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The US model and actress Emily Ratajkowski has called out a French magazine for reducing her lips and breasts in a photograph for an interview which deals with the discrimination she says she has faced for "being too sexy".

"I was extremely disappointed to see my lips and breasts altered in Photoshop on this cover," the 26-year-old star of "Gone Girl" told her near 15 million followers on Instagram. "Everyone is uniquely beautiful in their own ways. We all have insecurities about the things that make us different from a typical ideal of beauty," she added.

"I hope the fashion industry will finally learn to stop trying to stifle the things that make us unique and instead begin to celebrate individuality." The interview with the model, who shot to fame with her appearance in Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams's controversial video for "Blurred Lines", in the Madame Figaro magazine Saturday concentrated on how she had faced discrimination from directors for her smouldering looks.

"There's this thing that happens to me: 'Oh, she's too sexy'," Ratajkowski was quoted as saying in an earlier interview with Harper's Bazaar. "It's like an anti-woman thing, that people don't want to work with me because my boobs are too big. What's wrong with boobs? They're a beautiful feminine thing that needs to be celebrated," she said. "Like, who cares? They are great big, they are great small. Why should that be an issue?"

Madame Figaro's cover image of Ratajkowski wearing a black leather beret and an open coat appeared to have been altered to thin her lips and lift and reduce the size of her breasts. Ratajkowski posted the original photo on Instagram to show the differences, and her withering reaction was "liked" nearly half a million times by other users Monday, with many praising her for protesting.

The row comes within days of a new French law coming into force which will oblige advertising agencies and media companies to indicate if an image has been retouched. Madame Figaro did not reply to AFP requests from comment. (AFP)

Mini-fashion statements raise awareness for fashion ethics during London Fashion Week

With London Fashion Week well underway, the capital city is filled with fashion aficionados vying for a front-row seat to Tommy Hilfiger’s ‘See Now, Buy Show’ catwalk show, backstage passes to Hill & Friends presentation while squeezing in some very important last minute shopping in between rushing to shows. But those who make a purchase during the bi-annual fashion week may find themselves face to face with the darker side of fashion by the means of a handcrafted note.

Craftivist Collective, a group of gentle activists, aims to highlight the numerous issues the British fashion industry faces by hiding handwritten messages for consumers to find in high street fashion stores around LFW base near Somerset House. Also known as “shop-dropping”, this form of non-confrontational protests sees members of the collective writing out fashion statements which encourage shoppers to think more deeply about how and where their clothing is made and hiding them in the pockets of clothing for sale.

“The shops have no idea we’re doing it at all, but I can’t imagine they’d be happy if they knew,” said Sarah Corbett, the founder of Craftivist Collective, to The Guardian. “We’re targeting fast fashion shops that put profit over people and the planet, so I don’t think they’d be keen on us encouraging their customers to ask questions about how their clothes were made.” The messages are written out by hand onto miniature scrolls which are tied with a ribbon and read phrases such as “Please open me” on the outside to encourage shoppers to open them.

“We want people to discover the scrolls later on so that it’s intriguing. We hope that it might create genuine curiosity about how their clothes have been made,” she added. Corbett has been organizing workshops on how to make these fashion statements for the past three years, as she aims to ensure the fashion industry is beautiful inside and out. The Craftivist Collective first began “shop-dropping” during fashion back in Stockholm in 2014, after teaming up with Fashion Revolution, a global organization raising awareness for garment worker exploitation following the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster.

Photo: Courtesy of Craftivisit Collective

Paul Smith x House of Finn Juhl

Paul Smith is set to celebrate his latest collaboration with Danish furniture maker Finn Juhl by hosting an exhibition at his London flagship store this weekend. Entitled ‘The Paul Smith x House of Finn Juhl’ the exhibition will showcase some iconic Finn Juhl pieces made with Paul Smith’s Maharam fabrics.

“Some countries are known for their food, others for their sporting prowess, Danes are known for their design abilities”, said Smith in a statement. “It’s just in their blood and Finn Juhl is one of the best examples of this.” Juhl is best known for his famous sculptural furniture designs which carefully accommodate the human form. The Danish architect and designer was one of the leading figures in the modernist design movement throughout the 1940s and 1950s, and his legacy has only continued to grow following his passing in 1989.

“Juhl combined an understanding of how things should work with how things should look to such beautiful effect”, added Smith. “With his background in architecture, he knew how to solve a problem with design and always did it with such amazing lines and such elegant simplicity.” The new exhibition is will include a range of Finn Juhl designs, with a number of exclusive collaboration pieces made together with Paul Smith.

The exhibition, which celebrates the collaboration of two designers who share similar values, is set to run from September 16 to October 14, 2017, at Paul Smith’s flagship store on Albemarle Street, London. Prices for the piece are on request.

Photo: Courtesy of Paul Smith

The Life & Career of Manolo Blahnik:'The Boy who made Shoes for Lizards'

INTERACTIVE London - Women around the world all recognize the one of kind feeling you get when you put on a pair of Manolo's.

