Yesterday was a travel day for many families returning home from the Thanksgiving weekend, including Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise. Holmes and Cruise are frequent flying partners, often complementing each other with their own take on airport style. Where mama Holmes favors classic blue jeans, tailored topcoats in muted tones, and sleek It bags, her 10-year-old daughter Suri loves color and vibrant prints. Consider the young traveler’s styling chops: a beige shell top offset the floral-print skirt that she layered over skinny jeans—a tricky-to-pull-off trend we’ve seen percolating on the street style circuit in the past couple of seasons. Also upping the fun factor were bubblegum pink Mary Jane flats and a red hair bow which coordinated, quite cleverly, with Cruise’s ruffled hem jacket.
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Anarchy in the U.K.: Vivienne Westwood’s Son Joe Corré Burns $6 Million of His Punk Archive in London
When Joe Corré, the son of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, declared his intention to burn a trove of punk memorabilia he claimed was valued at more than $6 million, many were appalled. Fuel for the fire he threatened included original acetate recordings by the Sex Pistols; outfits made by Westwood for the band, including Johnny Rotten’s bondage pants; and even a pair of the same pants made by his mother for Corré when he was 10 years old. Critics of the plan urged Corré to give his treasures to the nation, or to sell them and donate the proceeds to charity. Anything but set them aflame. He couldn’t, could he? Critics be damned. On a borrowed barge moored off the Chelsea embankment of the River Thames this weekend, Corré did the deed on the 40th anniversary of the release of “Anarchy in the U.K.” Startled seagulls wheeled above us as drummers went ballistic and firecrackers exploded to herald the fire to come. From our vantage point about 30 meters from the barge it was impossible to see exactly what was to be burned: There was a brimming black trunk full of stuff and eight mannequins dressed in vintage punkery. Their faces were masks of prominent British politicians. Corré appeared in top hat, cravat, and frock coat, and stalked down the barge, microphone in hand, berating the politicians. Then he took a flaming torch from a cohort and lit the touchpaper. The entire collection took around five minutes to burn. There were more fireworks. The rather lovely pink-hued sky was smudged with smoke. Behind us a double-decker bus pulled up and parked (illegally). It contained Westwood, who leaned out the back window and delivered a speech urging us to switch energy suppliers to those who use renewable power. Then Corré marched up, freshly delivered ashore by dinghy. The chap from The Sunday Telegraph asked: “Did this feel like burning a Picasso?” “I don’t know what burning a Picasso feels like,” replied Corré, “but I thought that was great. Punk rock is not important. Punk has become another marketing tool to sell you something you don’t need.” He added: “What’s important is that if people in this country and internationally don’t get serious about backing renewable energy instead of fossil fuels—if they don’t start moving in the way that has been agreed upon by the international scientific community—then we’ve got to get them out. Because they’re not representing your kids and they’re not representing your future.” It’s easy to point out the obvious hypocrisies in what Corré, with his mother’s clear approval, did today. For instance: How can it make sense to agitate for clean energy from the back of a dirty old bus, and by burning a bunch of acetates and some PVC pants and letting the fumes belch into the air? Or: How can you decry the commodification of punk when McLaren was the impresario who made the Sex Pistols a spitty, skaggy, safety-pinned of-their-time equivalent of One Direction? These points are fair enough. Yet despite the flaws in the delivery, the message was sincere. Corré added: “Everyone’s obsessed with the price of destroying this stuff, but you have to think about value—what is really important. Why is that stuff of any value whatsoever? Because it represented a moment in time when people thought they could do something. And then it [punk] just turned into a pose. And it’s been a pose ever since.” Five fire trucks, one fire boat, and a smattering of extremely polite police officers had by now arrived. Unless this was The Great Rock ’n’ Roll Swindle part two, all those punk treasures had by now burned out. So we faded away.
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As music’s biggest extrovert, Lady Gaga doesn’t take fashion lightly—when it is time for the pop superstar to embrace a new look, she goes all out, and her latest is fittingly glam. Heading into Paris to perform at the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, Gaga took the opportunity to go full rock star with a look from Hedi Slimane’s final Saint Laurent collection. The oversize blazer with its metallic animal print and contrasting lapels provided a touch of ’80s ostentation to Gaga’s Joanne-era repertoire. Styled simply with black jeans and boots, the jacket was in keeping with the pared-back ensembles she has favored of late. Subverting a borrowed-from-the-boys piece like this is exactly the kind of clever fashion antic we’ve come to expect from the pop star and her stylist Brandon Maxwell—and with days left until the VS show, it’s likely they’ll have a few more tricks up their sleeve.
