Tagged: dealman

Kasuri: Upstate’s Punk Epicenter

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Punk fashion icon Vivienne Westwood, who designed for the Sex Pistols and clothed the unruly London youth of the late ‘70s, once said, “I didn’t consider myself a fashion designer at all at the time of punk. I was just using fashion as a way to express my resistance and to be rebellious.”

 

KASURI in Hudson embodies this dual essence at the heart of Punk—the rejection of the status quo and the acceptance of fashion as a powerful mode of self-expression—a way of being in the world. “People talk a lot about the connection between fashion and art—and a lot of bullshit is spun around that—but fashion is most interesting because of the way it relates to art, comes so close to it, and yet is also always something else. At the very least, it is an applied art; one that people are forced to engage with every time they put clothing on their body,” says Jonathan Osofsky, creative director at the luxury clothing boutique.

 

“For many fashion is about wanting to look richer or be skinnier than everyone else. For some it’s about belonging to a group and disappearing into it. For us, it’s more about appreciating how beautiful a garment is, how incredible the architecture and construction of the piece might be, but also more importantly how it makes you feel. Isn’t it fascinating and exciting how this piece makes you move differently? Isn’t it brilliant how this piece makes you feel powerful or heroic or dangerous? Or how this piece makes you feel sexy or strange, or both?’”

Anti-Fashion Fashion

KASURI, which opened in 2014, is a road map of avant-garde fashion through the years. Heavily inspired by heavy-hitting Japanese designers like Rei Kawakubo, Issey Miyake, and Yohji Yamamoto, the careful selection of garments traces a path through the evolution of groundbreaking designers, from Westwood (whom Osofsky calls “the mother of the physical expression of punk”) all the way to contemporary designers like Rick Owens whose “gothic, kinky, conceptual take on revolt can collide with the playful Gesamtkunstwerk of Danish designer Henrik Vibskov.”

 

Throughout decades, across collections, these “visionary designers,” as Osofsky describes them, are often in dialogue, riffing off one another even while they create something truly distinctive. And Osofsky has the knowledge and the chops to trace these connections and share them when he is talking with visitors and customers.

 

“The designers we carry have been profoundly influential on fashion design but they transcend it. In fact, they really represent an kind of Anti-Fashion, uninterested in the trend cycles or commerce or luxury for luxury’s sake,” Osofsky says. “It is very important to them to explore what clothes are, what they have been, or can be, in ways that are always exciting and unexpected.”

The Road to KASURI

Osofsky discovered fashion (in particular the work of Westwood, Kawakubo, Yamamoto and Walter Van Bierendonck) as a shy, strange, queer teenager growing up on dairy farm in Columbia County, through hard-to-come-by magazines that he cherished like Interview, i-D, and The Face. “There was nothing like KASURI around when I was growing up. New York City and London were far away. I wore my parents’ clothes from when they were young, pieces from the army navy stores, and the Salvation Army, and put together looks inspired by bands that I loved and what I saw in the pages of the magazines.”

 

KASURI’s owner, Layla Kalin grew up between Arizona and New York, where her father and mother had their respective homes. Transitioning regularly between these two very different cultures and climates, she never felt completely at ease in either place. Even as a young girl, Kalin was acutely aware of the power of fashion—to make you feel part of something or separated from it. Rather than shying away from that apartness, she embraced it, and found in it bravery.

As a young girl, Kalin’s grandmother sewed clothing for her, introducing her to the magic of pattern-making. In her 20s, Kalin attended Los Angeles Trade and Technical College, and set up dressmaker’s equipment in her garage and experimented with building a small clothing label.

 

At some point along the way, she was introduced to the work of Yohji Yamamoto. “I can’t remember when I first discovered him, but I feel like he’s always been with me,” she says with a smile. In 2007, Kalin moved to the East Coast, began a family, and eventually wended her way up from Brooklyn to the Hudson Valley.

 

Observing the commitment to design that belied the culture in Hudson, Kalin came up with the idea to open KASURI, spurred by curiosity about whether a store that unlikely and experimental could survive upstate.

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  • Kasuri owner Layla Kalin and creative director Jonathan Osofsky.

 

 

Around the same time, Osofsky was toying with a similar business idea, though unsure of how to actualize it. “I certainly didn’t have the resources—I was a frustrated artist,” he says. After many years nomadically wandering from New York to London to Providence and San Francisco, and a lot of places in between, he had found himself back in the Hudson Valley. He was just diving back into the art world, with some hesitation, when he was introduced to Kalin. “Quickly and unintentionally, but thankfully, it became clear that KASURI was a brilliant opportunity for me to apply my areas of expertise—art, anti-fashion, retail, and the history of boutiques that did something more than just sell things—to Layla’s vision.”

