TIME celebrities

Victoria Beckham’s Most Memorable Looks

In honor of her 41st birthday

Fashion designer, singer, mother … model? Leave it to Victoria Beckham to be the most stylish walking advertisement of all time. The Spice Girl-turned-acclaimed fashion designer is celebrating her 41st birthday today, and we’re taking a look back at her most memorable sartorial moments in honor of it.

Whether on the street, at the airport, or on the red carpet Beckham always has impeccable outfits—and more often than not she’s donning her own designs. And when it comes to developing your personal style, Beckham has an important tip to keep in mind. “At the beginning, you should try everything. Good, bad, awful,” she previously told InStyle. “As you get older, you start getting a good idea of what suits you. Trust your gut, not a stylist or a rule maker.”

One thing’s certain: Victoria Beckham will always be fashionably Posh to us.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

This article originally appeared on InStyle.com.

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TIME Gadgets

These High-Tech High Heels Change Color With the Click of an App

Hello, instant customization gratification

Close your eyes, tap your app three times and think to yourself, “There are no heels like these.” Because, honey, there aren’t. Not yet.

Remember last year, when “smart” ballet slippers pirouetted into our hearts (and headlines)? Well, now a high-tech pair of smart high-heels is strutting onto the wearable fashion scene and, Toto, we’re not in blandsville anymore.

They’re called Volvorii Timeless smart shoes and what’s so special about them is that they change color in the click of a smartphone app (iOS and Android versions to come). Hello, instant customization gratification. Not sure which heels to wear with that little black dress? Need to morph from business casual to night club slick, but no time to shift shoes? No stress. Leave it to the Internet of Stilettos.

Related: These ‘Smart’ Ballet Shoes Digitally Paint Dancers’ Fancy Footwork

Created by a seven-person Lithuanian startup called iShüu Tech, and originally the brainchild of display technology research scientist Wallen Mphepö, these high-tech pumps are digital chameleons for your fancy feet. They’re made of leather and rubber and outfitted with hidden circuitboard, Bluetooth and battery components. And, here’s the kicker, they’re pimped out with electronic (e-ink) “paper” that you control with a companion app, altering the look of the flexible digital panel that spans from the top of the toes on up the sides of the pumps.

Depending on what your outfit calls for, or your mood, you can switch the Volvorii’s smart display panel from black to white to a chic Louis Vuitton-inspired black and white pattern. Its ambitious makers, who think they “just might be on the verge of creating a new micro industry for the world,” plan to add more cool pattern choices in the future.

Available in black or white, soft leather-lined Volvorii also come in two tall heel heights, 3.5 inches and 4.5 inches. The battery that powers the display recharges via an included USB wireless charger and takes about two hours to fully juice from zero.

Related: A ‘Smart’ Pair of Shoes With a Noble Purpose

The platform-style pumps launched on Indiegogo on March 12. So far the media darling of a campaign has raised $19,700 of a $50,000 goal, with 20 days to go. If you want a futuristic pair of your own, you’ll have to shell out $249. The $149 and $199 Indiegogo perk packages are already history. The first Volvorri are expected to ship this December, just in time for all those dressy holiday parties.

To see the snazzy stilettos switch colors, and the tech tricks that make them strut their special stuff, inside and out, watch the video below:

Related: This Startup Is Bringing 3-D Printed Insoles to the NBA and the Everyday Consumer

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com.

TIME fashion

Gisele Retires After 20 Years on the Runway

She was the highest-paid model in the industry

Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen formally announced her retirement from modeling on Wednesday after 20 years of walking the runway.

Bündchen posted the news to her Instagram account before a show at São Paulo Fashion Week, her last, along with a picture of herself when she first started at 14:

She is the highest-paid model in the industry, according to Forbes. As the face of brands like Chanel, Carolina Herrera and Louis Vuitton, she earned an estimated $386 million over the course of her career. Her 2014 paycheck alone was $47 million — $16 million more than that of her NFL-quarterback husband Tom Brady.

The supermodel, who has two children with Brady, says she is leaving to spend more time with her family but plans to continue to work in the fashion industry, likely as a designer. She already has her own line of flip-flops and lingerie.

TIME 2016 Campaign

Man Repeller: Why We Care What Hillary Clinton Wears

Leandra Medine is the founder of Man Repeller, a humorous website for serious fashion, and the author of Man Repeller: Seeking Love, Finding Overalls. She almost always wears her suit lapels popped.

