Author: Eve Gardiner

Eve Gardiner is the founder and content creator behind evegardiner.com

The Précis – 17th February 2018

It’s a busy time in fashion right now. Fashion month is in full swing and we are now across the pond in London for the shows. Honestly, I’m still catching up on New York. I’m going to have a post rounding up my favorite styles from the city next week sometime (most likely on Wednesday) so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, here is your regular weekly column of some of the most interesting stories from the week.

“Cushnie Et Ochs Designers Split Ways After 10 Years in Business Together” – Fashionista

A FW18 Look

Cushnie et Ochs is always one of my favorite shows of New York Fashion Week, which just ended on Thursday. NYFW was a long, drawn-out affair this season and it was filled with news. The splitting of Cushnie et Ochs was some of the most interesting to me. The brand, started by Michelle Ochs and Carly Cushnie, upon graduation from Parsons 10 years ago, filled that gap in the market for sexy evening-wear that you could probably wear during the day if you were boss enough. Season upon season they managed to make fluid silky dresses that hugged every curve of the body in colors that would just pop on every skin tone. The news that the duo are going their separate ways came as a bit of a surprise to me as I had heard no rumors of an impending departure from Michelle Ochs. The future of the brand remains clear – Carly Cushnie is staying and it will be business as usual. I am curious to see if the aesthetic of the brand remains the same with just a singular vision and also what Michelle Ochs does next.

“Vogue Criticized for Unpaid Internships” – The Guardian

Edward Enninful’s tenure at British Vogue has not been without its missteps. The reaction to his appointment, which was supposed to herald in a new age at British Vogue filled with opportunity and equality, was overwhelmingly positive but that reception seems to have soured slightly. The latest news to break is that British Vogue is offering month-long unpaid internships, called shadowing. They argue that the internships are still legal because the employee is not bound to show up to work daily and that they are not actually doing a job but are observing someone else doing theirs. It sounds like a PR spin on an unfair reality. Unfortunately, the #NewVogue isn’t very different than its previous iteration.

Plagiarism or Inspiration?

The four main fashion weeks, or more so “fashion month”, occur biannually as a whirlwind of clothes, shoes, bags and walking mannequins (models) in marvellous creations slinking down the runways. The top designers showcase their visions and we (as the consumers) soak it up, often subconsciously.  Essentially what the designers show in February and September, a mere matter of months later the masses will be wearing. High street stores often recreate entire outfits that are seen on the runway and sell them for a tiny fraction of the price, making them available to the general public who cannot afford the immensely priced originals. Isn’t it unethical to copy someone else’s work for profit? Should we be thankful for the reasonably priced copies? It’s all a battle between what we, as the mass market, want and what we would want if we were the designers.

Firstly, the high street stores themselves are not solely responsible for copying the ideas. Designers are often exposed to the same influences in relation to art exhibitions, films, books and events and often draw inspiration from these. For this reason, coincidentally, designers may produce collections which have similar elements in them as others. Trend forecasting agencies such as WGSN are hired by the companies to help them to decide what is in and what is out for the upcoming season. For example, WGSN’s clients include River Island and Primark. What you see on the runway is then filtered into River Island and Primark at a lesser price hence why so many high street shops all appear to carry the same clothes, sometimes even in the exact same fabrics. Magazines and forecasting agencies then pick up on these and project them onto the public. The high street stores are told what to produce and the public is told what to buy. Just like that, a trend is formed. To further understand this, I fully advise you to watch the Devil Wears Prada. You may be thinking, “it’s just a film????” but really, there are so many snippets of truth in it. Take Miranda Priestly’s rant about how the two belts (photographed further down) are very much different, and how the designers’ collections made that colour very important, so much so that it had filtered all the way down into the bargain section of the department stores so that her dowdy assistant, Andy, could wear it. I have linked the video on youtube, it is hilarious and very apt (but an awful quality video, I do apologise).

