Friday, 2 January 2015

A Letter to the Editors & Publishers of Celebrity Mags

Its been a while since I've written a long and rant like post on here. This one isn't about fashion as such, but perhaps the other part of the fashion writing and literature industry - and that is journalism. I've had a few things on my mind as of late, and thought I'd write them here.

For as long as about a third of my life, I have wanted to be a fashion writer. I wanted to write about fashion in magazines, or on blogs, newspapers - I didn't care, I just wanted to write about the subject I love. The feeling I get when I look through fashion magazines alone has not left me. However, standing at the magazine stands at the grocery store or corner shop is not quite as exciting anymore. In fact, I find it energy zapping and demoralising just standing there. Why, you may ask. 

In this day and age, celebrities are more exposed then ever before - the growth of social networks such as Twitter and Instagram means that celebrities can put themselves out there at the click of the button. Because of this, trolls and online bullies are able to anonymously write rude, negative and upsetting comments in a few seconds. This is a sad and worrying prospect that is often broadcasted on the news and published in the papers, ect, but people seem to forget the real trolls are their very own specie. 

Magazines such as OK!, Closer, Heat, and others alike, are running a rich and prosperous journalism empire from tearing people apart. This, I realise is a big and broad statement to put out there, but I would not have said it if I didn't personally and honestly think that was what is going on here. Lets have a look: 

Here is a spread from a copy of Star magazine, a US magazine. The headline reads, ''55 Best & Worst BEACH BODIES". Its part of their annual 'beach bodies' series and they bring it out regularly.  On the first page, we have various women celebrities enjoying a beach walk or swim on a regular day. These people, such as Rihanna and Kendall Jenner have been crowned with the 'best beach bodies'. Although I commend them on their seemingly healthy and slim physiques, this isn't what bothers me. The second spread shows some of the 'middle of the road' beach bodies. Here, we have Kelly Preston, aged 52, mother of three, actress and model. They write next to her photo, ''Wonder what Kelly is hiding under that black swimsuit?". There is also Barbra Streisand, 71, and Amy Roloff, 50 who suffers from a sort of dwarfism called Achondroplasia. Therefore, here they have 3 (and more) mothers, one with a physical disability, who all have extremely successful careers in their sect, and they are targeted, photographed on a casual trip to the beach, and then published into a magazine, judged purely on how they look in a swimsuit? And that isn't even the next page that down right humiliates the people photographed.  

So there has been a problem circulating about body image for a while now. With the rise of illness' such as bulimia and anorexic, are you surprised? Magazines, like the ones I have mentioned, will feature you in the magazine if you are too 'skinny', they will also feature you in the magazine if you are slim and pretty, and of course, they will feature you if you are too 'fat'. Ultimately, the 'too skinny' will want to be slim and pretty, and the 'too fat' will want to be 'slim and pretty'. When talking about peoples bodies, there will never be a positive effect to the readers. Why? Because I don't believe that we should comment at all. Whatever size, weight, high, ethnicity, gender, I don't care - commenting on peoples bodies publicly has detrimental effects for all involved. 

A J.K Rowling quote once got be thinking, ''Fat’ is usually the first insult a girl throws at another girl when she wants to hurt her.I mean, is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me.'' 

By stating this, I am not saying 'these people who are being ridiculed should not feel offended, because being labelled 'overweight' is not the end of the world. No! They should 100% not have to put up with it!

I would like to add that I have never been clinically overweight. I have always been in the average weight for someone my age, gender and height. I am not sitting here trying to make myself feel better about my insecurities, I am sitting here feeling overwhelmed by my frustration by the plain desperation of today's magazines. 

Just while we are on the subject, I am not trying to promote obesity. Hell no. I don't think being overweight is a good lifestyle choice. I think everyone can agree with that! I think society should be promoting healthy people, if anything. But commenting, posting, reading directly about a individual persons weight, size or looks is wrong - and it is very sad to see that is the only content some magazines can come up with!

Unfortunately, it's not just peoples looks they are attacking. Cheryl Cole, long term X Factor and member of UK girl band Girls Aloud, experienced a sad and unpleasant relationship break down after her husband cheated on her with 7 different women. Her husband was unloyal, and that, my friend, is a good enough reason to feel miserable. 

