Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Wardrobe: 2

Inspired by the colourful gents of the Congo I decided to go bold and bright and...pink this week. Now, I've never been much of a pink girl myself, but since it's been such a popular colour this season, what with Marks&Spencer selling out of their coveted powder pink coat, and pink creeping in to the Spring 2014 collections of Orla Kiely, Chanel, Ann Demeulemeester, Dior, and Burberry Prorsum.

I have no idea what I am doing in this picture...

Also, Spring was in the air this morning, so I thought I'd give it a go.

My delightful photographer and I headed to Rose Crescent (GEDDIT - "Rose".... "Pink"....? I'm hilarious, I don't care what you say.) We also swung by All Saints Passage, which is probably one of my favourite streets in Cambridge. The 8am cycle rush hour seemed a little perplexed by my blushing hues...

I tried to commit to all pink, dear reader, I really did, but I just couldn't face being all in one colour, so I mixed it up with a couple of touches of teal. Mostly because I am insanely fond of these shoes and I want to wear them at every possible occasion. 

Jumper - VintageDreamBox at Etsy
Skirt - ASOS
Shoes - ASOS
Earrings - Accessorize
Ring - My sister made it (want one similar? Drop me a comment and I'll hook you up)
Belt - ASOS

So, the trees are blossoming, I'm finally dressing in my gender-assigned colour and the middle of the week is in sight. Order is restored to the world dear bloggees and now I shall bid you good evening.

Wardrobe and the World: Les Sapeurs

While doing some research for a job application recently, I came across Guinness' new advert. And I love it. Whatever your opinion on advertising or Guinness or the appropriation of cultures, I defy anyone not to be inspired and uplifted by this extraordinary group of Congolese men.

Guinness advert 2014

The word "sapeurs" comes from "la SAPE" the acronym of "La Societé des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes" or "Society of Atmosphere-setters and Elegant Persons". The roots of "La Sape" are complicated, and I am not sure that I am qualified to delve too deep into them but, from what I can gather, "La Sape" began as a statement of civil disobediance. I have read that it was a reaction against a "fiercely Africanist" regime, where the wearing of a suit was a sign of colonial collaboration and could get you beaten. I have read that under colonialism, "the help" were paid by their masters in used clothes, and this was a way of appropriating a culture and creating one's own style.

Solange Knowles made her music video for "Losing You" with the help of the sapeurs.
Also, I love this song.

Whatever the truth behind this club of dandies, I was inspired by the peaceful nature, self-respect and colourfulness displayed by these men. Also, the importance they attach to clothes as a medium through which to express yourself and that is why I thought I would share them with y'all.
Below is a documentary Guinness made, which explains a bit more about les sapeurs. Enjoy!

Guinness Documentary about Les Sapeurs

Monday, 27 January 2014

Week: 2

Welcome to the second instalment of “The Week” and what a week it’s been. [To be read in the voice of a cheesy TV presenter.] As Syrian peace talks and Ukrainian protests are ongoing, the country which provided two of my favourite stories of this week was South Africa. First of all, township DJ Mandla Maseko is going to be the first black African to head into space. In an interview he said that, after the sub-orbital trip, he would like to go the moon to plant the South African flag there. Another planted symbol has caused controversy this week as a small bronze rabbit has been found in the ear of the statue of Mandela, which was unveiled last month. A rabbit. In Mandela’s ear. Disrespectful or utter genius? You decide.

Much has been in the news this week about mental health as well, with Monday seeing Nick Clegg launch an attack against the way the NHS deals with mental health patients and stating that mental health issues are treated as the “poor cousin” to physical health. This was on the same day as a BBC survey came out, suggesting that around half of Britain’s adults suffer from loneliness and the same week that the issue of detaining hundreds of children in prison cells under the Mental Health Act.  

NOT MY PHOTO - Groovy GM Tomato 

And mental health’s... “better-off cousin” (?) has had no shortage of attention either, with two sleep-related studies showing that sleeping well could protect men from prostate cancer, whereas the night shift can increase risk of type-2 diabetes, heart attack, and cancer. And if you’re seeking new foods to help improve your diet, why not try the new purple GM tomato?! Its deep(ly puzzling) purple colour is the result of a gene transfer from a snapdragon.  It won’t help your card-playing or your fire-breathing skills, but it will give you the same health benefits as super-fruit blueberries.



Snapdragon! (NOT MY PHOTO)

Finally, some pieces of news I like to term “general goodness”. First of all was the news that plus-size mannequins are hitting the shops, with shops such as Debenhams stocking mannequins up to a size-16 (the UK woman’s average dress size apparently). Secondly, “Revenge Porn King” (also known as “The Most Hated Man on the Internet”) has been arrested – HURRAH! Normally I’m not so prone to displays of such Schadenfreude, but this guy really is a piece of work. For those of you that don’t know – revenge porn is a site where angry people (usually ex-partners) can post nude photos of women on whom they wish to exact revenge. That was bad enough, until it became known that dear Mr Moore was not only hosting user-supplied content BUT had also paid a specialist to hack into women’s email accounts and steal nude photos THEY NEVER EVEN SENT. So... a real charmer. To end on a positive note, however, this week showed that UK pay is rising in real terms with all but the richest 10% seeing at least a 2.5% increase on take-home wages after tax. Wonderful.

