Date dressing: how fashion in the age of MeToo redefined sex appeal

Designs by Victoria Beckham, Christopher Kane and Stella McCartney.

‘Skirts that swish the ankle and sleeves that graze the fingertips’: designs by Victoria Beckham, Christopher Kane and Stella McCartney.

Let’s talk about sex, shall we? Fashion and sex, that is. First things first: any conversation about sex needs to be an honest one, so let’s cut straight to the chase. Sex appeal will always be an integral part of fashion, even if sexy has become a less straightforward compliment after MeToo. So please, there’s no point pretending that we are too woke to care about looking hot these days. We still care. Nobody is taking vows of sartorial chastity here. But perhaps we are making some progress in how we think about sex and fashion if we are more conscious of whose rules are being played by, and whose needs are being met. As long as the survival of the human race depends on sex, looking attractive isn’t going out of fashion. But there is room for evolution.

It is Valentine’s weekend, and dressing for date night is the hot spot where the rules of attraction meet the rules of social convention. Which means that some Valentine looks might just be a little different this year, in the MeToo afterglow. The neckline might be altered, or the skirt might be a new length. Or maybe the clothes are the same but you might wear different underwear or decide against the high court shoes with toe cleavage, and look – and feel – different as a result. The way we dress for date night through the years reveals so much about our changing attitudes to sex. Braless under a silk blouse in the midst of the sexual emancipation of the early 70s. Spike-heeled and armoured in sequins in the competitively charged, battle-of-the-boardroom 80s. Unravelled and lipstick-smudged in the fog of 90s grunge when a Saturday night was more about getting high than getting laid.

A Gucci model at Paris fashion week … dressed in a way that might work for a portrait sitting with Leonardo da Vinci rather than Helmut Newton.
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A Gucci model at Paris fashion week … dressed in a way that might work for a portrait sitting with Leonardo da Vinci rather than Helmut Newton. Photograph: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

It is 18 months – three seasons, in fashion terms – since the MeToo movement was born. In that time, fashion’s centre of gravity has shifted away from sex. Hemlines are longer, silhouettes are looser. From London to Milan to Paris to New York, on glitzy spotlit runways polished to a mirror shine and on catwalks marked out with tape on concrete floors, a new course is being set. From Stella McCartney to Erdem, Coach to Loewe, Dior to Max Mara, there are skirts that swish the ankle and sleeves that graze the fingertips. Fashion has shifted the emphasis from skin to fabric. As a sweeping generalisation, there are more sweeping hemlines. Gucci, the runaway fashion success story of this decade, peoples its catwalks and advertising campaigns with women who would appear to be dressed in a way that might work for a portrait sitting with Leonardo da Vinci rather than for one with Helmut Newton.

Roland Mouret, a fashion icon for two decades, has recently gravitated away from the siren curves of his Galaxy dress, revisiting the pleats and cascades he learned while working with Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake in his 20s. At his spring/summer 19 show, models wore badges in support of the MeToo movement and catwalked on the roof of the National Theatre to the sound of Aretha Franklin singing Natural Woman. Mouret said at the time that the new silhouette felt like a redefinition of his relationship with the female body. In the second half of her decade in fashion, Victoria Beckham, too, has pivoted firmly away from fitted dresses and toward loose, fluid separates. Such silhouettes – once the hallmark of alternative, arthouse fashion – have become mainstream. Vanessa Spence, design director at Asos, confirms the shift is happening on the high street. “The midi length has become a staple in our fashion vocabulary. Necklines still vary, but we have recently seen more of a focus on the back as an exposed area.” Sexy, she says, is no longer a concept that takes up more bandwidth in womenswear than men’s. “It’s the same across the sexes – which is surely a good thing.”

