Thursday, 29 August 2013

IRONIC T-SHIRTS THAT ARE COOLER THAN YOU.

Ok, so the last time I wore a slogan tee I'm pretty sure I was 14. If we're pushing it, maybe 15. In fact, it was with horror that a couple of months ago I discovered an old, green travesty folded unobtrusively in the bottom of my wardrobe - emblazoned on the front of it were the words 'SHOPPING IS BETTER THAN BOYS'. Cringe.

You see, tongue in cheek t-shirts lost their novelty in the ball park of about 5 years ago. What was once the coolest way to let the world know that you are in fact made of 'Sugar, Spice & Everything Nice' has now been replaced with Facebook, Twitter and just about every other Internet supported means of updating the world with every last detail of your life. Slogan t-shirts make me think only of Stag Dos and Girls on Tour team vests in Malia.

BUT with talkative tees popping up all over the high street, I think I've come down with the feisty fever. Yes, they may be just as squirm-worthy as my alliteration but they're just the right amount of ironic to have something of the nonchalant New Yorker about them or the pouty-faced Parisian who was clearly born cooler than you'll ever be. And who doesn't want to ooze apathetic? Remember, nobody smiles at Fashion Week.


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

CHARMED BY CHI CHI: MY TOP 5 SHOWSTOPPERS

Whether it's your birthday, a wedding or a work affair, date night, girls night or the quickly approaching onslaught of Christmas and New Years parties - there is always an excuse for a show-stopping dress. It is already recognised that a woman's charm can be surprisingly disarming and a glimmering smile is as good as a deadly weapon but, ladies, if you're looking to graduate to fully fledged vixen status, you'll need a killer dress to cement it.

True, some may argue that there are a number of things that rival the feeling of parting with hard earned cash when making a purchase, but there are very few that can top the sneaking suspicion that you look super RED HOT. Imagine the scenario: It's your big night and you've had your hair coiffed and nails done. The brand new primer you picked up has rendered your skin completely flawless and your feminine perfume lingers memorably in the air. You are irresistible. The black cab pulls up to the venue and you make your way assuredly - one heeled foot after the other - towards an awestruck crowd of family and friends. If you didn't know it already, you're smoking. Fire on legs. I'm Too Sexy by Right Said Fred plays appropriately somewhere in the near distance and there's a chorus of excited compliments followed by the question on everyone's minds - "Where did you get that dress?" This answer, undoubtedly, should be Chi Chi

What is this Chi Chi I speak of? A leading ladies retailer or, in more reasonable terms, dresses galore! With a whole variety of cocktail, evening and daywear dresses on board - you can afford to share the secret. Their dresses online start as low as £8.99 so draining your bank account needn't be a worry either. But less gushing more window shopping. 

Chi Chi and etailPR have teamed up to give one lucky lady a chance to win £200 towards their dream dresses. Yes, that means you could bag a dazzling dress and buy a gorgeous pair of shoes with the money you would've otherwise spent. All you have to do is create a 'wishlist style post of your favourite Chi Chi pieces'! The competition closes by 5pm tomorrow (Wednesday 21st August) and more details can be found here.

In the meantime, whilst you all race to your keyboards to compile your virtual shopping bags, I'll be drooling over these 5 glamourous garms. Dressing up will never be the same again!






P.s. How much for a pair of pins like the ones on the dress model?

HAVING MY HALLE BERRY MOMENT: THANKS FOR THE LIEBSTER AWARD!

Happy Tuesday, blogosphere! I'm happy - can you tell? Well, when you wake up in the morning, face pressed to your smart phone, with your feet hanging off of the mattress at an almost inexplicable angle, you'd think that that would be classed as 'the wrong side of the bed'. And it was for all of 2 minutes before I checked my blog comments and received the uplifting news: I've been nominated for a Liebster Award!

