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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)


Foods that can give you a headache

Foods that can give you a headache
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Dietary changes and certain foods can trigger migraines.

Suffering from headaches or migraines every now then? Well, you're not alone as many people complain of such problems. Leaving aside obvious reasons like sinusitis, stress and mental tension, little do people know that their diet could be a culprit too. Surprised? We tell why you should be more watchful of what you eat to avoid that throbbing pain in your head.


A headache is a discomfort or a pressure-like sensation in the head. A migraine is a common type of headache that usually occurs on one side of the head. Dietician Dr Sunita Dube agrees that one's diet can affect headaches and says, "A family history of migraine, apart from stress, food and beverages may be responsible for up to 30 per cent of migraines. If you consider some other triggers such as hormonal changes, stress, sleeping habits, and depression, it's possible that the percentage is actually higher."

One of the most common reasons for headaches due to dietary changes is suddenly switching to a very low calorie diet, in other words, crash dieting. Agrees consultant nutritionist Niti Desai, "This can lead to headaches, especially if these diets cut down or eliminate carbohydrates completely. The brain can only use carbohydrates as fuel. Headaches can also set in due to low blood sugar levels. Also, if you start skipping meals or have long intervals between your meals, headache sets in. Even a very low water intake can trigger headaches."

Tyramine, a culprit

Tyramine is an amino acid that has been thought to trigger headaches by reducing serotonin levels in the brain and affecting the dilation of blood vessels. Because of their connection to migraines, tyramine containing foods are important triggers. These include red wine, cheeses, chocolate, alcoholic beverages, and certain processed meats.

Alcoholic beverages

Dr Dube says that red wine contains tyramine, phytochemicals called phenols, which may be the real triggers. For some people, drinking any kind of alcohol can bring on a migraine. Other compounds in beer, whiskey, and wine that deplete levels of serotonin (the happy hormone) in the brain could also be triggering migraines.


They can act as migraine triggers because they too contain tyramine. But at the same time, the connection could be that women tend to crave chocolate during stress and hormonal changes, both of which also may trigger headaches. The amount of chocolate can be an issue too, as migraine patients with the diets highest in fat tended to have more frequent headaches.


This deserves a special mention because sudden withdrawal of coffee consumption can trigger headaches. Clinical nutritionist Dr Nupur Krishnan explains, "Coffee is mildly addictive and it temporarily enhances mental alertness and concentration. Sudden withdrawal can often cause headaches, irritability and other symptoms that vary in severity from one person to another." For example, in some people who are sensitive to caffeine, it can trigger migraine headaches, while in others it might actually abort a migraine by relaxing the constricted blood vessels that are causing the throbbing head.


Natural sugar is important because all plants and animal store energy chemically as sugar. All form of natural sugar provide about the same energy value — four calorie per gram. Natural sugar is better than artificial sweeteners. Desai says that a very small percentage of people intolerant to the sweeteners suffer from headaches. However, this is more common with the sweetener aspartame and not with the newer sweeteners that use sucralose.

So if you suspect the reason for your frequent headaches or migraines might lie in your diet, is advisable to see a doctor.Read more at:one shoulder prom dresses

05:10 Publié dans Beauty | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)