April 12, 2014

Lovin' Zara

I think it's pretty valid to say that Zara is one of the favourite high street stores right now. In the past few years they have seriously upped their game and focused on what they do best; on trend, structured, minimalism at a fraction of the price of brands that do similar styles, such as Sandro, Massimo Dutti or The Kooples.
Their new look book is a perfect example of the shapes and fabrics that now we expect and love from Zara, and I am dying to get my hands on some of their new stuff.
In the meantime I thought I would share a couple of my favourite Zara photographs from various lookbooks and advertisements over the past months.
As well as structured work-wear and more formal pieces Zara also do more casual pieces perfectly. They have hit the nail on the head with the balance between sporty and lux - so well done!
Those blue trousers are just fantastic, they're from a recent collection and should be in your local store now. They are perfect for summer, the fabric is so light. I am just loving the print and colour!
What do you think of Zara at the moment? Any pieces you have your eye one?

Speak soon.

April 9, 2014

Premature University Nostalgia

Last week I had my last ever college lecture. I went to my last ever University end-of-year ball. And on Monday I finally handed in my dissertation! (YES, I actually did it!!)
I'm now in this weird time in between finishing classes and exams, and I suppose I should be making the most of it and studying my ass off but at the moment I'm taking a break, resting up and trying to get my head around the fact that it's THE END
My class all went for drinks after handing our dissertations in and there was just one moment when I looked around me and it hit me that it was all nearly over. And I know that we have exams and graduation isn't till November and most of my classmates seem to be staying in Dublin, but it's still such a weird realization. And in some ways, I'm so ready, and DONE with studying, but it will be strange not to be in class anymore. 
Sunday was the warmest day we've had in a long time and I went for a walk on the pier . It was such a peaceful break from all the dissertation stress going on. I thought I'd be more freaked out about these final weeks of being in university. I'm not as scared as I probably should be. I feel a little bit relieved because I've been working at this degree for the past four years, but it's bittersweet. I don't want to say goodbye to all the lovely people I've met. I don't want to be an actual ADULT. I don't know what kind of job I want, or where I want to live. I guess we can call this my 'Life Fear Period'. I'm sure I'll figure something out. But right now I'm still processing the fact that college is basically over. 
I'm just going to sit here for a while and think back on the last four years. I'm getting way ahead of myself y'know, I still could fail! Whatever happens I'm proud of myself for finishing that dissertation, no matter how average/poor it is. 
Check me out. 
Nearly a graduate.
Who would have thought.

Follow Me, G'wan.

April 2, 2014

My employee told me to improve my grooming habits?!

I want to start this post by saying that no matter what job situation you are in, you probably should be dressed practically and comfortably for the work you are doing, and if there is a fair dress code you were made aware of before employment, by all means stick to it! Also, maybe try to clean and wash yourself often enough so that you don't smell badly. 
If you are a man, this post might not be for you, as I am coming from a very female minded position on this topic, and I also have never heard of a man being told that their appearance was not good enough for their job. Please enlighten me if you have, I would be super interested to hear any stories you might know of where this was the case!
I just got a text from a close female friend of mine asking me what she could do to improve her grooming standards. Naturally I was quite taken aback, and told her honestly that once she was happy with her own appearance there is no improvement necessary. I reminded her that she is beautiful, inside and out. 
She then goes on to say that it was for her work, in a large department store, and that her MANAGER told her that she had to make more of an effort with her grooming, and that her hair and make-up were not up to scratch. 
Now, as someone who posts alot about fashion and beauty, you would think that maybe I could see the reason behind this? And yes, I do understand that in retail there is a certain emphasis on ones outward appearance as you are supposed to be selling clothes. BUT I do not think that anyone's make-up routine, or everyday hairstyle or acne should be a major issue, EVER. To be honest, I am DISGUSTED at the superficial nature of a business, or any manager that would tell their employees to 'groom up'.

My friend has, after today, come to the conclusion that she needs to "fix" something.  She thinks that she needs to spend money on new, heavier make-up. That she needs to buy some magic spot treatment serum. That she needs to watch hours of YouTube hair and make-up routines, and get up half an hour earlier to apply these new techniques. 
From “Good Grooming for Girls,” c. 1940s.
I am so SAD. I am so SO sad that my friend thinks that she has to change herself in order to be employed. I am DISHEARTENED that she is justifying her employers comments, saying that she is "lazy" and that she "needed to hear it". She ended the conversation letting me know that she wants to do it "if it means the difference between [her] doing well in life in general". And I am SO SO SAD.

I am sad that we have come to this point. That we still think of women as canvases to be covered and painted and changed to be more aesthetically pleasing to the people around us. I am disgusted that a manager, someone in charge of the hiring, and basically, the livelihood, of hundreds of people is giving the impression that the hairstyle or makeup choices of the females she employees matters in the consideration of how good they are doing a job. 
The thing I am most sad is the fact that my friend was not questioning it AT ALL. She and all the women that she works with are going to do what they're told, and wear more make-up and blow dry their hair every morning and spend nights in doing face masks and preening themselves. Women everywhere are going to unknowingly contribute to this culture that is already problematically looks-obsessed. And they are AGREEING with the people who tell them to change. 
We are forgetting that we are more then just an outer layer. We have brains and we can use them, we have a heart and we are kind, we can laugh and tell jokes and help others and maybe we're really great singers, or can do impressively accurate accents or amazing impressions. WE ARE GREAT. Is someones appearance what really matters over all of this?! Apparently, the pretty girl with nice hair and manicured nails is better at selling clothes then my friend. Not because of her incredible persuasiveness or styling abilities, but because she looks like a model. 

I am SAD. And I am ANGRY. And my friend is smart, and good at her job and is NOT a morning person. And she is getting up early tomorrow to spend more time grooming herself.

Links. Things. Click them.

March 26, 2014

The 56 Year Old Youtuber

I love Youtube. Perhaps one day I will do a post praising its creative freedom, but for now, I want to focus on one Youtube video, directed by and starring one Youtuber, Bertie Gilbert. 
I stumbled across 16-year old Bertie's Youtube channel a few years ago, when it was mainly vlogs from his bedroom, none of which were anything special, and all of which seem to have since been deleted. 
Seeing Bertie develop from your average teenage boy messing around on the internet with his friends, into a proper director, writing, acting in and uploading his own independent short films has been so fascinating. And his growth as a film-maker is astounding.
'The 56 Year Old Boy' is my favourite thing he has made so far. The story is original and interesting and the production is just amazing. The fact that I have watched Bertie's talent in film making become something of this caliber makes me feel like a part of something special. And honestly, I think you should all watch out for him. He will do great things. 
It's so great to see something like this, with such a clear love and passion for films come from a regular British teenager. It's so great that the internet and places like Youtube and Vimeo encourage creatives and give outlets for sharing independent projects. AH, it really is an amazing time to be alive. The internet is fab. I cannot wait to see more of Bertie's work and more people like him. I am in awe of talent and creativity like this.
I may be taking a short hiatus from the blog for a while, I am still  here writing my dissertation (don't ask about it, please. ugh.) and having daily mental breakdowns. Hope you're all well.

Links and stuff, yeah: