Vania Romoff

Why I was out partying on a Wednesday night, I blame it on fashion. Which really means I have nothing to complain about. The Zalora Style Awards 2017 gathered the stylish men and women in the industry last night for some dancing, cocktails, and interactive games. In the casual setting of Manila House’s garden area, it felt like looking good was effortless (the magic word) even on a hectic work night.

Spotted in the crowd were social media favorites Chi Gibbs, Kaila Estrada, and Aryanna Cowper. Throw in a mix of stylists and designers like Maita Baello and Stacy Rodriguez and the night was set for fun, fueled by ice popsicle cocktails and lots of selfies.

The stars of the night were the awardees, of course. Judged by the likes of Robby Carmona, Hope in a Bottle’s Nanette Medved Po, and celebrity makeup artist Jigs Mayuga, the chosen few showed us why their work ends up on our OOTD inspo boards. (I reek of millennial speak but the fashionable have their trendy words too.)

Minutes after they snatched up their respective awards, we asked Vania Romoff, Mickey See, Jake Ejercito, Lauren Reid, Jolo Ejercito, and Kiana Valenciano quickly about fashion, plus an insight into their selected expertise.

What qualities make a good designer?

I think a good designer stays true to his or her aesthetic and is professional.

Define a fashionable person

It really depends on where you are coming from. But a fashionable person is someone who is not afraid to be [who they are] and isn’t afraid to show it through fashion.

What’s something a fashionable person should have in their closet?

A bow and some personality. (Laughs)

What makes a great makeup artist?

A great makeup artist [needs] to have patience. You never know when you’ll earn [big] or earn small or have a big client. It’s all about waiting for your time. What’s important is to work hard, enjoy what you’re doing, and being good to everyone. That’s the most important [advice] I can share.

From what you’ve observed from your celebrity clients, what makes a fashion icon?

They don’t have doubt. Even though they don’t have designer clothes or have a stylist [pick out] what they will wear, they know they still look good.

One item from you closet that will always complete your outfit

My Birkin bag. That’s the ultimate accessory that I use. I don’t use it often because mabigat pala siya (it’s heavy) (Laughs). But it looks good.

When did you start getting into fashion?

There was no specific time. I always was curious about clothes.

Describe a stylish person

Someone who is confident. I believe that when it comes to fashion there are no rules. So someone who is confident in expressing themselves through clothes is fashionable.

Who are you fashion icons?

A$AP Rocky and Jaden Smith

When do you consider a person stylish?

Oh, you know what? I was thinking about this because I thought I might do a speech. (Laughs) Style to me is not about following trends but it’s about your personality. What you pick is what you feel, what you want to be, or what you want to project.

Who are the women you think are fashionable?

Honestly, the women I was nominated along with. I really think they are great so I was surprised I won.

Designer/s you don’t mind dressing you for the rest of your life

The Olsen twins. I love their brand The Row.

What makes a fashion icon?

A fashionable person always picks comfort over fashion. I always do that.

What’s one thing a stylish person should have?

Accessories like a watch, a ring or a bracelet. You can wear anything but switch it up with the accessories.

How would you define a stylish person?

Someone who completely understands who they are and they stick to their own style. When they stick to their preference, they are comfortable. When you’re comfortable, you’re confident and [that makes a] person shine.

What fashion pieces do you invest on?

The easiest is a good pair of jeans and a leather jacket. You can’t go wrong.Read more at:http://www.marieaustralia.com/cocktail-dresses | short formal dresses australia


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Host Miss Zimbabwe UK

London will this year host the Miss Zimbabwe UK pageant after Zimbabwe-born businesswoman Chiedza Dawn Ziyambe secured the license to host the pageant.

The pageant, one of the most glamorous and prestigious in the world, will be held at the opulent De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms on the 1st of July.

"The event will be a celebration of Zimbabwean culture, beauty and pride and will also support emerging and existing designers. A colorful, exciting extravaganza -it's a day that no fashion or culture lover should miss," said Miss World Zimbabwe UK in a statement.

The show organisers approached Ziyambe after they were impressed with the hard work and investment she put in the Zimbabwe Fashion Showcase collaboration between designers, models and creative artists with a shared passion for Zimbabwean culture and fashion which she founded in 2015.

The organisers said the pageant was more than just a beauty competition as contestants would also take the opportunity to learn important life skills, stimulate their minds and become proud representatives of their vibrant and culturally rich country.

Ziyambi said although hosting the pageant was not going to be a walk in the park; she was equal to the task.

"I know this is going to be hard graft, but I am no stranger to hard work," she said.

"Miss World Zimbabwe UK will be the perfect opportunity to showcase Zimbabwean talent, fashion and culture, whilst also redefining the idea of pageantry. We are looking for women who can be icons for their country."

The Miss Zimbabwe UK winner and her two princesses will be flown to Zimbabwe to compete for the Miss Zimbabwe 2017 title, the winner of which will be entered into Miss World.

Casting roadshows would be held in the North and South of the UK where those interested in taking part in the pageant will be welcome.

