Monday, 27 February 2017

Fashion & Film #10 ~ The Virgin Suicides...

Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides is completely captivating. Not only is the plot suspenseful and gripping, the cinematics and visuals are classic Coppola and as beautiful and enthralling as ever. The baby pinks and greens fading to darker greys and blue with the mood, the blonde main characters, the ethereal babe that is young kristen dunst, the clothes, the music, all add up to a 2000s daydream.

I think the beautiful of the fashion in The Virgin Suicides lies in it's subtlety. It's almost accidentally sexy as the girls show flashes of skin, a rebellion when living in such strict household. This context gives a whole new life to tight, strappy tops, revealed shoulders and school-girl skirts. It's almost lolita-esque but oblivious.

I love the floral dresses in the prom scene, the pattern and range of cuts is really reminiscent of some of the new in Topshop floaty dresses. As well as Lux's tight vest / flares combo, that's definitely a silhouette on the climb back into the mainstream market. But the look on a whole is so childish and dreamy that, when placed in the dark, eerie plot, only adds to how intriguing and mysterious the characters are. That kind of early noughties, sickly-sweet girly look is so disconnected, and that's what give it a life in the film.

To recreate this, I'd been going for blue jeans with a tight t-shirt combo, or for more day dreamy nostalgia I'd go for a pastel coloured, prairie style floaty dress or skirt. Something like you would've worn when you were little and wore nothing but your sister's hand-me-downs. Something your mum would've dressed you in, or worn herself in the 70s. That's the look. Dye your hair California blonde, wear no make-up except blush and forever look distance; and you're a Lisbon sister.

If you haven't seen The Virgin Suicides, go now and do so.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Things I Want...

My wardrobe is calling out for so many things. Sigh, too many nice pieces, too little money.

I really want a hat. I've seen so many beautiful pictures including either a baker boy cap or a beret lately that I need need need one. I love Debbie Harry's more tomboyish take on the Parisian classic so make it look less chic and more cool. But the Kate Moss shot is so effortless, I couldn't be more heart-eyed. I think I'll have to cave and invest in one...or both.

I've been after a good jumper dress for so long. I'm quite tall so finding dresses like that that are actually long enough and don't rise up too much when I lift my arms is the bane of my life. A dream outfit right now would be a black jumper dress, either knitted or sweatshirt material, with fishnet and either boots or trainers. It's such a simple, comfy piece but I love the shape and styling of them. Same with Linen dungarees, they look so soft and comfy, I imagine it's like wearing the most heavenly pyjamas. I'm really into pieces like that at the moment, that are lovely to wear as well as lovely to look at.

Talking of dungarees, ever since seeing this photo of Alexa Chung and an old photo of my mum, all I can think about is how much I want some white denim dungarees to wear with an oversized navy t-shirt. I think the white denim would look so good in the transition to spring, but would also be a nice change to my dark blues and black outfits. However, white will be a laundry nightmare.

Queen Chung has also resurrected my intense longing for a leopard print skirt. It's such an ironically, obnoxious print and I LOVE it. I think leopard print and graphic t-shirts are such a winning combo, as well as giving me total true romance nostalgia vibes. Extra points for a fluffy, textured material.

Lastly, I recently re-watched Leon The Professional for the 5 millionth time and concluded that it's time to bite the bullet and get myself an army surplus green bomber jacket. I hate the non-padded high street bombers though, I think the magic is in that puffy, oversized shape so a real army one is definitely the way to go. I think such a boy-ish jacket like that and the oversized silhouette could look so so cool with a girlier outfit, like over a playsuit, A-line skirt or maybe my culotte jumpsuit. So many outfit opportunities.

And now the small issue of my bank balance...

Friday, 10 February 2017

Kiloran ~ A Note On Issue #4...

If I don’t ramble on about it enough, in the summer of 2015, I started an online magazine called Kiloran. I set it up as a result of a lot of boredom. I was at a point where I felt like I was just waiting around for things to happen and opportunities to be handed to me, I’d always dreamt of editing a magazine but I was just waiting for it. Then I got bored of that and decided to start being proactive and do it, because even if I failed I could mark it down as a first attempt, and it might look good on a uni application (it did).

I think, in all honesty, I’m still in disbelief that it didn’t fail, and yeah it hasn’t ‘taken off’ and we’re not a huge operation but lately I’ve had to pinch myself a lot. Kiloran is a project that I’m completely in love with, which seems weird to say as its mine, but I often feel like even if it wasn’t I’d love it just as much, is that egocentric? I’m so proud of myself for building something like that, I built something I would love to have, I made it myself.

