Fashion has always been an integral part both of
my being and of life itself for me, far removed from the consumerist, shallow
and superfluous concept it is often portrayed as. Nowadays one is at an instant
labelled as intellectually inferior for working in this industry or for having a
strong interest in it yet as Mark Twain once said “Clothes
make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society”. Clothes are not just simply pieces of cloth
for me but carefully engineered by
designers more akin to artists, emblazoned with patterns deeply rooted in
tradition and with a fundamentally underestimated role in the everyday
functioning of society. They are imprinted like the patterns that adorn them
with an invisible and unpredictable role, determining social hierarchies,
underlining significant political or economic change and holding an untold
power over the way we act and are acted towards. One cannot formulate
any explicit conceptual criteria or standards for fashion, and yet fashion
offers a “norm” according to which individuals can orient their actions and
choices without suppressing their individuality. Of course I buy into silly
trends and in no way would I deny falling victim of certain looks ( indeed l
can’t deny owning some of the pieces so wonderfully sarcastically portrayed on
tumblr shit fashion bloggers wear) but clothes are much more to me than what a
surface of shiny magazine covers and cheaply produced, quickly disposed mass
fashion might suggest.
Every week I at
least attempt to create an outfit that just “works”, a marriage between cuts
and colours, different items of clothing and accessories, in a combination that
is both harmonising and surprising. Starting off with one piece I create a
picture in my head of what I try to achieve and, in my eyes at least, the final
result is something like a piece of art.
Yes, you may say that this putting importance on something we simply wear to
essentially maintain our decency but it can do so much more. Historically and culturally fashion has had a
fundamental and undeniable impact that none of us can escape. Anti-fashion
formed the backbone of all major youth subculture, from the hippies to the
mods, it offered a way to go against the established look of the masses and fuse
creativity and protest without having to revert to violence Coco Chanel with
her trouser suit and sporty look probably aided feminism and sexual liberation
of the everyday woman more than a few, no doubt completely committed but
marginalised, activists and while we lack a modern day Picasso designers like
Alexander McQueen in his far too short career and Ricardo Tisci created and still create
fantastical design spectacles that can be called nothing short of genius. Even
on a more personal level every major
event in my life is connected with and remembered by an outfit, the good dates,
the days when tragedy stuck, my first university exam ( I wore Christopher
Kane), for better or for worse clothes have been my constant companions that
have reflected different stages in my life, different insecurities and
different sources of inspiration.
They are my acquaintances that at an instant
can change my feelings about a day and though of course fashion may play a
bigger role to me than to most no one can deny how if we like it or not we all
participate in it and should rather embrace and appreciate rather than
constantly scrutinise its continued
existence. As Emmanuel Kant already analysed in the 19th
century fashion is in a perpetual state of coming into being and dying, a
dynamic and unstoppable force that continuously reassesses the past,
anticipates the future yet lives in the moment and it will continue to excite me everyone
morning to put on one of the outfits that is as much part of me as my
stubbornness, my slightly German twang and my deep and unshakable sarcasm.
While me and burgers are still going through a bit of a rough patch ( I haven't had one in nearly 3 months now), I have instead been on the look out for another place like Honey & Co with a focus on fresh, seasonal and light dishes that suit the summer months and my current cravings . 10 Greek street had been on my to try lost for quite some time especially after winning Time Out's best new restaurant accolade last year, however during this previous burger phase and unwilling to risk a wait, it being one of those dreaded no reservation places where strategic arrival is a must, had meant that until now i hadn't quite made the trip there. Thankfully with my mother visiting from Germany I not only had a special occasion to go to 10 Greek street for but someone pushy enough to not let me go for one of my tried and tested venues instead, I am after all quite the creature of habit at times especially on a Friday after work. Arriving at 6:30 pm sharp we had a tolerable 25 minute wait before getting the only table perched outside the small but perfectly formed dining space bang in the middle of soho. It's location may not scream sophistication but the simple interior and intimate setting makes one easily forgot that you are just a stones throw from old crompton street with its pubs and clubs.
The menu changes weekly and though small illustrates a well skilled kitchen with a distinct knack for putting flavours and textures together. And that was the thing at 10 Greek Street that immediately won me over- every bite I took was fantastic, flavour explosions quite unrivalled in what I have eaten in other London restaurants so far. The watermelon salad with pecorino cheese, olives and mint that we shared as starter was an incredible medley of the sweetness of the watermelon and the saltiness of the olives and pecorino and disappeared far too quickly off the plate. The mains were equally great. I settled for the only vegetarian option on the menu, spaghettini with girolles, shaved truffles and leeks and after my first fork full could hardly stop cooing over the plate in front me, the simple list of ingredients made into a perfectly executed dish that no doubt was one of the top 5 mains in my eating out career.
