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Designers That Gave Fashion a Makeover

It is a very rare occasion that designers become an icon in the fashion industry. It undoubtedly takes passion, skill, talent, and of course, the right connections to make a name for yourself. Every now and then there comes a promising designer that is sure to make a dent in the industry. The question is, do they really make an impact in design history? The following is a list of designers that have made their name synonymous to the change that they brought to the dynamic world of fashion. While the names Armani and Valentino are missing, this list focuses on those that have introduced visionary ideas not only in the industry but also changed the way it is perceived by the public.
Diane von Furstenberg
Diane von Furstenberg was once married to a prince of German descent. This Belgian-American designer wanted to be recognized not for her ties to royalty but for a career that would surpass her title. In 1970, she invested $30,000 in designing clothes. She launched a new style of dresses- her most prominent design- the jersey wrap dress. With its iconic prints and colorful designs, the wrap dress is a testament to her talent that launched her career that garnered her lifetime recognitions.
Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent is credited to have launched the tuxedo into women’s closets. Otherwise known as le smoking, the women’s version of the men’s classic possesses the same sophistication but undoubtedly exudes more sensuality. He was revolutionized the fashion industry by making ready-to-wear garments reputable. He was also the first designer to use ethnic models as well as non-European culture in his collections. He worked under Christian Dior, eventually earning the respect of the designer. He inherited The House of Dior from the designer at the age of 21.
Vivienne Westwood
Vivienne Westwood is a British fashion designer, as well as a political activist, and businesswoman. Her involvement in politics and pop culture gave her cultural authority and this gave birth to a fashion revolution. She was able to bring modern punk and new wave into mainstream fashion. In more recent events, she was a guest judge in two of America’s most popular fashion reality television shows- Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model. Her designs were also featured in the 2008 film adaptation of the HBO series Sex and the City.
Christian Dior
This postwar designer’s claim to fame was the introduction of the “New Look” silhouette. His skill and mastery in lines and shapes introduced a new silhouette to women after the Second World War. This shape gave women a “flower silhouette”- a nipped waist, a voluminous full skirt, and a corseted top. His suits and dresses were often padded to balance the bust and accentuate a wasp-like waist.
Calvin Klein
Calvin Klein brought a minimalist and sensual face to American fashion. His underwear collection is a dedication to clean lines and sharp cuts that accentuate both the body and sensuality. His jeans, cut so slim that it glides across the legs of the wearer, gave a modern look to the decade-old fashion staple. His fashion house’s marketability is based largely on provocative images that shocked the conservatives of American society. The distinctive cut of his jeans are more commonly known today as “skinny jeans.”
Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren redefined the clothing choices of America. He took inspiration from elite prep school students and transformed their uniforms into something wearable everyday. He charmed his way into closets by making his collection exude a relaxed American lifestyle without foregoing taste and class. In a way, he made dress codes in prep schools appreciated and introduced “preppy clothing” into mainstream fashion.
Carolina Herrera
Carolina Herrera gave the industry a facelift by demonstrating that beauty and class go beyond surface level. She is a goodwill ambassador for The Intergovernmental Institution for the use of Micro?�A�A?algae Spirulina Against Malnutrition. She is also a recipient of The International Center in New York’s Award of Excellence, Spain’s Gold Medal for Merit in the Fine Arts, and the Gold Medal of the Queen Sof?�a Spanish Institute. She won the “Womenswear Designer of the Year” in 2004 and the “Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2008 from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Moreover, she received the distinguished “Mercedes-Benz Presents” title for the season spring/summer 2011 collection. Apart from the awards that decorate her name, her genuine heart has won the admiration of many in the industry. Poised with grace and class, her presence in the industry proves that you do not have to step on other people’s dreams and toes to become successful.
Coco Chanel
Coco Chanel embodied the true essence of power only a rags-to-riches story could conjure. Raised in an orphanage by nuns, she was taught to sew at an early …

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The Top 7 Things to Do in Dubai

The Top 7 Things to Do in Dubai

Dubai is a fantastic place in which to live. It is one of the most wonderful places in the world. It is sometimes known as the city of Gold, Festival city, or the Shopping Capital of the Middle East.

