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How to get the royal look right



Michele Clapton is one of the most in-demand costume designers in the world right now. The British talent behind the Emmy-award winning wardrobing of Game of Thrones, was temporarily tempted away from that sprawling medieval mega-show to take on a tribe even more daunting even than The Wildlings — the Royal family.

She’s responsible for the sumptuous wardrobe in The Crown, the pounds 100 million drama on Netflix, the most expensive TV series ever made. Written by Andy Morgan and produced by Stephen Daldry, the first 10 episodes that is set to span decades, follows the House of Windsor from the mid-1930s, through the death of George VI and the beginning of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

Reimaginings of public events are interlaced with fictitious private scenes brought to life by a cast including Claire Foy as the young Queen, Jared Harris as George VI, Matt Smith as Prince Philip, Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret and John Lithgow as Winston Churchill.

Apart from providing the best (imagined) royal eavesdropping since The Squidgy Tapes, it is a lush and beautifully costumed visual feast. “I love these 10-part dramas because they give you a chance to really explore the stories in a way that film doesn’t,” says Clapton. “The BBC does a great job but its budgets don’t allow you to explore in the same way as Netflix or HBO.”

What portion of the massive budget she bagged for her department she won’t reveal, but certainly enough for the costumes to be one of the show’s big draws — particularly the looks worn by the Queen and Princess Margaret as they are portrayed in their twenties. The day before our interview Netflix threw a “salon show” in a venue not far from Buckingham Palace, where the costume designer talked through the princesses’ costume highlights.

Apart from the Queen’s wedding and Coronation gowns, most of the garments are inspired by rather than copies of clothes worn by the Queen and Margaret — which is why some eagle-eyed viewers may spot some inaccuracies. “But replicating everything would have been so dull,” says Clapton. “When it comes to finding the essence of someone, you look at their wardrobe, you look at what they might have worn and you then create the look without being really pedantic about it.”

The style of each woman reflects their different status and nature: Princess Margaret was more of an extrovert and a natural performer than her older sister and with a more minor role was able to be less conventional. “At the beginning of the show where they’re relatively close the costumes aren’t so different,” says Clapton. “But as the series develops you see how far apart they become. “Initially you only see the Queen totally at ease in her mac and her jodhpurs, driving a Land Rover,” says Clapton. “For the rest of the time I wanted her to look as though she’d been told to put these clothes on for her job. They’re meant to look as if they’d only had one fitting, because that’s all she would have had time for. But Margaret’s dresses have had two or three — the waist is tighter, the skirt is fuller. She could do that because she had the space and time to be a fashion icon.”

As the Queen settles into her reign she moves into what Clapton calls “the uniform dresses” — traditional styles, in blues or pinks. “It’s the idea that once she was confronted with meetings with Churchill and men of stature — and often the only woman in the room — she wore things she didn’t have to think about. It was feminine but it almost hid her, like an armour.”

That’s not to say that Claire Foy’s Elizabeth looks dowdy. In the early years of her marriage and coronation we see through her breezy full-skirted dresses and colours, just how astonishingly young a monarch she is — just 25 when she ascended the throne. “She’s safe and neat but I wanted that freshness,” says Clapton. “In one scene she finds out there are 100 dresses for the 1953 Commonwealth tour and she’s amazed. But they were selling the New Look Britain. Suddenly they had this new young queen. It was such a vehicle for Britain to show London style.”

But it is with Princess Margaret, that Clapton was able to go to town. She’s seen in confident, feminine fashion — whether it’s a one-shouldered pink gown when telling her sister that she’s engaged to Group Captain Peter Townsend, or a sharp pencil skirt and a satiny blouse as she’s flirting on the phone to him, or lounging in a pair of fabulous silk pyjamas. “With Margaret I tried to be a bit more sophisticated, so I put mauves with mink and used a bit of Brutalist print. I wanted to show what was going on in architecture, what was happening in Soho.” One of her favourite looks is a dramatic mackintosh with upturned collar that Margaret wears with movie star sunglasses after Townsend is virtually exiled from the country (their marriage was forbidden as he was a divorce).

“I love that even then she’s playing for an audience: ‘This is me being devastated’.” Portraying other characters was almost as much fun. “We had to make a fat suit for Victoria Hamilton who plays the Queen Mother and another one for John Lithgow to try and create the extraordinary hunched shape of Winston Churchill.”

