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Raf Simons' survivalist chic

It is a tough gig to be crowned the saviour of American fashion. Excessive expectations and all that. Most designers would quail at the thought.

Raf Simons, however, is not one of those people.

He has not only accepted the mantle, but he has also tossed it over his shoulders and added a stringy Sterling Ruby-inspired fringe.

In his debut dual-gender collection for Calvin Klein in February, Simons, the new chief creative officer, announced that his show represented "the coming together of different characters and different individuals, just like America itself".

It was a big claim, but last Thursday, for his sophomore effort, he took it a step further.

"It's about American horror and American beauty," he said in his show notes; the dream turned nightmare.

The immediate interpretation of that one is easy - let no one say Simons, who is Belgian, shies away from current events - though the designer chose to approach his subject at a more oblique angle, through the American fantasy factory that is Hollywood.

He is attempting no less than a redesign of American identity.

His America is an America of the mind, rooted in the Midwestern prairies and resonating coast to coast by way of Stephen King, Sissy Spacek, Kim Novak and Twin Peaks, with stereotypes - cowboys, cheerleaders, lumberjacks - just twisted enough so the references teeter on the tightrope between mythology and cliche.

An installation by Ruby, the artist who is Simons' quasi-muse, of brightly coloured yarn pompoms, dangling axes redolent of The Shining, tin buckets and swathes of fringed silk, dangled over the heads of stars Trevor Noah, Mahershala Ali, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paris Jackson, Kate Bosworth and Brooke Shields.

And out came two-tone satin cowboy shirts with contrasting satin trousers or pencil skirts, branded patchwork quilts, jeans and jean jackets with paint rolled over thick on one side.

Also, virginal cotton nighties splashed with black-and-white prints from Andy Warhol's Death And Disaster series, and a riot of slightly queasy-making colour in knit vests and contrasting trousers and silver-tipped cowboy boots.

Mid-century silhouettes - the full skirts and tiny waists that have been part of Simons' design vocabulary since his stints at Jil Sander and Dior - rendered in camper-tent nylons were also used for oily shirts under men's tailoring, gathered and puckered with rucksack strings.

Matching tops and pencil skirts were made in rubber and given an industrial Ohio factory stamp, and party dresses trapped white lace flowers under transparent vinyl or silk under a scrim of black net. There was a woman-as-mop evening moment, which looked better than it sounds.

In taking survivalist materials and elevating them to elegance, Simons is developing a sartorial vocabulary that is both original and weirdly well suited to the story of the times.

You may not want to wear it all.

But in his black mirror, a lot of it is going to look unexpectedly right.Read more at:princess formal dresses | vintage formal dresses

06:37 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Smooth and sweet

Sugar waxing is an ancient form of hair removal that is making a comeback, writes Meera Murugesan

FOR a woman, there is nothing quite as tiresome as hair removal.

It’s painful, uncomfortable and often messy but in the name of beauty, we undergo these rituals week after week.

As much as we want to embrace our “natural” selves, body hair has always been viewed as unsightly on women whereas on a man, it’s a mark of masculinity.

Double standards aside, any woman will tell you that remaining hair-free is a long-term commitment.

From waxing and threading to shaving and depilatory creams, women have to keep the momentum going to remain smooth and hair free.

Waxing is often touted as one of the most effective methods because it pulls hair from its roots but it can be very painful.

These days, however, some women are turning to an ancient method of waxing to ease the pain and discomfort.

Sugar waxing or “sugaring” is increasingly being used as an alternative to conventional resin-based waxes.

The practice has its roots in ancient Egypt. Beauty-conscious women were said to have used a sticky mixture of honey and oil to create a natural wax for hair removal. Cleopatra herself was believed to have used this in her beauty rituals.


Raihan Jasmine Syed Amanullah, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Organic Touch Malaysia, says many women these days are looking for natural or organic approaches to beauty and so, sugar waxing is becoming increasingly popular.

As it’s not widely offered in salons, women tend to buy sugar waxes from organic stores and wax at home.

