Now Get Ready for Gorpcore

The signs of the trend came not as a flood last winter, but in dribs and drabs. I’d notice twentysomethings in Patagonia fleece vests thumbing through Lost Downtown at Dashwood; an El Rey waiter ringing up my kale caesar in a Columbia windbreaker; diners at Win Son in North Face puffers and Acne Adrians; a couple in matching Arc’teryx parkas drinking flat whites at La Colombe. It was amusing, the incongruity of city kids — most of whom would sooner die than drink from a Nalgene — incorporating the hallmarks of camp gear into wardrobes of COS sweatshirts and 3×1 jeans.

But as winter progressed, it became clear a bigger cultural shift was afoot. There was A$AP Rocky in a full-zip fleece at Fashion Week in January (it was Calvin Klein but looked like the North Face thing students at my liberal New England college would throw on for a noon lecture — the one that announced: “I no longer care.”) It was Tremaine Emory — co-founder of art-music-fashion collective No Vacancy Inn who’s consulted for Kanye and spun alongside Virgil Abloh — taking a selfie in London designer Martine Rose’s Big Bird-esque poncho that same month. Actress and model Solveig Almaas smoking a cigarette and framing the logo on her fleece with a peace sign. Mister Mort — that menswear Punchinello — in a Mont Bell cap and Patagonia parody shirt. The newly prevailing spirit of cult Japanese menswear magazine Popeye. Drake performing in a Stone Island windbreaker at the Adult Swim upfronts just days ago (he’s a well-documented fan of the brand.)

As winter has given way to spring, the idea has had surprising elasticity — down puffers and full-zip fleeces have become down and fleece vests, anoraks have shifted to long-sleeve tees and short-sleeved sweatshirts, Tevas with marled-wool socks are now Tevas worn barefoot. The cool kids aren’t letting this go; they all want to dress like they can tie a Yosemite bowline.

The look isn’t quite the “camping chic” that designers such as Givenchy, Lanvin, and — most notably — Prada sent down the runway. It’s not about a hyper-elevated, high-fashion take on hiking clothes. Much of it is rather defiantly ugly, like something you’d buy (or exactly what you’d buy) at REI before a weekend in Phoenicia — practical, element-braving fleeces, ponchos, parkas, and windbreakers from no-nonsense brands like Patagonia, the North Face, Teva, Columbia, and Birkenstock worn with painter pants, Vans, Hawaiian shirts, Dickies. Head-to-toe outdoor wear would be too literal — it has to be thrown off to communicate the wearer is in on the joke. The outfit isn’t designer, but it is fashion, in the way that any aesthetic executed with intentionality — ever insistent and dissonant — can become “a look.”

For 29-year-old multidisciplinary designer Justin Sloane, the clothes have an inconspicuous appeal. He’ll wear Patagonia jackets with Levi jeans and Converses, or now that it’s warm, Patagonia hiking shorts around the city. “I did grow up deep in that granola culture, but what I like about wearing these clothes is that you’re exempting yourself from fashion decisions. There’s something nice and anonymous about the pieces.”

I know, I know. It sounds like normcore, the now three-year-old trend that rejected the prevailing consumerism of the early aughts by embracing blankness: stonewash jeans, plain-cotton tees, white athletic socks. But where normcore idealized the Mall, indiscriminately incorporating bland stylistic totems across suburban categories — athletic wear as much as grunge as much as skate as much as prep — this new aesthetic worships the Woods, strictly defining itself by the idioms of hiking/camping/outdoor apparel. It telegraphs an enlightenment beyond urban, bourgeois concerns: I can survive perfectly fine outside of the city — and in style, thank you. Nike (or Adidas or New Balance for that matter) isn’t part of this. Converse isn’t part of this. Gap isn’t part of this. (Maybe Uniqlo but only Heattech and only the puffers.) A successor to normcore (as is, arguably, athleisure), the look is normcore growing a SCOBY, carrying a backpacker’s trowel, and sporting an L.N.T. tattoo. It’s gorpcore.

“Listen, if you dropped me somewhere upstate, I’d cry,” says Mordechai Rubinstein (a.k.a., Mister Mort), “but I love clothes that can transport me. That’s what these clothes let me do — if they can withstand the actual outdoors, then I can wear them to go outside in Greenpoint.” Unlike Fashion Week facsimiles, the clothes have the cred of true outdoor gear; what makes them cooler, of course, is that they’re not trying to be cool. Their style is an auxiliary concern to, well, survival. “I’ve never thought of it as a conscious style choice,” says Justin R. Saunders, the Montreal designer and blogger behind JJJJound, who mixes a lot of North Face and Patagonia pieces into his not-exactly-roughing-it wardrobe of Vans and A.P.C. jeans. “In Montreal, where the weather can be not so great, I’ve always found them to serve a utilitarian need – they’re warm and comfortable. Obviously the brands position themselves a certain way as great products without the flash. That’s what I like.”

