A sexy wardrobe is not an invitation for rape

Rewind your thoughts to a fortnight ago when Donna Karan became one of the first fashion names to weigh in on the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Her input was, to say the least, not quite what you’d expect from a designer famed for her pro-women, empowering designs.

“How do we display ourselves? How do we present ourselves as women? What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting sensuality and sexuality?” she said as she arrived at a film awards ceremony. Though she later apologised, her victim-blaming stance was a depressing input from one of the most influential designers of the past 40 years.

Go to Monday night and another awards ceremony, this time InStyle’s annual Fashion Awards in Los Angeles. Cate Blanchett took to the stage to accept the Style Icon award and used her acceptance speech to give her own perspective.

”Women like looking sexy, but it doesn’t mean we want to f*ck you,” she declared. ”No one says to Steve Bannon: ‘You look like a bag of trash. Do you want me to throw you out?'”

Her comments may seem like plain common sense but the other headlines surrounding her appearance at the awards prove that it’s far from a scenario to take for granted. One tabloid newspaper covered the event with the headline: ”Cate Blanchett, 48, offers up bulging boobs in never-ending neckline.” No! Actress wore a dress which happened not to cover up to her neck.

“For me, the true icons of style are those women who’ve been utterly themselves without apology- whose physical presence and their aesthetic is integrated in a non-self-conscious way,” Blanchett said. “Women who know how they look is not all of who they are but just an extension of that, and it’s about women who feel free to wear what they want when they want and how they want.”

Women’s own complicity (whether they ”asked” for it or ”let” it happen) in sexual harassment has been one of the threads running through the ongoing allegations against Weinstein and also now the renewed focus on photographer Terry Richardson with the vital question of consent being a key line of defence. ”I’ve never used an offer of work or a threat of rebuke to coerce someone into something that they didn’t want to do,” Richardson stated in 2014 Huffington Post blog.

Blanchett’s comments are a timely reminder that the clothes you choose to wear are just that – your choice with no implication otherwise.Read more at:formal dresses australia | evening dresses australia

Rider ‘flabbergasted’ to be picked for national campaign

The 31-year-old was one of four real riders picked by equestrian fashion brand Equetech for their 25-year celebrations.

The winners were revealed in a stunning series of photographs. Rowena said: “I’m flabbergasted, things like this just don’t happen to me.

“This really gives me a boost in what recently has been a low point in my life. I feel ecstatic to be given a chance to be part of the equetechrealriderscampaign.”

Rowena, a quotation specialist for a global clinical supply chain provider in clinical trials, has been a horse owner for 13 years and is looking forward to wearing the clothes she has won.

She feels she represents riders struggling with confidence, be it in themselves or their riding. She added: “I’m keen to promote those riders who put everything into their ponies, they may not have a lot of money to fund their dreams, but they are determined and have the drive to succeed.”

Rowena who took on some evening pub work to help fund her competing with her eight-year-old fell pony gelding, Townend Bellboy II. They have had a good season competing in British Dressage Team Quest on the fell pony team Wishfell Thinking, finishing second on the Southern leader board and securing a qualification for the regionals.

Liz Hayman, managing director and head designer of Equetech, said: “Rowena is typical of our customer base. They work hard so they can have a horse and Rowena has worked two jobs to support her passion.

“The idea that people who own horses have a lot of money just isn’t the case for most equestrians. We make affordable, quality clothing for riders like Rowena and we are delighted to include her in the final fab four.”

Rowena features in the December issue of Horse and Rider Magazine magazine, out now.Read more at:http://www.marieaustralia.com | unique formal dresses

A stylish answer to stadium regulations

The NCAA has adopted the NFL’s regulations banning handbags larger than 4½-inches high inside stadiums. Austin designer Kelly Ferguson, of handbag line Kelly Wynne, forecasted a void in the market and jumped on designing an attractive alternative to the plastic Ziploc bag the guidelines suggest using.

“When rumors started flying around this spring, I knew this was going to affect my business,” she says. “So many of my customers were buying Kelly Wynne bags to wear into the stadium.”

