wrong reasons. The fact of the matter is that whether it's heavier now or hard hitting, it doesn't matter because it's still just as truthful as it was Day One; still just as honest, and we're still just as sincere as ever about our faith. </p><p>MR: So, opinions like that don't affect or make you adjust your art either. </p><p>MH: No, not at all. Honestly, I can only call it a waste of time to be distracted with things like that. It's really not worth putting the attention into because it really doesn't change things. You can't face every critic and ever reviewer and justify yourself to them. I take that same point of view to the overly harsh Christian community.</p><p>MR: Mike, your group name "The Devil Wears Prada" is an anti-materialist statement right?</p><p>MH: Yeah. </p><p>MR: How did you come onto that name and concept?</p><p>MH: Way back in the day, actually before I joined the band, it was three guys--Chris, Dan, and James. They started jamming and really couldn't come up with a name and started jumping around these goofy names, and Chris's mom was reading the book and he thought it was a clever name, so they picked it. A year or two later, it became a hit best seller and a movie and all of this. It quickly became, "Shoot, we should have named it something else." It was definitely just a group of kids who were trying to make music and needed a name. We picked out this stupid band name and stupid song titles to the first three albums and everything. The meaning is always very serious behind the band, but we are very comical people and we do joke around incessantly. We just kind of picked out these ways to joke and unfortunately, the band name was one of them. Now, we definitely regret it and say, "It would have been better if we had taken the time to pick a better band name." It's too late now, but really, the thing we saw in the band name that we thought was clever was the idea of people taking materialistic ideas way too seriously. It's not to say that we don't like materialistic things, because we do; we like television and Apple products. But there's definitely a line being drawn between letting that go too far and focus on that more than the important things in life, which aren't the material things, rather, love, hope, grace, and faith.</p><p>MR: What advice do you have for new artists?</p><p>MH: It's really just be honest and express something. Now that I have been here for years and years, I can say that I've become more jaded than I'd like to admit. I see these bands and I see their intentions, and it's absolute garbage. For us, when we started the band, we had something we wanted to say, and we wanted to play every show we could and just get to play the shows, all of the local shows we were already going to, because we loved all of the local bands and (I) have all my favorites. I would see them every weekend...I would drive an hour or two every weekend. We just wanted to play those shows and we wanted to make music too. We did that and it was never about trying to do Warped Tour or have as many Twitter followers as possible or become these empty false celebrities. That's really what I see in young bands now is that it's always about taking photos and trying to come up with an internet presence before writing good songs. It's something very easy to fall into. </p><p>I'm not trying to say that we had the most perfect intentions; we made mistakes when we were young. The way I word it is that if you come up with the band and it sells a thousand records and you never get to tour full time, if you can be proud of those songs and you feel that those songs mean something to you and express who you are, then that is way better than selling 50,000 records under lies and music without any purpose, reason, or true content. I try to explain that to young fans and people wanting to picking up guitars or start playing in a band. Just remember that it is music, and music is not a look, it's expression and it's art, which is even hard to say nowadays, because I think the music scene has raped all art out of music. But that's a whole different story and I could rant about this all day. </p><p>MR: That could be the topic of our next interview. So, you have a seventeen-year-old fan, Dylan Chenfeld, who's a pretty talented musician himself, and he has a few burning questions. Can I throw them in?</p><p>MH: Yeah, absolutely.</p><p>MR: Thanks. What is a "Dead Throne"? </p><p>MH: A "Dead Throne" is something that the title track really tries to describe. I had the idea to call the record Dead Idols a long time ago, and the idea of Doing Idols, which doesn't roll off of the tongue too well, so instead...Dead Throne. It's precisely the same idea as far as putting idols onto this figurative or metaphorical throne and setting all of this stuff up. The title track tries to describe that and putting all of our carved images and man made objects all up on this throne when, as Christians, the only thing that should be on the throne is God.</p><p>MR: What does the upside down triangle logo mean? Does it tie into Dead Throne? </p><p>MH: It doesn't, the big misconception with the triangle is that it's "Dead Throne," but the triangle is The Devil Wears Prada. It will be used until we stop making records. We wanted something without letters or words that described the band, the same as Black Flag bars represent Black Flag, like black sheep represents Minor Threat. We wanted something like that and we came up with this triangle. A lot of people have been expecting this really meaningful explanation as to what the logo means. Really, we just worked with a designer and we wanted something that felt thought provoking, geometrically intriguing. We really didn't have many ideas. Besides that, I liked the idea of a triangle and I can't say it's too original because triangles are becoming very hip and trendy right now. I had the idea for a triangle, and the designer had the idea for three lines to represent a pitch fork, obviously, to resemble the devil in The Devil Wears Prada. It really doesn't have any meaning behind it, it's something you can see and instantly think The Devil Wears Prada or that brand and band. </p><p>MR: Will "Kansas" ever be performed? If yes, will you be playing guitar on it?</p><p>MH: I probably shouldn't be saying this, but we're performing "Kansas" right now on the Dead Throne tour. I don't like to give away the production secrets and the setlist for tours we're on, but we are playing "Kansas." I'm actually playing guitar on the song and it's actually my favorite song to play because I very much enjoy playing guitar. </p><p>MR: Thank you so much for your time Mike, lets definitely do this again. </p><p>MH: Thank you very much, it's much appreciated and thank you for having me. </p><p>Tracks:<br>1. Dead Throne <br>2. Untidaled <br>3. Mammoth <br>4. Vengeance <br>5. R.I.T. <br>6. My Questions <br>7. Kansas <br>8. Born To Lose <br>9. Forever Decay<br>10. Chicago <br>11. Constance<br>12. Pretenders<br>13. Holdfast</p><p>Transcribed By Theo Shier<br></p> <p>Follow Mike Ragogna on Twitter:</p><p>MILAN &mdash; The looks were sheer and the message for next summer from Milan was crystal clear: Fashion should be fun.</p><p>Many designers showing spring-summer collections during Milan Fashion Week made prominent use of sheer fabrics. But rather than being straight-out sexy, the effect was often an optical illusion, giving the eye more to feast on, not less.</p><p>At Missoni, a form-fitting tube dress in the label's trademark patterns was worn under a voluminous sheer organza dress, while Blugirl layered sheer over sheer, creating a romantic effect without really covering up.</p><p>Prints and graphic motifs popped up all over, with cheery floral patterns the most ubiquitous. Color was important, with apricot, sea foam green, powder pink, blues and earth tones as the background. White and black are perennials, but no longer dominate the show.</p><p>The kaleidoscope of uplifting color &ndash; and the prolific use of ribbons, ruffles, beading and glitter &ndash; could be a designer rebellion against the European financial crisis and an invitation for women to look on the brighter side of life.</p><p>"Basta (enough) drab colors!" said Lavinia Biagiotti, who runs the Biagiotti label with her `Queen of Cashmere" mom Laura. `'We need to come up with some anti-crisis vibes, and why not start with what we wear?"</p><p>Designers didn't dictate a hemline, giving women free reign. They seemed more interested in the upper silhouette, which was often loose and embellished with pleats, flounces and rich embroidery. Variety also reigned in the trouser department: Gauchos and pedal pushers, palazzo pajamas and cigarette pants, and even the occasional hot pants.</p><p>The big trend in shoes was high-heeled sandals strapped at the ankle. In a bit of season-bending, Ferragamo combined the high-heeled sandal with an over-the-knee boot.</p><p>Bad news for hair stylists, the look is long and unfussy. There were few hats, but lots of hand bands and head scarves.</p><p>Asia provided the inspiration for many designers &ndash; whether it was a stylistic tribute or a nod to the importance of the new markets for luxury labels was impossible to know. Prada deconstructed the kimono, Aquilano Rimondi incorporated elaborate obi sashes and Pucci embroidered dragons, tigers and snakes on silk chiffon.</p><p>Prada, already widely heralded for the upcoming season's designs, ended fashion week Monday by reporting first-half earnings up 60 percent from a year earlier due largely to Asia, but also to tourists visiting Europe. That's a net income of (EURO)286 million ($370 million) on revenues of (EURO)1.5 billion ($1.94 billion)</p><p>The fashion caravan now moves to Paris, where French designers will show their summer ready-to-wear wares.</p><p>CAVALLI</p><p>Roberto Cavalli closed the door on Milan Fashion Week with a show that had little to do with his trademark sexpot hype.</p><p>The Florentine designer's 2013 spring-summer collection opened with a series of white outfits combining chiffon with leather cut like lace, which set an elegant pace for the rest of the show.</p><p>White leather-lace pants fit tightly but looked classy, not trashy.</p><p>A series of outfits were also seen in delicately printed silk, pairing wide trousers or ladylike skirts with an extra-long jacket in the same print. The floral (usually jungle) prints came in pale green, pink, and apricot and at times were mixed with spotted and striped animal prints. Still, the effect was serene, rather than the usual sexual aggression evoked by jungle references.</p><p>There was serenity, too, in a series of negligee-inspired dresses. Despite their lacy embroidery and enticingly innocent styles, the models walking down the runway never crossed the line from sexy into vulgar.</p><p>DSQUARED</p><p>Leave it to Dean and Dan Caten to go over the top.</p><p>The Canadian twins behind the DSquared2 label hit the `'excess" button on their spring-summer 2013 womenswear collection, which was four parts black biker chic and one part ruffles and ribbons. The excess was especially strong on the accessories, with gold chains and strands of pearls draped by the dozen around models' necks.</p><p>Bare legs were the centerpiece of most of the outfits, be they cheek-baring hot pants, mini-dresses or even micro-minis small enough to confuse with belts. The looks were paired with high-heeled leather sandals or boots for maximum sex appeal.</p><p>The collection reached a crescendo with a gown fit for Alice in Wonderland's Queen of Hearts. Mini in the front, the dress rippled out to an oversized squared train, edged with wide purple-and-black ribbon. A large ruffle fanned over the bust in this creation strictly for the statuesque.</p><p>`'Unapologetically sexy and rigorously glamour, `' the twins wrote in their fashion notes. `'Nothing exceeds like excess."</p><p>FERRE</p><p>The designing team of Federico Piaggi and Stefano Citron presented their third runway collection for the label since taking over last year. The company has had a troubled design succession since the sudden death in 2007 of founder Gianfranco Ferre.</p><p>Their new collection had hints of Asia, including a bustier embroidered with snakes and maxi-obis that become mini-dresses. Asymmetric shorts and quilted skirts were paired with tailored white shirts &ndash; a clear reference to the style of the late founder.</p><p>The new owners, the Dubai-based Paris Group, have reiterated their commitment to maintain the fashion house's base in Milan &ndash; even though the headquarters and the show theater no longer belong to the label but to Ferre's brother.</p><p></p><p>MILAN - Strong and yet soft are the watchwords for the next winter season.</p><p>The looks are demure, but with an edge that is expressed largely through the materials — leather and big shaggy fur — and military accents. Details give a feminine feel: pleats, beads, feathers and bubble sleeves.</p><p>Many designers showing their winter wears on the second day of Milan Fashion Week on Thursday favour ankle boots, either equestrian-style or Victorian, most with extra-high heel.</p><p>The pantsuit is making a comeback, but not at the expense of dresses, which permeate the runways.</p><p>The basic palette is black or white, with bursts of colour ranging from autumn hues to bright yellow, purple and red. Multicoloured patterns also make an appearance.</p><p>PRADA</p><p>Miuccia Prada's collection has some basic building blocks: cropped pants worn either under a long skirt, with a short jacket, an empire-waisted long coat or sleeveless vest for a layered look.</p><p>Details make the difference.</p><p>Elegant black combinations were the backbone of the collection. Some long coats featured tails, a look Prada launched for men last month. Oversized beads ringed pant hemlines, decorated the bodice like so many brooches, or created a vertical pattern down the skirt.</p><p>Want to know how to rock a pantsuit? United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sure knows how. This is her on a recent trip to Asia.<br></p><p>The empire waist of the jackets and dresses provide a flattering silhouette.</p><p>Even with the heavily layered look, Prada's lines remain impeccably clean — both ethnic and elegant.</p><p>After the introduction in black, Prada exploded with brocade prints recalling hip 1960s upholstery in bright orange, pink, green and purple.</p><p>Long printed coats dipping below the knee and belted high with a jewelled buckle were paired with cropped pants, the better to show off the comfortable flat Mary Janes with bright rubber soles — an antidote to the super-high-heeled strapped pumps.</p><p>Prada brought back the pant suit, a look which is popping up all over Milan, but she also sometimes paired complementary prints, say a purple and red hexagon vest over brown and black diamond pants, leaving lots of room for the Prada woman to mix and match.</p><p>A fiesta of bags accessorized the look, including Prada favourites from doctor bags to tiny cellphone-sized evening purses. Models wore dark eye makeup, and long hair extensions often in contrasting colours.</p><p>———</p><p>FENDI</p><p>There's something of a Nordic warrior in Fendi's womenswear collection for next fall and winter.</p><p>Fresh from the hunt, the Fendi woman is draped in fur — sometimes in bright warpath yellow, more often in earth tones — or clad in leather, crocodile, or eel. Her accessories, from thick belts that double-cinch to oversized collars, create an armoured look, tough and resilient.</p><p>Many of the clothes were stiff and deconstructed, but not without feminine touches like pleated skirts and puffy sleeves.</p><p>Silvia Fendi Venturini, who collaborates with Karl Lagerfeld, called the collection "strong, sweet and soft."</p><p>The collection's accents were both old-fashioned and modern. A violet blue tailored woollen coat featured balloon shoulders that finished in long sleeves, while two-toned Victorian tie or button-up ankle boots, worn with ripped tights, completed most outfits. To keep it contemporary, there also were square IPad cases carried by handles.</p><p>Leather gave the collection its toughness, but that wasn't the final word. Leather dresses or skirts were cut out to allow a lightweight pleated skirt to sway alluringly.</p><p>Fur was not only shaggy and voluminous, screaming for attention in multicolour, but also light and wispy. A fitted shearling dress had wisps of fur at the shoulders, while a straight dress featured a ring of fur around the hips.</p><p>Colours were mostly earthy brown, black and blue with some crimson, mustard and peacock. Models wore double braids, white eye shadow and partially rimmed cat glasses.</p><p>———</p><p>MAX MARA</p><p>Max Mara meets Lili Marlene could be the title for the latest womenswear signature collection from the fashion group known for its fashionable yet easy-to-wear styles.</p><p>The theme for next winter is without a doubt military, as epitomized by the army cap that appeared throughout the show, and the khaki green palette.</p><p>Military coats, duffel coats and toggle sweaters all combine to make up a bold collection for a woman who likes to be in control, and at the same time dares to be different. Leather and alligator print inserts in a dropped waist and leather half-belts accentuate the military feel of the collection.</p><p>But the latter-day Lili is as much at ease in her fatigue pants gathered at the hem like a parachute as she is in her tailored shorts worn under a long sheepskin coat. Classic Max Mara styles such as the camel coat are given a new twist when fashioned into a power jumpsuit.</p><p>For a night at the officers club, she wears a sailor-striped jumpsuit highlighted with art deco tassels, but never lets go of her hat. Here black and white join the army shades.</p><p>Fabrics make all the difference. Far from military wool felt, these uniforms are made out of angora, patterned knits and a whole range of soft leathers and wool fabrics.</p><p>Footwear could hardly be anything but booties with an aggressive heel, but an occasional Mary Jane in silver mirrored leather softens the look. Leg and arm warmers accompany many outfits, a trend that seems to be making a comeback on the Milan preview runway.</p><p>———</p><p>BLUGIRL</p><p>Whether cheerleader or Siberian siren Anna Molinari's girl will have a vast wardrobe to chose from next winter, according to the designer's latest Blugirl collection.</p><p>By day, she is on campus cheering on the local football team, in a bright argyle knit skating skirt, oversized sweater and red duffel coat. By night, she morphs into an icy vixen in a white beaded chiffon gown with Mongolian fur moon boots and matching fur hat.</p><p>In between she's the life of the cocktail party in combinations of candy-coloured pink, yellow and green pastels. Her dress is fashioned out of fur, her gloves sparkle with sequins and her two tone high-heeled pastel lace-ups could be the envy of Mary Poppins.</p><p>Musts in the Blugirl's winter wardrobe are cosy knit leg warmers (a favourite on the current Milan runway), furry ear muffs and a pair of fingerless gloves — a reminder that designer Molinari's first thought is fashion not frost.</p> <br>eGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHR%2Bk7huUTK5GduMziZZw2K6rSnCeVSnLO4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFV<p>From wild platforms to over-the-top fringe, sometimes most memorable moments are indeed its most outrageous. </p><p>There were plenty of . Besides all the , oversized accessories, lightning bolts, wacky platforms and took a turn down the runway. As came to a close on Monday, we decided to gather all the truly wild looks in the slideshow below. Don't miss our recap of and , and stay tuned for our updates from Paris!</p><p></p><p>Want more? Be sure to check out Stylelist on , , and .<br></p>eGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHR%2Bk7huUTK5GduMziZZw2K6rSnCeVSnLO4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFV<p><p>PARIS &mdash; Lance Armstrong considers the 2010 Tour de France course "tough" because of the cobblestones sections and three punishing summit finishes in the Pyrenees.</p><p>The seven-time Tour champion attended the unveiling of the route and had lunch with French president Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday.</p><p>He also said more cyclists will have a chance to win thanks to the elimination of the team time trial.</p><p>"I think it will be much more open than last year because the TTT really eliminated some people last year and you won't have that again," Armstrong said. "Whereas this year you had three or four guys who could win the Tour, this year you'll go into the tough sections with 10 guys."</p><p>Armstrong finished third at this year's Tour after an intense rivalry with Astana teammate Alberto Contador, the eventual winner.</p></p>eGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHGtdTrlO6FQ53rI4f%2FNo7oyXAvVcpcAPr4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFV<p>After the Metropolitan Museum of Art decided to focus on another popular modern designer for the next Costume Institute exhibit: Prada.</p><p>, the Met will pair the work of Miuccia Prada with that of surrealist designer Elsa Schiaparelli. Given that and made the deceased designer a household name (in New York, at least), you'd think Miuccia Prada would be thrilled about her new honor.</p><p>You'd be wrong. that the exhibit, which will open to the public in May, is disappointing:</p>"It's too formal; they are focused on similarities, comparing feather with feather, ethnic with ethnic, but they are not taking into consideration that we are talking about two different eras, and that [Schiaparelli and I] are total opposite. [...] I told them, but they don't care."<p>Eek. Think Harold Koda is listening? We hope he adjusts the exhibit to Miuccia's liking by the time it's unveiled at May's Met Gala. Otherwise this year will be a repeat of 2009, when that he and pals Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell skipped the gala altogether. </p><p>And we wouldn't want Prada and her legion of fans -- mainly the Devil in Prada herself, Anna Wintour -- skipping the biggest red carpet of the year. </p><p>. Also, apropos of nothing other than the Met, take a look at collected by Paper.</p><p>UPDATE: as well as to us to clarify Miuccia's reported comments, saying, "Miuccia Prada is honored and proud to take part in this exhibition which is 'an impossible conversation between Miuccia Prada and Elsa Schiapparelli'. The comments printed are taken out of context and therefore misconstrued. Mrs. Prada confirmed that she admires the total curatorial independence of the museum to the extent that they almost did not take into consideration her vision." So that's that. </p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p> <br><p>The best thing for a fashion designer's career? Get an exhibit at the Met.</p><p>After this year's blockbuster "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, that would seem to be fashion's new operating logic. </p><p>, making it the Costume Institute's most popular exhibit of all time. </p><p>Now Women's Wear Daily reports that two other major designers will get the McQueen treatment next year: .</p><p>While Prada and Schiaparelli may not have the same mystique surrounding their names as McQueen, who committed suicide on the eve of New York Fashion Week just last year, both female designers have large bodies of work to display.</p><p>Miuccia Prada has been the creative director of Prada since 1978, when she inherited the Italian luxury goods company from her grandfather. Since then she's transformed the brand with a streamlined aesthetic, creating those ubiquitous black nylon bags that defined Nineties fashion and establishing a quirky, "ugly chic" look for the clothes ( but we're fans...) </p><p>The Prada pick means we can expect plenty of celebs walking the Met Gala red carpet in Prada -- perhaps including the Devil In Prada herself, host Anna Wintour?</p><p>Elsa Schiaparelli, on the other hand, may have fewer wearers that night. The couturier, who died in 1973, was the queen of surrealist fashion and a collaborator with artists such as Salvador Dalí and Alberto Giacometti. </p><p>She also happened to be one of Coco Chanel's biggest rivals. </p><p>Her large body of work, which received , includes humorous and mind-bending designs like a high-heel hat, a skirt suit with pockets mimicking a chest of drawers and her famous lobster dress. </p><p>Known for her signature color, "shocking pink," Schiaparelli and her designs might be worn today by Lady Gaga. </p><p>So who will show up on the red carpet of the Met wearing dug-up, vintage Schiaparelli? We can't wait to find out.</p><p>.<br></p> <br><p>The art world's elite gathered for the on Tuesday evening, where celebs including Kim Catrall, a , and artist Cindy Sherman (who currently has a up at the museum) celebrated the annual bash.</p><p>Santigold took to the stage to perform for the (dinner went from $2,500 to ). </p><p>Model Coco Rocha was also spotted showing off her to the beat of Earth, Wind, & Fire's "September." </p><p> CORRECTION: This article previously stated that Coco Rocha was banned from wearing Prada at this year's Met ball, citing a Racked article. A publicist tells HuffPost this is untrue. This post also stated that tickets to the after-party were $2,500; tickets to the dinner cost that much, while after-party tickets started at $150.</p><p>Check out photos of the soiree and enjoy some of Rocha's groove below:</p><p><br></p><p>A 19-year-old capuchin monkey named Mookie is under house arrest after biting a man that tried to pet him.</p><p>The simian is confined to owner Brad Berman's home Merritt Island, Fla., for one month until authorities can figure out if it has rabies.</p><p>The transgression occurred this past weekend outside of a convenience store when the victim, 32-year-old Justin Debree, saw Mookie with Berman and asked if he could pet the primate.</p><p>“All of a sudden, a car comes into a parking lot and startles the monkey, and Brevard County Animal Services Capt. Bob Brown told Florida Today.</p><p>Debree wasn't seriously injured by Mookie's mandibles and Berman said according to NBC Chicago.</p><p>He also said that his monkey is registered with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, but officials ordered a 30-day quarantine of the animal at home to be sure Mookie doesn’t show any symptoms.</p><p>That decision is driving Berman ape since Mookie's 20th birthday will occur during the lockdown. KIAH-TV reported.</p><p>The return of "" (Tue., 9 p.m. EST on Fox) brought with it a mystery this week. Why were the roommates insisting that Schmidt needed to put $50 in the Douchebag Jar. It was the long-awaited return of the Douchebag Jar, and as if to make up for its glaring absence through most of the seasons, fans were treated to several quick snippets of violations that have cost Schmidt money.</p><p>But the big one they'd have to wait through the entire episode to unravel. It all came together on Schmidt's 29th birthday party, which was planned with all kinds of douchey things in mind, like a party bus with a stripper pole. After seeing how sad he was that his bus got booked by Frankie Muniz, Jess decided to "man up" and throw Schmidt the douchebag party of his dreams.</p><p>While it wasn't quite up to the standards of Schmidt's old college buddy -- and genuine douchebag -- Benjamin, it was more than enough to impress Schmidt and the guys. Even Nick's lawyer girlfriend Julia () seemed to be having a good time, despite Nick being convinced that this should all be a lot more embarrassing than it actually turned out to be.</p><p>Schmidt finally found his backbone when Benjamin made his move on Jess, standing up to his old friend/bully. Only it was Julia who got in the final world ... with her first. While Nick was embarrassed about his roommates and living situation, Julia was just as mortified about her issues with aggression and violence. Nick, on the other hand, found it kind of hot.</p><p>After the bus accident -- it's hard to steer when Julia is punching a dude into the driver -- the gang awaited cab rides home, leaving Jess and Schmidt for last. The two shared some heartfelt words, and then Schmidt completely misread the moment and leaned in for a kiss. A kiss that was never going to happen, and earned him his largest Douchebag toll yet.</p><p>"New Girl" continues every Tuesday night at 9 p.m. EST on Fox.</p><p>TV Replay scours the vast television landscape to find the most interesting, amusing, and, on a good day, amazing moments, and delivers them right to your browser.</p><p>Related on HuffPost:</p> <br><p>Nick Snider, who Forbes magazine named the world's fifth most successful male model in 2008, has been charged with three misdemeanors, including offering multiple law enforcement officials oral sex in exchange for release, .</p><p>The intoxicated 21-year-old was arrested on Monday morning for causing a disturbance at a friend's house in Batesville, Arkansas. Snider, however, was having none of it. </p><p>According to an Independence County Sheriff's Department report, Snider told the approaching officers "I am a very famous model." Then as he was being driven to the county jail in a patrol car, he told one of the deputies "If you stop I'll suck your dick and balls if you let me go." Then Snider "also harassed the booking Jailer with similar sexual comments," which got him an additional charge of attempting to illegally influence a public servant.</p><p>The Prada model is now free on a $780 bond and plead not guilty to three misdemeanor charges. His trial is scheduled for February 17th--which may conflict with the Fashion Week jobs he's been scheduled for, . Fashion Week begins in New York on February 11th and ends on February 18th.</p><p>At the time of his arrest, Snider was wearing a t-shirt that read "Hey babe, When we chillaxin?"</p><p></p> <br><p>*Scroll down for photos*</p><p>Last night was Fashion's Night Out--the Vogue-created, City of New York-endorsed shopping bonanza presumably born to boost retail sales in the face of economic dire straits. But when you're getting razed down by hordes of neon-clad sneakerheads, camera-toting tourists, and all-out fashion freeloaders spilling--rather, spewing--from stores while clamoring for a glimpse of Kanye West, it's hard to imagine that Fashion's Night Out is actually the brainchild of Vogue editor Anna Wintour. One doubts Ms. Wintour would approve of vendors hawking tempura chicken on a stick or Taco Trucks, or even sartorial-minded girls trampled by riotous herds screaming after Pharrell Williams (the equivalent of fashion road kill). Although I cannot say what took place uptown (perhaps a more high-brow affair), the scene downtown could be summed up in three words--a hot mess. </p><p>At Intermix, hordes of fashionistas clad in the latest trends gathered to celebrate J Brand's new 5x5 collection, which features collaborations with U.K. designers Christopher Kane, Erdem, Richard Nicoll, Meadham Kirchhoff and Peter Pilotto. On the premises were co-hosts Byrdie Bell and Brit it-girl Daisy Lowe, who flew in just for the occasion. Miss Lowe, clad in skinny jeans and a season-appropriate crocheted sweater, played the part of London party girl by stripping down to a white tank top and twisting to the Beatles spun by New York native DJ NVM. Later that night Byrdie Bell tweeted, "OMG, @djnvm just bust out Blues Traveler!" Even Hollywood honcho Ratner managed to squeeze through the doors after closing time to schmooze with Intermix owners Khajak and Haro Keledjian. </p><p></p><p>Around the corner, the usually quiet cobblestoned Bond Street was taken over by a block party offering a trendy "street fair" of sushi cones from Bond Street restaurant, wine tastings from Il Buco, and a temporary tattoo parlor from hip ink man Scott Campbell. Spotted on the stoop of boutique Billy Reid was model/designer/bad-girl-of-the-moment Erin Wasson donning a long tank dress and floppy hat and smoking cigarettes. Inside, a Steve Nicks cover band crooned for a downtown crowd who ogled the assortment of lumberjack plaids while swigging whisky and beer. I even spotted a fashionable twenty-something leaving the party and slipping a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon into her clutch. "How chic," I commented. "It's for later," she winked. <br><br>Elsewhere among the turbulent sea of SoHo happenings included other Brit It-girl Alexa Chung debuting her collaboration with Madewell, Scarlett Johansson feting the new Moncler flagship, and Vogue cover girl Halle Berry toasting Rag & Bone designers David Neville and Marcus Wainwright at their Mercer Street shop--but the spectacle of the night award goes to Prada, who had to lock their doors from crazed fans clamoring for a limited-edition lipstick print totes, leaving distraught fashionistas including Vogue's Andre Leon Tally and tennis pro Serena Williams imprisoned among Miuccia's laced ruffles and platform pumps. </p><p>The night finally ended at Don Hill's, Paul Sevigny's latest boite, where Russian heiress-cum-fashionista Dasha Zukhova hosted her coveted party for POP Magazine with DJ trio the Misshapes and Iggy Pop--word had it Britney Spears was holding a surprise performance. With lines of Beatrice Inn ex-pats snaking around the block, a gaggle of bearded bouncers manned the gates with uber-cool doormen's ammo du jour--iPads. Sadly my editorial date and I were (knowingly) not on the digital list, but can you blame us? It's Britney Spears! We were swiftly turned away but at least we can say, we survived Fashion Night Out--barely.<br><br>See many more here.<br></p><p>Follow Nicole Berrie on Twitter:</p><p>It might seem strange to read, but to a certain extent, it is evident that (the Stop Online Piracy Act) and (the PROTECT IP Act) has saved my generation from being portrayed as the paradigm of political disinterest.</p><p> have been written that say, as "trophy kids," our parents have created the perfect storm. Fearing that we will be interested in only the superficial, brand names of life have been glamorized in movies (see: The Devil Wears Prada). For many, it seemed as if the Millennium generation was headed towards the brink of failure. I, myself, as a young person who follows politics, have shared in that fear as well.</p><p>But SOPA and PIPA saved us all from an eternity of criticism and poor stereotypes.</p><p>When blacked-out its logo and devoted 24 hours to raising awareness about the potential repercussions of passing SOPA and PIPA yesterday, the negative response that was generated from millions of Americans, many of whom were youth, was of a gargantuan magnitude. I read the tweets and Facebook statuses of friends and family members who so despised the word "government" passionately opposing these bills. So many of them were infuriated with the concept that lawmakers could potentially accomplish something so devastating. </p><p>And I couldn't have been happier.</p><p>Finally, it seemed as if the importance of engaging in political discussion "clicked" for many youth my age. The passion for argument that I find so enthralling -- and the thrill of affecting legislation that drives the direction of this country -- were shared by others my own age! </p><p>All it took was a little nudge.</p><p>What could be a better lesson than this for why America has become the great nation it is today? Yesterday exemplified a living case study of the beauty of consent of the governed. My generation was influential in the fact that by sun down, legislators were issuing that condemned the contents of the bills they had been supporting just hours earlier. </p><p>In a moment in time in which the 2012 presidential elections will allow for an entirely new generation of Americans to cast their votes, it has never been more important to be informed. Thus, SOPA and PIPA could not have had better timing.</p><p>Moreover, it was reassuring that those of my generation, some of whom will not be able to vote in 2012, were engaged, if just for a day, in political discussion. </p><p>Yesterday, we were able to evince that we are not solely confined to the degrading stereotypes that many believe us to illustrate. I only hope, however, that this is not a lonely occurrence. One of the elements of politics that, for me, makes the field so enthralling is its intrinsic inclination towards change. The stories that made headlines yesterday, for example, have been replaced with new accounts of controversy and decision-making gone awry today. While we are fortunate to have specialized political advocacy groups that battle such legislation every day, it is important that we, as individuals, remained informed.</p><p>Therefore, it seems as if SOPA and PIPA have saved my generation. However, if we do not act, we might find ourselves drowning under the waters of disinterest once again. <br></p><p>Nora Ephron was one of the most successful female filmmakers of all time. All told, her directorial efforts -- eight films, starting with "This Is My Life" in 1992 and continuing through "Julie & Julia" in 2009 -- earned over $510 million in domestic ticket sales. Ephron, who after a battle with leukemia, was also the screenwriter behind the romcom hit "When Harry Met Sally."</p><p>Suffice it to say, she left an indelible mark on Hollywood -- both as an influence and a businesswoman.</p><p>Below, remember Ephron's largely successful career. Add your own remembrances of her and what she meant to the industry as a whole in the comments section below.</p><p></p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p><p>"You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life." Steve Jobs , CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios.</p><p>Hindsight is a precious thing and is perhaps a thin (almost transparent) silver lining to the otherwise very black cloud that is - being told that you have an incurable illness. Suddenly you have the foresight to know that it's time to start looking back. You can contemplate what you have done, and what you haven't, and in the end, you will spend every waking second from that moment on, doing what made you happy and not what made you sad.</p><p>What Steve Jobs (and in turn the entire Apple Mac brand) represented was a certain type of innovation. We can give it many names; it's a kind of forward thinking, opinion forming, out-of-the-box-ideas way of life. And that really is what Steve Jobs represented. A way of life. Yes, I own a Mac, an iPhone, an iPod and I'm desperate for an iPad, but being a Mac user is more than just owning the products. It's allying yourself with the minority. </p><p>Nowadays, ask a PC person why they don't have a Mac and they will tell you that their computer can do everything a Mac can do only it's cheaper (and they'll feel quite smug about it too). But that's all a PC is in this day and age, just a great imitation, never an original thought. Let me give you an example of the difference.</p><p>If a Mac is Prada, a PC is Primark. Prada come up with the concepts each season, sending models down the catwalk in the newest designs, created from everything that was great about the past, with a sprinkling of things we don't even know are great yet, from the future. Primark doesn't have a catwalk show, it doesn't make a big show of itself, it's gets on with things, knowing accurately which trends are worth copying and which ones were too 'out there' for the masses. It dilutes the ideas of the major fashion houses and produces fashions that people can afford. It's aspirational.</p><p>Furthermore, if a PC is clever, a Mac is intelligent. A PC went to school and bought all the right text books. He read them front to back, he absorbed the information and he applied it during his exams. His essays were perfect. Exactly like the test answers he learned from. A Mac flicked through the book, extracting the important information. He then combined what he had already learned with his impeccable sense of reason, to come up with an answer that hadn't already been written in a book. His essays had style. </p><p>At school (I went to an independent girls school in Hertfordshire) I was a Mac. In hindsight, I think that what the teachers wanted to produce were PCs. Word perfect little lemmings, ready to embark on careers in law, medicine, business or politics. Serious jobs. 'Real' jobs. So when I exclaimed that I would be running off to art school instead of Oxbridge, more than a few eyebrows shot up. "But you're so clever!" was the frequent rebuff I would hear. It became like an insult. I didn't want to be clever, I wanted to be an artist.</p><p>Being stubborn, from that day forth I trusted my gut and eventually moved into the creative world of the arts. After university I went freelance and I've never looked back. If there is one thing I believe in life (and trust me, there aren't many, I have a very nihilistic view on everything) it is that there are no truer words than: "Don't Settle."</p><p>And noone says it better than Steve Jobs did himself, during the Commencement address on June 12, 2005.</p><p>"I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle." </p><p>These words are not just inspirational speaking. For many, this is absolute truth. This is the gospel of the creative and innovative person. If you don't love what you do, you'll look back and the dots won't connect. You'll have wasted your life to somebody else's opinion of what you should have been or done.</p><p>Having a freelance career isn't necessarily 'free.' There is no guarantee of a wage every month... there isn't even a guarantee of work and you are only ever as good as your last job. The freelance life has no routine, you're jumping from one place to the next in completely different parts of town, with new working hours every day. You are constantly searching for something bigger and better. If someone asks "Do you wanna come for dinner on Thursday?" your answer is probably... "Err, can I let you know on Wednesday night?" - you might be free now, but you could be booked in a week. And God forbid you suggest a sick day to a freelancer. Every sick day is money straight down the pan. Plus, Macs never get viruses.</p><p>But inversely, the lifestyle is spontaneous, independent, full of new people and experiences. It doesn't matter WHAT you do, just that you're doing it. And this is what I love in life, being undefined yet still being productive. I am a writer. I am a journalist. I am an artist. I am a photographer. I design books. I research pictures... And why stop there? There is no end to the amount of job titles one should be allowed to apply to the bottom of their email signature. </p><p>If it wasn't for the Macs of this world, pushing the boundaries of what a job description is and could be, questioning the mundaneness of the 9-5, really progressing with new ideas and never stopping to question why, we'd all be stuck in a world with PCs that run beautifully well but never change.</p><p>For anyone out there like me, that worries when their friends with 'real' jobs call them lazy if they're stuck with seven days and no work, stop now. We just didn't settle for the life society told us we should have. And thank God we didn't. Because maybe one day we can make, do, write about, take a picture of, sculpt or solder together something inspirational that might change the world.</p><p>Well... that's what iDream about.<br></p><p>Follow Olivia Rose on Twitter:</p><p>We've teamed up with Greta Larkins, the genius behind the brilliant Tumblr in a weekly series of animated fashion shots.</p><p>This week, FashGif takes on this beaded jacket from 's spring 2013 show from . Can we expect to see wearing this on the campaign trail? We doubt it, but it sure would make things even more exciting.</p>Want more? Be sure to check out Stylelist on , and .<p><br>For previous Fashion Gifs, take a peek in our gallery below: <br><br><br></p><p>In the famous "Devil Wears Prada" scene, Miranda Priestly cryptically demands to her assistants, "Get me Demarchelier!" Within seconds, the more competent of two proves her worth by yelling out: "I've got Patrick!"</p><p>Yes, Patrick Demarchelier is that much of an style stalwart that knowing his name is knowing the fashion industry itself. He's shot for Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint Laurent, and even the fantastical bridal photo shoot in the first "Sex and the City" movie.</p><p>This year, Demarchelier's biggest gig was a photographic retrospective of Christian Dior, for which he snapped original pieces of Dior couture dating back to the midcentury, gathered up in a massive book entitled, appropriately, "Dior Couture" ().</p><p>But with such high-profile projects, that his favorite subjects are still the most simple:</p>"When people ask me which is your favourite portrait... they expect it to be Diana, or someone famous. But the answer is my dog, Puffy. They think I mean Puff Daddy. No, it is the dog." <p>A dachshund, to be exact. 68-year-old Demarchelier is not overly impressed with celebrity, given how many famous faces he's shot. "You know," , "I don't care who I shoot. Sometimes, I do not know who they are."</p><p>Some, however, he can't help but know. Demarchelier muses, "I do weddings again. I just did the wedding in Monaco, ."</p><p>Royals, couture... and puppies? Sounds like ideal mix to us. That Demarchelier is one lucky man. </p><p>.</p><p>WATCH:</p><p></p> <br><p>PITTSBURGH &mdash; Motorists have reported a sharp-dressed pig running loose on a highway just outside of Pittsburgh. State troopers also spotted the animal but failed to catch it before it scurried off into the woods.</p><p>The pig is wearing a scarf. The sightings were reported between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. Wednesday just west of the city on Interstate 376, known locally as the Parkway West.</p><p>State troopers from the nearby barracks in Findlay Township spotted the pig, but couldn't catch up to it.</p><p>Police say the pig appeared to be a baby and confirmed it was wearing a scarf. Police don't know why that is or who may own the animal.</p><p>Still, someone has created a Twitter account to chronicle the swine's "exploits." It's at . </p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p><p>Are you a devotee of both gaming and couture?</p><p>Now you (probably "you," singular, because that's gotta be a limited group) can combine your interests with , a Tumblr that adds carefree Pokemon characters to the most serious of fashion shoots.</p><p>The unnamed blogger behind the site adds whimsical Pokemon animals to pictures like , that and some Prada promotional photos. We're impressed by the combinations of colors, which make even children's cartoons seem elegant.</p><p>Check out some of the cool illustrations below, and </p><p></p><p></p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p> <br><p>ST. LOUIS &mdash; A St. Louis man accused of shooting at three boys who were setting off fireworks faces criminal charges.</p><p>Fifty-six-year-old William Prada was charged Friday with three counts each of first-degree assault and armed criminal action. Bail has been set at $75,000 cash only. No attorney is listed for Prada in online court records.</p><p>St. Louis police say the boys were shooting off fireworks in an alley Thursday night when the man yelled at them and pulled a firearm. Shots were fired in the direction of the 11-year-old and two 10-year-old boys.</p><p>Police say they recovered a firearm when they arrested Prada.</p><p>___</p><p>Some people say museums are a bore. This is museum probably not what they are referring to when they make such a careless statement.</p><p>Art, celebrities, sex, greed, fantasy, over-the-top decadence, and superb fashion will all be witnessed at The upcoming guerilla pop-up project from superteam Francesco Vezzoli and Miuccia Prada will take over Paris' Palais d'Iena for, you guessed it, 24 hours. It will make you gasp, tingle and drool (for a limited time only!) </p><p>The palace housing the art bacchanal normally acts as France's economic and social and environmental council. Vezzoli gleefully to fill the hall with neo-classical sculptures with celebrity heads that light up, making the vibes very "Brothel in Las Vegas." The ephemeral exhibition will address the mythical vision we hold of classical Greece as pristine and white when, in fact, those classical sculptures we study were once painted. </p><p>Vezzoli's magic lies in his ability to create unabashed kitsch monsterpieces with a deeper, almost political message for those who seek it. By turning a political edifice into a gaudy loveden Vezzoli reveals that underneath it all is power playing its game, whether in law, sex, fame or politics. </p><p>Vezzoli's night of luxury is also set to include a Twitter conversation between Vezzoli and a secret celebrity who he refers to as bigger than Lady Gaga. And Vezzoli would know, through his performance with Gaga playing a Damien Hirst designed piano at a MOCA event while wearing a Frank Gehry hat. These are the kind of high-profile hijinx that Vezzoli churns out. Who needs depth when the shallow can look so good?</p><p><br>Vezzoli's past works include extravagant pranks such as a star-studded trailer to a fake remake of Caligula in which Helen Mirren and Benicio del Toro wear togas. Then there is the Roman Polanski directed commercial for a non-existent perfume called 'Greed' in which Natalie Portman and Michelle Williams wrestle. Some might say providing advertisements for fictitious subjects is a tease, that Vezzoli's works don't, in fact, point anywhere. But then again, look at them glitter.</p><p><br><br></p><p><br></p><p>So what is the point of the museum? According to Vezzoli, to make viewers smile. Is this enough? You'll have to see, won't you?</p><p>The will be open January 24th in Paris.</p> <br><p>MILAN &mdash; Miuccia Prada's starts off simply sober, and builds slowly to sober psychedelic.</p><p>The womenswear collection for next winter and fall presented Thursday on the second day of Milan Fashion Week has some basic building blocks: cropped pants worn either under a long skirt, with a short jacket, an empire-waisted long coat or sleeveless vest.</p><p>Details make the difference.</p><p>Elegant black combinations were the backbone of the collection. Some long coats featured tails, a look Prada launched for men last month. Oversized beads ringed pant hemlines, decorated the bodice like so many brooches, or created a vertical pattern down the skirt.