Wake Up and Dream

One evening in September, under a gray Paris sky, the American designer Rick Owens considered the possibility of a springtime utopia. An audience of editors, retailers and friends-of-the-design-house gathered around the fountains at the Place du Trocadero. Owens, a die-hard fashion poet, sent models parading around the city’s landmark stone plaza, down its elegant staircases and alongside the shallow pool where towering jets of water splashed a fine, refreshing mist over the audience.

The clothes, his spring 2018 collection, came in shades of cumulus white, dove gray and grass green. They were draped and wrapped around the body in ways that were both abstract and practical. The models also wore athletic-style sandals with thick rubber soles that made them seem grounded in reality even if their clothes made them look otherworldly. Their hair was just there, not particularly styled, just barely combed. Their faces appeared makeup-free.

According to Owens’s show notes, the story of the collection was “experimental grace and form.” The clothes were meant to symbolize the rejection of day-to-day bleakness: environmental peril, social intolerance, cultural wars, political upheaval. And the presentation was intended to transport the viewer outside the strident new normal and into a misty heaven.

Owens wanted to explore the question of whether it was possible for imperfect people to create a utopia. Can flawed humans build a perfect world? Do our better angels still have a voice in these tumultuous and bitter times? Does the arc of the moral universe really bend toward justice?

The presentation may have been steeped in no small amount of pretentious esoterica. But Owens also offered his audience something valuable: an emotional release and a mental distraction. He turned the collective gaze upward, toward optimism and hope. If only for a season.

Owens’s work was emblematic of an industry shift — not titanic, but subtle and by a matter of degrees. Fashion designers have stopped moping around and stomping their feet. They’re getting on with it — with living, with pressing forward.

In the past few seasons, designers’ collections had been overwhelmingly informed by the political upheaval roiling both the United States and Europe — and indeed the world. The runway was the site of anger and frustration wrapped around immigration, LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, refugees, environmental calamity and on and on and on. Fashion designers, many of whom use their work as a form of artful communication, were resisting and protesting and, in some cases, simply howling into the wind.

The resulting collections weren’t bleak, but they were often serious and sometimes even melancholy. Designers put organizers of the Women’s March on the runway. They highlighted slogan T-shirts exhorting us to all be feminists. They styled models in pussy hats as well as face masks — taking their inspiration from anarchists and antifa.

But it’s a hard thing to stay on high alert with no end in sight. So starting last fall with the spring 2018 shows, there has been an about-face on a lot of runways, with less proselytizing and more poetry. Designers are treating their work as an existential escape from the fire and the fury. The clothes of spring evoke positivity and pleasure by relying on familiar tropes: sweet flowers, pastel colors, sparkly embellishments, comforting shapes and — thanks to Balenciaga’s Crayola-bright platform Crocs — pure comedy.

For some designers, this has meant simply being more emphatic about what they have always done. If they had offered up meringue and sugarplums in the past, for spring they offered up little mermaids and unicorns. That’s what Thom Browne did — incorporating the soundtrack from the Disney film “The Little Mermaid” into a Paris runway show that ended with an enormous unicorn puppet meandering through the audience.

Other designers have been uncharacteristically jubilant. Junya Watanabe sent his usual array of punk models down his Paris runway with their hair gooped up with wax and shaped into gnarly spikes. Sharp dog collars encircled their necks. Black kohl was streaked around their eyes, and they were not smiling. The styling flourishes were pure Watanabe, a designer who revels in the simmering rage of the punk aesthetic and who regularly allows it to inform his work. But this time, instead of pairing their wrecked hair with torn fishnets and distressed concert T-shirts, the models wore skirts, dresses and tops cut from Marimekko fabric, with its childlike oversize flowers. The palette was predominantly black and white, but it was spiced with bright strokes of fuchsia or lime green. Watanabe had taken a break from his usual brooding.

At Valentino, the designer Pierpaolo Piccioli transformed the basic, utilitarian anorak into a visual treat that evoked the light, airy fragility of spun sugar. On Piccioli’s Paris runway, jackets, adorned with twinkling, crystalline paillettes, were so removed from practicality that they had become something wholly new and fresh. Just looking at them could spark a wide-eyed smile.

Dries Van Noten delivered a garden of flowers in the ornate central salon of the Hotel de Ville. Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld built an indoor waterfall at the Grand Palais and crafted clothes that called to mind the shimmering foam floating atop crashing waves. And in February in New York, Ralph Lauren shared visions of a Jamaican getaway.

Daydreams. Sweet dreams. Distractions. “We always say that fashion is a reflection of our times,” Van Noten told Vogue. “Well, maybe that’s enough of that! Let’s do something optimistic, enjoy things — and really go for it!”

The goal of all these clothes is not to stir the mind but to soothe the soul. Fashion has given in to one of its most fundamental purposes: to bring the wearer joy. To delight and amuse. To open a door and invite you to escape. Sometimes, that role seems silly or superfluous. But today, in this gloomy era, it has arguably become essential.

In dark times, people have always yearned to escape. They want a reboot to normal, a return to happier days as quickly as possible. Doing so too swiftly can feel like callousness, denial or narcissism. But our leaders have regularly — and rightly — reframed a speedy and urgent hunt for joy as a show of strength, as well as a survival tactic.

These were lessons learned during World War II. Not long after war was declared, Britain shut down many of its cultural institutions. But the National Gallery in London was allowed to host lunchtime concerts where people could spend an hour or so listening to Bach and Mozart. Would people come? Would it be viewed as a welcome distraction or a frivolous gesture? When people heard about the concerts, the line for tickets trailed across Trafalgar Square and disappeared around a corner.

