Sara Donaldson on turning inspiration into an occupation


Sara Donaldson on turning inspiration into an occupation
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When it comes to fashion, Sara Donaldson likes to keep things simple. It is this minimalist aesthetic that propelled the Australian entrepreneur to prominence in 2008 with her style blog, Harper and Harley.

With over half a million followers on Instagram, Harper and Harley has become one of the most recognised names in the Australian blogosphere, garnering a loyal following of monthly readers ever-eager to take cues from Donaldson’s wardrobe.

Building on the success of Harper and Harley, Donaldson has since worked on projects for a number of global brands, including Estée Lauder, Loreal, YSL Beauté and Gucci. She has also starred alongside the likes of Margaret Zhang and Kate Waterhouse in Fashion Bloggers, a reality television series that followed the lives of Australia’s most prominent fashion bloggers.

More recently, Donaldson, alongside digital communications friend Georgia Martin, founded The Undone, an online shopping destination aimed at those with an appreciation of Harper and Harley’s minimalist aesthetic.

Speaking to Vogue, Martin says that the online store is a curation of pared-back wardrobe essentials from a mix of local and international brands.

“We are offering an evolving edit of elevated basics and succinct trend pieces from local Australian designers, both established and new, and also a selection of strong international brands,” Martin says.

Set to appear at Melbourne’s Vogue Codes: Live event on August 10, Donaldson will join a panel of fellow entrepreneurs to discuss exactly how the next generation can convert their great ideas into action.Read more at:bridesmaid dresses online


What is a humanist wedding


What is a humanist wedding?

The true intimacy of a wedding shines through with a humanist ceremony, as there is no set script and it is up to the couple to decide what form their nuptials take.

You do not have to be a humanist to have a humanist ceremony, a humanist ceremony is focused on the couple and and their relationship and what they value.

Humanists view long-term partnerships as strongest when built upon support, equality and honesty.

It is up to the wedding party to set the tone that’s right for their special day and choose their own words representative of their relationship.

A humanist ceremony allows people to have an unique and meaningful ceremony that is designed by the couple, and one that is not religious.

It gives people the freedom to get married outdoors, or wherever they would like, in particular, places that are not licensed for civil weddings.

There is flexibility with a humanist ceremony to build the occasion around the couple, and get to know the person conducting the ceremony, like the priest or registrar but called a celebrant.

Some people who have carried out marriage formalities but have not celebrated it with their family and friends may opt for a humanist wedding.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland humanist weddings are not legally recognised in law so couples have to go to a registers office to take care of that in the days before or after their humanist wedding.

In Scotland humanist ceremonies are recognised in law.

To have a humanist wedding one would need to find a celebrant, and liaise with them about what way you want in your ceremony.

A humanist ceremony can take place anywhere; on a beach, in the woods, in your parent’s house, in a castle, be it a private or a public area, indoors or outdoors.

Humanist weddings can follow a typical format or something different, it is completely the decision of the wedding party.

A humanist ceremony can take more time and work than a traditional church or civil ceremony.

A humanist ceremony could cost anything between £350 to £1000, and depends on the celebrant that you chose, this fee would include paying the celebrant for the planning and discussing of your ceremony, drafting and editing the personal script, attendance at rehearsals, the pay for the day itself and for a copy of the ceremony script.

Humanist weddings are available for same sex marriages.

You can write your own vows or the celebrant can provide you with some sample vows.Read more at:bridesmaid dresses


Miami Fashion Week’s Rising Star


After a recent jaunt down to Miami Fashion Week this month, we discovered Peruvian designer Yirko Sivirich, who debuted a strong showing of menswear and womenswear for Resort. Sivirich, who founded his company in his native Peru, has been showing at MFW for the last two seasons and has been quietly developing a larger profile. We caught up with Sivirich to find out his plans for the future. Read on about this designer-to-watch…

Explain the inspiration for your latest collection that you showed at Miami Fashion Week.

My collection is inspired by the fresh and effortless style of the Peruvian coast with a surfer influence that accentuates the Resort concept.

What brought you to Miami?

Miami is a city that I really love. I’ve visited many times and in 2016 I was invited to participate in Miami Fashion Week. It was pretty interesting to me, so I accepted it. In that moment, people liked my collection, so I think that was the reason the organization invited to me to participate again.

How has Miami Fashion Week given you a platform?

It’s allowed me to expose my collections in the North American market. Now more people know my brand and my work as a designer.

Antonio Banderas was the ambassador of MFW. Did you meet him?

