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An encounter with Grace Mugabe

The year was 1997 and the setting was the foyer of the world famous Ritz Hotel in Paris, France.

Zimbabwean government officials, diplomats and the media were lounging in the vast and opulent lobby of the hotel.

It is a very classy hotel for the well-heeled.

My reason for being in the world capital of fashion and cuisine was an assignment, which had nothing to do with good food or understanding fashion.

I had accompanied President Robert Gabriel Mugabe as part of the Zimbabwean press corps.

The world was still mourning Princess Diana who had died in a horrific accident while fleeing from the Paparazzi from the Ritz Hotel with her lover, Dodi Al Fayed.

Mugabe and his wife, Grace had gone somewhere and we waited for them to return.

There were whispers that they had gone to eat Zimbabwean food, which had been prepared at our embassy in Paris with others adding that they could have passed through some upmarket places for a spot of shopping.

Prior to this trip, I had never seen Grace from close range nor had I heard her speak.

It was on the flight to France from Harare that I had seen the country’s new first lady from very close range and heard her speak.

All along, since her marriage to Mugabe, she had always remained in his shadows and portrayed as a withdrawn person.

She barely spoke to the press, if at all, the perception among some was that she was a trophy wife.

The only time she came out of her shell was along with other prominent people and reportedly looted funds for a civil servants housing scheme.

With the proceeds, she was said to have built a monstrous edifice in Borrowdale.

So it was with a bit of surprise, thousands of kilometers away from home that I learnt from the hushed conversations that some in the delegation were actually terrified of her.

Before she officially wedded Mugabe, legendary stories were told among veteran journalists about how a certain young lady always found herself on the presidential entourage together with one or two kids who would cause absolute racket on the plane.

According to the legend, several high ranking officials on the plane would receive generous amounts of slaps to their faces and thank the kids or apologise to them.

Nobody has come forward to confirm or deny the legend.

Anyway, as a way of whiling up time as we waited for the Mugabes and their delegation to come, I had struck a conversation with the late Foreign Affairs minister, Stanislaus Mudenge, known by some as Cde Stan.

Mudenge was a giant of a man and had a booming voice and was well-schooled in history and literature.

If he had taken sport as a career, he would have been ideal in the boxing ring and probably traded leather in the heavyweight division.

I sat facing the entrance into the hotel.

It was a basic safety and awareness exercise driven into me while covering stable and unstable countries so that one could not miss unfolding news.

Mudenge sat with his back to the entrance of the hotel.

The conversation had eventually turned into an interview as he had begun to narrate developments he was overseeing in his province of Masvingo.

Sure enough, as I sat during the interview with him, I noticed Grace, accompanied by female aides and a few males stroll into the hotel lobby.

In the biting cold of Paris, she had short black and immaculate hair and was wearing a long black skirt with a grey top which, was covered by a black poncho.

She reminded me of a raven.

My attitude then, as I observed her sashay into the hotel lobby was that she was in every sense a trophy wife and would not be interested or influence the politics of the country.

A fatal mistake, particularly for those involved in the internal politics of Zanu-PF.

Everybody appeared to have made the mistake of not taking the former typist in Mugabe’s office seriously.

As she approached, heading for the elevators she appeared to notice and identify some of the officials on the presidential entourage and she nodded to them.

The officials did not disappoint either — they all but rolled over like obedient puppies to have their bellies tickled.

She appeared to be enjoying the adulation and the fawning behaviour of government mandarins.

Mudenge and a few officials who had their backs to the entrance did not take notice so we continued with our conversation, although I was now watching the fascinating display of power being exhibited in the foyer of a hotel in far off France.

She appeared to notice Mudenge and a few officials and for the first time, I heard her speak.

At the top of her voice, she shrilled in the vernacular Shona language: “Murikupira midzimu yekupi?” (What traditional rituals are you conducting?)

I was shocked by the reaction from Mudenge and other government officials.

Zimbabwe’s chief diplomat at the time for all his size, appeared to turn grey before he sprang up with the agility of a gazelle.

“I am going!” he all but screamed at me curtly as he made a beeline towards Grace and appeared to be apologising profusely for dereliction of duty.

He escorted her into the elevator of at the Ritz Hotel and appeared to continue prostrating himself before Grace as she looked at him sternly.

I had just witnessed an awesome display of power and flexing of muscles by the perceived mild tempered wife of the president far away from home in Zimbabwe, Africa — on European shores.

