Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Capsule Wardrobe in a capsule (well...pdf)

I often have a moment of depression and disgust when looking at my wardrobe. Considering what a nice wardrobe it is maybe you might think I'm crazy. It's a huge double Ikea one which I don't share with anyone. It's got space saving velvet hangers (these are brilliant and available here on Ebay) and organised to make finding things easy. I've colour coded my clothes and divided them into skirts, jeans, jumpers etc. Yet still I often feel that I don't have anything to wear to a date/party/dinner. I don't like anything, I don't have anything that goes with that top. I have things I've worn once and then never again. I even have one dress I've never worn because it makes me look like a giant lurid pink sausage. I've even paid to get it altered in the hope of improving it. Alas. It now makes me look like a tarty lurid pink sausage.

On my trips to LA I have to select 2 weeks worth of clothes from this vast trove and time and time again I reach for the same pieces. Hanging these clothes in my hotel wardrobe I always feel proud. My clothes are widely space, good quality, fit me and are well chosen. I've picked outfits with items that work together, shoes that don't hurt me and that cover work, shopping and the beach. In effect, whenever I go to LA I take with me a capsule wardrobe. 

1 black leather jacket
1 black cotton dress  
3 pairs of jeans - black, light grey, dark blue
2 shirts - purple + white
3 t-shirts- black, blue, green
1 skirt - grey
2 jumpers - one warm black jumper, one black cardie 
2 blazers - navy and black
1 pair of nude heels
1 pair of nude sandals 
1 pair of black boots
1 pair of black trainers.
2 bikinis

Without meaning to I even had a colour pallet - mostly greys, blacks, neutrals.

Returning to my vast wardrobe in London I decided to do some research into capsule wardrobes. I quickly found some great blogs on the subject. Here they are: 

This is Anouschka's blog - a minimalist enthusiast living in Berlin. Her website provides exercises and worksheets on how to create a minimalist wardrobe and also a more minimalist life. It's my main source of inspiration. 

Caroline's blog where she details her own 37 piece wardrobe. 

Courtney's advice on how to create a wardrobe with 33 items in using the rule of 3. 

These sites are great for a step by step approach to wardrobe simplification. But for all those who are short on time, I've put together the most important advice I found. 

I'm not promising I'll get rid of 40 of my 45 dresses, but maybe I'll get rid of 15. That would be a start. And I have a new "one in one out policy" too. Having a capsule wardrobe should also help make me a more discerning shopper too. Who knows. Maybe the sausage dress will never happen again. 

Good luck with your wardrobes everyone :)

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Stop smoking because we're funny

Advertisers have tried everything to try to convince people to stop smoking. Sadly, it doesn't seem it's as easy to convince the public to stop as to have sold it to them in the first place. Since the tactics of cancer sprouting cigarettes and other shock tactics have been done to death it's refreshing to see a humorous approach. Check out these cute little animations with a very serious message. Smoking equals death. (Thanks to Camille for this post)

Monday, 23 February 2015

From Moonage Daydreams to the streets of Paris: Fashion show staging

London Fashion week is here and the town is filled with willowy models, demanding Fashionistas, photographers with sore feet and OTT bloggers. I will be reporting from London Fashion Weekend myself since Dior sent my invite to the wrong address, and someone obviously stole my Matthew Williamson invite and Stella, poor sweetheart, was too jealous of my personal glamour to invite me.

In the meantime I thought I'd look at one of the things I find most interesting about LFW - the staging of the collections.

My favourite staging recently has been done by Dior who has used poles to create dramatic modern settings that cross the line between builder's scaffolding and Tron for their Esprit Tokyo show in December.

See what I mean?