Here are some big moments that have happened recently for Kiloran-

  • ·         We’ve exceeded 100,000 page views. And that keeps going up and up as we now get around 2000 views per week. May seem small to some, everything to me.
  • ·         The magazine gets recognition and is supported by the band who’s song it’s named after. This week I published an interview with them on the Kiloran blog and proceeded to cry for about 2 hours just out of pure pride and excitement.
  • ·         Issue 4 is being released tomorrow. This thing I built has been going on for 4 issues, almost 2 years and people are still interested and excited about it.
  • ·         A piece I published on the site about female safety got over 10,000 views in 2 days and I still don’t know how.
  • ·         We re-branded and I feel like a new life has been breathed into the project that’s letting me think more about a future for it.

Before the release tomorrow, I wanted to just talk about it. I've never really given a proper commentary on the project or an issue before, but 4 issues in, I think it's time to!

A note on being a ‘girl boss’

I’ve blogged since I was around 13/14 and I’ve been writing since I can remember. But I stagnate so easily. I often find myself completely disillusioned with blogging which is probably evident in my absences on here, but honestly I find it quite isolating. You work with no one but yourself and often you get no acknowledgement that anyone is even paying attention, I struggle with that a lot. I need to be surrounded by creativity and creatives to feel completely enthralled by what I’m doing, so I always wanted a team operation. That’s one of the main reasons for the launch of Kiloran, I wanted a team and I wanted to create something that didn’t make me feel selfish or lonely. And now, Kiloran is a team of people that all completely inspire me. I'm constantly in awe of the work I'm set, and how supportive everyone is of ideas and each other's work.I couldn't ask for better.

For some, the thought of leading and organising a group of people, setting deadlines and stuff like that, seems like the most awful thing in the world, and at first it was. I was nervous to ask for things, but 4 issues in I feel like I’ve grown so much as an editor and a leader (also the ego boost of having ‘girl boss’ in my social media bios is my favourite thing ever.) Although Kiloran is super super chill, like you email me and I reply with “want to be added to the group chat?”, lately I’ve definitely started feeling like the ‘boss’ of something and this issue I really looked at the editing as my job. I gave this issue way more of my time, I pushed my limits with design and IT work, and challenged myself to learn more and do more myself. As a result of that and the help of our web designer Josh Verdon, we step into this issue with a re-branded site, a cohesive PDF issue and I think an all-round better flowing issue. And I'm so so glad I give it that time. One huge difference between blogging and a project like Kiloran, is that it's no longer just your work to do justice to. And I think issue 4, and the changes done to the site, gives full, proper justice to all the pieces in the issue. 

When I tell people about the project, a lot of people comment on the amount of responsibility and effort that must be to run it all, but honestly I love it. I love reading everything and sorting through all these incredible pieces that I’m privileged enough to share and give a platform to, and honestly I feel honoured that people chose to share their work with the project. Doing something you love should never feel like unnecessary or unwanted effort. Kiloran is  my favourite thing to do.

A note on issue 4

Picking a theme for the issue is the hardest thing ever as I try to give as little prompt as possible. When I started the mag I wanted it to be a free space for creatives, I knew I didn’t want to give deadlines, I just wanted to let people make whatever they wanted to or needed to. I think I struggled so much theming issue 4 as I loved looooooved issue 3 – body- so so much. The level of honesty in issue 3 completely shattered my heart and was easily my fave issue so far, so it’s been a lot of pressure trying to come up with something to top that. I played around with a lot of ideas, and eventually settled on the theme of ‘the past’ after the observation that all my work is written in past or future tense, never present. I wanted something much broader as a theme for this issue that could spill into every aspect of art and culture, and every possible aspect of life like relationships, politics, the self etc etc. But honestly, at the time the theme seemed almost irrelevant when I decided on it in November time. And that’s what’s made issue 4 so interesting to make, the closer to release we’ve got, the more relevant it’s become. And now the idea of ‘the past’, strangely, is almost confrontational in it's relevance in the context of Trump, Brexit, social ideas of issues like nationality, patriotism, immigration, woman’s rights etc. 2017 should be so progressive, we should be enjoying unrivalled freedoms that past generations dreamed off, fought for. But instead I feel like we’re stood on a boundary right between 1950 and some sort of scary, strange dystopian 1984-esqe future. And as much as I hate that and I’m scared for us all, I love how the issue has grown in light of that. Two days ago some protest photos were added last minute to the issue. Issue 4 is real time, and I love that. I love the contradiction of it all; how the past issue has ended up being the most present.

