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In Pictures: Lindex ‘Art Meets Style’

Swedish fashion brand Lindex has teamed up with eight young artists in a new initiative to create artistic fashion, by merging art, fashion and female empowerment into an inspirational and expressive fashion collection.

In Pictures: Lindex ‘Art Meets Style’

Entitled, ‘Art Meets Style’, Lindex asked each artist to create an original artwork on the theme of celebrating women, the final pieces were then interpreted by the Lindex design team into a fashion collection with the aim of allowing women to express their personality through “expressive fashion”.

In Pictures: Lindex ‘Art Meets Style’

The result is an expressive collection filled with unique, colourful garments and accessories ranging from a slogan T-shirt emblazoned with the word ‘Voice’, a pink textured sweater dress, a vibrant kimono, a bikini, printed rainmac, a string-like bag, and a bold navy painted folded tote bag.

In Pictures: Lindex ‘Art Meets Style’

Lindex launching fashion line inspired by art

Pia Ekholm, design and buying manager for womenswear at Lindex, said: “These artists have a strong creative force and a fantastic ability to portray and pay tribute to women through the medium of contemporary fashion.

In Pictures: Lindex ‘Art Meets Style’

“They have provided interesting perspectives and woven in references to our chosen theme, which they have portrayed in different ways. A common aspect of all eight art works is that they are visually strong, expressive and contain a myriad of colour, just like our fashion collection.”

In Pictures: Lindex ‘Art Meets Style’

The initiative is part of Lindex’s commitment to empowering and inspiring women in different ways, in order to allow women the opportunity to take their place in the world while expressing themselves.

In Pictures: Lindex ‘Art Meets Style’

In addition, the artworks created by the eight artists will be sold at an exclusive art exhibition, where all proceeds will be donated to the HERproject, a collaborative initiative that strives to empower women who earn a low income salary working in global supply chains.

The Lindex ‘Arts Meets Style' collection will launch in selected stores and online on from March 8.

Images: courtesy of Lindex

Indonesian designer Vivi Zubedi made her New York solo runway show debut Sunday, wowing the crowd with her abaya-only collection as she hopes to capitalize on the growing market for modest, Muslim fashions.

In September, she showcased her signature look in a joint show shared with other designers from her homeland. It went so well that she jetted back to New York with the aim of drumming up more business. "Very excited!" Zubedi giggled backstage after being mobbed by friends and family, taking selfies with stylish US bloggers who admire her fashion-forward Islamic style dressing even if they're not Muslim.

"I have a lot of clients here actually," she giggled again. It was standing room only as Zubedi sent down the runway a collection of batik prints, black and midnight blue velvet, pearl-rimmed hijabs and American baseball-style hats perched on the top of headscarves.

Unlike the average US catwalk display of leg and cleavage, there was barely a strand of hair in sight, and even hands were cloaked in leather gloves or shielded by flouncy lacy cuffs. Zubedi's signature product is the abaya -- the loose, flowing head to toe black garment obligatory in Saudi Arabia and adopted by some of the most strictly observant Muslim women elsewhere.

But it was far from the throw-on-an-abaya-to-head-to-the-shops kind of look. This was luxury, crystal-embossed material shimmering in the light, pearls draped around the neck, ruffled sleeves and hip hop meets tradition -- a daring black leather jacket zipped up on top. "I thought the show was amazing," US blogger and stylist Dyandra Raye told AFP. "I would wear all of them! I'm super dramatic!"

Style writer Kristen Martin agreed, another of the scores of impeccably dressed guests -- some of whom queued outside in the rain. "I absolutely loved it," Martin told AFP. "I think it's really important for us to embrace each other's culture."

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'Excited'

"The line was just really detailed and it made me excited," she added. Since Zubedi established her eponymous label in 2011, modest fashion -- designed specifically for the affluent, modern, religiously observant Muslim woman -- is gaining traction as designers eye the consumer potential in conservative communities all over the world.,/p>

Dolce and Gabbana has produced a collection of hijabs and abayas. In 2016, Burberry produced its first ever Ramadan collection and Japanese high street label Uniqlo has moved into the modest market as well. Nike has produced a hijab line for Muslim female athletes. US fashion houses DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger and Oscar de la Renta, as well as Spanish giants Zara and Mango, have all also produced a Ramadan line.

On Thursday, US retail giant Macy's will start selling a modest clothing range that includes dresses, tops and hijabs, created by a woman who struggled to find clothes after she converted to Islam. Making the announcement this month, Cassandra Jones, senior vice president of Macy's Style, said the collection will help the retail giant to "better serve our customer looking for modest fashion."

