Fashion Designer

Reclaiming the Substance of Clothing : The Surreal Spectacle of Lady Gaga

This paper is motivated by the spectacular appearances of Lady Gaga, and the frequent misconception of her as a split personality and artificial copycat. The aim of the paper is to explore the difference between fashion as image and fashion as embodied experience, in an attempt to reclaim the substance of clothing. Although reclaiming the substance of clothing through an analysis of spectacular appearances may seem like a contradiction, it is possible by combining practical experience with philosophical considerations of clothes in conjunction with the act of dressing. Adapting a phenomenological perspective enables us to consider clothes as objects and their significance to human life. Through Surrealism’s original engagement with fashion, we come to understand fashion and its instruments as the correlation between objects of the mind and the real world. Through a philosophical notion of the depth of life revealed in the spectacle, it all comes together, as I argue that Lady Gaga, through her engagement with clothes reclaims the substance of clothing.




It is often said that fashion is a superficial pursuit of the vain. As if being conscious about ones appearance is a one-dimensional and shallow affair. I argue that there is nothing superficial about fashion itself, but that one can choose to have a superficial engagement with fashion.


This article was originally published in “Fashion Colloquia – London, September, 2011”.

Fashion Accessories

Unique, Trendy And Effective Promotional Tool

Wrist watches have always been one of the best accessories for men and women. Watches are available in numerous styles and design, since ancient times, whether its pocket watches or modern style digital watches their significance has only risen with the time. Despite going through various phrases of advancements, watches are still the best fashion accessory. Jelly watches are latest addition to this trend. These watches are fashionable, comfortable and eye-catching. Jelly watch is available in vibrant colors and with rubber straps making them very comfortable on wrist. You can wear them for long period and can also go trekking and hiking without taking them off.

Do not confuse silicone watch, just for kids as these watches are high in demand among adults too. Not just general people, but many celebs and owners of multi-dollar business tycoons can also be spotted wearing jelly watch. It’s true that these watches might not suit for out-and-out official meeting but it looks great with casual wear on vacations or at parties. The fact that design of these silicone watches is unisex; each member in the house can wear it despite age and taste differences. And as these watches are available in different colors, you can sport them with different attires on different occasions.

The greatest lure about any slap on watch is that these watches are extra durable because of the silicone body. They can firmly grip your wrist and can bear those extra abuses. Therefore, you are allowed to be slightly reckless when you are wearing them. As these watches are made from special elements they can be worn in all season under various conditions. So whether you stay in cold North or you reside in Hot desserts of Middle East, slap watch is a must have in your wardrobe.

Jelly Watches are available in both digital and analogue styles. Vast choices are available to choose from in terms of styles and colors. Also there’s an additional benefit that silicon watches are eco-friendly and skin friendly. Unlike many other watches that can harm your skin if worn for long or can be allergic, slap on watches are easy on skin and your health. And as they are made out of eco-friendly elements it doesn’t radiate any hazardous element in the environment. To top it all, jelly watches are ultra stylish and flashy to wear in those party and clubs to grab some attention.

This excessive popularity of ion watch makes it a great tool of marketing. With silicon body and rubber straps, printing company name and logo becomes very easy. So, if you are looking to target specific audience, you can distribute these watches and freebie or complementary gifts to entice more clients. With low cost of production and availability of printing option with manufacturer/dealers, you can get your own unique and effective promotional tool at very cheap rates. The market today is full of varieties of jelly watches and if you are looking for a marketing method to increase sales then get online and find some that can meet your brands promotional requirements.

Fashion Designer

First Ladies of USA – The Style Icons

First ladies of America have a history of being ‘style icons’. Their style is imitated by women all over the world. Jacqueline Kennedy, the thirty fifth first lady of America, was a fashion symbol for the country. She was popular for her bright colored evening gowns. The wife of the sixteenth President of USA (Abraham Lincoln) had an exotic taste for clothing. But her dressing sense could be termed ‘overdressed’. She wore expensive clothes that attracted positive as well as negative attention.

American women have copied the likes of their first ladies and rejected their dislikes. Bustle gowns completely lost its place in USA; simply because a rumor spread in the country that Frances Cleveland, the twenty seventh first lady of USA, did not like to wear bustle gowns and she was not going to wear them anymore. First ladies were dressed exotically all the time. The current first lady of USA, Michelle Obama, is also no less a style icon! She fearlessly wears bright colored clothes, despite her complexion.

