Monthly Archives: November 2016

Okyeame Kwame works hard to look good – Annica Nsia-Appau

Okyeame Kwame Good 

(Photo:formal dresses canberra)Annica Nsiah-Apau, wife and manager of Ghanaian rapper Okyeame Kwame says she feels honored that her husband was adjudged the Male Fashion Celebrity Icon of the Year at the just ended e.TV Ghana Fashion Awards 2016 because he really works hard to look good.

Okyeame Kwame beat former Black Stars captain, Stephen Appiah and Kofi Okyere Darko (KOD) to emerge winner of the Male Fashion Celebrity Icon category.

According to his wife, though everyone in that category deserved to win, it meant that the organizers and judges of the event appreciated Okyeame Kwame’s unique style of dressing.

Explaining the secret behind her husband’s style of dressing at the event, which took place over the weekend at the Mercedes-Benz Showroom, Silver Star Tower, Annica said “Okyeame Kwame is predominantly Afrocentric and so everything he wears he wants to have the African touch to it.”

“Most of all he is a gentleman who also stands for positivity and so he also dresses according to that,” Okyeame Kwame’s wife stated.

Double Award in November for the Rap Dacta

Annice said Okyeame Kwame, who is known in real life as Kwame Nsiah-Apau, could not pick up the award himself as he was away in the US on business where he was honoured by the Mayor of Cincinnati. The award entailed been given the key to the City of Cincinnati. He will also have an Okyeame Kwame Day celebrated in Cincinnati every year. This year’s Ghana Fashion Awards which was organized by e.TV Ghana –a subsidiary of Global Media Alliance Broadcast Company – saw a display of fashion prowess by both fashion designers, models and patrons of the event. The show, hosted by e. TV Ghana’s Fati Shaibu Ali and Happy FM’s DJ Advicer, had amazing performances from fast rising songstress eShun. Other high profile personalities like Sandra Ankobiah picked up awards at the event.

The winners for this year’s Ghana Fashion Awards are: Emerging Designer – Ato Tetteh, Designer of the Year – Sima Brew, Accessory Designer of the Year (Jewelry) – Joyce Owusu (Purple Trendz), Accessory Designer of the Year (Bags, Sandals) – Mpaboa. The rest are Female Fashion Celebrity Icon of the Year – Sandra Ankobiah, Fashion Photographer of the Year – Duke Tetteh Quarshie, Male Model of the Year – Meek Ghartey, Female Model of the Year – Leana Efia Apenteng.Read more at:plus size formal dresses

All the right cuts

All the right cuts 

(Photo:short formal dresses)Mona

A melange of colours, ruffles and tassels; mix and match is what dominated Karishma Shahani Khan’s Road to Chanderi. A tribute to one of the oldest fabrics and making it functional for the current times was the initial idea that this designer worked on. In Chandigarh on Friday, with three of her looks that she showcased at Amazon India fashion Week recently, she talks about all that comprises her journey.

Economy first

Design, silhouette and texture are the three verticals that Karishma works on. A stickler for economy, you will see bits of discarded cloth back on the garments in the shape of cords, embroidery and tassels, which lend bounce and character to her pieces. If you have seen her works, you will immediately spot her pieces on Sonam Kapoor in Khoobsurat and Alia Bhatt in Badrinath Ki Dulhania.

Winter wonders

If winter-proofing your wardrobe is on your mind, she is the go-to person! “Layers work wonderfully well. And it is time to put together pieces that you wouldn’t do otherwise.” So pick up different pieces, put them together; let a little colour peek out.

Wedding wows

As a rule, women never feel cold dressing up for occasions. And if looking for inspiration to rock a desi function, one or two crop jackets are all this designer wants you to invest in! “Get coloured pieces. Throw it over a dress or a saree and you are sorted.” Hues trending this season — well, typical Indian palette: burgundy, deep reds, purples and gold, which is forever in fashion. Want to try something new – take a call on newer metallics: bronze, copper and silver.

Working woman

Karishma loves to visit Chandigarh — for one, she loves the food here, and taking workshops with INIFD students is what she finds enjoyable apart from her studio. With hubby, Wasim Khan, an interior designer and just-turned-one son in the tow, this trio is a team to reckon with. “Spending time with students is constant learning. Their questions make you see one’s creations in new light.”

Next, this London College of Fashion pass-out is looking for collaborations, “Designer-wear need not be too costly, but reach out to more is what I believe in.” Her spring summer 17 is set with tints of yellows, whites, bright reds and her favourite blues — electric blue this time!Read more at:formal dresses online australia

Nataleah and the Nation: Politics and fashion

Women in politics are constantly being observed. We care about what they say, what they wear, who they’re supporting, where they’re vacationing and why they chose to dedicate their lives to public service. For the wives of politicians, life is especially difficult. Not only must they maintain a flawless personal appearance, but they must also be their partner’s biggest cheerleader. They must be humble, yet confident; demure, not sexy; delicate, yet strong; and intelligent, not cunning.

They must balance upon the fine line of public opinion without faltering.

The First Lady of the United States is in a particularly difficult position. Not only must she abide by the standards of the women who came before her, but she must also set precedent for those to come. Specifically, in regards to fashion, the FLOTUS is automatically an icon. What she wears to a casual tea with the German Prime Minister will be broadcast on the front pages of every tabloid on the planet. If she is flawless, she will be praised. If her stylist had an artistic breakdown, she will be ridiculed.

A color choice can signal benevolence or animosity. Given the right shoes, as Marilyn Monroe once recommended, she rules the world.

