Natalie Loren is the striking face for Elizabeth Arden

Renowned British photographer Willy Camden – whose previous campaigns include Sony, Bacardi and Hugo Boss – selected Natalie to be one of the three girls to feature in this prestigious shoot. 

Photographed at Milk Studios in New York in late 2009, the high-profile campaign will appear in, to name but a few, GQ, Rolling Stone, Men’s Journal, US Weekly and ESPN.

This campaign is the latest accomplishment in Natalie's successful modelling career, which began when she was scouted in her home-town of Liverpool at the age of 16. 

Over that time her striking looks – the unusual result of having an English mother and Mauritian father – have secured her work, among many others, with leading names such as ASOS and Agent Provocateur and editorial features in FHM and Maxim.

Represented in the UK by LENI’S MODEL MANAGEMENT, Natalie currently divides her time between London and Los Angeles. With regular appearances on Entourage and MTV, a promising acting career is broadening her appeal both at home and abroad. 

Wear Red On Valentine's Day & Celebrate Day of Love

Valentine’s Day is a time to show your beloved how much they mean to you and why they are so important, but the pressure to pick the right gift can be overwhelming. The Bride Show Abu Dhabi is perfectly timed to bring a wealth of romantic gift ideas for the UAE capital’s couples.

Running from 10th to 13th February at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, The Bride Show Abu Dhabi will bring more than 200 exhibitors showcasing sparkling jewellery, haute couture evening gowns and abayas, handbags, beauty products, confectionary and home accessories.

The event is a one stop shop for brides-to-be planning their big day, but this year will also be the ideal place to purchase Valentine’s Day presents which are not always available in the UAE. And anyone who visits the show on the final day, Saturday 13 February, wearing something red to celebrate the day of love will be permitted free entry.

Exclusively launching at The Bride Show Abu Dhabi is the exquisite lingerie line Claire D, designed by well known Lebanese television personality Claire Damaa. The high-end lingerie, never seen in the UAE before, combines silk chiffon, silk satin and lace with Tahitian fresh water pearls to produce one-of-a-kind pieces.

For those who prefer a more traditional gift, but still wish to show how much they care, Forrey & Galland, producers of haute couture chocolates should be their first visit at The Bride Show. Taking part in the Abu Dhabi event for the first time, following three successful years at the Dubai exhibition, Forrey & Galland will delight fiancés and wives.

“A box of our white chocolate rose truffles is the ideal Valentine’s Day gift and one of our best sellers,” said Isabelle Jaouen, owner of Forrey & Galland, which established its boutique outlet in Dubai Mall in 2008. “A fusion of white chocolate, almonds and rose petals, it combines chocolate and flowers into a mouth watering indulgence”.

An ideal gift for the girl who has everything is a facial or beauty treatment from Kaya Skin Clinic. Beauty professionals from the well-respected dermatology skin specialists will be available to offer advice and consultancy with facials offered for all skin types. 

Towards Sustainable Fashion – Computer Technology Integration for a Green Fashion Value-Chain”

"Sustainable development" has become a buzzword in the present times due to the emergence of various social & environmental concerns. Increasing pollution from vehicles and industrial units, deforestation, excessive use of chemicals, plastic, metals and other non-biodegradable material, expanding landfill sites are leaving devastating impacts on the environment. Extensive use of natural resources and superfluous production & use of man-made articles along with tremendous waste generation is adversely effecting the environment. This has intensified the need to minimize the environmental damages and make the earth a better place to live not only for the present generations but also for the future generations to come.

To "Sustain" means "to maintain" or "to up hold". Sustainability is a wide-ranging term. It's important dimensions are

Environmental Sustainability - Environmental sustainability is the ability to maintain the valued qualities of the physical environment. It refers to preservation of the environment & natural resources.

Social Sustainability - Social sustainability is one important aspect of sustainable development. Social sustainability encompasses human rights, labor rights, and corporate governance. For a society to be functional & sustainable, the basic needs of the members must be met.

Economic Sustainability - Economic sustainability is about achieving economic growth along with ensuring the improvement in quality of life and the environment.

The Sustainability concern is applicable to all areas of human activity such as computing, design, manufacture, architecture, transportation, agriculture, to name a few.

The term "Sustainability" is being discussed for almost a decade now but its explicit and all-round intervention in the field of Fashion is a recent one. Its relevance in the Fashion industry is because of the highly unsustainable nature of this industry. Fashion Industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. It is the second largest water-consumer of all the industries of the world. Trends like global operations, fast fashion, increasing disposable incomes, increasing consumerism are intensifying the social & environmental concerns with respect to the fashion industry. An interesting area of research is to emancipate the role of technology integration in the fashion industry and its contribution in the emergence of an ethical and green fashion value-chain.

