Designer Rosella Jardini’s woman was on the whole sporty and carefree in tennis-style skirts and light tunics with tiny pockets on the front — though also ready for disco dancing in short silver dresses jazzed up with gemstones.
Flowers were also a central theme over at Etro, where the collection seemed to conjure up a garden of Eden, with earthy colour tones brightened by large hand-painted prints of birds of paradise, butterflies and flamingos.
“The collection delves into a female fantasy yet imparts a sense of discipline and rigorous restraint in its simplified shapes and compact materials,” the luxury brand said.
Designer Veronica Etro drew on Oriental influences — another regular theme cropping up this fashion week — with a modern take on the kimono with short jackets, cropped wide-legged judo trousers and soft, pyjama-style suits.
The fashion house said the collection was inspired by “richly feminine Orientalist paintings” and “Japanese vase prints,” though there were clear nods to the poncho and sari as well, with dresses cut from single squares of fabric.
For the evening, glittering striped trousers, a silver dress with large sparkling beads, a canary yellow dress (which the model had to keep hitching back into place), or pink and black trousers with orange ruffles down the legs.
The result was a rather confusing mix of themes and colours — a white suit with blue flowers and wide red, green and black stripes on the sleeves raised eyebrows — though embroidered, quilted kimonos gave the collection an edge.
Milan fashion week enters its fourth day on Saturday, with Bottega Veneta and Fendi taking to the catwalks, followed by Antonio Marras and Jil Sander.

Mexican Top Designer Christian Cota Links Fashion With Art.

Mexican designer Christian Cota, 30, is becoming known as the great promise of Latin American fashion, following in the footsteps of Dominican Oscar de la Renta, Venezuela’s Carolina Herrera and Cuban-American Narciso Rodriguez.
At his new New York studio, Cota says it is “a great honour” when fashion gurus compare him “with people of such stature.”
“I design for a feminine woman who appreciates art a lot, either as a profession or as a hobby,” Cota said in an interview with dpa.
In the beginning of this month, Cota was presented as one of the participants in the Fashion Incubator programme of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), which seeks to support the next generation of designers in New York.
“At the time when I enrolled in this project, our brand was doing very well in the media, sales were up as well as our presence in Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s, but we wanted to cut costs and to balance the purely creative part with the entrepreneurial one,” Cota explains.
“The company was at a point at which it needed orientation.”
Over the next two years, CFDA will supply to Cota and 11 other emerging designers a workshop and a show room in the Fashion District, training and advice. Mentors will help them make decisions such as, in which businesses to invest, in which fashion shows to participate, or whether it is a good idea to open their own shops.
Cota fans include the actresses Elizabeth Banks, Eva Longoria and Eva Mendes, as well as the singers Carrie Underwood, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift.
But the real turning-point for Cota took place at the presentation of his autumn-winter 2010 collection in New York, where US Vogue editor Anna Wintour showed up by surprise.
“The funny thing was that in this collection, all the women wore wigs with the same haircut as Anna Wintour, although I did not do it thinking about her. I had not even realized (the similarity). In fact it took me a moment to realize she was there. I gave her a tour (of the collection) and she liked it. She backed me since the beginning and I began to get more involved with CFDA. And everything began to change.”
“When you are alone, you need to take many decisions and you can make mistakes. The good thing about the programme is, than when you are under the CFDA umbrella, every decision I take is assessed by great professionals,” says Cota, who earlier worked for Venezuela’s Angel Sanchez.
For Cota, the main challenge of a young designer is to “decide where to put the money. In this first phase, neither the biggest show nor the best models necessarily help you grow.”
Cota first studied painting in Paris and it was not until towards the end of his stay in the French capital, where he spent “the best times” of his life, that he began to be drawn to the world of fashion.
“I felt like a part of me was missing, the most entrepreneurial part. I then saw Balenciaga (a fashion label) in Paris and I saw what could be done in the world of fashion, above all with technology: you could do art and turn it into a business. It struck me that companies like Prada and Balenciaga do not only design, but also create new tissues and textures.”
Faithful to his roots, Cota said Latin America plays an “important” role in his creations, characterized by “strong colours with a lot of patterns” inspired by “the contrast between light and shadow” typical of the Impressionist movement.
“I believe they are also tonalities that have to do with Mexico: the sun, the sunset, the forest, the desert, the sea. My colours are always inspired by them.”
Cota says he does not want women to “be afraid of colour.” Women should be “creative, elegant, dynamic and coquette. That is the part of the Latin American woman that inspires me, who is prepared day and night for the possibility that she will meet her future beau,” Cota says.

Tommy Hilfiger shares key to success.

Determination, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and heeding life lessons learned along the way can propel you to the top, according to Tommy Hilfiger, one of North America’s best known fashion designers.
His own career walks the talk.
In an exclusive interview with Sun Media that took place in New York City hours prior to winning one of the fashion industry’s top lifetime achievement awards, Hilfiger took time to reflect on his 40-year career.
His first venture? Customizing and selling T-shirts that he purchased on weekend trips to New York City from his hometown of Elmira in upstate New York.
“I started by designing T-shirts, and designed my first denim piece, a vest, in 1971,” says Hilfiger, who unofficially started his brand as a 17-year old high school student.
He soon parlayed his entrepreneurial spirit into a small chain of shops called People’s Place.
“It was fun, but I didn’t take the business seriously enough at first. I learnt a lot after filing for Bankruptcy at the age of 23. It was then that I set my sights on truly building my brand and learnt the importance of paying attention to both the creative and the business side of things,” said Hilfiger.
Being one of the best in the business culminated in Hilfiger winning the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Lifetime Achievement Award at an awards gala on June 4th at Lincoln Center in New York City.
Hilfiger, who accepted the award on behalf of his team, made it clear that winning awards, of which he has several, is never taken for granted.
“I feel honoured and humble, and not quite old enough for such an honour … but if they’re (the CFDA) giving it to me, I’m absolutely delighted. It’s been quite a journey,” says Hilfiger, who at 61 shows no sign of slowing down, despite a few ups and downs along the way.
In fashion, as in life, no one is bigger than the game, but in Hilfiger’s case, the game continues to evoke interest.
“If Oscar de la Renta and Giorgio Armani can work well into their 70s and 80s, I hope I can too,” says Hilfiger, who grew up in a family of nine.
“Never lose sight of the creative side of things — but it’s also really important to focus on the business and to surround yourself with good people,” says Hilfiger.
Hilfige, known within the fashion industry for hard work and philanthropy, has also mentored budding designers along the way.
“If you’re passionate about your career, you don’t think about the hours spent working. It’s important not to be distracted by success and not to let it go to your head, or you may find yourself losing your focus and not working as hard,” says Hilfiger, who was appointed fashion consultant for American Idol in March.
When asked about what he hopes his legacy may be, Hilfiger’s response is simple. “It would be nice if people were aware that we’re a very giving organization.”
Known acts of philanthropy include aiding a village in Africa and supporting a host of causes, including autism, AIDS and breast cancer.

Flower power: the latest blooming fashion trend.

Orchids, poppies, roses and hibiscuses have been adorning celebrities on the red carpet, from Jessica Chastain’s structured, tropical-garden printed shift dress to Delta Goodrem’s glamorous, mirror-printed Lisa Ho gown.
Graphic blooms were a key feature of Ho’s spring-summer collection at Mercedes-Benz Australian Fashion Week. Ho believes it’s the season of the print and that there’ll be more to come.
Although the prints may seem daunting, Ho believes anyone can wear a large print.
“If it’s a gown, a full-blown print works because it’s so overscaled.” she says.
“A lot of them are mirrored and symmetrical, which is a modern way of wearing it.”
If you’re looking to inject the trend into your wardrobe without totally committing to it, the easiest thing is to pick an item and work it back with neutral colours or if you’re confident, there’s nothing stopping you going all out and channelling a florist.
“The print needs to be balanced with your outfit,” Ho says.
“If you feel swamped in a print, don’t wear it head to toe – just wear a touch of it and put it back with a neutral or coloured jacket. You can wear print on print.”
“They need to be similar strengths of print so that it looks right, but you can definitely wear opposing prints in two different florals.”

Ambareesh at a fashion bash.

Bangalore has seen its fair share of fashion shows of late, but this was one of those rare dos that had something for the men and women who showed up for the event.
Gautham Kanchan organized a fashion do in which the models, kitted out in biker gear, took turns to pose with a high-power motorcycle. Once that segment was done, sports commentator Charu Sharma took over to get politico and Sandalwood actor Ambareesh and businessman Ashok Kheny to do the honours as chief guests for the evening.
Ashok, who is noticeably slimmer, quipped, “I’ve lost 29 kilos in six months, so I’m ready to model as well!” This was followed by a show by Manoviraj Khosla, with music by singer Avril Quadros, and a performance by an acrobatic duo.
We spotted Sheetal Sharma, who choreographed the shows, making sure that everything went according to plan, as well as her husband Rajesh sitting in the front row.
Manoviraj was also seen chatting with Laxmi Puri ahead of the show. After things wound up, everyone headed for dinner. We spotted models Elvis and Archana sharing a light moment, and Sandalwood starlet Niveditha making a quick appearance at this bash.

Fashion Columbia 2012: Biggest, Greenest and Record Breaking!

