Posted by Darius Cordell Couture in Apr 03, 2013, under 1
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Vera Wang, the queen of bridal couture, is abolishing the nearly $500 fee she charged Chinese brides-to-be to try on a garment at her new Shanghai bridal boutique after the move, meant to deter counterfeiters, set off a global outcry.
Local and global media had criticized the surcharge as being discriminatory because it was applied only in China, at the company’s Shanghai store, which staged a “soft opening” in January as the company’s first bridal salon in the country, a vast potential market as the numbers of wealthy grow.
A Vera Wang spokeswoman told Reuters that the 3,000 yuan ($480) charge was being scrapped as of Wednesday.
“Please kindly be informed that Vera Wang has abolished appointment fees at her bridal salons worldwide starting from March 27, 2013,” the spokeswoman said in an email, without elaborating.
A company spokeswoman told local media earlier this year that the charge was imposed to fend off copying of the elaborate dresses, which fetch thousands of dollars in the original.
Despite the move, though, Vera Wang’s ivory tulle trains and pinched bodice gowns had already found fans in the world of pirates, with knockoffs widely available on Chinese e-commerce sites for a fraction of the price.
Li, one seller of “Vera Wang style” dresses on Taobao Marketplace, China’s largest e-commerce site, says he can achieve up to 90 percent similarity to the namesake garments without even seeing the originals.
A Vera Wang original can range anywhere from $2,000 to over $10,000, but on Taobao some imitations go for as little as $100.
“For the experts you don’t need to try on the dress to figure out how to copy it, you just need to see it or feel it at the shop,” said Li, who declined to give his full name.
Li’s factory, based in Suzhou, a city near Shanghai, makes Vera Wang knockoffs from photos of her creations, then sells them online for between 600 yuan ($97) to 1,700 yuan ($270).
The Taobao sellers who hawk the look-alikes use organza, satin and lace to recreate the ethereal bridal trains and three-dimensional floral whorls on Wang’s dresses.
Most of the sellers online said they could achieve near 100 percent similarity to Vera Wang dresses but the complicated hand stitching and high quality materials that go into an original dress is something they can’t replicate.
“There will be slight changes… If you want 100 percent you should buy the original,” said one seller of mid-range copies.
In 2012, China was the top source country for counterfeit goods entering the United States and the European Union (EU) with more than 70 percent originating from China, according to the latest customs seizure reports from the U.S. and the EU.
Alibaba Group, which owns Taobao Marketplace, said in a statement to Reuters the company works with intellectual property rights holders to take down counterfeit listings and will penalize stores caught.
($1 = 6.2107 Chinese yuan)
(Editing by Kazunori Takada, Elaine Lies and Michael Perry)
Posted by Darius Cordell Couture in Mar 22, 2013, under 1
LONDON (Reuters) – Ten dresses worn by the late Princess Diana, including a velvet, midnight blue gown she famously danced in with John Travolta at the White House in 1985, fetched more than $1.2 million at a London auction on Tuesday.
The Victor Edelstein creation worn at the U.S. gala dinner was the top lot of the sale, held by fashion specialists Kerry Taylor Auctions, selling for $362,470, within the pre-sale estimates.
A beaded black Catherine Walker evening gown worn by Diana in a Vanity Fair fashion shoot by photographer Mario Testino raised $163,091, as did a crushed velvet burgundy dress by the same designer donned by the then Princess of Wales during a state visit to Australia.
Diana originally sold the pieces at a charity auction in New York shortly before she was killed in a high-speed car crash in Paris in August 1997.
The selection of mainly evening gowns charted the former royal’s style evolution from ingénue to global fashion icon, a transformation that captivated the world as much as her private life.
Dubbed the “People’s Princess” following her death aged 36, Diana was adored by millions of people who considered her a breath of fresh air in a royal family seen at the time as out of step with the modern world.
That fascination has been replicated by public affection for Kate Middleton, who married Diana’s elder son Prince William in 2011 and subsequently announced her pregnancy last year.
The monarchy, meanwhile, has undergone a resurgence in popularity, underlined by the huge crowds that turned out to witness celebrations for Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 marking 60 years on the throne.
