Wednesday, 31 December 2014

And so it is.

Just like you said it would be. No love, no glory. Just another day of getting up early, putting a brave face on and rolling into everydayness. After doing that for 364 days nothing changes. No big bang at the end, no fireworks (yet) and no miracles. Sometimes I imagine that the love of my life turns up on my doorstep with a bouquet of white roses after realising how much he loves me and asks me to run away together. Oh Disney, what have you done to us... And moreover, poor men... As if they would meet your expectations...

But let's have a look at 2014. What kind of year was it? Good and bad. How cliche. I've had my heart broken, phone calls that were never returned and the ones that I forgot to return accidentally on purpose. I broke someone's heart too, made someone dislike me and temporarily became a person even I didn't like at all. I have made my best friend doubt our friendship. I have realised that, despite our differences, there is a person on this planet that will support me no matter what and not judge me too early. I've managed to pay the first out of thirty years of my mortgage, payed all my council tax instalments in time (and that is a huge success for me). I listened to a lot of men moaning about their wives/girlfriends and still not doing anything to change things. I've watched my family argue, my friends get hurt, my bestie giving birth to a baby boy (not literally) and becoming a mummy. I was proud of my brother who was awarded a PhD.  I have visited Portugal, Croatia, Spain and Poland twice. I ran my first women's 10k with Nike and my first half marathon in just over 2h. I hit 60kg on squats. I became a passionate salsa dancer (and many doubted my grace and balance skills over the years). Got a new tattoo. It's been a rather busy one.

New Year's Resolutions? Not for me. I rarely drink, don't smoke, I work out 6 days a week already. I'm still managing to keep the one from 2 years ago of sorting things out as soon as I think that they need sorting out. I recycle, moisturise after every shower and floss my teeth. no need for change really. Room for improvement? Always. Need to stop checking out my ex on social media but that's not going to happen. Ever. So I guess my NY Resolution could be to not fool myself. Ever again. Look at things as they are and stop starting my sentences with but maybe he... What the last year brought me was a massively important lesson. Not about life and how things click. About myself. I've realised that I am capable of pushing someone to the point where they no longer care. I also realised what I will and will not tolerate. What I want and what I don't want. How much I can take before it makes me lose my mind. I've been constantly pushing myself throughout this year and I pledge to carry on doing so.

I'm not a great fan of saying my thank yous on the forum but there is two fantastic people in my life. People that have always been there for me and supported me in every decision, regardless. People that dare to challenge my beliefs to make me see the other end of the stick and people that taught me how to love (although sometimes I wished they hadn't). My Parents. Thank you guys. You're the best! 

Monday, 29 December 2014

I knew you were trouble.

What do these photos have in common? Clearly me. But apart from that they all mean trouble. Serious drama. The inevitable cramp just below the shoulder blade and the wish you were more flexible. The potential embarrassing and slightly humiliating necessity for saying could you help me with that, please? You know what I'm talking about. You know it very well if your ever bought one. The mighty JUMPSUIT. The one that makes you feel and look oh-so-fabulous and regret the decision to wear it every time you need to... powder one's nose.

All these photos were taken about a year ago and actually show you my black-to-blonde transition but that was also the time when I became obsessed with jumpsuits. I've never been what you (so politically incorrectly) call fat but I have not been on the petite side either since becoming a teenager. I never felt comfortable enough to wear a jumpsuit as it would be definitely highlighting my weak points, e.g. mahoosive thighs. You cannot blame me for getting as many jumpsuits as I could when I finally started looking after my body from the inside and outside by eating well and moving a bit more. I would sleep in one if I could. But that would be technically called a onesie. And I swore to myself that I would never own neither a onesie nor a fluffy bathrobe.

Going back to the matter. Jumpsuits are super elegant. As Solange Knowles was quicker to get married then me (as I am nowhere close) I super envy her wedding jumpsuit! It was actually my idea but who's going to believe me now? Jumpsuits are feminine. They make you stand up straight and require heels - yet another excuse to wear them despite my over-pronating tendencies. I feel like a cross between Kate Middleton and Tilda Swinton when I put one on. But when it comes to jumpsuits there is a major down side. It is also worsened by the fact that alcohol makes you dehydrated. Ladies, you know this, gentlemen, you probably don't but going for a wee in a jumpsuit is a nightmare.