I immediately changed my opinion that this was anything but a laid back woman happy to stay in Mugabe’s shadow.

This woman was powerful and wielded a lot of influence. Grace Ntombizodwa Marufu Mugabe had arrived.

Seventeen years later, in 2014, Zimbabweans would witness her awesome display of power as she hounded vice-president Joice Mujuru out of Zanu-PF, while her husband looked on indulgently.

South African born, Grace Ntombizodwa had arrived.

Many assumed it was because she wanted to replace her with her chosen proxy to protect her family’s vast business empire.

Again they were wrong, as she was putting together an elaborate plan to become vice-president.

Maybe even succeed her husband as president of Zimbabwe.

We will never know following the military intervention which was “targeting criminals around” Mugabe.Read more at:marieaustralia | cocktail dresses

NEW YORK TIMES

Fashion’s trend for bold mashups of contrasting prints and colors is making its way into the world of jewelry.

“Customers are increasingly interested in asymmetric jewelry, especially earrings,” said Natalie Kingham, buying director at fashion retailer MatchesFashion.com. Earrings, long a loving pair, are especially ripe for this look and are being uncoupled into mismatched shapes, sizes or different colored stones.

“It allows customers to express their individuality,” Kingham said. (And, for those of us unfortunate enough to lose an earring, the ability to keep wearing the one we still have.)

Valérie Messika, the founder and creative director of Messika, has been a fan of asymmetry from day one. Many industry experts credit her Parisian diamond jewelry brand with infusing a much-needed lightness into the convention-laden diamond stone.

“Even around 15 years ago when I first started out, I always felt I looked older in a full set of diamonds or matching diamond earrings,” she said. “I wanted to break the codes — to do something more cool and rock ‘n’ roll.”

Messika’s latest high jewelry line, themed around 1920s Paris, includes the lobe-hugging Roaring Diamonds that combine a flamboyant ear cuff with a more pared-back twin, featuring inverted pear-shaped diamonds. The diamond cluster Mata Hari pair — again one large and the other small — evoked the flair and boldness of its namesake, the Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan who was executed in 1917 for espionage. The design nearly covers the entire ear, which is partly why Messika went with what she called one “wow piece” and a softer one. “Otherwise it’s too bling-bling.”

On the fine jewelry side, the tribal-themed Thea triangle studs come in clashing sizes or a strand version that misfits long with short. Fashion, as ever, is Messika’s cue. “Wearing a very precious and delicate diamond today is like pairing frayed, ripped jeans with a beautiful pair of designer shoes. It’s more unexpected. I like the mix of sensibilities.”

In the designer’s new collaboration with Gigi Hadid, a G-shaped earring is adorned with a single diamond to create a pared-back version of Messika’s best-selling three-diamond Move earrings — and priced at 840 euros ($980) in an effort to entice a younger (if fairly well-heeled) clientele.

At MatchesFashion.com, individual earrings offer a strong statement look, Kingham said, like Gucci’s chunky lapel-grazing bee earring in gray crystal and faux pearls or Saint Laurent’s punk-like 3-D-carved wheat stalk in gold and silver.

“By purchasing two single earrings and wearing them together, you essentially buy into two trends in one go,” she said.

The retail arrangement also puts styling into the wearer’s hands. At the Australian brand Alinka, founded by the St. Petersburg-born Alina Barlow, now based in Sydney, customers can buy its funky, rebellious earrings as either singles or pairs. The diamond Katia studs, for example, are designed as either one cross or a trio that extends up the ear, creating the illusion of multiple piercings, and are available in white or black diamonds. The Kremlin star-inspired Stasia stacks a large and a small bejeweled star and is equipped with a detachable post so the piece can be worn two ways or combined with other earrings. Like the Katia, they come in either black or white diamonds.

“I wanted a woman to wear whatever mix she feels on the day,” Barlow said. “The idea is to build up your own collection.” An individual earring in the O Drop group — a long gold chain that attaches to any stud earring — could extend the repertoire.

Fans of asymmetrical styling tend be more “fashion-forward and experimental,” Barlow said, but they are not all young. “I had a woman in her 60s try on the pieces and loved the mix.”

The Stone jewelry brand in Paris, the Danish house Georg Jensen and fashion-designer-turned jeweler Diane Kordas are other makers who have included single earrings in their collections.

But some of the most traditional haute joaillerie houses have been seduced by asymmetry as well.

