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Chinese e-commerce apps like Club Factory, Shein, Romwe value India markets

India is one of the main markets of focus for China's major cross-border e-commerce players due to high potential for economic growth, according to a report on Sunday.

Five of the top 10 best performing cross-border e-commerce Chinese apps in the first five months --- such as Club Factory, SHEIN, ROMWE and JollyChic - focussed on the Middle East and India markets, according to a report from app data provider App Annie.

According to the report, the Indian market enjoys a huge population and high potential for economic growth, thus attracting many e-commerce players to expand their presence, state-run Xinhua news agency said.

Smartphones are popular in Arab countries and local consumers have strong purchasing power. But the oil-rich countries lack textiles and other light sectors, offering cross-border e-commerce opportunities for products like apparel.

Alibaba's AliExpress tops the list, which mainly reviews the performances of third-party business-to-consumer e-commerce platforms targeting overseas consumers, it said.

The report also showed that South American markets pose rising growth potential while developed markets in Europe and the United States remain attractive to Chinese e-commerce players.

More: Business-standard.com

Publicerat klockan 07:56, den 13 juli 2018
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Fashion History: David Bowie and the Birth of Androgyny

LONDON, United Kingdom —  Demonstrating a solid knowledge of fashion history is essential for anyone who wishes to work in the fashion sector, irrespective of the role they wish to work in.

Although fashion is a highly innovative and creative industry, it is also highly cyclical. Many looks are revisited and reinterpreted by designers and this is a key reason why an awareness of fashion history is important. Understanding the heritage of seminal moments and the zeitgeist of that era means that one can reference where key looks have originated from and why.

In 1970, David Bowie (real name David Jones) released his third album called "The Man Who Sold the World." On the record cover, Bowie is pictured reclining on a chaise longue with long wavy hair and wearing a long velvet dress, dubbed the "man dress." Styled with some block-heeled suede boots, the look was deliberately androgynous. He repeatedly re-wore the "man dress", designed by Mick Jagger's dresser Mr Fish, throughout his US publicity tour in early 1971, despite being reportedly ridiculed by the general public on the street.

Some fashion historians credit Elvis Presley as the initiator of androgyny as a concept. However, Bowie's exaggerated use of makeup and theatrical stage outfits were seen as far more controversial than his androgynous style rival, who solely relied on eyeliner and a feminine pout. As the King of Reinvention, Bowie would use music and fashion as a means of self-expression through his personas like Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane and the Thin White Duke.

"People like Jean Paul Gaultier, Zandra Rhodes [and] Vivienne Westwood really did extraordinary things, which were all linked in many, many ways with David Bowie, who was a seminal figure," says Colin McDowell MBE, fashion writer, journalist and academic. Indeed, androgyny remains a key trend in fashion today, with designers like JW Anderson, Eckhaus Latta and Rad Hourani creating unisex products and high street brands including Zara and H&M following suit.

More about fashion:

https://youtu.be/r10HQZpyj1k

Publicerat klockan 03:52, den 10 juli 2018
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Moving the Goal Posts in Fashion

PARIS — They may have been protesting the separation of migrant families in the United States over the weekend but, in Paris, they were celebrating France’s soccer victory over Argentina. And as the couture shows began Sunday evening, that World Cup series win lent a rosy glow to a sector that is regarded as a national treasure of a different kind.

Riding her post-Meghan Markle royal wedding wave of acclaim, Clare Waight Keller, artistic director of Givenchy, was awarded pole position on opening night for what was only her second couture collection ever. In the gardens of the Archives Nationales — as cawing sea gulls flew overhead, circling the house’s drone, and the arched windows of the cream stone edifice were reflected in the mirrored catwalk — she rose to the occasion with an ode to her house’s founder, Hubert de Givenchy, who died earlier this year.

You could trace the antecedents — some “Sabrina” here; some classic couture balloon sleeves there — but Ms. Keller made them her own.

She started with the signature Givenchy column beneath a satin tunic top cropped just below the breastbone in the front and sweeping down to the floor behind, as once worn by Audrey Hepburn but updated in black wool and white georgette covered in matte metallic sequins.

She melded deep jewel toned velvets and crystalline sequined capes that glimmered like the walls of an emerald mine; spliced a short black cape jacket to a white shirt; trapped flyaway nude silk chiffons with hammered silver breastplates; sent necklines soaring like satin stalagmites

Men’s narrow overcoats were pavéd in the same silver sequins and beaded peacock feathers as the gowns (though the men still seem like accessories to the women, rather than equals); trench coats lined in starlight; thin black turtlenecks and cigarette pants layered under glimmering bustier dresses with petal skirts. The shoulders in all cases were drawn with squared-offed geometric precision; the line pristine.

It was a little medieval and a little futuristic, formal in its heritage (fah to daywear!) and never less than highly controlled. Each look was named after a word M. de Givenchy had used to describe his own runway styles (“affectionate,” “intriguing,” ”severe,” “inaccessible”), though the net effect sacrificed emotion to the armor of elegance. Feelings can be messy, which is risky but also what creates an unexpected clutch of stomach-churning excitement. It’s the one element missing from Ms. Waight Keller’s roster.

She has mastered her material, but she still plays by the familiar rules, as does Bertrand Guyon at Schiaparelli, who this season gave the urban jungle a surrealist masquerade ball spin in the gilded halls of the Opéra Garnier. A flamingo intarsia cape topped skinny pink trousers worn by a model in a matching flamingo papier-mâché headdress, while crystal zebra stripes mixed it up with moire and leopard and Dalmatian prints tussled in a ponyskin coat. A platinum lamé gown trembled with lace butterflies.

The craft of the atelier on display was impressive, if the realization a bit obvious — though not as obvious as an ivory satin caftan with an intarsia portrait of the Schiap herself. Big sister is watching. Best not stray too far from her playbook, even if you can see the moves coming from a mile away.

Iris Van Herpen, on the other hand, is in an entirely different league; one she created, and continues to occupy pretty much by herself. For her, technology is a contemporary form of craft, and the digital world, her atelier. Half the time, what she makes doesn’t even resemble clothing, at least as we used to know it, but rather some form of undulating carapace: the 5G network made material, cast in the style of Arthurian legend, and encasing the body.

It’s not that she rejects the heritage of the couture, she just redefines it with modern tools. Once upon a time the sewing machine did the same.

Witness her latest collection, titled “Syntopia” and inspired, the show notes read, by “the new worlds that arise within synthetic biology.” Relatively wearable (by Van Herpen standards) leather overcoats displayed windows of gray wool woven via parametric files.

A turquoise organza fan-pleated cape dress was coated with liquid to create glass wings. Sound wave patterns were cut by laser out of Mylar and black cotton and heat-bonded to acrylic cutouts to create something resembling (kind of) a little black dress.

The result challenges convention, and, possibly, one’s ability to sit down. Whether Ms. Van Herpen scores with each look or not, however (and all those sine curves can start to feel a little repetitive), she’s definitely moved the goal posts in this game.

Search for more fashion items:

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/clubfactory/

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https://clubfactory.tumblr.com/

Publicerat klockan 04:11, den 3 juli 2018
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Fashion And Football, The Battle Of The Brands

The Fifa World Cup 2018 tournament kicked off in Russia this month and our lives currently seem to be dominated by World Cup Fever. And as with all aspects of our lives, fashion is heavily involved.

So what does fashion have to do with football?

Well a great deal, a huge great deal involving hundreds of millions of dollars.

How is fashion involved?

20 years ago German outfitter Adidas became the official partner of Fifa.

What is Fifa?

Fifa is the Federation Internationale de Football Association, it is the international governing body of association football.

What is Adidas?

Adidas is a multinational corporation founded in Germany in 1949 by Adolf Dassler. Hence the name of the brand, “Adi”, is Adolf’s nickname, and “Das” from his surname, combined create Adidas. It is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe.