That awkward moment when your housemate/lover/mum/bf isn't around and you cannot possibly reach the zip. I wanted to congratulate Topshop for coming up with the idea of having a long piece of string attached to the zip in one of my dresses but why not transfer this fabulous invention onto your jumpsuits? The problems that arise are numerous: first, you wish you stretched during the PE at school. Second, you wish human beings were actually equipped with a go-go-Gadget-arm. Third, you are more than likely in a desperate position (nobody goes when they just start feeling that the might need to go; there's always a story you need to listen to/tell first for fear of missing out). Also, don't forget how things work in life. And I do have a feeling that designers forget about it. What happens when you put your arms up to reach for the zip? Exactly. The camel toe situation is taken to a completely new level! And a rather uncomfortable one!

I haven't actually told you why I'm raising this issue. The big night of the year is coming: NYE. And like every lady on this planet I'm asking myself the inevitable question: what on Earth am I going to wear? Some of us have already taken advantage of Boxing Day sales. Others wait for the UPS man to deliver the goodies. But remember - time is ticking. It will be 8pm on a Wednesday night before you know it. And the level of drama happening in the ladies is not just up to the women discussing how X shagged Z despite dating Y. It's up to you. Feel good, look stunning and wee happy.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Magic over.

The most unbelievable thought of this evening is the fact that the world will go back to normal tomorrow. I beg to disagree. That cannot just happen. It's not about going back to work. Not at all. I am one of the few lucky people that actually likes her job. It's just that from tomorrow morning the magic will disappear. For another year. The days will start getting longer (not that I'm moaning or anything) and the clothes will be getting thinner (hopefully, so will my body). We will all go back to eating breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Women will wear bras for 16h a day and men will go back to drinking standard whisky on a night out.

How lovely was it to have lunch for breakfast? A slice of cold turkey with cranberry sauce never tasted better between two slices of spelt bread. Having salted caramel cheesecake for lunch was even more magical indeed. This year I have also taken on a challenge of cooking Christmas dinner for 10 of my super hungry friends whose families are far away from where we live and I have succeeded (to be honest I watched Mary Berry do it - how much more British can I possibly become?). A little moment of happiness accompanied by laughter, gossip, almond brussels and sticky carrots glazed in maple syrup (yes, Mary, I added my own twist).

The night before I celebrated Christmas Eve in traditional Polish style - all 12 courses of pescetarian dinner. It took us good 2,5h to march trough it snacking on anything consisting of sauerkraut, mushrooms, fish and wash it down with beetroot soup. You can only imagine the relief when it's over and there's only cake left that you struggle to get in but still refuse to opt for a doggy bag. The best thing about being Polish over Christmas is the fact that we get to open our meticulously wrapped gifts approximately 12h before the rest of the world - on Christmas Eve after dinner. How awesome is that? For some reason it felt like cheating to unwrap pressies form my British friends so this year I saved it for the Christmas morning just to keep the excitement in my veins for a bit longer.

But the best thing about the festive period is the fact that you can feel like you're on top of the world. Not like I need a reason to dress up... but it's so much more special on these few days. And it's perfectly acceptable to wear heels indoors. That is just like another gift itself! It's also ok to be merry. For no reason. With no hidden agenda. And nobody judges you for posting a few selfies a day on Instagram! Well, they probably still do but at least forgive you for doing so. For the last four days (minus first few hours of slight hungover this morning) I did not stop smiling. I'm clearly going to hit the point when Santa brings me collagen-based face creams rather soon! But I do not care.

Over the last few days the outer world didn't exist. There was no reality, no chores, no complaints and no grocery shopping. It was magic. Catching up with a few friends when the bird was in the oven, running on Christmas morning, warm rays of midday sun on my face today, the films I watched and the ones I got away from (it's still Christmas without Home Alone). It's been a bliss. I wish I could stay in this moment for a bit longer. Just linger in between the smell of mulled wine and freshly ground allspice. I don't even feel guilty about a few drunken texts. I've had the best explanation for it on this planet - Hey, it's Chritmas!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Are you ready?

Getting ready for Christmas means different things to all of us. To my mom and dad it normally means baking a poppyseed cake. For my friend's husband it's all about making sure that the traditional fish has been ordered in time. For my friend's daughter it means getting a new iPhone. For me, just in case you ever doubted it, it's all about THE DRESS.

