Princess Mary, her husband Prince Frederik, Prince Harry and Justin Trudeau have all taken out the top honours in Vanity Fair's fashion Oscars this year, the annual International Best Dressed List.
Australian-born Mary, who used to love the odd shopping trip to H&M when she first moved to Europe, joins Kate Moss, Tilda Swinton and the Duchess of Cambridge in the Hall of Fame.
It is the first time the Danish royal has been inducted, an honour only bestowed once a subject has appeared in the annual list three times.
Her "most notable ensemble of the year", according to editors, was a Jesper Hovring blue velvet gown with sequin embellishment and a Knight of the Order of the Elephant collar. A gown she wore to a New Year's banquet earlier this year at Amelienborg Palace in Copenhagen.
Mary's favoured designers include Danish house Malene Birger, bridal designer Jesper Hovring and other luxury labels like Hugo Boss, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Gaultier.
Her husband, the future king of Denmark, made his debut on the list after catching the magazine's attention at the same January event wearing his Royal Danish Navy Ceremonial full dress uniform.
Prince Harry follows in his sister-in-law and late mother's footsteps by landing a mention for "a navy suit jacket, white shirt, and Cole Haan wingtips with a bright blue-sole" that he wore to a Heads Together event earlier this year.
The Canadian prime minister was pleased with his inclusion, especially as he lists "Jack Sparrow" as his style idol.
"I used to wear capes – oddly, they disappeared around the time my wife, Sophie, came into my life," Trudeau said.
His favourite items of clothing endeared him to the selection panel: "A well-worn pair of jeans, my father's handmade native-buckskin fringe jacket."
Queen Elizabeth was given an honourary citation for her love of Sir Norman Hartnell, Sir Hardy Amies and Angela Kelly.
Her best outfit of the year was her green Stewart Parvin coat with a Brigade of Guards brooch that she wore to the Trooping the Colour in London, or what the internet remembers as "what she wore when she gave Prince William a royal telling off".
Interestingly "influencers" were notably absent from the this year's list, including Kim Kardashian West, Beyonce following the release of Lemonade, Rihanna fresh off her Paris Fashion Week debut, and Taylor Swift.
While those with large social media audiences are renowned for the flair and fashion, Vanity Fair instead chose to focus on long established names by including actor Helen Mirren and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands.
The classic beauty Marilyn Monroe had just been stomped by supermodel Cara Delevingne. In a recent survey held among 1000 Brits who aged from 18 to 65, it has been revealed that Delevingne was their number one pick for the most iconic beauty of the century.
The famous NKDb, a reputable cosmetic brand, came up with a survey that had 66 percent of the sample agreeing that make-up does magic to normal celebrities and folks for them to stand out. On the other hand, the rest of the 44 percent stand by their belief that make-up is designed to only enhance natural beauty.
The 24-year-old catwalk model snatched the top one spot from the most famous celebrities then and now. Though a lot of supporters agree that the English model and actress had the most amazing brows, Paula Warrender of Luton, Beds seemed to think otherwise.
"I don't see how Cara can beat Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn - it's totally crazy, they were both complete and utter style icons, whereas Cara just has eyebrows like Liam Gallagher," Warrender said.
With Monroe getting the second spot, Hepburn made it as fourth on the list. TV personality Kim Kardashian nabbed the third spot while other well-known female celebrities also made it to the list, namely Twiggy, Elizabeth Taylor, Kylie Jenner, Dita Von Teese, Gwen Stefani and Adele.
NKDb co-founder Marco Robinson talked about the results of the survey, saying: "It's great to see a mixture of current celebrities and icons from decades gone by in the top 10, proving that women find make-up inspiration from numerous avenues."
Meanwhile, Delevingne is bound to star in a French comic series adaptation entitled "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets." She will be working alongside Dane DeHaan of the "Amazing Spiderman." The actress and model has made it to the headlines once again because of her new snake tattoo. Rumors say that it is allegedly for her former flame, St. Vincent, who is currently dating Kristen Stewart.
Read more:MariePrpm sexy prom dresses
An editor in our newsroom recently gave me some disheartening but eye-opening advice: if you’re going to invest in designer accessories, buy the bags – not the shoes. That’s because, as women age, many notice their shoe sizes increasing – thus rendering the shoe splurges of their youth, perceived to be lifelong investments, all of a sudden uncomfortable, and in some cases, unwearable.
Having just purchased a pair of Gucci’s new backless Princetown loafers, (the result of months of internal debate, locally sold-out sizes and ultimately, an international online order) I found this news quite despairing. After a bit of research, I found that some women even find that their feet go up a size during pregnancy – and that unlike weight gain during pregnancy, the change is a permanent one.
Designer shoes are not common in my shoe collection. In fact, the Gucci pair is a first, sitting in a dustbag on a shelf amid buys from Topshop, Puma and Aldo. And after being enlightened with this knowledge, it’ll probably be my last shoe splurge, too.
There’s a clear lesson here, for like-minded women who assume that expensive splurges are worth the money, since they will be used or worn for the rest of our lives. Stay content with footwear from the high street, and allocate your fashion savings towards handbags instead.
Shoe size issues aside, handbags are safer in terms of splurges, since they don’t get as visibly dirty, and since comfort isn’t really a factor. They may be more costly, but, when properly cared for, they really will last you a lifetime.
So, when Valentino unveils a collection of studded accessories in new colourways, be smart. Look past the pointed flats and stilettos, which may not fit beyond your 30s, and opt for a practical bag instead.
But it also symbolised, perhaps, the end of what might have been an extraordinary relationship. And possibly the end of fashion's seat at the power table.
More than any other industry, fashion had pledged its troth to Mrs Clinton. Vogue magazine formally endorsed her, the first time it had taken a public stand in a presidential election. W magazine editor Stefano Tonchi declared his allegiance in an editor's letter.
