fashion tips

In the name of fashion


Of the 121 designers from 14 different countries, six tight-lipped Canterbury designers have been selected to compete for this year's World of Wearable Art (WOW) awards.

Now in its 29th year, the international design competition and New Zealand's largest annual theatrical production attracts around 60,000 fashion enthusiasts to Wellington each year.

WOW finalists, Christchurch designers and sisters Natasha English and Tatyanna Meharry, look ahead to their fifth finalist garment entry since 2013 taking the stage next month. Their garment, in the open category, makes a statement about the "ugly" state of New Zealand's mental health issues.

"The costume is about issues to do with mental health and just trying to look at it from a different angle, the politics of drugs and prescriptions and medication, and the effects which don't affect only the person, but their entire family," Meharry said.

"We take it seriously that it's a wearable art, but we have to provoke the audience. It just can't be stuff stuck together because it looks pretty. Sometimes it's ugly."

From an artistic family, the sisters won the Supreme Award in their first year working as a team in 2013 and have just returned from their two-week internship at Weta Workshop in Wellington in the costume department.

"We both knew how to sew by the time we were five. We were encouraged to be creative. We're pretty lucky," said Meharry.

WOW finalist, Christchurch designer Janice Elliott, was secretive about her finalist garment in the illumination illusion category, which was her 14th finalist entry in 11 years.

Elliott said it was a fantastic experience being a part of the shows.

"People think it's just a few fashion garments but it's not, it's all the theatrical stuff too. It's just mind-blowing," she said.

"You come out of there thinking 'Wow, that's amazing'."

She said the shows had changed over the years since her first show in 2006.

"Even to just get in now, it's hard. But I managed to scrape in and get to go and have a look.

"You get hooked in. You get addicted. Now I'm thinking I've got an idea for next year. I always end up doing it again."

Canterbury designers Naomi Flasher, Tina Hutchison-Thomas and Loretta Sloan will join English, Meharry and Elliott in Wellington for the WOW awards show from September 21 to October 8.Read more at:prom dresses | cocktail dresses


Posted by pink at 16:14Comments(0)

Meet Mutaharugo


Hard work pays, goes an old adage; and the success of an entrepreneur depends on their ability to always search for and take full advantage of every opportunity. These words of wisdom from sages of years gone define 24-year-old entrepreneur, Tina Mutaharugo.

Orphaned by the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the founder of Ibyiwacu Fashion Design, a fashion and design house in Kigali, found stimulus and drive to build a better future for herself and that of other Rwandans, especially the youth.

The loss of her parents and relatives in the Genocide also provided inspiration to overcome any obstacles, she says.

Like the proverbial phoenix, Mutaharugo’s resolve is to rise from the ashes and make it big in the fashion industry, and create jobs for other youth, particularly young women.

I do not worry about not having a job despite the harsh situations I passed through as a genocide survivor, says Mutaharugo. The youthful designer makes a range of women and men’s clothes, including jackets, trousers, dresses and caps, using African fabrics, as well as necklaces, traditional hats and beads.

Starting out

As a young girl growing up in post-genocide Rwanda, Mutaharugo admired well-dressed people and always wanted to ‘dress smart’. She was also fascinated by trade and entrepreneurship, which is one of the reasons why she decided pursue a degree course in economics and business at university.

Mutaharugo started saving some of her pocket money while still at University Libre de Kigali (ULK) in preparation for her future business venture. The enterprising young woman first conducted research on the nature of the local fashion industry to avoid some of the challenges that start-up businesses face.

With her savings and some additional money contributed by family members, Mutaharugo had Rwf1 million to kick-start the enterprise in 2015.

She says women entrepreneurs, like Katy Bashabe, Sonia Mugabo and Chantal Uwizeyimana, were her role models, and gave her the inspiration to start up her business and keep going in case of challenges.

Later, as government proposed to ban used clothes and shoes, it challenged her to work harder and eventually decided to concentrate on the venture to bridge the gap.


Mutaharugo says the local fashion industry is still young and sector pioneers control much of the market share, which means that start-ups like hers must work harder and innovate to stay afloat.

