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Mischa Barton once wore knockoff Chanel on ‘The O.C.’

This week marks the 15th anniversary of “The O.C.,” a show whose smart blend of self-aware humor and soapy drama made it a pop cultural phenomenon over the course of its four-season run.

But while the teen drama offered a fascinating glimpse into the scandalous (and stylish) lives of Newport Beach, California’s, elite, building convincingly fancy closets for the show’s cast wasn’t always a breeze.

“We started with a little tiny budget, which was a challenge because everything had to look super high-end,” Season One costume designer Alexandra Welker told Page Six. “There was absolutely no borrowing [from brands] involved either, because nobody had ever heard of us, so they were very leery of loaning anything.”

As a result, Welker had to get scrappy when outfitting the characters for the black-tie events featured in most episodes. “In the pilot, I remember we did a fashion fundraiser,” Welker recalled. “I called every designer out there to explain what we were doing and who I was, and they all turned me down. So for those runway looks, we used everything from sale-rack clothes to things from costume houses to things I’d designed myself.”

Gathering clothes for the show’s heroine, Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton), who toted designer bags to school and dressed in head-to-toe labels, proved particularly challenging.

“I’ll be honest: Those Chanel bags that she carried, those weren’t something I could have on my budget,” Welker said. “But I found this amazing store in Downtown LA that sold the best-looking fakes I’d ever seen! So we used some really, really good knockoffs.”

Luckily, the wardrobe team was able to swap those fakes for the real deal once the show started to take off. “I’ll always be grateful to Mischa Barton: She started doing a lot of modeling because of the show, and the folks at Chanel loved her,” Welker said. “They actually loaned me a couple of samples, and once we started using real Chanel, of course, I had to let those fakes fall by the wayside.”

Still, Welker said, she had to do a lot of “high-low shopping” to ensure she stayed within her budget. “I literally shopped everywhere from Neiman Marcus and Saks in Beverly Hills to Forever 21,” she explained. “And if I was able to splurge on a Marc by Marc Jacobs piece, for instance, I’d pair it with a denim miniskirt and flip-flops.”

The costume designer also leaned heavily on smaller California brands she discovered in LA’s Fashion District.

“I’d visit the showrooms, introduce myself to the reps and try to meet the designers,” Welker said. “I made connections with all these great local brands like Joie, Corey Lynn Calter and Petro Zillia. Brands that were just starting to take off at the time, and that I ended up being able to shop wholesale.”

“The O.C.” went on to earn both popular and critical acclaim, and its cast turned into superstars almost overnight. “We had our heads down, hard at work — and all of a sudden, you’d pass a newsstand and every magazine would have an article about us,” Welker recalled.

“I remember Rachel [Bilson] and Adam [Brody] coming back from lunch one day, and they were like, ‘The weirdest thing just happened: We were just sitting there eating, and people came up to us asking for our autographs!’ It was really cool and terrifying and exciting to be part of it as it was blowing up, and the fact that the show launched fashion trends is pretty fantastic.”

As a bonus, Welker added: “By the Season One finale, brands were falling all over themselves to lend to us.”

"Marissa was the golden girl of the show; I wanted her to seem effortless. One of the fun things about her look, though, is that during the day she'd be in capri pants, Vans and a cute little midriff top, and then at night she'd come out in some jaw-dropping dress, like that sparkly Missoni [for the boat party]. 

"She almost always wore flats, both because of Mischa's height and because that's such a classic, chic look. 

"People got really worked up over that Chanel bookbag; they thought that the idea of a teenage carrying one to school was obscene!"

Recommend watch the video below:

Club Factory |Try On Haul +App Review

Publicerat klockan 05:26, den 9 augusti 2018
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Chinese e-commerce apps like Club Factory, Shein, Romwe value India markets

India is one of the main markets of focus for China's major cross-border e-commerce players due to high potential for economic growth, according to a report on Sunday.

Five of the top 10 best performing cross-border e-commerce Chinese apps in the first five months --- such as Club Factory, SHEIN, ROMWE and JollyChic - focussed on the Middle East and India markets, according to a report from app data provider App Annie.

According to the report, the Indian market enjoys a huge population and high potential for economic growth, thus attracting many e-commerce players to expand their presence, state-run Xinhua news agency said.

Smartphones are popular in Arab countries and local consumers have strong purchasing power. But the oil-rich countries lack textiles and other light sectors, offering cross-border e-commerce opportunities for products like apparel.

Alibaba's AliExpress tops the list, which mainly reviews the performances of third-party business-to-consumer e-commerce platforms targeting overseas consumers, it said.

The report also showed that South American markets pose rising growth potential while developed markets in Europe and the United States remain attractive to Chinese e-commerce players.

More info:

Publicerat klockan 08:03, den 13 juli 2018
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Traditional styles key to fashion success at Mackay Cup

WE ALL know attending the races is just as much about the fashion as it is about the horses.

Caneland Central Mackay Turf Girl 2018 Mikaela Green says she is looking forward to seeing the interesting looks punters will don this Saturday but advises those hoping to grab the Fashions in the Field title stay within winter racing traditions.

"Definitely stick to the winter theme, stay with your winter colours, gloves and little coats are good,” she said.

"Staying within the winter fashions is going to get you closer to the top.”

Traditional winter racing dress codes mean modest hemlines and necklines with new tweaks on classic styles the key to success.

Fuller A-line skirts combined with classic winter accessories like gloves and a Pillbox hat are on trend for the current racing season.

The major mistakes to avoid when dressing for winter racing are not wearing closed-toe shoes and wearing a seasonally inappropriate outfit.

For the gents, it is a little more simple. A strict, smarter than casual dress code calls for leather shoes, tailored trousers and a sports jacket. Finding something a little more interesting than the regular black suit means you are sure to stand out.

Combining a check suit with a more understated shirt and tie is a way to step out of your comfort zone. Adding accessories like fun socks and lapel pins tie a look together.

The Mackay Cup Race day kicks off 11am at the Mackay Turf Club at Ooralea Racecourse.

Check more about fashion in the video:

Publicerat klockan 04:27, den 10 juli 2018
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Discount fashion chain in U.S. expansion

A budget fast-fashion retailer with no online presence is expanding its U.S. portfolio.

Primark will open a location at King’s Plaza Mall in Brooklyn, New York, on Saturday, July 7. The 57,900 -sq.-ft. store will feature women’s, men’s and children’s wear items along with home goods, beauty products and gifts.

Featuring a contemporary and upbeat design, the store will feature 56 fitting rooms and 42 registers, access to free WiFi and four customer recharge seating areas. Primark, a division of Associated British Foods PLC, is known for its on-trend family fashions and extremely low prices. The chain does not sell online, saying that selling online would not be cost effective given how low its prices are.

With the opening of the Brooklyn store, Primark will have nine locations in the United States, all in the Northeast. It plans to open two additional outposts later this year, with one at Sawgrass Mills, Sunrise, Florida. The retailer, which has 352 stores throughout Europe, made its U.S. debut in 2015, in Boston.

In an interview with Reuters, AB Foods CEO George Weston said the company is “quietly encouraged” by what it is seeing so far with regards to Primark’s U.S. stores.

“We continue to learn … but it’s still very early days,” he said.


Publicerat klockan 05:15, den 3 juli 2018
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Account Executive - Fashion, Retail, Lifestyle

MCMPR is the Australian brand strategy and creative ideas agency of choice for aspirational global and domestic brands. We have been shaping and communicating client vision in the fashion, lifestyle, beauty, retail and luxury ecommerce spheres for over 21 years. We are looking for an Account Executive to join the MCMPR team in managing our growing fashion, lifestyle, beauty, retail and luxury ecommerce portfolio.

This role contributes to the agency’s work in shaping and communicating our clients’ unique vision, and creating innovative conversations between our brands and their target audiences through print, broadcast, digital and social media.

