|Posted by Güzel on April 30, 2011 at 11:47 AM||comments (0)|
LONDON — It was a moment of Cinderella magic: The future queen, emerging from a Rolls Royce in a slim ivory-and-white satin gown with a dramatic neckline, sheer lace sleeves and a train that followed her straight into fashion legend.
The dress, perhaps the most closely guarded secret of the royal wedding, became an icon from the moment it was broadcast around the world as Kate Middleton appeared at the doors of Westminster Abbey to marry Prince William.
Fashionistas swooned. Some people cried.
“It was perfect,” gushed Darcy Miller, editorial director for Martha Stewart Weddings. “She looked incredibly beautiful, classic but also modern. And what’s even more important, she looked like herself.”
The palace went to extraordinary measures to keep the dress and its designer under wraps. It wasn’t until Kate emerged from the car that it was revealed: Sarah Burton, creative director of the Alexander McQueen fashion house, was behind the long, lean gown, which hit the sweet spot between elegance and youthfulness, modesty and sensuality.
For the house of McQueen, the dress was a reversal of fortune beyond anything a Madison Avenue executive might have dreamed. A little more than a year ago, McQueen killed himself, and the industry wondered whether the label could survive without its brilliant but troubled namesake.
Uncounted hours of work went into the gown, fitted with a V-neck bustier and sweeping, eight-foot train in white and ivory satin gazar with a standup lace collar and long sleeves.
It was topped off by an antique Cartier tiara on loan from Queen Elizabeth II and a veil of tulle. It had the nipped waist and slightly flared hips that have come to be McQueen trademarks.
The ensemble was sleek and understated — particularly in comparison with the monumental gown Princess Diana wore at her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles, with its XXL puff sleeves and seemingly never-ending train. Its pared-down lines more closely recalled the simple elegance of the dress Grace Kelly wore when she married Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956.
Observers praised Kate’s choice as in step with the times and predicted the dress would launch a thousand knockoffs, just as Diana’s had.
“This will have a huge impact on the bridal industry that will last for the years to come,” said Jessica Michault, online style editor at the International Herald Tribune. “You are going to have women around the world wearing dresses that look as much like this one as possible.”
Katherine Rabinow, a photographer from Houston who was in London for wedding day, captured the overwhelming approval among those who turned out for a glimpse of the young couple.
“It’s a dress I’d love to see my daughter marry in — whether she was marrying a prince or not,” she said.
In a statement, Buckingham Palace gave an exhaustive description of the dress, from the number of tulle-swathed buttons running down the back (58) to the technique used to craft the lace — Carrickmacross, which has its origins in 1820s Ireland.
So intricate was the gown’s confection, the palace said, that the workers at the Royal School of Needlework who created the lace motif of flower, thistle and shamrock washed their hands every half-hour to keep the material pristine and used new needles every three hours to keep them sharp.
|Posted by Güzel on March 9, 2011 at 4:02 PM||comments (0)|
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Indian designers Falguni and Shane Peacock have busted out of Bollywood straight through to Hollywood. Their champion? Britney Spears.
In the video for her newest single “Hold It Against Me,” the pop queen raises up her fists like Muhammad Ali and cat-fights with her doppelganger while sheathed in ornate outfits by the married design duo. Britney One is clad in a short black minidress encrusted with intricate fuchsia and red beadwork, feathered shoulders and a slinky red train. Britney Two wears a similar version in navy blue.
The video has been a high career point for the Peacocks, who have dressed everyone from Katy Perry, Fergie and Brandy to Nicki Minaj in their sassy, detailed, futuristic frocks in just the past year. The couple, who married in 2001, debuted their designs outside India about eight seasons ago at Los Angeles Fashion Week, and have shown in London for six years. At first, they mainly dressed Indian actresses. Then American stars caught on.
“It’s so strange, to have one pop star after the other. Initially we designed for Fergie, for the World Cup, then lots of requests started coming in, especially in the last six months,” said an exhausted Falguni over the phone from Mumbai, back in their home base after the pair showed their sleek, leather-heavy, biker-chic fall collection during London Fashion Week.
One catwalk look featured fingerless black gloves with spikes jutting from the back, and another had swirling gold beading contrasted against a sheer, black three-quarter length sleeve top. Western silhouettes meshed with Indian-tinged embellishments.
A few weeks earlier, the pair lay low in a small suite at a luxury West Hollywood hotel on the Sunset Strip. Stylists for singer Perry chatted around them, flipping through racks of colorfully sequined floor-length gowns and sculptural, encrusted catsuits, searching for costumes for a new video.
Falguni, small and quiet in person, and Shane, tall and dark-haired, once again looked zonked. A flight from L.A. to Mumbai lasts about 18 hours. Planning a line of perfumes, bags and accessories, the two see themselves as a growing global brand.