The event will be a celebration of Zimbabwean culture, beauty and pride and will also support emerging and existing designers. A colorful, exciting extravaganza -it's a day that no fashion or culture lover should miss.Read more at:evening dresses australia | marieaustralia


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Sarah Jessica Parker

This week, Sarah Jessica Parker celebrated her 52nd birthday. Parker took to Instagram to mark the occasion, posting photos of the place settings her seven-year-old twin daughters, Marion Loretta and Tabitha, arranged—complete with “HBD Mama” confetti and crayon-colored paper shoe cutouts pinned at the back of each chair. The choice of decoration was fitting, given both Parker’s burgeoning career as a footwear entrepreneur and her Manolo Blahnik–loving Sex and the City counterpart, though the actress upholds that she and Carrie Bradshaw have little in common. “Bradshaw’s life is nothing—nothing—like mine,” Parker once told Vogue. “I loved playing her, and it changed my life in lots of wonderful ways, but I’m not a crazy shoe lady.” In some ways, Parker is more of a Charlotte. “She’s incredibly polite,” said Claire Danes, who costarred with Parker in The Family Stone. “She’s ladylike. She doesn’t curse. I felt downright crass.” (Just imagine how Samantha might have felt.) Here, five other things you may not have known about the one and only Sarah Jessica Parker.

1. Parker wore black for her wedding to Matthew Broderick in 1997. “Our logic was we didn’t want to call attention to ourselves that day, because we’re actors and we get attention all day long,” Parker said. “Matthew bought a suit off the rack and I bought the first dress I looked at.” Parker and Broderick staged a surprise wedding for 100 unassuming guests at New York’s Angel Orensanz Synagogue. And while their intentions were honorable, Parker since admitted she would do it differently if given the chance. “I’d wear a beautiful, proper wedding dress, like I should have worn that day,” she said. Parker explained to Martha Stewart Weddings that she’d want an “Oscar de la Renta feel, pockets below the waist, a very fitted bodice, a huge skirt, in taffeta and duchesse satin.”

2. Parker was set up with one of her Sex and the City costars. More than a decade before the show aired, Parker went on a blind date with Willie Garson, who played Stanford Blatch, Carrie’s gay best friend. “I’ve known Sarah for 15 years—we were set up once, had a very long flirtation, and then just settled into being best friends, something I think really reads on the show,” Garson once said. “It’s funny, she’s said in interviews that every single one of her friends is gay ‘except for Willie Garson.’ ”

3. Parker has an unorthodox approach to a common beauty woe. For starters, she doesn’t wear concealer because, well, she feels “like a fraud” and instead swipes on Laura Mercier’s Caviar Stick “every day of [her] life.” “It’s the greatest eye pencil ever in the history of eye pencils,” Parker told Vogue last summer. Parker can pinpoint the moment she fell in love with the look while watching Lisa Bonet on Letterman years prior. “She didn’t have a smoky eye, but she did have a natural really low shadow that was this beautiful plum,” Parker said of Bonet’s uncovered dark circles. “I love dark circles—any movie with a woman with dark circles, I just think, ohhh.”

4. Maxim named Parker the Unsexiest Woman Alive in 2007. This was to the shock and horror of both men and women alike. “It upset him, because it has to do with his judgment, too,” Parker said of her husband’s reaction. The following year, Parker told Allure: “My instinct was that it felt personal. It was really about ‘We don’t like her.’ Who were the judges and critics? I would like to ask them, ‘What exactly is it that you personally find not sexy about me? Is it my figure? Is it my brain that bothers you?’” Parker further suggested that any man who prefers an airbrushed woman to the real thing is doing themselves a disservice. “My impression is that what they find sexy doesn’t make them very interesting or unusual or special,” Parker said. “That makes them common.” We’re with Parker.

5. The only thread between Parker’s style and Carrie’s is that they “will both try anything.” As Parker told Vogue: “In real life I never dressed the way she dressed, nor would I.” However, she did concede that playing Carrie educated her sartorially. “I grew up in a house of matching,” she said. “You know, our hair ribbons matched our dress, and our pinafore matched our socks. You didn’t clash colors. What I learned by being around Pat Field was there shouldn’t be rules in fashion. Things shouldn’t go together. And that’s the thing that really changed in my own world and the way I choose to dress.” Are SATC fans disappointed that she’s not as dressy as her character? “They are,” Parker said in an interview with Glamour. “Often I’ll go to the market, and women will say to me: ‘Let me see your shoes.’ And then I show them I’m wearing flip-flops.”Read more at:marieaustralia | cocktail dress australia


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Gwyneth Paltrow

Joan Collins has slammed the lifestyle choices promoted by Gwyneth Paltrow as "fads".

The 83-year-old Dynasty actress looks better than ever, and frequently showcases her svelte figure in show-stopping ensembles. But when it comes to maintaining her slim physique, Joan isn't a fan of the particular diets appropriated by stars such as Gwyneth, who explores different eating concepts in her health and lifestyle newsletter Goop.

"All of this stuff that she does not eat anything for a week and just drinks goat's milk? I mean what is that? I guess it is a fad..." Joan said during an interview on London radio station LBC. "I see these people taking their green juices and their kale and quinoa - that tastes of cut up cardboard.

"Green tea is disgusting - it is like ink. I will have a big cup of builder's tea and I have two cups of proper coffee in the morning. I think there is too much of this clean eating."

Among Gwyneth's nutritional advice in the past has been encouraging fans to cut out food items such as gluten, dairy, corn, soy, caffeine, alcohol, added sugar, red meat, shellfish and white rice.

