Sorry, no one wants your used clothes anymore

For decades, the donation bin has offered consumers in rich countries a guilt-free way to unload their old clothing. In a virtuous and profitable cycle, a global network of traders would collect these garments, grade them, and transport them around the world to be recycled, worn again, or turned into rags and stuffing.

Now that cycle is breaking down. Fashion trends are accelerating, new clothes are becoming as cheap as used ones, and poor countries are turning their backs on the secondhand trade. Without significant changes in the way that clothes are made and marketed, this could add up to an environmental disaster in the making.

Nobody is more alert to this shift than the roughly 200 businesses devoted to recycling clothes into yarn and blankets in Panipat, India. Located 55 miles north of Delhi, the dusty city of 450,000 has served as the world’s largest recycler of woolen garments for at least two decades, becoming a crucial outlet for the $4 billion used-clothing trade.

Panipat’s mills specialize in a cloth known as shoddy, which is made from low-quality yarn recycled from woolen garments. Much of what they produce is used to make cheap blankets for disaster-relief operations. It’s been a good business: At its peak in the early 2010s, Panipat’s shoddy manufacturers could make 100,000 blankets a day, accounting for 90 percent of the relief-blanket market.

In the early 2000s, though, cash-flush Chinese manufacturers began using modern mills that could produce many times more blankets per day than Panipat’s, and in a wider variety of colors. Ramesh Goyal, the general manager of Ramesh Woolen Mills, told me that Chinese manufacturing has become so efficient that a new polar fleece blanket costs a mere $2.50 retail — compared with $2 for a recycled blanket. This has made China the preferred manufacturer of relief blankets worldwide, costing Panipat most of its export market.

So Panipat is changing. Five years ago, nobody in town made new fleece blankets. Today, about 50 mills do. Ramesh Woolen Mills added a Chinese-built line in 2016, and thereby boosted its production from 7,000 kilograms a day to 12,000, two-thirds of which is polar fleece. Consumers appreciate the quality, variety and fast production times.

But what’s good for Panipat and its customers is bad news for donors and the environment. Even if Panipat were producing shoddy at its peak, it probably couldn’t manage the growing flood of used clothing entering the market in search of a second life. Between 2000 and 2015, global clothing production doubled, while the average number of times that a garment was worn before disposal declined by 36 percent. In China, it declined by 70 percent.

The rise of “fast fashion” is thus creating a bleak scenario: The tide of secondhand clothes keeps growing even as the markets to reuse them are disappearing. From an environmental standpoint, that’s a big problem. Already, the apparel industry accounts for 10 percent of global carbon emissions; as recycling markets break down, its contribution could soar.

The good news is that nobody has a bigger incentive to address this problem than the industry itself. By raising temperatures and intensifying droughts, climate change could substantially reduce cotton yields and thus make garment production less predictable and far more expensive. Industry executives are clearly concerned.

The question is what to do about it. Some brands, such Hennes & Mauritz (better known as H&M) and Patagonia, are experimenting with new fibers made from recycled material, which could help. But longer-term, the industry will have to try to refocus consumers on durability and quality — and charge accordingly. Ways to do this include offering warranties on clothing and making tags that inform consumers of a product’s expected life span. To satiate the hunger for fast fashion, meanwhile, brands might also explore subscription-based fashion rental businesses — such as China’s YCloset — or other more sustainable models.

None of these options can replace Panipat and the other mill towns that once transformed rich people’s rags into cheap clothes for the poor. But, like it or not, that era is coming to an end. Now the challenge is to stitch together a new set of solutions.Read more at:yellow formal dresses | marieaustralia

Join move to minimalism and get fashion foundations right

DON’T be afraid to be basic, darling – it could just be the key to effortless style.

Streamlining your wardrobe by starting with top-quality basics will make getting dressed in the morning a whole lot easier.

Nobody preaches the minimalist mantra more than Michael Lim, founder and designer at Her Line, a women’s swim and fashion line he says focuses on gorgeous practicality.

« Her Line was created for the modern woman,” he says.

« Through carefully considered fabrics and design, both swim and clothing collections exude a sense of timelessness and tactility.

« Every piece is designed to be effortless and easy to wear.”

Like everything in fashion, from make-up to haircuts, cultivating an air of effortlessness actually requires a fair bit of thought.

« Minimalism is about considered design through functionality and purpose,” Michael says.

« We elevate our designs through the fabrications we use, incorporating more textural elements.