Some pertinent researches and distinctive initiatives in this field have enabled the evolution of specialized disciplines with a focus to understand, evaluate and reduce the carbon footprints of human activities and aim towards environmental & social well-being. A few of the emerging disciplines include Sustainable Design, Sustainable Architecture, Sustainable Fashion, Sustainable Tourism, Sustainable Agriculture and so on. This article gives an overview of sustainability concerns in the fashion industry and the technology intervention to address these concerns.

There are some of the very useful resources which give an insight into the concept of Sustainable Fashion and its gradual entry into the fashion mainstream. Janet Hethorn and Connie Ulasewicz in their book "Sustainable Fashion: Why Now?" discuss the various issues and practices related to Sustainable Fashion. Kate Fletcher promoter of "Slow Fashion" in her book 'Sustainable Fashion and Textiles Design Journeys" writes about ecologically sustainable fashion and textiles."Green Technology, Strategy and leadership for clean and sustainable communities" [3] discusses strategies for green and clean living. Eco Textile News [4] gives an insight into the latest developments in the field of environmental & social sustainability. The website Business Green [8] informs about Fashion industry signing up to green makeover. Sustainable Style Foundation [7] talks about "look fabulous live well, do good". London College of Fashion launched the Centre for Sustainable Fashion (CSF) in 2008 to function as a globally connected catalyst for change moving towards a sustainable fashion economy. 

International Apparel Expo – 2010 unveils on March 1

Manufacturers, Exporters, Importers, Buying Houses of Apparel and Garments all across the globe are gearing up for the “International Apparel Expo – 2010”.

International Apparel Expo-2010 – an online trade fair, will promote business and services for the textile-garment and fashion industries on a 24x7 basis removing demographical time-zones from 1st March 2010 till the 30th of April 2010.

International Apparel Expo 2010 is perched upon the reach and popularity of fibre2fashion as well as its global recognition. The Expo brings along with it many new & exciting features to serve the buyers and exhibitors to gain over the merchandise.

There’ll be seminars on the Corporate Social Responsibility, technology and design, venture capital in apparel, etc. by renowned speaker and this will be broadcasted to ameliorate the visitor’s experience. 

International Apparel Expo 2010
The “Buyers Lounge” will facilitate the buyers to access informative content in the form of industry articles, online magazines, trend reports, white papers and many more.

Some of the participating companies include Maple Tricot, Trendex Lanka Private Limited, Goldwing International Co. Ltd., Phong Phu Corporation, Venus Garments Pvt. Ltd., and Tuffwear Apparels Pvt. Ltd., and the list is continuing.

Champion Supersuit to be tested this spring on Mount Everest

Champion Athletic Apparel has unveiled its final prototype of its Champion Supersuit that will be the thinnest extreme-weather apparel gear ever designed and tested at high altitude on Mount Everest.

The Champion Supersuit insulation is just 3 millimeters thick, compared with a typical goose-down jacket thickness of 40 millimeters, and uses a nanotechnology insulation layer and a proprietary radiant warmth system. The result is a breakthrough ultrathin cold-weather garment that is no thicker than a typical computer mouse pad but provides equal insulating properties, greater mobility, and superior wind resistance than typical extreme weather gear.

“The Champion Supersuit uses advanced technology to conserve, capture and return heat unlike any other extreme-weather apparel currently being used on Everest,” said Mike Abbott, director of research and development for Hanesbrands Inc., the parent company of Champion apparel. “It has been a rewarding research and development project. By developing the Supersuit and other garment layers to be used on Everest, we have identified new Champion products to roll out and new features and enhancements to potentially add to our everyday line of Champion Athletic Apparel.”

Champion is outfitting a Mount Everest climbing team led by mountaineer Jamie Clarke with cutting-edge socks, base layer, insulating layers, soft shell jackets and pants, hard shell jackets and pants, and the Champion Supersuit. Clarke has been testing the gear and will wear a one-piece full-body Supersuit on Everest in April and May to keep him warm and mobile in the high winds and severe cold on the highest reaches of the 29,035-foot mountain.

