Madonna was too poor to afford store-bought graduation dress

Madonna had to make her own dress for her high school graduation as she was too poor to afford a shop-bought gown.The singer is now one of the richest stars in music, with an estimated fortune of $590 million (£450 million).But before she became one o…

Madonna had to make her own dress for her high school graduation as she was too poor to afford a shop-bought gown.

The singer is now one of the richest stars in music, with an estimated fortune of $590 million (£450 million).

But before she became one of the world’s biggest popstars, Madonna, real name Madonna Ciccone, and her family struggled financially.

Sharing an old photo on Instagram, the Queen of Pop told her 12.9 million followers: “My Sister Paula and I on my High School graduation day! We sewed our own dresses from Butterick patterns (dress emoji). I was always so embarrassed we could not afford store bought dresses. In retrospect Im glad i learned how to use a sewing machine (scissors emoji). Notice No cleavage or bare knees!! Papa Ciccone was very strict (laughing face). #highschool (sic).”

As well as her music career, the singer also turned her passion for making clothes into a business venture with clothing line Material Girl in 2010, named after one of her most famous hits. It’s a joint partnership with her daughter Lourdes Leon, 22, and caters to a teenage market.

The 60-year-old also previously designed for H&M, a range of sunglasses for Dolce & Gabbana, and launched a second lifestyle brand, Truth or Dare, in 2011.

Talking about designing at a low price point, she once told Billboard: “When I was 13 years old, I couldn’t afford designer clothes. I couldn’t afford expensive clothing. When I designed a line of clothes for H&M, that was one of the things I liked so much about it, that it was really affordable. I think that is one of the nice things about it, that you can make nice clothes at affordable prices.”

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Jewellery designer credits Meghan, Duchess of Sussex for reviving charity brand

The jewellery designer behind Turquoise Mountain has thanked Meghan, Duchess of Sussex for boosting the brand’s sales. Pippa Small works with artisans in Afghanistan and helps create and sell items available in the region as a means of bringing about …

The jewellery designer behind Turquoise Mountain has thanked Meghan, Duchess of Sussex for boosting the brand’s sales.

Pippa Small works with artisans in Afghanistan and helps create and sell items available in the region as a means of bringing about economic growth, as part of a foundation, which was co-founded by Prince Charles.

His new daughter-in-law wore Small’s designs last month (Dec19) during an appearance at the London Fashion Awards, where she presented her wedding dress creator Clare Waight Keller with the British Designer of the Year prize, and her endorsement has led to a sales surge.

The Wajiha bangle, Omeen bangle, and Oshna bangle are currently sold out, with many royal fans signing up to a waiting list for upcoming items. The demand has led to an increase in work for the local designers in Kabul.

“The artisans in Afghanistan are celebrating the increase in work for the workshop,” Small tells The Hollywood Reporter. “The school offers a haven for young men and women in Kabul, in a beautiful traditional environment where they can escape the violent and uncertain world outside the walls, they can work together and create… The very focus and concentration needed to produce a piece of jewellery offers a reprieve like a meditation from the pain of the outside world.”

The designs, which have a bohemian artisan feel and are handmade in 18 and 22-karat gold, have even become a must-have among stars in Los Angeles, where Small runs the Pippa Small Brentwood Country Mart boutique – Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Angelina Jolie are all fans.

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Rachel Brosnahan becomes new face of late aunt’s Frances Valentine brand

Actress Rachel Brosnahan has signed on as the face of tragic fashion icon Kate Spade’s Frances Valentine brand to honour her late aunt’s memory. Creatives at the label, named after Spade’s daughter, have unveiled the new Love, Katy line in tribute to …

Actress Rachel Brosnahan has signed on as the face of tragic fashion icon Kate Spade’s Frances Valentine brand to honour her late aunt’s memory.

Creatives at the label, named after Spade’s daughter, have unveiled the new Love, Katy line in tribute to the groundbreaking designer, and her company co-founder and best friend, Elyce Arons, thought The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star would be the perfect fit for the campaign.

“When Elyce asked it just seemed like the most natural fit,” Rachel told U.S. breakfast show Today of her new role.

“I think when you lose someone you love very, very much, you spend a lot of time trying to think about how to keep their spirit alive, how they can live on through you, and that’s through memories, but also, in Katy’s case, there is so much of her left behind.”

She continued, “This was an opportunity for us to celebrate her life and her legacy and how much she meant, not only to us, but to so many other people and the impact that she’s had on the fashion industry. It was a really special experience and the collection is just beautiful.”

