Porter Magazine Hosts ‘Incredible Women’ Talk Series With Sofia Coppola

Lucy Yeomans, Sofia Coppola Federico Marchetti 

(Photo:QueenieAu)Porter magazine is continuing its “Incredible Women” talk series, celebrating inspiring women from different walks of life. Its latest guest was director Sofia Coppola, who joined the magazine’s editor in chief Lucy Yeomans and features director Vassi Chamberlain on Tuesday to talk about her journey to date.

The talk was preceded by a private screening of Coppola’s new film, “The Beguiled,” which premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and won her the best director award, making her the second woman in the festival’s 71-year history to be given the award.

Coppola spoke about her inspiration for the film, which aimed to reimagine Thomas P. Cullinan’s book and Don Siegel’s 1971 movie interpretation starring Clint Eastwood, from the female characters’ point of view.

“I’ve watched the movie and it stayed in my mind. It was so fascinating to me that they made this really macho movie about a group of women in a girl’s school,” said Coppola, explaining that she set out to portray the women’s experiences and sexuality without distortion in the film.

“I was really interested in these women that are isolated during the wartime and what it might have been like for them. In the original movie, their desires were treated as something crazy,” she added of the film, which stars the likes of Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning.

Known for always dipping her toes into the world of fashion, Coppola also said she wanted to accentuate the feeling of suppression these seven characters experience in the movie through their choices of clothing. In the film, they are often seen reading the etiquette book “How to Be a Good Southern Lady” in prim ivory white floral-printed petticoats with high ruffled necklines.

The talk also raised the issues of the lack of female directors in the movie industry, which is slowly starting to change.

“I had a clear idea what I wanted to make for this film. Most of the financiers and executives are men so they are less interested in female-driven project. But, this is changing now,” Coppola said.

Female creatives from the fashion and art worlds — including designers Phoebe Philo, Roksanda Ilincic and Bella Freud — joined Coppola for the screening at Soho’s Picturehouse Central.Read more at:formal wear sydney

Seek out summer power slides

Fashion notes: Seek out summer power slides<br />

(Photo:queenieau.com)I am the first to admit that my go-to shoes are trainers. But after wearing them throughout autumn, winter and spring, it may be time to trade in my clunky, sporty footwear for more feminine alternatives. The summer heat, after all, doesn’t favour thick socks and soles, and while the whole trainers-with-skirts combination has a nice tomboy appeal, there are far prettier ways to flaunt your feet.

There’s an upside. Slides have undergone a spectacular makeover since their mass-market entry two years ago. They debuted as sporty pool slides of an athletic nature. But the trend has heavily evolved since its early rubber Nike Benassi slipper offerings and now features far more interesting elements than mere logos. Case in point – my sister’s birthday gift to me was a pair of espadrille platform slides with embroidered, knotted bows in place of traditional sandal straps.

Though they’re multicoloured and have a bohemian, hemp-style sole, they’re actually incredibly versatile. Slides, given a bit of a lift with a platform, can be easily worn with jeans, culottes, skirts, tapered trousers or shorts. When they’re completely flat, with rubber soles and minimal detailing, they tend to evoke more of a casual, careless attitude and it becomes more difficult to pair them with garments other than sweatpants or leggings – unless they feature jazzy embellishments, such as Tory Burch’s rubber designs.

Almost every luxury brand has revisited the shoe silhouette of the slide this season, from Prada’s brightly coloured faux-fur versions to Fendi’s, which are topped with three-­dimensional floral appliqués. Embracing this trend takes hardly any effort – or much money for that matter. Take a trip to high-street stores such as Zara, ­Mango or ­Stradivarius, and you’re bound to leave with a few great summer slides.Read more at:semi formal dresses

One in four turn down wedding invitations due to high costs


(Photo:formal dresses australia)According to new research by Nationwide, it costs the average couple £800 each time they attend a wedding.

The significant financial outlay is given as the reason why one in four have declined a wedding invitation, while around one in six have become overdrawn or borrowed money to be able to attend.

Nationwide polled 2,000 adults the average cost per person of attending a wedding. It found that from the stag and hen party, buying gifts and clothes, and attending the ceremony costs just over £400. This represents a modest £23 increase since the 2015 survey.