However, she has always insisted her intention has never been to make life hard for people - and merely hopes to promote the idea of clean eating among her followers.

"It's here: That moment when we vow to put our elastic waist-banded pants in the back of the closet and kick-start some healthier patterns in the kitchen," Gwyneth wrote in her book It's All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook.

"As always, the goal with the annual Goop detox is to not try to pull off a week of starvation: It's to simply clean up the menu and eat as well as possible."

Joan didn't just criticise Gwyneth's ideology in her LBC interview - she also attacked the recent advice that people should be eating 10 to 15 piece of fruit and vegetables every day.

"There is thing now about having to have 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day... I would be the size of a house," she laughed.Read more at:2017 formal dresses | formal dress shops brisbane


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The Complicated Popularity

“Take a deep breath.” Such is the instruction given to Judy Garland’s character in the classic 1944 movie Meet Me in St. Louis, just as her sister Rose begins lacing her, painfully, into a corset. As Rose determinedly cinches, Garland gasps, groans, pants, and clutches at her midsection. “It does wonders for your figure,” Rose proudly states. “I feel like the ossified woman in the sideshow,” Garland retorts. “I feel elegant … but I can’t breathe!”

Such is the dilemma of the traditional corset, arguably the most fraught article of clothing of the past few centuries. The garments, which originated as the first body shapers during the Renaissance period and again in the Victorian era, are widely regarded as symbolic of the pressure — literally — to conform to an unnatural standard of beauty. Some (though not all) permanently changed the forms of women’s bodies, causing an irreversible narrowing of the rib cage; reports of restricted breathing, as evinced by Garland’s performance, are legion. In her 2001 book, The Corset: A Cultural History, director and chief curator of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Valerie Steele, calls the corset “probably the most controversial garment in the history of fashion.” And lately, they’ve been making their return.

Before we dive into why many women living in the time of Trump — a moment when wage equality, Planned Parenthood, and reproductive rights are at risk — are opting for historically “restrictive” clothing, a bit of backstory: “A true corset is a boned and laced foundation garment that acts as a bust support and a waist cincher and that was an integral part of women’s fashion for 300 years,” Steele says, by way of definition. “Nowadays it’s no longer an integral part of women’s fashion and when it appears, it’s a kind of optional component.” says Dr. Denis Bruna, a curator for the fashion and textile department at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, whose 2015 exhibition “Fashioning the Body” explored this very theme. “[Corsets] allowed women to modify their bodies: the waist was compressed and the chest was hoisted up. 18th-century texts say that the corset allowed women to have ‘a nice waist and a high chest.’”

In the 20th century, corsets went in and out of fashion — out during WWI as women went to work and needed increased comfort and range of motion; out in the 1920s with the advent of Coco Chanel’s loose-fitting garments; in during the ’50s as women sought out the nipped-waist effect popularized in Dior’s New Look. The resurgence was short-lived, as the feminist movement of the ’60s condemned the garments as unilaterally repressive. But in not-so-distant memory, corsets have once again enjoyed sartorial comebacks, often, in fact, touting undercurrents of female empowerment. There was Cyndi Lauper’s brazen red one in her 1983 “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” video; Madonna’s wave-making cone contraption back in 1989 (courtesy of Jean-Paul Gaultier); and, more recently, the lace-up numbers in Über-feminist Miuccia Prada’s fall 2016 Prada collection. These corsets were loosely laced, artfully dishabillé, and worn over menswear-inflected pieces. It was an influential statement about owning the power of one’s womanhood, and also yet another example of how today’s corsets are body-conscious without being body-restrictive — and the trend was contagious.

Other power-women designers from the comfort camp kept the sentiment going when they showed the style for spring 2017, Isabel Marant, Chloé’s former creative director Clare Waight Keller, and Tibi’s Amy Smilovic included. The latter reports that Tibi’s corsets — rendered in unexpected wearer-friendly fabrications like denim and knits — have become seasonal best sellers. “‘Corset’ was the most searched term on our site for spring,” Smilovic says, and the denim style is already out of stock.

Want one? If you visit Net-a-Porter, you might still find the style in question, as well as iterations from Alexander McQueen (thick leather belt redux), Marques’ Almeida (denim and distressed), and Tom Ford (either overtly sexy or chastity belt-esque, pick your poison). Sarah Burton at McQueen also showed tighter, bustier corsets in her spring show, as did Rihanna at Fenty x Puma, and Dolce & Gabbana (they’re a mainstay for the brand at this point). Even Gucci showed a thick, embossed-leather version cut to hit right under each breast amid the fluffy tulle pieces from the collection; Loewe’s were flesh-toned and structured.

But there’s something uncomfortable — no pun intended — about resurrecting the corset at a time when the political mandate seems to be to take women back to the 16th century. Despite many well-founded claims that corsets have been unfairly demonized (more on that below), they still come with symbolic baggage: The idea that looking skinnier, bustier, and sexier is the fashion endgame might make modern feminists queasy. But the designers who showed them — savvy, astute, progressive women — are about empowerment, not hemming in their customers. So what were they getting at? According to Smilovic, it’s largely about the reappropriation of the garment, and simultaneously a novel shortcut to refreshing one’s wardrobe. And it’s more than the wardrobe that’s getting an update. “If you think about it through history, [the corset] was made to please everyone but the wearer. Putting it into comfortable fabrications and sweater knits makes it a lot more democratic — it’s entirely in the control of the woman wearing it. You’re definitely not having someone else tying you up,” the designer asserts. Adds Steele, “This sort of post-Prada thing is taking a bit of the erotic energy [of the corset] and putting it into daywear in a way that is not physically constraining.” Bruna agrees, “Today, corsets no longer modify the body. They emphasize the waist and chest without exerting any deforming pressure.”

