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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

ARE YOU IN A TOXIC RELATIONSHIP?


I wanted to write this post, because I’ve been there, and for too long a period. Luckily I’m out of the other side now and I can soothe myself with the knowledge I learned a lot from the experience - the person I want to be, my boundaries and the people I want to surround myself with moving forward - but I do feel so frustrated about the time I wasted. All those years spent largely miserable, with no confidence or hope, years that could have been spent making the most out of what could have been a relatively care-free existence being a twenty something.

I’m not going to talk about my personal experiences here, but I wanted to talk about the signs and alarm bells that could hint to the fact that you may have a toxic relationship in your life. I’m hoping I can at least stop some of you regretting not making changes sooner…

Before I go into that…the subject of toxic relationships isn’t only applicable to those in romantic relationships, it can apply to friendships, colleagues and sadly even relatives. The people we spend our lives with have a huge influence on our confidence levels, self esteem and general happiness, so it’s incredibly important we pick wisely and do our best to rid ourselves of those that have a hugely negative effects on our well being.

So first up I want you to think about your confidence level. Is it Low? Has it dipped? If the answer is yes to either of these, I want you to ask yourself whether there is any correlation between this deterioration and the beginning or intensifying of a certain relationship. Then ask yourself why your confidence has taken a knock. Is it a result of someones words or behaviour? Is it the accumulation of a lot of subtle digs and disrespectful or hurtful behaviour?

Yes, it is important to have people in your life who are honest with you, even if at times they have to say something which isn’t what you want to hear. There’s a huge difference between people saying harsh or honest things with your best interests at heart, and those who belittle and bully, not because you need it but because they want power over you, or because it’s their unhelpful way of dealing with their own issues and insecurities. If you can pinpoint a person or people that hurt with their words and actions, or a regular basis, you need to ask yourself whether you should carry on letting them be a part of your life.

Have you lost yourself? Have you noticed a change in the person you are how people view you. Have you stopped wearing clothes you’ve always chosen to wear? Have you give up an interest of hobby you’ve always found pleasure in doing? Have you gone from being sociable to being reclusive or introverted? If people have noticed a change in you (a negative one) or if you are aware that your ability to be yourself has dwindled, again you need to ask yourself why. Is someone noticeably trying to control or influence your every day decisions and choices. Is someone making frequent but subtle comments that subconsciously make you amend certain aspects of your life. Perhaps someone is making no bones about telling you what to do and how to do it.

Advice, guidance, encouragement can be positive things, but if someone is forcing you to change in a way that isn’t positive or in the direction that’s right for you, then you have a right to take a stand.

Next I want you to ask yourself about whether you’ve felt pressured or uncomfortable. Have they made you do something you didn’t want to do. Have they ignored your exclamations or opinions and forced you to do something that makes you upset, scared, vulnerable or unhappy. If someone cares for you they should respect your opinions and boundaries. Sadly people use force or manipulation to make them do what you want. Don’t let people direct your life…when they should only be your co star.

Are there a lot of people in your life that are anti this relationship? Does there seem to be a common thread? I’ve lost count of the amount of stories I’ve heard where someone loses their close circle of friends, choosing to stand by their partner when their mates vocalise issues with said partner. The partner tells them that their friends are jealous, or that they don’t want you to be happy, or that they’ve tried it on with them, and they’re just bitter that they weren’t interested. You’ve heard it too, its a regular feature on Jeremy Kyle. Of course there are exceptions. Sometimes people forge opinions about people based on hearsay, rumours, or past behaviour, not allowing for the fact that someone has changed their ways. You have to use your knowledge and wisdom here. If you’re honest with yourself, do these people have a point with their negative opinions. 


When we’re in love or lust we can be blind to what’s going on. Even if we’re not besotted, smitten or heavily invested in the person, we may have a lot of hope in the idea of love or the illusion of an idyllic relationship. Someones it takes someone else speaking up to draw our attention to what’s really going on. Listen…it could save you.

Obviously there’s a chance that you/I are the toxic person. This doesn’t necessarily mean you are a bad person, but you may not be in the right place to be a good partner right now. It’s so important to be generally content with yourself and happy in your own company and being single, before you embark on becoming part of a relationship. If not, there’s a chance that certain issues could effect the stability of the relationship. If you enter a new partnership with huge insecurities or jealousy issues (stemming from previous relationships for example) then you can find yourself creating problems that aren’t really there.

