On Friday, Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts hosted the first showcase extravaganza dubbed Fashion Parade 2017, Beyond Fashion.
A concept by Nakisanze Sarah, a PhD student and Fashion lecturer, the parade was looking at the popular culture with a specific focus on function and beauty.
Here, Nakisanze was looking at different ways fashion has been used as a tool to pass on messages, especially taking into account different ways it has been a political fabric with legislators using certain dress codes to express their views, or other incidents where civil servants were asked to dress a particular way.
The showcase challenged and tasked students to take on the concept, then interpret it using their own experience and represent it in a fashion form. But that was not all; after years of fashion students staying hidden in the folds of exhibitions by the College of Engineering Design Art and Technology, this was one of the rare times they were having the floor.
The exhibition invited guest designers and also former students of the school but made the third year students the main focus of the showcases that transcended presenting fashion for smartness but tinkered with topics around technology with futurism imagery.
Officiated by acclaimed artist, Sanaa Gateja, the show started off with works by former students before mixing up activities to include dance and random modelling routines by members of the audience.
The audience, mostly students at the school, showed a lot of support to the first showcases, not only because the models were doing a good job, but because the clothes by acclaimed designers such as Judith Tusubira or Nagujja Margaret were amazing.
Tusubira was more inclined to bridal fashion, while Nagujja, with a touch of African fabric, brought life to casual clothes such as sun dresses, shorts and shirts for both men and women.
Olivia Nakabazzi, a finalist of one of the past annual fashion Seed Shows was terrific with her ready to wear outfits that received lots of applause.
However, regardless of how much the past students brought their game, it was the current students that carried the day with edgy and experimental works that came from wearables to show-stoppers.
Some of these challenged the status quo by presenting women as stronger characters than they are mostly credited, while others came from an identity place with people either appreciating cultures or nature.
According to Gerald Kato, one of the former students in the audience, it was amazing seeing students challenging their limits and hopes. He encouraged the university to have more of these shows to get the arts finalists ready for the market.Read more at:cheap bridesmaid dresses online | QueenieAu
In India, gold jewelry has long been used to celebrate marriage and childbirth or presented as gifts during religious festivals. Ornate bridal pieces still are popular in the northern part of the country, while pieces in 22-karat yellow gold are favored in the south.
But change is in the air, partly as a result of shifting societal norms and the expansion of women’s roles in the workplace as well as the rising price of gold here and recent changes in the consumer tax on luxuries.
Jewellery created from unusual materials and in contemporary designs or sometimes inspired by traditional ethnic jewellery is becoming increasingly popular, with Eina Ahluwalia, a Kolkata-based jeweller, among those leading the way.
“A few decades ago, the primary jewellery buyer used to be the man, whether father or husband,” Ms Ahluwalia said. “Whereas now, especially in the non-gold market, it’s mostly women buying jewellery for themselves, without waiting for an occasion, purely for their own joy and satisfaction.”
Many women are no longer stuck in a what Indians call a Sass-Bua relationship, in which a mother-in-law controls a daughter-in-law’s spending, a staple storyline of many Indian soap operas. “More women are earning their own money, and spending it on themselves,” Ms Ahluwalia said. “Self-gratification no longer carries the guilt it did even just a generation ago.”
Ms Ahluwalia, who describes herself as India’s first conceptual jewelry artist, studied with the pioneering conceptual jeweller Ruudt Peters in the Netherlands in 2010, and says the contemporary jewellery designs created by Dutch designers in the 1970s continue to inspire her.
“In 2003, when I began making jewellery, I found the customers very excited and enthusiastic about finding jewellery that looked so different than what they were used to,” she said. But when a collection using concrete did not sell well, she began to work with gold-plated silver cut into elaborate fretwork designs.
Today, Ms Ahluwalia’s creations blend social activism, art, design and fashion * partly trying to counter what she calls the patriarchal associations of traditional Indian jewellery.
