FRIDAY THOUGHTS: WHY YOUR VOICE MATTERS IN THE FACE OF INEQUALITY

Friday, 18 August 2017

Holborn, London UK













"No-one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn that, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite." - Nelson Mandela


Hello lovelies,

So I guess this post is going to be a little glum, and a little bit of a vent from me. 

The first thing I wanted to chat about was the state of American Politics, as for the past few days, I've been turning on the news to see the chaos in Charlottesville, and my heart breaks. To see the hatred, the bigotry and (seemingly not condemned by their President), has been not only distressing, but incredibly poignant.

We all like to think that we live in a society devoid of racial prejudice. And of course, as a society, we have come on leaps and bounds. But I fear we have halted, and may even begin to be taking steps backwards, the US in particular.

I feel that being biracial has enabled me to see the world without prejudice just that little better. I see my black mum and my white dad who I both love so much, and I see no stereotypes or connotations that the wider world might attach to the colour of their skin. But yet, I also see the way in which the world sees them, and the considerably higher privilege bestowed on my Dad simply for that fact that he was born white.

I'm incredibly proud of my cultural heritage. I value and celebrate both sides. I'm aware that being mixed race has given me a very interesting perspective of race. And one day I hope to write a post all about mixed race identity and my experience of being the grey area in a very black and white world.

One thing I can say I have learnt, however, is that there is far more that we have in common than that which separates us.

Wherever you go in the world people strive, struggle and live for the same things. My black mum and white dad have had completely different upbringings, in completely different parts of the world, and yet, they are the same. They laugh, they love, they suffer, they grieve, they work, they dream. They live. Anywhere you go in the world, people are all essentially the same. They are human.

Which is why equality is so important. All life is sacred, and thus, we must always stand up for the protection, freedom and value of all lives.

But this is not what is happening. It's 2017 and we still live in a world where a black man can get shot by a police officer, and the officer walks free. We live in a world where a white supremacist mows down a group of anti-fascist protestors, and the president condemns 'all sides'. We need to start valuing black bodies as much as we value other races, and fast.

It's difficult, because we are fighting an unbelievably tough battle. We must be realistic, and realise that centuries of unequal, racist ideology is not going to be erased overnight.

Nevertheless, we must try. Every small shift in thinking, in treatment and in stereotype is yet another small battle won in the even bigger war.

When we support each other, we all win. Which is why equality is a cause which we all must fight for; white, black, asian, you name it. Racism as an institutional issue is the fault of no one alive today. I don't see the need to blame those now for the sins of their ancestors. Institutional racism is a centuries old systemic issue which still holds heavy remnants in our society. But as the saying goes, if you stay silent in the midst of oppression, you choose the side of the oppressor. Please don't be that person. Voice your anger. Talk to your friends, your relatives, try to niggle away at the small prejudices you suspect them of having, educate them as best you can. And even if there is no change, at least you have tried.

I can be a contradiction. I'm usually a pessimist, but the one time when I am generally optimistic is with people. I try always to see the best in them. Which is why I don't believe these white supremacists, these bigots and far right conservatives are fundamentally bad people. They are just people. People who have learnt to hate, who have stayed ignorant for one reason or another. Prejudice is not inherent, it is taught and learnt. Which is why these individuals can just as easily un-learn this prejudice and learn to treat everybody equally. 
Take the time to be angry, but then re-open your heart. Meeting hate with hate only breeds more segregation, and we simply cannot afford to harbour any more of that.

Until next time,
Bisous <3

Eva
xxx

OUTFIT DETAILS:

Tee: New Look (similar here)
Lace Blouse: Zara (sold out, similar here)
Jacket: Bershka
Jeans: Topshop (similar here)
Loafers: Ego (on sale!)
Belt: Gucci
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban
Backpack: Urban Outfitters (old, similar here)
Necklace: Na-kd Fashion (better quality one here)

TWO WAYS TO WEAR: THE DENIM MINI - PART 1

Monday, 14 August 2017

Hyde Park, London W2 2UH, UK














Hello, Lovelies!

Didn't I tell you I was on a roll with this whole blogging lark? (Although lemme go touch wood because I don't want to jinx it lol!)

So today I've got a little styling post for you all.

