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The Digital Evolution Of Fashion Week

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By Margretta Sowah

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia is a much sought after event on the global fashion calendar. Like all Fashion Week events it delivers the Glits & Glamour – and the stresses that go with it and not just the usual behind-the-scenes pressure. With seamstresses sewing for days on end and the fashion lovers charging to train their eyes for the proverbial delight that is the Ready-To-Wear runway show.

It’s business as usual. Or is it? We learnt this year many of the international buyers were not present at the show but were watching and in constant communication with the designers via social media. Is this the new approach to bringing fashion to the masses? It seems costs are a critical issue to consider, not just for the designers but the buyers and sellers of the newest trends, ready to hit the streets.

Since its conception in 1996, Australia is trying to keep its wits and wonder within the ever-changing world of hemispheric seasonality. Fashion is a culture; a hegemony with a very strict passport to enter. Is it becoming a reunion for the key players? A home-coming dance or prom that every year is privy to its alumni? Instant gratification is poorly referenced in the reality of its purpose. The digital age is more about the share-ability than the buy-ability. Even the traditional media (glossy magazines and papers) are finding it a new platform to attract their readers. Bloggers are creating the new media platforms… they deliver the looks/styles to their followers instantaneously.

Designers need media to build awareness. They need to reach the consumers however they firstly need to reach the buyers. Where do we draw a line when commercial revenue for the validity of these brands (and their shareholders) is not being assessed to the marketing mix of a show? Is the investment to attend a show worthwhile?

Have the Fashion week runway shows become a production line? Has it become a conveyer belt changing the pace of Fashion globally? This sounds like a hard truth to swallow. While the shows are the theatrics of a designers’ craft (designers know that to do well you must show in all significant events such as Mercedes Benz Fashion Week). Not only is this a fact but there are many add on costs. Styling needs to be flawless by presenting a unique proposition to entice the consumer.

As everyone knows, social media offers an instantaneous link to the consumer. Connecting designers to buyers and consumers. It’s not surprising to see everyone on their phones. Social media in the lens of the global business sphere is the most influential currency for the new age. As a last year Fashion Marketing student at Raffles and being privy to our show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, I found it very evident that the instant visual effect of the event is the greatest marketing tool – especially for up and coming designers. Their collection is easily and readily accessible to Buyers.

Fashion is a fast-paced environment that knows little sleep or respite. It is the throne of instagram that keeps us hungry for the image. If Pixie Curtis, a three year old (who has 105k followers and counting) can attend a Toni Maticevski show and influence on Instagram that says a lot about the importance of visual gratification. The work of Public Relations is becoming just as pertinent as the journalist (Fashion or otherwise) reporting the show.

Will other fashion heavyweights jump into these digital marketing waters? Who knows. There’s a lot of new ground that will be highlighted through savvy business opportunities and utilise what is becoming a force of its own – Social Media.

As for the Australian Fashion Week, it’s hard to miss something if it doesn’t leave and with Social Media, it’s more about capturing and celebrating talent than anything else.

 




The Weight Debate

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By Amy Finlayson

I remember the first time I was told to lose weight. I was 15 and I was walking with some friends, leaving school and heading to the shops. My agent rang me for a chat. Obviously, being so young, the conversation wasn’t too direct; instead she suggested I stop drinking milk. “Milk has a day’s worth of fat,” I remember her saying. I still, to this day, don’t drink full cream milk. 

Telling a girl to lose weight is a touchy endeavor. Telling a teenage girl to lose weight can affect her for life. This is the difficult thing about modeling- young girls with changing bodies and turbulent hormones are thrust into an industry where thin is in, and they have to adjust to that. Just like actors alter their bodies for film roles and athletes train for competition, models must also look after their asset. 

The issue here is there are so many girls going about weight loss in the wrong way. 

