Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The Hour

People living in the UK who are aware of the programme The Hour, will know that I am way behind in both watching and loving it. Set in the late 50s/early 60s, the show follows a news crew as they attempt to launch a new current events programme. But there are some darker obstacles in their path than just the ratings. It is at once mysterious and thoroughly entertaining, plus there are so many familiar faces that I keep pointing at the TV and shouting: "He was in History Boys!" or "He was in Torchwood!".

I have to confess though, that despite the excellent characters and complex storyline, the main joy I take in watching it is gazing in unashamed lust at the wardrobe of Romola Garai. Pencil skirts, kitten heels, blouses and brooches, it's all very Mad Men but with a bit of an British twist. I blame the show's make-up department for the fact that I have been wearing bright red lipstick for the past few days.

American viewers and others from around the world who have yet to see The Hour may recognise Romola from her brilliant performance in Glorious 39, or her thoroughly relatable turn as the title role in the latest adaptation of Emma. She is probably my favourite actress of the moment, and my admiration for her just makes me want to copy her style even more.

Much as I love the scarves and the dresses and the shoes and the twin sets, if I were able to steal just one thing from her wardrobe, it would have to be this fantastic trench coat. It's the kind of piece you slip on without even thinking about it, then just look effortlessly elegant in.

It's not just the women in the show who have inspired me sartorially though, Ben Whishaw (Brideshead Revisited, Perfume) and Dominic West (True Blue, The Wire) both have some stunningly gorgeous suits. West's are more fitting and statuesque whereas Whishaw's are a bit dishevelled and less presentable. I have a real thing for looking in the menswear department right now, seeking out blazers or shirts which won't look ridiculously oversized on me.

Gosh, men just don't wear suits enough any more do they?

All pictures nabbed from elsewhere, and are probably property of the BBC.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Who says I have to wear black?

As I was browsing the new posts which had appeared overnight in my blog feed and sipping my morning coffee, I came across this photo of Emma Watson on The Vogue Diaries. Up until now, I had been preparing myself for autumn/winter with plain transitional pieces in brown, navy blue, and of course, black. Granted, the picture of Emma was taken in LA, where even their winter is bound to be warmer than most days in British summer, but it inspired me. Why should we hide in all our darkest clothes all winter? The world is going to seem grey enough without what we wear adding to the gloom. Of course, the classic LBD and black blazer are must-haves, but I think by now we all know the good a little injection of colour can do.

Therefore, perhaps a set of 3 basic principles is in order. I would like to share with you my view on what those principles are, with a little help from some of my favourite street-style photographers. Prepare yourself for the 'Three Fs' of wearing colour in Winter

1. Faded
taken by Phil Oh of Street Peeper
OK, so not all of us have enough of Emma's confidence to carry off that lime green number, but colour can still be flaunted all through winter without the risk of looking like a road worker. If you want to ease into the trend, try some muted shades like mustard, maroon and forest green. This lovely young gentleman obviously know that, in order to stand out from the greyness of London in the rain, he needs this pop of a mustard-coloured shirt. It also goes well with the blue, demonstrating how you can wear your winter staple colours with a stylish flash of colour here and there.

2. Fashion
from Tres Awesome
September is the most exciting time to be taking inspiration from the catwalks, but as we all know, the best outfits often take an element of what we see on the runway and downplay it. When searching for a way to get your hit of bright colour, perhaps look at what your favourite designer is doing. This lady seems to have taken a cue from Christopher Kane, Louis Vuitton, Alexander Wang or someone else showing cute clutches this season and introduced a perfectly complimentary shade of orange into her outfit. Try a bag or scarf if you are worried about overdoing it. Notice also that she is wearing nude shoes, just as Emma was in her dress, which can help to reduce the OTT impact of colour.

