Snogging, Sequins & Sweat: Welcome To Ashish’s All-Night Rave
Ashish’s London Fashion Week shows are always a highlight on the schedule, not only for his signature sequin-soaked pieces, but thanks to his ability to transform a catwalk and transport his audience to wherever his head is at that season, be it a midnight market or dreamlike nightscape.
5 Things To Know About Riccardo Tisci's Debut Burberry Collection
On Monday evening, Riccardo Tisci unveiled his mammoth first collection as chief creative officer at Burberry. British Vogue‘s executive fashion news editor, Olivia Singer, summarises the key things to know about his debut collection, Kingdom.
Christopher Kane Explores Sex in Nature
There is no other designer in the UK who can unsettle and provoke the way Kane does. His latest, creepily erotic collection was no different.
The Best Dressed Stars On The 2018 Emmys Red Carpet
It’s not quite officially awards season yet (and thank god, because we could not handle that coinciding with Fashion Month), but the Emmys act as sort of a teaser for the real thing. In that sense, stars don’t necessarily bring out their most show-stopping dresses, but there were still some noteworthy looks — many of them from our (and probably your) absolute favourite TV stars — that hint at what’s to come on the red carpet this winter.
8 Hits and 17 Misses From New York Fashion Week Spring 2019
Despite the rain, The Big Apple was a hub of activity during New York Fashion Week Spring 2019. Marc Jacobs brought the week to a close last night and not even his hour-late show detracted from his brilliant collection.
All The Celebrities Spotted So Far At London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week’s spring summer 2019 shows are underway, which means one thing: the captial is brimming with celebrities! From the front row to the parties, and of course the after parties, LFW is a veritable hive of famous people rubbing shoulders. But, who caught the eye of the Grazia editors, and most importantly what were they wearing?
If you ask anyone in fashion ‘Who is Fashion Week for?’ they’ll give you the same two-word answer: ‘The Buyers’ and to some extent that is true. However, with each season as Fashion Week becomes more and more consumer facing, with the advent of see now buy now, live posting and live streaming we’re all being roped into the weird and wonderful bi-annual festivities. Like with anything that we’re intensely exposed to there’s a subsequent psychological impact and we’d be silly to think that the current Spring 2019 shows are not affecting us even in some implicit way.
Michael Kors, Photo By: Sonny Vandevelde / Indigital.tv
Tome, Image Source: Vogue Runway
Brandon Maxwell, Photo By: Monica Feudi / Indigital.tv
So far, with New York Fashion Week wrapping up and London Fashion Week being underway we’ve seen the emergence of some interesting trends including; Printed Headscarves courtesy of Michael Kors, Laquan Smith and Kate Spade; Tie-Dye showcased by Prabal Gutung, Tome and Eckhaus Latta as well as statement Canary Yellow pieces as seen in the Brandon Maxwell, Oscar de la Renta and Pyer Moss shows.
Making A Statement
Speaking of Pyer Moss, the fresh-faced founder Kerby Jean-Raymond decided to make a statement at his show by creating a $125 sweater branded with the demand ‘Stop calling 911 on the culture’. Now this is by no means the first time we’ve seen the runway become a political stage, even for Jean-Raymond who intertwined Fashion with Activism for his Spring 2016 Menswear though the medium videos, music and posters with quotes from Black Lives Matter activist MarShawn McCarrel.
What this is, is the first time we’ve seen a direct call to action against modern instances of violence against ethnic minorities – in particular Black people, in the form of hoax and extraneous calls to the authorities. Despite there being many quibbles about the wording of Jean-Raymond’s slogan tee as well as the associated price tag one thing that can’t be denied is that a standpoint was made, and a message that often gets ignored by mainstream media was delivered on a global stage.