While suffering this, magazines pasted their covers with pictures of her, trying to move on with her life, with words like ''..she sobs''. 

It's hard enough to move on from a divorce enough, let alone with papers, photographers, and headlines implying weakness and distraught.

They call in 'gossip', I call it slander*.

*which is a criminal offence, may I add

With social issues aside, the sheer lack of creativity and decent and interesting literature and stories in these magazines makes me ashamed to even be interested in journalism at all. We live in a world with amazing new sciences that are changing lives and there is so much happening; and they are instead, ripping people to shreds. 

With that all now said, I would love to hear your opinions on this wide and diverse subject. Do you think commenting needlessly on peoples lives are wrong? Do you think magazines like this need to be pulled? Comment below! 

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

New-Years Outfit Ideas

Wearing a jumpsuit or a playsuit/romper is a chic alternative to a dress or skirt. If you are going to a party where you will be moving a lot, dancing, or maybe a small amount of time outside, the trouser or short outfit could be a more comfortable and practical choice. Dancing for a few hours while making sure you're not pulling a Monroe, no thanks! 
White and silver is the perfect colour combo around the new year period. If there is one time of the year where you should be able to crack out the the sparkles, glitter and shiny goods, this is it! A spaghetti strap bralet is elegant while showing a bit of skin, and a flared skirt keeps it young and playful. This outfit above needs to be decked with silver accessories to really bring out the new year spirit!

If looking chic is not the style you were going for, this outfit is a good one to play with. The floral two piece allows for lots of different shades to be used without looking to trashy. Picky black shoes is a safe option with a statement lip and clutch. If standing out is your goal, you should love this outfit! Although I don't think I could pull this one off successfully, I know some who could! 

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Christmas Presents 2014

1. #GIRLBOSS  2. How to be Parisian  3. The Sartorialist  (all from Amazon)

1/2. Boots Extracts  2. Loreal Paris Night Beauty Box  3. (brandless) Foot Products

1. H&M Shiny Pouch 

1. High Brow  2. Next Perfume (sparkle)

1. Chilly Millie  2. Azure Skies  3. Daisy Roots  (all from Bomb Cosmetics)
1. Primark  2. New Look
1. New Look
1. Terrys  2. Hotel Chocolat  3. Toblerone

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

I've left it to the very last minute to talk about the big day, which actually so happens to be tomorrow! I haven't been feeling all that festive this year, and it has definitely taken longer to kick in that last year (christmas music in October!). Despite this, I have been taking part in a few Christmas-esque activities.

I have mentioned in previous posts that I attend Girls Brigade, which is a club very similar to the likes of Girl Guides. They have an annual Christmas production which I normally try to avoid getting a part in. This year, I decided to bite the bullet and join in! I also played the saxophone with the orchestra that I attend in a Christmas concert. It would appear that I suddenly grew some confidence right at the end of 2014!

My local city, Exeter, also did a great job of filling the streets with festive cheer. They hosted a German market on the Cathedral green for the third or fourth year now. There, they sell international foods, christmas ornaments, fur rugs, wooden sculptures, hat, scarves - everything really! It's normally very busy so I didn't get a too thorough look through, but just a wander around get you filled with the festive spirit! I also went to a local Christmas market in a very posh street in Exeter. There was a live band, rides, and lots of food. The scents of mince pies and mulled wine flowed through the street, and it was indeed a very lovely occasion.

As I am a Christian, Christmas means more to me than the presents, games, and even family. I celebrate this glorious time of the year simply because it is Jesus' birthday. It is always a poignant reminder for us of the day all those many years ago, Jesus entered the world as a baby in a manger.

With that said, I am wishing all of you the most wonderful Christmas imaginable. I hope you all receive some lovely gifts, eat some fattening food, and spend hours of fun and laughter with your family. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Primark S/S15 Lookbook & Preview Event

As the new fashion season quickly approaches, so the new high-street collections are released. I have said this many times, I am a huge fan of Primark. I can understand many avoid it at all costs, but for the most part its a very affordable shop that can at least guarantee the items to last for a season or two. 

