The fashion month
Once again, we bring you an in-depth look at the who's who and what's what of fashion. This month, British fashion students showed they had their business heads on, Princess Di unveiled her new look, but it was Princess Anne who became the surprise new fashion icon - and what really happened the night Naomi was taken poorly in the Canaries?
Sunday 29 June 1997
Naomi: did she or didn't she?
The News Story that most found hard to swallow this month was that supermodel Naomi Campbell didn't take an overdose after a row with flamenco-star lover Joaquin Cortes.
Naomi hit the headlines on 16 June, when she was rushed into intensive care in the Canary Islands after taking what medical staff described as an overdose of sedatives. The Spanish media reported that she had taken an overdose of barbiturates after a "furious row" with Cortes.
The Times carried a statement from Naomi's London lawyer saying that she "wishes to make it clear that there is absolutely no foundation whatsoever to the story that she had taken an overdose", while the Independent reported that the incident "was later said to be an allergic reaction to antibiotics".
According to the Daily Telegraph, a source at the Canary Islands' hospital confirmed that the barbiturate Naomi had taken - and which left her semi- conscious - was the tranquilliser Valium. "Staff at the seafront hotel," it went on to say, "...heard a heated row between them that evening." Then it got to the juicy stuff. "Spanish gossip magazines claim Mr Cortes broke [the relationship] off a few weeks ago, and he was pictured with another woman in Marbella. It was reported that Ms Campbell then threatened to kill herself unless the liaison resumed."
By 17 June, Naomi was fighting back. "It's very difficult for us to have a fight because I can't speak Spanish and he can't speak English," she said in the Independent. "We had music on. There wasn't screaming. We had a romantic dinner." She added dramatically: "I have had many fights in my life but they are not worth dying for." She gave an exclusive interview to the Daily Telegraph where she explained what happened. "I just needed a doctor, but you can't get a doctor to come to your hotel in Gran Canaria at that time. It's quite a primitive island." She was said to be "absolutely amazed" at claims that she had tried to take an overdose.
However, the next day the Times claimed that Naomi had taken tranquillisers "according to a police report leaked to a Spanish newspaper". The report said that Naomi had taken 20 alprazolam tablets "from a bottle found next to her bed" and had been drinking. She was rushed into hospital for a stomach pump to avoid her slipping into a coma.
A week before all this drama, a Spanish magazine had published photographs of Joaquin walking on a beach with another woman. So who was she? Described by the Evening Standard's Mimi Spencer as "obviously no supermodel", the Guardian looked at Spanish press reports that Naomi was weeping on the shoulder of Cortes' former girlfriend while he was playing in Marbella with "another love". However, Naomi claimed, in her Telegraph interview, that the mystery woman was one of his cousins. "I met them all with him in Cordoba on Tuesday, " she gushed. "He has a huge gypsy family."
Whatever the reason for her collapse, Campbell wasn't in too bad shape because she discharged herself from hospital and flew straight to Paris for a fashion shoot.
Campbell is known for her erratic behaviour. She was sacked as the figurehead of anti-fur campaign group PETA for wearing fur in the Fendi show last March, and, two months ago, she started a heated - and much needed - debate in the fashion business after claiming that the industry was guilty of widespread prejudice against black models.
Her latest caper led to character analyses in the national press. Most broadsheets portrayed her as a spoilt little rich girl. The Guardian commented on Naomi's romantic track record under the headline "Bad Girl Just Having Fun Until Now". The couple even made it into the paper's Pass Notes with Naomi's quote "I go for bulls, sensitive bulls."
The Independent ran a profile claiming "Naomi Campbell demonstrates the eclecticisms of uncertainty" then listed her all-singing, all-writing flops, ending with the damning news that the Carlsberg Concert '97 refused her request to perform a duet with Jon Bon Jovi of "Don't You Want Me?". The answer, it concluded, was "no". Nigella Lawson in the Times put the whole affair down to a publicity stunt. and the Guardian described the fracas as "the most famous tummy upset since the Borgias' last supper".
Brenda Polan reported in the Daily Mail that one fashion editor thought Naomi viewed herself as "some sort of bizarre pet" in the mainly-white fashion world, and the Evening Standard ran a feature called "Why can't Naomi Campbell find the right man?", where it was decided that "her tumultuous private life is enough to ensure that most women would rather settle for average looks".
A breath of fresh air or in need of some? You decide...
"Either they've changed or I have because the chicks pictured are dead, fake, ironic, without passion, and just boring. This stuff is sand in my eyes."
i-D reader on other style mags
"Mind you, my next door neighbour is called Clarence Thickett and he has an outside toilet, so I don't think I'm in any danger of getting above myself."