The Veil of Racism
Slogan tees are just one of the many ways that brands have chosen to deliver messages about the current state of race relations, yet one of the most visible ways of delivering this message is through a designer’s choice of models. Whilst you may be thinking that model selection is essentially ‘not that deep’ the representation or lack thereof of a particular sub-group on a mass platform like fashion week has a strong impact on said individuals. In the 1903 book ‘The Soul of Black Folk’, W.E.B. Du Bois discusses “the veil of racism” and amongst many things, the veil is symbolic of the way Black people are prevented from seeing themselves as they really are, outside of the negative vision of Blackness created by racism and exclusion. This theory is backed up by results from Implicit Association Tests which reveal that black people are more likely to associate fellow Black people with negative and unfavourable characteristics. So, why do these results occur and what does this all have to do with fashion? Well according to researchers, witnessing the continued underrepresentation of one’s ethic group causes group members to feel devalued within society and in turn, can negatively impact upon their self-worth. This is why representation on mainstream platforms like the New York, London, Paris and Milan runways is so important as seeing ethnic minority individuals hailed as symbols of prominence and beauty will serve to strengthen the self-image of all ethnic minorities.
It’s too soon for stats for Spring 2019 but if last season’s diversity report is anything to go by then the future is looking bright. The Fashion Spot’s statistics indicated that the Fall 2018 shows were the most diverse to date. In New York 37.3 percent of models were non-white. In London, 30.03 per cent of models at London Fashion week were non-white, a 3.6 per cent increase from the season prior with similar increases being reported at both Paris and Milan.
Naomi Chin Wing
According to psychologists Taylor and Lee, “examining how minority groups are portrayed in media can provide information of how a minority group is viewed by society at large”. The impact of fashion is often downplayed but if the research is anything to go by the more we become witness to positive representations of minorities through the likes of models like Slick Woods, Naomi Chin Wing, Duckie Thot and Adut Akech the closer we can get to lifting the veil of racism and seeing not only ourselves but each other in a better light.
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The Fashion Industry Is One of the Biggest Supporters of Modern Slavery Across the Globe
For a few years, the idea that the fashion industry was the world’s second-most polluting industry circulated constantly, repeated in endless articles and sustainability summits. While that fact has turned out to be impossible to prove, a new report suggests one that’s just as dark: The fashion supply chain funnels more money toward modern slavery than any other industry besides tech.
How Do You Really Measure The Success Of A Fashion Degree?
Every year Central Saint Martins opens its doors to the public for its degree show. The historic institution is renowned for having been the platform for trailblazing alumni including Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Stella McCartney and Christopher Kane. But as with all good things, it comes at a price.
Is Posting Selfies Motivated by Narcissism?
Selfies (photographs one takes of oneself at arm’s length, usually with a smartphone) seem to be everywhere. We see people snapping photos of themselves while out on the town, and we see our friends posting their selfies on social media. Given that sharing selfies literally involves turning the camera on oneself, many people have wondered if taking selfies is narcissistic.
4-Day Work Weeks Are The Future & Here’s The Proof
Everyone knows the dangers of overwork – stress, mental ill health, obesity, heart attack, a sleep deficit that carries its own associated health risks, to name a few – but often it’s unavoidable. Tech has led to an ‘always on’ work culture and many companies still value being physically present at the office ahead of productivity.
Zandra Rhodes Talks Diversity, Social Media And Shoes
It’s so funny,” Zandra Rhodes tells Vogue of how she ended up in Kurt Geiger’s autumn/winter 2018 campaign. “They were my neighbours for almost 20 years!” The brand’s factory, it transpires, was situated next to the Fashion Textile Museum, which Rhodes founded, from 2000 to 2011. The accessories giant upscaled to larger premises in Clerkenwell three years ago, but Rhodes is still fond of its footwear.
These Are The 3 Bags To Invest In For AW18, According To The Net-A-Porter Gang
There are the timeless designer handbags that will always be worth investing in, ie, your Chanel boy bags, Chloe Nile cross bodys or even your Loewe puzzle bags. Then there are the classics in the making, the niche designer brands that you might not have heard of yet but are about to serve up the next IT bag.
‘Though designers are weighted to dictate these rules, Shakaila Forbes-Bell, Fashion Psychologist, explains, ‘Fashion rules are no different from social norms – unwritten rules about how we think and behave and dress. We follow fashion rules because they provide a guideline for what we should and shouldn’t wear in order to fit into certain social groups, which in turn fosters healthy relationships. We also form fashion rules because the influential fashion publications who dispense these rules act as a type of authority figure. In general, humans are socialised to obey authority figures.’ She uses the miniskirt as an example, which was launched as a symbol of women’s emancipation but as Shakaila says, ‘has turned into a factor of the submission of women to a male aesthetic, which causes women to generally shy away from the garment.’