Ok, so before you start splashing out on red carpet dresses and brandishing pointy elbows in a bid for the coveted 'plus one' spot, it's not that kind of award. There's no ceremony or little golden statues or grotesquely (in a good way) oversized cheques. No, it's not the Oscars but it is the perfect way to put a little sunshine in another bloggers' day and recognise their hard work. If you're a fellow blogger, you'll know the feels when you've slaved over layout, posts and content yet nobody seems to take notice. Being a blogger can be a depressing way to remind you that - even with your talent - you're a little fish in a big pond and can sometimes cloud all view of hope and/or success. Well, with a little Liebster Love, we can remind each other that just because we're not Susie Bubble doesn't mean we don't have a knack at tastefully slathering the internet with our opinions and that deserves at least a thumbs up, right?

The lovely Olivia-Zara of www.livvyy.blogspot.co.uk was responsible for sending a nomination my way and recognising me as a smaller blog that she felt deserved more recognition. Now it's my turn to send some fuzzy, warm feelings to the bloggers I'm rooting for. If you didn't get a nomination, don't worry. You can play the game too! Start up your own Liebster chain using the rules below:

1.You must link back to the person that nominated you.
2.You must answer the 11 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you.
3.You must pick 11 bloggers to be nominated for the award with under 200 followers.
4.You must come up with 11 questions for your nominees to answer.
5.You must go to their blogs and notify your nominees.

Easier than putting on skinny jeans after Boxing Day! Anybody can do it and, whether you're nominated or being nominated, it's sure to pull in a little bit more traffic. If not, it's a great way to get to know other bloggers and makes blogging just that little bit more fun (if you're stuck in a rut, take note)!

11 Liebster Questions

1) What do you spend most of your money on? Clothes, shoes, accessories or food ...?

As a student, I'd say I spend the most money on food. Despite my background as a fledgling shopaholic, most of the time spent in clothing stores is actually just window shopping. Who would've thought that a student loan doesn't cover weekly shopping trips to Zara?

2) Summer fashion or Winter? And Why?

Winter, hands down. I feel like people lose their sense of style during the Summer. There is kind of a set formula for sunny weather fashion and that's denim shorts + gladiator sandals + sunglasses - maybe a kaftan, if you're lucky. Everybody looks the same and abandons any idea of dressing to flatter themselves. The streets are full of scantily clad clones straight from a cheesy family catalogue ad. 

3) Favourite place in the world and why?

Growing up, I travelled loads due to my Dad having a job that sent us around the globe and my parents having the wander bug anyway so it's hard to say. There have been so many places that have left me in awe so to put my finger on one place would be next to impossible.

Instead, I'll just say home and currently that's London.

4) What is the decade you prefer ? 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s

I was born in the '90s - although after that Calvin Harris song came out I was desperate to be an '80s baby for a long while - so I'm kind of biased towards that decade. I still have an original Playstation and analogue TV in my room at university with games like Tomb Raider and go kart racing, I love 90s Hip Hop and RnB music (am I the only one who still croons along to K-Ci & Jojo?) and I must admit I'm partial to a ludicrously colourful sports jacket. Plus, I still wear scrunchies on a daily basis. Don't judge me. 

5) Favourite designer ?

I don't have an ultimate favourite, as this changes on a monthly basis, but rather a cluster of designers that I keep my eye out for. Alexander Wang, Givenchy and Dolce & Gabbanna are the three I've watched most closely for the past three seasons or so but Stella McCartney's been stealing my heart recently with her amazing, chunky footwear for the A/W season.

6) Favourite brand?

This also changes very often - in case you haven't noticed, I'm a little fickle when it comes to the word favourite - so I tend to have a handful of stores that I will always visit when I go to town. I usually go into River Island and Topshop without fail, sometimes Zara and H&M. Online, I love Asos and Missguided as well as some smaller time businesses and boutiques that I come across. 

7) If you could interview anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be? (doesn't have to be anyone in the fashion / beauty industry)?

I've always been so interested in history, particular ancient civilisations in Egypt and Mesopotamia. I'd love to bring back somebody - someone who'd know enough to give me an overview of the time socially, politically, economically, etc. I'd love to know what it was like to live back then, to hear the rumours, secrets and scandals of the monarchy and much more. Maybe, I'd just interview the world's best scientist on how to make a time machine so I could go back there myself!

8) What fashion week do you prefer most? NY/LDN/MILAN/PARIS ?

