Largest wearable dress with 24,000 full color LEDs

The Galaxy Dress is the center piece of the "Fast Forward: Inventing the Future" exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. The museum is celebrating its 75 years and has commissioned the GalaxyDress for their permanent collection.

The GalaxyDress provides a spectacular and mesmerizing effect being embroidered with 24000 full color LEDs, it is the largest wearable display in the world. The GalaxyDress uses the smallest full-color LEDs which are flat like paper and measure only 2 by 2 mm.

The circuits are extra-thin, flexible, and hand embroidered on a layer of silk in a way that gives it stretch, so the LED fabric can move like normal fabric with lightness and fluidity. To diffuse the light there are 4 layers of silk chiffon that moves really beautifully as well. The extra-thin electronics allows the design to follow the body shape closely like with normal fabric.

The GalaxyDress is designed to work with a number of iPOD batteries so that the wearer can walk around (should last about 30 minutes). The GalaxyDress does not overheat and consumes very little electricity thanks to the LED technology used.

The GalaxyDress is lightweight, the heaviest part is not the technology but the 40 layer pleated silk organza crinoline that makes the skirt wide. The areas without LEDs are decorated with more than 4000 hand-applied swarovski crystals that make a gradient from clear crystal to bright pink, so the dress looks good also when it is switched off.

CuteCircuit is a fashion company based in London that designs interactive clothing and is the one that designed the GalaxyDress. CuteCircuit products are innovative intelligent clothing that integrate new functionalities into fashion through the use of smart textiles and micro electronics.

CuteCircuit is the first company to merge wearable and telecommunication technology to create emotionally rich experiences for users in the fashion, sport and communication industries.

One of Cute Circuit’s products, the Hug Shirt, was honored as one of the Best Inventions of The Year by Time Magazine. This same product was also awarded the First Prize at Ciberart Festival in Bilbao, Spain.

CuteCircuit work is frequently featured in books on design, art and innovation, publications include: World Changing, Fashioning the Future, Smart Materials in Design, Fashion and Architecture, Sex Design, and Designing for Interaction. 

Kingfisher Babes On Beach : Behind-The-Scenes At The Kingfisher Calendar Shoot

Fun in the sun with liquor baron Dr. Vijay Mallya, photographer Atul Kasbekar and the gorgeous Kingfisher girls.

The legendary Kingfisher calendar for the next year is well on it's way to completion. And from the looks of it, 2010 is going to be hot, hot, hot! Deepti Gujral, Dr Mallya, Tamara Moss, Sheetal
Menon, Moni Dutta, Atul Kasbekar and Shruti Agrawal strike a pose.

Atul captures a model as she strikes a feline pose.

Colourful light from the windows nicely complements the white bikini of the model. This one's from the shoot at Moti Mahal in Udaipur.

The sky makes a dramatic background for the gorgeous model.

Model Tamara Moss looks regal atop a beautiful tusker elephant.

The photographer and his muse, on board Kalizma, Dr. Mallya's yacht.

A model in a Diane Von Furstenberg bikini poses in calm and clear waters.

The stunning stone wall perfectly shows the model and her stylish bathing suit.

On the rocks for the Kingfisher calendar shoot!

Source: India Syndicate
Image Source: Atul Kasbekar


Saint Petersburg Beauty Expo – Successful Event

September 10-13, Saint Petersburg Beauty Expo “Nevskye Berega” at Sport and Concert Complex, having gathered more than 100,000 guests from many countries.

One of the brightest events in the field of the beauty industry took place in St-Petersburg. It lasted for four days, during which the city was attended by most noted professionals from different parts of the world: cosmetologists nail designers, masseurs, hairdressers, makeup designers, and project managers in the sphere of beauty-shop business, who just could not miss such an important event.

International Beauty Expo was accommodated on three levels of St-Petersburg Sport and Concert Complex (SCC), having an area of 15,000 m2. More than 350 companies, representing most leading brands of cosmetology, nail design, hair-styling, and presenting their most up-to-date developments, took part in the event. The exhibitors in the sector of cosmetologists and massage technologies specialists were especially noted. It is a well known fact that beauty is closely connected with one’s health, that is why more and more attention is being paid to this branch. This year nail industry was also represented on a grand scale: there took place master classes of different nail-design schools, and leading companies demonstrated their most recent developments.

For the first time within the framework of Nevskye Berega International Beauty Expo there was presented a special programme, delivered by famous stylists from Sassoon Academy, London, including Edward Darley, UK Color Director and Danielle Harvey, Senior Creative Director.

Throughout these four days visitors could also enjoy mastery of technique, displayed by stylists. Edward and Danielle were impressed by the scope of the festival and high professionalism of our masters, so they plan to come back to St. Petersburg with a special programme to attend Nevskye Berega on February 19-23, 2010.

