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Fashion publicist Sara Larson runs a thriving PR agency and is also the mother of two young children. Ahead of the pandemic, she was in the belabored process of getting back to that pre-pregnancy body, the heavily fashion-induced ringtone of I’ve got to get back to a size four” chiming in her head. Like most of the world, Larson found herself homebound last March—amidst working full-time whilst attempting to parent (and homeschool) her two young children. Working out, along with the corresponding body- image preoccupation, was the first thing to go. “You go into survival mode of struggling to take care of everything—kids, career, all of that.”

Along with many women, Larson reshuffled her priorities during the pandemic, making a conscious decision to at least attempt to silence the constant negativity around her own body image and finding that mentality reflected in her clothing choices. She placed an order from one of the brands she represents, Galvan, for a body-conscious dress out of their newly launched power knits collection. “I ordered this dress in the middle of COVID-19 and was like, ‘Oh my god, I’m really not going to be wearing this skintight thing.’ I put it on and I just felt so good, so I took a photo and shared it and everyone was so complimentary; I was floored.”

The idea that this was so shocking points to the deeply ingrained patterns of self-criticism we all possess in varying levels. The pandemic tested even those with mostly secure relationships with self-image. The idea of your “post-pandemic body” mimicked the physical and mental battle most women face after pregnancy, tinged with the detrimental energy of a New Year’s resolution. According to a study conducted by David Frederick of Chapman University, 48 percent of female respondents said [the pandemic] contributed to negative feelings about their weight.

Then, amidst all the negativity, something changed this summer—at least for some. A movement towards freedom from the shackles of insecurity emerged, expressed outwardly through fashion, (controversially) noted in the New York Times by Guy Trebay as “bare season.” Along with simply wearing less clothing, body-conscious silhouettes which celebrate the female form versus attempting to alter it through padding, darting, and boning are trending.

After spending months clad in all sweats, chef and author Daphne Oz found herself aboard the pendulum swinging away from shapeless garments, as well. “It’s funny because you wear it differently,” she says of the body-conscious silhouette in relation to its early 2000s modelesque connotation. “It’s not like there’s the same humps and bumps in all the same places, but you’ve seen those women who are not a classic [media-imposed] body type that body-con is made for, but who wear it better than anyone else. That’s what I aspire to.”

“Fewer layers not only means more exposure for your body, but also more exposure to your body, so it can be a really tough time for people struggling with body image.”

After battling harsh media criticism of her body throughout her 20s and early 30s, Oz had a reckoning with this idea of not only what confidence looked like, but what it meant to look and feel sexy. Amidst the pandemic, “I gravitated so much to looking at these old icons of sex and glamour and total femininity, and none of them were in this tiny, small form. I really started leaning heavily into what it is about a woman that makes her look confident, makes her look empowered, makes her look like she feels good about herself. It’s a way that you carry and support yourself, it’s how much you feel you have to offer.”

In fashion, there’s often a double standard with the idea of dressing sexy. Depending on your body shape, the societal standards are different; those with slimmer or less stereotypically feminine forms can often get away with more. Author Danielle Prescod, who distanced herself from the fashion industry for many reasons, only one of which being the refusal to adhere to a realistic portrayal of women’s bodies, has publicly shared her journey with body image on social media as she settles at a weight that is healthy and sustainable for her. “I have definitely new aspects to my body which, when accentuated, could skew a little bit more risqué,” she tells Coveteur. “It was a real struggle for me to figure out what I should and should not wear for professional things,” asking the question that so many have asked: Will I be taken seriously if I wear this?

Reflecting on fashion’s most recent haute couture fashion week, Prescod acknowledges that its dominance on social media still begrudgingly promoted this dated, even distasteful physical idealism. Instances like this reiterate that the mental and sartorial reversal around image is not easy. “Fewer layers not only means more exposure for your body, but also more exposure to your body, so it can be a really tough time for people struggling with body image,” further emphasizes body positivity advocate Katie Sturino, who popularized the hashtag #supersizethelook via her Instagram. That’s why it’s “the perfect time to re-evaluate and embrace our relationship with our bodies.”

“It’s your body,” Oz states matter-of-factly. “This is your body now.” And motherhood redefines this relationship even further. “Being pregnant, you’re completely out there. Your stomach is growing a human and you want to show it off,” adds Larson, who is leaning into silhouettes that celebrate the female form more than ever. “I feel like I actually dress sexier now than I did before kids. I’ve grown two beautiful children in my body, so it’s really about embracing that.”

“I think that’s really what I’m seeing in terms of why I feel better in my skin now than I ever have before, is that I’ve shown up for myself,” reiterates Oz. “I’ve invested in myself in a way that gives me confidence. That does reflect in my fashion sense.”

“I really started leaning heavily into what it is about a woman that makes her look confident, makes her look empowered, makes her look like she feels good about herself. It’s a way that you carry and support yourself, it’s how much you feel you have to offer.”

The fashion component simply served as the outward depiction of an internal shift. According to fashion psychologist Carolyn Mair, “For someone who’s confident about who they are and about what they have to say, then what they are wearing does become less important.”

Like so many aspects of modern society, saying these things out loud sounds almost foolish. Of course you should wear whatever you want regardless of the scale, but that’s often much easier said than done. “You don’t want to admit it because it feels so superficial to be concerned with your body,” says Larson, “but the only comforting thing is I know that I’m not the only one.

“It’s almost like faking it until you make it in your body,” she continues. “It’s like, ‘OK, cool, I’m going to embrace my body and just be proud of it and it will inspire other people to do the same.’ There’s nothing that wears better than confidence.”