The survey shows male wedding guests spend £21 more than female wedding guests, £411 compared to £391. However, women are catching up, having increased their overall spend by £38 since Nationwide’s 2015 survey, while men spend only £8 more.

The poll shows those who take part in the stag or hen do spend an additional £153, with over a quarter (27%) spending more than £200 per occasion.

However, stags still spend more than hens (£171 vs £134) partying, possibly as they tend to go further afield, with double the amount of men celebrating abroad compared to women (12% vs 6%). Although, the traditional local night out on the town (41%) remains the most popular choice.

Nationwide’s research shows guests are spending an average of £249 on the wedding day itself – £28 more than in 2015. This includes paying for new outfits, gifts, travel, hotel stays and drinks. However, almost a quarter (22%) spend over £300.

Since 2015, women have overtaken men as the biggest wedding day spenders, at £257 compared to £241 for men.

Phil Smith, Nationwide’s head of current accounts, said: “Sharing a loved one’s special day is a wonderful experience. But buying a gift, finding something to wear, travelling to the wedding and staying overnight can add up, especially if you’re going as a couple, or to more than one wedding in a short period.

“There are plenty of ways to cut costs though, such as buying a wedding gift in the sales, recycling your outfit and sharing travel costs. Also, putting a small amount of money away each week can help manage the overall cost.”Read more at:formal wear brisbane

Ultra-Orthodox fashionistas combine modesty with chic

Shoshana spends a lot of time and money on fashion, but she tells her neighbors and family members that she is ”working for a shopping website.” Indeed, the strict ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem community to which Shoshana belongs might raise eyebrows if she would admit to being bit by the fashion bug.

Shoshana, 29, is a fashion blogger, but of a special kind. She blogs only about outfits that suit modest ultra-Orthodox women, or any other women around the globe who dress only in long sleeves, wear stockings year-round and cover their heads with scarves or wigs once married. Shoshana, a mother of three, uses a different name when blogging and preferred not to use her real name for the interview with Al-Monitor.

The phenomenon of ultra-Orthodox fashion bloggers has exploded over the past five years, with dozens, if not hundreds, of bloggers, all of whom are women.

Sara Pachter, the head and founder of SaraTikshoret public relations and publicity firm, which specializes in the ultra-Orthodox sector, is an ultra-Orthodox woman. She told Al-Monitor, ”The religious fashion bloggers usually create closed groups either on Facebook or on WhatsApp. It is a way for them to ensure that men are not reading the blogs. Only a handful of them can be found by using Google — it’s a word-of-mouth system. Therefore, many of them are completely anonymous as far as the Israeli secular society is concerned.”

She said, ”Before establishing my company, I worked for many years as a journalist, so I am very sensitive to young women writing and blogging. A few years ago, I detected this rising wave of bloggers and decided to form our own fashion bloggers club by uniting all ultra-Orthodox fashion lovers. I try to help them by introducing them to leading Israeli brands and getting them invited to fashion events.”

Pachter noted that one of her friends created a blog that specializes in ultra-Orthodox women who wear larger sizes. ”She has 20,000 followers on her closed Facebook page, and the numbers are growing daily. Even if these groups are usually for ultra-Orthodox women only, the word is spreading fast. The fashion companies realize that there is a great potential there, and many of them are now offering items that are more adapted to our modesty requirements.”

The case of Shirel Avrahami is a good illustration of the rising desire for fashion. After graduating from an ultra-Orthodox college for teachers, she decided that she wanted to take a different path. At the age of 20, she set up a blog about modern fashion styles for young ultra-Orthodox women, but quickly realized that she could make much more out of it. She told Al-Monitor, ”After launching my blog, I discovered that many women from my [ultra-Orthodox] sector wanted to adopt a more modern and unique style. My husband and I realized that there was a large clientele — a lot of demand, but no supply. So we decided to turn my blog into an online shopping site.”

Avrahami said that she and her husband imported high-end fashion items from abroad at first, but they realized very quickly that ultra-Orthodox women were not necessarily looking for the big names. “What they wanted was a brand with a person behind it — someone they can trust; someone from their own community; someone who understands their special needs,” Avrahami noted. “I was and still am very careful to maintain this personal contact; I touch base with women who post on my Facebook or Instagram accounts. I talk to women, I write to them, I publish articles on my blog. At the beginning, I rented shops in Bnei Brak and in Jerusalem — each time just for two days — to present myself and my merchandise and to show that there was a real ultra-Orthodox young woman behind these fabulous clothes.”