Organic Touch Malaysia, which sells a range of chemical-free beauty and heath food products, also offers sugar wax to its customers.

Raihan says the all-natural wax is made from only three ingredients — water, white sugar and apple cider vinegar. Lemon juice can be used to replace the vinegar.

The wax has a dark colour and sticky, honey-like consistency. Unlike conventional wax, it doesn’t result in redness or irritation in women with sensitive skin.

The convenience and affordability it offers make the product popular. Everything a woman needs for home waxing, such as reusable fabric strips, spatulas and an instruction leaflet, is provided together with the jar of sugar wax, priced at just RM35 a bottle.

Raihan says the wax doesn’t need to be melted or prepared in any way before use. One can apply it directly onto skin. The jar just needs to be stored at room temperature away from direct sunlight.

Sugaring is said to be less painful than regular waxing as the wax doesn’t stick so firmly onto skin.

“The apple cider vinegar that we use in our product is also good for the skin as it provides Vitamin C, heals scars and has a brightening effect,” says Raihan, a biotech engineer who started her business while still in college.

She adds that sugar is also a natural humectant, so it keeps skin moisturised, unlike conventional waxes which tend to dry out or irritate the skin.

Sugar is also a natural source of glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), an ingredient commonly used in skincare because it helps generate younger-looking skin.

But making the wax is a laborious task. Raihan says it takes about two hours to make just 10 jars but for women who want an organic approach to hair removal, this is as good as it gets.


The majority of those using Organic Touch Malaysia’s sugar wax are young working women and students and those with sensitive skin.

Syaza Fahzlin, who has been using sugar wax since early this year, says it’s convenient, safe and easy.

The 25-year-old accountant says going to the salon for waxing is not only expensive but time-consuming.

With sugar waxing, she can do it at home whenever she’s free and the results are just as good.

She only waxes her legs and regrowth is usually between three and four weeks.

Even a little bit of the wax goes a long way, she says, so it’s value for money to buy a jar, compared to paying RM100 and above for one waxing session at a salon.

“It’s also less painful — perhaps because you’re doing it yourself so you’re more in tune with your pain threshold.”

Nurul Syahira Ab Rahman, a 19-year-old student, has switched from shaving to sugar waxing.

With shaving, the regrowth was very fast so she wanted a better and safe alternative.

Having already seen videos of sugar-waxing, she liked the fact that it offered a natural approach to hair removal.

“I found it really easy to wax my legs. The underarms took some practice because you have to get the angle right for good results.”

She says a jar of sugar wax can last more than three months. Results are good and regrowth takes three to four weeks.

Aisyah Tarmizi started sugar waxing two years ago. Prior to that, she used to buy home waxing products sold in pharmacies but wasn’t satisfied with the results.

Not only were these products difficult to wash off but they often left her skin looking red and stressed after each waxing session.

The 25-year-old says sugar waxing is not only less painful but she has also noticed that with repeated use, the skin on her underarms has become fairer.

“It’s quick and easy to use. It also washes off cleanly unlike commercial waxes which tend to be very thick and sticky.”

Aisyah generally she doesn’t like chemical-based products being used on her skin. She has had bad reactions in the past so is careful these days to ensure that the beauty products she buys are as organic as possible.

Hair-free and beautiful

THROUGHOUT history, beautiful women have always been depicted as smooth and hairless.

Art, paintings, sculptures and statues always show famous beauties having clean, smooth hair-free arms and legs.

Historically, having hairy arms or legs was linked to being uncivilised or uncultured so women went to great lengths to appear smooth and hairless.

In ancient Greece women removed leg hair by singeing it off or using abrasives such as pumice stones or through wax and depilatory concoctions.

In ancient Egyptian women were said to have used depilatory pastes made from arsenic trisulfide, quicklime and starch.

During the Roman Empire, hair removal was seen as an identifier of class. Depilatory creams used during Roman times were made using strange ingredients such as donkey fat, bat’s blood and even powdered viper!