“On the plane we sleep. Because of that, it’s hard to meet people. It’s easier to talk on the phone,” said Shane. “We are planning set up an office in New York and stay in New York for three months, then back in India, then back in New York.”
Falguni envisions stores around the world.
“Having everyone wear our clothes, and not just the pop stars,” she added. “It could be a more commercialized version. We know our strengths, what we can achieve.”
Khanh T.L. Tran, a longtime writer at fashion-industry newspaper Women’s Wear Daily, noted the Peacocks’ appeal to rock ‘n’ roll elite, and suggested the couple definitely need to broaden their range to appeal to everyday women.
“The pieces, because of the vivid colors, lavish embellishments, do lend well to a theatrical production or a video or red carpet,” said Tran. “But they should be careful because they don’t want to be too Bollywood. They could translate the aesthetics to sportswear pieces. A T-shirt silhouette might be easier to wear.”
Indian designers have just started to reach international acclaim, with the Peacocks in prominent company. Manish Arora, for example, is gaining attention for avant-garde, over-the-top neon creations worn by the likes of Minaj at the American Music Awards. Arora also was named the new artistic director of label Paco Rabanne.
The Peacocks remain committed to Indian traditions of handcrafting, and their garments are manufactured there. Certain dresses can take a few days to create, with five or six people doing the beadwork. That extra touch, as well as lowered production costs, could give them an advantage, said Tran.
Still, noted Shane, it took years to get to the point for the fashion community to view India as a creative hub beyond its production capabilities.
“It’s very difficult to be from India or a small country. No. 1, they don’t take you seriously, and No. 2, you have to work very hard,” said Shane. “Half the time people in the fashion business don’t take you seriously because you’re from a small town. They ask, ‘Do elephants roam on the road?”‘
The couple’s future will likely include dressing more A-list celebrities who love bright colors and blingy styles, but a more luxe collection in the works. They design their own prints, and architecture is a strong influence at the moment.
Interestingly, the women at the top of their wish lists to dress are not the sequined catsuit types: Faguni would love to see Queen Elizabeth II in their clothes, and Shane has his eye on a couple of prominent American women.
“I look up to Michelle Obama. She’s quite a powerful person,” said Shane. “We love to dress REAL women. In India, it’s more about customizing. Women come in different sizes, different shapes. We would have to adapt to what they wear, their style, with Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey. We can’t go overboard.”
|Posted by Güzel on March 9, 2011 at 3:58 PM||comments (0)|
Have Prince William and Kate Middleton chosen a wedding dress designer for the royal nuptials? With April 29 fast approaching, work on the gown needs to get started. Even though mum's the word, there are some interesting rumors that point to the late Alexander McQueen's fashion house as having been given the commission.
* March 2011 -- Alexander McQueen Fashion House. In what might be termed a case of "loose lips sink ships," the fashion house's CEO Jonathan Akeroyd is said to have told a professional contact that the British design house had received the commission. This would put the late fashion designer's right-hand assistant and current Alexander McQueen label creative director, Sarah Burton, in charge of Middleton's wedding gown.
* March 2011 -- Bruce Oldfield. If the name sounds familiar, royal watchers are sure to remember that Bruce Oldfield was credited with being the late Princess Diana's favorite designer. Eagle-eyed reporters keeping an eye on the premises of notable British fashion houses reported that Middleton's sister (the maid of honor), her mother and also the Countess of Wessex have been seen frequenting the establishment. The latter is the mother of 7-year-old Lady Louise Windsor, who is one of the bridesmaids at Prince William and Kate's wedding.
* February 2011 -- Erdem Moralioğlu. A powerhouse in the British fashion industry, his fashion house was rumored to be perfect for Middleton's sense of style. Not outrageous or controversial, Erdem fashions are known to flatter slimmer models who can carry a traditional look. In the same breath, fashion gossips pooh-poohed the idea of the bride's hiring Bruce Oldfield and putting herself in competition with Prince William's late mother.
* December 2010 -- David Emanuel. The designer of Lady Diana Spencer's wedding gown was thought to be the natural choice for Prince William's bride. While the dress made of antique lace, ivory silk and taffeta was a breathtaking creation for the Princess of Wales, it is difficult to imagine the much more independent and less demure Middleton in these types of traditional trappings. David Emanuel has not been mentioned recently when discussing the royal wedding gown.
* November 2010 -- Phillipa Lepley. She was an early favorite among the betting public. The fact Middleton chose an Issa creation when facing the press after the engagement announcement was thought to speak volumes. Close in style to Lepley gown looks, the designer who is billed as "London's leading couture bridal designer" would have been a logical choice for the royal bride's fashion style.
