A 34-year-old Kazakh-born tailor is bringing fashion trends to the streets of Auckland. Asya Sadyrova has made clothing for beauty

Born and raised in Ust-Kamenogorsk (East Kazakhstan region), Sadyrova has had a propensity for varied handcrafts since she was young, even making doll furniture.

”I was studying at a regular school and attending a music school at the same time. I was also taking cutting and sewing classes and began sewing when I was 14 years old,” she said in an interview with The Astana Times.

Sadyrova subsequently became a member of the fashion design faculty at an institute in her home city. She ended up in New Zealand by chance, moving to the country in September 2013.

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I sure enough did not want to leave my undertaking and began working from home bit by bit. After a while, I decided to move forward and opened my own atelier [fashion design studio], where I provide a wide range of services for tailoring,” she said, adding she also does custom-made tailoring.

Living in New Zealand, Sadyrova embraced the countrys unique fashion style and integrated it into her own design aesthetic, according to her website, atelier-sandringham.co.nz. Her vision is to make women feel feminine, beautiful and powerful for any occasion.”

Her atelier, in the Auckland suburb of Sandringham, offers tailoring, alterations and original dressmaking. Evening wear such as cocktail cocktail dressesand ball gowns, wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses and other items are some of the tailor-made services offered on the website.

Her work has also been seen at the Miss World New Zealand contest. Sadyrova sews for a local online brand which was asked by event organisers in 2016 to become a sponsor.

As a side note, the same thing will probably take place again this year. Some of the participants of various contests are my steady customers,” she said.

Sadyrova looks forward to bringing her label ASYA” to the New Zealand market, which embodies both class and sophistication, according to the website.

The designer noted the differences in clothing choices between women in Kazakhstan and New Zealand.

Girls in Kazakhstan and the entire post-Soviet area are quite obsessed with their looks, like to cocktail dresses ukup all the time and have the perfect fit for their body and shape. Meanwhile, locals in New Zealand seem relaxed, prefer comfortable and occasionally very casual clothing,” she said, according to news reports.


Perfect fit: Luella Bartley joins Calvin Klein

Just when you thought the new Raf Simons-led Calvin Klein couldnt get any cooler. Two weeks after a standout debut show at New York fashion week, the house announced the hire of beloved British fashion scene stalwart Luella Bartley as head of global design for Calvin Klein Jeans, the accessibly priced and denim-led part of the brand.

Luella Bartley: hired by Raf Simons at Calvin Klein.

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Bartley, along with Katie Hillier, is half of the cult Hillier Bartley label. But both Bartley and Hillier have a formidable track record bringing their London cool to more commercial brands: while Hillier has collaborated on accessories with everyone from Marc Jacobs and Joseph to Victoria Beckham to Asprey, Bartley is credited with the Gisele bag, which was a smash hit for Mulberry, and at Marc for Marc Jacobs designed an influential motocross-themed collection.

There is synergy between Bartley and Simons. They have the same esoteric field of reference, from David Bowie and street art to Lucian Freud and skate culture, and the same avant-garde approach to gender. (Simons pioneered gender-fluid collections; Hillier Bartley makes womenswear with an aesthetic drawn from menswear.) Calvin Klein Jeans is a brand that sells in malls all over America, so the hire of a British designer who has a track record of doing her own thing – for four years when her children were young, Bartley lived in Cornwall and almost opted out of fashion – is another sign that Calvin Klein will be very different under Raf Simons.

In a statement welcoming the globally acclaimed fashion designer”, Calvin Klein set out its mission as a global lifestyle brand that exemplifies bold, progressive ideals and a seductive, and often minimal aesthetic. We seek to thrill and inspire our audience while using provocative imagery and striking designs to ignite the senses.”

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Dresses that tell a story: Princess Diana's life in fashion

The dresses tell the story of a life cut short: first the frilly debutante frocks Princess Diana wore before she married Prince Charles, then the elaborate gowns that stunned the world, and finally the power suits she favored shortly before her death.

It's been 20 years since Diana died in a Paris car crash at the age of 36, but the public's fascination with her life - and her clothes - lives on. A new exhibition that opens Friday at Kensington Palace, her home for many years, will give the public a chance to see extraordinary fashion pieces up close for the first time.

(AP Photo/Alastair Grant). An evening dress by Catherine Walker of green sequins and worn by Diana, Princess of Wales on an official visit to Austria 1986and two other events on display during a media preview of an exhibition of 25 dresses and outfits ...

The workmanship is refined, some of the designs are simple in concept and execution, while others clearly took careful thought and meticulous preparation.

One room features designers' sketches for Diana cheap prom dresses uk, offering insight into the vision behind many of her choices.

Deirdre Murphy, senior curator at the Historic Royal Palaces, said Diana was unique in the way she used clothes to communicate - and also a risk-taker willing to challenge the unwritten conventions of royal dress. She said Diana captured the "mystique" of being a princess even as she occasionally dressed down in jeans and a baseball hat.

"Somehow women all over the world saw a piece of themselves in the princess," the curator said. "She got her image across and her ideas across using clothing in a really sophisticated, really smart, really thoughtful way."

The display opens with a lacy party dress Diana wore to a ball at her family home, Althorp, in 1979 and includes many of her most famous outfits. Here are some of the most illustrious:

Diana was married to Prince Charles, and a guest of President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy, but that didn't stop her from tearing up the dance floor with John Travolta at a White House state dinner in 1985.

Photographers of Diana and the dashing young Travolta dominated newspapers throughout the world, showcasing the midnight blue silk velvet evening dress designed by Victor Edelstein. It remains one of her most famous outfits.

Catherine Walker, who died in 2010, became one of Diana's favorite designers. To prepare for an official visit to Hong Kong in 1989, she designed a strapless white silk crepe and jacket embroidered with sequins and pearls. Its sparkly look, and high collar, reminded fashion writers of the jump suits favored by Elvis Presley late in his career.

She looked resplendent in the outfit, topping it with a jeweled tiara.

Diana turned to Emanuel, designer of her wedding gown, for a 1985 official royal visit to Italy. A coat and skirt in green, blue and black was cut in the boxy shape in favor at the time.

The tartan wool day suit was not well received by critics who didn't find it flattering.

For her honeymoon photos with Charles taken in the lovely Scottish countryside, Diana turned to designer Bill Pashley for a casual, comfortable brown tweed woolen day-suit.

She had two versions made - and chose to wear the larger one on her honeymoon because the extra room allowed her to participate in outdoor activities more easily. Its tweed motif pays tribute to the countryside traditions.

Diana relied heavily on Walker at various times in her life, and she turned to Walker again in the years just before her death to help her refine a "working princess" style in line with her plan to devote more time to charitable activities.

She wore a red day suit by Walker to launch an AIDS charity appeal in 1996. Walker called the outfits she was working on at this phase a "royal uniform" for Diana, who was outspoken in her support of AIDS victims.

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Why Is It So Hard for Fashion People to Dress for the Weather?

Theres a lot to make fun of when it comes to New York Fashion Week, and I say that as someone who still genuinely enjoys the hubbub. The craziest thing to me is that street style is still a thing, and that photographers continue to stop traffic to get a shot of someone elses outfit. This doesnt happen any other time in New York — not at parties, not at restaurants, not on sidewalks, not in stores. Its part of what makes this eight-day stretch so much of a circus.

And these so-called street style stars? They never seem satisfied to wear the clothing and accessories appropriate for the season it actually is.

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Last season, there was a surprise September heatwave, but that didnt stop editors and bloggers and influencers” from wearing leather jackets — LEATHER JACKETS — and boots in the 95-degree heat. This season, there was a snowstorm, and on the coldest day, I saw women with their jackets draped over their shoulders. Theres still snow on the ground, but Ive spotted several pairs of sandals outside.

My gut reaction to this has always been: These are fashion people — fashion experts, if you will. If they cant figure out how to put together a cute, seasonably-appropriate outfit, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Then a coworker challenged me to think about this a little differently. Sure, wearing sandals in February is stupid; we can all agree on that. But maybe the over-the-top enthusiasm for next seasons clothes are actually more relatable than I initially thought. Dont we all kind of do this, to a lesser degree?

This weekend, I stopped by COS, a brand I love that just so happens to have a store located directly on my route home. All of the fall and winter stuff was on sale, but spring! Spring is what was taunting me. Linen pants! Sleeveless shirts! Short-sleeved cocktail evening dresses

! I usually only buy in season, but my warm-weather switch was ON. I had zero interest in buying any of the cheap sweaters Id most likely wear for the next three months. Instead, I bought a white button-down shirt specifically because I was picturing how it would look with shorts.

The thing is, when I went to the shows today, I still had my puffer coat on. And boots. And a hat. Its cold out there! Im excited for my new shorts-and-shirt outfit, but I know Ill have to wait a bit. Accumulating a few things Im really pumped to wear and brainstorming new looks is part of the fun, too.