For example, her 2011 Wedding Vows collection took a stand against domestic violence by using renderings of kirpans, the knives that are an important symbol of her Sikh identity, in necklaces and other pieces. The words “Love, Respect, Protect” were worked in gold into chandelier earrings and layered necklaces.
That collection, she said, continues to be among her most successful, with its slogan “Accessorize the Warrior Within” resonating among customers.
Like recent industry trends among Western jewellers, Ms Ahluwalia said her designs were inspired by traditional and personal narratives, like her Wordsmith collection that displayed the names for God in Urdu, Arabic and Hindi.
“We aren’t selling jewellery,” she said, “we’re creating totems and carriers of messages and stories in physical form that can be carried close to the body, and worn as constant personal reminders.”
Ms Ahluwalia’s prices start at about $80 for a pair of shell-shaped earrings and rise to about $400 for elaborate pieces. “At first there was a cap to how much customers would spend in terms of price per piece,” she said. But, “over the years, the Indian market is exposed to so much more, and the customer base has significantly widened.”
Ms Suhani Pittie, a Pune-based designer who works in the gold-plated silver known as vermeil, agrees that the market has changed.
“The contemporary non-fine jewellery landscape has undergone a tremendous metamorphosis over the years,” she said in an email. “When we first began in 2004, there were only three players in the market. Jewellery was then divided into two categories only: fine and costume. There was no middle route for those interested in purchasing a product purely for the love of design.”
Today, unorthodox materials like concrete, wood, leather and found objects are used by many of the 60 designers whose work is showcased alongside Ms Ahluwalia’s at Nimai, a concept jewellery store opened in Delhi by Pooja Roy Yadav in 2013.
“Our designers use concrete, discarded watch parts, miniature paintings, nuts, bolts and almost anything to create jewelry not as an alternative to gold but as a piece of wearable art,” Ms Yadav said.
One of those designers, Anupama Sukh Lalvani, uses steel for her En Inde creations.
“I’m a trained architect and steel was a natural choice of material for me,” she said by email. “Steel is used for its strength and mirrorlike shine (to ward off evil). The tag line of the company is #findyoursteel.”
According to a strategic market research report by Euromonitor, the Indian costume jewellery sector is expected to show twice as much growth this year as fine jewellery, primarily because of what it calls the growing consumer preference for lightweight jewellery that can be worn every day.
Along with changes in design and materials, contemporary jewellery designers also have embraced new ways of marketing and selling their creations.
For example, Swarovski recently collaborated with 11 Indian fashion and jewelry designers, including Ms Ahluwalia. “It has introduced our brand to a much wider base of Swarovski customers who may not have known us and our work before,” the designer said. “Also, it has given our customers something new to be excited about since we don’t actually use a lot of stones.”
Ms Ahluwalia will not reveal her annual sales but, she said, 75 per cent of them occur online, primarily to Indian buyers. Her brand also has more than 21,000 followers on Instagram.
“Social media has been an invaluable tool to share these stories,” she said, “which would be near impossible in traditional retail formats, and very expensive and impersonal through conventional advertising and marketing.”
Traditionally, the Indian wedding has been the primary reason for gold jewellery purchases, with everyone from the bride to guests wearing as much as they own or borrow. Now designers, including Ms Ahluwalia and Pittie, are creating collections suitable for bridal wear.
As Ms Yadav said, “The modern Indian urban bride wants to have fun and her choices in jewellery reflects that. They are choosing fun experimental contemporary jewellery over heavily ornamented bling.
In 2014, Magda Butrym, a young Warsaw-based stylist-turned-fashion designer, debuted a 35-piece collection of floral print dresses and blouses, finished with cutaway detailing and hints of leather and hand crochet.
”I had always wanted to launch a label that was distinctly and proudly Polish,” said the 32-year-old designer, who is largely self-taught.
”I wanted to create clothes inspired by Polish craftsmanship, manufactured here in Poland and to have my design studio here too. But I also knew that was not going to be easy.”