Fashion Accessories

Picking The Suitable Shoe

The most crucial thing for some women is their high heels, mainly because it helps them carry themselves. As you all know we all use boots for a lot of reasons, like for partying, going to the office, for school, for walking, for running and a whole lot more. Choosing the perfect sandals for yourself is key, if you want to feel comfortable no matter where you are. This will also help you to enjoy whatever occasion you are in. Some people who are not comfortable with their footgear end up complaining the entire day, because their feet are hurting.

There are a lot of different types of platform shoes in the market today, and some women are having a hard time electing which shoe suits them and their feet well. Don’t just pick and buy the first shoe that you see, you need to check each every boots that you want for yourself, choose the best and the most comfortable one.

The next thing that you should do is to stay within your own budget, as this will help you to avoid over spending. Some women today are over spending when it comes to buying their work shoes, because they thought that this will give them the comfort that they need. Actually in order for you to buy the shoe that will give you comfort, you need to check how the shoe fits your feet. You need to try it on and try walking using that shoe for you to know if the shoe doesn’t fit your feet, or if you feel uncomfortable using it.

Of course the next thing that you need to consider is the style that will fit you. Some people, who want to use their work shoes for different events, tend to buy something that is simple but stylish. You can opt for colors that are neutral, as this will help your shoe to fit in different types of events. Neutral colors will also help you to combine your shoe to whatever clothes you have. If you want something that can be worn in different events or places, such as formal gathering, in the office, and for partying, then stilettos will definitely be the perfect shoe to choose. It is mainly because this can be worn in almost every place today.

If you are somewhat sporty and if you are a person who adores comfort, then the sneakers would definitely do. This type of shoe is ideal for people who love strolling across the metro, and for people who want to feel comfortable all throughout the day. There are also some people who want to use rubber work shoes over sneakers and stilettos. Rubber loafers can be used for running, walking and while working out to the gym.

These are some of the information on how you can choose the immaculate shoe for you. Remember to avoid buying a shoe that will make you feel unsuitable after a few hours of wearing it, because you are only wasting your money by buying that shoe.

Fashion Trends

Women Fashion Trends 2010

It has rightly been said by fashion gurus that year 2010 is and will continue to be an interesting and exciting year for fashion. With the end of the global financial crisis and recession trend, an upheaval in the fashion world was seen in the beginning of the year and this is continuing. In all the fashion shows that have taken place so far, a new standard of fashion rise up is seen. The latest trends in women fashion 2010 have been inspired by yesteryear’s classic styles with a dash of sex, skin, colors, and embellishments and of course attitude and glamour. Let us see some of the latest women fashion trends 2010.
2010 Fashion Colors, Prints and Patterns


There is a mix of soft, delicate styles with sporty look in the Spring/Summer 2010. No doubt, you could trace a touch of past fashion but mixed with modern outlook in this season. The popular colors for the year are neutral shades, sober colors and also other colors like the blues, pinks, browns and surprisingly a color like neon green. An important aspect of women fashion trends in 2010 is that heavy patterns and prints, earthly tones teamed up with bold and outrageous designs are in this year.  So there is nothing wrong or embarrassing to experiment with neutral attire, team up with bright colored footwear like pumps and jewelries to bring some color to your look. Or get yourself a gorgeous dress with huge floral or other prints all over, and team it up with patterned hand bags and stockings and hooped jewelry.


Fashion Trends 2010 in Women Fashion Wear


While the last decade saw the fashion circuit being dominated by tight jeans, the women fashion wear trends in 2010 has seen the emergence of loose pants. So go for a baggy jeans and throw on a loose kurti or tunic this year. Wearing sporting attire is also a trend in 2010. So you can see in the fashion stores, designer jogging suits and fashionable sweat pants. These two trends have clearly shown that fashion 2010 is more focused on comfort, rather than looks.


Hot ladies shorts in bright and vibrant colors have made their way in 2010. Colorful chunky jewelry and accessories and big glasses play a major role in adding glamour to your ensemble. Do not wear too short shorts so as to make yourself a fashion disaster. A sultry and sexy high dress is in for those who do not prefer to wear shorts. This particularly looks good on those who have well toned legs and skin.


Full skirts are out in 2010 and this trend has been replaced bandage skirts. In fact, the fashion designers have concluded that the bandage skirt is the “it” piece of fashionable clothing for women for work or a night out. A fitted top gives the perfect slim figure look, accentuating the waistline. Mini skirts in neutral tones are also in this year.