The wonderful ladies at Boohoo got in touch with me to put together a post on my summer holiday wardrobe essentials, and though it's not looking like I'll be going abroad anymore this year (WELP - don't even get me started pls), I was more than happy to take on the task.

So let's get down to business. Now first, if you're going on holiday, you're probably jetting off somewhere much brighter and sunnier for your much needed dose of vitamin D (because we all know you're not getting it in England for about 350 days of the year!) If you're anything like me and practically live in jeans then now, my friends, is the time for you to make the brave move of reluctantly leaving your trusty jeans in your drawer at home (no doubt they'll get more than their fair share of wear when you are back on our gloomy ol' English shores). So why not seize the chance to opt for something a little shorter, freer and feminine: the skirt.

Now often the city break is a short affair, a quick whistle stop tour of the city and it's landmarks, so it's likely that you're not going to have the most suitcase space, despite the fact that if you're anything like me you're probably trying to stuff half your wardrobe into it. So, chances are you're going to have to compromise and have a few, key, versatile items - and what better item than the denim mini! Now you'll notice that whilst I said you should leave your jeans at home, I didn't say you had to leave your denim. Nope, why the hell would you do that when it will go with absolutely everything you pack!
For me, the denim skirt is the perfect holiday piece, it's comfy, versatile and permanently 'on trend', and best believe my 5'9.5 height sure as hell ain't gonna stop me rocking a mini!

For a day of exploring around the city, city break it's best to opt for something practical and comfortable. You can never go wrong with a good ol' slogan tee as I have worn here, a light jacket just in case it gets chilly, some comfy trainers for lots of walking, and I've also added these obnoxious but fabulous oversized glasses to jazz up the simple outfit.
....... 

On this particular day I went for afternoon tea at the Park Lane Hilton Hotel with my sister and her friends (yep I tagged along lol!), which was absolutely delish! I felt like the ultimate Brit sipping on earl grey in one hand and munching on a scone in the other! It's something I'd definitely recommend anyone visiting London to do, incidentally! 

(of course since we were somewhere so posh we absolutely had to take the obligatory fancy toilet selfie #picsoritdidnthappen lol! p.s. how gorge does my sis look?!)

If the denim mini isn't quite your jam, then I'd opt for a floaty midi skirt or skater skirt like these two here and here! Either option would work just as well with the above outfit. 

Stay tuned for Part II next week, in which I'll be showing you how I'd style the same mini for some classy evening cocktails or a romantic sunset dinner date!

What are your summer holiday wardrobe essentials? Are you a sucker for the denim mini too?

Until next time,
Bisous <3

Eva
xxx


OUTFIT DETAILS:
Top: c/o Boohoo*
Skirt: c/o Boohoo*
Jacket: c/o Boohoo*
Belt: Ebay
Glasses: Primark (only £1!) (similar here)
Trainers: c/o Boohoo*
Bag: Urban Outfitters (old - similar here)

Please note that whilst this post is not sponsored, all items marked with an asterisk (*) were kindly gifted to me by Boohoo. As always all thoughts, opinions and creative direction are my own; please refer to my 'contact' page for my full disclaimer.

FRIDAY THOUGHTS: CATHARSIS AND WHY WE ALL NEED IT

Friday, 11 August 2017











"Catharsis is about cleansing and healing at one and the same time - healing memories and attitudes, healing the spirit and the heart." - Desmond Tutu

Hello, lovelies! 

I'm back for another Friday Thoughts! I guess this one is a little follow up to my last post all about my road to recovery and journey with mental health. I'm continually overwhelmed by the amount of love and support I get from all of you who read this blog, but there is no time this is more profound than when I write about my health issues. Initially, I was extremely hesitant to begin writing about such personal topic. It's incredibly daunting, opening up in that way for anyone to read, but there was a point during this intermission where I felt as though I had nothing to lose, and decided to try to write my first post on mental health. (You can read it here, if you'd like to catch up!) I often get messages from you guys saying how 'brave' I am for writing these posts, and I really appreciate that. But I guess what I've come to feel a sense of duty, to you all, as my readers, to share with you all my experience, so that if it can help someone out there who is suffering in any way at all, I can say that my blog has achieved something good.

