Asian influence this Fall Winter

I love to see a little Asian-inspired fashion on the runway while being surrounded by the influence of Asia.  This season Chinese and Japanese cultures are dominating and there are so many amazing fabrics and patterns to play with and bring into a wardrobe.  Golds and rich colours epitomise Oriental clothing and interiors and there is no lack of either this season.

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This dress comes to life with its pale green colour and Asian fabric with that gorgeous sheen.

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The iconic Japanese Crane makes it’s appearance on the above Van Noten coat.

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Both the style and the fabric in this Proenza Shouler dress mimic their eastern influences.

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Great kimono-inspired belt and rich colours in the above Zac Posen runway look.

Asian style has been popular in interiors for a long while and I’m sure it’s because of its versatility.  There are so many varying looks you can incorporate into the home to add a little of Asia to it:

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Aside from the very obvious silhouettes above the beside tables, the oriental influence can be found in the pattern and colour of the throw pillows and the in headboard whose shape is reminiscent of the contour of Japanese architecture.

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The room above gives a nod to Asia with the chinoiserie panels behind the bedside tables as well as with the bright blue Fu Dogs.  Also note the Indonesian-style ikat pattern on the throw pillows.

Of course this gorgeous table is of Asian decent, but it’s the other touches here that firmly establish this vignette in Oriental style; the boxes and Buddha statue, the gold-leaf horse, and the artwork in the glossy bright sea-blue.

Will you work the Asian influence into your home or wardrobe?  If so, how?

Retro Fashion Tunes

Some oldies, but goodies about the beloved fashion world.

What are your favourite songs about the industry?

Oxblood for Fall 2012

Everywhere I look for fall it’s all about the oxblood.  The colour sits warmly between red and brown and is a close relative to burgundy.  It’s such a rich colour that it just spells cosy!  Imagine oxblood paired with gray, black, red, orange, navy.  It goes well with so many other Fall/Winter colours that it will no doubt be a great wardrobe staple.

Oxblood Haider Ackerman

 

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Gorgeous tone-on-tone pairing in the above Haider Ackerman design.

oxblood Alexander McQueen

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I love the hit of red with the oxblood coat, above, and the various layers of the tone in the shot below.

Oxblood colour palette

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And of course the runways translates to interiors:

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Pure saturation in the picture above creates a luxurious design scheme.  Rich textures and layers keep it interesting.

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oxblood sofa

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The pop of colour in this deep red sofa, above, catches the eye in this otherwise neutral space.

How will you use oxblood this fall?  Will you wear it or bring it into your home or both?

Fulfilling Big-City Ambitions in Kuala Lumpur

Normally when my husband and I travel to new places, we spend most of our time seeing the sights and visiting the cultural attractions that particular location has to offer.  We also do a lot of eating and tasting of local food (eating seems to have become one of our biggest passions).  So on our first trip to Kuala Lumpur – a comparatively larger city than the one in which we are currently living – after living in Malaysia for almost 10 months, we did fully succeeded in fulfilling our requirement for eating.  And any shopping-itch I had was most definitely scratched!

Miri has an unquestionable mall-culture, but nothing prepared me for the malls to be found in Kuala Lumpur (KL, now that we are acquainted).  It is almost mind-boggling the enormity of the shopping centres in KL!  Really, I found them almost overwhelming (perhaps because it has been many, many months since I stepped foot into a western-sized mall.  I’m so deprived!).  We don’t suffer at all here in Miri, but we are somewhat limited in choice when it comes to both food and clothing, particularly of western origin or style. The sheer volume of options may have been what made me a little unsteady in the gigantic KL malls.  But, I recovered for the good of my wardrobe and persevered in exploring the interior of several shopping centres.

KLCC Shopping Mall at the bottom of the Petronas Towers

If you are into Haute Couture, KL is the place for you!  At KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre) shopping centre, located at the bottom of the Petronas Towers, you will be able to shop a good many of the well known fashion houses, such as Prada, Armani and Versace, as well as mainstream brands such as Zara and Top Shop.  If you tire of shopping, you can go to the movie theatre, aquarium or to the music hall. Or go up the impressive Petronas Towers for a 360 degree view of the entire city from 360 meters (almost 1200′) above ground.

Petronas Towers at KLCC

My ant’s-eye view of the Petronas Towers

The Pavilion shopping paradise boasts a ‘Couture Pavilion’ within its 1.37 million square foot (!) space, which also encompasses high street fashion, as well as plenty of eating options in its ‘Gourmet Emporium’ and at its sidewalk-style restaurants.  Or you can choose to cruise Tokyo Street or go for a relaxing session at one of the available spas.