But, where does this male gaze stem from? Shakaila is convinced it’s learned behaviour at play. ‘Evolutionary psychology states that a pronounced cleavage signals high fertility levels in females which peaks males interest in their quest to find ‘the best’ mate. That’s why low-cut tops draw more attention than say crop tops or booty shorts.’
I’ve developed many bad habits over the years. I cannot start eating my dinner unless I’ve found a sufficiently entertaining show to watch. I haven’t gone to bed at a decent hour in years and I’ve been known to fall asleep with a slab of make-up on. But one thing that I share with 20-30% of the population is my nail-biting obsession. I’ve had short and stubby nails for as long as I can remember. Whilst I’ve always admired the long and dainty nails of my mother and friends I never understood how they could just …let them grow.
Nail-Biting or Onychophagia is a type of Body Focused Repetitive Disorder. These types of disorders are distantly related to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and can be equally difficult to quit as sufferers often accept their habit and resolve that they are too weak willed to quit. Like many nail biters, I’m aware of the disgusting consequence of my habit and its subsequent impact on my physical health but alas I still persist, often subconsciously.
In an attempt to get a better understanding of my unfashionable affliction I looked deeper into the psychological causes of Onychophagia. Greek philosopher Theophrastus (c. 371 – c. 287 BC) considered the appearance of fingernails to be pivotal in the characterisation of people. Individuals possessing un-manicured nails were considered to be lackadaisical. Fast forward 2000 years later to early psychoanalytic scholars such as Freud who regarded nail-biting as a return to the oral stage of development, an aggressive motivation represented by biting and the desire for the breast represented by putting things in one’s mouth. Well.
Luckily for me, research has developed since then and psychologists now believe that nail-biting occurs for less ‘Electra Complex’ based reasons. A 2006 study by Williams, Rose and Chisholm investigating nail-biting in young adults found that the habit occurs as a result of boredom or stress suggesting that negative and unstimulating environments are a nail-biters worst nightmare. A commonly held belief is that nail-biting is a manifestation of anxiety. However, research investigating Onychophagia in children were unable to find sufficient evidence to suggest that nail-biters are any more anxious than those who do not partake. More recently, psychologists have linked nail-biting to perfectionism.
Considering that in their natural habitat my jagged and stubby nails don’t resemble anything close to perfection I found this result to rather surprising. However, research has found that people who engage in Body Focused Repetitive Behaviours like nail-biting “demonstrate maladaptive planning styles characterized by high standards and unwillingness to relax, two inherent traits in perfectionists.” Similarly, when surveying Nail-Biters, results also found that when compared to non-biters, biters have a tendency to over-plan, overwork themselves, become easily frustrated without high-levels of activity and exhibit many more traits possessed by Organizational Perfectionists.
So now I’ve figured out how I bite my nails and have resolved that I’m determined to quit, I need to consider how I’m going to fix the issue. Avoiding boredom and unstimulating environments at all costs whilst ideal, let’s face it, is pretty unrealistic. Studies have found that nail-biting occurs least often when people are reprimanded for their behaviour. As much as I’m sure my mother would relish the opportunity to give me a good telling off every time my hand ascends towards my face that won’t work because, jobs. Recent intervention research has concentrated on habit reversal, which focuses on awareness training and relaxation. However, Adesso and Norberg (2001) conclude that the long-term effects of these methods are not as impressive as the initial results.
One thing I’ve noticed is that I am more reluctant to give into temptation when my nails are done. Like most nail-biters it’s not uncommon to experience self-consciousness when visiting nail salons as technicians have been reported as going so far as to refuse serving clientele with botch nails at all. To make things easier, we’ve made a list of the highest rated items you’ll need to give your nails first class treatment as well as a break from your gnashing teeth, all from the comfort of your home.
Do you have any other tricks to battle Onychophagia? Sound off in the comments below!
‘Fashion psychologist and founder of The Psychology of Fashion blog, Shakaila Forbes-Bell, believes that the core of this newfound male behaviour is the “evolutionary impulse to mate.” She argues that buying and showing off expensive goods, otherwise known as ‘peacocking’, is simply done to impress others. “In nature, even though the male peacock is attracting potential predators by flashing his brightly coloured tail, the increased possibility of attracting a potential suitor makes it all worth the risk,” she says. “It’s the same for men. In this competitive era of dating, even if spending a fortune on clothes and trainers may do serious damage to the bank account, the ability to say ‘hey, I’m so resourceful that I can almost throw money away’ is a serious motivational factor when it comes to men’s spending habits.”’
