fashion tips › 2015年08月

Fashion ideas roam free in jail


A fashion line brought out by prisoners will be launched soon.

The fashion line will be called Free Fashionista and have the tagline Threads of Freedom, Loknath Behera, Director General of Prisons and Correctional Services, said here recently.

The fashion line will utilise the talents of prisoners of the Central Prison here and nearby prisons to bring out apparel for men and women.

The project is part of the skill development-cum-welfare programme in the Prisons and Correctional Services of Kerala.

Twenty-five prisoners with inclination and skill in making apparels were trained by fashion experts from corporates and private institutions.

Students and teachers of the College of Fine Arts here also pitched in. For men, initially the focus will be on designer kurtas.

For women, three collections will be launched – ‘Pamba’ with focus on curves and flows and intended for women of all ages; ‘Naalukettu’ for young girls; and the Onam collection called ‘Valkannadi.’ Designer Kerala saris, hand-painted women’s kurtis, skirts and shirts for both men and women will be brought out.

Fabrics such as khadi, cotton, Balaramapuram cotton, linen, and some synthetic fabric will be used for the fashion line.

Plans are on for a digital catalogue with pictures, photographs, and write-ups. A website will be launched. The possibility of online sale is also being explored.

The products will gradually be available at Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kannur, and Kozhikode.

These will also be sent to places such as Mumbai, New Delhi and Hyderabad where these will be sold through prisons outlets.Read more at:princess prom dresses uk | mermaid prom dresses uk


Posted by pink at 13:43Comments(0)

Black and brown punks unite


Donté Oxun and Monika Estrella Negra - GLITTERGUTS

(Photo:backless prom dresses)

The chicago punk scene wasn't very kind to Donté Oxun after the 29-year-old moved here from Washington, D.C., in 2007. "These punk dudes gave me the name 'the faggot' or 'culero,' meaning ass fucker or ass man," Oxun says. "There was a lot of machismo, antiblack sentiment, sexist and homophobic sentiment, and lots of side comments and treatment like that."

Monika Estrella Negra moved to Chicago from Milwaukee in 2009, and she too noticed disparaging remarks and ugly attitudes toward LGBTQ people at shows—it especially distressed her to see that sort of thing coming from people of color. "People can get weird when they encounter gender-­nonconforming or trans folks, because it's still a very big issue in communities of color," she explains. "Whether it's shit talking or weird stares, some people get upset because they don't understand. That's always the underlying issue."

In 2010 Oxun and Estrella Negra decided to organize about it. They became the cofounders of Black and Brown Punk Show Collective, a Chicago-based group that follows a DIY punk ethos as it works to support like-minded communities of color by fund-raising at underground shows and challenging machismo and "boy culture" in the scene. Punks suffer from an undeserved reputation as fuckups and weirdos who only care about getting trashed and partying, but Black and Brown maintains a commitment to radical, inclusive politics and justice for marginalized communities. The collective focuses on queer, trans, and intersex people of color (QTIPOC), in no small part because most of its members, including Estrella Negra and Oxun, identify as such.

The Chicago chapter, which is now giving rise to offshoots in other parts of the country, has ten active members (though they don't all still live here) and raises most of its money at an annual summer festival. This year's festis Friday and Saturday, August 28 and 29, at a DIY space and at ChiTown Futbol. It includes workshops on "anti­blackness sentiment" (which Estrella Negra describes as a passive and pervasive form of racism) as well as sets from nearly two dozen bands.

Oxun, who moved from Chicago to New Orleans last year, went to Georgetown University in D.C., and recalls feeling alienated by the city's overwhelmingly white, straight, male punk scene—even when people at shows did try to start conversations, the only black band they could bring up was Bad Brains, a hardcore act tainted by accusations of homophobia.

Oxun eventually found a sense of community in D.C.'s punk houses and squats, though, and soon fell in love with the bands that played there. As a kid, the Houston native had liked pop-punk records (Green Day's Dookiewas a special favorite), but years of communal living in otherwise abandoned spaces meant exposure to a much broader range of punk music and culture. "Dumpstering my own food, growing my own food, composting, learning how to patch up my clothes, learning how to make my own shampoo and body-care stuff . . . DIY is what drew me to punk," Oxun says. "I really became involved and inspired by punk communities and the DIY aspect of punk culture way before the music was as important to me as it is now."

Estrella Negra, a 28-year-old Logan Square resident, found a network of black and brown rockers in Chicago before she moved here. While attending the University of Wisconsin-­Milwaukee, she got involved in the online community of the Afropunk movement, which took its name and much of its early momentum from a 2003 documentary by director James Spooner. Till then she'd felt isolated and alone as a young punk fan, but she connected with peers in Chicago and around the globe through the Afropunk message boards. "I went to the library to watch the Afropunk documentary, because we didn't have a computer or Internet in my house," she says. "I remember thinking 'Oh my God, these people are real. I'm not the only one.'"

Oxun and Estrella Negra met in 2009 through their mutual involvement with Anarchist People of Color, a decentralized network that maintained a website and e-mail group connecting people of color interested in antiauthoritarianism. They both worked in Pilsen at Biblioteca Popular del Barrio, an underground library, arts center, and communal living space on Blue Island Avenue. "It was a squatted space, a liberated space, and a lot of community members utilized it for programs," Estrella Negra explains. "We had a full food distro, zine distro, and libraries."

