Monthly Archives: June 2015

Sandra Bullock’s Minion shoes to be auctioned off

 

(Photo:navy blue formal dress)The 50-year-old actress – who plays villain Scarlett Overkill in the new ‘Despicable Me’ spin-off ‘Minions’ – has revealed the bright-yellow pumps she wore to the Los Angeles premiere on Saturday (27.06.15) will go under the hammer at non-profit LA-based organisation Art + Practice.

The high heels, costing $800, were designed by Rupert Sanderson in tribute to the cute dungaree-wearing creatures with eye designs on the toes and heels.

She told Entertainment Tonight Canada as she walked the yellow carpet: ”We’re going to give all the proceeds to Art + Practice, which is a non-profit organization here in L.A.”

The brunette beauty finished off her look with a black ankle-length dress, which featured a yellow stripe across the chest and sunglasses and appeared in very high spirits as she posed with life-sized versions of the cartoon characters.

The Academy Award-winner was joined at the premiere by her five-year-old son Louis, whom she adopted in 2010, and confessed the youngster has no idea she’s starring in the film despite being a huge fan of the ‘Despicable Me’ movies.

She said: ”He’s not going to know it’s me.”

And Sandra previously confessed she is thrilled to have made a film that her son is old enough to watch.

She said: ”I wanted to make something my son could see and watch and enjoy, even though he doesn’t know what I do and he doesn’t know it’s me – I can sit in the theatre and watch him.

”Nothing makes me happier than hearing that boy laugh, [by] physical humour and animation so hopefully I’ll be able to do that.”Read more here:www.marieaustralia.com/orange-formal-dresses

Church cancels wedding after couple splashes sh200m

Church cancels wedding after couple splashes sh200m 

(Photo:www.marieaustralia.com/formal-dresses-melbourne)They had looked forward to treating their guests to a lavish wedding reception after injecting up to sh200m; it would be the talk of town, and a day to remember.

Unknown to them however, one Meddie Musoke, a businessman in Masaka, had prior notified Masaka Diocese bishop, John Baptist Kaggwa, that the bride-to-be was legally wedded in a civil marriage in 2010.

Musoke had therewith attached a copy of the marriage certificate, warning that any man who wedded Naluyima would be an adulterer.

Meanwhile the previous month, Naluyima had introduced her ‘beau’ at a lavish kwanjula to her father, Gerald Ssemwogerere a former Masaka mayor.

Confusion

Last Saturday after final preparations at a saloon, the convoy of luxurious cars carrying the bride and her entourage snaked towards Kitovu parish for the matrimonial mass as onlookers gazed in admiration.

However to their shock they arrived at what was as silent as a graveyard; there were no wedding bells chiming, the church was padlocked, and the would-be presiding priest, Fr. Paul Mukasa nowhere in sight.

However astounded and speechless they were, the entourage embarked on a 45-minute photo shoot outside the locked church. They then made their way for another photo shoot at Tropic Inn in Masaka town.

The entourage, in their convoy, then drove around town, snaking in and out of different streets till they ended up at Sports Club, the reception venue.

Owing to the resources that had been committed to the special occasion, the venue had been magnificently bedecked in flashy decor.

Unfazed by the earlier turn of events, guests treated themselves to a sumptuous meal; they wined and dined as booze flowed in similar fashion to the biblical wedding in Cana. The couple even cut the wedding cake and speeches were made by different speakers of the day, including the ‘newlyweds’.

The bride’s father, Ssemwogerere, comforted the couple and assured them of unwavering support, pledging that their families were both supportive of them, and that his doors would always be open to them if they needed help.

Naluyima’s siblings shed light on the confusion, arguing that their sister had separated with Musoke eight years ago and he moved on to even marry two other women. They were therefore shocked by the unforeseen development.

They claimed that Musoke had demanded sh35m from the couple to buy his silence so he wouldn’t write to the Bishop!

Church clears air

The Kitovu parish spokesperson Fr. Joseph Kasangaki explained that the wedding had been cancelled after Musoke adduced evidence that Naluyima was a wedded woman.

He clarified that the couple had been informed but went to the church anyway.

Musoke speaks out

Musoke told these reporters that he had been with Naluyima for ten years even though they had no children together.

“Naluyima left our marital home in April this year saying she was visiting her parents, but I next heard that she had introduced another man,” he explained.

He claimed that Naluyima had always spoken on phone with her lover but everytime he asked about it she retorted:

“People talk a lot; if you listen to those rumours you will not manage.”