Women fashion trend 2010 has also seen the casual fitted t-shirts paired with denim jeans looking good on women for that cool look. Denim jeans will never be going out of fashion. There is a comeback of torn jeans teamed with white t-shirt.


Business suits in the form of blazers and formal trousers are still in, giving importance to masculine gender dresses. This has now been extended to long length blazers with leggings or shorts, with beads and bangles for that feminine look. The knee length capri, showing off a toned calf, is also seen among the younger lot in 2010. It is decent, cool and still looks hot.


Another fashion trend that is seen in 2010 is to be bold and beautiful with some revealing styles. Long, floor length dresses are gone. In fact women are willing to go sleeveless with strong lines to look sexy just by displaying enough cleavage, and a cut at the waist defining the curves rather than being covered by wearing a long dress.  The revealing fabric is in fashion.

Fashion Designer

Selecting the Right Apparel: The Buddha Approach

Why would Buddha go for shopping anytime? What does he has to do with apparel selection? Here are eight facts, like the eight fold path, to be considered while selecting the right type of fabric or apparel.


Evaluating the Wardrobe:


Before planning for shopping, it is essential to check out the wardrobe. Otherwise the shopper ends up spending money for nothing. Checking out the apparels in the wardrobe will enable a person to access the available costumes and will help in further planning.


Choosing the right type of Fabric:


Fabric selection can be little complex. One should select the fabric according to the climate, occasion and the wearers own body structure. A right type of fabric will enhance the look of the person, whereas a wrong selection will work otherwise. Various fabrics such as tulle, organza, satin, lace, chiffon, and taffeta are available, which will give a shining look to the apparel. Embellished with beads, appliqu, and sequins, the apparels will all the more appealing. The fabric should be selected in a way that it complements with the style of the apparel. A slim cut dress requires a smooth fabric with flat surface, while chiffon or satin would be good for a costume with layers.



Apparel should complement with the wearers physique:


Garments should be chosen in a way so as to enhance the appearance of the person. Apparels with dark hues will give a slimming effect as they absorb rays and give an illusion of thin appearance. Wearing apparel which has the same color from top to bottom will elongate the slim look, but care should be taken to select only dark and neutral hues. For women with skinny legs a mid calf skirt with a hem that stops at the shapeliest part of the calf will look good.


Choose the Apparel which has a Right Fit:


Everyone is not gifted with a physique that goes with all types of style and fabric. Apparels should have the right fit. Bigger clothes will make a person look bigger, especially if the person is having a fuller figure. Similarly, tighter clothes will give a squeezed in look which will give a bigger and ridiculous appearance to the wearer.


Right Budget:


This in fact is the most important factor that manipulates the buying decisions. A casual dress does not require an extravagant amount of money. A simple can be made to look ravishing with the right combination of accessories. Formal attire would require much concern and cash, as it defines the wearers personality in the work place, and other official get to gathers. Depending on the type of profession, the right type of outfit should be purchased.


Complementing with the Right Accessories:


Accessories are obligatory to complement with clothing. It gives a fashionable and stylish appearance, while harmonizing ones personality. A wide range of accessories are available for both men and women. Scarves, handbags, earrings, etc are available for women, while wallet, tie pins, and bracelets are available for men. Ankle bracelets will be a complementing accessory for a woman. Thin and feminine anklets will give a flattering look. A right selection of accessories will adorn a person with both professional and fashionable look.

Fashion Trends

Luxury, Near Luxury & Standard Apparels – The Challenges Facing Fashion

Fashion trends appear unexpectedly and fade away even quicker than they appeared. Sustaining their slice of the pie and attracting new customers is a key issue facing the retailers. Especially in case of apparel retailing, where garments have a short life cycle, fads move even more rapidly. The retailer would lose his profits if he missed to keep abreast of the springing trends, and simultaneously would lose money if he invests in the wrong trend. This is one big challenging aspect facing the fashion industry.


Luxury, Near Luxury, & Standard Apparels:


The major concern for apparel retailers is brand positioning. Luxury apparel stores like Banana Republic target high income customers who do not mind to pay a hefty price for their merchandise. They seek attires with premium quality with a premium price. The second category of retailers are those who deal with near luxury garments; clothes which are little lavish, but within the budget of middle and upper middle class consumers. They target customers who crave for wearing stylish clothes matching the latest trends, those cannot afford to pay premium prices for their outfits, but can settle for these near luxury brands. Brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Fitch & Abercrombie fall under this category. Gap captures consumers with apparels at mid-range price. Last are the standard apparel retailers, those who aim at the middle and lower level customers with average incomes, who generally seek to buy apparels during clearance sales. Brands such as Old Navy targets low end price products of the apparel industry.