When increasing gentrification of the neighborhood prompted the city to press the issue of licenses and permits, Oxun and Estrella Negra decided to hold a punk show to raise funds, hoping the money could pay the necessary fees to allow the community to hold on to the space. That show, in late August 2010, birthed the Black and Brown Punk Show Collective, these days usually referred to as Black and Brown or simply BnB. "I am the Pinky to her Brain," Oxun says. "It was Monika's idea, and I've always been here for support and logistics and things like that."

Black and Brown's members all love punk music, but they're more devoted to its DIY spirit, its leftist politics, and its celebration of living proudly outside societal limitations. The collective raises awareness and funds with shows—not just its festival but also four to six smaller concerts throughout the year—and its Web presence serves as a hub for bands and bookers in Chicago and around the country who want to find hospitable venues or get involved booking QTIPOC artists.

Estrella Negra says that the core idea underlying it all is the promotion of self-­sufficiency in the larger QTIPOC community, not just in the punk scene—that is, the notion that the community can do for itself and solve its own problems. (Black and Brown isn't a licensed nonprofit and has no interest in becoming one.) The collective might provide people with financial assistance, for instance, so they won't have to choose between maintaining hormone therapy and paying rent. "We're trying to get things rolling for [trans] folks who need access to surgeries and things like that," she explains. "Because it can be a matter of life and death, especially when it comes to passing or getting housing or a job . . . it's this whole idea of dispersing funds for people who really need it."

Some of the collective's ten members have moved out of Chicago and now live in the Bay Area, New Orleans (Oxun isn't alone there), and Buffalo, New York; as a result, new chapters have begun to sprout in the latter two cities. The group meets via Skype and follows democratic protocols that take cues from various members' histories with communal organizing (including their work in Anarchist People of Color). The decision-making process often involves heated, hours-long conversations, but all members must reach a consensus—or at least a compromise that everyone can be comfortable with—before taking on a new cause, booking a band, or committing to a venue. "We are very careful about our [annual summer] show," Oxun says. "We spend months figuring out venues and listening to the lyrics of the artists."

Beneficiaries of Black and Brown's summer festivals have included Feed the People, a grassroots food bank based in Chatham, and the Anhelo Project, which gives college scholarships to undocumented students. The collective's 2012 festival demonstrated its eagerness to operate outside the punk scene, featuring several hip-hop acts and in part benefiting Connect Force, a youth arts organization that provides after-school tutoring and classes on breakdancing, DJing, graffiti art, and hip-hop culture. (Connect Force supplied a DJ, and its students gave breakdancing performances.) Program manager Justin Grey worked closely with Oxun and Estrella Negra, and the festival was held in the Alternatives, Inc. space in Uptown, Connect Force's home at the time. "They did an awesome job at bringing different folks from the community together, including artists, activists, bands, and youth from all different walks of life, to celebrate peacefully in solidarity," Grey says. "The work of bringing different groups together, as well as providing a safe space for the arts, is very crucial for our communities to thrive."

The collective's second festival, held in August 2011 at a Bridgeport DIY space called the Orphanage, remains high on its members' list of favorite events: proceeds went to CeCe McDonald, a black trans woman in Minnesota who in May 2012 agreed to a plea deal on a second-­degree manslaughter charge that arose from her fatal June 2011 stabbing of a man who'd been part of a group outside a bar that attacked her and her friends. (She was released from prison in January 2014 after serving 19 months of a 41-month sentence.) The collective encouraged everyone at the fest, performers and fans alike, to dress in drag as a means of challenging gender stereotypes. The church whose basement hosted the event also runs a free "clothing pantry" for the community, and made its wares available to the attendees. "Half of the people were walking around in grandma dresses," Oxun says. "It was such a vibrant and visible way to see duress breaking down in the scene, while at the same time give money to a black transgender woman who was fighting incarceration. We used our show to highlight her experience."

Safe spaces are a primary concern of the Black and Brown collective. "Sometimes we need to create our own spaces in order to make progress, because of so many other social-­conditioning issues that come up in the punk scene," Estrella Negra says. "I feel like people of color have never had this choice—to choose where they can feel comfortable, to define that. So I feel like it's important for us to be able to choose what spaces we can feel comfortable in and not catch any flak for it."

For Oxun, creating safe spaces is about nurturing community, raising awareness of privilege, and being able to have conversations addressing violence, misogyny, or transphobia in the scene—and also about throwing great parties at DIY spaces all over the city, to broaden the visibility of QTIPOC punk culture. White punks usually don't have to worry about where they go to shows, and QTIPOC punks should enjoy that luxury as well. "We're creating a new idea of what it means to be safe, because we're everywhere," Oxun says. "I was inspired by early Dyke March organizing. When I first moved to Chicago, it was very much about Pride in Lakeview, but then it started moving around and expanding."

The Black and Brown collective is wary of unplanned encounters with police and other outsiders, because its members are keenly aware that QTIPOC remain especially vulnerable to harassment and violence from racists and bigots (whether or not they have badges and guns). In the group's five years of organizing shows and events, its members have had one run-in with the police, and they consider themselves lucky: during the last band's set on the last day of the 2012 festival, they got a noise-violation ticket.

