Category Archives: fashion

Summer Wedding Fashion 2017

 

(Photo:cocktail dresses)Outside temperatures may be soaring, but the wedding season is at its peak. While some consider having the event indoors, most people like to have the wedding on sprawling lawns. And although one can use tents and shamiyanas, there is no escape from the scorching sun.

With heavy lehengas and even heavier jewelry, the summer heat can play havoc on the bride and the guests’ dream of enjoying the big day. Added to that, heavy makeup smudges far more easily in summers than in the wintertime.

Due to the heat and sweat, many fabrics stick to the body, making one uncomfortable. “For us Indians, textiles are eternally in tune with seasons. For summer, trendsetters will be whites, a fusion of light pastel colors with a dash of calming brightness. One can choose fabrics that are sheer and flowy, so that your summer wear is absolutely comfortable and fresh air reaches your body,” says designer Gaurang Shah.

However, if someone chooses a summer-friendly fabric like cotton, it might not look grand enough for an occasion like a wedding. Explaining how one can add bling to their attire, designer Shravan Kummar says, “For a South Indian wedding, saris in light silk or khadi-jamdani with less of embroidery can be worn. To add to the drama, one can wear bright pop shades but with less of bling. For a North Indian one can opt for georgette lehengas or saris of net and organza that have more of flair and less of bling.” To accessories the whole look, Shravan adds, “Pick light jewelries such as chains with nice pendants or bracelets, which will look elegant and classy. Also, one can accessories with flowers.”

Make-up also plays a major role in any wedding, as everyone wants to put their best foot forward.

“On the big day, before starting to put the make-up on, make sure you splash your face with freezing cold water. Carry a make-up setting spray that you can use just in case you feel your make-up is melting. However, make sure you don’t use the spray very frequently as that can damage your skin,” says Meenakshi Pamnani, a fashion blogger.Read more at:marieaustralia.com

Clothes just part of Ebony Fashion Fair

 

(Photo:vintage formal dresses)As you breeze through the patchwork of fur coats, crystal bedazzled evening gowns and sequined suits from the archives of the Ebony Fashion Fair, now on display at the George Washington University Museum and the Textile Museum, don’t expect to learn much about the careers of Stephen Burrows, Patrick Kelly, Marc Bohan or any of the other designers who contributed to the legendary fashion roadshow.

This is not a traditional fashion exhibition, in which the garments alone tell a story.

“Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair,” open through July 24, isn’t focused on a particular designer’s work process or aesthetic; it doesn’t explore a singular theme that connects fashion to an inflection point in history; and it’s not a celebration of techniques or textiles.

And although some of the garments are dazzling, other frocks are, quite simply, odd. If you look only at the clothes, you may leave feeling confused about how they came to be in a museum at all.

But pause to read the exhibition text and listen to the accompanying videos, in which designers and regular folks reminisce about what it meant to attend Ebony Fashion Fair — the thrill of seeing so many black women and men parading into a theater or high school auditorium to bear witness to such beauty — then the heart of the show becomes plain.

“Inspiring Beauty” is not so much about the academics of clothes, but about the people who wore them — on the stage or in the audience of a Fashion Fair show, perhaps, but sometimes only in their dreams.

Ebony Fashion Fair began in 1958 (and ended in 2009), the brainchild of Eunice Johnson and her husband, ex-Arkansan John H. Johnson, the founders and publishers of the Chicago-based Ebony and Jet. Like the magazines, the fashion show spoke directly to black consumers.

Black models walked the runway in flamboyant fashions from Milan, Paris and New York. During the show’s heyday in the 1970s and ’80s, it traveled an annual circuit throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, making well over 100 stops a year. The work of black designers was showcased. And black audiences saw themselves in glossy, glamorous relief.

Eunice Johnson was the chief organizer of the show and regularly traveled to Europe in search of the most theatrical, entertaining and provocative clothes. She didn’t borrow samples from the designers; she bought the clothes — but only after expending countless hours persuading recalcitrant fashion houses to sell them to a black woman. Over the years, she accumulated about 3,500 pieces, many of which were too well-worn to be exhibited.

The models were chosen from open auditions and, over the years, began to include plus-size women. The troupe of models, dressers and mistresses-of-ceremony crisscrossed the country by bus, navigating the Jim Crow South and serving as exemplars of black accomplishment. In each city, the show was hosted by a sorority or other community organization to raise money for charities, most notably the United Negro College Fund. Each ticket also came with a subscription to Ebony or Jet. Ebony Fashion Fair was a perfectly circular marketing and fundraising tool. And as the wheels turned, it spoke to the social aspirations, dignity and self-confidence of a rising black middle class.

