Lafayette designer hits the big time at Emmys

 

(Photo:red formal dresses)You might have seen Romey Roe around town. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette graduate bartends for many events and works nights at Social Southern Table and Bar.

But Roe is much more than that. His real name is Nathan Walker. He is the creative force behind his fashion design brand, Romey Roe, the name by which many know him.

Roe’s designs recently gained notoriety when two of his gowns appeared on the red carpet at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards show on Sept. 17. It was a first for the young artist.

“Overwhelming is the word that comes to mind,” the New Iberia native said. “I’ve been living it for the past few months and making sure they are perfect. There has been so much love and support and positive reactions from so many places. It’s just really amazing, kind of surreal in a way.”

Actress and producer Shanna Forrestall wore a two-piece illusion gown Roe designed with metallic threads and nude backing. Roe and Forrestall have known each other for several years. They met at Fashion Week in New Orleans. Forrestall is a Louisiana girl whose hometown is Gonzales.

“It was a given that he was my first choice when deciding on a gown for the 2017 Emmy’s,” Forrestall said. “His work is striking and I knew he would create a unique showpiece to accentuate my curves. The dress was a hit. Everywhere I went on Sunday people raved about how powerful and unique it was.”

Roe’s other show-stopping design was worn by actress Liz Fenning. If you are a horror movie fan, you may have seen Fenning’s appearances in films like Ghosthunters (2016) and The Ghostmaker (2012). She is also the program supervisor of Actors for Autism.

Fenning posted several pictures of herself at the Emmy’s wearing the dramatic gown of red silk satin with a lace and sequin bodice.

“I can’t say enough wonderful things about designer Romey Roe or the folks I got to go to the #Emmys with,” she wrote on Facebook. “I can just say that you all made me feel like a princess.”

Roe said it all started when Forestall saw his collection at Fashion Week. She called him and asked if he would like to dress her for the upcoming Emmys. Roe said they both hoped to shine a light on the southern market and, as he put it, “show people that the South can do some amazing things.”

“Liz and Shanna are best friends,” Roe added. “Liz said, ‘I would love for you to dress me as well.’ It was an incredible opportunity, but also, they are great humanitarians that do a lot for their communities, so that was really important to me. They are beautiful inside and out, and that was important for my brand.”

Both dresses took weeks to make and the tight deadline made things hectic. But Roe said he wouldn’t trade the experience for anything, especially given his love for creating high fashion.

Although Roe learned much of his trade as a student of design at UL, he said he believes his natural talent comes from family. His grandmother made clothes for his mother and aunt. His mother worked at Fruit of the Loom, a clothing manufacturing plant, for 25 years.

These days, the budding fashion expert splits his time between doing what he loves and doing what he must to survive.

“As most artists do, I still have a night job,” Roe said with a laugh. “Until I get my brand off the ground, up-and-coming artists have these dual jobs. It’s the kind of thing you do so you can keep your art alive.”

Roe will get more chances to showcase his latest collection at a special fundraiser being hosted by friend Sharon Moss. Gowns, Ghouls and Giving will benefit Acadiana Animal Aid. The event will take place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. for a VIP event and the show will start at 8 p.m. at the Moss Motors BMW showroom. It will feature champagne, treats and a fashion show with evening gowns and other pieces from the Romey Roe collection.

“I just wanted to do something to show people how wonderful he is and at the same time give back to the community,” Moss said. “He is so talented and such a nice young man. And so humble. He really deserves it.”

“That’s something a lot of people don’t really realize,” Roe added. “It takes a lot to get out there and it takes a lot of amazing support. And, thanks to Sharon, I’ve had that.”

Now that his creations have made the red carpet, Roe is optimistic about his future. But he doesn’t yet know where that will lead him.

“I just want to be able to wake up every day and do what I love,” he said. “I’m hoping I’ll be able to keep doing what I’ve been doing.”Read more at:marieaustralia.com

Simone Rocha’s edgy femininity shines at London Fashion Week

JW Anderson 

(Photo:mermaid formal dresses)The 66th London Fashion Week ramped up into full gear at the weekend with starry shows from two independent female designers: Simone Rocha and Molly Goddard lead the way for spring summer 2018 with their singularly womanly visions.

