Friday, November 27, 2009

Bifocal Contact Lenses

For a majority of us, presbyopia is something we have to live with. In definition, presbyopia is the lack of focusing on things in close range. The cause for this, is the lens in our eyes becoming less and less flexible as we grow older. The bad part is, most of us will need some type of corrective lenses, such as contact lenses or glasses and possibly even bifocals at some point in our lives as this condition gets worse.

Up until recently, those who wore bifocals had very limited options when they chose their corrective lenses. Years ago, glasses that contained bifocal lenses were just about the only option available. Over the years, no-line lenses were created, and glasses became a bit more attractive. This was a very definitive time for bifocal correction lenses, as they looked a lot better than they ever did in the past - eliminating the bulky and unattractive appearance they were well known for.

Now days, you can find many different types of bifocal contact lenses on the market. They are gaining in popularity, as they give those who wear bifocal glasses a very attractive alternative to wearing bulky glasses. They are very affordable as well - which makes them a more popular choice in the world of corrective lenses.

What many may not realize, is the fact that bifocal contacts are very similar to glass lenses in the way they work. With glass lenses, each separate lens provides a range of focus adjustments, one for distance and another for being close up on something. With bifocal contact lenses, both of the adjustments are included. There are different manufacturers that produce different types of bifocal contact lenses, meaning that it may take you a bit of research and experimenting to find which type works the best for you.

Some lenses however, are made with a unique design, known as concentric. Similar to concentric circles, there are two adjustments - one in the middle the other around the outside. These two adjustments in the contact lens are very distinct, with a sharp line between them. Even though they may sound hard to use, most people find that they are easy use with a little bit of practice.

One type of bifocal lens is the aspheric lens, which have a more gradual change of focus. Both power are in the central area of the pupil, and similar to the concentric lens, your eye will immediately adjust to these lenses and decide on the focus that is best to use.

The third and possibly best lens for bifocal use is the translating lens. Just like bifocal glass lenses, the near correction is found at the bottom of the lens, and the distance correction is found at the top. These lenses aren’t able to shift when in the eye, as they are normally made so they aren’t able to shift around. This can be great for older individuals, as these contacts won’t move around no matter what you do.

When it comes to bifocal contact lenses, you should always ask your optician what he thinks is best for your eyes. If you meet the right criteria, chances are you’ll be prescribed bifocal contact lenses. If you wear bifocal glasses, you may find these contacts to be the perfect alternative. You can get bifocal lenses in extended wear, daily disposable, or even conventional - which is great for anyone who likes plenty of choices. With a lot to choose from and a lot to offer - bifocal contact lenses are the ideal alternative for anyone who needs bifocal correction lenses.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chinese Green Tea for Weight Loss

For most people, the Chinese green tea is a stuff of legends. Chinese green tea has been known to be very beneficial to human health. For thousands of years, Chinese green tea has been talked about and written about because of its countless positive effects.

According to legend, the first person to ever taste Chinese green tea was the Emperor Shen Nung in 2737 B.C. It was said that while boiling some water for drinking, some leaves fell into his pot from a tree nearby. Chinese green tea leaves when boiled smelled and tasted so wonderful that Shen Nung even urged his people to drink it. The fame of the Chinese green tea did not stay at one place for long. It is believed that in A.D. 800, Chinese green tea was brought to Japan by monks who studied Buddhism in China.

What makes Chinese green tea different from all other teas?

Chinese green tea is produced from Camellia sinensis, the same plant where the oolong and black tea are derived. Yet, even though they all come from the same herb, the Chinese green tea truly stands out as an exceptional health drink. So what makes Chinese green tea different?

The difference lies in the method by which Chinese green tea is produced. Oolong and black tea leaves are traditionally oxidized and then dried while the Chinese green tea leaves are steamed and then dried. This method of producing Chinese green tea actually preserves most of the beneficial antioxidants present in it.

Chinese Green Tea for Health

While it is already common knowledge that Chinese green tea has several health benefits, modern scientists were able to provide several concrete proofs of the positive effects of Chinese green tea. Chinese green tea antioxidants are said to be the ones responsible for making the Chinese green tea very beneficial.

Recent findings show that the antioxidants in Chinese green tea can reduce cholesterol levels in a person; can improve how blood vessels function; and can reduce blood lipids. It was also discovered that Chinese green tea can have an anti-inflammatory effects and may provide protection against cardiovascular diseases.

Chinese Green Tea for Weight Loss

Significant findings were made that pointed to the benefits of Chinese green tea in weight loss. According to the researchers of the University of Geneva, Chinese green tea has thermogenic properties which aid much in weight loss. In their study, they investigated the weight loss benefits of Chinese green tea by observing the interaction between the caffeine in Chinese green tea and a compound called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). When these two substances in Chinese green tea react, thermogenesis of the body increases by four percent. The tendency of Chinese green tea to enhance metabolic rates has given people reason to believe that Chinese green tea has weight loss benefits as well.