"We understand that at a moment's notice things could be taken away from us," Oxun says. "We are queer, gender-variant folks of color. Our access to spaces is very limited. There's a dangerous backlash we could face." Estrella Negra points out that white allies can be particularly helpful in dealing with police. "I've seen this many times before. If the cops come, and you send a white dude to talk to them, the show usually can continue," she says. "When the cops came to our show, we tried to talk to them, and they just kicked everyone out. So we have to think about those kind of safety elements—who you keep around and stuff like that."

The Black and Brown collective seeks allies and supporters in the white punk community, but insists on autonomy—the group will work with white people, but its decisions will never include them. This approach has at times caused friction, which Estrella Negra believes arises because people who aren't part of the minorities that Black and Brown represents can have a hard time understanding why even this mild form of separatism might be crucial.

"People who are so used to taking up space, they don't realize how their words can be really damaging in terms of people trying to speak to their own experience," she explains. Many punk peers, she says, accuse her and the collective of being "too PC"—and the organizers of Chicago's Fed UpFest, which celebrates queer and transgender identity in the punk scene, have experienced a similar backlash. But Black and Brown's insistence on defining safe spaces of its own choosing isn't being politically correct, Estrella Negra says, but rather exercising a fundamental right. "A lot people don't know they're being disrespectful because they've never hung out with people like us until the point that they come to the festival," she adds. "More than anything else, what we try to do is explain why they are being messed up."

Estrella Negra points out that since the collective began in 2010, many punks who don't identify as QTIPOC have learned to be respectful. Oxun mentions the growing presence of the collective, locally and nationally, and the increasing acceptance of underground rock and punk among people of color. "It's become OK for people of color to be into that," Oxun says. "It's not just a white person's form of expression. I see that so much more now than I did five years ago."

Noe Castro, a 26-year-old musician active in the local Latino punk scene since high school, has seen similar things happening in Chicago. "It's been great to see the pushback on the normative lineups and attendance at shows," he says. "There's definitely a more conscious effort to book bands that have people of color." His band, Tensions, is playing this year's summer Black and Brown Punk Show—the collective's fifth festival, not its sixth, because it skipped 2014 due to Oxun's move to New Orleans. Castro's bandmate Alberto Ruiz, who also plays in Caza Blanca, agrees that queer and transgender punks are more visible now than they were four or five years ago, especially among people of color. "It's really cool, especially speaking from the Latino community, because it's not something that's talked about very much," he says. "It's really great that these bands have a platform to express what they need to express."

Black and Brown is "a game changer in Chicago's DIY punk scene, hands down," says Fed Up Fest organizer Monica Trinidad. "I feel like black- and brown-fronted bands are forming more and actually surviving more than a few months in Chicago, because they know there's a support network available to lean on if necessary. It's one thing to be black or brown and toughing it out in Chicago's punk scene while performing for all white men who don't really get what you're singing about. It's a whole other beautiful world to be black or brown and playing a fest that's made up of dozens of other bands who just get it."

Oxun and Estrella Negra are encouraged by the collective's successes, but they remain leery of the kind of exposure or growth that brings with it corporate or capitalistic entanglements. They cite the corporatization of Brooklyn's Afropunk festival as a cautionary tale: originally a financially self-sustaining grassroots party, it now charges high ticket prices (two-day passes this year cost $75, or $250 for VIP) and relies on big-name sponsors such as Red Bull, Coors Light, and Jeep. Festival figurehead and cofounder James Spooner, who made the 2003 documentary Afro-Punk, broke ties with the brand in 2008. "That's what social death looks like," Oxun says. "It really concerns us, and it's why we don't we have sponsors, even though financially that hurts us."

The collective's aversion to corporate involvement (Oxun claims to have turned down sponsorship offers already) hasn't prevented it from growing at a grassroots level—take for instance the offshoots arising in New Orleans and Buffalo. Oxun will visit Chicago for the summer festival, then return home to help lead the New Orleans chapter—which recently built some early momentum with an event celebrating the connections between Chicago house music and New Orleans bounce.

Estrella Negra, on the other hand, feels that her time as a leader on the ground is nearly up—she'd like to focus instead on filmmaking. "I'm trying to mold a bunch of younger kids," she says. "I've been doing this for five years, so at this point I'd rather see younger kids take initiative and see what changes take place." She says her last event for Black and Brown will likely be a show this fall by reunited Latino hardcore band Los Crudos.

For now at least, the collective's other cofounder plans to keep on working to help newbies who are excited about getting involved in the scene. "It makes me really happy to go to a show and have a young person tell me that Black and Brown was their first punk show," Oxun says. "It makes me feel good that these kids didn't have to go through what I went through when I started going to punk shows. They weren't verbally or physically harassed because of their identity . . . that gives me the fire to keep doing this."Read more at:one shoulder prom dresses


Posted by pink at 16:00Comments(0)

Why Black Women Make the Best Partners


Angela Bassett and husband Courtney B. Vance

(Photo:short prom dresses uk)

Black women just aren’t given the praise we deserve. We are spectacular, loving, funny, intelligent, beautiful and creative. As a Black woman, it’s just too easy to speak about how wonderful we are.