One may think it's completely insignificant or even vain. You couldn't be more wrong. We put so much pressure on ourselves during the festive period. The gifts must be thoughtful (and with a receipt attached just in case it doesn't work out). The cards must be personal (or just signed as the mind-reading message is already inside). The bird must be succulent and juicy, be it goose or turkey (with clear juices coming out, just like when Mary Berry elucidates the word prefect and simultaneously produces a perfect smile on her face). The brussels must be tender and sweet (not like the usual overcooked bitter type that everyone remembers from Christmas before).

But what about ourselves? It we were lucky enough and remembered to make a hairdressers appointment back in August we have the roots sorted. If we focused enough by the end of October we managed to grow our nails by hiring a gorgeous looking teenager from the bottom of the road to do the gardening and adopting the yellow gloves into our family (of course one of them breaks a week before and we need to cut them all off with tears in our eyes and seek for a set of fake ones with loads of glitter). If all that, including loosing a few pounds just to have an excuse to put them back on, is in place and the fridge could not possibly stretch any more here comes the BIG QUESTION: what am I going to wear?

As much as Christmas jumpers are a great excuse to avoid this potentially stressful situation, certain ladies, like myself, like glamming up. Especially for Christmas, as well as for no reason at all. In life you can never be overdressed or overeducated. Since I have two MA degrees I must dress up to the standard, right? Or is this a poor excuse? The hunt for the perfect outfit started back in October. For some reason Topshop and all went all crazy with sequins this year. Maybe it's just me growing up, but I don't fancy looking like a disco ball and make all my guests at the table blink every time I move. I've decided to look for something classy.

As nowadays class is a rare quality to find, it appeared to be even harder to find it on the clothes racks. Dear high street, some of us are neither 4ft tall nor 14 and would like to wear a dress that covers a bit more than the bottom of our knickers. Also, not everyone looks like a boy. Hips. Remember hips? That sexy, curvy part of the female body than men are meant to adore? Yes, some of us still have them and would like to put on a dress that doesn't look like it's about to burst open when we sit down (or not go for 3 sizes up and ruin our self-esteem). Despite the lack of light in the tunnel, I am a woman full of faith and even in the beginning of December I still believed that I was going to find THE ONE.

And so I did. Found it. Right in front of me in the cyber digital world of online shopping. Perfect! I would not even have to leave my desk to get it. I couldn't be more wrong. The dreaded: Out of stock appeared in front of my eyes as they filled with tears. The world stopped for a second. My heartbeat went back to normal when I realised that I'm down in London in a few days for a work thing so I can nip out to this shop and pick it up myself. Ok, no need to panic. It turned out that I could be more wrong. They didn't have it. I had to go to another location to check. Still nothing.

But I finally tried one more shop more locally and, to my surprise, they had the last 2 in stock. I had to wait an hour for them to get it from the stock room, The longest lunch of my life! But finally, we found each other embracing in the changing room. I've found THE ONE and did not let go of it. Literally. All eyes in the queue at the checkout were on me. They were all screaming where did you find this? As proud as I was, the purchase has brought me comfort and piece of mind. I was ready. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the perfect little black dress. I hope you are ready too!

Thursday, 18 December 2014

The journey to enlightenment.

I'm sure most of you have seen 'He's just not that into you'. If you're a girl you probably watched it because of Bradley Cooper. If you're a guy, on the other hand, you probably watched it because of a girl. The thing is that women like to complicate their lives. Overthinking is in our nature. As much as our brother, fathers, partners and colleagues cannot understand us, the thing is that we DO NOT understand ourselves either. But shhh... That's meant to be a secret!

When it comes to dating we cannot help but put a lot of pressure on ourselves. Will he like me? Will he like my hair? Do I look fat in these trousers? Do my earrings match my top? Have I got lipstick marks on my teeth? Should I wear high heels? Are jeans too casual? What if he doesn't like my nail varnish? Will he notice the spot on my chin? Will he ask about my natural hair colour? Now, dear ladies, I'm about to reveal another secret: HE DOES NOT CARE. PERIOD.

Ask your boyfriend whether he remembers what were you wearing on your first date. If he does, that's great. But he probably won't. And that's ok too. Whilst you remember every detail of his appearance and what he had for starters, he did not pay attention. All he was interested in was YOU. Not the packaging. Just your company. Simple. He didn't rush home just to look you up on Facebook and send screen shots to his best mates desperately seeking approval and thinking whether your future children will be pretty enough. He did not analyse your friends list or an eight-years-long profile picture history. He just went to sleep.