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Adriana Lima is no stranger to earning her wings. This December marks the Brazilian stunner’s fifteenth pass down the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show runway, a storied career marked by performances from the likes of Ricky Martin, Destiny’s Child, and Rihanna; three different Fantasy Bras; two post-baby body reveals; and one well-honed fitness routine. It’s a targeted workout she’s been fine-tuning with longtime trainer Michael Olajide, Jr. of Manhattan’s Aerospace to stay in peak shape all year round. Whether Lima has hours to sweat or wakes up with minutes to spare, she and Olajide have distilled her routine into an efficient lineup of five moves for a full-body tune-up wherever she is—something we could all benefit from this holiday season. A warm-up of in-your-face jabs redefines Angelic behavior via bold boxing, while squats engage her lower body for a head-to-toe blood-pumping session. Abs as defined as Lima’s get ideal enhancement by way of core twists and side-reaching oblique raises. And as a final power move, she always stretches it out. After all, a true Angel’s physique is nothing if not long and lithe.
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The Thanksgiving holiday meant fewer big public occasions but no shortage of drama and refinement on and off the red carpet. Marion Cotillard and Penélope Cruz kept things glamorous but surprising with Cotillard draping a camel coat over her asymmetric scarlet gown. Victoria Beckham breathed new life into the evening pajama trend. Jamie Bochert and Anna Ewers did downbeat model-by-night beautifully. Kate Moss revived her signature rock-chick staples of wild fur/skinny jeans and looked all the better for it. And Kate Middleton showed that fashion lightning does strike twice when she ventured out in her favorite Preen by Thornton Bregazzi dress . . . in black!
The Victoria’s Secret brigade is used to jetting around the world for work, but this year’s VS Fashion Show is a special occasion. Back in France for the first time in 16 years, the event is set to take Paris by storm; and as the models started to board the plane in New York early this morning, they couldn’t resist sharing every moment on social. Updating their Instagrams and Snapchats with pictures from the cockpit, poses in their seats, and of course the annual group shot in front of the brand’s private jet, the angels and their cohorts got in the mood for their latest international adventure. With Adriana Lima, Elsa Hosk, Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Joan Smalls on board, nearly all on the flight had glamour to spare—but they weren’t the only ones documenting the journey. Take a look at all the best Instagrams from behind the scenes, and see how your favorite models travel in style.
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Susan Train, who was sent to Paris in 1951 by Vogue, and became the magazine’s Paris Bureau Chief, as well as its “living history and an unwilling legend,” died in Paris this week. In her honor we are republishing Joan Juliet Buck’s 2007 profile of this indomitable fashion force. “Special Envoy,” by Joan Juliet Buck, including a portrait by François Halard, was first published in the August 2007 issue of Vogue. It has been edited for the web. “Arrive in Eski Khata at 4:00 p.m. and start to negotiate for the mules,” Susan Train noted in 1966 in her Turkish report to Diana Vreeland. “About 5:30 p.m. we hoist ourselves into the wooden saddles, hung about with various bundles, legs in a position resembling an attempt at the splits, feet hanging (no stirrups), and little hands clutching the hump of the saddle (no reins) amidst piercing shrieks from Antonia, who has only once been on a horse in her life (not that what we were doing in any way resembled riding), we start off for Nemrut Dagh . . .” Her location trips with Henry Clarke for Vogue—to India, Syria, Turkey, Jordan—were adventuresome expeditions into wild territory. The resulting photos of a composed Veruschka, Wilhelmina, Antonia, or Editha seated on a roof, a dome, or the top of a statue, imperiously staring off into the desert in full evening dress, defined that era’s exotic fantasies. For 56 years Susan Train has been representing American Vogue in Paris with glamorous allure and the kind of methodical common sense that can wrestle bureaucrats to the ground, soothe the most baroque dramas, and keep models pristine on safari. If the catchphrase in Funny Face was Think pink!,” Susan Train’s motto is more “Never mind the poetry and frills; just give me the facts.” She’s tall, stately, slim instantly recognizable. Always in immaculately cut pantsuits, she wears her clothes according to the norms of haute couture: the collar of her shirt turned up, her jacket pulled back a little to expose her neck. Her blonde hair has been cut short in the same style for as long as anyone can remember. She was sent to Paris in 1951 by Edna Woolman Chase (the editor in chief from 1914 until 1952), who told her, “I want you to be an island of