Fresh Young ARA Designer on Top Form


He may still be studying, but third year Ara Institute of Canterbury fashion student William Roper has already worked with top New Zealand designers, and it shows.

His striking black and white collection, titled My Hearts Are Beating Fast Autumn/Winter 2018, was inspired by a brief from Auckland designer James Dobson of Jimmy D fame. Dobson doesn’t usually offer internships, but made a special exception for Roper.

Internships are an integral part of the Bachelor of Design (Fashion Technology and Design) and strong industry connections mean that students are placed with some of the top names in fashion. This year students have completed placements with designers including Ruby, Devàl, Alice McCall and twenty-seven names.

“James was a judge at the Hokonui Fashion Awards, where I happened to win a section and he remembered my work. That was a factor in him deciding to take me on I think,” Roper says.

Roper was attracted to the Jimmy D aesthetic - dark, deconstructed, androgynous – and the designer’s process of working with artists such as graphic artists.

“I was there for three weeks in January. It was fantastic! I have also done an internship at Zambezi and that was quite different, because they are relatively big for a company that does on shore manufacturing and well established for something like 35 years. Jimmy D is basically one man in a small workroom and he shares it with a young graphics girl.”

Assisting with cutting, pattern making and toiling during a production time, Roper was in his element. The success of Jimmy D, established in 2004, was also inspiring, although Roper doesn’t consider Jimmy D to be outrageous.

“In the grand scheme of things if you look at Zambezi, Nom*D and a few other brands, it’s not that wild. It is quite different to what you find in the malls, but in terms of the fashion scene there’s a market for it; New Zealand loves that black drapy look.”

The brief for the Form collection called for deconstruction and femininity. Roper took these themes and ran with them, researching the Pre-Raphaelite concept of women, selected text from New Zealand poet Zarah Butcher-McGunnigle and the philosopher Jacques Derrida, whose ideas involved pushing the boundaries of design to get as far away as possible from the traditional object while still retaining function and complying with the laws of physics.

How this translates to the collection is fascinating. “How far can you push the concept of clothing? One of my garments, the Transformer, can be worn inside out, back to front, or any combination of those. It is quite wild in terms of when you lay it out flat, you wonder where is my head going, where do my arms go? But it is still a garment that is worn – that was the most innovative piece.”

The audience at the Form opening event thought so too. The Transformer was one of the many pieces that William sold on the night.

Other garments featured prints by young Christchurch artist, Alice Bray, a good friend of Roper who has collaborated with him before.

Meanwhile the creative cogs are still turning. The big end of year runway show Pitch will be his last chance to show the industry what he can do before he graduates and starts working. He hopes to work for a small label doing onshore manufacturing to take his skills into the industry and get some more experience. Then one day he might just start his own label – watch this space.Read more at:formal dresses australia | semi formal dresses


Wearable farmyard materials on point again


Perhaps the last place that you’d expect to find fashion students congregating is on a farm. But this year, fashion design students at Don College in Devonport chose to test the limits of their creativity, participating in Agfest’s Ag Artwear competition.

The competition, having become a mainstay of the Agfest expo in recent years, has participants use ordinary farm yard material to create wearable pieces of fashion.

Part of Agfest, an annual business expo organised by Rural Youth Tasmania, this year’s Ag Artwear competition featured some of the quirkiest and most innovative outfit ideas ever seen at the event, many of which were born in the minds of Don College’s own students.

Of the six awards up for grabs across the two divisions, the Under-16s and the Over 16s, Don College racked up four of them.

They might have the Year 11 and 12 college’s fashion design teacher, Shanli Perkins to thank though, for urging her students, year on year, to participate in such community events and share their work.

“I try and use as many real community events as I can”, Perkins says. “And the students get a choice. They don’t have to enter them, they can pass the course without even having to do that.

But we encourage them to showcase their work to the community and to support community events. The winning outfit this year came from a Don College student who, in fact, had placed third the year before, having made a superb costume using de-hydrated apples.

“Yes, and I thought that was spectacular!” Perkins says.

“She clearly was shocked that they awarded that one third. But she’s learnt from that and she’s won this year, so she sort of better understood the judges’ taste and realised that they liked something a lot more wearable and that you could actually walk down the street and wear.

“She used a potato sack and made a flared little skirt out of it. She then took a men’s flannelette shirt and tied it into a halter-neck. And the scraps she turned into flowers and buttoned them onto the skirt”, Perkins says.

Agfest’s Ag Artwear competition isn’t the only offbeat event that Perkins encourages her students to participate in. Others include the Chocolate Winterfest in Latrobe, and the larger Teenage Fashion Awards that offers participants a chance to compete at a national level.

She believes that such events go a long way towards building far more than confidence alone. “Definitely confidence but also their time management becomes real.

