"Aim for the moon. Because even if you don't quite reach it you will land among the stars"

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Get your hands on a pair of: Knee high boots

20:39 Posted by Jessica 3 comments
Knee-high boots rise to your knee or higher calf. 
Traditionally they were worn by fishermen, dairy workers and duck hunters to protect their feet from natures harshness. 

They became part of the fashion world around the 1950s . There have been lots of variations in design and they even differ a lot today. It is safe however, to say they do not look like items to be worn by fishermen.

Infamously, they were worn by air hostesses in the 1970's, who knew uniforms used to be so sassy?

Never the less, they are back this season as the most popular choice of winter boot.

Here are some pairs I reccomend you snap up quick:

H&M: £34.99

New Look: £39.99

Topshop £125

Topshop £220

River Island: £100

As for their versatility? It all depends on the style you choose. Some, can unfortunately make an outfit look cheap and tacky, for instance a suede black pair with a leopard print dress; in my opinion, not very chic. But hey, maybe you could rock it.

For me, knee high boots look really great with A-line skirts and jumpers, its a cute way to keep half of your leg warm. Don't get me wrong they can also give a good adge to any pair of jeans or be comfy under your office trousers too. 

Two of my favourite celebrity looks are Olivia Paleremo (first) and Candice Swaneopel:

Olivia wears these grey lovelies with a dark tartan shift dress making her whole ensemble comfy, chic and very on trend this A/W

This isn't Candice's best outfit, I have to admit but its undoubtably cute and quirky. Almost a little french too.
(photo source)

One important thing to remember about any winter shoe, is their durability. Your poor lovelies have to carry you through the cold and the wet and the last thing your balance wants is money going down the drain. So, invest, shop around, read reviews and try them on, you may even find a pair to last you a couple more seasons. 

Do you own a pair of knee high boots? What do you think about their return? 

Happy Wednesday,
Jess xx

Sometimes life doesn’t want to give you something you want, not because you don’t deserve it, but because you deserve more.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Aesthetic: Hummingbirds

18:30 Posted by Jessica 1 comment
'Aesthetic' is becoming a popular word among social networking sites to describe an idea/theme/inspiration behind a look or thought. 

The word itself has a click to it, it sounds sophisticated and 'cool' and its actual definition is: 

- concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty.
"the pictures give great aesthetic pleasure"
- giving or designed to give pleasure through beauty.
"the law applies to both functional and aesthetic objects"
    synonyms: decorative, ornamental, graceful, elegant, exquisite, beautiful, attractive, pleasing, lovely, stylish, artistic, tasteful, in good taste

- a set of principles underlying the work of a particular artist or artistic movement.
"the Cubist aesthetic"

Personally I believe any word that is grasped and re-interpreted by the internet will always stick, so this is my first time, but not my last at using it. 

This aesthetic post is about hummingbirds.
When typically thinking of beautiful birds, hummingbirds arent the first to come to mind.
But in fact, many are capable of flickering their wings up to 52 times a second. Meaning they can hover and fly backwards. This is a rare quality in birds worldwide.

This fact alone amplifies how extraordinary the next set of pictures are, snapping a photograph of a hummingbird in flight, that is clearly focused can be very difficult. 


Hummingbirds are among the smallest of birds, most species measuring at 7.5 cm to 13 cm.

They get their name from the humming sound created by their beating wings which flap at high frequencies heard by humans. 


The wonderful colours and patterns on their feathers would look extraordinary if interpreted as a print fabric.


They would actually look very couture flying down a catwalk themselves. 


None of these photographs belong to me, they are all from professional photographers and can be found here

What is your current aesthetic?


Jess xx

I can't believe its taken me so long to share this with you, it's The 1975's newest song
(they are my favourite band and this song is so beautiful)

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Audrey Hepburn's loveliness in photographs

17:30 Posted by Jessica 2 comments
Audrey Hepburn will forever be an icon to me, she was stunning, kind and intelligent all throughout her life.

Famously she is known for her film roles such as Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), My Fair Lady (1964), and Roman Holiday (1953). Also, her petite slender figure and modelling features are still admired today. 

However she was more than just a movie star. Audrey was very dedicated to charity work and helped many different causes; she actually worked as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF up until her death (1993)
-see more here


Like many celebrities, her raw personality and looks rarely ever made the front page. 
So while procrastinating on a fabulous new site I stumbled across (here) this article on unique photos displaying Audreys charm really caught my eye. 