 

Together the unlikely pair have taken on the challenge of building something, a business that is both about the art and commerce of fashion.

Challenge Accepted

The brands carried in KASURI rip open the contemporary, mainstream notion of fashion. Anti-establishment, avant-garde—these terms come close to describing the undercurrent, but with the baggage of overuse, they don’t suffice. “Our designers work within the fashion system, but they operate more as antagonists to it than champions or apologists for it,” Osofsky says. “They shred the lines between categories. They are intense and challenging. Maybe they are interested in interrogating ideas of beauty and ugliness, or exploring how historical dress can be integrated into modern day. Perhaps they like to take clothes apart and see what you get when when you put them back together.” The design impetus ranges from conceptual to formal, but Osofsky is adamant that not everything has to be overly-intellectual—it can also be playful. He says, “It’s usually both super serious and really light.”

 

The garments are so intensely idiosyncratic to the designer—works of creativity and vision, of guarded integrity—that they transcend much of the mainstream fashion worlds ideas of “relevance.” They are relevant for the designer who created them—and they become relevant for the customer that falls in love with them.

 

“The (thankfully collapsing) binary of city-versus-country has always been really tedious to me,” Osofsky says. “The idea that people from the country are somehow ‘less cultured’ or creatively literate than their urban counterparts is a false narrative. There are a lot of ‘local’ people who are really interested in this. The idea that you can only dress up in ‘appropriate’ environments is irksome. People often say, ’But I can’t wear this up here.’ I try not to validate that.”

 

While KASURI does carry many pieces that are essentially sculpture for the body, it is also important to Kalin and Osofsky that people actually wear the clothes the carry. “Some pieces are like billboards for the ideas of the designer—pieces that might distort the body, encasing it architecture and patterns, perhaps with no holes for the arms, because, who needs arms!” Osofsky says with a laugh. “However, equally important are the pieces that show their brilliance discreetly. Those same designers translate the ideas of their show pieces into subtler versions, which are nevertheless just as strong as the more intense pieces, but made for everyday.”

A Community Platform

A self-described post-punk, anti-elitist, anarchist, Osofsky strives to create a welcoming, egalitarian environment in the store. “The most unlikely and eclectic people tumble in here. We engage with everyone like actual human beings,” he says. “This isn’t always the case—there is this perverse logic of ‘luxury spaces’ where sales people act studiously ambivalent or even hostile to their customers. People feel bullied to shop in these spaces, made to feel inadequate with the only solution being to spend a lot of money, which is deeply alienating. We want everyone—the neighborhood kids, the local farmers, the artists, the brilliantly dressed ladies coming from church across the street, the random millionaire—to get same treatment.” Osofsky encourages walk-ins to interact with the garments——to look at them, talk about them, ask questions, try them on. “Obviously we want and need to sell clothes,” he says. “But they are more than just clothes and we want to share them with people.”

 

In April, KASURI collaborated with the Hudson Area Library and a small circle of people interested in the intersection of design, education, art, youth empowerment, politics, to run a free, three-day Spring Fashion Workshop for teens and tweens. Leading the workshop were writer, poet, programmer and Youth Services and Programs Coordinator Shanekia McIntosh; artist and writer Brandon Acton-Bond; local designer Enky Baryarsaikan (ENKYU); KASURI team member, fashion designer, and musician Dylan Widjiono; and photographer and fashion entrepreneur Tom Roeschlein (CMYLOOK).

 

Kasuri

 

10 TIMES LADY KITTY SPENCER CHANNELED PRINCESS DIANA’S STYLE

As one of the most stylish women in history, it’s not surprise that Diana, Princess of Wales, continues to offer fashion inspiration for other royals the world over.

In fact, we’ve lost count of how many times Diana’s daughters-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, and The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, have paid sartorial tribute to the fashion icon.

Now it appears another young royal has chosen Diana as their style muse: her niece, Lady Kitty Spencer.

In case you haven’t heard of Kitty, she’s rapidly becoming fashion’s new darling after landing campaigns with brands like Dolce & Gabbana and Bvlgari.