The agenda of the events for specialists, working in different branches of the beauty industry, managed to attract a really huge number of them, and we may witness some steady interest in training programmes that professionals inevitably take. The events of the Festival’s agenda embraced all beauty-salon trends and branches, having paid attention to different aspects of beauty-salon business development and raising the level of masters’ and managers’ skills.

Wardrobe tips from Miley Cyrus' stylist Simone

Miley Cyrus fans seeking a backstage pass to get a first look at their favorite superstar's concert experience need look no further than Walmart. In all stores nationwide the retailer will offer a front row seat to an exclusive viewing of select footage from Miley's Wonder World Tour on Saturday, Nov. 28, at 2:00pm with an encore presentation scheduled at 5:00pm. Shoppers will be offered great prices on the Miley Cyrus & Max Azria for Walmart dress assortment, along with unbeatable savings on Miley's latest music. And in select stores with grocery, fans can also enjoy free samples of Marketside Ultimate Cheese pizza.

Airing on screens in the electronics and/or apparel sections of each store, viewers will be treated to:

• Behind-the-scenes tour footage
• Wardrobe tips from Miley Cyrus' stylist Simone

"Fans will have the opportunity to watch exclusive new footage of their favorite star in action on stage and behind-the-scenes while hanging out with their closest friends," said Dottie Mattison, senior vice president, apparel for Walmart. "In addition to the music and fun, our viewing parties will be one of the best times to shop for the Miley Cyrus fans on your gift lists this year."

Create an all-Miley gift pack with

Christopher Fischer Cashmere Expands With New Concept Boutique

Christopher Fischer Cashmere, renowned for its sumptuous knitwear, announced the opening of a new boutique at 1225 Madison Avenue between 88th and 89th Streets in Manhattan. Designed by Christopher Fischer himself, the store reflects the brand’s new retail concept - small, luxe and intimate stores that “wrap and envelop customers” in Christopher Fischer’s signature cashmere.

Inspired by design elements from the Christopher Fischer New York showroom, and a vision of a small but “trés chic” boutique in St. Germain in Paris, the 450 square foot store balances modern and contemporary design with traditional elements of richness. Wood finishes range from bleached and stained oak floors to naturally weathered oak trim on shelves and mahogany and exotic wood display stools.

The store is blanketed with natural textures including a leather center carpet, leather trims on drawers and small leather items for the home displayed throughout. Upon discovering an exquisite antique brass framing around the windows when stripping the outside paint, Mr. Fischer restored the framing to its original beauty and balanced it with contemporary antiqued brass hardware on the front door. The centerpiece of the store is a slated solid Wenge wood display table designed by Christopher Fischer.

Providing customers with the ultimate “one-on-one” personal service, the intimate store environment also encourages visitors to see, touch and feel the products “up close”. The store stocks a focused selection from the Women's Collection, in addition to highlights from Christopher Fischer Home, Little Christopher Fischer Baby, and gift items from the Men’s Collection. The store selection changes virtually every week, which provides customers with an ever changing assortment from both the Christopher Fischer Women’s Black Label and Orange Label collections. The store will also exclusively feature seasonal limited edition sweaters.

"We feel this is very much a test store for our new retail concept. It is our first store on Madison Avenue and the Upper East Side, which we hope will herald a new expanding retail presence for us in New York and other cities,” notes Mr. Fischer.

Bare Necessities introduces Shapewear catalog

Bare Necessities, the second largest Internet retailer for intimate apparel, released a direct mail catalog devoted entirely to shapewear.

The Bare Necessities holiday shapewear catalog features dozens of body shaping silhouettes, including body briefers, shaping camisoles, control slips, high-waisted briefs and bodysuits, from brands such as Wacoal, Spanx, Yummie Tummie, Sassybax, Miraclesuit and more. The catalog also highlights this season's most innovative shapewear silhouettes, including arm slimmers, shaping leggings, and the new under-the-bust body shapers, which provide all-over shaping without forcing a woman to sacrifice the perfect shape and fit from her own bra.

Wacoal's new all-in-one body briefer graces the front cover, and the back cover showcases SPANX Tight-End Tights, which are colorful opaque tights with tummy and thigh shaping properties. The opening pages highlight the six shapewear must-haves that coordinate with this season's fashion trends, such as fitted sweaters, skinny jeans, belted knit dresses and pencil skirts. Bare Necessities' complete assortment of shapewear from 25 brands can be found at its website,

"Shapewear has become such an important part of a woman's wardrobe, so we wanted to highlight the best of this season's new styles in one easy to browse catalog," said Maureen Stabnau, Senior Vice President of Merchandising for Bare Necessities. "Women are still learning about all of the slimming and shaping options that are now available, so this catalog allows them to easily view and shop the best of these new styles." 

