Designers turn directors on day 2 of Wills India Fashion Week Fall-Winter 2013-2014.

Day 2 at Wills India Fashion Week Fall-Winter 2013-14 wasn’t just about cuts, trends or colours but about lights, camera, music and live acts. With a much larger turnout as compared to Day 1, this day witnessed theatrical performances in the name of fashion. Starting from Urvashi Kaur’s collection Fez where Delhi-based music band Space performed and got the audience to raise their hands up in the air to Tarun Tahiliani’s collection Kumbhback that recreated the magic of the Kumbh mela with Saffron being the colour of his clothes and the stage where models walked to live instrumental music by Sounds of Isha.

And if this wasn’t enough Anju Modi’s show wrapped up Day 2 on a patriotic note with her collection Steel Magnolia inspired by men in the army. So sounds of bullets, images of barbed wire on the screens and Vandematram playing in the backdrop actually made us believe we were at the cinema. And her collection was a pleasant mix of typical ethnic print sarees and kurtas in shades of olive green, maroons and khaki teamed with embellished jackets and Nehru caps. In terms of collection if Day 1 was dominated by structured and straight fits, Day 2 saw a mixture of unstructured garments and some absolute body fitted dresses.

The neon pop colours which were all over the place yesterday were replaced by earthy shades of browns, khaki, mustard, greens, maroon and more. Also, most designers were fashionably late at starting their show and rehearsals carried on till the last minute, making people wait for upto an hour beyond the scheduled time of the show. On the front row friends Suneet Varma and Rohit Gandhi were seen cheering for Shantanu and Nikhil; whereas Ustad Shujaat Husain Khan quietly sat through Anju Modi’s Collection. The only B-star visible was Gul Panag who walked the ramp for Urvashi Kaur.

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Trend continues: If day 1 was about stripes, we noticed day 2 was not lagging behind in following this trend either. Lots of stripes were visible in Tanvi Kedia’s collection which included a number of straight pants, kurtas, skirts, sarees and more in earthy tones with a little bit of embellishment and this was seen across the board, including Shantanu and Nikhil’s garments which had horizontal stripes as opposed to vertical. Pencil fit dresses remained a hit with all designers who showcased today.

Bohemian chic: Tanvi Kedia’s collection Tribal Winds was an interesting mix of earthy shades with slight pop elements. Her collection of straight pants, kurtas, tunics, skirts and dresses had lots of stripes, geometrical digital prints and has a hippie touch to themselves

Best Showman: Undoubtedly this was Tarun Tahiliani’s collection Kumbhback inspired by his recent visit to the kumbh.mela. Though he started his show an hour late, the anticipation and drama built around it didn’t go waste. The colour pallete remained orange (colour of marigold) and black (from the midnight skies of kumbh) on the runway, and we saw gorgeous black gowns with embellishments, skirts, kurtis and jackets in shades of orange from his prêt collection.

The pre stitched bandahni sari in blue was a one of a kind statement peace that everyone admired. Male models walked the ramp in Nehru jackets, over coats, and jodhpuri pants. In between all this, the performance artists from Sounds of Isha began to perform a yoga aasan and then played live music on which the models continued to walk the stage. Since its winter autumn the collection had a bunch ofcoats, cardigans and shawls draped on the models. Zardozi, appliquE, bandhani, tie and dye was visible in this collection which was made from velvets, satin, and thick jerseys.

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Mixed emotions: Few collections that claimed to be out of the box received a mixed response from the audience, and the reasons were simple-unstructured loose clothes, raw finishes, and a nude to dull colour palette. Bodice by Ruchika Sachdeva was one such example, with lots of patch work on her clothes, which were primarily on khadi and in tones of olive green, browns and beige her collection was called everything from shabby to being trendy. The collection has a tribal influence and the designer says that’s the reason for the colour palette has been kept such.

Easy to wear: Shantanu and Nikhil’s Autumn Winter line The Dunes, which as the name suggests was inspired by sand dunes, and the collection showed a journey through the dessert. Pencil fit dresses, off shoulder jumpsuits, skirts and jackets in tones of beige, grey, white and blues in cotton can be easily worn off the ramp too, and that’s also a reason they got some of their regular buyers to walk the ramp for themselves.

Showstopper of the day: Gul Panag walked the ramp in an elegant maroon colour gown, teamed with a chunky silver neck piece for friend Urvashi Kaur’s collection Fez. Inspired by the city’s (Fez) rustic charm her garments have been designed keeping in mind the earthy tones and a lot of tie and dye has been used. The dresses, tunics and pants can be easily worn off the rack and to add some glam quotient to these simple ensembles team them up with some chunky accessories.

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Three colleges in Lanarkshire have begun taking steps toward merging services by August .
Cumbernauld, Motherwell and Coatbridge colleges have launched a public consultation regarding plans to create a new institution for Lanarkshire, combining all of their resources.The proposed merger is part of a national shake-up of college education and is one of 12 college regions to be created in Scotland.

Robin Parker, president of student union NUS Scotland, said: “It’s encouraging that these colleges are consulting with students and staff ahead of their planned summer merger.

“However, it’s extremely important that this consultation not be just a tick-box exercise, but one that actually seeks the views of a range of students and incorporates those views to make the new college much more responsive to students’ needs.
“It’s crucial that when the merger process is finished that local access, student places and teaching quality are protected.
“We must also see the student voice at the new college strengthened which can be accomplished by providing the students’ association the resources it needs to best represent its members.

“If this merger is to deliver positive results for students in the west of Scotland, students must be involved every step of the way to ensure the focus remains on improving education quality.”
The Scottish Government expects that the restructures will save Scotland’s colleges around £50m per year and avoid duplication of services.

Cumbernauld, Motherwell and Coatbridge colleges are now running a consultation until March 22 where they will speak to staff, students and stakeholders.Michael Russell, Scottish Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, welcomed the step towards a Lanarkshire college.

He said: “I warmly welcome the colleges’ commitments to better align their services with the needs of both learners and employers in the region.
“It is important that any merger is informed by the communities across the region and that they are involved in this process.“I would encourage all those with a stake in this important discussion to take advantage of the consultation to express their views.”

