Strange But True: The Return of Rochas! DVF Channels Wonder Woman! Plus: McQueen’s Noir Ad Fantasia

As we emerge from the month-long coma induced by the Spring 2009 collections, it is time to once again focus on fashion developments unrelated to underwhelming offerings from Parisian powerhouses, rumours of Nuclear Wintour’s editorial demise, or daily catwalk drama (all bothersomely recurrent themes in the past fortnight of fashion headlines). Instead, here are some recent, unseemly style stories that have caught our attention:

Rochas is set to make a surprising return to stores next March! Procter & Gamble has suddenly figured out a way to revive the beloved luxury stalwart, which has been inactive since 2006, when P&G unceremoniously closed the doors of the fabled label, then enjoying a new, creative renaissance under Belgian wunderkind Olivier Theyskens. While the original impetus behind the closing of Rochas remains unclear (production was a costly endeavor, but Theyskens’ output was reliably embraced by critics and munificent demicouture clients), P&G has apparently re-evaluated the situation and had a change of heart. High-end Italian manufacturer Gibo Co. SpA has been licensed to produce a ready-to-wear apparel line, reportedly as early as March 2009. But with Theyskens now in his halcyon days at Nina Ricci, who will Gibo appoint to helm the line? And is this well-intended corporate gesture too little, too late?

More news after the jump!

Legendary Diane von Furstenberg seems to invent new business strategies as quickly as she hires socialites. Her upcoming holiday capsule collection, inspired by “Wonder Woman”, is only the beginning of her exploration of the world of comics. DVF will also release an original comic through DC Comics titled, “Be the Wonder Woman You Can Be, Featuring the Adventures of Diva, Viva & Fifa”. The fashion-forward comic – ostensibly the first of it kind – will sport illustrations by Konstantin Kakanias, essays by Gloria Steinem and Les Daniels, a letter from “Wonder Woman actress Lynda Carter, a reprint of Wonder Woman’s first adventure, and several early covers. The book will be available exclusively at von Furstenberg DVF boutiques and at for $25; those inspired to spend extra can buy a $50 T-shirt or a $230 tote. Now that the previously unrelated spheres of fashion & comics have inevitably collided, what other designers can you picture penning a comic? Names that immediately come to mind for us: Marc Jacobs. Luella Bartley. Jeremy Scott.

– Arriving fashionably late to the Fall 2008 advertising game is Alexander McQueen’s first campaign in five years: a chimerical, noir fantasia featuring Alice Gibb as a bewitching bird-like creature, keeping in theme with the season’s Anglophilic fairytale inspiration. The haunting imagery was shot by Craig McDean in New York and styled by Tabitha Simmons. Was it worth the wait? See for yourself.

– Grunge pop icon (and neophyte actress) Shirley Manson has enjoyed resurgent status in the media of late, thanks to her role as a terrorizing, eternally sarcastic she-bot on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. But it isn’t just her music and acting ambitions that people are talking about: her style has recaptured imaginations, as well. Once regarded as something of a indie-minded fashion tastemaker in her days as the Nineties’ reigning left-field pop diva, talk of Shirley’s wardrobe preferences dwindled into dormancy for the better part of this decade. But now, she’s been nominated for 2008’s Most Stylish Scotswoman.

“Manson’s inimitable edgy and directional style remains more than at any other point in a dazzling 25-year career authentic, uncompromising and utterly potent,” says the panel. Aside from her current Akris-heavy, cyber-CEO garb of late, we totally agree!

– Shirley’s femme-rock compatriot Gwen Stefani has been quiet of late, but has still managed to earn some recent buzz for her fashion endeavors. Not only has she been voted by In Touch Weekly‘s readers as the top celebrity designer, she will be the new creative force behind the uniforms worn by W Hotel’s bar staff. Says Gwen of her newest project: “I wanted to design a super cute dress that I would be excited to have in my own closet and approached it in the same way I think about my clothing for a tour. We’ve designed a sexy and comfortable outfit for these women to wear out on their own stage every night.”. Take a look to the left to see a sketch of the uniforms. Très chic, no?

– The Kate Moss/Jamie Hince/Alison Mosshart bizarre love triangle managed to increase its absurdity factor tenfold when rumors of Kate & Jamie’s on & off again relationship were overshadowed last week by the sudden disappearance of THE KILLS’ ENTIRE TOURBUS (DRIVER INCLUDED).

A very confusing several days resulted, a period of distress encapsulated by the band’s frenzied online intimation that they were suddenly sans the majority of their worldly possessions. As this writer admits to fostering a girlish but healthy obsession with the band, it is worth noting that I attended The Kills’ sold-out Brooklyn show last weekend with a troubled heart. However, my front-row vantage point allows me to clarify that a.) the band were still in amazing form, despite everything, including illness, working against them and b.) Alison’s famous leopard cardigan (reputedly H&M) and gold Marc by Marc Jacobs boots were still accounted for. Thank God for that. Oh, and their bus was eventually found, belongings in tact.