Rachel Comey on How She’s Mobilizing the Fashion Industry for the Women’s March

Like so many around her, Rachel Comey spent the post-election slump “looking around to try to figure out how I can be active.” For her, the answer lay in galvanizing fellow members of the fashion industry. Comey has thrown her support behind the upcoming Women’s Marches happening across the country, and involved designers and brands including Marc Jacobs,Proenza Schouler, Opening Ceremony, and Maria Cornejo to support in various ways. “Some are supporting the cause on social media,” using the hashtags WhyIMarch and IMarchFor, she tells the Cut. “Others are chartering five buses for their staff.” Via a letter she sent out to the CFDA, she is also suggesting that brands donate a portion of their proceeds this weekend to charity, whether that’s a women’s rights group or environmental and labor causes.

“The majority of people spending money in our fashion and beauty businesses are women, and a majority of our staff are women. I feel like it’s our responsibility,” Comey says. She is subsidizing her staff to attend whatever march they want to participate in, whether that’s in New York, Los Angeles, or Washington, D.C. She’ll have volunteers filling in for them — including her partner Sean — and 50 percent of her online and in-store sales that weekend will go to benefit Planned Parenthood. She’s also designed camo outfits with the slogan “Si Vales Valeo” (“If I am strong, you are strong” in Latin) for a group of women marching under that name, and says she’ll be dressing one of the speakers at the march as well. (Stay tuned.)

Cornejo is one of those getting involved, telling the Cut, “As a woman, a mother, an immigrant and former political refugee, a small-business owner, a climate-change believer and after proudly becoming an American four years ago, there’s no question that I wouldn’t stand in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington.” On Saturday, she will donate a portion of her proceeds to Planned Parenthood, ACLU and Human Rights Watch. In addition to the brands mentioned above, Comey has corralled dozens of other designers, including Samantha and Matt Orley of Orley, who will be marching this weekend. “The election really left me heartbroken about how a large portion of our country views women and people of all diversities and that equality is just not a priority for them,” Samantha says. “But it’s also seriously motivated me to do something about it.” Pookie and Louis Burch ofTrademark are also joining in, saying jointly in an email, “When we look back on this time, it is important to us to know we did everything we could to stand up for our rights and the rights of others.”

A portion of the fashion industry has been frustratingly neutral on all things Trump of late, with many designers dodging political questions altogether. But Comey has a message for those still on the sidelines. The march, she believes, is “not a partisan situation at all. Of all the opportunities for things to stand up for, it’s just a really easy one.”Read more at:vintage formal dresses | marieaustralia

This beauty queen scares China


(Photo:short cocktail dresses)The Canadian was under no illusions about coming home with the 2016 crown. Getting on stage would be enough: the Miss World final is broadcast around the globe, including in her native China, where her father has been harassed and prevented from leaving.

In the end she appeared on screen for all of six seconds, during her introduction. For the rest of the show she was tucked away at the back of the crowd of contestants, or at the corners of the stage.

“It was really too naive to think that my father could see me,” Lin said.

If she is slightly bitter, it’s with good reason. Her sliver of screen time was bought with months of practice and rehearsal, and, most painfully for an outspoken human rights activist, her silence.

During the competition, Lin said she was placed under a communication blackout and forbidden from speaking to journalists, part of what analysts say is a pattern of western companies cooperating with China to silence critics overseas.

Miss World chairwoman Julia Morley said the organization did “our best to assist Miss Lin and have done absolutely nothing to prevent her doing everything she wanted to do.”

Good little Communist

Lin, 26, was born in China’s Hunan province. As a child, she wore the iconic red scarf of the Young Pioneers and vowed to “struggle for the cause of Communism.”

One of her duties in the state-run youth organization was to corral other children to watch propaganda broadcasts, which at the time were intently focused against Falun Gong.

The spiritual movement, which has roots in the ancient Chinese meditative martial art qigong, exploded in popularity in the 1990s, growing to an estimated 30 million members by the end of the decade, according to the US State Department.

In 1999, after upwards of 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners staged a peaceful demonstration in Beijing — the largest mass protest the Chinese capital had seen since the Tiananmen Square massacre a decade before — the movement was banned and a brutal crackdown launched, with tens of thousands of people arrested.

Now a prominent spokeswoman against the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, Lin said she was largely unaware of the crackdown at the time. It wasn’t until she moved to Canada at age 13 that she “learned that what were told in China was completely different to reality.”