New kids on the bloc: spotlight on Kiev Fashion Days A/W 2017

In freezing temperatures of -8C to -14C, the A/W 2017 fashion weeks got underway with Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days. With fashion currently enthralled with 1980s and 90s post-Soviet style, the gaze is on a generation of designers who are building businesses and brands in Russia and in the former USSR states, including Ukraine and Georgia.

Only a few days before the event, the persistent conflict between Russian and Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine flared up again. And while Kiev's creative community is tense, it's determined to show off its best work.

The conflict is happening. But fashion is a business that contributes to the economy and we cannot and do not want to stop. Designers are paying salaries. This is an industry about beautiful girls and beautiful clothes. When the war was at its peak in 2014, we did cancel fashion week but not now – we need to show the good part of Ukraine. Its a question of raising the economy of the region, says Daria Shapovalova, the founder of the event (established in 2009) and who via the Parisian sales and PR platform More Dash has helped put Ukrainian designers on the fashion map. The pioneering 29-year-old recently featured in the arts category o Forbes' 30 under 30 Europe.

What is remarkable about these designers is their relative youth, talent, determination and clear vision. Former model-turned-designer Anna Karenina is 21 and runs her own Anna K label, that speaks to a young generation of savvy, feminist woman who love her witty t-shirts (a hit at Colette) and techno/girly cheap prom dresses. Staging her collection at the newly opened TsUM department store, she sent out smock-detailed pink taffeta dresses, pretty flock velvet outsize tunics and walked the catwalk herself wearing a t-shirt reading Dont Love Me Do.

Anna October started out aged 20. The collection titled No Knowledge, No Fear reflects the ethos of the 26-year-old designer, who trained in pattern cutting and fine arts. Her forte is pretty, feminine clothes, in subtle colourways with beautiful detailing including smocking and braiding. I want to make something useful that women feel happy in, says October. In the atmospheric surroundings of a disused Soviet-era department store, models paraded cold shoulder silk dresses, lumberjack check blouses and mom jeans infused with a joie de vivre and sense of cool.

The light elegant touch is also to be found at FLOW The Label, founded by Viktoriia Balaniuk and Veronika Vez, who showed retro-tinged, strong shouldered glen-check jackets and wispy high-necked silk crepe dresses influenced by 70s French films.

One to watch is Chakshyn, headed by the 22-year-old designers Dima Chayun and Anton Yakshyn. They looked at robotics and the botanical world in their patchwork knit dresses and charming cherry blossom print puffa jackets.

The standout of the week was Litkovskaya. Its thirtysomething designer, Lilia Litkovskaya, took over the atmospheric basketball hall of a Soviet-era physical education university, the walls lined with portraits of Ukrainian Olympiads. She has a strong, empowered vision of woman and is a wizard at cutting. There were sculpted reversible puffa bomber jackets with couture embroideries, leather shirts inspired by historical fencing clothing worn by medieval knights and swishing shirt dresses boasting fluttering embroidered silk chiffon skirts. Both the athletic beauties that modelled and the rave anthem soundtrack were powerful reminders of the confidence and beauty great design can give you, wherever you are in the world.

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Fashion Pakistan Week Spring/Summer 2017 gets shorter

Pakistani fashion may still subject us to far too many fashion weeks a year but the events have certainly gotten more streamlined. There have been conscious – though not often successful – efforts to start and end the events on time and councils endeavour to stick to the calendar that they announce several months before their seasonal events. FPC didnt manage to do so this time around.

Merely a few days ago, updates were mailed out by FPWs digital team, urging print and electronic media to mark calendars for the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of February for the biggest Fashion Pakistan Week yet.

The three-day event will now be a two-day show; what does this say about the Fashion Pakistan Council?

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Media may now readjust their calendars and aim for the 22nd and 23rd of February.

Quality over quantity?

Why did the council have this change of heart just 12 days before FPW? Budgetary cuts? Lack of organisation? According to the FPC, its neither of the two.

We didnt want to create a mish-mash by just taking anyone and everyone on board. Wed rather focus on quality content,” explains FPC CEO Nida Azwer. "We have some very good designers as part of the FPW lineup while weve opted to let the newer ones take part in our Millennial show, which is tentatively scheduled for August this year."

It is our plan to offer deserving young labels free slots. An external jury will be enlisted to watch the show and shortlist designers who will then be afforded scholarships by the council,” she continues. Perhaps, then, some of them can fine-tune their work and show at the next FPW.”

It all sounds very altruistic and certainly, the future of Pakistani fashion can only be paved by guiding and supporting new talent. One is also aware that FPW has hitherto acted as a springboard for myriad fledgling labels, like Feeha Jamshed, Zaheer Abbas, Adnan Pardesy and Nida Azwer.

Still, couldnt the FPC have decided upon dates earlier? A last-minute change hints at disorganisation within the council and one remembers, all too clearly, the last time FPW got reduced to two days, back in 2013. 25 designers were implausibly squeezed into two days, leading to an endless exhausting monologue and utter fashion ennui.

Fortunately, it is expected that the fashion week schedule will not be quite as grueling this time. Touted as highlights for the show is a Fashion DNA segment as well as a show dedicated to sustainable craft. There is also going to be a combined showcase by some of the countrys most illustrious designers, honouring the councils decade-long run in the business. Leading designers like Bunto Kazmi, Shehla Chatoor, Umar Sayeed, Sana Safinaz and Shamaeel Ansari have been enlisted to showcase capsule lines.

In addition, designers Deepak Perwani, Maheen Khan, Amir Adnan, Tena Durrani, Arsalan Iqbal, Nauman Arfeen and Nida Azwer, among others, will be featured in individual shows.

What's unique this year?

The Fashion DNA segment is a venture by the British Council which is now in its second year. Promising ateliers are handpicked by the British Council, trained and mentored extensively and then given the chance to showcase in London at the Fashion Scouts segment of London Fashion Week. On returning to Pakistan, this years Fashion DNA entourage - The Pink Tree Company, Gulabo, Sonya Battla, Munib Nawaz, Jeem by Hamza Bokhari and Zuria Dor – will proceed to showcase their collections on local grounds at FPW.

The designer lineup for the sustainable craft segment, meanwhile, is quite small. Apparently, Yousuf Bashir Qureshi was originally supposed to be part of the segment. The designer ended up backing out when due to some hitches, he was unable to procure the fabric required for his collection. Similarly, Noorjehan Bilgrami of Koel would have been a feather in FPWs cap. The designer, however, had travel plans and was unable to participate.

I think a show dedicated to sustainable craft is a very good idea and I do hope to be a part of it next time,” says Noorjehan. Unfortunately, Nida came up with the concept very late. By then, I had made other plans and besides, I didnt have a collection ready. As a designer who rarely takes part in a show, I need to put my best foot forward whenever I put my designs in the spotlight. I cant take something off my clothing racks and rustle something together.”

One collection that may just highlight sustainable craft in the best possible light could be by Inaaya. The ethically responsible brand with its painstaking handcraft and multi-tiered statement jewelry has been away from the limelight for far too long and it will be interesting to see what it puts forward on the catwalk.

Its very important to highlight sustainable craft. Indigenous handwork is trending around the world but aside from being very marketable, we also need to nurture it so that it does not die out altogether,” points out Nida, who will also be featured in the segment. Unfortunately, a lot of people still dont understand what a segment like this entails which is why right now, its going to form a very small part of FPW.”

Theres no denying that a shorter fashion week which is high on fashion content is a far better option than a long one with abysmal fashion. One hopes, then, that the shorter FPW manages to make some strong fashion statements. Capsule collections by illustrious ateliers may be pleasing but standout individual lines are particularly what ones looks forward to at a fashion week. It would have certainly been more interesting had FPW featured more of the latter.

Nevertheless, ones hopes that the fashion week delivers. The FPC is celebrating a decade now and it has been instrumental in building the business of fashion in the country. It is a serious business now. 10 years down the line, one expects the FPC to be truly serious about it.

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Fashion startup Lyst has lost at least 4 senior staff in 3 months

Fashion startup Lyst has just lost three senior staff members,shortly after CMO Christian Woolfenden stepped down in November.

The most recent departures include lead data scientist Eddie Bell, head of organic acquisition Simon Dance, and lead backend engineer Alex Stapleton.

Dance will join Amazon's SEO team in Europe, while Bell is jumping ship to fintech startup Ravelin.

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The departures were voluntary and not redundancies, a Lyst spokeswoman said.

"The business is doing phenomenally well and we're continuing to grow the team – there are many different roles open across the company right now," she added.

Business Insider has learned that there were more departures at the end of last year, and there may be more to come.

LinkedIn profiles show that senior product designer Daniela Cadore, search engine marketing manager Oli Simpson, senior product manager for mobile David Giusti, senior fashion editor Kelly Agnew, technical product manager Jonathan Agnew, and head of business intelligence and strategy Sasha Astafyeva all left between October and February.

