posted by on Beauty

No comments

Between color, texture, and style, hair comes in all different shapes and forms. But despite how different it may look, hair has the potential to make us all feel the same — and that’s confident. Whether you consider your hair a badge of honor or a tool for self-expression, we’re all about celebrating what makes you feel unique. And what better way to celebrate than by giving yourself a little gift?

That’s where Ulta Beauty’s Gorgeous Hair Event comes in. Similar to the popular 21 Days of Beauty Event, the Gorgeous Hair Event features three weeks of daily haircare beauty steals to help you discover your best hair. Cult-favorite brands? Check. Must-have tools? Check. Major markdowns? Check! To inspire you to find something you’re extra excited about, we asked our most hair-obsessed editors to share the items they’re most excited to pick up each day of the event. From moisture masks to keep thick curls hydrated to volumizing spray perfect for adding oomph to your hair, there’s something ahead for everyone.

Senior Beauty Editor and new mom Amanda is all about effective products that save her time. This treatment helps transform her thick and frizzy hair into I-woke-up-like-this waves overnight.

“I typically like to wash my hair at night, add hair oil to prevent frizz, and then let it air-dry while I sleep. The problem is that sometimes hair oil can leave a residue on my hair that I don’t love (to say the least), but my naturally wavy hair is very porous, sucking up every type of nonoil, leave-in treatment I’ve tried. Cue the Redken One United Multi-Benefit Treatment Spray ($12, originally $24). I use this treatment on towel-dried hair, evenly applying throughout my hair before combing through. When I wake up in the morning, my normally knotty, fine hair is shiny, smooth, and tangle-free, and there is no unsightly film around my roots.”

Editorial Coordinator Haley uses this shampoo daily to keep her dry, color-treated hair healthy and hydrated.

“It seems that every time I go to the salon, I go a bit brighter with the blond. I’m always on the hunt for a good shampoo that will make my hair feel as silky and soft as it did before the added color, and the Pureology Hydrate Sheer Shampoo ($14.75, originally $29.50) is the fix I need. The silicone-free formula has my hair feeling moisturized and bouncy — almost the same as how it felt without highlights.”

Call it lazy-girl beauty or efficient time management, but anything that helps Beauty Editor Stephanie keep her oily-prone roots fresh for days is a total win in her book.

“As someone who has oily hair but also actively avoids daily shampooing, my main concern is controlling oil on those in-between days. Since scalp health plays a huge role in managing oil production, I rely on the Nioxin System 2 Kit ($22.50, originally $45), specifically the Cleanser Shampoo and Scalp Therapy Conditioner, to remove buildup and control moisture balance. Treating my scalp with the same care as my face has really helped reduce oil and allows me to go even longer between washes!”

If a voluminous, salon-quality blowout is your end game, take notes from Senior Beauty Editor Kelsey. She applies this before blow-drying to take her fine, flat hair to the next level.

“Nothing — and I do mean nothing — feels better than walking out of the salon with a fresh blowout. The best one I’ve gotten in years was at Drybar (go figure), where the stylist miraculously transformed my sad, limp hair into crazy voluminous waves. Her secret? This Drybar Southern Belle Volumizing Mousse ($13, originally $26). You can bet I keep a bottle of the stuff in my bathroom to get me as close as possible to the same salon magic at home.”

When your hair is thick, curly, short, and color-treated like Assistant Entertainment Editor Mekishana’s, managing it is a little easier with a hydrating mask on hand.

“Having thick hair is both a blessing and a curse, especially when I have to work to keep it moisturized after regular color treatments. A mask that works to revive my curls while strengthening them is more than a godsend. The DevaCurl Deep Sea Repair Seaweed Strength Mask ($18, originally $36) left my curls super soft but still defined, which is really important when you have hair as short as mine! It is deeply hydrating and allows my curls to form easily when I’m styling later on. It also smells heavenly, which is an added bonus.”

posted by on News

No comments

It’s officially awards season in Hollywood and ET’s here to help you throw an awards show viewing party fit for your favorite A-list stars!

