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Shakaila Forbes-Bell

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What Is Your Style Personality?

Are you a Power Player, a Peacock, a Complaisant or a Meticulous Maven? Take our test to find out.

The Psychology of Stripes

Many stylists will tell you that vertical stripes have a slimming effect. Scientific research has proven this assumption to be false.

 

“Shakaila you really should wear vertical instead of horizontal stripes, you already have large breasts”.

I’ve received many a criticism in my 24 years of life but this one stuck with me ever since I heard it from a well-meaning colleague about 4 years ago. At the time, I never really realised the true extent of my love of stripes. Half of my wardrobe consisted of some sort of striped pattern – strangely most of them horizontal. Would I have to part with my penchant for the simple and elegant pattern because it made me look disproportionally large? I finally ended this rather nonessential period of contemplation upon discovering that the demonization of horizontal stripes is nothing but an old wife’s tale.

It’s a commonly held belief that when it comes to clothing, horizontal stripes have a widening effect. If you have a larger bottom half, stylists such as TV Personality Gok Wan recommend that a horizontal striped top will help to “balance you out” by broadening your chest to match.

However, research suggests that horizontal stripes have the complete opposite effect.  In 1925, Hermann von Helmholtz created the Helmholtz illusion. He composed an image with two squares containing equally spaced stripes - one with vertical stripes and the other, horizontal. As shown in the image below, the square containing horizontal lines appears taller and narrower than the identical square made up of vertical lines. This illusion occurs because horizontal stripes have more “filled space” from top to bottom thus making it look taller and thinner than the same-sized square.

Moreover, research has found that the illusion holds when applied to the body. A 2011 study found that when participants observed pictures of identical mannequins wearing horizontal and vertical striped clothing, the mannequin wearing horizontal stripes “needed to be 10.7% broader to be perceived as identical to the one in vertical stripes” (Thompson & Mikellidou).

Given the near century old history of the Helmholtz illusion it’s unclear how the ‘Horizontal lines make you look fat’ trope has managed to gain such a reputation.

Styling is as much of an art form as it is a science so before you cast out a portion of your wardrobe – check the data.  

11 Things We Loved About Paris Fashion Week And 1 Thing We Didn’t

11. Chanel Making It Possible to Look Good Whilst Wet

Those clear boots however, So now us ladies have to  continue shaving our legs when summer is over? Please restrict this look to the runway

10. Celine providing benches covered in sleeping bags for showgoers’ comfort

YES! Somewhere to snuggle up at Céline as the shows approach an end

A post shared by Suzy Menkes (@suzymenkesvogue) on

Psychology suggests that experiencing physical warmth promotes interpersonal warmth. A neat trick to increase sales? Hmm we see you Phoebe.

9. The effortlessness of Stella Mc Cartney

Image Source: Vogue Runway/ Yannis Vilamos
Image Source: Vogue Runway/ Yannis Vilamos

The sustainable designer has got casual luxury down to a science

8. Valentino’s space inspired collection

Elon Musk is pretty close to creating a commercial rocket to Mars so Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli just had to make sure we humans make a fashionable first impression.

7. Alexander McQueen revamping the Mac

Image Source: Vogue Runway/ Kim WestonArnold : Indigital.tv
Image Source: Vogue Runway/ Kim WestonArnold : Indigital.tv

This classic piece was in dire need of an update

6. Balenciaga’s killer heels

Image Source: Vogue Runway Monica Feudi

No, Literally. One miss-step and these heels could be behind some police tape. No one said fashion was safe. 

5. According to Givenchy, Fanny Packs are back

Image Source: Vogue Runway/ Monica Feudi

No pockets, no problem

4. Fringe fantastic at Elie Saab

Images Sourced: Vogue Runway/ Yannis Vilamos

Adding fringe to a look instantly adds drama.   

3. Canerows on the runway at Off-White

Image Source: Vogue/ Luca Tombolini

It may seem trivial but seeing this hairstyle, one that is so grounded in culture, one that is often deemed as ‘unprofessional’ and ‘ghetto’, strutting down a runway in Paris makes our hearts sing. Thank you Virgil.

