The Wardrobe Wakeup; Your Guide to Looking Fabulous at Any AgeBy Lois Joy JohnsonRunning Press, Philadelphia288 pages, $23.00 By Tish Wells The key phrase in this book comes on page 64 — “Fashion life after 40.”This is what The Wardrobe Wakeup promises and provides.Former fashion editor Lois Joy Johnson has written a helpful handbook for those of us 40 and above who sometimes haunt modern department stories, thinking the pretty clothes are only for the younger generation, and mourning our lost youth.Johnson is realistic about ageing. In the introduction, she says bluntly, “After a certain age women and their clothes just don’t get along anymore. ... Changes in weight, hormones, work, finances, lifestyle, attitudes, opinions, and needs have had a major impact on your closet and style. ... Even when the scale makes us smile we notice stuff has drooped and shifted.”Also, “we need clothes for divorce court, wakes, and memorial services.”Then, in a breezy, no-nonsense, no-holds-barred way, she suggests ways out of the conundrum about what to wear on your body whether for every day work, play or going out over the weekend.One annoyance is that while the text is wonderful to read, the book’s layout can be confusing. The easiest way to navigate is to skim through, then mark the pages that apply to you. For example, if you’re a woman who prefers trousers over skirts, ignore the parts about pencil or A-line skirts, and the same with high-heels versus flats.The Wardrobe Wakeup includes photographs of many accomplished women whose dress-for-success is their own comfortable style. Valerie Monroe, beauty director at O the Oprah Magazine, wears a black tailored pantsuit with trendy bulky bracelets. Edris Nicholls, owner of her own salon and Atelier Director at Shu Uemura wears a stunning patterned white dress with a floral splash of colour and a vibrant purple scarf.Scattered about are fine tidbits like sizing in today’s market. “You can wear a size 4 at Ann Taylor, an 8 at J Crew, and a 6 at Michael Kors. In recognition of our weight and diet obsession, the smart fashion biz keeps rolling out smaller sizing to appease our vanity.” Johnson suggests taking the size tags out so you aren’t hung up on the number.In the foreword, supermodel Cheryl Tiegs says, “If you know a beautifully dressed woman, someone whose fashion sense you admire, watch what she wears, notice how she combines colours and fabrics, how she puts her clothes together and how she uses jewellery, belts, scarves to create her own style.”This will help you find your own personal style. — MCT
By Julie Gordon OK, ladies. Step away from the black exercise trousers. This spring, workout wear isn’t just functional — it’s taken a fashion-forward turn, with daring prints, intricate details and look-at-me shades — even in trousers. Bold hues are huge, says Marissa Stephenson, fitness editor at Self magazine. Neons, jewel tones, coral and yellow are just some of the top shades for fitted jackets, tops, sports bras and, yes, even trousers. Wearing a colour on bottom can be intimidating, especially for ladies who prefer the slimming power of black. But, Stephenson says, it’s all about choosing the most forgiving shade and flattering cut. Her pick? A bright-blue capri that hits just below the knee. “The colours and patterns are so new and fresh I’m almost giddy,” says Karyn Riale, director of retail buying for The Shop @ Equinox, which sells its stylish wares in Woodbury, Great Neck, Roslyn and Manhattan, New York. With prints, anything goes, from hot-pink leopard created by adidas by Stella McCartney, to bright tribal prints from Nike, to splatter-paint, florals and zigzags. “To see companies like Nike that are taking risks with patterns and colours, it makes the experience more fun,” said celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson, whose clients include Gwyneth Paltrow. For women who won’t stray from black, pops of colour and detail add pizzazz, such as trousers with a print waistband (lululemon athletica has several) or a bright stripe down the side. Perforated detailing on tops is also in, as are texturised prints, such as a black-on-black animal print, Stephenson says. Even neon socks and underwear can add pop, adds Amanda Casgar, area community manager for lululemon. p p p A new workout wardrobe doesn’t just make you look good — it makes you feel good, too. Celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson says that taking care in what you put on can increase motivation. “Any time you’re making a conscious decision to do something, you’re connecting more to the experience,” says Anderson, who has studios in Manhattan and Water Mill, New York. One move to avoid? Buying constricting, suction-cup-style pieces in the hopes of looking thinner while hitting the gym. “If you’re doing a workout properly, these kinds of constricting fabrics can cut off your ability to perform well.” Better, she says, to simply “do your workout well.” — Newsday/MCT
Novi Era Larasati, Spa Manager of Amoaras Relaxation Spa at the Holiday Villa hotel.By Marione B LinesesBefore I let myself unravel the Indonesian beauty secret, I take a small sip from my cup of ginger tea. This piping hot liquid warms my system (and it’s beneficial for digestion too), a great start to the back to nature concept of Amoaras. I am introduced to the treatment called Lulur scrub, a 17th century old Indonesian tradition that’s creating a buzz in the world of beauty and exfoliation. Lulur is Indonesian term for scrub, a beauty ritual of royals in the Central Java province of Indonesia where brides-to-be were treated to this beautification process for around 40 days before the wedding ceremony. “In our country, this is our queen of the body treatment”, says Novi Era Larasati, Spa Manager of Amoaras Relaxation Spa at the Holiday Villa hotel. Novi is an Indonesian spa expert who has been in the industry for 13 years working in various Asian countries, before coming to Doha.The scrub concoction consists of tamarind, turmeric and some Indonesian roots that are finely blended and mixed with water to form the granulated solution. “We import the ingredients from my country because the roots are only available there,” Novi adds. The royal Javenese Lulur starts with a quick foot scrub in water strewn with rose petals. After the ritual, I am ushered to the room and prepped for a Javanese massage. Given some choices of oils to supposedly invoke various effects, I pick the orange scent. True enough, the deep tissue massage helps to ease tense muscles, loosens up knots and the blood blithely surges to my enervated system.After an hour, the skin is slathered with organic Lulur scrub. Usually I eschew a scrub at spas, finding it rather awkward, but this particular procedure intrigues me. The cold granulated preparation on the skin feels cool and refreshing. The scrub is left to dry for five minutes before it is rubbed off and already my skin is feeling refreshed. Then plain yoghurt is dabbed lightly for a few minutes, to help moisturise and polish the skin. The result is a softer, silkier feel. A nice cool shower, while others may prefer to lounge in a warm bath that has been tossed with aromatic flowers, wraps up the treatment.Today the Javanese royalty’s beauty secret is not a mystery anymore as Lulur scrub exfoliants can be purchased in commercial packaging made in Indonesia. Amoaras Spa is one that offers the authentic royalty treatment, in such a way that from the actual scrub being used to the massage therapists themselves, all come from Indonesia. After an hour and a half, I say goodbye to my dead skin cells, and head home to my husband and two little girls with a refreshed countenance. As a mother, I needed to reboot my energy and take care of overlooked areas once in a while and this manja (Indonesian term for pampering) serves perfectly well.