“We were given the challenge to develop a summit suit that would advance the state of cold-weather gear, that wouldn’t look like anything else on the market, and that would protect climbers against extreme temperatures and conditions on Mount Everest,” Abbott said. “We have worked with several technology partners in and out of the apparel industry, including Element 21 Golf Company, which supplies the nanotechnology insulating material for the Champion Supersuit. We have made some significant breakthroughs, including the ability to use the nano insulation in commercially viable apparel products for the first time.”

Hanesbrands has a booth at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City for its Champion athleticwear and Duofold base layer brands. Champion is displaying prototypes of its Supersuit jacket in the booth, and Abbott and Clarke will be in the booth from noon to 4 p.m. Friday to discuss the Champion Supersuit project and the Everest expedition. 

Cocktail & Separates Collections At Pret A Porter

Stop Staring! Designs has an eye on expanding its massively popular line of vintage inspired cocktail dresses to Europe, announcing it will be showcasing its Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter cocktail dress and separates collections at the Prêt À Porter Paris international fashion rendezvous this week.

Stop Staring! cocktail dresses and separates are already sold in hundreds of boutiques all over the US, France, Belgium, Ireland, Spain, the UK and many other parts of the world. Their high quality, great fit and celebrity appeal leave them quickly sold out wherever they are carried, and are guaranteed to be a hit at Prêt À Porter Paris.

"Prêt À Porter means ready-to-wear, and that's exactly what Stop Staring! cocktail dresses are," said Alicia Estrada, head designer and founder of the Stop Staring! collection. "Our modern cocktail dresses with a classic flair feature slimming silhouettes and body hugging materials which make them perfect for any woman and any event, anywhere and anytime."

Inspired by glamorous silver screen women of film noir such as Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo, Stop Staring! is the leader in beautiful quality dresses made for modern women of today. Stop Staring! cocktail dresses offer a flattering fit ideal for nearly every body type, with all dresses available in sizes up to 18. Stop Staring! has been worn by countless celebrities including Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Eva Mendes, Kat Von D, Christina Aguilera, Zooey Deschanel and Ashley Greene from "Twilight" and "New Moon."

The Stop Staring! Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter collections to be shown at Prêt À Porter Paris include: slimming silhouettes, high waistlines, day-to-dinner dresses, sexy cocktail dresses, siren dresses, bombshell dresses, modern pinup-style dresses, sleek pencil skirts, and sassy peplums. 

International Apparel Expo 2010

Kids can live free with Zudaas

This season Zudaas France has launched their exclusive winter collection for Kids aged between 0 - 16 years. The range is highly diversified with a vivid array of colors and fashion, to make style trends attainable to every Kids and youngsters who want dressing with attitude.

Zudaas France offers colorful winter collection’09 for kids. Inspired with Global trends this new winter collection from Zudaas France presents a colorful range of clothing and style for the youngest of fashion followers.

This collection uses the finest wools, which are lightweight; yet ideal to keep you warm and safe throughout winter. The company has carefully scrutinized minutest of the features may it be style, design, texture or color. Keeping in mind the bold choice of kids wear today, color palate has been designed to perfection. The colors that have made a splash this season painting Zudaas the Kings kingdom world are filled with pink, yellow, Blue, racing Red, True Navy and Orange.

The collection has a wide range of splashy colours and patterns in zippers, sweaters, sweatshirts, tops, trousers, jeans, dresses, jackets, dungarees, tees, shirt, stockings, leggings, shorts, waistcoats, capris, coats etc.

Latest & Real Looks For Autumn/Winter At CPD

cpd – International Trade Fair for Womenswear & Accessories is perfectly geared up to its international audience. From 7 to 9 February 2010 cpd at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre will be presenting 1,010 collections – including a variety of new brands – with the latest looks for the 2010/11 Autumn/Winter season.

This means that despite difficult economic conditions cpd is on a par with last year’s event and is slightly up on the July event. Sensual concepts determine the design here making the cooler season of the year even more exciting than summer.Trends hover between global and regional, on a time line between the past and the future, caught in the balance between reality and imagination, in a calculation between the rational and the emotional and in the polarisation between the standard and the avantgarde. Very much true to the motto “opposites attract” the Autumn/Winter 2010 fashion trends look to extremes. And that’s exactly where cpd comes in.

Attention here centres on continuing the relaunch started in July 2009 with enhanced concepts in the individual segments. All areas of the fair were reworked for the forthcoming event. This means cpd will be presenting itself in entirely evolved, contemporary new design. Newly created style universes like Luxury Women’s Wear, Maternity and Big is Beautiful, as well as Concept 11, Gallery and Decorate, form the fashion tendencies throughout Womensworld.