Here we chart every time Kitty Spencer channeled her late aunt, Princess Diana’s style.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hemline styles for your next dress, from asymmetrical to tea length

Typically you will see the asymmetrical cut on skirts and fitted dresses in solid colours for both daytime and formal affairs.

 

With people getting more experimental with their attires, a number of individuals are trying different hemlines to add glamour to their simple dress or kurta. Try out cuts like wrap, a feminine-sensual hemline like the trumpet or asymmetrical. Bhavya Chawla, chief stylist at Voonik, Siddhant Gupta, founder at Chique, and fashion designer Reynu Taandon, have listed ways on how different hemlines can be explored.

* Wrap: From the plain Jane wrap to the sexy twist wrap, the market holds multiple styles to suit each one of you.

* Trumpet: A feminine-sensual style that skims your hips and thighs and flares out slightly at the hemline which reminds you of the musical instrument after which it is named. With this ultra dainty hemline, wear delicate or strappy feminine or sensual shoes that show a lot of your feet. Boots and shoes with thick ankle straps defeat the purpose of wearing this feminine or sensual hemline.

* Handkerchief: This hemline is all flirty and free. Its whimsical vibes makes it the perfect wear for spring season. Being a versatile hemline it can be worn to work or even a party.

* Asymmetrical: Typically you will see this cut on skirts and fitted dresses in solid colours for both daytime and formal affairs. When worn with a casual skirt, a slouchy boyfriend tee loosely tucked in will balance out the fitted nature of the skirt. Let your shoes shine through a little more with this dress with an embellished sandal.

* Tea length: Starting to differentiate a little more, this cut falls at mid calf, and you’ll find it in a multitude of dresses from cocktail to wedding. Depending on the cut of the dress, it will draw attention to the calf and ankles, so be aware of your strong points.

* Mini: Used properly, it can lend an amazing dimension to a dress. Unfortunately, it is most often used improperly and ends up making the wearer look trashy.

* Floor length: This hemline falls just above the floor, and is one of the longer hems in the range of practical cuts. Unless you’re getting married, chances are you don’t want to wear a dress that is dragging on the floor all day.

* Ballet: This is the next highest, and should brush the ankles when fit properly. We are not talking a big difference from the floor length, but depending on the dress it can make or break the design. Used improperly, it will make the dress look like it doesn’t fit rather than enhance the overall silhouette.

* Ballerina: This cut should clear the ankles so the dress hangs above the ankle but below the calf. It’s very difficult to classify hemlines unless they are cut properly. A ballerina hem may be a ballet hem on someone who is two inches shorter.

Pippa Middleton’s royal wedding dress draws Arizona iced tea comparisons

Pippa Middleton’s royal wedding dress draws Arizona iced tea comparisons

Pippa Middleton arrived at St. George’s Chapel for Saturday’s royal wedding in a $695 green-and-pink floral dress by British brand The Fold.

But while her look fit right in with the ceremony’s unofficial color palette —  both Queen Elizabeth II and Meghan Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, also wore shades of green — Middleton, 34, is drawing some rather uncanny comparisons on social media, due to her dress’s striking resemblance to a container of Arizona iced tea.

View image on Twitter

Sarah Rogers

@sarahnrogers

Pippa’s dress looks like the Arizona iced tea can #RoyalWedding

View image on Twitter

Spooky Island@dimiginger_mars

Pippa Middleton sponsored by Arizona #RoyalWedding (credit to my father)

Kate Middleton’s younger sister is pregnant with her first child, and will celebrate her first anniversary with husband James Matthews on Sunday.

The Best Fashion Looks You Can’t Afford From The V. Rich Royal Wedding Guests

The Best Fashion Looks You Can’t Afford From The V. Rich Royal Wedding Guests

Sure, you might say the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was entirely about “love” and “bringing the nation together”. NO. WRONG. It was entirely about who wore what (and which of Harry’s ex girlfriends would show up, and will anyone make a supreme, global embarrassment of themselves by sitting in the wrong seat).

How Meghan’s reception dress compared to Kate’s

After a wedding speech by Harry that guests said moved people to tears, the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex travelled to their evening reception at Frogmore House.

Meghan changed from her Clare Waight Keller ceremony gown into a soft white bespoke halter neck dress by Stella McCartney, made of silk crepe. Harry swapped his military uniform for a black tuxedo.

How Meghan's reception dress compared to Kate's
PA

Kensington Palace said: ‘The Bride is wearing shoes from Aquazzura made in silky satin, with nude mesh, with soles painted in baby blue.’