Rita Britton, owner of Barnsley fashion boutique Pollyanna, Independent on Sunday
"She describes the high after stealing a pair of Whistles trousers worth pounds 70 from Harvey Nichols as being like taking coke, only better"
On rich-kid shoplifters, Bratler (Tatler's baby sister - see Bits 'n' Bobs)
"It's about wearing fucked-up denim with a little leatherette vest, then putting a mad party frock over the top of it."
Ex-Ghost designer Sherry Lamden on her new label Seraph, i-D
"I would love to design for her [Mother Theresa]. Maybe I would change the skirt length of the nuns, give them little turbans and perhaps pyjamas."
Jean-Paul Gaultier, Daily Telegraph
"Who but a brain-dead air-head would be interested in clothes when teenagers are sleeping rough on the streets of London and children in our own country don't have enough to eat?"
Linda Grant, Guardian
"I wanted to make somewhere for the clothes to sleep."
Designer Walter Van Beirendonck talking about his storage box, GQ
Manchester's New Cathedral Street - a new street created in the area of the city that was blown apart by the IRA - is set to become the Bond Street of the north. Armani, DKNY, Vivienne Westwood and Hermes have already opened in the city centre and Polo Ralph Lauren, Versace and Harvey Nichols are in the queue.
Source: Independent on Sunday
Vendome, the luxury-goods group behind Cartier and Dunhill, has sold the rights to the Karl Lagerfeld trademark back to the designer, ending a five-year relationship.
US chemical giant Monsanto is developing a naturally blue cotton so that denim jeans can be made without dyeing. It says it reckons it will have the research sewn up by the 21st century.
The Fashion Cafe, part-owned by supermodels Elle Macpherson, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington and Claudia Schiffer, is caught up in a battle which could make it bankrupt. Italian businessmen Giorgio Santambrogio and Tommaso Buti are fighting over ownership in US courts.
Source: Mail on Sunday
Speedo, the world's leading swimwear brand, is to launch its first underwear collection in Harrods in September.
Source: Sunday Telegraph
A court in the French city of Nice has ordered Karl Lagerfeld to pay FF18m (pounds 1.9m) for tax evasion for 1982 to 1984 after rejecting his argument that he lived in tax-free Monaco.
The Fashion Information Service at Nottingham Trent University has teamed up with British Telecom to create a fashion industry database on the Internet called Fashion Connect. It will be launched this summer. Twelve companies, including Grattan and Windsmoor, are testing the service, which will be free initially, and contains information on the latest fashion news, future trends and reports from trade shows around the world.
Source: the Times
London Proved it was still the coolest place on earth when the fashion heavyweights turned out for this month's graduate shows. The Royal College of Art show had reps from Versace, Nicole Farhi, Donna Karan and Karl Lagerfeld according to the Evening Standard, who also revealed that four students had landed jobs with overseas designers even before they had completed their courses. Non-fashion writer Tim Hulse on this paper was taken aback by the "Tudor building" and "giant red stickleback" (right) designs from Sean McGowan at the RCA show, but McGowan was the very man snapped up by Karl Lagerfeld, according to the Times and the Guardian, and his "Tudor building" outfit was the one singled out by almost everyone in the national press.
Twenty-one colleges came together for the Bhs Graduate Fashion Week, which pitched its tent outside the Royal Festival Hall. The International Herald Tribune covered it alongside the RCA show, and Suzy Menkes spotted Alexander McQueen and Hussein Chalayan as major influences on fledgling designers. "But the overriding impression of the shows," she remarked, "is how bankable the students seem, with well-executed clothes, rather than just wild creativity." The Guardian's style pages also picked up on the college-leavers business sense. "The fact that most students rejected creative high jinks in favour of solid commercial collections people could actually wear," said Susannah Barron, "indicates that they are far more mature and intelligent than most observers give them credit for." The Independent, meanwhile, trained its eye on the audience and photographed the young and adventurous waiting to get into the shows at the South Bank.
i-D turned its eye to the International Des Arts De La Mode in Paris where young designers win prizes, but more importantly get advice on the cut-and-thrust fashion world, and the Evening Standard looked at the British heat of the Smirnoff International Fashion Awards where the winner - John Boddy of Central St Martins - was chosen by prestigious judges including Alexander McQueen, Antonio Berardi and Nicole Farhi.
Bits 'n' Bobs
Honor Fraser, blue-blooded model and cousin of Stella Tennant, is the new face of Givenchy. She will shoot her first couture campaign with top photographer Richard Avedon, according to the Independent and Evening Standard.
