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Standout styles from Toronto's Fashion Week

Pink Tartan
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Canadian designers unveiled their visions for spring and summer styles at Toronto's World MasterCard Fashion Week, offering a preview of apparel and accessories destined for store shelves and online boutiques next year.

Buyers, members of the media and industry insiders had a chance to get an up-close glimpse of warm-weather fashions from emerging design talents at a special event hosted by the Toronto Fashion Incubator toward the conclusion of the week.

They shared their observations on some of the notable trends and standout shows from the semi-annual fashion event.

FEELING FRINGE: A staple of boho style, fringe was a featured player on the runway. Mackage made use of the embellishment, and Holt Renfrew's Lisa Tant enjoyed how womenswear label Pink Tartan incorporated the cascading strips of fabric as adornments on skirts, vests and dresses.

"Fringe is enormous for spring," said Tant, vice-president, fashion editor with the luxury retailer. "We're seeing it a lot now into fall (and) also into spring, so I thought it was really timed in how she put it in her collection."

HOT HUES: Many designers were feeling the blues as a sea of rich hues spanning from a pale sky shade to navy and ultramarine coloured collections from the likes of womenswear designers Caitlin Power, Rachel Sin, Matthew Gallagher and Hayley Elsaesser, as well as menswear brands Christopher Bates and Bustle.

However, Michelle Germain, owner and curator of Shopgirls Gallery Boutique in Toronto, was struck by what she saw as the absence of colour for spring.

"I think more and more, we're working towards that sort of monochromatic or very neutral base. And then where you can have fun is with the accessories, and obviously scarves and jewelry and really bring that pop of colour."

Tant echoed Germain's sentiments of the importance of non-colour in warm-weather styles.

"We're seeing good strong hits of orange, navy, but really just a very clear, clean palette. An awful lot of white and off-white."

The rock 'n' roll range from Rudsak was a prime example of another warm-weather trend observed by Toronto Fashion Incubator executive director Susan Langdon: black and white.

"(It's) either all black or all white or a mix of black and white in prints and in stripes, so I definitely think that's a theme that's emerging, which works perfect for me because I'm always in black and white."

LAYER UP: Bundling up isn't only for the chillier months. The Mackage runway saw models wearing several layers beneath their sleek trench coats and biker jackets, with flowing chiffon tunics teamed with leather and suede fringe skirts and mesh T-shirts.

"I think it's good to dress in layers," said Langdon. "It's practical, it looks chic -- particularly if you can mix up the different layers and the lengths and the textures and make it kind of interesting."

Arie Assaraf, owner of TNT -- which operates boutiques in Toronto and Montreal -- said there will also be a progression toward "soft dressing" featuring smoother, softer fabrics and textures like suede as well as incorporating lightweight knits into ensembles.

THAT '70s SHOW: Kimberley Newport-Mimran paid an homage to the past with a modern twist in her nod to '70s-era styles for Pink Tartan, and her self-described "strong pieces for strong girls" earned kudos from Tant.

"I loved the jumpsuits, the culottes, her prints. I thought it was really fun and fresh and very polished," she said.

"It was still Pink Tartan, which is what I liked. You could see her signatures and it had a modern freshness to it which, to me, is what defines Pink Tartan."

One-piece getups also emerged from Hayley Elsaesser and Rudsak, who each brought their fresh takes on jumpsuits to the runway.

INTERNATIONAL INFLUENCE: Langdon pointed to the Japanese influence in the modular origami-inspired collection from Sid Neigum which kicked off the week and also earned the Alberta-born, Toronto-based designer the top prize in the Mercedes-Benz Start Up contest for emerging talents.

Bustle blended fashionable elements and style influences from rugged athletic apparel and a famed sun-soaked hotspot with its "An American in Mykonos" line which fused American rugby-inspired prints with seaside prints inspired by the Greek island.

SPORTY CHIC: Keep those running shoes at the ready: there's still a long road ahead for the enduring athleticwear trend as designers delivered their interpretation of sporty styles.

Melissa Nepton, Rudsak, Mackage and Bustle all featured their unique takes on sporty chic, and some of the collections during the week made ample use of mesh by fashioning shirts, shorts, jogging pants, cropped tops, tees and capris from the perforated fabric.Read more here:marieprom.co.uk vintage prom dresses

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Start Up winner Sid Neigum notches another victory with Minnie Mouse design

Start Up winner Sid Neigum notches another victory with Minnie Mouse design
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The newly minted champion of a lucrative prize for emerging designers has notched yet another victory tied to the contest — and a famed animated character.

On Tuesday, Mercedes-Benz Start Up winner Sid Neigum was honoured for his creative take on Minnie Mouse after designing a winning outfit inspired by the Disney icon.

