DEAR MISS MANNERS: Most of our friends, married or not, have embarked on the task of producing children. This means I am invited to multitudes of baby showers, sometimes more than one for each baby.
I disapprove of baby showers for two reasons: First, we are in a global resource crisis, and people, especially Americans, should have fewer children; and second, showers encourage wasteful consumerism, when the mother can easily obtain hand-me-downs for her rapidly growing child.
I am alarmed at the number of otherwise intelligent people who, despite this being the First World with forms of birth control widely available, still have unplanned pregnancies and make no secret of this fact.
The majority of my friends' pregnancies have been associated with shotgun weddings, underwater home mortgages, or conception occurring after the loss of the father's job.
For these reasons and others, I am not thrilled when my friends become pregnant. I love my friends, but once they have kids, they fall off the face of the earth. It makes me sad to lose my friends and watch them throw away their promising careers and lives to enter the black hole of babydom.
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Given this, it seems inappropriate for me to attend baby showers. My friends are familiar with my views on reproduction. I am happy to help my friends in other ways -- come over and do the household chores for a day, for instance. But is there a polite way to decline to attend a friend's shower?
GENTLE READER: Yes. It is: "Thank you so much for the invitation, but I will not be able to attend."
Miss Manners notices that being familiar with your views did not deter your friends from having children, so you needn't feel neglectful about refraining from repeating them after the fact.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My sister and brother-in-law are going through a very bitter divorce. We have since found out that he is a liar and a cheater, and a man without honor.
There will be times in the future that we are attending the same social function (graduation, wedding, etc.). How do I show my disdain for this man without being considered rude? What if he should approach me to speak? What if he is with someone? What if he is with the woman that has contributed to the breakup of the marriage?
GENTLE READER: A divorce, like a funeral, has many mourners but few principals. (Miss Manners has noticed that participants in a divorce sometimes also divest themselves of their principles, but that is a separate topic.)
Proper responses can range from a cold aloofness to a deliberate snub, but as your grievance is subsidiary to your sister's, your behavior should follow her lead, without exceeding it in severity. Even then, it must be done quietly, so that your reaction will not attract the attention of other guests. Please remember that your primary obligation at such events is to avoid spoiling them with the fallout from less happy situations.
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Samira Wiley, who plays a tomboy character inOrange is the New Black, looked sublime in a shocking pink cape dress. From prison inmate to screen goddess - we adore this transformation.
Naomi Watts did jewelled embellishment perfectly with a simply cut strapless dress falling at the shin, made from two gorgeous fabrics.
Jaimie Alexander gets points for eschewing cute and pretty and going for a daring, futuristic Armani Prive gown with full coverage, and degradé sequins that produced a strobe-light effect.
Claire Danes, who's been on red carpets since she was 15, played it well, pleasing high-fashion critics as well as red carpet fans. Blue and maroon sequins created an interesting pattern on the shimmering Prada gown, and the hefty metal chain straps made for some seriously edgy hardware.
Taylor Schilling, who plays Piper in hit show Orange Is The New Black, looked positively radiant swapping the prison jumpsuit for a lemon-yellow, flowing Stella McCartney gown.
There were those who won by playing it safe: Padma Lakshmi looked stunning in a yellow satin Romona Keveza gown that radiated old Hollywood glamour with a classic train. Jessica Paré, who plays Megan Draper in Mad Men,shone in a stunningly elegant strapless gown.
While most men go for relatively prudent, well-cut tuxedos, eccentric Scottish American actor Alan Cummings blew them out of the water with a grey three-piece suit, "billowing" voluminous pants, a banknote collage tie, maroon pocket square and umbrella. We salute you, sir.
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A shocker in this category was the stunning January Jones in a green Ulyana Sergeenko jumpsuit. These two stylish names should go well together, but they didn't - from the waist brooch to the strange pleated chiffon tail, it was an odd outfit that fell flat.
Emma Myles, from Orange is the New Black, also didn't win any points with a black and painted floral print dress that looked like it'd been dragged out from the back of end of the '80s. Fellow cast member Laura Prepon, who we're usually a huge fan of, disappointed with a gown that could have been worn to the recent China-themed New York Met Gala Ball - and that isn't a compliment. Half-embroidered Imperial empress-y top for just the neck and shoulders, and then a fire- engine red classic fishtail gown - what was she thinking?
The usually on-point Heidi Klum sported a half-and-half, sunshine yellow Versace gown that said both period drama and mermaid movie. A long, barely there netted skirt with a strategically placed leaf shape that barely covered her modesty, and a single, long, swishy, wizard-like sleeve... it was a head scratcher. Still, with her face and body it almost doesn't matter - you could throw a potato sack on this woman and she would still somehow manage to look incredible.
This is the "wow, well will you just look at that" category. Maisie Williams, who plays the precocious Aria in Game of Thrones, went super feminine with a bubblegum strapless pencil dress and a pair of adorable fluffy white sandals - not the kind of look we're used to seeing on her, but we liked this playful take.
Who is this new Lady Gaga we're seeing a lot more of? She went completely classic chic with a toned-down, one-shoulder, black Brandon Maxwell gown and a swept back blonde bob. It's a far cry from telephone hats and meat dresses, that's for sure.
