Celeb Fashion Lines

    These days, no self respecting celebrity can hold her (or his) head up in Hollywood without a clothing, shoe, handbag, or home furnishings line to call their own. But are these stars really qualified to add designer to their resume? StyleList puts them to the test. First up...
    Celeb:Taylor Swift
    Fashion Line: L.E.I. Sundresses by Taylor Swift
    Qualifications:The young country singer is releasing a line of frocks this February that her die-hard fans will love and moms can afford. We're sure Swift's brand will expand into denim.

    Charley Gallay, Getty Images

    Celeb: Dita Von Teese
    Fashion Line: Science of Sexy for Wonderbra
    Qualifications: This burlesque bombshell spends most of her time in scanty skivvies, so we're absolutely confident she is capable of creating amazing lingerie! Of her '40s and '50s-inspired line Von Teese says "Underwear isn't just something that you put on for your lover -- you wear it for you."

    Mike Marsland, WireImage

    Celeb: Lauren Bush
    Fashion Line:Lauren Pierce (hits stores in Spring 2009)
    Qualifications: An alum of both Parsons New School for Design in NYC and Central Saint Martins College in London, first niece and former model Lauren Bush definitely has a solid design foundation. Add to that an internship at Zac Posen, a boyfriend with a designer dad (her main squeeze is Ralph Lauren's son) and the success of the popular FEED bags she designed to benefit the U.N.'s World Food Program, and it looks like Ms. Bush has the chops to make her ready-to-wear sustainable fabrics line a hit.

    Astrid Stawiarz, Getty Images

    Celeb: Eva Mendes
    Fashion Line: Vida for Macy's
    Qualifications: Calvin Klein's latest controversial ad campaigns features a naked Eva Mendes rolling around on a bed, so perhaps her new venture isn't really all that surprising. The actress and her boyfriend, film producer George Augusto, are launching a collection of sheets and comforters. While neither has any design background, we're betting the betting the lovebirds know how to make a cozy nest.

    AFP/Getty Images

    Celeb: Mischa Barton
    Fashion Line: Mischa Barton for Stacey Lapidus
    Qualifications:The former O.C. star gets more ink these days for her hair accessories than her acting jobs so maybe this is a brilliant career move: She's coming out with a line of headbands made from a wide array of materials including silk, feathers and crystals, ranging in price from $40-$200.

    Astrid Stawiarz, Getty Images

    Celeb: Janet Jackson
    Fashion Line:Pleasure Principle
    Qualifications:Named after her 1987 hit, the fancy pants (and matching bras) will all retail for under $40. "There's something for every woman, and that's very important to us," Jackson says. "I've always hated when lingerie is uncomfortable, so the fit and comfort was key." Nothing nasty about that, Miss Jackson.

    Arnold Turner, AP

    Celeb: Lenny Kravtiz
    Fashion Line: Inspired by Lenny, Worn by You at Kohls
    Qualifications:Hmmm, we're not sure that even Lenny's biggest fans would be inspired to wear this denim, fringe and wings ensemble, but fortunately for those who do want to emulate the the rocker's style, his jeans and t-shirts line for Kohls is a bit more traditional.

    Kevin Mazur, WireImage

    Celeb: Tara Reid
    Fashion Line: Manta
    Qualifications:Sometimes an actress, always a party girl, and now a designer. According to Reid her little triangles of Lycra are more than simple poolside attire, "It's about putting into the universe what you want in life: Red means love, pink is friendship, green is lucky, black is protection. You're gonna have a story when you wear this bikini or when you put this dress on: You'll either get love or meet a new friend or you might meet a guy." Big promises from little bikinis!

    Casey Rodgers, WireImage.com

    Celeb: Katie Holmes
    Fashion Line: Holmes/Yang for Giorgio Armani
    Qualifications: Mrs. Tom Cruise created her own storm at the LA premiere of "Tropic Thunder," debuting the first piece from her collection with stylist pal Jeanne Yang. But given the dress's sleek lines and navy blue fabric two Giorgio Armani trademarks it's a good bet that Katie got more than a little help from her silver-haired mentor.


    Celeb: La Lohan
    Fashion Line: 6126 Leggings
    Qualifications:Lindsay Lohan's collection owes its name to Marilyn Monroe born on 6/1/26 but it doesn't look like she captured what made the '50s bombshell so sexy. Does the modern American woman really need leopard print "ankle gloves"? Or glimmer leggings? Seems like La Lohan is channeling no one but...Lindsay.


Wet Seal + Playboy = Freedom -- wait ... what now? The dying publication has teamed up with the teeny bopper store to do a line of t-shirts and accessories called the Playboy Freedom Collection. We really have no idea how they weren't able to come up with a tag line that made better sense.

Nor are we certain why Wet Seal, a brand that designs mainly for young girls, thinks that the magazine is an ideal business partner.

Do you really want to see your 13-year-old daughter sporting the bunny ears on her chest? We're not crazy about the idea. We're no prudes, but even we have our limits -- and promoting the idea of getting naked and airbrushed for all the world to see to impressionable young women leaves a bad taste in our mouths. What would our bra-burning female ancestors say about the "Freedom" collection? Being bound by body ideals and society's sexual expectations doesn't sound very free to us.

