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

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 | formal wear sydney

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

The fashion challenges for a cleric in retirement


(Photo:formal dresses online)LET us forget election results, and talk about clothes.

For 20 years, my day dress was all black: clerical shirt, black trousers or pencil skirt, and black jacket or pullover. This was sad, since black is a colour that I was once told I should never wear.

Now, on retirement, I am free to dress as I please. But I have no idea how to. I have been advised that everything now is layered, nothing is “tucked-in”; clothes are informal, and I should aspire to a casual, im­­provised look.

I don’t mind casual, but I don’t do improvised. I want clothes to look meant. When I go into Gap, or M&S, and find myself confronted with rows of unironed tops, my instinct it to sweep them off their hangers and submit their creases to the stern corrective of the ironing board. I cannot understand how creases in linen can be intentional. Properly ironed, cool linen is won­derful — for half an hour at least.

This summer’s styles bewilder me. To uncover one shoulder would leave me shivering; variable hem­lines would induce disequilibrium. I look back with nostalgia to the pas­tel florals of the 1970s; the luscious silk shirts with proper scarf rings and chunky cufflinks.

I love denim in most of its manifestations, as long as they are blue, straight, with­out frills, patches, or rips — and ironed. I can do leather, too. I have a black leather coat which came from Turkey, and I am not going to give it up, not least because of what I went through to acquire it.

I was on holiday near Ephesus, and had gone on a coach trip that included a visit to a leather factory. We were promised a fashion show at the end. Just before it began, the tour guide came up to me (I was one of the larger members of the party) and more or less insisted that I personally model a knee-length item in black leather.

It was one of those moments when I had to make a choice: either to look a prat by refusing, or to risk looking an even worse prat by agree­ing. Everyone was looking on — there was no escape. On the spur of the moment, I decided that the least conspicuous thing to do was to agree, and so I put it on, and, to music and drum rolls (perhaps these got added later), I sashayed down the catwalk in the leather coat, paus­ing at the end to show off the silky silver lining.

In retrospect, this was the biggest challenge I faced in 20 years of pub­lic ministry. At least I still have the coat to show for it.Read more at:semi formal dresses

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

Cuts, styles of blouses trending this year

Summer is the best time to experiment with different cuts and styles of blouses. Crop tops with saris and skirts, asymmetric hemlines can make your simple attire look trendy, suggest experts.

Tina Narang, Design Director at Intrika, Designer Latha Puttanna, Designer Divya Arora at Roop Vatika, have shared tips, tricks and trends that could be followed to make a simple Indian attire look trendier:

*Keeping up with the new fashion trend, along with saris, we can also pair blouses with high waist pants, skirts teamed with a jacket, dhoti or with your pinafore dresses and dungarees.

For day time select from a range of asymmetric shoulder blouses, puff sleeve, balloon sleeve, bell sleeve which are in trend this season.

For weddings and festivities opt for bold looks like off shoulder necklines, choker blouses, cape attached with neckline of the blouse to nail the perfect look.

Evening looks can be paired with ruffled sleeves and ruffles on the neckline or cape attached to an asymmetric neckline in the sleeveless blouse to grab attention.

* Considering the unrelenting heat, your blouse must give you the space to breathe. Wear natural fabrics like cotton, especially in pastel shades. Opting for sleeveless will be even better, as it gives you the dual benefit of looking trendy as well as helping you feel cool and comfortable.

* If you want to up your style quotient, use creative and funky styles like off- and cold-shoulder. These styles also give you the best of both worlds in fashion and comfort, without much effort.

* Another way to beat the heat is wearing blouses made of stretchable fabrics. This not only gives you a great fit, but also makes for comfortable wear.

* Customised blouses embellished with coloured sequins and embroidery as per the customer’s choice are much in demand.

*Short sleeves, a traditional neck line will be easy and hassle-free to carry. A multi-coloured blouse design in this fashion will work as a default blouse for any sari type.Read more at:QueenieAu | long formal dresses australia