Stop Telling Us We Are Beautiful
Researchers have suggested that instead of making a woman feel better about how she looks, reading that “You are beautiful” may instead send her down the road to mentally reviewing everything she finds non-beautiful about herself. [Psychology Today]
Dua Lipa Announces New Fashion Collection
However, not everyone is pleased with what may not be an entirely inclusive collection. Although Dua tweeted that she wants the clothes to be “universal and accessible for everyone,” it turns out that they’ll only be available in up to a UK size 16. [Teen Vogue]
Victoria's Secret has a plan to revamp its image for younger women
Victoria’s Secret is trying to attract younger women and win back former customers by focusing on core categories, such as apparel and lingerie. Jan Singer, CEO of Victoria’s Secret Lingerie said the company is doing this by understanding the needs of its clients. “It’s not a one size fits all,” [CNBC]
Tess Holliday Slams Photoshop App That Slimmed Down Her Body
Model Tess Holliday is speaking out after a photoshop app called PIP CAM used her image without permission. And if that’s not bad enough, the purpose of using said image was to show how the app can slim down people’s bodies. [ELLE]
Theresa May gets three times as many comments on her appearance as Corbyn
New research shows that part of the problem for female politicians is that social media puts public figures in virtual stocks but offers a safe haven for the cowards who attack them [GQ]
Remember the Kitri dress with a 700 people waiting list? It’s back in stock
You know the KITRI dress that had its own 700-people strong waiting list before even launching after being spotted on Charlotte Groeneveld aka Fashion Guitar and other fashion influencers? The one that sold out in a matter of hours? Well good news, it will be back in stock today at 12.30pm! Just in time for a bit of pre-bank holiday shopping. Happy days. [Marie Claire]
At its core, the phenomenon behind consumer culture is a form of envy. As our desire for newness intensifies, how can we keep our Green-Eyed-Monsters in check whilst making sure we stay out of the red and get into the black?
Of all the mythical creatures that we’re socialised to be fearful of, whether it be ghosts, goblins or various incarnations of the bogey-man, there is only one that possess the power to cause us actual harm. Despite this threat we accept this creature, become accustom to his reoccurring nature, often failing to tackle his looming presence. The creature I’m referring to is the Green-Eyed Monster, the cretin that appears any time your neighbour gets a new car or when you see someone in a pair of shoes miles out of your budget. He sloths around, feeding eagerly off your envy.
Early Greek philosophers believed envy to be ‘pain experienced on account of another’s good fortune’ and modern-day scientists have confirmed the manifestation of this pain. The anterior cingulate cortex is one of the brain areas associated with pain and studies have shown that this same area is activated whilst we’re experiencing envy (Takahashi, 2009). Whilst we may not be able to see the scars formed at the hands of the Green-Eyed Monster, envy upsets our psychological balance and creates a very real experience of social pain.
Despite its harmful consequence, many have argued that envy is not always all that bad. Psychologist, Niels van de Ven has articulated two types of envy. ‘Malicious Envy’ concerns only negative outcomes such as a loss in motivation and feeling that the envied target is undeserving of their good fortune, resulting in you wishing them ill will. On the other side of the spectrum is ‘Benign Envy’, a motivational type of envy that can cause people to attempt to reduce the gap that exists between them and the envied target. These days, it is often the case that we never even meet our envied targets in real life but instead, fawn over their ‘Insta-Perfect’ lifestyle through a screen.
The theory of Social Comparison suggests that we measure our self-worth based on how we stack up to others. Our Green-Eyed Monster never goes hungry as our obsession with social media means that we’re confronted daily with the highlight reel of our ‘friends’ lives, their perfect bodies, their amazing hair and their expensive outfits, providing a hearty blend of envy and self-loathing – his favourite meal. The culture of social media coupled with the culture of consumerism “creates a void in us, making us feel that we are ‘less than’ or ‘not as whole’ if we don’t have the latest.” With every post we publish, our desire to control the impressions of others increases.
