Wednesday, 23 March 2016

London College of Fashion submission

Hi guys, so for this post I thought I'd do something a little different. I've recently been offered a place at London college of fashion to study fashion journalism and I thought I would share with you the piece I submitted. I'm in no way bragging - in fact re reading this piece has made me overly critical of my submission. None the lessI thought it might be helpful for anyone thinking of applying ,or in the process of applying, to see the type of thing you could submit. It's really just to try and draw inspiration from and to show you that you don't have to worry about producing something perfect. They are in no way expecting professional quality - clearly mine isn't at that standard. If you've read my creative writing piece "under the bridge" you may be thinking that they're pretty similar. You're not wrong, that's because they started off as the same piece but have slightly evolved into different pieces with separate subject matters. For this piece I wanted to go down more of a fashion route. Which meant discussing an issue that is relevant in the fashion industry today to show that I keep up with what's happening in the world of fashion. I also added a few images to this blog post from my photography coursework so that you wouldn't get too bored of my rambling but they don't expect you to add images to your work either and I didn't when submitting this piece.



How old were you when you decided what career path you wanted to take? For some people it can take a while to figure out - while others know from a very young age what they want to do with the rest of their lives. In the modelling industry the younger you are when you have your first test shot - the better. Starting from a young age allows years of developing a brand and becoming confident in front of a camera. However - particularly in the past 3 years - I've noticed the global debates questioning -at what point does young become too young?

Kate Moss - arguably the most iconic and influential model of the 1990's and early 2000's - was a mere girl when she first stood in front of the camera. Sophie Calle's aptly named 'fifteen' collection of photographs show a young Moss at the start gun of her career. These candid images of the fresh faced London girl show a timid creature unaware of the impression she would later make on the industry. They juxtapose the stark images she is possibly better known for - taken in her mid-twenties that are said to have defined the British pop culture movements of the past two decades. This poses the question: would she have made such an impression had she not have grown up in a studio?

Some would argue not - which is perhaps why today’s most desirable models are no older than their mid-twenties. Kendall Jenner, Edie Campbell, So Ra Choi and Tyg Davison- the list goes on. They're found on every advertisement worldwide - stamping the covers of major publications everywhere. Despite their young age - which in any other industry may see you stuck at the bottom of the ladder- these models are at the height of their careers and are the go to mannequins for major fashion houses such as Chanel and Marc Jacobs.

Arguably their supermodel status comes from their influential families or the millions of followers hanging on their every word on social media platforms - but what the internet gives it soon takes away. Initially, I had always thought that models in fashion were notoriously thin because of the media's influence. Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar - all major publications that practically handed you a bottle of diet pills and a bin to empty your stomach. Their models were the best form of torture for impressionable girls with body issues and the desire to look 'skinny'. While I realise that this isn't entirely untrue of today’s editions my research into "the effect the media has on models' place in society" for photography last year found- that although there are signs of body shaming in some (lower end) publications - the real critics were the readers behind the keyboards. A topic addressed in December's issue of Vogue.

Being an avid reader of Vogue and follower of supermodel Gigi Hadid, I was ecstatic to discover that in December the two forces had paired up. However it wasn't until I started reading the article that accompanied the images of Hadid that the novelty began to wear off. Gigi is a highly desirable model and the face of a multitude of campaigns including; Tom Ford, Levi's, Versace and Topshop (to name just a few). It's safe to say she is far from having a weight problem. I mean Victoria's secret doesn't hand out wings to anybody wanting to walk a runway. I'm sure cleanses weren't part of her New Year’s resolutions. So it's not hard to understand why the quote "online trolls... repeating that she was "too fat to model"" boiled my blood. Although not the typical UK size 4 found on catwalks - Gigi is only a size 8 yet she was penalised for being fat. Reading this - it's not hard to see why there are so many underweight frames in the industry.