Fashion Columbia 2012 raised record funds, was the greenest fundraiser and the largest event at the college to date! Proceeds from the event, which brought out over 200 guests, will benefit the Eunice W. Johnson Scholarship in Fashion Studies. All of this good news must’ve made event chair, Desiree Rogers, very, very happy along with her glam Host Committee that consisted of Trish Rooney Alden, Madeleine Burrell, Gwendolyn Butler, Bonita Chapman, Nora Daley, Janice Barnes Davis, Susan Downing, Elissa Hamid Efroymson, Rich Gamble, Ikram Goldman, Mary Lou Haddad, Mellody Hobson, Susie Kiphart, Julie Latsko, Sylvia Neil, Diane Primo, MK Pritzker, Shawnelle Ritchie, Lynne Turner and Allison Grant Williams.

The event at the Media Production Center, 16th and State Streets, opened with a Red Carpet which led to models wearing a selection of vintage pieces from fashion icon, Eunice Johnson’s Fashion Fair Collection. For the main event, 15 fashion studies students showcased 45 designs that included menswear, evening gowns and dresses. The models wore Fashion Fair cosmetics, of course, from the company founded by Eunice Johnson. Desiree had this to say, “Many of the designs intrigued me and I would have purchased them that evening. I could not help but think of how happy Eunice Johnson would have been to see such talent. It was a magical evening.”

During the program, Lana Jewelry founder Lana Bramlette, was awarded the Alumni Achievement in Fashion Design Award by VP of Institutional Advancement, Eric Winston. Lana is known as the “Queen of Hoops” with her jewelry adorning celebs such as Jennifer Lopez, Kate Hudson, Angelina Jolie and Cameron Diaz to name a few.

A host committee dinner, rooftop reception, VIP lounge and after-party all completed this fabulous night of fashion that raised more than $70,000. Event sponsors included Macy’s and Mercedes-Benz. Live auction packages raised an additional $16K and included a fur donated by Fabbri Furs and a travel package to New York Fashion Week. As for the green aspect, the organizers recycled all post-event paper and other products, even composting food scraps! To learn more about Columbia College and the Eunice Johnson Scholarship Fund

Today the Swingin’ Safari is everything you expect a Gold Coast bar/restaurant not to be. Complete with Tiki hut, racks of costumes for dress-ups, intriguing artworks, shelves of books and board games and lumpy lounges, it looks like the beach house of an eccentric uncle. Each evening there’s a different theme – jazz and blues, Tuesday Tango Club, Thursday Salon (where local artists gather to speak about their work or art issues) and Sunday Beach Club (including a bazaar selling jewellery, fashion, records and collectables). The restaurant serves tapas (featuring shared plates), pizzas and a good selection of mains. Tonight, DJs Marty and Copeland are doing their DJ/VJ duet with a range of funk, soul and classics. With seven themed rooms, including the “lounge room”, “parlour” and “library”, it’s still possible to find a private corner to chill out with a beer and a book.

Next morning we drive to Burleigh Heads for The Village Markets (TVM). TVM was the first fashion-focused market on the Gold Coast. Beginning in 2008 with just nine stalls, it now showcases more than 50 stalls, as well as live local music. The stalls include emerging and local designers, vintage clothing sourced from around the world, handcrafted jewellery and collectables.

At Who Killed Bambi I meet Ally Carey, a young designer who takes an innovative approach to vintage fashion, customising pieces to give modern silhouettes – taking up hemlines, creating Peter Pan collars, adding eccentric vintage button detailing. Most of Carey’s range is pre-1980s with an average price of just $30. “We try and adapt our vintage to suit our customers’ needs,” she says. “They love that what they’re taking home is something unique.”

And take things home we do. By the end of the morning our tote bags are filled to overflowing: a long black and white ’70s-style dress for $15, a pink cardigan for $8, a silk blouse for $6, two rose rings for $8 each, a silver pendant, a suede handbag and a stuffed owl. Somewhere between the bags and the blouses we forgot Chrissy’s first rule – less is more. But we still have on our red lipstick.

Fashion News Roundup: Franca Sozzani is a UN Ambassador, Nicole Richie Launches a Perfume, and Models Dance for Givenchy.

Vogue Italia EIC Franca Sozzani has snatched the title of UN Goodwill Ambassador. She’ll be working with industry insiders to promote sustainable development and much more.

World-renowned milliner Stephen Jones will be fabricating fascinators for Raf Simons’ Dior Haute Couture premiere. Jones called the collection “exciting, beautiful and new,” but wouldn’t say much more than that.
At last year’s Webby awards, Anna Wintour told us that “sometimes geeks can be chic,” and the rise of fashion-forward online games only reinforces her statement.
Mary Katrantzou, reigning queen of jaw-droppingly beautiful digital prints, won’t, or rather can’t, show pre-fall or resort collections because her intricate patterns take too long to produce (hint: four days to make a single print). {Vogue UK}
Nicole Richie has hopped on the celebrity perfume bandwagon with “Nicole by Nicole Richie.” It smells like her mother and other southern women. Now you, too, can woo Lionel Richie.
Mega-retailer Target has been given exclusive rights to all merchandise involved with the new Spiderman movie. They’ve created a special Spiderman web boutique and expect their Peter Parker pajama set to be a best seller.
Drug-addled beauty writer Cat Marnell (formerly of xoJane) will be writing a column for Vice magazine.
Emma Stone has been killing it at photocalls and premieres for the upcoming Spiderman movie and FabSugar has chronicled her every look. We’re swooning.
Givenchy’s latest ad campaign is certainly dynamic, but how much so? Peep this link for a behind the scenes video of the models breaking it down during the photoshoot. Don’t you dance alone in Givenchy, too?
The economy is still a topsy-turvy place and recent predictions by 24/7 Wall Street suggest that PacSun, Avon, and Talbots will all be gone in 2013. That is, if the world doesn’t end before that.

Topman debuts SS13 Design collection at LFW.

Topman debuted its SS13 Design collection at London Fashion Week (LFW) as part of the new ‘London Collections: MEN’ showcase.

Topman Design is the brand’s in-house designed premium collection. It is now in its 7th year and can be found exclusively in global flagship Topman stores as well as online at The collection has become a distinguished wholesale brand in itself and appears throughout Europe, the Far East and New Zealand.

While Men’s Day is now an established feature of the London Fashion Week schedule, the new ‘London Collections: MEN’ showcase spanned across three days, exhibiting a growing interest in men’s fashion and local menswear designers.

Topman Design Director, Gordon Richardson, said: “No longer shoe horned into one condensed hectic day, the newly established London Collections: Men, over three glorious days, now has the space to breathe, flourish and generate the buzz that will put its talented rising men’s fashion stars firmly on the international fashion map.”

The last Topman Design collection featured a range of sharp edge suits, embellished silk shirts, shorts, jackets and bold prints. Speaking to its wide appeal, an eclectic range of male celebrities, including professional athletes, actors and musicians, were seen wearing pieces from the collection.

Topman also plays a pivotal role in shaping and supporting emerging talent within men’s fashion. MAN, the partnership between Topman and FashionEast credited as spearheading the whole Men’s Day movement enters into its 7th year too. Adding exciting new names, Shaun Sampson and Matthew Miller, to its critically acclaimed hall of fame last season, the select panel of industry insiders will continue to ensure this key initiative strives to pioneer those newest of design talent and giving them a much needed platform in which to present.

NEWGEN MEN builds on Topman’s partnership with FashionEast. It has since become instrumental in raising the profile of emerging British designers, using the dedicated Men’s Day at London Fashion Week as a showcasing platform. Picking up where MAN develops, the sponsorship initiative offers its recipients tailored business and mentoring support with a view to increasing the success of their business commercially and building relationships with key press and buyers.

Tim Blanks, Contributing Editor of and a member of the British Fashion Council’s Menswear committee, commented: “NEWGEN MEN mix this season testifies to the unique personality that’s evolved in British Menswear. Aside from the real breadth and depth, I doubt that any other fashion capital could confidently field a men’s team with this much quirk.”

Fashion News: Emma Stone relies on black and white for ‘Spider-Man’.

Emma Stone has been globe-hopping on behalf of “The Amazing Spider-Man,” which is due to open in theaters July 3. Since June 12, she’s been to Moscow, South Korea and Tokyo, and just this week alone to premieres in (from left in photos) Berlin (in an Alexander Gn dress and Louboutins), Paris ( a gown by Gucci) and London (pantsuit by Elie Saab). Sticking to a palette of black and white seems to be working for her.
Jennifer Hudson is creating a 14-piece clothing collection for QVC that will be designed “for any body type,” she says. The line is made up of easy silhouettes and earth tones, with the most expensive item, a coat, selling for $170. The collection will go on sale on QVC Sept. 10.
New creative director Hedi Slimane plans to change Yves Saint Laurent’s name to Saint Laurent Paris, starting this fall.
Narciso Rodriguez’s fall collection for Kohl’s was inspired by Istanbul and includes knits in beet purples and other intense hues, some with colorblocking. Pieces will sell for $30 to $150.
Joie just opened its first California boutique, on Melrose in Los Angeles.
The showings of resort collections for 2013 are coming to a close, and WWD notes the following trends: dresses worn over pants, peplums, denim-on-denim, print jackets and safari looks.
Daniel Vosovic, who became a fan favorite on Season 2 of “Project Runway,” launched his own line in 2010 and was accepted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Fashion Incubator program, which helps designers build their businesses, talks to the Cut about why he’s not showing at New York Fashion Week (it’s too expensive), his goals (to create a vision) and what it’s like to manage both the creative and business sides of his company.
Jonas Akerlund’s director’s cut of his short film (read: commercial) for Dior’s Addict fragrance, starring model Daphne Groeneveld, will have you wanting to head for the nearest European beach town. Enjoy!