</p><p>The empire waist of the jackets and dresses provide a flattering look, and the combination of dresses and pants recalls a young girl's attempts to mix fashion with function on the playground.</p><p>Shirts are either a printed turtle neck, or a button-down white shirt embellished with a beaded collar.</p><p>Even with the heavily layered look, Prada's lines remain impeccably clean &ndash; both ethnic and elegant.</p><p>After the introduction in black, Prada exploded with brocade prints recalling hip 1960s upholstery in bright orange, pink, green and purple.</p><p>The polygon prints lent movement to the looks, a slightly psychedelic feel as the hexagons seemed to rotate.</p><p>Long printed coats dipping below the knee and belted high with a jeweled buckle were paired with cropped pants, the better to show off the comfortable flat Mary Janes with bright rubber soles &ndash; an antidote to the super-high-heeled strapped pumps.</p><p>Prada brought back the pant suit, a look which is popping up all over Milan, but she also sometimes paired complementary prints, say a purple and red hexagon vest over brown and black diamond pants, leaving lots of room for the Prada woman to mix and match.</p><p>A fiesta of bags accessorized the look, including Prada favorites from doctor bags to tiny cell phone-sized evening purses. Models wore dark eye makeup and long hair extensions often in contrasting colors.</p><p>MILAN - Miuccia Prada, one of the fashion world's most out-of-the-box thinkers, for next summer takes apart the kimono to discover its most basic silhouette. Then, she puts it all back together again to come up with a full collection of imperial outfits.</p><p>The central motif of the new collection previewed Thursday during Milan Fashion Week is a graphic flower, often with a bright red centre, which appeared on bags, tops, dresses, wraps and eyewear.</p><p>Prada has reinterpreted the Japanese Geisha sandal complete with split-toe tabi sock, which she crafted from leather with a zipper up the back, suggesting they could be footwear in their own right.</p><p>The impact of the entire collection was otherworldly, a reflection of Prada's reach for conceptual fashion where idea trumps fit. The kimono showed up as a wrap, a top tied neatly in the back, a skirt formed out of panels or just a simple tunic dress. Fabrics were shiny silk and satin.</p><p>Shoes were over the top, wedge and platform sandals, always worn with the tabi sock at times in contrasting gold and silver. The latest Prada palate includes soft pink and sage but the basic colour scheme stuck to black, white and grey — all the better to show off the flower emblem and highlight red accents.</p><p>The collection was decidedly warm weather, but Prada also devised wraps and three-quarter sleeved coats, often of fur, for chillier climes. Here too, the flower motif made the difference. The basic bag was a small summer shopper — more for the boutique than market.</p><p>Prada once again has transformed her fashion theatre, this time breaking up the distressed white arches with stark black columns to better set off her conceptual creations. Models' hair was teased and they wore bright red lipstick to match the flaming red of the flowers.</p><p></p><p>Italian fashion house Prada is not in talks to sell a stake to Richemont (CFR.VX), the world's second-largest luxury goods group, a Prada spokesman said on Tuesday, denying a newspaper report of a possible tie-up.</p><p></p> <br><p><br>* Q1 revs 686.7 mln euros vs 640 mln eur f'cast <br>* Net profit 121.7 mln vs 98 mln eur f'cast <br>* EBIT doubles, outpaces revenue growth <br>* Europe, Asia markets remain strong <br>By Antonella Ciancio and Farah Master <br>MILAN/HONG-KONG, June 7 (Reuters) - Italian fashion group Prada SpA shrugged off concerns of softer consumption of its leather handbags and brightly-coloured shoes in China and Europe, as first-quarter results beat forecasts and retail-driven profits grew faster than sales. <br>The Milan-based maker of Miu Miu dresses said net profit more than doubled to 121.7 million euros ($152 million) as the company's focus on Asia and its retail expansion paid off. <br>"Although we have seen these encouraging outcomes, we must consider ... the rising risks deriving from the uncertain international economic environment," the group said, adding it would focus on cash-flow generation and financial flexibility. <br>The European market achieved the best performance, growing 57 percent, followed by Asia, which makes around 38 percent of sales. The U.S. market grew by more than a third. <br>In the three months ended in April, earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose 106 percent to 164.8 million euros, driven by retail sales, and declining markdowns. <br>Listed in Hong Kong, Prada's shares have gained nearly 30 percent so far this year, easily outperforming the benchmark Hang Seng Index's 1.3 percent gain. <br>The luxury goods industry has enjoyed a strong recovery from the 2008 financial panic, helped by new-money buyers travelling through Europe and the United States. <br>But concerns about a worsening euro-zone crisis, a sluggish U.S. recovery and a possible slowdown in Asian luxury markets have spooked stock markets since April. <br>Tiffany & Co has cut its fiscal-year sales and profit forecasts on economic concerns in China and the United States, while Tod's and Brunello Cucinelli have seen negative sales in recession-hit Italy. <br>Prada, which floated in Hong Kong a year ago, said revenue climbed 47.9 percent, above estimates. <br>China's luxury market is poised to grow 18 to 20 percent this year, outperforming the single-digit forecasts for Europe, the Americas and Japan, according to U.S. consultancy Bain. (Additional reporting by Alison Leung in Hong Kong and; Sabina Suzzi in Milan; Editing by David Holmes)</p><p>MILAN &mdash; Maybe it's the staging, or the music &ndash; this round sexy French &ndash; or the clever themes. But somehow Miuccia Prada always puts together a great show.</p><p>The designer's latest collection presented Sunday evening, the second day of preview showings for summer 2013 menswear, was happy, snappy and just minimalist enough to insure the label's reputation as the most avant-garde maison of Italian fashion.</p><p>Young lads and mature men walked down the sloped, pristine white runway wearing nothing more than revisited track suits.</p><p>Prada created an entire collection and a brand new look, starting with the white-band theme of sportswear items.</p><p>First she put the white bands on the inside instead of outside of a trouser leg, then she accentuated the same white band for the neckline of the accompanying T-shirt top.</p><p>Like musical variations on a theme, the imaginative designer worked the bands into different components of her summer wardrobe from shirts to jackets to overcoats.</p><p>As the show progressed, the bands changed color and became ever larger, culminating in a two-tone effect for a simple polo shirt or the lapel of a jacket.</p><p>Meanwhile, the white band also showed up under the arm of a lightweight raincoat or became the cross strap of a flat leather sandal.</p><p>Not satisfied to limit the new inventions to the male population, Prada put together a his-and-her version of most of the outfits.</p><p>For the girls, however, the T-shirts came in luxurious dyed fur. All the female models wore a tennis band around their head to accentuate the sporty feel of the collection.</p><p>The new Prada bag is unisex. Big and boxy, it can be carried by hand and double as an overnighter.</p><p>From the white stands set up in the trendy Prada theater, Miuccia's many fans cheered her on.</p><p>Prada's latest video catalogue release, Real Fantasies, gives those of us who can't actually buy Prada a chance to drool over its Fall/Winter 2011 collection. Eye candy for the A.D.D. generation, the film is a moving pop-up book of bougie '60s beauties playing (and posing) around a psychedelic dollhouse. </p><p>The ideal of the waifish model is taken to an extreme as the models all appear in two dimensions; they remain flat as paper dolls, often susceptible to being moved like a game piece by giant hands. The film captures the fantasy of bourgeois ennui, of being so beautiful and so bored you begin to go a little crazy. </p><p>The collection itself employs the idea of a living fantasy with its opulent furs, sequins and aviator allusions, making models appear as if they could fly away at any moment. The maximalist vision reminds the viewer of a surrealist , pushing the obsession with beauty into a hallucinatory flurry. Watch here for a peek into Prada's dreamy dollhouse; unfortunately, getting any closer to the clothes may prove to be an Unreal Fantasy. </p> <br><p></p><p>MILAN - Miuccia Prada's starts off simply sober, and builds slowly to sober psychedelic.</p><p>The womenswear collection for next winter and fall presented Thursday on the second day of Milan Fashion Week has some basic building blocks: cropped pants worn either under a long skirt, with a short jacket, an empire-waisted long coat or sleeveless vest.</p><p>Details make the difference.</p><p>Elegant black combinations were the backbone of the collection. Some long coats featured tails, a look Prada launched for men last month. Oversized beads ringed pant hemlines, decorated the bodice like so many brooches, or created a vertical pattern down the skirt.</p><p>The empire waist of the jackets and dresses provide a flattering look, and the combination of dresses and pants recalls a young girl's attempts to mix fashion with function on the playground.</p><p>Shirts are either a printed turtleneck, or a button-down white shirt embellished with a beaded collar.</p><p>Even with the heavily layered look, Prada's lines remain impeccably clean — both ethnic and elegant.</p><p>After the introduction in black, Prada exploded with brocade prints recalling hip 1960s upholstery in bright orange, pink, green and purple.</p><p>The polygon prints lent movement to the looks, a slightly psychedelic feel as the hexagons seemed to rotate.</p><p>Long printed coats dipping below the knee and belted high with a jewelled buckle were paired with cropped pants, the better to show off the comfortable flat Mary Janes with bright rubber soles — an antidote to the super-high-heeled strapped pumps.</p><p>Prada brought back the pant suit, a look which is popping up all over Milan, but she also sometimes paired complementary prints, say a purple and red hexagon vest over brown and black diamond pants, leaving lots of room for the Prada woman to mix and match.</p><p>A fiesta of bags accessorized the look, including Prada favourites from doctor bags to tiny cellphone-sized evening purses. Models wore dark eye makeup and long hair extensions often in contrasting colours.</p> <br><p>MILAN &mdash; Luxury design house Prada SpA says its earnings rose 60 percent in the first six months of the year thanks to higher sales in Asia and to tourists in Europe.</p><p>Prada reported Monday first-half net income of (EURO)286 million ($370 million), up from (EURO)179 million in 2011. Revenues rose 28 percent to (EURO)1.5 billion from (EURO)1.1 billion last year.</p><p>Asia revenues were up 44 percent. Europe recorded a 31 percent increase, despite the financial crisis, due to rising tourist numbers.</p><p>Leather goods, which represent nearly two-thirds of sales, grew by 52 percent. Clothing and footwear contributed (EURO)564 million to sales, which Prada said "reflects client appreciation of the group's stylistic excellence."</p><p>Prada's summer 2013 collection centering on a deconstructed kimono was enthusiastically received during Milan Fashion Week.</p>Back in the 90's we had a running joke - whenever we found something at the thrift store that was cool but was two inches too short or one size too small we would joke ''well just say it is Prada" <br><br>It was because Prada was inspired from the ill fitting thrift store finds that all us kids were wearing at the time so she intentionally would put a dart in the wrong spot or have the buttons buckle etc etc.I like the Mary Jane part. I have Mary Jane's including Mary Jane Birkenstocks. However, I looked at them and said, "Where is the boot part"? The next question I had was, "My God, what is wrong with her legs?!?" Then I realized that was the boot.<br><br>I guess if someone wants to look like she has bare prosthetic legs, these are great. Otherwise, not so much.Real people DO wear these shoes. I've seen them, hobbling along, trying to concentrate on walking while trying to negotiate busy Manhattan Streets and subway stairwells during rush hour (I hate winding-up behind one on a crowded staircase while I'm trying to run for the train.) I have to concede that the shoes look very sexy, in a bound-foot kind of way. I can't wear them 'cause I can't walk in them. I've also seen several, older patients, who after having worn high-heels all of their working lives (they usually started wearing them during the Depression, to look older so that they could get jobs) have severe arthritis in their feet, are confined to their wheelchairs because they can no longer walk due to tremendous pain.<p>Oh, ombre hair. </p><p>It swept through the fashion set and down through average hometown salons with an intensity not seen since The Rachel (at least that's how it felt). Suddenly everyone and her blogger friend had the dip-dyed tresses, with dark roots fading to every shade of golden blonde on every stylish head. </p><p>But somewhere along the line, we lost track: was ombre still new? Was it trendy anymore? ? </p><p>Just when we were sadly contemplating giving up our own fading ombre style, Prada came and swiftly rescued us. in Milan today, Miuccia Prada styled her models with extreme dye jobs, with pin-straight hair fading from deep brown to bleached blonde. </p><p>Against the vibrant prints and orange-tinted smoky eyes, the bold hair popped... and made it official: ombre hair is back. Or still here. Whatever. We're keeping ours. </p><p>Check out the Prada girls as well as our favorite ombre'd celebs. Do you ombre? <br></p> <br><p>HONG KONG &mdash; Italian fashion house Prada SpA plans to raise up to $2.6 billion in a listing on Hong Kong's stock exchange, according to a person familiar with the deal, joining other foreign companies flocking to cash in on China's rising fortunes.</p><p>Prada plans to sell some 423.3 million shares in range of 36.50 to 48 Hong Kong dollars, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to comment officially.</p><p>If the shares are sold at the top of the indicative price range, Prada would raise HK$20.3 billion ($2.6 billion). The price will be finalized on June 17 and the shares will start trading on June 24, the person said.</p><p>The company was founded in 1913 in Milan by Mario Prada and started out making leather bags, trunks and crystal but its modern designs have helped it become a symbol of high fashion. It now also owns the Miu Miu, Church's and Car Shoes brands.</p><p>The company is privately held, with President Miuccia Prada and Chief Executive Officer Patrizio Bertelli each owning 33.2 percent. Miuccia Prada's brother Alberto Prada and sister Marina Prada each own 14.2 percent. Their stakes are owned through a holding company. The remaining 5.1 percent is owned by Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo.</p><p>Prada is the latest in a string of companies going public in Hong Kong, attracted by the surging economy of its massive neighbor China that is minting millionaires and billionaires at a rapid clip. Hong Kong is a Chinese territory but has its own currency and legal system.</p><p>According to The Hurun Report, China's version of the Forbes Rich List, the number of people worth at least 10 million yuan ($1.5 million) grew by about 10 percent to 960,000 people in 2011.</p><p>China's newly wealthy are spending their money on a wide range of luxury goods, including designer clothing, flashy cars and expensive apartments. Airplane makers and shipyards are predicting that rich Chinese will propel sales of superyachts and private jets while Chinese collectors have helped turn Hong Kong into the world's third-largest auction center.</p><p>In a pre-listing document filed with the Hong Kong stock exchange, Prada said it expects Asia to be the luxury industry's fastest growing region, and China to be the fastest growing market. In the next five years, China will become the third-largest market for luxury sales worldwide, according to market research.</p><p>China's strong economic growth, increasing urbanization and higher spending by the rich will drive annual sales growth 15 to 20 percent in the luxury goods market from now until 2014, the company forecast.</p><p>Prada plans to open 70 stores in Asia by 2014, with 30 of those in China. It will also open 30 Miu Miu stores in Asia during the same time frame, adding to 25 currently.</p><p>"We believe further growth is possible due to continuing growth of the Chinese economy, which enables us to further our penetration into Chinese cities," the document said.</p><p>Asia accounted for a third of Prada's roughly euros 2 billion ($2.9 billion) in sales in the year ending January 31, second only to Europe, which had 42 percent.</p><p>Prada is holding a fashion show and presentation for investors Tuesday evening in Hong Kong as it prepares for the initial public offering.</p><p>The company is also looking at expanding in the Middle East, South America and Eastern Europe, according to the document.</p><p>Prada had discussed going public in the past, but the move was delayed after the world financial crisis in 2008 sent markets tumbling.</p><p>Swiss commodities trader Glencore and luggage maker Samsonite have also listed in Hong Kong this year. Luxury handbag maker Coach plans a listing in Hong Kong later this year to raise awareness of its brand in Asia.</p><p>MILAN &mdash; Miuccia Prada is on a fashion sabbatical from the real world, taking refuge in a fantasy land of comic strips, yesteryear toys and fictitious characters.</p><p>Prada, hailed by fashion critics as one of the few designers today with a personal point of view and a thirst for new ideas, had already skimmed the comic books for her summer menswear collection in June. She decorated her casual collection with cowboy figures, rockabilly dancers, old-fashioned cars and sports gear &ndash; especially golf, the main theme of the collection.</p><p>For her Spring/Summer 2012 women's collection, which previewed Thursday, Prada was back in the make-believe grab bag. She pulled out 1950s model cars (two in plastic foam doubled as seats for guests at the show), comic book figures and bouquets of roses from grandma's trunk in the attic.</p><p>The main theme was the car, from the motor-revving catwalk music to the exhaust flame prints and large and small vintage cars that decorated many outfits.</p><p>Here the clothes took over from the models, many of whom looked like television fashion character "Ugly Betty" before her remake.</p><p>Girls with purposely mousey hair, bad posture and a faltering gait walked the runway in lovely ladylike outfits with silk pleated skirts and matching pleated tops, demurely printed blouses, and summer coats decorated with wooly roses. A leather pencil skirt embroidered with a large convertible car is sure to be the hit of the season.</p><p>The Prada color palette is soft and feminine: yellow, beige, sky blue and wine red, the latter two often combined to create a soft olden days effect.</p><p>The outfits all had a proper hemline &ndash; just below or above the knee &ndash; except for a series of chaste beauty queen 1950s swim suits, which translated into the bold world of the new Millennium become trendy day or nighttime silk outfits.</p><p>Just in case there were a poolside misunderstanding, these outfits were worn with the new Prada shoe, open toed with a heel decorated with leather flames. Topping everything off was the latest double-handled Prada bag, very 1950s and very top drawer.</p><p>Sinning heels are so hot right now.</p><p>Last week we brought you the magic (?) of the , a pair of $1400 pumps that spell out the letters S-E-X when the wearer stands with her feet together. (The straight guys we polled.)</p><p>But not to be outdone, Prada has come out with its own take on salacious stilettos. One of our fave footwear blogs, Sea of Shoes, . </p><p>No, not like those trendy , or the . Prada designed their heels more literally, with giant pink lips on the toes that irreverently dangle (leather) cigarettes, complete with plumes of leather smoke.</p><p>What's next? Shoes that proclaim, "I'M BREAKING CURFEW RIGHT NOW"?</p><p>They'll , and they're .</p><p>Check out the sandals below and tell us if your toes will be taking a smoke break in the poll.</p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p> <br>eGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHGtdTrlO6FQ53rI4f%2FNo7oyXAvVcpcAPr4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFV<p>Miuccia Prada is known for her bright colors and retro prints and both are out in full force in Prada's latest ads.</p><p>The Spring/Summer 2012 campaign, just one of the many to drop in the past few days (, , ), features a slew of brightly clad models photographed against a vivid blue sky by Steven Meisel.</p><p>The girls, including Elise Crombez and Natasha Poly, are strewn around a vintage-looking gas station, posing against hot rod cars and lacquered gas pumps exuding a '50s vibe -- sans pants (that's more of a 2011 thing, but we'll let it slide). </p><p>Not that Miuccia needed to worry about making a gas station seem chic. Those dirty gasoline repositories have been a favorite of the fashion set for a while now, as the site of and the location for .</p><p>Check out the Prada spots below -- don't they make you want to do the hand jive, hop in a hot rod and head on over to the drive-in?</p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p><br></p><p><br></p> <br><p>Text By COLLEEN BARRY, Associated Press </p><p>MILAN - Prada goes bold for her spring/summer 2011 women's collection.</p><p>There's nothing understated in the colors, orange, green and royal blue; the stripes, decisively bold; and the patterns, from bananas to cherubs to monkeys. But there are also frills for a more feminine touch.</p><p>Miuccia Prada's skirts are tight-fitting and to the knee, but matched with looser jackets or tops, some echoing the men's collection presented in the summer with V-necks that evoke doctor shirts. The outfits are paired with wedged sneakers high enough to give basketball court advantage.</p><p>Check out images from the show and scroll down to keep reading.</p><p></p><p>The look becomes decidedly more girlie when a thick frill is added to the bottom of the tight skirts, providing a swirl of soft motion. The motion doesn't stop there: horizontal striped dresses are paired with vertigo-inducing striped sombreros slung over the neck for maximum contrast.</p><p>Dresses are fitted, with bold patterns and lots of stripes, often alternating in both color and thickness, with a stripe of fuchsia to grab the eye. And then there are the patterns: paired monkeys on a white background give a whimsical touch.</p><p>In fact, while the cut of the clothes is urban, urban, urban, the message is Caribbean, fun and loose, an attitude backed up by the fabric: cotton. In keeping with the mood, bright tropical fruits of marzipan were available for viewers after the show.</p><p>Even the sun dresses have a structured look about them. Thin straps and deep V-backs leave plenty of room for peek-a-boo, while tassels on the hemline beckon.</p><p>The little black dress makes an appearance for evening, with feminine ruffles around the gentle necklines. Lest anyone think, ah, black dress, seen that, Prada adds fun furry wraps in black and white stripes on a colorful background.</p> <br><p>Senior retail manager for Prada Japan Rina Bovrisse claims that the CEO of Prada Japan Davide Sesia asked her to "eliminate" fifteen employees who were "old, fat, ugly, disgusting or not having the Prada look," . Bovrisse also said she was told to lose weight and get a new hairdo. She is now suing Prada for discrimination and harassment. </p><p>After Sesia's visit last May, thirteen employees were transfered to other locations, but most of them ended up quitting instead. Bovrisse went on involuntary leave in November and pursued her lawsuit.</p><p>Bovrisse explained, "The level of harassment is beyond human understanding. My responsibility is to protect hard-working women and make sure their working environment is safe."</p><p>As of Saturday there was no settlement, :</p>The case was handled by an industrial tribunal, a streamlined system for resolving labor disputes without trial. If no settlement is reached through the tribunal, the parties involved can opt to proceed with a civil suit to seek a court ruling.<p>"I am planning to collect more witnesses and file a lawsuit as soon as possible," Bovrisse said, adding this process may take a month or two.<br></p><p>Prada wouldn't comment.</p> <br><p>Prada has countersued a former employee who is suing the luxury brand for sexual harassment and unfair dismissal, . Prada Japan has taken Rina Bovrisse to the Tokyo District Court, seeking for $390,000 for hurting the company's image.</p><p>, four lawyers representing Prada Japan went to the opening day of the countersuit but neither the store's managers nor Bovrisse were present. Bovrisse wrote in an e-mail, "Prada Japan's countersuit infringes on human rights, as it threatens victims from telling the truth about what happened and scares women who want to speak out bravely."</p><p>Back in March, Bovrisse, then a former senior retail manager for Prada Japan, asked her to "eliminate" fifteen employees who were "aged, ugly, fat, bad body shape, bad teeth, disgusting and not cute." Bovrisse herself was also told to change her hair and lose weight. She claims that when she complained, she was fired and is seeking $685,000 in damages for emotional distress caused by Prada. They couldn't settle out of court.</p> <br><p>There was a lot of hullabaloo on Thursday surrounding reports, , that Prada had fired some of their emaciated models in favor of curvier gals.</p>[Fuller's source] reports that a casting director suddenly threw up his hands, said "F-- it!" and ordered that sexy Victoria's Secret Angel models, Miranda Kerr (girlfriend of Orlando Bloom), Alessandra Ambrosio, Doutzen Kroes and Isabeli Fontana airlifted in for today's 1 pm EST show.<p><br>We did spot Miranda Kerr and Alessandra Ambrosio on the runway, but the girls still looked pretty skinny to us. And just when things looked so promising at Wednesday's show. But tell us: what do you think? Is this progress or is this a setback?</p><p></p> <br><p>BlackBook:</p><p>"I'm working on [a men's collection] right now and someone at the office worriedly asked me, 'You're not going to make short skirts again, are you?'," Prada recalls of a recent conversation with a collaborator. "So I'm now pushing it even further, just for revenge!"</p><p></p> <br><p>NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The life of a mutt that's been on doggy death row for more than a year has been spared by a judge following an outcry from animal lovers and the acceptance of a last-ditch proposal to keep the dog alive.</p><p>Now Prada, the 4-year-old pit bull mix that inspired thousands of strangers across the globe to sign a petition to save the dog's life, could be headed to Animal Planet fame.</p><p>The dog was declared vicious and ordered to be euthanized after escaping from her home and attacking several dogs in an upscale Nashville neighborhood in January 2011. It usually doesn't take long to carry out such an order, but Prada's owner fought a lengthy legal battle, vowing to never stop until she saved her dog.</p><p>Nicole Andree, a 35-year-old real estate agent who rescued Prada when the dog was 4-weeks-old, asked a judge to spare her beloved companion if she agreed to send the animal to the Villalobos Rescue Center in New Orleans. The rescue center is featured in Animal Planet's reality TV show "Pitt Bulls and Parolees," which puts ex-convicts and abused dogs together so both man and animal can be rehabilitated.</p><p>Andree said she didn't mind giving her dog up if it meant Prada would be spared. "I just wanted her to live."</p><p>She said her dog would be in good hands with Tia Torres, who runs the Villalobos Rescue center.</p><p>While she was relieved for her dog, Andree said the toll of endless legal battles and not knowing whether Prada was going to live or die has proven to be devastating for her own family. Andree's father died of a massive heart attack on Easter Sunday.</p><p>"The stress from everything killed my father," she said while choking back tears.</p><p>Andree has said her dog was being discriminated against because it is part pit bull.</p><p>The dog was ordered put down by three different courts after attorneys for the city of Nashville said Prada posed a public safety threat. In court documents, they expressed concerns that the city could be held liable if Prada were to attack another dog or even a human.</p><p>Afterward, Andree launched a social media campaign to save Prada, which inspired more than 11,000 people to sign a petition asking Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam to pardon Prada. But the governor, through a spokesman, said it was a local matter and he couldn't pardon a dog.</p><p>Davidson County Circuit Court Judge Joe Binkley Jr. signed the order sparing Prada after city attorneys said they would not object to the plan to transfer ownership of the dog to Torres so it could live at the rescue center.</p><p>"After investigating Villalobos and speaking with Ms. Torres, Metro officials determined that Ms. Andree's proposed order was an appropriate resolution to this case," Metro attorney Alex Dickerson said in an email. "Ms. Torres has extensive experience caring for aggressive dogs and the Villalobos Rescue Center is adequately equipped to confine such animals. Accordingly, Metro did not oppose Ms. Andree's motion and will transfer Prada to Ms. Torres within the next two weeks."</p><p>The dog must stay at the rescue center for the rest of its life, Binkley's order said.</p> <br><p>By Colleen Barry, Associated Press</p><p>MILAN (AP) - Two of the Milan fashion world's designing women - Miuccia Prada and Gucci's Frida Giannini - like their men to be, well, masculine - but approached the job for next spring and summer very differently.</p><p>Gucci, which showed Monday on the third day of men's Fashion Week, in Milan, was about fine detailing and craftmanship. Prada was nothing if not spare. What they shared was clarity.</p><p>Both designers also played with blue denim, which is making a cameo in many collections for next spring and summer.</p><p>Check out images of the collections and scroll down to keep reading!</p><p></p><p>PRADA</p><p>Miuccia Prada described her menswear collection in bold colors and clear lines as "simplicity regained."</p><p>There was a distinct industrial feel to the show, held Sunday evening on a catwalk bathed in low-hanging light and constructed of silver medal grids that would certainly have tripped up stiletto-heeled female models but resonated well for the thick-soled men.</p><p>Simply cut pullover V-neck shirts in cotton, and sometimes denim, resemble hospital garb and are worn over ample Bermuda shorts that have an A-cut more suggestive of a skirt. Tailored jackets have three buttons, but only two are fastened, allowing the brightly colored stripe along the button line - say, royal blue, or yellow - to peek through and are paired with skinny pants, a favorite of the season. Sweaters had boatnecks and featured bold stripes around the top.</p><p>The accessories were nothing if not postmodern. Sunglasses were wrapped around the neck. Soft leather bags were belted around the waist or carried with a handle that slipped over the wrist, bracelet-like.</p><p>GUCCI</p><p>Gucci's summer collection evoked memories of the 1970s: leisure suits, braided leather and elaborate Native American designs.</p><p>Frida Giannini started off the collection on an elegant note, a double-breasted suit in deep blue over silk T-shirts with slim pants and set off with silver necklaces. Other versions had more casual jackets, accented by crumpled silk scarves.</p><p>But she left plenty of room for causal fun: a denim shirt with an intricate design that evoked Native American art, and sportswear recalling 1970s leisure suit sahara jackets with four front pockets. There were belted-suede shorts in bold printed shirts and a thick silver wristband.</p><p>As always, Gucci played prominently with its trademark bags, with a series inspired by travel with hand-braided handles and straps.</p><p>Destination: According to the designer's note, Marrakech, in the footsteps and image of international jet-setter Paul Getty III.</p><p>ROBERTO CAVALLI</p><p>Youth is fashion's fixation, but 59-year-old Roberto Cavalli is trying to define a look that both he and his son could equally wear. The show Monday night held in an elaborate outdoor courtyard was opened by three female figures clad in Moorish robes who lit a large flame with their torches.</p><p>The Cavalli look is full of bold prints based on photographs the designer took on a recent trip to Indonesia, mixed with solids and dark colors. Printed silk sarouel pants - Oriental-style wide as a skirt until the knees and then tighten toward the ankle - are worn with jackets lined with matching print evidenced by the rolled-up sleeves.</p><p>"A man has to be a man ... with a pinch of fantasy to emphasize his individual personality. I'm a man, no longer super-young, and today I'm proposing to you what I would wear ... and what my son would wear too," Cavalli said in design notes.</p> <br><p>There are moments in fashion when you recognise something that will change the landscape of our fair industry. It happened at Jil Sander in September 2010 when Raf Simons transformed neon colours into a palatable concept with that skirt. But now, the new 'it' item has arrived, storming catwalks and constructed by the real who's who in fashion. If you are looking for the defining autumn addition then this is it. Seriously. Introducing, the trouser suit.</p><p>Prada, the Italian fashion house, is getting ready to send its latest styles down the runways in Milan this week.</p><p>But the timing of Prada's other big show -- its initial public offering -- is far less certain. Although the company began talking about going public as early as 2000, it has postponed the event three times since then. Now, with many other companies withdrawing their initial offerings because of grim market conditions, many are wondering whether Prada will stick to its latest plan for an offering in 2008.</p><p>A Prada spokesman sounds confident. He told Women's Wear Daily on Sunday that the company, which owns the Prada and Miu Miu brands, expects to list on the Milan Stock Exchange in either June or November. No decision would be made before March, when Prada reports 2007 earnings, he added.</p><p>Just last month, Tommy Hilfiger, another popular fashion brand, fell victim to the market chill. Its private equity owners. Apax Partners, decided to postpone a public stock offering in Europe.<br></p><p><br>Read the original </p><p>Read more about the .</p> <br>"The Huffington Post UK" is provided by AOL (UK) Limited. &copy;2012 AOL (UK) Limited its affiliates and licensors.<br>Part of HuffPost News . HPMG News<p>It's not everyday that you get to see a small upstart emerge in the luxury market, let alone a heavy hitter. According to our sources Qatar will launch its own brand and its own luxury boutiques around the world. That's it!</p><p>The Huffington Post has obtained the name of this self-proclaimed luxury brand, as of yet kept secret: QELA. Given the virtually unlimited financial means of the Qataris, established brands such as Hermes, Dior and Louis Vuitton are not likely to take this news lightly.</p><p>Caroline Guillon, the marketing director of Qatar Luxury Group, which launched the brand, told The Huffington Post, "Since its inception, the goal of our group has been to create a fashion brand in Qatar, and then, in time, expand to an international vocation. We are currently working on the collection." However, for the time being, Guillon preferred "not to disclose the name."</p><p>This information came from the other side of the Atlantic when a source close to the project confided that Qatar is actively seeking commercial space in New York for a luxury boutique. Several real estate agents have been retained by the Qatar Luxury Group, which is owned by the . A commercial real estate specialist in Paris confirmed the group's interest in New York space. The new entrant is also searching for premises of at least 500 square meters in the French capital, with a preference for the fashionable rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, which already hosts Dior, Louboutin, Hermes, Lazzaro, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana. </p><p>"We are actually looking a little more closely at New York and Paris, but our priority is the store opening in Doha," Guillon said. "Otherwise, no date has been set."</p><p>Late 2012, Probably 2013</p><p>Ultimately, the launch could include more than ten cities including Paris, Los Angeles, New York, Milan, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore and, obviously, Doha. Each of these stores would exclusively sell the brand. This project involves creating the stores as well as the products. The objective is to launch at the end of 2012.</p><p>But in reality, it will take a few more months. Not all of the commercial sites have yet been found. Accordingly, it is unlikely that leases will be negotiated and shops installed in just four months. "In my opinion, it is too late for the end of year," says a close affiliate. "The project is not yet fully put together, there are still too many unknowns."</p><p>Guillon says the group's priority is Qatar.</p><p>"We have filed for trademarks in many countries to date so that no one will be able to take the name," Guillon says. "But our priority is launching in Qatar. This will start as a local brand. Do not expect a launch with great fanfare or fireworks ..." In Doha, the goal remains to launch by the end of the year, but as always, construction is never free from delays.</p><p>QELA Already Recruiting</p><p>In Doha, things seem well underway, as recruitment has already started. The name of the future luxury brand is referenced within an announcement of the famous Michael Page recruiting firm:</p>(Click the image to go to Michael Page's website)<p>"As a luxury seamstress [...] you must meet the highest standards of quality QELA demands at all times," details the announcement from the Qatar Luxury Group. The employment announcement is dated Aug. 4, evidence that the pace of development for the brand is accelerating. "Our main shareholder is the Qatar Foundation, which has a mission to educate young Qataris," Guillon said. "Our future brand will allow us to train some in the luxury sector."</p><p>Registered Brand</p><p>The concept of launching Qatar's own luxury brand obviously crossed the mind of the head of the Qatar Luxury Group several years ago. In fact, the brand and logo were registered as trademarks in the United States on Oct. 21, 2009:</p><p> <br><br><br></p><p>Initially, this trademark was registered for textiles and cosmetics, such as essential oils, perfumes, colognes, potpourris, creams, deodorants, lotions, false eyelashes, beauty masks and so on. But on May 2, the trademark was extended to include a broader category of products. Now the Qatar Luxury Group can also market the following products under the QELA brand:</p><p>Leather goods (attachés cases, boxes, trunks, suitcases, travel cases)<br>Jewelry (necklaces, bracelets, brooches, rings)<br>Sunglasses,<br>Binoculars,<br>Notebooks,<br>Textiles (blankets, clothing)<br>Shoes,<br>Bath accessories (shoes, hats, bathrobes…), etc.</p><p>Of course, obtaining a trademark does not necessarily mean that all of the products listed will be sold, however, it does reserve the right to sell such products in the future and further prevents competitors from usurping the name for a similar line of products.</p><p>The brand was filed in Switzerland in October 2009 with a brand r. A deposit was also recorded in France at the .</p><p>( pour voir le détail, lien en allemand) et, en France, un dépôt a été enregistré à l'INPI ().<br></p><p>… And the Website</p><p>The group also took the initiative on the web. The domain www.qela.com was filed on June 13, 2002 but has been updated as recently as June 7.<br> <br> <br></p><p>Qatar Already Had One Foot in the Luxury Market</p><p>Qatar's interest in the luxury market is nothing new or surprising. But it has been several years since the Qataris have been involved in this market through their many investment funds, particularly in France. On March 16th, it was disclosed that Qatar had a in LVMH through its investment fund Qatar Holding. </p><p>The gas-rich Gulf Emirate has also bought up numerous luxury hotels, such as the Hotel du Louvre, the Royal Monceau Hotel Lambert and the Concorde Lafayette in Paris, the Martinez and and the Palais de la Méditerranée in Nice. The Qataris have also participated as a 6.39 percent holder of the Société des Bains de Mer, which owns four luxury hotels in Monaco. Finally, Qatar, through the Qatar Luxury Group, has become the majority shareholder () of Le Tanneur, the French handbag manufacturer.</p><p>Enacting a Luxury Brand</p><p>All these investments have certainly helped Qatar gain experience in the luxury market. Several French people have gone to work for the Qatar Luxury Group. Gregory Couillard directs both the Qatar Luxury Group and Le Tanneur. Is this sufficient to create a luxury brand? This remains uncertain.</p><p>Despite the enormous financial resources of the Qatari family, branding cannot be decreed. This is all the more true given that the most well known luxury brands have earned their stripes over decades. </p><p>"We'll see how they position themselves, but they do not have the aura of an Hermes or a Louis Vuitton," says one expert. "There is a probationary period in which a brand transitions from new to trendy to luxury."</p><p>Starting prudently at first in Doha, and then transitioning to New York and Paris demonstrates that the Qataris are not skipping steps. One thing is certain, we have not heard the last of them.</p><p>This in Le Huffington Post. </p><p>We’ve seen her depicted time and time again -- Miranda Priestly in "The Devil Wears Prada," Katharine Parker in "Working Girl," Amanda Woodward on "Melrose Place" -- the boss lady who clawed her way to the top and is always ready to undermine other women trying to do the same. </p><p>In 1973 this woman even got her own name courtesy of researchers G.L. Staines, T.E. Jayaratne, and C. Tavris -- . But there's a new study out that suggests that the Queen Bee archetype is far less ubiquitous than the press and the entertainment industry would have you believe. </p><p>The research, , a non-profit organization that focuses on expanding opportunities for women in the workplace, found that most women aren’t in fact looking at their female subordinates as competition to be cut down. Rather, they view less experienced female coworkers as potential talent and are actually more likely than men to develop that talent through informal or formal mentorship. </p><p>"We were looking at the extent to which people are paying it forward," Christine Silva, the lead researcher on the study, told The Huffington Post. "Are people [mentoring and developing] the next generation of people behind them?"</p><p>The answer seems to be yes. Catalyst’s researchers followed the career development of 742 "high potential" MBA graduates –- both men and women -- who worked across a number of different fields from 2008 to 2010. The researchers questioned these graduates about the career help that they had received over the years, including both informal mentorship and more intensive that actively fights for the career advancement of the individual he or she is sponsoring. </p><p>The survey also asked whether or not they were helping the next generation of employees advance. The report, titled "High Potentials In The Pipeline: Leaders Pay It Forward," found that many of the men and women currently involved in talent development had themselves been developed by someone else. Of this group, 65 percent of women who had received career support went on to return the favor to the next batch of emerging leaders, compared to 56 percent of men in the same situation. Out of the women who said they were developing talent, 73 percent said they are developing other women, the study showed. This contradicts the idea that the majority of powerful women are Queen Bees who discriminate against the women they supervise. </p><p>Catalyst’s findings also indicate that "paying it forward" isn’t just a selfless act. Men and women who developed protégés received an average of $25,075 more between 2008 and 2010 than those individuals who did not. This figure existed even when the researchers controlled for other factors. "It's really a win-win," said Silva. "It creates a culture of talent development where everyone recognizes their role in developing a good pipeline of leaders."</p><p>Why We’re Still Stuck On The "Queen Bee"</p><p>Although the Catalyst report indicated that the majority of women are involved in mentoring subordinates, the idea of the Queen Bee remains intact in popular culture. "Bad female boss? She may have Queen Bee Syndrome" written in April 2011. from July 2011 promised to fill the reader in on "Why Your Queen Bee Boss Won’t Help You" and the ever-blunt Daily Mail warned in 2008 "Beware the Queen Bee boss -- she’s hell to work for."</p><p>In an essay titled Forbes contributor Susannah Breslin suggested that women avoid other women in the workplace altogether. Breslin wrote:<br>Tired of women-on-women jealousy at work? Nip that in the bud by eliminating women from the equation. Most women have had an experience with a female superior who wouldn’t let her advance because the woman in power was threatened. You might be insulted men see you as less of a threat, but that may be what enables you to climb up the ladder.</p><p>Silva conceded that there are probably some women who display Queen Bee-like qualities out there. "It’s not 100 percent of women or 100 percent of men who are developing others," she told HuffPost. "I absolutely believe that there are people out there who aren’t helping others advance." Yet the closest male equivalent of the Queen Bee -- the ball-busting, in no way nurturing Alpha Male boss -- is rarely presented as specifically threatening to one gender’s career aspirations. </p><p> assigned these powerful men to four categories: Commanders, Visionaries, Strategists and Executors, extolling the many positive qualities that come along with an alpha male personality, while listing the negatives toward the end of the piece. On the other hand, Queen Bees are described as "emotionally unpredictable," "vain," "sharp tongued," "easily threatened" and "cliquey." </p><p>This may simply reflect the fact that there aren’t all that many females in the highest echelons of power to serve as examples of how women operate at the top. A showed that women run just 3.6 percent of Fortune 500 companies. The same study also showed that men are twice as likely as women to reach senior executive level positions, even though they are receiving advanced degrees at lower rates than their female counterparts. This when Catalyst controlled for factors such as career ambitions and having children. "There are so many fewer women [than men] in leadership roles," said Silva. "It seems that if one woman does something negative, it’s almost as though people take that to mean that all women do something."</p><p>Gail Evans, professor of organizational behavior and author of "Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman," echoed Silva’s sentiments. "You see a lot of companies where the women who are making it are doing everything they can to help the other women," Evans told HuffPost. "But the minute we see a woman who isn’t doing this, we want to label her as the Queen Bee."</p><p>Evans said she considers the Queen Bee stereotype generational. "I think there certainly were Queen Bees around when the workplace was about scarcity for women," she said. "You ended up with women who were older who had given up a lot to get to those [leadership] positions. Their life was the job and their deep belief was 'I had to work hard, I had to give up a lot, it was tough to get here and the way in which I mentor younger women is to toughen them out.'"</p><p>But as more and -- and in smaller numbers into senior management positions -- this archetype has become more grounded in cultural stereotypes than in reality, she said. </p><p>The Bottom Line: Developing New Talent Is Good For Everyone</p><p>Queen Bees and Alpha Males aside, Catalyst’s new report indicates that men and women alike should be taking an active interest in developing both male and female talent. The mentor, the mentee and the organization all benefit.</p><p>One way to ensure that more talent development occurs is for organizations to promote mentorship and sponsorship from the top. Both Silva and Evans were wary about formally enforced mentor-mentee pairings -- "You can’t mentor someone who you don’t like and who doesn’t like you," said Evans -- but emphasized that it was the responsibility of a company to set the tone. "Perhaps a formal pairing wouldn’t work, but maybe a situation where executives are expected to play an advocate role [for those below them]," said Silva. "There are many ways for companies to start this conversation."</p><p>Silva also emphasized that men and women who hope to rise through the career ranks should be open to seeking guidance from superiors of either gender. A showed that the gender of a sponsor or mentor doesn’t matter, all that matters is how senior that person is. In companies where men dominate the upper echelons, high potential female employees need to be proactive and build positive working relationships with those men. On the flip side, are more likely to be aware of the barriers that women face in the workplace. </p><p>"The act of paying it forward is so powerful for the person doing it, the person being developed and the organization itself," said Silva. "I hope women hear that and think ‘this is something I can do proactively for my career.'"