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Fashion Week newcomers

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Orapeleng Modutle's collection was inspired by a ''nautical glam" style - resort dresses made for affluent brides who prefer to get married in warm climates such as the Greek islands and the Seychelles.

Inspired by Gavin Rajah and Thula Sindi, Modutle's collection was filled with simple elegance and clean lines.

"We had to use flowy, feminine patterns with a focus on women's décolletage and a lot of beaded, luxurious fabrics," he said.

It's easy to throw the words ''culture appreciation" around in fashion, but Tina Ngxokolo used her heritage to great effect in her debut collection.

Like her older brother, Laduma Ngxokolo of the Maxhosa label, Tina draws inspiration from her upbringing.

"I was inspired by the desire to explore nostalgic moments I'd had with my late mother, my Xhosa culture, and beautiful African women," she said.

"The typical heavy and warm Xhosa costume (uMbhaco) was reinterpreted in lightweight fabrics without taking away from the authenticity of the traditional garb. The yellow background pattern is a collaboration between myself and Rufain Wentzel, who I met at university," she said.

The young designer's work also represents the ancient Xhosa people called Amaqaba.

"Amaqaba people are part of the bigger Xhosa tribe - this was my core inspiration when I did my final-year collection at university," she said.

"I love the culture and dress of ancient Xhosa people."

Tina knew she had to distinguish her debut collection from her brother's knitwear signature. ''I worked with different silhouettes, textures and patterns for the collection," she said.

"I wanted to challenge conceptions about fabrics like leather that are associated with winter, and design pieces using the material for summer."Read more at:cheap formal dresses

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Minimalist mama

In the summer of 2016, fashion designer Patty Ang turned 24 years old. She also shot to international fame when actress Andi Eigenmann landed on Vanity Fair’s best-dressed list sporting Patty’s pristine white jumpsuit with a flowing, floor-length cape at the recent Cannes Film Festival.

At her atelier in Makati, Patty sits behind her desk, recalling the career milestone with equal parts giddiness and bewilderment; suddenly, she was receiving calls from prospective clients abroad, inquiring if she could make clothes for them.

Changing the subject, she asks if her simple white top, which she designed herself, will do for her photo shoot. A white top is this designer’s trademark look. “People who know me well know I’m a jeans-and-white-shirt kind of gal,” she says. “That’s what I wear almost every day!”

Her simplicity in style is also apparent in her beauty regimen. Patty—who has smooth, poreless skin—says, “I make sure to wash and clean my face well every time before heading to bed. Just lotion, moisturizer and sunblock every day do really well for your skin!” Her very basic skincare system is not without reason: “I honestly don’t use many beauty products, as I had a scare before. When I was younger, I got the worst breakout after using some beauty products.”

Patty hopes to impart her philosophy of minimalism one day to her daughter, Alexa. “Simplicity. I will always and forever stick to the classics and basics. They never get old. Simplicity is beauty.” For now, this doesn’t seem to be a problem, since her daughter is still very young and appears to look up to mom. “Oh, she is very easy. She likes doing what I want,” observes Patty. “It’s so easy bonding with her during dinner, sports and shopping.”

Still, Patty encourages Alexa to assert her uniqueness whenever she can. “At this stage, I let her be,” she says. “I want her to discover things on her own. I want her to find what her true passion is. I don’t expect our passions to be the same. I would be happy if they were! But if they’re not, I just want her to find out what hers is. I think being passionate about what you’re doing is very important.”

Aside from designing clothes that make it to best-dressed lists, Patty is passionate about traveling. Of her penchant to pack up and go, “I make sure after working hard, I reward myself!” she says. Her favorite destination is Europe. Like her polished designs, the continent evokes timeless beauty. Swears Patty, “I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of it.”

Reprinted from Baby Magazine, now available in selected magazine outlets nationwide.Read more at:formal dresses | long formal dresses

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The classic shirtwaist is this year's summer-to-fall frock

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A great dress has pockets. But when it also boasts a button-down bodice, a belted waist, and a collar - Peter Pan or Chelsea - it gets elevated to pure, off-the-rack confection.

The trendlet

The shirtwaist dress, and all its menswear-inspired extras, is both cubicle and cocktail chic this summer, whether paired with flats, pumps, or white-soled sneaks.

Where does it come from?

Shirtwaist dresses go back to the post-Civil War era, when working women began wearing simple, cotton button-down blouses modeled after men's dress shirts.

By the 1890s, women began pairing the blouses, or shirtwaists, with matching skirts and referred to the still-corseted ensemble as a dress, said Clare Sauro, curator of Drexel University's Robert and Penny Fox historic costume collection.

Throughout the turn of the 20th century, the shirtwaist was the suffragette uniform. Also, because the blouse and matching skirt combo were popular on tennis courts and golf courses, the shirtwaist was considered among the first "athleisure" looks.

Chanel's shorter hemlines and drop waists sent the shirtwaist style to the back of the boudoir until the 1940s, when Christian Dior's romantic New Look featured the modern-day shirtdress silhouette: short sleeves, belted waist, collar, and mid-calf hemline.

In the 1950s, that same dress featured reams of crinoline under the skirts and came in a variety of prints and colors - think Lucille Ball - from polkadots to plaid.

Since then, the shirtwaist dress has been a fast-fashion go-to because it's both practical and flattering on many body types. In the 1960s, the belt disappeared, assuming a trapeze silhouette. In the 1970s, it was a slimmer fit, with a belted sheath and fashioned from softer rayon fabrics; the 1980s brought shoulder pads. These days, thanks to Thom Browne (and H&M), the shirtwaist dress is an oversize, belted or non-belted, crisp, pin-striped boyfriend shirt.

Whatever form shirtwaist dresses take, you can trust it will be a style that's quintessentially American.

Who is wearing it?

Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Anne Hathaway. Any woman with a business meeting in the morning and dinner plans in the evening.

Would Elizabeth wear one?

I subconsciously buy at least two a year. But just this summer, I've already bought three: chambray, cotton pin-striped, and khaki. Watch out, fall.

Should you wear one?

I can't think of a reason you wouldn't. No dress looks better with ballet flats.Read more at:mermaid formal dresses

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