Speaking out

“I didn’t start as an activist at all,” Lin said.

As a teenager, she was focused on acting and modeling, eventually studying theater at the University of Toronto.

It was there that she was approached by a Chinese producer who was looking for someone to play the role of a student killed during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Thousands of children died during the disaster, as shoddily built schools collapsed on top of them.

“He said they couldn’t find anyone to play this role, because it was too sensitive,” Lin said. “I jumped on the opportunity.”

Similar offers quickly followed: “At one point I really had a monopoly on these types of roles.”

At the same time, she began competing in beauty pageants to raise her profile and get on-camera experience. She placed third in Miss World Canada in 2013, going on to win the competition outright in 2015.

That’s when the trouble started.


As Canadian champion, Lin was due to take part in Miss World 2015, to be held that year in Sanya, on China’s southern island of Hainan. But as the event approached, her visa request went ignored and she was left hanging, unsure if she could take part in the competition.

She also began receiving distressing messages from her father, who still lives in China. Lin said he was approached by security officers and told that if she didn’t “stop her political and human rights activities” her family members would be arrested.

These threats did not stop her speaking out — “my personality is that I can’t really hide things” — but she and her father no longer talk due to fears for his safety.

Many activists have made similar allegations. Ilshat Hassan, president of the Uyghur American Association — which advocates for members of China’s Turkic-speaking Muslim minority — told CNN last year that his family has faced repeated harassment over his activism. “Just months ago my mum says please stop what you’re doing, or don’t call us,” he said.

Determined to at least try and take part in Miss World, Lin flew to Hong Kong — where Canadians do not require a visa to enter — and attempted to get a flight to Sanya.

“They declared me persona non grata and prevented me from boarding the plane,” she said.

Her denial of entry was quickly reported worldwide, massively raising her profile, and earning her a denouncement in the state-run Global Times, which accused her of lacking “reasonable understanding of the country where she was born” and warned her against “being tangled with hostile forces against China.”


Given a second chance to participate in Miss World 2016, Lin vowed to toe the line, not wanting to be denied a place in the final again. “I wanted to do things by the book,” she said.

Nevertheless, she chose as her “Beauty with a Purpose” project to shine the light on organ harvesting in China, a topic with which she had become familiar with after acting in the Canadian film “The Bleeding Edge.”

In June, a report by former Canadian lawmaker David Kilgour, human rights lawyer David Matas, and journalist Ethan Gutmann claimed, based on publicly reported figures by hospitals, that China was still engaged in the widespread and systematic harvesting of organs from prisoners, including prisoners of conscience.

Arriving in Washington DC, Lin received multiple media requests. Keen to play by the rules, she said she forwarded them all to Miss World officials, only to have them all initially denied, though several were later granted.

Lin said she was also angrily rebuked after an official spotted her chatting with a reporter in the lobby of her hotel.

“They said I was breaking rules, telling lies,” she said. “I felt like a criminal.”

During this period, at least six other contestants were allowed to give interviews.

After Miss World allowed her to give press interviews, Lin said she was still carefully monitored when talking to reporters.

Morley said that all contestants were chaperoned and denied that Lin was prevented from speaking in any way, saying she “had full access to any interviews without exception.”


Western companies and governments are facing increasing pressure from Beijing as it attempts to sideline overseas critics, said Amnesty International researcher Patrick Poon.

CNN has previously reported how Beijing has reached across borders in its hunt for dissidents, working with cooperative governments to deport critics back to China.

Economic pressure has also been brought to bear on companies that depend on revenue from China.

Last week, Apple removed the New York Times from its Chinese app store on the grounds the paper’s app “(violated) local regulations,” a move anti-censorship activist Charlie Smith characterized as “actively enabling infringements of human rights.”

“Foreign governments and foreign organizations should rethink whether what they have been doing in kowtowing to China’s influence means that they compromise (dissidents’) freedom of expression and freedom of movement,” Poon said.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond to a request for comment.

Miss World’s Morley denied Lin’s accusations that her treatment was related to pressure from Beijing, pointing out that this year’s competition, unlike Miss World 2015, did not have any Chinese sponsors.

Despite her experiences, Lin said she was grateful to the competition for giving her a platform.

