Ethics: where are your clothes made?

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Julian Makey/REX (4106661h) Emma Thompson People’s Climate March, London, Britain – 21 Sep 2014
BRITAIN
Lucy Siegle takes aim at David Cameron, photographed in 2006 on top of the Scott-Turner glacier with husky Troika in Norway. Photograph: Composite photograph Kevin Foord, Andrew Parsons and GNM Imaging

Occasionally my invitation to the top table of world-changing summits and seminal ecological gatherings gets lost in the post. Do I crumble? Do I lay down and die? I do not. I simply drop myself into the frame after the event, in an act of retrospective photobombing. But as an ethical Zelig what would I wear?

Fashion is often cast as an irrelevance when it comes to global matters, written off as a preening, primping side show. It should be centre stage. This is an industry involving millions of people, from those growing and processing raw fibre to workers in the vast sewing factories and the employees and shoppers in millions of retail outlets worldwide. Whole ecosystems have been trashed by our appetite for certain clothing. An example of this is the Aral sea, the world’s fourth largest lake, which has been reduced to a puddle by cotton irrigation. Fashion’s carbon footprint is enormous, as is its social legacy: in Bangladesh the cut, make and trim garment factories of Dhaka have triggered the mass migration of young women from rural areas.

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The recent #Tshirtgate taught us not to turn up for an ethical photo opp without sourcing the wardrobe very carefully. The Fawcett Society had joined with Whistles and Elle magazine to launch its women’s equality and rights campaign with slogan T-shirts reading: “This is what a feminist looks like”. It was cake on a plate to news organisations that wanted to take Harriet Harman down a peg. Although the charity had been assured that the now-famous T-shirts had been made in the UK, the order was seemingly switched to Compagnie Mauricienne de Textile (CMT) in Mauritius. The so-called “sweatshop conditions” of its manufacture – allegedly paying migrant workers 62p per hour and sleeping 16 to a dormitory – unfortunately represent the realities of the mainstream fashion industry supply chain, not a shocking anomaly.

As consumers we devolve responsibility for fair and just sourcing to brands and retailers. This faith is misplaced. A 2013 study of the main apparel-producing countries by the Center for American Progress found deflation in all but China in the decade up to 2011 and concluded that garment workers were unable to maintain a “decent life”. The reality is that we wear clothes produced by exploited garment workers – predominantly young women – every minute of every day.

In 2011 I wrote To Die For, a book on the ethical fallout of today’s fast-fashion retailers. It was clear that offshoring to the lowest wage economies was building to a catastrophe. On 23 April 2013 1,129 workers died at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh producing clothes for brands we all know and own. The brands said sorry, some paid compensation and extensive negotiations certified some dangerous buildings. But fast fashion still has a lot to prove – that it can produce cutting-edge fashion on this scale and look after people and the planet.

Book Launch

If you want your fashion pound to buy ethics alongside aesthetics, look outside the mainstream to the minnow-sized ethical fashion brands that have popped up over the past decade. These brands act as an alternative to the excesses of fast fashion, but even they would not claim that they have the whole thing sorted. The supply chain is convoluted, and few pieces are made by a single person in an atelier system. Even ethical brands are reliant on factory systems to keep prices down. As one designer put it: “As soon as you go into production it will break your heart.” Whole runs can be produced with faults, orders can go missing, colours appear different. But these brands do not prioritise shovelling product out and maximising profit. They use certifications that mean something, play on fashion’s potential to transform lives through real and rewarding jobs, and form long-lasting partnerships throughout the supply chain.

In the years since I began my own ethical fashion makeover (it’s still a work in progress), there has been a definite shift towards glamour and gloss. We can attribute much of this to Stella McCartney, one of the few luxury designers working meaningfully on sustainability in her collections. She has undoubtedly made it cool. Also, Livia Firth’s Green Carpet Challenge has kept the profile of sustainable style high. In September the two came together and launched a GCC collection for Stella McCartney from upcycled fabrics and eco lace that goes into store this month. Recently I sat in an auditorium full of design students tuned into sustainability, their attention commanded by the new £20,000 bursaries the Kering group has just launched with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion. The first recipients will win work placements with Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen next year.