And how do I know all that? Let me tell you. I might save you all the overthinking for the next few months, if not years. One Friday night/early morning I was coming back from a party in London. On the last train back you normally get a lot of drunks, football fans, blokes dressed up as women and some odd people that do not fit into any category whatsoever. I sat down casually opposite a bloke around my age and next to a couple of older ladies. On the other side of the train there was an elderly couple and two girls coming back from a party as well. Everyone seemed to be minding their own business. Until a certain conversation took place.

The bloke opposite and I started having a chat about how Berocca makes you feel like you've not had a drink the night before. Random. Then he told me all about his travels, parents, his job that he was proud of and the last girlfriend and how he is scared of commitment because of the events in this relationship. The fellow passengers started leaning in casually awaiting further confessions. For the last 12 months I have heard no end of how blokes were 'not ready for a relationship'. My questions was: why on Earth do you date then? Just go for good old one night stands! But then the bloke opposite me answered my question that seemed to be unanswerable.

'I like everything about dating a girl. I like her company. But I do not want to introduce her to my parents'

BOOM! He has given me the answer that would've saved me hours of thinking 'maybe there's something wrong with me?'. Hallelujah! He had no idea how meaningful this was. There's nothing wrong with us, ladies. They just don't want to introduce us to their parents. End of. If things go nowhere (as they do) they do not have to explain to anyone what happened to the cute girl with glasses. They don't have to avoid the answer to 'so what are your plans for the summer?'. They don't have to bring you to the Sunday dinners and cousin's weddings.

Thank you man on the train. Your meaningless confession has brought me relief. As a representative of the female part of the issue, I feel so much better now about all the failed dates, drunk-texting, numerous missed calls at 2am and ignored friends requests. If you're guilty of these crimes, of course.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

'I'm not that kind of guy'

How many times have you heard that? Gazillion. If not more. It's really hard out there for single girls who still believe in love. Yes, we do exist. We refuse to accept the 'everyday reality'. We want more. We want to be swept off our feet, dazzled and mesmerised. We want to be spoilt and adored. Fought for. But you know what... We don't want that every Saturday night. Well we do. But not from a different guy every Saturday night.

The thing is that it always starts the same. You are charming, cute, sweet, funny, witty. We have  a great time, maybe even kiss. Things go the way they go and then boom. Silence. You say you want to meet up in the week but, all of a sudden, you're just too busy. The lack of initiative is killing us so we end up asking you out (idiots!) and then we get a positive response. Ok, we think. Men and women are meant to be equal. That's cool, right? But then the day arrives and you get a 'I was actually seeing someone when we met' text.

I admit that I am not a native speaker of English. As you probably have realised by now. However, the question 'how come you're single?' is giving someone an opportunity to say 'actually I am not', am I right? The answer you normally get from a witty man mentioned before is 'I am too picky', which, I guess, is meant to make us feel even more special. Pathetic. But it works.

It's all good, new, fresh and blah blah. Then the inevitable text kes an appearance so you never meet again. And the more pathetic part about it is that it is normally followed by 'I feel guilty now. I am not the kind of guy who would be seeing two women at the same time'. What a load of rubbish. You that emoji on your iPhone called  a smiling pile of poop (yes, that is its actual name)? It's the first thing that comes to my mind. Of course you're not. You're just the kind of guy that would sleep with two women at the same time. That's oh-so-different, right?

I couldn't help but wonder. Is there anything wrong with me? And at first I think 'no, I am actually perfect'. I come from a good home, I am educated, I have a mortgage, an interesting job, I speak a couple of languages, I am intelligent, I can dance, I am a fantastic cook, I work out and I even lift weights! I am lost. It's time to get the big guns out: when in doubt, watch SATC. It always has an answer to your most nerve-wrecking dilemmas. Remember the episode when Carrie goes to see a shrink? Exactly. Do you know what is wrong with me? I go for the wrong men.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

A tight(s) story.

imagine via LOVE magazine

The big declaration of autumn has happened last Tuesday in my world. The unlucky women living far enough from the equator for the temperatures in their worlds to fall below 18 degrees Celsius are brutally forced to cover their legs up with the least sexy and empowering item in their chest of drawers - tights. They come in different colours (from nude to sheer black), sizes (from looking like rat tails to whale's intestines) and shapes (or intending to make you look like a perfect hourglass shape, usually unsuccessfully). Nevertheless, we hate them all equal.

