All the Rage
Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances
Paris Fashion Week: Iris Van Herpen

When people want to be dismissive of the fashion industry, they often say something like, "Fashion is not astrophysics."

Except sometimes it is.

As inspiration for her spring collection titled "Magnetic Motion," Dutch designer Iris Van Herpen visited the world's largest particle collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Switzerland to check out the thousands of high-powered magnets that make it work. (Cool, right?)

The resulting collection was a beautiful collision of nature, technology, engineering and art. "I find beauty in the continual shaping of chaos," she wrote in the show notes, explaining that she had collaborated with architect Philip Beesley and artist Jolan van der Wiel on some materials, as well as creating a 3-D-printed dress with architect Niccolo Casas.

All a bit pretentious? Maybe, but you have to admire the intensity of her future-thinking vision. And the workmanship was equally audacious.

She brought unique, 3-D effects to clothing by using...

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Paris Fashion Week: Valentino's grand tour

Street style is really giving the runways a run for their money in Paris this season.

The white carpet leading up to the Valentino show Tuesday afternoon in the Tuileries was so thick with looky-loos waiting to snap pics of look-at-mes, it might as well have been a runway. In fact, by the time the show was over and we were all exiting -- including blog star Bryanboy, dressed in a shorts romper and carrying the latest Louis Vuitton trunk bag, and another personality with a plush flower pot atop her head -- the photographers had pulled up chairs and formed their own pit to better catch the action.

Yet, despite the distractions, the afterglow of the show stuck with me.

Reading about George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin's Venetian wedding already had me dreaming of Italy, then Valentino designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaulo Piccioli showed a collection that went down like a fine aperitivo and left me dreaming of la dolce vita all the more.

They were inspired by the tradition of the...

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Paris Fashion Week: Sacai's march of must-haves

If you are wearing a T-shirt with a lace panel in back, or a sweater with shirt cuffs, it has something to do with Sacai designer Chitose Abe, who has made her haute hybrid, masculine/feminine sportswear into a booming business over the last couple of years, and influenced a host of other brands while she's at it.

On Monday at Paris Fashion Week, Abe took many of the spring season's trends, including Army and Navy uniforms, stripes, eyelet and delicate florals, often combining them in the same look.

The result? A march of must-have pieces, including a fatigue green military shirt dress with pretty floral pleats in back, a Breton sailor stripe dress intricately worked with white lace, and an Army -meets-Navy jacket with buttoned lapels and a romantic peplum.

Black eyelet was worked through plaid on a pleated kilt, and cut into a swingy skirt with pleats on one side. Crisp, cap sleeve shirts in black watch plaid or Army green had contrasting fabric or eyelet in back. And there were bushy...

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Audrey Hepburn remembered with Blu-ray set

Audrey Hepburn was considered the epitome of grace and charm during her career heyday in the 1950s and '60s.

On Tuesday, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment celebrates the actress' career by releasing a Blu-ray collection of three of her films: "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1961), "Sabrina" (1954) and "Funny Face" (1957). She received Academy Award leading actress nominations for the first two and was nominated a total of five times for an Oscar over her career, winning for 1953's "Roman Holiday." 

Hepburn also won several Golden Globe awards, an Emmy, a Tony and a Grammy, among other accolades. She was a U.N. ambassador as well as fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy's muse.

And all of that is why we're using the release of the Blu-ray set (list price, $29.99) to take a look back at Hepburn's iconic style.

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Paris Fashion Week: At Chanel, looking for a sign

Karl Lagerfeld took to the streets for the spring Chanel show Tuesday morning at Paris Fashion Week, constructing an indoor boulevard inside the Grand Palais, complete with building facades, balconies, sidewalk puddles and manholes.

The models strolled the asphalt in groups, as the brand faithful in the seats hoisted their iPhones high. At the end, there was a rumble backstage, then the whole posse came out, fists in the air, holding signs with slogans such as “Be Your Own Stylist,” “Tweed is better than Tweet,” and “We can match the machos.”

It was a rallying cry for individual style that raised a central question being discussed here this week: In the age of style blogs, Instagram and YouTube stardom, pre-collection pressure, cheap chic lines and Normcore, when the whole system has gone topsy-turvy, what is fashion?

Of course, it must be said that there are people rioting in the streets in Hong Kong for real democracy, braving tear gas and joining in mass renditions of “Can You Hear...

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Will John Galliano create a couture collection for Margiela?

Fashion designer John Galliano, rebuilding his career after he lost his job as creative director at Dior in 2011 amid allegations of anti-Semitism, may be in talks to design Maison Martin Margiela's couture line, Vogue UK reported. [Vogue UK]

Teen Vogue gathered a number of young celebrities Friday night for a party celebrating its 12th annual Young Hollywood issue. Bella Thorne, Joe Jonas, Sarah Hyland, Hailee Steinfeld, Ariel Winter and Patrick Schwarzenegger were among the attendees. [WWD]

Cosmo editor-in-chief Joanna Coles is taking over as editorial director at Seventeen as well, and the latter magazine's EIC, Ann Shoket, is stepping down. [Racked]

American Apparel named turnaround expert Scott Brubaker as its interim chief executive officer and Hassan Natha, formerly of Nike, as its chief financial officer. The two replace former interim CEO/CFO John Luttrell. [Los Angeles Times]

Paris Fashion Week continues. Read Los Angeles Times fashion critic Booth Moore's coverage on our All...

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Paris Fashion Week: Sonia Rykiel back on the map

In its heyday in the 1960s and '70s, Sonia Rykiel was synonymous with French chic, from the shrunken "poor boy" sweater that landed on the cover of Elle magazine and launched her career in 1968, to endless interpretations of the iconic French striped sailor sweater, a style still fashionable today, to the safety pin brooch that was a favorite fashionable Paris souvenir.

