Sunday, 1 May 2016

Raiding Mum's Closet: Mango Wrap Around Skirt

STRADIVARIUS tee, VINTAGE MANGO wrap skirt, TOPMAN sunglasses
SPANISH BOUTIQUE sneaks (similar), MANGO bag

I wore this last week while in Spain on a short mini break (and posted it on Instagram), and really enjoyed it... A mixture of the subdued colours, the sneaks and this awesome skirt I dug out of my Mum's closet. Absolutely love that detail which you can wear either at the front or the back. Turns out, she bought it before I was born! Another point towards investing and looking after your clothes. 

It's dissertation and exam time this May, so Instagram and Facebook are deleted for now. I've got to tell you, Mums are right; I've noticed such a difference in my concentration levels and general time wasting behaviour. I will re-download them once my dissertation is in next week, but I will be assessing whether I slip into my old procrastination patterns and may have to delete for the whole of the exam period. Social media is really such a time thief. 

These Topman sunglasses have become one of my favourite items of late, solving the issue of lusting after the Raybans ones but not enough to actually invest in the real deal!


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Saturday, 16 April 2016

How To Dress For A Food Baby

Vintage Whistles pants (similar), Zara top (similar), Topshop sandals, Olivia Burton watch

This post is for anyone who dreads that self-conscious feeling that comes from wearing something tight to a meal; you were feeling the reflection in the mirror before you left the house, yet once past the bread course you're adjusting, breathing in and generally not enjoying yourself. Worse yet: your outfit actually affects your meal choice. I bring you solutions. 

Going out to eat in Spain - I would argue especially Southern Spain - is a joy. Not only is it usually warm enough to sit outside at any hour, but it's relaxed, varied, delicious and tapas come in at 1€. These kind of prices mean that it's extremely common for people my age to eat out with their friends relatively regularly, something that is not always possible in the UK. Chatting with friends until whatever hour, ordering rounds of 1€ serranitos, that waistline has the potential of becoming a tad tight. 

So here is my answer: wide leg pants to keep it smart and up-to-date, a smart top (wear white at your own risk... I'm so clumsy) and some matching jewellery and lips. I've been enjoying wide leg pants for a while, I love the way they're a) comfy as it comes, b) a fast-track to longer legs and c) that smart-smasual I'm always looking for. You may be able to tell that these are some old photos from the summer, but with a few alterations I don't see why this is not a year-round winner combination. This combination can be covered with a long heavy coat until you arrive at the restaurant if it's a less than balmy night (Manchester speciality) and the sandals for some smart flats. You're ready to enjoy the evening and, crucially, order those carbs. 


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Photos by Roo Chapell Elkin
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Monday, 11 April 2016

Feature: #withOxfam

 
Hubert and his family fled their home 
Hubert mending clothes at the Kibati camp in the DRC
Marceline making a dress
Photo credit in order: Marie Cacace (Oxfam), Marie Cacace (Oxfam), Skye Wheeler, Skye Wheeler 

My head is always caught between immaculate Instagram feeds, Asian students turning my head with flawless taste at my University and Zara window displays 
vs. 
the knowledge that deep down clothes are insignificant, appearances are a tiny speckle in what makes up a person and the absurdity of the speed at which fashion trends come and go

The latter feelings are why I made a conscious decision to put any fashion-related career aspirations to the side and concentrate on my other, arguably greater, passion: Chinese. I've found my intellectual, visual, gastronomical and sartorial needs fulfilled in this physical and conceptual place. 
My blog, although currently a bit neglected due to 8 weeks until my last exam at university, is still one of my favourite things to do and a source of creativity that I appreciate. I've been considering expanding it a little with maybe longer articles and more of an emphasis on sustainable fashion. 

Which is why I was so excited to be contact by Oxfam to write on a sustainable fashion post. Oxfam are currently running a program of Bloggers Against Poverty, especially with a case study of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 


Overview
As you may or may not know, the DRC is recovering from decades of war-torn conflict. Many of the DRC population fled the violence in search of safety. There are more than 55,000 people in the Kibati camp. Oxfam provides water for the camp but, due to the nature of their flee, many people arrived at the camp with nothing, least of all ways to provide for their families. 

Hubert (name changed) and Marceline, however, brought one vital possession with them: their sewing machine. In the few moments Hubert had to flee his house, he made the tough decision to bring his heavy Singer sewing machine hoping that it might help him make a living to feed his family on arrival at Kibati camp. In his own words, "I knew I had to take it with me. I was here back in 2009 without any means to survive and I did not want to put my family in this situation again". He charges 100 Congolese francs (approx. 8 pence) for his services but at least it is enough to feed his wife, mother and two children once a day. 
Marceline Habyarimana is a tailor. Like Hubert, she also fled the fighting with her sewing machine, carrying it to the camp the whole way on her head. Her husband carried the table with the foot pedal that operates the machine. Whereas Hubert mends clothes, Marceline makes dresses for about 1500 Congolese Francs (under £1.50). Clients come from nearby Goma town with the cloth that she then tailors. The people in Kibati camp rarely have enough money to pay for a new dress so she relies on the people from Goma. 

Oxfam helps people across the world by providing safe water, sanitation equipment and hygiene 
essentials in an emergency. The award-winning ‘Oxfam bucket’ includes essentials from soap to sanitary towels, to help people who may have lost everything to stay clean and healthy. They also run training sessions to teach people new skills such as sewing, tailoring and, basket making.
Most importantly, Oxfam encourages national initiatives and increased regional and international 
political engagement which has led to important advances and new agreements to resolve conflict 
and insecurity in places like the DRC.

What a Regular Donation Can Do
- £2.50 can provide 25 water treatment sachets to a family in an emergency. This is enough to make around 500 litres of water safe: enough to last a family of four for a month. 
- £5 can provide 20 Award winning ‘Oxfam buckets’ which allow people to access clean water without risk of contamination by dirt and disease, as it has a closable lid and a tap.
A regular gift to Oxfam changes lives around the world. By giving a monthly donation you can help 
transform whole communities, for good. To donate, please follow this link: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/donate



@oxfamGB
#withOxfam


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