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Christopher Kane.
On Tuesday March 12, Christopher Kane, a highly renowned Scottish fashion designer, based in London, visited the school for a fashion photo shoot on behalf of magazine.
Christopher, born and raised in Newarthill, Motherwell, is a former pupil of Taylor High School and we were delighted to welcome him back once again to make use of the school as a backdrop to showcase his Fall 2013 collection which is scheduled to appear in the April edition of the magazine.

The shoot was undertaken by Alasdair McLellan, renowned fashion photographer and a number of students from the school were selected to model in the shoot and thoroughly enjoyed their experience.

Everyone had a highly enjoyable day and we thank all staff and pupils for supporting this event.We send our best wishes to Christopher and his team for involving our school community in this project and for the success of his latest collection.

World Book Day.
Pupils enjoyed a range of activities, organised by the English Department to celebrate World Book Day on Thursday March 7.

Every pupil in the school was issued with a £1 Book Voucher which can be redeemed at any bookstore. In addition to this pupils in First and Second year enjoyed taking part in a wide range of book-related activities including quizzes, speed-dating and blogging.

There was also a very successful book drop organised which gave pupils the opportunity to pick a book from the box in return for an old book which they had read. In addition to this pupils enjoyed finding out about their teacher’s favourite character in a book via a Powerpoint presentation on the large screens around the school.

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Rugby Success.
Last week our Third and Fourth Year rugby team were worthy winners of the ‘Third and Fourth Year Bowl’ beating an extremely capable team from St Maurice’s.

Our boys gave a powerful display of forward domination denying their opposition any ball to work with and giving lots of quality ball to their own backs.

The win is a just reward for all the boys’ hard work and effort with a small group of club players inspiring and supporting the boys who are new to the game.The newer players responded to this wonderfully raising their game and contributing hugely to an outstanding team performance.

School Report Day.
Work is continuing in school, under the guidance of Mr. Willie Richardson of the Business and Technology Department and Mrs. Mary Jo Burton, acting Principal Teacher of English, in preparation for World News Day on Thursday March 21.

A group of pupils from First through to Third year have been working hard on a wide range of stories which can be used on the day in question and added to current news stories. All of the material produced on the day will be available via the school website.
This is now the Fifth year the school has been involved in this project and we are hopeful we will be able to replicate some of the fantastic work produced in the past for this event.

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Irish Dancing Scottish Championship.
Declan McLaughlin of Second Year recently returned champion of the Irish Dancing Scottish Championships that took place in Livingston.

He is outstandingly talented in this field and will now go on to compete in the World Championships which take place in Dublin this month. We wish him the very best of luck.

Easter School.
The hard work and preparation will not end for our Upper School Students when the Spring Holidays arrive. Our Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Year cohort will be taking full advantage of the annual ‘Easter School’ working hard to prepare for their upcoming examinations.

The dates for this year’s event are Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday 3rd April.

Thanks in advance go to all staff for their attendance and contributions over their own holiday period, we are sure the level of commitment shown by both pupils and staff will have a wonderful impact on pupil attainment this year.
Also, thanks go to Depute Head Therese Weir for coordinating the Easter School Programme.

Diary Dates.
Fourth Year Curriculum Choices Meeting – Thursday March 21 at 7pm School closes for the Spring Break on Thursday March 28 at 2.30pm. Easter School – Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday April 3 (9.00am – 3.30pm) School re-opens for the new term on Monday April 15 at 8.55am.

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Buyers and foodies

In Florence, Food Gets Its Fashion Week.

Much of what makes Florence’s annual artisanal Italian food fair, Pitti Taste, more enjoyable than say, its sibling, the men’s fashion week, Pitti Uomo, is the simple fact that participants are encouraged to eat. In its eighth year, Pitti Taste opens on Saturday for three days and has become something of a gastronomic fashion show, where more than 250 of Italy’s standout producers show what they are made of with craft beer and grappa, ballooning panettone, enormous wheels of unctuous cheese and peppery and delicate olive oils.
Over the last several years, the event has catapulted small beer brewers like 32 Via dei Birrai into stardom. Buyers and foodies alike descend to see where the culinary barometer is tilting. The fair includes on-site chats and presentations, like this year’s colloquium about grandiose cake design led by the expert pastry chef Roberto Rinaldini of the famed Pasticceria Rinaldini di Rimini, and discussions about how to encourage your child’s inner foodie presented by Vogue Bambini.
The event is held in Florence’s impressive Leopolda train station, but there are more than 100 supplementary food events all over the city at hotels, restaurants and cultural sites like the Gucci museum, where the house chef will be teaching the secrets of cookie-making.


Taunton teenager tackles domestic abuse with fashion line.

A Taunton teenager is tackling themes of domestic abuse through the medium of fashion.

16 year old Phoebe Thorne from Taunton will be showcasing her designs at a college fashion show later this month.
Bridgwater College students were asked to explore seven topics including ‘Recycling’, ‘Nature’ and ‘Best of British’. Phoebe chose to interpret her topic in a totally unique way.

“I had quite a vague topic, ‘what lies beneath’,” she explained.
“I interpreted it by exploring themes of internal and domestic conflict. The colours I used represent bruises, domestic abuse and inner negative feelings. I am very proud of the finished product.”

Phoebe currently studies AS Level Textiles at Bridgwater College.Fashion work from A Level, Foundation Diploma and Extended Diploma in Art Media and Design will also be showcased at the event and Hair and Media Make-up students will be using this as an opportunity to show off their more avant-garde creations.

Judge Sarah Edwards, a former employee of Jimmy Choo and owner of accessory maker Frances George, said: “Bridgwater College gives students the opportunity to be totally uninhibited in their design work.

“As I’m passionate about design, quality and skill I can’t wait to see the designs, materials and craftsmanship in this show.”
Two showings will take place, one starting at 6.30pm and the other starting at 8pm.Tickets cost £8 and include a canapé reception. They can be bought via the college’s online store.

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The Future of Fashion: Download File and Print.

