In Georgia, One Young Designer Is Bringing Drag to the Runway

Edward James /

Drag has been having a moment in fashion. Just this past September in New York, Opening Ceremony featured drag performers on its runway, and there were numerous waist-whittling corsets at the men’s shows in June. Now, drag has come to the tiny Eastern European country of Georgia, first in the form of performances at small clubs and, most recently, on the runway at Fashion Week in Tbilisi earlier this month. Akà Prodiàshvili, a 23-year-old rising fashion star, presented a riotously colorful and flamboyant collection that put drag’s arrival to Georgia into focus. “I love Sasha Velour and Violet Chachki,” Prodiàshvili tells me a day later at his studio, a tiny space just outside of the city center. “I love their energy, taste, style, and the way they express themselves. They can tell everyone’s story, especially those who do not dare to show how they really want to be.” He first started watching RuPaul’s Drag Race about two years ago and has become something of a superfan ever since. You could see the influence of his obsession throughout his show: One male model wearing long Cruella de Vil–style gloves and a Dalmatian-spotted turtleneck sweater sauntered out holding an elegant lace-trimmed violet parasol aloft; another sported a tightly cinched green leopard-print suit with fluttering flares.

While Prodiàshvili often references American drag stars, he’s primarily inspired by the LGBTQI community closer to home. Take the mammoth black silk dress with sweeping bell sleeves that he showed in his last collection. Its darkly baroque dimensions were specially designed with Tbilisi’s gay and queer scene in mind. The extravagant, often BDSM-tinged look has attracted international attention, too. Arca, the cult electronic artist and onetime Hood By Air collaborator, recently wore one of the designer’s black dominatrix-style latex bodysuits.

Beyond the provocative fashion message, there’s a politically charged aspect to Prodiàshvili’s work. Though Georgia is one of the few countries of the former Soviet Union to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQI people, conservative attitudes linger and Tbilisi can be a hostile place for members of the gay and queer community. Prodiàshvili has experienced this firsthand. In fact, he considers both his designs and growing success a form of creative resistance. Says Prodiàshvili, “I transform this pain into energy, work, and protest, not only for myself, but for others as well.”


Hisense unveils Designer Collection range in partnership with Harvey Norman

Hisense has announced its exclusive Designer Collection in collaboration with Harvey Norman.

“We’re proud to partner with Harvey Norman, a retailer that has a long-standing relationship with Australians,” said Andre Iannuzzi, Head of Marketing at Hisense Australia.

“Together, we’ve created a range that we think will resonate well with consumers around the country. The result is a minimalist television that offers a high quality viewing experience whilst being pleasing on the eye with its all-white frame.”

The range is available in 65”, 55” and 43” models and feature Ultra Local Dimming, Wide Colour Gamut, HDR Plus, VIDAA U 2.5, RemoteNow, 200 Smooth Motion Rate, Game Mode and Elite Backlight.

The range features the VIDAA U 2.5 Smart TV platform and mobile app RemoteNOW; allowing users to control their TV and customise their favourite apps, channels and inputs straight from their smartphone. RemoteNOW also enables users to cast photos and videos from their smartphone to their TV screen.


Florida Lifestyle Homes building a tradition of success


When two furnished models by Florida Lifestyle Homes both recently claimed industry awards, they continued a long tradition of award-winning homes by the builder.

“We view these various awards as an affirmation of our on-going design innovation and consistent quality,” said Bill Ennen, president and founder of Florida Lifestyle Homes. “Our team spends a great deal of time doing research and exploring new products before we begin each model. We listen to our buyers to enhance features they say are important. We review every detail as we design our new models.

“Our goal is to present a home that illustrates the fine craftsmanship our company provides and the best materials available with a focus that appeals to the way people want to live,” he said. “We see each model as a showcase of our team work and skills.”

When  judging is done by industry professionals who live outside of the county, that enhances the credibility of the award, Ennen said.

“The awards reflect the fact that professionals in this business as well as the general public recognize the creativity, attention to detail and quality we build in each home,” he said, “and they show our strategy of research and on-going improvements is successful.”

The St. Martin II model at Quail West Golf & Country Club has claimed several awards including top honors from the Lee Building Industry Association as well as recent Sand Dollar awards from the Collier Building Industry Association. The home reflects the influence of West Indies style while using contemporary expanses of glass to take full advantage of the golf course views. With a total of 7,771 square feet under roof, the St. Martin II flows seamlessly from indoor to outdoor living spaces. The home includes four bedrooms, four full baths and a powder room. The open design offers a great room, spacious dining room and a study. The gourmet kitchen features double islands, state-of-the-art appliances and a walk-through butler’s pantry with preparation space.