In making her purchases, Johnson noted fashion trends. The exhibition, for example, includes a fine example of Christian Lacroix’s operatic flourishes. It’s possible to see Bill Blass’ menswear-influenced tailoring, Yves Saint Laurent’s roving eye for Asian culture, Patrick Kelly’s whimsical use of buttons and Burrows’ splendid use of color.

But those revelations register as mere asides rather than the main event. The heart of “Inspiring Beauty” is the connection between fashion and a community of people. Johnson, for instance, would often select the model with the darkest skin tone to wear the boldest colors, to highlight blackness. It was her way of declaring it beautiful at a time when the broader society would not.

For Johnson, representation of black people in the realm of fashion was part of a political and social imperative. Elegant style and conscientious grooming were, in her eyes, social currency. As the exhibition catalog notes, the “responsibility to attend to one’s appearance for the collective good of the race was particularly impressed upon women.” They were asked to be emblematic of social mobility, grace and appropriateness. To that point, “Inspiring Beauty” showcases a dignified and reserved navy Pauline Trigere dress from 1972 pulled from Johnson’s personal wardrobe.

But you’re also left considering what a great burden it is to have one’s physical presence imbued with so much meaning and possibility. The black models twirled with such grace and seeming effortlessness, at a time when they had to enter hotels through back doors, their opportunities for advancement limited, their very personhood devalued.

“Inspiring Beauty” was first exhibited at the Chicago History Museum, and that setting should tip you off to the social context that is crucial to grasping the relevance of Ebony Fashion Fair. The show was born in a city teeming with examples of blacks working in the visual arts and in architecture, and one closely chronicled by a lively black press. Eunice Johnson, who studied sociology and art at Talledega College in Alabama, wrapped social and economic striving in the soothing embrace of fashion.

Ebony Fashion Fair spoke profoundly to its audiences. No matter how bawdy the clothes, it was an achievement for black people simply to wear them. The exhibition makes the theatrics of the clothes clear. The reason all that mattered is harder to discern, but worth the effort.Read more at:backless formal dresses

Bridget Foley’s Diary: The Joy of Rei

 

(Photo:cheap formal dresses online)What single word, a noun, first comes to mind in reference to the work of Rei Kawakubo? Were that little game of word association posed to people well versed in the career of the brilliant Comme des Garçons designer, who has captivated and confounded for 40-plus years, probably 100 out of 100 would not come up with “joy.” Fascination, provocation, curiosity, difficulty, strangeness, resonance, dissonance, even wonder — yes. But joy, probably not.

Yet looking back — and feeling back — in advance of Kawakubo’s hotly anticipated, surefire-blockbuster show at The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, opening at the May 1 gala and to the public on May 4, that’s my word: Joy. Not the joy typically associated with fashion, triggered on the obvious aesthetic level among consumers and professionals alike: viewing an understandably beautiful dress makes me happy in the moment — glorious in itself. For some people, those who consciously look at fashion on multiple levels, driven by career, cultural pursuit or obsessive love, its explicit joy often runs deeper, infiltrating often-dormant recesses of emotion and intellect. That may sound just too silly to merit classification as pretentious, but for those passionate about big-picture fashion, it’s neither.

At its best, fashion allows for serious historical, philosophical and intellectual consideration. While mulling the cultural moment through any lens often gives rise to grim conclusions, such fashion-based discourse usually starts from a place of admiration, however abstract. Whether you get the clothes or not, something about them compels discussion. For me, therein lies the joy of experiencing Kawakubo’s ongoing brilliance. Over the course of 20-plus years, a regular participant on the fashion circuit takes in countless shows that afford much to contemplate, and even more to forget. Those shows worth remembering resonate because they strike something within, whether triggering a previously unconsidered thought, unsettling a prejudice or transporting the viewer to a place of wonder or outrage. When emotional and intellectual points converge through fashion, those who love the medium find joy.

Over and over with her work, Kawakubo elicits that joyful fusion. Thinking back on the most memorable moments of my show-going experience, a disproportionate number are Comme des Garçons. Her titles alone make you think. One of the first shows of hers that I covered was “Sweeter Than Sweet” for fall 1995. It struck me as prom time at the apocalypse, its girlish hoop skirts paired with gorgeous pastel wool lace jackets, but with the twists and turns that only Kawakubo could conjure, including some bound arms, fastened to the torso with airy tulle, but bound nonetheless. A year later, in “Flowering Clothes,” she referenced fragility of a more ethereal sort, “part Renaissance, part china doll, part celestial choir.” For fall 2014, she was in far darker mode, with “Monster,” her models in green lipstick and piles of woolen darkness, indicating, she said in her show notes, “The craziness of humanity, the fear we all have, the feeling of going beyond common sense” expressed by “something that could be ugly or beautiful.”

Early on, she showed a collection in which she set out to “transcend gender,” using language way ahead of its time. She didn’t invent fashionable androgyny, but early on saw it in a context more significant than mere tricks with tailoring. The current cultural discussion proves the concept prescient.

