Kate Moss baby pictures up for auction! Before models go super, they have to get some pictures done to show how they photograph. These “test” shots usually get buried by later work, since most girls don’t know how to pose when they first start in the business. But for Kate Moss, whose enduring appeal is partly due to the fact that she’s, well, Kate, there’s a sense of how fresh she is, even in her first ever photoshoot. Signed prints of three of these photos by actor/photographer David Ross are going up for auction next week in London, where they will fetch an estimated £800-£1200 each. And if you want the story of the shoot, including how Ross turned her away the first day because she was a day early and a chaperone short, that story is here. Time.
- Africa is experiencing an economic boom, and cosmetics entrepreneurs are moving in. Suzie Wokabie, a native Kenyan who worked for MAC in the United States, raised about $187,000 to start Suzie Beauty, the first Kenyan cosmetics line. With colors and textures formulated for life in Africa, sales of the brand are already covering costs. But while the future is bright for high end cosmetics in Africa – where women are willing to spend up to 20% of their income on beauty – issues with infrastructure, complex regulations, and corruption make international sales within the continent a dicey proposition. The New York Times.
- Who’s afraid of red lipstick? A lot of people, apparently, especially around Boston, where wearing red lipstick can seem…unseemly. Courtney at Those Graces, inspired by Dita Von Teese’s interview at Into The Gloss, is challenging herself to get comfortable with red lips. For five of seven days a week, for a month, she’ll go against her usual nudes and pinks and wear red. As someone who’s worn red lipstick since her teens (even when I lived in Boston!), let me roll out the Red Lipstick Welcome Mat. Those Graces.
- It seems as though the hyper-marketing of fashion through shows and celebrity appearances is a recent phenomenon. But in the 1850’s, Charles Frederick Worth catapulted himself from a mere dressmaker to the first famous couturier – and not just on design skills alone. Worth was an excellent self-promoter, and created the first seasonal fashion shows, as well as dressing his wife and muse, Marie, in his latest creations and taking her out on the town. Beautifully Invisible writes a wonderfully detailed post on Worth’s story and his marketing tactics, including his near monopoly on royal fashion. Beautifully Invisible.
- I’ve always heard rumors about Coco Chanel’s behavior during the Second World War – that she hung out with Nazis to save her own skin. Well, apparently the truth is worse than that: as a Frenchwoman who loved hanging out with wealthy and powerful men, she aligned herself early on with Hitler and antisemitism, and probably collaborated with the Nazis as a spy. Jennifer Wright digs into the evidence for Shelved Dolls, finding that during the war Chanel was living the high life at the Ritz in Paris, while most of Paris was starving. And not only was she recruited as a spy for the Nazis, but her Nazi friends also offered to help wrestle a 60% share of her perfume company back from its Jewish owners. After the war, she lived in Switzerland for a time, avoiding the backlash against women collaborators. And the owners of the perfume company? They made it through the war with their share untouched, and didn’t say much – they didn’t want to tarnish the brand. The Gloss.
In Pictures: New York Magazine has a sneak peek at fantastical fashion photographer Tim Walker’s new book, Tim Walker: Story Teller. Walker, who assisted Richard Avedon before setting out on his own path, takes his photos the old fashioned way – as in those giant props are not Photoshopped in. The book’s release is accompanied by an exhibition in London’s Somerset House. Trip to London anyone? New York.