Thursday, 27 August 2015

An Open Letter to the Fashion Industry

Dear Fashion Industry,

I hope you are well and feeling good.

Right, I'll get to the point. We need to talk... I know you are changing, Fashion Industry, but in my humble opinion... you are not changing quickly enough. It's true, I gasp and am in awe of your floaty dresses and jewelled creations on your catwalk models... they are truly stunning pieces...

Zuhair Murad - stunning


I want you to create new silhouettes that suit more than the size triple zero model. I don't have a problem that there are triple zero-size models if they are healthily built that way, why should I? We are all beautiful in every single way (I'm gettting all Christina Aguilera on you). But I do want you to design a piece that will probably be called subversive because it doesn't fit the usual mould on someone like me who ain't size 000...

As Shakira once sang: "I dare you".

I want to see new cuts on the shoulder that hint at elegance yet edginess... A dress that grasps at the curves I consider pleasant... Trousers that skim the hips yet don't make one feel sorry for jutting... I have what I would consider, a protruding derrière too (before Nicki and JLo made it mainstream haha lols - that's a different open letter) and yet the material at the back of a dress I might wear doesn't seem to compensate for that and I would like it to.

There are parts I would love to see accentuated more in clothes and bits I could do without showing to the world...

There may be people who think there are more important subjects that bloggers could talk about but isn't how you feel in a outfit that's meant to represent you and your personality quite a substantial topic?

Some may also think "Well, lose the weight then!" or "get yo' size zero life" I am working on that hehe, but that's not the point! Let me wear something decent now. I am fed up of wearing unflatteringly short or slightly too long dresses... or the same standardised outfit as the next curvy person... but I desire some different and I think others do too.

I am excited about what Fashion Industry can come up with in the next few years (I might even try it myself at some point!). I want it to trickle down from haute couture to the high street. Items on the shelves that will be a hybrid of well-known creations to bring about an outfit overhaul, or completely anew and will need new names, needing a rethink of how to fasten, zip, stretch, wrap or button.

There are so many shapes and outfits yet to be created... this is the era to show them...

I dare you.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Inspired!: On... Entrepreneurship

My friends and I are all on different journeys and trajectories and I am proud of them.

One of them is Brenda (below centre) who has started a jewellery business called SaraBree, retailing Ghanaian print watches as well as curating an ensemble of cute earring, bracelet and bangle sets.

She launched her business yesterday at Africa Live Festival (above) - and what is most inspiring in a way is that she has one boy who is just under one-years-old and has been ploughing away at creating the business while looking after her son on maternity leave.

It is inspiring to see new-mum entrepreneurship not only in the media but around me in real life.

I asked what spurred her on and she said: "I always wanted to start a business that involved celebration of my Ghanaian heritage but it was only when I had some time away from work (maternity leave) that I had the motivation to start something. How I got going was by investing in my idea. I had some savings that I used to get started and this gave me the option to go after my idea." And advice for budding entrepreneurs: "I've just started so I'm still learning! But advice I would give people to get started is to invest in yourself, not just with money, but with time."

I see great things ahead for this business... and it's spurring me on to actually do away with my unfounded fears and get mine properly off the ground too... Watch this space!

Brenda (centre) with friends and family showing support

Some of the cute bangles modelled by Brenda's mum-in-law

Africa Live Festival itself had a really lovely chilled vibe - and considering the weather we had the day before in London (it had rained ALL DAY) it was a good sign.

Ah, how I love the summer...

Monday, 10 August 2015

On weight... addition

This is one of those "should I, shouldn't I" posts, but it's something I'm hoping to help not only me, but if it additionally helps just one more person, it'll be worth it...

Over the last three or four years my weight has gone up by really really unwanted levels... (NO I'm not disclosing what it says on the scales) but safe to say I want choose less of it!

The thing about insidious weight addition (not gain, 'cos did I win a competition? No.) is that it is probably (most likely) about unwise culinary decisions made day by day - I also wonder how it has gone on for so long...

It's not great to think you're responsible for sabotaging yourself health-wise. But at the same time, it's empowering when you remember that the power to change is in your scope. Please be clear I'm not inviting anyone to comment on my weight. (It is not up for discussion.) What is, is a healthy (pun unintended, really) dialogue about what methods we use to safely and responsibly lose (I don't like that word in this context because it implies a desire to find lol so I will use... REMOVE) remove excess weight. There's also room to discuss fattening farms and whether health really is subjective or objective.

This year I have yo-yoed a bit - and that's not because I have been starving myself, then gorging, no, I do go hrough phases where I desire nothing but mackerel and avocado and lemon juice, the next nothing but sweet calorific treats.

What has been helping me remove some body mass is running which I have been doing in the last few weeks. I know some people hate it but I like pounding the park while listening to my Runnin' playlist (on there? Among others Lianne La Havas, D'Angelo, Janet Jackson etc) as the Nike Running App tells me how I'm doing each kilometre. I have lost a few pounds alone from running and eating more mackerel and avocado as aforementioned.

I want to incorporate fun exercises such as rollerskating or rollerblading (which would you recommend out of the two?), rock climbing too.

Again, I reiterate this isn't an invitation to comment on my weight.

And so the journey continues...

The aim is to remove a target mass with sensible ideas. Pinterest is pretty helpful for scrapbooking food tips and tricks.

I would love to hear your ideas and stories on how you are doing and being in the health journey!