Zubedi enthusiastically welcomed the move. "That's a brilliant project," she told AFP of Macy's initiative. "Now there's a lot of people looking for modest wear and modest wear is not only for hijabi people or Muslim people, but for everyone."

After her shared show in September, Zubedi said she attracted attention from buyers in Dubai, Hong Kong and the United States. Her next ambition? To open a store for overseas customers, who currently can purchase her wares only online. "Anywhere -- but outside Indonesia," said the Jakarta-based designer when for her preferred location. "Department store, would be perfect!" (AFP)

Wang in the office, Plein in outer space at New York Style Week

Alexander Wang, the designer who embodies the downtown New York cool so beloved of off-duty models, and Philipp Plein offered contrasting perspectives on the point of Style Week Saturday. Is it about the clothes or the mother of all stunts?

For Wang, the US wunderkind and ex-creative director of Balenciaga, the clothes spoke for themselves, giving fall/winter 2018 an ode to power dressing and the working woman in his trademark black. His models, including Kaia Gerber, powered out under strip lighting on an office-cubicle set -- the kind of dull grey space that no one who can afford his clothes would ever get paid enough to work in.

Wang in the office, Plein in outer space at New York Style Week

For his final shebang before going off piste and showing in June and December, outside the traditional Style Week calendar, Wang's woman is very much post-#MeToo and the sexual harassment watershed. She is no nonsense, zipped up and dressed for business, predominately kitted out in leather, and a sprinkling of hot pink -- the same color of the hats worn by women marching against the Trump administration.

Hair was swept back by banana clips, skirts short, tights black sheer and eyes hidden behind dark glasses. Silver studs covered backpacks and gloves, almost like armor. There was little cleavage, but high necklines, sporty anoraks and digital bank account-style numbers printed onto leggings.

Wang did a victory lap of the runway at the end, his long dark hair flying, grinning from ear to ear and blowing a kiss to the audience.

Wang in the office, Plein in outer space at New York Style Week

Space ship

"The business model needs to change because the consumer has changed," Stephanie Horton, chief strategy officer at the label has said of the forthcoming timetable switch that some expect to catch on. But for Plein, the so-called bad boy of fashion whose flamboyance, bling and flashiness has had the style establishment up in arms, the point is the experience, the buzz and the chaos.

The German-born, Swiss-based designer put on a futuristic display at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, fake snow falling from the ceiling and coating his guests, many of whom were soaked by heavy rain and infuriated by bouncers' seemingly chaotic policy on opening the doors.

Known for his extravagant staging, the show kicked off an hour late with hip hop trio Migos, Plein-branded snow mobiles roaring on the runway, a smoke-spewing, deafeningly loud space ship coming down to land and a Transformers-style robot walking hand in hand with a cat-suited model. The backdrop was aluminum-foil style mountains, the room bathed in blue light and the music anything from hip hop and body-jarring thumping bass to Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me To The Moon."

Wang in the office, Plein in outer space at New York Style Week

His models wore skin-tight ski suits and giant knee-high fur boots, kicking up the fake snow with pink hair and silver teddy bear bags, while his men wore Philipp Plein-emblazoned leather jackets and Playboy hoodies. At the end the models danced under the red strobe lighting of the make-believe space ship, writhing in aluminum colored puffer pants, sequined tracksuits and fur coats with transparent overlay.

"In fashion, we're all playing with the same weapons," the 39-year-old designer told BBC News in an interview.

'Black cowboy'

"The difference is brand positioning and imaging," he added. "People in the luxury fashion industry buy brands, and when you buy a brand you buy a dream, an emotion, a name." Other highlights saw designer Kerby Jean-Raymond, known for his political approach to fashion, debut his Pyer Moss collaboration with Reebok by paying homage to black cowboys and the history of minorities.

"What I wanted to do is start talking about subcultures of America, different people who were left out," the 30-year-old told AFP. "We started," he explained, with "the story of the American cowboy, which was rewritten and whitewashed. But the original cowboy was a black man," he added.

Christian Siriano, a -size diversity advocate and red carpet designer who has dressed Hollywood and Michelle Obama, celebrated 10 years in the business with Whoopi Goldberg and Meg Ryan front row. It was a collection that showcased diversity in all shapes, sizes and colors under a theme dubbed the "ultimate royal dinner party."