Ferguson, an Ole Miss alumnus, is a devoted sports fan, and she says her customers – largely post-collegiates in their 20s and 30s – are fans, too.

Ferguson’s eponymous boutique in Austin is in the high-end Domain Northside shopping center, but she spends quite a bit of time traveling the country for trunk shows. Since the launch of her brand in 2013, customers have told her that her designs are gameday-wardrobe staples.

To meet the new rules, her line now includes a 6½-by-4½-inch crossbody bag that fits seamlessly into her existing cadre of totes, clutches, crossbodies and wallets, all of which bear her trademark chevron stripe-inspired logo. The Game Changer Mini is available in red suede, snakeskin-embossed deep blue, a neutral colorblock and other shades. She calls it “the perfect going-out bag.”

Because many women confuse the regulations with the need to carry a clear plastic bag – both solid color and clear bags are allowed if they fit the size regulations – she also created a clear Mingle Mingle Mini crossbody trimmed in leather and calls sales “overwhelming.” It has a “more of a high-fashion feel” than what is available from other brands – mainly modified makeup bags and team logo tote bags.Read more at:short formal dresses australia | long evening dresses

Hot trends off the ramp from AIFWSS’18 day 4

Day four of Amazon India Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2018 saw an abundance of clashing prints, all-white ensembles, dramatic hemlines and statement sleeves. Here’s a round up of the trends that is sure to get your attention:

Shades of white

Many shades of white were spotted on the runway. They offered a stark contrast to the multitude of prints and colours. From Madhu Jain, Kavita Bhartia to Abhi Singh and Ekta Jaipuria and Ruchira Kandhari paired white with white in their collections. If you’re not big on white-on-white, add a few loose fitted casual styles from Payal Jain, frilly and flirty skirts from Kavita Bhartia or a few traditional cotton kurtas from Madhu Jain to your wardrobe and mix and match it with other colours.

Shirts under spaghetti straps

Stylistas Kim Kardashian and Kendall and Kylie Jenner have been doing this for a while now and designers Dhruv Kapoor and Abhi Singh seemed to have got the drift. Models sashayed down the ramp wearing risqué spaghetti dresses and tank tops over shirts in different sizes and shapes. So ladies, it’s time to bring out your slinky dresses.

Print on print

The runway saw an abundance of clashing patterns and prints, proving that this trend for the brave will be big in the upcoming season. While Shivan and Narresh had matching top and bottom sets with prints boasting of forest sights, Dhruv Kapoor matched ditsy florals with vintage prints.

Exaggerated sleeves

This is one of the biggest trends for spring summer. And there are so many different types of statement sleeves to suit different types of arms. From billowy bell shaped, ultra long and oversized to ruffled, cinched at the wrist to exaggerated cuffs, there’s enough to last you more than one season.

Asymmetrical hemlines

Everything isn’t straight and narrow for summers, designers played with geometry and courted the asymmetrical hemlines in myriad ways. Anju Modi brought the mullet back in fashion—her kurtas had hemlines that were short at the front and long in the back. Meanwhile, Kavita Bhartia, Dhruv Kapoor and Bhanuni by Jyoti experimented with the handkerchief hemline.Read more at:year 12 formal dresses | plus size evening wear

The beauty of ugly fashion

I’m yet to find a shoe that is as universally hated as Crocs. Everything about them reeks of ugliness: they make your feet look disproportionately large, they’re unnecessarily clunky, and they are embarrassingly practical. So when Balenciaga designer, Demna Gvasalia, sent a 10cm platform-version of the monstrosities down the catwalk during Paris Fashion Week, the Internet was shocked.

But should we have been so surprised? Recent years have seen the meteoric rise of the anti-fashion aesthetic. Designers Gucci and Vetements are undoubtedly some of the most talked about brands at the moment, with creative directors pushing, quite simply, ugly clothes. But these designers aren’t alone. The various fashion weeks were rife with ugly clothing – whether Shayne Oliver’s bra bags for Helmut Lang (padded and with a zipper at the top of each breast to allow quick access), or Dior, once known for its voluptuous shapes and silhouettes, sending slogan T-shirts down the runway.