</p><p>Last Tuesday, amidst the drone of a taxiing airplane and the cacophony of half a dozen squealing infants, I tucked into my free copy of The Economist. Air Canada Flight 856 westbound from my former home, London, was delivering me to Toronto after an epicurean week's worth of art delectation. I felt some kind of latent nationalistic need to read one of Britain's most respected publications when I selected the magazine and it turned out to be an auspicious and informative choice.</p><p>Much to my delight, sandwiched between articles on former first lady Hillary Clinton's actions as Obama's secretary of state and Apple's stock value in plebeian terms was "un petit mot" on Damien Hirst's forthcoming . I was rather disappointed to miss Hirst's show by a mere eight days and wondered if Tate Director Nick Serota's selection of work could have ameliorated my opinion of Britain's po' boy-turned-global brand. More insistent, however, was my anticipation of how London's more serious art critics would react to the show and the conclusions they would ultimately draw. </p><p><br></p><p><br>The Economist article's headline, "Is nothing sacred?", is an apt sentiment with which to begin considering Mr. Hirst's sanctimonious position within today's art market. Described recently by art critic Sean O'Hagan as a "mouthy, working-class lad from Leeds, with hooligan tendencies," (1) much of the artist's audience regards him as a phenom who successfully exfoliated his humble skin to reveal a diamond underneath. Or at least a man with many diamonds' worth in his pockets. Is the value of art within its 21st-century constitution contingent on auction hammer price or meaningful cultural currency? Put simply, it continues to be questionable whether net worth is equivalent to critical and artistic worth. As the anonymous Economist writer points out, wealth notwithstanding, Hirst has not, until now, been offered a solo retrospective at a modern art museum. </p><p>A toss in the face of Hirst-dom is the fact that of the 67 artworks borrowed for his spring retrospective (the Tate partially owns six pieces), only three have come from public institutions. Dismissal from the public sector signifies doubt in the longevity of an artist's relevance to me. The bulk of the show has been loaned by private collectors the likes of Miuccia Prada, Bernard Arnault, and Steve Cohen. Aren't they glad that their property has been "anointed" by the Tate, raising the resale value exponentially? Smart move, Miuccia. Hirst's art is nearly exclusively discussed within the context of money and secondary market value, a trend to which The Economist article adheres. The fact that every visually analytical talking point is undermined by a comment on the asking price or ownership of that specific piece of art makes Hirst's conceptual and artistic worth rather dubious. Heck, the artist himself lent "A Thousand Years" (1999) to the Tate after buying it back from art business mogul Charles Saatchi in 2003. When an artist re-collects his own work, is he successfully inflating his market value or reclaiming something he deems meaningful?</p><p>The critic's agenda begins to turn opaque with the of "Mr. Hirst's ability to transform dry conceptual art into witty, emotionally engaging work." (2) The implication here seems to be that the 73 works on display will convince visitors of the artist's progression from tedious, immature assemblages to poised, intellectually thoughtful artwork. Having attended Mr. Hirst's recent exhibitions at the Wallace Collection and White Cube in addition to this year's foray of dots splattered across canvas at Britannia Street's , I can't conjure which body of work might have precipitated such a celebratory reaction from a critic. Let the reader be pre-warned that there are no figurative paintings included in the Tate exhibition. Could it be because Hirst received vehement criticism for his insulting appropriation of British darling Francis Bacon's style, themes, and subject? The omission of any material from the two above-mentioned London shows is surely indicative that Hirst's recent practice is anything BUT witty or emotionally engaging. </p><p><br>For those who are unfamiliar with the Tate Modern, the slanted descent into the gallery's Turbine Hall finds you questioning whether you are on the ominous path to Hades or are being granted access to some covert, sanctified crypt. The Hall has been host to artists of a startling calibre: and , among others. It is in this vacuous, "" that Hirst's "For the Love of God" (2007), will be spot-lit in a dark room. The skull-shaped sculpture of real human teeth and millions of dollars worth of diamonds is, apparently, a comment on what the calls "belief system of capitalism." Its dramatic spot-lit installation smacks less of a dialogue with today's socio-economic state, however, than it attempts equation with the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London. When compared to Turbine Hall's inaugural installation -- Louise Bourgeois' poignant and breathtakingly majestic steel spider, "Maman" (1999),"For the Love of God" is crass and sacrilegious. It is nearly impossible to engage emotionally with a £50m sculpture that . </p><p><br>Stepping off the plane into Toronto's frigid air, I came to the same conclusion I always do after reading about or seeing Damien Hirst's artwork: I am astonished that our fickle art world has allowed him gracious passage for over 20 years. Hirst's ability to transform himself into a branded personality is not novel, nor are his indulgent means of artistic creation. Finally, the fact that his retrospective is unable to travel to as intended because transportation and installation would exceed the museum's entire annual exhibition budget is absurd and maddening. Hirst should not be remembered for dissolving the border between the sacred and the profane, as The Economist critic has asserted. He should be scolded for flooding the current art market with overpriced, meaningless works of art that will inevitably be a permanent thorn in the wing of art's history.</p><p>Damien Hirst's mid-career retrospective runs from 4 April - 9 September at the Tate Modern, London.</p><p>(1) Sean O'Hagan, "Damien Hirst: 'I still believe art is more powerful than money'", The Observer, (Sunday 11 March 2012): 10</p><p>(2) "Damien Hirst Retrospective: Is Nothing Sacred?", Books and Arts, The Economist, (March 24-30, 2012): 92</p><p>Image credits in order of appearance:</p><p>Damien Hirst's "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living" (1991), Courtesy of Tate Gallery, London</p><p>Damien Hirst's "For the Love of God" (2007), Courtesy Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam</p><p>Louise Bourgeois' "Maman" (1999), Courtesy of Tate Gallery, London</p><p>Follow Rachel Anne Farquharson on Twitter:</p><p>Bollywood luminaries have continued to pay their respects to India’s first superstar, Rajesh Khanna during a prayer function in Mumbai. </p><p>Khanna, , was known as the “King of Romance”, playing the lead in nearly all of his 170 movies. </p><p>The 69-year-old’s funeral last week drew thousands, desperate for a glance of his glass coffin before he was cremated in a Hindu ceremony. </p><p><br>Bollywood actor Rajesh Khanna was known as the "King of Romance"</p><p>Family members led the prayer meeting on Saturday, including his estranged wife Dimple Kapadia, daughters Twinkle and Rinke, son-in-law Akshay Kumar and grandson Aarav. </p><p>Celebrities including Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Rishi Kapoor and wife Neetu Singh provided a dash of glamour to the event, which saw guests greeted with a large black-and-white photograph of the actor in his heyday. </p><p>The Indian Express described the gathering at a five-star Mumbai hotel as </p><p></p><p></p><p>What happens when three fashion powerhouses come together for an industry chat? You get lots of juicy insider info and a bit of trash talking.</p><p>Andre Leon Talley, The Daily Beast's Robin Givhan and fashion designer Ralph Rucci gathered down in Georgia this past weekend for a speaking engagement at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Our friends over at on all the juiciest sound bytes from their talk. </p><p>After some chit chat on how the internet is affecting fashion, disrespectful Hollywood stylists and the overuse of the word "couture" -- the discussion turned to this year's Met Gala. This is when they get to the good stuff! </p><p>First of all, as perfectly magical as at the Gala, it wasn't even suppose to happen. </p><p>"Beyonce was not slated to come," Andre revealed. "She decided to come last minute when the dress arrived at her house. She tried it on and then she said, ‘okay, I have to come.’ She did arrive at 8:55 and the ball had already started but it didn’t matter because she is Beyonce."</p><p>Obvi! And it's no wonder she was late, Andre said it took 350 hours (aka 14.5 days) to sew. Wowzas!</p><p>But if you think that's shocking, you haven't heard anything yet. </p><p>When Robin asked Ralph if he would ever dress reality star Kim Kardashian, he sharply replied: </p>"No, I think that’s bastardizing yourself [as a designer]."<p>Eek! That's gotta hurt. Plus, Kim didn't even get to attend the Met Gala with her new beau Kanye West thanks to Vogue's editrix. Double burn! </p><p>Check out the dazzling stars that were invited to the Met Gala in the slideshow below. </p><p></p> <br><p>Every season without fail there is an 'it' something. Be it a handbag, a pair of shoes, a colour, a print or a cut, the fashion industry sifts through the season's offerings and proclaims one item (or style) that will trample the rest and earn a prestigious 'it' recommendation.</p><p>For spring summer 2012 it appears the Prada 1950's-esque, turbo-charged, fire bolt lipstick heels are the must have for any participant in the it game. Now please don't feel I'm bad mouthing shoes, and definitely not Prada shoes for that matter! However I just cannot comprehend why this footwear, above the rest, deserves such attention. As I write this I am flipping through the pages of the Bristish Vogue collections supplement for spring summer, and the back page alone (a rather tasty pair of Kurt Geigers) has landed my seasonal wish list far quicker than a pair of Pradas. Whilst I am totally in awe of Prada's wacky design and playful mood, they surely cannot of gained 'it' status for their practicality?!</p><p>As a fashion journalist it is my job (and my pleasure) to stack up on magazines and flick through every single one to see what is in favour and what is in the shops. Interestingly, even high street weeklies have caught the Prada bug and have given the shoe a page all in its own right. Almost as a last minute temptation: "We appreciate you can't afford Prada, however take a glimpse at their latest footwear offering anyway and lust after them..."</p><p>Perhaps it's purely because one magazine decides these particular shoes are their favourite, another feels obliged to agree and puts the pair on their 'most wanted' list. Either way, the status ripples through the industry like dominos toppling and before you know it the fun, unconventional design is the latest must have.</p><p>Having said all of this, I would be most chuffed to own a pair myself. There is a great feeling of achievement and pride when one wears the latest fashionable item - let alone all the envious comments you receive from friends and colleagues! It's a funny emotion as not only will the shoes cost you a small fortune, but fashion turns so quickly anyway it's difficult to know if they'll last even two seasons. I guess that's the joy of buying a highly desireable item and wearing it to death until the fire bolts can fire no more.</p><p>My personal 'it' wardrobe for summer so far consists of a white, slit pencil skirt from Topshop (white is another key trend for the season) along with a green perspex clutch from Kurt Geiger and floral print blazer from Zara. Fortunately these three items seem to style quite nicely together in my imagination, however I'm sure a blast of fire bolt/lipstick luxury wouldn't go amiss either.</p><p>Follow Rebecca Stevens on Twitter:</p><p>The Costume Institute's new exhibition is a happy collision of fashion titans. Decades apart, Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada are joined in a conceit devised by Met curators, Andrew Bolton and Harold Koda: a filmed dialogue, directed by Baz Luhrman, inspired by Louis Malle's two-hander, Dinner With Andre -- only this is two women talking, both Italian and interested in clothes. Hence Impossible Conversations: Judy Davis is cast as Schiaparelli and Prada is, well, herself. Their discourse is projected, heard over the mannequins sporting their shoes, dresses, ensembles, and hats. Provocative pairings make for exhibition as theater.</p><p>The Met seized the moment when they acquired a Schiaparelli collection from the Brooklyn Museum and did not want to duplicate an exhibition perfected elsewhere. The accompanying catalogue features Judith Thurman's wittily titled essay, "Twin Peaks," offering thematic direction and the ES-MP dialogue in short page inserts. Affinities as modernists and feminists emerge as virtual truth. The Futurists and Surrealists are important influences, as are Asian cultures. No surprise, each changed the way women dress in significant ways: among other ingenuities, Schiaparelli was responsible for wraparound dresses, culottes, swimsuits with a built-in bra, wedge heels, the power suit. Prada could be industrial, tailored, severe, but with irony. "The virginal convent girl" in pleats and knee socks, the "virtuous matron in twin sets and pearls" are referenced and subverted in her signature designs. Dowdy chic is chic still.<br>Differences speak to the times: Schiaparelli dressed women for dinner and so emphasized jackets, what's worn above the waist, adorning with, say, monkey fur. Prada goes for the skirt, embellished in an assortment of mirror shards, spangles, kitchen utensils.</p><p>Schiaparelli thought fashion was art. Prada finds that equation impractical for today's world. Fashion is about selling dresses. And other stuff too: the Met gift shops offer her pricy totes, scarves, lobster and banana earrings in bright red and yellow plastic.</p><p>As I traveled past Bergdorf's on the #4 bus down Fifth Avenue, I saw the Prada-decked windows. She might as well have said fashion is about merchandising, branding. This woman speaks what she knows, and does it very well.</p><p>A version of this post also appears on .</p><p>Ten years after taking readers into the cutthroat world of fashion media, The Devil Wears Prada is . EW.com exclusively reports author Lauren Weisberger is working on a second book, Revenge Wears Prada, due out in 2013. </p><p>The original novel, which chronicled the travails of Miranda Priestly, Andrea Sachs and a host of other characters at Runway magazine, was released in 2003 and inspired the 2006 film of the same name. In the movie, Meryl Streep played Priestly, a character inspired by Vogue's Anna Wintour. Anne Hathaway co-starred as Sachs, the young fashion journalist based on Weisberger's own experiences as Wintour's second assistant. </p><p>EW provided the following plot summary for Revenge Wears Prada: </p>Revenge Wears Prada picks up eight years after Andy parted ways with Miranda on bad terms. Andy is now editing The Plunge, the hottest bridal magazine around, alongside Emily, her one-time Runway nemesis turned current BFF. While Andy is planning her own wedding to Max, a handsome media scion, she remains haunted by her impeccably heeled former boss — and the magazine world being as small as it is, it’s only a matter of time before she hears the dreaded syllables “Ahn-dre-ah!” again.<p>Weisberger herself has stayed busy in the years since Devil made its big debut, writing three non-Vogue inspired novels. </p><p>The first book inspired a wide fascination with Wintour, with many wondering whether life at Vogue could possibly be so horrible. One HuffPost blogger wrote that readers shouldn't doubt that the magazine could be hell to work for. "Speaking to others who have undertaken fashion and beauty internships, it is clear to see that the process is a matter of survival rather than enjoyment," wrote Emily Louise .</p><p>As for Wintour? She dressed in -- you guessed it -- Prada.</p><p></p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p>eGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHGtdTrlO6FQ53rI4f%2FNo7oyXAvVcpcAPr4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFV<p>Rihanna, at the risk of sounding like your mother, if you're reading this can you let us know you're ok please?</p><p>We have to say we're a little bit worried about old RiRi after she tweeted this picture of herself attached to a drip.</p><p></p><p>When a fan messaged her to ask if she was ok as she'd been quiet on Twitter, she simply replied with the snap.</p><p>And it's definitely her too, as those talons she's seen sporting in the photo are the same ones that angered Anna Wintour at Monday night's Met Gala. </p><p></p><p>The fashion designer was reportedly fuming when RiRi turned up late to the bash after getting a manicure. </p><p>A source told </p><p>"She missed her slot on the red carpet and left Anna in a frenzy. The pair had a heated conversation during the champagne reception. Rihanna will not be invited to any of her future events any time soon." </p><p>However, if she really was in hospital, she's out now, as hours later she tweeted a pic of herself catching a private jet.</p><p></p><p>"My ride home NY days LA nights," she wrote. </p><p>Phew, thank goodness for that. We couldn't be going too long without our beloved RiRi being snapped doing/wearing something controversial. </p><p>> IN PICS: THE MET GALA 2012 RED CARPET<br></p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p> <br><p>The U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio can be the take-off for the next industrial revolution driven by business and civil society. The conference can mark a change in leadership from a political top down process to a bottom up movement.</p><p>For all the disappointment coming out of Rio, our world leaders can still come home and take concrete steps to promote sustainable development and to wipe out poverty. They can start by supporting businesses that protect our air and water, eradicate poverty, and innovate solutions.</p><p>Times are tough for Marc Jacobs President Robert Duffy.</p><p>Over the weekend, , calling Duffy a "tyrant," and now he -- along with parent group LVMH -- is being sued by former chief financial officer and chief operating officer of Marc Jacobs International Patrice Lataillade, . Lataillade claims he was "subjected to a discriminatory environment offensive to him" and was "fired in retaliation for objecting to that environment."</p><p>What type of environment? :</p>According to the lawsuit, examples of the hostile work environment included Duffy's "production and dissemination of a book that included photos of MJI staff in sexual positions or nude" and "Duffy's use of a nude photograph for a billboard advertisement," among other charges.<p>The suit also alleges that Duffy "uses company funds for personal expenses and does not censor what he does or says."<br></p><p> that Duffy once forced a Marc Jacobs store employee to "perform a pole dance for him," according to the complaint. From the time Lataillade started working at Marc Jacobs in 2002, there were several sexual harassment cases brought or floated against Duffy. :</p>His conduct was so well-known, the filing says, that when the company's human resources department drew up a sexual harassment policy last year, they didn't actually disseminate it "because of a concern that it would anger Duffy," who co-founded the company with Jacobs.<p>Lataillade said he "complained about Duffy's behavior and requested, on numerous occasions, that Duffy's creation of a sexually charged workplace be stopped," but "nothing was done," the suit says.</p><p>Duffy's alleged victims also didn't have much success with their complaints, with the company lawyer telling a young female employee she needed a "thicker skin" and a male employee to "go home early and have a drink," the suit says.</p><p>An LVMH spokesman denied all allegations to WWD and the case is expected to be heard in New York State court. Jacobs, himself, is supposedly not named in the suit.</p> <br><p>On his 900th appearance for Manchester United, Ryan Giggs prolonged a script that would be deemed too hokey for Hollywood.</p><p>While the A-listers mulled over Prada or Versace to trip the light fantastic on the red carpet, United's own academy winner added another happy ending to his career with a stoppage time winner against Norwich City.</p><p>Arriving late to meet Ashley Young's inviting cross, he nonchalantly volleyed past Canaries goalkeeper John Ruddy to preserve the two-point deficit behind Manchester City for his 163rd club career goal. Giggs first scored against Norwich City in September 1991.</p><p>Rio Ferdinand paid tribute to his team-mate after the 2-1 win:</p><p></p><p>Ecstatic and relieved, the Welshman headed over to United's boisterous away following to revel in the moment along with his rapturous teammates at Carrow Road.</p><p>Next month Giggs will have played 21 years for the club, having made his debut as a substitute against Everton as a 17-year-old in 1991.</p><p>Here we present a gallery charting some memorable moments of a glittering career:</p><p><br></p> <br><p><br>Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen caused another security alert when he stormed the catwalk at Milan Fashion Week.</p><p>Cohen interrupted the fashion show of designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada in Milan making it onto the catwalk dressed as his Austrian model Bruno. Dressed in a black cloak, and a bizarre bundle of clothing, Cohen strutted down the catwalk past the shows' models.</p><p>But the police were called when he refused to leave to restore order.</p><p>Scantily clad models screamed and security guards dived on him and several others with him and bundled them away. TV footage screened on Italian TV showed Cohen dressed as his creation Bruno, a flamboyant Austrian fashionista.</p><p>Cohen is in Milan working on a new film called Bruno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Male.<br><br>-or-</p><p>SCROLL FOR PHOTOS</p><p>-or-<br><br>WATCH THE CHAOS ON THE RUNWAY AND HIM BEING LED AWAY BY POLICE:</p><p><p><p></p><p>PHOTOS:<br><br><br><br></p><p>Salma Hayek will always be a bombshell, but lately we'd considered her in a new light. After all, the 45-year-old actress got married, gave birth to , made an (which she then ) and began in which she sounded off on Botox and anti-ageing skincare products. </p><p>But as we realized yesterday, girl's still got it. </p><p>Salma has spent this week in Paris for the couture shows, sitting front row at Giambattista Valli and attending film premieres. She's also made time to hit up , a new (or old, depending when you read this) venture in Paris that will include "interpretations of classical sculptures that make reference to contemporary divas." </p><p>While we're not sure what that means, Salma must have taken the "contemporary divas" part to heart. She looked every bit the heart-stopping diva in a skintight black lace dress belted at the waist, a black velvet choker and black platform pumps. </p><p>With her hair pulled back for full effect, she looks like she hasn't aged a day. </p><p>Check out Salma's ensemble below. Do you like the boldly sexy look or do you think the 45-year-old mom should tone it down?<br><br></p><p></p><p></p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p> <br>READ the news!<br><br>Samsung presented a PROTOTYPE phone called “the F700,” a concept that was in development WELL before Apple announced the iPhone at the beginning of 2007. Samsung was developing its own touchscreen smartphone WELL before it knew about the iPhone but corrupt Judge did NOT allow it . <br><br>How comical is that She allowed all of Apple's evidences while she banned all of Samsung's eveidences? THIS IS NOT A FAIR TRIAL AT ALL. If Samsung lose because of this BS trial Samsung should reapeal or take to internation court.<br><br>Everyone says Corrutp judge is bought out by Apple.<br><br>Btw, I'm not work for Samsung i'm just housewife and ordinary consumer who got disgusted by Apple's BULLYING practice against its competitor rather than spend thier money and time on innovations.<p> whose book just hit shelves. After 25 years in fashion, Morrison has some pretty interesting stories to tell...like tales from her earliest gig in the biz:</p>At my first job [as a "below-junior-level assistant" to Marina Schiano at Vanity Fair], I was 21 and I thought I knew everything, but I really didn't. I was yelled at in English and Italian. I've had several things thrown at me. But the big thing that tore Marina and me apart was delivering these dog biscuits to Carolina Herrera's dog. I had a 104 degree fever and we were doing a Christmas delivery and I was putting the dog biscuit bags in the back of the car and somehow I did something wrong and put the bag in incorrectly. So the bag got a little messed up and maybe the biscuit was broken and that was it. I've never been yelled at that loudly. That was the last straw straw, that's what got me out of Vanity Fair. It's pretty funny now, though at the time I thought my career was over and that my life was ending.<p>Hardly so. In fact, celebrity stylists and the age of Rachel Zoe were just on the horizon. According to Charnin Morrison, styling, as we know it, became a profession circa 1995, when (now-Michelle Obama favorite) Barbara Tfank put Uma Thurman in Prada for the Oscars. "Because it wasn't a costume design by Helen Rose, it wasn't a Bob Mackie creation, it just wasn't a costume. It was a piece that someone could buy off a rail. Before then, you just just didn't know where red carpet gowns came from," .</p><p>.</p><p>Uma in 1995:</p><p></p> <br><p>Today in , yet another catwalk queen has joined the mommy club: . </p><p>Pivovarova has given birth to a baby girl, she tweeted on Sunday. It's the first child for Pivovarova and her photographer husband, Igor Vishnyakov.</p><p>Pivovarova is a high-fashion favorite who has walked for labels such as Prada, Rodarte, Valentino and Chanel, fronted campaigns for the likes of Miu Miu and Giorgio Armani and . </p><p>Of course, the busy Russian model took time off of the runway while she was expecting. But just last week, before the baby arrived, Pivovarova made sure to strike the requisite maternity pose: , the first anyone had seen of the bump.</p><p>Just days after tweeting the photo to her Twitter followers, , "It's a beautiful baby girl #vovarovaholic :') ?" </p><p>Congrats to the happy family! </p><p>Today is my first day celebrating mother's day as a mommy! Happy mother's day to all mothers around the world :) Love, Sasha.</p>— Sasha Pivovarova (@vovarova) <p>It's a beautiful baby girl :') ?</p>— Sasha Pivovarova (@vovarova) <p>I'm really happy to share my growing belly with my :) Have a nice day ahead, TGIF! </p>— Sasha Pivovarova (@vovarova) <p></p><p>See more model-moms:</p> <br><p>THe Moment:</p><p>The native tongue of style insiders might sound like gibberish to the casual listener. (Adam Kepler, the assistant to T's editor, Stefano Tonchi, once wrote for The Moment about confusing Miuccia Prada with a cartoon about Mexican wrestlers.) But to industry diehards, the correct pronunciation of the style directory is as important as the right shoe.<br>Thankfully, the Imperial Hotel Management College (I.H.M.C.) in Vancouver has put together an assortment of YouTube audio clips as part of its "Luxury Studies" program. The clips aim to unravel tongue-twisting designer pronunciations. </p><p></p> <br>Community Notice:We've made some changes to our badge program, including the addition<br>of our newest badge: Community Curator.Click here to leave a comment.HuffPost High School welcomes a lively, thoughtful debate in the comment section. Keep in mind that the articles here are penned by young authors, so please keep criticism respectful, and help us to keep this a safe and supportive place for writers of all ages to contribute.eGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHGtdTrlO6FQ53rI4f%2FNo7oyXAvVcpcAPr4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFV<p>While the excitement surrounding didn't have quite the same fervor as its predecessor (), we expected that it would fare pretty well. But, , the exhibition closed quietly Sunday with only about half of the number of attendees as McQueen had the year before.</p><p>To put this stat into perspective, the McQueen exhibition came on the heels of . The number of people that came out to see it -- 661,509 -- was , so it wasn't exactly an easy act to follow.</p><p>That said, Schiap and Prada's 339,838 attendance is still a bit lackluster. The show in 2008, "," brought out 576,000 viewers while had a turnout of 559,902. , , managed an attendance of 463,600. And even though Prada is also an important name in the fashion industry, perhaps her pairing with Schiaparelli was not enough draw for the masses?</p><p>This possibility, of course, was not unrecognized by the curators of the show. , co-curator Andrew Bolton, said that he had no intention of replicating the "emotional" frenzy of the McQueen exhibition:</p>We deliberately wanted to do something more high-concept and more intellectual than an emotional experience. We also wanted to focus on designers who are able to marry their conceptualism with practicality. <p>Well, we're fairly certain that , so we applaud the curators for putting together a show that they felt passionate about even if they knew it might be a dud. Do you think the choice to feature Prada and Schiaparelli was a mistake? </p><p></p><p>Take a look at the stunning guests at the "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations" opening gala!</p><p></p><p>Want more? Be sure to check out HuffPost Style on , , and .</p>eGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHR%2Bk7huUTK5GduMziZZw2K6rSnCeVSnLO4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFV<p>Anyone who works in the fashion industry can confirm that The Devil Wears Prada is a piece of non-fiction work. At some point in our careers, we all have encountered our own Miranda Priestly, the unreasonable and oppressive manager whose mission is to make your life second-place to her demands. Impossible tasks, 14-hour work days, and personal sacrifices are the norm. Your salary is laughable, lunch is just a distraction, and your efforts are thankless. You envy your 9 to 5 friends and if you even dreamed of wearing flats to the office, you'd apologize to your boss first thing in the morning. Most of us will pay our two-year dues of hell for the stellar reference and prestigious name on our resumes. However, some of us aren't willing to forsake our sanity and go in search of laid-back pastures instead. <br> <br>But is the grass greener?<br> <br>Now, I am no fashion industry veteran, but I know for sure that on the other side there is a character that has yet to be captured in a New York Times bestseller or major motion picture. This one opts for comfortable, inexpensive footwear and strikes up conversations about your weekend. She actually cares that you eat lunch and will even join you. Her office door is always open and no attitudes are allowed. On the surface she seems harmless, but her actions are carefully calculated to distract you from her ulterior motive: to keep you from becoming greater than her. This proverbial wolf in sheep's clothing is riddled with mediocrity and preys on the ambitious. So when you're a brilliant 20-something with vocalized goals beyond the cubicle, watch out. <br> <br>Here are some signs that this is your boss.<br> <br>1. She's been in the same position since Cher and Dionne were running the streets of Beverly Hills.</p><p>If she took her mid-level position in a previous century, your drive will be misunderstood as a danger to her non-existent career. Complacency breeds idiocy. Miranda Priestly may be a battle-axe, but she appreciates the go-getter and eventually uses her power to help you move forward.<br> <br>2. Your seasoned co-workers are mistaken for interns. </p><p>Mundane assignments are a part of any assistant position, and not every company has the room to promote. However, a sensible manager will offer a good assistant more exciting responsibilities to compensate. If your co-workers' duties haven't surpassed packing boxes after three years, then you probably won't be going much further than the tape-gun either. </p><p>3. Her face turns redder than a Louboutin bottom with any indication of you working outside of Microsoft Office.</p><p>This quote recently came across my Twitter timeline: "Those who subscribe to mediocrity will always fear and mock those who subscribe to excelling in life". And this type of manager has a lifetime subscription to mediocrity that contains detailed instructions on how to target and suppress potential. Networking and gaining marketable job skills are keys to success, which she throws away because her insecurity cannot stand for you to be extraordinary. </p><p>4. She has complicit managers. </p><p>This master-manipulator is protected by her superiors who rely on her lack of ambition for their own good. While they work five hour days before heading to a Broadway show, she does the dirty work. They benefit from her settle-for-less mentality so a threat to her is a threat to them. And that threat is your ambition. </p><p>5. She wears Puma sneakers to a job in fashion. </p><p>Enough said. </p><p>You may be wondering how someone just four years out of undergraduate school can offer career advice. Well, I lived through this. </p><p>Once upon a time, I mastered the art of stuffing envelopes and expressed a reasonable interest in other areas of my job. (Ever heard of a producer forbidden to work on set?) I was faced with sabotage, passive-aggressive behavior, and inciting emails. I sat through a series of meetings with managers and human resources executives who patronized and mocked me, insulted my character, then dramatically exited-fur coat and Hermes bag swinging. I guess they looked to reality TV for a black woman reference and expected me to go Nene Leakes because disappointment was expressed in my composure: "Why are you smiling?" </p><p>For some peculiar reason, they were surprised by the integrity, dignity and poise of a you-can-do-anything raised, Howard University educated young lady. </p><p>Despite the Mean Girls games, I don't feel that it was a waste of time. I realized that this experience was not meant for me to acquire more job skills. It was about character building. I learned the power of calm and that not everyone appreciates the will to achieve. So be on high alert for those who take advantage of your hard work while keeping you from reaching your highest potential. And when they provoke, don't quit or react. Just do the following: </p><p>1. Privately line up other opportunities where ambition is required.</p><p>2. Celebrate after they not coincidentally decide to restructure the team and eliminate your position only.</p><p>3. Share your story with millions of readers to let those mediocre broads know they can't screw with everyone. </p><p>Looking through pictures of Shala Monroque, former Editor-at-Large at Pop magazine, we were struck by her tough-to-classify style. It's a melange of classic, current, edgy, feminine and artful...that's left us with a serious case of closet envy.</p><p>Born in St. Lucia, the fashion consultant and writer, who turns one year older on Monday, as her favorite designer, frequently donning head-to-toe looks from the fashion house and its secondary line, Miu Miu. For Shala, fashion and style are more about the confidence one exudes when wearing a look as opposed to the physical nature of the clothing itself. Perhaps that's why she can pull off some of the most intricate Rodarte looks with unmatched ease.</p><p>Enough gushing on our part. Take a look at some of her looks below and wish Miss Monroque a happy birthday in the comments. And if you, too, can't get enough, check out her blog, .</p><p></p> <br><p>Footage of Terry, a , has gone viral on the Internet, sparking a debate over its authenticity.</p><p>Allan McNamara, a computer technician, claims to have encountered the animal in a pasture in the north of England. He shot video of the grazing sheep, which he postulated was . </p><p>"He lives happily and has been checked by a vet to ensure he is in no pain. He can eat, sleep and do everything other sheep can," McNamara told The Daily Mail.</p><p>Despite McNamara's insistence that the animal's deformity is real, some have . "The altering possibilities modern technology enables are causing some viewers to believe the video of Terry is a fake," wrote the Inquisitr.</p><p>Although McNamara reportedly responded to critics by going back to the farm to snap more pictures of the sheep, photos of Terry hosted on Imgur -- and McNamara's original YouTube post -- had been removed at the time of this writing.</p><p>The sheep remains a curiosity for many. GhostTheory joked that it was referring to the 2011 nuclear disaster in Japan, and posted a . </p><p>But despite all the controversy, there is a scientific case to be made for Terry. According to a Web site maintained by the Purdue University agriculture department, there are more than 30 known or suspected genetic defects in sheep. </p><p>One of them, called (SLS), can lead to deformities that "commonly include abnormally long, bent limbs, , shallow bodies, flattened rib cages, and long necks."<br></p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p><p>Ten-year old (yes, 10) Kaia Crawford is "one to watch" if you believe this week's Grazia (which, incidentally, I generally do). Lottie Moss, Kate Moss's 13-year-old step-sister, has been signed up to Storm Model Management before she has even hit puberty. 15-year-old Hailee Steinfeld, meanwhile, is currently enjoying a stint as the international face of Miu Miu. Fashion critics may be falling over themselves to tell us that 2012 is the year of the "older model", but much of this evidence indicates the opposite. The fashion world, and designers in particular, are looking to younger and younger girls to show off their clothes. </p><p>But why is there this obsession with youth on the Prada and Balenciaga catwalks (among many others), and where did it come from? Fashion has always loved the "bright young things" that are drawn to its glamour like moths to a flame, but some of these girls are barely old enough to be dressing in adult clothes, yet alone be parading them down a catwalk in Milan. Many model bookers cite the very modern malady of FOMO (fear of missing out) as the thing that drives them to spot and sign pre-pubescent girls. With every agency scouring their respective fashion capitals for what they hope might be a "fresh new face" for the season, it is perhaps inevitable that the younger the girl, the fresher she seems, and, perhaps more importantly, the less likely she is to have been seen before elsewhere.</p><p>However, this frenzied competition that has led the agency bookers to stand outside girls' school gates and scrutinise the Year 7s and Year 8s as they leave class has unfortunately meant that the goal posts have shifted for us all. Call me old-fashioned, but I'm not sure I want to see the Lolita-esque Dakota Fanning staring out at me from UK Elle's February edition; all vacant stare and red lips. Even more so than this, I'm not sure that I want to be sold clothes by girls that were practically born in a different millennium to me (and, at 22, this is not a nice feeling). Real women will never be able to get back that flat-chested, boyish silhouette (would we want to?!), but the fashion industry insists on pushing it upon us daily, through campaigns, catwalks and glossy magazine covers.</p><p>London Fashion Week may say that the girls that they use on their catwalks must be 16 or over, and our magazine editors may defend their cover shoots of teenagers such as the Marc Jacobs model, Elle Fanning (13 years), as artistic statements, but the proof is often in the proverbial pudding, so to speak. And this pudding continually tells us that women like you and I do not enjoy being flogged clothes by the pre-pubescent - in fact, it is often the pieces on a "perfect 10" or a size 12 woman that make us reach into our pockets and part with our cash. </p><p>So will the fashion industry catch on to this discrepancy between their ideal and ours? Girls, I reckon there's cause for hope. Fashion is nothing if not fast, and youth, like beauty, is transient. There's a reason why the original super models continue to sell magazine cover after magazine cover. Kaia, Hailee, Elle and co have a lot to learn.</p><p>Follow Sophie Haslett on Twitter:</p><p>MADRID &mdash; Spain warned Bolivia on Wednesday that its nationalization of a Spanish company that owned most of its electricity grid will hurt the Latin American country's image among international investors.</p><p>But Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said there was no link between this case involving Red Electrica Corporacion S.A. and Argentina's process of nationalizing YPF, until now an affiliate of Spanish energy giant Repsol SA.</p><p>De Guindos said Madrid will be watching out to make sure Bolivia pays a fair price for the forced takeover of the Spanish company.</p><p>The nationalization could not come at a worse time for the Spanish government, the owner of 20 percent of Red Electrica, as it faces a recession, mass unemployment and investor concerns it will be the next eurozone country to need a bailout.</p><p>"The Spanish government does not like this kind of decision because we believe it is essential to maintain legal security in the investment process in countries like Bolivia," de Guindos said in Brussels, where he is to meet with his EU counterparts.</p><p>Of the decisions by Bolivia and Argentina to expropriate companies, he said "They are mainly negative for the countries that make them, for the governments that make them."</p><p>Over the mid-term they will have "implications" for their economic development and investor confidence, the minister added.</p><p>Red Electrica spokesman Antonio Prada denied Bolivia's accusations the local unit did not invest enough in the grid. He said the company had invested "the amount necessary to maintain and raise the quality standards" of the Bolivian electrical distribution network.</p><p>The seizure was announced Tuesday by President Evo Morales at a ceremony marking May Day.</p><p>Prada added that Bolivia only accounted for 1.5 percent of the company's revenues, which totaled (EURO)1.8 billion in 2011.</p><p>Red Electrica shares were down 1 percent at (EURO)31.90 in midday trading.</p><p>The vice president of Spain's main business federation, Arturo Fernandez, said that in the wake of these moves announced by Argentine President Cristina Kirchner and now Morales, Spain's government has to be tough. These nationalizations "could be contagious" and be emulated by countries such as Ecuador or Venezuela, he said.</p><p>"It is just not right that Mrs. Kirchner did what she did and now in Bolivia they toy with the Spanish people like this," Fernandez told Spanish state television.</p><p>"I do not see this happening with the French or the Germans. It seems we have been singled out. We have invested a lot of work and money, and we have resolved too many economic problems in those countries to be treated like this now."</p><p>Prada said Red Electrica expects to reach agreement with Bolivia on compensation for the nationalization of its Bolivia unit.</p>Well, let the young children vote. I think you'll find that, if left to their own devices, most young children would end up without clothes on because they are hot, cumbersome, restrict movement, etc. AND they don't really care about carrying the weight of social stigma about body gender, type, color, deformaties or most of the other baggage adults elect to carry around. Yes, clothes should be functional. Board shorts on a beach are functional for sopping up tons of water, dripping, being cold, collecting sand and shells and hiding a man's physique which a lot of men have worked very hard to culture... not to mention promoting the anemic legs that will never tan between the navel and the knees. A great look at the gym. Oh, and don't forget it's like swimming with a pair of pants on.<br>I like to see people who are happy with themselves and wear what suits them, is the most comfortable and functional and puts a smile on their faces. It's pretty tiring hearing the same old "watch out for the children" and "... only if they look good in it" arguments. Look good by whose standards? For my part if the wearer is happy I am happy for them and enjoy their happiness. I'm not qualified to judge everyone's choices in clothes or set arcane standards for them to follow. We're a pretty hung up country but that's another topic. Go Briefs of all kinds for those happy wearing them!<p>LONDON - Who said sportswear can't be chic?</p><p>The athletes' parade during Friday's opening ceremony might as well have been a catwalk show, with some of fashion's biggest names — Armani, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Stella McCartney — designing the team uniforms.</p><p>Many in the fashion industry are already calling this the most stylish Olympics ever.</p><p>The Italians must be some of the best-dressed athletes, scoring points with an understated monochrome kit in navy and white by Giorgio Armani, as well as waterproof blue designs for their sailing team by Prada.</p><p>Stella McCartney has worked with Adidas to design the sporting gear and "Village wear" (read loungewear) for Britain's home team, though the outfits weren't on show Friday as athletes covered up in white and gold tracksuits. McCartney's gear takes inspiration from the iconic Union flag, but she said she deconstructed it to make it "more delicate and feminine." Look out for them on the track and at the pool: Red is sparingly used to highlight a palette that mostly features white and shades of blue — turquoise, navy, cobalt.</p><p>Meanwhile, the American team may have gotten a barrage of bad press for its made in China Ralph Lauren uniforms, but the preppy designs were still some of the most stylish in the arena: clean-cut navy blazers, crisp white trousers, skirts, and shoes, accessorized with navy berets and blue, red and white striped scarves.</p><p>The Jamaican team is in the spotlight because of sprinter Usain Bolt, so it's fitting that it also got a boost in the fashion stakes this year. Their kit, which feature the national colours as well as lightning-like prints, were designed by Cedella Marley, daughter of legendary singer Bob Marley, for Puma. The styles were modeled by a flamboyantly dancing Bolt at a London catwalk recently.</p><p>"Cedella Marley brings island colour to team Jamaica — a sea of tropical yellow, green and black," said Avril Graham, Harper's Bazaar executive fashion and beauty editor, on Friday.</p><p>Other designers behind the Olympics this year include luxury label Hermes, which has designed riding jackets for the French equestrian team, and Salvatore Ferragamo, which designed the official uniform for the tiny European republic of San Marino.</p><p>Some designers didn't get involved in the official Olympics gear, but used the games as an opportunity to cash in and promote their brands anyway.</p><p>Karl Lagerfeld, for example, launched an Olympic-themed womenswear collection called Team Karl at London department store Selfridge's — though he reportedly said he wouldn't tune in to watch the games. Meanwhile, high-street chain store H&M said it was launching two pop-up stores dedicated to selling sportswear in London.</p><p>Friday's athletes parade also showcased some surprising and less popular designs.</p><p>The German team was notable for not using their national colours at all — instead, the kit was all hot pink for the women's jackets, and cornflower blue for the men; both were paired with white trousers. The Czechs, meanwhile, wore bright blue wellington rain boots paired with white shorts.</p><p>Spectators also made their own judgments about the much-maligned uniforms for the Spaniards and Russians, both made by Russian sportswear company Bosco. Some Spanish athletes have posted tweets grumbling about their garish red and gold outfits, and there are even Spanish Facebook groups set up to campaign against the gear.</p><p>Official kit aside, there were strong fashion showings in the spectator stand, too.</p><p>Michelle Obama chose a white dress by J. Mendel, while the Duchess of Cambridge, formerly known as Kate Middleton, dazzled with a pastel blue satin and belted coat dress reportedly by wunderkind Christopher Kane. British Prime Minister David Cameron's wife, Samantha, demonstrated her fashion credentials with a bold red and black outfit by London-based designer Roksanda Illincic.</p><p>Whether it's a Louis Vuitton, Proenza Schouler or Chanel that your heart desires, it's likely, if you're spending upwards of $1,000 on a purse, you want it to be real. </p><p>But there are plenty of people out there -- online and on street corners -- who are looking for people super keen on buying a Birkin to scam. (Can you imagine what it would feel like to think you've bought "the real deal" when all you've snagged is a knock-off? Blah.)</p><p>Avoid the feeling of "it" bag buying defeat, by checking out these tips from . Their five tidbits will help you spot a fake online, and will save you from serious sartorial heartbreak. </p><p>Easy Tells<br>Spotting replica handbags used to be simple; check the hardware, logos and material. Lightweight metal accents, slightly skewed logos and cheap materials are still the first lines of defence for warding off fakes, but with today’s higher-quality knock-offs, it’s a case of needing steps two through five as well.