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04/06/2015

The Fashion Struggles of a Transgender Woman Will Make You Stop and Think

In the months leading up to Caitlyn Jenner's debut, gender identity has been a focal point in the media. In an effort to give the transgender community a voice in that conversation and to help anyone going through this or on the other side of the change, we tapped Francesca Appelgate, who is shedding light on her own experience as a transgender woman. Read on as she shares what it was really like to shop and dress her new body.

 

 

Pictures: red bridesmaid dresses

 

I have walked through the women's department on many occasions, hoping that one day I'd actually do a little shopping of my own. Well, that day has come . . . and I have next to no idea what I'm doing.

 

As a transgender girl in her mid-20s, I have little to no experience with shopping for women's clothes. As a teen, I always enjoyed helping my mom and sister pick out their outfits, but it doesn't do much in the way of developing my own style. Now, I should say as a disclaimer that my experience doesn't necessarily reflect all transgender people. Every transition, if one even chooses to transition, is unique to the individual. Some trans people have ample time developing their own style before starting their transition. Some run from it as long as humanly possible. I was definitely more of a runner in this respect. After years spent in denial and a few more years of working up the courage, I finally decided to officially start hormone replacement therapy or HRT near the end of 2013. For those not familiar, HRT is essentially a medically induced second puberty that reverses many of the male physical traits and replaces them with female physical traits. At the onset of this transition, I had a basic idea of what to expect. With that came the knowledge that I would eventually be buying new clothes and building a wardrobe I could finally call my own.

 

But as most know, puberty takes a while and is near impossible to forecast. It was that unpredictable nature of puberty 2.0 that called for a plan to carefully ease my way into a new form of gender and personal expression. I decided that I would buy new clothes at the turn of each season, a handful at first, and more as time went on. This would involve assessing my physical process and buying clothes appropriate for my body at that time.

 

It sounded simple enough, but boy (girl?!) was I wrong. Initially, one of my biggest hurdles was mustering the courage to shop the women's section in the first place. Early on, I obviously didn't pass as a woman, which made browsing for and trying on new clothes very difficult and, in some cases, downright terrifying. I was deathly afraid of being seen as some sort of deviant or pervert. The fear of a confrontation with someone, no matter how unlikely, made stepping into a women's changing room essentially impossible (and don't get me started on bathrooms).

 

Once I (mostly) got over this fear, my problems shifted to finding clothes that fit my body, my style, and my limited budget. At this point, I quickly discovered three things:

 

Next to nothing fits me.

 

I have a limited idea of what my style is and even less of an idea of how to incorporate that into women's clothing.

 

Clothes are expensive.

 

The fitting situation has gotten better over time, though it can be tough to find something for these shoulders of mine and shoes are a nightmare (size 11 wide with a high instep? Thanks for nothing, genetics!). I've also come to understand that women's clothes simply fit differently. Whether it's formfitting or oversize, you always have to consider how they complement your body specifically. It's not that this isn't a concern for men, but I felt I could get by with less effort when I dressed like a guy. I guess you could chalk it up to some sort of double standard, but I definitely feel that the amount of time I spend putting together an outfit has increased tenfold. That's made all the more difficult by a limited wardrobe and an even more limited budget.

 

For a long while, many of the new clothes I bought just seemed to look silly on me, even when I initially thought it looked good or friends complimented my outfit. It was incredibly discouraging. But then I realized something . . . I had spent 20-plus years of my life presenting and learning to dress as a male. A significant reason that my new clothes felt silly on me was because those decades of social training were still buried deep in my psyche and continued to, at least partially, govern my decisions. Combine that dysphoriaand the body issues so many women deal with and you've got yourself a vicious cocktail of obstacles to overcome right from the get-go.

 

The realization of these mental hurdles, along with further physical changes, has helped me overcome many of my earlier apprehensions. I still have a long way to go before I'm fully comfortable, but the progress is palpable and I feel amazing! Beyond working to develop my own wardrobe, the biggest challenge is passing publicly — by passing, I mean being seen as a woman without any suspicion to the contrary. My body, makeup, hair, voice, and clothes all come into play here. Since my hair isn't very long yet and I don't always wear makeup, I rely pretty heavily on my voice and clothes to pick up the slack of my still-developing body. But it's the clothes people see first, so they are truly critical when it comes to passing. At this stage, I don't pass all of the time. People still misgender me about half of the time, and I'm pretty sure the majority of the other half is just being polite (though I could be underselling myself).