Dublin-born Rocha’s show, which was held in the historic 16th century surroundings of Middle Temple in the heart of London’s legal quarter, offered her most feminine collection to date with its floral embroidered tulle skirts, slipper satin bias cut dresses trimmed with ribbons, ruched smocks and double breasted coats edged with lace.

“I was thinking about innocence and naïveté”, she said backstage to a throng of well wishers, afterwards recalling the childish thrills of playing with dolls and little girls dressing up in their mother’s clothes. Her parents John and Odette stood nearby in an embrace while Skeeter Davis’ The End of the Worldclosed the show.

The collection contained many of the familiar Rocha flourishes and edgy femininity that attracts customers of all ages; exquisite embroideries, the love of flowers expressed in floral printed skirts, shapely floral print Victorian dresses and others with overlays of sequinned tulle and ruching.

These offered counterpoints to sleek double breasted coats with lace and pearl decor.

Notable too were the accessories, the pearl earrings and red crystal hairpins, shoes beribboned in red silk, white lace flats and sexy black silk platforms. As always with Rocha there was something for everyone.

Molly Goddard was equally playful. “My doctor told me to watch my drinking. Now I drink in front of a mirror” were her cheeky show notes.

Like Rocha, there was a similar emphasis on craft, but expressed in a more lighthearted, devil may care way with its baby doll tulle dresses accessorised with dirty black wellingtons and black hairbands worn by models with corkscrew red or blonde shoulder length hair.

Apron dresses, peasant skirts and blousy tops could have been straight out of Poldark, but she tamed silver sequinned skirts with taut fitting taffeta jackets in midnight blue or daffodil yellow in a very alluring and desirable way.

“We’ve got to have some sparkle for spring” whispered a friend afterwards.

At Jonathan Anderson, showing in Yeomanry House, a snakeskin clad Anna Wintour of US Vogue sat front row confirming the designer’s imprimatur and fashion status while his mother dressed in a more utilitarian duffel coat sat behind.

The 33-year-old Northern Irish designer who is also creative head of Loewe the Spanish luxury house, has become an international success with a workforce of 70 people. On Tuesday next (September 19th) he releases a 33 piece collection for Uniqlo, the Japanese conglomerate, featuring tartans, rugby stripes and cable knits.

His mainline collection was also more commercial than usual with its plunge neckline tunics, bra stitched tops, long figure hugging knits and dresses fashioned from tea towel linens with the familiar cotton stripes bearing his name and made by John England in Fergusons in Banbridge.

His new takes on espadrille desert boots were worn with everything though it was disconcerting to see some excessively thin models on the catwalk.Read more at:backless formal dresses

SF’s Remake wants to humanize fashion manufacturing

Clothes shopping can be an utterly escapist experience, especially in San Francisco. One can get educated on fair trade wages and ethical fashion exponentially, but once you’re surrounded by pristine, stylish interiors and lured by soothing music, all may as well be forgotten.

The Presidio’s picturesque lawns and historic buildings are similarly light years away from Cambodia, Indonesia and India, where dozens of brands manufacture their elevated garments. And yet it’s here that the San Francisco nonprofit Remake is trying to change the way we see clothes productions in these countries.The 2-year-old group is planning a trip to Asia at the end of this month with the assistance of the Levi Strauss Foundation. Fashion design students from San Francisco’s California College of the Arts and New York’s Parsons School of Design will come face to face with factory workers in Sri Lanka. But that, according to founder Ayesha Barenblat, is only a part of the story. Barenblat comes to the nonprofit from Better Work, a World Bank and United Nations organization that focuses on safety and working conditions within clothing factories around the world. Having advised the likes of H&M and Nike on manufacturing strategy, she decided to switch gears and dig deeper into the troubling realities of the garment industry that are often glossed over.The nonprofit’s main focus is producing and sharing engaging written stories and videos highlighting factory workers from Pakistan, Haiti, China and beyond. On the Remake website, each woman, photographed in her workplace, is telling her story in first person, each story is embellished with relatable and personal details.“We’re really centered on hope and and inspiration,” says Barenblat. “All these years, we haven’t moved the needle by calling for boycotts, but breaking down the supply chain and lamenting the fact the women who produce our clothes are also Millennials, also girl bosses — that really builds empathy and connection.”