« The use of colour in each season is also key – we strive to achieve a balanced colour palette through a selection of bold, neutral and feminine tones.

« For swim specifically, we focus on details such as panelling which helps to shape and contour the body for a flattering silhouette.”

These well thought out features are the difference between boring and essential – the perfect little black dress can be worn a hundred times and never get old.

The same rule applies with your everyday staple pieces too, especially in summer.

« Basics are the pieces you always reach for in the wardrobe. They never go out of style,” Michael says.

« In summer, you don’t want to over think or over complicate your look, and you don’t want to be too precious about your garments either.

« So having good-quality basics allows you to dress up or down, mix and match, and layer effortlessly.”Read more at:marieaustralia.com | long evening dresses

Shikara Dockery — Being the change

Born and raised in Tivoli Gardens, Dockery told All Woman that life was no bed of roses, but with the help of her mother she remained resolute that she would have to be the change she wanted to see.

She said her high school days at Jonathan Grant were testament to the struggles she faced, as she often relied on her friend Keisha Banton for lunch, as her mother could only afford to give her bus fare.

But she persevered under the guidance of a mother who encouraged her to edify her mind.

She was 12 when her household received its first television, and even then, the programmes she was allowed to watch were those that her mother deemed edifying.

“Back then I hardly went outside to play. I spent my time reading, being involved in spelling competitions and when we got the television the only programmes we would watch were Profile, Hill and Gully Ride and things we could learn from,” she said.

At that time, Dockery said she had dreams of becoming a police officer, but after leaving school and doing the entrance test at age 20 and waiting for two years, she forgot about the dream and was pregnant with her first child when she eventually got called.

After the birth of her eldest son, Dockery said she went back to school and again did the entrance test, but again had a long wait. When she was called, she was again pregnant, this time with her daughter. The third attempt saw the same fate and Dockery said she gave up on that dream.

But when the mother of four had to care for her ailing grandmother, now deceased, she said her focus shifted, and now she is pursuing science subjects to enter a career in nursing.

Dockery, however, pointed out that despite her setbacks, she has always remained positive.

“Whenever I hear anything bad from my community, it boosts my energy. If I go out and people ask where I am from and I say Tivoli, they ask me if I am sure. I have always faced the stigma of people saying if you’re from the inner city you’re expected to look and act in a particular way. Even while I aspired to be a police officer I was part of the youth council in West Kingston. A few of us did the test and felt like we were being given the cold shoulder. When it came around that police officers were needed, especially district constables, it was always people from the east side of Kingston or Central Kingston that were chosen. But I always said the change I want to see I have to be part of it. If I don’t live long enough I want those following in my footsteps to carry on,” she stated.

Today Dockery is the president of the Tivoli Gardens Police Youth Club, formerly known as the Presidential Clique Youth Club, and has conducted a number of community-based activities, with a noted one being a collaboration with Shaquille Henry of Faces of Tivoli to host a back-to-school treat for a family in a section of the community known as Rasta City after they lost their possessions in a fire.

Alongside that group, Dockery has also hosted a Ms Tivoli Gardens Competition and Community Festival and gender-based seminars, Sisters Speak and Brothers Speak, which saw panellists like Kamilah McDonald, Brown Shuga, Ayesha Allen and Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green.

She has also teamed up with Neville Charlton of the Positive Organisation which gave birth to a youth club summer camp where the teens from the community are taken outside of Kingston and exposed to seminars geared at equipping them with soft skills and ultimately effecting change. There is also a meeting each Thursday at 6:00 pm that sees different speakers coming into the community to talk about jobs, résumé preparation and to offer other forms of encouragement.

But Dockery said, despite these efforts, several challenges remain, one being teen pregnancy and disinterest from some youth.

“It’s no longer the village raising the child, so you have to contend with children who think they are adults. We have programmes and instances where HEART has come in and said we need at least 50 persons to offer this skill training and very few turn up, so getting children interested in many opportunities is definitely something we are always working on,” she said.

She added: “But I am not giving up on them. We need social intervention programmes, parenting workshops to deal with children with behavioural issues, and some of these have to be held outside of the community to let them see there’s a larger world other than the world they live in. Many don’t leave the community unless they are going to school. We also have to get the ones who are young.”