“It’s definitely an extension of normcore,” says Lawrence Schlossman, brand director of high-end resale site Grailed. “but it’s also the shadow influence that Japanese designers have always had on American fashion. The influencers online — the guys who work with A$AP Mob and Luka Sabbat and Virgil — are dipped head to toe in Japanese brands like Needles, Nepenthes, Engineered Garments, Snow Peak, and Battenwear, which all do this normcore Patagonia thing, but a luxe, high-end version in better colorways and better materials. Then it trickles.” It’s not just Japanese brands that bestow prestige with the co-sign. American retailers like Pilgrim Surf Supply, Westerlind, and Hatchet Supply gobble up this geeked-out Japanese Americana, which then adds to their own active-stoner cred. It’s — as ever — Supreme, too. “When a brand like Supreme works with the North Face on a collaboration, that’s powerful for North Face,” says Nick Paget, senior menswear editor at trend forecasting agency WGSN. “Same with Stone Island. Supreme knows the heritage and authenticity of the brands it partners with, and people listen to that.”

When high takes on low, as with Phoebe Philo’s take on Birkenstocks for Celine, Raf Simons x Stan Smith, or the Balenciaga appropriation of Bernie Sanders signage, the mashup confers a halo of prestige on the lower-end brand, like an ugly man who immediately becomes more interesting once he starts dating a beautiful woman: What does she see in him? That revered brands like Supreme and Engineered Garments and Nepenthes would deign to take on granola classics signals that there’s something worth paying attention to.

Schlossman himself has been a fairly reliable bellwether on the vagaries of fashion. In the past half-decade he’s moved swiftly from double monkstraps and Italian tailoring (“sprezzy” was a favored coinage) to sneakers and jeans (as editor of Complex-owned menswear site Four Pins). These days, Schlossman himself is feeling the camping-inflected look. “I’m not afraid to admit that I went out and got a Patagonia Snap-T this past fall because I saw Shia Labeouf wear one over a hoodie and thought it was really cool.”

Gorpcore isn’t limited to men’s fashion (it was Phoebe Philo, after all, who resuscitated the Birkenstock at Celine in 2012), but for men, it does have a real-world, fashion-as-function appeal. Whereas a certain kind of woman wouldn’t blanch at having to buy $13 leather protectant for her $3,000 handbag, men — for the most part — are not such slaves to fashion. “Clothing that fits a purpose and does what it says will always be relevant to men,” says Paget. “In the U.K. [where Paget is based], men go to football games wearing Stone Island and CP Company to signal that they bought the right thing, paid quite a lot, but that most of all, the clothes will do what they’re supposed to do. Performance is paramount.” Sloane agrees that the clothes serve symbolic purpose more than, say, a Budweiser jacket or Nike hat does. “If you live somewhere like New York and like the idea of camping but only get to do it twice a year, wearing these clothes is a way of putting the flag out there that you’re into it even though you never get to do it.” Gorpcore, then, tags its wearer as seriously outdoorsy, the way that Timberland boots suggest a certain urban toughness or a Barbour jacket says, “I shoot pheasants for fun.”

Of course, there may be one other reason these clothes fit our current cultural mood. It’s an overreaching journalistic impulse to attribute every micro-phenomenon to post-election malaise, but the rise of gorpcore — which exalts activities that, in their environmental consciousness, have always been considered hippie-dippie or tree-hugging — is a political act. “It’s crunchy,” says Schlossman, “and in this political climate, these brands we’re talking about stand for good. I’ve not necessarily been someone to ‘vote with his dollar’ but it’s the perfect marriage of ideas.” Mother Nature has been how liberals — one famously — have been licking their wounds, and celebrating it is a rebuke of the President’s planned $1.5 billion cut from the Interior Department. To wear Patagonia is to stand in solidarity with the brand’s environmental advocacy. It’s no accident that Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson has worn the same Patagonia vest for nearly a decade. To purchase and wear brands that give voice to your value system is its own form of silent protest.

Ideas in fashion and food and design and travel don’t occur in isolation. You can trace the philosophical through line — that maybe nature holds some secret to self-improvement or emotional deliverance — in the rise of grain bowls and Moon Dust; the comforting, naturalistic principles of hygge and lagom; and the Ranch. Gorpcore’s not fashion for the one in seven billion, nor is it fashion for the one percent — it’s live-good, do-good, feel-good fashion for the ones who may care just a little too much.Read more at:cheap formal dresses melbourne | formal wear

Keep your skin refreshed during Ramadan

 

(Photo:marieaustralia.com)Makeup may not be a top priority for fasting women during Ramadan, a period of reflection and prayer. However, taking care of the body’s largest organ — the skin — is something to consider while preparing for the month. With changing sleep patterns that come from late night munchies and early morning suhour, the lowered water intake and the draining summer heat, your skin is bound to take a hit.