3. Fun
by Wallace Chapman of Street and City Photos
My favourite thing about autumn/winter has to be coats. All different cuts, lengths, materials and of course, colours. When aiming for high-impact colour, this girl know the way to go: colour-blocking with a gorgeous shade, then breaking all the rules by wearing an almost-but-not-quite-matching bag. Then, as if to cement her rebellious attitude, she adds a pair of blue wayfarers. It's always good to know the rules of fashion, as it allows you to break them properly.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Evolution of Fashion Media (IFB Project)

I'm really starting to get into IFB projects now! Every time I feel stuck for a post idea, a project comes along and I jump on it. This week's challenge is to show the evolution of fashion media through a list of your top ten magazines/fashion sites/blogs. I have risen to the challenge and am looking forward to sharing some of my favourite sites with you.

1- Teen Vogue

I must have ranted about Teen Vogue enough on this blog by now, but in case you haven't seen that, my main reason for loving this magazine is its stark contrast to publications aimed at teenagers in the UK. Far from being patronising on any subject from style to stress, TV addresses the reader as an equal on both intellectual and creative levels.

It must be for this reason that so many of its readers start out young and carry on buying it right through to their college years. It is mature but without losing its appeal to the younger market. 

This year, I will no longer have to wear uniform to school, and will hopefully be sharing the outfits I do wear on this blog. The August issue of Teen Vogue has given me countless ideas from its back-to-school style pages

When I first heard that Lauren Conrad had set up a beauty site, I probably rolled my eyes and moved on with my day. It wasn't until recommendations started popping up on other blogs which I read that curiosity took me to The Beauty Department.

In collaboration with her make-up artist and hair stylist, Lauren has made what I can only describe as a godsend. I am totally clueless when it comes to hair and make-up. Clothes, I can do, but when it comes to hair curlers, I'll run a mile before attempting to use them.

The easy-to-follow tutorials have saved me from looking like I've just rolled out of bed in many a blog photo!

3- John Lewis Edition
Again, something I have extolled the virtues of countless times, especially in my post about in-store magazines. If you don't live in the UK, I doubt you will have come across John Lewis or indeed Edition. Basically, it is a big department store with several branches across the country and a clientele of rather middle-class people.

Edition is a free publication which you can pick up in any store and I can honestly say it is the best free magazine I've ever come across. Despite an obvious bias towards their own products, the fashion spreads are often on par with other, glossier fashion mags. They've also managed to nab some big names like Jess Cartner-Morley for their fashion column and Toby Young to do interviews. The variety of the content is always bound to give me an idea for a new post.

The Simply Luxurious Life is a fairly recent discovery, probably discovered through another blog's list of what they were reading that week. Since then, I have been addicted to their go-getting attitude and commitment to ladylike elegance at the same time.

Of course, the very purpose of the blog is an inspiration, the constant quest for luxury, no matter what your budget, is something I firmly believe in. I also have to say that, despite my blog having 'fashion' in the title, I am prone to talking about food, travel, books etc. SLL moves between all these topics seamlessly and I would like to aim for a similar balance with my writing. In short, I admire SLL in the way I would a big sister if I had one.

Mainly I check out the London pages, especially in the run-up to a trip up there for the Theatre or an exhibition etc. However, in the month or so leading up to my flight from Heathrow to Sydney, I was constantly checking for updates on what people were wearing in Melbourne and Sydney, desperate not to be picked out as "not from round these parts".

If you don't already visit street peeper, it's main advantage is that it shows you how to wear current catwalk trends in an everyday way, through the example of people on the street. You will always find me browsing the site on a day when I just cannot think what to wear, it's the perfect antidote to lack of fashion inspiration.

Whenever my family happen to buy a Sunday Times, I rip straight into the supplements and fish out the Style section. It's probably the best fashion supplement in any of the newspapers and I love a flick through its pages on a Sunday morning.

But we're not subscribers to the Sunday Times, and sometimes I miss out on having this week's issue in my hands. This is where the website comes in. Plenty of the feature that I will have missed are shortly available online, with the added bonus of behind-the-scenes videos and links to other articles and web pages. If you like ST Style, you should follow them on twitter too for updates and so on.

7- Fashion Gone Rogue
Do you want to see editorial shoots from the world's best magazines, photographers and models, often before that issue is available in your country? Look no further than Fashion Gone Rogue. It's perfect for inspiration when putting together an outfit or maybe even taking photos for a blog post.