</p><p>Online Indicators<br>When buying a handbag online, make sure it’s from a reputable source. If sites are based in China or Hong Kong, proceed with caution, as the two countries make up 88.8 per cent of the goods seized. Also, check the descriptions and reviews for signs of inauthenticity. If customer reviews say the bags aren’t the real thing, then they likely aren’t.</p><p>Respectable Resellers<br>Just because a bag is sold online, it doesn’t mean it’s fake. Authentic and vintage handbags are often sold on eBay; buyers just need to be smart in researching the seller. If the deal looks too good to be true, it usually is. A Chanel bag will never be $50, so use common sense. Certified resale sites like Portero also offer discounts on authentic bags.</p><p>Craftsmanship Flaws<br>A Burberry or Prada handbag will not have crooked stitching or unfinished edges. High-end brands take ultimate pride in craftsmanship, so no imperfect bag would leave their factory for a legitimate retailer like Nordstrom. The leathers and fabrics of authentic bags will always be perfectly stitched and lined up, never crooked or gapped stitched.</p><p>Brand-Specific Giveaways<br>Know the signs to look for in the specific bag. For instance, Marc Jacobs’ zippers are embossed with either RiRi or Lampo and all Louis Vuitton bags made since the early ‘80s have a date stamped somewhere on the interior. Brand fanatics spend time spotting knock-off bags to protect their favourite designers’ integrity, so a quick search before you buy will reveal specific tells for each high-end brand.</p><p>Armed with these five tips, spotting imitation designer handbags should be simple. Don’t fall into the impostor trap -- if the real thing is too expensive, buy an authentic, quality handbag of a lesser-known brand. </p><p>Here are real Hermes bags on the arms of celebs:<br></p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p><p>For those who have it all, I present you with the splurge guide. </p><p>The Fendi Abici Amante Donna Bicycle<br>Fa la la la la around town on Fendi's luxury Abici Amante Donna bicycle; the luxury cycle is fully loaded with leather accessories, a leather GPS navigation holder, key and bike chain cover, and a detachable fabulous Fendi case ($5900). The more deluxe version comes stocked with all the above, plus removable saddle bags ($9500). Get moving in style. Exclusively available at Fendi flagship stores<br><br> <br>LaLaLuxe Concierge <br>If she prefers a perfectly planned, luxurious, last minute birthday party in Paris, or dreams of shopping at Dior at dawn, why not give the gift of a further curated life with . This luxury Purveyor offers personal shopping, wardrobe styling, fine jewelry and private on call concierge services year-round ($300 per hour). This season, slip away for an exclusive shopping getaway via private jet to Vegas, or San Francisco; and if shopping isn't your thing, LaLaLuxe will stock your wine cellar with Napa wines, coordinate a blindfolded cheese tasting with a "fumagier" or cooking lessons at Michael Mina. A perfectly seasoned menu of luxury (From $10,000).<br></p><p>iPhone 3G Kings Button <br>If your only wish for 2011 is never to hear "Honey, where's my cell phone?" The iPhone 3G Kings Button could potentially be your solution. This uber luxury phone is the brainchild of Austrian designer-jeweler , king of blurring the lines between gadget, art and jewelery. The phone is covered in 18 carat yellow gold, rose gold, white gold and approximately 138 small diamonds. The home button is where the real bling is -- it's encrusted with a huge 6.6-carat diamond; with a price tag of $2.41 million, your sweetie will certainly know exactly where that phone is. Clear service, not included. <br> </p><p>Hermes Coloring Book<br>Disney and Dora The Explorer are so last year. Give your kids creativity a splash of style with <br>the Hermes Les 4 Mondes coloring book ($130). This deluxe gift could be responsible for kick starting an early career in design. The coloring book for adults and kids includes 12 pages with 24 designs. Go ahead, color outside the lines. Available at <br> </p><p>Customized Prada Sunglasses<br>So you say you need something with a little more coverage this season? Pick up a pair of "PradaPrivate" customized sunglasses ($365). These designer shades allow you to express yourself in style; choose a frame color, and modify with cheeky letters, numbers and symbols like hearts, skulls, and snowflakes depending on your mood. Symbols can be easily inserted into the sunglasses' removable arms. ? A combo pack of the pieces are included with every pair. The perfect spectacle. PradaPrivate is available worldwide at Prada Boutiques.<br></p><p><br></p><p>Follow Stacie Krajchir on Twitter:</p><p>Maybe he wore a Prada suit.</p><p> that "Hunger Games" star Stanley Tucci recently married Felicity Blunt, his "Devil Wears Prada" co-star Emily Blunt's sister, in a secret wedding. </p><p>The pair met and became friends while Blunt and Tucci were filming "The Devil Wears Prada" in 2006 and .</p><p>The couple's relationship status was called into question on Monday when Blunt appeared on Tucci's arm at the New York premiere of fellow "Devil" alum Meryl Streep's new movie, "Hope Springs." </p><p>The couple is reportedly planning another more formal wedding for family and friends. This is Tucci's second marriage; his first wife, Kate, from breast cancer.</p><p>Tucci is just the latest celebrity to tie the knot in secret. in a quiet ceremony last weekend. Click through the slideshow to see more celebs whose vows flew under the radar.</p><p></p><p>Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost Weddings on , and .</p><p>Stanley Tucci has secretly married Emily Blunt's sister Felicity.</p><p><br>Stanley Tucci was introduced to his new wife Felicity by his Devil co-star Emily Blunt</p><p>The pair became engaged last year and the actor confirmed he is a married man after his new bride was spotted wearing a wedding band at a screening of new movie Hope Springs in New York on Monday.<br> <br>A source tells the New York Daily News that Tucci and literary agent Felicity are planning a formal wedding for friends and family later this year.<br> <br>Tucci was introduced to his new wife by actress Emily Blunt after they grew close on the set of their 2006 fashion hit The Devil Wears Prada.</p><p>The actor was widowed when his wife Kate lost her battle with cancer in 2009. </p><p>SLIDESHOW: 21 "They Really Dated?" Celebrity Couples<br></p><p>NEW YORK &mdash; It's known as one of the most glamorous red carpets of the year, with movie stars, models and even a few star quarterbacks putting on their most fashion-forward outfits for the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute gala.</p><p>Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady, Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, Heidi Klum, Tim Tebow and Florence Welch were among those to weave through the tented grand Fifth Avenue entrance to celebrate the new fashion exhibit that compares and contrasts the designs of two Italian women: Miuccia Prada, who wore a pantsuit to the event, and the late Elsa Schiaparelli.</p><p>Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, serves as hostess of the event, and she wore a white gown with lobster-motif gold embroidery by Prada. Carey Mulligan, Wintour's co-chairwoman this year, wore a Prada cocktail dress with metallic fish-scale beading, and Gwyneth Paltrow had on a steel-blue Prada dress with heavily embellished pockets.</p><p>Among others donning Prada: Eva Mendes, Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman and Linda Evangelista.</p><p>Unlike other big celebrity red carpets, where designers just want to hear the stars utter their names as the creators of their dresses, they are the A-list dates here. Michael Kors escorted Hilary Swank, wearing a red halter gown; Parker, in a metallic floral-print gown with long sleeves and belt, came with Valentino; and singer Lana Del Ray, cloaked in a long black cape, came with Joseph Altuzarra.</p><p>Jason Wu brought model Karlie Kloss, who wore a mostly hot-pink gown with an underlay of black beaded lace; Karolina Kurkova, in a rose-gold sequin gown and beaded cap, attended with Rachel Zoe; and Doutzen Kroes wore a one-shouldered, black-and-white gown as she walked arm-in-arm with Roland Mouret.</p><p>January Jones could have stopped traffic in her bright yellow custom Atelier Versace bustier gown, and model Coco Rocha also went the bright route, matching pink curls in her hair to the tank top she wore under a vintage taxi-yellow suit.</p><p>Other fashion moments:</p><p>_ Scarlett Johansson in a custom bustier gown embroidered with gold thread and pearls and a long tulle skirt by Dolce & Gabbana.</p><p>_ Ashley Greene in off-the-shoulder Grecian gown in white silk with chiffon pleats and fringe by Donna Karan, who also made Nina Dobrev's black-and-gold asymmetrical gown with a pooling train inspired by a gown Paltrow used as a costume in "Great Expectations."</p><p>_ Bundchen in a high-slit black gown by Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci, who also dressed Liv Tyler, Kanye West, Rooney Mara, Alicia Keys and Beyonce, who more a sheer black gown with strategic beading and a purple ostrich-feather hemline.</p><p>_ Jessica Chastain in a corseted blue satin dress with crystals, pearls and crinoline by Louis Vuitton. Vuitton, designed by Marc Jacobs (who wore a black lace get-up), also outfitted Dakota Fanning in a lavender organza gown.</p><p>_ Cameron Diaz in a long-sleeve, crystal-fringe embroidered gown by Stella McCartney, who also dressed Kristin Wiig in an orange lace dress.</p><p>_ Welch in a cream-colored, organza tiered dress by Alexander McQueen's Sarah Burton, who also dressed Cate Blanchett in a black feather gown with ostrich hem.</p><p>_ Rihanna in a black leather gown with crocodile-style embossing by Tom Ford, who additionally wardrobed Justin Timberlake and Brady.</p><p>_ Sofia Vergara in a silver-embroidered illusion column dress with fan-style pleated tulle bodice by Marchesa, which also dressed Leighton Meester in a gold embroidered illusion dress.</p><p>_ Amy Adams in a cream one-shoulder silk chiffon gown with black velvet insert from Giambattista Valli Haute Couture.</p><p>_ Emily Blunt in salmon pink gown with cutouts by Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein, who also dressed Rosario Dawson. Klein's menswear creative director Italo Zucchelli wardrobed Victor Cruz and Amar'e Stoudemire.</p><p>_ Camilla Belle in a delicate ivory tulle beaded dress from Ralph Lauren, who also dressed Michelle Dockery of "Downton Abbey" and Tebow.</p><p>_ Renee Zellweger in a black illusion gown with an open back by Emilio Pucci.</p><p>_ Katharine McPhee in a coral-colored, square-neck embroidered gown.</p><p>_ Jessica Pare in a gold-and-bronze, second-skin sequined gown by L'Wren Scott, who came with boyfriend Mick Jagger.</p><p>_ Amber Heard in an orchid-colored bustier gown by Zac Posen.</p><p>_ Dianna Agron in a jade-green gown by Carolina Herrera with a peplum and snakeskin wrap belt.</p><p>_ Brooklyn Decker in a slate-blue pleated gown with floral appliques by Tory Burch.</p><p>_ Lea Michele in a blue gown with plunging neckline by Diane von Furstenberg.</p><p>_ Claire Danes in J. Mendel white silk asymmetrical gown with embroidery.</p><p>_ Ginnifer Goodwin in a Monique Lhuillier tangerine silk chiffon cap sleeve gown.</p><p>_ Kirsten Dunst in an orange-and-cream, double-breasted, jacket-style gown by Rodarte.</p><p>Lauren Weisberger, the literary "it girl" whose 2003 roman a clef The Devil Wears Prada became an international bestseller and was the basis for the popular chick flick of the same name, is expecting her first child, but that is not stopping her from hitting the road promoting her most recent book Last Night at the Chateau Marmont.</p><p></p><p>The thirty- something blonde was at the suburban Washington, DC boutique Ginger as part of Bethesda Row Boutique week where she signed hardcovers and interacted with fans with the ease and affability of a sorority sister.<br> <br>The New York-based writer says that her pregnancy is not giving her creativity a surge, because she's "tired and hungry all the time," but she explained she likes to unwind between preparing for her baby and flacking her book by reading "the books everyone else is reading" like Jonathan Franzen's Freedom on her Amazon Kindle.<br> <br>During our brief interview, I got the distinct impression there's been no rapprochement between Weisberger and her old boss, Vogue editor Anna Wintour, whose witchy ways and diva like demands reportedly inspired "the Devil" in her popular book.</p><p>"I had flashbacks. I found it very transporting," Weisberger told me when asked what she thought of last year's fashion documentary "The September Issue," which chronicled how Wintour and her army of editors and assistants put together the most anticipated magazine of the year.</p><p>When it was suggested that the film made Wintour appear more "human," Weisberger responded with a cold and pensive "hmmmm."</p><p>Photo by Daniel Swartz for .</p><p>Follow Stephanie Green on Twitter:</p><p>Steve Madden of his namesake shoe line talked about what is, in his opinion, the biggest misperception about his company. He explained</p>We design shoes every day, and we are as creative as Prada. We are creating as much as the Pradas and the Chloés of the world. Do we make $900 shoes that are in Neiman Marcus? Have we made shoes just like that, which are less than $100 and have been great? Yes, we have. We're out there creating and designing every day, making and building a meal for our customers. That creativity is not appreciated, and I would argue that what we do is harder. I could design an $800 shoe line; it's easy. You use the best materials and you can make beautiful shoes. It's easier than making great shoes for $90.<p>But under-appreciated creativity aside, Madden has had a lot of highs along the way. </p>The biggest high was coming back from prison [in April 2005 after serving time for stock manipulation, money laundering, and securities fraud] and to work for the company. The excitement, the great people I missed and really trying to take the business to another level and then seeing it go to another level, that was an exciting high. It's definitely a different company since I've been back, in terms of pre-prison and post-prison. The company is so much better in so many ways.<p>However, he does seem to miss the '80s, calling it "a great time...with a lot of interesting kinds of shoes. Men's platforms were very popular." </p> <br>While the excitement surrounding "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations" didn't have quite the same fervor as its predecessor “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” (understatement of the...<p>COQUILLE, Ore. -- Oregon authorities are investigating how a farmer was eaten by his hogs.</p><p>Terry Vance Garner, 69, never returned after he set out to feed his animals last Wednesday on his farm near the Oregon coast, the Coos County district attorney said Monday.</p><p>A family member found Garner's dentures and pieces of his body in the hog enclosure several hours later, but most of his remains had been consumed, District Attorney Paul Frasier said. Several of the hogs weighed 700 pounds or more.</p><p>It's possible Garner had a medical emergency, such as a heart attack, or was knocked over by the animals, then killed and eaten, Frasier said, adding that at least one hog had previously bitten Garner.</p><p>The possibility of foul play is being investigated as well.</p><p>"For all we know, it was a horrific accident, but it's so doggone weird that we have to look at all possibilities," Frasier told The Register-Guard.</p><p>A pathologist was unable to identify a cause or manner of death, the newspaper reported. The remains will be examined by a forensic anthropologist at the University of Oregon.</p><p>Terry Garner was "a good-hearted guy" who cared for several huge adult sows and a boar named Teddy, said his brother, Michael Garner, 75, of Myrtle Point.</p><p>Piglets were typically sold to local 4-H kids.</p><p>"Those animals were his life," Michael Garner said. "He had all kinds of birds, and turkeys that ran all over the place. Everybody knew him."</p><p>Michael Garner said one of the large sows bit his brother last year when he accidentally stepped on a piglet.</p><p>"He said he was going to kill it, but when I asked him about it later, he said he had changed his mind," the brother said.</p><p>Domestic hogs are not typically known to be as aggressive as their feral cousins, but "there is some degree of danger associated with any animal," John Killefer, who heads the Animal and Rangeland Sciences Department at Oregon State University in Corvallis, told the newspaper.</p><p>While pigs "are more omnivorous than other farm animals, (such as) cows," Killefer called the case highly unusual.</p><p>Most hogs are raised until they reach a market weight of between 250 and 300 pounds, while breeding female pigs rarely weigh more than 400 pounds, Killefer said.</p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p>In "The Devil Wears Prada," Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway), a smart young striver fresh out of college, suffers for months at the hands of her demanding boss, fashion magazine editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep). At first the harried editorial assistant rarely manages to please the ice queen, but gradually she wins favor, in part through victories like the one in this clip. Because the Miranda character is rumored to be based on a specific person in a very specific position, Vogue's notoriously intimidating Anna Wintour, the film doesn't so much perpetuate the idea that all female bosses are unreadable and unreasonable -- just this particular boss. And a later scene of Miranda in crisis (in which Streep wears not an ounce of makeup) is the rare nuanced portrayal of a woman confronting the sacrifices she has made for her career. Here Andy is about to quit after receiving the most ridiculous request yet (to secure an unpublished Harry Potter manuscript for Miranda's twins), but she pulls through. I don't love that she couldn't have done it without the help of the famous male writer hoping to get her in bed, but she's the scheme's mastermind.<p>As you may have noticed, we've gotten something of a . A hint of blush here, a dab of mascara there: it's a whole new us!</p><p>Our (digital) freshening up got us thinking: what are some other famous makeovers that we've grown to know and love over the years? Most of them have been on the silver screen, like Andy Sachs' and that Beverly Hills bildungsroman where Tai becomes fly. </p><p>We'll never forget when Anne Hathaway blossomed from frumpy duckling to gorgeous stunner or Sandy's bad girl transformation in "Grease"; and even Nicolas Cage grunting at Cher in "You look beautiful. Your hair." (There's even some men in there, too -- Ryan Gosling giving Steve Carell the magic style touch, anyone?)</p><p>It was about time we made an ultimate compilation of the greatest cinematic transformations. So, grab some popcorn and watch our supercut above of the best movie makeovers ever! (Our personal favorite part: all of the male reaction shots to the newly-made over ladies.)</p><p>Thanks to HuffPost's Sam Wilkes for all of the cutting and dicing!</p><p>For some more Hollywood transformations, check out these celebs' Pygmalion moments:<br></p><p>Want more? Be sure to check out HuffPost Style on , , and .</p><p>Financial Times:</p><p>There are elegant, streamlined clothes that began life on the sketchpad of designer Michael Kors. Then there are short, gymslip-style black jersey dresses by Gwen Stefani, the frontwoman of the punk-ska band No Doubt and creator of the clothing line L.A.M.B. So far, so fashion. But neither Kors' nor Stefani's designs are on the catwalk or in a shoot; rather, they are uniforms for staff of the trendy W Hotels chain. This summer, what you see while lounging around a resort could be as chic as anything you see in a store.</p><p></p> <br>eGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHR%2Bk7huUTK5GduMziZZw2K6rSnCeVSnLO4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFVShoes - the new accessory for people who don't have any thing interesting to talk about when they go to boring events.<br><br>People who actually do stuff - walk around cities, bicycle, etc., etc. shoes need to be comfortable, supportive, and something which you don't notice at all. In other words, they should be coordinated with your outfit. <br><br>These shoes could just as soon be worn by robots - maybe they would be better worn by robots because the actual people wearing them wouldn't detract from looking at the shoe.<br><br>They represent the last throes of western civilization - when the people who still have money spend thousands of dollars on worthless cr_p to go out to boring PR circuses to sell worthless cr_p. Everyone drinks or takes drugs to survive. Women and men starve themselves for their 15 minutes of fame.<br><br>And the planet continues to degrade. <br><br>What is the carbon load on this footwear and its promotion? How many endangered animals died in its production? What sort of garbage residue will it leave behind? How much lead is in those dies, in the tanning and softening processes?<br><br>When these young women are pictured in what they actually wear, it is almost never the shoes. The wear them for 15 minutes to make an entrance.<p>Anne Hathaway deserves a 'Catwoman' spin-off for her "incredible" performance in The Dark Knight Rises, according to director Christopher Nolan.<br> <br>The Devil Wears Prada star is the latest actress to play the Caped Crusader's feline nemesis, following in the footsteps of Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt and Michelle Pfeiffer - and Nolan was bowled over by her scenes.<br> <br>He tells Access Hollywood, "Anne is incredibly precise and articulate about the psychology of the character. She's really built it from the ground up, it's just a delight to watch her perform. The things she does in those heels is not to be taken lightly.<br> <br>"She's an incredible character and we're very excited to see her and hopefully we'll leave people wanting more."<br> <br>Nolan will step away from the franchise after the blockbuster's upcoming release, but he is adamant Hathaway should star in a Catwoman spin-off, adding, "I certainly think she deserves it, she's incredible."</p><p>Meanwhile, if you can't wait another week until the third, final and most highly-anticipated of Christopher Nolan's films hits our screens... well, here's something to keep you going, and quite meaty it is too. </p><p><br>Bruce Wayne must debate whether or not to return as Batman in the third and final film</p><p>Warner Bros have released a 13-minute - yes, I know - featurette going behind the scenes of the epic end to the odyssey - SIT BACK AND WATCH IT ABOVE. </p><p>Director Nolan describes the story in this third film as "an elemental conflict between good and evil", and Hathaway remarks in it that "Nolan was able to amp up the stakes in a way nobody was expecting". </p><p>At the beginning of the story, we can see a damaged Batman, worn down by his experiences, who has retreated to his Bat Cave, a bigger and more technological version than one seen in previous instalments, one which "fulfils the promise of Batman Begins" - according to Nolan. </p><p><br>Anne Hathaway is a new face as Catwoman</p><p>While butler Alfred (Michael Caine) rues over his inability to protect Bruce Wayne as he promised his parents, Wayne must ponder whether he returns as Batman to protect Gotham from a new threat in the form of brutal prison escapee Bane (Tom Hardy). </p><p>The film includes unprecedented visual effects – a football stadium blowing up, tanks rolling into buildings, men jumping out of aeroplanes - and a 1,200-strong battle in Wall Street, with no CGI, all real. </p><p><br>Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon is Batman's conscience over the people of Gotham City</p><p>"This was our attempt to give a great story a great ending," says Nolan. "This is the biggest film I’ve done, by far."</p><p>This from the man who made Inception. Best prepare...</p><p>The Dark Knight Rises is in cinemas 20 July and stars Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard. </p><p></p><p>In the lead up to Sunday's , my head kept inadvertently dubbing the event 'The Hunger Games'. On the surface, an event to call on world leaders to step up efforts to reduce child malnutrition doesn't appear to have much to do with a post-apocalyptic novel/blockbuster movie. Low and middle income district children risking their lives to feed their families and being made to fight each other to the death, as those from the high income district watch dispassionately on television while tucking in to piles of cream cakes?</p><p>Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have already gotten their high-end line, The Row, , and in nearly every luxury retailer across the country.</p><p>But The Row's fashion domination is only beginning, as evidenced by this new move: to be its president and chief operating officer, according to Women's Wear Daily.</p><p>Kress has been at Prada since 2010, having previously served as the CEO and managing director of Bulgari. The selection of such a powerful player from a high-profile brand is a bold move for The Row and sends the message that Ashley and Mary-Kate have only begun to flex their industry muscle. </p><p>, "[Kress] quickly became the obvious choice for us and for the brand, having experience in multiple categories which we feel is essential for growth of The Row." </p><p>How that continued growth will manifest itself is unclear. The line has already expanded into sunglasses, jewelry and and it's widely known that the brand . </p><p>So what's next? The twins have discussed , which would certainly heighten brand awareness. Would more red carpet dressing or media publicity be next?</p><p>Only Ashley and Mary-Kate know for sure. Our best guess: whatever they create next .</p><p>.</p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p> <br><p>It was certainly a glamorous week...</p><p>The Knowles sisters stunned at the . Solange was --a color we've seen her rock beautifully before. And big sister Beyonce was the definition of a "hot mama" in a ultra sheer Givenchy gown. These ladies can do no wrong!</p><p>It was great to see Janet Jackson hit the red carpet looking fit and fabulous, as she attended the opening of Marco Glaviano's "Supermodels" exhibition in New York City. </p><p>And on the other side of the country, Rihanna bounced back in style at her "Battleship" premiere Los Angeles after a in the beginning of the week. We're glad she's back to beautiful form. </p><p>Check out those lovely ladies and the rest of the well-dressed stars in the slideshow below.<br></p> <br><p>Happy National Bosses' Day. It's Friday. We have all had the experience of working for someone who seemed determined to make our lives as difficult as possible, but can they live up to the most notorious bosses ever to grace the big and small screen? </p><p>We've gathered clips of some of the worst bosses we can imagine from movies and television shows. Whether they manage a mundane paper company, rule the stock market from Wall St., or dictate to the masses what's fashionable, these bosses are making the lives of their employees miserable. Vote on just how awful you think each one is, and make sure to let us know in the comments any bosses you think we should add. Feel free to share your own terrible boss experiences as well.<br></p><p> </p> <br><p>Tobey Maguire is upgrading his spandex spidey gear for some high fashion duds. </p><p>Maguire is the new face of Prada menswear for the fall/winter 2011 season, . The 35-year-old actor posed for the ad campaign, shot by David Sims in New York, in slim sweaters, turtlenecks, and a three-button jacket. </p><p>The unlikely model, who has shown little interest in fashion in the past, : </p>"A great supporter of the Arts, Miuccia Prada has inspired a culture of creativity that is woven through every aspect of her company, from her collections, her campaigns, to every design detail in her stores [...] I have such admiration for her artistry and I'm thrilled to be a part of Prada's fall campaign."<p>For more of the newly-stylish Maguire, keep your eyes open for Baz Luhrmann's upcoming "The Great Gatsby" reboot...perhaps we'll even see a few Prada costumes?</p><p></p><p></p> <br><p>The Met Gala this past Monday May 7, was unlike any other. Stars from around the world traveled to attend the opening of the latest exhibition, "Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations," located at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. </p><p>The lush red carpet stretched from the sidewalk up the steps of the museum with a parade of black sedans and SUVs lining 5th Avenue. Hundreds of gawkers watched from a barricaded area across the street as the celebs strutted in their designer dresses and ultra expensive baubles while basking in the A-list air... wait, that's just the assorted smells of each star's-proclaimed fragrance. Beyonce showed her insured tush to the crowd, while notables from across the spectrum kissed one anothers'. Bruno Mars performed as designers and high ballers mingled until about 10 p.m., before heading to the multiple after parties scattered throughout the city.</p><p>#StarRamblings -- Kim Kardashian was absent and BF Kanye flew solo to the event. , Anna Wintour, the editor in chief at Vogue and host of the evening's event, is not a fan of Kim K in the slightest. Probably not the best enemy to have since she approves which stars could attend. According to sources, "Anna hates Kim... why would she be invited to the event? It is all the biggest stars in the world and Kim doesn't fit the bill at all'." Banned from this list must be harsh; Kim, try tossing Kanye a microphone and let him plead your case.</p><p>Now for the good part, the after parties, starting at on East 81st Street. I was one of the first to arrive, just behind Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod's crew consisted of his girlfriend Torrie Wilson, her friend Stacy Keibler, and some nerdy dude with glasses. We did the standard 3-stage handshake aka the man-shake, and asked him to hop into a party picture together, in a manly way of course. He replied with "I'm not doing pics." Side note- A-Rod's ex, Cameron Diaz wasn't on the scene because her and fellow actress, Gwyneth Paltrow, had their own bash at the Carlyle Hotel.</p><p>All three Jonas brothers were also at the Crown, and the only ones who had a bodyguard in tow, I guess they were sharing him (that's economical). Debra Messing sat on a corner banquette with Allure Editor, Linda Wells, while Rosario Dawson, Rachel Zoe, Ashley Greene, and Karolína Kurková and beauties all fluttered about the room. Just as I was heading out, nice guy N.Y. Knicks' Tyson Chandler rolled in with wife Kim -- there's fashionably late and then there's that time you miss all the fun. If found out, Chandler was more the picture-taking type and then hit the door.</p><p>I hopped in my car and just as I turned the corner, I spotted after-party #2, the Ukrainian Institute's colossal mansion. The dictionary should have a picture of this place next to the word "enormous," by NYC standards this place should have its own zipcode. Not sure what kind of business is conducted here during the day, but I do know the multilayers of security only meant one thing: There was a VIP. The "double secret" VIP directions went as follows -- go up to the 5th floor of the open turned staircase, make a left, go to the end of the hall and knock.</p><p>I walked in, was greeted with a cocktail, a table with a nice selection of munchies and , makeup artist to the stars, who was just like a MAC commercial -- rad, cool, edgy, and all those other fun words. We talked about her new baby girl for a few, but like a shark, I had to keep moving. Rihanna was there, and surrounded by guests and security goons. A part of me wanted to ask her what she's going to sing about when she scores a normal boyfriend... but I resisted. </p><p>Wandering deeper into the kingdom, It felt like an Easter egg hunt for stars. Celebrities were in every nook and cranny, including; Alicia Keys (unfortunately I missed her performance), Jessica Alba, Chloe Sevigny, Milla Jovovich, Emma Stone, and Diane von Furstenberg, to mention a few.</p><p>A fist pound from Aziz Ansari on the stairwell, some quick chit chat with Hamish Bowles in one room and then Gerard Butler in another. Then word came in (in the form of a text), that there was yet another party going on at the Standard Hotel, I forced myself not to go, as it was time to head home before becoming lost forever in the worm hole of icons that is N.Y.C.</p><p>Follow Tom Murro on Twitter:</p><p>One of the world's most famous photographers will be in Toronto for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).</p><p> -- perhaps known by some for the many times -- will be in the city taking shots of the famous faces who swing by NKPR and RW&Co's gifting suite the IT Lounge (one of the most star-studded lounges that pop-up for the fest).</p><p>The "man behind the camera" has shot covers for nearly every fashion magazine in the world -- including Vogue, ELLE, Newsweek and Rolling Stone -- and has photographed advertising campaigns for the likes of Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Versace, Ralph Lauren and GAP. He's also snapped portraits of the most famous names in Hollywood.</p><p>To say his presence at TIFF 2012 will up the ante in terms of star power is an understatement. Where this photographer's lens goes, celebs follow.</p><p>Want more TIFF news? Be sure to catch up on all of the must-see by following our . Here are some of the flicks we're looking forward to seeing.</p><p></p>The native tongue of style insiders might sound like gibberish to the casual listener. (Adam Kepler, the assistant to T's editor, Stefano Tonchi, once wrote for The Moment about confusing Miuccia Prada with a cartoon about Mexican wrestlers.) But to...<p><br>By Paulo Prada <br>CARACAS, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Venezuelan authorities have arrested the American captain of a U.S.-flagged cargo ship after finding three rifles on board, an embassy official said. <br>The detention follows last month's arrest of another U.S. citizen who entered illegally from neighboring Colombia and was denounced as a possible "mercenary" by President Hugo Chavez. <br>Socialist Chavez, who seeks re-election next month, is a ferocious critic of Washington, and his nearly 14-year rule has been characterized by frequent bilateral spats and incidents. <br>The U.S. Embassy official in Caracas said the "Ocean Atlas" has been in Maracaibo port, in west Venezuela, since last week, with the captain detained "a few days ago." <br>"It's an evolving situation," he added, saying it was unclear if charges were being pressed against the captain. He did not provide the captain's name. <br>Officials at Venezuela's interior and ports ministries did not immediately respond to questions about the incident. <br>A spokeswoman for Intermarine LLC, the New Orleans-based company that operates the vessel, could not immediately provide any details either. <br>The embassy official said the captain and 14 crew members, who remain on the vessel, are American citizens. The rifles, he said, were listed on the ship's manifest, but it was unclear whether their presence violated any local law. <br>Weapons are common on commercial ships and are often deemed necessary as possible defense against pirates or other threats. <br>The Ocean Atlas, according to Intermarine's website, is a heavy-lift, multipurpose cargo vessel built in 2000 with a length of 120 meters (394 feet).</p><p>Earlier on HuffPost:</p><p>Own Your Own Business! </p><p>Better yet, if you can, do not involve your father or mother, best friend, and especially never your husband... as he can threaten you, fire you and even replace you with another woman. The Art of Happiness is the Art of Independence, only be responsible to yourself.</p><p>There are two types of people (in general): those Fearless and those Fearful. You know who you are! If you are fearless, find out what talent or work you are good at, whatever makes you happy, even later on in life, and do it!</p><p>As for finance, have a good business plan, save or find some money for the basics, and build your business one day at a time. If you can not find any money you are not Fearless... then go get a job! </p><p>If you are Fearful, forget about it and don't look back. Enjoy the benefits of a life of semi-security, while knowing who to kiss up to, because you must have the intuition to know who's in your company, what team player's power you can attach yourself to. You could make it to the top of the ladder if your quarterback completes his passes. The team players and company owners have two very different sets of skills.</p><p>I remember once in Paris having words with Nicole, the chef d'atelier of my couture boutique. I had been having words to the effect that I would have not left early the day before, as she did. Instead, I would have stayed and redid the beading of a wedding gown until it was perfect, as the bride was expected to come in shortly. Instead of saying, "Oui, Madame", Nicole grabbed scissors and ran after me screaming, "I'm not you, I don't own anything". At that moment I realized we are all created differently -- workaholics, perfectionists, and everybody else! </p><p>I recently spoke about fashion at the Art and Initiatives Conference on the color red with Zandra Rhodes and Anna Sui. Afterwards, we had a delicious lunch at ABC Kitchen in downtown New York. There we were -- three survivors of our own fashion houses -- one French, one Brit, and one American, all women owners.</p><p>Fashion is the only industry in all the arts that requires four collections a year, four possibilities of failure, four times a year. You and your ego, and your talent are put to the ultimate test. Will someone buy my work?</p><p>It's all about the Dress, I explain what the challenges of owning your own business are. Owning your own business makes you the artist, agent, manager and publicist of your company. You often trade off being at the top of your field for being at the top of your own little world. Anna Sui's little world grew into a huge multimillion dollar empire.</p><p>Except if you are Martha Stewart -- who left a 15-year career on Wall Street to cater parties in her posh Westport, Conn., suburb. We all know she is fearless. She ventured into Manhattan and catered my opening party at Bergdorf Goodman. It was 1981 and she served sushi. Martha brought taste and the arts into the modern American home and on her first video she wore my beaded gown, black, on the cover; the same gown that Elizabeth Taylor had recently wore in white. Wearing the perfect power dress for fearless females, Martha knew where she was going.</p><p>Changing careers, leaving a secure job with little future, is often the case. My Parsons School of Design classmate, Mary Alice Orito (class of 1964), was an early stylist for music videos, a costume designer on Broadway and of daytime soaps (Search for Tomorrow), until the labor strikes of 1988.</p><p>She saw an insecure future in costumes, went back to college and became a psychotherapist. Today, continuing her personal art work has lead to her first solo show with The National Association of Women Artists in New York in March. Continuing her private practice, her lucky patients are often artists and fashion folk, who are grateful to have an understanding fellow designer to listen to their torments.</p><p>Melissa Skoog was the real girl Anne Hathaway portrayed in "The Devil Wore Prada"; the Vogue assistant we fell in love with, and who ultimately ended up heading publicity at Prada. After keeping her head on after working with Anna Wintour and Miuccia Prada, Melissa came away with the enough foundation in fashion advertising to launch her own namesake publicity firm in Chicago with a new husband, a new baby in her life, and a marvelous blog, "On My Plate."</p><p>I recently ended my four-month book tour in Palm Beach, where Elizabeth Fago, a young, fabulous philanthropist and nursing home developer, threw a party to end all parties. The party included serving a recipe from my book, Sophia Loren's Pasta. The event was thrown by a beautiful young party planner, who also left a career in advertising to open Beth Beattie Events in a town that throws about 10 parties every night. After seven years, Beth's business is a great moneymaker -- proof that a young beautiful woman with a fearless nature and a desire to be her own boss can succeed in a town known for beautiful women, who basically lunch and shop on their wealthy husbands' credit cards. After work she dates a handsome race car driver!</p><p>An exception to my rule about working with your man, are the husband and wife team of Amy Zerner and Monte Farber, who left their jobs as fine artist and musician to write 46 bestselling books on spirituality -- all illustrated by Amy. They became a "Mom and Pop" conglomerate. They have no children, their togetherness knows no end, as their team and their work is their baby. After many years, Amy created soft jackets with her art in panels on the back. In 1999 she sold a few handmade pieces to Bergdorf Goodman, and now has grown and added Neiman Marcus. She has also recently designed jewelry. She told me she has lived out Joseph Campbell's mantra, "Follow Your Bliss."</p><p>The economy today has no guarantee to improve. 2012 can be the year for the young generation to bite the bullet. As Amy Zerner told me, "For us, our bliss and our happiness has been our journey together on the path to making our life a work of art, and our art a work of life."</p><p>As I took a train up the Hudson River, working on this story, I realized that I now had another life as well. I no longer lived in Paris raising my children, with a driver and a cook, or lived in my Manhattan brownstone apartment taking yellow taxis to Bergdorf's to measure my couture clients. Today I had to drive myself, drive up a snowy mountain to my writer's cabin, to my new life, writing, lecturing, and sharing the lessons learned of a life well lived.</p><p>I will now fearlessly move on and reinvent myself. I will soon sell my beautifully made dresses on Home Shopping Network. For the first time a French couturier will present her bestselling creations for everybody.</p><p>It is a whole new world. It's time to reinvent yourselves too! Be Fearless. </p><p>There are two types of fashion designers: those who can draw drape cut and sew and those who can't, but they know everybody -- they are well-connected! I call the latter, "vanity designers." They have an idea of how people should look, their own idea, but they need to hire designers who can draw drape cut and sew so their name can be on clothing and they will matter.</p><p>The exhibition at the Met, "Conversations Between Schiaperelli and Prada," was just the latter; two vanity designers having a conversation about their influence in fashion. They both could have used better patterns.</p><p>Before I went to the show I asked my Parsons classmate designer-artist, Mary Alice Orito, what she thought of the show, and her comments were identical to the ladies who sat next to me in the self help dining room (where BTW the delicious fresh food salad bar was a highlight). Quite remarkably, my two out-of-town table neighbors had the SAME comments as the old pro:</p><p>1. This exhibit was such a letdown after the extraordinary Alexander McQueen exhibition in both display and beauty. (McQueen was a trained Savile Row tailor and theatrical.)</p><p>2. There was nothing of the 'anti-pretty' of Prada they would want to wear... nothing!<br> <br>3. Maybe this show is our historic moment... with artist and designers redefining 'pretty' by once again taking away the feminine? Our current world doesn't do pretty. Pretty is weak, pretty is decorative, pretty doesn't define, pretty becomes a different illusion of stretching artistic viewpoint by dumbing down or deconstructing to the point of ugly?</p><p>I said I loved and would wear the Schiaparelli velvet cape with the golden sequined sunburst in the back. The women looked at me, as their lifestyle didn't warrant gold sunburst velvet capes. I told them I had actually copied the idea in the '70s when Paris had a Schiaperelli show at the Musee de la Mode and I fell in love with her knee length cape. I did it in navy blue silk velvet but instead I had a 4 inch wide green sequin dragon wind around the back. My dragon even had a long red beaded tongue. I made it as a gift for Elizabeth Taylor, but I don't think she ever wore it as I saw it one day on the back of her teenage son Michael.</p><p>When I arrived in Paris to open my shop in 1964 my partner Mia Fonssagrives fell in love and married a proper French Faubourg St Honore couturier, Louis Feraud. Louis had his ateliers on the small street around the corner. There were 20 tiny maids rooms of sewers on the fifth floor. They were divided into two distinct groups; Flou and Tailleur... Draped and Tailored, and you could not be both! You were either!</p><p>Flou were all women; French, Tunisian, Spanish and Portuguese, who draped, beaded, and crocheted textured surfaces. The tailors were men, mostly Italians and British (where the best suits came from). They knew the art of facing and ironing so surfaces lie flat. They could make collars roll!</p><p>Both Elsa Schaiparelli and Miucchi Prada were trained in their brains, not their fingers. Neither were schooled or trained as couturiers. Both came from Italian Royalty; Elsa, a countess and Miucchi, the daughter of Prada; a classic handbag fashion house. Both had insider friends in the art and press world and yet they both contributed "Some New Things" to the fashion world. Chanel once called Schiaperelli "the Artist who makes Dresses."</p><p>Schiaparelli gave us, the Hat with the shoe on the head, the lobster on the dress and the Surreal accessory. Her serous contributions were the poly dress and bolero and the block printed knit! She was the first to put visible zippers in dresses, the first to use a lot of hot pink. I own her Shocking pink perfume bottle, a woman's torso, (before Jean Paul Gauthier's), done by Dali. Her artist pals like Dali and Giacometti helped her to get noticed. Chanel earlier in the twenties invented knits, and the knit cardigan we still wear today. She also, by the way, invented sportswear.</p><p>Prada gave us dresses, also in the same work-plastics as the Prada bags. These bags were the first $3,000 plastic bag that should retail for a tenth the price except for the 90 percent markup for the metal triangle that says "Prada." Today's tailored Prada clothing have arty appliques to the masculine tailored clothing. These dresses could stand on their own without a body inside. The body is superfluous. The minimalist garment is the statement, not you!</p><p>The Conversation Exhibit was too tightly packed together and the dresses were too forced to be seen up-close. The sewing was often very bad. Both designers designed for the ideal tall slim hipped woman with no breasts. I think Wallis Simpson and the stern thin red lips and a no frills hairdo.The one and only sexy cut bustier dress could have used McQueen's training to spot a nipple point in the wrong place.</p><p>The exhibit was not packed as the public knows a good show. God bless him, sadly, Alexander McQueen is a hard act to follow.</p><p>VICKY TIEL began designing clothes 40 years ago in Paris and still owns a boutique there, as well as dedicated mini-boutiques in Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. In fall 2010 she launched a line of cocktail dresses and special occasion wear sold through department stores nationwide. Her memoir, IT'S ALL ABOUT THE DRESS: What I Learned in 40 Years about Men, Women, Sex, and Fashion was published by St. Martin's Press in August 2011.</p>eGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHR%2Bk7huUTK5GduMziZZw2K6rSnCeVSnLO4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFV<p>www.mydaily.co.uk:</p><p>Here's a Monday afternoon treat for you, fashion fans. Prada has just released this stunning new video, which accompanies their Autumn/Winter 2011 collection.</p><p>Shot by Steven Meisel, the video is described as a "timeless tableau" where "innocence meets refinement."</p><p>Think plenty of fresh-faced models showcasing the utterly covetable scale dresses, velvet boots, chunky knit socks and python handbags. </p><p></p> <br>Since 2007, AMC's Emmy-winning show "Mad Men" has been inspiring fans and fashionistas to embrace all things old school. From the beautiful,...<p>Think: Cotton candy.... Pastel grey with a tinge of purple and patent! Could it get any yummier than this? These patent loafers are definitely on trend for the season and are perfect for a rainy day because they're relatively water resistant - added bonus! Functionality and fashionability? Yes, please! </p><p>I wanted to get some use out of my gilet before spring comes and before it gets too warm. So I'm wearing this gilet I picked up a few years ago and it's one of my wardrobe favourites. The gilet is a vintage Gucci while Tom Ford was Creative Director- so that's why in my opinion it was a great find - and lucky for me that it was in my size! </p><p>This blouse is a lovely shade and the contrasting collar gives it a bit of flair. It's a versatile blouse that can easily be dressed up or down. It also has the two small gold buttons on the cuffs as well as in the front- a small design feature that goes a long way. The sister duo of the Sandro and Maje brands have definitely grown on me and they have some amazing pieces that can be worn to work or casually. <br> <br>And the Prada bag that goes with everything? Definitely a classic in the making!</p><p>Blouse- Sandro<br>Mongolian Sheepskin Gilet- Vintage Gucci by Tom Ford<br>Grey Bag- Prada<br>Black Jeggings- Topshop<br>Leather Belt- Gucci<br>Loafers- Tods</p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p>Useful Tip:<br>Ballerina flats can get depressingly wet in the rain. Flats like loafers are a little more durable and practical and still stylish!