Another study concerning the weight loss benefits of Chinese green tea was also conducted. The results of the research showed that Chinese green tea drinkers have a better propensity for weight loss. Drinking Chinese green tea allows the body to burn an additional 70 calories a day, a feat that weight loss enthusiasts would relish.

Today, Chinese green tea is widely available as a beverage and as an ingredient for weight loss products.

10 inspirational quotes than can improve yourself

It might take a little coffee or probably a few rounds of beer or any other booze you could get your hands on when it comes to relaxing after a hard day's work. Well, yeah I'm guilty about that one as well, unless I'm caught dead wearing a lampshade over my head after a few rounds of vodka… half-naked! Okay, bad example and I apologize to everyone reading this after getting nightmares about me in that state of drunken stupor.

Just don't ask how it happened, please.

But what's really interesting is that how do people go through the usual part of life when faced with vein-popping stress? I mean, the new age thing like Zen or yoga is one of the good things and it actually works. Is there room for the intellectual side of people who can actually smell the roses-in-a-can while on the move? It kind of had me thinking that there really must be something in this 'mind-over-matter' thing.

Humor is indeed the best medicine there is whenever you are. I mean anyone can pay good money to listen to a comedian just to make you wet your pants after laughing so hard. Despite of what's been happening, and to those who has gone though the ordeal, it's better to just laugh while facing the troubles with a clear mind than anger with a clouded vision. One of my favorite celebrities of all time may have to be Woody Allen. Now this is one guy who gives you the in-your-face bluntness that he pulls out with gusto, even without even trying. You can talk just about anything with a man, and he's bound to mock the subject and you'll end up laughing rather than being upset about it.

Woody Allen has this to say:

1. "Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." It sounds good to me, I mean the practicality of all things does involve money but it doesn't have to take an arm and a leg to get it.

2. "I believe there is something out there watching us. Unfortunately, it's the government." 'Nuff said.

3. "There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman?" This happens to be one of the classic ones. I mean the issue about life's little problems isn't all that bad, until 'he' shows up.

Sure, relationships can get complicated, or does have its complications that probably any author about relationships is bound to discover it soon. We follow what our heart desires, unless you're talking about the heart as in the heart that pump blood throughout your body.

4. "Love is the answer, but while you're waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty interesting questions." And if you want more, just keep on asking!

5. "A fast word about oral contraception. I asked a girl to go to bed with me, she said 'no'." It sounds, 'practical', I think.

And when it comes to everyday life, he really knows how to make the best out of every possible scenario, and it doesn't involve a lawsuit if he strikes a nerve.

6. "Basically my wife was immature. I'd be at home in the bath and she'd come in and sink my boats." I never had a boat in my bathtub before. Just staring at it while soaking in hot water makes me seasick already.

7. "I am not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens." If it rains, it pours.

8. "I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose." It could get worse when you're guzzling on beer… or mouthwash, and it happened to me once!

9. "If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans." At least he doesn't smite us with lightning, and I'm thankful for that.

And despite of what may happen to all of us in the next ten, twenty, or even thirty years, I guess we all have to see things in a different kind of light and not just perspective. I can't seem to imagine life without any piece of wisdom that could guide us. Whether we're religious or not, it takes more courage to accept your fears and learn how to deal with them is all that matters when it comes to even just getting along.

And to sum things up, here is the last nugget of wisdom to go by… however, whenever, and wherever we may be.

10. "The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don't have."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Do Yoda Proud: Meditation 101

Meditation refers to a state where your body and mind are consciously relaxed and focused. Practitioners of this art report increased awareness, focus, and concentration, as well as a more positive outlook in life.

Meditation is most commonly associated with monks, mystics and other spiritual disciplines. However, you don’t have to be a monk or mystic to enjoy its benefits. And you don’t even have to be in a special place to practice it. You could even try it in your own living room!

Although there are many different approaches to meditation, the fundamental principles remain the same. The most important among these principles is that of removing obstructive, negative, and wandering thoughts and fantasies, and calming the mind with a deep sense of focus. This clears the mind of debris and prepares it for a higher quality of activity.

The negative thoughts you have – those of noisy neighbors, bossy officemates, that parking ticket you got, and unwanted spam– are said to contribute to the ‘polluting’ of the mind, and shutting them out is allows for the ‘cleansing’ of the mind so that it may focus on deeper, more meaningful thoughts.

Some practitioners even shut out all sensory input – no sights, no sounds, and nothing to touch – and try to detach themselves from the commotion around them. You may now focus on a deep, profound thought if this is your goal. It may seem deafening at first, since we are all too accustomed to constantly hearing and seeing things, but as you continue this exercise you will find yourself becoming more aware of everything around you.

If you find the meditating positions you see on television threatening – those with impossibly arched backs, and painful-looking contortions – you need not worry. The principle here is to be in a comfortable position conducive to concentration. This may be while sitting cross-legged, standing, lying down, and even walking.