For Avrahami, the key to success was to avoid imitating the traditional flower-lace dresses often sold in ultra-Orthodox shops. ”Instead of importing, I started designing myself — a line that is clean, modern and fashionable — while adhering to all modesty criteria. I also discovered that we — ultra-Orthodox women — are often pregnant. But the clothes that are offered to us during and after pregnancy are often bulky and baggy. So I design a lot of loose-fitting but very stylish dresses that fit women who are pregnant and those who have recently given birth.”

Avrahami said that nowadays her designs are being bought not only by ultra-Orthodox women, but also by Arab women and even secular ones.

Rona Liberman-Sabah has also made a name for herself far beyond Israeli borders as a designer of headscarves. Jewish ultra-Orthodox women, as well as religious Muslim women around the world, purchase her designs that sell under the name Rona. On her website, she writes, ”Turbans often give the look of a head wrap without having to tie anything to achieve the perfect look … and provide a traditional solution for women who wear turban head wrap types of coverings for religious reasons.”

Pachter is not surprised by the success of Avrahami, Liberman-Sabah and others. ”Years ago, when I started in the Israeli fashion world, I would walk into a room full of fashion journalists and representatives from fashion chain shops as the only ultra-Orthodox person in the room. They were all amazed at how ultra-Orthodox women love fashion and understand it. Actually fashion has an important place in our lives. Don’t forget that we have occasions to dress up all year-round; we have the holidays season, matchmaking events and we make sure that we never leave the house looking neglected,” she noted.

The prevailing assumption among many secular Israelis is that ultra-Orthodox leaders do not use the internet. In reality, many rabbis have come to terms with the internet and focus on their community members filtering all that is available online and preventing their children from using the internet.

Dina, a Jerusalem-based computer technician, told Al-Monitor that she is reading ultra-Orthodox fashion blogs at least 20 minutes each day. ”Believe me, when you have a job and four kids, that’s a lot of time spent on something that some people in the sector might consider inappropriate. But for me, these blogs are taking me to the pretty side of life. In that respect, an ultra-Orthodox woman is just the same as any other Israeli woman.”Read more at:formal dresses | formal dresses adelaide

Bonmarché must think design first, age second

Over at 50-plus value womenswear retailer Bonmarché, however, the forecast is cloudier. This week it revealed a disappointing set of full-year results and admitted that it has not modernised its product, stores and systems quickly enough to combat external pressures.

Chief executive Helen Connolly is rightly cautious about dramatically overhauling Bonmarché’s product, for fear of alienating its existing customers. Having said that, fashion today is much less defined by age and if she does not evolve its offer, it will founder.

Last Friday I caught a train to Coventry to visit Sainsbury’s commercial director James Brown. During a wide-ranging conversation about the current and future direction of the supermarket’s clothing brand, Tu, he said it does not design clothing for a specific age group or customer profile. Instead, it interprets the same trends for all of its customers, in ways that suit different age groups.

Of course, Bonmarché is less concerned with the latest catwalk trends than Tu. Nonetheless, it could learn from this approach: think design first, age second.

Brown gave me a sneak peek at Tu’s autumn 17 collections. Shorts, embroidered jeans, blouses, smart jackets and chunky-knit cardigans were layered in together to offer a smart-casual, trans-seasonal mix that caters to the unpredictability of the British weather. Similarly, Bonmarché has identified that its product is too casual and therefore too weather dependent, and is shifting its mix to become more trans-seasonal.

The sooner Connolly can move Bonmarché away from the old model of fixed-season and age-led design, the better. The external pressures on the market are unlikely to ease in the foreseeable future. However, the 50-plus market is still forecast for growth, so there is ample opportunity for Bonmarché if it can crack its product, as well as improving the in-store and online experience.Read more at:www.queenieau.com | bridesmaid dresses australia

The Best of the London Fashion Week Men’s

The atmosphere was tense as the first shows of London Fashion Week Men’s began the day after the country headed to the polls for the latest general election. The Conservative party clung to power (barely), but the results were decisively shaped by the power of the youth vote, a surprise outcome that sent shock waves across the British capital and beyond.

