Category Archives: Latest Fashion News

Clothes Swaps and the Problem With Fast Fashion

Fast fashion is a relatively new phenomenon. It is the term used to describe the buying of cheaply made clothes which are then only worn a few times before being discarded. Fast fashion is a result of consumer desire to keep up with the ever changing trends and for a constantly updated wardrobe. What is wrong with that, you may think. Surely everyone wants to be trendy and fashionable and fast fashion is the perfect way to keep up with all the latest fashions without spending too much money. There are however a number of problems with this behaviour.

1. Low cost clothing is often produced unethically

In order to continually reduce the cost of producing clothing to keep up with the demand for low cost clothing, retailers sometimes use unethical suppliers in developing countries to provide clothing quickly at the required costs. There have been a number of well reported cases of retailers selling clothes made in sweatshops where workers are treated very badly, paid very little and given very little in terms of basic human rights.

2. Throwing away clothes that have hardly been worn contributes to the growing problem of landfill and textile waste.

Synthetic clothes do not degrade and so will remain in the ecosystem forever. Further more dyes and chemical finished on textiles that are disposed of landfill can be washed out by rain water and into rivers and other water systems. This is potentially damaging to flora, fauna and humans. Even natural fibres are a problem when disposed of in landfill, as they break down they produce methane a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.

3. The constant production of new clothing has a number of environmental impacts including the use of fossil fuels, pollution and pesticides used in for the growth of cotton.

Many fast fashion clothes are made from synthetic fibres which are manufactured using petro chemicals in a process that is particularly energy intensive. Pollution from the textiles industry can be harmful to the environment and damaging to the health of humans in the vicinity. Carbon dioxide is also produced as energy is used to manufacture clothing; this is also a green house gas.

So what is the answer?

Consumers want to keep up with the latest fashions in a marketplace where, trends are driven by marketing and fashion companies. But perhaps it is the consumers who can change the fashion industry for the better by walking the walk when it comes to eco fashion. There has already been a lot of consumer interest in eco fashion, recycling and sustainable style. The issues need to be publicised even more and sustainable style promoted to the same degree as fast fashion has been. There are some key ways in which consumers can help move away from fast fashion and towards sustainable style.

Look for quality, well made clothes that will last

Where possible buy clothes made from natural organic fibres

Buy clothes in classic styles that will not go out of fashion quickly

Develop an individual style that is not dependent on keeping up with the latest trend

Look after and repair clothes to prolong their life

Recycle any unwanted clothes by swapping them, selling them or donating them to charity

Consider buying second hand, vintage and recycled clothing

Source by Ceri Heathcote

Stonewash Finish for Denim

Denim is the most preferred clothing of today’s youth. Various items of denim like pants, shirts, skirts, jackets, belts and caps etc. are available in the market. To give distressed denim look many types of washing is done to denim fabric.

Pumice stone usage in stonewash

One of such washing is known as Stonewash. In stonewashing the worn out look is given purposely. The fabric is washed along with pumice stones.

The stones and denim are spinned together in the large industrial washing machines. The longer they are spinned together the color of the fabric would get lighter with better contrasts. The time duration of this procedure is set beforehand so as to avoid the tear and wear of the fabric. Thereafter the fabric undergoes various other processes of rinsing, softening and finally tumbles drying. These stonewashed fabrics are used different uses like- garments making as well as for upholstery purpose.

Disadvantages of pumice stone usage

Stonewashing the denim with pumice stones has some disadvantages. For instance stones could cause wear and tear of the fabric, also it creates the problem of environmental disposition of waste of the grit produced by the stones. High labor costs are to be beared as the pumice stones and its dust particles produced are to be physically removed from the pockets of the garments and machines by the labors. Denim is required to be washed several times in order to completely get rid of the stones. The process of stonewashing also harms the big expensive laundry machines.

Alternate methods for stonewashing

To minimize such drawbacks, stonewashing of denim is carried out with the aid of enzymes. The method of giving the denim a stonewash look by use of enzymes like cellulase is known as- ‘Enzymatic Stonewashing’. Here cellulases are used to provide that distressed worn out look to the denim fabric.