Is it not funny how naked we feel in spite of having them on? I have a big mirror in my bedroom that is functioning as my daily oracle judging whether nude goes with bottle green and whether loafers are not looking too manly for a pleated skirt. And I clearly do not mind facing the oracle wearing nothing but my birthday suit. But for heaven's sake... There is absolutely no way will I ever look at myself wearing tights only. Be it sheer nude or opaque black. Never ever (like ever, as Taylor would sing). I have that mental image of what my underwear looks like when trapped in a pair of sheer tights. Whether I'm wearing a pair of Topshop's Sponge Bob hipsters or a sexy silky Stella McCartney number. My female body parts and their surroundings look like an ugly fat burglar. End of.

Going back to the idea of still feeling naked when wearing tights... What are they? Are they underwear? Are they an item of clothing? They seem to kind of sit uncomfortably in-between the two... They live in my chest of drawers next to bras I never wear but they are also worn 'on show' which kind of makes them belong to the her majesty the wardrobe herself. They look like sad sagging emptied sausages (not to use rude comparisons) ready to be disposed of. Whether they are new or worn they look used. How come? Also, they are ever-so-unpredictable! You may have a pair that you've been wearing for weeks, washed a few times and they are still fine. The next day you put a brand new shiny M&S pair on and bang! They catch as soon as you sit at your desk in the office. For the next 8 hours (plus lunch) your humiliated self feels the urgent need to explain to everyone that looks at your legs what happened and why you are not trying to look like Madonna in the 90's at all.

Without a doubt, they do us a favour. They can cover up a few bruises after the Saturday night's wild dance ending up in bumping into a table full of drinks. They can make our legs look like they have recently been kissed by Spanish sun rays. They can even hide the fact that a razor has not been anywhere close to our legs for at least half a moon phase. However, there must be many tights-hating women on this planet who provided us with alternatives. Here comes the business opportunity for all the in-the-office spray tan tents, Sally Hansen spray-on tights, leg oils and other shimmering moisturisers promising to prolong our tan for the price of smelling like burnt chicken skin. In Britain we are lucky if we get to use them more than twice a year but they are out there for us.

Now I'm about to raise an extremely controversial issue. How come that it is socially unacceptable to have bare legs in a work environment? The reason for my outrage on this matter is the fact that, believe it or not, my contract with my employer actually states that I am not to be seen at work wearing a skirt that ends anywhere sooner than 8cm above my knee (I wish they were that specific when it comes to pay checks) and with no tights! Now the first part is clearly about good taste but the second??? How dare they limit my freedom when it comes to revealing the softness of my skin I spend years of my life caring for? Waxing, scrubbing, drinking 2 litres of water a day, eating avocados. It all counts yet has to be hidden behind the restraining layer of Lycra.

Tights. Whether they come expensive or cheap, Primark or designer (where does Carine Roitfeld get hers from?), it could not matter less. We hate them. We hide them. We are ashamed putting them on and normally they are the first item we take off. But as a spices we have learnt to tolerate them over the last half a century. As much as they are an every-day necessity they also remain a mystery to at least the opposite sex. Proof? Ask your man to buy you a pair when he pops out to get a case of Rioja which is on offer at Sainsbury's. I bet he's never heard of 'denier' and thinks it's some kind of a wild animal between a deer and a badger.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

The sock story.

image via Kinfolk

My palms still smell of the expensive paper that they print Kinfolk on. As I'm heading towards the end of the imperfect issue 13, one column made me think more than the previous ones. I have to say that I was rather surprised that this particular column was not grilling the matters of emotional choices, the secret to perfect fill pastry or a controversial fine art comment but... socks. Yes, the dent tube-like piece of cotton that we (tend to) wear on our feet.

They day I discovered that the simple solution to avoid chasing missing socks would be to make all of them black or white, I felt like the smartest person on this planet. I thought I tricked a magician or caught a policeman speeding. The satisfaction was unreal. This worked for a long time for me actually. I still bought only the two colours of socks, popping into H&M on a regular basis to replace the ones that decided to go off-colour by means of rubbing onto the inside of leather shoes or staying on my feet in rather messy places and cleaning other people's floors. I was sure I've found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Until one Christmas that is.