A benchmark feature of homes by Florida Lifestyle Homes is the creation of outdoor spaces. The St. Martin II is no exception. The design includes two connected lanais. At the end of a 38-by-22-foot lanai is a living area with a fireplace. Set beneath a diagonal cypress beamed ceiling is a 27-by-21-foot lanai with a complete outdoor kitchen and bar. The unique custom pool design includes a spa, a special water feature, two turf-grass sunning areas and a fire pit and raised seating area. A putting green adjacent to the pool decks provides the ultimate in outdoor living.

Another characteristic of homes by Florida Lifestyle Homes is the application of intricate ceiling details that illustrate fine craftsmanship reminiscent of Golden Age European homes. These features are prominent in the Key Largo at Naples Reserve from the first step into the entry, which is highlighted by a soaring tray ceiling. The great room and kitchen are each crowned with a recessed ceiling fitted with dramatic suspended crossed-beam details. A double tray ceiling accentuates the dining area. The master bedroom includes a coffered ceiling accented with a ship lap pattern while the bath features a tray ceiling with chandelier suspended over the jetted tub.

The Key Largo is an open great room plan in the coastal tradition with three bedrooms plus a study, three full baths and a powder room in 3,045 air-conditioned square feet. With the outdoor living area, three-car garage and covered entry porch, the Key Largo encompasses 4,637 total square feet.

“One of the outstanding features of the Key Largo is the amazing lake view,” said Amber Cory, sales professional with Florida Lifestyle Homes. “Here, too, Florida Lifestyle Homes has created a wonderful outdoor living space that takes full advantage of that view. The primary lanai includes an outdoor kitchen and beautiful custom pool that provides the perfect place for the owners and their friends to spend a pleasant afternoon or evening. There is also a separate lanai accessed from the master suite, offering a quiet space to enjoy morning coffee.”

The Key Largo also earned accolades and recent awards from the Collier Building Industry Association competition. The Key Largo is available for purchase, priced at $1.45 million, with designer furnishings by Norris Home Furniture & Interiors included.

The latest awards add to the history of honors Florida Lifestyle Homes has received, Ennen noted. In 2016 the St. Bridget model earned the Superior Homes award as well as awards for Interior Design and Pool Design. The same year the company was presented the CBIA Overall Excellence in Construction award. In 2015 the Antilles model earned the Superior Home Award as well as a number of other awards. And before that the Cambridge and Windsor models claimed their share of honors.

“All of these awards simply serve to prompt us to not only meet the expectation of quality but to exceed the performance of the previous year in every single home we build,” Ennen said. “In the long run, we believe it is our customers who benefit by having the assurance of a superior quality home.”

Florida Lifestyle Homes Inc. is a preferred builder within Southwest Florida’s premier luxury communities, including Quail West, Naples Reserve and Treviso Bay in Naples, West Bay Beach & Golf Club in Estero, and Cape Harbour in Cape Coral as well as Babcock Ranch in Charlotte County. The company also has large estate home sites available in the private boating riverfront community of Caloosa Preserve and builds custom homes on owners’ lots throughout Southwest Florida.


Local Makeup Brand PYT Is Your New Clean Beauty Obsession

PYT's no BS eyeshawdow palettes

Sephora’s former senior director of customer relationship management, Amy Carr, and her college sorority sister, entrepreneur Mary Schulman, have daughters in the same age range. When their girls showed an interest in makeup, Carr and Schulman started to wonder what was in the eyeshadows, blush, and lipstick their daughters coveted. If the mothers had raised their children concerned about what they put in their bodies, shouldn’t they be worried about what they were putting on their skin, in particular, their faces?

Amy Carr and Mary Schulman
Amy Carr and Mary Schulman

Photo Credit: PYT

Schulman and Carr noticed a void of natural beauty and quickly jumped at the chance to build their own brand. They wanted to create a makeup collection that was clean and high quality, but accessible. Carr’s time at Sephora made her an expert in all things beauty. “Makeup in and of itself has gotten incredibly complicated. The growth has, in a lot of ways, happened because new categories have been entered. Take the primer category. That didn’t exist four years ago. Now everyone primes,” she recently told Haute Living. “It’s gotten complex, so we wanted to create a brand that spoke to what we call the real girl. We did a bunch of primary research, my background being in insights and analytics. We went around the country and we did focus groups, we talked to consumers and really asked them what they were missing in their makeup routine.”