Shop Larson’s Current Style Picks:





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Come the return of museums, come the return of the blockbuster fashion exhibit. And this September, the return of an in-person Met Gala will herald the two-part, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion and In America: An Anthology of Fashion. Both encompass the history of American fashion.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute will hope the ambitious undertaking will boast the same crowd numbers that descended for shows like its Alexander McQueen retrospective and Camp: Notes on Fashion. The Met is not alone in realizing the popularity of fashion-focused exhibits. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts hosted an entire exhibit on Thierry Mugler several years ago. The Museum at FIT has held exhibits ranging from Fairytale Fashion to Ballerina costumes.

But one perennial issue hangs over many such shows: where are the Black designers?

A spokesperson for the Met, referencing the two upcoming shows, told The Daily Beast that “these are profoundly important issues” that will be central to the two shows. “It’s best for the work to speak for itself when the shows open in September (part one) and May 2022 (part two).”

The Met did not respond for further request for comment when asked a range of questions about their efforts to include more Black artists in exhibits, if there were any potential exhibits being discussed to spotlight Black art history, or if there were any diversity initiatives to help rectify the lack of Black representation among exhibits, or how many Black curators they have.

A spokesperson for New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) told The Daily Beast that the museum had organized two fashion exhibitions in its history: Are Clothes Modern? (1944) and, more recently, Items: Is Fashion Modern? (2017).

While 1944 was eons before conversations about inclusivity in the fashion industry became mainstream, Items: Is Fashion Modern did include 10 Black designers, namely Laduma Ngxokolo, The Sartists, New Breed, Juliana “Chez Julie” Norteye, Dapper Dan, Kerby Jean Raymond of Pyer Moss, Loza Maléombho, Araba Stephens Akombi, Bernadette Thompson, and Nana Kwaku Duah.

A spokesperson said that over the last 10 years, MoMA had worked with “purpose and urgency” to confront the gaps in its collections and exhibition programming, and to collect and present more art created by women and people of color. Research and collaboration leading to exhibitions like Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980 (2012), Charles White: A Retrospective (2018), also led to multiple acquisitions of work by the artists included. Adrian Piper: Synthesis of Institutions 1965-2016 (2018) directly confronted issues of deep-rooted systemic racism in both museums and America and remains the largest exhibition of a living artist in the MoMA’s history.

MoMA also has the Fund for the 21st Century, a trustee fund committed to purchasing contemporary work for MoMA by emerging artists that have helped them make important acquisitions of work by women and BIPOC artists. Examples include major installation works by Cameron Rowland and Sondra Perry, both very early in the artists’ careers.

In 2019 at their reopening, many galleries within the collection gallery circuits highlighted work by Black artists, including Faith Ringgold, Jacob Lawrence, Pope.L, Benny Andrews, David Hammons, Roy de Carava, and William H. Johnston.

A MoMA spokesperson told The Daily Beast: “The Museum came together in new ways, after the brutal murder of George Floyd last May, to confront issues of systemic racism and inequity and catalyze its anti-racism efforts.” The spokesperson said that six BIPOC staff members had been invited from different museum departments, each at different points in their respective career experiences, to form a Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion (DEAI) Steering Committee.

“The committee is independent and interdepartmental and it seeks everyone’s participation in a process that prioritizes the well-being of BIPOC staff—and therefore all staff—to thrive at the museum. It has full authority to work with any and all groups it wishes to within our museum and to engage outside support as needed. Its purpose is to lead and collaborate across the museum to build an inclusive process for positive change, and its impact to date is clear: a new visitor code of conduct, facilitated listening and discussion sessions with BIPOC staff, an all-staff introduction to the science of implicit bias, and the launch of an assessment phase of the museum’s race equity work with its DEAI accountability partner: soliciting staff perspectives, experiences, and opinions through surveys, focus groups, facilitated conversations, and drop-in sessions that are critical to shaping a successful DEAI plan for MoMA. That work continues.”

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago has also made space for Black designers in its show schedule. In 2019 they held Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech, an exhibit dedicated to the Off-White creative director and arguably the most prominent Black luxury fashion designer.

A spokesperson for the museum told The Daily Beast, “While we do not have any upcoming exhibits of Black fashion designers, as an ongoing initiative we regularly collaborate with BIPOC designers (Hebru Brantley, Joshua Vides, Lorraine West, JoeFreshGoods, Lingua Nigra) on exclusive lines and products that are sold through the MCA Store.” The Museum’s current exhibition, Chicago Comics: 1960s to Now, also puts a spotlight on BIPOC comic artists and cartoonists.

People don’t realize Rosa Parks was a seamstress. She was in the middle of making a dress when she was arrested for refusing to move for a white passenger on the bus.

Brandice Daniel

Brandice Daniel, the founder of Harlem Fashion Row, considers studying Black fashion history a personal hobby of hers. She had the opportunity to meet Lois Alexander Lane, the founder of the Black Fashion Museum in Harlem, which sadly closed in 2007.

“People do not realize how deep Black fashion history is,” Daniel said. “People don’t realize Rosa Parks was a seamstress. She was in the middle of making a dress when she was arrested for refusing to move for a white passenger on the bus. That dress was later exhibited in a fashion show that Lois Alexander Lane had. When you start digging into Black fashion history, it is so rich. The women who were making dresses on plantations during slavery were Black slaves making dresses for society women. Those dresses were the modern equivalent of couture.”