I met Antonio last year at Miami Fashion Week. It was a pleasure to know that besides being a very talented actor, he is a great person. I still remember last year, after my fashion show at MFW, Antonio came to congratulate me and he didn’t hesitate to buy a jacket from my collection. This year he also told me that he had really liked my collection. It was very gratifying.

You work with Ermenegildo Zegna in Lima. What were you doing for them at the time?

I worked in the sales area and fashion consulting to the clients. It was my first contact with the fashion industry.

Did you found your label once you graduated from design school?

It took me a few years to decide to launch my design brand. During that time, I created a trademark, through which I became acquainted with suppliers, seamstresses, and other people involved in garment making—but, above all, I met my audience.

Where can your collection be bought?

Currently, I only have only one store in Lima. However, I plan to create an online store with international shipments soon.

You launched women’s in 2015. What made you decide to launch women’s, and how has it been doing?

Initially, I evaluated it a lot, but there was so much interest in the female audience to wear my designs that it was not difficult to accept the challenge. Fortunately, they have responded positively, much better than I expected.

What are your goals for your brand in the next five years?

I hope to be able to consolidate in the international market through points of sale outside Peru and participation in platforms such as Miami Fashion Week. In addition, I hope to expand my product line to make it much more complete for my customers.Read more at:celebrity dresses |


Prabal Gurung taunted for plus-size range


Diversity is the buzzword in the fashion industry at the moment, with labels dipping their toes into collections that challenge notions of age, gender and size but Prabal Gurung has dived right in with mixed results.

A favourite of former US First Lady Michelle Obama, Prabal has collaborated with plus-size specialist Lane Bryant, which delivers to Australia but even his friends were surprised by the bold move.

At the screening of the documentary Straight/Curve in New York on Monday night Prabal said there was "a lot of snickering" about the Lane Bryant team up. A familiar face approached the Singaporean born, Nepalese-raised designer and said "Why are you designing for fat people?"

"She saw my reaction and she said, 'Oh no, I meant it as a joke!," Fashionistareported.

That joke paid off with a well-received collection which made its mark with a Vogue debut and campaign photographed by Inez and Vinoodh starring curvy supermodel Ashley Graham.

"Our industry is very, very slow at change, and fearful, we are operated by fear; there are a handful of people who operate with absolute courage and guts, but the majority of us, we don't," Prabal said.

Prabal is also one of the few designers making a firm commitment to expanding the parameters of high fashion but the road is long.

Ashley Graham is one of the few non-sample-sized models to have cracked the mainstream with Vogue covers and numerous runway appearances but Australia’s Robyn Lawley is unhappy with the pace of change.

“Designers say they’re changing, but they’re not. They should be respectful of their customers and use different-sized women on the catwalk instead of skinny young girls,” Robyn told The Australian newspaper.

"Telling women that they’re ‘plus-size’ is sending the wrong message — that there is something wrong with them. If we continue to use that term, which was created by the fashion industry, we are segregating huge numbers of women. We should get rid of it."Read more at:formal wear sydney | formal dresses online australia


Beauty Talk



Honey Waqar, a Lahore-based designer, is known for her formal and bridal wear - laced with intricate embroideries and rich embellishments. Since its inception, the design philosophy of Honey Waqar delves into the craftsmanship of traditional handwork created with delicate precision, whilst maintaining a modern twist to its timeless collections. According to Waqar, she has always been interested in designing clothes, “I always had a feel for fashion even at a very young age. Growing up I pursued my dream. I took courses related to fashion and modelling. I graduated as a fashion marketing student and was immediately hired by a perfume manufacturing company. I used to design their packaging and run fashion shows. Eventually I tracked my pathway into fashion designing.” Since 2004 Honey Waqar has participated in some of the prestigious fashion shows of Pakistan and abroad as well including BCW (Lahore), Bridal Asia (India), London Fashion Week, Amsterdam Fashion Show and Rome Fashion Show (Italy). In March 2017, Honey Waqar launched her luxury lawn collection. This week this talented designer talks to You! about her work, her fascination with lawn and her beauty secrets...

You! What type of clothes you design for women?

Honey Waqar: Our determined quest is to create something extraordinary that presents grace and beauty of a woman’s apparel, adding glory and exquisiteness. Our creations are figure friendly and perfect choice for stylish women.

You! When did you first show your collection?

H.W: That was a long time ago. I showcased my collection in a private show.

You! What was the first outfit that you designed?

H.W: I made a couture outfit for Shaheena Shakil-ur-Rehman.

You! How would you define your own sense of style?

H.W: Our design philosophy for women is passionate sense of style in creating feminine, royal and rich couture pieces with an eye for detail. The designs spell inimitable style and versatility, richness, while depicting the fusion of ethnic elements coupled in the most contemporary way.