Where 10 Greek street thus thrives is not only flawless presentation as you can see on the pictures but the way in which they use great quality and simple ingredients for truly delicious end results. Even the desserts showed off this handicraft, the lemon tart tangy yet comforting and my prosecco and raspberry jelly with yogurt ice cream the closest you could ever get to a perfect summer dessert ( and as a bit of a yogurt ice cream connoisseur featured a pretty damn fine take on that too). You may think with these rather fancy sounding dishes 10 Greek street would be on the pricey side but you are luckily mistaken. With great priced wines (£10 for a carafe between two), mains between £11 and £17 and desserts around the £6 mark it is fantastic value for money and a place that I am very happy to have finally tried. With an ever changing menu it's a place to impress and be impressed.
Back in the day all we wanted to have
was independence and to do whatever we like- reality is independence equals
responsibility and that responsibility is a heavy burden to carry. If you aren’t
lucky enough to inherit a trust fund on your birthday it means starting at the
bottom of the food chain and for everything to get more expensive (adios
student discount, no council tax and cheaper travel). You loose the safety net
of adolescence and instead face a lonelier and more challenging world. It is
however, as lame as it may sound, a world that is your oyster, full of
possibilities and one that is yours to conquer even with the bad days that come
with that at times.
2. Nothing ever goes to plan.
Yes you might think you have your
career all figured from the age of 12 and do all the work experiences, extra
curricular activity and wishful thinking you could possibly do but life takes
unexpected turns. Sometimes the things we want the most don’t turn out to be
what makes us happy and your twenties are there to figure out what really does.
Some people may take months; some years but in a day and age where we easily
surpass the 80 year mark don’t sign away your life to the easy option.
3. Don’t waste your time on
friendships of convenience.
It’s painful to end a friendship but
sometimes you have to ask yourself would they text you if you never did again?
Will they ever return you all those favours you gave out without batting an
eyelash? In today’s society many see what they can gain out of a friendship, be
it connections, money or a sense of superiority above what really matters.
Friends are meant to be there through good and bad, break ups, career up and
downs and drunken nights. They become your family in your twenties and beyond
so ditch the ones that make you feel more often bad about yourself than good.
4.Learn to love (or at least tolerate) your family.
They are annoying, they make you do
things you feel like you are way too old to be doing (chores/Christmas jumpers/
obligatory phone calls to grandparents that can’t hear you) and they always
have a criticism or unwanted question up their sleeve. They know you like no
one else but they also love you no matter what. After essentially loosing a
“family” in the traditional sense (my dad died last year and my mum moved back
to Germany as result) I began to reassess how little I appreciated it when this
little unit was still intact. The older we get the further we may be located
geographically from them and the more we may be able to see their flaws as
human beings but having a family to go back to or even phone on a bad day means
you will never be completely lost, an unconditional love and support that is
always going to be there. Yes of course you will still squabble with them but
coming from someone that had to grow up very quickly when I lost mine cherish
and appreciate them while you can no matter how much of a pain they can be.
5. Keep your sense of humour
Just remember everything could be
that little but worse and without the obstacles that life throws at us at times
what would we base our sense of sarcasm and best stories on! Boyfriends come
and go, people let you down, promises fall through and yes you will fail plenty
of times but as long as you stay true to yourself and most importantly can
eventually laugh about it all you are going to be ok.
Just a quick tip before the weekend starts! Honey & Co, one of my absolute favourite restaurants in London, has started to offer a unique and tasty brunch at weekends. For £11.50 you get a vast mezze spread with anything from their infamously tasty hummus to more brunchy items like yogurt with their homemade granola. On top of that you get to pick a brunch main with equally enticing options such as roast aubergine, tahini and fried egg in pitta, scrambled eggs on garlic yogurt with roast potato bread soldiers or their middle eastern twist on classic scrambled eggs with added chilli roast tomatoes. The food and flavours are as with their dinner menu exceptional and in terms of value for money pretty unrivalled in London. Another must is their excellent and punchy Turkish coffee, served in a beautiful tin jug it delivers a caffeine kick and great depth of coffee flavour. The only and minor criticism from me and my overly sweet tooth ( I never tend to go for a savoury option first thing in the morning) is the lack of sweet option as main on the menu, something that I am sure can be added at some point. You have to book to secure a table here and boy it's worth it every time I go. A real gem in London that should be on everyone's to try list!
