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 | bridesmaid dresses australia

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

Three-time cancer survivor has dream wedding


( 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

Manning sisters take label global, first stop, Barneys


(Photo:red carpet dresses)There was a label missing from this year’s Australian Fashion Week, and Buzz says missing only because it’s a regular and last year’s show underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge was such a perfect visual melding of location and fashion. But it turns out that Manning Cartell had a good reason for skipping the event this year: it’s in global mode.

The 12-year-old label (pictured) founded by sisters Gabrielle, Cheryl and Vanessa Manning has just signed a deal with US department store Barneys to stock the label exclusively in the country for two years. It’s the first foray into the global market for the brand, which is largely vertical, with eight stores across Australia, plus accounts with David Jones and a handful of independent boutiques.

“We’ve very much focused on our market until now,” Gabrielle Manning tells Buzz. “Maybe 12 to 18 months ago we started to consider the international market.” The first step was to engage a local consultant in Los Angeles to focus on celebrity placement, which kicked off at the top with Amal Clooney, and included Bella Hadid, Margot Robbie, Jessica Biel and Janelle Monae, “which was cool”, Manning says by way of understatement.

“That created a bit of confidence for us. And this was where we started to really decide we’d approach that and decided not to show at fashion week this year and went to New York and met with Barneys. When we travel, we look at different department stores and Barneys is the US department store we wanted to be in. That was the first appointment we had. It’s nice for it to be a success. Ultimately, we’d rather partner with an amazing department store and from there maybe give some exclusivity so they can really build the brand.”

Manning says the first meeting with Barneys was held during a blizzard in March. “New York was shut down, schools were closed — we were very fortunate they turned up to that appointment.” Barneys will roll out the label in seven stores — including New York’s Madison Avenue, Beverly Hills, Chicago and Philadelphia — as well as online. The first delivery will land in stores next month.

The appeal, Gabrielle believes, comes from the label’s dresses, prints, the mix of textures such as velvet and lace, and the denim pieces. “The sophisticated femininity (we offer) works for the mix that they have.”

Not long ago, Buzz reported that Jenna Lyons, creative director and president of popular US label J. Crew would be leaving the building at the end of this year, which was front-page fashion news across the globe, such has been her influence on the brand and the broader fashion scene. This week comes news that the label’s chief executive Mickey Drexler is standing down.

The 72-year-old, who invested $US100 million in the company and owns 10 per cent of it, told Women’s Wear Daily it is very much his decision, although it must be noted that the company isn’t in its best financial shape, with debts of about $US1.5 billion . West Elm president James Brett will take over as chief executive and Drexler will remain on chairman.

“I am relaxed-ish,” Drexler told WWD. “It’s a large day for me. I have been running companies for 37 years and the announcement today is a major change in my life.”

Of Brett, he said, “He’s a merchant. A brand guy. He likes design, and he is a customer person. Those are the four critical elements that go into making a strong leader.”

Kudos to one of Buzz’s favourite labels, Romance Was Born, for being a finalist in the NSW Creative Achievement Awards in the emerging creative talent section. Designer duo Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales are up against design company DesignByThem and architecture firm Aileen Sage Architects with Michelle Tabet. They are the first fashion finalists in any category since the inaugural awards in 2014. Winners will be announced next Wednesday.Read more at:bridesmaid dresses

James Franco Talks ‘Sleazy New York’ at Coach Breakfast

James Franco made his first appearance as the face of Coach’s forthcoming men’s fragrance wearing a navy intarsia sweater with a Space Shuttle motif — and talking about the “sleazy New York of the Seventies” and its then “burgeoning porn industry.”

The actor, whose face broke into a big smile the minute he addressed a press gathering on Monday morning in Manhattan, was referring to the yet-to-be-released HBO series “The Deuce,” in which he plays twins involved in that industry.

Coach unveiled a short commercial and print ad lensed by Steven Meisel, picturing Franco leaning against a vintage car with the Manhattan skyline in the background.

“The shoot was interesting,” Franco demurred, before sitting down to a three-course breakfast perfumed with cardamom, kumquat and geranium, which are among notes in the scent, produced under license by Inter Parfums SA.

The event fell on a special day for Victor Luis, chief executive officer of Coach Inc. “Today is my 11th anniversary at Coach,” he told the crowd, introducing Joshua Schulman, president and chief executive officer of the Coach brand, who started work that very morning and was toting a seating plan for the brand’s vast offices in a futuristic office tower at Hudson Yards.

“Things come full circle,” Luis said, explaining that Schulman had introduced him to Philippe Benacin, chairman and chief executive officer of Inter Parfums SA, whom Schulman knew from his Jimmy Choo days.

The Coach for Men fragrance is to launch in September.

Franco noted he had already done work for Coach’s sister brand Stuart Weitzman, for which he directed a short film starring Gigi Hadid in 2016.Read more at:bridesmaid dress | formal dresses adelaide

ARRI to host dog fashion show on Saturday

This Saturday, the cat-walk will go to the dogs, as community canines gather at Animal Rescue Rhode Island (ARRI) to strut their stuff during a dog fashion show organized by 7-year-old South Kingstown resident Vivian Lobdell.

