Youtube – The Creative’s Future

Fashion, Style, Uncategorized

Gone are the days of endless posts and countless images, at least for the majority of fashion bloggers. Tap on the links of your favourite ‘influencer’ and chances are their written content is a maximum of 300 words or usually less. We are a visual society. And consume information voraciously; faster than ever before. It is only natural then that bloggers and writers around the globe slowly evolved their technique, a method by which to reach their audience while captivating them in a way that the images and written content did years ago. Enter the millennials favourite video hosting platform; Youtube.

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Denim jacket, ZARA |Polo, Supermart find(yes!) | Jeans and sunglasses, H&M | Trainers, Adidas.

Through Youtube we’ve connected with colourful makeup gurus like Jeffree Star, followed the stylish musings of fashion bloggers like Aimee Song and Gallucks and viewed Chanel couture as if we were sitting front-row with Kirsten Stewart. The possibilities and sense of connectivity Youtube provides birthed a new generation of social media influencer’s, and as such it is time to take lifeandotherstories.com towards the light!

The new vlog will take you on an uncensored journey behind my everyday life, complete with tips on fashion brands to shop, ungendered style, places to dine and the life of a middle-class creative. In all honesty, producing non-written content is going to be tough, as I feel I’m much more myself when I can jot down my thoughts in neat little paragraphs, but I am also a big believer in modernity. Moving forward is imperative to growing, and life is not lived till we challenge ourselves to the fullest. That being said, I hope all of you enjoy the first edition of my vlog. Tap here to view the complete video.

 

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The Power of Music Therapy

fantasy, Fashion, Life choices, Style, Uncategorized

Before you begin reading this article, it is not about finding a solution to your insomnia, now that that’s out of the way today, we’re going to be talking about empowering your senses while you sleep, through the power of music. Don’t believe it? Read on..

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(All images with the exception of the one above credited to Tim Walker) As most of you that follow me on social media know it’s been quite a trying time between building my fashion company, Avastave and look for a full-time job, and even if your sister-friend(me) doesn’t show it, it is often draining, demotivating and downright depressing.

Tim Walker for VOGUE Italia

When you go from having a full time job to having to peace-out at home for three months, it can get quite tiresome-fast. But, as with my earlier post on licenses I will stress that not having a job, doesn’t define you, especially if you’re working towards it and have goals, these goals are for you and you alone, they do not need to be relayed on to friends, family or your followers. Somethings should be private. But all of the #caucasianAnxiety caused by these changes in my life have left me feeling physocologically and emotionally drained which is where healing music comes in.

Tim Walker for W Magazine

According to Physcologytoday, music not only helps to reduce heart rates, blood pressure and cortisol levels but also aids the social functioning of people with schizophrenia. Pair that with music that has a positive message which is used in music therapy, and you get reduced anxiety, depression and even chronic pain. Typically, I wouldn’t read into it too much but when I happened to fall asleep listening to a composition by YellowBrickCinema – Relaxing Music on Youtube, before bed one day, I truly understood its impact. After weeks of feeling like my body was weighed down, that particular morning I got out of bed feeling fresh, rejuvenated and optimistic. No joke, it was like a new day with new possibilities and every door is open to you, now I’m not going to fib and tell you that those feelings of negativity weren’t somewhere in the back of my mind but I did not wake up thinking about them, they were more a part of life as opposed to ‘my life’.

Tim Walker

In the following few days I alternated between the channel above and Relax Music Channels’ ‘Music To Heal Female Energy’ and woke each time to find myself feeling calmer, more positive and content with the efforts I’m putting into make things work in my life. In fact, I’m listening to it right now and it’s already made me feel waves better than I did this morning! If you don’t believe me, give it a try because this three hour track can mean the difference between you and some severe bouts of depression.

