Monthly Archives: April 2018

The very fabric of a city

I did modelling as a teenager. My mother, who was a compere for Miss New Zealand, thought it might combat the extreme shyness caused by the strawberry birthmark in the middle of my forehead, but as I turned at the end of the catwalk, looking at the others only reinforced my own lack of pretty.

At the end of the course, I was presented with a certificate for “Most Improved” – make of that what you will.

To the unfashionable-looking, the fashion world doesn’t make itself easy to like. Big fashion’s most famous figures are complete dicks. Take Karl Lagerfeld, for example, with his stupid chicken-neck hiding ruffs (we know it’s there, Karl!) or John Galliano, arrested for making a deluge of racist and anti-sematic remarks in a Paris bar.

An industry not known for its philanthropy, fashion has long been a slow-turning elephant when it comes to kindness.

But not in Dunedin, my little chickadees, where fashion, like our country’s dawn, is the first to see the sun and take steps towards a brighter future.

Enter Aleppo tailors Ola Jubna and her brother, Mohamad, who came to Dunedin in the first group of Syrian refugees to be resettled in the city. Their “Kwinglish” isn’t flash and like most people who have undergone trauma they don’t like to talk about it. Ola’s story brought people to tears when she told it through an interpreter, but she would rather be judged on her work than her past. How though, to make their way through the labyrinth of this strange new culture? Where do they find commonality?

It’s no secret Aucklanders call Dunedin a “village”. And yes, it’s small and gossipy and there’s still a lot of old-school dinosaurs shuffling around thinking they run the place, but a little tenderness goes a long way here and the people have real soul.

Auckland has New Zealand Fashion Week and a lot of money, and we have iD Fashion Week and a lot of volunteers. We all know how successful this has been, starting in a marquee outside an Octagon bar and growing into a truly global event thanks to genius ideas such as the International Emerging Designers Show, this year featuring stunning design alongside deeper messages around sustainability, gender and culture.

The two Aleppo tailors are a small story inside the much larger whole, but they have come to epitomise iD Fashion Week to me.

They’ve been enormously aided by Carl Magnus, owner of Harvest Court, who arranged for space in his company’s building on George St to display Ola’s work and organised for her dresses to be displayed longer-term in the window of an alteration business, so she can drum up work.

“I can’t help with the mental and physical scars, but the other stuff is easy and just a start,” he says.

“She just seems like an extremely nice person and Dunedin is lucky to have her.”

The Fabric Store owner Roger Wall, when he heard about Ola and Mohamad, donated fabric. The Otago Polytechnic helped, too, and, not that she told me this because she wouldn’t squeak a word of praise on her own behalf, so did iD committee member Kris Nicolau. Because, as she said, “it takes a village sometimes.”

The end result of this chain of helping hands is Ola showing a wedding dress and one of her bespoke tailored suits in a parade at the Meridian Mall called “Shop the Look”, on Saturday, May 5, from 10am until noon.

Jarrah Cooke, team leader-employment adviser at Red Cross Dunedin Refugee Programme says, “it’s important to recognise the skills refugees bring, that they enrich the fabric of our society.”

I feel enriched just knowing that this is happening in our small, but perfectly formed town, and I love the way it’s a gift giving both ways in a place which is a stranger to war on our shores.

Moral of the story: the fashion world, at its best and bravest, is a cloak of inclusivity, a language everyone can speak, and kindness is its own reward.Read more at:formal dresses perth | plus size formal dresses

Preparations for Annual Fashion Show Underway

For the past few years, a group of Manhattan College students has been putting up an annual fashion show. On April 27 at 6 p.m., student designers will once again send their garments down the runway on the Quad.

Mukiyanna Kamara, a senior marketing and finance major, has been involved with the shows since they began.

“Two years ago, one of the students started the whole fashion-art thing at Manhattan College, so from there we got inspired to continue it after he graduated,” Kamara said, “So right now I’m working with professor Predmore to do this fashion show event.”

Kamara has had an interest in fashion since she was little and wanted to continue to be involved in it, even at a traditional school.

“It inspires me to be myself and express myself through clothing. [It’s] also inspiring me to do the show is to give more exposure to the fashion industry and to fashion and art and individuality at a more traditional school,” Kamara said.

Kamara is inspired by Diane Von Furtensberg because of her strength and power in the way she carries herself.

“She has created a fashion movement that has inspired woman of many [generations],” Karama said.