When he learnt of the impending wedding he wrote to the Bishop through his lawyers, Kabali – Ssebbowa Advocates on June 17, 2015. The lawyers informed the Bishop that the two wed on March 29, 2010 in a civil marriage which was certified by the CAO then, Badru Mayanja.

“The decision to have a civil marriage was because our parents failed to agree on religion change,” Musoke said.

He said he tried to talk to Naluyima’s parents after hearing of the wedding plans but they paiod a deaf ear. He also denied the blackmail allegations by Naluyima’s siblings.Read more here:www.marieaustralia.com/cheap-formal-dresses

Shops market vintage style

Shops market vintage style(Photo:www.marieaustralia.com/formal-dresses-brisbane)Whether it’s quirky vintage or newer fashions, stalking distinct style can be a quest.

Upbeat music fills the air at Uptown Cheapskate on West Arbrook Boulevard. Store manager Chrissy Pointer said the resale franchise, which caters to a younger crowd, is celebrating its second year while gearing up for its busy back-to-school shopping season.

“We look for stuff within the last two years that’s coming out of the mall right now,” she said. “I think the advantage [for] college students is they are able to get cash. If they’re looking for a new wardrobe, they can sell theirs and get something different.”

Walking past a rack of tops and assorted Vera Bradley bags, Pointer said the store buys vintage items when they come in but does not currently have a vintage section.

“If we ever have enough to do that, we definitely will,” she said.

The store is part of the Maverick Discount Program.

Theater senior Elly Hunt, who works at Costumes by Dusty, said she wears vintage clothing but does not currently shop for any since she recently inherited older items from her grandmother’s wardrobe. Hunt said she does, however, borrow vintage pieces from Dusty’s for special events.

Dusty’s, located at 324 Exchange Drive, houses more than 20,000 non-prepackaged costumes, Hunt said. Hunt said her boss does a lot of thrift shopping, plus the shop custom-builds outfits to order and accepts donations. The outfits, which hang on racks up to five deep, are not for sale but are available on a rental basis.

Hunt said what’s hot depends a lot on pop-culture trends.

“That’s an assortment of staffs and swords for, like, wizards,” she said as she walked through the store. “This is what we call the tacky dress isle. These are all vintage or remade dresses from the ‘50s. It’s all just floral and polka dot. It’s what you think of as, like, a teacher dress.”

The Roaring ‘20s is a popular period, Hunt said, and a lot of themed parties are 1920s era or Western.

The shop sets up a booth at Scarborough Renaissance Festival each year, and has also done some custom weddings at the festival, Hunt said. Dusty’s also custom-builds mascots. Hunt described a few times when she has worked late.

“It’s very Night at the Museum especially in a room full of costumed mannequins,” Hunt said referring to movie in which museum displays come to life after dark. “The scariest part is coming back here at night. There is a whole row of mascot heads.”

Hunt walked toward a dark corner of the warehouse where a hanging bulb illuminates the bodiless heads of giant, beaked birds, bulls, a Barney dinosaur, and among other things, a one-eyed, one-horned, flying, purple people eater.

“Their bodies are down here,” she said. “But you don’t see those right away.”

Kristine O’Brien, theatre arts costume specialist, said the university’s theater department makes costumes in-house but has purchased things secondhand and also receives donations.

“If it’s a period piece where it’s vintage clothing, we research where we can get a pattern and then buy fabric,” she said. “If it’s more of a modern-day show, we’ll go to a thrift store or resale store to purchase items that are not going to go over our budget. It’s actually cheaper to buy modern-day clothes.”

O’Brien said vintage is sort of known for its quirkiness. She also said today’s sizes are much different than before.

“Even if we do find an actual vintage piece, most likely, it won’t fit,” she said. “People used to be much smaller than they are now.”

People shop vintage and resale for various reasons and shops exist for various reasons as well. Some are non-profit such as Thrift Outreach Store and Donation Center, a newly opened store at 3701 S. Cooper St.

Store owner Cassandra Yettke said the store assists local organizations in helping those in need by allowing referred clients to shop at no cost. She said she opened the store because she wanted to especially help women and children coming from unstable environments.

“I want them to feel normal and not feel like they’re a victim,” she said. “I just wanted to help and give back, plus everybody loves thrift stores.”Read more here:purple formal dresses

Men, make way for some floral in your closet

Men, make way for some floral in your closet 

(Photo:www.marieaustralia.com/formal-dresses-sydney)The moment we think about floral, the first image that usually hits our mind is that of a woman wearing a beautiful floral inspired ensemble against a gorgeous backdrop.