Americanism in a sea of French.” As Paris Editor, Bureau Chief, and now eminence blonde, she’s Vogue’s living history and an unwilling legend. Hubert de Givenchy has known her since she first arrived. “Saint Susan!” he exclaims. “She’s exceptional in everything—work, friendship, discretion, intelligence. She’s always been true to herself, and her style is part of her personality. She’s always had the same chic, the same walk, the same presence. If you stick to your own style, you never grow old.” She will be 80 in November. By the time I met her, in her tall office in an 18th-century mansion in the Place du Palais Bourbon, I knew that Susan Train had exacting standards that added up to true-blue class. I didn’t know that she would, as a matter of course, introduce me to princes, dispatch her driver on location to teach me how to shift gears on a rented car, lend me her ear, her clothes, and even her apartment. In the land of c’est impossible, she made the impossible happen every day. A turquoise-and-green couch made the formal room bright; there was always a thermos of cool water next to an ashtray on top of her desk, and a small long-haired dachshund underneath. The dogs—Nicely (named after the marathon eater from Guys and Dolls), from 1977, and Gogo, from 1992, successors to Kniphofia (named after the flower aka Red Hot Poker), from 1962—went everywhere with her, under her arm to lunch at Caviar Kaspia, to dinner at Le Voltaire or Chez Georges, and out to Blérancourt, the chateau whose gardens she helped restore as a member of the Colonial Dames, an organization with a longer pedigree than the DAR. A Democrat, she subscribes to The Nation. In the dining room of her apartment, Train holds one of a pair of long Turkish mirrors against the red paisley wallpaper. Together here, or apart by the window? They were left to her by Lesley Blanch, the author of The Wilder Shores of Love, who died this spring at the age of 102. They had met on a Vogue trip to Syria and shared a passion for good writing and distant adventures. In other rooms there are more gifts from Lesley Blanch, Persian miniatures, and a drawing of Mecca. In the bedroom are fashion drawings that René Gruau and Eric did of her in the ’50s and ’60s: Susan in sweaters, Susan in a Jacques Fath dress, Susan hand on hip and hat on head, in a Balenciaga suit. Givenchy singles out “her wonderful voice and the expressions she uses.” It’s husky and low, and in French it sounds British rather than American. She talks a little like a character in a ’30s comedy, with tra-la used as a noun. “I think I’m drawable because I’ve got the proportions,” she says. “I don’t think I am photogenic.” A sketch of her in a Jacques Fath dress with a skirt of pale-brown tiers makes her laugh. “It’s part of a Celanese campaign—Diana Vreeland called it Chell-a-neesey. My friend Bettina McNulty worked for a PR company that handled Cognac, as well as Celanese, a synthetic fabric. Did they not have all this god-awful Cognac-colored fabric made, which they flogged to every designer in Paris!” A silver giraffe peers up from under a silver palm tree on the dining-room table, a legacy from her great-grandfather, perhaps one of America’s most eccentric men, George Francis Train. In 1870 he went around the world in 80 days, a feat that inspired Jules Verne’s book. Her father, also named George Francis Train, was in “some sort of Secret Service tra-la” in the war, and moved the family to Peru when she was 18. She persuaded him to take her to Paris in 1947. The banana boat she was on took three weeks from Lima to Liverpool, during which she taught the captain to play gin rummy. In rationed postwar Paris, she was allowed a quarter liter of milk a day because she was only 19. She went to school to learn how to cut patterns, and interned at Madeleine De Rauch. There was no coal and no heating that winter, but she fell in love with the city, and couture. “Dior had just created the New Look, with big skirts, and everything I possessed was to the knee. I kept saying, ‘Isn’t there a Saks Fifth Avenue somewhere, so I can get a decent skirt?’ I finally made one for myself. Madeleine De Rauch I was a golfer, making clothes ‘dans la note’ but for women who led normal lives. My father bought my first couture suit for me there, that winter of 1947. It was New Look, with a nipped waist and a pleated skirt.” She went back to America when her mother fell ill and ran the household in New York for her father and younger sister. After her mother died, she went to work at Vogue, first for Alexander Liberman in the Art Department, then for the fashion editor Bettina Ballard. She found her style when she returned to Paris in 1951. Five-foot-eight, skinny, long-legged, and long-necked, with a general’s posture, she looked nothing like the short, curvy Parisiennes. “I rather quickly decided that I was more Balenciaga than Dior—Dior was made for small women with small waists, pretty bosoms, and real hips. For Dior you had to be pretty; for Balenciaga you had to have style and stand right.” In Bettina Ballard’s 1960 memoir, In My Fashion, she