If the position allows you to relax and focus, then that would be a good starting point. While sitting or standing, the back should be straight, but not tense or tight. In other positions, the only no-no is slouching and falling asleep.

Loose, comfortable clothes help a lot in the process since tight fitting clothes have a tendency to choke you up and make you feel tense.

The place you perform meditation should have a soothing atmosphere. It may be in your living room, or bedroom, or any place that you feel comfortable in. You might want an exercise mat if you plan to take on the more challenging positions (if you feel more focused doing so, and if the contortionist in you is screaming for release). You may want to have the place arranged so that it is soothing to your senses.

Silence helps most people relax and meditate, so you may want a quiet, isolated area far from the ringing of the phone or the humming of the washing machine. Pleasing scents also help in that regard, so stocking up on aromatic candles isn’t such a bad idea either.

The monks you see on television making those monotonous sounds are actually performing their mantra. This, in simple terms, is a short creed, a simple sound which, for these practitioners, holds a mystic value.

You do not need to perform such; however, it would pay to note that focusing on repeated actions such as breathing, and humming help the practitioner enter a higher state of consciousness.

The principle here is focus. You could also try focusing on a certain object or thought, or even, while keeping your eyes open, focus on a single sight.

One sample routine would be to – while in a meditative state – silently name every part of you body and focusing your consciousness on that part. While doing this you should be aware of any tension on any part of your body. Mentally visualize releasing this tension. It works wonders.

In all, meditation is a relatively risk-free practice and its benefits are well worth the effort (or non-effort – remember we’re relaxing).

Studies have shown that meditation does bring about beneficial physiologic effects to the body. And there has been a growing consensus in the medical community to further study the effects of such. So in the near future, who knows, that mystical, esoteric thing we call meditation might become a science itself!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Adriana Lima gives birth to a baby girl

She already sounds like a budding cover girl...even if it's Parenting and not Vogue.

Victoria's Secret supermodel Adriana Lima and her NBA hoopster hubby, Marko Jaric, welcomed their first child on Sunday, a daughter named Valentina Lima Jaric.

"Mother, father and baby are all doing well," the publicist for the Brazilian-born catwalker told People. No further details were released.

The 28-year-old Lima, who maintained her virginity until she met Mr. Right, and 31-year-old Jaric, a Serbian basketball player who currently plays for the Memphis Grizzlies, started dating in 2006.

He popped the question last year, and the happy couple eloped last Valentine's Day, tying the knot in a private civil ceremony in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

It didn't take them long to start procreating. Lima confirmed the pregnancy in May.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Return of Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2009

Victoria’s Secret supermodels pose in New York’s Times Square to celebrate the return of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show to New York, November 18, 2009. Heidi Klum will be hosting again the event.

This year's Victoria's Secret Angels:
* Alessandra Ambrosio
* Ana Beatriz Barros
* Anastasia Kuznetsova
* Behati Prinsloo
* Candice Swanepoel
* Caroline Trentini
* Caroline Winberg
* Chanel Iman
* Dorothea Barth-Jorgensen
* Doutzen Kroes
* Elyse Taylor
* Eniko Mihalik
* Erin Heatherton
* Heidi Klum
* Izabel Goulart
* Julia Stegner
* Lily Aldridge
* Lindsay Ellingson
* Liu Wen
* Lyndsey Scott
* Marissa Miller
* Mia Aminata Niaria
* Miranda Kerr
* Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
* Selita Ebanks
* Sessilee Lopez
* Shannan Click
* Tatiana Kovylina

Fabulous Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Alexander Wang Wins Swiss Textile Award

Alexander Wang has won the 2009 Swiss Textiles Award, making his the second American design house to nab central Europe's most valuable fashion prize.

New York-based Wang beat out a field of six candidates to win the award, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this month at a ceremony Thursday, Nov. 12, in Zurich.

The winner receives a prize of 100,000 euros, or $147,000. It is not paid out in cash, but instead 10,000 euros, or $14,700, is allocated to buy Swiss fabric, with the remainder used to produce and market upcoming collections by Wang.

Wang's other five finalists - Alexis Mabille, Erdem, Ohne Titel, Peter Pilotto and Thakoon - did not go away empty handed, but instead were given a fabric voucher worth 4,000 euros, or $5,880.

Wang follows another fledgling U.S. house in winning the award. The Los-Angeles-based Rodarte team of Kate and Laura Mulleavy were the 2008 winners, the first women to take the top prize.

Besides boosting the Swiss textile industry by acquainting foreign designers with their fabrics, the evening is seen by locals as one night when Zurich becomes a fashion capital.

Previous winners have included Marios Schwab, Haider Ackermann, Raf Simons and Bruno Pieters, several of whom have subsequently achieved key positions in the industry. Raf Simons is now creative director at Jil Sander and Marios Schwab holds the same title at Halston, while Bruno Pieters designs the Hugo collection of Hugo Boss.