Fashion has always dabbled in ugliness. Fashion is a business, and has always been evolving to find the new must-have item to increase profits, and static ideas of beauty do not ring well for a business trying to sell you new clothing faster than your old clothing needs replacing. But the extent of the ugly clothing aesthetic truly is staggering.

With Instagram and Youtube, it seems that ugliness is the only way for fashion to stand out. The rise of Youtubers has caused the eradication of the days of teenagers with clear smudges of orange foundation on their neck, wonky eyeliner or heavy black eyes; many 14-year-olds now know how to contour.

Similarly, Instagram provides you with the perfect chance to curate your image, with many people having two Instagrams – one for the aesthetic and one for friends, so they are not contained by their personal brand. We are now so inundated with images of beauty in magazines and on social media that ugly fashion seems an easy way to break the mould.

Beauty might be fulfilling, but its ubiquity renders it forgettable. When beauty is the aesthetic of the majority, fashion must resort to the ugly to retain its exclusivity. The rise of fast fashion has also put this exclusivity into peril. Any Zara or Topshop/Topman will have near replicas of designer clothing mere weeks after they’ve been shown on the runway. H&M goes as far as to designer collaborations – everyone now has the opportunity to get into this once elusive world.

In truth, ugliness works. Whether Gucci’s embroideries and snake motifs, or Vetements’ jackets of gargantuan proportions, these pieces of ugliness are instantly recognisable. They’re also a lot harder to replicate without looking like a blatant rip-off, meaning fashion brands can retain that aspirational quality that is so needed for high-end labels.

Ultimately, ‘ugliness’ should be welcomed. Our ideals of beauty need challenging and what better than mainstream ugliness to subvert them? Vetements’ clothes swathe the body and go against all the tenets of classical beauty with their wonky, ill-fitting style. Unfitted clothing does away with the patriarchal classical ideal for clothing to enhance certain key features of the body. It also is more inclusive of body types that previously would be frowned upon for wearing figure-hugging clothes. Criticism of fashion’s upholding of damaging beauty ideals has been done before, but rarely has it left the avant garde to infiltrate the mainstream to the extent it has today.

With increased creative freedom from the restraints of classical beauty and the potential to revise harmful ideals of attractiveness, it is safe to say ugly has never looked so good.Read more at:vintage formal dresses | princess formal dresses

Prior Lake teen model takes on New York Fashion Week

As with most pictures, looking at a photograph of Kiersten Proehl doesn’t show the whole truth.

For instance, one might think she is a very serious 20-something, living in some Upper East Side apartment and shopping at Gucci or Prada.

That perception is the whole point, because Kiersten Proehl is a 16-year-old model from Prior Lake. She’s also a goofy kid.

“It’s kind of funny — a lot of photographers always want her to do this intense look,” father Adam Proehl said. “Sometimes we jokingly call it the ‘model pout’ look … she’s just kind of a goof.”

Kiersten Proehl started modeling a year and a half ago and has already worked in 20 fashion shows, strutted catwalks for Fashion Week Minnesota and for one of the four major fashion shows in the world — New York Fashion Week.

And that’s not including about 50 photo shoots.

“I remember being five or six and every time I wore a dress I would make my dad go out in the driveway and take pictures of me in the dress and doing all these cute little poses,” Kiersten Proehl said. “I remembered that all throughout middle school.”

Entering the business

She had always towered over peers. In second grade, she was about a foot taller than any of the boys, Adam Proehl said. At 16, she’s 5 feet and 9 inches tall.

In middle school, friends started telling Kiersten Proehl that modeling was something she should try.

She decided to go for it. She said she thought at the time “You know what — why not? What do I have to lose?”

Kiersten Proehl came to her parents a few years ago, wanting to go to an open casting call at the Mall of America.