People craved music. They were hungry for a few moments of pleasure. They yearned for beauty. They didn’t simply want to survive the war; they wanted to live while it was being fought.

In her 1998 book, “Hope in a Jar: The Making of America’s Beauty Culture,” historian Kathy Peiss explored the role fashion played during the war years. Fashion was intertwined with patriotism and national honor. “In the wake of the Depression and rise of fascism, the attractive, made-up woman of the 1940s bespoke the ‘American way of life’ and a free society worth defending,” Peiss wrote.

Seen through the lens of 2018, the 1940s idea of the gussied-up American woman as a symbol of national honor is a cliche, a sexist trope, the worst kind of self-defeating burden — an absurdity. But that was then. It was a time when women’s roles were still etched in patriarchal traditions and a woman’s life was limited. Her sphere was the world of fashion and beauty.

Beauty manufacturers used these notions to market their products, and journalists worried that a “national glamour shortage would seriously lower national morale,” Peiss wrote. Lipstick became evocative of glamour and sex appeal. Cosmetics became a tool for creating the precise face one wanted to show to the world. The made-up woman was a woman who was girded for battle — whether literal or metaphorical.

During the war, as women entered the workforce and took on duties once consigned to men, the old ways were upended. Gender roles were in flux. Fashion was a form of security, uplift and reassurance in a time of uncertainty. A pretty dress, a bit of red lipstick, silk stockings were all links to a life that seemed to be slipping away; they held out a promise that it would not be lost — at least not completely.

Everyone, however, did not see a fashion diversion in positive terms. In light of all that was unfolding in the world, some deemed it silly and petty for women to concern themselves with stockings or lipstick. Peiss underscores these tensions by pointing to an exchange that unfolded in the pages of the New York Times between author Fannie Hurst, who often wove social issues such as racism and feminism into her fiction, and a lipstick-loving reader. Hurst, wrote Peiss, criticized the “frivolous, self-absorbed women who tarried in beauty salons and complained over shortages of silk stockings and makeup.” A new era was dawning for women as they entered the workforce and took on roles once reserved for men. “The history of their role in this desperate struggle will not be written in lipstick,” Hurst noted.

But the reader — who described herself as a “red-blooded, red-lipped” housewife — was not keen on Hurst’s condescending dismissal of the importance and power of fashion. Her argument, as summarized by Peiss, was that “American women’s brave response to the national crisis was not diminished but enhanced by reasonable attention to appearance. Beautifying showed ‘women’s own sense of pride’ and respect for the men ‘we try most to please.’ [The reader] asked, ‘Would we help them more if, when they are about to perish for freedom’s sake, we showed ourselves to them worn with sorrow and dejection?’ ”

After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the country struggled with competing emotions: anger and sorrow, as well as a longing for reassurance that it would soon be easy and appropriate to laugh and to smile. How quickly could the late-night comics return to television? Is there humor to be mined from the widespread horror? And the fashion industry wrestled with its own post-9/11 fears — namely, would anyone ever be interested in looking at cheerful frocks again?

Americans were encouraged to carry on with life, to indulge in the activities that brought them joy, because doing so was a way to fight back and to refuse to allow terrorism to dismantle our lives. Making fashion, producing runway shows, shopping for nonnecessities were all an acknowledgment that living entails more than breathing, eating and sleeping. The basics sustain life. The extras allow us to live fully.

Today, we are not engaged in trench warfare; Ground Zero is no longer a gaping hole. But the culture is shaken nonetheless. The battles are via drones and cyber hacks, on Capitol Hill, in the public square, across the backyard fence and in Twitter threads. We stand on opposite sides of gun rights, climate change, immigration, globalism, the Mueller investigation, President Trump. And what about the hurricane damage to Houston and the power outages in Puerto Rico? And don’t forget the DACA kids.

Because so much is happening that is awful, depressing and confounding, there is a worry that if one turns away from the gravitas, even for a moment, all hell will break loose. You will have failed your fellow man. If you indulge or escape, you are uncaring. You are awful. Listen to some soothing classical music if you must. But do it while volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. And fashion? Sheesh.

Recently, an especially agitated Washington Post reader emailed me about a story on Paris runway shows. She judged escapist fashion thusly: Not only is anyone who is willing to wear such folderol a fool, that person also is committing social malpractice. The time and resources that go into unicorn puppets and embellished anoraks should be devoted to saving the world.

But before people save anyone else, don’t they have to save themselves? In fact, happy fashion can be mental salvation — and perhaps it can even alter behavior. We already know that what we wear can shift our moods — the fashion industry has dubbed this “dopamine dressing” — but in 2012, scholars Hajo Adam and Adam D. Galinsky published a study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology suggesting that clothes can also have a measurable impact on our judgment, analytic skills and actions. It’s something they described as “enclothed cognition,” the combined effect of the clothes’ symbolism along with the physical act of wearing them.

The researchers used a white coat in their experiment, alternately referring to it as a doctor’s coat and a painter’s coat even though the coat itself never changed. For the test subjects, the former description implied scientific precision and focus; the latter suggested freewheeling creativity. When research subjects slipped on the doctor’s coat, they scored higher on tests that required rigor and sustained attention than subjects who were told they were wearing a painter’s coat.