And what is the connection with football?

The Adidas and football collaboration started with their home team Bayern Munich.

And the 2018 World Cup tournament?

Adidas is sponsoring more teams than any other brand in this tournament. It has been estimated that Adidas has spent $50million on marketing, $80million on World Cup Sponsorship. Including individual team sponsorships that adds up to $260million.

Adidas will be celebrating their 20 year anniversary of their sponsorship of the world cup, this year.

And the main competitor?

Nike, a sports apparel brand is their biggest competitor. It has been estimated that Nike has spent $876million on marketing. Including individual team sponsorships that adds up to $1+ billion.

And yet investors still prefer Nike, why?

1 billion people watched the all-Adidas final at the last world cup tournament which was held in Brazil four years ago. Nike’s share price rose and beat Adidas’ by more than 30% in the three months after the tournament finale.

How long has this off field battle lasted?

For the last 20 years Nike has competed to be Number 1, attempting to replace Adidas as the world’s leading brand for soccer gear worldwide.

And as the international teams compete on the field to lift the cup, it looks like the battle of the brands will continue to the death.

Publicerat klockan 11:00, den 25 juni 2018
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India Online Shopping Is Getting More And More Popular

Consumers in India will spend $32.7 billion shopping online this year, a 31 percent increase on last year's figure, according to eMarketer.

Sales will be driven by ecommerce leaders Amazon, Paytm and Flipkart, which are all expanding into new sectors including grocery, the research firm said. Flipkart, which has 100 million users, is set to be bought by Walmart in a deal valued at $16 billion, it was announced last month.

However, online shopping only represents a fraction of total retail spending in the country: while 25 percent of the population is forecast to shop online this year, ecommerce will make up just 2.9 percent of overall retail sales.

More money is set to be spent online in the next three years, however, with eMarketer predicting that Indians will spend $71.94 billion on ecommerce by 2021.

"Ecommerce is booming in India thanks to increased internet users and cheaper smartphones," said Eric Haggstrom, forecasting analyst at eMarketer.

"In tandem with this shift to online and mobile usage, Flipkart, Amazon and Paytm Mall have been competing fiercely to claim their share of the Indian market. All three of these companies are making large investments, which include improved logistics and payment systems, as well as offering deep discounts, which will fuel future growth in the market," Haggstrom added.

Club Factory are also booming in the country, with launching Billions last year and on website as well as app selling everything from headphones to stationery.

Find more details on Social Media:

Club Factory Facebook page

Club Factory Twitter Page

Club Factory Instagram Page

Publicerat klockan 05:11, den 11 juni 2018
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Don’t pack light, pack clever – what a fashion editor puts in her suitcase

In the art of packing, as so often in life, you learn through your mistakes. And I have made a few. My career to date has been an extended, fully immersive practical and rigorous examination in the art of the suitcase. I’m talking high-stakes, PhD-level packing. The kind of packing that will see you right when New York fashion week outfits need to contend with blizzards (par for the course in February) or hurricanes (commonplace in September). The kind that won’t let you down when you get an unexpected call in your Milan hotel room to say that Donatella Versace is hosting Jennifer Lopez’s wedding, and do you want to come to Lake Como, like, now? In the course of a decade and a half in fashion, the two practical life skills I have notched up are, first, being able to assemble a filling and balanced meal representative of all the major food groups from a tray of canapes, even while that tray is moving; second, how to pack.

Rule 1: forget about packing light

I don’t trust people who pack light. They are smug gits, and selfish with it. Those hand luggage-only types, who look on patronisingly while you check in your case, only to get through security and insist on spending the time that you had earmarked for cava looking for sandals in Accessorize when it occurs to them that they might actually be hot in trainers after all. Then, once you have arrived at your destination, they realise they have forgotten to charge their Kindle, and swipe your new Arundhati Roy. However, this is not carte blanche to stuff a suitcase. I consider my packing a failure if, on returning home, I unpack anything that I didn’t wear (except the in-case-of-bad-weather waterproof). I am hardcore about this, mainly because I hate ironing with an absolute passion, so clothes that haven’t been worn but need ironing again fill me with horror. Don’t pack light – pack clever.

Rule 2: the most important part of your holiday wardrobe is your suitcase

Let’s face it: most luggage is inexplicably ugly. Pulling your suitcase out from under the bed is as potent a moment in the holiday ritual as putting your out of office on, so I don’t get why the aesthetic ambition of most would make a chest freezer look streamlined. The new Away brand is not as glam as Goyard (sometimes I walk past the label’s Mount Street store and contemplate giving it my house in part exchange for a suitcase), but it is chic and streamlined. And at £225 for a case, it’s about a hundredth of the price. Plus, the built-in battery and USB cable for charging your phone is actual genius, allowing you to hit the ground Instagramming.

Rule 3: pack two days in advance

Although I have no intention of ceding the moral high ground to the toothbrush-and-sarong brigade, I acknowledge the ignominy – not to mention the expense – of a case that gets slapped with the HEAVY sticker at check-in. As a recovering over-packer, I have found that the best preventative technique is a cool-down period. Instead of packing the night before you leave, let the edit percolate, revisit it after 24 hours and you will realise that the bandeau dress you bought in a sale the year before last but have never worn needs to go to the charity shop, not the beach.

Rule 4: wire hangers and dry-cleaner bags are your friend

We ironing-phobes are expert at transporting clothes uncreased. Jeans, sweatshirts, running leggings can be folded. T-shirts, knitwear can be rolled. Anything in danger of creasing up – dresses, shirts – goes on wire hangers. Pull one of those plastic bags from the dry cleaners over the top of the bundle. Do not pack this the night before. Leave it hanging up somewhere you definitely won’t forget it - I go with behind the front door - until you are ready to leave. Then fold in half or in three as necessary for the size of the case, and pack. Take it out the minute you arrive, shake and hang up.

Rule 5: think about what you will want to wear

Sounds obvious, but this is where many people go wrong. We have a drawer of “holiday clothes”, which are there because they are colours that work with a tan, or because there is no other opportunity to wear that mini kaftan with the pom-pom trim. Forget that drawer. Instead, think about waking up on holiday, and what you will most want to wear, and pack that. So if you are going on a villa holiday with friends and you have small children who get up early, it might be that you need nice pyjama bottoms and T-shirts for the dawn shift, swimwear and denim cutoffs for the beach, and then a couple of really nice maxi dresses that make you feel glamorous and protect your ankles from unglamorous mosquito bites, for the post-tea bath/bed bit. So pack four of each of those outfits.

Rule 6: don’t be too sensible

There is no such thing as overdressed on holiday. Who says you can’t wear a party dress as a beach cover up if you want to? Take your absolute favourite clothes, the ones that bring you maximum happiness – whether that’s beaten-up old shorts or sequinned finery.

Rule 7: avoid the high-heel trap

Packing gets really boring, what with finding the right adaptors and debating whether to take the hairdryer and counting out knickers and remembering to screw the top on the shampoo bottle properly. So at some point you start lobbing in any old tat, telling yourself that you can always dress it up with a pair of shoes. Do not do this. One pair of mid-height block or wedge heels – three inches max – is all you should take. If an outfit won’t look great with these shoes, it’s not coming on holiday. Add one pair of flat sandals and one pair of loafers or trainers.

Rule 8: ignore other people’s packing rules

For instance: every “my suitcase” feature I have ever read talks about packing scented candles. What is with that? It baffles me. Why would you sit inside sniffing a candle when you could be outside with the scent of barbecue? Other people’s rules make no sense. Make your own.

My five suitcase essentials

Black looks great on holiday. The pull-on-over-your-bikini garment is crucial. It should cover your shoulders, and not be too short. Mine is ancient and the brand I bought it from doesn’t seem to exist any more. If I were to lose it, I would buy this one from Seafolly.

