“It’s real silk,” said Shadi Halliwell of her black-and-blue Amanda Wakeley top from the designer’s spring collection. The group creative and marketing director of Harvey Nichols wasn’t talking from the shop floor, but from a grass paddock where she’d just dismounted her horse, Zebedee’s Son, and the top was made for racing.
A few minutes earlier, Halliwell and 11 other female amateur jockeys thundered down the Goodwood course in a five-and-a-half furlong race known as the Magnolia Cup, an annual charity event that takes place during Ladies’ Day at the Qatar Goodwood Festival.
The jockeys — whose day jobs range from banking to millinery — train hard all year ahead of the race, which takes place on the Goodwood estate in West Sussex, England.
The estate, which belongs to the Duke of Richmond’s family, has been hosting horse racing events since the 18th century, and the thoroughbred competitions it hosts at the end of July are a fixture on the British sporting calendar.
“Three days a week of riding and two at the gym. It’s nice to have something difficult to do outside work,” said Halliwell. “It makes work easier to manage.” Racing is has certainly put job stress into perspective. “Today, there were about 30,000 people watching — so stressful.”
Charlotte Hogg, who was decked in a white silk number with thin colored stripes by Me + Em, an online label and favorite of the Duchess of Cambridge, said she spent her spare time doing squats and toughening her core. “I ride, but have never raced before. It’s like learning to ride a bike all over again, with a different saddle and a different position,” said Hogg, who works for the Bank of England.
Other riders wore silks by designers and labels including Liberty, Jasmine Guinness,Bella Freud and Vivienne Westwood. Harrods, meanwhile, sponsored a horse named Conry, which it rebaptized Harrods Hot Hooves for the day.
The Magnolia Cup winner, Isabelle Taylor, wore a Guinness design emblazoned with the number 90 and a crown, in honor of Queen Elizabeth’s birthday year.
This year is the second in a 10-year sponsorship deal by Qatar, and the sixth year of the Magnolia Cup, which has raised upward of 1 million pounds, or $1.3 million, for charity.
On Thursday, Charles Gordon Lennox, the 10th Duke of Richmond, who lives on the estate, was on site handing out awards alongside the retired English ballerina Darcey Bussell.
Beulah, the London dress label founded and designed by Lavinia Brennan and Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs, created one of the silks, which was covered in a hydrangea hand-block print.
“It’s from our spring collection and reflects the story of the brand and the charity we support,” said Brennan. The prints were made by the women who benefit from the Beulah Trust, a charitable foundation that supports projects that create livelihoods for victims of human trafficking.
While there may have been only one winner of the cup, all 12 jockeys got lucky on Thursday. Soon after their race ended, the skies opened up. The show went on, however, with horses battling their way through a curtain of rain, sadly, not so unusual for an English summer.Read more at:formal dresses 2016
High heels can cause many woes for women. Cracked heels, pinched toes and redness all round is a lot of ache for one person to deal with. To dismiss it as sore feet doesn’t do the pain justice. Worse still, there’s no cure – aside from boycotting high heels altogether, taking extreme surgical measures or injecting your feet with Botox. Don’t scoff – some women resort to these procedures. It’s a problem we have had to suffer for many years. But things are taking a positive turn, with the fashion industry’s latest fixation on heels that are more comfortable and wearable.
Take the cult shoe of the moment: the Chanel slingback. Its neither too-pointed nor too-rounded toe, small block heel and slingback strap celebrate a new era in fashion – one that doesn’t include foot torture. Sadly, the Dh2,800 shoe is sold out in most Chanel stores across the globe – even in its latest grey-and-black colourway, to my dismay. If you have neither the savings nor energy to hunt around personal shoppers’ Instagram pages for coveted Chanels, don’t despair, because the high street has caught on to the trend.
