Tuesday Icon: Oriana Fallaci

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Blame Fellini, though Fellini isn’t really to blame. For a long time now, the paradigmatic Italian woman has been a vixen summoned straight from the great director’s id, all curves and fecund sex. Gina Lollabrigida. Sophia Loren. Monica Bellucci. Gentle creatures, in their way, modern Mary Magdalenes seemingly unaware that they give men hard attacks every time they sashay past. Fellini himself knew this kind of woman was a fantasy, one honed in fear of the flintier intimacies of that other, less celebrated Italian woman, the kind of woman for whom Miuccia Prada designs: The Oriana Fallaci type.

La Not-So Dolce Vita

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Let me begin by extolling the virtues of Italy. The Tuscan hills, the Dolomites, the Mediterranean. Pasta, buffa mozzarella, a thousand inscrutable things made from pig. Da Vinci, Dante, Michelangelo, practially the whole freaking Renaissance. Italo Calvino, 10 Corso Como, Marni and Prada, Marcello Mastroianni, the Trevi Fountain, L’Avventura and the Vespa. Italy, it would seem, is a superabundance of pleasure.

Saturday Trend: Chain, Chain, Chain

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TREND CHAIN, CHAIN, CHAIN

London will always and forever be a rock ‘n’ roll town. In sound and style and spirit, however, rock is a notorious shapeshifterand it thrives best in Blighty when there’s some other kind of music around to bounce off of, and absorb. Beatles loved bhangra. The Clash was basically a reggae band. Everyone in Radiohead was a rave kid. And so on. Current Brit it girl Lily Allen owes very little, sonically, to rockshe sounds like the Spice Girls on vacation in Jamaica but the sneer in her songs descends directly from Sid Vicious. The Lily Allen look, meanwhile, is haute hip-hopand style-wise, that’s where the action is on the English street these days. Bling is everywhere: Chunky chains and rhinestone-studded sunglasses finish the new look of youthful revolt, one mixed liberally with the ripped tees, Westwood plaids and painted-on jeans of rebellions past. East London jeweller Lara Bohinc makes the ghetto-punk aesthetic literal in her work, laser-cutting mega hoops with mohawked points and giving thuggish pendants a goth makeover in oxidized silver. Fashion darling Tom Binns adds gemmed studs and skeletons to XXXL necklaces and gangsta rings. It may look like rap, but this look rocks.

Friday Playlist: The Good, the Bad & the Queen

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I once spent an hour alone in a bedroom with Damon Albarn. That’s not as racy as it soundsit was a motel in a gray suburb of London near the BBC studios, and I was interviewing him about the Blur album 13 while his publicist waited just outside the door. Damon himself was in a bit of a state, curled up on the bed with his fists clenched, rehashing the bad breakup that had inspired the record. I felt like his therapist. I felt like a therapist who’d been in love with her patient from afar and who now found herself alone with him, letting the tape run on the conversation while her mind played a loop of I am alone in a bedroom with Damon Albarn, I am alone in a bedroom with Damon Albarn, I am alone in a bedroom with Damon Albarn. I’d been in proximity to him before, seen him making his way down Portobello with his parka hood over his head, then at a party for some band, then downing pints with a few friends after a Chelsea match, but I’d never had the chance to observe that he was slighter and older than I’d pictured him, and watchful, and that he had a mole over one brow. He didn’t like making eye contact much, but all of a sudden, he did. Damon sat up on the bed, leaned toward me, and took my tape recorder in his hands. “I’m shutting this off,” he said.

Designers: Rule Britannia, Redux

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London was slumping for a while. McCartney, McQueen, Galliano and the rest of the Cool Britannia crew decamped for Paris a long time ago, urged on by high-profile gigs at storied houses, and the back bench of young talent that London had always nurtured seemed to disappear, en masse, only to turn up in New York. But the tide is turning: Marc Jacobs is celebrating the opening of his UK flagship by presenting his Marc by Marc line in London this season, English designer Sophia Kokosalaki has taken up the challenge of relaunching Vionnet, and Nathan Jenden, the man behind Diane von Furstenburg’s line, is moving his eponymous collection to London after several seasons fighting the crowds in New York. And in the meantime, a whole new generation of designers is making London a mandatory fashion stop once again. Here are a few of the best.

Beauty: Rock the Line

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Jemma Kidd is the kind of woman you want to hate. Ex-model, married to some kind of prince or aristocrat, it girl, mom, entrepreneur. Vomit. For real. She makes it all seem effortless. But give Kidd credit for letting the hoi polloi peek behind the curtain: Her make up school in London aims to educate women on effortless beauty, while Kidd’s Make Up School cosmetics line, launched Stateside last year, tidies up all those tricks into a few key products. One palette takes care of color for the whole face, a lipstick comes with balm attached, and minimalists can rid themselves of clumpy mascara for good by means of Kidd’s cult Eyelash Tint.