White loafers

I have worn these shoes at least three days a week since I got them in the spring. They go with everything and are the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. I will be wearing them to the airport.

The perfect swimsuit

Expensive, yes. But I actually think this swimsuit, ideally worn with a pair of large diamond stud earrings, might be the most elegant outfit it would be possible to wear.

Holiday earrings

2017 is a vintage year for the holiday earring. A swishy, gelato-coloured silky chandelier is the only elevator-item your suitcase needs.

Mosquito-proof eveningwear

On holiday, my after-dark dress code revolves around my ankles not becoming an all-you-can-eat buffet for the local mosquitoes. These trousers have a “Gwyneth Paltrow at a clam bake” thing going on, which adds an aspirational gloss to what is effectively an insect repellent.

 

Publicerat klockan 04:23, den 29 juni 2017
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PLEATED TROUSERS ARE MAKING A MENSWEAR COMEBACK

Fashion isn't an exact science so it doesn't take a rocket scientist to guess that when the mania for skinny narrow trousers is on the wane their replacement is going to be the roomier wide legged alternative. 

Veering from one extreme to another is what the fashion industry does best; it is nothing if not predictable. 

Nevertheless, and putting that predictability factor aside, it's still a relief to say good riddance to that unforgiving silhouette, especially if you were never a slim hipped type of man to begin with. 

But adopting the latest trouser shape is not necessarily foolproof either, especially if there's the addition of a pleat, that little nip of fabric found at the top of your pair of trousers, just underneath the waistband. 

As unassuming as the pleat may seem, it's a cruel mistress, deceptively adding extra inches to your waist line, even if you've been blessed with wash board abs. 

Which is why the relaxed camp collar shirt turns out to be the perfect accompaniment when wearing pleated trousers; because these shirts are cut with a square hem that sits on the waist, there's no tucking in to be done thereby ensuring that the pleat doesn't become the sole focus of attention.  

All of this just goes to show, that occasionally what you wear on your legs can require just as much thought as what you wear on your torso. 

Yes, pleated trousers may have something of a bad rep but when worn correctly they're more than happy to tow the sartorial line.

Publicerat klockan 11:39, den 19 april 2017
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Why people are wearing blue ribbons to the ceremony

It’s the annual be-all and end-all of glamorous Hollywood events and, as usual, we’re engrossed by what the stars are wearing the moment they hit the red carpet.

But for 2017, things are taking a slightly more political turn.

Forget statement shoes, crystal-drop earrings and bags. Tonight, the must-have red-carpet accessory is a blue ribbon. 

Dressed to protest, it seems as though the ceremony’s biggest political statements are coming from the catwalk outside with stars signifying their support for the American Civil Liberties Union.

In aid of the new “Stand with ACLU” initiative launched last week, Hollywood icons are being encourages to wear the ribbon as an act of solidarity with the organisation which has campaigned for nearly 100 years to defend and protect the individual rights of citizens. 

Early to the red carpet, Irish-Ethiopian actress Ruth Negga pinned one to the bodice of her bright red Valentino gown. Fitting, seeing as the non-profit organisation supplied the legal resources for the couple featured in the film she’s nominated for, Loving. 

Actor Lin Manuel-Miranda and his mother, known as staunch defenders of human rights, also sported ribbons onto their red-carpet finery as did supermodel Karlie Kloss, who showed her support wearing one low on the hip of her all-white Stella McCartney gown.

Publicerat klockan 09:21, den 2 mars 2017
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Beauty’s dirty secret: Is charcoal the secret to perfect skin

At this time of year, everyone’s talking about detoxing but there are other ways to clean up your act besides laying off the booze. Enter, charcoal.

Until recently, it’s something you probably associated with the annual summer barbeque or being on Santa’s naughty list but now, it’s started to infiltrate the beauty world too.

This isn’t ordinary charcoal, though; the stuff you’ll find in face masks, toothbrushes and juices is activated. Essentially, this means it has been treated with oxygen to make it more receptive to drawing out impurities.

In simple terms, it works like a sponge to soak up all the grime, oil and dirt from our skin.

However, activated charcoal isn’t anything new. Long before its incorporation into beauty products, the substance was widely used in the medical world. Because of its ability to absorb toxins, it’s been used in hospitals for years to treat alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses.

These days though, it’s rapidly becoming the must have beauty ingredient of the moment but, is it really the secret to perfect skin?

The super-popular ingredient is known to help make pores smaller and cleaner, to take care of oily skin and even treat acne. Its purgative qualities help pull the dirt out of your pores, making them less visible and removing excess oil.

Could it be time to toss your chemical-ridden cleansers in the bin?

But if it’s not for your skin, some beauty buffs are turning to activated charcoal to cleanse their hair and even whiten their teeth.

Putting black coal in your mouth might feel a little squeamish but it’s proven to actually be pretty effective. The absorbent properties mean it binds easily to substances that stain like coffee, tea, wine and plaque, so that they separate more easily.

For a product that’s said to absorb thousands of times its own mass in dirt and grime, it’s no wonder activated charcoal is creating such a buzz. 

Could the secret to radiant beauty really be lurking at the bottom of your barby? It seems so.

Publicerat klockan 09:30, den 16 januari 2017
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London Fashion Week: full schedule revealed

The British Fashion Council has published the full schedule for London Fashion Week complete with a key showing which designers are merging their men’s and women’s shows and which are going “see now, buy now”.

Despite the growing shift towards “co-ed” (combined men’s and women’s) catwalks and see now, buy now, most designers are sticking to the formula of showing AW17 in advance for now.

The event will take place at its new home at The Store Studios, 180 Strand from Friday 17 February to Tuesday 21 February. Catwalks will take place at the BFC Show Space at The Store Studios along with some presentations; other official presentations will take place at The Painting Rooms at the Royal Society of Arts on Durham House Street.

Day one kicks off with a co-ed catwalk show at the BFC Show Space by Teatum Jones; other major brands showing that day will stick with womenswear and show AW17 including Bora Aksu, Eudon Choi, Paul Costelloe and PPQ.

On day two Julien Macdonald will stage a co-ed show and others who will be showing both men’s and women’s during the five days include Globetrotter, Margaret Howell, Burberry and Toogood. Only Burberry is officially listed as adopting see now, buy now but it is likely other brands will feature some immediately available product in their shows; Alice Temperley and Henry Holland, who will both show at LFW, have done this in previous seasons.

Roland Mouret is the big name to return to London Fashion Week, as previously reported. His show, which is being staged to mark 20 years of his brand, will take place at midday on 19 February. However London Fashion Week has lost a big name in Paul Smith, who has decided to show both his men’s and women’s shows together in Paris at the end of Paris Men’s Fashion Week and at the start of Couture on 22 January.

Vivienne Westwood will show both men’s and women’s at London Fashion Week Men’s, which also takes place at The Store Studios from 6-9 January. Westwood’s show will take place on 9 January  at 2pm.

Publicerat klockan 10:07, den 16 december 2016
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Fashion Designer Elie Tahari Got Into a Physical Fight With a Boutique Security Guard

“Be kind to everyone you meet,” someone once said. “For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” None more so than fashion designer Elie Tahari, who was physically removed from an Intermix boutique Saturday after a tussle with a security guard.

According to Page Six, which got the story on good authority from the new girlfriend of an ex-husband of a truly insane Real Housewife cast member, Tahari was taking pictures inside the store with his ex-wife Rory when the security guard asked him to leave.

Tahari refused, and he and the guard began tussling. Reporteth Page Six, the pair slammed into a mirror, five cops showed up to break them up, and, “Little girls and their mothers were hiding in the dressing room crying.”

And then—just because the gossip gods are good and underpaid employees are deliciously bitter—this detail emerges:

Tahari might have been photographing Intermix clothes so he could copy them. The ex-staffer told me: “He’d always say, ‘If you can’t make it, steal it.’”

