WHAT’S HOT THESE DAYS

Trends are something I am quite double sided towards. It is interesting to explore how to mold the details of your own style around the current fashion trends, while it’s a phenomenon that’s annoying simply because people follow it religiously without questioning it. However, one can’t deny that trends exists, they rule consumption, and will do as long as the world economy works as it does today. So, without further ado, here are a few of this season’s trends that I like, with included advice on how to approach them in an eco-friendly manner.


ARMY STUFF

Military jackets, bags and trousers, as details to an overall softer look, or in other way contradictory clothes, are seen out on the streets as well as in shops. These clothes I would strongly recommend buying secondhand; not only for to produce less new material, but also for the look. Authenticity and good quality in any piece of clothing is always the best fashion product, and how could anything be of better quality than something made for the army?


NEW-AGE INFLUENSES

Cosmic patterns and batik coloring is found everywhere from Dolce Gabbana’s runway shows, to the street styles of London, Paris, Seoul and Tokyo. Stars of all kinds, prints of orange galaxies, hippie dyed organic cotton shirts are not only walking down red carpets, but are also crowding the storage rooms of secondhand shops everywhere. This is definitely something you would easily find in a vintage shop.


DARK LIPS

Like I wrote in the post Lipstick Jungle, I love the dark lips right now. I was planning to make a complete list of eco-friendly lipstick brands, but realized that there are already many out there. Although from 2009, this list on Ecouterre is quite good, with brands used by professional livejasmin artists.


VELVET EVERYTHING

Velvet is a heavy fabric many of us might have bad childhood memories from. I had a couple of horrible velvet dresses, and so did some middle aged semi-attractive acquaintances of my parents… I read somewhere that velvet is a very flattering fabric, with absorbing light into the deep fabric, but I still doubt that. However, velvet on shoes and also on blazers is something I’ve grown to like for this season. Purple and blue velvet are my favorites. Velvet loafers and also high heels are very trendy too. I haven’t seen much vintage velvet shoes, but in the vintage shop I work in we have quite a few pretty blazers, so I’m sure there must be several around. And thinking of the amount of velvet circling my childhood in the 90’s there must be loads of it still hidden all around. So if you are into buying something velvet, like I am, don’t buy new. Look for second hand pieces – this way no one will have the same as you!



BYE ANNA WINTOUR

A few weeks ago I saw The September Issue; a documentary about Anna Wintour, and her job as editor in chief at Vogue US. I have always had, and will always have, a lot of respect for jasminlive women who are strong and powerful leaders. Ever since I was little and watched my mother joggle her career with the fulltime job of raising kids, and she keeps inspiring me to reach for my dreams while remembering to treasure the real valuables in life. Anna Wintour has always had my respect, even though she is infamous for being a cold-hearted bitch (as seen in The Devil Wears Prada, a character based on her). I have always known that as a woman in a man’s world, you might need to step on some toes to get forward, so I have never thought any less of her for that.


The thing though; my respect for her has not increased after learning more about her and that she also is a normal person deep down (which I ultimately think partly is the goal to show with this documentary), but rather that she is a shallow and quite immature person. While my friend was so warmly talking about Anna Wintour after seeing the documentary, and saying ” she is always right in what she says about fashion, although she sounds like a bitch”. And although I also recognize the fact that “she knows what she talks about”, I just couldn’t help but feeling blown away by how people in fashion are just as shallow as I feared.


The documentary starts and ends with Jasminelive clips from an interview with Anna Wintour. The way the movie is cut, is as if some sentences would be “wisdom quotes”. The first thing she says is something like “wearing a Prada coat instead of something else does not make you a stupid person”, which is completely true. But I want to come back to that later, because whilst it might not make you a stupid person; isn’t it stupid how many things you are overlooking just for the fact that it’s a Prada coat? Thing such as a ridiculous price that by no means equal good quality; the materials might well have harmed other people, animals and nature in the making; and that the fact that you have chosen a Prada coat above something else, proves that you have fallen for the company’s clever advertisement. And being ignorant is a definition of stupidity, isn’t it?


“The cool crowd”, I learnt already in high school, is consisting of people who look down on others to feel better about themselves. I have never looked down on other people, apart from those who look down on others for no apparent reason [the bullies], which is also why I have always had such a double sided relationship to fashion. I have always suspected the industry being filled with bullies, and hearing Anna Wintour; the head of the fashion world, saying it in her own words, just makes it so clear to me why I have always had a lack of respect for it.


But the sad thing is that bullies are not the way they are because they are evil or actually think they are better than others. The sad thing is that they behave like this because they are insecure. So, in other words, what I hear Anna Wintour say as she is patronizing people who don’t look up to the fashion industry is “I am the most important person in fashion, so don’t you dare say fashion is not important. Because if you do, you are saying I am not important, and that is my biggest fear. “


Ok, so I am not writing this to put Wintour down, not really. She is still a great role model to women to pursue a career, and she is really good at fashion; no question about it. But based on my assumption that she is not a very confident person, and that she puts on a bitch attitude to prove the opposite (which is what those “mean girls” in high school does), she is not a good leader for the future of fashion. Another sign of not being very confident is to always feel the need to prove that you are right and not change one’s mind. I am thinking about her relationship to fur; something I wanted to mention, talking earlier about stupidity in wearing this or that.