A second grader at West Kingston Elementary School, Vivian was inspired by the storyline of a Nancy Drew book, which features a dog fashion show.

“We were thinking it would just be in the backyard with kids in the neighborhood,” said Vivian’s mother, Sarah Lobdell. “And it just kept getting bigger and bigger.”

Once it started to look like it may be a bit too big to be hosted in the family’s backyard, the folks at ARRI offered up their space for the event.

All proceeds from the event will go directly to ARRI. While Vivian had initially had a $200 goal in mind, the young philanthropist has already raised $100 for the cause.

“I think [her goal] has probably gone up,” Lobdell said. “She’s really excited—she’s been counting down the days.”

And her parents couldn’t be more proud.

“I love that she took the initiative and that she’s wanting to do something to help the community, and that she’s had the follow-through,” Lobdell said. “It wasn’t an idea she came up with and lost interest.”

The event has been in the works for about two months.

“She’s really stuck with it,” Lobdell continued. “It’s been exciting to watch her learn the process of planning an event and getting people involved.”

Vivian has also gotten several local shops to donate goods for the event—Critter Hut, Benny and Jack and The Gnarly Dog have each donated items to be given out as prizes, and Swirls & Scoops will donate ice cream.

Michaela Mooney, a friend of the family, will be entering into the fashion show her rescue dog Tilly, who will be dressed as Paddington Bear.

“It’s a free-for-all,” Mooney explained. “It can be a Halloween costume, it can be a hat, a tee-shirt, a tutu—whatever they want.”

And as for Vivian, she’ll be entering the family’s 10-month-old golden-doodle, Eddie.

Entry into the fashion show is open to all dogs and their people. Anyone wishing to participate is welcome to show up with their pooches Saturday at ARRI.Read more | celebrity dresses

Vegas trip, a marriage of memories

I’ve gone State side in the last couple of months to attend a friend’s wedding in Las Vegas and visit some cherished relatives in a trip that was long overdue to Great Falls, Montana.

And as all of my five faithful readers know, when I travel, so too does the slice-of-life observations:

WEARY TRAVELER: Some people do not like sitting in the emergency row of airlines and I’ve never figured out why. Perhaps they do not like the responsibility that if the plane goes down, various lives may be at stake if the actions of the emergency row passenger freeze up at crucial times. I would think if one did panic, there are any number of passengers in surrounding rows that would jump into action and besides, if it ever gets to that point, I think that is the least of your worries. Being a man on the tall side at 6-foot-2, any extra leg room I can get on a cramped plane I welcome and it was smooth sailing to Las Vegas in April. Much better than feeling like you are giving birth with your knees near your ears in the regular rows with your legs scrunched up.

MAD RHYMES: As anyone who has traveled to Las Vegas before knows, there are plenty of street performers on the main strip and also Fremont Street. Some I have no idea how they make any money (i.e. the portly man who had breasts larger than most women who was in a bikini, where I ceremoniously wanted to gouge both my eyes out with forks upon gazing on such a beast), but there are others you are just amazed at.

The first night the wedding party arrived, we walked Fremont Street and stumbled upon two rappers who would have likely defeated Eminem in that scene off of 8 Mile. The speed they spit rhymes at us was like a machine gun in which we grooved to some of the hip hop (groove being on a sliding scale according to the judges on Dancing With the Stars). But what I found disturbing along with the rest of my group, was we were the only people putting money into their bucket. So we unleashed a pleasantly soused Brit and an adorable child of the bride- to-be into the crowd with bucket in hand to canvass for change and folding bills. Perhaps not the most tact was used in guilting people to pay up, but if you are entertained by a show you see in las Vegas, at the very least you can give the spare change that is in your pocket. Some of these artists work hard at what they do.

TWINS: I met a cousin of the groom from Shrewsbury, England and I could swear we were separated at birth as long-lost brothers. Around the same age, same affinity for funky socks, same sense of self-depreciating and odd-ball humour and literally identical views on life and dating histories. Despite being thousands of miles apart, the Canadians and the Brits who attended the Vegas wedding melded together quite well in friendship between the two groups in making memories.

HEART AFLUTTER: A handful of us decided to rent a house in Las Vegas for a week-and-a-half instead of doing the hotel circuit and I would recommend it to anyone, not only looking to save money, but also taking a break from all the glitz and glamour that is Vegas. It was party central for the larger group of people that attended the wedding. As people were preparing to go out for a night on the town, I managed to sneak in some Stanley Cup playoff watching for my favourite team, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Upon hearing the announcer, my friend’s sister raced down to watch the game with me, where she seemed to be more interested in the game than I was. A woman just as interested in playoff hockey as I was? Scenarios were racing through my mind of getting down on bended knee where there would be two weddings happening instead of one in which I would be in attendance. But, alas, she was cheering for the Washington Capitals (where now she can cheer them on at the golf course). A Pittsburgh Penguins and a Washington Capitals fan? It would have been like the Montagues and the Capulets with a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.

