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Where Have Fashion’s Big Personalities Gone?

Worker bees are replacing splashy stars.

If a trend has emerged over the past year of frenetic designer entrances and exits from fashion houses, it's that quiet, steady rung-climbers are beginning to gain on the industry's bigger names. Last week, after much speculation in the press that Hedi Slimane or Tom Ford might head to Gucci, the house announced that 42-year-old Alessandro Michele — who joined its design team 12 years ago, eventually working his way up to head of accessories — had ascended to the creative-director spot. Rather than recycle an existing star from a pool of big names, Gucci went with a dark horse. It's telling that in his statement on Michele's hire, Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri referenced the fact that the company honed his talents, and that "his knowledge of the company and the design teams in place will ... allow him to move quickly and seamlessly" into the top role.

Call it the farm-team approach. In recent months, Hermès appointed Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski — who had been an influential presence at the Row — as artistic director. Céline accessories head Johnny Coca migrated to Mulberry, Sonia Rykiel opted for Julie de Libran, a Louis Vuitton vet who served as Marc Jacobs's second-in-command during his tenure there, and Miuccia Prada's former deputy Rodolfo Paglialunga nabbed the brass ring at Jil Sander. Press announcements about these hires often doubled as explainers to the general public; after all, these names are little-known even among those who cover the industry. Certainly, it's gratifying to see decades' worth of hard work be rewarded. And it's easy to see why luxury houses would want to place their bets on someone who's already proven their success within the company. In fashion, that's the closest thing to a sure bet that exists.

But doesn't it make you long for the days of splashy designer appointments, houses fighting over big names, Champagne thrown in faces and intra-designer feuds conducted in the pages of Women's Wear Daily? Tom Ford's departure from Gucci germinated a jokey "Shouts & Murmurs" piece about how to cope — "There are seven stages a person goes through when Tom Ford leaves Gucci," it read — but now, the revolving door spins with little fanfare. The new, quieter approach reflects a certain caution on the part of  brands, who understandably prefer to groom future stars rather than take on the baggage of existing ones. But what does this mean for those of us who love to take in the pageantry?

Fashion used to be so much more fun. »

Does the Ryan Gosling Meme Really Make Men More Feminist?

Hey, girl. Let's do some science.

If you spend much time on the internet, you've probably come across the excellent Feminist Ryan Gosling meme. Even though it's been around for years, it's popped up again in the last few days: The Washington Post, UProxx, and a bunch of other outlets have run stories stating that a new study shows that the meme makes men more feminist. So what's the deal?

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Should You Dress Up Like a Cat for Love?

Maybe!

As the three friendly burlesque dancers from Gypsy remind us, “you gotta get a gimmick if you want to get ahead.” That’s solid advice for the entertainment industry — but as one contestant on the Chinese dating show If You Are the One discovered, perhaps also for love. To stand out on what is essentially Tinder as a TV game show (a man selects his sole “heartbeat girl” from a selection of 24 women on sight alone), a woman decided to dress up like a cat — not like a sexy, furry Halloween-costume-style cat but a fairly realistic cat, by using face paint and prosthetic ears.

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1 Out of Every 5 Luxury Bags Sold Is a Man-Bag

A nearly $6 billion-per-year market.

From Burberry's larger-than-life fringed totes (above) to Bottega Veneta's hip-slung carriers, innovative bags were all over the men's runways this season. They were shown in response to what seems to be an ever-increasing demand: Quartz reports that based on a Euromonitor study, men now spend about $6 billion per year on high-end bags, with 5.9 million being sold in 2014. (Contrast that with the 25.6 million luxe women's bags sold during that time period.) Men are also spending more per bag, in part because factors like the rising price of leather have made them more expensive to produce. So go ahead, splash out on that Thom Browne whale bag — all the other guys are doing it.

Katy Perry Covered Herself in Footballs

Very ready for the Super Bowl.

In anticipation of her Super Bowl halftime performance this Sunday, Katy Perry has been preparing by decorating her body with as many footballs as possible. Earlier this week, she got a football-themed pedicure, and yesterday, she showed up to the Super Bowl XLIX halftime-show press conference in Phoenix wearing a cheerleader-style skirt and crop top covered in pigskins. She complemented her superfan outfit — a custom design by RVN — with more than one football-related dad joke. “I feel like I’m dressed for the ball,” she said hammily, later adding: “I can assure you that nothing about my performance will be deflated.”

How to Contour Your Face If You’re Not a Kardashian

Just the right amount of glow and cheekbone definition.  

Here's a way to lightly contour your face that enhances your cheekbones, but doesn't scream "Where's the E! camera crew?" One half of Charlotte Tilbury's Bronze & Glow compact is a not-too-orange bronzer that effortlessly blends into skin, allowing you to mimic the hollow of Kim's oblong, smooth cheekbones. The other half is a pale, shimmery highlighter shade that isn't glittery or metallic. The texture is a finely milled, soft dust that blends without any furious rubbing. The bronzer made my cheekbones look Instagram-ready, and the highlighter gave my face a light glow. Contour purists will note that yes, the bronzer is a tad shimmery, which most contour shades aren't — but it's perfect for the non-famous who don't have to worry about Us Weekly photos. 