Anyway, that’s me for this week – please leave comments below if you want to engage in lively debate or express any opinions whatsoever. See you next time!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Wardrobe: 4 Ways

Well I don't know about you lot, but this week has been CRAZY my end. I feel like it's been days since I've seen real sunlight or talked to anyone. Both of which, I've heard, are totally overrated... Anyway! The point is that I haven't had time to do a proper shoot this week (one coming very soon though, promise!) so I decided to try my hand at that blogger favourite: One item, many outfits. 

Patterned trousers have never been something I've gotten on board with before. I think I've always been a little wary of how to.... wear them, but when I found this lovely H&M pair (...in my little sister's wardrobe) I thought I'd give them shot. Excellent decision on my part - they are the comfiest thing ever. Someone once told me that you should only buy an item of clothing if you can think of 3 outfits to wear it in. Turns out these trousers were a good buy - well done sis'!

The Bad-Ass around Town

Jumper - H&M
Leather Jacket - Ebay
Rings - all my own
Nail Varnish - Barry M, Matt Nail Polish in "Crush
Boots - ASOS
 The Off-duty Ballerina

Jumper  (and earrings)- VintageDreamBox at Etsy
Pumps - New Look
Ring - H&M

The "I-Just-Got-Back-From-My-Gap-Yah"

Crop Top - Topshop
Shoes - Vans
Ring - H&M
Earrings - Monki (top marks if you work out that they're tigers...)
The Cocktail Party with a Twist

Top - H&M

Shoes - ASOS

Ring - H&M

Earrings - Accessorize

I have to apologise for two things: 1) the terrible quality of these pictures - my lovely wonderful camera's battery died just as I was about to do this shoot, so it was back on to the old one...and 2) My utterly dour expression and unimaginative poses... Not a born model me... ANYWAY - it's about the clothes, not my face (mercifully) and I hope you've enjoyed those. Keep your eyes peeled for a proper shoot coming in the next couple of days. 

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Week: 1

The “Week” section of this blog is basically a quick informative section for people like me who find watching, reading, or listening to the endless parade of death and destruction which is the news a tad depressing. In these posts I aim to give a rapid round-up of some of the main stories on the news in the past week, focussing mostly on those bits I personally find the most interesting.

The good news is that the economy is very slowly getting back on its feet – on Wednesday the World Bank said that the global economy is at a turning point, with the global GDP set to grow by 3.2% this year – huzzah! Also home sales rates are at their highest since March 2008 and the number of graduate jobs is set to rise this year as well, which has done no end of good for my blood pressure.

Thailand and Egypt have both witnessed people exercising their democratic right, to the extreme annoyance of many in the former’s case. Huge protests have been taking place in Bangkok in attempts to oust the government before elections at the beginning of February. And  on Tuesday a referendum began in Egypt to change the constitution, a move which has been backed by 98.1% of voters.

It has been quite a week for children’s issues as well, with a UN panel set to hear the Vatican over child abuse cases, a Chinese doctor who sold babies to traffickers undergoing trial and the excellent news of a paedophile ring in the Philippines being smashed. For more information on that last one, I would HIGHLY recommend you watch this video. Technology can do some incredible things.

Speaking of incredible things, Google has just brought out a proto-type for a “smart contact lens” which can monitor your glucose levels. It’s still being developed but, if it were to come to market, this device could make the lives of thousands of diabetes-sufferers so much easier. Other brilliant eye-related news: new studies have shown that gene therapy could be used to treat blindness. Also in the early stages of testing, this new method has already had several successes.  As well as curing your eyes, it has been revealed this week that your genes could be responsible for your sleeping patterns or – as the BBC put it – whether you are an “owl” or a “lark”.

I reckon I’m a lark so – if you’ll all excuse me – I’m going to go watch some “Orange is the New Black” (always so late on the bandwagon...) then fall into bed. But before I do, I thought I’d leave you with a brilliant opinion piece by Adam Gopnik about Hollande’s love life and why it’s very slightly our business. Bye!

Wardrobe: 1

Welcome to Wardrobe and the World! This is my second attempt at blogging, anyone interested in the first can find it here. In the "Wardrobe" section of Wardrobe and the World, you lucky people will be regaled with my tales of (potentially embarrassing) photo escapades around the beautiful city of Cambridge, as well as seeing the insides of my gradually-expanding Wardrobe.

This week we decided to head to Lammas Land Play Area, bright and early so that I didn't get teased by any amused primary-schoolers, while dressed like a fabulous pirate in ridiculously inappropriate shoes. As you might be able to tell from this pictures...it was pretty cold...as you'd expect in January. Oh the occupational hazards of blogging...

One of the biggest trends for Pre-Fall 2013 was tartan (see McQ Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Preen). Being (more or less) a Scot and a former wannabe teenage punk, tartan has always been rather close to my heart. Being now 22 and not even remotely punk-looking, however, I have reached a stage where I think touches of tartan work better on me than the full-on Chanel look.

SO, for this week's shoot I went for a unusual palette of red, white, and black (haaaaa, just kidding, I pretty much ONLY wear these colours.... Look: black, white, red..., just black and white...all three...point proven!) AND some tartan touches for fun and fashionability. Yup, that's a word now.

Anyway, that's it for this week's "Wardrobe" installment, hope you'll come back next week for more silliness.

Little Titanic moment there... lovely...
Dress worn as top - Uniqlo
Skirt worn as skirt - ASOS
Boots - Boohoo
Earrings - the indomitable Claire's Accessories
Ring - H&M
Belt - inherited