Chatsworth House hosts fashion exhibition sponsored by Gucci

Eggs from Chatsworth House’s famed chickens were immortalised in oils by Lucian Freud. (Four Eggs on a Plate sold at Sothebys for £989,000 in 2015.) Now a new exhibition, which opens at the house on Saturday, lays claim to another title for Chatsworth: that of the most fashionable house in England.

“This is the most rock’n’roll place I have ever been,” said Alessandro Michele, designer of Gucci, taking his place as guest of honour at a lunch in the Chatsworth sculpture gallery.

House Style: Five Centuries of Fashion in England celebrates the heritage of the house in design and in decadence through the wardrobes of its occupants. These include Bess of Hardwick, the most powerful woman in 16th-century England after the queen; 18th-century It girl Georgiana Cavendish, wife of the 5th duke, who was immortalised by Keira Knightley in the film The Duchess; the Mitford sisters; and the supermodel Stella Tennant, granddaughter of the 11th duchess.

Chatsworth House fashionA house is an unusual protagonist for a fashion exhibition, but Chatsworth has always loved to dress up. A costumed ball held in 1897 attracted royalty from all over Europe, and enthusiasm among the guests for the dress code of “pre-1815 costume” was such that the great couture house of Worth, overwhelmed with requests, was forced to close its order books months before the event. Lavish costumes from the party include a replica outfit of Jean de Dinteville from Holbein’s painting The Ambassadors, which was worn by Victor Cavendish, later the 9th duke.

Debo, the late Dowager Duchess of Devonshire and one of the Mitford sisters, who died in 2014, was photographed by Bruce Weber in 1995 feeding her beloved chickens in a red satin Balmain gown. Also on display are personalised baskets made for Debo by her friend Hubert de Givenchy for shopping expeditions in nearby Bakewell.

“I certainly tidy up a bit when I come here, and I suspect I’m not the only person to do so,” said Laura Burlington, a former fashion editor and the wife of the heir to Chatsworth. Included in the exhibition are a pair of well-worn Converse high-top trainers which the 11th duke liked to wear on holiday, painstakingly whitened after each outing by his valet.

Debo was an inspiration to Oscar de la Renta, Burlington was a stylist for Roland Mouret, and Chatsworth is now muse to Gucci. An unlikely romance between the Italian fashion powerhouse and Derbyshire’s picture-postcard stately home began when Michele chose Chatsworth as the location for a Gucci campaign starring Vanessa Redgrave, and was hosted overnight in the bedroom where Queen Victoria once stayed.

“The room has the most beautiful view of the park, and is decorated in cherry-red velvet,” Michele recalled. “I came downstairs for breakfast in my slippers, and everywhere around me were images of flowers and of animals, the same symbols that I love. I felt at home here.”

Gucci sponsorship has amplified what began as a passion project forBurlington and curator Hamish Bowles into “the most ambitious exhibition ever seen at Chatsworth”, said Stoker Cavendish, the 12th duke.

Row over mistreatment of models overshadows Paris fashion week

A furore over the alleged mistreatment of dozens of models behind the scenes at fashion week has threatened to overshadow the glamour in Paris, where the world’s top designers presented their collections on Wednesday.

On the same day that models took to the catwalk for brands including Maison Margiela and Lanvin, Balenciaga – one of the most influential labels – said it had sacked its casting agency after a prominent casting director said models had been subjected to “sadistic and cruel” treatment.

In an Instagram post on Tuesday, James Scully, a veteran of the industry, wrote: “I’m disappointed to come to Paris and hear that the usual suspects are up to the same tricks.”

Models getting ready at Paris fashion week.He alleged that at a recent Balenciaga casting, 150 models had been made to wait in a dark stairwell for hours while a pair of casting directors who Scully claimed were “serial abusers” ate their lunch.

“In their usual fashion they shut the door, went to lunch and turned off the lights to the stairs leaving every girl with only the lights of their phones to see,” he wrote. “Not only was this sadistic and cruel it was dangerous and left more than a few of the girls I spoke with traumatised.”

Balenciaga said on Wednesday that there had been “issues” with a recent model casting. In a statement, the French luxury fashion house said it had made “radical changes” to the casting process and had stopped using the accused agency.