1. Starting with the big bus tour which is considered as the overall introductory visit to Dubai, those who are new to Dubai can book their tickets for this city tour. It is a very interesting opportunity for the people to visit the prominent areas in the city. During the journey, one can skip the ride or join the Big Bus. There is a guide who continuously explains briefly about every place they visit. This is not the only tour which one can enjoy in Dubai. There are many such options. There are air tours as well, such as the Hot air balloon tour and the helicopter tour. These are the most enjoyable tours. There is the Wonder Bus tour which is through land as well as water. These tours are a good source for visiting and getting knowledge about the worthwhile places of Dubai.

2. The desert safari tour, also known as Dune Bashing, is a very interesting one. One can enjoy this adventurous tour for the whole day in the jeep, driving in the desert, and experience the thrill as it comes bouncing across the sand hills. The tour ends with a dinner and a belly dancer show. This tour is different from other tours as one can enjoy its drive in the desert.

3. The next gorgeous place in Dubai is the great Burj Al Arab. It is a 7 Star hotel with several restaurants inside. It is entirely made of some of the most expensive minerals available. It is the major source of attraction to the people visiting Dubai. It looks like a Sail Ship from outside.

4. Another of Dubai’s major attractions is its large number of malls. One can never be bored in a city like Dubai, where there are great malls like the Dubai Mall and the Emirates Mall. One can even enjoy a visit without any shopping as there are many indoor gaming facilities in these shopping malls like ice skating and skiing.

5. Although you can go from one side of the city to Deira by any means like taxi or bus, the Deira Abra Ride is a very special and fascinating method by which to go. On this ride, one crosses the brook of Dubai. It is a cheap method of travel as well.

6. The Dubai Gold Souk is a prominent place in Deira, Dubai. There are plenty of gold shops all in one place. The sight of all that gold is a very different one for most. One can just visit the souk without any shopping and still feel excited.

7. The Emirates Mall in Dubai has its own skiing facility. One can rent the skiing equipment and clothing to enjoy the sport no matter how much heat is outside. Full day passes can be bought and one can enjoy skiing any time during the whole day.

Among the many reasons to live in Dubai, one very important reason is that everybody who goes there gets settled in quickly. Immigrants do not feel any problem in terms of finding accommodation or fitting into the society. That’s why it is becoming expansive in its population.…

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5 Useful Tips When You Are Shopping in Singapore

5 Useful Tips When You Are Shopping in Singapore

Do you love to shop? If yes, this article is written for you. Shopping is an addiction, which explains why there are so many shopaholics in this world. If you are a shopaholic, you will always have the urge to buy something every day. You will always plan holiday trips to popular shopping destinations like Hong Kong, Paris and Singapore.

Singapore is considered one of the most popular shopping destinations in the world. When you shop in Singapore, you will never get bored because there are so many shopping malls all located in one city. When you visit Singapore, you must go to places like Orchard Road, Suntec City, Sim Lim Square and Vivo to satisfy your shopping crave.

Every year, there is a Great Singapore Sale (GSS) period in Singapore. GSS usually starts from late May and ends in early July. During GSS, most popular shopping malls and boutiques offer up to 75% discounts for their goods. If you want to get more value for your money, plan your Singapore trip in June.

Now, let me share with you 5 useful Singapore shopping tips so that you will have an enjoyable shopping experience during the trip.

1. GST (Goods and Service Tax). All goods and services in Singapore are subject to 7% GST at the point of this writing. In some cases, GST is not included in the price tag. So before checkout, always calculate the 7% into your total cost.

2. Visit Singapore in June. As I mentioned earlier, GSS is held every year between late May and early July. So if you do not want to miss the huge discounts during GSS, try to visit Singapore in June. If you are unable to make it in June, you can plan your trip either in December or January because there are sales during the Christmas and Chinese New Year periods.