It seemed fitting, therefore, that many of the spring 2018 collections were a fierce celebration of the next generation.

Big-league brands were all but absent from the five-season-old schedule: Burberry now holds its combined men’s and women’s show during womenswear in September, while this season J.W. Anderson decamped to the Pitti Uomo men’s trade fair in Florence, Italy.

As a result, there was a conspicuous absence of foreign fashion editors and buyers (at least compared with years past), and it was up to a chorus of emerging names to fly the flag for British menswear and its future on the international scene.

Luckily, many were up to the job. Here are some of the best things we saw during the four days of shows.

• Charles Jeffrey held his first, jaw-dropping stand-alone show

The Scottish-born designer, illustrator and radical creative Charles Jeffrey graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2015 after paying his way through school by hosting Loverboy, a wild monthly club night at the Vogue Fabrics nightclub in London’s Dalston neighborhood.

The party didn’t just make Jeffrey the talk of the town; it also spawned his avant-garde gender-bending menswear label of the same name, which had its debut stand-alone catwalk show after three seasons under the umbrella of Fashion East’s MAN.

The runway was a bizarre and joyous riot of colorful energy featuring dancers, pink cardboard dragons and lashings of gay couture; the show notes described it as “a euphoric unity of debauchery.”

Jeffrey, who considers his label to be the product of a collective of fellow art school creatives, be they seamstresses, dancers or choreographers, has been nominated for the 2017 LVMH Young Designers Prize. And the garments spoke volumes about the ambition of his vision: a mishmash of tailored, peplum-waisted gowns or baby doll dresses, accessorized with Tudor wimples, top hats and sunglasses; denim pantsuits; bondage pants, and T-shirts bedecked with slogans mocking tabloid headline hysteria (“Children High On Drink and Drugs” was one example).

But beneath the pantomime and theater, serious ideas were at work, including musings on self-expression, hedonism and the right to freedom. “We need to dance in the face of threats,” Jeffrey said. “It’s not enough to stay woke. We also need to be alive.”

• …while Grace Wales Bonner stripped things back

Winner of the 2016 LVMH prize and currently making waves in the industry with collections that ask boundary-pushing questions about black male culture and identity, Grace Wales Bonner is a rising star of the London menswear scene.

“I was thinking more in terms of minimalism this time,” Wales Bonner, 26, said after offering a procession of monochromatic suits and shorts-and-jacket combos, all with a lean and tailored silhouette that revolved around neat shoulders and flared trouser hems.

This being Wales Bonner, there was also more to consider than first met the eye. In past seasons, she has woven together historical and cultural narratives to give a rich and dense subplot to her clothes. But the inspirations this season were stripped back to an essay about the gay African-American activist and author James Baldwin, which was handed out to the audience, alongside pictures from “The Homoerotic Photography of Carl Van Vechten” (some of which were reprinted on singlets).

The designer said she had meditated on different states of being and “sexuality, more than sensuality. It is more severe that way.” That clarification of vision, and its rigorous execution on the catwalk, brought a fresh power to her work.

• And Craig Green delivered his best show to date

The final day of the London season, Green presented a superb show that demonstrated why he was named British menswear designer of the year at the British Fashion Council’s awards in December.

Shown deep in the dank belly of an unused Victorian railway station, the collection explored the idea of garments as tools for a journey — maps of self-exploration, where paths can be discovered through distinctive patterns and codes. So there were kite-like constructions fixed atop black sportswear looks in highly technical fabrics, and billowing denim pants paired with ribbed windbreakers and tops scored with lines that appeared to dissect the wearer.

Then came an eruption of colors: vivid patterns of palm trees and sunbeams printed on stiffened, corrugated fabrics that Green said were inspired by the thought of venturing toward paradise. Next, hemlines became longer and hoods became larger, until a final triumphant procession of robed jackets underscored both the designer’s continuing obsession with uniform and communal forms of dress .

When Green’s offerings are at their most theatrical, it’s easy to see why Ridley Scott tapped the 30-year-old to create costumes for his latest movie, “Alien: Covenant.” At their most understated — think jeans, T-shirts and perfectly cut workwear jackets — it’s also easy to see why the Craig Green brand continues to expand and grow.

