Tuesday, 30 March 2010

I wish i was french

France, the country of delicious food, romance and style. I will one day live in this country and speak the language of love.
i am officially obsessed with Parisian stripes. They give me that European effortless chic style which i so much long for. However because I'm short (not hobbit style, just a bit on the wee side) this is probably breaking the style 'rules', but I'm going to continue to rebel because my stripes seem to match everything I have ever owned.
I bought a stripey top from Kiliwatch when i was in Paris. French vintage and stripes, I just couldn't resist. Although I have to admit I felt a bit cliche wearing stripes in France, almost like I should own a beret and have onions wrapped around my neck shouting "OUI, OUI MADAME".
The t-shirt above is a steal from my boyfriends wardrobe. It alarms me that it fits so well, but I am in no way complaining, this is the best top I have ever (not) bought.
I'm stepping out with my stripes and red pout. To most this isn't daring and you'll be muttering 'So what?', but to me it is style that screams 'look at me', the thought of which makes my knees wobble. But if the sun is finally coming i am going to test run this European style.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

love is easier than trust

I'm learning to trust again for the first time in a while.
I'm finding a relationship isn't always postcard perfect it has it's shit times, but they are nothing in comparison to the good times, which make the butterflies in my stomach go crazy.
Maybe its learning to trust myself with someone's trust. Its a scary thought that someone cares about me so much. Half the time i ask myself...'me? how can u really think that about me?'
I'm starting to realise this person actually does care for me.
But i will never forget that actions speak louder than words.

(image from Chris Craymer romance book)

Monday, 15 March 2010

Girls rule in utility

Cancel the duvet day because in loose tailoring you’ll feel comfortable all day long. Have a pretty day instead as the summer season is divided between ultra feminine pastel dresses and sharp, clean minimalism.
Paris runways rebelled against the charms of over exaggerated ruffles and went with a modern utility chic thanks to the city’s British female designers, Hannah MacGibben at Chloe, Pheobe Philo at Celine and Stella McCartney. It really is true women designers know what women want.
One of the most obvious things about the Spring/Summer 2010 collections was the power of the women. The catwalks were filled with a confident feminine touch. From designers such as Miuccia Prada and Donna Karen to the cool new talents from Stella McCartney women have always had the ability to make clothes with wearability and most importantly with today’s economy with longevity.
Pheobe Philo made her debut at Celine hitting the trend in one by providing the grown up, unfussy clothes that women really want, influenced by the luxe of the 1980s.
Another designer to always nail the masculine meets feminine tailored trend is Chloe. This year providing a more boyish take on the trend with roomy jackets.
A crisp mans shirt is a work wear winner but not all designers showed a borrowed-from-the-boys look, as Stella McCartney went feminine with one simple ruffle down a silk jacket or in peplum shape. The colour palette is simple with an edge, mainly filled with flesh tones from white and beige to blush pink. Just as the ocean hits the shore and is broken up in waves, outfits are made up of simple garments layered in silks and the finest jersey. These materials hang onto the body like water trickling along peaceful streams. The trend has a much more relaxed rather than hard grungy feel, suited to a serious day job. Models were fresh faced cadet girls seen in an army of sheer blouses and satin-trimmed blazers are elegant, feminine and highly wearable in the work place.
This trends boats itself from the saying ‘less is more’ and this chic look is uncomplicated and makes utilitarian sexy. It consist of an easy to wear tailored silhouette with slouchy high-waisted trousers, sophisticated boyfriend blazers mixed with lace and silk separates to ensure a polished look. Catwalks are one thing, real life is another. But these uncomplicated sexy styled outfits give the sense we could face the working day to partying night looking like we always dreamed of looking; effortless.
To work spring/summer’s most beautiful trend go for clean lines and inject a sense of glamour and overstated power with statement necklaces and embellishments.
The secret behind this tailored look is not only about effortless easy glamour but having the confidence and attitude to make it look ultra feminine all in a day’s work.

