TIME

Rihanna Named Creative Director of Puma

BRITAIN-FASHION-AWARDS
Rihanna arrives at the British Fashion Awards 2014 in London on Dec. 1, 2014. Justin Tallis—AFP/Getty Images

Working on a line of fitness and training clothes for women

Rihanna is already well-known for her audacious fashion statements. Now she’ll get to spread her influence even further as the new creative director of Puma. The pop star will oversee a women’s line of clothing for the apparel company, focusing on fitness and training clothes. She’ll also become a “brand ambassador” for the company alongside star athletes like sprinter Usain Bolt and soccer player Mario Balotelli.

RiRi celebrated her new appointment by flying off for her first creative session at the company’s headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany, on Monday. She’s also been spotted sporting a pair of Pumas on Instagram.

[Women’s Wear Daily]

 

TIME White House

See Michelle Obama’s Best Outfits of 2014

Love it or hate it: Being First Lady of the United States means being one of the leading ladies of fashion.

Whether getting noticed for mostly eschewing the world of fashion, as Hillary Clinton did, or choosing to make a statement with what you wear, as Jackie Kennedy did, the First Lady is going to get attention for what she wears. Michelle Obama has taken well to the role, choosing to mix high and low in her fashion picks, and 2014 was exception.

TIME Humor

I’m So Bored With This ‘Color of the Year’ Thing

red
Getty Images

Calling something a trend doesn't make it trendy

xojane

This story originally appeared on xoJane.com.

At the risk of sounding like one of those people who shows up on the Internet to complain about something completely pointless, can I just vent real quick?

Last week, Pantone unveiled the 2015 Color of the Year, and immediately, everyone ran their typical headlines “You’ll Be Seeing This Color Everywhere in 2015” and “The Trendiest Hue for All Your Holiday Parties.”

This year’s Color of the Year is Marsala, for those playing along at home.

I think it’s time for us to all step back, take a breath, and collectively agree to just calm the eff down.

I’ve never really gotten the whole Color of the Year thing, for many reasons. For one, it’s just such a forced trend. I have a weird relationship with trends in general because I always want to rebel against them on principle, and yet embody each and every single one of them because I have a horrible fear of being left out and also want to be viewed as one of the cool kids. So there’s that.

What makes a trend ~trendy~ is that it happens organically. People see something, respond to it, and incorporate it into their own lives. Like, I don’t know, dark lipsticks, messy fishtail braids, or literally anything on Pinterest. All of that caught on because that stuff is cute. No one just decided on those certain things and handed them down to us.

The whole concept of the Color of the Year just seems very manufactured, like a bunch of execs were sitting around a board room in gray suits, analyzing pie charts and bar graphs, whatever those are, to figure out which color would sell the best throughout the coming year, then making that the color of the year.

It’s just BORING. And doesn’t officially declaring something a hot item automatically negate any cool factor it once had? What’s interesting about a certain color if we’re all going to be wearing it? And could you ever actually hear yourself saying, “Oh yeah, this? It’s the Color of the Year.” I’d rather go blind.

Maybe it’s the fact that the Color of the Year never feels very thought out. Pantone always partners with Sephora for a Color of the Year collection, which is an awesome idea in theory, but the execution always seems to fall a little short. The Color of the Year for 2014 was Radiant Orchid, and the year before that, Emerald. Good on Sephora and Pantone for not being afraid of vibrant colors, but neither of the aforementioned shades struck me as being very wearable nor flattering on any skin tone. I realize that this is just a matter of taste, but still, I would think it would be a factor that would inform the decision on what color you’re going to be marketing to the masses.

This year’s color, Marsala, is in my opinion, the most versatile color Pantone has chosen in a while. They describe it as “a naturally robust and earthy wine red, Marsala enriches our minds, body, and souls.” SIGH.

The images accompanying the announcement play up the luxuriousness of Marsala.

Everywhere you look, there are plush fabrics, mulled wine, berries, and of course, macarons. What would a photo shoot in 2014 be without a macaron? They’re serving up the color to be perfect for the holidays, very warm, able to be incorporated into your clothes, makeup, your couch, your kitchen, whatever.