The Account Executive will provide support to the account management team on the development and delivery of results-driven PR, focusing on asset management, client reporting, and administration. Tasks will include research for accounts and projects, database management, press kit creation and distribution, monitoring editorial, collating reports and general administrative support for the agency.

The successful candidate will have a tertiary marketing/communications qualification and minimum of 1 years’ experience in the same or similar role with excellent industry references.

Essential Skills & Requirements: 

  • Concise and effective communication skills – written, verbal, creative
  • Meticulous organisation skills and the ability to multi-task and meet deadlines
  • Discreet, professional and well spoken, with excellent networking skills
  • Proven ability to work efficiently, proactively and seamlessly think two steps ahead
  • Flexible, adaptive and responsive
  • Innate sense of personal style and impeccable presentation
  • Extensive fashion knowledge and genuine industry interest
  • Solid digital and social media understanding
  • Comprehensive IT skills – proficient in Photoshop and Microsoft Office programs especially Excel
  • Eager to learn, develop skills and work with exciting clients


Publicerat klockan 11:17, den 25 juni 2018
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Foreign Direct Investment: What’s really holding online back

First things first. The Walmart-Flipkart deal is a masterpiece in terms of stitching together a structure and negotiation that allows the world’s largest retailer to make a direct play at Indian ecommerce industry’s huge potential. This deal is a great example of an acquisition of an Indian online retailer that’s in compliance with the foreign direct investment (FDI) rules applicable to online trading. Its meticulous structuring to ensure that FDI rules are adhered to for the acquisition are also a lesson in structuring. However, the challenge lies elsewhere.

It is the existing FDI rules themselves that are holding back the e-commerce sector. Scratch the surface, and one can see that most online trading companies in India with FDI follow FDI rules more in form than in substance. The reason for this is the stringent conditions that apply to online trading.

Complete compliance will never let companies freely do business in the manner such a business is supposed to be done. Here is when the ‘creative’ thinking and structures come handy, designed to follow the law only in its letter and more importantly to overcome the stringent conditions of the policy.

Only in India does a legal policy exist with so many distinct categories of trading. The Indian FDI policy provides for cash-and-carry wholesale trading; retail trading that’s divided into single-brand trading and multi-brand trading; ecommerce (online trading), which is further divided into the market place and inventory-based models; and finally, trading by not just a trader but someone who’s a manufacturer and trader. While a manufacturer is free to trade by any of these modes for all the other categories, different rules with different sets of conditions are provided in the FDI policy.

Interestingly, FDI in all these categories is allowed either through the automatic route, or government approval route. But when it comes to FDI in the inventory-based ecommerce model, it is disallowed. According to the FDI policy, inventory-based model of ecommerce means an ecommerce activity where inventory of goods and services is owned by an ecommerce entity, and is sold to the consumers directly.

The reason for the ban seems to be driven more by political considerations than genuine business concerns. It is a known fact that for several years, small and scattered kirana stores have opposed FDI fearing loss of their business by the onslaught from these gigantic online trading companies. Govts, too, traditionally are afraid that allowing FDI in this sector could result in losing votes of the trading community, and that opening this sector to FDI could be a political disaster.

Yes, over time, there has been gradual liberalisation in FDI in this sector. But successive governments have continued their political patronage and protection to traders. As a result, business has not grown to its potential. So, is the threat of foreign capital real? The controversy is that if Indian companies start getting foreign capital, it will squash the local industry. The reality, however, is that if at all the traders feel threatened, that can also be from competition from large Indian-owned and -controlled companies with deep pockets. The opposition to foreign capital is more of a politically driven issue than anything else.

From a business perspective, it makes little sense to think that the future lies in brick and mortar stores. Ecommerce is the wave of the future. Consumers who switch to online shopping are indifferent to the company being Indian or foreign-owned or -controlled.

So, the only real threat to small traders is the changing trends in shopping and consumer preferences.

In fact, foreign capital will be good for the overall growth of the sector, with great potential for employment and technological innovation, and opening India to a world-class shopping experience.

In any case, companies currently operating in the market place model, can’t be said to be operating accurately within the permitted conditions. They do cross the line and undertake an inventory-based model by using creative structures. So, it’s time the government realises this, and gets ready to bell the cat and allows foreign money in inventory-based online trading.

The first vital step is introducing and implementing new laws that seamlessly integrate doing of business, with the benefit of each stakeholder domestically and globally. Remove unnecessary restrictions on FDI. And, above all, allow the inventory model to operate unhindered.

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Publicerat klockan 10:56, den 11 juni 2018
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Handbags at dawn with Farfetch, the latest thing in upmarket online fashion

First it lured Natalie Massenet, the queen of online luxury, then it teamed up with fashion bible Vogue, and now it has won a multi-million pound investment from China’s biggest retailer: London-based fashion website Farfetch has rapidly gone from edgy outsider to hot ticket.

Farfetch is the Deliveroo of luxury fashion, linking together more than 700 exclusive boutiques and 200 brands in 40 countries and offering a delivery service for upmarket fashion shoppers worldwide.

Now the company is rumoured to be plotting a $5bn (£4bn) public listing, just 10 years after it was born, making it one of the UK’s most valuable internet businesses.

On Thursday, Farfetch announced plans to expand into the massive Chinese market after selling a minority stake, for $397m, to, the country’s biggest retailer.

Richard Liu,’s founder and chief executive, will now join Farfetch’s increasingly star-studded board of directors, alongside Massenet and Jonathan Newhouse, chairman and chief executive of Condé Nast, the publisher of Vogue and GQ.

The website has just signed a deal with Condé Nast, which will mean GQ and Vogue sending shoppers to Farfetch via direct links from their websites in the next few months.

Farfetch was founded by Portuguese fashion entrepreneur José Neves in 2008 with the idea of creating a single online marketplace for luxury independent boutiques that could compete with the biggest and best online retailers.

Neves started his first business, a software firm, while still studying economics at university in the 1990s. After helping out small fashion firms with technology, he moved into a business where he had a family heritage – his grandfather owned a shoe factory. Neves built a footwear design and wholesale business called SIX London, and then came bstore, an edgy fashion store on London’s Savile Row. Both still exist as part of Neves’ Six London holding company.

Farfetch, funded with money from his footwear business and developed partly with the skills of software engineers based back home in Porto, brought Neves’ two worlds together. The meteoric rise of the company was completed in February, when Massenet, the founder of Net-a-Porter, joined as co-chair of the business.

Massenet – now Dame Natalie as a result of Net-a-Porter’s global success – once described the luxury online business as her baby. But she jumped ship when it was taken over by the Yoox designer sales site in late 2015, apparently offended when Yoox boss, Federico Marchetti, insisted that he alone would be the head of the combined business. She is now said to be on a personal mission to foster Farfetch into a business that will overshadow her first creation.

Announcing her move to Farfetch on Instagram, Massenet wrote: “In 1999, when I first thought about selling fashion online, the world was just waking up to the possibility. Today we expect access to everything, any time, anywhere … If I were starting an e-commerce company today, I would do it very differently.”

She believes Farfetch’s business model – it doesn’t own any of the stock, vans or warehouses that allow fabulous frocks and designer bags to be dispatched to fashionistas everywhere – now has the edge over Net-a-Porter’s more traditional approach.

While Net-a-Porter runs its own logistics and has warehouses full of clothing that its in-house buyers have selected, Farfetch makes its money by taking a 25%-30% cut of the sales it generates for its partner boutiques and brands. It is a model makes it easier for Farfetch to adapt to a fast-changing fashion market and allows it to tap into trends that a central buying team might not have registered. With no stock on its books, it also has less risk.

Massenet is not the only one to have switched allegiance to this upstart rival to her first creation. Venezuelan fashion entrepreneur Carmen Busquets, an early backer of Net-a-Porter, is also now an investor in Farfetch, while a number of senior Net-a-Porter staff have also jumped ship.

