Pakistan’s HSY marks 24 years in fashion


Everything that met the eye at the historic haveli (mansion) of Syed Wajid Ali Shah inside Lahore’s Walled City was white and deep red last weekend — whether it was the arched entrance that was decked up in roses, or the rug lining the stairs that led the guests to the rooftop where refreshments were being served.

Traditionally associated with love and romance, red was set off by the white in outfits, which was the colour code for the guests. The occasion was Hassan Sheheryar Yasin’s (HSY) solo exhibition titled Mohabbat Nama (love letter), to celebrate 24 years in the fashion design business.

The collection was presented by top models of Pakistan that included Mehreen Syed, Amna Ilyas, Bilal Ashraf, Mohammad Ali, Waleed Khalid, Nael, and Emaad Irfani who sported bespoke sherwanis with trousers, and lehengas and cholis, that had been designed to complement each one’s personality, “creating harmony between the fashion and the person who wears it”, Yasin said. The make-up partner for the event was Nabila’s N-PRO.

There wasn’t a ramp, with models walking on the tiled floor in the courtyard of the haveli to Yasin’s own choreography. The couturier also brought back Zainab Qayyum, Natasha Hussain, Simi Pasha, Abdullah Ejaz, and Andleeb Rana, whom he described as the “original supermodels” that were part of his journey. Stylist Shahzad Raza, and Yasin’s first ever model, his sister, were also called out, amidst great applause.

Earlier, the show began with a recitation of a Faiz Ahmad Faiz nazm(poem) by his daughter Salima Hashmi, a leading artist of the country, and the former principal of National College of Arts (NCA). The lines she read out spoke of the late legendary poet’s love for the city of Lahore.

Former queen bee of Lollywood, and a perennial muse for Yasin, Reema Khan closed the show. Yasin also announced that each outfit worn by the models had been named after them, “as a tribute to them and their careers.”

Mohabbat Nama is an HSY couture collection, with all motifs and accessories made by his team.Read more at:princess prom dresses uk | backless prom dresses uk


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The man behind Chanel’s go-to runway venue


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As director of exhibitions at Paris’s iconic Grand Palais, it’s Emmanuel Coquery’s job to plan and produce the various shows housed within the city’s historic museum. No two exhibitions are the same but speaking with Coquery, he explains there are certain characteristics that make a show appropriate for a Grand Palais setting–they have to be both “sophisticated and made for a large audience.” It’s no wonder then that it’s the venue of choice for Chanelmastermind Karl Lagerfeld, who has hosted his runway shows for the heritage Parisian house there for years. That is not Coquery’s only connection to Chanel–as the former director of heritage for Chanel, he worked closely with Lagerfeld on many of the runway shows. Vogue spoke to Emmanuel Coquery ahead of his keynote speech in Sydney for the Sherman Centre for Culture and Ideas (SCCI), where he is speaking during their Fashion Hub event at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.

How would you describe your role at the Grand Palais?

“I am especially in charge of planning and producing exhibitions at the Grand Palais and at the Musée du Luxembourg. Fortunately there is no such thing as a typical work day. My weeks are made of connecting, meeting with my team, the exhibition curators, my colleagues at Publishing or at Public Departments, of working on future possible subjects, of travelling to meet with colleagues in France and abroad. And visiting exhibitions belongs to the job too!”

What is your favourite exhibition you have worked on at the Grand Palais?

“I have only been at the Grand Palais for a year, but no doubt my favourite project is an exhibition dedicated to the Moon, commemorating the 50th anniversary of man’s landing in our beautiful satellite, for 2019. It will connect myth, contemplation, science and poetry, from the beginnings of history up to now.”

What do you love the most about the Grand Palais, and why?

“I love the possibility to address any subject, from Old masters to monographs of modern artists, from painting to fashion or photography. No field is impossible at the Grand Palais since we have none of our own proper collections. I also love the connection with great events taking place in the huge glass hall, fashion shows, art fairs or sports, it makes exhibitions linked with real life in a way museums cannot do.”

