Tag Archives: Elevate Styling

MBFWA 2016 Highlights

Camaraderie, creativity, entertainment, good beats, innovation, champagne and excitement! This year I was invited to cover Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA) for this blog and for next month’s (June) issue of Citizen Magazine. A first for me.  Opportunities are opportunities and I’m always game for new challenges. And so I attended what turned out to be a big week of Australian talent being showcased and a week of fun at Sydney’s Carriageworks.  Here’s my recap and highlights.

All photos courtesy of my pal Enrico Becker unless otherwise stated.

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From the Maticevski opening show.

Prior to attending the shows, I gave a lot of thought about how I wanted to report on MBFWA. What do people really want to know? I asked my friends who don’t work in the industry and also those who do. What would be interesting to read about? Does anyone actually care what the latest “trend” is or do we only care because mainstream media tells us to?… Is it perhaps more interesting to dispel the myths about an industry so frequently criticised and stereotyped… What really goes on backstage?…

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The hair and makeup from Maticevski.

Not sure I wanted to take any of those angles, I kept an open mind throughout the week and chatted to as many stylists/models/designers/PR people/makeup artists/hairstylists/photographers and guests as possible, hoping somewhere along the way an idea would come to me. And it did. Because I had a really fun week. For so many reasons… And that is what I would love to share.  In 7 points…

1) CELEBRATION

It felt great to be able to celebrate with and support all the hard work of my peers. From watching a childhood friend debut her jewellery label on the Zhivago Runway…

“The best part of Fashion Week was seeing El Minara on the runway. To think that one year ago I was learning jewellery making in the grand bazaar in Istanbul and now it is in Australia’s most prestigious fashion event… It was a real moment to see how far I have come.”
-Reema from El Minara

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(Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

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(Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images)

To seeing models I’ve worked with in the past lighting up the runway and having fun backstage…

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Backstage at Emma Mulholland, Vivien’s model Woan Ni (right) told me her fashion week highlights included the “mega makeover at Emma Mulholland, being blinged up with Swarovski at Tome and working with old and new friends”.

And watching friends star in fashion films…

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Five Twenty Management’s Kirsty (left) starring in Marie Schuller’s ‘Three Women Arrive’ fashion film which screened at Fashion Week and showcased three Australian designers.

Kirsty said her fondest memory was the vibe at Carriageworks.

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“There were so many different styles and trends happening that there was always something to see. I could have people watched for an eternity!”

2) THE BEATS

I often say if I wasn’t a makeup artist I’d be a DJ and boy was the music phenomenal this year! Something for everyone-  LL Cool J sampled with Vanilla Ice(!), Salt-N-Pepa, Stormzy, What So Not, The White Lamp, Gesaffelstein and even Marilyn Manson made an appearance.   Thanks DJ Sveta and DJ Sam Francisco for keeping my Shazam app very active during shows!

And then there was my personal favourite, so catchy it became my theme song of the week, Riton & Kah-Lo’s Rinse & Repeat. You know the one…

“Time to make the club go up, time to shut the club down

This is not how I woke up, but it’s how I look now”…

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Some of the artists on my playlist courtesy of MBFW 2016! Images courtesy of Soundcloud.

3) BACKSTAGE BUZZ

Backstage is where the magic happens before it happens some more on the runway. Hanging backstage and watching the final touches come together was fun, nothing like the adrenalin rush of backstage.

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4) LEARNING SOMETHING NEW

Attending shows with my good friend and Creative Director of Elevate Styling, Orla Molloy, I loved cross-checking our highlights from each show because obviously we both approach fashion from different perspectives. Molloy is all about the clothes, I’m all about the highlight. Jokes aside, it was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the Australian designers and their collections. I now have a shopping list the size of my arm.

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Creative Director of Elevate Styling, Orla Molloy and Fashion Week buddy.

 5) PHENOMENAL PRODUCTION VALUE

The production value on some of the shows was enough to rival London’s West End.

My personal favourite was at Zhivago where they breathed life into cult classic 1992 film Death Becomes Her. Creative Director Matt Jordan (Mother Father PR) enlisted choreographer Porter James to open the show with a riveting cabaret act (performed by theatre starlet Christie Whelan-Browne), who backed by a troupe of male dancers, performed a modernised arrangement of “I See Me” from the film.

Touted as a subversive adaptation, set in the digital age, ZHIVAGO’s Death Becomes Her has been labelled as “examination of fashion and beauty through the fractured lens of social media”. – Zhivago, 2016

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6) THE INNOVATORS

The new faces of Australian Fashion. So fresh and too cool. Known as The Innovators, the six graduates from prestigious Fashion Design Studio showcased their collections and I can’t thank them enough for daring to be different and for giving me so many WOW moments.