Black women function as the best partners while looking divine and defying the aging process. At 49, Halle Berry has proven that she’s still got what it takes to turn heads. And at 58, Angela Bassett confirms the truth in the statement “Black don’t crack.” Bassett’s amazing portrayal of Tina Turner in the 1993 film What’s Love Got to Do With It remains imprinted on my mind. The film, which I watched as a teenager growing up in inner-city London, showed me Black women’s potential for greatness if given the chance to truly perform. And who doesn’t want to be with a woman who aspires to be great?

From Michelle Obama to Serena Williams, Black women make wearing multiple hats look easy. When one thinks of Michelle Obama, one wonders if there’s anything she can’t do: a lawyer, a Chicago city administrator, a mother, a public speaker, a fashion icon, an advocate for health and wellness, a wife to President Barack Obama, and the 44th first lady of the United States. Michelle Obama’s endless list of skills tells us that she is a multi-talented woman. With degrees from Harvard and Princeton, she’s clearly the complete package. Of course, intelligence is deeper than just being book smart. There is such a thing as bodily-kinesthetic intelligence — the kind of intelligence associated with a surgeon or a dancer — and Michelle Obama shows us that she has this too. A woman who can engage in an intellectual conversation and destroy the dance floor with her moves— what more does one want in a partner?

Serena Williams is quite possibly the greatest female tennis player of all time, as well as a savvy fashion icon. She has the confidence to challenge white conceptions of beauty — even when her body is attacked for being “muscular” or “manly.” Through hard work, Williams demonstrates success in a sport lodged in a white world, and maneuvers this world with grace. Williams’ complex set of character traits, which include determination, self-belief and resilience are some of the best qualities to have in a partner.

Historically, Black women have been at the forefront of progressive movements for social change. As an activist, I value the many women bravely resisting oppression and racism. And whether these women are interrupting politicians, taking to the streets, or reciting poetry, I salute them. Indeed, magnificent Black women co-founded the Black Lives Matter Movement. These women — Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi — recognized the need for systemic change. Today, the Black Lives Matter Movement has a global reach.

Clearly, a woman who has the vision and drive to create a political movement is likely to be an inspirational partner in life.

And we all know that Black women can sing— I mean really sing. Some of my favorite singers have flawless voices: Shirley Brown, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Miriam Makeba, Angelique Kidjo, and Ella Fitzgerald — these women demonstrate the perfection embedded in musical intelligence, and many paved the way for global superstars like Beyoncé and Alicia Keys.

Naturally, there is something wonderful about having a partner who can serenade you to sleep every night.

And let’s not forget the women who occupy leading roles on television, like Kerry Washington and Viola Davis, as well the magicians behind the scenes like Shonda Rhimes and Ava DuVernay. Indeed, Black women’s creativity reaches across various domains including but not limited to: film, music, food, art, sport, technology and literature.

Many Black female writers have blown me away with their linguistic intelligence. While reading The Color Purple by Alice Walker, I forgot that the rest of the world existed. Other writers whose works I’ve enjoyed include: Toni Morrison, Jesmyn Ward and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I look forward to reading the work of Zambian writer, Namwali Serpell who decided to share her winnings from the Caine Prize for African writers with runners up. The generosity of Serpell, as seen in the actions of so many Black women, adds depth to our understanding of Black women as the best partners. Further, a creative partner is not only one who is sensitive and thoughtful, but one who endeavors to keep life interesting.

It’s important to recognize the women who smash the glass to become triumphant “firsts.” Back in June 2015, Misty Copeland became the first African-American principal dancer at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. In 2006, Jennifer Hudson won an Academy Award for her debut performance in the filmDreamgirls, making her the youngest African-American (male or female) to win an Academy Award at 25.

In 1922, Bessie Coleman became the first African-American woman to earn a pilot’s license. And if we flip to the present day, we appreciate Esther Mbabazi who became Rwanda’s first female pilot in 2013 at the age of 24.

Similarly, Baroness Valerie Amos became the first Black woman to lead a U.K. university after being appointed to the role at SOAS (the School of African and Oriental Studies) earlier this year.

Many of the women mentioned here have experienced success because of the barriers broken down by women who came before them. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough space to recognize all of the women who personify just why Black women are the best partners.

I do feel I’ve brought to light a few droplets in a sea of perfection.

These women are important role models who can build the confidence of young Black women and girls. They are complex, unique individuals whose history and experiences have shaped them. Despite my mention of their beauty, their value runs deeper than aesthetics to a complex identity in which their race is an integrated component of who they are. Consequently, being Black is just one aspect of an elaborate identity and we must be careful not to assume that all Black women exhibit all of these traits— instead we should celebrate what each woman brings to the table.

With everything I’ve touched on here, it is abundantly clear why Black women are the best partners.Read more at:long prom dresses


Posted by pink at 15:22Comments(0)

Style Inspiration Tool


style inspiration tools better than pinterest

(Photo:evening dresses online)

I’m sorry Pinterest, I really am. You have done, and still do, so many great things, but for my style inspiration needs, it’s just not happening anymore. While there are still corners of your sprawling collection that inspire me, it’s for the most part been infiltrated by people who have no business providing anyone style inspiration.