That totals at least 10 departures over four months. There are around 120 people employed at Lyst.

Lyst acts as an aggregator for high-end fashion brands, letting consumers browse products from designers such as Burberry and Alexander Wang in one place. It also uses machine learning to recommend products to users. The company is headquartered in London and has an office in New York.

In its most recent financial filings for the year to March 31 2016, Lyst's losses more than doubled to 12 million, from 5.8 million the prior year. That was on revenue of 6.1 million, up from 3.95 million in 2015. In the filings, Lyst said it was in a "strong position" with a cash balance of 13.8 million.

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Basking Ridge girl to walk fashion runway in New York

Alexandra Rooney, a second grader at Liberty Corner School in Basking Ridge, had her first opportunity to be on stage in a dance recital at the age of 3.

As soon as the show was over she asked her parents, When can I get back up there again?”

Since then Alexandra has worked hard training in singing, dancing and acting. She has pursued her passion for the stage performing in local theater, New York City cabaret, and dance shows. She trains at Performers Theatre Workshop in Maplewood and Maximum Performance Dance in Stirling and is represented by Goldstar Talent Management in New York.

Runway Star

This week she heads to New York to a different kind of stage; a runway. She will be walking for the famed childrens designer, Wanda Beauchamp, in New York Fashion Week. She is honored to represent Beauchamps beautiful designs for the second time at the event.

Beauchamp is a Puerto Rican child fashion designer of haute couture celebrity dressesfor girls. Her show is being held Sunday, Feb. 12. She said she is thrilled to present again at New York Fashion Week, this time in the Angel Orensanz Center, a 19th Century Gothic revival synagogue located in lower Manhattan where famous designers like Alexander McQueen, Givenchy and Versace have presented.

I am very proud and would like to thank the families of my 27 models that will travel to New York from all different places including Puerto Rico, England, France and Australia,” Beauchamp said.

Her PRISTINE collection is a tribute to majestic touches, made with fine fabrics, tulle embroidery, silk brocades and accessories in different colors highlighting snow white and black. I love and enjoy the excitement and happiness that the models feel as they dress up for this important fashion event,” said Beauchamp.

Alexandra first tried runway modeling at age 6 when the Crayola Experience held an open casting call for models for a fashion show. The runway was a stage and she felt at home there.

She cried on the way home from the show because she said she didnt want it to be over.”

She has done several other local shows and then entered a casting for New York Fashion week last year and was invited. She is grateful for the opportunity to enjoy the fashion and to meet models friends from all over the world.

She will also walk in the Society Fashion show in New York on Friday, Feb. 10. She is honored to represent two designers in that show, With Love From Sabrina and Little Royals by MLong.

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Berlin Fashion Week - a colourful collection of inspired craziness

It was time to show off in Berlin as the city celebrated its fashion week. It is an inspirational time, a platform for the creative with the focus on the young.

Austrian designer Lena Hoschek went back to the 80s and 90s with her new collection which she called Dolls House.

The inspiration did not only come from my own childhood and dolls but also from sexy girls, showgirls, Hollywood, America, from the good times,” she explained.

Colour, crazy and loud – thats what the Graz-based designer was aiming for. And the core inspiration was an old t-shirt which her mum used to wear back in the 80s.

It was turquoise, light blue, pinkish – typical candy colours, and very much of the time, loosely cut with Mickey Mouse on it. A souvenir of the 80s.

Many of the wide-swinging long evening dressesand skirts made from cotton, jersey and lam, with names such as Confetti Dress” or Candy Dress”, also exuded charm with polka dots, little hearts and specially made lipstick prints.

The 35-year-old said that for her the 80s and the 90s with the grunge music were strongly connected to girl power. She was, she said a loud girl, into punk and grunge in a big way in her teenage years.

And thats really what her new collection is all about.

The Marc Cain Label

Berlins Imperial Telegraph Office was the location for German label Marc Cain. Among the stars was American actress and model Kate Bosworth, who made her name in the Robert Redford directed movie the Horse Whisperer.

Alexandra Maria Lara best known for her role in Downfall which tells of final days of Hitler joined the celebrities as well.

The Autumn/Winter Collection will be sporty mixed with couture. We have a lot of wonderful materials. Satin, lurex, tulle, chiffon,” explained the label creative director Karin Veit.

The theme for the show was Ballet Magnifique with sophisticated textiles and feminine forms. There were skirts with blazers and long formal dressessignaling the return of knitted. The Marc Cain company specializes in knitted material which is 100% made in Germany

There were strong colours with bold reds and oranges with mixed prints blossoms, leopard print, all colourfully mixed together.

Marc Cain is an international company which was founded in 1973 and is based in a small community in the South West of Germany. The company has almost 1000 employs in Germany alone and it sells their clothes in 58 countries.

Dorothee Schumacher

Fashion designer Dorothee Schumacher is also one of Germanys most successful labels with shops in around 45 countries.

The Dsseldorf-born designers creations are suited perfectly to the Berlin scene with its mix of patterns and emphasis on the feminine and the wearable.

Berlins fashion week is renowned for being less conventional than its European counterparts, less high fashion and more high street, and Schumachers creations are very Berlin.

Mariana Hoermanseder

French-Austrian Mariana Hoermanseder lives and works in Berlin

Its the first time I have worked with the colour black, I used to say I would never do that because I thought it might look too much fetishist. But now I dont just want to please people I also want to surprise. I hope there will be some Ahhhhhhhs in the audience,” she said.

There were surprises – daring and a lot of leather, exaggerated silhouettes, strong and provocative colours.

Marina Hoermanseder is one of Berlins emerging fashion designer. She was born to a French mother and an Austrian father and studied at Londons Central Saint Martins College of Art and at the ESMOD fashion school in Berlin.

She created her own label in 2013.

Her extravagant and fancy clothes have had the seal of approval from international stars like Lady Gaga, Rihanna and British electro musician, dancer and model FKA Twigs. All have worn her clothes on video shoots.


I like photographing people moving and cultures shifting

Gary Monroe was born in 1951 and raised in the changing environment of Miami Beach. He attended the University of South Florida for his undergraduate degree and received a masters degree in fine arts from the University of Colorado in 1977. Returning to Miami Beach, he began photographing the life of South Beach, and in particular, the disappearing Jewish culture. For ten years he documented the changes occurring in the area and has left an astonishing visual record of the period.

In 1980 Monroe became interested in the Haitian refugees who were sailing to South Floridas shores and received unprecedented access to photograph the areas Krome Resettlement Camp. He would continue to document Haitians acculturation in South Florida and the Haitian Diaspora in general, eventually travelling to Haiti twenty-four times under the aid of a Fulbright fellowship in order to document life in the nation.

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Moving to Central Florida in 1987, Monroe would become intrigued with tourist attractions and in particular, commercialized Disney World presenting documentary realism under the auspices of the Florida State University Museum and grants from the Florida Humanities Council. Many of his images have been concerned with foreign cultures since 1990 with Monroe traveling to such locations as India, Egypt, Israel, and Brazil documenting the socio-political realities of the nations and mounting exhibitions concerning his various photographic series. Since the mid-1980s, Monroe has worked to write and educate the public about different groups of artists. Monroe was appointed to the Florida Humanities in 1998 and he has authored several books particularly on various Floridian artists. He has lectured nationwide, and assists collectors and museums in education about photography, international cultures, and of course Florida and the artists that have called the state home.

Sara Tasini: You and I have at least one thing in common: we are both Florida natives! Tell me what you found so interesting about Florida when you first decided it would make a good subject for photography.

Gary Monroe: We are natives to different Floridas. The changes, especially to South Florida since the millennia, have been stunning; its the same location but another place. I never imagined myself as making historical photographs but now I see, and even appreciate, this fact. Still I hope its secondary to my real intentions–a consequence of my aims that were and still are aesthetic and essentially purposeless. I never consciously saw the state as a subject. I was drawn to return home to South Beach (when South Beach was South Beach) after graduate school in 1977, to spend a decade living among and photographing the old world culture that then distinguished the community. As you may know, South Beach was the last resort for elderly Jewish people who made it a sort of shtetl, and it was amazing. The process of what or even how to photograph is never conscious–it unfolds.

Could you tell me a bit about the rites of passage” to Disney World pictures? I find that idea quite amusing.

A Disney World vacation is not your everyday vacation; its hardly fun, at least it didnt look like children and families were enjoying themselves. It is a sanitized version of a prescribed cartoonish reality. It seemed that families were on a sort of rite of passage, as if to be sanctified along the long, arduous trip… and an expensive journey when the credit card bills arrive. But they could say they did it.

What first drew you to photography and what keeps you there?

During my freshman year at USF I was in a friends dorm room and he had some thirty 8x10s tacked to his wall. Something got to me, not the images but how the camera mediated the look and feel of reality and something about the authority that the images possessed. I soon changed majors from psychology to fine arts, and never looked back. Nor did I ever work commercially or journalistically. It is still that transformation from reality to picture that keeps me as engaged as ever, though the nature of the engagement is, of course, different from when I was younger. Im still intrigued, amazed by the world and as curious as ever to see how my intuitions find form as images.