Sock-style heels are another type of comfort-over-looks shoe currently on the market. Niche New York-based shoe designer Maryam Nassir Zadeh pioneered the rise of this trend. Her retro renditions, which cost Dh1,000 to Dh2,000, also gained recognition when luxury leather label Mansur Gavriel was accused of copying her shoe designs (particularly the colourful mules) when it launched a footwear line.
The autumn/winter stock slowly trickling into Zara takes a lot of inspiration from high-end designers, shoes included. Lace-up ballet styles, à la Miu Miu, are in the collection, as are cap-toe, block-heeled renditions of the Chanel slingback.
Sock-style heels, meanwhile, can be found in neutral shades of suede at H&M. Online retailer Asos also has some great offerings, in printed, plain and backless options. Speaking of backless, mules are another example of wearable heels that have resurfaced, though I much prefer the sleek, black options to the wooden clog styles that some brands (such as Gucci and Alexander McQueen) have tried to repopularise. Gucci, however, did bring a clever shoe style to the market this season when it introduced loafers with leather back panels that fold in, turning them into mules. For all of us who resort to sticking plasters onto the backs of our heels so shoes don’t cause blisters or worse, this new style is quite a genius solution, as is the decision to go with square toes. For women such as me, who are cursed with wide feet, ultra-narrow pointed styles are tortuous to fit all five toes in, let alone walk around in for five minutes.
A sign of the working, professional woman used to be an enviably high-heeled shoe – often with the signature Louboutin red sole. But with varying definitions of feminism influencing trends, and man-repelling becoming an increasingly popular style statement, traditional notions of feminine footwear are changing, too. Slowly but surely, women in the workplace are shedding the sexist connotations that place them in tight suits and uber-high heels. We have kicked off our uncomfy pumps, replacing them with lace-up ballerinas, flat-form sandals, relaxed espadrilles and, if your office is super-lenient, sporty trainers. As I type this in our office, which abides by quite a professional dress-code, my feet sit happily inside my latest shoe splurge from All Saints. They’re black, open-back, bow-adorned canvas flats that are somewhat reminiscent of house-slippers. Office appropriate? I will let you decide.Read more at:formal dresses australia | evening dresses online
Deirdre Wall, an actress in Brooklyn, New York, was eight months pregnant when she was married on a New Hampshire mountaintop on June 25. While planning for the wedding, even amid a whirlwind engagement and impending motherhood, she found the task of dress shopping the most worrisome.
“There is a real hole in the market for cool maternity bridal dresses,” said Wall, 36. “I looked really hard throughout New York and couldn’t find a place to try one on that would also let me return.”
After perusing Etsy and Anthropologie, Wall ordered two gowns from Tiffany Rose, a British-based designer of bridal and special-occasion maternity dresses. One gown featured a lace bodice with cap sleeves, while the other had a classic sweetheart silhouette.
The best part was that Wall could try them at home and send one back. “Both dresses are beautiful yet stretchy, and I felt like I could gain 30 pounds next month if I wanted to,” she said. “I’m relieved that I have options.”
Wedding-dress shopping is a rite of passage for any bride. But throw in the physical demands of pregnancy — a rapidly expanding middle, growing bra size and disappearing waistline — and the process becomes all the more complex: How will it look a few months, and pounds, down the road? The same goes for pregnant wedding guests and bridesmaids who want to look and feel great while on their feet all night.
Though traditional maternity labels have long offered their share of empire-waist gowns with endless ruching and layers of stretch jersey, for a growing number of stylish women, these dresses feel matronly and passé. Whether trekking to a remote field or a hotel ballroom, today’s expectant brides and pregnant wedding guests want fashion-forward alternatives that offer the security of comfort and fit throughout pregnancy and even after baby.
“The modern pregnant woman doesn’t want to wear maternity only for a short period of time, but wants clothes that are adaptable,” said Sarah Rutson, vice president for global buying at Net-a-Porter. “Of course it depends how pregnant you’re going to be and which stage you’re in, but many pregnant women who shop our site expect to wear these pieces afterward.”