At this stage, I can't produce posts giving you tips or advice on dealing with anxiety and depression, which I hope someday I will be able to do, because in truth, right now I'm still struggling through and trying to figure this out. But the one thing I can do, is keep a track of what I feel now, how I'm coping now, and what I'm doing to try to get better, in the hope that any of you out there going through something similar, can take some comfort in the fact that you are by no means alone. Sometimes it helps to read something in which someone has articulated your feelings so you don't have to, I certainly know that reading and watching others talk about their experiences of depression and anxiety helped me to get help and understand the illness more. so I hope that for some of you... Recently it's struck me that every time I write a more personal post, I feel a little less anxious about it. Indeed, I guess, in a sense, the writing is therapy in itself. An emotional purge, if you will. 

I guess it's a sort of catharsis, writing about something so personal. When starting this blog, I never really thought that it would become such a personal space. I'd always intended to keep it a space focused solely on fashion and beauty. It's funny how the content evolves, as your needs change.

I remember when I was young and I used to keep a little diary, something every young girl has done I'm sure. It was an awfully girly dinky little purple groovy chick one, complete with a pink gel pen and pad lock, and when i got it, I remember making a promise to myself to write in it every night. See, I'd been reading a lot of Jacqueline Wilson (omg best author everrr) books at the time and all the cool characters seemed to write a diary, so that's what I was going to do too. Did I keep it up? Pfftttt, yeah right, get real, but to be fair to myself, I kept it up for a good few weeks before I finally put my inner Bridget Jones to bed. I'd write about my day, what I watched and did, and it became awfully repetitive, but it was sort of cathartic, even at that young age.

When starting counselling to help with my mental health, my counsellor recommended that I start keeping a mood diary of sorts. I was apprehensive at first; the idea of taking up diary writing again and writing about my feelings and emotions seemed far too draining and almost counter productive. I was worried that writing every day would be just too much of a commitment; that I would wallow in those feelings by taking the time to dwell on them and articulate them far better in writing. But I was pleasantly surprised. Writing in my little mood journal, without pressure or judgement, has helped me acknowledge my negativity and overthinking, instead of trying to suppress it. There's something incredibly comforting in words. Almost as though, if something has been put pen to paper, then its real, and you haven't imagined it. (I hope this makes sense!) Writing things down and tracking my mood has almost legitimised them, in a sense. It's helped me to acknowledge them myself, and realise that you can accept and recognise these negative thoughts for what they are, without indulging in them. I guess I have realised that I have liberated my inner Bridget Jones once more, though, not being the comic genius that she is, in a much more miserable and melancholy way!

The other day I was pondering over the idea that, in a sense, the digital age has meant that these blogs, our little spaces on the internet, have become our diaries. Twitter, instagram, and finally, blogging have become our personal outlets, our virtual diaries, where instead of sharing our days, our thoughts, and sometimes our innermost feelings with a little old book, we share them with the world, with complete strangers. It's a funny old thing, the digital age, right?

Last Friday, when I sat down to write my Friday Thoughts and all that emotional waffle fell onto the page, I felt something like catharsis. It's moments like that when you realise how important it is to write a blog for yourself, as well as for others. 

So, I guess I'll finish with this: next time you're feeling like you're harbouring all your emotions, write them down. Put pen to paper. Or, at the very least jot things down in the notes section of your phone. Allow yourself the time to indulge in an emotional splurge. You'd be surprised how much better you feel afterwards.

Catharsis. It's good for the soul, and it would seem like we all need it.

Until next time,
Bisous <3

Eva
xxx

OUTFIT DETAILS:

T-Shirt: Forever 21
Jeans: Topshop
Blazer: H&M
Shoes: Topshop
Jewellery: Topshop
Bag: Zara (something similar here)
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban
Belt: Gucci

SHOES, GLORIOUS SHOES! - SAINT LAURENT CAT BOOTIES: THE CASE FOR KITTEN HEELS

Monday, 7 August 2017




Hello, lovelies!

Now as you all probably know by now, I have an unhealthy, and rather expensive taste for designer shoes. So, today I have my second shoe review for you all and its a good'un - the Saint Laurent Cat Booties!