Even though the fashion industry is slowly realizing the insanity of wearing real fur (mind you that they breed the furry little animals in cages, and then have them killed by ripping their skin off), Anna Wintour is not caving in for her fur-obsession. Working in fashion there is not a chance she has never been exposed to what it’s like on a mink farm, and with having fake blood and such thrown on her while walking by, she must have had a couple of moments to reflect on what stance she will take in this debate. I mean she is probably smart and she knows that a lot of people listen to her. But this is exactly why I am convinced that it’s not evil; the fact that she keeps talking so carelessly about wearing fur, but rather that it’s insecurity and a fear of being seen as weak if she doesn’t stand her ground.


And again, I am not against Anna Wintour personally. I just think that her time as Fashion’s leader is over. Now that the world is developing and people are more collectively than ever realizing that the time has come to act to decrease our negative environmental impact, someone as powerful as her; whilst still being as ignorant, simply needs to be replaced. Because I don’t think that she will change. Yes, she has taken steps in the right direction, but there are still too much about her that is “same old fashion-first-Anna” for me to be convinced that these steps are something else than just a personal green wash. We need to have a fresh mind to lead fashion’s development, someone who actually realizes how powerful he or she has, and what the power could and should be used for.



GIRLS LIKE BOYS

A man wearing high heels is not new on the scene of fashion, but it hasn’t been seen much since back in the Bowie-days. However this is starting to take off again, obviously in connection to the androgynous trend that is floating about. And speaking of trends, this is one – of very few – I’m very fond of. Not only am I incredibly tiered of dressing in, or looking like, anything resembling an ideal woman, but I also think that blurring the superficial lines of sexes is good for the cause of equality in society.


However, have you thought about how many advertisement images now a days in fashion are playing on same-sex flirting? There often seems to be a pair of girls almost kissing, or being in some other situation with a significant intimate feel. What do you think about this? Is it a good or bad thing?


Either way, right now my own style is very similiar to this. I often wear a white fitted Acne (second hand) shirt with a rather high collar, some preppy vintage jacket, manly loafers [I am so over high heels right now], a hat, scarf, and often suspenders. I’m thinking early 1900′s man.


When it comes to make up, I prefer to put a little more on my eyes than just mascara. I mean, I don’t ACTUALLY want to look like a man. Or another option of course is to empathize the lips with either a stong pink or dark red. Are you a tomboy like me, when it comes to fashion, or a girly girl (if you are a woman)?



LIPSTICK JUNGLE

The dark cherry red lips are once again completing their lap on the trend cycle this season, and I’m rapturous about it. Not only because this shade goes with just about any skin color, with an intensity that contrasts most, but also because dark cherry lips can make almost any person appear glamorous – and works both night and day.


Many have the idea that they don’t look good in lipstick, especially not dark strong colors like red. But I think that this is usually about not being used to seeing your face painted in this way. I think that as long as you stick to a color that goes well with the natural palette of your features (i.e. warm or cold colors) I think you can’t really go wrong with red. Personally I go for the colder red colors.


A lipstick of a color that looks good on me, regardless of trend or not, I see as an investment. I keep a lipstick a long time, and the better quality it is, the less of it I have to use. My favorite brand is Shiseido, just because it really sticks for a long time. Other than just for that, I respect them for the company’s efforts to contribute to the development of a sustainable make up industry.


Although their ISO certification (ISO14001) is rather basic, they seem to document work towards reaching their environmental policy goals regularly, which is good. For a company just to have “goals” for a sustainable development is not something to be cheering for, but keeping record and actively working for changes (openly so that customers can read about it) is worth a great deal in my book. Go Shiseido!


Anyway, back to the lipstick. Pick one with a color that goes with your skin tone. If you are uncertain, ask a professional for advice. Choose one that will last a long time; dark red lipsticks come back over and over again, like so many other details in fashion. Choose one of a good brand; pay a little more and it will last you longer and look better. Ask the sales person about the environmental policy of the company; if they have a website or brochure where you can read more. Even if you don’t know anything about what a good environmental policy is, or not, asking about it is a good way of showing the brand’s staff that you care.Good luck hunting in the lipstick jungle!



