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  • Changing the Fashion Scenario of North East India

    Just the other day, I met Prasantt Ghosh, a top notch fashion designer of the North East. Over a cup of tea, we caught up on common friends and moved on to talking about his single passion - fashion. He mentioned that the next edition of the North East India Fashion Week is coming up on 24th and 25th February 2018 in Kiranshree Grand, Azara, near Guwahati Airport. So I asked him, what new surprises can be expected this time.

    ‘‘It’s not just about fashion,’’ he said. ‘‘The fashion week is a platform to showcase upcoming designers and discover new talents. It is a professionally managed show, with top models being flown in to present the creations. It has potential for fashion trade and will give youngsters the opening they need to make an impression in the market.”

    On being asked how the journey has been so far, he said, “A lot of hard work has gone into it but it's a satisfying feeling. It inspires us to work even harder for the coming season.” He told me that after the resounding success of the first and second seasons of NEIFW, the organisers feel it is time to take it to the next level. Most importantly, the objective of the event is to create brand awareness among the public and media associated with the fashion industry of the North East. Season 3 will target the domestic/international buyers with the right trends and promote North East Handloom and Handicrafts.

    The game changer, however, is the impressive line up of designers and models from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. “We have invited and received confirmation from designers from many foreign countries. It is a landmark event in the sense that the North east will be the latest fashion destination for all designers of the neighbouring regions.” said Prasantt Ghosh.

    This event has many fashion gurus, film and theatre personalities in its advisory panel. Sanjay Choudhury, Kanchan More Sabharwal, Kuntanil Das and Prasantt Ghosh will mentor and lead upcoming designers in showcasing their talents.

    If you are an upcoming designer, here is an opportunity you would not want to miss. Imagine a senior celebrity designer giving you tips on cuts, colour, fabric and drape. The last two seasons witnessed international designers like Bibi Russel and Sharbari Dutta who inaugurated the event as well as showcased their collection.

    Season 3 of NEIFW promises to be a unique event for various reasons. It plans to bring together 36 designers from India and neighbouring countries. National living legends of the fashion industry like Hemant Trevedi, Mona Pali, Abhishek Dutta and James Fariera will showcase their designs along with top names of the fashion industry in Northeast. There would be special seminars for upcoming fashion designers with these top designers of India. After-parties will provide the best environment for connecting and forging professional relationships in the circuit. There would be also stalls from budding and established entrepreneurs.

    Top models, professional event management and a glitz marketing strategy are expected to make season 3 of NEIFW an event you wouldn’t want to miss. More than 5000 visitors are expected to visit this season, making it a commercial and fashion hub.

    As a follower of fashion, this is an event I cannot afford to miss. International exposure, after parties, top models, trade hub and celebrity designers-what more can I ask for?

    So block your dates for the last week in February on 24th and 25th February 2018. Be there if you love to be Fashionable!Read more at:red prom dress | prom dresses

  • Rebecca Minkoff Apologizes for Late Shipments

    Rebecca Minkoff experienced some major problems with late shipments and poor customer service this holiday season, and the company is working to fix the situation.

    Minkoff, cofounder and creative director, posted an apology on Facebook and Instagram Friday afternoon saying she was “horrified to hear/see/read” from a number of loyal and vocal customers that the company let them down this holiday. “I’m sorry,” she wrote.

    The designer blamed the late shipments and problems filling orders on a new third-party warehouse facility. “It has become increasingly clear that our new partner hasn’t kept up with our expectations, their contractual commitments, or our peak season customer demand,” she wrote. “We and they are working around the clock to identify and resolve open orders. We’re working with them to identify a solution to make sure that we have the opportunity to earn back our most valuable asset, the trust and support of our most loyal customers.”

    WWD reached out to the company on Tuesday to see what steps they were taking to address the problems. Uri Minkoff, cofounder and chief executive officer of Minkoff, said, “We met with our distribution partner just before the holidays. We’re meeting again later this week. Although they have assured us that the holiday backlog has been resolved, we are reserving the right to exit the relationship if we aren’t satisfied with the resolution of this situation.”

    “We believe most problems resulted from their failure to allocate sufficient resources to meet peak demand. We are investigating whether we were also affected by shipping/carrier error and/or delays,” he added. The company started working with the new warehouse in early 2017. He said the company has been monitoring the situation daily and working extra hours to address customer service issues.

    Asked how customers will be accommodated, he replied, “In the past, when we have had warehouse issues, we have sent affected consumers complimentary gifts. However, our primary focus right now is ensuring that all of our customers receive all of the items they have ordered, and then making sure that these problems will not reoccur. We’ve added third-party customer service consultants into the mix to help us quickly address any remaining open issues.”

    Interestingly, Minkoff built her 13-year-old brand on directly engaging with online consumers. The company has embraced technology such as using smart dressing rooms in its stores and selling connected clothing and accessories.

    Numerous customers complained on Instagram and Facebook that their shipments didn’t arrive on time; that they couldn’t get in touch with customer service (no one picked up the phone); e-mails weren’t being responded to; refunds hadn’t arrived in a timely fashion, and orders were cancelled weeks later because items were out of stock. Some people weighed in with positive comments and said they appreciated Minkoff’s honesty. “Transparency and an honest apology works. Well done!” posted Julie Vargo.

    But one customer wrote that it’s been “absolutely impossible” to get hold of anyone to resolve an issue, and others complained about similar problems trying to get a refund. Aneta Borroughs posted: “My 12/18/17 order is missing. My card has been charged, shipping info provided but no tracking info available almost a month later. No one is ever picking up the phone and no [one] returns phone calls or orders. As much as I like your bags, I really have to reconsider.”

    Beth Campbell posted: “Your products and brand are completely let down by your nonexistent customer service and your mediocre attempt at an apology. Get your act together before you burn your brand to the ground.”