The one and only time I ever made my own clothing was in grade 8 home economics. The entire class had to make Jams, brightly colored baggy shorts that made everyone instantly feel like a surfer. The pattern was provided but we had to go and pick our own material at the fabric store along with thread to match.
We learned the mechanics of the sewing machine, how to thread it and away we went. In the twenty years since then, the sewing machine hasn’t changed very much; they now have built-in computers but the underlying purpose is the same, to stitch cloth together with thread. What has changed is how we are using new technology like 3D Printers, microcontrollers and advanced materials and e-textiles to breathe new life into how we think about and create fashion and then instantly share it and remix it.

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Market daily

E-textiles have been around for centuries (think metallic thread) but now that computers have become the size of a pack of gum, affordable and easily programmable, and a new 3D Printer comes on the market daily, fashion tech is starting to catch on and more and more widespread. Projects are moving away from hobbyists playing around with LED lights on their t-shirts to more sophisticated and integrated consumer-wearables such ones that help you manage your health.

One of the pioneers of wearable technology, Steve Mann defines it as,

Wearable computing is the study or practice of inventing, designing, building, or using miniature body-borne computational and sensory devices. Wearable computers may be worn under, over, or in clothing, or may also be themselves clothes (i.e. “Smart Clothing” (Mann, 1996a)).

In January of this year 3D-printed ‘tech-couture‘ dresses hit the runway at Paris Fashion Week. One of the hi-tech dresses was a collaboration between Dutch fashion designer Iris Van Herpen and MIT Media Lab‘s Professor Neri Oxman. Oxman designed a second skin with advanced materials and a high-end 3D Printer. She explained the work:

new technologies enabled the reinterpretation of couture as tech-couture, where delicate hand-made embroidery and needlework is replaced by code.

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A 3D Printed Gown was recently unveiled by Shapeways, a service that prints your custom 3D creations for you. The Queen of burlesque Dita Von Teese modeled the nylon printed dress.

The fully articulated gown based on the Fibonacci sequence was designed by Michael Schmidt and 3D modeled by architect Francis Bitonti to be 3D printed in Nylon by Shapeways. The gown was assembled from 17 pieces, dyed black, lacquered and adorned with over 13,000 Swarovski crystals to create a sensual flowing form.

Design your fashion piece, send the files to Shapeways and they’ll ship your creation to you. The Shapeways site has an entire category dedicated to fashion which is largely made up of accessories, but once designers figure out how to stitch all the pieces together we should be seeing more and more garments.

The Printing Dress is a Microsoft Research creation that is essentially a screen that allows you to text your thoughts onto the dress for everyone to read. It is made of black and white rice paper and sewn into the bodice are laser-cut buttons. It comes equipped with a laptop, a projector, and four circuit boards. Many Fashion Tech Designers are exploring the connection between fashion, technology and interacting with our environment socially and physically.

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Jennifer Darmour recently stated at her SXSW talk Wearables: The Next Interactive Frontier, ‘there is a paradigm shift, instead of us interacting with technology, the technology interacts with us.’

‘Technosensual’ fashion designer Anouk Wipprecht creates technological couture; with systems around the body that tend towards artificial intelligence; projected as ‘host’ systems on the human body, her designs move, breath, and react to the environment around them. Her creations have been worn by the likes of Fergie and Britney Spears. It’s not very often you find a fashion designer that can code and make a good solder joint, but we will be seeing more of that plus collaborations between fashion designers and computer engineers.The stage has been set for more and more high fashion designers to include a wearable tech line in their collections and for super models to become one with the next-gen fashion technology creations as they walk the runway.

Laser cutters have been around for decades but are now more affordable and a staple of hacker/makerspaces. Recently we purchased a laser cutter for LA Makerspace and made an exciting discovery – we can etch designs right onto tightly woven fabric. I had been trying to figure out how to embroider a logo onto a towel and that’s when we came across this alternative. I can use a simple program like Microsoft Word to create the design or phrase, place the towel into the laser cutter, change a few printer driver settings, and within a few minutes the words on the screen are etched into the cloth.
This is incredibly empowering for someone that isn’t a designer or doesn’t have embroidery skills. Perhaps even more exciting is abandoning scissors all together and using a laser cutter to cut the pattern right onto the cloth. According to Epilog, ‘…[a laser cutter] provides you with great consistency and control. Additionally, laser cutting material results in perfectly seared edges to prevent fabric from unraveling.’

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New one

The days of pulling your hair out to replace a lost button are over because now you can just take a picture of one of the remaining buttons, scan it and then print a new one. It was just announced at SXSW that Makerbot is releasing it’s new Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner which allows you to copy objects and then print them. This is pretty much the Star Trek: Next Generation Replicator except (unfortunately) it doesn’t rearrange subatomic particles.
Programmers are becoming fashion designers and fashion designers are programmatically enhancing their costumes. I can’t draw to save my life, but what I can do is download designs created by someone that has design skills, configure a 3D Printer as many times as I need to in order to get the perfect print and click ‘Run’ like I did to print a stretchy bracelet I downloaded for free from Thingiverse.

Traditional e-textiles and sewing machines will be around for awhile to come, but a whole new wave of fashion ideas are emerging because of technology for either practical or purely aesthetic purposes. Both professional and hobby fashion designers alike can easily integrate technological advances into their work, and even non-designers like myself can take those Jams I made 20 years ago and program them to change from a bright color to a more tolerable, subtle hue with the press of a button.

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Local charities

Annual lunch and fashion show will benefit students and local charities.

Airline tickets, hotel suites and restaurant packages are just a few items awaiting bidders at the 2013 Garden of Roses Fashion Show benefiting the Greater Keller Women’s Club Foundation.
Guests are invited to join mistress of ceremonies Ginger Allen with Rick Stacy as auctioneer for this annual event April 6 at The Speedway Club at Texas Motor Speedway.

Proceeds from the event, themed “The Secret Garden,” will be used to award grants and scholarships to many charitable organizations and students in the Northeast Tarrant County area.The Greater Keller Women’s Club Foundation, Inc. was established in 1996 to aid the Greater Keller Women’s Club.

The non-profit has since awarded more than $825,000 in grants to area charities and other non-profit organizations such as Christ Haven, Battered Women’s Foundation, Metroport Meals on Wheels, Community Enrichment Center, Artsnet, Safehaven, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and Rocky Top Therapy Center.