In July during the couture shows in Paris, the Est Une Fête collection by Chaumet paid homage to four venues with music at their center, with the punchy Rhapsodie transatlantique, inspired by the Metropolitan Opera House, looking like a colorful burst of fireworks. A pair of white and yellow gold earrings were akin in size but the colors were chosen for contrast: a 9.5-carat yellow-green Ceylon sapphire was joined with an 8.88-carat violet Madagascar sapphire, and both were lit up by Umba garnets, brilliant-cut diamonds and champagne diamonds.

At Dior, where Versailles’ gardens were muse, creative director Victoire de Castellane called her asymmetric earrings “couples.” Plaisir Champêtre Saphir, for example, was united by sapphires, but one was square, dangling from a stem of garnets, while its sister looked like a bouquet bursting with pink sapphires, emeralds, turquoise, yellow diamonds, Paraiba tourmalines and lacquer blooms.

De Grisogono also played with color, as seen in a pair of chandelier earrings with inverted designs, each one featuring five rubies with emerald or white diamond droplets.

Offbeat shapes were the starting point for Boghossian: One set of earrings pitted a traditional hanging pear-shaped yellow diamond against a contemporary up-the-ear marquise-shaped light-brown diamond clip, both topped by marquise-cut stones. Another contrasted an emerald and a natural pearl, both swinging from slim columns of diamonds and emeralds.

“I always buy an unusual shape, even if I don’t know when I’m going to use it,” Albert Boghossian, the company’s chief executive, said. “The less boring the stone, the more I’m dared to play with contrasts.”

Asymmetry does give designers a creative boost. Celestial designs have been trending for a few seasons now but London jewelry house Vant suspended mismatched moon and sun rock crystals from planetary studs, and jeweler Sabine Roemer paired a simple diamond star stud with three strands of stars in glittering sapphires and fluorites cascading from a monochrome moon. Roemer also created an agate cameo from two stones that were bought years apart. One is a portrait in green, the other a group of women rendered in blue, and detailing in green fluorites, topaz and amethysts to harmonize it all.

“Asymmetric earrings, of course, should be matching or seem to be but there’s an element of the unexpected that I like,” Roemer said. “The look gives me the space to create within one piece.”

Bibi van der Velden, the owner and curator of the online jewelry retailer Auverture, agreed. A designer herself and self-proclaimed champion of asymmetric styles, she stocks artist-jewelers who push the form, like Ileana Makri and her mystical eye studs and Gaelle Khouri, whose latest collection of single earrings looped structural, intertwined rings.

Van der Velden’s own approach to the style is especially playful, like her pair of cheeky, bejeweled monkeys gripping oversized lemon-quartz bananas, or a man maneuvering through a pink sapphire ribboned shell, his legs on one earring, head emerging from the other.

“It’s more interesting to make use of the fact that you’ve two earlobes and the pieces can communicate with each other,” van der Velden said. “Real jewelry does not have to mean boring. We all know the rules but people are continuously breaking them.”Read more at:cheap formal dresses online | formal dresses online australia

Q&A with FashioNXT Emerging Designer Winner

The designer behind the new line Minnie Opal has garnered a heap of attention as the winner of the UpNXT competition as well as being awarded the Portland Fashion & Style Awards Best Emerging Designer. Her style blends a mix of Edwardian lace notions and 1960s mod A-line silhouettes in one-of-a-kind pieces that employ salvaged “upcycled” textiles such as antique doilies, fringe, and colorful vintage prints.

I caught up with Franklin for a Q&A about her new line and what direction she plans on taking following all these sudden accolades.

Can you tell us a little bit about your design process?

I like to drape to get a feel for what [the fabric] can do. My designs always come to life on my dress form. I rarely use patterns, but have been successful making patterns from scratch. Its definitely evolving my designs in a new way and I look forward to adding more ready to wear to my collections.

How did it feel to win the UpNxt competition? How do you think it will change/effect your clothing company?

Winning the Upnxt competition was amazing. FashioNXT was all I thought about and worked toward for this last year. The competition has definitely helped me become a better designer. Competing against individuals with great talent always pushes one to do and be better. Oscar Dominic and I became fast friends and the People’s Choice award couldn’t have gone to a better person. With the win being so fresh, I’m not sure how it will change or affect my company. I am excited to see how this will propel and inspire me.

Overall I want to remain in step with my priorities of sustainable fashion and creating clothing that is inspired by individuals. I want to add as much beauty to the world with as little of a footprint as possible. I’m just going to keep being me and designing from the heart. If people like it—great!

