Friday, February 20, 2009

Walking Shoe Trends in 2009

In 2009, there are many different trends in shoes for fitness walking. Even though the choices are plentiful, one theme that seems to stick out is pro-body. The trend stems from the fact that people are realizing that the traditional walking shoe goes against human nature. That the run of the mill footwear artificially stabilizes us on hard, flat surfaces which can cause multiple problems including less muscle engagement, resulting in back and joint pain.

The walking shoe trend for 2009 of being pro-body is a result of the current situation in fitness footwear. Many styles and brands are available, but very few go beyond looks and shiny styles in their design. Few are constructed to make you feel better from the ground up.

A brand that has taken this into account is the MBT shoes by Swiss Masai. These sneakers have a multi-layered pivot sole that mimics walking on an uneven terrain such as on the beach. The curved sole provides several benefits while strolling along. They significantly improve the posture and help relieve pressure on the joints and back. MBT also activates more muscles, whether walking or standing. This helps stimulate the metabolism, burn more calories, and helps firm the legs and abdominal muscles.

Another trendy shoe for 2009 is called the FitFlop. Started as just a sandal, this product now includes shoes and boots for all season solutions. The premise is the same as MBT in that they induce instability as you walk. These shoes and sandals, in turn, help relieve back pain, better your posture, and help burn more calories while they strengthen your leg muscles.

I got some cool tips from Jordan's blog on how to keep working out. There are a growing number of people that now realize that the traditional walking sneaker is not going to cut it anymore. The trends are moving toward alternative footwear as mentioned above. People are becoming more educated about fitness and health, realizing that most shoes work against us. That walking on flat surfaces is horrible for our overall health and well being. That's why new footwear, like those mentioned above, have become part of the Worldwide trend toward an anti-shoe solution.

Michelle Obama wears Thakoon Panichgul

Donna Rico, Maria Pinto and Isabel Toledo - what do these three American fashion designers have in common? They have all been worn by Michelle Obama en route to the White House. Yet another designer with the privilege of dressing Michelle Obama is Thakoon Panichgul.

Who is Thakoon Panichgul?

Thakoon Panichgul was born in Northern Thailand. He migrated to the United States at the age of 11 and grew up in Nebraska. Thakoon became a fashion writer after graduating from Boston University. He then went on to attend the Parsons School of Design subsequent to launching his first collection in 2004. Panichgul received a nomination from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) in 2006.

Although a newcomer to the American Designer Fashion scene, Thakoon Panichgul's collection is widely stocked in the United States, Europe and Asia including Canada, the Middle East and Russia.

How is Thakoon different?

According to his website's bio, "Panichgul has a talent for blending distinctly different influences into his work, imparting a feminine spirit into a youthful, sporty line. The result is clothing that projects poised elegance with an underlying hint of playful wit."

His style has been described as "quirky" having piped a beige trenchcoat with black lace. According to Gill Hart in her article "From the Obama-dress to Lace-edged Trenchcoats & Floral Prints" - "Since his appearance on the fashion scene 4 years ago, American designer Thakoon has quickly become a favorite with celebrities and stylists, whose customers include Rachel Bilson, Demi Moore, and Sarah Jessica Parker. He has become known for sensual, feminine designs that are modern and innovative, which also reflect his Asian roots."

Michelle Obama wears Thakoon Panichgul

Michelle Obama who was usually described as a frugal dresser (having worn Donna Ricco's $148 high waisted black and white print dress) splashed out on this occasion as Thakoon's outfits are usually estimated to be in the region of US$1500.

Michelle wore Thakoon's slim bodice and A-line skirt in raspberry, lavender and black at the Democratic Convention to join husband Barack Obama on stage when he officially accepted his Presidential nomination on behalf of the party.

Guilt Free Shopping

Eco fashion is the latest buzz word on everyone's lips. Consumers with a conscience want to buy into it and fashion labels want to grab a bit of its marketing potential. So what actually is eco fashion? And how is it helping the environment?