“It’s not Miss World’s fault they’re so nervous, they’re a vulnerable pageant organization,” Lin said. “The entire world is economically tied to China.”Read more at:long evening dresses australia

JCCI launches fashion design competition

JCCI launches fashion design competition 

(Photo:formal dress shops sydney)The fashion design committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry has announced a competition that is open to female school and university students of different specializations. This competition will be part of the Saudi Wedding Exhibition 2017 which will be held at the Jeddah Hilton on March 2-4, 2017.

Three winners will be chosen based on various standers and also based on audience voting, and they will get both financial rewards and other gifts.

Omaima Azooz the head of the fashion design committee at th

e JCCI talked lately at a workshop organized at the JCCI in presence of 100 fashion designers. She said that this will be a yearly national competition to help discover talents. The competition she said is named “a promising competition” and aims at encouraging girls, students and women working in the academic field to contribute to this fashion design industry which is capable of providing thousands of job opportunities.

She added that they will be receiving participations starting from mid-January 2017 and will allow females to sent their participation until mid February. The first two days of the even that will be held in March will be devoted to displaying ten participations while the last day will be left for general evaluation, the voting of the audience and the announcement of winners. The first winner will get the golden award while the second will get a silver award and the third winner will get a bronze award. From this month the committee will start organizing worships that will determine those who will be participating in the competition.

Meanwhile, Azooz said they have nominated 5 females to participate in a competition in Cairo which, she said, stresses the role of Saudi women and their successful participation in different sectors particularly the fashion sector.Read more at:formal dresses melbourne

Bandhani: Class Never Goes out of Fashion

With large manufacturing units mostly located in Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Kutch, Gujarat has a vibrant textile sector. Reports from EMIS peg the number of textile units at around 1,500, for both medium and large units, with 18 textile-related product clusters. In the textile sector alone, Gujarat reported a total of 105,463 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), from 2006-2015, as stated by the Industries Commissionerate of the Government of Gujarat. A culturally significant part of these MSMEs is the ancient art of bandhani, which remains untapped as an industry but finds a space in changing tastes and trends of the international fashion industry. The Government of India as well as state policies in Gujarat, with the introduction of initiatives, hopes to incorporate this special fabric in the expanding textile sector in the country.

Sunny days for Indian textile sector

India is the world’s second largest exporter of textiles and clothing, as the ‘Make in India’ initiative approximates in its reports. The flexibility of 100 pc Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in single brand retailing has also facilitated an increase in the entry of top global apparel brands in India. With an aggressive expansion in multi-brand apparel stores over the past decade, the potential for investment in the textile industry is wide, with opportunities mainly in the raw fabric and dye production as well as processing and packaging sectors. With a large skill set and growing Industrial Training Institutes, Gujarat’s potential has grown with time.

What is Bandhani?

Bandhani, an ancient Indian technique of tie-and-dye involves two stages, as the process would seem like, tying sections of a length of cloth (silk or cotton) and then dunking it into vats of colours. Its name is derived from the Sanskrit word bandhana, which literally translates to tying together.

The technique demands skill and incorporation of an intricate and colourful design. It can take about 15- 20 days to weave a cloth of 20 meters which is the maximum length a loom can accept. The woven fabric is then removed from the loom and polished with starch before it is sent in its final product form for sale.

Involvement and employment

With Kutch and Saurashtra being the main districts in Gujarat for the production of the fabric, there is an employment of more than 30,000 persons in the region. The craft of making bandhani has become a major source of employment for the residents of Jamnagar particularly.

The centres of bandhani fabrics in Gujarat are mainly in Jamnagar and Ahmedabad, while in Rajasthan, they are found mostly in Bikaner, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Barmer, Pali, Udaipur and Nathdwara. “The producers of the fabric are usually dependent on dealers from Jamnagar, Rajkot and Ahmedabad. Because of the skills in Kutch, the dealers send agents to deliver cloth, with designs already marked out, and thread to the artisans of the area to carry out the tying process,” states Vibodh Shah, head for the company Mahavir Bandhani. Mahavir Bandhani has been in business for over a century, and explains that workers are paid according to a measure of kadi or four knots. “In an eight-hour working day, a worker completes up to 800 kadi on silk or 1200 on cotton. The finest sarees may take up to 12 days to knot,” states Vibodh.

Local initiatives

Communities in and around Gujarat and Rajasthan are involved in making bandhani, and there are attempts at sustaining this indigenous craft through independent and small efforts. Serving as bridges and resource providers to the locals, organisations realise sales and potential markets for them. Dastakar, a not-for-profit NGO established in 1981, works to support traditional Indian craftspeople and runs a few initiatives to sustain the fabric, along with other projects for keeping alive local crafts of block printing, quilting, toy making and soft furnishings, among many others.