“For new entrants, it is always hard to penetrate the market or gain customer trust. So, one has no choice but to be innovative and make unique designs to attract buyers as well as create a niche market,” Mutaharugo explains.

The lack of raw materials and equipment also affects the enterprise. The designer adds that equipment is also costly, with sewing machines going for Rwf1 million each. Bulk buyers of fabrics need over Rwf2 million, which is too high and requires one’s business to be doing well to afford such operational costs.


Mutaharugo, who formerly depended on charity for basic needs and school fees is now financially independent and is able to provide for her needs.

The young entrepreneur earns Rwf1.5 million profit per month from the business.

She has been able to get big clients including companies and political parties that order for corporate wear, such as T-shirts, shirts, blouses. She also makes bridal attire. The young entrepreneur conducts special exhibitions at Camp Kigali and Car Park Inn to attract new buyers and grow her market.

At the recent exhibition, she was able to rake in Rwf3 million. Last year, she was contracted to make costumes for performers during the Ubumuntu annual arts festival. The event brings together different artistes from around the world to showcase their craft.

Mutaharugo presently employs 10 permanent staff.

Future plans

Mutaharugo has eyes on the regional and global fashion scenes. “Not many Rwandan entrepreneurs sell products abroad. So, I want to join the few local designers that export fabrics to regional and other markets,” she says. She is banking on her innovation and the dynamic team she works with to achieve this feat. Mutaharugo says the enterprise is driven by innovation, creativity and dynamism.

“Some people are satisfied with being small…That’s not me as I always want to advance. That’s why I am working hard to open other fashion houses around town in the near future,” she adds.

Mutaharugo is a member of the Fashion Designers Co-operatives, which she believes will play a significant role in “supporting me either financially or morally in my expansion plans”.

Advice to youth

Mutaharugo urges youth to be risk-takers, arguing that success is not for the faint-hearted. The entrepreneur says many young people have very good business ideas but never implement them because they fear taking that “critical first step”.

She adds that some are ‘crippled’ by elitist thinking that promotes white collar jobs and demeans entrepreneurship and vocational skills. She urges young people especially girls to embrace innovation in order to move to the next level.Read more at:red carpet dresses | marieprom


Posted by pink at 15:11Comments(0)

Catwalk debut


Until July 29, the Queen Elizabeth Theatre is hosting the inaugural Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week (VIFW). With more than 40 designers, artists and performers taking part, VIFW showcases authentic Indigenous art and design.

The four-day event is being produced by Joleen Mitton, a model who spent 17 years starring in campaigns for the likes of Kenzo, Vivienne Westwood and Clinique. Mitton was born and raised in East Vancouver and is of Plains Cree, French and Scottish heritage.

As a fashion model, Mitton often witnessed the global fashion industry’s appropriation of Indigenous symbolism and culture, including on designs from a fashion house in Taiwan that she was asked to model.

“They didn't realize they were putting stolen iconography on a model who is connected to the source of those symbols,” she says. “It was outright appropriation of Indigenous art with no concern for the meaning of them, for what those symbols represented or who created them in the first place. It was all just appearance – surfaces.”

After leaving her modelling career behind, Mitton was eventually inspired by the young women she met at the Pacific Association of First Nation Women's Mentor Me program to create VIFW.

“They were looking for role models in mainstream culture, and saw nobody that looked like themselves, nobody who represented their culture. Being in foster care, very few of them had connections with their Indigenous roots,” she says. “They were looking for identity that they could relate to, ways of wearing their identity that included them as whole people. That was when I realized that I could use my experience of fashion, and turn it into empowering experiences for the young Indigenous women I was working with.”

As VIFW gets underway, Mitton says that, beyond showcasing Indigenous art and design, the most critical aspect of the project are the new avenues it’s creating for young people.

“What's most important to the whole group, and myself, is that the mentorships and experiences that we can create for the girls and boys, young women and men finding their Indigenous identity and their ways in the world, stays at our centre,” she says. “They are our heart.”Read more at:graduation gowns | red carpet dresses


Posted by pink at 15:59Comments(0)

French Girl beauty


If you've gone anywhere near beauty blogs or the actual internet over the last decade you're familiar with the French Girl aesthetic. It's a glittering melange of unbridled sexuality, twee Tomboyishness, and aloof sophistication, which sounds contradictory until you look around at the iconic women it's based on, (and the amount of revenue their identities have generated for countless brands.)

