Luggage exhibit

As travel changed, so did luggage.

That's the story told by an elaborate exhibition about Louis Vuitton, the luxury luggage and fashion brand.

The exhibition, free to visit and on display in Lower Manhattan through Jan. 7, is called "Volez, Voguez, Voyagez," which means fly, sail, travel. It showcases the company's history, products and craftsmanship, demonstrating how designs changed with the evolution of travel. Luggage was designed first for transport by wagon, then for travel by sea, on trains, in cars and planes.

Trunks and bags are shown behind glass like works of art in a series of museum-like galleries. Lids open to reveal intricate compartments as if they were the contents of treasure chests. Included are cases and carriers designed for everything from toiletries to hats, from picnics to art supplies. Trunks with small drawers protected fragile objects; standing trunks had roll-out wardrobe racks so clothes could be hung, not folded. A plane is on display, along with a boat.

There's even a room where human artisans show how they cut leather and snip threads for luggage tags and handles, living proof of the craftsmanship behind the brand.

The company's history begins with Louis Vuitton himself. He started a trunk-making business in Paris in 1854 after leaving his village in eastern France and working for a box-maker. His designs were strong but light, distinguished by patterned motifs. The luggage has been a favorite of the rich and famous going back to Napoleon's wife Empress Eugenie, with later clients ranging from artist Henri Matisse to banker J.P. Morgan. The brand remains a favorite today among celebs from the worlds of fashion and Hollywood.

The location is in New York's financial district. But most visitors will likely lack the means to buy Vuitton products, which can run in the thousands of dollars. Still, attention-getting temporary displays like this are becoming a standard way for brands to tell their story.

"Many of these brands pop something up, draw a big audience, get some publicity, get reporters to talk about it," said Larry Chiagouris, professor of marketing at Pace University's Lubin School of Business. "You don't need to be there 12 months a year. You just need to establish a little publicity and move on."

Chiagouris says this type of showcase can also be far more effective than a traditional ad campaign. "Ads are very fleeting and don't generate the kind of independent interaction with a brand the way an exhibit would," he said. A show like this "takes something that has almost become wallpaper and suddenly puts it into your current mindset and consciousness."

Exhibitions also give designers the space and flexibility to fine-tune their message. In this case, the subdued, museumlike atmosphere creates a "mood that reflects the brand, somewhat elegant and somewhat understated," he said.

If You Go.Read more at:evening dresses | formal dress shops


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Announcing Reem Acra

This week, we are pleased to introduce four partners on BoF Careers.

Reem Acra rose to fame in the 1990s for the eponymous designer's intricately detailed bridal wear, expanding the offering to ready-to-wear in 2001. Delicate embroidery, ornate beading and feminine designs have attracted a strong celebrity clientele and stockists including Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. The label is now hiring an account executive in New York.

Founded in 1992, Dice Kayek is a contemporary couture label based in Paris. Inspired by the founders Ece and Ayse Ege's Turkish heritage, the brand is characterised by architectural silhouettes, attention to detail and craftsmanship. Now stocked in 45 countries and with over 100 stockists, Dice Kayek is currently looking for a commercial manager in Paris.

With a playful approach to modern jewellery, Roxanne Assoulin is an emerging New York-based label on the rise. "Uncomplicated Indulgence" characterises the brands collectable stacks of candy-coloured chokers and bracelets, designs that have garnered a strong social media following. Based in New York, Roxanne Assoulin is seeking a public relations coordinator and a web director.Read more at:formal dresses online | bridesmaid dresses online


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Announcing Reem Acra

This week, we are pleased to introduce four partners on BoF Careers.

Reem Acra rose to fame in the 1990s for the eponymous designer's intricately detailed bridal wear, expanding the offering to ready-to-wear in 2001. Delicate embroidery, ornate beading and feminine designs have attracted a strong celebrity clientele and stockists including Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. The label is now hiring an account executive in New York.

Founded in 1992, Dice Kayek is a contemporary couture label based in Paris. Inspired by the founders Ece and Ayse Ege's Turkish heritage, the brand is characterised by architectural silhouettes, attention to detail and craftsmanship. Now stocked in 45 countries and with over 100 stockists, Dice Kayek is currently looking for a commercial manager in Paris.

With a playful approach to modern jewellery, Roxanne Assoulin is an emerging New York-based label on the rise. "Uncomplicated Indulgence" characterises the brands collectable stacks of candy-coloured chokers and bracelets, designs that have garnered a strong social media following. Based in New York, Roxanne Assoulin is seeking a public relations coordinator and a web director.Read more at:formal dresses online | bridesmaid dresses online


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Rihanna only sleeps

She shared: "I have a lot of trouble switching off. Even when I get home early, which means before 1am, I start binge-watching shows or documentaries, which I love.

"I can't go straight to bed. As a matter of fact, I only sleep three or four hours a night."

The 'Diamonds' singer regards the likes of Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Tina Turner to be among the biggest inspirations in her own life.

But perhaps surprisingly, Rihanna has also taken inspiration from the late Princess Diana - and in particular, the so-called revenge dress she wore to the Serpentine Gallery's summer party in 1994, shortly after it emerged Prince Charles had been unfaithful to her.

The fashion-conscious star told French Vogue magazine: "Every time a man cheats on you or treats you badly, you need a revenge dress. Every woman knows that.

"But whether her choice of this knockdown dress was conscious or not, I am touched by the idea that even Princess Diana could suffer like any ordinary woman. This Diana Bad B***h moment blew me away."

Meanwhile, Rihanna previously admitted that her fashion sense was hugely influenced by her male friends.

The 'Work' hitmaker recalled: "When I was 13 or 14, I didn't want to wear what my mom wanted me to wear. I was very much a boy in my style, my demeanour.

"All my friends were guys. I loved things that boys did. I loved being easy with my clothes. I loved wearing hats and scarves and snapbacks on my head. It was my way of rebelling. I wanted to dress like my brother.

"After a while, it was just easier for Mom to dress us both the same. We wore the same jeans, the same T-shirts."Read more at:australian formal dresses | evening wear


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Singapore Fashion Awards

Jewellery designer Carolyn Kan of home-grown brand Carrie K took triple honours at the Singapore Fashion Awards 2017, held yesterday to recognise contributions to the local fashion industry.

