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

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Winter isn't over yet: Keep out your Parka

20:39 Posted by Jessica No comments
It seems winter is sticking around bold and strong for longer than expected this season, with the UK getting more and more warnings of snow. So keep out your knee high boots, turtle necks and parkas, no one wants to become an ice cube (or maybe you do and I totally understand that somedays)

So why keep out the parka? 
Firstly, its a staple, everyone knows what you mean when you say you're wearing it with an outfit
It's versatile- pair it with a dress and tights or some jeans, either way it rocks
It's transportable, yeah it may be a little to heavy or fury while trapsing around the shops but its super easy compared to that old teddy coat.
And lastly, they've been knocking around for a bloody long time... here's some history: 


A parka is a knee-length cold-weather coat; typically stuffed with a warm material and with a fur-lined hood.

In the early 1950s it was made from nylon, but changed to poplin by 1959, when it was featured in Vogue magazine as a fashion item. 
The word parka is taken from the Nenets (native people in northern arctic Russia) language. In the Aleutian Islands (located in the Northern Pacific Ocean) the word simply means "animal skin".

US Air Force, snorkel parka

The original snorkel parka can be split in to two designs:
N-3B parka, which is 3/4 length and has a full, attached hood 


N-2B parka is waist-length and has an attached split hood

They were developed in the USA during the early 1950s for military use, mainly for flight crews in extremely cold areas where temperatures were down to -50 °C. 
They were originally made with a sage green DuPont flight silk nylon outer and lined with a wool blanket type material. 

But in the mid-1970s the padding was changed to polyester padding: this made the jacket lighter and warmer. The outer shell material was also combined with a sage green cotton-nylon blend. 
This type of jacket earned the name of "Snorkel Parka" because the hood can be zipped right up to your face, leaving only a small tunnel (resembling a snorkel) to look out of. 


Fishtail parka: a favourite amongst the ‘mods’

Following the end of the Second World War the US army realised they would need a new cold weather system for fighting in and this is how the fishtail parka came to life. It was first used by the United States Army in 1950 to help protect soldiers from the elements in the Korean War.
There are four main styles of fishtail parkas; The M stands for military, and the number is the year it was standardized.
EX-48: This was the first prototype of the jacket- is distinctive as it has a left sleeve pocket and is made of thin poplin. It has thin fibre glass based lining that is incredibly light and warm.


M-48: Was the first actual production model fishtail parka in 1948. It was made of the heavier sateen canvas type cotton with a thicker wool pile liner and a hood liner made of wool. It was costly to produce and was therefore only in production for around one year. The cuffs had two buttons so they could be secured tightly around a wearer's wrist. The liner had a built in chest pocket which again was unique.
~ Both the EX-48 and M-48 are distinguishable from any other type of parka by having the sleeve pocket~

M-51: Was made because the M48 was such a high quality it was too expensive to mass-produce. So this version had just the one cuff button.  Also the M51 was detachable in 3 ways – making it much easier to clean. This also allowed you to change the state of the parka depending on the temperature.
M-65: The last version of this Parka. It has a detachable hood it features a removable quilted liner made of light nylon/polyester. The M-65 fishtail parka first came in to production in 1968. These parkas featured fake synthetic fur.  
Parkas were made especially big so that other layers of clothing could be comfortably worn underneath.

In the 1960s UK, the fishtail parka became a known symbol of the ‘mod’ group. This was down to their practicality, cheapness and availability- it was seen as the ideal jacket for protecting smarter clothes underneath from grease and dirt when on the mod's scooter.  Furthermore, they were easily found in army surplus shops.
Its place in popular culture was assured by newspaper pictures of parka-clad mods during the Bank Holiday riots of the 1960s.


The Jacket of Geeks? 

In the late 1980s parkas were considered very unfashionable. They were associated with geeks and nerds. This helped to create the UK term ‘anorak’ for people who wore them (this is where the two garments began to get mixed up). Nerdy train spotters would supposedly wear anoraks whilst collecting numbers on cold railway platforms. Even to date parkas are used in creating a boffin stereo type, like Scott Pilgrim for example. 



The Rise of the Parka

In Europe Parkas started to regain popularity in the late 1990s/early 2000s. Celebrities such as being Liam Gallagher and David Beckham were snapped wearing them. Around 2004, the nerdy stereotype had faded and Parkas became a main-stream fashion jacket. They were particularly popular in the indie scene. 
Although Parkas have developed over the years, there is still resemblance to the original 1950s design.  Some Parkas even still have the orange quilted lining of the 70's and 80's school parkas. 