‘The emphasis has switched from skin to fabric’ … model Kaia Gerber at the Max Mara show during Milan fashion week spring/summer 2019.
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‘The emphasis has switched from skin to fabric’ … model Kaia Gerber at the Max Mara show during Milan fashion week spring/summer 2019. Photograph: Jacopo Raule/Getty Images

There will always be cross-pollination between sex and fashion, but MeToo has prompted a conversation about healthy boundaries around nudity and exposure. Changing facilities backstage at fashion shows are one issue being brought into the spotlight. It was long considered perfectly normal for an assortment of well-wishers, journalists, celebrities, friends of the designer – most, of course, with a camera phone in their pocket – to crowd immediately after a show into the open-plan backstage area where models were scrambling out of their show looks and into their own clothes. A year ago, New York fashion week was the first to address this, pledging “a safe and respectful working environment” with private changing areas. During London fashion week last September, the British model Edie Campbell spoke to Radio 4 about the ongoing lack of privacy at some London shows, describing it as “bizarre, uncomfortable and humiliating”. Awareness is growing that an expectation of endless female nudity is not a healthy baseline for any industry.

The meteoric impact of MeToo on what it means to dress up and look your best became clear a year ago, when the Golden Globes was the first red carpet to turn black. It was a gesture of female solidarity from Hollywood’s women, in an industry reeling in the Weinstein fallout. A black dress for black tie is hardly revolutionary, yet the dresses became the story of the night. The winners’ list is now a distant memory, but the red carpet blackout remains a landmark moment. The world was reminded of the power of an outfit – even one that stays within the guardrails of convention – to send a powerful message. Natalie Portman, Elisabeth Moss, Meryl Streep, Angelina Jolie, Penélope Cruz and Salma Hayek wore long black gowns with long sleeves. In each case, the dress had a decorative element that lightened the mood – a sheer layer, a split in the skirt or a portrait neckline. Many actresses left husbands and boyfriends at home to pair up with female activists for the night, which threw into sharp relief the traditional award show optics that see an actress nominated for an Oscar totter in a tiny, pastel-toned frock on the arm of a man in a suit, as if she were a magician’s assistant about to be put in a box and sawn in half.

At the Golden Globes women wore black as a gesture of solidarity and in support of anti-harrassment campaigns.
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At the 2017 Golden Globes women wore black as a gesture of solidarity and in support of anti-harrassment campaigns. Photograph: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

But if the first half of 2018 belonged to a swelling tide of demure black-tie dressing, the second half was dominated by an angry backlash against catwalk near-nudity. The exit of Phoebe Philo from Céline after 10 years had been felt as a body blow by women who had held dear her philosophy that catwalk fashion could be an elevated woman-friendly wardrobe rather than date-bait. It was with unfortunate timing that her successor, Hedi Slimane, unveiled a debut dominated by doll-sized party dresses – one that seemed the polar opposite of what the house had stood for under Philo – on the very day of the Brett Kavanaugh sexual misconduct hearings in Washington last September. Emotions were running high, and Slimane’s dolly-drop aesthetic became a lightning rod for female fury.

Male designers mansplaining female sexuality to the women who buy their clothes is not new. But the context has changed, and in fashion, context is all. Engagement with the world is what makes fashion more than simply clothes. It is, quite literally, what makes it fashion. Two months after Slimane’s show, the Victoria’s Secret models came bounding down their runway, with the tried-and-tested formula of bouncy breasts and jutting hipbones, angel wings and skimpy boudoir lace knickers which made this the most popular fashion show in the world just a few years ago. This time the spectacle was met with critical scorn (website Vox ran a feature with the headline The Stubborn Irrelevance Of The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show), falling ratings and – most tellingly – declining sales.

A model at the Christopher Kane show, London fashion week, 2018 – the collection was adorned with drawings and quotes from the seminal 70s manual The Joy Of Sex.
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A model at the Christopher Kane show, London fashion week, 2018 – the collection was adorned with drawings and quotes from the 70s manual The Joy Of Sex. Photograph: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

London fashion week has never been afraid of controversy. While other cities have reacted to the new climate by shying away from the idea of sex altogether, designers Christopher Kane and Michael Halpern are among those tackling the new rules of sexy dressing head-on, and reaching for a new body-positive, female-first way to talk about sex on the catwalk.

