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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