3. Bring more credit cards. Almost all boutiques, restaurants and major shopping malls in Singapore accept credit card payment. In Singapore, there are many shops that offer discounts for certain credit card holders. So do bring more credit cards, preferably of different banks so as to enjoy the different discounts.

4. Bargain. Don’t take the initial offer as the final offer. Always bargain when you are shopping at places like: Bugis Street, Sim Lim Square, Chinatown and Little India.

5. Make sure that the taxi drivers go by the meter. Although most taxi drivers are nice people who follow the rules, there are some bad apples that don’t go by meter when they see that you are a tourist. So for your benefit, always check the taxi meter when you board a taxi.…

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Teach Children to Read Food Labels

Teach Children to Read Food Labels

Childhood obesity is a growing problem in the U.S. More than one out of every three children is now overweight or obese, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. And that number is going up each year. Do you think this epidemic isn’t such a big deal? Do you think that it’s nothing to worry about because “all kids eat poorly” and they’ll just grow out of it?

Studies actually show that most of the eating habits we have as adults are developed during childhood. Think about those foods that you consider “comfort foods.” We bet that in most cases, you first started eating them when you were a child. Studies also show that 80 percent of the health issues we face as adults today are a result of poor lifestyle choices; only 20 percent are due to genetics. For kids, the childhood obesity trend is deadly serious. For the first time in history, today’s children are not expected to live as long as their parents!

Society likes to point fingers whenever there is a problem. We hear it all the time: It’s government’s responsibility to regulate unhealthy foods, or it’s the school’s job to teach our kids about nutrition. Well, as parents, it’s our job to oversee what our kids eat!

Parents who practice a healthy lifestyle are the best, positive influence on the lives of their children. It’s often said that “children are terrible listeners, but they are great imitators.” When parents have healthy eating habits, those habits are quickly adopted by their kids. And studies show that most of our adult eating habits are first developed in childhood.

One great place to start teaching your kids about healthy eating is at the supermarket. Teach them to read labels. This not only teaches them about healthy eating, it also helps them learn to read and improves their math skills too. Take your kids with you to the grocery store next time you go and point out these items found on the Nutrition Facts panel of almost every packaged food:

Serving Size: Packaged foods often contain more than one serving – this may be news to your kids! Learning this one aspect can lead to a lifetime of “portion control.” Many people think that a “standard” portion is an entire package.

Good Fat versus Bad Fat: Unsaturated fats can be beneficial, but should still be limited because of their high calorie count. Saturated fats (mostly from animal products and additives) should be limited because of their link to higher cholesterol levels and increased risk of heart disease. Trans fats (often listed as “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils) should be avoided altogether. These are artificial fats and pose a number of health risks.

Sugars: Simple sugars are a type of carbohydrate, and should be eaten in very small amounts because they contain a lot of calories and little nutrition. Sugar can come in many forms including high fructose corn syrup, which is in the news these days. It is important to know that all simple sugars are processed the same by the body – none is substantially better than another.

Nutrients: This is a pure numbers game. You should teach kids to look for lots of protein and vitamins on food labels.

Understanding the information found on most common food products is a great place to start teaching kids about healthy eating.…

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Gift Ideas For Bear Lovers

Gift Ideas For Bear Lovers

Whether you like the great beasts of the forests or the cute little bear cubs, either way receiving a gift with a bear on it will delight. This article is going to cover a few gift ideas for those shopping for people who love bears.

What is the smallest and most readily available option for shoppers? Bear Figurines.

They come in many different styles either showing the natural beauty of the bears or the cute and cuddly style. The style you want will vary depending on the preferences of the person receiving the gift, by looking at type of bear products they already have you will get an idea of the style of figurine to buy. Figurines are available in many retail stores and online shopping sites, all at a large range of prices. Find a store that is within your price range then browse and find a figurine you like. Crystal and glass figurines are great for those special occasions as the great detail involved in some will wow your loved one.