George Northwood styled her hair, into an updo again, but this time more relaxed.

The second dress was a hit on Twitter, with some saying it was even better than Meghan’s first gown.

How Meghan's reception dress compared to Kate's
PA
There was a lot of speculation as to whether the ceremony dress would be by Stella McCartney.

Meghan is known to be a fan of the ethical British designer, she wore one of the designers dresses last month.

The dress was in line with Meghan’s simple, sleek style of her first dress, with a completely different neckline.

Enormous trains make cutting shapes on the dance floor pretty difficult so it’s standard for royal brides to change into a second dress later in the day.

Kate swapped her Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen wedding gown for a simpler dress for her evening reception in 2011.

How Meghan's reception dress compared to Kate's
PA

But while Kate went for ivory satin for her second gown of the day, also by Sarah Burton, Meghan stuck with white, ‘lily white’ according to Kensington Palace.

Kate’s neckline was sweetheart, a classic in bridal wear, while Meghan’s high halter neckline is a bit more edgy and modern while still having a thoroughly regal feel to it.

Meghan kept it as plain as her first dress, but Kate’s Burton gown said ‘evening party’ in a different way, with a bit of sparkle in the embellished waistline.

How Meghan's reception dress compared to Kate's
PA

Kate’s style is pretty demure so it was no surprise that she covered her shoulders and arms with a white angora bolero cardigan.

Meghan’s second dress though was all about her shoulders and arms.

Harry drove his new wife in a silver blue Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero with the number plate E190518, the date of their wedding.

Better Late Than Never? The Fashion Industry Is Finally Embracing The Plus-Size Woman

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The average American woman wears between a size 16-18, according to research. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

One of the more cringe-worthy moments in the 2006 movie, The Devil Wears Prada, about the struggles of aspiring-journalist Andy Sachs, played by Anne Hathaway, working for Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), editor of fictional Runway magazine, happens in the office cafeteria.

Andy observes to art director Nigel, played by the amazing Stanley Tucci, that all the other girls at the magazine don’t eat anything. He says, “Not since two became the new four and zero became the new two.” Andy answers that she is a size six, to which he quips, “Which is the new fourteen.”

Shame on the fat-shaming industry

That in a nutshell is all anyone needs to know about how the fashion industry views its plus-size customers: She simply doesn’t fit. The average American woman wears between a size 16-18, according to research from assistant professor Deborah Christel, at Washington State University’s Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles. She has made it her mission to wake the industry up to its inherent fat biases by teaching a class to expose “weight discrimination as a social justice issue.”

Tim Gunn, long-time chair of fashion design at Parsons The New School of Design, who went on to Liz Claiborne as chief creative officer and then gained famed as mentor on Project Runway, took the industry to task back in 2016 in a Washington Post op-ed. “Designers refuse to make clothes to fit American women. It’s a disgrace,” he wrote.

Demand for all-inclusive sizing

The industry has been slow to learn the lesson, but finally it is taking Gunn’s message to heart. Nordstrom is now expanding its plus-size selections to include 100 brands and integrating them in with its core size range, rather than segregating it into a separate “Woman’s” department, where the shopper is reminded that she doesn’t belong where the real fashion is.

The company, however, said it will still maintain a separate plus-size department for convenience, but its “size-inclusive” initiative will give size 14 shoppers access to the same styles as her size 2 shopping companion. “In our opinion, petite and plus sizes shouldn’t be considered special categories. They’re just sizes,” a company statement said. Now Nordstrom shoppers can select from extended size offerings from inclusive brands like Topshop, Rag & Bone, Theory and J. Crew’s Madewell on the same rack.

Specialty fashion retailer Express is also broadening its range of sizes from 00 to 18, but only in 130 stores out of its total base of 600 full-priced and factory stores. “What we hear constantly from consumers is the lack of fashion styles in the sizes they need. We are excited to make this first step in the journey toward a more inclusive shopping experience,” the company said in a statement.

And none too soon, with women’s fashion retail sales on a steady decline since 2012. From its zenith of $41.8 billion, it has dropped 5.6% to $39.4 billion in 2017, according to the Census Dept. Monthly Retail Trade Survey.

By contrast, the women’s plus size fashion market is on a roll: up 38% from two years ago, reports Katie Smith, retail analysis & insights director at EDITED, which provides real-time data analytics to the fashion industry. “The plus size market is the fastest-growing segment in the U.S., but it still accounts for 1.6% of the market, which is baffling when you consider 67% of women in the U.S. wear a size 14 or larger,” she says.

