Tuesday, July 15, 2014

this week #1

In the spirit of mixing things up 'round here, as mentioned previously, I'm starting a weekly (I hope it'll be weekly!) post of a random selection of links and information and just general stuff - some of which may, in fact, be nonsense. 

The past week has been just a little eventful for me, great wonderful things are beginning to happen - and not just my subscriptions to The Paris Review and the London Review of Books. In the interest of fabulous analogies; it's like those last few weeks of winter when the bulbs start waking from their hibernation and moving around under the dirt before slowly peaking their heads above the surface, drinking in the sunshine and rain as Spring moves in before bursting into the fresh air with all their glorious colour. I re-read The Secret Garden recently so that explains that. 

1) I'm suddenly quite into skincare. A recent occurrence which owes a lot to UK blogger and skin superstar Caroline Hirons. Over the past few weeks I've often found myself tucked up in bed, laptop in lap, trawling her archives - her 'cheat sheets' are brilliant. I've actually washed my face every night for the past three weeks because Caroline told me I should. Obsessed. And in light of the big ban, now have spare dollars to buy lots of lovely products!

2) Some fashion tips from uber stylish Frenchie Ines de la Fressange: If you love it, buy more than one, borrow from the boys, when in doubt, customise and take the good with the bad - de la Fressange claims that fashion and good taste are, like a good perfume, made with a little bad taste; a sentiment I wholeheartedly support and endorse more regularly than I'd probably like to admit!

3) As a journalism student and general appreciator/practitioner of writing, I'm always interested to hear words of wisdom, tips or just information from people with more knowledge or experience than me. This Storify titled 'Suzanne Moore's Guide to Journalism' is equal parts amusing and honest.

4) Work has a mixed CD that plays on repeat, which means multiple accidental listens of some truly annoying songs, but also regular appearances by The Spice Girls; which have no doubt been instrumental in my burgeoning re-appreciation for their music and just general girl power/feminism rocks vibe. Plus, this awesome piece from 1997 by US writer Kathy Acker. You're welcome. 

5) 'It might seem crazy wearing stripes with plaid. I Instagram every meal I've had...' Watch, if only for the gloriously bad taste fash-un - I wonder if this is the bad taste Ines was talking about?

kb xx

Sunday, July 13, 2014

the ban is on

Luckily I've recently moved away from being specifically a fashion blogger, because what I'm about to say would probably get me struck off some secret fashion blogger list: I'm quitting shopping.

It's a big statement I know, and also so hashtag firstworldproblems that it almost pains me to write it. But write it I did and doing it I am.

I can't pinpoint exactly when I decided that it was time to go cold turkey on stuffing my closet with anything that came with a swing tag, but I have my suspicions that the root of the decision can be found in Fashion Revolution Day and an increasing - at least on my part - awareness of the actual cost of fast fashion and a desire to further educate myself about the industry. FYI, those $2 t-shirts cost a hell of a lot more than the swing tag would suggest.

But I also think it has to do with feeling somewhat overwhelmed with the fash-uns, a feeling that sees me unsubscribing from mailing lists all over the place and deleting favourites from my bookmarks. If absence makes the heart grow fonder, then smothering must surely make it grow colder? Fashion has almost become work, not in the paid sense, but in the sense that this once fun environment has started to lose its sheen. The appreciation I have for the industry and for the actual garments themselves seems to have disappeared - or least taken an extended holiday.

My resolve to not buy any new sartorial items for six months is, therefore, bound in two seemingly different - though clearly linked - reasons. Firstly, a desire to educate myself about fast fashion and the realities of the fashion industry and secondly to take a step back and try to figure out why it is that I'm inexplicably drawn to fashion in an effort to claw back that sense of appreciation. I want it to be fun again, damn it!

My half year resolution has only come about in the past week so the details are a little sketchy but I've cobbled together a few 'rules' to abide by:
  1. Strictly no new sartorial items may be purchased (exceptions being socks, hosiery and underwear) until the end of the year
  2. If I make a purchase or decide I have to, I must write five hundred words outlining why I did or need to and post it here (which is possibly as much a punishment for me as it is for you)
  3. Op Shops, thrifting and second hand shops are perfectly acceptable, because they aren't new new
  4. No attempting to get around the rules by having people buy me gifts
I'm hoping this self imposed ban will result in a deeper understanding of where fashion really comes from, as well as a deeper appreciation for the glorious items that already live with me and a return to a time when fashion wasn't work, but just bloody good fun. 

Here's hoping. 

kb xx 

Tuesday, July 08, 2014


Have you ever started something without really knowing where you were headed?

Recently, it occurred to me that that's kind of how I operate. I dive in head first and cross all my fingers and toes (not really - I can't cross my toes) hoping that I'll come up for air at some point. The same point at which the way forward will (hopefully) be clear. Inevitably, I do break the surface and gasp for air but it's not necessarily clear; often it's just as fuzzy as when I dived in.

For a long time that fuzziness bothered me. Mostly because it's so easy to compare yourself to other people through the wonder that is social media and the internet and it always seemed like everyone else had their shit sorted. Of course, as a general rule, they don't. And neither do I.

When I started this blog I'm not exactly sure what I had in mind. Inspired by the various fashion blogs I was reading, some of which I still drop by, I figured it was a good opportunity to merge my two great loves: words and fashion. It has sort of moved along, perhaps limped is a better word, for a couple of years and to be honest I've spent most of this year experimenting with the format and wondering what I can do with it. Because, the idea of being a fashion blogger is less and less appealing to me. Or perhaps more accurately, the idea that by calling myself a fashion blogger I limit what this space is for is less and less appealing.

Right now if you stick your head into the fashion blogging world it is a cacophony of voices. It's often overwhelming and sometimes difficult to sustain your own voice amongst the noise. Don't get me wrong, many voices and lots of thoughts are great and wonderful and something I wholeheartedly support - but there is a sense of consumerism and materialism that underscores some notions of fashion blogging that increasingly sit uneasily with me. Plus, there are a great many things I like to ponder and discuss and debate and with such a specific focus those things get lost. 

So, what am I saying? I'm saying the experiments will continue. I'm saying this space is not reserved for sartorial discussions only. I'm saying things might get a little strange, because I'm a little strange and this is my space so I can be a little strange here.

I'm saying sometimes life opens a big door and you'd be mad not to jump right through, head first and worry about the fuzziness later.

kb xx