Besides winning the inaugural Bespoke Award, created this year in a nod to the growing popularity of bespoke services, Carrie K also won the Best Collaboration of the Year prize for its Beauty and the Beast Collection in partnership with Disney.

Ms Kan, the founder of pro-local designers retail initiative Keepers, also received the Champion for Creatives and Designers Award for contributing to the industry with events such as Multiply: A Majestic Playground, in which more than 50 artists produced works at the New Majestic Hotel just before its closure.

"I am a dreamer but I could never have dreamt that this would happen - getting three awards that are very, very different, for projects I'm super proud of," said Ms Kan, who presented the Designer of the Year (Accessories) Award, a category she won in last year.

The win that means the most to the 44-year-old is the Champion award. She said: "I really do it out of love for the community, and I get back as much as I put in."

For her efforts, Ms Kan took home a trophy for each prize, $3,000 cash for the Bespoke Award and staycation vouchers at W Singapore Sentosa Cove, where the awards ceremony was held.

To celebrate, she is thinking of having a cookout session with her team.

A total of 13 awards were given out in three areas: Design, in which local designers are honoured; Marketing, which recognises the popularity and prominence of brands; and Contributor, in which make-up artists, photographers and stylists are celebrated.

In the Design category, the Designer of the Year Award (Fashion) was won by Ms Chelsea Scott-Blackhall of four-year-old streetwear label Dzojchen. She beat Aijek's Ms Danelle Woo and Nuboaix's Ms Jessica Lee and Mr Yong Siyuan.

The award, said Ms Scott-Blackhall, 35, is "that little bit of fuel. It's affirmation. It's pride".

"It means the world to me. Designers have to be tenacious but also humble. Singapore's such a small country but we drive design hard."

Ms Marilyn Tan of luxury label Marilyn Tan Jewellery won the other Designer of the Year award, for accessories. Designers of the Year each received prizes including $5,000 in cash, a trophy, a staycation at W Singapore Sentosa Cove, and beauty products.

In the Contributor category, Ms Elain Lim was named Make-Up Artist of the Year, Mr Marc Teng was Hairstylist of the Year, Mr Stefan Khoo was Photographer of the Year, and Mr Jeremy Tan was Fashion Stylist of the Year.

In the Marketing category, menswear label Benjamin Barker garnered the Best Marketing Award. And the Top 3 Most Popular Brands of the Year, determined by public voting, remained the same as last year: Love, Bonito; By Invite Only; and Beyond the Vines.

Winners were chosen by a panel of 12 judges based on factors such as the strength of their local market presence, the consistency of their performance and how well they communicated their brands.

The event, organised by the Textile and Fashion Federation, was attended by more than 360 guests, including guest of honour Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth, and Trade and Industry.

The hour-and-a-half-long event also took a moment to remember couture and bridal gown designer Tan Yoong, who died in January. After he was conferred the Honorary Award, guests watched a photo montage of his works, and event host Yasminne Cheng shared an emotional story about how trying on one of his wedding gowns sparked her interest in fashion.

Both Ms Kan and Ms Scott-Blackhall said the awards were integral to keeping the fashion scene vibrant.

Awards such as these, said Ms Kan, are "not only important but inspiring" for designers.

She added: "When there's an event like this that honours the industry and I get to see the work other designers are doing, it spurs me on to push myself further."Read more at:evening gowns | cocktail dresses online


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As Gallagher family fanatics know, Shameless Season 8 is in full force with the first two episodes already airing and the third episode airing tonight. Emma Kenney, known best for her role as Debbie Gallagher, recently made headlines for landing the role of Darlene and David’s 16-year-old daughter, Harris, for the Roseanne reboot.

Jean Bentley of Cosmopolitan recently caught up with the with the young Shameless star with the hope of discussing the premiere of Season 8, her role as Debbie Gallagher, and her new role in the Roseanne reboot.

While Emma Kenney is just 18-years-old – landing the role of Debbie Gallagher when she was just 10 – she claims to feel as though she’s a grandma. According to Kenney, she has little desire to go out and party.

While those who follow the Shameless star on social media platforms know, she’s a little more social than she let on during the interview; she does share a lot of pictures of her curled up at home with her cat, Cheddar, and her dog, Charlie, as she streams TV shows and movies from her laptop.

Emma Kenney has starred in the role of Debbie Gallagher in Shameless since the series started eight years ago. As those who follow Shameless news know, the series was recently renewed for Season 9. While Season 8 is currently airing on television, Emma is hard at work filming scenes for the Roseanne reboot.

Many fans of Emma agree she’s a spitting image of Darlene (played by Sara Gilbert) when she was younger, so she was a very fitting actress to give this role to.

During the interview, the Shameless star noted it was not lost on her that both Shameless and Roseanne have some similarities in regards to being about families with less than ideal situations when it comes to finances.

Kenney opened up about how her role in Shameless allowed her to continue to live somewhat of a normal life that would have been lost if she had been the star in something more kid-friendly – such as something Disney related.

After all, when Kenney was hanging out with other 10-year-olds when the show started, they wouldn’t have recognized her from the show, as Shameless is not really a show that kids should be watching. So, in a lot of ways, Emma is grateful for the semi-normal life she was able to live growing up thanks to her role in Shameless.

The young Shameless star also took a few moments to open up about the recent pay dispute with her co-star Emmy Rossum. There was a period of time when fans were not sure if Emmy would continue her role as Fiona Gallagher – Emma’s older sister on the show – because Emmy wanted equal pay to her co-star, William H. Macy.

Kenney, like most of Emmy’s other co-stars – including Macy – supported Emmy on her quest for equal pay. In fact, Emma was thrilled her co-star was so public with the pay dispute with the hopes it would make a difference for other females in Hollywood.Read more at:formal dress | evening wear


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When TDAP espoused fashion

Trade fairs can be defined in a unified manner as a sophisticated platform for conducting business on a national and international scale. The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) in collaboration with Fashion Pakistan presented the Made in Pakistan Fashion Showcase in Karachi where an exceptional opportunity was provided to assess opinions from clients and determine local market potential, conduct research, evaluate competition, develop commercial structures and initiate joint ventures and project partnership. More than 700 foreign delegates from around the globe attended the event.