Simply looking at the doctor’s coat and processing its symbolism was not enough to heighten the subject’s attention to detail. Seeing the doctor’s coat on someone else didn’t cut it either. The coat had to be personally worn. Once the subjects were wrapped in the semiotics, their brain functioned differently; their behavior changed.

“Does wearing the robe of a priest or judge make people more ethical?” the researchers wondered. “Does putting on the uniform of a firefighter or police officer make people act more courageously? And, perhaps even more interestingly, do the effects of physically wearing a particular form of clothing wear off over time as people become habituated to it?”

“Answering these kinds of questions would further elucidate how a seemingly trivial, yet ubiquitous item like an article of clothing can influence how we think, feel, and act,” Adam and Galinsky wrote. “Although the saying goes that clothes do not make the man, our results suggest that they do hold a strange power over their wearers.”

There is evidence — just a bit — that fashion has the potential to help us effectively change how we act. Could wearing happy, optimistic clothes make us slower to presume the worst about our fellow humans and also more inclined to reach across the political aisle? Maybe.

But even if that’s too much to expect from a floral dress or a bedazzled anorak, fashion still has immense value as a distraction from mental anguish, psychic despair and cable TV overload. Research has shown that video games can distract patients from pain or anxiety and aid in healing. Music distracts athletes from their discomfort and helps them remain committed to their workouts and enhance their performance. Distractions can function like a mental timeout, allowing people to return to a difficult task — or a dire situation — with more energy and focus. And in our polarized world, the mental equivalent of a deep breath certainly couldn’t hurt.

Fashion exists not because it is essential to life but to make life better. Women buy the Valentino dress because the dress is pretty and it makes them feel pretty, too. Men buy the limited-edition Air Jordans or the Off-White motorcycle jacket because they are cool and that aura of cool transfers to them. People buy the red Chanel lipstick because it is timeless glamour for $37, and a classic Chanel jacket is a whopping $10,000, and the lipstick comes with a hint of the fantastical waterfall that flowed in the Grand Palais.

People come for the magic. They are drawn to fashion’s promise that it will introduce a more attractive, charming, confident, powerful, intelligent, alluring or rebellious inner you to a world that seems intent on underestimating the person you are. Fashion pledges to make you seen and valued. It vows to change everything in wondrous and glorious ways. And even though fashion falls terribly short again and again, people come back. They come back despite themselves. Because it’s not the fulfillment of fashion’s promise that they long for, it’s the promise itself.

The fashion industry understands the power of its dreams and fantasies. Designers weave narratives that are meant to take you outside of your reality. But unlike a film or a painting that can only linger in your memory, you can take fashion with you: to the office, to dinner, on vacation, to the gym. You can wrap yourself in it, and it can be protective armor, an alluring force, a weapon or a grown-up version of a binky.

Six months after Rick Owens dreamed of utopia, designers have turned their eyes toward fall 2018. If anything, the clothes way off in the distance are even more vibrant, more urgently joyful than the ones arriving in stores. In particular, there is more color coming, colors that one wouldn’t ordinarily consider complementary. They are not the typical earthy hues of autumn. There are shades of mint green paired with sea-foam green. Pale pink mixed with flashes of lemon yellow. Cherry red and turquoise. Caramel and taxicab yellow. The swirling palette conjures an alternative world — an Oz in which everything burns brighter, shinier and sweeter. A Xanadu, an Eden. An escape.Read more at:plus size formal wear | short formal dresses australia

SF’s fashion crowd speaks out on whether fur is friend or faux

In a city where puffer jackets and hoodies are the fog-fighting outerwear of choice, fur has suddenly become the talk of the town.

San Francisco became the largest city in the country to ban the sale of new fur, following West Hollywood in 2011 and Berkeley in 2017, when the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in support of a measure on March 20. It would go into effect in January 2019.

The reaction from the city’s social and fashion crowd has been mixed.

“I am thrilled that San Francisco is joining the fur-free movement and taking such a progressive stance,” said Vanessa Getty, a longtime animal-rights advocate who founded San Francisco Bay Humane Friends, and is a member of the Peninsula Humane Society and a board member of Orangutan Foundation International.

“San Francisco is setting a tone of compassion that reflects the strong social conscience of our city,” she said.

Others were less pleased.

“It’s a storm in a teacup,” said former fashion model and Harper’s Bazaar contributor Tatiana Sorokko. “With so many real issues to focus on like homelessness, sanitation issues on the streets, the drop in tourism — instead they focus on this?”

The ban was authored by Supervisor Katy Tang and does not affect the sale of previously owned fur or leather products. It will take effect next year, but merchants will have an additional year to sell off their fur inventory. The ban defines fur products as any article of clothing or accessory, including fur key chains, “made in whole or in part of fur.”

Some women who choose to wear fur in the city were not surprised by the ban’s passage.

“I knew it was coming,” said fashion blogger Sobia Shaikh of San Francisco. She no longer plans to wear her real fur pieces in the city.

Why Rita Moreno shopped her closet for 56-year-old Oscars dress

“Do I own fur? Yes. Do I support the ban? To a degree. I won’t lie and call my real fur eco (faux) fur. I’m not giving it up entirely, but I’ll be more conscious.”

San Francisco has had a mixed relationship with fur in fashion. Fur historically has been a status symbol and staple of affluent women’s wardrobes in the United States. But animal-rights activism in the 1970s and ’80s led to it being less desirable by depicting the plight of animals in fur farms in graphic public campaigns and protests.