A well-known online fashion retailer recently advised its design team that the average dress (at a price point of £80+) would last just five weeks in the target customer’s wardrobe. This is not what sustainability looks like. I take off my (Pachacuti) hat to the Keep Boutique. To buy for the long term you need to meet the garment, feel the weight of the fibre and try it on. We need to get more fashion mileage out of the pieces we choose.

Visiting the Arctic with David Cameron

Lucy Siegle photobombs the prime minister.
Lucy Siegle photobombs the prime minister. Photograph: PR

David Cameron visited the Arctic in 2006. But cynics say his environmental enthusiasm was just for show and has melted quicker than the glacier.

Lucy wears: Jacket Fitz Roy Down Parka, £400, filled with traceable ethical down and trousers Untracked Pants, £330, made in Vietnam, both patagonia.com/eu. Factories operate to a strong code of conduct, and the company is working towards a living-wage commitment. Jumper Mora Fisherman, £95, and Esam beanie £30, both finisterreuk.com. The Cornish surfwear brand specialises in sourcing ethical wool. Mittens Goodone, £35, thekeepboutique.com. Aran knit mittens upcycled from discarded jumpers. Boots Pippa Grey, £185, po-zu.com. Vegetable-tanned suede lined with pure wool fleece. Glueless construction in Portugal (with most shoe manufacturing, workers are exposed to solvents).

Addressing the United Nations with Leonardo DiCaprio

Lucy Siegle joins Leonardo Di Caprio as he delivers a speech during the opening session of the 69th United Nations General Assembly on 23 September 2014, in New York.
Lucy Siegle joins Leonardo Di Caprio as he delivers a speech during the opening session of the 69th United Nations General Assembly on 23 September 2014, in New York. Photograph: ALAIN JOCARD/Composite photograph Kevin Foord, AFP and GNM Imaging

‘I pretend for a living, but you do not,’ Leonardo DiCaprio masterfully told world leaders (though China and India’s heads of state just sent deputies) at the UN’s climate-change summit in September. He is probably more knowledgeable about environmental issues than most, having vociferously campaigned for more than a decade. You can see him playing his ecological self in The 11th Hour. Post summit there were probably as many column inches on his man-bun hairstyle as his warnings on climate change – but Leo, I was listening to every word.

Lucy wears: Blouse Joy, £295, beulahlondon.com. Silk chiffon, printed in the UK, stitched in London. Beulah – the go-to non-high-street brand for the Duchess of Cambridge – is run by young Londoners Natasha Rufus Isaacs and Lavinia Brennan, with a transparent supply chain. They visit once a week to check on production, and the Beulah Trust produces pieces with the victims of trafficking in India through the Kolkata Freeset programme. Bag Amazona Silver, £145, bottletop.com. Made from 100% post-consumer upcycled aluminium ring pulls using a braiding technique for its recycled metals and Amazon rainforest-friendly leather. Bottletop controls and runs its own atelier on the outskirts of Salvador, northeast Brazil. The premise is to alleviate poverty in the community and provide training in new skills. Profits fund the Bottletop Foundation.

On the green carpet with Gisele Bündchen

Lucy Siegle with Gisele Bundchen at the American Museum of Natural History on 7 May 2014.
Lucy Siegle with Gisele Bundchen at the American Museum of Natural History on 7 May 2014. Photograph: Composite photograph Kevin Foord, Andrew H Walker/Getty and GNM Imaging

One of the world’s most famous tree huggers, supermodel Gisele Bündchen has a forest named after her in Brazil. At the Rainforest Alliance Gala in May she walked the talk in an eco-friendly gown made from hemp silk by US designer Jeff Garner (prophetik.com) and dyed using his own indigo plants. Ordinarily I would be too intimidated to stand shoulder to shoulder with Gisele, but wearing my own eco couture fills me with the confidence of a ‘modern warrior goddess’ – what designer Ada Zanditon had in mind when she made it.