The Love, Katy range, which features colourful bags and floral patterns, is described as “vintage modern” and is aimed at keeping Spade’s “designs and creativity and spirit alive,” according to Arons.

Many of the pieces also reminded Rachel of her late grandmother, as it was her sense of style which provided inspiration for Spade, born Katherine Brosnahan, from the very start of her career.

“I know Katy always talked about being inspired by my grandmother, June, her mother, ripping things straight out of her closet and I feel like that spirit still lives on as well,” the Golden Globe winner shared. “So it’s really lovely to see those special pieces of our family reflected through this collection and the ones before.”

Spade committed suicide last June (18), aged 55. Her death sent shockwaves through the fashion world, and Rachel was among the first of her loved ones to pay tribute online, calling Kate “insanely talented, funny as heck and one of the most generous people I have ever known”.

Reflecting on the loss seven months later, Rachel admits she and her relatives were “so touched” to hear how Spade had impacted so many people’s lives with her work in the wake of the “unthinkable tragedy”.

“It was something that really meant a lot to us and still does,” she added.

And Rachel urges anyone suffering from mental illness to seek help before it’s too late: “I know that it can be so difficult to reach up out of the darkness, but you are absolutely never, ever alone,” she said. “And please do reach out. And everyone else, reach out to the people that you love and remind them that you love them.”

Spade, who left her namesake label in 2006, co-founded Frances Valentine with Arons, husband Andy Spade, and another business partner, Paola Venturi, in 2016.

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Bebe Rexha touched by support over designers snub

Singer Bebe Rexha has been moved by the outpouring of support she has received after sharing her struggle to find designers willing to dress her. The 29 year old took posted a video on Instagram, in which she revealed she was finding it difficult to f…

Singer Bebe Rexha has been moved by the outpouring of support she has received after sharing her struggle to find designers willing to dress her.

The 29 year old took posted a video on Instagram, in which she revealed she was finding it difficult to find a dress for the upcoming Grammy Awards ceremony.

The star, who is nominated for two gongs, made it clear that she felt her size was a factor, accusing top designers of snubbing her because she’s a six to eight and, therefore, “too big” to wear high end looks.

“A lot of times artists will go and talk to designers, and they’ll make them custom dresses to walk the red carpet… I had my team hit out a lot of designers, and a lot of them do not want to dress me because I’m too big,” she said. “If a size 6/8 is too big then, I don’t know what to tell you. Then I don’t want to wear your f**king dresses… To all the people that said that I’m thick… f**k you, I don’t want to wear your f***ing dresses.”

The rant prompted several celebrities to salute The Way I Are hitmaker, with Demi Lovato and Adam Lambert among those taking a stand with her, while Project Runway mentor Christian Siriano sent words of encouragement via social media and offered to dress her for the Grammys. He wasn’t alone – Bebe also got offers from Michael Costello, August Getty, Tanya Taylor, and Elizabeth Kennedy.

The reaction was not something Rexha expected.

“I really just wanted to share my story and how frustrated I was,” she tells People. “I never expected to receive the amount of love and support that I did.”

Though she has yet to settle on a look for the Grammys, she knows what type of outfit she is looking for, telling the publication, “I just need to feel good!”

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Penelope Cruz stuns in new Swarovski campaign

Penelope Cruz has been unveiled as the face of a stunning campaign showcasing new pieces from Atelier Swarovski. The Spanish actress is featured in the glamorous ads wearing the jewels from the brand’s MoonSun line, which she pairs with an elegant bla…

Penelope Cruz has been unveiled as the face of a stunning campaign showcasing new pieces from Atelier Swarovski.

The Spanish actress is featured in the glamorous ads wearing the jewels from the brand’s MoonSun line, which she pairs with an elegant black, strapless gown. The 44 year old poses with necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings and hairpieces.

“I am proud of my partnership with Atelier Swarovski, and I feel lucky to be in a position where I can to help to shine a light on conscious luxury and create products that have a positive impact,” Cruz said in a statement.

The beauty also shared her excitement about collaborating with photographer’s Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.

“It was so wonderful working with Mert & Marcus on this campaign,” she gushed. “Like my Atelier Swarovski collections, they make me feel as well as look beautiful.”

Cruz first teamed up with bosses at the luxury accessories label last May (18) for a collection she named Luna, after her daughter with husband Javier Bardem.