I have lived in many a model apartment where quick fixes to be svelte were rife. Think cotton buds soaked in orange juice, binging on ice cream and clogging the toilet with vomit, laxative addiction, a steady diet of coffee and cigarettes… This is no way to maintain your appearance however. Hair starts to fall out, your skin looks ruddy and grey and a host of health issues rear their ugly heads- like acne- and not the cool kind in a pink box. This is the ugly side of modeling. This job has a short life span and if you don’t lean out in time, there will be another girl ready and waiting in the wings to take your job. 

The instability of modeling, and fashion’s insatiable thirst for youth, can breed serious insecurity- especially in young women. But that’s the ironic thing I suppose; now that I’m older and comfortable with my body, I am considered too old. At 26, I have figured out my body, I know my exercise routine and what I can and can’t eat. I am healthy and happy- sure we all have times when we overindulge, when we don’t eat because we are stressed or sad, but I think ultimately finding a balance in an ever-changing world is the key. Stability in an unstable world; hard to find, hard to hold onto but fantastic once achieved.

I hope the recent turn towards healthy diets and fit models sticks around. As role models for a new generation of girls, healthy and lean is where it should be- not skinny and sad. 

Instagram: amy_fin

From Alaska To Australia, Part 3: Home Sickness

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By Jasmine Alleva
@jasminekalleva

There is no cure for homesickness, no John Mayer song to wash away the thoughts longing for a familiar feeling. Technology has shrunk the world, but sometimes it only makes the homesickness worse, especially when you can see your friends and family carrying on their lives without you. The only thing you can do when all you want to do is whither away in bed is suck it up and take on the day. I knew this. I had done it many times before: Vacation Bible Camp, sleepovers, moving away for college. Sydney was no different, but some days felt like the city turned into Ronda Rousey and was beating the life out of me.

The fall/winter season for modeling started to dwindle down. Days went by without castings. Those days turned into weeks. No castings meant no jobs, which, in turn, meant no money. I was living off cans of tuna in an apartment I sold my car to afford living in. My shelf in the cupboard was about as bare as my bank account and my face was the exact opposite – covered in blemishes brought on by stress. I would have called my mom and cried on the phone to her, but I couldn’t even afford international cell service. I wanted to go home and I took all of the setbacks as a sign that I should.

The weather had followed suit with yet another winter storm, keeping me inside and driving me stir crazy. My pale gray sweatpants were becoming part of my everyday wardrobe, replacing the black Hudson jeans and leather jacket I had worn as my model uniform. I was quickly sucked into a routine of self-pity, looking up the hashtag “#Alaska”, and sinking into the couch while watching garbage television. Summer was in full roar back home in the northern hemisphere and I was reminded of that everyday by the fact that my days, on the opposite side of the world, were dark and freaking cold.

No one tells you how lonely and heartbreaking modeling is. We often see a finished product and fail to see what goes on behind it. I can post whatever I want to Instagram and Twitter and make an audience perceive me in a certain way, but that doesn’t diminish the struggle. I honestly wish it did. I was far from home, in a foreign country, and felt like I had sunk my feet into cement. I was going nowhere. I gave up birthday parties, nights out with friends, my dogs, and my family in pursuit of this dream and it felt like the biggest mistake I had ever made. Sydney had turned dark on me and I couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.

My agency called me in for polaroids. I moseyed my way to the bus and dragged my sluggish body up the stairs to my booker’s desk. “How are you going, love?” I accidentally let out a huge sigh before answering, “I’m all right.” She half laughed with an overwhelming amount of empathy, “Are you sure about that?” I felt my throat clench like a fist and tears well up in my eyes. “I think so.” I looked around the office and remembered what it was like when I first arrived, how everyone had greeted me with love, joy, and a great deal of hope. I missed that feeling of hope.