Diane von Furstenberg, designer and chairman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), and Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue and artistic director of Conde Nast, had aggressively raised funds for her during fashion weeks and beyond: The week before election day, they chaired a fund-raiser in Washington at the Georgetown home of Ms Connie Milstein, a major Democratic donor.
Designers including Tory Burch, Marc Jacobs and Prabal Gurung created "Made for History" merchandise for Mrs Clinton's campaign store and contributed to a runway show/benefit during September's New York Fashion Week.
Ralph Lauren became Mrs Clinton's de facto sartorial consigliere, helping her shape her image from the Democratic National Convention to the debate floor.
It was to be the culmination of a relationship that began with Mrs Clinton's appearance on the cover of Vogue in December 1998, the first time that a first lady had done so.
The relationship gained momentum through the Obama administration, with Mrs Michelle Obama's embrace of the fashion world writ large, from accessible brands such as J. Crew to young designers such as Jason Wu and Christian Siriano and established names such as Michael Kors and Vera Wang. (Mrs Obama also appeared on the cover of Vogue, in March 2009 and April 2013.)
In understanding how she could use fashion to "express ideas" - as Joseph Altuzarra, who made clothes for Mrs Obama and contributed a T-shirt to Made for History, said - Mrs Obama elevated the industry beyond the superficial to the substantive. She framed clothing as a collection of values: diversity, creativity, entrepreneurship.
Mrs Clinton seemed primed to continue that trend.
The Trumps, however, may not.
As their Washington revolution dawns, designers are assuming, Altuzarra said, that the main players "will have a different relationship to clothes" than fashion has come to expect from the White House.
It was striking that on election night, for example, while Mrs Melania Trump also wore Ralph Lauren (a white jumpsuit), the outfit was, according to the brand, one she had bought off the rack, as opposed to one she had worked with the designer to create.
Indeed, all the clothes she wore on the campaign trail seem to have been part of a shopping spree, as opposed to a strategic plan.
There is nothing wrong with that. Arguably, it is part of what makes a woman who lives in a gilded penthouse seem more normal (she buys, just like everyone else). But it reflects her distance from the industry.
And it is striking that while Ralph Lauren is an American brand, which may indicate a decision to support home-grown talent and promote local industry, Mrs Trump has also worn Fendi (Italian), Roksanda Ilincic (British) and Emilia Wickstead (British) on the campaign trail. When she went to cast her vote, she threw a gold-buttoned camel Balmain military coat (French) over her shoulders.
Neither Mrs Trump's wardrobe nor that of the rest of the family has been used in the traditional way (see Jackie Kennedy and Nancy Reagan), to telegraph the virtues of Made in America - though that has been one of Mr Donald Trump's most vociferously promoted platforms.
Mr Trump himself has stuck closely to his uniform of Brioni suits and made-in-China fire-engine-red ties from his own brand. His daughter, Ivanka, has worn an assortment of styles and high-fashion names, including her own label, the Roland Mouret asymmetric top she wore to the third debate and the Alexander McQueen dress she sported at her father's acceptance speech.
If there is a unifying message to the Trump wardrobes, said Mr Marcus Wainwright, chief executive of Rag & Bone (and another Made for History contributor), it is not about the on-shoring of manufacturing, but rather "looking rich".
Indeed, on election night, when the family stood on stage surrounding the triumphant candidate, the lasting visual was not of what the Trumps wore, but rather the sea of "Make America Great Again" red caps in the cheering audience.
This may have to do with the fact that Mr Trump and Ms Ivanka Trump have clothing lines of their own and hence regard the products more as products than as vehicles for political expression. It may have to do with the fact that as far as Mrs Trump goes, as a private citizen she has not really had to reflect on the way her choice of dress is interpreted.
It is possible, von Furstenberg said, referring to Mr Trump's conciliatory victory speech, that this attitude will change when he gets into office. Maybe, Mr Wainwright agreed, Mr Trump will use clothing to show his commitment to the idea of supporting the garment district and home-grown factories. But he did not sound very convinced.
This new reality has left fashion feeling bereft.Now the industry has to wrestle with what happens next: How it defines itself if it is marginalised in a Trump administration and whether there will be repercussions for either its pledge of allegiance to the President-elect's opponent or some of the more angry post-election statements designers have made on social media.
Pointedly, Wintour declined to comment for this article. Spokesmen for Ralph Lauren and Alexander McQueen, while acknowledging on background that the Trumps had worn their clothes, did not issue the usual press releases boasting about the relationship.
The first great test of both sides will be the inauguration: a time when the eyes of the world will be on the First Family and what they wear - and if, especially for those family members who do not speak, there is more to the clothes than just, well, clothes.
Not one designer contacted said they would not dress Mrs Trump if she asked, though von Furstenberg noted that she may not need anyone's help. "I'm sure she knows what to do," she said, given that Mrs Trump is a former model.
Given the future First Lady's past choices, she may continue her tradition of wearing a European high- fashion brand to what will probably be the most-watched black-tie event of her life, the coming inauguration. That would be a declaration of independence, of a sort.
How designer Kim Ellery went from Perth to Paris with fearlessness- and flares
Kym Ellery arrives on set swathed in a lot of fabric. Like, a lot. She's wearing an enormous, croc-embossed stiff leather coat, from the cuffs of which emerge flared sleeves that dip down to her fingertips. Her pants are big, swooshy bell-bottoms. For a Western Australian who grew up on the beach, there's not much skin on show.
"I guess I'm quite a covered-up designer," she says. That's an understatement; she once produced a collection inspired by the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude wrapping a section of the NSW coastline in 100,000 square metres of erosion-control cloth. "But sexy-covered-up, right?" she says, flashing that covergirl-worthy smile of hers. "I like the idea of the fabric swirling around your body. I find it sensuous; I like the drama of the silhouette."
