Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Hosts TEFAF Art Fair Opening

“Tonight is elegant, educational and inspiring,” opined a fur-clad Martha Stewart.

The domestic doyenne, joined by longtime collaborator Kevin Sharkey, was on hand for the energetic Opening Night of TEFAF New York Fall. Hosted by The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering, collectors, philanthropists and art lovers alike flocked to the Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan Friday evening to preview the annual art and antiques fair, which helped benefit MSK’s cancer research initiatives.

“We make [the dealers] tell us everything about everything,” added Stewart. “You talk to someone who really knows what’s going on. We’ve just learned it’s the 300th anniversary of [the birth of cabinetmaker Thomas] Chippendale coming up next year — I love Chippendale.”

Jamee Gregory, the newly appointed president of the Society of MSK, held court at the fair’s entrance in a cocktail dress by Oscar de la Renta. “You saw the beautiful flowers, which they flew in from Holland,” noted Gregory with a smile as she turned her gaze to a massive column of white blossoms suspended from the armory’s towering ceiling. “A lot of our supports don’t get to Maastricht [Netherlands], so Maastricht is coming to them.”

For nearly 30 years, the preeminent art and antiques fair has been based in the northern European city, with the New York iteration featuring works pre-dating 1920 on display for sale through November 1.

“Everybody is back in the city and ready to see each other and these beautiful things,” continued Gregory. “How terrific it is to support MSK and our patient care and research. When people are kind enough to support your charity, I want them to know how much it matters to me so I shake their hand and thank them.”

Gregory momentarily stopped her train of thought to display her hostess prowess. “Hi Shelly, thank you,” she exclaimed, without skipping a beat. Pivoting back, she added, “What could be a more exciting initiative? We’re nipping cancer in the bud.”

Accessories designer Rebecca de Ravenel, who had her eye on a work by painter Egon Schiele, noted how the party guests’ finery even rivaled the fair’s exquisite pieces. “Someone told me to just come after work and I didn’t know [how dressed up everyone would be] — I would have worn a little makeup,” said de Ravenel with a laugh. “I don’t live here so I’m seeing many friends I haven’t seen in a long time. It’s a melting pot of the arts and fashion [community] with the most beautiful paintings I’ve ever seen.”

“We collect Surrealist paintings,” revealed U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The exhibitors here are better than most and it’s nicely carpeted. I don’t remember [seeing people shucking fresh oysters] last year. It’s cute.”

Ross was joined by wife Hillary Geary Ross, who is a perennial supporter of MSK’s events. “It’s a wonderful hospital that does so much good,” she noted. “The whole [event] is very well-organized.”

That calm order was momentarily replaced by frenzy in one of the fair’s wood-floored galleries when a woman’s glass bead necklace came undone beside a grouping of 14th-century Spanish ceramics atop spindly pedestals. The panic-stricken room had assumed the worst, but then quickly — and comically — began chasing runaway beads cascading towards a parade of unwitting attendees. “‘The Benny Hill Show’ theme song should be playing,” remarked a tickled onlooker.

The benefit evening, which was sponsored by Spanish skin-care company Natura Bissé, appealed to both seasoned art lovers as well as new collectors. “They’re doing a lot to make this fun,” said young philanthropist Amory McAndrew. “From the flowers to the oyster shuckers, there’s a really great energy. [TEFAF and MSK] have reinvigorated this very nicely.”Read more at:www.marieaustralia.com/vintage-formal-dresses | http://www.marieaustralia.com/formal-dresses-2017-online



The crowd erupted in cheers and applause as each model took a turn dominating the runway.

Co-hosts standing on stage added additional flare as they described each model and his or her outfit.

“Give it up. Show some love,” Adrian Peterson-Fields said over applause as co-workers saw their cohorts in completely different light. This wasn’t a typical day at the office.

For one afternoon, the Smithfield Court community center gym was transformed into a high-end fashion house as the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District presented its “Three Ribbons Fashion Show.”

The event on Oct. 20 served a dual purpose as a morale-building retreat and a time to raise awareness of three important causes that are highlighted in October: domestic violence, breast cancer awareness, and trigeminal neuralgia, a rare nerve condition that causes severe facial pain. Some HABD employees, including some models themselves, have been affected by these issues.

“I wanted to have something fun and something with some razzle-dazzle, but also having a message,” said Miracle Brown, who presented the concept of a fashion show. “We can have fun and learn something at the same time.”

The room was nearly unrecognizable as models took to the brightly lit runway. Employees rehearsed several days and were clothed and fitted by Sonja Atkins of Betsy Moore Boutique, who donated all her services for the event. Small businesses also donated hair styling, makeup and accessories.

“I was cautiously optimistic because I knew that a lot of people might not get down with a fashion show,” Brown said. “I wanted to have it all come together; to have a day of pampering and fun.”