But Clapton, who is back at Game of Thrones, didn’t feel any trepidation about helping to portray real people. “It’s a very complex, well-written piece that I don’t think is disrespectful,” she says. “It just asks some questions. Who knows if we’re right but in terms of story it’s very empathetic. I think it’s a great PR job for the Queen, actually.”Read more at:bridesmaid dresses


07:47 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


New Brunswick woman donates designs to support anti-violence charity


A Shippagan, N.B., designer launched a fashion line last weekend to help raise funds for a domestic violence charity.

Lyne Chantal Boudreau debuted Bibilyn Designs, a clothing line of made-to-measure, custom-made designs for women, at the World Wine and Food Expo in Moncton.

Expo president Bill Vance asked Boudreau to make eight dresses for the event. They were featured on the posters for the expo and two were auctioned off.

Bibilyn Designs
(Photo:formal dresses melbourne)

Support for victims of family violence

A portion of the profits made on each piece goes to the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation, a New Brunswick organization with the goal of "preventing and eliminating family violence."

"I have this charity very near [to my heart]. For me, it's very very important to eliminate all those kinds of violence against women and children," Boudreau said.

Boudreau, who is a university researcher and professor at the Université de Moncton campus in Shippagan, said she has been closely affected by family violence, although she did not want to discuss details.

She began developing her designs in 2014 when she noticed it was hard to find exclusive pieces while shopping for clothes.

"I had always been involved in the community. That's where the idea to create an exclusive dress for each woman came from, because each woman is unique and different," said Boudreau.

"I wanted to give back some self-esteem to those women, to believe in their's also about giving women a bit of control back in their lives," she told CBC in a French interview.

The designer's cat, Bibi, serves as the brand's mascot.

Boudreau said she and her daughter rescued the cat seven years ago during "a difficult period" in her family's life.

"In his own way, he saved [our lives], so I wanted to pay tribute to him."

Challenges as a francophone designer

Boudreau, who designed her own wedding dress and maternity wear, sketches the designs and contracts a team of seamstresses to make them.

"The challenges are many as a female francophone designer in New Brunswick. For example, how do you find high enough quality products to make made-to-measure designer dresses? I have to leave the province in order to get the elements I need to build this company," she said.

She said starting her business was not easy and she hopes to one day serve as a mentor to other women wishing to become entrepreneurs.

Looking ahead, Boudreau said she has begun a collection for young girls, with two dresses already made.Read more at:marieaustralia


07:08 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Eco-fashion trend has caught the world


People are becoming more environment conscious and many designers are choosing to go the green way, says Bina rao,  Designer
(Photo:formal dress shops)

In her upcoming movie Jagga Jasoos, Katrina Kaif will be seen sporting eco-friendly clothes that she picked from a Los Angeles store. This trend isn’t just local, British actress Emma Watson is another celebrity who wears eco-friendly clothes and urges her fans to do so as well.

At the Met Gala this year, she donned a custom Calvin Klein and Eco-Age gown made from sustainable cotton, satin, and taffeta woven from recycled plastic yarn. At the Paris Fashion Week 2017, models walked the runaway wearing some stunning eco-friendly collection. In fact, the recently concluded Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week, is one of the largest sustainable fashion events in the world.

There are many city-based fashion designers, who are going the green way. Designer Shravan Kumar, who has been designing environment friendly clothes for the past two decades and has showcased at various fashion shows, such as the Vancouver and Mysore Fashion Weeks “These days, many people are choosing to go eco-friendly. Of the three kinds of environment friendly clothes — sustainable have zero-wastage when made, organic ones do not use chemicals, and eco-friendly clothes do not harm the environment," he explains.

Shravan believes that is important to not contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer. “Amala Akkineni and Prashanti Tipirneni (costume-designer of Baahubali) are regular clients. Eco-friendly clothes aren’t just about saris and kurtis but one can look stunning in environmental-friendly trousers, jackets, and skirts amongst others. They are as affordable as any other clothes. There are many price ranges, for different people,” he informs.

Bina Rao of the Creative Bee foundation has also showcased eco-friendly clothes at the recent Lakme Fashion Week and many other fashion shows. “People are becoming more environment conscious and many designers are choosing to go the green way. I’ve been designing such clothes for the last two decades, but the trend has only caught up recently. There is an international demand for these clothes too. I frequently supply to a Japanese store and actress Tabu is my regular customer here,” says Bina.

She agrees with Shravan that these clothes are pocket-friendly too. “The clothes are so reasonable that one can buy a kurti for less than Rs 1,000, she informs.Read more at:evening gowns


06:54 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)