“We were delighted to collaborate with the inspirational Mert & Marcus to capture Penelope Cruz for our latest Atelier Swarovski jewellery campaign,” Swarovski creative director Nadja Swarovski said in a press release. “It is our pleasure to have Penelope, who has brought her incredible creative energy to design these collections herself, as our global brand ambassador, promoting our shared vision of conscious luxury – truly beautiful products with compassion and sustainability at their heart.”

Meanwhile, in a new interview with W magazine, Cruz revealed how motherhood has changed her style.

“Since I have kids, my style has gotten more practical,” she told the publication. “I do like fashion but I also have to think about what works in a practical way. I used to wear heels every day, and now it’s only if I have an event.”

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Champion marking centennial with 100 Years for the Team campaign

Champion is marking its centennial with a special 100 Years for the Team campaign.The American sportswear retailer, which was started in 1919 as Knickerbocker Knitting Mills in Rochester, New York and is now owned by Hanesbrands Inc., is known for its …

Champion is marking its centennial with a special 100 Years for the Team campaign.

The American sportswear retailer, which was started in 1919 as Knickerbocker Knitting Mills in Rochester, New York and is now owned by Hanesbrands Inc., is known for its athleticwear and for outfitting sports teams such as the gold medal-winning 1992 U.S. Olympic men’s basketball “dream team”.

Now, Champion is celebrating the milestone achievement with a global campaign that will explore what it means to be a team in 2019 from the perspective of participating teams, clubs, squads, and crews across the world.

“This significant milestone for Champion allows us to reflect on what ‘team’ and the evolution of ‘sports’ means today to consumers around the globe,” said Jon Ram, group president, global activewear at Hanesbrands Inc. “Helping people come together as teams and being innovators in the industry has been an important part of our brand’s story since the very beginning. Now is the time to look ahead and celebrate how teams today have the power to change the world for the better, and how we assist in enabling them.”

The marketing will launch with a special film that features basketball legend Magic Johnson. In the video, Johnson shares his reflections and insights into what truly makes a great team.

“As part of the ‘dream team,’ I experienced first-hand the power of people coming together to achieve great things,” the 59-year-old sportsman commented. “I’m pleased to celebrate the power of teams in Champion’s 100th-anniversary campaign.”

As a well as highlighting teams throughout the year, Champion also plans to unveil limited-edition product collections, events, and influencer partnerships.

The brand has enjoyed a major resurgence in recent years, thanks to famous fans like Kanye West, Kylie Jenner and Chance the Rapper. It has also teamed with other labels, including Supreme, Vetements, and Timberland.

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Steven Kolb ‘asks designers not to cast models under 18 for NYFW’

Steven Kolb has reportedly urged big-name fashion houses to avoid using models under the age of 18 at the upcoming New York Fashion Week.Kolb, the head of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), has sent an email round, according to Page Si…

Steven Kolb has reportedly urged big-name fashion houses to avoid using models under the age of 18 at the upcoming New York Fashion Week.

Kolb, the head of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), has sent an email round, according to Page Six, ahead of the biannual fashion event, which kicks off on 8 February (19).

“As you cast your New York Fashion Week shows, please remember to promote diversity and inclusion, on and off the runway,” he wrote. “American fashion can lead the path. Additionally, we strongly encourage you to support the well-being of younger individuals by not hiring models under the age of 18 for runway shows, and to create areas backstage for models to change in privacy.”

He made a similar call last year, but it fell on deaf ears with a lot of the top labels.

Model of the moment Kaia Gerber, who is a regular on the runway in Paris and Milan, and Thylane Blondeau, who was recently named most beautiful face of 2018, are both yet to reach the milestone birthday.

Kaia is also one of Marc Jacobs’ go-to models, walking in his New York Fashion Week Spring/ Summer 19 show in September. And, despite only just turning 17, she also appeared in Calvin Klein, Coach and Anna Sui’s shows that season.

The news comes after Vogue, in partnership with the CFDA, vowed not to use models under 18.

“Young models are still developing,” Kolb said last August. “There can be a lack of the confidence, strength, experience, and maturity it takes to deal with the pressures of this work. The CFDA supports the recommendation of raising the minimum age – we want young models to have the time to come into their own so they feel safe and in charge in the workplace.”

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Karlie Kloss: ‘I love being married!’

Karlie Kloss’ life has changed “in all the best ways” since marrying Joshua Kushner last October (18).The 26-year-old model opened up about life as a wife during the 2019 Winter Television Critics Association on Tuesday (29Jan19), where she was promoti…

Karlie Kloss’ life has changed “in all the best ways” since marrying Joshua Kushner last October (18).