(It's not because she's a woman.)

The question on Sunday wasn’t whether Hillary Clinton would finally announce her 2016 Presidential bid — that has seemed a forgone conclusion, the worst-kept secret in politics. The question was what tone she would set for the next 19 months of campaigning. No matter the candidate, every detail in a campaign is carefully and strategically framed for our consumption. The devil is in them. From the specific language of talking points, to the color of one’s tie — or, Sunday, red blouse and blue blazer — these are deliberate choices made by the campaign. As a woman whose company is built on the ethos of dressing for one’s self and using fashion as an empowering medium for expression, I tend to notice things like tie pattern or the positioning of a blazer’s lapel (in Hillary’s case, tailored to pop). I marvel at such cues.

So I can sit here and wax poetic on the sort of garb I believe a Presidential candidate should wear as he or she stumps along over the next two years. (Secretary Clinton’s closet would be a medley of suits crafted by Carolina Herrera and the late Oscar de la Renta and, just to please her audience with the sartorial equivalent of the Pledge of Allegiance, a smattering of denim.) But who cares? Frankly, I do — but not because she’s a woman.

It seems inevitable, if unfair, that when a woman is vying for a prominent position in office, her outfit choices will be analyzed to a degree considerably higher than those of her male counterpart by simple existence of gender stereotypes. Name It. Change it. has found that any mention of a female candidate’s appearance — positive or negative — hurts her chances of being elected into office.

But this conversation is not about Clinton and the manifold shades of suit she has worn; it’s about the impact of fashion on society outside of its own industry. (For her part, Clinton joked about developing a television show called “Project Pantsuit” while presenting a lifetime achievement award to Oscar de la Renta at the annual Council of Fashion Designers of America ceremony in 2012.)

Fashion is used as a tool to convey a point about who we are or potentially want to be. Whether or not a civilian curates his or her own aesthetic is up that person, but it is an integral part of one’s public image. It can be used to reveal various aspects of yourself at various times, or even create something new all together. Maybe it’s feeling like a little “metallic blueberry on creamsicle” for a campaign event, rolling up shirt sleeves to suggest easy confidence, or an Air Force One “mulletting” a la Ronald Reagan, a presidential man repeller who effectively took the reputation of a hair style and turned it into a mode of dress.

Rosie Assoulin, a fashion designer who has dressed Oprah — a figure as prominently recognized as Clinton — recently asked me where the humanity is in fashion. “People use clothes as a tool, but often to lie to the world about themselves,” she said. And she’s right: fashion can be honest, it can be aspirational, and it can lie. Of course, everyone, presidential candidate or not, has the choice to engage using fashion. But that doesn’t quite detract from the voice of the clothes, which is what makes them interesting here — it’s politics.

Read next: Rand Paul Is the Most Interesting Man in Political Fashion

Leandra Medine is the founder of Man Repeller, a humorous website for serious fashion, and the author of Man Repeller: Seeking Love, Finding Overalls. She almost always wears her suit lapels popped.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME fashion

Mad Men Costume Designer on the Style Secret Modern Women Don’t Know

"It's a simple thing, but can really make your clothes look so much better"

When Mad Men returned for its seven final episodes on Sunday, viewers eagerly awaited the fate of Don Draper’s marriage to Megan and his sometimes-tenuous employment at SC&P; Joan’s long-overdue promotion and bid for true love (via rejection of Bob Benson); and Peggy’s scrappy ascent to girl boss in a man’s world.

But, for many of us, there’s a parallel storyline we’ve loved following for seven seasons: the characters’ wardrobes. Conceptualized and brought to life by costume designer Janie Bryant, Mad Mens costumes situate the story in time, underscore character development and emotional themes, and, in a show that’s very much about the pleasures and perils of self-invention, offer us vital cues on who these characters are, and how they want to be seen.

On the eve of the show’s final season, we sat down with the delightful Janie Bryant, and talked about how the women of Mad Men have evolved since that fateful day in 1960 when Peggy Olsen hit the typing pool, why she’ll always be #TeamBetty, and a lady’s secret weapon in her quest for a good outfit (that’s been in front of our eyes all along).

joan
AMC

One thing you’ve done with Joan is give her these incredible signature colors — a real power palette.
“That you don’t see today. By the late 80’s, into the 90’s, color palettes have gotten so limited for men and women. I always loved the idea of designing jewel tones for Joan, and speaking to how strong her character is, even though she may not know it at the time. It’s an old-fashioned feminine power — which we’re really not taught to use these days.”