This 33-year-old crushes the cliché that Australian style is all about swimwear – there's not a bikini in sight in Ellery Land. Her clothes are urbane, intriguing and artistic. They're also expensive – there's a $3500 denim jacket in her current collection. They can be sexy – this year's autumn collection, for example, was inspired by loosened corsets – but it's not the sort of sexiness that hits you with a brick, or serves up an eyeful of bronzed cleavage.
"I like how French women dress very classically," says Ellery, who moved to Paris in January. "That's how I want my clothes to be. Yes, they can be creative and interesting, but there also needs to be that element of eternal style."
US fashion-industry bible Women's Wear Daily calls Ellery's work "elegant and elevated". Edwina McCann, editor in-chief of Vogue Australia, says there is both strength and lightness in it: "Her strong, modern take on tailoring has a freedom which allows her to play with proportions and make tailoring fun."
Those exaggerated curves are indeed fun – just try wearing Ellery's flared pants without smiling inside. Or tackling dinner in her long ruffled sleeves while keeping a straight face. It helps that her sculptural shapes look so graphic in pictures: Instagram is full of snaps of influencers making shapes in Ellery.
High-profile fans include singer Rihanna, actor Emma Watson and style-conscious celebrities Olivia Palermo and Lara Worthington. Ellery's Instagram following (182,000), combined with that of the influencer friends who regularly step out in her clothes – people like Vogue Australia's fashion director Christine Centenera and street-style star Veronika Heilbrunner – have helped her reach a cool international audience.
Ellery now employs 37 people in her Sydney office and sells to Net-a-Porter and smart shops in Hong Kong and London. In 2014, she was the subject of a feature-length documentary about her debut at what filmmaker Patrick Pearse dubs "the Olympics of the fashion world" – Paris Fashion Week.
In June, after nine years in business, Ellery became the second Australian designer to be invited to join the Chambre Syndicale du Prét à Porter, French fashion's governing body (the first was Collette Dinnigan, in 1995). Last month, Ellery showed in Paris for the fifth time. She's just opened an office there. She designs four ready-to-wear collections a year as well as eyewear, shoes, denim and jewellery. "She's taking over the world," says Eva Galambos, owner of Sydney's Parlour X store.
Making it as a top fashion designer is a chance-in-a-million thing, like becoming a Hollywood star. Successful designers like Karl Lagerfeld, Tom Ford and Stella McCartney are household names as famous as the celebrities they dress, but it's a fiercely competitive industry, over-saturated with talent.
Fashion shows were once niche, exclusive affairs but now, thanks to livestreaming and social media, the velvet rope has lifted: a lot more kids want to work in fashion these days. They're attracted by the perceived glamour and the usually hollow promise of great wealth – think of Mr Valentino flying his pugs around in his private jet, or Gigi Hadid getting paid squillions to lend her name to a Tommy Hilfiger collection.
Globally, the personal luxury goods market was worth more than $350 billion last year, but precious little of that flowed to small designers. The renowned French designer Olivier Theyskens recently urged design students to consider other career choices: there are so many new brands and collections, he said, it's incredibly hard to cut through. And those that do can expect a high level of scrutiny, as Ellery found recently when PETA slammed her use of fur (which she has now withdrawn from her collections).
In this context, her trip to the top is fascinating. Apart from one brief summer course at Central Saint Martin's fashion school in London, she has no formal training. She spent her early years in the Pilbara mining town of Karratha. "In the '80s, my father drove trucks to Fremantle for Shell," she says. "Our childhood photos show us playing in the red dirt; there was no grass."
When Ellery was five, the family moved to Geraldton. "That's still remote enough that we when arrived in Perth, when I was about nine, I couldn't believe my eyes," she says. "We lived in a beautiful old home there, with fireplaces and plaster rosettes on the ceilings – I remember being excited by that."
Ellery was a creative child. Her mother, Debra, is an art teacher who encouraged her to paint and sculpt and consider colour and texture. But when she arrived in Sydney aged 20, Ellery had no contacts, no money and "literally no clue about brands. I remember one of my girlfriends saying, 'What do you mean, you've never heard of Balenciaga?' " And yet Ellery had her mind set on becoming a designer.
If she had an advantage, it was her enthusiasm. Looking like a supermodel probably helped. She applied for a job as a sales assistant at Scanlan & Theodore. "It was an amazing place to work. That was where I learned what women look for in the fitting room." From there, she talked her way into an unpaid internship at indie fashion magazine Russh, where she proved herself so useful that "[editor] Charlotte Scott offered me a job".
Scott remembers Ellery at 21 as "always confident and cheerful and hard-working. It sounds boring to go on about how nice she is, but I always found her to be lovely." Scott promoted Ellery to market editor, a role that involves a constant round of go-sees with brands and showrooms.
"I was a sponge," says Ellery. "My job was to go to appointments, call in the product, look for trends. When it was Fashion Week and the show pictures were coming in, I'd be waiting to click through and see what people were doing. The fact that I'd grown up with no knowledge of the industry, then suddenly it was my job to know, it was like opening this door and all this inspiration flooding in. I went from zero to everything in a year.
I was also starting to go out, meeting musicians, artists, going to gallery openings, a lot of parties and clubs," she says. "It was a special time in Sydney – there was a real moment happening."
Right place, time, age, plus she had the fearlessness that comes with having yet to fail. She started her label, she says, "as a hobby. I was doing it at nights, and I think because I wasn't having to live off it, that made it seem achievable. I had no idea how hard-core it would be and how many hours I would have to work; I just did it."
She borrowed $5000 from her dad, Bruce, to buy fabric, and hired freelance makers. She designed her first flares, and a pair of sparkly tights which made it into the pages of Vogue thanks to stylist Trevor Stones, who'd also worked for Russh. Before her first year was up, she'd showed at Australian Fashion Week. In 2009 she left the magazine to focus on the Ellery brand full-time.
"It was growing quite popular," she says. "I thought, 'Okay, I need to start hiring people.' " Her father helped out with another loan. "I honestly think being totally green at the start helped."
Was it not intimidating, especially given that Ellery had such elevated aims from the outset? She says it was seeing Louis Vuitton and Burberry garments up close that inspired her to try to make clothes "as good as that" herself.
"I sometimes wish I was an amazing seamstress, but I'm not," she shrugs. "I can pattern-make, but I love that I don't have to do that. I definitely understand construction, and I sometimes surprise myself – I can pick up on things in a roomful of experts. I'll say, 'No it's too long through this panel.' It's a feeling, an emotional reaction.
"My job is to try to get everyone on the same page, and to keep pulling it back to the Ellery girl: who is our girl, walking down the runway or the street?
What does she want? Designing a collection is a complex process. It's a science, engineering. It's also magic, and it works best when you have different minds looking at the same problem."
Running two offices makes it more complex. "Of course I worried, is it the right decision [to move to Paris]? But … actually, it was bad for the brand to remain in Sydney," she says. "The time zones and communicating with the team in Australia is probably my biggest challenge right now, but it can be a bonus. I can send some shoe designs from Paris, go to bed and wake up to find the specs done – it's like gaining a day."
Moving was a big decision personally, too. She had been dating Luke Stedman, a surfer who runs his own menswear brand, Insted We Smile, since 2012. "We still talk every day," she says.
In March this year, Ellery read in a tabloid that their relationship was over. "We didn't break up or not break up, we just made the decision to move," she says. "He has a son in Hawaii, he moved to LA to be closer to his son, and I was going to go too, but after the success of my fi rst [Paris] show, I realised the potential for Ellery, and felt that it would be foolish to not chase that with 100 per cent. It had to be Paris."
Her shows, she says, are the ultimate expression of her creative vision. "Th at 10 minutes, the 35 looks: it's the culmination of all of our work. It's the moment." And to have that moment in Paris, the city of her fashion dreams, feels pretty damn good, even if she can't express it in French as beautifully as she'd like.
"I got really good when I was having one-on-one lessons three times a week. But when I don't practise, I forget," she sighs. "The thing is to go out in Paris and buy your vegetables and wine in small shops. That forces you to speak French, and helps with your confidence."
Her new black Isabel Marant ankle boots also help. "They're French-girl boots. And the basket: you've got to have a basket to put your baguette in," she says. "Look, you've just got to dive in and do it, that's when the fun starts.
"Success to me is being inspired and happy. I could be doing all this – Paris, the shows – and stressing out and hating it, but then that's not success, is it? Obviously I have milestones I want to reach, but basically I just love doing what I do.".
Searching for the best wedding dress on a budget? Well, you’re in luck because the largest bridal consignment boutique in Colorado, the Altar Bridal Consignment, is about to open its second location.
The Altar, currently located at 9629 West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood, plans to open in Centennial this week. The Lakewood store alone houses over 600 gowns carrying everything from new, pre-loved, designer, couture, sample, discontinued and vintage wedding dresses in sizes zero to 30.
After speaking with The Altar’s co-owner, Maureen Mika, we were able to find out more about the boutique and their plans for growth.
Tell me a little bit about The Altar Bridal Consignment and how it began?
Maureen Mika: The Altar Bridal currently has a store in Lakewood, Colorado and due to its popularity we decided to open a second store. Tiffany Freeman started The Altar seven years ago in a small, 900 square-foot store on Tennyson. After nine months she grew out of that store and moved into the current store on Colfax. There has been incredible growth over the past seven years and that meant it was time to grow.
What inspired you to open a bridal consignment store?
MM: I’ve been a wedding fashion stylist for many years and know that girls are always looking for a great deal. In addition, they are always looking for a way to sell their gown as they know they don’t want to keep it like their mothers did. This is a great opportunity for them to consign their gown and make some extra money.
I love that a plus size woman can come in and try a dress on that fits them and they don’t have to try on a size 12 sample and guess what her dress might look like on her in her size. I love the stories in a consignment shop because a girl can come in at the last second and get a dress. A girl came in and told us that the airline made her check her gown and they lost it. She was getting married in two days in Estes Park and needed a new dress. We found her a new dress immediately and turned her alterations around in one day. She came up to me and said, “I think if my dress comes in, I’m not going to wear it and wear the gown I found because I like it so much better.” I mean, how awesome is it that we can help someone in that situation? We have countless stories that are so similar.
What makes the shop unique?
MM: We are the largest consignment store in Colorado. We will be specializing in offering the largest selection of plus size gowns as well.
Where do the pre-loved dresses generally come from?
MM: We receive all of our pre-loved dresses from consigners that are looking to sell their wedding gown they already wore at their wedding and loved their dress so much they want to share the love with others.
What are sample dresses?
MM: Sample gowns come from bridal salons that have discontinued sample gowns they need to move to bring a new line in. They are extremely current style gowns at an amazing discount. These gowns have been tried on in the store, but never worn at a wedding.
What dress styles do you generally carry in the store?
MM: We like to only bring in dresses three years or newer to keep up with modern styles.
Do you have a favorite wedding dress style?
MM: I love classic and timeless. A gorgeous gown for me comes from the beauty in the structure of the gown and not about a lot of embellishments.
What are the price ranges?
MM: Our dresses start at $99 and can go up to $2,000. Many dresses average between $399 and $999 though.
What do you recommend to all the brides out there shopping for dresses?
MM: Before coming dress shopping, set a budget for your dress and accessories. Also please make sure you know that 99 percent of the time the dress will need alterations to fit your body perfectly, so leave some of your budget to the side for that as well. Alterations are not included in the price of the gown.
What are your plans for the upcoming year?
MM: Growth! We are excited to be in Centennial due to the amazing amount of growth that is going on in that area in general.
Can we expect any other stores opening in the future?
MM: Tiffany and I are very excited about the future of The Altar. We hope that in a few years, we can begin to franchise nationwide.
Is there anything you would like to add?
MM: Alterations Plus is our in-house alterations company and [they] have specialized in bridal alterations for over 19 years. By coming into The Altar South they will be able to work with a professional wedding fashion stylist as well as the head bridal stylist for Novelty Brides Magazine here in Denver.
In addition, my company Lola Events Group will be run out of the shop. We specialize in Day of Coordination for weddings.
We will also have seven spaces for wedding industry clients to rent out and with that they can use our conference room to meet with their wedding clients. It’s an amazing opportunity for wedding industry folks as their company name will be put in front of actual brides on a constant basis in a bridal shop. That is not offered in any other bridal shops in Colorado.
It's anything but vain to care about how you look on the yoga mat
Time was – and probably still is in some wardrobes – that an ancient T-shirt, antediluvian leggings and a prehistoric sports bra sufficed in the gym. Some argue that this is how it should be. The creeping of selfies, false eyelashes – the whole kit and Kardashian caboodle – into the workout space has sparked a backlash. Dear God, if we can’t be sweaty and look icky on an exercise bike/yoga mat, where can we?
I understand this view. But have you ever been in a crowded class with someone’s mouldy Pilates socks in your face? Or faced with a neighbouring T-shirt so antique that no amount of 95C hygiene spins will ever eradicate the stale sweat? This, my friends, is bad karma. Apart from anything else, never venturing into a Sweaty Betty, Lululemon, Nike or adidas store is to miss out on genuine technical advances.
Subtle, fashion-worthy colours, anti-stink tees, leggings so soft and featherweight you feel naked, or so snug and bump-smoothing, they’ll knock five optical pounds off before you’ve hit the rowing machine… These morale-boosters can make you run, pump, cycle or sun-salute with that bit more intention.
Lululemon calls its snug, contoured engineering the ‘hugged’ fit, by the way. Cynics might not buy it, but hugging releases the anti-aggression chemical oxytocin, and while this is a lot of responsibility to lay on a pair of leggings, at the very least they’re going to make your legs look leaner. This is where the ‘look, do, be’ argument gets interesting. Anti-chafe shorts, running jackets that keep you warm but cool, high-rise, low-rise, anti-slip fabric… These all make life more comfortable as well as improving the view.
I’m not suggesting you spend your workout gazing in the mirror, but occasionally upgrading your kit could aid your enjoyment. And, ultimately, isn’t that the point?
Bulgari’s Serpenti Eyes On Me collection revisits its iconic motif to striking effect
At times daunting and ominous, the serpent is not the most obvious symbol of femininity. And yet, in the hands of Bulgari’s master jewellers, the snake is transformed into a stamp of sensuality, power, love and temptation.
The historic jewellery house has revisited the serpent’s captivating charm yet again, with its latest collection, Serpenti Eyes On Me. This time, there is an alluring emphasis on the eyes of the serpent, as well as the rhythmic patterning of its scales. The animal is a hallmark symbol of Bulgari – one of the brand’s most captivating and timeless emblems. Since it was first used in the 1940s, the motif has become intertwined with the identity of the brand; the mere mention of Bulgari is enough to bring to mind the image of a hypnotic snake, likely with emeralds as its eyes.
And yet, neither serpent motifs nor high-jewellery designs were a part of the early Bulgari story. Launched in 1884 in Rome by Greek silversmith Sotirio Bulgari, the company focused primarily on silver ornaments and decor pieces, as well as simple silver necklaces. In 1904, Bulgari opened his first store and named it Old Curiosity Shop, after a Charles Dickens novel. He soon began expanding his portfolio of work, creating more wearable, jewelled accessories to add to the boutique’s collection of plates, goblets and the like.
It wasn’t until the early 1930s, when Bulgari passed away and left the business to his two sons, Giorgio and Costantino, that the company shifted its focus onto precious stones and jewellery. In the 1940s, the serpent motif emerged, and since then, has become an intrinsic part of the high-jewellery house.
Bulgari’s international fame was cemented after Hollywood actress Elizabeth Taylor developed an attachment to the jewellery house while filming in Rome in 1962. "Undeniably, one of the biggest advantages to working on Cleopatra in Rome was Bulgari’s nice little shop," wrote Taylor in her book, My Love Affair with Jewellery. Throughout Taylor’s much-publicised affair with Cleopatra co-star Richard Burton, she was showered with luxurious Bulgari pieces, developing a particular penchant for high carat counts and grandiose gemstones. In 2011, Bulgari bought back some of Taylor’s iconic pieces at a Christie’s auction, including a 23.44-carat emerald and diamond brooch that was Taylor’s engagement gift from Burton, and became the most valuable emerald jewel to ever sell at auction.
In 1962, Taylor wore a Bulgari Serpenti gold watch while on the Cleopatra set. It coiled like a bracelet around her wrist, with the timepiece hidden within the mouth of the serpent, which was studded with marquis-cut diamonds and emeralds. The flexible gold coil of the design was formed from the brand’s signature tubogas metalworking technique, inspired by gas-carrier pipes from the early 1900s. Present-day models of the watch, worn by celebrities such as Naomi Watts, Ashley Olsen, Sonam Kapoor and Anna Dello Russo, showcase the dial in its entirety, rather than it being concealed inside the serpent’s mouth.
"Powerful" and "extravagant" are qualities of the woman who wears the Serpenti, claims Lucia Silvestri, who is the creative director of Bulgari jewellery. "Serpenti is inextricably bound to those women who made history something to be remembered. They break the rules, capsize conventions and instinctively follow their inner selves."
In the brand’s new Serpenti Eyes On Me collection, its spirit animal has shed some of its toughness, taking on a lighter, more contemporary aesthetic. The serpent is given some space to breathe, carved into pendants, bracelets and rings in yellow and white gold. Some are entirely bedazzled with pavé diamonds, while others incorporate the gleaming gemstone more sparingly, but what almost all of the pieces in the new range share is a geometric, hexagonal stamp – an homage to a serpent’s scales.
"This year we wanted to focus on the very essence of the snake: the head, and more than that, the eyes," says Silvestri. "The concept of the head comes from our snakes from the 1960s and the 1970s, where the idea of the hexagonal scale pattern was already existing."
The geometric honeycomb-like pattern shifts in dimension, scale and frequency: at times only four elongated hexagons are impressed into the gold, providing the setting for a trio of diamonds, while other designs feature a lattice-style combination of cut-out hexagons bordered with diamond fillings. The faces of the serpents are punctuated with pear-shaped jewels – one-of-a-kind amethysts, emeralds, rubellites or malachites, arranged to denote the wide-set slivers of a snake’s foreboding eyes. The symbolism is deliberate; just as an eye’s iris is inimitable, no gemstone has an exact twin.
"Eyes are seductive, colourful, meaningful and unique. This creates an immediate link for me to the world of gemstones," says Silvestri, who has been with the jewellery house since the age of 18, when she joined the company’s gemological department. She worked as director of gem acquisitions for Bulgari before becoming creative director, and has years of experience in selecting and sorting gemstones. "An incredible gem conquers you with its shine and radiance – it keeps a secret story and it has a personality that is truly unique," she says.
In ancient cultures all around the world, the serpent held extraordinary significance, symbolising fertility, eternity, immortality, desire and guardianship – quite the variety for a single icon. Still, the brilliance of the Bulgari brand is its ability to take this complex symbol, with its multifaceted traits, and adapt it into something wearable and, more importantly, desirable. After all, it’s not often that a fashion or jewellery label can stay so devoted to a particular symbol, season after season, without it becoming monotonous. Silvestri too, admits that the task of recreating the iconic emblem is one of the design team’s greatest challenges. Yet, time and again, the reptile proves its power to attract, tempt and conquer.
"The woman and the snake have the same capability to seduce with their hypnotic gaze," says Silvestri, and although this reflects a recurring theme in Bulgari jewellery, the Serpenti Eyes On Me range marks a slight departure from traditional Bulgari designs, offering wearable and somewhat toned-down versions of the jewellery house’s greatest hits.
These new renditions will not only appeal to the client who seeks standout pieces to accompany her evening wear, but also to the woman who combines a concoction of different jewellery pieces and will happily add the majestic reptile, with its magnetic pull and mesmerising gaze, to her everyday layered necklaces and stacked rings. And whether it rests calmly on her collarbone or is coiled around her wrist, all eyes will be on the serpent.
Remembering James Galanos, Who Helped Define California Glamour
Designer James Galanos, best known for his long-standing sartorial relationship with Nancy Reagan, died yesterday at age 92. Raised in New Jersey by Greek immigrant parents, Galanos would end up designing for some of the world’s most notable women, and along the way, helping redefine California glamour.
“As a young boy I had no fashion influences around me, but all the while I was dreaming of Paris and New York,” he once told People. While he did stints in both cities early on, the majority of his career would be spent on the West Coast, far from the world’s fashion capitals. By age 20 he was working as a sketcher for Jean Louis, the legendary costume designer behind Gilda and A Star Is Born. In 1952 he started his own line, Galanos Originals, which was quickly picked up by Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. His chiffon dresses, which came pleated, layered, or embellished, were particularly popular. (Other Galanos signatures: trailing ribbons, and lashings of fur, lots of it. The expensive kind — mink, sable, and lynx.)
His operation was proof that couture-quality work could be done outside Paris. Hollywood royalty lapped it up: Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Marlene Dietrich. He outfitted Grace Kelly for her wedding, and Diana Ross, another longtime client, wore his handiwork to the 1985 Academy Awards.
But his best-known relationship was with Nancy Reagan, who said of his dresses, “You can wear one inside out, they are so beautifully made.” Reagan began wearing Galanos as a young actress, and when her husband began his political career, she showed off his gowns to inaugural balls and state dinners. One of her most famous Galanos looks was the one-shoulder lace and silk satin column she wore to the 1981 gubernatorial ball. Along with Adolfo, Galanos would shape her image as a clotheshorse First Lady who, depending on your perspective, was a glittering style icon or an out-of-touch elitist. (Though Reagan admitted that even she had trouble paying his five-figure prices.)
Today’s preoccupation with “democratizing” fashion would have puzzled Galanos. “I’m only interested in designing for a certain type of woman,” he famously said. “Specifically, one that has money.” Unlike many of his contemporaries, he didn’t license his work or create secondary lines. Instead, he designed every piece personally and traveled with carefully self-packed trunks to personally fit his clients. “This is a snob operation and that is what we want,” he told People, referring to himself, as was his habit, outside the first person singular.
In 1998, he left fashion to explore a second career as a photographer — and never looked back. But his designs continue to exert a hold on Hollywood. In recent years, Ashley Olsen and Nicole Kidman have worn vintage Galanos on the red carpet. His designs look just as fresh today as they did back then — proof that quality never goes out of style.
Can you tell our readers a bit about UNIQLO and your history
Hiroshi Taki: UNIQLO is an apparel brand born in Japan, with stores in 18 countries around the world. We opened in the U.S. 10 years ago in New York, and now have 45 stores in the country, in east coast, west coast, and the Midwest in Chicago. We make clothing with the mission of improving our customers’ lives through clothing.
How do you think Uniqlo will fit into the Denver fashion scene?
HT: We’re excited to enter the Denver market and introduce our core collections that have been popular in other cities, like HEATTECH, Ultra Light Down, and our 100 percent Cashmere sweaters. We are also catering to the local lifestyles in Denver, with cold weather options that are great for staying active. Our Blocktech parkas are designed to block the wind and cold, and we have a large variety of HEATTECH accessories like hats, gloves, and scarves great for the winter season. Denver has a great athleisure fashion scene and we are styling our clothes to fit that.
With Uniqlo being based in Japan, what similarities do you see in Japanese and Denver style?
HT: We make our clothing for everyone, and that expands to all countries. Style in Japan varies, but the Japanese culture values perfection in simplicity, which is what we bring to our clothing. I think Denver is a place that has the need for function in their clothes. Being able to stay warm in outdoor winter activities without the bulk is a need our clothing will answer with products like HEATTECH and Ultra Light Down.
What can our readers and locals expect from the new location? Why was the 16th street pavilions chosen as the new location as opposed to anywhere else in Denver?
HT: Our store in Denver is focusing on a “warm collection” – sweaters, outerwear, and innerwear great for cold weather. We are also partnering with local businesses like Feral Mountain Co and Elixir spa to promote local partnerships, and join the neighborhood. Though it is not a flagship store, it is large enough to house our full lineup of UNIQLO LifeWear.
Give us three reasons why our readers should visit the new and first Uniqlo Denver location?
HT: 1. Stock up on cold weather and casual essentials – with opening promotions running through opening weekend. HEATTECH for Men, Women, and Kids is on promotion for $9.90 (adults) and $7.90 (Kids) – this thin, yet warm innerwear works to convert moisture to heat retention. Merino sweaters, jogger pants, and leggings pants are also on promotion, exclusively in Denver; we’re confident once customers try our products once, they’ll be back again
2. Superior Customer Service – At UNIQLO, we pride ourselves on giving customers the best possible customers service, providing a unique and easy shopping experience. Our products are piled in high in great colors in varying styles and sizes, so you can find exactly what you want, with our helpful staff on hand to assist with any questions.
3. We’re part of the neighborhood – We’re partnering with local businesses including Feral Mountain Co and Elixir spa, as mentioned. On Friday, grand opening day, we’ll have a block party on 16th Street with local Denver musicians, food, and UNIQLO giveaways as a way to introduce ourselves to our Denver customers and a thank you for welcoming us so warmly.
Adam Levine's Stylist on Dressing the Maroon 5 Singer for 'The Voice'
"If you don’t have a sense of style," begins Los Angeles stylist Matt Goldman, "I don’t know if you can ever look good in clothes. Or feel comfortable. We all have those days when you get dressed and you don’t feel like yourself. Now imagine that and then going on camera. My job is to make you feel good."
Then it’s safe to assume that his star client Adam Levine has been feeling extra comfy for a while now when it comes to fashion. On a nightly basis as one of four judges on NBC smash The Voice, the Maroon 5 lead singer is seen in a range of looks. One evening he appears to have walked off the set of a classic Hollywood film in a crisp suit, slicked hair and a clean shave. On another he’s a biker badass in a holey tee, rugged jeans and a face that’s days removed from a razor. And it’s Goldman who helps him put it all together.
Matt’s professional relationship with Adam began just before Levine signed on to become a Voice coach in 2010, and since then he’s been styling him for the cameras — whether they're NBC’s, red-carpet photogs' or fans’ cellphone snaps. Now with The Voice currently in full swing, Maroon 5 recently releasing their new Kendrick Lamar-featuring single (rumored to support a forthcoming album) and a tour around the corner, Levine’s suitcases are sure to be full of the kind of eye-catching garments that have made him a staple on best-dressed lists.
Goldman talked to Billboard about styling Levine for various stages, getting late-night inspo texts and calls from his client and how fast clothes sell out when he wears them.
What’s the challenge in dressing someone like Levine, who’s on camera in front of a huge audience so often?
This guy has more than 100 looks a year on air. And in reality, he probably only wants to wear about 50 things in a year. And that’s a lot. He’s a guy that would probably be comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt every day. But he looks good in everything. So how do you pick and choose when he can wear it all? You go back to the basics of making a dude look good in himself.
And what makes him a unique client?
Normally, celebrity clients have and want to maintain their one image because they’re doing album packaging. They’ll run through some things, but they have to make sure there’s continuity. But when you’re in the public eye and on camera as much as Adam is, you actually can do more things. Most people would be afraid of that, but he loves it. Every season I’ll usually get a one-word text around midnight. Or he’ll call me from somewhere to say, “Hey, I was thinking English football stud.” I’ll giggle and go, “Okay, let’s go for it.” It normally harkens back old Hollywood or very classic menswear, but with his own twist.
Does he ever bring his own clothes to the table?
All the time. When he came back from Japan, he brought these two Japanese/Hawaiian shirts. They were amazing. He told me he wanted to start wearing Hawaiian shirts. I was like, “Cool, let’s do it the right way.” All of a sudden, they’re in vogue.
Is there anything he won’t wear?
As long as the looks are real to him, he’ll do it. He’ll push himself to wear a pink sweater. And then the next day, a suit. And then the next day, a shitty sweater. And the best part about Adam is if you didn’t know I existed, it looks like it’s all him every day. That’s what I love. It doesn’t look like somebody dressed him.
There’s definitely a vibe that he gives off that suggest his outfit isn’t overthought.
Does Adam think about what he’s putting on? Sure, we all do. But does he also not kind of give a shit at the same time? Yeah! I think that’s what makes style. If you overthought every detail, it’s not cool anymore. When you have your own sense of style, you wear it. You wear the clothes, the clothes don’t wear you. Adam likes to have fun and try new things. Sometimes it’s my idea, others it’s his. That’s why it works.
There's always fun banter between Levine and Blake Shelton on The Voice. Shelton sometimes teases him about his clothes — but Levine remains confident.
