Diary of a Professional Bridesmaid

It is very uncommon to begin a review with a definition of ‘terms’. This is usually associated with academic papers, but this review is dealing with an unusual subject that is dealt with in an unusual style. Therefore, it is only proper that it begins in the character of its ‘unusualness’. The key word in Memoirs of a Professional Bridesmaid (Kachifo’s Prestige Imprint, Lagos; 2017), authored by Nneka Ijeoma, is the word ‘memoirs’ which the 2010 edition of the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines as: “a written account of somebody’s life, a place or an event written by somebody who knows it well”.

In interrogating the subject of this book, it will become apparent why some thought would have to be paid to the word because often it is associated with accounts by an expert or better still, what the dictionary describes as ‘somebody who knows it well.’ Others might argue that instead of dealing with ‘Memoirs’ it is the tag of ‘professional’ that the reviewer should be interested in. How much of an expert is the author on issues of weddings and specifically ‘bridesmaidship?’ Is the author engaged in this activity as her main paid occupation? Except it is a recent phenomenon, it is strange in our clime to hear of a ‘professional Bridesmaid’ when such an appellation is used, it isn’t often quite complimentary. But life is all about change. Who says this can’t be just another profession? Reading through Nneka’s book therefore is as much a challenge of this ‘received opinion’ as it is an attempt at bringing to public consciousness issues that are glossed over, but yet define relationships and our reality.

What used to be a pastime is now almost ‘profession’ because there are people, as it is said in our local parlance that ‘have seen a lot’ and so can be described as authorities on the subject. And so it is with our author who was six times a bridesmaid in less than a year! What she has put together in this book of 146 pages is therefore the result of out of the box thinking, which makes the book a compelling read especially for young ladies, bridesmaids, brides -to-be and the various vendors who are integral to the value chain of the wedding industry as an event (as opposed to marriage that is an institution). Men who also want to know the reasons for some of those ‘annoying’ things that happen on wedding days will also find the book interesting. Even those who think less about the intrigues that go with wedding cannot but enjoy this piece of literature that is both humorous and therapeutic. The author sometimes simply pokes fun at trivial issues that have assumed epic dimensions and expose why sometimes what we perceive as a significant change is really not so significant, and vice versa. Predictably, she raises concerns about social values that have been turned upside down in the name of civilisation.

Without a doubt the author though forward looking and in sync with social trends, is worried about the extent to which weddings have now assumed a dimension with focus on a ‘wedding of the year’ instead of ‘marriage of a life time’. The book, therefore, is not just an account of her personal experiences, but also some lessons for young women who would soon find themselves as brides or bridesmaids. Each chapter in the book either begins or ends with nuggets on the do’s or don’ts of a successful wedding. Some examples: “Parents are not your ATM”; “Know when to say NO”; Delegate, especially if you have a large train”; and “To thyself be true” among others. From Nnnena to Wura, Tinuke, Fatima and Doyin, the author takes the reader through different trajectories of a modern day Nigerian wedding ceremony. In these accounts, the reader shares with the author, moments of excitements, disappointments doused with wits and humour.

Fatima’s wedding provides an interesting proposition in which the bride’s desires are in conflict with the norm. The author describes her as ‘The Last Minute.Com Bride’ who leaves everything to dying moments, including her final fitting, which she left to her friend not minding that things could go wrong! Fati also chooses to have about 25 on her train without a Maid of Honour because “I didn’t want to put any friend over the other. I love all my friends equally so I will not have any Bridesmaid of Honour.” While she is lucky that her dress fitted well, the author is strongly against having such a large number of people on a train without a Maid of Honour. “No Maid of Honour is a bad idea! You need someone to veto certain decisions without other girls getting offended. You also need someone to coordinate and make sure everything is attended to… .” The result of too many cooks is that no one is really in charge. It is little surprise therefore that the train gets late to the evening reception.

As desirous as a Maid of Honour is, the author however cautions on overbearing and overzealous Maids or those she calls ‘Zilla’ who constitute themselves into independent governments barking orders on others yet they are the ones that often let the group down when it matters most. This is evident at Tinuke’s wedding. Bisi who messed up negotiations with the designer and ‘who had been organising all the girls’ was at the most critical moment, the last to get off her feet.