The cooperation area Italian Suite (with Ente Moda Italia – EMI and Honegger) was also further extended and has now more than doubled in terms of exhibitor numbers. Further top fashion brands are to find a new home here over the coming seasons. Furthermore, thanks to rapid links in the city Düsseldorf offers national and European clothing retailers a concept that is perfectly adapted to their needs and thus a real platform for effective business. 

  International Apparel Expo 2010

SCC cyclists to wear Athletic Compression Socks

SIGVARIS, the global leader of graduated compression garments, will supply Southern Crescent Cycling Club (SCC) with the "Athletic Recovery", a sports compression sock for exercise-induced muscle soreness & post-practice recovery.

SIGVARIS, through the Athletic Recovery line of socks, already has strategic partnerships in place with established endurance sports organizations in North America, such as: Road Runner's Club of America (RRCA), USProTri, and the Cross Country Canada Olympic Team (CCC-skiing).

On October 29, 2009, SIGVARIS introduced a new Sports Compression Sock called "Athletic Recovery", an Active Therapy graduated compression sock designed to boost endurance, improve athletic recovery and peak performance. The compression sock-Athletic Recovery helps to flush out the lactic acids built up in the leg muscles during exercise, as well as relieve tired, aching legs and exercise-induced muscle soreness.

SIGVARIS created the Athletic Recovery for competitive athletes and weekend warriors as compression garments have become highly visible in all major sports. Whether it's during the actual event, after the event, or even while traveling, athletes are making graduated compression socks part of their everyday attire.

"As the global leader of graduated compression socks, we are very excited to be entering this new and emerging market segment of Athletic Recovery. SIGVARIS brings unequalled quality and expertise to a new demographic of competitive athletes and weekend warriors, many of whom may have been previously unfamiliar with graduated compression garments. The Athletic Recovery Line is the first SIGVARIS Sock in the new Active Therapy series, with several additional products to be introduced in 2010", said Jonas Thelin, Director of Marketing, SIGVARIS North America.

The Athletic Recovery is made of drirelease yarns to accelerate the water release rate of wet fabric, and includes environmentally-friendly FreshGuard to eliminate odors by blocking odor-causing sebaceous body oils from attaching to the fabric.

Additional Athletic Recovery features & benefits include:
• Lactic acid flush-out and relief of delayed onset leg muscle soreness
• Superior Athletic Sizing Assortment, comfort and fit with 50+ years of graduated compression sock expertise
• Patented drirelease and latex-free yarns with an embedded environmentally-friendly Freshguard treatment that virtually eliminates odors
• True Graduated Compression from the global leader of graduated compression socks

Southern Crescent Cycling is South Atlanta's first cycling club, started in 2006.

Golden Globe Fashion Wish List

At last year’s Golden Globes, a small group of young stars rocked some decidedly bold red carpet choices that still, to this day, stand out in my mind. The three chicest, in my opinion, were Freida Pinto in Christian Lacroix Haute Couture, Cameron Diaz in Chanel Haute Couture, and Maggie Gyllenhaal in Lanvin (this look, in particular, incited strong, sometimes harsh, reactions). 

For the 67th Globes, airing this Sunday, I have my heart set on seeing a handful of young stars wear looks by a few hot young designers. Here, what I hope to see Carey Mulligan, Chloë Sevigny, Anna Paquin, and Marion Cotillard in come Sunday (I love the idea of a short dress on the red carpetrememer the Calvin Klein mini Sarah Jessica Parker wore post-Oscars in 2001?) 

My red carpet wish list, clockwise from left: Carey Mulligan in Cushnie et Ochs, Marion Cotillard in Jason Wu, Chloë Sevigny in Prabal Gurung, and Anna Paquin in Jen Kao

Korto Momolu debuts fall 2010 collection at NYFW

Project Runway's fifth season standout contestant Korto Momolu will debut The Korto Momolu Collection, a contemporary female apparel and accessories line during New York City Fashion Week at the Union Square Ballroom on February 15, 2010. Momolu gained national recognition after participating in Bravo's hit reality competition series, and this will be Momolu's first showcase and collection since appearing on the show.

"This is my return to fashion week after Project Runway, so it's important for me to establish my voice," said Momolu. Known for her intrinsic creations, Momolu opted for a collection of serene designs that reflect her lifestyle, cultural and design background. "The fall 2010 collection is an eclectic blend of rich fabrics, detailed beading and infusion of northern African influences. It holds true to everything I am as a designer, focusing on fit, structure and detail."

