I feel like we’ve reached the point in our modern day society where fashion should have no gender, where everyone and anyone should wear whatever they like without feeling shameful about it. A few months ago I felt the need to put this concept of abolishing gender stereotypes and breaking the boundaries in fashion into practice by creating a fashion project.
My passion is fashion that tells a story, communicates an important message and has an impact, and I wanted to bring this idea to life through my own creativity.
Now gender plays a big part in the world of fashion. I’m sure you’d agree with me if I said that a man wearing lace and an evening dress would be a bit weird and women sporting knee length gym shorts or a tuxedo would seem “too masculine”, but what I want to ask you is why is that? Why do we think that those clothes are only suitable for a specific gender? The answer is, because that’s what we’re told for some strange reason. It’s ridiculous right? I’m glad you agree 👍 Seriously though, in terms of origin of this “gendered fashion”, back in the day in the 1600s men wore lace, and in the 1800s women wore suits! I mean, the suits were with a skirt, but let’s just ignore that.
A particular fabric that is known to be feminine is lace. And ladies, get ready to be mad at society for what I’m about to say: lace is delicate and fragile, so are women. Lace is easy to break, so are women. Men don’t wear lace therefore men are strong, physically and mentally, unlike women. That’s essentially the message that lace being a lady’s fabric brings across. Awful right? I got so mad when I realised that. And, looking at typical masculine fabrics such as Harris tweed and leather, I learnt this: leather and tweed are strong, tough, and hard wearing, men are strong physically and mentally. Women don’t (typically) wear tweed or leather because women are not fit for the jobs where strong/tough fabrics are needed to be worn. Again, awful isn’t it! Its communicating this idea of all women are delicate and fragile and all men are strong, when actually, we’re all fragile, and some women are stronger than some men! We are all completely different and your gender doesn’t tell you how strong or weak you are or what you should wear and how you should look.
So here’s what I did about it.
I was like “right, this is not okay. I’m gonna make a no gender garment that uses both masculine and feminine patterns and fabrics and show people that you can wear whatever you want to and shouldn’t be afraid to express yourself” and that’s what I did! I created this unisex/no gender jacket with stereotypical feminine and masculine features to represent the two traditions colliding, forming the ultimate no gender garment, a complete slap in the face to society. I used a drawing of lace for my print pattern and used strong, “manly” colours together with the lace pattern to bring the typical man and woman features together. My fabric choices were dark denim, a stiff, hardwearing fabric, and polyester satin, a floaty, feminine fabric, as they contradict each other.
While exploring various techniques that I could use I looked at using feminine garment features such as frills and smocking and applied those techniques to heavily structured or masculine fabrics such as a dark denim and black leather. This mix of the usual man and woman-like fashion features on a unisex garment communicates that fashion should no longer be gender specific.
I was highly inspired by social influencers and people in the fashion industry (brands and models) who are already breaking the rules of gender, for example male makeup artists such as James Charles and Manny Gutierrez who both have huge social media followings and have collaborated with makeup brands showing young people, particularly males, that makeup is for anyone, the first female menswear model Casey Legler, and thecorner.com who now have a no gender premium brand on their website. I wanted to do something that hadn’t been done before and create a completely unique garment that is nothing like I have ever seen before and communicates mine and other people’s views on gendered fashion.
- Heat press printed satin – To create this print I painted up many pieces of paper with disperse dye in my chosen colours and printed them onto photocopies of my own lace drawing before heat press printing those onto the satin. I also printed the negative in some areas to prevent the pattern from being too repetitive.
- Leather frills in the shoulder seams
- Smocked denim – To add texture and a slight 3D effect I smocked a piece of denim in a geometric pattern. Smocking has been one of my favourite techniques to do as although it is very time consuming and can cause many accidental needle stabbings it is so worth it. The finished result always looks very effective and instantly adds character to any garment.
- Lace embroidery – This embroidered back piece is kind of complicated so stay with me. I printed onto the satin the same design as the front (not exactly the same because each small print is different but the same kind of thing) so it was the same as the front. Then for the piece on top I did free machine embroidery in a lace-like pattern with white thread through the needle and pastel pink/lilac and baby blue in the bobbin (this meant that the pink/lilac and blue is subtly shown through the white) with writing on top in black on a dissolvable plastic. I did 7 small individual pieces and then attached them together into one large piece that would fit over the slightly loose hanging satin. The short poem that I embroidered sums up my whole concept and the message of the garment perfectly, “Imagine if we lived in a world where colours were simply colours. Blue was not for boys, pink was not for girls, and everyone could like and wear whatever colours they wanted. Imagine how fresh that would make us feel when we wake up in the mornings.” Source of the poem: http://br-o-ken-poetry.tumblr.com/post/129946130868/imagine-if-we-lived-in-a-world-where-colours-were
So there we go, a little insight into my mind as a designer and how much time, effort, trial and error, and research goes into designing and creating fashion garments! Hopefully you learnt something about this, I would love to do more posts like this about design projects and things I’ve made as it’s what I’m most passionate about.