A project by Dastkar, titled ‘Ranthambore’, deals in many crafts including bandhani. The organisation had a total turnover of around EUR 250,000 with around 350 women artisans involved for all crafts. “At present, the project is self-sustaining, but initially it received funding from the Ranthambhore Foundation, who initially invited us to work in the area, ICCO, NORAD and a Government of India Craft Development Centre scheme. Investment in the form of financial support and further skills training would enable the project to grow. And, livelihoods programme marketing platforms need to be built,” states Laila Tyabji, Chairperson of Dastkar.

Skilling as future

Introduction of skilling programmes also plays a part in promoting and preserving the craft. “When we started working in Ranthambhore, the women worked in the fields or as herders with no existing craft skills. We became a catalyst for earning and empowerment, and with 25 years of the project, all kinds of skilling have been shared, from tailoring and quilting to professional laundering and finishing. Every new skill leads to further growth, and the journey is far from over,” Tyabji shares. DISHA, a project by Dastkar, based in Rajasthan, promotes bandhani, through skills training and provision fabric and dying facilities. Fulfilling orders from France, Germany, the UK and Australia, DISHA is among the private initiatives that sustain the indigenous culture.

Sustainability in modern times

Bandhani, despite being a fabric that follows an old technique, has evolved in certain aspects to fit with changing tastes. Mahavir Bandhani states that initially six to seven colours limited to traditional designs was the norm, which has changed over the years. “We have included production of dress-materials, chaniya-choli and shirts with bandhani design. With the help of professional designers and dyeing masters, the quality of our bandhani production has improved immensely, and the fabric continues to gather fame over the world,” states Vibodh from Mahavir Bandhani.

Even as some locals are not extremely enthusiastic about learning the craft, the art product is slowly gaining popularity across India and abroad. Dewangi Marthak, who runs Jagdish Cotton World, a retail outlet in Rajkot, explains, “The colourful and bright bandhanis are hot-selling, as people know about it more than other textile arts. Especially during December, foreigners pour into our shop to buy traditional silks and cottons. People from Japan, Europe, the US, the UK all show interest.”

Government involvement

The government of Gujarat intends to invest close to EUR 3.16 billion in the textile industry by 2020, as per government reports. With an emphasis on handicrafts and rural industries through introduction of schemes and initiatives, the government of Gujarat is looking to improve the situation. The recent Cottage and Rural Industries Policy 2016 Initiatives list by the government of Gujarat lays out a plan, with specific policies on design development support, new emphasis on crafts tourism and infrastructure, technology and innovation development. Offering credit support options and specialised incentives for women, the government hopes to open up Gujarat to the country and the world to a brighter future of production and investment in rural handicrafts.

With the Indian government’s Skill India and Make in India initiatives, as well as opening up FDI for growth in general, the textile sector in Gujarat is bound to see a push. As the traditional bandhani has sustained over the years, there is a big opportunity for it to grow even bigger in the coming years.Read more at:cheap formal dresses melbourne | formal dresses canberra

Complete Every Look By Accessorizing With High Fashion Jewelry

For many years, jewelry was a show as well as a measure of wealth.

During the industrial revolution and the ability to make imitations with materials such as steel, the middle class was empowered to participate with the fashion trendsetters.

Designers like Dior, Chanel and Miriam Haskell brought the runway to reality for the everyday woman.

Today, high fashion jewelry is very much a part of runway fashion as well as a staple in most women’s accessory wardrobe.

Of course, we all would love to be dripping in fine jewelry, but many of us look to the high fashion jewelry trends as much as we look for the changes the next season brings to our closets.

For years, I’ve shared jewelry accessory trends with women at my Style Sessions. It’s important to note there is a difference between costume jewelry and high fashion jewelry. Costume jewelry is typically inexpensive trendy pieces made of wood, plastic and/or painted metal.

High fashion jewelry is plated with genuine metals and blends using semi-precious stones and crystals.

Many take inspiration from fine jewelry designers while others are inspired by the runway trends of the season. This has become 75 percent of all jewelry sold.

Most women find it’s easier and less expensive to update for the season’s new looks with accessories.