It’s a great day for his former employees, who generally seem not to like him, and apparently with good reason—Tahari (who was sued for $12 million by a former staffer last year) reportedly hired an ex-Israeli army officer to fire most of his executives and paranoidly searched through employees’ emails.

“Be kind to everyone you meet,” the quote continues. “For one day you might really embarrass yourself and that’s when they’re going to give Richard Johnson some really rude quotes.” 

Publicerat klockan 08:43, den 9 december 2016
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What to wear at the office Christmas party – AKA the fashion quandary of the year

Glad you asked, everyone! People tend to think this is not something they need put much thought into. Just that dress from French Connection two years ago and some lip gloss, right? That’ll do!

In fact, dressing for the office Christmas party is probably the trickiest fashion quandary you’ll face all year. All outfits send a message. Some say: “Yes, I might be a middle-aged man, but have you seen my skinny black jeans? These have never seen the inside of a B&Q, I can tell you, mate! I’m all about the clubbing!” Others say: “Hello, I like to hibernate from November to March. Yes, I am in my pyjamas at 1pm on a Wednesday, what’s your point?” (See question below.)

With an office party, you need your outfit to make so many conflicting statements that we can only start to grasp what is needed by laying them all out. Here is what you need your outfit to say: “Hi! I’m actually surprisingly attractive, aren’t I? And you always thought I was just a mousey office person. But I’m not attractive in a now-you-want-to-sleep-with-me way, because that would be really awkward in the office. No, it’s more of a fun and funny but definitely-out-of-your-league way, so that you’re now nicer to me at work and maybe feel a little wistful when you think of me, but you know you could never, ever try it on with me. I’m like your mate’s really hot partner, right? Think of me like that. Also, I’m a lot more interesting than you thought, aren’t I? This outfit shows someone with secret depths of creativity, someone who is a little more woke, a little more on it than you thought. It’s the kind of outfit worn by someone who gets invited to secret midnight gigs, which is totally how I spend my evenings after you see me leave the office, not just sitting on my sofa wishing Bake Off was on. No, never. You respect me more now, don’t you?”

For men, this means a suit that actually fits; for women, this means a dress that isn’t two years old and from French Connection. That’s the other thing about office parties: the message is tricky, but the bar is pretty low.

Look, for the record, I really did try, OK? Because I, along with everyone else, got the memo sent to every columnist in Britain that the topic this season was something called “hygge” and that it was absolutely essential we treat it as an actual thing, under pain of losing our lofty status as opinion churners for hire. Sure, a couple of other things were happening this year that we could have written about – something in the political world, I think? – but hygge was the big one, the issue on which we absolutely must express opinions. To the laptop!

Yet two months have passed since the hygge klaxon went out and still, from me, nothing. I know! It makes no sense. I once wrote 4,000 words for a fashion magazine about how a store moved its shoe rack from one end of the store to the other. Surely I, of all people, could conjure up some kind of excitement/outrage/bigger meaning about hygge? No, I could not.

I get that hygge is a real thing in Denmark. I also get that clever, good writers are writing books about it. But, try as I genuinely do, I cannot see hygge as anything other than Danish for “choosing to be cosy instead of miserable and uncomfortable”. You know what? I think I’ve got that down pat already. Perhaps my fellow columnists have heretofore been living in the kind of photogenic but clearly horrible modern houses you see in fashion magazines’ homes spreads, all chrome and corners and bare, slate-grey floors on which they click about with their pointy-toed stilettos. The sort of homes with sofas as hard as boards and cupboards you can’t open because door handles are verboten. I, on the other hand, am au fait with the concept of getting into one’s pyjamas, ideally by 3pm in the winter, lighting a fire, inviting friends over and settling down with a giant pot of macaroni cheese. My friends are so used to seeing me in my pyjamas that, when one of them saw me in a dress recently, he was genuinely concerned that someone had died.

So, trying to be excited/outraged about hygge feels like attempting to stir an emotion about air, water or anything else that is just “the stuff of life” to me. I mean, thanks for validating my lifestyle choice of staying home, eating chocolate and wearing socks – I raise my hot water bottle in appreciation. But, seriously, does anyone live differently? This smacks of a trend that exists purely to sell to people things they already have. But that’s absurd – fashion would never do that.

So, I’m sorry. I appreciate that this will result in my invitation to the columnists’ Christmas party being revoked. I might even have my name removed from the Columnists’ Golden Charter, meaning – Oh, cruel world! – I’ll never appear on Have I Got News for You or Question Time. But I must live my truth. As Tony Blair said, albeit possibly not about hygge, I am the insurgent now.

Publicerat klockan 03:17, den 6 december 2016
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The best beauty exclusives to buy this Christmas

The count down to Christmas has well and truly begun and whether you’re looking to get a head start or just stock up on treats for yourself the beauty world has seriously upped its game this festive season.

Finding the perfect gift can be testing at the best of times and knowing what to buy someone that simply has it all is a minefield. Luckily, there are plenty of festal themed delights that offer the perfect solution.

You can pretty much guarantee that, that person who owns every lip shade known to man, has a mountain of fragrance bottles stacked upon their shelf or an endless supply of make-up brushes won’t have any of these.

Limited edition products make the ultimate go-to gift for any beauty lover but what exactly is on offer this time round?

For the ultimate in pretty palettes and glorious gift sets, Mac Cosmetics has launched its Nutcracker holiday collection. A tempting mix of individual eye pencils, lipsticks and shadows, teamed with a range of cosmetic kits; there’s something for everyone here. 

Equally, Dior’s Holiday Couture collection is the stuff that dreams are made of. A new range of matte fluid lipsticks, shimmering nail polishes and smoky eye palette’s come wrapped in the most radiant gold casing. Not the cheapest option but Christmas is as good a time as any to splash some cash on indulgent maquillage.

Fragrance wise, YSL has released a Christmas Collector Edition of its dreamy Black Opium. The simmering black coffee and floral scent stays the same, thankfully, but this time the bottle comes enveloped in a dazzling shower of silver and gold glitter. 

Both Viktor & Rolf and Estee Lauder also have some great sets up for grabs; the first offering its Flowerbomb fragrance, shower gel and body lotion in a luxury Christmas tree shaped box. 

Estee Lauder has a host of exclusive Christmas kits available but, in a bid to evoke that summer feeling all year round, its trio of Bronze Goddess goodies get the seasonal seal of approval.

Publicerat klockan 06:41, den 21 november 2016
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Glitter makes a triumphant return in 2016 as make up bags begin to sparkle

Tacky is back. From giant hoop earrings to puffer coats some of fashion’s most tasteless trends are being given a chance to redeem themselves and it looks like the beauty world is following suit.

No longer the reserve of children or fancy dress, glitter has seen a coming of age, blossoming into an expert-approved make-up trend.

After being shunned post 1980s, it’s steadily been making its way back into the mainstream - think glitter roots, glitter brows and even glittery armpits – but now it’s everywhere, both on the runway and IRL.

Perhaps it was a reaction to losing our beloved Bowie that instigated this modern take on Glam Rock get-up.

Designer’s used it every which way in their autumn winter collections from glitter lips at Charlotte Olympia to foiled eyes at Markus Lupfer. But, perhaps the most unexpected of appearances was at Burberry where glitter tears diffused from the outer corners of the eyes and across the cheekbones; you can now buy these exact Shimmer Dust pots to recreate the look. 

For Giambattista Valli, messy lids were all too obvious. Instead, glitter-lined brows were the look du jour adding a touch of sparkle to the furrows of models like Gigi Hadid. This is a great way to subtly try out the trend; the ultimate in shimmering highlight.

As with most beauty trends, how you translate this look into real world wear is completely personal so make sure you style it and make it your own. If your looking to recreate the brow look opt for a glittery liquid liner in the colour of your choice; Urban Decay’s Heavy Metal Eyeliner comes in an amazing array of shades.