However, although it may seem romantic to sway public opinion with a hat selection, it is important to understand what it means to have this kind of power. As the FLOTUS, you are never given a day off. You must be flawless in every capacity—and even if you do achieve perfection, many people will still critique you. Regardless of your entrepreneurial, collegiate, philanthropic or intellectual pursuits, people will remember what you wore, not what you achieved.

Your accomplishments will follow you like a faithful entourage at the Oscars. Your gown will always steal the show, not your multiple degrees from Ivy League institutions.

Take Michelle Obama: a successful wife, mother, lawyer and advocate for social change. She is a highly skilled and accomplished woman. She is well-respected in many circles and was a successful woman long before she tied the knot with the future President of the United States. But what do we care about? What does the fashion industry care about? What she wore. The things that she did as First Lady received praise, but not our full attention. Do we look into the specifics of her health initiatives, or do we care about the purple dress she wore to meet Melania Trump? Do we care about the number of cases she won as a successful attorney? Or do we pay attention to how she decided to wear her hair on a particular Thursday?

And how are we judging the future First Lady, Melania Trump? Do we care about her potential? Do we care about her diplomatic potential as a woman who can speak five languages? No, we care that she once posed nude for a magazine. We care that she was a former model. We care that she wore a “pussy bow” after her husband’s comments about sexual assault. We care that she is tall, thin and attractive. We care more about her fashion sense than her business acumen.

The incredibly successful women who stand with their husbands are critiqued like posh accessories at a Christie’s auction.

So what should change? We need to rethink what it means to be a woman in politics. It should not mean that the FLOTUS’s primary duty is to dress well or be physically fit. She should be able to wear what she thinks best suits her without the world providing a plethora of inputs. She should be able to come in any shape or size. We should not judge male politicians on the attractiveness of their wives. She should be acknowledged for her intellectual accomplishments as a man would. She should not be called a bitch if she doesn’t smile, a whore if her hemline is a quarter-inch too short or a prude if she chooses to be simple and conservative.

The glass ceiling remains. Look how they treated Hillary Clinton, look how they treat Michelle Obama, look how they are beginning to treat Melania Trump. Yes, there are many differences between men and women. But a woman’s place is in the House, Senate and White House. She should not have to make her way to the top by flashing a smile, effortlessly accessorizing or sweating away 3000 calories at the gym. She should get there because she is capable and persistent. If a poor suit decision can’t ruin a man’s career, then a fashion statement shouldn’t ruin a woman’s.Read more at:bridesmaid dresses | short formal dresses

Julia Franco on her social enterprise, The Wearable Library

 

(Photo:one shoulder formal dresses)Originally from Brazil, Julia Franco moved to Durban four years ago. With a qualification in fashion and marketing, she decided to use her knowledge and expertise to empower the community in the city.

Upon her arrival, Franco (32) started looking into how she could pursue her love of fashion – while uplifting the community.

She says she fell in love with shweshwe, and decided to intertwine her love for the people and the city with this popular fabric.

Franco then set out to find businesses that could make shweshwe clothing, but she struggled to find places that provided high-quality fabric as well as the service.

She then decided to teach elderly and migrant women in Durban to sew so they could earn an income. What makes the initiative special is that each garment conveys the story of the woman who made it, connecting the buyer to the maker.

“The Wearable Library aims to create employment for women, train them and also get a professionally finished product,” Franco says. “On the tag of each fashion item, is the story of the woman who made it.

“We want the person who buys the garment to know the woman behind it, their background, age, why they made it and so on.”

She’s always been passionate about community upliftment and the role that fashion can play in society. “I wanted to change people’s perception of fashion to something positive; fashion can be beautiful and inspiring – we should use that inspiration to change the whole system,” she says.

Franco says that it’s of paramount importance that the story of the women who make the clothing is shared. She says there are many entrepreneurs and workshops that exploit and abuse people’s skills. Franco wants the seamstress to be known because it encourages fair trade.

The women are not only equipped with skills but are also paid more than the average wage, although it does depend on the garment.

Once the women have been trained and are equipped with the necessary skills, they aren’t expected to stay with The Wearable Library – rather, the initiative encourages and supports entrepreneurship.

The entrepreneur says she used her savings to start the business and that it’s now maintaining itself.

Items are sold on the business’ online store, and have even been bought from customers in countries such as Brazil, Spain and America.

She says it warms her heart to better the lives of less fortunate people and enable them to provide for their families. Another highlight has been how well received the initiative has been in Brazil – so much so, it received an award at Brazil Design Week.

Getting people to understand and buy into the concept has proved to be a challenge for Franco. She adds that the cultural significance of shweshwe was also something she had to come to understand. “When we started buying shweshwe, people didn’t like that we were using it for daily and not ceremonial purposes. We then decided to use the fabric in a modern way and not interfere with the cultural designs.”

Franco says that starting this social enterprise has taught her that when people come together and work as a community, things are more likely to succeed.Read more at:mermaid formal dresses

From Victoria Beckham to Rihanna

It’s almost not enough any more for a celebrity to be content with winning a Grammy or a Golden Globe, or even an Oscar. These days, it appears that the most well-rounded

and successful celebrities must also be fashion designers, leveraging their style and public profiles into brisk sales on the department store floor.

From Victoria Beckham, Hilary Swank and Jessica Simpson, to Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Richie, they have all parlayed their significant followings at the box office or concert stadium into impressive retail businesses.