Just in case you ever wondered, I'm female. Yes, I can join into a conversation about football, yet I still do not scratch my crotch in most inappropriate office situations. That is exactly why I was shocked, to say the least, when I unwrapped one of the little boxes screaming my name from under the Tree. Inside I found nothing but socks. Isn't it just men that should get socks for Christmases/birthdays/father's days? Clearly, I was considered to be a person that lacks sock in her life. I can sort of appreciate that. But what stroke me most was the form the came in. They were... colourful!

The person who was pretending to be Father Christmas knew me very well at the time. I am pretty sure that we met soon after my invention of monochrome sock drawer. Why would they choose to ignore it? Why would they choose to make me come out of my comfort zone? And, most importantly, why would they expose me to the potential drama of losing one of the two of a kind? Socks, as Kinfolk's John Stanley points out, are like marriages nowadays. 'Frequently ending in divorce'. Dear secret Santa. I've been a good girl this year that has been through enough drama as it is. Please do not add to it. Us, introverts, do everything to make our lives less complicated. Do not bring socks into it.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

The art of getting excited.

Is it just me or are we all looking forward to autumn now? No, I haven't been on proper summery holiday yet (brace yourself Barcelona). Yes, I do have a slight tan which i regularly top up sitting in my back garden/running/playing tennis (you can tell what I've been up to by the shape of 'the white bits'). No, I haven't had enough cherries, strawberries and watermelon yet. I normally tend to eat so much of them it only makes sense that they are not available during the winter time. Yes, I have already started thinking about what I'm going to wear this A/W season.

British Vogue revealed today that Victoria Beckham (my all time guru) is being fettered on the cover of the August issue. Wow. How brilliant! I mean, isn't she just what fashion is about? As much as I look forward to seeing my always happy postman (the man wears shorts 365 days a year) so that I can spend hours feeding my eyes with shots of Victoria, I am also counting down the minutes to flick through... the adverts.

Say what you like, but I love the art of advertising fashion. When the new season comes along I get as excited about the content of the magazine itself as I do about the art of revealing whether it will be socially acceptable to wear black leather with tan leather. Whether Anja Rubik will rock khaki green jumpers. Whether Joan Small will pull of winter version of colour blocking. Whether Cara Delavigne will yet again take us to the magic world of Mulberry handbags.

One may say that getting excited is childish. Nothing like it. Being able to say that you're passionate about something, be it football, fashion or porcelain figurines, is not as common as we think. Let's all stand up and say to ourselves: do it with passion or don't do it at all! Let's all get excited. I don't know how Victoria could stay quiet about her next Vogue cover for so long...

images stolen form the Internet

Friday, 2 May 2014

The day I stopped following Rihanna on Instagram

photo via Vogue Brasil

Right. Correct me if i'm wrong. Are we all a bit fed up with Rihanna? I have recently stopped following her on Instagram. It was too much to handle! But let's rewind to the beginning of our relationship.

I mean, there are millions of followers. 12 millions to be exact. I'm sure to Rihanna our relationship was not anything special. It all started with me saying that men must be crazy to consider her beautiful. Then I repeatedly made remarks on her lack of talent. I despised her songs until recently. Still not a great fan of her music but I get slightly emotional when the piano kicks in at the beginning of 'Stay' (no Jared Leto, you didn't manage to ruin it for me completely but you were close!). 

She started appearing well dressed in magazines and on gossip websites. Changed her style completely and more to my personal liking. Not that she cares about my personal liking but she was a pleasure to look at with a fit body and great fashion coving it. 

As a Radio 1 breakfast show listener I could not help but be influenced by Nick Grimshaw's Riri obsession. He commented on her fabulous Insta-life on a daily basis. We live in a world where we love stalking people and with social media it couldn't be easier as well as guilt-free. So I started stalking Rihanna. Just casually. Not obsessively. And yes, I was mesmerised by the colourful cocktails and bikini choices. I even used to say that if I had a body like Riri, I would wear nothing but bikinis as well. My employer wouldn't be impressed. Clearly. 

Our happily ever after lasted for a couple of months. I was disgusted by the 'Pour it up' video but treated it as a minor set back and carried on admiring those beautifully toned thighs. And then it hit me. I know Rihanna's boobs better than my own. And I do spend a lot of time in front of the mirror desperately looking for progress in my leaning down process. That was the painful moment when I clicked 'unfollow' and that was my very own tiny manifestation. I'm not a prude. My neighbours can confirm as they normally find me getting changed with the blinds open and sunbathing topless in my garden (on my front, I'm not a flasher). But dear Rihanna, keep your private bits for your private friends. We're not them. We are just a bunch of saddos California wishing they lived like you. How about you go back to singing? In the end of the day, you're not too bad at it! 