Like if you set an assignment and there’s a deadline, a lot of students don’t make that deadline. But when it’s a real event and you’ve got to showcase at a definite time, it makes them so much better at organising their time, and motivates them really really well”, she says.Read more at:formal dresses melbourne | semi formal dresses


Swiss luxury group Richemont


Swiss luxury group Richemont has sold Shanghai Tang, the Chinese fashion brand, to an Italian businessman. The owner of jewellers Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Piaget said it had sold the fashion group, founded by Hong Kong businessman David Tang, to a business controlled by Alessandro Bastagli last week.

The Swiss group declined to say how much the deal was worth but said on Monday that the sale would “have no material impact” on its results for the year to March 2018. It gave no details of Shanghai Tang’s financial performance, but the losses it has wracked up are expected to be disclosed with Richemont’s half-year results, published in November. Mr Bastagli is chairman of A.

Moda, a privately held clothes manufacturer based in Florence which he founded in 1978, and also owns Italian textile group Lineapiù, which produces high end products for the world’s top luxury houses. The disposal follows a revamp of Richemont’s top management and board announced late last year by Johann Rupert, its chairman and controlling shareholder.

In May, Mr Rupert signalled an increased focus on the group’s underperforming assets, which has already led to significant restructuring measures at Dunhill, a fashion brand. “Richemont still has some smaller businesses in fashion — Dunhill, Lancel, Chloé and Azzedine Alaïa — which have been a drag for years and which could also be put up for disposal so it can concentrate on its main watch and jewellery brands,” said Jean-Philippe Bertschy, analyst at Vontobel.

“After the recent board and management changes, we expect Mr Rupert to be more aggressive.”

Richemont first acquired a stake in Shanghai Tang in 1998 before taking full ownership a decade later. However, like other luxury groups, it has seen demand fall sharply in recent years, especially for luxury watches, as a result of sluggish global economic growth, changes in Chinese spending patterns and past overstocking.

When Richemont bought Shanghai Tang from Sir David, the company was focused on marketing traditional-style Chinese outfits to foreign travellers passing through Hong Kong, with few sales to local customers.

Since then its has expanded to 23 stores and has attempted to appeal to a wider customer base, although many Shanghai Tang shirts still feature a mandarin collar, a style common in Asian apparel in the 19th century.

It has sought to position itself as a leading luxury brand within China, home to the world’s largest luxury market, but it also has outlets in London and Miami. Yet it has noted in the past the difficulty in striking a balance between modern luxury and Shanghai Tang’s Chinese roots.

Luxury sales began rebounding in China in the latter half of 2016, following a deceleration of Beijing’s anti-corruption campaign which dented sales of goods deemed extravagant.Read more at:celebrity dresses | semi formal dresses




Music festivals are famous for their fashion, and have in a sense become the Met Gala of concert style, a place to stake out trendsetting outfits sported by “It Girls”—famous or not so famous—and reiterate them in our own, slightly more cost-effective way. Although festival fads are many and varied, the most frequently and persistently recurring trend seems to be the 1960s/1970s throwback look, the kind of ensemble that says, “I’m on my way to a peaceful protest.”

You’ve seen it over and over—the chunky tribal necklaces and bangles, the fringe purse, the strappy, gladiator sandals, the feathers and dreamcatchers tacked on at random. They’re elements that speak not only to a material spin on the hippy culture of the ’60s and ’70s, but also to a trend of dumbing down and commoditizing elements indicative of a certain culture. On the festival circuit, it is usually the tribal elements that stand out. Jewelry, materials, and textures that reference African or Native American culture evoke a sense of time and place while lacking authenticity. But what exactly is it about festival season that makes even those who don’t usually lean towards the bohemian turn into flower children with a penchant for culturally appropriated accessorizing?

Beyond the obvious answer of “it’s so hot right now,” you have to examine the setting of an outdoor festival to explain the appropriated stylings of concertgoers. True, the spirit surrounding massive music-driven events like Coachella, Ultra, or Electric Zoo is easy enough to connect to historically hippy events like Woodstock, which easily explains the drive to rehash the staples of retro style. The same atmosphere of camping outdoors in pursuit of a common goal—in this case, hearing good music and racking up likes on Instagram—could also explain the frequent occurrence of culturally appropriated trends that reference traditional tribal elements.

While the hypothesis behind why concertgoers gravitate towards culturally appropriated fashion is easy enough to generate, the question of their potential to offend while doing so is dicier. Certainly people have the right to wear whatever they choose, however there is a razor thin line between the innocent, impotent breed of cultural appropriation in fashion and the damaging, offensive breed. That line is a sliding scale based almost solely on opinion, which is perhaps why the use of cultural references in fashion—particularly their use by designers and companies outside of the culture or ethnic history from which those references are derived—has become such a hot button issue in recent years.

The festival circuit may not be the main focus of this debate, but it certainly provides an insular case study in miniature of the trend of cultural appropriation as it pertains to style and the fashion industry.Read more at:formal dresses online | bridesmaid dresses online


Sara Donaldson on turning inspiration into an occupation


Sara Donaldson on turning inspiration into an occupation
(Photo:formal dresses online)

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 |