On Monday night, Neigum was awarded the top prize in the Start Up contest at Toronto's World MasterCard Fashion Week, earning a fully produced runway show, an editorial spread in Fashion Magazine and a cash award in the form of a $30,000 bursary.

As an additional element to this year's Start Up program, all six finalists were tasked with creating a Minnie-inspired design. Disney was a sponsor of both the contest and Fashion Week.

The Alberta-born, Toronto-based Neigum opted to translate the modular origami style which inspired his latest collection into his interpretation of the character and was awarded $2,500.

Each finalist brought a unique vision to the design challenge.

Montreal-based Valerie Tolila of the label Vaiken researched Minnie from the 1920s and gave the look a fresh take, with a plastic A-line skirt studded with Swarovski crystals worn atop a crepe dress.

Diego Fuchs, who designs Blak.I with Helder Aguiar, opted for a modern interpretation with use of colour-blocking, featuring a mix of polka dot prints in the character's signature red, black and white hues.

Laura Siegel sought a more relaxed approach, trading the polka dots for a star print adorned on a caftan.Read more here:marieprom.co.uk long prom dresses

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Extreme diets get a bad rap — but is it deserved?

In Defense of Fast Weight Loss
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To keep pounds off for good, you should lose weight slowly over time, right? Not so fast. Adding to a growing body of research on the benefits of quick weight-loss programs, a newstudy in The Lancet: Diabetes and Endocrinology found that subjects who followed a short, extreme diet were more likely to hit their long-term pound-shedding goals as compared to people who followed a more moderate plan.

The study involved 200 obese adults, who took part in a doctor-supervised clinical weight-loss program. Half of the subjects ate no more than 800 calories per day for 12 weeks. The other half cut their normal calorie intake by 500 calories per day — a standard amount recommended by experts — for 36 weeks. All of the study participants also received weight-loss counseling.

The results contradict everything you’ve heard about how gradual change is best. During the initial diet, 80 percent of the fast pound-shedders reached their goals, compared to 50 percent of the moderate dieters. But here’s the catch: After three years, both of groups gained back roughly the same amount of weight — meaning the fast weight-loss group still ended up ahead.

“Some of the biggest misconceptions about fast weight loss are that it is unhealthy, it causes yo-yo dieting, and that people are more likely to regain more weight than if they lost it slowly,” said Catherine Rolland, PhD, a weight-loss researcher with Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Rolland published a study in the March 2014 issue of the International Journal of Clinical Practice that analyzed data on nearly 6,000 adults who ate less than 800 calories per day for 20 weeks. Again, the subjects did so under a doctor’s supervision, and also received lessons on long-term weight management. Data was available for 530 of the subjects three years after their diets. The results: The participants had kept off an average of 28 pounds.

Experts call these programs VLCDs (very low calorie diets), and it’s important to note that they are almost always done with clinical oversight to make sure people get enough of the nutrients they need. They also typically involve group support and therapy on behavior change. “VLCDs can be very useful for people who have dieted a lot in the past and have become resistant to weight loss, as well as those contemplating bariatric surgery,” Rolland told Yahoo Health.

Experts also say that quick, extreme diets might be more feasible for people who find a long diet period daunting. In addition, the faster initial results might help people stick with the more restrictive diet.

Typically, every dieter tends to regain weight, studies show. By losing more weight initially, people on very low calorie diets may still have better long-term results even after packing on a few pounds. For example, researchers from the University of Florida compared 125 obese women who were on either a 1,000-calories-a-day diet or a 1,500-calories-a-day diet. After 6 months, the 1,000-calorie group had lost an average of 22 pounds, while the other group had lost 14 pounds. After one year, the results evened out — to 19 pounds versus 13 pounds, respectively. So while the 1,000-calorie dieters did indeed regain more weight, they still ended up slightly ahead, reported the journal Obesity.

However, averages tend to hide the fact that some people do well on a program while others don't respond to it. So another way to look at the results of the University of Florida study is the percentage of people who lost 5 percent of their weight or more. Even then, the very low calorie approach won out. At the end of 12 months, a significantly higher percentage of the 1,000-calorie group had lost 5 percent of their weight — 62 percent, versus 43 percent of the other group. People who had a very large amount of weight to lose were less likely to be able to stick with the extremely restrictive diet.

If you're thinking about weight-loss surgery or feel like nothing you try is working, talk with your doctor about the very low calorie diet options available to you. “There is an enormous amount of variation in how people respond to different weight-loss strategies, and no one plan is right for everyone," Rolland said. "But new evidence suggests that rapid initial weight loss may result in better long-term weight maintenance for some people."Read more at:MarieProm mermaid prom dresses

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