Saturday, August 23, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Environment Friendly Clothing - A Step to Save The World by Gaurav Doshi
Nature serves humans and is the source of our bare necessities. Nowadays, the global trend is towards saving nature. In the light of this awakening, the trend is changing in textiles from manmade materials to eco-friendly ones. The demand of the consumers is also changing from polyester and conventional cotton to eco-friendly garments.
These kind of eco-friendly garments are made from different products like Lycocell, Ingeo, Organic cotton, Hemp, Bamboo and Soy. The fibre which is made of wool-pulp cellulose is known as Lycocell. This is a good alternative of rayon.
Hemp fibre does not need pesticides. Just a small quantity of water is enough for the production of this fibre.
Ingeo is a fibre made of bio-degradable material. This is a fibre made by man by converting corn into polymer. Organic cotton is the material which is made by using organic materials. No pesticides are used in its production. The amount of water being used is also 25% less than what is used in conventional cotton production.
The fabric being produced from bamboo is soft and has anti-bacterial qualities. The fabric made by using different soy products like soybean oil, soy-milk and others are similar to silk in look and even in feel.
All these eco-friendly materials are produced using less water than others. They are manufactured without using any pesticides and bio-degradable materials. So, even the working environment is good for the health of workers.
It is a common belief that natural cotton is the most environment-friendly. In reality only those cottons are environment-friendly in the production of which no pesticides and chemical fertilizers are used. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides pollute the soil and thus they harm the environment. When cotton is dyed using chemical dyes, it contains heavy metals. These heavy metals contaminate the soil and crops. Thus the cotton being produced by these kinds of materials is not eco-friendly. Only those fabrics and materials are known as eco-friendly ones which do not harm the environment in any way and do not pollute the air, water or soil.
Soy fibers are fibers obtained from soy plants. In the year 1999, soybeans were used in a different way. He made underwear from the fibers made from soy plants. It was a good and economical alternative to conventional cloth. This cloth was smooth to touch and was very popular in the U.S. and Europe. China is a leading exporter and manufacturer of soy fabrics in the world, which is growing day by day.
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Friday, August 15, 2008
The Return of Biba by Ceri Heathcote
Sixties Brit brand Biba was originally founded by Barbara Hulanicki in 1964. It became hugely popular with its Kensington department store selling everything from fashion to home furnishings and more. Biba played a key role in classifying London as the most fashionable city in the world during the seventies. The store attracted many celebrity customers including Mick and Bianca Jagger, Twiggy, Yoko Ono, Bridgitte Bardot and Raquel Welch. The store were an amazing retail environment that combined Art Decco, Noveau, Victoriana and the golden age of Hollywood. Unfortunately in 1975, the store closed down.
In 2006, much to our delight, Biba relaunched at London Fashion Week. The new label has a modern look but still holds onto the bold and innovative design that was it signature back in the days. Biba is distinctly British and manages to combine the legendary rock and roll spirit of its heyday with present day style. I love Biba, probably because the clothes remind me of the sorts of clothes that my mother wore when I was younger.
For Spring Summer 08 Biba have surpassed themselves with a collection featuring rich prints and luxurious fabrics. The attention to detail on the garments make them really special with smocking, pintucking and pleating creating subtle but interesting texture and shape. The new fresh faced Biba has really topped off the Spring Summer collection with gorgeous accessories like the patent, canvas and kid leather pumps, brightly coloured shoes with striped stack heels and ethically inspired big gold buckles. The collection is nostalgic, charming and quite irresistible.
Do You Remember: Retro Fashion and 70s Nostalgia by Zane Clements
Take for example the Mini Skirt.
Mary Quant, chanteuse of the swinging 60’s Carnaby Street, is credited as the first to reveal the ultra-short miniskirt. The mini was shocking, and not since the 20’s flapper had exposing your knee caused such a stir. Respectable ladies wore skirts at knee length, and young girls were supposed to follow the respectable path, but something happened when the daring Quant shortened skirts, and the world went mod.