Daniel acknowledges that the conversation around exhibits lacking Black designers is very new, but she views it as more reactive than proactive. “People are more concerned with what people are going to say if Black designers are excluded from exhibits rather than actually including Black designers,” Daniel said. “Museums haven’t done a proper exhibit to really celebrate and inform people on the contributions of Black fashion.”

The story of Black art in museums and who curates the art on display is much larger than the Met and MoMA. In 2019, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in partnership with the Association of Art Museum Directors, the American Alliance of Museums, and Ithaka S + R, conducted a comprehensive survey of the ethnic and gender diversity of the staffs of art museums across the United States.

At the time, the survey found that the number of Black curators increased from 2 percent in 2015 to 4 percent in 2018, an increase of 21 positions. However, the survey also find that at senior positions—including museum director, CFO, and CEO—there was literally no change in regard to race and ethnicity, with senior leader positions only seeing a 1 percent diversity increase from 2015 to 2018.

Pamela Edmonds, a Canadian-based curator, describes herself as a “decolonizer” of art spaces and museums. Over her 20-year curatorial career, she says it is only within the last five years has she really seen things change in terms of work by Black artists being included in museums.

“In the ’90s, there was a lot of talk around identity politics in the museum and art communities, but then in the ’00s there was a backlash against identity politics,” Edmonds said. “After last year with all the civil rights protests, the conversation around social issues and identity politics was full-on again. Black creatives used to be treated like they were restricted to just getting work during Black History Month, and after that finding work was like being stuck in the desert. It was tokenism. Institutions just wanted to check off boxes to say, ‘We did the Black show.’”

According to Edmonds, museums are inherently white and colonial in their very existence because that is the foundation upon which they were built, but she added, “That doesn’t mean we can’t reimagine these spaces and create different models and conversations. Museums can be gathering spaces for communities to have conversations around life and culture. Even with exhibitions with largely European collections, works can be used to explore decolonization. It’s about the narrative you build around it and creating conversations relevant to the moment. I had a show of mostly European works and used Sun-Ra for the background music. It’s possible to have inclusivity with all types of work on an exhibit.”

Edmonds says that because of protests and work on anti-racism, “Museums are looking at their collections, their board of directors, and being called to be accountable. I’m seeing a lot of anti-racist policies and efforts toward inclusion. You didn’t see that five years ago. Black folks are engaging art in a way that is multidisciplinary, from contemporary art to fashion. With people becoming more media specific, museums have had to expand their horizons and open their doors to more of these creatives.”

Western institutions don’t make it easy for people to bring Black bodies into white institutions. We have to prove that Black people can occupy these spaces.

Dominique Fontaine

Edmonds said with increased awareness over how Black creatives have been excluded from museum spaces, there’s more people calling them out. Dominique Fontaine, an art curator and consultant who is the founder of aPOSteRIORi, a non-profit curatorial platform, is focused on diversifying art and museum spaces.

Fontaine says the reason Black creatives have been excluded from museum spaces is because “in art history programs, there is almost no mention of Africa. The only mentions of Africa are Egypt. It takes much more research to educate yourself on Black cultural productions, but there are places with Black arts movements that are very proactive, but Western institutions don’t make it easy for people to bring Black bodies into white institutions. We have to prove that Black people can occupy these spaces.”

Fontaine says more Black representation will come in museum exhibits once there is more representation across the board. “We need to advocate for representation not only on the museum walls, but on the board of directors, on staff, and everyone from the lowest to the highest level from the security guards to the executives at the top. Black people are capable of occupying every space across the board and being part of every discussion.”

Fontaine says to ensure that there are Black professionals get the opportunity to occupy these spaces, museums need to reevaluate their hiring processes to guarantee diversity and inviting more Black people to be on their boards of directors.

Instead of showing me your diversity statement, show me your hiring data, your discrimination claim stats, your salary tables, your retention numbers, your diversity policies, and your leaders’ public actions against racism.

Monica F. Fox

Fontaine says that her feelings regarding institutions making tangible change for Black people is best summed up by Ohio State University’s Dr. Monica F. Cox, who tweeted: “Instead of showing me your diversity statement, show me your hiring data, your discrimination claim stats, your salary tables, your retention numbers, your diversity policies, and your leaders’ public actions against racism.”

In her efforts to preserve and foster Black fashion history, Brandice Daniel has created an E-book called Fashion in Color: Preserving the African American Legacy in Fashion. Daniel’s colleague Kimberly Jenkins, an assistant professor of fashion at Ryerson University, is also compiling The Fashion and Race Database to provide information about Black designers and Black fashion history for museums, brands, colleges, and universities to use.

Daniel said that the exclusion of Black designers from museum exhibits has, “caused Black people to never realize what a big role we have played in the fashion industry, nor does the fashion industry acknowledge that. Museums can frame history in a way that would help people see the value of Black creatives. That’s the role museums play. Black designers not being exhibited leaves the fashion industry uninformed and leaves people of color walking into this industry feeling like outsiders, meanwhile we’ve laid so much of the groundwork for fashion as we know it.”

Daniel said one of the reasons addressing these issues is difficult is because non-Black people have been so uncomfortable having conversations about race, and until those conversations can happen more openly there is a roadblock in addressing how to amplify Black voices and guarantee Black representation.

“Black fashion designers and industry professionals have this treasure that we have not uncovered,” Daniel said. “I would love for museums to start to uncover and discover all of the impact Black people have had on the industry. Museums need to do consider doing something over the next few years that will do Black fashion history justice.” Daniel says one of the critical components to making sure this happens is making sure there are more Black curators and consultants.