Here are some tips to help your skin stay refreshed and healthy during Ramadan.

1. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise

To make up for the lack of water, a good face cream is key. Use something with a blend of skin-boosting ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, oils and vitamin e and c. If you don’t want to give up your regular moisturiser but need a little boost, add a few drops of a nourishing face oil to it such as jojoba or rosehip.

2. Keep an eye on eye creams

This is sometimes considered an optional step in skincare routines, but it might become important during Ramadan, when sleep is especially scarce. Using a rich eye cream will help keep puffiness and dark circles at bay. Use gentle motions to smooth the cream around the eye socket, and take some onto the eye lids as well.

3. Mask on, mask off

If you’re a skincare geek, nothing is as satisfying as putting on a really good face mask and kicking your heels up. If you’re going to be up late during Ramadan, might as well thrown on a mask as a quick skin fix. Pick one that is best suited to your skin type: a clay mask would help with breakouts and a hydrating mask would tackle dry and tired skin. Sheet masks are a great way to get the benefits of a regular mask without the wash up.

4. Spray of sunshine

It’s proving to be a hot summer this year, and face mists will come in handy for a quick refresh during the day. Use liberally at your work desk to keep from nodding off and to keep cool when you feel yourself getting hangry. Just make sure not to accidentally ingest the spray, thus breaking your fast in possibly the most embarrassing way ever.

5. Bathing beauty

Last but not the least, the rest of your body needs some skin TLC as well. What better way to get moisturised than a soothing, warm bath? Add bath oils and salts to address skin dryness, and get that loofah out to gently exfoliate. Using salts, especially epsom salt, will even help out with achy muscles that might creep up. Try and pick out products that contain natural ingredients such a lavender, oats, shea butter and coconut oil for the best results.Read more at:bridesmaid dresses australia

‘One Eye Monster’ rules

The event was the first annual Advocates of the Blind and Vision Impaired calypso competition held at the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain. The show was held in association with the National Carnival Commission and featured 12 contestants.

Nyol Manswell took first place with his song One Eye Monster.

Appearing on stage with a fake machine gun Manswell sang about the monster of crime that destroyed both the guilty and the innocent, the rich and poor. He also sang that the monster was given “room to roam” by bad economics and social tricks, and criticised “selfish people in politics” and a lack of backbone from the church.

“This generation angry and the monster thirsty, only humans could fill its belly,” he sang.

Manswell questioned whether the situation would be turned around after we hit “rock bottom” and called on citizens to seek help from God. He also took home the prize for best social commentary.

Second place went to Janelle Findlay and her song Woman Shall Prevail. A song of lamentation, Findlay mentioned a number of murder cases including: Shannon Banfield, found dead at IAM Ltd on Charlotte Street in December last year; 16-year-old student Rachael Ramkissoon whose body was found in a track in San Raphael in January; and WPC Nyasha Joseph whose body was found in the Gulf of Paria in March this year.

“Women are under attack by men who should watch we back,” Findlay sang.

She said the murder victims had gone to a better place and urged women not to be blind to the “writing on the wall”, the signs of abuse.

Third place went to Curtis Phillip with his humorous song Maticor about him attending a Hindu wedding and getting so drunk that he took off all his clothes.

Other winners on the night were: Darryl Joseph for best humorous performance with his risque song Can’t Suck At All about a woman teaching a man to suck fruits; Akil Ryan for road march for his song Gyal Taker in which he boasted of his prowess with women and wined with dancers on stage; and Kishon Phillip for people’s choice with his song Morals in which he lamented the loss of morals in society and issues such as vagrancy and crime.

All of the songs in the competition were either written by the performers or by a blind or visually impaired person.Read more at:http://www.marieaustralia.com/formal-dresses | http://www.marieaustralia.com/bridesmaid-dresses

3 GREAT WAYS TO HELP YOUR PROM DRESS GO GREEN

Recycle Prom Dress 

(Photo:formal dresses australia)How many times do you usually wear a prom dress?

It’s a ridiculous question, right? Ridiculous because prom dresses, much like wedding dresses, are typically purchased with the understanding that they’ll be worn just once.

Once! One time for all those hours spent shopping and lurking on Pinterest and trying on dozens of dresses you didn’t love just to find that special one you did. For all that time and effort and stress and indecision, the dresses get discarded as soon as prom is over.

What if there was a way to disrupt this typical consumer cycle? What if there was a way to change how we shop for — and dispose of — prom dresses?

The reasons to do so are clear. Not only does buying a brand-new dress you’ll only wear once make a big dent in your pocketbook, it can also do quite a bit of damage to the environment, too. As recycling company UsAgain explains:

The fashion industry takes a drastic toll on the environment for virtually all conventionally manufactured garments, but the environmental cost seems particularly steep when it’s being leveraged for an item of clothing that will be worn for so very little time. Surely there’s a better way?