Cut to 2015, this very trend has taken a different twist. With the lines between menswear and womenswear blurring and making way for some eclectic fashion trends, florals too are making their way into menswear. From roses to orchids, tulips to floral inspired motifs, menswear has been adapting these prints in their casual as well as formal wear, effortlessly and with panache.

‘Floral’ attraction

“Definitely florals and summers go hand-in-hand. When we talk about summer wear the first thing that comes to our mind, is floral. Currently, florals are a rage when it comes to menswear also, as a lot of celebrities are seen adapting this trend effortlessly. Also this print can be worn in form of accessories as well, be it bow ties, floral printed ties, and even on shoes,” asserts deginer Kunal Anil Tanna.

“Another reason why florals are such a rage in menswear genre is because men these days aren’t afraid to experimenting, be it be it an over the top all over floral print three piece suit or subtle hints peeking through layers or accessories,” says designers Rimple and Harpreet Narula.

Ways to wear floral

“There are many ways men can adapt to florals, both in casual and formal wear. Men should incorporate this trend with ditsy printed shirts, printed pants, ties, bow ties, tie pins, pocket squares, lapel pins, and even shoes. One can wear floral inspired summer jackets, with an inner lining of floral print. Also when we talk about florals it’s not just about prints. If one wants to start experimenting but be on the safe side then start by wearing clothes in pastel shades. One can also opt for shirts with small floral prints, that are extremely wearable,” adds Kunal.

“While one may assume that floral trend is all about prints inspired by nature, there is a lot to do with the colour scheme as well. When it comes to donning florals, one can see a lot of edgy distressed floral prints in monochrome and more solid hues. For casuals, a floral shirt in a soft color paired with linen chinos works wonderfully during summers. For more formal dressing without going over the top one can incorporate florals through accessories in a bow tie or a pocket square,” says Rimple and Harpreet Narula.

Florals in accessories

You will be surprised to see a lot of accessories are getting quirkier by adding this nature inspired touch. From ties, scarves, laptop skins, tablet covers, lapel pins, broaches, pocket squares, buttons et al, there is a whole gamut of products available to choose from and wear them in your daily routine.

Quick Tips

– Never team print on print.

– Always balance floral out with one solid colour.

– Also avoid too many prints of various sizes is a big no.

– Stick to one basic floral element.Read more here:www.marieaustralia.com/formal-dresses-brisbane

Newport Flower Show + Polo Matches + Boys

How to make peace between post-graduation dueling eighth graders? In the midst of the Newport Flower Show, polo matches in Portsmouth, and mother-of-the-bride dress code at the height of the wedding season, were the best questions to Didi Lorillard at NewportManners this week.

Q. We’re coming over from the South Shore to go to the Newport Flower Show this weekend and my friends and I want to know about ladies hats. Do you have the inside on the kind of hat to wear? A.W., Duxbury, MA

A. Upon entering the Newport Flower Show, start by heading to Lisa Stubbs’ hat kiosk. The foremost milliner in New England, Mrs. Stubbs handcrafts all of her popular hats and they come in an array of styles and prices. Whether you’re looking for solutions to keeping the sun off of your face or searching to find that dark and mysterious hat to top off your favorite cocktail outfit, you’ll find it at Lilo.

To get a sense of Lisa’s natural high style, here are photos of Lisa and her friends at the 2014 Newport Flower Show.

 

(Photo:princess formal dresses)What to wear to my daughter’s wedding?

Q. I’m searching for a mother of the bride outfit that is a sophisticated look suitable for an older mother of the bride to wear to her daughter’s August wedding. If someone is asked to describe the way I look, I’d like them to say I’m pleasantly plump. The dresses I’ve been trying on just aren’t me. I look in the mirror and say to myself, “What am I doing in this silly dress.” Do you have a creative solution to this wedding dilemma? Anonymous, Watch Hill, RI

A. Living close to Newport, you are in luck. The answer is at the Newport Flower Show this weekend. At booth #24 you’ll find wonderful special occasion jackets by the ever so chic Maria Pucci.

In choosing one of Maria Pucci’s handmade jackets you have more options to coordinate with the wedding colors, which typically match the color scheme of the wedding, by simply changing a trim, button or other detail to coordinate with the theme.