Some participants shared their personal experiences with breast cancer, domestic violence and trigeminal neuralgia. Brown has lived with the rare facial nerve condition since 2009.

“I can get episodes from doing things that we take for granted. Everything that we take for granted can start an attack,” Brown said. “Usually I have three or four attacks a week, but the levels of severity are different.”

The loudest accolades were reserved for model Joyce Owens during her two turns commanding the catwalk. Owens honored her niece, Brittaney Katrina Owens, who lost her life due to domestic violence in 2016. She was just 26.

Owens walked with a poster of her niece during a portion of the show, which her mother Brittaney Owens also attended.

Brown, who talked about her own condition, said she was more concerned about conveying Owens’ story and how domestic violence has forever scarred the family of a colleague.

Brown spoke on behalf on the Owens family.

“I was nervous speaking on behalf of the mother as well. That was my main concern,” Brown said. “I just wanted to get the essence of what her spirt was and then convey it in a way where other people could understand it. I wanted to be Miss Joyce’s voice.”

Among those sharing their stories was Pat Davis who declared victory against breast cancer and offered words of encouragement to anyone facing challenges.

Peterson-Fields said the afternoon offered an opportunity for company comradery but also education and understanding. While employees see issues and challenges faced by residents, they learned that some of the same issues are closer than they realize among colleagues and friends.

“We were able to have an ‘ah ha’ moment. This was a time to celebrate three of our coworkers who have been affected,” Peterson-Fields said. “It gave us an opportunity to coalesce as a family and take a moment to develop some type of kinship. It was a celebration of life and it was a celebration of themselves.”Read more at:http://www.marieaustralia.com/formal-dresses-2017-online | http://www.marieaustralia.com/long-formal-dresses-online


Top Catwalk Looks From Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo

Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo is almost at an end, and the nation's best-known designers have taken to the catwalks of the Japanese capital to showcase their vision for Spring/Summer 2018. Here are five of the strongest looks so far.

Meiking NG

Athleisure was given a high-fashion twist at Hong Kong label Meiking NG, where a neon yellow mesh vest was given a playful drawstring waist and tutu-style peplum and teamed with slouchy grey joggers for a low-key look.

Hanae Mori

At Hanae Mori the focus was on vibrant color and swirling pattern, with layers piled up for an eye-catching look. Floaty culottes and kimono-style dresses made for graceful silhouettes that contrasted with the bold color palette.

Elza Winkler

Things took on an abstract tone at Elza Winkler, where this structured ruffled dress struck a perfect balance between the severe and the whimsical.

Heaven Please

Hong Kong label Heaven Please+ focused on clashing prints and colors, pairing artistic, illustration-style embellishments with vibrant and unexpected ruffle details for a fun yet accessible aesthetic.

Dressed Undressed

Barely-there nude hues and sheer fabrics contrasted beautifully with tailored formalwear or slouchy, statement outerwear at DressedUndressed, resulting in a sophisticated aesthetic that combined a delicate, feminine approach with an urban utilitarianism.Read more at:http://www.marieaustralia.com/formal-dresses-shops-sydney | http://www.marieaustralia.com/formal-dress-shops-perth


Africa’s top 5 fashion brands, Bright, bold and beautiful

Just like the continent of Africa, majestic and immediately noticeable, its fashion too is bound to turn heads as it represents its bright, bold and beautiful nature. What also makes African fashion brands easy on the eye is that African designers tend to think outside of the box. They often bring traditional attires and patterns in a new light.

Tongoro, the wild and affordable brand

Tongoro is a Dakar based fashion brand created by Sarah Diouf. The founder’s aim is to create and market a brand that is 100% African. In order to accomplish her goal she hired local African tailors and she sources textile and her needed materials from within the continent.

“The whole birth of this project is a triumph itself, and the establishment of the brand in the eye of the world as the 1st affordable African online apparel brand,” stated Sarah diouf.

The brand lures the female audience of the whole continent due to its simplicity and affordability. Tongoro tends to fuse traditional African prints with casual summer skirts and dresses. It also does the same with formal outfits.

Maki oh, Africa’s handmade fashion brand

With deep roots in African tradition Maki oh is dedicated to keeping alive the artisanal craftsmanship techniques of the historically rich continent. Founded by Amaka Osakwe from Lagos, Nigeria, Maki Oh, shows a distinct appreciation of the creator’s heritage fused seamlessly with a contemporary style. Maki Oh outfits are hand fashioned and that makes them peculiar and one of a kind.

“When we go on about ‘hand-painted, hand-dyed,’ it’s real,” Osakwe said. “It takes months and months. That’s why we stick to the fashion calendar and nothing else,” she added.

while creating her collections, Osakwe likes to tell stories through her clothes one of which is that of Nigerian women who are edging between traditional norms and contemporary western style.