Men, women and trans models walked the red carpeted runway at the hallowed environs of New York's Masonic Hall for the London-trained designer's collection inspired by late 18th century British art. "It isn't such a serious thing. Getting dressed should be a fun thing in the morning," he told Styleista.com. (AFP)

Photos: Alexander Wang AW18, Philip Plein AW18, Catwalkpictures

Christian Siriano champions 10 years of diversity on New York runway

Christian Siriano, a -size diversity advocate and red carpet designer who has dressed leading Hollywood ladies and Michelle Obama, celebrated 10 years in the business Saturday with a masterclass in the art of dressing women of all shapes and colors.

Actresses Whoopi Goldberg and Meg Ryan sat in the front row for a fall/winter 2018 collection that showcased diversity in all shapes, sizes and colors under a theme dubbed the "ultimate royal dinner party."

Men, women and trans models walked the red carpeted runway at the hallowed environs of New York's Masonic Hall for the London-trained designer's collection inspired by late 18th century British art.

Christian Siriano champions 10 years of diversity on New York runway

Curve poster model Ashley Graham opened the show dressed in a floor length red faux fur coat. Trans model Evie Acosta also walked. There was plenty of black -- Siriano dressed 10 women for the Golden Globe awards when Hollywood wore black to protest sexual harassment in the workplace -- and plenty of bright red.

There were hints of leopard print and male models in iridescent shorts and blazers. Red, yellow and blue dresses shimmered and sparkled. "We've been dressing women of shape since day one," Siriano told Styleista.com in an interview ahead of his show.

"Some of my early red carpet moments were Whoopi and Oprah (Winfrey), and we were always getting requests for all these different types of people." He says his client base is global, with a "huge" business in the Middle East and a lot of Orthodox Jewish customers, and spoke of the importance of representing those with clothing restrictions as well.

Christian Siriano champions 10 years of diversity on New York runway

Siriano, who studied under Vivienne Westwood and the late Alexander McQueen, has also championed cross-gender dressing "to show that it really doesn't matter if you're shopping men's or women's anymore. "It should just matter if you like your outfit... clothes and fashion shows and all of that, it isn't such a serious thing. Getting dressed should be a fun thing in the morning."

Alexander Wang, the wunderkid whose fashions effortlessly embody downtown New York cool and off-duty supermodels, is still to come on day three of Style Week -- his swansong before going off piste and choosing to show in June-December outside the traditional calendar.

His departure follows the exit of top talent such as Proenza Schouler and Rodarte for couture week in Paris on the same schedule and there is widespread speculation that the new timetable could catch on.

"Why do something that's not working?" Stephanie Horton, chief strategy officer at Alexander Wang told a recent industry event. "The business model needs to change because the consumer has changed."

German-born fashion bad boy Philipp Plein is throwing the mother of all parties at the Duggal Greenhouse in the Brooklyn Naval Yard -- an enormous venue favored in the past by the likes of Lady Gaga and Hillary Clinton -- for his own late-night show Saturday. (AFP)

Photos: Christian Siriano AW18, Catwalkpictures

Brooke Shields launching fashion line with QVC

Brooke Shields is introducing her ‘Timeless’ apparel and accessories line exclusively with QVC this week, which will feature “everyday essentials to bold statement makers”.

“After years of being dressed by professionals, I walked into my closet one day and realised I had lost sight of my own personal style,” said Brooke Shields. “I am incredibly passionate about this collection because I have created pieces that are not only chic, but that take the guess-work out of getting ready each morning. I can’t wait to share this line with the QVC customer, and I truly hope it helps women look and feel their best each day.”

Sheilds will present select items from the collection on February 15 on QVC, ahead of the full collection launching on March 14.

The Brooke Shields Timeless line will feature an assortment of sophisticated separates, including classic button-ups, flowy blouses, tailored bottoms, flirty skirts, colourful scarves and contemporary fashion jewellery, aiming to offer looks that can be “effortlessly translate from day to night”and that is suited for every woman and any occasion.

Doug Howe, chief merchandising officer for QVC, added: “What we love most about working with Brooke is her dedication to helping women live better lives, which is something we are passionate about as well.

“Brooke’s line is sophisticated but approachable and is ideal for busy women who crave fashion that is not only chic and effortless, but a perfect mix of modern and timeless.”

Image: via QVC website

Lee Jeans to partner with Cushnie et Ochs for 2018

Denim brand Lee Jeans is teaming up with ready-to-wear label Cushnie et Ochs on its Body Optix line of denim, which is designed to visually flatter the female body.

Announced during New York Style Week as Cushnie et Ochs celebrated its 10th-anniversary catwalk show, the collaboration will see the two brands combining “cutting-edge innovation and elevated style” to the Body Optix collection that harnesses vision science and exclusive patent-pending technology to create flattering denim.