So it was with great anticipation that the fashion crowd decamped to the Rykiel store in the bohemian Saint Germain-des-Pres neighborhood that is the brand’s spiritual home for an intimate presentation of the first collection by new artistic director Julie de Libran.

A veteran of Prada and Louis Vuitton, Libran was born in France but spent most of her 1980s childhood in California, where she remembers her mother wearing Sonia Rykiel.

A leggy blonde, Libran greeted guests at the door, where champagne was served in flutes from Café de Flore, the fashionable Left Bank hangout where the flame-haired Rykiel has long been a...

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Paris Fashion Week: At Saint Laurent, an army of individuals

After the first few runway exits at the Saint Laurent show Monday night, I started to really wonder: was Hedi Slimane showing us old clothes? Was he presenting a collection, or just a parade of pieces? Was I being punked?

But that uneasiness may have been the point.

Slimane channels Saint Laurent through the lens of the L.A. art and music scenes. And this season, the late L.A. artist Robert Heinecken was the subject of Slimane's portfolio of images, distributed to guests along with their invitations. Slimane was interested specifically in how Heinecken's work addresses "the materiality of the photograph and the function of image and reproduction in contemporary society," the show notes explained.

(It's worth mentioning that Slimane's interest in photography is personal; his own images have been exhibited around the world, and his portraits of rock gods are now on view in the exhibition "Sonic," at Paris' Fondation Pierre Berge-Yves Saint Laurent.)

Heinecken, who died in 2006, was known...

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Jane Fonda hosts Rape Foundation annual brunch

The event: Jane Fonda hosted the Rape Foundation’s annual brunch on Sunday, celebrating the organization’s 40th anniversary and raising funds for the Rape Treatment Center and Stuart House of Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center.

The scene: Emcee David Schwimmer called the event venue, the expansive Greenacres Estate in Beverly Hills, “this sanctuary of serenity and beauty and warmth and light,” and he thanked investor Ron Burkle for lending his home for the brunch each year for the last 20 years.

The crowd: Star power brightened the day with familiar faces, including Viola Davis of “How to Get Away With Murder,” Julius Tennon of “Small Soldiers,” Emmy Rossum of “Shameless,” Eric McCormack of “Perception,” Rosanna Arquette of “Ray Donovan,”  Sam Waterston of “The Newsroom,” Tamara Taylor of “Bones,” Kathryn Hahn of “This Is Where I Leave You,” Amber Heard of “3 Days to Kill,” Corbin Bernsen of “The Young and the Restless” and Amanda Pays of “Leviathan.”

The program: Lily Tomlin surprised...

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LAXArt gala serves up typing, tattoos and smashing taboos

It’s rare in Hollywood for an event – any event – to outshine its celebrity attendees, but that’s exactly what happened Saturday night at the LAXArt benefit gala at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, where the art started in the driveway with a hulking Hummer sporting a cast bronze flat tire (Ry Rocklen’s “Untitled Hummer Flat”) and spilled out onto the hillside patio where Lisa Williamson’s towering wooden sculpture (think minimalist totem pole) “Eleven Holes” was framed against the cityscape below.

In between, every kind of artwork and performance you might imagine (as well as a few you never would have) filled every possible room, corner and cubbyhole in the rambling mansion.

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FOR THE RECORD

An earlier version of this post misspelled the first name of artist Galia Linn. It is Galia, not Gallia.

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In the ladies room just off the entry foyer three towel-clad women in front of vanity mirrors took turns running brushes and flatirons jacked into Fender Twin Reverb...

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Paris Fashion Week: At Stella McCartney, feminine meets functional

It never gets old going to Paris' spectacular Palais Garnier opera house for the Stella McCartney show, especially when it's a collection as sure-footed as the one she p‎resented on Monday.

McCartney pushed what's become the season's new silhouette--oversized but fluid, with wide sailor trousers and culottes in vanilla hues and billowy silk crepe maxidresses, flight suits, trench coats, oversize shirts and drawstring shorts in other ice cream pastels, some in a washed check print.

‎The ribbed knit fisherman sweater, that L.L. Bean preppy winter staple, was given a new lease on life for summertime, morphing into sexy asymmetrical knit dresses made of organic yarn, knotted and twisted to show off the back and shoulders.

Statement denim, Stella style, had a '70s look--a jumper dress with buckle hardware and asymmetrical thread work on the front, for example.

And for evening, there were truly gorgeous sundresses in delicate floral organza sewn into a jigsaw of suspended embroideries.

On...

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George Clooney marries a very well-dressed Amal Alamuddin

Amal Alamuddin, 36, wore an Oscar de la Renta gown to her wedding to George Clooney, 53, Saturday night in Venice, the Guardian reports. During the wedding weekend the British lawyer also wore outfits by Alexander McQueen, Dolce and Gabbana and Giambattista Valli. [The Guardian]

People, which reportedly obtained exclusive rights to wedding photos, reports that a crowd cheered the couple as they made their way up the Grand Canal to wedding venue the Aman Grande Canal resort via water taxi. [People]

After more festivities on Sunday, the couple appeared at Ca'Farsetti, a 14th century palazzo where Venice's town hall is located for a civil ceremony on Monday making their union legal in Italy. Alamuddin wore a Stella McCartney cream colored pantsuit and wide-brimmed hat, both accented in black. [E!]

Paris fashion week continued with shows by Givenchy, Celine, Mugler and more. Read Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic Booth Moore's coverage on our All the Rage...

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