You are also the former director of heritage for Chanel. What did this role involve and what are some of your fondest memories of working for the brand?

“It was a manyfold job, building up a professional team dedicated to conserving and curating a prestigious heritage building, 3000 square metres, [a] fantastic facility near Paris–high-tech and up to most demanding museums standards–producing Culture Chanel exhibitions, enriching the collections through regular acquisitions, making historical research, helping authors and museums to enrich their projects with our knowledge and collections [and] giving the teams at Chanel all the expertise they need on the brand history. But my fondest memories are certainly to decipher in Karl Lagerfeld's new creations some reinterpretations of details of vintage dresses just bought and shown to him: to see how the past can be inspirational for today!”

What is the main message you are hoping to get across regarding the intersection of fashion and art in your SCCI keynote address?

“I have no message to bear, but I would like to share with the audience some tools, through selected facts and careful reflections, to make their own idea on how much art there is in fashion, which may well lead to think about how much fashion there is in art today! In the end the goal is to put fashion back into history to understand, to assess this need for beauty that fashion seems to be able to fulfill more than the art of today.”Read more at:plus size prom dresses uk


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Jenny Packham Puts on the Ritz


Jenny Packham is back on home turf. The British designer hosted her bridal show in London for the first time, and also has plans to mark her 30 years in business with a ready-to-wear show during London Fashion Week in September.

“Things have really changed, and it actually doesn’t matter too much where you show because the images are going to be distributed online everywhere,” said the designer. “Being our 30th year, I wanted to work with my team locally, do something a bit different and keep it lively.”

The show, held at the Ritz on Piccadilly, drew inspiration from the Thirties, a period Packham said she was drawn to because it was a time of liberation for women.

She translated the spirit of the era with clean lines and simple, A-line silhouettes done in delicately embroidered lace, pleated chiffon and floral appliquéd silk.

She also injected trendier touches here and there, in the form of a white robe dress or an embroidered jumpsuit paired with a leather jacket featuring graffiti drawings.

“We have a wide range of looks that address all the different types of women we cater to, in all of the different territories we sell to,” said the designer, adding that the bridal industry has evolved to reflect current fashion trends more.

“It was all quite consistent for quite a long time, yet over the last two years everything has changed. When we first started doing bridal, I found the bridal business very archaic, it was very removed from general fashion. Now I think it’s come right round, the red carpet has influenced bridal wear and it’s much more in line with fashion, there’s a lot more choice,” said Packham. ” I think what I have seen is an amazing involvement in social media and also the fact that you can get married outside ministry offices and churches has had an amazing impact.”

With a royal wedding around the corner, Packham also pointed out that major events are key in determining bridal trends: “I love all these events, I think it’s always wonderful for the country. Quite often they can really change the trends, so they are very important for a fashion aspect as well.”

A firm favorite of the Duchess of Cambridge, the designer remained tight-lipped about the work she does with the young royal and about any potential involvement she might have in the upcoming royal wedding: “I think it’s always wonderful to dress people in the public eye, it’s the icing on the cake and such an endorsement of what we do.”

Speculation continues to revolve around the likes of Erdem, Ralph & Russo and Roland Mouret as top candidates to design Meghan Markle’s dress.Read more at:prom dresses london | marieprom


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Fashion Me Will Appear in Beijing


Daniela Shaw, CEO and founder of the multifaceted fashion powerhouse, Fashion Me, is preparing to add more feathers to her already bristling cap with the upcoming fashion weeks in Beijing, New York, Milan and London. Fashion Me is coming off a high, collaborating with top level brands and designers, and shows little signs of stopping.

Hot on the heels of highly successful shows in New York last year with the showstopping kidswear debutante brand and close collaborators, DKLTJU, extraordinary things are happening. The Fashion Me produced show brought DKLTJU into the spotlight and garnered attention not just from fashion aficionados but also from designers, leading to an exciting addition to their stellar line up; fashion prodigy Eric Tibusch, a protege of the legendary Jean Paul Gaultier, who is very excited about entering the kids wear fashion scene in China.