"We are thrilled to partner with Lee for our 10th anniversary year," said Carly Cushnie, designer and co-founder of Cushnie et Ochs. "Cushnie et Ochs is designed by women, for women, and the Lee Body Optix collection is made specifically to celebrate the female form. It is a natural fit.”

The partnership is grounded by Lee and Cushnie et Ochs' shared vision of empowering women with perfectly fitting clothes that make her feel strong and confident, said the two brands in a statement.

Michelle Ochs, designer and co-founder of Cushnie et Ochs, added: "Carly and I focus on combining femininity and sensuality with form. We are excited to pair our style sensibility with the unique way that Lee Body Optix enhances a woman's natural shape.”

Lee Jeans teaming up with Cushnie et Ochs

Lee Body Optix uses the principles of vision science: what the eye sees and doesn't see, by making each denim piece precisely shaded and contoured using patterns created by nano laser technology, and constructed with strategic seams and pocket placement. The result is a clothing line that delivers 360° body enhancement.

"What contouring makeup does for the face, Lee Body Optix does for a woman's body," said Kim Yates, vice president of marketing, Lee Jeans. "With Cushnie et Ochs' emphasis on raw feminine power and silhouette, they are an ideal partner to integrate a new fashion element into this line. We look forward to revealing the results of the collaboration.”

First successfully launched in Asia and Europe, Lee Body Optix will expand to the US this summer, with Cushnie et Ochs unveiling their pieces this autumn.

"Lee Body Optix resulted from the synergies between cognitive science, cutting-edge imaging technologies and advance material research. Combining top fashion designers and cognitive scientists together is a new approach to apparel, and a dynamic fresh direction for the industry," added Steve Zades, vice president of global transformational innovation, VF Corporation.

Images: Courtesy of Lee Jeans

NYFW: Victoria Beckham to swap New York for London

Victoria Beckham on Sunday showed her collection in New York for the last time, before committing to London in September for the brand's ten year anniversary.

Stripping it back to the intimate salon-style show of her first collection, Beckham chose an uptown Renaissance mansion's drawing rooms on 91st street, stating: "It’s more intimate, like my first shows were. I wanted this to be a nice thing to do on a Sunday morning. I want people to enjoy coming to my shows.”

It is hard to believe it was ten years ago that Beckham launched her label with a series of body con dresses. She has kept up with the times, hiring expert designers from labels such as Céline, and flirted with sportswear and more relaxed silhouettes, a canny move away from her glamour look post Spice Girls era.

NYFW: Victoria Beckham to swap New York for London

With just 25 looks, this was indeed an 'easy' show to start off a Sunday morning, which saw utility outerwear in that hard-to-wear-fabric, boiled wool. Wide belts accentuated waists from coat jackets to leather dresses. A cross-over leopard print manteau bore metal studs on the forearm and belt. A military parka opted luxe with minimal details of a raised shoulder and drawstring sleeves. Missing from the runway was evening wear, those column sheaths made famous by the label's founder.

NYFW: Victoria Beckham to swap New York for London

The company posted significant losses last year

These are interesting times for Victoria Beckham and certainly not without its challenges. The company posted a loss of 8.4 million pounds in the year to December 2016 and revenue of 36 million pounds. The losses rose significantly from 2015, with the brand stating they reflected investment in design, marketing and sales. Company director Robert Dodds wrote that a new partnership with US retailer Target and a licensing deal with Reebok “will further enhance the profitability of the business.”

There is no doubt audiences are intrigued by Mrs Beckham. On the one hand she is a married mother of four children, successfully juggling home life and the inevitable harsh calendar of the fashion industry. On the other she is polished and glamorous in all public situations, with military execution of her public persona and never a hair out of place. Every outfit on every occasion is contrived. It is rare to see a photo of Beckham in a casually thrown on ensemble taking the dog for a walk or getting a pint of (almond) milk.

NYFW: Victoria Beckham to swap New York for London

What drives Beckham, in her own words, is "to empower women." In the age of #metoo, she uses the term loosely: women don't need to purchase 1,500 pound dresses to feel empowered. What they do need is functional clothes, and with Phoebe Philo's exit from Céline, she may have well found her niche, a uniform of wearable clothes, unabashedly luxurious.

Photo credit: Victoria Beckham

Stuart Weitzman showcases its evolution at New York Style Week

Stuart Weitzman's creative director Giovanni Morelli has been diligently engaging in a fashionable task: evolving Stuart Weitzman into a global multi-category accessories brand. At New York Style Week this season, the brand showcased for the first time in a presentation at The Pool. This also marked Morelli's debut collection. The brand has been long known for their designer heels, but now they are going after their slice of the market share, including handbags and costume jewelry. Morelli is also hard at work on growing the brand's already signature shoe offerings to include more flats, pumps, sandals, loafers and sneakers.