Personally, I have a one rule when shopping in Primark that others may find useful. 1. Avoid statement pieces. A check coat or a sparkly dress, as nice as they are, are probably not the ideal items to be buying from a shop such as Primark. Times and times again I have seen the awkward faces of two passer by's as they walk past each other and notice they are both modelling the same item of clothing. Therefore, for me at least, I avoid anything to long, or patterned. In my opinion, Primark is wonderful for basics, simple staples, jewellery, shoes, pyjamas and lingerie, but for statement 'trendy' pieces, I personally give it a miss. 

The lookbook and styling Primark has released is the best way of figuring out the overall style and trends the store is going for this season. From these four pictures alone, quite a lot is clear. 


1. Futuristic Fury

Reflective sunglasses, platform sandals, and holographic prints are going to dress the Primark stores around Britain this season.

2. Oriental Origins

Bright, beautiful, and clashing patterns will also be a repeating trend throughout Primark's next season. Matching two-pieces, caked with a bold and floral print will be one of Primark's more statement pieces being released. 

3. Monochromatic Madness

Although you can't tell from these pictures, from looking at some other photos online, there will be a recurring theme of monochrome, a.e, black and white, possibly grey. Personally, this is the most frequent reoccurring factor in my wardrobe. So, having more monochrome clothes out there, the better!


Friday, 28 November 2014

Liberty of London

For the past two weeks, I have been watching Series 2, of Liberty of London. I don't watch all that much television, I watch the Apprentice, and a few shows like the Great British Bake Off alike, but other than that, I am rarely glued to the tele. Last year, I tuned in to watch 'Liberty of London', which was series 1, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had no idea that they would make a second series, so when I found out that a second series was soon going to be aired, I immediately set it on record.

Liberty's is a high-class, luxury British gift, fashion, print and interior department store, set in Regent Street, London. It has been equated with elegance and quality ever since it was opened in 1875 by Arthur Liberty. Liberty is often compared to the likes of Harrods and Selfridges, all three seemingly equal in the world of high-end luxury in London.

The tv documentary has been very interesting. I by no means have the money or means to shop at such a wonderful shop, nor do I live in the catchment to even visit it, but nevertheless this show has been somewhat enlightening, even to me who has no relation to this store whatsoever!

Ed Burstell, managing director, plays a big part in this show. Throughout, he is trying to somewhat bring this shop, full of heritage and history, into the 21st century, by adding a contemporary and modern touch. 

As Liberty's has a huge and extensive fashion department with a massive range of modern designers, many of the episodes have a large chunk dedicated to the people and the products in the fashion department at the store. Therefore, this program would be especially interesting to fashion lovers.

Friday, 21 November 2014

5 Trends that are Back for Winter '14

Autumn/Winter 2013 brought us some lovely gems on the runways and on the high street. It was the best winter season for many years in general for the fashion industry. Although I certainly to not always follow the common trends and fads, it is clear to see that a few things have returned to A/W14. 

The cut-out boot was made very popular by high-end fashion house Balenciaga last year with those amazing patent leather boots, pictured above (first). With a product as loved and coveted by many, soon all the high-street shops took the idea and have run with it this year. Topshop, Missguided, and even Primark have made their own versions, all of which are indeed very impressive. 

It goes by many names, such as the polo and roll neck, but the turtle neck has come back again this year, bigger and better than ever! These high-neck garments have always been popular in one era or with one age group from one time to another, and it just so turns out the loved polo neck has hit the highstreets again this winter.

Tartan was probably the most remembered trend of winter last year, and it has returned for sure. Not particularly in the classic red and green print, but definitely in sister-pattern checks and gingham. I've seen many beautiful tartan skirts out and about, therefore, I would have to put them on the list of returning winter trends for AW14!

The fedora, wide-brimmed, and any felt hat in any form has come storming back this year. I am defiantly not a hat person, but I have seen many people rocking these classic hats, especially bloggers, this year after their rise to popularity last year. They're not particularly a winter item exclusively, but are good for the rainy weather here in Britain! 

This rather androgynous jacket, made popular in the late 80's and early 90's, appeared in some luxury's brands AW13campaign last year. This year, nearly every high-street shop has been selling their version, and not just in the mens departments. Check, floral, waterproof, leather - you name it, its out there! I'm sure every one can find their perfect casual jacket in this cool piece.