Some actors are so psychically gifted and ooze such confidence that they make outfits that shouldn't work in theory become red carpet magic. Take Kerry Washington in a sparkly sequinned all-silver Marc Jacobs dress with a thigh slit and '80s shoulders. She's proof that human perfection exists, but we're still not sure she managed to quite pull off this look.
Sofia Vergara put her curves to work with a slick, silver strapless gown (we want to know how this woman manages to look so damn siren-y all the time). And then there's Kathryn Hahn, who wore one of the most experimental dresses of the evening - an interesting, asymmetric construction with a voluminous peplum hem on one side. It's a shame that the fabrics looked stolen from grandma's furniture.
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An anticipated happy wedding of Prophet Albert Mensah alias Nana Kofi, Founder of the Jesus Foundation Prayer Ministry at Site 14, Community 1, Tema, rather went sour Wednesday morning when a 20-year-old woman with her three-week-old baby boy disrupted the ceremony.
The marriage department of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) became the toast of attraction for most staff of the assembly, passersby and traders at the Tema Central Market when the woman, Ms Mabel Patamia, accompanied by her relations and sympathisers, demanded that the registrar halt the solemn ceremony between the prophet and one Joyce Anima Damptey.
Ms Patamia did not even allow the couple to take the vows as she interrupted every pronouncement, prompting the Assistant Marriage Registrar to introduce her to the gathering.
The main reason for her action, she told the marriage official, was that she was engaged to Prophet Nana Kofi and has a child with him and that both were preparing to marry sometime this year.
The expected happy occasion turned sour as well-wishers and witnesses of the couple looked shocked. They began leaving the premises of the assembly with disappointment.
Prophet Nana Kofi was said to have impregnated Ms Patamia when the mother sent her to the church for spiritual healing, as she was alleged to be suffering from spiritual attack.
Isaac Ashai Odamtten, Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of Tema, who overheard Mabel’s persistent screams, quickly intervened to hold a crunch meeting with both parties and the marriage department.
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Mabel Patamia holding her baby and leaving the marriage office TMA together with some sympathisers and relatives
Mabel Patamia holding her baby and leaving the marriage office TMA together with some sympathisers and relatives
After close to 30 minutes, it was concluded that the assembly would withhold the marriage certificate of the couple till Ms Patamia was dully compensated. The pastor was also to sign an undertaking at the Social Welfare Department that he would cater for the child.
Prophet Nana Kofi was later whisked away in a car together with his would-be wife amidst jeers and boos from the crowd.
Cynthia Patamia, mother of the dejected lady, narrated to DAILY GUIDE that her daughter entered into a relationship with Prophet Nana Kofi when she sent her for prayers as she was suffering from ‘high fever.’
She became pregnant and Prophet Nana Kofi was made to perform the initial customary rites to the family.
“However, after coming for the list, I never heard from him again until I heard that he had impregnated another member of the church. I confronted him and he told me that he impregnated the woman who she was getting married to,” she stated.
Cynthia Patamia said to her surprise, she was in the house at Site 5, Community 1, Tema, when news got to her that Prophet Nana Kofi was getting marriage to another woman who was also pregnant for him.
According to her, “I quickly called my daughter, some friends and relatives and we went to the assembly to stop them from getting marriage since he cannot take my daughter and me for a ride.”
Mabel Patamia told DAILY GUIDE that although she was demanding that the marriage should be halted, she had no problem with Prophet Nana Kofi getting married; but was only concerned with the clandestine way he was going about it.
Meanwhile, the marriage department of the assembly is said to be in a fix and could face possible legal action if it failed to issue the marriage certificate to them.
This is because the couple were said to have gone through all the processes as their names were pasted on the marriage notice board for the expected 21 days and even had additional five days which elapsed before they were booked to come for the solemnisation.
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The etiquette of inviting coworkers to your wedding
Q. About wedding etiquette and coworkers, what do you do when one of your coworkers has a big wedding and doesn’t invite all of her closely-knit team?
It is a small hair salon with sixteen stylists and beauticians and four of us were not invited. It was particularly awkward because our boss, who did the bride's hair for her wedding and attended it as well, gave a bridal shower in the salon after hours and invited all fifteen of us for champagne and cupcakes.
Some of us have been working in the salon for over twenty years and when there is a birthday, pregnancy or wedding to celebrate, we all chip in and buy something significant from her registry as a joint birthday or shower present. That way we know we are giving her something she really needs and wants.
Not only that but working side-by-side on our feet for long hours, while sharing information, hair products and equipment, we overheard the details of her wedding and often ventured an opinion when the bride asked for one.
By the time the wedding invitations went out, we had all bought our coworker a wedding present. Sadly, four of us were disappointed that we weren’t invited to the wedding. It was hurtful. Luckily, I like the gift I bought her and am happy to keep it for myself.
However, that doesn’t solve the problem of what happens when she comes back from her three-week Hawaiian honeymoon. Everyone will want to talk about her wedding -- everyone but the four of us who weren't invited.
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The fact that we weren’t invited will be the elephant in the room. Giving her our gifts would be guilt-tripping her and none of us wants to do that.