The Case for Kitten Heels:

Now we all know that the kitten heel does not carry the best reputation, but regardless, I'm here to say that I'm not even a closet kitten heel lover. Oh no, I'm more than happy to announce that I am indeed a loud and proud kitten heel wearer. Now a few of you may have recoiled in horror behind your computer screens at this shocking statement. But please, bare with me, and allow me to take five minutes of your time to try to sell them to you. So, here they are; five reasons why kitten heels should be your friend, not your foe!

1.) They're practical. Can't hack traipsing about in a 5 or even 4 inch stiletto heel every day? Then a kitten heel is the one for you. You'll still have that slight elevation but you'll actually be able to live your life and get shit done in them!

2.) Following on from point one, practicality and comfort go hand in hand on this one. With the right kitten heel you're bound to be comfortable and equally very ladylike and elegant, a win-win all round, if you ask me! 

3.) They're tall girl friendly. Now don't get me wrong, I'm 5'9.5 and best believe I'll still be rocking those 6 inch platform heels - if they tickle my fancy, there'll be no stopping me. However, for those that are still self conscious of their height, (god, I know I was for years and years and I'll still get the odd day) or if, like me, you don't fancy towering over the rest of humanity like the bloody BFG every damn day (a little 'in' joke with my friends.... I don't mind, it's better than the other options: 'tree' and 'giraffe', I guess) then the kitten heel is your best friend.

4.) They're french fashion pack approved. I bet you've seen them on every single French street style fashion blogger, non? And its not just the current it-girls that are rocking them either, but all the greats. Audrey Hepburn was a tall-ey (5'8 I believe), and was known to be a big fan. I don't think there's anyone who could epitomise elegance or french fashion more, and if they were good enough for Audrey, well they're damn well good enough for me!

5.) They're just bloody cute, okay?


So now onto these beauties...

Hedi Slimane left Saint Laurent a little while ago now (le cry), and when he announced his departure, I just knew I wanted a piece from his tenure at the brand. I loved the edgy, grunge, rock and roll vibe he had brought back to the brand, and nothing is more representative of this, I think, than these boots.

We saw them in a number of different variations, studded, leopard print (still sad I missed out on this pair bc they were bad AF), metallic, I could go on; but the patent leather had my heart. There's something just so unapologetically 90s, grungy and rebellious about black patent, amiright?

I read someone's absolutely incredible summation of these boots on a blog a little while ago, she wrote: 
"I want to be one of Hedi Slimane's Paris-LA girls. That equation is all kinds of decadence and happenstance."

As soon as I read this I was just like, YES, YES, YES. But, the £575 price tag was just too much for my broke uni student self, and, with a salty tear in my eye, I had to turn away from these beauties.

Until... the magic of Bicester Village struck me at an unexpected hour.
I was perusing the boutiques of the designer outlet with few expectations, when I struck gold at the Saint Laurent boutique with these babies.
As soon as I saw them I had that little heart flutter that can only be described as lust at first sight. And that feeling was x1000000 when I turned over the shoe and saw the price tag. £145. yes, you read that correctly. I think I let out a small audible gasp, I got so excited. And further proof the fashion gods had blessed me that day? When I asked for sizing, they only had one size left, size 39 - my size. I was a little nervous as I'm not a true 39, so when I tried them on and they just about fit, I did a little excited jump and was totally lapping up the SA's comments of 'these look amazing on you', 'you look like the fashion models because you're so tall' bullshit comments lol! I was completely dancing to her tune but didn't want to impulse buy and decided I'd have a think while I walked around the rest of the shops. Well, needless to say I couldn't get them out of my mind and no less than 15 minutes later I had decided that I totally had to have them, went back and bought them.


All the Deets

Price and Availability: £145 at Bicester Village in August 2016. Of course, I was super lucky with these, but if you are able, do check Bicester Village, as I remember that day they also had the normal leather version and a studded variation, and going back since, I've seen other pairs, so I suspect different variations do often make their way to the outlet store. Dior have just realised a very similar looking pair if you want to go high end, but of course, as always, I will link the best dupes I can find at the end of the post! 

Comfort: These were slightly tight, and I knew this when I bought them, so they took a bit of wearing in before they got comfy, but now they're pretty comfy. It's super weird getting used to the heel height and boot style when you first wear them, but this become much less noticeable when you get used to them.