Simpson, who was previously best known for wearing a pair of Daisy Dukes in the Dukes of Hazzard remake in 2005, and who was a reality TV show star before that, has gone

on to build a fashion and accessories empire – her brand reportedly brings in US$1 billion in sales a year. Victoria Beckham’s brand, which operates at a much higher end of the market – her dresses are well over HK$10,000 – has been around since 2008, and annual sales are around the US$40 million mark. Paris Hilton, who has gone from socialite to reality TV show star to tabloid fodder to model and DJ, now has some 60 boutiques around the world selling jeans, T-shirts, bags and accessories under her name, and plans to open another 200. Sales of her 20 fragrances alone, according to reports, have brought in US$2 billion since the first was launched a decade ago. Swank is the new kid on the block – the American actress recently launched Mission Statement, an athleisure brand that offers clothes that are as fashionable as they

are functional. Asian celebrities are also jumping on the bandwagon – Chinese supermodel Lu Yan, for example, established her own fashion brand Comme Moi last year and the brand is now stocked by prestigious retailers such as Lane Crawford.

The question most often asked about “celeb-designed” lines is, Just how much do those celebrities have to do with what shows up on the shelves of the stores bearing their names? Do they simply license out their names and then sit on the sidelines, or are they in the design studio, comparing swatches and picking out colour palettes?

“I’m such a part of the everyday process,” says Nicole Richie, a reality TV show star – and celebutante daughter of Lionel Richie – who has evolved into a successful and credible designer. With her readyto-wear and accessories line, House of Harlow 1960, she recently entered into a collaboration with the popular Los Angeles-based e-tail site Revolve. In creating the new monthly offerings for Revolve, Richie

doesn’t sit at her home and remotely monitor what’s going on from a distance. She says she works face-to-face with her design team regularly.

“I’m down at the factory all the time,” she says. “Being able to relate directly to the consumer gives me an opportunity to tell my story. I live and breathe it. I wouldn’t spend my time doing it if I couldn’t be 100 per cent there.”

Often, even the celebrities themselves can hardly believe how popular their collections are. British supermodel and actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who is engaged to fellow-Briton and action star Jason Statham, has been designing a lingerie line for British retail stalwart Marks & Spencer for four years, and says, “it’s growing so rapidly every day I can’t even believe it … It blows my mind”.

Huntington-Whiteley, who was recently appointed the global ambassador for casual footwear line UGG, says her collaboration with Marks & Spencer “is going from strength to strength” following the launch of a makeup collection this year, and with more “exciting things” happening in 2017.

The question most often asked about “celeb-designed” lines is, Just how much do those celebrities have to do with what shows up on the shelves of the stores bearing their names? Do they simply license out their names and then sit on the sidelines, or are they in the design studio, comparing swatches and picking out colour palettes?

“I’m such a part of the everyday process,” says Nicole Richie, a reality TV show star – and celebutante daughter of Lionel Richie – who has evolved into a successful and credible designer. With her readyto-wear and accessories line, House of Harlow 1960, she recently entered into a collaboration with the popular Los Angeles-based e-tail site Revolve. In creating the new monthly offerings for Revolve, Richie

doesn’t sit at her home and remotely monitor what’s going on from a distance. She says she works face-to-face with her design team regularly.

“I’m down at the factory all the time,” she says. “Being able to relate directly to the consumer gives me an opportunity to tell my story. I live and breathe it. I wouldn’t spend my time doing it if I couldn’t be 100 per cent there.”

Often, even the celebrities themselves can hardly believe how popular their collections are. British supermodel and actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who is engaged to fellow-Briton and action star Jason Statham, has been designing a lingerie line for British retail stalwart Marks & Spencer for four years, and says, “it’s growing so rapidly every day I can’t even believe it … It blows my mind”.

Huntington-Whiteley, who was recently appointed the global ambassador for casual footwear line UGG, says her collaboration with Marks & Spencer “is going from strength to strength” following the launch of a makeup collection this year, and with more “exciting things” happening in 2017.

And while Paris Hilton may indeed be a force to be reckoned with in the retail world, it’s unlikely you’ll see a Hollywood hipster wearing a “Paris” sparkly T-shirt anytime soon. The dozens of stores that bear her name and sell her fashion and accessories are in the Middle East, with more soon to open in China and India. Hilton has 17 product lines, with combined global sales netting her many millions of dollars. She says that any presumption that she does nothing but sit back and watch her bank balance grow is completely false. Indeed, she had to work hard to be taken seriously. Now, she says, people see her “in a board room and how I am and what I’ve accomplished”.

“I think I’ve proven myself,” Hilton says. “I work really hard. I optimise my time.”Read more at:bridesmaid dresses | marieaustralia.com

Nirav Modi: a marriage of East and West

On a balmy afternoon in spring, the air in Jodhpur, Rajasthan’s blue city, is thick with the scent of jasmine. The sun sets early here, and from the steps of the Maharaja of Jodhpur’s palace the exotic plants and grasses of his gardens begin to slip into darkness.

Below us in the palace grounds, the Maharaja’s staff, dressed in black with fluorescent pink turbans, work in single file. Like synchronised swimmers, they move in unison as they prepare for guests, their turbans luminous against the night.

They are preparing the festivities for the fifth anniversary of Nirav Modi, a jewellery brand with a rich Indian heritage combined with a clean European aesthetic. Modi, 45, is one of the first Indian jewellers to move away from traditional design, stripping back the usual yellow gold metal and coloured stones to leave diamonds cut and set in designs that translate far beyond this oasis in the Thar Desert.