On the other hand, it would clear the air if we knew why we weren’t invited, or she apologized for not inviting everyone. Do we pretend we don’t care and aren’t hurt because we were excluded? E.H., Providence
A. The problem is that you were led to assume that you would be invited to the wedding. You believed you were on the guest list. From the very start, the bride should have made it clear to all of you that she was having a small family wedding. That would be the clue that not everyone working in the salon was being invited.
Understandably, over the course of months of wedding preparation her coworkers became somewhat emotionally invested in the wedding. Why wouldn’t they when they were being asked for their opinions and being feted at a workplace bridal shower?
Look at it this way. It may have been easier not to invite four out of sixteen of her coworkers than not to invite only one or two. You all should keep the present you bought or return it.
When it comes to welcoming the glowingly tanned bride back to work, do so with a quick smile, and move on. Compliment her tan, ask about her honeymoon, but not about the wedding.
Of course, you can be sure that she will be dying to talk about her wedding with her posse, but let’s hope she will be too embarrassed to do so.
If she shoves wedding photos in your face, be polite, but don’t comment beyond saying something like, "Nice hairdo.” Which you’ll have to say, because your boss did her hair for the wedding.
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"We are very happy to support the ISPCC. It is an event that is very close to my heart and all our hearts," Brown Thomas Fashion Director Shelly Corkery told me. "We see those dreadful images of children suffering. The stories can be shocking. The work of the ISPCC is so important to children's lives."
Tickets for the ISPCC Brown Thomas Fashion Show are generally sold out soon after they are released in the spring. It's a hugely glamorous affair, near-sorority like in that the crowd (mainly women) nearly all know each other from attending year on year. Thus, since its beginnings, it has become friendlier.
"It is one of the biggest launches we do and there is a huge amount of work that goes into it beforehand," Shelly explains. "There aren't that many events left for people to go to anymore, so people look forward to it as an occasion to dress up and see friends they might not have seen in a long time. It is a good fun event."
The fun, as well as the good cause, attracts people who generally avoid the limelight. Danielle Ryan, for instance, has attended several times. This year, she sponsored the 'goodie bag' of perfume and novels (mine was The Scarlet Letter, which had me very confused for a time), from her new online store, Roads, also in Brown Thomas.
Stars of the screen such as Saoirse Ronan, Louis Walsh, and Amy Huberman were in attendance and they, along with MC for the occasion, Laura Whitmore (dressed in Peter Pilotto), contributed to the glam and feel-good buzz of the event.
For me, as well as for all the fashion mavens who attended, the event is a tremendous style-watch occasion, as most of the attendees are committed Brown Thomas international designer room shoppers and are hot to snatch up the latest deliveries of Lanvin, Valentino and Dior. One young woman looked fresh and pretty in a Victoria Beckham summer dress, while another woman was sporting the latest winter look. Such is the style diversity on the day.
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"I think everyone makes a very big effort," Shelly says. "We saw lots of Preen and Dolce & Gabbana and Prada. I thought there were a lot of lovely dresses. It was quite mixed, from summer to winter, too, with people choosing to wear what they loved. We have had a tremendous season already in Brown Thomas. You really feel something is going well in Ireland again."
I ask Shelly if are there particular indicators that show things are picking up.
"Occasion wear is the indicator for us," Shelly instantly replies. "It has been an incredibly strong season for occasion wear for the first time in a long time. Oscar de la Renta literally sold out in two days. People are buying as soon as the collections drop. Definitely, people are looking for difference - special pieces, investment pieces. They want something different, something new. And they really want colour."
A desire for colour in fashion is a trend we have not seen since before 2008. A love of colour, be it in fashion or interior decoration, is always a sign of economic and social optimism. Think of the 1960s, or the 1920s.
Brown Thomas's catwalk show was a perfect summation of this season's key trends. Winter white and cream looked sophisticated, modern and beautiful, especially when done by Peter Pilotto, Victoria Beckham and Valentino, which was a big hit with this fashion design-discerning crowd. I adored Preen's eclectic collection; it was sensual and evocative, while still being sophisticated.
The audience loved Stella McCartney's sharply cut, bustier-styled, dresses and suiting, Dries Van Noten's new bohemian rhapsody and Balenciaga's modernist dresses.
"This season, there is a really big focus on tailoring and couture-like detail and finish," Shelly explains. "The couture side of fashion is something very new. It means structure, it means quality. Garments may be corseted, more structured, more complex.
"We also saw a lot of change today," Shelly elaborates. "Erdem has moved its silhouette away from the body and into more trapeze shape dresses and coats. Victoria Beckham has gone from being occasion wear, to more casual and wearable with all her knitwear pieces. Stella was more feminine in her dresses and jumpsuit styles.
"Trends-wise - knitwear is huge, especially ribbed knit pieces such as in Celine. Winter white is a big trend - think of Peter Pilotto's white dress, which was so futuristic. One- shoulder and backless looks are also key. The cocoon coat, the Crombie coat.
"The big sleeve is an important new detail. Roksanda is the queen of the event dress and Dior for beautiful coats. It is a strong fashion season, with something for everyone."
Which is good news for consumers. As is the ISPCC Brown Thomas fashion show for children.
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Growing up in Longview, Tex., in the 1990s, Brandon Maxwell used to go to the local beauty supply store and the Goodwill, buy cheap hair extensions and secondhand dresses with which to style his girlfriends, and then photograph them around town with disposable cameras from CVS.