The 26-year-old model opened up about life as a wife during the 2019 Winter Television Critics Association on Tuesday (29Jan19), where she was promoting the new season of Project Runway, which she hosts.

“I love being married,” she gushed when asked about her husband. “Honestly, I just feel really happy. It’s so nice to just have a home base. I can’t explain. Nothing has really changed, but in all the best ways, it feels different. I love it.”

And speaking about how Joshua – the younger brother of Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law – supports her as she “figures out how to continue to grow my career and balance my personal and professional life”, Karlie added: “I feel really grateful that I have a partner, my husband, who’s an incredible support to me and wants to help me accomplish my dreams no matter what they are.”

Karlie and Joshua got engaged last July, and wed in an intimate ceremony in Upstate New York in October.

The blonde beauty also opened up about what she will bring to the new season of Project Runway, following the departure of former host Heidi Klum and mentor Tim Gunn. Former winner Christian Siriano will be stepping into Tim’s shoes, and both Tim and Heidi have expressed their support of the reinvention of the much-loved programme.

“Heidi is an incredible friend and someone I look up to,” Karlie added to People of her new gig. “I’ve been really grateful that she’s supported me. This is her baby. This show is something that she cares so much about and I’m really proud to be a part of it.”

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Maria Grazia Chiuri discusses Dior’s links to Britain

Maria Grazia Chiuri has reflected on Dior’s links with Britain ahead of a new exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams opens to the public on Saturday (02Feb19) and features a retrospective that spans from 19…

Maria Grazia Chiuri has reflected on Dior’s links with Britain ahead of a new exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams opens to the public on Saturday (02Feb19) and features a retrospective that spans from 1947 to the present day, showcasing the famous couturier’s most beautiful designs.

Dior’s creative director Chiuri, the label’s first female designer, is in the British capital gearing up for the opening, and she spoke to The Guardian about the importance of holding the exhibition in England.

“From the moment I came to Dior, the link with Britain was very clear to me,” she shared. “People tend to think of the Bar suit as being very feminine, and it is. But when I look at it, what I see is tailoring – really strong British tailoring. Almost severe.

“For anyone who works in fashion at a brand with a history, Britain is fascinating, because it balances modernity with tradition, which is what we try to do.”

French designer Dior was a huge fan of his European neighbour during his lifetime, and once stated, “There is no other country in the world, besides my own, whose way of life I like so much. I love English traditions, English politeness, English architecture. I even love English cooking.”

The new exhibition runs until July, with tickets priced between $26 and $31 (£20 – £24).

Talking about her post at Dior, Italian designer Chiuri also admitted that she’s “surprised” most days but still always wants “more”.

“It is not just about me, as a woman. I want this brand to be about women, and I want this brand to care about women,” she smiled.

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Rosie Huntington-Whiteley tapped for BCBG Max Azria’s spring ads

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has been tapped as the new face of BCBG Max Azria.The English rose will front the spring 2019 adverts, modelling romantic floaty dresses, sleek silhouettes, and chunky jewellery.”The clothes really convey everything. I think t…

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has been tapped as the new face of BCBG Max Azria.

The English rose will front the spring 2019 adverts, modelling romantic floaty dresses, sleek silhouettes, and chunky jewellery.

“The clothes really convey everything. I think the messaging is about an ambitious woman, positive, upbeat,” Rosie said in a statement. “She’s a go-getter and she wants to be stylish and put together at the same time.”

Stylist to the stars Kate Young, who counts Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams, and Sienna Miller as clients, has also joined the BCBG team, as creative consultant.

It’s a new venture for Kate, who’s a long-time fan of the U.S. brand, which was founded by Tunisian designer Max Azria in 1989.

“I’ve consulted for many brands, but no one really does this,” she mused. “I have a sort of old school love for the brand. For me, it has this association with moving to New York, which sort of goes with the ambitious working stylish girl. It’s fun collaborating together on colours and shapes. I’m just trying to bring a little of my aesthetic in.”

Following Azria’s exit in 2016, the label was sold to Marquee Brands and Global Brands Group in 2017 after filing for bankruptcy.

Kate has been quietly working in her new role for nearly a year, under creative director Bernd Kroeber, who praised her “refined” eye and sensibility. Power suits, sweater dresses, a pyjama set, and denim and ruffled dresses also make up the new collection.

“Most women have different sides to themselves. This season it’s more of an ageless tribe instead of thinking, ‘What does a 20-year-old need versus what does a 50-year-old need?’ It’s actually the same woman, just different aspects of her life,” the stylist added.

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