If you are more in the market for a deal, Jalan Petaling may be more your speed.  Here you can get a knock-off just about anything, but be warned – they look like knock-offs!  You will have to dig deep and ask the right people to pull out the more masterly copies if they have them. They most certainly aren’t on display.  Regardless of your purchasing requirements, it’s a colourful street and worthy of a stroll through if you are in the Chinatown area.

Jalan Petaling, Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur

Jalan Petaling in KL’s Chinatown

Foodie (husband) wanted to hit a good cook shop that had been recommended to us by friends, so we made our way out to Bangsar Shopping Centre one afternoon, which was a little out of the way, but it was worth it – it was an epicurean dream!  Never mind the cook shop, as we walked in, we were confronted with the most glorious food store I think we have ever seen.  Jasons Food Hall has it all and then some.  My favourite section was the oil and vinegar section where we were poured a taste out of the cask of our choice, which may contain one of a couple of dozen or more amazing olive, pumpkin seed, or nut oils or aged and flavoured balsamic vinegars.  Our purchase was then decanted into a lovely glass bottle of our preference by a smiling staff member and sent home with us.  We need something like this place in Miri!

Oil and vinegar section at Jasons Food Hall, KL

The glorious selection of oils & vinegars at Jasons Food Hall

So we failed miserably on the sight-seeing in KL (though we did go up the Petronas Towers, honest!) due to our need to devour big city offerings after being on the island for such a long stretch, but we know we’ll be back and cultural sights will definitely be on our list of things to do next time. After we eat and shop, of course!

My Top 10 do’s & don’t’s in KL

  1. Don’t get in a cab unless they agree to run the meter.  Fares are really inexpensive, but will fluctuate greatly without the meter running.
  2. Don’t shop on Saturday afternoon unless you like hordes of crowds!  I mean hordes.
  3. Do shop during Ramadan. Discounts galore including great prices on hotels.  Remember Ramadan moves during the year, so check dates if you are planning a shopping trip to KL.
  4. Do check out Jalan Alor (aka Jalan Kejora) for cheap & cheerful local food with great street ambience in the evenings.
  5. Do visit neighbouring Jalan Changkat Bukit Bintang for higher-end ‘expat’ food, bars & whiskey bars, etc
  6. Do check out Central Market (aka the wet market) on Jalan Hang Kasturi in Little India for Southeast Asian handicrafts, art & textiles and for a break from the heat – it’s air conditioned.
  7. Don’t overlook hotel dining. In SE Asia these may be some of your best meals!
  8. Do book your tickets to go up the Petronas Towers, then head into KLCC shopping mall while you wait for your scheduled time (time slots may sell out, so arrive early if you would like to choose when to go).  Do a bit of shopping or have lunch while you wait. You can store your bags for free after you go through security and before you go up the towers.
  9. Do be cognisant of your attire if you travel during Ramadan.  It’s respectful to cover your shoulders at the very least.
  10. Do buy a ‘myrapid’ transit card. They are only available at the ticket kiosk at KL Sentral station, but can be topped up anywhere.  For RM12, you will get a RM10 credit, which allows you to travel on the LRT (Light Rail Transit) and Monorail systems allowing you easy access to most key areas of the city.

My top dining experiences in KL (well researched by my very foodie husband & myself despite how it looks by their close proximity!  Listed in no particular order): 