Cindy’s fashion helps celebrate British design.

A ballgown created by a Westcountry fashion designer is being exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Cindy Beadman, 63, had international success designing clothes for film stars such as Farah Fawcett and Olivia Newton-John from her workrooms in Wellswood, Torbay, during the 1970s.
The mother-of-three would take to the sewing machine when her children were in bed for exclusive boutiques in Rodeo Drive, Beverley Hills and Saks, Fifth Avenue.
Now, one of her eye-catching designs is gracing the V&A for its new exhibition, Ballgowns: British Glamour since 1950.
It is the latest in a series of exhibitions at London’s Victoria and Albert museum this year to celebrate British design.
Cindy, who is now a healer and author living in Bath, said: “I am delighted. I just thought that my gowns would just get dusty and fall apart in a cupboard somewhere.
“So to get a letter from the museum out of the blue was such a surprise.
“It is a little pat on the back for the career I had all those years ago.”
Cindy was catapulted into the fashion scene after storming London in 1976. She had a shop in South Kensington and operated a successful workshop in Torquay.
But her fashion career ended when, aged 36, she was struck down by ME.
The ballgown currently exhibited at the V&A was part of one of her last collections.
It features a ‘cloud’ headdress and skirt and bodice embroidered with fairy tales.
The dress sold for £2,000 in the late 1970s — equivalent of about £20,000 in today’s terms. It formed part of Cindy’s “Fairy Tale Collection” and was bought by Anita Harris for presentation to the Queen,
Cindy said: “It is part baroque, part Marie-Antoinette and has a Chinese feel.
“Funnily enough it has captivated the Chinese and Asian market and it featured on the front page of one of the biggest newspapers in China.”
Cindy’s designs also appear in collections held by the Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art and the Munich Museum of Modern Art.

DBA chooses Lectra Fashion PLM V3 to quality of service.

Lectra, the world leader in integrated technology solutions dedicated to industries using soft materials—textiles, leather, industrial fabrics, and composite materials—is pleased to announce that the DBA Group has chosen Lectra Fashion PLM V3 to support a strategic change initiative intended to boost innovation, competitiveness, and quality of service.<
The multinational DBA Group is the European leader in lingerie, hosiery, and undergarments for men and women. The Group’s brand portfolio includes DIM, Playtex, Wonderbra, Nur Die, Abanderado, and Loveable. For more than 20 years, DBA has successfully leveraged Lectra’s apparel design and development solutions to create, produce, and distribute products. Over the years, a strong partnership has developed between the two companies.
Faced with a constantly fluctuating textile market, the stakes for DBA are high: develop full visibility in order to strengthen control over development cycles and increase the capacity to deliver high quality, innovative products to consumers.
DBA plans to reorganize operations and focus its expertise on harmonizing and improving product development across brands.
“We chose Lectra because they place the same emphasis on customer satisfaction and market needs,” explains Xavier Lepingle, Chief Operations Officer at DBA. “In our apparel business, it is critical that we remain flexible in order to keep pace with the unpredictability of the market. At the same time, we must structure our internal process and give our teams the power to direct their energy more efficiently, thereby turning our flexibility into a competitive advantage.”
Lectra Fashion PLM will help manage the micro details of collection development while also maintaining a bird’s-eye view. “Changes in the market and in consumer expectations are have led us to change our business model to optimize our organization to achieve shorter time to market,” says Xavier Lepingle. “Our teams need to be able to manage assortments and development costs as well as manage collections with different suppliers without sacrificing quality.”
“We feel privileged to be part of the strategic change at DBA. Our past relationship makes us immediate stakeholders in the success of this project and we are both committed to a long-term partnership,” says Bruno Mattia, Director, Strategic Accounts Fashion, Lectra.
“With Lectra Fashion PLM, the DBA teams will be able to spend their time proactively managing projects, which will be a major strength and allow us to grow our business,” sums up Xavier Lepingle.

Regional fashion industry worth $10 billion a year — Cooper.

With the 2012 staging of Caribbean Fashioweek (CFW) firmly tucked away under his belt, Kingsley Cooper, head honcho at modelling agency Pulse which produces the event can now breathe a sigh of relief.
For Cooper, CFW 2012 saw a growth and development in the 12-year-old showcase of the region’s design and modelling talent.
“Growth this year was on a much broader level,” he states. “The emphasis was primarily focussed on the development of designers, working to take them to that next level,” he adds.
Between June 8 and 11, a total of 51 collections from 50 designers took to the runway inside the National Indoor Sports Centre in the Corporate Area.
With a budget of $60 million to stage CFW 2012, Cooper shies away from pin-pointing the total spin-off in dollar-value for the Jamaican economy.
“It is difficult to put a clear number on CFW’s contribution to the economy… it is undoubtedly very significant. When the extensive range of activities, services employed, spin offs, multipliers, as well as the width and depth of multinational participation is considered, the value of this project must be in the hundreds of millions of Jamaican dollars,” says Cooper.
It is this potential that Cooper eyes when he estimates that the regional fashion industry could be worth billions if allowed to develop.
“According to rough estimates, the Caribbean fashion Industry — English, French, Spanish and Dutch — is conservatively worth J$10 billion per year. Given the relative infancy and underdevelopment of the regional industry, one could assume a value of 10 times this amount, once fully developed.” he states.
But what exactly is required to attain this level? Splash asks.
Cooper, who is also chairman of the Caribbean Fashion Industry Association (CAFIA), notes that emphasis now has to be placed on funding, training, strategic partnerships, export, and unity through expanded membership of the CAFIA and policy consensus.
This development of the region’s designers was the driving force behind the workshop staged during CFW 2012 which featured Coopers explains that coming out of this forum a number of regional designers will have the opportunity to be represented by Jones, as they seek to move their products into the international market. He says a number of designers are currently in discussion with Jones. These include Meiling (Trinidad & Tobago) and David Andre (Haiti)
For Trinidad & Tobago designer Robert Young, his label, The Cloth was showing at CFW for the 10th time.
He sees CFW as an ideal forum for regional designers to meet, showcase their talents and share ideas. “That’s what keeps me coming back.”

Last night’s National Aboriginal Fashion Week runway show was an intimate affair. Lots of creative designs featured. My story and photos will appear in tomorrow’s Leader-Post and online at site.
Just finished writing. Here’s what I wrote:
Aboriginal designers and performers showcased their creativity at the Turvey Centre Thursday during the first of two nights of runway shows celebrating Regina’s first National Aboriginal Fashion Week.
“We are letting the world know that we are here and we are beautiful and very creative,” announced master of ceremonies Linsay Willier, an aboriginal model who was runner-up on Canada’s Next Top Model. And, she acknowledged that the event was getting underway “fashionably late.”
The first label featured was Timeless Shadows, by Regina designer Tracey George-Heese (pronounced hayce), who is of Cree descent.
“A lot of the clothing that I sell is based in aboriginal appreciation; but you don’t have to be aboriginal to buy it,” she explained in an interview prior to her runway show.
“It’s contemporary, but it draws on the history and culture of our First Nations people,” she added.
Each Timeless Shadows design “becomes a piece of artwork for the individual, rather than (fashion) for a specific season,” George-Heese said.
The veteran designer has been running her fashion design business for 17 years — in her “spare” time, when she’s not working full time as an employee development consultant for SaskGaming.
Best known for women’s shawls and men’s ribbon shirts, Timeless Shadows designs range in price from $150 to $550, depending on how much work goes into creating the piece.
Danita Strawberry of Sky Spirit Collections was the second designer showcased. She presented a stunning array of formal wear with a Native flare. Her striking, bold designs are ideal for a vast array of special occasions — from weddings to graduations to black-tie galas.
Ontario-based designer Bruno Henry was unable to attend the Regina event, but sent a selection of designs for the runway show. Most of his custom-fit designs are created using traditional materials, such as moose and deer hide, stitched together using leather stitch-work instead of thread. Fringe and embroidered artwork accentuate his designs.

Linda Lavallee (of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation), her husband Patrick Stewart (of the Nisga’a in northern British Columbia) and their son Cory Lavallee are the creators of Cree Nisga’a Clothing. Their beautifully decorated collection of boots — an adaptation of mukluks — elicited rave reviews from the audience.
“Our stuff is quite unique,” Steward, a British Columbia architect, said in an interview prior to the runway show. “No one else is doing it.”
“We don’t do beads,” he pointed out. “We do painting or cutwork … Each pair is handcrafted.”
“We trace the person’s foot. That gives us a boot impression,” he explained. “They’re custom-made; we don’t make a bunch of Size 8, for example … It takes about a day to build the boot. It’s fairly labour intensive.”
Stewart’s designs follow mostly traditional West Coast aboriginal artwork, incorporating things from nature, such as the killer whale. Cory creates contemporary designs geared to appeal to youth.
Cree Nisga’a boots range in price from $300 to $600. Children’s boots average $150.
Tim Lewis showcased a collection of Tansi T-shirts. Tansi means hello in Cree. On his website, Lewis explains that “Tansi clothing is the promotion of the Cree greeting tansi through fashion.”
Cree designer Disa Tootoosis, from Poundmaker First Nation near North Battleford, who lives in Red Deer, Alta., presented a collection of fun and flirty fashions with a traditional twist. Disa Tootoosis Designs focus on special-occasion dressing, influenced by the powwow world. Inspired by her creative grandmothers, Tootoosis incorporates both floral and geometric silk applique designs in her dresses and bustier tops.
In a telephone interview prior to Thursday’s runway event, Tootoosis noted that all of her pieces are one-of-a-kind. They include men’s vests, chiffon blouses, pendleton wool blanket jackets and custom gowns.
Thursday’s runway event concluded with LUXX Ready to Wear by Derek Jagodzinsky. The sleek, sophisticated, ready-to-wear designs — one of which Willier modelled — feature modern shapes with a classic edge.
LUXX fashions are designed and produced in Edmonton.
National Aboriginal Fashion Week was organized by Chelsa Reil to showcase Canada’s emerging and established aboriginal fashion designers.
“I’m trying to help them break into the mainstream,” she said in a telephone interview prior to the event.
“We’ve had a lot of interest,” Reil said at the Thursday runway event.