For all over sparkle it’s important to remember that less is always more.  Grown-up glitter has come a long way so ditch the tackiness and keep things classy; to do this make sure you opt for finely milled glitter.

Publicerat klockan 04:37, den 7 november 2016
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Is this the first sign that Samantha Cameron is now set to launch her own fashion label

As soon as David Cameron announced before last year's general election that he wouldn't seek to serve a third term as  Prime Minister, fashion industry talk soon turned to what Samantha Cameron might do next.

During her husband's six years in Downing Street, her own career had taken something of a back seat.

Although she continued to consult for British accessories label Smythson, Cameron had stepped back from her role as creative director to focus on charity work and supporting her husband. 

That didn't mean her style presence wasn't still keenly felt. She savvily used her high profile position to promote British fashion, wearing homegrown designers for public engagements, attending London Fashion Week, acting as a judge in the BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund contest and hosting receptions at Downing Street for designers and industry insiders. 

But once the Camerons departed number 10 in June, rumours began to swirl that Samantha and her aide Isabel Spearman, who formerly worked as a PR for Anya Hindmarch and is a close friend of Samantha's half-sister Flora Astor, would be going into business together with their own fashion collection.

It seems that there is now some firm evidence that a label is on the cards. On 5th October, 'Samantha Cameron Studio Limited' was registered as a private company, with Cameron listed as the company's director.

Although the former Prime Minister's wife used to work at Smythson's head office on Bond Street, her new start up is based in the market town of Brigg, North Lincolnshire with a pub and tyre centre for neighbours. It's also near to Normanby Hall, the estate where she grew up, and where her father Sir Reginald Sheffield, has a home.

There is no mention on the company registration of Spearman, who set up her own  image consultancy business after leaving No.10 in 2015 and who bore the brunt of the criticism directed at Cameron's resignation honours list when he put her forward to recieve an OBE in the summer. 

Cameron - whose sister is Emily Sheffield, the deputy editor of British Vogue - has kept a relatively low profile since her husband's resignation, but was seen on the front row at Burberry's London Fashion Week show alongside two of the most powerful women in British fashion, BFC chairwoman and Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet and BFC chief executive, Caroline Rush. Spearman, meanwhile, had a front row seat at Emilia Wickstead's show.

Incidentally, Cameron was wearing a striped dress by Wickstead at Burberry, could those shows of support be a sign that Wickstead - renowned for her ladylike designs - is in on the plan too?

During her time in Downing Street, Cameron's style choices were much analysed. She cleverly mixed British design talent like Roksanda Ilincic, Erdem and Preen with high street pieces from Zara, Whistles and Marks and Spencer, honing a way of dressing which seemed to strike the perfect balance between experimental and appropriate, gaining her the admiration of women around the world. 

She displayed subtle sartorial wit too when she attended the funeral of Margaret Thatcher wearing a pussy-bow blouse, a style the first female British prime minister had coined as her own. And in May, she sparked debate when she bared her shoulders in St Paul's cathedral in a striped L.K Bennett dress for The Queen's 90th birthday celebrations. 

Whether Cameron goes it alone or forms a formidable partnership with Spearman, there's no doubt that women craving a way to tap into her modern, elegant look will be watching closely.

Publicerat klockan 08:56, den 15 oktober 2016
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Kitchen gadgets review: cut-resistant glove – vintage Michael Jackson

What?

The Microplane cut-resistant glove (£14.95, John Lewis) is a synthetic-knit hand cover. Flexible fibres withstand cutting action, protecting tactile members within.

Why?

In a digital age, fingers come first.

Well?

A lightweight glove that can repel a blade? Holy smoke. Has it been lifted from a superhero’s outfit? Does it mean I can stop bullets with the flat of my palm, like a vigilante lollipop lady? We’ll get to that. I must admit it is weirdly empowering to wear a single glove. A bit “assume the position” chic. This one is appealingly reminiscent of vintage Michael Jackson. But cut-proof? Shamone! How is that possible? From what I can see, it’s made of elastic spangles.

The problem is, to test the glove’s powers, I’d have to put it on and cut myself. I don’t mind the man in the mirror these days, so this seems a drastic step. A friend suggested putting a carrot in one of the finger sheaths, and chopping that through the material; an idea I dismissed as the ramblings of a fool. Having failed to come up with anything better in the following six days, I proceed with Operation Carrot Finger. If it works, I’ll say it was my idea all along. (For other leadership tips, buy my DVD.) As I slip in the carrot, the washing label reveals I have the wrong end of the stick. The one-size-fits-most, ambidextrous glove is “cut-resistant not cut-proof, and no claim is made for point-puncture resistance”. Hardly bulletproof. It’s mainly for protecting your fingers while grating cheese. With heavy heart, I test this simpler function, to which it proves excellently suited.

Now, you would have to be a contrary boob to have a problem with such a useful item; but I am and do. Firstly, I don’t mind skin-y food. My blood curry, flavoured with ginger and fingers, is renowned for its depth of flavour. Secondly, I like wearing plasters. Most importantly, wearing a glove to zest a lemon makes me melancholy in a TS Eliot sort of way. We cannot protect ourselves from all the sharp edges of our existence. We dice, and grate, with danger; that’s what gives life zest. Stay vulnerable, stay vital. There is no magic glove.

Redeeming features?

It is quite handy. I say, IT IS QUITE HA- oh, you got it the first time.

Counter, drawer, back of the cupboard?

The Way You Make Me Feel ... is obscurely sad. 4/5

Publicerat klockan 07:46, den 23 september 2016
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Frank Ocean’s mum: ‘He’s so proud of what I’ve done’

When Katonya Breaux asked Twitter about sunscreen that does not leave a white sheen on darker skin, she spotted a hole in the market. She also realised that many people were unaware of the dangers of exposure to the sun. “There is a learning gap between women of colour,” she says.

Speaking from her home in Calabasas, California, she tells me about UnSun – a line of sunscreen that she has just launched. Although it is designed for darker skin, in a neat twist on diversity, it also works on all complexions. The plaudits are pouring in.

I ask her about moving from construction – the industry she worked in for 20 years – to beauty. She pauses, as a dog barks in the background. “Sorry,” she says. “Two dogs, actually. Always barking.” One is Bisous, a bichon frise, the other is Everest, a Bernese mountain dog who belongs to her son, Frank Ocean. Frank – the most talked-about artist of the year, the man whose much-delayed new album, Blonde, has topped the charts in the UK and the US – Ocean. That Frank Ocean.

But back to Unsun. Breaux has worn sunscreen ever since her 20s, when she noticed moles appearing above her lip. At first, she liked them, painting her lips red, going “a little bit Marilyn Monroe”. Then, when a few more appeared, she went to the GP, got scared, read about the under-reported problem of skin cancer in people of colour, and became “more diligent, really, because you have to be”. Then her aunt got skin cancer.

So, does she think about the beauty industry? “I don’t think it’s diverse enough, but it is improving,” she says. “There is a long way to go.”

Breaux features prominently on the Unsun website and, at 50 years old, is an impressive advertisement for her own product. But, when I suggest that she get Frank to model for her, she laughs. “I can’t get him to do that,” she says.

So, is her son supportive of her business? “Incredibly, yes, I send him articles and he’s so great, so proud,” she says.

What does she think of his new album? “Oh, we love it” – we meaning Breaux and her son, Ryan, Frank’s brother. Apparently, they play it in the car every morning on the way to school. “We always turn it up loud at the end.” And her favourite song? “That’s hard. Nikes, I think.”

Then comes the big question: was, as has been widely rumoured, hers the voice on the song Be Yourself that says: “Do not smoke marijuana, do not consume alcohol, do not get in the car with someone who is inebriated. This is mom, call me, bye.”