“Remake is a storytelling organizations, humanizing a core part of the industry we have forgotten,” she says. That part is often “a woman, in her 20s. We’re bringing her back into the Millennial women’s consciousness.”The trip hopes to add an important dimension to the technical and theoretical education design students acquire: “Schools these days don’t teach you anything about the human effort behind production, about how design affects sustainability,” Barenblat says. The journey, one of many in the future, she hopes, will provide that missing piece of the puzzle, and will help inspire “the next generation of Donna Karans and Tom Fords, which will think about designing with intention.”This spring, in addition to glimpses into the lives of Cambodian seamstresses and Indian weavers, Remake selected a capsule collection of dresses, shirts and accessories by ethical brands, shot by the Remake on local models and displayed on the nonprofit’s website. The impetus was consumers who had become more aware of ethical issues, but still sought guidance on how and where to shop.“So we help them get a taste, by taking the best brands out there, putting them through a rigorous screening, and applying a style factor to it.” Currently, the website offers 16 items from Reformation, PACT Apparel, Levi’s and more — “just the basics, a better T, the little black dress,” Barenblat says.

While some brands featured in the capsule collection are higher priced than others, nothing costs above $200, which is intentional. Barenblat is often asked whether even those prices are out of reach for average consumers. She acknowledges that while “our primary audience is indeed urban, educated women,” there are parallels with organic food.“Once there’s more demand, the prices for go down and the movement starts to mainstream. This scenario keeps us hopeful.” Besides, she says, there are other ways to be mindful; “buy better, buy less, do Rent the Runway, consider vintage and consignment.”On that note, across the bay, the vintage aspect of smarter, environmentally and ethically friendly consumption is getting support from a recent initiative, the Consistency Project. Created by Oakland resident Natasha Lo, it marries secondhand jeans with a hefty side of agenda. At the Consistency Project’s Etsy online store, floral Hawaiian shirts share the screen with kimonos, denim jackets and high-waisted jeans, but there’s a bigger picture involved.Lo says, “This is a ‘gateway’ vintage shop. We focus on essentials and classic everyday pieces, while truly truly sticking to this idea of promoting a lifestyle.” The way to do it, according to Lo, is combining pop-up events, workshops and online sales with eye-opening information about the importance of vintage clothing, the hidden costs of buying brand -new garments and more.After leaving an event coordinator position at Airbnb to focus on the Consistency Project full time, she held her first event, Closet Marketplace, in February. “It was an opportunity for people to get together and sell unwanted items from their closets,” she says. Attendees, among them several Bay Area fashion bloggers tapped by Lo, were invited to sell their clothes, customize them by using an embroidery machine, and talk to one another about the role of vintage in their lives.

“This event really established why the Consistency Project was going to be different than just another online store or vintage seller,” says Lo. “ It spoke to this idea of building a community and allowed for people to take a moment to reflect on their closets, consuming habits and what secondhand meant to them.” Quite the opposite of shopping escapism.In June, Lo participated in two offline events in the East Bay and San Francisco, bringing a rack of carefully curated vintage clothes and her styling skills to a pop-up at Fresh, a skincare boutique, and Berkeley’s recurring Bouquet Marketplace.Read more at:princess formal dresses | black formal dresses

Sabrina Carpenter, Disney Style Star, Is the New Coach Muse to Know

Sabrina Carpenter knows what she likes. As the singer and former star of beloved Disney show Girl Meets World, she took on her second New York Fashion Weekin style, arriving at Coach’s Spring 2018 show in a dinosaur sweater and miniskirt combo completely in line with the label’s youthful aesthetic. Taking in the show with Emma Roberts, Keirsey Clemons, and fellow Disney alum Selena Gomez, Carpenter fell in love with designer Stuart Vevers’s funky, ’70s-inspired look. “It was my favorite show yet,” says Carpenter, who has become a regular at Coachevents in the past year. “I love how there’s always something cohesive with his work, yet you can see where he’s been inspired and is trying new things.”

Though she’s enthralled by what she’s seen on the runway for spring, Carpenter admits she’s still building her fall wardrobe. From the Coach collection, she was drawn to Vevers’s lineup of embellished jackets, the perfect item to pair with her current obsession, luxe turtlenecks. “When I was really young I actually hated them,” admits Carpenter. “My mother would wear them and I’d say ‘stop, you look like an old lady,’ but now I wear them all the time. I guess now I’m ready to be an old lady!”

