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Calling All UK Designers: Break Into the Fashion Industry with Whitney Port’s Design Contest

The Beverly Hilton Unveils Redesigned Aqua Star Pool

Images: FayesVision/WENN.com

Any fashion graduate can tell you just how difficult it is to break into the fashion industry. The lucky few who do manage to secure a job typically hail from one of the more prestigious fashion schools. So, any fashion design contest that presents aspiring designers with the opportunity to have their work showcased on a public platform is worth its weight in gold. It really could be that one lucky break that they’ve always dreamt of.

Get ready aspiring UK-based fashion designers, we’ve found an opportunity that may just well make your dreams come true. Global style influencer and fashion designer, Whitney Port, is launching a design contest in association with creative nurturer Talenthouse, Venus and Olay.

The challenge is to create an original illustration sketch of a two-piece feminine and glamorous outfit suitable for the day or night, adhering to a colour palette of golden metallics. (For inspiration, check out the contest’s Pinterest board.)

Whitney will act as a guest judge to choose the winning outfit and will wear the design in a future issue of Glamour magazine. Plus, there’s also a £1000 prize up for grabs to help you out with any future creative design projects.

If you think you’ve got the skills and know Miss Port’s style, you have until August 7 to enter. Check out their official site for more details, and good luck making your fashion dreams come true!  

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“It’s Karmen Time!” Karmen Pedaru Nabs Two Vogue August Covers (Forum Buzz)

Karmen Pedaru on the cover of Vogue Spain and Vogue Russia

Vogue Spain August 2013 and Vogue Russia August 2013; Image Credits: Facebook Vogue Espana and glossynewsstand.com via the tFS forum

Estonian model Karmen Pedaru, who has been a face for Gucci and Michael Kors for many seasons, is finally snagging her well-deserved Vogue covers as a result of joining über-agency IMG earlier this year. This month alone has she scored two original Vogue covers. On Vogue España, lensed by Greg Kadel, she is seen wearing bright pink lipstick and posing in a sexy revealing outfit while photographer duo Claudia Knoepfel & Stefan Indlekofer shot her in a Louis Vuitton lace dress for Vogue Russia. TFS forum members seem to favor the Vogue Russia cover though most agree about both covers and editorials being a hit.

“Two covers in one month! I think I like this one better. Brunette hair is so much better option for Karmen than being just another blonde. Plus this cover looks very expensive which I couldn't say about most VR covers,” noted yesitsdagny.

“Great cover!!! That's Karmen time!” added MoniqValentino when commenting on the Vogue Russia cover.

“It's surely one of 2013 best covers,” wrote Pradable.  

About the Spanish Vogue cover anlabe32 said, “This is so hot. Karmen is just delicious, I'd turn gay for her. The only thing I don't like is the blonde hair and the fact they needed to use all clothes for something that is so summery.”

“What a hot and sexy cover!” agreed GlamorousBoy.

“From what I've seen, I love the combination of the glistening skin in the light, and then the strong shadow, like something menacing behind her, hiding where the sun can't reach,” analyzed tigerrouge

Having been a steady force in campaigns for years and being ranked in the models.com ranking’s Top 10 for a while, it is baffling Miss Pedaru had not been equally prominently featured in fashion magazines thus far. But with so much positive feedback for those two new covers, there undoubtedly are many more Vogue covers for Karmen to come!

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Justin Timberlake Takes Back The Bay for William Rast

image: Getty

image: Getty

William RastIf you were in six blocks of the vicinity of Toronto's Yonge and Bloor this week, then I'm sure you would have heard a stampede of screaming girls and wondered what the heck was going on. Well, Justin Timberlake was going on, as the "Take Back The Night" singer touched down to visit The Bay clothing store.

You see, contrary to reports, JT is still involved in his William Rast clothing line with childhood friend Trace Ayala and, though there have been rumours of slumping sales, the music maestro was happy to unveil his fall collection. Following an introduction by Hudson's Bay Co. vice-chair Bonnie Brooks, the duo took to the stage with Timberlake sporting slicked-back greaser hair, a black blazer, white William Rast logo tee with a cassette tape and jeans. There was then a brief ticket handout (to his gig with Jay Z) and a photo opp, before he was hurried away for on-camera interviews. Boo.

But a bit about the William Rast clothing itself. If you weren't aware, the brand's name originates from combining Timberlake grandfather's first name (William) and Ayala's grandfather's surname (Rast). It's set to expand into all 90 Hudson’s Bay department stores as well as the company’s e-commerce.

"The fall rollout represents a strong commitment to the brand in our stores," said Liz Rodbell, EVP and Chief Merchant of Hudson's Bay Company. She added, "William Rast is a perfect complement to our existing portfolio because it offers a unique casual take on denim drawn from its Tennessee roots."

Yehuda Shmidman, CEO of brand management firm Sequential Brands Group was quick to add to the conversation, telling media that Timberlake and Ayala are still very involved with the brand: “They look at everything. Trace is super on the day-to-day stuff for us. Justin has input on the aesthetic… It’s a true partnership,” with both having an equal stake in its profits.

Timberlake and Ayala now hope to expand into Europe, but success in celebrity clothing lines is a steep slope to climb… as Rihanna, Mischa Barton, Carlos Santana, Lindsay Lohan, Jaime Pressly, SJP, Lauren Conrad, Chris Kirkpatrick and Yoko Ono will all tell them.

image: Getty

image: Getty

 

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Second Time’s a Charm for Australian Woolmark Prize Champ Christopher Esber

With Dion Lee out of the way, the road’s been cleared for Christopher Esber to take home the Australian Woolmark Prize.