Sometimes its the combination of two incompatibles that creates that toxic environment. Like a really bad chemical reaction if you will. It may be that you have come together at the wrong time, and you both seek different things out of life. Perhaps you share very different views about things and clash on a regular basis. Perhaps you rile each other up so much that you spend more time getting niggled with each-other, arguing, and scoring points, than actually being happy.

(I know some people love combative relationships, and and a high frequency of fiery and explosive exchanges…but that’s not for me.)

So there’s just a few things to look out for if you are wondering about toxicity of a relationship. If you feel you’ve detected one, please do something to change the situation. Voice your concern, go to counselling if needed, or seek help from someone you trust.

If it’s unsalvageable or you’re in danger, I urge you to remove the person from your life as fast as you can. Please don’t let fear stop you. No situation is hopeless, even if it feels like it is. There are charities and refuges you can turn to, so please don’t suffer in silence.

Life is short. We all deserve to share it with people who respect us, who make life a little bit easier, (or who challenge us in positive ways). I’m not saying good relationships, or relationships worth working on, don’t offer up difficulties or testing periods, of course they do. Life can kick your butt on a regular occasion, putting all our relationships under intense strain. Tricky relationships can also make us stronger and teach us things, but I think we can agree we'd rather the majority fell in to the healthy catagory, for most of the time. 

Detoxing is a hot topic this time of year. It may be time to apply it to your relationships, and it could be one of the most life changing things you can do. 

Lots of Love xx
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Sunday, 7 February 2016

OUFIT POST: A WALKING CONTRADICTION

 
Today I wore this gruney outfit while mooching round my favourite local spot, Hampton Court. It dawned on me how out of place my outfit was in the setting. Grand, refined, beautiful, elegant, rich, royal - all words that could be associated with the palace. None that could be twinned with this ensemble. 

I've always loved the idea of combining things from very different worlds, opinons, styles etc. I remember getting really excited in english class when we learned about oxymorons - a figure of speech that juxtaposes elements that appear to be contradictory. The example we were looking at was from Romeo and Juliet....'feather of lead'. I digress....

I don't know why I particularly revel in the combining of two opoosing things or ideas...perhap it's because I like to see things/people out of their comfort zone. Perhaps I just believe there's a lot of beauty to be found when things contrast so vividly. My hunch is that I'm drawn to the concept because I myself feel like I'm often at odds in terms what I should be or what I should look like, given my interests or scenes I'm meant to sit within. 

Over the last few years I've worked, for the majority, within what it called the alt sector. On numerous occasions I've been challenged because of my appearance and other interests...which don't fall neatly into this specific catagory. It's been mentioned a few times that perhaps my career would have benefited from being or becoming someone who was easier to pigeon hole or label.They have a point...Brands look for people that embody the brand...so therefore they're likely to want to work with those that fit the more acknoledged form, even the sterotype. Someone who screams the demographic at first sight.

I know I would probably have gotten more work had I been covered in tattoos, decorated with more piercings or had alt hair. Yes, being stubborn can be damaging to ones progress...but for the bigger picture...for the future...and for the sake of wanting to make progress by taking a stand, I haven't changed who I am or how I look. I've dyed my hair crazy colours, numerous times, and yes sometimes I wear a nose ring, but thats because I feel like it that day. 

My style, my looks, as well as the activities, sounds, entertainment I choose to spend my time enjoying will always be governed by what my instinct tells me, what my passions draw me to. They will be varied, they will be confusing, they will be at opoosite ends of the spectrum. Some days I will want to listen to classical music all day, the next day may be soundtracked by Deftones or Slipknot. Some days I want to look elegent and ultra femine, the next I'll dress a boy and want my make up to look smudged and lived in. 

Our moods change, as do our tastes, passions, journeys...so surely it makes sense that they are reflected in the way we dress, the way we act and the ways we want to spend our time. 

We have so many aspects to your personality. Why put yourself in one box....?
Just do you...





PICTURES TAKEN BY ME ON MY LUMIXGM1
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Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Interview with MCFLY/MCBUSTED STYLIST, VIX ADAMS



You may have read an edit of this on the Ticketmaster Blog, but Vix gave such great answers I wanted to post the complete interview here. Vix Adams is a fashion stylist, who has worked on the X Factor, and artists such as Mcfly, Mcbusted and Example. She gives us an in depth insight into the life of a busy stylist, while offerring helpful tips to those looking to emulate her career. She also tells us a bit about her latest fashion venture....


How early on in life did you realise that you had a flair for fashion?