As colors go, I actually kind of like this one, because it’s sort of an in-between of, like, five other colors. It’s vague. All of my favorite colors are lifeless and boring and this one fits right in. Marsala is like a darkened dusty rose, a muted brick red, with a tiny bit of taupe thrown in there for good measure. It’s a nice departure from the jewel tones of the last couple of years. It’s also a lot more in line with what is actually going on in fashion right now. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Marsala pairs very well with this 90s revival we’ve been seeing with the darker makeup and brown lipsticks.

But do we really need to pair one trend with another? That almost seems like it defeats the purpose of having a color of the year, if they’re just going to align it with what we were already doing anyway.

Is it just me? Are you down with having a color of the year every year? Trends, even at their silliest and most pointless, are supposed to be fun, and I am the last person to hate on something that’s simply supposed to bring us a little joy. After all, I’ve been known to lose my mind over a color-changing nail polish or whatever, so it’s not like I take any of this too seriously. It just seems a little forced. To me, the people who would respond to the Color of the Year are the same people who would wear a band T-shirt without actually knowing any of the band’s music, just because they think it makes them cool (he types, wearing an AC/DC T-shirt, unable to name a single AC/DC song).

Am I putting too much thought into this? Am I taking this too seriously? Have I become what I fear the most: A hater? What trends do you hate? How do you feel about marsala? Was that seriously the cutest name they could come up with?

Tynan Sinks is a Beauty/Style contributor for xoJane.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Television

Watch Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande and Hozier Perform at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

2014 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - Runway
Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran pose with the models at the annual Victoria's Secret fashion show at Earls Court on December 2, 2014 in London, England. Karwai Tang—WireImage/Getty Images

Hard as it is to steal the spotlight from the models, this year’s show was all about the music

For an event that features 47 models clad in lingerie that costs more than most people’s net worth, you might expect the post-show chatter to focus on bras and the women who sported them. But the highlight of last night’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was undoubtedly the music — with Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, Hozier and Taylor Swift supplying the energy for the annual spectacle. Filmed a week ago in London, the show got some buzz during rehearsals when Ariana Grande got hit in the face by an angel wing and made Ed Sheeran balk at an off-color joke. But the team pulled it together for a soundtrack that had even the models lip-syncing as they flaunted their duds (and let’s be honest, the curves barely hidden by those duds).

Taylor Swift opened the show with “Blank Space,” the menacing quality of which stood in contrast to the pink pom-poms adorning the models’ stilettos. This section of the show was the innocent baby pink lace and bows segment, but Swift’s singing gave it undertones of strength and power. It’s unclear how much of the vocal track is live versus pre-recorded — but either way, the spectacle was polished and Swiftian as ever.

Ed Sheeran followed Swift, creating a more intimate ambiance with his ballad “Thinking Out Loud.” It was important for the music to get quiet here so the crowd could focus on the $4 million in precious gems waltzing down the runway on Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio. Those gems demanded attention, and they weren’t about to let Sheeran steal it. Pairing the belly dance-inspired lingerie with Sheeran’s sensitive crooning gave the impression that buying a woman bedazzled underwear is the most loving gesture a person could hope to perform. Sheeran, for his part, gave the kind of heart-on-his-sleeve performance that shows why he was the most downloaded artist on Spotify this year.

Ariana Grande was definitely singing live in her four-song medley, which included “Love Me Harder,” “Bang Bang,” “Break Free” and “Problem.” She was the only performer to get back-up dancers — mostly men whose full-coverage jumpsuits wouldn’t distract from the models — and the more active nature of her performance was fitting given that the models were sporting items from the Pink collection (which is presumably what you would wear if you were planning to exercise). Grande’s performance was spirited and energetic, and the fact that she sang the whole thing live far outweighed the moments when she lost her breath.

When Hozier sang “Amen, amen, amen” during his performance of “Take Me to the Church,” he captured the sentiment that for many, this show is a religious experience. Though the song had more than 87 million plays on Spotify this year, the Irish musician probably has the least name recognition of the performers. It was certainly the most dramatic of the evening’s numbers, and it served — perhaps unintentionally — as a reminder of the way our culture worships beautiful women.

In what was surely meant to double as a marketing ploy, Taylor Swift closed the night with her song “Style.” Singing “we never go out of style” as the models strutted down the runway, Swift left viewers with the message that this lingerie company is here to stay. With a net income of $5 billion and studies that show it to be the most popular brand in the world, Victoria’s Secret continues to be at the top of its game. Much like a certain country-singer-turned-pop-star.