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is painfully aware of the racial and gender disparities that exist within the global world of fashion.

Elaine Nichols

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, D.C. has led the way in preserving Black fashion history. In 2007, it inherited the Black Fashion Museum collection of 700 garments, 300 accessories, and 60 boxes of archival material.

In a statement e-mailed to The Daily Beast, Elaine Nichols, NMAAHC’s fashion curator, said, “The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is painfully aware of the racial and gender disparities that exist within the global world of fashion. We have intentionally identified and collected objects and research data related to black, women and LGBTQ+ fashion designers.”

In September 2016, when NMAAHC formally opened to the public, at least half of the Inaugural Exhibitions highlighted black fashion designers. Galleries that featured various fashion and costume creations by Black designers included one featuring a dress designed by Tracy Reese and worn by then-First Lady Michelle Obama in connection with the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.

In addition to including Black designers and fashion in a multitude of exhibits, the museum also has two curators who serve as resources for scholars and the public seeking information about African American and African diasporic dress and fashion. They receive and respond to numerous requests for information related to the museum’s dress and fashion collections.

As a Black-focused museum, NMAAHC has had no issue with Black representation. The overwhelming majority of the museums curators are Black, and they continue to ensure the majority, if not all works at the museum are directly connected to the African diaspora. Prior to the larger national conversation around Black inclusivity being a major part of the 2020 headlines, NMAAHC was a part of the Smithsonian’s public programs.

Next, NMAAHC is planning a symposium on Fashion, Culture, Futures: African American Ingenuity, Activism and Storytelling scheduled for this October. In collaboration with Cooper Hewitt, the symposium will explore the history of Black people in fashion, offer dialogue with black models, and LBGTQ and transgender fashion icons, and examine the future impact of fashion on marginalized communities of color.

While the road for inclusivity is still lengthy, the work is slowly being done. As Daniel puts it, “Having Black voices in the room is crucial to representation.”





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Sarah Beydoun has worked with village women and former prisoners across Lebanon for more than 20 years to create vibrant and popular handbags.

“I’m not just making handbags, I’m a social enterprise,” she says.

But her perseverance took a hit after the August 4 blast. “I was completely disorientated,” she recalls. “Everything I did didn’t make sense any more, like creating things or making a nice handbag.”

Traumatised, she postponed the rebuilding of her luxury handbag brand Sarah’s Bag. “It took me a few months to rebuild; I was really in shock and didn’t want to look at the damage,” she says. “I thank God that we were spared the injuries.”

The women she had worked with for so long helped pick her back up.

“They contacted me from their villages to help reorganise the workshop and put everything back in place,” she says. The non-profit March Lebanon, with support from philanthropic organisation Alfanar, sent artisans from Tripoli to help rebuild the shopfront’s historic vitrines.

With a pandemic and an economic crisis raging, the brand, which has its headquarters in a 1930s townhouse in Beirut’s Tabaris district, reopened with a new focus: its online shop.

“Shifting our sales online has been extremely challenging,” says Beydoun. “But every day we’re seeing clients from new countries. They know the brand and they like what we do.”

The day Beydoun speaks to The National, she is celebrating an online breakthrough: her latest summer collection sold out within days.

“We’re now producing more bags for the collection,” she says. Beydoun attributes this success to a change in consumer habits as a result of the pandemic. “Consumers are more socially conscious. They don’t want to buy something just because it’s beautiful, they want to feel like they’re supporting a cause.”

Many creative business owners in Lebanon are moving their operations online in order to mitigate the risks of Lebanon’s economic crisis. Beydoun’s affordable yet carefully crafted and durable handbags, priced at about $150, are now out of reach for middle-class Lebanese families with no overseas income, and reach the equivalent of $2,000 at the current exchange rate for the Lebanese pound.

What makes Beydoun stay, however, is the artisans she works with.

“I have an amazing workforce here,” she says. “Today I am working with 150 women across Lebanon who are all skilled in their own way. They each work a different craft, many of which are unique and only known to our region. I loved exploring these crafts and applying them to modern accessories.

“Some women had their lives transformed. They went from being former prisoners to the owners of a workshop in their village. Many of them are teaching other women different skills that we taught them. One woman can train up to 10 women.

“When I see this impact, it makes it hard for me to leave Lebanon. I feel I’m needed now more than ever.”

The city’s spirit is intrinsic to the brand’s ethos, too. Early collections were replete with nostalgic references to Beirut’s urban fabric, featuring old street signs, painted truck fronts and old postcards. Its 2008 clutch bag, featuring the graffiti inscription “Beirut never dies” (“Beirut Ma bit mout”), quickly became a bestseller.

“Beirut was always an inspiration for me from the start. We really dug into our collective consciousness and created products that reflected Beirut before anyone else did.”

Today, the brand continues to draw on references to contemporary culture. But making products referencing Beirut’s port explosion is out of the question.

“I did nothing related to the blast,” says Beydoun, “I would always like to be inspired by beautiful things, not painful ones.”