Studying photography at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Mr. Maxwell kept up the Steven Meisel-on-a-budget routine, only his fellow students were all into fine art and were very serious.“Here I was asking my girlfriends to be in a field with big hair and a fur coat, screaming, ‘Jump!’ ” Mr. Maxwell said. “I would completely ignore the camera unless somebody handed it to me. I’d be so lost interacting with the girl.”It didn’t make him a photographer in the end, but it was good training for his current job as Lady Gaga’s stylist, one of the plum gigs in fashion.
Like many small-town fashion misfits, Mr. Maxwell made his way to New York, where he began assisting top stylists like Edward Enninful. In 2010, he went to work for Nicola Formichetti, who was then Lady Gaga’s outrageous-outfit enabler, styling ensembles like her meat dress for the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. When Mr. Formichetti left to become artistic director of Diesel, Mr. Maxwell stepped into the role full time.It is Mr. Maxwell, 30, who is credited with influencing the pop star’s recent glamour turn — the Gaga who performed in a white Azzedine Alaïa gown at this year’s Oscars; the Gaga who glimmered like a 1930s jazz chanteuse on stage with Tony Bennett during their “Cheek to Cheek” tour.Mr. Maxwell’s old boss, for one, has noticed the changes approvingly. “Gaga became so iconic with these incredible outfits, I’m sure it was hard for Brandon to take over,” Mr. Formichetti said. “But amazingly, he injected his sensibility. She became very sophisticated and beautiful, and it was more about her personality.”
Lady Gaga herself agrees, to a point. “To say he’s good at being elegant but he’s not good at being rebellious would be a lie,” she said. “He’s very good at being rebellious. We’ve done pounds of dreadlocks, and things that require wire.”Mr. Maxwell is quick to defer credit, calling his relationship with Lady Gaga a “creative partnership.” He is not the type to dictate what dress to wear, he said.
Still, he added: “I guess it looks more timeless and elegant because in my mind that’s how I see her. Obviously I have my own style that I’ve grown up with and that I veer towards.”
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That style will be on display Monday, when Mr. Maxwell shows his new women’s wear line during New York Fashion Week at the uptown Mr. Chow.Despite having no formal design training, Mr. Maxwell said his years spent creating outfits for Lady Gaga have been a mini couture school. If he can stitch together flank steaks backstage at the V.M.A.’s, how hard is it to construct a plunging V-neck?Talking about his debut collection, Mr. Maxwell said the clothes would reflect his love of “powerful silhouettes, powerful women” and classic elegance. Chic suits. Waist-hugging jackets made of horsehair. A palette of black, white and blush.
If the aesthetic has a foundational influence, it is to be found in his Texas hometown, in a ladies clothing store where his grandmother worked called Riff’s.It was the kind of independent boutique that once thrived in small cities but is mostly gone now, a store catering to the fashionable wives of oilmen and chamber of commerce members, carrying everything from sportswear to high fashion: Neiman Marcus for small-town East Texas.Louise Johnson, Mr. Maxwell’s grandmother, said she would pick him up after school, and he would stay with her until the store closed.“He’d go help cashier or he’d watch me dress models,” Mrs. Johnson said. “We did these charity balls like the hospital auxiliary show to raise money. Brandon was around all of this. He’d get so excited.”
Riff’s has since closed, but it lives on in Mr. Maxwell’s notion of offering women value and a wardrobe that can be worn throughout the day, to work and later to the cocktail party.
“I want to make clothes that are almost a uniform for women and that last for years, that are timeless and classic and that are worth their money,” Mr. Maxwell said.Inez van Lamsweerde, the fashion photographer, who met and became friends with Mr. Maxwell on the set of a Lady Gaga video, said his practicality reflects his experience.“Because he’s seen Gaga on stage, he realizes people need to move in the clothes, be comfortable to a level where you can function, sit down, raise an arm,” Ms. van Lamsweerde said.In his own style, Mr. Maxwell is neither outrageous nor classically elegant. He usually wears a casual uniform of pants (Acne), a white or gray T-shirt (James Perse) and sneakers (Nike). Barely out of his 20s, his hair has gone salt and pepper, a result, perhaps, of five years in the fashion fast lane.
“My life changed so quickly when I started working with Nicola,” Mr. Maxwell said, referring to the constant travel for styling jobs and the high-profile, all-consuming tours and award shows with Lady Gaga.On a recent afternoon, Mr. Maxwell was in his small studio in Midtown Manhattan with two assistants, working on last-minute adjustments to his collection before he was to hop onto a plane to Los Angeles to style a shoot for Elle magazine. He would return on a red-eye and go right back to work here.“I’ll make time for both careers,” Mr. Maxwell said. “I don’t sleep much, and I kind of like it that way.”Studying the mood boards and the sample dresses in muslin hanging from a rack, a visitor tried to spot a trace of the big-time-pop-star world that Mr. Maxwell inhabits. It could be found in a pair of flared pants made of alligator skin that looked very ’70s rock star. But, once again, the inspiration was not Lady Gaga but Longview.
“My dad always wore alligator boots when I was growing up,” Mr. Maxwell said. “In starting a women’s wear collection, I knew I wanted alligator. Alligator always symbolized luxury to me.”