I find it is a good way for deciding which magazines to buy this month, based on their main fashion spread. This is a particularly helpful tool in September! Plus, you can still enjoy the shoot and keep up with the work of your favourite stylists, models and photographers without buying every single magazine.

8- Instyle
My first issue of InStyleHudgens July 2009 issue. I probably bought it mainly for the free beach bag that came with it, but since then, I have read and re-read that copy. I loved the in-depth interviews with admirable women such as Michelle Obama, I loved the sophisticated travel section which included tips on what to pack and I loved the inclusion of British talent who I had previously thought were unknown to everyone but me.

Since December 2009, I haven't missed an issue. Sometimes I toy with switching to something else, but then the BAFTA issue comes out (InStyle hosts the official BAFTA after-party) and all those new young British actors and actresses get featured in their fashion spreads. I don't think I'll stop reading it for a while to come.

When I'm bored and feeling like I need a creative outlet which doesn't involve my fingers getting covered in paper cuts and glue, I head to fashion finder.

You can create outfits, personalise your profile (mine is pictured) and surf the best new products from one of the largest online fashion stores around. ASOS is definitely thinking in the right direction, by combining shopping, blogging, inspiration and social networking all on one site. I think that this kind of thing will be the future of fashion media. If you would like to know more about it, you could read the post I wrote when the site first opened.

10- Vogue
I buy too many magazines. It's a shame that there can be such a thing as too many, but it's true. Sometimes though, I can't resist a bit of the old favourite. I've pretty much limited myself to one copy of Vogue every two months and I waver between the British and American editions. Again, I like the intelligence in many of the articles, which someone who has never read it may not expect.

But the main reason that I, and many others buy it, is its history, reputation and standing at the top of the fashion food chain. I think you always remember your first Vogue. Mine was last October, about to board a flight to Naples on a school trip and I needed reading material. Spotting Carey Mulligan, one of my favourite actresses, on the front of the American edition, I picked it up and bought it. After the two-hour flight, I had practically devoured every word. Vogue is something which will stand the test of time and the onslaught of the digital age, no matter how many fashion blogs there are.

Friday, 26 August 2011

My pick of The Spring/Summer Sales

The time has come to stow the light fabrics and open shoes away in the back of the wardrobe and open up dusty boxes full of oversized sweaters and trench coats. I have to admit, I prefer Autumn/Winter as a season, it just seems like the cold opens up more opportunities for layers etc. However, I do miss the summer clothes, and sometimes have trouble finding the ones I want for a decent price when Spring rolls around again.

If you suffer from the same problem, why not take advantage of end-of-season sales and stock up on some great pieces now for a low price? Of course, we cannot always predict the trends which will emerge by next year, but some basics just never go out of style, and can be easily updated with new accessories at the time.

In my picks of the sales (mainly available only to the UK, but some may be shipped overseas) I have gone for classic Summer shades, white and tan, which tend to go with everything. Once you have your timeless classics, go wild in the accessories department et voila! You are ready to be queen of the Spring/Summer scene.

1. Mango Pointelle Knit Maxi Dress now just £13 from ASOS. I think a good maxi dress is essential. Yes, they have their high and low points in fashion, but you can't deny that they are ideal for unpredictable British summer and also the best choice when going out for a meal on holiday when you are unsure of the dress code. This one can easily be used as a cover-up on the beach, a day dress for sight-seeeing or dressed up and worn to that lovely little restaurant round the corner.

2. Kate Spade Pocomo Gwen, marked down from $225 to $112. I adore this bag. It is obviously perfect for a blogger or photographer, but could also be useful just for holding your camera when you're not taking holiday snaps. It's a pretty high price for such a small bag, but I know if I had the money to spare, this would be completely irresistable to me.

3. Clemens en August Cotton Blend Wrap Skirt, discounted from £355 to £106.50 at the Outnet. This is definitely an investment buy for around June when everyone goes mad for all things tennis. Even if you don't play, you can still emulate Maria Sharapova in this classy number.