2. Rick Owens doing Rick Owens

Image Source: Vogue Runway Kim Weston Arnold

Answer: Rick Owens Question: How far can one push the aesthetic

1. Every single look at Balmain

Everything Olivier Rousteing turns to gold. Waiting for the see-through mac to hit the high street in 3, 2, 1..

And 1 thing we didn’t like

1. The continued lack of diversity at Comme des Garçons

If you want your models to have kinky hairstyles, use black models. It’s really that simple.

10 Things We Loved About Milan Fashion Week

10. The incredible prints at Dolce & Gabbana

An array of blue fish, yellow suns, playing cards, butterflies, nectarines and multi-coloured flowers sounds garish on paper but it definitely worked on the runway.

9. Sticking with D&G and the return of models

Image Source: Vogue/Corey Tenold

Don’t get us wrong, we loved the #DGMillennials Fall 2017 show which showcased the best and brightest insta-stars but we’re happy to see the return of fresh model talent on the runway.

8. The return of 80s Power Dressing at Gucci

80s style shoulder pads give the impression of broad shoulders and subsequently create a more masculine frame. Its unsurprising that they were all the rage during a period where women were edging higher up the ranks in the male-dominated workforce. Could Gucci’s revival of shoulder-pads be a comment on this current third-wave of the feminist movement?

7. Prada carried on the theme of female empowerment with the military-style show 

Image Source Vogue/Monica Feudi: Indigital.tv

In speaking about her latest Prada stated,

I am suggesting militant women in a very practical way… through clothes, which is what I do.” [Vogue Runway]

6. Creative Cut-Outs at Fendi

Image Source: Vogue Runway Fendi Yannis Vilamos

Who knew under-boob could look so chic?

5. Moschino’s Punk Princesses

Feathers? Leather? Sequins? Fishnets? Yes please.

4. Short Hair Don't Care

Image Source: MGSM Vogue Runway
Image Source: Marni Vogue Runway

According to the Milan shows now is the perfect time to schedule that big chop you’ve been putting off.

3. Emilio Pucci takes Lounge Wear…To the extreme

Image Source: Vogue Runway/Emilio Pucci
Image Source: Vogue Runway/Emilio Pucci

Walking out of the house with a towel wrapped around your head? Don’t worry darling its fashion.

2. Mismatched Jewellery at Roberto Cavalli 

Image Source: Roberto Cavali Yannis Vlamos

The days of lamenting over losing one of my earrings are long behind me.

1. Everything at Versace

Dontella celebrated the life of her late brother Gianni Versace in the best way possible by reviving some of his most legendary looks. The return of 90s supermodels Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Carla Bruni, and Helena Christensen will go down as ‘a moment’ in fashion history. I’m also certain that sales of anti-wrinkle cream soared after this show - those goddesses are ageless!

An Interview With Fashion Psychologist Karen Pine

We got the opportunity to speak to esteemed Fashion Psychologist Karen Pine. We asked her everything from how to effectively cultivate a personal style to what it takes to make it in the field of Fashion Psychology. 

What does The Psychology of Fashion mean to you?

It means applying the scientific rigour of psychology to the understanding of a ubiquitous area of human behaviour, clothing, why we wear what we wear and what effect it has on us and on others around us. 

Do you think there’s a link between personal style and mental health?

Absolutely. Our clothes reflect our mental state (i.e. whether we are happy or depressed), they also influence our mental state. That means we can put on something that will either boost our mood and make us feel happy and confident or have the opposite effect.

What is the best way for someone to cultivate a strong personal style?

To cultivate a strong personal style we need to constantly find ways of keeping it fresh and not get stuck in a clothes rut. Be adventurous, wear something that expresses your personality, don't just wear what's in fashion (it may not suit you), experiment a little and ask other people for feedback. 

What is the main thing that drives our clothing choices?