Always with Kawakubo, there’s the yearning to find those ponderous, deep thoughts — sometimes because their audacity hits you in the face and sometimes, because you don’t want to be the one who doesn’t “get it.” Yet some collections have featured elements of obvious humor. Who didn’t smile at the remarkable “Kaleidoscope” moment for spring 1996, when Kawakubo sent in the clowns, literally, in multibright stripes and color blocks between giant cotton candy pouf wigs and two-toned shoes (lavender on one side, yellow on the other)? Similarly, when taking in her famous bumpy-lumpy collection of spring 1997, one couldn’t help reimagining the famed denizen of Notre Dame as she, the misshapen Quasimoda done up in formfitting pastel gingham. Kawakubo said her intention was “to explore new body forms…body becomes dress becomes body becomes dress.”

Amusing? Yes — and Kawakubo knows it. She’s a brilliant woman; she knows if something is funny on the surface, even if she intends more arcane meanings beneath. Clown clothes amuse. So, too, those bumps and lumps — even as they disguised what were, pillowing removed, some body-con, sexy fare.

Often, the message is not readily discernible. Fall 2005’s “Broken Brides”: What was the married designer saying about marriage as an institution, with her lineup of breathtaking, ghostly brides? Who knows? Clearly, the thought process was a complicated one. For those of us then on the edit staff of W magazine, at the time sister publication to WWD, the joy proved immeasurable when the chance arose to photograph Katie Holmes as a Comme “Broken Bride” six weeks into her then-euphoric romance with Tom Cruise.

Blurry visions of beauty are everywhere throughout Kawakubo’s complex portfolio, as well as highly textured visions of gender, power, sexuality, social standing, and on and on. And of fashion itself. For fall 2013, she explored “The infinity of tailoring. Everything you can do with a jacket and pants,” which included an onslaught of bows atop outsized men’s tailoring. The previous year, she delivered one of her most magical collections, through which she proclaimed, “The future is two dimensions.” It was colorful and cartoon-esque in its giant-sized, paper-doll silhouettes.

This spring, Kawakubo went in a different direction altogether with “Invisible Clothes,” a dark, mesmerizing head trip, filled with inventive silhouettes that evoked certain thoughts — Elizabethan Bo Peep, a frilled Grim Reaper — while looking like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

Yet, in fashion at least, audacity of ideas means nothing without the knowledge and skill to execute. Kawakubo’s craftsmanship awes. Her ability to visualize complicated concepts as concrete creations — she doesn’t necessarily think in terms of “clothes” — and then to translate those visualizations into reality is mind boggling, the complications of her cuts and constructions, rendered with perfection, remarkable.

So much so that Kawakubo has long resided at the top of the list of those designers most admired by her peers, who consider her a wellspring of never-ending invention. She herself isn’t so sure. At the risk of doing something Kawakubo herself would never do — descend to cliché — she is her own harshest critic. Though she’s often referred to as press-shy, that descriptive remains uncorroborated. Perhaps it’s accurate, or perhaps she just prefers not to bother with the press. Kawakubo may be decidedly press adverse, but WWD can boast a good handful of interviews with her through the years. The first that I found (more accurately, the first found by WWD’s miracle-working archivist Jina Parks) dates to Mach 1, 1983, written by Ben Brantley. (Yes, that Ben Brantley. He worked here.) Through her interpreter Stella Ishii, Kawakubo acknowledged typical designer self-doubt. “Doing fittings, I do a lot of reflecting and feel a lot of anxieties as to whether this is what I really wanted, whether it’s as strong as the image in my mind,” she said.

Seventeen years later, in May 2000, when she was honored in an offbeat event at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (her candidacy for the award pushed by guest professor Calvin Tsao and, unofficially, then third-year student Harold Koda, on what proved to be an academic sabbatical from the Met), she suggested that her work would only become more difficult with time. “The definition of experience is that the more experience one has, more and more [work] is no longer new,” she said, her husband Adrian Joffe acting as interpreter this time out. “We live in such an information-saturated world. It’s hard to give people something they haven’t seen.” She has repeated that sentiment numerous times since.

In that context, the designer’s predictive powers have failed her. Season after season, she continues to surprise, shock, invent, instigate. Here’s to The Met, for putting Kawakubo’s decades of unique, provocative fashion joy on public display.Read more at:plus size formal dresses

Partnership Special- Fashion: Nira & Ayesha

Partnership Special- Fashion: Nira & Ayesha  

(Photo:formal dresses melbourne)They are no less than style divas themselves. But Ayesha Chopra and Nira Mapara wanted to do something more about the subject they were both passionate about – fashion. In a city bursting with fashion exhibitions every few months, The Glam Closet tries to make shopping a more intimate and bespoke experience bringing to town some exquisite works by designers like Tarun Tahiliani, Rohit Bal, Pankaj and Nidhi to name just a few. And the two friends surely have a lot of fun while they are at it!