</p><p>Vivian x</p><p>www.londonpersonalstyling.com<br>http://maisonvogue.blogspot.com</p><p>FollowLink Vivian Ho on Twitter:</p>If you have seen The September Issue, Grace Coddington comes across as the calm center to the storm that is Anna Wintour. I am looking forward to the book. Oh, and in her office, you can see several photos taken of her when she was modeling. She has the classic high forehead and the most amazing cheekbones! She was in an awful accident many years ago, and cut short her modeling career. She chose to go behind the scenes at Vogue, where she wields a mighty influence.<p>www.mydaily.co.uk:</p><p>If you've read US Vogue/seen pictures of Anna Wintour/watched The Devil Wears Prada you probably don't tend to think of Anna Wintour as someone who's up for a jolly jape or an office prank. You are, of course, completely wrong. Hamish Bowles (US Vogue's editor-at-large) discovered this when he found the words: </p><p></p> <br><p>As a child, my mom had dreams of her own.  She loved being the center of attention and would perform in school plays and sing her heart out at family gatherings. Her dream was to be a teacher one day, but her family's economic situation changed all that.  Early on in life, she learned about the preeminence of money and social status. By the time she was 5 years old, she was already selling oregano and yerba buena herbs in her neighborhood to help the family make ends meet.  She became a businesswoman out of necessity and once she earned her college degree, she opened up a small private kindergarten school in her family home. My mother was the model citizen, but Peru is no America. Back then and even now, you have law school graduates working as taxi-drivers.</p><p>In Peru, you didn't have to be a citizen to have an opportunity at success, you had to be the son of an upper class elite, the inheritor of colonial legacies of feudal exploitation. My mom, along with other working class youth weren't struggling to access the opportunities, there simply was no future for them. Confronted with this hopelessness and with the opportunity to reunite with my father in America, my mother decided that she wouldn't allow me to live the same hopeless life. The road ahead was daunting and uncertain. She wouldn't know the language and wouldn't be able to obtain a visa, so we would have to cross unknown lands on foot, leaving behind her family, friends, home, and in all likelihood, her chance of achieving the dreams she had as a child, just to come to America.    </p><p>And so my mom became a second class member of a new society, not much of a difference from her Peru, except this time there was a hope that her children wouldn't have the same fate. My mother was the Dreamer of a past generation. Her dreams, along with the dreams of countless other mothers and fathers of undocumented youth in this country have gone unfulfilled and have been long forgotten in the long hours spent kneeling down cleaning toilets or picking fruits in the scorching sun.  Dreams that are destined from the beginning to be just that, dreams.</p><p>I wonder sometimes, if any of these politicians, that hold the power to decide my family's fate, would have the courage to cross 7 countries, led only by a stranger with no kind of technology or advisers, just uncertainty and fear? Would politicians risk their lives and leave their mothers, brothers and personal hopes behind to live in the shadows with the dim hope that a distant future could be better? If everything they have was taken away from them and they ended up in my mom's situation at 21 years of age, would they still think and say the things they say? I think not, their biggest fears only consist of not losing their comfortable seats and positions of power.  And they pawn off what they know is right in their hearts. They could learn a lesson in courage from my mother.</p><p>A wise man once said, "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice". I know that day will come when we finally adjust our status, and I am looking forward to it. I wonder if then, when some Dreamers are elected into office and are sitting next to that politician, in old age, would they be able to look at us in the eye and refer to us as an "illegal"? I can only wonder.</p><p>All the while, other people will continue to argue that my mom should just go back and fix her own country, but how can they when the CIA along with other US funded, puppet right wing governments, and US corporations have violently suppressed attempts at real change for the working poor. Those same politicians that privately funded these wars and governments are the same politicians that are using our people as scapegoats for societies' problems, when they played a hand in forcing our families to migrate here to the US. Call my story a sob story, but it's MY story, and my reality.  I will defend it.<br></p>Wil’ Prada was born in Chorrillos, Lima to a family of immigrants from the small Andean cities of Apurimac. He has resided in Pasadena since he was 7 years old, where he runs a small business. He was able to obtain his education through the hard work and sacrifice of his loving parents. At UCLA, he was introduced to IDEAS, an undocumented student support group, where he lost his fear and shame of being undocumented, and became involved in activism. He graduated from UCLA with a degree in political science in 2010. He is a member of Dream Team Los Angeles where he participates in the media and communications team.The problem is all the articles I have read say the same as these do. I didn't see it in an article I saw it on the local news. They interviewed the boy who got shot and he is the one who said that when they shot the fireworks in the direction of this man, it was an accident. I think it was on KSDK, NBC affiliate channel 5. But when I tried to download and look at it, my computer didn't like the link. We have an old computer because we refuse to buy a new one every year or every other year and it has issues. You can go to their site and search for William Prada and see if it is there. The only other news we watch is Fox 2 News. <br>I swear I do not condone what this man did regardless of his reasons but I heard directly from that kid's mouth that at least one firework was aimed right at the man. The kids says it slipped out of his hand, I didn't buy it, at all.Where is the dateline with the location of the story subject? I probably overlooked it, but it seems to me Internet journalism has taken dominance yet with sloppy journalism, sorry if it is there an I don't see it, but I am accustomed to obvious professionalism by starting a story like (AP, Honolulu) and so on so you are oriented correctly from the get-go. They talk bout USA, Brazil, Japan, France -- where's is this stuff happening, am I supposed to do a study to find out or am I out of touch with the obvious? I wouldn't bring it up but it seems common to leave the reader out these days.<p>Since we buy most of our dresses at Ann Taylor and the H&M clearance rack (let's be real), we're gaping a bit at the price tag of the so-called , which debuted at Ukraine Fashion Week recently.</p><p> using 50 two-carat black diamonds. It weighs a whopping 29 lbs.; 25 of the sparklers line the dress' peplum (so trendy!) while the others line the shoulder shrug. Wingham, who sewed the dress herself, calls the frock that costs £3.7 million (about $5.7 million) </p><p>The World Record Academy says that Wingham's dress set the . As for other frocks, the world's has its own category, clocking in at $15 million with 85 diamonds. The costs about $14,000. But the real kicker: a few year ago Malaysian designer weighed down with $30 million worth of diamonds, which were arranged to spell out 'U MAD, BRO?'. (Fine, not really about the last part.) </p><p>The new Wingham dress certainly is gorg, despite being a wee bit heavy to lug down a red carpet. Still, we can think of one diva who'd probably be up to the challenge... paging Beyonce?</p><p>Scroll down to see Wingham's piece in all of its diamond glory. (The model slinks onto the catwalk at around 2:20 in the YouTube video.)</p><p></p><p></p><p>They may not cost $5 million, but check out some of the wildest dresses ever...<br></p><p>Want more? Be sure to check out HuffPost Style on , , and .</p><p>CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post incorrectly attributed a claim that the dress set a Guinness World Record for most expensive dress.</p>eGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHR%2Bk7huUTK5GduMziZZw2K6rSnCeVSnLO4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFV<p>Zooey Deschanel hit a style home run at Sunday night's Golden Globes in her , and now the "New Girl" actress continues her sartorial tear by posing for </p><p>We're kind of distracted by Zooey's pouty red lipstick on the cover, but we managed to read some of the interview, where Zooey explains why she gets typecast as the quirky girl in movies like "500 Days of Summer": it's her hair color.</p>"Because I have brown hair and a low voice, I would get cast as dry, sarcastic, ironic people, which I can do, but it's just not my sense of humor. I'm a very positive person. I get excited easily, and I like to jump around."<p>Style-wise, Zooey looks fab (and pretty sexy!) in the photos shot by Norman Jean Roy, posing in sequined bodysuits and sexy librarian heels. And she says she's learned to shake off the naysayers by not reading certain websites:</p>"I can't go on Gawker. I actually think the writing is really funny, but there is a chance that somebody is undercutting me."<p>Despite what she says, we're guessing being Zooey is still pretty fun.</p><p>Check out the pics from Zooey's, dare we say, "quirky" Allure shoot below (and ), and make sure to pick up the February issue of the magazine on newsstands January 24th.</p><p>PHOTOS:</p><p></p> <br><p>The perennially "quirky" Zooey Deschanel didn't disappoint at tonight's Golden Globes, </p><p>The newly single actress, who's nominated for Best Actress for her TV show "New Girl," strolled the red carpet with her sister Emily in a dark green silk dress with an open back, custom made by Prada. The top is enriched with black and emerald green glass pearls, including a very chic ivory pearl embroidered collar. </p><p>Zooey complemented the look with a Prada clutch covered with emerald green glass pearls and Prada black satin platform closed toe pumps. And the crowning touch? Her tuxedo manicure, which she gleefully tweeted about.</p><p>I am wearing a gown but my nails are wearing tuxedos!!! </p>— zooey deschanel (@ZooeyDeschanel) <p>Check out pics of Zooey below, and tell us if you're digging her Prada in the poll.</p><p><br><br> </p> <br><p>Zooey Deschanel is known for her quirky and slightly , which might explain why she didn't know how to handle the fiasco that is the Emmys red carpet. </p><p>The "New Girl" star, who was nominated for Best Actress in a Comedy Series on Sunday night, stopped by "" Tuesday to discuss her weird encounter with fellow nominee Nicole Kidman and how she managed to look bad while doing something good. </p><p>"I got there a little bit late and we had to rush to do stuff and I ended up getting stuck on the red carpet with Nicole Kidman," Deschanel tells Ellen DeGeneres. "[She] came in at the same time and there are all these photographers and they got really confused, so I started seeing cameras go this way and this way and um, she’s a movie star, and I felt like you know, give it up for the movie star!" </p><p>That's when, unbeknownst to , she was photographed with her hands on her hips, looking miserable. A picture certainly is worth a thousand words.</p><p>"I was standing back so they could take Nicole Kidman’s picture and apparently some of these guys were still trying to take a picture of me, even though I clearly [gave up]," she explains, adding of the photos, "That’s the face of someone who has given up." </p><p>And funny enough, Deschanel also caused quite the stir when she overreacted to Louis C.K.'s Emmy win for Best Writing for a Comedy. Why was she so excited for Louis' big win? She has no idea. </p><p>"I don’t know him!" Deschanel tells DeGeneres, laughing. "I didn’t realize how excited I had gotten until later [when] people started tweeting me that picture. It was just pure unbridled enthusiasm. I'm a fan." </p><p></p><p>Sound the alarms: Zooey Deschanel wore something quirky!</p><p>Just kidding. We're used to it.</p><p>The "New Girl" actress, who most recently charmed us , was spotted on the set of her TV show today wearing a black parka and carrying an unusual accessory: a purse shaped like a rabbit.</p><p>We thought the bag might be part of the wardrobe for Zooey's "New Girl" character Jess, but it turns out </p><p>The Mandy Coon "Ginny Bunny" leather bags , but we're sure Zooey's love of them is going to shore up sales quite a bit. However, aspiring bunny bag toters, you might be out of luck: the bags, which retail for over $400, appear to be </p><p>We just wonder what you can fit inside it. </p><p>Check out Zooey's whimsical bag below and tell us: would you tote your stuff in it?</p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p>Also on HuffPost:</p> <br>Her marriage is wonderful, she&#039;s given up alcohol and from tomorrow she&#039;s hosting the nightly &#039;Strictly&#039; spin-off show &#039;It Takes Two&#039;<p>The third venture from Istanbul's dynamic House mini-chain has transformed a 19th-century waterfront mansion into a contemporary boutique hotel. The elegant Simon Kalfa building – he was part of the Balyan dynasty that left Istanbul with an impressive Ottoman-era architectural legacy, including Dolmabahce Palace – had fallen into disrepair but now, like the city itself, it's a well-thought-out combination of old and new.</p><p>As in the other House hotels – House Hotel Galatasary in a 19th-century Ottoman mansion in the up-and-coming antiques district of Cukurcuma, and the Art Deco House Hotel Nisantasi, perched above Prada in the city's most upmarket shopping district – the renovation has been sympathetic to the building's origins. The original lofty ceilings, ornate plasterwork and parquet floors are complemented by luxurious interiors from the award-winning Turkish design duo du jour, Autoban, making good use of their signature materials of marble, brass and oak.</p><p>The hotel has five floors topped by the enormous Penthouse Bosphorus Suite, with 180-degree views. On the ground floor, the trendy House Café serves traditional Turkish and international dishes, along with potent cocktails. It spills out onto a patio overlooking the Bosphorus, the bridge and Buyuk Mecidiye Camii, a magnificent neo-Baroque mosque. One floor up, the open-plan Lounge houses a formal restaurant, lounge, library and bar and is decorated with muted tones, a marble fireplace and sleek, low-slung cream leather sofas. Turkish dishes are presented with a contemporary twist, served with good local wines such as Sarafin, Corvus and Sevilen 900. This is also the place to sip raki, a potent anise-flavoured spirit while you people-watch – Kevin Spacey and Monica Bellucci are recent guests.</p><p>A leisurely breakfast is also served in the Lounge – a top pick is menimen, scrambled eggs, with feta, tomatoes and parsley.</p><p>Location</p><p>Cosmopolitan Ortakoy, &quot;Middle Village&quot; in Turkish, is one of Istanbul's coolest districts. The Buyuk Mecidiye Camii sits on a platform next to the iconic bridge; fishing boats bob in the harbour and the muezzin vies with beats from the city's glitziest super-clubs, including Reina and Anjelique.</p><p>Ortakoy's cobbled alleyways and squares heave with people at weekends, drawn by its street market, chic boutiques and waterfront bars and restaurants. The café culture of Bebek, one of the Bosphorus villages, is a stroll away, and you're only a short taxi or tram ride from historic Sultanahmet and the nightlife of Beyoglu. The coast road can get gridlocked in rush hour, but it's about 45 minutes from the main Ataturk airport and 60 minutes from the no-frills Sabiha Gokcen Airport.</p><p>Comfort</p><p>There are 23 rooms divided into six categories, ranging from superior to the penthouse. Almost all have river views – four suites and four rooms have full waterfront views, other rooms overlook Ortakoy Square with side views of the strait – with small balconies perfect for a post-sightseeing wind-down while you watch boats ply the water. The interiors are cool and calm, mingling the traditional with the hi-tech – king-sized beds with crisp white linen, gleaming white walls, polished parquet, original mouldings offset by Autoban's signature funky light fittings, remote-controlled curtains and a large flatscreen TV.</p><p>My deluxe suite's separate living area came with a streamlined sofa and dark-wood furniture, as well as a second TV and Nespresso machine. The marbled-tiled bathrooms have powerful rain showers and L'Occitane toiletries, while the penthouse suites have large Jacuzzi tubs, and wraparound balconies. There's free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and a small gym.</p><p>House Hotel Bosphorus, Salhane Sokak 1, Ortakoy, Istanbul, Turkey (00 90 212 244 3400; ).</p><p>Rooms ***** <br>Value **** <br>Service ****</p><p>Double rooms start at €159, including breakfast.</p><p>Travel essentials</p><p>Why go now?</p><p>As spring takes hold in northern Italy, the cultural and commercial hub is moving outdoors. The city's rich array of attractions blends perfectly with al fresco life. And with two airlines starting up new routes this week from Gatwick, Milan is even easier to reach.</p><p>Touch down</p><p>The new services on and Air One – along with numerous existing flights on Alitalia, BA and easyJet – land at Malpensa airport, 30 miles north-west of the city. The Malpensa Express is the main rail link into town, serving Cadorna station (1) in about 40 minutes (€11). An hourly train serves Centrale station (2), and takes 50 minutes (€7).</p><p>Linate airport, six miles east of the centre, is served by Alitalia and BA from Heathrow and by easyJet from Gatwick. Bus 73 leaves every 10 minutes, taking 25 minutes to Piazza San Babila (3). Buy a €1.50 ticket in advance from the machine adjacent to the stop, and stamp it in the machine on the bus; you can use the same ticket on connecting public transport within 90 minutes. A non-stop version, the X73 (same fare), runs every 20 minutes on weekdays.</p><p>Get your bearings</p><p>The focal point of Milan is the Duomo (4), one of the largest cathedrals in the world. From this point, the trendy bar-laden districts of Porta Ticinese and Navigli are to the south, and the more genteel Brera to the north – with a shiny new financial district rising beyond Porta Garibaldi station (5). The centre of Milan's fashion universe, otherwise known as the Quadrilatero d'Oro (Golden Rectangle), is north-east of the Duomo (4).</p><p>The western edge of the city centre is marked by Piazza Castello, half-encircling the Castello Sforzesco (6), and location for the tourist office (7) at number 1 (00 39 02 7740 4343; visitamilano.it); open 9am-6pm daily, until 5pm on Sundays.</p><p>Check in</p><p>For location and style, try the new Palazzo Segreti (8) at Via San Tomaso 8 (00 39 02 4952 9250; palazzosegreti.com), tucked away just off the Via Dante. In the 18 individually styled rooms, earthy tones are offset by splashes of colour. Doubles from €275, B&amp;B.</p><p>The Bulgari Hotel (9) is tucked away at Via Privata Fratelli Gabba 7b (00 39 02 805 8051; bulgari hotels.com), a gemstone's throw from the Golden Rectangle; €671 for a double (excluding breakfast).</p><p>North of the Giardini Pubblici, at the friendly, family-run three-star Hotel Sempione (10) at via Finocchiaro Aprile 11 (00 39 02 657 0323; www.hotelsempione.it), doubles are €80, room only.</p><p>Take a view</p><p>The best panorama – sometimes stretching as far as the Alps – is from the roof terraces of the Duomo (4), which you can get to either by climbing just over 250 steps (€6), or by taking the lift (€10) (duomomilano.it); 9am-7pm daily. Afterwards, explore the splendid cathedral itself (7am-7pm daily, admission free, no shorts or big bags).</p><p>Day one</p><p>Take a hike</p><p>From the Duomo (4), walk through the elegant Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (11). You emerge in the Piazza Scala, with the Teatro alla Scala (12) (00 39 02 88 791; teatroallascala.org) – one of the world's premier opera houses – looking surprisingly modest. Walk down the street to the right of the Scala, the Via Verdi, which is lined with boutiques and galleries. It continues north as Via Brera.</p><p>Lunch on the run</p><p>You hear Bar Brera (13) at Via Brera 22 before you see it – the terrace outside is always lively. Pastries, sandwiches and all kinds of Mediterranean delights are on offer for lunch from Tuesdays to Saturdays.</p><p>Cultural afternoon</p><p>The marvellous Pinacoteca di Brera (14), part of the palace at Via Brera 28 (00 39 02 7226 3264; www.brera.beniculturali.it; 8.30am-7.15pm daily except Mon; €6), is a showcase for masterpieces by some of the great artists of the 13th to the 20th centuries. Highlights are Mantegna's Lamentation of Christ and Raphael's The Marriage of the Virgin altarpiece. Caravaggio, Piero della Francesca, Rembrandt and Goya are also represented.</p><p>Window shopping</p><p>Lavori in corso, &quot;work in progress&quot;, evident everywhere in Milan, is especially irksome on one of the primary shopping streets, Via Montenapoleone, or &quot;Montenapo&quot;. Showcases for luxury brands such as Versace, Prada and the flagship Gucci store (15) are half-hidden while the road is dug up. The parallel Via della Spiga offers Miu Miu, Roberto Cavalli and Dolce &amp; Gabbana (16).</p><p>To spend rather than merely window-shop, one of the more personal and unusual stores is south of the Duomo (4): for a hand-made handbag, visit Travi (17) at Corso di Porta Ticinese 30 (00 39 02 8940 4202; 9.30am-7.30pm daily except Sundays).</p><p>An aperitif</p><p>Watch the sun sink over the main square from almost the same viewpoint as you enjoyed at the start of the day, only this time with a glass of prosecco or an Angelo Poretti beer in hand. The open-air Il Bar (00 39 02 885 2454; ilbarmilano.it) is on the seventh floor of the Rinascente (18).</p><p>Dining with the locals</p><p>At the top of Corso di Porta Ticinese, you can see 16 Corinthian columns from a pagan temple of the 2nd to 3rd century AD – and, behind them, the San Lorenzo alle Colonne, a superb 4th-century basilica.</p><p>You can also see ZeroDue (19) at number 6. This stylish restaurant (00 39 02 8942 0241; zeroduemilano.com; open daily except Monday) is named after the dialling code for Milan, 02.</p><p>It occupies part of the remains of a 15th-century convent on Roman foundations. Beneath the brick arches, dine on penne alla puttanesca (with tomatoes, capers and olives) for €9, or the house salad, which is laden with chicken, bacon and even blackberries.</p><p>Day two</p><p>Sunday morning: go to church</p><p>The artistic pinnacle of Milan – and arguably Italy – is Leonardo da Vinci's fresco of The Last Supper, painted on the wall of the refectory of the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie (20), in the west of the city. Book by phone (00 39 02 9280 0360) or online at www.cenacolovinciano.net for a 15-minute slot as soon as you buy your flights – don't wait until you arrive in Milan. Tickets are available 8am-7.15pm daily except Mondays and May Day, price €6.</p><p>A walk in the park</p><p>The 15th-century Duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza, was the man responsible for both Santa Maria delle Grazie and the reconstruction of the fortress known as Castello Sforzesco (6) (00 39 02 8846 3700; www.milano castello.it; 7am-6pm daily) at Piazza Castello. The castle houses a collection of museums, but on a fine day your attention will be drawn to the vast, elaborate Parco Sempione – the largest green space in central Milan.</p><p>Out to brunch</p><p>Feast your way through the €30 Mediterranean buffet, served on Sundays from noon to 4pm, at the Cantina della Vetra (21) at Via Pio IV 3 (00 39 02 8940 3843; www.cantinadellavetra.it). This big, busy and very popular enoteca serves an array of charcuterie, seafood, vegetables and sticky desserts in abundant quantities; the price includes coffee.</p><p>Take a ride</p><p>Milan has recently acquired a bike-rental scheme, named bikeMi, with stables of bicycles dotted around the city – including one outside the Cantina della Vetra (21). Registering for the day costs €2.50, but as long as you keep each individual hire to less than half an hour there's no further charge to your credit card – you can use a bike as often as you like.</p><p>The trams in Milan take you back to a different era – many of the 1920s editions are still running. Buy a €1.50 ticket from a tobacconist or metro station, then hop aboard tram 2 or 14 going north from Largo Carrobbio (22), making sure to stamp the ticket at the machine at the front. It zig-zags north, and you should get off where the lines cross Via Paolo Sarpi (23). Then walk a short way east to the final stop.</p><p>The icing on the cake</p><p>The collector and entrepreneur Carla Sozzani has created a concept store in a former Fiat garage at 10 Corso Como (24), whose name is also its address (00 39 02 2901 3581; www.10corsocomo.com). In a shady courtyard full of greenery, art, home furnishings, books, music and clothes are sold under one roof, alongside a restaurant (half of which spills out into the courtyard) which serves modern Italian fusion food. There is an excellent (and free) gallery.</p><p>Additional research by William Severs.</p><p>Travel essentials</p><p>Why go now?</p><p>&quot;KL&quot; is coming into its own as a stopover for travellers en route to Malaysia's tropical islands of Penang, Langkawi and Borneo, or to Australasia. Malaysia Airlines has just stepped up its service from London with the arrival of new A380 &quot;Superjumbos&quot; as it tries to turn KL into Asia's biggest crossroad for tourists, just as the city used to draw merchants from all over the globe.</p><p>Chinese tin miners, Indian migrants and British colonists all helped to shape this hot, noisy capital in the jungle, and each has left its mark on streets of crumbling architecture and skyscrapers, the symbols of the KL's more recent oil riches. National Day (31 August) and the F1 Grand Prix (March/April) are good times to come, while a busking festival gives a more tuneful soundtrack in December.</p><p>Touch down</p><p>Malaysia Airlines (0871 423 9090; malay siaairlines.com) has the only direct link between the UK and KL. Daily flights from Heathrow start at £719 return. The international airport is 45 miles south of the centre, 30 minutes by train (RM35/£7) to KL's Sentral Station (1). By road, the journey takes twice as long and costs RM75 (£15) in a taxi or RM10 (£2) by bus.</p><p>Get your bearings</p><p>Sentral Station (1) is the hub for the city's transit network. A futuristic monorail winds north and east towards Bukit Bintang (2) and Bukit Nanas (3) stations, serving KL's &quot;Golden Triangle&quot; of malls, markets and famous skyscrapers, the Petronas Towers (4), and the KL Tower (5). Little India lies further north near Chow Kit station (6). The red Putra line, meanwhile, connects Sentral (1) to Merdeka Square (7) in the old colonial quarter, as well as Chinatown, a short walk or taxi ride east of the vast Lake Gardens area. Journeys on the transit network are easy and cost as little as RM1 (20p), making it the best way to get around the city, not least to avoid the paralysing rush-hour traffic. When things flow, short taxi rides should cost less than RM10 (£2).</p><p>Check in</p><p>I stayed at the high-rise Shangri-La Hotel (8) at 11 Jalan Sultan Ismail (00 603 2032 2388; shangri-la.com), one of many relatively reasonable five-star international hotels in the city. Doubles start at RM1,044 (£209) per night including breakfast and use of the hotel's delightful pool.</p><p>Sarang Mas (9) on Jalan Pudu (00 601 2333 5666; sarang vacationhomes.com) is a highly rated bed and breakfast in a 1920s house in bustling Bukit Bintang. Rooms in the shared house start at RM230 (£45) for a double including breakfast.</p><p>Dorm rooms in KL can cost as little as RM12 (£3) per night. The Backpackers Traveller Inn (10) at 60 Jalan Sultan is well located in Chinatown (00 603 2078 2473; backpackerskl.com).</p><p>Day One</p><p>Take a view</p><p>The 452m-high twin Petronas Towers (4) were the tallest buildings in the world when they opened in 1998, and they still dominate. Gawp at a striking, if not altogether pretty, city from the Skybridge that links the towers, and an observation deck near the top (9am to 9pm, closed Mondays; RM80 (£16) for both. My tip: the observation deck or kitsch revolving restaurant up the KL Tower (5) (kltower.com.my; 9am to 10pm daily; RM47/£10). Daredevils take the quick way down during an annual base-jumping festival (27-30 Sept this year).</p><p>Take a hike</p><p>You'll need patience and cold drinks to survive a walking tour of KL, where three-lane highways seem to spring from nowhere. Keep things compact by starting at Merdeka (independence) Square (7), a rare patch of green that was a cricket pitch before the Brits got bowled out of Malaysia in 1957. It's dominated by the copper-dome-topped Sultan Abdul Samad Building (11). Learn more about the city's past at the excellent City Gallery (12) at the southern end of the square (klcitygallery.com; free; daily 8am to 6pm). Then head east over the Klang River to the Art Deco façade of the covered Central Market (open daily 10am to 10pm). Batik, jade and other handicrafts compete today with tourist trinkets. Pick up an ice-blended drink at the Iz Jeruk tropical fruit stall (RM3.50; 70p) to sip on as you walk on to Jalan Petaling (13), the heart of KL's sense-assaulting Chinatown.</p><p>Lunch on the run</p><p>Pop two stops up the Putra line from Pasar Seni (14) to Dang Wangi (15) before the short walk to Yut Kee (16). The breezy, family-run café opened here in 1928, serving peculiar British-inspired dishes such as pork chop (served with potatoes and frozen veg). I had roti baba (RM8; £1.60) a delicious pocket of bread stuffed with shredded pork, onions and Worcestershire sauce, washed down with kopi peng: the best iced coffee you'll ever drink.</p><p>Window shopping</p><p>Whether or not you want to blow your ringgits in Prada, you should take in one of KL's refrigerated malls to get a sense of a city built on global commerce. The biggest is Suria KLCC (17), at the base of the Petronas Towers (4), home to a vast food court, cinema and concert hall. Labels are cheaper than in London, but not radically so.</p><p>An aperitif</p><p>Take a short walk from Suria KLCC (17) across the KL City Park to Traders Hotel (18) (shangri-la.com/kuala lumpur/traders) and head up to the 33rd-floor SkyBar (daily from 10am to 1am, or to 3am on Fridays and Saturdays). I watched the sun set on the Petronas Towers beside the hotel's pool while sipping a bowcut, a gin and pomelo-based cocktail (RM32; £6.50). Call ahead to book a good table (00 603 2332 9911; www.skybar.com.my).</p><p>Dining with the locals</p><p>Plunge back into KL at the street food stalls and cafés that line Jalan Alor (19) in Bukit Bintang. I started at Fat Brother Satay with skewers of octopus, chicken and mushroom dipped in fearfully spicy chilli sauce (RM15 or £3 including a bottle of Tiger beer). At Cu Cha, I washed down some Chinese pork belly with lin chee kang, a delicious chilled lychee drink that came with floating quail eggs. (Trust me, it's good.)</p><p>Day Two</p><p>Sunday morning: go to the mosque</p><p>Malaysia is a Muslim state and KL has dozens of mosques. The largest and most peaceful is the modernist National Mosque (20). Between prayers, suitably dressed tourists (purple gowns are available) can explore a monument to modern Malaysia (9am-noon; 3pm-4pm; 5.30pm-6.30pm), where Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism thrive.</p><p>Out to brunch</p><p>Dash from the mosque to the outdoor Tanglin food court (21) on Jalan Cenderasari, where cafés vie for post-prayer trade. Take what you fancy or walk out back to find a chaotic, nameless barbecue. Before I could think about ordering (by pointing) I was given a plate of delicious grilled stingray with chilli and a chilled barley drink (RM12; £2.50 for both).</p><p>A walk in the park</p><p>By now, you're already in KL's central Lake Gardens, a vast, verdant relic of British rule and a free refuge from concrete and steel. After a stroll around Perdana Lake, continue your circuit to Bird Park (22), billed as the &quot;world's largest free-flight walk-in aviary&quot;, to pose with parrots and watch ostriches lay eggs (open 9am-6pm daily; RM48 (£10) for adults, 38 (£7.50) for children.</p><p>Cultural afternoon</p><p>Finish your exploration of the area in and around Lake Gardens at the under-visited Islamic Arts Centre (23) where the architecture alone is well worth the entrance fee. Quietly built in the same year as the thrusting pseudo-minarets of the Petronas Towers, the four floors of whitewashed walls surround a glass-sided inverted dome through which light pours – perfect for perusing all the scrolls, embroidery and dazzling bejewelled swords (10am-6pm daily; admission RM12/ £2.50; iamm.org.my).</p><p>Icing on the cake</p><p>Get out of town on the KTM Komuter line, seven miles north to Batu Caves (trains run every 30 minutes and take 30 minutes; returns RM4/80p). Almost 300 steps lead to a labyrinth of limestone caverns and Hindu shrines. Watch monkeys take shortcuts up the cliffs as you climb (7am to 7pm daily; admission free).</p><p>At the time everyone thought &quot;a-ha, what fun!&quot; but naturally, all this kind of messy, mish-mashed postmodernism seems terribly passé now. So, at the spring 2013 menswear shows in London, Paris and Milan, which finally wrapped up this month, designers seemed to be looking for a way out of such glorious excess and into collections that were punchy and focused. Spring 2013 seems like it could be a season of strong new directions.</p><p>Nautical</p><p>There were references to many sports, from fencing at Dries Van Noten (a sublime collection that deconstructed camouflage across a range of suits, denim jackets and quilted breastplates) to athletics at Prada and cycling at Trussardi and Issey Miyake. But one of the most chewed-over influences this season were nautical pursuits. Louis Vuitton led the way with a wonderfully detailed collection from Kim Jones, themed loosely on the sea. With its range of stunning outerwear options (including a floating, ankle-length parka and a leather, lifejacket-like gilet) it looked great on the runway, with laser-cut pockets on a yellow fishing mac and stingray buttons on a seersucker suit. At Dior Homme, sharply tailored suits in navy and grey were joined by Bretonesque jumpers with textured, rope-like knit stripes, and it became clear that the point here was a very subtle reworking of a nautical uniform.</p><p>Statement T-Shirt</p><p>For spring 2013, designers took steps to recreate the loved and loathed T-shirt. And none did this with more gusto than Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana.</p><p>The Dolce &amp; Gabbana catwalk was, from a showman's point of view, triumphant, featuring more than 70 streetcast models from Sicily and soundtracked by a live Italian village band.</p><p>But the adorable folksy, gawky clothes also stood up to scrutiny, and in particular the drop-shouldered, T-shirt-like cotton tops, printed with stripes, newspaper clippings and colourful maps, and with wide, uncuffed sleeves reaching to the elbow, for full, ill-fitting rustic charm.</p><p>At Givenchy, Riccardo Tisci continued to push printed T-shirts and sweatshirts, but this spring rendered these pieces in unusual, non-stretch fabrics such as sheeny satin and sheer gauze.</p><p>And across many runways there were further experiments with fabric, whether it was in Margaret Howell's oversized linen T-shirts and Astrid Andersen's wear-if-you-dare lace numbers in London, or the stiff knitted tees at Jil Sander, which held their shape to nicely increase the sharpness of the silhouette.</p><p>Supercharged Pastels</p><p>The vogue for loud flashes of colour in menswear has been a long time in development, and, unusually, even managed to hit the mainstream over the past years. But there was a new set of tones in play, sickly but muted, and hovering between pastel and neon. Kind of like the shades you might see in a gelateria. In Milan, at the Z Zegna show, minimalist artist Dan Flavin (he of the coloured tube-lighting) inspired wonderful, almost over-exposed shades of mint green, coral and melon-like pale orange, and at Gucci, too, where creative director Frida Giannini proposed a series of loud, one-colour suits in supercharged pastel shades. Meanwhile in Paris, Hermès showed macs and track tops in a sickly lemon yellow and Raf Simons fielded bomber jackets in three different lengths and lollipop shades of pale pink, orange and vibrant cherry, while Yohji Yamamoto combined primary colours.</p><p>Sports Minimal</p><p>At the Prada show, many were waiting for a new cornucopia of zany prints to come sailing down the catwalk, given the brand's interest in that direction recently. But all Miuccia Prada seemed to care about this season was a simple silhouette constructed from a polo-shirt shape and a striped, slightly flared trouser.</p><p>What was the punchline? That all these simple, retro, sports-inspired pieces (including v-necks, oversized tees and wide-collared, bib-front shirts) were rendered in unusual, unsporty fabrics such as wool gabardine, double faced bonded cotton and light cashmere. It was a return to the kind of thinking that made Prada the must-have brand of the mid-90s, when high fashion first began to exploit the idiom of popular leisure and sportswear, referencing its utilitarian nature to create a new kind of simplicity.</p><p>This fresh, reductive approach was echoed at Lou Dalton and Emporio Armani, where soft tailoring was mixed with tech fabric jackets, sporty striped sweaters and drawstring gym shorts, and at Lanvin, where Lucas Ossendrijver enhanced his typically ingenious sport references with a subtly monochrome colour palette.</p><p>Tailored Bermuda Shorts</p><p>Jil Sander showed her first efforts since returning to the label to replace the much-loved Raf Simons last year. And she gave us shorts. In a collection that was graciously aware of what Jil Sander has become in the past five years, she used pleated, high-waisted Bermuda shorts to lend a slouch to long, wide-shouldered silhouettes, undercutting the severity of pieces such as a crisp yellow mac or stiff knit T-shirt with a luxurious movement of fabric below the waist. The breezy tailored short had been prefigured in London by designers such as James Long (who did them in print with heavy pleats) and Shaun Samson (whose had more of a basketball-inspired swagger), and continued to be a relevant piece across Milan and Paris, including Kenzo, where wide shorts made for a gawky, tourist-on-safari chic, and Versace, where suits came sleeveless with pleated, matching shorts.</p><p>Camouflage</p><p>Camouflage was a micro-trend in the spring 2013 collections, but, when people did it, they really went for it – in particular Dries Van Noten, who built a whole collection around this inherently masculine print. With elegant understatement, Van Noten showed a range of canvas camo suits, reversible jackets and paneled denim jackets and shirts, subverting the usual colour scheme to create beautiful variations in orange, brown, sand, red and blue.</p><p>On the Comme Des Garçons catwalk there was a no less striking approach to camouflage, in a series of suits that were paired with coat-length grey track tops. And then there were shows such as Ermenegildo Zegna and Kenzo, that, although not too tied to camouflage in the traditional sense, played with prints of tropical foliage, for a similarly lush and densely geometric effect.</p><p>On the surface it's all a bit of a yawn – part of the general cycle of menswear in which if it's not about the suit, it's about the blazer. Or sportswear. Or one of the other three or four key looks that men are actually likely to have in their limited wardrobes.</p><p>So let's go a bit further than that: the shows this January were about masculine force, and re-asserting it. Lucas Ossendrijver, the reliably brilliant men's designer at Lanvin, was particularly eloquent on this point. &quot;A suit can give you power,&quot; he said, shortly after the show, which featured Seventies-tinged powder blue and camel suits (with a generous bootcut trouser), cropped morning coats and neoprene-bonded overcoats with imposing, hulking shoulders. &quot;Where women can wear shoulder pads, men can go back to suits,&quot; he said. &quot;It's not about being a dandy, or trying to be too modern. It's about suits that have character, suits that are special.&quot; In other words, a male uniform that doesn't feel like uniform anymore – one that has a stamp of authority, but also individuality.</p><p>Ossendrijver also talked about a &quot;man on a mission&quot; – and this was an idea that seemed to play out across the runways, whether it was at Raf Simons' Jil Sander show, with its lunch bag- and newspaper-clutching bankers (who looked poised to start work at some sinister institution), or at Adam Kimmel, where one model walked out in a Top-Gun style pilot's helmet.</p><p>At Alexander McQueen, there were shades of Victoriana; at Junya Watanabe, bearded gamekeepers wore wader-like trousers and braces; at Emporio Armani, there were mountain rescue hats and nomadic shawls; at Vivienne Westwood, beards strewn with icicles. Everywhere there was a sense of action, purpose, and imperturbable manliness that felt reassuring, if caricatured, at a time when a lot of men – the Greek prime minister, for exaple – must be feeling a little bit helpless.</p><p>Men and Supermen</p><p>In a season about imposing masculinity, many designers pumped up the male silhouette to startling, superhuman proportions. Viktor &amp; Rolf, perhaps surprisingly given their avant garde credentials, offered the most sensible proposition of the lot, with a series of suits, chesterfields and bomber jackets that were gently padded at the shoulders to give a shape just a little shy of a quarterback. At Lanvin, Lucas Ossendrijver went bigger and quirkier, with huge, round-shouldered sweaters in dip-dyed plaid, while Rick Owens rounded off his neat, somewhat restrained show with a series of hulking astronaut-esque down coats. The medal for overstatement, though, goes to Thom Browne. His Mohican-sporting dandy punks, who wore gimp masks, had their shoulders padded to Lurch-like proportions.</p><p>Military</p><p>Military-inspired pieces are never far from the male wardrobe but this autumn, martial garb had a marked predominance and bite. At Dior Homme, Kris Van Assche took a step away from his recent focus on super-minimal, deconstructed tailoring with a largely khaki collection of army-inspired suits, the jackets tightly fastened with four or five buttons, cinched in at the waistline with leather belts, or embellished with Napoleonic rope toggles. It was certainly a more aggressive collection than is typical, but it was softened with flowing cape jackets and a particularly elegant camo-esque bird print.</p><p>Camouflage was a major feature of the Versace collection too, albeit with a touch of what Donatella succinctly called &quot;the Versace treatment&quot;. And we all know what that means: the sludgy brown, khaki and grey pattern was rendered in red and pink, then burst in to bloom as &quot;flora-flage&quot;, while cavalry garb was re-imagined as a pair of silk pyjamas and models wore golden dog tags emblazoned with the house's Greek frieze motif.</p><p>Statement Chesterfield</p><p>Key outerwear this season included the chesterfield, a three-quarter length coat with a slim, double-breasted fit. It's not a particularly unusual piece, but the forthright classicism of the autumn runways brought it closer to the garment that preceded it – the frock coat – as well as introducing some novel twists to tinker with the basic shape.</p><p>At Dolce &amp; Gabbana there was definitely a turn-of-the-20th-century feel, not just because of the ornate, operatic gold embroidery that covered everything from blazers to socks, but also thanks to the long frock-like coats that were sharply fitted at the waist and worn with dandyish floppy bow ties. They brought out the chesterfield in something like 20 variations, and Comme des Garçons also experimented with the form, showing boxy and cropped polka dot versions. But the champion examples had to be those fielded by Miuccia Prada at her dressy, almost Edwardian show – and not just because they were worn by, among others, Willem Dafoe, Gary Oldman and Adrien Brody. These came in a range of lengths and textiles, from plain grey to pinstripe to kitsch, Seventies prints, and were variously enhanced with ironic details like giant collars and mismatching astrakhan trim. It was a poke at traditional masculinity, and turned out some very wearable clothes to boot.</p><p>Seventies</p><p>You'd be forgiven for thinking there's not been much room for flamboyance in autumn 2012. But that's where the Seventies came in. From the open-necked shirts and sandy colour palette at Umit Benan's show for Trussardi, to the jacket and turtleneck combos and bootlegs at Lanvin, and to the general preponderance of gangsterish coats with wide fur collars, there were a substantial number of references to the peacock-like male stylings of the decade that brought us glam rock, polyester shirts and Get Carter. Dries Van Noten's inspirations (Frank Zappa and Oscar Wilde) took us slightly earlier, but the result – shirts printed with slogans in psychedelic lettering and suits printed all over with an abstract-organic painted pattern – brought to mind the beginnings of Prog Rock, specifically, the artwork for In the Court of the Crimson King.</p><p>At Gucci, Frida Giannini has been working Seventies references for a few seasons, but seldom has it felt so right as it did this time around – skinny navy suits mixed with shearling-lined jackets, groovy geometric-print trousers and richly coloured flower-print blazers. It was dark and elegant, but also refreshing for its unashamed luxury and sense of fun – evident most of all in the paint-daubed carpet bags.</p><p>Teddy-Bear Fleece</p><p>It looks like autumn's going to be a cold, hard season for men, but lest anyone forget that, deep down, we're all big softies really, many designers peppered their collections with cuddly teddy-bear-like fleece and shearling outerwear. The biggest and best was at Bottega Veneta, where a short-collared jacket in creamy natural fleece emerged amidst the more fiddly overprinted suits, leather-panelled overcoats and crinkled, jodhpur-like jeans. Then there were fleecy gilets at Jean Paul Gaultier, a full-length astrakhan fur coat at Lanvin and super-soft fleece zip-ups at Kim Jones's Tokyo/Paris-themed collection for Louis Vuitton.</p><p>Luxe leather</p><p>If any of the current crop of designers knows how to make a fashion statement, it's Raf Simons, and this season he really went for the jugular with his predominantly leather collection for Jil Sander, which emerged from behind a graffiti-strewn door onto a black rubber runway. With its range of voluminous leather overcoats, sheeny, round-shouldered macs and granite-like wool marl suits, it was as scary as it was preposterously luxurious. And more so because it reeked of the businessman, the current era's foremost demon figure, who Simons was fixated upon for his &quot;accuracy&quot; and &quot;obsession for detail&quot;, as well as his &quot;vanity&quot;.</p><p>The collection was a daring move for Simons, not only because he has become so loved for his experiments with colour and print at Jil Sander, but also because fashion rarely attempts to be this intriguingly ambivalent. And the leather was key to this, he said, both as &quot;an expression of uncompromised luxury&quot; (particularly provocative in a retail environment that is very much compromised) and &quot;a material that could trace the dark side of the man I pictured with this collection&quot;.</p><p>Elsewhere there were equally enticing workouts in skin, both at Yves Saint Laurent and at Hermès, where even shirts came in super-fine leather.</p><p>It used to be that the only directives with socks were these: make sure they match, and make sure you take them off first when seducing someone, to avoid that awkward stockinged-feet-and-bare-leg stage. But as socks become a trend in their own right, it's time to put a bit more thought into the space between your statement trousers and your must-have footwear. It's time to pull them up – quite literally.</p><p>Visionary designer Miuccia Prada has long made use of socks as a styling tool, usually plumping for pairs of the downright dingy, ribbed grey-school-uniform variety. Needless to say, they're fabulous. This season, in her Miu Miu collection, they were conspicuously smoothed up calves between platform brogues and printed half-mast trousers, a bit of eye-catching frumpiness in an otherwise vibrant show. It's a tricky look to pull off – and one which will buck against all your aesthetic instincts – but choose pairs in nostalgic navy and grey (somehow black is still just too utilitarian) and hike them up to a height your nan would be proud of.</p><p>Meanwhile, novelty numbers were once the preserve of the office idiot, but thanks to Meadham Kirchhoff and the stalwart Paul Smith, fancy patterns, lurid Lurex and bright colours are all back in vogue above your brogue. Frills, too, have made a reappearance, inspired by a retro revival of bobby-soxer-esque preppy, hipster tastes, but be sure to tone down the girlishness with androgynous shoes or chunky flatforms. Socks and heels can work, too – as witnessed at Alexander Wang and Dries Van Noten – but keep styles edgy rather than overtly feminine, for fear of straying too far into FHM territory.</p><p>So begin, be bold and be brave. Remember that it is a far, far better thing to have your socks noticed for their coolness, rather than because you've made the mistake of pretending they don't exist and settled for a vomit-inducing trainer sock or an orthopaedic pop-sock. Take as your example the models at autumn's Comme des Garçons show and opt for simple white, let it slouch around your ankle and banish all thoughts of Michael Jackson.