After my polaroids (which were horrendous, by the way), a different bus took me back to my suburb. As always, I shouted “thank you” to the driver, my American accent ringing through the aisle. A man, who I had seen before around the neighborhood, got off the bus with me. “You’re American? What state?” he said with an eager smile. “Alaska. About as far from here as you can get.” “I know the feeling. I’m from New York – been here 12 years. I still get homesick, but you can’t beat the beauty sometimes.” He nodded up towards the sky. I looked, and I kid you not, the skies parted a bit and a double rainbow lit up the clouds. “How is this real life?” I whispered to myself. Suddenly, without any notice, my homesickness seemed to melt away. As cheesy as it is, the homesickness was replaced by a new feeling – one that been hiding from me for weeks: hope. I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

Feature Image:
Photographer – Thuy Vo, @vophotography
Stylist & MUA – Christine A Eagleson, @xpressionista

Ease Emotional Eating With These Tips

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By Jessia Sepel – The Healthy Life
@jshealth

Whether you’re preparing for a wedding, a vacation, or any other big event, it’s likely you’ll find yourself under more stress than usual. For many of us, all kinds of emotions – be it fear, anger, or even excitement – can lead to complicated relationships with food. Not tapping into those emotions and learning to manage them is the key to taking care of yourself and listening to your body. These are my top tips to ease emotional eating before your big day:

1. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be on a diet. Just start accepting what is – the pressure of dieting will be worse for your food/weight battle.

2. Strive for healthy and glowing – not skinny and emaciated.

3. Stop putting pressure on yourself to be your perfect self or look your skinniest, and start appreciating your body NOW for what it is. Your body needs your love and acceptance.

4. Commit to eating a balanced whole food diet – its the only lifestyle that works.

5. Take care of your stress levels ASAP.

6. Make sure you get enough sleep to prevent the exhaustion that often comes with binges or leads to them.

7. Stop restricting. Enjoy a treat every week – choose something you love and crave.

8. Your body is your temple – give it the love it deserves.

9. Worth repeating: you simply have to let go of the diet mentality – it will cause you to binge.

5 Celebrities Who Were Child Models

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By Calynn M. Lawrence
@fairytalefacesbycalynn

Have you ever wondered if celebrities had a past career before everyone knew their name? Well, you are right! This article is going to feature five famous individuals who you probably did not know used to be models!

DAKOTA JOHNSON



You know Dakota Johnson as an actress. She has played in films such as Crazy In Alabama, Fifty Shades of Grey and Chloe and Theo. She was also Miss Golden Globe 2006. But, did you know that Miss Dakota Johnson also signed with IMG modeling agency in her early years of her career and still occasionally does work with the company? Many people underestimate her due to her simple (but still pretty) appearance. However, considering the moves that she has been making she is a force to be reckoned with.

MARY KATE AND ASHLEY OLSEN






These terrific twin sisters have been around since the 90s! You remember them from TV shows such as Ful House and So Little Time or movies such as Passport to Paris and When In Rome. They dominated the child-teen acting scene for many years and have due credit for that. Yet, some people did not know that these two served as fashion models in their teens and early twenties. When the pair decided to venture into fashion and design, they modeled a lot of their own work and as a result they were able to book gigs with other designers such as Badgley Mischka.

CAMERON DIAZ






Charlies Angels, In Her Shoes, The Other Woman, My Sister’s Keeper and Annie are just some of the films that bombshell actress Cameron Diaz has starred in. We all love her for her great acting skills and those bullet blue eyes with killer smile. That’s why it isn’t surprising that she used to model in her teen years. Before her rise fame as a movie star, she modeled for Elite Model Management and Seventeen!

ASHTON KUTCHER






The ever so hilarious Ashton Kutcher. We recognize him from being the comical lead in TV shows such as That 70’s Show and Punk’d. His film list includes movies such as Guess Who, Just Married and What Happens In Vegas. But, his resume stretches beyond the silver screen. In his teen years, Ashton Kutcher was a fashion model for names such as Next Modeling Agency and Calvin Klein!