Some of the country’s top designers displayed their collections. These included Amir Adnan, Deepak Perwani, Maheen Khan, Adnan Pardesy, Wardha Saleem, Tena Durrani, Aamna Aqeel, Fnk Asia, Nova Leather, Hassan Riaz, Tena Durrani, Deepak Perwani, Jafferjees, Zuria Dor, Nauman Arfeen and Pink Tree Company.

The evening also comprised a segment that was dedicated to students from fashion institutes including PIFD, AIFD and TIP. Emerging talents including Farah Usman, Sundus Talpur, Salman, Zainab, Shahmeer Ansari, Sobia Halar and Naina also brought their creativity to the ramp.

Day one witnessed an interesting designer line-up. Deepak opened the show, showcasing a blend of the traditional and modern. His line incorporated mirror work and traditional embroideries on jackets and dresses. Amir’s menswear featured western wear in a monochrome theme and was the best representation of the modern Pakistani man. The offerings entailed modern cuts with cultural orientation.

Nova Leather presented their range of jackets, skirts, handbags and leather accessories, which were of high, export quality and were highly appreciated by the foreign design houses. Pink Tree Company was perhaps the winning segment of the show where designer duo Mohsin Sayeed and Hadiya experimented with traditional Pakistani textile such as Sindhi, susi and khaddar fabric. They used techniques such as hand-block print, tie-dye and hand-crushing.

Day two encompassed some attention-grabbing collections too. Aamna’s capsule collection, The White Susi, consisted of contemporary fusion silhouettes and ethnic embroideries on pure white cotton denim with kaleidoscope stripped susi. She focused on typical Sindhi embroidery and mirror work on jackets which had international appeal and looked chic. Adnan showed his fashion forward collection, Subculture, which was a funky mix of culture and street style. Pakistan is one of the biggest denim exporters so Adnan wasn’t hesitant to make the entire collection out of it. Flowing, sleek and edgy asymmetrical cuts with intricate detailing were noted on the ramp. Wardha collaborated with Jafferjees and presented a modern collection where there was a lot of youthfulness, colour and versatility in terms of design.

The highlight of day two was an innovative showcase by Zuria. The creations included young and hip silhouettes in solids colours – which are trending today. The brand produced wearable street style jackets as well. Nauman went for a crisp white collection, Blanche, with hints of gold inspired by the Japanese art of mending broken pottery with gold, Kintsugi. Nauman used material such as Khaddi cotton, denim and organza. Maheen of Gulabo closed the show with the design label staying true to their philosophy of creating wearable outfits. The show was directed and choreographed by Nubain Ali.Read more at:formal dresses online | formal dresses 2017


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Museum Fashion Exhibit

A new exhibit at Manhattan’s Jewish Museum, “Veiled Meanings,” opens on a striking note, showcasing three different veiled women’s garments that many Americans would not, on first look, associate with Jews, including the Afghani chadur.

The exhibit, a brief chronicle of garments common in Jewish communities of the past, has the potential to be a fascinating introduction to the astonishing diversity of Jewish life that, over the centuries, sprung up across the globe. Featuring garments from Germany, Iran, Yemen, Uzbekistan and India, among many others, the collection, drawn from that of Jerusalem’s Israel Museum, is a flurry of bright colors, dramatic shapes and astonishing hand-stitched embellishment.

Yet something about the presentation of the cultures from which the exhibit’s contents originated struck two Forward writers, Michelle Honig and Talya Zax, as troubling. The two discussed the exhibit; read excerpts of that conversation, below.

Michelle Honig: I felt there were some parts of the exhibit that were surprising, like the fact that Jewish women in Islamic countries wore the chadur.

Talya Zax: The exhibit showed the way culture changes when it moves. These clothes don’t make a comment on whether that is right or wrong, but they do show that this is how it’s always been: The culture we think of as our distinct culture is, in fact, anything but distinct.

MH: There were sumptuary laws that applied specifically to Jews, and you saw that in this exhibit: A lot of Jews were required to wear this garment to denote that they were Jews. Maybe the point of calling it “Veiled Meanings” is that they wanted to showcase cultures of Judaism that haven’t been showcased, that haven’t been dissected. And Ashkenazic Jewry has been dissected over and over again. But in a way, they other-ized it as well.

TZ: They could have drawn attention to Sephardic culture in a way that was a bit more cohesive.

MH: The truth is that fashion exhibits will always be other-ing, mostly because you’re removing the person from the garment. And garments are intrinsically human. When you put clothes on a mannequin, it almost becomes lifeless, which is compounded by the fact that these are cultures that we don’t really understand. Even though they did mention stories behind some of the dresses, it would have been nice to have a photo or a painting showing people living in them, instead of just explaining them.

TZ: One of the objects that I found most moving was the lulwi, a dress from Yemen that women wore the first Shabbat after they gave birth, which would also go over their shroud garment when they were buried. I also found it moving to see the wedding dresses that, after women passed away, would get repurposed to be Torah coverings or in some way connected to the worship-life of their community. These were congregations where women probably wouldn’t have been up there at the bima. But I think it’s interesting that after death, a woman’s garment can become part of that more prominent life. Depending on your perspective, it’s either very beautiful or a little troubling.

MH: Conceptually, that section of the exhibit was great and should have been the exhibit’s main focus. However, I felt that the exhibit’s main focus was further back with that wedding dress section. You had the huge, white American 1940s gown and, behind it, four other wedding garments from Sephardic countries, grouped together; it almost seemed like this metaphor for this dominance of Ashkenazic Jewry versus these smaller communities. And it was literally veiled, in this purple screened-off area: It was the most aesthetically powerful part, but it shouldn’t have been. The most aesthetically powerful part should have also been the most conceptually powerful part.

