Fresh off the runway

A strip of light shines throughout the year as design students work long and hard into the night in their fourth floor Otago Polytechnic building.

Last Friday, all that hard work came to fruition as the Hub was lit up for the spectacle that was COLLECTIONS/17.

The event was accompanied by the school’s DEBRIEF exhibition, which displayed the talents of graduating Otago Polytechnic fashion, communication, interior and product design students from the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

COLLECTIONS/17 showcased the work of the design school’s fashion students from the Otago Polytechnic School of Design and visiting student designers from Shanghai University of Engineering and International Fashion Academy (IFA) Paris.

Opening the show’s graduate section was Dunedin-born designer and contemporary weaver Phoebe Ryder.

With a colour palette of green, red, and black with navy running through, Ryder’s collection used entirely self-woven fabrics, styled with sou’wester hats.

Ryder used traditional artisan weaving to construct her outfits, using techniques passed through generations of weavers. Each intricate piece showed a high level of skill and an extensive dedication of time to her practice.

« My work does not set out to be flawless. It embraces the beauty and imperfection, and holds a charm that could never be recreated by a machine. »

She received two awards for « Top Collection » and « Top Student », a title which was shared with classmate Dylan McCutcheon-Peat.

Ryder’s collection was followed by a confluent curation of designs from the polytechnic’s graduating students.

Standout pieces included Ruby Lin’s plant-dyed garments, adorned with flowers made from the remnants of her minimal waste pattern-cutting, Eden Sloss’ ethical skate-brand fashion using only hemp and bamboo fabrics and Lillian Cotter’s hand embroidered pieces from artistic influence.

Concluding the graduate section was McCutcheon-Peat with his collection « Is he a tomgirl? ».

McCutcheon-Peat says it is his aim to « encourage a different way of perceiving what masculinity can be ».

McCutcheon-Peat’s design combines traditional tailoring and transformational reconstruction (TR) cutting, a complex design technique that creates shape through drape, cutting and inserting volume.

His work asks the audience to « question the sexual semiotics of clothing by breaking the rules we associate with gender expression ».

On the night, the collection was well-received by an audience of family, friends, the Dunedin public and industry experts.

Special guest Denise L’Estrange-Corbet, designer, author and founder of New Zealand made fashion brand WORLD, said his androgynous endeavour was the standout collection of the night.

The second part of the event commenced with a presentation of collections by the visiting student designers from Shanghai University of Engineering and IFA Paris.

These collections are presented as part of the Shanghai-Dunedin Sister City Fashion Communication Project and add diversity to the show, portraying fashion from a different perspective.

Next, Otago Polytechnic head of design Caroline Terpstra invited international fashion event organiser Madame Zhou to present the China Cup Award to Otago Polytechnic 2016 design honours graduate Ariane Bray, who placed second.

The China Cup is an international fashion design competition for clothing inspired by Chinese culture.

Bray’s submission incorporated her experience living and studying in China.

Her collection « mixes structure and tailored details to represent contemporary China, juxtaposed by drape and textile manipulations that reflect age and history ».

Bray’s textiles are created by hand as she « distorts the fabric to add my personal connection to each garment ».

Every aspect of her collection is enriched with her experiences in China, right down to the colour palette that alludes to « traditional Chinese architecture, particularly inspired by the Yuyuan gardens ».

« The black, burgundy, off white and gold reference the slated roofs, peeling paint and ornate decorations around the gardens. »

As part of her selection, Bray was flown to Shanghai to present her designs, and later participated in the China Cup Awards fashion show.

A selection of individual projects by the Polytechnic’s first- and second-year fashion design students, portrayed an assortment of well-refined silhouettes and textiles. This was followed by an exhibition of the labels created by second-year student groups for industry stores Void, Slick Willy’s, Belle Bird, Company Store, and Charmaine Reveley, showing great potential for this year group as they move into their final year of the bachelor of design (fashion) programme.

L’Estrange-Corbet presented graduating bachelor of design (fashion) student Katharina Stapper with an eight-week WORLD Fashion internship, which included a prize of $5000 from the Newmarket Business Association.

Stapper said she was honoured to receive the award.