We’ve had our eyes on Esber’s meticulous tailoring for years now, and he’s been building a solid international reputation, joining Kym Ellery for a joint presentation at New York Fashion Week last September. But being up against the inimitable Dion Lee, who took home last year’s prize in what was a deserved yet predictable victory, meant his own eyes have probably focused on the 2013 accolade for quite a while.

The prize gives Esber $50,000 cash to be put towards his business and puts him in the running for the International Woolmark Prize. If he wins that, he’ll get a further $100,000 and prime real estate on the floors of Saks Fifth Avenue, 10 Corso Como, Harvey Nichols and David Jones. In that leg, though, he’ll be up against some stiff competition, including Joseph Altuzarra (US), Sibling (London), ffiXXed (Asia) and one TBA label from India and the Middle East.

Esber's winning entry featured a looped wool cream vest with a textural camouflage pattern worn over a black cropped jumpsuit with front and back zips. It was modeled on the exquisite Emma Balfour, who, as always, looks nothing like her 40-something years. 

Celebrate Esber’s victory with a look back through his slick NYFW collection and his romp in a shadowy forest with Sydneysider Holly Blake. 

esber

Image: Christopher Esber's Facebook

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This All-Male Gay Parody of Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ Video Was Removed From YouTube

Robin Thicke cuddles with a model in this screenshot from Blurred Lines

Image: Screengrab

If you somehow managed to miss Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," I'm here for you. The video for the single, which features T.I. & Pharrell Williams, has been accused of being exploitative for featuring lyrics like "[your last guy] didn't smack that ass and pull your hair like that," a giant balloon sign which reads "Robin Thicke Has a Big Dick," and topless female models (Emily Ratajkowski, Jessi M'Bengue and Elle Evans) frolicking for the pleasure of the male performers — and the viewer. I think saying the video is "rapey" might be an overstatement, but I did feel uncomfortable watching it — it's Terry Richardsonesque.

In an interview with GQ, Thicke claimed he had good intentions, but his reasoning is unconvincing:

"We tried to do everything that was taboo. Bestiality, drug injections, and everything that is completely derogatory towards women. Because all three of us are happily married with children, we were like, 'We're the perfect guys to make fun of this.' People say, 'Hey, do you think this is degrading to women?' I'm like, 'Of course it is. What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I've never gotten to do that before. I've always respected women.' So we just wanted to turn it over on its head and make people go, 'Women and their bodies are beautiful. Men are always gonna want to follow them around.'"

To reiterate: according to Thicke, taking pleasure in objectifying women is an effective way to send-up the objectification of women.

The video, for reference (NSFW): 

There are three sane responses to "Blurred Lines": laugh, ignore, make a parody video. Helix, a gay porn company, did the latter, producing an all-male version of the Robin Thicke experience. The result was less porny and more joyous than the original, featuring no nudity, just dancing boys wearing sparkly booty shorts and tightie whities. 

It was pulled from YouTube. The Sword, a gay sex site (NSFW, obviously) noticed that the video was removed and reposted it to Vevo (below). (To be clear, YouTube will remove anything when it's flagged by enough people for violating the website's Terms of Service, whether or not the content is objectionable.)

It wasn't the nudity that made me uncomfortable with Thicke's original video; everyone is naked underneath their clothes. I was offended that the men weren't naked too: Thicke and his musician friends were clothed, performing, being funny, having a good time. Meanwhile, the women were bodies at best, a punchline at worst — a portrayal that's depressingly common in pop culture. A parody made by a porn company managed to be less offensive, more human, than the original — and that's because all the performers were having a good time, treated as sexual beings but not objects. Wanting to have sex doesn't preclude wanting other things too. It's crazy that, for once, a porn company got that right, and people still had a problem with it. 

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‘The Face’ is Casting in NYC This Sunday — And We Know What They’re Looking For

Image: Getty

Image: Getty

Naomi Campbell's reality modeling competition will be back on Oxygen for a second season, and the show is casting this Sunday, July 21 in New York City.

Hopeful contestants must be at least 5'7" and 18 years old on September 1, 2013. (Full eligibility requirements are available here.) I'm guessing it might help to be pretty. Ask your mom if you have a chance, she'll be honest with you. 

"We are looking for the complete package," casting director Randy Bernstein told me over email. "Not only should the you look amazing, but you should be able to wow us with your dazzling personality. ;) We will also be looking for somebody as honest, unique and doesn't try to compare themselves to anybody else. We are all different and that's what makes us special — embrace your uniqueness!"

What makes a good contestent, apart from the desire to nuzzle with Naomi? Bernstien emphasizes drive: "We learned that the best contestants are the ones that are confident in themselves and aren't trying to be somebody they're not. The most successful contestants last year were the ones that knew what they wanted and weren't afraid to go after it. The modeling industry is competitive so we will continue to look for girls that are driven, tenacious, and ready to succeed in the sometimes cutthroat world of modeling."

The event will take place at Chelsea Studios (151 West 26th Street, 6th Floor) between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Season 1 winner, Devyn Abdullah, will be on-hand for a portion of the event. 

(Bernstein was the one to initially cast Devyn for the show: "When I'm casting any show, I always look for the 'it' factor, and when you have 'it,' it usually pops out immediately. Devyn was special and immediately likable. I think that's why we and America ultimately fell in love with her.") 

Anyone who can't make it to open casting on Sunday but still wants to be considered can apply online. Applications will be accepted through Monday, July 22. 

PreviouslyAfter ‘The Face’ Finale: An Interview with Karolina Kurkova and [Spoiler!] Winner Devyn Abdullah

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