Indian jewellery has an impressive history. One thinks of the evocative designs of the Mughal Empire, which governed most of the Indian subcontinent in the 16th and 17th centuries. The contrast between Mughal jewellery and the house of Nirav Modi is stark: while the Mughal era is known for its decorative opulence and vibrant colours, Nirav Modi designs stand out in their refined elegance.

As the light fades further, Maharaja Gaj Singh II, who is quiet and reserved, arrives to welcome his guests. The women wear traditional Indian couture, their dresses heavy with hand embroidery, and nearly all are wearing Nirav Modi jewellery. A mix of billionaires and Bollywood stars, these 100 guests form part of India’s wealthiest one per cent.

But the story does not start in India. Instead it begins some 40 years ago and 4,000 miles northwest of Jodhpur, in Antwerp. It was in Belgium’s second city, the diamond-trading capital of the world, that Nirav Modi grew up, a third-generation wholesale diamond trader.

Here, among his fellow Indian Jains (followers of the non-theistic religion Jainism), who now dominate Antwerp’s diamond sector, Modi learnt from his father how to discern the quality of rough stones – a skill that would be key to his success as a master jeweller.

As India’s economy began to boom, many of Modi’s Indian acquaintances across Europe began moving back to the subcontinent to try their luck. In 1990, aged 19, Modi followed, moving to Mumbai, where he continued his wholesale diamond business, amassing his current billion-pound fortune.

Today he lives in central Mumbai with his wife and three children. Though a diamond merchant by trade, Modi had always been interested in jewellery. But it was not until 2008, when a close friend begged him to create a pair of earrings for her, that Modi discovered his passion for jewellery design. The earrings were made of large white solitaires, encircled by a ring of diamonds.

“I really didn’t want to make the earrings,” he says. “Making jewellery for friends is a nightmare.” But after six months of persuasion, he event­ually gave in, and it was her delight on seeing the gift that made Modi realise he had found his vocation.

In the same year, the diamond market crashed, and suddenly rare pink, blue and white flawless diamonds (stones with no visible faults at 10-power magnification) above 10ct were readily available at reduced prices. This was Modi’s chance. He began collecting rare diamonds and instead of selling them loose, he decided to make jewellery. “I’d love to say I planned and strategised, but really it just happened,” he says.

Modi’s big break came when his Lotus necklace, a unique piece boasting a 12ct Golconda diamond, garnered international interest, placing Nirav Modi firmly on the map. Based in Mumbai with sister stores in New Delhi and Hong Kong, earlier this year Nirav Modi opened a flagship store in New York and a second in Hong Kong. In September, Modi opened the doors to a stand-alone boutique in Old Bond Street, London.

Jewellery design still only accounts for ten per cent of his operation, but it takes up all of his time. “I don’t do anything else; in the past five years I haven’t met any wholesale clients or suppliers,” he says.

When asked to reveal the secret of his success, he simply replies, “We’re doing things differently”. Describing his designs as “non ethnic” and “Indian luxury’” he says they combine “Indian sensibilities with European refinement”.

It is safe to say that Modi has turned a page in the canon of Indian jewellery. It was, after all, in India, more than 3,000 years ago, that the first diamonds were found, and still today more than 90 per cent of the world’s diamonds are cut and polished here. This has led to a deep cultural connection with jewellery, which forms part of a complex social code.

Jewellery in India has long been integral to a woman’s financial security. According to tradition, families of all classes give their female relatives jewellery in celebration of marriage – a monetary safeguard against divorce, bereavement or abuse. While this is less true in modern India, jewellery remains an important part of social life. We are told that, as with lipstick in some European societies, a woman is not considered properly dressed in India without earrings. This could explain why 60 per cent of Nirav Modi’s sales in India are earrings, while in the rest of the world they account for only a third of his business.

While Modi is aware of his country’s traditions and caters for them at home, his focus is global. His aim, he says, is to create “Asia’s first luxury brand”. Setting the house apart from other international jewellers, not by playing on its Indian heritage but by emphasising its attention to detail, its cutting-edge design and its unique level of control at every stage of production – from the mines in South Africa to the boutiques in Mumbai, New York and now London. Mined abroad, the stones are cut in Moscow, Johannesburg and Surat in western India, where Neeshal Modi, Nirav’s younger brother, oversees a team of master cutters.

Modi’s jewellers in Mumbai then set every stone. His workshop, located in a rundown and hectic northern suburb of the city, is a sophisticated laboratory. It is clinical and hyper-organised. More than 750 jewellers, polishers and setters sit bent over their workstations, surgical green masks covering their mouths and noses to prevent them from inhaling gold dust.

Modi boasts unique patented cuts, offering bespoke shapes – for example the Endless cut, an unbroken line of diamonds. Another hallmark of the designs is their distinct lack of metal. The aim, Modi says, is for the diamonds to look as if they’re floating in air and have space to breathe against the skin. The design team’s mood board is historical rather than fashion-conscious: images of Roman statues, Greek pillars and art-deco paintings, spotted during a recent team visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, sprawl across the conference-room wall. The philosophy is that the jewellery should be evergreen rather than trend-led.

Much of Modi’s taste, he says, comes from his mother, an interior designer who “has a great appreciation for art, architecture and design”. He recalls how on every family holiday in Europe, he and his siblings would be “dragged off” to a museum: “At first you go kicking and screaming, but in time you begin to understand,” he says. “The sense of aesthetic, the clean lines, it’s Antwerp, but it’s also bigger than that, it’s European.”