« When it was announced it was overwhelming. It’s such an honour to receive the award and internship because it is such an amazing opportunity. I can’t wait to start. »

The last recipient of this prize, Ivy Jackson-Mee, still works for WORLD today.

The show continued with the second stream of postgraduate students to complete the programme, highlighted by fashion designer Georgia Ferguson and with her label F U R G.

The collection was crafted in hues of blue, orange, grey and navy with blond wood and copper-toned notions.

Ferguson said her fashion workings were « the antithesis of fast fashion; they are crafted to last in both a physical and emotional sense ».

She said F U R G was in many ways « about sustainability, and the capacity of fashion to outlast trends and maintain a connection with the consumer over many years ».

Adding that « aside from a commitment to quality construction and fabric, it is only through a careful analysis of the quiet beauty that lies in our everyday, that such an intimate relationship between consumer and clothing can be forged ».

Ferguson’s beeswax coated handcrafted bags were also a favoured product, selling out at the student run Pop-Up Shop that ran alongside the exhibition.

The evening concluded with highlights from the graduate collections celebrating yet another fantastic year for the Otago Polytechnic design school.Read more at:formal dresses | short formal dresses


With the Black Friday sales coming up, now is the perfect time to get out there and buy your party outfits. At this time of the year, there is still a good choice of clothes available in most sizes. Plus, shopping in the sales is a great way to save a bit of cash.

Wear a skirt

One partywear option that seems to have been largely forgotten is to wear a nice skirt and top. This year, the pencil skirt is very much back in vogue. It is a really flattering and sexy cut that is great for a party. A sequinned or patterned pencil skirt paired with either a fitted or loose-form top looks fantastic. Best of all, if you choose a skirt all you need to do to change your look is to wear a different top. For a smarter look, or maybe a jazzier one, select the appropriate jacket.

Trouser suits and jumpsuits

Right now, there are some really lovely trouser suits available. For the right type of party, they can be a great option. Trousers tend to be warmer than a dress or skirt, so if you have a long journey on public transport to the party venue this type of outfit is an especially good option.

Jumpsuits are great fun and some are also suitable to be worn as partywear. Something bold and bright, worn with a nice wide ornate belt and the right pair of shoes can look stunning on many women.

2017 party dress trends

If you still prefer to stick to dresses, you are also in luck because the level of choice, this year, is amazing. Whether you want a glamorous maxi dress or a glittery shift dress you will be able to find it in the shops.

The little black dress has never really gone out of fashion, but it does seem that designers have favoured that look more this year. They are available in a big range of cuts. But, this year, detailed dresses are more widely available. Little touches like a gold embroidery straps or a satin sash add a little touch of class and add a little fun to what could otherwise be quite a plain looking party outfit.

Dress fabrics are for the most part rich and decadent. Think velvet combined with silk and you get the idea of what you can expect to find in the shops. Very classy and wearing these rich fabrics are a really good way to look and feel your best.

2017 partywear colour trends

This year’s colours are deep, warm and for the most part natural. Greens and blues are very on trend as are silver and shades of red. However, you do need to be careful to pick something that suits your skin tone. You can do this by checking out the colour wheel that is included in this newspaper article.Read more at:long evening dresses australia |

Tapestry appoints new creative director for Kate Spade

Tapestry, Inc., a leading New York-based house of luxury accessories and lifestyle brands, has announced that the company has appointed Nicola Glass as creative director, Kate Spade. She is expected to succeed Deborah Lloyd, the brand’s current creative director who, in the wake of the Tapestry, Inc. acquisition, made the decision to exit the brand in 2018.

Glass will ultimately report to the brand president and chief executive officer of Kate Spade, a role currently held by Tapestry, Inc.’s chief executive officer, Victor Luis, in an interim capacity. She will be responsible for leading all creative aspects of the Kate Spade brand, including all product design, brand imagery, and store environments.

Nicole Glass joins Kate Spade from Michael Kors where she currently holds the role of senior vice president of accessories design overseeing all design and development of Michael Kors collection and MICHAEL Michael Kors. Prior to Michael Kors, she worked at Gucci as an accessories designer. She holds a Masters of the Arts degree in fashion accessories from the Royal College of Art, London.