MARK WAHLBERG






Marky Mark has moved the industry with his good vibrations as both a musician and an actor! Some of his greatest hits are “Good Vibrations” and “Wild Side” which both went gold. Some of his most known films are Ted, Daddy’s Home and The Perfect Storm! Besides his talents, Mr. Wahlberg is certainly good looking which likely played a huge part in his young adult modeling career . He landed ads for Vanity Fair and Calvin Klein!

The Secret to Good Skin (Which is no longer a secret!)

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By Eleanor Pendleton

I’m lucky to have good skin. I know that. But, I also work at it. Like, reaaaally work it. I clean it, nurture it, feed and water it daily. About eight years ago though, that wasn’t the case. Blame it on stress but my skin was a far departure from what it is now.

My skin used to be covered in blemishes. Big, sore and angry blemishes. My skin also used to be covered in tiny bumps, which while they weren’t visible to others, they felt gigantic to me. Since then, I’ve worked methodically to get rid of the scars albeit laser, because, well, I’m a scaredy cat.

At the time, my mum (a fair skin-worshiping Filipino who considers brightening products the Holy Grail) told me about SK-II and how popular it was in Asia. While telling me to drink more water and keep my vitamins up (bless!), mum passed on a half-filled bottle of SK-II Facial Treatment Essence– knowing full well this meant she could run out and buy herself a new one – and so I started using it.

I didn’t really know what to expect. Yes, it looked like water, felt like water but unlike water, my skin absorbed it completely. Mum told me to apply 3 – 4 drops in the palm of my hand, press my palms together then pat it on my face and neck – this she told me to do after cleansing but before moisturising. You could also soak a cotton pad and apply the essence that way but I like my hands to reap the skin-nourishing benefits as well.

But, before you catch me out and call this luxury liquid a toner, just wait a second.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is much more than just a toner. It contains 90 per cent pitera – a clear liquid rich in vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids, which was discovered during the fermentation process of sake over 30 years ago. In fact, SK-II cottoned on to the fact that Japanese sake brewers had youthful hands (despite their elderly age) and fortunately for our skin, went on a mission to find out why.

As an all-in-one product, the essence gently exfoliates the skin’s surface, fades pigmentation, reduces wrinkles, firms and improves the texture and clarity of the complexion. In just two weeks, your skin becomes beautifully clear. Personally, when I run out of the liquid gold or simply get lazy and fall off the bandwagon, I really notice the difference in my skin. Because of that, I no longer go a day without it.

Generally, my 150ml bottle lasts up to three months and while it does come with a $175 price tag, when used morning and night, you’re looking at almost 200 applications which is pretty bloody good. Many of you ask me what skincare I use and I’ll be the first to admit it changes every month because of my job as a beauty editor but the truth is SK-II is the one mainstay in my routine, which is why I’m so incredibly proud to be a local SK-II ambassador – alongside my mates (in my dreams) Kate Bosworth and Cate Blanchett. So, enough about me! Have you tried SK-II? What do you think?

Facebook: Gritty Pretty

Instagram: @elanorpendleton

5 DIY Beauty Tips With Ice Cubes

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By Evlin Symon

You read the title right guys, it is another DIY slash life hack article! These are my favorite types of articles because not only are the tips practical, they’re also extremely easy to do and are pretty cheap since we all already have access to most of these things anyway. For this article I will be discussing all the possible beauty benefits ice cubes can offer. What did I tell you? Cheap and easily accessible. So walk towards your fridge and grab your ice rack and let’s begin.

Zit Zapper

This is a pretty common trick. You’ve probably already learned this in high school but for those of you that didn’t, all you really need is an ice cube and a zip lock bag. Some people will argue and say that using a towel to wrap the ice cube before dabbing it on your pimple is better but it can be actually pretty harsh for your already sensitive spot. An optional step would be to use eye drops (1-2 drops is enough) on the affected area after applying the ice cube. This reduces the inflammation and redness of your pimple.