Outside of her duties, she enjoys spending time with family, but at the forefront of her thoughts is her personal philosophy, “Where I come from doesn’t determine who I am or where I go.”Read more at:special occasion dresses | evening dresses online

Juliana Evans taking over the reins

HAVING tied the knot in April, followed by a magical wedding reception in Langkawi in November, actress and TV host Juliana Evans is blissfully in love.

And, it is only fitting that the 28-year-old be made the new host of TV3’s Mahligai Cintaprogramme, which celebrates weddings. She takes over the reins from actress Mira Filzah, who will helm TV3’s longest-running wo-men magazine show Nona.

Juliana will begin her stint on the weekly bridal show when it airs on Thursday at 11.30am.

“Now that I am married, I am definitely more confident about discussing wedding-related matters,” she said when contacted by the New Straits Times yesterday.

Juliana said she was not into the frills and fancies of a wedding until she had to plan her own.

“I am more knowledgeable about the preparations for a wedding, so much so that I feel like I want to plan another one all over again.”

Having hosted programmes since she was 12, including teen show Remaja in 2007, Juliana felt that Mahligai Cinta is her biggest gig as a permanent host for a full season in a while.

“In order to prepare myself for this, I watched a lot of magazine shows like Say Yes To The Dressto learn not only about wedding dresses, but also hosting techniques used by more prominent and experienced television presenters.

“I rewatched programmes that I have hosted to ensure that I bring something different and new to the table for Mahligai Cinta.”

On top of that, Juliana, who has been practising her diction and voice projection, even worked at improving her command of Bahasa Malaysia.

TV3, in a press statement, said Juliana was equipped to present Mahligai Cinta well, considering her years of experience in show business.

The 30-minute programme, now in its 13th season, will not only feature coverage of wedding receptions, but also discuss the latest trends in bridal fashion and offer wedding planning tips.

Juliana, whose husband is Selangor royal Tengku Shariffuddin Shah Tengku Sulaiman Shah Al-Hajj, said she would focus more on hosting instead of acting for the time being. She is currently filming TV1’s travelogue Fly Us To Asia, which she co-hosts with actress-singer Liyana Jasmay.

Mahligai Cinta first premiered in 2011 and has seen fashion designer Datuk Jovian Mandagie, actress Izreen Azmida, make-up artist Raja Azureen Eleena Raja Zulkifli and Clever Girl Season 1 winner Fatin Nuraisya as its hosts.Read more at:cheap formal dresses | marieaustralia

13 Things Every Woman Should Know Before Shopping for a Wedding Dress Online

The traditional way to shop for a wedding dress is to book an appointment at a local bridal shop and round the troops to watch you find « the one » — but it isn’t the only way. Thanks to the Internet and social media, indie and international brands are gaining more exposure and are growing more popular, but sometimes the only way to purchase a dress from one of these is to order it online. If the idea of shopping for such an important gown without trying it on in person intimidates you, here are some tips from Megan Ziems, founder of online wedding boutique Grace Loves Lace, to make your experience a little less daunting.

1. Read the description section very closely, and pay special attention to which fabrics are used to make the dress and how they’re constructed. Ziems says traditional gowns made from rigid fabrics, boning, and structure are high-risk purchases because they have no give if the sizing isn’t spot on. A stretch material, like a stretch lace, is the best way to go to ensure a good fit.

2. Look for key terms to see if your white gown will be see-through or not. White clothing in general is tricky to shop for online, because it’s difficult to tell if something will be sheer based on a staged photo. If the details of the garment say « fully lined, » that means the dress is constructed with a separate layer of fabric on the inside, which will prevent it from being see-through. If it’s only « partially lined, » that could mean the gown is sheer, or at least in some areas, so send an inquiry for more information.

3. Not all places allow you to try before you buy, so know what you’re getting into. If you’re lucky enough to live close to a brand’s showroom, stop by and try on a sample before submitting your order. If not, there are other ways to tell the look and feel of your dress before buying. Online wedding boutique Floravere allows you try on sample gowns in your home before making your selection for a small rental fee of $25 per item (but it can be credited toward your final purchase!). Daughters of Simone and Grace Loves Lace offer the option to order a swatch of fabric from the dress to see the color and quality in person. Or shop fast-fashion brands, like Reformation, which offer the same standard return policy for all online orders.

4. Deciding between true white and ivory isn’t as big of a decision as you might think. Ziems says this decision is a matter of taste more than anything else and says most people suit all. If your wedding has a soft and romantic vibe, go with ivory. Or if you prefer a striking, crisp look, Ziems says to opt for true white.