After the jewellery has been designed, Modi’s sister, who is based in Hong Kong and whose judgment he trusts implicitly, approves a bronze model. Once accepted, the model is cast in gold and given to the jewellers, who set the diamonds by hand. Each diamond has been Sarine scanned – a technology that produces a 3D image of the stone, to document every facet and dimension and ensure the setting is accurate.

Once the work is finished, there are seven inspections – four by in-house controllers, one by the head of quality control, one by an independent external inspector (to ensure internal standards aren’t slipping), and finally by the general manager, Peter Mazur, to double-check there are no flaws.

To be hired by Modi as a jeweller you have to be able to make a 10ct emerald ring in two days. Those who are successful come from a long line of master jewellers. The idea is that each person is entirely responsible for the design they are working on, from start to finish, to encourage a sense of pride. One Embrace bangle, one of Modi’s signature designs, consists of more than 2,000 stones and takes about 200 hours to complete.

The design is cutting edge. The Embrace, for example, which was inspired by Modi’s daughter’s toy elastic bracelet, is made of more than 700 gold moving parts, giving it an elasticity that allows it to be stretched over any hand. Other iconic Modi designs include chokers that can be taken apart to be used as bracelets.

Modi explains that he wants his jewellery to be versatile and fun to wear. “I’ve seen so many women at dinners holding their earrings up with their hands because they are too heavy, or taking their necklaces off as soon as they get home because they are uncomfortable. It detracts from the elegance – the jewellery should move with the woman, it should be a second skin.”

Modi’s jewellery has already been seen on Hollywood stars including Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, and the model Coco Rocha. He argues that luxury is not limited to one people or place: “For me, luxury is a mindset,” he says. A few cuts have obvious roots in India’s rich history. In the Mughal range, for example, the diamonds are cut in the shape of a petal inspired by floral motifs in traditional paintings. But most of Modi’s designs, such as Endless or Luminance, which use different cuts to play with light, are European in style.

While his jewellery is a synthesis of his northern European upbringing and his Indian heritage, it is also a symbol of India’s new super-rich, who continue to look at Europe and America for inspiration and style. A few days after the Maharaja’s banquet, now back in Mumbai at Modi’s apartment, there is a drinks party on his balcony. From here, high above the city, the panoramic view includes the Arabian Sea to the west – and to the north a Nirav Modi billboard, illuminated against the night.Read more at:red carpet dresses | marieaustralia

Editor’s letter: December 2016

Editor's letter: December 2016 

(Photo:formal dresses perth)Vogue sits at the pointy end of the junction where fashion meets art. While we hope to show you clothes you want to wear, we also want to inspire you to appreciate the creative genius of the greatest designers as you pore over these pages. I believe fashion exhibitions that celebrate designers’ genius are essential, not just because they inspire budding fashion students to dream large, but also because they encourage deeper thought about what we wear, and an appreciation of the cultural significance of fashion.

Clothes tell us so much about our identity and the history of the times in which they were created. But the best designers go further, challenging our perceptions of the world around us and commenting on the society we live in through their creations.

This month we celebrate the superb exhibition of the work of Dutch designersViktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, on page 198. Viktor & Rolf: Fashion Artists is presently showing at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). The designers opened the show, which features more than 35 exquisite haute couture garments, 21 hand-made porcelain dolls in miniaturised couture, plus never-before-seen tapestries, archival video and photographs.

I’ve seen many Viktor & Rolf shows, some ready-to-wear and a few spellbinding haute couture shows too. Since forming their artistic partnership in 1992, Horsting and Snoeren have gained critical acclaim for the rebellious manner with which they mine their impressive knowledge of art history and fascination with technology and the world around them to inform their creativity. Theirs is fashion for art’s sake, made more possible since they closed their more commercial ready-to-wear line to focus solely on their fragrances and haute couture.

The NGV exhibition was curated by Thierry-Maxime Loriot, who was also the brains behind the blockbuster exhibition The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, which you may recall Vogue also collaborated on by publishing a special issue dedicated to the designer’s work. The NGV and other galleries around the country are doing a fantastic job in bringing these inspiring fashion feasts to Australian audiences, and at Vogue we thank them for it.

While we are on the subject of incredible exhibitions, David Hockney: Current opens November 11 at the NGV and is not to be missed either. Read our interview with the artist on page 248.

It’s been a great year for Vogue during which we have launched VogueCodes, and celebrated and shopped with you at Vogue American Express Fashion’s Night Out in Sydney and Melbourne and Vogue Fair on the Gold Coast. As 2016 comes to a close we wish you and your families a happy holiday season and look forward to delighting and exciting you in 2017. Please enjoy this little gift from us, our final edition for the year, in which we salute some of fashion’s most creative minds.Read more at:formal dresses canberra

How Yemi Alade Hustled Her Way To Become The Queen Of Afrobeats

Yemi Alade gives everything up on stage. There’s a video of the Nigerian artist performing at London’s Wembley Arena as part of Dance Afrique in summer 2015 that finds her lost in the emotion of her yearning ballad, “Duro Timi.” Dressed in a sequined bodycon playsuit with peaked fluoro shoulders, she gestured emphatically into the crowd, seized the microphone stand as if removing an obstacle in front of her, and broke into angular dance moves. Alade’s facial expressions flipped from tender to outraged as she commanded the focus of the crowd with ease.

On a cloudy summer’s day a year later, Alade sat in her U.K. press manager’s cozy living room thoughtfully watching back the same performance on a television. By most measures it was a triumph, but it turns out that she’d been battling more than the usual stage nerves that day: there was a fire at her hotel, and she’d run out with only time to grab her phone, Bible, and stage outfit. “Whether the building burned to the ground or not, I was going to perform!” she said with a wide, knowing smile. “I was ready to die on that stage.”