INVITATIONS
Awards season is the perfect excuse to get all your friends together for a glamorous night of fun – Hollywood style! Start by downloading these customizable invitations. Simply add your name, address and start time to the template. Then, print out the invites on white card stock, stuff them in black envelopes and mail them out to all of your besties.

DRESS CODE
Half the fun of awards season is watching the celebs strut their stuff down the red carpet in their designer duds while you’re comfy on the couch, living that pajama life. Make sure your guests are cozy for the big event by encouraging them to rock their most festive black and white PJs but tap into that Old Hollywood glam with some faux pearls, faux diamonds, bow ties and top hats.

DÉCOR
Channel classic Hollywood flicks with black-and-white décor, adding pops of gold throughout for a hint of glitz. Add some drama to your space in an impactful and super affordable way by bundling black balloons of different shapes and sizes around the room.

For seating, print up headshots of the celeb nominees on white card stock and tape them to your chairs using black, white and gold washi tape. This could not be easier and it’s just like what the real show does when planning out the seating chart for the big event.

MUSIC
As your guests arrive, play a mix of classic movie scores or songs from this year’s Best Picture nominees using the Amazon Fire TV Cube, one of ET’s partners this awards season.

FOOD
Nothing says a night at the movies like popcorn and candy. Give those classic movie snacks a makeover starting with a DIY popcorn station. Let your guests spice up their treat just the way they like by setting out a variety of seasonings. Display the popcorn in individual black-and-white striped containers and let your friends do the rest!

Pick up some of your favorite movie theater candy and display in clear containers on a table. Give each guest a black-and-white striped favor bag to dish up the sweets of their choice.

DRINK
It wouldn’t be a celebration without a little champagne! Serve the refreshing beverage in a champagne flute complete with a black-and-white striped straw and a tiny black balloon garnish. Then raise your glass and toast to Tinseltown.

PHOTO BOOTH
Set up a photo booth wall using black-and-gold metallic fringe garland. Make your own props and put them on a table with a sign reading “lights, camera, action!”

GAME
Get the crowd warmed up with a game of “Who Am I?” Download our template and print on white card stock. Cut out the cards that have the names of the celebrity nominees and place each card in a tiny envelope and seal with our downloadable ribbons to give it that awards envelope feel. Pass out one to each guest and have them tape the celeb card to their forehead without peeking. The goal of the game? To be the first person to figure out which name they are wearing by asking other guests questions about the card they are wearing. The first person to guess which star they are wins a prize! Consider handing out movie theater gift cards to the big winner.

PARTY FAVORS
That’s a wrap! When the show is over and it’s time for your guests to hit the road, send them home with movie-themed favors including microwavable popcorn and a box of candy.

Care for your nails

Sep
2018
11

posted by on Beauty

No comments

Taking care of ones nails is very important when it comes to maintaining hygiene. Keep your hands moisturised, coat the nails properly and choose proper lacquer, suggest experts.

Ragini Mehra, Founder at Beauty Source and Sapna Bedi-Khaitan, Owner and Operator at Reign Studio, list down some ways to take care of nails:

* Practice good nail hygiene: Without proper care, the nails become brittle and thin and so, it is essential to have a regular maintenance routine. Manicure and pedicure help in keeping healthy and shiny looking nails. Ensure that you stick to salons that have technicians who have undergone proper training. Wear gloves for better nail care when working with your hands, such as when you are gardening or housecleaning, to protect the polish and keep dirt out of your nails.

* Choose correct nail lacquer and nail care collection: Wearing nail polish does not harm your healthy nails, but many of your favourite nail polishes and acrylics, are full of harsh chemicals that cause nail brittleness, dryness, and thinning. Ensure that you use products that are paraben-free, sulfate-free, formaldehyde-free, toxin-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free and vegan.

Pick a nail colour remover that treats conditions that adversely affect nails and cuticles, preferable something that has the unique goodness of Vitamins A, C, and E.

* Hydrate your hands: It is advised to wash the hands with lukewarm water to help keep the hands and nails soft and smooth. Also, apply a hand cream frequently which is enriched with fruit extracts. It will help in restoring and make the hands look hydrated and moisturised.