Korto Momolu, a native of Liberia, West Africa, easily stands out from the rest and has already captured the attention of the fashion industry elite. The Korto Momolu Collection includes exquisite apparel designs and carefully hand-crafted accessories. Additionally, her collection will include a sneak peek at the signature handbag and jewelry line exclusively designed for Dillard's Department Stores and Dillard's online, scheduled to launch in all stores on February 15, 2010, coinciding with her runway presentation.

Pink Fashion

Shahid & Genelia unveil ‘Chance Pe Dance’ apparel line

Bollywood stars Shahid Kapoor & Genelia D’Souza recreated the Chance Pe Dance fever at the launch of the ‘Chance Pe Dance’ Apparel Line exclusively at Shoppers Stop. IIFA Bling for Shoppers Stop’s popular youth brand LIFE presents the „Chance Pe Dance Apparel Line available exclusively at Shoppers Stop stores across India. The popular movie stars spun their magic as they promoted their movie and trendy apparel line at the Shoppers Stop store in Juhu.

Shoppers Stop's hugely popular youth brand LIFE recreates the individualistic and trendy style sported by „Sameer (Shahid Kapoor) and „Tina (Genelia D'Souza) in their forthcoming mega movie „Chance Pe Dance. In keeping with the pulsating rhythm of the movie, the apparel line from LIFE spells comfortable chic and understated panache.

Shahid Kapoor's subtle look in the film is brought alive with sporty university T-shirts and stylish cargos. The LIFE apparel represents Shahid's look in the film in natural and clear-cut designs available at Rs 599 onwards. Genelia's free-spirited fashion is captured in spunky dungaree shorts, vivacious gaucho pants, and overalls in halter silhouettes. Genelia's bold yet feminine fashion in the movie is perfectly encapsulated by LIFE's youthful essence and chic style and is available at Rs 499 onwards.

Shoppers Stop has crafted exciting offers on purchases from exclusive brand LIFE for its valued customers. On purchases worth Rs.5000 or more, lucky customers will win a T-shirt autographed by the stars of the movie and on purchases worth Rs 3000 and above lucky customer will win music CDs of „Chance Pe Dance. And that?s not all, there is a grand prize of the original costumes to be won by two lucky customers!

Speaking on the occasion, Shahid Kapoor said, “I'm very glad to launch the Chance Pe Dance Apparel Line which is in complete sync with Sameers signature style in the movie. Its great that our millions of fans can now not only enjoy the movie, but also have a taste of the fashion of the movie. We have had a wonderful time making this film, and are sure our fans will enjoy the movie as much as its fashion.”

International Apparel Expo 2010

Black Label Accessories by Lauren Elaine coming soon

Designer Lauren Elaine, in partnership with 'La Maison De Fashion', will host an exclusive launch party and shopping event for the new Black Label Accessories line on Saturday, January 16th 2010 from 7:30-10pm at the popular Melrose Avenue storefront. In addition to an official collection debut, a percentage of proceeds from sales during event will go to benefit Ovarian Cancer. The event kicks off with celebrity arrivals from 7:30-9pm, and an ongoing collection installation beginning at 8:00pm.

For the Black Label Accessories line, designer Lauren Elaine combines classic elegance with an exaggerated bohemian edge to create a stand-out collection of headbands and unique hair accessories complimentary to her popular "Black Label" couture dress line, already carried at 'La Maison.'

The one-stop premiere designer resource, popular with editors and stylists, will be the first boutique in Los Angeles to feature the new line-showcasing a variety of handmade couture-style pieces with lavish adornments, detailed beadwork, and exotic feathers. 

Inspired by period films and all things vintage, Designer Lauren Elaine promises a collection of bold, editorial-worthy pieces that mix past with present, and cocktail with everyday. "They are the sort of accessory you throw on to jazz up a simple white tank, and loosen up a little-black-dress," says Elaine.

Dreams partners with NFL superstar Donovan McNabb

Dreams, Inc. the vertically integrated leader in the licensed sports products industry, has launched NFL Superstar Donovan McNabb’s Official Fan Shop and will be marketing on an exclusive basis, Donovan McNabb autographed memorabilia in 2010. The web syndication deal enhances the players’ site roster of Dreams, Inc.’s with such high-profile athletes as Pete Rose, Ladainian Tomlinson, Dan Marino, John Elway, Barry Sanders, Dick Butkus and Ben Roethlisberger.