“Additionally, Balenciaga sent a written apology to the agencies of the models who were affected by this specific situation, asking them to share it with them,” it said. “Balenciaga condemns this incident and will continue to be deeply committed to ensure the most respectful working conditions for the models.”

Maida Gregori Boina, one of the casting directors accused by Scully, denied the allegations and said that she condemned him “for posting inaccurate and libellous remarks”.

Scully, whose post garnered support from supermodels Joan Smalls, Helena Christensen and Carolyn Murphy, also accused the French label Lanvin of discrimination against black models.

Fashion in new bid to be truly sustainable

It is not a brand synonymous with style, but WWF in Finland, a branch of the world’s biggest conservation group, is teaming up with the Nordic Fashion Week Organisation in a project that aims to produce a truly sustainable clothing range.

Those behind the project, codenamed “The New Normal” say a new way of producing textiles will become a necessity as global demand for clothing increases with population growth.

“Currently, cotton production requires substantial amounts of water, chemicals, energy and land – while global natural resources dwindle in the warming climate,” says WWF Finland’s Miiju Sirviö. “Fossil fuels cannot be spun into polyester or other synthetic fabrics for ever, either. Yet, much clothing is discarded before the end of its life span and ends up in landfill sites. This project vows to drastically improve the ecological footprint of garments by encouraging and promoting tangible solutions.”

The clothes for The New Normal project will use a highly durable material recycled from textile waste by a Finnish company called Infinited Fiber. The prototype of the collection will be shown at the Helsinki Fashion Week in July.

Stella McCartney’s latest collection is 53% sustainable. It is not just the energy-intensive process of making the garments, the reality is that most of the clothes we wear end up in landfill. According to a recent Greenpeace report, the average European consumer now buys 60% more clothing items a year and keeps them for half as long as 15 years ago.

Synthetic fibres are one of the biggest problems. Manufacturing polyester, for example, which is already present in 60% of clothing, produces almost three times more carbon dioxide than organic cotton, and it can take decades to degrade – as well as polluting marine environments with plastic microfibres. And around 21 million tons of polyester was used in clothing last year, up 157% from 2000.

“Cheap fast fashion is a huge obstacle to a more sustainable industry,” says Tom Cridland, who started his own green fashion brand three years ago with a £6,000 government startup loan. “Theoretically, a 100% sustainable fashion collection is not impossible but we need more brands to promote buying less but buying better.”

Cridland’s unique selling point is the 30-year guarantee he attaches to his T-shirts, jackets and trousers. The notion that we can buy an item of clothing and keep it for much longer is taking off, he says, with sales now over £1m a year

Fashion models in France need doctor’s note before taking to catwalk

Fashion models in France will need to provide medical certificates proving they are healthy in order to work, after a new law was introduced banning those considered to be excessively thin.

A further measure, to come into force on 1 October, will require magazines, adverts and websites to mark images in which a model’s appearance has been manipulated with the words photographie retouchée (retouched photograph).

Doctors are urged to pay special attention to models’ body mass index, a calculation taking into account age, height and weight. However, unlike similar legislation passed in Italy and Spain, models will not have to reach a minimum BMI.

Under World Health Organisation guidelines an adult with a BMI below 18.5 is considered underweight, 18 malnourished, and 17 severely malnourished. The average model measuring 1.75m (5ft 9in) and weighing 50kg (7st 12lb) has a BMI of 16.

Thin catwalk modelAnnouncing the introduction of the new rules on Friday, France’s health minister said they were aimed at preventing anorexia by stopping the promotion of inaccessible ideals of beauty. “Exposing young people to normative and unrealistic images of bodies leads to a sense of self-depreciation and poor self-esteem that can impact health-related behaviour,” health and social affairs minister Marisol Touraine said.

Given Paris’s leading role in the fashion industry, the measures – passed in 2015but only just coming into effect – are likely to have a symbolic impact around the world.

The proposals had originally suggested a minimum BMI for models but, following an outcry from fashion executives and modelling agencies, this was ditched in favour of allowing doctors to decide whether a model is too thin.