How did this partnership for The Glam Closet come about?

Nira: Ayesha has a fashion and modelling background and she had started The Glam Closet in 2006 when she moved to Dubai. We became friends soon after and she learnt that I had a love for fashion and also had a PR background. Around five years ago, she asked me to partner with her in an upcoming exhibition which turned out to be a success so we decided to give it another go. The success also motivated us to make this a permanent partnership…. the rest, as the well-worn cliché goes, is history!

What has been the most challenging thing about working with your partner? And what has been a great asset to have someone like her?

Ayesha: We were friends first then partners so we were lucky that we had some time to get to know and understand one another. We both have differing opinions on many things but we have learnt to accept them, discuss them and come to a happy compromise. Both of us have our strengths and weaknesses and we are fortunate enough to recognise these and build upon each other’s weaknesses and take from each other’s strengths. The best thing about having a partner is that we can bounce ideas off one another…. two heads are better than one!

What’s your recipe for a successful partnership?

Nira: It’s important to have fun and to enjoy what you do. We enjoy each other’s company, we love our work and are very passionate about it. All relationships and partnerships have to have a bit of give and take. It is important that each partner has their say and hear each other out, discuss everything including any grievances they may have with one another. We are both one half of a circle…. we help each other make this a whole. And that’s the secret behind our partnership.

How has your equation helped in the growth of The Glam Closet?

Ayesha: We are both motivated individuals and both strive to make this a successful partnership as well as a growing business. Our two different working backgrounds, our different ways and approach about dealing with a problem as well as our motivation and determination to make each experience unique have all contributed to making The Glam Closet grow from strength to strength over the years.

Describe a typical work day for the two of you, especially when you plan a show.

Nira: Rather than working on a daily basis, for us, our work begins at the beginning of the year where we start planning our calendar for the upcoming year to book our trunk shows. We then both visit Fashion Weeks in India where we look for trends and fashion we feel would do well for our clientele, from well-known designers as well as any upcoming names. Ayesha then starts liaising with the designers regarding their collections and look books and in the meantime, I approach them to send me the requirements for the PR. We both then start to curate and plan the exhibition. Each exhibition can take months of planning.

Why is two better than one in a business?

Nira and Ayesha: “One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.” This one line sums it up well enough!Read more at:formal dresses adelaide

What I wore this week: elevated shirts

Jess Cartner-Morley wearing red trousers and blue tie-side blouse 

(Photo:formal dresses canberra)A blue-and-white striped cotton shirt is as potent as the smell of black coffee. Crisp cotton in sky blue striped with fluffy cloud white has a can-do, today-is-a-new-day energy which is just what you need to power up your morning.

But this spring’s shirts take this to the next level. That’s why they call them elevated shirts. These season’s shirts are supershirts. They take that morning coffee freshness and spritz it with a little Tom Ford Black Orchid va-va-voom. Frankly, if your work shirt isn’t raising a few eyebrows, it isn’t working hard enough.

The beauty of the elevated shirt is that you can make it work for you. It can emphasise your waist or reveal your collarbones. Or both, or neither. It can be operatically dramatic, or a simple shirt with a subtle twist.

The principle is to take the mannish collared shirt and feminise it. You don’t, however, want to turn your shirt into a blouse. This is not about turning sharp collars into soft Peter Pan shapes, or switching starched cotton for slippy satin, or blue-and-white for cream or blush. You want to hang on to all those signifiers of the traditional work shirt – the squared-off collar, the washing-line cotton crispness, the professional colours. You just want to add a few flourishes.

The ballerina wrap shape of the shirt I’m wearing here is a case in point. It hasn’t been in fashion for a long while, the ballerina wrap, which gives it a certain look-at-me factor. But it’s on the way back, mark my words. And while it is soft and feminine, it has a quiet determination. No one matches ballet dancers for work ethic, after all. But a bow-tied waist isn’t to everyone’s taste, and there are endless variations on the supershirt. Sleeves have special significance on a shirt – think of a rolled-to-the-elbow sleeve, versus gold cufflinks – and so a fluted cuff, or a full sleeve cinched at the cuff or above the elbow, delivers a fashion punch while keeping the body of the shirt on the straight and narrow. This is a shirt with superpowers. But it still gets the day job done.Read more at:plus size formal dresses

If you wear fake fur, you are dressing up as an animal killer

Fake fur coat 

(Photo:bridesmaid dresses)When I campaigned for animal rights as a teenager in the 1980s, anti-fur campaigners produced an iconic poster. Alongside an image of a smartly dressed woman holding a bloody fur coat was a cracker of a slogan: “It takes up to 40 dumb animals to make a fur coat. But only one to wear it.”