Her father took her to the call, but the family became suspicious when the casting directors wanted her to head to Hollywood straight away — and pay a lot of money to do so.

“They were trying to fill a 14-year-old girl with these pipe dreams so I was like, ‘Alright, let me do some poking around locally,'” Adam Proehl said.

The family found a local agency, Caryn Model and Talent Management, and the young model signed with them.

The big leagues

Kiersten Proehl modeled for six months before she walked in Fashion Week Minnesota. In September, she walked in shows for New York Fashion Week.

“I met with some agents out in New York and one of them decided they wanted to work with me for fashion week,” Kiersten Proehl said. “I just decided to say ‘yes’ and go out there for some castings and shows.”

The family was unprepared for the hectic nature of New York Fashion Week. In Minnesota, casting calls — where models meet with directors and maybe try on a dress or walk for them — are organized and go smoothly.

There was a lot more of everything in New York — more casting calls, more locations, more models.

“They were like scattered all throughout the city so you might have four or five in a day but it’ll take you all day to go to them because you have to run from one point to another point and back,” Kiersten Proehl said.

The family didn’t stay in New York the whole time, which meant constant flights back and forth between the Twin Cities and the Big Apple.

“I wish we would have known that it takes a long time for fashion week and to plan to be out there for two weeks … because all of that plane time is just crazy and coming back to Minnesota for like two days and flying back was a lot,” Kiersten Proehl said.

Even the shows are hectic. Kiersten Proehl said she usually doesn’t remember anything about being on the catwalk.

“Really all I remember is bright lights,” she said. “I have to watch videos back to remember what song was playing and I don’t usually see anybody in the audience. Even if you are walking for a minute or something, it just feels so quick.”

Making the grade

The photo shoots, casting calls and fashion shows came with a major time commitment. Kiersten Proehl switched to Minnesota Connections Academy, an online school which allows her flexibility — 30 hours of school per week are required, but they can be done at any time.

On the first day of high school for Prior Lake, she was doing her first day of school on a laptop in Manhattan.

“If I need to take a day off for a six-hour shoot, I could do that and then I could just make up my school on a Saturday when I’m just hanging out,” Kiersten Proehl said. “I feel like that’s probably been the best for me.”

As with any activity for a teenager, the mantra remains the same — you can do it if you keep your grades up.

“We don’t demand straight As but we usually say you at least have to have a B average to be able to do this, just like any extracurricular,” Adam Proehl said. “This is her hockey. I’m not sending her to hockey camps and doing ice time or things like that. Some parents go to soccer games and hockey games — I go to fashion shows.”

Being a model has taught Kiersten Proehl the skills necessary for any age in any profession — responsible social media use, confidence in one’s abilities, handling rejection, timely and professional responses, being on time, working hard… the list goes on.

“Everyone she works with always wants to work with her again,” Adam Proehl said. “She’s the one that shows up early and she doesn’t complain and she just works hard. As a parent, I think I’m most proud of that.”

Building a career

Kiersten Proehl said she’d love to make a career out of modeling, but doesn’t know what the future holds for the industry or for her.

“That would be super cool if I could do it,” she said. “You never really know when stuff is going to change because a lot of times that industry likes a certain look, so if you’re not fitting that then you’re kind of out of it. It’d be really cool if I could though, because I’d love to do that.”

The past few years have also taught Kiersten Proehl what she loves about fashion and what types of projects she wants to be a part of, Adam Proehl said.

“She’s very choosy about who she works with now,” Adam Proehl said. “She’s kind of figured out who she wants to be. She doesn’t want to model for a Target or a Kohl’s … she’s turned down opportunities to do that. She wants to do the high fashion stuff and that’s OK.”

Few models make it big in such a competitive field, but with more paid gigs coming her way, it’s a pretty good job for a young adult.

“What most find they’re able to do is they’re able to make enough money to really help pay for college, things like that,” Adam Proehl said.

For now, Kiersten Proehl has a holiday-themed photo shoot coming and return to New York Fashion Week for the spring shows.Read more at:marieaustralia | formal dresses sydney