A frank curiosity about sex has always been part of Kane’s aesthetic – his spring 2014 season featured sweaters embroidered with illustrations of the reproductive organs of flowers – and in February last year, he waded into the MeToo debate with a collection adorned with drawings and quotes from the seminal 70s manual The Joy Of Sex. Six months later, he was back with a spring 2019 collection soundtracked by a David Attenborough narration about sexual behaviour in animals and Marilyn Monroe talking about how society defined her as a sex object and then despised her because of it. “There are no taboos in my studio,” Kane said after that show. “To be bluntly honest,” he told Vogue at the time, “we wear clothes to attract members of the opposite sex and of our own sex. That’s what fashion is.” Meanwhile Halpern, who burst on to the fashion scene in 2017 with sequin dresses so minuscule they might have turned heads at Studio 54, says he relies “super heavily” on the opinions of his mum and sister, “who are both feminists – of course. My focus is on being aware and awake to what women want.”

Penny Martin was almost a decade ahead of this shift when she launched The Gentlewoman magazine back in 2010. “It was the zenith of the weeklies, when the newsstand was crammed with reality TV celebrities with barely any clothes and shouty coverlines,” she recalls. “Our mission was to be the opposite of that – to give both the cover stars and the readers back their dignity.” The Gentlewoman came to be aligned with a particular kind of woman-friendly fashion, epitomised by what Phoebe Philo was doing at Céline. “Women want clothes that give them pleasure, without undermining them,” Martin says. “And I wouldn’t be in this business if I didn’t think providing women with the tools they deserve to get respect in both their working and private lives wasn’t a worthwhile ambition.”

Although certain sections of the media would love to frame this debate as a catfight, there is little appetite in the fashion industry for slut-shaming of women who choose to wear tiny, revealing dresses. (To paraphrase Voltaire: I may not like what you wear, but I will defend to the death your right to wear it.) What we wear for date night is part and parcel of sexual politics, but surely there is room for making the point that a woman’s erotic impact is not all that she is, without policing anyone’s wardrobe. “My take on it, as editor of Elle,” says Anne-Marie Curtis, “is that a modern woman wants the freedom to look sexy when she wants to. But that fashion can’t be about having to wear a pencil skirt to get a promotion, or having to wear a low-cut dress to make your boyfriend happy.

A model on the catwalk in the Halpern show, London Fashion Week 2018.
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Michael Halpern tackled the new rules of sexy head on in his London fashion week show. Photograph: WWD/REX/Shutterstock

Every single image that goes into Elle goes through our modern, feminist lens. If I am looking at a shoot and there’s a pose that I feel makes the model look vulnerable, I won’t run that picture. We just did an edit of a shoot and there were images that I took out, because I always want the woman to look like she is owning the image.”

But unlike a longer hemline, fashion’s stronger attitude cannot be measured in inches or plotted on a graph. “It comes down to intention,” Halpern says. “What makes my friends and the women in my family feel empowered is self-worth, self-definition. It’s about not letting someone else put you in a box.”

For generations, teenage girls’ teachers have used the does-it-touch-the-floor-when-you-kneel test to establish the minxiness of a skirt. But calibrations of sex appeal are more complex. A pose in which a model is lying on a sofa can project laid-back confidence or exposed vulnerability, and the overall effect depends not only on the clothes but on the lighting, the facial expression. The same minidress can be framed as a celebratory portrait of raw female power, or an exploitative image of a woman underdressed and undefended. The highly visually literate modern fashion consumer is attuned to such subtleties, which is precisely why the dog-whistle crassness of Victoria’s Secret feels so out of step with our times. “The readers of women’s magazines, and of fashion photographs, are so literate,” Martin says. “An infinitesimal degree of ‘wrong’ can be vast in this context, instantly breaking the spell.”

Sex as something unspoken, as a scent caught on the air, is part of fashion’s magic spell. When the zeitgeist is embracing a new era of informed consent, the sheer-black-stocking vibe of fashion’s traditional date-night mode can feel like an uncomfortable hangover from another era. A new dress may not change the world. But it could make date night a triumph. The rules are up to you.