Even as an angry teen I could see the complexity of some animal rights issues. Vivisection was sometimes used to save human lives. Nutrients can be gained by eating meat. But fur? Fur seemed a no-brainer. Why should animals die to produce a ridiculous-looking coat? If you’d have told me back then that we’d still be discussing this three decades on, I wouldn’t have believed you. Surely the industry would have been eradicated?

Progress has been made – fur farms were banned in the UK in 2003, and selling cat, dog and seal products is also illegal. But imported fur from other species, including fox, rabbit, mink, coyote, raccoon dog and chinchilla, is still allowed. And this week an investigation by Sky News found that supposedly “fake fur” products, including gloves, hats and shoes, at leading retailers actually contain real fur from cats, raccoon dogs, rabbits, mink and fox.

This discovery has upset shoppers who thought the fur they were buying was synthetic. Never mind the labels, they assumed the cheap price tags alone meant the fur couldn’t be real. The shopper who sparked the investigation when she realised that the “faux fur” pom-poms on her pink stilettos were actually made from cat hair said the discovery was “really hurtful, really shocking”, because her “life is basically animals”.

But why would anyone who cares about animals want to wear fake fur? True, its fluffiness can have a certain sensual appeal, but the cruelty involved in producing the real thing is such a horrifying business, I wonder why an animal lover would want to be associated with it. Why connect yourself, even symbolically, to such barbarity?

Commercial fur often comes from China, where it’s produced very cheaply, frequently due to ghastly conditions. The animals, who spend their whole lives in wire cages, often succumb to anxiety-induced psychosis, gnawing away at their own limbs and hurling themselves repeatedly against the cage bars. It’s a horrific life all the way to the end. The animals are finally grabbed from their cages and bludgeoned or strangled to death – if they’re lucky. Undercover investigators from Swiss Animal Protection/EAST International found that in many cases the more unfortunate ones were still alive as they were being skinned.

Even after the skinning, when their hairless, bloodied bodies were tossed onto a pile, some were still alive, gasping for air and blinking. In a harrowing video, one skinned raccoon dog found the strength to lift his bloodied head and stare into the camera, as if to ask us why we have done this to him.

But it’s not just in China that horrors occur. An undercover investigation into a farm in the United States produced a video nasty of its own. Animals bred for their fur there often spend their entire lives in cages too, before being slaughtered by gassing, neck-breaking, or electrocution of the genitals.

It’s time we consigned this peculiar trend to the history books, allowing future generations to read with disgust and bewilderment at how badly their predecessors treated animals. There are precedents: in March Berkeley became the second city in California to ban the sale of any fur clothing, following in the footsteps of West Hollywood, which outlawed it in 2013.

But what about the fake stuff? Banning fake fur would seem an over-reaction (though it would certainly avoid any future confusion for well-meaning shoppers). More sensible than a ban might be a boycott. Wearing fake fur endorses a place for fur of any kind in the fashion industry, and given that we now know some “fake” fur is in fact real, and the product of great suffering, the vain hope that it could be separated from that cruelty in our minds has probably been extinguished.

So leave fur, real or imagined, on the shelf and build your look on something other than animal cruelty. There’s nothing beautiful about pretending to be wearing an abused animal.Read more at:marieaustralia

Lauren Young on How She Stays Authentic in Life and in Fashion

 

(Photo:one shoulder formal dresses)It felt like I knew Lauren Young deeper than any other celebrity I have ever interviewed. For one, she generously allowed me to go through her closet, her shoes, her accessories, her photos—her everything, basically. Second, she gave off this aura that allowed us all to feel at home and be comfortable. How many times can you lay around someone’s sofa unless it’s your own or your friend’s, right?

Lauren welcomed us in her humble, yet quirky, abode hours after she got home from taping. After giving us a quick rundown of what she has in her closet, she let us do our thing. While waiting, she simply played with her cute dogs Melo and Yogi, and in between, we caught her browsing through her phone—and she was shopping. No judgment (wink).

Her fashion sensibilities and shopping habits are very much similar to who she is as a person. Lauren is very relaxed, she’s comfortable, she’s super cool, spontaneous, but above all, she’s confident. Lauren is the type of woman who can easily shift from high-tea feminine to laid-back streetwear, and she’ll be able to pull it off.

Raiding Lauren’s closet felt like another world we couldn’t get out off—she just had a. lot. of. clothes. She’s guilty of shopping for items she likes even without trying them on, ending up with a whole section of her closet filled with clothes with their tags still on. Some people even say your closet doubles when you have a sister, but in Lauren’s case it probably, it triples as she shares pieces even with her friends. She pulled out her favorite oversized denim jacket, and after a few seconds she realized it’s something she borrowed from her friend, then she laughed hard. “It’s been five months!”

What’s keeping you busy these days?