Do you, or have you ever, looked to other photographers or artists for inspiration or education? Your street style photography has a certain resemblance to the pictures of Winogrand, Cartier-Bresson, and Frank.

You named the holy trinity, and yes, the works of Bresson, Frank, and Winogrand set me off in the direction I followed, never doubted, and explored. They understood that no contrivance could match what happens all the time, every day and everywhere, and how pregnant with possibility and meaning and nearly impossible it is to realize on film. And I still use film and an old Leica camera. I understood early on to strip bare artifice and deal with essential form.

How do you select which photographs to print when you take so many shots?

I thought I knew the answer to this, until recently. My archive is rather large and organized, but I put it in hyper mode a year ago; one of the things I did was remove duplicate prints from my categorized boxes of 11”x14” prints. While going through 2,000-plus South Beach prints I had a sinking feeling that there was more to it. I mean, this was my birdsong. So I pulled the first decade of contacts sheets (1977-1986) and went through them, noting any images that interested me that I didnt previously catch. I was young and, I guess, easily distracted. Besides, my interest was never in the darkroom. The total was 6,000 images. I went though the contact sheets two more times, culling until arriving at 800 images. I recently finished printing these, and these photographs do fill that void, very satisfyingly.

For me, its a formal problem, how to shape content. But the last thing I want to happen is to make tried and true compositions. The form I am referring to is realized by a deep breath and a prayer, and one must relinquish knowledge and expectations. Few come together freshly as images, and these need to be as fresh as the experience, and be even more surprising. Otherwise, without that risk, one is illustrating the obvious.

What is more interesting to photograph, people or nature?

Landscape photography never interested me. The Hudson River School artists did a fine job of painting it, and there was not much more to say after Ansel Adams. I like photographing people moving and cultures shifting. It has to do with the act of photographing in that instant and realizing an image that is more than was bargained for. It is nearly impossible, and yet it seems so easy.

About a decade ago I did something I never imagined doing: I bought a medium format camera to photograph Floridas changing topography, my idea of the landscape. I made many photographs of big box stores, fast food restaurants, and strip malls. It was all new then (pre-recession), freshly painted and predictably manicured. Everything was beginning to look alike.

Traveling to countries like Haiti and India, was it hard to adjust to the very different nature of subjects you were photographing compared to those in the U.S.?

I have never had a hard time adjusting. I never felt more alive than when I was in Haiti; I went there 24 times between 1984 and 2001. I feel elated wherever Im photographing, but especially in third world countries, invincible, but still vulnerable. I was exposed–you let go.

What is your favorite place youve traveled to and why?

Haiti, by far. It was life altering, wonderful and magical, unlike any other place on Earth. Like South Beach, its changed radically.

What is the story behind your picture, Spiritual Reading?”

All my photographs are untitled, so Im not certain which one from that body of work–Cassadaga–youre referring to. Nevertheless, Cassadaga is a Spiritualist community in central Florida and Spiritualism is a religion based in the belief that ones spirit does not die with the body but moves on to the spirit plane and that trained mediums can communicate with the spirits. I was fortunate to be permitted to photograph there with trust and without restriction for more than a year. The photograph, I think, you asked about is of a medium conducting a reading during an evening service, in their beautiful sanctuary.

Do you have certain pictures that youd call your favorites,” or ones that are very meaningful to you?

Yes and no. There are some on my website and at the gallery that sum up my beliefs about camera work and photographic imagery, and there are a lot more. Saying that, I can edit my many prints down to relatively few, maybe 300, yet thats more than anyone could ask for. Ive been fortunate, but then again, I work hard.

You have published several books about Floridian folk artists who were largely unknown prior to your exposure. What inspired you to champion the work of these artists?

Mid-life/ mid-career, a wrong turn off I-95, a moment of weakness…. Many of the teachers, mentors, and photographers Id long admired burned-out or, worse, made lackluster, watered-down versions of their once fine work in the latter years of their careers. I understood it; there seems to be a shelf life to unfettered creativity, to establishing ones aesthetic. But I was determined to come through it relatively unscathed. I planned a year during which Id get caught up in my darkroom, which was unimaginable, and think through the issues that confront us when we realize that our vitality wanes.

I couldnt not be photographing so I thought I would do something fairly easy: photograph Outsider artists, whose raw, impulsive energy always intrigued me. The portraits begged for narrative and, coming from a generation of arts students taught not to talk or, god forbid, write about ones work, I was reticent and unprepared. But I always liked contradictions and challenges so I took on writing a couple paragraphs about each artist. Then I stumbled onto the Highwaymen, a group of African-American landscape painters, and my publisher, University Press of Florida, suggested a book about them–no photos. I embarked on an ancillary career then for almost a decade. It was rewarding and Im glad I did it, but glad its behind me; I much prefer to be photographing.

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The return of the leather jacket

Over the decades, fashion trends have changed and some have been reborn. Most notably, the leather jacket has made a reappearance in the world of fashion. The leather jacket was an iconic attribute to outfits in the 40s, the 50s and the 70s. However, they faded into the background until the past couple of years when they made a comeback.

Leather jackets are now a part of everyday wear. Wearing a jacket with jeans, skirts, mermaid prom dressesor even shorts, the leather jacket can make any outfit stand out. Not to mention the leather jacket is also being utilized on shows like Once Upon a Time” where the main character, Emma Swan, is known for her leather jackets or Fonzie from the hit 70s/80s show Happy Days.”

Leather jackets can be paired up with any outfits you choose to wear. Depending on your preference of a leather jacket, they can range from $40 to close to $1,000. Most likely, as college students, we are not willing to spend that much money on a piece of clothing, so settling for a faux leather jacket might be best. Though, they look as real as the real leather ones.

A good way to wear a leather jacket is to pair it with jeans or leggings. Add a cute tee underneath and a scarf to tie the outfit together, and you have an outfit ready to wear for a day on campus or even a night out with friends.

Perhaps you want to dress up a leather jacket. In which case, you could wear it with a skirt and tights. Pair it with a short skirt or even a longer skirt. It goes with any style, color or length. Add a pair of booties and this outfit is perfect for a dinner in Chicago.

Stressing out about not having the right cardigan for a dress when its a bit too cold to go strapless? Not-to-worry– a leather jacket makes the perfect substitute for a cardigan over a dress whether it be strapless or otherwise. It makes the outfit much bolder. If you want a simple look, wearing a dress with a leather jacket is your go-to outfit.

Leather jackets can be worn with almost anything without it being considered too much.” They can make an outfit edgy or sophisticated, depending how theyre backless prom dressesup. Whether it is a date or dinner with friends, a leather jacket can never be the wrong choice. After all, theyve been around for decades and seem to be picking up speed again in the fashion world.


Greetings and salutations from a fashion lover

By now, most of you have already broken your New Years Resolutions” that you promised you wouldnt. For those of you that have not, I applaud your discipline and zeal. Hopefully, you achieve all your goals. Now, it may be completely foreign to you to set up fashion and style resolutions, but I find that they are necessary and usually help out a lot in dictating the general tone of our wardrobes for the year. As usual (I know youre not tired of me yet! Stop groaning), I have a couple of tips that I humbly suggest you adopt this year. These tips wont only help your day-to-day styling, but will also influence your shopping list. Here we go!

Plan your shoe buys”: I see shoes as an investment (well, good quality ones anyway) and while Id like to subscribe to the I like my money where I can see it… hanging in my closet” mentality, I also have other monetary obligations. It could help to start building a collection of quality, timeless shoes that could last you for years. Decide on how many of these shoes your budget can take and go from there. You wont regret it.

Accessorize! Dressed up or down, nothing ties an outfit together better than the right accessories. Ladies, try and get as much quality jewelry as you can and fellas, at least include the basics in your wardrobe, you know, just in case. For the men I suggest a plain black tie and bowtie that you can grab on the go and the perfect transition blazer that could convert your semi-casual outfit to semi-formal.

A well-fitting outfit will never go out of style: There are a million and one alterations services you can subscribe to. Make sure your white prom dressfalls nicely on your body and that your suit is well tailored. Dont make your body fit the clothes; make the clothes fit your body.

Androgynous fashion is the cure: This is quite a tricky one. As we live in a society built solidly on heteronormative patriarchy, it comes as no surprise that most men are not likely to do their own masculine interpretations of a feminine outfit. Women on the other hand, have no issue with doing their own take on a standard male look. While I would love to get into the psychology behind it, ill keep it light. Im not saying as men we need to go out there wearing dresses! Im simply saying that it wouldnt hurt to subscribe to the underlying aesthetic of womens fashion and style; celebrating the frame of the body. This tip is more experimental so ill leave it to bravery for subscription.