“That wasn’t me, no,” Breaux answers, “but I would have done it happily.” And why the delay – why did Frank torture us with such a long wait? “Ah you know … Frank is an artist, he’s creative. That just happens.”

Publicerat klockan 10:38, den 3 september 2016
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Meet The Sheet: The Rise Of Korean Face Masks

From high-tech gadgets to exotic ingredients, you’d be excused for thinking that much of the beauty world is made up of fads. Whilst most bathroom cabinets are full to the brim, nowhere can quite compete with the exacting beauty standards of South Korea, or SoKo as all the cool kids call it. Those in the know have long hailed the superior skincare regime favored on the Asian continent and while 15 or so steps (think cleanse, tone, moisturize and then some) might be beyond most of us, sheet masks are one part even the most time-pressed can get on board with. 

Blame our new-found obsession with Korean beauty with brands such as The Faceshop and Erborian. Luxury goods conglomerate LVMH took the plunge with a $50m (£38m) minority stake in Seoul-based makeup brand Clio cosmetics last month. If you need any more persuading of the beauty invasion consider BB Cream; five years ago most of us had never heard of what was then a very niche product, but now the Asian staple has a firm place in many makeup cabinets across the globe. 

If you can’t beat them join them, seems to be the approach of beauty brands that have quickly cottoned on to the trend and are busy launching their own versions of the sheet mask, the product that is quickly becoming our favourite import of the SoKo beauty regime. 

Simply put a sheet mask is a cloth infused with product that is placed on the face to optimise the penetration and thus the results. There’s also the added benefit of simply massaging in the excess serum at the end, rather than having to wash it off, as is the technique with many conventional facemasks. For the time-pressed think of it as a shortcut to a facial; giving you the all the benefits of superior skincare but without the time and expense of heading to a spa.

Estée Lauder launched its own version earlier this year to much fanfare, infused with the brand’s Advance Night Repair serum; it counts Victoria Beckham (who shared an image on Instagram of herself wearing the foil mask) amongst its fans.  LA based skincare brand Lancer also launched this year with a lifting and plumping product specifically aimed at fatigued skin, ideal for anyone who is looking to hide the effects of one too many late nights.

Publicerat klockan 05:29, den 25 augusti 2016
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It’s a Blow Out: The Humble Hairdryer Has Been Given A Techy Update

Where the Nineties were about grunge and in the Noughties we went boho, in today’s society it seems we are surrounded by perfectly coiffed hair. Whether it’s the Duchess of Cambridge or Kim Murray, the holy grail of hair is looking like you’ve just stepped out of a salon. Unfortunately most of us mere mortals lack the budget to have a hairdresser on call and have to opt for more DIY methods.

The old adage "a man is only as good as his tools" is certainly apt here; don’t expect to achieve a high-society hairdo with old-school electricals. Gone are the clunky, noisy dryers and the over-frazzled hair they create, instead you’ll find slick machines that noiselessly tame even the messiest of barnets.

The major entry to the market comes from a slightly unexpected source: Dyson. Yes the purveyor of swishy vacuum cleaners has made the haircare industry its newest target market. The hairdryer has all the hallmarks of Dyson design – firstly it wouldn’t look out of place in a spaceship, secondly it knocks its competitors out cold.

Dyson doesn’t do anything by halves, investing £50m in the development of its Supersonic dryer. Four years of testing later and the result is an ultra-light machine, with concentrated, heat-sensitive airflow for precise styling that doesn’t damage the hair.

“Hair dryers can be heavy, inefficient and make a racket. By looking at them further we realised that they can also cause extreme heat damage to hair. I challenged Dyson engineers to really understand the science of hair and develop our version of a hair dryer, which we think solves these problems,” explains company founder James Dyson.

At a slightly lower entrance price there’s GHD; the brand single-handedly responsible for giving us poker-straight hair also makes a mean hair drying machine. The Aura’s key selling point is its "Laminair" technology; where most standard dryers blow air in all directions, GHD’s features a concentrated stream of air allowing for precision styling.

While not technically a dryer, Babyliss’s new Diamond Radiance Shine System is worth a mention for those who like their hair glossy. Essentially it’s a heated paddle brush but made with ceramic. It straightens as you brush – the result is flick-worthy hair.

Publicerat klockan 04:32, den 16 augusti 2016
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Proof That Women's Clothing Sizes Are Bizarre And Inconsistent

The world of sizes for women's clothes is bizarre. A woman could wear a size 2 in one brand's apparel, but a 6 in another.

In June, a woman posted a letter to H&M, which went viral, for not being able to fit into its size 16 jeans ... while wearing a size medium shirt.

In a recent video for Vox, a reporter tried on three different pairs of pants in the same size and three different stores — Zara, Topshop, and Forever 21 — to prove that this theory was true. Then, Vox set to find out why.

The video reveals the history of women's apparel sizing, from the first data set that determined sizing — comprised from data from poor, likely underfed Caucasian women and nixed in 1983 — to today's vanity sizing.

A Vox reporter proved that these three jeans — all in the same size — were actually different sizes. Youtube/Vox

Sizing today is used as a marketing tool, the video notes. This can vary from store to store — which makes sense, given how different stores target different demographics.

“I think we're more aiming for our own target markets,” Lynn Boorady, associate professor and chair of the fashion and textile technology department at SUNY Buffalo State, told Vox. “So, when Abercrombie & Fitch does their sizing, they're sizing to their targeting market, not to me. We kept tweaking that information until we sold more garments and could lower the return rate.”

But for people who are fretting about not being able to slip into a smaller size, Boorady sums up: “They are just random numbers, they don't mean anything.”

Publicerat klockan 04:23, den 8 augusti 2016
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This season’s must-have style takes its cue from the grocery store with the cinched-in paper-bag wai

While paper bags are undoubtedly practical the fashion world is the last place you would expect to see an item usually reserved for groceries but alas, this season the runway is making a solid case for cinched in paper-bag waists. A style defined by surplus fabric girded at the middle there’s much more to this menswear inspired look than a humble high rise - so much so that a throng of designers thought it was worth traversing for their spring/summer collections.

Paper-bag tailored waists are somewhat of a hallmark for Margaret Howell whose knack for fuss-free fashion affords her collections with a steadfast of wardrobe staples. This season though, the designer played with colour and fabric by injecting a shot of scarlet into crumpled linen trousers and dark, turned-up denim. She wasn’t the only one looking to bring more dimension to her womenswear collections either with Public School, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Tibi all following suit.

The presence of the paper-bag waist, for all three of these designers, imbued a sense of athleticism taking sporty menswear styles and infusing them with a sense of romance. For 3.1 Phillip Lim, silk shorts and billowing wid-leg pants were contrasted with ruffles or collaged with floral prints in a way that felt new. Meanwhile, Tibi and Public School proposed long and loose silhouettes bringing a sense of fluifity to their looks; from high-waisted culottes to pinstripe palazzo trousers the paper-bag waist resulted in a seamless streetwear meets high-fashion aesthetic. 

Wearing a garment that draws attention to your midsection with a bulk of excessive material sounds like something we would normally tell you to avoid but the paper-bag waist is far more flattering than you might expect. This style offers volume around the middle, but in a way that accentuates the waist and if fashioned correctly affords cinched in style without feeling too tight or exposed. The aim is to keep things as sleek as possible so pair your paper-bag bottom with a tighter piece on top and always tuck it in. If you opt for trousers make sure the hemline is neatly rolled up to reveal a little ankle, this way the exaggerated proportions of the waist will be met with a sense of balance –you’ve got this in the bag. 