But also, issue 4 really taught me something about emotion, and has led me to the question – is experience or emotion ever really in the past? When given the brief – ‘write something about the past’ – so many people, including myself, dived deep into a lost love, an on-going question about identity, a trauma, a realisation. But they wrote with a conviction and a passion that can be nothing but burning and present. And even if the subject matter is in the past, can emotions ever really fade like that? Or are they just pushed behind other things, easily retrievable but less confrontational. Who knows.

Issue 3 was a comfort to me. It stood as a conformation that what I felt and experienced was not isolated, and I found solitude in the honest of others and how their inner-most thoughts and opinion on their body matched my own. Whereas issue 4 never granted me that. It has filled me full of questions; it has unsettled me with its realism, its presence. Issue 4 is a question mark, an ellipsis…

I hope you love it like I do.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

GOALS ~ A chat to Think Eden Media...

Several months ago my friend, and favourite creative, Lucas Jones got me to follow an instagram account, set up to see how fast a fake 'relationship goals' page could take off. It was an experiment, a set up, the start of a larger project by Think Eden Media, a multi-platform creative think tank, set up by Lucas, Sorcha Garavan, Shean Williams, Chris Gray, Sidney Turner.

Lucas finally revealed to me a couple weeks back that the instagram page belonged to the fictional characters in the debut web series on Think Eden, titled 'goals'. I was blessed enough to be able to see the first episode and oh my god. I'm so excited and captivated by these characters. The episode was full of suspense and question marks about who these people are and what's underlying in their love, while also keeping the glamour and idealism of the recognisable #instacouple.

After the release of the trailer, I chatted to Lucas about Goals, love, social media and media in general...

Tell me a bit about how the series came out? Where did the idea come from?

‘GOALS’ came about purely on the back of a conversation with one of my creative partners/dearest friend Sorcha Garavan. We were having coffee, talking about how mad it is that a lot of people of our generation are essentially living double lives; The virtual, online avatar version of you, showcasing the highlights vs. the real, normal human being version of you, who has challenges and problems and insecurities. Not excluding ourselves from that realisation, we felt drawn to create something that explored that dichotomy. How even though many of us are hyper-aware of the fact that social media exacerbates those insecurities, we still open and close Instagram a hundred million times a day. After we’d drafted a couple of episodes, we took it to our other creative partner/spiritual guide/third Think Eden family member, Shean Williams, and started putting plans into action to make it a reality.

Do you think social media and the romanticising of ‘#relationshipgoals’, or really just peoples general lives, is a lot more dangerous than it seems on the surface? Or is it villainised a bit?

I think the distorted perception of other people’s lives and the constant, instantaneous access to seeing the carefully edited bits of someone’s day-to-day life can definitely have a negative effect on people. Especially if you’re at an age where you’re still trying to figure out who you are. I think we all subconsciously compare ourselves to other people on some level. It’s kind of human nature, it’s how you have a point of reference for what is considered ‘normal’. And if you constantly see photos of people who look a certain way, appearing to be ‘living the dream’ with thousands of likes, you’re bound to start feeling a little inadequate within yourself or your relationship, when in reality you’re absolutely perfectly fine. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the amount young people suffering with depression and anxiety has risen dramatically alongside the rise in social media popularity. Having said that, I don’t think the people who post said ‘perfect’ photos are doing any wrong necessarily. Everybody wants to be liked and to feel good about their appearance. I just think there is a balance to be maintained with how seriously social media should be taken.

How do you feel about TV as a medium in comparison to film?

With the success of Netflix and online streaming, it’s quite literally the golden age of Television. The Netflix original ‘The Crown’ had a budget of £100 million for ten episodes. - £100 million!! - And it makes sense. A TV series gives the audience more time to fall in love with the characters and flesh out each and every little subplot. There’s so much room for nuance in TV these days; Look at Breaking Bad for example. Personally I prefer film. The cinema is my favourite place in the world. It feels like visiting another universe for a while. But I definitely understand why a lot of people will binge watch an entire series. Years worth of episodes right there in your pocket, it’s incredible.