Designer Andre Courreges is also credited with the mini’s creation, but Quant successfully commercialized the new freedom of teenage fashion, exposing the sexually explosive 60’s to the mini. The all-too-revealing miniskirt coincided with the birth of the sexual revolution, and exposed more than legs. The birth control pill hit the market in 1960, and in 1962, feminist and future Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown published Sex and the Single Girl, a support manual for young women who refused marriage but didn’t want to sacrifice the most primal urge. Sex was everywhere, and even more shocking than girls enjoying sex was that they were talking about it. And the miniskirt was the best advertisement for the sexual revolution.
Girls could strut their stuff, free to expose their sensuality, and men were just going to have to deal with it! No more covering up, keeping flesh under wraps because of the consequences of temptation. The miniskirt boldly stated the new confidence of a woman’s body, and her place in the feminine world. Protection and ‘providing for’ was no longer what the 60’s gal wanted. She called the shots, and in her sexy new miniskirt, she got what she wanted.
The miniskirt has remained a major staple throughout the years, as a sign of both sexuality and confidence (though we should warn you that showing thigh won’t instantly turn you into an Amazon princess. The mini might make you look sexy, but the confidence part is up to you). The 80’s returned the miniskirt back to pure unadulterated sensuality when Madonna slithered across the floor in thigh-high, black lycra miniskirts. Paired with lace tights and mesh shirts that exposed the navel, the 80’s miniskirt was unashamed and in your face. The 60’s mini was mild in comparison to the body-hugging shamelessness of 80's cotton lycra.
The mini-skirt received even more controversy when it found its way into the professional realm of the 90’s. Heather Locklear’s ‘Amanda’ on Melrose Place stirred up attention in her skirts that barely hung below the hemline of her suit jackets. Professional women were conflicted: yes, the mini-skirt made your legs look fabulous, but was this going too far? When Calista Flockhart’s title character on Ally McBeal received more attention for her skirts than for her law practice, girls had to wonder if the line had been crossed.
Hemlines rise and fall faster than the stock market—where liberated women are down on the exchange floor beside their fellow man, thank you very much. The true fashion icon of the 60’s, the mini skirt is fearless: it allows women to celebrate their sexuality, and yet defies the old fashion convention of yesteryear.
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Thank You Mary Quaint - For The Mini Dress! by Sarah H
It was the year 1960 and the world was to experience a lot of changes among them the introduction of the Mini Dress, which was said to be launched at the same time as the birth control pill was introduced. The introduction of the birth control pill is said to have brought on the sexual liberation of women and free love became a reality. Because of the sexual liberation of women and the free love that followed, the mini skirt became popular, not only for young teenage girls, but also for young mothers and even grandmothers who were adventurous enough to wear them.
Mary Quaint who by 1966, was producing short mini dresses and skirts for her boutique bazaar, from an idea she adapted from the 1964 designs of designer “Courreges”, is credited in part for the popularity of the mini dress and skirt, which did not become popular when it was first introduced earlier on. It became popular because it was quite different and was basically designed with young teenage girls in mind, but because of its popularity soon became the height of fashion with old and young alike.
With the shortening of hemlines, emphasis was placed on the legs and stockings became important and soon there were different colors and fashions, like fish net stocking, and so Ernestine Carter declared 1963 the year of the legs. In that same year the British Society for the Preservation of the Mini Skirt was formed, and boasted of some 450 mini skirts enthusiasts, who claimed that their society was for the good of mankind. In 1996 when Christian Dior was about to launch their new fashion of long coats and dresses the society protested, carrying banners that said” Mini Skirts Forever” and “Support the Mini”.
In 1967 the mini dress and skirt started turning into a micro mini with hemlines reaching as far as their bottom. These micro dresses and skirts were basically just a strip of material and because it was so short it was necessary to replace the stockings and suspenders that were usually used with the introduction of the pantyhose. Finally the 1960s which is affectionately remembered as the “Swinging Sixties” has brought a lot of changes with regards to the way women were looked upon and has made its mark in history with these changes in women dress hemlines and with the introduction of the birth control pill and the free love spirit that came about due to these changes.