This dress probably costs more than a year's college tution
This dress probably costs more than a year’s college tution

However, just because the high street stores are buying into a trend does not mean that they can make blatant copies of items. In France, you can face up to three years of jail or a maximum fine of £250000 for buying counterfeit goods; for buying an “inspired” item none of these charges occur. Different copyright laws exist for fashion than what exists in literature, art and music, hence making the lines as to what is copying and what is actually allowed a little hazy. Regardless, it is different buying a counterfeit item to an “inspired” item. At least with the latter, it is not falsely claiming to be a designer item unlike the counterfeit offenders. The troublesome part occurs when trying to decide when “inspired” is too close to borderline plagiarism. Christian Louboutin and his infamous red soled shoes are often subject to copies with numerous lawsuits against the culprits. A court case occurred against high street store Zara which Louboutin lost, even with the little copyright protection he was entitled to on his designs. With many high street stores such as H&M, Zara and Forever 21 becoming almost synonymous with designer “inspired” copies that are a little too similar to the originals, you are often left wondering how they manage to get away with it? If somebody copied a book, a poem, a song melody, a movie script would they get away with it? Highly unlikely. If you copy a clothing item, even down to the smallest detail, you can somehow escape unscathed. How? Simply because clothing isn’t entitled to the same protection as other art forms so it is relatively easy to win a case. It all comes down to the fact that fashion is thought of as a lesser art form than the rest: many people don’t even think of it as that. Fashion is the poor-mans art, some may think. Unworthy of the same rights and protections as classical art forms like painting and sculptures but often with a price tag to match. Fashion is just as collectable, and often just as valuable, as other creative outlets yet gets very little respect. Fashion is still thought of as frivolous, unimportant: mere fluff. Getting back to the law part, sometimes cases are even settled outside of court. A simple pay off and agreement seems sufficient to allow the high street chains to keep mass producing the copies. Is this wrong?

On the other hand, if it were not for these high street stores where would we shop? Only a small margin of people can afford to buy designer goods due to the excessive prices and the amount of small family run stores is ever decreasing. At least with our trusty high street items, we can afford to get a little mucky, the items are replaceable. Nobody wants to be in their “Sunday best” seven days a week. With the lower priced items of the high street, you know better than to expect something you paid a small price for to last you a lifetime. You do know, however, that it will last you the amount of time you want it for. With the ever changing cycle of fashion, what is the point in spending staggering amounts of money on clothing that in a year’s time you may not still like? Even the magazines advise this – in November 2014 Elle, they advise you to turn to the high street for trend pieces and only invest in designer goods if you see it becoming a classic or a wardrobe staple. By allowing high street imitations of the designer goods, it makes fashion accessible for a wider audience. Actually, I have started making my “Shopping Find” posts as a result of this. I am enjoying finding cheaper, designer inspired options out there on the high street, although some of what I have found really has been a little bit too similar.

Gemma Ward for Prada FW04. (Just wanted to showcase this beautiful image really).
Gemma Ward for Prada FW04. (Just wanted to showcase this beautiful image really).

In spite of this, designer goods are usually so expensive for a reason. You are paying for quality that cannot be rivalled by the high street stores. The price is often a reflection of the materials used to make them. Bags cost a small fortune due to what is used to create them; the ponyskin, the calfskin, the snakeskin. Designers will rarely use faux leather and if they do prices will be lowered dramatically to echo this (unless you are Stella McCartney…). Luxurious fur coats can cost you more than a brand new car, but increasingly even dresses can cost multiple thousands. The vast prices are also due to the fair wages and working conditions in which the actual makers of the clothes are given. Unlike in fast fashion where sweatshops are commonplace, the luxury designers take pride in their humane treatment of workers, something that is not afforded to fast fashion. The designers also do research in abundance when creating their collections and the money to cover that needs to come from somewhere. However, a huge mark-up does exist. This is to further the illusion of luxury. As the rich are getting richer, designers are able to charge much more for their products as their target market can afford to pay the obscene prices.

Money may not be the only object in the way of buying the designer goods. Since the designers are charging such high prices, logically, they must use the highest quality materials. They cannot charge such steep rates without that. But what if using the highest quality means using real fur, real leather, and real animal products? Many people have objections to this due to what they perceive to be the cruelty to animals. Many fashion shows are even targeted by groups such as PETA who have made famous the slogan “I’d rather go naked than wear fur” which has also been endorsed by many celebrities. Due to this, high street stores may be a better option as they are more likely to stock the faux versions for the same look as what is offered by the real thing but without the moral objections.