Karlie Kloss, left, at the age of nine with her sister, Kariann, look at flowers at a nursery in Webster Groves, Missouri, in 2001. Right: Karlie is now a 20-year-old international supermodel appearing in runway shows and the pages of top fashion magazines. How did Karlie Kloss become that rare beauty who is sought for high-fashion and commercial work? Debra D Bass reports For five years, Karlie Kloss has been one of the most-watched models on international runways. This season, Kloss was even more omnipresent as the face of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York. Kloss, who was raised in St Louis, stars in the luxury car company’s autumn 2013 advertising campaign, Untamed. It debuted at Berlin’s fashion week. The Berlin edition of The Daily Front Row, the fashion industry’s guilty pleasure newspaper, featured Kloss alone on the cover with the headline: “Fashion Week begins ... with Karlie.” The announcement of her latest deal is the start of another whirlwind year for the 20-year-old model. She’s the rare beauty who is sought for high-fashion and commercial work. Most models are pigeonholed in one category or the other, and their income is restricted accordingly. Commercial work is more lucrative, but any model who says she doesn’t want to be featured in an 18-page spread in Italian Vogue (see Kloss in the December 2011 issue) is kidding herself. Kloss gets to have it all. “Yes, it’s completely amazing, and it’s rare that you can do both high-end designer artistic fashion shoots and commercial pop culture stuff,” Kloss said during a phone interview from New York. It takes a one-in-a-billion collision of genes, personality, style, temperament and management to be a top model. Kloss described herself as 5ft-12 (“I’ll never say 6ft,” she told Vogue when she was 17 and still growing because of the industry taboo of being too tall). She has a 23-inch waist and poses as naturally with cat-eye make-up and a black leather whip as she does with rosy cheeks, pigtails and ruby sneakers. And she maintains her sweet reputation. Her profile in New York Magazine’s model database sums up her attributes succinctly: “cover girl, established, good girl.” “Whatever it is, she had it,” her father, Kurt Kloss, explained by phone from upstate New York. “It’s like if we had a son who could throw a 100-mile-per-hour fastball; she has a special gift.” Kurt and his wife, Tracy, said the realisation that their daughter could achieve fashion celebrity status was both exhilarating and terrifying. The roller coaster began when Karlie was discovered by Jeff and Mary Clarke of Mother Model Management at West County Center in Missouri during a model contest. Karlie was 13 years old and 5ft-7. The budding ballerina didn’t win the model competition that day, but her distinctive walk and looks caught the Clarkes’ attention. Within a year they placed her with Elite Management in Chicago, then New York. Within another year, the Clarkes took her to Next Models, where she remained until last year. She’s now with IMG Models. Surprisingly, Karlie Kloss spent an amazing amount of time in her own bed. When she was home, she went to Webster Groves High School and ate lunch in the cafeteria with friends. Then, usually midweek, she’d fly off to work. “She’d be back home by Sunday night and back at school Monday morning,” Tracy said. While she was away, she studied and chatted online and by text with her friends. She managed to go to her senior prom, graduate with a 4.0 grade-point average and be a cheerleader her freshman year. Now she has been signed as a Victoria’s Secret model, co-hosts MTV’s House of Style, and owns a new condo on New York’s Upper West Side, rumoured to cost just under $2mn. If you don’t already know Karlie Kloss as the world’s No. 2 ranked model according to models.com, a respected industry directory, then this is a good year to become acquainted. She appears destined for No. 1. Vogue ran a four-page spread in January on her new haircut and declared it the “hairstyle of the year.” The fashion magazine called the cut “The Chop” — 7 inches of honey blond hair was lopped off — but everyone else is calling it The Karlie. The New York Times and Time magazine’s style section have both concurred that the swingy, chin-length cut (don’t call it a bob) with bangs is indeed the haircut of the moment. In 2011, Kloss was dubbed the new “Body” by Vogue Italia, an accolade only bestowed on one other model: Elle Macpherson during her heyday. Then in July, Kloss was hailed as “The New Face of Fashion” on the cover of W magazine, one of fashion’s most elite publications. Last autumn, she sauntered down Victoria’s Secret’s iconic runway in lingerie. She’s a fresh-faced real-life Midwestern cover girl for Teen Vogue and a raven-haired dominatrix in a racy fashion fetish video for a film exhibition. It is Kloss’ duality that makes her such a coveted commodity. “It’s all very different, no doubt about it,” she said. “But no matter what it is that you’re wearing or not wearing, you have to have confidence.” Before she made her first trip to New York, Kloss’ father said that someone pulled him aside and said, “Karlie is going to be the next Kate Moss ... and at that point I really had to look up who Kate Moss was.” He said that he couldn’t grasp the scope of it all. The first time Kurt saw Karlie on a runway was in Paris. He was in awe. “She came out in this incredibly, beautiful soft white lighting, and she’s in this white gown, and they were playing this Carpenters song ... and it’s one of the things I’ll never forget,” he said. “To see your baby and there’s like 3,000 people watching and hundreds of photographers and she just comes out ... it was ... uh ... kind of overwhelming,” Kurt Kloss reminisced. “I was so proud. And at that point I recognised that she had this opportunity ... to be the best in the world at something.” Her mom said it’s amazing how Karlie handled the lifestyle of an international top model and a Webster Groves, Missouri, high school student. “Her sisters helped a lot to keep her grounded,” Tracy said of her three other daughters: Kristine, the oldest, and younger twins Kimberly and Kariann. Kloss now lives with sister Kristine, who has a fashion communications degree from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. When Kloss realised that she wouldn’t be able to travel home to St Louis as often, she asked her family to consider moving closer. Kurt, an emergency room doctor, ended up moving the family to Goshen, New York, about an hour north of Manhattan. In spite of a “good girl” mystique, Kloss’ career has not been without its controversies. Her image has been posted on pro-anorexia sites as “thinspiration.” The Native American-inspired headdress she wore during the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was cut from the televised programme for cultural sensitivity, and the company issued an apology. An image flaunting her slim, slightly twisted physique in Vogue Italia was criticised for setting a bad example and was removed from its website. When that only fuelled more controversy, the magazine’s editor apologised for censoring but did not apologise for the image saying, “The picture is beautiful, and that’s all.” The image was suspected of being digitally altered, but it wasn’t. Ironically, Kloss’ favourite pastime is baking cookies. Her Karlie’s Kookies line includes “The Perfect 10 Kookie,” a collaboration with Christina Tosi, chef and owner of Momofuku Milk Bar in New York. Proceeds from each tin of Karlie’s Kookies benefit the FEED Foundation. “Regardless of (model) stereotypes, I love to bake and I love delicious cookies,” Kloss said. “You should be able to have a cookie and not sacrifice or feel guilty for eating something delicious. You don’t have to sacrifice taste.” Kloss has career ambitions beyond modelling. She wants to go to Harvard, most likely to study business. Kloss told a Berlin tabloid: “I’m 20 years old! I feel fortunate to have an incredible career ... but there is so much more that I want to do with this career and with my life. Harvard at some point is in the plan, but all in good time.” — St Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT
By Julie Gallego Ever since the inimitable Audrey Hepburn posed with her best actress Oscar (for 1953’s Roman Holiday) in an Edith Head dress tweaked to look like it was designed by Hubert de Givenchy (referred to as “Givenchy-fied”), designer frocks and the Academy Awards have belonged to together. Hepburn, said to be “under the sway” of Givenchy (then the protégé of legendary designer Cristobal Balenciaga), wore a nearly identical dress in the movie but had spaghetti straps added to the white-on-white floral dress and the back lowered. It is said the then-starlet considered the dress “lucky.” The dress sold at auction for $130,000 in 2011. Givenchy went on to dress Hepburn for all her red carpet appearances and eventually even designed her film wardrobe — notably for Sabrina in which some of the most beautiful dresses in cinema are featured — cementing the relationship between fashion and film for all time. (No, really; the black, full skirted, V-back dress toward the end of Sabrina is a revelation. Really.) Here are our picks for the most memorable Oscar looks for the past decade: Jennifer Lopez, 2012: For better or worse her look in a white Zuhair Murad sheer spider web of a dress personifies La Lopez. Delicate as it is, this incorporates everything the diva requires in a dress — deep V front and back, curve hugging and sparkly — to maintain her status as the woman who brought old Hollywood glamour back. Halle Berry, 2002: Elie Saab’s wine coloured gown featured a sheer bodice with strategically placed embroidered flowers and a satin train; Berry won best actress that year for Monster’s Ball and raves for the gown, which showed her flawless figure and face to maximum advantage. Sadly, she has been riding that style train ever since and has begun to look a tad cheap (anyone see that Caribbean cut-out mermaid mess she wore to the Golden Globes? That’s what I’m talking about). Angelina Jolie, 2004: Marc Bouwer white silk halter. Too white and a bit boring, but this dress is important for one reason; it marks the first time designers wooed Jolie to wear their design on the Red Carpet and the simple, classic monochromatic silhouette — all Hollywood glamour with an edge, the way only Jolie does it — came to define her inimitable red carpet style. Cate Blanchett, 2005: Valentino buttercup yellow asymmetric dress with a burgundy belt. She was nominated for The Aviator and did not win. But her dress was seminal in that it was the first time legendary designer Valentino Garavani designed a dress for a specific actress. Blanchett is one of the few actresses who never make a red carpet mistake — hard to do with friends like Valentino. Hilary Swank, 2005: Swank won the best actress Oscar that night for Million Dollar Baby and the best dress award as well. The navy Guy Laroche dress is iconic for three things: it was long sleeved when most actresses wore sleeveless and strapless; it was navy silk jersey in a sea of black and sparkly bold colour and it had no back, proving once and for all that your mom was right when she told you stand up straight. Michelle Williams, 2006: Nominated for her role in Brokeback Mountain with her fiance, the late Heath Ledger, Williams’ yellow Vera Wang was her break-out red carpet moment. Youthful and light as a feather, yet beautifully structured at the bodice with a flanged train, most people say it was the bold, sunny colour contrasted with her bright red lips and adorable side chignon that made this one work. But look at the whole thing; the fit of the dress, the lovely framing of the collar around the deep V neckline, the ruby lips, delicate tendrils of hair and that AMAZING colour — take away one of those things and it’s just another pretty dress on a pretty actress. Nicole Kidman, 2007: Kidman made a splash in a red Balenciaga gown with the giant bow at the neck. Lots of people didn’t love the dress, but it was a standout red carpet moment for the colour, fit and the way she was styled around that bow: simple hair and glowing make-up. Five years later, another redhead, actress Emma Stone, wore a look-alike Giambattista Valli bow-necked dress, proving the sceptics wrong: this dress was no flash in the pan; it has staying power. Penelope Cruz, 2007: Nominated as best actress for Volver, the lovely Cruz wore a blush Versace confection with a satin bustier bodice and full feathered skirt. The gown, fitted perfectly over her torso, was equal parts sexy and innocent and has been imitated over and over again. The colour kicked off five years of blush or pale coloured gowns floating down the red carpet. Marion Cotillard, 2008: The actress won that year for her portrayal of Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose. It was the world’s first real look at Cotillard’s red carpet style and she treated us to the ultimate “mermaid” gown by wearing a white and silver Jean Paul Gaultier halter gown covered in glittering scales. Flawless, game-changing; Cotillard’s choice set the tone for what would be one stunning and fashion forward red carpet look after another. Tilda Swinton, 2008: This dress is not well-loved but the look is iconic and all Tilda. The black washed silk Lanvin is a Frankenstein of a frock: all baggy and long-sleeved on one side and straight up and down sleeveless on the other side. But Tilda (somehow referring to her as “Swinton” seems too formal) wore it proudly with her red pompadour as she collected her best supporting actress Oscar for Michael Clayton. Tilda will be forever remembered for the “Hefty bag” dress and for one unanswered question torturing fashionistas the world over: Why didn’t she at least wear the cuff on the sleeveless arm? Zoe Saldana, 2010: Saldana wore Givenchy Haute Couture by Riccardo Tisci. Another Franken-frock, it is loved and hated still, and therein lies its fascination. An amalgam of styles: classic glam-strapless-silhouette on top and a froth of purple ombre ruffles on the bottom. The dress barely misses tacky (and a sure bet to be knocked for a feature in Prom Gown magazine) but was aided by Saldana’s flawlessly elegant and simple styling — proof that you do not have to play it safe on the red carpet. Gwyneth Paltrow, 2012: A transformational red carpet moment for its simplicity and drama. The modern white on white Tom Ford ensemble (she wore a gown, a matching cape and sheath ... it was a whole outfit!) was accented by two glittering, intricate, giant diamond and platinum cuffs and cocktail ring and simple hair - perfection. Memorable for what it wasn’t: ruffled, candy coloured, tight or sparkly. A year before she had wiped the image of her ill-fitting cotton candy pink taffeta prom gown from our minds with a clean-lined heavily beaded Calvin Klein sheath that was widely lauded for its freshness. Coming back a year later in the stunning Tom Ford cemented her place in the red carpet hall of fame. — The Orange County Register/MCT * In 2007, Nicole Kidman made a splash in a red Balenciaga gown with the giant bow at the neck.
