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NEW YORK, United States — The moment the super-famous began filing onto Pier 16 at New York’s South Street Seaport on Friday, it was obvious Tommy Hilfiger‘s fall fashion show was about so much more than the clothes — if it were even about the clothes at all.

Bulbs flashed early as Taylor Swift and her supermodel squad member Martha Hunt glided to their seats, perching next to Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton. Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner followed. The producers cranked up the lights and music, and Gigi Hadid came out blazing in a navy-and-white jacket and leather pants. Spectators jostled, craning for a good Instagram angle.

If the idea was to attract attention, it worked.

The extravaganza was part of a hype train meant to woo younger shoppers and imbue the Hilfiger name with the coolness it once enjoyed. Much of the brand’s lustre from the 1990s has faded, pushed aside by indie brands, internet upstarts, and fast-fashion stores as shoppers demanded individuality over mass-market normality. Tommy Hilfiger has done well abroad in recent years by exporting classic American style to Europe and Asia, where its retail shops are thriving. Not so at home. Its North American business has not posted positive comparative store sales for eight straight quarters.

For Friday’s show, the label, owned by Calvin Klein and Izod parent PVH Corp., had built a carnival on the pier. The Tommy Pier, as the brand dubbed it, marked a new era of fashion show, a commercial event staged for both industry insiders and the public. Fashion VIPs packed half the catwalk; general-admission attendees filed into the other after waiting in line to score a spot. Food stands churned out lobster rolls, hot dogs and fries. Guests got their nails done, pasted on temporary tattoos, played carnival games or hopped on rides.

And, of course, there were the the new designs — a capsule collection in collaboration with the 21-year-old Hadid. Red, white, blue, and nautical styles ruled the runway as the models walked the lengthy wooden aisle, with Rihanna and Skrillex songs belted into the night sky. The clothes, though mostly casual, managed to bridge levels of formality, from cherry red tracksuits to long, sheer cocktail dresses. They were safe, wearable, and available to buy immediately—not six months later, as the traditional fashion calendar demands.

Still, amid the overwhelming spectacle, it was hard to concentrate on the clothes, as the women strode past the Ferris wheel under dangling lights.

This was no mere launch party for a new line. Hadid is signed as Tommy Hilfiger’s global ambassador, and PVH plans to build its women’s business around her. That business now accounts for just 25 percent of Hilfiger’s sales; executives want to pull that ratio closer to 50 percent. “It’s also a part of an overall marketing strategy to build up our women’s business globally,” Emanuel Chirico, chief executive officer of PVH, said of the Hadid event at a conference last month. “We think it’s a huge opportunity.”

Fashion shows were once insider affairs, a place for magazine editors to critique clothes for future issues and for retail buyers to decide which designs they’d put on store shelves. All of these things still happen, but at shows like Tommy Hilfiger’s, everything — including the clothes — seems secondary to celebrity. In a social media era marked by instant access and shareability, labels are now finding ways to include the public, whether by letting people attend shows in person or by streaming them online.

Hadid is the centerpiece of this US revival effort, using the Tommy x Gigi collection to get young people aboard in a hurry. Compare the Hilfiger fashion show to her usual appearances: A day before, Tom Ford snuck her into the middle of his presentation. And when Victoria’s Secret last year picked her to show off its casual Pink line geared at young women, it slotted her like any other model.

But the Hilfiger show was a full-on collaboration, with ballyhoo from both parties for more than nine months. It was about her as much as Hilfiger — perhaps because the label needs her more than she needs it. Hadid gives it instant credibility and exposure among her legions of young fans. “She has an amazing sense of style, but at the same time as being a supermodel, she’s probably the most important social media star in the world,” Hilfiger, the designer, said on ABC’s Good Morning America the morning before the show.

On Friday night, once the last models were off the pier and the congregation had been herded to the exits, gawkers and paparazzi awaited the celebrities outside. A mob of teens — and adults, for that matter — squealed and rushed to get a glimpse of Swift as she squeezed into a black SUV.

As she was whisked away, they turned their gaze to Hadid, now scrambling across the street as a logjam of drivers honked at the holdup. Two frantic parents yelled for their child, who had scurried off for a closer look in the chaos. And the crowd, weaving through cars, chased Hadid onto the seaport cobblestones until she ducked into a building. They all wanted a piece of Gigi Hadid. Hilfiger hopes they will want a piece of Tommy, too.