Quality: 2.5/5 Now this is where I was slightly let down. The first time I wore them, the heel tips completely came off, and this was in a matter of minutes. Granted, it was awful weather; hailing, raining, and I walked across gravel, but still, I had expected much more for how much they were! I got the heel tips replaced and I've worn the boots a few times since then and they've been absolutely fine - it's just a shame I had to do so! I wouldn't recommend against Saint Laurent, I will give them the benefit of the doubt with these, but I will say I'm definitely glad I didn't pay full price for these!

Sizing: Size 39. I'm usually a size 39 - 40. They're slightly tight but getting looser with wear.

How I Style: Now I think these are going to be super fun to style. I'm thinking ripped jeans and biker jackets for full on rock chick mode or mini skirt and oversized knits for a more interesting feminine twist. I've already styled them up once in this post on parisian fashion, but stay tuned to see how I'll be styling them on the blog this A/W!

Why I Love Them: They're just bloody cool, ok?! If you're not sold on them by now, I don't think you ever will be. I suspect these are perhaps in marmite territory, right? But that's what makes fashion so fun, eh?

I think they're going to be great this A/W, I've seen a lot of kitten heels making their way into shops, so I'm thinking these will be on trend! I'm fully aware that I'll be serving major mystic meg/hocus pocus vibes all season long, and you may hate, but I'm totally ok with that.

What luxe piece would you guys like me to review next? I was thinking either the Gucci belt or Miu Miu sunglasses? Let me know in the comments below!

So, what do you guys think of these boots? Have I converted you to the kitten heel crew? (its cooler than it sounds, I promise!) Were you a fan of Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent? Leave me your thoughts and comments down below!

Until next time, 
Bisous <3

Eva
xxx

LINKS:



DUPES:

H&M Laced Ankle Boots (the best dupe IMO)
Daisy Street Lace Up Point Mid Heel Boots (another almost identical dupe!)
Zara Leather Lace-Up Ankle Boots (Not really a kitten heel but a really cool chunky low heel!)
Zara Fabric Ankle Boots (these are FAB!)



FRIDAY THOUGHTS: THE ROAD TO RECOVERY

Friday, 28 July 2017




"Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise." - Victor Hugo

Hello lovelies,

It's been a while hasn't it? But that's nothing new, all you loyal followers of this blog will be well accustomed to my never-ending flakiness by now.

I guess it's been a weird couple of months. As you all know, I've been home from uni after I had to intermit in January due to illness, and the past few months have been all about trying to get better, and taking on that ever so winding road to recovery. 

So I thought that to get back into this blogging malarkey, I'd begin with a little update. On where I'm at at the minute, the ups, the downs, and how I've been coping. 

I guess the good news is that I am starting to feel better. For the first few months I was home, I think it would be safe to say that I was in despair. I had scarcely felt so low, so tired, so lost, and so without hope. I was so disappointed in the fact that I had needed to leave uni for something as trivial as health, that I wasn't going to graduate with my friends, and ultimately that I'd let myself, and everyone around me down. It was at this stage that the prospect of recovery seemed impossible, or at the very least, extremely remote.

But four months later, and I finally feel as if I can say that I see a light at the end of this very dark tunnel. I guess the first step was recognising the importance of mental health. That it wasn't 'trivial', or less valid than physical illness, but that depression is very real, and can have a very profound impact on life. I think it's important for anyone with depression to try and separate the illness from their personality, which is something I often found difficult. I found it hard to determine when I was just being lazy, or selfish, or moody, as opposed to seeing these things as symptomatic of depression. I think I'll do a separate post purely on this very issue, because it was one that took me ages to begin to understand, and it's still something I struggle with, and expect I'll probably continue to struggle with indefinitely. 