Gerber presents awards to four fashion designing students.

Gerber Technology presented awards to students at two prominent Canadian fashion design institutions during year-end student fashion shows. As in years past, Gerber Technology recognized two graduating students from the School of Fashion Studies at George Brown College in Toronto, Ontario and two graduating students from the Fashion Design Program at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario.
Students at George Brown and Fanshawe have been using Gerber’s creative design suite for more than 15 years, including the industry benchmark AccuMark pattern design, grading and marking software, Fashion Studio design software, Silhouette™ drafting table and various GERBERplotters.
Located in Canada’s fashion capitol, and graduating an average of 80 students a year, George Brown College’s School of Fashion Studies is a program that introduces students to fashion technology and the fundamentals of design, marketing, merchandising, manufacturing and fashion management.
The Fashion Design program at Fanshawe College, which graduates roughly 30 students each year, is a three-year program dedicated to supporting aspiring fashion designers. Students develop their creative design skills, apparel production technologies, visual communications, and business marketing skills. Graduates move on and work in various design roles in such companies as Reebok Canada, Cleo, Sears and Stratford Theatre.
“The experiences our students gain during our three 15-week semesters are very important in becoming a well rounded designer with relevant skills to gain employment in the fashion industry,” explains Leigh-Ann Waller, program coordinator at Fanshawe College. “I am pleased that Gerber Technology has continued to support our college and students for the past 15 years.”
This year Gerber recognized Cong Tam Nguyen and Carmen Ng from George Brown College and Kelsey Marsh and Nicole Flanagan from Fanshawe College for displaying excellence in the application of technology in fashion techniques and design.
“We are proud to support the Canadian fashion industry and its fashion schools which develop top talent each year,” said Alan Seymour, senior account executive for Gerber Technology. “Empowering these students with the necessary technology skills will help them find success throughout their careers. The long-standing partnership between these two institutions and Gerber has enabled thousands of students to receive in-depth knowledge of the inner workings of the fashion industry.”
Gerber provides software and hardware solutions to nearly 1,200 educational institutions in more than 80 countries. As an industry-leading supplier of computer-aided design and product lifecycle management software, the company believes it has a responsibility to continuously help expose students to the latest technology.

It’s all in the jeans: Our most versatile fashion staple is big news for summer.

Te good thing is, denim is the most versatile trend of all – dress it down for day, and up for night.
It’s all in the jeans! Yep, those trusty denim trews will always be a wardrobe staple, but this season they’re bigger news than ever.
And, the good thing is, denim is the most versatile trend of all – dress it down for day, and up for night.
There’s a jeanius style to suit everyone.
Lengthen legs with high-waisted boot-cut flares, ease curves into a boyfriend fit and the skinny jean is easier to pull off than you may think – wear with a long tee and blazer for a flattering silhouette and go-anywhere chic.
My favourites are Warehouse’s ultra skinny jeans in peach or turquoise, now on sale for £25. Grab them while you can at site.
Team yours with a pointy court or wedge to make your legs go on forever.
Just about anything goes when it comes to the summer jean – from blinding brights to bold patterns, stripes and florals.
Remember, the louder the jean, the more simple you need to go up top.
Don’t match print tops with print jeans and, in my book, double denim is still a no-no! Even Liz Hurley’s favourite, the white jean, has made a comeback.
And why not customise your own? Distressed jeans have never been more now – rip them, roll them, bleach them and be the coolest girl on the festival field.
And denim isn’t just for the waist down, there are so many ways to wear it.
Make a denim shirt your new neutral wardrobe hero – pair it with anything from prints to brights – or why not work a denim jacket over a sundress?
A denim shirt dress will flatter your figure when belted at the waist or go for an all-in-one such as George @ Asda’s playsuit (£14).
And nothing says summer like cut-offs, just make sure you accessorise with a fake tan.
Unsurprisingly, there was no denim at Royal Ascot this week. Its stricter wardrobe rules caused a frisson among the fillies.
On the banned list were shorts, mini-skirts, midriffs, strapless frocks and spaghetti straps (nothing less than an inch wide would do!).
The Duchess of Cambridge’s fave, the fascinator, was even banned from the Royal Enclosure. Does this mean the Queen has a fascinator phobia?
And who’s going to break it to Kate? If she needs inspiration, she can check out the fab new collaboration between hat designer to the stars Piers Atkinson and ASOS.
His fun headbands adorned with pom-poms and the like may not be deemed quite suitable for the Royal Enclosure, but they’re super-cute just the same!

There is no easy solution for all of this. As salaries stagnate and the prices of just about everything else continue to rise, cheap fashion will be a constant temptation. But Cline says that small changes can add up. Like the slow food movement before it, slow clothing means buying local, paying attention to labels, and favoring natural materials like cotton and silk over plastic-based synthetics. She also recommends repairing, rather than replacing, clothes and shoes whenever possible.

Cline told me she has personally kept her clothing budget the same, but has switched from non-stop bargain-hunting to buying a few high-quality, non-trendy pieces that will last. At the same time she has worked with her local seamstresses to alter thrift-store finds so that they will fit her perfectly, and she even took a sewing class in order to learn to recognize quality when she shops. She also runs a blog on which she shares her tips for taking clothes seriously and where to shop.

Of all of the dangers that fast fashion can bring, Cline said there is one problem in particular that is especially timely.

“For me, the most poignant issue is the fact that the United States gave away its entire garment industry,” she says—an industry that this country previously dominated. Where the United States once made 90 percent of Americans’ clothes, it not makes as little as 3 percent, she said.

“And you know, if I had written this book before the recession, that point probably wouldn’t have hit quite so close to home…. One of the main industries that allowed people to move up in the middle class, especially in a place like New York, was the garment industry. It’s largely gone now.”

Not Just For Jet Setters, Fashion Brands Cash In On Resort Wear

Italian fashion brand Salvatore Ferragamo made history when it showed its Resort 2013 collection in the Louvre under the arcades of the Denon wing last week, becoming the first fashion brand to do so in the building’s over 900-year existence (reward for sponsoring the museum’s Leonardo da Vinci exhibition, on view now). Models, including heavy hitters like Karolina Kurkova and Heidi Mount, strutted the 400-foot runway in front of an A-list crowd that included actresses Freida Pinto and Hilary Swank.

The event marked the tipping point for resort wear, which has long been associated with the clothing wealthy jet setters would buy for their winter jaunts to locales like Anguilla and St. Barts. Now luxury fashion brands are using their resort collections—which hit stores in October and sit on sales floors longer than any season—to feed their customers seemingly bottomless appetite for something new. Fast fashion brands have gotten shoppers accustomed to the idea of daily deliveries, and now everyone in the fashion food chain is expected to keep up. Call it the Zara effect.

Salvatore Ferragamo Creative Director Massimiliano Giornetti said of the inspiration for this resort collection: “I wanted to bring life and energy to the collection and designed resort for a woman to have a weekend on an island, pieces designed for day to night, not the red carpet. I was looking for a different kind of luxury—Italian Haute Couture.”
The clothes he sent down the runway included leather dresses, knits, fringed snakeskin boots and hobo handbags featuring the kind of details luxury shoppers expect including intricate weavings, crochet detailing and python patchwork. The color palette including blush, grey and nude emphasized the idea of easy elegance. You can just as easily imagine a woman sitting in on a board meeting or vacationing on a cruise in these clothes.
Ferragamo certainly wasn’t alone in staging a spectacle to show off resort. Just as the business of resort wear is booming, the runway shows fashion brands are staging to preview the season have increasingly rivaled those of the bi-annual spring and fall fashion weeks. Chanel took over Versailles for its resort show this May. Stella McCartney staged a carnival in a Lower East Side cemetery complete with a New Orleans brass band this month. The clothes McCartney previewed like oversized floral blazers and strapless coral dresses blended in with those being worn by the crowd, though perhaps that was precisely the point. Resort wear is less about trends and more about selling clothes.
Giornetti is another proponent of wearability. He said of this resort collection, “I designed pieces for the modern woman, pieces women love to wear. When Salvatore Ferragamo designed a shoe, it was the fact that you could wear the shoe, live your life in the shoe.”

Korean fashion designers go global.
A global fashion brand project, 2012 Seoul’s 10 Soul, organized by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, has shortlisted 10 Korean fashion designers with long-term support programs.

Now in its third year, the project aims to provide long-term exposure in international markets and help the further development of selected designers. This year they are Ko Tae-yong, Choi Chul-yong, Kang Dong-jun, Choi Bum-suk, Sheen Je-hee, Lee Suk-tae, Lee Seung-hee, Im Seon-oc, Steve J & Yoni P and Hong Hye-jin.

The government runs integrated showrooms called Acrex in Paris and Milan to further promote the brands.