Publicerat klockan 05:46, den 29 juli 2016
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Inside the Fabulous Fashions of the Absolutely Fabulous Movie

Always the life of the party—even when there isn’t one—lifelong friends Edina “Eddy” Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley) are back and behaving as badly as ever in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, the big-screen follow-up to the beloved British sitcom. The film drops back into the lives of these over-the-top fashionistas, who haven’t let age slow down their mass consumption of booze, pills, and any other illicit substance they can get their hands on. Though Eddy’s “boutique” P.R. firm is circling the drain (despite loyal clients Lulu and “Baby Spice” Emma Bunton), Patsy’s somehow retained her fashion-editor gig. So in defiance of Eddy’s cash-strapped status, the two continue trying to lead the glamorous life while cozying up to style icons and fashion designers. Before long, the hilarious pair is plotting its own Brexit after Eddy accidentally tosses supermodel Kate Moss into the Thames.

Overseeing all of the ensembles worn by Eddy, Patsy, and the rest of the AbFab gang—including Eddy’s clueless assistant Bubbles (Jane Horrocks), straight-laced daughter Saffy (Julia Sawalha), her hairdresser Christopher (Chris Colfer), and a who’s who of the fashion elite—was the TV show’s most recent costume designer, Rebecca Hale. Working on a much larger scale—and in today’s anything-goes era of self-promotion and fashion bloggers—brought new challenges, Hale says. One solution? To actually tone Eddy’s wardrobe down, because “everyone’s expecting her to wear something utterly ridiculous.” Another was to use Bubbles’s outlandish outfits as not-so-subtle digs at current obsessions.

Hale also wanted to celebrate U.K. fashion specifically in the film. Among the many labels featured are a mix of well-known British brands—Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, Mulberry, Anya Hindmarch, Jaeger—and emerging designers like Giles Deacon, Vin + Omi, Shrimps, Tallulah & Hope, Yasmeen Uddin, and Ashish, some of whom are recent fashion-school grads. Despite a budget bigger than that of the BBC series’s, limited funds also had Hale thinking in terms of a high-low aesthetic. It also meant some A-listers—Stella McCartney, Jerry Hall, Kate Moss, John Paul Gaultier—supplied their own clothes.

While Hale may deem Eddy’s attire in the film tame, the fashion-victim’s outfits do not disappoint. She’s still squeezing her not-so-svelte frame into tight, trendy clothes like a floral-print Giles Deacon trapeze top and matching leggings, topped with Stephen Jones’s black feather headpiece, and an oversize green Vêtements military parka, to which Hale added new and old patches. Still, the costumer says Westwood’s “extraordinary tailoring” on Eddy’s purple business suit (accessorized with Alexis Bittar’s “Reality TV Makes Me Sad” pin), as well as a gold lamé evening jacket and skirt, make the pieces more refined. That said, Eddy also sports Westwood T-shirts featuring breasts and sayings like “Don’t Frack Me” and “I’m Not a Terrorist.” Sadly, there’s no Lacroix—famously Eddy’s most coveted designer—except for some jewelry.

While neither of the fashion-addict friends is necessarily dressing her (advanced) age, Patsy’s reputation as the chicer of the two remains intact. Wanting to pay homage to the character’s “iconic” 90s Betty Jackson cream power suit, Hale found an updated, softer version at Mulberry. The all-about-me editrix’s wardrobe is also where most of the movie’s high-low looks live, because, as Hale says, “the cheaper it is, the better it looks on [Lumley]. She’s magical because she’s an old pro,” she adds, referring to Lumley’s past life as a model. Among Patsy’s many style-savvy pairings: a Lanvin sweater jacket with a Zara fringed skirt, an Alexander McQueen fringed red dress topped with a Topshop motorcycle jacket, and Jaeger pants with an Isabel Marant Étoile jacket.

Social media, our selfie addiction, and certain celebrities named Kardashian get sent up in some of Bubbles’s whimsical custom-made costumes. The world’s recent butt obsession is called out in Vin +Omi’s hashtag-emoji outfit, which includes yellow hot pants and a winking smiley face on the ass; a dissolvable flower dress made of 1,500 Italian crepe paper flowers serves as a nod to our reliance on disposable fast-fashion. Hale plucked designer Yasmeen Uddin straight out of fashion college, thanks to Uddin’s oversize Anna Wintour face dress accessorized with a huge sunglass necklace.

Hale says that dressing matronly Saffy, who’s now the mother of teenage Lola (Indeyarna Donaldson-Holness), was particularly fun because it meant going to “all the shops and costume houses you’d never go to to find the nastiest pair of trousers, and Clarks shoes, which look like meat pie.”

As for some of those all-star cameos: Hale’s style inspiration for Chris Colfer’s hairdresser character was fashion bloggers like Bryan Boy. Most of his clothes came off the Harrod’s rack, with some Topshop and Versace thrown in. Game of Thrones’s Gwendoline Christie gets glammed-up in a Giles Deacon gown, while Jerry Hall is decked out in (her own) Chanel—as she constantly tells anyone who’ll listen.

And for the supermodel who tumbles into the Thames in a green, sequined mock turtleneck gown? Kate Moss’s dress is modeled on a black sequin bare-back number from Hollywood’s Western Costume Company that Johnny Depp gave her when she was 21. (Hale modified its silhouette, then had six of them made up—after all, they had to accommodate a wet suit underneath.) Moss also wears her own gold sequin Yves St. Laurent gown in the film. Why, though, didn’t Hale dare to find clothes for the movie’s chicest presence? “I said, ‘You’ve got to be you,’” Hale says of her initial meeting with Moss. “I don’t want to style you because you’re a fashion icon.”

All of this adds up to an oh-so-chic AbFab update that no one would suspect kept Hale up nights because ironically, her sourcing coincided with fashion week—and the exclusive runway shows Eddy and Pasty would surely give their last bottle of Bolly to attend.

Publicerat klockan 05:12, den 25 juli 2016
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Are there finally some positive signs that fashion is becoming less racist

The past few weeks have provided jolt after jolt of proof that racism is still rife in the world. From horrific scenes in Dallas and Baton Rouge, the anger sparked by the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile to the shocking abuse which drove Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones to close her Twitter account, it's apparent that racial tensions and incomprehensible attitudes are still never far from the surface. And there is no denying that racism in fashion- a platform which has a huge visual impact and, therefore, responsibility- is just as systemic, deeply ingrained and pervasive. 

And yet in the past few days there have been some encouraging signs that fashion might be gingerly beginning to realise the importance of using a diverse cast of women.

Example number one comes from comments made by supermodel Chanel Iman in an interview with Teen Vogue. "I feel like fashion's opened up a lot" she observed, "with having rappers in campaigns, and more color on the runway, but of course there's room for more of it, and more diversity. It's nice to be part of a culture change." She added that her own perceptions of how she has been received have also shifted since she began modelling over a decade ago. "I think it was a struggle when I first started, just because it was always one black girl per show, or campaign, or whatever it was" she remembered, "I couldn't stand it, because I just felt like I was being judged a lot, rather than accepted for who I was."

Iman's comments come in the wake of a powerful open letter written by model Ebonee Davis encouraging the fashion industry to take a leading role in changing how black models are perceived. She describes the day when one moment she is celebrating being featured "with my natural hair" in Calvin Klein's new adverting campaign, and later hears the news of Alton Sterling's killing. "I scrolled through a stream of tweets filled with grief, sorrow, anger and bewilderment until I regrettably found the footage of his murder" Davis wrote on HarpersBazaar.com. "Heartbreak instantly consumed me; a man's entire existence had once again been reduced to a hashtag."

Davis's devastation contrasts painfully with the elation she had felt at being featured in the Calvin Klein ad campaign:

"Last week, I received an email from my agent at MC2 Model Management. The contents: a photo of myself—nostrils wide, lips full, hair defying gravity in all its natural glory—in Calvin Klein's Fall 2016 campaign and a message that simply read, "Really proud of you." My heart swelled. I thought back to how hard I had tried to assimilate into the fashion industry—straightening my hair, wearing weaves and extensions. I was told that brands only booked black girls if they looked like they'd been "plucked from a remote village in Africa" or like a "white model dipped in chocolate," and from the start of my career in 2011, I lived by those words. Until last year when I made the decision to wear my natural hair."