Cellulase Method

Cellulase is environment friendly in comparison to pumice stones. It reduces the percentage of damage caused to denim caused on it by tough effect of stones on them. As there is huge demand of garments with distressed jeans look, stonewashing with enzymes is being used increasingly. It is also known as bio-stonewashing. Enzymatic treatment has become another substitute for kilograms of stones, also the jeans stonewashed by this method has more longetivity. It ensures the same result with minimum amount of water, waste, time, volume and damage to machines.

As jeans are made up of cellulosic fibers, the use of cellulase enzyme is successful in giving the stonewash look. This enzyme breaks down the surface cellulose fibers and removes them without causing harm to the jeans. Better finishing and look is achieved even with indigo dyed denim.

The production of stonewashed jeans has increased. Variations in finishes can be achieved by bio-stonewashing. Better fading of jeans could be achieved without causing harm to the fabric.

In cellulase enzymatic wash, the denim is given an enzyme bath. Here certain amount of indigo dye and cellulose fibers are removed from the surface of the fabric. As enzymes are like yeast in nature, they eat the cellulose present in denims. When the jeans get the preferred color, enzymatic reaction is stopped by changing the alkalinity of the bath or else the water is heated. Thereafter the fabric undergoes rinsing and softening process. The number of rinsing process after enzymes treatment is less than pumice stonewashing. There is reduced amount of waste produced and overall costs for stonewashing is also less.

Disadvantages of cellulase treatment

There are certain disadvantages of cellulase treatment. It could leave marks of backstaining like blue threads becoming more blue or white threads becoming blue. To get rid of such unwanted re-coloration of threads, the jeans are rigorously washed adding surfactants to it. This process could result to color-fading of jeans and there is added usage of water for the washing. Thus wastage of water and certain amount of backstaining could be experienced.

The primary target of stonewashing the denim with pumice stones or enzymes is to provide the garment worn out, old and aged look. Sometimes both stones and enzymes are used for the purpose.

Latest process of stonewash – Perlite

A new process of stonewashing has been introduced found by series of laboratory testings- Perlite.

Perlite is the form of naturally occurring silicon rock. It has the distinctive property of expanding to 4 to 20 times its initial volume when heated at a particular temperature. This happens because the raw perlite rock consists of 2-6% of water content in it. The crude perlite rock when heated at the temperature above 870 C it gets swollen up and tiny glass sealed bubbles are formed. Its original color which is black or gray changes to grayish white else white. This heated form of perlite is used for stonewash purpose.

It does the same function of stonewashing as stones. Perlite treatment reduces the rate of harm caused to large washing machines by pumice stones and gives the denim better supple and softer finish. Many jeans manufacturing companies instead of enzymatic treatment use perlite, it reduces the rate of wearing out of jeans when used. It gives throughout uniform worn out and old look to the denim and not just the upper part of the garment. There are many grades of perlite which differ in size are used for giving the stonewash finish to denim right from largest to finest grades, some are very tiny just like grounded earth.

Source by Gaurav Doshi

Why We Wear New Clothes on Easter – A History of the Tradition From a Fashion School Perspective

Many of us can remember our parents dressing us up in new clothes every Easter so we could parade around the neighborhood in our finest. It was a fun tradition to look forward to (or avoid, as some fashion-phobic children were known to do), whether we went to church or not. But where did this tradition come from? A look through history shows that its origins are not what we might expect. And examining the custom from a fashion school point of view, we see how changing retailing patterns have altered its significance.

Origins in other cultures. Although we associate wearing new clothes in spring with the Easter holiday, the tradition dates back to ancient times. Pagan worshipers celebrated the vernal equinox with a festival in honor of Ostera, the Germanic Goddess of Spring, and believed that wearing new clothes brought good luck. The Iranian new year, celebrated on the first day of Spring, has traditions rooted in the ancient pre-Islamic past. These traditions include spring cleaning and wearing new clothes to signify renewal and optimism. Similarly, the Chinese have celebrated its spring festival, also known as Lunar New Year, by wearing new clothes. It symbolized not only new beginnings, but the idea that people have more than they possibly need.

Christian beginnings. In the early days of Christianity, newly baptized Christians wore white linen robes at Easter to symbolize rebirth and new life. But it was not until 300 A.D. that wearing new clothes became an official decree, as the Roman emperor Constantine declared that his court must wear the finest new clothing on Easter. Eventually, the tradition came to mark the end of Lent, when after wearing weeks of the same clothes, worshipers discarded the old frocks for new ones.