Can you tell us a little bit about your re-brand from “Tattered Tailor” to “Minnie Opal” and why you decided to do that?

Rebranding myself came about for a few reasons. Primarily, I didn’t feel I had room to grow with the name “The Tattered Tailor.” I’ve grown as a designer so much this last year and wanted a name that spoke to that growth, was more sophisticated, and didn’t pigeon hole me into a specific design ascetic. True to my brand and priorities, I wanted something that had meaning and a vintage appeal, so I used my two great grandmothers’ names. Minnie Messer and Opal Connor.

What were your inspirations for the winning collection, and who are your style inspirations in general?

The fabrics are the cornerstone of my collections. I never know what I’m going to make until I start pulling materials and draping them. With the fabrics in place I was motivated by the competition.

Everyday people living life is another fundamental inspiration for me. That feeling you get when you look at an individual person. It could be the little old lady walking down the street or the 8-year-old who clashes to perfection. When I make custom orders for people I let them help inspire my design. I like to get to know the people I make clothes for. I want my designs to accentuate and compliment who they are as individuals.

For this collection, I hand beaded “Nevertheless She Persisted” on my vest and jacket. That phrase was a touchstone for me throughout creating these pieces. My woman is strong, independent, and romantic. I wanted to portray that in this collection. I believe in women empowerment and will always encourage other women to succeed and grow.

What direction do you see your clothing company going?

I definitely want to stay along the lines of sustainable fashion. Using vintage, antique materials, and end-of-bolt fabrics. Fast fashion is so detrimental to our planet and I want to offer an alternative. I want to make sustainable high fashion and definitely think I’m on the right track.

Where can customers access your designs?

People can find my designs locally at Anne Bocci Boutique & Gallery in the Pearl, The Fernie Brae Gallery on Hawthorne and Artisan Avenue Marketplace on 23rd Ave in Northwest You can also shop my designs on line at minnieopal—and at the moment I’m still using Etsy for my international and more “fairy centric” customers. Eventually that will also be changed over.

Lastly, I’ve been planning to rebuild a step van with all repurposed materials into a traveling fashion shop. So be on the lookout for that! I plan on doing a cross country tour in 2019 with my new shop.Read more at:white formal dresses | blue formal dresses

Jason Wu Marks 10 Years by Designing Limited-Edition Series of Dolls

A Jason Wu doll for Bergdorf Goodman.Returning to his roots in more than one way, Jason Wu is marking the 10th anniversary of his signature fashion label with five limited-edition dolls for select retailers.

Before he became an internationally recognized name, Wu started in design, making high-fashion collectible dolls for Integrity Toys’ Fashion Royalty brand in 2000. This time, he has decked out five dolls in miniature versions of runway looks from his archives. After selling out the first doll via Net-a-porter, the designer is unveiling two more with Bergdorf Goodman on Friday. But those two — one with a striped silk sweater and gaberdine pants and another with a gold lace embroidered blouse and silk chiffon skirt — have already sold out. “They don’t ever really have time on the shelves,” Wu said. “It’s really fun to seeing people have such a great reaction to it.”

Reproducing an exact replica of something that is full-size into a miniature silhouette was “definitely a skill” that Wu had to tap back into to translate the look, he said. “But the point of this project was that it was actually fun and really authentic to me and where I came from.”

Wu has designed customized dolls for Bergdorf’s in the past, as well as for Colette and other stores. Nordstrom will introduce the fifth doll in January. There are 200 units of each of the five dolls — all of which carry $225 price tags. “It’s a nice, fun and kind of tongue-in-cheek way to celebrate my new 10th anniversary by mixing the two together. Selling to retailers that usually don’t sell dolls seemed like an interesting way to encapsulate my career as a whole,” the designer said. “At a time when retail is changing, it’s important to offer things that are interesting. Also, around the holidays gift-giving is a big thing.”Read more at:www.marieaustralia.com | short formal dresses australia

CFDA, The Wall Group Host Celebrity Stylist Panel in L.A.

In the second of two bicoastal panels organized by the Council of Fashion Designers of America and The Wall Group, celebrity stylists Elizabeth Stewart, Karla Welch and Ilaria Urbinati convened at the W Hollywood in Los Angeles on Monday for the panel “Today’s Image Makers: The Relationship Between Stylist and Designer.”