Think Brigitte Bardot. Jane Birkin on the arm of Serge Gainsbourg. Leslie Caron, but only in the 1960s. Jean Seberg in Breathless. It is only Catherine Deneuve who is allowed to transcend her youth.

Earlier this month, Eliza Cooke wrote in shrewd detail about the billion-dollar myth of the French Girl, tracing its real origins back to what is essentially America's uptight projection of what it is to be a member of a wildly chic tribe of women, who, as Cooke writes, include only those "bicycling along the Seine in mini-skirts with baguettes tucked under their arms."

Australia too, has latched on to the idea of the Parisian princess, albeit with less froth than your average champagne-sipping, Breton-stripe-wearing American beauty influencer.

The reason, one might hypothesise, is because Australians are a little more laidback than our American counterparts, a little more cynical, too. This means that French-flavoured beauty mythology in Australia leans more toward an unvarnished, (read: young hipster) ideal. We're talking France via Fitzroy; rue Saint Honore via Redfern.

Oh, we love our pink roses, our Diptyque candles, our kohl-pencil cat eye makeup. But we're not about to tie our hair in grosgrain ribbons and go prancing toward the closest Chanel makeup counter. That would be, in a phrase, Le Basic.

This is not to suggest that the French aesthetic carries less allure for Aussies. But what exactly is it? And why, after almost a century, does it still persist?

The cornerstone of the French Girl myth is the seductive promise that you don't have to follow the hyper-restrictive rules of post-modern beauty.

Hyper-restrictive? Excusez-moi?

These days, women can be ridiculous, hideous, vain, craven, immoral, bland and or stupid and still be held aloft as a role model provided they have a pleasing, (youthful) face, and fat deposits in the right areas.

These are the rules and if you obey them then everything else you do will be called "empowering." But in France, you may have your cheese and eat it too. And then roll your eyes at all those silly lactose intolerant individuals and their striving for -- how to say? – bull shit.

If you follow the (mythologised) French, you don't have to worry about looking bad while hung-over, all you need is an aggressively seductive lipstick and last night's eyeliner. For skincare, you use a small, perfect bottle of lavender oil or its equivalent.

You don't have to give up smoking, you don't have to exercise, as long as you're having plenty of sex, (and you don't have to worry about your sexual dignity because in France, you see, nobody is so uptight as to demand monogamy).

The hair on the French Girl's head is never brushed, it's teased and tussled and promptly forgotten in favour of deep intellectual pursuits. She is either naturally buxom or naturally small-breasted, either way, the only bras she owns are for the boudoir.

And here is the trouble with the French Girl Myth. It is not, as NYMagplayfully asserted, the ability to slap "French" onto any random act and make it marketable. Sad to say, the French Girl aesthetic is not quite that vague.

No, the greater problem is that, while The French Girl appears to sit topless on the beach, cigarette in one hand, book in another, while she laughs at our neediness to conform to restrictive beauty standards, the truth is that she has her own she follows just as closely, they're just a different set of rules.

As iconic French fashion blogger, Garance Dore once put it, "the French woman is a nice and beautiful myth". And just like every "grass is greener" tale, this one has its own version. "French women," she admits, "would love to be like American women."Read more at:prom dresses | evening dresses


Posted by pink at 15:59Comments(0)

New York Fashion Week


Torrid, which designs and retails apparel, lingerie, swimwear, accessories and footwear for the plus-size woman, is the first plus-size women’s fashion brand to present at NYFW: The Shows as part of IMG. The runway show will take place Sept. 12.

The catwalk will be a showcase for the brand’s third annual Model Search competition, serving as the semifinal competitive round for the top 10 finalists. Selected by a panel of judges who include “Project Runway” winner Ashley Nell Tipton, celebrity makeup artist Priscilla Ono and model Candice Huffine, the finalists will walk the runway before going on to a third and final round of competition, where the winner will be selected by Torrid friends and fans.