Even from just watching the trailer and first episode, I’m so invested in these characters. Was it difficult to write captivating yet relatable characters, or did that just kind of happen?

Firstly, thank you for the kind words. And to be honest, I don’t think it’s ever been too difficult for us to write for any of the characters because we understand them so deeply. I mean, they’re not too far removed from ourselves and our friends (If not a little more extreme). Our main focus has always just been honesty. Just to present Art and Tess (the lead characters) as truthfully as we can and hope that, given the current zeitgeist, people will understand.

How do you feel about the presentation of love on social media?

There’s been some major, MAJOR, benefits of social media in terms of the presentation of what ‘love’ means. The platform and connectivity that social media has provided for the LGBT community being possibly the most beautiful of all things. But then there is a side to social media that seems to glorify the superficial aspects of a relationship, such as showcasing Valentines Day gifts or posting photos of your partner being the means to validate your love. That kind of thing. It’s a tough one. I think it goes back to maintaining balance in the understanding of what really matters and what doesn’t.

What made you decide to start Think Eden Media?

Think Eden Media was born very simply from conversations starting with ‘I had this idea for a thing..’ - After a while, having realised that we’ve been blessed to be surrounded by some of the most talented people I’ve ever met, we collectively came to the conclusion of ‘Let’s just make that thing? And make it the way we want to make it.’ And so we have and will continue to do so.

Quick shout out; Our team is made up of Sorcha Garavan, Shean Williams, Chris Gray, Sidney Turner and myself.

What would you see as relationship ‘goals’? What is your idea of the ideal love?

For me, I think the ideal love is very simply a relationship built on honesty, trust and respect for one another.  If you have that down, there’s only really room for growth between the two of you.. That’s goals. And I suppose also to super fancy the other person.

What do you think is the most romantic story in the world? And what story do you think is over romanticised?

In film, I think the relationship between David and Sofia in Vanilla Sky is the most romantic story ever. They only properly meet once for a few hours, they never sleep together and they only kiss once, yet they both know that they’ll never know a love so real ever again. Ohhhhh, it’s beautiful and tragic.

Most over romanticised is that couple from 50 Shades of Gray; Like, in the film (which I unfortunately saw) she’s literally the victim of an emotionally and physically abusive relationship. He’s a stalker, he manipulates her into all sorts of awful things. I felt a bit sick watching that; I don’t understand it at all.

What do you think is the future of TV and films? Do you think youtube/social media/the internet is really changing the face of art? And is that necessarily a negative thing?

I’m excited about it. Film/TV and visual storytelling will live forever. It’s the most human thing. We need it. I just hope that cinemas don’t ever become extinct in place of streaming. I don’t think they will, it’s still a pretty special place for most people. And the internet has definitely changed the face of art but only in how it’s consumed; it’s instant, it’s easier, anyone with a Smartphone can create something artistic if they want - Instagram is kind of an art platform in a lot of ways - but art itself will never change. Art is art. It just evolves.

What is it about films/moving pictures that you love?

It’s the fact that you can live so many lives within your own life through watching films. We all put ourselves in the shoes of the character experiencing the story. When you watch a Marvel film, you’re a superhero for two and a half hours. When you watch a beautiful love story, you’re in love and then heartbroken over people who have never even existed. It’s that powerful. (I say ‘you’, you guys do that too right? It’s not just me, right? RIGHT?!’

Why this story? Why these characters? Why do you think this issue is important now?

Because social media has revolutionised the way we connect with each other on a day to day basis and created a platform for every voice to be heard, and every image to be shared. But the underlying issues that come with the ability to mould ourselves into any image we like and present our lives as a source of entertainment for the rest of the world, for some, go hand in hand with the development of self-disassociation. A quick scroll through Instagram or Tumblr gives a clear indication into the mind set of how a lot of us fee Tumblr especially; Romanticised photos of self-harm, macabre images glamorising suicide, celebrity obsessed hysteria, and the 4th most popular trend on Tumblr- ‘Love’. There is an undeniable sense of longing and loneliness surrounding certain corners of the internet, and in a world where being a ‘YouTuber’ or being ‘Instagram famous’ is a viable career option, we have to ask ourselves, why does it all seem so attractive? What are we trying to find? What are trying to escape from?


Episode 1 of GOALS is released on March 1st, be ready.

Find Think Eden Media-
  • Twitter - @thinkedenmedia
  • Youtube - @thinkedenmedia