Life is reflected in her fashion designs

Liz Valentina is a 23-year-old fashion graduate from Fedisa. Born and raised in Hamburg, Germany she moved to Cape Town a few years ago and says that the colours of the city inspire her. Her graduate collection has been memorialised by the lens of photographer Gabriella Achadinha.

Drawing on the work of David LaChapelle, the two women collaborated to produce a shoot based on ocean, earth, air and fire - the natural elements that inspired her colour choices for the collection.

Their fictional land was created with the idea that "all things must be colour and crazy", Achadinha says.

The title of their work is Splash of the Southern, conveying ideas about water in movement and referring back to the natural elements that inspired the designs.

Valentina always wanted to be a designer and, after she gained some experience through various internships, she decided to make her passion her career.

Her graduate show collection is a party of colour inspired by 1970s fashion and Salvador Dali. She created all of the lobster and jelly fish jewellery and styled her models with headpieces and pompoms by Crystal Birch. "I have a very fun and colourful outlook on life," she says.

Her use of frills is motivated by a desire to emphasise movement and her patterns are inspired by her favourite food, sushi, and her favourite object in nature, the rainbow.

An obsession with Alessandro Michelle and his recent work with Gucci is revealed in the boldness of the shoot. Duchess satin and chiffon are her favourite fabrics.

Achadinha is a student of film production at AFDA in Cape Town and began her experiments with photography in her final year of study. Her work traverses fashion, street style, documentary and travel.Read more at:http://www.marieaustralia.com/short-formal-dresses-australia | http://www.marieaustralia.com/formal-dresses-2017-online


Use malai, orange scrub to get softer, smoother skin

Binging on organic food is good to get rid of toxins in our bodies but it is also important to pay attention on what you apply on your body. Cleansers, toners, moisturisers, oils and serums are part of the larger skincare regime, hence right ingredients in these products play an equally important role, suggest experts.

Experts at Skin Yoga and Shaivya Gupta, R&D Manager at Organic Harvest, listed few inputs:

* Regular exfoliation helps get rid of dead skin, which in turn helps your skin breathe and absorb other nutrients. Exfoliated skin looks fresh and healthy. For a 100 percent natural skin exfoliator you can use an almond orange face scrub.

Exfoliating also promotes a radiant appearance by helping your skin unclog pores and remove tanning. Olive seed oil is considered to be great ingredient for it. It deeply moisturises the skin and improves hydration level of the skin. It helps in eliminating dead skin cells and refines the texture of the skin.

* In winters, apply malai in the morning and wash your face with luke warm water. You can add a pinch of organic turmeric for the extra glow.

* Having a spoon of cow ghee or cold pressed coconut oil every morning moisturises the entire body including your skin. It is a habit you can develop over time but this will definitely show result with softer and even skin tone in the long run.

* Essential oils are more than just the concentrated fragrant essence of botanicals. Their aromatic scents, natural healing and cleansing properties make them a perfect supplement for your beauty


No matter what type of skin you have, there is an essential oil that can enhance and balance your complexion.

* If you have dry skin, apply few drops of old pressed coconut oil over your face and neck before going to bed. You can indulge yourself with facial treatment oil.

* Shea butter is a skin super food that comes from the seeds of the fruit of shea. The concentration of natural vitamins and fatty acids in shea butter makes it incredibly nourishing and moisturising for the skin.

* Drink loads of water.

* A toner can help unclog pores as well. It is a great addition to your beauty regime. Neem is an excellent skin toner that helps to reduce wrinkles and fine lines. It also lightens dark spots making your skin look soft and glowing.

* Eating fat rich fruit like avocado and Omega 3 rich food like flax seed. In short increase collagen content from inside.

* Adding a serum to your skincare routine is crucial to healthier skin and can make a big difference, especially if to keep your skin bright and plump. With daily use of serums you will have fewer or no breakouts. Serums offer the ultimate protection against environmental pollution, as well as providing your skin with instant nourishment.

* Do not forget the skin on your lips. The skin is very sensitive and thin and requires equal care if not more than our face. Remember to exfoliate, moisturize and apply sunscreen on your lips.Read more at:http://www.marieaustralia.com/red-formal-wear | www.marieaustralia.com/vintage-formal-dresses


Fashion designer Zandra Rhodes tells Huntington Beach High students

British fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, who has designed clothes for celebrities such as Princess Diana, Freddie Mercury and Joan Rivers, shared her passion for textiles and costume design with students at Huntington Beach High School during a presentation Tuesday.

The event was in collaboration with the Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts and the Chimaera Project, a Burbank-based nonprofit that seeks to empower female filmmakers.

During Rhodes’ hour-long talk, she shared pictures of the whimsical designs in her various collections. She also included photos of famous figures such as Mercury and Diana wearing her clothing.

Rhodes — dressed in pink wedges, a black lipstick jumpsuit and chunky, beaded necklaces — said she tried teaching early on but quickly realized it wasn’t the career for her.

She described her passion for textiles as a “lifelong love affair,” saying she couldn’t picture herself doing anything else.