You! What are your favourite fabrics to work with?

H.W: I love to play with materials that are flowy and have feminine appeal like French laces, Italian brocades, tissues and organzas.

You! What is the inspiration behind your latest lawn collection?

H.W: Our inspiration is from everywhere - it can start from the dewdrop on the petal of a flower to the unlimited sky.

You! Why do you think women should wear designer lawn? ?

H.W: As couturiers we study design in detail and create what suits women. I believe women should wear designer lawn as it gives them individuality.

You! What seasonal looks and colours are you expecting this summer?

H.W: Pastels for sure and hues from the sky - sunset and sunrise. Watch out!

You! What is your signature embellishment?

H.W: Our signature is roses.

You! In your opinion what is the biggest mistake women make while dressing here?

H.W: Over confidence. Sometimes women carry dresses that don’t match their style or being over dressed for an occasion.

You! What is the one piece of clothing that you shy away from wearing and why?

H.W: Whatever that doesn’t complement my silhouette.

You! What are the difficulties faced by designers in getting their work done?

H.W: It’s not easy being a couture designer. You have to work day and night to make collections and meet deadlines.

You! How long does it usually take for you to design an outfit?

H.W: It depends on the requirement of the design detail, it could be weeks or months depending on the technicality and the intricacy and the couture finishes.

You! How do you prepare for a fashion show?

H.W: We start from brain storming then we jot down ideas on mood boards, fabric boards, and colour palette which are turned into designs and surface development. Then comes sketching and draping samples on calico. And finally creating the garments with trials and stylizing it on the model or mannequin.

You! Do you prefer sketching designs or actually constructing them?

H.W: It’s hard to choose between the both because we do both. A mix is always handy.

You! Do you think there is potential for new designers in our fashion industry? What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?

H.W: Inborn talent and training both work hand in hand but I feel what exactly makes you a successful designer is a lot of patience, hard work, consistency and ability to learn from your mistakes.

You! What are you currently working on?

H.W: Our embroidery collection in collaboration with Z.S textiles to be launched for Eid ul Azha. I am also working on my new bridal collection for 2018.


You! One cosmetic you cannot do without?

H.W: Moisturiser

You! When stepping out, do you wear makeup all the time?

H.W: No

You! When it comes to cosmetics, which brands you usually use?

H.W: Chanel and MAC

You! Your make-up bag consists of...

H.W: A moisturiser, kohl pencil, eyebrow shaper, blusher, lipstick and perfume

You! Do you go for regular facials?

H.W: No hardly

You! Your favourite local stylist or beautician:

H.W: Nabila

You! Your preferred spa or salon:

H.W: Nabila

You! Your favourite perfume:

H.W: Gardenia Passion by Annick Goutal

You! Do you use anti-ageing creams?

H.W: No

You! Do you believe in treatments like Botox?

H.W: No

You! Are you fond of using too much makeup or prefer a good skin with minimal amount of makeup?

H.W: Minimal

You! Where do you go for your makeup shopping?

H.W: UK or Dubai

You! Do you use whitening creams? Are they any good?

H.W: No

You! What is beauty to you?

H.W: Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.Read more | formal wear sydney


Communicating hope


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Born in Claverty Cottage, Portland, Dyce told All Woman that she became acquainted with Jamaica at the age of 21 after her birth mother made contact with her. It was then that she learnt of the fateful transaction which would chart the course of her dismal early years abroad, leading to a painful adolescence and a wayward young adult life.

“My birth mother told me that a lady had married a relative of a family friend and came to Jamaica, saw me, liked me, and begged [to take] me and a cousin of mine. My mother said no. But the lady kept pressuring, and eventually my mother was tricked into signing adoption papers without reading them. She said they told her I would be back every summer and Christmas, and I would just go to school in Bermuda. They pushed it, and my father and the woman made a deal,” Dyce said.

“It was pretty obvious that he received money and perks, as he was given a room in a house, left to run a shop the individuals owned that sold groceries and clothes, and someone's wedding was paid for. My mother initially wasn't aware of the dealings, as she never received anything,” she explained.

At the outset, her biological parents may have thought her life was a bed of roses, but Dyce shared that by the age of five or six she was made to do almost every household chore and was constantly beaten, and even though she had friends, she feared speaking out as she was threatened with dire consequences.

By the time she was 10, she was the sole caregiver for a bedridden grandmother. She said she remembers being burnt by a hot curling iron, and even chopped and stabbed when things went wrong. Subsequently, school became her escape. She was placed on the principal's honour roll, but even that was not good enough.