TZ: The “Exposing the Unseen” section is the exhibit’s largest section, which is where they display the undergarments. They wrote, in the press release, about how these garments, which were supposed to be only for women to see because they were hidden, were so elaborately done to draw attention to the attributes that they were trying to mask. I found that to be — I don’t want to say a fetishizing, but a fetishizing perspective. Instead of making it about women’s experience of that garment, it was about sort of sensationalizing it.

MH: The truth is, people are interested in the how’s and the why’s, even the undergarments. You want to make the exhibit human. That’s why a lot of fashion exhibits will focus on a designer, or focus on a specific person and their wardrobe. You want to understand the process; you want to understand how people lived.

TZ: That’s crucial, because a lot of us conceive of diaspora Jews, before they came to the U.S., as living poor, isolated lives. Some probably were, but I remember I went to see this exhibit on postcards of old European synagogues at the Museum at Eldridge Street last year, and I was like: When people talk about the shtetl, they never say that they had synagogues that went back to 1200.

MH: The shtetl almost seems like this temporary space where everything is haphazard.

TZ: Admittedly, this exhibit wasn’t super shtetl-oriented. But you see these garments that were billed as everyday garments, and you think, “I want to know what this says about the community.” There was one wedding dress, outside of the white wedding dress section: It was red silk, and it said that a girl and her father found the silk pods, collected and spun it, they dyed and wove the silk and sewed the dress. I want to understand how that fit into their lifestyle. I want to understand what it looked like on a day-to-day basis.

MH: The exhibit could have used extant documents, like letters or photos. People going to an exhibit want direction; they want to be told what you’re trying to say. You need to have a narrative and you need to have a theme. I would have enjoyed an exhibit with just wedding dresses from every community.

TZ: Or just religious garments.

MH: However, I thought that they were smart about their exhibit design. Everything was veiled. The garments were beautiful. You felt like there was a certain amount of wealth. Wealthy people tend to preserve their stuff, as opposed to poor people, who tend to work their clothes to the bone. The truth is, fashion exhibits in general don’t tend to talk about poor people because poor people in history are, sartorially, not that interesting. They are interesting in how they lived in their clothes: They were the working class, and they worked in them.

TZ: This actually brings out a key point: I think this exhibit was torn between wanting to provide a snapshot into a series of communities and wanting to give us something aesthetically pleasing to look at. If it had been about the community, I would want at least some attention to be paid, even if the garments weren’t there, to what poor people would have worn.

On a personal note, as a Jew writing about culture I think a lot about tradition. And I’m getting a little weary of seeing exhibits where the primary emotional draw is a hearkening to tradition. I felt that the primary draw of this, for Jews who came to see it, was either supposed to be curiosity paired with regret for the decline of these Jewish communities, or a welling up of Jewish identity, of feeling of “I come from these communities with these elaborate garments.” I would like to see an exhibit like this try to create a more nuanced emotional landscape for the people who come to see it.

MH: The thing is, when you do historical dress, it’s not another story of high fashion — it’s a human story. Because the humanity of it is what brings people, and that’s what moves them. And a lot of historical fashion exhibits fall flat in that sense, because they become this bland overview of these things that look like stuff. You want to feel something when you go to an exhibit, and in this one, I didn’t really feel anything.Read more at:formal dresses canberra | cheap formal dresses


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South Metropolitan

SOUTH Metropolitan Tafe’s best and brightest fashion students will showcase their collections to the public.

The annual graduate fashion show Proto will take place at Beaumonde On The Point in East Perth on November 16.

The show is the culmination of three years work for Advanced Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising graduates from the Bentley campus.

Victoria Park resident Henrietta Grochowski said she was excited for the show but there were some nerves about putting her work on display.

“My original concept was looking at art deco and the opulence of that time,” she said.

“I used liquid silicone from a shop that usually sells it for boats and I’ve been able to mix vintage glamour with futurism; I’m really happy how it’s turning out so far.

“Everyone at the Tafe is good and supportive so it’s given us the opportunity to explore ideas and grow.”

St James resident Misun Hwang said she was inspired by architecture for her collection.

“What inspired me is that there is not much women’s tailoring and where there is, it’s not high quality,” she said.

“I wanted to make sustainable clothes too because that’s a big issue.”

Rivervale resident Felicity Sheppard said she was inspired by New South Wales wildflowers, as she visited the state during summer with her family.

“It’s a special place for me and I love picking flowers,” she said.

“For my collection I used flounces and ruffles with different felt and silk fibres.”Read more at:formal dresses online | formal dresses 2017


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Fashion's interwoven

A genetically engineered bioluminescent silk dress, a pineapple-fibre clutch bag and a cape made from cockerel feathers are among 300 items to go on display as part of the V&A’s next fashion exhibition.

Fashioned From Nature, which opens in April, will trace the relationship between fashion and the natural world since 1600 and examine the ways in which designers draw on nature for inspiration.

As well as modern items such as a dress made from the threads of silkworms that have been injected with genes from jellyfish, there will be historical garments, including a men’s waistcoat from the 1780s with an embroidered macaque monkey print, as well as more contemporary nature-inspired items such as a Gucci handbag with a stag beetle motif.

As well as nature, the show’s curator, Edwina Ehrman, wanted to put themes of sustainability at the exhibition’s core.

The V&A will showcase sustainably made garments by contemporary designers, such as the Calvin Klein dress worn by actor Emma Watson to the 2016 Met Gala which was made from recycled plastic bottles. The look was created as part of the Green Carpet Challenge, an initiative aimed at pairing sustainability and glamour.

As well as drawing attention to the some of the innovative fabrics being used today, from the leather substitute made by the Italian company Vegea using the byproduct from wine making, to Ferragamo using an orange fibre made with waste from the Italian citrus industry to an H&M Conscious dress made from recycled shoreline plastic.

On display alongside the genetically engineered silk dress – which was created by Sputniko!, the MIT Media Lab and South Korea’s National Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology, there will be other garments and items made with fabrics that sound otherworldly but are being created as part of efforts to reduce the fashion industry’s impact on the environment. From a dress grown from plant roots by artist Diana Scherer to a tunic and trousers made from synthetic spider silk by Bolt Threads x Stella McCartney.