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Lucy wears: Dress £3,000, Ariel, adazanditon.com. Made from naturally dyed French silk tulle and laser-cut Salmon and Wolffish leather (byproduct of the Icelandic fish industry). Embellished with lead-free Preciosa crystals. Shoes £145, Adriana, beyondskin.co.uk. Working closely with a Spanish factory the brand sources animal-free components and fabrics locally. Faux leathers are from polyurethane with lower impact than PVC, while faux-suede shoes are made from 100% recycled Dinamica, from recycled bottletops. Necklace £180, Aman Lilac, senhoa.org. Antique bronze fittings with crystals manufactured in Swarovski’s high-standard factories. Senhoa pieces are handcrafted by young women vulnerable to sexual exploitation and survivors of trafficking in Cambodia and India. Projects provide access to fair wages, health services and education.

Visiting a world heritage site with Barack Obama

Lucy Siegle joins President Barack Obama as he tours Stonehenge in September, 2014.
Lucy Siegle joins President Barack Obama as he tours Stonehenge in September, 2014. Photograph: Composite photograph Kevin Foord, Saul Loeb/Getty and GNM Imaging

Barack Obama and me in happier times – for him, I mean. When he visited the UK in September, Obama made time for Stonehenge and soaked up its prehistoric positive vibes. They haven’t helped him in the US midterms, but it was good to see him making the effort to visit a site of such eco-spiritual import. A few years ago the ethical fashion scene would have shunned any hippy references, understandably anxious to transition to a glossier ‘fashion’ look, but we think it is now mature and confident enough to poke a little fun at these countercultural origins.

Lucy wears: Dress Kaftan, £249, fromsomewhere.co.uk. Manufactured in Eden Studios, London, this kaftan is made from silk and cotton remnants including vintage fabrics, end-of-roll fabrics and offcuts. The brand was started by Orsola de Castro, aka the ‘queen of upcycling’. Belt £190, tannerbates.co.uk. Oak-bark-dyed leather belt lined with English calfskin. Solid brass buckle hand-cast in Paris. Boots from £149, kiboots.com. Handmade leather Kilim boots. Cardigan Ava animal print, £140, peopletree.co.uk. This hand-knitted 100% wool cardigan is made by Fair Trade group Kumbeshwar Technical School (KTS), helping those labelled ‘untouchable’ in Nepal.

Going on a climate change march with Emma Thompson

Lucy Siegle marches with Emma Thompsonm at the 2014 People's Climate march.
Lucy Siegle marches with Emma Thompsonm at the 2014 People’s Climate march. Photograph: Composite photograph Kevin Foord, Julian Makey/Rex and GNM Imaging

In September Emma Thompson joined tens of thousands in the People’s Climate March in London, calling climate change deniers ‘totally bonkers’. Her dungarees are a nod to past protests – CND and anti-apartheid. I worry about open-toed shoes on a demo though…

Lucy wears: Jeans Slim fit, £65, monkeegenes.com. From certified eucalyptus pulp sourced in Australaisa. Made in Turkey; working towards organic certification. Jacket parka, £410, Anna Gorke, gatherandsee.com. Organic US cotton with vegetable-tanned leather trims. Sewn in Germany by a seamstress named Birgitte. Cardigan £150, Fairisle, peopletree.co.uk. Non-mulesed New Zealand wool. Made by Fair Trade producer group KTS in Nepal. The first fashion brand to be certified Fair Trade throughout its supply chain. T-shirt £30, katharinehamnett.com. Organic cotton/Tencel. A proponent of the slogan tee, Hamnett has been tirelessly trying to rebuild an ethical supply chain. Produced by Continental Clothing from factories in India, Turkey and Bangladesh to International Labour Organization and Fair Wear Foundation guidelines. Printed in Bristol with low-impact water-based inks. Boots Piper S tan, £145, po-zu.com.

source: theguardian

UPDATE: Solange’s Pre-Wedding Festivities in New Orleans

Beyonce Attends Sister Solange's Pre-Wedding Festivities in New Orleans
Beyoncé Knowles
Josh Brasted/GC Images
Beyoncé stepped out Friday night in New Orleans to celebrate sister Solange Knowles‘s rumored wedding weekend.Solange – who is engaged to music video director Alan Ferguson – is reportedly set to tie the knot this weekend, and about 50 family and friends joined the happy couple in NOLA for a pre-wedding bash at the Indywood Cinema.Solange, 28, and Ferguson, 51, showed a film they made of how they met before playing the movie they saw on their first date: Mahogany, a ’70s flick featuring Diana Ross.

