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#News: January

Written by Sophie Prescott,
featuring an archival image of Yves Saint Laurent sourced from Backstage Tales.
[Yves Saint Laurent at the end of his show in Paris; 21st October, 1987.]

>> Grace Coddington Steps Down as Vogue’s Creative Director
This month we learned that Grace Coddington would be stepping down from her position as Creative Director at Vogue, following a period of nearly 30 years at the helm of the magazine. It was confirmed that “after more than 25 years at American Vogue, Grace Coddington will assume the role of creative director at large and take on additional projects outside the magazine”, however she will still work on several upcoming fashion shoots.

>> YSL’s Simane to Be Replaced by Antony Vaccarello?
The house of Yves Saint Laurent are still yet to confirm rumours of the departure of creative director Hedi Slimane, and now there are reports that Versus Versace’s Antony Vaccarello is set to take his place, and is in “extensive talks” with the French fashion house, according to WWD. Vaccarello spent three seasons lending his sleek aesthetic to Donatella Versace’s sister label, and definitely shows the potential to bring exciting new things to Saint Laurent.

>> New Museum to Display Yves Saint Laurent Archives
Yves Saint Laurent was one of the first designers to systematically organise the collections of his eponymous brand, and thanks to the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent (responsible for managing his archives) the public will be able to see exclusive designs in his own private design space in a new showcase at 5 Avenue Marceau, Paris. We can’t wait to get a glimpse of the workings behind some of fashion’s most iconic collections.

>> Marc Jacobs Casts Lana Wachowski for Spring Campaign
Marc Jacobs announced through Instagram that ‘The Matrix’ director Lana Wachowski will feature in his upcoming Spring campaign. Transgender Wachowski openly spoke of her MTF transition in 2012, and offers a welcome diversity to the campaign, as Jacobs wrote how she “embodies and celebrates the spirit and beauty of equality”. Catch the campaign in the February edition of Vogue.

>> Alexander McQueen Biopic to Hit the Big Screen
Pathé are producing a film of Alexander McQueen’s life with an original screenplay written by Chris Urch. Following the success of last year’s ‘McQueen, The Play’, we have high hopes for the biopic of the legendary designer, as shooting is expected to start towards the end of the year.

>> D&G Tax Evasion Case Comes to a Close
The lengthy court case regarding accusations of tax evasion has finally closed; Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were cleared back in 2014, but finally Dolce’s cousin Alfonso Dolce has also been found not guilty in the final verdict.

>> Karl Lagerfeld Suspected of Tax Evasion?
Elsewhere, Karl Lagerfeld is being investigated, after being suspected to have hidden over €20 million using complex transactions. A spokesman for Lagerfeld refused to comment, however it is confirmed that the case does not include Chanel.

>> Karlie Kloss Joins LMVH Panel
Karlie Kloss joins industry experts to shortlist the ten finalists hoping to win the prestigious 2016 LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers, now in its third year. She will bring her fashion expertise to the panel along with new additions to the panel to decide who is worthy of a €300,000 prize and a coveted mentorship.

>> Emma Watson Releases Latest HeForShe Report
Actress and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson unveiled the latest report for the HeForShe campaign at Davos on the 22nd of January, championing the economic benefits of gender equality in the workplace in a series of interviews with male CEOs.
According to Watson, “full female participation in the workforce could boost GDP by $28 trillion within a decade” as mentioned in the broadcasted interviews – another example of her using her fame to raise awareness on gender issues, and another step forward for the UN’s campaign.

>> Barbie Has a New Body (Or Three!)
Another great step forward for women this January comes with the news of feminism’s old foe, Barbie, who has three new body shapes to include tall, petite and curvier frames. Along with the new body shapes come a range of new skin tones, eye colours and hairstyles to include more ethnically diverse and individualistic dolls – so every little girl has a toy she can identify with.
The senior vice president announced: “we are excited to literally be changing the face of the brand. These new dolls represent a line that is more reflective of the world girls see around them – the variety in body type, skin tones and style allows girls to find a doll that speaks to them” …and about time too!

>> French Laws on Thin Models Creates Controversy
On the topic of body image, there has been much controversy following France’s harsh laws on the use of thin models. Laws ruled that models must have an authorised note indicating a healthy BMI and general wellbeing to work, while digitally enhanced images must print a disclosure saying they have been retouched – any company failing to comply will receive a hefty fine.

While steps to ensure models are healthy and to promote positive body image are always a good thing, the industry has questioned the nature of the laws and its boundaries. Many have pointed out how BMI is perhaps not the most accurate indicator of health, whereas with the sheer enormity of Photoshopped images, others think the retouching law plain silly: “It’s ridiculous. It’s like watching ‘Kung Fu Panda’ and saying this panda is not real. How much do you need to note?Trey Laird responds. There are definitely plenty of questions to be answered as the debate continues…

>> A Month of Loss
Sadly, January was a month of great loss for the world of fashion, too. We were shocked to hear legendary performer and icon David Bowie lost his battle with cancer at age 69, but the world will never forget his unique talent and bold creativity.

We will also remember French jeweller Robert Goossens, who died aged 88, known for his precious handmade creations and his collaborations with Chanel.

André Courrèges lost his battle with Parkinson’s disease this month, following 30 years battling the illness; at 92, he had a long and successful career in fashion, respected for his pioneering futuristic designs, and for helping to shape the fashion of the sixties.

More recently we lost Edmonde Charles-Roux at the age of 95, a talented writer and the editor of Vogue Paris for more than ten years.

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