Perhaps why last April, France decided to take action. Banning girls with a BMI under 18 from fashion shows in order to "combat anorexia". Threatening to charge agencies with fines up to 75,000 euros if they employed models that were considered "too thin faced". This was said to have changed the body image of fashion shows in France and was proposed to "have a symbolic impact on the fashion industry" overall” given Paris's role within it”. Other countries have since taken action or, at least, debated whether they should take action and ban models under the age of 18 from shows. Of course it makes sense that girls as young as 13 shouldn't be put under pressure to be "skinny" but isn't an adolescent frame the desired one of most fashion houses? Surely 15-year- olds already have these figures so there should be no pressure put on them. That just seems like common sense but this isn't exactly the case. Even the youngest of the models are told that they have to "reach bone". While a global titan like Gigi is able to brush off the negative feedback others aren't as lucky. The trolling movement is proof that it's so easy for people to share opinions with the world without thinking of the consequences - seen in Hadid's case. Being a 20-years-old size 8 model - it's evident she isn't too young to be walking in shows or too skinny so there shouldn't be a problem. Yet she was told she wasn't thin enough. So does that mean that we are to blame?

Like I said I used to think that major publications were accountable for the lack of "normal sized" models but now I realise this isn't the case. Vogue seemed to applaud Hadid's influence on the catwalk describing her as "filling clothes in an enviable, womanly way". Balmain's creative director also added that "thanks to Gigi, we're finding girls on the runway that are beautiful and look healthy at the same time." Evidently they're supporting this step in the right direction. So why it is still considered a taboo to be a size 8 on the runway and why does Britain feel there is a need for a proposed legislation banning models under the age of 18 from walking major fashion shows? Clearly other attempts to change the type of models found at London fashion week haven't worked in the past. Although conceivably the voluntary code of conduct was perhaps too timid (hence the word voluntary) - all the same 14-year-olds continue to appear at London fashion week. According to Caroline Nokes - a Conservative MP - the legislation will "make sure that you weren't seeing 15 to 18-year-olds with a BMI of 15.6 being told they had to lose weight".


So surely this would suggest the legislation is more concerned with the BMI of the models than their age right? Only Nelson then argues a minimum body mass index wouldn't work because "it doesn't represent their body type". To me the whole things seems confused - they're aiming to reduce the amount of models with a low BMI and yet are targeting the young rather than those with an unhealthy body mass index.

While of course I can see the reasoning and I agree that BMI's don't represent body types I can't see why the younger of the models are being targeted. Yes I can understand that it would be disconcerting to see an unhealthy 15-year-old on a runway but banning them from fashion shows won't solve eating disorders. All teenage girls are impressionable but why should the healthy under 18-year-olds be reprimanded. Are we forgetting how old Kate Moss was when she started her career or Gigi Hadid? Gigi - I can't stress enough - a healthy size 8? Where would they be if this legislation had always been in place? I'm sure they would still be around but their careers would have taken longer to mature. Meaning they may have been coming to the end of their careers before they had really taken off. It's no secret the modelling industry has a certain cut off age in the other direction - of course with a few exceptions. So shouldn't Britain change their, oh so very British, way of beating around the bush and simply state they want underweight girls banned from catwalks not young ones? Personally I think this would be far more effective.

Annie Leibovitz inspired work


Annie Leibovitz is possibly one of my favourite photographers. So it should come as no surprise to you that when I decided to explore the title 'Romanticism' for my photography exam project - I immediately thought of her. Although, I found an excuse for using her in both my exam and personal investigation projects by exploring her influence in the fashion industry. Incorporating her into my personal investigation project was made even easier when I discovered she was inspired by photojournalist Henri Cartier Bresson (another photographer I used in this project).

Recently I came across a couple of her images whilst flicking through the pages of a magazine which reminded me of the images I'd taken last year. I thought that posting them on this blog would allow me to share with you the sort of photography that inspires, not only my photography work but also my writing (and the reason my posts were few and far between last year).

The idea behind this shoot was to create a fairy tale feel (similar to Leibovitz’s work) that seemed quite romantic. So I asked my friend Emma to model for me in the woods near my house on a Summer afternoon. Surprisingly, we managed to find a day that didn't result in us being drenched in the rain - allowing me to create a sort of hazy summer night feel.

I noticed that Leibervitz often used very light fabrics and materials to create a romantic tone to her images. So obviously the only choice of clothing for Emma was chiffon. It meant that her dress would be picked up with a breeze (or with her hand in this case due to the lack of a breeze) and the sun could shine through it creating a very magical feel to the image.

By keeping her hair down and very natural it made Emma look care free and didn't distract the viewer from the dress or her surroundings.

True to Leibovitz's style I wanted to make the colours more muted. Turning the bright greens of the leaves and trees into pastel shades and her dress into a pale peach rather than pink.