By Kim Bhasin; editor: Samantha Schulz.

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See more photos from 29 Rooms

Photo: Mark Sagliocco/FilmMagic/Getty

Fashion Week can take you to unexpected places, which is how, last week, I found myself sitting around a table at Roberta’s Pizza with Entourage star Adrian Grenier, getting an in-depth lesson on the blight of plastic straws.

“We consume 500 million straws each day. The equivalent of 127 school buses filled with straws. It’s disgusting, ” Adrian Grenier declares the minute I sit down, brandishing a plastic straw that the waiter had forgotten to remove. “There should be children in those school buses, going to school, to learn, not straws,” he adds, wryly.

Grenier orders me a mezcal soda, his drink of choice. “No straw, no fruit,” he tells the waiter. I don’t have the chance to find out what’s so harmful about lime wedges before he turns to look at me, fixing me with the same penetrating gaze that rendered so many beautiful women powerless over the course of Entourage’s eight seasons and a movie. “He might forget, or the guy at the bar may forget, so you have barriers to success,” he explains. “But now we’ve planted a seed, and he’s going to think about that.”

If you haven’t been keeping up with Adrian Grenier’s social media or online presence over the past few years, you might be wondering at this point: Why Does Vincent Chase care so much about straws? Much like his friend Leonardo DiCaprio, Grenier has embraced the mantle of celebrity environmentalist in recent years. The bulk of his activism takes place through the Lonely Whale Foundation, which he co-founded in 2015 along with producing partner Lucy Sumner. Sumner is married to Sting’s son, Jake Sumner, who recently made a film about plastic pollution in the oceans, and both of them joined us at dinner along with a handful of Grenier’s friends and colleagues from the foundation. According to its website, Lonely Whale “is dedicated to bringing people closer to the world’s oceans through education and awareness, inspiring empathy and action for ocean health and the wellbeing of marine wildlife,” with a focus on getting millennials engaged in ocean conservation through social media and various digital and IRL experiences.

I ask Grenier how he defines himself nowadays. He says he doesn’t like the word environmentalist, because it sounds too radical. “I’m a guy who cares about people,” he says. “Acting is my day job, but at night, I get to be a superhero. There are superheroes, people who fly or have all these extraterrestrial powers or supernatural abilities. Everybody can be a superhero every day by doing very simple things. Change the world.”

Tonight, we’re here to talk about Lonely Whale’s exhibit at Refinery29’s interactive “29 Rooms,” taking place around the corner, as well as Lonely Whale’s current campaign to get individuals to cut down on plastic straws (a major source of ocean pollution), and their upcoming documentary 52: The Search for the Loneliest Whale, out of which the foundation was born. The film, which DiCaprio helped kick-start, follows a whale who calls out at a frequency no other whales can understand. “It’s fascinating to see this story because of our relationship to whales historically, and what they mean to us symbolically,” Grenier explained. “Whales are the keeper of wisdom.”

Grenier is very passionate — about straws, pollution, whales, the ocean, conservation, his vinyl collection (he recently curated a record store for a new East Village bar) — and he talks with the unfiltered confidence of a man who is used to people listening to what he has to say. He is a fan of hugs, and back-touching, and scooping food onto your plate even if you indicate that you’re full. Much like Vinnie Chase, Grenier rolls with an entourage — a crew of bubbly environmentalists who refer to themselves as “a family” and all work for the foundation in varying amorphous capacities — and who all seem to adore Grenier. “He’s one of the best people I know,” Lucy Sumner tells me.

Everyone is very nice and very enthusiastic, if a bit intense, whether we’re talking about the sea (we mostly talk about the sea), sustainable agriculture, podcasts, the upcoming election (I said I was Canadian and Grenier pledged to vote for Hillary “on my behalf”), or feminism. “I would consider myself a feminist,” says Grenier when I ask him. “But women don’t need my permission to take what is rightfully theirs after all these years, so I don’t even need to declare my feminism as a righteous thing. I just am, because I recognize that it’s happening, it’s right. And I’m just in awe of it and excited about the prospect. Maybe our saving grace is if we can balance the male energy, which tends to be short-term thinking, overly aggressive, often indelicate, with the feminine energy, which is more careful study and frankly more sophisticated, we might actually be able to build a world that would be in balance.”