For instance instead of a corsage, your jacket can have a floral pattern in one of the wedding colors. The beauty of the Newport Long Coat is that it is a formal jacket. Because it is not a long dress, it won’t compete with the bride’s wedding gown, the arms are covered for a religious ceremony, and the mother of the bride is freer to move around the reception to greet and dance with guests.

These beautiful special occasion jackets are not only perfect for the mother of the bride, but are a popular choice as cocktail attire — especially for wearing when entertaining or being entertained day or night — because they are made for the young at heart.

Ahead of time go to Maria-Pucci.com to check out her brilliant designs. Here is one of the looks Maria Pucci recommends for the mother of the bride. See you at the Flower Show! ~Didi

 

(Photo:mermaid formal dresses)Newport polo match dress code

Q. I am attending a polo match tomorrow in Newport and I have no clue what to wear. I have many dresses, most of them form fitting. I do not know what is appropriate to wear though. –Closet Full of Clothes and Nothing to Wear, Newport

A. Hold your horses. Polo match dress code is not that complicated. Think about comfort and protecting your face from the hot sun. You may find yourself picnicking at your tailgate, so wearing a dress that is not too short is more comfortable if you’re going to sit on the grass. Find a mid-calf length dress or skirt in your closet, a loose fitting shirt and belt it.

Top off the look with a small brimmed straw hat that isn’t too fussy or prissy — but no fake flowers on the brim.

Most importantly, if you wear heels, wear cork wedges or flats. Spiked heels will catch you up by digging into the turf and we wouldn’t want you to trip over you feet. Here are some looks you may be able to pull together from your full closet. ~Didi

Eighth graders brawling after graduation

Q. Our son recently graduated eighth grade from our country day school and got himself into a nasty altercation with one of his classmates. He came home from one of the graduation parties with his eye glasses broken and his face bleeding from being punched in the face. I texted the boy’s mother asking if we could meet soon for coffee telling her what had happened. She responded with, “boys will be boys.” Texting back I said we really need to talk. We were looking for the boy to apologize. We didn’t get it. She keeps putting me off, but we don’t think the boys should end their school year with the incident unresolved. Any suggests? Anonymous

A. Texting the naughty boy’s mother inviting her to your house for coffee would be a gracious move. It will make her feel that it is more of a social visit and less confrontational. Bring out your best china coffee cups, but don’t go so far as to bake a coffee cake. Ask her if she thinks the boys should hash out the problem. The catalyst no doubt was a girl. Each boy should tell his side of the story. In a perfect world, the brawler would apologize and the lads would shake hands. But we don’t don’t know the whole story. ~Didi

Didi Lorillard researches all matters of manners and etiquette at NewportManners. Ask Didi your question about relationships and everyday dilemmas for a personal response.

6 Ways To Take All The Fun Out Of Fashion

FASHION 

(Photo:www.marieaustralia.com/long-formal-dresses)While flipping through a fashion magazine the other day, I was shocked at the revelation that “beachy hair at the beach” is now considered “predictable” and passe. Apparently this year you’re supposed to aim for “pretty, polished” hair at the beach, which sounds like a real bitch to maintain in the presence of saltwater, sand and kelp.

Once I pried my eyes out of the back of their sockets, I thought, this is exactly the kind of thing that makes fashion feel like a punishing, exclusionary chore rather than the fun opportunity for self-expression that it should be. Fashion is fun, creative and personal. But oh how easy it is to forget that, isn’t it? Let’s take a look at some of the most common ways to suck all the fun out of fashion, so we can try our best to avoid them in the future.

1. Read too many fashion magazines. As evidenced above, I love me a fashion magazine: the pretty pictures, bright colors, and airbrushed celebrities comprise one of my favorite forms of eye candy/escapism. But I think we all have a tipping point where fashion magazines go from inspiring to soul-sucking. Some people hit their limit at, like, three pages. Others can read five whole magazines. But know your limit. And treat these magazines for what they are: entertainment and advertising. That is, the “advice” contained within their pages isn’t gospel, and there’s always an ulterior motive.

2. Dress to hide your body instead of celebrate it. Our country’s definition of “flattering” is “make yourself look as tall and lean as possible.” For those of us who aren’t tall or lean, this means that much of our focus when dressing is hiding, minimizing, or camouflaging certain body parts. We dress to create the illusion of a body we don’t have instead of celebrating the one we do. There’s nothing fun or joyful about that. If you’ve gotten into a habit of hiding yourself with clothing, start breaking out of it by focusing on highlighting your favorite features instead.

