Along with the retailer's Coachella-ready Divided wares, H&M is launching The New Icons, a collection inspired by its campaign models, Joan Smalls, Liu Wen, Lindsey Wixson, and Daphne Groeneveld. And, as you may have guessed by the source of inspiration, the clothes prove just as cool as the ladies wearing them. With a rocker edge that reminds us of Givenchy-meets-Joan-Jett appeal, and a romantic Americana slant that's more Ralph Lauren in the '90s, the latest batch of H&M clothes offers up an easy "road map" for emulating a similar brand of cool-girl styling. We're particularly drawn to the silver-embellished black vest, cream-colored ruffle lace miniskirt, and the drawstring bucket bag both Smalls and Wixson show off in the campaign. Here's your first look at The New Icons collection — available in stores in early April — right this way.
>> Liu Wen shows off a fresh batch of Zara in the brand's latest Spring 2012 lookbook. Breezy white dresses, bright peplum skirts, vibrant coral jeans, and pastel sequin blazers — they're rolling into Zara stores and zara.com all this month, and Wen makes them all look so effortlessly chic. Click through to see the pics right here.
>> The release of the complete lookbook a few days ago was only part of the story — now, the entire Marni for H&M ad campaign is here. Lensed by Sofia Coppola and featuring model Liu Wen and actress Imogen Poots — who also stars in the collection's campaign video — the images are exactly what we'd expect: dreamy, exotic, and rich with want-now patterns and prints. See the images here, now.
>> Who walked 73 shows this Fashion Month while still finding the energy to play guitar backstage? Who skipped London Fashion Week this season and still managed to land among the top catwalkers this season? See which models were most in demand for Spring 2012 in the slideshow.
Photos by Greg Kessler
Instead of just choosing one face to represent its Fall campaign, Lane Crawford went for the gusto featuring five Chinese top models: Fei Fei Sun, Liu Wen, Ming Xi, Shu Pei, and Xiao Wen Ju. The ad, shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, depicts them wearing a palette of black and neutrals from brands like Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, and Lanvin. "The campaign combines a stunning array from renowned international fashion brands with the strongest Chinese faces to create a fascinating and powerful shot," said the China-based retailer. Do you like the dramatic statement, or would you prefer more diversity?
A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Today's Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2011 Campaign Shoot (Plus Gucci Campaign Rumors)
>> Stefano Gabbana tumblred images from the New York set of Dolce & Gabbana's Fall 2011 campaign today, showing a cast that includes Liu Wen, Maryna Linchuk, Constance Jablonski, Monika Jac Jagaciak, Isabeli Fontana, and Kate King. The girls are shown alternately dressed up as men and women, mirroring the label's Fall show. Jagaciak — who has her hair slicked back and is wearing a suit — tweeted a few hours ago that she "is Jac the dude today." Gabbana's photos in the gallery.
No images from the Gucci Fall 2011 campaign set, meanwhile, but the end product is rumored to feature four girls — two who Gucci has cast before and two who are newcomers to the label, including "that one stunning Top 10 Newcomer who all the key clients had to have," The Imagist reports.
>> The latest Fall 2011 campaign scuttlebutt: Isabeli Fontana is taking the early lead, with campaigns for Escada and Donna Karan booked, and a rumored appearance for Bottega Veneta as well. Karan's campaign, which was captured by Patrick Demarchelier the past three seasons, was snapped by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin for Fall 2011.
Meanwhile, Steven Meisel shot (and Karl Templer styled) the Fall 2011 Louis Vuitton campaign in New York yesterday — but there will reportedly be no Kate Moss appearance as there was on the runway. In fact, no supermodels will be featured at all: Instead, the six models chosen are said to be from the current generation — "Top 50-ish, a bit new. Nothing from the Icon list." Daphne Groeneveld and Fei Fei Sun are rumored to be among them.
Versace, like Donna Karan, is also switching up photographers — after going with Mario Testino for the past eight seasons, Donatella Versace has chosen Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott to do the Fall 2011 honors (with styling by Joe McKenna). Originally, the Versace campaign, like Vuitton, was reportedly supposed to feature six models, including Candice Swanepoel and Groeneveld, but the photographers are rumored to have settled instead on one girl with "short dark hair" who is a "cover star." Some are thinking that might indicate Saskia de Brauw as Versace's new girl.
To round out the Fall 2011 campaign placements so far, Juergen Teller shot Irina Kulikova yesterday for Moschino at Turin's Ristorante del Cambio, Ralph Lauren has reportedly cast its runway opener Sui He, and Liu Wen is rumored to be in the upcoming Dolce & Gabbana campaign.
A few images from the various shoots in the gallery.
>> Joan Smalls joined the Estee Lauder stable — which also currently includes models Constance Jablonski, Liu Wen, Carolyn Murphy, and Hilary Rhoda — late last year. Although Smalls filmed a Lauder TV commercial right around the time of her contract's announcement back in December, her first ad just launched for the brand's Women in Beauty campaign, depicting Smalls alongside Jablonski and Wen, shot by Craig McDean. Smalls recently spoke to Vogue about suffering from scoliosis — she was diagnosed at fourteen, when it was too late for the spinal curvature to be corrected with a back brace, and is therefore left vulnerable to injury and pain. "I do my best not to think about it," she says. [Modelinia, Models.com, Models.com]
Every woman can be beautiful. So said the late Estée Lauder, whose belief has been translated into her namesake brand's new philosophy. Its latest faces create a model mix that reflects our globalized, diverse world. Liu Wen, Constance Jablonski, and Joan Smalls hail from China, France, and Puerto Rico respectively. While Estée Lauder has always found gorgeous women to front the brand, we're thrilled to see a multicultural (and multilingual!) group leading the way. Read on to see how the company's models have changed with the times, from the 1960s until now.
>> Prabal Gurung had us at look number one — when Karlie Kloss stomped out in a brilliant red dress, sexy in its full party skirt and sleeve nonchalantly slipping off one shoulder. The designer says he was dually inspired by John Singer Sargent’s A Parisian Beggar Girl and Miss Havisham from Great Expectations for Fall 2011, but really, it was about a simple challenge: "Can I do undone? . . . After such a long time of tight, short dresses constantly, I thought that was something so chic.”
Gurung returned to his dressier roots after last season's more sportswear-driven stint — there were textures galore (furs, sequins, intricate appliques and the like, which made for some expensive-looking pieces). But that's not to say that the collection was uber feminine; in fact, with its black leather moto gloves and leather lashings around the waist, it forayed into edgier territory than Gurung has tried in the past. Pink hair streaks (which have also been spotted this week on stylist and WSJ contributor Lauren Goodman and the model Charlotte Free) finished off the look, and evidence that the designer's star keeps rising came in both the caliber of model cast (Kloss, who walked Gurung's show for the first time, Constance Jablonski, Jourdan Dunn, Joan Smalls, Liu Wen) and the number of editor-in-chiefs in the front row (including Robbie Myers, Emmanuelle Alt, and Anna Wintour, who was joined by Bee Shaffer).