Though she’s embracing maturity, Carpenter is still a member of Gen Y—a demographic Coach understands and appreciates. With Gomez designing sold out capsule collections and It bags, Carpenter (who shares both her multi-hyphenate career and commitment to charitable causes) could potentially be the next star to land one of Coach’s campaigns. For the moment, though, she’s just happy to wear Vevers’s designs. “The clothes don’t take themselves too seriously but they’re always chic,” says Carpenter. “You can tell that [Stuart] finds inspiration from life and living—it comes so naturally to him.”Read more at:princess formal dresses | cheap formal dresses

Tibetan Fashion Hits The Beijing Runway

Face painted yellow and white with long braids draping her shoulders, a model in voluminous grey robes walks down the runway – an image of Tibetan grace in the heart of China’s political power.

It was the first appearance of an ethnic Tibetan designer’s creation at Beijing’s twice yearly fashion week, now in its 20th year.

Aj-Namo, who hails from a predominantly Tibetan area in the southwestern province of Sichuan, first made her name as a singer, but has since branched out into clothing.

Today she is known for her eponymous AJ-NAMO brand and is based in Beijing.

At the show, not far from Beijing’s vast Great Hall of the People next to Tiananmen Square, the centre of the universe in Chinese politics, a stream of Tibetan and Han Chinese models paraded colourful outfits inspired by Tibetan attire but altered to suit contemporary tastes.

It was a moving moment for Aj-Namo, whose face trembled with emotion as she took her bow and audience members expressed their approval by jumping on the catwalk to wrap traditional Tibetan scarves around her neck.

“Tibetans have many talented designers, but there’s no platform to promote them,” Aj-Namo told AFP Thursday after her debut.

China has 56 officially recognised ethnic groups, but the vast majority of the country’s more than 1.3 billion people are Han.

Tibetans number roughly 6.3 million, with most living in China’s western half – the autonomous region of Tibet, as well as the provinces of Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan and Yunnan.

Many ethnic minorities live in relatively poor areas, where limited education, language barriers and a heavily agricultural economy provide scant opportunities for young people to pursue a career on the national stage.

“I hope that thanks to this experience, more ethnic minorities, more Tibetans – especially models – will be inspired to put themselves out there,” Aj-Namo said.Read more at:cheap formal dresses | red formal dresses

Priyanka Chopra’s Dramatic Make-Over Is An Ode To Her Fashion Days

Priyanka Chopra is not just done with Vogue. The 35-year-old actress has a busy roster with all her shooting schedules and projects outside the realm of films – like attending the Toronto International Film Festival as a special guest. She has also fashionably squeezed out time to make September look a lot better, featuring on the covers of Vogue Magazine first and then Paper Magazine’s Fall issue. Priyanka’s fan clubs have already shared pictures from the photoshoot on social media and we must admit, they spell nothing but drama, in the most vogueish fashion possible. Priyanka’s mood and make-up sort of reflect the tone of the season as reflected in New York – in shades of golden, orange, red and black. Credits for the photoshoot go to New York-based photographer Michael Avedon with hair styling courtesy to Danilo and Priyanka has been styled by Jimi Urquiaga, Cuban stylist.

We spotted an interesting remark in the comments section on the pages of her fan club – “The photo shoot just reminds me of her Fashion movie.” Priyanka Chopra starred as a supermodel in the Madhur Bhandarkar-directed 2008 movie.

In her interview to Paper Magazine, Priyanka sort of revealed the secret behind her jam-packed schedule. “I never say ‘no’ to anything because you never know the new experience that will come your way,” she says, adding: “Somehow, ambition and feminism have turned into bad words, and they’re not.” Priyanka spends a considerable amount of her time shuttling between India and New York, where has an apartment and is a temporary resident. She became a popular name in the West much before her Hollywood debut – as the antagonist in Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s Baywatch movie – for her popular American TV show Quantico. Priyanka also has two other Hollywood films – Isn’t It Romantic? and A Kid Like Jake coming up.

In her interview to Paper Magazine, Priyanka sort of revealed the secret behind her jam-packed schedule. “I never say ‘no’ to anything because you never know the new experience that will come your way,” she says, adding: “Somehow, ambition and feminism have turned into bad words, and they’re not.” Priyanka spends a considerable amount of her time shuttling between India and New York, where has an apartment and is a temporary resident. She became a popular name in the West much before her Hollywood debut – as the antagonist in Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s Baywatch movie – for her popular American TV show Quantico. Priyanka also has two other Hollywood films – Isn’t It Romantic? and A Kid Like Jake coming up.Read more at:yellow formal dresses | green formal dresses

Wedding trends are going through some major makeovers this season

Wedding Trends 

(Photo:special occasion dresses)Weddings are a special occasion and one expects everything to be perfectly trendy and jazzy. Designer Anika Dhawan Gupta says that neutrals and pastels are paving the way in wedding decor trend with larger than life bars making a huge fashion statement.