Icon: The Kate & Pete Show

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Sometimes I wonder why anyone bothers to pretend that we have fashion icons other than Kate Moss. Years from now, people will cite hers as the look of our time a look that’s hard to pin down, in fact, except by flipping through pictures of Kate and taking note of the changing ways she mixes high and low, old and new, sweet and slutty, slouchy and sharp, always to her own unerring whim. If she weren’t the one true supermodel, Kate would be the most in-demand stylist in the business and she remains the one true supermodel because now, because of her, fashion can’t exist without the approval of style. It used to be the other way around.

The Other Eden

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You have to want to love London. It’s not a city that reaches out for you it lacks the romance of Paris or Rome, the crazy dynamism of Tokyo or Hong Kong or New York, the grittiness of Berlin; coming to London as an American, speaking the language, there’s no edifying strangeness and no mistaking that the locals would just as soon do without you. I have friends, many of them, who visit London for the first or second or third time and return home befuddled by the fact that I love London as much as I do.

Playlist: Factory Girl

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OK, the trailer sucks. Like, Warhol must be twirling in his grave sucks. But who cares? Factory Girl is Fashion Week’s must-see movie. The biopic takes on Edie Sedgwick, one of the style community’s secular saints, and is set amid the Warhol Factory scene that many fashion influencers still consider the sine qua non of New York cool. Designers have taken advance inspiration from the film hence the color-blocking and A-line shifts in store for Springwhich means that even if you miss seeing Sienna play Edie on screen, you won’t be able to avoid the simalucra of Sienna-as-Edie on the street. How very Andy after all.

Designers: Auld Lang Syne

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Fashion is an industry that eats its young. This is generally to the goodfor the most part, the hacks and dilettantes fade away, while the visionaries become stars and the reliable churn out sportswear. And every season, the stylish place their bets on the Next Big Thing.

Rather than join in the anointing of untested talents, this season it seems appropriate to celebrate a few New York designers who’ve stuck around and come into their own.

Beauty: Stress Case

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There are those who would argue that each bi-annual fashion season begins with the couture, in Paris, and end with the prêt-a-porter, in Paris, and that everything in between Paris and Paris is just a lot of noise about clothes. But anyone who attends the shows knows that, as a habit of mind, fashion begins in New York. It’s with the New York City collections that the fashion week tempo is establishedthe rush from here to there and back again; the horror, overtaking you all of a sudden, that your outfit was only up to the last minute; the sensory overload that descends after a couple days navigating the scene on too little sleep and fashionably little food. It starts with the New York, and these days, the fashion season doesn’t end in Paristhe incorrigible go on to Sydney and Sao Paulo, Moscow and L.A., Miami and Toronto, and maybe even Stockholm, Mumbai, Jamaica, Beijing.

Icon: Hillary Rodham Clinton

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The only presidential candidate with 100% name recognition is in many ways a mystery in plain sight. Is Hillary Rodham Clinton the unreconstructed liberal of the right wing’s nightmares, the Wellesley College feminist who tried to shove universal health care down the throat of a recalcitrant nation? Is she the scheming politico who used the public’s sympathy, post-Monica, to propel herself to the Senate? Is she a centrist like her husband, forging pragmatic compromises across the aisle? Or is she a calculating perma-candidate who will say, do, endure and vote for anything that might help her become President? Is Hillary a harridan, a lesbian, a long-suffering wife? Did she kill Vincent Foster? Is she smarter than Bill?

The Apple of My Eye

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My iPod died the other day. I was heading up Sixth Avenue, fresh off the subway, on the coldest morning in New York in years. And as usual, when I venture into midtown from my Lower East Side digs, I was up there for a reason I’ve been a New Yorker long enough now, and a downtowner at that, that I no longer ascend past 23rd Street without some concrete motivation, like a business meeting or a sale on towels at Macy’s. About a minute before my iPod died, however, I had paused, freezing, to marvel at the tents going up in Bryant Park.

Trend: The Right to Boat

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If ever an accessory screamed un-hip, it was the boat shoe. Too functional to be campy, like a monocle, too staid for rappers and too provincially American to get swept up in fashion’s perpetual obsession with anoraks and sailor stripes, the humble boat shoe just couldn’t catch a break. They scream clam bakes, Kennebunkport and Yankee Republicanism; the icon of the boat shoe is, yikes, former President George Herbert Walker Bush. But the tide for the boat shoe has turned, as fashion tides inevitably must: Marc by Marc Jacobs recently gave the classic a satin update (dubious), L.A.’s Keep Company cross-bred it with Vans and manufactured the hybrid cruelty-free in Brazil, and now France’s taste-making boutique A.P.C. is doing a traditional men’s version for summer. Take the bait, but take it straight: Sperry’s is the old-money original, and dockside or not, it’s pair you want to be wearing all spring long.

Saturday Trend

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This week, BurdaStyle celebrates Parisian perversity. TREND SHIFT KEY

This week, BurdaStyle celebrates Parisian perversity.

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