Superstitions. A 15th-century proverb from Poor Robin’s Almanack stated that if one’s clothes on Easter were not new, one would have bad luck: “At Easter let your clothes be new; Or else for sure you will it rue.” In the 16th Century during the Tudor reign, it was believed that unless a person wore new garments at Easter, moths would eat the old ones, and evil crows would nest around their homes.

Post Civil War. Easter traditions as we know it were not celebrated in America until after the Civil War. Before that time, Puritans and the Protestant churches saw no good purpose in religious celebrations. After the devastation of the war, however, the churches saw Easter as a source of hope for Americans. Easter was called “The Sunday of Joy,” and women traded the dark colors of mourning for the happier colors of spring.

The Easter Parade. In the 1870s, the tradition of the New York Easter Parade began, in which women decked out in their newest and most fashionable clothing walked between the beautiful gothic churches on Fifth Avenue. The parade became one of the premier events of fashion design, a precursor to New York Fashion Week, if you will. It was famous around the country, and people who were poor or from the middle class would watch the parade to witness the latest trends in fashion design. Soon, clothing retailers leveraged the parade’s popularity and used Easter as a promotional tool in selling their garments. By the turn of the century, the holiday was as important to retailers as Christmas is today.

The American Dream. By the middle of the 20th Century, dressing up for Easter had lost much of any religious significance it might have had, and instead symbolized American prosperity. A look at vintage clothing ads in a fashion school library shows that wearing new clothes on Easter was something every wholesome, All-American family was expected to do.

Attitudes today. Although many of us may still don new clothes on Easter, the tradition doesn’t feel as special, not because of any religious ambivalence, but because we buy and wear new clothes all the time. At one time in this country, middle class families shopped only one or two times a year at the local store or from a catalog. But in the last few decades, retailing options have boomed. There’s a Gap on every corner, and countless internet merchants allow us to shop 24/7. No wonder young people today hear the Irving Berlin song “Easter Parade” and have no idea what it means.

It’s interesting to see where the tradition of wearing new clothes on Easter began, and how it’s evolved through the years. Even with changing times, however, the custom will surely continue in some form. After all, fashionistas love a reason to shop.

Source by Lily McCallister

Once Slap Bracelets Were Banned At School

Still I can remember the day; the Slap Bracelets were banned in our school. It was very pathetic and I thought I was going to lost one of my precious things, which was a part of my fashion credentials. I made my identity as “the fashionable, the rough & tough boy reputation” in school with a different wearing style. The tears began to fall like rain drops in my heart after hearing the news. I loved to wear five Slap Bracelets at a time from wrist to elbow as the zebra striped, the cheetah printed, the wild imaged, the black and white striped, plain red colored, the leopard spot printed, etc. I bought all of them from different stores with my mom and Grandpa. I was fond of slap bracelets and I had a good collection of them. Some of my classmates were jealous and that was another pleasure for me.

The slap bracelets were banned because of its improper use, the teenagers and pre-teens began to use as a wrist weapons to defense by causing eye and skull injuries in elementary schools. Besides that, the metal strip inside the fabric snapped over wrists often become exposed and caused injuries. The craze of wearing Slap bracelet, which was also known as snap bracelet, was begun in the late 80s. In 90s when it banned I was a teenager. When the school notice came to my parents and they warned me to wear the bracelets in school, it was very hard to accept. However, I thought my parents might permit me to wear them after school. Unfortunately, they disagreed after spreading the death news of two boys causing by slap bracelet. It seemed like all of my pleasures were snatched away in a moment.

However, now I can realize that it was a good decision by school committees and parents. And as a result, the bracelet making companies begin to compete for presenting new arrivals like more fashionable, more attractive, reasonable price & obviously harmless bracelets for all different aged people.

Some fashion & styles do not last for long. Some are treated as old fashions and overlooked, some are renewed with new dimensions, and some fashions are repeated as the same after couple of years. Surprisingly, the slap bracelet ruled over the world from late 80’s to till now. From kids to old; all like to wear and to gift others as a token of love. Now-a-days the slap bracelet is used as awareness band like diabetic day, breast cancer awareness; aids prevent awareness, heart disease awareness, etc. Besides, some companies use it as a company identity for the employees. In this age of globalization, all are thinking to present their products or thoughts with versatile applications and the slap bracelets are not beyond it.