Alexander McQueen's fashion house categorically denies being involved with the April wedding or its gown. This, of course, is par for the course.
|Posted by Güzel on February 15, 2011 at 5:04 PM||comments (0)|
Who needs Fashion Week? Three nights in a row last week, pop star Leona Lewis took to the red carpet to debut colorful looks of her own design. At Tuesday’s L.A. premiere of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, the singer showed off new blunt bangs and a lip-smacking ensemble of a cropped top and curve skimming skirt. The next night, at the 2nd annual Essence Black Women in Music event, the songstress offered up style in similar proportions, rocking a funky yellow top and an indigo skirt. Then, finally, at a benefit for EIF’s Women’s Cancer Research Fund, Lewis hit the town in an azure corset top, amethyst fishtail skirt and of course, a sliver of toned tummy. And though the artist has no current plans to take her designs commercial, she tells PEOPLE, “I’m having loads of fun and just feeling so inspired and excited about what’s going on! I’m in a very creative zone right now and really enjoying experimenting with fashion.” We love when a star colors outside of the lines, but want to hear your thoughts. Tell us: What do you think of Leona Lewis’s designs?
|Posted by Güzel on February 7, 2011 at 5:17 PM||comments (0)|
Paris – Valentino's latest haute couture collection was all about empowerment; allowing women to be ladylike yet physically revealing, sophisticated yet ever so seditious.
Presented Wednesday, Jan. 26, in the Solomon Rothschild mansion of central Paris, this spring collection 2011 was hyper chic - cascades of ivory crepe to create to-the-floor dresses, twists of gazar silk fashioned into slim cocktail looks. Yet, thanks to the racy cuts, semi-transparency and generally see-through finish the clothes packed visceral punch.
"To be elegant today you have to be a little subversive. True modern beauty should be a little dangerous," said Pier Paolo Piccioli, after he and design partner Maria Grazia Chiuri had taken their bow, heavily applauded as the marched along the twisting gold parquet runway rambling through three rooms and several passageways.
The collection opened in opaque pristine whites and ivories, but as the show unfurled, few looks failed to reveal some flesh. Over all, the deep gorge cuts of summer lunchtime dresses and exposed skin were somehow ladylike yet racy.
|Posted by Güzel on February 7, 2011 at 5:15 PM||comments (0)|
Paris – If you have ever had any questions about how modern grand dames like to dress, and how informed movie stars prefer to be attired, then try to check out a haute couture collection by Elie Saab, the Lebanese couturier whose fashion vision is very much at the service of women.
Where quite a few Paris haute couture collections shown in Paris this last week of January will merely end up in editorial shoots, neither borrowed by movie stars nor acquired by clients, that is very much not the case at Saab. This couturier's shows are packed with real clients.
And judging from this posh yet suggestive spring 2011 collection, one can fully understand why, for these rather dreamy clothes underlined that Saab's first love is femininity.
On Wednesday, Jan. 26, the couturier opened his spring 2011 collection with a quartet of long lace dresses, embellished with sequins and embroidered with tulle flowers that were the epitome of ladylike elegance. At mid-point, Saab injected three sizzling strawberry chiffon cocktail dresses and evening gowns where the sleight-of-hand of the savvy draping had great poise.
"People often ask me what is my inspiration and I always think it's the same thing, feminine beauty," said Saab backstage.
His clothes were classy yet never stiff, and the flared shapes and vertical slits of many of his dresses did reveal a certain amount of thigh. The highlight was a dark section of midnight blue and black sequined dresses made with organza bands.
Saab's oeuvre is limited - all 42 looks were dresses in a show practically devoid of jackets. His clothes are not especially innovative and his style is defiantly classical. But what Saab does, he does with panache.
This collection was a timely reminder that sometimes fashion should have a very simply goal - making a woman look and feel special. These clothes will do precisely that.
|Posted by Güzel on February 7, 2011 at 5:04 PM||comments (0)|
ISLAMABAD (AFP) – Daring denims and micro miniskirts are not typical on Pakistan catwalks, but at the capital's first ever fashion week, designers have turned to risque Western styles to lure foreign buyers back.
With the national economy hit by crippling debts and a torrid political scene, fashion industry insiders hope the modern designs can capitalise on the country's long-standing reputation as a global textile capital.
Islambad's glitterati, a niche group of fashion-forward entrepreneurs in the largely poor nation, held a four-day design showcase to encourage international business -- scared off by the threat of Taliban bombs -- to return.
"One reason for doing this is to bring the buying power of the world back to Pakistan," said organiser Tariq Amin, the country's best known stylist.
"Because of the current situation and the political situation, it's difficult for them (buyers) to want to come to Lahore and Karachi, so Islamabad... the embassies are here, there's a lot more security."
Security was indeed tight at Islamabad's luxury Serena Hotel, as models picked from the streets of Pakistan's main cities sashayed down the runway, showcasing the country's talent for colourful ornate and sheer fabrics.