Moderated by Melissa Magsaysay, the panel explored the changing role of the celebrity stylist, and how they work with myriad designers hoping to get their clothes and accessories on stars on the red carpet.

“We’re really like mini magazines now,” said Stewart, who started her career as a fashion editor at Fairchild Publications and The New York Times. “My assistants do what a market editor would do at a magazine, and we are creating content when we create looks for our clients.”

What used to be a behind-the-scenes job has morphed into one where the stylist, via social media, shares behind-the-curtain glimpses of readying clients for the red carpet, as well as his or her point of view on everything from fashion to politics.

“Would you ever dress Melania Trump?” asked one person in the audience. “No. Absolutely not,” said Welch and Stewart. “She buys her own clothes,” said Stewart.

The women also discussed the best ways for designers to reach them. “If you send me an e-mail with a PDF that has pictures and information, that’s the best way. No Dropbox links. And I need to be able to see the clothes. No artistic look books,” said Urbinati.

All three stylists stressed the amount of product and the lack of time, so cutting to the chase was key. “We’d love to be able to have lunches and teas with designers, but in reality we don’t have time,” said Welch, who often discovers new lines via Instagram and direct messages designers.

They also cautioned against designers being too choosy or having unrealistic expectations when it comes to connecting with A-list actors. “Trust us, it pays to start relationships with up-and-comers because one day they will be famous,” said Stewart. She suggested that new designers “let a piece live in my showroom for a while. It will find the right home.”Read more at:formal dresses online australia | short formal dresses

Why Indian fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee is ready to show his ‘Sabya look’ to the world

It is hard to believe that Sabyasachi Mukherjee is shy. The celebrated Indian designer was in Hong Kong last week to launch his highly anticipated ready-to-wear capsule collection with Lane Crawford (his first after a long hiatus) and unveil his recent collaboration with shoe designer Christian Louboutin. During his short trip in the city he met the media and customers, was feted at various cocktails and dinners, and even partied at nightclub Petticoat Lane.

“Believe it or not, I am a massive introvert,” he says. “I’m great at public speaking or doing interviews, but sit me down with eight people and I am terrified. A lot of us who are very dedicated to craft never make an effort to be social. I go to work at 7am and come back home at 1am. I think I have been successful because I have a very detached view on fashion. I am an outsider.”

Outsider or not, success has come in droves for Mukherjee since he first appeared on the fashion scene in 1999. The Calcutta native, who boasts 1.2 million followers on Instagram, has dressed everyone from Bollywood starlets like Aishwarya Rai and Priyanka Chopra to society girls and politicians.

His designs are revered by Indian brides, who dream of wearing one of his embellished creations on their big day. His boutiques have become meccas for fans looking to bask in his nostalgic take on beauty. Such is his fame that he is often referred to by his first name, much like Oprah, Adele and Madonna (the latter also happens to be one of his favourite singers).

After 18 years of operations in India, however, the designer is ready for a new challenge.

“Many Indian designers don’t go beyond their comfort zone,” he says. “In India I am a super-celebrity but when I travel no one knows who I am. For me it’s exciting to be given an opportunity to start somewhere else. This collection with Lane Crawford just happened so easily. When you just do beautiful things that you believe in, you don’t look for your destiny, it just comes to you.”

Serendipity is a word that Mukherjee uses frequently when talking about his past. Calling himself the black sheep of the family, he first studied medicine, before giving it up to pursue economics (only to drop out later).

He eventually enrolled at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Delhi, where he was awarded various scholarships, including one to Parsons School of Design in New York (he never went). Intrigued by textiles, he secured an apprenticeship at a small printing factory and later interned in the archives and ateliers of Jean Paul Gaultier and Azzedine Alaia, and at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

“While at the museum someone suggested I start exploring the Indian archives, which is where I really started to understand the importance of textiles. It surprised me that so much of what we had available in India was mediocre, yet these archives showcased the incredible craft we had at our doorstep. It was from this simple point of view that I built my business,” he says.

Mukherjee decided to base his atelier in Calcutta, starting with only three artisans. Collection after collection, he began showcasing the best of India’s textile traditions and handicrafts: from block prints and weaves to dyes and embroideries, on old-world silhouettes imbued with a sense of modesty, strictness and romance. It was a style that had never been seen before and it was not long before the “Sabya look” was revolutionising the way Indian women dressed.