Stuart Weitzman showcases its evolution at New York Style Week

Through a carefully-engineered process, every pair of Stuart Weitzman shoes were designed to achieve the perfect fit in sizes 4 to 12 and in four widths. Stretch fabrication was also unique to this season's collection, and have become a core part of the new brand DNA Morelli is bringing to the label.

Stuart Weitzman showcases its evolution at New York Style Week

The stretch fabrication will play an expanded and elevated role in the coming collections and will be crafted from unusual materials, including exotics. Women still want to a good heel, and now she doesn't have to sacrifice as much comfort for the sake of fashion.

Stuart Weitzman showcases its evolution at New York Style Week

Handbags are on their way to becoming a key component of the brand's business as well. New styles include hobos, totes and clutches. As for costume jewelry, the ten-piece collection includes necklaces, bracelets and earrings.

Stuart Weitzman showcases its evolution at New York Style Week

Going forward, Morelli plans to continue building on the brand's glamour by using more embellishments and hardware ornamentation. Morelli intends to stick to the brand's "Made in Spain" heritage, and will be diving his time between New York and Spain. While the brand continues to evolve, there are parts of its history that are still retained in the collection. Morelli proved that he is the right choice to continue the legacy of Stuart Weitzman with this collection.

Stuart Weitzman showcases its evolution at New York Style Week photos: courtesy of Karla Otto

OPINION During global fashion weeks the on-schedule designers mostly dominate the headlines, but brands showing off-grid, in showrooms, via presentations, or just look books, deserve to be critiqued just as much.

With this mind, it was impossible to let the La Perla Pre AW18 collection pass by without an editor's note, because it had people musing, albeit for the wrong reasons.

While Vogue politely said the collection was a "bombshell look rarely seen on the runways of 2017," it was in fact a study in vulgarity, and not of the fashionable kind. If ever there was a collection that ticked all the boxes of fashion faux pas, this is it: Shorter than short body con dresses teamed with clunky platform heels - tick; evening wear in saccharin colours bedazzled to excess - tick; models with thick makeup and high class hooker hair flanked by men in silk tuxedos - check. And these are just three of the garish looks proposed for next season.

And while OTT styling and sexy-to-the-max design do not necessarily negatively impact sales, garish clothes are highly commercial these days, it is odd that a house known for its sensual and beautifully crafted lingerie would churn out such dross for its ready-to-wear.

Lingerie and platforms is no match in tasteful fashion, unless you're a performing tranny, but La Perla's creative director's Julia Haart begs to differ. In an interview with The Cut the petite designer stated: "My whole thing with La Perla is comfort, comfort, comfort. The clothes have to be sexy and beautiful, but they have to be comfortable. I’m a big fan of one-piece dressing. I love jumpsuits, rompers. I design built-in bras in my clothes — no layers, no worrying about whether your bra is going to show, it’s part of your clothes." Team them with tranny heels and it appears one is good to go.

For a brand with ample budgets, working with a seasoned stylist to elevate the collection would not be a capital expense, especially if they can afford Gwyneth Paltrow as guest on its front row.

While there is a market for everything, gauche does not equal sexy, it's just gauche.

Luxury footwear label Kizik Design just launched a new technology for its shoe. The line was announced this week a handsfree alternative smart shoe for men.

Founded by former CEO of Ogio International Michael Pratt, Kizik developed this innovative shoe integrated with luxury materials to create this sneaker. These shoes allow its wearer to put on this pair without using any hands. "Unlike a slip-on, KIZIK® shoes are a step-in, automatic sneaker that give you a custom fit without using your hands," Kizik President Pat Hogan said in statement. "At Kizik, we believe there is no longer a need for shoelaces in modern day footwear, and when you step into a KIZIK® shoe, you are stepping into the future."

The technology allowing these shoes to have an automatic fit is dubbed F.A.S.T. (Foot Activated Shoe Technology) by Kizik Shoes. Protected by patent, the shoes also have titanium wire, a retractable heel, tongue reinforcement, instep adjustment, and arc design. "In addition to the ample benefits of a handsfree shoe, KIZIK® shoes prioritize fashion first, making sure our designs are on-trend and challenging the status quo," Hogan said in a statement. The shoes retail between 180 to 190 dollars and are available now on Kizik.com as well as in 17 locations globally including select Dillard's stores.