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FASHION’S NEW LOOK: Departures focuses on the craftsmanship behind fashion in its November/December issue, which includes an expanded edition of its popular Dress Code department. The issue includes stories on the collectables at Andy Spade’s shop, Partners & Spade, why Kiton jeans are worth $870, Tom Ford’s custom shoe salon and the secrets behind the success of Hermès. The title also enlisted some industry heavies to contribute — Barneys New York creative director Simon Doonan illustrated the cover and wrote of his frustration with the recession. “I’m not one of those people who thinks it’s brought us to our higher level of consciousness. I just think it’s a colossal bore,” he writes. Aside from Doonan, Allure editor in chief Linda Wells penned a story on her trip to Rome guided by former Vatican altar boy Salvatore Barberi, and former Interview editorial director Glenn O’Brien wrote a feature on the reincarnation of Andy Warhol through several contemporary artists and a new exhibit, “Pop Life: Art in a Material World.”
— Stephanie D. Smith
FIRST LADY OF FASHION: Mary Tomer’s obsession with Michelle Obama’s style spawned Mrs-O.org, a Web site tracking daily outfits worn by the First Lady, one of the first dedicated sites to do so when it launched in fall 2008. Now, after gathering a following of 350,000 unique visitors a month, all while managing her day job as an account planner at ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Tomer will publish a book dedicated to the subject, “Mrs. O: The Face of Fashion Democracy.” The book, published by Hachette Book Group, includes a chronology of Obama’s fashion credits, from the Maria Pinto and Peter Soronen sheath dresses worn during the Democratic National Convention to looks by Isabel Toledo and Azzedine Alaïa that she wore to meet the Queen of England. Interviews with some of Obama’s de facto fashion cabinet and other fashion observers — including André Leon Talley, Michael Kors, Isaac Mizrahi, Kai Milla, Jason Wu, Toledo and Maria Pinto — are interspersed throughout.
Tomer hopes, aside from producing a hardcover version of her blog, she can give homage to Obama’s designers of choice that extends beyond simple credits. “One of my favorite series in the book is the detail photograph on the violet Jason Wu cocktail dress that the First Lady wore for a White House kitchen event in February,” she told WWD. “From afar, one might think the fabric is a print, but up close, we discover it’s the result of thousands of hand-embroidered knots, clustered to create a pattern of florets. There is something inherently substantial about that kind of workmanship and attention to detail.”
— Stephanie D. Smith
JUST SUPER: Stefano Pilati has been on a major model kick for Yves Saint Laurent’s campaigns and has yet to exhaust the pool of enduring fashion faces. Rumor has it Natalia Vodianova is the latest top mannequin to do the honors, posing for photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin under Pilati’s direction for spring and summer’s ad campaign. Christy Turlington, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Gisele Bündchen also have appeared in recent YSL campaigns.
— Miles Socha