The 12-person jury included legendary designer Isabel Toledo; Louis Bompard, Paris-based fashion writer of L'Officiel; Tiziana Cardini, fashion director of Italy's key department store chain Rinascente; Lisa Feldmann, editor-in-chief of Switzerland's leading fashion magazine, and Markus Ebner, founder of Berlin independent fashion title Achtung.

Wang's most recent show, on Sept. 12 in New York, was a highly innovative combination of athletic actively sportswear with nighttime cool. From linebacker shoulders on gray, corset sweatshirt tops, or perforated rugby stripe looks morphed into tunics and hunting raincoats composed as capes it was all about reinventing athletic codes into cool, contemporary fashion.

"I dream more about sport than actually really do it. So this is my sport fantasy," said Wang after staging the critically acclaimed show.

The 33-year-old, San Francisco-born Wang is a graduate of Parsons School of Design in New York. He launched his first full collection of women's wear in 2007. In a meteoric rise, Wang was nominated for the 2008 Council of Fashion Designers of America in Women's Wear and later won the CDFA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cut it like Beckham: Victoria Adams rewrites fashion rule book

Conventional wisdom dictates that a female celebrity's worst fashion faux pas is to turn up to an event wearing a dress that has been worn by another, thinner celebrity before. The "who wore it better?" feature, a standby in celebrity fashion magazines, has rendered the "repeat dress syndrome" even more of a bĂȘte noire. Yet a certain designer appears to be changing that rule.

When Drew Barrymore stepped on to the red carpet in Los Angeles this week for a film premiere, she wore a purple satin dress that looked familiar. Not only had it been worn before by at least two other prominent celebrities, but, with its mid-calf cut and tight cut, its style is very associated with a very thin celebrity who also happened to be the designer. It was, of course, another dress designed by Victoria Beckham.

This dress – worn recently by both Beckham herself and singer Katherine Jenkins – has been widely deemed a success for Barrymore by the catty celebrity magazine world despite its familiarity. It is seen as yet more proof that Beckham, after just three collections, has reinvented herself as a real fashion player.

Once she was credited, if that's the right word, with coining what became known as Wag style, all hair extensions and hotpants. Now she is associated with a specific style of tailored designer dresses. Her association with the look has not put off her fellow celebrities. If anything, she acts as an improbably successful advert. Stella McCartney, Brooke Shields and Dannii Minogue have been photographed wearing the distinctive Beckham dresses recently. Elle Macpherson loves hers so much she was pictured wearing them three days in a row.

Nor is it just celebrities who wear them: Netaporter, the luxury fashion website, and Selfridges have said that Beckham dresses sell out "instantly", despite their £850 starting prices.

While the rest of the luxury fashion market barely stumbles on, with worldwide sales down, according to modest estimates, at least 17% this year, Beckham may be the phoenix rising from the ashes of the economy. The day the US celebrity press was cooing over Barrymore's dress, it was reported in the New York Times that Versace was cutting 26% of its worldwide workforce after projecting a loss of $45m this year.

Beckham, who has happily conceded that she "can't draw" but "knows clothes" has been canny in her choice of fashion influences, opting for designers who are respected by fashion insiders and have cuts that flatter women's curvy figures.

For the past few seasons her dresses have prompted comparisons to Roland Mouret. For next season she seems to have moved on to Azzedine Alaia in terms of influence, with slightly girlier cuts and A-line skirts. They have the fashion consciousness that gets applause from the industry, combined with the body consciousness that Beckham still prefers.

"I don't want to make dresses that will date. I've always been about clever buying," Beckham said when she launched her label last year.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Latest Male Fashion Fad - Welcome the 'Mirdle'

Fashion for men has to constantly re-invent itself to, well, stay fashionable. Here's the latest addition to its line - the 'mirdle' or men's girdle. And Australian men are going gaga.

The 'mirdle' is an offshoot of the men's stretchy compression shorts available in sporting goods shops.

These body shapers have become the latest fad among men Down Under who wish to lift their posteriors.

It helps reduce "the stomach and love handle area."

While classic "tighty whitey" still remains an underwear staple, men have also started experimenting with colour and styles.

They love to show off designer label waistbands emblazoned at the hip.

"The waistband has become almost the primary selling feature," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst for The NPD Group, a market research firm as saying

Men's shapewear is now in department and specialty stores, marketed to "streamline and slim a man's body," said Michael Flint, head of sales and operations
of Equmen, an Australian company that makes slenderising tops and bottoms.

Nitin Bal Chauhan: Fashion-wise, men want to be at par with women

Touted as one of the most promising designers in the industry, Nitin Bal Chauhan, has come a long way ever since he made his debut in 2007. Already famous in the fashion circuit, Chauhan’s funky unusual themes have been widely applauded in prestigious fashion weeks. And after wooing the ladies with his chic designs and ensembles, Chauhan is now all set to take on the men’s fashion industry as he showcased his trendy designs at the opulent ongoing Men’s Fashion Week.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the fashion madness, the young designer spoke to Tanu Talwar about his creations and his expectations from the men’s fashion industry.

