Saturday, 23 July 2016

Micro playlist for running on a beach

PEOPLE: Ahh, it's so hot. I just want to stay inside so I don't melt from the heat
ME: I really want to go on a run. See you in a bit.


*Let's talk about Weezer's White Album, released a few months ago. In it, is Rivers Cuomo a forty six years young man stuck in the mindset of an adolescent male, inexplicably nostalgic about a time that really wasn't that great but has merged into something golden and attractive in the imagination?  Or is he just a good narrator for that young, awkward, girl crazy period in life?
Weezer are a band that have never really come across as taking things too seriously, both lyrically and visually (see music videos). This album contains songs like 'Thank God for Girls' and 'LA Girlz', which initially made me cringe because, well, spelling and 40+ years of age with wife and kids. But then I laughed it off and thought haha that's probably the point. Things like 'if I was king of the world/ you'd be my girl' (King of the World) and 'oh why why why do my flowers always die?/ why do they die?/ I'm all jacked up over you' (Jacked Up) and 'I just want this summer to end/ what's the point of trying to pretend?/ she told me to follow the rules/ not all 19 year olds are cool' (Endless Bummer) , which are emotionally raw and longing in that youthful kind of way, are combined with a sound that's very old school Weezer. So actually maybe Rivers (and co) is more just celebratory, embracing the roots of the band that made them, in many people's eyes, great.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

So I had this dream. For no reason whatsover.

In a bid to reach out further to a younger demographic, Chanel sells new season sneakers at a fraction of the cost.

Stepping into the West London boutique and the recognisable sneakers line the walls. Pastel tweed, pristine whites, subtle rays of metallics and a plethora of stereotypical feminine tones catch the eye in a rainbow of youth. Usually selling at £350- £1000, a look at the label of many of these shoes shows a reduced price of just over £100 - £150. Yet for one customer, it was even less.

"I was just browsing and was completely drawn to this pink and lilac pair," says Frankie, twenty one years of age, pointing down at her feet. "I read the price and was like aww if they were a bit cheaper, like £50-£60, I would definitely buy them. Karl [Lagerfeld] overheard me, came over and said he'd drop the price so I could get them!" Asked why she considered this to be the case, Frankie responded with "I'm twenty one but look like a fifteen year old so he must have thought parfait! Any way to get my target consumer showing off genuine Chanel."

It seems out of character, and for many luxury shoppers sickening, that a renowned fashion house gleaming in tradition and wealth would sell in the same market as high street. It also seems out of character for the designer and creative director to be present and actively engaged in a low-key London store, especially when there is no event taking place. But Lagerfeld insists that it is the way forward for both Chanel and the fashion industry.

"It is not like this for every collection and product. Of course, that would be silly," he says. "But in order to expand and thrive in the industry  today, we need to be open minded. The youth are the future and so, as a company that always looks ahead, we should embrace that."

It's hard to tell if he's being serious, as emotions are disguised behind trademark opaque glasses and stern facial features, although one thing is for sure: There are a lot of joyful young girls strolling flat-footed through the streets right now.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Nobody told me

I don't know how it feels to give birth and have my own child and I imagine it's one of those life stages that can't be fully understood unless experienced. But Hollie McNish's Nobody Told Me: Poetry and Parenthood creates a genuine picture of what it's like. 

The book is a gathering of diary entries and poems written from the day the pregnancy test announced she was pregnant (on her way to Glastonbury) to her child's first day of preschool and the stream of thoughts throughout those years is both heart-warming and eye-opening.

Heart-warming in the sweet mother-towards- daughter emotions like this from poem You

You are the reason why my heart / skips a beat / every night / Why my laughter lines double/ and/ grow deeper/ each day

You are the smile carved/  like a permanent mark/ on my face/ Every time you wake me up/ at 6 a.m. to play/ Drumming on my belly/ Blowing raspberries on my skin / and I joke that one day I might put you back in / and when I tell you that you lived there/ you tell me it's a fib/ asking me for proof/ like a toddler detective

I point to the place / you lift my top up a little/ then bang on my stretch marks/ and giggle

While  eye-opening in the oh-my-god-society-is-so-frustrating kind of way.
Take, for example, the anger released with Embarrassed. I've never got my head around why breastfeeding in public, especially when done discreetly, is seen as disgusting. Surely what's more disgusting is this:

...after six months of her life spent sitting on lids/ As she sips on her milk, nostrils sniffing up shit,/ Banging her head on toilet-roll dispensers,/ I wonder if these public-loo feeds offend her

...And the more I go out, the more I can't stand it/ I walk into town, feel surrounded by bandits,/ 'Cos in this country of billboards covered in tits/ And family newsagents' magazines full of it/ WHSmith top shelves out for men/ -Why don't you complain about them then?

And the baby product business which Hollie remarks on frequently over the years, in particularly in Marketing Motherhood.