Small Brands, Big Canvas

By: Sarah Jacob; Bangalore

Regional Apparel Cos Quicker In Store Rollouts

Driving a revival in the country's apparel business after a tough year is a slew of regional brands mushrooming in smaller cities and towns across the country that are now attracting the attention of private equity players. Brands such as Liverpool Retail India's Barcelona, Vir Retail's John Hill and Nahar Group's Cotton County that sell outfits at less than one-third the price of national brands are opening stores faster than the cautious national brands.

These brands operate in the Rs.150-600 price band, working on low margins and fast stock turnover. Their marketing efforts are mostly localised and they woo new consumers into the organised sector through discounted offers like 'buy one, get three'.

"National brands retail at a mark up of around three times, which is channelised into branding. We pass this on to the customer while retaining net margins of 8-10%," says Kailash Gupta, MD of Ahmedabad-based Liverpool Retail India. While national players focus on per-store profitability and saturate metros before targeting tier II and tier III cities, these regional brands bet on scale and dress up smaller cities with Westernised brand names.

"Several regional brands are challenging the might of big players within the value segment where a significant proportion of Indian demand exists. Many of them will soon grow into national players and capture share from established brands," says Baqar Naqvi, associate VP retail & consumer goods at Technopak.

Bangalore-based Indus Mandhana group's venture Vir Retail launched 50 John Hill stores for menswear and womens' wear in three months across small cities from Belgaum and Gulbarga in Karnataka to Bharuch and Baroda in Gujarat. Driven largely by the franchisee model, it is also working out a leaner store size to address specific labour pockets in the country.

Liverpool Retail's Barcelona digs deeper into rural India across towns such as Palampur and Mehsona. "Franchisees are also keen on partnering the discount model as the scale enables us to take back unsold stock and deploy it in markets where it would sell," said Sachin Sahni, Vice President of the Rs.200-crore Cotton County brand which has 600 stores. Nahar Group's Cotton County opted for the 'buy one, get three' model to tap into the mass market through an entry-level brand.

Disney’s Princess and the Frog line hit & hot this holiday

Weeks before the theatrical release of Disney’s upcoming animated feature The Princess and the Frog, the excitement for film-inspired merchandise is already building in a big way as anticipation for the film intensifies. Since its launch just a few weeks ago, retailers report that the merchandise has already begun out-selling other Disney Princess items by double digit percentages. More than 45,000 dolls have sold in less than a month with 17,000 selling last week alone. At one major retailer, The Princess and the Frog bedding has sold nearly triple the amount of regular Disney Princess bedding. At Disney Store locations nationwide and, the Princess Tiana role-play dresses are selling above all other Disney Princess characters.

The Princess and the Frog toys have also captured industry praise as the Disney Princess Tiana Just One Kiss doll tops FunFare magazine’s “Holiday Hot Dozen” and the Toys”R”Us "Fabulous 15" holiday lists. The doll was also recently nominated for the “2009 Girls Toy of the Year” award by the Toy Industry Association. Sales of the Princess Tiana Just One Kiss doll are up by over 150% and industry and media have reported it could be among this Holiday season’s sell-out toys.

The Princess and the Frog introduces Disney’s newest princess character in more than 10 years and the first African-American Disney princess. The product line from Disney Consumer Products (DCP) is supporting the film with a wide range of products spanning toys, fashion, home décor, food, personal care, beauty, stationery, books and an assortment for adults including collectibles, art, bridal wear and couture fashion.

“Generations of little girls have experienced the enchanting and magical stories of the Disney Princess characters. Now, with Princess Tiana, as the first new princess in a decade, they will experience a new adventure, woven by the master story-tellers at Disney. This modern-day princess character must muster her determination and perseverance as she faces and overcomes her challenges, providing little girls with another inspiring role-model,” stated Reyne Rice, Toy Trend Specialist at the Toy Industry Association. 

Wear Fruity Clothing with Banana Fibres

While the entire world is going ecological, its time fruits find creative applications, apart from eating!

Banana plant is endowed with virtuous fibres which has versatile applications. Though, the plant is more popular for its fruit, it has been a source of high quality fibre which is used to manufacture textiles. Banana shoots produce fibres with varying softness used for making different products. This plant is a good source of quality textiles.

Making of the Fibre:

The stem of the banana plant is cut and processed. The skin is then peeled off, and fibres are extracted. The extracted fibre is cooked in a big pot of boiling lye, an alkali solution. After cooking for several hours, it is then washed to remove the alkali. Using a tool, the fibre is removed from the skin. Soft fibres are used for weft, while the hard fibres are used for the warp. The fibres are immersed in water and squeezed lightly. They are then separated by running nails along the fibres from the root moving upwards. Individual fibres are joined together to make one continuous thread. This is a tedious and time consuming job requiring much patience.