Tanu: Do you think India is ready for a Men’s Fashion Week?

Nitin: Yes, I feel that the timing is perfect. It could have happened 2 years ago but I guess it’s good that it’s happening now as there is so much awareness about men’s fashion, thanks to the media and the global fashion industry. More so, I feel that today there is more clarity both in the fashion industry and among the audience about how the business works.

Tanu: Have men become more fashion conscious?

Nitin: Yes, of course they have. These days’ men want to dress up
and be at par with their women when it comes to their fashion. They are very specific. Not only the professionals you can see college going youngsters too. They all want to wear the latest trends and experiment with their looks and style. I feel that having a fashion week solely for men is the first right step to tap this booming market.

Tanu: What is the inspiration behind your collection?

Nitin: My designs are mainly inspired by gothic architecture, rock and roll and nature. My collection is all about sleek pants
with funky t-shirts that are extremely affordable. Besides clothes
I have also designed a range of bags.

Tanu: What’s the theme behind your creation?

Nitin: See since my designs are inspired by the youth, my show will see college going teenagers walking down the ramp instead of male models. I will showcase a very wearable line that youngsters like to don these days.

Tanu: What are your expectations from India’s first Men’s Fashion Week?

Nitin: (Laughs) Well I truly hope to find some keen buyers. But on a serious note I just want more designers to come and showcase their work in this field.

Tanu: So who all will be able to afford your designs?

Nitin: You’ll be surprised that my collections starts at Rs 300 and goes up till Rs 3000. This is mainly because my target audience is teenagers and young professionals.

Tanu: Do you feel that celebrities walking the ramp have become a substitute for unimaginative designs?

Nitin: Well these things use to happen, say about, 5 years back. But today the audience is just to smart for any designer to dupe them in the name of a celebrity. Moreover, celebrities too have become increasingly conscious about the designers they endorse. They only wear a particular designer’s creation, if they really like his or her work.

Tanu: When do we see you going into retail?

Nitin: Till now my designs have been available at select outlets but I am planning to go into direct retail in two years.

Tanu: Do you think that male models have got their due?

Nitin: Yes definitely. It’s a beginning for them. A window has opened and there is still a long way to go but Men’s Fashion Week is a step in the right direction.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Heidi Klum gives birth to daughter

Heidi Klum has given birth to a daughter, Luo Sulola, her fourth child.

The German-born model, who is married to Grammy-winning singer Seal, said on her website that the baby was born on Friday.

In the message posted today, Heidi says: "She is beautiful beyond words and we are happy that she chose us to watch her grow over the coming years."

The 36-year-old beauty already has two young sons with Seal, whom she married in 2005. She also has another daughter from a previous relationship.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Alessandra Ambrosio: Big Apple Beauty

Making the trek from the West Coast to the East Coast earlier this week, Alessandra Ambrosio was out once again in New York City today (September 12).

The “Victoria’s Secret” model looked super sexy in skinny jeans, flats, a white long-sleeve top, a giant scarf and her signature shades while exiting a chauffeured vehicle, coffee in hand.

As previously reported, the Brazilian beauty is in New York for its annual Fashion Week.

The festivities of the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week began Thursday, September 10, and will run until this Thursday, September 17.

Photo Gallery:

Lectra Launches the Lectra Fashion PLM V2R1

Lectra Launches the New Version of the Only Fashion-Specific PLM Solution on the Market: Lectra Fashion PLM V2R1.

Lectra, the world leader in integrated technology solutions dedicated to industries using soft materials-textiles, leather, industrial fabrics and composite materials-, is pleased to announce the launch of Lectra Fashion PLM V2R1, the latest version of its state-of-the-art product lifecycle management solution for the fashion industry.

The ultimate synergy for fashion professionals

"In these tough times, bringing the right product to market at the right time is crucial to staying ahead of the field. Now is the moment for companies the world over to re-assess their business priorities and processes," said Daniel Harari, Lectra CEO. "An integrated software application with associated process-oriented services developed and delivered by industry experts, Lectra Fashion PLM supports fashion companies as they seek to deliver high-quality, cost-effective and on-trend collections in a timely manner, season after season."

Lectra Fashion PLM V2R1 is a unique modular and scalable solution, tailored specifically to the needs of the fashion industry, with in-built best practices developed throughout Lectra's years of work with the biggest names in fashion. "With its solution for streamlining the complex business of collection management, Lectra is the ideal technology partner for fashion companies looking to enhance their productivity and their competitiveness," said Mario Boselli, President of the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana (National Chamber of Italian Fashion, CNMI).