Meanwhile, the image of blood-red paint being thrown on fur coats is a cultural touchstone of radical anti-fur activism. For many who lived in San Francisco in the 1990s, memories of protests against Union Square stores that sold fur by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) remain vivid. Whether it’s due to eco consciousness or tepid weather, many agree that fur is worn less frequently in the Bay Area than in cold-weather fashion capitals like New York and Paris.

Nevertheless, attendees at boutique events and gala celebrations regularly wear fur coats and wraps when the temperature dips, or just when they decide the occasion calls for it.

Designer department stores Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, which have dedicated fur salons, did not respond to The Chronicle’s request for comment. But it’s not just luxury department stores that are targeted: Boutiques, specialty shops and discount retailers ranging from high-end Wilkes Bashford and Barneys New York to Macy’s will also be affected by the ban.

Nordstrom said it will “need to review the final language in the ordinance to understand the impacts it may have on our business moving forward.”

San Francisco social figure and fashion blogger Sonya Molodetskaya, who estimates she owns “probably 20 fur pieces, mostly coats and jackets,” does not support the ban.

“I honestly think 11 people cannot make a decision like that,” she said of the Board of Supervisors. “Those people I guarantee never had fur in their lives. I’ve been wearing real fur since I was 2 months old in Russia. We wore it to survive! My mother put me in a rabbit blanket as a baby, but I ended up in sable.”

Molodetskaya doesn’t use high-end fur like mink or sable in her fashion line, Major Obsessions, opting for less expensive Mongolian lamb fur and feathers. She believes the decision to sell fur should be up to businesses, not the city. “It would be a great idea to open up a fur shop outside the city to sell to the women in San Francisco,” she joked.

“I’ll still buy fur in other cities. It’ll be interesting to see how much fur the Palo Alto Neiman Marcus will now carry.”

Camille Bently, the executive director of the Bently Foundation, said that even before she knew about the potential ban she was “disheartened by the amount of fur we were seeing at the social events in San Francisco. … I would cringe every time I got an invite to a fur salon.”

Bently said that the foundation, whose funding emphasis includes environmental and animal welfare giving, is proud to support projects in a city that views the banning of new fur as a priority and believes that it will also open the door to innovation and creativity in the faux fur market.

Getty pointed out that it’s not just San Francisco where the tide is turning against new fur.

“Major fashion houses such as Gucci, Versace, Michael Kors and Furla are no longer using fur in their designs,” she said. “There are so many incredible faux fur options these days.”

San Francisco retailer Chris Ospital of the Modern Appealing Clothing (MAC) boutiques said that she and her brother Ben have never sold real fur in their 37 years in business. Fake furs, with their bright colors and interesting textures, are more interesting.

“As people who have pets, it’s hard to see an animal used that way,” Ospital said. “I think there’s no contest. I feel prettier in a fake fur.”Read more at:formal dresses online | formal dresses brisbane

Fashion trends embraced by Pakistani celebrities that won’t make it to 2018

CORSET TOPS — Sana Bucha’s ensemble will make you want to buy a corset top. It’s flattering on her curvaceous body and breaks up her blush-toned look. It’s a must-have. And, a lot of celebrities have it. Now that it’s had its moment, it’s time to put this constricting accessory in our fashion past.

NO PANTS DANCE — no pants? No problem, according to celebrities like Rabia Butt. But hey, if the T-shirt is as long as a dress, who needs bottoms. Paired with stilletos, this look has travelled through concerts, A-list events and parties with ease. Now, it’s expected and thus ready to be retired.

SUPER DEEP V-NECK — how low can you go? Necklines are continuing to take a dive, making fashion tape for influencers like Rachel Gill a wardrobe necessity in 2017. It’s an attractive cut, but we’re thinking necklines will be on the incline come 2018.

UNWEARABLE SUNGLASSES — do these glasses look amazing with Saba Qamar’s black outwear? Yes. Does this picture make you want to shop online? Probably. Here’s the thing: In real life, for everyday, many of this year’s popular sunglasses just don’t translate. Our advice: Try them on before you invest, because in this instance it’s more like “one size fits a few”.Read more at:celebrity inspired dresses | cheap formal dresses

PFDC fashion week ends on high note

PFDC fashion week ends on high note

LAHORE-The three-day 7th PFDC Bridal Fashion Week concluded on a high note with a fair share of top celebrities walking the ramp as showstoppers for their favourite designers.

The star studded event took place at Nishat Banquets, where Pakistan’s best designers flaunted their fabulous collection featuring a true synthesis of modernity overlaying tradition with an opulent grand finale. The surprise package of the night was the Raees actress Mahira Khan. She walked the ramp at PLBW and officially announced herself as the first Pakistani spokesperson for L’Oréal Paris Hair Care.

While talking to the media she said she was proud and honoured to be the first Pakistani Brand Ambassador for L’Oreal. “L’Oreal celebrates women empowerment and it goes beyond beauty. Let nobody’s opinion define who you are because all the women out there, including me, are worth it,” Mahira said. The final day of PLBW17 started with early evening bridal showcase featuring Tabya Khan, IVY Couture by Shazia and Sehr, Zuria Dor and Farah & Fatima. This was followed by evening bridal showcases featuring Nomi Ansari, Saira Shakira, Nickie Nina, Sadaf Fawad Khan Bridals and Fahad Hussayn.