Farfetch increased sales by more than 60% last year, and Luca Solca, an analyst at Exane BNP Paribas, reckons the platform is on course to overtake Net-a-Porter within the next two years. Analysts believe there are as many as 2,000 boutiques that could eventually join up with Farfetch, while it is also aiming to strengthen and extend its direct relationships with brands and offer a broader array of services.

The site’s growth is being helped by a general rise in online luxury shopping as big-spending fashion fans embrace ordering from home like never before. Within five years, some 14% of luxury sales are expected to be completed online – double today’s level.

That brings huge opportunity, but there is also increasing competition. The market once dominated by Net-a-Porter is now in the sights of London-based, Munich’s Mytheresa, department store groups and the brands themselves. LVMH, owner of Louis Vuitton and Givenchy, recently launched its own multi-brand retail site, 24 Sèvres.

While Farfetch’s model is fleet of foot, it also risks setting up tension between the brand owners and boutiques on the site and the ambition of Farfetch to build its own international brand. Recently, the company has removed from its website all mention of the boutiques it works with, so Farfetch appears more like a conventional online department store.

But the lack of visibility for the boutiques can make it confusing for shoppers who may receive items ordered together at different times in different packaging. One product may also be listed several times at different price points, with no indication why.

Stephanie Phair, a former Net-a-Porter executive who is now Farfetch’s chief strategy officer, says only a “tiny percentage” of items are listed at multiple prices, and Farfetch is “working hard through technology to fix it”.

Meanwhile, the company has been trying to deal with more luxury labels directly. Industry insiders say this is partly because brands have expressed concerns about pricing – a sensitive issue when labels can sell at wildly different prices in different parts of the world. 

Farfetch is trying to tempt them in with new ideas, such as a 90-minute delivery service for Gucci fashions in 10 cities around the world. Phair says there is a “long list of brands” waiting to sign up. 

Neves has said that he expects that even by 2020, three-quarters of luxury sales will remain on high streets, and he believes the way forward is “augmented retail” – working closely with physical stores.

Dealing increasingly with brands directly and wiping boutique names from the Farfetch website may not help keep stores onside. But Phair says that Farfetch is already working on ways to give the boutiques more air. “We think the best approach is editorial. We will give the boutiques a lot more prominence on social media and via local community initiatives,” she said. “There is an amazing opportunity where we can really be a global business with a local flavour.”

Publicerat klockan 04:48, den 29 juni 2017
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The timeless trend that’s been given a high-fashion makeover

At this time of year, when the rain just keeps on coming, remaining vaguely put together can be a task. Enter, the trench coat.

Synonymous with wet weather dressing, ever since its first iteration surfaced in the 1850s, the mac has remained a cornerstone of any well-edited wardrobe.

A rarity in fashion’s ever-changing cycle of trends, the timeless design has endured and it’s not going anywhere fast but, neither is the debate concerning its inception.

British brands Aquascutum and Burberry both stake a claim to designing the original trench but, while the former dons the shoulders of former Prime Ministers, with a folly of modern-day A-list celebrity wearers, Burberry has moved with the times.

Trench coats never really go out of fashion and, for the most part it has remained true to its heritage in classic brûlée-coloured gabardine but, this season, they’ve been given a renewed lease of life.

For its originator Burberry, the trench came in a variety of iterations from classic to models that spelt sex appeal. Take it unbelted in khaki green, cropped with a playful waterfall front or with larger-than-life leopard print mutton sleeves – here, exaggeration was a recurring theme.

Celine went for blue, buttery leather and wide lapels, Lanvin opted for a high shine black patent maxi, while Balenciaga hit upon strict architectural shapes, cinched in at the waist and worn off the shoulder. This was the trench coat, but not as we’ve seen it before.

Though there are as many variations of the trench as there are a LBD, its old-style elegance and warm tobacco hues make it this season’s easiest trend.

But, for additional high-fashion drama, take cue from the runway and order it a size up. Whether you choose to opt for oversized epaulettes, whooping lapels or super-long sleeves, it almost doesn’t matter what you wear underneath.

For autumn/winter, the trench promises to do all the talking.

Publicerat klockan 09:46, den 16 januari 2017
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Will JD Sports Fashion plc turn from market darling to market demon

Over the last year, shares in retailer JD Sports(LSE: JD) have soared over 50%, following huge rises in revenue and profits. However, yesterday's Channel 4 documentary, in which staff claimed that conditions in its Rochdale warehouse were "worse than a prison", threatens to put an end to the company's status of market darling. 

Should investors see this as a sign to take profits, or just a temporary blip, albeit one that any retailer would want to avoid, particularly at this time of the year?

Sacked for sitting down

Last night's documentary certainly didn't make for pleasant viewing. According to some of the 1,500 staff employed there, a punitive "3 strikes and you're sacked" policy operated at the Rochdale site.

In addition to having to endure airport-style security checks and random searches, workers were also threatened with dismissal if they sat down during shifts, and those employed through agencies were paid below the minimum wage. Revelations such as these have led Chair of the Business Select Committee, Iain Wright MP, to suggest that the company is treating its workers "like cattle".

In response, JD Sports issued a statement this morning saying that it was "deeply disappointed and concerned" by the footage and would be launching an investigation into the matter. The company stressed that all supervisory and security staff at the 24/7 facility would be retrained "as a matter of urgency" to ensure that its policies were correctly implemented. 

JD Sports also denied operating a strike policy or that workers could be immediately dismissed. The £3bn cap business said that it would "readily open" its doors to an appropriate independent bodyshould it wish inspect the company's facilities.

JD Sports isn't the first company to have its working practices questioned, of course. Online giants Amazon and ASOS, as well as JD Sports' biggest competitor, Sports Direct (LSE: SPD) -- have all been severely criticised over the treatment of employees in recent times. The question is, should today's response be enough for shareholders?

Time to top-up? 

No company is immune to setbacks -- it's how it responds that is key. By immediately outlining how it intends to tackle the problem rather than engaging in a public spat with politicians, JD Sports has at least shown a commitment to ensuring that its staff are treated with the respect they deserve. So long as management keeps its word, I view any slide in JD Sports' share price as an opportunity for prospective investors to build a position. Those already holding may even wish to top up.

That said, I sincerely doubt that any dip will rival the 50% plunge experienced over the last year by Sports Direct. Although some investors may wish to disassociate themselves from any company following such an affair, JD Sports' management seem better versed in public relations and recognise the importance of taking responsibility for turning things around. Contrast this with Mike Ashley's initial refusal to appear before a Commons Select Committee.

Trading on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of just over 20, shares in JD Sports are certainly more expensive to buy than those of Sports Direct (on a P/E of just 7). Indeed, those focused on finding value and/or taking contrarian positions will view the latter as a far more tempting opportunity. Nevertheless, given the somewhat unpredictable behaviour of its management team, I know which retailer I'd back to recover quicker, however disagreeable yesterday's news was.

Mistakes happen

It's not just companies that face challenges. Indeed, one of our biggest tests in investing is learning the identity of our greatest adversary. It's not other private investors, day traders or the big institutions. Rather, it's likely to be the very person staring back at you in the mirror.

If you're keen to avoid making expensive errors in your investing career, I strongly suggest you read a special FREE report produced by the experts at the Motley Fool. The worst mistakes investors make contains some excellent hints and tips on how you can avoid making the most common blunders.

Publicerat klockan 10:26, den 16 december 2016
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Hollyoaks star Jennifer Metcalfe models festive fashion at Manchester Arndale

Glamorous Hollyoaks star Jennifer Metcalfe always looks immaculate on the red carpet - but the star reckons she much prefers jeans, leggings and Ugg boots to high glamour.

