THE BITE: An amuse-bouche of fashion news

Happy birthday, Claudia! (Or: Alles Gute Zum Geburtstag…) Story by Anne Pringle.

Model milestone
Supermodel Claudia Schiffer turns 40 today! One of the most recognizable faces in the fashion industry, Schiffer has covered a lot of ground in her career. After being discovered in a Düsseldorf disco at 17, she was chosen by Karl Lagerfeld as the new face for Chanel in the early 90s, and walked the runway for Versace, Jil Sander, Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren and Valentino. She has also been the face (and body) of Guess? and Mango, and appeared in ads for Pepsi and Fanta (where she danced with a cartoon Mickey Mouse). She’s also made cameos in over a dozen movies, including Zoolander and Love Actually. (In Style)

New Monique Lhuillier
Monique Lhuillier will reportedly launch three new labels for spring through a licensing deal with Group JS International. For 14 years Lhuillier has been famous for her wedding gowns, and as the creator of a ready-to-wear line. The designer claimed, “After all these years of selling wedding dresses, people wanted me to do the entire wedding party.” She answered the demand with a bridge collection of eveningwear and cocktail dresses called ML Monique Lhiullier as well as two bridesmaid collections, one high-end and one low.  (WWD)

Madonna + Miu Miu
Madonna has a lot on her plate—not only did she and her daughter Lourdes just launch her their line Material Girl (and have to deal with the unfortunate legal issues we told you about yesterday), but she also directed Miu Miu’s fall television ad campaign. Apparently, she requested to do the job—and came out with a fast-paced, colourful video featuring four models with slicked-back hair, bright pastel eyeshadow, and oversized sunglasses. They are sporting nude heels and yellow and purple appliqué dresses (including the one that mistakenly appeared on the cover of several major magazine’s August covers)! (In Style)

AA bankrupt?
American Apparel just can’t seem to catch a break: Rumour has it that the company is close to liquidation and bankruptcy, after the company issued a warning that there is “substantial doubt that the company will be able to continue.” Stock has fallen 70 percent since January—15 percent of which was this week alone, and has racked up losses up to $7 million. I guess those leaked company hiring policies (which included head-to-toe examinations) and discrimination accusations really turned people off the brand. (Toronto Life)

THE BITE: An amuse bouche of fashion news

Crystal Renn’s proudest modelling moment. Story by Anne Pringle.

Crystal + Chanel
Crystal Renn is back in the spotlight—and not for being “plus-size”, or losing weight, or being subject to massive photo retouching (remember the Passion For Fashion photos?). She stars in Chanel’s newest campaign for the reopening of the brand’s SoHo store. The model claimed that “working with Chanel has been my dream forever… this campaign is the proudest moment of my life.” (Fashionista)

Victoria’s Secret Toronto
Limited Brands is the parent company of Victoria’s Secret and our Canadian La Senza—a reason why it was always rumoured that VS had no plans to move to Canada… until now. Our country’s first-ever Victoria’s Secret store will open this Thursday at Yorkdale. Better get in line now… (Toronto Life)

Selfridges scandal
U.K. department store Selfridges will no longer carry Dolce & Gabbana, claiming that they as they are constantly updating the store, they are “unable to accommodate [the brand] going forward”. Word on the street is that Dolce & Gabbana execs were unhappy that the two collection’s locations had been moved within the store. The news doesn’t seem to have put a damper on Selfridges, who will likely have hoards of people coming in to see this week’s exhibition of over 200 Vivienne Westwood shoes. (WWD) and (InStyle)

Material Girl lawsuit
Madonna collaborated with her 13-year-old daughter Lourdes to launch a new clothing line, Material Girl, which has become the subject of a lawsuit due to its name. California clothing company LA Triumph claim that they have been selling “similar clothes in similar retail outlets at similar price points under the Material Girl brand since 1997.” LA Triumph may be fighting an uphill battle—after all, Madonna did coin the phrase in the 1985 song. (Vogue UK)

THE MOMENT: Madonna’s Gaultier cone bra

For this weekly column, writer Mishal Cazmi highlights an iconic fashion piece, film, or collaboration and explores its influence on style and pop culture. Above, Madonna shows her blonde ambition in the cone bra designed by Jean Paul Gaultier.

Last season, models walked the runway wearing underwear as outerwear. But long before Marc Jacobs and Christian Dior embraced the trend, there was Jean Paul Gaultier, the mastermind behind Madonna’s infamous cone-shaped bra. The over-underthing made its presence known around the world in 1990 when Madonna embarked on her Blonde Ambition tour. And before Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood’s models traipsed down the runway in bras fashioned atop their dresses back in 1981.

When Gaultier made the iconic bra for Madonna, he looked to the popular bullet bra of the fifties for inspiration. The brazen brassiere was as in-your-face as the superstar’s Blonde Ambition tour, which stirred up controversy because it appropriated religious iconography and explored themes of sexuality.

The bra is currently enjoying a revival thanks to a few stratospheric pop stars. Enter Lady Gaga in the mostly monochromatic video for “Alejandro” where she sports two machine guns on her bra (Gaga brandishes the same weapons on the cover of Rolling Stone). Followed by Katy Perry, who in a way the antithesis of Lady Gaga, is in a frothy, but no less racy version of the bra, wearing a whipped cream wielding bikini. In between, there’s Kylie Minogue who wore a Gaultier-designed cone bra in a photoshoot for her album, Aphrodite and Rihanna who’s worn similarly inspired get-ups on stage. A stone’s throw away from these pop acts is Glee, which paid tribute to Madge in an episode in which Jane Lynch sported the iconic bra in all its cheeky glory.

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