The only question that remains unanswered is why Sheeran and Hozier decided not to perform — as Swift and Grande did — in lingerie.

TIME fashion

Watch a Century of Hairstyles in Just One Minute

It's like the DeLorean in Back to the Future — but with curlers

A new video by Cut transforms a model through different hairstyles from 1910 to 2010 in just 60 seconds.

The time-lapse clip has quickly gone viral with more than 1 million hits since going live on Nov. 20. And if the comments below the post are anything to go by, we now have definitive proof that hair in the 1980s was a fashion abomination.

Read next: This Woman Can Sing Two Notes at Once and It’s Eerily Beautiful

TIME Television

Kathy Griffin to Replace the Late Joan Rivers as Host of Fashion Police

41st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards - Arrivals
Kathy Griffin arrives at the 41st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on June 22, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. Michael Tran—FilmMagic/Getty Images

And next year there will be only 17 episodes

The heat is on for comedian Kathy Griffin when she takes over the late Joan Rivers’s spot as co-host of Fashion Police on E!, and she knows it.

“I get it! These are some big shoes I’m going to fill. Joan was truly one of a kind. Now I hope you will accept me for me,” Griffin said in a statement. “I’m just Kathy. Did I say I’m just Kathy? I meant I’m Kathy F***ing Griffin and you celebrities better strap yourself in, as I am taking no prisoners. I am not holding back so DAMMIT let’s have some fun!”

She’ll be joined by celebrity stylist Brad Goreski, who is replacing former co-host George Kotsiopoulos, and Kelly Osbourne and Giuliana Rancic are set to return.

But that’s not all that’s changing on the beloved fashion show. Instead of airing weekly episodes, Fashion Police will air just 17 episodes, focused mostly on the biggest fashion nights of the year, like the Oscars, Grammys, Emmys and more. The first episode of 2015 will be dedicated to covering the fashion at the Golden Globes.

TIME fashion

In Praise of Nylon Stockings: Classic Photos of a Fashion Staple

Classic photos that capture stockings' allure, and the quite evident reasons for the fashion staple's central place in the style canon

The invention of nylon in the mid-1930s by the geniuses at DuPont, and the first commercial sale of nylon stockings in late October 1939, are landmarks in fashion history that anyone with a modicum of reverence for the timeline of chic would do well to note. Perhaps with a moment of silence. Or the gentle rustling of stockinged leg against stockinged leg.

[See TIME.com’s “The War That Shaped Women’s Legs”]

Here, LIFE.com pays tribute to nylon stockings — and hosiery in general — with a series of classic photos that capture something of the fashion staple’s allure, and the quite evident reasons for the stocking’s central place in the style canon.

[See all of LIFE’s galleries]

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

TIME Style

Sarah Jessica Parker’s Shoe Line to Launch in Dubai

Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker. Nigel Waldron—Getty Images

The "Sex and the City" star is set to appear in the United Arab Emirates promoting her shoe line's international debut

Sarah Jessica Parker is perhaps taking a cue from her Sex and the City alter ego and heading to the United Arab Emirates with her shoe line.

But while Carrie Bradshaw visited Abu Dhabi in the franchise’s second film (which was panned by critics), Parker is preparing to launch her SJP Collection in Dubai, marking the line’s debut in the international market. The collection will be available from Dec. 3 and Parker will be making appearances at Harvey Nichols on Dec. 7 and Bloomingdale’s on Dec. 9 to promote the line.

Parker created the shoe collection with the CEO of Manolo Blahnik, George Malkemus. The shoes, which are already available to buy in the US, are identifiable by the signature strip of grosgrain ribbon on the back of every heel.

[The National]

TIME Opinion

Confessions of a Lumbersexual

Jordan Ruiz—Getty Images

Why plaid yoga mats and beards are the future

Several years ago I was riding in a van with two female friends in the front seats when one of them pointed out the window and yelled “Wait! Slow down…is that him?” We were passing the bar that employed her ex-boyfriend.

“I don’t know,” said her friend who was driving. “A guy in Brooklyn with a beard and a plaid shirt? Could be anyone.”

I looked down over my beard at my shirt and both girls looked at me and we all laughed.