 

While being misgendered feels pretty cruddy, my real concern stems from a fear that someone will do something to harm me. I've yet to run into a situation personally, but it happens far more often than it should, and I take every precaution I can to assure my own safety. My wardrobe is my armor in this battle, and I need as many allies as I can get. I've received many clothes from friends who no longer needed them and even attended a Fall fashion swap last year where I picked up a few items in exchange for things I no longer wore. I'd love to see more events like this, especially geared toward trans people who so sorely need the help. It'd also be wonderful if more stores were openly trans-friendly, with specialists geared toward helping members of the trans and nonbinary community to find clothes right for them. This would do wonders in easing some of our fears and apprehensions. In fact, why not be rid of men's and women's departments altogether? Alright, I'll admit that's a bit of a lofty goal, but it would be pretty wonderful if clothes were less gendered. A dream for a not-so-distant future perhaps? Maybe. For now, I'll keep working toward my dream of passing through the women's department as just another woman.

More info: blue bridesmaid dresses

08:34 Publié dans Mode | Tags : fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

01/06/2015

Michelle Keegan's stunning bespoke bridal gown FINALLY revealed as she poses with beaming husband Mark Wright

MICHELLE Keegan’s stunning wedding dress has finally been revealed - and she looks nothing short of amazing.

 

The brunette beauty, who married Mark Wright in a star-studded ceremony in in Bury St Edmunds last Sunday, has managed to keep her bridal gown under wraps so far.

 

Custom made by Israeli fashion house Galia Lahav in conjunction with specialist boutique store Browns Brides, the ivory dress with plunging back is adorned with intricate French lace and heavily embellished with glittering Swarovski crystals.

 

The former TOWIE actress designed the gown herself, and it shows off her perfectly toned figure and glowing tan as she poses in the first official pictures.

 

In the first snaps from their big day, Mark and Michelle couldn't look happier as they pose on the front cover of Hello! magazine, describing the ceremony as "the day our dreams came true.”

 

Mark teased the cover himself hours before, as he shared a snap to his 740,000 followers - and it doesn't disappoint.

 

Mark posted the snap of the cover with the caption: "This time last week, this day was so close !! Miss it so much but get to relive it tomo !! @hellomaguk out in the morning !!"

 

Hello! magazine front cover showing the wedding of Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright

 

Pictures: tea length wedding dresses

 

EMBARGOED TO 0001 SUNDAY MAY 31 Hello! magazine front cover showing the wedding of Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright

 

With lace around her arms and stopping in a V above her bum, the design is elegant and eye-catching, ending in a fishtail design by her feet.

 

The cover snap sees the pair smiling happily together as husband and wife, with Michelle showing her back to the camera as she leans into her man's arms.

 

Wearing her long hair wavy, she's half clipped it back and wore an Italian veil from Peter Langner for the ceremony itself.

 

Another smaller photo shows them at the alter, staring lovingly into each other's eyes as Michelle reveals the front of that gown for the first time.

 

"She looked so amazing. Her wedding dress was just perfect,” Mark told the magazine.

 

While Michelle added: “Seeing Mark looking back at me as I walked down the aisle was the best feeling ever."

 

Mark, looking handsome in a black tuxedo and bowtie, added: “Not only are you beautiful, but you are one of the most incredible people I have ever met. You truly are sensational in every single way.”

 

Michelle previously revealed she took inspiration from other wedding gowns including the custom made Oscar de la Renta gown which Amal Alamuddin wore when she married George Clooney last year.

 

Mark Wright and Michelle Keegan attend A Night Of Heroes: The Sun Military Awards at National Maritime Museum on December 10, 2014 in London, England

 

Mark Wright and Michelle Keegan attend A Night Of Heroes: The Sun Military Awards at National Maritime Museum on December 10, 2014 in London, England

 

She said: "She (Amal) looked amazing, gorgeous. That was the one that stood out for me. I couldn't find one that I really liked so instead I took inspiration from various aspects of dresses I loved and it's been made for me. But I haven't tried it on yet. My fitting is this month."

 

It comes after Mark revealed the pair are honeymooning on stunning island resort Maafushivaru in the Maldives.