Alade has achieved a kind of cult status worldwide, but in Africa she’s a bonafide superstar. Last year, she won Best Female at the MTV African Music Awards, her most recent album hit No.1 on the continent’s iTunes chart, and she was named an ambassador for Africa Fashion Week this past April. In a continent rich with numerous national and regional music scenes, the key to Alade’s success has been her ability to find connections between cultures through music. On her fantastic 2016 album Mama Africa she draws from Ghanaian highlife, Ivorian dance music style coupé-décalé, as well as American hip-hop and pop, in a sharpening of sounds she calls “afropolitan.”As an artist from humble beginnings who releases on the small, independent label Effyzzie Music Group, Alade’s success is hard won. She had a brief brush with stardom after winning Nigeria’s Peak Talent Show in 2009, but her alternative point of view really started to shine through in her 2014 breakout single “Johnny,” which borrowed from afrobeats stars L.A.X and Wizkid’s playboy anthem“Caro,” but reworked the boys’ search for the perfect woman into a worldwide hunt for her straying lover. The track’s success — 52 million views and counting — allowed Alade to pinball off their fame and forge her own lane. With no plans to slow down, she’s following up the summer dance hit “Koffi Anan” with the fantastically fun video for “Tumbum,” premiering on The FADER today.

Perched on a sofa, she spoke honestly about her years of graft, breaking boundaries as a businesswoman, and how to navigate global success while keeping your identity intact.

Your new single “Tumbum” discusses how food is central to Nigerian culture. Why was this important for you to explore?

In Nigeria, food isn’t just for consumption but is a cultural representation. Different states in the country are known for their indigenous delicacies. Permit me to say, ‘by their food you shall know them.’ It’s true that the “Tumbum” video only briefly sheds light on rural areas in Nigeria; I wanted it to be relatable for Africa as a whole.

How would you compare the creation of your latest album, Mama Africa, to that of your previous one King of Queens?

The process was more of a struggle. After the release of King of Queens I was basically never at home. I was in another country almost every day, and I can’t record on a flight. The announcement system would be all over the record! I didn’t have time to settle down, or to put my personal studio together. But through that struggle, my thought process turned into a goal: to capture all of Africa on one CD.

It’s quite an ambitious concept. These genres and styles are from all around Africa, and they’re not all not ones that you grew up with.

We picked [collaborators] from west Africa, east Africa, from south Africa. We left out north Africa, but I still infused one or two of their cultures in my videos. [But] the African way is always constant. To a large extent the sounds are the same; the only difference really is the language and how it’s delivered.Throughout your career you’ve recorded songs in different languages, like French or Swahili. Is that reflective of a desire to reach your fans in those markets?

Definitely. I’m a lover of languages, and sometimes I’m even a lover of accents. The French version of “Johnny” was for fun, but for“Kissing” there was more of a goal — I wanted it to mean more to my listeners. If I sing one of my songs in your language, you can totally own it. My dad is Yoruba and my mom is Igbo, so those two languages are kind of in my pocket. I speak English — something we call vernacular pidgin English — but when it comes to international languages I’m stuck on French right now. I’m working on Swahili and hopefully at some point I might learn Portuguese.

Has being half Yoruba and half Igbo helped you access different cultures?

I couldn’t have put it better. Tribe is a very strong factor in Nigeria, and coming from two major tribes is a big plus for me. Personally, it’s helped me embrace both cultures, and you can see through the fact that it’s all just one culture. Just some different names attached to it and different languages.

Afrobeats is sometimes thought of by Western audiences as one genre, even though it contains so many styles of music. What do you think about all these different genres being sold under this umbrella term?

What can we do? I was born into a world where afrobeats is the major genre, and [musicians] have all created our own type of genre [within it]. I personally think anyone who is fighting about the fact that we’re all in the afrobeats genre is just hitting their head against the wall because you can’t fight the truth. If you think you’re not of the afrobeats lineage, why don’t you just create your [own lineage]?

Your father was a police commissioner. Was your household political when you were growing up?

My dad wasn’t a very political person, and he never held any political office or anything like that. I’m not very interested in politics myself, [but] I feel very strongly for the need for human rights and giving back to my society. Female rights, definitely. My job is to provide new music and I wouldn’t want to over-stretch myself, but I have a voice. So when I can speak, I will speak.

It was about four years between winning the Peak Talent Show and “Johnny” becoming a hit. Was that time a struggle?

Four years is a very long time, I tell you! I was faced with so many obstacles that I reached the point where I wanted to stop music and use my degree to get a job so I could finally sustain myself and have a life. I had 10 singles already out there; I’m lucky I had [my producer] encouraging me.

At the time, I had no idea that [“Johnny”] was my numero uno hit that I was writing. The lyrics just came to myself and [producer] Selebobo when we were trying to get into the mood of the song: one line came out, then another, like, Continue, continue! I kept laughing. When you read the lyrics they’re very funny, it’s about a cheating lover in an almost friendly way. In fact, the song wasn’t officially released — it leaked. If it hadn’t, I could have just kept the song, like,Oh, no one’s going to like this. It was very different from anything I’d recorded so far.Read more at:marieaustralia.com | long formal dresses

Thoughts on fashion, style and Donegal

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(Photo:formal dress)Born into an affluent, upper-class family in South Korea, one of seven children, her earliest memories is of her mother’s full length navy and white evening gown and a sky-blue cotton shift dress. She was captivated with colour, music, fabrics and art and as a child, aged ten, her father bought a treasured volume of Life magazine with images from the golden age of Hollywood. She is still an avid fan.

