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Fashion: Timeless with a twist

Eleanor Cape - �430.
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As Charlotte Hazell works into the small hours in the bedroom-turned-workshop at her home in Norton, meticulously sewing her latest one-off designs, her thoughts often turn to family. “I come from a family of people involved in textiles in one form or another,” she says. “My grandfather worked in a tailor’s shop in Leeds as a pattern cutter and my gran was a seamstress. My mum and her mum were also good sewers and I remember as a child watching them make curtains and repair clothes. As we were growing up my sister Beth and I were always making things.”

That creative seam has now blossomed into a thriving home-based business for Charlotte, who recently launched her Capsule Collection 2015 at the Great Yorkshire Show.

Her award-winning trademark is understated style with an individual twist. Her creations are one-off, hand-tailored pieces, inspired by the colours of the Yorkshire countryside, which will, she says, survive fickle popular trends and work for almost any occasion.

Charlotte, 28, the daughter of former jockey Richard Barker, aka “Dickie Mint”, established her own clothing label, Charlotte Lucy, in 2010. It followed top grade results in textiles at GCSE level and a four-year fashion design course at York College, when she won the M&S Dress Design Competition and, on graduation, the Merchant Taylors Award 2008 for her collection fortuitously called Beginner’s Luck.

“I loved every aspect of the course, from fashion history to technical details,” she says. “I like taking a garment from conception to completion, challenging myself to make things work.”

Charlotte was “too much of a home bird” to consider moving away, so she took a variety of day jobs, including waitressing, delivery driving and debt collecting, so she could fund her true passion and develop the ideas which would lead to the launch of her own design label.

“I try things out on the sewing machine to understand how they will work best. There’s a lot of trial and error,” says Charlotte, who spends every spare weekend and evening cutting patterns and hand-making her elegant garments. “I started out making bespoke occasionwear but now I make ready-to-wear garments aimed at clients who want something timeless and classic.”

Based on a work ethic reminiscent of The Elves and the Shoemaker, whereby she would sell one item to fund the next two, Charlotte gradually made enough to launch her first collection for spring/summer 2012.

“I wanted to test the water,” she says. “It was a big learning curve because I realised I couldn’t create enough, or earn enough, to do it seasonally, so I decided to launch one collection a year focusing on a few key pieces. These are not led by trends. I would like to think that they will still be relevant in 10 or 20 years from now.’

Charlotte is slowly but surely building up a loyal following of customers who value her commitment to quality and individuality.

“The brand has one aim,” she says. “To produce beautiful clothes which are the building blocks of any girl’s wardrobe. It is not a mass manufactured label – I create staple pieces and use luxurious fabrics such as silk crepe, soft cottons, linens and rich wool, alongside clean details. I realise it could take a long time to become properly established, but I’m prepared to let it evolve at its own pace,” adds Charlotte. “I don’t want to be a one-hit wonder.”

This year’s collection includes coats, skirts, a silk T-shirt and a handful of dresses, priced at between £100 and £500. Charlotte refers to them as investment pieces which transcend the seasons, each item taking at least a week to turn round.

She runs her design business alongside part-time work with the Nine to Eleven interiors shop in Malton, but life is likely to become even busier for Charlotte from October when she and her husband Wayne, a joiner, are expecting their first baby.

“I have big ambitions in the long term but my family and family life keep me grounded,” she says. “I have to be realistic and take it one step at a time.’Read more at:red carpet dresses

06:28 Publié dans Beauty | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Reflections in cream and gold

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Kerala’s off white and gold stirs nostalgic emotions even in this age of overwhelming clothing choices. The ones in the cupboard are brought out for festivals and weddings or new ones are picked up regularly. Mixed and matched with halter blouses or very traditional ones, the appeal of the Kerala set mundu and sari remains unparalleled.

For designers, it is a sure shot option, something they can rely on. “It is truly what we can call our own. There is nothing like the traditional Kerala mul fabric and I feel we have to give the fabric its due,” says actor, television personality and designer Poornima Indrajith.

Her label Pranaah has come out with a limited-edition collection, ‘Vaalkannadi’ this Onam. “The Kerala sari, over the years, has seen numerous innovations and experimentations. It was fused with Kalamkari and other fabrics first, then came mural paintings on it, but I feel nothing beats the elegance of the traditional cream and gold,” she says.

With the Vaalkannadi range, she explores the designer possibilities of the fabric without diluting its essence. “I did not want to fuse it with random fabrics and I wanted to play with its original fall and feel.”

The collection experiments with cuts and patterns. It includes saris with designer blouses, crop tops, high-waist skirts, dhoti drapes with crop tops and floor-length dresses. “While I had this collection in mind for a while, I was working out ways in which to make the plain mundum neryathum fabric trendy and designer.”

The vaalkannadi is a recurring motif in the series. “I wanted to bring in a character to the entire collection, something that is a part of our culture. And what better than the vaalkannadi?” she says. The motif appears as hand-embroidery with the mirror on the clothes. “That said, I don’t want to overdo it. I did not want it to be imposing. So it runs as a subtle design in almost all the pieces.”