The extracted fibres are made wet to avoid breaking, and are spun in a spinning wheel. The thread is now dyed steamed and dyed. After dyeing, the thread is laid out according to the design and passed through a temporary reed. The ward is wounded onto the beam and passed through the reed and heddle. The thread is moistened frequently to avoid breaking while weaving. Once the cloth is woven, it is washed, and boiled in an alkali solution. Later it is washed, dried, and neutralized in rice vinegar solution. Finally, the cloth is washed again, dried and ironed.

New Jersey - Promising Market For American Apparel Expansion

American Apparel, the vertically integrated clothing manufacturer based in downtown Los Angeles, has opened a new store in Cherry Hill, New Jersey

The 3,100 sq. ft. store is on the first floor of the Cherry Hill Mall, which is newly renovated and has undergone significant expansion. American Apparel is next to several other young, urban clothing companies, such as Urban Outfitters and Forever 21.

"Cherry Hill is a mall that is going through a major resurgence. We think we can become an important part of that and provide stylish, sophisticated basics to customers who previously needed to travel some distance to our other stores to get them," said Marsha Brady, a creative director for American Apparel.

This location features American Apparel's staple collection of basic t-shirts, sweatshirts and underwear, as well as the company's new product categories designed for the upcoming winter season, like coats, thermals and accessories such as hats and gloves. In its first week, the store hired five new staff members and plans to hire approximately 10 additional employees.

Woodworm new suits deliver exceptional waterproofing

Golfers looking for premium quality golf waterproofs that guarantee results without costing a fortune will appreciate the latest suit from Woodworm.

The Woodworm Golf Waterproof Suit delivers exceptional waterproofing without sacrificing breathability, allowing the golfer to stay dry and comfortable in just about any condition.

The suit is made from a 100% SwingDry TPU laminated waterproof polyester, with the breathable multi-layer material allowing the transportation of sweat and excess heat through microporous fabric - without letting in wind or rain.

Taped seams create a complete barrier against the elements while Velcro wrists and ankles add to the suit's incredible weather-beating properties. Elastic-enhanced sides allow for an unhindered and free golf swing while the trousers feature an elasticated waist for a snug fit.

The suit is windproof and waterproof and comes with 24-month waterproof guarantee.

Pamela Anderson confesses

LONDON - Former “Baywatch” star Pamela Anderson has confessed that she took cocaine when she was young.

The 42-year-old experimented with the Class A drug when she was younger but insists she didn’t enjoy the effects the illegal substance had on her, reports

“Well I’ve tried it and I don’t like it. I’m completely hyper and it actually doesn’t work for me. I’ve dabbled in things,” she said.

The mother of two admits she still drinks on occasions.

“I haven’t had a drink in a month, I don’t drink. I’ll drink champagne sometimes and I’ll get a little crazy, doing back flips and you know wrestling people on the floor, but I’m taking a break right now, my friend calls it ‘detox so you can retox’,” she said.

Jewelry Designer Dominique Cohen Debuts Silver Collection

On Saturday, November 14th, Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson and Nancy O’Dell joined luxury jewelry designer Dominique Cohen for a champagne reception to celebrate the arrival of her new sterling silver jewelry collection. The new collection, made up of large, fun, “statement jewelry,” offers price conscious alternatives to dc’s 18k gold and gemstone designer jewelry collection.

o Affordable: This new collection offers iconic, dynamic and price conscious alternatives to dc’s 18k gold and gemstone designer jewelry collection.
o Concept: Collection is made up of large, fun, “statement jewelry” with weight. Each piece has loads of the dc textures, shine, look and feel.
o Inspirations include: Mexican artisans of the late 1950’s, water, classic shapes and execution interpreted within the dc design language, French coins/champagne bubble texture.
o Sterling collection differs from dc’s 18k gold collection – gold collection is designed to layer, add to over time, and collect a continually building wardrobe. Sterling pieces stand-alone.

• Dominique Cohen’s Sterling Collection now available exclusively at Dominique Cohen stores (LA and NYC), Saks Fifth Avenues nationwide and Neiman Marcus online.
• Dominique revealed a sneak peak of her new fun and colorful day-to-evening clutch handbags with unique custom made hardware – embellishments include a Buddha head, goddess coin, butterflies and cross body straps for ease in wearing.
• Dominique’s signature 18k jewelry collection features unique chain elements, one of a kind pearls and stones and 18k rose, yellow and “black” gold. Dominique combines elements of layering and versatility, made to make a woman feel distinctive. 

