Yesterday, the affable French actor Gérard Depardieu donned a traditional Russian folk tunic and an even goofier grin, and officially became a Russian citizen. (He then grabbed dinner with Vladimir Putin—we hope Gérard offered to cover the bill.)
If you hadn’t been following Depardieu-gate, it was an incredibly European affair involving tax evasion, a country scorned and the Frenchman with a nose only a country like France could love. Basically, the millionaire was tired of paying taxes in France and so renounced his citizenship and moved to a small town in Russia called Saransk. (We hear it’s lovely this time of year.)
It’s a bold move for a man decorated and beloved by the French public—and, for a time, America. He once commanded such a high international celebrity that he was able to make a movie in France whose plot centered around a torridly inappropriate father-daughter relationship—and then to turn around and make the same exact movie in English and to similarly great success in the US three years later. (Coincidentally, launching the career of a 14-year-old up-and-comer by the name of Katherine Heigl.) It’s the stuff Kempt Icons are made of. Sadly, fleeing the country that made you rich to avoid paying your fair share of taxes is not.
Vladimir Putin was reelected president of Russia on Sunday by a wide (though suspect) margin. As the Moscow Times reports, though, he never really left in the first place. And if he wins the next election, he will have been in charge of Russia for over 20 years—longer than Stalin. Other stories to assist in your Monday morning reentry...
There are plenty of wildly expensive, achingly beautiful watches in the world (in fact, a decent percentage of them are submariners), but sometimes we feel like something a little more offbeat. Something from Russia, for example…
Rizzoli’s Made In Russia turned us on Raketa, the official watch of the Soviet Union, and we’ve been trawling the vintage markets ever since.
The biggest curveball is that a good chunk of them use 24-hour faces, instead of the standard 12. (Count the hours on this one to see what we mean.) There are also a few astronomically inspired watch hands unlike anything the west ever tried.
And since none of them clock in over $100, it makes for a pretty safe indulgence.
Just Long Enough to Reach the Ground: Esquire declares the return of the leg…via the well-cut slit skirt. [Esquire]
To the Moon, Alice: Commuting from the moon is getting really expensive… [BlackBook]
Mansion on the Hill: You haven’t seen tragedy until you’ve seen the look in a billionaire’s eyes when he walks away from a $750 million mansion. We don’t blame him: those stone lions look pretty sweet. [Luxist]
Bear Alert: Seth Rogen is set to appear on the cover of Playboy. We predict it will be the only issue anyone actually reads for the articles. [Page Six]
Back by popular demand—the latest installment in our series of pulchritudinous pairings, because two is sometimes so much better than one. This snap comes to us all the way from Moscow and a private dinner following megabucks gallerist Larry Gagosian's new contemporary art show in a former chocolate factory.
The Great Pants War: Two competing revolutionaries, Bonobos and Cordarounds, square off against the "Soviet Bloc" of vertical corduroy with the introduction a horizontal variation on the classic fabric. Watch out for the crossfire. [VanityFair.com]
The Long Haul: Back off you vultures. Giorgio Armani ain't going nowhere. [WWD, 2nd item]
Russian Male-Order Bride:Iron-fisted autocrat beloved legally elected Federation President Vladimir Putin tries his best to emulate Nicolas Sarkozy's recent marital success. Fails. [Gawker]
Wigging Out: Unofficial Kempt mascot Rachel Bilson plays blonde for a day. [Egotastic]
Loop de Loop: Harajuku t-shirt maker does it oldschool. [PSFK]
More Celebrity Stink: James Franco, who we actually like, will be the face for Gucci's latest scent. [Luxist]
Boob Tube: Because he hasn't reached complete market saturation, Tommy Hilfiger will soon have his own TV channel. [DNRNews]
Swapping Spit: In the grand Gallic tradition of poor public hygiene, several Frenchmen invaded Manhattan and attempted to set a world record for kissing. Gross, right? [Fleshbot]
In The Hood: Blue-eyed, honey-blond men's fashion blogger, Amanda Brooks, finds style and substance in the lowly hoodie. [Men's Vogue]
???????????!: Moscow Fashion Week just doesn't translate to Western style - but God bless them Ruskies for trying. [YouTube]
Chinese Take Out: With its increased high-end offerings, improved manufacturing techniques (not to mention its low valuation of human sweat) China is poised to take on Italy in the luxe suit game. [WSJ]
"Most Females Lie More Cleverly and Successfully Than Men": Or at least that's what they want you to think. [NYPost]
Wedding Bells?: Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. and Mrs. Marc Jacobs. [NYMag]
Transition of Power: In his first appearance as Russia's new President-elect, Dmitry Medvedev greets the nation in a turtleneck and jeans apparently from Sears. Weep for the Motherland. [Reuters]
Trading Sideways: Geeks fighting to replacing hipsters? Let's settle this one at the playground during recess. [Scrawled in Wax]
Bloggerati: Rising fashion blogger Kanye West is shut out of Balenciaga, says he doesn't really mind and declares that his "first love is for fashion." Jesus, it's Faran Krentcil all over again. [The Celebrity Truth]