My top four designers…

Kakopierosa collection designed to create an immaterial reaction/emotion within the subject.   

Take a moment to admire these works of art.

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(Photos by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images)

And the facial adornments- designed by Demetra Kakopieros and brought to life by German jewellery designer Lisa KW.  Models had to have numbing cream applied prior to the attachments.  Now that’s dedication to your craft.

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(Photos by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images)

Oxblood- the “Revolt” collection was based on the concept of a “second movement”, a second punk movement (yes please!). Dreaming into the future of what this second uprising, mutiny or riot would look like, how the young “hooligans” would dress in defiance and what technologies they would use. 

This collection had me dying to go back to London, tame my mane into a mohawk and get amongst it!

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(Photos by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images)

Jessica Vanoffered quirky womenswear, with transitional evening pieces and focused on natural textiles and textures. Her collection “Experiment 1” showcased the exploration of the Australian desert and native bushland using hand painted print work.

Draping to die for!

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(Photos by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images)

IpsenPain and constriction disguised by beauty is the inspiration for this collection. The concept was explored throughout the collection within the textures and techniques of the garments.

Adore and admire.

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(Photos by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images)

7) PARTY TIME!

And finally, Fashion Week was a great opportunity to see so many people I had worked with. When you’re a freelancer, you don’t go to an office or designated workspace every day and you don’t see the same people 9-5pm. Every day is different. So from a social aspect, this was like a week-long Christmas party. No one needs to ask me twice!

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And that’s a wrap! If you want to know more about the fashion and beauty from the runway, keep your eye out for next month’s issue of Citizen Mag where I’ll be recapping all the key looks.  As always, feel free to leave and comments or questions below.

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© 2016 Sonia Allen MakeUp.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.
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2016: I’m baaaack!

It’s 2016 and I’m back to posting!  I’ve been working hard behind-the-scenes since taking a short break from the blog last year and have a few exciting things to share.

I am super pleased to announce that I now have a team working for the bridal side of my business- Sonia Allen Bridal Make Up.  They are a wonderfully talented bunch of artists with international, Fashion Week and bridal experience.  We’ve hit 2016 armed with the commitment to delivering excellent service to our clients and so far, sooooo good!

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With the help of my friends Angela Rose Photography, Orla from Elevate Styling and Elly Hanson taming my locks (aka frizz!) we created this new headshot for me.  For someone who prefers to be on the other side of the camera, it certainly was a step outside of my comfort zone but making it a fun experience made all the difference.  Thanks ladies!

Sonia Allen Make Up Headshot

I landed my biggest beauty writing spread to date in the “Peace” issue of Citizen magazine where they also used my images to support the article. I wrote about Beauty Brands Making the World More Beautiful which was very in keeping with the theme of “peace”.  A little snapshot below.

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I got to film with the lovely Melina Vidler and the team for the AACTA Awards.  We had the beautiful Walsh Bay and Sydney Harbour as our backdrop on a scorching hot day.

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In January I flew to Adelaide to make up a beautiful bride and was lucky enough to be invited to the wedding. This was the spectacular view of the River Murray and was also the backdrop when the bride and groom said “I do”.  Travel + make up = Super happy Sonia!

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Image courtesy of Luke Greaves Photography

I’d like to take a quick moment to thank Mr Allen who has taken a break from his MBA studies to give me a hand.  He has been working tirelessly behind-the-scenes on the non-creative elements of the business (aka accounting, strategic planning, IT and marketing- the fun stuff right!?) while still working full time.  And they say men can’t multitask!  Pffft. What a legend!Sonia_Allen_Make_Up_The_Blog_Mr_Allen

And finally, in a few weeks I have something HUGE to share with you… It’s something I’ve been working on for the last six months and it’s been part of the reason why I haven’t had the chance to get back to regular blogging as soon as I would have liked.  I’ll be announcing the launch on my social media and of course on here….  I’m about as excited as a pup with two tails!

I hope 2016 has also started on a high for you all and I’m so happy to be back!

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© 2016 Sonia Allen Make Up.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.
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Witchery SS15 Make-Up & Hair

Last week I was invited to attend the Witchery “Spirit of Now” SS15 runway show and it was a pleasant reminder that summer is on the way! I was taken backstage to preview the new make-up collection by Witchery and also talked through the hair looks by the Aveda hair team.

Make Up was directed by one of my favourite artists, Kellie Stratton, whose covers you might just recognise!