Davis underlines the vital role which fashion has to play in helping to change perceptions and open conversations. "As artists in the fashion industry, we are the embodiment of free speech" she writes, "we set the tone for society through the stories we tell—fashion, the gatekeeper of cool, decides and dictates what is beautiful and acceptable." 

Like Iman, Davis acknowledges that there's plenty more to be done, but she has an outline for how to make the industry take responsibility. Firstly, she urges make-up artists and hairdressers to learn how to deal with black skin and hair- you may be surprised to hear that dark foundations are not a standard issue part of many technicians kits. Model Leomie Anderson has opened up about her backstage struggles on her blog. “Being a black model can be hard when it comes to makeup during fashion week as not all makeup artists really know how to enhance our features or sometimes pick the incorrect colour which leaves us with ashy runway pictures," she wrote. "I now bring with me my own concealer, foundation, powder and brush and correct my make-up in the toilets. I don’t want to offend the artist who does my make-up, but at the end of the day I want to look my best down the runway.”

Davis goes on to asks "models, fashion designers and public relation agencies" to "use your personal platforms to speak out against injustice and show your support rather than standing by in silence." But her main message is this:

"Most importantly, love black people as much as you love black music and black culture. Until you do, society will continue to buy into the false notion that people of color are less than—a concept already deeply embedded in America's collective psyche which is reinforced again and again through depictions in media. The time for change is now."

Another joyous signal that fashion is leading the way when it comes to tackling racism comes with the news today that Tiffany & co., probably the most famous jewellery company in the world, has enlisted Lupita N'yongo as one of its first ever celebrity 'faces' for a campaign called 'Legendary Style' which has been created by Vogue creative director at large, Grace Coddington.

Then there's Willow Smith, Chanel's latest young ambassador. “It’s not every day that a 15 year-old black girl with dreads gets elected to be the Chanel ambassador” she recently told The Telegraph,“I know a lot of girls that look like me feel that they’re not beautiful and feel like they don’t have a place in the media or a place in the world.” 

Despite these encouraging messages, there is still a woeful lack of black models on the catwalks and in campaigns. Just this week Prada released an epic Autumn/Winter advertising campaign featuring 27 models, but only three were black. Last fashion month, less than 25% of models on the catwalk were black while 78.2% of models featured in the Spring/Summer adverts were white. At least there are signs that, with the help of a clutch of model activists, fashion might be on its way to a more positive place. 

Publicerat klockan 04:17, den 21 juli 2016
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Six tips on starting a career in fashion

Choose an area of fashion

It’s important to decide which specific area of fashion you are interested in, says Alexandra Alberta Yeo, founder of jewellery label Alexandra Alberta. “Fashion jobs include everything from: photography, styling, merchandising, buying to designing. Hone in on one area and then go from there.”

Lauren Gibson, who works with Fashion Awareness Direct, agrees that you should build focused experience on the area you’re interested in. “CV’s and applications that are focused and succinct are more successful than broad ‘I love fashion’ CVs.”

Get work experience

It’s notoriously difficult to find internships in fashion, but Gibson advises trying your hardest to get as much experience as possible. “My advice would be: approach lots and lots of companies. Even if you feel you have no chance. A student of mine recently got work experience with Vivienne Westwood from writing her a letter. You just have to ask and get lucky.”

Our experts also say to remember: no experience is bad experience. For example, if you’re working on the shop floor, don’t see it as “just” retail. “Use it to enhance your CV. The customer service, the understanding of supply and demand. There is a huge list. If you can only get retail experience then ask them if you can try out new window displays and combinations. Take pictures as examples of your styling,” says Gibson.

Also, think outside the box. “When I was 16 I mended costumes at Bolton Theatre. It was far from glamorous but it showed I was serious about a career in fashion,” adds Gibson.

Be direct

When approaching companies, Alberta recommends being direct. “Send your CV to fashion companies and brands that you would like to work at. The more direct the better. Ring them, schedule an appointment, and try to meet someone in person.”

Likewise Ruby Hoette, convenor of the MA Fashion at Goldsmiths, says it’s best to introduce yourself in person rather than only sending emails.

There’s no wrong time to launch a fashion brand

If you want to design clothes, it’s important to learn your trade. “If you are adamant about creating your own clothing, and immersing yourself in the craft of design, I would recommend doing a full degree in fashion design,” says Alberta.

Fashion designer Phoenix Keating, adds that in the fashion industry knowledge is power. “The more techniques, styles and history that you can pull out of your mind the better.”

Alberta says there is no right or wrong time to launch your fashion label. “Some people create their brand at an early stage, while others do so after spending some time in industry gaining experience. There is no right or wrong route – but one has to be committed.”

Creative industries need creative CVs

“A professional looking CV will always suffice, but in a creative industry it helps to be clever with the design of your CV, especially when applying for a design position. We’re looking at your creativity always,” says Keating.

Jo Jenkinson, principle lecturer in fashion for Manchester Metropolitan University, says this is a topic that tends to divide people in the industry. “Some prefer a simple, well-designed CV, others will argue it needs to get attention.”

Alison Rapsey, course director of Fashion Business and Promotion at Birmingham City University, says you need to be creative with your CV. “You are creative – you need to stand out.”

Similarly, Elinor Renfrew, head of fashion at Kingston University, says you need to appear “different and individual in a cookie-cutter world”. It’s also important to remember the CV is only the first step in getting the job. “The interview is most important and often you will be judged on how nice you are and ‘can I work with this person?’”

Persistence is key

In fashion, enthusiasm and perseverance are important. “It can take time to be where you want to be so don’t be put off if you are not a fashion buyer six months out of university. See every experience as one step closer. If you are rejected from an application, ask for feedback and adjust for the next time,” says Gibson.

It is a competitive industry and will take a variety of approaches to get in exactly the position you want to, says Ruby Hoette, convenor of the MA Fashion at Goldsmiths. “Along the way every bit of experience is valuable. Do your research and talk to people. Whether it is deciding on a BA or MA course or where to intern, ask about other people’s experiences in order to build a more specific and realistic set of goals for yourself.”

Publicerat klockan 04:03, den 13 juli 2016
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Curve model and body-positive activist Ashley Graham reveals her struggle

Model and body-positive activist, Ashley Graham, has revealed the difficulty she encountered in finding a dress to wear for this year’s Oscars ceremony.

Speaking to host Giuliana Rancic during an interview for E!'s Live From the Red Carpet on Sunday, she spoke candidly about the struggles of finding a dress to fit her.

“Trying to find a dress for the Oscars, a girl my size — these girls this size.

“I mean it has been a whole job in itself. So I am happy tonight with my outfit.”

The 28-year-old model made history earlier this month when she became the second curve model to ever grace the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

photo: alices red prom dresses uk

But this isn’t the first time she has spearheaded such a change, last year she became one of the first ever curve models to feature in an advert in the magazine. 

Currently signed to IMG models, Graham is a US size 12/UK size 16 model, designer and activist.

The Nebraska-born model is a vocal proponent of the Plus is Equal Campaign - the organisation which campaigns for the size 14-34 women who constitute 67 per cent of the American female population to be fairly represented in the media and fashion industry.

Graham, who has appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour and Latina, has been vocal about the fact she rejects the ‘plus size’ label.

“When it comes to the word 'plus-size', I've been called a plus-size model for the past sixteen years,“ the activist said to Shape. 

“I hear it, sometimes I say it - it's a slip of the tongue. But at the end of the day, it's a label. You can say, 'Yes it's a negative thing' or 'maybe it's not a negative thing'...but why would we want to be labelled something?

"Why do we want to be put in a different category than all the other types of models? No one says 'skinny model', so am I wrong for not wanting a label? I don't think so.”

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Publicerat klockan 04:25, den 1 mars 2016
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