Doyin is the opposite of Fatima. She started planning her wedding in good time and is regarded as extremely organised yet, a glitch happens because of her not taking into account the infamous ‘Nigerian factor’. Four out of seven bridesmaids missed the walk down the aisle because she did not understand the character of the society in which she operates. Things taken for granted elsewhere are serious issues in Nigeria. Think of power failure and traffic snarl among others.

Memoirs of a Professional Bridesmaid is not all about what could go wrong. Chapters 8 and 9 are particularly humorous as he author highlights some of the ‘highpoints’ of weddings that sometimes defy logic. The chapter titled; “Thou Shalt not struggle for the fittest Groomsman” is about bridesmaids struggling for hook-ups with some of the groomsmen, which often end in disaster. The author was once a ‘victim’: “I danced into a reception with a guy who whispered to me, ‘I guess I’ve finally met someone who is a worse dancer than I am.’ If I were Caucasian, I would have turned beetroot red.”

Here comes the Next Bride is about the ritual of catching the Bride’s bouquet which is believed to go with it some luck. This in reality is nothing but a mere ritual. A friend of the author seems wiser than most: “I don’t understand all your excitement, I caught this bouquet seven years ago, and still I am here… .” Even for the author, her experience is not any better: “The MC had anchored two other weddings at which I was a bridesmaid so he knew me quite well, which was even more embarrassing as that would be the third time he would call men out.”

Vendors are another group of people who play major roles at weddings and often a Maid of Honour does a lot of interfacing with them. Vendors are meant to make things easy for the couple and quite a number of them do but then there are those the author calls ‘Vendors from Hell’ who cannot but live true to their name. For them, cutting corners is the name of the game. These are to be avoided and the only way to do so is ensuring that one does proper background checks. Imagine a vendor takes your money, would not show up but sends an apprentice who was not there when the details of assignment were discussed. And to make matters worse, she switches of her phone on that day!

One of the overarching themes of this book is that it is not so much about amount of money spent that makes a wedding tick but the quality of preparations. She impresses on the importance of being realistic and sensitive especially on making demands on friends and relations. It is better to be consistent and meet your expectations than set yourself up for failure by taking on too much.

Dress and style are important components of a wedding and a big issue among prospective brides and their girls. It is not surprising therefore that Nneka dedicates three chapters to discussing this. Everybody wants to look their best on that day but the definition of what is best is as varied as the number of people involved. Sometimes the bride allows members of her train to ‘democratically’ choose their dress and style but the author warns this is a recipe for chaos.

Ladies won’t agree on whether it should be long or short; flowing or fitted; sparkly or matte. This is no fault of theirs. Tastes just differ and each person has reasons for her preference. So what’s to be done? The author says this should not be open for debate. The bride should think about the concept and a dress for the girls.

The author has also had her own dose of disappointments at weddings when things won’t just go right sometimes for reasons she says were her own faults. But there was one that she cannot but recall. That was when she was dropped by Chinwe, her sister’s friend, from her train! The reason is simple; the bride had a friend that she could not disappoint and the groom would not want an increase in the number on the train so a choice had to be made and she was dropped. Painful as this was, she saw the bright side of it by ensuring that she came out as beautiful as she could! Another lesson for would-be bridesmaids- things will not always go your way. Always see the brighter side of every situation. From a denial in 2004, the author has become a ‘professional bridesmaid!!!!

As much as the author tries, she can’t answer all questions in this slim but important book. One must, however, commend her boldness, creativity and ability to see a story where many will see none. She has in the process provided a book that many will find invaluable as they confront the arduous task of either planning their own weddings or those of their friends and relations. But for the general reader, this is a hilarious work only comparable to A Wedding Party, a recent flick that illustrates some of the issues raised in this book. For Nneka, nothing too trivial to discuss and the most serious issues are discussed in a light-hearted manner without glossing over the lessons to be learnt.

Another strength of the book is its wide appeal to both men and women, young and old and those who want to have an insight into what goes into the behind-the- scenes- character of a modern Nigerian wedding.