Remember how great Pinterest was in the early days? Small, manageable, naturally curated by the invite-only feature, and stunning. I would scroll through outfits on the main feed for hours. Now, it’s gotten too big for it’s own good, and the Women’s Fashion feed seems to be perpetually filled with straight-up bad fashion, whether it’s from mediocre bloggers or terrible brands promoting their clothes. It’s sad, but for me at least, it’s time to move on. Luckily, I found a fresh new contender in the style inspiration space that harkens back to the Pinterest glory days of yore.

Enter, Looklist. It is a beautiful, modern style inspiration site that is dedicated to cleaning up the mess of images in the style space. ”The idea was born out of a frustration with the unorganized mess of image content found on the Internet today,” said Founder and CEO Shaz Sedighzadeh. “Even the largest blogging and pinning platforms are at the mercy of poor, user-generated hashtagging as a means for providing search.”

Looklist recently secured $174,000 in seed funding to grow their team and further develop the platform, which is hopefully only the beginning. Just take a minute and scroll through the style section, and come back half an hour later when you emerge from the fashion lover’s paradise. I’ll wait.

I mean seriously, how elegant is that home page? As a graphic designer and fashion lover, I believe that scrolling on Looklist may be my personal form of meditation. At any time you can like an outfit, save a look to your set, search for similar options (my favorite feature), share on other social platforms, or go straight to the source and figure out where all the items are from.

The search tools themselves are the highlight though, curated by experts rather than, as Shaz said, messy user-generated hashtags. If you’re looking for say, a modern, laid-back look for work in the winter, you can find hundreds in seconds. If you’re looking for fresh ideas about how to wear a flannel shirt in a feminine way, you can find that too.

So why is the content itself so good? You have to apply to be a contributor by sending in your blog for review. Genius. As much as millions of fashion bloggers who know nothing about fashion would have you believe, I don’t think every single human is capable of providing fashion advice and inspiration. We all have our talents, people.

My one critique of the site as it stands now is that you’re seeing a lot of the exact same type of girl over and over–namely, skinny and white. To be fair, this is a problem in the fashion industry at large, but it’s a challenge I hope that Looklist will be willing to work on. If every fashion lover is going to fall in love with this platform (and they should), Looklist needs to feature fashion bloggers of all shapes and backgrounds. That’s also a call to all you diverse readers who have fabulous fashion blogs of your own: go apply!Read more at:formal dresses for women


Posted by pink at 14:46Comments(0)

How to mix prints in your work wardrobe



Q: Can you explain the basics of print mixing and how to blend patterns creatively? Can you mix paisley with stripes? How do you know what works and what doesn’t, specifically for a more formal work environment?

A: Wearing paisley with stripes 10 years ago would’ve gotten you some serious side eye, but today? Different story. Print and pattern mixing has been mainstream for several years and shows no signs of fading.

The trick to print mixing is to make sure your prints have at least one design element in opposition and one in common.

The oppositional element is typically print style: Most prints are geometrics (stripes, dots, plaids) or organics (paisleys, florals, abstracts). Although you can generally wear two or more geometrics together, you’ll create a more dynamic mix by pairing a geometric with an organic. Stripes and florals make a great duo, and work for nearly all styles, ages and sizes. Another oppositional element to consider is scale. Small prints mix well with large prints, and this differentiation keeps your mix from looking too busy and overwhelming.

The common element is often color. If your striped skirt is black and white, make sure your floral top has black and/or white in its print. You can also mix multiple versions of the same print: Large dots with small dots, or green dots with blue dots.

In a work environment, I recommend mixing smaller prints and geometrics with heavier, formal fabrics. Because print mixing is still a relatively new practice, balancing trendiness with tradition is a smart move.

Q: I’m invited to my cousin’s black-tie wedding in September. I just bought this really cute, short colorful floral fit-and-flare dress. Is it OK to wear it to her wedding?

A: Ah, dress codes: the bane of every wedding guest’s existence. We’re living in an era that views most etiquette as prehistoric, yet clings to a few vestiges when it comes to formal affairs. Maddening, isn’t it?

Traditionally, cheap prom dresses for women means full-length gowns, and they’re still the safest bet. However, shorter frocks have been acceptable at this formality level for many years, provided that they are appropriately dressy. A short dress for black tie should be no shorter than an inch above the kneecap, and should be as formal or more so than a cocktail dress.

This means slimmer silhouettes such as sheaths and shifts are preferred over fit-and-flare, and fancy fabrics such as satin, lace, chiffon and silk are better than cotton or rayon. Florals occasionally pass muster, but must be done up in dressy materials and grown-up styles.

So although short prom dresses can work for black tie, it sounds like your particular dress might be a bit too casual. Poke through your closet and see if you have something a little sleeker and dressier instead.

Q: How can I find bodycon clothing that is flattering and also doesn’t make it seem like I’m trying to look super young?