She had worked in a number of small design businesses in Warsaw before starting the brand that bears her name.
”There are no buyers here. There is no fashion week. No one is here to tell you how to do things or where you need to get your foot in the door. I was taking a big risk.”
Historically, Poland and other Eastern European countries such as Hungary and Romania, have never been considered high-fashion destinations.
Behind the scenes, however, close ties with the industry have existed for decades, with factories across the region quietly producing garments and accessories for Western European luxury houses from Louis Vuitton to Hugo Boss.
Over the last decade, some of that business has moved elsewhere as companies hunt for cheaper labour and lower production costs, leaving many skilled workers without jobs.
Now, a new generation of luxury entrepreneurs is building businesses that take advantage of that craftsmanship.
In Hungary, contemporary womenswear brand Aeron was founded in 2012 by Eszter Aron, its head designer, and three friends, with Ms Vivien Laszloffy joining the business as chief executive in 2015.
The label’s philosophy, Ms Laszloffy said, is to be a brand ”that people will recognise and know is from Budapest, in the same way people look at Acne and know it’s from Sweden”.
”People say it is against the odds to build a brand from here, rather than move to Paris or Milan, but we see it as an advantage,” she said.
”Everyone has a vision in his mind of what a French or Italian brand looks like. But no one can imagine a brand from Budapest yet. So, we can seize that space and make it our own.”
As a privately owned company, sales figures are not released. But the two women said sales doubled annually in each of the last three years, with the majority of growth coming from an unexpected region: Asia.
After struggling to gain traction in the West, the pair looked eastward, where the brand’s minimalist aesthetic and techno-fabrics gained appreciation.
More than 60 per cent of its sales now come from the region: In Japan, Aeron is stocked in major department store Isetan and fashion chain Tomorrowland, as well as in a string of boutiques across South Korea, China and Hong Kong.
Signing with Itochu, one of Japan’s largest trading companies, ”catapulted us into a different league”, Ms Laszloffy said.
And the success abroad has boosted morale at home in four factories where the brand makes its leather, knitwear and ready-to-wear styles.
”The workers have always worked for foreign companies. Now, they are part of a Hungarian success story,” she said.
”Furthermore, being able to drive an hour or two and see collections as they are produced and who produces them, rather than being a plane ride away, is a huge advantage to us as a small business. We wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Proximity to workshops and factories was what prompted Alexandru Adam, a Romanian footwear designer, to move to Bucharest after studying in London at Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art and designing shoes for Vivienne Westwood, a British fashion label.
After introducing his own accessories and quality casual label called Metis in 2016, Adam initially intended to divide his time between the two cities. But after Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, he was prompted to think again.
”Most of my fashion designer friends who have their own brands are considering alternative options for when the UK will be out of the EU,” he said. ”Everyone produces outside of the UK and most of the materials come from the EU anyway, from suppliers in France, Belgium, Italy and Romania.”
”Really, it just didn’t make financial sense for us to keep our company in London anymore,” he added.
Across the Black Sea from Romania lies Georgia, another former Soviet republic. The fashion and arts scene of Tbilisi, its capital city, has caught the fashion industry spotlight, in large part because of Demna Gvasalia, founder of cult street-wear label Vetements and creative director of Balenciaga.
Now, emerging designers still based in the region are reaping the benefits.
N-Duo-Concept, the brainchild of Nina Tsilosani and Natuka Karkashadze, a former fashion writer for publications such as Elle Ukraine and Harper’s Bazaar Kazakhstan, started life in 2014 as an e-commerce website championing lesser-known brands. A year later, they unveiled a clothing line under the same name and with a similarly offbeat aesthetic, produced in Tbilisi and stocked in a number of foreign boutiques.
Butrym, noting that Vogue Poland is expected to debut early next year, said: ”It is a really exciting time to be working here and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”Read more at:formal dresses online | formal dresses brisbane
Appalled shoppers are calling on centres around Australia to take down life-sized advertising for a controversial lingerie chain that they have likened to ”soft porn”.