• Elsewhere, Dame Vivienne proved the old guard can still come out on top

Trust Vivienne Westwood to take a runway bow in scribbles covering her body and clothing (including a T-shirt with an obscene slogan), chanting about politics and riding high on the sculpted shoulders of a dashing young acrobat.

The show began with rappers shouting out about the state of British politics from a colorful children’s playpen at the bottom of the runway. Then out spurted male and female performers, cavorting and cartwheeling in clothes mirroring Westwood’s favorite social causes: trash was encased in bright fishnets or tumbling out of satin bodices; plastic-bottle slippers on models’ feet.

Westwood runway staples deconstructing formal aristocratic attire — pinstriped suiting, paper crowns, slogan patterned prints and genderless corseted gowns — remained a rallying cry against the establishment.

It was outlandish, outrageous and a clear inspiration for many of the younger designers showing on the schedule. London’s best-known punk queen still packs serious punch.

• David Beckham was back on the calendar

Kent & Curwen is a 1920s vintage British menswear brand that has had new life breathed into it by Daniel Kearns, its creative director since 2015, and David Beckham, one of the brand’s owners.

The duo were on hand to present their spring collection, with Victoria Beckham, Beckham’s fashion designer wife, snapping away from the photo pen while models made their way around a sports court to show the latest wares. David Beckham said that the clothes — cricket whites, striped rugby sweaters and classic lightweight rain jackets — continued to be inspired by the brand’s sporting roots, and a sense of patriotism at a time when many Britons feel somewhat at sea.

“I feel that we should show a sense of pride in where we come from,” Beckham said of the collection, which used codes of traditional university sporting attire and sports badges, but with a 21st century update.

The dominant force on the London menswear scene continued to be sportswear. There was techno-fabric outerwear in sun-baked hues on display at Belstaff, speeding through different cultures, climates and terrains. Zip-up jackets, tight shorts and tracksuit silhouettes were offered by Cottweiler, spawned from ideas around off-grid Californian desert communities. And the Momentum collection from Hussein Chalayan was packed with slick, futuristic clothes designed to be in constant motion.Read more at:www.queenieau.com | bridesmaid dresses

Succulent Lip Art Is A Thing Now

If you’re obsessed with beauty, then you know firsthand that some makeup looks aren’t meant to be worn outside, but rather are there to flex your creativity skills. Sometimes it’s fun to dip into your palettes and tubes just to create pure art, and that’s exactly what the new succulent lip art trend does —it’s an exercise in imagination and innovation.

It’s no surprise that succulents are super on trend right now — we have them on everything from little paper weights to chic terrariums — but who would ever have thought to make them grow from your lips? The genius behind the idea was makeup artist Ryan Kelly who was first inspired by the living succulent nail art creations by botanical artist Roz Borg, who actually grew succulents on her nails. Borg put clusters of the flowers on her finger nails, giving new meaning to a green thumb, and Kelly figured she could achieve the same just with lip art.

The only difference was, Kelly made her own plants out of clay. In her caption underneath the succulent Instagram photo, she shared, ”I searched everywhere for mini succulents. When I couldn’t find any tiny enough I decided to make them out of clay (why do I do these things to myself?!?)” Talk about taking her art onto a whole other level.

In addition to the photo, Kelly also made a tutorial video walking beauty lovers through exactly how to make the clay succulents and how to adhere them to one’s lips. In the video she reveals that she used Polymer Clay for all of the mini succulents and crafted them easily using two plastic knives. She then filled in her lips using a mint green lip pencil to make sure any lip peeking through would be an earthy color, and adhered the clay plants with Alconeco 3rd Degree, which is a silicone molding compound that is often used by makeup artists to create special effects. She said it was the only adhesive that would hold the weight of the flowers on her lips.

In this way Kelly brought people’s love for crafts and makeup into one amazing project. If you’re feeling artsy, try it out for yourself!Read more at:celebrity dresses | online formal dresses

Fashion Low-Down For Summer

Try A-line kurtas, asymmetric hemlines, capes and palazzos, to look casual and chic at the same time, say experts.