Thank you for reading and I’ll see you lovely snowflakes again soon!
Welcome back people to a beautiful, happy day of returning to my blog. Today I am going to give you some hopefully good tips on what to take with you on a weekend break and how you can be just as prepared as I was last weekend.
First, you will need a bag. Not just any bag. A special, large, easy to carry and beautiful looking bag, aka, this one:
I actually managed to fit everything I needed in this bag and was left with plenty more space! Shocking right? Well, I mean, to be honest it was a fairly warm weekend and most of my clothes folded up to nothing, plus I was staying in a Travelodge which provided bulky things like a towel and hairdryer, but still. If you’re off away somewhere for a few days I highly recommend this bag or something similar, you could definitely fit everything inside that you’d need, even if you’re the complete opposite of a light packer!
Secondly of course, clothes. I took a range of different clothes with me as I was staying in the UK and was spending each day outside from about 10am until 10:30pm or later so even if the weather wasn’t too bad, extra layers were very much needed in the mornings and evenings. As I was in the UK the weather was very unpredictable so although the weather forecast was warm and dry, I had to take a pair of jeans and a jumper just incase we had a cooler day (living up to my British stereotype here talking about the weather lmao).
Moving onto beauty, I knew that I wouldn’t have the time or energy to do my usual morning routine so I only packed the essential products that I use everyday to keep me looking and feeling fresh and presentable.
PROTIP – instead of taking a pack of 100 cotton pads with you, save space and store the amount you need in a small jar! Also, maybe take a travel size makeup remover instead of a giant one like i did.
Another tip: In order to keep hair ties together (we all know how difficult that is) get one of those camping clip hook things (I don’t know what they’re called but it’s in the photo above) and hook them all on there!
And lastly, the stuff you’re going to carry around with you throughout the day:
It is very important to be prepared for all kinds of weather so be sure to take sun cream and sunglasses as well as a waterproof jacket and umbrella! Other essentials I took in my backpack included feminine stuff just in case it happened to be that time of the month (top left), hand sanitiser, lip balm, and a pocket mirror (bottom middle).
And that’s everything! (I think). Obviously there’s other things like chargers, camera, toothbrush and toothpaste etc., but hopefully you don’t need to be reminded of that, it’s kinda common sense…I mean…most of this is but sometimes ya need a little reminder.
Hopefully this has prepared you for a fantabulous weekend or short break you might go on this summer!
I feel like on this blog nobody really knows me. I write about beauty, fashion, advice and stuff (I mean can I really say that when I have 8 posts, probably not) and while those are interests of mine and what I enjoy writing about, that isn’t everything. There is so much more for me to share, and today I thought I would dive straight into the deep end and kickstart this idea by talking about something that is very relevant in my current personal life, yet quite out of place in terms of my blog: Fandoms.
I don’t know about you but fandoms are a big part of my life, just that obsessing over something so much that I spend hours in the middle of the night researching in way too much depth until I have hit the bottom of the fandom rabbit hole just does something for me. It fills that void of emptiness inside of me that’s thirsty for information on random things like a long lost relative of a celebrity, or drama about nothing caused by crazy fangirls of my favourite childhood band, or just absolutely everything there is to know about a TV show. But why does this void exist? Is it because we’re too bored with our own lives that we must invest an unhealthy amount of time into someone else’s? Or is it because (talking specifically about fandoms of fictional movies, TV programmes and characters etc) the fictional world is more exciting than the real world and we want to live in the fantasy universe that fictional stories portray? Whatever the reason may be, you can calm down a bit and be a casual fan, or get even more hyped and fall deeper down the rabbit hole, either way, do what makes you happy. If staying up til 4am reblogging endless amounts of images and gifs of your favourite celebrity/character/your otp on tumblr and taking online quizzes to see which character you would be or if they would date you makes you happy, then keep it up (altho maybe don’t stay up til 4am every night, that’s not good). Or if you’d rather be a casual, calm fan and just be super chill sipping a cup of tea, that’s fine too! You do what makes you happy.
How do I always end up just giving advice at the end of every blog post? I guess deep down I just want to help people who can relate to me (aww).