Day3 of PFDC was opened by Tabya Khan with her bridal collection titled ‘Feroza’. She showcased wonderful designs. The collection left the audience mesmerized in its beauty and design aesthetics. Stunning actress and model Iman Ali was show stopper for the designer. Next up was IVY Couture by Shazia & Sehr. they showcased their bridal collection ‘Rang-e-Perahan’ in collaboration with Amrapali Jewellery. The collection was edgy yet sophisticated. It incorporated an eclectic mix of rich and contemporary fabrics such as tissue, organza, net, jamawar (kamkhwab) and Indian zari. Beautiful sisters Urwa and Mawra Hocane were the showstoppers. Zuria Dor was third to present her collection ‘King of her castle’. The collection was wearable. We loved each piece from the collection. It incorporated a variety of fabrics including organza, raw silk, kundan net, kumkhaab and net. The silhouettes were a fusion of western and eastern cuts. The collection comprised an eclectic mix of lehnga choli, traditional gharara, long and short jackets paired with culottes and long trailing, two-legged shararas, trousers with skirt, Dhaka pants with exaggerated sleeved choli, peplum tops with cigarette pants, long slit shirts with straight trousers and capes.

The early evening show ended by the collection of Farah & Fatima titled ‘Meraki’. They presented a perfectly dazzling show that infused elegance of phulkari and chintz with contemporary designs that compliments the essence of a traditional bride. The collection draws its inspiration from the meaning of the Greek word itself doing something with soul and creativity.

The evening bridal showcase opened with Nomi Ansari’s presentation ‘Qabool Hai’ in collaboration with Hamna Amir Jewellery. As always he brought something worth seeing for the audience. The collection was the biggest hit of the day. His glittering new designs were a dreamy romantic bridal wear with a contemporary twist. Maya Ali was looking resplendent as the showstopper for the designer. A series of custom-made digital prints canvassed with traditional flora and fauna motifs including the Mughal lotus flower; the perennially romantic rose as well as ornamental miniatures and exotic birds were transposed onto a bevy of statement lehengas. Infused with floral motifs, Saira Shakira collection was high on glamour and ideal for every bride to make her feel like a queen on her special day. Juxtaposing edgy silhouettes with traditional embellishment and intricate patterns, the design were really impressive. Iman Ali turned up the heat on ramp for Saira Shakira collection. Nickie Nina showcased “ADEENA – Generation IV” in collaboration with renowned jewellery brand, gold by Reama Malik. It was a breathtaking collection. Overall the designs were coherent and very elegant. Re imagined with a contemporary twist; delicate gotta embroidery and wasli textures surround bright and bold borders, precious pearls were intertwined amongst Turkish motifs in karchob and sequins and stones sit upon traditional chunri prints. In quintessential Nickie Nina style, vibrant pops of colour in gold, silver, royal blue, and coral were featured across the collection – topped off with rose cut diamantes for an extra air of elegance amongst gold and silver detailing. The much awaited collection at PFDC grand finale was by Sadaf Fawad Khan titled ‘Elayna’. Pakistani heartthrob Fawad Khan stole the show when he came on the ramp as the showstopper for Sadaf. He received a standing ovation from the audience. Each design of the collection was set in singular metallic tones of red, blue, yellow, lilac and peach, reflecting the brilliance of the night sky. Incorporating the reflection and refraction of light that forms a rainbow, the motifs were embellished with crystals with zardozi setting and appliqué work for outfits that shine and dazzle the senses. Using rich fabrics such as such as tissue with a hint of net, texturing and detailing, the collection was designed to be a celebration of Pakistani handcrafted workmanship, fused into unique silhouettes of elegant simplicity.

The grand finale concluded with the collection Fahad Hussayn titled ‘Hoshruba: Dara Shikoh Aur Sunehri Churail’. Actor Meekal Zulfiqar and model Amna Ilyas added grandeur to Fahad’s collection, while Ali Sethi and Zeb Bangash performed on the ramp for the brand and mesmerized the fashion forward people. The collection incorporated intricate silk thread embroideries, interlaced with delicate hand work of exquisite craftsmanship on custom nets, organza, tissue, chiffon and other exclusive surfaces, alongside their in-house hand painted and vintage revival print. It also featured exclusive one-off cuts, hues and designs with majestic detailing that combine the best elements from the world of art, architecture, and avant-garde.Read more at:bridesmaid dresses australia | sydney formal dress shops

Dress up for tomorrow

Manpriya Singh

Orbunosex clothing, slow fashion, athleisure, androgynous or ecological—what is the future of fashion? Thankfully, it doesn’t any more lie in assembly line productions, fast fashion labels or fleeting trends. Or, so thinks the younger lot. We speak to five designers showcasing in the GenNext category of the upcoming Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2017, about the future of fashion.

Fashion goes wholesome and holistic

With athleisure becoming a staple rather than a trend, we are further bound for some more relaxation of rules. Designer Sumiran Sharma, running the label, Anaam, feels androgynous is the way to go. “In my opinion, the future of fashion shall be the no-gender clothing orbunosex clothing. Same silhouettes for both men and women. One product would cater to both the markets. Also, the future of fashion is sustainable fashion, ethical fashion and handloom fashion.” That sounds like music to our ears.

Virtual is a reality

Akshat Bansal loves working with shades of white and black. His label Bloni will be incorporating elements of athleisure in his upcoming collection. “I strongly believe that we haven’t evolved and explored much, India has much more to offer than we can ever imagine. Part of my collection will be bringing unconventional newness to our handcrafts and traditional wear.”