DONGMYO SECONDHAND HAVEN

On my way to Caffe Bene, the coffee shop I spend all my days writing at, I decided to check a vintage market out for a minute, which if just slightly off the original route. Realizing that most of the market was yet to be opened, I continued walking. All of a sudden I was at the end of the street, and at the start of a little adventure. I continued down the road in front of me, as I had some spare time on my hands, and little did I know I were to discover that the area I have been living in the past month is a vintage haven beyond measures! If that wasn’t enough, while walking down this unknown road, I look up and to my amazement see the Doota Tower, which is in Dongdaemun – the most famous and largest shopping area in Seoul. I had no idea it was so close to where I live that it only takes about 20 minutes to walk from my front door.


But as I’m not a cheap fashion hunter (the type of thing you find in Dongdaemun), but rather a second-hand bargain hunter, I stayed on the street. After just walking a block I realized that the “vintage market” I knew of before, and have been so hyped about living next to, is just a small part of the hugenormous secondhand neighborhood I live in. I found a second hand shop for just about everything – and I don’t think I will ever need to buy anything new again. Everything from previously owned furniture and home appliances, to clothes and shoes and quality handbags; all have their own separate shops here!


As I am trying to save my money and also not indulge in things I don’t really need, I didn’t buy anything apart from this little silk scarf that went amazingly well with the green color of a secondhand Issey Miyake coat my boyfriend gave me the other day.


I did find an amazing little clutch bag, which I’m thinking of going back for. I only got a quick look, as the owner tried to get 80 000 W for it and I just said “no way”, laughed and walked away. He did lower the price to 50 000 when I said I was a student, so I might get it down to 40 000 – but that’s still a lot of money – I mean, for something I don’t actually need. However, it was real leather and good quality, amazingly beautiful redish-brown color, and barely used at all. Hum, takes some thinking.


By the way, this area I’m talking about is around the Dongmyo subway station, like I said near Dongdaemun. Definitely worth a visit, if you are in Seoul and want some fun shopping experiences!



SHOPPING PATTERNS

A dear Noona reader sent me a TED video a few days ago, a lecture given by a woman (Jessi Arrington) who famously never buys anything new, but still manages to put on a new outfit every day. It was a good lecture, although she didn’t really say anything I haven’t thought of before. However, as she ended the lecture she said something clever. “As I’m trying to not get emotionally attached to clothes I find, I’m going to give all the things I got second-hand back to the stores I bought them from.”


I haven’t thought of it that way. Personally I see the clothes I buy as a sort of investment – a long term commitment that takes more planning. But that’s very easy for me, as I don’t really like shopping as an activity to start with. But for those who do, I think this might be the most ultimate way of shopping to find and wear new things daily, yet without increasing one’s impact on the global environment. You can see it as a rental of clothes; you pay very little for second hand (in less sorted thrift stores) and then when you get fed up you just give all the clothes back! What a great idea.


What I started to think about when I saw this video is that there are so many different ways there are to be an eco-friendly consumer. I think this is important because there just as many (in fact more) types of people with different personalities. When “changing” one’s habits, to being more aware of what and how you consume, it’s easier the less you have to change about your life. If you are a self-proclaimed “shopaholic” it might be easier to try and find some amazing vintage and second hand stores to make your purchases in, which will probably give you the same or more pleasure and contentment, as shopping on H&M or Zara. On the other hand, if you are like me and love clothes and outfits without having a craving for buying new things all the time, a sort of “quality basic ware” investment-attitude complimented by fun accessories, might be a better choice.


I have a question for you. What are your shopping habits and patterns today – i.e. what type of shopper are you – and what’ your thoughts on becoming more sustainably aware as a consumer. Make a confession – no one is perfect. Do you shop when you are bored? Do you shop for an occasion, like a party? Is it a social activity? Just out of curiosity – share!



SFW SS: LieSangBong

It’s obvious already that I think Lie Sang Bong hit all the right keys this year when it comes to style. The retro cuts, psychedelic coloring, feminine shapes, and strong influence from Korean traditional patterns – all came together beautifully.


The entire show was sensational. Because that was just what it was; a show! They really had put a lot of effort into everything from runway decorations and lighting, to the extra dancers and entertainers. Everything came together so well with the Korean traditional architecture theme, as even the dancers were wearing this design. They were also doing a mask dance that Korean clowns would do to entertain royalty back in the days when people were actually living in palaces painted in these patterns.


Before I went back to Fashion Weeks website to read about the materials Lie Sang Bong used, I was about to complain about them. You know by now that I am passionate about sustainable fashion and obviously most things I complain about are related to that. To me, from the far away distance I was sitting at, it seemed as if many of the outfits were made from metallic, plastic, and leather = bad for our environment. I was going to go down a wild rant about how “if designer don’t take a stand against eco-unfriendly materials, how can the consumers be expected to…?”


BUT to my great surprise the only material used were Silk, Wool, Cotton, Tencel which are all natural. Of course, there are bad sides to these materials too when it comes to sustainability, but I will let it rest there for now and just say that I’m very positively surprised about not finding anything synthetic on this list at all! With that all said, I would really like to hear your comments, and I’m sure the designers behind the brand would as well! So, please have a look at the pictures and share your thoughts!