FULL HOUSE: Another advantage of renting the house was it helped form strong bonds. The kind of bonds where group suppers, drinks by the pool and walks to the corner store have a greater chance to form than the hit and miss of hotels and casinos in our voyages. While many in that house were not family until the actual wedding, the laughs, personal anecdotes an insights on life made it feel like family both with people who were staying at the house or who visited.

FINDERS KEEPERS: I think my Great Uncle Dale in Great Falls must be part bloodhound. I do not recall the last time I’ve had to pay for a golf ball because every time I’ve made the trip to Montana I’ve returned with bags of balls in tow from Dale who picked them up on his walks. Coolers, fishing rods, folding money….the list went on and on of the items Dale has found over the years in his walks. Every time I’ve visited, Dale would tell me a tale of his latest discovery. The latest, a school project diorama explaining all the reasons behind the Great Depression.

STEREOTYPES: There is an overriding viewpoint among citizens of the world that Americans can be a tad ‘full of themselves’ and ignorant to the ways of the rest of the world. Never really understood that, because I have plenty of American relatives who are anything but. And that stereotype came crashing down as I helped my elderly great aunt to her chair as I took her and my uncle out to breakfast. As we made our way to the table, there were two young girls that were running up and down the hall beside us. I could hear a man call out in the distance to his daughters ‘let them through.’ I thought nothing of it as there was plenty of room in the hallway for the children to pass and for myself to help my aunt to our table. Nevertheless, after a couple of minutes sitting down at the table, the man arrived at our table with his children, wanting them to apologize for crowding us in the hallway and wanting his daughters to respect their elders. Thanking them for their politeness, I noted it was no big deal, he replied ‘they have to learn.’ I just witnessed a lot more kindness in that one moment from an American than I’ve seen in many of my fellow Canadians. Not everyone fits a stereotype.

POOL SHARK: Quite often you will find myself and my fellow Taber Times scribe Trevor Busch relax after a day at work, by going across the street to the Royal to play a few games of pool and split a pitcher of beer. We have done this so often, I must say, I think I’m getting better by leaps and bounds by the repetition in the sport, to the point I’d give many a run for their money…that is, unless you are my cousin Jim.

As always with a trip to Great Falls, I hit the pub and watering hole circuit with my cousins Jim and Phil as I sample the craft beer the Montana region has to offer. Low and behold there was a pool table at one of the establishments and here I thought I could bedazzle my cousin with my pool prowess. But there was Jim, doing double banks, combos and hard-angle shots with aplomb. Upon Jim’s best impersonation of Minnesota Fats, he informed me he hadn’t picked up a cue in about five years.

I’ve discovered the game of pool has made me feel both empowered and emasculated at times.Read more at:formal dresses australia | bridesmaid dresses

Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week seeks ways to keep clothing from landfills

This year, Vancouver's Eco Fashion Week is putting the spotlight on the amount of clothing we send to the landfill.  

(Photo:beautiful formal dresses)Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week is putting the spotlight on the amount of clothing and textiles that are filling up city landfills.

Founder Myriam LaRoche says the average amount one North American sends to the landfill every year is 81 pounds (or 37 kilograms).

Part of the problem is so-called fast fashion where manufacturers sell trendy items inspired by runway collections to the mass market, usually made from cheap materials meant to be worn for only one season.

”When I started my career 20 years ago, we had four seasons — spring, summer, back to school, holiday. Now, every week you have a new collection that comes into the store. Social media has made us really greedy on having the latest trend and which celebrity is wearing what.”

LaRoche’s philosophy is to look for alternatives — either reusing or donating clothes before they go to the landfill or looking at technologies to recycle fabrics.

She describes a company in Seattle called EverNew that can take old 100 per cent cotton T-shirts, separate the fibres and create new cotton material.

She says Jean manufacturer Levis has even expressed interest in the technology.

”We need to find a way to take what’s there — the different fabrics like silk and wool and polyester — and find a way to grind it and mill it again into different thread.”

Industry must work together

Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week has strived to find solutions to develop a more responsible and sustainable fashion industry. It first launched in Vancouver in 2010 and has expanded to Seattle.

”At first, [sustainable fashion] was still considered a trend. Now, I think it’s inevitable. We have no choice. We cannot resist. Right now, the clothing industry is the second most damaging industry on the planet after oil,” LaRoche said.

She says it will take cooperation and collaboration with all fashion industry members to push the movement forward.

”It’s not just the game of the small designer or the retailer who has 12 stores or the big retailer that has 4,000 stores,” she said.

”We all have to work together and to jump in because we don’t know the exact solution yet.”

Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week runs from March 31 to April 2. You can also see the ”81 pound challenge” — where designers create a new collection from 81 pounds of discarded clothing — at the Museum of Vancouver until April 17.Read more at:formal dresses adelaide