I left college at 18 with my only grade being in fashion art, and when initially taking a year out before heading to University I started working in a fashion retailer.

I loved it so much that I never ended up going to Uni and became retail manager by the age of 19 and then onto a Visual Merchandiser by 20. Fashion was all I ever knew, and then my hobby became my job and then my career.


For those who would love to emulate your career, what advice would you give people in terms of progressing from the moment you realise you may have an affinity with fashion?


The best advice is to learn your trade. Start at the bottom and work your way up.
Follow your dreams and your goals and don't doubt yourself or your own capability.
Be prepared to work long hours for a lot of days, weeks, months, even years free to enable you to build your knowledge and contacts within the business. Assist anyone and everyone who you can and learn the tricks of the trade. Always carry a notepad and write lists as long as your arm if necessary.
Take pictures, always keep your eyes open as you can get inspiration from everywhere and anywhere.
And finally, never give up.

You started in VM. Is that a good way to start, and why did you want to move into styling celebrities/videos?

I worked as a VM for over 4 years. For me, moving into becoming a Stylist was a fairly natural progression.
I felt the time was right and i was ready to start my career instead of working in a job.
Moving into styling celebrities and videos was just a natural avenue that i found myself moving forward into and expanding my contacts and client base within. It all happened very organically and naturally.

You worked on X Factor as a stylist. When you work on such a huge show do you lose a certain amount of control over the styling. Do your looks have to get some sort of approval? 
 
I worked on last years X-Factor (2014) styling The Boys category.
When you work on such a high profile show that is such a huge production it takes a team of people. so naturally you don't have as much creative freedom as you would normally when working as a stylist. You have to work along side a number of different factors such as set design, dancers, themes, hair and make up, the feel of the song chosen for that artist that week so its very much a team effort to enable all different elements to work together successfully, not just what they wear.




I imagine with the amount of people on the show it is a hugely intense few months. Can you give us an insight into how your week runs, when getting ready for the show….
 
Yeah, its an incredibly intense few months working on a production of that size. You eat sleep and breathe it for the length of time you are involved in it.
Mondays you have a meeting about the past weekend live shows, and then all pieces that were loaned from press need to be returned.
Tuesday you get your brief for the weekend coming. Song choice, feel of the performance and rough styling guidelines and start contacting press for appointments to pull clothing items.
Wednesday and Thursday you do all your press pulls and sourcing of the items as options .
Friday you take all pieces to Wembley and set up and do an initial run through / dress rehearsal.
Saturday and Sunday are the live shows but dress rehearsals and sound checks happen throughout the day.

Then the routine starts again for the next weeks show.
It's an exhausting couple of months but you work with incredibly talented people and there is a lot of fun times to be had in down time too.


You are launching you own brand soon ‘ Hat Rats’, people that follow your insta will be aware of your love of hats. What can we expect from the brand? What other projects may pop up in the future?

I have always been a hat wearer and a lover of hats. I never feel fully dressed unless I'm wearing one.
I always had to go to America, especially New York to source my hats and stock up on them as i simply couldn't find the unique look and quality feel I desired here in London.
So I decided to start my own Brand. Hat Rats will be available to order online (www.hatrats.com) and will ship world wide. It will launch early next year. The essence is being quality and cool.
They will be available as a basic option and also as a made to order customised option so the wearer will get a beautiful one of a kind awesome hat. It's something I'm super excited about.
At the moment I am still working through samples and packaging as it all goes hand in hand to what Hat Rats is all about. Think of it as becoming part of an elite group of hat loving people who join this community and become part of 'The Rat Pack'.

All will be revealed soon.


Some people can be rather rigid when it comes to their own style, what is your personal approach to a tricky and resistant client? 

 
I don't think I have had a tricky or resistant client nor have they been rigid. But i think clothing and what you wear is very personal. Your whole day can be altered by if you feel awesome and sexy in what your wearing or if your uncomfortable in what your wearing it can make you feel awful.
I think its so important to work closely with a client and get to know them and what they like and feel comfortable in and build up a level of trust. I would never try and force a client to wear something they didn't like or that was totally out of their comfort zone, but it is part of my job to give a slight nudge in a different or alternative direction if i really believe it will benefit them.
I like to think i work alongside my clients and not just doing what fashion thinks they should be wearing. To look cool has a lot to do with presence and attitude so how and what you wear is essential in achieving that feeling and expression.


How would you describe you styling. What would you say is your USP?