</p><p>At Prabal Gurung, models wore cat's eye sunglasses by Linda Farrow Project – an extreme update of the Fifties-style eyewear seen over the summer, but in this rendering deconstructed and given wavy edges to soften the graphic frames against the face. Perfect for sheltering behind in wintry sun.</p><p>Meanwhile, the sci-fi smoky-glassed visors by Alexander McQueen are the most statement showpiece to have gone into production since the label's sky-high armadillo shoes. Part-cyborg, part Olympic velodrome, it's just the ticket to top off the new season's Star Trek-meets-sports luxe look.</p><p>Jewellery-wise, go goth or go glam. Leather accessories have been in the style doldrums, thanks to the ubiquitous 50 Shades of Grey, but Lanvin's black leather panther choker is a suitably fierce and scarily sophisticated return to form, embellished as it is with jewelled eyes and mouth. Grrr. But if glitz is more to your taste, Dolce &amp; Gabbana's opulent, stranded gold necklace evokes all the arcane and baroque elegance of the Italian duo's heritage, dripping with pearls, curlicues, roses and rosary-esque beading.</p><p>Feet come into sharper focus too, but shoes are anything but razor-like. Instead, think clump: Acne's elasticated slip-on brogues in high-shine and slightly sinister black leather are key to this autumn's &quot;ugly&quot; trend, while at Balenciaga Nicholas Ghesquiere mixed the Eighties with out-of-this-world references to create a retro-futurist shoe: a wedge and kitten heel combined in the form of an Edwardiana ankle boot. Phew.</p><p>Print will play an important role in your wardrobe this season, but it shouldn't stop at your ankles. Follow Mrs Prada's example (for a change) and take it to your shoes as well, mis-matching the patterns on your stompy heels to the swirling lino-graphs on your painfully hip trouser suit.</p><p>Even wardrobe staples aren't immune to an overhaul, as at Givenchy, where designer Riccardo Tisci gave the timeless riding boot an altogether more functional makeover, affixing leather gaiters to knee-high wedge-heels, upping the dominatrix factor considerably but in a characteristically unconventional way.</p><p>Finally, pay attention to what is hanging on your arm. The It-bag is dead, but long live its blinged-up cousin, the statement bag. At Miu Miu, classic doctors' bags were streakily marbled in incongruous and sludgy colours; Chanel's clutch, meanwhile, looked more like it had been rough-hewn from the wall of a quartz mine, topped off with a hunk of semi-precious masquerading as a clasp. And Marc Jacobs' elegy to old-fashioned elegance at Louis Vuitton included a glittering and sequinned structured handbag in the shape of the house's famous monogram print. At the show, Jacobs provided porters to carry these for his models, but you may have to tote your own.</p><p>Being british isn't just about the Olympics this summer – lose the Lycra and check out one of our most timeless fashion icons at the Barbican by taking in the Designing 007 – Fifty Years of Bond Style exhibition, which looks at the aesthetic of Britain's best-loved film franchise and includes costumes from the likes of Hubert de Givenchy, Tom Ford and Miuccia Prada. To 5 September, </p><p> </p><p>Face to watch: Matt Bomer</p><p>One of Hollywood's few openly gay actors, Bomer can be seen working a thong in male-stripper drama Magic Mike and has had his star cachet confirmed as one of the many being talked up for the inevitable 50 Shades of Grey adaptation</p><p> </p><p>Lexpionage: Athleech, n.</p><p>A person who is prone to voicing loud and bullish opinions on sporting events while determinedly avoiding all forms of physical exercise themselves. Especially prevalent during the summer months</p><p> </p><p>Social networking: Match the tweet to the star</p><p>1 I know you are but what am I?</p><p>2 She says, over breakfast, &quot;You know that K.... sucks everyone's everything. Right?&quot;</p><p>3 Patchouli bums me out.</p><p>4 my little bird.</p><p>Answers at bottom</p><p> </p><p>App watch: The Sonnets</p><p>Wax poetic with this digital edition of all 154 of Shakespeare's lyric verses, read by the likes of Patrick Stewart, David Tennant, Kim Cattrall and Fiona Shaw and incorporating interviews with scholars including Katherine Duncan-Jones, James Shapiro and Henry Woudhuysen. £9.99 from iTunes store</p><p> </p><p>On the radar: Because some things are still worth getting excited about...</p><p>Polpo Cookbook</p><p>If you'd rather not queue for Russell Norman's ever-hip Soho bacaro, you can now recreate its Venetian delights at home with this new, beautifully put together spin-off cookbook. £25, Bloomsbury</p><p>Grabbers</p><p>This horror-comedy about an Irish village protecting itself from aliens with booze has earnt strong notices at the Edinburgh Film Festival and all signs point to it being a cult hit when it's released later this year. </p><p>Little mix</p><p>Yes, that's right: X FACTOR WINNERS IN QUITE GOOD, NON-COVER SINGLE SHOCKER. It's called &quot;Wings&quot;, it's somewhat Christina Aguilera-ish and you can have a listen here: </p><p>Tweets answers:</p><p>1. Stephen Mangan</p><p>2. Alec Baldwin</p><p>3. Juliette Lewis</p><p>4. Rebecca Black</p><p>If you're hitting the slopes this season, you’ll need to be decked out in the only skiwear that counts, Prada’s Montagna capsule collection. It features toasty alpaca knitwear, luxuriantly fur-timmed coats and oversized ski sunglasses. Trust us: the mountains simply won’t know what’s hit them. Below, faux fur pocket ski jacket, £990, prada.com</p><p>Face to watch: Stefan Golaszewski</p><p>The 30-year-old playwright pulled off a coup in creating a decent BBC3 comedy with bed-sitcom Him &amp; Her. Now returning to the stage, his latest play Sex with a Stranger is premiering on 1 February at London's Trafalgar Studios</p><p>Social networking: Match the tweet to the star</p><p>Juliette Lewis, Rupert Penry-Jones, Ollie Locke, Jessica Alba</p><p>1 Hello Alan. Is it you lovely</p><p>2 Conversation started again... Seemingly the genders are confused, to clear it up.. Girls DON'T Wee when the Poo, and guys ALWAYS do!!! x</p><p>3 Yin and yang... Discuss.</p><p>4 there's nothing quite like the melodic buzzing of an electric saw to gently wake you up</p><p>Answers at the bottom of the page</p><p>App watch: iPlayer</p><p>May the great and the goggle-eyed rejoice as the BBC's indispensable catch-up TV service finally makes its way on to the iPhone. Never again shall you have to converse with acquaintances on journeys, bus or car, long or short. Well, trusting the dratted 3G signal holds out, of course. Free from iTunes store</p><p>Lexpionage: New Year's resolution, n.</p><p>A commitment made to a personal goal or reforming of a habit, often allied to a sapping of all joy. You will likely need to be reminded of this in February. Or about 7pm this evening</p><p>On the radar: Because some things are still worth getting excited about...</p><p>Theatre: The Pitchfork Disney</p><p>Steel yourself for this early 2012 hot ticket, a revival of Philip Ridley's shocking fantasy featuring Misfits' Nathan Stewart-Jarrett. 25 January to 17 March, Arcola Theatre, London E8, arcolatheatre.com</p><p>Film: The Dark Knight Rises</p><p>The trailer for the final part in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy is out – and it's predictably intriguing. Rioting? Catwoman as anti- capitalist avenger? Tom Conti? bit.ly/s1lV7K</p><p>Music: Perfume Genius</p><p>We're predicting big things for this tremulous Seattle singer-songwriter and his achingly beautiful second album Put Your Back N 2 It. Check out taster track &quot;All Waters&quot; before its 20 February release: bit.ly/tTwljV</p><p>MATCH THE TWEET: 1. RUPERT PENRY-JONES; 2. OLLIE LOCKE; 3. JULIETTE LEWIS; 4. JESSICA ALBA</p><p>In the conclusion of an epic battle, he lies just two points behind the man who has tormented him all week. The medal decider for the top 10 in the Finn singlehander tomorrow involves a course on the trickiest piece of water, close to the shore and the grassy grandstand at Weymouth.</p><p>&quot;Am I where I want to be now? Yeah,&quot; said Ainslie, having steadily closed the gap on Hogh-Christensen. &quot;It's going to be a fascinating race on Sunday and I'm really looking forward to it. I know it may sound a bit perverse, but I quite like these situations.</p><p>&quot;Jonas has sailed well all week. It's going to be a really tough battle.&quot;</p><p>If Ainslie beats the Dane by one place in a race that counts for double points that would decide it, unless they had sailed each other to the back of the fleet and the third-placed Jan-Pieter Postma of the Netherlands wins. He would therefore snatch the gold.</p><p>The mathematics of Ainslie's situation are easy to work out. A combination of the conditions on the day and the way the race pans out may mean that any game plan the Briton devises will have to change.</p><p>Before the Finn shoot-out begins, the Star keelboat will complete its schedule with defending gold medallists Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson carrying an eight-point, four-place advantage over the crew they edged out in China four years ago, Brazil's Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada.</p><p>The Brazilians then have a four-point cushion over Sweden's Freddie Loof and Max Salminen, leaving them with the conundrum of attacking for gold or defending a second silver. The rest are trailing well behind; the medals can only go to these three crews.</p><p>In both 470 dinghy classes Britain leads, Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell heading the men's and Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark making an impressive start in the women's.</p><p>The French team, Aleph, skippered by Bertrand Pacé, has told the America’s Cup Event Authority that it is not only withdrawing from Naples but from both the 45-footer world series and the America’s Cup itself, scheduled for July to September next year.</p><p>The Spanish-based, Italian-originated GreenComm team has said that it will not race in Naples but still hopes to race in Venice next month. But it is thought that considerable financial reorganisation will be necessary to make that happen. GreenComm previously announced that it had a €25m budget to compete next year.</p><p>The racing programme in Naples has already been modified, much to the chagrin of the mayor, sitting on a €5m investment in a racing programme that would now work out at €1m a day.</p><p>The arrival, courtesy of Prada, of the hugely stylish Luna Rossa team means that the two boats now not racing will be replaced by the Italian pair.</p><p>The America’s Cup organisation and its world series is in the middle of a huge organisational shake-up with both staff and other budgets being cut. But it has been given important permissions by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors for a downtown village and team compounds. </p><p>And the cup holder, Oracle, backed by Larry Ellison and run by Olympic gold medallist and multiple Cup winner Russell Coutts is working flat out on a successful defence.</p><p>In the Pacific, the Spanish yacht Camper, managed by Team New Zealand, suspended competing in the Volvo round the world race to go into Puerto Montt, Chile, for repairs.</p><p>Astern, the damaged Abu Dhabi boat, Azzam, is also on track for Chile having effected a temporary repair but has yet to announce if it will also stop for further repairs.</p><p>On the other side of South America in the Atlantic the two leading boats, France’s Groupama and America’s Puma, were neck and neck but also looking over their shoulders as, having stopped for repairs at Cape Horn, Spain’s Telefonica reduced the deficit to 100 miles.  </p><p>Whereas Miuccia Prada's recent seasons have seen her blokes kitted out in technicolor floral bri-nylon, lurex cardigans and stack-soled wedges, this time we saw suits... and suits... and suits. Grey, black, single and double-breasted, some with natty astrakhan collars, some seemingly sans trousers (but with flapping boxers and over-the-calf City Boy socks). It was all about the suit – but they were suits that could be worn anywhere and by just about anybody. Prada wasn't the only one proposing that men be permanently suited and booted for winter: the power of this label is in epitomising what's making fashion tick at any one moment. Hence Italian cohorts Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana proffered a parade of braid-embroidered gabardines, Tomas Maier's Bottega Veneta showed sleek, single-breasted styles and Christopher Bailey at Burberry Prorsum put a new twist on the Sloane Ranger with jewel-toned corduroy and whipcord two-pieces (Mellors flat-cap optional). Even Roberto Cavalli's usually navel-gazing, flesh-flashing catwalk was buttressed with Savile Row quality tailoring, give or take the odd odd chartreuse tux.</p><p>Is this really so surprising? The suit, after all, has been the linchpin of the male wardrobe for about two hundred years. What's rare is to see fashion designers embracing that conservatism with quite so much gusto.</p><p>The Italians, of course, have a tailoring tradition to rival Savile Row's – although their craftsmen dotted about Rome, Milan and Florence cannot compare with the world's only true &quot;disguisery&quot; (the wonderful plural noun for a group of tailors) on &quot;The Row&quot;. But the suit reigned supreme during Paris fashion week too, Lanvin's muscular and full-shouldered, Louis Vuitton's sleek in camel and grey, and leather-bound at Stefano Pilati's final menswear show for Yves Saint Laurent (Raf Simons showed that over in Milan for his penultimate Jil Sander collection, too).</p><p>So what does the suit represent in the menswear landscape of today?</p><p>Power on the one hand and conservatism on the other. Mere months before The Iron Lady nabbed Meryl Streep an Oscar for her depiction of Margaret Thatcher, it feels as if this could be fashion's return to Wall Street's &quot;Greed is good&quot; Eighties ethos. These suits may be relatively sombre, even staid at times, but they scream &quot;money&quot; in a way a sweatshirt never could. A suit today can be the perfect sartorial palimpsest for rebellion; a language of dress every man understands but which can be utilised to say something revolutionary.</p><p>That's the way the American designer Thom Browne has always looked at the suit, using its &quot;rules&quot; to fight against the conventions still evident in male fashion. Browne's suit, less skinny than shrunken, single-breasted with trousers cropped high on the ankle, has dominated male style for the past half-decade. &quot;My goal for my collection is to be provocative and to make people think,&quot; says Browne. That's the purported aim of much flamboyant modern menswear, the difference with Browne's work being that the basis for these experiments are classic grey wool suits that could have been worn by bankers in the fifties. Turn a blind eye to the attention-grabbing &quot;skorts&quot;, beaded kaftans and tulle puffs Browne often favours: it's the proportions of the suit that are the most controversial and interesting thing.</p><p>Browne's combination of an ultra-trad base with subtly radical details finds echoes throughout menswear today. It's there in a poplin men's shirt by young London label Palmer//Harding, tucks and spiral pleats giving it a third dimension; and equally in Lucas Ossendrijver and Alber Elbaz's cross-breeding of a down jacket and officer's greatcoat at Lanvin.</p><p>&quot;The mix between tradition and newness is the story of this collection,&quot; said Elbaz backstage. And, for many men, raised on Casual Fridays and sportswear as everyday wear, there is a newness in the tradition of the suit, full stop.</p><p>The omnipotence of the suit for autumn/winter 2012 is part of fashion's standard flash-in-the-pan seasonal volte-face, but men are universally reclaiming the classic suit as a means of dressing up for the everyday. &quot;What we're seeing more and more of is younger customers buying into suiting,&quot; says Adam Kelly, buying manager of men's formalwear at London's Selfridges. &quot;The look is in no way just about workwear or occasionwear any more – I think British guys in particular just have an increasingly vested interest in looking sharp.&quot; The cold hard facts back that assertion: at Selfridges, suiting sales to date have increased 28 per cent on last year. &quot;I look for something classic and timeless in dress,&quot; says Constantin Bjerke, the dapper founder and CEO of media website Crane.tv, who buys his suits from London's Turnbull &amp; Asser. &quot;A well-cut, beautifully-detailed and constructed suit will last a lifetime and always look stylish.&quot;</p><p>Nick Lazarus, a treaty underwriter with Hiscox in the City, concurs that in his clothes he seeks &quot;an emphasis on quality and not visual impact. Save the odd unfortunate incident, I have never really been one to stick my head above the parapet on account of an outlandish wardrobe&quot;.</p><p>Those characteristics – stylish, timeless, quality – are endlessly assigned to suits, especially in the bespoke bracket. The latter is suiting at its most traditional, time-consuming and expensive – ready-to-wear (or, as tailors often disparagingly term it, &quot;off the rack&quot;) cannot compare to bespoke, where a pattern is drafted to a customer's individual measurements. Savile Row tailor Richard James describes the bespoke process as &quot;indulgence... time spent considering fabric,working on style, discussing small but important details to devise a unique suit that not only fits you perfectly and makes you feel great, but is also something you helped create&quot;. Even made-to-measure is a poor substitute in the eyes of the tailoring trade. &quot;It's not quite the same as having someone actually take a set of measurements and alterations for your figure. You can't improve on the fittings... distilling the pattern down till it actually fits,&quot; says Ritchie Charlton, managing director of Hayward of Mount Street. Charlton has been in the tailoring trade for three decades, working at high-profile establishments including Kilgour French Stanbury and the tailoring workrooms of Her Majesty's choice dressmaker, Hartnell, under former Christian Dior designer Marc Bohan in the early 1990s. In short, he knows his stuff – today, his custom-made, four-figure suits clothe dedicated followers of style, rather than fashion, including Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie and perennially pin-neat photographer Nick Knight. When asked about seasonal changes in bespoke, Charlton shrugs his shoulders and responds &quot;there are seasons as far as the weather goes&quot;. But he does concede that &quot;bespoke tailoring moves with men's fashion... a young guy who comes into the shop, generally he's going to want a neater, shorter-fitting jacket at the moment than perhaps he would have wanted in 2002.&quot;</p><p>That's possibly one of the most seductive things about suiting: the subtlety.</p><p>&quot;Every collection, I address different ideas of proportion,&quot; says Thom Browne, attesting that the elements that make his suits stand out are &quot;attention to detail, the quality of the make, but most importantly the proportion&quot;. That's what proves seductive for many men and indeed for designers: using the convention of the suit to say something new; a quiet radicalism.</p><p>That could be the strap-line for Savile Row's latest leap into the 21st century: a made-to-measure collaboration between H Huntsman &amp; Sons – a bespoke bastion of tailoring tradition – and Alexander McQueen, another bastion, albeit of iconoclastic rebellion. Both are quintessentially British: Huntsman has been tailoring to royalty for more than 160 years and McQueen, of course, created that dress. Lee McQueen himself was also responsible for outfitting royals in rather more anti-establishment styles, legend being that he scrawled a variety of four-letter pejoratives across the canvas interlining of suits destined for the Prince of Wales whilst apprenticing at Anderson &amp; Sheppard in the late 1980s.</p><p>Sarah Burton's offerings, available from June, veer towards the traditional, with cashmere frock-coats, dinner-jackets and, fittingly enough, Prince of Wales check suiting. Albeit with breeches and embroidered lapels, the jackets cut slimmer and tighter against the body. A tongue-in-cheek twist on three all-important classics of men's suiting, they seem tailor-made for the archetypal English dandy – probably the most compelling argument for any style-conscious gentleman when buying another perfectly-proportioned suit.</p><p>Simons did not disappoint. This was a collection from a designer in his prime, one who has in recent seasons found a precise and idiosyncratic balance between the typically hard-edged sartorial purism that the brand is known for and the sort of exquisitely crafted, elegant clothing that makes its way into the history books.</p><p>Classic double-faced blanket coats opened the show, in feminine shades of candyfloss and raspberry pink, oyster, and toffee brown, and gave way to knitted dresses so delicate it was as if they had been spun from vapour. The label's signature geometrics were present in sharply cut and fluid tailored pieces, such as a structured black blazer that stood away slightly at the hips and silk bustier dresses made almost Cubist with seamed and pin-tucked planes protruding from their dirndl skirts in angular points.</p><p>Simons, 44, was born the year Jil Sander founded her eponymous label and has been at the house since 2005. He has brought a fresh vision to a brand that became famous in the Nineties for its androgynous take on masculine clothing. His past three collections have been named his &quot;couture trilogy&quot;, in which he has reinvented classic cutting according to his own modernist sensibilities.</p><p>Again, these couture ticks were present – in clothes that recalled the iconic postwar designs of Christian Dior and the golden age of the discipline. No doubt this will only serve to intensify speculation that Simons may be about to take up the post at that French house left vacant by the dismissal of John Galliano last March. His name had been suggested for Yves Saint Laurent but, according to unconfirmed reports yesterday from AFP, Hedi Slimane, one-time designer at Dior Homme, will take that post when the incumbent Stefano Pilati reaches the end of his contract next month.</p><p>At the end of the show, the audience whooped and cheered its appreciation, with some rushing right on to the catwalk; many were visibly moved by his valedictory collection, and none more so than the designer himself, who appeared for an encore to his brief curtain call in tears. He was too emotional to speak to the press afterwards, but thanked them for the standing ovation he received.</p><p>Also showing yesterday was Bottega Veneta, where designer Tomas Maier described his collection as &quot;powerfully physical&quot;. There was significant toughness in black wool Crombies inlaid with crepe and velvet dresses adorned with voluminous peplums in an opulent but subdued palette of maroon, green and tourmaline blue.</p><p>The shows in Milan continue today with Dolce &amp; Gabbana and Missoni.</p><p>After being described by Jimmy Spithill, skipper of the America’s Cup defender Oracle Racing, as “one of the biggest days ever in the history of the America’s Cup,” a racing yacht, emblazoned with the colours of Red Bull and heralding the Youth America’s Cup 2013 was launched into one of the busiest bits of waterway in Europe. Gondolier song was in danger of fracking into alarmed Austrian yodel.</p><p>The first Youth America’s Cup will be staged simultaneously in San Francisco during the running of the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger elimination trials in July and August 2013 to find the single challenger to the locally-based defender, Oracle. </p><p>In the youth event, there are 10 contestant places, with no more than one per country, and the crews must be between 19 and 23 and hold a passport of the country for which they are sailing. San Francisco would be able to enter its own team in addition to any U.S. team.</p><p>The races will be in the same 45-foot wing-powered catamarans that have been used in the America’s Cup World Series of regattas, one of which is currently underway in Venice, the number of crew will be increased from five to six, giving extra chances for women race alongside the men, and the costs are modest.</p><p>This is a neat solution all round. There are still only three declared challengers for America’s Cup 34, the deadline is at the end of this month, and filling two months of elimination trials for three boats would be stretching attention spans to breaking point.</p><p>The 45-foot boats already exist, the race management team already exists, the broadcast set-up already exists. The entry fee is just $35,000, but individual teams would be responsible for their own expenses, like travel and accommodation, and would be able to attract and publicise their own sponsor support.</p><p>Red Bull is thought to have supported the event with about $10m., which covers a basic package of event naming rights, television  rights and even the branding of Spithill’s and other Oracle team members’ helmets. Bolt-ons and expansions are being considered.</p><p>Ben Ainslie’s Ben Ainslie Racing, though he is at present contracted to the Oracle team for AC34, is keen to put together a team to represent Britain. If there were to be rival initiatives then it would be up to a combination of race director Iain Murray and talks between any interested parties.</p><p>Reaction varied among other AC challengers. The Prada-backed, Luna Rossa, for instance, is not as culturally in tune with youth sport and competition as New Zealand, which could probably put together half a dozen teams by the end of the month. Said Loick Peyron of France: “This would suit France. The future looks good, even if the present is difficult.”</p><p>Ainslie himself, in Falmouth, has blitzed a fleet of 94 boats from 29 countries to go into the last, so-called, medal race of the Finn Gold Cup, the singlehanded class’s world championship, with seven winds from nine races. The other two were thirds, one of which was discarded as a “worst” result.</p><p>With a 20-point cushion between himself and second placed Ed Wright, himself a former world champion, Ainslie has only to sail round the course, be the first to carry the Olympic torch when it arrives in Cornwall, and then set up a howitzer position in the boat park at Weymouth from where to beat far fewer boats into submission for his fifth consecutive Olympic medal and fourth gold.  </p><p>&quot;Louis Vuitton/Marc Jacobs is a story of two personalities and their contributions to the world of fashion,&quot; the press release reads. &quot;Louis Vuitton, founder of the house of Louis Vuitton in 1854, and Marc Jacobs its artistic director since 1997. Two innovators, both rooted in their respective centuries, advanced an entire industry. Two creators, each in his own language, appropriated cultural codes and trends in order to shape the history of contemporary fashion.&quot;</p><p>So far, so flowery. If anyone can make such grand claims then it is Louis Vuitton, however. It's still the most successful and money-spinning brand owned by LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy), the luxury goods conglomerate which also includes Dior, Givenchy and Céline in its portfolio.</p><p>While Louis Vuitton's own tenure was characterised by the birth of industrialisation and more widespread travel, and related to both the values of hand-craftsmanship and technological advancement in both spheres, Jacobs' rise to fashion supremacy reflects the mores of globalisation in fashion today. And there is no other designer working in the industry who has proved to be more in tune with the zeitgeist.</p><p>Dangling cherries, neon graffiti, magic mushrooms, battered denim, fine fur and high-gloss varnish have all decorated or been stamped across the resolutely classic monogrammed canvas bag for which this name is best-known since Jacobs arrived. The mix of respect for the Louis Vuitton heritage and irreverence – the fusion of wisdom and wit, if you will – makes for heady viewing. It's a determinedly populist and at times iconoclastic viewpoint that, with this designer as its principal poster boy, has come to epitomise fashion in the modern age.</p><p>&quot;When Marc first started at Louis Vuitton in 1997 the fashion industry was very, very different,&quot; says Katie Grand, creative director of the new exhibition and stylist at Louis Vuitton for more than a decade. &quot;It was Karl Lagerfeld and Valentino. Yves Saint Laurent was still designing. And they were all in an ivory tower. Before Marc and the team did their first show for Vuitton they had to present ideas to Bernard Arnault [LVMH CEO and president]. It was called Project Zero and they were in this hotel room with no furniture. They sat on the floor with sketches Blu-Tacked on to the wall. Then they'd stuff Marc into a white cab with all these polyboards to go off and see Mr Arnault. I love that image because it is just so different to how people perceived fashion in Paris in the late Nineties. And Marc still gets into a white cab at the end of the night now. He doesn't have a driver, it's not like he's off on his yacht every Easter.&quot;</p><p>From blockbuster show presentations (including the line-up of nurses that announced Jacobs' collaboration with the artist Richard Prince, and the procession of models in identical shirt-waisters in candy colours to introduce the bags designed by Takashi Murakami) to equally high-impact advertising campaigns (the Mikhails Gorbachev and Baryshnikov, Mick Jagger, Uma Thurman and Angelina Jolie have all appeared) and, of course, shoes, boots and a womenswear collection that is the envy of anyone worth their style credentials, Jacobs exceeds expectations season after season. Just as remarkable, he's as happy dressing Madonna as he is Miss Piggy – or even a fluffy bunny. It's no secret that the advent of fast fashion has caused even the most elevated brands to sit up and take note. With this in mind, the designer changes direction at breakneck speed, daring the rest of the world to keep up with him.</p><p>&quot;I'm all for different things,&quot; he told AnOther Magazine in 2005. &quot;The most exciting place to live – and I don't mean geographically – is in a world where there is difference, where there is variety.&quot; And Jacobs delivers that in spades.</p><p>While Marc Jacobs in person may not be the gilded fashion designer of folklore, his professional endeavours are, increasingly, less than conservative where budget is concerned.</p><p>&quot;I suppose as time has gone on we've realised that the sky's the limit,&quot; says Grand of Louis Vuitton's twice-yearly runway presentations in particular – the cost of embroideries alone for the brand's spring/summer 2011 collection was rumoured to be one million euros. &quot;I think there are great resources at Louis Vuitton and now that Marc's proved himself...&quot; It's safe to assume that link-ups with artists cost a small fortune but, says Grand: &quot;There are a lot of very tenuous relationships between the art and fashion world but Marc is a collector, it's one of his passions. He has honest relationships with those people. He's not just chucking money at something.</p><p>&quot;Of course, he makes expensive decisions,&quot; she continues. &quot;It's expensive to have Stephanie Seymour, Naomi Campbell and Natalia Vodianova dressed as nurses in a show, or to have Kate Moss close a show. It's also risky. But every time Marc takes a risk like that it works, it's on the front of every newspaper the next day.&quot; Ms Moss appearing in full Vuitton fetishwear and smoking on the catwalk for autumn/winter 2011 was a case in point. This was a move that proved all the more controversial given that it was National No Smoking Day, although all those involved with the casting insist that as they were in Paris they were unaware of that fact.</p><p>If the concept behind many of Jacobs' finest moments is a clever one, he is far from pretentious when addressing the subject of his work and that, too, is refreshing. &quot;I guess there's more charm in something that feels quite simple in its approach as opposed to heavy and intellectual. We are all drawn to things that are quite clichéd. They're clichéd for a reason. The symbol of two cherries, for example [another Murakami collaboration], is always summery and feminine, kind of classic in a way.&quot;</p><p>That is not to say that he is any less interested in the preservation of traditional techniques than Louis Vuitton himself once was.</p><p>&quot;Things are so casual in real life that couture holds a magic and it's also lasted, it endures,&quot; Jacobs told AnOther. &quot;Everything's so disposable and immediate these days and the idea of considering things, the linings, say, and qualities of fabrics. I think that's what makes something luxurious and special and precious.&quot;</p><p>Grand says that it took one specialist three months to make the eggshell bag that appeared this spring/summer season. &quot;Three months of work, one specialist, two pairs of tweezers, you wouldn't wish it on your worst enemy, would you?&quot; she laughs. &quot;But seriously, I think they love doing it. There are a lot of people around us that take such a huge pride in their work.&quot;</p><p>When news of Jacobs' appointment at Louis Vuitton broke, it was by no means unanimously well received. Coming hot on the heels of John Galliano's move to Dior and Alexander McQueen's to Givenchy it raised eyebrows throughout the French fashion establishment. None of these names were native to that country, after all, and Jacobs' position was perhaps the most extraordinary. He was a fashion designer, after all, and Louis Vuitton had never staged a show or featured anything but luggage and bags.</p><p>&quot;Of course I was surprised,&quot; the designer says now. &quot;I was shocked on lots of different levels. Firstly, I was American. Secondly, I was surprised that Louis Vuitton was even considering fashion. They had always been known for one thing, and here they were deciding that they wanted to move into all these different categories.&quot;</p><p>In the new exhibition, Jacobs has dedicated space not only to these but also to the people he says have most influenced his work. This, too, is unprecedented: portraits of Miuccia Prada, Rei Kawakubo, Karl Lagerfeld and Christian Dior will appear on the walls. If it's plainly obvious that every designer has his or her references, Jacobs is prepared to name them, a mark of confidence if ever there was one.</p><p>Here's how he sums up his handwriting at Louis Vuitton today. &quot;It's hard ever for me to define the [Louis Vuitton] woman in specific terms but I do think she's extroverted, flirtatious and feminine. Louis Vuitton is very feminine, very Parisian, very sexy, but not vulgar. It's definitely for somebody who wants to be seen and likes their clothes to be recognised. They like the status of fashion and they like the status of the accessory of the moment.&quot;</p><p>Louis Vuitton /Marc Jacobs is at the Arts Decoratifs, 107 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, 9 March to 16 September; the exhibition catalogue, 'Louis Vuitton/Marc Jacobs', is published by Rizzoli</p><p>The collection he unveils next Monday evening will be his last for this great fashion name.</p><p>&quot;[I am] incredibly proud of what I have accomplished with my teams over the past decade at Saint Laurent,&quot; Pilati told trade paper, Women's Wear Daily. &quot;I exit the house with fierce conviction in all that we have achieved and deep gratitude to those who have supported me along the way.&quot;</p><p>Pilati has good reason to be proud. It's no secret that while his predecessor at Yves Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, had been responsible for the reversal of Gucci's fortunes at the close of the 20th-century, he failed to inject new life into this more famous brand.</p><p>Although Pilati has garnered mixed reviews from the moment he stepped into Ford's shoes in 2004, there's no arguing with the success of the majority of his collections. The money-spinning &quot;muse&quot; and &quot;downtown&quot; bags and the &quot;tribute&quot; shoe – all of which were designed during his tenure – have, equally, gone on to become among the status accessories of the decade.</p><p>Last month, François-Henri Pinault, CEO of Pinault Printemps La Redoute (PPR), Yves Saint Laurent's parent company, praised the brand's profitability, stating that figures for 2011 demonstrated a &quot;giant step&quot; forward. Rumours of Pilati's departure have plagued him for the past two years, nonetheless, with designers including Raf Simons and Hedi Slimane, responsible for Yves Saint Laurent menswear to critical acclaim in the late 1990s, all cited as most likely to succeed him.</p><p>Pilati, who was born in Italy in 1965, worked variously for Giorgio Armani and Prada, where in 1998 he was promoted to assistant designer at Miu Miu, before becoming chief designer at Yves Saint Laurent in 2002, working directly under Ford. When Ford retired from the label under a cloud of controversy, Pilati took over his position and, since that time, has reinvested it with the quintessentially French sense of style for which it was once known.</p><p>The man who started the Olympic torch relay at Land’s End and has won four medals, the last three of them gold, playing away from home, will take some stopping when the Games kick off on the same waters as the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta off Weymouth this week.</p><p>But Scott has already upset the Ainslie apple cart this year, last month winning the national championship in the heavyweight Finn singlehander in Falmouth.</p><p>Ainslie went on to win the world championship a couple of weeks later, but Scott was absent, sailing for the Koreans on a 45-foot America’s Cup training boat in Venice.</p><p>Now the tormentor is back. After six races Scott has discarded his worst result so far, a 21st in the opening race, won the next four and was second to Ainslie in the sixth race. He has a clear margin at the top of eight points.</p><p>Ainslie is said to be carrying an infection, which his coaches will be monitoring carefully to ensure it does not threaten tip top fitness for the first race of the Games on Sunday 29 July.</p><p>“I had a nice final race to end the day,” said Ainslie afterwards. “I haven’t been 100 per cent at this regatta, but to be honest it is a great opportunity to get out on the water and see how the competition is doing and know more about the venue so it is completely worth doing and hopefully I will start to feel better towards the end of the week.</p><p>“I’m doing ok, but Giles is doing really well, he certainly has turned the pace up, especially upwind in these conditions. I am very lucky that he is my training partner.”</p><p>Also seeking to restore grip and authority on the Olympic selection are the west country pairing of Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes, who represented Britain in the 49er skiff last time round in China.</p><p>Throwing down the gauntlet have been Dave Evans and Ed Powys, and they still lead after eight races, but a first and a second in the two final races of the day have pushed Morrison and Rhodes up to fourth.</p><p>Second, and still favourites for gold in August, are Australia’s Games representatives Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen. They are just one point off the lead and know exactly how to exert pressure.</p><p>And leading the Star keelboat class is Iain Percy, who won the Finn gold medal in Sydney and went on to win the Star gold with partner Andrew Simpson in China.</p><p>“A much better day, today. We, found a lot more speed upwind and we are still working on our downwind, so we managed to get a second and a first,” said Percy. “Half way through the regatta and it all starts again, with any number of boats still in the medals.”</p><p>Percy and Simpson have a slender one-point margin over Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada of Brazil, the pair they beat into second place in China. Scheidt was the man to whom Ainslie came second in the Laser in 1996 and then exacted dramatic revenge in Sydney four years later.</p><p>Racing is expected to begin early on Thursday in the hope of beating a forecast gale-force blow to the punch, so results in the bag now could prove very valuable.</p><p>Ainslie came to London 2012 as overriding favourite to top the podium, but he has yet to overcome Jonas Hogh-Christensen in the Finn class.</p><p>The Dane has palmed off the reigning champion for six successive races now, getting a bullet - a sailing term for a victory - this afternoon before holding off the home favourite to finish second ahead of him in the day's final race.</p><p>Hogh-Christensen boasts a 10-point cushion over second-place Ainslie, who is determined to come back strongly after tomorrow's rest day.</p><p>&quot;Yesterday I was really frustrated, but today was much better,&quot; Ainslie said.</p><p>&quot;I was in the game but at some point I need to start getting some points back.</p><p>&quot;He is sailing really well. He is certainly having the regatta of his life at the moment so all credit to him.</p><p>&quot;All I can do is the best I can right now and hope that if I keep pushing hard, he might slip up along the way.</p><p>&quot;He is sailing really well. At some point the tables have got to turn.&quot;</p><p>Such effort, though, might not be enough for fellow British gold medallist Goodison.</p><p>The Yorkshireman endured a poor start to his Laser campaign yesterday, ending 17th overall after placing 10th and 23rd.</p><p>Goodison revealed the latter performance was due to a back injury that required attention in order for him to compete in races three and four.</p><p>The 34-year-old finished 16th and then an impressive second this afternoon, but admits the pain is seriously hampering his performance.</p><p>&quot;It's pretty sore, to be honest,&quot; Goodison said with tears in his eyes. &quot;It was just at the start of race two yesterday.</p><p>&quot;We rushed off as quick as we could to get fixed up by the physio. Last night I could barely bend down.</p><p>&quot;They did a fantastic job but the problem is when you're in so much pain, trying to focus and make good decision is difficult.</p><p>&quot;This affected me again today. The body is in a lot of pain and you can push through that and fire forward to a certain degree, but when the pain is affecting your decision-making it is very difficult.&quot;</p><p>Asked if he was worried his regatta was in danger, he said: &quot;Yeah, for sure. I am worried my body is in a lot of trouble and until that is fixed you can't fire on all cylinders.</p><p>&quot;Unless you deliver your very best it is going to be very hard to win. I've just got to keep ticking away and give myself the chance to do it if I get better later on.&quot;</p><p>There was better news for the only other returning British gold medallists from Beijing, Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson.</p><p>The Star duo are reigning supreme on home waters and sit four points clear of nearest rivals Brazil heading into tomorrow's rest day.</p><p>Percy and Simpson easily won their first race this afternoon ahead of Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada, who went on to win the final race ahead of the Brits.</p><p>&quot;It was an all right day today,&quot; Simpson said. &quot;There were tricky conditions again, annoyingly tricky.</p><p>&quot;We got okay results so we are happy about that.&quot;</p><p>British team-mate - and Olympic debutant - Ali Young can also be more than satisfied, having secured two second-place finishes in the Laser Radial class.</p><p>Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes were frustrated in the 49ers, having recovered from a difficult first day to come third in race three. They were well placed in the second race, too, only to capsize and sail home 18th.</p><p>Elsewhere, today saw the RS:X classes get under way and Nick Dempsey start the men's division solidly, hauling himself up the fleet in both races to post a fifth and seventh.</p><p>In the corresponding women's event, Beijing bronze medallist Bryony Shaw ended her first day at London 2012 with a seventh and a sixth.</p><p>Finally, the women's match racing team secured round-robin victories against Finland and France.</p><p>PA</p><p>Ainslie, winner of three golds in a row after an initial silver in 1996, lies 10 points behind the Dane after six races, never having beaten him once in a series in which he started as hot favourite.</p><p>Christensen seems to be enjoying a charmed life, even managing to turn back when he thought he had started the second race of the day prematurely and then ended up second, one place ahead of Ainslie. But Ainslie is unlikely to see his own desire for a fourth consecutive gold destroyed without first doing everything to bring Christensen's dream week to an end.</p><p>Both agreed that, with four more races to go before the double points top 10 finale, there was a long way to go. Both agreed that Christensen's 10-point cushion could vanish in a couple of bad races.</p><p>Ainslie said, before going into a day off today, that Christensen was having the regatta of his life. At the end of the first day he had said that &quot;it is too early to start playing games&quot; with Christensen. These two have not always had a friendly history. Both have a fiery temperament. It is not too early to start playing games any more.</p><p>Even managing to enjoy the pressure was Ainslie's long-time friend Iain Percy. After his opening race 11th is discarded, his record at the top of the score sheet is second, third, second, first and second, but that gives him only a four-point margin over the arch-rivals Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada of Brazil.</p><p>Another old rival, but often training partner, Freddie Loof of Sweden with crew Max Salimen are a further three points back, but these three are significantly clear of a peloton led by Elvind Melleby of Norway and Mateusz Kusnierewicz of Poland.</p><p>There was more grief for Britain's 49er pair, Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes. &quot;We were sailing the boat really nicely, sailing really fast, but we ended up in a really tight situation and I knocked Ben over like a skittle and that was that, we ended up getting a bit wet,&quot; said Morrison after they capsized.</p><p>Whereas the 49er favourites, Australia's Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, recovered quickly from Outteridge being knocked overboard, Morrison and Rhodes dropped from fifth to finish 18th after their capsize. They, too, need a run of top results to give themselves a medal chance, even though they have 16 races left.</p><p>A second in the final race of a breezy day – even more wind is forecast for today – slightly improved defending gold medallist Paul Goodison's campaign in the Laser; two seconds for Alison Young in the Laser Radial lifted her to fourth in a fleet led by a so far unbeaten Annalise Murphy of Ireland.</p><p>The 35-year-old is the undoubted star of Great Britain's sailing team and the bookies' favourite to top the Finn class podium.</p><p>Ainslie has previously struggled at the beginning of Olympics, but flourished on the home waters of the south coast this afternoon.</p><p>He finished the day with two second places behind Denmark's Jonas Hogh-Christensen, who he joked had the spirit of countryman Paul Elvstrom behind him - a man Ainslie would overtake as the most decorated Olympic sailor ever should he win gold.</p><p>&quot;It was a good day,&quot; he told Press Association Sport. &quot;They were tough conditions out there, especially on the Nothe Course [in the first race].</p><p>&quot;There was very, very shifty winds but it was a good start. It was ok, but there is a long way to go.</p><p>&quot;I think Jonas was on a hotline to Paul Elvstrom today.</p><p>&quot;He sailed fantastically well so all credit to him and we'll see how things develop for the rest of the week.&quot;</p><p>Thousands congregated in the Nothe Gardens to watch the racing on what was the first occasion ticketed spectators have been able to watch sailing at the Games.</p><p>Home supporters, though, had hearts in their mouth early on as favourite Ainslie rounded the first mark of the opening race outside the top 10, before producing a superb downwind leg to rise up the fleet.</p><p>&quot;I needed to show how to do it downwind in the first race as I didn't have such a great first leg,&quot; he said.</p><p>&quot;I had to get my work rate up downwind and pull through and thankfully I managed to do that.</p><p>&quot;It was very, very difficult conditions. When you're racing that close to the shoreline and the wind is unstable it is very, very hard.</p><p>&quot;It is very difficult to predict the wind so I didn't quite get it right but I was close enough to the leaders to pull back.&quot;</p><p>The opening races both finished with the same top three of Croatia's Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic then Ainslie in second and Hogh-Christensen.</p><p>The Dane was pleased with his performance but keen to stress this it is only the beginning of the regatta.</p><p>&quot;It was a great day, but Ben and Ivan are close behind and we're very early in the regatta,&quot; Hogh-Christensen said.</p><p>&quot;I need to keep cool, take it one day at a time and focus on tomorrow.</p><p>&quot;I got the shifts right, got a good couple of starts and it was a great day. There was great weather and a great crowd as well so it was good fun.&quot;</p><p>The other men's class to start today was the Star and saw British pair Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson recover from a difficult start to end the day in fifth overall.</p><p>The reigning Star gold medallists endured a poor first race in which they ended 11th, but responded superbly to end the day's final race in the top two.</p><p>After some confusion over the final result, victory was awarded to Brazil's Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada - much to Simpson's disappointment.