The group also funds scholarships to graduating seniors at each high school in the Keller district.
Last year’s event drew more than 500 attendees, raising more than $102,000.Activities include a silent auction, live auction, raffle, drawings, lunch and a fashion show by Dillard’s.

“One of the most exciting things is that it’s at the Motor Speedway,” said Gayle Clark, president. “That’s such an exciting venue.”Clark said models for the fashion show are local housewives and teenagers.

“It’s all volunteer, we don’t have any one that gets paid to do anything,” she said.
Clark said the event will also have a restaurant tree. Guests pay $20, pick an envelope off of the tree and in return get a gift card worth between $20 and $100 to area restaurants.
Also new this year, a wine pull, where guests can make a donation and receive a bottle of wine worth up to $250.“It’s going to be a riot, this event is one of the best functions in the area,” she said.

New season

Spring into the new season with Bath’s Komedia’s sensational live shows.

Gabrielle rose to fame late last year when her cover of The Power of Love was used in the John Lewis Christmas advertising campaign and reached number one in the charts.

Aplin makes her debut at Komedia Bath for a home town show – as an extra date on an already sold out UK tour, ahead of the release of her debut album English Rain later this year.

Gabrielle rose to fame late last year when her cover of The Power of Love was used in the John Lewis Christmas advertising campaign and reached number one in the charts.

Aplin makes her debut at Komedia Bath for a home town show – as an extra date on an already sold out UK tour, ahead of the release of her debut album English Rain later this year.
The album was recorded with Mike Spencer (Rudimental, Alex Clare) in his Buckinghamshire studio over a period of six months.

She wrote or co-wrote all the new songs on the album as well as playing the majority of the instruments herself.Following on from her second single, Please Don’t Say You Love Me (which debuted at number six on the top 40 singles chart), English Rain will be preceded by a third single Panic Cord, scheduled for release on May 6.

Into April and Deaf Havana will play “An Evening With…” in celebration of the recent deluxe edition release of last year’s Fools and Worthless Liars album, complete with a second disc of the entire album reworked in alternate fashion. Catch them on April 5.

On April 10 the legendary ’80s pop and soul group Dexys (formerly Dexy’s Midnight Runners) will be at Komedia ahead of a sold-out run of their new show One Day I’m Going To Soar in London’s West End.
Expect to hear a few Dexys classics as well as One Day I’m Going to Soar in its entirety.Adam Ant plays Komedia with his new band The Good, The Bad and The Lovely Posse on April 23.

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Pop icon

Pop icon Adam Ant is making his eagerly-awaited comeback with his first album and single in 17 years, a world tour and a film.
The national treasure, who rose to fame as lead singer of post-punk group Adam and the Ants in the early ’80s, before embarking on a hit solo career, earned ten UK top ten hits – including three number ones – and became a figurehead for the new romantic movement in the UK.Crusties rejoice as The Levellers return to Bath on May 13.

Twenty five years in the ‘business’ and ten years of their own sell-out festival, Beautiful Days, are powerful proof that Brighton band Levellers are still a force to be reckoned with.
Renowned for their energetic live show, longevity has not diminished the band’s ability to get everyone in a room, or field, dancing.

From Slik and The Rich Kids to Ultravox and Band Aid’s Do The Know It’s Christmas?, Midge Ure has produced consistently innovative and excellent pop music.
Fronting Ultravox, Midge had nine top 10 albums and sold in excess of 20 million records in the UK alone before moving on to an equally successful solo career.Make a note of his Komedia show on May 17 in your diary.Former Marillion front man Fish visits on May 30.

Fish’s solo material has built on his already solid reputation as a singer-songwriter.His career, spanning almost 20 years of the entertainment industry, is notable for his charismatic stage performances and uncompromising lyrics.

Top prize

Top fashion award for Bath Spa University student.

A Bath Spa University fashion student looks set to hit the big time after winning top prize in a national design competition.

Twenty-one-year-old Stephanie Kitchen was one of 15 finalists, selected from more than 100 entries submitted to the Fashion Awareness Direct (FAD) competition to design optimistic solutions for the next decade.

Stephanie’s designs combined her two passions – fashion and fitness.
She said: “I’m really interested in health and fitness and I do a lot of running and cycling so my work marries that with my love of design.”
Stephanie has to submit two outfits to the judging, and she used materials such as 3D shock absorbers, lycra and waterproof fabric or create outfits that were both stylish and practical.

She said:”Everything was breathable and lightweight and you could actually wear them for exercising.”The catwalk final took place during London Fashion Week as part of the Vauxhall Fashion Scout showcase where aspiring young designers compete for vital funding and top industry placements.Stephanie and the other contestants’ work was judged by a top industry panel including iconic fashion journalist and talent spotter Hilary Alexander.

Ms Alexander said:”The winning entry was outstanding, in concept, inspiration, execution and creativity – with an extremely high degree of sustainability, wearability and commercial appeal, as well.”It was eye-catching, functional, futuristic, fun and accompanied with fabulous accessories which looked to the future in an original eco-manner.”

Not only did Stephanie win the final of this prestigious competition, but also her work was personally selected by Ms Alexander to be showcased on the catwalk at the London Fashion Weekend.Stephanie said: “I couldn’t believe it when I found out I had won. It was just incredible.

“It was amazing to see my work on the catwalk. To have it go from just an idea to a drawing and then to seeing it on a person was really surreal.”

Prestigious national design competition

Louise Pickles, Course Leader and Coordinator of Fashion at Bath Spa, added:”It is fantastic that Stephanie has won this prestigious national design competition. The level of thought and attention to detail that went into the development of this mini collection was astounding. This is the fourth year that we have had finalists in the FAD competition, and we are thrilled for Stephanie and the tremendous opportunities that this will open up for her.”

Stephanie has now finished her degree in Fashion Design and will be taking up an internship this summer.She said:”I would love to work for one of the big sportswear brands like Nike, Adidas or Puma and then eventually have my own label – but that it a long way down the line.”
Bath in Fashion is running a Fashion Your Future event, sponsored by Bath Spa University, specifically to help anyone interested in pursuing a career in fashion.