Kerry Taylor said the sale saw a high level of interest, with some museums coming forward to grab a slice of royal history.
“We attracted bidders from across the world including Asia, America, Austria, Australia and of course, the UK, including three important museums, so we are hopeful that now people will actually get to see some of the dresses that belonged to the ‘People’s Princess’,” Taylor said.
No stranger to royal fashion, Taylor previously sold a knitted see-through dress worn by Middleton during a student fashion show for $117,788.
($1 = 0.6619 British pounds)
(Reporting by Clare Hutchison)
Posted by Darius Cordell Couture in Mar 05, 2013, under 1
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Ethereal, strapless silhouettes and wavy tresses gave the Oscars red carpet a patina of old Hollywood glamour on Sunday as the year’s top actresses and presenters led the way in blush, grey and black sequined gowns.
“There were no misses this year, everyone had very good taste,” said Avril Graham, executive fashion and beauty editor at Harper’s Bazaar.
“Silver Linings Playbook” Best Actress nominee Jennifer Lawrence, 22, wowed critics with her off-white Christian Dior Couture strapless gown with a full-tiered skirt and a long necklace dropping down her back.
The actress, who is the face of Christian Dior‘s Miss Dior brand and has been wearing the designer to the awards leading up to the Oscars, said it was the only dress she tried on for the event.
Fellow Dior brand ambassador Charlize Theron wore a white strapless couture gown from the French fashion house.
Halterneck column gowns were a popular trend on the red carpet as stars opted for a long and lean silhouette this year.
“Les Miserables” star Amanda Seyfried opted for a pale grey and lilac embroidered Alexander McQueen halterneck dress, while her co-star and Best Supporting Actress winner Anne Hathaway received mixed reviews for her blush pink Prada halterneck satin strapless gown with a daring low back.
In an interview on the red carpet Hathaway quipped, “it’s business in the front and party in the back.”
Hathaway “had a shade of Audrey Hepburn in her pastel Prada,” with her cropped pixie cut, Graham said.
Blush and nude hues were a hot trend on the runways for spring and were echoed in the clean palettes on this year’s Oscar red carpet.
“The Master” supporting actress nominee Amy Adams stunned crowds in a strapless pale grey full-skirted tulle Oscar de la Renta gown, while last year’s supporting actress winner Octavia Spencer wore a blush Tadashi Shoji number.
Zoe Saldana’s white strapless bustier Alexis Mabille dress was offset by grey underlays peeking out.
Contrasting the off-white gowns were the actresses picking gold, gunmetal greys and bright colors that stood out on the red carpet at Hollywood’s Dolby Theater.
Jessica Chastain, nominated for Best Actress for “Zero Dark Thirty,” channeled golden-age Hollywood glamour with a deep gold sequined Armani Prive strapless dress, accessorizing with soft side waves in her auburn hair.
STRONG SILHOUETTES, SEQUINED GLAMOUR
Hal Rubenstein, editor-at-large at InStyle, said this year’s red carpet choices showed “restraint,” with trends for strong silhouettes paired with old Hollywood glamour.
“The shapes were really strong yet simple, not over-adorned … it was a real harmonious look from top to bottom,” Rubenstein said, naming Jennifer Hudson in navy Roberto Cavalli, Nicole Kidman in black sequined column L’Wren Scott, and Chastain’s gold strapless Armani as his top picks.
Metallic sparkle was another big trend on the red carpet, with Naomi Watts, Best Actress nominee for “The Impossible,” leading the way in a gunmetal sequined one-shouldered Giorgio Armani gown.
Catherine Zeta Jones, in a gold sequined Zuhair Murad gown and Halle Berry in a strong-shouldered silver and black striped Versace fitted gown, followed suit.
Quvenzhane Wallis, the 9-year-old actress competing with Best Actress nominees Lawrence, Watts, Chastain and Emmanuelle Riva, accessorized her navy sparkling Armani gown with a fluffy puppy purse.
“The Sessions” Supporting Actress nominee Helen Hunt shunned high-end designers to wear retail brand H&M in a navy blue strapless gown, stunning fashionistas with her choice.