Buy Nigerian!: Support the industry. There are still tons of hurdles and challenges that designers need to overcome, but by and large, they are producing really good pieces! A lot more designers are introducing ready-to-wear lines with less hefty price tags. Also, lets face it, the exchange rate isnt getting any kinder to us so you might as well go local. You just might be pleasantly surprised.

Give yourself one day of the week to be completely over-the-top: It has been my experience that a really good outfit can do amazing things for esteem and morale. This year, try and take one day out the week where you go all out. I mean the works! Ladies, Im talking hair and makeup, heels (or whatever makes you feel most confident), guys, Im talking suits, ties, blue prom dressesshoes etc. You will get asked what the occasion is, and thats ok. You can simply say I decided to make it worth everyones while when I left my house”.

Alright, so while some of the tips may be out there, its important that I say, its never too late to start trying new things. You never know, it could lead you somewhere pleasantly unexpected. Ill leave you with that and let me officially wish you a very happy new year!


Top 10 Fashion Moments of 2016

<P>It was a polarizing year in fashion.</P>
<P>Bleak sales were blamed on a variety of scapegoats from the U.S. presidential election zapping our interest in shopping to our preference for spending on experiences instead of handbags. Poor retail results led to the ouster of a string of designers and apparel executives at every level of the industry, from Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz to Lands End chief executive Federica Marchionni .</P>
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<P align=center>pics:<A href="http://www.marieprom.co.uk/grey-silver-prom-dresses">silver prom dresses</A></P>
<P>Discussions erupted over the clothing choices of seemingly every public woman, including candidates, candidates spouses and news correspondents. Diors new designer, Maria Grazia Chiuri , sent a T-shirt down her debut runway for the precious French label, which has never before had a female creative director, reading: We should all be feminists.” With a collective sigh, American designers mourned the approaching loss of their most influential client, Michelle Obama, who did more to promote little-known designers than an Oscars red carpet of A-list stars.</P>
<P>Amid all the chatter, it was easy to miss that 2016 was also a turning point for fashions themselves. To some, the new broad, loose silhouettes will be just another jarring blow in a year of turmoil. Others are already welcoming them (and not just the textile mills that will be churning out much more fabric).</P>
<P>Here, some of the highlights:</P>
<P>Geek Chic</P>
<P>The craze over Gucci anything reached fever pitch, as shoppers snapped up GG logo belts, snaffle-bit handbags and loafers, and virtually any product with the famous red and green stripe.</P>
<P>Designer Alessandro Michele and the brands CEO, Marco Bizzarri , scored numerous awards from international fashion federations for the labels new romantic-weirdo look. There was no sign of Gucci-love abating as the year came to a close.</P>
<P>Change Maker</P>
<P>Now that men and women have cut down their suits to the slim look and dieted to fit in them, Demna Gvasalia decreed that fashions shall go wide. Broad shoulders, big pleated pants. Like it or not, this is as figure-forgiving as fashion gets.</P>
<P>Mr. Gvasalia, the antiestablishment designer of radical label Vetements, used his new gig designing Balenciaga to cement his position as the new leading indicator of fashion silhouettes.</P>
<P>Sneaker Sensation</P>
<P>Never before has a shoe been equally chic with a wedding <A href="http://www.marieprom.co.uk/orange-prom-dresses">orange prom dresses</A></P>
<P>and a tennis skirt. From Adidas Stan Smiths to the Comme des Garons versions, the white sneaker took on must-have status for the fashion savvy.</P>


Winter fashion trends

As fall in Texas is coming to an end, winter trends are starting to gain traction within the fashion world.

Tank tops and T-shirts will make their way to the back of the closet so platform boots, bodysuits and jackets can be at the forefront of winter wear.

Ski Jackets

Although ski jackets are most commonly seen on snow-capped mountains, this fashion trend is making its way into the fashion world for the winter.

Brands such as the North Face, Columbia Sportswear and Roxy have fashionable, waxy-looking ski jackets that will amp up any winter outfit.

Elle Magazine suggests the jacket should be worn with slacks and heels for a modern business outfit.

Kaleigh Overberger, communication disorders freshman, likes to pair her North Face jacket with any outfit.

Its my favorite go-to winter wear,” Overberger said. My jacket fits in perfectly around campus.”

Leggings

Leggings can be applied to an outfit to increase any fashionistas comfort level.

This trend can be worn under prom dressesand skirts, or paired with an oversized sweater or long-sleeved shirt. The options with leggings are endless.

Elizabeth Nenninger, communication design sophomore, said she is happy to hear that leggings are a major trend this season.

My favorite winter wear is basically any kind of sweater or hoodie paired with leggings,” Nenninger said. Its easy to match and so comfortable.”

Platform boots

Platform boots with wide heels can be found in almost any material and height for the winter season.

As an inspired fashion trend from the 90s, the platform boot can amp up any outfit—whether youre going on a date or visiting the Square with friends.

Platform boots are designed to keep your feet high and dry,” according to Elle Magazine.

Bodysuits and pantsuits

Michael ONeill, owner of ONeill House of Fashion in San Marcos, said the bodysuit is a popular style for 2016. This style can be paired with jeans, leggings, skirts and more.

Bodysuits create a chic and clean look for any fashionista.

As winter weather becomes more consistent, pantsuits have made their way into the fashion spotlight.

We have seen the high demand for bodysuits,” ONeill said. Pantsuits are starting to pick up traction.”

Extra-long sleeves

We saw bellbottom sleeves take over closets everywhere during the fall of 2016, but a new sleeve style is making its way to the forefront for winter.

Extra-long sleeves can be found on multiple shirt styles this season. This trend eliminates the need for winter accessories, whether it is jewelry or warm, fuzzy gloves. Extra-long sleeves will keep hands protected from harsh winter weather.

Turtlenecks

Turtlenecks can keep the neck warm, but they can also create a stylish outfit.

This trend is most commonly used with dresses, so there is no need to put away your favorite prom dresses ukfrom the summer or fall.


FASTs Altered fashion show captures transitory

The only thing that fashion buffs seem to agree on is that fashion is ever-changing. And on Dec. 4, FASTs (Fashion and Student Trends) biannual runway — held in the Pauley Ballroom this year — highlighted Altered” fashions as interpreted by the 28 participating student designers. Altered, as a concept, zeroes in on transitions, on things in the process of changing but not fully there yet — or else the show would be called Transformed.”

What makes all of FASTs shows a must-see every semester is the complete creative control they offer to their designers — not only do they get sartorial freedom but also the ability to choose their own music and models. And of course, as a student organization, theres no pressure to sell anything besides your ideas. All of this makes FAST a hotbed of fresh and unique takes on contemporary fashion.

fastfashion_akumar8

One of the big themes this semester was, unsurprisingly, politics. A standout of the night was Nicholas Murphys exploration of the hoodie, which wrapped up the show. Beginning with a purple straightjacket-like hoodie with Basquiat-esque graffiti on the back, the hoodies slowly morphed into increasingly creative and liberated forms, capping off with a gray hoodie that was abloom with seemingly 2Pacs rose that grew from concrete. Murphy seemed to make a pretty explicit reference to police violence with brightly colored paint splatters that appeared on the front of some the hoodies but ultimately offered a sign of hope, a comfort in these times of political flux.

Another theme this semester was nostalgia, which seemed to reach new heights in this years pop culture. Vhya Dos 90s throwback line mixed endearing retro prints with decidedly contemporary looks to stunning effect. Melany Amarikwa, too, seemed to channel the 90s, but unlike Dos colorful prints, she kept her looks in beige and brown tones. Using this simple color palate, she created bold designs such as a beautiful checkerboard-patterned skirt or fierce looks such as a tight knee-length plus size prom dressesthat laced up on the exposed sides. Some went farther: Zackary Harris, the clubs co-president, took to heart what E.A. Robinson (sarcastically) called the medieval grace of iron clothing”, gracing solid black outfits with chainmail-like flourishes. Bardia Eivazi went beyond that, bringing back the monarchy by creating a contemporary cosmopolitan royal family on the runway. His princesses combined red-carpet-ready looks with crinoline, while his princes wore modern interpretations of culottes and changshan. Here, not only fashion but time itself was altered.

Some, however, took a much more poetic tact with their alterations. Jacklin Ha, for example, sought to inspire the audience to love themselves with her segment — set to the music Scars to Your Beautiful” — which showcased outfits dramatically progressing in color from black to white to confident scarlet. Sarah Kersting, in contrast, drew on the image of a dying fire to create a series of aggressive black and red looks (A neighbor in the audience: How did she make a red pompom choker look threatening?”). Hannah de Vries, in maybe the most fascinating series of the night, altered famous paintings such as The Kiss” and Starry Night” into lovable dresses, which worked surprisingly well.