Torrid’s model search kicked off in May, with online submissions followed this summer by live casting in Los Angeles, Seattle, Houston and Atlanta. The retailer has also extended its search to Canada for the first time, with a live casting in Ontario. Last year, 10,000 women applied. The winner will have the title “Face of Torrid 2018” and will receive a Torrid modeling contract and wardrobe. She will also host Torrid store openings and events as a brand ambassador, will be featured in seasonal fashion campaigns and will appear on the brand’s social media channels throughout the year. Applications are being taken at through Aug. 13.

On the runway, Torrid will preview of its spring 2018 collection, featuring 40 looks representing key trends for the upcoming season, including edgy rock ‘n’ roll, romantic boho, hand embroidery and painted elements. The company produces clothing for sizes 10 to 30. NYX Professional Makeup is the official makeup sponsor.

“As a brand that is committed to helping all customers find her personal style, we at Torrid feel it is important to showcase the diversity of plus offerings on the most influential stage in fashion,” said Kay Hong, chief executive officer of the Los Angeles-based Torrid, which has more than 500 stores throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as selling at “Ultimately our objective is to show great fashion combined with body positivity and inclusivity.”

Catherine Bennett, senior vice president and managing director of IMG Fashion, added, “We appreciate the brand’s commitment to size inclusiveness and body-positive message and believe they are an excellent partner as we continue pushing the boundaries of the fashion industry.”Read more at:prom dresses 2017 | evening dresses


Posted by pink at 16:54Comments(0)

Georgia on our Mind


Nino Sanaia was born in Tbilisi, Georgia and lived there until she was seven, before moving to Walkinstown in Dublin. Sanaia was always creative and artistic, but it wasn’t until college that she realised her true calling.

“I was always interested in art, and I spent a lot of my childhood drawing and painting,” she says. “I always made little clothes for my dolls but I never really considered a career in fashion. My portfolio when I applied to the National College of Art & Design was very fine art-orientated, and it wasn’t until halfway into my first year that I realised I wanted to study fashion.”

Sanaia completed her joint honours in fashion design and history of visual culture at NCAD, where her striking graduate collection explored the concept of binary masculinity.

“Identifying uniforms to be the pinnacle of masculine dress, the primary influences are the traditional dress of a Georgian warrior, called a Chokha,” Sanaia explains. “I was also influenced by more modern military uniforms from the 1900s. The collection also mimics the performative nature of gender in relation to sex through the exploration of attachment, detachment and transformability.”

Sanaia adores researching her designs and finding inspiration from the historical and cultural contexts from different eras.

“I also get a lot of inspiration from art and design,” enthuses Sanaia, “especially designers like Jean Prouvé and Jacques Adnet. The research dictated everything: the mood, the silhouette, the fabric and the construction.”

The result is a beautiful collection that is strong, controlled and functional, with the masculine energy softened by screen printed fabrics and tactile textiles such as shearling. It was met well-deserved praise, and Sanaia was awarded runner-up in the Brown Thomas Designer to Watch Competition. She was also shortlisted for Persil’s Irish Fashion Awards, the River Island Bursary and Young Designer of the Year. One of the outfits from Sanaia’s graduate collection was purchased by L’Oreal.

This critical acclaim allowed Sanaia to walk into incredible, high-profile design jobs, and she has worked at Proenza Schouler for the Spring 2016 show and again last season for Fall 2017. Sanaia is currently in New York City working for The Row and is finding herself flooded with new inspiration and a desire to challenge herself.

“Since I left college and started working for Proenza and The Row I’ve been so inspired by the amazing designers I’m getting to work with. Their process and passion is amazing to see and be a part of. This industry has some of the most intelligent and talented people in the world. The way they think and work is so interesting to me.”Read more at:cheap prom dresses | evening dresses


Posted by pink at 17:04Comments(0)

Laura Chaplin


Laura Chaplin, granddaughter of world-famous actor Charlie Chaplin, is the new ambassador of Cotton made in Africa (CmiA). The young fashion designer wants to support the initiative for sustainable cotton farming through her label 'Smile by Laura Chaplin'.