I’ve had a beard most of my adult life and my wardrobe is comprised largely of cowboy cut, plaid shirts and Wrangler blue jeans. On cold days I wear a big Carhartt coat into the office. In my youth in Oklahoma I did cut down some trees and split firewood for use in a house I really did grow up in, but in those days I dressed like a poser gutter punk. I nurture an abiding love for outlaw country and bluegrass, though, again, during my actual lumberjacking days it was all Black Flag, Operation Ivy and an inadvisable amount of The Doors.

After a decade living in urban places likes Brooklyn and Washington, I still keep a fishing rod I haven’t used in years, woodworking tools I shouldn’t be trusted with, and when I drink my voice deepens into a sort of a growl the provenance of which I do not know. I like mason jars, and craft beer and vintage pickup trucks. An old friend visiting me a few years ago commented, as I propped a booted foot against the wall behind me and adjusted the shirt tucked into my blue jeans, that I looked more Oklahoma than I ever did in Oklahoma.

I am a lumbersexual.

The lumbersexual has been the subject of much Internet musing in the last several weeks. The term is a new one on me but it is not a new phenomenon. In 2010 Urban Dictionary defined the lumbersexual as, “A metro-sexual who has the need to hold on to some outdoor based ruggedness, thus opting to keep a finely trimmed beard.” I was never a metrosexual and I’m actually most amused by Urban Dictionary’s earliest entry for lumbersexual, from February 2004: “A male who humps anyone who gives him wood.” But I do think defining the lumbersexual as a metrosexual grasping at masculinity gets at something.

It doesn’t take a lot of deep self-reflection to see that my lumbersexuality is, in part, a response to the easing of gender identities in society at large over the last few decades. Writing for The New Republic nearly 15 years ago, Andrew Sullivan observed “many areas of life that were once ‘gentlemanly’ have simply been opened to women and thus effectively demasculinized.” The flipside of this happy consequence of social progress is a generation of men left a bit rudderless. “Take their exclusive vocations away, remove their institutions, de-gender their clubs and schools and workplaces, and you leave men with more than a little cultural bewilderment,” writes Sullivan.

If not a breadwinner, not ogreishly aggressive, and not a senior member in good standing at a stuffy old real-life boy’s club, what is a man to be?

On the other hand, the upending of gender norms frees men in mainstream culture to do things verboten by a retrograde man-code once enforced by the most insecure and doltish among us. We carry purses now (and call them murses, or satchels, but don’t kid yourselves fellas). We do yoga. That the ancient core workout is so associated with femininity the pop culture has invented the term “broga” only goes to show what a sorry state masculinity is in. The lumbersexual is merely a healthier expression of the same identity crisis.

Which is, I think (?), why I dress like a lumberjack (and a lumberjack from like 100 years ago, mind you; real lumberjacks today, orange-clad in helmets and ear protection, do not dress like lumbersexuals). As a 21st-century man who does not identify with the pickup artist thing or the boobs/cars/abs triad of masculinity on display in most 21st-century men’s magazines (Maxim et al), is not particularly fastidious or a member of any clearly identifiable subculture and who is as attracted to notions of old-timey authenticity as anyone else in my 20s-30s hipster cohort (all of you are hipsters get over it), I guess this is just the fashion sense that felt most natural. I am actually fairly outdoorsy, in a redneck car-camping kind of way. Lumbersexuality just fit right, like an axe handle smoothed out by years of palm grease or an iPhone case weathered in all the right places to the shape of my hand.

There is a dark side to this lumbersexual moment however. It’s an impulse evident in Tim Allen’s new show Last Man Standing. Whereas in the 1990s, Tim the Tool-Man Taylor from Home Improvement was a confident and self-effacing parody on the Man Cave, complete with silly dude-grunting and fetishizing of tools, Mike Baxter, played by Tim Allen in Last Man Standing, is an entirely un-self-aware, willfully ignorant reactionary. The central theme of the show is Baxter in a household full of women struggling to retain his masculinity, which is presumed to be under assault because of all the estrogen around. He does this through all manner of posturing, complaining and at times being outright weird. In an early episode, Baxter waltzes into the back office at his job in a big box store modeled off Bass Pro Shops and relishes in the fact that it “smells like balls in here.” The joke is a crude attempt at celebrating maleness but it rings distressingly hollow to anyone who has spent any time in rooms redolent with the scent of actual balls. In later seasons the show softened but the central concern of a man whose masculinity is under assault because he is surrounded by women speaks to this moment in our popular culture.