By Monica Vallejos Time magazine coined a nickname for Elle Macpherson that stuck and came to define her: “The Body”. This Australian supermodel dominated magazine covers, newspaper headlines, television commercial and billboard ads at a special time for modelling 30 years ago. Her photo was everywhere. Now, at age 48, blonde Elle is a highly successful beauty-industry entrepreneur. With a height of 1.83m and measurements of 91-64-89, she continues to be a commanding presence with her elongated silhouette, her muscular body and the strong shoulders that characterised her from the start. When she was a teenager, Elle Macpherson’s future was decided by fate. She made a wager with a friend about whether she would make it as a model and got lucky in 1982, suddenly famous at a young age in her native Australia. The ticket to fame was a television commercial showing Macpherson walking along the beach in a bikini and holding a TAB soda refreshment. In 1987 she was featured in another soda advertisement for Diet Coke, this time in a pool. Macpherson really owes her career to swimsuits. She posed for innumerable ads wearing them. It was not by chance that the US magazine Sports Illustrated chose her to appear in its yearly bathing-suit edition. Whoever is featured on the cover of the special edition is assured of success. Macpherson graced the cover of the special Sports Illustrated edition six times, the first in 1986, and holds the record. While not specifically a fashion industry magazine, Sports Illustrated presents sexy shots of models in outdoors or sporting settings and has had a role in the fashion world by promoting many young promising models. Macpherson was also fortunate in being immediately embraced by her namesake magazine Elle which constantly featured her in the early years of her career. Macpherson married Elle magazine photographer Gilles Bensimon, divorcing him in 1989. The marriage floundered possibly because of the age difference: he was more than 20 years her elder. Macpherson slowly worked on polishing her simple and innocent teenager look, becoming more sophisticated in her appeal. She did however for a long time hold on to her sporting spirit, turning her face away from the camera for a profile shot, preferring that her body be the star. That led to “The Body” nickname from Time in a 1989 cover article The Big Elle. Macpherson identified fully with her new media moniker and started using “The Body” as the name for a series of products she was involved with in conjunction with her modelling career such as “The Body Collection” bath lotions and fragrances. Dozens of advertising spreads, hundreds of articles and photos of her broad smile and a lot of skin made Macpherson an expert in lingerie. In 1990 the supermodel launched “Elle Macpherson Intimates”, currently sold in 11 countries. The brand offers garments for pregnant women, men, sports and also designs after-wear. Macpherson broke with the Ford modelling agency in 1994 and founded her own company Elle Macpherson Inc. That same year she released her exercise video line: “Your Personal Best with the Body”. She also began to produce calendars, each one linked to a television programme. From the 1990s and still today, Macpherson takes part in breast cancer research campaigns. “I try to choose areas that resonate with me, and breasts and breast cancer resonate with me because I made my living from breasts,” Macpherson said recently. Macpherson posed for the “Elle Macpherson Intimates” line until 2003 and since then she has headed its creative design department. Harper’s Bazaar magazine has called her “the business head behind the Body”. Together with her friends, fellow supermodels Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington, Macpherson created the Fashion Cafe in 1995, that opened branches in a number of countries. The restaurant chain failed to really take off, but the original Fashion Cafe was an attention-garnering spot in the three years it catered to customers in New York City. Macpherson has done well in films as well. Her performance in such movies as Alice, Mermaids and If Lucy Fell, and even in Jane Eyre, Batman and The Edge earned her kudos and she has come to be considered a credible and respected actress. She had several guest appearances in the Friends television series and in 2009 she also appeared on Ashton Kutcher’s Beautiful Life. Macpherson spends most of her time in Great Britain to be with her two sons, now adolescents, that she had with financier Arpad Flynn Busson, currently dating actress Uma Thurman. Macpherson and Busson were together for 10 years. Since then, Macpherson has been seen with celebrity partners, among them recently, British banker Roger Jenkins. In 1998 the movie Beautopia brought together nearly all the supermodels to explore the desires of thousands of teenage girls who want to become celebrities with modelling careers just like Elle, Cindy, Claudia, Naomi and Kate. The movie was shot as a documentary, earning a prize in the Chicago Film Festival, and the models featured in it acted as themselves, as did other celebrities such as designers Valentino and Isaac Mizrahi. Television awards shows and beauty contests love Macpherson as a host and she is called in frequently to perform on them. She hosted the 2001 Miss Universe pageant with Naomi Campbell and in 2008 was a guest on the America’s Next Top Model to promote her lingerie line. In 2010 Macpherson hosted and was the executive producer for Britain’s Next Top Model. In 2012 she quit hosting the NBC network reality show Fashion Star but continues to be its executive producer. At age 45, Macpherson was appointed global ambassador for Revlon cosmetics to promote their make-up line for older women. Allegedly the makeup helps keeps women’s faces intact and beauty endures. Macpherson is perfect for the job because she looks the same as she did 30 years ago. — DPA
By Jenn Harris For those who follow the Chinese zodiac, the year of the snake begins today. People born under this sign are thought to be more likely to be seductive, gregarious, charming, smart, good with money and, at times, a little jealous. The reptiles themselves are beautiful, sometimes dangerous, creatures that have inspired countless designers over the years. Here are some ways to incorporate the symbol of the year into your wardrobe, with no harm done to any living creature. It’s hard not to turn heads in Equipment’s Sloane crewneck cashmere sweater, $298 from Nordstrom, with its snakeskin print in neon yellow. The Sabine print midi dress, from Piperlime.com, makes for a fun twist on the classic floral print, flowy dress for spring. The Eight Sixty snake print high-low blouse, from RonHerman.com, features a contrast collar that gives the blouse a little more edge. Pair the 7 For All Mankind the skinny laser snake jeans, with a plain tee and solid heels for a go-to outfit for any occasion. Snake-shaped jewellery is a great way to wear the trend in a subtle way. For a snake accent, try the Jennifer Fisher brass snake cuff, from Barneys.com, the Aurelie Bidermann snake hoop earrings, from NeimanMarcus.com, or the Steven Alan 14-karat gold snake ring by Grace Lee, at stevenalan.com, with snakeskin texture and diamond eyes. Giuseppe Zanotti takes on the classic outdoor slipper with the snake-print smoking slipper in metallic silver, from BergdorfGoodman.com. Famed handbag designer Judith Leiber created a special year of the snake clutch, from NeimanMarcus.com. The coiled snake is adorned with hand-applied crystals. Slither around in style behind the Lanvin snake-print leather accented modified square sunglasses, from Saksfifthavenue.com. Dress up your smart phone in this Stella McCartney snake-print iPhone case, from Farfetch.com. It’s a pearlised nude snake-print case with gold-tone chain edging and tonal faux suede whipstitch trim. — Los Angeles Times/MCT Splash springs into summer Splash springs into summer While globalisation has made it such that fashion transcends climatic seasons, each season still brings with it some overarching trends which encompass the catwalks. As Spring Summer’13 sets in, high street maven Splash interprets the hottest trends, inspired by the sweltering summer. All about contrasts, the season sports an overwhelming feeling of lightness and softness. While fashion explores newer boundaries, this season warriors step out of mythology and get into the city streets imprinting an entire collection with hints of myths and mystique. With a mix of primary colours complemented with shocking fiery reds, neon yellows and bright blues, the trend includes new active sportswear, distressed and slashed denims and relaxed separates in cotton, voile and knits. Prints and pattern dominate the looks with engineered, tribal, reptile and kaleidoscope prints. The evolution from last season has begun and new ways to wear existing trends are emerging. With a strong Oriental trend surfacing, Japanese kimono style garments in ikebana and hybrid prints, typical folds, high belts and soft samurai like shoulder padding are a favorite. The ‘Clarity’ trend also picks up on easy fabrics like georgettes, chiffons and soft knits in shades of fuchsia, citrus and ombre. As seasonal clichés take to the runways get ready to channel pastels, pearls and monochromes. First on the trend radar are floral prints a perennial favourite which find a romantic revival. As no wardrobe would be complete without a sugary display of pastels, the ‘Preppy Riot’ trend reflects a very ’60s mood. Featuring flowy silhouettes in clean lines the feel is much more grown-up this season with a delicious mixture of embellishment and texture. With a trend revolution in progress, the spring runways proved that everything really does look better in black in white. With monochrome all set to rule the roost whether in graphic prints or stark contrast blocking the collection includes pants, dresses, shirts and blouses. ‘Ashen’ a dark, sensual and twisting trend that is heightened by the silhouettes of romantic long flowing lines and tailored looks — engineered stripes and checks with florals — are foremost in this collection. Moving on to trends for men which find continuity this season in the idea of simplicity, Splash explores ‘Preppy Resort’ a dandy goes to the beach collection where American Preppy sportswear meets colour paradise. The blend captures the most eclectic colours with the resort look which transports you into a holiday dimension. Marine inspired looks remain popular with an abundance of nautical stripes, featuring across all products categories. Classic deck looks are revived in this trend that is being referred to as ‘Azure Paradise’ through fabrics and print updates and key items include the floral swim shorts and conversational print trousers.