Women know how they want to dress; they don’t need designers to tell them

It is sad that the fashion industry had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the revolutionary idea of size inclusiveness. But the overwhelming majority of women–plus size women–are demanding it. This is a kind of disruption that the industry can actually respond to proactively, if it only is willing to embrace the new image of the modern woman.

“For too long, the industry has been entirely blinded to the fact that a consumer can be plus size and passionate about high-quality clothing and have the money to shop for it,” Smith says. “Social media has helped fuel discussion around inclusivity, acceptance and is challenging old stereotypes. The Gen Y and Z consumers are far more open-minded and inclusive than any other consumer before them. And their impact on luxury, advertising and beauty has been, and will continue to be, enormous. The increased body-positivity these consumers are creating is finally hooking the fashion industry.”

The fashion industry is now in the unfamiliar, and for many the uncomfortable position of following rather than leading the consumer. “No longer is the fashion industry able to push its agenda onto consumers, instead consumers are pulling the industry forward.”

Plus puts new demands on designers

Besides the fact that plus-size women don’t look like the women many fashion designers want to dress, designing plus-sized clothing requires greater expertise and awareness of how to dress the real woman’s body, not designers’ favorite 6-foot-tall, size-00 model.

“This is a design failure and not a customer issue,” Gunn wrote in his 2016 op-ed. “There is no reason larger women 1can’t look just as fabulous as all other women. The key is the harmonious balance of silhouette, proportion and fit, regardless of size or shape.”

Speaking to the design challenges, and opportunities, of dressing the plus-size woman, Kim Camarella-Khanbeigi, founder of Kiyonna and an early pioneer in plus-size fashion, says, “The fit is science,” she says. “You can’t just grade up and expect the style to flatter and fit the same.” She started Kiyonna in 1996 to serve the specialty retail market and moved online in 1999.  Today her brand is carried by 250 stores nationwide, as well as being available on its own website, Amazon and Zappos. Kiyonna also operates a flagship store called the Upstairs Boutique in Anaheim.

Kiyonna

Mademoiselle Sapphire dress

“What’s ready for disruption is the stereotypes about the curvy customer. Styled right and wearing something that fits, she exudes attractiveness,” Camarella-Khanbeigi says, as she notes the business opportunity to dress the curvy woman is great and growing. “There is a beautiful, curvy customer counting on it.”

The look of luxury in plus size

To date, luxury brands and retailers have been the most resistant to embracing the plus-size woman. Smith reports EDITED data shows that only about 0.1% of the luxury and premium market is plus sized. “What luxury brands don’t seem to pay attention to is that plus-size shoppers are already their customers, be it of their beauty, perfume, footwear, accessories or leather goods lines, rather than apparel,” Smith says.

While it is true that affluent women are less likely than lower-income women to be plus sized, it is safe to assume that at least 25-33% or more of the nation’s affluent women don’t fit into the luxury industry’s standard 0-12 size range.  The latest available data from the CDC on women’s obesity levels by income confirms this, with its finding that over one-fourth of the highest-income women (specifically women with household incomes 350% above poverty level) are classified as obese (BMI of 30 or higher) and that isn’t even counting women who are simply overweight.

Gucci for one has paid attention and offers an increasing range of styles in large and XL sizes. It will also help Nordstrom fill its racks as it broadens its plus-size offerings. Smith advises the rest of the luxury industry to wake up. The plus-size luxury fashion market is growing and these women have the means and desires to dress as fashionably as her size 0 counterpart.

“Plus-size celebrities and influencers now have very visible global platforms for voicing their frustrations with an industry that can’t dress them. With social attitudes towards inclusivity shifting rapidly, luxury brands don’t want to lag in this opportunity,” Smith declares.

20 WOMEN SIZED 32A TO 40DD TEST-DRIVE RIHANNA’S SAVAGE X FENTY BRAS

 

It’s been less than two weeks since Rihanna launched her Savage x Fenty lingerie line, and as expected, the fervor around the collection is, well, bonkers. Thanks to its many shades of nude, large size run, and hard to get your hand on product, fans across the world have been eager to give the collection a try. So were we—and that’s why we found 20 women who range from size 32A to 40DD, brought them into the ELLE.com offices, and had them review bras from the collection. Here’s what they had to say.