More importantly, jewelry always fits. With some basic pieces of clothing and a few pieces of high fashion jewelry, you can update your entire look for the season. Fashion choices are personal and accessories even more so.

Accessories define a woman’s look. You can make a casual outfit into something cutting edge with the right accessories. Jeans, for example, can take on many looks depending on the accessory selection.

With a few versatile pieces of jewelry you can accessorize an entire wardrobe.

If your desired look is taller and thinner, Jewelry can help you achieve that goal when worn properly with the right outfit. Look for pieces that work with your style in length, color, design, your body type and physical characteristics.

The selection decision should be based ultimately on how you feel when you wear it. Looking good plays a strong part in how we feel and if you feel like a supermodel wearing your latest high fashion jewelry piece, it was the right choice.

Heidi Klum, fashion expert and supermodel, is quoted as saying, “If you have $100 for an update, spend it on jewelry.”

Many of the trends for the 2017 spring fashion season were recently released and showcased in fashion weeks all over the world.

I’m excited to say that I’m attending a spring collection debut for Premier Designs High Fashion Jewelry and I can’t wait to see what’s new.

Premier Designs introduces new collections twice per year and each time, I’m amazed at the continued beauty, style and diversity of the new jewelry.

I’ll be looking forward to showing off the new line at my style sessions here in Brevard County.

Winter styles are on the way out and it’s time to spring into a new look. Grab your favorite shopping buddy and spend some time on you. Don’t be last on your list. Invest a little time in yourself and never let anyone dull your sparkle.

Check back on Space Coast Daily TV this Saturday as I give you a sneak peek into the new spring collection of high fashion jewelry.Read more at:short formal dresses | long formal dresses


Kylie Jenner now has a net worth of at least $18 million, making her the second largest earner in her family behind only older sister Kim Kardashian.

The 19-year-old’s affluent standing also lands her a spot on this year’s Forbes “30 Under 30” list of young business moguls, alongside such notable upstart entrepreneurs as Alli Webb, the founder of blowout chain Drybar; Toni Ko, the founder of NYX Cosmetics; and Jennifer Hyman, the cofounder of fashion tech giant Rent the Runway.

The bulk of the reality TV star’s burgeoning wealth stems from her cosmetic lines and the fashion lines she shares with sister Kendall.

“The reality TV star’s Kylie Cosmetics line has gone from strength to strength, with each incarnation of her $29 lip kits selling out upon release,” the mag highlighted. “Sources close to the teenager suggest the glosses did seven figures in revenues in 2016 alone. Jenner also puts her name to an apparel line, alongside model sister Kendall.”

Kylie also recently launched her new “The Royal Peach Palette” eyeshadow collection. The kit contains 12 shades, up from the nine she offered last year, and features a large mirror and handy accompanying make-up brush. Jenner posted news of the launch on her own Instagram page, instantly racking up over a million likes for the $45 sets that officially go on sale Jan. 12.

Jenner also recently entered into the world of real estate investment, purchasing yet another mansion in the exclusive area of Hidden Hills, California.

Through it all, Jenner has found the time to become a household name, often crisscrossing the country to hang out with rap star boyfriend Tyga and even starring in a couple of his music videos.

The youngest member of the Kardashian/Jenner clan recently unveiled a lower case “T” tattoo she sports on her ankle in honor of her bad boy boyfriend. She previously showed off a far riskier “before sanity” tat she sports on her posterior, which was inked for her sometime last year by her “Rack City” rapper boyfriend’s personal tat artist Rafael Valdez.

Rumors also recently spread that Jenner may or may not be entertaining the thought of engaging in a threesome with her rapper boyfriend and older model sister Kendall.

Several media outlets have reported that the idea for the risque hijinks stems from a request put forth by the 26-year-old rapper.

“He’s always had this dream of sleeping with Kendall and Kylie together,” said a source. “She’s dismissed it as a joke, but he’s dead serious. Tyga’s seriously X-rated and he’s worked a real spell on Kylie.”

Word is the indecent proposal isn’t the first time Tyga has run it by his girlfriend as something he would be more than agreeable to taking part in. As it is, a video they recently posted to social media of the two of them frolicking in the shower nearly set the web on fire from all the traffic.

Even as all eyes have continued to be glued on her and her net worth has continued to rise into the stratosphere, Jenner still has a way to go to come anywhere near dethroning sister Kim as the family’s ultimate breadwinner.