  • Hanare Restaurant – This is Japanese food at its best.  We have a serious lack of good Japanese restaurants where we live and had been salivating days before our arrival in KL for some of the good stuff (so much so that we ate at three sushi restaurants while in KL!).  Hanare offers a fresh sheet of sushi that has been flown in from Japan that morning (which doesn’t remotely support my low carbon footprint beliefs, but it was a special occasion – it was sushi!). It was delicious, fresh, amazing.  And the Wagyu beef is something everyone should try once in their lives.  Incredible!  In the Doubletree Hotel building on the corner of Jalan Ampang & Jalan Tun Razak (Ampang Park LRT station).
  • Ciccio Ristorante – Ahhhh, Ciccio!  Glorious meatballs, fab Tuscan red by the glass and excellent service.  I only wish I had gone to this restaurant with a better appetite! I’ll be back.  Found on Changkat Bukit Bintang.  Book a table or be very sorry.
  • Makan Kitchen – If you want a taste of the multiple cuisines available in Malaysia in a  more upmarket atmosphere than found on Jalan Alor, try Doubletree Hotel’s all-you-can-eat buffet on Saturdays and Sundays. For RM48++ (plus, plus equals taxes and service charge) you can sample excellent Malay, Indian and Chinese food. Corner of Jalan Ampang & Jalan Tun Razak (Ampang Park LRT station).
  • Tanzini on the 28th floor of the G-Tower Hotel offers very successful Italian Asian fusion cuisine with gorgeous views.  This Canadian girl was very impressed with the scallop dish.  I love a good scallop! After dinner head to the basement of the hotel to catch the excellent three-man cover-band (Fridays only) or hit the 30th floor View Bar for a night cap overlooking the Petronas Towers. On the kitty-corner of Jalan Ampang & Jalan Tun Razak from the Double Tree Hotel (Ampang Park LRT station).
  • Frangipani – definitely not the least expensive restaurant we dined in, but worth the money if you have the budget.  Great wine list and delicious French cuisine in a really lovely setting.  Start your night on the outdoor patio with a glass of bubbly and some oysters.  Yum!  Located on Jalan Changkat Bukit Bintang.

Where are your favourite spots to travel, eat and shop?  Do you try local food when you’re away from home or do you stick with what you know?

The Courage to Be Uncool

I love this post I read on Care2 by guest blogger Lissa Rankin several months ago about The Courage to Be Uncool.  It is so honest and relatable that I couldn’t help but instantly like her for saying it so well.  And so I asked permission to share it here.  She agreed and so I share with all of you…

The Courage to Be Uncool, by Lissa Rankin

I have never been one of the cool kids, mostly because I was never willing to adapt to the ever-evolving shapeshifter that is “coolness” at the expense of being who I really am.

Yet, even now, I notice the pressure to play it cool and the battle that goes on in my own psyche. Particularly in my line of work, many in my professional peer group are supremely cool.  They wear the right toe-crunching, sexy, stylin’ shoes and coif their hair just so.  They slip in under the velvet rope at the VIP lounges, while sipping on the right trendy cocktails.  The way they write and the things they blog about and how they communicate and who they hang out with and the very air of how they present themselves – on stage and in life – is just so damn cool.

I’m not prone to making comparisons, but it’s enough to make even the most secure girl feel uncool in her comfy brown Teva Mary Janes with her hair in a ponytail.

Being A Chameleon

Ten years ago, I was on Match.com for all of three days and met not only my current husband but also this really cool guy who used to work at Studio 54, who was so hot I could hardly breathe around him.  I really liked cool, hot dude, but my antennae went up when cool, hot dude said to me on our first date, “I’m like a chameleon.  I can adapt myself to any situation so I fit right in.”

While this skill sounded handy – even enviable on one level – I found myself feeling distrustful.  Not until that moment did I realize that I wanted to be with the kind of man who was himself all the time, whether he was at the White House, at the Oscars, at a soup kitchen, at the company Christmas party, at church, at home with his family, or hanging at the local pub with the guys.  Any guy who could adapt himself to be cool, whether he was hanging with supermodels or preschool kids, didn’t ring quite true for me.

So as attractive as I found cool, hot dude, I wound up choosing to be with Matt, who is the same down-to-earth, unpretentious, goofy, adorable, essentially uncool Matt, whether he’s watching my daughter’s Waldorf school play, hanging in the green room with me at the Hay House conference, hosting Easter for the neighbors with me, or eating lunch at French Laundry in Napa Valley, where they made him wear one of the stodgy blue coats with gold buttons they reserve for the uncool guys who show up not knowing it’s jacket-only.

When Cool Becomes A Mask

I have nothing against cool people. In fact, I have great admiration for those who are authentically cool – they just embody cool naturally and you can tell it’s not an act at all.

I am not one of those people – and never will be.  I want to rub their heads and hope a little of it rubs off on me. So far, it hasn’t worked because that’s just not me.

But I suspect naturally cool people are rare. The rest are all trying to hit the bullseye of a constantly moving target of coolness, which means staying on top of trends, comparing yourself to others, sacrificing what you really love for what you think others love, and essentially selling your soul for the price of admission into the cool zone.

It’s a heavy price to pay.

Cool can become a mask that covers up the real you, hopefully replacing the real you with someone others consider more socially acceptable. Cool can become your cover, and as long as you’re cool enough, you might spend the rest of your life protecting the real you from ever getting seen – and possibly rejected.