Helen, 32C

Helen is wearing the Unlined Lace Bra, $44; savagex.com

 

“When I heard Rihanna was launching a lingerie collection a light bulb went on over my head. I thought, ‘Oh I see, Rihanna wants allthe money in my bank account, not just a little!’

The bra is really comfortable! I get to wear my true size 32C and that is amazing. Also, I was able to find nude tones that did not exist before. The bra is just as good if not better than anything I have had. Also I want to support Rihanna! I think that its important to speak with you wallet. Not just social media, or Facebook, but to use your hard-earned dollars to support business. It feels good to support a newcomer who is changing the game.”

 

Halle, 40D

Halle is wearing the Floral Mesh Lace Bra, $44; savagex.com

SAVANNA RUEDY

Mabel, 34A

Mabel is wearing the Unlined Lace Bra, $44; savagex.com

SAVANNA RUEDY

SHOP NOW

“I’m a 34A so it’s difficult to find a bra that looks good and feels nice but the Savage X bra was super flattering. Best of both worlds. I was expecting to see super padded bras, lace, and maybe a bit of S&M when I got to the ELLE.com offices. Now, it’s clear that the collection is sexy but tasteful. I’ve never felt confident in lingerie before the day of the shoot.

 

 

Cheyenne, 34B

Cheyenne is wearing the Microfiber T-Shirt Bra, $39

“As someone who rarely wears bras, especially not underwire, I was genuinely surprised at how comfortable and supportive the bra was! These bras are truly made for the female form and there is no compromising between wanting to look and feel your best. Even the most comfortable of fitting bras have tiny details that make you feel sexy and beautiful. There is no exaggeration here: Rih has done it again!”


Caroline, 34D

Caroline is wearing the Unlined Lace Bra, $44
“The lacy bra I shot in felt amazing. Super soft with great quality fabric, the fit was exceptional and the aqua color with the rose gold hardware is such a gorgeous, sexy touch! This bra was one of the best fitting bras I’ve worn in a while.”

Juni, 38B

Juni is wearing the Mesh and Lace Bra, $49

“One of Fenty Beauty’s tag lines is ‘Beauty for All’ so I was really excited as a person of color and as someone who has a hard time looking for bras in general to see how this tagline would translate to a whole lingerie line. I usually have to try on four different sizes in one brand before I get the right fit, but I really just used the last bra size that I bought (from Aerie) and it fit perfectly, cups and band together. The material is so comfortable, too.”


Jenna, 40DD

Jenna is wearing the Floral Mesh Lace Bra, $44

SAVANNA RUEDY

“When I heard Rihanna was launching a lingerie line, I was interested and hoping that plus sizes would be included. I didn’t want to get my hopes up because most celeb collections aren’t size inclusive. I’m frankly used to being let down because their sizes are extremely lacking. It feels like she just dipped her toe in the plus size pool, but didn’t take the plunge. Stopping at a size 18/DD, when a 14/D is the “average” size of the American woman, is really the bare minimum where plus sizes are concerned.

I was beyond excited to hear plus sizes were included, but then let down again when I saw the size chart. I applaud Rihanna for taking a step in the right direction by attempting to expand options, but also want her to know there is still too many people who cannot participate in wearing and supporting her brand with such limited sizing. I will say, though, that I really appreciate the lack of padding in this bra. It gave me the room for adjustment that padding in other bras has always restricted. My boobs could be themselves and still look lifted and stylish. “pledged


Kristina, 36B

Kristina is wearing the Demi Cup Bra, $44

SAVANNA RUEDY

“I didn’t even need to see the lingerie to know I’d want her entire line. Everything Rihanna touches turns to Trophy Wife gold. While the bra I tried on was a basic t-shirt bra, I did love that there was an element of sexy with the bit of lace on the cups. Plus, I loved the soft feel of the fabric. The size also fit perfectly—there was no gap between my chest and the band and the cups fit me perfectly with no empty space, all the while pushing everything up to give nice cleavage without heavy padding.”


Paola, 38D

Paola is wearing the Floral Mesh Lace Bra, $44

“After I read and heard the awesome reviews for Fenty Beauty, I knew that Savage X wouldn’t disappoint. There was an instant feel of comfort with a generous dash of sexy. Better than my past bra experiences.”


Jordan, 36C

Jordan is wearing the Push Up Bra, $44; savagex.com
“I struggle to find bras that fit my girls just right, and my bra size typically varies depending on the brand. I’m a true 36C and the bra I tried on fit very true to size. The fabric was extremely comfortable and there was just enough padding to push up my breasts while still feeling extremely comfortable.”