Find more great tips and ideas on dressing at http://www.allaboutdresses.net/ a website offering tips, advice and resources on topics such as the mini dress, dresses by Jennifer Lopez, modern prom dresses and even jingle dresses.
Vintage Fashion - Why It's Not Just Old Clothes by Karen Richards
Some may think that vintage fashion is just a fancy way of saying second-hand or pre-loved. In the past dressing in cast-offs or hand-me-downs was usually done out of economic necessity and not by choice.
People who wear vintage fashion nowadays know that it is more than outdated clothes found in thrift shops. Vintage is serious fashion. Garments from the 1940s & 1950s are categorized as ‘classic’, while clothing from the 1960s & 1970s are considered ‘retro’.
So why has vintage become so popular?
• Wearing vintage is stylish. It’s in vogue!
• At the same time it is so trendy, it is mainstream.
• Adding vintage pieces gives your wardrobe pizzazz.
• With vintage you buy what you love, what appeals to you, creating your own distinctive style.
• The level of quality for cost is impossible to get in new clothing.
• It’s a source for one-of-a-kind clothes. One less thing to worry about in the world, as it’s not likely anyone else will have the exact same outfit.
• Can’t afford designer clothes. There’s always vintage – which is where most designers get their inspiration anyway.
• It has exceptional quality and tailoring. You can find pieces with gorgeous details including amazing hand-stitchery, buttons, trims and other lovely embellishments.
• Shopping for vintage is thrilling. You never know what you will find.
• Vintage can be beautiful and elegant or fun and quirky.
• Made from quality fabrics with first-rate workmanship, vintage pieces have stood the test of time.
• It’s very collectible. Vintage clothing is an investment. Keep it in good condition and it will always go up in value.
Karen Richards grew up surrounded by collections of all kinds. She inherited her love of anything with a history from her parents who have collected and dealt in antiques for over half a century. Her passion is vintage fashions and catalogues. She owns The Cats Meow- Classics in Vintage Clothing and Accessories a great place to find that one of a kind quality garment – gently used, vintage, vintage inspired and designer clothing. Visit her online at http://www.catsmeowclassics.com.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
The 60's Are Back in Clothing Styles by Thomas Cohen
It seemed that as the 60s faded out and the 70s came along to replace an ere there was a few characters that failed to notice that the decade had changed. They were referred to as "old hippies" and they hung on tight to what they felt looked good and many of them are still dressed that way today.
It was definitely not an "off the shelf" look, because just about every customised feature that was worn during the Hippie or "flower child" era had to be created by hand. So much of what they did during that time was done on a pair of old faded "Levi" jeans. This is because, what many people don't realize is that during that time "Levi Strous" was, for the most part, the only show in town.
Sure, there were a few other brands of jeans such as Wranglers that a true hippie would not be caught dead in, due to the fact that Wranglers were the favorite garb of "red necks", who happened to be the arch enemy of the hippie. Then there were other "off brands" of jeans that were sold in places like K-Mart and J.C. Penny stores that just wouldn't "cut it" in the eyes of the true discriminating hippie.
So, it was Levis and not just any Levis, because they had to be faded somewhat. When the straight legged look went to bell bottoms in the middle of the hippie era, rather then throw out perfectly good faded Levis, many hippies adapted. What they would do is cut out a big "V" in the bottom of the leg and then stitch in some fabric of a contrasting color and design. This effectively turned what was once straight legged Levis into bell bottoms, only with a personalized unique look.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
The Hippie Fashion Statement by Robert Fuller
The Hippie counterculture that started out in the 1960’s was more than just a movement advocating peace and freedom. What started out as a peaceful protest against the established societal norms and political arena that was in place, became an entire lifestyle that the hippies lived out from waking to sleeping, and from head to toe.