So why is this relevant to you Bethany one may question. The thing is, last night..and the night before…and the night before that, I spent hours researching this one person. Just one person, who has hardly any information about them on the Internet. I don’t even know what happened or what over took me, I just wanted to and needed to know everything about this person. When I put this into words it sounds kinda creepy, but be honest, we all do it (at least I hope im not the only one). And the fact that there’s barely anything online about this person yet I managed to spend at least 3 nights researching them in depth makes me sound a bit weird doesn’t it? I don’t even know how I managed to do that, im just the queen of making something that would take only a few minutes to do, last hours. And this isn’t the first time this has happened. Oh no. Ive fallen down the dangerous trap of fandoms many times in my life. Here’s just a few examples from the past: I spent hours taking trivia and personality quizzes about One Tree Hill instead of doing homework (anyone else remember that show? It consumed my life I loved it so much), searched certain tags on tumblr that shall not be named and just scrolled through them deep into the night, watched too many fan edits of certain youtubers that I got addicted and transformed into a human trash can, watched fan edits of my otp of the time until I cried with jealously wanting a beautiful relationship like them, discovered a website dedicated to fandoms and spent unhealthy amounts of time on there, again, when I should have been doing homework. But do you know what? It was fun. I enjoyed being part of those fandoms, it was and still is an escapism from the troubles of real life.
So I hope I have helped some fellow trash cans out there, and maybe even some lost and confused people who beforehand had no idea what a fandom was.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this slightly different post. Let me know what you think to this style and topic and tell me about your thoughts and experiences with fandoms and which ones you’re a part of (if any). I quite liked this, I might keep it up and introduce more personal posts that look at a different side of me to the typical beauty and fashion loving girl.
Thank you for reading, see you again soon!
Update: I just spent an hour looking at the same picture of someone on different twitter and instagram accounts what is my life
The biggest change in my skin happened when I stopped wearing face makeup. As
a confident boost, instead of caking on layers of foundation, powder, contour etc I put the focus on a different area of my face – the eyes. Now I have really thick eyebrows and to even that out so they didnt look so dominant I started wearing eyeliner. Over the years I’ve gone through stages of various thicknesses and styles of eyeliner that it’s sort of become my staple thing. Not bragging, but I do get compliments fairly often about my eyeliner because it is so big and thick and apparently even (lol its never even) but thats boosted my confidence in my appearance because people are complimenting my makeup and art skills, and with that attention drawn towards my eye makeup, the focus is taken off the rest of my face.
Now you may not be an eyeliner kind of person but if you find an area of your face that you like to be the focus, whether that be your eyes, lips, cheekbones, or whatever it may be, then enhance that area as much as you can or would like to, making sure it doesn’t look too dominant on your face, keep it looking good, trying to avoid the use of foundation, powder or concealer, and you could see changes in your skin while still keeping up the confidence.
Bronze/gold eyeshadow blended with dark brown in the outer corner and crease, and white in the inner corner.
This look focuses on bringing out the eyes and making them bright and draws attention to the easily applied but eye catching shades and long lashes.
Darker, smokey shades of taupe and purple with winged liner.
The dark eyeshadow gives more of mysterious look and the eyeliner and white inner corner makes the look dramatic diverting attention from other areas of the face.
Subtle eyes with dark lips
This look focuses on the lips making them a bold, dark colour standing out against the subtle eye makeup.
Thick winged eyeliner with white eyeshadow in inner corners.
This is my everyday look because, as I said, i have very thick eyebrows so i focus on my eyes with dark wings. This is probably the most dramatic look of the four so it’s not for everybody but it does make me feel a lot more confident, as do the rest, when on the odd occasion, i go for a different look.
I hope these tips have helped some of you and that you now feel more confident in your own skin! I’ve found that by not covering up my flaws I’ve learnt to accept them, so hopefully you can too!
Not sure if this is necessary but hopefully it’s clear that I’m not suggesting that everyone has flaws or that people who wear face makeup have low/no self confidence, because I’m not, I believe everyone is perfect the way they are and you are free to do what you like , but I am aware that people like myself struggle with self esteem issues due to acne and/or general unhappiness with their image and while some people may wear makeup, particularly face makeup, because they enjoy the art of makeup and/or to boost their confidence, others wear it as a mask to cover what they don’t like about themselves. Here I wanted to reach out to those people and suggest ways of helping you accept your appearance when it can be very difficult sometimes.