Right now, I’m currently back in acting again with my newest show on GMA Afternoon Prime, Legally Blind. When I’m not acting, I work behind the scenes with a group of talented individuals from Stronghold MNL, which is a production company that I own with a bunch of friends from DLS-CSB. The newest addition to my schedule is that some of my friends and I are about to start a line of lounge sets, room scents, and candles—so watch out for that!

Describe your approach to style.

I really try to keep things simple by staying away from a lot of prints and color. Keeping it basic and simple is key. I don’t really like spending too much time on thinking about what to wear. If it looks good and I’m comfortable then that’s about it.

Do you have style rules you follow?

Comfort before style.

How are your shopping habits?

Not so good! I usually end up buying the first thing I see—may it be online shopping or in a store.

How does offline and online shopping differ for you?

The difference is that online shopping is more convenient. It’s less time-consuming and safer to shop online on apps like Shopee since they have a very secure payment method that does not make me worry, plus I don’t have to brave through traffic to get a cute outfit anymore.

Another thing I love about online shopping is that there’s a wider selection of products—I can look for clothes, beauty items, and even gadgets with just one app. It’s also easier to compare products and their prices which helps me finds the best deals while I’m in bed or waiting on set.

What was the last best thing you bought?

Black trousers. They just go with everything and they can work from day to night.

How about the worst—something you regret buying?

Silver Doc Martens. I felt like I needed to be inside a spaceship for that outfit to ever work.

Which brand is your latest discovery?

Not a specific brand but mostly the trend of seeing all these new and young entrepreneurs on Instagram or Shopee, selling their clothes. I love the whole minimalistic style that these brands are selling nowadays and it’s nice to see young designers or entrepreneurs putting their stuff out there!

What item of clothing do you invest in? How about clothes you scrimp on?

I invest on basics: trousers, jeans, skirts, tops. Items that I can mix and match and classic pieces that I can wear over and over again. I don’t spend a lot on trendy pieces since they’ll just go out of style eventually.

Who is in your fashion black book?

I usually consult with my stylist Myrrh Lao To to see what best fits me and my personality, as well as the designers. I always see it best to listen to the professionals and then just give my input. Collaboration is always key but Pinterest always helps too.

Who are your style inspirations?

Kim Kardashian because of her body type and how she always wears clothes that are flattering to her shape.

What’s the best style advice you’ve ever received from your mother?

Wear clothes that make you look and feel good. Plus, don’t waste your money on trendy stuff, you won’t be able to wear them again and again.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Looking at designer bags that are wayyy over my style budget. And probably online shopping!

If you had a signature style trick, what would it be?

Pairing up sneakers with everything!

What is one ultimate style tip you can share?

You don’t have to wear styles that everyone else is wearing. Finding a style that suits you and screams you—that’s how you can become authentic and stay true to your style self.

Favorite shops?

Shopee and anything that has an online shopping feature!

Favorite vacation spot?

Right now I’m leaning towards Palawan. I’ve been there twice already and I’m planning to go back again this year to explore the other islands! It’s just so picturesque and serene there.

Favorite dish and restaurant?

I’m a sucker for hot prawn salad from either Gloria Maris or Din Tai Fung.

Favorite person on Instagram?

Kimi Juan—I want live her life full of travel and food, plus she gets to do all these things with her boyfriend! Huhu, I sound like such a stalker.

Favorite person, period?

Kim Kardashian. Don’t judge me.Read more at:princess formal dresses

7 Ways to Reinvent America’s Fashion Classics

Everyone knows an all-American girl when they see her. She’s dressed like Brooke Shields in her Calvins, Lauren Hutton in her blazer, or Ali MacGraw in her Love Story–era prep. But how is the all-American gal defined these days? Is she Gigi Hadid with a crop top under a pin-stripe suit or Kendall Jenner in skinny jeans and a tee sans bra with her nipple piercing peeking through just so? The codes of classic American style no longer fit into a singular mold, courtesy of a new generation of ladies who are willing and able to bend the rules. They take what’s old and spin it into something new and wildly optimistic—quite the statement in these trying times.

Clothes that recall American quilting and craft can be updated with sculptural accessories and pretty high heels. The Americana-tomboy look is injected with edge, thanks to hard metal jewelry and rough-and-tumble leather boots. Instead of repeating the eyelet boho hippie vibe this spring, why not borrow flower-power prints and embellishments for a crisp button-down shirt and sporty sandals? Westernwear doesn’t have to look old school, either—debunk the cowboy myth with feminine twists on traditional rodeo garb. If you’re a surfer chick, try on a metallic dress and leopard sneakers instead of neoprene and Vans.

At the end of the day, there’s no formula for today’s version of the all-American girl. She’s cool and complex. She’s always game to play with the clothes in her closet. Whether she’s into hip-hop, horses, or arts and crafts, she’s got a knack for sartorial reinvention.