Source by Diljahan Shimla

What Colors Should I Wear for a Sporty Effect?

We will want to arouse a sense of athletics and sports games with bold, simple color and active rhythm. Sporty color makes us think of the ocean and air, grass and uniforms. Colors that belong to this mix are strong, mid-to-light value blues: slightly violet blue, royal blue and sky blue. Oranges at a mid-to-light value. Bright, hot red. Golden- yellow. Kelly green like the green of baseball, soccer and football fields. Analogous colors like yellow-orange, orange, and red-orange remind us of teamwork and harmony.

A sporty effect calls for analogous blues along with analogous golds and oranges. White needs to be a part of the mix. White makes us think of tennis clothes and shoes, white sails, the ice rink, and white lines marking game fields. You’re looking for fresh, vigorous color that is bright and bold. It pumps you up. It gives you a “can do” sense of energy.

Sporty clothing should be simple in design. It should have bold, simple rhythmic patterns. Shapes such a stripes should have bold differentiation which would suggest strength and vigor. Prints might vary the condensed shapes with broader, linear ones for a feeling of movement and energy.

“What colors should I wear?” While you need to go for bright energetic colors as described above, the colors need to be selected from your skin-tone-matching personal color palette. There should be enough color choices in the palette for you to select the best-for-you versions of the sporty colors. Your best colors will enhance your good looks and bring out your best sporty look.

Source by Jan Hawken

Ethical Clothing – Progress or Greenwash?

Ethical clothing is hot news right now. Wherever you look in the fashion industry that’s what the buzz is about. So have the manufacturers and retailers finally bowed to consumer pressure and cleaned up their act?

The problem in answering that question is there is no agreed definition on what ethical clothing actually is. Some people concentrate on fair trade issues. How were the workers treated? How much were they paid? Others are more concerned with the materials used and concentrate on sourcing organic, recycled and animal free products. Still others add in transport issues and focus on the environmental costs of shipping fabric and finished articles around the world. It is rare to get a single retail outlet that addresses all these issues for even a minority of their stock.

For sure the major retail chains have cottoned on to the ethical clothing issue and are falling over themselves in an attempt to seem greener than green. Top Shop has teamed up with People Tree (which supports local community manufacturing in majority world countries) and M&S have bought up 30% of the global Fairtrade cotton supply. Primark, once labelled the least ethical place to buy clothes in Britain – achieving a mere 2.5 out of 20 on the ethical index – has joined up with the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and vowed to change its way.

The ETI sounds a great idea but in reality it is simply a means by which a company can give itself a cheap green image. In order to join the ETI a retailer must agree to adopt a base code. The code is great. It covers all the things you would expect – good working conditions, a fair wage etc. The flaw, and it’s a huge one, is that the retailer doesn’t have to agree to abide by that code – only to work towards it. How many companies have joined up simply to look green?

In December 2006 anti-poverty campaigners from War on Want reported the appalling conditions and pay of Bangladeshi workers supplying Primark and Tesco (both ETI members).

In 2006 Labour Behind the Label conducted a major interrogation of the biggest fashion brands and retailers in the high street. They simply asked “What are you doing to ensure that the workers making your clothes get paid a living wage?” The majority of the responses they got back were “a combination of procrastination, stalling, and fairly transparent excuses. Only a few companies admitted that there was a problem, and even fewer that they had a responsibility to fix it.”

A follow up study in 2007 found that very little had changed.

“There isn’t a single high street company where we could say we believe you could buy their products knowing that they haven’t been made in sweat shop conditions.” Said Sam Maher, a spokesperson for campaign group Labour behind the Label.

But it is not all bad news. There are a growing number of alternatives available. Stores that are truly dedicated to providing well-made, stylish, organic and fairly-traded clothes. Most of these are only found online and until we, as consumers, give them our support that’s where they’ll stay. Let’s get shopping!

Source by Pamela Maunsell

The Turbulent and Exciting History of Gucci

In 2010, Gucci is one of the top luxury fashion brands in the world. The official name of the company is “The House of Gucci” since it is one of the famous Italian fashion houses. However, Gucci is actually owned by a french conglomerate called Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR). The founder of the brand was Guccio Gucci who founded the brand in Florence, Italy in 1921. The brand is most famous for Italian fashion and leather products. One thing that sets Gucci aside from other brands is that is the top selling Italian brand in the world.

