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The Last Post: the story behind the retro British military wives’ costumes

Anyone who has tuned into the first four episodes of BBC drama The Last Post will have observed a unique fashion culture - a group of British army wives accompanying their husbands outposted in the former British colony of Aden, who are being continuously influenced by their new climate, as well as what they think the developing trends are back home in London.

“The show is set in the Sixties, but a lot of the shapes you see are very Fifties; fit and flare with high necklines,” explains costume designer Kate Carin of the set up. “They wouldn’t have seen the most progressive Sixties silhouettes that were emerging in London, plus, being army wives in that era, there would only be so much that was tolerated [from the officers]. There were unspoken regulations for wives as to what was acceptable to wear.”

Carin had her work cut out when designing for the two main characters - bored housewife Alison Laithwaite, played by Jessica Raine, and fresh-off-the-plane Honor Martin, played by Jessie Buckley - as she needed to consider how they may be influenced by everything from the other wives, to the weather, as well as the new materials they may have access to.

“Mrs Robinson is a reference that springs to mind for Alison,” Carin says. “She’s bored, she drinks like a fish, and she’s interested in fashion because she needs it - she’s got nothing else to entertain herself with. Everything she wears is tightly fitted and shaped all over in a very Fifties way, because those are the styles she remembers from home."

"With Honor, she’s just arrived with her husband in Aden when the series starts, and she’s wearing this tweedy suit and she’s uncomfortable, mumsy and hot. But then when she gets to know Alison, she begins to emulate her style and her shapes and colours change as she settles into the community."

As well as kitting out the army wives, Carin was also charged with recreating the uniforms worn by Royal Military Police officers at the time, as well as what the local men and women of Aden were wearing. This last part, she says, was particularly challenging.

“There were hardly any references available of women from Aden in that period, presumably because women in that culture were not as forward as they are now,” she considers. “I was able to get in touch with some British ladies who had been out there with their husbands, though, and they told me about the different skirt shapes that they loved, as well as where they got their clothes. In those days women made their own stuff, or had pieces that their mum had made for them as they were young. The other option for new things was to buy fabric and take it to a market to get made up.”

The fact that the wives mostly wore bespoke clothing allowed for Carin to be even more creative than most costume design projects would allow, making almost everything we see on screen from scratch.

"I liked to think that Alison might have a dress that she’d brought with her from London, but then had three more made up in local fabrics when she got here," she says. "We shot the series in South Africa, and I was able to have a lot of special fabrics made there. For the locals, every fabric was sourced, dyed and then broken down to age it realistically."

"For Honor one of my favourite looks was a silk blouse that was hand block-printed - she wears that towards the end of the series. For Alison I loved the red dress that she wore on the posters. It's funny, though, that was actually a bit of old fabric I had bought to make a chair out of!"Read more at:evening dresses | short formal dresses

06:48 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Congolese Designers Display Pure Talent at Congo Fashion Week

Despite the ongoing political standoff between the government and the opposition, hundreds of Congolese people spared some time to attend the sixth edition of Congo Fashion Week held at Pullman Grand Hotel in the DR Congo’s capital Kinshasa last week.

The event, which took place from 11 to 14 October, is a platform designed to celebrate Congolese fashion designers by showcasing their creative talent to both local and international audiences.

Last week’s four-day event brought together fifteen Congolese fashion designers,including the popular fashion creator Zoe Eleng’Art, who got a rare opportunity to sell their fashion ideas and items to the rest of the world.

From renowned designers to upcoming stylists, the event was a perfect rendezvous for Congolese fashion artists.

The event featured an array of electrifying activities, including runway shows and exhibitions by local stylists.

Taking Congolese Fashion Global

Through the different catwalk shows, exhibitions and fashion talks, the annual event offers an ideal opportunity for the public, the media and retailers to discover the amazing fashion designs and trends in Congo and the African industry in general.

CFW event, which was founded by a Congolese Media consultant Marie-France Idikayi in 2011, helps to promote the unique Congolese fashion while giving the emerging and already established designers access to both local and international markets.

It’s a fairly new concept in the Democratic Republic of Congo born out of the desire to expose the country’s fashion to the world. As the fashion industry continues to grow, Idikayi hopes to use the annual fashion event to put Congo on the map.

She says the event is intended to not just showcase fashion items on the runway, but to also enable Congo achieve its dream of becoming a regional fashion hub.

CFW also plans to begin hosting fashion events with international stylists, media and buyers. These shows will include show room expos, allowing designers to display their work beside the traditional catwalk shows.

This, they hope, will offer an opportunity for professional exchanges between local and internationally-acclaimed fashionistas while creating a direct link between designers and buyers.Read more at:formal dresses online | evening dresses

08:28 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


About That Curvy Life Collective

Founded by Latasha Ngwube, the brand’s collective has achieved engaging Africa in the conversation about body positivity and size inclusion through the fashion week platform.

Ngwube, speaking on what can be expected from the ATCL collective this year, said, “We are extremely proud of the historical success The About That Curvy Life Collective achieved in 2016

“Launched at The Heineken Lagos Fashion and Design Week 2016, we made history as the first plus size fashion show on an international fashion runway in Africa.

“Pursuant, The Collective was featured across several international media outlets including CNN, BBC, Yahoo, and The Guardian. This eventually led to our invitation to make history in Ghana by taking The Collective to the Glitz Africa Fashion Week 2017, Accra, Ghana.

“Notwithstanding, we’ve had one year to grow and set new goals and we have taken that chance seriously. Some of the value adds include, but are not limited to, the following:· First, we’re working with two new designers will be debuted on the runway including Abuja based NORI by Uga Akinbode and Lagos based Osuare by Osuare Egbuonu.

“Alongside veteran Assian by Matthew Gordon, who debuted his brand at The Collective last year and has since gone on to showcase at several international fashion shows around the world, these three designers have an eye for the material best suited for a curvy consumer, as well as the elements that make any piece more suited for their bodies, such as colour and fabric.

“Their clothes are constructed with the body of the wearer in mind. Further, they have terrific personalities and work well as a team, which is integral to success of The Collective.·

“Also, we’re placing laser focus on creating market opportunities for participating designers. For the first time, we hope to take the designers on a continental roadshow. Thus, in addition to having noteworthy aesthetics and a point of view, our designers must demonstrate a capacity to scale up production to meet consumer demands.”

“When I look around at the women and men in my life, my parents, my siblings, my friends, I can’t help but imagine that a sizeable amount of that money can be attributed to sales from plus-size clothing.

“What strikes me even more is the possibility, in light of the dearth of plus size brands in the country, which the majority of money spent on plus size clothes are on imported items. As the nation looks to curb imports and promote exports, and as Nigerian fashion brands, in the midst of increasing competition, struggle to create and communicate unique value propositions, plus size fashion merits serious consideration.”


1. Eponymous brand, Osuare, is a cosmopolitan African women’s wear brand that caters to the needs of women of all shapes and sizes. Osuare Egbuonu specialises in the use of hand-painted and hand-dyed prints. Her pieces are edgy, reflecting originality and heritage.

2. Owned by Uga Akinbode, Nori Clothing is a woman clothing brand based in Abuja. The brand specializes in ready to wear and bespoke. They cater for people of all sizes, and ages, and for the simple yet

sophisticated, fashionable and edgy woman.

3. Creatively led by Matthew Gordon, Assian is a contemporary plus size fashion and lifestyle brand that strongly believes in being size inclusive and operates based on the belief that “we all matter.”Read more at:vintage formal dresses | red formal dresses

09:16 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)