A: Bodycon (body-conscious) can work for women of all ages, so long as you know how to keep the look classy. Let’s start with fabrics: Thin, drapey materials with any sort of a sheen will read as younger than thicker opaque materials. So a bodycon sheath dress in slinky jersey might feel wrong, but the same dress in ponte knit might feel oh-so-right.

Consider your color palette, too. Dark, dusty colors generally look more sophisticated than light, bright ones. Watch your necklines and hemlines, since garments that are bodycon and revealing can read “mutton dressed as lamb.”

Finally, you can make your slim-fitting garments look more grown-up by wearing them in layered mixes. A form-fitting top or dress can be just as flattering and fun under a nipped-waist jacket as it is worn alone.


Posted by pink at 15:11Comments(0)

women’s fashion


FKA Twigs sports Cottweiler onstage.

(Photo:blue prom dresses)

The revival of the tracksuit is a curious move in womenswear. On men, of course, it’s well bedded-in. Note spring’s nu-lad revival, Kanye in purple velvet tracksuit at the Grammys and British designer Nasir Mazhar. In womenswear, it’s primarily artists en route to their Radio 1 Live Lounge session, making it the last bastion of menswear yet to be seriously borrowed by women. Still, appropriation happens, and better this than a feather headdress.

Riding the wake of AW14’s athleisure trend, and months after we’d Kondo’d andgender-neutralised our wardrobes, tracksuits are a good indicator of how we’ve streamlined our wardrobes into staples. Tracksuit bottoms with a vest? Fine. A tracksuit top over a summer dress? Go on then. Top and bottom together? Jog on, mate. But that’s not the whole story.

Part of the problem, as far as I can see, is how the line between smartwear and casualwear has become blurred. People are wearing tracksuit bottoms to work. My boss is right now. So there’s space for something hyper-casual that still looks good outside the house. But actual sportswear?

Of course, recent history places tracksuits unfairly but squarely in a particular bracket. See the film Fish Tank, and Vicky Pollard. In truth, tracksuits have a far more varied history. They first left track and field in the 70s. In the US, they were adopted by Run DMC and NWA. Then came Britpop and Damon Albarn and the Haçienda before they evolved, painfully, through Sporty Spice and Goldie Lookin’ Chain. If that wasn’t penance enough, they loped into an icky period in the late 00s with Juicy Couture in signature Paris pink velour. Some people even wore them with heels, which capped off a tricky journey. It’s a miracle the tracksuit survived, let alone made it in fashion, even if it has taken 10 years to edit Juicy from our memories.

A good starting point is the Adidas Firebird. Yes, it’s definitively sportswear but it’s also monochrome, which should please some of you. This streamlined, three-striped, zip-up top with matching tracksuit bottoms is polyester, but remains a design classic of Corbusier standards. It came of age in the 80s and has outsmarted us all by reconstituting itself over time in our consciousness. Emma Watson has one. Rita Ora has about nine. So does the infinitely cooler artist Sue Webster. It’s also quick-dry (20 minutes inside), costs under £100, and you can sleep in it. In the summer, it’s best accessorised with Birkenstocks or, in autumn, with Reebok Classics and a thick skin.

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If that feels too real, try a pair of tapered tracksuit bottoms in a posh fabric, so the trousers feel more like trousers (some find the Firebird a bit “wafty”). Matches’ in-house line, Raey, has plain-speaking, cashmere-blend tracksuits in marl grey with OTT tapering that have been a bestseller this season. Another issue with tracksuits is the way some bleed dye on to trainers. Hoiking them up to your ankle means you can not only see your trainers but also keep them mint, handy because no one, not least those in fashion, likes scuffed Stan Smiths. Rachael Proud, Raey’s creative director, says women are buying the set, suggesting we have a new uniform on our hands. Fashion loves a uniform.

Once famed for its velour tracksuits, Juicy Couture is rebranding itself with a ‘couture nouveau’ campaign and just one tiny dog. But can it cast off its old image – in the same way that Bella Mackie finally managed to chuck out her two-piece?

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For those who want to do it properly, Cottweiler is the label in the know. It has a knack for riffing on unwearable trends by making them minimal, and its “unisex” tracksuits (it is a menswear label but women are buying it) are as hot as you’d expect from what will be this year’s biggest label. According to i-D, they are unisexed by removing seams from the shoulders, and use drawstring waists. FKA twigs wore one of their sheer tracksuits on stage recently. Less well known is Caitlin Price of Fashion East, who nails it with her line of silky, satin-embossed tracksuits in winey pinks and cream.

Jenna Young, meanwhile, makes bright tracksuits in semi-sheer organza forThis is the Uniform, a style that shesays is about “taking that working-class element and celebrating it”.

But that’s the point. They’ve always been decidedly un-fashion. The beauty of tracksuits is their versatility: you can either go loose, ultra-casual (see Webster) or tight – Adidas tweaked the sizing so they feel slightly more feminised and actually pretty sexy. An appearance in the Chanel AW14 supermarket show (although these were robust, posh pseudo-tracksuits in tweed) suggests you can also go all-out.

Fashion is becoming increasingly casual. Eva Mendes said “tracksuits are the No 1 cause of divorce”, which was silly so she apologised, although chances are she was talking about Juicy Couture: in which case, good shout.