“It was pretty adorable,” Hayley Sampson, who owns the film house with brother Will, tells PEOPLE. “They were talking about how they met and that they bonded [over] this film and then showed everybody the movie.”

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As for the bash’s treats, partygoers enjoyed daiquiris from local sandwich shop Gene’s Po-Boys and drinks mixed by bartenders from the nearby go-to Oxalis.

The ready-to-wed pair have a history with the theater. Ferguson discovered Indywood Cinemas on his own when he saw a documentary and cult film there and then returned with Solange.

The bride-to-be’s older sister attended the fête solo. “It was really nice to meet her,” Hayley says. “She’s a lovely person.”

The “Partition” singer stunned in an all-black ensemble with a blue jacket, while her younger sister rocked a cream dress and gold heels, with fiancé Ferguson matching in a beige suit.

Beyoncé Attends Sister Solange's Pre-Wedding Festivities in New Orleans| Couples, Marriage, Weddings, Beyonce Knowles, Solange Knowles

Solange Knowles and Alan Ferguson

INF / Splash

The rumored wedding weekend marks a return to New Orleans. Back in January, matriarch Tina held a star-studded 60th birthday soiree in The Big Easy. Then the Knowles clan returned this summer, appearing to have made up following Solange and Jay Z’s elevator scuffle in May.

And it sounds like her brother-in-law’s absence Friday has nothing to do with bad blood.

“What’s important is that my family and I are all good,” Solange told Lucky for its August issue.

Vladimir Putin’s Skips G20 Summit Cause He Wants To Sleep!!!

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The Kremlin strongman, left before the final communique from the weekend talks was issued, telling reporters it would take at least 18 hours to return home from Brisbane and that he needed to get some sleep before reporting to work on Monday.

Putin said his decision to leave early had nothing to do with tensions with the West over the Ukraine conflict.

But sceptics were not convinced, suggesting Putin was offended by the icy reception from Western leaders in Brisbane.

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“After all Putin fled from Australia,” quipped MID Roissi, a satirical Twitter account that parodies the Russian foreign ministry feed.

“President Putin did not like it in Australia: unlike 146 per cent of Russians, the rest of the world does not love him.”

Another popular Twitter account, referring to the Russian president’s photo-op which saw him cuddle a koala, said: “There is a false impression that at the G20 summit Vladimir Putin conducted a meeting only with a koala.

“This is not true. There were also two kangaroos.”

Others were more gracious, saying Putin’s koala may now be awarded a top government post and become part of the “first coalition government” under Putin.

“If the koala that hugged Putin becomes an envoy or governor then we will finally be able to adore authorities,” tweeted opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who has been held under house arrest since February.

Australian tabloid The Courier-Mail, which demanded that Putin apologise for the shooting down of Flight MH17, described the Russian leader as a “political pariah” and the “black sheep of the G20 family”.

The newspaper said Putin was isolated at the summit, adding that protesters kicked beach balls bearing a photo of his head, waved Ukrainian flags soaked in “blood” and sang Ukrainian folks songs.

Putin faces Western wrath for his support of a pro-Moscow separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine in a crisis that has sent East-West tensions soaring to post-Cold War highs.

The West and Kiev say Russian troops are on the ground in Ukraine but the Kremlin has denied the claims.

TECHNO DON SURGEON WARMED UP FOR LADY GAGA LAST NIGHT

TECHNO DON SURGEON WARMED UP FOR LADY GAGA LAST NIGHT

Techno don Surgeon opened for Lady Gaga on the Birmingham date of her ArtRave tour.