Brandix exclusive apparel designs on the catwalk

The latest designs that propel high street fashion in leading international markets will be on display later this month at a rare exposition of current production styles and exclusive in-house designs by Brandix, Sri Lanka’s top apparel exporter.

Billed to be ‘a veritable feast for the eyes,’ the Brandix fashion show will be the opening segment of the Industry Fashion Show that follows the Ethical Fashion Symposium at the Mount Lavinia Hotel on the third day of the Sri Lanka Design Festival 2009 (November 27 – December 6).

As the Main Sponsor of the festival, Brandix will play a key role in showcasing to local and foreign visitors the depth of design and production capabilities that have resulted in the Group becoming a preferred supplier to some of the world’s top apparel labels, as well as the ethical and environmental best practices that underpin its business, Ms. Solani De Silva, Head of Marketing at Brandix Lanka Limited, said.

“Brandix is a committed subscriber to Sri Lanka’s ‘Garments without Guilt’ initiative, and has a world first in eco-friendliness to its credit,” she said. “It is most appropriate therefore that the Brandix show will be one of the highlights of a day dedicated to ethical fashion.”

More Apparel/Garments Company News - Sri Lanka   

Lustr Fashion Application launches with Nolcha

In celebration of its beta launch, Lustr is teaming up with Independent Retail Week: New York to bring its users and shoppers unprecedented access to fabulous boutiques.

Under the terms of the partnership, participating Independent Retail Week: New York stores, special promotions, and events will be listed in Lustr and searchable via GPS through the application's clean, easy-to-use interface. The partnership reinforces and expands the companies' shared audience of upscale NYC shoppers and retailers. It also offers a new tool for shoppers who have an iPhone and want to search for stores by geographic location, product categories, brands carried, and merchandise price points.

"We are delighted to be launching Lustr as part of this exciting event," says Gary Ragusa, CEO of GRGMobile Solutions, Inc."Nolcha shares GRG's mission of expanding retailers' marketing reach and effectiveness through best practices in marketing services and technology. We chose to work with Nolcha because of its strong reputation in the fashion industry and its special relationships with independent retailers that are consistent with the Lustr brand."

Independent Retail Week NYC is a week-long initiative-from Nov.14 through Nov. 20 this year-that drives business and increases revenue for small retail businesses in fashion, beauty and lifestyle. Nolcha, the platform behind Independent Retail Week: New York, is a leading operator of educational, event and business-to-business services devoted to independent fashion entrepreneurs and related retail businesses.

Hi Heels Fashion

Women to celebrate holidays in Roman Originals style

Roman Originals are having an exciting end to 2009. They have announced the launch of their new trendy accessories range, with a wonderful array of colourful clutch handbags and elegant ladies hats, perfect for the holiday season.

Like Roman Originals clothing ranges, their new range of womens handbags and womens hats have undergone the same rigorous testing to ensure that they meet the desired high quality standards expected. The range consists of vibrant beautifully made clutch bags made from fantastic fabrics and designs. Nevertheless, the handbag and hat ranges are not the only exciting new developments for affordable retailer Roman Originals.

Customers will be pleased to know none of their orders will be affected by the postal strikes. As of the 16th of November, Roman Originals will be offering Next day delivery within the UK, and will also commence international shipping.

Traditionally all Roman Originals ladies clothing and accessories were available in over 150 outlets across the United Kingdom. However, due to increasing demand for their well made garments, all Roman originals clothing and accessories are available internationally. Customers outside the UK will now be able to order online from Roman Originals just in time for the holiday season. On top of that, the company now offers free standard delivery for UK customers who spend as little as GBP45 on an order.

Customers visiting the site can also sign up to receive the Roman Originals catalogue. The catalogue is available on request to keep customers up-to-date with all the seasons' trends and latest garments from Roman Originals. For those who like to keep a close eye on fashion, there is also an email list to with the latest fashion news and details of their special offers. 

Dancer Darrin Henson ties up with Wildchild Streetwear

Streetwear company Wildchild Nation, LLC announces a new partnership with Darrin Dewitt Henson, acclaimed hip hop choreographer and actor. 

Wildchild Nation will provide online distribution of Henson's collection of garments and products as part of Threader, the first online urban clothing marketplace for the hip hop dance and entertainment industries.

Henson said, "Threader understands street culture. Their selection of urban clothing brands speaks to today's audience, as hip hop has transitioned into mainstream pop culture. 

I've focused on growing my brand into markets that have mass appeal, and Threader is positioned to be the next big thing. I had to be a part of it."

