Tag Archives: Beauty

Beauty without Cruelty

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Unfortunately, while the nineties saw real fur creep off the catwalks in shame, thanks to the “I’d rather go naked than wear fur” supermodel campaign, fur has yet again crawled it’s way back into the collections of Italian and French designers who have unapologetically used and worked with every conceivable animal from sable to mink, chinchilla and fox.

Although the lux look sets fashionista’s hearts aflutter, people who wear fur are either ignorant or arrogant about animal suffering. It doesn’t hurt to find a more animal-friendly option which is what I have always promoted.

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Feel good with the best faux fur pieces for Autumn

As we might secretly yearn for the old-fashioned allure and glamour of the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s, the rights and wrongs of wearing animal furs and feathers has become a minefield of complicated and moral and ethical dilemmas.

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Faux Fur Taupe Grey ‘Marianne Vest’, Rachel Zoe

So what about the purchase of feathers you ask?  Perhaps the most pragmatic way to approach this is to first find out whether the feathers were sourced in an eco-friendly gathering way (some farms sell feathers that have been molted and naturally shed by birds as part of their growing cycle). If you are unsure, simply ask your supplier directly. If you are going to purchase a product, you are entitled to know exactly where it has been sourced.

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Other feather suppliers specialise in collecting vintage feathers and selling them in bulk. Many people see vintage as an ethical choice: a guilt-free, pro-animal rights, pro-environmental way of wearing fur or feathers. It has been emphasised by eco-columnists and fashion environmentalists, the need to recycle everything from fur and feathers to ensure that no further animals have to die today to satisfy our desire for a lux look.

Another option is to research whether the product has the “humane seal of approval” developed by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) in conjunction with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The seal of approval promotes what it sees as the humane treatment of farm animals. It has begun a labeling program for meat, poultry, dairy and egg producers who meet its criteria for raising farm animals under humane conditions.

However, only your own conscience can dictate your actions. A good motto to live by is “beauty without cruelty”.

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Truth or Dare

After the success of Madonna’s Material Girl teen line for Macy’s, the iconic queen of pop is in the process of yet again launching another fabulous collection since her 2007 M by Madonna Collection at H&M.

The global lifestyle brand, which will be named after her controversial 1991 Madonna: Truth or Dare (In Bed with Madonna) documentary, is aimed towards Madonna’s core fan base between the ages of 27 and 50 who posses a “timeless style and an innate sex appeal”.

The joint venture, among Iconix Branch Group, Madonna and Guy Oseary, is the second brand to be launched under the MG Icon.  MG Icon will be partnering with Macy’s for the first initial launch worldwide in 2012.  In 2013, the collection will be distributed more widely at all leading department stores in the US.

“Truth or Dare” by Madonna was created to showcase the dichotomy that is Madonna, both powerful icon and feminine beauty.  The brand will initially begin by launching perfume and then later expand to include footwear, bags, accessories, and intimates with Madonna herself being the face of all advertisement.

Neil Cole, Chief Executive Officer of Iconix Brand Group, stated…

The interest and excitement globally for brands developed by Madonna are significant. After the highly successful launch of the junior brand Material Girl, we knew there would be a tremendous demand for a brand that Madonna herself is the face of and that truly captures her essence.

Madonna seems genuinely excited about the joint venture saying to WWD:

Over the past several years, I have been approached countless times to create my own brand. The timing is right and I have found great partners in Iconix, who can help translate my vision to reality.

The former Material Girl, dominatrix, hippie, turned Material Mum, yoga guru, producer and children’s book author can now add successful fashion designer to her long list of talents.

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Body Image Code of Conduct

The fashion, media and advertising industries play a significant role in shaping the cultural ideals of society.  Messages about beauty portrayed in popular media can contribute to body image pressures on young people in particular.

Young people have been saying out loud for years that they are concerned about the issue of body image and the impact that it’s having on them, their friends and the community. 

A current interest of mine is the development of the Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct on Body Image for the fashion and adverting industries in the hope of addressing increasing body dissatisfaction levels among Australia’s young. 

The National Advisory Group on Body Image, including Australia’s Next Top Model co-host Sarah Murdoch, was appointed by the Australian Government in 2009 to developed the Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct to provide national guidance on this important issue.

The code aims to tackle issues including clearer notification of altered or enhanced images, better representation of diverse body shapes and industry age limits. The code recommends that advertisers, the media and fashion designers:

 disclose digitally manipulated images;

 use models 16 years and older within a healthy weight range; and

  use a more diverse range of body shapes, sizes and ethnicities as these industries have a tremendous amount of influence.

The code is for the Government to work in partnership with the media, health sector, beauty and fashion industries and young people to find a workable solution to promote positive body image.

Model Valentina Zelyaeva before (left) and after the airbrushing

 

Sarah Murdoch on the cover of Australian Women's Weekly - without airbrushing or photo-shopping.

 The issue of body image affects the lives of real people in very powerful ways and the code will take key steps to tackle this challenge.

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