But don’t go thinking he’s sold out. Him and her regular warm-up act, US musician Lady Starlight, supplied fans of the pop star with a potent dose of banging techno.

She seemed quite pleased with what was going down, posting a video on Instagram with the caption “THIS SHIT IS SO INCREDIBLE”. But then we already knew she was a techno fan.

Have a look for yourself below.

[Via: FACT]

https://instagram.com/p/vWliZZJFIM/embed/captioned/?v=4[Photo: Inez & Vinoodh for V Magazine]

Bunny Mellon: the woman Victoria Beckham wants to be

Lisa Armstrong looks to philanthropist and garden designer Bunny Mellon and interior designer Rose Uniacke to find out what it really means to have impeccable taste

Bunny Mellon, right, with Jackie Kennedy

Bunny Mellon, right, with Jackie Kennedy Photo: Rex

The only flashy act Bunny Mellon ever committed was posthumously, four days ago, when part of her estate sold at Sotheby’s in New York for $158. 7 million. Note I said part. The two Rothkos have gone, but the remaining lots, consisting of more jewellery, paintings and furniture, will auction on the November 20 and 21. Mrs Mellon, who died in March aged 103, owned rather a lot of “stuff” – some 5,000 items, according to Elaine Whitmore, vice chairman, head of single owner sales at Sotheby’s New York, whose absorbing task it was last summer to catalogue them all.

It’s not merely dazzling amounts of fancy “stuff” that entices discerning collectors out on a Monday night in November. Bunny, or Rachel Lowe Lambert as she was christened – she was the granddaughter of Jordan Lambert, the inventor of Listerine – “had an impeccable eye for everything”, according to Whitmore. Her best friend was Hubert de Givenchy, a man not known for merciful judgments when it came to matters of style. Her protégé was Jacqueline Kennedy, who once lamented to Bunny: “I love your house, but hate mine. Can you help me?”

Bunny could and did. Jackie’s redecoration of the White House (and overhaul of the Rose Garden there) was widely perceived to be a turning point for sceptical Americans, who had hitherto suspected the First Lady was little more than a particularly fine clothes horse.

The Bunny Mellons of this world – women who could oversee an exquisite garden with the same adroitness as they could assemble a wardrobe of flawless clothes – were of a generation that, as Whitmore says, valued “elegance and discretion”.

Monumentally privileged, for valid social reasons, the grand hostesses of Mellon’s time were superseded by other role models, some of whom have turned out to be disappointingly vacuous. “Muses” often professional or semi-professional models and mainly notable for their flare with “statement” clothes and willingness to turn up at shop openings, were, for a long time, the replacement to the grand hostess.


Mrs. Mellon’s main residence at Oak Spring Farms, Upperville, Virginia

We rarely saw a muse’s home, let alone her garden. Her taste in food? The implication often is that she probably had better things to do than eat. Their chief occupation was to promote the products of whichever designer hired them. No wonder so many muses prefer not to be described as such – their circumscribed role of wafting around looking good but seeming remote is not only increasingly at odds with the busy-ness to which we must all ascribe nowadays, but looks threadbare even compared with the achievements of the grand hostesses. Bunny for instance, in addition to running homes in Virginia, New York, Paris, Nantucket, Antigua… was a serious horticulturist and fund-raiser. “This wasn’t a woman who just sat around,” says Whitmore. “She was very organised and an energetic philanthropist. If she’d been born 50 years later she’d be the CEO of a major company.”

Besides, there is a new breed of superwoman, one who in many ways has more in common with Bunny than the one-dimensional muse. Chief among them, it’s emerging, is Rose Uniacke, a woman who won’t be troubling the pages of Closer or Heat! magazines too often, I suspect, but who is increasingly referenced by smart, stylish women who, faced with a retail conundrum, find themselves asking, What Would Rose Do? Uniacke, Victoria Beckham recently told me, was the woman whose taste she most admired.