The respect is mutual as Luam, co-founder of Wildchild Nation, remarked, "Darrin is legendary in hip hop dance. He was the first superstar choreographer with the MTV video music award for best choreography in N'Sync's smash, 'Bye Bye Bye.' Darrin then built a huge brand with the 'Darrin's Dance Grooves,' DVD series. Threader offers him another distribution channel as he continues to grow his brand through his successful acting career."

Wildchild Nation is a lifestyle urban clothing company based in New York City. Wildchild Nation's urban clothing brand, Wildchild, produces men's and women's quality, trend-right designs influenced by the Soho, urban wear, streetwear, and vintage markets. 

Their Threader brand is the first Website of its kind in the streetwear dance industry offering everything from basic fulfillment of products, warehousing and customer support to private labeled manufacturing of garments. 

Fashion on the track Launches F/W 2010 Hot Collection

“Decadent and edgy, this season’s fashion hits the runway with a touch of the 80’s. This Fall announces rich textures in an array of fabrics from tweeds to patent and distressed leathers, shiny metallics and soft suedes.”- said Alex Bridgestone, spokesman for “Go for some glamour! Purchase a fashion item adorned with sequins, jewels or an art gallery collage. Enjoy the season’s decadence!” Bridgestone concluded.

LoveAndChic online boutique currently retails merchandise that is fashion-forward and up to 70% off competitors' retail, displayed on a user-friendly website. The staff uses its expertise and customer service-based philosophy to provide lower prices on nearly every brand in today's designer ready-to-wear market.

Those who have dreamed of scoring the best Versace Jeans Couture shall look no further; besides impressive designer denim, LoveAndChic boasts a large collection of Mens' office-to-dinner dress shirts from Etro Milano and D&G, among others. 

Taiwanese Fabrics Entice Indian Apparel Producers

At a trade fair organised for Taiwanese textile manufacturers, these producers have brought along with them a varied range of textile materials like functional fabrics, no-need-to-wash denims and many other speciality fabrics.

Christened the ‘Taiwan Textile Fairs in India 2009’, Tirupur is the first stop after which they move to Bangalore and Delhi. The fair has been organised by the Taiwan Textile Federation, Bureau of Foreign Trade, Taiwan, Worldex Group with support from TEA, AEPC and the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry.

Within the functional fabrics range, the Taiwanese are displaying fabrics which have anti-perspiring and fire-resistant properties, alongside which there are high quality performance fabrics which can be used to produce lingerie, swimwear and sportswear.

One Taiwanese company has unveiled a germanium fabric material which will help improve blood circulation and accelerate metabolism when doing yogic exercises. This fair is being organised particularly to increase sales of Taiwanese fabrics in India which are on a downhill since the last few years.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Sakhtivel, President of Tirupur Exporters Association said that, Taiwan was the best place to source manmade fabrics and his company was initially looking to import fabrics and later sourcing the technology and manufacture here through a JV. 

Haute Couture, Available Through Netflix Model

For many women, a $1,000 dress is something they admire in the pages of a glossy magazine or see draped on the frame of a celebrity — not an item hanging in their closet.

But a nascent Web site called Rent the Runway is hoping to make high-end fashions much more accessible and almost as easy as renting a movie from Netflix.

The mail-order service, which finishes the testing phase on Monday, allows women to rent dresses from notable fashion designers like Diane Von Furstenberg, Hervé Léger and Proenza Schouler for roughly one-tenth of what they would cost to buy in a retail store.

The rentals run $50 to $200 for a four-night loan and are shipped directly to the customer’s doorstep. After wearing the dress, she puts it into a prepaid envelope and drops it in the mail. Dry cleaning is included in the price, but damage insurance costs $5, and in the case of outright destruction of the dress, the renter is responsible for the full retail price.

Rent the Runway is a recession-era twist on the Internet rent-by-mail model, which has been used for things like textbooks and video games in addition to movies. Unlike those utilitarian items, however, the dresses offer a touch of Cinderella — on a budget.

Julia Harris, a 27-year-old graduate student living in New York, turned to Rent the Runway when she needed something chic for a fall wedding. For $50, she got a fuchsia Catherine Malandrino number with an elaborately ruffled bust that would have cost $495 to buy.

“It was so easy. You just wear it and drop it back in the mail to them,” Ms. Harris said. “I don’t spend $2,000 on a dress regularly, so it’s nice to be able to wear some of the more expensive brands I wouldn’t be able to buy otherwise. And instead of just buying one or two dresses for this season, I can still have a lot of things to wear.”

Rent the Runway was founded by two recent Harvard Business School graduates, Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Carter Fleiss. Ms. Hyman said she got the idea for the service last year after watching her younger sister agonize over whether to buy an expensive new outfit to wear to a wedding.

“Here was this young girl who loves fashion and was willing to spend a good portion of her salary on a dress that she’s only going to wear once or twice, and I thought, there has to be a solution for this,” said Ms. Hyman.