Agencies who use models without valid medical certificates will face a fine of €75,000 (£54,000) and staff face up to six months in prison. Failing to flag up retouched images will incur a fine of €37,500, or up to 30% of the amount spent on the advert.

Louis Vuitton stages flamboyant cruise show in Japanese mountains

The Miho Museum in Japan is 9,628km from its Paris headquarters, but Louis Vuitton was founded to make expensive luggage, and glamorous globetrotting is very much the point.

The vogue among powerhouse brands for staging elaborate catwalk events showcasing their cruise collections continued this weekend with Louis Vuitton’s show at the museum, as famed for its spectacular setting in the Shigaraki mountains as for its collection of Japanese antiquities.

Cruise fashion has always been about status. Conceived to service a luxury customer for whom every holiday demanded a flamboyant new wardrobe, the cruise concept has become an elite catwalk showdown between the world’s premier fashion houses.

The hundreds of guests who flew in from all over the world to attend the show, including the actors Michelle Williams and Jennifer Connelly, were driven from their Kyoto hotels to the venue by chauffeurs wearing Louis Vuitton-monogrammed driving gloves.

Models during the Louis Vuitton cruise collection show.

The Louis Vuitton designer Nicolas Ghesquière has staged each of his cruise shows at a far-flung architectural landmark. This time, the show was held at the entrance to the Miho Museum, where a metal tunnel emerges from verdant mountainside and runs across a suspension bridge. The bridge – designed by IM Pei, who created the Louvre’s glass pyramid – formed the catwalk for the show on Sunday.

Danish model told to drink only water for 24 hours to slim down

A model who was told to drink only water for 24 hours before a Louis Vuitton show before having her appearance cancelled has hit out at the treatment that she and others in the industry face. Ulrikke Louise Lahn Høyer, a 20-year-old model from Denmark, who is a US size 2 or UK size 6, was allegedly sent home from the Louis Vuitton Cruise show in Kyoto last week after a fitting.

Writing an open letter on Facebook, the Danish model and current face of Chloé described how the show’s casting agent told Hoyer’s agent: “Ulrikke needs to drink only water for the next 24 hours.” Described as having “a very bloated stomach” and “bloated face”, she was sent home from Kyoto.

Høyer is the current face of Chloé’s S/S 17 campaign, has been photographed by Tim Walker and David Sims and has been on the catwalk for Stella McCartney, Marchesa and Oscar de la Renta.

Danish model Ulrikke Hoyer at Day Two Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2017She described the standards models are held to as “completely unattainable and directly damaging to the human body … Many of the girls don’t have their periods, and/or [have] changes the colour of their skin because of bad and incorrect nutrition, and almost everyone [has] a completely distorted relationship with food.”

She added: “What should have been a truly amazing and unique experience ended up being a very humiliating experience.” Louis Vuitton has declined to comment.

As Høyer admits in her post, cancellations are expected. But the verbal shaming, and what she describes as a “lack of respect and decency”, suggest a new low in industry standards, echoing industry watchdog James Scully, who said in a talk in December that the industry was in danger of treating models “like Tinder swipes”.

The responsibility of models’ welfare traditionally falls with the casting agent, who chooses the models, oversees the fittings and is responsible for the models during the show.

Indian Overseas Bank’s Q4 net loss narrows to Rs 647 cr

Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) has reported a net loss of Rs 647 crore during the quarter ending in March as against Rs 936.19 crore in the same quarter last year.
Bank’s total income dropped to Rs 5,661.70 crore from Rs 6,157.72 crore.
Total business stood at Rs 3,68,119 crore on March-end.

IOBBank’s CASA marginally reduced to 36.09 per cent as in March from 36.19 per cent in December last year.
IOB’s Gross NPA as stood at Rs 35,098 crore with a ratio of 22.39 per cent as against Rs 34,502.13 crore in December last year, when the ratio was poised at 22.42 per cent.
Recovery in NPA accounts in FY17 stood at Rs 8710 crore as against Rs 5872 crore in the year-ago period.