5. Don’t be afraid to try a new silhouette. If you know which shape works for you and want to stick with it, by all means. But Ziems encourages brides to not be afraid to try something a little different — your wedding day is your day to stand out, and sometimes wearing the unexpected is even better. Choose the parts of your body you’d like to highlight, and let that be your guide.

6. But if in doubt, choose a dress with a fitted bodice and loose skirt. A dress with a fitted bust, under bust, and waist is a traditional wedding shape and suits many body types.

7. If you prefer support in the bust area, search for keywords for that as well. Descriptions like « bust support » or « built-in cups » (or lack thereof!) are key when shopping for a dress that’ll give you the coverage you want.

8. Search social tags to see how the dresses look in real life on real brides. If a website looks sketchy or too good to be true, it probably is, but see if you can find any brides who shopped there for their big day.

9. Take advantage of the live chat help. If your online bridal retailer of choice doesn’t offer that, reach out to them by e-mail or social media to get a conversation going. Although you might know your body and taste, the team of stylists on the other end know the dresses best and can help if you communicate clearly what you want.

11. Know how to take your own measurements. It’s key to ensuring a good fit. Find a friend to help you and a tape measure, and follow a tutorial to make sure you’re measuring exactly the right areas.

12. Don’t forget to factor in extra costs, like shipping, taxes, and additional tailoring. If you’re shopping online to save money, remember that the price you see on the site isn’t necessarily the final amount you’ll spend on the dress. If the gown isn’t made-to-order, you’ll likely need to see a tailor, which will cost extra.

13. Just because you’re ordering your dress online doesn’t necessarily mean it will be ready in a few days. Just like going to a traditional shop, the gowns are often custom-made and can take up to five months to complete. As with anything, a rush fee is always an option, but don’t assume that buying online ensures a 2-3 day delivery.Read more at:cheap formal dresses | marieaustralia.com

Three is a charm

 

(Photo:cocktail dresses)After many online forecasts, the doors were finally open for gowns and tuxedos to sweep by. As the ballroom filled with more than 150 fashion fanatics, anticipation grew more evidently in the air. Unlike any other event, it was the end of this one that everyone looked out for.

With renowned names such as Dubai Design and Fashion Council CEO Jazia Al Dhanhani, and international judges Reem Acra, Aquazzura’s Edgardo Osorio, and Conde Nast’s Karina Dobrotvorskaya lined up for talks, it was Vogue Arabia’s Editor in Chief Manuel Arnaut’s announcement that had everyone applaud and holding their breath.

The DDFC/Vogue Fashion prize has once again returned to offer a strong boost for a number of regional talents. The nominees represented a diversity of countries and design aesthetics. After months of online hype and one long day for the jury committee to meet and evaluate each talent, a winner for each of the categories was announced amid encouraging cheers and deafening standing-ovation.

The Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai Hotel witnessed the heartfelt celebration of ready to wear designer Faissal El-Malak, accessory designer Joanna Laura Constantine, and fine jewellery designer Nadine Ghosn as they jumped and twirled in excitement, knowing that the paths of their brands are about to be turned around.

Aside from the regional and international recognition, DDFC provides a vital push for the winners. Former winners such as Hussein Bazaza and Okhtein have utilised the award to take their brands internationally as well as develop their regional production and presence.

This year’s winners are set to receive a number of prizes that collectively sum up to more than USD 250,000. They will be given a financial grant, which should reflect on the brand’s production. On the other hand, they will also receive a retail pick-up from Harvey Nichols -Dubai and Bloomingdale’s – Kuwait.

With that said, the key benefits are the mentorship period provided by one of the committee members as well as an advertising campaign to promote their upcoming retail collection.

The vogue fashion prize started with one category, ready to wear, in the year 2015, and went to Lebanese talent Hussein Bazaza. Since then, an ‘accessories’ category was added to the festival, while this year’s ceremony witnessed the first ‘fine jewellery’ winner.

Faissal El-Malak is a cultural veteran, who uses fabrics to unite borders. The ready-to-wear outfit designer is best known for advocating local craftsmanship across the region. El-Malak personally allocates artisans in countries such as Yemen, Tunis, and Egypt.

His work is a token of authenticity that pays tribute to the region’s incomparable hand-woven fabrics. With a colour pallet inspired by the Arab world’s earthly tones and androgynous silhouettes, the Palestinian designer addresses those who appreciate art and history.