Personal memory / experience : Freedom

Coming to university gave me a chance to run away as well as face my true feelings. At home I’d been burying my head in the sand, and moving away gave me the freedom I needed to start fresh, create my own life and live for me.
I’d got myself into an awkward situation. My best friend was now my boyfriend and it was tearing our friendship group apart. The 7 of us were the best of friends, but as soon as me and Sam* got together people started to voice their opinions, and got involved in all the in’s and out’s of our relationship. Being in a relationship which was based on everyone else’s opinions was what I was always against, and now I found myself trapped amongst all the rumours and not being able to make a decision based on my own personal feelings. It is so important to go with your gut instinct, nothing is truer and I knew the relationship wasn’t right all along; I was lying to myself to keep everyone else happy and was with someone for all the wrong reasons. I loved Sam but I wasn’t in love with him, and I couldn’t fake that.
Huddersfield University was an open door for me to walk through and lock behind. Being far away made it easier to forget about that our relationship that wasn’t working and create a new life for myself. Running away didn’t make the situation easier to deal with but it was easier to ignore. I could pretend I wasn’t hurting Sam by not speaking to him for weeks at a time, but as time went by the reality ate away at me.
I felt alone because no one out of our friends seemed to care about how I felt. I lied to myself and everyone around because I wasn’t allowed to be honest, I felt that my true feelings were wrong and I was scared to admit them in fear of losing my closest friends.
After ending the relationship I realised the group of friends I had were in fact not my friends. What I had predicted and feared happened, not one of them got in touch with me and ironically they all took his side.
Ending it with Sam was hard but the best decision I made. I began to build up a strong relationship with myself, which Diane Von Furstenberg said on an episode of The Hills ‘The relationship you have with yourself is the most important.’ Everyone at some point deserves time by themselves. It helps you find who you are, be happy with your own company and not be defined by someone else. My first year at university helped me discover me and be happy with who I was.
I enjoyed my first year to its best. I did things I’m not proud of but I have no regrets. I focused on my studies and enjoyed the everyday chores of living alone. No-one ever tells you how hard life is out there on your own. Balancing my social life, with university work and general chores was hard but I’ve never enjoyed anything more and wouldn’t change my life for the world.
Last year I went through all the ups and downs no one tells you about in single life. I met lads that liked me more than I liked them, and ones that didn’t like me as much as I did them. I’ve had days where I never want to meet a boy and just focus on me and my work. Then the complete opposite, when I’d be scared I’d never meet the one for me. I learnt to not let my thoughts get the better of me because the best things happen when you least expect them. The ups and downs only make you stronger, and living alone at university is about tackling and overcoming your fears on your own.
Second year hasn’t proved any easier but I’m more accepting. I don’t beat myself up over things that could have gone differently because nothing goes the way you want and things are constantly changing.
University has truly made me realise who my real friends are. Real friends will support you no matter what, and if they don’t you’re better off without. Now I live my life doing what I want when I want. I’ve learnt sometimes in life you have to look after yourself. You are number one.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

things are better simply put.

Thank God we no longer need to listen to dads, uncles or boyfriends ranting about their views on the general election. Monthly fashion and lifestyle magazines are now providing us with straight to the point no-sweat guides to find the party that works for you.
Many men moan about us women reading our gossip filled glossies , but there is three men that have not complained about the glossies but jumped on board of the celeb and fashion filled band waggon to target possibly the most influential group of voters. With these real-life features targeting readers averaging an age of 18-34 I hope they have recognized that us women have the power to swing the vote in the general election. It is fact that the huge number of female votes for Tony Blair gave victory to Labour in 1997.
The election, just like any football game, has to have a winner. As Gordan brown, the prime minister faces a strong challenge from contender David Cameron the national mood is tense as we wait for the general election. As of march 6th the polls stand at conservative party with 31.45% of the votes and Labour party following behind with 26.58% of the votes. Can 2010 be the year the political polls point to a conservative win.
If you haven’t decided who to vote for there is three main candidates, there’s Gordan brown; the man currently in charge, David Cameron the challenger and Nick Clegg the outsider. Both Glamour and Cosmopolitan grilled the 3 main candidates and simplified it for us readers. Some people could find it insulting that these magazine even consider the fact that its readers need or want this kind of information simplifying. Meanwhile I am not offended by these informative features, but utterly grateful.
The best way to tackle these no nonsense topics is to make it as clear as possible by focusing on subjects which are close to people’s hearts. These magazine approach subjects which are relevant to me and address subjects that its female readership are interested in, such as crime and safety on streets, taxation and welfare, graduate jobs and fighting global warming. The candidates are also grilled on issues which have personally affected readers. This is vital to force them to face up to reality with the victim in front of them, putting us in their vulnerable position, and putting pressure on them to answer the question in a direct way rather than just arguing in a room full of well suited men and women.
Thanks to monthly magazines we are no longer helpless but feel our vote is worthwhile. I am in the know on the election that could affect me as a young independent adult and now I have no excuse not to make my vote count.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Styling a shoot.