You may also be aware that I was prescribed anti-depressants, and after some adjustments with the dosage of my medication (called sertraline), things gradually began to click into place when I started to feel their affects. I was thinking about doing a post about medication for mental health issues, because I feel this is an area that is still rather taboo and viewed with much trepidation and caution, but the truth is, without them, I'm not sure I would be at the point I am now. To be fair, at the start I concede that I probably did have overly high expectations from them. I guess I was expecting some miracle pill, that within a few days I would be this new me, full of energy and a newfound lust for life. But that wasn't what happened at all, for weeks I felt no different, and for a long time this made me feel even worse. I felt as though perhaps there really would be no way out. But the results have been gradual, and this is something I would urge anyone who has started taking them to remember. These really aren't miracle pills, it takes time to adjust. It wasn't until after 3 months that I started to feel that bit more energy and started to see a difference. 

Alongside medication I've been going to counselling and being treated with CBT therapy. It's been quite a journey, but overall, an eye-opening experience. I hadn't been keen to start counselling anyway, I had so many negative connotations; that I'd be seeing a 'shrink' and I was therefore crazy, and I just didn't see how talking would make any difference.And I must admit, again, for the first 5 sessions or so, I didn't see the point. I felt as though I was going through the motions but taking no steps forward. I guess you could say that my counselling experience has been characterised by that whole 'two step forwards and one step back' thing. I'd often achieve one goal, perhaps sitting down and doing a bit of colouring or reading a magazine, but then I'd feel as though I'd let myself down by backtracking on a goal I'd set myself the week before, such as making sure I was out of bed by 12pm. I found this really difficult to deal with, and still do. For the first couple of weeks, I remember frequently crying at the fact that I was finding it difficult to do even the smallest of tasks. I vividly remember that one of those days, my task was merely to get up and go on a short walk, one that I did achieve after much difficulty. But as soon as I got home I climbed into bed, absolutely exhausted, and simply sobbed the whole evening. I couldn't understand how such a small task had been so difficult for me to achieve, I felt like all the tasks were stupid, that I'd never be able to be ready for uni and that, frankly, I was an utterly useless human being. It's taken me months to try and adjust my thinking around this, and this is something that is all down to my counsellor. She's been teaching me how to change my thinking to try to be more neutral, as opposed to wholly negative, she's been trying to teach me how important it is not to catastrophise, and essentially, how to avoid falling into the traps of depressive thinking. Slowly, we'll start working on my own self-esteem and sense of self worth, but for now, it's really about trying to get myself to a functional state. It's difficult, and it can sometimes be easy to fall into old habits, but generally these past couple of months, I've felt shifts in my thinking, I've generally felt less tired and happier, and I was beginning to feel more positive about the future. 

And then a couple of weeks ago I had another low week, and I felt like I'd hit a wall. And to be honest, I really struggled. It was like everything I had achieved had been rinsed from my brain, and I was back to the old me. I felt really gutted, that I'd let myself down and taken so many steps back. I remember one particularly difficult day, when I had woken up extremely late so was late to get into town to run errands. I needed to get to the post office which closed at 5.30pm, got there at 5.27pm and of course, they had shut that little bit early. In the exact moment I felt everything I had achieved slip away. I immediately began to catastrophise. I immediately felt tired, and to stop myself having a breakdown in the middle of town, I fucked off all the rest of my errands for the day and took my sorry arse home lol, where I continued to wallow in my melancholy by getting into bed and watching netflix. So many old habits back in just one day, and that characterised the rest of that week or so. 

Two weeks on, I feel like I've picked myself up and I'm trying to retrace my steps, to get back to the point I had been at before that blip. And I guess all of this made me think. It's so incredibly important to keep in mind that the road to recovery is not straightforward. Indeed, more often than not, its far from it, littered with bumps and ditches and and tumbles of weed. But the thing is, it doesn't matter how long it takes you to tackle the obstacles. All that matters is that you keep focussed on your destination; the future you want for yourself. My counsellor has tried to ingrain this in me. I'm trying to constantly bear in mind the positives and negatives of change. I know just how difficult life has been and is for me now, and although taking the steps to change are hard, I know that the result will be well worth the effort. It's important that all of you on your mental health journey remember this, so that you might have the willpower to keep going. 

----

On a lighter note, I thought I'd update you on what else has been happening.

So firstly, I turned 21! This was actually over a month ago now haha, and I was supposed to post a '21 Facts About Me (On My 21st!)' piece on my birthday - of course, that never happened. Is that something you guys would still like me to post? I'm more than happy to do so!
I was also thinking of writing a post entitled 'The I'm turning 21 crisis', because I don't know about you, but there was something very daunting about turning 21 and all the responsibilities and decisions that supposedly come with it.