Sydney mother Kat Israel said she avoided walking past the Honey Birdette store at the Macquarie Centre because she did not want her children to see the its latest window banners.
Ms Israel said she found the advertising sexist, with women ”posed to be very sexual” and ”looking very sultry”.
”People can buy what they like and that’s fine but I think they shouldn’t be allowed to have that sort of advertising there in a public space.”
An online petition calling on Westfield to take action over the displays in their centres has attracted thousands of signatures.
Ms Israel said she has had to have conversations about the images with her children, including her 11-year-old son.
”He’s a little boy and we’re carefully teaching him about consent and respect, and then you go to a public place and have that potentially undone by seeing these soft porn images that are enormous, they’re absolutely massive.”
A spokeswoman for AMP Capital, which owns the Macquarie Centre, said it always passed on feedback from customers to individual retailers.
”We encourage customers who have any concerns about what they see in our centre to contact management.”
Kenneth Thor, a Melbourne father of three, said his heart sank when he walked past the Honey Birdette lingerie store in Westfield Fountain Gate and his four-year-old daughter asked why the model in the store’s printed display wasn’t wearing any clothes.
He said the store’s display banners featured ”near naked women clad only with sheer lingerie in all their raunchy glory”.
”Even worse, [my daughter’s] shrieks caught the attention of my six-year-old son, who came running and together they stared and pointed at the porn-style images trying to make sense of them.”
He started the petition on change calling on Westfield to step in and force the removal of the images. It had achieved more than 11,000 signatures by Thursday evening.
Mr Thor is petitioning Westfield shopping centres to stop using ”porn-style advertising” and to practice higher advertising standards in Westfield’s shopping centres.
Julia Clarke, Head of Corporate Affairs at Scentre Group said Westfield shopping centres strive to meet the needs of many different shoppers.
”As with all its retail partners, Scentre Group has continued to work closely with Honey Birdette in the period it has operated in the Group’s portfolio, and it also implements a number of processes – on a case-by-case basis – which may address any customer concerns,” she said.
”Any customer feedback – positive and negative – that is received by Scentre Group is always shared with Honey Birdette stores.”
The petition is directed at Peter and Steven Lowy but Ms Clarke confirmed they are not involved with the operations of Westfield centres in Australia and New Zealand.
”They are co-CEOs of Westfield Corporation, which owns Westfield centres in the US, UK and Europe.”
Mr Thor complained to the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB), and the complaint was upheld – but he felt the situation had not been resolved.
”They were ordered to take down the ads, but they have since replaced them with worse ones!”
A spokeswoman for ASB said complaints are assessed by an independent board of people who decide whether the advertisements are exploitative and degrading based on broad community views.
”With lingerie advertising what we find is that there are always some people who find it offensive regardless of how it’s advertised,” she said.
”A number of Honey Birdette ads have been found to breach standards but an equal number have been found to be acceptable.”
Mr Thor also said he contacted Honey Birdette founder Eloise Monaghan.
Throughout Galen Magee’s 17-year career in the fashion industry, he’s always wanted to help women to feel beautiful.
So when his mother — the woman who was his first style icon — learned she had breast cancer in 2002, Magee, who now lives in Fort Myers, sent her a colorful kimono to wear during her treatment.
”I wanted something that made me feel good about myself, that made me feel like a woman and not just a number,” said Jayne Magee, who is now cancer-free and lives in Pennsylvania.
Now Galen hopes to make other breast cancer patients feel the same.
Magee’s dream of moving to New York City and being a glamorous fashion designer started at an early age. He grew up in the 1980s in a small Pennsylvania town. He admired his mother’s large print dresses, and thought she was the most beautiful person in the world.
In kindergarten, he was held back because he wouldn’t finish his assignments.