* Coat it up: Bottom and top coat may seem unimportant, but they help to keep our nails from chipping, splitting, cracking and strengthen and protect the nail from being stained. The coats also do an awesome job smoothing imperfections. Try and pick up a top coat which has an external barrier harder than traditional top coats, so it’s more durable against wear and damage. Also look for UV protection in the formula to combat environmental damage to include fading and yellowing.

* Nail extension: The nails are one of the parts of the body that can say more of a person. In fact, many people look at the hands because they say a lot about each other’s personality, the way of life. Presentable nails are equally important and if the nails do not grow and are short, it’s beneficial to get nail extension done.

Take care of your nail extensions. Make sure that you fix the damaged nails as soon as possible and keep an eye out for dryness, redness and peeling of skin or cuticles.

* Moisturise cuticles: Taking care of the cuticles is a critical part for a healthy growing nail. Dry, cracking cuticles not only make nails look messy, they can also cause hangnails and just plain hurt. Cuticles are part of your skin and serve the important purpose of acting as your nail’s protective barrier. Moisturise and massage with oils which have healing properties such as Argan Oil to restore moisture and repair damages.

posted by on Life

No comments

The scheme was launched recently at the Girdwood Community Hub in Belfast by Macmillan Cancer Support, in partnership with GLL (Greenwich Leisure Limited), a charitable social enterprise that operates 14 leisure facilities across Belfast under the Better brand.

Move More NI is funded by Macmillan, working along with physical activity providers, local councils and health and social care trusts, to support people living with cancer who need to improve their health and wellbeing.

Many people living with cancer want to make positive changes to their lives and taking steps to have a healthier lifestyle can be a big part of this.

Move More NI aims to ensure everyone living with cancer is aware of the benefits of physical activity and is enabled to choose to become and to stay active at a level that’s right for them. There are 63,000 people living with cancer in NI and almost one in two of us will experience cancer at some point in our life.

Heather Monteverde, head of services for Macmillan in Northern Ireland, says: “Physical activity is safe during and after most types of cancer treatment and can help to reduce the side-effects of this treatment, prevent the occurrence of other long-term conditions, and reduce the risk of cancer spreading or returning.

“We are delighted that Move More NI is now available in the Belfast City Council area.”
‘I’d wondered if I’d ever walk again … the other day I managed without a crutch!’

Less than a year after her breast cancer diagnosis, social care worker Leanne McConnell (41) was temporarily paralysed by unrelated Cauda Equina syndrome, which is caused by damage to the nerves behind the base of the spinal cord. The mother-of-four is being helped to regain her strength through Macmillan’s Move More initiative and its fitness experts. Originally from Donegal, Leanne lives in north Belfast with her husband Brendan, a car sales executive, and their four children, Caoimhe (20), who is studying criminology at Queen’s University, Ella (15), Mia (9) and toddler Finn, who is 22 months old. Leanne says:

I always said when I turn 40 it will be my year, but ironically it turned out to be so bad. At one stage I wondered if I would ever walk again. I’ve always had a bad back and the Cauda Equina syndrome is caused by wear and tear – and I’ve had four children. It was just over four weeks ago when it began. I had this terrible pain, then numbness and I lost control of my bladder.

There’s a window of 12 hours before the nerve endings shut down so I had to have emergency surgery. While I was in the Royal, I was paralysed for nine days. I still have partial paralysis in my right foot and numb legs, but I’m up and about again, with the help of Macmillan and my fantastic husband and kids.

It was just very bad luck but you have to get on with it. Funnily enough, it was a relief that it wasn’t more cancer.

I was always OCD about checking myself because my mum had breast cancer 12 years ago. I’d already been at the cancer centre four times in six months to get checked out. This time, my GP said she couldn’t feel anything but I could, so she sent me for a mammogram to pacify me. I’d got my husband to come with me, thinking it would be fine and he could take me for lunch afterwards.