When I started my blog aged 15 I had little
idea of the sheer extent of the blogging phenomenon. In fact it was a friend of
mine that suggested starting a blog as a mean of keeping an online diary of my
clothes. Even to this day it is more of a point of reference of the outfits I
have created and a portfolio of my work rather than a shrewdly run operation
meant to attract as many clicks as possible. Blogs offered the first real
chance in this digital age to express ones personal style and love of fashion
without having a massive contact book in the industry and no doubt helped me
open a few doors. Indeed a look at the short history of blogging reveals how it
initially offered a genuine mean of achieving industry recognition rather than
a gratuitous fifteen minutes of bloglovin fame and a few freebies thrown in on
the side. Take girls like Susie Stylebubble and Mademoiselle Robot in Britain
who have successfully shown how to make a living out of being a blogger, using
their imagination and obvious talent to produce high quality and innovative
content that keeps the clicks going to this day. An even better example of the
initial allure of the blog has to be Tavi Gevinson. Starting her blog The Style
Rookie aged 11 she became the voice and unintentional Cinderella figure of it.
Her quirky outfits and witty fashion commentaries gained her an almost cult like
following and front row seats at fashion week. Yet Gavinson gave up her life as
fully-fledged blogger in 2011 to pursue a more diverse career path (she went on
to set up an online magazine). Why? There
was of course the criticism she received by some of the print press, some far
from pleased watching a teenage girl receiving a wider readership than them yet
I think something else might have propelled Gavinson, on the verge of
adulthood, to let go of the blogger label for good.
In fact the label “blogger” has become a
near dirty word in the fashion industry over the last year. Suzy Menkes in a
piece for the New York Times blog described it as digression from visual and
cultural arbiter of the first day to freebie seeking peacock. I too have grown increasingly
disillusioned with some aspects of blogging but rather than the attention
grabbing outfits some may wear around Somerset House during LFW, it is the army
of bland fashion stereotypes, particularly among young women, it has produced
that poses as biggest problem to me and which has completely removed the ad-hoc
and creative aspect of the medium that first made it so powerful. Indeed a “good” fashion blogger has become a
contrived parody of the people that first used it as platform. With blog posts
dominated by macaroons, cupcakes and the latest Celine “inspired” Zara
purchases, and with more care taken arranging ones lunch components for Instagram
purposes than enjoyment of actually eating it, has blogging become a game by
numbers to get the most comments from an online community? Do these girls genuinely
lead these perfect lives, celebrating an aesthetic that paradoxically seems
more akin to perfect 50’s housewife than 21st century independent
On the one hand blogging became a mass
trend and many of the bloggers that have emerged of late, most in their
formative teenage years and wanting to emulate the sites they go on daily, try
to tick certain boxes to achieve an instantly stylish look. But there is another more
worrying side to tthis aesthetic. Seeking other girls’ approval through blogs has
become a defense mechanism to the increasingly sexualized media world we find
ourselves part of. No young girl desires to get the attention of a Mad Men style Joan when posting pictures
on her blog nor does she want to face the kind of reaction more risqué and skin
flashing celebrities like Rihanna get in the public eye, often bordering on
sexist and bullyish slut shaming. Instead an unintentionally twee and decisively
safe style has emerged that tries to avoid the possible back clashes of
exposing ones outfit and increasingly also ones personality within the realms
of today’s omnipresent social media world.
Why write this article when one could quite
rightly argue I shouldn’t throw with stones when siting in my blogspot
glasshouse. In fact what I’m trying to advocate is not the end of blogging all
together but for girls to stop worrying about an online persona that is
beginning to effect the way they think and dress, a generation that could
become so preoccupied with their number of Instagram followers and so scared of
being attacked for the way they look that they neglect to be confident in their
womanhood and personal style. Of course I am happy that other people like the
way I dress on my blog but I have never dressed for anyone but me. It goes
without saying that there is nothing wrong with liking macaroons and cupcakes if
that is what you are passionate about. What is however crucial is to not forget
what fashion ultimately is about, it’s about expressing ones self through
clothes, it’s part of me but it’s not subject to anyone’s approval and I hope
the young bloggers of today will bear that in mind.