Sanhita Dasgupta, Myntra Fashion Stylist, and Jimmy Kaul, Managing Director and Co-Founder, Shopotox, list down some fashion tips.

* Checkmate the weather with all things cropped – culottes, flared jeans, formal trousers, so on and so forth. Hemlines above the ankles should be your uniform in this weather.

* Look chic and formal in black socks and clear boots. Replace your socks with colourful and fun prints if you’re heading for a party.

* Layer up and stay ready for the abrupt mood change of the day. Stock some light and peppy jumpers, quick-dry shrugs or cropped jackets to fight the wind.

* Spruce up the styles: Instead of the dull and plain kurtas, try different styles. Opt for long, asymmetrical kurtas or A-line ones. Ensure that you choose from cotton, linen, khadi and viscose fabrics.

These are some of the best fabrics to opt for in the summer as they will keep you cool and comfy. You can pair your long kurtas with classy heels and a satchel bag to look on point at office.

* Lap up loose bottoms: Instead of tight leggings or churidar pants, embrace loose bottoms like palazzo pants, culottes and parallel pants. Stay at ease throughout the day by pairing a contrast long kurta or a long top with palazzo or cotton pants.

* Waistcoats are the way to go: A printed waistcoat on a plain kurta can instantly amp up your style quotient in summer.

Waistcoats not only flatter your figure but also give a whole new dimension to the formal office wear look. As you’re looking for formal wear, do not go for heavy prints and shimmery fabrics.Read more at:queenieau.com | formal wear sydney

The craziness of wedding season can be overwhelming


(Photo:formal dresses online)In a scene at the beginning of “Wedding Crashers,” the Vince Vaughn character, Jeremy Grey, calls his co-worker and close friend into his office on a seemingly urgent matter.

“What’s going on?” asks John Beckwith, played by Owen Wilson.

He responds with a sigh and says they have three big weeks ahead of them. Then he delivers the kicker: “It’s wedding season, kid!”

“I’ve got us down for 17 of them already,” he continues.

They go on to debate which they enjoy more, Christmas or wedding season. The answer, of course, is wedding season.

It’s a classic movie, a comedy I can sit down and watch any time it’s on TV. Right about now, I feel like the Owen Wilson character and someone just told me I’m booked for 17 weddings. But the reality of wedding season becomes far less celebratory off-screen. Consider: the traveling, the gifts, finding baby (or dog-) sitters, buying new outfits and scheduling days off from work. If you happen to be in a wedding party, forget it. The list of responsibilities doubles. If you happen to also be getting married yourself in the same year — well, just hope your wedding is set for early in the season.

As the calendar flipped to June, I found myself in the midst of another jam-packed wedding season, with an estimated price tag somewhere north of $1,500, all things considered. Sometimes it’s better to just not think about the costs.

For my wife and me, the season actually kicked off in late April, when my cousin got married at a beautiful venue in Manhasset. Next weekend will mark our second wedding of the season, a two-day party in Queens for one of my good friends from college, who was a groomsman in my wedding last May. Another close friend with whom I lived with for a few years (also one of my groomsmen) is due up in July.

He was kind enough to book a venue just a mile from my home. August features a fourth wedding, this one the farthest away, in Maine, for another cousin. The season winds down in September with one final wedding on Long Island for another cousin. At least, unless another invitation pops up in the mail.

If you’re noticing a trend here, yes, I have a lot of cousins. My father is one of seven children and they have a combined total of 21 offspring, giving me a whole bunch of cousins. And we’re almost all in our early 20s to mid-30s — prime wedding time. So, the barrage has been non-stop.

Last year, my wife and I attended six weddings, including our own, and had to decline invitations to two. The season started and ended at the same venue: The Three Village Inn in Stony Brook. My wife’s cousin had gotten married there in a winter wedding and 10 months later my mom got married in the same location.

The wedding ended on a late October afternoon and, as we walked outside, we saw the outdoor chapel set up for another wedding, the lights beautifully shining on the chairs below. My wife spotted a familiar face: our co-worker’s mother. It just so happens our co-worker was getting married at the same venue.

How many people ever know two couples marrying in consecutive weddings on the same day at the same location?

At this point, I’ve attended so many weddings I could probably consider a career as a wedding planner. (My wife will cringe when she reads that sentence. Women always assert that men contribute nothing toward the planning.)

