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08/06/2015

Hutt's Eco Fashion week opens new potential for designers

Fashionable handbags and totes made using tyre inner tubes. A joke, surely?

 

Wainuiomata eco designer Zorro Potion enjoys the look that comes across people's faces when she shows them her bags - this reporter included. They are really clever, practical and attractive.

 

Best of all, Zorro says, no animal gave up its skin or fur so they could be made.

 

Potion says she has been making clothes for herself from upcycled garments all her life but it wasn't until fellow Wainuiomatian Denise Anglesey put on the inaugural New Zealand Eco Fashion Week in 2013 that she "came out of the closet" to show her fashion in a public setting.

 

She says it was a "resounding success" and without her chasing it, all sorts of opportunities have come her way.

 

Two of her women's fashion garments were shown in the Eco part of London Fashion Week and among a series of photoshoots for which she was asked to create styles was a session with Miss Universe New Zealand.

 

Wainuiomata upcycled fashion designer Zorro Potion, models one of her Ghost Train label dresses, and a handbag she made using a tyre inner tube.  She is in the Eco Fashion Week pop-up shop in Petone.

 

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For Saturday's third annual Eco Fashion Week runway show, current Miss Universe NZ model Rachel Milnes will be modelling an outfit from Potion's 'Ghost Train' label - a reference to her love of skull motifs.

 

Potion is also dressing runway event MC, actress Geraldine Brophy and will be creating some of the costumes for Brophy's upcoming children's play at The Little Theatre, Snow Bright.

 

Potion, who has 34 bee hives on her Wainuiomata lifestyle block, hates waste and says there is too much of it in the rag trade. Imported garments, including from factories where working conditions are from from ideal, are so cheap that too many of us throw them out and buy something new on a whim, instead of mending or re-purposing them.

 

It's a lament another eco designer "from the Nui", Lisa Winter, agrees with.

 

Winter wasn't even a sewer until a back injury forced her to slow

 

down.

 

"I wanted something good to come out of it, and something for my two daughters," she says.

 

A friend showed her some stitches on a sewing machine "and I got the bug".

 

It was both the price of new fabric, and "doubts about where it came from, and what had been sprayed on it" that encouraged Winter to look at old suits, pinafores and men's jackets as a source of material for making children's fashion. Extra large women's vests provided more than enough fabric for a kid's dress.

 

As well as the environmentally-conscious angle, what she creates under her LilyRose label are one-offs or very short runs. "You're not going to get five children in the same class wearing the same thing."

 

A layered girl's dress made from a thermal drape sample was one of Winter's outfits that won applause when she debuted at last year's Eco Fashion Week.

 

This year army blankets are her source material.

 

"I had been touched by all the World War One commemorations and wanted to instill in my daughters how important the Anzacs were."

 

Little coats, jackets and dresses she has made from the sturdy grey material are an echo of our history, and Winter has emphasised that by retaining the Wellington Wool Co labels, and one blanket even still had the soldier's surname stitched into the cloth. Brass buttons and crocheted red woollen poppies complete the look, and 30 per cent of of sales proceeds will be going to the Lower Hutt Memorial RSA.

 

More than 35 fashion designers from New Zealand and abroad are set to showcase their collections on the runway in the main event on June 13. Among those on the runway modelling Winter's outfits will be her daughters, Charlotte, 6, and Hayley, 7.

 

ECO FASHION WEEK 2015 PROGRAMME

 

■ Eco Pop Up store at 127 Jackson St, until June 12.

 

■ Tuesday June 9 - Official opening of the third annual NZ Eco Fashion Week at Sacred Heart College Performing Arts Centre.

 

■ Wednesday, June 10 - True Cost, director Andrew Morgan's movie about the price the world is paying for fashion, including the impact on sweat shop workers in developing nations. 8pm, The Light House Cinema, Petone.

 

■ Thursday June 11 - An evening with Miranda Brown, director of Conscious Cloth, Dowse Art Museum, 7pm.

 

■ Friday, June 12 - Get the Sante Runway Make up Look, a free event with registration.

 

■ Saturday June 13, Kila's Style Wardrobe swap and style. Find out how to create a unique look from good quality recycled fashion. Bring along your unwanted, good quality clothing to swap for new items.

 

■ Saturday June 13, the Eco Fashion Designer Runway. A showcase of organic, ethical, up- cycled and re-cycled fashion.

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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.

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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

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