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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
(Photo:prom dresses 2015)

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

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Green tea vs black tea

Green tea vs black tea
(Photo:vintage prom dresses)

Though green and black tea are obtained from the same plant, there are quite a few significant differences between them. Research demonstrates that there are similar health benefits in almost every tea. Experts tell us more...

GREEN TEA -Green tea leaves aren't fermented and hence, don't go through the oxidation process that black tea undergoes, making it extremely rich in the EGCG (epigallactocatechin gallate), a popular antioxidant known for fighting cancer, cardiovascular conditions and more. -Green tea contains 1/4th of the caffeine that coffee has, making it healthier. -Since oxidation is arrested, it is believed that more polyphenols are preserved. -It supports weight loss programmes that include diet and exercise. -Green tea leaves is good for afternoon breaks and meditation in the evening. -It is less acidic and so, washes off acidic waste. -Pure organic green tea creates a detoxifying effect, giving you glowing skin, boosted metabolism and stronger immunity.

Make the perfect green tea Bring 220ml water to 80°C. Add two grams of green tea leaves. Let it sit for three minutes. Strain and serve. Do not add anything.

BLACK TEA -The EGCG in black tea is destroyed during the fermentation process. Hence, green tea is ahead of black tea in its antioxidant quality and quantity. -Black tea contains 1/3rd the amount of caffeine your coffee contains. -It hydrates the body and strengthens the immune system with bacteria-fighting antioxidants and promotes blood flow to the brain. -It improves focus and concentration. -It's a morning 'eye-opener'. -Black tea and coffee are more acidic. Mild black tea needs lemon to kill acidity.

Make the perfect black tea Bring 220ml of water to 100°C. Add two grams of black tea leaves. Let it sit for four minutes. Strain and pour. Optionally, you could add lemon, sugar, cream, milk etc


Do not mix teapots if you are preparing different types of teas. Do not overboil the water. Green tea is delicate and boiling water may burn the leaves, destroy its properties and drive the aroma away. Pour or make tea only in clean, dry and warm cups and teapots.Read more at:mermaid prom dresses

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Runway gender play

In January, Gucci's menswear runway collection was an eye- opener.

It was not because the brand had just fired its nearly decade- long creative director Frida Giannini in December or that new designer Alessandro Michele had pulled the collection together in less than a week in his new role.

It was because the men on the runway looked... like women.

In fact, some of them were women - an increasing trend in menswear shows. Models of both genders - waifish male models and boyish female models alike - were wearing silhouettes, fabrications and items of clothing that traditionally appear in womenswear collections.

Michele's deliberately ambiguous outfits featured massive pussycat bow blouses, shrunken jackets and low-slung, wide-leg trousers on willowy models with matching soft features and lengthy, undone hair.

And just like that, this change in creative direction became symbolic of an industry-wide trend - and Michele the movement's unofficial leader.

A shift towards androgyny has been building over the past two years and with Gucci's new experimental take, it has hit its stride. (It is worth noting that the recently slumping Gucci just reported its first sales growth in two years, a 4.6 per cent increase for the second quarter of this year - up from a 7.9 per cent decrease in the first quarter.)

Gender-bending is nothing new in fashion or pop culture. But in large-scale, high-end fashion, the theme has not been conveyed as loudly or as frequently since, well, a young Mick Jagger, David Bowie and Marc Bolan toyed with feminised looks in the late 1960s.

But today, thanks to a troupe of contemporary designers - such as Rick Owens and J.W. Anderson - this theme of gender-neutral dress has been reimagined.

"The concept of androgyny comes up from time to time in fashion," says Ms Nancy Deihl, director of the costume studies master's programme at New York University. "In modern fashion history, two of the most notable examples are in the 1920s and in the late 1960s into the 1970s."

She notes that both were periods of social upheaval, which reflected an empowered youth culture. "The post-World War I generation and the baby boom that created the young population of the 1960s represent times when young people had a lot of economic and cultural influence."

Hello, millennials.

"Androgyny is not a passing trend, but one that is going through another cycle with a new generation," says Mr Tom Kalenderian, executive vice-president and general merchandise manager for men's at Barneys New York.

Like Ms Diehl, he points to music subcultures as a source of unisex movements past and present and also to a small cadre of before-their-time fashion designers.

Rudi Gernreich, who after the turn of the last century began dressing women in men's suiting, was one such oracle.

"Costume designers often appropriated Gernreich's vision when designing costumes for science-fiction flicks, often proposing men and women in futuristic outfits that were quite similar."

In the future, in other words, artists imagined that in the 2000s, clothes would just be clothes.

These days, this mantle is carried by successful, high-end designers such as Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent and Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy, who favour traditional feminine elements such as capes, skirts and tights in their menswear runway collections. But does this translate to mainstream sales?

"Gender play on the runway doesn't just attract a customer who wants an androgynous look, but also a consumer who likes smart clothing with a forward- thinking story," says designer Charles Haribson, who is known for showing his womenswear collection on female and male models.

(Photo:prom dresses online)

Department stores are now toying with devoting floor space to unisex clothing.

In January, Selfridges launched the Agender Project, a curated section of the store showcasing the retailer's gender-spanning lines, such as Nicopanda, Comme des Garcons and Gareth Pugh. The experimental floor closed its run in April.

And consumer habits about gender traditions are getting broken down at younger and younger ages - a new string of start-ups are attempting to obliterate the barriers between clothes that are designed for young boys versus those designed for young girls.

In pop culture, public tastes are dictated in large part by celebrities - movie stars, musicians and athletes have a large say in how younger generations shop and dress.

For every Bowie and Jagger in the 1970s, there is a Jared Leto or Kanye West wearing a skirt on stage in 2015.

The next two years will see this trend increase, according to Mr Kalenderian.

"Clients are receptive," he says. "Ultimately, it is more about beautiful clothes that are rare and special.

"It is more of a sidebar note that these clothes are stylistically less rigid than what we perceive to conform to a definition of masculine versus feminine."Read more at:evening dresses

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