High Fashion, Low Budget

Some high school students are choosing to avoid the mall and instead source a dress for their big night from high-end dress rental outlets like Rent the Runway. Based in New York, the online store currently boasts 265 prom dress styles in addition to its thousands of other dresses, and offers users a way to save money and space in their closet while helping the environment by renting a dress rather than buying one. By signing up, creating an account and spending around $50 to $70, users can rent dresses that retail for hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Best of all, when your event is over, the dress gets shipped back, cleaned and borrowed by someone else. It’s a great way to stretch the environmental cost of the dress over dozens of wears instead of just one.

Secondhand Doesn’t Mean Second Best

Other teens are buying secondhand dresses through consignment stores, Craigslist and Kijiji, and sites like Prom Again, which offers users the chance to buy (and sell) prom dresses. The selection is huge and the dresses are in perfect condition — after all, they’ve only been worn for a few hours! It’s also incredibly refreshing somehow that buying and renting secondhand formalwear is now acceptable for women because, um, dudes have been doing it for decades and no one’s said a thing!

Now, let’s say you did buy a dress (secondhand or new). What do you do with it when prom is over and those slow dances are fading into distant memories? Well, selling it to one of the consignment or online dress stores we mentioned is definitely one option, but there’s another one that allows recent grads to spread a little goodwill into the world, too.

Looking Good, Doing Good

Organizations like The Princess Project and Becca’s Closet collect and distribute prom dresses to those who are unable to afford to purchase them. Becca’s Closet was started in memory of Rebecca Kirtman, a 16-year-old student who passed away in a car crash. Before her death in 2003, Kirtman had collected more than 250 prom dresses for South Florida students in need. Since her passing, hundreds of chapters of Becca’s Closet have sprung up across the country, ready to collect and donate gently used prom dresses.

And how about those of us who are, ahem, perhaps a little older but have been hanging onto prom dresses for, well, no good reason, really? Those of us who are fairly certain that our dresses — while lovely for their time — are completely out of style now? Unfortunately, these dresses likely won’t be accepted by prom dress organizations, but listing them for free on a sale site or donating them to Goodwill means that someone crafty out there will have the opportunity to give new life to an old dress. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, you can even do it yourself! Over at Paris Ciel, they round up 55 gorgeous DIY projects using old prom and wedding dresses, and the results are incredible.

Just like your memories from the evening, your prom dress can live on.Read more at:evening dresses australia

Isabelle Huppert Wins 2017 ‘Women in Motion’ Awards

Isabelle Huppert 

(Photo:marieaustralia.com)It’s a globetrotting month for Isabelle Huppert who, having just taken in the Louis Vuitton cruise show in Kyoto, Japan, will now be en route to the Cannes Film Festival, where she has two films competing in the official selection. They’re Michael Haneke’s “Happy End” and “Claire’s Camera,” by Hong Sang-soo, which was filmed in the streets of Cannes.

The Oscar-nominated actress will also be the leading lady at a dinner hosted by Kering on May 21, as the winner of the 2017 “Women in Motion” award, which is part of the third edition of the group’s program of the same name that is geared at showcasing the contribution of women to the film industry.

Kering chairman and chief executive officer François-Henri Pinault will present the prize, joined by the film festival’s president and general delegate, Pierre Lescure and Thierry Frémaux, according to a statement from Kering on Monday.

Huppert, in turn, has handpicked Palestinian director and scriptwriter Maysaloun Hamoud to receive the young talents award, which comes with funding worth 50,000 euros, or $54,710 at current exchange, to go toward her filmmaking projects.

Hamoud was chosen from a shortlist of up-and-coming film industry talents, for her 2016 debut directorial effort, “In Between.” It recounts the lives of three young Palestinian women fighting against the religious constraints of Arab-Israeli society in Tel Aviv, and scooped several awards at a number of international festivals, including three at the 64th edition of the San Sebastian International Film Festival last year.Read more at:short formal dresses australia

Experience: the internet found my wedding dress

Tess Newall with missing great-grandmother's wedding dress 

(Photo:cocktail dress australia)Alfred and I got engaged in August 2015, a year after we’d met. We planned the wedding for midsummer’s day the following year, at my parent’s house in Scotland. They live in the middle of the countryside in an old manse, with a small 12th-century kirk, or church, next to it. I’m a set designer, and am used to decorating events such as weddings. We wanted to use wild flowers from the surrounding pastures, and have a maypole to dance round. Trestle tables would be piled with homemade food and we’d finish by dancing to a ceilidh band.

Alfred was going to wear the suit his grandfather had worn on his wedding day, but I hadn’t given my dress much thought. My granny Jo-Jo suggested I look in her attic, where I’d find my great-great-grandmother Dora’s dress, which was 147 years old. Inside a hatbox covered in cobwebs was a dress of the most beautiful handmade lace. I couldn’t have imagined anything more perfect.