Joan doesn’t do that Dress For Success thing where you legitimize yourself in the workplace by copying men.
“She does not. And you know, I don’t think that it’s demeaning. I always felt like the colors, the sexiness of her character, made her stronger.”

She’s also an icon to women with a certain body type, because there’s this misperception that everyone was skinny-skinny back then.
“And that was never the case. Then, as now, everybody has a different shape and I’m glad if Joan has helped women stop hiding and be proud of their curves. Accentuate the waist, be proud of your figure, and really own that femininity.”

Can we talk about her pendant necklace? It’s such a statement of “I’m always ready to work.”
“I always thought of it as her sword battling against those men!”

I like that even better.
“Maybe she could get her revenge — stab them a few times.”

MORE The Mad Men Scene That Has Everyone Talking

peggy
AMC

Of course, Peggy has approached the work world very differently, and that’s reflected in her wardrobe.
“Peggy is one of the characters that’s changed the most, through her different job promotions and leaving Sterling Cooper, going back, growing within the company and being a part of that boy’s club. She’s grown from a little schoolgirl secretary to a powerhouse businesswoman.”

Unlike Joan, she chooses clothes that de-emphasize her femininity — there’s a primness.
“Well, one of the things I’ve always loved about Peggy is that she’s a character who doesn’t have great style. That was never her intention or concern. She cares more about her work than what she’s wearing.”

Tell me a bit about your process creating costumes.
“I’ll receive a script and I break it down by character and figure out, ‘What am I visualizing for the costume design for this particular episode?’ And it depends on the episode how much I build, versus what I source from vintage pieces. And a lot is made from scratch — for instance, if Joan is going to be in an episode a lot, I’ll design and have most of her costumes made. I also design a lot of the suits for Don and Pete. I also buy and redesign vintage.”

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AMC

Does [series creator and writer] Matt Weiner ever have input?
“Sometimes he does write in specifically what he’s imagining. Like Sally Draper’s go-go boots: He wrote those in, it was a real plot point. Or Megan in California in her Pucci dress, he wrote that in.”

Interesting — you don’t expect men to have that sensitivity to fashion details.
“Oh, Matt knows. He’s very knowledgeable of the period — menswear, womenswear, the furniture. He’s obsessed.”

Speaking of the go-go boots, Sally Draper has had some exciting moments of fashion rebellion with her youthquake wardrobe.
“The rebellion of Sally is a rebellion from her mom, so I wanted to start transitioning her into a different color palette than Betty to illustrate their struggles. So a lot of dresses that I would have Sally wear would be oranges, greens, reds. Very intense colors.”

MORE Which Mad Men Boss Lady Are You?

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AMC

Not like Betty’s icy palette.
“Yes — a palette Betty would never wear. We’ve never seen Betty in something orange or green, and Betty would only wear red if it was Christmas or Valentine’s, not as an everyday thing.”

Because she’s too emotionally remote?
“And too refined. Betty is all about being elegant, refined, beautiful. Orange to Betty would be an ugly color.”

She’s got that East Coast patrician thing — “we don’t do passionate.”
“We do not. It’s all under wraps and reserved and about looking perfect all the time. Camel is a good Betty color, pale blue, pale pink. So Sally’s moving away from that — and of course, coming under the influence of the other woman in Don’s life.”

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AMC

Megan!
“Sally looks up to her style-wise. I always saw Megan as being the new, the young, the fresh in Don’s life. And I love creating contrasts between Megan and Betty, because those two women really could not be any more different. Megan represents a whole different time period.”

And a different type of womanhood. Megan expects self-actualization, whereas Betty is this repressed woman who may never be happy.
“Poor Betty. I have such compassion for her. A lot of people really hate her. I think it was really hard to be a woman then, when you didn’t have any choices — and it’s not like every woman is free from that to this day. But it was especially true then; they didn’t even have the opportunities to support themselves, or not be under the thumb of some man.”

And the irony is that Betty was a smart, cultured woman! She went to Bryn Mawr, had a career…
“Traveled, speaks Italian.”