This process-oriented offer incorporates tools for all the activities and processes involved in the business of bringing a collection to market. Lectra Fashion PLM V2R1 includes modules for line planning, scheduling, costing, sourcing and performance monitoring, created with strategic decision makers in mind, and also process-based applications for fashion design, technical specifications, pattern-making, 3D prototyping and sample development. This fully modular and adaptable offer fulfills the needs of brands, retailers and garment manufacturers of all types and sizes.

A major breakthrough in PLM technology

Lectra Fashion PLM V2R1 takes a huge leap forward by integrating fashion design tools and product development functions with end-to-end collection management features. Going further than any other PLM solution on the market, the V2R1 brings contributors together around "one version of the truth." Users can share season palettes, pattern design data, and measurements charts across the entire range of Lectra Fashion PLM applications, thus securing data and eliminating the risk of errors. Having a single information center saves time on data entry, facilitates communication, and helps maintain quality standards.

Prominent Europe, for example, specializes in men's shirts and formal wear and has recently expanded into casual wear and women's wear. The UK-based company produces approximately 17 million garments a year and manages up to 2,000 customer contracts. It was looking for an international system to work across different languages, maintain its exemplary delivery record, and move the business towards an "at once" manufacturing system. "Lectra Fashion PLM V2R1 will allow us to speed up our processes," said Nigel Lugg, Chief Executive of Prominent Europe. "It will link our three European offices in Spain, France and the UK, and will allow us to collaborate directly with six key Asian hubs: India, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Thailand. Lectra's key strength is its high degree of fashion experience, which links into a global business network."

Enhanced workflow management features within Lectra Fashion PLM V2R1 guarantee optimal planning and control of product lifecycle processes, activities and deliverables for both users and managers. Product development status and workflow management milestones are synchronized, and workflow management follows product development progress-not the reverse. This flexible workflow system, unique among PLM solutions, now enables each fashion company to adapt the order of tasks and progress flowcharts to their individual working methods, making it easy and comfortable to use.

Ease collaboration to enhance competitive advantage

Lectra Fashion PLM V2R1 offers fashion professionals a shared information space with a number of features that facilitate close collaboration within and between teams. Improved notification features ensure that key participants in the collection development process are kept up to date regarding changes made along the value chain. An innovative mark-up tool provides creative and technical teams alike with powerful tools for visual communication, enabling users to "grab" designs of all kinds and annotate them for modifications. Also included in V2R1 is a plug-in option to save and classify sketches directly from Adobe® Illustrator® CS3/4 directly into Lectra Fashion PLM. These sketches are then not only shared throughout the design and development process but can also be modified, filled with colors and fabrics and used to create boards and other communication tools. Easy and efficient collaboration speeds up the accurate exchange of ideas, eliminates the risk of error, and freeing up time for creative work.

"At Une Nana Cool, it is very important for us to continually propose attractive concepts and designs-we aim to encourage young women to enjoy simple, fashionable, high-quality lingerie, the way they enjoy choosing outer garments," said Akiyuki Ueno, President of Une Nana Cool, a subsidiary of Wacoal, worldwide lingerie leader headquartered in Kyoto, Japan. "Up until now, our designers have spent half of their time on operational tasks and on coordination with other team members. With Lectra Fashion PLM V2R1, our designers will be able to spend more time on creative tasks such as concept development and design-this will really strengthen our competitive advantage."

Revolutionizing PLM: modular and scalable software and services

For customers looking for a speedy return on investment, Lectra Fashion PLM V2R1 can be implemented with Lectra's new Easy Start approach. This offers pre-configured contributor roles such as designer, product specifications developer, pattern maker, quality controller, sourcer, product manager/merchandiser. Users are quickly operational and efficient thanks to pre-defined user rights and requirements and role-specific training. As the solution is totally scalable, a project that begins with an Easy Start implementation can easily grow and become personalized for the user company and their specific needs. This flexible system allows fashion companies to integrate their own best practices into the system and adapt it to their methods. Change management is thus accelerated and users are quickly at ease with the system.

In order to provide the best possible support for their customers, Lectra's fashion PLM experts offer rigorous assessments of company processes, carried out within a specialized pre-study-fundamental to successful implementation. Fashion is Lectra's industry experts' vocation; they are committed to getting to know their customers' businesses by working with their teams to conduct thorough evaluations of working methods, processes, needs and challenges. Lectra also offers customers a value assessment that takes the quantitative evaluation even further, using a methodology that provides a framework in which to establish the likely value of a Lectra Fashion PLM implementation, along with the return on investment the customer can expect. As part of Lectra's continuing commitment to customer care, both PLM software and services are entirely tailored to meet the needs of the fashion industry and the needs of each individual customer to ensure that every Lectra Fashion PLM project is a perfect fit.

"We have been impressed by the service received from Lectra. The attitude of their team is always positive and we have really felt supported in our implementation of this advanced technology. Lectra's fashion experts really know our sector and understand our challenges. When our processes change and develop, we will be able to capitalize on their experience and knowledge of best practices," said Vincenzo Gamberale, Global IT Coordinator, Arena Group, leading-edge Italian waterwear producer.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Why Coaching is the Way to Go in Team Management?