There are many different and varied careers within the fashion industry and this forum aims to explore some of those roles with the help of a panel of experts.

The event is to be hosted by Louise Pickles, Head of Fashion at Bath Spa University and the panel includes Seren Colley – Menswear Design at Tom Ford, Elisabetta Ziller – Fabric Designer and Developer at Alexander McQueen, Marie Baluti – Product Developer Knitwear at Ben Sherman, Meera Stannard – Assistant Buyer at Liberty, Naomi Smart – Fashion Features Assistant at Vogue and.Chloe Jones – Graduate, winner of the prestigious Gold Award at Graduate Fashion Week 2012.

A selection of students from Bath Spa University Fashion, Photography, and Textiles departments will be on hand with examples of their work to discuss studying fashion related areas at BA level at university.

Frightfully fashionable

Frightfully fashionable: Chic Halloween looks.

For your consideration this Halloween: Don’t play make-believe in macabre makeup or get out in a geeky get-up.
How about getting done to death in a high-fashion Halloween look inspired – of corpse – by the holiday meant for looking hauntingly chic?

After all, with a record 170 million Americans forking over $8 billion on all things trick or treat this year – according to the National Retail Federation that tracks Halloween spending – why not eat, drink and be stylishly scary as you make the party circuit?
From the ever-popular skull motif (there’s nothing killing this heady design) to skeletons, spiders and stilettos studded with spikes (dungeon torture weapon, maybe?) Halloween apparel has mutated (hey, it’s the scary season) from cutesy novelty T-shirts to dressier looks that can be worn year round.
But, back to stylish skull mania – it’s no longer just intended as a Halloween-costume rite of passage. For centuries that bald-headed, creepy noggin has been the preferred logo among pirates, the domain of rockers and has transitioned into an equal-opportunity print on the likes of coveted scarves, socks, undergarments, costume jewelry and accessories from umbrellas to handbags.
Skeletons and spiders – itsy bitsy ones – aren’t far behind and this season are just as fashionably formidable.
And with the Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, observance Nov. 1, the skeleton and skull -both integral to Mexican culture – can stylishly do double duty.

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New organizers

New Fashion Week organizers seek to bolster profile of homegrown brands.Eyeing the latest spring and summer styles may be the main draw, but with new organizers at the helm and a roster of emerging designers, changes are afoot behind the scenes and on the runway at Toronto’s Fashion Week.

World MasterCard Fashion Week kicks off Monday under the makeshift tents at David Pecaut Square, where Canadian designers will unveil their style visions for the warmer months.

The new season will mark the first with IMG Canada holding the ownership reins. The company had previously been involved in consulting closely with the event since 2010, said Peter Levy, senior vice-president and managing director for IMG Fashion Events and Properties.
For 13 years, Fashion Week was owned and produced by the Fashion Design Council of Canada. IMG Canada will now operate the event in collaboration with IMG Fashion, with fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan and Tokyo among those within its portfolio.

While the event is focused on highlighting the homegrown fashion scene, organizers say they are giving thought towards how to help boost the profiles of designers — even beyond Canada’s borders.
“We don’t make clothes or take pictures, walk the runway or tell the story about ourselves. But what we do is try to provide solutions to help talent become globally known,” Levy said in a telephone interview from New York.

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The company

While that may not necessarily mean having a Canadian designer stage a runway show in Tokyo, Levy said much of what the company does is centred on digital content and hinted at that as a potential alternative.

“Fashion has no language barrier. People in Toronto or people in New York don’t only wear U.S.-based designers. So ultimately, it isn’t so much moving people around; it’s telling and letting them be part of an international platform of opportunity.”
Beyond the major fashion capitals, there are no shortage of homegrown and international Fashion Weeks vying for attention within an increasingly crowded calendar. New York staged its marquee style showcase early last month, and Toronto’s runway event follows the Paris shows which wrapped in early October.

“I think that’s a challenge for every Fashion Week, and just moving the time doesn’t always just mean that people will come,” said Levy.

“I think it’s creating and articulating… a point of view that’s about fashion’s future and discovery, and putting these people into a consideration set so that they become part of what we need to see for the future.”
Retailer Holt Renfrew and womenswear label Pink Tartan are set to launch the event’s 27th season on Monday. Pavoni, co-founded by Montrealers Mike Derderian and Gianni Falcone, will be bringing their red carpet fashions to the runway on opening night. The luxury fashion house has outfitted stars including Celine Dion, Katy Perry and Carrie Underwood.

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The calendar will feature returning mainstays such as affordable apparel brand Joe Fresh and sportswear label Bustle. Montreal-based Melissa Nepton, Soia & Kyo and Travis Taddeo are also set to show the latest looks from their respective labels, while womenswear designers Arthur Mendonca and Golnaz Ashtiani and Canadian home decor brand Korhani Home will also be returning to the tents.

Designers Sunny Fong and Lucian Matis will each be pulling double duty showcasing their respective luxe lines along with looks from their affordable collections.

There will be a fair share of up-and-comers seeking to make their mark, most notably on Tuesday, when the winning label is named in the Mercedes-Benz Start Up contest.

Emerging designers from British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Prince Edward Island will be vying for the top prize, which includes a fully-produced solo runway show for fall 2013 collections next March.

Beyond the Start Up contest, several newer names are featured on this season’s calendar, including Whitney Linen, Paraezo Couture and plus-sized clothing line Allistyle.

While many international Fashion Weeks keep their events reserved strictly for press, buyers and industry, prospective consumers and fashion fans have the chance to take in the Toronto festivities in person. General admission tickets are available for select shows starting at $25 each and $175 for full-day passes.

Those unable to make it to the tents can have a front row perch via their laptop or desktop, with the event’s makeup sponsor, Maybelline, offering live streaming of select shows on a dedicated YouTube channel.