[“source=theguardian”]

 

Five Head-Turning Gym Shoes Released in January

So you started the new year strong — hitting the gym daily, meal prepping with more fruits and vegetables and possibly even dabbling in meditation. But now, it’s February and resolutions are fading fast. Or maybe it’s the opposite, and you are continuously crushing your weight goal and need something to keep you inspired. Either way, a new pair of gym shoes is a great way to solidify your routine or help jump-start a new one.

Whether you’ve already pounded the outsoles of your last pair of gym sneakers or you’re in dire need of some new gear, these gym shoes dropped within the last 30 days and are available right now.

Under Armour TriBase Reign

At 10.3-ounces and a 2-mm drop, you’ll feel grounded so you can knock out your heaviest squat and lunge combinations. The full rubber outsole wraps around the side of the shoe, so you can finally reach the top of the rope climb, and the foam midsole is firm, yet supportive for CrossFit workouts and beyond. Pair all that with an abrasion-resistant upper and you have a durable shoe. The UA TriBase Reign works best for weight lifting and WODs.

BUY NOW: $120

Lane Eight Trainer AD 1

Back in August of last year, Lane Eight launched its first training shoe built for athletes at every level. The two founders, Josh and James Shorrock, wanted to design a shoe that you can wear to the gym, for a pickup game and a short run. In January, the brand dropped two new colors: burgundy and indigo.

BUY NOW: $140

Nike Metcon 4 XD

The Metcon has been a staple in every CrossFitter’s gym kit since 2015. While not a ton has changed since the first version, each iteration has its fans. The 4 XD features a 3D upper that’s durable and reinforced all over instead of just the heavy hitting areas. The new fabric stretches from toe to heel. Nike kept the outsole, TPU heel clip and 4-mm drop all the same. You’ll still find these are best for deadlifts, sled pushes, track starts and explosive movements.

BUY NOW: $130

Adidas Alphabounce Instinct

The original Alphabounce shoes made the best gym sneakers list for mixed-use gym shoes in 2018, and this Instinct update doesn’t fall too far from the originals. The seamless upper is supportive, yet flexible for when you need to go straight from mountain climbers to lateral hops. The shoe is built to move with you on runs, as well as quickly from side to side. It’s 12-ounces, so on the heavier side of shoes and the 10-mm drop isn’t something you’ll want to lift weights in but works perfectly on any machines at the gym as well as on the track.

BUY NOW: $120

Hoka One One Cavu 2

Hoka One One is famous for its plush cushioning that will help save your knees during marathons and ultras, but the brand went minimalist with the Cavus and the second iteration is no different. Running shorter distances in the Cavu 2 is possible, but it also shines on the gym floor. A 5-mm drop and 7.2-ounce weight make this lightweight trainer ideal for a cardio or HIIT class. A breathable mesh upper means your feet are comfortable well past the duration of your workout.

 

 

[“source=gearpatrol”]

Shoes for Miles accepting shoe donations in Lincoln

Image result for Shoes for Miles accepting shoe donations in LincolnA shoe drive in Lincoln hopes to help vulnerable children and raise awareness for congenital heart defects.

Shoes for Miles is an organization founded by Greg and Dana Ludvik to honor their son Miles, who was born Feb. 17, 2014, and died six days later from congenital heart defects.

The organization — which has collected more than 3,000 shoes in four years — will accept donations of new shoes at Footloose & Fancy, 4131 Pioneer Woods Drive, and Threads, 1219 P St., until Feb. 18.

Donors are asked to pair shoes — sized toddlers to teens, preferably athletic shoes and winter boots — in the original box or by tying laces together. Used shoes can’t be accepted.

The shoes will be distributed to Foster Care Closet, which gives clothing donations to children in foster care throughout Nebraska.