But Jennifer was persuaded to pull on plenty of glitzy party frocks at Manchester Arndale Centre this week, as two of the city’s top fashion bloggers picked out the perfect party looks for the star to wear.

And while Jen loved the looks they found her, she admitted that her own party style tends to be decidedly more low key.

She said: “It’s the glam season so I do make an exception at this time of year, but I’m pretty set in my own ways I suppose when it comes to fashion. I tend to always go for the jumpsuits, the trousers, the comfies, so it has been nice to see myself in some things I would never usually wear today.”

Fashion bloggers Irena Doc and Lauren Cokguler selected outfits for the fashion shoot with Jennifer from Manchester Arndale shops New Look, Next, House of CB and Guess, in the week that the shopping centre has released its latest promos for glitzy party fashions.

Jen, who plays Hollyoaks’ feisty Mercedes McQueen, looked stunning in a cutaway blue lace Guess dress, but admitted she NEVER usually wears dresses above her knee.

She said: “You’ll never see pictures of me wearing anything above the knee, and I don’t overly love dresses if I’m honest. I always think if you wear a short skirt you’d have to be ladylike all night and I don’t like that!”

The Hollyoaks favourite admits there have been many times where she’s headed out to nightclubs with pals wearing leggings and her trusty Ugg boots. She laughs: “I always think if you’ve got nice make-up and jewellery you can get away with a more comfy outfit”.

Here Jen gives her top tips for party style :

1) Don’t overdo the sequins - but a bit of sparkle is fun at this time of year.

2) For me a go-to is a nice fitted jumpsuit - you can wear it straight from work on to your night out if you add a bit of jewellery.

3) Black is always a winner, it’s elegant and flattering for most women.

4) If you’re comfortable and feel yourself you’ll have a good time - I never wear heels when I go on a night out - if you’ve got nice make-up on and jewellery you’ll still feel fabulous!

Publicerat klockan 08:57, den 9 december 2016
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Fashion guru George Davies on his shock diagnosis with bowel cancer

George Davies, the fashion veteran who gave us high-street staples Next and George at Asda, and restored the fortunes of Marks & Spencer with Per Una, is not a man known for his diffidence. But recently, he was faced with a challenge that truly spooked him. This year, at the age of 74, Davies was diagnosed with bowel cancer.

“It knocked me back,” says Davies, now 75, who has been married four times and is a father of seven and grandfather to six. “I haven’t said this to anybody, but essentially it’s only in the past week [seven months after the diagnosis] that I’ve been feeling positive again.

“I went to see a lawyer and got all my affairs straight and... I’m not looking for sympathy, but all those things... it brings it all home.”

There was much to reflect upon.

The son of a Liverpool sausage-maker and a seamstress, Davies transformed the British high street when he launched Next in 1982, pioneering the concept of selling customers whole outfits, rather than individual items. He made his fortune, though, with George at Asda – spotting the potential in selling clothes to busy mothers shopping in out-of-town supermarkets – and then Per Una, which he sold to Marks & Spencer in 2004 for £125 million.

The entrepreneur had seemed fit and well and was happily occupied with his latest fashion brand, FG4, which has a chain of stores in the Middle East, as well as the various causes he supports through his charitable foundation. Then, one morning in March this year, he woke up with a feeling that he was not quite right.

“Normally I get up at 7.30am and start going through my emails, but I found I couldn’t concentrate on them and had to go back to bed.

“I said to my wife, Arlene, you’d better book me in to see the doctor.”

His GP did a blood test, and when the results showed that his iron levels were low – suggesting he might be losing blood – he was referred for a colonoscopy. Davies opted not to have an anaesthetic for the procedure, and was able to see the tumour himself on the monitor.

After that came more tests, including an endoscopy.

“For me, the worst thing wasn’t being told – it was the waiting,” says Davies.

Within days, it was confirmed that he had bowel cancer. The good news was that the tumour appeared to be small and self-contained, and his surgeon was confident the cancer had been detected at an early stage.

“I was lucky – my surgeon was able to get it out through keyhole surgery, and he believes he got it all, so there was no need for chemotherapy or radiotherapy,” says Davies. “I was out of hospital three days after the surgery and was able to start doing bits of work the following week.”

Davies is now having CT scans, blood tests and colonoscopies every six months, which have so far come back clear. He will continue to be tested for five years.

The entrepreneur is now keen to raise awareness of bowel cancer, which strikes some 40,000 men and women in the UK every year, seven out of 10 of whom will be aged 65 or over. If caught early it can often be successfully treated, but survival rates suffer because the early symptoms can be subtle, and many patients put off going to their doctor to discuss them.

“The things we worry about are changes in bowel habits, particularly blood that’s mixed in with the stool, or unexplained weight loss and pain,” says Ian Jenkins, colorectal surgeon at St Mark’s Hospital and the London Clinic, who treated Davies. “But people are embarrassed to talk about these things and play them down. The challenge is engaging the older population not to ignore the symptoms and to go to their doctor.”

Bowel-screening programmes have been introduced, where kits are sent to those aged 60 to 74 every two years in order to allow faecal samples to be tested for blood, but again, these are under-used as a result of public squeamishness. Studies show only half of those invited are taking part. Charities also recently called for these tests to continue to be sent to people when they reach 74, pointing out that those aged 75 or over were at risk of a missed diagnosis.

Age is the biggest risk factor for bowel cancer. Family history can also play a part, as can a history of bowel trouble such as Crohn’s disease; it has also been linked to lifestyle habits such as alcohol, obesity and a diet high in processed meat.

Davies, 75, had no family history of bowel cancer (his father died of pancreatic cancer), but given his age, he had a raised risk of bowel cancer – and he confesses that, like many of his generation, he avoids seeing the doctor if he can.

“When I didn’t feel well that morning, I didn’t want to phone the GP and I felt guilty about it because I worried I was wasting their time. Now I feel very lucky in that if I hadn’t, they might never have discovered it.”

Davies has had health scares in the past – in 1997 he had surgery for an abscess in his colon, and then, in 2002, for a benign brain tumour. But still, the diagnosis came as a shock: as a young man he played football for England’s under‑18 squad, and keeps fit with cycling and spin classes, and a healthy diet.

“I don’t feel 75,” he says. “I’ve got two boys and they’re massively fit and only eat the right stuff, and they’ve influenced me, talking to me about protein and all that stuff.”

He did enjoy the odd cigarette, however, having smoked on and off ever since he launched Next – a habit he has given up for good since being told he had cancer.

The diagnosis also prompted him to take stock of his important relationships, and he decided to marry Arlene, 46 – making her his fourth wife.

In an emotional celebration for his 75th birthday at the end of October, all of his children and grandchildren surprised Davies at their home in the Cotswolds with a family party. “I didn’t know they were coming and it was very special,” he says.

But Davies won’t be slowing down his schedule, and following his recovery, he has decided to get involved in bowel cancer research. He has just donated £250,000 to the Centre for the Treatment of Advanced Cancer at St Mark’s Hospital to support a new research project led by his surgeon, Mr Jenkins.

Jenkins and his team will be looking at how body composition – particularly, the ratio of fat and muscle a person carries – can influence their response to cancer treatment. This exciting new field of cancer research is based on studies showing that fat and muscle cells can act on immune function. Most promisingly, Jenkins believes that helping patients to boost their muscle quantity and quality before their treatment starts, through a simple diet and exercise plan, may improve the outcome.

“One thing I’ve learnt from all my experiences and conversations with people is that to conquer things, you’ve got to be positive,” says Davies. “I still want to be competitive and make a change. What’s the point of being on this planet if you don’t?”

Publicerat klockan 03:44, den 6 december 2016
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The £10bn war over who is going to zip up your trousers

Those three ubiquitous capital letters on the metal tab that fastens your jeans might seem like an insignificant detail, but what if we told you that they’re the hallmark of an industry worth £10 billion?