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Showcase costumes

120 models to showcase costumes.
Lights, camera and action.
120 models will be showcasing costumes created by 47 local and international designers in the Fiji Fashion Week show 2012 that comes alive this evening.
Managing Director Ellen Whippy-Knight has said that thirty percent of their models are school students from 15 years and above is an indication showing the level of interest people are having in fashion.
This year a TV magazine will be based on the Fiji Fashion Week Show which will be produced by entertainment channel Fashion ONE TV’s Oceania Team based in Sydney and will be showcasing the country as a tourist and fashion destination.
This TV production means that around 350 million viewers globally will be able to watch Fiji Fashion Week in the upcoming weeks.
The First show ‘Echoes of the Pacific Night’ will be held at the Vodafone Arena tonight starting 7.30.

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Storm Modeling Agency

Sarah Doukas of Storm Modeling Agency: The beauty spotter.

Sarah Doukas is Britain’s alpha fashion scout and founder of Storm Modelling Agency. She tells Luke Leitch how she spots fashion diamonds in the hoi-polloi rough.
She saw the dog first. A few months ago, Sarah Doukas had nipped into Knightsbridge for a lightning spot of lunch-break shopping, when a comely canine caught her eye. “That dog was just gorgeous,” says Doukas. “And when I looked up, so was the girl walking it. So I stopped her.” Doukas swooped and now that girl, 16-year-old Anya Taylor, is signed to Storm Models. “We’re doing incredibly well with Anya,” reports Doukas, “and she’s acting and going up the movie path, too.”Spotting Anya is the last time Doukas felt the tingling thrill that comes when she sees a face in the crowd that she knows might make it as a fashion model. And Doukas’s facility for scouting models, while not unerring (she recently brought back a handsome road sweeper to her office, only to have him rejected by her men’s team) is as good as anyone’s in the business.

Her most famous “scout” came in 1988, a year after she had founded the model agency, Storm, from her bedroom. Waiting for a flight back to London from New York, Doukas saw a beautiful 14-year-old in the queue ahead of her. On the plane, hemmed in in a window seat, she dispatched her brother and business partner, Simon Chambers, to approach the girl. Chambers reported back that her name was Kate Moss and, yes, she was rather interested in modelling.

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But Doukas is always asked about Moss – so today, sitting in a glass-walled office that insulates us from the hubbub of her ranks of phone-toting model agents outside, we move on. The floor of this ugly Chelsea building that has been Storm Models’ HQ for 19 years has only recently been refurbished, and although Doukas is proud of her gleaming new workspace, she is edgy that she can no longer see the front door from her seat – just in case the next big thing walks in and she misses it.

In her 25 years as the matriarch of Storm, which now has 400-ish models on its books, Doukas has personally scouted scores of successful girls, including Liberty Ross (spotted in the Virgin Megastore on Tottenham Court Road) and Behati Prinsloo (spotted when Doukas was on holiday in South Africa). Her reputation is for giving hopefuls that other scouts might overlook a crack at the catwalk: from Moss herself – far shorter than most successful models – to Andrej Pejic, the effeminate Australian male model who has found particular success modelling womenswear.Sometimes, Doukas’s scouts have to pan the streets to strike gold: Jourdan Dunn, who in 2008 became the first black model on the Prada catwalk since Naomi Campbell in 1997, was found by Storm larking around in a Primark store. And sometimes fortune falls right into Doukas’s lap. Cara Delevingne, indisputably the star model at the recent round of international fashion shows, has known Doukas since she was four years old: “She’s my middle daughter’s best friend. And she always had bags of personality.”To mark Storm’s 25th anniversary, the latest edition of the high-production, limited-circulation fashion magazine Centrefold has dedicated itself to the lavish editorial shots of the agency’s best-known stars, as reproduced on this page. Photographing Cindy Crawford (on Storm’s books for a decade) in New Mexico, Cara Delevingne in Manhattan and a tranche of its “Allstars” – including Eva Herzigova, Lily Cole, Lily Donaldson, Alek Wek, Pejic and Ross – was underwritten by Harry Handelsman of the Manhattan Loft Corporation, who says: “Sarah’s work has credibility and intelligence: when done well, fashion can change people’s perceptions.”

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Working with a property magnate to produce a fashion magazine is precisely the type of convoluted connection Doukas says is Storm’s bread and butter. “Working here is very addictive. There are terrible dramas, and seemingly impossible problems to solve. There are double-bookings and clients changing shoots worth tens of thousands of pounds at the last minute. I’m always on two phones and you have to be manipulative sometimes.”

The phones at Storm are in constant use – and not always on conventional fashion business. Sylvester Stallone and Warren Beatty have called Storm in search of models’ phone numbers – and Doukas gets letters from Parkhurst prison, too: “There is always crazy stuff going on,” she says.

She is scathing about many of fashion’s ugly contradictions, including its continued emphasis on Caucasian models in the European fashion powerhouses. “When you’ve got a girl as beautiful as Jourdan, then she will work anywhere. In America, because of the population, it is much more balanced. Here, though, it is still more of a token thing, and that is infuriating. Although you are now getting a lot of Asian girls coming through.”

The international catwalks, says Doukas, remain the aspirant model’s ultimate ambition, because they expose them to so many influential photographers and editors in one fell swoop. “But to go off to do the shows at 16 – New York, Milan, Paris – the craziness of it all is so much I don’t know how someone aged 21 does it, let alone aged 16.

“London is easier: we are a lot softer here and people are more caring, in my opinion. But when the Russian scouts send out girls aged 14 to do the shows; as a parent I think it’s just not on.”

Hence, she says, she will never send an under-16 year-old abroad (under-age girls are prohibited on London’s catwalks) and even when they are a bit older, they will often be chaperoned.

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The girls still really

As for the body-shape demanded by designer catwalk castings, Doukas is equally trenchant: “They have to conform to a ridiculous ideal. They’ve got to be exactly 5ft 10in, 5ft 11in at the most, they can only have a 34-1/2-inch hip, maximum – how could somebody of that height be that tight? If you’ve got a big frame, forget it.”

She adds: “I do get crazy about it. And I’m not passing the buck, but the girls still really want to be in those shows. Because if they are they will do the best editorial, be the top girls, and get the best campaigns. But I think the shows are a nightmare. They are put under extreme pressure, flown to four countries under an appalling show schedule – some of them do 35 shows in Milan – so by the time they get to Paris they are burnt out and tearful. But they do it because once you’ve got Anna Wintour and all the editors looking at them, it’s their showcase.”