    Andrea D. Rusnak wrote, “This is good news as we waited over 4 1/2 months for a bag that we ordered that was damaged. We returned it to get it fixed since it sold out online. When I inquired about when I would get it back I was told they didn’t have any packing tape to return it to me and that is why it took so long. I really scratched my head and couldn’t believe that this is the kind of service that Rebecca Minkoff would expect their customers to receive.”

    In October, the company moved its web site to a new back-end system designed to be faster and more responsive. “So far, that project has exceeded our expectations,” Rebecca Minkoff wrote in her apology. As reported, Minkoff switched to Shopify Plus, which is geared toward mobile first and integrates social and mobile pay platforms such as Apple Pay and Alipay.Read more at:cheap prom dresses | prom dresses

  • Artist Georgia O'Keeffe seen as fashion icon in new exhibit

    Georgia O’Keeffe’s art didn’t end at the borders of her paintings.

    As a new exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem demonstrates, her creativity extended to the way that she presented herself to the world.

    “Georgia O’Keeffe: Art, Image, Style,” which opened Saturday and will be on display through April 1, is based on research by Wanda Corn, a retired professor of art history at Stanford University.

    As a scholar of modern American painting, Corn was thoroughly familiar with O’Keeffe’s paintings of flowers, skyscrapers and cow skulls when she discovered that a collection of the painter’s clothes had been archived at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

    “So one question ... I started to ask when I learned about this collection was, why did she save them?” Corn said. “What was so important that they were not only saved, but preserved in beautiful condition?”

    Her answer is that O’Keeffe chose outfits to wear — especially when she was having her picture taken — that explored colors and forms that also appear in her paintings.

    An example is provided by three items at the beginning of the exhibit, where her painting “In the Patio IX” from 1964 appears next to a dress that O’Keeffe owned that was created in 1954 by Italian designer Emilio Pucci.

    The painting is an abstraction, based on an architectural detail from O’Keeffe’s house in New Mexico, that features a black V shape in its center. The dress is divided into white and black areas that create a dramatic, white V in its top half.

    These items are displayed with an enlarged photo of O’Keeffe by Alfred Stieglitz, then her husband, in which she is wearing a black skirt and jacket along with a white blouse, where her neckline forms another V.

    “That is our foundation for the show,” said Austen Barron Bailly, curator of American art at the museum. “We encourage you to look for these forms and elements of abstraction throughout.”

    While the things that O’Keeffe painted and wore were not limited to these shapes and colors, they persist over time, attesting to O’Keeffe’s discipline in choosing images for her art that also figured in the creation of her public image.

    “I do want to make clear this is not a fashion exhibition,” said Linda Hartigan, deputy director of Peabody Essex Museum. “It is more about how someone has worked very deliberately and aesthetically to fashion herself in terms of her identity and her image.”

    The link between O’Keeffe’s clothes and art is established in photographs, many of which appear in the show. Stieglitz took 300 pictures of O’Keeffe, which taught her how to model and pose, Bailly said. O’Keeffe was also featured in fashion magazines, such as Vogue, throughout her career and later in House Beautiful and House and Garden, where her homes in New Mexico were featured.

    “John Loengard, who photographed her for Life, described her late years from about 1968 on as a media marathon,” Bailly said. “She was that sought-after as a model for famous photographers of her time.”

    At the height of her fame, O’Keeffe was often portrayed as “Saint Georgia,” staring into the distance with a mystical gaze, Bailly said. But the basic elements of O’Keeffe’s androgynous look were apparent from an early age.

    “You can see portraits of her from her youth that signal to you that she is an independent, that she is standing out for her attraction to minimalism — to not having poofed-up hair and flouncy bows, but a slicked-back, austere hairstyle; pressed sleeves; a very distilled and minimalist aesthetic, even as a young girl,” Bailly said.

    The show also reveals that O’Keeffe was an accomplished seamstress and displays intricately stitched blouses and tunics that she is believed to have made.

    “She’s taking peasant blouses, and the tunics — sort of loose, flowing, natural forms, uncorseted, (with) freedom of movement — all of these kinds of properties are very important to her as a modern woman,” Bailly said.

    But once O’Keeffe had enough money, she had items made for her by tailors in Spain and New York, one of whom also made suits for Marlene Dietrich. Along with a rack of such bespoke outfits, the exhibit also includes kimonos that O’Keeffe bought during trips to Japan, which attest to her love of Asian arts and culture.

    While the first half of the exhibit is devoted to O’Keeffe’s early years in New York, where her clothes are mostly black and white, the second half draws from her life in New Mexico, where she first traveled in 1929 and then moved permanently in 1949. This section includes dresses by American designers, especially from Marimekko, that feature the reds, purples and browns that also appear in her paintings of New Mexico’s landscape.

    “O’Keeffe rejected the bold, bright, psychedelic flower patterns that Marimekko was famous for in the ’60s and chose palettes from the more subdued end of their spectrum,” Bailly said.

    The exhibit also links the blue jeans that O’Keeffe started to wear in New Mexico with the skies over the Southwestern desert, which appear in many of her paintings from this region.

    “She’s responding to this color blue, it does connect her clothed body to the blue skies that were so prevalent most of the year in New Mexico,” Bailly said. “She talks about being able to see the blue skies through the bones that she walked and collected and found in the landscape.”

    To demonstrate the lasting impact of O’Keeffe’s unique style, the show ends with video from a fashion show for Dior’s Cruise 2018 Collection, which was held outdoors in Calabasas, California.

    “Maria Grazia Chiuri cited O’Keeffe as a primary influence on the collection,” Bailly said. “I think you can see right away the elements of O’Keeffe’s style that they are taking as a point of departure for this collection.”Read more at:prom dress shops | prom dresses