[“source=journalstar”]

Bride Shot At In Delhi, Returns From Hospital For Wedding Ceremony

Bride Shot At In Delhi, Returns From Hospital For Wedding Ceremony\

NEW DELHI: 

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. The bullet brushed past the bride’s legs and she received treatment
  2. Bride Pooja says she has no idea who shot at her
  3. Post treatment the bride completed the wedding rituals

A bride was about to climb the dais for her wedding ceremony when she was shot at in Delhi’s Shakarpur area on Thursday. She was immediately taken to the hospital and after her treatment, the couple got married in a quiet ceremony.

The bride, Pooja, says she has no idea who shot at her.

“A bullet brushed past her legs, so we went to the hospital. Police was later called,” the groom, Bharat, told news agency ANI.

The police are talking to the guests to try and identify the attacker.

In a similar incident in November last year, a groom was shot by two gunmen as he rode a chariot to his wedding in Delhi. The groom, bandaged up, returned to his bride-to-be just three hours after the surgery and performed his wedding rituals.

[“source=ndtv”]

Kate Bosworth is flawless in floral frock as she celebrates designer Jason Wu’s spring collection

She’s a famous fashionista.

And on Thursday, Kate Bosworth led the stylish stars that showed up for a luncheon celebrating designer Jason Wu.

The Beverly Hills event was hosted by Saks 5th Avenue and also included Alyssa Milano, Camilla Belle and Linda Cardellini.

Muse: She's a famous fashionista. And on Thursday, Kate Bosworth led the stylish stars that showed up for a luncheon in Beverly Hills celebrating designer Jason Wu

Muse: She’s a famous fashionista. And on Thursday, Kate Bosworth led the stylish stars that showed up for a luncheon in Beverly Hills celebrating designer Jason Wu

Bosworth, 36, looked lovely in a white frock with blue and orange floral motifs.

She went bare-legged in black pumps and wore her golden locks loose with a center parting.

The actress was made up with black mascara, a touch of rosy blush and red lip color.

Stylish: Bosworth, 36, looked lovely in a white frock with blue and orange floral motifs. She went bare-legged in black pumps and wore her golden locks loose with a center parting

Stylish: Bosworth, 36, looked lovely in a white frock with blue and orange floral motifs. She went bare-legged in black pumps and wore her golden locks loose with a center parting

The event celebrated Jason Wu's spring collection - the designer is pictured with Bosworth
The event was hosted by Saks Fifth Avenue - company president Marc Metrick posed with Bosworth

VIPs: The event celebrated Wu’s spring collection – he’s pictured left with Bosworth – and was hosted by Saks Fifth Avenue – company president Marc Metrick posed with Bosworth right

Gaggle of beauties: On hand, too, for the luncheon were actresses - from l-r - Alyssa Milano, Camilla Belle and Linda Cardellini who also wore dresses from Wu's collection

Gaggle of beauties: On hand, too, for the luncheon were actresses – from l-r – Alyssa Milano, Camilla Belle and Linda Cardellini who also wore dresses from Wu’s collection

Like Bosworth, the other celebrities in attendance also wore dresses from Wu’s spring collection.

Alyssa Milano, 46, opted for a floaty monochrome number with semi-sheer sleeves and belted at the waist.

Camilla Belle, 32, chose a sleeveless colorful frock with vertical black detailing and black waistband.

Meanwhile, Linda Cardellini, 43, was pretty in a sleeveless yellow slip with a patterned overlay.

Eye-catching: Belle, 32, chose a sleeveless colorful frock with vertical black detailing and black waistband and wore it with silvery heels 

Eye-catching: Belle, 32, chose a sleeveless colorful frock with vertical black detailing and black waistband and wore it with silvery heels

Man of the moment: Belle also posed for pictures with the designer

Man of the moment: Belle also posed for pictures with the designer

Pretty: Linda Cardellini, 43, was pretty in a sleeveless yellow slip with a patterned overlay and added shiny silver sandal heels

Pretty: Linda Cardellini, 43, was pretty in a sleeveless yellow slip with a patterned overlay and added shiny silver sandal heels

Bosworth is gearing up for another TV series hot after starring in National Geographic’s 2017 mini series The Long Road Home.

She’s set to play the main leading role in a sci-fi series for Netflix called The I-Land.