 

Tweeting a picture of himself looking at the ocean (how poetic), he tweeted: “Being a husband !! Such an amazing feeling !! Buzzing for the journey ahead !! @Maafushivaru_MV #maldives”.

 

* Read the full article in HELLO! out now

Read more at wedding dresses 2015

10:07 Publié dans Mode, wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

23/05/2015

Real high brow fashion: Get in the thick of it and join the celebs to decide which shape will get all eyes on you

Statement eyebrows are going nowhere for SS15.

 

But like all big trends, things evolve and this season we’re seeing the Cara brow take on two totally different forms; the big, bold brow and the au natural brow.

 

The biggest fashion night of the year took place earlier this month with a galaxy of stars turning out for the Met Gala in New York.

 

The annual event is always a fantasia of fabulous costume dresses but it’s not just the frocks that are in the spotlight.

 

As with outfit choices for this notoriously flamboyant red carpet, make-up and hair has to be carefully considered.

 

And this year there was big emphasis on statement brows.

 

Leading the big brow army charge was supermodel Cara Delevingne who has been credited with spearheading the new obsession.

 

Her impressive facial caterpillars are now one of the most desired celebrity features to possess.

 

2015 FilmMagic

 

 

Miley Cyrus attends the "China: Through The Looking Glass" Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015 in New York City

 

Sporting a Stella McCartney jumpsuit and eye-catching body art, Cara went to the darkside with her eyebrows which gave an equally dramatic look to her make-up.

 

Cara’s pal Rihanna has also been experimenting with her eyebrows.

 

The singer recently shared a picture on Instagram of the cover of the first single from her new album – in which the make-up is strongly focused on her eyebrows; straight, dark and ultra thick.

 

The personalised look created by the make-up artist Yadim especially for Rihanna, mirrors a strong trend that was also seen on the Spring Summer 2015 runways where thick brows, emphasised by the use of pencils (or even piercing as for Rodarte) for a graphic, at times wild, effect are king.

 

RiRi stole the show at the Met Gala with her incredible yellow Guo Pei gown and intricate jewelled headpiece.

 

Her blunt eyebrows gave her glamorous look the right amount of edge.

 

 

Pictures: casual wedding dresses

 

Dakota Johnson attends the "China: Through The Looking Glass" Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015 in New York City

 

The strong brow look was also showcased by the Olsen twins and Katy Perry, who flaunted her brows by rocking a short wig on the night.

 

Despite the bold brow trend being big news, eyebrow expert Ramona Treacy, of the new Blink & Wink salon on Dublin’s Dawson Street, said many Irish woman are now reverting back to a more natural look.

 

She said this trend is perfect for those content with blending in a little more.

 

I recently visited Blink and Wink where the lovely Ramona gave my eyebrows an A list makeover with an eyebrow tint, shape and a lash tint (€35).

 

As much as I love big, bushy brows, they do not love me.

 

So after a full consultation, Ramona suggested a more natural look as favoured by stars such as the normally outrageous Miley Cyrus.

 

Hailey Baldwin, Zendaya Coleman, Dakota Johnson and Karen Elson also took a less bushy, more refined approach to their eyebrows at the Met Gala.

 

The new well-groomed trend is for less of an exaggerated “drawn-on” bold brow, and more of a natural, textured brow that flatters the face.

 

Blink & Wink, which opened its doors late last year, is a gorgeous space, that boasts a luxurious yet friendly atmosphere.

 

And another bonus is it’s just a stone’s throw from Grafton Street.

 

The shop is also the exclusive stockist in Ireland for the Cosmetics 27 skin care range from M.E. Skin Lab developed specially for dry and sensitive skin with immediate visible effects.

 

As someone who gets their eyebrows done regularly I found the process pain-free and very relaxing.

 

Adriana Lima attends the Premiere of "Sicario" during the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival

 

You know you’re in safe hands with professional Ramona who talks you through each step and is clearly a specialist in face framing.

 

For an extra treat Ramona popped on a strip of Millie Mackintosh eyelashes (they are sold in store) to really give me the celebrity finish.

 

The results were eyebrow raising, amazing and long lasting too. As eyebrow experts go, Ramona is easily one of the best in town.

More info: wedding dresses online

04:25 Publié dans Mode | Tags : celebs | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)