The Style File Daily Cheat Sheet

Couture Roundup:

Not everyone had a good time. While Couture fashion is usually seen as beautiful works of art sweeping down a runway, some had their eye on other things.  Author Tanya Gold talks about the world of couture as being full of "bloated egos and skinny models." However, she fails to notice that the components of a fashion show ultimately come together to showcase a designer's work as a marketing brand extension. And guess what? Sometimes skinny models are a part of it! Here is her take on "oat-katuur."

(telegraph) "This week, I went to the haute couture – pronounced “oat koturr” – shows in Paris, where people watch £100,000 dresses proceed down a catwalk and then out, via photographs, to you. I have always been fascinated by the world of haute couture, even though I only get the cheap dress leakage in Grazia. Could it be magic? At Giorgio Armani, I watch the models walk towards the photographers, with that strange here-are-my-genitals mince. I know the dresses are there – they are beige, according to the special dress menu on my seat – but I cannot see them. I am too amazed by the models in the flesh or rather, in the where-is-the-flesh, baby? Their forearms are bigger than their upper arms. “Nice,” says a woman next to me. “Very nice.” I am in the third row, next to a fashion journalist in a satin boiler suit. “What do you think of all this?” she asks. Still amazed by the ratio of forearm to upper arm at Armani, I take a breath and tell the truth. I think it’s silly, I say, and dangerous. I know about the processes of haute couture – how the dresses are handmade by artisans and are as beautiful inside as out. But I do not care because they are stuck on women who should be in the anorexia ward of the Priory. Her smile falls off, to lie somewhere in the recesses of her boiler suit. “All journalists say that!” she shouts. “It is so dumb! Susie Orbach [the author of Fat is a Feminist Issue] says that, too. Why blame fashion for your own problems?” read more

(wwd)Li & Fung Goes on Buying Binge

"Li & Fung Ltd. and its LF USA subsidiary are just getting started. After disclosing three acquisitions Thursday involving an initial cash outlay of $140 million and a string of licensing agreements, executives told WWD there are more deals in the pipeline. Among the licensing deals, LF USA is pushing ahead with a new brand-building model inspired by entertainment that calls for the launch of two to five brands a year. It’s also forged a new licensing relationship with Sean John for men’s sportswear, securing a foothold for the sourcing giant in Macy’s stores. According to Rick Darling, president of LF USA, a new venture with Star Branding focuses on creating lifestyle brands inspired by trends in music, entertainment and sports. Star Branding’s partners include Tommy and Andy Hilfiger, Bernt Ullman and Joe Lamastra. The operations of Star Branding will absorbed by Music Entertainment Sports Holdings, with LF USA holding the majority interest. MESH will operate out of LF USA’s headquarters at 1359 Broadway in New York." read more

(bloomberg)New retail data: Luxury shoppers pull back in June

"New data show affluent Americans tightened their belts in June in a possible indication of trouble for the overall economy. MasterCard Advisor's SpendingPulse reported late Wednesday that luxury spending dropped 3.9 percent in June from a year earlier, the first decline since November. Other figures from SpendingPulse, which tracks all transactions including cash, were mixed, though online spending remained a bright spot. The well-heeled -- households with annual incomes in the top 20 percent, about $158,000 on average -- account for almost 40 percent of overall consumer spending. So indications that they are pulling back are particularly worrisome."

(wwd)Fast Retailing Reduces Guidance

"Fast Retailing Co. Ltd. saw double-digit growth in the first nine months of the year, but uneven sales of spring items forced the company to cut full-year forecasts. The Uniqlo parent said Thursday that net profit for the nine-month period ending May 28 rose 35 percent to 67.18 billion yen, or $738.98 million at average exchange for the period. Sales increased 22.7 percent to 659.06 billion yen, or $7.25 billion. Uniqlo’s monthly sales performance so far this year has been mixed, an outcome the company has blamed on unseasonably cool spring weather and problems keeping some popular spring styles in stock. Just last week, the company said Uniqlo’s same-store sales in Japan fell 5.8 percent in the month of June. On Thursday, Fast Retailing trimmed full-year profit and sales targets, the same ones the company raised in April when it released first-half figures. The company now expects net profit for the full-year ending Aug. 31 to rise 35.6 percent to 67.5 billion yen, or $772.93 million at current exchange. That compares with a previous forecast of 71 billion yen, or $813 million. The company said full-year sales should rise 19 percent to 815 billion yen, or $9.33 billion, compared with an earlier estimate of 834 billion yen, or $9.56 billion. “While we have revised downward our second-half estimates for Uniqlo Japan, we are still predicting the operation will generate increased sales and profit for the full business year through August 2010,” the company said. While Uniqlo’s sales growth in Japan appears to be slowing, the brand is still growing and expanding around the world. The company opened its first store in Russia this year. On May 15, Uniqlo opened its fourth global flagship in Shanghai and “met with phenomenal success,” according to the company. “Uniqlo International is enjoying a favorable expansion, particularly in the Asian region. Uniqlo brand awareness is also increasing in the U.S. and Europe, generating improvements in sales and profit per store,” the company said Thursday." read more