As for the future of fashion, he says, “It is high fashion for one and sustainable for another. Perhaps with the growing technology and especially virtual reality, it’s going to be more unreal then today. People travelling for shows and the real experience of touch and feel of fabrics and fashion will slowly eliminate. Augmented reality is soon going to change the sense of fashion since now it’s all about seeing it on the gadget.”

Some unique and under-used techniques

His current collection speaks a lot about his frame of mind. Deepak Pathak’s to be showcased collection is reminiscent of Bengali fishermen. He shares, “The garments are draped, twisted and tucked and have clean lines in an uncluttered palette of black and grey with organic embellishments.” As for the future of fashion, he believes, “It lies in hand rendered surfaces, a technique which I feel will be used more in seasons to come.”

Eco-fashion is here to stay

The designer-duo Saaksha and Kinnari feels, “Eco- fashion is going to be at the forefront of future fashion. Fast fashion is not only losing momentum, it is also losing popularity. The length or lifetime of a garment will be taken into account as will the notion of developing a garment with a cultural and emotional connect. More and more fashion brands are being deterred from purchasing or producing materials that are not made with recycled, organic materials.”

Yet another happy vision that we want to believe. As for the their upcoming collection, “It is based on the parallels between masculinity and femininity, delicate and dramatic. Where we chose softer more feminine silhouettes like flowy dresses, pleated skirts, and pussy-bow blouses, we used edgier colours such as bold reds, dramatic blues and steel greys. Where we used more masculine, stronger silhouettes such as the oversized jackets, the tank tops, and power trousers, we mixed softer fabrics and colours such a chanderi, chiffons with pinks, and dull golds.”

Fabric manipulation & surface techniques

Shenali and Rinzin, running the label Untitled Co, gives utmost importance to fabrics, which they pronounce as both their inspiration and foundation. “The industry is always on the look-out for something new. I believe that we as a brand love to play with traditional techniques and re-invent the existing. So, I think interesting surface techniques in terms of embroidery and fabric manipulation will be the next big things in fashion industry,” share the two, who’ve worked with clean lines and soft pastels for their upcoming collection.Read more at:formal dresses | semi formal dresses

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

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

Boho style or floaty skirts

Summer inspired style 

(Photo:www.queenieau.com)With an optimistic heart we welcomed the first month of Summer and dipped an apprehensive toe into the whirlpool of summer style.

A week of blue skies, balmy evenings, and BBQ’s compelled us to dig out our summer clobber, swap the heavy fur lined coats taking up valuable wardrobe space with lighter, brighter garments.

I set aside a morning to take on this mammoth task, determined to make the transition into a lighter style and banish the winter wools to the bottom drawer until the darker evenings swing back around.

If the saying ‘dress for the weather not the style’’ was our mantra , then this yearly ritual would never take place. I have come to learn, and reluctantly accept, that Ireland is indeed a country that will happily throw four seasons at us in one day.


Summer wear can be a real conundrum for those of us who will battle the daily elements on Irish soil, finding the right balance between looking seasonal yet still appropriate for our unpredictable weather can be a grueling task.

At present the shops are awash with beautiful Boho style dresses, light floaty skirts and floral separates, ideal for holidaying abroad.

However we have to adapt a realistic approach when shopping about when and how much wear we will get from each item. We cannot get blind sided by the fantastic coloured beachwear on display, luring us in on the false promise of long days on sandy beaches with a cocktail in hand.

These are ideal for a two week holiday abroad but in some cases are not always the appropriate choice for our own shores and tempermental weather conditions.

We need to be savvy with what we purchase to ensure our summer wardrobe serves us well. With the exception of a few days where the higher sun factor may need lathering on, we still cannot stray too far from a light knit or jacket.

Think relaxed tailoring in the form of smart/casual jackets. (there are lengths, shapes and colours to suit all styles and shapes)

Worn over a dress with heels it will bring you from day to night or with jeans and t-shirt for a more relaxed daytime look.

Kimonos, are a great investment piece. They add colour and a playful seasonal addition to your wardrobe. Again think sleek separates ideal for layering.

If you are a little reluctant to expose your legs or indeed fancy something a little different culottes or palazzo style pants are a fresh variation on a summer dress, still carrying that summer vibe, bang on trend and again can be smartened up with a nice heel for work or evening wear. Go for a slip on loafer for a daytime approach on this look.


Add a pop of colour in a new handbag, take inspiration from the SS17 catwalks with a brightly coloured bag, as seen at Victoria Beckham and Stella McCartney

Upgrade your eyewear to a colourful shade or a playful style. The oversized earring is the perfect way to embrace this seasons look.

Quiet often simple designs and subtle additions make the most impact. One brightly coloured piece can instantly update your look.

A psychedelic print scarf added to a ponytail or worn turban style around your head, as seen on Giorgio Armani, will elevate a simple outfit to an SS17 worthy look

For those of us less brave, try tying it around the strap of your favourite handbag for an instant update.

Reinvigorating our summer wardrobe doesn’t have to involve a total overhaul. Pick up key pieces when shopping that you can add to what you already own.

Be a little more daring with colour, it’s the time of year when we can bring out our own personality through our clothes by adding quirky and fun touches.

Embrace a little change and be confident enough to let your personality shine through!

“The things that make you different are the things that make you!”Read more at:formal dresses adelaide

The ugliest, stupidest fashion trend ever


(Photo:cheap formal dresses online)I HAD avoided it like the plague but there I was with my big toe caught in the loose threads of a pair of ripped jeans and doing an impromptu jig to keep my balance.

