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Talented fashion designer has Young Achievers award all sewn up


Berenice Gilmour. Photo: Kate Mallender.
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Berenice Gilmour, 38, trained as a dancer and ran her own dancing school, but when her eldest daughter needed a dance costume, she realised that designing clothes was her real passion.

Berenice borrowed her daughter’s sewing machine to design a costume, and family and friends were so impressed by her creation that more commissions followed.

She said: “When I made the costume, I just thought, ‘I need a proper job doing this’. It was a massive change for me going from dance to fashion, but I just knew it was something I needed to do there and then.]

“And it just went from there. I didn’t know anything about sewing but I started taking lessons at Leeds City College, and I’m now in my third year of a fashion degree at Harrogate College. It’s exciting to have the chance to do something I love.”

Berenice was presented with the Achievement in Education Young Achievers award at a glittering ceremony on November 17 at Leeds United’s Centenary Pavilion in recognition of her succeess at the Harrogate Bridal Show, where she was crowned Best Student Designer by Bridal Buyer, for a design based on a birds of paradise brief.

The day after winning the title at the Harrogate Bridal Show, Berenice approached Leeds bridal designer Anita Massarella, and now has an internship with the retailer while she completes her degree.

Berenice said: “All my life I have driven past her shop, and I just thought I might as well knock on the door and see if I could have a chat. I just can’t believe that it’s happened and I have the internship, I never expected anything. I couldn’t believe it when she asked me when I could start.

“I’m a mum with four kids and I am used to giving all of my pride to them, but it’s nice to be recognised at the awards. I don’t think I would be doing all this without my kids, I want to be a role model for them and show that you can do anything if you set your mind to it.

“For anyone thinking about doing something they haven’t done before, I would say just go for it. You just have to believe in yourself.”

Approaching the end of her fashion degree, Berenice now hopes to complete a Masters degree in Creative Pattern Cutting at Huddersfield University.

She said: My mum thought that I would get more awards for dancing, not for sewing. It’s all happened so quickly.

“I’m looking forward to carrying on and I really want to do the masters. My kids and my mum are really proud of me, my eldest knows how hard it is to be at university without kids, and can’t imagine how hard it is for me to juggle university with kids.

“But as people say, when you have more to do and more to juggle, you often find yourself getting more done because you have a lot of responsibilities pushing you on.”Read more at:short formal dresses


07:02 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


What the Fashion World Can Tell You


I recently attended a conference here in New York crafted for those interested in launching a career in fashion. FashionistaCon provided some great insights from well-established professionals in the field and I saw some neat parallels to those in the travel industry seeking to start a new business or trying to reinvent what they’ve been doing for years.

Rachel Roy, the American fashion designer, advised the audience to “stick to what you’re good at. No matter what the trends are on Instagram, you have to keep to your core competency.” Sometimes you have to wait trends out to be recognized, she added. “There will always be people who like what you do; don’t worry about being a media darling.”

How do you determine what your true passion is? “Ask yourself what you’re drawn to when you’re not working,” she said.

Patricia Field, the acclaimed costume designer who used her amazing creativity to style the outfits worn on “Sex and the City” and in “The Devil Wears Prada,” advised that when choosing your career, “you should do what comes easy to you. If it’s easy, you will do it well. If you go with what’s difficult for you, you’ll be competing with those for whom it comes easy.”

Here’s a tip on why it’s important to have an appealing work place. Field started her fashion career working in Alexander’s, a now defunct discount department store in New York. As I recall, Alexander’s was scrappy and messy, but it was where we went for back-to-school and holiday outfits. Field worked in the blouse department, which was in disarray when she got there. Merchandise was wrapped in cellophane bags and strewn across countertops. Field hunted down a few mannequins, ironed the blouses and put them on display so they looked great. Her efforts made the department an appealing place to be. Management noticed the resulting dramatic increase in sales and promoted her.

Eventually she opened her own store. “I loved being in retail,” she said. “People walk in your door and they’re filled with information. And being in retail is not selective; people choose to come through your door and in to your world.”

She’s since sold her shop, but keeps her business going online. No longer as concerned about making money as she once was, she is selling unique items these days and is doing well. “People love one-of-a-kind,” she said.

For those wondering how to stand out in a crowded industry, Field is keen on listening to your inner voice. “If you pay attention to yourself and develop yourself, you will be an original,” she said.