Rutson cited voluminous cocktail and black-tie dresses by designer brands like Chloé, Isabel Marant, Lanvin and Tibi. With their forgiving silhouettes and looser cuts, certain styles could fit some pregnant wedding guests.
Last November, Net-a-Porter began selling its first maternity-minded label, Hatch, which offers ready-to-wear that women can dress in before, during and after pregnancy. “I wear Hatch all the time, and my pregnancy days are long gone,” Rutson said. “The style and design is there, and if you’re eight months along, it’s not too tight.”
Ariane Goldman founded Hatch in 2011 after wearing a strapless dress she designed for a wedding while pregnant with her first daughter.
“I got stopped constantly by people saying how beautiful and comfortable I looked, but also how formal and appropriate,” said Goldman, who also founded twobirds, a bridesmaid dress label. “I thought, wow, this is the feeling I want women to feel: that they can go out on a beautiful evening and be comfortable and chic and not be omitted from fashion.”
Lindsey Evans chose the Fete gown by Hatch, a black sateen maxi style with a crisscross top, for a June 10 wedding in France. She was just over 30 weeks pregnant.
“The fabric felt really expensive, and it didn’t look like a bag hanging over me,” said Evans, the director of merchandising at the jewelry firm David Yurman. “I also appreciated the flexibility, that no matter what my size would be, it would still fit.”
Evans plans to wear the gown to a friend’s wedding in Mexico at the end of the year, long after her baby arrives.
Seulki Chung shopped Hatch for a wedding she attended over the Memorial Day weekend at the TriBeCa restaurant Locanda Verde. After trying on a few dresses in the maternity section of Nordstrom, she felt matronly and uncomfortable. Hatch’s off-shoulder Audrey style features an easy A-line silhouette that Chung expected she would wear during the warm months after her baby was born May 31.
“What drew me to Hatch is the idea that I can wear the pieces after my pregnancy,” said Chung, who runs Real Food Kitchen, a food company.
LoveShackFancy is another label offering dress styles for pregnant bridesmaids and wedding guests. Rebecca Hessel Cohen started it in 2013 when she was unable to find bridesmaids dresses she liked for her own wedding. She designed a single dress for her maids that featured a halter top and empire waist.
Since then, the pregnant bridesmaid has been an unexpected but loyal customer. Given the label’s ethereal aesthetic, in which many of the flowing chiffon styles lack closures in the waist and bust, the dresses are comfortable enough during pregnancy and flatter post-pregnancy bodies.
“When I designed the first dress, I didn’t know anyone pregnant at the time,” Hessel Cohen said. “Now our dresses do really well with pregnant bridesmaids. Personally, I wore our dresses a few times when pregnant and to a wedding three weeks after my second daughter was born. After you have a baby, your waist is nonexistent. You still look pregnant, and these pieces are forgiving.”
But for many women, an easy go-to remains a classic maternity style. Liz Corder was a bridesmaid at a Florida seaside wedding on June 18 when she was 25 weeks pregnant. Like Wall, she opted for a Tiffany Rose gown with cap sleeves, with a long skirt and sweetheart neckline.
“Something about the jersey underneath makes it so comfortable,” said Corder, a development manager for the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay in Tampa, Florida. “A lot of people think of maternity dresses as unflattering and tentlike. I feel really pretty in this style.”
When bridal designer Monique Lhuillier created the actress Ginnifer Goodwin’s tulle-and-lace wedding dress in 2014, Goodwin was well into her third trimester. Lhuillier suggests to all pregnant clients that they show off their neckline and shoulders, which are flattering regions regardless of a baby bump.
She also encourages them to enjoy their silhouettes. “I tell my pregnant brides, ‘Let’s not hide the pregnancy, because it’s such a beautiful thing,’” Lhuillier said. “The best thing to do is embrace the belly. I love showing it off.”Read more at:princess formal dresses | blue formal dresses