Rich Factory, colourful and vibrant

Rich factory focuses on the use of local fabrics like chitenge. Rina Chunga, the fashion brand’s founder hails from Zambia but she is now based in South Africa. The designer takes pride in the fact that her fabric is authentic which makes the prints pop up better than on regular textile.

Rich factory is a mix of modernity with a traditional African touch that appeals to a wide range of women and teenage girls. Chunga’s love for african print is seen in her creations. Not only does this brand design casual and formal wear, but it also creates swimsuits for all sizes and shapes. Chunga’s brand has been featured in several magazines and websites and she has been praised by professionals and independent fashion bloggers alike.

Rich Factory’s attires have already been worn by several celebrities including Nomzamo Mbatha (Below).

Nadrey Laurent, African earthly delights

Marie Kipre rebranded her clothing line from Totally ethnik to Nadrey Laurent which is a name that speaks to her more than the initial one. The change of the brand name signifies the designer’s evolution in the fashion industry. She chose “Nadrey Laurent” to give homage to her father and to her Ivorian heritage.

The brand started in Abidjan and its evolution led to its move to Accra, Ghana. The brand’s fashion style revolves around the use of vibrant earthy tones and authentic fabrics like batik and Faso dan fani. Nadrey Laurent presents itself as a luxury brand for womenswear. With two stores in Abidjan and one in Accra the brand is evolving beyond clothing line by entering the sphere of interior design.

House of Tayo, Africa’s fashion pioneers

Unique designers are quickly becoming well known and beloved across East Africa, placing Rwanda solidly on the continent’s fashion map. Among the fashion brands that are worth mentioning is Rwanda’s House of Tayo, a bold brand created by Matthew Rugamba.

This prominent designer beautifully merges British Dandyism with African patterns and bright colours which gives the brand a special flare. Its main menswear style is dubbed ‘Afrodandy’. Rugamba’s goal is to present his Rwandan heritage by painting a fantasy world where aesthetics can help in changing the narratives of a nation. The Brand is gaining prominence to the point that it has its own reality web series Presented by the African Channel.Read more at:http://www.marieaustralia.com/plus-size-formal-wear | www.marieaustralia.com/red-carpet-celebrity-dresses


This Fashion Month Was The Most Diverse

If we could imagine a world where the fashion industry was a leader in racial equality, this season's Fashion Month is getting us one step closer to it. For several years now, The Fashion Spot has kept the industry honest by tallying the rising and declining levels of diversity from season to season. The reports tally everything from race to size to gender, celebrating designers who champion diversity, and calling out those who, well, ignore it.

After counting 266 major shows and tallying 8,258 runway appearances between all four fashion capitals, it seems that spring 2018 was the most diverse season yet. In terms of race, 69.8% of castings were white, with 30.2% being women of color — a 2.3% increase from last season with New York Fashion Week ranking as the most diverse with 36.9% models of color. It should also be noted (though, not overly celebrated) that, for the first time in its 163-year history, a model of color opened Louis Vuitton. The most racially inclusive shows, though, were Kenzo, Sophia Webster, Ashish, Chromat, and Tome.

This season also saw a record 93 appearances of plus-size/curve models, too, which was up from last season's 30 castings. (For context, spring 2018 featured only 16 plus-size models). 90 of the 93 appearances were made in New York, and the only headline of similar nature to come out of the Europe shows were at Alexander McQueen, where two curvy models walked the runway. Noteworthy models Ashley Graham, Candice Huffine, Sabina Karlsson, and newcomer Natalie Nootenboom all shared the same catwalks as models like Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Kaia Gerber. According to the report, Milan was the only city to forego featuring a single plus-size model.

In terms of transgender and non-binary visibility, 45 transgender models and four non-binary models walked major and semi-major runways this season. That's quite the uptick from last season's 12 castings across just five shows. Also making headlines was model Teddy Quinlivan, who's spent the past few years walking hundreds of shows for top-tier designers, who came outas transgender. Prior to this season, fall 2017 saw ten castings of transgender models, and spring 2017, just eight.

For age, 27 models over the age of 50 walked the runways this season. That's six more than fall 2017, which makes the uptick a significant organic growth, though we'd still like to see a higher number in this category. To note: The L'Oréal Paris runway show that didn't actually show a spring 2018 line but featured the largest number of mature models was left out of the report. New York, again, led the charge in this category.

We may not be there yet, but the industry is slowly but surely inching its way to total and radical inclusivity. Head over to The Fashion Spot to read more about how this season was the most diverse Fashion Month yet.Read more at:http://www.marieaustralia.com/melbourne-formal-dress-shops | http://www.marieaustralia.com/formal-dress-shops-adelaide