Finally, a few designers focused on altering materials to meet the standards of haute couture. Danlin Huangs use of denim for plus size prom dresses ukand gowns was an interesting experiment, just like Lizzie Chungs thrift store-inspired line and Jingting Lis heavy use of lace. The boldest example of this was Katie Revillas Armistice,” which used metal to create, paradoxically, nebulous and delicate forms that seemed to wear the models, instead of the other way around.

With such a various array of lines, FASTs 2016 show was supremely engaging and worth every penny of the ticket price to attend. After all, it would be a shame to ignore the wonderful creativity of UC Berkeleys resident fashion-lovers. Even better, next years theme has been revealed to be Liberation”, which only promises more spectacular outfits to grace the FAST runway.


The party with these fresh takes on holiday fashion

Put the little black long formal dressesback in the closet! The holidays come just once a year, so mark the occasion with one-of-a-kind fashions.

From alternative color palettes to unexpected prints and eye-popping jewelry, here are some ways to shake up your style all season long:

Break tradition: Move over, red and green. Mauve, fuchsia, jewel tones and winter pastels are unpredictable picks for holiday party apparel. Some cool combos: electric pink with lime, lavender with mint and sapphire with blush.

White out: Never mind those who say wearing white after Labor Day is a no-no. Styles as pure as snow are this seasons twist on monochromatics. Try it with a LWD (little white dress), pencil skirt with crisp blouse or a jumpsuit, like the power romper by Uptown by Kiya Tomlin

Decked out in Deco: Ralph Lauren (above) and Naeem Khans fall/winter collections gave the strong geometrics of art deco a modern point of view. The trend has trickled down from the runways of New York Fashion Week to mainstream retailers as a popular party dress print.

Comfort and joy: For a more casual affair, consider rockin around the Christmas tree in cozy-chic separates, such as a tulle skirt and graphic pullover ($98 apiece by Wildfox at , above left) or a sequined sweatshirt paired with distressed skinny jeans and strappy stilettos. Metallic bombers, crushed velvet blazers and pajama-style suiting also are having a moment.

Sparkle and shine: Before leaving the house, a lady should look in the mirror and remove one accessory,” Coco Chanel famously said. Not this time! The holidays give permission to long prom dressup any outfit with layers upon layers of bling. Multicolored chokers, bracelets and medallions by Sabika in Robinson are done in Swarovski crystals that can be mixed and matched for a fresh look for every festive function.


Echosmith Front-Woman Dishes On Her Must-Have Holiday Fashions

With her own holiday line at Hollister & Co. flying off shelves, Echosmiths Sydney Sierota knows a thing or two about fashion. And while she undoubtedly looks like a model, she also short prom dresseslike one — and we cannot get enough of her edgy, feminine style! Sitting down with the fashionista, HollywoodLife.com learned EXCLUSIVELY what shes currently coveting!

Sydney Sierota Holiday Fashion

Sydney Sierota, 19, is a huge fan of the holidays, and with that comes a fabulous eye for what styles are hot during this special time of year. Sydney is, after all, a fashion icon in her own right. Not only does she dazzle on stage while singing for the indie pop band Echosmith, she also has a super successful fashion collaboration with Hollister that was created with the holiday season in mind!

I am obsessed with sparkles and shiny stuff so that was the leading inspiration for my Hollister line,” Sydney told HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY. Its stuff that you can wear anywhere but still make a statement; you can wear it to a party and feel comfortable in it.” Sounds like our kind of clothing! And even cooler, Sydney had a strong influence over the final pieces, and she actually wears items from her line all the time.

We got to capture what was in my head and work together to have some fun ideas,” the blonde beauty explained. It was a really cool process and its all stuff that I love and have been wearing constantly. Im wearing these pieces throughout the day and also wearing them to concerts — its super versatile like that.”

And when it comes to her own personal style, versatility is what matters most! I define my style as feminine with a touch of edge,” Sydney told us. I like wearing boot heels instead of high heels because I can perform in them — its hard to perform in stilettos.” She also likes pairing strong, more masculine shoes with fun pretty dresses — preferably a dress with sparkles.

I like wearing dresses but I love pairing them with shoes you wouldnt normally see with those types of outfits,” Sydney added. And while short prom dressmake up a large portion of her wardrobe, this season shes all about stylish jeans and comfy pieces.

One big essential for me, especially when its cold outside, are wax jeans from Hollister,” the singer shared. Im actually wearing them now and have been wearing them with a bunch of tops from my collection. Its a really cute, easy outfit no matter what, but it also keeps you warm.”

She loves pairing a look like that with some really great” boots. And shes also obsessing over faux fur, which street style bloggers have been rocking nonstop. I just got a faux fur coat too, and thats definitely an essential for sure!” Sydney exclaimed.

We couldnt agree more! We love how Sydney is so confident in her style, and we hope to see her collaborating with more brands in the future. Who knows, maybe one day shell come up with her very own namesake line! I would love to do more of this — its always been one of my dreams to have a clothing line, and now that Ive done it once, I want to do it a million more times,” the teen gushed.

But in the meantime, Sydney has found herself collabing with another company — Nutella! In fact, she and Echosmith recently partnered with the brand as a part of the companys first-ever original content series titled Spread the Happy.” It was such a fun video to make,” Sydney said of her partnership with the brand, which involved her making a video. It really was a cool way of trying to capture who we are with what we try and do with our music — everyone should go watch it!”


How to dress like a grown up: Why big is beautiful this winter, according to fashion expert Sarah Mower

To be very frank, which Im afraid I have a reputation for, any woman who is 5 ft 4 in or under should stop reading now.

Some styles are never, ever going to work for certain physiques, and todays subject — the merits and demerits of oversized clothes — is one of them. A petite person wearing an overscaled anything is just going to drown.

But for the rest of us, this could be a bit of a life-saver, I promise.

The super-sized shape comes in so many forms this winter. Pictured, model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

photos:vintage prom dress

The super-sized shape comes in so many forms this winter: there are big, swishy coats, voluminous trousers, super-inflated puffed sleeves, shirts that have grown to three times their normal size.

Even jewellery is edging towards the realm of the portable art-installation. These are fashion-inflationary times.

Obviously, the trend comes with built-in terrors. First, deep inside every woman lies the residual suspicion that loosely fitting clothes are the dietary slippery slope.

While, on one hand, its lovely to have things that elegantly obscure a certain amount of lump-and-bumpage, what if your body surreptitiously begins to expand to fit the sides of that edge-to-edge wrap coat? Also, will bigger clothes make people think you must have put on weight?

Then theres the mental block when it comes to expanding shoulders. Anyone with a memory will be transported back to the Thatcher-era power-suit.

Just a seconds thought has it all cascading back with the accompanying embarrassment: gold button earrings, power-bobs and Velcro-attached shoulder pads which dislodged and escaped down the sleeves of your jumper. Oh yes, Ive done them all.

Breathe and move on, though. For a start, the new manifestations of volume in tailored coats and jackets dont have the scary Eighties padding. (So this is one trend that sadly you cant dig out and dust off from the back of your wardrobe.)

Its all about creating new proportions: large on top, slim below. Pair a three-quarter-length coat with a slim midi or narrow trousers.

Once you get that sorted out, youll realise the fattening worries melt away.

In fact, as if by magic, the impression of a bigger top makes the lower part seem skinnier. Either Zaras over-sized studio blazer in black or, if you can stomach the Eighties connotations, H&Ms double-breasted jacket worn over a pair of cigarette pants, will make your legs look like perfect skinny pins.

Its an illusion friendly to many sizes and shapes so long as you stick to one simple rule: never pair volume with volume — that way lies blob-dom. If a supersize piece of outerwear still seems too extreme a purchase, theres something else in this trend worth trying — a secret weapon perfectly honed for the middle-aged woman.

Im referring to shirts with extra-long sleeves, purposely designed with cuffs that reach to your finger-tips.

Victoria Beckham championed this trend when she took her bow at the end of her autumn/winter 2016 catwalk, jumper pulled down over her hands.

If you cant stretch to her own labels silk shirt with ultra-long sleeves dont worry — the High Street is in love with the look.

My favourites include Asoss oversized shirt with a double cuff and the Birchfield shirt by Unique , both clever twists on the classic white shirt.

Or for a hint of colour look to J. Crews Thomas Mason collarless shirt in pale blue .

For a more formal take on the trend, Finerys Florence flute-sleeve jersey top in elegant black will happily see you through the party season teamed with a brightly coloured midi skirt.

While one has to take a little extra care not to trail extended cuffs in the soup at dinner, this new fashion is tailor-made to please everyone who doesnt particularly like her hands any more. Count me in.

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This Muslim Fashion Designer Sent Headscarves To Pauline Hanson

Azahn Munas, director of the fashion label MOGA, said he was prompted to send Hanson two headscarves after he felt a rise in inflammatory rhetoric (bordering on hate speech) made against minorities” by right wing political parties.

The scarves, which can be worn by Muslim or non-Muslim women as a hijab or accessory, were sent as an olive branch to the One Nation leader as a symbol of multicultural solidarity.