Forbes pegs the older Kardashian sibling and rap star Kanye West’s wife net worth at somewhere in the neighborhood of $51 million. Kardashian continues to star on the family’s Keeping Up with the Kardashians reality TV show and also owns a number of business interests.

Other celebs cracking Forbes‘ 2017 “30 under 30” list include singer-songwriter Daya, R&B star Justine Skye, rappers Lil Yachty and Desiigner, and singers Bryson Tiller, Jeremih, Gallant, and Charlie Puth.Read more at:formal dresses sydney | plus size formal dresses

Pageant judge calls out ‘trashy’ New Zealand dress sense

A beauty pageant judge has called out Kiwis as “trashy” dressers who have a poor sense of style.

Timaru resident Lesley Walker has been judging the Junior Miss Cutie and Miss Cutie contests at the Caroline Bay Carnival, where children line up to be judged on appearance, attitude and confidence, for the past four years.

“New Zealanders as a whole we dress quite trashy, we don’t dress up any more,” Walker said.

The 74-year-old said the poor sense of style is one of the reasons she still supports annual pageants and believed the fashion sense of Kiwis had deteriorated since she was young.

Despite having no background in fashion, Walker has plenty of experience in judging, having been a regular dog show judge for many years.

Some of Walker’s sentiments have been echoed by fashion heavyweight and WORLD co-founder Denise L’Estrange-Corbet, who said New Zealanders needed to “ramp it up”.

“New Zealand women I have seen who attend black tie events tend to not dress up as much as the event requires. I understand we are a ‘casual’ nation in our dress, but I have been appalled at what women, and men, wear to weddings and events.

“We need to ramp it up, the Aussies and Europeans beat us hands down, and it’s not as if we don’t have great designs here, but people always seem so afraid of dressing up – whereas I am always afraid of being under-dressed.”

However, fashion blogger and editor of NZGirl Belinda Nash disputed the notion that New Zealand women were “trashy”.

“Kiwi women have mastered refined elegance that’s both bold and original, exemplified by some of our most stylish girls such as Lorde, Georgia Nott and Hollie Smith.

Our designers, including Miss Crabb, Coop, RUBY and Liam, Jarrad Godman, Juliette Hogan, twenty-seven names and Adrian Hailwood, to name just a few, design for chic, feminine silhouettes that flatter the female body, she said. To call its wearers ‘trashy’ is a bit petty and entirely missing the point of our unique Kiwi aesthetic.”

​But Walker said she believed people did not want to “tidy themselves up” because they were lazy.

“My father would never let us wear jeans, so I have never worn them in his honour. He said women in jeans looked ‘trashy’.”

Recalling a time when everyone got themselves dressed up for all occasions, whether it be to attend church or Christmas Day celebrations, the great-grandmother said it was rare to see people well turned out these days.

She had noticed the change from well presented to casual in the past 15 to 20 years.

“No-one dresses their babies up and pushes them down Stafford St in a pram any more.”

Walker said she liked seeing pageant entrants dressed up, as it wasn’t something she often got to see.

But while L’Estrange-Corbet agreed with Walker about the style of Kiwi women, she was not a fan of children’s pageants.

“I feel the make up particularly sexualises children, and sometimes the outfits worn are just not appropriate.

“Children should be children and not have to be travelling around the country, entering these events, which are tacky, training, having new, more elaborate outfits made, to only not win and have the disappointment to contend with.

“They always seem to be more about the mother wanting the child to win, more than the actual child.”

Walker’s fellow Caroline Bay Carnival judge and beauty therapist Hope Dragalev​, who has travelled the world, thought the “Kiwi style” was what made New Zealand “unique”.

“I guess we (Kiwis) could do with embracing more confidence and sassiness, to up our game a bit.”

She said it was harder for women in New Zealand to access the variety of styles available in Europe.

A tourist visiting Timaru from the United Kingdom, Dylan Read, thought casual was good.

“You’re all beach dwellers, if you wear nice clothes you’ll get sand in them and ruin them.”

He said European women spent hours looking they way they did, “stylish and chic”, but he did not like that look.

He preferred the more natural image.Read more at:formal dress shops sydney | formal dress

The secret feminist history of shopping

There was a time when women browsing at the shops was a minor scandal. 

(Photo:black formal dresses)For the world’s malls, December was once the happiest time of the year. Now, each holiday season brings a painful reminder that shoppers have increasingly abandoned real-life storefronts for virtual ones.