You’re probably already familiar with YKK - a Japanese brand founded in 1934 by Tadao Yoshida that has been dominating the zipper market for most of the last seventy years – but their supremacy is at stake.

A relative newcomer to the market - SBS Zippers - is a Chinese firm that was founded in 1984. In recent years it has become a major worldwide force by selling affordable zippers to mass-market brands like North Face, H&M and Mango.

As a result, the two Asian superpower firms are now in a battle to outdo one another for international zipper domination and neither is going down without a fight.

Why? It might seem mundane but by 2020, the global zipper market is expected to be worth a mammoth £10 billion.  

Despite YKK making roughly half of all the zippers on earth, prominent clients have been opting to buy from Chinese competitors instead. To combat this, the company is adapting to the shifting market by looking to higher-end brands instead – a market which was previously controlled by European brands like Lampo and RiRi.

To make things more complicated, SBS are also shooting for luxury clients but so far, YKK are having much greater success. According to Business of Fashion, this is because it not only make zippers, “but also the equipment that allows them to do so.” 

For a seemingly humdrum trade, the global zipper business is unleashing some serious fury but, who will come out on top?

Publicerat klockan 06:56, den 21 november 2016
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Going to a US election party? Invest in a toxic bile-proof outfit

How about a hazmat suit? A nice, stylish all-in-one orange number that outlines the figure but also protects you from all the toxic bile that will spew forth whatever Tuesday night’s result? Got you an outfit that can do both. At the very least, I would urge you to opt for fabrics coated in plastic, so that the various liquids that you may have on your person over the course of the night – tears of terror, vodka, your vomit – won’t stain. Tomorrow may well be traumatic enough without having to do laundry.

So here we are, folks, on the eve of watching the US make the difficult choice between a woman who used the wrong email server and a man who has answered the question of what American fascism would look like. Tricky choice, fellow Americans! Better flip a coin.

Oh, don’t worry. I’m not going to bang on about who anyone should vote for because, frankly, if anyone out there has still not made up their mind after everything that has happened in the past year and a half, then I doubt anything you read in a soi-disant style column will push you over the edge. I mean, if your candidate has 12 women accusing him of sexual assault and he still has your loyalty then I’m guessing my jokes about him resembling an Oompa Loompa won’t make much difference. Say what you like about Trump supporters but you can’t question their focus, and that focus is on not letting a damn woman become president.

As for the undecided voters, I will temporarily hand over the stage to my fellow American in London, the peerless David Sedaris, who recently described this demographic as being like passengers on an aeroplane who are told that the meal options are chicken and “the platter of shit covered in broken glass”.

“To be undecided in this election,” Sedaris writes, “is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.”

But before this election passes into the dark night of the soul, there is something else I’d really like to get off my chest. Ready Britain? Seatbelts on.

There is a certain demographic – surprisingly large! – who, for the past few months, has been fond of saying things like this to me: “Look, I’m a reasonable liberal person. I’m a good guy! So obviously I hate Trump – OBVIOUSLY. But I also hate Clinton – OBVIOUSLY. They’re as bad as each other. I guess you should vote for Clinton though, Christ, you’ll have to walk through bleach afterwards. Damn you, corporate America!”

OK, so first of all, thank you so much for telling me how to vote. How on earth would I have known if it weren’t for you? Oh, Trump is BAD, is he? Clinton talks to Goldman Sachs, does she? Thank you so much for Britsplaining the election to me, I really hadn’t noticed! We ex-colonials have been too busy knocking back Supersize Big Gulps of blue soda to read a newspaper.

Second, I get that a lot of people don’t like Clinton. I think you’ve mentioned it once or twice. But can we all please give the goddamn false equivalency a rest, please? Because you know where that gets you? It gets you into the same camp as Susan Sarandon who, only just last week, was on Newsnight explaining why Trump and Clinton are as bad as each other, and that’s why she’s voting for Jill Stein, the Green party candidate who thinks Clinton is as dangerous as the man who claims climate change is a hoax. Isn’t it sweet how Sarandon’s belief that voting for third-party candidates gives her the moral upper hand has in no way been dimmed by her experience of voting for Ralph Nader in 2000? She won’t vote for Clinton, Sarandon explained to Evan Davis, because “I don’t vote with my vagina, you know. This is bigger than that.” Sometimes, even for me, the joke is just too obvious.

So given that we settled the important matter of what to wear tonight in the first sentence, I’d like to switch tack and look at a different issue, which is how to deal with any Americans who might be in your life tomorrow. Because they will be in a fragile place, wilted inside their hazmat suits and screaming at the television: “No no, wait! I didn’t hear how North Carolina voted! Someone give me the final results from North Carolina!”

By and large, it’s great to be American in Britain. Hell, we speak the language, and that’s a huge boon, given that, for most of us, our knowledge of foreign languages is limited to, “Hasta la vista, baby.” OK, you have to endure the occasional humiliation of seeing your nation represented by Huey Morgan on Question Time, or Sarandon on Newsnight, but, generally, life is sweet. Yet it is hard to be away from home during an important election, which is why Americans, whatever the outcome, will need your kindness tomorrow. They’ll be exhausted and emotionally spent. They may also need reminders of happier times in their homeland. So furnish them with food they ate as children – Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Aunt Jemima’s Pancakes, Hershey’s Chocolate Milk, Fruit Roll-Ups. You can probably order them all by drone on Amazon these days.

And above all, don’t hector Americans about the result. Trust me, they know. Don’t hector, just hug. Buckle up, guys. We got a long night ahead of us.

Publicerat klockan 04:12, den 8 november 2016
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Is Turning Kids into Fashion Plates Harmful to Children

Millie Bobby Brown is the cover star for So It Goes magazine, and The Telegraph‘s Victoria Moss isn’t too keen on it. The 12-year-old Stranger Things actress is slowly becoming a media darling and for good reason – not only is she supremely talented and part of a hit Netflix show, but she’s adorable and charming to boot. But Moss’ problem isn’t with Millie, it’s more with magazines and brands who have an adult audience, propping up a child as a fashion plate. Moss takes issue most of all with the thought of a young girl modeling clothes worth thousands of dolla

“At no point did anyone raise the issue of whether a twelve-year-old child should be modelling a £4000 Chloé dress. Let alone, whether that makes you actually want to buy one in the first place. That’s what she’s wearing on the front cover of So It Goes.” The dress in question is laden with frills, which she wears with a pair of combat boots, grey t-shirt, and a bomber jacket. “Fashion has always been a contrary, opinion dividing beast, but where do we draw the line? Perhaps in separating it away from fiction. Do I want Millie Bobby Brown back as Eleven in series two? Hell yes. Do I want to see a twelve-year-old in a fashion shoot, or read an interview with one? Erm. Not really. Yes, she’s cute. But hyped up fawning over the ‘look’ of a minor is creepy at best.”

As Moss points out, the fashion industry has a long tradition of presenting young kids as fashion icons, usually in clothing many adults can’t even afford. Dakota and Elle Fanning are two such former child stars who come to mind. As a 13-year-old, Dakota starred in a Marc by Marc Jacobs ad. When she was 17, Marc Jacobs cast her to appear in the label’s Oh Lola! fragrance campaign, an ad which was later banned in the UK for being too provocative. “We noted that the model was holding up the perfume bottle which rested in her lap between her legs and we considered that its position was sexually provocative. We understood the model was 17 years old but we considered she looked under the age of 16,” the ASA explained to the Telegraph at the time. We considered that the length of her dress, her leg and position of the perfume bottle drew attention to her sexuality. Because of that, along with her appearance, we considered the ad could be seen to sexualise a child.”