The story of the brand is an interesting and turbulent one since its humble beginnings in 1921. Guccio Gucci in 1921, it wasn’t until 1938 that Gucci expanded out of Florence and opened a new boutique in Rome. When Gucci died in 1953, he left his fashion empire to his 4 sons. His son Aldo was central to the brands expansion into the world market since he opened the first Gucci boutique in New York. Further expansion, into Hong Kong and Tokyo occurred in the 1960s where Gucci was creating their own trends via celebrities like Jackie Kennedy, Grace Kelly, etc.

However, during this time the family was in constant in-fighting. Reports at the time suggested the family fought during board meetings about inheritance, stock holdings, and how to operate the company.

The company hit a terrible rough patch in the 1970s and leading into the 1980s. At that time the brothers Rodolfo and Aldo controlled the company with equal shares. This occurred once again, due to complicated family fights. The company launched their accessories and perfume division and began to wholesale aggressively in order to expand that division. Aldo had developed that division and his intention was to focus on it in order to weaken the control of his brother Rodolfo. The perfume division was priced cheaper than other products and aggressive wholesaling made it available for sale in over 1000 stores. The result was the brand image was severely tarnished. The public now viewed Gucci as a cheap airport brand and not an exclusive luxury brand. Furthermore at the same time, widespread Gucci knock-offs started to appear on the market further weakening the brands image.

In 1983, the company was suffering financially and in brand image. Paolo Gucci (son of Aldo) proposed the idea of launching a cheap version of Gucci called Gucci Plus, the idea was not well accepted by the family. During a Gucci boardroom meeting about this issue Paolo was knocked out by an answering machine to the the face, by one of his brothers. For revenge, he reported his father to the United States authorities for tax evasion. His father was convicted of tax evasion and sent to prison after his son testified against him in court. These stories generated more interest in the Gucci family, then the brand’s advertising could possibly achieve at the time.

Rodolfo died in 1983. This resulted in changes in the power structure of the company (family). His son Maurizio Gucci inherited his 50% share of the Gucci company. Aldo’s son Paolo along with Maurizio teamed together to take control of the Board of Directors. Shortly after, the rest of the family left the company. This led Mauricio to seek help and ideas from outside the company in order to strengthen the brand and the company and operate peacefully.

Gucci Shoes became one of the companies strong points. Gucci found following the disasters of the 1970s and 1980s that a return to its roots as an elite Italian fashion house was a must. They realized that it was impossible to be both a mass production brand and a luxury brand. The leather goods like Gucci shoes had given the company its name in the 1920s and 1930s and they felt they needed to focus their efforts on fashion innovations in those areas. Furthermore, in 1997 Gucci took over Severin-Montres and rebranded it under the Gucci name. The watchmaker was one of the most respected in Europe at the time and contributed to Guccis goals of maintaining their prestige and elite image amongst fashion conscious and wealthy consumers.

Source by Koray Yilmaz

Carrier Pigeons Helped Create the World’s Most Famous Banking Fortune

Whether in business, warfare or affairs of the heart knowledge, the more the better, is often the most crucial element in determining event outcomes. The ability to know what the competition for a business deal is strategizing is potentially game changing. A General upon learning details of a rivals battle plan gains immense advantages in plotting counter-strategy. Knowledge is often not quantifiable, but it is invaluable.

One of the most famous and consequential uses of real time knowledge occurred in Europe in 1815. Early in the 19th century information obtainable through communication channels about distant events was painstakingly slow to arrive. Roads were rough, unfinished, really little more than cart paths. There was no wire transmission or speedy organized courier services for delivering messages over vast distances. Word of the outcome of a battle, treaty or an important political affair could takes weeks or months to arrive where the result was most keenly anticipated.

The Battle of Waterloo is possibly the most famous military engagement in history. The battle site, the tiny, remote Belgian village of Waterloo, is synonymous today with one’s “final act”. Waterloo became Napoleon Bonaparte’s denouement. His inglorious defeat by the British forces, commanded by the Duke of Wellington, expedited his exile to the tiny island of Elba and the decline of France as a military power for almost a century.