3. Become super attached to the phrase, “I can’t wear that.” This is one of my least favorite phrases in the world, and I still find myself using it more often than I’d like. Women default to this phrase when they think they can’t pull off a certain style, and 99% of the time, they’re deferring because of their body type. Repeat after me: You are allowed to wear whatever you want. The next time you find yourself thinking, “I can’t wear that” about a style you love on other people, just try it on. A bikini? Ankle strap sandals? A crop top? A swing dress? A mini skirt? A maxi dress? Go for it! Challenge the idea that certain people aren’t allowed to wear certain things. More often than not, you’ll be surprised at how fabulous you look, not to mention how free you feel.

4. Get caught up in the fast fashion cycle. A few years ago I was a compulsive shopper, stopping into Forever 21 or H&M a few times a week (!), and almost always coming home with new stuff. I had SO MANY clothes in my closet (and was adding more all the time) but I’d never felt more disconnected to my wardrobe or fashion in general. My clothes were low quality, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it trendy, and completely disposable. I didn’t love my clothes. They didn’t look good on me or make me feel good. Trying to compose outfits from my overstuffed closet every morning was an anxiety-inducing ordeal. When I read Overdressed, I made a commitment to start shopping more thoughtfully, and discovered that having less clothes that I truly loved (that were also well made, comfortable, and unique) made me fall in love with fashion all over again. If fast fashion has you feeling burnt out and uninspired, slow it down. Prioritize quality and fit. Save up for items you love and treasure. Create a wardrobe that’s unique, timeless, and inspiring.

5. Obsessively follow trends. Experimenting with trends is fun, but being a slave to trends will wipe out your bank account and mute your personal taste faster than you can say “leather overalls.” Give yourself permission to opt out of the frantic trend cycle and just buy and wear what you love for awhile. Some of it might line up with current trends. Much of it won’t. But you will have so much more fun getting dressed, and even better: you’ll always feel like you.

6. Shop at stores that make you feel bad. There are myriad ways a clothing store can make you feel like shit: maybe they don’t stock anything (or anything remotely cute) in your size; maybe the salespeople sneer at you when you walk in; maybe you can only afford that one stained blouse sold “as is” on the clearance rack; maybe their dressing rooms are equipped with funhouse mirrors. If a store makes you feel like they don’t want you there, stop going back. There are so many alternative options these days, it’s rare that you NEED to shop at a store you hate (and doesn’t seem to be fond of you either). Explore local boutiques, vintage shops, consignment stores, online specialty retailers, and Etsy. Support people in the fashion industry that support you. Their businesses will flourish. You’ll look and feel amazing. Sounds like a win-win to me!Read more here:www.marieaustralia.com/formal-dresses-2015

Who wore it best? Who cares?

Helen Mirren proudly holds up her Tony Award, frou-frou sleeves and all. (Photo by Jemal  

(Photo:pink cocktail dresses)There was the time I wore black opaque tights with a silver sequined dress for the journalists’ Walkley Awards. One reporter called it an “odd choice”. Ouch.

On another occasion, my boss told me a black scarf I wore tied around my neck on TV looked like a “dog collar”. Uh-oh.

And last month I spent an entire segment on Sunrise looking into the wrong monitor, perfectly showcasing the black Vegemite stripe in my dyed blonde hair. Oops.

Perhaps this is why I find the judging of respected, accomplished women on the red carpet ridiculous and demeaning.

I wouldn’t dream of putting myself on the same standing as well-known award-night doyennes. I’m just saying I know what it’s like to discover others don’t think you look as good as you think you do. It’s not very nice.

These days, people think nothing of giving women (and the odd man) marks out of 10 for their fashion choices; you’d think they were naughty kids instead of accomplished adults.

Sometimes two women are pitted nastily against each other, with commentators judging: “Who wore it better?”

One morning TV show’s Fashion Police segment does this, and they went to town discussing last weekend’s Tony Awards red carpet line-up.

Unlike some other major awards, the Tonys haven’t traditionally been a fashion fest; the focus generally has been on the art, rather than who’s too fat to be wearing a Zac Posen silver sheath

But this didn’t deter the Fashion Police panellists from getting their claws out.

In particular, Helen Mirren was put through her paces, with one commentator having a go at her fitted white dress.

“I’m not into the frou-frou sleeves,” she said. Another agreed the dress was “bad”.

Let’s get this straight. Helen Mirren is nearly 70. She is one of the most accomplished actors of her generation. She collected a Tony award for playing none other than Queen Elizabeth in The Audience.