I've only ever attended LFW so I can't speak from much experience but, apart from London - which has an atmosphere that is very much to my taste - I'd love to attend Paris Fashion Week. The streetstyle there is immense and a lot of the best designers premiere their new collections there. I'd also love to visit Milan some day but not so much because I feel that their Fashion Week is superior, only that I think the city itself is a treasure trove of inspiration and opportunity. 

9) If you had the opportunity to have either an unlimited supply of handbags or shoes, what would you pick?

Shoes! Oh my gosh, shoes! I usually carry the same handbag on a daily basis until it is too battered and bruised to be an acceptable presence in public. I tend to buy black bags that are versatile and only change them up on special occasions. Shoes on the other hand are the icing on any outfit and I certainly could do with having any shoe I wanted for the rest of my days!

10) Do you remember an outfit that you use to love when you were a kid? Describe it please! ^_^

From the age of 3, I told my Mum that she was no longer allowed to dress me or buy clothes for me without my approval first. This was the beginning of a long line of fashion mistakes, statements and appalling displays of misguided sartorial flair. Whether it was wearing a thousand rainbow coloured clips in my hair at once Kawaii style or wearing a different colour way of the same shoe on either foot. I think the outfits I loved the most though - which were fuelled not by adolescent rebellion but simply by the stubborn and innocent-minded nature of a young child - were my polo neck + leggings + socks with sandals combos, paired with the afro bunches my Mum used to insist on. Winning!

11) What was the last exhibition you saw?

The last fashion exhibition I saw was the Chanel Little Black Jacket exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London. However, since then, I've visited the Ikon Gallery and saw the Metropolis exhibition, both in Birmingham.

Nominations

But enough about me. Here's the part where I name my more than worthy nominees *drumroll, please*. Don't forget to check these lovely ladies out!
Quirky and vintage obsessed, Zoe blogs about fashion, lifestyle and music

Imogen's blog is all about the outfit posts. If you're looking for city slick - this is your girl!

Andrea's streetstyle photography speaks for itself - 
she's captured Eva Herzigova, Natalia Vodianova & Susie Bubble amongst others!

Annie demonstrates her eclectic style through outfit posts
as well as wishlists and fashion critiques

Sophie has a super cool sense of style plus she blogged a picture of Henry Holland
working out of an ice cream truck - what's not to love?

So, by now you will have noticed that I've bent the rules a little bit by only naming five blogs. The truth is, I'm guilty as charged when it comes to bypassing smaller blogs and, therefore, have barely any on my reading list! I'd really love to get to know more of you so, if you're a smaller blog but starting/being part of a Liebster chain sends nervous jitters down your spine, I still want to hear from you! Leave a summary sentence or two about your blog and a link in the comment box below or tweet me at @therealNaomiO

As for my nominees, here are your 11 Liebster questions. Have fun answering them and let me know when you're done!

1. What is the inspiration behind your blog name and/or logo?
2. Name one piece - bag, shoe, clothing item or any other accessory - of any price or rarity that you would snag for your wardrobe if you were granted one fashion wish.
3. If MAC Cosmetics phoned you up and asked you to create a lipstick, what colour would it be and what would you name it?
4. Where in the world would you move to and what kind of living quarters would you have if money and adult responsibility weren't a determining factor?
5. What's your favourite beauty product and why?
6. Who's your celebrity crush? (Who here's up for betting that Tom Hardy will crop up somewhere?)
7. Pieces from the collections of the following designers hang before you: Alexander Wang, Valentino and Jeremy Scott. Snag, Murder For, Avoid. Go, go, go! (This one's like Snog, Marry, Avoid but a little less secondary school sleepover)
8.  What is your ultimate dream and goal in life?
9. What's your favourite/most used social media site?
10. If you had a dinner party and you could invite any 5 people in the world (from past, present or future), who would they be?
11. Name a beauty/fashion product you are dying to get your hands on.

Let the games begin!
Saturday, 17 August 2013

WHY DO WOMEN HATE EACH OTHER? CIRCLE. UNDERLINE. STAR.



Who here feels like they have been personally victimised by womankind? If I had a gymnasium full of people, I’m pretty sure there wouldn’t be a single arm left unbent. Everyone knows that the term ‘haterz’ pertains to trolls of every sex but the truth is that, when it comes to tearing down women, nobody does it better than our female counterparts.