I tried it on and it fitted, but the bone of the top panel had warped. I wanted to alter it as sensitively as possible, so I went to a lace specialist in London, where we live.

The wedding day was perfect. The Scottish sun shone all day and everybody said I looked beautiful in my dress. Wearing it was such an honour, as though Dora was there with me.

I’d been running around barefoot in the fields and dancing in the garden, and the bottom of the dress got quite muddy. So in September, after we set off on our honeymoon, my father took the dress to be dry-cleaned in Edinburgh by a company that specialised in antique wedding dresses. It was due for collection at the end of December.

After hearing nothing, my dad visited the shop in early January and, to his horror, found it boarded up with a sign saying it had gone into liquidation. He contacted the administrators, who told him they’d searched the premises and that our dress wasn’t there; they said it must have been disposed of or auctioned off. We were not allowed to go into the shop to check.

When my parents called me in February last year to tell me what had happened, they’d lost all hope and said we needed to file an insurance claim. I was beside myself. The emotional significance of the dress far outweighed its monetary value. This was not only my wedding dress, but my family’s dress. It wasn’t mine to lose and I felt guilty: if I hadn’t worn it, it would have been safe. After a sleepless night, I went for an early morning swim. Friends encouraged me to put a message on Facebook, asking people to look out for the dress, in the hope that someone might come across it at a vintage wedding fair.

I posted the message and a picture of me in the dress on my page – publicly, so friends could share it – while I was in the changing room. By the time I’d got out of the water, it had been shared 3,000 times. Soon, it had been shared more than 300,000 times. I was overwhelmed.

The landlord of the dry-cleaning property read about our story, and had a look for the dress himself. In the basement, he found what he thought was a pile of lace, and realised it could be the dress. He called my parents. They rushed over and there it was – still with its ticket that matched ours, still muddy. It was unbelievable.

It shocked me that the story had gained such momentum when there are much bigger things happening in the world, but the outpouring of kindness was amazing. I replied to every message, of which there were thousands. It had crossed my mind that somebody else might have bought the dress; in that case, I would happily have let them wear it for their wedding, but ultimately I wanted it returned to its rightful place.

We’ve since helped three other women retrieve their wedding dresses from the same dry cleaners; two were in a pile in a corner, and one had made its way to another cleaners. Luckily, Dora’s dress is now safely back in its hatbox in Jo-Jo’s attic, ready for its next outing.Read more at:evening wear

Bride’s Rushed Wedding for Dying Dad Inspires Sisterhood of the Traveling Wedding Skirt

 

(Photo:long evening dresses australia)It’s pretty easy to see why any bride-to-be searching for her dream dress would instantly covet Carol Hannah’s bustier and linen skirt. So when Amanda Dawson spotted a photo of Katie Kennedy, a stranger, on Facebook in the flowing, blush ensemble for her January 2015 wedding in Bethlehem, Pa., the Toronto native knew it was the one for her. Little did she know at the time that this was literally true.

“I saw it and I loved it right away,” Dawson tells Yahoo Style. “I didn’t really try on any other dresses.”

Dawson was relieved to find that the only store in Canada that sold the designer was in her hometown. But there was one big, heartbreaking hitch in her plan: Her father, Steve Dawson, was diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer, with only months to live. Last April, she and her fiancé, Dom, agreed to move the wedding up to June, giving them two months to throw the whole thing together. The bridal shop employee said she would have to expedite the order, but it would be possible.

Two weeks later, Dawson and her mother went to their appointment for the fitting. “As I had the sample on and they were measuring me, the store owner asked me what my date was,” she recalls. “She said, ‘That’s just not going to happen in time, I can tell you right now.’”

After breaking down in tears, she began calling everyone she could — stores in the U.S., seamstresses, even the designer’s assistant. The demand was just too high to be able to accommodate her on such short notice. Just when she was about to give up, she came up with the idea to reach out to the photographer, Douglas Benedict, whose picture had made her fall in love with the skirt in the first place. She emailed Benedict, who called her that day and promised to reach out to Kennedy.

“That night I got an email from Katie,” Dawson explains. “She said, ‘I would love for you to have the dress. The only thing I would love in return is if you would send me a picture of you in the dress, so I can put it next to my photo.’ I couldn’t believe it. She didn’t even think about it. She just put it in the mail that day.”

Though she had been planning on saving the dress, Kennedy says she didn’t hesitate to give it up to Dawson. “I am a procrastinator, so I hadn’t even gotten it dry-cleaned yet,” she admits, but the skirt was in good shape. “After reading the email that Amanda sent me, I felt like this was what was meant to happen. It just seemed like the right thing to do, to give it to her. There was maybe a moment when I was packing it up when I was kind of sad that this was the last time I would see it, but it’s gotten such a great life after that.”