When you hear the word “coach”, what comes first into your mind? Do you picture a basketball team with a man/woman shouting out directions? Or perhaps a football team with a man/woman pacing to and fro and calling out the names of the players?

Coaching is no longer reserved to sports teams; it is now one of the key concepts in leadership and management. Why is coaching popular?

Coaching levels the playing field.

Coaching is one of the six emotional leadership styles proposed by Daniel Goleman. Moreover, it is a behavior or role that leaders enforce in the context of situational leadership. As a leadership style, coaching is used when the members of a group or team are competent and motivated, but do not have an idea of the long-term goals of an organization. This involves two levels of coaching: team and individual. Team coaching makes members work together. In a group of individuals, not everyone may have nor share the same level of competence and commitment to a goal. A group may be a mix of highly competent and moderately competent members with varying levels of commitment. These differences can cause friction among the members. The coaching leader helps the members level their expectations. Also, the coaching leader manages differing perspectives so that the common goal succeeds over personal goals and interests. In a big organization, leaders need to align the staffs’ personal values and goals with that of the organization so that long-term directions can be pursued.

Coaching builds up confidence and competence.

Individual coaching is an example of situational leadership at work. It aims to mentor one-on-one building up the confidence of members by affirming good performance during regular feedbacks; and increase competence by helping the member assess his/her strengths and weaknesses towards career planning and professional development. Depending on the individual’s level of competence and commitment, a leader may exercise more coaching behavior for the less-experienced members. Usually, this happens in the case of new staffs. The direct supervisor gives more defined tasks and holds regular feedbacks for the new staff, and gradually lessens the amount of coaching, directing, and supporting roles to favor delegating as competence and confidence increase.

Coaching promotes individual and team excellence.

Excellence is a product of habitual good practice. The regularity of meetings and constructive feedback is important in establishing habits. Members catch the habit of constantly assessing themselves for their strengths and areas for improvement that they themselves perceive what knowledge, skills, and attitudes they need to acquire to attain team goals. In the process, they attain individually excellence as well. An example is in the case of a musical orchestra: each member plays a different instrument. In order to achieve harmony of music from the different instrument, members will polish their part in the piece, aside from practicing as an ensemble. Consequently, they improve individually as an instrument player.

Coaching develops high commitment to common goals.

A coaching leader balances the attainment of immediate targets with long-term goals towards the vision of an organization. As mentioned earlier, with the alignment of personal goals with organizational or team goals, personal interests are kept in check. By constantly communicating the vision through formal and informal conversations, the members are inspired and motivated. Setting short-term team goals aligned with organizational goals; and making an action plan to attain these goals can help sustain the increased motivation and commitment to common goals of the members.

Coaching produces valuable leaders.

Leadership by example is important in coaching. A coaching leader loses credibility when he/she cannot practice what he/she preaches. This means that a coaching leader should be well organized, highly competent is his/her field, communicates openly and encourages feedback, and has a clear idea of the organization’s vision-mission-goals. By vicarious and purposive learning, members catch the same good practices and attitudes from the coaching leader, turning them into coaching leaders themselves. If a member experiences good coaching, he/she is most likely to do the same things when entrusted with formal leadership roles.

Some words of caution though: coaching is just one of the styles of leadership. It can be done in combination with the other five emotional leadership styles depending on the profile of the emerging team. Moreover, coaching as a leadership style requires that you are physically, emotionally, and mentally fit most of the time since it involves two levels of coaching: individual and team. Your members expect you to be the last one to give up or bail out in any situation especially during times of crises. A coaching leader must be conscious that coaching entails investing time on each individual, and on the whole team. Moreover, that the responsibilities are greater since while you are coaching members, you are also developing future coaches as well.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Benefits of Liquid Vitamins

Vitamins and minerals can be absorbed by the body in a number of ways. They first enter our body through the food we eat. Secondly, we can take vitamin supplements to increase the amount of pertinent vitamins and minerals. There are different methods of taking medication and one of the most common methods is absorbing it in its liquid form. Do the advantages of liquid vitamins far outweigh its disadvantages – if there are any? Read on and find out.

Better or Easier Absorption for Kids
Although liquid vitamins may taste worse than vitamins in flavored, chewable tablet forms, they are however easier to absorb. There are numerous cases in which children have problems with choking, breathing and swallowing simply because of their inability to absorb medication or vitamins in this form.

This is the same problem as well for adults who have lost their ability to control their jaws or are unable to digest anything that is not in liquid form.

Liquid Vitamins are More Effective
Because of its form, liquid vitamins can be assimilated immediately into the blood stream for a more systemic administration of the vitamin and its average absorption rate is approximately 90 to 98%. It is also three to five times more concentrated than vitamin pills and this lead to higher bio-activity and greater therapeutic benefits.