</p><p>&quot;We thought we were ahead but it sounds like it was unbelievably close or we need to look at it,&quot; he said.</p><p>&quot;It has changed back and forth apparently so that is a worry in itself so we better check that.</p><p>&quot;It's a bit annoying if we didn't beat them but it is a good marker for the rest of the week.&quot;</p><p>On a poor first race, Simpson added: &quot;We got it wrong, to be honest. We made a big mistake.</p><p>&quot;It was very tricky, very unlucky. It is super frustrating and that is a polite way of putting it.&quot;</p><p>PA</p>Her marriage is wonderful, she&#039;s given up alcohol and from tomorrow she&#039;s hosting the nightly &#039;Strictly&#039; spin-off show &#039;It Takes Two&#039;<p>According to the latest league table from BrandFinance Global 500, the value of luxury goods brands has rocketed this year with the likes of Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Ralph Lauren increasing their brand values by up to 24 per cent, while supermarket brands such as Sainsbury’s and Asda have seen their brand value fall.</p><p>The supermarkets woes are in stark contrast to the growth in upmarket brands – luxury jeweller Tiffany &amp; Co made the Global 500 for the first time with a brand value of $2.9bn while purveyor of luxury cars - Rolls-Royce – saw a 17 per cent increase in the value of the brand. Luxury goods houses Prada and Coach re-entered the top 500 this year and Christian Dior and Burberry join Tiffany as newcomers.</p><p>David Haigh, the chief executive of Brand Finance, said: “The rise to prominence of luxury and lifestyle brands in this year’s report is impressive. Whilst the world remains shrouded in economic misery, people are investing their hard earned cash in brands they rely on to produce quality and long lasting products.”</p><p>As well as luxury goods, the techonology sector is the strongest contender in the brand stakes with 49 technology companies making the top 500 and Apple crowned king – it is ranked as the world’s most valuable brand at $70.6bn.</p><p>Much of the 21bn rouble (£423m) reconstruction has been faithful to the original colonnaded interior, destroyed by fire in 1853. Silk embroidered tapestries return to grace the foyers while a two-ton crystal chandelier illuminates the auditorium's gilded boxes. The German companies Bosch Rexroth and Muller BBM have installed what the Bolshoi says is matchless backstage technology and acoustical engineering. But the project has been dogged by stoppages and delays, not to mention financial and other scandals.</p><p>A swamp was discovered underneath the foundations, along with 17 cracks running from the theatre's roof to the bowels. Investigation into massive embezzlement was launched this year after the designing company Kurortproekt was reportedly paid more than three times the agreed amount.</p><p>President Dimitry Medvedev himself stepped in, hiring Summa Capital, a huge investment group which has the controlling stake in the contractor. Things then moved at lightning pace, according to observers.</p><p>In one sense, the Bolshoi's well overdue modernisation should bring welcome relief for a company that, since the fall of Communism, has lurched from crisis to crisis. The Bolshoi relies on the state for 70 per cent of its expenditure. Two rounds of cuts to the cultural budget in 2008 chipped 27 per cent off its subsidy. That year's financial crisis hit hard, not to mention inflation.</p><p>By 2009 the company was averaging as little as one new production annually, most of its funding given to paying a bloated ensemble to appear in &quot;reheated&quot; productions of 31 operas per season and 38 ballets each year, some of them as old as the 1940s. International attention meanwhile focused on the rival Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, which, under its omnipotent maestro Valery Gergiev, was turning out nine new stagings per season as well as lucrative international tours.</p><p>The Bolshoi has failed to engage someone with comparable charisma or talent. In 2009, the music director, Alexander Vedernikov, was pushed out; artistic differences were cited. The general director, Anatoly Iksanov, replaced him with a consortium of five conductors, an arrangement that lasted barely a year.</p><p>Stung by accusations of lack of transparency and what one former Bolshoi director called &quot;a culture of laziness riddled with corruption&quot;, Iksanov culled the workforce and scaled down production costs. He then launched a young singers programme and hired Alexei Ratmansky as ballet chief. It made a difference. Ekaterina Scherbachenko, the Bolshoi's soprano, won the Cardiff Singer of the World competition in 2009 while, among the new ballet stars, Natalia Osipova and IvanVasiliev amazed audiences worldwide.</p><p>But the administration struggled to reform at the required pace. Ratmansky left prematurely, frustrated with the Bolshoi's byzantine politics. Anastasia Volochkova, a ballerina fired in 2003 for being overweight, complained that the 200-strong ballet company had become a quasi escort agency for its rich patrons. &quot;Parties are organised for oligarchs,&quot; said Volochkova. &quot;Girls are told, if you go to the party, you will have a future.&quot;</p><p>In March this year, the ballet director, Gennady Yanin, resigned after pictures of sexual encounters with other men were posted on the internet. Iksanov blamed &quot;ambitious people within the theatre&quot;. Yanin said he was &quot;tired&quot; and had wanted to leave anyway.</p><p>The Bolshoi is experienced at weathering such storms. Its troubles do not appear to deter the high and mighty from wanting to be associated with the brand. On the board are some of the world's richest men: the telecom giant Konstantin Soludukhin, Alexander Zhukov, Victor Vekselberg (owner of the world's largest private collection of Fabergé eggs), and Oleg Deripaska, entertainer of British politicians on his yacht.</p><p>The Bolshoi's directors hope that these men will guarantee the future. But questions remain. One concern is that a place once accessible to all for a few kopeks will be an exclusive arena for high-spending tourists, Prada-wearing oligarchs' wives and their Kremlin friends.</p><p>She found out that her son was masterminding an eBay scam that had netted him A$200,000 (£130,500) – and that Australia's big four banks appeared to be helping him launder the money by allegedly showering him with bank accounts and debit cards.</p><p>Neither the boy nor his mother can be identified for legal reasons, but details of the bizarre case have emerged from documents lodged with the New South Wales Supreme Court. He was arrested at school after his frauds were linked to a classroom computer.</p><p>His mother, who lives south of Sydney, is seeking damages from the banks – Commonwealth, ANZ, Westpac and National Australia Bank – and an apology for &quot;unconscionable conduct&quot;.</p><p>The boy sold non-existent items on eBay, the online auction site, at one stage earning more than $6,000 a day. His mother's suspicions were aroused when he began booking penthouses costing $4,300 a night and hiring limousines to go to the beach.</p><p>He also flew friends around Australia for weekend parties in rented luxury apartments. &quot;There I was, a single mother of two, desperately struggling to put food on the table,&quot; his mother said. &quot;He, meanwhile, would stroll in after feasting at the latest fancy restaurant of his choice and chuck me leftovers in a plastic tub.&quot;</p><p>A log book she found solved the mystery. It detailed &quot;thousands of dollars worth of transactions with eBay customers, all of whom had deposited money into his bank accounts for non-existent laptops, mobile phones and watches&quot;.</p><p>The boy's mother said she repeatedly contacted the banks, warning them that he was a minor who was depositing illegally gained funds and begging them to stop giving him accounts and debit cards. They ignored her or refused to discuss the matter, citing privacy concerns, she alleges.</p><p>All four banks said they would defend themselves against the allegations.</p><p>Since 2007, the woman handed her son to the police 15 times. He was an &quot;insecure boy out to impress&quot;, she said. Now that he no longer had money, most of his so-called friends had disappeared.</p><p>The latest figures look mind-boggling. James's first book has sold in excess of 5.3 million copies in the UK, and the trio as a whole more than 12 million. Global sales of all English-language editions have topped 40 million. Susan Sandon, MD of the Random House division (Cornerstone) that publishes James, calls the phenomenon &quot;perhaps one of the most extraordinary experiences of my entire publishing career and I feel privileged to be part of it&quot;.</p><p>Time, I think, to stand back and strap Fifty Shades into the remorseless machine of history. It isn't simply that sex sells, and always has. No advanced civilisation has ever lacked erotic art, high and low. More germane to this case is the evidence that erotica may often spearhead change in the technology and distribution of culture. James's novels have shown that an ebook success can cross over into torrential print sales, with neither platform detracting from the other. Publishers might study that interchange between digital and dead-tree markets, once they have stopped flooding the shops and sites with knock-off imitations of James's books. By the way, someone ought to point out that the executives of Britain's leading houses have peddled their innumerable Fifty Shades rip-offs with rather less dignity and transparency than the sort of cheerful teenager who flogs fake Fendi, Gucci and Prada in the night-markets of Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.</p><p>The role of erotic books and images as drivers in the evolution of media goes back at least half a millennium. In the early 16th century, works such as Pietro Aretino's Sonneti Lussiriosi – sexy sonnets partnered by Giulio Romano's illustrations of acrobatic positions – taxed the skills of engravers and printers, and enjoyed underground success through Europe. In the France of Louis XIV and Louis XV, the novel grew in scope and sophistication thanks to libertine tales, with giants such as Laclos and Diderot merely figureheads in an erotic armada. Over the Channel, mass readership of fiction in England boomed in part thanks to stories of vice, not virtue. We remember a few landmarks of lubricity, such as John Cleland's Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (Fanny Hill) in 1748, but not the iceberg of torrid print beneath such famous tips. Erotica (however you define it) has whipped print culture from one innovation to another.</p><p>Beyond its blissful union of print and digital appeal, Fifty Shades contributes to this history in one other unignorable dimension. Women have of course authored erotic hits before, but usually in the dark. For decades critics maintained that The Story of O by &quot;Pauline Réage&quot; (ie Anne Desclos) was written by a man; Dr Brooke Magnanti (once known as Belle de Jour) met the same assumption. In the 1980s, Anne Rice wrote some of the most stylish of post-war erotic works, but under the pseudonyms of Anne Rampling and AN Roquelaure. &quot;EL James&quot; may not be the real name of Erika Leonard, but the age of routine subterfuge has passed. Mistresses of sultry prose may now stand proudly before their readers as middle-aged mothers-of-two from Bucks, not shadowy houris clad in Myla with penthouses in Paris. In principle, we should applaud. In practice, I suspect, Eros still loves a little mystery.</p><p>It's not just about the bike. What of the golden shot?</p><p>In 2008, cycling superhero Bradley Wiggins published his autobiography. With another golden haul (not to mention the Tour) another memoir rolls into view. The wheeled wonder has moved to Yellow Jersey Press for Bradley Wiggins: My Time, due on 8 November. Publishers cater amply for cycling fans. Might they do the same with lower-profile Olympians: say Peter Wilson, the shooting champ? The farmer's son was coached by Sheikh Ahmed Al -Makhtoum of Dubai, after all. I can see not just a book but a feelgood movie in that.</p><p>Australia's golden team of thinkers</p><p>Back in 1974, Clive James entitled his first collection of essays The Metropolitan Critic. The title set out James's stall as the public man of letters who speaks boldly to a broad audience reachable through magazines, newspapers or broadcasting, rather than as the academic specialist who aims to impress one tiny tribe. After Gore Vidal's passing, we have just lost another thoroughly metropolitan voice who married depth of learning with passionate accessibility. Robert Hughes was not merely a superb art critic but popular historian, cultural pundit and all-round light-footed heavyweight. Hughes hailed from the same country as not only James but the late Peter Porter – always so urbanely companiable as critic and poet – and indefatigable Germaine Greer. Post-war Australia sent a champion team of public intellectuals overseas. Who is training their successors?</p><p>In a hectic final race in Qingdao in 2008 the British pair pushed Scheidt into the silver medal place on the podium and they will face each other again off Weymouth in just over two months. The competition will be fierce.</p><p>Scheidt is also remembered for pipping a youthful Ben Ainslie into silver in the Laser class at the 1996 Atlanta games only to be sailed down the fleet by Ainslie four years later in Sydney to reverse the spoils and bring sweet revenge to Ainslie, who then moved into the heavier Finn class and two consecutive golds in 2004 and 2008.</p><p>In Hyères, on the coast near Toulon, Percy and Simpson had led for most of the week but in a topsy turvey final race came 39th to Scheidt and Prada’s 38th. Both discarded what had been their worst results but Percy then had to count a fifth race 17th while Scheidt restored a 10th.</p><p>Percy had been five points clear going into the final race; the recount put him two points behind at 32 to Scheidt’s 30. Third.another point behind, were Denmark’s Michael Hestbaek  and Claus Olesen. Ireland’s Peter O’Leary and David Burrows were fourth.     </p><p>It was a space normally reserved for the amazing Ben Ainslie, but he was excluded after a rush of blood to the head which had resulted in being thrown out of the final encounter.</p><p>He had jumped from his boat to confront volunteer driver on the television boat and let both him and the television crew on board exactly what he thought of what saw as driving the boat in a way which was impeding his progress.</p><p>An international jury decided this was gross misconduct and brought the sport into disrepute. He was disqualified from both of Saturday’s races and that meant he slipped to 11th overall; his worst result in the first eight had been a third but only the top 10 make the cut for the medal race finale.</p><p>This is not the first time that Ainslie, Britain’s best with a silver and three consecutive gold Olympic medals so far, had been reprimanded under the sport’s famous Rule 69 but it was the first time that he had been thrown off the race course for his notorious, usually only colourfully vocal, short temper. </p><p>Take nothing away from the gold medal won by Giles Scott. He had sailed strongly and was at times ahead of Ainslie and always threatening. He is the current European champion and Britain has won seven of the last 10 Finn worlds. In one of the races Britain posted first, second, third and fourth. The squad is the envy of coaches worldwide.</p><p>For good measure the defending champion and fierce Ainslie rival Ed Wright’s bronze provided the sandwich to Pieter-Jan Postma of the Netherlands. He was silver medallist by just one point.</p><p>Scott had surged past Denmark’s Jonas Hoegh Christensen on the last leg of the race to finish second to Postma, who needed to win by two places. “I am really delighted to have won, but it all feels a bit odd as 2012 will be an odd year. I live in Portland near the sailing centre where the Games will be staged, but I came here looking for a win, I had something to prove having missed selection, so I have done something I have dreamed of.”</p><p>Ainslie is still the 2012 Games pick for Britain in Weymouth next summer and will also have another chance of winning his sixth Finn world title in Falmouth, where he sailed as a boy at Restronguet Sailing Club. He had been watching and was immediately full of congratulation. “It’s really good,” he said of Scott’s win.</p><p>An emphatic win in the men’s 470 decider for Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell secured silver but the defending champions, Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page of Australia were under no pressure and still managed, always playing safe, to sail effortlessly into fourth.</p><p>They have only sailed together for a couple of years and this was the ninth medal they have won together at various championships. And had they learned anything about Belcher and Page? “Yes,” said Bithell. “They’re bloody good.”</p><p>In the women’s windsurfer, 2008 bronze medallist Bryony Shaw started sixth but slipped to a final eighth and Alison Young finished seventh in the Laser radial with a fourth in the medal race. </p><p>The first day for the Star keelboats saw the 2008 gold medallists Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson on top with a fourth and a third as two of their main rivals, Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada of Brazil ninth with a 13th and a seventh while Mateus Kusnierewicz and Dominik Zycki of Poland slumped to 21st after winning the first race but being double penalty yellow-flagged out of the second.</p><p>In Cape Town, the six boats in the Volvo round the world race started the second, split leg to Abu Dhabi facing strong winds in the opening hours.</p><p>Paul Campbell-James took the Prada-backed Luna Rossa to victory at the final regatta  for the 40-foot catamarans in the Extreme Sailing Series in Singapore. They went into the final day with a huge 56-point lead over their arch rivals for the 2011 title, the French team of Groupe Edmond de Rothschild.</p><p>The circuit, which recently announced that a sponsor of one of its competing teams, GAC Pindar, had a three-year logistics contract, is expected to announce its 2012 programme tomorrow.</p><p>In a move which seems to have him riding two horses at once, he will be contesting the America’s Cup World Series representing the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club but is being welcomed into the San Francisco-based Oracle defence team and saying he hopes Oracle will win the cup.</p><p>How he would vote in the competitor forum, which includes teams from France, China, Korea, Spain, Italy and New Zealand, is unclear, as is whether he intends to pay the $200,000 entry fee that would give him a full vote at the America’s Cup table.</p><p>The 34th America’s Cup, which started with a yacht of that name beating the best of Britain in a race around the Isle of Wight in 1851, will be staged in San Francisco next year, But Ainslie, who has long wanted a campaign of his own and had seemed to be on his way with Sir Keith Mills’ Origin team, will have to wait under the terms of the deal struck with the man appointed to run the next cup, Kiwi Sir Russell Coutts.</p><p>Coutts has welcomed him, expensively, into the Oracle fold with the creation of Ben Ainslie Racing, which should make its debut in San Francisco in September in a 45-foot, wing-powered catamaran of the kind used in a series of exhibition regattas.The extent of the funding from Oracle is unclear and it is said that Ainslie will be paying his own bills.</p><p>Until September, Ainslie has been picked to represent Britain at the Olympic sailing regatta in Weymouth. A win there would give him a fourth consecutive gold medal to add to his silver in Savannah in 1996.</p><p>Before that he faces a tribunal hearing into being disqualified from the last races of a world championship in Fremantle last month for leaping from his Finn singlehanded dinghy onto a television boat to remonstrate with the driver. A jury at the time said there were mitigating circumstances and the British tribunal being convened by the Royal Yachting Association is expected to say that the disqualification was punishment enough.</p><p>But the tribunal findings will be passed to the International Sailing Federation’s executive committee. As this was not his first brush with authority for gross misconduct, Ainslie must hope that he is not given a suspension that would prevent him from competing in his home Olympics.</p><p>On joining Oracle Ainslie, who has been photographed in an Oracle crew shirt, said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity, I have a huge amount of respect for Russell, Jimmy (Spithill, the current Oracle skipper) and everyone involved.  I think with the direction the cup has taken in the last few years, it’s actually really important that Oracle wins again and it continues on the path that it has taken. I’m very excited about it and hopefully I can help the team retain the Cup.</p><p>“I’ve always tried to have a plan of what I’m doing next after the Olympics. The 2012 Olympics has been the focus, but from that has come the opportunity to be able to build a team which we hope can ultimately go on to challenge for the 35th America’s Cup,” he added.</p><p>Ainslie has yet to name who will be in his team, though the Australian Grant Simmer, who ran Origin after Mike Sanderson left, will manage it. It is expected that double gold medallist Iain Percy may switch from Artemis, while his Star crew, Andrew Simpson, would join the afterguard.</p><p>Nor is the full extent known of the deal between himself and Oracle. The powerfully-funded defender, owned by software house billionaire boss Larry Ellison, is asking questions about how much and with whom it can collaborate in the building and testing of the 72-foot catamarans in which both the Louis Vuitton challenger series and the cup defence will be contested.</p><p>At the same time, the Prada fashion house-backed Luna Rossa team has arrived in Auckland from Italy, joined by British Olympic medallist Chris Draper, as part of its joint programme with Team New Zealand to contest the cup. The only other confirmed challenger is Sweden’s Artemis, led by Paul Cayard and funded by Torbjorn Tornqvist. Both Artemis and Oracle have asked for clarification over the validity of the TNZ/Luna Rossa deal.</p><p>Olympic medallist Chris Draper and Paul Campbell-James are now dressed by the Prada fashion house as they skipper a pair of boats that is competing for the first time in the America's Cup World Series.</p><p>In near perfect conditions, crowds numbering thousands and stacked six to eight deep on the racecourse seafront gave polite applause when Team New Zealand's Dean Barker won both of the sun-bathed races, but there was cheering for the Luna Rossa team and extra applause at the mention of Draper crewman and local sailing star Francesco Bruni.</p><p>Draper also has Nick Hutton and David 'Freddie' Carr in his five-man line-up whereas Campbell-James has four Italians, including Luna Rossa team captain Max Sirena.</p><p>The organisation of this first of three regattas to complete the 2011-12 season as not been easy - the second is in Venice and the finale in Newport, Rhode Island - and two teams are missing, France's Aleph and the Valencia-based Italians of GreenComm.</p><p>There was also doubt about one of the America's Cup holder Oracle Racing's ability to race after the blustery opening day on Wednesday saw structural damage to one of its two boats. Swedish challenger Artemis had to replace its wing mast - borrowed from Aleph - after a capsize, and the Oracle shore team worked all night on a repair.</p><p>These races in 45-foot catamarans have no bearing on the America's Cup next year, which will be sailed in 72-footers, but they provide valuable training for the teams, allow the race management team led by Australian Iain Murray to refine the race style, and familiarise the public to the new style of 'stadium racing'.</p><p>The offshore division of team New Zealand, taking part in the Volvo round the world, is pushing Camper up the east coast of South America after stopping for repairs in Puerto Montt, Chile, and heading for the 1,000 miles to go marker to complete leg five from Auckland to Itajai, Brazil on Sunday or Monday.</p><p>Still bursting out all over, three of the top five have GBR emblazoned on their hi-tech sails with, inevitably, Ben Ainslie in pole position, National champion Giles Scott, back from playing on the AC45 catamarans in Venice, is third and Andrew Mills is fifth.</p><p>Holding both first and second in the 49er high performance skiff class are the young pairing of Dave Evans and Ed Powys followed by Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign.</p><p>Evans and Powys came to Weymouth knowing they had nothing to lose after Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes, lying sixth, were given the nod to atone for a poor result in China. Evans and Powys are young, up and coming, and allowed to be fiery.</p><p>Back in a marathon tussle for supremacy in the windsurfer class are France’s Julien Bontemps and Britain’s Nick Dempsey, determined to add to wife Sarah Ayton’s tally of two Olympic golds on his own home waters.</p><p>Also at home is his 2008 bronze medal counterpart in the women’s division, Bryony Shaw, but she suffered the setback of a damaged mast to score a 44th, which she will later discard. Her other results are two thirds and a fifth, but even she cannot ignore the threat of the Polish leader, Zofia Noceti-Klepacka, with two firsts and two seconds.</p><p>Britain is still top dog on the Olympic sailing circuit and if team manager Stephen Park only achieves his publicly stated target of four medals at the Games there will be smiling approval in public but a bit of shouting in the privacy of the locker room.</p><p>Determined to be the cause of some of that shouting are the Australians, who have current world champion Tom Slingsby and Tom Burton first and second in the Laser singlehander with reigning gold medallist Paul Goodison in fifth.</p><p>In the men’s 470 dinghy Australia’s Matthew Belcher and Malcolm Page are leading and will be hard to beat, but in the women’s division the mojo developed by Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark in Fremantle last December  is continuing to work strongly after they won the world championship recently.</p><p>The fun and games has been in the Star keelboat class. Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada of Brazil lead, but Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson, who pushed them into silver in China, won the third race of the day.</p><p>Behind them another Star gold medallist, Mike McIntyre, who won with Bryn Vaile in Korea in 1988, had come out of retirement to have a crack at the younger turks. He borrowed a boat John Gimson and Robert Shanks and then, in the second race of the day, in a British mutual destruction party, Gimson speared McIntyre in a t-bone collision, which sends McIntyre and crew James Grant home for the week and Gimson wondering how to word the insurance claim. </p><p>The games seller rocked up at the UK awards with a posse of bikini-clad models, midgets, a huge Hummer car and some branded condoms, which were liberally dispersed. Some of Grainger's staff got hammered and behaved obnoxiously. On its website, Grainger said: &quot;We wholeheartedly apologise if we offended anyone at last night's GMAs. We never intended to upset anybody.&quot;</p><p>Upmarket store set to widen appeal</p><p>Selfridges shoppers who find its Armani, Gucci or Prada lines too expensive will now be able to buy more affordable items in store at...Primark. The discount fashion outlet is to open a 1,000 square foot concession in the retailer's Birmingham store on Monday and will open another in Selfridges' Manchester branch next month. No wonder they call the retailer Primarni.</p><p>Headhunters rue missed gig</p><p>Headhunters must rue the day they missed out on the gig for Mitchells &amp; Butlers, the pub and restaurant group. This is because M&amp;B this week revealed that Jeremy Blood, its interim chief executive, was leaving. The departure of Mr Blood is the ninth change in a chief executive or chairman in the last four years, delivering huge fees for its headhunters. If you see folk from Korn/Ferry Whitehead Mann driving around in Ferraris you will know why.</p><p>Pink 'un spoof hacks off IT firm</p><p>Those cheeky folk at Alphaville, the FT's live-blogging site, caused a stir yesterday with a spoof story that their site had been hacked by Occupy London, the group behind the anti-capitalist protests outside St Paul's Cathedral. This apparently caused &quot;a huge panic round at Assanka&quot;, Alphaville's software provider. The FT later confessed it was an &quot;immature thing to do&quot;.</p><p>The yacht had to stop in Chile to repair a hull damage considered too grave to take the boat through the rigours of the southern ocean. </p><p>Unfortunately when we rounded it was dark, no moon to even lighten it for a slight sighting,’’ said media crewman Hamish Hooper.</p><p>“For some reason this doesn’t seem to bother me; more often than not it would with a landmark like this, but I guess it illustrates the relief and jubilation of finally making our way north out of the relentless southern ocean.”</p><p>The largely Kiwi crew on the Spanish boat now has to make over 1,700 miles up the southern Atlantic, reach the leg five finish in Itajai, Brazil, haul the boat out of the water to check all the repairs and make any new ones, and then be ready to take part in two inshore races before setting off on leg six to Miami.</p><p>But, barring any further catastrophe, Australian skipper Chris Nicholson will have bagged 15 valuable points and hold fourth overall behind Spain’s Telefonica, France’s Groupama, fitting a replacement mast, and the leg winner, the American-flagged Puma.</p><p>The Chinese yacht Sanya misses the next leg and is being shipped to Savannah for repairs. Abu Dhabi’s Azzam, skippered by Britain’s Ian Walker, is being shipped from Puerto Montt, Chile, to Brazil. </p><p>Three new members of the America’s Cup Hall of Fame have been announced by the Herreshoff Marine Museum at Bristol, Rhode Island. Highest profile is Patrizio Bertelli, boss of the Prada luxury goods house. He is joined by two Americans, Jonathan Wright and, posthumously, Gerald Lambert. </p><p>“It is a true honour to be part of the select circle of people which </p><p> has contributed towards writing  the history of the America’s Cup,” said Bertelli, who is mounting his fourth challenge for the Cup next year.</p><p>“I also consider being the first Italian ever in the America’s Cup Hall of Fame a special recognition; this is not only a personal reward but a tribute to Team Luna Rossa and to Italian sailing, of which I am very proud. </p><p>“I would like to dedicate this acknowledgement to all of those who have contributed to this with me.”</p><p>It is thought that LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) will announce that Jacobs, who was named creative director at Vuitton in 1997, is set to take over any day now at sister house Christian Dior as a replacement for John Galliano, who was dismissed in February. The advantage of the move for the designer would be that he would not only be responsible for ready-to-wear but also haute couture. Exclusive to Paris and the most rarefied fashion craft form for which each and every garment is hand-fitted, made, beaded, feathered and embroidered by the most accomplished seamstresses in the world, this is a big draw.</p><p>Louis Vuitton – which remains the jewel in the LVMH crown financially – is still predominantly known for luggage and accessories and has never been part of the haute couture schedule.</p><p>With that in mind, the fact this collection focussed on a quintessentially French sense of style and the most intricate workmanship did not go unnoticed. An ultra-light, plumped up silhouette stood away from the body resulting in a refined, elegant and always youthful appearance that was a million miles away from Jacobs' fetish-inspired current collection.</p><p>Layers of organza were appliquéd with embroidered jewel-embellished daisies or wrapped around broderie anglaise in a refined play on the transparent and the opaque.</p><p>The silhouette also spoke of the mid-20th century glory days of haute couture. Trapeze-line jackets and bell-shaped skirts referenced the work not only of Christian Dior himself but also the other masters, including Yves Saint Laurent, Coco Chanel and Cristobal Balenciaga. Jacobs had updated all this. A pencil skirt sat more low on the waist than might be expected, for example, and was not fitted to the point where its wearer might have movement restricted.</p><p>Jacobs is one of very few working in the industry today with the breadth of vision necessary to build a brand way beyond the creation of clothes. Of course, there were money-spinning accessories: pale crocodile bowling bags, pretty oval purses that matched the clothes and, destined to be the big Louis Vuitton hit for next summer, a jelly bag crafted not in plastic, but the finest of leather – a typically witty and irreverent twist.</p><p>Kate Moss walked Jacobs' runway for the first time in almost a decade six months ago and was honoured with the finale again. She looked lovely – and uncharacteristically innocent – in a sequinned, feathered, broderie anglaise white powder puff of a dress.</p><p>For his part, Jacobs took his bows also dressed in optimistic white. He is right to be happy. He is probably the most wanted man in fashion just now – and with very good reason.</p><p>Miu Miu Brings paris to a fitting conclusion</p><p>Later in the day Miuccia Prada, also a major fashion force, was the last big name to take to the Paris catwalk with her spring/summer collection for Miu Miu. The designer showed Prada in her hometown, Milan, last month but the coquettish spirit of the former label is well-suited to the French fashion capital. On typically contrary – and brilliant – form this provocative designer took the sweet couture looks that have swept the international catwalks and turned them on their head. Models with hair reminiscent of Carrie's post breakdown and fierce blood-red gashes of make-up over their eyes stomped down the runway swinging dolly bags. They wore mismatched shapes and prints, dour colours and boots inlaid with roses with witchy pointed toes. Over and above saccharine sweet this looked freakishly cute and all the better for that.</p><p>However, very few people are still working in the industry as it is today who experienced the catwalk's transformation from determinedly elitist and intimate affair to full-on media circus first-hand. One who has is Chris Moore, at 77 the grand old man of catwalk photography, although he's far too modest and gentle a soul to ever make such a claim. Given that, for almost 50 years, Moore has made a living capturing the work of some of the wildest egos in history, he remains, conversely, quietly self-deprecating almost to a fault.</p><p>Next month his contribution to fashion will be acknowledged in an exhibition at the Kings Place Gallery in London. Showcasing his photographs from the 1960s – &quot;we only have very few of those&quot; – to the present day, it will doubtless serve as a brilliantly colourful, fly-on-the-wall documentary of a world that continues to excite, now almost to the point of hysteria.</p><p>For his part, Moore is the calm at the eye of the storm, crammed at the foot of the catwalk with his colleagues, the majority of them younger than him by 30 years or more, who show their respect by reserving a prime spot for him. &quot;It's quite jolly with the gang in the back really,&quot; he says. &quot;We're all good friends.&quot; His pictures are used by everyone from Suzy Menkes at the International Herald Tribune to Vogue and from the red tops (rarely – his take is generally not racy) to the front cover of TIME and this very paper.</p><p>In 2000 Moore launched a website, catwalking.com, where, in the throes of and after the event, writers and editors browse the collections and choose their own pictures, compile trend reports, designer profiles and so on. Pick a look, any look, from any show, and it will be there. There is no better research tool of its kind. Moore's archive, equally, is second to none and there are backstage images too: like all great photo-journalists, Moore's unobtrusive presence decrees that even the more shy and retiring designers allow him access.</p><p>The rise of John Galliano and Alexander McQueen were both followed by Moore's gaze. He witnessed the emergence of the supermodels on the runway and celebrity culture, from its nascence front row at shows courtesy of Gianni Versace and Giorgio Armani, to the full-blown, all-encompassing beast it has become today.</p><p>&quot;I occasionally try to take people's pictures front row,&quot; he says, &quot;but the terrible thing is I don't know who anyone is. It's absolutely appalling but I don't. Somebody once said to me: 'Will you go and photograph Sylvester Stallone?' I said: 'Alright then, but where is he?'&quot;</p><p>Before that, in London in the 1980s, Moore photographed collections by Rifat Ozbek, Katharine Hamnett, Helen Storey and, of course, Vivienne Westwood. In the 1960s, he captured British couture – the type of bespoke looks beloved by the British aristocracy and her Majesty the Queen.</p><p>The business of fashion never ceases to interest him. &quot;I should really be thinking about planting the spring greens but I do still enjoy it. It keeps me fit. I walk about with all this stuff on my back. I've got to stop soon though, otherwise they'll be pushing me round in a chair. I want catwalking.com to be my legacy.&quot;</p><p>It is true that the sheer physical energy required is considerable. Moore follows the fashion caravan from New York, to London, to Milan, to Paris for the women's ready-to-wear shows – he attends over 10 shows each day. He photographs the twice-yearly haute couture season – in the French capital again – pre-collections and menswear, although he readily admits the latter isn't the main draw of the job for him. &quot;I've always liked pretty girls. Looking at pretty women in beautiful clothes and wonderful situations. That's what makes the job so brilliant.&quot;</p><p>Sitting in his Islington office and home he flicks through images reflecting thus. &quot;Here's Marc Bohan for Dior in 1984. There's Princess Caroline of Monaco front row. She was only recently married. This is this season's Prada. I loved that show. There was something so ladylike about it, but modern too. Here are the beautiful girls at McQueen, walking around a tree wrapped in tulle. It reminds me of a Maypole. He did such lovely shows. It's so sad he did what he did.&quot; Moore has some fine pictures of the supermodels in their heyday. &quot;They seem to have suddenly flowered and then faded away. I can't say that there's anyone who's taken their place yet. Here's a John Galliano image. I'm pretty sure that we waited three hours for that show to start but it was worth it.&quot; Equally challenging was Nicola Formichetti's debut for Thierry Mugler for the autumn/winter 2011 season, a show made all the more frantic because it was opened by Formichetti's friend and colleague Lady Gaga. &quot;That show was a total nightmare. We were absolutely jammed together. I could hardly move my arms,&quot; Moore says, laughing: &quot;There's a lot of torture doing these shows and I do lose my temper very occasionally.&quot; He says he can't remember the last time that happened and neither, for that matter, having witnessed his professionalism for more years than I care to remember, can I.</p><p>Born in Newcastle, Moore moved with his family to London when he was four years old. &quot;I was 16 when my father found me my first job in a print studio.&quot; Terence Donovan joined him six months later. &quot;I didn't go to college. Courses in photography didn't exist at the time. I got a job making up the developer every Monday, getting the tea, that sort of thing.&quot; Aged 18, he became a photographer's assistant at Vogue working with Norman Parkinson and Cecil Beaton. Starting out in his own right, as well as photographing the catwalks, he also shot fashion in the studio. &quot;It was so different at that time. The models did their own make-up. There wasn't such a thing as a stylist. You just had the clothes and she'd turn up, get ready and you'd take her picture.&quot;</p><p>By the 1990s, he was photographing the catwalks full time, represented briefly by Camera Press and then on a freelance basis. He remains independent to this day. When Moore was a young talent, only a handful of photographers were allowed entry to the hallowed portals of the collections. Now they number in their hundreds, all working at breakneck speed – the move from analogue to digital has made the schedule more gruelling than ever. &quot;I used to walk gingerly into the hotels with a very large bag of processing materials,&quot; he says. &quot;We used to develop the pictures in the bathroom. In those days everything had to be processed. Everyone had to wait. You had time to have dinner. Now we work until 11 at night and start at 8am the next morning.&quot;</p><p>Not that hard work ever put this consummate professional off. &quot;It is more difficult mentally these days,&quot; he says, &quot;because you're always on such a tight deadline but I enjoy the fact that it's evolved. I enjoy the fact that it's digital now. Occasionally I still use film but it's such a pain. I embrace the newness of things.&quot;</p><p>Above all, Chris Moore still loves fashion and while he admits his opinions are not always aligned to that of the writers and editors he works with (&quot;sometimes I come out of a show and you all think it was awful but I thought it was great – I suppose we're not always looking for the same thing&quot;), his judgement as far as a great image is concerned is impeccable.</p><p>&quot;Of course, loving the clothes has a lot to do with it,&quot; he says. &quot;But you know I owe such a lot to the designers. That's why I've got these pictures. I just happened to be there, happened to be a fly on the wall. They've produced the shows that have enabled me to end up with some rather nice pictures and I'm very conscious of that.&quot;</p><p>Chris Moore: Catwalking is at Kings Place Gallery, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, from 2 December to 10 February, kingsplacegallery.co.uk</p><p>One is Elvis Presley, airbrushed to matinee-idol perfection on the LP cover of – appropriately enough – Blue Hawaii. The other is the archetype of the American abroad, as brash and overblown as, well, the Hawaiian shirt across his back. Think of the pop artist Duane Hanson's hyper-real Tourists. Could the American everyman wear anything other than a Hawaiian shirt? That's the tussle in considering this oft-maligned, mostly reviled garment. In fashion terms, the Hawaiian shirt is less Wallis Simpson, more Homer Simpson. It's mass, crass and terribly bad taste. And for spring, it's just about everywhere.</p><p>There's no single place to pinpoint the upsurge in interest in the Hawaiian shirt – but, when you examine its composite parts, it's simple to see how it slots into fashion's current obsessions. It ticks the eye-popping print box first – and, loud though it may be, that's perhaps the easiest part to understand. Lush desert-island foliage is a small leap from standard florals, and an effortless way to zing up a T-shirt or basic shift dress.</p><p>&quot;You felt it starting in people's pre-collections,&quot; Kate Phelan, creative director of Topshop, says. &quot;Stella McCartney's pre-summer started with that tropical feeling, as did Givenchy. There was an exoticism I think that was coming through.&quot; McCartney and Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci both succumbed to jungle fever, splashing hibiscus prints and suspiciously idyllic sunsets across cotton T-shirts, sleek pencil-skirts and buttoned-up blouses. After all, the Americans call those collections Cruise – the perfect excuse for a Palm Springs-ready palm-frond screen print, a mood picked up by Altuzarra and Proenza Schouler in New York's spring collections. By the time of London Fashion Week, the jalapeño-hot hues of Peter Pilotto's prints and newcomer Maarten van der Horst's out-and-out ode to Kid Creole were less jarring and more intriguing. The decidedly wrong Hawaiian shirt had started to look right.</p><p>Before we go any further, there are a few things we should clear up. Firstly, the name – it's really an shirt, although when they began to be exported in the 1950s they acquired their region-specific moniker. Most high-fashion &quot;Hawaiian&quot; shirts over the past two years have come from Milan, courtesy of Miuccia Prada. Her September 2010 womenswear collection was awash with Hawaiian shirts, splodged with prints of sketchy monkeys clutching pineapples. The latter, alongside bold humbug stripes, came closest to a Hawaiian print true, but the boxy, simplistic shape in classic cotton poplin was bang-on. She revived it for her spring 2012 men's collection, splashed this time with Lily Pulitzer-inspired florals – last summer, it even ended up manufacturing those banana and baboon-emblazoned shirts for men.</p><p>Mention that &quot;Chiquita Banana&quot; spring 2011 Prada collection to the stand-out Fashion East star Van Der Horst and his eyes close painfully in a flashback to designing his MA collection: &quot;It was horrible – I was working with the Hawaiian shirts and then Prada did the Hawaiian shirt!&quot; Central Saint Martins MA head Professor Louise Wilson pushed him to carry on (via an expletive-laded speech) and in February 2011 Van Der Horst's collection leapt off the MA catwalk.</p><p>&quot;Perfectly tailored separates, those deliciously lush tropical prints, topped off with enough absurd frills to put a big smile on my face,&quot; is how Fashion East's Lulu Kennedy summarises Van Der Horst's graduation show, hibiscus-prints hula-ing their way across boxy, frill-packed separates that seemed to cross-breed the Hawaiian shirt with petticoat nylon. Or maybe that should be Polyester – not the fabric, but the John Waters movie that Van Der Horst could well be recostuming. &quot;The Hawaiian shirt... it's not John Waters, but it's so John Waters!&quot; Van Der Horst says.</p><p>That's part of its appeal. Over the past five or so years the shirt has been subject to many an ironic revival, vintage shirts splashed with lurid prints snapped up for a song. The Hawaiian shirt is the very nadir of naff, which for many immediately rendered it credible. In layman's terms, it's so uncool it's cool – the key to all the best fashion moments. But this summer, designers' Hawaiian moments are set to go mainstream, not just in the inevitable high-street &quot;homages&quot;to the designer prints, but in full-blown collaborations. Van Der Horst's graduation show not only caught the attention of Kennedy and just about every fashion editor in the Western hemisphere, it also attracted Topshop, which put its money where its mouth was and enlisted Van Der Horst to created a collaborative collection. &quot;Maarten's choice of the tropicals is totally on-trend with how everybody is thinking,&quot; says Kate Phelan of Van Der Horst's seven-piece high-summer Topshop collection, which is launching in-store and online on 19 April. &quot;The clever thing he's done is making the Hawaiian shirt a jacket and a Bermuda short, making it into a cool boy-girl feeling... it's very easy, it's very lo-fi design. It's based on the principles of quite a simple idea, but the print is what makes it feel special and right for this season.&quot;</p><p>Van Der Horst's printed blooms have been specially designed for his Topshop pieces, but for his own-label spring 2012 collection, he looked closer to the home of the shirt. &quot;We found a souvenir shop in Hawaii – and we just bought everything!&quot; Van Der Horst says, explaining that he bulk-buys his cottons in Waikiki. &quot;I thought we would find a factory that could make it, but no. We bought everything from a souvenir shop – the owner had no idea what happened to her!&quot; Couple that with Van Der Horst's designs, true-to-classic shirt shape with turn-down V-collar, a loose-fit and transparent buttons, this is an authentic ode to that so-wrong-it's-right shirt.</p><p>Van Der Horst's clothes may share an aesthetic heritage with Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez's spring collection for Proenza Schouler, but the approach is different. Rather than true Hawaii, Proenza Schouler looked to middle-American Tikki culture in their raffia-embroidered skirts, eel-skin leathers and burnt orange and chartreuse Polynesian prints halfway between an shirt and beach-motel wallpaper. &quot;It was the idea of these land-locked people re-imagining primitive life,&quot; Hernandez says. &quot;Artifice, total fantasy.&quot; Bang – escape. That's what fashion's always searching for.</p><p>&quot;It's so 'Disney', isn't it?&quot; Kennedy says. &quot;An unrealistically brighter, cuter, less-messy version of reality.&quot; Oddly enough, that's what the shirt represented way back when – exoticism, fantasy and escape. To less-sophisticated eyes, this garment was an indicator of world travel, a jet-set souvenir, a true slice of island life. And today? It's still symbolic of escape, albeit into a kitsch fantasy of Americana past. &quot;I love the escapism of the references,&quot; Kennedy says. &quot;How it takes you someplace else, a happier place.&quot; Tasteful or not, isn't that what fashion should be all about?</p><p>Photographs: Julia Kennedy</p><p>Model: Kat Hessen at Next</p><p>Hair: Kota at Balcony Jump using Shu Uemura Art of Hair</p><p>Make-up: Kim Kiefer using Dr Hauschka skincare</p><p>Photographer's assistant: Patrick Schuttler</p><p>Stylist's assistant: Sky Moore-Clube</p><p>Illustrated in pastel and pencil by Anna Roberts; , , </p><p>And five years after first arriving in the UK, Swedish label Cos is becoming as much part of the fabric of our town centres as its stablemate, H&amp;M.