Victor Luis said, “The appointment of Nicola Glass marks an important milestone in the next chapter of the Kate Spade brand. We are extremely pleased that she will be leading the strong creative team already in place, while bringing her unique aesthetic and personal style to Kate Spade. Her depth and breadth of experience will be an invaluable asset to the business in general – and especially the design and brand teams – as we grow and develop the business globally.”

Glass said, “I’m very honoured to be joining Kate Spade as the new creative director. It is a brand I’ve long admired and I look forward to leading the team in this next chapter of Kate Spade’s evolution and growth.”Read more at:pink formal dresses | yellow formal dresses

Sabyasachi Mukherjee on the challenges of creating diamond jewellery

Armed with recycled baubles—a potpourri of semiprecious stones, bones, horns and other accoutrements of nature—Sabyasachi Mukherjee would cruise the bustling streets of erstwhile Calcutta—Park Street and Chowringhee Lane—selling his pieces in plastic tiffin boxes. This was way before he became every Indian bride’s most coveted bridal designer.

“Calcutta has a way of creeping under your skin and injecting aesthetic into your soul,” says Mukherjee. This is the city that he reminisces about the most because it thrills with the spirit of bygone days—wafting smells of warm mustard oil and jasmine, as buxom women traipse between decorating their hair with flowers and cooking ilish macher jhol (Bengali fish curry)—like no other. And where old customs are concerned, whether pre or post-British Raj, says Mukherjee, the romance of buying jewellery has been unparalleled. It was, after all, the era of slow. Shopping entailed a leisurely process of deep admiration for design and deeper contemplation over process, intermingled with many coquettish giggles and yearning sighs—all this, before you were led down the meandering road of buying and selling. “This is how precious jewellery was bought by my mother and grandmother—and this is what I want to resurrect,” says Mukherjee.

Calcutta, the vintage city of India, has shaped Mukherjee’s destiny. And he wears this like a badge of honour. The symbolism of bygone days is resplendently displayed in each of his stores in India—antique hand-painted chandeliers, time-worn rugs, ittar bottles from the raucous markets of Hyderabad and Lucknow, block-printed chintz curtains made of 200-thread count khadi. His is a specific aesthetic—retro revolution, if you may—that is the arterial lifeline that cuts through all his creative experiments, whether it’s interiors, clothing, shoes, art or, now, his new jewellery collection. Divided into three lines, it celebrates the India of yore—Fine Jewellery (diamonds and coloured stones) which, according to him, is “an amorous kinship between diamonds, rubies and emeralds”; Heritage (jadau and vintage India); and men’s jewellery.

Diamonds pose the biggest challenge for him. For him, there is a very significant difference between how an Indian customer and a Western customer buys jewellery. “The Westerner will consume it as an object of beauty, while the Indian will come with two unfailing questions (under the tutelage of her father or husband): What is the breakup of the jewellery? And what is the resale value? I find this annoying.” Mukherjee remembers the time his grandfather gave his mother an Art Deco necklace. It was set in platinum with emeralds, diamonds and jade. “I don’t think here someone would buy ‘high-value’ jewellery with jade in it. But in my opinion, it’s the jade that gives the diamonds and emeralds a flourish of vintage,” says Mukherjee. The fact is brands like Bulgari and Cartier have made a fortune by mixing fine diamonds with semi-precious stones. But in India it is still seen as an aberration to the prevailing norm of buying diamonds as ‘investment pieces’. “Indian women will come and say, ‘Can you remove the meenakari work from the back?’ or ‘Can you reduce the making charges because what I really want is the diamond?’ For me it’s akin to a woman buying couture clothes and asking if she can wear polyester underclothes because no one is going to see it,” says Mukherjee.