4. H&M Wedges now £14.99. I have had the same wedges for nigh on three years now. I love them to bits, literally. And since they were second-hand to begin with, I'm not sure they are going to last much longer. Thus, I am on the hunt for a suitable successor to them, which must be tan, fairly high but comfortable (I could run across a field at a decent speed in my old ones) and these seem to be a pretty good replacement. I'll have to try them on in store but the price has already won me over.

5. Johnique by the Desert Child Feather Necklace now £20 from Urban Outfitters. OK, maybe it's not a timeless classic, BUT my theory is that it makes such a statement that it can never be either in or out of fashion. It is just a flamboyant piece which, if nothing else, will start a few conversations. Plus, what could be better for a Summer festival?

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The Fashion Moriarty Guide to Shopping in Sydney - Part 2

Today I continue my guide to the areas of Sydney which I both managed to visit and also thought worth a mention due to their shops. In Part 2, I have ventured outside of Sydney itself, purely because there were areas I couldn't overlook as they had some lovely places to shop.

Surry Hills/Darlinghurst
I think I wondered the border between the two areas, and wasn't sure which one to talk about so decided on both! Originally I discovered this place when I was on my way to Broadway Shopping Centre, but came out the wrong side of Central Station and spent a good hour lost in some gorgeous and colourful side streets. They're surprisingly quiet considering how close they are to a main road and the largest station in the city. I love the way there are clusters of cool cafes and individual places to eat, interspersed with the odd stationery or book store.

I eventually found my way to Broadway, but I did return to Surry Hills/Darlinghurst when I found out that it was the location of the Sparkle Cupcakery.

Renowned in Australia due to their recipe book, I'd call this the Sydney equivalent of the Hummingbird Bakery. Because of their reputation, I'm sure it must get busy at peak hours and weekends, but being on holiday gave me the advantage of being able to pop in during a sunny but cold weekday mid-morning. I was served almost immediately with this gluten-free lime cupcake and an iced coffee - both were delicious.

I also walked up to Crown Street and visited an excellent vintage and second-hand clothes shop called C's Flashback where I bought the most perfect maxi dress. They were very friendly and helpful and I resolved to go back there if I ever had a chance.

I loved Newtown. It feels like just the place for students who either want somewhere to sit and study or somewhere to go and avoid studying. We began with a coffee in Birkelow's, a bookshop with new books on the ground floor and second-hand ones on the first. As well as this they had a coffee shop and what appeared to be a noodle bar. Then it was on to a series of vintage shops, bookshops and stationery stores. It was fun and I found some great places, but I hadn't yet come across something I felt like buying. Then we went into Mag Nation...

I made myself stop at two, but I probably could have bought the whole shop! This was their only branch in Sydney and one of just six in Australia so I felt excited to have been in. If you have a chance and love magazines as much as I do, then this is definitely worth a visit.

The Blue Mountains
Technically not in Sydney, many towns in the Blue Mountains are just 1-2 hours by train and are ideal if you fancy something a bit quirky. The town I spent a lot of my time in, Springwood, is about an hour and a half by train from Central. While fairly quiet, there are several good shops, my favourite was Frou Frou, the local vintage shop. I spent many an hour and just as many a dollar in there. My purchases included two cowboy jackets, a white lace dress, a plaid shirt and a possibly-real-possibly-fake Chanel bag.

A quick note on shopping in Adelaide
I wasn't in Sydney the whole time, I did make trips to two other important cities: Melbourne and Adelaide. Now, while I did do rather a lot of shopping in Melbourne, I can't actually remember the names of any shops. I would recommend a trip to St Kilda though. However, there was one place in Adelaide which just has to be shared with the world.

We went on a trip to the Central Markets - in itself an experience. So many colours and smells, fresh fruit, baking bread, lots of interesting foods and things. There are also several places to have a good coffee around the edges, but the best thing I found was one shop passed on the way out. It was called Yummy Ribbon.

If you are like me, the cutesy prettiness of this shop will have grabbed you at first glance. On entering, you will find more than just extensive ranges of ribbon (though they did have that). Buttons, notebooks, bunting, pens, accessories and all sorts of other goodies await. Even the bags are a gorgeous little work of art. I bought a study planner and a metre of this yellow suede ribbon.