“Lincoln” Supporting Actress nominee Sally Field added color to the red carpet in a full-sleeved vibrant red Valentino dress.
Reese Witherspoon stood out in a strapless cobalt blue Louis Vuitton gown, “Django Unchained” star Kerry Washington wowed critics with her coral and blush Miu Miu dress and Jennifer Garner, holding husband Ben Affleck’s hand, wore an eggplant purple strapless flowing Gucci gown.
(Editing by Mary Milliken and Stacey Joyce)
Posted by Darius Cordell Couture in Feb 19, 2013, under 1
As engaged couples prepare for the upcoming wedding season, there is more competition than ever for great venues and the services of talented professionals. Relatively new to this mainstream mix in 2013 are greater numbers of same-sex couples who will be affirming their life-long commitments to one another in legal and non-legal ceremonies. This will certainly be true in states where marriage equality has recently been enacted — yes, that’s you Maine, Maryland and Washington state! — and where it’s speculated it shall follow shortly — I’m looking at you Rhode Island, Illinois, Minnesota, Hawaii and Delaware!
Regardless of whether same-sex couples will be booking legal elopement weddings or staging ceremonies and receptions in their home states, coupes will be asking themselves how they will document this significant milestone. Ask friends to take pictures? Rely on Instagram for a slick filter and efficient viral “just married” announcement? Most likely, yes, and also… Same-sex couples will be looking for, meeting with, and booking the services of wedding photographers. Thankfully, there are more photographers than ever who are ready, willing and able to serve them. But is that enough? Not always. That’s why I’d like to debunk five of the top myths about gay and lesbian engagement and wedding photography.
MYTH #1: Photographing an opposite-sex couple is the same as photographing a same-sex couple.
While it can be said that beautiful wedding photography is beautiful wedding photography regardless of sexual orientation, it cannot also be said that the process of creating beautiful wedding images of same-sex couples is the same as the process for photographing straight couples. Traditional wedding photography relies on some basic assumptions built around a white gown and a tux (or dark suit), masculine and feminine gender roles, and expectations of the physical differences between a man and a woman. Generally speaking, these assumptions don’t translate well to most same-sex couples. For example, while a dip pose (a wedding playbook standard) might easily translate to the average straight couple, the pose could fall flat–literally and figuratively–for a same-sex couple.
MYTH #2: Booking a contract with a gay-friendly photographer is credential enough./
In the aughts and early days of gay weddings, most same-sex couples were relieved to find and happy to sign contracts at the minimum threshold of finding a photographer who identified as gay-friendly. This is changing, and changing quickly. Increasingly, same-sex couples want more than vendors who are gay-friendly; they want vendors who are gay wedding-competent. From the standpoint of booking a photographer, the difference can mean a gallery of wedding photos that is good or a gallery that is great.
MYTH #3: A photographer who identifies as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender) is always the best person for the job.
One thing for sure: booking a photographer who identifies as LGBT means that there are a lot of nuanced background details a same-sex couple won’t have to describe about what it means to be gay or what it means to plan a gay wedding. There can be some real advantages to “keeping it in the community.” Even so, sexual orientation or gender identity one way or the other does not a qualified photographer make. When booking a photographer, same-sex couples need to think about budget, desired outcome, references, and compatibility. Wedding photography is a significant investment and it’s important to make sure that the photographer has the experience and know-how to do the job well.
MYTH #4: Professional photography networks, associations and educational programs are doing enough to prepare photographers for engagement and wedding sessions with same-sex couples.
Though more educational seminars than ever have introduced the importance of understanding who same-sex couples are and what their needs are, most professionals have not been presented with the background training to delve more deeply into the nuanced differences that do exist between straight and gay weddings. This is certainly true in the photography industry, which, with the exception of Capturing Love: The Art of Lesbian & Gay Wedding Photography (which I’ve co-authored with Thea Dodds), does not offer any pose books or specific education on working with same-sex couples. Best bet for couples: take a look at a potential photographer’s body of work and consider booking an engagement session first as a lower stakes way to get to know the photographer and his or her style and your compatibility.