My experience with weddings, however, began even before I got invitations regularly. In high school, I worked as a photographer’s assistant for a family friend. This was before digital became the norm, so my responsibilities included changing the film, carrying bags and holding lights. It was a fun weekend gig, it paid well and I got to hang out with bridesmaids.

I worked all kinds of weddings, mostly in the city. I can remember missing Bobby Jones’ one-hitter for the Mets in a playoff victory over San Francisco in 2000 to clinch the series because of a wedding. Back then, without cellphones, there was no way to keep tabs on a game without sneaking off to a bar and hoping there was a TV.

The most recent wedding I attended happened to be the same night as a Rangers playoff game. A cellphone on our table had the game streaming all night.

You got to love technology.

The “Wedding Crashers” duo references 115 rules that they compiled crashing a random wedding. I found a website that lists all 115 and, although most are irrelevant for the typical person attending a wedding with a date, a few are still helpful.

For example, rule No. 91: “Never dance to ‘What I Like About You.’ It’s long past time to let that song go. Someone will request it at every wedding. Don’t dance to it.”

And, of course, rule No. 64: “Always save room for cake.”Read more at:plus size formal dresses

Three-time cancer survivor has dream wedding


(Photo:www.queenieau.com)A hospital is the last place anyone wants to be but it’s the first place Joey Renick is today. And on too many other days.

”When he was in transplant. We were here every day for 40 days straight,” his wife Caylee says.

The 23-year-old newlywed recently underwent a bone marrow transplant at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. Another step on a path of life, that has been an obstacle course.

It all began in October of 1996, when Joey — then just 3 — was diagnosed with A.L.L., Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

”It’s clearly a life-threatening disease,” says Dr. Gordon Gale. ”If anybody doesn’t get treatment, they will most certainly pass away.”

But after three years of treatment including chemotherapy, Joey went into remission. As the years went on, there were only two chances that it would return. Slim and none.

”The chances of it recurring are very, very small. But not zero,” explains Dr. Gale.

”And then it came back right before my 18th birthday,” recalls Joey. ”I was angry. I thought it was unfair. I was confused.”

This time, after more intense chemo, Joey went into remission again.

Two-and-a-half years later, he was engaged to be married when the A.L.L. returned.

”Whenever Joey was really sick in the hospital. Dreaming about our wedding is what got us through each and every day,” says Caylee.

But it’s hard to pick out china when you’re worried about platelets. The wedding was on hold until Kellsie’s Hope stepped in.

Gail Marchbanks runs Kellsie’s Hope, in honor of her daughter Kellsie, who passed away after her second round of cancer treatment.

”We were lying in her hospital bed and she said mom I want to start a foundation that helps kids with cancer, ”explained Marchbanks.

Kellsie’s Hope grants wishes to patients who have relapsed which is often worse for them than the first go-around with cancer.

”Families always say it’s like someone stepping on their chest and not getting off,” explained Aleeza Granote, an SSM oncology social worker. ”And that opportunity to create a family memory in the midst of such turmoil has been such a blessing for so many.”

Which brings us to the sandy beaches of the Florida panhandle.

With Joey in recovery, Kellsie’s Hope Foundation helped arrange a dream wedding. Joey and the love of his life Caylee were able to set aside the yesterdays and focus on today.

”Everybody that we really love and care about. Our closest friends and family were there. It was amazing. We had a perfect time,” says Caylee.

But in this family, perfect usually comes with an asterisk.

Joey’s 4-year-old nephew Thomas was recently diagnosed with A.L.L. Terrible news but maybe not as scary as it might have otherwise been.

”When we told Thomas that he had Leukemia, the first thing he said was ‘I’m just like Uncle Joey,'” remembers Carol Anne Lorenz, Thomas’ mom and Joey’s sister.

The new husband’s new role, is as supportive uncle.

”Just show him that there is light at the end of the tunnel,” says Joey.

Though he’s spent much of his life in the hospital, Joey is planning on spending even more. He’s going back to school to become a nurse.

”I really like helping others. So I’d really like to give back and serve others,” says Joey.

The road to recovery has been a long one but thanks to love, family and charity, one young man is proving that you can break his body but never his spirit.Read more at:bridesmaid dresses australia