Edgy and bold off-the-shoulder cuts hit the runway alongside more familiar long floating dresses, less likely to offend sensibilities in the devout Muslim nation.
Designers hope that by slashing hemlines they can maximise foreign profits.
"You can't sell shalwar kameez in the West," said Amin, referring to the plain cotton tunic most commonly worn by men in Pakistan.
Pakistan's textile and clothing industry brings in 60 percent of the country's export revenues, according to official data, making it critical to reviving economic fortunes, made worse by devastating floods last year.
While other Pakistani cities such as Karachi are used to holding fashion shows, Islamabad is new to the scene. A total of 32 designers put on catwalk shows from Thursday to Sunday.
But the audience was largely Pakistani, with few foreign buyers seen milling around outside the hotel's large conference hall where new and more established designers staged their shows.
One buyer, Iranian Soheil Mazinani, of fashion house Asmaneh, said the event's success would be judged by future business, not by its popularity this time around.
Likening the show now to a "baby", Mazinani said: "I think after one or two years it can grow and you will see a lot of buyers."
But he admitted he would not be making any purchases on this trip, and that the Western styles would be equally out of place on the streets of Iran.
"We are just getting familiar with the different designers and manufacturers," he said, adding: "Ladies can wear them for celebrations, in parties or private events -- underground."
Fashion is a key engine for growth for countries such as Pakistan, said Paco De Jaimes, founder of the not-for-profit World Fashion Association, which aims to foster poor nations' participation in the lucrative fashion business.
"(Fashion is) one of the main sectors (in Pakistan) and this helps very much countries to recover their economies," said De Jaimes.
"People don't realise how fashion industries contribute to the eradication of poverty, to social integration, to empowerment of women," he said.
"Any kind of initiative that can promote that foreign step is always good."
Zohra Khokhar, a 25-year-old designer who works with her mother for their label Deeba & Zoe, said they came to Pakistan from Scotland six years ago to capitalise on the availability of good materials.
"You can do everything here from start to finish, from the dyeing of the material to the finishing of the beads and everything," she said.
But breaking into the market is now harder than ever because of global inflation pushing up manufacturing costs, she added.
"What people need to understand is that Pakistan's not as cheap as they think. All over the world prices have gone up... so materials are dearer, labour's dearer, you can't expect to get a massive profit out of it."
|Posted by Güzel on February 7, 2011 at 5:02 PM||comments (0)|
Los Angeles – The biggest stars of film and television bundled up a bit on Sunday Jan. 30, as they descended on the Shrine Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles to celebrate their own achievements. It was an unexpectedly chilly walk on the tented red carpet after a day of showers, but nothing dampened the spirits of the actors who gathered for the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.
SAG is the union that traditionally represents film actors, although those lines have blurred over the years, as guild members float between working in both movies and television. There was much talk at the show that AFTRA, the union for TV actors, and SAG will soon merge; SAG president Ken Howard told the full house that "by this time next year, I believe SAG and AFTRA will be one union, together."
And many of the winners agreed.
"Unions made this country strong and they give a voice to the worker," proclaimed Melissa Leo through tears of joy, who took home the Outstanding Performance by a Female in a Supporting Role for "The Fighter."
Not everyone was concerned with politics, however, as the gorgeous dresses were the talk of the night. Presenter Susan Sarandon wore Nicole Miller in purple, nominee Amy Adams went with a white chiffon number from Herve L Leroux, and Annette Bening looked completely elegant in a bejeweled golden Tony Ward gown.
Bening lost out to Natalie Portman, who took home the Outstanding Female Actor in a Leading Role for "Black Swan" while showing her baby bump in a white Azzaro sheath. She, too, cheered on her union, saying, "I've been working since I was eleven years old, and SAG has been taking care of me all along."
Like Portman and Leo, who have won every major award so far this season, Christian Bale and Colin Firth took home the Male equivalents, for "The Fighter" and "The King's Speech." But the surprise of the night came when "The King's Speech" nabbed the biggest prize that SAG gives, Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. "The Social Network" has been scooping up all the best picture accolades until now, which many take as a sign that "The King's Speech" may edge it out come Oscar time at the end of February.
As everyone from Sofia Vergara, Angie Harmon, Jon Hamm, Nicole Kidman, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Longoria and the whole cast of "Glee" looked on, other winners were awarded from the television side. Prizes went to Steve Buscemi of "Boardwalk Empire," Julianna Margulies from "The Good Wife," Alec Baldwin of "30 Rock," and, in an award that only shocked the recipient, Betty White for her work in "Hot in Cleveland."
"This is the biggest surprise I have ever had in this business," the 89-year-old White said with a laugh, as her fellow actors gave her a standing ovation. "You didn't applaud when I turned 40!"