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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Stars spangled autumn sky


As the stars spangled Autumn sky shines down on the fashion world of stunning fall and winter collections, movie stars never fail to sparkle up the limitless sky of style and design. And often, brands and design houses rope them in as brand ambassadors for their product and shows.

The touch of movie stars to events and just about anything often works like the midas touch. This time, apart from other Bollowood actors and actresses, Bipasha Basu, Kriti Sanon and Nimrat Kaur have been roped in as brand ambassadors of different leading fashion shows and campaigns.

Nimrat has been announced as the face of Urban Gypsy – Autumn-Winter 2017 collection of works by designer Ritu Kumar. The collection campaign has been shot by Photographer Bikramjit Bose and videographer Christina MacGillivray.

Moved by the rich textile heritage and craftsmanship of Asia, Urban Gypsy attempts to reflect the global appeal of glamorous and sophisticated style of an urban woman with the ease of a bewitching gypsy through a mix of Indian aesthetics and global concepts.

And Bipasha is the face of Rocky Star autumn/winter season. The brand attempts to bring back designs from the good old world charm of classic style and beauty and a touch of modernity.

“Blending old world charm with contemporary fashion is something that Rocky Star is known for. This collection has traces of the Baroque and gothic time periods, the opulence of which is captured in the decorative, signature prints and embroideries,” the designer was quoted as saying by agencies.

Meanwhile, Kriti walked the ramp for couture house Kalki at BT fashion week in Mumbai on Sunday. The show showcased a collection titled “The Mirabell” according to a statement.

The collection is Inspired by the archives from the palace gardens of the Medieval European era. Using silk velvets, duppions and satins along with shear nets and organzas, the collection highlights florals, leaflets, foliate and birds’ motifs. The outfits are lovingly crafted to last generations, Kalki claims.

Every outfit in the line tell a unique story, the design house added.Read more at:formal dresses australia | short formal dresses


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VFiles RTW Spring 2018

What is VFiles? It’s crocs with spurs. It’s Vitamin B-12. It’s Ask Jeeves. It’s the leftovers in your Louis Vuitton bag. Those descriptions were projected on the walls as attendees entered the Barclays Center in Brooklyn — the show took place in the venue’s freight loading dock.

One presumes the youth-oriented collective was trying to say it represents many things, but for the past nine seasons, it has built a reputation for its splashy shows that highlight emerging designers, feature a musical performance or two and have a varied guest list.

The ninth edition of the show followed this formula. The front row was dotted with everyone from Dapper Dan, the well-known Harlem designer, to Yung Lean, the Swedish rapper who dresses like a suburban dad.

The show started with Offset of the Migos driving a Ferrari onto the circular runway, where it remained as a centerpiece of sorts, and was broken up with a performance from Jessie J, the British singer with a big voice who hasn’t released music for three years. She premiered her single “Think About That.”

It takes inventive clothes to compete with this ambience, and the winning designers, who were mentored by Dapper Dan, Khloé Kardashian, Emma Grede and Jimmy Moffat, held up their end of the bargain.

First up was JunJie Yang, a clever men’s wear designer from Antwerp who recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Yang played with construction and volume. Models wore oversize faux fur hats, giant puffer jackets, fur coats covered in flames and wide-leg pants with large cuffs.

Louis Pileggi, a Chicago-born women’s wear designer based in London, presented a romantic collection of dresses and skirts made from taffeta and decorated with ruffles and hazy images. Pileggi merged these designs with knits and crochet details.

INXX, a Chinese streetwear brand, wasn’t a contest winner but a featured designer that fit in quite nicely although it was the most commercial of the bunch. Models wore reconstructed hoodies (the hood sat in the front of the garment), camo T-shirts and denim jackets, jogger pants embellished with zippers and INXX logos, and quilted bombers.

