2016’s sartorial moments to remember

Dior appoints its first-ever female creative director

A new era of Dior was ushered in with Maria Grazia Chiuri departing Valentino – ending her extended creative partnership with Pierpaolo Piccioli –to make her debut with a fierce ode to femininity sent down the Spring/Summer 2017 runway. Chiuri’s appointment broke with tradition as men have long shaped the femininity of the French fashion house – Chiuri follows in the footsteps of Raf Simmons, John Galliano, Gianfranco Ferré, and Yves Saint Laurent.

New Zealand evolves into a serious shopping destination

Much to every fashionista’s delight, 2016 saw the arrival of highly anticipated luxury and high street brands in New Zealand. The opening of Chanel’s very first fragrance and beauty boutique and Tiffany & Co. in downtown Auckland, quickly transformed Britomart into a luxury shopping destination. The year ended on a high note with Louis Vuitton opening its new Queenstown resort store in late October and introducing ready-to-wear with the revamped Queenstown store in December.

Alessandro Michele makes fashion fun again

He may be just two years into the role of creative director at Gucci but in brief period of time Alessandro Michele has transformed the Italian fashion house into the hippest, most covetable luxury brand around. With his embellished menagerie of creatures, a kaleidoscope of colour, texture and ornate yet quirky detailing, maximalism is well and truly back, with Michele to thank.

Milan Pret a Porter Woman Spring/Summer 2017 Gucci show

Milan Pret a Porter Woman Spring/Summer 2017 Gucci show

See-now, buy-now dominates the future of the catwalk

Changes in consumer behaviour are having an overarching impact on the world of fashion: “see-now, buy-now” dominated runway discourse in 2016 with a number of designers – Tom Ford, Burberry, Thakoon – foregoing seasonal shows in favour of showing in-season collections. While a handful of designers are embracing the change and transforming their business models to meet new demands, resistance is being felt within the wider industry. Designer burnout is prevalent: ex Dior creative director Raf Simons spoke out about the pressure the current system is putting on designers; Phillip Lim recently declared the see-now, buy-now trend as unsustainable. Watch this space in 2017.

Fashion makes a political statement

From a year that began with BeyoncĂ©’s evocative halftime Superbowl performance and ended with handfuls of designers refusing to dress First Lady to be, Melania Trump, the world of fashion and politics collided time and time again throughout 2016. Few in the fashion world shied from voicing their political allegiances in the United States and beyond, with many left uncertain about the impact Brexit will have on British fashion. With more political and economic uncertainty on the horizon, only time will tell what role fashion and style will play in 2017.

Designer Zac Posen with models from his A/W 2017 runway show

Designer Zac Posen with models from his A/W 2017 runway show

A more diverse fashion world emerges

Diversity continues to be the runway’s philosophy du juor, with an increasing number of fashion insiders calling for a more inclusive and diverse approach to the catwalk and campaigns over the course of 2016.  While fashion has a long way to come before diversity is ingrained in its ethos – transgender and plus-size models remain significantly unrepresented on the catwalk and in ad campaigns – according to Fashion Spot, the Spring/Summer 2017 runway was the first time more than a quarter of models cast were nonwhite – something that is long overdue in our opinion.

What the sun’s really doing to your skin

Want to know what the sun is really doing to our skin, and whether we can reverse the damage? Tracey Beeby, Ultraceuticals Global Education ambassador, talks to us about what the sun is doing to our skin.

What happens to our skin when we’ve had too much sun exposure?
Over exposure to the sun induces free radicals (unstable oxygen molecules) in our skin that damage vital structures on the skin’s surface and within, affecting the supporting network in the lower layers. These free radicals also trigger the production of melanin pigment from cells called melanocytes as a means to protect themselves. Over time, as melanocytes become damaged from sun exposure, their pigment production becomes patchy resulting in dark spots and generally mottled pigmentation. Due to the weakening of the supporting network, blood vessels may dilate and become visible on the surface of the skin. Superficially the skin becomes weak due to free radical damage that also may lead to excess water loss, so dehydration and irritation could occur.

How much sun should we really be getting over summer?
We should never be exposed to the sun without the appropriate sun protection. As to the amount of time an individual should be exposed would vary from person to person. This is measured by what is referred to as the MED, minimal erythemic dose, which is a measure of how long your sunscreen will last. So if it would take you 5 minutes to burn, an SPF of 30 will last you for approximately 150 minutes while an SPF 50+ will give 250 minutes of protection. Following this time, you need to cover up. Even reapplication will not work as your skin has had its full daily dose.

I’ve spent a little too long in the sun. Is there anything I can do to reduce the damage I’ve done to my skin?
Sun exposure causes DNA damage to skin cells, some of which is irreversible. Depending on the age of the individual, the skin may gradually return to its original state over months however as the sun causes DNA damage to the cells some of it will be irreversible. Ongoing measures must be taken to protect and maintain it. Correction of sun damage could be achieved to some degree, using cosmeceutical products and treatments, however, again depending on the age and extent of the damage.