As someone who has long championed the Asian subcontinentâand Lucire has been linking Indian and Pakistani sites as they came to light over the yearsâI was happy to see that Vogue India has made it on to newsstands. The new magazine is a milestone in the rise of the subcontinental fashion industry, which arguably has had a longer tradition than anything in the occident. It also signals a rise in global luxury brands entering Indiaâsomething which I hope will soon be more of a two-day street.
The cover, too, addresses concerns that I expressed in a blog post last week, on the ubiquity of the white model on catwalks. There has been some chatter about why Gemma Ward, a blonde, blue-eyed model, occupies a third of the cover, but the answer is fairly simple, I thought: Vogue India is evidently a magazine that appeals to the global nature of the Indian consumer. Her presence suggests that in a shot. But the international girl is usually quite desirable from a publisherâs or licenseeâs eyes, too.
As a man, I have to say that my eyes went to the other models ﬁrst: Bipasha Basu, Priyanka Chopra, Monikangana Dutta, Preity Zinta and Laxmi Menon grace the cover and gatefold, photographed by Patrick Demarchelier. Perhaps it is the ubiquity that I wrote about, but the southÂ Asian models are stunning.
The domestic cover girl is very important, as we learned with Lucire Romania. The original cover girlâKaren CarreĂ±oâmade less of an impact than the ﬁrst Romanian to appear, Monica Gabor.Â
South Asia isÂ a region that I am keen on getting in to with Lucire.Â My best wishes go to Priya Tanna and her team at Vogue India.
THE catwalk waif may be losing her sway. Miuccia Prada, the most-watched trendsetter in the fashion world, has signalled a move to curvier models by choosing a busty mannequin to parade a new sweater on the Milan runway where before she had stuck almost exclusively to stick-thin girls, writes Maurice Chittenden.
Â Â Â Experts are predicting that Pradaâs lead will be followed in Paris this week by designers responding to health concerns sparked by the deaths of three South American âsize zeroâ models and their in?uence on young girls.
Â Â Â Lara Stone, a size 8 Dutch model with a 34in bust, was cast last week by Prada, head of the label founded by her grandfather, to model a ?ne-knit but virtually see-through top to show off her breasts.
The usual story: we told you so. Who needs to watch the designers when we have been consistently ahead on most trends since 1997?
Before this blog started, we were collecting feeds from myself, US editor-at-large Summer Rayne Oakes, travel editor Stanley Moss and US correspondent Arabella Marie (pictured at left, in a very Americanized head shot) and putting the headlines and the ﬁrst few words that followed them on to the Lucirenews page.
That page has almost always been there, since this site started in 1997. Once upon a time, in a pre-Google News era, we put up news that we received through our wires there. It kind of followed a blog format, newest story up top. Eventually, as news became more widely available, we didnât need to keep our own one up, especially since Lucire has more of a monthly mentality than a daily one.
But the link was still current and until a few weeks ago, there was no such thing as a Lucire blog. Earlier this year, during the siteâs redevelopment, we decided to use it for the blog feeds. Now, it seems superﬂuous.
Itâs a relatively simple matter to move the old headline feed on to these blog pages, but that still leaves us with a link.
I donât want to get rid of it, really, though it is also easy to allow it to forward here. But I also like the Magportal feed that gets relevant fashion headlines from around the web. Magportalâs feeds are human-edited and are more personal than the electronic ones we see based around Google News.
So, are there any reader suggestions over what to do with that old newsÂ page? Maybe find a fashion blogger more up with reviewing MSM headlines and have her or him ﬁll the page up? Be a boring syndicator of a Google News fashion feed? Keep the status quo but rename it? Whatever we do, we should make it interesting and novel. Over to you âŠ
Strategic Name Development conducted proprietary consonant research that found certain consonants have meaningful association in consumersâ minds.
Â Â Â For example, B and C were seen as less complex (think Bounty and Cheerios), while X was considered innovative and L and V were rated more feminine.
Â Â She goes on to note that front vowel sounds like that of the i (in mill) are associated with lighter and faster traits than back vowel sounds like a (in mall), which all suggests to me that Lucire is a very appropriate brand for a womenâs fashion magazine.
Â Â Â I wish it were all that simple: SND surveyed a sample of 414 US consumers and analysed 1,000 brands, and itâs research that youâll have to engage the company to really get more of.
I know there were a lot of Ugly Betty advertisements on the LucireÂ site today, as the show premiĂšres for its new season on ABC in the US. Call it good targeting: those into fashion might be in to Ugly Betty, as many of our interns are. AndÂ I have heard of some admitÂ that they expectedÂ to be in a Bettydom when they came here.
Â Â Â Still, seeingÂ Ms America FerreraÂ in her Ugly Betty garb on theÂ ads is more appropriate than theÂ Dancing with the Stars ones that have been running here.
Â Â Â Like the movie adaptationÂ The Devil Wears Prada (which I know is based on fact), I always found these screen representations a little far-fetched. I realize Ugly Betty is a pisstake on the fashion publishing industry, andÂ our world merely provides a backdrop, but it just never captured my imagination as someone actually in there for real.
Â Â Â Itâs less glamorous and if anyone did act like an arrogant prick, they would be outta here. Even if they looked like Vanessa Williams. The fashion industry is way too small and news of misbehaviour gets around more quickly than Casanova in a brothel.
Â Â Â So what is the reality? Mostly people looking into computers, but buoyed at the SweetChilli end with Lauraâs son, Ryder, doing the cute things that three-month-olds do. Itâs actually far, far nicer.
âThere was a turning point where you had many girls working at once, and it looked like things were going to change; we all had high hopes,â says [Naomi] Campbell, the ?rst black woman to appear on the covers of French and British Vogue, of the boom minority models experienced in the â90s. âBut then things regressed. Now it seems like all that hard work we did has not changed anything. Itâs really hard to wake up in 2007 and accept that we shouldnât push the door open again. We canât shut our mouths any longer,â Campbell says.
Itâs also possibly illegal. âThereâs a ?ne line between artistic vision and discrimination. If a designer chooses to define a certain vision as all white or all black, you run the risk of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act Âof 1964,â explains Anna Park, regional attorney in the Los Angeles district attorneyâs of?ce of the Equal Employment ÂOpportunity Commission. The Act prohibits employment discrimination âbased on race, color, Âreligion, sex or national origin.â Park worked on the case against Abercrombie & Fitch, which the retailer lost. âAbercrombie & Fitch got into trouble when they tried to de?ne âall-Americanâ as white male. If I said I wanted to hire an aggressive attorney and that âaggressive means white, an Asian attorney wouldnât be aggressive enough,â thatâs discrimination,â she adds.
Â Â Â This is as pressing an issue as the whole skinny modelsâ debate. Funny how we need to take a stand on a subject that, to the rest of the population (read: the consumers of fashion and beauty products), should be normal behaviour.
Yesterday when I mentioned that I thought one show in particular was the best of the day, I was saying so as a fashion commentator and consumer. The fact that that designer also happens to be a client and a friend of mine had nothing to do with itâand I am far from alone in my appreciation of this designer[â]s show. I also have nothing to do with the show reviews going up on the site this year as I felt it would be a con?ict of interest.