For its spring 2017 cover, photographed by Cass Bird and styled by Alex White, Porter magazine put model Natalia Vodianova in a T-shirt emblazoned with the word “superwoman,” topped off with one of those Marant front-lace corsets, an overtly political pairing. It’s worth noting that while the designers showed their spring ‘17 collections before the election, Porter’s spring issue was shot later and clearly with the current political milieu (or maelstrom) in mind.

The trend has been embraced on the streets as well as on editorial pages. As nice as it would be to leave Kardashians out of it (they are famous proponents of real, utilitarian corsets as body-shaping garments), Kim’s recent outing in which she paired a less painfully tight one (worn as a top) with sweatpants and a puffer coat is one of the more memorable street-style moments of recent times. By coordinating her corset with the ultimate in casual clothing, Kim seemed to personify the idea that the point of fashion today — corsets included — is wearing whatever you want; whatever makes you comfortable. Democracy might be crumbling around us, but in fashion, every woman is free to make her own rules.Read more at:cocktail dresses online | 2017 formal dresses


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Kentucky Derby 2017 hat


Louisville throws the biggest hat party in the country the first weekend in May.

From the tip-top of Millionaires Row down to the infield, Churchill Downs transforms Derby weekend into a vibrant sea of head ornaments bobbing and floating from the paddock, through the dining rooms, along the rail trackside and dotting every space in between.

Heck, even the jockeys get in on the action. Their headwear may be purely functional but even those helmets are colorful and special.

So, how do you pick the perfect chapeau? And how can you be sure you won't look ridiculous?

You won't, said Christine Moore, designer and owner of Christine A. Moore Millinery.

"It's not like a small number of women wear hats and you'll risk looking silly. Everyone wears one and you'll look more ridiculous without a hat," she said.

Moore knows what she's talking about. She has designed hats professionally for more than 20 years and is best known for her elegant styles created for the Kentucky Derby —two of her hats are even on display in the Kentucky Derby Museum. She's the official milliner for the Breeders’ Cup and the Iroquois Steeplechase, and she is the featured milliner at Keeneland, the Preakness Stakes and the Florida Derby.

In 2009, she partnered with Churchill Downs and Mattel to design the official Barbie Derby hat. Her hats were also used in the official Kentucky Derby poster that year.

For the past six years, Moore has appeared on the TODAY Show from Churchill Downs, where NBC has called her “the milliner to the Triple Crown." She's even designed a special Oaks hat for former Kentucky First Lady Jane K. Beshear.

Since 1994, Moore has made Louisville her home-away-from-home (she lives and works in New York City) in the months leading up to Derby. We caught up with her when she was in town earlier this month to check in on the tops trends to keep in mind when selecting a hat for this year's ultimate hat show.


Like an expert chef who creates a meal just for you, artisan hat designers are molding and dyeing their own materials and hand sewing trim and embellishments, even hand painting details.

"I am finding there is now a real desire for artisan millinery work, and by that, I mean a hat made from scratch," Moore said.

"Let's be clear, I'm not talking about hats mass produced with a hot glue gun and glitter," she said. "Women are seeking out true artists and designers who are creating beautiful pieces and often at close to the same price point as hats not made from scratch."


Plucked from New York's 2017 runway fashion shows, floral and tropical touches have made their way into Moore's current hat collection.

In between working with customers during her trunk show at Rodes for Her earlier this month, Moore posted Facebook photos while hand-painting luxurious fabric flower petals.

"They add a softness around the face, whether I place them on top of the brim or inside tucked up close to the ear," she said.

Moore's repeat customers are asking this year for a sophisticated head-to-toe monochromatic look. The milliner translates the style into her headpieces by sewing floral trim in similar shades, "like looking into a forest and seeing a few different shades of green," Moore said. "I am loosely grouping similar shades on this year's hats."

A touch of the tropics is the second runway trend making its way into Moore's current collection. Bold oranges, yellows and greens, and now and again a subtle vine, may wind its way through a design.

One notable exception — you won't find feathers.

"Customers are asking me to remove feathers so I am not really using them," she said.


Quirky or glamorous, refined or flirtatious, artisan milliners create designs uniquely their own.

Here are the elements three local designers are adding (or subtracting) from their collection for Derby 143.

"For us, it's all about vertical rather than horizontal drama," said Griffin, owner of Griffin Hatters, which she sells at her boutique.

Griffin has an education in costume and apparel design and in 2009 she apprenticed to a San Fransisco hat maker before she moved to Louisville and opened her shop on South Fourth Street in Louisville.

Metallic silver and gold are prominent in Griffin's 2017 designs. Navy and white with a nautical feel is also popular.

"We make head sculptures which are perfect for the woman who has already done Derby in a brimmed hat and now wants to wear something more out of the box."