Then for their Spring Summer 2015 Haute Couture Show they referenced a David Bowie lyric (points Dior, points) "Moonage daydream" - interpreting it as an "alien journey through the past’s ideas of the future to reach the point of today".  The collection displayed was one that mixed time periods and uses decorative elements in a structural way:  

"Intricate, tour-de-force appliqued pleating heightens this sense of the decorative becoming the architecturally structured in the collection... The typical Dior ‘femme fleur’ is subverted and liberated in the collection. Made unfamiliar, futuristic, graphic and decisive in her encrusted and dripping lace florals, tattoo body suits and hyper-real plastic blossom prints, she is at once exquisitely decorated and disruptive in her mirrored, octagonal terrain of the show venue. I wanted that feeling of a sensory overload both in the collection and in the venue for the show,” explains Raf Simons. “Something encrusted and bejewelled alongside the shock of bright colour and sensuality in the clothing with an architectural structure and interior that has a similarly disorientating feeling; somewhere you cannot quite place where you are, or which period of time you are in.”

Chanel, another of my favourites for staging, went for a glasshouse effect where tropical flowers bloomed matching the shades the models wore for their Spring/Summer 2015 show. 

Here's the legend himself talking about the staging and the collection.

And here's a more fun and less delicate version in stark contrast - making a political statement for women's empowerment in a staging that looked like the beautiful streets of Paris.

In each example the staging helps to tell the story of the collection just as much as the designs the models wear - whether it's a surreal moorage daydream of time and place, a tropical garden or the revolutionary streets of Paris. 

Let's see how LFW does it this week. I can't wait :)

Thursday, 19 February 2015

3D gaming, holographs, facial mapping and projection fun

Last week my friends in the digital department brought in an Oculus Rift for us to play with. If you haven't had the pleasure of trying one then believe me it is an amazing experience. Once you put on the headset it's like you actually have stepped into a new world - a bit like the film Avatar. You can go on roller coasters and swings and your body reacts by turning your stomach upside down just as it would if you were really there. You can even peer right around yourself and look down at your own virtual reality body. In one game, after being thrown for a swing I realised that my head had been decapitated and I was staring at my own body on the floor in front of me. Freaky.

But there are many other ways in which technology is helping to immerse us in new realities and world. Another company are developing systems which project the game outwards from your TV into your room, mapping your furniture to allow elements to interact with them - snowflakes that seem to settle on your floor and bounce off your bookcases - in order to immerse you into the game.

Here's the system in action.

There seems to be a lot of interesting uses of 3D projections and mapping at the moment.
Here are two beautiful artistic pieces that really show off the possibilities of using facial mapping.

In a world where advertising is often seen as an intrusion and most things have been done already such new technology provides a real way of standing out and doing something new that really impresses the public. Fashion and luxury brands have been amongst the first to experiment with 3D mapping

Here's a 3D fashion show performed in Hamburg in 2011.

Jaguar used 3d mapping to make a static car look as if it's driving through Vegas and other cities, and then appear to become transparent to show off the power of the engine.

Ralph Lauren used 3d mapping to show off their new collection on the front of their Bond Street Store in London.

Porsche Macan used 3d mapping for the reveal of their new models

And of course there's the really famous example - the hugely successful HBO storytelling projection.

I think there might be opportunities for everyday brands to use this technology too. Perhaps Cadbury's could allow us to feel as if we were in a world full of joy, or Comfort could allow us to see everything around us made into soft knitted versions of themselves. You could revisit Sony Bravia's bouncy balls making them appear to fill the street or map clothes from top shop onto passers by. The possibilities are exciting.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

What a month of illness has taught me.

December I managed to be ill for almost the entire month. It started with a couple of low lying viruses so subtle that the nurse I saw told me I was just run down and needed to take lots of vitamins. I knew it was more than that. On the way to the office Christmas party I remarked in an off hand way to my boss that I shouldn't even be going to the party because I was ill. 

I definitely overdid it at the party and fighting and breaking up with the guy I was seeing and then crying for about an hour didn't help. But I woke up with no voice. It didn't come back for a whole week. I had viral laryngitis which cannot be treated, just has to be waited out. My boss heard me attempting to talk and sent me home with the words, "listening to you is heart breaking". Quite sweet really. From a week alone in the house without even being able to speak on the telephone I learnt a couple of things. 

