>> When Donatella Versace presented the Spring 2010 Atelier Versace collection by appointment only during couture week at the end of January, Hamish Bowles reported sightings of gowns adorned with "chunks of Swarovski crystal, swags of fine silvery chains, and hologram discs to give a Paco Rabanne-esque edge." Now, you can see for yourself: Versace just uploaded the collection's lookbook today, featuring Kasia Struss.
Jessica Stam and Terry Richardson team up for Aldo.
Ebay launches the fashion vault, offering flash sales of designer apparel and accessories.
New mom Jourdan Dunn made her runway return yesterday walking for Aquascutum.
“Hand-embroidery is an art. But we see so much of it done in a conventional way. I wanted to make it a little more perverse, by adding the leather and the black lace.”—Christopher Kane on his fall 2010 collection shown in London today.
Mark Fast continues to use non sample-size models on his London Fashion Week runway, this season casting Crystal Renn.
Burberry plans to live stream its London Fashion Week show in 3-D.
Most of the fashion industry throws around terms like "sustainability", "ethical", and "eco" without having a clue as to what they mean.
Ann Dexter-Jones launched collection of rock-inspired ID bracelets at Edon Manor.
New York gets closer to the arrival of its first Isabel Marant store.
Donatella Versace thinks the current crop of runway models are boring robots: "Now we need something. We need a special personality. We need to feed the egos of these girls. Somebody like Kristen [McMenamy] who had a huge ego. Beautiful."
Source: Kelly Stuart/ELLE.com
>> In 2004, Wall Street Journal's Deborah Ball reports in her just-published book House of Versace, Donatella Versace told her daughter Allegra Versace Beck she has until she is 24 to pursue her dream of becoming an actress. If Allegra didn't succeed by then, she had to come work for Versace. Allegra, who owns a majority stake in the company, turns 24 in June of this year.
The declaration could have changed by now — although in media interviews, Donatella still expresses hope that Allegra will join the company at some point. Allegra lives in New York and attends Versace board meetings; she was involved in replacing Versace's chief executive last May with current chief executive Gian Giacomo Ferraris. And at the beginning of 2009, she began spending more time in Milan and now has a desk in Donatella's atelier.
Deborah Ball's House of Versace Recounts Tales of Drug Addiction, Heavy Spending, and Even a Little Megalomania
>> Yesterday, Deborah Ball, Milan correspondent for the Wall Street Journal since 1997, published House of Versace: The Untold Story of Genius, Murder, and Survival, after conducting 220 interviews with the likes of Donatella Versace, her brother Santo Versace, Gianni Versace's partner Antonio D'Amico, Anna Wintour, Joe McKenna, Brana Wolf, and Francois Nars. In fact, the only person to decline Ball an interview was Allegra Beck Versace, who has never had a predilection for talking to press. House of Versace is the first book to chronicle the ups and downs of the Versace family in English, and it's also the first book written for which the Versaces granted help.
Ball touches on Donatella's long battle with drug addiction, the Versaces' heavy spending habits, Allegra's anorexia, why Gianni left his 50 percent stake in the company to Allegra, and more.
>> Donatella Versace presented her latest Atelier Versace collection during Paris couture this week, all red carpet-ready gowns adorned with "chunks of Swarovski crystal, swags of fine silvery chains, and hologram discs to give a Paco Rabanne-esque edge," as Hamish Bowles reported. But the behind-the-scenes situation at the company isn't quite as glamorous.
Versace just announced that it will eliminate 350 of its 1,360 jobs, representing 26 percent of its workforce, worldwide starting in March and ending in June — part of a plan to return to profitability in 2011.
Donatella is also launching a new collection — Versace Collection — under her creative direction, which will be priced 30 to 40 percent below the house's signature collection. The Fall entree abides by the Versace codes of color, sexiness, prints, and glamour and includes 230 pieces, among them egg-shaped coats in oatmeal, cocktail dresses with lace and tulle insets, and degrade fitted jackets.
>> Donatella Versace Has Bodyguards Assist Her in the Toilet —Anna Wintour has a set of bodyguards who hold up a flashlight on stairs for her so she doesn't trip in her heels, but Donatella Versace takes it one step further. Apparently, at Oi Fashion Rocks in Rio de Janeiro in late October, Donatella had bodyguards "holding her dress up for her in the porta-potties," reports Derek Blasberg. See the two gowns she wore to the event here. [V Magazine]
>> Versace the Subject of Upcoming "Untold Story" Book by Wall Street Journal Reporter —In 2006, Alicia Drake's The Beautiful Fall: Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris took the fashion world by storm; in 2007, it was Dana Thomas's Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster. Since, there's been a dearth of solid industry reading, but 2010 may end the drought. The Wall Street Journal's Deborah Ball has House of Versace: The Untold Story of Genius, Murder, and Survival coming out Feb. 2, marking the first book in English written about the Versace clan. It includes interviews with Gianni Versace's friends, lovers, Naomi Campbell, and Anna Wintour. [Chic Report]
>> After Dana Thomas's best-selling book Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster came out in August 2007, she wasn't invited to Louis Vuitton's show the following October — Vuitton chief executive Yves Carcelle was unhappy with how she had portrayed LVMH head Bernard Arnault. Given the article she just wrote for Newsweek, "The Tragic Decline of the House of Versace," she may be uninvited from Versace's show next.
Just last week, Donatella expressed that she expected Versace to weather the economy, despite having to lay off a quarter of its workforce. Thomas doesn't seem as convinced, suggesting that perhaps it's time for Versace to move past its family-centric setup:
"Many in the fashion industry believe it's time for the brand to continue without Versace family involvement — and some suggest that the family is starting to accept this idea too. Last year, Santo [Versace, Donatella's brother and former CEO of the company] was elected to the Italian Parliament. Allegra [Beck Versace, Donatella's daughter and 50 percent company heir] has been attending Brown University and has said her dream is to become an actress. And will Donatella remain at the helm? 'Maybe,' says [an anonymous] former Versace executive. 'Then again, maybe not.' Which, after a decade of turmoil, may be the best thing for the company after all."
>> Versace is definitely feeling the economic crunch, completely pulling out of Japan, where it's had a presence since 1981, and announcing impending layoffs of over a quarter of its current workforce. But Donatella Versace aims to keep up appearances — she sponsored the Whitney Museum Art Gala in New York two weeks ago, jetted off days later to Rio de Janeiro for a Fashion Rocks event, and has just named Georgia May Jagger, Jerry Hall and Mick Jagger's 17-year-old daughter, the face of her Spring 2010 campaign, as photographed by Mario Testino. She also refuses to take off her stilettos, except for at the gym.
The New York Times's Eric Wilson caught up with her when she was in New York, staying under the name "Mrs. Montez" in a suite at the Waldorf Towers. When she first took over Versace, she says, “it was not easy to believe in myself or the future. Everyone was looking at me like a savior, and I had to have this image of this powerful strong woman, which I am not.”