I Am Not Cool…

I don’t wear the right shoes. I wear the ones that feel good.

I hang out with the people I love, not the people who might improve my social status.

If I care about someone, I don’t play games. I tell them, even when I know it makes me look uncool, and even when I’m not sure if the affection is reciprocated.

I say what I think, not what I think others want me to say.

I vote for who I respect, not who others think I should vote for.

I sometimes meditate cross-legged and closed-eyed in public, even though I know it makes me look like a hippie freak from California (I am).

I’ve had the same Jennifer Aniston haircut from her early Friends days for almost two decades because it looks good on me. I’d probably still have a Farrah Fawcett haircut and a perm if it had ever looked good on me (it didn’t.)

I sometimes order the duck when I’m eating out with vegans.

I wear clothes that are five seasons old and completely out of style, just because I still love them.

The guy who just waxed my skis raised an eyebrow because my skis aren’t parabolic enough to look like I bought them in the last decade (I didn’t), but they’re also not vintage enough to be cool on Retro Ski Day.

I yell “WHEEEE!!!!” when I’m skiing down the hill in my uncool skis just because it feels so good.

I do cartwheels on the beach when I’m way too old to do cartwheels.

I don’t buy my daughter’s birthday cake at the cool bakery where the cool mamas go.

I don’t get invited to the cool parties in my hometown.

I don’t have the perfect comeback when someone insults me. I just look openly hurt because I am.

I don’t look cool when I cry, which is often.

I sometimes snort when I laugh hard, which is often.

But Uncool Can Be Cool

I may not be cool, but I’ve kept the promise I made to myself six years ago to be unapologetically ME – 100% of the time – and in my opinion, that’s pretty dang cool. Personally, I love people who let their freak flag fly, even when it flies against the norm. For me, it just doesn’t get any cooler.

Being uncooly cool isn’t always easy. Often, I feel tempted to pretend to be cooler than I am so I won’t feel like such a misfit or wind up hurt. Like everyone else, I want to be loved and accepted. I long to belong.

But not at the price of selling out who I am and replacing the real me with some plastic version constantly recreated to fit today’s elusive cool factor (which you can guarantee is different than yesterday’s).

I finally realized that it takes real courage to be unapologetically uncool – and that there’s really nothing cooler in my book than someone brave enough to be who they really are, even when it flies in the face of everything popular culture commands you to be.

Come Out Of The Closet

If you’re one of those naturally cool people who just radiates coolness when you’re being completely authentic, more power to ya! High five (or is that uncool?)

But if you’re more like me – uncool and cool with it – will you please raise your hand? Come out of the closet, my love. Let us see your real face. Tell us how uncool you are – and be unapologetic about it. Forget that – be flippin’ PROUD of your uncoolness – because it takes courage to be uncool – and there’s nothing sexier than that.

Proud to be uncool,

****

Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of OwningPink.com, author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013), TEDx speaker, and health care revolutionary.  Join her newsletter list for free guidance on healing yourself, and check her out on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you to Lissa Rankin for letting me share her post.

I admire Lissa’s uncoolness; that she is ‘cool with being uncool’!  What do you think about our constant desire to be cool and our constant fear of being uncool?  Do you wear a ‘cool mask’ or are you ‘uncool and cool with it’?

Christian Dior Fall Winter 2013

I am completely in love with some of the classic elements that appear on the Christian Dior Fall/Winter 2013 catwalk!  Raf Simons added cigarette pants; three-quarter length coat sleeves worn with long gloves; cinched-in high-waistlines; a hint at the peplum, and full skirts among other things.  I’m a sucker for vintage-inspired style and this is it at its best!

My favourite dress in the collection is this gorgeous salmon pink gown with sheer skirt and fitted bodice that absolutely leapt off the runway in contrast to the rest of the colour palette in the line.  I particularly like the juxtaposition (big word, I know!) of the high-necked, long-sleeved top and the sheer skirt.  Beautiful!

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What do you think about the Christian Dior Fall/Winter collection?

Transgender Models

A highly debated topic perhaps since For Your Eyes Only Bond Girl Caroline (Tula) Cossey made headlines in the 1980’s when she was outed for being a transgender model and actress, the press has stirred it up again recently since the formerly-male Jenna Talackova competed in the Miss Universe Canada Pageant. I’m curious how people really feel about transgender models now.