Prussian, Austrian and Russian armies had allied to fight with the British against Napoleon. All of these great armies, moving across vast swaths of Europe terrain needed extensive provisioning, arming and logistic support to maintain troops as they girded for the great battle. This was an incredibly expensive enterprise. Massive funding was required to support the campaign.

The Rothschild banking family was already famous across most of Europe for providing a secure funding source for national governments. The Rothschild’s had established five branches of their enterprise. The largest, most important were based in Paris and London. The final Napoleonic war was largely funded by Nathan Rothschild of the family’s London branch. This house had provided large sums to both the British and the French. The Rothschild’s were famously indifferent to rulers and governments. Nathan Rothschild once famously remarked, “The man who controls the British money supply controls the British, and I control the British money supply”. His goal was to profit no matter whom was in power or won a war.

Nathan Rothschild knew that early knowledge of the winner at Waterloo, details of the battle, the severity of the loser’s defeat would be invaluable in financially manipulating markets to profit from the result. The family had invested heavily over the decades in field agents that forwarded tips and messages, fast packet ships and trained carrier pigeons to speedily deliver notes.

The arrival of the carrier pigeons in London with specific battle results from Waterloo provided Rothschild the information he needed to begin to plant rumors. Initially he spread the word that the British had lost. Investors began to adjust their bond and security positions in reaction to this negative news. Rothschild took opposite positions, and then, he strategically released the actual truthful news that Wellington had vanquished Napoleon. This enabled the family to profit on both sides of the trades. It is estimated that the Rothschild family extrapolated an increase in wealth of 20 times their pre-war capital.

The foresight to train a winged air force of carrier pigeons proved fortuitous and extremely profitable for the banking house of Rothschild. The edge they enjoyed in receiving real-time information, and spectacularly profiting from the knowledge, became legendary and only increased the perception that they were a family of financial Merlin’s. Their power and wealth has multiplied exponentially in the past 200 years and has been maintained to this very day.

In modern business and finance, the ability to glean information about competitor’s plans, information that will affect asset valuations and marketing strategies is invaluable. Governments spend billions of dollars trying to steal state and commercial secrets. Private investigators are used every day to scope out the fidelity and affairs of married spouses. Information is power.

Entrepreneurs can learn an important lesson from this chronicle about the Rothschild’s use of carrier pigeons. If your project has true commercial value it must be protected. You must assume that there are people working at the same time on a similar opportunity. Time is not your friend.

Whether you can uncover a competitor’s plan or an adversary learns your project’s details, the first owner of knowledge stands to maximize profit. Placing second in this process is a sure path to losing the crucial first to market product advantage. The Rothschild’s earned amazing riches from simply learning the outcome of a battle before competitors. In order for entrepreneur’s to successfully profit from their efforts they must harvest every bit of relevant and available knowledge as quickly as possible.

Knowledge is invaluable, but it must be secured and utilized with diligence and due haste.

Source by Geoff Ficke

5 Basketball Tips For Better Ball-Handling

If you watch much basketball, it becomes quite apparent that there are very few great ball-handlers that can consistently break the defense down off the dribble. When you see a player that actually has this ability, it’s so devastating to the opposing team that it can literally change the game. Imagine being able to create off the dribble anytime you wanted. Well there’s good news for you. This isn’t something players are born with, but rather, something players can improve through hard work and dedication. The five tips below will help any player improve these special skills.

#1. Do around-the-body drills to improve ball-control and quickness with the ball. Move the ball in a circle around your head, around your waist, around both legs, around your right leg, around your left leg, and in a figure 8 motion around and through both legs. Make sure to do these drills in both directions. Start out slow, and once you can do at least ten in a row, work on doing the drill as fast as possible. One way to see if you are getting any faster is to put these drills into timings. See how many times you can move the ball around your waist in 30 seconds. When I first started doing this drill in 2nd grade, I couldn’t do very many. But through dedication, and the use of the timer on my mom’s microwave, I eventually got to the point where I could do at least 70 around my waist in 30 seconds. With some serious dedication, you can do the same thing!

#2. When working on dribbling, make sure to pound the basketball as hard as possible. You have got to challenge your hands and fingers to get stronger and quicker with the ball. Now, this doesn’t mean you hit at the basketball like a fly swatter. Make sure to absorb the basketball with the pads of your hands and fingers, but don’t hit at it with your palm. If you mess up, don’t worry about it. In fact, if you never mess up, you definitely aren’t pushing yourself hard enough. Weak ball-handlers are flimsy and weak with the dribble while good ball-handlers are strong with the dribble. Pound the ball!