Krystal, 38D

Krystal is wearing the Floral Mesh Lace Bra, $44

“I thought the options would all be sexy bras with cutouts, but she also had full coverage bras in a variety of color ways. One thing I do wish is that the straps in the back could tighten a little more for girls like me with heavier boobs.”


Rosa, 38C

Rosa is wearing the Mesh and Lace Bra, $49
“The bra that I tried on had no padding which I love. It is still supportive without adding bulk. Feminine and pretty, I was surprised at the quality and the fit. It felt great on!”

Contessa, 32D

Contessa is wearing the Unlined Lace Bra, $44

“These undergarments are comfy yet sexy, priced appropriately, and will jump start summer 2018. Give Rih your money and stop playing. Enchantress Fenty is doing her best to include everyone in the conversation—obviously, inclusivity is the only way to go—so I assumed the same would apply to this. Compared to other bras, this one is pretty good; I’m not mad at how it looked. The color was pretty and the fit was nice, not too tight but had support.


Destiny, 32A

Destiny is wearing the Unlined Lace Bra, $44

“The bra I wore seemed similar to others I’ve tried on in the past. But what I can say is I love the style of it all and how it fit so perfectly for my little bitties.”


Sheena, 36DD

Sheena is wearing the Unlined Lace Bra, $44

SAVANNA RUEDY

“Rihanna’s goal is to include everyone: Big, small, light, dark you name it. Over all, these are better than other bras I’ve tried in the past. I love the lightweight feel and it’s so soft so it gets an A from me.”


Nana, 36DD

Nana is wearing the Unlined Lace Bra, $44
“It’s difficult for me to find a sexy, supportive bra and this was really sexy but lacked support. For larger, heavier breasts this is a sexy short-term wear bra. One you don’t expect to keep on long enough to really care. If you are looking for a sexy supportive bra this might not be it. At least not for me.”

Analisa, 34D

Analisa is wearing the Demi Cup Bra, $44

“While I’m normally a 34C, I ended up fitting best in a sister size, a 34D. This bra was way better than bras I’ve tried in the past that have tried to hit the sexy meets functional mark, but sorely missed. This bra didn’t dig in anywhere, had just the right amount of lift to be a normal t-shirt bra. I couldn’t feel the underwire at all.”


Semita, 32DD

Semita is wearing the Demi Cup Bra, $44

“I thought everything would be more sexy and stand out but, to be honest they look like regular under garments. I wish they were more unique or made me think that I needed them in my life. That being said, the bra was really soft and comfortable to wear, which is a good thing, but in terms of looks, I think it looks like a normal bra.


Adaora, 36D

Adaora is wearing the Mesh and Lace Bra, $49

“I thought the bras would have a more edgy or lingerie look to them. They were just like any standard bras which was not what I was expecting at all, but you don’t normally get pretty colors when you get to bra my size so I was excited about that. I do wish, though, the support for ‘ the girls’ could have been better.


Bree, 38DD

Bree is wearing the Mesh and Lace Bra, $49
“After the Fenty beauty launch, I think we all realized Rihanna didn’t come to play, so I had the highest expectations for quality and aesthetics for this line. This bra was so amazing I didn’t want to give it back. It made me feel sexy and comfortable, and it was so detailed. Finding bras in my size that look like this one and actually fit well, is really hard, so knowing she has a plethora in this collection makes me want to sign over my direct deposit to her name.”

Hold Up — Did You See the Practical Summer Dress Kate Middleton Wore to the Wedding Rehearsal?

Kate Middleton joined Prince William and the soon-to-be-newlyweds Meghan Markle and Prince Harry for a wedding rehearsal in Windsor. While this marked the duchess’s first public drive through town since giving birth to baby Louis, she appeared bright — and that probably had something to do with her dress.

Kate chose a lovely floral Michael Michael Kors shirtdress ($175) for the occasion, which is a breezy number that was probably pretty comfortable for the day’s agenda. The duchess accessorized with oversize Givenchy sunglasses.

While Meghan opted for an ivory bodysuit blouse and gorgeous diamonds to prepare for the ceremony, Kate’s laid-back, free-spirited outfit is definitely our speed this time of year. Read on for another glimpse, then check out Kate’s exact design and shop plenty of similar looks.