The Link between Antioxidants and Liquid Vitamins
Have you ever wondered whether or not liquid vitamins contained oxidants as well? Vitamins E, C and A are examples of antioxidants and they are commonly found in vitamin supplements but what about liquid vitamins?

And the answer is an absolute YES. Liquid vitamins must in fact contain such antioxidants or they’ll prove to be ineffective compared to other vitamins. Remember that the most important of all antioxidants – Vitamins A, C and E – are not internally produced by the body so they must be a regular fixture in our diet. Antioxidants are our main defense against effects of damaging oxidation reactions. Antioxidants are our best weapons against suffering from any form of cancer. Without it, we are basically weaker and less healthy.

Liquid Vitamins versus Digestive Acids
One reason why people refuse to acknowledge the benefits of liquid vitamins is because of the supposed destruction by digestive acids of any vitamin or mineral that it does not recognize as part of the process of digestion. The opposite is, in fact true. Our digestive system actually prefers or is able to better absorb liquid vitamins and minerals rather than those made in pill or capsule form.

A vitamin pill or tablet has to be digested completely before it can benefit the human body. It must be broken down into absorbable nutrients or only up to thirty percent of it will be absorbed by the human body. Liquid vitamins however provide a better and easier solution for the digestive system. Because it does not depend in any way on mechanical digestion, an estimated 90% of it can be absorbed directly by the body.

It’s vital to remember that digestion does not mainly function to destroy vitamins and minerals but rather to transform them into substances it can use to improve the general constitution of the body.

Liquid Vitamins: Toxic or Not?
Another problem posed is the amount of colloidal minerals found in liquid vitamins. Are they harmful or not?

In truth, even plants and fruits contain a trace of such minerals in them. Apples, for instance, contain 3-5 mg of aluminum as it’s one of the most abundant elements that can be found in the surface of the Earth. But do you hear anyone telling you that apples are dangerous to your health? On the contrary, what we are more likely to hear is that an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

And so it must be with liquid vitamins as well. Containing a slight amount of colloidal mineral doesn’t mean it’s bad for our health right away. Colloidal minerals, are above all else, naturally occurring elements and can not therefore be avoided.

You Have a Choice
At the end of the day, however, it’s still up to you whether or not you wish to take vitamin supplements in liquid or solid form. What really matters is what you prefer and which will ultimately work better for you.

All About Clinical Depression

Depression, a mental illness that is often characterized by prolonged periods of sadness and melancholy, experts from the field of psychiatry say.

But just because one person is moping around and just generally hating the world around him or her, doesn't mean that it's already depression, but if this kind of behavior, the feeling of emptiness, loss of self-worth and absolutely no hope for happiness just goes on and on, then, yes, that individual is very much, indeed, depressed.

Still, there are various types of depression, from Manic or Bipolar depression - characterized by sudden and extreme changes in one's mood wherein one minute he or she is in an elevated state of euphoria while the next minute (day or week) he or she is feeling to be in a personal hell, Postpartum depression - characterized by a prolonged sadness and a feeling of emptiness by a new mother wherein physical stress during child birth, an uncertain sense of responsibility towards the new born baby can be just some of the possible factors why some new mother go through this, Dysthimia - characterized by a slight similarity with depression, although this time, it's been proven to be a lot less severe, but of course with any case, should be treated immediately, Cyclothemia - characterized by a slight similarity with Manic or Bipolar depression wherein the individual suffering from this mental illness may occasionally suffer from severe changes in one's moods, Seasonal Affective Disorder - characterized by falling in a rut only during specific seasons (i.e. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall) studies however, prove that more people actually fall in to a rut more during the WInter and Fall seasons and lastly, Mood swings, wherein a person's mood may shift from happy to sad to angry in just a short time.

Clinical depression however, or as some might call as 'major' depression, is actually the medical term for depression. Actually clinical depression is more of a disorder rather than an illness since it basically covers only those who are suffering from symptoms related to depression. Clinical depression is how doctors usually refer to "depression" when giving a diagnose of their patient. It's basically just a medical term.

However, in spite of being an actual disorder, Clinical depression may well be treated. Doctors are actually highly optimistic that their patients who are suffering from Clinical disorder will be well on their way towards good mental health as long as they treated as soon as they have been diagnosed with Clinical depression. Patients who have been seeking for treatments for Clinical depression have proven to be quite successful in their quest, given that 80 percent of actual Clinical depression patients have been treated and has somewhat found relief from their disorder.

For those who may be seeking some answers for their Clinical depression related questions, the depression section of the health center is highly recommended, as well as books on psychiatry and the internet - which can offer a lot of helpful information with regards to Clinical depression although self-medication/treatment is highly disapproved of. Clinical depression may not pose as much as a threat as the other types of depression, but it is best to leave it to the hands of professionals who can safely attend to and cure this disorder.