Despite the lows in her modelling career, such as publication of a photograph showing her allegedly snorting cocaine, which led to her losing several contracts when she was dating musician Pete Doherty, British supermodel Kate Moss was always able to regain control of her life.By Romina Lopez La Rosa She seems ageless, transfixed, an eternal teenager, with an airy, ethereal look of innocence. This is Kate Moss’s image: the angel-like face with a hint of suffering. Her measurements are fairly small and she barely has curves.It was her slender, slight look that contrasted with the voluptuous super-models of the times that launched Moss into fame after she was featured in a series of Calvin Klein jeans ads in 1990.Like no other, Moss embodied the sex, drugs and rock 1990s scene with a dark side and a bright side.She was very different from her fellow runway colleagues such as Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer who were billed as “normal”, beautiful but — allegedly — just ordinary girls.Katherine Ann Moss, born January 16, 1974 in Surrey, England, has always flirted with the dark side of life, paying the price for it, especially in the 2000s, when her name and reputation were linked to those of British musician Pete Doherty, who was arrested on several occasions for drug and alcohol abuse.Moss was also famously engaged briefly to US actor Johnny Depp and their romance featured in many a gossip magazine.Moss was discovered at 14 by a Storm agency scout at John F Kennedy Airport in New York City when she was returning to Britain with her family after a holiday trip.At age 19 Moss appeared on the cover of British Vogue. The photo was taken by former model Corinne Day, with whom she shares a passion for vintage clothing and a “British” fashion style.Her face on that close-up shot, with her hair pulled back and her angular cheekbones, the harshness softened by almond-shaped eyes, summed up the Moss charm that made her so popular even though at 1.70m, she was in theory too short for a modelling.Her measurements, 83-57-88, set her apart from the other models, and indeed she inaugurated an era of very thin models.Despite the lows in her career, such as publication of a notorious photograph showing her allegedly snorting cocaine, which led to her losing several contracts when she was dating Doherty, Moss was always able to regain control of her life.At that time Moss issued a statement saying: “I take full responsibility for my actions. I also accept that there are personal issues that I need to address and have started taking the difficult, yet necessary, steps to resolve them.”Moss would later declare that she had checked into a rehab clinic on her own after realising that matters could not continue the way they were. “Only one thing existed for me: parties, parties, parties with lots of alcohol and craziness. Now I am out and in top form,” she said. Her daughter Lila Grace was born in 2002, and her modelling career has continued.Moss seems to have found stability with rocker Jamie Hince, with The Kills, whom she wed in July 2011.One of Moss’ most successful professional relationships has been with designer John Galliano.She debuted in the Paris Fashion Week in 1990 wearing his garments. She has backed him even when Galliano was shunned by the fashion world for racist remarks and he designed her wedding gown, himself describing it as his “creative rehab”.Moss was featured in The Face in 1990, helping to contribute to her meteoric rise. She has made a name for herself because of her magazine cover photos, appearing on 300 for Vogue alone and served to launch the magazine in Russia.The major designers — Karl Lagerfeld, Helmut Lang, Ralph Lauren, Dolce&Gabbana, Gianfranco Ferre, Callaghan, Complice, Chanel, Chloe, Javier Larrainzar, Prada, Blumarine and Vivienne Westwood — have all worked with Moss.Galliano called her “the Marilyn Monroe of today” because of the media attention she garners despite lacking a curvaceous figure.Moss has weathered the negative media coverage turning it to her advantage. Forbes reported that she earned $9.2mn in 2011 and the two firms she owns that year had a turnover of £12.3mn.She has launched collections she designed and has been chosen on several occasions as the world’s best-dressed woman by different magazines.During 2007-2010 Moss designed highly successful collections for the low-cost Top Shop 14 chain. Her love for vintage clothes, folk, fringes and transparent fabrics was a hit.In 2011 Moss signed a contract with Mango, in the same category as other lines for women who want to look fashionable but pay accessible prices for clothes.Moss is famous for setting trends with her own choice of clothes, as occurred for example when she rescued an old pair of Westwood pirate boots. After being photographed wearing the boots there was such demand for them that Westwood had to make them again after having halted production 10 years earlier.Having just turned 39, Moss last year published her autobiography Kate in which she denied having ever suffered from anorexia or being a drug addict. A book also came out with Vogue cover shots she herself selected. There is plenty of material in it for her fans to enjoy. — DPASyrian designer recreates Great Gatsby lookMaking his third venture into Paris, the world’s couture capital, Syrian fashion couturier, Rami al-Ali, unveiled his Spring/Summer 2013 collection to the city’s fashion-elite at a presentation in Le Meurice, Salon Pompadour last week. Al-Ali celebrated his seasonal return with a bold collection of designs inspired by The Great Gatsby. A period of intrigue and drama, The Great Gatsby invokes images of wealth, glamour and rebellion. No longer clad in repressive attire, the female silhouette became celebrated and exposed, with daring fashions created to break down barriers, and rules.Remastering this iconic age, al-Ali’s collection is expressed through a blend of distinguished hues. A neutral spectrum of shades ranging from cool grey, mocha beige and champagne bestow a vintage allure, whilst singular gowns in fluorescent hues set a vibrant tone with a modern edge. The colour palette is further enhanced through an exquisite array of fabrics, purposely selected for the distinct way they cascade down the body forming straight, graphical lines. Sheer muslin, flowing lamé and crepe marocain are all artfully manipulated to create fresh new seasonal contours. Key elements of the period provide instant association, with a creative display of tassels and fringing playing homage to the Flapper-style of the generation. Art Deco motifs further enhance the theme, with eclectic visuals portrayed through embroidery, or structured into the silhouette itself. Sleek profiles offer a simple yet impactful angle as the less-is-more rule applies, with touches of sparkle and shimmer keeping the line playful. The 24-piece collection perfectly captures the essence of the period whilst bringing the story to life in the 21st century.
By Jenn HarrisWhen Hollywood’s biggest stars hit the Golden Globes’ red carpet earlier this month, they sparkled; but the shine wasn’t necessarily about the clothing. After the obligatory “Who are you wearing?” questions, we finally got to the jewels — and there was some serious bling framing those famous forms and faces. Forget the weather — the millions of dollars in ice were enough to give anyone chills. Jessica Alba wore a $5.8mn Harry Winston necklace, likely making her the most well-guarded star of the evening. Julianne Moore looked stunning in Bulgari earrings, Kerry Washington was subtle but chic with her Chopard flower ring, and Halle Berry may have struck out with her Atelier Versace gown, but her Madstone geometric hoop earrings were lovely. Red carpet jewellery truly is in a league of its own. Here are some budget-friendly finds to help you get that same sparkle, without the extra security detail. — Los Angeles Times/MCT Homemade cosmeticshelp to cut chemicals By Courtney Perkes Brooke Ristow stirs and stirs before dabbing her finger in a mixing bowl filled with what looks like thick frosting.She isn’t going for a taste, but rather to smear a dollop on her 2-year-old daughter’s fair nose.Wearing an apron in her Costa Mesa, California, kitchen, Ristow has whipped up a batch of 30 SPF sunscreen. Unlike the long ingredient list on a typical bottle of sunscreen, she used only shea butter, organic coconut oil and zinc oxide powder.The do-it-yourself trend isn’t just for making necktie curtains or furniture from reclaimed wood. A number of health and hygiene products can be made at home for those seeking simpler products without potentially toxic chemicals.“I don’t have some secret recipe or ingredient,” said Ristow, 33, a teacher turned stay-at-home mom. “If more people are using something natural, I think it’s better.”Ristow also makes her own deodorant, something she never needed to wear until her hormones changed after giving birth to her first daughter five years ago.As a new mother, she wanted to avoid chemicals, so she experimented with various natural brands that don’t contain aluminium, such as Tom’s of Maine.“Tom’s doesn’t work on me and I smell like a hippie,” Ristow said.So she began playing with different homemade recipes. She mixed together a concoction made of baking soda, arrowroot (starch) and coconut oil. She found a cute Mason jar at a garage sale and gave it to a friend for her birthday last year.“I said, ‘This a really weird present, but I think you will like it,’” Ristow said.The friend shared the homemade deodorant with her husband, who works in construction. He took some samples to work and made the first sale for Ristow. She has since launched her own business on website Etsy, selling deodorant and sunscreen online through smell-swell.com.Christy Funk, owner of Belly Sprout, a natural-living store for mothers in Fullerton and Santa Ana, teaches a holistic natural remedies class.“I’ve definitely seen this flood of DIY,” Funk said. “Beauty products are always fun. It’s like a perfume or a good cookie or chocolate — it can be luxurious. You become your own little chemist.”Funk said making health or hygiene products comes out of greater experimentation with cooking and an emphasis on organic ingredients.“It’s just an extension in the kitchen because we’ve seen such a food craze,” she said. “The culture that we live in now, especially in Southern California, is that people want to make things. If they can make a body butter with a couple of ingredients and you’ve got this luxurious salve for the body, it costs less, plus you know exactly what’s going into it.”Kelly Coyne of Los Angeles co-wrote Making It: Radical Home-Ec for a Post-Consumer World with her husband. She has taken a DIY approach from head to toe.Coyne makes her own shampoo soap and then uses vinegar as a finishing hair rinse. She makes lotion and lip balm. She creates healing salves for bug bites and bruises.“Once you start doing a few things for yourself, you think ‘Why can’t I do that for myself?’” Coyne said. “You start expanding your skill set.”Coyne said she couldn’t find chemical-free products, so she started making them.“You eat your lip balm,” she said. “Your skin is the biggest organ in your body. I just don’t know what the chemicals are doing in my body. I don’t know what they’re doing in the environment or in the water supply. I don’t know how they’re manufactured. I don’t know anything about them at all.”Coyne said making soap is more of an art because of working with lye, but she makes a year’s worth at a time. Her only failure has been an attempt to make red lipstick.“It’s as time-consuming as you want to make it,” Coyne said. “Once you have the stuff on hand and know what you’re doing, it takes five minutes to make lip balm or lotion.” — The Orange County Register/MCT