Bunny Mellon’s jewellery. Image: Sotheby’s

I can see why. Uniacke, like Bunny, oozes fabulous taste – in everything. When Victoria showed me round her new shop, she told me that when she and David went to dinner chez Uniacke and her film producer (Harry Potter ring any bells?) husband David Heyman, Rose answered the door in long, flowing, wide trousers, hardly any make-up and bare feet, and led the Beckhams through her classically proportioned, beautifully pared-back, five-storey house to the perfect cosy supper, at which point, Victoria added, “I thought, I want to be you”. No wonder VB has hired Uniacke to do up the new Beckham residence. Beckingham Palace this will not be.

Unlike Bunny, Rose is a professional interior decorator and seller of choice antiques who trained as a furniture restorer. Bunny favoured the harmonious clutter of upper-class East Coast taste; Rose is mistress of a more contemporary minimalist take. Both have that infallible eye for lovely things, precious, idiosyncratic and not always expensive. Some of the pictures in Bunny’s estate are estimated to go for as little as $800; she was no art snob. She just bought what she liked and mixed it all together – as Elaine Whitmore says, “She lived not by what impressed but by what her eye told her was right.”


Rose Uniacke with her husband David Heyman. Photo: Getty

Uniacke and Mellon have the ability to make the flawless look spontaneous and effortless. Clothes-wise, prior to Givenchy, Bunny dressed almost exclusively in Balenciaga before the latter retired. She later donated her collection to the Balenciaga museum in Spain. Uniacke appears (I’ve never met her) to have developed a yen for Celine, a label that under Phoebe Philo, has come to exemplify the equivalent rigorously spare luxury that Christobal Balenciaga did in the Fifties (a very stylish friend recently confessed how gratified she felt upon discovering that she and Uniacke had bought the same skirt from Celine).

There are few pictures of Bunny Mellon, and those in circulation generally show her joyously occupied in one of the many gardens she tended, or on the periphery of a gathering of Kennedys, Regans or Bushes. Fifty-year-old Uniacke, although she has appeared on red carpets with her husband and tweets professionally (mainly pictures and news of her furniture and interior finds) is also low-key. Neither would past muster at the Kardashian school of self-promotion. I think I want to be them too.

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Taking a cue from Bunny and Rose, here, from high prices to bargains, are some discreet wardrobe builders:

1. Cape Cod Watch with Margiela Strap, £2,400, Hermes
When you have a house in Nantucket, a watch called Cape Cod may seem a little literal, but this is a design classic, with edge, thanks to Martin Margiela’s double strap, which also, incidentally, comes in an amusing Hermes orange

2. Diamonds: Kiki aurora mini diamond pendant, £1,550, Kiki McDonough ; Tate shoes, £250, LK Bennett
Diamonds can be as big as The Ritz, or tiny twinkles, but they should always be lovely and never kept “for best”.

3. Pure silk blouse, £99, Pure Collection
The equivalent of a band-aid for the Understated dresser. Look for heavyweight and shapely cuts.

4. Cashmere polo neck, £198, J Crew
An absolute life basic. What else does one wear to dinner, to walk the dogs and – in the draughty statelies one occasionally visits – to bed?

5. Grey wide trousers, £225, Whistles
Tailored, grey, wide – these tick many boxes, and have enough interesting details to keep the Understated Outfit from tipping into dull.

My favorite Looks From LFDW So Far

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23 Famous Dropouts Who Turned Out Just Fine

1. Funny lady Ellen DeGeneres dropped out of the University of New Orleans after just one semester. Guess she got the last laugh after all.

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

2. Mark Zuckerberg left Harvard to invent that site you spend way too much time on.

3. Media mogul Russell Simmons dropped out of Manhattan City College just shy of finishing his sociology degree.

Chad Buchanan / Getty Images

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8 of the Worst Countries For Black People to Travel

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China
A person of African descent traveling to China should not be surprised if they are repeatedly stared at or even swarmed by crowds of curious Chinese who will treat them as a spectacle by taking pictures, touching their hair, rubbing their skin, and asking questions that reflect their ignorance and lack of interaction with Black people.