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League wins salary cap fight with Redskins
ATLANTA (AP) An arbitrator upheld the NFL’s salary cap reductions on the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins for this season and next.
Stephen Burbank dwight howard jersey ruled Tuesday in favor of the league and dismissed the grievances by both teams. The Redskins lost $36 million over two years,nfl jerseys. The Cowboys lost paul pierce jersey $10 million for overloading contracts during the uncapped 2010 season despite league warnings about such maneuvering.
The Cowboys and Redskins,nba jerseys 975, who nfl jersey size chart filed their grievances against the league and players’ association, said in a joint statement they would “abide by the arbitrator’s wholesale nfl jerseys decision to dismiss.”
“We will continue to focus on our football teams and the 2012 season,” the NFC rivals said.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones compared the dynamics of the salary cap with using a credit card.
“The way you work around the salary cap is you kind of use the credit card to spend money that you won’t be spending in the future,” Jones said Tuesday at the owners meeting. “So it caused us to do more credit card spending in the future.”
Redskins general manager Bruce Allen said the team is “obviously disappointed.” Asked how losing another $18 million might inhibit the Redskins, he said: “We’ll see. We’ll have time to talk about it.”
League passes new pad rules for players
ATLANTA (AP) The NFL made thigh and knee pads mandatory equipment for the 2013 season, something the players’ union was not pleased with.
Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay, chairman of the competition committee, said Tuesday at an owners meeting that because this is a playing rule, the league can apply it unilaterally.
“We have a vote of the membership and can implement,” McKay said. “Some of us felt we were remiss that we took it out of the rule book high school and college makes it mandatory and in our mind that is how it should be and will be in 2013.
“We have some work to do with the union.”
McKay said the league will meet with NFL Players Association representatives on the issue, something they have discussed in the past.
But the NFLPA argued that the move should be negotiated.
“Any change in working conditions is a collectively bargained issue,” the union said in a statement. “While the NFL is focused on one element of health and safety today, the NFLPA believes that health and safety requires a comprehensive approach nfl jerseys cheap and commitment. We are engaged in and monitor many different issues, such as players’ access to medical records, prescription usage and the situation with professional football’s first responders,nfl jerseys, NFL referees.
“We always look forward to meeting with the NFL to discuss any and all matters related to player health and safety.”
The pads rule would not go into effect on the field until next year so equipment manufacturers can work on safety and comfort.
Commissioner Roger Goodell couldn’t see any negatives to adding the thigh and knee pads.
“We have raised the issue of mandatory pads for at least three years now,nfl jerseys,” he said. “I believe the technology has improved, the pads are far better than a decade ago, they allow better performance and are more protective. Every other level of football uses the pads.”
Former All Pro safety Troy Vincent, now an NFL vice president, explained why there could be pushback from the players.
“It’s psychological. Less pads you are faster, skinnier, that’s just the way I was introduced to the (pro) game,” he said. “It’s a culture shift. They will adjust.”
Goodell pointed out something a Nike executive told him recently: NBA players are wearing more pads from the hips down than NFL players.
“There is something wrong with that,” Goodell said.
Should a player not have the pads john wall jersey on when he enters a game, he will be sent off the field by a game official.
“It’s the same as if he ran on without a helmet,” McKay said. “It is a safety rule.”
Goodell said he expects evidence in the Saints bounties case would be made public after all the player appeals and grievances have been heard. Release of any documents also could be delayed by Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma’s tim duncan jersey authentic mlb jerseys defamation lawsuit against cheap authentic nfl jerseys Goodell after the commissioner suspended Vilma for the entire 2012 season.
The owners also voted to move the trading deadline from after Week 6 to after Week 8, and to nhl jerseys cheap allow one “marquee” player placed on injured reserve to return to practice after the sixth week of the schedule and to the lineup after the eighth week. That player must be on the 53 man roster after the final preseason cut.
Terrell Suggs, the 2011 Defensive Player of the Year, could fall into that category. Suggs recently underwent surgery for a torn Achilles tendon. If the Ravens believe Suggs can make it back in midseason,nhl hockey jerseys 318, as the linebacker has predicted, they could use the IR special designation for him.
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft likes the adjustment because he knows firsthand how devastating an injury to a star player can be.
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Oh, the places you’ll go. Artist James Toogood takes viewers through cityscapes in Philadelphia and New York, the waterways of Venice, and the tropical beauty of Bermuda. In “James Toogood: Watercolors” at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), the teacher and alumnus investigates the variations of light, texture, and atmosphere found in those places.
Toogood, whose work has been featured in more than 40 solo exhibitions with the Rosenfeld Gallery in Philadelphia and other galleries and museums, uses watercolor paintings to communicate things he finds intriguing about the people, places, and things that make up everyday life.
“My work is about my feelings about the things that amuse, bemuse, and stun me,” he said in a telephone interview. “I’m trying to find beauty sometimes in the banal. A pizza place in New York City might not be the first thing you think of.”
But he did and he painted one into a work called “Mixed Emotions.” It shows a street corner in NYC as it is, but also as he wants to see it. He adds things, moves buildings, or changes things to fit his vision. People think the scenes are strictly representative and actually appear the way he paints them.
“You get a sense of believability,” he said. “Because certain things are believable, it must all be believable.”