“Audrey Hepburn and Greta Garbo are my idols. Since I was young, I’ve collected pictures, articles on these two style icons. They mastered the 1920s and 1950s look and that’s probably why I love vintage so much.”

Jae grew up in a very “conservative” and consumer driven society in Busan, Korea’s second largest metropolis but she always marched to her own drumbeat by creating her own look.

“I was wearing long velvet coats and a fedora in the ‘90s. I never followed trends and still don’t,” she laughs. ‘Shinsegae Centum City’ located in downtown Busan, is the largest shopping mall in the world, it is wall to wall designer bling. Although she loves high fashion, she is not defined or constricted by its labels.

‘Where do I start?’

Favourites? “Where do I start?” she exclaims, “John Galliano and Jean Paul Gaultier, they are not just designers, they are artists and geniuses at what they do. I also like John and Simone Rocha, especially their expertise on pink colours. Another Irish designer, Helen Steele is amazing – she has her own unique world and I adore the textures and prints she creates.”

Jae’s artistry and flair always produces an individual take on an outfit. “I always like to mix things up,” she observes, “even in Paris,” she recalls, “people used to came up to me in the street and ask where I bought my clothes. I can pull things together for e20.”

Jae is a devotee of charity shops, “great ones in Letterkenny” and the town’s retail park. On the ‘high street’, “I like H&M, Mango, Zara and the Dunnes Gallery Collection,” she says.

Following sojourns in Hong Kong and France, Jae returned to South Korea to work in the creative arts. At this time, she met her Drumkeen husband, Stephen Tourish, who was teaching English. The couple and their four-year-old daughter have now been living in Letterkenny for nearly ten years.

Jae remembers “On arrival, I cried in the car from the Derry airport for half an hour, and that was that. I love it here, it’s my husband’s and daughter’s home and mine too.” Her slightly alarmed family and friends declared: “Jae, Ireland is one of the most friendly countries in the world but the fashion styles are not very good.” She laughs at the recollection. Does she agree? What of designer Paul Costelloe’s infamous spiel that Irish women were “only a couple of generations out of the bog. . . wouldn’t know style if it tottered up to them in 10-inch heels,” Jae replied politely, “I’ve heard this a few times but when I was at Ladies Day at some of the Horse shows, I saw so many fab, stylish ladies there that it doesn’t quite add up. I would sum it up by saying that Irish women are just as beautiful as any other women in the world but occasionally their co-ordination lets them down. Anyway, from what I’ve seen, I think Paul Costelloe will have changed his mind by now, that quote is 15 years old after all!”

Is there a big style difference from her first home to her second?

“Seoul is the fashion capital in Asia,” she says, “but I think many Korean people still dress conservatively without good use of colour which is a bit boring! In Donegal, women wear more colour which I always love to see but I’d like to see Donegal women be more adventurous in choosing their outfits and accessories. I’d like them to be bolder and try things that they would never have considered before.”

Is Jae a fan of Donegal textiles? “I’m a big supporter of Donegal knitted wear and tweed. I visited Adara Heritage Centre a few years ago and stayed there for a few hours talking with Colm Sweeney. I knew about Donegal Tweed before I ever came to Ireland as it’s one of Ireland’s best products and it’s used by some of the world’s most famous brands. I was surprised it’s not manufactured at a larger scale as the demand for it might be very high as it is such a good quality product. It would be great if the government helped such an important Irish business like this for both jobs in the region and to also raise Ireland’s profile abroad. As Colm told me, ‘When you buy a yard of Donegal tweed, it’s not just a yard, it’s a lot of Irish history you’re buying’.

Her family and friends are thrilled Jae has decided to share her grand passion on her J’Style FB page. “At last!” her sister in Korea exclaimed, delighted that Jae has finally realised her fashion dream by following a colourful, happy, bejewelled path in expressing her fizzing creativity by sharing all that positive energy on J’Style.Read more at:evening dresses online

Why Molly Goddard is London’s designer of the moment

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(Photo:celebrity dresses)But then, Goddard is a master of the unexpected. After all, this is the woman who presented her second collection in February 2015 as a mock life-drawing class in which the models posed as artists alongside a nude male specimen (‘the perfect shade of pink for the dresses’) and the next in a pop-up sandwich factory (reminiscent ‘of crappy summer jobs that me and my friends did’).

For her SS 2017 collection — her first formal catwalk show, held in Old Spitalfields Market — Goddard delivered a rave-themed showcase that came complete with hardcore techno, trance dancers and bubble hairdos courtesy of Bleach London’s co-founder and friend, Alex Brownsell. ‘It was about having fun,’ she says of the collection that introduced gingham and features risqué T-shirts emblazoned with Nick Waplington’s photographs of New York’s 1990s underground club scene. ‘We wanted the girls to dance. There’s nothing better than that moment when people have forgotten absolutely everything and are free and dancing.’

The show — attended by British Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Alexandra Shulman; fashion critics Suzy Menkes and Sarah Mower; Colette’s Sarah Andelman; and bright young things, artist Phoebe Collings-James and cellist Kelsey Lu — was widely interpreted as a comment on London club culture, under threat from gentrification, noise regulations and licensing restrictions. In fact, says Goddard: ‘It should be an ode to Fabric, but it’s not. But yeah, fine, let it be [that] as well, I don’t mind… I used to go out and dance all the time and now I don’t actually know where to go out and dance, which feels quite miserable.’