Updated: August 3rd 2021, 3:21 AM

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Mumbai Indians 213/6 (20 ov)

Royal Challengers Bangalore 167/8 (20 ov)

Mumbai Indians 213/6 (20 ov)

Royal Challengers Bangalore 167/8 (20 ov)

Mumbai Indians 213/6 (20 ov)

Royal Challengers Bangalore 167/8 (20 ov)

Mumbai Indians 213/6 (20 ov)

Royal Challengers Bangalore 167/8 (20 ov)

Mumbai Indians 213/6 (20 ov)

Royal Challengers Bangalore 167/8 (20 ov)

Mumbai Indians 213/6 (20 ov)

Royal Challengers Bangalore 167/8 (20 ov)

Mumbai Indians 213/6 (20 ov)

Royal Challengers Bangalore 167/8 (20 ov)

Mumbai Indians 213/6 (20 ov)

Royal Challengers Bangalore 167/8 (20 ov)

Mumbai Indians 213/6 (20 ov)

Royal Challengers Bangalore 167/8 (20 ov)

Mumbai Indians 213/6 (20 ov)

Royal Challengers Bangalore 167/8 (20 ov)

Mumbai Indians 213/6 (20 ov)

Royal Challengers Bangalore 167/8 (20 ov)

Mumbai Indians 213/6 (20 ov)

Royal Challengers Bangalore 167/8 (20 ov)

Mumbai Indians 213/6 (20 ov)

Royal Challengers Bangalore 167/8 (20 ov)

Mumbai Indians 213/6 (20 ov)

Royal Challengers Bangalore 167/8 (20 ov)

Mumbai Indians 213/6 (20 ov)

Royal Challengers Bangalore 167/8 (20 ov)

Mumbai Indians 213/6 (20 ov)

Royal Challengers Bangalore 167/8 (20 ov)



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Nearly two months after Alicia Silverstone made her TikTok debut — recreating the unforgettable “As if!” scene from classic ‘90s film Clueless — she’s finally getting the hang of the platform.

For the 44-year-old actress, who most recently starred in the Netflix adaptation of The Baby-Sitters Club, TikTok provides an avenue to indulge in a little nostalgia. But she didn’t want to launch her account — which currently boasts three million followers — with just any old video. “I knew I needed to go in with a big bang,” Silverstone tells Bustle.

Considering the lasting cultural impact of Clueless, which recently marked its 26th anniversary, it only made sense that Silverstone would create an homage to her widely recognized alter ego, Cher Horowitz. She recruited her 10-year-old son, Bear, to help bring that memorable “As if!” scene back to life.

“My son and I, we don’t put a lot of time or energy into it,” she says. “That first one we did was at the end of a very long work day, and I didn’t even change my clothes that I had on underneath the little plaid jacket. I thought, well, I wasn’t trying, I just threw the jacket over.”

Archive Photos/Moviepix/Getty Images

While effortless fashion TikToks are fun for Silverstone to create, she really wants to use her account to spread awareness around issues she cares about.

“I want to help people be their healthiest selves and to be kind to themselves, to the planet, and to animals,” she says. “So, it only seemed right — when my son was telling me about [TikTok] — to start. I saw that I could bring my mission further to another group of people.”

That mission is rooted in all things wellness. She’s been vegan for more than 20 years and is always sharing some of her family’s favorite plant-based recipes on her lifestyle blog, The Kind Life. Silk Oatmilk is, unsurprisingly, a staple in her kitchen — and she recently announced a partnership with the brand.

“They are the G.O.A.T. of oat milk,” Silverstone says, referencing the brand’s social media campaign where fans can turn selfies into marble G.O.A.T. busts. “It’s sort of like how I’ve been recognized by many as the G.O.A.T. of ‘90s fashion.”

While today she happily embraces that label, she’s the first to admit that all those years ago, style wasn’t exactly her area of expertise. “When I did the movie Clueless, I only wore — from age 15 to 20 — this green T-shirt with a pocket on it,” Silverstone recalls. “It was probably from the Gap or something. With jeans and tennis shoes. That was the extent of my fashion.”

Is it any wonder that, at the time, she couldn’t quite relate to Cher’s extravagant closet, which came equipped with styling software and mechanical, rotating racks?

“She was like an alien to me,” Silverstone recalls. “I had no connection to the fashion at all. When I saw the movie — when it first came out — and saw how important those clothes were, it was eye-opening because I didn’t know when I was wearing them.”

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

From Olivia Rodrigo rocking it at the White House to Harry Styles stepping out at the Grammys, the Clueless plaid suit look remains as popular as ever. And it’s something that Silverstone never gets tired of seeing.

“It’s always fun anytime someone sends me a picture of themselves all dressed up and I see it on the runway,” she says. “The amazing thing is Clueless fashion, especially the plaid, has not just been this year or last year. It’s every year. There’s nothing but goodness around that.”



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Being brought up in Dubai has its advantages beyond the obvious. After moving here at the age of two, Dhara Bhatia has not only gone on to enjoy a successful media career, she is now the CEO of her own fashion label: Baesic by DB that recently celebrated its latest line, Sai and Ki, named after Bhatia’s nieces. The 24-year-old credits the city’s entrepreneurial spirit and gender equality empowerment with instilling the drive to begin this adventure. It’s also a question of spending more time with family, which we found out when we sat down with the American University of Dubai graduate.

How did you find the process of setting up a label and what is your background in fashion?

A mix of research and real-life experience showed me the UAE’s female population was primed for a brand that would offer a fusion of self-love and style. I’ve been living and working in Dubai most of my life, so I’ve seen my fair share of office-to-opera, desk-to-dinner outfit scrambles! Baesic by DB is a product of Dubai and gives the UAE’s #bossbabes luxe fashion staples that will take them from boardrooms to beach clubs without a wardrobe change.

There’s incredible support for start-ups here, and when I discovered local ateliers for crafting the clothing, that sealed the deal. I took the help of brand advisors, fashion consultants, and stylists before finalising the collection. It went through a series of demographics and only then I started producing the clothes. At first, I was nervous about starting something I had no experience in, but I have learned so much in the past eight months because of the industry experts I’ve worked with.