Grenier speaks like a guy who just got back from Burning Man for the first time, which it turns out he did, and he is eager to discuss his experience. “It’s a bunch of people who are open, available to connect, and artistic, and are all conspiring to make the most amazing piece of art, which is everybody collaborating,” he says. “It’s fantastic.”

I observe that one of the biggest problems with people I know who go to Burning Man is that they never stop talking about it.

“It’s like, could you imagine having discovered America?” he says. “Would you stop talking about that? It’s like, I went to this new land. There’s nothing like it. And that’s the thing. It’s captivating, because it’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. And I’m worldly, I’ve been around the world. And it happens to reflect the value system that I agree with.”

The Lonely Whale Foundation seeks to launch a conversation about conservation that resonates with
people emotionally, and Grenier sees a lot of parallels between his foundation’s goals and his time in Black Rock. “The reason I responded so much to Burning Man is, that is my ethos, that is my people, that is the way I’ve always lived and wanted to live,” he explains. “And there is a Zeitgeist of humans who think that way. If I didn’t have an umbrella, for example, I would go from umbrella to umbrella with people and get where I needed to go, dry.”

“Sharing umbrellas is awesome,” adds one of our dinner mates, a celebrity chef focusing on sustainable seafood.

The discussion turns to New York City, where Grenier grew up and still lives. I observe that the city has changed a lot. “I pioneered Williamsburg,” says Grenier. “It got so gentrified that I had to come to Bushwick. I lived two blocks away, and then this place opened, and I couldn’t afford to live in this neighborhood,” he says, gesturing around Roberta’s, which opened in 2008. “We used to have to walk three miles backward in the snow for a cup of coffee when we lived here. Now there’s, like, baristas and cold brew.”

Suddenly, a woman taps him on the shoulder. “I’m not sure if you remember me, but I just wanted to come over and say hi.” Grenier leaps up. “Oh my god! Of course I do!” He wraps her in a big hug and they chat for a few minutes.

“I used to fly on United like drinking water, ‘cause they were an Entourage affiliate. She worked on the ground or whatever,” Grenier explains to us after they finish talking. “We like bro’d down … She used to take care of me.”

I take this as my entry to ask him whether he still gets dates because of Entourage.

“I can’t speak to [prospective dategoers’] wealth of knowledge or wisdom, but Entourage struck a chord. It was a cultural phenomenon, it defined an era, it’s undeniably an amazing show, so it would be naïve to pretend that that wasn’t a reality,” says Grenier. Still, he says he would never date anyone who wasn’t socially aware. “We’re in the information age. People know more about their world, about the corporations, about what’s possible, about how we can connect with others who share their values and unite against common goals and causes, and those are the people I’m bonding with. Not the ignorant people who only watch reality television.”

Is he single?

“You know, it’s funny,” he says. “I was listening to this Radiolab episode about K-Pop. In K-Pop, they completely manufacture their pop stars and they make the pop stars sign contracts where they vow not to date because they’re supposed to be the property of the people, they’re supposed to be perpetually single and attainable. So in honor of that episode and the Korean pop stars that I aspire to be, I am perpetually single for the sake of my fans,” he grins. “Does your audience listen to Radiolab? You should put a link to that.” (Here you go.)

As the dinner ends, we head over to “29 Rooms” to see Lonely Whale’s installation, a room filled with crepe paper in the shape of waves and blue lights that simulate the experience of being under the sea. Grenier is glad that the event is using paper straws (per his request), and very pleased with how the room looks. “It’s gorgeous. I like being in there,” he declares. He holds court in the room for much of the evening, taking photos with the Winklevii twins and chatting with a string of attractive women.

Earlier, I ask Grenier if he gets annoyed when he’s recognized by people or asked about the show that made him famous, but he shakes his head. “The celebrity thing
is what you make it,” he says, flashing me that winning Vinnie Chase smile. “Look, I have an opportunity to live like Burning Man all the time because I have the opportunity to meet people who can open up and be present with me,” he says. “And I can shame them for it and act holier than thou or have those authentic moments with people every day. I’m lucky.”