And yet she is being demeaned over her the shape of her dress’s sleeves?

I just don’t get it. I thought she looked amazing.

Next was Good Wife actor and wife of Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, who was judged alongside TV actor Debra Messing. “These are bad dresses. Beautiful women, bad frocks,” said one panellist.

Wilson, they didn’t mention, has just had a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery after being diagnosed with breast cancer. The Tony Awards were her triumphant return to the red carpet. Pity no one applauded her for that.

Another to cop it online was popular actor Carey Mulligan, who was condemned for wearing a maroon sheath dress that was “boring” and “shapeless”.

Carey Mulligan’s dress is judged “boring and shapeless” by the fashion police. (Photo by  

(Photo:navy blue formal dress)Well, here’s a newsflash, people.

Mulligan is pregnant. Perhaps that was why she didn’t sport a figure-hugging gown.

And there was actor Bernadette Peters, who attracted scathing comments for wearing a sexy, tight strapless green dress. The general consensus was that it “could’ve used another fitting at the very least” and “wasn’t flattering”.

Well, I would be happy to look half as good as Peters if I was 67. That’s right. She’s 67, so she’s more than earned the right to dress as she damn well pleases.

Monica Lewinsky, the White House’s most famous former intern, was also soundly vilified for her off-the-shoulder red lace ball gown paired with gold pumps.

The critics went to town. Frumpy! Tacky! Unflattering! What was she thinking?

The clear conclusion was that Lewinsky needed to spend less time giving TED Talks about bullying and more time getting her frocks right.

Now, I don’t think famous people should be immune from criticism altogether, but it should be fair and justified. Kim Kardashian is fair game for turning every aspect of her life into a saleable moment. Gwyneth Paltrow should be held to account for pushing her ridiculous lifestyle onto others. Nicole Kidman should cop it for refusing to come clean about why she hasn’t aged in 20 years.

I also don’t have a problem with people talking about clothes — that’s what the red carpet is for, after all.

But if someone has been lucky enough to pick up a prestigious acting award, just beaten cancer, or is still wowing onstage at age 70, then poking fun at their “frou-frou” sleeves seems totally unnecessary.

In my view, the Fashion Police needs to find a new beat.

Who Decides What Makes a Woman?

Aol On/Vanity Fair 

(Photo:www.marieaustralia.com/formal-dresses-sydney)Writer Elinor Burkett, in this past weekend’s New York Times, takes it upon herself to define womanhood, which she feels is under attack from trans women. Instead, Burkett only succeeds in viciously grinding an anti-feminist axe with the intent of severing trans women from our rightful womanhood.

Transmisogyny is where transphobia and misogyny meet, each intensifying the other. It is a form of gendered oppression experienced by trans women, central to which is the vicious lie that we are, or ever have been, men. This is violence, a violence which all too frequently ends in a trans woman’s death. Burkett’s blatant misgendering of Caitlyn Jenner, and by extension all trans women, is an attempt to efface trans women as we courageously face this violence to voice our own vital truths about womanhood.

If Burkett feels pressure to reconceptualize womanhood that is only because her concept of womanhood is myopic. She claims there is a universal experience of womanhood is reductive and demeaning. For every rule or stereotype about womanhood there is a corresponding woman whose life or body is a direct refutation — some cisgender women never menstruate, some are also intersex and learn later in life that they possess a Y chromosome.

Experiences of misogyny and womanhood vary greatly depending on race, ability and socio-economic class — indeed, the dominant feminist notion of shared sisterhood has long been thoroughly criticized by revolutionary black feminists. How many experiences of womanhood are there? In contrast with Burkett’s tally, I joyously exclaim that there are 3.5 billion.

As a trans woman I know much about womanhood that cis women do not know. I know what it is like to be a woman who was brainwashed into believing she was a man. That is a womanhood which is as authentic as any other. I have not arrived at womanhood, I have liberated an imprisoned womanhood. I define “what makes a woman” by the virtue of being one.

If cis womanhood is not a monolith, then trans womanhood is just as gloriously diverse. No one trans woman could ever speak for all. Cisgender media portrays, unsurprisingly, a very cis-centric view of trans experience; the commonly referenced “born in the wrong body” narrative is not shared by all trans women, myself included. Transition hasn’t been primarily about hormones, clothing, or makeup — to transition was to transform a crushing shame which was ground into my soul over decades. It was reclaiming my power as a woman, a power which was unjustly torn from me as a little girl. The details of my gender presentation are for my personal comfort and to ensure my safety in a world which would rather I not exist.