Former Bond Girl & Playboy model, Caroline Tula Cossey

Are we worried about the sex of the person who is advertising clothing?  Does it matter that a beautiful man looks fantastic promoting women’s fashion – or that the person used to be a man?  And what about the latest headlines about the transgender model competing in Miss Universe Canada Pageant?  Is it inappropriate or ground-breaking?

Model Lea T (second from right) in Givenchy 2010 ad campaign.

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Transsexual Isis King fronts American Apparel’s Gay Pride campaign

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Male model Andre Pejic walks the catwalk in a Rosa Clara wedding gown

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Jenna Talackova competed in the Miss Universe Canada Pageant in May 2012

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These models are beautiful, there’s no doubt.  Is it wrong that they appear on magazine covers and in advertising?  Would it be less of a problem for society to accept them if we didn’t know they used to be men?  What do you think?

LWD – The Little White Dress (& the little white room)

Almost all of us have that go-to LBD in our closet.  And if we don’t, we should.  There’s no denying it’s a wardrobe staple and can make the best companion to even the most last-minute invitation.  But recently, the LWD has been appearing at events and on red carpets. It’s so fresh and sophisticated that its got to last. And there’s no better dress for the summer.  Below some great LWD options.

Little White Dress

Victoria’s Secret aptly names this the Date Dress.  Perfect for date night, with a bit of sexy and a lot of classic.  This could easily be dressed up with silver or gold accessories and heels, or dressed down with flats and leather accessories.

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Angelina Jolie works the little white dress above.  Again, it’s sophisticated and classic.  Add a blazer and take this dress to the office.

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I love how this LWD is punched up with vibrant orange jacket, belt and scarf.  The neutral bag and shoes keep it from feeling too matchy-matchy.

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This is such a flirty crocheted lace LWD.  I like that it has long sleeves with the short skirt, so it highlights those leggy assets!

The LWD accessorised

I thought I’d share my virgin run on polyvore (above) of my set for the LWD and accessories.  Of course I incorporated one of Earth, Wind and Style’s gorgeous handbags too!  What do you think?
Of course, fashion can be translated into interiors and I’ve long been a fan of white interiors.  There’s something so serene and relaxed about them.  

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The Barcelona Chair (pictured above) reminds me of a well made suit.  It’s timeless and uncomplicated, yet paired with the right accessories, like this zebra print carpet and the bold black and white artwork, it becomes sophisticated and chic just as a suit you wear to the office would benefit from good accessorising.

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Isn’t this throw and lace pillows reminiscent of the lace LWD posted earlier?  This is a great example of how to bring your own personal style into your interior.  Looking for items for your home that correlate to those in your wardrobe (or vice versa) is an easy way to try to extrapolate your style from one to the other.

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Creating an engaging space centred around one colour can be challenging.  There must be elements of interest, which allow the eye to rest rather than continually seek the space for something to take its attention.  With a single colour in the room, texture and lighting become even more important than usual.  Texture can be brought in through contrasting finishes, such as ceramics and roughly finished furnishings, furs (or faux furs), wool, leather, reclaimed wood, etc.  The room above is successful because of the contrast between the rustic headboard, the glamourous chandelier and the fine cotton bedding, which in combination are a surprise to the eye.

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Again in the above living area, the contrast between tailored furnishings and textured finishes add interest and depth to the space.

So, if you haven’t already will you invest in an LWD?  What about living with an all white interior?  Is it something you would do?

Thinking Outside the Jewellery Box

I love to organise. I love to be organised. My brain appreciates the calm that comes from knowing things are in their place, but jewellery always seems like a difficult thing to sort and house.

I tend to shy away from typical storage solutions for my jewellery. I do have one traditional Chinese-style jewellery box, but most of my other jewellery is stored in less classic containers. I like to work vintage into my decor, so I use a couple of old leather collar boxes to keep my chunky necklaces and beads. And a Japanese Bento Box is home to some other pieces (this is a 2-for-the-price-of-1 storage solution, as the Bento Box comes apart, so the dividing tray can be used in a drawer and the box for another purpose). And I like the hit of red when I open it up to see my ‘jewels’.

But I’ve been on the lookout for other ideas for practical ways to organise my personal adornments. Below are some of my most interesting finds:

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Bracelets are particularly difficult to find storage for since they come in so many different shapes and sizes, so both of the above ideas caught my eye; the first using a beer bottle (a perfect excuse to crack a corona tonight!) and the second utilising a paper towel holder to stack and display the bracelets.