Dawson used her own top, so Kennedy does have hers as a keepsake of her wedding day. But Dawson is still moved by the fact that the other bride didn’t want payment or the return of her skirt. Such generosity reminds her of her father, a family doctor who was always helping others. Though he was wheelchair-bound by the time of her wedding, he was able to make it down the aisle, pushed by her brother, Paul. Steve died six months later, in December 2016.

“I texted her today and said, ‘Something I’ve never told you is that you and my dad are kindred spirits. People need to hear these stories and to be reminded that there are people like you out there,’” Dawson says.

Now both brides would like to expand their little club.

“We both think it would be amazing if it could go on and someone else could wear the dress,” Kennedy says.

“This dress connects us, but we’re hoping it will create a ripple effect that goes beyond just a piece of fabric, that it inspires people to give generously and not expect anything in return,” Dawson explains.

Though Dawson doesn’t have any specific criteria in mind for the next owner, she would love to hear details about the bride and her love story.Read more at:australian formal dresses

Two Legends of Parisian Haute Couture

Esteemed Parisian embroiderer and textile designer Jean-Pierre Ollier founded his own atelier back in 2000. Specialising in hand-painted and hand-embroidered textiles, tie and dye, Japanese shibori, batik or more classical techniques, anything he had to hand, Ollier would systematically push to new heights.

Today, Ollier works for couture and luxury maisons such as Givenchy, Dior, LV, Marc Jacobs, Roger Vivier and Saint Laurent. Running a tight ship during fashion weeks, he is often given a visual reference and a couple of days to create a corresponding fabric. Sleepless nights are often the norm as ideas go back and forth between stylists and Ollier’s atelier. He says: “They want new ideas, a new take on old techniques, a sense of unseen modernity.”

For the last Louis Vuitton collection, Ollier worked around the idea of a half-woven, half-braided handle: an instant hit, it ended up on every model on the runway. “I create prototypes and replicas, items for the shows or for press presentations; I make up to 10 pieces per series then it is handled by outside factories or suppliers. I am a live laboratory of ideas,” he says.

Ollier adds: “For the past 15 years, every day, every new brief has been a challenge, a surprise, a creative ballet. Of course, there have been highlights such as Dior’s Japanese haute couture collection [January 2007], for which I created six origami looks; or six years of couture collaboration with Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy.”

During these creative processes, Ollier has replaced the pencil with needles, threads, weaving techniques, cutters, rulers and stencils.“When you draw, every curve or line is the result of a choice. When I compose fabrics, accidents and surprises happen that create unprecedented textures and materials. And it is often what looks the most obvious that is the most difficult to achieve.”

Ollier adds: “I never repeat the same idea twice. Even though techniques and gestures never change, there is always a way of looking at things differently. Today’s savoir-faire is less about spending hours on perfecting a technique but rather coming up with a luminous idea.”

And it is this search for ideas that Ollier takes deeply into the design process. “Everywhere I go, I’m on the look-out for a vintage piece, an exhibition, a colour range. Then I confront periods and style: how can modern and baroque architecture have a dialogue, for example? How will a coarse material respond to an 18thcentury curl? I study shapes and fabrics out of context, create sequins from feathers or piece together Chantilly lace motifs to invent new patterns.”

This process has led him into some uncharted and transformative outcomes. Ollier says: “I invented hybrid feathers — half real-feather, half-satin; individually painted sequins with nail polish; applied make-up to fabrics; and even crushed silver-coated volumes to create uneven, glistening surfaces. I love degenerative solutions; every material can be transfigured, techniques crystallised, fabrics eaten up by another. To imagine new samples, I disrespect materials, I forget how precious they are; I manipulate them.”

A young graduate from Penninghen, Ollier seemed destined to be an illustrator. He tried working for an advertising agency, lasting one month. When he met scenographer Elia Kim, however, it was a key moment in his creative career. “I learnt everything through [Kim], from printing techniques to matching materials.”

This apprenticeship was supplemented by good old-fashioned bluff: he knocked on the doors of John Galliano and Christian Lacroix to present them with sample fabrics. “I really had small pieces of fabric and ribbons in hand. Within a week, I received a firm order from them both: a ribbon to be placed on a jacket for a Lacroix show and 10m of custom fabric for Galliano. For Galliano, I had bleached a Lelièvre fabric, painted over it, tied and mended it with a gold thread.”

Ollier never looked back. “Couture or not, the point of view changes; I take risks, and create new rules,” he concludes.

Philippe Grand

Around him, in his Parisian atelier, haute couture fashion jewellery designer Philippe Grand’s walls are covered with show invitations, pictures of past work, ad campaigns and drawings. On a late Friday afternoon, Grand is waiting for one of Céline’s team to assess the pieces he’s created for the next show. “One has to keep up with the rhythm; it’s sometimes frustrating to have only a few days to create a collection. Yet the boundaries of what we can create are limitless. We create desirable jewellery but never have to deal with preciousness,”Grand says.