Monday, 22 August 2011

The Fashion Moriarty Guide to Shopping in Sydney - Part 1

Having spent the majority of my 6 weeks in Australia in or around the Sydney area, I now consider myself not exactly an expert, but certainly knowledgeable about the best shops there are in particular areas. Therefore I intend to split this post according to the suburb or sector of this sprawling city. There are quite a few to cover, so I'll spread it across two posts. I hope you enjoy it and that it even proves useful to some of you.

The City
Shopping centre after shopping centre are available in the city, and to make things even more confusing for tourist types like me, many of them are connected by overhead walkways, underground passages and even train stations. The worst part is that the shops continue seamlessly so you don't notice that you've gone somewhere else until you emerge on the other side of town. However, I did find this useful once I had the hang of things, especially on a rainy day when I wanted to stay under cover.

My favourite place to go was the main Westfield Shopping Centre, located directly below Westfield Centrepoint tower. This had a huge range of shops from low-end to designer. In addition to this, it was connected to a branch of Myer on one side and a branch of David Jones on the other - both huge department stores. I found I could quite happily spend an hour or so meandering from one shop to the next. There are plenty of places to get food and drink, but I would recommend one of the French or Italian style places on Levels 4 and 5 of Westfield. Unfortunately I can't remember the name of the place I went but I do remember that this danish was amazing...

But for the fashion-driven, the best part of this area was 100 Squared. A place for emerging designers to sell their wares and gain awareness. This is perfect for something that feels a little more individual when surrounded by international chain stores. I found this gorgeous necklace from a jeweller down there. I love it because it's a gorgeous colour and also is unique as there were others on sale but in different colours with individual charms. I chose the owl to give me wisdom when studying.

So trendy, so chic, so very expensive. Paddington is the hub for designers with just one store, but one in which the clientèle are happy to just spend, spend, spend. Even if your budget won't stretch to buying a $100 necktie, it's still worth a stroll along William Street (below) if only to see the pretty houses, most of which currently function as cute little shops. If you're lucky, you may come across one of Paddington's other specialties, a pop-up shop. There were at least two when we visited, including one there for its last day, meaning we got several things cheap or even free!

Once you've done your shopping/window-shopping, be sure to stop by Alimentari. This little Italian coffee place is hidden away on the corner at the end of William Street on Hopetoun Street. The inside is good, but if the weather is nice (as it often is in Australia) then it's absolutely lovely to be able to sit outside and look down the pretty streets furnished with trees while having a cappuccino and a piece of biscotti. As you can see, the trendy locals are well aware of this little gem, and will be there in abundance at lunch, so avoid midday if all you want is a coffee.

The Rocks
The Rocks is the oldest part of Sydney, and has been through many incarnations but is now the place to be for good food and drink. In terms of shopping, this is probably the best place to go for gifts and souvenirs as there are several tourist-type places, but they're not too tacky. If you would rather take back something a bit classier, there are a few artists and galleries with shops along the main street where you can buy prints, cards and even original works of art.

The best thing about the Rocks was, for me, the coffee. While I was there, the Aroma coffee festival was on. This is something that runs for just one day each year, where you can sample different coffees from all the brands who have a stall there for just $2 a cup. There are also stalls selling tea, chocolate, snacks and barista courses, should you want to take one. The atmosphere is great, and encouraged by the mass of people and live music playing on 4 separate stages around the area.

As for the restaurants and cafes which are there all year round, they get involved with the Aroma spirit, some even laying on their own entertainments for the evening when the festival is over. But on normal days, they maintain a high standard of serving. My personal favourite was a restaurant called Baroque where I went with my cousin and his girlfriend for a delicious evening meal, followed by coffee and yummy macaroons from their patisserie, La Renaissance around the corner.

We went to La Renaissance on one of my last days in Sydney and bought chocolate éclairs, then decided to eat them at the top of the pylon (one of the towers at the end of the Harbour Bridge) resulting in this striking but rather unflattering photo...