Gupta, founder and creative head of Rani Pink that was set up in 2010 offering complete wedding design and decor solutions, said, “Neutrals and pastels have paved the way for a total return to colour. Expect to see pops of bold shades and bright colour pairings. For mehendi functions, pop colours are the trend. People are opting for quirky, whimsical and candy colours like fluorescent pinks and greens along with silver and golden. Also, dramatised and oversized props are what is making up for a fun event.”

She says that for the wedding look, metallic tones like a silver element is what people are pairing with beautiful tuberoses or the nargis flower. “The use of mirror and gota on the walls add to the glamour and femininity of the look. Rather than a more modern look, people are opting for traditional and old world feel for their weddings,” she said.

“Large polo tents with abstract geometric prints in red and white get you on a total visual rollercoaster. Brides and grooms are looking at a fusion of the designs in the Mughal era and incorporating it in a modern way to the feel and ambience of their functions. Interesting larger than life bars is a huge trend. We created a boom box as a shots bar at a recent big wedding.

Also, table detailing is what we are big on this season. Everything from the furniture, mats, coasters, crockery, cutlery, linen and the table arrangements are what we have our eyes and expertise on,” she added.Read more at:www.marieaustralia.com/formal-dress-shops-perth

Fashion without Boundaries: Ricochet reinvents style for everyone

Ricochet is the type of storefront that you might notice for the first time every time you pass by, but more and more it seems to stand out amongst the newer, larger buildings around it.

The building itself is a small, green cottage with picture windows and a wooden sign that sits back from the street on El Camino. Or at least it seems to sit back from the street in that it doesn’t tower over you, forcing you to notice it, but rather, it coaxes you with its quaint quirkiness.

What’s inside is equally quirky: An art gallery by way of a retail fashion boutique. Once inside, one discovers dozens of displays of clothing, and art, all handmade by local artists and curated by owner Jill Pillot.

Pillot has eclectic tastes – a side effect of her mother’s globe trekking lifestyle.

“My mom always thought the grass was greener somewhere else,” Pillot said of her mother’s wanderlust, which took them to places like South Africa, Bulgaria, Belgium, the Canary Islands, and Greece. “I’ve lived in many different types of countries, from areas where kids were walking with no shoes, to places that were quite swanky with private beaches, and I think that’s where my eclectic nature came from.”

+5 As a child she never got to put down roots for long. She dreamed of starting a hotel in which local artists would be featured in the décor, but settled in 1996 for a 200-square-foot retail space where Ricochet began as a second-hand clothing store for children.

Eventually she began repurposing materials from thrift store items for her own fashion designs, and soon the store was carrying both her own original creations and those of local artists.

+5 “As I was evolving with my line of clothes I was doing a lot of fashion shows and I was getting great response from it because at that time recycled materials were not so in,” Pillot said.

Pillot was able to move to a larger space just two doors down from her original location to expand the reach of Ricochet’s inspiration.

Internships & Classes

Ricochet has offered classes for over ten years. They began on the second floor of the original space, where Pillot was living with her two sons. She converted a spare bedroom into a studio where she taught sewing classes for students as young as 8 years old. Now in the new larger space and with their fashion shows starting to take off in popularity, they have been able to offer modeling classes for all ages.

“I wanted to start teaching,” Pillot said. “So I started the academy for children and adults to teach them how to create from what they have in their closets, and in that sense be very environmentally friendly… Often the children say, ‘I have this vision,’ and I used to have a vision, too, and I could never make my vision because I didn’t have the tools or I didn’t have the fabric. So we teach them how to create with what they’re surrounded with.”

The popularity of the classes grew into more hands-on experiences.

“Little by little the academy evolved into an internship program and the internship program was open to college students to get hands-on as a stepping stone to build up their resumes and portfolios and so forth. To give them a little bit of a taste of what it takes.”

+5 Internships are offered in multiple areas including small business development, design, marketing, and photography.