Another New York Fashion Week showstopper is Sheguang Hu, influential designer with a decidedly eclectic design language evoking imagery found in the fantastical world-building seen in the works of Oscar award winning director Guillermo del Toro. His memorable New York Fashion Week showing got rave reviews and a cult fan following including fashion heavyweights and social media influencers.

Both designers are now turning towards China as it gears up to be a force to be reckoned with in the fashion world. With its cross-cultural roots and global perspective, Fashion Me is finely tuned in to the pulse of the fashion world, being quick to jump on the bandwagon of the contemporary global trends in fashion this year: the meteoric rise of kidswear, haute couture geared towards first generation offspring of millennials. The momentum of social media influencers combined with savvy marketing blitzes has created a potent combination taking the fashion world by storm. All signs point to it being the next big thing in the fashion world.

After establishing themselves with exceptional speed in China and then taking on the most illustrious fashion weeks around the globe to prove their mettle, Fashion Me has managed to be intimately involved in viewership topping fashion-centric TV productions, globe spanning collaborations, and is also on board with the stunning and sudden renaissance of the fashion scene in the Middle East.

This year, they aim introduce a slew of exciting Chinese designers to the hallowed ramps of the most illustrious fashion weeks.Read more at:prom dresses online | evening dresses


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Fashion Illustrations by Jim Howard’


The Denver Art Museum "Drawn to Glamour: Fashion Illustrations by Jim Howard" presents the award-winning editorial work by artist Jim Howard.

It presents more than 100 works on paper that span Howard’s four-decade fashion illustration career, beginning with his early advertising campaigns for Neiman Marcus in the late 1950s, and following through the ‘70s and ‘80s when the fashion illustration industry was at its peak.

"Drawn to Glamour" transports one to the nostalgic lane of fashion trends set by top ready-to-wear designers, high-end fashion retailers, and cosmetic companies.

Jim Howard is a well-respected member of Denver’s fashion community who started his career in-house fashion illustrator and assistant artistic director for Neiman Marcus. Later, he moved to New York City to become the artistic director of Franklin Simon and eventually became a freelance artist, remaining in high demand by major department stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bonwit Teller, B. Altman and Company, and the LA-based retailer Bullocks. Howard used to also create illustrations for fashion houses, such as Dior, Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein, and Yves Saint Laurent.

Apart from the works of Jim Howard, the exhibition eight looks at the Denver Art Museum’s fashion collection and four men’s silhouettes that arrest the essence of some of the most iconic trends of the late '50s to the early '80s.Read more at:formal dresses | cocktail dresses


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Chanel's enchanted forest show


The fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has been criticised by environmentalists after reportedly chopping down several old oak and poplar trees for his Chanel catwalk show.

Campaigners said the grand couturier’s attempt to present Chanel’s green credentials had badly backfired and revealed the fashion house was “completely divorced from the reality of protecting nature”.

Lagerfeld turned the vast glass nave of Paris’s Grand Palais into an autumn forest for the event, strewing dead leaves, moss and logs on a mirrored runway and installed nine tall trees inside.

Guests, including the British actor Keira Knightley, the singer Lily Allen, and the former French first lady Carla Bruni Sarkozy, were installed on rows of wooden benches to watch the models walking down what appeared to be woodland paths.

The France Nature Environment (FNE) federation of ecology groups condemned Chanel for the show, accusing it of “heresy”.

“Chanel has missed the point once again. The celebrated fashion house chose to present a ‘natural’ decor with real trees for its haute couture event. The result: trees, some of them a hundred years old, were chopped down for a few hours of show,” FNE said in a statement.

“Promoting the diversity of French forests? An invitation to return to nature? A willingness to show itself to be an eco-responsible label? Whatever Chanel’s motivations, they failed. Nature isn’t about trees cut down in a forest, transported by lorry for scenery they sent to the rubbish skip.

“It would have been better, indeed innovatory, to set up the catwalk in the forest itself, rather than cut down trees to bring [them] to Paris.”