The language is crisp and racy and the introduction of dialogue brings the various experiences to life. Subsequent editions will, however, benefit from a check on the few typos in the book. Nothing wrong with the narrative being laced with some dosage of ‘Nigerian English’ but for a book that seeks a wider audience, expressions that are ‘Nigerianese’ would require explanations in endnotes. Like every work of art, Nneka leaves a lot unsaid about certain experiences but that should be expected because it is also in her own interest to protect her herself and her friends. After all, whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!!! These, however, do not in any way detract from the import of this work and like most good books; it is one you would be caught reading again and again because it is such a good book.Read more at:formal dress | white cocktail dresses

The benefits of body brushing

Dry body brushing may not be something you usually factor into your daily shower routine, but you may want to reconsider because body brushing can transform your skin and general wellbeing, and tackle the dreaded orange peel skin known as cellulite.

Often dismissed as a celebrity fad, the ancient art of body brushing – the practice of brushing the skin once or twice daily with a soft but firm brush – improves circulation, supports the lymph system, removes dead skin cells, eliminate toxins, and can help reduce the appearance of cellulite.

If you’re a fan of using body scrubs, dry body brushing is the next step up, and all you need to get started is a wooden handled body brush. “Simple and quick to perform, dry skin brushing is a fantastic wellness trick, that cleanses your body both inside and out,” founder and creative director of Calmia (calmia.com), Lucy Wakefield tells Cover Media.

“The only tool you need is an inexpensive wooden handled body brush and the benefits are numerous: it exfoliates your skin so it feels as soft as a baby’s, it helps detoxify by stimulating your lymphatic drainage system and increasing circulation. Plus, it works to break up fat deposits, so over time, cellulite becomes less noticeable.”

Body brushing is a logical step if you’re already fanatical about taking care of the skin on your face but then neglect to nurture the skin on the rest of your body.

“Many of us carefully and regularly look after the skin on our face, with daily cleansing, exfoliating and moisturising but often forget the rest of our body. And with one third of all toxins being excreted through the skin it’s an important organ to look after,” Lucy continues.

“You can dry body brush every day or once a week, just before you shower. Just fit it into your routine as often as you can; if you don’t have a lot of time, just focus on an area of concern.” Celebrities such as Elle Macpherson, Cameron Diaz, and Gwyneth Paltrow swear by it to keep their skin looking smooth and glowing, but its benefits go beyond the surface.

“Additionally, the physical nature of dry brushing your skin may act to reduce muscle tension, and if performed in a quiet space, it can actually be a meditative process, calming your mind and relieving stress. Try having a session of dry skin brushing before your next relaxing bath,” explains Lucy.

How to dry body brush

1. Using an inexpensive wooden handled body brush, brush towards the heart, starting under your feet and from there, moving upwards

2. Use long, straight, smooth strokes to match the sensitivity of your skin. Listen to your body.

3. As you are stimulating the body to release toxins, you’ll double up on the detoxifying effects if you drink plenty of clean water thereafter.

4. Do it in the morning before you bath or shower as it will give you an extra boost of energy for the day.Read more at:black evening dress | red formal dresses

My Fashion Life: designer Holly Fulton

British designer Holly Fulton founded her eponymous label in 2009 and quickly became known for her eye-catching prints and bold use of colour. She spoke to Drapers about the importance of business know-how for designers, her magpie tendencies and her passion for Prada.

How did you get started as a designer?

I was focused on being a vet, got to 15 and realised I’d made a mistake! I’d always had a keen interest in art and design growing up as my parents are both very creative, so, on reflection, it seems like quite an obvious path for me to have chosen. I took a circuitous route, but eventually made it to the Royal College of Art, which is really where things really took off for me. I went straight from there to a design assistant role at Lanvin and haven’t looked back since.

You’re known for your prints. Where does your interest in pattern come from?

I am an avid collector of pretty much everything, including sentimental World War I pincushions, Scottish folk art, rubber glove moulds … My collections inform a lot of my work and the pieces I live with are a big influence. I’m quite a magpie and grew up with parents that collected everything – it’s a standing joke that no matter what it is you are looking for, it can probably be purloined from my parents house.

What do you do to get inspiration?