There was a wonderful scene in the Devil Wears Prada (photographed) where Meryl Streep's character wonderfully explains how fashion filters down through the designers and into the bargain basements of department stores. Basically, it explains the fashion industry in a nutshell.
There was a wonderful scene in the Devil Wears Prada (photographed) where Meryl Streep’s character wonderfully explains how fashion filters down through the designers and into the bargain basements of department stores. Basically, it explains the fashion industry in a nutshell.

Now, we could all lie and pretend that we are completely against the imitation designs that we see all across our beloved high street stores, that would be a falsity so what’s the point? As consumers we want value for our money and also products which we actually like. While it may be nice to be able to walk into a Prada boutique and buy a whole wardrobe worth of clothes, it is unlikely that the majority of us are ever in a financial situation where that’s viable. Most people are aware that counterfeit goods are wrong yet people still buy into them frequently so it’s improbable that people will ever object to the high street imitations of the designer goods. Some people simply don’t care and others are just unaware. Until copyright laws are changed universally in the favour of designers, the dupes will still crop up. As consumers we should revel in this; out of appreciation to the art form we should sympathise.

The Précis: 10th February 2018

It has been a busy couple of weeks for me. I went back to school to work on completing my Bachelor’s degree, it was my birthday, and I’ve been preparing to travel. It has also been a busy few weeks for the newscycle. Whilst it seemed like January was never going to end, I have a feeling that February will fly by given the sheer amount of things on the agenda for me. I’m happy about that because I am desperate to feel some warmth when I step out of the door. I am so over the winter.

“To Our Daughter” – Kylie Jenner

Kylie’s pregnancy reveal video was heartwarming and genuinely sweet. Her excitement and enthusiasm about this new chapter in her life is so beautiful, and I am impressed by the loyalty and the commitment of her friend group to keep her secret and not leak any images to TMZ. I think we all knew that Kylie was expecting and I’m sure she feels so lucky to have been able to have this experience in private.

“Skincare is good and also works” – Racked

At the end of January there was an article published which made waves on the internet. It basically said that skincare is a con and we are all wasting our money on fancy products that we do not need. As a skincare enthusiast, I was a little bit taken aback by the article. Yes, I know that we probably don’t need a 10 step routine like encouraged by a lot of K-Beauty enthusiasts, but taking care of your skin is nothing to scoff at. Fortunately, Racked has come back with a rebuttal and a good one at that. If you are a fan of taking care of your skin and having a little “me” time, try reading Cheryl Wischhover’s response. It will reaffirm your confidence in your routine. Also, even if it is all a con, if you enjoy it why stop?

Thoughts on Influencers

I wonder if it is worth being influential if being influential makes you lose your self-worth?
Or maybe not your self-worth entirely but it makes you lose it coming from an internal source.
Is it worth relying on the validation of others to assess the validity of your opinions?
Or is it better to trust your instinct and do what you think is best?
At the end of the day, influence is not infinite.

Is it better to yell out into the void, if you are yelling your truth?
Or is it better to speak to the masses if you are just being a mouthpiece for whoever is funding your life?
Do you want to be seen and heard for your true self or for who you think you should be?
Who you are being paid to be?
What you are being paid to believe?
Where is the line?

I have been doing a lot of hard thinking on the concept of influencers recently as I feel like it is a trend which has permeated culture in a way that cannot be ignored. Being an influencer is something that kids aspire to be nowadays and that thought alone scares me. It is considered an admirable feat, achieving online popularity, but is it really true? I would argue, no.

I was scrolling through my Instagram explore page last week when I came across a brand page for a company owned by an influencer. It had a follower count in the low six-figures yet received just a few hundred likes per post. Immediately I thought something was fishy. It has been said that accounts with under 1000 followers should have an engagement rate of around 7-8% and 2-3% for large accounts (100k+). This account had an engagement rate of around 0.5%, meaning not even 1% of its followers were liking their posts. Using services like Social Blade, you can see large spikes in followers, quickly followed by a loss of around half that sum. That tends to indicate that somebody has bought followers. If their daily average is around 100 new followers a day, then one day there is 1000 new followers, they’ve probably purchased them. It’s easy and inexpensive to do, but builds you an inauthentic following. I wonder if Instagram were to delete every bought follower what the true following count of each account would be? For this account, I’d argue only around 5000 followers. For that said influencer’s own account (1m+), I’d estimate the real following to be around 150k.