...Business marketing emotions as 'necessary buys' / as grands are spent from guilty feelings, unknown fears and/ cries/ as one hundred heavy bellies walk the isles, bulging with advice/ and tags are placed everything and unborn babies priced.

Trollies filled by worried parents,/ patents push the price, declaring/ products for those 'up the duff,'/ like/ if you don't buy this, you'll fuck your baby up

And the general rudeness of some people on public transport, which includes the disapproving reactions to bringing a toddler on a train journey during rush hour and the account of a woeful tube trip while heavily pregnant: 

'He has definitely seen me. He has looked at my belly. Of course he'd stand if he could. He might have bad knees, I think, might have had an operation last week, bladder issues or any other problems I can't see. So I stand, feeling like the heaviness of my bowling-ball belly pushing on my bladder might make me wee my pants right there, staring into space, trying not to hate humankind, and finally we're there. King's Cross.
The guy stands up and walks across me, out of the Tube, and sprints down the platform to catch his train. There was nothing wrong with his legs.'

It's always interesting getting drawn into the mind of other people via words on a page. It's even more interesting when, as is the case with Nobody Told Me, it's a portrayal of real life.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Quarter life crisis

I haven't really put this out there much but I feel I should.
I'm scared.
Uncertainty, blankness, discouragement
swirling around my mind like layers of child scribbles on a sheet of a paper
once full of prospect and creative freedom
now nonsensical. A mess
'I was jealous of friends getting into postgraduate courses, lingering in their student life, buying time, postponing their entrance into the real world'

With a year to go, reality's upon me
slapping me around the face, making fun, causing me to feel like crap
We shouldn't live in regret or dwell on the past
but still I constantly question what if? what if?
because I feel like what I'm doing is wrong
'trying to navigate through the education system and basically not knowing which direction anything is going, let alone yourself'

It all seemed so simple
living with the fantasy that things would come as easily as sliding over a rainbow
to the gold at the end
but I'm forever staring at rainbows
and when I feel like I know who I am, what I want to do, setbacks come
'I think I've already realised the person I want to be and it's liberating but also leaves you thinking 'what the fuck do I do with my life?'

I feel guilty that the money that I spend is not my own
that I'm doing a degree that I feel isn't worth it
that my family look down on me with concern and disgust
and although they never show it outright, or say it to me, I know what they're thinking 
when is she going to grow up?
'if there's one thing worth being obsessive over it's your finances'

I understand that I need to get out there and gain experience
but I also need money
money that's harder to attain than I always expected
then there's the doubt and the aforementioned questioning 
as I live with the mentality of a confused teenager
'up until graduating, all I wanted was  to be a grown up. Now that I have managed, somehow, to climb the steps up to the adult-life floor, I despise it'

I'm aware that this sounds depressing and it's just a stage
reality takes over, regret takes over, society takes over
but things can get better, I can make things better
still I fear that in a year I'll be left abandoned in the lonely world of full grown adulthood
where preparation should have been made sooner
'The pressures to succeed emotionally, physically and financially in a ridiculously short span of time are outweighing the real root of 'happiness'' The end.

Quotes taken from Issue 3 of Girls Club zine, Quarter Life Crisis

Saturday, 28 May 2016

I knitted a t-shirt

I knitted a t-shirt inspired by the sea and wore it while running on sand and wondering across rocks.

Captured not very clearly on a phone camera 

coated with sea air

I customised a headband. And then wore it while on the beaches of Sitges and while drinking smoothies from a market off La Rambla. Now it's coated with beachy Spanish air and the odd bit of a sand and I can carry this with me as I wear the headband through the dull streets of England. 

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Roland Garros kit watch

Fashion and tennis have always gone hand in hand, especially in the context of other sports. At this year's French Open, everyday items have been encorporated into the kits, making the fashion and tennis combination even more prominent.
Alize Lim wore a blue dungaree-look playsuit, designed herself for Le Coq Sportif, layered over a strapless white bra and Adidas' zebra stripes, when in the form of the top and black skirt, came with suspenders. (Worn by Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber)

My initial thoughts were I really really love dungarees and suspenders but they're not made for the tennis court and, while this is still the case for the Adidias kit, the more I look at Alize's the more I kind of like it.

The sport allows individuality to be presented on court, both through the player's game and their appearance. A notable example of this is dialogue between British player Angela Mortimer and press in 1958(?)

When asked if designer Teddy Tinling was behind her clothes:
'No' she told them. 'Teddy doesn't approve of shorts'
'Why don't you wear dresses?'
'Because they don't suit my tennis character'
(White Ladies, Teddy Tinling)

Nowadays the outfits are homogenised and controlled by brands and therefore not always reflective. That makes Alize's refreshing. Playsuits are very much her thing (she designed her first one with Le Coq Sportif at the 2015 French Open) so replicating a pair of dungarees, in this sense, is only natural.