Mad Men‘s Kiernan Shipka is only 16, but regularly rocks Dior, and is featured on the cover of W magazine’s April 2016 issue, along with Willow Smith (15) and Zendaya (20). Willow Smith is a brand ambassador for Chanel along with 17-year-old Lily-Rose Depp. Hailee Steinfeld posed for a 2011 Miu Miu campaign, which was banned when the ASA ruled that the ad “was irresponsible and in breach of the code in showing a child in a hazardous or dangerous situation.”

We can all agree that having a child in a sexually provocative ad or situation is a no-no, but is seeing non-adults modeling expensive clothing marketed to grown men and women a problem for impressionable kids?

According to parenting expert Michele Borba Ed.D., it is. “The concern is that if she is an idol for tweens, it does become problematic. As a society, we have become one that values brands and what’s on the outside, as opposed to the inside as what counts,” she told Yahoo Style over the phone. “It’s a very difficult age anyway for tweens because they’re forming their identity, and a lot of times they do that by looking to others they admire.”

Tabloids and fashion websites (including this one) also fawn over the pricey wardrobes of celebrity kids. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ daughter has made more than a few headlines for her pricey kiddie closet. Victoria Beckham’s daughter Harper wore Chloé tights before she even knew the value of such hosiery. Blue Ivy Carter made it very clear to Rihanna at the 2015 Grammys that she was wearing Dior. North West has a wardrobe of designer duds that would make a fashion-obsessed grown woman envious.

Borba says the obsession over celebrity kids’ clothing adds to the problem. “Here’s what we need to realize. It impacts [kids,] not only their self-esteem and identity, but it impacts what they want to be when they grow up. 15 years ago, when we asked our kids what they wanted to be, it was, ‘a leader, a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher.’ Now? it’s ‘rich’ or ‘famous’ The dollar signs begin to make a dent because it’s flaunted, it’s front page of a cover, and it’s talked about. It’s now about notoriety and what we need to do is temper that down.”

But Borba thinks there’s hope. “People are finally wising up and waking up that we are fast forwarding childhood too soon. It becomes this question of ‘why are we doing that to a kid,’ when a childhood is a terrible thing to waste.”

Publicerat klockan 09:18, den 15 oktober 2016
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Ask Alanis Morissette: I worry about my grandchildren’s diet

We raised our daughters on healthy food and made sure they had a nourishing meal each night. It’s with a feeling of despair that I see them take the easy way out with their own children’s diet: fish fingers more nights than not, and lots of processed foods. I worry my grandchildren will develop health issues. I have a good relationship with my daughters and don’t want to spoil it. What can I do?

First, I want to acknowledge how moving it is to see you care about your grandchildren’s bodies and their futures. The challenge is how to bring this up in a way that respects your daughters. As you seem to know, it is up to them to decide how they feed or raise their children.

Having been on the receiving end of a lot of unsolicited advice about parenting, and having felt frustration (and, occasionally, gratitude), I assure you that proceeding with tenderness, respect and caution is a great way to go. I would start by asking your daughters (separately) if they are up for a conversation about something that feels important to you. Mention that on some level it is your business – they are your grandchildren, after all – yet on another level it is none of your business, because these kids are their children. This is more likely to go down well than saying: “I have some advice for you.”

I would simply say: “This might not be my business, but you know how much I love your kids and how much I love you. And I just want to share how I feel with you, whether you respond to it or not.” This establishes that you are passionate, but have enough humility and respect to know you can’t control these choices. I would then continue: “I’ve done some research into how important healthy food is, and because I care about them and you so much, I just want to support you in providing those foods whenever it is possible, circumstantially or financially.” You could also offer to help: would you be willing to do a food shop for them once a week, or even cook?

After this, I would let go. If your daughters are going to accept your support, they will do so on their own terms. If they resist it or even resent it, there is nothing you can do. I wish you well.

This is my last column – I’m taking a break to have a baby and focus on being a mother. Thank you so much for sharing your stories and challenges with me. I have been deeply moved by your bravery and willingness to ask tough questions, and I will miss you.

Publicerat klockan 08:09, den 23 september 2016
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Monica Rose Reveals What Kendall Jenner Will Wear This Fall

If it seems like everyone's decked out in a choker, bodysuit and thigh-high boots, it's all because of Kardashians (and the Hadids and Chrissy Teigen.) Namely, it's all because of Monica Rose, the stylist behind the Kardashian-Hadid-Teigen aesthetic.

Rose is the stylist behind the choker-heavy, layered monochromes that's become ubiquitous with the "cool girl" look. It's part laid-back California vibes, part grunge and thoroughly sexy. If there's anyone that can make you look at neutrals in a fresh, cool way, it's Monica Rose.

It's not that Rose intended to revolutionize a neutral palette or make us look at a 90s essential -- choker necklaces -- in a different way. The stylist claims in an interview with InStyle that even though the Kardashians' style might look similar, it's specifically catered to each sister.

"I style my clients by tapping into what they're into at the moment, into their personalities,to create a signature look that's personal and authentic to them " Rose explains to Instyle. "It just so happens they all like the same thing!"

While Rose didn't reveal what's part of the Monica Rose look for fall, she did lend one juicy tidbit of information slip: her favorite new boots are no longer thigh-high.

"Right now, I'm into more of a calf boot with a chunky heel," Rose suggests. "It's cool, it's chic, and it's comfortable."

Rose's word is law: just last week, Kendall Jenner was photographed in a pair of blue velvet 3.1 Phillip Lim calf-length boots. Looks like the Rose effect is very, very real.

"I style my clients by tapping into what they're into at the moment, into their personalities,to create a signature look that's personal and authentic to them " Rose explains to Instyle. "It just so happens they all like the same thing!"

While Rose didn't reveal what's part of the Monica Rose look for fall, she did lend one juicy tidbit of information slip: her favorite new boots are no longer thigh-high.

"Right now, I'm into more of a calf boot with a chunky heel," Rose suggests. "It's cool, it's chic, and it's comfortable."

Rose's word is law: just last week, Kendall Jenner was photographed in a pair of blue velvet 3.1 Phillip Lim calf-length boots. Looks like the Rose effect is very, very real.

Publicerat klockan 11:04, den 3 september 2016
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Cushion Foundations: The Next Big Beauty Trend

Nowadays it’s common knowledge that if you want to know the next big thing in beauty you look to Korea and just like the introduction of BB creams into the Western Market in 2011 we now have them to thank for the cushion compact’s rise to beauty industry domination. The technology behind ‘K-beauty’ is heralded as the most innovative and advanced in the world so it seems only natural that we would want a slice of the skin-perfecting action. Cushion foundations officially landed in the UK last year thanks to the launch of Lancôme’s Miracle Cushion Foundation, naturally, more and more brands are jumping on the bandwagon but with it they’re bringing a whole host of added skincare benefits, like added SPF, extra hydration and anti-aging benefits.

First of all, let’s discuss what they actually are. These makeup compacts come loaded with a sponge soaked in a light foundation, BB or CC cream and a sponge pad applicator so you can dab the formula onto your face. While traditional foundations can lead to unsightly lines and a thick layer, freed from the tube, these snap-lock compacts offer the ability to target specific areas and build coverage where needed. They are undoubtedly the secret to an even, customisable and undetectable finish. 

While these super thin, lightweight formulas are abundant, some brands are taking things one step further. Not only were Lancome the first to launch sponge filled compacts in the UK but they have just sprung upon us the first long wear, high coverage cushion foundation with an impressive SPF 50 sunscreen – the Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Cushion. If that wasn’t enough, the brand have taken the concept of Air Cushion technology to blush territory; the results? A smooth, light and melt-away texture. In the same week, Dior has also launched its Dreamskin Perfect Skin Cushion which is one of those, part skincare, part foundation hybrids that give you instant moisturising, anti-ageing and complexion-perfecting results.