“I am enormously impressed by the capability of Korean artists,” said Alfredo Ferreira, sales director of the showroom. “I expect a lot from the project as the eyes of Paris fashion are currently upon it.”

In Paris, the showroom will open from June 29 to July 3 for menswear and Sept. 27 to Oct. 5 for womenswear. Milan’s showroom will present the men’s ranges through Sept. 25 and from Aug. 27 to Oct. 15 for the women’s styles.

In addition, the 10 designers will showcase their work at an exhibition scheduled around Paris Fashion Week this October to which the press and buyers will be invited.

Previously, the project was more about such one-time events as hosting an exhibition of the designers and an after-party in Paris.

“This fashion project has helped me to jump into the pickiest European market,” said Lee Suk-tae, chosen for the project for three consecutive years, along with Choi Bum-suk, Sheen and Lee Seung-hee. “However, the government needs to support us with a long-term project, rather than promoting single events. Consistency is the key,” he added. Lee is now a sought-after designer by established public relations firms and showroom organizers in France.

The long-term support programs envisioned this year include consultations on brand positioning and marketing strategies; a one-to-one matching service between the designers and agencies specializing in public relations and sales; and continuous brand management and analysis of the outcome.

“We aim to develop our domestic brands to the level of global giants Louis Vuitton and Chanel by 2020,” said Baek Woon-seok, director of cultural industry at the Seoul Metropolitan Government. “We also plan to expand this current Paris-based project to other big cities and keep up our support programs to gain recognition in the global fashion industry.”

In her new book, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, which she’ll be reading and signing tonight at Powerhouse Arena, the New York-based journalist and author argues that America’s current addiction to shoddy, trendy clothes is leaving us as unsatisfied as junk food, while simultaneously hurting garment workers and polluting our environment.
“Fashion’s race to the bottom,” as she puts it, can’t be fixed overnight, but she shows that we need an extreme makeover of our attitude towards clothes as disposable goods.
Cline’s book is as personal as it is polemical, and it follows her journey from a Forever 21 fanatic to an educated, careful consumer. She confesses her sins early on: the moment she realized that she had to change her ways was when she hauled home a heavy bag of identical shoes from K-Mart. She had seen a bargain she just couldn’t pass up—$7 a pair—and, in the thrill of the hunt, bought out the store in her size. The shoes soon fell apart and fell out of fashion, and the remainders languished in her closet.
“That might be an extreme example, but I think it sort of gets at the psychology of cheap,” she said when we spoke by phone a few weeks ago. “You see something that costs so little that you’re like, ‘Why not?’ And after ten years of shopping on this ‘Why not’ kind of basis, I ended up with hundreds and hundreds of pieces of clothing.”
Cline said she realized that impulse-buying clothes and shoes at rock-bottom prices wasn’t making her happy; it wasn’t even making her fashionable. Prioritizing cost over quality meant that she had a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear. She knew many of her friends felt the same way about their buying habits.
“My wardrobe ultimately left me feeling slavish and passive,” she writes in the introduction to her book. “I was devoting too much time and way too much space in my house to a habit I know shamefully little about.”
It wasn’t always like this, of course. When factory-made clothes started to be sold in America around 1900, Cline notes in the book, the average American family spent over 15 percent of their yearly income on clothing for just a few pieces that they wore frequently and repaired often.
“In 1929, the average middle-class man owned six work outfits and the average middle-class woman nine,” she writes. Today, many women buy dresses on their lunch breaks with as little thought as they give their sandwich purchases (and, in many cases these days, far less thought than those artisanal sandwiches).

Even in the 1980s, shopping for clothes was more of a seasonal investment, rather than a year-round grazing. According to Overdressed, it was really only in the mid-1990s that chains such as Gap, Target, and, later, H&M and Forever 21, started to create and dominate the low-end clothing market. These brands, and many others like them, make their profits in tiny slivers and in huge volume. They have driven down prices by moving production overseas, while continually manufacturing obsolescence by changing their stock more and more often. Fast turnover encourages shoppers to visit more frequently; it also contributes to the psychology of the “treasure hunt” that Cline herself experienced in the K-Mart shoe section.

To uncover the implications of this hamster wheel of consumption, Cline visited factories in China and Bangladesh, where the American clothing industry has exported most of its production but not its labor-protection oversight. She learned about the toxic pollutants released into those countries’ rivers and air and land as byproducts of the making of the cheapest synthetic fabrics. She also discovered the depressing truth of the afterlife of all of those ill-fitting tank tops and plastic-soled shoes: most of them eventually end up as trash, in landfills, leaching more chemicals into the ground.

The portion of Cline’s research that she says was most surprising to her was on the second-hand market.

“I think that many people assume that there’s someone else out there that wants your old clothes,” she said. “But the reality is that charities have been overburdened by the amount of clothes that we are donating…. Something like 20 percent of what we donate gets sold in charity shops, and then the rest of it gets sent to a textile recycler, and then from there most of it gets shipped overseas to the African second-hand market.” Yet even overseas demand for used clothing has decreased as prices for clothes have dropped. And, Cline added, the quality of the clothes that people are donating now is so low that shredding it for the wiping-rag industry is sometimes the only option.

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Nexboom Universe breaks into the fashion industry.

At the start of the second fiscal quarter, NexBoom Universe is poised to break into the fashion industry by taking on three new clients – Prada, Earnest Sewn, and an up-and-coming 16-year-old designer named Courtney Allegra. All three of these fashion labels have individual reasons for choosing NexBoom, but the common goal is simple: they all want to reach more people in less time with their very personal brand messaging.

NexBoom has been a leader in the digital marketing industry since they hit the scene in 2010. By incorporating a multi-faceted combination of technologies – including social media, public relations, consumer-sentiment data, and both traditional and digital branding techniques – NexBoom is able to help designer brands like Prada – that already have a specific following – as well as brand new designers – like Courtney Allegra – create personal and relevant connections to their customers.

Fashion, more than most other industries, is very personal to people,” said Lou Zant, cofounder of NexBoom Universe, and a former sales executive with Calvin Klein. “People often find their identity in the clothes they purchase, and so it’s equally as important for a company like Prada or Earnest Sewn to know what their customer thinks, as it is for their customer to understand the story behind the brand.” Integrating the NexBoom technology into the other aspects of these established brands will ensure brand loyalty and consumer preference for both retail and online purchases. However, for fashion designers like Courtney Allegra, NexBoom’s fully integrated technologies are an essential part of establishing her overall brand identity, as well for introducing the world to this fascinating and talented young designer. “We are very excited to be working with Courtney,” said Zant. “She is an incredibly talented designer, and the story behind her brand is not only intriguing, but it is one we know will easily take shape through the unique mechanisms of social media marketing.”

Football star Tom Brady has sung on Saturday Night Live, been immortalized on The Simpsons, and popped up on an episode of Entourage, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise when he delivered another funny performance in a recent FunnyOrDie video to promote Under Armour. Brady plays the comic straight man, just hoping to locate some gear at a California sporting goods store when the salesperson and some customers become fascinated by him — not by his stardom, but what they perceive as his thick Bah-ston accent. In fact, no one seems to recognize him as the Patriots Super Bowl quarterback, and two yokels even confuse him for Matt Damon. It’s a particularly funny exchange because the two famous men could pass for cousins. (When Damon was named People‘s Sexiest Man Alive in 2007, he told the magazine that Brady was “a taller, better-looking version of me.”)

“I got a chance to know Matt a little bit, and he would appreciate that video,” says Brady, who had a cameo in Damon’s 2003 comedy Stuck on You and admits that people have mistaken him for the Oscar winner, though never in Boston. “The people in Boston are very territorial about their sports stars and with their actors and actresses.”

Brady met with the media Wednesday as part of Under Armour’s promotional event to launch its new line of Spine sneakers, which the company envisions will put it on equal footing with rivals like Nike, Reebok, and adidas. The 34-year-old quarterback is taller — he’s at least 6’4″ — and lankier in person than he looks in his uniform, and after years of jousting with occasionally adversarial reporters after games, he’s a master of handling questions graciously without saying more than he has to. Still, he generously talked to EW about the allure of entertainment, the fashion stylings of New England’s head coach Bill Belichick, and how much longer he sees himself playing in the NFL. Oh yeah, and his hair.

One TV show that you shouldn’t expect Brady to pop up on any time soon is Hard Knocks, HBO’s sports documentary series that embeds itself into the pre-season of a select NFL team. Since the show premiered in 2001, the Patriots have been the most successful team in the league, winning three Super Bowls, but they’ve never been profiled. That’s not exactly an accident, as they’ve certainly been invited to join. “It’s a lot of inside access that people get [to watch], so we guard that pretty well at Foxboro,” said Brady, who admitted he was asked by the team for his input a few years ago when HBO approached them. Clearly, there’s competitive advantage to be had and maintained. When it was mentioned that the Miami Dolphins will be this season’s subjects, Brady quickly broke into a smile and said, “Good,” hinting that he’ll certainly be studying the show as if it were an opponent’s game tape. “It’s a good program. I enjoy watching it, and it gives a lot of people insight into what [teams] do in getting prepared for the season.”

One of Brady’s star teammates, however, will be popping up on your television soon. All-pro tight end Rob Gronkowski is one of the celebrity bachelors on Fox’s new dating show, The Choice. “He’s a great guy, a great football player and teammate,” said Brady. “When you’re 23 or 24 years old, you can have fun with those type of things. You take the different opportunities when you get them, because you never know when you’re going to get them again.”