Im not very well known. I don’t wish to be famous but I do wish for people to notice me. Ive always been a very quiet person and I spent my last few years of school trying really hard to be invisible, and being the quiet and pretty much already invisible person that I am, I achieved it well. But now that I’m out of that school and away from those people I want to have a fresh start.
I know I’m not alone on this so I thought I would share my experiences and knowledge of the subject, so here we go…
Tips on moving on:
So you’re quiet, shy, awkward, whatever else you would describe yourself as (without being too harsh on yourself, always remember to love yourself:)) and this is perhaps due to something that happened in the past or maybe you’ve just always been like this (I relate to both) and now it’s time to move on, grow, and become confident. Better said than done, I know, but it can and will happen if you really want it to.
Tip number one:
Take up a new hobby/do some volunteering/get a part time job. Doing either of these will force you to meet new people and giving them your best first impression allows them to see the side of you that you want everyone to see and know, they won’t have a clue that you’re known as the “quiet one”. I can relate really well to this one. At college before I went for my frst university interview I had a mock interview with a career’s adviser and one of the questions she asked me was “how would your peers describe you in one word?”. Okay, first of all, what kind of question is that? And second of all, my “peers” don’t even know me cause I’m a tiny little mouse that says about the equivalent of one sentence a day, so of course there’s only one word they could choose to describe me, “quiet”. And that’s what I said! After the interview she gave me feedback and on that particular question she said “maybe think of a different word, quiet can be seen as a negative, and I didn’t actually think you seemed quiet at all, you came across quite confident”. I mean, wow. I was shocked like what just happened?? So yeah what I’m saying is (getting back to the point) this career’s advisor lady had never met me before and her first impression of me was really positive and took me by surprise, so if you try really hard to give a great first impression, even if its just to a sports or dance class or whatever, it will make a huge difference and I guarantee you will enjoy yourself so much more and get on with people and if youre confident enough to make the first move which is something I always found terrifying, but I believe in you, we can do it together!
Tip number two:
Gaining followers on any social media doesnt happen just like that, you need to be active, following similar accounts big and small, posting new tweets/photos/statuses/content often, replying to others, commenting on posts, just being interactive, and the amazing thing about the Internet is that its a lot easier to not be awkward and to just talk to people in general. Obviously, be careful who you talk to, don’t meet anyone irl who you met online until you’ve chatted on skype and have a friend or responsible adult with you when you meet, and all that (seriously though, be safe guys). And if something does go wrong and you have an awkward situation occur, you can just block them, plus you don’t have to worry about awkwardly bumping into each other on the street, bonus!
I have actually made friends on the Internet before (who of which I’m not friends with now) but I’ve also recently made friends online through Twitter. Twitter is great for connecting with people. If you’re a blogger, vlogger or part of any fandoms you will find people similar to you on Twitter in no time. Talking to people online can be difficult to start off with so I would recommend favouriting/retweeting people’s tweets who seem cool and reply to their tweets to show them that you’re cool too! For bloggers, blogger chats are amazing ways of talking to new people who all already have one thing in common with you. Some chats that are really good include GRLPOWR chat, The Girl Gang, and Bloggers Tribe. Also joining group chats gets you instantly talking to people that are similar to you and is a great way to make new friends.
Tip number three:
Dealing with the same people at school/college/university/work when you want to move on
This is probably the hardest thing to do – trying to move on surrounded by people you’ve known for years (or maybe not?) What ever your situation is, if youre trying to start out fresh, being surrounded by people you know, even just a little bit, and who have already decided on their judgements of you is not gonna make it easy. The way to do it is to not care what they think. Now I have spent quite a few years practicing this and still find it extremely difficult sometimes to this day, however I am a lot better than I was a few years ago so it can happen, you can stop caring about what people think of you, but it will take time and a lot of determination. Something that has had a huge influence on me in this area is YouTubers. I spend a lot of my time watching YouTube and the people I watch are very positive, uplifting, optimistic and they encourage their viewers to be happy, live life to the fullest and be yourself, not be ashamed of who you are and not care about what other people might think of you, because nobody’s opinion matters. Listening to these people speak so passionately about self love and acceptance had an impact on me that I would hear their voices and their words speaking to me (kind of a bit weird) making me feel good about myself and like I can do whatever I want, look however I want and be 100% me without being afraid of what people might think. So getting back to the point, don’t worry about what people around you might think of you acting a bit different to usual and speaking up a bit more, because to be honest, they’re either not going to notice, or they’ll be happy for you coming out of your shell a bit and might be interested in you and becoming your friend. Telling yourself things that inspire you whenver you’re worried about what people are thinking will help a lot, especially if you picture someone close to you saying it, it then feels more personal.