On one of the first shows, I put him in this sweater and one of the directors was unsure about it, saying, “I don’t know if we like it.” I liked it. Adam said, “No, I love it. I’m wearing it.” And honestly, I went into the store that sold the sweater later and the owner goes, “We sold out of the sweater in a week when Adam wore it on The Voice.” I giggled, because he didn’t know who I was. It kind of blew up in the Twittersphere, because tons of people were tweeting the show asking, “What’s that sweater?” It was crazy to see the reaction to that silly, easy cardigan. It was a cream and black tweed cardigan. People noticed.
What are some of the dynamics that come into play when styling him for concerts?
For tours, it’s really about being comfortable because there’s so much movement. They’re onstage for two and a half hours a night really working. As much as Adam will really want to do something, he’ll bring a jacket up there and end up taking it off in 30 seconds.
And with videos?
When it comes to music videos, we’ll get a treatment and then Adam and I will sit down and talk about it. Then we’ll try to put together the best outfit for the idea. One of the first videos we did together was “Moves Like Jagger.” Every person in the video looked like an iteration of what Mick Jagger wore in the past. Even the band had a tinge of Jagger-ish vibes.
What are some of your favorite Adam Levine looks you’ve helped him with?
When he and Behati [Prinsloo, his wife] first went to the Emmys [in 2014], they both wore Prada. It was the first red carpet they did as a married couple. They just had so much fun. You could see how electric they were. And when Adam puts on a tux, he just turns into a different man. It’s always nice to see him like that.
How has his style changed or matured since you began working together?
[Adam] always had style. But he didn’t push himself, because he wasn’t on camera every day. Now he’s having fun. He’ll try stuff on that he might not have worn five years ago and go, “This scares me, but maybe it’s perfect.” Then the next day he’ll be like, “No, this is perfect!” That’s a great place to be, comfortable in yourself.
After being targeted in a multi-million dollar jewelry robbery in Paris earlier this month, Kim Kardashian has filed a libel lawsuit against a New York-based website, claiming the site “published a series of articles in early October 2016 referring to her a liar and thief” in connection with the robbery. According to Kardashian’s lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, a federal court in Manhattan, MediaTakeOut.com and its owner Fred Mwangaguhunga, "further victimized" her by publishing several erroneous articles on their website.
Kardashian alleges in her complaint that the defendants published an array of articles "in which they claimed, without any factual support whatsoever, that Kardashian faked the robbery, lied about the violent assault, and then filed a fraudulent claim with her insurance company to bilk her carrier out of millions of dollars. Defendants’ malicious publication of the articles, which paint the victim of a serious crime as a criminal herself, is libelous per se.”
Note: libel is form of defamation expressed in print that is injurious to a person's reputation, exposes a person to public hatred, contempt or ridicule, or injures a person in his/her business or profession. As distinct from a regular libel claim, libel per se is a heightened claim, in which the defamatory claim (or claims) is considered to be so harmful on its face that the plaintiff need not prove special damages. Examples of libel per se are statements that: (i) relate to the person’s business or profession to the person’s detriment; (ii) falsely claim that the person committed a crime of moral turpitude; (iii) imputes unchastity on the person; or (iv) claim that the person suffers from a loathsome disease. Subsection (ii) "falsely claim that the person committed a crime of moral turpitude" is almost certainly at issue here.
Kardashian’s complaint goes on to state that the defendants published the articles, at least one of which was titled, "New Evidence Suggests . . . KimKardashian ‘STAGED’ The Robbery . . . Just Like RYAN LOCHTE!! (Here Are The FACTS) #KimRobbery," using "patently false and misleading headlines, stating, in no uncertain terms, that Kardashian ‘staged’ a robbery and committed a ‘federal crime’ by engaging in insurance fraud. The articles themselves are fraught with unsupported allegations and fail to identify or cite to any credible sources to back up the wild claims asserted therein. Defendants’ reckless and malicious publication of the articles was calculated to cause maximum harm to Kardashian.”
The lawsuit further states that the aforementioned article "purports to describe numerous alleged 'discrepancies' in Kardashian’s account of the robbery and claims that Kardashian staged the robbery in an effort to increase the ratings of her family’s television shows."
Additional articles, entitled, “French Authorities SUSPECT Kim Kardashian Of ‘LYING’. . . Suspect That She Is The One . . . Who ‘LET THE ROBBERS IN’!!!” and “Kim Kardashian Just Filed An INSURANCE CLAIM . . . For $5.6 MILLION!! (If She Faked The Robbery. . . She Just Committed a FEDERAL CRIME)" were also published by MediaTakeOut.com on the heels of the robbery. The complaint asserts that these "headlines and other statements in the articles about Kardashian are blatant defamatory lies. The articles falsely, outrageously, and perversely state and/or imply that Kardashian has lied about her traumatic robbery and committed insurance fraud and falsely make it appear as if Kardashian were culpable in criminal wrongdoing."
Finally, Kardashian's lawsuit states that the defendants lack any basis for their articles, as "The only potential sources with actual knowledge of what happened to Kardashian on October 3, 2016 are (i) Kardashian herself, (ii) the concierge at the apartment building, who also was assaulted at gunpoint and handcuffed, and (iii) the assailants themselves ... Because Defendants do not purport to have received their information from any of these sources, they have no legitimate basis for questioning the veracity of Kardashian’s ordeal accusing Kardashian of criminal conduct."
As a result, Kardashian is asking that the court order MediaTakeOut.com to immediately and permanently remove the articles from its site and to award her "general, special, punitive, and exemplary [monetary] damages ... in an amount to be determined at the time of trial."
Kardashian and Mwangaguhunga have settled the lawsuit out of court quickly, as Kardashian filed to voluntarily dismiss the suit on Monday. While the terms of the settlement are confidential, we do know that a retraction and correction were part of the deal.
On October 14, the website posted a lengthy statement online, and said: 'After speaking to sources, including some connected to the Kardashians, and getting further details on the sequence of events – we are now confident and without a doubt believe that Kim Kardashian was robbed as was reported to the Paris police. Anyone who is still questioning it, is wrong.'