Racism against Blacks may be the strongest form of prejudice in China. Chinese racism is linked to ignorance, class divisions, ethnocentrism and colorism that exists within Chinese society. Many people in China look down upon other Chinese of darker skin, and believe the whiter skin has more beauty.

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Nollywood Actor Kenneth Okonkwo Vies For National Assembly Seat

Nollywood Actor Kenneth Okonkwo Vies For National Assembly Seat

Nollywood actor Kenneth Okonkwo has announced his intention to enter politics and contest in the next elections.

The Living In Bondage actor is seeking to represent Nsukka/Igboeze South Federal Constituency at the National Assembly on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

He joins a horde of entertainers seeking to contest in the 2015 elections, with names like 9ice and Tony Tetuila in the mix.

Best of luck to them.

First look at Amal Alamuddin’s Oscar de la Renta wedding dress

The barrister chose a bespoke Oscar de la Renta gown made of French lace to wed George Clooney in Venice

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Photo: Hello! magazine

We haven’t had to wait long to get a glimpse of Amal Alamuddin’s wedding dress. The barrister only married George Clooney three days ago, but already the exclusive wedding pictures have made it onto the pages of People and Hello! magazines.

The 36-year-old barrister chose a custom-made off-the-shoulder de la Renta gown made of French lace, hand-embroidered with pearls and diamanté accents and featuring a full circular train, worn with a cathedral-length lace-edged veil. The lace was crafted at the Sophie Hallette factory in France, one of the oldest lace factories in the world, which also provided the lace for the Duchess of Cambridge’s Alexander McQueen wedding dress. Read the rest of this entry

Real reason actress Ini Edo filed for divorce

Few weeks after popu­lar actor, Desmond Elliot took to twitter and called on Nige­rians to pray for Nollywood diva, Ini Edo to get pregnant, the bubble has finally burst as the actress has filed for divorce from her US-based husband, Phillip Ehiagwina.

Ini took to her twitter handle on Thursday to explain why she filed for divorce, declaring that contrary to rumours flying around, she never cheated on her husband. Rather she iden­tified “irreconcilable differ­ences” for the break-up, add­ing that there was a conscious effort to tarnish her image.

Though, the Akwa Ibom-born actress has been married for a couple of years, she is yet to have a child for her husband and this has culminated into pressure not just from her hus­band but also his parents and family members.

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Boko Haram in New Video Claims Beheading Missing Nigerian Pilot

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Boko Haram

To buttress its claim that it shot down  a Nigerian Air Force jet declared missing some weeks ago, Boko Haram, the extremist Islamic group,, has published a video that shows the charred wreckage of a plane and the beheading of a man it identified as its pilot,

There was however no independent confirmation of this claim at press time.

The video also allegedly features Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, a man Nigeria’s military has twice claimed to have killed — first in 2009 and again last year.

Two weeks ago, the military said they had killed a Shekau look-alike who had posed in the group’s videos.

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5 signs that you are wearing the wrong bra and how to find the right one

With four out of five British women wearing the wrong bra size, the experts share their tips on getting it right

Give your confidence a boost with our expert tips on finding the right bra

Give your confidence a boost with our expert tips on finding the right bra Photo: Victoria’s Secret

What is it about bras? Considering that the vast majority of the female population wear one on a daily basis it is surprising how many of us haven’t nailed finding the right one.

I would hazard a guess that if you delved into most womens’ underwear draw you will find brassieres of varying size and shape, not to mention age and condition (what do you mean hand wash? Pah!) Read the rest of this entry

The Style Agenda, October 3 – 9

Join in Macmillan Cancer Support’s Coatwalk, indulge in BarnYard’s legendary popcorn ice cream or learn the art of bow tie making at the House of Peroni

Aran jumper, £235; and-daughter.com

Aran jumper, £235; and-daughter.com

We get a warm feeling all over just looking at & Daughter knitwear, which is made in the Scottish Borders and west of Ireland with the finest of yarns. Aran jumper, £235; and-daughter.com

Quick trip to Rome?
The House of Peroni returns for the month of October, bringing the city of Rome to the capital. As well as specially commissioned artwork by Italian creatives and bellisimo refreshments, there will also be a number of stylish workshops in action. Boutique florists Rebel Rebel are on-hand to teach guests the art of blooming marvellous headdresses, while Tied In Style plan to promote bowtie craftsmanship, out of the finest Italian materials, of course. October 3 – October 30; thehouseofperoni.com Read the rest of this entry

Rihanna Might Have A Secret Instagram Account!!!