To get people off the couch, mall owners are trying to bring back the idea of shopping as a social activity. They’re investing in free cocoa and “elfie selfie” stations, and they’ve doubled down on the mall Santa, building him expensive high-tech palaces decked out with “Naughty O’ Nice Meters” and “Elf-Ray Vision.”

Even stores that have historically shunned these traditions, like Toys ‘R Us, are now getting in the game.

It might be too late. The notion of strolling through a physical mall is starting to feel old-fashioned, like barbershop quartets, or writing in cursive. This is how people used to buy things, Virginia, before drone deliveries and the sundry triumphs of on-demand capitalism.

But once upon a time, shopping galleries were deeply radical spaces.

In fact, it’s impossible to tell the full story of women’s rights without talking about the rise of the mall and its predecessor, the shopping district. These places were crucial to the invention of shopping as an experience: as an act of leisure, as a way to spend an afternoon. And in doing so, they opened up modern cities to women and gave them areas where they, like men, could wander at will.

For many middle-class housewives in Victorian England, shopping was their first taste of real freedom, and the starting point for their push into public life, explains historian Erika Diane Rappaport.

“During a period in which a family’s respectability and social position depended upon the idea that the middle-class wife and daughter remain apart from the market, politics, and public space, the female shopper was an especially disruptive figure,” she writes in her history Shopping For Pleasure.


Bazaars and markets are as old as civilisation, of course. But the idea of ambling through stores, sipping on cocoa, and admiring (but not necessarily buying) the merchandise – that is a thoroughly modern activity that first gained popularity in 1800s. And for the time, it was also a minor scandal.

As urban centres coalesced in the 19th century, they were primarily the domain of men. Cities were sites of politics and business. Women weren’t entirely excluded, says historian Mica Nava, but their public presence was scarce. They could attend galleries and exhibitions with a male chaperon, for instance; and some shopping did exist, but primarily among wealthy ladies.

What changed in the 19th century was industrialisation and the manufacturing revolution, which churned out furniture, flatware, and clothing in dazzling volumes. The explosion in the variety and availability of affordable consumer goods meant that the growing middle class could suddenly buy things just for the joy of it. And the task of tastefully selecting among these luxury goods fell to the women.

Shopping gave middle-class women a foothold in the modern city, and for many, a new pastime. Soon, housewives started roaming the city under the pretense of buying things.

By this new definition, “shopping” didn’t always involve an actual purchase. It was about the pleasures of perusing – taking in the sights, the displays, the people.


Not everyone was happy about the intrusion of women into urban life. Even in the late 1800s, many still looked down on ladies who walked the streets without a male chaperon. Newspaper columnists condemned their shopping habits as salacious acts of public consumerism.

“Perhaps nothing was more revolting than the spectacle of a middle-class woman immersed in the filthy, fraudulent, and dangerous world of the urban marketplace,” Rappaport writes.

But urban retailers eagerly welcomed the women. They invented places like the department store, where women could shop comfortably, surrounded by amenities, and in semi-private.

“By providing a reason – shopping – for women to appear unescorted in public, as well as arranging safe spaces like restrooms and tea rooms where women could gather or sit alone without fear of being molested by men… department stores also made it possible for women to leave the domestic space of the home and lay claim to the centre of the city,” write sociologists Sharon Zukin and Jennifer Smith Maguire.

Slowly, the city reconfigured itself in response to the demands of shopping women. In the London of the early 1800s, suburban women day-trippers often had no place to eat lunch or even use the restroom. But soon, Rappaport writes, feminists were pressuring the city government to install public lavatories. Women’s clubs and tea shops sprang up for women to grab a bite in between their shopping excursions.

With these social changes came new social ills. On both sides of the Atlantic, there was an outbreak of shoplifting. But since the perpetrators were typically well-to-do women, they weren’t thrown in jail, explains historian Elaine Abelson. Doctors decided that this was a medical condition related to their uteruses, and invented the disease “kleptomania”.

This epidemic of petty, middle-class crime made huge waves in the popular culture, where there were songs and movies about female shoplifters. The act of acquiring things was increasingly seen as its own pleasure, and many women blamed department stores for being temples of temptation.


By the early 1900s, London’s shopping scene also became a battleground for the women’s suffrage movement, who went on window-smashing raids against the same stores that relied on their business. The suffragettes took advantage of women’s newfound place in urban life, which allowed them for the first time to move freely in parts of the city.