  
 
 

Monday, 21 March 2016

Under the bridge


When we were young our parents warned us about trolls under bridges – they were the morals of the stories teaching us about the dangers of trusting or even talking to strangers. But as I’ve grown up I’ve come to realise trolls no longer reside under the bridges. They’ve found new homes behind computer screens and have evolved into the tech savvy assassins we’ve all heard of today.

In the past, I’ve had a tendency to shy away from most forms of social media – despite dabbling in the world of Blogging. Not for the want of being a social hermit but because I was terrified at the thought of being the target of these faceless critics.  They certainly made crossing the bridge to the online world a lot harder than expected. In my eyes putting anything out there meant that you were opening yourself up to criticism. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing – if people think I could benefit from not using so many rhetorical questions in my writing - I’m willing to listen. But that wasn’t the problem. There is a very distinct difference between constructive criticism and ‘trolling’.

Being an avid reader of Vogue and follower of supermodel Gigi Hadid, I was ecstatic to discover that this month the two forces had paired up. The images showed a naturally beautiful 20 –year –old model worlds apart from the catwalk fascia.

When looking at these photos it’s easy to see why she’s making such an impression on the modelling world. Yet start reading the article that goes with them and you’ll find a different story. Gigi is a desirable model and the face of a multitude of campaigns including; Chanel, Tom Ford and Versace (merely the pacesetters in the pursuit to book Hadid). It’s safe to say she is far from having a weight problem. I mean, she recently earned her wings with Victoria’s secret – I don’t think she needs to start any cleanses in the New Year. So I’m sure you can understand why the quote; “online trolls… repeating that she was “too fat to model”” boiled my blood. They don’t just stop at us mere mortals they’re also targeting the divine (a little Victoria’s secret pun for those of you who noticed).

Initially, I had always thought that models were notoriously thin because of the media’s influence. Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar – all major publications that practically handed you a bottle of pills and a bin to empty your stomach. Their models were the best form of torture for impressionable girls with body issues and the desire to look ‘skinny’. While I realise this isn’t entirely untrue of today’s issues, my research into ‘the effect the media has on models’ place in society’ in photography found that although there are signs of body shaming in some (cheaper) publications. The real critics were the readers behind the keyboards. Vogue seemed to applaud Hadid’s influence on the catwalk describing her as “filling clothes in an enviable, womanly way”. Ok. So… maybe this hasn’t prompted Vogue to start using models that are any bigger than a size 10 for their covers. And… Gigi is only a tiny size 8 – but taking the publication’s reputation into account it’s a step in the right direction. Albeit a baby step but a step all the same.

So in that case are we the ones to blame? All signs are starting to point to yes.

Of course I don’t mean me and you specifically but ‘we’ as a society. When looking into this subject for photography I found that sadly ‘body shamers’ aren’t a new breed of offenders. There have been pests (with cameras) who have made a profession out of hunting people down and pointing out their flaws since 1955. In case you haven’t guessed I’m talking about the ‘birth of the paparazzi’. Otherwise known as the birth of the cockroaches because let’s face it that’s what they are. They hunt people down to catch them at their most vulnerable moments and rip into their flaws – sound familiar?

So maybe they aren’t completely the same. I mean trolls don’t get paid but surely that makes them worse. They do it for fun! And… I guess the paparazzi at least stop at those who have an army of beauticians at their disposal. So I guess we could argue they are simply setting a level playing field right?  I mean, who hasn’t had an embarrassing photo of them looking a little hung over surface on Facebook. Surely it isn’t wrong to want to find something in common with those we look up to in the public eye. Wrong.

Since when did we decide it was ok to publically shame someone for not having a perfectly flat stomach or flawless skin? Despite Photoshop’s attempts to deceive us – even the vainest elite have their flaws but tearing them down shouldn’t be justified because we feel lied to. Spending hours looking for holes in other people’s lives only to publically humiliate them is inexcusable! Why is one better than the other? They both tear people down. Some simply celebrate their beatings with a title and a pay slip.

But fear not, there is hope.

There are now forums that allow people to post snapshots of their life online without being ridiculed into taking them down. Unfortunately for me I didn’t discover these havens filled with fellow hermits where negative/ troll like comments are actually banned until 3 years ago. But better late I suppose. They allow even the most cautious of us to bypass the bridges and fly over the trolls. Personally, I used these websites as a metaphorical pool to dip my writer’s hand into and through them I found several new fashion bloggers (including my current favourite – Luanna Perez).