“We are excited to be working with NFL superstar Donovan McNabb to host his fan shop,” said Kevin Bates, Dreams Retail President and FansEdge Founder. “The Fan Shop will be a true 'destination' for Donovan McNabb and Eagles merchandise and combined with our trademark e-commerce technology, marketing and cataloging expertise, superior customer service and same day shipping, will truly create a wonderful experience for Donovan McNabb fans.”

The Donovan McNabb Fan Shop will incorporate the 'look and feel' of the content site and target men, women, adults and children. Available products on the site include apparel, headwear, collectibles, gifts, home decor and limited edition autographed memorabilia. Visitors can also choose from the more than 150,000 licensed team items that Dreams Retail offers online.

Furthermore, exclusive Donovan McNabb memorabilia will be available in the newly created fan shop in addition to Dream’s flagship web site and Dreams syndication sites such as and the Philadelphia Eagles fan site. 

Australian Clothing Retail Sales Rise By 1.4%

Australian retail sales rose in November by the most in eight months as households spent more on clothing and food.

Consumer spending is stoking economic growth that the central bank says will accelerate in 2010, extending 18 straight years of annual expansion and fueling profits at retailers including David Jones Ltd. Governor Glenn Stevens raised interest rates on Dec. 1 by a quarter percentage point for a third month and will move again this quarter, investors predict.

“Spending is holding up well,” Bill Evans, chief economist at Westpac Banking Corp. in Sydney, said ahead of today’s report. “Sentiment remained on a high in November despite back-to-back interest-rate increases,” helped by increased hiring by companies.

Spending on clothes rose 2.5 percent and household goods sales gained 1.7 percent, today’s report showed. Consumers spent 1.6 percent more on food.

Boxing Day sales last month at JB Hi-Fi Ltd., the best performing retailer in Australia’s benchmark stock index in 2009, were “a lot better” than a year earlier, chief executive officer Richard Uechtritz told the Australian newspaper last week.

Auto Sales

Myer Holdings Ltd. and David Jones, Australia’s largest department-store chains, posted higher sales in their fiscal first quarter as the nation’s expansion and a drop in unemployment enticed consumers to spend more on clothing and cosmetics.

Sales of new cars and trucks surged a record 15.9 percent in December from a year earlier, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries said yesterday in a report.

Consumer confidence jumped in October to near its highest level in almost six years, before falling in November and last month after Governor Stevens and his board increased the overnight cash rate target to 3.75 percent.

Investors are betting there is a 50 percent chance of a quarter-point increase in the benchmark lending rate to 4 percent at the central bank’s next meeting on Feb. 2, according to Bloomberg calculations based on interbank futures on the Sydney Futures Exchange at 9:03 a.m. Chances of a quarter-point move in March are at 96 percent.

Government Stimulus

Gross domestic product rose 0.2 percent in three months through September, the third straight quarter of growth, helped by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s decision to spend A$22 billion ($20 billion) on roads, ports and schools.

Australia’s economy, one of few in the world to skirt last year’s recession, is also generating more jobs than the central bank and government forecast early in 2009.

Employers added 99,500 new jobs in the three months through November, boosted by companies such as Chevron Corp., which is expanding liquefied natural gas ventures in Western Australia to meet rising global demand for energy.

The jobless rate fell to 5.7 percent in November from 5.8 percent in October, a report showed on Dec. 10.

Still, some retailers say the central bank’s interest-rate increases in October, November and December may damp consumer spending in coming months.

Last year’s interest-rate increases added about A$150 to monthly repayments on an average A$300,000 home loan, and may prompt consumers to trim spending that surged in the first half of the year after Prime Minister Rudd distributed more than A$20 billion in cash handouts to households.

A report published yesterday showed the nation’s services industry stalled in December as companies reported a slump in new orders and suppliers cut deliveries.

Specialty Fashion Group Ltd., an Australian clothing retailer, said yesterday that trading over the Christmas to New Year holiday period was “tough.”

Source :

Heidi Klum To Launch Lavish & Loved Maternity Lines

Over the years, supermodel Heidi Klum has walked miles of red carpet, usually in six-inch heels, often wearing very little, sometimes wearing giant wings. Add to that seven seasons of Project Runway, plus four kids, equals one very busy schedule. But there is no stopping this supermom. Heidi has just announced her collaboration with A Pea in the Pod and Motherhood Maternity to create two new maternity lines: LAVISH BY HEIDI KLUM for A Pea in the Pod, and LOVED BY HEIDI KLUM for Motherhood, both arriving in stores and online on February 12, 2010.