PYT's brow pencils
PYT’s brow pencils

Photo Credit: PYT

Carr and Schulman realized that many women were missing the simplicity of makeup. “They were like, ‘I love this beautiful eyeshadow palette that has 56 colors in it. I use three. It’s huge. I can’t travel with it. I can’t take it to my office.’ There was a trend, #makeupnomakeup, and that was trying to go back to the basics,” Carr says. After several years of development, PYT was born.

The clean beauty brand specializes in versatile colors
The clean beauty brand specializes in versatile colors

Photo Credit: PYT

The high-performance collection is chemical, toxic, and synthetics free. PYT is compliant with EU standards which ban 1,400 ingredients out of makeup—the USFDA forbids only 60. The neutral eyeshadow palette is pretty and easy to use. Highlighters are lightweight. The double-sided mascara has a primer which can also be used as a brow gel. Lipsticks, glitter, eyeliner, bronzer, and other items are in the works—along with a broader range of shades in the existing items.

NO BS Palette with room essentialsPhoto Credit: PYT

PYT is only three and a half months old, but Carr and Schulman have already developed a huge local following. The line is sold on Fillmore Street at Credo and online at Ulta. Building relationships with consumers are essential to the duo who interact with beauty lovers on Instagram and in real life at events. With more brands jumping on the clean bandwagon, Carr and Schulman are ahead of the game.


U of A to host automated weeding and thinning demonstration

Agmechtronix mechanical lettuce thinnerTechnology experts and businesses from throughout the West Coast and beyond will gather at a University of Arizona-sponsored field day Oct. 24 in Yuma to demonstrate the latest automated weeding and thinning technologies.

The 7:30 a.m. workshop will be held at the Yuma Agricultural Center, 6425 West 8th St. The event will be recognized for continuing education credit in both Arizona and California.

As part of the workshop:

  • Nick Copass, Keithly-Williams Fabrication, Inc., Yuma, and Ryan Herbon, Agmechtronix, LLC, Silver City, N.M., will discuss the Agmechtronix automated row crop thinner
  • Matt Watson, Mantis Ag Technology, Gonzalez, Calif., will cover the latest in visual recognition technology for row crop farming.
  • Tony Koselka, Vision Robotics, Corp., San Diego, will discuss thinning lettuce with robotic vision technology.
  • Christian Kirchhoff, K.U.L.T. – Kress, Gmbr., Vaihingen an der Enz, Germany, and Sam Hitchcock Tilton, K.U.L.T – Kress, LLC, New Holland, Pa., will talk about precision and in-row mechanical weeding.
  • Pete Davey, Sutton Ag Enterprises, Inc., Salinas, Calif., will cover labor-saving cultivar guidance systems.
  • David Fountain, Solex Corp., Dixon, Calif., will highlight the Garford RoboCrop Weeder/Thinner, a camera-guided system with new and improved electric motor rotors.
  • Mark Siemens, Dept. of Biosystems Engineering, University of Arizona, will discuss high-precision in-row weeding.
  • Isaac Olivia, Pacific Ag Rentals, LLC, Salinas, Calif., will highlight the Robovator, an automated in-line weeding solution.
  • Nicholas Bahr, Keithly-Willams Fabrication, Inc., Yuma, Ariz., will talk about automated transplanting.
  • Thomas Palomares, Farmwise Labs, Inc., San Francisco, will highlight an autonomous vegetable weeder.

Growers are invited to see the latest technologies demonstrated and talk with company representatives.


War on Weeds: Squarrose knapweed


This perennial weed has a small presence in Idaho, thought to have been brought in in grass seed. This terrible invader can be found in all the states south of Idaho. It is listed as an EDRR (early-detection rapid-response) noxious weed. Squarrose knapweed is a long-lived taprooted perennial with pink to white flowers with downward-curved bracts. The leaves are deeply lobed and it grows in a single clump to a height of 2 feet. It looks like Spotted knapweed, but grows like a small bush instead of an individual plant with few growing shoots, and it does not have the dark-colored bracts on the flower head.

Attack: The difference in this knapweed is that it adapts well to desert habitats and overtakes all the native flora. This is why it is one of the weeds that the Bureau of Land Management in central Utah spends a lot of resources to contain and control. Each plant can produce thousands of seeds that remain viable for seven to 10 years. The plant has no forage value for livestock nor wildlife.