I guess I would describe my styling as unique but constantly evolving.
I would say my USP is my communication skills. I love to talk. I love to meet new people, to learn about them, to build a bond and a working relationship with them, to laugh with them, I find laughter so important. Im always open to suggestions and always thinking how to better myself and others.
A skill that I think is imperative when people are putting their trust in you for being responsible for their style.
 
Due to the level of your work, the clients you work with and your enviable looking lifestyle you have a fan-base all of your own now. How do you feel about having a celebrity status and people having an interest in your personal life now?

I wouldn't say I had a fan base, but if I have managed to create a following because of the job that I do and the positive life I create and choose to live then thats super flattering.

Im proud of my career and I'm happy in my life, so I guess putting that out there for all to see you are gonna get some people that are genuine and supportive which is cool, and you inevitably get some negativity from people as well, but I'm kinda cool with that too.

Its the social media era that we all live in now and i guess it comes with having any sort of following especially within the industry that i am in. You have to learn to take the good with the bad, and sometimes the ugly too.

For a while it was the done thing for stylists to dress bands in similar items or at least the same colour palette. Now it feels like making them all individuals is what’s happening. What is your approach to styling a band?

Essentially it has to be a vision that is met and matched between the stylist and the artist.
I think the days of a band co-ordernating outfits are gone, although I was a fan of the backstreet boys 'I want it that way' video too at the time.
Individualism is so important and its great that it is now encouraged for people to express their individuality. It makes artists more relatable too which essentially is what the fan base of bands want.
But fashion has a way of coming around in circles so maybe in 10 years time we will be dressing bands in matching denim and white again.


Is it intimidating when working with clients like Mcfly, who have such a huge and vocal fan base? Do you feel a pressure to deliver an aesthetic to please that fan base?


It can be. They have had such huge success for such a long time that they obviously have a fiercely loyal fan base. The fan base is really important and they don't want to feel alienated by a sudden image overhaul or change to an already winning formula. But at the same time it is important to always progress and evolve an image so not to feel dated. So working to balance both sides of the equation is where being an experienced stylist comes into practice.





We saw bands like Mcfly when they were extremely young. Was it nice to create looks that enhanced the fact that they are men and not boys?


Totally. I started working with McFly when they were celebrating their 10 year anniversary together as a band. Then worked with them throughout their recent merging to make supergroup McBusted.
I am similar ages to the guys and i grew up knowing of McFly so it seems only natural to dress them in a more grown up way. I wouldn't dress the same way now as i did 10 years ago so how can we expect them too. I work very closely with them and what direction they want to go in and so it was great to enhance on the strong images they each individually had already and progress that image into a more mature yet still fun direction.



You seem incredibly versatile in terms of your style. Menswear/womenswear, Edgy and alternative to sophisticated and high end. Is mixing things up important to keeping things interesting for you?

Absolutely. I think in order to have longevity in this business you have to be able to be flexible and not just be able to style in one particular way.

Everyone has their niche and their own personal style preference but its so important to be able to flexible.

Being able to predict trends and trend forecast for young edgy artists is as equally important as being able to dress a man in a perfect fitting suit or a woman in a full length evening gown.


When did you realise you were not only good at figuring out what works on women, but what looks good on men?

When I first started styling I actually used to find it a lot easier dressing women. I guess because you are subconsciously aware of trends and have a natural interest in fashion and how to dress to suit your shape and what looks good on a woman, where as dressing a man comes secondary to that. But there came a stage within my styling career that I started to get booked for more jobs dressing men.

Menswear has come on so much over the last few years and there is so much more freedom and flexibility now than there ever was before and i found men are really open to suggestions and trying out new styles and ways of expressing themselves through clothes and fashion as they are becoming more fashion focussed and aware.
I enjoy dressing men equally as much as I enjoy dressing women. I think men like getting style advice from a woman as they trust a woman to know what looks good on them.




Out of all the different types of jobs you do, is there one that is more natural or enjoyable for you?
Thats part of the reason why I love my job so much, because there is so much variety in the types of work that I do. They all fall under the same 'Styling Umbrella" but one day you can be styling a celebrity for a TV show, the next day you can be styling a show for LFW (London Fashion Week), the next you can be shooting a music video or an editorial abroad. Every day is unique and different and so you never tire or loose motivation or enthusiasm for what you do, it's an incredibly satisfying and enjoyable career. I feel very lucky.

What era in music had the best/most interesting style in your opinion?