According to IMDb, the seven-parter is about ten people’s struggle to survive on a mysterious island after waking up there with no memory of how they got there and who they are.

She’s also wrapped the big screen drama The Devil Has A Name directed by Edward James Olmos and co-starring Martin Sheen and Haley Joel Osment, due for release this year.

Catching up: Bosworth posed with Stacy Martin during the luncheon held at the exclusive Hotel Bel-Air

Catching up: Bosworth posed with Stacy Martin during the luncheon held at the exclusive Hotel Bel-Air

Poised: The actress was made up with black mascara, a touch of rosy blush and red lip color

Poised: The actress was made up with black mascara, a touch of rosy blush and red lip color

Good company: Wu was sat between Belle and Bosworth

Good company: Wu was sat between Belle and Bosworth

Pals: The designer made sure to spend some time with Cardellini too

Pals: The designer made sure to spend some time with Cardellini too

In the spotlight: Mary Martin, second from left, joined the others for a group photo

In the spotlight: Mary Martin, second from left, joined the others for a group photo

[“source=dailymail.co.uk”]

Best Accessories for DJI Osmo Pocket in 2019

The DJI Osmo Pocket is a game-changing product for on-the-go photographers and videographers by putting a 3-axis gimbal quite literally in your pocket. However, to get the most from the Osmo Pocket, you’re going to want some great accessories.

Attach everything

DJI Accessory Mount

The Accessory Mount is essential to attach your Osmo Pocket to a tripod or a host of other accessories. It clips around the body and has a standard GoPro-style mount on the rear so you can connect all your favorite accessories.

$19 at DJI

Better looking video

Freewell ND Filters

These magnetic filters clip over the lens on the Osmo Pocket and will give your footage a whole new look. This all-day pack has eight filters, some with polarizers, to ensure great video in all daylight conditions.

$130 at Amazon

Better support

PGYTECH phone bracket

This neat little bracket allows you to use the Osmo Pocket with your smartphone attached without putting any strain on your phone’s charging port. It’s also a great way to add a tripod and an external microphone.

$26 at Amazon

Max protection

Anbee portable hard case

For a little added protection, this affordable case has a foam insert with precise cutouts for the Osmo Pocket, your cables, and the DJI case, as well as a large zipped pocket. It’s water resistant and tough enough to absorb the knocks so your Osmo Pocket doesn’t have to.

$10 at Amazon

Gimbal locked

PGYTECH gimbal protector

The 3-axis gimbal is what makes the Osmo Pocket so special, and it’s not something you want to damage. This simple plastic hood locks it in place when you’re not using it, preventing any accidental contact as well as protecting the lens.

$9 at Amazon

Scratch proof

SunnyLIFE screen protector

To keep the display on the Osmo Pocket looking its best, you’ll want to invest in a screen protector. This pack contains glass protectors for the camera lens and the screen and will keep it scratch free without impeding its touch sensitivity.

$9 at Amazon

Wire free

DJI Wireless Module

There’s no wireless connectivity built into the Osmo Pocket, so to operate it remotely from your phone or tablet you need the Wireless Module from DJI. It adds Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, allows you to charge the Osmo Pocket, and acts as a sturdy base.

$59 at DJI

One handed

DJI Controller Wheel

Making fine adjustments on the small touchscreen on the Osmo Pocket is pretty tough. The additional controller wheel provides precise pan and tilt control for the gimbal as well as one-handed quick changing between modes.

$59 at DJI

Fast storage

Sandisk Extreme 64GB micro SD card

A good micro SD card is essential for the Osmo Pocket if you’re going to be shooting 4K video. This one from Sandisk has a fast write speed and plenty of storage at an affordable price. It also comes with an SD adapter to use with your PC or Mac.

$21 at Amazon

The Osmo Pocket already has a wealth of great accessories available. Some, like a great micro SD card are staples of using any camera, but to really take your experience up a notch you’ll want to be able to add all kinds of accessories, and the DJI Accessory Mount gives you that freedom.

[“source=imore”]