The founders say that more than 20,000 women have signed up for the service, which has been shipping dresses for only a week. Bain Capital Ventures provided seed financing, which the company used to build its inventory of 160 styles.

Rent the Runway declined to discuss its business strategy, but it is clear the company faces several risks. Unlike DVDs, fashion changes quickly, and there is no guarantee that the company will be able to rent each dress enough times to cover its costs.

In addition, retail stores in major cities have offered dresses for rent for years. Rent the Runway is betting that its shop-by-Web convenience and the appeal of its top-quality fashions will persuade women across the country to rent a dress for a special occasion without trying it on beforehand.

The company has also chosen to make the service invitation-only, which gives it an air of exclusivity but may limit its audience.

Jeff Roster, an analyst with Gartner, said that execution would be critical. “If my movie doesn’t come on time, I might be mad, but life goes on,” he said. “But if my fancy dress for a big important event doesn’t arrive, that’s a customer service problem like you’ve never had before.”

Ms. Hyman and Ms. Carter Fleiss said they had taken several steps to guard against service fiascos. For starters, they use a reservation system to ensure that a customer can get a specific dress for the night she needs it.

To assist with fitting, they have on-call stylists who can advise customers on how certain materials feel and how a particular dress might hang on various body types. In addition, the site offers returns within 24 hours for any reason and will include an extra size of a first dress at no additional cost.

Customers who want to be extra-safe can choose a second style as a backup, for an additional $25. And all dresses come with a custom garment bag and a “fit kit,” which includes double-sided tape, bra strap adjusters and deodorant stain removers.

For fashion designers, the service is a creative marketing strategy and a way to reach a new generation of customers, said Ms. Hyman. “If someone wears a dress and absolutely loves it, she will go out and buy it,” she said.

Although most designers are selling their dresses directly to the service, some are providing exclusive runway pieces that are not commercially sold in exchange for a cut of the revenue.

Christian Siriano, a New York designer who was the winner in the fourth season of the “Project Runway” reality TV show, said Rent the Runway was a way to introduce his collection to a broader audience.

“Even though most people probably know who I am, they don’t know the brand yet,” he said. At a boutique, Mr. Siriano’s pieces can cost as much as $3,000. On Rent the Runway, his styles are offered for $150 to $200.

Those prices are especially appealing in a tough economy, said Karen Scheck, president of Lela Rose, a label whose fans include celebrities like Anne Hathaway.

“In challenging economic times, it’s important for brands to reach a larger audience and age demographic that you wouldn’t normally because of the price,” she said. “This is a great way to do it without jeopardizing the brand.”

The real test of the service will be the quality of its collection, said Samantha Durbin, editor of, a fashion blog. “The key is to have really great products that are on trend,” she said. “No one wants to rent last season’s dress."


Denim Bandhani Saree and Salwar-Kameez

A five-pocket jeans is not going to work for a villager. Companies need to modify the product, not just ape the Western world. We need to have a connect with the consumer. You cannot just cater to the trouser-wearing women

Sanjay Shrenik Lalbhai, the 55-year-old chairman and managing director of Arvind, wore a denim trouser for his company's 79th AGM on Friday. It was a conscious decision, meant to carry a message: "Denim doesn't mean just jeans. Fabric cannot be associated with a form," says the man who joined the family textile business back in 1985 and made it the world's fifth largest denim producer.

In an exclusive interview with ET, he said the Rs. 2, 700-crore firm will soon launch denim salwar-kameez and, maybe sarees, as it bets on the domestic market to beat the global blues. Excerpts:

We have a huge domestic market. Yet, 100,000 units closed down and a million jobs were lost during the year-and-half global recession. Why?

India's textile exports stand at $24 billion. When demand in the export market was falling 20%, the $35-billion domestic market growing at 4-5% could not compensate for the drop in exports. As a result, units in clusters like Tirupur had to operate at 40-50% capacities, and finally retrench.

With a revival in demand from the US & Europe ahead of Christmas, do you see a recovery in the Indian textiles sector?

US job losses to the tune of 10% hit the apparel sector the most, as impulse buying came to a halt. All big brands saw sales shrinking, as apparels are the first to go off the buying list. Now, with the stimulus package showing results, there is confidence in the economy. Apparel sales are picking up, but for the momentum to come in a big way, US consumers need to get back the feel-good factor. This we expect to happen around the second quarter of next year.

What could be an alternative export market for India?

Japan. It is a big market. Almost all Japanese companies have moved into China in joint ventures. Close to 80% of what they buy comes from China. But now, they have seen a cost escalation. So, they have now started coming to India.

Union textiles minister Dayanidhi Maran recently said, "Manufacture and make money in India". Do you see that happening?