If my beard is a trend-inspired attempt to reclaim a semblance of masculinity in a world gone mad then so be it. Beats scrotum jokes.

TIME Africa

Africa Fashion Week Showcases the Continent’s Best Talent

The growing trend of Fashion Weeks across the African continent challenges the notion that global fashion starts in the northern hemisphere

The lights dim on the catwalk as a capacity crowd quiets in anticipation. A pounding drum rhythm builds suspense as, backstage, stylists swarm the waiting models, applying last-minute dabs of foundation, glittering lip-gloss and bursts of hair spray. Next to the catwalk, professional photographers jostle for space with fashion bloggers preparing to snap candids with raised iPhones.

The scene could come from any of Europe or America’s frenzied fashion shows, but for two key differences: the models are mostly black and the designers all African. Welcome to Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg, an annual event that offers a sharp rebuttal to the idea that international fashion begins and ends in the northern hemisphere. “When it comes to fashion design, Africa is the next frontier,” says Precious Moloi-Motsepe, a women’s health doctor and wife of South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe who founded African Fashion International, which organizes the event, in 2007.

Now in its sixth year, Fashion Week Africa—which recently picked up Mercedes Benz’s sponsorship in a sign of its growing prominence (the company also sponsors fashion weeks in Australia, Russia and Mexico)—is a showcase for Africa’s top designers. Headlining designer David Tlale of South Africa makes regular appearances at New York’s fashion week, while Mozambican Taibo Bacar and South African Hendrik Vermeulen wowed audiences in Milan and Rome earlier this year.

The message from Johannesburg is clear: Africa is no longer just a source for ethnic inspiration and fashion shoots, but a fount of original talent that may just give the established global brands a fresh dose of creativity, Tlale tells TIME. “The industry needs fresh blood. Armani is tired. Galliano is trying to resuscitate himself. McQueen is gone. Gucci is failing to reinvigorate and Prada needs a new creative team. It’s time for the big fashion investors to start looking to Africa. Not appropriating our themes, but taking on our design talent.”

The first obstacle may be overcoming expectations. When Tlale, arguably Africa’s best-known designer, first showed in Paris in 2007, reviewers needled him about his line’s lack of leopard print. It still happens today. “There is so much more happening in Africa than animal prints,” he groans. “The time for showcasing the big five is over.” He is talking about the big five safari animals, but he could just as easily be referencing Africa’s big five fashion clichés: Mandela shirts, animal skins, vibrant Ghanaian fabrics, Ndebele beadwork and the red plaid and beaded collars of the Maasai.

Take the clothes on the catwalk in Johannesburg on Oct. 29 to Nov. 2: from diaphanous trench coats to daring hotpants, they have nary a whiff of the African stereotype. Tribal motifs made an appearance, but they were translated into muted knitwear that could almost pass as Nordic.

As much as international fashion design could use a jolt of African creativity, Africa, which has become dependent on imported fashion, needs the economic stimulus of domestic production. In South Africa, the clothing manufacturing sector used to be the country’s biggest employer, even more than mining, according to Anita Stanbury, of the South African Fashion Council. But in the early 2000s changes in the law allowed Chinese imports to take over, and the industry all but collapsed. South Africa’s fashion weeks, of which there are six year round, are one way to encourage interest, and investment, in local production. South African fashion retailers only buy 25% of their product locally, says Stanbury. If they bought 40%, the number of clothing manufacturing jobs in South Africa would nearly double, from 80,000 to 150,000. “That is a huge reason why we should support the domestic fashion scene,” says Stanbury. “It gives us the opportunity to pull people out of poverty, and make them consumers in the market.”

The domestic economic benefit is one of the main reasons Moloi-Motsepe started with fashion, but pride plays a part as well. She believes it’s time for African fashion to take its place in the spotlight. “We see ourselves as global fashion players,” says Moloi-Motsepe. Just as she pairs Prada with creations by local designers, she is waiting for the day she spots a Londoner mixing Stella McCartney with Tlale. Global fashion, she says, would be better for the cross-pollination.

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