Is Michelle Obama Diversifying Model Portfolios? Not So Much

We're nearly halfway through New York's Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. And so far, the most constant theme is the fashion world's continual obsession with Michelle Obama. Questions abound: Will she show up? (No.) But is that the White House social secretary sitting next to Vogue's Anna Wintour? (Yes.) Which of these dresses might the first lady wear? (Probably few.) And which colorful sheaths were directly inspired by her? (Unclear, but it's safe to say several.)The claim...

The Death (and New Life) of New York's Fashion Week

It's the Tuesday night before New York's Fashion Week and the scene is pretty much what you expect. Robbie Myers, the editor in chief of Elle, is circulating around a room full of skinny young women who are holding glasses of champagne with one hand, while using their other hand to shoo away waiters carrying hors d'oeuvres. Modern rock music is pulsing; lights are flashing to a static beat and the white couches scattered around the room are crowded with New York socialites (The...

Worth Your Time: Animated Kanye West Music Video

On his new album, "808s & Heartbreak," Kanye West swaps rapping for singing, and if that sounds like a bad idea, the actual sound is even worse. His new single, "Heartless," is annoying after just one listen. But the video for it is—go figure—masterful: a cartoon confection that deserves to go viral.The "Heartless" video, directed by Hype Williams, employs a technique called rotoscoping, in which teams of animators draw over footage of live actors. Cinephiles adore rotoscoping for its...

Fact or Fiction: Why Some People Are Mosquito Magnets

After this weekend's barbeques and fireworks displays, you might wonder why some people wind up covered in mosquito welts and others are bite-free. It's not a coincidence. Each person's individual body chemistry determines how many mosquitoes will come calling.According to Joe Conlon, a medical entomologist who advises the American Mosquito Control Association, the insects can detect their targets from nearly 100 feet away. But what are they seeking? Mostly the scent of carbon dioxide and...

Oprah\'s Big Enough Give

When the Oprah store debuted in Chicago last month, shoppers snapped up affordable cosmetic cases, dog leashes and other items emblazoned with the mogul's signature "O." But the best bargains were in "Oprah's Closet," a small, unadvertised section of the store that sells her previously worn designer clothes at cut-rate prices to raise money for her charity, the Angel Network. Oprah's red Manolo Blahnik heels, for instance, are just $300, about half the retail price for similar shoes at Neiman...

Intergalactic Artwork

For art collectors willing to spend a cool million, the latest must-have objects are falling from the sky. Big names like Steven Spielberg, Nicolas Cage and Yo-Yo Ma are buying meteorites at prices that are out of this world. On Oct. 28, Bonhams auctioneers will hold their first-ever sale devoted to them, and some lots are expected to fetch into the seven figures. "The natural world is making a foray into the art world," says Barbara Tapp, editor of Art & Antiques. "Given global warming, these...

Pages