Misogyny is not new to recently out trans women. I have experienced shatteringly violent (trans)misogyny all my life. The irony of Burkett’s criticisms of trans women’s femininity is apparent and reeks of patriarchal sexism: women are punished for failing to conform to femininity, yet if we do conform we are then devalued. The stereotyped trappings of femininity, be it makeup or fashion or a desire to feel sexy, do not degrade women; these trappings are degraded because they are associated with women, and patriarchy has degraded women. For Burkett to direct this misogyny onto trans women only strengthens sexism.

This denial of the legitimacy of my femininity relies on the classic trope of trans women being “men who make themselves caricatures of women.” My femininity does not define me as a woman; if I am wearing a ballroom gown or a dirty potato sack then I am dressed like a woman because I am a woman. To suggest that I am only a caricature of myself is degrading and incredibly pompous.

Transmisogyny takes this classic double-bind of coercive femininity and installs additional snares for trans women. As Burkett expertly, if unwittingly, demonstrated, my femininity is held to a higher standard than that of cis women. Yet if I fail at femininity not only am I devalued as a woman but my very womanhood, and thereby my very personhood, is erased. Burkett accomplishes such erasure with the accusation of male privilege.

Privilege is not merely a matter of how you are perceived and treated. It is your relative social position which is a matter of economic, political, and cultural power. “Male privilege” is the access which men have to the above mentioned resources, at the expense of women’s access to those resources. All cis people, including women, possess privilege via the oppression of trans women… even trans women who still labour under the yoke of the lie that they are men.

Only men can have male privilege and to imply that trans women ever had male privilege is to imply that we were once men. There certainly are benefits to being read as male, however this is an example not of privilege but how being in the closet is a strategy to navigate existing oppression. A thunderstorm with a silver lining is still a thunderstorm. Besides, society does not actually treat closeted trans women as it treats men. We typically internalize gender norms and misogyny much as cis women do, by directing it inwards. It is also extraordinarily difficult to hide the fact that you are a woman all day, every day, for decades. Society gruesomely punishes such transgressions.

This punishment drives 43 per cent of trans people to attempt suicide. So go ahead, tell me that this violence is really a privilege. When you have driven me to totter over the edge of that highway overpass, please remind me that my track and field scholarship is oppressing you.

If society hadn’t been forever asserting that I was a man, perhaps my womanhood would not have spent decades being gnawed by moths in a closet. Perhaps you would have instead found your own womanhood enriched by the addition of new colours and forms to the tapestry of womanhood, a tapestry bearing a mural of splendorous contradiction which no woman could have ever woven alone with her single skein.

Or, you know, just keep reducing women to genitalia, I guess. Your call.Read more here:www.marieaustralia.com/evening-dresses

Two Amish weddings in one day

June is here already! As I write this, tonight will be daughter Loretta’s eighth grade graduation at the school. This will be the fifth of our eight children completing their school years. Time slips by so fast. Life brings so many changes through the years.

Today, June 2, also marks five years now that daughter Verena, 17, had that bad brain concussion. At the time doctors told us that she will heal one hundred percent, but it will take time. We can now see what they meant, but there were some hard years for Verena and our family. How thankful we are. God is good and has given us many blessings.

This week is a very busy week with neighbor Joe and Susie’s wedding and nephew Ben and Lovina’s wedding, both on Thursday. We will work in both! We decided to go to Berne, Ind. and attend Ben and Lovina’s wedding, and after lunch, we’ll come back home and go to Joe and Susie’s wedding for the evening meal.

I was asked to be cook at both weddings. Timothy and daughter Elizabeth were asked to be table waiters at both weddings. They were asked several weeks earlier to be table waiters at Joe and Susie’s wedding and had already said they would before Ben and Lovina’s plans were published. Joe and Susie bought the house just down the road from us and will be our new neighbors. Daughter Verena will be a table waiter at Ben and Lovina’s wedding. She will find a way home (back from Berne) with someone from my family. I need to do the finishing touches on her peacock colored dress suit yet. Elizabeth has to wear a tan colored suit to be table waiter.

Tomorrow morning I will go help bake pies for Joe and Susie’s wedding. I was also asked to help for Ben and Lovina’s wedding but since this is closer I’ll just walk over to help. I really wish both weddings wouldn’t have been on the same day but sometimes that happens.