“India is such a strong patriarchal society that many women are left with confidence issues. I wanted to tell women that it’s OK to be whatever they want. This triggered an emotional connection with so many – I am not defining women but giving them the power to define themselves,” he says.

Mukherjee’s brand also handed back power to another group of disenfranchised people: the craftsmen of India, many of whom were on the verge of disappearing.

Today he employs 3,900 full-time workers who do everything from embroidery and printing to dyeing and steaming. At any given time he also employs 37,000 contractors from across the country to create every fabric or piece of clothing by hand.

“I don’t do a collection like other designers do. For me I am a cook whose menu is dependent on the produce of the day. Depending on what craft I am working on, I build a collection around it. What I do is modernise the craft without over-modernising it so it loses context. I’m a bridge between past and future,” he says.

While many brands tout craftsmanship as one of their values, for Mukherjee it is the foundation upon which his entire business is based.

“What’s going on in India is crazy. Take for example Patan Patola, which is an amazing skill which came out of Gujarat. You would need to be a mathematical genius to weave that fabric. Just to weave a sari takes an entire family one and a half years to complete. There used to be 150 people that specialised in this 10 years ago, now there are three.

“What my brand does is make it commercially viable for people to continue their craft and tradition. Our motto in the company is that if a machine can do the work of 10 people, kill the machine and hire the 10 people. For our bridal outfits alone we employ 35 to 40 people for two months to make one outfit. We make 9,000 bridal outfits a year. That’s a lot of employment,” he says.

Now that Mukherjee has spread his message across India, he has his sights set on the rest of the world. The Lane Crawford collection is the first step in showcasing the best of India’s artisans, and hopefully more are to come.

“I stay in fashion for a singular reason. If a mum wears something beautiful and the daughter wants to know more about it, we are creating craft awareness through generations. I’ve done what I’ve had to do in India, but now it’s important to carry the story to the rest of the world,” he says.

“It’s about time the world got clued into what real luxury is. The future of luxury is anything that’s time-bound and sensitive. A lot of us consume products but we feel a bit vacuous afterwards. You have to consume – otherwise, there is no economy – but [we should] consume knowing that somewhere else a child can go to school. It makes a world of difference.”Read more at:sexy formal dresses | plus size formal dresses

Phuong My fashions head to Dubai

Phuong My fashions head to Dubai, entertainment events, entertainment news, entertainment activities, what’s on, Vietnam culture, Vietnam tradition, vn news, Vietnam beauty, news Vietnam, Vietnam news, Vietnam net news, vietnamnet news, vietnamnet bridge 

(Photo:formal dresses brisbane)Her collection features 30 designs in pink, white and pastel using quality silk, lace and linen. Her show will appear on the catwalk on November 17.

The AFW is organised by the Arab Fashion Council, which organises the New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week.

The five-day event will open on November 15, featuring the latest collections by veteran and young fashion designers and popular brand names in the region.

Born in HCM City, My moved to live in the US when she was 13 years old.

She graduated from the Academy of Art University in California and Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

She began her career after winning the top prizes at two prestigious contests, Are You Runway Ready and Discarded to Divine Project, launched in New York and San Francisco in 2010.

She has worked for key fashion magazines such as Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue.

In 2013, My returned to her home city to develop her business by launching her own brand Phuong My.

She quickly rose to fame after her brand Phuong My was invited to collaborate with Bulgari at their store opening in March 2013 in Hanoi.

She later opened her flagship store in HCM City.

Her brand’s fabric production is entirely outsourced to select partners in Paris, Milan and Hong Kong, thus providing the optimum blend of both materials and exclusivity that has proven to be her goal:

“Being a part of the global fashion scene, I don’t create fashion, I create dreams,” she said.

My has attended leading fashion events at home and abroad, including the Viet Nam Fashion Week, Tokyo Fashion Fuse and New York Fashion Week.

She has collaborated with dozens of boutiques stores, stylists and magazines in the Americas and Europe, such as My Beautiful Dressing from Paris, Club Magazine in Venezuela, Vogue-UK and Vogue-Italia to expand her brand.

Her shops in District 1 and 3 offer more than a hundred eye-catching designs and accessories for women and have been well received by both Vietnamese and foreign customers.Read more at:formal dress shops

Heineken invests in African creativity

Global beer brand, Heineken has unveiled its first Africa inspired fashion collection co-created with talented African designers at Lagos Fashion and Design week as part of its ‘Open Design Explorations’, a global co-creation programme that connects emerging creatives and gives them a platform to showcase their talent.