Baffling to think that clothing once banned by a McDonald’s in Lancashire could be making waves in womenswear, but in fashion the struggle is real.Read more at:black prom dresses


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Shay Mitchell on athleisure inspiration


(Photo:white prom dresses)

Shay Mitchell's new clothing line was inspired by her "on the go" lifestyle.

The Pretty Little Liars actress has teamed up with Kohl's to launch a capsule collection of 'athleisure' clothes called Fit to Wander.

Shay has become known for her sense of style since hitting the spotlight in the CW show. And whether she's hitting the gym or going for coffee with friends, Shay thinks it's important to look and feel her best.

"I am constantly on the go, travelling, working and I love to wear comfortable clothes," Shay told Life & Style magazine. "A lot of girls can relate to a busy lifestyle and like to wear clothes that fit their needs and can wear from boot camp to brunch. The Fit to Wander collection does just that."

The line ranges in price from $24 to $48 and includes items such as leggings, tops and sports bras.

In addition to being functional and stylish, the clothes are also designed to be flattering for women of all sizes.

They include various seams and panels which bring out the womanly shape in all the right places.

Shay's range also caters for those who are not keen on low rise gym trousers, offering leggings with adjustable waistbands if people prefer more coverage over their midsection.

In addition, the sports bras have a bust band which can extend to stop chafing during workout sessions.

Shay isn't the only member of the Pretty Little Liars cast to venture into the fashion industry.

In 2014, Lucy Hale collaborated with Hollister on her debut clothing line. Meanwhile, Ashley Benson also landed a campaign to model for H&M's Divided collection in summer last year.Read more at:blue prom dresses


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From runway to fashion design studio


From the runway at Saskatchewan Fashion Week to the design studio of veteran fashion designer Dean Renwick, it’s been an incredible few months for eight-year-old Raina Haus of Regina.

“She is living her dream,” said Raina’s ecstatic mom, Laila Haus, as she watched her daughter move around Renwick’s Regina studio.

“We were completely blown away when Dean invited her to shadow him,” Laila said. “He is amazingly supportive.”

Renwick met Raina in May, when she was invited onto the Saskatchewan Fashion Week runway after Laila tweeted that her daughter had designed and made her own dress for the event.

Impressed, Renwick asked Raina if she would like to spend time at his studio during the summer learning the tricks of the trade.

She jumped at the opportunity.

You’re never too young to learn the art of fashion design, Renwick, Laila and Raina agreed. So, for two days a week this summer, Raina has been shadowing Renwick, learning everything from taking proper measurements for custom garments and how to interact with clients to cutting and sewing her own designs.

“We are teaching her a little of everything,” Renwick said.

And in the process, Raina is going home with fashions she’s made for herself. She used fabric remnants from Renwick to create a couple of sparkly tops for her back-to-school wardrobe, and she’s currently working on a bright pink furry coat for when there’s a chill in the air.

Raina’s eyes sparkled as she talked about her experience working with Renwick. “I love it!”

What does she enjoy most? “Everything!” she was quick to answer.

Her enthusiasm brought a giant smile to both her mother and her teacher.

“I like to help when I see passion,” said Renwick, who has mentored many young Saskatchewan fashion designers.

Raina isn’t his youngest protégé. He taught his niece when she was about seven.

“Sometimes, you just have to give back,” said Renwick, who doesn’t have children of his own. “My grandmother and mother taught me. That’s how they left their legacy with me.”

Raina enjoys co-ordinating her own fashion shows at home, using her six- and four-year-old sisters as models, Laila said. And she’s constantly sketching designs.

Her favourite designs are “big, fancy, fluffy, sparkly dresses.”

“She is all about the fancy, this girl,” Laila said with a smile. “If she could design ball gowns for princesses, she would be totally happy.”

Classes that teach kids how to sew can be challenging to find, Laila discovered. She enrolled Raina in Sister Ceece’s Sewing School in Regina to learn the basics.

What Raina is now learning from Renwick exceeds both her and Laila’s expectations.

“We are both so excited,” Laila said.

Nobody is complaining about how much work is being done and how much time is being spent at this summer school. In fact, Raina has even created her own homework.

“Each day when she gets home, she does a quick little video blog,” said Laila, who posts them on a website ( “She talks about her experiences and what she learned that day, and that kind of thing.”

But Raina isn’t all work and no play. On her way to “work” at the downtown Dean Renwick Design Studio, she likes to stop and play at a nearby park.

For now, Raina is having fun playing fashion designer. In the future, who knows? Perhaps she’ll return to the Saskatchewan Fashion Week runway with her own collection.

“She’s still a kid,” Laila said. “We can’t forget that.”Read more at:cheap formal dresses uk | cocktail dresses


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I lost three stone after my Valentine’s Day


AFTER a romantic Valentine’s Day wedding, new bride Laura Mitchell couldn’t wait to see the pictures from her big day.

But when the mum of three finally got the treasured photographs, she was devastated by the way she looked.

Laura – who has a four-year-old son Thomas and daughter Isabella, 17 months, and step daughter Olivia, nine – hadn’t been too worried about her weight. However, one look at the wedding album convinced her it was time to tackle her weight.

She said: “I got married last year on Valentine’s Day and although it was amazing, I was so disappointed when I saw myself in my wedding pictures.