The school will also have the school picnic on Thursday. Doors will close after the picnic until next term. They always do lots of fun things on the last day so Joseph, Lovina, and Kevin want to go to school. They will go with us to Joe and Susie’s wedding in the evening. Loretta can’t participate in a lot of the activities on fun day so she will go with us to Berne, Ind. My sisters Verena and Susan will travel with us to Berne and also come back for Joe and Susie’s wedding as they were asked to be dish washers. Usually the dish washers make sure all the dishes get packed back up in boxes and put in the wedding wagon. This takes a lot of the work load off the cooks and helps out cleaning up the next day.

Our highlight of the week is our horse Ginger giving birth to a little filly. She is pure black like Itty Bit’s filly, Black Beauty. They could pass for twins but Black Beauty is a month older and has grown a lot. We are still pending on the name. Everyone has a different suggestion. Feel free to send your ideas!

Strawberries are in season. Try this cheesecake. God bless!Read more here:www.marieaustralia.com/short-formal-dresses | www.marieaustralia.com/formal-dresses

How to dress for summer as an older woman

Tilda Swinton. 

(Photo:MarieAustralia evening dresses)I’ve never believed in age-appropriate dressing – when you’ve rocked out to the Rolling Stones or pogoed to the Pistols, that’s never going to happen. But there was a pivotal point in my mid-40s when I threw away my collection of shoestring-strap vests. The less-than-toned arms and too-lazy-for-the-gym attitude called time on skimpy tops. Admittedly, there was a tinge of sadness attached to the Great Shoestring Sling-out. This felt like a significant moment; I was waving a bracelet-sleeved goodbye to my youth and edging into the 45-65 age bracket. How did that happen?

And, yes, the older I get, the longer the list of saggy bits becomes: wobbly arms? Tick. Middle-aged spread? Tick. Feeling bad about my neck? Tick. But, thankfully, as the oestrogen levels heads floorwards, the devil-may-care confidence heads in the opposite direction. I’ve learned to show our attitude in different ways.

“I’m influenced by seeing older women dress in an amazing way,” says Sarah Arnett, who together with creative director Kim Hunt has set up lifestyle brand Modern Love. Both are in their forties and the label was specifically designed with grown ups in mind. “I’m quite happy to dress up and embrace the Advanced Stylephenomenon,” she adds. “Look at what those women are wearing and doing..”

And there’s the thing: experimenting with the clothes, revisiting old favourites – I’m practically living in a jumpsuit again, after 30-odd years – and mixing new with vintage helps to defibrillate a flagging wardrobe. “It feels as if there’s a moment when you come round in a circle,” continues Arnett. “I don’t feel I can’t wear things. I’m not afraid to play around again. Last week, I chopped the top off an old dress to make a straight skirt and went out in it. I feel quite rebellious.”

When teenagers are dyeing their hair grey and grandmothers are wearing rap T-shirts (see 87-year-old social media star Baddie Winkle), the generations have become as blurred as my eyesight. None of us are getting on that fast train to Frumpsville. We’re making a statement and standing our ground – in comfy shoes

Keep it chic with a belted jacket over black cigarette pants, or go for a longer, looser style over faded jeans. For some cool kimono action try Modern Love (available from Clerkenwell London from late June), Mint Velvet or Jigsaw’s paisley silk cape.

Throw on a lightweight jumpsuit and you’re dressed in a jiffy – allowing more time for your new beauty regime (see below). Check out Whistles, H&M and Baukjen for the best all-in-ones, and wear with flatform sandals or skate shoes.

Get shirty

Make like a French Voguette and opt for an oversized mannish shirt, half-tucked with a few buttons undone. For top-quality cotton shirts, try MHL by Margaret Howell, E Tautz and JCrew

Say hello to culottes

Culottes may polarise opinion, but I’m a fan: better than a skirt and chicer than shorts. Check out Cos, Whistles and M&S Autograph for some of the best styles around.

It’s fine to have a go-to uniform of basics, but normcore looks nothing without a showbiz jacket, pair of “it” trainers or some kooky sunglasses. Liberty has a lovely selection of sunglasses and you can pick up a pair of Nike Air Rift while you’re at it.

Upgrade your beauty regime

It’s time to get busy with a Clarisonic or Clinique cleansing brush, embrace facial oils – my favourites are Aromatherapy Associates – and moisturise like a demon. I love Caudalie’s VinExpert with SPF15 and always stock up when I’m in Paris. Spend time on yourself but take the French Femme approach and don’t look too “done”.Read more here:MarieAustralia short formal dresses