Eco fashion is a term that can be used to describe any clothing that is manufactured in a sustainable way that minimise environmental impact. It can also include ethical and fair-trade clothing which often applies similar principles as the link between people and their health and well being is often inseparable from that of the environment. Some of the main ways that fashion and clothing can impact on the environment are:

Pesticides used in the cultivation of natural fibres - the cultivation of cotton uses large amounts of chemical pesticides which have a range of environmental impacts including health risks to those living in the vicinity.

Chemical pollution / by products of textile manufacture - chemicals from textile factories can enter the water and eco systems damaging flora and fauna and posing a risk to humans.

Textile waste -synthetic textiles do not bio degrade and represent a significant landfill problem in the UK. Even natural textiles produce Carbon dioxide as they break down.

Use of fossil fuels and production of carbon dioxide - all manufacture and distribution of textiles uses fossil fuels and produce carbon dioxide. The manufacture of synthetic textiles is particularly fuel intensive.

There are many different eco fashion initiatives and labels which help to minimise some or all of these environmental impacts. They include natural organic fabrics such as cotton, bamboo, hemp and soy, sustainable materials, fabrics made using recycled materials and the recycling and restyling of second hand clothes. Eco fashion was once considered clothing for hippy, tree hugging types, who did not really care much about style. Lately Eco fashion has become very stylish with top designers getting involved in designing sustainable lines and a huge amount of choice emerging. You can find almost any eco fashion item of clothing that you want including organic cotton trainers and recycled jewellery.

Evening Dress

The rise of the Hollywood fashion icons have seen an onslaught of gorgeous, must-have evening dresses like no other. Evening dresses of various designs, styles, shades could drive evening dress aficionados crazy.

Armed with their magazine cutouts and pen, these aficionados rush to their favorite couturier and ask for a copy of these Hollywood starlet's evening dresses, at a much lesser cost.

There are others, however, who prefer to design their own evening gowns. With a vision and a sketch book, these mavens draw all original evening dresses, with just a touch or an obvious inspiration of Hollywood. So here are some tips on how to design you own evening dresses, Hollywood style.

1. Watch Hollywood Entertainment News

Watching Hollywood lifestyle channels or entertainment news exposes you to a variety of Hollywood evening dresses. You can check out some lifestyle channel's best and worst dressed. These are legit - they are sorted out by legitimate fashion critics, after all. These best dressed and worst dressed lists will give you a very useful cue on what dress designs to go for and what to stay away from.

2. Leaf through Fashion Magazines

Fashion magazines feature the latest evening dresses worn by these Hollywood stars. Fashion magazines are actually way better than watching television. Instead of encrypting the dress designs in your head, fashion magazines give you the luxury of merely showing it to your dress designer or dress maker and highlighting areas which you want altered.

3. One and One Makes One

Take an evening dress design worn by one Hollywood actress, and another worn by another Hollywood icon and mold them together to form a uniquely gorgeous evening dress. Other than being a "half-original", you will have the privilege of choosing which designs to pick out and which to leave out.

4. Elegance Minus the Frills

A lot of the most gorgeous evening dresses actually have one or more of the following: frills, laces, feathers, sequins, crystals, diamonds, trains, corsets and double sided tapes. These are indeed lovely addition to their evening dresses. However, it does not necessarily mean it could work well for a mere mortal such as you. Have the dress made in a way that does not alter its elegance, yet takes away the frills, laces, feathers, sequins, crystals, diamonds, trains or the corsets - as well as the need for double sided tapes. Note: trains and frills are for wedding dresses. Laces and corsets are more fitting for a bridesmaid dress.

5. The color and the cut

The color may look perfect for the Hollywood star that you copied the evening dress design from, but that does not necessarily mean it will look great on your skin tone. The cut may suit her to a tee, but that does not mean it will have the same effect on you. Get inspiration from that Hollywood evening dress, but alter it to make it truly yours. Choose the right shade for your skin tone and choose the right cut for your body type.