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London Fashion Week: Day 1#

 Day one of London fashion week.. is it me, or were there a substantial number of raincoats and PVC ponchos featuring on the runway today? Clearly everyone is, as ever, oh so optimistic as to the weather forecast for dear old England… nothing ever changes. Who says that fashion has no regards for practicality, huh?

Ming Pin Tien

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Vielma London

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 Ashley Isham

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Mariana Jungmann

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Rohmir

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Bora Aksu

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Teatum Jones

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Daks

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Eudon Choi

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Trager Delaney

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Jean-Pierre Braganza

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Felder Felder

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Christopher Raeburn

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Uncategorized

New York Fashion Week: Day 7#

It’s the final day of NY fashion week! Tomorrow, the big-eyed gaze of the fashion-mad population will turn their attention to London, but as for NYC.. things definitely ended on a high! Though I have to end on a weirdly geeky note.. as much as I love Marc Jacobs’ new collection, there is just something about his designs that reminds me of this… I blame the recent London publicity stunts regarding the new series last month.

Ralph Lauren

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J. Mendel

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Calvin Klein Collection

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Juan Carlos Obando

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Marc Jacobs

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The 3 L's

Please People, Can We Stop Using The Term ‘Real Women’?

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It’s been a lovely afternoon for me, spent meeting with a friend over coffee. I couldn’t help but overhear, however, the conversation taking place between two bushy bearded men two tables away. It seems I have a hyper-sensitive radar in regards not only to the mention of my name, but any reference to me whatsoever – in this instance, I was simply ‘nah, mate, the other one’.

We were being assessed. Luckily, not with numbers (I hate that. Why do guys have to label us with a mark out of ten? Could their way of expression any attraction – or lack of – be any more degrading?) Instead, they were comparing us to the standards of beauty of today. That’s when that term came into use… ‘real woman’. According to Santa’s Hipster son 1# and Santa’s Hipster son 2#, I’m a ‘borderline real woman’ because I have a bum, but according to his friend.. ‘nah mate, she’s not a real woman, she’s too thin, mate, too thin, I like real women.’

Excuse me, I can vouch that I am a real woman, and I can also say, with confidence, that I am not hovering around an imaginary line between womanly and… whatever the alternative is. Boyish? Butch? Barbie? I see myself naked on a daily basis, and trust me, I’m all woman.

Of course, the bigger issue with this conversation was the fact that we were being so casually evaluated in the first place.. I’ve heard men hold similar conversations in front of the meat aisle in Tesco. ‘Mate, steak tonight? What d’ya think of this one?’ – ‘Nah mate, look at it, that’s barely a steak at all – it’s a borderline cold cut! The only thing that’s good for is being slapped on a sandwich!’

I’m not about to start complaining about being picked at by men, however. I frankly can’t even muster the energy to do so. But I can muster the energy to complain about that term, because this isn’t just a degrading term used by men who see woman as objects to be assessed, and used, and disposed of, but it’s a part of the forefront of our society. It’s used in our magazines and on our TV shows and in our day-to-day debates as we compare ourselves to others. Suddenly it seems that in the ‘quest’ to force the fashion world to accept ‘plus sized’ and curvier women rather than sticking so stubbornly to their size-zero ideals, everyone has in the process developed this obsession with what is and is not ‘real’ or ‘natural’. Is that not counter-productive? Everyone has been calling out for the fashion world to accept all shapes and sizes, and yet we’re all too willing to decide for ourselves what is natural. And that just makes it ok for guys to then do the same.

Is it not about time that we adopt a cultural attitude that is accepting of all shapes and sizes? Take me and my friends, for example. Yes, I’m thin, but I have a bum and boobs . Take a look at my friends: anonymous friend 1# is thinner than me, and she really doesn’t have any curves at all, while anonymous friend 2# would be described as curvy, anonymous friend 3# is a full time plus-sized model and anonymous friend 4# has a perfect hourglass figure the we all can’t help but envy. (PS, those friends may be anonymous, but they know who they are and they have agreed to be mentioned here… just in case the rest of my friends real this and wonder.)

These are our builds, our natural figures and regardless as to how well or how badly our diets are going, our shape never changes, the only thing that changes is how squidgy the top layer is. Equally, while we all know that most models work hard to keep in shape, working on every inch of themselves until they are a sculpted masterpiece of perfection, it’s ridiculous to say that they are not ‘real women’ either, because they are there, they exist – I’ve seen enough famous models pass me in the street here in London over the years; Kate Moss and Lily Cole and a strew of lingerie models, and I can tell you, Photoshop or no Photoshop, they still look as stunning and slender as in their expansive portfolios. They exist and therefore they are real.

So please, can we stop referring to women as ‘real’ or ‘not’? Because last time I checked, it was definition enough to be a real woman purely to exist in all our fleshy goodness and to have no dangly bits between our legs… etc.

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Preview from a recent shoot. How amazing is this makeup? Time and time again, I am blown away by Emma’s amazing skills. She even admitted to me pre-shoot that she was a little worried, for she had not learnt how to air-brush with makeup yet on her college course, and felt that this would be the most successful technique needed for our shoot… well, it just goes to show that whatever you throw at this girl, she can blow you away with her abilities. I know that she is already in high demand, but I’ll say it anyway: I strongly recommend that every photographer, designer and stylist in Derby, send her an email, give her a call, organise a shoot together. She won’t let you down.

She’s also the cheeriest person I know, which is a definite bonus!

Model: Fiona

MUA: Emma Grant

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Workaholic

Galaxy Beauty

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BTS.

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Workaholic

Galaxy Shoot BTS

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Workaholic

Phone Box Fashion

Jessie Phone Box 2#

 

Earlier this month, I moved into my first proper house, albeit a student house, shared with two lovely fellow students and friends, but it is cosy and homey and much nicer than most of the flea-infested monstrosities that we looked around last spring during the all-important house hunting. It took me exactly two days to notice the rusty old phone box that lies on the main road between our house and Derby city centre, and about ten days to then organise a photo shoot focused around the phone booth.

We’ve all seen countless red phone booth photo shoots, mostly featuring twee, vintage, stereotypical English wardrobes. I wanted to break away from that mould, and so I collaborated with model and dancer Jessie, to create something which I hope has succeeded in being just that little bit more edgy. We decided to restrict the colour scheme, allowing the phone box to do the talking, with just a pop of red lipstick to tie it all together. I admit, a small part of me wondered how well Jessie’s hair colour would suit the bright red box – would auburn and red clash? – but no, it all ties together nicely, doesn’t?

A touch of blue was added to our shadows in post production, and voila. I for one am extremely happy with the results. It’s amazing how many dancer’s poses can be achieved in such a confined space! A big shout out has to go out to Jessie for one that, for her constant stream of ideas and creativity.

Jessie Phone Box 1# Jessie Phone box 5#

Jessie Phone box 4#

Jessie Phone box 3#

 

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Model: Jessie Jing

MUA: Razwana Kausar

Styling: Emma Styles & Jessie Jing

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