Travel, visiting spots round the UK and abroad, my own collections of objects, books both old and new, artists such as surrealist Eileen Agar, film like cinéma du look, my friends and peers, the streets of London and Highlands of Scotland. I am naturally inquisitive and love to delve into whatever I’m exposed to.

What are some of the challenges you face day to day?

Juggling the business side with the creative is always a challenge for any label: the amount of time you have to spend on the organisational and management aspects of running a label is huge. Often you end up only getting time to work on the design side once the nine to five is over. Managing people and the motivation of a team can be challenging, but equally incredibly rewarding, as your team really form the backbone of your business. Maintaining your cashflow and ensuring it runs according to plan is always a challenge, as it is essentially out of your control.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned since you started your career?

Never underestimate anyone you meet along your journey and treat everyone as you would wish to be treated yourself. I used to work for a very high-end antique jeweller and he used to say you can never tell who will have the money to spend by looking at them, and that’s remained true.

You’re an ambassador for Graduate Fashion Week. Why is that important to you?

I have had a huge amount of help starting up my business and have been fortunate to have some very influential mentors along the journey. I couldn’t really believe how much help I received when I was starting out – it both surprised and delighted me. I believe in putting back what you got out of something, so it feels very apt to be able to support GFW and give some of the time and assistance we received back into the next generation of talent.

Is there anyone in the industry you find particularly inspiring?

I’m always inspired by strong females who have managed to carve a niche for their own vision and succeeded in growing a business to a global level. Miuccia Prada is such a force within fashion. I have huge admiration for what she has achieved and the strength and clarity of her resolve. [Fashion East founder] Lulu Kennedy was instrumental in helping us start out as a label and has had such an impact on so many emerging labels over the years, as has [Vogue’s chief critic] Sarah Mower with her support of UK talents and graduates.

If you could change one thing about the fashion industry, what would it be and why?

I would ensure designers are given solid business advice as soon as they start to show and launch their labels. It’s so fundamental to have a robust infrastructure at the core of your creativity to make it work, but when you start out it’s easy to get caught up in shorter-term goals rather than the broader picture.

What would we find you doing at the weekend?

In East London, usually running round Lea valley marshes first thing in the morning then soaking up as much culture, time with friends, decaffeinated coffee, fine food and wine as possible! And, if I’m lucky, then searching for more books, jewellery and objets for my ever-expanding collection.Read more at:formal dresses adelaide | formal dresses brisbane

Here’s Why a Photography Drone Should Make Your Wedding Guest List

Finding a way to capture every memory of your wedding can be a bit overwhelming. Even if you hire a photographer and videographer, you might find that you are asking guests and family members to bring along their cameras and tripods so that no memory is forgotten and every single important part of the day is captured.

One way couples are making this easier for everyone is with drones. Wondering about the benefits of having one flying around during your ceremony and at the reception? Check out what these five photographers say are the main reasons to have a drone on your wedding day.

1. Capture the Full Venue

“Location, location, location. Maximize the view around and at your venue. You chose it for a reason! Show it off!” —Dawn Temple of Dawn Temple Photography

2. Remember Every Single Detail

“You spend so long planning out every single detail of your wedding. Yet, oftentimes on your wedding day, you are too busy to fully notice everything or remember how everything looked. What I have seen using a photography drone at weddings is that it’s a great tool to capture every memory, moment, and detail. I’ve been able to use it to capture different angles of the ceremony, the first kiss as a married couple, and even of the dance floor, that have been incredible!” —Susan Shek of Susan Shek Photography

3. Ground Cameras Can Be Large and in Charge

“Good-quality ground video cameras are large and intrusive if you try carrying them around a reception or to shoot a service. Due to this, most of the time cameramen set up at a good location with multiple vantage points and stay there. Drones have way more mobility, can take video from any angle while moving in any direction and can get a lot more cinematic shots than ground equipment.” —Victor Montalvo, cofounder of HiFly Photography

4. They Make Weddings Feel Like a Spectacle”People don’t like to admit it, but weddings aren’t really a celebration of love anymore—they’re a spectacle, and the goal is to create an unforgettable experience for everyone attending. Having drones whizzing around is exactly the kind of thing that will make your wedding day memorable.” —Sam Williamson, photographer for Scotland Shop