Defense: The thought that this weed is most likely in the area and undetected is a great concern to all of us in the weed-control profession. Mechanical control is difficult and there are just a few biological control insects available. Numerous herbicides are effective on this weed. On pasture and range sites, herbicides such as Tordon 22K, Milestone, Opensight, Curtail and Prescott are most effective. All of these herbicides will translocate into the root for better control than 2,4-D. Fall is one of the best times to control this invader. Call your weed-control superintendent if you think you have found this new invader.


Whitely-Noll: Broadleaf weeds vulnerable in the fall

For all who have been anxiously waiting, now is the time to control broadleaf weeds in your lawns.

Image result for Whitely-Noll: Broadleaf weeds vulnerable in the fallWhether they’re actively growing to prepare for winter or newly germinated, these weeds are vulnerable now. Control will be more effective than when the weeds are more established or during times of slow growth, when they’re less receptive to chemical applications.

Dandelions, henbit, chickweed and knotweed can all be controlled effectively in the fall. During late October and early November, dandelions, a broadleaf perennial, are producing a new flush of growth. Henbit and chickweed, which are broadleaf annual weeds, are newly germinated and easy to kill.

Even established dandelions are easier to control because they are actively moving resources from the top portion of the plant into the roots. That means the plants will absorb herbicides as they would nutrients, killing them from the bottom up. Anyone who has tried to pull dandelions by hand knows that leaving any part of the root in the ground will result in a new plant sprouting. By using properly timed chemical control, every part of the plant is killed, preventing resprouting.

These broadleaf weeds can be controlled with combination products such as Trimec, Weed-B-Gon, or Weed-Out that contain 2,4-D, MCPP and Dicamba. For optimal results, spray on a day that is 50 degrees or higher. A warmer day encourages weeds to grow more, moving more chemicals to the roots. Cooler days can be effective but may slow the process and, in some cases, may render the chemicals ineffective. Weed Free Zone (also sold under the name Speed Zone) contains the three active ingredients mentioned above, plus carfentrazone. It will give a quicker response than other products, especially as temperatures approach 50 degrees.

Knotweed, another annual broadleaf, thrives in compacted soils. Aerating your soil creates an unfavorable environment for knotweed and is the best first step in control. Maintaining a healthy lawn will help eradicate this and other weeds.

Unlike the newly germinated henbit and chickweed, knotweed germinates in late February or early March, so fall is the time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide. Pendimethalin (Scotts Halts), Surflan (Weed Impede, Barricade, Dimension and XL) are all labeled for knotweed. Pendimethalin, Barricade and Dimension can be used on all Kansas turf grasses, while Surflan and XL can only be used on tall fescue and warm-season grasses.

In the spring, a post-emergence product, such as Trimec, Weed-Out, Weed-B-Gon or Weed Free Zone, can be applied after knotweed has germinated but when it is still young. A spring-seeded lawn will affect chemical selection. Trimec requires a month before overseeding in order to allow for lawn establishment. Never use a pre-emergent herbicide when seeding or reseeding a lawn.

For anyone who would like still like to seed their lawn, that time has passed. Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue should be seeded in September but no later than Oct. 15. Though plantings later than Oct. 15 can be successful, the odds of success diminish as time passes. The problem with late plantings isn’t that the seed won’t come up or that young grass plants are sensitive to cold — most often, the problem is with rooting. Unless the young grass plants have a fairly extensive root system, winter freezing and thawing heaves plants out of the ground, and they dry out and die.

Regardless of when your lawn was planted, be sure the new lawn is kept watered through the fall. More mature lawns will need less frequent watering, but all should go into the winter with moist soil.

As with all chemical use, reading and following the label exactly is critical for effective results. Weed identification is also key to successful control.


Weeds cleared, but D’Andrea homeowners still not happy after weeds left on property

Homeowners on the abandoned D’Andrea Golf Course in Sparks are again frustrated after a local company cleared brush away from their homes, but left the weeds in piles on the property.

Image result for Weeds cleared, but D'Andrea homeowners still not happy after weeds left on property

Back in September, News 4-Fox 11 reported that residents were considering legal action against the City of Sparks for not enforcing the fire code.

People were concerned that the dry brush and tumbleweed that grew right up to their property lines would be perfect fuels if a brush fire were to spark in the area.