Chanel said none of the trees cut from a forest in western France and brought to the capital for its autumn-winter prêt-à-porter 2018-2019 show had been more than a century old. They had been authorised for cutting, it said, adding: “In acquiring the trees, Chanel agreed to replant an area of 100 new oaks in the heart of the forest.”

Fashion critics hailed the set a success; Harper’s Bazaar magazine said “the runway may be the best yet” from Lagerfeld, 85, praising the “life-like forest … that seemed to extend infinitely”.

FNE published pictures of tree stumps in what it described as the “disenchanted forest” on Twitter. The group concluded that it may not have any style lessons to offer Chanel, but added: “We do have much to teach it on what ethical, durable and responsible fashion means and even on how the forest and living trees should inspire us.”Read more at:long prom dresses uk | plus size prom dresses


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How to Protect Yourself


It's an interesting time to be a woman in the fashion industry. The MeToo and TimesUp campaigns are bringing change. Meaningful change. And I agree, it is about time we stopped dancing around the issues of sexual harassment and assault, hold people accountable, and bring to light the reality of the industry.

For years, women in the fashion industry have been hesitant to speak up. As a model, we have been warned about 'handsy' photographers and editors, and then sent to meet them anyway. Because, after all, they can 'make' your career if they like you. If you didn't play along with these men, your agency was informed that you were 'hard to work with' and 'cold'. Dealing with these people was a constant balancing act; how to come across as 'cool' and 'fun' without feeling pressured to do something you don't want to do. It was being in a position where you were being worn down, where you couldn't come out and say a hard 'no' because of the power imbalance. And, if the worst did happen, it was keeping quiet, bottling up the pain inside, and dealing with it.

After reading the stories on Cameron Russell's Instagram, I realise I got off relatively easy. I have had my share of bad experiences, and dealt with the emotional fallout afterwards, but for the most part, I am unscathed. After talking to a lot of women in the fashion industry, I believe there are a few things we can do to protect ourselves in the future. I do feel that a post like this shouldn't ever have to be written, and I hope some day in the future everything I am saying here will be irrelevant.

First off, do your research. When you receive the call sheet, talk to your friends in the industry and Google the team. Ask any of your colleagues you know who have worked with the team what the vibe will be like on set, and make sure it is what you are comfortable with — especially if you are on a location. Forewarned is forearmed. Don't be afraid to ask your agent for extra details — it's in their best interest to protect you. If you've never met the crew on set, bring your agent or someone with you. You should always feel comfortable.

Next, clearly define your boundaries. If you aren't comfortable with nudity, make sure your agent informs the client ahead of time. You don't need to justify your reasons with the team.

Finally, if something happens on set that makes you feel intimidated, uncomfortable, or just plain wrong, immediately report it. Do not remain silent. Tell your agent, and speak to a medical professional, and/or a legal adviser.

Models are finally coming forward with stories of misconduct within the fashion industry, and it is through actions like this that change can occur. We must not remain silent anymore.

The fashion industry is about celebrating life and art. It should be a safe place — an industry based on creativity and imagination, and we should all feel safe and free to work and express ourselves.

But most of all, regardless of the industry and occupation we work in, women have every right to work without fear. I hope that the world my daughter grows up in is a safe one.

I hope it is an equal one.Read more at:prom dress | formal dresses uk


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Fashion showcase blasts touch of colour


“It’s definitely a season full of decoration and ornamentation with a spirit of non-conformist glamour which I think is really lovely,” says Brown Thomas fashion director, Shelly Corkery.

Indeed. From the quixotic and quirky to the tailored and tempered, the vibe is both positive, personal and pastiche — an emphatic ode to the individual — with trends ranging from seasonal stalwarts to unexpected hybrid hooks.

The classic trench continues to dominate the fashion agenda — a boon for ‘grand soft days’ — albeit with a 2.0 twist. From rose brocade at Alexander McQueen to Balenciaga’s denim splicing and Céline’s canny coat-come-dress; with a notable mention for The Row’s trouser two-piece (complete with box fresh trainers) — expect this perennial closet keeper to keep trending.