5. Great for Group Shots

“Take your bridal party footage and shots to the next level with drones. Drones are amazing for filming big groups of people, especially as wild and as animated as bridal parties tend to be. ” —Anthony Vazquez of Anthony Vazquez Photography

Jen Glantz is founder of Bridesmaid for Hire and the author of the new book Always a Bridesmaid (for Hire). She frequently wears old bridesmaids’ dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.Read more at:yellow formal dresses | green formal dresses

Is Jennifer Hudson’s Dress Too Short

Many people are confused by Jennifer Hudson’s latest look. The actress and singer attended the Entertainment Weekly and People Upfronts party in New York in head-to-toe Gucci, according to her, but she might have forgotten a few elements of her outfit.

“gucci down to my socks !” the new judge of The Voice said in an Instagram photo of her in the purple floral minidress she wore to the event. OK, but she wasn’t wearing any socks (thank goodness) — just black peep-toe stilettos.

The frock had a plunging neckline, puffy three quarter sleeves, and a tight, short skirt. So short that some commenters on social media thought it was a shirt. “Cute shirt! Now where’s your pants??” one person commented on People’s photo of Hudson. “She is wearing a Gucci top as a dress… Hmmm,” wrote another. “She is a pretty woman but this ‘dress’ is far too short. She even looks uncomfortable in it,” someone else pointed out. “Dress is too, too short. Just. No,” proclaimed another follower.

The comments didn’t bother Hudson, who loved the look. “Even on the hardest days u gotta smile your way through it! I’m so grateful! Still going guys!” she captioned her photo of the outfit. And commenters on Hudson’s own Instagram photo expressed their support. “Love love love your dress. You look amazing,” one follower wrote. “You look gorgeous, ma..from your head to your toes.. don’t change a damn thing!! Damn haters!!” wrote another. “The stems on that flower, mama j,” wrote a third.

The item is actually from Gucci’s Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear collection, and has been shown with the model wearing shiny purple pants underneath. So that sort of answers the question. But fashion is always open for interpretation.

Charlize Theron wore a Gucci dress with the same pattern but different style at CinemaCon in March. And she didn’t wear pants either.

What do you think? Is it a dress or a shirt?Read more at:white cocktail dresses | black evening dress

How Useful Are Herbs In Beauty Products

THERE has been a noticeable difference in the way in which people see skincare products. We are now more knowledgeable about the ingredients that go into making beauty products. Consumers are now educating themselves on terms such as ‘paraben-free’, look at products that are suitable for vegans and vegetarians and even beauty ranges that avoid testing on animals, allowing them to make more informed decisions about their purchases.

But, despite the claims of some beauty brands, it can sometimes be difficult to understand the real benefits of the ingredients used in some of their products, especially when so little of an ingredient is used.

So, with natural beauty becoming more and more popular, Chantelle Kimberley takes a look at some of the skin-boosting herbs and oils used in our everyday cosmetic products…

ALOE VERA

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Aloe has been used throughout time because of its amazing skin benefits. Aloe is rich in calcium, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc. The potassium present in aloe helps in the detoxification of the liver and kidneys. It is used for skin conditions like burns, blisters, frost bite, allergic reactions, herpes, inflammatory skin disorders, psoriasis – a chronic immune related skin disease characterised by red thickened skin with silver scales – as well as tooth and gum diseases. Aloe vera is used in a number of ways for skincare products, including face packs, moisturisers, soaps, bath gels, shampoos, conditioners, tooth pastes, face and skin creams, cleansers, sunscreens, shaving gels, baby lotions and wipes. To get the real benefits, you should be looking at skincare products that contain a high percentage (between 35 and 98 per cent). Many products sometimes contain as little as one per cent – so do your research and read the labels. If you have any doubt on the amount of aloe in your product, speak to your pharmacist or any beauty technician, who should be able to steer you in the right direction.