+5 Pillot has found that while many of her interns are seeking a way to bridge the gap between college and making a career for themselves, she also gets high school kids testing the waters before they dedicate their college studies to fashion.

“A lot of students coming out of college after spending three or four years realize that perhaps it was a lot harder to become a fashion designer than they had anticipated prior to going into college,” Pillot said. “So I opened the doors to kids as young as 13 years old with the apprenticeship programs. This is the one that is rising right now.”

“Students at this age have a desire to become designers or be in the fashion industry and we want to give them a taste of that prior to signing up for college,” Pillot said. “A lot of parents are liking that because that is the moment to see if that’s something you want to pursue.”

Ricochet’s programs, then, are able to create a stable foundation of skills for an intriguing but intimidating industry, as well offering hands-on experiences to guide students and interns through the process of turning their art into a career.

Art Finds Art

Pillot is an award-winning designer who has earned local and national awards for her various clothing lines and design work.

Her current line of clothing is called Ricochet, Art Finds Art. She is collaborating with visual artists who provide pieces to print on fabrics and Pillot then uses those fabrics to create garments inspired by the original artwork.

“Being an artist you have to kind of let me be a little bit,” Pillot said. “So I choose pictures that I feel connected with, something that has a good feel for me, and they give me their works and they evolve into garments… with fabrics that I feel connect with the picture.”

Each piece remains unique because Pillot is dedicated to rescued materials and letting each garment come from a natural progression of the artistic process.

“With my line of clothes I only design one of a kind, I never use patterns, and I use a lot more rescued materials,” Pillot explained. “I lay them on the table and I never know what they will become. They evolve into the pieces that you see here – freestyle, fashion without boundaries.”

Pillot will do custom pieces at the request of an artist or a customer, but even these pieces will carry some of her own personal flair.

Events

As an extension of the Ricochet artist community, Pillot opens the door for a potluck happy hour every first Thursday of the month between September and May.

Pillot prefers the potluck style because it starts conversations, and encourages people to bring a bit of their own creativity to the party, and those that do bring something are rewarded with a 10 percent discount throughout the store.

In addition to food and drink, the artists are usually present for the events, and Ricochet provides entertainment of all kinds from comedy to music to dancing.

This is just one more way in which Pillot is connecting the our community through art.

The Evolution of Ricochet

Pillot’s dream of a boutique hotel never came to fruition, but 22 years after starting Ricochet, she is still going strong, thriving, and growing.

“I didn’t know this would be it, but it evolved organically, and I think that’s the key to our success,” Pillot said. “Now we want to give back to our community by giving any type of artist an opportunity to explore. A lot of people are being told that they cannot make it in the arts as a profession and we can hopefully be an inspiration to others to say yes you can, but it’s a lot of dedication and a lot of passion.”

While the world around Ricochet grows with newer, bigger, more imposing buildings, Jill Pillot’s little cottage boutique grows right along side. It is no more physically imposing than it was, but from a child who never settled in one place for long, the seeds of creativity, ambition, and curiosity she has planted with Ricochet are growing roots deeper and deeper into our community. Pillot continues to use her talents, experiences, and ever-expanding community of artists and friends to touch more lives, help more artists thrive, and support the art and fashion industries on a larger scale by sending more experienced, talented artists into the world with the tools they need to succeed.Read more at:celebrity dresses | sexy formal dresses

Is ‘living doll’ Lulu Hashimoto fashion or fetish?

Meet Lulu Hashimoto, a “living doll” and the latest trend in Tokyo’s fashion modelling scene.

Lulu – a full-body doll suit consisting of a wig, a mask and stockings patterned with doll-like joints – was born from one woman’s desire to become cute. “I have always really liked dolls and for me, the epitome of cuteness is dolls,” says 23-year-old fashion designer Hitomi Komaki, who created Lulu.

Dressing up as a mascot, called kigurumi in Japanese, is a popular art form in Japan. Komaki has taken it to a new level by creating a body suit that looks like a doll and lets you move like a human.

“Many people call my project a fetish, but for me it’s not a fetish but fashion,” she says. “It’s like wearing nice clothes or putting on false eyelashes to become cuter.”

There is only one Lulu body suit, Komaki says, but dancers, designers and models are among those who have worn the costume. The identity of exactly who is inside is secret, she adds.