If you want to go bigger then look at home decor products. These are bear themed products to go around the home and come in many different sizes. A few types of products to consider are: welcome signs, bookends, paintings, cushions, blankets, throw rugs and more. These also come in a variety of price ranges and styles, so simply shop around until you find one that matches your needs.

For children you have the options of bear soft toys, tee shirts, hats, jumpers, and bedroom Manchester such as curtains, duvet covers and posters. You no longer need to worry about coming up with fantastic gift ideas for the bear lover in your life try figurines, or home decor products. And enjoy all that extra time spending time with your family stress free.…

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The Clothes You Wear Everyday Have a Global Political Economy

The Clothes You Wear Everyday Have a Global Political Economy

We have all seen movies or read stories set in the days of slavery in the US, where one of the original slave industries was cotton-picking for the mid west farmers. The fact remains to this day that the textile industry is a highly political one, relying heavily on laborers who work tedious and often dangerous handling jobs, while ownership of the raw and technological resources lie with global corporations. Their global context means that production of textiles and their natural resources occur in areas of the world where hard manual labor is cheapest, while their trade by the meter is marketed to the highest bidders in the west, or the urban centers where design and fashion have become an expensive and critical aspect of the local culture.

The Journey Your Clothes Take Before Reaching Your Home.

Fabric has to travel back and forth between these extremes of cheap labor and high-end design and retail, a number of times before you get to take it home to your place to wear as a clothing product. Between resource manufacture and retail there are any number of product development processes, beginning with the sampling of a new garment, which is done at the fashion house or design studios of a clothing brand. Ten lucky meters of cotton might come straight from the textile warehouse to New York, Paris, London, Wellington or Sydney, for example, and be handled by designers themselves.

Once product development is handed off for production, thousands of meters might be scheduled for major detours before reaching those urban centers again. There is marking, cutting, sewing of the product, laundering and labeling, hanging and packaging for shipment. This might all be done in one factory, but depending on a production factory’s specialties and delivery promises, fashion houses might have relationships with a series of factories for different processes, different garments or varying lines of clothing in their range.

The Politics of Processing and Handling.

Textile and garment construction factories are often clustered in special zones of a country with cheap labor, called export processing zones. If all the production within an export processing zone is being made for destinations outside the country of origin, indeed if all exchange and trade between the owners of the plants and owners of the end products is conducted in a stronger currency than the local country’s, the stability of the local workers in these zones is notoriously shaky, and the questions arise: Who do they really work for? Can their local employers evade local taxes, local employment laws? Ultimately, the price of their labor in the local currency is the profit margin for the plant owners, selling hundreds of garments at a time in a stronger western currency by the single unit.

Zones can be so large – and the nature of their production so global – that it becomes cheaper and more efficient to house and service their worker populations there, very much like a country unto itself. There is a chance for them then to pay even less to their workers because deductions can be made for accommodation and food. This situation gives the processing zone owners more political clout when dealing with their workers’ local governments, who may endeavor to fight on the side of their people, but have no real say in the zone up against the business demands of the more wealthy global corporates that the zone transacts with. 

But My Country Has No Export Processing Zone, What Does it Have to Do with Me?

It might seem remote to consider this from a ‘western’ nation such as New Zea land, for example, where the vast majority of textile resource, handling and production of the nation’s clothing is catered to from offshore. But New Zea land’s textile and clothing manufacture industries have dwindled and struggle to stay operating thanks to this vast and competitive operation in areas where the labor is so much cheaper, relatively. Western nations around the globe have governments that resign to letting these important industries go, ceasing to support them with business grants or tax breaks, because the investment seems hardly worth it in the global competitive stakes.

When you consider how vital clothing is to every individual on an everyday basis, it is sad to think that many nations cannot even realistically cater to their own populations anymore, thanks to the political economy of the global industry. Every nation that forgoes its own independent textile and garment construction industry is a non-sustainable nation.