Our presentation, which in large part concerns our clothing, is also driven by a desire to create an image that is consistent with our personal identity. In a time when it’s possible to monetise your online identity, we often try to brand ourselves in a similar way to celebrities; by capturing images of ourselves dining at exclusive restaurants, wearing luxury brands and never wearing the same outfit twice (God Forbid!). In return, we build our social currency in the form of likes and followers, resulting in dopamine fuelled high. But what happens when our actual currency pales in comparison to our social currency? What are you supposed to do when likes aren’t covering the bills, when the thirst for the latest fashions cannot be quenched, when Instagram shows that we’ve already worn this outfit 3 weeks ago and the belly of our Green-Eyed Monster is fit to burst?
One brand attempting to simultaneously circumvent this social crisis and stretch our paycheques is ‘Rent the Runway’. Founded in 2008 by Jennifer Fleiss and CEO Jennifer Hyman, Rent the Runway is an online platform that allows its users to rent an extensive collection of designer clothing and accessories at a starting price of just £67($89) per month. A clear pattern of Millennials shunning ownership in general has long been documented. We’re taking Ubers instead of buying cars and opting for landlords instead of mortgages so sharing ownership of our wardrobes is a pretty logical extension of our non-committal nature. When a pair of Marni sunglasses can cost up to £350, the option to enjoy them, even for a short while, at a fraction of the cost is certainly intriguing.
Despite the rise of so-called ‘shopaholics’ we are hard wired to be thrifty. Research has shown that for many consumers, the region of the brain that is activated when we smell or see something repulsive or are anticipating a painful shock is also activated when witnessing a price that seems too high. Although brands like Rent the Runway and Girl Meets Dress market themselves as a solution to the pain experienced when we overspend they gain their intrigue by being an antidote to the pain experienced by Benign Envy. In an interview with Forbes, Hyman acknowledges the pressure that this new era of social media places on Millennials, “now you can’t repeat outfits because your friends have seen that outfit on social media. As ridiculous as that sounds, that is what drives our business.” Despite the growing popularity of wardrobe rentals, not everyone is as willing to ease their Instagram agony.
A Neilson study polled more than 30,000 people in 60 countries, found that Brits were more reluctant than other nations to get on board. In the UK, 37% were willing to embrace collaborative consumption versus 54% of Europeans and 68% of people globally. An unsurprising finding considering the fact that British consumers are generally more comfortable splashing the cash, even outspending their fashionable French neighbours.
Although experts advise that periodically disconnecting from social media can be a good way to starve your GEM, Benign Envy is very much a part of our 21st century lived experience both on and offline. Renting a look for your latest post or for a special occasion can be an economically friendly way to both keep your GEM in check and portray the best version of yourself or as the kids would say, ‘ball on a budget’.
When I started working on this piece I would have never, not in my wildest dreams, expected the subject to hit so close to home. Several weeks later and whilst I meander from day to day I remain stuck in shock at the sudden loss of my big sister. At this point in time I can only describe my grief as contradictory. I haven’t hit the stages of bereavement that traditional Psychology teaches in a neat and predictable fashion. Rather, I float between misery and acceptance, anger and denial. I have made countless bargains with the universe in a desperate effort to turn back time while I hinge on the pendulum that is my life, where everything now exists either before or after that tragic day.
One thing I know for sure is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to dealing with loss. Whilst my mother has relied on her faith to see her through each day, I have noticed a shift in my ability to cope when I’m in the presence of my sister’s belongings. A love of fashion was one of the countless subjects we bonded over. As with most sibling relationships the importance of ownership of our treasured pieces varied from day to day. Her old jumpsuit slowly became our jumpsuit, my new top instantly became hers upon the joint conclusion that she looked better in it. On the flip side, there were many fights involving some variation of ‘what’s mine is mine and don’t even think about asking to borrow it!’. From a cognitive standpoint, studies have shown that brain areas such as the medial prefrontal cortex (MPC) which are active when we’re thinking about ourselves are also active when ‘we create associations between external things and ourselves through ownership’ (Kim & Johnson, 2010). That is to suggest that our belongings are an extension of ourselves that conjure up countless narratives of both our singular and shared identities.