How has it been juggling this with your day job as a media professional? Did the pandemic inspire you to set this up?

I’m not going to sugarcoat this; it’s extremely difficult. Especially considering the field I’m in. PR is a job that works around the clock. After my day job, from 7.30pm to 1am I work on Baesic. Though in the beginning, I was pulling all-nighters every day.

It was not the pandemic that inspired me to set up, it was only the fact that I wanted more time with my family. My parents are 60 plus and with a day job, it’s hard to spend time with them and take them for their daily errands or doctor appointments. I wanted to start a brand so I could fulfill my dreams as an entrepreneur but also be a good daughter.

What does your label offer Dubai others do not?

It’s more than a fashion brand. It’s a lifestyle label made locally, with love. I say that because while we’re complementing your closet with crisp basics and silky must-haves, we throw in some feel-good female empowerment for free. We’re growing a community of women who inspire and want to be inspired and reminding them that dressing well is a form of self-care.

Also, before launching the brand I’ve done a lot of research on what’s available in the market. When you think of a private label, you immediately think expensive. But that shouldn’t be the case at all times — I wanted to provide affordable luxury to women of Dubai. Something I haven’t seen after living here for over 20 years.

And the latest line?

My first collection is named after my two nieces Saina and Kianaa. They both have been an important part of my life and are more like daughters to me. In fact, the collection was launched on Saina’s seventh birthday. It is a portrayal of fabrics that inspire me and clothes that comfort me. Based on that, I combine a mood board and start working on the designs. I have a team that assists me in the technical drawings as that’s something I’m still learning. Once the drawings are complete, I start working on the sample production.

Tell us more about ‘self-love.’

Not to sound dramatic, but I think this was one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever faced: loving myself. I always thought that putting someone above you makes you a better person, hence you should do it. I believed that if I do good for someone else, people will think I’m kind-hearted, and if I do something for myself, I will be marked as selfish. So, I spent my whole life being a people pleaser and I believe my friends can confirm this too.

I didn’t realise it would take such a toll on me. But better late than never. I realised the pain it was causing me and I started to listen to myself. I know so many women face the same issue — if not with their friends then with their kids, their families, and more. I want to create a platform for this. Although my brand has just launched, every step I take, I keep self-love, self-acceptance, and real women in mind. Because we’re living in a fantasy land of filters — it’s becoming hard to tell what’s real and what’s been tweaked and tuned.

For instance, in my first campaign, I used all real women — working girls with different jobs; one’s a personal trainer, one’s an architect, one’s a lawyer, but no matter who they are, they are beautiful just the way they are. The women you see are the friends and family who have supported me every step of my journey — there’s nothing more real than that. Other than that, I also have a Baesic blog section on my page where I aim to interview like-minded women and share their stories. The first one I interviewed was Anna Roberts, founder of Achiever and super-mum.

Is this reflected in the label’s name?

The name is a combination of two fundamental brand values. Number one being self-love. The acronym “Bae” is commonly associated with your loved ones, i.e., someone you put before anyone else. So, I decided to make it ironic because, remember, we are a self-love brand that promotes acceptance. Our mantras are to love yourself first, before anyone else. Look after yourself first, before anyone else. And the fact that there’s a difference between “self-love” and “selfish.” The second reason behind our name is our brand aesthetic. Basics are the future; it’s sustainable, it’s versatile, and it works. You and I could walk in wearing the same dress, but we style it differently, so it’s a different #OOTD. There’s a reason why women purchase more little black dresses than any other garment, which they would probably end up repeating only one or two times.

What are your thoughts on setting up a business in the UAE?

It was very straightforward. You just have to find the right company to help you set up, plus my family is filled with entrepreneurs so I had guidance throughout the admin process. I think Dubai is one of the easiest places to set up.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in your footsteps?

The biggest thing I would say is to stay patient. Because if you have the strength to face all the obstacles, you can pursue your dreams. I walked into this blind and invested all my savings into the brand with no idea if it was going to work. It worried me every single day, but I stayed strong and am so happy.





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Fashion took center stage at the Logan County Fair on Friday evening, with the annual 4-H Fashion Revue held at St. Anthony’s Gymnasium.

Participants in four divisions decorated or constructed a garment and then modeled it. The judging was based on posture, poise, grooming, attitude and the outfit on the model. This includes becomingness to the model, choice of texture, color and style, fit, and accessories.

Judges for the event were Sharon Blackham, and the emcee was Heather Brungardt.

This year’s winner in the Junior Division was Remington Gerlach, who was the only competitor in the division. Remington chose to create a tie-dye tank top, which took several different tie-dye techniques and color combinations to perfect. and paired it with a simple pair of shorts and glittery sandals. Remington received a trophy and a flower bouquet.

The Champion Intermediate participant was Natalie Adels. Natalie modeled a black short sleeve daisy top with a black tank top underneath, paired with white pants and black flip-flops. She received a trophy and a flower bouquet.

Mattea Pelton was named Reserve Champion in the Intermediate Division. Mattea modeled the multi-color striped overall shorts she made, paired with an orange short sleeve shirt and black dress sandals. She received a balloon bouquet and a ribbon.

Also competing in the intermediate division were Taylor Tribbett and Piper Withers.

This year’s Senior Champion winner was Ashton Nichols. Ashton’s upcycle your style project was a pair of jean pants with honeybees and a honeybee hive sewn on, paired with a black short sleeve shirt and black sandals. She received a trophy and a flower bouquet.