Here, shop seven looks inspired by the new codes of American dress.Read more at:one shoulder formal dresses | mermaid formal dresses

Rhapsody in Neutrals, Fabric, and Skin

adam lippes 

(Photo:special occasion dresses)This story may be missing a lede because instead of attending the opening night party of the 2017’s Fashion Week El Paseo, my husband insisted we stop en route at Catalan in Rancho Mirage for red wine, smoked octopus, and wedge salads. I was a little grumpy about missing the bedecked throngs milling about, cocktails in hand, in all their questionable fashion sense glory (who was that man in the electric orange Nehru jacket or the strangely skinny woman with pink hair?), but we managed to enter the tent just as Christopher Bates’ show began.

Within minutes, I was heartily glad of that pitstop at Catalan; our tapas would prove to be the only color that would appear for the next twenty minutes.

The models in the Bates’ menswear show looked ready for travel, perhaps influenced by trends more political than sartorial: the new Cold War of fashion anyone?

The models in the Bates’ menswear show looked ready for travel.

Black and white turtlenecks, cargo pants (although the closest these guys have come to the army is playing with G.I. Joes), and khaki is back (although one imagines this neutral color has been repurposed as the more sophisticated camel!

Just add one of the gorgeous leather tote bags that complimented many of the looks and you’ve got a guy who resembles the East German playwright/poet I once knew who was mysteriously never without his luggage, and who, after two or three pints, liked to describe his butt cheeks as two cold pillows. Indeed, the form fitting slacks in every neutral shade made the ladies go wild, but the real glitz was saved for the shoes.

One model, a Kurt Cobain look-alike, looked straight out of the grunge decade, only in jogger pants with a drawstring and disco ball Converse instead of baggy jeans and Birkenstocks. Lots of monochrome, shades of gray paired with lighter shades of pale gray, and zippered pockets on the front thigh to hold your ciggies. I felt as though I’d been at a poetry salon, perhaps at an Art Deco apartment in a rainy European city, in a high-ceilinged room thick with intellectual smoke.

The beautifully wearable fashions by Adam Lippes were up next, and for this observer, the artistic highlight of the evening. Made in New York City of French and Italian fabrics, the first dress to float down the runway was the favorite of everyone I spoke to after the show as the herd milled toward the esalators. With the length of a maxi dress and the shape of the ever-forgiving tent dress, the creamy fabric moved gracefully and soft, and would easily flatter every woman of any age.

The floral trend of the 90s appeared here as well. The full-length brocade coat was something out of a dream, and in keeping with the inspiration of the entire line: women who hand-paint pottery, as Lippes told the audience in a pre-recorded video before the show. His wearable, detail-oriented looks featured flowing tunics in palest pink, a bright pink hi-low hem dress that made this trend feel new again, and not just for girls (and women) who shop at Forever 21, and a siren red wide leg jumpsuit with a not-too-plunging neckline in an arresting color.

A midi-dress printed in a delicate blooming pink and blue floral pattern with a nipped waist left much to the imagination. This understated, classy sexiness was repeated in a neutral midi-length white sleeveless knit dress that would suit the activities of many generations of women: from meeting the parents of your boyfriend for the first time, to the dress you wear to your retirement shindig. Like Oscar de la Renta, where Lippes was once the creative director before starting his own label, these are clothes fit for a feminine woman who wants to look strong and sexy. A woman who wants to wear the dress, and not let the dress wear her.

Before the bridal dresses came out, a wonderful blue dress made of light blue feathers and a glittering blue corset top fit the “Rhapsody in Blue” beaming from the speakers, and many of the dresses transformed in some way – a cape-like silhouette was lifted to reveal a mermaid dress, and a very short structured hemline became bridal in the back with sheer tulle and sheer tulle and visible buttons tracing the neck and spine.

There were some selections so revealing that it brought to mind the body socks Cher was famous for wearing in the 80s, but it was all forgiven when the two bridal dresses walked out. Shoulder pads, off the shoulder, sweetheart necklines, and an abundance of glitter: it was all that was fun and excessive about the 80s bride, and unlike some of the almost entirely sheer neutral dresses that very few women could wear unless, like one of the models, she had visible hipbones, these were gowns you could wear in front of your father as he walked you down the aisle.Read more at:formal dresses canberra

The Fashion Industry and the War on Women

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(Photo:formal dresses melbourne)Finally got round to reading this article which is not shocking at all and surprised me not the tiniest bit. As I tweeted when I saw it (without reading it of course), “The fashion industry IS the war on women.”