A journalist for ‘The Guardian’ once remarked “print is dead”. While this is perhaps an exaggeration most people do tend to get their fix of news from their phones rather than newspapers. It was clear to see that the world of fashion was no exception. They had definitely embraced this platform of writing and exploring different blogs meant that I had more of an understanding of fashion writing – a field I’m now looking into as a degree. After that I realised that in order to improve my writing I would have to commit myself to my ‘real’ blog. The first time in a long time I’d ridden without my stabilisers on.

Maybe I’d been too harsh. Maybe the internet wasn’t actually the scary place I’d convinced myself it was. So far for me it hasn’t been. In fact I’ve now completely embraced my inner internet socialite. Posting, not only on my blog, but on Instagram and going back to Twitter. I know, somebody stop me before I take over the internet! I realised that social media is a great way to get yourself out there. I don’t mean in a middle-aged-get-back-on-the-saddle-after-your-divorce-has-gone-through sort of way. I just mean it's perfect for promoting writing or finding people to collaborate with. I'd had an epiphany. A sudden realisation. I finally understood why so many people used social platforms. Everything made sense.

And then all of a sudden... Everything made sense! I noticed trolls popping up on some of my favourite blogs with their (oh so original) "you're so fat", "you're ugly", "you should die" comments. Even though they weren't aimed at me it still felt like a personal attack. "You didn't forget about us did you?" I could almost see them typing. I was so naive to think I'd managed to avoid them but this time they didn't scare me. This time they looked pathetic. In fact, I realised that the only reason they seemed big before was because I'd built them up to be a higher authority. So I guess our parents were right we shouldn't talk to the trolls. We shouldn't even acknowledge their existence because doing so fuels the fire.

I know, easier said than done right? I guess this post is proof of that but we are heading in the right direction. The trolls are now being prosecuted. Whether you think this is a step too far or not I'm sure we can all agree it's satisfying to know they're starting to sweat. It's inevitable that seeing their species being fined or sent to prison has made them listen. Potentially even scared some of them into leaving the keyboards behind and taking a much needed trip outside (said in the least mum-like voice possible). While there will always be somebody who can't help but share their negative opinion with everyone else -trolls shouldn't be feared. They're nameless, faceless cowards who knock people down for reasons only they know. So let’s leave them where they belong. Alone.
 

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Motivation and Inspiration fades


Where do you find inspiration? On the bus. On the verge of sleep. On a run. At the gym or in the shower maybe. This is something I've had to think about lately after starting a creative writing course. It's a question I've been asked a couple of times and something I hadn't really thought of before (well despite noting that I always seem to think of the perfect ending for  that essay I've been stuck on for the last week just before I'm about to fall to sleep.) I think that inspiration can occur anywhere except for when you're I'm looking for it, so I tend to take inspiration from my surroundings. If like me you struggle to find inspiration when you need it most of all - fear no more because that's what this post is all about.

The remedy for your lack of inspiration or motivation (yes I am talking like a doctor) will depend on what you're needing inspiration for. For example if I need to organize my bedroom (code for: clean the bomb site) I find I'm more likely to do it after  watching a ton of room tour videos on YouTube - because they all look like something out of a showroom. Which is all well and good but this won't help me get my bum to the gym - so I'm splitting this into sub-headings for you to find the right cure for all of your inspirational problems - which should save you from having to read a load of rambling that's not related to your problem. Obviously these aren't 'the ultimate cures' for a lack of motivation or inspiration they're just things that help me when I'm struggling to get things done - like that essay I keep putting off.

Lack of motivation to work out

Some people find the cure for this is reading inspirational quotes or looking on YouTube at workout videos - but for me these don't work and to be quite honest watching someone else work out makes me feel exhausted. To get me off the sofa and to the gym I like to watch things like 90210 or Revenge (no that's not just an excuse to delay going for another hour) or I look at my favourite bloggers like Luanna Perez and The Line Up and tell myself that I could wear what they're wearing if I go to the gym. Sometimes this still doesn't work because let’s face it it's not the best solution so I just have to accept the fact that things aren't going to change and I won't feel better about myself if I don't get up off my bum and go to the gym. I find that going early in the morning helps because it motivates me for the rest of the day and I can't think of as many excuses not to go when I've just woken up. Something else that helps me when I don't want to go to the gym is the My Diet Coach app because it has sections that you can click on and get advice for things like motivational fades, exercise laziness and food cravings.