Brand positioning during tough times:


Brand positioning of apparels is very crucial especially during the times of economic turmoil. During these times, only the creamy people go in for their shopping spree without any restrictions of their budget. Luxury apparel retailers do not face much problem during these times as their wealth-laden customers generally do not have any issues regarding their spending patterns. After being bludgeoned by recession, middle and lower income people curtail their shopping patterns and cut back from spending on non-necessity items. Clothing comes under this kind. Sales in the near luxury and standard apparel stores will have a deep impact during these times.


Profit margins of apparel retailers too have variations due to the discounting strategies and variation in price levels. Profit margins for high end apparel companies range around 67% and 20% for standard apparel companies. Low priced apparel retailers keep low profit margins and still go for a discount when they do their clearance sales.


Fashion industry is going through a price overhaul with companies like H&M, and Forever 21 coming up with apparels with fair quality and low price. Todays consumers are picky and close minded regarding their shopping preferences, especially when it comes to apparels. The market trends keep changing to go with the consumers taste.


Customers will look for value as well as the price tag. From the perspective of attitude, shoppers will have a different thinking. In order to compete in todays market; the successful strategy for apparel retailers is to offer a wide range of clothing at as many price ranges as possible.

Fashion Trends

Emerging Chinese Luxury Brands

Only a few other legacy Chinese brands have been ushered into the present. Panda cigarettes, which became famous between the fingers of late Chinese reformer Deng Xiaoping, often accompany small glasses of baijiu at the banquet table. The brand’s luxury line now sells for more than US$600 a carton and aficionados know to expect long waiting lists for the product.


It was recognition as longstanding Communist Party classics that boosted the brands to the forefront of China’s gift-giving culture, a practice in business and politics that walks a fine line between graft and decorum. China’s Premier Wen Jiabao earlier this year vowed to cut steep baijiu outlays from government coffers.


“Cigarettes and drinking and baijiu are synonymous with the luxury culture here. It’s not just about giving someone liquor. It’s about the social value you give someone,” said Jeffrey Tan, StarcomBSE -4.98 % MediaVest Group’s China research director.
Too Fast to Last
History has been less kind to the nonintoxicating segment of China’s luxury market. Chinese companies that made cosmetics, luxury clothing and jewelry – all unwelcome symbols of decadence – shuttered their doors between the 1950s and the late 1970s. The economic and political progress of the last 30 years hasn’t bridged that gap to the past.


“Development in China has been so fast, and everything is so new. A lot of what distinguishes a luxury brand is its history. Ninety percent of luxury brands took years to get this distinction,” said Tim Schlick, a Shanghai-based marketing expert and founder of consulting firm Schlick & Co. China’s new brands have struggled to develop even in the midst of one of the world’s largest luxury markets. Mainland Chinese are set to consume 20% of global luxury products by 2015, international business consulting firm McKinsey noted in a report last year.


Several homegrown luxury brands that lack a long history have reached into the depths of China’s culture for unique but distinct traits. The designs of domestic clothing labels such as Shang Xia and Shanghai Tang often reference chic early 20th Century Chinese styles. Shanghai Vive, established in Shanghai in 1903 but dissolved in the early days of communist rule, re-launched its line of skin care and clothing products two years ago.

But the gap of more than half a century looks more like a chasm for Shanghai Vive. Although priced for first-tier luxury boutiques in Shanghai and Beijing, its historical lacuna is stark beside the uninterrupted stories of many Western brands. The company has struggled to convince retailers of its sales potential, Tan at Starcom Media Vest said.


“They had to overcome a huge obstacle in terms of distribution and visibility,” he said, adding that many distributors in prime retail venues have opted for more recognizable names in their display cases. “That has changed quite a bit recently but they are still perceived as a lower grade brand.”