Collaborating with Tom Ford, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Mulberry and Givenchy this year, Philippe Grand graduated as a master-silversmith from École Boullebefore he met Jacques and Yasmine Hurel. An iconoclastic couple, the Hurels worked as leathersmiths and jewellery designers,transforming objects into creative pieces.

“Jacques was wonderfully crazy, a true Jack of all trades; I learnt everything from him,”recalls Grand, who stayed eight years before setting up his own atelier in 1998. He then worked for Christian Lacroix and, later, exclusively for Chanel for four years. “The vital part of our day-to-day work is to be confronted to something new: a technique, an approach, a print. There isn’t an hour that goes by during which we don’t have to come up with a solution. We are problem solvers, real chameleons,” says Grand.

For Jean-Paul Gaultier, he remembers creating oversized halos for modern-day Virgin Marys. “They had to be theatrical and yet weightless so that the models could walk the catwalk; we came up with a rigidified bronze structure. Often, we revert to rare, traditional techniques to find the appropriate solution,” he adds.

For Nicolas Ghesquière’s first Louis Vuitton collection, Grand was also faced with a challenge to compose ‘colourful crisps’. Working hand in hand with a resin expert, the pieces ended up on every look of the show. “Sometimes we get lucky: an exterior element such as fashion jewellery becomes the heart and soul of the show. But most of the time we create dozens of variations and only one gets chosen,” says Grand.

Stamping, hammering, ratcheting, welding — the techniques Grand uses are countless. “We are also influenced by the digital revolution; we can cut lace out of metal today in a way that the hand cannot. The machine creates extremely delicate patterns,” he says. Matching ancient techniques with modern-day tools is what Grand prefers: once an item is finalised, he hammers it, polishing it to give it a ‘soul’, a soft finish. He believes that makes the difference between a collectible and a generic piece.

For Tom Ford, Grand recently worked on a collection inspired by John Chamberlain’s crushed sculptures. “We had to find the right metal and the right way to torture it. Painting it brought on other interrogations, as it started to look too precious and shiny. We ended up scrapping and scratching the paint to give the piece a sense of movement and personality. In the end, it really feels like you are wearing an art piece.”Read more at:bridesmaid dress | short formal dresses australia

Foxtrot Collection fulfills life long dream for Ole Miss student

Foxtrot Collection 

(Photo:long formal dresses)Brandon McClellan was inspired to start a clothing line ever since he was in middle school. Growing up on a farm in Duck Hill, the school bus didn’t come to his town because he attended a city school. So every morning McClellan would get up at 4 a.m. and ride with his mother to her job at the cleaners. He would help her open the store and sort through the clothes that had to be pressed that day. Throughout his years he learned about fabric, patterns and the latest fashions. It wasn’t until McClellan attended Ole Miss that he decided to start his clothing line, Foxtrot Collection, to push individuality on campus and create a life long dream.

Fox Trot’s best selling item is the Blue Sky Thinkers Tee. The collection also consists of hats, hoodies and tee shirts. The designs come from a team of four-among them a mix of locals and out of state areas. Jeremy Vaughn of Vaughn Designs (Oxford) and Dejah Tanner of Dejah Designs (California) have helped McClellan greatly along the way. The company was first formed in September 2014, but wasn’t launched until 2015. The first tee, the original Foxtrot Logo tee was the first apparel item made. Robert Ross is McClellan’s business partner, and also a co-founder of the collection. Both veterans of the Army, McClellan said the military carries a reputation of being an admirable force, training soldiers to not only to fight and protect our country, but to also be well kept, dress right and dress individuals that wear the uniform with pride and honor. “Although we wear the same uniform in the military, we all have a different story to tell through our own experiences. We want our customers to know that this clothing line was created by two United States Army veterans. We want to redefine what it means to stand out with high quality products and keen attention to detail. Foxtrot Collection built a clothing line designed to gradually push the fashion envelope and provide the tools needed to step outside of the comfort zone,” McClellan said. “Going against the grain of society’s normal trend of conformity promotes the growth in one’s identity, develops a sense of self respect, and demands respect from others. We owe this service to the gentlemen who are tired of second-guessing their attire because of how they may be perceived. We are in the days of elegance, style and sophistication. So allow us to help you tell your story through fashion and unearth your true potential.”

Two others on the Foxtrot team are Jawan Elliott, Director of Marketing and Sales and Brandon “Buddy” Brannon, the Creative Director. When the line was first started, they chose the name Southern Fox Apparel and a potential shoe line they wanted to start was going to be called FoxTrot by Southern Fox. However, they noticed that every clothing line around had the word “Southern” in it and they decided to rebrand so they would stand out and stay true to the goal of being different.