Munas created the scarf series to empower women, and celebrate each wearer's individuality and personal style. He hopes Hanson wears the scarves, which he says will compliment her

photos:prom dresses london

I sent the scarves after Pauline Hanson publicly endorsed Donald Trumps victory and said he was always welcome at her One Nation party,” he told BuzzFeed News.

In an open letter to the One Nation leader, Munas asked Hanson to consider the impact her comments about Muslims and minorities is having on young Australians.

Being a female senator qualifies you to be a great role model for young girls across our country,” he wrote.

Using your political platform, however, to publicly call for a ban on Muslim immigration into Australia, sends a powerful message of inferiority to the women of this faith… it cant be denied that this language is not just divisive, but incredibly demeaning.”

The 23-year-old said he hopes Hansons comments, such as suggesting Australia is being swamped by Muslims and calling for a ban on Muslim immigration, dont gain as much momentum as Donald Trumps similar comments have in the US.

Ultimately you have a voice that is heard by many people across the country. The next time you speak, please consider the impact your words might have on young people growing up feeling like they dont belong in a place they call home.”

I would hate to think that someone would not want you in Australia because you are a Christian, or have white skin, or fierce red hair.”

The fashion designer is worried Hansons anti-Islam rhetoric is making young Muslims feel like alienated second-class citizens who are being stripped of their sense of belonging.

It is this kind of oppressive rhetoric I would like you to reconsider every time you speak so publicly about Muslim people.”

At the end of the day its 2016 and every person, regardless of their religion, should feel accepted by a society that wants them to succeed.”

Munas said he wont be offended if Hanson choses to return the scarves.

READ MORE:prom dress shops in london


Emma Watson Shows the Power of Sustainable Fashion

Emma Watson may have made a career paying heroines next door, but even she cant resist the allure of something darker sometimes. Last night, at a MoMA Film Benefit honoring Tom Hanks, Watsons costar in The Circle, the actress arrived in a crushed velvet graduation dressfrom Kitx by Kit Willow, the Australian sustainable luxury brand. With its dark color, draping, and unique texture the piece was a complete 180 from the elegant styles the star usually favors. Edgy isnt a word typically associated with Watson, but the striking look worked in her favor.

Watson may not have switched houses to Slytherin just yet, but she and stylist Rebecca Corbin-Murray are comfortable playing against type, moving from princess gowns and prim day dresses to unexpectedly sleek numbers that challenge what weve come to expect from her. What remains consistent is Watsons commitment to ethical fashion. Kitx relies on materials that have minimal impact on the environment—fabrics made from marine litter, organic cotton, celebrity dressesmade with hemp, buttons from recycled bottles, and all of it transformed into chic, elegant pieces. The choice of a sustainably sourced label like Kitx instead of the usual suspects sends a message—its possible to create a fashion moment while maintaining your principles.


Upper Township student to bring crafts to Tuckahoe craft show

For Gia Taylor, 13, of Ocean View, being the odd duck in her family isnt so bad. In fact, it might even bring her some income.

The Upper Township Middle School student has taken crafting from hobby to business with sewing skills she says she more or less discovered on her own, but that dont necessarily come from anyone in her family. However, according to Taylor, her family has always been very supportive and helped her flourish.

2016 Long Green Tailor Made Evening Prom Dress(LFNCE0031)

When I was in third grade my mom was sewing on a button to something and I ended up fooling around with her sewing kit and some scrap fabrics,” Taylor said. At that time I was really into American Girl dolls so I sewed prom dresses 2016for them and started making purses for myself.”

Taylor said her grandmother took notice and bought her a sewing machine and some sewing lessons. As her skill level grew, she began making dresses and shirts for herself.

On Saturday, her creations will be on display for a second year during the third annual Handmade in America Professional Craft Show.

Taylor will primarily be presenting her handmade jewelry at the show. She said she makes a variety of jewelry including earrings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets and rings.

I use wire to make some of the shaped projects and shaped rings and earrings. I do beaded jewelry and different types of wrap bracelets or cloth bracelets,” Taylor said. I also make a type of hair jewelry, its a ring that you put in your hair. Its like these little clips that are all different shapes. You dont see it that often.”

Taylor said a lot of her free time gets allocated to her crafts. Halloween is always a popular time for her to be called on for her creative talent.

Theres been a formal dress made of blue silk, its an off-the-shoulder dress, that took me about a month or two to make and Ive also made Halloween costumes,” she said. One this year was the Queen of Hearts.” I made the top out of a corset and there are real playing cards all over it.

That prom dresses 2015, she said, took about four or five months to complete.

The teen said the time and dedication she has for crafting and sewing are just like that of most teens extracurricular activities.

And when it comes to the future, she sees sewing in it.

This is my sport,” Taylor said. I do want to make a career out of it. I want to be a fashion designer or costume designer.”


Going Mod: 1960s Vintage, Simplicity-Style

Ive been sewing most of my life. As a kid, I used my moms sewing machine, making a few basic things such as shorts with elastic waists. And, for my 19th birthday present, my mom got me a machine of my very own. I love this machine. Its a Bernette, an all-metal behemouth. In the 24 years since Ive owned it, Ive made countless pieces of clothing, bags, pouches, bean bags, toys, and more.

Simplicity isn't kidding about this being a vintage pattern. Here is the image from the original pattern. Image: Simplicity

One of my favorite things to sew is clothing for myself. I rarely find anything I like in the stores these days, but perusing the pattern books at Jo-Ann Fabrics always leads to great discoveries. Simplicitys collection of Vintage patterns is always entrancing. As a student of American history, Im especially drawn to those, and Simplicity has some particularly interesting patterns from the 1960s.

The 1960s were a fun decade for womens clothing. There were miniskirts, shift cheap prom dresses uk, trousers for women, clothing inspired by the Space Race, and the ever-famous pillbox hat.

Shift dresses were fairly shapeless tube dresses, easy to sew and easy to wear. (And great for wearing to those all-you-can-eat buffets, beginning to be popular in that decade.) I found a Simplicity pattern for a dress that at first glance appears to be similar to a shift dress, but is actually a wrap-around dress. Its in their 1960s Vintage line, Simplicity pattern 8049. The pattern even says on it, No Zippers, No Buttons, Its a Wrap—drapes front to back!”

This sounded like the perfect dress for me to try out. The pictures on the pattern made it look very simple with clean, clear lines and not a lot of pieces to cut out. I had Space Age stars in my eyes.

And the only fasteners are two small snaps at one shoulder! The dress goes on very easily. Put your left arm in and then your right, as if youre putting on a jacket. (No Hokey-Pokey required.) And then wrap it around your front, putting your left arm through the third arm hole. Then snap at the shoulder, and youre good to go. You can even add a belt if you like.

Fabric

Now that I had my pattern, I needed fabric and notions. The pattern listed some recommended fabrics, but finding those at my local Jo-Ann is sometimes difficult. (Our local store caters to the retired generation, which is great, if youre into quilting, but quilters cotton doesnt work well for clothing.) So I ignored the recommendations—at my peril—and searched for fabric that I liked and wanted in a dress. I planned to wear the final result to a fancy event, so I needed to look the part. I found one fabric which looked very Mod, but was just a basic cotton. Not dressy enough, but it pained me to put the bolt back on the rack. I reluctantly moved on to the brocades. Yeah. This was the ticket.

Though made of polyester and nylon, this brocade struck me somehow. I knew this would look nice in a dress. After having made my self-measurements at home, I procured the requisite number of yards of fabric. When the lady at the cutting table cut it with pinking shears, I knew I would have to worry about fraying. But it was also a thick fabric which is flattering on many body styles. (What I did not know was that this kind of brocade does not take well to an iron. I ended up having to make some adjustments to the instructions later.)

Another note: Your size in a sewing pattern will likely not match the clothing size of clothes you wear off the rack. You may grow 10 sizes. No joke. Do not be alarmed. Just be sure to measure yourself before you choose a pattern size and have fabric cut.

Now, on to the notions!

This dress takes very few notions, fortunately. Two snaps, thread, lace hem tape, and fusible interfacing. The snaps I already had, and I bought two spools of thread, matching it as closely to the fabric as I could. I also bought the required two packages of lace hem tape, and I already had fusible interfacing at home. I was all set. (In the end, it took less than one spool of thread, and only one package of lace hem tape.)

I wont go through the dress sewing step by step, as there were many, many, many steps. So, Ill just hit the highlights.

Though the shape of the cheap evening dresses looks incredibly basic and simple in the drawing (there were no zippers, after all), I falsely believed that the pattern would also be easy. I thought I could whip it up in a couple of sewing sessions. Needless to say, I forgot about the subtle gathers, darts, and facings which always complicate matters, especially with fraying fabric.

Note: This pattern says nothing about it being a simple or quick; all assumptions were on my part. I do wish, however, that Simplicity had a difficulty rating system, perhaps ranging from level 1 (a pillow? a placemat?) to level 5 (a wedding gown).