One thing I noticed was this account with a large following was still buying frequent re-ups of followers. I found this sad because it made me realize that no matter how big your account is, if you are somebody who is so sucked into this social media lifestyle the numbers will always matter to you. You will always judge yourself based on the numbers at your disposal. You don’t want to look any less popular than you may have once appeared to be.

I recently privated my own Instagram account and I feel glad that I did it. I’m not trying to be “known”. I’d like to be recognized in my own industry for my work and brains, and for being a nice person. I’d like people to actually like me because they like me, not because I have a lot of people following me. I don’t like when people judge someone to be cool just because they have a large following. That is lame. It’s like an extension of high school, an ongoing popularity contest. It just allows an immature mindset to flourish in adulthood, something that should’ve been left in adolescence.

In ten years time, what will all of the followers be worth? What will have happened to each influencer when social media stops being a big thing? Some of them have struggled to create long-lasting brands that can stand on their own outside of the online personality’s own fame. For those people, all of these years will have been wasted. The only way I can see an online following being beneficial is if you manage to convert the followers into customers and build a real, successful brand. A brand that is sold in stores, a brand that can stand on its own with product that has real value besides the name being slapped on it. I wonder who is here for the long haul and who will disappear into the void.

The Précis: 3rd February 2018

Fenty Beauty on track to outsell Kylie Cosmetics” – The Cut

Every pop culture outlet has covered this story in great depth, but is it just for clicks? In my opinion, yes. Kylie Cosmetics, a direct to consumer brand, which has been a phenomenal success in its two years of operations just happens to be founded by a celebrity, Kylie Jenner; Fenty Beauty, Rihanna’s brand in partnership with Kendo, the distribution company behind Kat Von D’s eponymous line, is sold wholesale to Sephora and outlets across the globe like Harvey Nichols in the UK. Why is it that these two brands with an entirely different business model and varying product lines are being compared? Because the two founders generate clicks. I have bought products from both of the brands and have found them all to be good quality. People love to drag Kylie Jenner because of who she is but really her brand is good, regardless of the pricing or sales. Fenty Beauty is also a great brand with fantastic packaging and an almost infinite shade range. It’s time to start thinking of them separately and if you want to make comparisons do it with like brands – don’t compare apples with oranges. A Fenty Beauty comparison could be to Kat Von D or even a line like Tarte or Anastasia Beverly Hills; A Kylie Cosmetics comparison could only really be Colorpop or Glossier.

CR Fashion Book – Issue 12

Fashion Flashback: Anthony Vaccarello FW11

Italian-Belgian designer Anthony Vaccarello has come a long way in a short time. After opening his brand in 2009 and gaining international attention, Vaccarello designed capsule collections for Versus Versace before being appointed the Creative Director of Saint Laurent Paris in 2016. Considering that his start in fashion was in 2007 when he began working at Fendi under Karl Lagerfeld, Vaccarello’s trajectory from student to master, leading one of the world’s top esteemed fashion houses, was very sharp and accelerated. The FW11 collection is Vaccarello’s third, and continued to solidify his aesthetic which can be characterized in three words: black, slinky, and sexy.

It’s amazing to see his evolution into the Creative Director of Saint Laurent, where his aesthetic is unwavering. Yes, there may be a little more sparkle and color now, but he is still definitely designing for the same woman. The eponymous line has been put on hold since the Fall 2016 season, when rumors of his impending appointment at Saint Laurent were still swirling. If you take a look back at that collection, it is obvious that his ideas aligned directly with where the Saint Laurent brand was heading. So far, he has proven himself to be a fantastic match.

See the full collection here.