We are creatures of habit so we tend to stick to what we know and usually buy clothes that are similar to what we already have. We may have hang-ups about particular styles, shapes or colours that come from childhood, from bad memories or from what others have said to us, and these can limit our choices and hold us back. Unfortunately we also too often let fashion editors and marketers dictate our clothing choices, because they are in the business of taking our money they put us under a lot of pressure to feel we 'have' to have the latest look.
 
Since entering the field of Fashion Psychology, you have published papers, written books and worked with various brands and designers. What advice would you give to someone hoping to make a career in Fashion Psychology?

There is no real career path in fashion psychology - you won't find it mentioned when training to be a psychologist. I would say hone your academic skills first, get a good psychology degree and a post-graduate qualification, conduct robust research and look for opportunities to apply what you know. 

What do you think the future holds for the field of Fashion Psychology?

The outlook is positive because the fashion world is waking up to the fact that clothes don't just have to look good they have to make us feel good too. We are all becoming more emotionally intelligent, demanding greater happiness and wellbeing in our lives, therefore fashion psychology can contribute to those lifestyle aspirations.

10 Things We Loved About London Fashion Week

10. ASHISH'S COLLECTION WAS THE PERFECT VISUALIZATION OF OUR POST-SUMMER HEARTBREAK 

Image source: Vogue Runway
Image source: Vogue Runway

A mixture of Gothic and Glam, Morticia Addams meets Jessica Rabbit. Don't worry if you didn't get a summer Bae because heartbreak is in vogue. 

9.  IN TRUE VOGUE EDITOR FASHION EDWARD ENNINFUL GAVE US HIS BEST SIGNATURE STYLE ON THE FROW

Image source: Evening Standard
Image source: Evening Standard

Forget Anna Wintours blunt bang and sunglasses combination, we're all about Eddie's rich coats and black on black (and sometimes navy) aesthetic. 

8. ACCORDING TO TOPSHOP WE NO LONGER HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL THE END OF THE DAY TO GET RID OF OUR BRAS

Bra-less was definitely a theme at the Topshop Unique show. According to professor Jean-Denis Rouillon "Medically, physiologically, anatomically, the breast does not benefit from being deprived of gravity. Instead, it languishes with a bra." Embrace gravity ladies, science says so. 

7. WE NO LONGER HAVE TO HIDE OUR LOVE FOR CROCS

There is so denying the unbelievable comfort of Crocs but most of us won't be caught dead rocking them outside of the confines of our homes.... until now. Christopher Kane has remixed and remastered our guilty pleasure making them fit for any fashion enthusiast. 

6. JOSEPH BRINGS BACK POWER DRESSING 

Image source: Vogue Runway

We're ready to revamp our office wardrobe. Monday's just got a whole lot better 

5. Head- To -Toe Stripes are Here to Stay

Image source: Vogue Runway
Image source: Vogue Runway

You no longer have to worry about looking like a cartoon convict. Amanda Wakely and Victoria Beckham's collections have given us a chic way to don H2T stripes.

4. PADDIGNTON BEAR CHIC IS IN

One thing we're known for in the UK is our terrible summers. The Versus Versace collection came to our rescue by making rain hats a thing again. Paddington might need to update his wardrobe. 

3. RIHANNA

Rihanna in Molly Goddard Image source: Vogue Runway

Rihanna at the Fenty Beauty launch at Harvey Nichols. This Molly Goddard dress is the stuff fairy tales are made of.

2. BUY NOW, SEE LATER

Image source: Vogue Runway

At Tommy Hilfiger, show-goers were allowed to get their hands on the collection before the show even started! Because who really likes waiting anyway?

1. JULIEN MACDONALD ​RAMPS UP THE SEXY

Image source: Vogue Runway

Every time I see Julien Maconald's designs I feel the need to be in an early 2000 Jennifer Lopez music video. Yes that ​sexy. 
 

The Baby-Face Stereotype

What is the baby-face stereotype and how does it give bloggers an advantage?