Kamara is going to go to graduate school for fashion after she graduates Manhattan College this spring.

“That is my way of continuing to explore the industry,” said Kamara.

Kamara’s passion for fashion is what has spurred her to be a big part of the fashion life on campus and help lead the other designers in being able to show off their work.

“At my weekly meetings, I basically get all of the designers, performers, and people who want to assist in helping with the show together and give them a gist of what’s going to be going on,” Kamara said, bringing up the importance of organization in the show.

She continued.

“I really want to focus on structure and making sure everything goes perfectly and very organized. That’s my main point for this year. I really focus on making sure designers have their models and that they know what they’re doing and have the things they need,” Kamara said.

Albert Francois, a senior finance major, has always been intrigued by fashion.

“My mom was very involved in the fashion industry, said Francois, “so since I was little, I have always been exposed to the culture.”

Francois is not only interested in the design aspect of the fashion industry, but also the modeling side of it.

“I have also modeled for designers and brands at Manhattan College that allowed me to continue this involvement while still getting an education,” he said.

A lot of Francois’s fashion inspiration comes from his love of comics, which he incorporates into his designs. He is also inspired by Odell Beckham’s street style, Jidenna’s classy style and his mother.

Francois may be a finance major, but fashion still holds a special place for him.

“One of my passions has always been to work on Wall Street. But that does snot mean I won’t find ways to be involved in the fashion industry,” said Francois.

Joseph Serulle, a senior marketing major, has also been involved with the fashion shows at Manhattan College since they began.

“Every year, we keep making bigger strides,” Serulle said.

Serulle started his own clothing brand three years ago and finds it important for designers on campus to share their ideas and productivity.

“By having a show, it shows everybody’s designs and what they’re up to – i thought it would be nice for students to get involved,” said Serulle.

Serulle’s fashion inspirations include GQ, as well as rappers and talents in the music industry like Travis Scott and A$AP Rocky.

“I like clothing people can wear but still feel good in, walk the streets in but still look good. When you’re not looking like a bum, but not looking like too much,” Serulle said.

Serulle has worked with Kamara in organizing the show. They have a big part in informing the other people involved and the show has really been starting to come together in recent weeks.

“Last week we did the order and layouts that we have been working on for a while, Serulle said, “there are new ideas, we bounce ideas off of each other. It’s basically how the show is going to run. Operations.”

Last year, a few issues arose with the show, so operations are a major focus this year.

“We keep learning every year. Last year we had some technical difficulties with the DJ,” said Serulle.

Serulle arranges for each model to have their own choice of a song to stress their individuality.

“I mix my own soundtrack before I go on, so I make sure each model has a song of their own choice, their own style,” he said. “I think it’s important to embody the style of the model. Not everyone is the same.”

Serulle hopes that the show continues to grow after his graduation.

“I feel like if we do really well this year, every year we will start picking up more people who are interested,” he said. “We got two new designers this year.”

Kamara also hopes that the show will be carried on for many years to come.

“Right now we do have juniors and sophomores in the show, so my future plans for the show are hopefully that this year touches them,” she said.Read more at:marieaustralia | evening dresses australia

As fashion returns to maximalism

Feathers have been used decoratively throughout history but in recent years they’ve become tainted by associations with Las Vegas showgirls, hen parties and Australia’s most famous export, Dame Edna.

However, last season forward-thinking Miuccia Prada prompted their revival with a bid to make feathers fabulous once again.

And it looks as though the trend for precious plumage is here to stay with a host of designers fluttering fluffy marabou across their spring/summer 2018 collections.

Heralding fashion’s return to maximalism, Saint Laurent lead the way by opening its show with sandals adorned with feathers and several pairs of knee-highs that were quickly termed “yeti boots”.

Elsewhere, Maison Margiela offered a twisted take on the trench with gold brocade versions peppered with white feathers while Alberta Ferretti traded in embellishments for gowns covered in colourful tufts.

The most excessive styles though came from Moschino, where the likes of Kaia Gerber and Gigi Hadid wore dresses with a nod to Bjork’s infamous feathered swan creation, albeit in perkier shades of fuchsia pink and blue.

A fun trend to get on board with, it’s one that most people will struggle to incorporate into their wardrobe, but luckily the high street is here to help.

An inspired way to add texture into your outfits during the warmer months, the options here are endless.

From marabou mules reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe to fluffy bags and feather-trimmed dresses, this is the season to fly high.Read more at:long evening dresses australia | year 12 formal dresses