Man with a plan: Chinese designer looks beyond fashion

Many of Huishan Zhangs award-winning designs are completed in mid-air, as he flies between his two bases, in the British capital of London and the Chinese port city of Qingdao in the eastern province of Shandong.

The two-nation approach has worked wonderfully well so far, earning the high-flying Zhang fashion-industry accolades galore and requests by celebrities such as model Gigi Hadid and actresses Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley and Gwyneth Paltrow to wear his clothes at red-carpet events.

A design from Huishan Zhang's spring/summer collection. Photo: Huishan Zhang

At the moment it is a bit crazy with the traveling,” says Zhang, who has his main design and operations centre in the Bloomsbury district of London, close to the British Museum.

It is a tough schedule, but I like it and it allows me to bridge two different cultures between East and West. Travel is important and it inspires me a lot.

In theory you have to wait for inspiration, go to a beautiful space and lock yourself in and be truly inspired, but in reality when you are an entrepreneur, with your own brand and business trying to organise studios in different countries you design wherever you can.

I design a lot on planes, as that is a place where nobody can bother you with phone calls. I always have ideas, I am always planning for the next season.”

Zhang originally went to London to study at the renowned Central Saint Martins design college, which has produced some of the fashion worlds finest talents, including John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney. The young Chinese student was hand-picked by a senior executive at the giant LVMH group to train at the Christian Dior studios in Paris.

It was a golden opportunity that the neophyte designer grasped with both hands: on returning to London, he launched the Huishan Zhang label, featuring clothes aimed at the modern professional woman, subtly incorporating Chinese elements in the design.

It proved to be an astute, and well-timed, move. The Dragon long prom dresses, in the first range of clothing, was chosen for the permanent collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum; a few years later, Zhang scooped the prestigious Dorchester Collection prize, worth 25,000 (US$30,500).

He says: Every season your ambition gets bigger. My ambition is to make Huishan Zhang a luxury contemporary Chinese lifestyle brand that is associated with East-West design and is a Made in China luxury brand with a big audience. Our products expand every season, starting with dresses, and soon shoes and bags.

It is very exciting, we are planning to move to a new studio and hire more people. I chose London because I feel very welcome here, I came as a student first and then settled down here.

It is a very diverse city: my assistant is from Ireland, my sales manager is from Denmark, I have interns from Thailand and Argentina, the merchandise manager is from Korea and my business partner is from Mexico. It gives you a good angle to understand the world, if you are just dealing with single culture our mind could be narrowed.”

The Huishan Zhang brand is continuing on a strong upward trajectory. This years London Fashion Week in September featured a catwalk show for the first time, allowing the clothes to be showcased to buyers from major stores such as Harvey Nichols, Barneys and Joyce.

The cheapest outfit from the label is a top and trousers priced at just under US$1,000, with more expensive dresses selling for US$3,000 and couture pieces, made specifically for the client, charged at US$6,000 or more, depending on the level of intricacy.

The personable, modest and ever-smiling Chinese designer, 34, has become something of a celebrity, representing the modern and international face of Chinese fashion creativity. He has risen to established-designer status very quickly and, as Vogue writer Sarah Mower noted, has time on his side.

Zhang admits he is still learning, particularly about the business. At school in Qingdao, maths was not a strong subject – he just wanted to be a fashion designer – but since launching the label, a basic grasp of cash flow, inventory and exchange rates has become vital.

I think if you really determined to learn,” you can, he says. The first times doing the bookkeeping and P&L and forecasts and budgets, were was painful for me. But as CEO and creative director, I have to know those and it is a sense of responsibility taking care of my employees and knowing my business better it encourages me to learn. Now I can read a spreadsheet easily; before I didnt know what it meant!”

Success so far has been achieved without much reliance on social media for promotion. That will change soon, sparked by American supermodel Gigi Hadid demonstrating just how much influence a posting on instagram can have: after wearing a Huishan Zhang jacket, the brand was inundated with inquiries as to where it could be bought. The post also had 260 likes.

But Zhang is not one to become too carried away with effusive praise, star endorsements and positive sales figures. He is in it for the long haul, a man with a plan.

He adds: Right now it is brand building and I am learning at every stage. I have learned that you make sure you trust your judgement and focus on the goal, no matter how hard the challenge.”

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Fashion Review: Bridal Asia 2016

I love weddings. Since the age of ten, my sister and I religiously collected wedding magazines and eagerly flipped through the glossy pages, picking out our favorite outrageously expensive designer gowns. You can imagine my absolute delight when my mother allowed me to get a YouTube account; I was free to watch hours upon hours of bridal shows. From Vera Wang to Reem Acra I knew every bridal designer like the back of my hand. But these were American designers: their royal blue prom dresses were stunning and intricate, but it was difficult to make a dress stand out when your only color option is white. That was when I stumbled upon Bridal Asia, Asias largest exposition for all bridal finery, apparel and products. Since its successful inception in 1999, Bridal Asia has been a ground breaking concept, introducing celebrated designers from around the world to the Indian audience and bringing various parts of trousseau shopping under one roof, Bridal Asia is undoubtedly the category innovator and undisputed leader in the area of wedding exhibitions. This year, Bridal Asia took place October 1st-3rd and showcased spectacular designers such as Shubhika (Papa Dont Preach,) Rahul (Ra Abta,) and Tisha Saksena (Tisha.) I was greatly looking forward to this years Bridal Asia, and I am happy to say the exhibition did not disappoint! So without further ado, here are the best designs of Bridal Asia 2016.

For South Asian bridal jewelry, the year 2016 has been all about pearls. Raishma released a stunning beaded ivory lace gown with precious pearls, Swarovski diamonds and Parisian lace. Rashid Malik of RDC London stated that [At Bridal Asia] we saw a lot of vintage, a lot of long pearl necklaces with small decals.” The antique look of pearls went very well with this years color trend of ivory, peaches, creams, and gold. In my opinion, the designer that used pearls best was Nisha Dadi of Kyles Jewelry. Two jewelry designs stood out to me, their design for the hijab bride being the most prominent. The hijab bride is the most modest of the South Asian brides, and in a exhibition concentrating mainly on Indian brides, they are the least represented.

Kyles Jewelry created a stunning gold and pearl wrap with exotic red stones and pearl drops, a look that kept the hijab bride's modesty, but beautifully framed her face and allowed her to brilliantly stand out. In response to the look, Nisha Dadi stated that The creativity goes to show that there is no boundary, there are no limits. It is vision that can create whatever the bride needs.” The next look Kyles brought forward was a Cleopatra necklace with cascading pearls that wrapped around the torso.

It was a visionary piece; the way the pearls elegantly framed the body was something I had never seen before. The necklace was bold, but it did not draw away from the model's face thanks to the gorgeous gold headpiece. The two prominent pieces framed the model's face, revealing how one can have large statement pieces and still be the shining star of their wedding.

Soltee is the next bridal company Id like to discuss. Designed by Sulakshana Monga, Soltee is well known for its intricate hand-embroidered lehengas, the traditional skirt for Indian women. One of my personal favorites was a beautiful dark olive and moss green lehenga that was worn with a sparkling royal marine jacket. The piece stood out from the other deep orange colored outfits and was a pleasing change from the typical red and orange color scheme present at the exhibition. The regal look Soltee had claimed to be working on for this season was very present in their runway looks.

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The Badass Parisian Whos Bringing Feminism Back To Fashion

No matter where in the world you reside, theres an inexplicable fascination with French-girl style—the mysterious elegance, effortless sex appeal and dead-cool nonchalance. You cant really blame anyone for wanting a little piece of this je ne sais quoi, and no one exudes it better stateside than Laura Sfez. The Los Angeles–based Parisian has made waves on Instagram with unapologetically sexy photos of herself donning looks from her clothing line Lcole des Femmes. Her signature slogan tees (Oui”) and schoolgirl-inspired frocks have garnered a fashion following and evoked a genuine sense of body positivity that empowers women to embrace their femininity. Not only does the entrepreneur run her own company, shes the head creative visionary of the brand, both in front of and behind the camera. We sat down with the stylish renegade to talk fashion, feminism and how to deal with haters like a badass.

Online Short Pink Tailor Made Cocktail Prom Dress (LFNBG0001)

photos:long prom dresses

How Social Media Changed Her Business

"The clothing business has changed so much since the dawn of social media. I am a small company—I could never afford fancy photographers and models, so this just naturally fell into place as I began to get into photography. I feel like I'm documenting my designs. Back when social media didn't exist, I struggled to keep afloat by participating in trade shows cross-country, tediously lugging my collections and desperately seeking out stores and customers. I never took photos of my clothes back then, because there were no platforms for it."

What Feminism Means To Her

"Being a feminist, I'm also for the equality of men. I think all people should have the freedom to voice their opinion. The comment sections on social media are just as important as the image. I love that women are very vocal today."

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