So, I had the mammogram, then a biopsy. Forty minutes later, the consultant told me it was stage two ductal carcinoma cancer. I went into shock. I asked him if I was going to die – he said no, it was really early and very treatable.

Brendan was in shock too and when we walked out I had a panic attack for the first time in my life.

My whole chest closed in. I told Caoimhe, the eldest, first. It really broke her at the start but she stepped up and ran the house for me. The wee ones were okay; they knew granny had the same thing and that she got better. My mum is amazing – I get my stamina from her.

Mine is a hormonal cancer. Maybe the surge of hormones through my body when I had Finn quite late had some effect; I don’t know. I had a lumpectomy and a breast reduction at the same time – I’d always wanted one, so that was the silver lining. The radiotherapy afterwards led to a lympoderma swelling under my arm but fortunately the tests showed the cancer hadn’t spread to my lymph nodes.

I’m originally from Donegal so I don’t have that wider support network around me, and when you go through something like this it shakes the wheat from the chaff – you know who your friends are. It’s too much for some and they step back. It’s not contagious!

At one stage, I thought ‘Why me?’ And then, ‘Why not me? I’m not so special. And if anyone can get through it, I can’. I didn’t pray but a lot of people did for me, even the tradesmen who were doing our extension at the time. If it’s sending positive vibes – bring it on. I think my nana, who has passed away, was looking out for me too. I just had this gut feeling I was going to be okay.

I’d gone to the GP about something else but I asked her to examine me, almost as an after-thought. If she hadn’t sent me to the City Hospital, I could be six feet under now.

I’m on Tamoxifen for five to 10 years. There are no side-effects but with the Cauda Equina Syndrome, your muscle tone goes. I’m not able to train but I can swim lengths and I’m working with a physio to repair the damage. I have my crutch in the car, but I only take it out to go round the shopping centre. I’ve a major limp, but I was super excited yesterday when I could manage without the crutch. The Move More programme is a crucial part of my therapy, for my mental health too. Now, I’m ready to take on the world, if I could only get my foot to work properly. The paralysis in my right leg lessens every week.

I’d always trained a lot and when I couldn’t walk without a crutch, I thought ‘How can I ever get back to the gym now?’

But I’ve been able to do so through Move More. My trainer Marty said ‘I’ll help you’ and that was it. No more sitting in my old PJs, festering. It’s like having your own personal trainer and it’s good craic too.”
‘I had to stay awake during brain surgery … now I go to the gym and swim weekly’

David Barr (67) spent Christmas 2015 in hospital, having surgery on a stage-four brain tumour, while he remained awake. The retired fitter now walks with the aid of an ambulator, the tumour having impaired the left side of his body. A strong advocate of Macmillan’s Move More programme, David lives in Bangor with his second wife, Liz, a childminder. He has three children from his first marriage, and two young grandchildren. Dave says:

I always loved walking but I wasn’t able to after the brain tumour affected my left side. It happened on December 22, 2015. My co-ordination and balance hadn’t been great and they just went.

I got to A&E at the Ulster Hospital — I used to work there, fitting all the heating systems and so on. They thought I’d had a small stroke until they did an MRI and found a tumour on the brain.

posted by on Dresses, Wedding

No comments

Ivory Tulle V-neck A-Line/Princess Sweep/Brush Train Wedding DressesIn lieu of comparison-shopping for the chic matrimony dresses, try out an outfit that meets your particular body shape and flatters your figure. Lots of women do not do this because they sadly have no idea about their figure, but it is really easy to identify which category you fall into.

Generally speaking, there are usually four unique body shapes:

Pear shapes: Those who are a pear shape have hips which are definitely wider than their shoulders. Some women with this type of body are uncomfortable with the size of their lower bodies and want to move attention faraway from the area. Stay clear of any tiered garments, as they are a huge no-no for pear shapes. Princess style garments are frequently a solid bet, as they conceal the hips. The empire style lines tend to be advisable, especially if you do not have huge bust.