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The above is one of my favourite jewellery storage ideas and such a great use of mismatched tea cups and saucers that may have been floating around the family for a few generations. It’s storage and family keepsake in one.

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By now we’ve all seen the picture frame idea for hanging jewellery, but I like the retro metallic background in this one above. It adds a bit of glam to the vignette and will bring some depth into any corner you might locate it. The cake stand is a good use of space and also adds a bit of charm to this jewellery nook with its contrasting metallic finish.

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I love this happy little space (above) on so many levels, but the necklace display along the curtain rail is so unique and could easily be accomplished with some doweling and hooks and would look fantastic in a walk in closet!

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This idea is so simple and could be incorporated in many forms. There are a few pieces out there using vintage drawer pulls, but you could also use coat hooks installed on any wall with a bit of space and hang your necklaces from them.

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This is also a really pretty idea for hanging jewellery and can be incorporated into any small space. Select your fabric background to match your decor. Very chic.

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Again I’m loving this unique idea of making a jewellery tree out of driftwood. I especially love the contrast of the driftwood with the jewellery.

So, hopefully a few ideas to perk up your jewellery storage. Which ones are your favourites? Will you apply any of these ideas?

The Hot Topic of Photo Retouching

Magazines and advertisers who are retouching photos of their models to such a degree that they don’t look natural is a hot topic in the media right now and I’m really pleased to see that people are finally taking notice of the ridiculously unobtainable standards that these businesses are setting.

A year ago, several of the L’Oreal company’s brands had advertisements banned in the UK for retouching photos beyond an ‘acceptable level’.  Christy Turlington and Julia Roberts appear in two of these ads, and the question is why the Lancome and Maybelline executives found it necessary to photoshop these already beautiful women to create images that are completely unrealistic.  We are left to hope we can be this flawless if we purchase their products, which is quite impossible.

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Perhaps it is the blatant faults in photo enhancement, such as models missing fingers and heads and other rather obvious body parts that has really forced this topic to the forefront (just google photoshop mistakes and you’ll get over a million hits). Whatever the reason for its making headlines, I think it’s a good thing that it is continuously brought to the attention of the public – particularly for the women who are trying desperately to live up to these  ideals.

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This month, Eva Longoria appeared on the cover of Italian Amica magazine looking more like her Desperate Housewives co-star Terry Hatcher than herself!  You have to wonder what the editor was thinking letting this cover go to press with such an (apparently) well known face on the cover.  She’s far more beautiful in her actual photo (left), yet she didn’t escape the editing process.

I know a lot of women who have struggled for part of their lives – sometimes the better portion of their lives – with body image.  It’s not surprising when you consider the unrealistic images we are confronted with on a daily basis in magazines, online and in advertising.  Madonna is in her 50’s.  She’s supposed to have a few lines around her face. Don’t we expect that after the life she – of all people – has lived?!

How us women got to the point of trying to attain perfection, I’m not sure, but airbrushing and photo enhancement have been around since the late 1800’s – back in the day when women were forcing their bodies into corsets and girdles to create the perfect silhouette – and have almost certainly helped push us into trying to achieve these ideals.

 

Audrey Hepburn airbrushed

 

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Above is a promotional photograph of Audrey Hepburn for Breakfast at Tiffany’s from the 1960’s and it’s recently released marked version showing where the editor thought Audrey needed a little added beauty.  I’m amazed this editing was considered and put into action on a star who, in my mind, was quite gorgeous enough in the original photo!

But there has been some backlash and several celebrities, such as Cate Blanchett, have been making a point against all of this retouching.  Take a look at Cate’s untouched photo on the cover of Intelligent Life.  She is an undeniably beautiful women who has made a name for herself partly because of her beauty.  It’s so nice to see a representation of her at 42 years of age looking natural and, well, 42!

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A fourteen year old girl, Julia Bluhm, from Maine in the US recently caught the attention of the media as she organised a protest at the entrance to Seventeen Magazine in New York to state her objection to their use of photographs that are airbrushed.  Her protest was in support of the idea that these images may result in low-self esteem issues amongst her peers.  She’s on the right track, but we need more people – adults and teens – to make it known that we want to see true representations of models in the magazines we read and in the ads we are exposed to.

It would be great if more celebrities stood up and, like Cate Blanchett, insisted on photo shoots without heavy editing. But it is truly up to magazine editors and advertisers to change the way they think and the way they represent models and celebrities, which lead the general population towards aspirations of impossible beauty.

What do you think about the photoshopping controversy?