Once you’ve determined what you’re good at, hire people who can fill the voids of what you don’t know how to do. Rachel Roy said she loves designing, but hates selling and finds it uncomfortable to sit around a boardroom talking about her product line and so she has people who do that for her.

One caveat for teaming up with others, according to Roy, is that when you choose a business partner, it’s imperative that they share the same vision and values as you do, otherwise “you give all that up.”

This was a fashion conference, after all, so here’s a tip on how to dress to succeed. Tom Kalenderian, EVP and general merchandise manager for Barneys New York, advised that you should overachieve when presenting yourself. “I know I got my first job at Barneys because I dressed in an Armani suit for the interview. Dressing well speaks to who you think you are,” he said.Read more at:formal dresses brisbane | formal dresses melbourne


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Rue des Archives consignment pop-up brings high fashion to Bakery Square


Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood once said, “Buy less, choose well, make it last.” That saying certainly applies to the mission of Rue des Archives, a month-long Bakery Square pop-up shop featuring resold pieces from high-end labels.

Today marks the opening of Rue des Archives, the latest venture from Nathan McCarthy and Thomas Cabral of the Strip District-based floral shop Hens and Chicks.

Located next to TechShop, the temporary Bakery Square store carries quality secondhand clothing, shoes and accessories from brands such as Helmut Lang, Dolce & Gabbana and Balenciaga. The inventory caters mostly to women, with a small selection geared towards men.

The pop-up coincides with the launch of an e-commerce site where online shoppers can browse and buy from a curated assortment of designer goods.

Cabral and McCarthy decided to open the shop as a response to a growing interest in designer fashion around Pittsburgh, especially after Nordstrom Rack came to The Block Northway. The emergence of young professionals in the city—including those near Rue des Archives at Bakery Square’s Google office—has created a demand for quality goods more suited for the business world.

“There’s a standard of how you’re expected to look,” says McCarthy.

He adds that while most people might not consider consignment chic, it offers a chance to invest in designer pieces without breaking the bank. At Rue des Archives, customers can buy a cashmere Valentino sweater for around $70, or pay $140 for a coat that originally sold for $3,000. They can also choose from an array of deeply discounted handbags, shoes and pre-worn denim.

Image courtesy of Rue des Archives.
(Photo:formal dresses australia)

McCarthy understands that high fashion newbies world may find the shop intimidating. To ease any sartorial anxiety, knowledgeable salespeople are on hand to help customers coordinate outfits and find what style works best for them.

“We want the experience to be like you’re in your friend’s closet,” says McCarthy. “It’s not stuffy. It should be something that’s fun and relaxed. You should feel good.”

Customers can also feel assured that their purchase will contribute to good causes. From each sale, 10 percent will go towards a charity of the consigner’s choice. The remaining profit is split evenly between Rue des Archives and the consigner.

The shop also intends to spotlight how resale luxury items offer a more eco-friendly, socially-conscious alternative to most retail. McCarthy became more aware of fashion’s impact on the environment during his time working as an assistant to Julie Gilhart, former fashion director and senior vice president of Barneys New York.

“She was really getting into more sustainable fashion practices,” says McCarthy.

The focus comes at a time when so-called “fast fashion” brands like Zara, H&M and Old Navy have collectively garnered a bad reputation for overproducing poor quality merchandise, much of which only last a few wears. McCarthy believes it makes more sense to maintain high quality used goods as opposed to buying cheaper options that quickly fall apart and end up in landfills.

Fast fashion companies have also come under fire for how they manufacture their clothes, including using child labor and turning a blind eye to dangerous working conditions. Just recently, a US Department of Labor investigation found that Southern California factories supplying clothing to Forever 21, Ross Dress for Less and T.J. Maxx paid workers $4 an hour, far below that of the state minimum wage.

“A lot of higher end designers do things more ethically and they employ a lot more artisanal workers,” says McCarthy.

Rue des Archives (186 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15221) runs now through December 28, 2016. Hours are daily from noon to 7:30 p.m.

The pop-up will feature a constant stream of new, handpicked pieces. But supplies are limited.

“Once it’s gone, it’s gone,” says McCarthy, adding that they may close the shop early if a day’s inventory sells out.

He says that if everything works out, they would consider opening a permanent brick-and-mortar store somewhere in the city.Read more at:bridesmaid dresses


07:29 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)