 

Thoughts on a Popular Social Media Brand

The brand I.Am.Gia The Label first entered my stream of consciousness towards the end of last summer when they did a huge rollout of product to various influencers and models who all have followings on social media. Quickly, it became impossible to ignore the brand. The beige teddy bear coat? Check. The branded tracksuits? Check. The oversized, worker style pants with all the pockets? Check. If Bella Hadid wore it, it was probably from this brand. Soon afterwards, I found myself browsing on their website. Sure, the stuff was cute, but it was pricey. Most items were priced upward of $150, yet I had watched reviews online from YouTubers who had been sent things for free who said the quality was not great but the items were still cute. I became skeptical. Yes, the pieces were so pretty and I wanted to buy almost the entire site (minus the hugely baggy pants because I do not like that look at all) but could I justify spending that much money on something where the quality is subpar?

I first made a note about this on my iPhone back in October where I said the brand made me feel stupid for wanting to buy anything from there when girls with 10,000 followers were getting it all for free. Why should I have to spend my money on something that other people are getting for nothing? I think it was a case of influencer marketing gone wrong. When you send out too much free product, it makes real customers feel like they have been used. It definitely put me off from purchasing anything. Revolve is facing a similar issue with the backlash to the #revolvearoundtheworld scheme, where influencers get sent on wildly extravagant trips for free, kitted out entirely in Revolve apparel whilst the company lays off workers who they “can’t afford” to pay. I don’t know how the company works out their marketing budget / the entire financial situation of the company, but from a PR perspective it doesn’t look great. Furthermore, they have also received criticism for lack of diversity.

Lack of diversity isn’t the issue faced by I.Am.Gia, instead it is claims of copying as highlighted by industry watchdog Diet Prada. At first, I wasn’t sure what the backstory was to the brand as it seemed to pop up out of nowhere last summer, but after doing some digging around online I found out the following: I.Am.Gia is an Australian brand started by Alana Pallister and her sister Stevie Cox, the duo behind Tigermist (interestingly enough, both sisters made their IG accounts private after the Diet Prada exposé). The inspiration for the line came from Gia Carangi, hence the name, and the line began production in May 2017. The first big break came when Elizabeth Sulcer, stylist to Bella Hadid and Romee Strijd (amongst many others) requested pieces for Bella to wear to Paris Fashion Week. As they say, the rest is history.

Australian fashion has been having a bit of a “moment” in recent years, due to the rise of social media making the other side of the world seem just a little bit closer. The Aussie look, basically dressing for summer and very casually year round, migrated to the US through the rise of influencers who never seem to dress weather appropriate (at least for their audience) as they are always jetting off on trips to warm locales. Big name stylists like Christine Centenera work with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian regularly, plus Zimmerman and Dion Lee are permanent fixtures in stores stateside.

Celeb exposure can be game-changing for small brands, but the downside (given your clothes land on the right girls) is that they make you extremely vulnerable to knockoffs.  A favorite of Kendall and Bella, @daisydaisy.tv is another indie label whose designs/aesthetic have been copied by the shameless sisters behind @tigermist and @i.am.gia.thelabel .  Made locally in Sydney, every Daisy collection is designed, styled, and shot by a wife/husband duo themselves.  And…as if it wasn't enough to downgrade their creations into a cheap, pervasive import business, they've also been known to poach their loyal instagram following by seeding those very knockoffs. Support independent brands when you can, Dieters! #daisydaisytv #daisydaisy #heavenlybodies #australia #dpaustralia #instathot #white #lace #copycat #knockoff #iamgia #tigermist #bellahadid #kendalljenner #nicolapeltz #petracollins #selenagomez #madeinsydney #ocexclusive #openingceremony #australiandesigner #sydney #husbandandwife #copycat #knockoff #dietprada

A post shared by Diet Prada ™ (@diet_prada) on

Dialling back to the copying accusations, Diet Prada alleges that I.Am.Gia copied another Aussie label DaisyDaisy. Judging by the side by side images, plus the fact that the Gia team made their accounts private, I’d say that the claims are indeed true. As you can see from the above images, I.Am.Gia copied the entire photoshoots even and tried to poach models (as demonstrated by the DM). I’d love to know who the model was in that conversation. The DaisyDaisy brand is made locally in Sydney by a husband and wife duo and retails for a slightly higher price point than IAG. The quality is reportedly a lot higher, reflecting the price point, and the designs are a little more original. Some people argued that the DaisyDaisy desigs were Victorian-inspired and that they can’t cry copying because their own designs aren’t entirely original, but the difference between what they have done and what IAG does is that one brand takes inspiration whereas the other one makes imitations. Can you tell the difference?