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama dance together at the Commander-in-Chief’s Inaugural Ball in Washington, at the Washington Convention Center during the 57th Presidential Inauguration on January 21. Never afraid of bright colours, Michelle Obama here is wearing a red gown designed by Jason Wu, who dressed her for the 2009 inauguration as well.By Booth MooreIn the past four years, no woman has been a more powerful fashion force than US First Lady Michelle Obama.Even after so much time on the public stage, her wardrobe choices still spark trends, drive sales and generate discussion and dissection on blogs and morning TV shows. On her 49th birthday last week, the fact that she was sporting a new hairstyle with bangs heated up the Twitterverse.The components of the first lady’s personal style (pearls, cardigans, kitten heels) are instantly recognisable. Her endorsement of young designers such as Jason Wu, Rodarte, Band of Outsiders, Tracy Reese and Prabal Gurung has helped raise a new generation of American fashion talent. And she has given American women (including those over age 40) permission to dress to impress, to experiment with wearing colour and print, to have fun with fashion. But if the cliché about a second presidential administration is true — that it is an opportunity to tackle a new agenda without having to worry about re-election — what will the first lady’s second “fashion administration” look like, beginning with the second inauguration attire?“Do I think now that she’s in a second term she will go Goth, get tattoos or suddenly start wearing all European designers? No,” says Cindi Leive, editor in chief of Glamour magazine, which featured the first lady on the cover in December 2009.“She’s stayed true to her personality in the White House, which is one of the reasons women look up to her,” Leive says. “The shapes she wears are consistent, the fitted bodices, fuller skirts and sleeveless tops. Her affinity for colour and print has remained consistent. The Michelle Obama you see in 2013 acts and looks a lot like what she looked like on the campaign trail.”Mikki Taylor, author of the 2011 book Commander-in-Chic: Every Woman’s Guide to Managing Her Wardrobe Like a First Lady, and editor at large at Essence magazine, agrees.“From a practical perspective, she has taught us the importance of defining your dress code, the importance of developing a signature style that works for you,” Taylor says. “She put J Crew on the map. She made cardigans, which she owns in a rainbow of hues, youthful. She made sheath dresses fresh and revived the kitten heel. She’s her own role model, and doesn’t care to be anybody else’s style plate. It’s all about unexpected pairings. She dresses to ‘infotain’ herself and likes to mix classics with a twist, like at the Democratic National Convention when she threw on the pink suede shoes and grey nail polish. She loves throwing an unexpected curve in there.”But other fashion observers have noticed some subtle changes.“She’s started to streamline her style a lot, which may signal a move away from the whole fashion thing and a move toward trying to emphasise her causes,” says Kate Betts, author of the 2011 book Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style. “She’s wearing fewer accessories, including belts and bold jewellery, fewer floral prints. She’s wearing suits more,” Betts says. “She’s dressing less like a 1950s housewife, which was a very strategic image she wanted to put out there early on to say, ‘Hey, don’t worry, I’m not going to the West Wing and rolling up my sleeves to get to work.’ For all the people who thought she would be the sequel to Hillary Clinton in terms of her serious education and professional credentials, Michelle Obama actually went in the other direction, embracing a more traditional role and look.”In recent months, Obama has emphasised affordable labels over designer pieces, Betts says.On the campaign trail last autumn, for example, she wore dresses by Jones New York and BCBG Max Azria, each of which retailed for less than $300 and all of which were documented on the Mrs-O.org blog, which has registered more than 2.5mn visits each year since starting to chronicle the first lady’s style in 2009.Obama has also been re-wearing a lot of pieces, most notably on election night when she chose a magenta silk pintucked dress by Michael Kors that she had worn back in 2010.The gold Lurex Michael Kors suit she wore for the debut of the White House Christmas decorations in December was an old favourite from 2009. The blush-coloured Byron Lars dress worn at December’s Christmas in Washington concert made an appearance back in 2010, when Paul McCartney was at the White House to accept the Gershwin Prize.“She’s sending the right message: that it’s not really a time to buy a lot of new clothes. So many people are in such trouble economically and she’s in tune with that,” Betts says. “And I do think her inaugural gown is going to be something she has worn before.” — Los Angeles Times/MCTNew twist on old trendsSince Michelle Obama and her kitten heels first stepped onto the national stage in America five years ago, the keys to her personal dress code have remained remarkably consistent. Pearls, cardigans and brooches are all components of the first lady’s look. Conservative relics of an old world Washington wardrobe? Not the way Obama interprets them, always adding her own twist. Here are a few of her most influential style signatures. PEARLSObama breathed new life into the most traditional of heirloom accessories by choosing updated interpretations of the classic pearl necklace, which have included the edgy (tangled strands of blue-tone pearls by Los Angeles-based designer Tom Binns worn with a Marchesa gown to a state dinner in March), as well as the affordable (the $98 multicoloured Torsade necklace by Pearl Collective worn several times, including in June on the campaign trail). BELTSObama has used belts to enhance the fit ‘n’ flare silhouette of her clothing and to accent her small waist. Two of her favourites are a clear plastic belt by Sonia Rykiel and a studded black belt by Azzedine Alaia. DARING NAIL POLISHShe’s worn her fair share of understated pale pink polish but has also tried more daring colours, giving women of all ages permission to do the same without fear of not being taken seriously. The grey-lilac nail colour Obama wore while giving a speech at the Democratic National Convention in September sparked a flurry of news stories — and a trend. The colour was Artistic Nail Design Soak Off Colour Gloss Vogue. Obama made headlines with her polish again in December, when she chose a neon yellow pedicure for her Hawaiian vacation. BROOCHESBrooches are no longer an old lady accessory, thanks to Obama, who has treated them in a casual, modern way. For a state dinner preview in March 2012, for example, she wore an elaborate Saloni bird brooch clipped to the neckline of a simple pale grey Zac Posen tank dress with navy blue waistband. The brooch was just what she needed to tie the whole outfit together. CARDIGANSObama replaced the traditional uniform of Washington power women — the jacket — with soft cardigans, proving that femininity can also be powerful. She has worn cardigans in every colour of the rainbow, in shrugs, cropped and long lengths. Among the notables are the sparkly sequin cream J Crew cardigan worn with a mint-green pencil skirt to 10 Downing Street in 2009 and the avant-garde Junya Watanabe asymmetrical argyle cardigan worn to the Royal Opera House on the same London trip. WHITE GOWNSSome wondered whether the Jason Wu white chiffon, one-shoulder gown Obama chose for the 2009 inauguration (pictured) was better suited to a summer wedding than a wintertime Washington ball. But the dress worked as a potent symbol of a fairy tale moment and kicked off a trend in Hollywood and beyond. At the Golden Globes this year, for instance, several stars, including Julianne Hough and Amanda Seyfried, walked the red carpet in white. Obama repeated the white-at-night look in 2011, wearing a Tom Ford gown with crisscross straps and long white gloves to dinner at Buckingham Palace.KITTEN HEELSNot one to be held hostage by shoe trends — or to hobble around in too-high heels — Obama has stuck with her tried-and-true kitten heels by J Crew and Jimmy Choo. The lesson? Following the whims of fashion should be secondary to what works for you. — By Booth Moore, Los Angeles Times/MCT
Splash has recently launched the winter collection from the French-fashion label ELLE just in time for the winter weather. Certifying fashionistas everywhere celebrate urbane fashion that creates a lasting impression throughout the season, the collection features four key looks for both the ELLE woman and ELLE Homme. Designed to fit just right, the trends of minimal chic and nostalgic vintage lend a natural air of sophistication while staying playful and if you’re looking to experiment with your wild side, opt for jazzy dandy and neo-bohemian trends that indicate a flirty and carefree attitude for the wild ones.A refreshing array of fashion essentials, ELLE builds the perfect climax into the season with both functional and fashionable looks. Take a step back into time and visit the 1950s with simple, modern, clean cut shirts and dresses, without detailing, which highlight the minimalistic chic trend. And you’ll know that retro has made a comeback as contrasting collar tops and shirts paired with a formal trouser or flared skirts and tight waist 50’s dresses emphasise a strict vintage flair.A trend to watch out this season, jazzy dandy, is all about masculine/feminine style. Team this with strict white collar shirts under tailored jackets, paired with tapered carrot trousers to flaunt a flamboyant attitude. Falling not far behind, the neo-bohemian trend displays fabrics rich in colour and print, woolly checks, shimmery velvet and faux fur that lend a finishing touch to every outfit and give a cosy, comfortable feel.So embark on a French voyage this season with ELLE at Splash and looks that will keep the paparazzi clicking! Prices start from QR50 onwards and are available across all Splash stores.