If spring showers give us flowers, then florals prints are a fashion given. Expect more whimsy, however, with delicate sheer silks and diaphanous dresses in both ditsy and oversized proportions from Zimmerman, Alexander McQueen and Peter Pilotto; delicious hyper-embellished buds from Marni and panelled brocade skirts at Dries Van Noten — a testament to the insouciant days ahead.

Although looking forward may be the typical spring positioning; this season, designers looked back to the past to create the future. The overarching theme of meta-referencing were to be found particularly in Gucci’s exaggerated and overstated retro sensibility with print clashing and old-school branding modernising the past.

This appetite for ‘newstalgia’ finds further era-centric expression in the 70s ladylike pieces from Balenciaga and Miu Miu; while Prada’s manga-inspired print coat (paired with kitten heels and Lurex socks) and Stella McCartney’s relaxed cargo trousers (complete with drawstring ankle toggle) — pay homage to the 80s and 90s.

More traditional retrospectives can be found in the regal opulence captured by Dolce & Gabbana, Dries Van Noten and Erdem. Oligarchic fabrics, headbands, heels and handbags receive royal embellishment; while sequins and faux fur trim allude to the stuff of museums and art houses. One for the style queens.

It’s not all frisson and fantasy though. A more ascetic aesthetic, as seen at Balenciaga, Delpozo and Stella McCartney, creates an equally breezy brio.

Considered cuts form alliances with sculpted silhouettes creating curvilinear shapes — minimalist yet body-conscious; tailored yet feminine. The key piece? This season’s midi length skirt in mathematical pleats as seen at Victoria Beckham.

Colour-wise pastels receive strong seasonal airtime; red remains a hot hue; while white cleanses the sartorial palette.

As for new brands? Calvin Klein, Italian design house MSGM, New York fashion designer Rosie Assoulin, and Francesco Ragazzi’s Palm Angels join the roster. Cork welcomes hot labels like Ganni and Rixo London (both sporting keen price points) to grace the Leeside store; while Roland Mouret continues his regional reign.Read more at:prom dresses 2017 uk | red carpet dresses


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Mom and son lighting up the fashion world


What do you get when you combine a mom with a passion for fashion design with a son who’s a Ph.D. candidate in computer science at UC San Diego?

In the case of family entrepreneurs Rachel Merrill and Devon Merrill of San Diego, you get Lighted Clothing, a new company that is pushing boundaries in the field of illuminated fashion.

Since they started their collaboration about 18 months ago, the Merrills have co-created five fashion pieces that incorporate LED lights, fiber optics, hidden batteries and tiny computers that create streaks of lightning on a dress, moving bands of color and pictures on a vest and waves of glowing light on a skirt that grow brighter whenever its wearer moves.

Last month, the Merrills won a national “Textiles in Technology” award in the Surface Design Association’s Future Fabrication: Exhibition in Print 2017. They were among seven winners chosen from a field of 250 entries by jurors Richard Elliott, a textiles expert and professor at the California College of the Arts in Oakland, and Cathryn Hall, from the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.

Elliott said the concept of illuminated clothing has been around for at least five years, but the Merrills have taken the technology up a notch in a visually striking way.

“Their work really exemplifies the optimal combination of sheer fabric to diffuse the light, so it’s not so gaudy and bright, and the element of motion that mimics the movements of the wearer,” Elliott said. “What’s fascinating about their collaboration is that it’s cross-generational. I haven’t seen that before and their abilities are so compatible with one another.”

Rachel Merrill — a retired biotechnology acquisitions attorney who lives with her husband, Lex, in Carmel Valley — said she’s enjoyed finding a new way to express her creativity. But she’s most happy about collaborating with her 29-year-old son.

“I feel like it’s a gift,” she said. “Not many parents have an opportunity to do something with their grown children that’s so creative and that draws so completely on their different interests and skills. It’s precious time.”

Rachel and Devon Merrill both come from crafty backgrounds, but illuminated fashion wasn’t on either of their radars until 2016.

