Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Sun And Our Skin

The leading cause of preventable skin damage is ultraviolet radiation. However, two people with different types of skin will have different results from the same degree of sun exposure. Fair skinned, blue eyed people (Fitzpatrick Skin Type 1) have skin that evolved to live in Europe and places without significant ultraviolet exposure. Darker skin with more melanin (Fitzpatrick Type 6) is better adapted to sun exposure and designed for tropical latitudes. These differences in pigmentation translate to requirements for high SPF for people with fair skin and lower SPF for those with darker skin. The requirement for differing degrees of protection depending on skin type is the main fault with skincare moisturizers that include SPF 15 and are marketed as “daily wear.” They are not adequate for the daily activities of most of the people who purchase them. For instance, skin that needs SPF 50 will burn with only an SPF 15 on.
Sun protection is necessary regarding the ultraviolet light does to the skin. Ultraviolet light interacts with the skin by radiating it. Different types of ultraviolet light penetrate to different levels and have interactions with molecules and cells. One significant interaction is with the DNA of the skin. As DNA is affected by sunlight, it is altered and the information contained in the DNA is changed. Most of the time, the damage can be repaired but as we get older our ability to repair DNA decreases and mistakes begin to accumulate. As this occurs, faulty genetic information is translated into defective proteins and abnormalities in the cells are seen. Abnormalities including skin cancer may result from the damage. Ultraviolet radiation also damages collagen and this is seen on the surface as wrinkles. Liver spots are also seen following exposure to sunlight as the body tries to shield itself.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Brief History of Hardy Amies (Edwin Hardy Amies)

In 1934 Amies start to enter the fashion world when he accepted a job as managing designer at LaChasse, a couture sportswear company. His primary innovation during the 1930s was to lower the waistline of women’s suits, placing it at the top of the hip instead of at the natural waistline. This gave his suits a more elegant, feminine look.
In the World War II, Amies left LaChasse and enlisted in the army. During his leaves, he designed for Bourne and Hollingsworth, and he showed his own designs at Worth of London. Also during the war, he helped found the Incorporated Council of British Fashion Designers, which designed clothing that adhered to the government’s austerity regulations.
He opened his own house in 1946. Specializing in suits and coats, he created tailored yet feminine garments from fine tweeds and wools. In 1950, soon after opening the couture house, he established a ready-to-wear boutique which offered suits, sweaters, coats, and accessories. Both establishments were financially successful and popular. Finely tailored suits remained his trademark until the 1980s and 1990s.
Amies began designing for Queen Elizabeth II in 1950, and in 1955 she appointed him as one of her three official dressmakers. From this royal appointment, he became known for sumptuous yet refined ball gowns. Also, he created the costumes for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey and corporate uniforms for hotels and airlines.
When Amies began designing menswear in 1959, he was one of the first women’s couturiers to design for men. He tended to be more conservative than other menswear designers; he shunned the frivolous fads and emphasized youthful, yet rich-looking clothing. By following this philosophy, his work, and reputation outlasted the flamboyant fashions that dominated the Peacock Revolution in men’s clothing. He induced greater success of his menswear by signing numerous licensing agreements in various countries to produce the popular garments.
In addition to menswear licenses, Amies has sold licenses for bridal wear, home furnishings, knitwear, leather goods, lingerie, men’s robes and loungewear, shirts, and ties. By 1995 he had fifty licenses. Hardy Amies, Ltd., was purchased by Debenham’s in 1973 and remained under its ownership until Amies bought it back in 1981.