Refreshing Facial

You can use ice cubes for an instant pick me up facial. You can go really old school by just literally dunking your face into a big bowl of ice water. Before you get mad, this actually tightens pores and instantly improves circulation. If you want a natural skin brightener for a dull complexion, you can squeeze natural juices such as orange juice or lemon juice into ice cube trays. Once fully frozen you can run these flavored ice cubes through your face for instantly glowing skin. You can use other stuff like cucumber or honey too.

Natural Anesthetic

I made the subject title sound kind of scary but it does kind of work like an anesthetic for when you are tweezing your eyebrows. I personally still get irritated skin when I tweeze or thread my eyebrows. It kind of makes this weird unibrow shape of redness. It is extremely embarrassing to walk out of the salon. A good way to avoid any pain and to decrease any redness is by periodically dabbing your eyebrow area with an ice cube.

Skin Primer and Pore Shrinker

Rubbing ice cubes all over your face is also a great way to prep your skin before applying makeup. You can focus especially on areas where your pores are enlarged. The cold ice cube will instantly close your pores. You can then apply your favorite primer. You can also prep your under eye area by placing an ice cube over it to reduce any puffiness. You can also substitute the ice cube with a frozen cucumber slice.

Quick Drying Nails

If you thought the magic of ice cubes stops with your skin, you thought wrong. If you’re like me and you always end up ruining your newly manicured nails in a matter of minutes right after getting them then you will appreciate this tip. All you need to do is to air dry your nails for a good 3 minutes and then you dunk your nails into a bowl of ice water for another 3 minutes. Your nails will dry instantly. Goodbye ruined manicures forever.

I hope these tips were just as helpful for you as they have been for me in the past. There’s an odd sense of comfort in knowing that you can fix most beauty problems with a simple household item like an ice cube. Remember, for any of the mentioned beauty emergencies just remember to reach for your ice cubes and you are good to go!

Pin Up Girls. And boys?

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In the fashion world its rare to find something new and exciting that hasnt really been done before, now in steps a close friend of mine who also happens to be devilishly handsom, my mate Luke Flynn who has just announced the launch of its debut collection, paying homage to life in New York City.

Founded by friends Kym Naimo and Luke Flynn, Prize Pins references the history of vintage pins and their craftsmanship.

“New York is a special beast, we’re constantly inspired by the nuances that make up its identity, from the people to the art and architectire” says co-founder Luke Flynn. “We sought to design a collection of pins that would subtly enhance personal style, we like to call it garment spice.”

New York City-based Prize is a new take on a classic object through art, humor, and design. The debut collection, comprised of 12 distinctive lapel pins, is designed and manufactured entirely in the U.S.

Each pin in the debut collection is a thoughtful yet irreverent take on a classic object, with designs resembling a gold tooth, rare steak, one-eyed panther, “Do No Disturb” gravestone, “Applause” sign, and more. As a tribute to all things rare and coveted, Prize Pins are produced in limited runs of 100 or less.

Website: prizepins.com
Sales: kym@prizepins.com
Instagram: @prizepins

The Top Modeling Agencies In The World

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By Calynn M. Lawrence
Instagram – @fairytalefacesbycalynn

If you’re an aspiring supermodel and are wondering what your goal agency is, then this article is for you! This article is going to give you a synopsis of some of the top modeling agencies around the world! If you are aiming to be an A listing super model, then this info is vital to you. Here they are:

Ford Models was started in 1946 by Gerald W. “Jerry” ford. His mission was to give models a home and to advance them far beyond what other institutions would offer. Known to be a very “family oriented” and adoptive of its staff, if you will. They are also known to be one of the most inclusive of celebrity models. Because of this welcoming environment, Ford has made it a point in the industry to be one of the most racially, aesthetically, stylistically diverse modeling agencies in the world. They host talent from all walks of life and all corners of the Earth. Some of their household names include models such as Adriana Lima, Twiggy, Chanel Iman, Lana del Rey, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Amber Rose, Raven Symone and countless others!