He usually paints scenes with great detail and “they take as long as they take,” he said.
A larger painting, with “a lot that has to be expressed,” could mean thousands of brushstrokes and about a month of work (or more). He tries to work on one piece at a time. Sometimes, while working on a new piece, he’ll go back and add touches to a recently finished one.
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“I’ll muse about it and look at it in the corner while I work on something else,” he said. “It’s like working on a puzzle in your head.”
He’s been working on artwork puzzles in his head since he started painting as a child.
“I thought everyone did it,” he said. “You learn math and spelling and how to paint. I was already hooked when I realized that wasn’t the case.”
It’s a tough, but rewarding life.
“Being an artist is a noble calling,” he said. “It’s not easy. It requires enormous work. You have to know you may or may not make it. Sometimes, you’ll make it for a while and you’ll have lean times and you need to be prepared for it. You really have to be willing to know there’s going to be sacrifices.”
Tish Ingersoll, Manager of the PAFA Alumni Gallery, appreciates his take on the artistic life and is happy to be able to showcase not only an alumnus, but a PAFA teacher. She curated the Toogood exhibit and loves his work. She thinks what he does with watercolor is amazing.
“Some people put watercolor down and don’t take it seriously,” she said in a telephone interview. “His layering technique is labor-intensive although he makes it look like it isn’t. He has mastered the medium.”
Ingersoll said the exhibit has a broad range.
“The Bermuda paintings have such translucency,” she said. “The blues are gorgeous — cerulean, ultramarine. It’s a gorgeous play of that against the cityscapes we’ll have and his Venetian paintings.”
She thinks his talent makes it easy for him to go “in any direction, no matter the subject,” she said. When she began putting the show together, she thought of just displaying cityscapes.
“Then I went to his studio and said ‘I can’t just do that.’ His mastery of landscape is beyond belief,” she said.
And though many scenes are representational, they’re really about light and texture and atmosphere, she said.
“Viewers can take whatever they want from his work,” she said. “It’s not about the recognizable place, but where it can take you.”
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HONG KONG — The 16th China Yiwu International Exhibition on Textile Machinery, (YiwuTex 2015) is going to meet the demand of the trend and help textile enterprises to realize transformation and to enhance competitiveness. The show will be grandly held from November 20-December 3, 2015, at the Yiwu International Expo Centre, with an exhibiting area of more than 15,200 square meters (m2).
YiwuTex is a specialized show which mainly focuses on knitting and hosiery industry. It targets advancement, energy-saving and automation technology, providing a one-stop platform running through knitting and garment industry. After its 16 years’ development, it has now grown up to be an important support for Zhejiang textile industry.
Keeping Pace With The Market Trend For Insights
According to the statistics from China’s General Administration of Customs, in 2014 the export value of China’s textile products reaches 1.83 trillion renminbi, with an increase of 4.06 percent by last year. And the knitwear export value climbs to $81.73 billion, accounting for 44 percent of the total textile export value. Knitting industry occupies an increasingly important position in China’s textile industry, and knitted products almost win the global market for its excellent clothing performance.
With the improvement of textile technology, many high-end suppliers are adopting the application of knitted products as a better solution. In order to cater the market changes, the key for China’s manufacturing transformation is focusing on the technological automation and integrated production, especially for the textile industry.
YiwuTex 2015 is dedicated to showcase the latest automated textile machinery, focusing on the trend of textile industry and promoting a green and sustainable production mode, thus helping enterprises to grasp current business opportunities and to remain in a leading position in the industry during the transformation and reshuffling period.
YiwuTex 2015 presents the new textile technology applications in knitting and garment, medical hosiery, seamless underwear, functional sportswear, interior auto parts, footwear, home textile and many other sectors.
Concurrent Events For A Glimpse Of Future Development
A series of events and forums will be held concurrently during the show period to share hot topics of the industry and to analyze the latest design trends. It is a combination of theory with visual display, for buyers to experience the hottest topics of fashion in the events.
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• Fashion Extravaganza
The organizing committee is joining hands with fashion designers from PR China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, to share the latest application of textile technology and latest design trends by dynamic shows and products displays.
• Knitting Collections Wardrobe
Designed by our renowned exhibitors, a knitwear collection will be displayed onsite to showcase the best knitting technology.
• Forums on the Latest Trends
Lingerie and Knitted Apparels Fashion Trends
Functional Sportswear Development and Application Seminar
Knitting Technology Application and Trends in Shoe Vamp
Intelligent Management and Technology in Industry 4.0 Manufacturing Era
Wastewater Treatment and Environmental Protection
Brand Strategy and Integrated Marketing Used in E-commerce Business Model
A Strong Organizing Committee
YiwuTex 2015 is sponsored by the Zhejiang Provincial Government; organized by Zhejiang Province Economic and Information Commission, Department of Commerce of Zhejiang Province, Science and Technology Department of Zhejiang Province, Municipal Governments of Related Cities, Yiwu Municipal Government and Adsale Exhibition Services Limited; supported by China Camber of International Commerce Yiwu Chamber of Commerce, Yiwu City Hosiery Industry Association, Yiwu City Braiding Industry Association, Yiwu City Seamless Knitting Association, Yiwu City Zipper Industry Association, Yiwu City Garment Industry Association, Yiwu City Glove Industry Association, as well as Pujiang County Knitting, Printing and Dyeing Industry Association.