Doukas concedes that she doesn’t always bag the beauties. She rejected Stella Tennant – “She was one that got away, you have to be phlegmatic” – and recently, while on a narrowboat near Lewes, recalls seeing a glowingly gorgeous young girl coming out of a travellers’ caravan alongside. Doukas dived in, made her pitch, and took the girl’s number. But this one got away, too. “She just didn’t want to leave her world.”

Doukas says she can’t imagine stopping work any time soon, and will always be on the lookout for that next discovery . “I love watching people; young, old, anyone. And while I don’t think about modelling morning noon and night, it doesn’t matter where I am – if that face is there, I will spot it.”

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Move over, Harpers : it’s quite some coup for a high-concept fashion magazine like Centrefold to have secured the sheer strength-in-depth of high-fashion talent that stars in its latest issue.Founded in 2003 in London by creative directors Andrew Hobbs and Warren Beeby, Centrefold is an unabashedly specialist title that’s tilted squarely at print-obsessives. Hobbs says: “We have always loved the relationship between good design, paper quality and high-end printing, all married to great imagery. We work to showcase the work of photographers and graphic designers using our concept of having a fold-out poster at the centre of the magazine. And then we send it out to leading creatives in the UK and internationally, as well as making a limited selection available for sale at specialist stores.” This Storm-celebrating issue number 8 – whose pictures we exclusively reproduce here – was supported by the Manhattan Loft Corporation and riffed, says Hobbs, on the concept of “space”. Thanks to Andrew, the MLC and Storm for allowing us use of Centrefold ‘s work. To learn more check site.

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Fashion designers three of a kind.

Masterton isn’t generally known for its fashion scene, but that could all change once three final-year fashion design students, who all hail from the Wairarapa, graduate.
But Victoria Green, Claire Walker, both 21 and Brita Dellabarca, 22, aren’t just from the same region. They all went to school together in Masterton, are good friends and are now set to make their mark at this year’s annual Massey Fashion Show with three distinct styles.
The show on November 16-17, being held as part of the BLOW creative arts festival, will see the Great Hall of the Museum Building converted into a catwalk to parade the work of all the young designers including the Wairarapa trio who say it was more by accident rather than design they have all ended up studying the same course programme at the College of Creative Arts.
“We all just kind of decided without telling each other what we were going to do, but there was no plan B,” Claire says.
All were inspired to develop an interest in fashion design at Wairarapa College, but since then have diversified into their own respective styles.
Inspired by a semester as an exchange student at Cornell University in New York as a Massey exchange scholar, Victoria has incorporated her experience of the bright lights big city feel into tailored ready-to-wear designs, including sequinned jackets, complete with a screen-printed lining depicting the Big Apple skyline.
“Being In New York is such an overwhelming sensory experience,” she says, expressing a desire to return after developing a taste at Cornell for working as a theatre costume designer.
‘”Ideally I’d like to do backstage costuming on Broadway.”
Brita’s influences are a little closer to home but equally ambitious.
Specialising in leather work, her designs have been inspired by New Zealand contemporary artist Bill Hammond’s Buller bird paintings (named for 19th century ornithologist Walter Buller) which Brita has brought to life through moulding, carving and shaping leather, or using the material as adornments or attachments to other designs with a bunched feathery look and feel.
“It’s really my own interpretation of Bill Hammond’s birds, using more of the mood and imagery in his work rather than directly replicating the paintings.”
Claire is equally intricate in her embroidery work designing custom-made, hand-smocked garments, lined with buckram and featuring extensions that allow her garments to breathe more.
“I’ve always really enjoyed doing handwork even though it takes a lot of time.”
Both she and Brita are initially keen to continue crafting their fashion designs in Wellington, before, like Victoria, taking their talents further afield knowing each will have the support of the other two.
“We’ve known each other for so long and we trust each other’s opinions, ” Victoria says.
The Massey Fashion Show is being staged at 8pm, Friday November 16 and 3pm and -pm Saturday November 17 at the Great Hall of the Museum Building, Massey University, Buckle St, Wellington. Go to for ticket booking information.

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Ok kiddos, it’s episode two of Project Runway All Stars and just as the clothes are sharper, so is the scrutiny! These designers don’t mess around and don’t hesitate to go brutal in the isolation interviews. And the judges expect much, much more from the little sewing wizards they’ve employed to make Project Runway relevant again.

This week’s challenge was to create a high-end, glamorous, “couture” evening gown for a night at the opera. The directives are issued by famed evening wear design duo Badgley Mischka, who demands “classic, elegant, and head-turning”.

On any other given Project Runway, I would only guarantee the head turning, but it would be more of the train wreck variety; however in All Star flavor things are a little more Caviar than Cool-Whip.

The designers have $350 and one mere day to design this outfit for arias and I have to say couture in a day? No comprende. Couture implies careful details and usually takes eons, as Austin described. Luckily, the judges are only looking for “couture touches.” The touches being the operative word. Touch is important, is it not?

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At Mood, Kenly selects Minnie Mouse fabric and it’s hideous. Michael Costello is very confident and decides on a red dress and low-and-behold so does April. Michael catches her in Mood selecting red and has a hissy. These two must be sharing a brain because last week they also got the same fabric. If Michael dyes his hair an unwise Gaga Grey we’re in trouble! Michael decides to go with black and immediately upon returning to the workroom, April starts dying a portion of her red fabric black to create an ombre effect. Luckily, Michael was occupied with sequins by that point.

Joanna Coles, mentor at large, shows up to issue some advice on how to not F—k things up. Joanna asks a lot of insightful questions about the designer’s processes, materials and what will make this stand out as their creation. It was refreshing. She counsels Michael of being mindful of the wearer’s body and preventing a potential nip slip, which as Jerell points out is “tacky.” Not in some circles…

Joanna also wonders what Anthony is going to do to take his all white gown out of Kleinfeld’s and into Hollywood territory. Anthony explains that bridal gowns don’t have plunging necklines. Oh Anthony – not in the south they don’t!