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  1. Photo: via @bahdgalriri.

    Praise be to @bahdgalriri. For happiness, joy, and a shameless sense of not giving a you-know-what has been restored in the world — and it’s all thanks to the powers of Instagram and the presence of Rihanna.

    Well, maybe.

    Styleite first alerted us to the existence of a certain Insta-account by the name of @bahdgalriri. With bated breath, we scrolled through its feed: a healthy mixture of marijuana, selfies, Rihanna’s niece, personal photo shoots, and videos. They seemed authentic. These Instas felt like she actually took them.

    “Could it be?” we asked, as hope washed over us. This feed felt good. It felt like being home again — like being back in a time when Rihanna would candidly share the moments of her life. Back when her Instagrams were sending people to jail left and right. Back when @badgalriri became an adjective. Back when the world made sense.

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Beyonce ‘Lied to Me,’ Wails Teen Feeling Effects of Dental Surgery Drugs

PHOTO: Cody Lanphere, 17, of Benson, N.C., cried because he missed Beyonce so much when he came out of dental surgery.

He loves her so much that when he had his wisdom teeth removed under anesthesia on Monday, the 17-year-old, still feeling the effects of the drugs, started wondering where his idol was. She had apparently promised to be there, waiting for him.

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Your Orgasm — Guaranteed!

We have seven positions that have been tweaked and tailored by sex experts to help you reach orgasm every single time — plus, a few extra tricks so the road to bliss is even more of a sure thing.

Tricks

When it’s a mind-blowing, bed-rattling orgasm you’re after, keeping it simple is absolutely key. Sure, wild, crazy, never-knew-my-body-could-bend-that-way booty keeps your lust life exciting, but if the goal of the moment is to break pleasure records, you have to stick to the basics. “Trying to accomplish complicated acrobatics distracts you from the sex itself, putting your focus on how you can contort yourself, rather than on just experiencing the sensations,” explains sex educator Dorian Solot, coauthor of I (Heart) Female Orgasm. “When you want to climax, the simplest positions are often also the best positions, and with a few modifications, you can make them even more orgasm inducing than they already are.” Don’t worry, we’d never leave you hanging. Here, Cosmo custom-designed some of the carnal classics to make sure you always hit the high notes. Read the rest of this entry

Beyoncé’s Business Genius by the Numbers

Beyoncé performs at the 2014 Global Citizen Festival in New York's Central Park on Sept. 27

Photograph by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen Festival

Beyoncé performs at the 2014 Global Citizen Festival in New York’s Central Park on Sept. 27

Sometimes it can feel like we all work for Beyoncé. Now, Harvard Business School is institutionalizing that experience with a new class unit that asks students to “decide what they would have done if they were working for Beyoncé,” according to the Harvard Gazette.

Anita Elberse, a professor who teaches marketing strategies, co-wrote a case study on the artist that she will teach in her class “Strategic Marketing in Creative Industries.” The case, published on Tuesday, instructs MBAs to think about how they would have handled the surprise 2013 release of Beyoncé’s most recent album. For your convenience, we’ve distilled the 27-page trove of business insights to its most essential numbers.

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Sam Smith: ‘I’m Not Beyonce’

SAM SMITH

Sam Smith took Los Angeles’ collective breath away this week, playing two completely sold out shows at the famed 5,870-seat Greek Theater in Griffith Park. Only a year ago, he pointed out, he performed at the tiny Troubador club in West Hollywood and thanked the fans who came to that first show.

“I put out a pretty depressing album last year. So I sort of wallowed for a year, but I feel much better now,” Smith, 22, said to undulating waves of applause on Tuesday night. The roar of the audience at the Greek Theater encouraged his heartfelt monologue.

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