15 Things You Didn’t Know About Yves Saint Laurent

Bertrand Bonello’s Saint Laurent, which premiered at Cannes in 2014, looks at the life of the French fashion designer from 1967 to 1976. This was a career peak for the influential couturier and preceded his breakup with longtime partner Pierre Bergé (who also helped run the business). The film sees a limited release this weekend. In celebration of the Palme d’Or-nominated film, we’ve gathered a few facts about the fashion legend. … Read More

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Reese, Blake, Gwyneth: The Commodification of Celebrity Blandness

There’s a certain aesthetic that I associate with decent to middling romantic comedies of the early millennium, usually starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, or Reese Witherspoon. This aesthetic surrounds a lovelorn heroine who is a clean-cut but slightly funky blonde, a little bit frenetic but also warm. She’s pretty for the guys and aspirational for the ladies, and utterly devoid of any real personality, grit, or distinctive cultural background. She’s a blank slate, made to reflect the projections of viewers, just as the big windows and gleaming surfaces of her home reflect her pretty face. … Read More

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How Do We Fight a Culture in Which “Pretty Hurts” Workers, From Sweatshops to Nail Salons?

In the past two weeks, investigative journalism has woken us up to the price, in human terms, of cheap beauty. First, John Oliver and his team reminded us about the sweatshops, child labor, and unsafe conditions that go into our “fast fashion.” Now, The New York Times‘ Sarah Maslin Nir has published a long exposé of conditions in New York City nail salons (short answer: they’re abysmal) that is setting social media ablaze. Reactions have ranged from self-flagellation and self-righteousness among salon clientele to questions about the best way to fix the situation: Tip better? Organize? Abstain? … Read More

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How Rihanna Won the Met Gala — and Surpassed Its Awful Theme

When the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute announced the subject of its spring 2015 exhibit, the media collectively cringed. China: Through the Looking Glass — which, according to the Met, “will explore the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion, and how China has fueled the fashionable imagination for centuries” — is a perfectly suitable topic for a museum dedicated to the history of fashion; after all, excising Western influence by, or appropriation of, other cultures would wipe out the bulk of art history. But the show’s theme doubled as the theme of last night’s Vogue-hosted opening gala, an event so intertwined with the actual exhibit that the Costume Institute’s official name (The Anna Wintour Costume Center, as of last year) is essentially a formality. … Read More

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Here Are All the Celebrities Who Defied Anna Wintour’s Met Ball Social Media Ban

She may have put Kim Kardashian (and a hashtag!) on the cover of her magazine, but make no mistake: Anna Wintour’s not exactly a digital convert. According to Page Six, guests at last night’s ultra-exclusive Met Gala were sent the following mandate: “The use of phones for photography and social media will not be permitted inside the gala.” That worked out… about as well as one would expect, so in lieu of a red carpet roundup, we’ve collected evidence of the rich and powerful doing what they do best: whatever the hell they want. Click through for last night’s best Instagram selfies and Twitter updates, with our apologies to Ms. Wintour. … Read More

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“What’s Underneath” Video Series Uses Fashion Culture to Uncover Rape Culture

The mother-daughter team behind eclectic personal style website StyleLikeU, Elisa Goodkind and Lily Mandelbaum, have produced a remarkable series called “The What’s Underneath Project,” a series of short videos in which fashion-forward people — artists, musicians, and others — sit in a studio and take off their clothes. Eventually clad in their underwear, but softly lit and beautifully styled, the subjects talk about their journeys, mostly focusing on the contrast between inner and outer conceptions of style and beauty. … Read More

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Clever Illustrations of Fashion Designers as Their Own Logos

Fewer industries take themselves more seriously than fashion, and thus fewer industries leave themselves open wider to talented pranksters like illustrator Mike Frederiqo. In his latest series, which we spotted via Beautiful/Decay, the 23-year-old artist has drawn iconic designers like Yves Saint Laurent and fashion personalities like Anna Wintour, contorted into the logos that mark their work. One could interpret the series as a jab at fashion’s relationship with body image, or even the dominance of global mega-brands over the individual artistic voice… or one could simply laugh at the sight of Karl Lagerfeld flipping himself into a backwards “C.” Click through for more. … Read More

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John Oliver Obliterates Sweatshop Labor Shadiness of “Fast Fashion” Chains Like H&M

“Sweatshops aren’t one of those 90s problems we got rid of, like Donnie Wahlberg,” said John Oliver in last night’s… Read More

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20 Iconic Fashion Moments From Jane Austen Adaptations

“Our abuse of our gowns amuses but does not discourage me; I shall take mine to be made up next week, and the more I look at it the better it pleases me,” Jane Austen wrote to her sister. “My cloak came on Tuesday, and, though I expected a good deal, the beauty of the lace astonished me. It is too handsome to be worn — almost too handsome to be looked at.”

Although Austen’s novels almost all deal with the themes of self-knowledge, growing up, and the nature of romantic love, she was hardly above loving or thinking about fashion. … Read More

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“You’re Only as Good as Your Last Haircut”: The Collected Fran Lebowitz on Fashion and Style

The Internet’s favorite item this week, and with good reason, is Kathleen Hale’s Elle interview with professional New Yorker/noted Wolf of Wall Street actress Fran Lebowitz. For those who haven’t read it yet, it starts with Lebowitz refusing to talk on a cell phone and meeting Hale at Burger Heaven instead and only gets better from there. At 64, though, Lebowitz already has a treasure trove of style (and life) wisdom to her name, collected here now that we’ve been reminded we could all use a little more Fran in our… Read More

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