“I really wanted to be ambassador for Cotton made in Africa, because we share the same values. We want to make the world a happier place”, explains Chaplin her decision to support Cotton made in Africa and the 695,000 smallholder cotton farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa CmiA is working with.

In addition, the designer in whose life creative art has always played a predominant role and whose label is characterised by a positive way of life and humanity, is inspired in her work by the initiative and by the beauty of Africa. “ Cotton made in Africa had a great influence on my designs. With them I want to give people along the textile chain a reason to smile - from the farmer to the consumer.”

“Laura Chaplin and Cotton made in Africa are united in their goal to improve the living and working conditions of cotton farmers and to promote nature conservation in Africa. Together, we want to spread a smile around the world - for the farmers, nature and consumers alike”, confirms CmiA's managing director Tina Stridde, who feels honoured to work with Chaplin.

In this video interview, Laura Chaplin talks about her life, her new label Smile by Laura Chaplin and her role as CmiA ambassador.Read more at:mermaid prom dresses | cocktail dresses uk


Posted by pink at 18:17Comments(0)

The right royal way to wash face


OVER the past couple of weeks, a famous family down south washed a lot of dirty linen in public. But that’s not what I want to talk about today. Instead, I am going public with how I wash my face.

Before you roll your eyes in irritation, please allow me to make my case.

You see, the way I clean my visage is exactly the same as a certain royal person. And how she does it is big, hot news in the English-speaking world, I kid you not.

I am talking about Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, queen-in-waiting/training, hands-on mother of young royals and gorgeous fashion icon, which all together makes her a worthy successor to her late, great mother-in-law, Princess Diana.

Like Diana, the British media covers Kate in minute detail, so when her make-up artist Arabella Preston revealed her regal “beauty secret” last month to Kathleen Hou, a beauty journalist for the website The Cut, the news was widely picked up from Australia to the United States.

And what was the big secret? Kate uses a flannel cloth to wash her face.

That was it but when I Googled “Kate Middleton flannel”, I was amazed to see the frenzy over this bit of revelation with headlines like:

Kate Middleton’s key to a flawless finish is a flannel (Daily Mail Online), Americans can’t believe Kate Middleton uses a flannel to wash her face (, Kate Middleton: Duchess of Cambridge uses this 99p beauty SECRET to get her perfect skin ( and so on.

Preston sagely explained that washing one’s face with a towel with firm but soft fibres was “quite necessary” because it removes make-up and dirt as well as exfoliates the skin.

Well, if Hou had done a bit of research, she might have stumbled on a story about supermodel Qiqi’s own secret beauty weapon.

And yes, it’s a face towel, too.

Qiqi revealed that to me when I met her in Japan in 2010 during an SK-II assignment. She was in her early 40s and she looked sensational, as expected of an ambassador for the luxury Japanese skincare brand.

I wrote: “Everything about Chinese supermodel Qiqi turns heads: her height (1.8m), her long glossy hair, her elegant features and her to-die-for complexion.”

She was in Tokyo to promote SK-II but she had no qualms sharing se­veral simple beauty tricks, like using a face cloth.

This is what she told me:

“Ten years ago, I would wash my face with just my hands. At that time, I was working a lot in Tokyo and everyone thought that was the best way to clean your face. Then a make-up artist from Taiwan told me to use a towel instead. It removes dirt and it exfoliates and is cheap, too.

“A towel costs maybe HK$10. I use it to massage my face for a minute or two as well. It’s really that simple.”

Hong Kong actress Carina Lau, another SK-II ambassador who was also at the same Tokyo event, also mentioned using a face towel in her beauty routine to me.

So there you have it, British media, using a face towel for beautiful, glowing skin isn’t something newly discovered by dear Kate. Eastern beauties beat her to it ages ago.

Hou, the reporter, decided to try flannelling her face and after two weeks, she gushed how her skin “looks clearer and better than ever”, winning her compliments for her fresh-face glow.

Well, I did the same. It would have been silly of me not to try it when all it took was a cheap towel.

I didn’t use flannel but a plain old cotton washcloth.