#3. When working on change of direction drills, such as stationary crossovers and between the legs dribbles, make sure to have rhythm with your movements. A stiff player with robotic movements will never be consistently effective off the dribble. The players that are the best off the dribble have rhythm and can lean their body in one direction or the other in a smooth manner. It is important that while working on both stationary and moving drills, you rock your body to the rhythm of the dribble. Be smooth and athletic while still pounding the ball.

#4. Incorporate 2-ball dribbling drills into your basketball training regimen. Work on dribbling the balls at the same time as well as in an alternating fashion. Make sure that you pound the balls as hard as possible! Challenge yourself by crossing the balls over in front of you, between your legs, and behind your back. Make sure you can do at least ten repetitions in a row of a specific drill before you work on speed. Also work on these drills while moving. If you can dribble two balls well, in full speed, game-like situations, then dribbling only one ball will be easy. It’ll feel like it’s a part of your body!

#5. It’s important that your ball-handling skills transfer over into game situations. One drill that can help this transition and improve your ability to dribble under pressure is called the Side-Rider drill. In this drill, start on the baseline with a defensive player at your side. The defender’s goal is to literally push you to the sideline. This means that the defender is going to foul you while you are dribbling. On offense, your goal is to dribble in a straight line at full speed to the opposite end of the court and score. The defender is going to be at your side, pushing and fouling you, so it’s important that you stay low and strong with the dribble while protecting the ball. Make sure to execute this drill with both hands. Once you can handle this pressure, have the defender try and steal the ball as well. If the defender steals the ball, bring the ball back to the spot the ball was knocked away or stolen, and continue the drill.

Implementing these five tips will put you well on your way to maximizing your potential as a ball-handler.

Source by Jon Hildebrandt

Slavic Folklore: Lesnik – Leshy

Lesnik (Leshy) is a Slavic forest spirit similar to Greek satyrs. He is loud, friendly towards shepherds, and depicted as either a humanoid with horns and hoofs or as an old man.

Slavic peoples of the pre-Christian era were closely connected with the nature. The belief that the nature is inhabited by spirits and demons was so strong that traces of those beliefs are still present nowdays. All scientists dealing with Slavic mythology agree that the forest had an important role in Slavic folklore (as elsewhere).

Similar to Germanic beliefs, groves were extremely important in Slavic folklore, as they were believed to be inhabited by spirits, demons, and ancestral souls. Many Slavic peoples still practice planting a tree next to a grave. This habit has roots in the belief that ancestral souls live within the tree.

One of the best known Slavic forest spirits is Lesnik (South Slavs) or Leshy (East and West Slavs). The term stems from the old Slavic word les (forest).

Southern Slavic Koleda processesions included masked people called Lesnici (plural form of Lesnik). There were usually two of them, and they would wear sheep skins with fleece facing outwards. They wore masks depicting a horned animal. These people's role in the procession was to make noise. They were also to make sexual insinuations towards Snashka (Snashka is a man dressed as a woman during the Koleda procession).

Eastern Slavic Leshy loves loud laughter, singing, and yelling. He has a humanoid shape, with a pointed head, but no beard or mustache. He can take the shape of a naked old man or a horned and hoofed animal. He is the master of all forest animals and friendly towards shepherds. His wife is called Lehachika, Lesoviha, or Leshiha.

Obviously, Lesnik – Leshy is similar to Greek satyr and has almost identical attributes. Lesnik is found in almost all Slavic folklores, is generally believed to inhabit forests, and is often depicted with goat hooves and horns. In Western Slavic tradition, Lesnik is depicted as an animal dressed in white fur, who often takes women to his cottage covered in fur. He often forces them to dance kolo around him.

Elsewhere, Leshy is depicted as a peasant wearing sheep skin. Despite humanoid, he has goat horns, ears, and legs. His skin is covered with thick fleece, and he yells upon approaching. He is fond of kidnapping women. Leshy loves shepherds and takes care of the livestock. Sometimes, he can take human form, but he does not have eyebrows and eyelashes. Occidentally, he is depressed as one-eyed.

Source by Maja Djordjevic