He is clearly unimpressed with the diamond industry in India as it stands today. “Like bad fusion food, it’s over-designed and is neither classic nor modern. I want to make small quantities of quieter, design-led diamonds with higher value that can be worn for the next 50 years. I am not into making diamonds that look like bumble bees and neckties,” says Mukherjee. The Heritage line, full of traditional nuances predominantly in gold, is what he says an intelligent, hardworking middle-class Indian wants to buy. “They don’t believe in coloured stones. But they don’t want flashy gold either.” Mukherjee, of late, has quite a following among the NRI community across the globe, especially families whose children are getting married, say, in Silicon Valley. Families from IT businesses originally from South India, West Bengal and Maharashtra appreciate this line because they look for traditional nuances with a cultured design sensibility. We all know that the NRIs have heightened sentiments about India’s heritage and culture. Owning these pieces gives them not only value but also quiet dignity and ownership of their pedigree. “They are the ones who fuel the surge in ‘organic’ weddings. They look up to the Sarabhais of Ahmedabad, Murtys of Tamil Nadu, Sarkars of Bengal. It is not Bollywood that they gravitate towards. They want a refined and quiet aesthetic.

The real dialogue is about the idea of progress. Progress is good. But how much of the past must we forsake in order to achieve it? Mukherjee deliberates substantially on this topic. “We must acknowledge the past,” he affirms. “We need to be less apologetic about it and embrace it. Simply look at the old photos of refined opulence. Today jewellery has become so generic.” He uses the same logic for his jewellery collection that he did with his textiles from Benares. “The fundamental know-how and the intricate craftsmanship are somewhat lost to the younger generation of urbanised youth. It is the older generation of craftspeople who design with joy. The youth talk statistics and price points. Jewellery needs to go back to its purest form and exuberance,” says Mukherjee.

Lack of patronage and, worse, lack of hope is what was glaring on his journey. The artisans who have extreme know-how live in abject poverty because they have out-skilled themselves in a market that demands mediocrity. And it’s the very mediocre who are laughing their way to the bank. “In Benares,” explains Mukherjee, “National Award-winning weavers live on charpoys. The ones making synthetic yarns from Surat or China have five-storeyed houses.” Mukherjee, outspoken to a fault, believes that mediocrity has pervaded the masses of India. “I want to slowly push mediocrity out of the jewellery industry by giving work to the kind of craftspeople you no longer find easily. There are phenomenal meenakari artists in Jaipur, Jodhpur and Bikaner. They cannot do the best-quality work because the market doesn’t pay for such fine and expensive craftsmanship. It is similar to the most intelligent and dynamic women in India not being able to get married because they are too qualified, too bright for the ‘wedding market’. It is the same with Bollywood. The best of actors doesn’t get the job. Where is Naseeruddin Shah? He is too good an actor for the film industry. How ironic! I want to change this.”

A year ago he acquired a stunning Golconda necklace from a family of enviable provenance. The first thing he decided was that he would photograph this piece on Indrani Dasgupta, the sultry Kolkata-based model, wearing an 800-rupees sari. “That way the sari gives dignity to the necklace and vice versa. That is the joy of creating the imagery that resonates with people. This is a journey of authenticity.”Read more at:black formal dresses | white formal dresses

Luxe in Iloilo

The Western Visayas, with Iloilo City at the forefront, is becoming a burgeoning region for fashion.

Known more as a tourism haven for its Spanish-era churches (Jaro Catherdral, Molo Church, nearby Maig-ao) and for its delicious cuisine (pansit molo, binakol chicken, Dova restaurant), the genteel city is now staking a claim as a major player in the national style scene.

For the past years, Robinsons Malls in Iloilo has been considered the leader when it comes to holding highly popular and much-awaited fashionable events in the area, such as the “Robinsons Campus Fashionista” contest and “Wedding Rituals: A Bridal Show.”

“We aim to strengthen our brand as the lifestyle and fashion shopping mall, not just in terms of a fashionable tenant mix, but also with the marketing efforts in mounting events, promotions and advertising campaigns,” said Rofel John Parreno, the regional marketing manager of Robinsons Malls for Western and Eastern Visayas.

Wedding Rituals has proven to be so successful, 16 years running, that the mall decided to conceptualize and implement another activity of this kind, with young women as the focus.

“We believe that next to weddings, proms and debuts come next when we speak of elegant and memorable occasions that a woman dreams of having,” Parreno explained.

Thus, the recent staging of “Soiree: Prom and Debut Fashion Show” at Robinsons Jaro. Young and upcomng designers were tapped to participate: Daryl Amar, Alberto Barros, Djohn Clement, Paul Conte, Alfie Desamparado, Aisha Penalosa, Jet Salcedo, Ram Silva, Cristina Ty and Manila-based guest designer Roel Rosal.