YiwuTex 2014 covered an exhibiting area of 15,200 m2, featuring more than 200 leading international exhibitors from 10 different countries and regions. It accommodated over 530 sets of machineries and equipment, which attracted 9,130 important buyers from 29 countries and regions and more than 10 professional associations and enterprise delegations to attend.
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TAMPA — Gunfire rang out shortly after Melissa Kunkel and Gary Webb said “I do” on Sunday.
The shots — aimed at heart-shaped bulls-eyes on paper targets — might have been among the friendliest fire in history.
Following a wedding ceremony attended by about 50 people in a banquet room at Shooters World on Fletcher Avenue, the newlyweds took aim and fired.
After an initial volley of shots that left holes around the bulls-eye, Melissa Webb pierced the paper heart with two bullets.
“It’s an unusual experience, but it couldn’t have turned out nicer,” said the bride’s father, Tom Daniels of Clearwater. “She had been advised that if she wanted to learn to shoot, go to Shooters World with Gary.”
Webb and Kunkel worked together before their unofficial first date at Shooters World last year, and the shooting range soon became their favorite date-night destination.
She bought a new gun the first time she met Webb at the range and later took its concealed weapons permit course.
After the couple became members of the range, he joked that it would be an ideal venue for their wedding.
She took him seriously.
The couple worked with wedding planner Amanda Bowers of Bowers Event Design to incorporate themed details, such as Webb’s boutonniere made of a .308 caliber shell casing and the cake topper — a couple standing back-to-back holding guns.
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Even the targets, eventually riddled with bullets fired by the newlyweds and several guests, were customized with the words: “Gary and Melissa — Shooting for Forever.”
There was even a gun theme at the guest sign-in table, where a sign made of .45 caliber bullets spelled the groom’s last name.
Todd Moir, Kunkel’s cousin, wore a pair of headset-style ear protectors and protective goggles. He said it was the first time he’d been to a wedding at a shooting range.
“I thought it was pretty cool,” he said.
Asked if he was shooting that day, Moir laughed.
“No, I just wanted to look the part,” he said.
Jim Hull, a friend of the couple, said the shooting range wedding was a first for him, as well.
“It’s pretty unique,” he said.
Unlike Moir, Hull came ready to shoot with a .45-caliber handgun by his side.
The wedding ceremony was performed by Shooters World store manager Josh Wilson, whose words were occasionally punctuated by muffled gunfire.
“One outing at this gun range has brought us to this moment,” Wilson said.
“Some people say they find love, as if it were an object hidden under a rock,” Wilson said.
By contrast, he said, Webb and Kunkel found a “deep and quiet love.”
Looking into the eyes of his smiling blonde bride, Webb called her his best friend, and a wife that he would “trust and appreciate.”
“I promise to be there when you need me,” he said. “When you cry, I will comfort you. When you fall, I will catch you.”
Kunkel recited her vows through happy tears.
“I believe our paths crossed for a reason,” she said. “You saw my clouds and took me to sunlight.”
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Day two of Fashion Week Stockholm started off with Filippa K, one of Sweden’s fastest-growing fashion brands, mostly known for its minimal and timeless wardrobe essentials. For Spring 2016, the brand channeled a laid-back Los Angeles mood, but this wasn’t the hippie-dippie-by-way-of-the-Canyon mood seen on other catwalks. Instead, the label looked to the lives of the Left Coast’s wealthy art collectors, interpreted through the show’s Malibu-esque Bonniers Konsthall setting. Classic Cali staples like wide-leg trousers and short leather jackets were interpreted in light hues and layered inventively with tanks over button-ups and tunics covering trousers.
Later in the day, Filippa K also presented a menswear collection that echoed the relaxed nature of its women’s showing, but left L.A. in favor of the world. The theme of “understated utility” played out in a covetable parka-backpack combo and multiple hidden pockets on the designer’s slim shirts and jackets, though this was a collection that you might want to touch and feel rather than to watch pass by on a runway to fully experience the brand’s TK materials like laminated paper-thin jackets, cashmere, organic cotton, and crisp poplin.
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At Carin Wester, the designer found inspiration in the relaxed atmosphere of the seaside, which she interpreted literally—see the vast use of navy and sailor rope as belts—and abstractly through feminine elements and the use of satin and golden details. The structured knits and oversize silhouettes pushed the mood into posh island vacation territory, though the layered knits and satin dresses would work for city life, too.
Then came Cheap Monday, whose Spring 2016 collection was a trip of a different kind. Large mushrooms were placed on the runway, and the collection, titled “Nuclear Psychedelia,” consisted of exaggerated shapes and acid-destroyed clothes in earthy and radioactive-green shades. Postapocalyptic? Maybe a little, but this was an after-Earth scene with really good jeans.
Tuesday night did not stop there, either. There was an unusual excitement in the humid Stockholm air for the week’s most-buzzed-about fete, the legendary NYNY Party, hosted by Tommy Saleh, Saurabh Sinha, Adam Katz Sinding, and Lill Lindqvist at the member’s bar Bernie’s at Nosh and Chow. A massive line of people wanting to get into Bernie’s, and the star-dazzled guest list might have been why: Actress and Louis Vuitton face Alicia Vikander was among the evening’s revelers. An elevator took a handful of selected guests to the secret fourth floor presented by Hyde’s Spectacles with the clear message that what happens on the secret floor stays on the secret floor. This party proves that while Scandinavian style might be minimalistic, when it comes to grand parties, Stockholm knows how to max it out.