High Fashion Halloween

Fashion, formal, Life choices, Style, Uncategorized

For us ordinary fashion folk Halloween is the equivalent of the Met Gala, meaning anything and everything goes regardless of gender. Which is why today on Life&OtherStories I thought it important to feature a few images that provide the ultimate inspiration for ideas that combine both fantasy and function. Most people think its about gory makeup and disjointed body parts but the truth is you can still look bomb as hell in something you probably already have in your wardrobe, so without further ado lets get started.

Balenciaga cloak

It might look pretty simple but imagine this head to toe white Balenciaga cloak with Dr.Martnes and a old kitchen knife?

Fur Vintage

Make a statement on your opinion of real fur and purchase a discount version on Ebay, dab the edges in red paint and you’ll truly show up those fur wearing monsters!

Fur

Tim Walker for Another Man Gucci

 I mean, forget crypt keepers of yesteryear, the new age guardians of the underworld wear Gucci ponchos and have scalps studded in half pearls. You can get the exact look with a little imagination and a trip to the haberdashery. Hot glue can go a long way!
Vogue Italy

I’m sure most of you are aware of this iconic shoot from VOGUE ITALIA that focused on a culture obsessed with plastic surgery. What a fantastic idea, imagine a body-con dress and your face tightened up in band-aid with super plump lips. J’ADORE!

VOGUE NIPPON 2014 Alexander McQueen

A McQueen moment is an absolute necessity! Give the girls mermaid fantasy by hunting through sales racks for sequined separates then stitching them up into a kimono-sleeve coat which you can belt, paired with sequinned lids and sequinned hair you’ll be coming for the light!

Does It Suit You?

Black Tie, Fashion, Style, Twenties, Uncategorized

There’s nothing like seeing a thought provoking suit style to set your sartorial sensibilities ablaze. Here, is a round-up of some suit styles that I’ve come across which are a constant reminder that formal attire needn’t be a bore.

Alexander McQueen: I adore the styling, the pairing of the earring with the hand painted Mughal prints are extraordinary, while the sculpted shoulders ( a signature McQueen look) offer a glow of incomparable regality.

Alexander McQueen Suit

Tom Ford:I simply can’t get enough of the man’s vision! Bringing sexy-back to suiting is by no means an easy feat and yet Mr.Ford has clearly risen and surpassed the requirements of said challenge. Here an elegant fit, well-proportioned shoulders and a rather unique textile effect on what is presumably jacquard or silk creates a phenomenal evening jacket.

Tom Ford Mens Suit

Ralph Lauren: There’s something rather exquisite about Ralph Lauren’s suit cut that tippy-toes on the fine line between the 1940s and the modern age. The way this sleek suit jacket nips in at the waist framed by the tapered trouser gives me all kinds of glamour. Perfect for weddings and dinners.

Ralph Lauren suit

Dolce&Gabbana: While I’d be damned before purchasing anything from the designers whose opinions on the lgbt community and women’s weight have infuriated a vast majority of people ( myself included) it would be total foolery to not acknowledge the immaculate cut of their suits. Appearing in a wide variety of textiles from damask to satin, the designers fit and structure is like no other. This particular number would be perfect for dinner at Nobu or even the Opera? Knowing me It would even work for the super market!

D&G suit

Balmain: Nicki said it first ‘I make him buy me BALMAIN’, and there’s a reason! Olivier Rousteing does not dress basic whoes* so if you’re looking for conventional – kindly exit the stage. Military details, embellishment, gold and silk. Jackets for everyday and every time!

Balmain mens suit

Formal Attire

Black Tie, Fashion, Fashion Business, formal, Life choices, Style, Twenties, Uncategorized

We’re all familiar with the term ‘classic’, i.e a classic suit, classic style, etc. But, what happens when the need to please society interferes with our ability to pioneer our own style?

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(Image: Alexander McQueen) I’m a firm believer in dressing for the occasion, but I am just as keen on dressing for myself. Let me explain, a black-tie occasion is no place for jeans or tank tops, it is to be met with a certain level of class and dignity. However, in recent times all previous notions of what defines class has been called to question, leaving us with a multitude of confused attendees to said events. I think any dress code should be respected and much like wearing shorts and flip-flops to bars or brunches, I’d say opposing this is not only a sign of disrespect but a blatant disregard to the tradition of fine dressing. There’s a fine art in honoring dress codes while standing out of the crowd, and here’s how you do it.