Increasingly, the debate on how people are portrayed by the media is concerning. Of course, since the first media was printed it was an issue. Every writer and photographer has their own opinion and perspective and likewise so does every reader. 

The arising issue nowadays however is the twisting of words, photoshopping of digital media and purposeful misinterpretation; all to boost profit and publicity. 

Optimistically, more and more people (including celebrities) are standing up against photo shopping. A recent example is of Keira Knightley, who posed topless in protest for Interview magazine (see more here)


Turns out, Audreys pet Deer and my own pet dog share the same name, Pippin!!

What do you think about how the Media twists some perspectives?

Have a wonderful day,
Jess xx

“The Japanese say you have three faces.
The first face, you show to the world. The second face, you show to your close friends, and your family.
The third face, you never show anyone. It is the truest reflection of who you are.”

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Feminism: the front line

12:08 Posted by Jessica 3 comments
Feminism, or being a feminist, is a massive part of all women's lives; whether they consider it to be or not. Since the stars collided and this wonderful planet came to be, the human genders have been widely separated in their roles. For all of you reading this, its further back than you can imagine, when women could not work, could not vote, could not say no or be free to dress as they wished. We are more privileged than we feel, compared to our ancestors. 

Although there is progress, there is still not total equality anywhere on the planet.

 I consider myself a feminist. Before this gets mis-interpreted, I do not hate men. I love men, as much as I love women. I love the human race. Similarly, I one day want to be able to love the society we live in, but for me, equality has to be created first.

Many women, especially of my age group, do not like to class themselves as part of the feminist movement. This is because it is associated with attempts and suggestions of female domination, hating of men and general hating, although they are among the minority of feminist actions.

Feminism, by definition is a movement that strives for the equality of the sexes.

But mis-communications in education, social networking and the media, the very word fuels divides more than just the sexes on the subject.

Recently, it has become a massive talking point in day to day life, whether on the bus, in the classroom or across the world wide web. Many women have turned on the movement and are now declaring they do not need feminism. This, deeply saddens me beyond belief.
(check out this blog, for more of an insight: here )

This new phenomenon of anti-feminism proves how distorted the movement has become. People are forgetting that women, less than 100 years ago, were physically restrained in prison cells, being force fed, to achieve your right to vote.

It degrades the power it has given women to access a rape crisis center, or stand up for their right not to be raped by their partner, which was legal until 1993, when some of you were already roaming the earth.

Are we forgetting that without feminism, women could not own property, file for divorce, access birth control, work outside the family home, report sexual harassment in the work place or domestic violence at home?

More importantly are we only looking at the equality we have achieved personally, not at the equality many women still go without across other parts of the world?

In all aspects of society, I feel like we are starting to go backwards. Without flooding your ears, all you have to do is scroll through vines and see how acceptable its becoming again to segregate people by their races and sexes. 

How can we teach the planets children to treat people equally, when there is no proof of us doing it ourselves?

This is where I turn to fashion, something I have always found comfort in. It enables us to express ourselves in the easiest way identified; through the eyes. But there is so much more behind it. Without the movement, I would not be able to wear my short sleeved top and jeans, let alone my trainers outside of the house.

The fashion industry is widely dominated by women and is very accepting of men. Its a part of everyone's daily lives and influences more than what many people deem to think. 

Recently people's views on feminism have become a forefront in the global news for many reasons:

Keira Knightley. Photo: Getty Images.

3. Emma Watsons UN speech : this is my personal favorite, there is a lot of meaning and build up behind this speech and it has made a massive impact in all respects. 

Embedded image permalink
5. Celebrity nudes are leaked on to the imageboard 4chan including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kim Kardashian and Vanessa Hudgens. 

Embedded image permalink

6. An article that grabbed my attention through re-tweets on twitter is that of the independent. A journalist slashes popular Youtuber Zoella and declares that she is not a role model. This is a prime example of how feminism is twisted. As a human you should chose your own role model.

7. David Cameron refuses to wear 'this is what a feminist looks like' T-shirt 

This is what a feminist looks like T-shirt

10. Twitter and feminsim:
Twitter is fast becoming the most powerful way to share your views. Its convinent, quick and public. Here is 31 tweets that prove it 

Do you consider yourself a feminist?

Happy reading,

Jess xx 

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Ethical Fashion: An A grade Essay By Jessica Clarke

20:41 Posted by Jessica No comments
One of my assignments at college was to write an essay on ethical fashion. A topic that quite honestly I hadn't taken much interest in. My research however became very interesting and I discovered things that were completely wrong and unexpected.