Without doubt the 70's.I love the flares, the platforms, the large collar shirts with loud prints.Love the skinny logo tees.The colours, the fabrics, the prints. Everything about it was cool, over the top, adventurous, over styled and fabulous.


Your best dressed musician now and in the past?

Theres a few:

Gwen Stefani - The No Doubt era

Pharell in his hat loving stage

Lenny Kravitz

Mick Jagger - In early Rolling Stones days

Cher - In the 70's


Visually, what are your favourite music video of all time?

Spice Girls - Wannabe It's was so low budget, No hi res. No photoshop. Totally raw. It totally broke the mould. Every Spice girl was dressed totally individual and represented unique characters and individuality.It was fun and naive, and thats what fashion and music should be.It takes me back to being a teenager, trying to recreate the looks with Buffalo shoes and leopard print catsuits.
Loved it.


You’ve recently announced that you are represented by Mandy Coakley - how does this affect your work day to day? 

 
I joined Mandy Coakley very recently, it just felt like the right time to do so and we already have a fantastic business relationship. Im still the newbie on their books so we have many exciting projects in the pipeline for the up coming months.

Most people I know who work in the styling industry are workaholics. What do you do when you allow yourself some chill time?

I think you have to be a workaholic in order to choose this career. Its not a 9-5. you never know where and what you will be doing from one week to the next. You can be working all hours of the day, every day for 5 months then have no work for a month, thats sometimes just how the business is.
You find time to chill, you make it work, it has a way of being so crazy hectic that all you wish for is a full 8 hours rest then you find yourself craving the busy schedule when you have a quieter period.
The crazy schedule is part of the lifestyle you adapt to when you make the decision to be a Fashion Stylist. It totally consumes your life and every aspect within it, but i wouldn't have it any other way.
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Sunday, 31 January 2016

STEALING STYLE FROM STEALING BEAUTY


It's been shockingly awful weather of late, so I've been unable to take any new outfit posts of ensembles that reflect what I am genuinely wearing at the moment.. Well, I lie, I could have taken some pictures, but I would have been  risking illness for results which would have likely featured a serious case of drwoned rat or drizzle induced hair frizz. 

So for now you'll have to put up with another Liv Tyler inspired look. One of the films I featured in my sartorial ode to 90's Liv, was Stealing Beauty. 

The film is set at a Tuscan villa so she is in full on relaxed holiday mode when it comes to her dress. On the whole it's fuss-free simplicity...but always feminine and beguiling. 


This heavely look above is what I wanted to  try and recreate. I don't have the funds to purchase any new pieces for these style recreations, but I had a Religion dress in my wardrobe which had that romantic sensibility about it. 

The elements you need to tick are floral prints and semi sheer fabrics. In an ideal world it would have tiered or layered elements, and these kaftan style sleeves...but as long as it has that goddess vibe you'll be on the right track. 

To enhance that relaxed holiday vibe I let my hair dry naturally. I then attempted to recreate her half up bun style do. Safe to say that I didn't exactly nail it, but I don't have that lovely silky dark hair that Liv has. 

If you are one for visuals I thoroughly reccommend you watch Stealinh beauty. The Italian countryside, the Giorgio Armani curated styling, Liv's stunning face...it truly is a feast for the eyes. The film also features Jeremy Irons, who has one of my favourite speaking voices in the world. 

So, I can't help but wonder...Am I alone in being inspired by film when it comes to my fashion choices? Let me know in the comments, which films have informed your warbrobe? 

X





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Thursday, 28 January 2016

Labyrinth Make Up Tutorial


Let's get something out the way. If you've never watched Labyrinth, you really need to stop whatever you're doing and rectify this at once. It was only because of David's tragic passing that I discovered so many people in my life that are yet to experience the glory that exists in a viewing of the cult classic.Not only are the songs amazing, the Jim Henson puppets are all kinds or adorable, and Bowie's character...well, he got me feeling all kinds of peculiar as a child. 

He had that weird combination of being scary and evil, but also being hot and attractive....combine that with his androgynous style....well I was a bit confused, but I liked it. 

I can't believe it's only now that I've gotten round to fiming this tutorial, but now does seem a paericularly good time to keep on reminding people of his fabulous performance in this film (and his equally fabulous make up look).

So I won't outline how to create this look in this post, because I'd like you to set aside 6 mins to watched the transformation on my channel....

So with the power of voodoo, I urge you to press that big red play button....Otherwise you'll find yourself in the bog of etermal stench.




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