Women are evil. They are mean and I swear, when we are in our nasty element, our eyes turn red and our fangs pop out! Women hate on women for reasons that are illegitimate, irresponsible and unwarranted. We hate on each other for being more attractive than us, for being more intelligent or having talents that are seemingly more impressive than our own (to us). We hate on each other for having more money, dating cuter boyfriends and having nicer houses. Let's be honest, we've been hating since the beginning of time - since abhorrently eyeing the lucky girl's gel pen collection in primary school.

There are different kinds of hate - seperate echelons of detestable gossip and seething jealousy. There's hate in the work place, best frenemy hate, competitive hate and relationship hate, amongst many others. But the breed of hate that's really been getting under my skin lately is celebrity hate. Why do we make it our self-proclaimed purpose to pick apart, tear down and cruelly criticise strangers of the feminine kind just because they're "public property"?

The fact is, they're not public property. They're not property at all but human beings who have worked their tail ends off to be where they are today. Sure, some may have been thrust into the spotlight by famous parents or friendly contacts, but it was hard graft to keep themselves there. And now they are societal representatives of womankind. Whether we like it or not, these are inescapable pinnacles of girl power - women empowered and celebrated in ways that were unimaginable centuries ago. They are recognised for their talents and given a platform to express themselves to a worldwide audience. Isn't that what women have been fighting for? Granted, the feminist struggle is not over but that's not my point.

My point is that we've let ourselves become a bitter species of verbally vitriolic ogres. Instead of supporting our fellow sisters, we tear them down - fighting our own insecurities and niggling envy with a fierce fire that only leaves us feeling emotionally drained and slightly guilty. There is nothing less appealing than a grown woman hiding behind her keyboard, letting her fast fingers and negative opinions act as weapons against a successful lady she doesn't even know! It is time for us to accept that we're prone to fits of jealous rage but also averted to open bouts of confrontation. We will bite another woman while she's down and even more so behind the protective screen of a wifi connected device. 

So, what do we do? Once we've accepted our dangerous predisposition, we need to know how to keep it in check. Understand that, if you feel like you hate somebody after seeing a series of tabloid photos, it's probably because you're jealous. You like their style, you're threatened by the fact that they're pretty or you simply can't understand why you aren't the one wearing Louboutins and a YSL dress. Envy is normal. It's ok and it's actually fantastic fuel for a lean, mean goal-smashing machine. Turn off your Twitter, come off of your Facebook page and put down your weapons - keyboards and smartphones alike. Instead of joining the ranks of the hostile horde of fame haters, turn your green-eyed fury into inspiration. There's no reason why you too can't wear Louboutins one day or cut your hair off and twerk in a nightclub. Nobody will question your reasoning so why claw at Miley Cyrus for hers? Why call Kim K fat when she was pregnant? Why, ladies, why? Step away from the internet - let down your defences - and you'll realise it's a lot harder to be the Wicked Witch of the West when you're rendered as vulnerable as your victims. If you couldn't say it in front of your friends for fear of being labelled 'bitchy', don't tweet it.

Instead, let's support and celebrate. Let's name celebrity women that we look up to whether that be for their talent, their wardrobe or their weave - I mean you Beyonce - and let's go for our dreams instead of burning others. 

I'm inspired by a lot of women in Hollywood - Beyonce for her amazing talent and faultless beauty, Jennifer Lawrence for her intelligence and cool wit and Emma Watson for always managing to maintain her poise and composure in any situation but, even more so, I've been inspired by none other than Miley Cyrus. She's been on the receiving end of some pretty nasty backlash since she decided to change her look and direction. Change may be scary for other people but it's a change that's clearly made her one very content lady and I give her major kudos for doing what was right for her despite what the rest of the internet may think. Plus, I can't get enough of her ghetto glam meets delicate androgynous look #AintWorriedBoutNothin

Make like M-Cy and edge up girlie separates with boyish shapes, red lipstick and lashing of attitude.
Think: Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go to Hollywood

Tell me all about your star-studded role models or simply just your dreams in the comment box below!

Remember: just because you've dampened somebody else's flame, it doesn't mean your own will shine brighter.