The exhibition comes at a time when the fashion industry appears to be waking up to its environmental impact – or re-awakening to that impact; Ehrman points to figures such as Vivienne Westwood and Katharine Hamnett who have been concerned with sustainability for some time, and whose efforts are celebrated in the show.

There’s a burgeoning scene of cool brands that put sustainability at the heart of what they do, from ethical trainer brand Veja to Reformation, which turns sustainable fabrics into dresses favoured by the likes of Alexa Chung. And it also comes hot on the heels of news that Gucci will go fur free in 2018.

There will be a knitted sweater made with yarn from Wool and the Gang.

Among Ehrman’s favourite pieces on display is a Bruno Pieters suit from his Honest By label, which incorporates information about the fabric and origin into its design.

“It’s meant to be about transparency and traceability,” she said. But the best thing about the suit is that itis “good fashion”.

Ehrman wants visitors to leave “thinking about their own clothes and what they’re made of and what the impact of their choices might be”.

But, she added: “I don’t want anyone to leave feeling bashed on the head. I want them to leave feeling very optimistic about the future.”Read more at:blue formal dresses | green formal dresses


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Havana Fashion Week

The third Havana Fashion Week launched Wednesday night — with the first shows showcasing modest simplicity far from the extravagant designs seen in Paris, Milan or New York.

Until Sunday, 46 shows will hit the catwalk — featuring clothes, jewellery and leather goods from 71 independent designers, under the patronage of Unesco and the Cuban Association of Artisan Artists (ACAA).

“We are a country under (American) embargo, we are not able to import fabric and other things so we make our collections with what we can find,” explained Jesus Carmona, a 50-year-old designer and member of the organising committee.

Around 400 guests will gather each night in a warehouse-turned-brasserie bordering Havana's bay — known for hosting a meeting between then-president Barack Obama and local entrepreneurs in March 2016.

The pieces on show offer neither the glamour nor the avant-garde nature of Chanel's “Croisiere” collection, presented in Havana in May 2016 — instead reflecting the everyday.

The designers were asked to work around the theme of “crafts and identity,” incorporating the colours, vibrancy and sensuality of African ancestors as well as the science of Spanish knitting.

“It's ready to wear, affordable clothes, which you can wear everyday, in the evening, for cocktails, or even for work,” Carmona said.

“It's a concentrate of Cuban traditions.”Read more at:marieaustralia.com | bridesmaid dresses


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The sender thought it was cute but it strikes me as a bit odd. There is a quip attributed to Einstein that springs to mind on these occasions: that two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. A parent sharing pictures online of their offspring’s peachy bums painted orange and green is taking creepy to a new level — but even worse, it reminds me that my least favourite time of year lies just around the corner (in a dark alley dressed in a fright wig).

Halloween. How I hate thee. Once confined to a tacky corner in Poundland, now there are entire aisles of Waitrose devoted to cheap orange landfill. And don’t even get me started on that cobweb spray decorating every Nisa cornershop shelf from Haringey to Hackney.

Who’s the holiday for anyway? I was under the impression it was a kids’ thing. Halloween used to involve sweet seven-year-olds dressed as black cats in dance-class leotards and tights bobbing for apples, and offered them a joyous opportunity to stay up past bedtime.

Now it’s all about taking a selfie in front of a trendy gourd display on your mid-century sideboard, or Sue, 47, of Ealing, squeezing into her eldest daughter’s school uniform with a pair of stripy tights because “it’s scary but sexy”. Really?

Certainly, I’ll be carving a pumpkin but I won’t be dressing my one-year-old daughter in a costume my friends will find amusing simply to garner likes on Instagram. I have no desire to scare the living daylights out of kids or make them look like fools for the sake of a naff picture. That’s a no from this old witch.

There are small mercies: as far as I can see (and I’ll be watching), we haven’t gone to the sinister lengths of our cousins across the pond ... yet. Americans have a bizarre habit of dressing their toddlers as truly scary and unacceptable characters — think Hannibal Lecter tied to a board with a muzzle, a sexy mermaid in prosthetic breasts, a packet of cigarettes, or even condoms. Joking aside, images of this cruelty exist online and I find it disturbing.

If you’re not a pagan or Wiccan, then Halloween should just be a bit of light-hearted fun. Best practice is: buy some sweets for the trick-or-treaters (always say “treat” — don’t be a knob and make them juggle) and, if you’re taking the kids “begging”, then hold their hands, steer clear of lit pumpkins and, most important, let them decide what to dress up as. Dead Disney Moana, anyone?

Picture the racing pundit John McCririck in a floral Erdem dress and Jimmy Choos and you’ve got a mental image of me as a I reveal my runners and riders in the soon to be crowned Fashion Awards, the annual London Oscars of the sartorial world.

The nominees for the red-carpet ceremony in December are in and my votes go thus.

First gong of the evening, the Business Leader award, should go to … Ruth and Tom Chapman, Wimbledon natives and a brilliant business duo responsible for changing how Londoners shop with their recently sold, trailblazing business Matches Fashion. Many London designers owe them a debt of gratitude for backing their careers.

Next up is Designer of the Year, which should go to Phoebe Philo. If the rumours are to be believed, this Ladbroke Grove lady is leaving Parisian super-brand Céline for pastures new after showing, what I thought, was her best collection to date in the French capital recently. That said, the award will probably go to Raf Simons for his excellent work at Calvin Klein.

When it comes to bags and glad rags, Stuart Vevers has found the sweet spot between affordable and super-cool high fashion, reinventing American mega-brand Coach — he gets my vote for Accessories Designer of the Year.

And Model of the Year? It has to be ES Magazine cover girl Adwoa Aboah — this super-bright, strident beauty is so much more than a pretty face. Her work with female empowerment project Gurl Talk deserves a gong in its own right.

Why cosiness is the new luxury

My old flatmate, Tom, used to call me “Bridget”. While he was out frequenting east London pool halls and pubs, I would be in our flat with my cat dominating a familysize Cadbury’s Whole Nut, in my fleece, being a bit Bridget Jones.

And do you know what? I LOVED it. You can call it hygge, lagom or self-care Sunday but it’s all just “cosy” to me. Cosiness is next to godliness.