Modern Antiques


An ancient name isn’t always necessary, said Gu Xiang, Shanghai Tang’s director of international business development and retail. Gu said the brand’s unique style, which fuses high-end traditional and modern designs, helps it to stand out in the global luxury market.
Shanghai Tang hit storefronts in New York and London before appearing on the mainland in the 1990s. The brand’s biggest market last year was Hong Kong, where it was established in 1994, but it has several outlets on the mainland.
However, companies will not always capture high-spending customers simply by reconstructing the past. Brands will find their cultural resources useful – even necessary – in differentiating from Western luxury, Gu said. But without the addition of modern design and technology, brands risk creating what she called overpriced “arts and crafts.”
“The heritage is very important but it can only be regarded as a foundation,” she said. “We need to inject innovation and create new aesthetics … otherwise we will just be producing a modern antique or a souvenir.”


This article was originally published in the Economic Times dated 29th December, 2012, Economic Times Bureau.

Fashion Trends

“Wear the Trend” Fashion Forecast for 2012

Fashion trends keep changing in the drop of a hat. Fashion industry looks constantly for a change taking its inspiration from the past. Latest trends will be a modern interpretation of the past. Generally two key factors influence changes in apparel trends; novelty and conventionality. People like to wear something new, and concurrently, many of us would also like to retain our ethnicity as well. What are the forecasts about the upcoming trends for 2012?

While there is no crystal ball to have an appropriate forecast, runways, and ramp shows can be helpful in predicting the upcoming trends. Year 2012 will see vibrant and dynamic shades and apparel patterns which does not have a trace of the previous year. Moreover a few other trends would also emerge, which will be a novel interpretation of the past. Color themes revolve around jewel tones, tinted neutrals, and a few pastel shades. Natural fabrics like organic cotton in hues of vanilla to a hint of deep blue will be seen. Simultaneously, rich and vivid colors ranging from red, gold, to black with an Eastern influence will also be in craze. Womenswear will have the influence of darkened decorum and floral patterns.

Fashion Trends

Small Guide to Islam Dress Code

Muslim fashion has grown significantly in the past few years, and it is not only just clothing for adults, but fashion for children as well. Here are tips on how you choose the right Muslim fashion dress that is not against the Islam dress code:


First as a Muslim woman by the rules of Islam, clothes aimed at protecting the wearer body from the things that could hurt her, in addition to covering the aurat. That is why Muslim women choose clothes that disguise the loose silhouette.

But wait, what is aurat? For a woman, everything is aurat except face and two palms. Aurat is very closed to sexuality. For instance, when a man see the navel, the thigh, the breast, the buttock or the hair of a woman, the man will surely got excited and his lust will start to control him. And this is what Islam don’t want because when the lust start to control a person, he will surely lost his logic and mind. But there is some questions on about why must women cover their hair? Well, we never know what a person like to see. Sometime a man can get excited by just seeing some hair. So Islam want to take prevention since prevention is better than cure. Logically, why must a women appear sexier to other men rather than her husband? Also, why exposing your body everywhere if you are still a single? In Islam, women are valued highly, and must be treasured wether it is in the family or community.

Second, select an appropriate Muslim dress collection in size so as not to disturb your walking process. Another reason that Islam forbid tight clothes is, a too tight clothes might disrupt your skin breathing process as well as natural body sweating circulation, while a dress that is too big in size is also dangerous because it can be stepped on while walking and cause the wearer to fall

When you choose Muslim dress code, you should not use the double-tight clothes with short sleeves, three-fourth blouse, or tank top. If you choose to wear Islam dress code, choose long sleeves.

Select materials and models that is suitable with your activity. If you are an active person, the best materials for your clothing are those that absorbs sweat fast and cannot easily ruffled, and consists of blouse,or long sleeved shirts, with a trousers. If your activity are less dynamic, the best options are blouse or long sleeved shirts with a long skirt.

Third, pick a headscarf / hijab model which remains your neck unexposed. You don’t have to only look for a Muslim standard hijab. You can also wear a long scarf and create your own hijab wrap. The focus of Muslim fashion is on hijab, so make sure you make a stylish hijab wrap style. Sexy is not a standard in Muslim fashion, but gorgeous.

A different style of hijab wrapping that is suitable with your face shape, and your dress color, could bring the same gorgeous aura with $1000 hair making.

Select clothes that disguise the lack of models of the body to bring your self confidence. For example, a thin person should wear clothing that seemed stacked, and for those who extra size should use lightweight materials.

Remember to stay tuned to fashion world, especially the latest trends of scarves, and long sleeved shirt in order to stay abreast of fashion trends and fashion but still follow the rules of Islam.