”He flipped them over and on the back it was either the teacher or me in a full dress he had designed for us with full jewelry,” Jayne Magee recalled, laughing.
In high school, Galen was assigned to job shadow somebody in the career he might want to pursue. While his classmates hoped to be veterinarians or doctors, he wanted to create new fashion trends. But in small-town Pennsylvania, there were no fashion designers.
So his teachers encouraged him to put on his own fashion show in the school auditorium. Magee designed and sewed the dresses and recruited friends to model his designs. It was a hit.
”He always had a clear vision of what he wanted to do,” his mother said.
Magee went on to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. He’s worked with Ralph Lauren, Chico’s, Donna Karan and other big name companies and designers.
”I think what drew me to it the most was the ability to make women feel good,” Galen Magee said. ”There’s a certain power in clothing and I think it’s always been exciting for me to make people feel beautiful.”
Galen had only been in New York City a couple years when his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was Jayne’s idea, initially, to have some kind of robe to wear to her treatments, but Galen didn’t have the time to design one from scratch, so he sent a Japanese kimono, instead.
It was practical, and it was beautiful.
”When she wore the kimono she loved it and everyone at the hospital loved it, and they said this is beautiful, you can retain your dignity, you’re covered up, you’re not like walking down the hallway trying to hold (a hospital gown) shut,” Galen Magee said.
So when his cousin, Melissa Aul, was diagnosed with breast cancer last December, Galen decided to design his own robe. It showed up on Aul’s doorstep where she lives in Pennsylvania.
”It was was this blue and purple kind of kimono-style robe but the fabric reminded me of a sari,” Aul remembered. ”It had gold threading.”
Aul had a lumpectomy in February, and instead of radiation, went right into months of chemotherapy. She finished her final treatment last week. It will be another three to five years before she finds out if she’s cancer-free.
During her treatments, she said the robe made her feel more confident.
”It made me feel like a warrior — that it was something like talisman, like a protector against all this bad stuff that was happening,” Aul said of the robe. ”It gives you that feeling it’s not only Galen in my corner but all of the other women who are wearing it maybe at the same time I was. That solidarity that helped me.”
And so began Jayne’s Robe.
With Aul’s suggestions, Magee continued to refine the robe’s style and fabric. He added pockets on the outside so patients can carry the key to their lockers, and on the inside to carry the drains.
He added a belt around the waist and Velcro along the edges so it can be fastened shut, helping the women to feel more secure.
The sari fabric proved too stiff, and silk couldn’t be washed easily, so now Galen uses a soft blend material.
The robes come in colorful patterns, like tropical florals, cheetah print and blue paisley. Magee recently designed a pattern incorporating signatures of Southwest Florida breast cancer survivors.
”It’s like I’m wrapping them in love,” Magee said. ”It’s saying we’re here for you on this journey. You’re not alone.”
Hoping to distribute his robes to more breast cancer patients, Magee partnered with Susan G. Komen of Southwest Florida. The organization already puts together Project Hope tote bags, which include educational materials, handmade shawls and pillows and now a Jayne’s Robe, which given to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients at Lee Health, NCH and other medical facilities in Southwest Florida.
Georgia Hitzke, executive director of Susan G. Komen of Southwest Florida, estimates 30 to 35 are delivered each month.
So for every robe sold online at jaynesrobe.com, one is donated to Project Hope.
”When people are newly diagnosed with breast cancer it’s really, really shocking,” Hitzke said. ”We know how important it is for people to feel that somebody cares about them. The robe will be just one more thing that we can give them.”
With Jayne’s Robe, Magee said he as a new purpose in life.
”I’ve created many beautiful things and seen them on women and see them get excited, I’ve had shows and seen shows and been a part of them for years, but once the purpose came into it, I really felt totally different,” he said. ”It’s something else. It’s designing and it’s beauty, but it’s beauty for a purpose, which is where I need to be.”Read more at:formal dresses | cheap bridesmaid dresses online
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