During the 16th century, Turkish women had special rooms at public bath houses to help them get rid of unwanted hair.

European women are said to have begun the practice of hair removal during Elizabethan times but they did not remove hair from their armpits or legs but instead removed their eyebrows and hair from their brows to give themselves an elongated or high forehead.

An ancient European recipe for hair removal actually required powdering hard, dry cat dung and mixing it with strong vinegar.

In India, girls who reached puberty were traditionally encouraged to apply a paste made of turmeric on their bodies during bathing to prevent or lessen the growth of body hair.

Popular hair removal methods


Shaving works by cutting off hair at skin level. It’s most commonly used for legs and underarms. It can, however, cause ingrown hair, especially if used in the pubic area. Regrowth usually takes place after one to three days.

Depilatory creams

They basically work by dissolving the hair shaft. Different creams target different areas of the body. However, they are not always effective when it comes to coarse hair. Some women find the chemical odour offensive. Regrowth is usually in one to three days.

Laser hair-removal

This is a long-term but expensive solution. It works best on those with darker hair and lighter skin as the laser detects pigment. Laser hair-removal generally takes around six to 12 sessions for best results. Touch-ups may be needed every six to 12 months.


Electrolysis works by destroying the root of each hair at the follicle with an electric current.However, because this type of removal deals with only one hair at a time, it can take much longer to complete (15 to 30 sessions). Results can be permanent but not always 100 per cent permanent for everyone.


This is a traditional Indian method of hair removal offered by many salons. Strings or threads are twisted in a pattern and used to pull out unwanted hair. It is fast, cheap and effective but mainly for the eyebrows and facial hair.Read more at:year 10 formal dresses |

10:13 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


How to make your own herbal care for beautiful skin

(Photo:formal dress)

As the humid monsoon weather persists, there’s need to take extra care of your skin, as humidity can clog up the pores and cause dirt and grime to tick on the skin, leading to skin problems such as blackheads, acne and pimples.

Learn to make your own herbal skin care products and use them regularly for smooth, radiant skin. The ingredients are affordable and effective. Follow the tips given below.

Sandalwood and fuller’s earth paste: With this pack, get rid of pimples, acne, blemishes, dark spots, dark circles, pigmentation and other skin flaws. This pack is packed with anti-ageing properties, giving a healthy glow and shine to the skin.

Tips: Take one tsp pure sandalwood powder. Add two tsp fuller’s earth. Add five to six tsp rose water. Make a fine paste. Apply on face and neck. Wash off after half an hour.

Aloe Vera: The water filled tissues in the leaves work wonders to moisturise the skin, prevent wrinkles, reduce acne and inflammation, lighten the blemishes and revitalise the skin.

Tips: Cut one leaf. Wash it. Split it. Extract the pulp. Rub it on the face and neck. Rinse after 15 minutes. It’s that simple and easy to do

Potato and tomato juice: Get glowing and soft skin with this combination. It soothes sun burns, attacks premature wrinkles, removes dark circles, diminishes blemishes, shrinks the open pores and finishes off with a good moisturiser.

Tips: Take one tbsp cold potato juice. Mix it with one tbsp tomato juice. Apply on face and neck. Keep it for half an hour before rinsing off.

Cucumber and lemon juice: The fresh juice of these two vegetables brightens the skin. With regular use, glow and fairness will take over dullness and darkness. Embracing these natural ingredients, dark under eye circles will fade away quickly.

Tips: Take one table spoon lemon juice. Add one tbsp. cucumber juice. Apply on face and neck. Wash off after 15 minutes.

Raw milk and honey: Tone your skin with this face mask. It will gently scour off dead cells, dirt and pollution from deep inside your skin pores.

Tips: Mix one tsp of raw milk with one tsp of pure honey together: Coat a thin layer on your face and neck. Leave it to dry for 15 minutes. Wash with lukewarm water if the skin is oily and normal tap water if the skin is dry.

Besides these herbal treatments, keep your skin well hydrated by drinking plenty of water.Read more

09:25 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)