Fashion esigner Zandra Rhodes was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.
The International Herald Tribune broke the news that Narciso Rodriguez, the Cuban-American designer of Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy's wedding dress, has joined Spanish leather company Loewe.
The Guardian reported that New York's drag queens flocked to see Di's dresses, with RuPaul hoping to outbid compatriot Lypsinka. Apparently, "the princess has taken on the status of gay icon."
City director Liz Lloyd Holt wore an edible hat to Ladies Day at Ascot. It contained a lobster, a baguette and a variety of fruits. "I'll nibble at it during the day," she told the Daily Telegraph.
Nike has caused cultural controversy in the US, according to the Guardian. It has recalled a range of trainers with a flame-shaped logo resembling the Arabic for Allah. The Council for American-Islamic Relations will now urge Muslims worldwide not to boycott Nike products.
The top price for Diana's frocks? The ink-blue, silk velvet dress by Victor Edelstein was bought by a mystery bidder for $222,500 (pounds 133,835). She wore it to a Ronnie Reagan/White House bash, where she danced with John Travolta.
David Bowie's wife, the model Iman, is to launch a range of make-up called Iman Cosmetics, says the Daily Telegraph. We hope they arrive more successfully than the model herself, who failed to turn up to open the Bhs Graduate Fashion Week on Monday, the Times reported.
Tucked inside Tatler was Bratler, a baby sister with startling tips for the under-twenties. Its no-holes-barred advice for fledgling Debs offended one too many Tory MPs and, according to the Guardian, big sister had to make an apology.
The Daily Telegraph reported that Select has signed its second male model from the Eton class of '96. Matt Govett joins fellow OE Freddie Drabble.
Who shot what
Diana's done it again. Supermodel poses for supersnapper Mario Testino in Vanity Fair led to blanket coverage in the press. The Evening Standard said, "Just Call Me Diana", the Daily Telegraph claimed Diana "flirts with new look", while the Independent profiled "Super Mario" himself, who also shot a cool, street-cred Princess Anne wannabe for The Face.
Fashion tipped its hat to Ascot's Ladies Day. The Evening Standard asked punters how much their outfits cost - from pounds 160 for Jane Norman to pounds 4,000 for Isabel Kristensen. The Daily Telegraph spotted a trend for the dress and coat look. Five "well-groomed fillies" modelled this season's favourites for You magazine. This paper's Review printed archive photos of Thirties' Ascot. New York socialite Nan Kempner modelled hats for the Independent, and the Independent Magazine and ES featured avant-garde creations.
Your age did not matter this month. Tatler's models were aged between 36 and 53 and the issue was devoted to the "new middle-aged". Also, 68-year old Bertie Hope-Davies modelled menswear for the Sunday Telegraph Magazine.
June's fashion stars were new Versace oop-North model Karen Elson in the Sunday Times' Style, and Linda Evangelista in the Telegraph Magazine. The Daily Mail interviewed Kate Evans, the model close to the late Terence Donovan.
Jean-Paul Gaultier talked to the Daily Telegraph; Harper's Bazaar adored Stella McCartney, the Weekend Telegraph featured the timeless appeal of Kangol, the Times spoke to Irish knitwear designer Lainey Keogh, Belgian designer Valter Van Beirendonck got the GQ treatment, and the Independent interviewed Karen Millen.
Voyage, the rudest shop in London and flogger of bag-lady chic, was profiled in both the Sunday Times (which was not impressed) and Vogue (which was) and Harper's Bazaar (which was impartial).
Nighties were hip in the Observer's Life. This paper featured empire- line flimsies, French Marie Claire and the Sunday Times Magazine went bra mad, Vogue relished a two-page spread on the see-through look.
Covergirls: Julia Roberts by Patrick Demarchelier for Harper's Bazaar, Uma Thurman for The Face, and Helena Christensen for British Vogue.
The latest trend? Pale skin, no eyebrows, as seen on Versace muse Karen Elson and in the "Lesbos Vampire" shoot for The Face.
Cherie B is the British Jackie O. You magazine devoted five pages to the "Cherie Factor", while the Sunday Telegraph ran a half-page advert for Monday's fashion-page devoted to Cherie-style.
Blue was the colour for the Times Weekend, Marie Claire, the Evening Standard and Harper's Bazaar. Black was back for the Times Magazine and Harper's Bazaar, but Harpers & Queen said grey is the new black. Dazed & Confused went for flaming orange, literally, as the model wore clothes on fire, courtesy of some photographic wizardry.
Justin Bieber was one of the hardest hit
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