Some researchers argue that the extent to which we see our possessions as an extension of ourselves or others depends on our confidence levels. In a study where participants were given false feedback on a personality questionnaire which made it seem that they were not particularly self-aware, they responded by rating their belongings as particularly self-expressive – as saying something about who they are (Jarrett, 2013). It is fair to say that in this moment in time my confidence has been significantly reduced. My belief system and understanding of my place in the world has been shaken and only in clinging to tangible items, specifically those that she has left behind, reminds me that she is still a very huge part of who I am and that she will always be with me.
When it comes to a lost loved one’s possessions, the importance of ornamentation and jewellery in the grieving process spans across all human cultures over many decades. For example, in the Victorian era, so-called ‘mourning jewellery’ was a popular trend of the time, whereby accessories were fashioned out of the tresses of the deceased. In Buddhism, the ashes of accomplished Buddhist teachers are mixed with clay are made into devotional images that link the living and the dead (Goss and Klass, 1997). Whilst trinkets featuring coils and curls can still be found today, a fashionable take on the Buddhist tradition has recently grown in popularity in the form of memorial jewellery.
One company that is paving the way in memorial jewellery is Heart In Diamond. Serving many countries worldwide including the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, China and more, the diamond specialists serve to propel the healing power of jewellery one step further by creating beautiful bespoke diamonds in over 500 styles featuring the ashes of your deceased loved one.
Volkan (1981) suggests that ‘linking objects’ (actual material objects of the dead) function to maintain a bridge with the lost person. Unsurprisingly, Heart In Diamond’s testimonials reveal a deep sense of comfort clients feel about possessing a very physical and tangible reminder of their loved ones that they can carry with them at all times.
“To sympathize with someone is to agree with a feeling or a sentiment but to empathize with someone is to understand and be in tune with their feelings. Having been through this process as well as supported friends that have too I hope that I can share that experience with other families in an empathetic way. My diamond symbolizes the loss of my father. The combination of his ashes and my hair has now unified us forever and was a poignant journey for me to take. The Orange-Yellow Princess cut diamond is a representation of Japan and its reputation as the land of the rising sun and this is where he saw his final sunset. – Claire, USA, Heart In Diamond Client”
Linking objects like memorial jewellery can provide a way to maintain contact with the dead and ‘allow the mourner to externalize elements of the self and internalize elements of the other’ (Volkan, 1981). They serve a bridging function as symbolic representations of the person’s experiences with the loved one’s soothing and comfort.
When we lose a loved one the financial burden is often one of the most psychological draining and unexpected parts of the bereavement process. When speaking to David Miller, Heart In Diamond’s content director I found out that the mounting costs of burials is one of many reasons people are seeking their services. “Cremation is cheaper than a burial, sometimes up to 70% less (we actually wrote an article on this). Cremation enables you to make memorialization objects such as cremation diamonds. If you don’t burry the cremated ashes, cremation also saves land.”
The environmental benefits of cremation jewellery doesn’t stop there. “The diamonds are absolutely conflict free because they are directly sent to us, no mines are involved”
“Step 1: After we have received the sample, it undergoes the process of analysis. The purpose of the analysis is to define the chemical composition and extract the perfect amount of carbon out of the material. Our laboratory specialists need about 3.5 oz of ashes or 0.07 oz of hair.
Step 2: the carbon is added to the diamond growing foundation, out of which a unique crystalline matrix will grow creating a personal diamond.
Step 3: The mixture is placed in the core of the HPHT where diamond-growing conditions from the earth’s crust are simulated with temperatures of over 2000℃
Step 4: Raw diamond will be polished and cut according to client’s specifications
About our personal service: if you live in one of the regions we have a representative in, we can come to your house to take your order and help decide. We hand deliver the memorial diamonds to you”
For those who feel ready, memorial jewellery can be a wonderful way to feel close to a loved one again. At such a difficult time anything at all that brings a measure of comfort is highly valuable.
Clothes and accessories have many powers beyond their aesthetic appeal. They can make a statement, reveal something about your identity and as we’ve seen with memorial jewellery, they can also provide comfort and a sense of peace, some shelter from the powerful negative emotions that can surround the death of someone we were close to.
To find out more about memorial jewellery and Heart In Diamond visit their website here.
For bereavement support contact Cruse Bereavement Care here.