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I entered the 164-year-old VA museum around 8 p.m. The front room was lit up with blue lights fixed upon posters of rock ’n’ roll legends like Mick Jagger and John Lennon. London socialites shimmied around the space in leather jackets and lived-in Levi’s, greeting each other with kisses on the cheeks and rambunctious conversation. After snagging a cucumber cocktail, I made my way farther back, down a hall chock-full of sculptures I probably studied during college (and have since forgotten), and came upon the entrance to You Say You Want a Revolution? Rebels and Records 1966–1970.

The exhibition, through which my fellow partygoers and I were so luckily about to receive a private tour, is a colorful exploration of this transformative time in culture that indisputably continues to affect society. Levi’s is a partner for the exhibition (open until February 2017) and graciously hosted me for the psychedelic journey. The docent handed me a set of headphones, and as soon as I slipped them over my ears and heard tunes from the likes of Jefferson Airplane and Jimi Hendrix, I knew I was in for a very groovy trip.

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Shop the look: 1. Sylvain Le Hen barrette, $58; theline.com 2. Sportmax blouse, $645; matchesfashion.com 3. Hillier Bartley bag, $1,724; matchesfashion.com 4. Topshop skirt, $66; topshop.com 5. Acne Studios boots, $1,000; shopbop.com 6. Theory trench coat, $795; theory.com

The dress code for a VIP (Very Important Presentation) doesn’t always demand a power suit. Give no-fun business basics a break and inject playfulness (without compromising professionalism) into your corporate wardrobe with a chic tie-neck blouse and a figure-flattering midi-length wrap skirt (petite and plus options are available as well) in an unexpected color, like olive—a neutral shade that’s safe, but not as predictable as black. Before walking out the door, pick a tote that’s roomy enough to comfortably hold your documents and laptop. And if you’re afraid nerves might cause you to fidget with jewelry or absentmindedly play with your hair, then pin back your strands with a sleek barrette—it will keep everything in place, and leave all technical difficulties to the conference call.

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A statement necklace can be a fine thing, but a desire for more esoteric luxury calls for an owl. An owl fashioned out of gold, rose-cut diamonds and four emerald cabochons, to be precise, and one whose wings frame a pouch of the finest gold mesh, no larger than a deck of cards. This 1906 design is among Cartier’s earliest documented and most precious evening bags.

For at Cartier, diamonds may be forever, but they are also for handbags. That owl was a harbinger of success for the French luxury house. Crafted with the same attention to detail and exacting finish as any jewellery commissions, such minaudières were functional works of art for the Belle Epoque woman.

‘You could say that a jewellery business like ours is equally equipped to furnish a woman’s shoulders with a gorgeous necklace as to fill her handbag with a powder-compact mirror, a small comb and even visiting cards,’ Jacques Cartier, grandson of the company’s founder, believed. ‘Each and every item carries the same stamp of originality and art.’  

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One of the places I was most excited to visit during my latest time in New York was the iconic Coney Island. Not only the HQ location of my current Amazon obsession, Mr Robot, but the backdrop of everything from Made In Chelsea to Hollywood blockbusters that use the colourful attractions as a way of setting the scene for colourful drama. Located in the southwestern area of Brooklyn and a 45 minute subway journey from central Manhattan, it’s the perfect place to spend a day away from the hustle and bustle of the city; who wouldn’t want to swap city smog for sea air, albeit temporarily? As soon as you step out of the station you know that this is a whole new side to New York that’s incomparable to anything else you would have experienced in Manhattan: the bold shapes, bright colours, endless beach, vintage-looking rides and even the frozen margaritas have seaside charm that the UK just can’t compete with. According to the locals, this is where everything from the classic hotdog was invented to the first ever rollercoaster seeing its debut; it’s awash with history, but in a fun way rather than feeling like a museum that prevents you from touching. Coney Island is all about the touching – and the smelling, seeing and smiling.



One of the most iconic sights is the Wonder Wheel, built in 1920 and having stood on the site ever since. It’s size is incredibly impressive, towering above all the other attractions and remaining a focal point for the entire area, while the cars gently swing around providing incredible views of the beach and even as far as downtown Manhattan. (If you look closely you can spot One World Trade Centre in the distance!) At a cost of $8.00 you can jump on-board and enjoy the sights within a slightly rickety cage, but surprisingly the journey around is scare-free and actually quite smooth. What’s even better is that when you disembark you walk by Zoltar and can have your fortune read for the measley fee of $1.00 – a small price to pay to re-live your childhood fantasies. (If you’re too young to know what I’m talking about, google ‘Tom Hanks Big’ and set that right.)