The job of applying foundation has never been easier and while the idea of a cushion foundation is all just a big step up from a BB cream it’s clear that some of the industry’s leading brands are keen to see it evolve. Are you a cushion convert?

Publicerat klockan 05:42, den 25 augusti 2016
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Beauty Tips: 3 Fabulous New Makeup Trends

Doing the same old beauty routine as last year? It’s time to shake up your makeup and add flair to your hair with this season's latest beauty techniques. Donna Ruko and Hair and Makeup Artist Angela Waters have three hot trends that will have you looking fierce and fabulous!

1.  Draping

You need two blush tones, one deep pink and one light.  Start with the dark and put it below your cheek bone to add depth. Then dip your brush in the lighter shade to add some highlights.

2.  Ear Makeup

Take an eye shadow base, brush, and then you can outline the folds. This is like ear contouring; you're highlighting your ears best assets. Or just focus on the lobe, making what has been called an accent ear.

3.  Hair Stenciling

This is a fun way to add a little accent to you hair. All you need is a stencil and temporary hair color. Hold the stencil up and spray away. You can really up your hair game with a customized stencil.

Publicerat klockan 05:05, den 16 augusti 2016
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Modesty: More Than Just Clothing

Why does a successful fashion designer and illustrator choose to drop her career and move to Israel, becoming religious?

Why would a mother become completely appalled by her daughter's coloring book?

What comes up when trying to look for material for teaching others to draw faces?

Meet Yocheved Nadell, who was born in South Africa, grew up in California, made Aliyah from New Jersey, and now lives in Beit Shemesh.

A fashion designer by profession, she was raising her beautiful family in Israel, in an environment infused in Torah, when she realized that there were no outlets for modest fashion creativity available for her daughters.

Most options for design books, even for young girls, included not just immodest clothing, but unrealistic body proportions and seductive poses. Even faces were wearing smirky expressions, and the innocent sweetness that children in her community shined from was sorely missing.

While doing research for her dream project, a design sketchbook made with modesty and fashion in mind in equal measures, Yocheved discovered that many teenage girls in her community had a skewed view of what modesty actually meant. "I thought that to be modest, you had to be ugly!" a number of teens informed her.

The view of fashion being either sexy or ugly, with no in-between, was disturbing. "I realized," she says, "that modesty itself needed a PR job!" Yocheved had her work cut out for her.

With two books out and a third on the way, the Adina's Design series is extremely successful in a variety of markets. In addition to really cool and chic fashion ideas, it includes clear guidance for making patterns, such as leopard print, for drawing faces, and for real, normal body proportions. There are stickers, accessories and pages and pages of ideas for kids to be creative on their own. "I wanted girls to realize that they could be modest in a dignified way; they could be trendy and chic, and feel proud of who they are! Each individual has a unique and personal style, and it's not about showing skin, it's about showing dignity."

Tune in to meet a woman who is passionate about her work, and using her G-d-given talents to guide, educate and beautify girls of all ages!

Publicerat klockan 05:13, den 8 augusti 2016
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Off-shoulder blouses, capes rule in bridal season

In the ever-evolving fashion world, try going bold with off-shoulder blouses, or do a sensual cover-up with a cape or even by adding a dash of style with a fusion jacket in the bridal season, say experts.

Off-the-shoulder silhouettes make for a perfect wedding-to-beach-to-bar outfits. Whether you pair your blouse with a dhoti skirt, a sari, high-waist trousers, a mid-length skirt or opt for a white eyelet dress, you can't go wrong with this trend, designers have said.

As for the cape, team it up with saris, gowns, dresses, lehengas and kurtas. The capes are totally detachable, giving one endless options to style one's outfits and also allows one to re-use your lehenga with a whole new look.

Designer Payal Singhal will showcase capes in a vibrant way via her collection at the upcoming Vogue Wedding Show 2016, a three-day exhibit of latest wedding services. The fourth edition of this 'By invitation only' luxury fair will be held from August 5-7 here, read a statement.

Talking about the trend, Singhal said:,"The trend is moving towards more individualistic and curated looks as women don't want their repertoires to scream a "head-to-toe store bought" anymore.

"So, mixing and matching pieces from a collection or even different designers is also a big trend. The emphasis on shoulders with cold shoulders, off-shoulders, shoulder cut-outs is big this year for bridal cholis.

"With the introduction of capes and drapes, the dupatta has also become redundant and a lot of brides will be wearing their lehengas without dupattas now."

Also, fusion jackets are changing the dynamics for the Indian bride. Jackets make such a versatile piece in one's wardrobe that one cannot restrict it from mixing and matching with different outfits and create different looks out of it.

So, if you still do not own a jacket already, grab one today and rock your ensemble.

Monica Shah and Karishma Swali, founders of JADE label, who are also a part of Vogue Wedding Show 2016, shared that,"traditional choli and dupattas are being stylishly swapped with embroidered jackets that are paired with a lehenga".

"Contemporary lehenga saris with traditional motifs are also making a comeback this year. Subtle and sophisticated workmanship is the way to go for these new age brides," they said.

Ace fashion guru Manish Arora feels,"embellished sweatshirts, lehengas, printed saris, long jackets, denim flared skirts with off shouldered and crop top blouses are new trend to look out for this bridal season."

Publicerat klockan 07:50, den 29 juli 2016
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A Jewellery Line Exists For Adults With Autism

There is a new line of jewellery designed specifically for people with autism - and everything about it is fabulous.

The jewellery is designed to combat one part of autistic behaviour, called stimming. Stimming is basically any kind of restless movement any of us make, usually when nervous and without thinking about it. But it is even more common among people with autism who can sometimes find it disruptive and annoying.

Hello Giggles introduced us to the jewellery line Stimtastic, made by Cynthia Kim who has autism herself and so completely understands how stimming can affect people.

Cynthia writes on her website: "Stimtastic is affordable stim toys, chewable jewellery and fidgets for autistic adults and teens as well as individuals with SPD, ADHD/ADD, dyspraxia . . . everyone who stims! Run by an autistic person, Stimtastic celebrates stimming as a natural part of our lives."

The line includes fidget jewellery such as spinnable rings and pendants, movable chain bracelets and beaded earrings and necklaces as well as chewy jewellery in the shape of bangles, pendants and keychains.

The idea of the jewellery is to aid people to stim with beautiful accessories, in a celebration of the act. Whatsmore, "10% of proceeds from sales at go back to the autism community in the form of charitable donations and direct giving", Cynthia writes on her website.


Publicerat klockan 05:37, den 25 juli 2016
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Heatwave watch: what shorts should you wear to work

For many of us, the exposure of our legs in the office is tantamount to a bit of unwanted public shaming, like accidentally sending an email detailing our most intimate medical problem to the whole office. Essentially it is semaphoring to the whole world a message that says: “Whoops! I’m exposing my calves, a faded peace sign tattoo on my ankle and the inconsistent hairline around my left leg. I don’t want Rob from IT to see that.”

But needs must, and when your thighs feel like they are being flambeed under your black skinny jeans, shorts are a no-brainer. If you work in a casual office where shorts are permissible, what type works best?

Going the athleisure route is good in the comfort stakes: Nike does cotton blended shorts. Great, but not so good for more formal situations.

Chino shorts are again quite lightweight and cooling but if you want to avoid looking too much like you’re starring in the deleted beach scene from Dead Poets Society, you might want to swerve away from beige and go for a different colour. (J Crew has a range in watermelon and Paul Smith does a pair in electric blue).

If you want to go off-piste (and by that we mean “Elizabethan”) J.W.Anderson’s bunched-up, pleated shorts are for you.

Our favourite option, though, are these cut-offs from Levi’s. Distressed, with frayed hems, they look both lightweight and comfortable, and mirror the Fear Of God jeans favoured by the likes of Kanye West and Justin Bieber.