Yet was expected to give that independent life up when she got married.
“Despite all Betty’s talents and interests, for her college was more a finishing school to get her MRS, as opposed to skills that would help her in the working world. So I feel for Betty. I think she feels trapped. And that’s one thing I like about Megan — that she’s modern and resists being trapped in that same way.”

MORE 9 Unsung Female Characters Of Mad Men

What do you think women of that era know that modern women didn’t?
“Foundation garments.”

That’s the secret!
“Sorry to say. But that was just something that women did during that period. Stockings, girdles. And I know [modern] women don’t want to do shapewear, even just getting fit and measured for your bras. It’s a simple thing, but can really make your clothes look so much better. That’s the secret.”

When you look over the history of the show, what fashion moments stand out for you?
“So many. I love Peggy in her pantsuit. Megan in her Pucci dress picking Don up at the airport — the L.A. woman. Joan dancing around in her red Christmas dress. Megan doing ‘Zou Bisou’. Betty in her pink peignoir shooting pigeons. Harry in L.A. in his scarf and double-breasted, mustard yellow jacket. Don in Italy in his blue sport coat. I love Don Draper in blue and silk — he’s so dreamy. So many great looks.”

It’s been a great seven seasons. Thanks so much, Janie.
“Thank you.”

This article originally appeared on Refinery29.com.

Read next: 19 Real-Life Ads from the Mad Men Era

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TIME Rand Paul

Rand Paul Is the Most Interesting Man in Political Fashion

TIME Body Image

Lane Bryant Takes a Swipe at Victoria’s Secret in New Lingerie Ad

Lane Bryant

"I'm no angel"

Last year, Victoria’s Secret was slammed for an ad campaign that touted one very specific body type as the “Perfect Body.”

The lingerie company quietly changed its ad after more than 30,000 people signed a petition asking the underwear brand to apologize for its “body shaming” message. And so, five months later, Lane Bryant — a retailer that sells clothing starting at size 14 — has released a similar shoot with its #ImNoAngel campaign, in what seems like a dig at the Victoria’s Secret angels campaign.

What have we been up to? Oh, not much, just redefining sexy. #ImNoAngel

A video posted by Lane Bryant (@lanebryant) on

“I redefine sexy by stating that Beauty Is Beyond Size!!” model Ashley Graham Instagramed under the #ImNoAngel hashtag.

I redefine sexy by stating that Beauty Is Beyond Size!! Share your definition of sexy and hashtag #ImNoAngel with @lanebryant 👼 #beautybeyondsize

A photo posted by A S H L E Y ✨ G R A H A M ™ (@theashleygraham) on

Other women have been encouraged to share their redefinition of what sexy means as well.

There has been a recent movement in the fashion industry to embrace diverse body types, especially in ad campaigns. Candice Huffine, who was in the Lane Bryant ad, also posed in a rubber leotard as the first plus-size model to be featured in Pirelli’s prestigious calendar at the end of last year.

Myla Dalbesio, who at a size 10 is smaller than the average American woman (size 14) but curvier than a Victoria’s Secret angel, appeared in Calvin Klein’s lingerie campaign last year as well. And in February, Sports Illustrated featured its first-ever plus size model in the history of the Swimsuit Edition.

Though Lane Bryant features exclusively plus size clothing, and has since its inception, the general public is particularly primed to take its message to heart.

“Our ‘#ImNoAngel’ campaign is designed to empower ALL women to love every part of herself. Lane Bryant firmly believes that she is sexy and we want to encourage her to confidently show it, in her own way,” Lane Bryant CEO and President Linda Heasley said in a statement.

 

TIME fashion

1940s Fashion Tip: Don’t Leave Home Without a Hat

Or a smartly tailored blazer and a prominent brow

For every photograph printed in LIFE Magazine, countless others never made the cut. A set of 5,000 images might be whittled down to 15 in print, and entire assignments were set aside and never revisited. One such assignment was this series of fashion photos from 1941. Any notes, if they existed, have been lost to time, and all that is known is the location (Buenos Aires) and the subjects (models for Saks). But the fashion statements—eye-catching headpieces, expertly tailored outwear and serious brow power—speak for themselves. If today’s designers want to foster a resurgence of early ‘40s sensibilities, they need look no further than LIFE’s cutting room floor.

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

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