It’s Goddard’s successful ability to entwine our nostalgia for dress-up box frivolity with an avant-garde edge that’s made her riotous frocks popular with the likes of Björk (who placed a personal order early on) and Rihanna (snapped in New York’s West Village in May wearing a shamrock-green confection). ‘With Molly you’re not wearing a dress, you’re wearing a feeling,’ says Agyness Deyn, who recruited Goddard to design her wedding dress (ivory, lined in pastel pink and gathered with metallic turquoise smocking) when she married hedge-fund manager Joel McAndrew in August. ‘She really embodies femininity and sexuality.’

Her latest surprise turn is an interactive exhibition at NOW Gallery in Greenwich, featuring large-scale replicas of her signature tulle dresses that fall from the ceiling, their seven-metre skirts trailing below. Visitors will be provided with needles and thread and will be invited to hand-embroider them. Is she at all precious about the evolving end result? ‘Not at all,’ she smiles. ‘I like the idea that fashion is not elitist. Even though a lot of my dresses are covered in frills, there is a practical ease to them; loose fitting, casual, simple shapes.’ She hopes the installation will encourage us to flex our forgotten handicraft skills: ‘London is so fast-paced, I like the idea that people can go there and embroider for an hour and forget — it’s a form of meditation.’

Does she ever feel caged in by the princess associations that have become as much of a trademark as her gathering techniques? ‘No I actually feel really lucky,’ she replies. ‘I think it’s more dangerous not to have a signature. But I think that there is an attitude that goes with it. We sell the tulle pieces without anything underneath so that people have the freedom to hopefully put it on top of their jeans and T-shirts. Some (cities) desperately want slips, because people don’t necessarily have the vision, whereas in London they get it,’ she says, proudly.

With her international customer base and army of celebrity fans, it’s easy to forget just how recently she arrived on the scene. Having studied at Central Saint Martins (she did a BA, but dropped out before completing her MA), Goddard showed her first collection in September 2014, when she and boyfriend/business partner/studio manager Tom Shickle (who’s also the bass player in indie band Spector) threw a party during London Fashion Week. Friends were charged with modelling her tulle frocks, drinks in hand (she stills uses ‘real’ women to model today). The next day Shickle, 26, received an email from I T — China’s premier designer retailer. The order for more than 70 dresses was produced in Molly’s mum’s bedroom with the help of a Sally Stanley smocking machine: ‘It was like a month or two where I worked 8am to midnight every single day of the week,’ she remembers. Dover Street Market was another first-season supporter. ‘We all loved Molly’s collection from the beginning because it was concise, concentrated, involved a huge amount of work and it told a story… and was so very pretty… and it was unique,’ says Adrian Joffe, DSM’s president and CEO, who calls Goddard a ‘kindred spirit’.

The speed of Goddard’s success surprised her. ‘I just didn’t ever really think it was an option to start my own label,’ she reflects. ‘At the time at university, it wasn’t very cool to say that you wanted to start your own label. I guess it was a bit big-headed of you.’ She pauses. ‘I feel like weirdly now, all the students that we see come and apply for internships just want to be famous. It’s weird. I feel like it really has changed in the last year. You don’t get people who come and want to learn, get skills and then get a job with you, it’s like [they just want to] tick it off the list and get a few more Instagram followers. And I guess that’s why we are doing the exhibition — to encourage skills. I don’t think you can really be a fashion designer until you learn how to make things.’

These days, sampling is done at her Ladbroke Grove studio (where she employees four full-time staff), which is a conduit for creativity with sculptors, potters, painters and jewellers in the building’s neighbouring suites, while production all happens at a factory in Tottenham, making her proudly ‘Made in London’. Having grown up in Ladbroke Grove, attending Holland Park School, she remains a devoted west Londoner: ‘It’s sadly becoming more and more gentrified, which has always annoyed me… I used to love the Cock & Bottle pub.’ These days, you’ll find her at The Cow or Lisboa Patisserie and Café O’Porto on Golborne Road: ‘There is still a bit of a village feeling to it,’ she says.

And while she’s got an expanding global business base with e-commerce launching later this year, it’s still very much a family affair. Her mother, Sarah Edwards, a photographer and set designer, and father, Mark Goddard, a graphic designer and sculptor, help with the show staging, while her sister Alice (the 24-year-old co-founder of biannual fashion and art magazine Hot and Cool) styles the collection. ‘When you start out it’s so unknown and there is so much that needs doing,’ she says. ‘It’s lovely to have people who know what position you are in and what you want to achieve.’ As well as Brownsell’s help with hair, Shickle’s bandmate Fred Macpherson put together the show’s soundtrack.

Last month during the Paris shows she rented an apartment on Airbnb and threw a fashion-week dinner party with a difference, serving up rotisserie chickens and potatoes. Susie Lau, Edie Campbell and Dover Street Market’s vice-president, Dickon Bowden, all happily nestled a plate on their laps. ‘We can’t compete with the big brands and do a big dinner at some fancy restaurant so we just did it our way,’ she says. ‘We made salads, which I think everyone was really appreciative of as no one had eaten many vegetables that week!’

Having just been nominated in the British Emerging Talent category at the British Fashion Awards, does she feel like she’s made it — or is at least on the road to the top? ‘Maybe when you stop worrying if you have enough material or thread, or if the machines are working, I think maybe then you’re like, “Oh, we’re sorted”. But it’s also a fickle business, so maintaining everyone’s interest still feels quite scary.’ Somehow, I suspect she doesn’t need to be too worried.Read more at:backless formal dresses