CALENDULA

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Photo credit: Boiron

This plant has anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, and contains a high amount of anti-oxidants that protect the body against the damaging effects of free radicals. Applying of calendula cream or oil treats inflammation and infections of the skin, helps to heal burns, scalds, bruises, cuts, eczemas and haemorrhoids. It is also recommended by some specialists for reducing muscle spasms, aiding menstruation and improving oral health. Calendula is used extensively in face packs and soaps as a cleanser and for blemishes and acne, thanks to its natural cleaning properties. It is also used as a hair conditioner and cleanser.

CHAMOMILE

Chamomile, with calendula, is an amazingly gentle, anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, pain relieving and soothing herb used widely in skin creams, shampoos, conditioners, soaps and body lotions. It has also been used for thousands of years as relief for anxiety. It helps in the treatment of eczema and contact dermatitis. Chamomile calms upset stomachs, cold and flu and muscle cramps. It is also known to fight the signs of aging and pollution on the skin, because of its restorative and hydrating qualities. It is also a good acne treatment and can be used in make-up products, sunscreens, and cleansers. It is also widely used in herbal teas and is marketed as a general relaxant promoting sleep and sedation. Massage therapists will very often use chamomile oil to promote a relaxing atmosphere for customers.

NEEM

Photo credit: Organic Facts

Neem is a tree from which the bark, sap, leaves, fruit, seeds, and twigs are all used for a multitude of medicinal and beauty purposes. The neem tree – which is part of the mahogany family – is also known in India as ‘sarva roga nivarini’, which means ‘the one that can cure all ail- ments’. It is by nature a potent anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-fungal agent, besides its use as an anti-malarial and anti-pesticide plant. Neem is commonly used in soaps, toothpastes, detergents, face packs and skin creams for acne and eczema, as well as hair products for thinning of hair, including shampoo. A variety of more health based products, including oils and tea, can be found on many online stores, as well as in High Street health stores, including Holland and Barrett.

BERGAMOT

Used in many spas and Ayurvedic centres for its aroma- therapeutic and massage benefits, this herb is used in skin creams, lotions, and face packs for its cooling and refreshing properties. Bergamot essential oil is a cold-pressed essential oil produced by cells inside the rind of a bergamot orange fruit, and has anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties that help treat skin problems like psoriasis, acne, blemishes, eczema and oily skin. It is often used in aromatherapy and the perfume industry due to its citrusy, floral aroma. Its uplifting qualities also mean that it is regarded as a tool to help combat depression, also often used as a stimulant, as well as a relaxing agent. The benefits really are endless! However, bergamot can be so powerful that caution must be taken when used, due to its photo-sensitising effect while exposed to the sun, so always use sun protection after or during use.

This Teen Designer Makes Gorgeous Prom Dresses for Herself and 6 Friends

Some teens find prom-dress shopping to be time-consuming and stressful. Six friends at Madison East High School in Wisconsin opted out of that process and put their trust in their talented classmate, Maggie McGlenn.

McGlenn, a junior at the high school, developed the idea to design her friends’ dresses after receiving some fabric from her grandmother.

“My grandma gave me a few yards of beautiful fabric for Christmas, and I just started to make a dress,” she tells Yahoo Style. “When I was done with the dress, it looked like a prom dress to me. It wasn’t the prom dress I had in mind for myself, so I thought I could maybe get one of my friends to wear it. I had such a great time making it that I thought to myself, ‘I might as well keep going.’”

McGlenn learned to sew in sixth grade, and she’s been making clothes ever since. As a result, she was more than capable of creating unique designs for her friends. However, in order to make the dresses for free, her friends had to follow a few of her rules.

“I wouldn’t make them pay, but I would also get to have final say over the dresses,” she says. “I kept my friends in mind as I made them, but I had free rein over the designs. Each one of the dresses is a mixture of the girl’s style and my own, but usually they didn’t see the dresses until the dresses were pretty much done. When I would get stuck on a dress or certain design element, I would ask my friends for advice. I have amazing friends who inspire me in many different ways, which definitely influenced the design of the dresses.”

Luckily, McGlenn has collected fabric from thrift stores over the years, so she had plenty of material to work with. Although she didn’t ask for payment, some of her friends showed their appreciation in other ways.

“One girl gave me a concert ticket in exchange for the dress; another gave me some money to buy the ribbons and zipper for her dress; another gave me two boxes of old sewing notions from her grandma,” she says.

