Today’s Fashion Headlines. December 21, 2011

December 21, 2011 • Fashion, Fashion Blog

Talbots changing its misses format, Princess Diana's dresses gets its own display and Taylor Swift ads pulled for basically lying

Talbots Changing Its Misses Format

The Talbots Inc., which has closed stores and suffered declining revenues, on Tuesday batted away what it considered to be a low-ball offer to acquire its operations. Instead, the company said it would explore “strategic alternatives” with financial adviser Perella Weinberg Partners — Wall Street speak for hanging out the For Sale sign. Talbots is said to have drawn the interest of both financial and strategic players. One possibility, the acquisition-minded Ascena Retail Group Inc., which operates the Dress Barn chain, and is also considered a possible buyer of Charming Shoppes.

But, in general, the category is simply not getting lots of love. Call it the misses’ crunch. And companies across the segment are feeling it. Coldwater Creek Inc. and Christopher & Banks Corp., as well as Talbots, are cutting their store base by 12 to 15 percent each. Earlier this month, Charming Shoppes Inc. did much the same when it revealed plans to divest the Fashion Bug chain and hired Barclays Capital to, again, pursue “strategic alternatives.”

“It’s a zero-sum game and any market share somebody is gaining is at the expense of somebody else,” said Arnold Aronson, managing director of retail strategies at Kurt Salmon. “Some of the attractiveness of the department stores, in terms of their multiple brand options, is creating pressure on the monobrands. It’s competition for a consumer segment that is not growing, but at best is treading water.”

Princess Diana’s Dresses Displayed

The display of five dresses from Princess Diana — some of which are on show in the U.K. for the first time — will launch at Kensington Palace March 26. The centerpiece of the show will be the black silk taffeta Emanuel gown that cemented Diana’s status as a fashion plate when she wore it at her first official engagement with Prince Charles in 1981. The other dresses on show are a fuchsia silk chiffon sari-style dress and an ivory silk crepe dinner dress, both by Catherine Walker, a black and white cocktail dress by Bellville Sassoon Lorcan Mullany and a black silk shift dress by Versace.

The dresses will be presented against a set created by interior designer Finola Inger, while Julie Verhoeven has designed bespoke wallpaper for the space to highlight the late Princess of Wales’ key fashion moments. The display, called “Diana,” will be on show as part of the celebrations to mark a $19 million revamp of Kensington Palace in time for Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee and the London Olympics, which both take place in 2012.

Taylor Swift’s CoverGirl Ad Pulled

Print ads for CoverGirl NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara, fronted by spokesmodel Taylor Swift, have been banned by the U.S.’s National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus Claims (mercifully abbreviated to NAD) for making unsubstantiated claims. According to the NAD, the mascara ads made claims like “2X more volume” and “20 percent lighter” that couldn’t be proven. What’s more, fine print beneath Swift’s picture states “lashes enhanced in post production.” NAD director Andrea Levine tells Business Insider, “You can’t use a photograph to demonstrate how a cosmetic will look after it is applied to a woman’s face and then — in the mice type — have a disclosure that says ‘okay, not really.'”

– Taneisha Jordan

Source: WWD; Business Insider
Photo: WWD

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