</p><p>Launched with a catwalk show at the Royal Academy in 2007, and operating out of a coolly designed flagship store which occupies the ground floor of the old Dickins and Jones building on Regent Street in 2007, Cos (it stands for Collection of Style) has since become a wardrobe saviour; a go-to for simple and anonymous clothing, stylish basics and zeitgeist-y geometric and minimal pieces that owe their success as much to their casual complexity as they do to their reasonable, mid-market prices. After a favourable reception, branches opened in Manchester, Glasgow and Brighton – and the company will expand to Asia and the Middle East later this year.</p><p>&quot;At Cos, we want to propose a style inspired by architecture, graphics, design and arts,&quot; explains womenswear design manager Karin Gustaffson (pictured above).</p><p>&quot;To play with volume and proportion, rather than follow fashion trends. We have always hoped to create styles that last beyond the season.&quot;</p><p>This sort of refreshing, customer-focused logic is another part of the reason Cos has done so well. Arriving on our shores just prior to the financial meltdown, what Cos offered was a world away from the fast fashion prevalent at that time, suggesting timelessly classic but consciously current pieces that don't date or look tired.</p><p>&quot;I wouldn't say we have changed the high street,&quot; Gustaffson adds modestly, &quot;but it feels to us that customers' shopping habits have changed. They are looking for key styles that last, such as the white shirt, chinos and the little black dress, all of which we have interpreted to fit the modern lifestyle.&quot;</p><p>To mark its fifth anniversary, the brand has released a capsule collection of re-imagined white shirts, each finished variously with bib fronts or sporty, elasticated cuffs and cotton voile. While some of the label's design quirks might seem just that – a bit off the wall – Cos simply doesn't do faddy; to begin with, it barely even did colour. Initially, stores were stocked full of black and grey, sports-inspired drapery and tailoring that took inspiration from avant-garde labels such as Helmut Lang, Jil Sander and Marni, as well as some of the more utilitarian aspects of vintage Prada. It introduced, in subsequent seasons, vibrant neon brights and pastel hues, each delivery complementing what had come before and developing a coherent, and characteristic, sense of style.</p><p>&quot;We've been told that customers see us as filling a gap that exists between designer and high street,&quot; continues Gustaffson.</p><p>&quot;We pay a lot of attention to the quality of our garments and always look into ways to innovate fabrication to feel modern and interesting.&quot;</p><p>While Cos may be full of heavy slub jersey and traditional quality wools, there are also additions, such as neoprene, metal mesh and intriguing technofabrics, which give an added sense of quality and consideration to pieces which feel anything but mass-produced. Since its launch, Cos has been singular among non-designer brands at cultivating a sense of authenticity that doesn't come across as exclusive or in-the-know.</p><p>&quot;I'd attribute a lot of Cos's success to intelligent visual communication,&quot; says Agata Belcen, fashion editor at AnOther Magazine and a fan of the label's signature ascetism. &quot;It shares this with labels such as Céline, Comme des Garçons and Acne, who promote themselves not just with images of their products, but by letting us into their worlds with in-house magazines and non-commercial booklets. We're given an old portrait; an interview with a florist; a guiding principle that may have inspired them or may have no direct influence, but which is just something they'd like us to know about.&quot;</p><p>Undoubtedly Cos is more a lifestyle than it is a store: it's about buying into an aesthetic rather than picking a new party dress. Clothing is serious and designed to fit into the lives of its aficionados. And that vision just happens to have chimed perfectly with the vein of sleek modern minimalism that has enjoyed such a resurgence in the past five years, championed on the catwalks by the likes of Céline and Yves Saint Laurent. It's the understated garb of the creative industries, a destination for the directional, recognisable without being conspicuous. As far as fitting into the British high street goes, Cos has been as unassuming and understated as the clothes it sells – and is all the more alluring for its quiet confidence.</p><p>The crop top comes in many guises, from body-con to retro and from sporty to floaty. As long as it stops above the navel, anything goes. The most brave will be attracted to bra-style tops, as seen on the Dolce &amp; Gabbana catwalk, which have the look of a 1950s foundation garment about them. It's the style which requires the most confidence to wear as the underwear as outerwear detailing doesn't leave much to the imagination.</p><p>Bandeau tops are just as skimpy, while a cotton option with gathered edges is more sweet than brazen. Miuccia Prada prints her bandeau tops with cartoon hot rod cars and cuts them in luxurious matte silk and broderie anglaise. For those with more conservative taste, just as fashionable is a T-shirt or vest with a high hem and a width of 1980s proportions. This style is meant to be worn baggy and looks best when printed and bright. And just because it's a crop top doesn't mean it has to be so short it's exposed: cuts which fall to just below the waist are more than acceptable.</p><p> </p><p>The perfect pairing</p><p>Lessen the need to hold in your stomach when wearing a crop top by thinking carefully about what to wear it with. What works with these barely there separates? Skirts in all guises come to the rescue here. Prada and Dolce &amp; Gabbana both pair their crop tops with knee-length, figure-enhancing pencil skirts and the result is pleasingly 1950s pin-up poster girl. If that's too overtly sexy, a Sixties style, A-line skirt as seen at Miu Miu and Marc by Marc Jacobs is a less curvaceous, more playful and youthful alternative. High-waisted Daisy Dukes will also ensure a retro vibe, but only the super-confident (and super toned) need apply.</p><p>For those concerned about baring too much flesh, a crop top paired with a maxi skirt is less exposing – they look best cut in a casual material such as denim or cotton. For those who prefer to wear the trousers, a block- coloured, wide-legged cut with a simple bandeau or leather vest makes for a modern, high-impact look or skinny printed trousers with a retro bra-top is a sassy look.</p><p>If you can't be brave, be bold</p><p>Not everyone wants to bare their middle – even those in possession of a perfectly toned stomach don't necessarily want to show it off to everyone. Layer a crop top over something longer and rest safe in the knowledge that the new season's proportions are yours while modesty is in tact. Opt for a loose-fitting, cropped T-shirt style – Urban Outfitters does a great range of fun printed tees and simply wearing one over a longer length vest will save any blushes. This has the advantage of also appearing less try-hard than look-at-me bra tops.</p><p>Cropped outerwear is also an option and a trend that looks set to dominate the forthcoming autumn season too. A modern leather bomber, biker jacket or clean-line blazer cropped to just above the waist will be a welcome addition to any wardrobe. For those really wanting to get ahead of the times, meanwhile, the cropped Puffa jacket looks set to be popular in the near future.</p><p>Harriet Walker: How to get the body</p><p>Every season there comes at least one trend that you know won't work for you. It's usually something colourfully faddish or involves the sort of peacockery that only adolescents can get away with. So the rest of us smile indulgently – nostalgically even – and move on.</p><p>And for summer 2012, one of the most prevalent looks also happens to be the hardest to pull off: the bare midriff. There are few grown women who'd be comfortable wearing a bandeau top with a low slung pencil skirt, but if Miuccia Prada wants us to, then maybe it's time to heed the directive.</p><p>But you don't send troops into battle unarmed, and you don't show off a stomach that has spent winter gurgling and expanding happily beneath knitwear without taking it to task first.</p><p>The workout</p><p>&quot;Performing a great number of crunches and other abdominal specific exercises does not provide you with a flat stomach,&quot; trainer Vicky Smith tells me when I visit the headquarters of the Matt Roberts (he who is responsible for the sveltesse of Naomi Campbell and David Cameron) chain of fitness studios. &quot;Intensity during training is preferable to duration – you should be performing full-body sessions to get the biggest energy expenditure.&quot;</p><p>She then takes me through a circuits routine that includes leg squats, 40 seconds bursts of high-impact work on an exercise bike and cross trainer, and a horrible thing called the &quot;plank with reach&quot;, where you hold your body straight, supported by your toes and forearms and then stretch each arm out in turn. By the end of the session I am walking bent double, and the next day my torso resounds with the aftermath of hard work.</p><p>An initial consultation costs £185; one month of six sessions is £400, </p><p> </p><p>The science bit</p><p>Feeling somewhere between a mother-to-be and a microwavable ready-meal, I lie back and think of bare midriffs for the &quot;EF Ultra&quot; treatment. This claims to work by firing ultrasonic waves into the stomach (and can be used to target any wobbly area) to break down the membranes of cells and make them less good at their job of storing fat. The second phase is a blast of radiowaves applied to the same area, which apparently tighten the skin and stimulate collagen production and the metabolism.</p><p>In theory, it's a bit like waking up your flabby bits with cold water and then making them go on a 10-mile run. In reality, it's tingly without being unpleasant – and rather more palatable than a sweaty session in the gym.</p><p>£300 per session, six to eight sessions recommended, </p><p> </p><p>The embarrassing one</p><p>It isn't necessary to go into the particulars here but having a few litres of water repeatedly sloshed around your colon and sluiced out again isn't as unpleasant as it sounds. The procedure is painless, takes around half an hour and is morbidly fascinating. As well as claiming to expel molecules that irritate the gut and cause bloating, this left me feeling cleansed and wholesome and less willing to taint my whitewashed colon with any junk food either.</p><p>Colonic hydrotherapy £90, </p><p>Not in the sense, necessarily, of big news or even making a big noise but literally. Leave it to Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons to show every other designer how this might best be done. Her collection of &quot;two dimensional&quot; (flattened) and enormous clothes in uncompromising colours – blithe blues, pinks, reds, yellows and with Legoland bobbed hair to match – and printed with everything from leopard spots and faded cabbage roses set the tone for the season. The effect was brilliant. And gentle in intention too. In a world where over-exposure – and the over-exposure of women in particular and in predictably uncharitable a manner – is the story, anyone, big, small, short or tall could wear these clothes. The designer stated that it was their individual shape that would give body to the clothes. It's beautiful to be bold.</p><p>It seems not insignificant that Céline's Phoebe Philo appeared to be thinking along similar lines. Although hers was a more conventional working wardrobe, shapes were scaled up – broad-shouldered masculine coats and low-slung trousers with a wide, curved leg in particular – and flattened too, from the front or the side. This was a perfect, small and intimate presentation where every last detail had been studied to the nth degree, and purity – not to mention fashion envy – was the result.</p><p>Hussein Chalayan is a designer who has long demonstrated a profound respect for the woman who wears his clothes. For him too, enveloping the body as opposed to parading it, thus creating a private dialogue between wearer and clothes, is important. Roomy grey flannel coats were fused with neon techno-foam and loose-fitting column dresses made for the most modern statement in eveningwear that has been seen for some time.</p><p>Mushrooms inspired Alexander McQueen's Sarah Burton, she said. And they too were big. They were very big. Moving away from a signature, pencil-thin silhouette, clothing appeared to sprout from and grow on the body. Add to extreme volume fluttering feathers, dandelion and cherry blossom embroideries and enamel flowers, uncompromising platinum hair, mirrored visors and heel-less &quot;horse shoe&quot; boots and the effect was extraordinary.</p><p>Is the era of the superstar designer coming to an end? Certainly, it appears that those who remain behind the scenes are garnering the most critical acclaim. Burton cut her teeth in this way; Chalayan's is a quietly contemplative aesthetic as opposed to an amplified one; Philo has always preferred to express herself through her work and Kawakubo – of course – is famously averse to personal attention.</p><p>The Balenciaga designer, Nicolas Ghesquière, is also backwards in coming forwards and this despite the fact that he is the most talented designer of his generation and a man whose shows are so full of ideas and imagination that they consistently live up to the greatest expectations. Here were Balenciaga office workers (hence the 1980s hair) but of the sort that might turn up of a morning in a slightly skew patch-worked cocktail dress from the night before with a drop dead chic (big) wool overcoat with leather lapels over the top. It's safe to say that few women in the average workplace are this incredibly dressed. Embroidered power sweater shirts over stiff A-line skirts and more in satin hand-embroidered with jewels and printed with lurid sci-fi imagery and slogans including JOIN A WEIRD TRIP and OUT OF THE BLUE will doubtless turn out to be the most expensive garments of their kind in fashion history. And they'll sell out the minute they hit the rails.</p><p>Martin Margiela was the ultimate invisible designer. When he retired from the label he founded the fashion world went into mourning and his handwriting continues to inform the industry's most high-profile names. His successor – and it should be pointed out long-time first assistant – Nina Nitsche has not been treated kindly by the press. This season, however, she found her stride, casting aside the gimmicky Margiela By Numbers mindset in favour of a lovely collection that was big – obviously – both in terms of size and on ideas. Exaggerated funnel necks, a super-wide shoulder, giant gingham and deconstructed kimonos were all in line with the spirit of this label and moved it forward to boot.</p><p>When Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli arrived at Valentino they too struggled to invest the label with the refined form of glamour it represented. Allowing them time to settle was a smart move. Now, this is one of the most hotly anticipated shows of the Paris season and, with no big mise en scène, concept or grand gestures to be seen, that is all because of the loveliness of the clothes. In particular, the pair tread the line between embellishment and restraint in a manner that should make the house's namesake proud.</p><p>Here too there was volume but it was so subtle and intelligently judged that it was delicately feminine, not fierce. Tailoring was almost virginal in its covered-up purity, cotton gowns fitted at the torso and with sweet puffed skirts and scalloped edges were equally demure. Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby sprang to mind just as she did in the designer's couture show in January. The youthful, beautiful and, it goes without saying, wealthy, would do well to shop here.</p><p>Rumour has it that Haider Ackermann was sent flowers at the Dior atelier following his show. Someone wants him to get the job, then. And with good reason. Another designer feted by the fashion insider and as quiet in person as the proverbial mouse, his collection was a powerful display of pattern-cutting expertise and sensitivity to the female form. Ackermann was educated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and it shows. Sculpted leather, weightless volume and possibly the finest sense of colour in the business made for wonderful viewing.</p><p>At Dries Van Noten too, if the man behind the label is a reluctant star, the clothes speak volumes. This master of delicately executed pattern and print took antique clothing – a vintage kimono or ancient Chinese robe – and spliced them up, applying them to a contemporary silhouette in ever more inventive ways. These clothes could be studied for hours – and worn for years – and it would be impossible to tire of them. Understandably, women the world over love this designer for that.</p><p>Miuccia Prada bored by skirts shock! The trouser suit loomed large on the Miu Miu runway and the result was playfully nerdy. Stripes, checks, hounds-tooth and more were coloured up in a rich and unpredictable fashion and a coolly knowing, typically idiosyncratic look was great.</p><p>Toot! Toot! Happy birthday Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton. He has been at the helm of this house for 15 years and his play on proportions – big clothes on small people, deceptively childlike embroideries which were, in fact, worthy of the most elevated haute couture runway and, of course, the finest bags known to fashion, cemented his position as perhaps the industry's most powerful player.</p><p>Vreeland (1903-1989) was one of the sacred monsters of the fashion world: a magazine editor who used to browbeat her photographers and models; who never deferred to her publishers or advertisers and who approached each new issue of her magazines with a messianic zeal.</p><p>Don't suggest to Lisa Immordino Vreeland (the director of the new film) that her grandmother-in-law's chosen world was superficial. Immordino Vreeland contends that &quot;Mrs Vreeland&quot; (as she respectfully calls her) was a fashion revolutionary: a career woman who changed the way women dressed while also transforming the world of magazine publishing. According to the director, Vreeland also created the modern-day fashion editor. Before she arrived, fashion was the domain of &quot;society ladies&quot; who would offer advice on how women could please their husbands or cook a nice pie.</p><p>Vreeland was the one who discovered Lauren &quot;Betty&quot; Bacall (long before Howard Hawks cast her in To Have and Have Not and The Big Sleep) and was responsible for Jackie Kennedy's &quot;look&quot; during JFK's early days at the White House. She was the high priestess of exoticism. &quot;She had a taste for the extraordinary and the extreme,&quot; Anjelica Huston says of her on camera. &quot;She would go anywhere,&quot; a photographer notes, claiming that Vreeland would have arranged photo-shoots in outer space if her publishers had allowed it.</p><p>For all her extravagance, Vreeland also possessed the common touch. An early champion of denim and of bikinis, she brought colour and fantasy into readers' lives as well as images of clothes they could conceive themselves wearing.</p><p>It's striking how terrified of Mrs Vreeland so many of her former colleagues remain. For example, Ali MacGraw, who worked as her assistant in the days before she became a movie star, talks with evident alarm of Vreeland &quot;storming into the office&quot; and barking out orders. MacGraw portrays a character altogether more terrifying than Anna Wintour, the current editor of Vogue, or the Wintour-like magazine editor played by Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada. On one occasion, Vreeland returned to the office after lunch and hurled her coat at MacGraw, expecting the assistant to hang it up. Instead, MacGraw hurled it back. Vreeland was furious but also admired her assistant's gumption.</p><p>Invariably, half her staff was reduced to tears before the day was over. Even so, they grew (and remained) devoted to her. Immordino Vreeland contends that Vreeland's intimidating persona is one reason why no films have been made directly about her now (although she is referenced in everything from Stanley Donen's Funny Face to Douglas McGrath's Truman Capote drama Infamous.)</p><p>The Eye Has to Travel is one of an increasing number of feature documentaries about formidable figures in the fashion world. These docs have certain traits in common. They're unashamedly nostalgic, evoking a lost world of couture and glamour. Their central characters (whether designers like Valentino or editors like Vreeland) are exotic and eccentric figures. Their private lives are shadowy and they only really come to life when they're working.</p><p>&quot;Why don't you paint a map of the world of all four corners of your boy's nursery so they won't grow up with a provincial point of view... why don't you wear violet velvet mittens with everything,&quot; the precocious nine-year-old Olivia Vreeland suggested midway through my interview with her mother, Lisa. These are snippets of Diana Vreeland's journalism in the 1930s, when she started her career writing a &quot;why don't you column&quot; in Harper's Bazaar. They're included in the film and Olivia can still recite them perfectly. Such brittle and witty one-liners seemed frivolous as the Second World War broke and Vreeland stopped the column. </p><p>However, watching the film, you begin to suspect that the &quot;why don't you&quot; columns weren't entirely tongue in cheek. In the rarefied world that Vreeland inhabited, washing your blond child's hair in dead champagne to keep its sheen (&quot;like they do in France&quot;) was probably what passed for common sense. Lisa Immordino Vreeland, a designer and former fashion PR, never actually met Mrs Vreeland but is so steeped in her life that she arguably knows her much better than either her relatives or old colleagues. &quot;I got to know her through my research,&quot; the director (who pored through 26 years worth of Harper's Bazaar and nine years of Vogue as well as records of Vreeland's controversial stint as consultant at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art.)</p><p>More than 40 &quot;talking heads&quot; feature in the documentary, among them some of the most celebrated names in the fashion world. What is startling is how differently her family and her colleagues remember her. To her sons, she was an absentee mother. They testify how they wish she could have been just an ordinary parent, like the ones their school friends had.</p><p>Immordino Vreeland's primary interest is in &quot;the professional side&quot; of Vreeland. The relatives dutifully appear on camera, talking about her with a mix of bafflement and affection but the director doesn't want to probe too deeply into her family background or Diana's relationship with her husband. Her childhood is skimmed over although it's hinted that her drive to succeed came from her difficult relationship with her mother, a society beauty who scorned her as the ugly duckling of the family.</p><p>&quot;In her autobiography, she [Vreeland] talks about the fact that her mother called her 'her little monster',&quot; the director recalls. &quot;She had a beautiful younger sister who was her mother's favourite. She said, 'Well, I've got to become an original because if my looks are not going to bring me somewhere, I've got to be original in thought, style and the way I express myself.'&quot;</p><p>The director contends that Vreeland's style was &quot;actually quite classical.&quot; In spite of her own (slightly ghoulish) appearance – tight skull cap, dyed jet-black hair – she believed above all in elegance.</p><p>Just occasionally, the documentary hints at its subject's vulnerability. Vreeland had had almost no formal education. She was such an intimidating presence that few would challenge her. However, she had her knock-backs. She was fired from Vogue and overlooked for the top editorial position at Bazaar. When she was organizing costume exhibitions at the Met, other curators questioned her academic credentials. The Queen Bee was in her element when she was editing a magazine but was a forlorn and diminished figure when she was between jobs and trying to adjust to &quot;ordinary&quot; life.</p><p>Unlike many fashion editors and commentators today, Vreeland was open to the world outside the hot-house atmosphere of the shows and the catwalks. She thrived in the 1960s, embracing pop culture, civil rights and the new permissiveness. British photographer David Bailey testifies that she was the first to publish a picture of (a then little-known) Mick Jagger in a fashion magazine. Under her stewardship, the pages of Vogue featured not only Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton but Maria Callas, Luchino Visconti, Alexander Calder and Truman Capote. Vreeland was always drawn to the oddball: if models were very tall (like Veruschka von Lehndorff) or had irregular features, she would pick up on it. &quot;If you have a long nose, hold it up and make it your trademark&quot; was her attitude and explained why she featured Barbra Streisand as a model, emphasizing her &quot;Nefertiti nose.&quot;</p><p>The elegiac quality in The Eye Has to Travel is self-evident. &quot;Those [the 1960s] were the golden years of Vogue,&quot; the director states. &quot;Before, it was very much a society magazine but she brought life to it. She brought culture, she brought interest... they really covered art, culture and literature.&quot;</p><p>'Diana Vreeland: the Eye Has to Travel' will be released in the UK later this summer</p><p>Rumours of Simons' departure have been whispered around the industry for almost six months, and the announcement will only serve to increase speculation that the Belgian designer is destined for the top job at French house Christian Dior, a vacancy that has remained conspicuously unfilled since John Galliano's dismissal last March.</p><p>&quot;Jil Sander thanks Raf Simons for his dedicated commitment to the brand and wishes him the very best for the future,&quot; the company said in a statement. &quot;The group will communicate the appointment of a new creative director in the next few days.&quot;</p><p>In a strange twist, Jil Sander herself, the German designer who founded the label in 1968, gave an interview published yesterday in which she told the German magazine Gaia that she would like to return to the brand which bears her name. The Milan-based company has declined to comment on this.</p><p>Sander originally left the label in 2000 after selling a 75 per cent stake to the Prada Group, citing disagreements with CEO Patrizio Bertelli. They negotiated a truce and she returned in 2003, only to leave again the following year for the same reason. After a period of retirement, Sander's name became common currency once more when she signed on to collaborate with Japanese high street chain Uniqlo in 2009.</p><p>Since his appointment to the label in 2005, designer Raf Simons has brought his own version of conceptual femininity to Jil Sander. Originally a brand that thrived during the Nineties vogue for minimal design with its androgynous subversion of the masculine wardrobe, Simons' more delicate version of fashionable purism has widened the label's reach and developed its personality considerably.</p><p>&quot;I was thinking about the heritage of Jil Sander,&quot; he said backstage at last season's acclaimed show, in which he mixed Fifties dirndl skirts and dresses with paisley and Picasso prints, &quot;but I don't want to use her methods anymore. I want it to be sexier, more romantic.&quot; Simons' past three collections have been dubbed his &quot;couture trilogy&quot; by some, as his aesthetic has reached ever more ambitious and exquisite heights. Could they have been preparation for a new beginning elsewhere? The fashion world waits with baited breath.</p><p>Meanwhile, the catwalk schedule continued with MaxMara and Fendi yesterday showing two very different versions of luxury. The former developed several trends to have emerged previously in both New York and London, with military-inspired olive greatcoats made from double cashmere, as well as houndstooth and Prince of Wales check knits embellished with sparkling crystals.</p><p>Karl Lagerfeld's collection for Fendi is sure to divide opinion, with its use of exotic furs and skins. Tufted fox decorated the shoulders of cable- knit sweaters, while goat hair was dyed canary yellow for a shaggy and striking finale. Whatever the ethical dilemmas, there is a demand for such materials in Italy – and, most importantly, the emerging markets – and this is a collection sure to satisfy those tastes.</p><p>Yesterday evening also saw another of Milan's biggest names unveiling their autumn range. &quot;I didn't want to talk about power, but about being important,&quot; said Miuccia Prada after showing her collection of mainly tailored pieces, printed with vintage lozenge and rhomboid prints from the label's own archive. &quot;And about the importance of beauty. It wasn't ideas, just clothes.&quot;</p><p>These came in an idiosyncratic silhouette, with waists cinched at empire-line height by belts with chunky plastic buckles, short trousers layered with mid-length kilt-style skirts and cropped frock coats with tails that were also embellished with plastic tiles, crystals and mirrored beads.</p><p>Initial pieces in plain black wool felt austere, but as the collection moved from darker separates to suiting, a palette of increasingly challenging colour combinations emerged. The graphic prints had a seventies feel - in orange and purple, mustard and brown, even navy and black - and repeating pastille imagery was picked out in 3D with yet more oversized plastic adornments.</p><p>&quot;They were fake prints,&quot; Prada said. &quot;Just plastic not jewels. It was poor embroidery.&quot;</p><p>But it was of the highest quality, of course, from a powerhouse known for her attention to detail.</p><p>Fashion week in Milan continues today with catwalk shows from Versace and Moschino.</p><p>After I remortgaged my house to pay the fare, I wandered over a bridge and there were the manga girls, who follow the style of Japanese comics. To say they were a disappointment would be no exaggeration. I'd imagined hundreds of weird alien youth all dressed up with nowhere to go. As it was there were two girls who looked like they used to be in Strawberry Switchblade and one dressed as a plastic nurse. I tried to take their picture but two men jumped out with signs in English saying: &quot;You no take piktcher.&quot; I didn't bother arguing and hopped on to the underground to head for the Imperial Palace. I got to an impressive set of ancient walls surrounded by a wide moat. This was going to be good. </p><p>After 20 minutes wandering around, I realised the problem: the Imperial Palace is wonderful except... there is no actual palace, which I do think should be mentioned in the guidebooks. It's just a park full of people looking for a palace. </p><p>I popped into the Museum of Modern Art where there was an exhibition of Japanese nudes. It seemed very full. I then decided against this as it felt a touch pervy. </p><p>Half an hour later I was in Akihabara. This, I was told by everyone I met, was the best place in the world for electronic shopping. Indeed, it was so popular that the entire street had been closed to traffic so that shoppers could wander about. Again, it was not that impressive – just a larger version of all those stores on Tottenham Court Road that sell everything with a plug. I suppose I was expecting to be able to purchase a house robot or a flying car, but it was all irons and televisions. </p><p>Undaunted, I headed for Ginza and the famous &quot;Brand Street&quot;. This is another huge boulevard, closed off to the public, that has every big name store from Prada to Tiffany's. In and out of these glitzy money palaces I went, but I ended up feeling curiously depressed by the whole experience. Just as I was about to bail out, I spotted a sign saying Beer Hall. This seemed very timely and not a touch out of place. I dived in. </p><p>It was built in the 1930s and had a very authentic Bavarian feel, complete with rather impressive old murals. Diminutive Japanese women tried their best to appear buxom and Bavarian while plonking huge three-pint glasses of Sapporo on your table. It was an extraordinary place and rather highlighted the peculiarities of travel in Japan. </p><p>In the middle of the large room sat a woman in full geisha garb, minus the white face paint. She was knocking back a huge glass of beer while typing on her iPhone. I sat back and tucked into the beer – then I ordered another. By the time this was under way, all thoughts of shopping were receding. Happy New Year... hic. </p><p>“The cargo ship that has served as the main mode of transport between America's Cup World Series venues arrived this week in Valencia, where it will discharge its cargo”, said an official statement.</p><p>&quot;We took the decision to land the equipment in Valencia, after considering several factors,&quot; explained regatta director Iain Murray. &quot;There is a possibility for a number of teams to train together in Valencia, given the local infrastructure from the previous America's Cups there.&quot;</p><p>Following a three-month stop in Valencia, all the equipment will be shipped out from Valencia in the middle of March, in time for the start of the world series event in Naples, Italy on April 7, 2012, said America’s Cup Race Management.</p><p>Previously Murray, now firmly in charge of overall management of the America’s Cup on behalf of Russell Coutts, had said: “The bulk of the equipment is going to Naples,” But he discounted any thoughts of using Valencia as an alternative, saying: “We have built very strong standards in broadcast and regatta management, so for us to go back [to Valencia] is not really in our interests of promoting our assets of the America’s Cup going forwards.”</p><p>There is an investigation being carried out by the Naples city authorities over the suitability of the original Bagnoli site for the regatta village because of the possibility that toxic waste has been buried in the vicinity. The smaller Via Caracciolo site is the favoured alternative.</p><p>British Olympic silver medallist Chris Draper has left Team Korea, one of eight challengers contesting the AC45 series ahead of the launch next July of the first of the 72-foot wing-powered catamarans in which the 2013 America’s Cup will be sailed.</p><p>Team Korea says it will announce a new skipper to take over for the Italian regattas in April and May. The Italian, Prada-backed Luna Rossa will begin training with Team New Zealand in Auckland in January as it builds its first AC72 in collaboration with the Kiwis.</p><p>In the Volvo round the world race France’s Groupama, skippered by Franck Cammas, led the fleet into the ‘stealth zone’ which hides the positions of the five remaining boats – the damaged Chinese entry Sanya is in Madagascar for repairs - as part of protecting them from Somalian pirates.</p><p>They are all heading towards the Doldrums with a clear difference of opinion about the most favourable strip to cross. Groupama was tending to the west, with second-placed Puma (Ken Read/USA) heading east, crossing Groupama’s tracks.</p><p>Telefónica (Iker Martínez/ESP), the third boat, and Camper (Chris Nicholson/AUS) are clearly intent on shooting through to the east, while Ian Walker and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing are still formulating their plans, 187.5 nautical miles behind the leading boat.</p><p>A watch can be a tricky purchase; play safe with an elegant number in a stylish silver-and-gold colour combination.£250, seiko.co.uk, 01628 770988</p><p>2. Earrings</p><p>Prada's new capsule collection of jewellery comes in high on many a label-lover's Christmas list; try these chandelier earrings for a head-turning look.£320, Prada, prada.com</p><p>3. Purse</p><p>You can't go wrong with a purchase from this quintessentially English brand. Invest in a timeless classic.£280, Mulberry, mulberry.com</p><p>4. Make-up</p><p>Invest in the best for the beauty lover in your life. Sisley's Skinleya is a revolutionary foundation which benefits from the brands famed anti-ageing technology. £110, Sisley, 020-7591 6380</p><p>5. Handbag</p><p>Stella McCartney's shoulder bag can spruce up any look, and in a pillar-box red it's effortlessly chic.£665, Stella McCartney, stellamccartney.com</p><p>6. Ring</p><p>For a quirky twist on classic jewellery, choose this adorable bunny ring in 22ct-gold plated silver, from brother and sister design duo Zoe and Morgan. £77, Zoe and Morgan, matchesfashion.com</p><p>7. Heels</p><p>If you've got cash to splash, give the glamour puss in your life the ultimate twinkle-toe look with these starry shoes. £330, Dolce &amp; Gabbana, dolcegabbana.com</p><p>From the top floor of the by now lovingly restored and quietly impressive place the views over the city, including the famous cathedral with the Rubens' altarpiece, are spectacular. This particular area is reserved for buying appointments and all of that profession who attend can expect to be served with traditional Flemish fare – meatloaf with cherries and roast potatoes, to be precise. Much of the raw structure of the building has been preserved and it is furnished by an eclectic mix of antiques. Van Noten is an avid collector and so, when the Antwerp courts of justice chose to rid themselves of any original 1930s fixtures and fittings, for example, he was only too happy to take these items off their hands. There's a black, high-shine 1960s sofa here, oil-painted portraits of King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola of Belgium in gilded frames there, all of which form a perfectly harmonious and relatively domestic counterpoint to a sense of industry and modernity that is also very much in evidence throughout.</p><p>On the third floor, bolts of fabric from past seasons are piled up on shelves alongside zips, buttons and labels. Van Noten's labels are distinctive, as the size of the garment is printed beneath his name. Although the complex nature of his design process renders his twice-yearly collections more difficult than most to copy, the archive is a precious commodity and is closely guarded for that. It is testimony to the fact that Van Noten's rise to success was a gradual one that it dates back no further than the mid-Nineties. Until that point, and still struggling to make ends meet, he paid his models in clothes, as was the custom with any up-and-coming name worth his or her credentials at the time. On the second floor, the newly arrived (and vast) spring/summer collection hangs in polythene wraps and is subjected to rigorous quality control before being shipped around the world to upwards of 500 points of sale.</p><p>Van Noten's office and studio is on the fourth floor. He's dressed today in smart blue chinos and sweater (I am reliably informed that he doesn't wear jeans) and is kept company by his dog, Harry, a magnificent Airedale terrier with a butch bark and a gait like a prima ballerina, all out-turned toes. &quot;Harry is a lot of work,&quot; Van Noten says. On weekdays and when he doesn't have the run of the designer's famously lovely garden at his 19th-century home on the outskirts of the city, Harry has his own unusually glamorous dog walker.</p><p>It's more than 30 years since Van Noten founded his business. With a turnover estimated at around 50 million euros a year, it is a minor miracle that the label remains entirely independent and ultimately under the control of this unassuming and highly civilised man. In the last decade of the 20th century, when corporate superpowers were snapping up each and every designer name they could get their hands on, Van Noten resisted the temptation to play along, although &quot;I thought at certain points that was maybe the way to go, that that was the future. The big groups weren't only buying labels but also all the factories. Our shoes were made in Italy. The heel manufacturer was sold to Gucci, I think, the last manufacturer to the Prada Group and the producer itself was bought by Armani. My most important yarn suppliers were also bought by Prada. And it's still like that at least some of the time.&quot; In the end, though, &quot;that's not my way of doing things. I like to choose my own way forward. I really do want to create something that I personally like a lot.&quot;</p><p>For similar reasons, Van Noten doesn't design a pre-collection or any subsidiary lines, preferring instead to concentrate on two ready-to-wear collections for both men and women a year, all four of which he shows in Paris. &quot;For me, the show is the only moment when I can tell my story,&quot; he says. &quot;It's the way I communicate my ideas to the world.&quot; The collections are expansive in that they include both high-end and entry-point pieces.</p><p>&quot;For me personally, there's too much fashion around in this world,&quot; Van Noten says – not something one might expect to hear from the mouth of a fashion designer. &quot;There are too many images, too many impressions and the danger is that the whole thing is lost in one big blur. That's a pity. Before you had only images from ready-to-wear designers, now there's Topshop, Diesel... Everyone does fashion shows and produces imagery that is as strong as possible, just to attract attention. In the past, it was twice a year for men and twice a year for women and then there was couture. It was far more definite and there was breathing space in between.&quot;</p><p>Given that today's industry is notoriously driven by money-spinning accessories, it is equally remarkable that less than 10 per cent of this designer's business is based on those. &quot;I'm a fashion designer, not a shoe designer,&quot; he says by way of explanation. &quot;I like to design clothes. It seems strange to me that people buy a whole outfit in a high-street store, but they still have very expensive shoes. OK, shoes and bags are important but not so important. The whole thing, the combination of all the elements, is important.&quot; Van Noten chooses not to advertise or bombard celebrities with his designs, although he has dressed Cate Blanchett and Maggie Gyllenhaal for the red carpet. &quot;Who are the clothes for?&quot; he wonders. &quot;It is challenging to create clothes for people who perhaps don't have the perfect body, who aren't a size 38, and to put those into the collection too. Why not? It's a real world out there.&quot;</p><p>We are talking today about his offering for his spring/summer collection, currently flying out of stores, and something of a departure from Van Noten's signature, more ethnically-informed work. Now, as always, however, the fabrics take precedence, providing the starting point for the collection – although never at the expense of the silhouette, which is just as considerate of its wearer's needs as it always has been.</p><p>&quot;The idea was to find things that were aesthetically interesting but which have no connection with fashion at all,&quot; the designer says. &quot;I thought: 'What would happen if we use elements on garments that were not created to be printed on garments?'.&quot; Van Noten looked at technical drawings of butterfly wings from the 17th century and at 18th-century black-and-white etchings of landscapes. &quot;What's on the etchings? A lake and some houses. So, OK, that's the way they used to do it, now let's look at the modern way of doing it. So we have water from the 18th century and we have 21st-century water, too.&quot;</p><p>Then there's his collaboration with the photographer James Reeve to consider – Van Noten first came across his work at the Hyères International Fashion and Photography Festival in 2010 when he was president of the fashion side of the event, which is aimed at nurturing young talent. &quot;He obviously has a completely different way of looking at cities,&quot; Van Noten says. Reeve's night-time images of everything from London's Albert Bridge to the casinos of Las Vegas have a similar quality to that seen when flying over urban spaces at night. Applied to clothing, at first sighting each piece appears to be scattered with tiny jewels. It is only when looked at more carefully that these patterns reveal themselves to be figurative. &quot;We had to find a balance between the prints and achieving a garment that is nice to look at and, especially, nice to wear.&quot;</p><p>You do indeed, but there is something uplifting about wearing an oversized cotton dress or vest that turns out to be printed with blue sea, green palm fronds or ancient black-and-white sycamore trees – or indeed all of these things at the same time. &quot;The danger with prints like these is that we would end up with very simple sack shapes – you can't use too many seams,&quot; Van Noten says. The solution? The cut of the garment looks to mid-20th-century Spanish and Italian haute couture – and to Balenciaga especially – for inspiration. &quot;French couture at that period was very Cardin and Courrèges,&quot; Van Noten explains. &quot;Whereas in Spanish and Italian couture it was more about lace and about ruffles – olé, olé! – and I like that much better.&quot;</p><p>Dries Van Noten was born in Antwerp in 1958. His grandfather was proprietor of a men's ready-to-wear clothing store in the city. His father was responsible for a larger designer clothing boutique in its suburbs. &quot;It was a completely new concept,&quot; Van Noten remembers. &quot;Until that point, all the stores were in the city centre. This was destination shopping ... on a Saturday people would drive to the store. It was menswear, womenswear, childrenswear, there were small fashion shows every weekend.&quot; Van Noten's elder brother and two sisters were at university studying by this point, so he used to join his father after school and do his homework there. His mother also owned a clothing store and collected antique linen and lace. &quot;During the school holidays, I accompanied my parents on buying trips to Milan, Florence and Paris,&quot; Van Noten says. It is fair to say, then, that fashion is in his blood.</p><p>By the time he was 18, in 1976, Van Noten was ready to enter the prestigious Royal Academy of Fine Arts in his home town and to undertake the rigorous fashion course there presided over by the infamous Mme Prigot. &quot;She thought that long hair for girls was untidy, that they had to have a chignon, or she just took them to the hairdresser's herself and paid for them to have it cut off. Oh, and she didn't like knees,&quot; says Van Noten now. &quot;She thought the only good fashion designer in the world was Coco Chanel. It was the end of the 1970s. It was punk. Of course, when you have that many restrictions you rebel against them and that makes things quite interesting.</p><p>It is the stuff of legend that, with Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs, Marina Yee and Walter Van Beirendonck, Van Noten formed the Antwerp Six, perhaps safe in the knowledge that few outside their native country would remember, or even be able to pronounce, their individual names. In 1986, and with Van Noten having worked as a freelance designer since graduating in 1980, they drove their collections to London in a van and took the biannual collections in the British capital by storm. They were all completely different, both personally and professionally, of course, but they shared a belief that it was possible to break from tradition and to create innovative fashion without outside financial support. It says something of those involved that, to varying degrees, they went on to do just that. Although Van Noten remains friends with most of his contemporaries, he brushes off any suggestion that there is a shared Belgian aesthetic. &quot;But we maybe do look more at clothes piece by piece. That's why shops can easily sell Belgian designers, because they can mix their clothes with other things.&quot;</p><p>Van Noten's own pragmatic approach is certainly refreshing. &quot;Doing only the creative part of the job would be boring,&quot; he says. &quot;In the end, it's all part of the same thing. What's the point of designing something if afterwards you don't know whether it sold? It's not that if something sells really well we're going to repeat it, because everyone who wanted to buy it has done so already and will want to move on to something else. But it keeps me in touch. I keep in mind what people want and maybe also why they want it. Did other countries buy it? Yes, no. Why did a collection not sell very well in one country when it sold fairly well in another? Maybe the balance of certain shapes wasn't right, the volumes were too oversized or not oversized enough. It's interesting. I like to look at that.&quot;</p><p>Van Noten says that he is, for the most part, left alone when out and about in his home town. &quot;People recognise me but not too much. I'm more recognised when I walk around in Tokyo or Hong Kong than I am here. And that's good because I'm not really a big fan of that. I like to have my own life. I have my house. I am able to do things I like to do which are not always the most fashionable...&quot; He lives with his long-time partner, Patrick Vangheluwe, and they work together, too. Cooking and gardening are both high on their list of favourite pastimes.</p><p>&quot;I think it's the dream of every fashion designer to have six months off,&quot; Van Noten says. &quot;To have a sabbatical just once because it all goes so fast. But that's impossible. I'm forced to think about the future because I have a responsibility to the people who work for me and who have been working here for 10 years, as well as to the people who open stores and to suppliers. We have a few thousand people working for us in India who do the embroideries, for example, so I have to make sure that every season I sell so many pieces of embroidery that represent so many hours of work...&quot;</p><p>Although Van Noten travels frequently, he's as likely to spend the summer driving around the northern English countryside as fly off to anywhere more obviously exotic. He has spoken in the past of his clothes being inspired &