To make the seven dresses — McGlenn made her own as well — she started working during winter break, in the middle of December. The prom creations weren’t all finished until the morning of the big dance on April 27, 2017.

Her friends’ reactions to their custom prom dresses? “They loved them! They did get to see them before prom to get fitted, and each time they saw the dresses they would get more and more excited,” she says.

Although McGlenn doesn’t plan to pursue fashion in college, she says that she will continue to design and sew.

Her friends’ reactions to their custom prom dresses? “They loved them! They did get to see them before prom to get fitted, and each time they saw the dresses they would get more and more excited,” she says.

Although McGlenn doesn’t plan to pursue fashion in college, she says that she will continue to design and sew.Read more at:black formal dresses | blue formal dresses

Designer Jonathan Saunders brings a new perspective to Diane von Furstenberg collection

DVF Outfit 3 

(Photo:red formal dresses)On the verge of his first anniversary designing the Diane von Furstenberg line, Jonathan Saunders recently came to Houston to show off his spring 2017 collection at Saks Fifth Avenue. Known for his innovative use of pattern and prints, the 39-year-old British designer brings a fresh new perspective on how to push the brand forward while still maintaining the foundations of what has made DVF so iconic since its beginning.

After attending the prestigious Central Saint Martins fashion school in London and working under Alexander McQueen and for fashion houses like Chloe and Pucci, Saunders operated his own womenswear label for more than 12 years. Von Furstenberg became a fan and follower of Saunders ever-evolving play with pattern, prints and texture.

In late 2015, he shut down his own label with plans to return to his love of furniture design, but von Furstenberg came calling with an offer he couldn’t refuse.

After a tipsy conversation with “many martinis involved,” he recalls, von Furstenberg presented him with an opportunity to become the heir to her brand. The company created the role of chief creative officer just for Saunders who is now responsible for all branding, from the aesthetic of the retail stores to pushing our new product lines and a fresh new logo.

When asked why he was the right fit to take over the creative vision of such a powerful and historical brand, he said, “I think that a person really needs to respect it, appreciate it and have an affinity with what the brand stands for, ” he said. “You gotta believe in it.”

With the hefty task of incorporating his own vision within the historical brand, Saunders wants to stick with the fundamentals of the DVF clothing that “have personality and individuality but it was also felt easy to wear” while creating a new experience for the customer.

After two seasons of collections that have wowed critics and followers, it is clear that the classic “DVF girl” will not be disappointed in the modern direction the brand is headed under Saunders. “There is so much potential for really creating a lifestyle with the brand,” he said.

When asked about his plans for the iconic wrap dress created by von Furstenberg in the 1970s, Saunders emphasized why it remains so popular. “It’s effortless and sensual, easy to take on and off, but there are other silhouettes that can be transferred to that same mindset and I want to explore that,” he said.

“It’s just beginning, its on only my second season to push out,” Saunders said. “It’s an exciting time for the brand right now.”

Yes, Mr Saunders, we can hardly wait to see what’s next.Read more at:white formal dresses

Why I’m Not Losing Weight For My Wedding

 

(Photo:womens formal dresses)As a young girl, I had a dream I would meet my soulmate, fall madly in love, and strut down the aisle in a pretty dress, surrounded by all my favourite people.

Do you know what I didn’t dream about, all those years ago?

I didn’t dream I’d be standing in the middle of a bridal shop, about to order The Dress, when I heard the words:

“So, how much weight are you planning to lose before the wedding?”

How much what, now?

In that split second, I began to second guess myself. The years I’d spent healing my relationship with food started to unravel.

How much weight am I going to lose?

Do I need to lose weight?

Is she saying I look fat?

Maybe this isn’t the right dress.

I really wish I didn’t eat that sandwich for lunch.

I should have had the salad.

I composed myself, and turned to face the shop assistant, “I don’t intend to lose any weight before the wedding, but I’m not sure what size I’ll need. Do you have a tape measure?”

Despite her poor choice of words, I don’t hold this exchange against the shop assistant. If online forums, wedding magazines and my friends are to be believed, the pre-wedding weightloss regime is at the top of the to do list for many brides.