In other news, I've also been approved by my doctor to go back to uni! This is something I'm soooo happy about! I was feeling a bit worried that I wouldn't be well enough to go back this October, but the doctor thinks I've made sufficient progress. Of course, along with that comes a fresh bout of anxiety and self doubt about the coming academic year, but as my counsellor always says, take it step by step, and day by day, and it all becomes that little bit more manageable. 

Also, on Monday I FINALLY saw one of my favourite singers ever ever everrrrrr, Lana Del Rey. She hasn't played a concert in London since 2013(!!!!), and announced a surprise show at the Brixton o2 Academy to celebrate the release of her new album, 'Lust For Life'. She was honestly unbelievable. She arrived ever so humbly wearing a simple black top and jeans, sang note perfectly, and even did a few impromptu a cappella numbers. I was completely in awe and would not hesitate to see her again. It's always magical when you see a singer you've loved for so long, right? Lana's music is actually of much sentimental value to me, seeing as it served almost as a kind companion during a lot of my darker depressive episodes. Any of you who take solace in music would probably understand that feeling, so there were a couple of moments I became rather overwhelmed when she sang. Also, if you haven't listened to 'Lust for Life' - I would not hesitate to recommend it! It's SO beautiful, an absolute masterpiece. If you have listened, what are your favourite tracks? Mine change daily, but at the minute I'm obsessed with 'Love', 'In My Feelings' (both of which she sang a cappella), 'Lust for Life', 'White Mustang', '13 Beaches', 'Cherry', 'Heroin', 'Coachella', 'Summer Bummer', 'When the World Was at War We Kept Dancing' and her duet with Sean Ono Lennon! So basically the whole album lol!

Anyway I guess it's time for me to stop wittering on! I hope any of you who need a little support at the minute found some in this piece. I know just how difficult the journey of mental health is, and just how hard you can be on yourself when you hit a wall. So let me conclude where I began, with the beautiful words of the great Victor Hugo; "even the darkest night ends and the sun will rise". Have faith in it, believe in yourself, and trust that no matter what, you'll be on to much better things. You're so much stronger than you'll ever know, so rest assured that all shall work out in the end.

So that's it for today, lovelies. I'm going to be back next week with a chat all about my disillusionment with the blogosphere and social media, probably on Friday, so keep an eye out for that. How are you all, anyway? How do you get yourself back on track when you hit a wall in life? Unrelated, but have you listened to Lana's new album? Leave me your comments below!

Until next time, 
Bisous, 

Eva
xxx

PLAYING PARISIAN - THE ART OF REINVENTION

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Westminster, London, UK




"Playing dress-up begins at age five and never truly ends." - Kate Spade

It's funny how when we are young, we follow this quote so faithfully, almost as if it were a life maxim, every single day. I remember when I was aged five, six, seven, and even eight and nine. I'd change who and what I wanted to be almost daily. Each day I'd change the path my life was set on; one day I wanted to be a ballerina (this was a dream revisited frequently but ultimately crushed when I was fourteen and had the harsh realisation that frankly, I was shite at ballet.) Other days I was going to be the lead in an internationally renowned girlband. I wanted to be a primary school teacher. A street dancer. A tap dancer. A contemporary dancer. The next Beyoncé (so essentially good at everything and probs the most unrealistic.) A fashion designer. A fashion journalist. The next Kate Middleton (I'm available, Harry!) A model (loooooool). A doctor. A businesswoman. An author. A lawyer. The last one, at the minute, is the plan I'm currently sticking to. (but who knows if it might change once again?)

But it's funny isn't it? When you're young, no doors are closed to you. No dream is deemed too great, too unattainable. There's something incredibly precious about the naivety of the young, for whom no rules apply and you truly can be anything you want to be.




But of course, we grow up, and we realise that life is not so simple. This post is not particularly aimed at passing judgement on this aspect of life. In reality, it would be difficult to live with the complete freedom and flakiness we have when we were young, to flit from one career path to another, to drift. Indeed, to progress in a field we all know the drill; it takes determination to stick it out, whether that's through working your way up or studying hard, or both. There needs to be a non-fickleness, one is expected to be in it for the long haul to succeed in a career.