I was graded an A for this essay, I'm so proud and would like to share it with you all:

Copyright of Jessica Clarke

The purpose of this essay is to discuss and examine the issue of ethical fashion; what it is, how it is achieved, its positives, negatives and rarity. All of my information has been sourced reliably and can be backed up with evidence (see following figures). All opinions expressed are personal unless otherwise stated. I am aiming to show two sides to the argument regarding whether fair, ethical fashion is a household necessity or is a personal choice; especially with regards to the current economic climate.

Ethical fashion is defined as: An approach to the design, sourcing and manufacture of clothing which is both socially and environmentally conscious. Sustainable fashion – using more environmentally-friendly materials and methods in clothing production – is part of this larger trend.

Ethics itself is defined as: moral principles that govern a person's behaviour or the conducting of an activity.

Ethical fashion is widely known as purchasing clothes that are guilt free. In order to have a clean conscience in the sense of fashion are your garments; sourced from fair, equal and safe production lines, made up from animal free and ecological friendly fabrics.

A massive talking point of ethical fashion at the moment is the fur trade. The fur trade is a worldwide industry that deals with the sourcing and sale of animal fur.

Today the importance of the fur trade has changed. Rather than needing fur for warmth to survive, nowadays fur is demanded to make a fashion statement and is commonly recognised as a couture material. The reality however is, fur is being produced cheaper than ever and is more than easy to get hold of; which in my opinion should lesser its value.

All animal right organisations oppose the fur trade- especially the way it is carried out to the current day. More than 50 million animals are violently killed for use in fashion every year; an unimaginable number that can only be achieved through quick thoughtless methods such as gassing, electrocution, and neck breaking. Many animals are still alive while they are skinned and break limbs trying to escape.

An example of a designer that is against the fur trade is Stella McCartney who was brought up as a vegetarian on an organic farm in the English countryside. However, the decision she made not to use leather or fur is not just because she doesn’t eat animals or that that millions of animals each year. It’s because she believes in the connection between fur and leather and the environment. Stella is very ethical in her production of garments and is often seen campaigning for change in the fashion industry.

Some people argue that using the fur of animals is economical but in fact the fur is not a by-product of the meat industry. Therefore the industry produces a lot of waste; corpses are left to rot which also makes the conditions for employees unbearable.

Alternatives to achieving the fur have been suggested. Such as stunning animals before skinning them, or injecting them so they feel less pain. But ultimately, this industry aims to produce quickly and cheaply as it takes more than one animal to make a garment.

Personally, I think that killing animals for fur is no different to killing them for meat. So I believe it would be hypocritical to say that the whole industry should be abolished. Instead, the animals should be treated with more respect; raised in better conditions and killed before being skinned so they feel no pain.
Also the parts of the animals not used should be given to the employees to take home for their own consumption, seeing as many of them live below the poverty line. This way the industry is far more ethical and I also think it would boost the worth of fur.

‘According to a study unveiled today, the global fur trade has now been valued at more than $40bn worldwide – roughly the same as the global Wi-Fi industry’ (britishfur.co.uk/images/uploads/news/Economist_Press_release.pdf)

Sweatshop: is a negatively connoted term for a workplace that has socially unacceptable working conditions. The work may be difficult, dangerous or be paid a wage that is not equal. Workers in 'sweatshops' may work long hours for low pay, regardless of laws mandating overtime pay or a minimum wage; child labour laws may also be violated.

Sweatshops are also sometimes associated in human trafficking when workers have been tricked into working without informed consent, or when workers are kept at work through physically jailing them in to the workplace. Chinese sweatshops are known to have many suicidal employees, so the workshops are covered in suicide nets to stop over-worked and stressed employees leaping to their deaths.
They have existed for most of time. Many workplaces through history have been crowded, dangerous, low-paying and without job security. It was a very normal concept of work until some of the earliest sweatshop critics were found in the 19th century calling for the original slavery laws set out between 1794 and 1865 to include other forms of harsh labour, including sweatshops. In the United Kingdom the first significant law to address sweatshops (the Factory Act of 1833) was passed at the same time that the slave trade (1807) and ownership of slaves (1833) were made illegal.

Sweatshops are a difficult issue to resolve because they are based in developing countries like India, China, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Honduras. These countries encourage the outsourcing of work from the developed western world to times bring some form of wealth to impoverished countries where people struggle to provide for their families. So regardless of labour concerns, low wages are preferred to none at all in these areas.