Initially, like Hou, I had concerns about using a towel as I had read that, unless changed daily, a damp cloth could turn slimy and be a breeding ground for bacteria.

But my fears were unfounded. I don’t change my face towel at all. I use it till it dies on me. Instead, I give it a good rinse and it dries up completely in my well ventilated bathroom before my next use.

It’s been seven years since I added the towel to my face-cleansing routine and I have had very few breakouts and have dispensed with beauty salon facials.

What strikes me though, is how I, Hou and the rest of the Western media felt it was newsworthy to write about a duchess (in my case, a supermodel) using a mere towel to wash her face.

If Hou had only quoted Preston, it wouldn’t be as sensational a news item. That’s because Preston does not have an Arabella Effect, while Kate does.

The Kate Effect, like the Diana Effect, is the power to influence the public to follow what she does. It started with the announcement of her engagement to Prince William in 2010 and the regal blue dress she wore for that momentous occasion sold out within five minutes, or so it was reported.

In a world that idolises and breathlessly follows celebrities, their legions of fans want to believe they live fabled lives and try to emulate them as best they can.

So when someone like Kate is revealed to use a mere towel for her glowing skin and not expensive exotic creams or fractional lasers, it has a wow factor.

It excites us because it makes her a little more accessible and down-to-earth, without detracting anything from her desirability. I guess British stores must have run out of face flannels by now.

My celeb Qiqi may not have had quite the same effect but she influenced me well enough and perhaps a few readers who read my article back in 2010. So while I am at it, I might as well share her other inexpensive beauty tips.

Over to you, Qiqi:

“Every morning, I wake up my skin by running an ice cube over my face. My maid boils red dates in water for an hour and I drink that every morning.

“Sometimes when my skin is a little tired before I go to bed, I will soak a towel in hot water, squeeze it dry and cover my face with it for two minutes. I will do this three times and my skin becomes smoother and relaxed. It is very simple to do and it feels really good.”

And they must really work, too, because she’s almost 50 now but by golly she is still every inch a goddess! Let’s see if the duchess looks as good 15 years from now.Read more at:formal dresses uk | prom dresses uk


Posted by pink at 16:36Comments(0)

Made in Myanmar


With Myanmar emerging as a manufacturing hub for mass-produced clothes, a crop of young designers are using home-grown fashion to preserve the country’s sartorial heritage and reshape the sweatshop model.

Inside her boutique in downtown Yangon, Pyone Thet Thet Kyaw crafts her own designs using traditional patterns and fabrics, many from ethnic minority groups, to make A-line skirts, dresses and tops.

On another she adds the high-collared neckline of the inngyi – a tight top usually worn by Myanmar women along with a fitted, sarong-like skirt – to a flirty pleated dress.

With Myanmar emerging as a manufacturing hub for mass-produced clothes, a crop of young designers are using homegrown fashion to preserve the country’s sartorial heritage and reshape the sweatshop model. Photo/AFP

“We Burmese really care about our own ethnic and traditional clothes,” she says in the shop, over the whirr of sewing machines.

“When you modernise the traditional patterned clothes you have to be careful they’re not too flashy – or too modern.”

Myanmar is fiercely proud of its traditional garb, which was largely protected from the influx of homogenous Western fashion now ubiquitous across Southeast Asia by the former military junta.

For 50 years they shut the country off to foreign influences and tightly controlled what was worn in all official media.

Designer Ma Pont says she was not allowed to show even a flash of shoulder or armpit when she used to make clothes for military-controlled TV channels in the 1990s.

“We were not really free,” she says.

Fashion was particularly politically charged in that era, when many women would secretly ask their tailors for designs that imitated the distinctive style of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Local media reported the purple outfit she wore the day she was released from almost two decades of house arrest soon became a popular sight on Yangon’s streets.

Today the democracy icon, who last year became the de facto leader of Myanmar’s first civilian government in generations, is still widely admired for the elegant Burmese outfits she wears at public appearances.

But while many still prefer traditional clothes, especially the sarong-like longyi worn by both men and women, fashions are starting to change.

Shopping malls aimed at Yangon’s growing middle class are sprouting up around the city, while on its fringes factories are churning out clothes for international brands drawn to its pool of young, cheap labour.

