Sophie's Feed
Oct 5, 2009

Stella McCartney show taps into family memories

PARIS (Reuters) – Stella McCartney paid homage to her famous parents with a collection of 1970s bohemian dresses, loose jumpsuits and high-waisted trousers on Monday.

Her father, former Beatle Paul McCartney, sat beaming in the front row, watching models sashay past in vibrant red ruffled sun dresses and low cork wedge heels named after his late wife Linda, the designer’s mother.

Oct 2, 2009

High drama, frayed tempers at Paris fashion week

PARIS (Reuters) – Police sirens and screams set the tone for Dior’s film noir-inspired fashion show on Friday, with a collection of 1950s trench coats, lingerie dresses and tight metallic jeans that revealed a decidedly commercial slant.

While Dior executives cheered designer John Galliano’s success with shoppers, the economic crisis was still the main theme at Paris fashion week as visitors complained about cramped venues and designers gave tips for looking chic in the downturn.

Oct 2, 2009

LVMH, Dior executives upbeat on top brands

PARIS, Oct 2 (Reuters) – Luxury executives voiced optimism
about the outlook for LVMH <LVMH.PA> and Dior at Paris fashion
week on Friday, thanks partly to strong growth in Asia.

Some of LVMH’s top brands have not been impacted as much by
the financial crisis as its rivals, Bernard Arnault, the head of
the luxury goods group, told reporters after the Dior show.

Sep 15, 2009
via FaithWorld

New French law bars Scientology dissolution even if convicted


(Photo: Scientology members demonstrate against a 1999 fraud trial in Marseille. Their banner says:”Scientology: 40 years in France. A new religion that will always be there.”)

A new French law means the Church of Scientology cannot be dissolved in France even if it is convicted of fraud, it has emerged during a trial of the organisation.  A prosecutor has recommended that a Paris court dissolve the church’s French branch, which has been charged with fraud after complaints by former members who say they gave huge sums to the church for spiritual classes and “purification packs”.The Church of Scientology’s French arm denies fraud.Whatever the ruling, under a legislative reform passed just before the start of the trial in May, it is no longer possible to punish a fraudulent organisation with dissolution.  The legal snag was discovered by the Inter-ministerial Unit to Monitor and Fight Cults. Georges Fenech, head of the unit, demanded on Monday that the legal power to dissolve an organisation be reinstated.Even if the law is changed again, it cannot be applied retroactively to the Scientology trial, which was held in May and June, with the ruling expected in late October. Registered as a religion in the United States, with celebrity members such as actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta, Scientology enjoys no such legal protection in France.Read the full story here.For more background on France’s case against Scientology, see– French prosecutor seeks dissolution of ScientologyScientology on trial (photo essay)

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Jul 13, 2009
via FaithWorld

France may ban burqas, but chic abayas for export are fine


When French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared last month that the burqa was not welcome in France, he unleashed a global debate on Islam and veils that drew in everyone from bloggers and full-time pundits to Al Qaeda’s North African wing. FaithWorld has dealt with it when Sarkozy spoke, in the aftermath of that speech, with a view from Afghanistan and a televised debate with a National Assembly deputy backing the ban.
(Photo: Kabul women in burqas, 20 Nov 2001/Yannis Behrakis)

Last week, a somewhat unlikely group of commentators joined the debate — fashion designers at the haute couture shows in Paris. The niqab and the burqa are, after all, garments, so maybe it should not be surprising that the high priests of fashion have spent some thought on the issue.In fact, many top French designers make customised abayas (long, baggy gowns some Arab women usually worn with a veil) and other luxury versions of traditional outfits for their Middle Eastern clients.Speaking backstage before and after their shows, surrounded by half-naked models, most stuck to the middle ground, saying they had nothing against the burqa, abaya or niqab as long as the woman was not forced into it. Couturier Franck Sorbier pointed out that in most hot places, including Corsica, womenwear some kind of headscarf.“If someone tells me, ‘design an abaya,’ why not, I’m proud of that. It’s just a garment,” haute couture designer Stephane Rolland, who has made many abayas for Middle Eastern clients, told me.
(Photo: Stephane Rolland and model in wedding dress he designed, 21 Jan 2004/Philippe Wojazer)

When asked about the broader debate whether veils are a sign of subservience and should be outlawed, his confidence wavered. “I don’t want to speak about religion, that’s a different subject. But I don’t want to cover the woman — alas, I don’t want to think about that,” he said before turning away.And at Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld mused about the practical side of the burqa: “It might be quite nice to wear it, you don’t need to go to the hairdresser and you can see everything without being seen, I find that quite comfortable,” he told me after the Chanel haute couture show last week. “Veils, tunics, I’m not against all that, I findit picturesque. Live and let live!”For the latest on the French burqa debate, from the chic fashion shows to burqa shops in scruffy Paris suburbs, read my feature here.Any reactions to this?

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Jul 7, 2009
via FaithWorld

Power suits, again. And again.

 Lingerie chic, peacock-blue mermaid dresses, lots of sequins
and rhinestones and … 1980s power suits. We saw them at the
fashion shows earlier this year, and judging from the
autumn/winter haute couture shows in Paris, they are here to

    Armani’s version of the tiny waist/big shoulder suit
featured peaked shoulders — the type that slope upwards like
the roof of a Chinese pagoda. He showed them earlier this year
in an Asian-inspired collection; this time, they lifted up
silver, grey or black jackets with glittery baubles as buttons.
Slouchy trousers or shimmering skirts and killer stilettos
completed the boardroom-predator look.