“I’d never been that focused on losing weight, I tended to eat what I wanted, although after my daughter Isabella was born I realised the weight was creeping on and I had started buying size 16 clothes.

“I was quite self-conscious about my arms and again, looking back, that’s why I chose the wedding dress I wore.”

So two months after tying the knot with Blair, Laura, from Falkirk, decided it was time to join a slimming club.

She said: “Blair and I got married in the February and it took me until April to walk through the doors of my local Scottish Slimmers class.

“However, the minute I joined I felt really focused and week after week I kept having weight losses.

“The buzz of having a loss each time I stood on the scales was enough to keep me motivated. It was almost like a challenge each week to do better than the last.”

A self confessed chocoholic, Laura was delighted that the eating plans would allow her to still indulge her sweet tooth.

She said: “I’ve always enjoyed food and eating nice meals and I love chocolate.

“The good thing about Scottish Slimmers

is you can have treats – I just make sure I balance it out.

“I eat chocolate every day – I never feel deprived – I just make sure I don’t eat the whole packet now.”

As well as changing her eating habits, Laura, a personal assistant at Royal Bank of Scotland, has got moving to help stop the weight from creeping back on.

The biggest surprise to her is how much she enjoys her new-found hobby.

She said: “I was never into exercise and gyms – my excuse was I was always too busy with work and the children – but now I love it.

“Blair encourages me and I think that has made a huge difference too. Between the healthy eating and exercise I don’t think I have been this slim since I was a teenager. I love it.”

And to go with her new figure and new

wardrobe, Laura has also got a new haircut.

She said: “I thought it was time to change my image and the great thing about losing weight is it gives you the confidence to change and do something for yourself.”

To celebrate her new figure, Scottish Slimmers asked her to model the latest look in wedding dresses. And it was no surprise that she looked like a fairy tale bride.

Laura said: “I love lace and I’m glad that’s what I chose for my wedding day in 2014.

“If I was doing it all over again, having lost nearly three stone, I’d still have lace – but the dress would be fitted and I wouldn’t worry about hiding my arms.”

Laura loved the lace wedding dress we chose from Diane Honeyman Bridal Boutique.

“Wow, I feel absolutely amazing,” was her verdict.

As well as the long, fitted lace creation, we talked Laura into wearing a shorter length dress – also from Diane Honeyman Bridal Boutique in Ayr – which went perfectly with her new short hairstyle. She said: “This dress is so much fun.

“When I was looking for my own wedding dress I felt shy about going in to bridal shops and trying on dresses, so I tended to look online.

“Now I would go into any shop and it’s lovely to be able to try on what you want.”

As well as changing her hairstyle, Laura was quite happy for make-up artist Terri Craig to work her magic.

Terri said: “Laura has amazing eyes so it was great to be able to work on her. These days brides are a lot bolder about their make-up and want to make a statement.

“Remember it’s a long day so you want your make-up to stay in place so most important is to have a good base. I always use primer before I use foundation and then set it with powder.

“If there’s nothing else you do, make sure it’s that. And don’t forget to use the powder over your eyelid area as well as that will set your eyeshadow.

(Photo:evening dresses)

“I emphasised Laura’s eyes with a smokey look – and lashings of mascara.

“Don’t forget blusher and lip colour. You are going to be photographed all day so your make-up should be slightly heavier than usual.

“The number one rule is feel good – it’s your day – and the perfect accessory after hair and make-up for any bride is a huge smile!’

Laura agrees. She said: “The great thing about losing weight is it gives you the confidence to change and do something for yourself – I can’t stop smiling.”Read more at:best prom dresses


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Wedding hairstyles for the naturals


Naturalhair Wedding


The possibility at this moment that you are looking for the perfect hairstyle for the best day of your life is at least 60%.

I can only imagine your excitement and desire at this moment, the options of natural wedding hairstyles are limitless whether you are considering an up-do, twist or even dying out your hair.

Nevertheless the choices you make has to resonate because you must look your very best on your big day.

The option you have can be innocent, traditional, glamorous,elegant, romantic and so on and to bring this looks to existence your hair has to be styled in accordance with any option you go for.

Beautiful hair accessories, pins, clips etc can go a long way in bringing your wedding hairstyle to life.

Below are inspiring naturalist wedding hairstyles:

Perm Rod and Hair Accessories

You can achieve a limitless number of styles using the perm rods and hair accessories. This items help to give the look a very elegant and chic appeal. Many times they help achieve a distinct wavy pattern and adding the right hair accessories would help to achieve a stunning result.

Side Parts, Bun, Low Cut and Up-do

Kinky natural hair can be sophisticated and there are all kinds of ways you can achieve this look, either you pack it to the side, create a U shaped roll, keep it neat and simple in a bun, create gorgeous twist or maintain a lower bun. The contrast of any of this ways gives off an extremely beautiful appeal.

Effortless and Wild

It takes a lot of guts and confidence to achieve this look, and less work i might add. The effortless and wild look depicts innocence. Take advantage of the volume and texture of your hair to achieve this effortlessly natural look. You may lift it up as a loose bun or just leave it wild.Read more


Posted by pink at 16:52Comments(0)