The show ended on an artful note with Christian Stone, a Central Saint Martins graduate who was influenced by the sea. Models looked as if they emerged from a forgotten shipwreck wearing crochet headpieces, flared pants covered in foil, silk, knotted blouses and garments made from bubble wrap.Read more at:blue formal dresses | pink formal dresses


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Keep it classy with Kasavu

Designs by Sajani Pallath

Sari is an integral part of Indian festivities but festive fashion wasn’t a rage a couple of years ago. Though wearing new clothes, specially purchased for festivals, is an inevitable part of our culture, it was only restricted to buying a new dress as part of the celebrations. Recent Onam festivies too saw a variety of fashion statements. Affinity towards the kasavu sari and mundum neriyathum for ladies and kasavu mundu for gents always persuades people to buy them for festivals like Onam and Vishu.

The fact of the matter is that kasavu sari or mundum neriyathum were not attires that were related only to festivals. A two-piece handwoven garment with thin borders (kara), mundum neriyathum used to be a daily wear for Malayali women. To make the attire look a bit lavish, the karas were woven with silver or golden threads. However, the kasavu sari is very much in demand today.

As fashion changes, various trends have surfaced in the market. People have adopted what is suitable for them in terms of comfort. As a result, kasavu saris and mundu come out of the closets only during festivals like Onam and Vishu.

Even though people prefer wearing kasavu clothing to showcase tradition, an element of freshness is demanded by the customers. Therefore, kasavu fashion has evolved a lot in the past few years. Fashion designer Sajani Pallath, gave a detailed explanation on how kasavu fashion has evolved.

“The saying that simple and classy things never go out of fashion is apt for our kasavu clothes. As a fashion designer, I always feel that a kasavu sari or mundum neriyathum makes a Malayali woman look very beautiful and enhances her beauty to a next level. Gents too look very classy and stylish when they wear mundu teamed with a shirt or kurta. The major change that kasavu fashion has undergone is with the border. The thin border has evolved into borders of various widths. Those mixed with coloured borders are also liked by everyone. Teaming it up with a blouse that is of the same colour as the kara accentuates the look of the entire attire. For last two years, teaming the set sari or set mundu with a brocade blouse was in fashion. But with different low-quality brocade materials coming up in the market, many have refrained from that trend this year. Attaching an extra broad border of materials like kalamkari and ikat against the golden border is trending this season. The blouse too is made with the same ma

terial. Kalamkari was already in fashion but this season customers have approached us with a demand of making handmade kalamkari paintings on the borders,” says Sajani, adding that these are just the basic things that both college students as well as middle-aged women prefer.

“Giving the blouse a trendy and rich look is what girls love. Different type of blouses in velvet, organza, chiffon, silk, etc. are in demand. Hand embroideries are also demanded by those who want to give their attire a unique look. Another section prefers hand paintings, which are also done on the sari or set

mundu along with the blouse, so that they complement each other. Mural paintings are equally preferred by gents and ladies. These days, motifs are trending and both ladies as well as gents prefer elephant or mural motifs on the saris and mundus that gives a festive feeling yet can also be worn for other occasions as well,” adds Sajani, stressing on the fact that people, irrespective of their age, like to experiment with various trends.Read more at:bridesmaid dresses | short formal dresses


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Match ado about separates

If you’ve been thinking that matching it all up (sartorially) was passe, think again. In keeping with what’s having a major moment; it’s safe to say matching separates is quite a (sartorial) buzzword at present — and perhaps one of the easiest ways to get noticed for your chic sense of style. We asked popular names from Bengaluru’s fashion fraternity to comment on this trend that is grabbing eyeballs.

Asserting how the trend that sashayed down the runway calls for oodles of confidence, designer Manoviraj Khosla lays down two pointers. “Zeroing on the right colours plays a pivotal role in how well your look will turn out. It’s refreshing to see one mix and match two awkward colours. But again, steer clear of anything loud and obvious if you aren’t too confident. The same rule applies with prints. Avoid clashing two different prints, unless you’re sure of what you’re wearing. It’s downright bizarre to opt for large prints if you’re not too keen on carrying off a flashy look. For a casual yet chic vibe, stick to subtle colours and plainer prints,” he says.

Wearing matching separates together instantly offers a perfectly pulled together look, as the outfit offers an effortless yet sleek and sophisticated vibe as it is one linear structure, believes blogger Shalini Chopra. “If you still aren’t sure about wearing matching separates together, try swapping either the top or bottom coordinate for a plainer alternative — that way you can still buy that coordinated outfit but swap around wearing just the top or bottom each time, separately with solid tones.