Publicerat klockan 04:54, den 21 juli 2016
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Adidas has reproduced its iconic footwear, the Gazelle, in its '91 edition.

The brand has collaborated with David Hellqvist to contextualise the Gazelle for its 2016 rebirth. 

From the Gazelle's first release back in the mid '60s, the three stripe classic has been a defining piece in subculture fashion, most distinctly throughout it's golden days of '90s Britpop and Brooklyn rap.

The premium leather and vintage suede pack is now available to mark the classic's rebirth, with new colour updates dropping throughout the coming months.

Take a peak at the look book above.

Publicerat klockan 05:15, den 13 juli 2016
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Where to eat with the locals in Lisbon

Portugal is gaining an international reputation for its cooking, particularly for creative cuisine. We asked Spotted by Locals’ team in Lisbon to recommend where to sample the best food in the capital, from restaurants serving the city's celebrated seafood to fine dining.

For vegetarians, one of the best places to eat is Terra ( It’s well-known and, even though the buffet isn’t very extensive, the quality of the dishes - salads, sweet potato feijoada, tabbouleh - pulls the locals back again and again.

Meat-eaters can’t go wrong at Carvoaria Jacto. Choose your meat (beef, pork or lamb), the cut and the weight and then wait for it to be cooked. You’re guaranteed consistently good food at reasonable prices.

Lisboeta Erik is passionate about Cervejaria Ramiro ( “It is the place to eat seafood. There are better (and far more expensive) places certainly, but few are as authentic as Cervejaria Ramiro.” For those with a thicker wallet Eric recommends Nune’s Real Marisqueira ( Dinner here won’t be cheap, but the quality is worth it. It is justified in calling itself Real (royal).

Staying in the upmarket category (quality goes without saying, we are in Portugal after all), an obvious recommendation is Largo ( in Chiado. It can be difficult to secure a table here, but that’s because the chef is Louis Anjos, formerly of Porto’s celebrated Bull & Bear. The menu incorporates international and traditional dishes - scallops with corn cream and rose pepper or egg with potato foam and duck confit - accompanied by an extensive wine list.

For those on a budget and looking to experience local flavours, O Eurico is your spot. Don’t expect polished service but be prepared to eat well, and a lot. Frequented by residents from the area, it’s an experience of taste and tradition in a loud, garrulous atmosphere.

Finally, when in Lisbon, you should try the national dish bacalhau (salted cod) and a bifana (pork sandwich). Local Tânia says it’s (among other things) the cod at Zapata that makes her go back time and again. Many locals will mention Bifanas do Caldas or O Trevo when it comes to bifana. The first is conveniently located near the Castle while the latter is close to the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara.

Publicerat klockan 05:02, den 7 juli 2016
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Ruth Griffin's homegrown beauties

From the free-spirited beauty of Edna O’Brien to Amy Huberman’s megawatt smile, I think Irish women have a unique charm and beauty. And in recent years we’ve turned to homegrown, top-quality products to care for our beauty and skincare needs. With that in mind — and our Patron Saint’s day of celebration looming —it’s the perfect time to showcase my favourite indigenous beauty products.

I’ve included a lot of natural options in my Top 10 list as I love that Irish skincare lines (with mostly female creators) are making world-class natural, organic, chemical-free products. Many of these brands are combining our native produce — such as nutrient-rich Atlantic seaweed — with skincare technology to create fantastic indigenous skincare ranges.

Speaking of beautiful Irish women, model and mum Sarah McGovern has allowed me to take a little peak in her make-up bag and shares her beauty routine with me. Sarah’s favourite homegrown product line is Green Angel (, which combines organic seaweed and essential oils in its skincare products. Try the Aloe Vera and Avocado face mask, €19.95, which is available from pharmacies and health food shops nationwide.

photo: white formal dresses online

Wellness Oil

After renovating my house, I was feeling more than a little frazzled. I hadn’t been to my usual yoga class in a long time and was feeling it. When I met one of my best friends for coffee she surprised me by gifting me this beautiful little aromatherapy wellness oil by Yogandha. Created by Irish yoga teacher Sinead Duffy, these calming rollerballs promote emotional wellbeing through aromatherapy oils.

Editor’s pick! Roll with it

Galway’s Dr Joanne Reilly created this gem of a skincare line after failing to find a product on the market that would nurture her own troubled skin. I LOVE this 100pc natural rollerball eye serum. The metal rollerball helps with puffiness and feels calming and cooling on the eye area. I keep it in the fridge to help wake me up on those mornings when I’m not exactly feeling full of the joys!

Oil Slick

Sold in five-star spas all over the world, this Sligo seaweed-based brand is super indulgent. I use a lot of oils on my skin as I find they inject serious hydration. I use only natural oils (no mineral oils) like this nourishing body oil and massage them in thoroughly.

Tip: I mainly use oils at night,  otherwise my clothes get sticky!

Flower Power

I don’t use toners; for me they are  too drying. Instead, I splash some  water on my face after cleansing or  dab some rosewater on cotton wool and gently wipe over my face, before moisturising. My long-time favourite is Dublin-made Pharmacy Brand Rosewater. It’s affordable, natural and doesn’t strip the skin of natural oils.

Purity Promise

I first discovered this skincare brand when I was pregnant and looking for something gentle and free from chemicals. Louth-based Elave products are paraben, alcohol, sulfate, SLS, colour and formaldehyde free, yet deeply nourishing for the skin.

Their glycolic acid arginine products are excellent for mature/dry skin.

Song of the Sea

Galway brand Seavite is owned by the gorgeous Mulrooney sisters, both dermatologists, and has a fantastic range of organic seaweed skin and haircare products. This mild shampoo uses organic seaweed extracts to cleanse hair and scalp. It’s perfect for sensitive skin.   

By Candle Light

Every night I light a dozen tiny nightlights and one large beeswax scented candle that uses essential oils and a lead-free wick. It’s a lovely way to wind down. My favourite scented candle is Dodici by Wicklow brand Max Benjamin, so I was delighted when they launched a hand and body cream in the same scent.

Brush Up

Make-up maestros Paula Callan and Derek Carberry are backstage regulars at fashion shows and shoots. Their signature range of brushes are excellent — and a staple in most Irish models’ and actresses’ make-up bags.

Natural Glow

This natural false tan is free from GMOs, perfume, parabens, harsh chemicals and is extremely fast-drying (less than 60 seconds). Made in Tyrone, the brand’s velvet textured mitt is particularly popular as it helps to blend the tan for a clean finish.

From the free-spirited beauty of Edna O’Brien to Amy Huberman’s megawatt smile, I think Irish women have a unique charm and beauty. And in recent years we’ve turned to homegrown, top-quality products to care for our beauty and skincare needs. With that in mind — and our Patron Saint’s day of celebration looming —it’s the perfect time to showcase my favourite indigenous beauty products.

I’ve included a lot of natural options in my Top 10 list as I love that Irish skincare lines (with mostly female creators) are making world-class  natural, organic, chemical-free products. Many of these brands are combining our native produce — such as nutrient-rich Atlantic seaweed — with skincare technology to create fantastic indigenous skincare ranges.

Speaking of beautiful Irish women, model and mum Sarah McGovern has allowed me to take a little peak in her make-up bag and shares her beauty routine with me (right). Sarah’s favourite homegrown product line is Green Angel, which combines organic seaweed and essential oils in its skincare products. Try the Aloe Vera and Avocado face mask, €19.95, which is available from pharmacies and health food shops nationwide.

Did you know?

Seaweed baths have been used in Ireland since the 1700s. They’re a 300-year-old proven beauty process.

Kohl customer

Kohl Cosmetics, developed by the experts at  the Brown Sugar salons, is found in every  model’s kit — their lip-glosses and matte eye  shadows are particularly good.

Read more at: sexy evening dresses Australia

Publicerat klockan 04:51, den 29 mars 2016
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