Apple shapes: Girls that are an apple shape are wider on the top fifty percent of their body, so their shoulders are wider than their hips. If the wideness on the top half is caused by broad shoulders, this is often easier than you think to deal with. A dress with a v-neck works well for this problem, as it means that the shoulders are covered up. “Narrowing” the area with wide straps is the one other option. Puffed sleeves should be avoided, because they will only draw attention to your shoulders.

If the wideness is a result of an ample bosom, make sure you avoid any pockets, lapels and detailed embroidery in the area. Fundamentally, you ought to avoid anything that is going to accentuate the area. Choosing a dress that contains interesting details throughout is also a good move, as they force the eye downwards.

Hourglass shapes: An hourglass figure is one in which the top and bottom half of the body are perfectly balanced, with a very defined waistline. It is considered the perfect body shape, and those that have this figure are considered to be extremely lucky, as they are not limited in the clothes that they can wear. As the two halves of the body are so pleasantly balanced, make sure you avoid adding weight to either half, and simply draw attention to your body shape. Pick out a dress that clings to your waist, as this will show off your greatest assets.

Banana shapes: Women with banana body shapes tend to be slim with a waist that is not particularly defined, if at all defined. A strapless ball gown with a fitted neck is a good idea for this body shape, as is a fitted clothing with a significant neckline. If you are on the tall side, your height works as a plus point with these types of dress, especially if it features some fragile embroidery or beading as a finishing touch. Choosing a style with an abundant skirt will create the illusion of curves.

When you finally know which style of dress best suits your body shape, you are in a much better position to start the search for the perfect wedding dress. Finding a dress that suits your body shape is far more important than finding the most fashionable dress. Best of luck in your endeavour.

posted by on Dresses, Fashion

No comments

Last year, Julie Shupp went to Cocalico High School’s prom in a flowy teal dress with sequins on top.

“It was so pretty,” says Shupp, now a senior. “I felt like a princess.”

And it was free.

Shupp’s part of the Cocalico National Honor Society’s prom dress collection, Cinderella’s Closet. The closet is one of the prom clothing drives held throughout Lancaster County to help students. With prom approaching, these groups need dresses, suits and accessories.

How expensive is prom? Students in the Northeast spent an average of $700 last year, from tickets and clothing to hair and accessories, according to Yahoo Style’s Prom Across America survey. The survey queried more than 1,700 people across the country.

Cocalico High started a prom dress collection a few years ago.

“Prom dresses are really expensive,” Shupp says. “Not everyone can afford to pay for a dress.”

At Solanco High School, Renee’s Closet and Dapper Dan’s gives free dress and suit rentals for students. Renee’s Closet is named in memory of 2011 Solanco graduate Renee Willard. Dapper Dan’s is named in memory of Daniel Lugo, Solanco Class of 2014. Both passed away in 2014.

McCaskey High School has collected dresses for more than a decade. The collection is a great service for students, says Willa Adams, student activities coordinator. And it’s a chance for people to share their own prom dresses.

“Think of how many people have dresses in their closet that they’ve only worn once,” she says.

posted by on Dresses

No comments

Ivory Net Bateau Ball Gown Ankle-Length Wedding DressesLet’s face it most brides purchase their dress well in advance and unless you are paying additional storage costs to the bridal store from which it was purchased, keeping it in perfect condition will fall squarely on your shoulders. In order to know how to store your dress to avoid any irreversible damage from occurring, it is vital that you take a look at the overall design.

If your dress is one of those creations that is covered in beads; pearls; sequins or rhinestones or any other embellishment then chances are it weighs a ton. Well; close to a ton anyway; but the main thing to remember here is that you will need to store it in a flat position. To do this first lay the dress out on a white sheet which you can use to wrap over the dress and then slip it under a bed. However, if you have pets in your home this may not be ideal. Many wedding dress stores will offer special long boxes in which you can place your neatly wrapped dress and keep it safe from pets.

Similarly dresses that incorporate delicate inserts or thin straps that hold heavier fabric in place should also be stored in the “flat” position. If at all possible you can also fold the dress once wrapped in the sheet or if you only have a limited amount of storage space then you can roll the dress, which will result in fewer wrinkles as well.