Creative writing inspiration

So I've already told you that I've recently started creative writing but despite not doing the course for very long the dreaded writers block has already struck once or twice (it doesn't discriminate or take it easy on newbies) meaning it can sometimes be hard to start stories or poems. For this, it can take me a while to get motivated or find something that inspires a plot. Sometimes it can be as easy as just listening to music and concentrating on that for a while, not thinking about the fact I have to write an assignment- you never know a lyric could resonate with you and spark off a whole plot idea. Other times it takes more. Like actually leaving the barricades of my bed and going into the big wide world. This could mean going to the gym to clear my head or sitting in a coffee shop - yes I am that weird person that does eaves drop on peoples conversations - but this is encouraged by creative writing teachers (no recorders though). Although that seems invasive and kind of creepy you might hear a snippet of somebody’s phone conversation and that person could inspire the protagonist you've been working on creating for weeks - it worked for Robert Garner McBrearty with 'What Happened to Laura?'. Recently I've found that the most effective way of finding inspiration is filling in a journal I've been set as part of my course. The idea of the journal is to write down any ideas that come to us so that if we're having writers block we can go back to it - which is all well and good but what if we have writers block to begin with? So I decided to approach the journal in a different way - making it more of a visual aid than a place to store information (of course I do still note things down in it as well).I've added quotes from my favourite writers, random words to help spark ideas for scenarios and some pages that just have images on to inspire characters or settings.

I learn in visual ways so for me this is great and it's something I love to do so it doesn't seem like a chore when I'm making it. If you learn in a similar way this could also work for you (if you have the time to do it). Alternatively you could read books or short stories in the hopes of creating characters or plots inspired by the ones you've read but I'd personally find myself repeating the original stories so this isn't for everyone. It could even help to read quotes from your favourite writers (or maybe even writers you've never heard of - ask your friends about their favourite writers or look on website like BuzzFeed or Bustle).

Essays

Although it seems similar this is not the same as the previous point. There is no amount of visual projects that will help me write an essay on mergers and takeovers for my business class. For this I would suggest maybe talking to someone in your class and see what they're ideas are on the topic. If you don't talk to anyone in your class or maybe you've left it too late  and don't want to admit that you haven't started it yet I  would personally turn to online student boards (make sure you only use these for inspiration though and don't copy from them because they aren't necessarily always the most reliable source). I find that even if it's not the same question a point someone has made may create that light bulb moment in my head and remind me of something my teacher has said to me. Other times I find it helps to simply go over your notes as this is probably going to be the most reliable method and your teacher probably made you write something down to help with this essay but you thought nothing of it at the time.

Art/drawing/photography (artsy projects)

I've always found that art/ photography teachers tend to like spider diagrams which to their credit can work really well to help start your creative juices flowing but not everyone likes them. So if you've come to a dead end with a project or maybe you just feel like drawing but don't know what to draw I would suggest flipping through the pages of magazines. This works particularly well for photography (providing the magazines have some substance and aren't just gossip magazines - although these may help with creative writing or projects on paparazzi/ voyeurism), magazines like BGP or Vice are really good for this and vice magazines are free. If you're doing a project on fashion reading fashion magazines or even looking at online versions should really help. If you're doing art you may also find inspirations in photos but this might not work as well for you if you're looking for artists, in which case google may be your best friend or maybe go to your local library or book shop to look at books that are loosely (or more relevant depending on what you can find) based on your project. Book shops like Waterstones are really good for this because you can sit and read the books in there without feeling pressured into buying them (which is great when you just want to find new artists). Looking at books might also help to send your work in a different (potentially better) direction than you'd originally anticipated. If all else fails just interact with others. Talk to friends or people in your class to see if they have any ideas. If you're feeling particularly antisocial or maybe you're just not in a friendly mood go to exhibitions (especially if they're free) you never know even the ones you think you have no interest in may inspire you.