"I chose to call my collection for A Pea in the Pod Lavish because there is no grander name to express everything you want to give yourself and the child growing within you," said Heidi Klum. "For Motherhood Maternity, Loved is a celebration of new life and the love around you and your baby. 

I experienced fashion challenges during my four pregnancies and combined my knowledge of what works in terms of style, comfort and practicality to create these lines. They are all about making you feel beautiful; being pregnant shouldn't stop you from being fashionable and feeling great about your changing body. It's an exciting journey."

"Heidi brings with her a tremendous amount of creative energy," said Rebecca Matthias, President and Chief Creative Officer of A Pea in the Pod and Motherhood Maternity. "She lives and breathes fashion. 

Heidi's experience and stunning beauty add a new dimension to our brands. We were thrilled to have Heidi as a client through each of her beautiful pregnancies, so we are especially excited to continue our relationship with her in this design collaboration."

Winter Fashion Dress Accessories

Eschler’s Ice Innovations To Appear At 2010 Winter Olympics

In 1974 a Swiss speed skater named Franz Krienbühl developed the fi rst one-piece speed skating suit to optimize the aerodynamics of his racing gear. Today, 35 years later, Switzerland is still the home of innovative sports apparel. Swiss knitwear specialist Christian Eschler AG presents high tech fabrics for the speed suits of various national teams at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.

Managed by the third generation, Swiss brand ESCHLER has a long and famous tradition in developing premium knitwear for elite sportswear. For the Winter Games in Vancouver, ESCHLER supplies brands Nike and Descente that produce the speed skating racing gear for the world’s leading speed skating nations.Nike engineers the suits for the US, Dutch and South-Korean national teams, Descente for the Japanese and Canadian squads.

Four different ESCHLER fabrics are used in one single speed skating suit. Each body zone is equipped with a particular construction: the one-suit system utilizes extremely durable and cut resistant fabric in critical zones which are specified by the International Skating Union (ISU). Tight compression material on the thighs reduce muscle vibration and support the muscle movement. While behind the knee and on the inner thigh, thin, yet durable fabric is used. 

Further, mesh inserts guarantee improved moisture management and ventilation. The material surface has been optimized in many lab and wind tunnel tests – in the end, aerodynamics are a crucial factor when it comes to shave off those milliseconds that separate the gold medalist from the rest.

Amazing Red Winter Coats

Star Ensembles: Daringly Dashing In Bold Colors

Celebrities have gone crazy for Crayola.

They've been ablaze in pinks and purples and blues, mixing and matching bright attire with equally eye-catching accessories on red carpets.

But fashionistas beware: If your name isn't Rihanna, Natalie or Diane, proceed with caution, because you might end up looking more cartoonish than couture.

"There's a difference between red carpet and runway and real life," says Jill Martin, author of Fashion for Dummies. "You look in the mirror and if you think you look like a clown, you probably do. I always say, err on the side of caution. Pick one piece and build around it using complementary colors."

Her rule of thumb is simple: Like works with like.

"People think if you have a bright pair of shoes, you can only wear them with all-black. That's not true," Martin says. "You can pair bright pink shoes with a pale pink argyle cardigan. You can mix and match colors in that family."

Sure, bolder can be better. And it's refreshing to see people in something other than basic black.

But keep in mind that red-carpet and runway looks are most often put together by professional stylists, who are pros at what they do. And the outfits are meant to be attention-grabbing and as daring as possible.

"A celebrity wants to make a statement and stand out," Martin says. "You probably would not wear an outfit like that to dinner."

Martin's take on some recent vivid star ensembles.

Elizabeth Hurley glowed in a red and pink outfit, paired with a muted clutch and shoes, at the December premiere of Did Your Hear About the Morgans? in London.

This look, Martin says, "totally works. Even though the outfit has two colors, the pink is paler and blends nicely with her skin tone, while the red is darker and it pops. The two colors are not competing. In fact, they are complementary. The neutral shoes and bag, along with the minimal, simple jewelry, tie the whole thing together, without overpowering the outfit."

Natalie Portman stepped out in a strapless blue Jason Wu frock, paired with purple Aldo pumps and a yellow clutch, in November in New York.

"The reason this worked is because these are all complementary colors, and the color that pops is the yellow clutch," Martin says. "All the other colors are in the same family. The clutch was the focal point. Natalie has always had her own sense of style. Plus she's on the red carpet."

Diane Kruger wore a black, blue and white patterned Balenciaga dress, paired with polka-dot tights and a hot-pink clutch, to an Elle tribute in Beverly Hills in October.