It’s a fine art, a hobby almost, that warrants three drawers of pyjamas and loungewear, which I rotate with pride.

And what about refreshments on this night in, you may ask? Well, let me tell you — I drink a hot Ribena (if you know, you know).

My cosy time isn’t wine-based — lucidity is key to a cosy night’s enjoyment. How else would I keep up with the cerebral calibre of television I watch? TOWIE can be taxing.

Some may say “she’s slovenly”; I say cosy, my friends, is the new luxury.Read more at:formal dress shops brisbane | red formal dresses


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Miss Grand International 2017

The national costume worn by the third runner-up of Putri Indonesia 2017 Dea Rizkita at the Miss Grand International 2017 reportedly had caught the attention of American fashion designer Nick Verreos.

On his blog post on the pageant, Verreos included the costume in his “Top 15 Favorite National Costumes from Miss Grand International 2017” list.

“Leave it to Indonesia to BRING IT when it comes to national costumes at beauty pageants. Lately their representatives have been seriously upping their Costume Couture game! This UBER intricate costume needs A LOT of explanation,” he wrote of the Indonesian costume that is entitled Motherland.

The 27-kilogram dress presents Indonesia as a maritime country with the dark blue color. It is also adorned with five blue crystals on the circular ornament that represent Pancasila.

Meanwhile, three blue crystals on the head represent body, soul and spirit; and five yellow crystals represent the youth generation as the nation’s next successor.

The wings feature on the costume represent tenderness, strength and prayers from the ancestors, whilst the backbone ornament represents Indonesia as the world’s backbone.

The belt represents fertility and brotherhood, the utilization of five traditional textiles represent the cultural diversity of Indonesia, whilst the temple miniature represents Indonesians’ belief of body as a temple and the symbol of self-enlightenment.

The costume has already been included in the Top 15 Voted National Costumes MGI list with seven million points from the votes. Currently Dea is competing for the top 10 spot.

“I hope she can get the best result […] Dea also has a mission of introducing Indonesian tourism and culture,” said Puteri Indonesia Foundation council chairman Putri K. Wisnu Wardani.

Last year, Ariska Putri Pertiwi who represented Indonesia in the competition took home the Best National Costume and was crowned Miss Grand International 2016.Read more at:plus size evening wear | cheap formal dresses online


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Designer success story

Mintu Gazi’s back ground is humble but his success as fashion designer stands tall, says Shaikh Jamaluddin

If you are passing by Atmaram Borkar Road, Panjim, be sure to give a second look to the Mintu’ showroom, located at Nilkamal Arcade, above Neeta Sarees. The store is quite popular among the fashion conscious Panjimite. It specializes in wedding dresses, gowns, embroidery, zari work and wedding footwear too. Its owner Minto Gazi is an exceptional person for his amazing journey from modest background to a successful designer.

Talking to Gazi is interesting. He is a workaholic and in the store always working shoulder to shoulder with staff. The store employs seven people and Gazi is an employer who believes in giving the personal touch to every creation. He says that, garment designing is an art and the designer is as good as an artist. He subscribes to the idea of designing clothes to suit the body type. “The profession is a tough one as it requires hard work,” he says. Gazi adds that, “Some designers are naturally talented while some need to learn the carft.”

Gazi reveals that, he had to overcome many hurdles in his journey to become a master designer. He hails from a very poor family from the lower strata of the society in West Bengal. “My family background was also not good enough to fund my education. I had to quit schooling and discontinue with the studies and seek a job as my father’s earning was insufficient to met our expenses. My dream for good education had to be dropped and day he he had to even give up on my night classes.” Like many migrants he came down to Goa in pursuit of green pastures.

“When I came down to Goa I was fortunate to working under the able guidance of established fashion designers in Babu Classic, Butterfly Madame, Philu Martins, Shaheen Designers, Burma Designers, Monte Designers, Velvet Designers,” he says. The money he received was not enough to support my living. And so, he decided to establish his own fashion designing shop in Panaji. “I am popular amongst the fashion conscious Goans,” he says.

On the garment scenario, Gazi reveals that, fashion is popular amongst all classes of the society in Goa. “Nowadays people have lot of money and money can buy anything. As such people have lots of clothes, readymade or stitched and for every they buy clothes,” he says. He adds that, fashion has made inroads into every home as people want unusual, attractive and eye catching dresses for occasions.

“In Goa people are fashion conscious and they are willing to spent willingly on clothes. They want latest trends in fabrics and stitching. As a result designers are flourishing in the state,” he says. His store provides employment and Gazi is happy that he is a job giver after being in dire straits in the past.Read more at:evening gowns | evening dresses online


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Angeles Fashion Week

Local fashion and creative designer Tinashe Adby Phiri of Znzorzi label left the country yesterday to attend the Style Fashion Week to be held in Los Angeles, California, United States. The fashion week began yesterday and runs until Sunday and will see several international designers showcasing their collections. The show represents the diverse cultures of New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Palm Springs, Las Vegas, Hamptons and Dubai, integrating international and African designers. In an interview, Phiri affectionately known as "Adby Znorzi" said he was excited to represent the country as it was a dream come true for him."For me, it's a very big opportunity because it marks the beginning of my global journey. I have put a lot of effort in both establishing and discovering the codes and signature style with a strong sense of originality that make us compete with others," he said.

He said he is going to unveil his latest "Lookbook" with new collections and designs to fashion buyers, magazine's editors, stylists, retailers and investors among others.

"The collection is going to be called 'Coming to America', inspired by a woman coming to America for the first time to witness an IPO for her million-dollar company at New York Stock Exchange. So you will notice that her wardrobe exudes power, wealth and seduction," he said. Znorzi said was invited to take part after the organisers saw his "Lookbook" with collections entitled "The Untouchable Gentleman".

"After noticing my collections from last season Lookbook, I had various reviews written about it in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Ghana among other countries. They were impressed with what they saw and found it to be original," he said. Big designers that have showcased at such a platform include Malan Breton who has a fashion empire ranging from womenswear to menswear, lingerie and accessories, Brandon Maxwell who has dressed famous Hollywood icons like Lady Gaga and former US first lady Michelle Obama.Read more at:formal dresses 2017 | formal dresses


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From farm to catwalk

Weird, wacky and wonderful creations were once again on show at Elmore Field Day’s annual Ag Art event, with everyday agricultural items given a new lease on life as couture fashion.