Okay, it was my fault in the first place to have taken it from the shelves in Uniqlo without noticing the rips, because they weren’t obvious on the white pair of boyfriend-cut jeans.

For older readers who haven’t the foggiest what I am talking about, ripped jeans are those with tears and cuts, especially over the knees. They are also called distressed jeans and it’s easy to see why.

The ripped parts often have loose, exposed threads and that was how my big toe came to grief. Apparently, getting snared is a common occurrence if you put on your ripped jeans in a hurry and forget to point your toes, ballerina-style.

So there I was hopping on one foot, trying to extricate my trapped toe and avoid crashing onto the wall of the tiny fitting room, giving me yet another reason to rail against this disgraceful disfigurement of a wardrobe classic.

Ripped jeans have their roots in the punk-grunge subculture which is basically a rejection of capitalism, and a poster boy for the grunge look was the late Kurt Cobain in the late 1980s-early 1990s. The look, however, never went mainstream.

I first noticed the return of ripped jeans several years ago. It started with modest cuts at the knees but even so, I found the way the wearer’s knees poked out when he or she sat down really odd.

This is not the first time that fashion has made fools out of us. Over the centuries, we have seen many ridiculous trends like metre-high powdered wigs, faint-inducing corsets, foot-binding, gigantic shoulder pads and rolling up one pant leg. But deliberately destroyed clothes must surely be the ugliest and stupidest trend ever.

Still, I figured the fad, like before, would fade.

But horror of horrors, it has become a global trend and no part of the jeans is spared. The look is not limited to mere rips at knee-point but huge tears and holes that can appear from hip to shin and even just below the buttocks, sometimes with flapping bits of denim and jagged, unsewn hems.

When a popular United Kingdom fashion brand described its distressed jeans as “toughened up with rips and tears to add some ‘edge’,” Kirsty Major, writing for vagendamagazine.com, mocked it as a pale imitation of the original edginess of the youth subcultures of punk, heavy metal and grunge who dressed in distressed denim “as a visual symbol of social dissent”.

“For punks, wearing jeans until they ripped was a symbol. They refused to participate in capitalism; wearing jeans until they literally fell off your legs reduced the number of jeans purchased and was a big economic middle finger to shops and advertisers.”

That was the heroic premise then but as Major mused, no one is personally wearing their jeans to death for that reason now.

Instead she wryly observed, “No, you bought them from the high street and those rips were put there by a migrant worker in Mauritius who got paid 22p (RM1.21) per hour.

“There is seriously nothing less edgy in the whole wide world.”

And all that feeds an industry that sells 1,240,000,000 pairs of denim jeans worldwide annually worth about US$56.2bil (RM240bil), according to statisticbrain.com

Making plain old jeans is a highly mechanised process but only up to the point of designing and cutting the cloth. After that, it is heavily dependent on manual labour to sew the pieces together.

It takes many more steps, also by hand, to ruin a perfectly good pair of jeans to give it the washed out, ripped and tattered appearance.

These steps include rubbing away the dye with sandpaper to create crease lines, sandblasting the garment to speed up its wear and tear by weakening the threads and tumbling in giant washing machines full of volcanic pumice rocks for the stonewash effect.

Naturally, all this adds to the cost of the jeans and therein lies the irony: you have to pay more to look poor.

What’s really galling is how celebrities are fuelling this “poverty de luxe” look.

A glamourmagazine.co.uk post on February 2017 gushes: “Be it skinny, mom, boyfriend or cropped, ripped jeans are the denim trend that is still going strong.

“And who better to get inspiration from than the celebs who can’t get enough of cold knees? Whether you opt for a floaty blouse and trainers for a daytime look, or killer heels and a bralet for a night on the town, let these celebs inspire your ripped jeans look…”


Scroll through the photos and you see famous faces teaming their branded ripped jeans (Kanye West’s pair by Saint Laurent, for example, costs about US$600 or RM2,565) with equally expensive coats, shoes and handbags.

People have always strived to improve their wealth so that they could live, eat and dress better.

I cannot recall a time in the history of the world when society deemed it fashionable to dress in mutilated clothes that imitate what desperately disadvantaged people, like the homeless, are forced to wear. What a mockery!

For those who don’t want to buy pre-ripped jeans, they can shred a pair of their own. There are plenty of YouTube DIY videos on that. That may be a better option but it still means joining in a senseless trend.

The look is ripping through other garments; it is also the in-thing to wear tops and shorts with holes, frayed edges and loose threads.

So is this a sign of our times?

Has our world, already losing its marbles grappling with mind-boggling issues like crackpot leaders, corrupt governments, diminishing resources, climate change, melting polar ice caps and terrorism, gone so off kilter that it is now cool, stylish and “edgy” to dress like the poor? Please, enough of this demented denim disaster.Read more at:plus size formal dresses

Why are we against fun in fashion


(Photo:formal dresses adelaide)There are few things more irritating than smug, feigned confusion, and yet everyone, from the Metro to female-focussed news websites, is exclaiming their bewilderment. The centre of all this fuss: a top. I’m not going to claim that the top is a firm wardrobe favourite of mine, and at £25 it is, perhaps, a little overpriced, but I can’t deny I’m tempted to take the plunge, if only to buy it a drink and congratulate it on all the ridiculous drama it’s caused.