MYTH #5: Same-sex couples are only getting married and booking photographers in states where it’s legal.
Interest in the gay wedding market has often followed the headlines of advances in marriage equality and partnership recognition (like civil unions), but that doesn’t mean that the only places that couples are tying the knot is where it’s legal. Same-sex couples have been having ceremonies for many years now, and the advances in marriage recognition and growing ease with which LGBT persons can be “out” means that couples are more likely to have weddings and/or receptions in their hometowns, with an option to travel for an out-of-state marriage license if they so desire. In either case, most of us want to have a photographer on hand as a way to document these important milestones in our lives.
Posted by Darius Cordell Couture in Feb 12, 2013, under 1
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Designers took fashion traveling through time in New York on Saturday, displaying looks evoking the past and future to crowds undeterred by deep snow that covered the city.
Ruffian, Lacoste and Porsche Design were three of the lines showing their fall and winter 2013 collections at New York Fashion Week, which brings more than 200,000 models, design experts and journalists to the city for the semi-annual extravaganza.
Attendance at Fashion Week, where many in the audience don stylish and often outlandish looks for the occasion, appeared little touched by the storm, which left a foot of snow overnight.
“I don’t see it affecting it, except the outfits have gotten more interesting,” said Adam Paige, a spokesman for Mercedes-Benz, which sponsors Fashion Week shows staged at New York‘s Lincoln Center.
“People have had to stretch their creativity,” Paige said.
Ruffian kicked off with clothes that the designers Brian Wolk and Claude Morais said were inspired by images of Sherlock Holmes, saloons, opium dens and the debauchery of New York’s Bowery neighborhood, brought to life with rich silks, velvets and embroidery.
Ruffian showed chalk-striped blazers, tweed jackets and high-necked blouses, perked up with corsets and floral flounces. Eye-catching pieces were made of shimmering metallic boucle.
In keeping with the theme, many models wore deerstalker hats made familiar by Holmes, the fictional 19th century London detective.
Looking into an age of futuristic exploration, Lacoste showed sweaters, ponchos, blouses and dresses in ethereal shades of gray, some with abstract prints of topographical maps.
Silhouettes featured exaggeratedly rounded, dropped shoulders.
Color appeared at Lacoste in geometric blocked dresses of black, white, green and blue. Bits of orange peeked out in turtlenecks and shirt collars in a collection that otherwise stayed close to gray, white, green and black.
Jet black ruled at the Porsche Design show, which offered sporty jackets, trousers and skirts of leather. A slight hint of color was a rich oxblood that Porsche dubbed Windsor wine.
Christian Siriano, a winner of the reality television fashion competition “Project Runway,” used an opulent palette of black and gold with a splash of hot pink, unveiling his collection against a backdrop of red curtains and enormous chandeliers.
His models wore masculine buttoned-up shirts, turtlenecks and motorcycle jackets that contrasted with full skirts, skinny Capri pants, strapless peplum tops and fitted cocktail dresses with fluted hems. His textures were leather, faux shearling and fur, along with rich jacquards and brocades.
Herve Leger by Max Azria showed the line’s trademark bandage dresses, refreshed with intricate beading and flared hems and paired with leather leggings.
The colors were predominantly black and shades of white and cream, mixed in with Bordeaux and a deep malachite.
Herve Leger brought out fur – a cropped jacket long in the back, and black fur sweatshirts. Models donned black wool baseball hats with leather detailing.
Fashion Week continues through Thursday with shows by Michael Kors, Tracy Reese, Ralph Lauren and others.
Posted by Darius Cordell Couture in Jan 28, 2013, under 1
The Screen Actors Guild Awards is the perfect event of awards season to hold us over between the Golden Globes and the Oscars. It’s a night of mutual actor appreciation, and our admiration of some seriously gorgeous ensembles.
The major trends of the evening at the 19th Annual SAG Awards were black, navy, red (again!), and glamorous side parts. Amanda Seyfried, Jessica Chastain, and Amy Poehler were stand outs in Zac Posen, Alexander McQueen, and Zuhair Murad. Unfortunately, Kerry Washington missed the mark in our book in Rodarte.