UBI net profit at Rs 73.6 cr in March quarter

Kolkata-based United Bank of India (UBI) posted a net profit of Rs 73.6 crore for the quarter ended March 31, the final one of 2016-17, against a loss of Rs 413 crore in the same quarter of 2015-16.
Total income in the quarter for the government-owned entity dipped 2.9 per cent to Rs 2,673 crore from a year before. Net non-performing assets increased by 7.9 per cent to Rs 6,592 crore, from Rs 6,111 crore in the same quarter of 2015-16.
Its Casa (current and savings account) share increased to 47.3 per cent, against 41.9 per cent earlier. Provision coverage ratio stood at 56.45 per cent, from 53.36 per cent a year before. The return on average assets remained flat at 0.21 per cent.

United Bank of IndiaIn a filing with the BSE exchange, the bank said its board of directors has approved the raising of equity capital not exceeding Rs 1,000 crore, in one or more tranches, during any financial year by a qualified institutional placement (QIP), a public issue, rights issue or any other.

The bank has already received Rs 418 crore from the central government and is maintaining this as share application money, pending allotment. It also raised equity capital of Rs 127.5 crore in March through a QIP, by issuance of 54,906,211 equity shares.

Bring Back the Velvet Trend, Now!

Velvet took the fashion runways by storm with the material making the most of booties, bags, and even attire. It is time that most clothing retailers will opt for velvet as a safe fashion bet. Many designers are experimenting with their creations as the preppy blazer now features velvet, along with strappy sandals, and handbagsthat are all treated with lush finish.

As far as fabrics go, velvet looks rich always. Velvet can go for a sultry look or a sophisticated vibe, and hits the bull’s eye every time. It is time that the velvet trend returns in a big way.

Velvet – synonymous with quality and richness

Designers nowadays have embraced the shimmery stuff and allure that comes up with velvet owing to its air of luxury. With the trend starting off, party-ready pantsuits, toppers, sneakers can now be seen in velvet, now you just have to match it with your wardrobe.

Gordon Richardson, creative director of Topman is clear about velvet’s appeal referring to the material as a perennial classic that hints at nostalgia, and is a good option to wear when the fashion industry becomes crowded.

Velvet clothes for Men

Velvet feature deep rich appearance and are seductive to wear. The sex appeal that it oozes and its coziness can be matched with the right attitude too. Most designers feel that velvet attire is a versatile staple and essential to a perfect wardrobe.

Richard Froomberg, owner of Grey Flannel also believes this to be true. He states that the material itself has undergone a renaissance in recent times.

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One can find skinny ties, a bow tie, a tailored blazer, or a tuxedo jacket all in shimmering velvet as most feel that they look smart enough for important occasions at workplaces in corporate tones.Velvet also looks modern when they are paired with flannel trousers or jeans, delivering a contrast in formal and casual clothing. For the trending range of velvet menswear,Shoppers Stop is our destination when we think of shopping our heart out.

What should Girls Wear in Velvet?

Velvet is in for most ladies in UK, as London girls are going gaga over Topshop’s velvet leggings, and even the fake-fur jackets that are doing the rounds. Ralph Lauren’s purple velvet pants are in craze in NYC while in Tokyo velvet dolly dresses are in trend. Velvet’s global domination is extended to more than 75 countries as retailers are shipping their designer velvet attire to different countries.

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Velvet and its Rising Popularity

David Wolfe, creative director of Doneger Group equates velvet’s rising popularity as synonymous to the age of today’s wealth-worship, because it feels regal. The signs of velvet comeback was heralded during the winter catwalks where blue velvet shifts, pencil skirts in black velvet, velvet biker jackets and velvet mini-dresses were doing the rounds.

Since velvet has had a long association with richness and wealth, it has now come in various avatars including stiff velvet, stretch velvet, with adorned crystals, bonded velvet and the like.

As some fashion designers believe, velvet never goes out of trend as it always lurks in the background. They even have some collections featuring velvet as the attraction sometimes. It is important though to have a perfect match with velvet attire. A complete velvet suit is not easy to be pulled off except when one carries an aging rockstar persona.

Pulling it off

A pop of velvet adds a magical accent to your look, especially when it is part of your footwear, especially if you are covered in knitwear. A velvet backpack also is a functional along with a fashion statement. You can opt for velvet designer bags from the best brands that can work instantly, as a game changer for you.

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