I will be interested to see where things go in the future. I.Am.Gia undoubtedly receives a lot more press coverage than DaisyDaisy, which, up until this point, has been glowing. They’ve received shoutouts on Vogue and other major channels, mainly due to the sheer number of influencers and celebrity models who have been spotted in their clothing. Interestingly enough, a lot of fashion people follow Diet Prada and likely will have seen this post. If everyone is so against copying, I wonder if they will stay true to their values and leave this brand behind (until they come up with something more original) or will they continue to wear things that they are being sent for free / potentially compensated to wear? Only time will tell.

The Précis: 27th January 2018

“Hedi Slimane is the new Creative Director of Céline” – Fashionista

Much ado has been made regarding Hedi Slimane’s appointment at Céline. The announcement was made last weekend. I woke up to various news blasts on my email and was immediately excited by the news. You see, I am one of the people that actually really loves what Slimane did at Saint Laurent (although I do still wish he didn’t rename the brand). I thought his designs were cohesive and so effortlessly cool. Both his girl and guy were people I’d either want to be or be with. His appointment at Céline is a rather strange one though, I will admit that. His aesthetic is not at all in line with the feeling that Phoebe Philo has worked hard for a decade to create. People have taken great offence to this, plus the fact that Céline is a very minimalist, also feminist brand. Women are not sexualized when wearing Céline and a lot of people are worried that the direction will change completely and that they will lose what was once so special about it. I am excited to see what Slimane will do and if his personal aesthetic will be as strong as it was on Saint Laurent and the brand’s direction. You have to remember that Slimane totally transformed the finances of Saint Laurent and was a very welcome addition at Kering; LVMH probably hopes that he will do the same thing at Céline. They are adding menswear, couture, and fragrance, plus opening an office in Los Angeles (where Slimane is based). His first show will be in September at Paris Fashion Week.

“All Good Magazines Go To Heaven” – The New York Times

Keeping an archive of fashion magazines is something that every fashion lover does. Whether yours dates back just a few years or even a few decades, having the physical copies of the magazines that you once read and thought nothing of proves so valuable in years going forward. You can see the change in style in all areas – the actual apparel and accessories, typography, prose, graphic design, and layout – plus marvel at the advertising which actually makes up the bulk of the book. For most people, their magazine habit often gets a little too much and they end up disposing of them without even thinking about the long term value, monetary or otherwise. This article discusses someone who has kept them all, and has an archive going back for decades spanning various categories of publications. Talk about life goals…

Self Care

I’ve really been into self care recently. I know that sounds like such a millennial buzzword, but hear me out. Self care is the concept of looking after yourself and putting yourself first, whatever that act may be. It’s knowing that you only have one mind and body, and appreciating it and doing what you can to keep it in its best shape. Apparently the concept has been on the rise since the election of Donald Trump, with liberals using self care as a form of escapism from the daily disaster that is life: I could probably be lumped into this category. Here is my routine for looking after myself and what makes me happiest.

Physical

I have noticed that, as a generation, we place much more importance on appearance than may be entirely necessary. However, as we are so image conscious, I feel that taking care of how you look is an important part of how you feel. If you don’t feel good on the outside, you probably won’t feel great on the inside either. I think that the physical section can be broken down into three categories: skin, hair, and body.

– Skin
Since the summer, I have gotten super obsessed with trying out new skincare products and fine-tuning a routine that is right for my complexion. It has taken a lot of trial and error but I think I have finally found what works for me. I use a combination of different products, depending on the specific needs at the time (spot treating any blemishes, for example), but it tends to be the same all the time. I was initially going to do the Korean 10 step process but I found that to be a little bit overwhelming so I’ve opted for a smaller amount of steps instead. The one product that I have found to totally transform my skin is the Tea Tree Oil Acne Treatment from Keeva Organics. It is a cream that you massage into your skin to help reduce blemishes. I have found it has changed the texture of my skin greatly and made it much smoother to touch.

