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30/08/2017

Greta Kate on what you should know before your first wedding dress fittin

Take this to your first fitting.

“I love a bride who will take a few risks,” says Greta Rumsby, the founder of Adelaide-based bridal label Greta Kate. “I just want her to feel absolutely incredible on one of the most important days of her life,” she adds, even if that might mean being open to taking a few risks here and there.

Speaking to Rumsby ahead of the Adelaide Fashion Festival, which Vogue is partnering with to bring you Vogue Fashion Festival, she tells us she is working on her fourth bridal range which is launching on this year's runway. Rumsby studied fashion design before starting Greta Kate, a label she says focuses on an "effortless and uncontrived take on the traditional bridal gown."

“Fabrics are my inspiration for new ranges, and we use an experimental approach to developing new styles. We specialise in sourcing beautiful, textural fabrics from around the world,” Rumsby says.

The brand focuses on one annual bridal range, launching a capsule of 12-15 gowns each October to align with Adelaide Fashion Festival. “Adelaide is beautiful and in my opinion underrated. It may be a slightly smaller city, but it has a wonderful fashion community. I love being a designer in Adelaide for the culture, the people and let’s face it, you can run a business from anywhere in the world and I couldn’t think of a better place than my home town.”

For those considering the Adelaide-based brand for their own nuptials, Rumsby says Greta Kate is very much for the modern woman who wants to be a classic bride. She adds her best advice for finding your perfect-day dress applies to that first fitting – "trust the professionals and their gut instincts."

"Stick to what you feel good in and don't be influenced by too many opinions from others." Pay attention to how you really feel in each gown, and concentrate mostly on that feeling, as well as the opinion of the designer, who really is there to help you find the one. "I will always be honest with my clients as I want my brides, and my label, of course, to look stunning. If you feel amazing on your wedding day, you will glow and that is what is important," Rumsby says.

“The most important part I think Greta Kate can play is creating a special memorable gown experience from the first consult to the last.”

“The journey should be enjoyed just as much as the actual day.”.

See more trends at Adelaide Fashion Festival presented by Mercedes-Benz Adelaide from October 11-15. adelaidefashionfestival.com.au

Photography: Mark Dohring of Bentinmarcs


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19/08/2017

Gap shares back in fashion after rosier outlook, earnings beat

 

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Gap shares surged in extended trading after the retailer mounting a turnaround posted better-than-expected second quarter results, led by Old Navy, and lifted its full-year earnings outlook. Shares in the San Francisco-based company surged as much as 16 per cent before paring those gains to trade 6 per cent higher after reported that comparable sales, a measure of sales in stores that have been open at least 12 months, rose 1 per cent. That represented the third straight quarter of positive comparable sales growth but was slower than the 2 per cent growth posted in the first quarter. Gap, like other clothing retailers, has struggled to stave off competition from online retailers and fast fashion rivals — like Zara and H&M that copy runway looks at a fraction of the cost — and lure shoppers back to its stores. Moreover, a string of fashion misses at its Banana Republic had also eroded sales at the brand. Comparable sales rose 5 per cent at Old Navy, the retailer’s largest division, topping expectations for a 3.1 per cent gain. Meanwhile, same-store sales slid 1 at the Gap Global brand and 5 per cent at Banana Republic, compared with Wall Street estimates for a drop of 2.2 per cent and 3.9 per cent respectively. Net sales slid 1.3 per cent from a year ago to $3.79bn, just ahead of analysts estimates of $3.77bn. Net income rose to $271m or 68 cents a share in the three months ended July 29, compared with $125m or 31 cents a share in the year ago period, which reflected a 29 cents charge associated with restructuring plans. Stripping out a 10 cent benefit from insurance proceeds related to the fire that occurred on the company’s Fishkill distribution center campus, earnings of 58 cents in the second quarter were better than expectations of 52 cents. That came as the company noted a fourth straight quarter of gross margin expansion, which improved to 38.9 per cent, from 37.7 per cent in the year ago period. “With a third consecutive quarter of comp sales growth, we are seeing our investments in product, customer experience, and brand equity begin to pay off,” Art Peck, chief executive, said. And following the “strength” of the first half the company raised its adjusted full-year earnings outlook to a range of $2.02 to $2.10 a share, up from its previous projection of $1.95 to $2.05 a share. That was above the $2 a share that Wall Street had forecast. Gap shares are up 1.1 per cent so far this year having tumbled nearly 50 per cent in the prior 2 years.

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17/08/2017

It’s Now or Never: are Elvis jumpsuits catching on in menswear?

An exhibition featuring 40 of the King’s jumpsuits is opening in the UK – just as they are finally being embraced without irony by fashion designers

An exhibition at the O2 looking at Elvis’s career between 1969 and 1977 will feature 40 of his jumpsuits. The exhibition’s timing is also pertinent in menswear, where jumpsuits are in the process of becoming staples.

Thankfully, this trend is only loosely inspired by the King. Elvis may have worn a rhinestone and gold lame jumpsuit on the cover of 1975’s Promised Land, but next summer’s hit will likely be Miuccia Prada’s pit-stop version, which has a stripe down the side of one leg, earning comparisons to the kind of apparel usually seen at Silverstone. See also Alexander McQueen’s denim version and Louis Vuitton’s one, which resembles a silvery parachute.

It is not, granted, the jumpsuit’s first bid for menswear success – they appeared in suede at Louis Vuitton in SS15 and, the following summer, as boiler suits for Issey Miyake, in minimal navy for Christopher Raeburn and military-style on the Balmain catwalk. But it is the first time they are being discussed without irony.

Historically, jumpsuits have occupied two main camps. First, one of alpha masculinity and graft – known as boilersuits in the 1920s because of their workwear roots, these were looser versions of jumpsuits, worn because they stopped dirt entering underclothes. The not-dissimilar siren suit, worn by Winston Churchill, was designed to be slipped on en route to an air-raid shelter. Also worn for photocalls by the PM, it emitted a sense of preparedness during diplomatic meetings with Stalin.

The other infamous jumpsuit was a genderless, ritzier incarnation that came of age in the early 70s, during the glam-rock period. David Bowie’s billowing Kansai Yamamoto jumpsuit arguably paved the way for Devo, Kanye West and Perfume Genius to have a go. Somewhere in the middle is Sean Connery’s arch leisurewear, as seen in Goldfinger.

Bill Belew designed most of Elvis’s jumpsuits. Depending on whom you ask, they served another, practical purpose – co-costumier Gene Doucette claims they allowed for free movement; his ex-wife, Priscilla, said they constricted him. Either way, they became a core addition to his wardrobe as he battled depression, obesity and addiction – and were most likely designed to accommodate a waistline in flux.

As many women will attest, jumpsuits can be practical and, when styled correctly, comfortable. So, why has it taken so long for them to catch on in menswear? Some take issue with the cutesy name, not helped by the launch of RompHims – 2017’s Kickstarter success story – which manage to make jumpsuits sound sexist and infantilising. A rebranding is necessary, and that is where Elvis and the catwalks come in.

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