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I Spent 3 Minutes Inside a -264-Degree Cryotherapy Machine

It's said to burn up to 800 calories, release an eight ball’s worth of endorphins, improve sleep, boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, smooth wrinkles, and solve the Israel-Palestine conflict.

“You may now start to hyperventilate and shiver uncontrollably,” I hear. Other than undergarments, I am wearing nothing but athletic socks and clogs on my feet, raw-wool mittens on my hands, and a post-­concussive expression on my face. I am ensconced in a shoulder-height cauldron spewing nitrogen-iced air at minus-264 degrees Fahrenheit.

The woman talking is Joanna Fryben, co-owner of KryoLife, a year-old spot off Central Park South that specializes in whole-body cryotherapy — a three-minute treatment said to burn up to 800 calories, release an eight ball’s worth of endorphins, improve sleep, boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, smooth wrinkles, and solve the Israel-Palestine conflict.

“You may now start to hyperventilate and shiver uncontrollably,” I hear. »

Dov Charney Is Just Not Ever Giving Up — Ever

Retail's Rick Astley.

Dov Charney is still trying to get back together with American Apparel. Women's Wear Daily reports that Charney has had conversations with American Eagle Outfitters chairman and SB Capital Group head Jay Schottenstein, among others, in an attempt to regain his foothold at the company. Charney, who is still a shareholder, has been advocating a new approach for the company that involves opening more brick-and-mortar stores — seeming less than discouraged by the fact that he was fired only last month. In layman's terms, Charney is holding a giant boom box aloft at American Apparel's window, blasting "In Your Eyes." But the company, under new CEO Paula Schneider, appears to be moving on — if a bit gingerly — without him.

The 5 Best Moments From Lena Dunham’s BAM Interview With Miranda July

The two artists discussed motherhood, unintentionally offending people, and hating the label "quirky" last night.

Last night at BAM, Lena Dunham sat down with the filmmaker and writer Miranda July to interview her about her debut novel, The First Bad Man. Their conversation was meandering, candid, at times sad, and funny — and it touched on everything from poorly anticipating things that other people find offensive to radical sexual fantasies to the frustration of being called “quirky.” Here are five frank, poignant moments from their conversation.

"This book in many ways is about unusual women wanting the usual things." »
  • Yesterday at 5:11 PM
  • Sorry

A.P.C. Designer Issues Apology for His Comments

"I spoke recklessly using terms that were both ignorant and offensive."

After Timberland severed its relationship with A.P.C. because of designer Jean Touitou's offensive remarks during his show — see here for a refresher — the designer has issued a formal apology. In a statement released to GQ, Touitou said, "When describing our brand's latest collaboration, I spoke recklessly using terms that were both ignorant and offensive. I apologize and am deeply regretful for my poor choice of words, which are in no way a reflection of my personal views." At least he didn't name-check Kanye again?

The 33 Best-Dressed Street-Stylers at Couture

Bling, pearls, and a (literal) monster coat.

The street-style scene at couture is always high stakes — and, in some ways, a sneak peek of what's to come during New York. This week was no exception: Anna Dello Russo made an appearance in a Yohji Yamamoto demon coat and feathery hat, Anya Ziourova wore a Céline look straight from the 2015 resort collection, and Chiara Ferragni showed up in a mysterious veil. And it wouldn't be a fashion week without a surprise celeb appearance — this time, from Natalie Portman, who showed up at Dior (surprisingly, her first couture show ever). Click ahead to see all these and the rest of the best-dressed street-stylers from couture.

Creative Director Rebekka Bay Has Left Gap

She won't be getting a replacement.

What's the opposite of falling into the Gap? Rebekka Bay is doing just that. Bay, a veteran of COS and Danish label Bruuns Bazaar, was appointed creative director in 2012, but today a company statement reveals that she has parted ways with her employer, and will not be replaced in the role. In fact, the position of Gap creative director has been axed entirely. Instead, the design team will take over.

Said global brand president Jeff Kirwan in the release, “I would personally like to thank Rebekka for her passion and the creative processes she’s brought to the brand. She has helped develop a dynamic design team, some of the best creative talent in the industry, and I’m confident that our strong bench of senior designers will see the brand into its next phase.”

The company has had several recent shakeups — last week, it closed Piperlime, and under incoming CEO Art Peck, there has been some executive reshuffling. Time will tell if the old faithful "dress normal" slogan will live on.

Anna Wintour Will Permit Benedict Cumberbatch to Wed

She approves.

Even though Benedict Cumberbatch and his beloved, Sophie Hunter, are engaged and expecting, the future of their union was still unclear. You see, Anna Wintour, the overseer of all things famous and chic, had yet to weigh in. WWD reports that Hunter attended the Valentino couture show with Wintour, and is receiving personal fashion coaching from her Wintourness. Phew! The wedding can happen! But no word yet if Anna has signed off on their Cumberbaby-to-be.