One can only imagine what the irascible Belichick must think of Gronkowski’s glamorous TV gig; the coach’s notorious focus and competitive fire is equaled in renown perhaps only by his lack of sideline fashion sense. “I know,” said Brady, when it was suggested that Under Armour should step up and design a semi-stylish half-sleeved grey hoodie for the coach. “Sometimes I just shake my head with the stuff that he wears. It looks like he didn’t even look when he cut [the sleeves]. It’s two sizes too small or two sizes too big, but then he goes out on the field in front of millions of people. But he just picks what he picks, and he actually wears it well. In fact, it would be funny if you saw him in something different.”

Wearing it well is something that comes much easier to Brady, whose hair is perhaps the focus of more attention than any NFL player’s coif, with the possible exception of Troy Polamalu. Confronted with a quartet of images of haircuts past, Brady expressed no remorse. “I’m never afraid to cut it,” Brady said with a wide grin. “It’s all how I’m feeling at the time. It’s nice to have some creativity with one’s hair. My buddy over there has had the same haircut for 10 years so I give him a lot of grief about that.”

What those memorable ‘do’s prove, if nothing else, is that as Brady enters the back-9 of his career, he won’t be doomed to suffer the follicle fates of Terry Bradshaw or Y.A. Tittle. Of course that could change, depending on how long he intends to play. When he signed a lucrative four-year extension in 2010 — a deal he recently restructured — he said he hoped to play until he was 40. After another Super Bowl season, though, Brady now seems eager to prolong his stay. “If it were up to me, I want to play a lot longer than that,” he said. “I love playing. I love the sport. I love being part of a team. There’s nothing else I’d rather do.”

So hang in there HBO. Wait long enough, and there’s always hope Brady ends up on Hard Knocks after all.

A woman who hates fashion.

For most of my life, I wasn’t the least bit interested in fashion. As far as I was concerned, there were a thousand other things I’d rather busy myself with – who had the time to develop a personal style?
For the first decade or so of my existence, my mother took care of all my sartorial decisions, rotating through a collection of dresses I’d inherited from my much older sisters (recycled 70s gear, how wonderfully retro!), and making me feel guilty should I pipe up and exclaim that I didn’t like a particular outfit by saying “But Jessie, if you don’t wear this skirt today, it will have hurt feelings!”
Mum was pretty good at making me believe inanimate objects could be upset with me, and by the time my teens rolled around, I suppose I felt as though clothes were emotionally manipulative bitches which may explain why I distrusted them so much.
Happily, it was the mid-nineties and for a girl interested in playing electric guitar and listening to mediocre grunge bands, donning a flannelette shirt and jeans was a perfectly acceptable half-arsed ensemble.
The flannelette shirts and jeans disappeared during my twenties, but they were replaced by long skirts and jumpers and maybe the odd pleather jacket (I’M SORRY) and to be truthful, they were really just things I threw on in order to leave the house with my bits covered so as to avoid arrest by the authorities.
But something happened to me at the beginning of the year. I was thirty years old, and I suddenly decided I wanted to embrace everything to do with fashion.
Why? Because I discovered how the right outfit can make you feel, and it’s all due to The World’s Greatest Blazer.
I had to DJ at an event in mid-January, and I thought to myself that it might be nice to make a slight effort as far as my personal appearance was concerned.
I turned to some friends of mine, Vanessa and Ariel, two ladies who totally rock their look and who I figured would be the right people to style me for the evening.
We had a lovely afternoon trying on a variety of outfits sourced from their wardrobes, and then Vanessa suggested I finish off my look by borrowing her vintage black blazer.
Here’s what I know about blazers: I once flicked through a ladymagazine and glanced upon a list of Essential Items Every Woman Must Have In Her Wardrobe.
I remember looking up after reading the items numbered, and asking another friend who works in fashion if it was true – do all women need one good blazer to compliment their ensemble? I was assured that this was indeed the case.
I put Vanessa’s blazer on, and turned to face the mirror once more.”OH MY GOD, LOOK! IT’S…. IT’S PERFECT!” I exclaimed. My chums nodded in agreement.

I wore the blazer out to that DJ gig… and then I wore it home. I adored it so much, I figured there was no harm in keeping it for a week or so and maybe wearing it to work, since slipping it on seemed to make even my most basic clothing decisions suddenly seem somewhat elegant and sophisticated.
The first day I sauntered into the office wearing The World’s Greatest Blazer, co-workers stopped me in my tracks and complimented me on my look.
I can safely assure you that as someone who once wore a T-shirt saying “I’m The Designated Drinker!” with a picture of a beer bottle lying in a pool of its own vomit to work, this was the first time ANYONE had EVER congratulated me on my clothing choices.
I felt empowered. I began going out and buying things I thought would work well with the blazer. I purchased accessories. I began waking up extra early (and as someone who does breakfast radio for a living, let me tell you that even losing ten minutes extra sleep is a big sacrifice) and putting more thought into what I was going to put on before leaving the house. Dresses, jeans, pants, blouses, shirts – and always, always The World’s Greatest Blazer.
Vanessa was very tolerant of the fact I still had her favourite blazer, but after a couple of months she – not unreasonably – asked if she could have it back at some point.
I began avoiding Vanessa’s calls.
Kidding! If I stopped taking her calls, how would I be able to pathetically beg for her to let me keep it forever? I offered to buy it, but no deal. Again, I don’t blame her. The World’s Greatest Blazer is one of a kind: not only is it beautifully cut and perfectly flattering, but this thing gives you an attitude, a swagger, a sense of confidence that you can’t put a price on.
I feel as though The World’s Greatest Blazer was even an influence on my decision to take up running in February – it made me want to take pride in myself, and how I looked and felt.

The World’s Greatest Blazer and I were star-crossed lovers, though. We were never going to end up together in the end, for my beloved was already promised to another.
That’s right, last week I had to hand it back to its rightful owner. I’m fairly sure I began singing Goodbye England’s Rose under my breath as I reluctantly gave Vanessa back her precious item of clothing
My mighty heart is broken.
The only good thing, I suppose, is that my blissful six months with The World’s Greatest Blazer has inspired me to throw myself head first into the world of fashion. And by that, I mean I’ve watched The September Issue and done a half-hearted search on eBay for any listings containing the words “magical awesome super flattering empowering professional looking blazer”. Nothing has come up yet, but I remain hopeful.I guess it’s time for me to take another look at that list of Essential Items Every Woman Must Have In Her Wardrobe and started hunting stuff down, huh?

Kim Kardashian Cheat Tweet May Get Brother Rob Disqualified From DWTS.

Kim Kardashian is not above lying to save a family member. The reality star has been very supportive of her brother, Rob Kardashain, as he shakes his booty on the show, “Dancing With The Stars.” Kim constantly uses her massive Twitter following to drum up votes to keep her brother on the show. Is she worried his dancing skills are not enough?

Last week, Kim thought of the ultimate ploy to get viewers to vote for Rob. The reality star committed a downright dastardly deed and tweeted, He’s taking calls for the next hour!!!” Only problem was the number was not Justin’s. It was the number to vote for Rob to keep him on for another week.

Okay, for anybody who actually thought Kim would post Justin Bieber’s personal phone number needs a bit of a reality check. Despite the somewhat joking nature, fellow DTWS contestants are pretty miffed Kim resorted to such tactics. Kim quickly realized she may have made a major faux pas, and the little trick could actually be called cheating. She tweeted, “Ok guys obviously I’m joking, that’s not Justin’s #! But seriously call & vote for @RobKardashian& @CherylBurke 8000 8683402!!! Xoxoxo.”

Kim Kardashian obviously does not understand the power Justin has on his Beliebers! Kim Kardashian message was retweeted more than 100 times. Kim’s own mother, Kris Jenner, retweeted it hoping to garner more votes for her kid. Kim Kardashian has more than 10 million followers, and her mother has managed to rack up more than a million. If even 10 percent of those people actually called the number, Rob had no chance of going home. The result show revealed Kim’s strategy worked. Her little brother managed to stay on another week, and Chaz Bono was sent home.
Some are demanding Rob be disqualified for his sister’s antics. Even Kim’s followers referred to the stunt as “lame.”Kim Kardashian may want to avoid attending any more tapings. The Kim Kardashian clan has probably just insured they will not be asked to compete on the showin the future.

Victoria Beckham Fashion Earnings Skyrocket, Expected To Top $96M

Victoria Beckham gained her fame by singing, but her career as a fashion designer has far surpassed her earnings and notoriety as a singer. The designer has launched a very successful line of clothing that raked in nearly $24 million in three months. Her expected earnings for the year are thought to be around the $96 million mark. The woman does not know how to fail! She has got four of the most beautiful children and a lovely, doting husband to boot.

A friend of the designer says, “Victoria Beckham never dreamed her clothing range would be successful.” Her business has gained 71 percent over last year’s sales. Victoria’s designs have become very popular in the Hollywood set with stars like Cheryl Cole, Demi Moore and Kate Winslet sporting the chic, feminine designs. She has managed to take her fashion line across the pond into the United States as well and has no plans of leaving her L.A. based headquarters despite rumors her husband may soon be moving back to the UK for a soccer contract.

Victoria Beckham success may soon surpass that of her husband, David Beckham. David landed a very lucrative soccer contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy team, earning about $42 million a year. A source says, “She is close to eclipsing David!” Even with his numerous endorsement deals, Victoria Beckham will manage to bring in more dollars to the family’s coffers than her in-demand  husband.