“I'd be beaten for anything. I worked really hard to gain approval and school was my getaway, but no one knew because she [my adoptive mother] threatened that if I told anyone she would kill me,” she said.

Eventually child labour and drug addiction became the norm for her. At age 11 she was packing bags at a grocery store; smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol at 14; given cashier duties at 15 while also working at a pizza store and a hotel; and at 16, she made a decision to leave high school to “work full-time and party all night”.

Things got worse when she turned 18, fell out of grace with her adoptive mother, and was kicked out of the house. With nowhere to go, Dyce used her earnings to buy a tent and barbecue grill and lived on the beach for a while, before a friend's parent allowed her to stay with them when a hurricane threat was issued.

After spending a year with her friend, Dyce's turning point came when she decided to become a Christian.

But she was pressured by her friends to return to her old ways, and after five months of resisting, she succumbed to peer pressure and once more “took a draw” of marijuana. This time the effects were catastrophic. She went temporarily blind.

“This is when my friend's little sister, Destiny, brought me a book, told me to read it and said, 'You're Paul'. When I opened the book I could hardly see, but I started reading about the Damascus experience, and my sight was [miraculously] restored. I was left in awe, eventually found a church, and set my life straight,” she said.

Now yearning for more, Dyce made contact with her high school principal, who helped her to get an internship at the Bermuda Royal Gazette as she had an interest in journalism. She was also encouraged by the principal to get her General Education Development testing subjects, which she did.

By this time Dyce had made contact with her family in Jamaica and decided to return home. Not only was she seeking answers, but she entertained hopes of attending the University of the West Indies. But instead of being encouraged to pursue this venture, she was told that she could not compete with current media workers. She also faced resentment from her biological family and was left to fend for herself in a country with which she was unfamiliar.

Refusing to falter, she decided to pick up the pieces and start afresh. That was when she met the man who would become the father of her children. He helped her get back on her feet.

Thereafter, she landed a gig in 2014 doing marketing for Jermaine Edwards, began working for Sutherland Global in 2015, and has managed a number of gospel acts including Sean Lypher and DJ Rebirth.

She was eventually drafted to do voice-overs. She worked for Ariff Butler from Bloozik Music, did interviews, and started her journey in media as an independent practitioner under the label Mel Melody Music.

Next on her agenda is preaching the word of God and becoming a mentor to young girls.

“I follow Isaiah 54:17, and my message to young women is this: No matter who you are, where you go, what they say about you, once you have a connection with God, He can turn everything around. Your situation might be going south, but He can take it and send it up north.”Read more at:bridesmaid gowns


LFW Winter Festive 2017 ramp to feature four new models


lakme, lakme fashion week, makeup, makeup products, Indian express, Indian express news
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The Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) Winter/Festive 2017 will give wings to four new talents who are ready to take their first step as models on the platform.

LFW organisers held the model hunt in partnership with TRESemmé for the forthcoming edition. The jury included actress Kriti Sanon, designer Manish Malhotra, fashion choreographer Lubna Adams, IMG Reliance Head of Fashion Jaspreet Chandok, Lakmé Head of Innovation Purnima Lamba and IMG International model scouts – Luis Domingo and Victoria Da Silva.

Kriti felt nostalgic to be back for LFW.

“It feels amazing to be sitting between Manish Malhotra and Lubna Adams and judging these beautiful girls. Also, it is nostalgic to be back at Lakmé Fashion Week where I started my modelling career and walked for around five seasons,” said the actress.

The judges chose four winners after three competitive rounds to walk for the upcoming season: Nicole Padival, Daman Brar, Kiyara and Roshmitha Harimurthy.

The audition saw over 150 aspiring Indian and international models showcase their talent at India’s most sought after model hunt.

For the first time ever, the aspirants also competed for the chance to bag a contract with IMG Models, a leader in talent discovery and model management.

“As a designer, I’m passionate about details. There is something about giving a tactile form to an idea and then further refining it – with colours, embellishments, cuts and accessories, that gives wings to creative imagination. Models are key to telling this story. They lend personification to an attitude that each of my collections represent,” Malhotra said.

“A great personality is the deal-breaker when I’m selecting a model- it’s the grace with which she walks onto the ramp and then goes on to owning it with her poise,” he added.

Lamba said the models showcased “vibrant personalities and a bold freshness”.

LFW is credited with introducing some of the most successful faces in the Indian fashion industry including Deepika Padukone, Katrina Kaif, and Yana Gupta to name a few.Read more at:bridesmaid dresses online