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Blogger Tool Kit (IFB Project)

Camera - This must be at the heart of every blogger's tool kit. I don't use this one all the time (and obviously didn't use it to take this photo) but I like to take this one out when I'm photographing a particular event or person as it looks more professional.

Current magazines - Seen here is the September Issue of Australian Harper's Bazaar. I just had to buy it as it combines one of my favourite photographers, Victor Demarchelier, with one of my favourite models, Karlie Kloss. I am always keeping abreast of fashion through publications such as Instyle, Vogue, Teen Vogue, Elle and Harper's Bazaar so that I can comment on them in posts. I also like to find smaller, more Indie magazines such as 1883 and Yen because they can give you a good alternate viewpoint on what is happening in fashion today.

Watches - Obviously useful for knowing the time, but why have two? Well, it can be useful when I'm in a productive blogging mood to set things up to post later on. There are certain 'peak times' when they are bound to get more views, but since the majority of my readership is split across two time zones, it can be tricky deciding when to put them up. This is why I occasionally wear two watches, one on London time, one on New York time, then I can decide what will be best for both areas.

Glasses - I don't actually require glasses at all. But every now and then I crave the seriousness and sophistication which can come from wearing a pair of thick black frames, so I steal these Gucci ones from my mother.

Notebook - Many times an idea for a post or article has struck me when I have been without my sacred blogging book, which I keep at home for safety most days. Fortunately, I tend to carry a smaller notebook with me at all times for jotting down ideas. This one came from one of the stationery shops I became obsessed with when in Australia: Typo.

Teen Vogue handbook - I'm pretty sure I've raved about this since as far back as some of my first few posts. It's great for flicking through for inspiration, or working on your photography with advice from Patrick Demarchelier, or even just casually reading over a coffee and snack (I do that a lot). If you haven't got a copy yet and want to work or even already work in the fashion industry, I urge you to order one immediately.

USB stick - Undoubtedly the easiest way to transfer files from one computer to another.

Handbag - Not quite big enough for all of this stuff to fit in, but perfect for essentials (purse, phone, keys) and maybe a notebook, camera and a copy of teen vogue. All will fit snugly inside and I can be on my way to the next exciting and stylish adventure.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Links a la Mode

The seasons are changing and as fashion and or style bloggers, you know what that means? Time to switch stuff up! Whether it be your content or your wardrobe, I always look at the seasons as a time for change-- a time to gather inspiration from the streets or from your heart and just run with it. This week's roundup talks about issues such as "The issue fashion blogs may be facing" to "Finding the perfect fall color palette."  All important topics, right?  Needless to say they're interesting reads and certainly make the mind wander. Enjoy!

The IFB Weekly Roundup: LINKS À LA MODE: AUG 18TH

Fashion's Night Out at ShopbopAntipodium, Holy Tee, Obakki, DKNY Intimates, Daftbird, C&C California, Pamela Love, Thakoon dresses, & Rachel Zoe collection.

If you would like to submit your link for next week’s Links à la Mode, please register first, then post your links HERE. The HTML code for this week will be found in the Links a la Mode group will be published later today. ~Jennine

Hooray! Thank you to Nubia for including me in this weeks Links a la mode on IFB. This is my first time being picked, and I couldn't be more thrilled to be in such good company on the list. Make sure to have a read of some of these other posts, they really are thought-provoking.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Hair update

Well, it's not quite Miss Dior. Obviously it's quite hard to tell in this lovely photo (would you believe it was taken by a 3 year old?) but I have taken aspects of what I originally wanted, but skipped on getting a fringe this time. It's a lot shorter, has some shaping around the face and, when I can get some closer pictures you'll be able to see some extremely subtle highlights in there.

I will be returning to England on Thursday when I will be able to upload all the photos from my travels and inform you all on my top picks of Sydney shops etc. Until then, have a good week!

Monday, 15 August 2011

What's in my bag? - Flying to London (IFB Project)

Apologies for the photo quality... phone cameras aren't always that great

Aaah, I haven't joined in with an IFB Project in such a long time! Last time though, my entry involved this gorgeous travelling bag from Disaster Designs, check that out here. This time the challenge is to reveal what's in your bag, so I thought - what better way to do that than show you what stylish things I'll be lugging with me in the hand luggage for my flight home?