A lot of people followed the hippie movement. Some were motivated to become hippies themselves, while some found their views and how they expressed them quite interesting. Even if some were not exactly that passionate about what the hippies lived for, the hippie trend still managed to catch on. From long-haired men, to vegetarians, and to odd clothes, a lot of people soon had a bit of a hippie in them.
Although the hippie statement about breaking free from society and pursuing liberation and peace was the movement’s main theme, it became easy for people to know hippies more popularly because of their odd way of dressing and conducting themselves. Because of their rather eccentric clothes, they stood out quite starkly from the crowd. This is why the term “hippie” would often bring to mind a long-haired person, clad in sandals or sometimes even barefoot, wearing colorful tie-dyed shirts, a vest, bell-bottom pants, and several other accessories. For the ladies, the picture may also consist of colorful peasant blouses and long, full skirts.
These fashion threads have now been modernized and are accepted by the fashion world. Bell-bottom pants are now a worldwide hit. What used to be trendy back in the past, and went out of the trend for a long time, is now the “it” pair of jeans nowadays. The long, full skirts of the hippie women are now an option for any woman who wants to go feminine. The skirts are now designed in new and creative ways, using different fabrics, and come in various designs and colors. The peasant blouses are also a worldwide success. The blouses are even extended to become peasant dresses by maintaining its basic design. The blouses now come in many different varieties, colors, designs, just as long as it does not lose the basic peasant look. The tie dye trend is also now used in a variety of garments. T-shirts, tank tops, skirts, dresses, sundresses, hats, and even underwear are now tie-dyed. The mix of bright colors has made tie-dyed garments popular especially during the summer season.
Due to the wide fashion arena that accepts almost everything as a fashion statement, no matter how weird a piece of clothing may look at first, fashion can make it seem trendy and beautiful in the long run. As the hippie fashion threads caught on, people begun to look at them as strong fashion statements – eccentric and unique clothes that stood out from the crowd and was closely associated with freedom of expression. A lot of people, especially those who wanted to be unique, embraced the trend fully.
Up to the present, some modern-day hippies still wear the same odd clothes. But they’re not so odd anymore, because they’ve become part of the fashion mainstream. Some who wear the getup are possibly not true-blue hippies at all. We also see a lot of movie roles who sport the hippie getup. It has also somehow become a stereotype, because of the popularity it obtained.
However, no matter how commercialized the hippie fashion statement may get, in truth, it is still closely linked with hippie values. After all, when a hippie getup is seen, it is still known as “the hippie getup”. And it still epitomizes what the hippies stood for. Freedom from restrictions and of self-expression, in that they sported long, unkempt-looking hair without caring what other people may think. Liberation and opposition of the corporate pillars in place, in that they often made their own clothes and went barefoot. Peace and love, in that they use cheerful, bright colors that show off a peaceful, positive outlook in a beautifully free life.
Fashion In The 1970s by Priyanka Arora
The 1970s continued the hippie look reminiscent of the past decade. Worn out jeans remained popular as well as the tie-dye. The fashion for unisex was on the upswing. Afro hairstyle and platform soles became in with the rise of the radical chic.
It is said that male appearance got changed more in this decade than any other time in the century. In the US, fashion was focused on simple and longer skirts. Jeans became more popular, becoming an accepted item in the fashion scene. Some of the designers who rose to popularity were Calvin Klein and another US designer, Ralph Lauren. Meanwhile, Pierre Cardin popularized a staple style of clothing featuring narrow shoulders with tight fitting lines, having no tie and interfacing, and coupled with jackets and tunics. Men also opted to dress down, regarded as hippie', and this gained recognition as more of a deliberate look.
One of the more innovative designers of the decade was Kenzo Takada, who mixed Western and Oriental influences to create a new fashion trend. Another name worthy to mention is Sonia Rykiel, who created figure hugging knits. An Italian designer who made waves in this decade was Giorgio Armani, who made a distinctively successful collection of clothes for women in 1975.
It was also during the '70s when fashion trends began to cross borders quickly. Western fashion trends were looked upon by the rest of the world. Synthetic materials were also introduced. The decade also got inspiration from fashion trends in the previous decades.
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