That kind of counts as doubling your wardrobe, right?” she suggests. For those wanting to ace a graphically-printed ensemble, the trick lies in keeping an eye out for printed details. “Keep the actual garments wild with lush printed details. But for added jazz, and yet striking a balance, leave the shoes, bag and accessories free of pattern, as it may clash in contrast,” adds Shalini.

On the other hand, designer Babita Jaishankar believes separates not necessarily have to be top and bottom pieces. One can also sport a dress with a matching jacket. “For a vintage-inspired look, perhaps. While wearing printed matching separates add more verve, adding block coloured footwear is a great idea. For single coloured separates, add printed footwear to your look,” she concludes.Read more at:formal dresses | sexy formal dresses


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Farhan Akhtar was spotted in Khar yesterday as life in Mumbai kicked back to normal

Against all odds

We've been chronicling their romance for the past two years, so it’s only fair we do the same with the denouement. And Gaurav Assomull and Garima Chawla ensured their wedding was as dramatic as their coming together. The two had planned to wed in Gaurav’s new home in Bandra, Mumbai on August 29, in the presence of friends and family. But not even the met department had anticipated the heavy downpour that Tuesday brought on, bringing Mumbai to a standstill. So, with a bride stranded outside a Santacruz five-star and a pandit waiting at home, Gaurav had no choice but to wade through water to bring his “Mrs” home. “If this isn’t love, I don’t know what is,” he says of a little video that he made of his experience. Meanwhile, parents Sangeeta and Madan Assomull, brother Vickram Assomull and aunt Anju Chulani drove five hours from Breach Candy to get to Bandra. Couturier Suneet Varma and his partner Rahul Arora, who had made the wedding trousseau, didn’t make it from Delhi as their flight was cancelled. Anyway, all’s well that ends well. The couple were finally wed at 11.30pm at night. And we’re sure they will remember their wedding day for more reasons than one.

Going big in Big Apple

Come September and city designer Purvi Doshi is all set to fly to the Big Apple to showcase her collection at the New York Fashion Week 2017. The fashion week that starts from September 7 will have Purvi showcasing two collections on the opening day. A little birdie tells your diarist that the fashion designer is the only one from the city to head to Manhattan to showcase her collection this year. Your diarist caught up with Doshi, busy wrapping up prep for the show, who revealed: “I have two shows – one is titled Coexistence, which is all about khadi and the other is Beauty and Beads, which consists hand embroidered and mirror work creations. The basic idea behind is to show to the world that Indian fabrics are also sustainable. Of course, taking khadi to an international level is also a motive behind it.” Do us proud, girl!

Scent of a woman

of Mumbai’s highly placed folks are bemoaning the passing of Neeta Parekh. The accomplished lady, who was a festival decorator and the preferred florist of some leading industrialist families, passed away in her sleep on Monday. She was often called the Kenneth Turner of India after the famed British ornamental horticulturist. Parekh, or Neetaben, did almost all the parties and weddings in the Ambani family, and also worked for the Bachchans, Uma Dubash and Roohi Jaikishan. Parekh also did the decor for the Ambanis’ Ganesh party last week. Our condolences to her family and friends.

In hair, we care

Hardik Pandya is surely going places. The 23-year-old all-rounder, billed by many to fill the big boots of legendary Kapil Dev, is riding on his on-field performance after his impressive Test debut in The Emerald Islands. Off the field, the Vadodara youngster is famous for his fashion statements and his everchanging hairstyle is always a hit with his legion of fans. As the team took a day off after their ODI series win against the Lankans, Hardik posted a picture showing off his new Mohawk hairstyle with a blue light dominating the scene. And he posted a cheeky caption too: “Blue skies, blue pool, team Blue and the new hairdo.” Well, a good rhyme is not a crime. #loveditpandya


An IPL team, which has managed to hang on in the tournament despite relentless rumours of it being up for sale, has given its team a different moniker in the South African version of the league. Seems it would rather not carry forward any kind of baggage to Cape Town. Of course, its move goes against the very grain of brand building, but rumour has it that the owners, who are big into vastu, found the original name to be pretty inauspicious.Read more at:formal dresses australia | short formal dresses


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Jhanvi Kapoor

With Mumbai buzzing with Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, Bollywood celebrities have been giving us serious style goals in their desi avatars. From gorgeous saris to stunning lehengas, we’ve all been taking notes on what’s not, and what’s not. After all, with these stars showcasing the best of designerwear off-ramp, where better to get our style-spiration from? And right along with our household B-Town fashionistas is the next generation, that has been creating waves with their sartorial choices, and sisters Jhanvi and Khushi Kapoor form one such sibling duo.