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'Tis the first week of school; the sweet smell of academia is perfuming the air, and the last remnants of summer are almost behind us. Most of us have perfected the art of dressing for class. You've become a Kung fu master at "the five-minute dash," pouncing out of bed like a ninja and slipping stealthily from your pajamas into your look for the day. But how does the karate kid decide what to wear to school?
A few things to consider, grasshopper, when preparing for class:
1. I understand we are all broke and living off ramen noodles, the diet of poor champions and fashionistas alike.
Lucky for you, Bowling Green is a spendthrift’s dream! There’s a consignment shop on every corner; your closet has the potential to range from preppy to punk without making you cry when you open your wallet. Be open-minded to the beautiful world of recycled clothes. You can be the best-dressed kid on campus and still have enough cash to eat another meal.
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2. Don’t just take! Give back to consignment and thrift stores by going through your closet and getting rid of pieces you haven't worn since middle school. I promise you, you don't need them anymore. Don't be afraid to downsize: sometimes less is better. Plus, you may even get a little extra cash in your hand while you’re at it.
3. Consider buying basics. Take notes from sensei James Dean, the king of the basic. If you have a white tee and a pair of jeans, you're probably going to be set for life. Once you have these essential pieces (classic blacks and whites, button-downs, denim jeans, a chunky sweater) you can then add accessories, layer your favorite leather jacket, etc. If you start with traditional separates that you can mix and match, you will be able to create a variety of different looks without forcing yourself to buy a whole new wardrobe.
4. Don't be afraid of the numbers. One thing that folks usually get hung up on when shopping is size. If it fits, it fits. Don't squeeze yourself into a size two just because you can; wear the size that will flatter your shape and be comfortable. Wear clothing that allows you to—oh, I don't know—breathe. Your clothes should not strangle or swallow you. You're looking for the fit that is just right.
At the end of the day, dress to make yourself happy. Does it matter if I like what you wear? No. What matters is that you leave your room feeling confident. Dressing for school is about figuring out what works for you. Find your own look, grasshopper. You get a black belt from me.
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The sci-fi thriller Humans, which wrapped this week on AMC, depicts a world where people turn to “synths” (a.k.a. robots) to help simplify their daily lives. Naturally, things only got more complicated when the robots began caring for their kids and sleeping with their husbands. In the real world, however, scientists and designers are claiming that a new wave of sartorial technologies will lighten the burden of another habitual (and in turns inspiring and maddening) act: getting dressed.
Researchers at the University of Toronto and the Institute of Robotics and Industrial Informatics in Barcelona, for instance, have turned computers and mobile devices into personal stylists. After studying thousands of photos on the fashion website chictopia.com, the team, led by U of T computer scientists Raquel Urtasun and Sanja Fidler, came up with a complex “fashionability” algorithm that tells users how to make an outfit, and even the background of their photos, more appealing. “We want people to be able to use it to dress better,” Fidler says over the phone. It’s also useful in helping people select pictures to post on Facebook or online dating sites, she explains. They hope to launch an app in the coming months.
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Fits.me, meanwhile – a website that bills itself as a “virtual fitting room” – uses volumetric robots to help users assess how well clothing purchased online will fit them. Punch in your measurements, and an image will appear onscreen of a woman or man with a similar body type wearing the article that you’re interested in. (Caveat: Users can only “try on” pieces from participating retailers.) The idea was developed in response to high return rates and customers’ dissatisfaction with their online shopping experiences, chief executive officer James B. Gambrell says from London, where the company is headquartered. The data the site gathers are proving useful to participating clothing labels, too. “We can tell a brand how people are wearing their clothes. If [a customer is] looking at a size 8 blouse, we can tell if they’re wearing it loose or tight, and what their average body size is.”
Over in San Francisco, a startup called Electroloom has created a 3-D printer that shoots out garments – or, more accurately, a liquid solution that turns into polycotton when it hits and adheres to a 3-D model – on demand. Still a work in progress, its prototypes have crafted tank tops and skirts sans sewing machine, and its founders have indicated that a working model will be ready for early adopters by spring 2016.
For anyone who has ever needed a hand doing up her dress, the Zipperbot, created by Adam Whiton, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Personal Robots Group, is apparently up to the task. The device, which resembles a bulkier version of the pull tab on an actual zipper, is not available to purchase yet. However, Whiton thinks his bot could start a trend in assistive clothing, helping people with disabilities get dressed, for example. It could also be handy for anyone who wished her pencil skirt detected motion, loosening its fit for lunchtime walks and zipping up again once back at the office. He admits that having a sartorial robot that performs common functions on its own can be confusing for users at first. “We want to be in control of our clothing, because we want to be in control of our identity,” Whiton says over the phone. Handing some of that control over to an automated entity, as he sees it, is all about baby steps. “Right now, wearables are pretty big. But the next step is going to be more about activation,” he predicts, referring (of course) to full-on sartorial robots like his.
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