"This is about mixing patterns," Martin says. "This is a red-carpet edgier look that you can't pull off across the board. A real-life way to wear this dress is with opaque tights with a peep-toe shoe."

Freida Pinto, at the Louis Vuitton fashion show in Paris in October, paired a blue top and skirt with black booties and a fuchsia bag.

"She's still trying to find her personal style, but this again is not a real-life look," Martin says. "She's mixing and matching fancier items with more casual ones."

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New Works On Wearable Art By Julianne Fuchs-Musgrave

Wearable Art designer Julianne Fuchs-Musgrave announces New Works at her Wearable Art collection.

Fusing her love of painting with her textile-construction skills, Julianne Fuchs-Musgrave produces bags, hats, coats and other garments that materialize as unique pieces of Wearable Art. With a strong commitment to the environment, this collection is comprised of eco-friendly materials. Reclaimed leather and suede, natural cotton and vintage textiles are the base for each piece. Abstract paintings are created on the base materials using acrylic paint & ink. The pieces are then finished with a permanent glaze before being constructed into bags, belts or apparel. The collection will be sold exclusively on her website and select boutiques.

This collection demonstrates both a creative approach to fashion design, and an environmentally positive ethic. Every piece incorporates painting in some way, from abstract works on leather, full paintings on canvas, or collage-piecing impressionist works in shades of reclaimed leather or vintage wool.

Each work is meticulously finished. Bags are fully lined with hand-dyed cottons or other natural textiles. Apparel is lined or French-seam finished. Hardware and decorations are selected for both design and function. Commission orders are welcome. Any piece can be customized in size, material, and color scheme.

Buyers continue to pressure manufacturers to reduce prices

A strategy of aggressively pushing for higher market share in selected product categories has enabled Sri Lanka's Brandix Group to achieve healthy growth in the first half of 2009, despite global retail inventories shrinking by 20 per cent, the country's top apparel exporter has disclosed.

The Group's apparel sales have seen a tremendous growth in 2008 and in the first six months of the current year in the face of a US$ 17 billion drop in retail sales last year, contracting inventories and lower average unit costs, Brandix CEO Ashroff Omar told supply chain partners at the Brandix Vendor Summit in Colombo recently.

Top vendors to Brandix had benefitted significantly as a result of the Group's commitment to direct more business to preferred suppliers, said Mr. Omar, revealing that continued growth would be possible by re-engineering vendor cost structures, focusing on 'Trend-right Fashion', reducing concept-to-store lead times, flexibility on speed and pricing, unrelenting commitment to on-time delivery (OTD) & quality and a focus on sustainability initiatives.

More than 150 supply chain partners and 30 foreign visitors participated at Brandix' Vendor Summit, themed 'Beyond the Limits'.

Stressing that "in our quest to push beyond the limits we will have to challenge every paradigm that exists today," Mr. Omar cited examples of how Brandix had grown its underwear segment from a virtually insignificant category to one that represents a third of the Group's business in just two years. Brandix had also been the first apparel manufacturer to invest in a factory in the eastern province and achieved a world first with its LEED Platinum-rated eco-friendly apparel factory, he pointed out. 

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Scrubs Are Going Beyond Ordinary With New Looks

Go beyond ordinary with new arrivals from the Spring 2010 Scrubs & Beyond catalog! The latest catalog begins arriving the week of January 5th, but new spring merchandise is online now at Scrubs & Beyond. This newest catalog features a mix of exclusive medical scrub prints, new collections, as well as basic scrubs. Shop brands like Koi, Landau, Cherokee, Los Angeles Rose, Peaches, Dickies, Barco, Urbane, Cherokee Workwear Scrubs, White Cross and Do No Harm.

To start spring off right, Barco Uniforms, known for innovative design and fabrications, introduces the most revolutionary fabric since the Grey's Anatomy line. NrG by Barco is a breakthrough poly/rayon stretch fabric that is soft, fluid and looks as fresh at the end of the day as the moment you put it on.

Urbane continues the "new for spring" trend by adding 3 styles to their collection. All feature the signature Urbane contrast piping and stylish, close to the body, Urbane fit. These styles are available in your favorite Urbane color combos.

Not to be outdone, Los Angeles Rose has designed a collection of print scrubs tops exclusive to Scrubs & Beyond with coordinating solid styles in soft coral and beautiful marine blue! Also available from LA Rose this spring, the new STRETCHology line featuring the best fitting flat front pant ever. 

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