Manolo Blahnik, for those less familiar with the footwear designer, has been hailed as the 'King of Shoes' for the past four decades, as everyone ranging from editor-in-chief at American Vogue Anna Wintour to supermodel Naomi Campbell and singer Rihanna swear by his designs, and his designs alone. "I can't even remember the last time I wore anyone else's shoes - I don't even look at them," proclaims Wintour in the trailer for the new documentary 'Manolo: The Boy who made Shoes for Lizards.'

Directed by British fashion writer, artist, and life-long friend Michael Roberts, the biopic is set to premiere on September 15. The film features archival footage, intimate interviews with Manolo himself as well as interviews with fashion insiders, such as Anna Wintour. photographer David Bailey and designer John Galliano. To mark the launch of the documentary, FashionUnited's shares some of the high points from Manolo Blahnik life and career.

Homepage photo: Manolo Blahnik in Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards. Courtesy of Music Box Films

In Pictures: Fashion Together exhibition

Showstudio’s Lou Stoppard has curated a new group exhibition focusing on fashion’s most renowned creative partnerships, Fashion Together at the Fashion Space Gallery, located at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London.

In Pictures: Fashion Together exhibition

The exhibition delves into the behind-the-scenes world of the most “intriguing alliances”, such as Nick Owens and Michèle Lamy, Nick Knight and Daphne Guinness, and Shaun Leane and Alexander McQueen, highlighting what exactly makes the pairings so captivating, and showcasing the inspiration of a collaboration over individuals. In Pictures: Fashion Together exhibition

Stoppard explains: “I’m interested in lasting partnerships - the formative, friendships, the unions that exist behind the scenes or the decades-long working relationships that have shaped each participant’s vision and life.

In Pictures: Fashion Together exhibition

“These relationships are common across the industry, but their complexity has been under-analysed. How is credit shared? How is work divided? Is jealousy or ownership an issue? Is there a recipe for success?”

In Pictures: Fashion Together exhibition

Lou Stoppard’s ‘Fashion Together’ exhibition examines creative partnerships

Running until January 13, Fashion Together looks at how the relationships of each pairing facilitates the duo’s success in their respective fields with never-before-seen ephemera such as sketches, handwritten notes and fashion editorials will be displayed alongside garments, films and photographic prints.

In Pictures: Fashion Together exhibition

There are even audio recordings of the duos in conversation with the curator that give rare and intimate insights into the character and history of each pair’s working process.

Other partnerships examined include Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, Gareth Pugh and Ruth Hogben, and Thom Browne and Stephen Jones.

In Pictures: Fashion Together exhibition

Highlights include Shaun Leane for Alexander McQueen’s “Star” headpiece from the Salem Collection autumn/winter 2007, and Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin’s portrait of Clint Eastwood for the New York Times Magazine in 2005.

In Pictures: Fashion Together exhibition

The free exhibition runs until January 13 and will have an events programme of talks, workshops and masterclasses to accompany it at the Fashion Space Gallery, located at London College of Fashion, UAL, 20 John Prince’s Street, London, W1G 0BJ.

In Pictures: Fashion Together exhibition

Images: courtesy of Fashion Space Gallery

"Beyond Seeing" explores sensory fashion design

What does fashion feel like, smell like and sound like? With "Beyond Seeing", a research and exhibition project, the Goethe-Institute Paris explores innovative ways of fashion design that brings together the students of four renowned fashion schools from Germany, France, Sweden and Belgium and blind and visually impaired participants. The resulting works are stunning creations in between fashion and art, which will be presented for the first time at the ESMOD Graduate Show in Berlin on 14th September.

"The project is intended to make fashion discernible beyond the visual stimuli through interaction of sensory perceptions. Different target groups who never met before - students of design, blind and visually impaired participants as well as experts of different artistic disciplines - will be brought together for the first time in order to develop innovative design concepts," states the project's press release.

Given that sight provides 80 percent of all human perception, the research project explores the question of how blind and visually impaired people perceive fashion under those circumstances, being excluded from a whole universe of mass media images of fashion. 'How do they deal with the fact that they cannot see what is worn on the streets or how other people will react to the clothes they are wearing?', 'How do they experience colours, fabrics and surfaces?', 'What do they perceive that we fail notice or no longer do?', 'What does the term beauty mean for them?' and 'How can fashion be experienced with other senses than the visual one?' are some of the other questions "Beyond Seeing" explores.

"Beyond Seeing" explores sensory fashion design

The four participating fashion schools are ESMOD in Berlin, IFM – Institut Francais de la Mode in Paris, La Cambre in Brussels and the Swedish School of Textiles in Boras. Altogether, 50 sighted and non-sighted people came together to participate in the project, which was kicked off with an incentive conference in October 2016 in Paris. Experts from various disciplines – seeing or not seeing – introduced the participants to the overall project in talks and lectures. The project was initiated by Silvia Kadolsky, founder and CEO of ESMOD Berlin, and Katharina Scriba, program curator at Goethe-Institut Paris, while Francine Pairon is the educational and artistic direction.