Click through the gallery above to see our list of the best and worst of the SAG Red Carpet.
Posted by Darius Cordell Couture in Jan 25, 2013, under 1Comments Off more...
Posted by Darius Cordell Couture in Jan 15, 2013, under 1
She’s unlucky in love on her hit HBO show, “Girls,” but Lena Dunham is pure joy offset. The 26-year-old star and creator of the critically lauded show referred to her boyfriend Jack Antonoff as her “family” Sunday night while accepting the award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. The comment caused some to speculate that the pair had recently gotten engaged.
Not so: Dunham clarified those remarks backstage at the Golden Globes, saying: “I am not engaged. I don’t want to get married until all gay people can get married.” Dunham follows celebrities like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, who have said similar things in the past.
This isn’t the first time Dunham has publicly aired her feelings about Antonoff, a guitarist for the band Fun., of course. In a February profile for Interview magazine, Dunham said: “I know there’s some rule that you’re not supposed to talk about your boyfriend publicly just because it seems like all starlets under the age of 33 have decided not to do that, but if you’re in love with someone great, then I don’t understand why you wouldn’t tell everybody.”
Posted by Darius Cordell Couture in Jan 14, 2013, under 1
The new Miss America is an Alabama-bred blonde beauty who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and loves ’80s pop music. But Mallory Hytes Hagan is more than just a pretty face who tap-danced her way into the judges’ hearts on Saturday.
Here are five things to know about the new Miss America:
1. Modern Day Rags to Riches?
At 18, Hagan moved to New York with only $1,000 in her pocket. “I just didn’t know that $1,000 wasn’t enough money,” she told PEOPLE. “I look back at my parents now for letting me do it and I think, ‘Are you crazy?’ ” I genuinely think they thought I’d be there for three weeks and move back. I hit the ground running and had three job offers in first day.”
2. She Wants to Jump Out of a Plane!
Hagan claims she’s not a risk taker, but she would love to go skydiving because it’s “completely out of control” – the opposite of how she usually behaves. “I think it would be amazing,” she said. “I’m truly a Capricorn, so I like to plan out what’s going to happen. I think it’s about the drive. I’d love to go skydiving. Why not?”
3. She’s No Longer the ‘Bridesmaid’
If it appeared that Hagan was genuinely shocked when her name was announced as the new Miss America it’s because she was. “As a teen, I was third, second and first runner-up. In Miss New York, I was first runner-up twice. My thought process was, ‘They’re going to get another first runner up photo of me.’ I’m thrilled to be here but I didn’t expect it at all.”
4. She Wants to Stop Sexual Abuse of Children
Her platform, Stop It Now! (which works to prevent child sexual abuse), is close to her heart because several of the women (and possibly some of the men) in her family were sexually abused as children, she told reporters in a press conference. “I never was, but it was something I was going through in my teenage years as my family was trying to find peace in that,” she says. She thinks mandatory child sexual awareness education would be “an incredible step for America.”
5. She Loves Cosmetics
She may not be different than many women with her interest in cosmetics, but Hagan wants to make a career out of it. A student studying advertising, communications and marketing at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Hagan’s dream job would be the global marketing director for a cosmetic company. As part of her duties as Miss America, Hagan will work with Artistry cosmetics. “This will be a wonderful internship,” she said.
Posted by Darius Cordell Couture in Jan 10, 2013, under 1
The marriage can only go up from here.
A hot air balloon that soared thousands of feet into the air crash-landed in a San Diego backyard moments after Jonathan and Kerin Narcisse exchanged wedding vows, according to KGTV.
A strong gust of wind forced the pilot to abort the sunset ceremony and make the unplanned touchdown, according to KFMB.
The strong wind blew the balloon about one mile off course and swung the basket holding the couple and 12 others, KNBC said.
Guests whipped out cellphones and recorded the scene.
After bouncing off the ground, the yellow and blue balloon crashed into trees and a fence at the top of a hill behind the home.
One guest suffered minor back injuries. Everyone else walked away, albeit shakily, from the accident and continued on to the reception.