All of the rides are self-managed by independant hosts, while the restaurants and bars offer small scale charm that’s a world away from the slick restaurants of uptown New York. We devoured the best lobster rolls of our lives, while sipping on frozen cocktails and lusting after flower-cut Mangos; literally everything you can imagine and more can be found on Coney Island. Although we stayed clear of most of the rides (I’m not one for being flipped around, preferring to gaze at the carousel or inhale the scent of candy floss,) the incredible blue skies and sound of laughter made it the best day of our trip. Apart from the nominal subway fee to get there, it’s a completely free way to spend an afternoon – especially during the summer months when the city can become so overwhelmingly hot you don’t know what to do with yourself. Whether you love a rollercoaster, feel at home on the beach or simply want to visit one of the most instagrammable places on earth, Coney Island is well worth adding to your ‘to do’ list if you’re venturing NYC way any time soon.

More info: www.coneyisland.com 
We were in New York to celebrate the launch of Michael Buble’s new fragrance, ‘By Invitation’. Find out more and order your bottle here: www.michaelbubleperfume.com


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La mairie d’Amatrice en Italie, dévastée par le séisme du 24 août qui a fait près de 300 morts, a porté plainte contre «Charlie Hebdo» après des caricatures sur les victimes du tremblement de terre.

La mairie d’Amatrice, la ville d’Italie la plus touchée par le séisme meurtrier du 24 août, a porté plainte lundi pour «diffamation» contre le journal satirique Charlie Hebdo après des dessins sur les victimes du tremblement de terre.

«Il s’agit d’un outrage macabre, insensé et inconcevable aux victimes d’une catastrophe naturelle», a déclaré l’avocat de la municipalité, Me Mario Cicchetti, cité par les médias.

Quelques jours après le séisme qui a fait 295 morts dans le centre de l’Italie, Charlie Hebdo avait publié un dessin de Félix montrant des victimes ensanglantées avec les mention «penne sauce tomate» et «penne gratinées» ou encore écrasés par les débris de leurs maisons sous le titre «lasagnes».

La polémique avait enflé sur les réseaux sociaux puis dans les médias italiens. «Ces dessins sont répugnants», avait estimé le ministre de la Justice, Andrea Orlando.

La dessinatrice de Charlie Hebdo Coco y avait répondu avec un dessin où une femme écrasée sous les décombres lance aux Italiens: «C’est pas Charlie Hebdo qui construit vos maisons, c’est la mafia». 

La municipalité a déposé sa plainte devant le parquet de Rieti (centre), pour demander aux magistrats de déterminer si Felix, Coco et les responsables du journal ont commis ou non un délit. 

Toute reproduction interdite

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This week’s TIFF and NYFW festivities mean our feed is flooded with beautiful, blemish-free complexions all day, every day, which makes it easy to forget that not everyone was blessed with perma-filtered skin like Gigi, Kendall and Karlie. Teens struggle the most with acne it seems, but even if you dodged the bullet in high school, and during your post-secondary years (according to the Acne and Rosacea Society five million college and university students are struggling with acne in Canada), you’re not out of the woods; an apartment and steady job aren’t firewalls against acne. In my late 20s, literally overnight, pimples swarmed my chin and nose like paparazzi waiting for a Kardashian. My derm’s explanation: “You didn’t pay your dues in high school. Now it’s your turn.” Whatever our age and situation, stress, hormones and other enemies of a clear complexion can eff everything up. Not to mention deliver a face punch to our self-confidence.

Also frustrating is trying to figure out the cause, as it can be difficult to troubleshoot without that intel. “When treating acne, it is vital to determine the causes and triggers,” says Roula Khoury, Montreal Manager for Dermalogica. “Each cause is treated differently, sometimes it could be as simple as changing your cleanser or maybe introducing an exfoliation.” The good news: the location of your breakout is like a map to the stars. “Every zone has its own story to tell,” she says.  To mark Acne Awareness Week, we asked Khoury to break down what acne-prone areas to watch for, and the likely cause of a breakout in that zone.

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