Ashton will be representing Logan County at this year’s State Fair Fashion Revue.

Reserve Champion in the Senior Division was Ayla Baney. Ayla created a tie-dye t-shirt and jeans with American flag patches on them, which she paired with brown sandals. She received a balloon bouquet and a ribbon.

Ayla will also be representing Logan County at this year’s State Fair Fashion Revue.

Rounding out this division was Sadie Fehringer.

Every year there is an Encore Division at the fashion revue. The Encore Division is judged on suitability of the clothing to the person, appropriateness for the occasion, and fit.

This year’s Champion Encore Grand Champion was Taylor Tribbett. Taylor wore a blue sundress accented with a colorful bow and white two-strap sandals. She received a flower bouquet and a ribbon.

Reserve Champion in the Encore Division was Natalie Adels, who modeled a vintage short sleeve floral top and jeans. She received a ribbon and flower bouquet.

Other competitors in this division included: Rhylee Foos, Remington Gerlach, Emmalynn Crose, Mattea Pelton, Piper Withers, Ayla Baney, Sadie Fehringer and Ashton Nichols.

Along with the models in the judged categories, the show also featured Cloverbud Aubrey Foos modeling…., as well as Miss Rodeo Logan County Makayla Motzkus, Queen Candidates Tobi Beth Erickson and Lacey Johnson and Sweetheart Candidates Courtney Fehringer and Rylee Raffelson.



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“As consumers, we want our purchases to make a difference for animals and the planet,” said Lisa Anderson, co-founder of Ocean Project.  “Ocean Project has made it a central part of its mission to approach fashion in an ethical and open way. We want people to look and  feel good in what they’re wearing and know that the money they spend on their clothes helps clean the environment.”

There are many pollution problems in the fashion industry, like coloring fabrics using toxic dyes, or tanning leather using toxic chemicals.  By some estimates, the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world, right after the petroleum sector, Anderson added.

But not at Ocean Project. Every Ocean Project t-shirt, bracelet and necklace purchase gets 2.2 pounds of plastic from the environment. Yes — that’s 2.2 pounds.

Shop with the Ocean Project  and do some good!!

  • Make a Statement – Shop Ocean Project’s goods that start conversations and benefit the causes you care about
  • Be a Change-Maker – Connect with people working to deliver real change to oceans, rivers and waterways and the animals that live there.

“Like many of you, I want to live in a more just, equal and engaged world. And we believe that simply starting a conversation is one crucial way to spark that change,” said Anderson. “Every purchase you make includes a donation to cleaning plastic from the oceans and helps save endangered animals. To date Ocean Project has donated more than $41,000 to clean up projects.”

Ocean Project Reviews

Jennifer S. said: “My husband got me this as an anniversary gift and I love it! I got to track a male tiger shark named Fletcher. My favorite species of shark too!”

Karen M. said: “I LOVE my shark Ollie”

About Ocean Project

Ocean Project is a company with a vision to make a difference in our ocean’s ecosystems. For more information, Please visit: www.oceanproject.co.

SOURCE Ocean Project

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I was disappointed to read in a recent article that David Morgan, the new director of the Anchorage Health Department, equates the choice of whether or not to wear a mask during the surge in COVID-19 cases with the choice of whether to wear professional or casual business attire.

I think most medical personnel consider masking somewhat more impactful than choosing whether to wear a suit or slacks to work. If one is contagious, wearing a mask might help protect countless people the wearer might encounter, including children who aren’t yet eligible for vaccination. Conversely, I doubt Mr. Morgan’s work wardrobe impacts many people at all. How can the director of our health department trivialize our health so blatantly?

Have something on your mind? Send to letters@adn.com or click here to submit via any web browser. Letters under 200 words have the best chance of being published. Writers should disclose any personal or professional connections with the subjects of their letters. Letters are edited for accuracy, clarity and length.



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A designer and entrepreneur who helped some of the most prominent fast fashion brands soar to prominence has revealed how she used lessons in the industry to launch her own sustainable ‘slow fashion’ business.

Manchester-born Danielle King is now at the helm of her own business KIHT Collective, an ethical gymwear firm.

Danielle, 35, from Sale, has worked in various top design roles for fashion giants including PrettyLittleThing, Missguided and Bon Marche.

READ MORE:Manchester Central: How landmark venue is bouncing back after ‘catastrophic’ pandemic reduced turnover to almost nothing

She said: “My journey allowed me to see a massive cross section of the industry.

“I’ve worked in manufacturing, with e-tailers and retailers.



Some of the KIHT Collective’s new range

“At the time, it was so exciting to be a part of fast fashion. It was really cool and we were breaking all the rules and changing the model of retail.”

Moving to PrettyLittleThing from Missguided in 2015, Danielle helped the firm now owned by Boohoo through its rapid expansion, as it became one of the world’s fastest-growing fashion retailers.

“It was a really fun time and crazy, crazy as a business to be part of it because things would change week in, week out.”

But she said the industry “never quite sat right” with her, adding: “I’ve been all over the world with it, which was an amazing experience, but I think just seeing the processes and what goes on behind the scenes – there has always been that niggle.”

The fast fashion industry has been the subject of controversy over the past 12 months – not least due to the scandal concerning Boohoo suppliers’ working conditions at factories. It has also faced major concerns over its sustainability for years.

Danielle said: “I think as I grew in the industry and started to see the detriment of what fast fashion was doing, it began to become clear I wanted to leave and do something else.



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“It’s difficult. You don’t realise at the time, because you are just part of this wave, but then seeing the negative impact of it just made me realise that it really needs to change and our mindset around clothing needs to change as well.”