Charles Godyear tries on his stretched out hat at Goorin brothers Hat Store in Uptown, Minneapolis. The new old-school men’s hat shop has opened in Uptown, just as the trend has hit its stride. The heritage menswear movement has pushed hats back on to guys’ heads. Whether imitating a dapper TV character or musician, men are making hats hot again. By Alejandra MatosLong before Don Draper and Justin Timberlake brought sexy back to the fedora, hats were once as common on a man’s head as socks on his feet. Simply put, a man was not properly dressed without one.But along the way, hats faded into the back of men’s closets, and the baseball cap eventually took over the pate.Fast forward a few decades: Tradition has reared its well-coiffed head again. Wide-brimmed, high-crowned, feather-adorned hats are resurgent at a time when celebrities and nostalgia-inspired TV shows such as Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men are telling men it’s acceptable to care about their clothing — including the accessory on their head.“Young people are driving the trend right now,” said Anthony Andler, owner of Heimie’s Haberdashery in St Paul, Minnesota. “They are seeing the benefits to dressing better. The job market and the girl market are both tough, so they want an edge that will help them compete.”Celebrities such as Timberlake, Johnny Depp, Bruno Mars and Brad Pitt are routinely spotted wearing old-school men’s hats. The styles include the fedora, flat caps, gatsbys, even the top hat. Andler said customers often come into his shop referencing hats they’ve seen on the heads of their favourite actors or musicians.While pop culture is giving traditional hats their moment, Andler said a classic hat also serves a practical purpose. Coupled with an overcoat, a nice pair of shoes and gloves, a hat completes the package of a well-dressed man.In 1940, there were 180 independent major manufacturers of hats in the United States, according to the New York Times. In 2011, there were only 10.Since 2004, Heimie’s has been one of the few Twin Cities stores where men could find a dedicated inventory of old-school hats. The local hat market has been heating up with the September opening of Goorin Bros in Uptown.That shop is the 26th location for a San Francisco-based company, a sign that the hat trend might be here to stay (again). Goorin-branded hats also are sold at Nordstrom and other stores.Ashley Foucault, Goorin’s Minneapolis store manager, said people often come in asking for Al Pacino’s famous Godfather Homburg hat, but other customers have no idea what they want.“I tell them, ‘Let’s play for a little while,’” said Foucault, who then experiments with different hats to find the perfect fit for her customers.Men often come in looking to pair a hat with a specific outfit, especially a suit. She recommends bringing in the actual suit to properly match the hat.She also tells customers to bring in their significant others. They have “the biggest veto power,” Foucault said.A similar fitting experience can be expected at Heimie’s.“People always reference Mad Men,” Andler said. “They also say, ‘I want a gangster hat,’ and I tell them, ‘No, you want a gentleman’s hat.’ Gangsters are all bums.”With prices ranging from $50 to more than $300 in both stores, the right fit is key to ensuring that men feel confident with their purchase.“There is definitely the right hat for every face,” Andler said.Goorin customer Neil Hilborn said he likes the attention he gets from wearing a hat, including from other men.“They say, ‘I hadn’t thought about wearing a hat until I saw it on you,’” Hilborn said.Not everyone is a convert. On a recent night, Andrew Barry was trying on a variety of hats at Heimie’s. But he wasn’t shopping for himself; he was buying one for his brother. Barry still prefers baseball caps.“The ball cap is much more functional to keep the sun out of your eyes,” he said, holding a fedora in his hands. “This isn’t that practical.”Andler said some men often do not have the confidence to wear a hat.“Guys are still intimidated by putting on a hat with a wide brim and a high crown,” Andler said. But once a man feels comfortable in it, “their confidence increases and they are more likely to reach for their fedora over a baseball cap.”In the end, wearing a hat comes down to one thing, according to Andler.“You just want to own it,” he said. “Have some hattitude.” — Star Tribune/MCT
(From left) Hatnuts staff Didi Gugel, Micha Schwarz, Tobi Egerer, Jules Knoll and Sebi Mertens demonstrate the fun of crotchet in self-made woolly hats.By Marc HerwigWhat are the elements of a perfect guy’s night in for sport students?Cold drinks, a soccer match on TV — and crochet hooks. Five students from the city of Tuebingen in southwest Germany combined those elements and transformed a hobby into an ongoing business.They spend their evenings and nights at home together crocheting hats and other headgear.At first their girlfriends thought they were crazy but that switched to finding their crocheting boyfriends sexy.The all-male crochet club has developed into a successful online company with several employees.Sales of the hats made by the Hatnuts, as they call themselves, are thriving thanks to their cool image. The five Hatnuts sport designer stubble in a photograph on their website.They uploaded a video to YouTube and published a crochet book for young people.“Your granny’s instruction manual just doesn’t have the same appeal that ours does,” says Didi Gugel. About 100 orders a week arrive through the online shop and over 1,000 of the handmade hats are sold each year.It all started out on a remote, romantic farm without TV or Internet in the mountains in southern Germany. Gugel had a job as a snowboard teacher during his university studies.“The evenings were terribly long and I needed a hat that fitted me.”He remembered his handicraft lessons back in school and started to crochet. At first with modest results.It was his aunt who taught him on his next visit home how to crochet properly. After many dark winter’s nights he crocheted his very first hat. Later on some friends from Tuebingen dropped by and were pretty envious.“They wanted me to crochet hats for them.” But Gugel had a better idea.Back in Tuebingen he organised a crochet seminar. Fifteen students participated and five of them stayed as the core team: besides Didi Gugel, the other Hatnuts members are Tobi Egerer, Sebi Mertens, Micha Schwarz and Jules Knoll.Quickly the knitting club became the talk of the university. “The initial reaction was always the same: ‘How embarrassing can you get?’ But it wasn’t long before they were asking: ‘Can I have one too?” Gugel says.“One thing is for sure: crocheting doesn’t mean you are not a man. Actually it attracts women,” he says without giving further details.But in terms of women, the Hatnuts share a strict code of conduct: crochet must not be a means to hook girls.They are only allowed to give something made from crochet to their current partners.But a lot has changed since the five started crocheting. They completed their sports studies and while looking for jobs have moved all over Germany and beyond.In their regular lives they work as teachers for mathematics and sports, as computer scientists for fitness studio systems, as a division manager for a big sports retailer and in sports for the disabled.At the same time orders for their hats have grown. They sponsored Germany’s national Paralympics Nordic ski team this year and one of their hats was even on Mount Everest.“The time is over when we were crocheting the orders in our student apartments,” Gugel says.“But if you insist on having a hat made by one of us personally, you can write ‘I want Didi to crochet mine’ on the order.”Even though time is in short supply for the Hatnuts, none of the five can stop crocheting.“It’s simply in your blood: If you’re in front of the TV you automatically reach over for the crochet hooks,” Gugel says. “After all, it is our passion.” — DPA
Claudia Schiffer walks the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival in 2006 ... ageless beauty.By Almudena de Cabo No-one has been able to outshine the top international fashion models so famous in the 1990s. And German beauty Claudia Schiffer continues to be, 14 years after she stepped down from the runway, an iconic figure from the golden age of modelling in which fashion divas earned huge amounts and the whole world watched them.With her blond hair and graceful figure, at 1.82m tall, Claudia Schiffer became the best-paid model in the 1990s, earning roughly $10mn annually.Versace, Valentino, Ralph Lauren, all the big names in fashion, wanted their designs to be shown off by the stunning model.“It was an amazing experience and a very special time in the history of models,” Schiffer herself would say years later.As frequently happens with models, Schiffer was discovered at a young age. She was 17 when Michel Levanton, with the Metropolitan Model agency, laid eyes on her at the Checkers discotheque in Dusseldorf where she had gone with friends. Her beauty and her height made him quickly invite her to a trial photo shoot in Paris.Schiffer was able to convince her parents to let her go, packed her bags and left her three younger siblings and Rheinberg, her home town in western Germany, behind to become the undisputed catwalk queen.She abandoned her dreams to study law as her father had, exchanged her ballet and piano classes and tennis matches with friends for instead learning how to walk down a runway and attend endless hairdressing and make-up sessions.Initially Schiffer became known as the “German Brigitte Bardot” and her first major job was with Guess jeans, turning her into one of the most sought after models.“In my early years as a model I used to think about how I was becoming a sexual fantasy for men. I found it amazing to see the effect the photos had on men. Nowadays I think my job is, quite simply, to look sexy,” Schiffer was quoted as saying.Aware of her power, she was able to make many men fall in love with her. But the most influential man in her career was Karl Lagerfeld who catapulted Schiffer in 1988 to the summit of the fashion Olympus when he chose her as his muse and model for Chanel.Schiffer remained loyal to her mentor until she withdrew from modelling in 1998, at age 28. “She needs no touch-ups of any kind. She is far better than any other,” Lagerfeld said about Schiffer when he worked with her. In an interview in 2008 Lagerfeld could still say confidently that “Claudia Schiffer is better than ever” although the kind of fashion scene she had dominated had become “demode.”In contrast to other supermodels such as Naomi Campbell, Schiffer never became grist for the gossip magazines with scandals, whims or excesses. She described herself as a “normal, simple woman, with nothing special.”A bit of an understatement for a woman who in a decade graced the covers of 600 magazines all over the world, signed huge advertising contracts, flirted with acting and even shot her own gymnastics video.Her private life also provided no great excitement for the media. The only hint of a scandal was her two-year relationship with US magician David Copperfield. Some saw their engagement in March 1994 as a publicity stunt to make her better known in the US and for him to reach the European market.Some years later in 2002, Schiffer met and wed British film producer Matthew Vaughn. They have three children: Caspar, Clementine and Cosima Violet.Her life as a mother is demanding and Schiffer spends most of her time with the family in Notting Hill in London and also travels to her home town in Germany and a vacation home in Camp de Mar, in Mallorca.Schiffer still misses Germany and thinks it would be wonderful to live there, although she has built up a circle of German friends in London. She has done goodwill work for Unicef and was a spokesperson for Make Poverty History, appearing in the Click advertisement.At 42, Claudia Schiffer seems ageless. Twenty-three years later she once again donned a pair of jeans for Guess in the 30-year anniversary publicity campaign.“As long as I am able to I will continue to be linked to the world of fashion,” Schiffer told Elle magazine recently. She has developed her own brand business and launching a cashmere line in the autumn/winter 2011 season.Currently Schiffer continues to make small appearances for L’Oreal, Bulgari and Citroen and a couple of years ago was featured in the Dom-Perignon campaign by Karl Lagerfeld.Perhaps the best description of Claudia Schiffer comes in her own words, in a conversation she had with the media and experts on how fashion affects human culture. Asked what the role of an icon is in fashion, Schiffer replied: “An icon is a constant beacon in the ever changing face of fashion.” — DPA