“The fashion sense in Duck Hill was pretty much non existent because it is such a rural town. Helping my mom I learned about the types of clothing higher- class people wore. From that point on, my sense of fashion was developed and my concept of colors enhanced. In high school I always dressed differently than my peers which led me to receive the best dressed award my senior year. Even though I was voted best dressed I was looked at as different and even made fun of for living outside of the norm. I want to help people develop the confidence to speak their own mind through fashion,” McClellan said.

The Foxtrot team along with the Nelson Brothers student housing will be at the Beale Street Music Festival this weekend giving away gifts to people at the festival wearing Foxtrot gear. According to McClellan, this is a part of a national collaboration they have with the Nelson Brothers team that has provided over 3,000 shirts to be distributed as gifts to college students at their properties across the country. McClellan also started a boot camp in Indianola. The grand opening was this past weekend and is ran by his business partner, Ross. The name of the boot camp is called Foxtrot Fitness Boot camp. “Oxford is overflowing with people who have artistic abilities and we were able to capitalize off their help and inspiration. If I could give any advice to someone wanting to start a business I would say: do your own research, read daily, set goals, don’t be afraid to fail, surround yourself with like-minded people and open your mind and continue to be inspired.”Read more at:special occasion dresses

A Family-Focused Wedding in Atlanta

In May 2014, a mutual friend introduced Josie Duffy and Zachary Cheney Rice, hoping they’d hit it off. She was right, and a year (to the day!) after their first date, Zak proposed on the same Williamsburg steps where they kissed for the first time. “It was exactly like our first date,” she says.

For their wedding, the Brooklyn, New York–based pair headed to the bride’s hometown of Atlanta. “We had our ceremony at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, which is right by where I grew up,” she says. “It’s also where my parents had their wedding reception almost exactly 30 years prior!”

As for the reception, Josie and Zak had their work cut out trying to find a venue to fit their 350-person guest list. Luckily, they discovered The Foundry at Puritan Mill and hired Jade Lee Events to create a colorful spring celebration. “Even with such a large guest list, we wanted it to feel intimate and communal, not like a benefit,” Josie explains.

Ross Oscar Knight was on hand to photograph the main event, and you’ll absolutely love what Josie and Zak did to make their guest list feel small. (Hint: It’s all in the seating!)

Josie tried on more than 150 gowns before falling for her formfitting Martina Liana dress, complete with layers of lace and delicate covered buttons. “You have this idea that you’ll just know when you find the one, but I didn’t feel that way at all,” she says. Her advice? Narrow down what you want—silhouette and fabric—before you even enter the store.

The bride tapped college friend Selby Drummond, the accessories director at Vogue, to style her look. She pulled from the latest collections and let Josie pick her favorites—Manolo Blahnik shoes and an Edie Parker clutch—before the wedding.

Instead of a full wedding party, Josie opted to have only her sister as her maid of honor. Of course, the other ladies in the family were also on hand to help the bride get ready. The groom also skipped traditional groomsmen and tapped his sister to be his “groomsmaid.”

Josie and Zak decided to skip a first look but exchanged letters (without seeing each other!) before heading down the aisle.

“We jumped the broom, of course, because it’s an African American tradition left over from slavery, and some of the materials, like the cotton and ferns, were intentionally chosen to represent the history of the black South,” says Josie. “My sister, Rosa, made ours, and it is easily my favorite memento from the wedding day. It means more to me than even my dress!”

Josie and Zak made up for not having bridesmaids and groomsmen with nine (yes, nine!) flower girls and ring bearers. “Brynn, one of the older girls, caused quite a traffic jam: She only dropped one petal at a time,” says the bride.

Two officiants, the Rev. Dwight Andrews, from Josie’s childhood, and Andrew Young, a former United Nations ambassador and civil rights activist, led the personalized ceremony that included pieces of poetry, excerpts from Toni Morrison’s writings, a song by John Legend, and a prayer by the bride’s grandmother.

After the ceremony, guests headed (by bus!) to the Foundry at Puritan Mill, where they were greeted by gorgeous spring-colored décor.

“We didn’t want our wedding to feel too stuffy, so our planner came up with the idea of seating everyone at huge tables that sat between 28 and 40 people each,” says the bride. Each table featured a tall centerpiece of white hydrangeas, white tulips, orange garden roses, and eucalyptus.

Zak and Josie cut into a simple lemon-and-vanilla cake topped with strands of ivy. They also surprised guests with an ice cream bar. Yum!

After sharing their first dance to “Lovin’ You More” by Etta James, Josie and Zak joined their guests on the dance floor while a DJ played Atlanta rap, R&B, and Motown. Says the bride, “The second-to-last song was ‘Formation’ by Beyoncé, and the last was Outkast’s ‘SpottieOttieDopalicious.’ Everyone went crazy!”

So what’s Josie’s biggest been-there, done-that advice? Stick to your priorities! “Even with a huge guest list, your wedding can feel cozy and intimate if you make decisions to keep it that way,” she says.Read more at:mermaid formal dresses | princess formal dresses