Who said models needed to be slim to walk down the ramp? The forthcoming winter-festive edition of the Lakmé Fashion Week is aiming to challenge status quo by hosting the first-ever plus-size model hunt in India. The domestic fashion industry appears to be slowly veering towards the belief that confidence need not be tied to one’s waist size. With this move, the industry looks poised to challenge its own notions of beauty and glamour that have been cemented over so many years. Jaspreet Chandok, vice president and head-fashion, IMG Reliance, feels it’s time the industry pushed the boundaries. “More and more people are realising that fashion needs to be ‘inclusive’. We want to push the limits of what fashion stands for and our basic aim is to just start a conversation,” he says.
The auditions have just been wrapped up and out of 160 models, 10 have been short-listed. The show is slated to happen towards the end of this month, from August 24 — 28. “We were surprised to see the turn out on the day of the auditions. During our regular auditions, just about 100 girls usually turn up, but for this show we had over 160 participants from across the country. We hope that it all evolves to a time where plus-size women look at modelling as a career. There are plus-size models in the West, who are celebrities in their own right. We want to see how the scene changes in India and hope that these models become a part of the regular model pool,” Jaspreet adds.
Designer Shilpa Chavan, better known as Little Shilpa, who was part of the judging panel for the hunt, says that she fails to understand how fashion gets the license to decide what’s more or less. “Fashion cannot be a ‘one size fits all’ entity. It’s a global movement and hence free for adaptation and experimentation, be it any size or shape. This show could not come at a better time as social media is also pushing for individualistic acceptance and confidence and body positivity is celebrated, while body shaming is slammed. For me, the fact that 160 people turned up and owned their ‘plus-size’ is empowering on its own,” she says.
This support system is the need of the hour, says Rajiv Bhasin, who is one of the ten short-listed models for the show. “I’m a businessman and have to keep travelling abroad for my ventures. I have attended fashion shows abroad and realised that plus-size fashion shows are common there and the models are highly appreciated. Auditioning for a plus-size model hunt was a different experience. In India, people assume that fashion is not for the fat,” says the 26-year-old. Rajiv continues, “I was once attending a college fest and it is a usual thing for me to dress fashionably, but students there did not shy away from taking jibes at me. Even at the plus-sized store I visit, I often see customers selecting clothes that will cover their flaws. They will always opt for full-length jeans instead of something that’ll show their thighs and calves, but with this fashion show, I feel people will be more aware about the fact that fat and fashion can go together. Let people see and know that even we can be confident and beautiful,” he says excitedly.
For 28-year-old voice artist and fashion stylist Tanvi Geeta Ravishankar, walking down the ramp was a far-fetched notion. It was only when a Facebook notification announcing the plus-size model hunt popped up on her screen a day before the auditions that she grabbed the opportunity. “I have styled models but this was the first time I was going to be on the ramp. I got to know about this a night before the auditions and decided to give it a try. I was nervous to put on those heels as I was wearing them after a long time and was very scared if I would be able to walk the ramp with the same confidence. A lot has changed in the last few years, and with social media, I think this was the best time for India to have a plus-sized fashion show. I see this as a start to a brilliant change. I’m a trained dancer and my mother would always nudge me to lose weight. But after the selections, even she is proud of me. It is very important for people to realise that fashion is not restricted to one size. It is for all. I would love to take up modelling as a full-time career but I’m not sure how vast the fashion industry is in India for models like me,” she adds.Read more at:plus size formal dresses | cheap formal dresses
Reaching the menopause doesn’t mean resigning yourself to twinsets and pearls. Rip up the rulebook on 'fashion for older women' and say hello to ageless style.
Think getting older means following strict rules such as covering your arms and avoiding black? Not so, according to fashion journalist Alyson Walsh, author of Style Forever. “I hate all those rules,” she says. “Style is an individual thing. You just have to figure out what works for you. Our body shape can change around the menopause – mine has – so you may need to adapt a bit but there’s no one-size-fits-all just because you’re older.”
So to help you find the right style for you, we asked Ms Walsh for her top tips for ageless chic.
“If you’ve got a bit of middle-aged spread you might find that looser shapes look better,” advises Ms Walsh. “A slightly loose cotton shirt is fantastic in the summer and I think most women can wear that.
“An A-line top with a slight neckline and tunic dresses are also good – anything that skims over things. You want to feel comfortable and relaxed so fit is really important,” she adds.
“When we’re young we’re more likely to wear things that are tight and uncomfortable and just suffer it but I think we’re less inclined to do that as we get older. You have more important things to worry about than whether your trousers are a little too snug.”
Master the art of layering
“Anything you can waft – or remove – is good for a hot flush,” says Ms Walsh. Start with a base such as a slightly long sleeveless tunic over some slim trousers or a straight maxi skirt and then layer a shorter crop top or a shirt over the top. It’s loose and comfortable but still very chic.
“Fabric is also important – go for natural fabrics such as cotton, linen, silk and cashmere, as they absorb moisture from the skin and help air to circulate around the body better. They’ll help you keep your cool during a flush and tend to hold their shape better,” she adds.
Look for instant updates
“As you get older you want to stay looking modern but without chasing all the trends because you have your own personal style. If you have some good quality basics, you can easily update your look by investing in a few new tops,” notes Ms Walsh.
Try an asymmetric top or off-the-shoulder top in neutral colours, taking elements from the high street for an instant update to your wardrobe.
Put your best foot forward
“I don’t think anyone looks glamorous when their feet hurt. Nearly every designer brand now has a range of trainers,” says Ms Walsh. “Not only are they comfortable but buying a new pair of snazzy trainers is another good way to look current and of the moment. I also really like loafers, brogues and flats, which are great if you need to look a bit smarter.”
Adding the final touches
“Don’t forget to accessorise to complete your outfit, but I wouldn’t necessarily wear a big statement necklace if you’re experiencing hot flushes,” advises Ms Walsh. “You want to feel free and uncluttered and a heavy necklace can make you feel clammy and sweaty. Go for a pair of chandelier earrings instead.”
Don’t stop at jewellery – why not wear a belt to add colour to your look and pull in looser tops. “They are also easy to remove so if you do start to feel uncomfortable you can just whip it off,” says Ms Walsh.
Ultimately, wear what makes you look and feel good through the menopause (and cope with the hot flushes it brings) – and if you can’t find it, get an expert’s opinion. “The thing to remember is that you’re not dressing for your age, you’re dressing for your body shape,” adds Walsh. “If you’re not sure what suits you anymore and need a little help, you can always use a personal shopper at one of the department stores. They are often free and have seen women of all shapes, sizes, ages.”
Style doesn’t rely on age and the menopause is a great time to experiment and get creative to figure out what works best for you.
The ‘me’ in menopause
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“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