The stockings worn by Lulu were created by fellow fashion designer Koh Ueno, who airbrushes doll-like joints onto the material. “I want to see women wear these stockings and transform,” says 29-year-old Ueno.“I want them to experience the extraordinary – to become otherworldly, artificial, or like a doll.”

While popular among fans of Japanese subculture, Lulu is now turning heads at the annual Miss iD beauty pageant where she’s among the 134 semi-finalists chosen from around 4,000 entrants.

The pageant, which includes ”non-human” characters generated by artificial intelligence and three-dimensional computer graphics for the first time, will announce a winner in November.

Lulu’s ability to blur the line between reality and fiction has mesmerised fans on social media, where the Lulu Twitter and Instagram accounts have drawn tens of thousands of followers.

“I find it miraculous that dolls and humans – two things that exist in different planes – are standing in the same space,” says Erika Kato, 24, who met Lulu for the first time at a recent fan event.

The possibility of wearing a suit and becoming Lulu also appealed to fans like 22-year-old Miu Shimoda. “I’d like to be a beautiful girl like Lulu at least once in my life,” she says.Read more at:formal dresses canberra | orange formal dresses

Princess Diana’s Life In Fashion

The dresses tell the story of a life cut short: first the frilly debutante frocks Princess Diana wore before she married Prince Charles, then the elaborate gowns that stunned the world, and finally the power suits she favoured shortly before her death.

It’s been 20 years since Diana died in a Paris car crash at the age of 36, but the public’s fascination with her life – and her clothes – lives on. A new exhibition that opened recently at Kensington Palace, her home for many years, will give the public a chance to see extraordinary fashion pieces up close for the first time.

The workmanship is refined, some of the designs are simple in concept and execution, while others clearly took careful thought and meticulous preparation.

One room features designers’ sketches for Diana dresses, offering insight into the vision behind many of her choices.

Deirdre Murphy, senior curator at the Historic Royal Palaces, said Diana was unique in the way she used clothes to communicate – and also a risk-taker willing to challenge the unwritten conventions of royal dress. She said Diana captured the “mystique” of being a princess even as she occasionally dressed down in jeans and a baseball hat.

“Somehow women all over the world saw a piece of themselves in the princess,” the curator said. “She got her image across and her ideas across using clothing in a really sophisticated, really smart, really thoughtful way.”

The display opens with a lacy party dress Diana wore to a ball at her family home, Althorp, in 1979 and includes many of her most famous outfits. Here are some of the most illustrious:

DANCING THE NIGHT AWAY, WITH JOHN TRAVOLTA

Diana was married to Prince Charles, and a guest of President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy, but that didn’t stop her from tearing up the dance floor with John Travolta at a White House state dinner in 1985.

Photographers of Diana and the dashing young Travolta dominated newspapers throughout the world, showcasing the midnight blue silk velvet evening dress designed by Victor Edelstein. It remains one of her most famous outfits.

DIANA’S ELVIS PERIOD

Catherine Walker, who died in 2010, became one of Diana’s favourite designers. To prepare for an official visit to Hong Kong in 1989, she designed a strapless white silk crepe and jacket embroidered with sequins and pearls. Its sparkly look, and high collar, reminded fashion writers of the jump suits favoured by Elvis Presley late in his career.

She looked resplendent in the outfit, topping it with a jewelled tiara.

THE BOXY LOOK

Diana turned to Emanuel, designer of her wedding gown, for a 1985 official royal visit to Italy. A coat and skirt in green, blue and black was cut in the boxy shape in favour at the time.

The tartan wool day suit was not well received by critics who didn’t find it flattering.

HONEYMOON HOPES

For her honeymoon photos with Charles taken in the lovely Scottish countryside, Diana turned to designer Bill Pashley for a casual, comfortable brown tweed woolen day-suit.

She had two versions made – and chose to wear the larger one on her honeymoon because the extra room allowed her to participate in outdoor activities more easily. Its tweed motif pays tribute to the countryside traditions.

POWER DRESSING PRINCESS STYLE

Diana relied heavily on Walker at various times in her life, and she turned to Walker again in the years just before her death to help her refine a “working princess” style in line with her plan to devote more time to charitable activities.

She wore a red day suit by Walker to launch an AIDS charity appeal in 1996. Walker called the outfits she was working on at this phase a “royal uniform” for Diana, who was outspoken in her support of AIDS victims.Read more at:formal dresses | formal dresses adelaide