Travel journal - While in Australia, I discovered the shop Typo. It sells stationery in very funky colours and often with cute things like the Eiffel tower incorporated into the design. I quickly became addicted. While I haven't been keeping this journal very up-to-date, I intend to finish it on the flight so that I have a record of all my adventures over the past 6 weeks.

Pashmina - Most fashion editors would never travel without one - and I am no different. It keeps me warm when the air conditioning is too cool; acts as a pillow when I need to sleep; can easily double as a blanket and looks uber-stylish all at the same time!

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro - I haven't seen the film yet, but I want to and decided I should read it first. 7 chapters in and I'm already captivated.

Simple moisturiser and facial wipes - I've decided not to wear any make-up on the plane, I'll just be keeping it basic and trying to defend my skin against the harsh air by cleanig and moisturising it.

J.D. the teddy bear - he's been with me everywhere so far. He's just as lovable as hs namesake (J.D. from Scrubs) and I just couldn't bear to lock him away in a suitcase. Hopefully I won't spill apple juice all over his head as I did on the flight over...

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Peaceful Protest

Words cannot describe the feelings that swept over me when I recently turned on the news while on holiday to Australia... only to find London burning. The prevailant emotion was powerlessness from being half way around the world and only able to witness the events through foreign news coverage, even though I would probably be doing the exact same thing if I were in my native Hampshire.

The next thing that overcame me was extreme anger at the rioters and an overwhelming desire to take them by their hoodies and point out what they had done to their own communities, whilst demanding to know WHY. Once this had passed though, I found that I needed not to add more anger to the situation, but to do something positive. And I had to do it in a way that people would listen. While this blog readership is fairly limited, it is my best platform and the one which I treasure most.

Hence, this post is about rebelling through your clothes, rather than stealing sportswear. You see, all this started out with a peaceful protest about one man's death, though I doubt that has anything to do with it now. The rest is just general anger about the relationship with the police and lack of money in the areas, although a lot of people are obviously just choosing now to get some good stuff for free. All I want to do is show that there are so many ways to protest peacefully, and some of them can be done with style.

Politics and Power

People have always expressed themselves through their apparel. However, it was only really in the 60s that they began to use this as a way of stating their opinions on important issues. Even now statement T shirts are a casual way for protestors to convey their message during everday life, without hurting anybody. I think that this is one of the least harmful ways to communicate your views.

Beliefs through symbols

Symbols can have a secret meaning which only one or two people understand, or they can be a universal sign for a faith, idea or belief. Think about the symbols you wear every day, even designer logos count! What do they say about you and the impact you want to make on the world? Sometimes the loudest statement you make involves no words and nothinh more than a few lines arranged in a certain way.

Born this way

Glee fans will know exactly where I'm going with this. If you are not one of them, just think for a second about picking something which has singled you out or been a cause for ridicule or just different treatment from those around you. Now imagine emblazoning a word or phrase onto your front which summarises this aspect of you and showing it off to the world proudly. By accepting our own flaws, they stop being flaws and become just another part of who we are. When the rest of the world looks badly on us for it, the best course of action is to show how at ease you are with yourself, until the haters begin to falter and look at their own flaws. Confidence in ourselves is how we protest against the way people treat each other, especially for things that shouldn't matter.

Personality, Individuality

When you got dressed this morning, what mood were you in? Were you bored, angry, happy, excited? Now that you think about it, has that impacted on today's choice of outfit. This is just the way we express ourselves on a daily basis, over time, we develop our own style which dictates what we put on our backs. Once the outfit is on, we challenge society to accept it. This is amplified in rebellious teenage years as we try out new trends, sometimes just to spite our parents, which push boundaries. The main purpose is to protest against the norm and maybe even change people's ideas on what the norm IS.

I hope my little piece of protest had made sense and maybe even made a difference. If you are a UK resident and would like to make a difference in the wake of the London riots, take a look at the Riot Cleanup or Operation Cup of Tea.

All images from weheartit except Riot Cleanup T shirt from their website (above)