Thanks guys, talk again soon!
January is now over and with Christmas having just passed and having received many gifts that i have been using a lot recently (and loving) I feel like it’s the perfect time to look back on some of my favourite products of the month.
The Zoella Soak Opera shower cream has been my go to for shower gel and it works wonders on my skin. It’s a rather odd jelly-like texture but a lot goes a long way and it lathers up very quickly with a pleasant scent leaving my skin very smooth and smelling amazing.
For my face i have been using the Neutrogena visibly clear pink grapefruit daily scrub and the Clean & Clear advantage oil control cream wash. I have naturally very oily skin and the Clean & Clear cream wash has helped balance the oils in my skin and prevented spots. The Neutrogena scrub has also helped with spots and using both of them together leave my skin feeling clean and fresh every morning.
Continuing my morning routine I use Simple kind to skin protecting light moisturiser on my face and neck to give a smooth base for makeup and occasionally, when I have the time, I have been using The Body Shop frosted cranberry body butter. This leaves a silky smooth sheen on my skin and a beautiful scent that lasts all day so I can smell of delicious cranberries from morning til night.
For removing makeup at the end of the day i have been using the new Simple kind to skin dual effect eye makeup remover. I wear a heavy amount of liquid eyeliner and mascara everyday and I have been looking for a makeup remover that will remove all of my eye makeup and this one does exactly that! With just one cotton pad I can dab off all of my eye makeup without having to rub or pull at my eyes which I usually have to do to get it all off and results in sore red eyes, this however removes makeup without the need of rubbing so is perfect for me!
A scent that i have been loving is the Zoella Let’s Spritz! body mist as it has a very pure, bright scent and although it’s quite summery, I have been loving it in the winter as it reminds me of the sweetness and freshness of summer.
Moving onto makeup, now I only use drugstore products because I can’t afford high end brands but I’m a strong believer of drugstore makeup being as good as i need my makeup to be and I don’t feel that I need to spend a lot on makeup, especially as it’s not a necessity for me. For priming my face I’ve been using the Loreal Infallible Mattifying Base primer which provides a smooth surface for my face makeup and keeps it lasting all day.
The Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer (apologies for the writing being rubbed off the bottle) works really well for concealing dark circles and blemishes. It blends well into the skin and the Loreal primer holds it in place all day. For my face, I only use concealer and no foundation or powder as I tend to go over the top with it and completely cake my face in foundation which isn’t good for my skin or my self esteem and learning to accept my face as it is, so concealer just lightly covers up any blemishes and makes me look more awake giving me the small confidence boost I need in my appearance.
For eyebrows I have been using the Collection eyebrow kit in Blonde. I am a brunette however the two brown shades work together to achieve my natural brow colour rather than the dark brown almost black shades in the Brunette kit. This kit comes with three powders which stay on fairly well throughout the day, a small angled brush and a clear brow mascara (mine has gone brown from the powder) which locks the hairs in effectively.
Maybelline Falsies Volum’ Express waterproof mascara gives my eyelashes loads of volume and length making them stand out against and above my thick eyeliner, something that is difficult to achieve without false lashes.
Other Maybelline products I have been using a lot are the Colour Tattoo 24 Hour cream eyeshadows. My favourite shades are On & On Bronze and Leather Effect Vintage Plum which I tend to wear just on their own when in a rush and don’t have time for my usual full on dramatic eyeliner wings.
I’m not a common user of lip products but as soon as I saw Tanya Burr using her Martha Moo Matt Liquid Lipstick in YouTube videos, I fell in love and had to get it. However, I only managed to do so in January as it has been constantly sold out! But to make up for the lack of use beforehand, I have been wearing it almost everyday and loving it. It doesn’t dry your lips, the shade goes with any look and is perfect for any occasion, plus, it smells great – what more could you want in a lipstick?
Gingerbread hand cream…hmmm…I wasn’t too sure on gingerbread scented items when I first saw this but boy does this hand cream smell good! I mean, what better way to start the day than with deliciously-gingerbread scented, moisturised hands.
Unfortunately, as this product was part of a limited range, it is no longer in stock.
Now I enjoy a nice scented candle, Midnight Jasmine to be precise. They add a certain vibe to my room that just makes me feel calm and at peace, with the beautiful scent hitting me as I enter the room.
This outfit has been a favourite this past month with it’s warm tones and soft, comforting fabrics making me feel snug and content in this season’s very cold weather. None of these items exist in the shops anymore but it’s pretty basic and simple so easy to recreate.