"I am playing a lot with origami-like shapes and also combining two random colors," Kapp said.

With a degree in Fashion Design from University of Cincinnati College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning, Kapp's philosophy is that her fascinators, hats and headpieces are three-dimensional pieces of art.

New this year, Kapp is using two colors in unexpected combinations.

"It's like random pairs saying hello to each other," Kapp said.

A saturated shade of pink teamed with a bold orange or a brilliant purple paired with a bright yellow. She's also using bright gold tones and emerald, plus playing a lot with the idea of free flowing and interesting shapes.

"I believe you are the pedestal and the hat is the artwork that sits on your head," said Kapp, laughing.

"I am working even more than I did last year with straw braid," Pfanenstiel said.

This local award-winning milliner is another fashion design major (Art Institute of Colorado) who specializes in techniques that date back more than 100 years.

The straw braid machine she uses to create and sculpt her fascinators and hatinators is so rare, Pfanenstiel had to drive to Chicago to find someone who knew how to use the old equipment.

This year, Pfanenstiel was named the Official Milliner of the Kentucky Derby Museum. She's working primarily with pinks and black in her designs and is shying away from big, brimmed hats.

"Most of my customers are telling me they are done with typical brimmed hats. It's the weight and the clumsiness of them," she said. "Instead, they want me to make something smaller and more functional so a lot of fascinators and hatinators." (A hatinator is a mid-size hybrid between the smaller fascinator and the traditional brimmed hat.)

Part sculp­ture, part accessory, one-of-a-kind hand­made artisan Derby designs can add a touch of magic, refinement or edge to your wardrobe.

If you know you are going to the track Derby week, designers suggest you shop for your perfect hat early while selections are best and milliners still have time to accommodate an order. Custom Derby toppers come with price tags ranging from anywhere $200 to more than $1,000 and they are the one piece of Derby-wear you don't want to do without.

"It's all about creating something that makes you feel so wonderful that you'll wear it and love it so much you'll want to wear one again," Moore said. "So that's what it's all about. The excitement of wearing a hat."Read more at:2017 formal dresses


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Model Tachi Takes Career

While many young people spend their youthful years partying and hanging out with friends, it is a different story for model Sharon Tachi who is already building her empire.

At the age of 24, Sharon has a fully-fledged modelling career, which she attributes to her quick rise and work ethic.

"I believe I am a mature person who works really hard. When I tell myself that I want to do this, I commit to it and I do it with no excuses. This has helped me to develop as a model," said Sharon.

The commercial model from Glen View has done numerous runway modelling shows for local designers.

She participated at the 2016 Castle Tankard Fashion Show and has taken part in various fashion shows since 2015.

Having been in the modelling industry for only two years, her career has advanced within a short period of time.

"I started modelling in October 2015. A lot of people would comment that I am photogenic and this has helped me to do numerous professional shoots. I managed to sign up with Size4 agency because advertising agencies like my look" she said.

Currently employed at Classic Marketing Zimbabwe as a marketing consultant, she is in the process of upgrading her resume studying Travel, Tourism and Hospitality.

The model who comes from a Christian background says she still follows her religious beliefs and has big dreams to achieve.

"I was born and raised in a Christian family so I am a Christian, and I do enjoy modelling. My dream is to be a brand ambassador for a Fashion house or a big brand," said Sharon.

Sharon gives credit for her success to her family which she say is supportive.

"My family influenced my career because they saw that I have passion in modelling, I grew up with the dream to be one. My greatest support come from my family," she said.

She has worked with many brands like Winter Fashion Show, Mua Magazine shoot, Naz Fashionz amongst others.Read more at:short formal dresses australia | marieaustralia


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The Replacement

The Replacement - the BBC's latest gripping drama - concludes tomorrow evening and a frenzy is whipping up as to how it might end. Was young, ambitious architect Ellen right about the dark motives of Paula, her mysteriously eager yet underhand maternity cover all along? Or has poor Ellen succumbed to a pregnancy-induced psychosis which has caused her to make wild assumptions about an ultimately well-meaning woman?

While we await the answer to those questions, there are some clues to be gleaned from the looks costume designer Jo Slater created for Ellen and Paula's sophisticated, message-laden wardrobes...

The costumes are based on what real architects wear

Before filming began, Slater visited real architectural firms in Glasgow, where the series is set, to speak to them about how they dressed for work. The unison response? Mostly COS. "Everyone - male and female - said COS was what they liked to wear but depending on how well they're doing they might go elsewhere occasionally," she explains. "I expected it to be a black and white palette but it really wasn't the case." As a result, Ellen was dressed mostly in pieces from the haute high street Scandi brand.

Architects do wear heels - sometimes

"When we were initially planning the show, we thought they would all wear flats," says Slater. "They have that transition between office and site, but the ladies said they do wear heels and skirts - they just keep their site boots in the car, or plan their wardrobes around their schedules." This nugget of research gave more breadth to the possibilities of how the characters might dress. "If they're going to site, they'll wear jeans but if not, they'll wear a nice dress. There were no hard and fast rules which I thought we would have to adhere to - I didn't want architects writing in telling us we were idiots."

Ellen's complex feelings about her pregnancy are revealed in her fashion choices

Ellen appears to be the archetypal cool, young architect with her pared-back, streamlined wardrobe in muted colours and minimalist prints. Besides COS, her wardrobe was mostly sourced from ASOS, Finery - "perfect for architecture because it has the structural element to it" - and Whistles. So far, so normal young, creative working woman. But Slater included subtle signals of Ellen's conflicted professional-meets-personal feelings.

"One of the things we were keen to do with Ellen was that her wardrobe wouldn't change too much while she was pregnant," Slater says. "The nature of the storyline was that she's not embracing pregnancy or motherhood so we decided it would be better for the look of it if we could dress her bump from the high street but not the maternity section." The tactic worked until the last months of her on-screen pregnancy but "then we had to go for maternity jeans because we found if we went up in size we lost the leg shape."

They found the perfect pair from Seraphine, a maternity label beloved of the likes of The Duchess of Cambridge, Marion Cotillard and Gwen Stefani. Like countless post-natal women before her, Ellen ended up wearing her maternity jeans long after birth. "Morven who played Ellen ended up still asking for those jeans when she wasn't pregnant because they were so comfortable; they sprung back into shape but grew with the bump," says Slater. "So she wore them right up until the end of the series. She became quite attached."

Clothes are a "weapon in Paula's arsenal"

Slater and the actress who plays Paula, Vicky McClure, decided that Paula should be a very feminine character, by way of contrast to Ellen's more androgynous style. "Paula's look was very similar to one of the architects who showed me around her firm. Vicky plays lots of masculine roles or roles with a hard edged appearance so she really wanted to be girly."

In one scene in episode two, Paula visits Ellen at home shortly after her daughter's birth. At this point, Ellen is in full-on new mother mode in baggy loungewear. But Paula arrives sleek and sharp in her polished workwear look. "She was wearing a bright pink pencil skirt which was carefully considered because it was pink for the baby girl," Slater explains. "It had that subliminal ownership going on. A very tight pencil skirt and heels is as sexy as it gets but Ellen's there having just given birth looking like crap in her slobby clothes so Paula had a physical edge."

"A lot of her clothes are chosen to wind Ellen up and make her feel more powerful," Slater adds of Paula's pulled-together, more traditional office attire. "With the manipulation that's going on with Paula, we decided that as a character she would absolutely use her clothes as a weapon in her arsenal."

Most of Paula's wardrobe, down to her go-to black heels, was sourced from Banana Republic with a few additions from Ted Baker. "She's flirting with David so she's strutting around the office like a sexy woman but she can totally justify what she's wearing," says Slater of ensembles which were at once professional but body-conscious. Slater singles out a pink and grey printed dress as being the pinnacle of Paula's bold, ladylike style. "She was twirling around in that dress but we had to talk the director into it. With the cream mac it totally worked for her."

The style tip that real women can learn from The Replacement

While dressing to intimidate pregnant colleagues isn't on most of our agendas, there were lessons Slater incorporated into her wardrobe strategy that she urges all women to take heed of.

"Something I think all women can learn from how we dressed the characters is that we altered everything we bought. The grey kimono which Ellen wore a lot was originally much longer," she says. "I often see women and think 'If you just chopped 10 inches off the bottom of that, you'd have an immediately successful outfit.' Absolutely every single thing we bought for Ellen, we altered. If you buy something, you're not done; you've got to make it work for you because none of us are a standard shape - chop the arms off, bring them in, shorten them. Some women look better always in 3/4 length sleeves. It depends on your body shape - it's the difference between someone paying you a compliment or just standing there in front of you."

A confidence-giving trick we're sure Ellen was in dire need of.Read more at:http://www.marieaustralia.com/white-formal-dresses | one shoulder formal dresses


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Fashion Passion

Back in the ‘60s, Ouija boards became a fad. At parties, people would close their eyes, appear to be in a trance and move the little planchette across this board with numbers and letters to “discover mysteries from beyond.” Talking boards or automatic writing have been known since antiquity, especially in the Far East, but the modern incarnation was patented in 1891. But in the late ‘60s, big toy manufacturers bought the rights to the name Ouija (Hasbro still owns the name). There are those who claim that a psychophysiological effect, called “ideomotor response” (akin to self-hypnosis), is causing the person to produce the messages, which are revealing about the practitioner. Were these party games or were people receiving information from some occult source? That’s an important question, because as a parlor game it’s pretty innocuous, but as a source for messages from beyond, many Christian groups (including the Roman Catholic Church) railed against them. I really don’t know, but, in my experience, the more the player had drunk the funnier the results were. I mention this phenomenon this week because it sounds strangely like what the breastplate of the of kohen gadol used to do in the first-Temple period.

When major national issues arose, the king or the prophet was authorized to approach the kohen gadol and inquire of God. This kohen was adorned with the choshen, or the breastplate. This garment was embroidered with precious threads and attached to the apron-like ephod. Into this breastplate was placed the urim v’tumim, which contained gemstones representing the 12 tribes. When the inquiry was properly presented, the jewels would light up in a coded manner that would answer the query. Again, we are presented with a dilemma. Above I mentioned that many Christians condemned the Ouija board because it might be a “demonic possession,” but what about us? Doesn’t Judaism also prohibit enquiring of diviners or soothsayers (whom I guess are people who say “sooth”)? The answer is an emphatic “yes.” This prohibition is enshrined numerous times in our Torah; here’s one: Don’t turn to psychics or mediums to get help. That will make you unclean. I am the Lord your God (Leviticus 19:31). So, how can we use the urim v’tumim?