Though the collection is predominantly cream and gold, the simpler staple, off-white with kara (colourful thread border), finds a place. A few pieces have hand embroidery in colourful thread. The saris paired with jackets will be of interest to the younger women of today who want a seamless blend of tradition and modernity.

Though the Vaalkannadi collection was launched this season, a few pieces will be at Pranaah in Panampilly Nagar even after Onam.

As the fashion industry is growing by the day and social media has diminished the problem of accessibility, people are aware of trends and what is available in the market, Poornima observes. “Every day throws up a new challenge and one has to be prepared to meet them,” she says.

Poornima opened Pranaah in 2013 and has since been dividing time between her TV assignments and designing. The boutique that specialises in bridal couture also includes saris and Indo-Western blends such as skirt-saris.

“Competition is healthier and one needs to constantly think different,” she says. However, she does not see herself as a “designer” just yet. “I’m just beginning; I feel there’s a lot more to do.”Read more at:mermaid prom dresses

08:17 Publié dans Beauty | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Colours, sequins and sparkles at KL Fashion Week

Celebrity Nur Fazura Sharifuddin (left) says her collection (right) pays tribute to female empowerment and is inspired by women who have been abused, bullied and discriminated. — Pictures courtesy of Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week
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As one of the country’s most talked about celebrities, Nur Fazura Sharifuddin is no stranger to life in the limelight. Two Fridays ago, the actress, singer, producer and reality television star made her Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week debut as a fashion designer. Her fashion label, House of Doll, started three years ago and it was all things glitzy, replete with sparkles.

At the last show of the day, the crowd waited in anticipation and after a daring screening of a video montage, screams and cheers were heard. Fazura’s collection — filled with flattering cuts and tasteful amounts of embellishment — was a nod to female empowerment.

“I always like to celebrate women. You can see in the montage, a lot of women who since school, get bullied and housewives get hit and bullied too,” said Fazura during a quick chit-chat after her runway show.

Flanked by her entourage and a group of journalists, she added that the collection was about transgender people as well.

“I don’t like how women get discriminated and how transgender [people] want to be themselves but can’t,” said Fazura, who shared that she has many transgender friends.

“My collection celebrates women to be free, be themselves and shine bright.”

The multitalented designer’s collection was nothing short of shiny and bright.

“All the colours, sequins and sparkles — those are the things I like and I think women should be out there to dominate the world,” quipped the pint-sized actress, who shed tears of joy after showing her collection.

But more than all that glitter, things have come full circle for the 31-year-old stunner, having studied fashion design prior to her big break in the entertainment industry.

For Fazura, it has always been a learning curve.

“I’m still learning. I have a lot to learn but I’m going to give myself a little bit of credit because I thought the collection was quite nice,” she said, smiling.

The celebrity designer worked with her team to make the collection a success and even selected the fabrics on her own.

Speaking about her hands-on experience, Fazura said: “I hopped into a cab and got everything on my own, each and every piece.”

“I actually carried all of them — that’s the reason I cried because the journey was so emotional.”

To say the least, it was a fulfilling experience for Fazura who acknowledged her team’s hard work and efforts. As a result, not only was a beautiful collection produced, Fazura excitedly shared that she had injected her personal style into each and every piece in the collection.

“I just wish I could wear some of the styles such as the cropped top,” she said.Those who are acquainted with Fazura’s personal life would know that being under the constant glare of the media is not exactly a walk in the park. For example, the term ‘controversial’ had been applied to personalities like her. But what does it actually mean?

Asked about the misconceptions people often have about her, Fazura replied earnestly: “The media plays a big part in building perceptions about celebrities —it’s so easy to say something about a celebrity and people just believe it.”

“But now, celebrities have Instagram, okay!” she said with a laugh, adding that social media allows public figures like her to write their own narratives and defend their opinions.

“I want to tell all the women out there, especially celebrities, to be who they are. You don’t have to be someone other people want to see. If they are real fans, they’ll take you for who you are.”

Her reality television show on E!, Facing Up to Fazura was the first of its kind featuring a Malaysian celebrity and quickly became an outlet to debunk all myths surrounding the actress’ life. For those wondering if there is going to be a second season, Fazura cheekily replied, “Maybe we’re filming it right now.”

With so many feathers in her cap and a growing list of duties, Fazura joked about “going to outer space” next.

On a more serious note, the stylish designer shows no signs of stopping and already has her next game plan sorted out.

“I want to travel and backpack around the world and I want to help the Syrian refugees,” shared Fazura, who was decked out in a satin cream suit paired with Sophia Webster’s coveted butterfly sandals.

But for now, as the excitement of fashion week slowly comes to a halt, Fazura can finally put her feet up from all the hectic multitasking.

“I’m going on holiday after this or I’ll go insane,” she said with a laugh.Read more at:celebrity dresses

06:47 Publié dans Blog | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)