By Monica Vallejos As an “ordinary” teenager she entranced photographers by being so photogenic, and then she entranced the entire world with her beauty.With those attributes Cindy Crawford, tall at 170cm, with brown eyes and hair, forged a career that allowed her to become the highest-paid model on the planet. She later passed the honour on to other supermodels, but has continued to be an advertising icon.Crawford holds the record of having been featured on the covers of over 1,000 magazines.She walked down the runways for all the major designers in the late 1980s.Her smile, different because of the beauty mark just above her lip, and her shapely form helped to sell countless products ranging from cosmetics to watches and including soft drinks and of course clothes.Her likeness was plastered all over cities on posters, billboards. The press turned Crawford into a household name even in the most remote corners of the world. Crawford was a part of the “supermodel” story in the mass media 25 years ago.She became an international celebrity whose fame surpassed by far the relatively muted role that models usually have away. Her main activity was not to show off garments. It was to show off everything.People wanted to know every detail of the lives of the supermodels, what they did privately and whom they dated. It was not by chance that Crawford married film star Richard Gere, that Naomi Campbell had love affairs with pop stars and boxers and that Claudia Schiffer was magician David Copperfield’s eternal girlfriend.Cynthia Ann “Cindy” Crawford was born in Illinois in 1966 and her career began at 17 when she took part in the “Look of the Year” contest. Both that beauty contest and the organiser, the Elite agency, played key roles in the careers of top models in the 1980s.After a short stint at Northwestern University studying chemical engineering Crawford quit school and moved to New York to continue a modelling career. Crawford’s trademark mole immediately began to cause problems for her.It was seen initially as a defect and on her first cover shoot the agency had her cover it up with makeup.The only other time when Crawford covered her mole was years later when, fabulously famous, she worked on a television commercial for chocolate milk and, in an illusion, licked the mole off with her tongue.The mole added another dimension to her beauty as happened with Marilyn Monroe.Crawford performed as a television presenter starting in 1989 with House of Style on MTV. Crawford hosted the show for six years and became a model with a voice. The show gave the public a more tangible understanding of Crawford not just based on her spectacular looks.MTV announced in October 2012 that House of Style is set to return with current models Karlie Kloss and Joan Smalls as hosts.Forbes magazine listed Crawford in 1995 as the world’s best-paid model earning an annual income of $6.9mn. Her long-term contracts with Omega watches, Revlon and Pepsi, some spanning over a decade, guaranteed constant income and the continuity of her public image.Crawford also produced exercise videos and authored a makeup book: Cindy Crawford’s Basic Face that shared her beauty secrets.Perhaps the most sensual appearance Crawford ever made was on a Pepsi commercial in 1992 to launch a new can design. Wearing denim shorts and a sleeveless white t-shirt Crawford drove up to a petrol station in the old Wild West and took a Pepsi from a fridge.The commercial aired during the Super Bowl, watched and admired by 80mn people.Crawford went even further, posing nude for Playboy and hosting a programme for ABC television in the US called Sex with Cindy that dealt with such topics as sexual attraction, monogamy and sex in the media.“At the peak of her modelling career in the 1990s, Cindy was cover gold,” said Linda Wells, editor in chief of Allure, as quoted in Crawford’s official biography on the Internet.“She managed to appeal equally, though differently, to women and men as a friendly, sexy, thoroughly American beauty,” Wells added.New York designer Michael Kors is quoted as saying that “Cindy changed the perception of the ‘sexy American girl’ from classic blue-eyed blonde to a more sultry brunette with brains, charm, and professionalism to spare.”Despite her success on the runways and in advertising, Crawford bombed on the silver screen.Her acting debut in Fair Game together with William Baldwin earned her three Golden Raspberry Award nominations for worst new star, worst actress and worst film couple with Baldwin.But she kept on trying appearing in movies such as Catwalk (1995), Unzipped (1995) and Beautopia (1998).Endowed with considerable business acumen Crawford became her own boss after retiring from modelling and the end of the supermodel era in the late 1990s.Her beauty product lines include facial creams called “Meaningful Beauty”; household articles in “Cindy Crawford Home” as well as furniture, bedclothes and bathroom furniture in “Cindy Crawford Style” with JCPenney.Crawford still enters into strategic alliances to advertise products and co-design shoes and garments, for example as with German footwear firm Deichmann and the European C&A.Her marriage to Gere from 1991-1995 was headline news as the gossip magazines speculated about why they failed to have children. In 1998 Crawford married former model and restoration expert Rande Gerber and they had two children, Presley in 1999 and Kaia in 2001.Her pregnancies were also opportunities for Crawford to become a spokesperson for healthy causes.She learned about motherhood, read up on natural births, yoga and meditation and then gave birth to her children in her own bed. In 1999 at age 33 and very pregnant, Crawford posed nude on the cover of W magazine for men.Shortly afterward the press once again gave Crawford star status: “Cindy, from Supermodel to Supermom.” — DPA.
Amanda Seyfried has made quite the style transition over the years from the carefree boot-cut jeans and spaghetti straps to sophisticated gowns on the red carpet.By Jenn HarrisActress Amanda Seyfried is busily promoting her new film, Les Miserables. The actress, who plays Cosette in the film, is treating fans to a whirlwind fashion tour as she walks red carpets around the globe.Over the years, we watched Seyfried go from a vapid blond in Mean Girls to leading lady in In Time and Red Riding Hood. She has also made quite the style transition over the years. Once a teen in boot-cut jeans and spaghetti straps, the actress now walks the red carpet in sophisticated gowns.Seyfried chose a ruffle-hemmed Balenciaga gown at the Les Miserables premiere in London, a gold Alexander McQueen ensemble for the film’s New York premiere and a Misha Nonoo spring 2013 white dress with clear panel hem at a luncheon in New York City.The actress recently visited the Hollywood Walk of Fame for costar Hugh Jackman’s star ceremony wearing a Burberry belted trench, Heroine leather tote by Alexander McQueen, tights, suede booties and some killer red tinted shades. She looked sophisticated, classic and every bit the movie star in stylish winter essentials.For a similar trench with piping, try the Merona water repellent classic trench coat in khaki with black piping from Target.com for $37.49. Suede booties come in handy for several seasons. Try the Lauren Tiara suede platform bootie for $74.99 from RalphLauren.com for a high heel and the tasseled zip booties with a wooden heel from Forever 21 for $22.96 for something a little shorter.Seyfried’s tote bag and retro sunglasses are fun accessories for her winter wear. For a similar bag, try the Urban Expressions flare bag in black from Misskl.com for $76 or the Ivanka Trump crystal top handle satchel handbag from Zappos.com for $175. For some shades, get the Quay retro sunglasses for $38 or the AJ Morgan front row sunglasses for $24, both from Nordstrom.com. — Los Angeles Times/MCT
By Nidhi ChandranWomen in black cloak-like attire are a common sight not only in Qatar but also almost in all Muslim countries. This simple loose over-garment worn by Muslim women in the Arabian Peninsula and in North Africa is a traditional dress deeply rooted in Islamic culture. The garment, usually known as Abaya (plural Abayat) in Arabic and by various names such as purdah and burqa in different parts of the world, is used to cover the full body except the face, hands and feet while going outside the home. The Abaya is considered a sign of modesty and is usually accompanied by headscarves (hijab/shayla), and/or face-covering masks (niqab/butoola).Over the years they have undergone dramatic changes in their form and acquired modern status evolving as a symbol of style and fashion. Gone are the days when women used to wear it as a simple cloak. Today, it has rather become a fashion statement especially among youngsters. The abaya has evolved into an industry, with latest trends, colours and shapes in order to satiate its clientele who use it as a means of self-expression. From Indonesia to California, the Muslim fashion industry, led by this innocuous loose gown, is a billion-dollar business. Annual sales of Muslim clothing in Europe have now reached $ 1.5bn, according to a Financial Times report.According to French Fashion University Esmod — Dubai, the leading fashion institution in the Middle East, the international Muslim fashion industry is estimated to be worth more than $96bn, assuming that 50% of the world’s 1.6bn Muslims each spend at least $120 a year on modest clothing.The rising demand for modest clothes has also seen Islamic fashion being showcased on international catwalks, and no price seems to be too much when it comes to investing in an abaya or headscarf that is seen as being on trend. New generation designers are creating a wave with most innovative designs reinventing this Islamic dress without losing its tradition. Qatar Tourism Authority hosted the Hya Abaya Exhibition in June 2012 which provided designers, producers and marketers of Islamic clothing an opportunity to network and display their wares at the Doha Exhibition Centre. There is an array of exclusive abaya shops around Qatar with many of them concentrated in the souqs where people can choose between the readymade or made-to-order designs. Some high-end boutiques especially in malls, sell miscellaneous models from simple and everyday collection to luxurious items specially prepared for occasions like weddings. Separate sections are dedicated to casuals, formals and bridal wear. Modern abayas have simple to elaborate embroidery, patterns with lace, expensive Swarovski stones, crystals and beads. Most of the embellishments are done on main part of the garb such as the chest area, the back, on sleeves and hems. Sometimes a combination of beads and embroidery is used to add elegance. Most of the gowns have matching shylas for covering the head. A ‘party-wear abaya’ normally comes with thick embroidery, diamonds or beads on sleeves and neck, while routine wear is simple and comparatively cheaper.They also have many variations