Room inspiration

I feel like this is fairly obvious - I get really inspired by Instagram, blogs and websites. Websites like Next home and Laura Ashley can be really good if you don't know how to decorate a room and looking on their website doesn't necessarily mean you have to buy things from there. I use the websites to get inspiration with colours and textures because they tend to show you whole rooms rather than just showing the bed or the curtains. If you can't find any photos like these on the websites - shops like John Lewis and Next have magazines with them in (although you have to pay for the one from Next) again you don't have to buy anything from the magazines they're just meant to give you ideas just like regular magazines. Places like IKEA are really good to go and have a look around (the showrooms) but if you can't really be bothered to do this I find it helps to pay close attention to rooms in programmes on the TV or friends rooms. Alternatively when I can't decide what to do with my room and want inspiration I just look on BuzzFeed or Pinterest. If it's not the whole room decor you're looking for but specific things to go in your room I would also suggest using these websites or apps like 'the hunt'.

A new look

If you're starting a new school/ year/ uni and you've decided you want to go for a whole new look (or maybe you're not starting anywhere new and have decided you've just outgrown your old look) going around town or looking in shops is probably the simplest solution. Other than that again blogs, websites, Instagram and magazines are probably the way forward - at least that's what I look at when I'm needing a new look. I also like to go on YouTube and watch look books - channels like The Line Up, Clothes Encounters and Le-Happy are some of my favourites. One of my favourite websites and probably the best suggestion I can give you for this is Lookbook.nu. It's full of all different people with their own individual styles, the majority of the people on there have blogs so it could mean that you find you're new favourite bloggers on there. The website is also really easy to join and post on so if you're happy with your new look and feel like showing us you could be one of the people that inspires someone else's style.

I hope that this helped with something and wasn't a complete waste of your time, if it did or you have any advice I'd love to hear it. So I better get back to that dreaded essay now that I've motivated myself i might even go to the gym after I've finished. Yeah I'm sure that will happen.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

The Copper Edition

Despite christmas being over 8 months ago my fairy lights are still draped over my headboard. Although they make my bedroom look cosy during the night - come daytime they stick out like a sore thumb against the cream headboard of my bed thanks to the green wire. I considered taking them down but then I found a diy on pinterest (although I've not been able to find it since) that solved this problem by spray painting them.

What you will need to brave this diy:


If like me you want to use a copper spray paint and have found that although there are more blog posts and reviews than you can count that talk about the different benefits and draw backs of every single brand of spray paint out there - finding one in a shop is a completely different story. Apparently in Britain copper spray paint is like a mythical creature and is almost impossible to track down for a reasonable price.

I initially tried one my sister found for me from the Range that was around £5 (one of the cheapest I've found in the shops) by a brand called 'Plastikote'.

Despite being resonably cheap I wouldn't recommend this one because I found that when I used it the colour was very subtle and only the glitter showed up on the fairy lights.


For around the same price B&Q do have their own brand of copper spray paint but having tried a cheaper brand before and regretting it I brought a brand called 'Valspar' from B&Q which was slightly more expensive at around £8. I also brought a plastic primer from Halfords for £6 to be on the safe side (I tested the original spray over the primer but it didn't make a difference).

Once you've tracked down the spray paint you want...

Begin by either masking off the lights or removing them from the string - I took my lights off the first time I tried this but I would recommend using masking tape instead so that the ends don't stay green - It will also prevent unwanted paint from goiing inside the lights. Both methods are time consuming but taking the lights off meant I broke a couple of them and although removing them took a long time.

 A really long time.

Putting them back on without breaking them took even longer. If you're thinking of choosing this option I would recomend using a pair of pointed tweezers to help pry them off and to avoid breaking them. It's also a good idea to make a note of where the fuse light sits on the set because the lights won't work if it's in the wrong place. Using masking tape is a really fiddly task as well and taking it off is equally as annoying but I preferred this method because there's less chance of breaking the lights and you'll get a better result.

 

Once you've done this make sure you have a big open space - preferably outside so that it doesn't matter as much if you get the paint everywhere. Although make sure you don't do this on a windy day or you'll end up being more copper than the fairy lights.

 

I used a grey plastic primer from Halfords to prime the lights because it was the only colour I could find. This part is optional but if you want a vibrant colour with less coats of your spray paint you might want to try this - especially if you're spraying lights with a green wire. I ran out of my primer half way through spraying the lights so I found that although it helps to make the finish and colour better it wasn't essential and can make this diy quite expensive. You can see from the photos below why you need to do this in an open space - the paint sprays everywhere.
 