Prominent designers with Iloilo/Panay roots include Frederick Peralta, Jaki Peñalosa, Nono Palmos, Don Protacio, PJ Arañador, Eric de los Santos and Bo Parcon.

“At Soiree, we featured the top winners of our fashion-design competition, Robinsons Design Lab, so all our local participants are alumni of the tilt. They were selected by the Robinsons Marketing team. For 10 years, we have produced a good bunch of creative young Ilonggo designers who are now successfully carving their niche, not just here in Iloilo City but also in Manila and abroad. One designer, Alberto Barros, is a budding designer in Sydney, Australia,” Parreno said.

Except for Conte and Desamparado, the young designers showed two gowns each. Homegrown beauty Ruffa Nava, a Miss World Philippines and Binibining Pilipinas finalist, walked in a floral-appliqued confection for Clement. Supermodel and Ilongga icon Ria Bolivar closed Rosal’s eight-piece collection in a Vietnam silk corset and billowing tulle skirt.

“The show serves as an avenue for the young designers to showcase their brand or signature style. We also would like to promote Iloilo City as the fashion capital [and even destination] of the region with its homegrown, ingenious and youthful crop. On the other hand, we also intend to help the community in conveniently choosing their needs and wants for special purposes and occasions; in this case, for proms and debuts,” Parreno said.

From November 7 to 11, Robinsons will also host the Iloilo Designers Week. Next year the mall will revive its Design Lab competition after a break this year.

Designer Parcon, an inspiration to every young Ilonggo designer, directed Soiree. “Social media and travel have a lot to do with the development of our young talents. So, the market is ripe for them,” he added.

“I had the chance to work in Manila. Why be a prince there when you can be a king in Iloilo?” Parcon joked. “Iloilo City is my home and I want to be part of our emergence as one of the fashion capitals of the Philippines.”Read more at:long formal dresses | bridesmaid dresses

We like your style

Davina Fansher was one of the many vendors who stepped it up at this year’s Josephine Expo and brought amazing style. Fansher, who owns The Soap Lounge in Savannah, Missouri, was wearing a beautiful blue crushed-velvet dress with a deep-cut bootie with fringe.

The staff from Wear House & More in Platte City, Missouri, showcased their clothing at their Expo booth and on stage. Jamie Reynolds, manager, left, Terri Clark, owner, right, and Tess Wagner, assistant manager, center, struck a pose before heading to the stage with their family-friendly fashions.

Tori Fee played up her school spirit with a twist — literally. The St. Joseph teen paired her Missouri Western State University tee with a black miniskirt and Converse sneakers.

“We like your style” is a feature that showcases your fashion, makeup, hairstyles or anything that happens to catch the eyes of our staffers while we see you out and about. We will share a few of our favorites on this page each month.Read more at:evening dresses | formal dresses

Rihanna Channels Egyptian Queen Nefertiti in New Cover For Vogue Arabia

Rihanna graces the cover of the November issue of Vogue Arabia with a look that pays homage to ancient Egyptian Queen Nefertiti. Rihanna, who has a tattoo of the Egyptian icon on her ribcage, wears a blue headdress and a textured lace coat on the cover of the magazine, which hits newsstands Nov. 1.

A statement for the issue reads, « Rihanna is among the many creatives, from fashion designers to performers, who continue to find inspiration in this figure, whose name means ‘a beautiful woman has come.' »

Vogue Arabia editor-in-chief Manuel Arnaut elaborated, saying, « We are dedicating the issue to strong and dynamic women who are changing the world. Rihanna, our cover star, is one of them. Not only is she one of the most successful pop icons ever, shaping the entertainment industry with her powerful tunes and unique sense of style, she is also an advocate for diversity . . . With a crown designed by Faeth Millinery, Rihanna pays homage to this unforgettable queen, who still reigns as one of Ancient Egypt’s most celebrated figures. »

While Rihanna looks gorgeous as always, some people have criticized the Fenty Beauty mogul’s cover for cultural appropriation. Check out more photos from the issue and see how fans and critics are responding to the cover ahead.Read more at:formal dresses online