Lighter less fancy wedding dresses can be hung normally in your cupboard, but if your dress is made from silk or a similar natural fabric then it will need to be able to “breathe”. The best decision is to spend a bit extra on a non-synthetic garment bag; or once again opt for wrapping it in a cotton sheet and storing it under a bed. Also ensure that these types of dresses are not subject to heat or direct sunlight. Of course polyester dresses are the easiest to store as they can hang for months in your closet without any dilemma.

A few days before your wedding you should hang your dress on a hanger; all creases may simply hang out but if not then hanging it in a steam filled bathroom may just do the trick. Another option is to rent a steamer specially designed for delicate fabrics; and can be taken with to the venue to ensure you stay wrinkle free all day.

posted by on Makeup

No comments

While lip glosses might be a childhood favourite, growing up makes most of us steer clear of them. The sticky pout hardly ever makes it past lunch and our blowout is basically stuck to our lips within five minutes of stepping out of the house. Plus, they’re never as pigmented as you’d like them to be (besides, the liquid matte versions). We put to test three lip glosses (shimmer and pigmented variations) that claim to stay away from the tack, to ration if they really stand the test of fresh blowouts.

Faces Go Chic Lip Gloss, Rs 299
“While the Faces Go Chic lip gloss looked just like the Barbie pink, shimmery ones from what was my first makeup kit, this one was actually the perfect subtle pink gloss to wear in the day. You can even wear it over a matte lipstick to add some shine to your lips, if they start to feel too dry. As soon as you apply it, you’ll expect it to feel heavy and glossy, however, it settles down well unlike any other lip gloss I’ve tried. With gloss being so on-trend, it’s the perfect buy.” – Janine Dubash, editorial assistant

NYX Professional Makeup Butter Gloss, Rs 550
“I’ve been a fan of lip glosses since childhood but was always afraid of their stickiness, now that I need to have them on for longer. The NYX Butter Gloss had me pleasantly surprised—it’s not only non-sticky but also doesn’t transfer easily. The multiple colour options and medium coverage of this product makes it perfect to use every day. I applied it for 3-4 hours and it stayed in place the entire time. As a gloss lover, I’d give this tube my vote for sure. If you’re privy to chapped lips, give this ‘buttery’ formula a try.” – Yashna Chopra, digital writer

Innisfree Real Fluid Rouge, Rs 900
“While I love wearing lip gloss, I can’t deny the fact that I hate the tackiness that comes with most of them. Innisfree’s Real Fluid Rouge comes in vibrant shades and I tried a non-sticky coral. When I first swatched it, it felt very bright on my skin but on wearing the shade was much lighter on my lips making it quite wearable. The best thing I loved about this lip gloss is that it gives a high-shine to my lips making it look extremely plumped, without feeling sticky. On the downside, the texture was a little too heavy for me so I would recommend dabbing small quantities of it and spreading it out on your lips.” – Raveena Shahpuri, digital writer

posted by on Fashion

No comments

Azzedine Alaïa, the Paris-based, pint-sized fashion powerhouse, who became both a dominating presence and industry rebel while carving his own path in the swaths of the French fashion world, has died. According to the New York Times, he was 82. Women’s Wear Daily reported that heart failure was the cause of death.

To observers outside the fashion industry, Alaïa’s legacy will be his body-hugging, sensual designs that somehow blended raw sexuality and female empowerment. To industry insiders, he’ll be remembered most for his intimacy and the close-knit crew that he kept around him always. He was more than a dressmaker; he was “Papa,” the term that longtime friend and muse Naomi Campbell used for him.

The last time I saw Monsieur Alaïa was during the Paris collections in October. He liked to cook, and had a large kitchen in his studio on the Rue de la Verrerie in the Marais, where he prepared family-style meals for staff and friends. His lunches and dinners became legendary both because the food was delicious and the people were fabulous. At the table there’d be artists, politicians, curators, supermodels, documentarians, rare book dealers, fellow fashion editors. You’d never know. Often, there would be his best friend, Carla Sozzani, the proprietor of Italian fashion emporium Corso Como, and Caroline Fabre Bazin, his capable studio manager of more than a decade. To receive an invitation to dine at Alaïa’s house was a right of passage for anyone who worked in the fashion industry, a stamp of approval.

