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Cilla Black gate-crashed my wedding, says Shadow Culture Minister on visit to Liverpool

A Labour shadow minister today revealed how Cilla Black gate-crashed his wedding.


The late Scouse star was in attendance when Shadow Culture Secretary Chris Bryant tied the knot with partner Jared Cranney.


The pair were the first couple to celebrate a civil partnership in the Houses of Parliament in March 2010 after the iconic building was granted permission to host weddings.


Cilla, who had never been to a civil partnership before, asked if she could tag along to the then-Europe Minister’s nuptials.


Mr Bryant, who visited Liverpool today for a tour of the city’s arts and cultural centres, told the ECHO: “Mine was the only civil partnership she ever went to and she was an absolute delight.


Shadow Culture Secretary Chris Bryant (right) and Cilla Black


photo:cocktail dresses online


“I had met her once before and she knew a friend of mine who we had invited along to the wedding.


“She said to my friend ‘I’ve never been to a civil partnership, will they mind if I come along?’ It was a joy to have her there.”


While on his tour of Liverpool, Mr Bryant visited the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) in Wood Street, where he tried on a 3D-printed prosthetic hand, the Bluecoat creative hub in School Lane, the Tate Liverpool on the Albert Dock and the under-refurbishment Philharmonic Hall.


He said: “When I come to somewhere like Liverpool I see what an enormous difference the arts and cultural scene makes.


“In Liverpool I have seen people experimenting with new ideas and I firmly believe you can’t regenerate any city anywhere without the arts being right at the heart of it.”

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05:57 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Michael Costello, desert fashion experts rock the Vegas runway

In dramatic fashion, Michael Costello’s model hit the runway in a shimmery floor-length dress as an animated live band played the notorious riffs of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.”


Each step the model took on the catwalk seemed in sync with the music, deftly showcasing the marriage of rock and fashion.


Celeb designer Costello, Astrella Celeste from Palm Springs — better known simply as Astrella — and Claudia Lua Alvarado of Indio all contributed to Monday’s rocking runway show that was a collision of art, music and fashion.


A couple hundred people sat in couches surrounding the Foxtail pool at the SLS Las Vegas hotel and crowded the stage sides as the iconic Stratosphere towered in the distance. The runway show coincided with MAGIC, a global fashion tradeshow that originated in Palm Springs in the 1940s.


“It was nice … to see some of the models react to that music. Because normally it’s a DJ and it’s very predictable and I think this was a little more emotional and I like that,” said Astrella, who showcased her Musical Ts line at the show.


The audience couldn’t help but dance in their spots and nod their heads to the music as the rotating all-star band continued to cover well-known and iconic songs, making the evening feel more like a rock concert.


A model wears a Michael Costello design during a rock


photo:formal evening dresses


“Because we come from music, we can pull a few favors from our friends,” said Astrella, the daughter of English folk singer and Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall-of-Famer Donovan.


The performing musicians included Bob Forrest of Thelonious Monster, Stevie D and Kelly LeMieux, both of Buckcherry, Stephen Perkins of Jane’s Addiction and Amp Fiddler of Parliament. All were friends of Astrella and her husband Jason Rothberg.


They all support her Musical Ts line, which in turn supports the music industry, she said. Each of her T-shirts, which feature the graphic designs of artist album covers, come with a scannable code that allows the purchaser to download the entire album of the featured artist — only once, though.


At the Monday show, she featured her summer line of shirts featuring Elton John, Queen, The Who, Slightly Stoopid, Spencer Davis and The Vandals.


In the early 1940s, in addition to attracting the Hollywood elite, Palm Springs played host to the country’s largest annual fashion trade show — The Menswear Manufacturers Association of Los Angeles.


The annual event was considered such a boon for the city that it spawned the construction of a “giant amphitheater” west of the Las Palmas area to host related fashion shows and events which coincided with Western Week.


“I think when buyers go up to market or to a trade show, it’s always nice to have an enticing place to go. In the 1940s and ‘50s, this was where all the celebrities went,” said Susan Stein, a Rancho Mirage fashion expert and runway show producer who also worked Monday’s show in Vegas.


The trade show eventually outgrew Palm Springs, then Los Angeles, and is now held in Las Vegas.


Lance Bass, of N’Sync fame and a Musical Ts wearer, served as MC and kicked off the fashion show on stage alongside his husband Michael Turchin and pop artist Miguel Paredes, both of whom had art work of album covers on display.


Stein lent her runway production expertise for the Las Vegas show. Stein also worked with Astrella in March for Fashion Week El Paseo, held annually in Palm Desert.