Firstly I tend to talk to myself a lot. I realised this because when you have laryngitis you have to rest your voice as much as possible. I had to keep remembering not to talk to myself. Kinda embarrassing. 

More importantly isolation makes you calmer. In the past I've always felt the need to discuss every problem. I watch my phone all the time for messages. Being ill when you know you can't go out on a date or meet anyone or even talk to them is calming. After a few days I felt calmer and happier in my own company. I stopped feeling lost and bored and filled my days with solitary activities like painting. I felt content. 

A week later I came down with flu. I couldn't even get out of bed without the help of my dad holding my hand. I was too scared I'd pass out. My vision went when I moved too fast and I felt nauseous. A week of lying on the sofa with no energy to even text my friends made me appreciate small things in life like being able to stand up in the shower, feeling well enough to care about what I look like. But more importantly it made me realise what an amazing loving and caring father I had. I am so used to seeing my father as a fellow adult: a funny but slightly irresponsible person who I often argued with. I'd forgotten that he brought me up and looked after me and kept me safe when I was a child. But he stepped back into that role willingly. Feeding me, clearing up after me and holding my hand. 

Finally illness has had a couple of other positive effects on me. Not drinking has been good for my liver and my clothes are looser so I guess I've lost weight. Not wearing makeup for three weeks means my skin has cleared up - my pores are smaller. I've started reading novels again and painting and I've seen a lot of TV shows and films I can now talk about. 

But most importantly I've realised I'm fine on my own. I don't need a boyfriend - I am complete and actually having a boyfriend might be a bit of a pain in the arse. I can do my own thing, go to bed when I want, sleep in a bed on my own without being disturbed, decide how long to stay in Wales and when to return to London without a care for another. I'm not sure I want to give that up. 

So yeh, being ill is horrible and I can't wait to go to a bar and have a cocktail (honestly it feels like a bar is like Narnia to me). But it hasn't all been bad. And I have never been miserable or depressed. I've appreciated the small things like being able to breathe out of one nostril or not feeling dizzy for an hour. I've grown in personal strength and I've grown closer to my dad. I can't say I wish it was any different. 

Friday, 28 November 2014

Duhduhduhduhduhduhduh That's the news tune innit?)

Everyone loves a topical comedy show right? Probably because if comedy isn't topical it often resorts to jokes about mother-in-laws, women nagging and men not picking up their socks from the floor. Yeh...more of them jokes, that's what we all want!

So here's the second instalment from my desk buddy Mark's comedy sketch news show "News 500".
In fact Mark actually makes an appearance. Yes. He is the gay guy with eczma. Love him!

As a side point eczema is hard to spell but I now know how to spell it.

Talking about spoof news shows here's my old favourite from The Barry Welsh Show. This show might only have made it on air in Wales. It became a bit of a cult but niche classic in Swansea. It was extremely low budget and advertisers obviously weren't impressed since I remember there being hardly any adverts during the breaks - and they were all for cheap brands like Poundland.


MORE MORE MORE SPOOF NEWS!! Oh ok then. Maybe you'd like to listen to Mr Revolution himself Russel Brand PARKLIFE!

Here he is talking about Renee Zellweger's face. That was an important news story this year wasn't it!

And that concludes the news roundup for today.

(Shuffles her papers on her desk)

Friday, 21 November 2014

A sweet smelling Christmas to one and all

Merry Classy Christmas!!!!!

It is the season of giant dinners, stuffing your face and being forced to stay inside for most of the day locked in with your family. Mum and Dad drunk, your Gran vegetating in the corner, your granddad snoring in front of the telly, kids squabbling and may some neighbours and friends who popped by/ Not good news if you think that you'll all be sharing the same toilet.

If you're worried that all those brussels sprouts, stuffing and little pork sausages wrapped in bacon could leave your house full of stinky bathrooms then have no fear! PooPourri is the answer!

Check out this charming and very classy advert by PooPourri where Santa comes in need for some Poopouri.

Luckily he shat in the right house!

Thanks to my desk mate from Singapore for this one. Kris you're a star.