For this lunch last month, I arrived early, partly because I was terrified of being late and also because I wanted to see photographer Richard Wentworth’s exhibition in the gallery space of his studio, which was on the other side of a Cesar Baldaccini gilded sculpture of a giant breast in the courtyard. For Alaïa, artistic expression was a universal language that bled into art, fashion and dance, and he used his space for all manners of creative expressions. In 2013, he hosted a dinner there for Apple’s Jony Ive and Marc Newson to celebrate a new version of the Apple Watch. The evening included flamenco dancers as post-dinner entertainment, and Salma Hayek, Spanish actress Rossy de Palma and Spanish choreographer Blanca Li’s impromptu performance of “Bésame Mucho.”

This was also the space where Alaïa staged his final fashion show in July, the first time he had presented a collection in Paris in more than half a decade. Alaïa didn’t suffer fools and made enemies as easily he made friends. His collections were presented when he wanted, not when retail schedules dictated it, and his designs could never be grouped into seasonal trends. (Who could forget the scene in the 1995 film ‘Clueless’ when Alicia Silverstone is told to lay down on the street as she’s getting mugged and she tells her assailant, “You don’t understand, this is an Alaïa.”?) He was supportive of friends in the industry and was a regular presence at fellow designers’ fashion shows. One of his last public appearances was Nicolas Ghesquière’s collection for Louis Vuitton at the Louvre last month. As a designer, he was revered and he was feared. One prominent fashion editor once told me that at the fittings for her wedding dress he would admonish her for having gained weight. But his dresses were strokes of genius, and in his clothes, women said, they felt like no other.

Azzedine Alaïa was born in Tunis in North Africa. As a teenager, he lied about his age to get into the École des Beaux-Arts in Tunis. He moved to Paris in 1957, and forged a career working for Christian Dior, Guy Laroche, and Theirry Mugler. In the late 1970’s, he started his own label out of his apartment on the Rue de Bellechasse, and produced his first ready to wear collection in 1980. In a statement to the Business of Fashion, Hayek’s husband François-Henri Pinault, chairman of luxury group Kering, said, “It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Azzedine Alaïa. In the fashion world, he was a great, a major couturier. Everything was at the top with him: couture, art, the standards he aimed at, his dedication to his work, his mastering of techniques, and all the women he dressed. He was an artisan in the noble sense of the term, and a man fiercely attached to his freedom.”

posted by on Fashion

No comments

What is an elevator piece? It could be a fabulous tasselled earring. It could be a shirt with corset lacing at the waist or a sweater with ribbon ties at the cuff. It isn’t any one thing to buy, in fact, so much as a whole new way to shop. It is a one-click shortcut, the single game-changer item that lifts the rest of your look.

I know what you’re thinking: blah blah, It bags, investment dressing, statement purchases. Heard it all before, love. Well, actually, no. The point about the elevator piece is that it doesn’t have to be expensive. All these picks are from the high street. The elevator piece brings added value not in its label, but in its fashion content. Welcome to the age of the Inexpensive It purchase.

Nobody buys a new-season wardrobe any more. Even if you had the cash and the time, trends no longer run in neat cycles, so there is never a moment for a full reset. Instead of rewiring your wardrobe with a new silhouette or a brand-new colour palette, the elevator piece complements what you have already.

You probably already shop like this. It’s what smart women have done, quietly, for years. Now that the fashion industry has cottoned on to it, the elevated route to the heights of fashion just got easier to find.

1 The hero cuff
The style equivalent of virtue-signalling, now that the cold shoulder, while alive and well, is hardly an insider secret. Sometimes you want a new top, but one that doesn’t shout, “THIS IS MY NEW TOP DO YOU LIKE IT I BOUGHT IT TODAY?” You know what I mean? That’s when the hero cuff comes in. A top where the fancy stuff happens on the sleeve rather than at the shoulder is intriguing without being attention-grabbing. The Florence flute sleeve top from Finery (£39) is crisp and modern and makes an instant work outfit (I’d add a pair of paper-bag waist trousers like these Cobden trousers also from Finery, £69, perhaps). A checked top with a bow on the sleeve is spring 2017 in a nutshell, and available on any shop floor near you – this Zara window-pane check for £29.99 is nicely sophisticated, if gingham is a bit Dorothy for you.