  • Yesterday at 3:04 PM

Vogue Left Out a Few Things About Skiing in Iran

Just like Aspen, except women can't ski alone.

"Could Tehran (Yes, Tehran) Be the Next Aspen?" asks Vogue. Perhaps, avid ski bunnies! After all, Vogue explains:

Iran is known for its historical cities and gorgeous Islamic art, but much less for its other great source of pride: mountains. In all four corners of Tehran, they rise in endless clusters, green and brown ridges that turn white in winter and, unbeknownst to many Westerners, conceal stunning ski resorts.

Vogue’s “new Aspen” exists on a mountain range that has “been rumored to be a locus for missile production under former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad," as WWD points out.

Also, a crucial omission. »

The 15 Best, Most Dramatic Wedding Dresses From Couture

So many Solange capes.

This week's couture shows in Paris brought a wide range of delights: There were latex thigh-highs at Dior, flowers galore at Chanel and Viktor & Rolf — and a whole lotta skin at Versace. Big, show-stopping bridal looks were everywhere — in the form of giant, Cinderella-like ball gowns, minimal column dresses, and even a pair of bridal capris. Click through the slideshow below to see 15 standout bridal looks from the couture shows, including more than one Solange cape

Style Tribe: Miranda July’s Die-hard Fans in Brooklyn

Scenes from her talk with Lena Dunham at BAM last night.

Last night, Miranda July fans from all over the city (and a few from abroad) flocked to the Brooklyn Academy of Music to see the filmmaker/author in conversation with Lena Dunham about her debut novel, The First Bad Man. Their conversation was frank and funny, ranging from musings on sexual fantasies to thoughts about motherhood and loneliness. We caught up with members of the crowd — including dozens of Girls and You, Me, and Everyone We Know aficionados — before the event. Click through the slideshow for a look at the audience, shot on Polaroid film by Dietmar Busse.  

Couture Left Reality in the Dust This Season

And reclaimed its right to overt fantasy.

For the last few seasons, couture has gone normcore. Or at least, it came as close to it as it could — there were Chanel flip-flopsDior bike shorts, and sneakers from both houses (price upon request). But this season's shows, which conclude tomorrow, seem to have — no pun intended — already flip-flopped on that casual-is-king stance. They took full advantage of what couture is for: selling an ineffable dream to people who will never so much as touch a swath of Lesage lace.

So Karl Lagerfeld took us to a fairy-tale Chanel garden complete with Goodyear-sized beekeeper hats and bejeweled flower-bedecked hats. The models strolled the runway like Alice in Wonderland lost among the flowers. As the 73-look lineup (a volume usually found only in couture) continued, things got zanier — flowers-as-pockets, blooms covering the entire bodice of a dress, trailing from the hem of a frock coat, or forming massive ruffled sleeves. There was winking humor in this extreme extension of a theme, but mostly, the collection made full use of all the resources in couture’s power, and flaunted that fact. 

Plus: jungle gyms and crystals at Dior. »

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Mom Still Doesn’t Get Conscious Uncoupling

"What is that thing that they've been doing?"

Even though that Goop-y phrase “Conscious Uncoupling” has been thoroughly assimilated into our vernacular (at least as a punch line), how many people are actually clear on what it means? Nobody, not even Goop’s own mother. So Blythe Danner revealed when "Page Six" asked her about the concept: 

“People make fun of this, um, what do they call it? What is that thing that they’ve been doing? Separating, but being? But it’s called ‘conscious’ . . . not ‘conscious uncoupling.’ Conscious …”  

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  • Yesterday at 12:42 PM
  • Babies

Dutch Babies: Better Than American Babies?

American infant superiority may be at risk.

We Americans take pride in a lot of our things: our optimism, our work ethic, our endlessly innovative fast-food offerings, and, of course, our babies. A simple, slightly creepy Google image search reveals that the 50 states produce some top-notch infants, many of them wearing adorable outfits. What babies could possibly compete with our babies?

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North West Is Our Ultimate Winter-Style Icon

Based on her ensemble in Kanye's "Only One" video.

Looks like the West household survived the L.L. Bean boot-shortage panic — the one that claimed Keri Russell the other day — just fine. In the Spike Jonze–directed, home-video-style clip for Kanye's "Only One," he and his daughter are sporting perfect winter looks. Kanye has a nice hoodie-and-jacket combo going, but we're really feeling North's look: collarless shirt, fur-collared olive parka, and the coveted duck boots. Take a lesson from a 19-month-old, fellow celebrities: You don't have to bundle up beyond all recognition simply because it's cold out.

Copyright © 2015, New York Media LLC. All Rights Reserved. The Cut® are registered trademarks of New York Media LLC.

Copyright © 2015, New York Media LLC.
All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2015, New York Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.