Though, we’ve been more used to seeing Jhanvi and Saif Ali Khan’s daughter Sara Ali Khan dominating the next-gen fashion headlines, this time around the younger Kapoor girl, Khushi, has grabbed our attention in an Anita Dongre ensemble, along with Jhanvi, who was also wearing a lehenga from the same designer.

While Jhanvi was seen wearing a bright yellow and orange lehenga, Khushi opted for soothing pastel shades. The former, who is yet to announce her Bollywood debut, has been slaying it in the style department for some time and did not disappoint in this appearance too. A pastel orange embroidered choli, with a plunging neckline and silver gota border, was perfectly paired with a yellow lehenga, with multicoloured floral motifs – giving the overall ensemble a very festive and modern look. The pink-and-silver gota work border at the hemline, not only complemented the attire but accentuated the pastel base.

Stylist Eshaa Amiin did a great job with minimalist make-up to balance the heavy look of the outfit. With light pink lips and tresses kept open in soft waves, the look was refreshing and breezy. Keeping the accessories to bare-minimum with just statement jhumkas, with yellow beads matching the ensemble.

Khushi, too, was styled by Amiin, and chose to wear just a golden bracelet to let her attire do all the talking. Wearing a simple powdered pink lehenga with a bright pink border, it was aptly paired with a grey satin blouse and sheer dupatta. The stylish blue and pink latkans, the silver gota-border added just the right amount of bling to otherwise a humble option.

‘Tis the season to go traditional, as we’ve discussed, and just recently Jhanvi looked resplendent in a Manish Malhotra lehenga at the Ganesh Chaturthi party hosted by Mukesh Ambani.Read more at:bridesmaid dresses online | formal dresses australia


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Designer wins scholarship

Katherine Funk has been named this year’s recipient of the Karin Simpson Memorial Scholarship for Creativity. The 17-year-old said she plans to pursue a career as a costume designer.

“I’d like to go to school at Olds (College). They have a Calgary campus for fashion, so I’d like to stay in the area,” she said. “I’d love to be a costume designer.”

Karin Simpson was a well-known Airdrie artist and founding member of the Creative Airdrie Society. Simpson passed away in 2014. The $500 scholarship is awarded each year to an Airdrie graduating student who is pursuing a post-secondary education in the arts, including visual arts, drama, music, musical theatre, film, new media, literature, design and dance.

Costume design is a natural choice for Funk, who said she’s always had a love of history. She began making costumes for her dolls, gradually progressing to making costumes for herself.

“Historical drama is my passion. Depending on the time, I always have different favourite eras, but at the moment I’m really into the 1860s,” she said. “I really love the crinoline underneath (the skirts) and the really huge, fluffy style of the time – they’re just so extravagant and I really love that.”

Funk’s mother is Veronica Funk, a nationally recognized visual artist. Funk said her mom has been a source of inspiration.

“She helps me out and we work on projects together. Right now I’m making a bustle dress so she created a stamp for me so I could stamp my own fabric,” she said.

For Veronica, her daughter winning the scholarship has special meaning, as she and Simpson were friends.

“I've been rather weepy about the whole thing; that it's my girl and the beautiful way she thinks about fashion and self-esteem, and that it's the Karin Simpson scholarship as she was a friend,” Veronica said.

Funk said she was thrilled to be chosen to receive the award.

“It means so much because I know it’s really tough to get into the arts and to succeed. It’s just really, really nice that so many people have been supporting me,” she said. “I wasn’t actually expecting to get this at all.”Read more at:short formal dresses | formal dresses 2017


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