Individuals in nations such as New Zea land come to take for granted that virtually all their clothing goes through customs and has a vast carbon footprint thanks to all that travel time around the globe. Sadly, this becomes even more …

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Shopping in Chiang Mai: Shopping Malls and Superstores

Shopping in Chiang Mai: Shopping Malls and Superstores

One of the best things about Chiang Mai is that, despite being steeped in culture and history as well as traditional arts, it is Thailand’s second-biggest city. While not as densely packed as Bangkok (a plus, not a minus!), it has attracted its share of modern shopping malls, superstores and specialist markets. Though you will be here for cultural immersion and a tour through the temples, botanical gardens and tiger farms, sometimes you just want something with a little more glitz and, not least of all, air-conditioning.

Central Airport Plaza is currently the most prominent, shiniest shopping mall in Chiang Mai. It is housed in a complex that includes an exhibition hall and huge parking space, offering a range of restaurants and familiar brand names throughout its halls from Starbucks to Pizza Hut, though it is in no shortage of independent and Thai restaurants, clothing stores, and tech vendors. Notable is its unique feature, the Northern Village, which showcases handcrafted goods from local cottage industries in an attractive, well-decorated area spanning several floors. It also has an entire floor dedicated to computers, gadgets, mobile phones and hardware that’ll catch the eye of any tech-savvy traveler. On its topmost floor is the city’s largest cinema, the Major Cineplex. The Central Airport Plaza sends shuttles to prominent hotels to pick up guests and will also send you back: their shuttle is a yellow-green songtaew with their logo and usually stops by hourly. The mall itself is located at Mahidol Road, conveniently close to the Chiang Mai International Airport, a golf course, and several restaurants.

Central Kad Suenkaew is notable for its brick facade, which distinguishes it from other department stores and buildings in Chiang Mai. Its general layout and setup are similar to that of the Central Airport Plaza, but thanks to its latest renovation being over ten years past, it sports considerably more grunge and less glitz than its larger, more modernized cousin. The Kad Suankaew is located on Huay Kaew Road.

Lotus, also known as Tesco-Lotus, has been a success in Chiang Mai and opened two branches: Hangdong and Kamtiang, along with several smaller “Lotus Express” convenience stores located throughout gas stations in the province. While not overly glamorous, Lotus superstores do offer a great deal of convenience and travel-sized shampoos, facial foams, soaps and toothpaste that are essential to any trip. They function as shopping arcades, and each Tesco-Lotus includes a bookstore, a Black Canyon (a Thai caf?� franchise), and either a Pizza Hut or Pizza Company.

Rimping Supermarket, a Chiang Mai-only specialty supermarket, started off small and humble but has since grown into a multi-branch corporation that aims at the more upscale end of shoppers. It offers fresh, made-in-house bakery that is surprisingly excellent, produces from the Royal Project, and many imported snacks, cooking ingredients, breakfast cereals and more. At the time of writing, there are three large branches of Rimping and a smaller one; the largest three can be found by the Ping River, next to the Central Airport Plaza, and at the Ruamchoak Market. The Central Airport Plaza and Ruamchoak branches have the bonus of being bundled into a shopping arcade so you can do your dining as well as your shopping in one trip.

Central Festival Chiang Mai is one of the new projects that will be open for business in 2012. It is being built on a land that covers 46,500 square meters located on the Chiang Mai – Doi Saket super-highway, aiming for the same market as the Central Airport Plaza, but more: larger, more modern, more everything.

Promenada Chiang Mai, like Central Festival, will be operating in 2012. The difference is that it will include a resort and is a Swiss project, which hopes to attract truly upscale shoppers much like the Siam Paragon in Bangkok, with the prices and selection of stores and merchandise to match. Being further along in development than the Central Festival, it’s possible the Promenada will open by the end of 2011 rather than mid-2012.…