Some of Victoria Beckham dresses can go for as much as $8,000, but the fashionista has recently launched a line of dresses that are more affordable. Her business sense is remarkable. She regularly wears her own designs, which is a great way to showcase her latest designs. Everywhere she goes, she is photographed. She has made a name for herself in the world of fashion and is rarely seen making any fashion faux pas. Celebrities and fashion critics alike look up to the former Spice Girl’s fashion sense and rarely criticize her styles.

Style fashion week, downtown Los Angeles ended last Saturday after six days of well organized runway shows at newly renovated Vibiana. The former Cathedral’s baroque-inspired 35,000 square feet and outside patio, hosted runway shows by a whole new team of designers, which showcased their latest Spring 2012 Collections.

The garments are usually out in stores by March 2012. Fashion industry leaders, media, and celebrity guests were invited to see next season’s trends from swimwear to vintage-inspired pin-up looks to California-based fashion collectives.

Nicolita Swimwear is known for its focus on conservative sexy and curve-conscious styles, combined with a blend of a vintage glamour and modern silhouettes.

Designer, Nicole Di Rocco, showcased her 2012 collection “Con Sabor Tropical!” and five no-pinch fit bottom styles, in five solid tropical colors: Mango, Orange, Sol yellow, Palm Kelly green, Mar teal & Orchid violet.  To complete each sultry look on the runway, Nicole got help from eye-catching shoes from Chinese Laundry.

Kareena’s trend

“Cuban-style on fashion week bottoms are designed for the curvaceous Latina woman with more coverage on the hips, and a heart-shaped backside and ‘no-pinch’ fit elastic,” said Di Rocco.

Kareena’s was showcasing a collection on the catwalk,  with alluring splashes of color from blooming flowers, provoked from the soft cool breeze of beach winds. These, one of kind garments are adorned with hand embroidery or embellishments of semi-precious stones, sequin, beads, and crystals.  Each piece requires meticulous hand-made attention and has a unique style of embellishment to express the spirit of lavish opulence. “Perfect to pair up with your favorite bikini or jeans”.

La La Land was introducing a playfully chic Spring 2012 line on the runway.

The new spring line consists of comfy tees, maxi skirts, oversized silhouettes and cropped designs, all made in soft knits and chiffon.

A whimsical take on step and repeat printing choosing wild life as the focus of the season, and what could suit the urban animal print on every garment better?

Alternative Apparel – A leading lifestyle brand showcased its Spring 2012 Collection fashion week, called “Oasis of Color. It featured rich textures, sun-bleached desert washes, bold prints and a vibrant color palette.” The trademark of the collection was asymmetrical maxi-dresses and high-waisted mini-skirts in colorful prints, as well as sheer, mesh tanks, cut-out sweatshirts and beaded Baja Cloth ponchos.”

Alternative Apparel will also produce a men’s line that will offer “breezy Baja Woven’s in hoodies, shorts, and button-downs” for spring.Rounding out Style Fashion week was Gen Art’s Annual “Fresh Faces In Fashion” show, presented by Moroccan Oil. Actress and  co-founder Zoe Saldana was hosting the show, which gave emerging designers a platform to showcase their work. This year’s Fresh Faces Los Angeles program was featuring Spring 2012 collections from women’s ready-to-wear designers: 71 STANTON, Dear Creatures, Funktional, ODYLYNE, Stand and Deliver, swimwear designer, We Are Handsome and menswear designer CHAMBERS.

THE other night, Danielle Travali, 25, was listening to Kelly Clarkson’s new album, “Stronger.” Ms. Travali has fought her brigade of demons and then some, describing herself as an eating-disorders survivor.

“I am not a schmaltzy type,” said Ms. Travali, who edits an online women’s magazine in Fairfield, Conn., during a phone interview. But as Ms. Clarkson sang “The War Is Over,” she said, “tears were rolling down my face. As someone who has struggled with low self-esteem and body image, I have such a strong appreciation for powerful women who sing their truth. Kelly Clarkson songs are not just about failed relationships with others, but failed relationships with ourselves. Boom! I’m learning here: What did I do to hurt me?”

For a decade, Kelly Clarkson has been belting power-pop hits like “I Do Not Hook Up” and “Since U Been Gone,” and dismissing withering criticism of her weight. As a result, her fans have built a distinctive relationship with her: less that of conventional adulation than of identification and admiration.

“You get a sense that she’s one of us,” Ms. Travali said.

That connection has been reinforced by “Stronger,” released last week, which the singer describes as her own journey of empowerment, addressed directly to fans. On one song, “You Can’t Win,” Kelly Clarkson, 29, sings, “If you’re thin/Poor little walking disease/If you’re not/They’re all screaming obese/If you’re straight/Why aren’t you married yet?/If you’re gay/Why aren’t you waving a flag?”

The bond was apparent Thursday, at a Manhattan taping of “VH1 Unplugged: Kelly Clarkson,” which has its premiere Nov. 18. Ms. Clarkson’s appeal reached across generations of women.

Linda Scott, 52, who traveled with her husband from Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia, said that her daughter, 24, was also a passionate fan. Celebrating joint birthdays at the taping were Jolie Rosen, 14, and her mother, Cynthia Kroning (who gave her age as “old enough to be her mother”) of Norwood, N.J.

“Kelly’s not afraid to discuss anything,” said Mrs. Kroning, a fan by dint of driving teenage girls around with the car radio blasting. Referring to a cut on “Stronger,” she added, “ ‘What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger),’ should be an anthem.”

At the taping, Ms. Clarkson’s genial unflappability came across from the get-go. Finishing a bluesy cover of Carrie Underwood’s “I Know You Won’t,” she glanced down at her red body-hugging sheath dress. She laughed and tugged at the top.

“Oh, my God!” Had she been spilling out of her dress the whole time? she asked.

That poise has gotten her through years of sometimes-harsh jabs. On the video for her first single, “Mr. Know It All,” Ms. Clarkson looks skeptically at a wall papered with news clippings that have sniped at her weight, challenged her sexuality and ridiculed her rebellion against music-label executives. Then she tears an opening through her paper wall of shame and jauntily steps into a sun-soaked landscape.

At the taping, she stepped into a powerful “Mr. Know It All,” mother-and-daughter fans bobbing and lip-syncing. Afterward, Ms. Clarkson shook her head, abashed.

“I flubbed the lyrics, damn it,” she said. “And I knew it when I was doing it, too. So why didn’t I just stop? It’s just like my relationships!”

The makeup people dabbed at her face. As they turned away, Ms. Clarkson wiped her lips, mouthing to the audience, “Too much!”

In an interview, Courtney E. Martin, author of “Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters,” said, “There’s so much talk about Taylor Swift being the girl next door” — the role played by the singer in her video for “You Belong With Me” — “but she’s tall and blond, the girl that the girl next door wants to be. But with Kelly, you sense that she really is the girl next door. She acknowledges more complexity than most stars talk about.

“For any woman to not only own her body size at an average woman’s weight is amazing, let alone to own weight gain without shaming and stigmatizing it publicly. It’s a difficult line to walk because Kelly’s private. She doesn’t want to be known as the fat activist pop star. That’s not her mantle.”

Some received starters’ fees, but most celebrities were just happy to be there, writes women Natalie Craig.

There were more celebrities than you could poke a swizzle stick at in the exclusive Birdcage enclosure – from politicians to models and vaguely familiar soap stars – but they were small fish compared to the pale and mysterious woman who arrived at high noon.

Jockeying for position behind the velvet rope, dozens of anxious cameramen and starstruck guests with iPhones yelled ”Dita! Dita!” as a pale, dark-haired woman pouted and posed.

”Who is she again, mate?” said one snapper, his friend obliging him by writing the name on a notepad.

Dita Von Teese at the Lavazza marque. Victoria Derby Day at Flemimgton Races. <i>Photo: Craig Sillitoe</i>Women Dita Von Teese at the Lavazza marquee. Victoria Derby Day at Flemington Races.

In fact, women Dita Von Teese is an American ”burlesque” dancer (read: vintage stripper) and ex-wife of grunge rocker Marilyn Manson. And while several guests confessed they didn’t know who she was, she probably won the marketing race for her sponsors, Lavazza.

Its marquee, which also hosted Australian actor Nick Giannopolous and singer Anthony Callea, at one point held more journalists and minders than people actually enjoying themselves.

It was just the kind of circus that the racing aristocracy loathe. Francesca Cumani, daughter of British trainer Luca Cumani, has proclaimed that the practice of bringing international celebrities to the Cup Carnival makes Melbourne look ”insecure”.

Whispers yesterday about appearance fees of more than $100,000 also sullied the shine on Ms Von Teese.

But Lavazza importer John Valmorbida told The Sunday Age he had no qualms about ”putting money in the hat” with David Jones to bring the dancer to Australia, although he declined to say exactly how much. ”We pay for the hospitality, the airfares, all of that – it’s not cash as such,” he said. ”I don’t agree with [Cumani] … By having the celebrities, we’re sending a message back about our hospitality.

”I know others this year have been in a bidding war.”

While everyone else was trying to gawk at her, women Von Teese had her eye on the telecast of the races. She held court with five chosen journalists, and gave specific instructions not to be photographed while speaking (apparently, it’s not flattering to the jawline).

Earlier at Myer’s trackside marquee (Lavazza is one row back) guests were enjoying their elevated view, although the scrum to photograph model Jennifer Hawkins obscured the finish of Race 1.