We all know someone who looks ridiculously (often suspiciously) good for their age. Grown men and women who look like they’ve found the map to the fountain of youth and proceeded to dive into it. Psychologists, quite simply refers to this youthful disposition as baby-facedness. Baby-faced people are those who have large, wide set eyes, high eyebrows, a large forehead and cheeks and a small chin. Research suggests that being blessed with a perpetual baby-face can benefit your life beyond saving money on expensive face creams with added youth-enhancing chemicals like Q10 (what even is that?).

What’s the first thing you think of when you see babies?

“Aww”, “how adorable” and “I want one!” are usually the spontaneous responses elicited from people when gushing over tiny toes and chubby cheeks. Even the baby-adverse among us are not exempt from our evolutionary disposition to nurture the infantile. But what happens when you come across a baby-faced adult? Whilst you’re unlikely to make silly faces and poke at their tummy’s you do make subconscious and positive inferences about them. Research has shown that baby-faced adults elicit stereotypically protective responses from those around them because people associate their youthful facial features with the naiveté, helplessness, honesty, and innocence of babies.

The effect of baby-facedness is so strong that it has even been proven to be a helpful defence tool in court. A study by Zebrowitz and McDonald found that as defendants increased in baby-facedness they were more likely to win their cases, even those involving deliberate and intentionally unlawful actions. The study also found that baby-faced plaintiffs were awarded higher monetary pay outs than those with more mature faces.

When it comes to fashion marketing, research suggests that baby-faced models, bloggers and brand ambassadors alike may have a slight advantage. Because of their innocent facial features, reviews conducted by baby-faced individuals are deemed to be more truthful suggesting that any positive reviews made by such people will be more successful. A report by Lidwell, Holden and Butler also argued that testimonial commercials in particular will benefit from featuring baby-faced models whose innocent, cherub-like faces make them appear more believable. The report also suggests that brands seeking influencers to create reviews on more serious products like medical procedures for example, should avoid those with high baby-facedness as they “have difficulty being taken seriously in situations where expertise or confrontation is required”. However, this seemingly negative judgement is not universal as a study by Zebrowitz and Franklin found that older adults believe baby-faced people to be more competent
​.
Do you think you have a baby face? Check out the slideshow below to discover some baby-faced celebrities and bloggers.

POWERMOUTH: NARS X Refinery29

Make up is increasingly being celebrated as an art form due to its transformative nature. A 2011 study by Procter & Gamble found that women wearing makeup products such as blusher and lipstick reportedly feel more confident and powerful.

Women’s empowerment was the central theme of last week’s Powermouth event; a female-led art exhibition and exclusive collaboration between the digital media behemoth Refinery29 and cosmetic giant NARS. Female artists including Shae De Tar and Daantje Bons provided stunning photography, light installations and sculptures surrounding themes of power, strength and self-expression. 
 

I love seeing a woman's entire mood transform just by applying her favourite lip colour. I don't believe in boring beauty - personality is the ultimate statement. It's all about creativity without limits; boldness will never go out of style. Empowerment and creativity is at the heart of everything we do at NARS, and we hope these ideas are embraced by women all over the world."

- François Nars, Founder and Creative Director of NARS Cosmetics

Me enjoying the video art 'Deep Soap' installation by Natalia Stuyk
In celebration of the launch of NARS’ Powermatte Lip Pigment NARS PRO Makeup Artists were on hand to provide lip make-overs throughout the day. For me, choosing a new shade of lipstick can be as stressful as when my nail technician tells me to ‘pick a colour’. So many choices, so many opportunities to get it wrong.

​Luckily, Powermouth made shade selection fun! We got to pick a lip shade from a hanging installation of swatches which we then brought to one of the MUAs who then expertly applied the corresponding Lip Pigment. 