“Suddenly women who had a moment before appeared to be on peaceful shopping expeditions produced from bags or muffs, hammers, stones and sticks, and began an attack upon the nearest windows,” one Daily Telegrapharticle described, according to Rappaport. These violent efforts eventually helped women in England win the vote in 1918.

Now a century later, this world of militant suffragettes and male chaperons sounds like an alien planet. We take for granted a lot of the changes that were set into motion when department stores gave women an excuse to take more and more excursions outside the home.

It’s of course sexist that shopping today is still perceived as a “girlie” activity. But at the time, shopping helped women assert themselves and assert their economic importance in a society that denied them a larger role in the public sphere.

As Rappaport writes, “For women with few public activities and limited employment and educational options, shopping allowed them to occupy and construct urban space.” (And, daresay, suburban malls served something of the same purpose for the boys and girls of the 80s and 90s.)

So let’s sidestep all of those French philosophers who have written so scathingly about consumption culture, except to concede that yes, we often buy things because it is fashionable, and yes, we often buy things that we don’t need. So what? Our consumerist habits are not going away. They’re just moving online.

What is disappearing is the shopping mall – and with it, the notion of shopping as a social activity. It’s OK to be nostalgic for all that once symbolised.Read more at:pink formal dresses

Impress your man with sense of style – Here’s how

Impress your man with sense of style – Here’s how 

(Photo:one shoulder formal dresses)You don’t have to dress in skimpy clothes to get your man’s attention. A well-ironed shirt, denims and heels can do the trick, says an expert.

Designer Hardika Gulati has rolled out few tips to help you up fashion quotient.

*Denim rules: Wear plain blue denims with a crisp white shirt and you are good to go. When in doubt, always wear denims. There are ample options to explore right from denim rompers, shorts to jackets, capri and shirts.

*Say yes to formals: It doesn’t matter how effortlessly you rocked the ‘rugged jeans and black leather jacket’ look, nothing can beat a formal attire. A well-ironed shirt, perfectly tucked into a sleek pencil skirt with heels will definitely steal the attention of your man.

*Heels for a charismatic persona: High heels have something that even the most stylish dresses don’t. Wear heels with plain denim and you are high on style quotient instantly.

From wedges to stilettos, pumps, or kitten heels, there is a lot to explore. Depending upon your date, wear your heels effortlessly and steal all the attention.

*Solid colours: Solid colours bring all the attention to your personality. Deep red coloured gown or perfect white maxi dress looks amazing and exude confidence and a strong persona.

*Clothes that fit well: Always wear clothes that fit you well. Don’t wear loose clothes to hide that tummy or flabby arms, similarly, too tight clothes accentuate your flaws. It is better to wear clothes of your size and fit. A perfectly tailored trousers and nicely fitted blouse looks wonderful irrespective of your size.

*Don’t overdo it: Just like under-dressing, over-dressing is a fashion fiasco. In an attempt to impress your man, don’t try and wear all your best clothing pieces at the same time.Read more at:red formal dresses

How bad are high heels for your feet?

As the saying goes, fashion is pain. Maybe that’s why most women don’t think twice about stepping into sky-high heels day after day. But really, how harmful is this everyday choice?

Well, it’s worse than you think. According to NBC News correspondent, Dr. Natalie Azar, high heels are one of the most common causes of foot pain among women.

Wearing heels forces your ankles to bend forward, like you’re standing on your tip toes. This can cause a series of health problems. It restricts blood circulation in your lower limbs which can lead to spider veins, it can also shorten the muscles in your calves and stiffen your Achilles tendon, leading to pain and muscle spasms.

But the pain doesn’t just occur in your legs and feet. Heels can also cause back and knee problems. For your body to stay balanced on heels, your spine needs to sway unnaturally, which adds stress to the muscles in your spine. This results in a sore lower back.

As for your knees, a study from Stanford University found that heels that are 3 1/2 inches or higher putso much stress on your knees that it could increase a woman’s risk for osteoarthritis, a common chronic condition of the joints which affects approximately 27 million Americans.

If you’re experiencing any of these issues, it’s important to visit a doctor before they get worse. To prevent these issues from occurring, try to decrease the amount of days you wear heels — or change into flats or walking shoes when you leave work.

At the end of each day, spend a few minutes stretching your quads, calves and hip flexors. Fashion doesn’t have to be synonymous with pain.Read more at:cheap formal dresses online | plus size formal dresses