"Beyond Seeing" explores sensory fashion design

In February and March 2017, research workshops took place in all participating countries to develop in a participatory and dialogical process creative approaches of how fashion can be experienced beyond the sense of vision. A creation workshop in Berlin marked the third phase, in which the design and fashion students developed innovative concepts together with the seeing and not-seeing participants.

The fourth stage of the project focuses on the participants presenting their creations in a transdisciplinary and interactive exhibition with the aim of creating a multiple sensory experience. The visitors – seeing or not seeing – will touch, hear, smell and taste as well as experience and interpret fashion beyond the visual aspect.

In addition, a large program of events is planned. In January 2018, "Beyond Seeing" will be presented for the first time in a transdisciplinary and interactive exhibition at the WIP at the Parc de la Villette in Paris. After the opening event in Paris, the exhibition will be shown in Borås, Berlin and Brüssel in 2018.

Photos: courtesy of Beyond Seeing
Grace Jones is the focal point of new documentary film

A documentary film, Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami will premiere on October 25, spotlighting the Jamaican pop culture icon.

The film, directed by Sophie Fiennes explores the the life of Grace Jones in terms of her performance, private and public life, featuring musical sequences and intimate personal footage to help examine the icon behind the mask.

The title: Bloodlight and Bami refers to the the red light that signifies an artist is recording, named ‘Bloodlight’ in Jamaican patois and ‘Bami’ which means bread, the substance of Jones’ daily life.

Produced by Katie Holly of Dublin based Blinder Films, the documentary is backed by BBC Films, Irish Film Board and Roads Entertainment.

The film will premiere with a Grace Jones and Friends Live event, livestreamed at selected Cinemas on October 25. The event will see Jones discuss her life and work with some of her closest collaborators, from the worlds of music, fashion, art and film, following an exclusive preview of the the new film.

Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami will be in nationwide cinemas from October 27.

Image courtesy of Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami

Kering to take part in European Heritage Days

Luxury conglomerate Kering is once again set to open its headquarters at 40, rue de Sèvres, Paris as part of the 2017 European Heritage Days.

The listed Historic building, home to Kering’s and Balenciaga’s head offices, will be open to the public on Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18. Visitors will be able to see inside the Balenciaga’s haute couture archives, view contemporary artwork from the Pinault collection and take a virtual reality journey into the history of the site.

“After the success of the opening of 40 rue de Sèvres for the Heritage Days in 2016, I wanted to offer a new way of discovering the unique beauty of this place,” said François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive of Kering. “The two new temporary exhibitions combine heritage and creation, two fundamental values that embody the luxury group we are: the first, with a selection of works signed by renowned artists from the contemporary arts scene, both multicultural and universal; the second, through the creations of Cristóbal Balenciaga, one of the most avant-garde creators of his time.”

Highlights will be a selection of 23 haute couture creations by Cristóbal Balenciaga presented throughout the maison, alongside an exhibition for visitors to immerse themselves in the history of the House of Balenciaga and discover the creative world of Cristóbal Balenciaga.

Kering first participated in the European Heritage Days in 2016 and attracted more than 11,000 visitors to 40 rue de Sèvres in Paris.

Image: courtesy of Kering

Uniqlo will celebrate their Japanese heritage with ‘Japan Day’, a day of events and activities on September 2.

The Uniqlo 311 store on London’s Oxford Street will offer customers art workshops, featuring Origami and Shodo calligraphy; traditional tea ceremonies with Tsujiri, the 155-year-old Japanese tea house; and Taiko drumming performances, all spread over the stores five floors.

The Uniqlo rooftop will be transformed into a Tokyo themed bar for the day, with complimentary food and drinks. Accompanied by NTS Radio, who will broadcast a special Japanese live set from the rooftop, featuring a range of performers including Kero Kero Bonito Soundsystem.

The two have also collaborated on a limited edition Uniqlo X NTS T-shirt, designed by DJ, Foodman and Tetsunori Tawaraya, and available exclusively at the Japan Day event.

Uniqlo’s Japan Day builds on the brands successful offering of unique experiences, with reasons more than just the clothes bringing customers to their stores.

Following Belgian designer, Dries Van Noten’s 100th show at March’s Paris Fashion Week, the designer has launched a book, split into two volumes to celebrate his shows from the first to the 100th.

Set to be published by Lanoo on October 1, the first volume: ‘Dries Van Noten 1-50’ features the first fifty shows, and volume two: ‘Dries Van Noten 51-100,’ the next fifty. Each volume will retail at a price of approximately 70 pounds.

“I like the idea that this commemorates my past so that I may just focus on the future and further evolving as a designer from now,” said Van Noten in a statement. “I originally published a book to commemorate my 50th show and so it came naturally to also do so for the 100th. The 100th show itself was a celebration and I wanted to make it last.”

Comprised in the book are 2,000 photographs that spotlight the runway, backstage, invitations, ambience and venues with accompanying texts, many of which have never been published before.