But it’s not for me. Here’s why:

For years, I battled to shrink my body. I counted calories, calculated points, and saved my syns for a weekend binge. I ditched bread, cut out sugar, and avoided nights out with my friends. I threw up when I’d eaten too much. I lost weight, but I was miserable. It didn’t matter how much the number on the scales dropped, I was never happy.

Controlling my food had become more than a bid to get healthy and feel happier in my own skin. It was now a coping mechanism for everything else that was going wrong in my life – and it was far from healthy. But I was good at it.

Then one day, something changed.

I fell in love with someone who asked difficult questions, and listened as I muddled through the answers. From day one, he got me to open up about things I’d never spoken about before – and I started to open up to the possibility life could be different.

I wondered, if he could love me as I was, despite my flaws, why couldn’t I?

Something in my mind shifted. I decided, not only was I worthy of his love, but I was worthy of my own love, too.

It took me a long time to change the destructive food habits I’d created over the years, but self-love won in the end. I’m in a much better place now. I eat food that nourishes my body, but I’m not afraid to indulge in a little soul food when I fancy. I try to take care of my body, because it’s the only one I’ve got, but I enjoy life too. That’s what it’s all about, right?

It’s easy to get sucked into the glossy pages of wedding magazines, or the endless Pinterest boards. But the truth is, my wedding doesn’t have to be Insta-Perfect or Pinterest-Worthy – and neither do I.

Ditching the idea of perfection has been a big part of my step towards more self-love – and it’s something I’m still working on today.

So no, I haven’t tried to lose weight for my wedding.

When I walk down that aisle next weekend, I get to marry my best friend, and that’s pretty awesome. My husband-to-be isn’t going to be worrying if I’m carrying a few extra pounds, or thinking about the cupcake I ate three weeks ago.

Our guests won’t be, either. Have you ever been to a wedding, and scrutinised the bride’s weight? I’m guessing not. But, if you have, I think it says more about your own insecurities than it does about the bride.

For me, a wedding isn’t about perfectly coordinated colour schemes, elaborate menus, or shrinking yourself into a dress.

It’s a celebration of love. And that’s what I’ll be focusing on – not the number on the scales.Read more at:evening wear

I’d still like to have a baby… but only if I find the right man

The supermodel split from billionaire Vladislav Doronin in 2013 after five years and said she would wait until she found the right man before having a child.

She told ES Magazine: “I think about having children all the time. But now with the way science is I think I can do it when I want.”

But Campbell, 46, said she would not be a single parent. “I do want a father figure. I think it’s important,” she added.

The supermodel is preparing for her next Fashion For Relief show in Cannes this month, at which high-profile faces from fashion and entertainment walk the catwalk to raise money for the largest Syrian refugee camp in Jordan.

She visited the Zaatari camp in February. She said: “It was freezing. They’ve got their little gas fire. They only put it on for two hours in the evening. We take all that for granted.

“And the kindness. They were offering me tea and coffee when they’re on rations. They have nothing. Yet they give what little they do have.”

She said she was stunned to be asked by a journalist if she was afraid. “I said, ‘Afraid? They are the kindest people on earth.’ It was a silly question.”

Kate Moss will be among those helping out at Cannes. Campbell said the two models still call each other “Wagon”, a nickname Bono’s wife gave them.

Describing a phonecall to Moss, Campbell said: “I was like, ‘Wagon, I’m doing a show in Cannes.’ And she said, ‘What do you want me to do? I’ll be there.’ All I have to say is I need you and she’s like, ‘I’m there’. Wagon: when you need her she is there.”

Campbell, who grew up with her mother in Streatham, said she was inspired to do more charity work by Nelson Mandela, who was a friend and mentor to her. She said: “He was the one that made me consciously aware, because I wasn’t.

“I was aware to the extent that my mother used to take care of two kids in Ethiopia when I was growing up. But other than that I wasn’t really. He opened my eyes.”

She has spoken in the past about racism within the fashion industry, and believes the problem is reflected elsewhere, including politics. Referring to Barack Obama, she added: “We need to see better representation of our communities in politics. I don’t know if I’m ever going to see a black leader again in my lifetime. I would like to, but I don’t know.”Read more at:womens formal dresses | formal gowns