In collaboration with Africa’s hottest emerging design talent, Lulu Mutuli and Azra Walji, Heineken launched its first-ever African fashion collection, unveiled on the catwalk of the closing show at Lagos Fashion and Design Week on Saturday, 28 October 2017.

The Heineken Africa Inspired Collection is a fusion of the two designers’ concepts and is the first of many design apprenticeships that the brand will roll out across the world, going next to Asia.

The Africa Inspired Fashion Challenge is Heineken’s first design initiative in the region extending the brand’s commitment to design and innovation by enriching the consumer experience in bars and at events, while celebrating the richness of the East African design culture.

The project seeks to generate a rich textile print and fashion forward range for the Heineken Collection; a process that will see Heineken co-creating with emerging creative talents and the brand’s partner design studio in Amsterdam.

Ten shortlisted finalists benefited from a three days textile and design workshop in Nairobi in September, led by the Global Heineken design director Mark van Iterson and his design team, in close collaboration with Amsterdam based fashion design house, LEW.

Heineken sought to open the world of fashion to upcoming East African talented designers through an exciting ‘’open innovation’’ challenge that invites designers from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to become part of a creative journey to collaborate on a unique Heineken fashion collection, truly Africa inspired.

Heineken ambassadors

After spending a week in Amsterdam developing their designs at top Dutch Fashion House, LEW, Mutulo and Walji will go on to benefit from a year-long programme of coaching from the designers, known for eye-catching print design and innovative corporate fashion. The designs will be produced at scale across Africa to be worn by Heineken ambassadors throughout Nigeria, East Africa and beyond.

One of the first global brands to invest in Lagos Fashion and Design Week, Heineken has been a headline sponsor for the past two years as it emerges as one the most important events in the fashion calendar for supporting new talent and inspiring Nigerian and African consumers.

Lulu Mutuli, 24, whose work gives traditional African apparel a futuristic edge, has worked in top fashion houses in New York including RHIE and OMONDI. She said, “My designs took inspiration from the role African fashion has played in the culture of my country. Combining this rich heritage with the progressive character of the Heineken brand was a challenge I couldn’t resist. I used the bold Heineken colour palette, but I added a grey tone and used technical orientated patterns for a modern twist. The asymmetric shapes you can see were a way of incorporating practical elements whilst creating striking and stylish silhouettes.”

Azra Walji, 27, is known for her feminine shapes and African inspired elegance, reflected in her winning designs with Heineken. She said, “I am so grateful to Heineken. Sharing my work at Lagos Fashion at Design Week is a career-defining opportunity. I really enjoyed playing with the bold red and green colours – they are so iconic to the brand but also synonymous with the vibrancy of Africa. My designs are inspired by traditional African apparel but with a twist – I love the modern femininity of the trousers and short dresses.”

Empowering talent

Mark van Iterson, director global Heineken design said, “Identifying and empowering talent remains a critical part of our global agenda. We are constantly seeking new co- creation opportunities, to connect with young emerging designers and give them a global stage to showcase their talent, so we are delighted that this initiative has put a spotlight on such talent.

“Nigeria is a growing hub for creativity and commerce and Lagos Fashion and Design Week is helping to influence and define the global fashion landscape. Heineken in Nigeria was one of the first global brands to invest in this vibrant event, seeing the opportunity to support new industry talent with real experience and a global stage. We look forward to extending the programme to other key markets next year.”

The new Heineken African Inspired Collection with Mutuli and Walji launched in style at Heineken Lagos Fashion and Design Week, with items from the collection displayed in style on the runway. After the reveal, award-winning music star, Tiwa Savage, of Jay-Z’s label Roc Nation, took to the stage to perform international hits including ‘African Waist’ and ‘All Over’ live for a star-studded line up of guests as award-wining flair bartender Tom Dyer served cocktails during the event.

Lagos Fashion and Design Week 2017 is a multiday fashion extravaganza at the Eko Atlantic, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria, where global designers including Maki Oh (whose fans include Michelle Obama and Beyoncé) take centre stage to celebrate African fashion and culture.

The judges for Heineken’s Africa Inspired Fashion challenge in Nairobi which brought Mutuli and Walji to Lagos, included fashion powerhouse and founder of the Lagos Fashion and Design Week Omoyemi Akerele, top Nigerian fashion designer Gloria Wavunno and Tanzanian stylist Rio Paul.Read more at:celebrity dresses | cheap formal dresses

They All Hate Us’ Tash Sefton’s cancer scare

One half of the Sydney-based They All Hate Us website, that has amassed a huge global audience, had her own breast cancer scare this year that was made more traumatic by the fact she lost an aunt to breast cancer just last year.