Sunday, 6 April 2014

London Coffee Festival 2014

A great place to spend a Saturday afternoon if you're around next year. I've enjoyed about a hundred different espressos, pieces of chocolate, cake and even a tiny little cute ice cream cone. If you're a coffee lover like myself you should put that on your to-do list: go to London coffee festival 2015.

For more photos check out my Instagram profile @iamshoeshopping

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Phoebe Philo at Vogue Festival.

photo via the Internet

Last Saturday I kicked off my Vogue Festival experience by listening to the talk with Phoebe Philo. Alexandra Shulman tried to squeeze her like a lemon asking about her inspiration, stubbornness, work ethic and keeping the work-home balance right. I have to say that I have admired her design for ages (manifesting it mostly by wearing Zara clothes) but as she keeps her life private, I had no clue 'what she was really like'. She came across as an extremely strong person. Nevertheless, I got the impression that she is slightly tired...

Phoebe stressed that she appreciates the fact that she is able to run a French fashion house from London and enjoys wandering around the city unrecognised (really? don't you know who she is, people?). She is pretty down-to-earth with her comments like 'I used to travel but now I have children'. As petite as her physique is, she appeared on the stage in a rather strong manner wearing an oversized silky top and a pair of outstanding flats. Asked about the Celine DNA she said that it was not an iconic brand and she found it quite liberating. The ability to do whatever she wants enabled her to produce some fantastic designs that get copied on the high street (thank you, Zara, for this blessing as Celine is rather pricy). Funnily enough, when asked about the brand copying her she quoted Coco Chanel by saying 'Imitation is the highest form of flattery'. Even though she tried to come across that she is ok with it, I got the feeling that she was not being honest... Maybe it was just me though. Or was it?

'I find mediocracy hard'. As a passionate person she cares about what she does and questions the point of doing so if one does not care. Do it with passion or don't do it at all, right? I got a bit confused when she confessed that after a show she cannot look at clothes for a month. Can one get fed up with their passion? Is passion slightly interrupted when it becomes 'a job'? But is being the creative head of Celine 'a job'?

Phoebe also portrays a strong feminist side to her ideas. 'Within fashion I don't thing gender is relevant. It's not easier for men than women'. Her pieces are simple and form an integral image. They look great together in any combination. The conversation started floating towards the body image in the fashion industry and that was another point where the audience could have got confused... Philo stressed that women nowadays get a message that they are not good enough. By her designs she wants ladies to feel strong and powerful. Ladies of any shape and size. Well, as much as she said that everybody can be seductive, sexy and powerful, I do not think that she makes clothes in sizes to fit all shapes... It really makes me wonder when designers produce statements against the 'domination of skinny' and yet do not transfer this idea to the racks. 

As a listener I asked myself thousands of questions during this short interview. It is a different experience in comparison to just reading it from the glossy Vogue pages. Putting a person to the words was most enlightening. Even though I could not help but sense that Phoebe is simply tired, I still admire her for being able to say that she simply won't do things she doesn't like. Nowadays we force ourselves to follow through with ideas/projects even though we do not feel comfortable about it. Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together for assertiveness. It still exists. Do not let it die. And thank you Phoebe for sending this message to the universe. For that I forgive you the lack of enthusiasm between 2:30 and 3:30 on Saturday, 29th of March 2014. 

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Vogue Festival day 2.

And the festival is over. It was my second time visiting Southbank Centre for this event and I know for sure that I am going to continue doing so. It's a great opportunity to see the 'people form the magazines'. It has been most interesting to listen to them speak and watch them walk. Here are a few more shots and a few more thoughts will appear on the blog soon. Right now all I am thinking about is my bed... Stay tuned!

And yes, it is Karlie Kloss in the photos below. I got a Kookie from her yay! Thanks babe x

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Vogue festival 2014 day 1.

Right. Day 1 is over. I've heard a few inspiring speeches, got my Vogue sweatshirt and had a beetroot and lime juice. I also met Hedvig from The Northern Light. She is even more amazing than I thought! I will write a bit more about the speeches itself soon. They have been surprising in many aspects... I fell in love with Manolo Blahnik and was a bit disappointed with Phoebe Philo's approach. Tomorrow day 2. Stay tuned!