”Oh my god, you look so good!” squealed Hawkins as fellow Myer ”ambassador” Rebecca Judd arrived.

”R-Judd” swooned over ”J-Hawk’s” outfit, who returned the favour by commenting on her skinny post-baby form. Husband, Carlton footballer Chris Judd, was ”around”, but baby Oscar was at home with the in-laws. (He’s no hassle anyway, she said, sleeping 11-12 hours a night since the age of eight weeks. Oh, please.)

Hamish Blake and Andy Lee also hugged like long-lost friends at Myer. ”Mate!” said Blake lustily. Their entourage included Blake’s girlfriend, author Zoe Foster.

Lee, now single after splitting with model Megan Gale earlier this year, was especially approachable, and candid on the subject of celebrity schmoozing. ”What’s our M.O.? Hamish and I are going to try and get as much free stuff as we can.

”That’s been our style since uni … Aside from the odd interview with wonderfully attractive Age journalists, we’re free to do whatever we want.”

Tour de France champion Cadel Evans was the big-name guest at Swisse. Emirates hosted celebrity foodie Matt Preston, Simone Callahan (Shane Warne’s ex-wife) and Irish crooner Ronan Keating and wife Yvonne, who denied the Cup Carnival was being overrun by celebrities. ”Oh god no,” said Keating. ”It’s just a lot of fun. Derby is the best. It’s a lot less snooty than the races in the UK.”

At the Fashions on the Field arena, where savvy young men gathered to check out the fillies. ”We are single and we’re ready to mingle!” said a smiley Jonathon Davies, 31, here with mates on a bucks’ do.

Josh Lucas and his mates, also at the Derby for a bucks’ day, were testing their fashion nous by placing bets on the winners. ”I reckon definitely No. 412,” said Lucas. ”She’s got everything in the right place.”

But the title went to No. 327, Jess Coad, in an angular black dress and wiry tangerine hat. She won a goodie bag, gift vouchers, a holiday, and will compete for an $85,000 sportscar in the women’s cup carnival final on Oaks Day.

Fashion Guru Jenna Lyons leaving husband for woman

Fashion Guru Jenna Lyons is reportedly in love with another woman and is in the process of divorce from her husband artist Vincent Mazeau. The 43-year-old president and creative director of the clothing company J.Crew got married to Mazeau in 2002 and have spent a married life of nine years together. The New York Post reported that since the summer breakup of the couple, Lyons has found romantic affiliation with another woman.

According to the report, Fashion Guru Jenna Lyons, who in April emerged in a contentious advertisement for J.Crew showing her young son with his toenails colored pink, has been occupied in a divorce fight over her wealth and guardianship of their son. Lyons reportedly earns around $5 million a year.

Reports suggest that Mazeau deems that the residence belongs to him besides considering himself entitled to a large sum of money because he believes he sacrificed his career for to support that of her wife.

The ad came under severe criticism from several conservative groups, commentators and individuals. Erin Brown, from the Media Research Center, declared the ad a “blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children.”

“Lucky for me I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon,” Jenna Lyons said about the ad which was on her preferred product listing.

Meanwhile, no one from J.Crew has commented on the recent reports about Jenna Lyons’ personal life. In the past year Lyons, who is also popular for her six-foot-five height, has turned into an idol for fashion lovers as a result of a segment on the Oprah Winfrey’s show that was dedicated to the personal life of Lyons.

“My goal is not to be a tastemaker,” Jenna Lyons told the New York Magazine in August. “It has never been that. I don’t consider myself that at all. The idea that you can make taste or influence someone’s taste is a very precarious and overly presumptuous concept.” She added, “Hubris is not so cute.”

Although the controversial ad of Lyons came under criticism from several segments of the society, yet there were many who held that critics were overreacting. Jo B. Paoletti, author of “Pink and Blue: Telling the Girls From the Boys in America,” said that many kids may want something that would appears to be cross-gender “and majority of the parents in the privacy of their own home might think, what is the big deal?”

Fashion Guru Jenna Lyons was appointed as an assistant designer at J. Crew in 1990 and she worked round the clock to make her way up the top. She became the company’s Executive Creative Director in 2007 and turned into one of the powerful figures in the fashion industry. In the past year she became the President and Creative Director of the company.

Headbands emblazoned with Russian symbols, cheap accessories and military-style clothes sashayed through the Russian Silhouette fashion designer contest in Moscow.

The contest, first launched in 1997 by the Russian Silhouette charity fund, is aimed at supporting young Russian designers and took in 67 collections at the Gostinyi dvor exhibition centre, where Moscow Fashion Week will kick off next week.

“We went through more regions this time, about 60, nine time zones of Russia and neighbouring countries, held 32 semi-finals, viewed 4,000 designers, twice as many as last year,” Tatiana Mikhalkova, the president of the fund, told Reuters.

The collections represented nearly a dozen countries in their diversity, which usually sets the contest apart from similar foreign competitions, she said.

Some judges said that a slower economy this year had prevented students from displaying the kind of experimentation and whimsical flair seen in past shows.

“Unable to spend a lot, this year designers played safe and acquired similar style, that’s why the show was a bit weak, I wanted to see more individuality and more guts,” Gevorg Rene, an Armenian fashion designer, told Reuters during an intermission.

A representative of Denmark’s Saga Furs auction house, Russian Silhouette Natalia Turovnikova, said she was disappointed with the drab uniformity of the collections.

“They are too modest, too tidy, not bold. You are young, you need to show sass, to surprise us,” she said addressing the participants from the runway.

Russian women are well-known for their exuberant interest in high-end fashion and unconventional outfits are a current fad.

Saga Furs was among other fashion labels such as Germany’s Laurel, Italy’s Moschino, France’s Claude Bonucci boutique and several Russian houses to offer 30 finalists internships and education programs.

The grand-prix – a 22,000 euro ($38,000) year-long masters program at the Italian design and fashion school Domus Academy – went to Muscovite Alexandra Ulyanova for her collection “From darkness to light.”

Ulyanova’s five outfits ranged from a long dark brown dress and heavy makeup to an angelic white transparent gown with an ivory belt accentuating the pale-skinned feminine figure floating on the runway.

“I had a philosophical concept in mind, I wanted to show the transition from dark to light,” Ulyanova told Reuters backstage. “I wanted to find this purity in today’s darkness and pull it out.”

Winners of the previous Russian Silhouette contest will show at Russian Fashion week starting on Friday at the World Trade centre.

Russian fashion house Viva Vox, led by designer Oleg Ovsiev, has brought the spirit of summer to Moscow’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Blue and yellow dominate the trendsetting designer’s collection, making them next season’s must-have colors.

Viva Vox has been on the fashion market since 1997, rising step by step to the top of Russian fashion business. Oleg Ovsiev, the company’s lead designer, has been working to gradually move it to prêt-a-porter or ready-to-wear fashion. And he has succeeded. His rich and fruitful background helped Oleg breathe new life into the company and the Russian fashion industry as a whole.

It looks like this time Oleg Ovsiev, who often displays monotone collections and adds simple details to his plain and yet stylish looks, has finally unleashed his colorful fantasy.

One might expect the colors bright blue and yellow to clash, or at least not go too well together. However, Oleg Ovsiev reaches pure harmony through this combination accompanied by traditional black and white.

Prints are featured in most looks, bringing to mind Van Gogh’s paintings, while the fabrics match the idea of a spring/summer collection perfectly. Silk, cotton and chiffon are used in men’s and woman’s models as well as bright floral prints.

Being bright and full of positive emotions, this collection still has the spirit of the fashion house which over the years has proved that style and grace are its trademark.

Volvo Russian Fashion Week, which is taking place October 26-31 in Gostinny Dvor was launched on Wednesday night in Moscow with a joint fashion show of Italian designer Stefano Ricci and Russian couturier Valentin Yudashkin.

Florentine fashion guru Ricci arrived in Volvo Russian Fashion Week to showcase designs for the autumn-winter season and launched the Year of Italy cultural program in Russia. Ricci’s show featured classical male suits, long coats and sportswear. Formidablelooking male models aged from 30 to 60 turned the catwalk into an elegant promenade – flirting with female models and walking dogs.

The Stefano Ricci collection made its Moscow debut

The Stefano Ricci collection made its Volvo Russian Fashion Week debut

Ricci’s show marked his debut in Russia. “Another male fashion brand is coming to the Russian market,” said Vlad Lisovets, fashion expert and TV anchor who visited the show. Lisovets pointed out that Ricci’s show, which aimed to present the Stefano Ricci brand by combining various key outfits from several collections, would likely appeal to younger Russians, as opposed to the more mature crowd.

Valentin Yudashkin, the man who dresses Russia’s first ladies and is the designer behind the Russian army’s new uniforms, showcased classical dresses made with airy fabrics, sequins and handmade embroidery.

Alongside the older generation of established designers, Fashion Week is a good chance to see young designers with new ideas and collections – such as Alexander Arutyunov, Konstantin Gayday and Kira Plastinina.

Meanwhile, fur is the main trend of the upcoming season, say fashion experts – and this goes for both natural and faux fur. Volvo Fashion Week participant Igor Gulyaev is particularly notable for his winter collections using fur.

“I would say this season women should get ready to wear bright but simple colors, hats with broad brims and square patterns, and of course fur,” said Lisovets. “Russians love it – and it obviously gives an outfit an added status.”

After enjoying the new collections by Stefano Ricci and Valentin Yudashkin, guests celebrated the opening of Volvo Russian Fashion Week at the Golden Ring club in Moscow.

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