 

Kate’s Exact Michael Michael Kors Dress

Saloni Izzie Dress

Saloni Molly Dress

Lane Bryant Faux Surplice Maxi Dress

 

 

Borgo De Nor Sonia Dress

 

 

City Chic Trendy Plus Size Floral-Print Maxi Dress

 

Zara Crossed Dress

 

H&M Pleated Dress

 

 

 

H&M Chiffon Dress

 

Marchesa Notte Guipure Lace Cocktail Dress

 

Daoroka Sexy Floral Maxi

How to pick the best bridesmaid dresses now they’re fashion forward, not frumpy

If you ever want to know how not to dress your bridesmaids, then watch the romantic comedy 27 Dresses.

Fortunately, 10 years have passed since the movie was first released, and things are looking up for style-starved maids. The bridal world now takes its cues from the runways, with fashion trends inspiring not only bridal designers but big brands and high-profile talents to create collections specifically for this lucrative market.

“The bridesmaid category has become a lot more exciting. When we started in 2011 bridesmaid dresses were very standardised and consisted of one fabric – usually chiffon – and a limited colour palette of pastels. Now designers and brides are borrowing trends from ready-to-wear and thinking outside the traditional box,” says Cecile Chen, founder of Trinity Bridal.

Take for example, Hong Kong bride Feiping Chang, whose storybook wedding in Capri was covered by high-profile publications such as Vogue. Instead of cookie-cutter bridesmaid gowns, she opted for various styles designed by friend and Self Portrait designer Han Chong.

“I knew I wanted my bridesmaids to wear white, which most people tend to shy away from. Together we chose a selection of styles that would fit each girl’s body as well as their personal style. So overall, the dresses looked consistent but each was something unique that they could also wear again,” says Chang.

While individuality is important for modern bridesmaids, so are trends. Many are experimenting with fun prints like the patchwork florals popularised by British designer Richard Quinn while silhouettes have transitioned from conservative Grecian styles to the more fashionable cold shoulder and off-the-shoulder looks. When it comes to colour, many brides tend to err on the side of caution and opt for pastels, but there is also a return to bold shades such as yellow and blue.

Location also plays a role in determining bridesmaid dresses. Traditional venues such as hotels are becoming less popular thanks to the emergence of destination weddings. Exotic, off-the-beaten track locales have allowed bridesmaids to do away with formal styles and opt for fun and fresh looks instead.

“I usually advise destination bridesmaids to mix and match dresses with varied and multi-dimensional aesthetics. Colour choices can also be more modern and include navy, dove grey or even black. Instead of a flowy dress, you can experiment with jumpsuits and more structured dresses which look more contemporary,” advises Jacqueline Au, founder and creative director of The Loft Bridal.

A demand for more modern styles has also meant that brides can explore beyond the usual stable of specialised brands and opt for creations by ready-to-wear fashion brands like Needle & Thread and Caroline Constans. While purchasing off-the-rack can be tricky when you have larger groups to dress, it still opens a whole new world of possibilities in terms of fashion choices.

“Popular brands include Self Portrait and Red Valentino for entry-level price point while Zimmerman is ideal for a summer garden party type wedding. Valentino, Rochas, Erdem all offer beautiful dresses that could work for a bridesmaid. For more traditional dresses, Elie Saab and Maria Lucia Hohan are great,” says Suzanne Pendlebury, buying manager at matchesfashion.com.

Another easy way to inject a modern touch to your bridesmaid look is through accessories such as jewellery, hair pieces and shoes, all of which add a touch of personality and an element of surprise.

“Sometimes when you follow runway trends the photos can look out of date after a few years. I would still keep the dress refined but play with jewellery, be it chunky bold pieces a la Celine or maximalist Gucci-style with layers of pearls and crystals. Even if you are stuck wearing a cookie-cutter dress, you are able to inject a bit of your own personality through accessories,” says Au.

A final note of caution to all bridesmaids. While looking good may be your top priority, it’s not necessarily the bride’s. Avoid a Pippa Middleton situation and keep your choices stylish yet discreet. Your big day will come eventually.

Spring/summer 2018 runway trends perfect for bridesmaids

Ruffles: Velvet dress (HK$3,500) by Self Portrait from Lane Crawford.

Vintage florals: Long patchwork dress (HK$499) from Zara.

Bold colours: Rope detail silk satin gown (HK$16,625) by Roksanda from matchesfashion.com.

Embellishments: Andromeda ruffled embellished tulle gown (HK$4,810) by Needle & Thread from Net-a-Porter.

Sheer: Rosetta lace dress (HK$5,500) from S.Nine by Susanna Soo.