What exactly is the item’s crime? A derogatory slogan? Hand-appliquéd sachets of pig’s blood? No. The top has—strap yourselves in—a big purple ruffle. This ‘scandal’, if we can call it that, is similar to outcries that have spread across the internet in response to other vaguely weird new items of clothing from high-street stores like the clear plastic-insert mom jeans from Topshop, which spurred the Tab headline: “Look at these ‘clear knee mom jeans’ from Topshop and tell me that God isn’t dead.”

My first reaction to seeing these articles was the same as my first reaction to any source of minor stress in my life: I thought about Meryl Streep’s monologue from The Devil Wears Prada where she chastises her wardrobe-incompetent new assistant for pretending to be entirely above fashion when, in reality, it’s an industry in which everyone plays a part. If journalists think the top is ugly then that’s fair, but certainly not worth the writing of an entire article.

What they are claiming is that it makes no sense, which is flat-out wrong. That top existing at this moment in time makes all the sense in the world. It’s no secret that ruffles are ‘in’—they’ve been trickling down the fashion food chain since approximately SS16—and, despite being wrongly pronounced dead more times than the perpetually sleepy goldfish you had as a child, band and skater tees are managing to cling to some form of ironic-grunge relevance. What’s apparently really bothering and confusing people is that anyone could possibly like the top—after all, it isn’t nude, doesn’t involve tastefully ripped denim, and doesn’t have city names printed on the front in a font that scream “wanderlust”, “go see the world”, and “I’m a trust fund baby”. Of course, shops are still stocking these things, and they’re still selling—nobody would try and deny that—but there’s something about the ruffled monstrosity that represents an attitude to fashion that’s coming up faster than some can handle.

In 2016, we were warned by one fashion columnist to “beware the frill” and to “be restrained” lest we look like an overenthusiastic toddler, or even a Gone with the Wind character. Instead, the key advice was to keep our fashion neutral—simple bags and cream clothes were in. Only a few sources dared to recommend a bare shoulder, or a bit of clashing print. The change since then hasn’t just been the typical shift from one season to another, but rather a meaningful shift in attitude—we’re being recommended bright and bold colours, frills, and even gingham! The idea of being afraid of coming across “too much” of something, and of practicing mannequin-like restraint in fashion, is being put aside by brands and publications with major voices.

It’s easy to attribute this to runoff from the recent work of Gucci, Prada, and the like,

and it’s undeniable that they’ve played a key role. Alessandro Michele is, without a doubt, uniquely visionary and has injected some serious fun and excitement into recent fashion weeks. However, this change has come from the ground up, as well as from the top down. Polyster Zine, a publication I’ve loved for years and, which seems to gain traction by the day, comes with the tagline: “Have faith in your own bad taste”. Makeup artists who made their name on Instagram such as Bea Sweet and Juliana Horner are changing what’s considered normal when it comes to painting your face, and the two way street of influence between us ‘millenials’ and the runway can be seen in the success of Desigual’s snapchat filter makeup, and the screeching, crash-and-burning failure of Dolce and Gabbana’s ‘influencer’ show.

It’s reasonable to ask what the importance of this all is, as it might seem like the current ‘thing’ is just to dress colourful and wacky, wearing giant purple frills across your body, and, in a year or so, it will be over. However this attitude crucially overlooks the culture surrounding the shift—it isn’t just clothes that are getting more fun, more experimental, and more risky. Unicorn-themed drinks, competitions between eateries to see who can produce the most convoluted crossover food item, and even the holy territory of enchantingly surreal memes all signify a visible cultural movement towards the absurd and the bold in a way that’s broad and far-reaching enough to stick around for a while. In terms of clothes, it’s very possible that the buzz around bright colours will fade and ruffles will fall out of favour. What we’ll be left with, however, is the idea that your bralet-legging-leopard-veil combo might be as unpleasant as a ramen burrito, but that it’s winning in its own way, just by turning heads.

This change also has major implications concerning the prevalent classism and snobbery within fashion. When the ‘big thing’ is minimalist, beige shapes, which are just meant to make your body look as ‘instaworthy’ as possible, all you want is the best possible version of these simple pieces. In the case of clothes like these, high-end names (which come with high-end prices) really do hold weight, otherwise you’re just wearing ‘normal’ and, let’s face it, boring clothes.

This means that wearing something from Primark (or the like) is often looked down upon. As the unusual becomes usual, however, wearing something from Primark can be a badge of honour—you managed to find something that cool and weird that cheaply? Because, while Primark probably can’t do a better version of a plain Cos shift dress, if it takes an unusual top from any of the big players in high street fashion and adds its own take, with an extra ruffle or a few rainbow tassles, it immediately becomes a completely worthwhile contender.

Anyone looking to channel these ‘go bigger and brighter’ looks won’t feel it necessary to look down at cheaper more attainable alternatives, which not only makes fashion phenomenally more accessible for people from poorer backgrounds, but equally helps to break down this classist snobbery within the fashion world. So, with the attitude of Miranda Priestly, let us shoo the bitter columnists who can’t handle ASOS’s ruff, or the seismic shift of which it’s only playing a microscopic part.

It doesn’t matter if the top’s ugly, and it doesn’t even matter that the band named on it doesn’t exist. Someone out there—one happy person —will be wearing it this week with a pair of bright red latex culottes, or a matchy-matchy lilac skirt, or maybe just a pair of jeans that onto which they’re building up the courage to sew a patch. And they won’t care what the Metro says. And they’ll look fantastic.Read more at:celebrity dresses