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WWD Week in Review: 3/5/10

The top stories for the week ending in March 5, 2010.

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Oscars by the Numbers: The Most Appealing Best Actress Nominees

With the 82nd annual Academy Awards set for Sunday, E-Poll Market Research ranked the best actor and best actress nominees based on overall appeal. Sandra Bullock and Morgan Freeman topped the poll of more than 1,100 people. Gerry Philpott, chief executive officer of the firm, told WWD, “Consumer sentiment toward the Oscars seems to be very positive right now. Entertainment, and movies in particular, fared well during the recession because it wasn’t considered an expensive pastime.” While classic, glamorous styles will most likely rule the red carpet, he said, “We’re interested in seeing some names of people who may really start pushing the boundaries in terms of fashion. Some of the young Hollywood up-and-comers, such as Leighton Meester, Katie Cassidy, Zoe Saldana and AnnaLynne McCord are starting to rise in our tracking polls for their style and appeal.”

Bergé on Yves Saint Laurent: Warts and All

Yves Saint Laurent is giving the Eiffel Tower a run for its money as France’s most famous monument. In addition to a blockbuster exhibition devoted to the work of the late couturier, 2010 will see the release of a slew of Yves Saint Laurent books, a CD, a movie and even a coloring book. Pierre Bergé, his former partner and longtime business manager, said he can’t take full credit for the avalanche of projects in the pipeline, though he trusts the retrospective to be staged at the Petit Palais will confirm Saint Laurent’s status as one of the greatest designers of the 20th century.

Fall 2010 Runway Trend: That’s Rich

Opulence ruled the runways in New York and London as fur, intricate embroideries and feathers galore made their way onto everything from sporty fare to elaborate evening dresses. Regarding accessories in Milan, forget about the three Rs; come fall, it’s all about the five Fs. Fur, feathers, fringe, feline — as in leopard, meerkat and ocelot prints — and fulva, as in red. Now that’s Italiano. Also this week, Christian Lacroix SNC signed a string of deals. The brand, reduced to a licensing operation in December following a bankruptcy filing, is back on the move. Although couture and ready-to-wear operations were shuttered, the Lacroix name will soon enter four new product categories: women’s optical frames, premium stationery, home textiles and decorative wood panels.

The Heritage of Milan: No Gimmick Lines Seen Luring Consumers

Designers here delivered solid collections, easing up on sex and flash to focus on heritage values and investment pieces as customers ease back into spending mode, buyers said. Despite a condensed Milan show schedule that penalized brands holding showroom presentations, retailers found plenty to like, from pantsuits and outerwear galore to flat shoes and furry boots. Buyers lauded a return to Made-in-Italy values like high-quality fabrics and craftsmanship, with a particular focus on tailoring and knitwear. Also in retail, Lanvin has opened its first West Coast boutique in Las Vegas, the brand’s second door in the U.S., and the first in America to offer the label’s men’s wear collection. The 3,000-square-foot boutique, which opened last week, is on the ground floor of the luxury haven Crystals at CityCenter, and follows the December opening of Lanvin’s first U.S. store in Bal Harbour, Fla. With Cindy Crawford, the Olsen Twins, Nicole Miller, Charlotte Ronson, Michele Bohbot and Marty Staff among the crowd, J.C. Penney Co. Inc. staged a runway show of spring fashion exclusives inside Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in Manhattan on Tuesday night. Fitted tailoring, animal prints, ruffle chiffon tops and city shorts were among the hipper, youthful looks trotted out, along with the creative individuals behind them. It’s all crucial to elevating productivity and differentiating Penney’s from Macy’s Inc., Kohl’s Corp. and other retailers scrambling to reach deals with designers and celebrities for proprietary lines.
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