Thursday’s final saw 33 entrants compete for a suite of prizes, with winners announced in the hat, designer, 18 years and under, and avant garde categories.

Elmore Field Days general interest and Ag Art chair Lorraine Trewick said each year saw wonderful creations entered in the show, and this year was no exception.

‘‘I love it. I love seeing what everyone is wearing. Each parade has seen great crowds, it’s been full for every parade over the past three days,’’ she said.

‘‘I cannot believe what they come up with each year.’’

This year it was also a family affair for Mrs Trewick, with her four granddaughters — Sarah Trewick and Ally, Livia and Gabby Rosaia — modelling in the show.

Kilmore local and five-time Ag Art show veteran, Cherie McMaster, entered the avant garde category for the first time this year and was thrilled to take home the encouragement award.

Inspired by the the news the Bendigo Easter Parade will receive a new dragon in 2018, Ms McMaster set about creating her own version, her entry ‘Aggy’.

The outfit, modelled by 17-year-old Elmore local Grace Beckmans, was completely made from agricultural goods including rakes, water floats, bird tape, tarp, rope and washers.

Ms McMaster said the whole experience was ‘‘exciting’’.

‘‘I just like seeing the outfit on the models and seeing it come to life,’’ she said.

It was the culmination of a year of work, planning and ‘‘too many’’ hours according to the cafe manager, but ultimately she said it was worth it to see it walk down the catwalk.

The garment ‘Purple Showers’, designed by Jan Dew and modelled by 18-year-old Elisha Hopope from Bendigo, won the avant garde category; while Torrumbarry designer Helen Williams won the designer category for her garment ‘It Happens’.

Three students from Wonthaggi Secondary College were recognised for their work, with Abbey Grenville, Tara MacDermid and Jemma Gilmour’s design ‘Mermaid’ winning the 18 years and under category.

In the hat category, it was Kaylene McMaster’s design ‘Daisy’ that stunned the judges to be awarded first place.Read more at:cocktail dresses australia | http://www.marieaustralia.com


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Ferragamo takes show outdoors

Milan designers are breathing fresh air into Milan Fashion Week.

Many fashion houses are showing their collections outdoors this season, or at least throwing open the windows on their grand palazzi venues, betting on Mother Nature with open-air shows. The late summer/early autumn weather has cooperated fully.

Angela Missoni’s 20th anniversary show was held in the courtyard of a former factory, with a colourful tent of foulards offering some protection from the sun. Roberto Cavalli returned to the stage with a new designer in a sleek-white open-air runway in Milan’s central Parco Sempione, which the brand founder often used as his venue.

Tomas Maier made sure the windows were open at the grand Conservatory where he showed his latest Bottega Veneta collection, while Vionnet and Max Mara located their shows in Renaissance-style courtyards.

Salvatore Ferragamo moved out of its usual Milan Stock Exchange venue into the square, hedging bets against the weather with some plexi-glass protection overhead.

To celebrate its new “Amo Ferragamo” fragrance, Salvatore Ferragamo energised Milan’s Piazza Affari with an open-air runway show on Saturday night, a sign of freshness and openness as womenswear design director Fulvio Rigoni previewed his third collection.

Models walked on a plexi-glass runway over a fresh lawn of real grass sprinkled with plastic daisies, and the fashion crowd was treated to a Botticelli-inspired light show on the façade of Milan’s stock exchange building before being invited inside to party with the British band Clean Bandit. The celebratory atmosphere was all meant as an antidote to trying political times, the designer said.

“I wanted to create a positive feeling at this particular moment,” Rigoni said ahead of the show. “At least in fashion, we want to dream a little.”

The foulard was the star of Rigoni’s collection. Twisted for a dramatic effect, they became the straps on halter dresses or oversized stitching on an off-shoulder dress, with the length of the silk scarf trailing. And dramatically, Rigoni created trompe l’oeil prints that gave the illusion of draped foulards on simple, straight dresses.

Rigoni said he imagined how he would dress Salvatore Ferragamo’s iconic clients, taking inspiration from Greta Garbo, Carmen Miranda, Brigitte Bardot and Marilyn Monroe to create straight silhouettes from the 1920s, fringe detailing from the 1930s and flared trousers of the 1970s.

The Ferragamo rounded gancio, or clasp, was a motif throughout, as an anchor for scarfs, a handle on mini-bags and even a pocket detail. Laser perforations on suede dresses and coats had the feel of crochet, and hand-painted python boots and coats underlined the brand’s technical prowess. Colours included bright pink, emerald green, red and plum punctuated by neutrals.

“I wanted a relaxed vibe and an easiness that is perceptible and refreshing,” Rigoni said. “The collection is fresh because there is a casualness, even if it is very studied.”Read more at:formal dresses brisbane | formal dresses perth


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Rejina Pyo

Today, four years after starting her namesake label, Rejina Pyo held her debut runway presentation at what turned out to be an opportune moment: Pyo’s nipped waist, full-skirted and -shouldered Greta dress was everywhere this New York Fashion Week. A milieu predisposed to fetishize the exclusive does sometimes find itself inclined to be inclusive—to wear what everyone else is—when the garment is good enough.

Pyo, a former assistant designer to Roksanda Ilincic, held her Spring show in a Quaker hall that was packed with many of her fanbase and that featured a casting staffed by it, too. The designer had recruited almost half the show via Instagram and calling on confirmed friends of the house. The question of casting is a sensitive point in fashion right now: The LVMH and Kering pact for Paris is one reason, but more broadly there is a feeling that the size 0/size 2 mafia needs to be broken if fashion is to reflect a vision of the world the world wants to see. It feels obvious, but still many designers don’t feel it. Pyo did.

Why? For the most wondrous reason of all. She reported: “I had a baby six months ago and that really made me think about all different shapes of women, and their roles. My role—a mother—is one that I didn’t have before and this is like a celebration. Nothing political or particularly feminist, just a celebration . . . I want to make clothes that people can wear every day and still feel special.”

