The Style File Daily Cheat Sheet

Russia's Newest Spy

Move over, Anna Chapman, there's another "Victoria's Secret" agent sending love to Mother Russia -- and her name's Anna, too. Around the same time Chapman and her Russian spy-ring comrades were sent home, federal agents at JFK Airport nabbed a stunning Texas beautician attempting to smuggle state-of-the-art night-vi sion gear to Moscow. Anna Fermanova, 24, who, judging from her Facebook page, shares more about her body piercing than state se crets, "knowingly and intentionally" tried to bring the highly regu lated gear to Russia, according to court papers. Born in Latvia and raised in Plano, Texas, Fermanova was stopped by agents in March at Kennedy Airport with a $7,000 Raptor 4X night-vision weapons sight and two other $4,000 devices, according to the documents filed in Brooklyn federal court. The agents allowed her to travel to Moscow, but arrested her upon her return July 15. She will be charged with attempting to export the devices, which are considered US munitions, at an arraignment in New York later this month. Fermanova, who was released on $50,000 bail and is being kept on house arrest, called the allegations "hilarious and over-dramatized." "I am a US citizen. I grew up in America. I am not a spy -- that is just funny," she told The Post. "I am freaking out right now." Her lawyer Scott Palmer said there was no espionage involved and that Fermanova's husband planned to resell the scopes to big-game hunters, according to The Smoking Gun. The vision goggles cannot be exported without advance approval from the State Department, since the items are considered weapons, officials said. Fermanova works in Moscow giving English lessons to Russian students. Palmer declined to discuss where Fermanova came up with the $15,000 to purchase the three device. Two devices were purchased for $4,000 each, and a third was $7,000. He also said Fermanova emigrated with her parents to the United States from Latvia when she was a young girl and is an American citizen. According to her Facebook page, she is a 2005 graduate of the Ogle School of Hair, Skin and Nails. Records show that she also holds a cosmetologist license in Texas. The arrest of Fermanova comes after red-headed Russian spy Anna Chapman, 28, and nine others pleaded guilty to federal charges and were deported. The ring was arrested on June 27 and released into the custody of Russian authorities after feds arranged for a spy swap earlier this month. Asked about Chapman, Fermanova said, "I don't even know who that is." Immigration and Customs Enforcement began to probe Fermanova in February when a confidential informant reported she was seeking to acquire the equipment. read more

(wwd)LVMH Reports 52.8% Surge in Profits

The economic recovery may be hiccuping, but the prospects for the luxury sector keep brightening. On Tuesday, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton reported a 52.8 percent leap in first-half profits and said July kept the same pace as the first six months of the year, when revenues rose 16.5 percent. “The numbers speak for themselves,” said a sanguine Bernard Arnault, president and chief executive officer of the French luxury giant, addressing analysts at LVMH’s art-stuffed headquarters here. “We are fairly confident for the second half.” The buoyant LVMH results follow strong showings by other European luxury players. Sales at Hermès International jumped 27 percent in the second quarter, while Burberry posted an overall 30.6 percent sales increase in its first quarter. Further good news from the luxury sector could come Friday, when French retail-to-luxury conglomerate PPR is due to report first-half profits and sales. Despite the strong first-half performance, Arnault, like other industry executives, cautioned the global economic picture remains “uncertain.” But he noted, “We have reason to believe business will be buoyant.” Indeed, he noted that “demand is greater than supply for certain products. It’s an enviable challenge, I would say.” On cue, giant screens flashed images of new workshops and tanneries in France and Belgium for Louis Vuitton, which kept up its double-digit pace of sales growth and powered the fashion and leather goods division to a 17.7 percent gain. read more

Dolce & Gabbana to Dress Chelsea Soccer Players

The players at London’s Chelsea Football Club will have a whole new – Italian - wardrobe in time for the opening of Britain’s premier league soccer season next month. Dolce & Gabbana has signed a three-year partnership to design the players’ formal wear and to re-design the directors’ lounge at the Stamford Bridge stadium in West London, the club’s home. The announcement was made during a cocktail party at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday. “We are really happy about this partnership and to be able to link our name to such a prestigious club like Chelsea,” said Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana in a statement. “Football players are style icons both on and off the pitch, and, on top of this, there is our love of England and of London, which has always been a source of inspiration for our work.” The players’ outfits include a three-piece, two-button suit in dark blue wool twill, a blue poplin shirt, and a blue jacquard tie. The team’s colors are blue and white. Chelsea’s lion crest will be embroidered on the suit’s pocket. There is also a blue wool and cashmere coat embroidered with the club’s logo. For the players’ free time, the duo has designed a blue poplin shirt worn with dark blue denim jeans and black calfskin sneakers. read more

(daily mail)Goodbye Size Zero: Plus-size designer fashion finally makes its debut

The fashion world may continue to argue the plus-size debate for years to come, but one company has taken matters in to its own hands. Saks Fifth Avenue, the ultra chic American department store, will soon be adding plus-sized clothing to the high-end floor of its world famous New York branch - a major coup for designers, shoppers and the fashion industry alike. Due to hit rails in conjunction with the Autumn/Winter 2010 collections, garments that were last season only available up to a US size 10 (UK size 14) will soon be up for grabs up to a US size 14 (UK size 18) and some styles may even be produced up to a US size 20 (UK size 24). Saks Fifth Avenue's legendary third-floor houses collections from the world's most exclusive and celebrated designers. Fashion powerhouses such as Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Akris, Armani, Carolina Herrera, Escada, Donna Karan, St. John, Oscar de la Renta, Max Mara, Valentino, Michael Kors, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Fendi and Roberto Cavalli can be found covering the floor space of the internationally revered store. With such a wealth of designers soon to be available in larger sizes, designer hungry women can look forward to buying everything from trouser suits to evening gowns and everything in between. This gleam of light in the very murky waters of the plus size argument does have one catch, however. Styles are likely to be produced as one-offs or in small numbers while the trial takes place. There may be many women clamouring to get their hands on this season's hottest items, but only a few lucky ladies will be able to bask in the glory of Saks' plus-size designer heaven. If the trial goes well, Saks will roll out the new venture to its other US stores. Hopefully Saks' UK counterparts will take heed and plus-size designer wear will soon be widely available on this side of the pond too. Hot on the heels of plus-size model Crystal Renn's backlash against the Fashion for Passion campaign shots taken by photographer Nicholas Routzen, in which she was dramatically retouched, the news of Saks' stance on the whole sizing issue is certain to reignite the ongoing plus-size debate. With designers only recently welcoming plus-size models on to the catwalks and the size zero phenomenon still going strong, Saks brings the whole debate to a brand new juncture. One most definitely providing a cause to celebrate. read more