On the other hand, Joanna Laura Constantine has strong women at the core of her designs. The accessories master juggles Swarovski crystals and pearls, while shaping rhodium to create a well-detailed, modern-day equivalent of armours for contemporary women. armoire

Constantine’s most-celebrated designs borrow geometry from tribal fashion as well as cursive doodles from abstract art. For her SS18 collection, the Lebanese designer wraps her heroines with gold-plated strands encrusted with a rainbow of crystals. Meanwhile, she gracefully turns belts into stackable gold rings and bangles.

Wrapped up in miniature fast-food boxes; diamonds, rubies, and gold in Ghosn’s collection assemble to form a precious burger sandwich, complete with metaphoric ketchup, onion and lettuce. Nadine Ghosn transforms several delicacies into fine jewellery for a young and digitally-obsessed clientele. The eclectic designer turns to food and technology for unexpected inspiration.

Due to her few years in the Far East, Ghosn is known for diamond and emerald sushi rolls as well as a number of mouth-watering pendants. The constantly-smiling designer walked home with the newest award thanks to her ability to create jewellery with the potential to document current global social trends.Read more at:http://www.marieaustralia.com

Emma Willis takes revealing selfie midway through beauty treatment

Emma Willis is renowned for her natural good looks, and over the weekend the TV presenter shared an insight into her beauty regime with fans on social media. Taking to Instagram, the wife of Matt Willis shared a fun selfie of her enjoying a spot of pampering after a long day at work, which was quickly praised by fans. In the picture, Emma was seen with her face mask on while enjoying a tasty snack, which she captioned: « Best way to end the working day! Face mask. And a big fat chip #thevoiceuk. »

Comments soon came in after Emma uploaded the photo, with one writing: « I love the fact you don’t take yourself so seriously, » while another said: « Reminds me of Jim Carrey in The Mask. » A third added: « Love this face mask. »

Emma Willis delighted fans with a revealing beauty selfie showing how she relaxes after work

This isn’t the first time that Emma has made fans laugh with her down-to-earth sense of humour. Earlier in the year, she posted a photo of herself with her hair styled in a volume-heavy quiff, which was quickly likened to Cameron Diaz’s character Mary in the hit film, There’s Something About Mary. One of Emma’s followers wrote in the comments section: « There’s something about Emma. »

Emma is renowned for her down-to-earth sense of humour

And while Emma enjoys to poke fun at herself, there is no denying that she has a natural flare for fashion – something that has earnt her a loyal fan as a result. During her TV appearances, the star is known to share detailed outfit posts on Instagram with the hashtag #whatyouwearingwillis. Emma typically opts for monochrome ensembles and is a fan of both designer and high street labels, including Victoria Beckham, Topshop and Next – the store she has been a style ambassador for since September.

The star collaborated with the popular British fashion brand to pick out her favourite pieces from their current winter collection, and even worked her magic in front of the lens in a series of stunning images. Stand-out outfits from the range include an all-black trouser suit, featuring a semi-sheer blouse, high-waisted trousers, a tailored jacket and patent black boots. Cosy chunky knit jumpers, leather jackets and skinny jeans also make the cut.Read more at:marieaustralia.com | evening dresses

DAME HELEN MIRREN APPROVED COMPANY AIMS TO TAKE DOWN FUR INDUSTRY

Where animal fur was once a powerhouse in the fashion industry, it is now becoming a niche item desired by few people.

To many, the realities of the fur industry remain hidden, and concerningly a lot of real fur is being marketed as faux. Getting fur from animals is not like a haircut, and these animals are kept in terrible conditions, often overfed and contained in small, hard, wire cages, and often suffer from physical and emotional problems. In order for their fur to be harvested, they are eventually killed.

Thankfully, fashion designer Anna Tagliabue, founder of Pelush, a luxury faux fur brand, is here to put a stop to that.

Currently, the fur industry is worth about 40 billion, in part due to the fact that fur products are often priced incredibly high when they are being marketed as real, which certainly helps with turning a large profit. Tagliabue shows no fear from taking on such a large industry, and instead, remembers being inspired to think about fur from animal activists that protested runway shows, with their banners and chants about the violence glamorized by the fashion world. With her New York-based startup, Tagliabue says she hopes to start a “Refauxlution.”