Absolutely. We are a large population, next to China. If you take Chinese industry, it is booming. Although, its export component is huge ($220 billion), the growth is now coming from domestic consumption. In India, we need to sit with the government and figure out how can we spur domestic consumption and move more goods to the organised sector from the unorganised sector. 

Recession and Luxury - The Global Market          Lean manufacturing To restrict cheap imports

Lilly Pulitzer launches Lilly Loves Green!

Beginning this November, Lilly Pulitzer is launching a year-long "Lilly Loves Green" campaign. Following the brand's 50th Anniversary "Jubilee", the launch of Lilly Pulitzer's year of green comes perfectly timed with America Recycles Week, which runs from November 8th to the 15th. Lilly has never repeated a print in 50 years, and this time their signature prints will raise funding and awareness for important green causes.

Looking back over 50 years, what really makes people smile are the old Lillys. Not wrinkled and old. But worn and loved and just eeking good stories.They have a memory of a vacation to somewhere sunburnt and wonderful. A mom saved them for her children. Or a cousin wore them, passed them to a neighbor who is packing and saving them for a sister. They're meant to be recycled!

Fortunately people have been recycling Lilly Pulitzer for years, whether passing it along to future generations to enjoy, or searching consignment stores for pieces they know will last for decades. So Lilly Pulitzer is introducing a capsule of items that are just that...the "Originals" collection. Launching in tandem with America Recycles Week, they embody everything that's treasured about Lilly and will be here for generations to come, in the hopes that wearers will enjoy them to the fullest and then pass them along. In other words... Reduce. Reuse. Re-Lilly.

The Lilly Pulitzer Resort collection features one print called "In the Slim", inspired by an iconic Slim Aarons fashion photograph taken in 1964 for the pages of Town & Country. Modern day "Originals" Kick and Kyra Kennedy, daughters of Bobby Kennedy Jr., carry on the family tradition by modeling "Originals" styles in Lilly Pulitzer's Resort campaign. They are following in the footsteps of "original" Lilly fans, Jackie, Kathleen and her mother, Rose Kennedy. The Kennedy gals even donated all of their modeling fees to family-founded Riverkeeper Foundation, an organization dedicated to keeping the Hudson River as green as possible. 

Three models compete in Miss Fashion TV 2009

Hanoi’s Nguyen Thai Ha and two other models, Ho Thi Oanh Yen and Nguy Thanh Lan, are in Hong Kong to compete in Miss Fashion TV 2009, which opened at the Dragon-I club on November 4.

The contest, sponsored by the International Fashion TV channel, has drawn 20 beauties from 13 countries this year. In 2007, Vietnamese model Nguyen Thi Binh won second prize in a similar event.

Thai Ha was born in 1987, is 1.76 metres tall and has a figure of 90-61-93. After winning fourth prize in the Vietnam Supermodel 2009 contest, she represented Vietnam in the Miss Tourism Queen International 2009 contest in China.

Beauty Ho Thi Oanh Yen from Vung Tau made it to the final round of Miss Vietnam 2008 and is now a model with the PL Company. Another surprise selection to compete in Miss Fashion TV 2009 was young model Nguy Thanh Lan who has appeared in many magazines recently.

JCPenney to celebrate Christmas with ‘Joy of Giving’

J. C. Penney Company, Inc. announced the launch of its Christmas gift program, bringing the “Joy of Giving” to life for its customers across America whether they shop JCPenney in store, or via catalog. The Company’s gift assortment this season reflects the enormous strides JCPenney has made to step up its style, while maintaining its signature quality and prices that make sense for today’s budgets.

“Consumers are focused on making smart spending decisions this season without sacrificing style or quality,” said Myron E. Ullman, III, chairman and chief executive officer for JCPenney. “This plays right to our strengths as we have a meaningful gift assortment that will make it fun, festive and affordable to select gifts for family and friends. Bringing the ‘joy of giving’ to America’s families with our best gift assortment offered through aggressive promotions and delivered with superior customer service and a convenient, easy shopping experience solidifies JCPenney as the one-stop destination this Christmas."

JCPenney Helps America’s Families Give Joy This Season:
Along with the Company’s vast assortment of must-have brands and convenient gift card selection, JCPenney is once again taking its gift selection to a higher level with its “red box gifts” collection.

JCPenney knows that more people will be entertaining at home this year, which is why customers can find a variety of entertaining and decorating items to assist them in creating a memorable Christmas experience at home.

JCPenney is also assisting customers to give and receive “joy” this season by making it easy for them to help those in need. Through a joint initiative with JCPenney, the Salvation Army Angel Giving Tree program will be available online, allowing customers to purchase a needed gift for a child or senior citizen in their local communities directly from

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