Rhodes also has worked for the San Diego Opera to create costumes for “The Magic Flute.” In 2004, she was invited to design sets and costumes for Bizet’s “Pearl Fishers” and has since worked with various opera houses.

Her fashion and costume designs are permanently displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Rhodes encouraged students to find their true passion and surround themselves with supportive friends.

“Your career will always go up and down,” she said. “You just don’t tell people. Just keep going. … This is not an easy path. It’s very rocky.”

She advised students interested in fashion and costume design to research colleges that are a good fit. She also suggested they take internships, even if it means working for free.

Sophomore Riley Russell, 15, said it was interesting to learn how many celebrities have worn designs by Rhodes.

Junior Ning Tung Tong, 16, said it was inspiring to hear how Rhodes’ passion for textiles opened the door for other opportunities in her career. Ning said she hopes to emulate that in her career.Read more at:http://www.marieaustralia.com/evening-dresses-online | http://www.marieaustralia.com/bridesmaid-dresses


Azerbaijan to Australia to Paris Fashion Week

Against her parents' wishes, Ms Gala took on a career as a young adult that she was forced to abandon just as her lifelong dream appeared on the horizon.

But persistence paid off and after starting from scratch a second time, she made it to the world stage last month.

Reflecting on her turbulent journey, Ms Gala traces it back to her childhood in Azerbaijan, where she would be roused on for transforming curtains into Barbie Doll dresses.

As she excelled academically throughout her school years, her family encouraged her to study medicine.

"I think I did disappoint my dad a bit because I had the potential to become a doctor," she said.

After Ms Gala trained at the International Fashion Academy in Europe, her family migrated to Australia.

So, she took a risk and established her own brand in Sydney.

Before long her designs were catching the eyes of international designers and her dream of showcasing them in Paris — the birthplace of haute couture — seemed in reach.

But family issues forced her to abandon the brand.

"I just came back from Florence, and I was getting approached by all these magazines, but I had to give it all up," she said.

"It was due to a number of unfortunate and very personal events."

She clearly remembers disconnecting her phone on the night she shut down the shop.

Deciding to move to Canberra for a fresh start, Ms Gala was unable to relaunch her brand for another decade - but she never stopped sewing.

"I would sit at home and dress Canberra brides whenever I could," she said.

Eventually she gained enough support to open another couture store and launch her brand, De Challie.

Just two years later she was invited to exhibit not one, but two shows at the 2017 Paris Fashion Week this October.

While deeply ecstatic about the honour, which has been awarded to few Australian designers and none from Canberra to her knowledge, she had just two months to prepare.

"I said 'oh my god, we're not going to make it'."

But after many sleepless nights spent working in her studio, she did.

Standing backstage at the Renaissance Hotel in Paris and sending her models off, each wrapped in 200 hours of her hard work, was an indescribable moment.

"This was Paris Fashion Week — known as the home of couture and fashion internationally — where it all started. It was the one.

"I'd felt like I'd caught up with all the lost time."

Ms Gala believes its her ability to portray her own story through her creations that makes them unique.

While gaining inspiration from classic designers and following the basic principles of haute couture, she also combines the Azerbaijan style she admired growing up with modern trends.

"Azerbaijan costumes are very much like this 50s silhouette, strong-fitted waist with voluminous skirts," she said.

"And they've always been by dream. I always wanted to wear one when I was a young girl, with all those hand embroidery and beading; belts with lots of jewels."

She said she would not have made it without support from the Canberra community.Read more at:http://www.marieaustralia.com/red-carpet-celebrity-dresses | http://www.marieaustralia.com/sexy-formal-dresses


How to safely test beauty samples

You definitely do not want to walk into a beauty store looking for a wine colour lipstick and leave with a deadly disease. While you cannot carry herpes as cold sores need skin to skin contact to spread, other infections can spread through cosmetic products. It is okay to not toss a lipstick if someone just suffered a cold because the chances that you will get infected by cold germs are low. That is because the virus dies quickly. However, the respiratory virus can survive on a surface for varying amounts of time depending on the environmental conditions and the type of virus. If someone has just suffered anything more than a cold like a strep throat, flu, or mono it will be easy for the bacteria to live longer and increase the chance of an infection.

Wipe the sample with alcohol and then use

According to dermatologist Dr Sejal Shah, the risk of infection is more when you test the sample on mucosal membranes that includes your mouth and eyelids. So you should ideally not use any sample in these areas and just try the new ones. But if you still want to test that lipstick shade or that foundation, you can simply wipe down any product with alcohol before getting it in contact with your skin. But you may still want to use completely new products while testing the product on mucosal surfaces or anywhere close to your eyes.

Other tips

You can also use a disposable make-up applicator if available. For instance, you can ask for a sample that has just been tested with a disposable applicator. Go ahead with trying out the lipstick shade if they provide you with a lip brush. Also, it can be a good idea to test the sample on your hands rather than trying it out on your face.Read more at:www.marieaustralia.com/green-formal-dresses | http://www.marieaustralia.com/short-formal-dresses-australia