Tagliabue says any fur can be mimicked these days. “The fabrics are becoming more beautiful every year. There’s no more excuses for wearing real fur.” Aside from realistic looking and feeling faux fur, Tagliabue’s designs are often embroidered with other unique elements like flowers, french lace, and sparkling vintage glass.

The brand has made a strong impression thus far. Celebrities — like actress Dame Helen Mirren — are repping the brand on red carpets, on stages, and on album covers. Back in December 2016, Dame Helen Mirren wore a blue jacket, adorned with a Humane Society anti-fur pin at the New York film premiere of her film, Collateral Beauty.

Many argue, that it would be best for real and faux fur to stop appearing in wardrobes. However, Tagliabue says, “Women’s obsession with ornamentation will never go away.” She continues, “The only way you’re going to kill the fur industry is to give customers the best possible option to real fur. This is not only about fashion or a fur revolution, it’s a revolution of the heart and soul.”

While the obsession with ornamentation is hardly exclusive to women, Tagliabue has a point. For now, the best thing the vegan and animal rights movement can do is invest in brands crafting quality faux furs so that maybe, someday, we’ll see the development of a culture where fur is no longer viewed as an option.

In the meantime, we can celebrate the work of the Fur Free Retailer, whose work has led to brands like Gucciand Burlington Coat Factory — who joined Armani, Zara, Hugo Boss and many others — ditching animal fur.

More and more these days, people are putting in the work to save animals. Scientific American reports that it’s clear that activism (or something else) has definitely had an effect on the fur industry, with decreases in fur farms and increases in anti-fur legislation.

In addition, research is showing that fur is not sustainable for the environment or the people who make it, as dangerous chemicals play a large role in keeping the product “fresh.” The facts are coming out and people are using them to make a difference.

As they say, times are changing.Read more at:long evening dresses | cheap formal dresses

Inside the Dior exhibit

 

(Photo:formal dresses canberra)Legendary designer Christian Dior, who resurrected the world of Parisian couture after the Second World War, went on to make an enduring impression in the world of fashion.

He broke onto the scene with his first collection in 1947, and an exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum highlighting the first decade of the House of Dior opens in Toronto on Saturday. “This exhibition tells the story of the House of Dior, but it also tells about Canada and Toronto in haute couture,” said New York-based Bronwyn Cosgrave, a fashion historian and former features editor of British Vogue, who’s in town for the launch.

The stunning exhibit based on the ROM’s own collection (which is being shown for the first time) is arranged thematically from daytime to evening wear, accompanied with Dior accessories, contemporary film, sketches and fashion photographs.

The ROM’s collection began with a Dior dinner dress donated by Signy Eaton in 1956, said Alexandra Palmer, the ROM’s Nora E. Vaughan senior curator, who put together the exhibit. She noted that Dior paid incredible attention to detail, piecing together the finest materials with excellent craftsmanship for every garment.

One such example is the Celanese acetate satin blend by luxury manufacturer Robert Perrier, which was made from the cellulose pulp of trees in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. It was used as the ground fabric for Ginisty et Quénolle’s embroidery sample, which inspired Dior’s Palmyre evening dress (both of which are in the exhibition).

Dior’s mastery of couture quickly established the House, which is marking its 70th anniversary this year. “If you bought Dior clothes you were never out of fashion,” said Palmer, who’s companion book Christian Dior: History & Modernity, 1947-1957 will be published in 2018.

“Dior was an international name and everyone knew him,” she said. “If you were not buying Dior, you were buying something inspired by Dior. And Canadian women wanted to be in fashion as much as anyone else. Canadians were right there for the first collection.”

Many of the pieces in the exhibit were donated by socialites of the period from Montreal and Toronto. The exhibit features beautiful dresses and more than 100 objects, including everything from exquisite embroidery examples to footwear.

In the post-war period Dior wanted not only to re-establish Paris as a centre for couture, but also to make women feel beautiful again, Palmer said. His first collection, which featured soft shoulders, a cinched waist, accentuated hips and long, full skirts, swept away the wartime masculine silhouette and led to a fashion revolution.

Dior was born in Granville, France in 1905 and began his career as a freelance designer in Paris in 1935. In 1941, he joined the house of Lucien Lelong and in 1946 he set up his own couture house, presenting his first collection, known as the “New Look” on Feb. 12, 1947.

Dior’s influence continues to this day. And the ROM is hosting a variety of events to explore the world of Dior throughout the exhibit, which runs until March 18.Read more at:plus size formal dresses

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