As you might have guessed, there are many answers to that question, and I’d like to share two. The first, and simplest, is that whenever we have some sort of lottery or divination process we are told to do it “before God.” When we realize that the answers to our prayers, problems and probes come only from God, we’re in a safe place. However, when someone might feel that solutions or remedies to our crises can be found or obtained through any other source, then we have transgressed this prohibition and have wandered into a spiritual abyss.

There’s another way of understanding this matter. What do the two words urim v’tumim mean? Urim means “lights” and refers to getting enlightenment from God, gathering Divine knowledge. The other word, tumim, means perfection or innocence and refers to the recipient. For the process to work we require an effective receiver for the light emanating from God. That’s why the verse (Exodus 28:30) states that the apparatus must be worn over the heart of the kohen gadol. Only when his heart is tumim does the process work.

We have a famous incident in the book of Samuel when the breastplate didn’t work correctly. When the kohen gadol Eli inquired about Chana, the mother of Shmuel, when she was praying in the Mishkan at Shilo, he got the Hebrew letters shin, cof, reish, hey, which he read as shikora, or “she’s drunk.” He wasn’t in the proper place vis-a-vis God to understand that the true message was k’sheira—“she is worthy (TB Brachot 31a). The light was getting through from on high, but Eli wasn’t the proper receiver to interpret the message correctly.

Rav Yissachar Frand of Ner Yisrael in Baltimore adds a beautiful insight to this tale. He explains that we have, in our times, plenty of urim, information. After all, we live in the Information Age. This is also true in the Torah world. We have large numbers of people studying Torah, and we are publishing works of Torah in unprecedented numbers and variety. What we’re lacking is tumim, people with the spiritual sensitivity to interpret Torah and guide the generation to the proper conclusions. The people must seek out those few individuals whose hearts are working as well as their minds. For the kohen, it isn’t that the clothes make the man; it’s the synthesis of the personality and the clothing that produce the distinctive result that we seek.

And this brings us to Purim. Purim is also about clothes. We have a strong tradition of dressing up on Purim. Why? Well, there are a lot of costumes in the Megilla. Of course, we’d like to emulate the celebratory ride of Mordechai dressed like a king. But more profoundly, Esther spends the whole tale hidden behind a façade of beauty and Persian culture that belie that her heart resonates with Jewish heritage and spirit. But again, as in the cohen gadol and the urim v’tumim, the disguises that we don should reflect an inner reality. The disguise shouldn’t be to shock or upset the observer, but to enhance the joy and comity of the occasion.

According to our tradition, clothing has existed since the Garden of Eden. But what is the purpose of our garb? We have two words for clothes. Levush, which seems connected to busha, or embarrassment, allows us to see the inner reality of the person in question. The other term is beged, which comes from the word for treachery or treason. These garments hide the reality of the wearer from all observers. We want to use our clothing to enhance our standing in the community. We want to honestly represent ourselves. We want to become Esther, who bares her soul and emerges as a Jewish butterfly from her Persian chrysalis. May your Purim be joyous and revealing!Read more at:formal dress shops sydney | http://www.marieaustralia.com


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The 2017 Fashions

Wearing a peachy pink dress with rose gold accessories to this year’s Launceston Cup, Ms Vogelpoel said she wanted to wear something classic, with a little bit of edge. “It is the biggest honour to be chosen as the best dressed by the public. I feel completely over the moon and thankful,” she said.

Ms Vogelpoel chose a mid-length dress with cutout detailing, a popular trend this fashion season.

“My dress and clutch I bought online from ChiChi London, my shoes from Nine West and my hat was something my mum and I reworked to match the overall look,” she said.

Despite running into some issues with her original gloves, Ms Vogelpoel got crafty and redesigned an old pair to suit her outfit.

“I decided to shorten a long pair of gloves I had bought a while ago from Evandale market,” she said.

“I normally make my own millinery for myself and also clients, it's something that got me into FOTF back in 2011.”

Looking to enter next year’s Fashions on the Field People’s Choice Award?Ms Vogelpoel recommends dressing to ‘suit your individual style and personality’. “The races is an event unlike most,” she said.

“You can really go all out and add millinery to your outfit which I think sets it apart.”Putting thought into your accessories, and sticking to the ‘classy and classic styles’ of races fashion, as well as adding current trends is Ms Vogelpoel’s recipe for a successful races outfit. “I always love adding stockings and gloves to complete the look because after all it is the races and when do you get to dress up like that, as a mum to three kids that definitely doesn't happen every day,” she said.Read more at:cheap formal dresses australia | marieaustralia.com


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Runway Prom Fashion Show

Kennamore organizes Rock the Runway Prom Fashion Show

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Charleigh Kennamore, a senior at Russellville High School, organized a fashion show at the City Mall that was part of her state Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) project.

"I am the president of Russellville's DECA charter, which is a club for students interested in marketing, management and entrepreneurship," Kennamore said. "I wanted to compete in the Fashion Merchandising Promotion Plan and put on a fashion show for Formal Affairs."

The purpose of the project was to advertise and promote Formal Affairs, where she has worked for three years.

"I wanted to promote the different stores in the mall." Kennamore said. "All of the stores in the mall graciously allowed us to use their space and all donated a door prize and a promotional ad to be read during the show."

The Rock the Runway Prom Fashion Show featured the latest trends for 2017's upcoming prom season.

"I started planning for the fashion show around the beginning of November and worked right up to the morning of the show," Kennamore said. "It took a lot of work from myself, my mother, Donna Kennamore, and the owners of Formal Affairs, Susie James and Rhonda Hill. I put together a model search to find all of the girls who were in the show, and we made sure that all of the River Valley was represented by choosing girls from all different schools. I organized the lineup of the dresses with which model would wear and setup the layout of the show. Our models were amazing, and I am thankful they gave up their Saturday to help show off our gorgeous dresses."

Kennamore plans on going to Arkansas Tech University this fall to major in Management and Marketing with a focus on being an entrepreneur.

"I want to own a clothing store one day," Kennamore said. "I feel like planning and executing this fashion show has been preparation for future events for my own store while also teaching me important communication and organizational skills."Read more at:evening dresses australia


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Sarah Jessica Parker

Sarah Jessica Parker has added a collection of handbag designs to her growing accessories brand.

The actress and designer, famed for her love of luxury shoes and accessories, launched her label SJP By Sarah Jessica Parker in 2014, and has since gone on to release lines of bridal footwear and black dresses.

Now, the Sex and the City star is focusing her attention back on the handbag business and is launching a new range named The Seven Essentials, which will be sold at Bloomingdale's and via Amazon Fashion, as well as other high-end international retailers.

"Our seven essential silhouettes incorporate quality, function and necessity in their own ways," she told WWD of the collection. "And much like our shoes, they are timeless. Made for all women and all occasions."

The range includes a tote, oversize clutch, backpack, two shoulder-bags and a minaudiere. Each of the designs are available in five colour options, including bright pink, red, chestnut, grey and black, with all of the styles manufactured in the United States.

"We were able to source some incredibly beautiful, supple Italian leathers in a few of our signature colours like Poppy and Candy, a cohesive touch we were very pleased with. And we are very proud to say that each and every handbag is made in America, a non-negotiable for us from the start," shared Sarah.

With her trained eye, the 51-year-old also ensured all the details for the bags were to her exacting standards, right down to grosgrain ribbon in the lining and simple brass hardware detailing.

For the accessories line, which is overseen by Manolo Blahnik U.S. chief executive officer George Malkemus, Sarah recently made a major push into retail by unveiling her first store, which is set up at the MGM National Harbor in Washington, D.C.Read more at:princess formal dresses | white formal dresses


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Amit Aggarwal

Amazon Fashion has announced that designers Tarun Tahiliani and Amit Aggarwal are collaborating to present a special and unique rendition of the ‘Fresh New Look’ campaign by Amazon Fashion at the grand finale of the Amazon India Fashion Week (AIFW) 2017 for a never-seen-before spectacle. The four-day event will be held from March 15-18 in Delhi.

The AIFW is being organised by Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) in association with Maybelline New York. It will raise the style bar with 16 fresh faces, who will put their best foot forward at the upcoming edition of the fashion week.

"As Amazon Fashion becomes the preferred destination for customers to discover and buy a wide selection of top fashion brands, bringing all that's fresh, trendy and chic to their doorsteps, we are delighted to two of our biggest Indian designers to creatively articulate our campaign thought on AIFW ramp at the country's biggest fashion confluence," said Arun Sirdeshmukh, head, Amazon Fashion.

"AIFW has not just been a trendsetter in the fashion industry, but also a platform for designers, esteemed or budding, to showcase their talent to a broad set of audience. In line with this inspiring format, we are proud to announce that esteemed designers, Tarun Tahiliani and Amit Aggarwal will create a dramatic interpretation of this signature campaign on the ramp and breathe new energy into the season's theme," said Sunil Sethi, president, FDCI.

"This year, we are excited to be presenting the finale with my wonderful colleague, protégé and someone I have learnt a lot from, Amit Aggarwal. ‘Rule Every Moment’ is as fantastic an emotion or spirit, as I have ever heard. It means a plethora of different things but as we show our ‘Ready to Wear’, for me, it represents the most sinewy synthesis of this global world, nowhere represented as much in its diversity, as in Indian fashion where the T-shirt is paired with a sari, a jacket with a salwar and a tunic or dress with palazzos or tights," said Tahiliani.

"The concept for this season's grand finale, 'Rule Every Moment' is an exciting platform for us to put forth a language of fashion that is synonymous to the woman of today. 'Rule Every Moment' defines an actuality of a woman of the nature who is a go-getter in everything she aspires to do and her freedom of expression. It is a beautiful collaboration with the people we have already been working with for so long, but this shall act as a new space for creative engagement that exceeds possibilities in fashion and its business. For me, it is a moment of great joy to be a part of this joint effort with Amazon Fashion, FDCI and Tarun and I look forward to marking this event as a landmark for fashion in India," said Aggarwal.

With over two million fashion products, Amazon Fashion is amongst the largest fashion stores in India with selection across apparel, shoes, watches, handbags, luggage, sunglasses, fashion & precious jewellery.Read more at:long evening dresses | formal dresses 2017


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