Rachel taught herself to sew in her mid-20s by bringing home Vogue patterns and learning to make clothes by trial and error. Devon developed a love for tinkering from his dad, Lex, whose hobby is rebuilding antique radios. By the time he was at Torrey Pines High School, Devon was soldering his own home electronics and writing computer code.

One hobby the family shares is hiking. When Rachel retired in 2012, she spent four months hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, eventually logging more than 2,000 miles. But injuries forced her to give up the sport three years ago and she went looking for a more sedentary hobby. She found it when she signed up for a fashion design class at San Diego Mesa College in spring 2016.

One of her first fashion ideas was Starlight, a hand-dyed blue silk dress with a mesh liner interwoven with 700 strands of illuminated superfine filament. There was just one problem. She had no idea how to work with fiber optics, electronic circuits or computer code.

So she asked Devon — who lives in the UTC area with his girlfriend Enjoli Gomez — to teach her about lights, soldering and building circuits. After she finished weaving the fiber liner for Starlight, he built the computerized controller and wrote the code that creates subtly moving waves of white light.

This sounds easier than it is. The reason illuminated clothes aren’t on every store shelf is the danger factor. A miswired circuit could mean a very real risk of fire.

“I’ve burned myself a few times,” he said, “but I haven’t had a model spontaneously combust yet.”

After Starlight won best of show in Mesa’s 2016 Golden Scissors Fashion Show, the college’s department chair, Susan Lazear, invited Devon to begin teaching a seminar class every semester on wearable technology.

During the first seminar session, the Merrills co-created their next project, Wearlight. Rachel designed the black cotton/polyester zip-up vest and Devon implanted it with 96 hidden fully programmable LED 2-inch pixels that can create millions of colors, patterns and pictures. It won two awards at Mesa’s next fashion show.

Last spring, they created Lightning, a lavender sheath dress implanted with four branched channels of light that create the illusion of a moving lightning storm.

Their biggest project to date was Light Dance, a haute-couture dress built for last fall’s Women & Science fashion gala at the Salk Institute.

Rachel was tasked with creating a dress inspired by the work of now-former Salk researcher Hermina Nedelescu, who studies the neural pathways in the cerebellum.

Microscopic photos of cells and neurons in the cerebellum were printed on the dress bodice and decorated with pearls and fine silver chain.

The skirt was made with undulating layers of fabric that resembled the folds of the brain.

Devon designed the computer controller which was hidden in a cerebellum-shaped plastic headpiece he created on a 3D printer. It was connected to the dress via a cable that ran down the model’s spine, the same way the cerebellum sends neural signals to the body. The movement-sensitive “cerebellum” controller caused the dress lights to glow brighter whenever the model turned her head or walked.Read more at:short prom dresses | formal dresses uk


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Wedding season


Bridesmaid dresses are notorious for being less than aesthetically-pleasing.

The beauty of being a bridesmaid is that you typically have no control over your outfit.

Whether the bride wants to dress you up as human cupcake or a fabulously tacky Disney Princess is her choice and, as a sub-par participant in her “special day”, you must accept that you have little sartorial say in the matter.

However, if said bride is on top of the latest fashion trends, there’s one colour she’ll definitely have her eye on for her army of maid minions.

Pantone’s Nostalgia Rose shade has been named by Wedding Wire as the colour of choice for this year’s bridesmaid dresses.

The rich dusty pink hue was spotted across a number of runways last season and is set to permeate the bridal market.

The shade lends itself to a muted aesthetic that is bound to be a hit amongst bridesmaids with fears of chartreuse frills and magenta ruffles.

However, it’s not necessarily one that will compliment all skin tones.

According to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute and author of More Alive with Color, colours in the Nostalgia Rose category (such as blush-toned pinks and soft peony shades) are best suited to those with fair skin, hazel eyes and streaky blonde or brunette hair.

Eiseman cites Angelina Jolie and Rachel McAdams as celebrities who would be well-suited to these hues - lucky them.

As for the rest of us, shades within the pale pink family may leave us looking even worse than the bride intended.

So, tread carefully, future bridesmaids.Read more at:short prom dresses | long prom dresses


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