She began researching other sustainable models of fashion businesses, and said: “I noticed that it was just so expensive, it was almost slightly elitist, and I just felt that for it to work, it would need to be accessible, so I decided to give it a go on my own.

“I felt like I’d had enough experience and enough understanding of the industry to give it a shot. It was a little lightbulb moment, really.”

READ MORE: ‘If things don’t change, we won’t have a business or a planet’ – Entrepreneur’s plea for more people to become climate-conscious

Launched a year ago, Danielle describes her firm KIHT Collective as a ‘slow fashion’, sustainable and affordable activewear brand – priding itself in making products that customers will wear regularly, not just when going to the gym.

She said: “The business has basically united all of my passions.

“I wanted to see change, and at the same time, I’ve always been super into health and fitness, particularly from a wellness perspective.

“Now more than ever coming out the back of this pandemic, the issue of mental health is huge – as is obesity.

“So showing people how to lead more of a balanced lifestyle – a holistic take on health and fitness – was really important.

“It is active wear. So it’s performance based, but it’s about being fit for life – for whatever you want to do.”

As opposed to the lion’s share of fashion firms who manufacture in China, KIHT’s products are made in Portugal at carefully selected factories.

She said all packaging is eco-friendly, made from recycled materials or able to be recycled. The business also buys all of its factory seconds – items that have failed the quality control process but are still wearable – and donates them to charity. It also works with charity TreeSisters to plant a tree for every KIHT purchase.

Danielle, who sells most of the products online and at pop-up events, said she had hoped to launch the brand earlier – but was hit by the early impact of the pandemic.



Some of the KIHT Collective’s new range

She said: “The factories got shut down, the world shut, so I launched just as we were starting to come out of the lockdown.

“I just wanted to get the brand out there – it was a ‘now or never’ scenario’.

“I do feel really lucky that as a gymwear brand, when the gyms have been shut for the majority of the year, we’ve done really well.”

In terms of the future, she wants to grow KIHT out as a “full lifestyle brand”, adding: “My ultimate aim is to be a leader in businesses that are essentially doing more good than harm.

“It’s not about being perfect, it’s just about building on what we’ve got and continuing to improve. Those are my goals and at the same time, I call the business a collective because I want it to be a group bringing people together.

“I want to be led by what my collective want.”

She is confident for the future of her business – and said invaluable lessons from fast fashion are helping her in ‘slow fashion’.

She said: “One lesson I learnt – and it plays really well into sustainability – is that there are no rules – it’s incredibly flexible.

“I think a lot of big [traditional] retailers struggle because they built big, complicated, slow moving modules, and I would say that with fast fashion, the one amazing thing about the way the business is built is that it’s so flexible.

“I think I have really taken that into my business. There’s obviously things that you have to do in a business at every stage, and it was exactly the same thing. When I was working through to build to help us be faster, I was looking at every aspect of the business and asking ‘what could we do differently?’

“For fast fashion, it was ‘do we need this process, if we cut it out, will it make us faster? What are the pros and cons of that?’

“I think I’ve taken the same thing into building a sustainable model – looking at every single aspect and asking if I need to do it, questioning everything.”

Danielle is confident the shift to sustainable fashion is beginning to accelerate, adding: “It’s about continuing to educate and just keep pushing it really.

“Change takes time, and it’s hard.

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“It’s not about trying to be perfect. It’s just about being honest about where you are and where you’re going, and being as open and authentic as possible with what you’re doing.

“I don’t think we have much of a choice [to shift to sustainable].

“But I think it’s a two-fold thing. We need to work to become more sustainable, but I also think we need to work to educate a mindset shift in how people think about fashion.

“I spoke to older designers years ago who said they would design something and it would be in the front of the shop for weeks on end. There would be less, but bigger quantities of it because that would be say, the shirt of the season.

“Whereas I think what online has changed is that it’s about just bringing newness in every single day, rather than for the season.

“So it’s about changing people’s mindsets of thinking more about trends, instead of fashion.”

This week, the firm has launched a new ‘Birthday Essentials’ range to celebrate a year since launch.



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BY RATIDZO GOBA

RISING local fashion designer and hip-hop artiste Tendai Denzel Chibanda (pictured) says he draws inspiration from celebrated American and South African musicians Kanye West and KO, respectively.

The top musicians, Kanye West and KO are also top fashion designers.

The Harare-bred artiste popularly known as Designer Ten told NewsDay Life & Style that he was a proud self-taught designer.

“I started fashion and designing when I was 18 years. I have developed to be the designer I am today from experimenting with my scissors and cloth as well as online tutorials,” he said.

“Music and designing are two things that go hand-in-hand. I am inspired by Kanye West, who is my favourite artiste and KO. They are both into music and fashion designing. I started following these two prominent artistes because I had a passion for music and fashion.”

Designer Ten recently released a single titled Ka Warm Up that has an accompanying video shot by Taurai Zidya of Pikicha Yedu films.

“I am a soul trap artiste and my music depicts the life I live. I have so far released nice tracks and three videos as I warm up for my debut album release month-end,” he said.

Designer Ten bemoaned lack of recognition in the showbiz industry.

“Financial challenges have been a major stumbling block in both my music and fashion designing endeavours. I wish if I could get a helping hand in music where I am much good than designing,” he said.

“I am working on more projects, having collaborated with RPeels and Beav City in some of my productions. In the next five years, I see myself among the best designers and artistes in Zimbabwe.”

Follow Ratidzo on Twitter @ratidzoanitago1



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