Tom Ford2

(Image: Tom Ford) A black-tie affair to me simply means a suit and tie paired with a great pair of shoes. And on receiving news that a rather exciting family wedding will be taking place this October, I walked into my closet and acknowledged ( to feign surprise would be an outright lie) the lack of suits. You see, to me suits always signaled the triumph of convention, and conventional thinking was always associated with the anti-lgbt movement.. ‘a man must dress like a man’ and so on and so forth. Yes, I own informal jackets but that is about it. As I have always stated that sexual orientation shouldn’t play a part in the way we dress, I admit that my initial thought process was a bit hypocritical, though whether I am convinced on my own stance at this point is yet to be determined. The point remains that suits today are not what they were ten or fifteen years ago. In fact today we have the embellished jacquards of McQueen and the slick velveteen’s of Tom Ford and with the removal of any specific laws of dress we are free to choose any of them for any given occasion. The art however is directly linked with your understanding of ‘black tie’ and any other dress code, ‘formal’ for example will always mean good trousers, covered shoes and no T-shirts, yes we occasionally see that one person who appears to have missed the memo but they do carry it off and so can you.

Tom Ford

(Image Tom Ford) You see, working within the context of a black tie theme gives you plenty of room. No one said you have to look all masc-for-masc in your graduation suit or even stuffy in a sad conventional ( I shuddered again) suit + tie combo. Log onto Pinterest or Vogue.com and you’ll see that sleek evening jackets appear in embellished variations, while exaggerated bow-ties have made a significant come back and in my opinion have made ties seem like the joke by example. There’s also a prism of colour to choose from, why do black when lilac silk emphasizes your toned physique so much better? In fashion as in life, the best thing to do when faced with an obstacle is to take a step back and observe it, in this case staying true to yourself while dressing within a formal dress code might be your Rubix cube but observing that it does not, by any means enforce your choice of suit style, accessories or for that matter even colour is  your solution. So, the next time you’re invited to a special black tie affair, have some fun with colour, choose trousers that have a satin stripe down the side paired with pink Gucci loafers and a Saint Laurent tuxedo blazer or go all-out in a head-to-toe in block colour. There’s always a way to stay true to yourself but it often requires a little compromise. So, am I team suits? As of today, I’m fairly excited for my custom Avastave version, that’s for sure.

Men like cars, women like dresses, every man must work and every woman must bear children. Rules and stigmas created by a misguided society influenced by a multitude of factors. But in 2017, when so much of what we’ve learned about ourselves has undergone a thorough analysis and caused an avalanche of change, why are some things harder to shake off than others?

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The past two weeks have been a blur. With no day job to encompass my time I’ve taken to hitting the gym full-speed, tiding up the flat and being more attentive to my laundry ( you think clothes in a walk-in clean themselves?) and of course, this blog. I find myself slowly nearing that person who I use to be, one that wasn’t as cynical. Having a full-time job in a place like Dubai is devastatingly exhausting, and attending it often leaves other areas of our lives sparse. But what is the alternative? You certainly can’t pay rent without money and you most certainly can’t get money without a job. Which brings me to my next question, are we as people, so desperate to have a set of rules in our lives that we are willing to sacrifice our happiness for said-rules? Are we so afraid of creating a life that has not been tried on before?

I believe a certain level of discipline goes a long way. But what happens when we are born into a society that dictates a person’s value through the accumulation of possessions, titles, jobs, clothes, etc? We are trained to look down on boyfriends and potential partners who don’t have career goals but are finding an alternative way to live their lives and stay happy. Is that kind of happiness any less-sweeter than the kind that material things bring?