In the workroom, there is a lot of focus on the work and little drama. Ok, none. People are collaborating and working diligently without nonsense. Kara is experiencing a lot of self-doubt, which prompts Mondo to label her the least skilled designer.

Anthony decides this is actually the “really, really, really pumped up prom dress” challenge and the judges better be ready for the necessary short cuts and half assed-ness that will inevitably arise given the lack of time.

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Gordana: I was surprised by the color, but didn’t mind it even though it was 80’s bridesmaid at its finest. My biggest issues were the lack of elegance and refinement. The color with the sheer elements, the chain bib beading, the low-cut back – it was more high class escort in post-communist Ukraine than classy night at the opera. I could see plenty of celebrities gravitating towards this, but like the judges pointed out early on that’s a whole different crowd than the opera!

In some ways this was unconventional and interesting, but it was one detail too many. I liked the sheer panels on the front, but in the back it was distractingly busy. It had great proportions though and the material moved well. I also thought the shape was classic.

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Rami – This was a mess of too many ideas, not well meshed together. Frankly, it wasn’t flattering and the proportions were odd. It broke up the body too much cutting her in threes – off the shoulder, tight at the waist and then tight again at the hip. Then the full skirt. From the side there was a lot of odd bunching in the stomach area – not cute.

I, personally, am not a fan of that slammerkin/harlot – style off the shoulder sleeve and this was a little Scarlett O’Hara grabs the bed sheets (she already used the curtains) and it doesn’t work out well. For someone as impeccable as Rami this had some sloppiness and serious flaws. I did like the color, which was fresh, bright and unexpected.

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Mondo: So sixties. So stunning. So fun. I’m a total sucker for an opulent Betty Draper costume. Couldn’t you just see her wearing this!? I thought the patterned silver was interesting, the bow in the back, while a bit large was fantastic, and the fit was spot on. Mondo always does a lot of details, but it never gets jumbled. While this was probably a little too referential of a by-gone era I don’t care, I love it. I appreciate that Mondo always has his own approach and he never strays from his own thinking. I’m glad Mondo is back.

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Jerell: This was a hot mess. Valley Of The Dolls slutty nighties. We went from Mondo with sixties done right, to Sixties done wrong with Jerell. This is one of Don Draper’s mistresses (Bobbi, that one who was married to the comedian). There was too much volume, zero fit and the fur bra was bizarre and unflattering – it was a like a bib or Flintstone’s. Not appealing. The only detail I liked was the sheer back and I thought the gold fabric was beautiful, but needed to be used differently.

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Congratulations Austin: Austin had serious worries about living up to the expectations surrounding him, but as soon as his dress swanned onto the runway I knew he was a contender for the win. It was chic, elegant, understated, glamorous and striking all at once. I loved the tulle and the lame together, which can go tacky in an instant, but looked luxe and sensual. It was easily a red carpet show stopper, but classic enough to transition to the Met.

It was a perfect Halston goes modern moment and the judges were instantly enthralled. They called it “fresh, classic, and expensive,” and raved about the refined touches. Isaac appreciated that the gown was modest without being stuffy and thought it was the “freshest” gown on the runway. One of the Badgley Mishkas loved that it was tasteful and praised the impeccable execution.

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Michael: Issac was right – Michael’s dress was the exact opposite of Austin’s. While I could see Cate Blanchett wearing Austin’s gown, Michael’s belonged to Kate Beckinsdale (not Kimmie Kakes). When it walked onto the runway it was pretty breathtaking and you couldn’t look away. He had thought about ever angle and made the details very circumspect. Like the judges, my favorite thing was the covered up front with the extremely daring back.

The judges could not believe it took only a day to make with all the beading, which looked impeccable. While this is striking and beautiful, I have to agree with Isaac – it doesn’t look original. It looks like Ricardo Tisci for Givenchy to me. Michael has a knack for this very opulent style and he embraces the theatrical aspect of clothing without going costume. He should work for Chris March.

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Anthony: When Anthony was describing his gown, I was thinking ‘oh no,’ but it actually turned out amazing. The plunge wasn’t as extreme as I envisioned and the construction was impeccable. I agree with the judges that it seemed more red carpet than opera. It definitely was not bridal!

Isaac was appreciative of the intentional drapery, which was specifically placed to create the shape. It spoke to Anthony’s skill level, that unlike Anya, he wasn’t relying on draping to create a form for the dress. It’s impressive that Anthony boned a whole dress in 24-hours.

I’m not commenting on the styling critique because that’s a ridiculous approach the judges have started taking to criticize or promote garments. Accessories and styling can be changed in a second. Hello, that’s what stylists are for.

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Sweet P

Good-bye Sweet P! Sweet P seemed out of her element the whole time. This was a mess from beginning to end. It looked like a maternity dress; the fabric was too stiff and voluminous and it just jutted out oddly at the waist. The judges called it a dirndl skirt. I hated the bodice – Georgina was right it looked like a granny bathing suit. Even worse, the execution was sloppy and unrefined. The fabric looked cheap. This was certainly not a ballgown.

The judges liked the colors, but wished she had used the print fabric from the skirt for the bodice. Sweet P admits she had thought of doing that but decided against it, regretfully. Farwell Sweet P. — Next time go with your gut!

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April girls: There was too much going on and none of it was impeccably completed. The judges were right to criticize her for being overly ambitious given the time constraints. April girls had some semblance of good ideas, but it got too jumbled and ambiguous because she didn’t have time to properly work through any of them. I think what saved her was that she did incorporate her own aesthetic into the gown and it had a point of view, or it would have if things had gone right.

The construction of the girls bodice was a mess and the asymmetrical neckline looked sloppy. “Tortured and rushed,” were the words used by the judges.

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Kara girls: I personally liked the fabric, but it certainly didn’t look like a Kara Janx girls dress, as Georgina pointed out. It wasn’t exactly striking and I think the shape was too elementary with no extra details. Isaac thought the +-proportions were off – it was too high-waisted. It needed a little zhu-zhu and that belt wasn’t enough.

One of the Badgley Mishka’s loved it though and called it charming. I go back and forth – I like it, but it seems a little misplaced in the concept of where it’s going. I also think it channeled Jackie Kennedy in the White House.

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cialisprom 2013