Sefton has now signed up to host the Garvan Institute Breast Cancer Awareness Lunch to encourage women to be aware of changes to their breasts and to get any lumps checked.

“I was too scared to get my lump checked. So I left it as my aunt did. For my aunt it was too late – for me it wasn’t,” she says after getting the all clear from her doctors.

“I dont want women to be afraid as knowledge is power.”

The They All Hate Us website and shop, that Sefton launched with best friend Elle Ferguson as a daily email 10 years ago, today has close to 8 million visitors each year. And a new beauty shop, launched last week, means visitors can now shop fashion and beauty in one place.

For this Mosman mum of two (Jake, 11 and Mac, 5) celebrating being a woman and a love of fashion go hand-in-hand.

Her summer fashion tips include faking it, a tan that is, and splashing out in red.

“A tan can not only make you feel amazing and confident but for some reason I also think clothes look better on me when I’m tanned,” she says.

She says its also time to embrace the dress, wear red and the belt bag.

As an influencer of women Sefton believes it is important that she uses her voice to draw attention to important issues facing women today, including breast cancer awareness.

“Womens health in general is very important to me coming from a family of all girls and having very close girl friends,” she says.

“In addition after losing my Aunt last year to breast cancer and having my own breast cancer scare a few months ago, I understand first hand how important it is to get the word out about early detection and raising money to find a cure.”

Breast cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia women today.

“October is also about breast cancer awareness, know your breasts, look at them, feel them, do your breast self-exams,” the Garvan Institute’s lead breast cancer scientist Dr Samantha Oakes says.

“Look for changes, lumps, changes in the skin texture, reddening, soreness, tenderness or any change that you think may be abnormal.

“If you detect anything go see your doctor, early detection is key to the best outcomes.”

Dr Oakes says says breast cancer claims more than 3000 lives a year in Australia.Read more at:black formal dresses | pink formal dresses

Townsville, a beauty

BASKING in more than 300 days of sunshine each year and surrounded by a myriad of natural wonders, Townsville will host three Rugby League World Cup matches.

Townsville is one of the 13 host cities of the 2017 RLWC. It is a city on the north-eastern coast of Queensland, Australia. It is in the dry tropics region of Queensland, adjacent to the central section of the Great Barrier Reef. Townsville is Australia’s largest urban centre north of the Sunshine Coast, with a 2015 population estimate of 180,333. Considered the unofficial capital of North Queensland by locals, Townsville hosts a significant number of governmental, community and major business administrative offices for the northern half of the state.

Popular attractions include “The Strand”, a long tropical beach and garden strip; Riverway, a riverfront parkland attraction located on the banks of Ross River; Reef HQ, a large tropical aquarium holding many of the Great Barrier Reef’s native flora and fauna; the Museum of Tropical Queensland, built around a display of relics from the sunken British warship HMS Pandora; Castle Hill or as it was originally known Cootharinga, the most prominent landmark of the area and a popular fitness destination; The Townsville Sports Reserve; and Magnetic Island, a large neighbouring island, the vast majority of which is national park

Fiji will play two matches at Townsville Stadium against USA and Italy while Italy and USA will also play each other at the stadium on November 5.

Townsville Stadium is the NRL Cowboys’ headquarters and has become a sporting and entertainment hub for the people of North Queensland, renowned for its electrifying atmosphere and attracting a wide range of major events to the region.

What do to in Townsville?

IMMERSE yourself in the Townsville way of life and discover The Strand, Townsville’s thriving beach foreshore!

With a relaxed, yet energetic vibe, The Strand is bursting with activities to excite the whole family. The two and a half kilometre walkway offers spectacular views across to Magnetic Island and is popular for runners, walkers and kids with bikes and scooters. Enjoy the ocean breezes with a meal at one of the restaurants or cafes there. Alternatively treat the whole family to a barbecue or beach picnic.

With a number of fantastic playgrounds and the popular Strand Water Park, The Strand will keep the kids entertained for hours. Take a swim in the ocean or the rock pool, test your balance on a Stand-Up Paddle Board or land on the beach after the adrenalin rush of skydiving!Read more at:blue formal dresses | pink formal dresses