I laid my lights on the ground - sprayed one side - left them to dry for a couple of hours and then sprayed the other side. Once I'd sprayed as many of the lights as I could before I ran out of the primer I left them to dry for around 6 hours before bringing them inside and leaving them over night.

After your primer has completely dried (if you're using one) it's time to start spraying your chosen colour of spray paint. When using your colour remember 2-3 thin layers will look better than one thick one as you're less likely to have streaks or runs. If the paint does start to run this could be because you're holding the can too close to what you're spraying so hold the can a little further away but with fairylights this isn't a huge problem.
 

You'll need to leave the lights for a few hours to dry inbetween coats which makes this diy quite time consuming especially if you're using a primer (I spent the first day masking off the bulbs and priming the wire). So be prepared to dedicate a couple of days to it. I know it's tedious but don't be tempted to rush it or the paint may crinkle or lift.

When all of the coats are finished (It will probably need 2-3 depending on how bold you want the colour to be and if you've used a primer) the lights need to be left to dry completely overnight before hanging them.

Then all that's left to do is take the masking tape off the lights or attach them back onto the wire.

The finished result

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

What to expect


Ever since I can remember I've wanted to work for a fashion magazine. I've wanted to be a PA for Meryl Streep and run errands Anne Hathaway style. I've wanted to work in an office that had windows for walls looking down on a thriving city. I've wanted to be the one that brought everything together at the last minute like Ugly Betty. But most of all I've always wanted to do something I love. Write.

When I was 14 I was asked what job I wanted to do when I was older -my reply "I want to be Ugly Betty! I want to work at a fashion magazine." Then I was asked what aspects of the magazine I wanted to work on and this opened up a whole other world I'd never thought of before. For me I didn't know what I wanted to do for this magazine I just knew I wanted to work for it. Get the coffee - that's fine. Be a photographer - I'd love to. Write a features article - That's it! So I was told to start a blog. The only problem was I had no idea how to start a blog or what to focus on. I didn't even know if anyone would read a 14 year old's blog.  

I decided it was worth a try anyway and so I started a fashion blog. I was talking about brands I had never heard of before at the time so I'm sure you can imagine how insightful the posts were. Which meant blog number 1 never had a chance and was soon abandoned.

A few years later I decided I wanted to try again. This time I started a "coming of age" blog talking about my day to day life but in short even I couldn't bear to read it. So the dream of writing a blog seemed to be over. I had no idea how to do it and couldn't seem to find a topic I could really talk about. It seemed to be a lost cause and all hopes of writing in a magazine had gone.

So why start another one I hear you ask? Well, I feel that I have finally found my topic and now that I am 18 and have a DSLR camera I feel that I have the means necessary to uphold a blog. Before I couldn't bear to re-read my writing because I had barely any experience writing (this was pre GCSE's and A level's). I hadn't encountered the joy that is coursework or been met by the prospect of the infamous blog post assignment. To be quite honest I hadn't really experienced much at the age of 14.  

It wasn't until I went to college that I really found what I was passionate about. I met a whole lot of new friends who introduced me to new music, places and outlooks I'd never thought of before.  College also seemed to mature me - after being thrown into an environment that's completely different to school I no longer had time for petty arguments or idle gossip - I was focused on trying to find out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Just before the end of my As year the college I go to had an English lecturer from Lincoln university visit us to tell us a little about the English degree the university offered - but mostly about his career. I didn't expect to be so inspired or motivated by a lecturer but he told us about his job as a journalist. He seemed to be so passionate about what he did that he reminded me of how much I had wanted to do the same job when I was younger. Although somewhere down the line I'd got a little lost (with influence from some family members, pressures of grades and self-doubt) I still wanted to be a writer for a fashion magazine. I may have convinced myself that I wanted to be a chartered surveyor (what, you don't have a clue what one of those is? No, me either) ultimately I still wanted to be Ugly Betty.

And so that is why I am attempting yet another blog. With a few helpful tips from the lecturer and a topic I can write about for hours there's nothing to say this blog can't be a hit.  It will be filled with fashion rants, lookbooks, makeup, diy's, decor ideas, recipes and general thoughts - a cluster more commonly known as a life style blog. So I hope you like it and find something that peaks your interest.