“I am very happy. And I have to say I feel good,” Astrella said about the overall show. She said she learned a lot from the other designers, specifically how the structure of a runway show works and preparing the order of looks for the show.


“I think that’s probably, deep down, one of the reasons why I wanted to share in this experience, because I have a lot to learn and I did learn a lot tonight,” she said.


“It was a little scary, a little stressful, but I learned a lot and I feel honored that I got to learn that from designers I have admiration for.”


In addition to Costello and Lua, the other designers who participated in the show include: Band of Gypsies, Romeo + Juliet Couture, Bella Dahl, D.J. Ashba and Dr. Martens.


Costello, a seasoned designer who gained fame on “Project Runway” and got his start in Palm Springs by opening up a boutique downtown when he was 15, showcased his Nirvana collection — a series of his favorite show-stopping silhouettes.


For Lua, who recently launched her line of one-of-a-kind, special occasion dresses after 14 years of designing for corporate companies such as Forever 21, the fashion show was “a dream come true.”


She showcased 12 looks that included evening and cocktail dresses and “mother/daughter” outfits.


Lua had her own cheering section at the show. In addition to her family, a few members of the Fashion Group Foundation of Palm Springs traveled to Las Vegas to provide support and see Lua’s first major fashion show, featuring her own label.


Diana Strickland of Indio, a member of the local fashion group, loved how Lua’s looks were different than most of the other collections that veered more toward rock ‘n’ roll.


“I had to see Claudia. I felt like her showing really softened the whole thing. It was sweet and really soft and pretty and really glamorous clothing,” she said.


Lua was able to sneak out during her show to take a peek as her fashions walked the runway to Kemo the Blaxican’s Latin style of hip hop.


“I feel so happy and thankful that everything turned out really well,” Lua said. “It was so cool because it was a different kind of set-up. Not your traditional set-up. It was live music, rock ‘n’ roll, rap, Spanish, it was a mix of everything and I loved it,” she said.

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08:19 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Dithering over that dress?

When it comes to buying a new outfit, forget asking your partner or a shop assistant for a second opinion.


Many shoppers now prefer to seek advice from a range of friends from afar – by posting ‘chelfies’, or changing room selfies, on social media.


Both men and women have been taking pictures of themselves while trying on clothes in stores and then uploading them to sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Women need an average of three ‘likes’ from friends before they buy items, while men tend to wait for at least four, a survey of 2,000 young people found. Two in five confessed they discard an outfit if it gets fewer than ten likes.


The trend, which has attracted a host of celebrities such as singer Jessie J and Irish model Vogue Williams, has seen the number of chelfies posted on Twitter double in the past three months, the research for fashion website Shopa found.


One in seven shoppers under the age of 30 – and as many as a third of 13-year-olds – now seeks online approval on every outfit, the study found. This has made the average shopping time almost double from 16 minutes to 31 minutes, while almost a third of people admitted spending up to two hours choosing an outfit while they wait for likes.


Women are most likely to seek opinions on evening dresses and high heels, while men ask for advice on trainers and shirts.


Behavioural psychologist Linda Papadopoulos said: ‘The results are unsurprising as, although online shopping is becoming increasingly popular, many of us still rely on our friends’ approval when purchasing new clothes or accessories.


‘The ease of being able to share a visual representation of the look we’re trying to achieve makes it easier to reach out for validation.’


‘The research suggests that, as shopping has migrated online from in-store; social media ‘likes’ are now one of the keys to driving purchase.


‘The ease of being able to share a visual representation of the look or style we’re trying to achieve makes it not only easier to reach out for validation, but indeed it also fits in with the norms of social networking; where acceptance of our choices is actively sought out.


Model Vogue Williams masters the 'chelfie' 


photo:short formal dresses


‘It’s not surprising therefore that some people are waiting up to two hours for that nod of approval before making a purchase,’ she added.


The trend is now so common various fashion magazines and blogs offer advice on how to take the perfect chelfie.


According to Vogue magazine it is essential to take a picture in a potential outfit as the ‘camera never lies’.


Vogue offers its readers some top tips which include wearing ‘basic but good underwear’, stand on tiptoes and take pictures from various angles but never use flash.


As well as seeking approval, shoppers also turn to social media sites for fashion inspiration, 43 per cent of women said they used Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram to learn about current trends.


Thirty eight per cent of men admitting to following celebrity profiles for advice.


The survey also found that women are wearing the fashion trousers in British households, with a quarter men admitting to changing their style to fit in with their partner’s wishes.


A third of women polled even admitted to secretly throwing away their partner’s fashion faux pas and 11 per cent admitted putting them in the wrong wash on purpose.


Ten per cent even said they were responsible for ‘accidentally’ ruining them.

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08:09 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)