I’ve had a hard time buying into the idea that there’s a war on women in America. First of all, the word War is absurd. Unless you’ve been in a place where a war is literally going on, I think it’s an unhelpful way of talking about bad things. Most of us do not live with gun fire going on outside our windows, with the threat of big explosions, with death lurking around the corner. If you were looking for actual War I think you would need to go to some places in the Middle East, and some hot spots in North Africa, and certainly some places in Nigeria, and then go all the way into some neighborhoods in Chicago. I’m not trying to be funny, what I’ve been reading about Chicago makes it sound like it has all the qualities of a war zone.

So the very idea that women, in America, who are going to college in greater numbers than men, who peacefully go to work every day, and who are allowed to both wear whatever they want and, I think more importantly, say whatever they think and believe, declassifies their condition as being in a war.

On the other hand, setting aside the word War, I think it wouldn’t be too much to say that there are deep rooted problems and systems that essentially undermine the feminine experience of western women. I say that believing that these forces are not as malign as those of some women in other places in the world. The right to speak and show your face is a critically important freedom and I don’t want any of what I’m saying right now to be thought of on that level. Me not getting to have anything nice to wear is not remotely similar to me wearing a burka. Those are not the same.

Nevertheless, I think Satan hates all women everywhere, and one way that he persecutes and diminishes western women, besides with the Abortion Industry (I mean, how great is that–get women to believe that killing the most beautiful and life transforming thing that could ever happen to them will make everything all better; have them walk into the war zone on their own two feet and call it peace; what is that line? They cry peace peace where there is no peace) is by making the natural and real parts of the female body impossible to live with.

I mean, I’m talking about the body of the mother here. The real body of the mother. The tired and worn out body that has been stretched so much that it then collapses. And I’m also talking about the body of the woman who, even without the wrecking ball of child bearing, still ages, still faces gravity and lumpiness. And the body of the woman who has had to have whole essential bits cut off or removed, who faces the alarming horror of disease that threatens to destroy everything. The body of the woman is complex, peculiar, changeable, prone to trouble as the sparks fly upward.

So, for a man, whose chemistry, hormones, shape, and strength are not the same, are not as mysteriously complex, who cannot bear along the life of another in his very flesh, who has the advantage of strength, and height, and speed, to be allowed to call himself a woman, and clothe himself as a woman, and even look better than most women, it may not rise to the level of war, but it’s as insidious as the satanic destruction of the body’s ability to cope with gluten is on the Eucharist itself.

Bruce Jenner winning an award for being woman of the year is demoralizing. He’s not a woman, and when he was given the award he hadn’t been trying to be one more than a year, or whatever, whereas I’ve been working at it my whole life.

The dismissive attitude of the fashion industry for the bodies of real women is also demoralizing. In the face of constant discouragement I’ve managed to come up with a uniform for myself. I wear the same thing every day–a pair of ill fitting jeans, a black shirt, and two gray sweaters. Oh, and big winter boots, the only shoe that keeps my foot warm in the winter. In the summer I lose the boot and the second gray sweater and just stick to the one because I’m always cold. I wear this every day, day in day out, day after day after day. And I look at beautiful clothes online and feel sad because I know that if I try to buy them, they won’t look like that on me.

There is no, “her dress was right, her stockings were right, her hat was right” for me because as a woman in America I have to shove myself into stuff that was not originally considered for me, but was rather conceived of for a 100 foot tall slender demigod who apparently sometimes can now be even a man. I can’t compete with that, or shove myself into it. I’m clinging to my five feet (dear sweet saints of God please don’t let me shrink yet) and trying to rid myself of my middle, which I can’t do, because I’ve given birth six times.

My body is broken, and sometimes my spirit rejoices, but most of the time it is mired in jealousy and covetousness. I don’t look at my beautiful healthy offspring and then at my own shape and think, ‘this is so great, I’m so glad I have something to show for this,’ I usually think, ‘I can’t believe I’m going to get saggier until I die.’

My spirit could sure be helped to rejoice if my body didn’t have to wear skinny jeans that will never ever ever ever ever gently and beautifully clothe my broken frame. There is no grace for me from the fashion industry, no care, no consideration. If I want to wear something beautiful I have to hunt and hunt and humiliate myself in dressing rooms under bright lights. I have to comb through mountains of websites and then consider whether or not I want to risk the horror of not being able to try something on.

It’s not a war, it’s a gentle unrelenting diminishment of my personhood and soul. It is the undervaluation of who I am by forces more powerful than me. It is the rich spreading themselves over the bright lights of the runway while the poor go away ugly.

But in a little while, you will look for them but you will not find them. You will only find me clothed in the most excessive beauty, making my way down a golden avenue to fling my jewel encrusted crown before a vision so glorious it will take your breath away. My body then, remade, will not be rivaled by any man dressed as a woman. The ravages of disease, childbirth, and care will have been put away, though the glory of that suffering will not be lost. Somehow it will be woven through, will be the substance of those jewels.

On the other hand, today is not that day, and there is a foot of snow on the ground, so it’s back into jeans for me.Read more at:formal dresses canberra