Last Saturday i had a styling course for a day in London (God, i love that city)
I'm not sure i want to go into styling, I'm a bit unsure about the idea of freelance work, as much as i love my non-routine lifestyle i don't think i could let my income depend on the uncertainty of having work.
The day is set up by Styleaware and is run by the founder of the company, Faye Marriott. Styleaware provides training in all the fashion industry areas from fashion styling and image consulting to PR, journalism and fashion buying.
The day cost me £150 but it was the best money Ive spent on fashion so far (excluding my mulberry bag of course) Faye Mariott has over 10 years experience and worked on shoots for Vogue(UK, China, Spain, USA, Japan), Marie Claire, Stella Magazine, The Saturday Times, Harper’s Bazaar and Esquire. This was more than obvious in not only the invaluable advice she gave us but the person she was, she didn't was no time wasters and was straight to the point, which i really respect in people.

For the day i became a stylist and art director, i was so excited. I had a strong idea about the clothes i was using on the shoot and the mood and image i wanted to create. I aimed to create a strong fashion shot which focuses on the clothes. The theme was 'My fair lady' and i added a modern twist. I styled the shoot in neutral toned loose tailoring clothes, linking to the current trends of pastel colours.
I loved directing the shoot and watching my idea happen infront of me. It came together exactly how i intended it to. I used images from my favourite fashion photographer Lee Broomfield to show the model and photographer the look i wanted to create.

I learnt that day that no matter how strong your idea is, if you cant show someone your idea with images, they wont understand or be able to make it happen.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

The place to be

I visited this shop in Paris is was beautifully crazy. A truly inspiring place to shop, and if like me your a struggling student living on 39p pasta its just a great place to be. Just like it's website this shop is fun and funky with the only the quirkiest, innovative trends. Stunningly styled mannequins are dotted around the shop and walking around you feel like your mingling at the latest art exhibition.
To give you an idea i can only compare it to a modern more cutting edge version of Urban Outfitters, selling all you need from designer fashion, beauty, music, art, jewellery to food.
Colette's is a must see in Paris, even if its only to pick up the avant-garde vibe it gives off.

The Crazies sent me crazy

Slightly far-fetched but if your easily scared, like 28 days later and are fascinated with zombies this film will keep you completly hooked and in suspense.
Being scared of spiders and the dark im not the bravest person but this film had me literally jumping out of my seat, i even spent a few scenes terrified hiding between my boyfriends arm and behind my scarf...a very safe place to be. A crazy scene set inside a car wash is pure genuis with zombies coming from every direction, who knew a car wash would be the perfect setting for a horror. I thank god for the sheriffs deputy Russell, played by British actor Joe Anderson who is trigger happy and brings some light hearted banter, and Timothy Olyphant who plays the towns easy going Sheriff David Dutton, who i noticed gets more good looking with the more cuts and scratches on his face.
The entire film is completly picture perfect, the town sherriff is married to the town doctor and scenes are set on long american roads and in large white farm houses surrounded by fields. The film has a great soundtrack throughout, opening the with Vera Lynns classic world war 2 song, 'We'll Meet Again'.
The Crazies is based on paranoia, filled with genuily scary scenes which now i cant get out of my head scaring myself everytime i ask, "why do i do this to myself?"

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Ive been seduced by Armarni

I'm beginning to miss my old photography lessons. Recently I've been doing alot of studying fashion advertisements, regarding styling shoots and how customers perceive a brand.
At first glance many of us don't really take into account what an image is trying to say to us, we purely make judgement based on our own ideas and then don't make a second thought about the image. It's only when you really disect the image bit by bit do u realise how purposeful it was made to be.
Take Armarni for example. The Armarni code perfume ad is one i have never taken a second glance at, it was only today when we looked at its separate elements i realised its power.

It has a limited palette, to blacks and midnight blues, colours which highlight power and strength (think of the suits worn in politics). The light directly hits her face and highlights her bright blue eyes, intentionally blue to draw u to the perfume bottle. The light hits her naked shoulder which immediately conjours up seductive sexual thoughts. As this fades into darkness u are led to the brand name. All the elements to tell the consumer this is a powerful fragrance for a strong woman.
From know on i will make the effort of taking at least a second or third glance at an image that captures my eye. Purely in respect to the photographer and creative minds for the pure efforts that were put into it to catch my eye in the first place.