The main problems with sweatshops are:
·         Lack of human rights: Long hours, malnourishment, stress, lack of breaks and a dangerous environment
·         Under payment: Social critics complain that sweatshop workers often do not even earn enough money to buy the products that they make.

However sweatshops not only offer better jobs then what are available in the local communities but the wages that the workers receive lead to a better standard of living for the workers and their families. 

Therefore the absence of the work opportunities provided by sweatshops can quickly lead to malnourishment or starvation.

Writer Johan Norberg, a proponent of market economics, points out an irony:
“Sweatshop critics say that we shouldn't buy from countries like Vietnam because of its labor standards; they've got it all wrong. They're saying: "Look, you are too poor to trade with us. And that means that we won't trade with you. We won't buy your goods until you're as rich as we are." That's totally backwards. These countries won't get rich without being able to export goods.”

An example of a brand that does not use sweat shops is American Apparel which makes its products threat-free and with fair-compensation. American Apparel claims its employees earn on double the federal minimum wage on average. They receive a number of employee benefits including health insurance, subsidized transport and meals, and have access to an onsite medical clinic. It has been heavily featured in the company's advertisements boosting their target audience.

In my opinion it’s very easy to completely disapprove of sweat shops; ultimately they are cruel and unfair. However, they are far more beneficial than no work at all. Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan are recent examples of countries that benefited from having sweatshops. For a country to develop it must be able to globally trade and work at its own faults. Furthermore, cheap labour highly benefits the western world, making it easier for companies to compete with each other healthily and for new companies to start up.  Overall, conditions that employees work in do need to be improved with facilities to help them medically and enough food to sustain the hours they work, but it would be completely pointless to abolish all of the factories.

Zero-waste fashion refers to items of clothing that generate little or no textile waste in their production.
It can be divided into two general approaches:

Pre-consumer zero-waste fashion: eliminates waste during manufacture.

Post-consumer zero-waste fashion: generates clothing such as second-hand clothing, eliminating waste at what would normally be the end of the product use life of a garment.

In zero-waste fashion design, the designer creates a garment through the pattern cutting process, working exactly within the space of the fabric width. This reduces waste of a garment from the very beginning of the manufacture cycle.  Whereas standard garment production generates an average of 15% textile waste caused by the stratification or hierarchy of the garment production process.

An example of a company that practices zero waste is Sans Soucie. They specialize in the transforming pre-consumer waste hosiery and cast-offs into new textiles for garments and other sculptural forms.  All the dyes and textiles they use are low-impact and metal free. All the water they use in our dyeing process is used and reused, never dumping anything into the environment.  Any excess textile inks that do not adhere to the cloth during their printing process accumulate upon the surface of our print table covers and are never discarded. 
The surfaces of our print cloths captures the history of our production by producing inspiring patterns and imagery that serves to inspire and educate us on what it means to work from a zero waste design philosophy. 
All their offcuts are kept from the cloth reconstruction and garment production process and are often transformed into other textile constructions, accessory lines and sculptural forms/installations. 

I think it is very important to recycle your clothes after use, by sending them to charity shops, those less fortunate or to fabric specific landfills. It’s free and often easy to do, it’s a small gesture that anyone can do that makes a significant impact. However, I think the prices of the designer clothes made pre-consumer are very high for an average person to stretch to and may put customers off.

For some primary research I devised a short questionnaire to hand out to friends, colleagues and family. I found that most of them did not consider themselves to be ethically fashionable but did donate to charity shops and tried to avoid shopping from brands that are known for child labour. With regards to the fur trade many people thought that it should be banned completely. I did not get many mixed responses, most people wanted to be more ethically fashionable.

Step by step more and more companies are striving to be ethical. For the planet and for profits, people are becoming more conscious of the planets wellbeing and the equality among each other and the planets animals. Small things like recycling clothes through charity shops and using ecological washing powder contribute to ethical fashion. It’s becoming easier and more important in day to day life.

In conclusion, I think everyone should strive to be more ethical in their fashion choices. If you are financially stable enough to purchase fair trade or animal friendly clothing, as a good human being there should be no second questioning.  However, I think it is deeply important to consider more than just the simple factors of ethical fashion. Many aspects are controversial and in the current economic climate are almost impossible for the average person to uphold. 


Geek xx

“I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.”