What do you think about Wetseal's Playboy collection?
Tasteless. I would never wear that.991 (42.7%)
It's fine but shouldn't be marketed to young girls.1008 (43.4%)
Stop being prudes. This collection is great for women of any age!321 (13.8%)

Barbie Fashion Evolution

    With her 39-21-33-inch curves, Barbie no doubt sets an impossible ideal. Not even Gisele Bundchen and her slinky 36-24-35-inch stats could compare. But if Barbie is No Girl, she's also Every Girl – cheerleader, rock star, teacher, President, Olympic skier, frothy beach bunny, fearless astronaut, a mover-and-shaker who's cycled through more incarnations than Madonna, Lindsay and Britney combined. The one constant: Barbie has remained the ultimate fashionista, sporting the perfect pillbox in the Jackie Kennedy days, psychedelic colors in the wake of Woodstock and 70 different high-rent designers in the decades of conspicuous consumption. Now, Barbie is hitting the big Five-O, but unlike many other Baby Boomers, she shows no signs of losing her bod, her face -- or her sense of style. To see how she's evolved from plaything to fashion queen, click on.


    When Barbie came into the world on March 9, 1959, with a cardboard box and a $3 price tag, her birthday suit was a black-and-white striped bandeau. Modeled on the shapely (and vaguely sinister) German doll "Lilli," Barbie was like no other creature in post-War America, where baby dolls and Davy Crockett caps reigned. But for Ruth Handler, who created Barbie for Mattel, Inc., that was the point. "Every little girl needed a doll through which to project herself into her dream of her future," Handler once told The New York Times. "If she was going to do role playing of what she would be like when she was 16 or 17, it was stupid to play with a doll that had a flat chest. So I gave it beautiful breasts." The first year alone, 300,000 girls – flat-chested or not – bought into the dream.


    Ruth Handler dubbed Barbie a "teen-age fashion model," but not even young Suzy Parker owned clothes like this. Mattel lavished Barbie with 22 outfits, all designed by a Seventh Avenue veteran named Charlotte Johnson. In a matter of weeks, she created not just impeccable daytime ensembles like this skirt-and-coat "Roman Holiday" set (one of many that nodded to the movies), but also delicate underwear (bras, slips, girdles) and baby-doll nighties (sheer enough to set '50s mothers clucking). To finish: exquisite accessories, from tiny pearl necklaces and working belts to miniscule gloves and cats-eye sunglasses.


    Even more stunning than the design of Barbie's clothes was the execution – by legions of Japanese housewives. "Eyes straining, needles flying, they handstitched gold buttons onto Barbie's red 'Sweater Girl' cardigan and attached flower appliqués to her 'Picnic Set' sunhat," writes M.G. Lord in "Forever Barbie," her 1994 unauthorized Barbie biography. "Then, after their handiwork had been vetted for flaws, they gave the garments to other housewives who stitched them into cardboard display packages."


    Barbie landed in an era when air travel was growing dramatically, so it wasn't surprising that stewardess was one of her first careers. Her 1961uniform was a replica of the American Airlines original, down to the AA flight bag and the winged pin on her jacket and cap. In the days before airline de-regulation, Barbie would also suit up for United Airlines and Pan Am.


    In the early years, Barbie-lovers owned one doll and saved their pennies for new outfits, which sold for $1.25 to $3; even an elaborate satin wedding gown was only $5. One of the most popular looks was "Solo in the Spotlight," a tulle-trimmed siren's gown, complete with elbow gloves and long-stemmed microphone, that transformed the nerdiest 'tween into a sultry chanteuse.


    Though Barbie could wear short-shorts with the best of them, her passion was couture. According to the 1987 BillyBoy book, "Barbie: Her Life and Times," Barbie's dress designer Charlotte Johnson "would travel seasonally to Europe to watch the Paris collections. Dior, Fath, Heim, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Gres, Schiaparelli, Carven, Balmain, and Saint Laurent were all inspirations for the first few years of Barbie's extensive wardrobe." BillyBoy, who owns more than 20,000 Barbies, added that, like this "Red Flair" ensemble inspired by Spanish designer Cristobal Balenciaga, Barbie's outfits borrowed "the charming haute couture custom of naming outfits to evoke dreams."


    Poor Barbie. Our favorite mannequin (shown here in 1963) has spent five decades at the center of the national body-image furor. We'll leave the blame-her-or-not to the psychologists, but we will note that, while Barbie's face, hair and makeup have been transformed over the years, her body has changed not an ounce. With her 1965 "Slumber Party" outfit came a bathroom scale set – for eternity – at 110 lbs. Barbie even had her own (toy) diet book: "How to Lose Weight: Don't Eat.


    Like most American women, Barbie in the early 1960s took her fashion cues from Jackie Kennedy, that other paragon of chic. Like the simple pink knit that sheathed a 1964 Barbie, the doll's clothes, says author Lord, became as pedigreed as Jackie's. But all that changed in 1968, as Lord writes in "Forever Barbie": "She had married Aristotle Onassis, and Mattel was not about to link its Golden Girl to some stubby, shriveled Mediterranean type with alleged links to international organized crime."


    In 1963, Betty Friedan's "Feminine Mystique" warned housewives of the "problem that has no name," but Barbie has never seemed unfulfilled. In the course of 50 years, Barbie has had 108 careers, from the traditional (nurse, teacher) to the trailblazing (doctor, pilot, NASCAR driver). But perhaps none was more thrilling than her debut as an astronaut in 1965 at the height of the race to the moon. Would that her get-up matched the euphoria. Barbie's first astronaut suit was drab one-piece gray. Thankfully, when Astronaut Barbie returned 20 years later, it was in a fuchsia and silver space suit with other-worldly puffed sleeves.