IMG Models is known as the world’s leader in model management. The agency has claimed vanguard for well over 20 years due to its continuos exponential growth throughout the 1990’s! This institution is very much focused on ensuring that their models have “the look” and also that they have the personality. The concept of fashion modeling may seem to be all about aesthetoc, however, IMG Models is proof that the personality of their staff appears just as well on camera as it does in person! Some of their highest ranking staff include Alek Wek, Kate Moss, Gigi Hadid, Joan Smalls, Daria Werbowy, Miranda Kerr, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Carolyn Murphy, Stephanie Seymour, Ben Still and many more!

Elite Model Management was started in Paris in 1972 by John Casablancas and Alain Kittler. Later on, it opened its New York campus in 1977. Since then, it has been one of the top modeling agencies in the world! Part of the reason for its stark success is because of its gracefully rebellious opposition to society’s definition of what is considered the proper fashion model. Focusing less on dated feminity and more on empowering the models for their fierce fashion woes, the term “supermodel” was born. This same cutting edge mantra is why the industry has so many “misfit ” millionaire models today. To name just a few of Elite’s highest paid staff, they have represented individuals such as Tyra Banks, Naoimi Campbell, Gisele Bundchen, Rosie Huntington- Whiteley, Janice Dickenson, Paulina Porizkova, Cameron Russell, Cameron Diaz and many more!

These are only some of the best modeling agencies across the globe! Remember though that it is not always the agency itself that makes the models but it is the talent and drive behind the individual that really pushes them to massive success.

Diet Tips For The Holiday Season

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By Michele Smith
Facebook – MicheleSmithMarketing

The holiday season is upon us and it is the season for excess, from shopping to calories from all of the seasonal celebrations. There is a way to however to survive the holiday season, by eating healthy, enjoying every party and looking fabulous all at the same time. The following are a couple of diet tips and tricks that will not send you screaming after you step on the scale.

Tip #1 Stay Hydrated.
Not only will drinking water will help keep your skin looking healthy, drinking water will also help keep you full, so you will not eat as much. Also, try to drink water in between alcoholic beverages. This will also cut down on calories. Choose your beverages wisely. There are significantly less calories in a glass of wine vs. eggnog. Last, count 1-2-3 when you are pouring yourself a glass of wine to ensure you have a 5-ounce serving instead of accidently pouring a 10-ounce serving, which is double the calories.

Tip #2 Make Smart Choices.
Consider eating a light, healthy snack before attending a holiday party. This will help most people from raiding the hors devours table. Recent research confirms that most people will consume the largest quantity of food first, therefore it is smart to choose veggie appetizers over high-calorie dips or fried foods. The easiest thing to do here is to simply plan ahead.

Tip #3 Downsize Your Plate.
Research shows that when people choose larger plates they tend to fill them up, almost doubling the amount of calories consumed. Always choose a small appetizer plate/salad plate or even just stick to using a cocktail napkin.

Tip #4 Think Small and Eat Slow.
Taking smaller bites and eating slow will naturally result in eating less food. Studies show by taking nibbles, chewing your food longer and eating slower, will trick your brain into thinking you have actually eaten more food.

Tip #5 Wear Figure-Hugging Clothes and Keep Your Dominant Hand Busy. When most people wear tight clothes, they are typically more concerned with holding their stomach in, instead of eating. Also, keep a beverage in your dominant hand which will also help you not raid the appetizer table.

Tip #6 Chewing Gum is Your Friend.
Chances are if you are chewing gum, you are not going to be loading up on calories from the buffet. This additionally works well if you are hosting and are cooking for your party.

Tip #7 Do Not Skip Meals.
Always eat normally on the day of the party. People who tend to skip meals during the day of a party usually end up overeating at the event. Eating sensibly throughout the day will prevent you from eating everything in sight when you show up.

Tip #8 Focus on Fun and Games.
While there are not a lot of “outdoor” games during the winter holiday season, there are a lot of indoor activities from dancing to card games. By focusing on fun and games, you are not focusing on food.