 
NARS Powermatte Pigment Shades Left to right: GIVE IT UP, LIGHT MY FIRE, STARWOMAN, SLOW RIDE, AMERICAN WOMAN and WALK THIS WAY
My POWERMOUTH Polaroids wearing NARS Powermatte Pigment in STARWOMAN
​After consulting with my lovely MUA Anna, we agreed that my swatch was probably a little browner than I expected so she instead graced me with the fiery ‘Starwoman’. 
 
I was lucky enough to be able to swatch a few shades in the collection and I’m confident that the pretty pink GIVE IT UP pigment will be my next purchase. It’s rare to find a matte lipstick that is both long lasting (it took several scrubs to rid my arm of the swatches) without being too drying. After showing off my new lip look in front of the instant-photo camera, I got a chance to fully explore the exhibition.

​If I had to choose, my favourite pieces would have to be Natalia Stuyk’s hypnotic video art installation (a selfie-enthusiasts dream) and Vanessa Kisuule’s spoken word piece entitled A Personal Malleble Manifesto which includes 16 bold mantras that we should all say every morning whilst carefully applying our lip pigments - ready to take on the day. 

2.    Do not seek to be the best, seek to love it the most"...

4.  Humble yourself. Stop being such a fawning ardent member of the cult of you. When someone gets something you wanted for yourself spit out the glass shards of pride in your throat and be happy for them. They probably worked just as hard as you if not more so, your moment will come soon enough and with that a smattering of battered egos, no victory is wholly sweet."

- A Personal Malleble Manifesto by Vanessa Kisuule

Check out the full range of the NARS' new Powermatte Pigment here.

10 Things We Loved About New York Fashion Week

10. ​TEYANA TAYLOR’S SHOW STOPPING GCDS WALK 

She gave us Lil Kim circa 1997 and we are here for it

9. ​TOM FORD REMINDING US NOT TO SKIP LEG DAY

Image Source: Photo: Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv via Vogue Runway
Image Source: Photo: Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv via Vogue Runway

And also giving us more reason to add more pink to our wardrobe

8. RIHANNA CLOSING HER FENTY X PUMA SHOW ON THE BACK OF A MOTORCYCLE 

7. CHRISTIAN SIRIANO ADDING SMATTERINGS OF GLAMOUR TO GENDERLESS DESIGNS 

Image source: Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv via Vogue Runway

​6. ​PHILIPP PLEIN GIVING A LESSON ON HOW INCLUSIVE CASTING IS DONE

Dita Von Tease at Philipp Plein Image Source: Getty via Elle UK
Swae Lee at Philipp Plein . Image Source Edward James/ Indigital.tv via Vogue Runway
Adriana Lima at Philipp Plein . Image Source Edward James/ Indigital.tv via Vogue Runway

From Dita Von Teese to Rae Sremmurd to Adriana Lima, these are some #SquadGoals we can get on board with

5. BACK TO SIRIANO’S SHOW - THE VIDEO CLIP OF SNL STAR LESLIE JONES SCREAMING “WORK IT” AT THE MODELS WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF OUR WEEK. 

4. ​ALTHOUGH ALEXANDER WANG’S #WANGFEST GAVE US SERIOUS FOMO, JA RULE’S PERFORMANCE REMINDED US TO ADD MORE NOUGHTIES HIP HOP TO OUR MORNING COMMUTE PLAYLIST 

​“Baby, I’m not always there when you call but I’m always on time…”

​3.  CHROMAT’S PLUS-SIZED BEAUTIES 

Jordyn Woods for Chromat Image Source: Photo: Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv via Vogue Runway

Emme and Jordyn Woods both made their Fashion Week debut and boy, did they impress! 

​2. JEREMY SCOTT BEING JEREMY SCOTT

The fact that the designer never fails to shock with his outlandish designs is an achievement in itself 

​1. RAF SIMONS DRAWING INSPIRATION FROM CLASSIC AMERICAN HORROR MOVIES FOR CALVIN KLEIN

We think there’s some poignant message behind the whole ‘American Tragedy’ aesthetic but perhaps that’s a conversation for another day. 
 
What were some of your favourite moments?