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I recently told someone that ‘Material things aren’t important to me’ to which they masked shock, and said ‘Really, you?!’ to which my response was simple, ‘liking pretty things doesn’t make me materialistic’, I don’t judge people for how they live their lives – or where they live their lives. The prettiest clothes can often mask the ugliest personalities and the most successful humans are often the unhappiest. We are so desperate to distract ourselves from many of the issues in our personal lives that we throw ourselves into work and accumulate things and people that have no real-value, and in the end who does it benefit?

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I believe that success is measured by you. Your success could be raising five kids with a partner that is never at home, or back packing through Europe and waiting tables or even taking night classes to better your English, each is a success within its own right. The choices you make every day to better your life are your successes, not your bank balance. So the next time someone tries to make you feel guilty for travelling your own path be content in the knowledge that you are living this life for you, and much like couture, it only needs to fit your body.

The Age of Distraction

Fashion, Life choices, Uncategorized

Where Do You Live?

Fashion, Life choices, Uncategorized

There are areas in Dubai that are known to house the westerners; Downtown, Jumeirah, JLT, DIFC and Marina, head to any of these places and you’d feel like you were transported out of the Middle East and straight into New York. Now, that isn’t to say these places don’t have people of colour, but they are few and far between.  This is primarily due to the countries various recruitment agencies that are shockingly still allowed to request your sex, marital status, ethnicity, gender and even a picture, when you are applying for a job. Complete discrimination anywhere else, but here in Dubai, it’s perfectly acceptable. In fact, I could at this very moment screen-shot at least ten job listings that say ‘British national only or US citizens only’, that’s just the way it is. Now, what does this have to do with the aforementioned ‘white zones’? I’m getting to it.

When I started at my role as a fashion writer, that was the first time I stepped onto the metro-train, heading into our downtown offices I would wear my Louboutin’s and tread through the paved concrete outside my apartment, then all the way up four sets of stairs and then a ten minute walk to office. Now, though that I learned two things:

1) $1200 C.L loafers are not for daily metro bouts.

2) The obvious class system.

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You see, I live in Qusais, a mere 15 minutes from Sharjah, and what I lovingly called the ‘Dubai Ghetto’, though it barely scratches the surface of any of the world’s most dangerous cities. When you get on that train there isn’t a single white person. Not a single one, and then as the train starts to move further towards the heart of Dubai, and the buildings start to get that special kind of gleam only money can buy, you notice the change in people. White men, suited and women in stilettos with Louis Vuitton bags. The segregation that is witnessed here, is mostly linked to the higher salaries companies pay to foreigners and yet in the same breath, deign to give to a person of colour, but let’s focus on the societal impact of this on the Dubai community, as opposed to a detailed dissection of the labour laws.

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I can’t count how many people have asked me where I live and pretend either not to know it or furrow their brow when I tell them. What’s shocking is some of them actually don’t know it, because their lives are solely based in the white zones and venturing towards this side of town would terribly upset their sensibilities. What’s even better are the few Asian people that try to pull the same move because they’ve gone to the predominantly white-schools in the white zones and therefore do not understand why anyone would live outside of these sectors. I think where we live, has no real value. A room, a house, a shared flat, these material things offer zero insight into a person’s character, it does however provide a glossy coating to our human shells. One that is unfortunately very important to most.

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To summarize, this isn’t a criticism of anyone that isn’t ‘ethnic’, it’s a small examination of the cancerous effects of discrimination on society. Last night, I decided to go to a bar outside of the zones solely to enjoy the music and have cheap drinks, but several of my acquaintances didn’t turn up when I informed them of the location. In fact, one of them referred to it as ‘Whoe central’, to which my response was ‘There are whoes in Armani tool’, and that right there explains volumes. People would rather associate with that kind of crowd in a glitzier side of town as opposed to ever letting their friends find out that they spent their weekend partying with the coloured folk down in Bur Dubai. At the end of the day, it’s important to take pride in all your accomplishments while staying humble. Living your life in complete honesty will not only help you attract the right kinds of people, but pave the way to a future that doesn’t need a single coat of superficiality.