writes that Susan looked “particularly well in Balenciaga soldes. She looked well in anything, with her model’s figure and her own sense of personal elegance.” Ballard added that “the French office teased her unmercifully for being my sosie [double], for imitating me seriously, not humorously.” In Paris, of course, making fun of someone is acceptable; dressing like them is not. When Yves Saint Laurent opened his Rive Gauche shop, Train found her perfect fit. Pierre Bergé, who was Saint Laurent’s partner and a supreme, willful force on the Paris scene, says he was always impressed by her “magnificent discretion.” In New York in 1966, she caused a chill when she wore Saint Laurent’s first “Smoking” pantsuit to a benefit. As she saw the looks of horror on the guests’ faces, she realized fashion doesn’t always travel. Lisa Eisner, who worked in the Paris bureau with her in the ’80s, says, “Susan was loyal to her French fashion gods, and couture. She’d go back to the ateliers to look at the hemlines, the lace, the beading, the interior of the dress.” “It all started to change,” says Train, “with those huge runway shows. Things were no longer shown walking in front of you in a salon, on a human scale—it became a stage; everything had to be exaggerated.” The mirrors are put back against the wall, and we head out to dinner. She’s impeccable in beige gabardine trousers, a white shirt, and an Armani jacket with a tiny rosette on its lapel that signals she is an officier des arts et des lettres. There is no calling for the dog, no leash: Gogo died a few months ago. It’s strange for her, she says, to no longer have a small dog under her arm, on her lap, at her feet. It’s strange for everyone who knows her. “I didn’t want to depend on anyone for anything,” she says over sole meunière in a restaurant near her apartment. She knew every designer but kept a professional distance. “I never wanted to be identified with one clique,” she adds. Nor does she spend much time with other Americans: “My father had taught me that you don’t go away to be with your compatriots. Here I had the freedom to say or do or think what I wanted.” She said “No thanks” to various men—“It doesn’t mean I can’t devote myself to someone, but I do not want to be coerced.” There was a serious love affair, late, with an American, and it was complicated, and it went on for a time, and then it didn’t. She still wears the watch he gave her, a pretty oval, and his paintings still hang on her walls. She never wanted to go back to live in America. On her fingers, among other rings, is a gold snake that Henry Clarke gave her. It was once articulated; worried that the links would wear out, she had them welded together. At dessert, a waiter comes over, a little embarrassed. “Madame, I am afraid to ask, but how is le petit chien?” She shakes her head. The waiter looks stricken. “This keeps happening,” she says. “Maybe I’m going to have to get another dog to cheer all these people up.”
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The blustery winds of winter blew across New York City this week, and yet Alexa Chung isn’t giving up on her fall essential, the classic trench, anytime soon. Layering up with a plush hoodie and black tights for maximum thermal insulation, the model and designer seemed hesitant to give into fleece and down. Brand consultant Aureta Thomollari took the same tack; though she kept her bomber jacket close by while hiking the arid wastelands of Vegas. Singer Caroline Polachek wasn’t in any rush to layer either, as she traveled throughout balmy Indonesia in a satin slip top, breezy patterned wide-leg pants, and a wide-brimmed straw hat. Across the globe in Los Angeles, stylist Kate Young couldn’t get enough of the showstopping Prada dress she dressed her client, Selena Gomez, in for the American Music Awards. Plopping into one of the oversize shopping bags from the brand, Young could barely contain her excitement. Drake, too, looked more than comfortable and content in his sleazy-chic ensemble for the night’s awards show. The vintage Polaroid selfie he posted proved he’s more than ready to take his new pimptastic aesthetic to new heights.
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Emily Ratajkowski has long been a fan of the crop top and made it an integral part of her off-duty uniform this past summer. It’s a look she’s clearly committed to for the fall, too: Just yesterday, the model and actress was spotted in Los Angeles sporting a teeny black crop top under a brown studded suede A.L.C. coat and low-slung burgundy flares with a cheeky exposed zipper. To bring the embellished outfit together, Ratajkowski opted for a pair of embroidered Alberta Ferretti slides and a sleek cross-body bag. The aesthetic was far more dressed-up than the casual, sexy ensembles we’re used to seeing Ratajkowski wear in her downtime. Typically, the actress pairs her signature micro shirts with distressed denim jeans or short-shorts. It certainly made for a more grown-up and polished approach to midriff-baring overall.
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