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Image courtesy of The Artist Group

Inspired by Lauren Hutton, Kellie Stratton designed a beautiful bronze ’70s-inspired look that I think anyone could wear this spring/summer because it was so light and fresh. Hooray for I’m a bit lazy and or low maintenance simple chic SS15 make-up!

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Effortless chic make-up designed by Kellie Stratton for Witchery SS15 runway show. Image courtesy of La Tessa Photography.

Here’s a look at the make-up collection used backstage.

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L to R: Gel Nail Polish in “Taupe”, Lip Gloss Wand in “Shell”, Lipsticks in “Dusty Pink” and “Nougat”, Eyebrow Pencil in “Blonde” and “Brunette”, Fibrelash Mascara in black, Cheek Palettes in “Crimson” and “Sorbet”, Eye Shimmer Pots in “Quartz” and “Sahara”, Bronzer in “Sahara”, Eye Palette in “Hazel” and kabuki brush.

Standouts for me were:

The Bronzer

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Witchery Bronzer in “Sahara” – Non-orange, not too shimmery, great pigment and easy to blend.

The Mascara

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Witchery Fibrelash Mascara – can be layered over and over again without clogging.

The Eyeshadow Palettes

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The eyeshadow palettes: great pigment, minimal fallout, great blending power, modern shades

This is what the full range looks like and you can click here to shop the look or find out more about the make-up.

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The Witchery Make Up range

Directing hair was renowned session stylist Alan White for Aveda. Alan and his team created two different looks, both giving a nod to late 70s/early 80s.

The first look was “nonchalant poolside hair” and I love the contrasts of textures in this style .

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Undone but without flyaways, shine without the weight, loose waves but polished.
Photos courtesy of La Tessa Photography and Aveda.

The second look was “a slightly 80s architectural top knot” that worked well when styled with the new Witchery Balance activewear.

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Sleek and simple so as to keep modern and avoid looking too retro.
Photos courtesy of La Tessa Photography and Aveda.

Then I got to take my seat and watch the show come together.

It was great to see some familiar faces on the runway (and had to resist the urge to wave!).

Walking for Vivien’s was the lovely Woan Ni.

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With whom I worked on this editorial.

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“The Seidler Garage” for Cellophane Magazine.

And also walking for Vivien’s was Ben…

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Who provided us with plenty of entertainment for this editorial.

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“Heat in the City” for Absorb Magazine.

Back to the runway…

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Some of my highlights

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The finale

Stylist at Elevate Styling and fashion assistant at Woman’s Day, Orla Molloy had this to say:

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Orla’s standout pieces were the white slouchy tuxedo and espadrille style flat sandals and says that the colour palette of crisp white, nudes and a touch of indigo will blend seamlessly into our current wardrobes. Couldn’t agree more Orla, always a welcome face at Sonia Allen Make Up.

I left this show feeling really inspired for Spring/Summer 2015 and I love the direction that both Alan and Kellie took the hair and make-up styling.  And I may have already revamped some of my wardrobe at Witchery… multiple times.

Which product are you now wanting to try out?  What was your favourite runway look?  Leave me your comments below.

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© 2015 Sonia Allen Make Up.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.
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Love in Masquerade

Question:

What do you get when you combine gorgeous models, a breathtaking backdrop, a hardworking team and some couture?

Answer…

This.

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Insert love heart emoji here.  (Gown, belt & feather shrug from The Babushka Ballerina, earrings from Samantha Wills).

This “Love in Masquerade” shoot was published on the One Fine Day blog earlier this week and they gave us a great write up.

This was the team (minus Mel and Josh and Elisia).  So really only 2/3 of the team.

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It’s not a myth, models are really tall.

Models were from The Agency:

Dora...

Dora… (Lace cropped top & tulle skirt by The Babushka Ballerina, ring & earrings by Samantha Wills)

Ryan...

Ryan… (Three piece suit & shirt by The Black Label, tie by Crane Brothers and pocket square by Belancé store)

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Ali… (Gown by White Runway, shoes and earrings by Izoa and ring by Samantha Wills)

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And Spencer. (Navy tux jacket and shirt by The Black Label, cuff links Belancé store and bowtie stylist’s own)

Our photographer was Chrissie Hall who is both a fashion and wedding photographer.

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Orla Molloy from Elevate Styling had the huge task of styling this shoot (she was also my gorgeous assistant at One Fine Day).  She sourced fashion from The Babushka Ballerina, Samantha Wills, White Runway, The Black Label, Belance Store, Izoa and Crane Brothers.  Full list of fashion credits are here.