It is a flip-side of the industry which boutique designer Pyone Thet Thet Kyaw has seen first-hand.

As a teenager she spent months toiling in garment factories on the outskirts of the commercial capital – a job that earned her 2,000 kyat a week (now worth about Bt50).

The experience made her determined to open her own boutique and train young women in the art of clothes-making to make sure they never suffer the same fate.

“I started to see things, like how you could only spend 10 minutes for your lunch or you could not go to the toilet whenever you wanted because it would disrupt their production line,” she says.

“If fast fashion and unethical fashion continues, then we’re the ones to be suffering.”

Impoverished but emerging Myanmar is swiftly becoming a new hub for massive garment factories making cheap clothes as quickly as possible for fashion giants like H&M and Primark.

Exports more than doubled to $1.65 billion last financial year, according to official data, and are expected to surge after the US ended sanctions in October.

But while the sector is helping to drive rapid economic growth, critics say few benefits are trickling down to workers who earn some of the lowest wages in Asia and have little legal protections.

A recent report by multinational watchdog Somo warned of “significant risks of labour rights violations being committed in Myanmar’s garment industry that need to be addressed as a matter of urgency”.

Other local designers, like Mo Hom, are working to save Myanmar’s centuries-old traditional fabric industry from the influx of cheap imported clothes from Thailand and China.

Her boutique in Yangon is filled with colourful designs in cotton and silks sourced from Chin and Shan states, where they can take months to weave by hand using traditional wooden looms.

Many are dyed with natural substances like green tea and strawberries to give subtle colours, which she mixes with traditional ethnic patterns and silhouettes.

“Local mills are actually dying because there is no market demand any more,” says Mo Hom, who trained and worked as a designer in New York before moving back to Myanmar in 2012.

“A lot of the mills are actually closing down.”Read more at:cheap prom dresses uk | plus size prom dresses


Posted by pink at 12:10Comments(0)

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Campaign


The Mercedes-Benz #mbcollective campaign is going into its second chapter, with Susan Sarandon moving into the Generation Now driver’s seat occupied by M.I.A. last season. On Wednesday the actress was in Berlin to officially launch the car maker’s new emotionally and electrically charged fashion campaign during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin, joined by her chosen Generation Next protégé, documentary film maker and RYOT co-founder Bryn Mooser, and the campaign’s photographer and film maker, Luke Gilford. As for the automotive link, it’s Concept EQ, which stands for electric intelligence and is the new electrically powered car brand being developed by Mercedes-Benz. Also on hand were four of the five young designers of Mercedes’ International Designer Exchange who are another creative part of the #mbcollective : William Fan, Ran Fan, Anna October, Steven Tai and Xiao Li.

At an exclusive but extremely congenial dinner at Soho House, Sarandon quipped, “I’m thrilled they considered me Generation Now not Past.” She added that in talking to Mercedes, “it was clear they are forward thinking, which seduced me.” But basically, Sarandon talked to the guests about the issues which engage and move her: her experiences in Lesbos last year talking to and filming refugees to help give their stories a human face; her decision to bring ping pong tables to refugees in Cannes, and her Berlin visit, the day before, to the volunteers at the refugee centers she had met earlier during the first wave of asylum seekers entering Germany.

Mooser said he immediately said yes to being part of the campaign, “as I always say yes to anything Susan asks me to do. She uses her opportunities to talk to people wisely. But also, as with the ping pong tables, she remembers that in addition to food, water and medical supplies, it’s also important to hand out fun, and the things that build a community again.”

Had Sarandon ever expected to be the face of a car campaign? “No,” she said bluntly. “But this was an electric car which made it more interesting. It’s a very classy brand plus there’s the fact they’re going forward. It’s (EQ) not a hybrid, but completely electric and will be in every Mercedes category and price range by 2018.” She didn’t have a chance to test drive the prototype, and now that her kids are grown up and she’s living in the city, she’s not shopping for wheels. “But I definitely wouldn’t say no if they wanted to lend me one,” she remarked.Read more at:cheap prom dresses | prom dresses 2017


Posted by pink at 16:44Comments(0)