My Aussie e-commerce seatmate almost whooped—actually, she shouted “Wowsers” and gave me the sharp elbow—as Eleanor Turnbull, a London-based artist, came out in a carnation red tiered-hem deep-V ruffle-neck dress that might just be next season’s Greta (and which we saw in a variety of fabrications). Pyo has a yen for deconstructed details and what she calls “overwhelming” shapes that are still easy to wear and live with. The models and mothers and women on this runway carried little baskets of tomato and corn and seemed communally sunbathed by happiness to wear Pyo’s clever but user-friendly suite of unorthodoxly inclusive clothes. Check them out: You might want to join in, too.Read more at:pink formal dresses | green formal dresses


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The action from today

It might be Sunday, but designers showed no signs of slowing down as the third day of London Fashion Week commenced. With a burst of big names on the line-up, we knew we could expect plenty of get-up-and-go, but our expectations were exceeded by exciting pops of colour and seriously star-filled front rows.

Mary Katrantzou

Kickstarting the morning, Greek-born, London-based designer opened with a trip down memory lane that compiled all her favourite childhood pastimes into clothes you can actually wear as a grown-up.

The woman that’s made pattern part of her fashion identity: this time, the Queen of print was inspired by paint-by-numbers, lego bricks and friendship bracelets, to create a series of high-fashion looks through a child’s eye.

There was a kaleidoscopic sweep of colour with the return of her signature Trompe L’oeil prints, which made reference to everything from Hama beads to Spirograph, while soft-touch plastic overcoats and toggled waistbands prompted memoirs of childhood camping trips.

Katrantzou also presented her latest Swarovski jewellery collaboration, which featured loose coloured crystals and pearls encased in geometric frames.


A lucid take on British subcultures, this season’s collection – known as Topshop September 2017 – was inspired by the dazzling streets of Soho.

To the sound of Pet Shop Boys’ “West End Girls”, an army of tenacious women – including Jourdan Dunn, Joan Smalls and Adwoa Aboah – stormed the runway wearing a series of pieces that reflect Britain’s style heritage, from the mini-skirts of the swinging Sixties, to Bowie glam-rock and even 1980s casuals.

In a nod to the party season, there were vintage-feel fur-trimmed coats, crystal accents and space-age silver trousers, while silky emerald green tracksuit tops, short shorts and boudoir-ready babydoll capes injected a fearless spirit.

Under its new name, the collection follows the brand’s move to “see-now, buy-now”, with items available to shop immediately after the catwalk show.

A room erected with plastic boxes encasing flowers set the scene for Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thornton’s spring / summer offering – a move which immediately illustrated the empowering message of the collection.

This time round, the duo wanted to talk about feminism and how, in spite of its associations, women should be able to embrace their femininity and not feel pigeon-holed.

Partners in real life as well as business, Thornton said they had their two young girls' future and the world they will grow up in on their minds, and elected a reading list of feminist works including The Scarlet Letter, The Second Sex and Growing Strong Daughters as their inspiration.

As such, the first couple of looks included youthful white dresses, matched with a blood red capital A embroidered on the chest and pilgrim hats that had an air of The Handmaids’ Tale about them.

A collection packed with important influences and fabulous clothes, the best pieces were those that you could imagine real women taking joy in wearing, from deconstructed ruffle-heavy dresses, to silver pleats and embellished slips.

The diffusion line of Italian luxury brand Versace, Versus is best known for its younger, cooler-than-cool approach to fashion and this season was no different.

Bound by youth, sexiness, defiance and fun, artistic director Donatella Versace said that this season was all about bravery and pleasure. “This is for everyone who dares to express themselves in everything they do,” she said.

A celebration of Nineties New York under the summer sun, the womenswear was made up of bikinis worn as streetwear, belted polo dresses with Versus lion head buttons and mini-dresses in bright, vivid colours. But, perhaps the most Versace of them all was an oversized mesh string vest worn by It girl and model of the moment, Adwoa Aboah.

In true style, every piece made a statement, imbuing the brand’s exuberant and glamorous aesthetic into everything from fringed accessories and glitter logos to studded cowboy panels.Read more at:formal dress shops | bridesmaid dresses


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A month after she proclaimed on Instagram that she’s looking for work, preferably “good parts to play”, Neena Gupta has bagged a role in Anubhav Sinha’s next. The social-thriller, Mulk, will see the actress play Rishi Kapoor’s wife. It also has Taapsee Pannu in the lead role. “It’s about a crisis during which the family sticks together to fight it. I loved the script,” says the veteran actress, who was last seen in the Bipasha Basu-Karan Singh Grover 2015 horror film, Alone.

She starts shooting for Sinha’s film next month in Lucknow and Varanasi. Her post had sparked a dialogue on actresses of a certain vintage and the dearth of roles for them. Neena reveals she had put it up because people assumed that she doesn’t work anymore and had shifted base to Delhi, where her husband, Vivek Mehra, whom she married in 2008, is based.

"I have been living in Mumbai and go to Delhi whenever required. It was also because I was refusing certain offers from TV that I didn’t like. Every time I asked someone why they didn’t take me on, they were surprised to know that I’m still up for work,” she explains. The actress further reveals that friends would tell her that they didn’t think of her while casting for roles. “It’s because I’m shy and have done a variety of roles. Whenever someone thinks of casting, they come up with names that have played similar characters before,” she says.

Of all the feedback to her online appeal for work, Neena was most touched by her daughter, fashion designer Masaba’s reaction, who refers to her as ‘Neena ji’. “I was scared she would be angry about it but she wrote such a nice post, I teared up when I read it. People stop me at airports and on the road, saying, ‘You are so brave. I wish I could do that’,” she admits. Neena has got a lot of offers now but is reluctant to talk about them. “I have said ‘yes’ to a few TV projects but I am not sure about the pilot, the required approvals and slots. It’s a long process. I have agreed to do two films too, but can’t speak about them as I am yet to sign them. Pata chala koi aur cheen le mera role,” she jokes, reiterating that she just wants to act as she is “hungry and thirsty for it.”Read more at:short formal dresses | formal dresses 2017


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