I can't easily control the fact my personality may be un-ideal, or that I have the wit of a manatee, and I certainly can't control the thought process of other people, I can however take control and even ownership of the superficial elements of my personal presentation, namely how I dress.
People relate to and identify with those of their own gender. If the visual portrayal of our gender is so proscribed then perhaps it is no wonder that so many women experience 'Imposter Syndrome' - a belief of being unworthy
Alpaca fibre, often touted as the new luxury, has been on my radar a while, but as a fibre with such foreign roots, it has had to remain a distant thought. A few weeks ago however, I was fortunate enough to be invited to Arequipa, Peru to improve my knowledge of its most prominent export and meet some of the country's top spinning mills.
It's not all country factors, farmer's wives and regional accents. There is some serious style up north and when I went up there; I had to keep up! Here are a few things that we could all learn from the girls up north.
Benetton Group, which for more than fifty years has been a global leader in the fashion industry, is proud of its commitment to social issues which is why we have pledged to do what we can to tackle this problem at source.
While the majority of brogues sold are still classic and stylishly traditional, the characteristics of brogues, including the perforations, toe-caps and the serrated edges, can now be found combined with trainers, heels and even boots!
We could face a huge industry decline similar to when the mp3 first came about in the music industry. If the design files are leaked, or cloned, consumers won't have to pay for clothes anymore which could massively reduce the value of the fashion industry, especially when 3D printers become so affordable that we all have one.
I strongly believe that talent and creativity know no social or cultural boundaries and that education, and creative education in particular, provide the means to transform not only ourselves but also the society and world we are a part of.
So for those rolling their eyes and giving me the 'women shouldn't need to dress up to be heard' look - I disagree. Someone told me how they dressed down so clothes didn't get in the way of what they were trying to say. I think that's nonsense.
I was never the best at sport, I wasn't the best academically and the boys appeared not to be interested in me, but fashion and clothing gave me a creative outlet and a way to define myself. An opportunity to say 'I'm not as boring as you think', or maybe a more likely story, 'not as boring as I feel.'
Plunging, cutaway and Bardot necklines, cut-out backs, delicate straps and barely-there slip dresses dominate the high street. If you need support your only hopes are strapless bras, sticky 'breast lift' contraptions (FYI these are truly dire) or tit tape and a prayer.
Many people do not realise that fashion is the second most pollutant industry in the world behind none other than the oil industry. From over farmin...
I know I am not alone in my frustration as a conscious fashion consumer. Design led, sustainably produced fashion that a discerning lover of fashion can feel proud to wear (and also afford) is hard to get hold of. As Founder of the Ethical Fashion Forum, you can be sure I'm going to be asked what I'm wearing, wherever I go
Its purchase also coincided with the early stages of an eating disorder. The trip to Paris was a treat for my good GCSE results- higher than expected mainly because I'd starved and pushed myself to the brink in pursuit of "perfection". I came out the other side of year 11 having gained eight A*s, and lost almost three stone.
So here are my seven reasons, taken from advice given to me over the years, as to why I think you should start dressing like your mum and I think these reasons, regardless of your age are going to help you to feel stylish and gorgeous everyday.
Edda's patterns are a canvas - at times literally - for her fun and figurative broad-brush stroke designs which are digitally printed onto textiles. The result is graphic, bold and a whole lot of fun.