The property owner, Tygris Vendor Finance, is required by Sparks fire code to clear brush within 25 feet of fences — and it contracted Jobs Peak Weed Control to do the work, according to Sparks Fire Marshal Bob King.

On Wednesday, News 4-Fox 11 found that the weeds had been cleared the proper distance from property lines, but the debris was left in large piles up to 5 feet tall.

“It is an eyesore … I think it’s a mess. I don’t think it’s a good job.”

“I mean, I could (clear the weeds) in an afternoon,” said nearby homeowner

+69Steve Swinburn. “But the truth is, it’s a mess. And it shouldn’t have been left this way.”

Sparks Fire Code doesn’t technically require contractors to disposes of the brush, just to clear the brush at least 25 feet from fence lines.

King said over the phone that Jobs Peak Weed Control “did what they were asked to do.” King was unavailable for an on-camera interview, but released the following statement.


Agriculture tech talk reveals new innovations in automated weeding and thinning machines

Image result for Agriculture tech talk reveals new innovations in automated weeding and thinning machines

The Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture is hosting a series of Ag Tech Talks. In their most recent talk, they field demonstrations from 12 companies from all over the world present on new agriculture technology.

The event was open to the public but mostly local growers were present.

Spectators watched live demonstrations of automated thinner and weeding technology.

These high tech machines use cameras, computers, strobe lights and all sorts of tech to figure out which plants are good to keep and which ones need to be removed from the fields.

13 On Your Side spoke to many of the presenters. One from the Salinas Valley explained how this tech talk is more important than simply checking out new technologies.

“This is all about helping farmers overcome the challenge of the labor shortage so this machine here is an automated lettuce thinner and it automats the process of removing unwanted lettuce plants from the field,” Matt Watson, Director of technical development for Mantis Ag Technology said. “Traditionally that would have been done by a crew of 20 to 30 people with handheld hoes,” he added.

Today, with machines like these, it helps growers redirect their labor workers to other areas of the vegetable growing process like harvesting.


5 smart shopping hacks to control overspending this festive season

shopping, festive season, smart shopping, shopping hacks, control overspending, Borrow carefully, Compare Prices

With the festivals around the corner, it’s time to shop for gifts, clothes, home décor and appliances. Durga Puja, Dhanteras and Diwali are dotting our social calendar and you don’t want to hold back while you go ticking against that shopping list. Neither do you want a bitter aftertaste recovering from the expenses after the holidays. So, instead of trimming your shopping list, implement these shopping hacks to control overspending.

1. Consider Shopping Online

E-commerce websites don’t just offer convenience to shop remotely, but also give you competitive prices to avail the best deal. Be it clothes or appliances, you’ll find that online stores offer sizeable discounts, especially at the time of festivals. Shopping through e-wallets and credit cards can get you to save some more, as there are exclusive offers thrown by retailers in tie-ups with credit card/e-wallets companies.

2. Compare Prices for big-ticket items

Before you zero in on an item, especially if it’s a big-ticket one, compare prices available in the market either through price comparison sites or aggregators. Price comparison sites show the lowest price available on a particular product both offline and online. All you need to do is scan the barcode of a product. With the highly competitive pricing environment online impacting the pricing strategy of brick-and-mortar store, it is possible now to get a cost-effective deal in a physical store on certain occasions.


3. Borrow carefully

With certain banks offering zero-processing charges and discounts on interest rates of loans during festivals, you can consider buying consumer durables and vehicles on loans. If you intend to borrow a small amount, you can purchase through credit cards. Credit cards allow you an interest-free period of up to 55 days. You can also earn cashbacks and reward points on credit card purchases. You can pay back opting the EMI option. However, have a repayment plan in place before you take a personal loan or opt for a credit card purchase.

4. Make a shopping list and stick to it

Overspending often happens due to splurging on things that we never intended to buy in the first place. Flat discounts or the tendency to be a compulsive shopper leads us to over shop. You can put a check on this by preparing a list before going shopping online or offline and sticking to it. You can prepare this list based on how much you have and allocate a certain amount against each category.

5. Go for personalised gifts

Gifts are essential to festivals and you can’t do without exchanging gifts with your relatives and friends. However, instead of going for expensive gifts, you can go for something thoughtful. It will not just be cost effective, but also a way to tell your near and dear ones that you have put your thoughts in gifting. For example, make a painting, bake cookies or make some craftworks and gift wrap them for your friends.

(The writer is CEO,

Get live Stock Prices from BSE and NSE and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.