2 The alpha earring
These are dangerous times for the earring-obsessed, like me. Because the high-street earring game is mega. A brilliant pair of earrings turns a black silk T-shirt and a pair of jeans into cocktail-party glamour: at high-street prices, it would be rude not to, right? Tasselled earrings are the modern take on chandeliers: H&M has a huge selection, while Whistles has a more refined take with a Tassel Hoop for £25 and the Serenite tassel earrings at Anthropologie, £48, come in blush or navy and are completely divine. Other excellent hunting grounds for earrings right now are Mango for awesome cheapies – a pair of simple silver geometric danglers for £9.99 are among the many gems – and Uterque for pieces that cost around the £50 mark but look like actual heirlooms (£55 buys you a joyous pair of not-real-emerald and not-real-pearl but really-beautiful vintage sparklers).

3 The upfront zipper
Remember the Roland Mouret sexy back-zip dress? The zip is back, but now it’s on the front. A silver zip with a sporty round tab is a detail that makes any piece look right for now. Samantha Cameron is on to it with her Cefinn collection (we’ve seen this zip funnel-neck midi dress, £290, in the flesh and can confirm it’s reaallly nice) and zips are updating pretty off-duty dresses such as the Pepita lace dress, £145, from new label Kitri. A zip on the sleeve, being completely without function unless you suffer from hot elbows, is an instant elevator for sportswear, as in a brilliant oversized zipped sweater from Zara for £29.99.

4 The spring knit
A hard winter can kill even the most beloved jumper. That funnel neck you bought in October and have worn under dresses, over dresses, under coats, over your pyjamas … have a proper look. It’s a bit bobbly, no? A springtime sweater in a upbeat colour is a good March purchase. I wore this £19.50 Marks & Spencer polo neck sweater in light copper – quite Nicole Kidman in Big Little Lies, isn’t it? – all through posh fashion month and I loved it.

5 The sophisticated shirt
If your shirt lends itself to rolling sleeves up and getting stuck in, then you’re wearing the wrong shirt. The shirt of 2017 is more at home on a bar stool or in a theatre seat than on a swivel chair. Lace-up detailing is the new frontier – try Kitri’s Sylvie corset shirt (so much nicer than that sounds) for £75, or the Grainger lace-up boyfriend shirt for £59. Polka dots, by the way, are the new stripes: try Finery’s Salterton polka-dot blouse for £89.

6 The eye-catching back view
Having something interesting in the back view of your outfit is an instant elevator. Millie Mackintosh has a blue cotton shirt that fastens across a bare back with a black sash, very chic, £55. An easier route is to wear an open-back sweater over a white T-shirt or simple white shirt. Asos has a good selection, including this one with Fendi-ish cross-over straps for £28.

7 The fancy-bumping-into-you jacket
You know when you bump into someone in the street, they look great, and you think – that’s what I want to look like when I bump into people in the street? Well, I’ve been analysing this, and I think it’s all about the jacket. A khaki utility jacket is an instant weekend elevator. Whistles has a cropped utility jacket for £119, which looks excellent over dresses. Boden’s Florence jacket is a more classically shaped long-line version, good with jeans, for £90.

8 The night-bloom dress
Like a floral dress, but a bit moodier and cleverer. Less garden party, more party-party. Warehouse is an excellent hunting ground right now. Its patchwork black and dark-floral print frock is a winner for £69.

9 The high-low shoe
An elevated shoe used to mean exactly that: a 6in-heeled flight of fancy. A shoe that made you go weak at the knees in the shop – and then, sadly, made you go weak at the knees within 10 minutes of putting it on. The clever way to do an elevated shoe is a high-taste, low-effort style.