– Hair
I have been highlighting my hair pretty frequently this year since I decided to go a lot blonder. This can be very damaging to your hair unless you take proper care of it. I’ve started to incorporate an oil into my haircare routine. I favor argan oil which I purchase from The Ordinary for under $10. I also do a keratin conditioning treatment every two weeks and use Aussie 3 Minute Miracle almost every time I wash my hair.

– Body
Since the summer, I began going to the gym at least twice a week (but preferably more). I love doing strength training, especially on my legs and I have seen progress. I can now leg press almost my entire body weight. I haven’t noticed many changes in how I look physically but I have noticed that I feel better and more energized than I previously did.

I also changed my diet. I started taking vitamins. I don’t eat cookies anymore. So many little changes have led to bigger changes than I can even imagine overall. I’m definitely a lot healthier than I used to be.

Mental

In terms of mental health, I’d say I’m in a very good place. I’m very positive nowadays and I don’t struggle with anxiety anymore. I do think that it is important to take some time out to spend by yourself, doing whatever you want to do. For me, I enjoy watching random videos on YouTube like vlogs by Romee Strijd or makeup tutorials. Fun, mindless entertainment that allows you to be alone and totally switch off is so necessary.

I also think that journalling is a great practice. I have a five-year diary that I make a notation in every night before I go to bed. I think writing down what you are thinking is a good way to express your feelings without directly talking about them. Sometimes you don’t care enough to have a discussion with somebody or having a discussion would make something into an issue that isn’t necessary. Most of the time my diary is filled with random pieces of information about my day, but sometimes I put more depth into it.

Finally, I think creating a sense of distance from the digital existence of yourself and the physical existence is a good thing to practice. Don’t share too much online, don’t place too much value on meaningless online interactions, and don’t take everything that you see online as reality. Often what is presented is a highly altered version of the truth and realizing that is the first step to becoming happier overall.

The Précis: 20th January 2018

The new year is in full swing and the fashion industry is back to its rapid pace with plenty of newsworthy details being leaked every week. From collaborations to conversations to accusations, there is plenty of news to dissect. Unfortunately, the climate of sexual assault allegations which heated up last fall continued into 2018 with new reports coming out weekly. The fashion industry had remained mum on the subject for a little while but with the latest round of rumors, it is impossible to turn a blind eye any longer.

“Male models say Mario Testino and Bruce Weber sexually assaulted them” – The New York Times
The Bruce Weber allegations came out last year. He was “cancelled” for a lot of people who read the stories shared by the young male models who had been subject to his behavior. The New York Times article published last week just further solidified the claims. A new name, Mario Testino, was added into the mix. It’s sad to hear this because these men are two of fashion’s most prominent photographers who have shot everybody from models to the royal family, yet they have been behaving in an immoral way for decades and got away with it up until now. I feel like it has taken so long for the stories to break about these two photographers because of their friends in high places (literally every fashion magazine has worked with the pair at some stage) and the fact that they don’t look like your typical creep. Terry Richardson was almost too easy to bring down due to the fact that he looked like a sleazebag so it was easier for the allegations to stick. With Testino and Weber, some of fashion’s big names can’t seem to give up on them. In response to the New York Times exposé, Condé Nast revealed new guidelines for conduct on photoshoots (models will never be left alone with photographers, makeup artists etc.) and announced that they were not planning to work with either photographer for the foreseeable future.

“Alexander Wang to drop out of NYFW and follow pre-collection schedule” Fashionista


It seems as though New York Fashion Week will soon be no more. Each season, another brand drops out to either show in another city or show at a different time. In the previous few years, New York has suffered some high profile losses like Proenza Schouler and Altuzarra. Now, the unthinkable has happened: Alexander Wang is changing schedule and skipping fashion week, starting after February. In a new move, it was announced that Alexander Wang will be showing in June and December instead of February and September. Yes, it’s only one brand but the knock-on effects will likely be tremendous. In five years time, I predict fashion will be operating on an entirely different schedule than it currently does. The see-now, buy-now trend sparked the change and this move has only further solidified the fact that the traditional calendar is just not working anymore. Brands are revolting and refusing to stick to it, and now retailers are going to be left with no other option other than keep up with the changes.