But that doesn't mean that every area of our lives has to be so controlled, so static.

I guess personally I've harboured that sense of spontaneity and adventure of my younger self through my love of fashion.


With fashion, there really are no rules. (Well, apart from the unspoken ones - no socks with sandals, I'm looking at you, but let's brush past that, shall we?)

One aspect I've always greatly appreciated of fashion is the opportunity to reinvent. To pretend. To play dress-up. To act. To dream.

Though I feel I now have some sense of 'personal style' and general outfit combinations that I tend to stick to, I'm still very much partial to really changing it up every once in a while, and wearing something completely over the top, or completely out of my comfort zone. See it as my own little personal text, to challenge myself, if you will. 

I remember writing something similar in a piece back last Spring (link here)

"Sometimes I love to dress like a prim and proper 1950s housewife, and other days I like to pretend that I'm a Rolling Stones groupie! To me, that's what is so great about fashion. There are no real rules when it comes to personal style, and no real commitment; so if one day you want to dress like you've stepped straight out of a period drama, you can; and if the next you're not feeling that look anymore, and would rather dress like a mod or rocker from the 60s, then you can do that!"

And alas, not much has changed.



Which brings me to this outfit, in which I felt like playing Parisian. One thing you should definitely know about me is that I, along with half of the world I'm sure, am absolutely in love with Paris. There's something enchanting about the idea of getting lost in the little cobbled streets, drinking hot chocolate and eating french fancies in quaint little cafes on rainy wishy washy afternoons. Or living in a cute little apartment with a balcony looking out onto picturesque views.

My very standard life in boring old suburbia could hardly compare, and in truth, living in Paris for a year is on my Bucket list of things to do.

But until that day, that doesn't mean that I can't pretend, just for a little, that I'm part of that Parisian dream, and I can do so simply through the outfits I create.




This outfit contains components that are quintessentially 'Eva' pieces; a nice cosy knit, a classic trench and ankle boots, but just a few little extra details of the beret, the red lip and the fishnet tights - and suddenly I feel as though I'm just meant perusing the boutiques on the Champs-Élysées or riding a bicycle past the Louvre, baguette in basket.
This also proves that the old theory that just a few extra details really can push your outfit that extra mile to make it more interesting.

I guess it's rather tricky to be more 'out there' with your fashion choices for fear of looking over the top, or 'extra'. I was definitely a victim of this way of thinking. But I don't know, a recent bout of 'I don't give a fuck anymore, life's too damn short' has somewhat pushed me towards, on occasion, being a little more daring with my clothes. If you love something wear it!

If a look like this seems a little too much, then there are plenty of ways you might dial it down. Just choose one piece, the beret for instance, and simply let your imagination do the rest. Let me set the scene: you put that beret on, a patter of red lipstick and a squirt of chanel No. 5, and no longer are you walking the streets of some rainy England town. You are now a fierce, independent, sophisticated french woman who rents a tiny studio apartment with a view of the eiffel tower. You live off coffee and smoke like a chimney (something I do not advocate, btw, but when it's fantasy, why not?). You rock that red lip everyday, walking into the office with a copy of vogue in your arm and leaving a cloud of Chanel no.5 in your wake, and turning all the heads of the handsome young frenchmen as you strut about in your perfect Dior pumps.


So, I shall leave you with the words of Ralph Lauren:

"The world is open to us and each day is an occasion to reinvent ourselves."

The day is yours and the world is there for the taking, a whole realm of opportunity.
I may let my imagination run wild once more, but ah, isn't it fun to play pretend?

Do you see fashion as a vehicle for reinvention? Does an outfit you put of ever change your perception of yourself for that day? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,
Bisous <3

Eva
xxx


OUTFIT DETAILS:

Jumper: Stradivarius (Sold Out - have linked it just in case it comes back!)
Skirt: Mango (Sold Out - similar here)
Tights: Asos
Trench: Next
Boots: Saint Laurent (sold out - similar here)
Beret: Asos
Bag: Zara (Sold Out - similarish here)
Twilly: Dior

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