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Spencer wears suit by The Black Label; Ali wears sequin gown by White Runway; Dora wears wedding gown and feather shrug by The Babushka Ballerina; and Ryan wears black tux jacket by The Crane Brothers, shirt by The Black Label and bow tie by Belancé.

Mel from Oak & Linden did the floristry, prop styling and table setting.  Indeed a woman of many talents.

Special thanks must go to Written by Hand for the calligraphy and chalk signage, Vintage Patina for the props and Laduree for the home fragrance and for the macaroon tower.

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Exquisite table decorations.

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And a sumptuous table setting using jewellery from Samantha Wills because, well.. why not!

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Had to resist the urge to put this mask on so many times…  Or spray that Laduree home fragrance…

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This is how it all came together.

Josh from Toni & Guy Parramatta worked his magic on hair as always.

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Hair magician. (Gown by The Babushka Ballerina, earrings by Samantha Wills)

This shoot was the birthplace of our on-set selfies.

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At least this one is better than the last one Josh…

And I was on make-up design.  I was inspired by the opulence of Phantom of the Opera and wanted to balance the make up with the breathtaking backdrop of the Campbell Rhododendron Gardens (which I highly recommend everyone visits!).

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For Dora I created creamy glowing skin, defined eyes in brown and taupe shades set with false individual lashes and paired with a matte rose lip.

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And for Ali I created a more dramatic look with a bright bold lip, exaggerated lashes and a rosy glow on the cheeks.

And lastly I would like to thank my very good friend Elisia who gave up her time to help on the day.  Couldn’t have done it without you Leash.  Much love.

Hope you enjoyed these images as much as we enjoyed creating them.

What theme/style did you have at your wedding?  What was your favourite styling feature of this bridal editorial?

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© 2015 Sonia Allen Make Up.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.
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Sonia Allen Make Up at One Fine Day

Fist times can be… nerve-racking, exciting, suspenseful and exhilarating. Throw in some fun and creativity and this summarises the lead up to my first time as a vendor at the One Fine Day wedding fair in Sydney’s Australian Technology Park.

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There were months of PPO. Planning, Preparation and my middle-name, Organisation. You should have seen the folder with its colour coded filing system! The good people of Officeworks on Pitt St know me by name.

There were also many people who helped along the way. My thanks go to:

Talented stylist and assistant on the day, Orla Molloy of Elevate Styling – I can’t thank you enough for your vision, dedication and my new-found addiction to banana bread.

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Orla from Elevate Styling – stylist and visual merchandiser

 

 

 

 

 

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And also lots of fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graphic and web designer Ben McArthur for all your artwork, website updates and for knowing when to say, “No Sonia, it doesn’t need a floral border”. You were right, you always are and that is why it’s been such a wonderful partnership for so many years.

 

 

 

 

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Photographer extraordinaire Tim Engelbrecht of Hello Sweetheart for your help putting together my video and for capturing the day. The only photographer I don’t run away from. I even smile!

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Sonia Allen Make Up at OFD 6Multitasking models: Moira from Moira Hughes Couture who also leant her boutique to film (couldn’t dream of a more beautiful space); Mel from Oak & Linden who arranged my flowers and Ash who had good chat!

Moira Hughes and myself on filming day.

Moira Hughes and myself on filming day.

Flowers arranged by Mel from Oak & Linden

Flowers arranged by Mel from Oak & Linden

Born to Party’s resident ballooner Shannon for the biggest bunch of balloons I’ve ever seen. Your enthusiasm is infectious and your creations can’t help but make people happy.

Sonia Allen Make Up at OFD 12Thanks also to Grain and Co for making my custom sign, Ashdown & Bee and Chair Hire Co for the furniture loan and my editor Fiona who even dropped by to say hello.

And finally to my family. My mother-in-law who sewed my backdrop, my sister-in-law who gave great advice and Mr Allen who is in need of lots and lots of beer. Thanks for all the support, I couldn’t have done it without you.

Highlights from the weekend included sharing my passion with so many people…

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All the excitement and happiness under one roof is a feeling I’ll never forget.

And hanging out with all my fabulous neighbours: In an Instant Photography, Bridesmaids Only, Pearlys, Grew & Co., The Cake King, Top Cat Catering, Savvy Brides, Wedded Wonderland and Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel.

I posed in photobooths, “sampled” a lot of cake (when is too much!?), showcased my moves to Snoop Dogg (DJ’s choice not mine I promise, although I loved it!)… and I may have even ordered a little something from Viktoria Novak for a very special bride this coming September in London.

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Photobooth time with In An Instant Photography.

All in all, a top weekend! Thanks for having me One Fine Day. See you all next time.

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© 2015 Sonia Allen Make Up.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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