in cuts, necklines and sleeve patterns. The most basic abaya is cut in a T-shape with a round neckline. Plain A-line, butterfly, bisht, batwing, draped, princess/umbrella are also popular. Abayas come as full open front or closed with an asymmetric slit, usually opening on the left. Yet another attraction are the ones with double-layers with the top layer in net or tulle. Sleeve choices are aplenty depending on the size, length and model. They include the standard, puff, baggy, kimono, balloon, pleated, pointed, butterfly sleeves.Many boutiques in Qatar have their own factory where stitching and ornamentation are done by professional tailors and designers. Abayas are made out of fabrics such as crepe, cotton, georgette, chiffon, satin, silk and velvet. The most widely used is crepe and among them are thick and thin crepe mainly imported from Japan, Saudi Arabia and Korea. Other known brands in Qatar are Lexus, Internet and Nida. The price of the abaya largely depends on the quality of the fabric used and embellishment made on it. One of the benefits of this garb is that it can be worn easily and is made out of very light and soft materials to suit different weather conditions. “We have a good number abayas in a wide range of materials known by names such as Saudi crepe, Malak, Bairak, Makhmal, Al Wajbah, Harir-Lebanon, Khloud etc. Most saleable is Saudi crepe. Tatreez (embroidery) and chantelle (lace) are in demand and many women prefer handcrafted pieces. Older women like the traditional and simple abaya ra’s which is easy for them to put on and inexpensive (QR245 onwards) compared to others. Working women also go for simple designs,” said a saleswoman at Al Motahajiba, a highly-respected abaya brand in Qatar which has presence in many Gulf countries.The store has decked up a wide collection for the season. “During winter ladies choose thicker materials. Therefore, this time we have launched velvet abayas,” she says, adding “trendy items are largely liked by teenagers.” To satisfy youngsters the brand has come up with elegantly pleated collections covering the yoke of the garment.The shop also has a mix of casual, party and wedding abayas. “We normally launch wedding abayas in June. They are the costliest ranging between QR2,000-7,000 even sometimes more than that because of detailed laces and embellishment with Swarovski stones,” she explains.“The standard length for our garment is 62 inches. Plain abayas are sold at QR320 and embroidered ones start from QR1,500 and above. We also provide tailoring and alterations service. Though most of customers are from Qatar, Westerners also come here in search of this dress,” she adds.Many shops in Qatar employ tailors mostly from Nepal, Bangladesh and India who have been working for years in the industry. They create fascinating handmade patterns incorporating their creativity, imagination and hard work. According to the shopkeepers there is a huge demand for handmade embroidery among Qatari ladies.“Aari embroidery and handmade items are always in demand. They have perfect finishing and come in a variety of colours and models,” says Ashraf who has been running Pardha House for the past 15 years with three branches in Wakrah, Doha and Dafna. Abaya is also known as pardha in some of the Asian countries. “It takes five people to finish a single abaya. A cutting master, tailor, embroiderer, stone artist and designer all have to work for two whole days to bring out a high quality abaya,” says Ashraf who has around 47 employees mainly from Nepal.“The latest trend is abayas with detailed mini-pleats below the yoke. This type also comes with pleated cuffs. They are famous among youngsters. Most moving items are those having big lace work. These days many women are also going for fancy pardhas with heavily decorated sleeves and neck,” he says.The shop has a good display of abayas with intricate embroidery both handmade and machine. “Years before the embroidery was done manually, which was time consuming. The entry of machines has helped to finish the job in fewer hours. Even then, handmade items are known for their perfection and have customers throughout the year. Aari is famous among embroidery which comes in varied models and colours,” he elaborates. A normal abaya at this shop costs around QR150 or above. Handmade patterns are priced at QR600 onwards whereas wedding abayas starts from QR800. Those come with stones are a bit expensive. “We use Swarovski stones of size 10 and a normal abaya with one-line fixing of these stones would cost around QR250. This may increase if you need more number or big size stones,” he adds.Arab women form a large part of his clients at his Wakrah and Dafna branches. “They usually like large designs and ask for latest trends in the market. In Doha, 70% of my customers are Keralites who prefer simple and quality material,” he says. Customers can select any of them displayed here or can get custom-made item within 10 days.“Traditionally women used to wear loose pardhas which were enough to cover the whole body. The intention was not to invite unwanted attention from others. Maybe this was the reason why black-colour has been in use from years. But nowadays, as new generation is embracing fashion, they go after Western trends. Some of them have started using pardhas that project the shape of the body which is not a good tendency. I think women should not forget the value and tradition of abaya,” he adds.Whatever fashion or trends come and go in the market, many women still prefer this traditional way of dressing which has become a way of their life and hold it close to their heart. This is evident from the large number of women clad in abayas seen not only here in Qatar, but around the world.
Eid celebration is incomplete without henna (patterns made with henna paste on hands and legs), especially for Muslim women and children. The tradition has been in prevalence for about centuries which has many cultural and religious associations with it. In Qatar, the business of applying mehndi or henna paste during Eid festival has been growing over the past few years. Huge crowd of women at beauty salons are a common sight during this time. Some of the beauty salons located at malls arrange separate henna service for their customers. Here, you can see a line of lady henna artists designing fascinating and intricate patterns on the palm and feet of women and children. Many beauty parlours also offer exciting offers on such occasions. “Normally there is a huge rush during Eid at our beauty parlour. Therefore every year we hire local henna artists for three days during Eid and provide the service at the mall’s customer service outlets. Artists are mainly from Pakistan and are paid on a percentage basis depending on the sale. For this Eid, we specially designed 2,000 henna corns each displaying the name of the ingredients. We prepare the mix and fill the cones one week ahead of Eid festival. Price for hand designs range from QR20-100 depending on the patterns and the area each customer wants to cover with designs. Bridal designs normally come around QR500,” said Sheela Philip, director and beauty therapist at Doha Beauty Centre, who has more than two decades of experience in the field. She is a post-graduate in Beauty Therapy and has done a beauty course from Shehnaz Hussain’s Women’s World International Beauty School. Henna, with the botanical name lawsonia inermis, is a tall shrub native to the tropical and sub-tropical regions of Africa and cultivated in Indian subcontinent, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Egypt. The red-orange pigment named lawsone contained in henna works as a colouring agent. Historically, it had been used to dye cloth and leather as well as hair; to colour the manes of horses and fur of animals. It is mentioned as a valuable medicine in Egyptian hieroglyphs. The plant’s bark, leaves and seeds are used for medicinal purposes. In Egypt, use of henna to prevent skin diseases has been traced to as far back as the Bronze Ages. In most of the hot countries, it had been used by people as a cooling agent to relieve from the scorching heat. It is also known to calm the nerves and bring health and beauty. It’s usage as a cosmetic hair dye dates back to thousands of years in ancient Egypt, India, the Middle East and Africa. Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and Zoroastrians among others had been celebrating marriages by adorning the bride with henna. In some parts of the world, pregnant women are adorned with henna which is also believed to ward off evil, protect from the evil eye and impart good luck. Commercially available henna powder is made by drying the leaves and grinding them to a powder, which is then sifted. The technological innovations in grinding, sifting, packaging and temperature control have improved the dye content. A smooth henna paste is made by adding water, hot black tea and mustard or Mahalabia oil. This mixture is mostly used in body art and can be applied with many traditional and innovative tools among which cones are most popular. “We use natural henna imported from Rajasthan. The colour of the design depends on the quality of henna powder used. We may not get quality powder from local markets. Earlier, mixing and filling was done manually but technological advancements have made it easier now-a-days. We have all machinery at one of our branches,” said Sheela. “Natural henna is a good hair conditioner, has cooling effect and also combats premature greying. The treatment is very effective if we start using it from the beginning stage, thus you can prevent greying for a long time. After you get grey hair, you may have to go for colour treatments that usually depend upon chemical dyes which are not very good for health. Some people prefer black henna to get a dark black tint to the designs which is harmful to health. Black henna does not contain natural henna; it is a chemical hair dye. Therefore, it should not be used on hands and we are against such practice,” added Sheela. Henna designs vary from culture to culture which range from traditional floral patterns to geometrical shapes and abstract designs. Hand designs include flower arches, henna web, flower net, flowery trails, lucky lotus and chains etc. Some of the popular designs for feet include flowers, leafy tendrils, and abstract shapes. Generally, Indian and Pakistani designs consist of intricate floral patterns, teardrops and lines. The Middle Eastern style focuses more on large floral motifs while African designs usually have bold geometric shapes. Women across Asia and particularly in India are adopting more of Arabic designs as they last long and do not cover the entire hand leaving a lot of gaps in between. “More people prefer Arabic henna patterns which last long compared to Indian designs. The Khaleeji design is most popular among customers in Qatar. During Eid time we put henna for more than 15 people daily,” said one of the henna artists seen at one of the malls. There were also some college students from Pakistan who were into designing as a part-time job or hobby. Most of them are not trained artists but are experienced enough to make designs within minutes. Bridal henna designs usually have complex patterns and often cover palms, hands and even extend up to the shoulders. The soles, tops of the feet and even legs are decorated. Bridal Mehndi is growing with new innovations such as glitter, gilding and fine-line work. Henna body art is preferred by modern women as a temporary fashion accessory as it comes with much easier and painless methods compared to permanent body tattoos. Various shades of full body motif and tattoos are also procured by mixing henna paste with the leaves and fruits of other plants, such as indigo, tea, coffee, cloves and lemon. The art has survived for centuries for many reasons and will hopefully survive for centuries to come.