Do you own a Parka?

----

Jess xx


Sunshine all the time makes a desert.
— 
Arab proverb 



Sunday, 28 December 2014

Wedding style challenge

12:31 Posted by Jessica No comments
A couple of weeks ago I received a style challenge to create a bridesmaid ensemble that would look dashing for a New Years Eve wedding. 

I was given four dress variations by Weddington Way  an online boutique for wedding party styles and the brief of creating a full look, as if I were the maid of honour. 

Look one


For the first look I've paired this deep blue 'Audrey' style dress with nude accessories, basic earrings, medium height shoes and a detailed clutch bag. 


 Look two


On this second look I wanted to try something less traditional. This 'Elizabeth' style dress is very simple and clean cut, so any bright colour can snazz it up. 
Seeing as its a New Years Eve wedding a bit of shimmer and sparkles is always in order. 
This tux style cape is a great take on the original jacket.
Red, really brings out the silver shade in this dress.



 Look three

I love this Navy lace dress, its so chic and flattering for a winter wedding.
Black eyeliner and Red lips are a classic and would carry the bridesmaids through from the ceremony to the new year countdown. 
This Black and White jacket would certainly secure some warmth (who knows, it might snow)


Look four


This purple ensemble is very deep and quite eye catching.
To tone it down I've paired it with neutral lips, silver accessories, minimal jewellery and this stunning eye make up.


Hair looks

Hair styles always depend on the length of your hair.
These four are my personal favourites.
As with everything, it's important not to look like the bride (it's her big day and so on)


This bohemian braided bun is really pretty and looks effortless.


For something easier and quicker simple big curls pulled back with a decorative clip can look magnificent.


These luscious curls weaved in to a braid across the top are particularly pretty.


Lastly a side bun rolled and folded from underneath looks very fresh faced, especially when topped with some of the weddings chosen flowers.

Check out Weddington Ways current bridesmaid dress collection here


Have you ever been a bridesmaid? What was your outfit ensemble? 

------

Jess xx 

Check out some more of my polyvore sets here

Monday, 15 December 2014

Global tensions rise as another unarmed teenager is killed unlawfully in the USA: Social media is the catalyst that sparks a fire ready to catch.

22:08 Posted by Jessica No comments
The following article is not fashion related, it is something I personally feel very strongly about and hope to signal boost, its my opinion and you don't have to read it.

-----

This is not a rare phenomenon, racial injustice is a daily problem for billions of people world wide. But as more people gain access to the news, witness accounts and social media platforms, this type of crime is hard to ignore, or indeed, get away from.

The facts are extremely hard to grasp in our current society, everyone has their own opinion, cameras, personal experiences and of course, a platform to share them on.

Ironically, the media was designed to spread the news widely and efficiently, but mixed messages and facts lost in translation now mean that many people do not understand what is really happening in the world around them.

This uncertainty only adds to the tension felt everyday in our streets, classrooms and homes. It begs the question, are we making progress? Or are we getting blurred by our own power and thirst for success? 


Regardless of what news report or protest you choose to read, an unarmed human being shot six times with his hands up, this should never make sense. 




^Malcom X^

----

Jess xx 

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Vocabulary: the 'Essence' of an article

12:38 Posted by Jessica No comments
The importance of vocabulary is so deep, I'm not even sure where to begin this article; sort of ironic, I know.

Whenever you read anything its the authors words that either grasp you or lose you in the process. This is what makes it so much more important than grammar, my goodness, you could use no punctuation but if you hold the reader with some strong adjectives and verbs you can pull it off.

Lets be honest, there's nothing worse than attempting to read something that loses you after a whole sentence of empty 5 letter words.

(Big words do not make you more intelligent, but they sure do make you seem it)

Despite making it through my dull secondary school education with two A grades at English GCSE, composing an article overspilling with interesting vocabulary is hard. The top tips I have learned are:
  • Avoid using the same word twice in one-three sentences, if it is obvious of course.
  • Elaborate on all descriptions, even if only using just one adjective
  • When it comes to adjectives be as creative as possible (swerve: big, small, good or bad unless its with reasonable purpose)
Something that can make written pieces more interesting is the use of other languages (especially as English is the easiest language to learn, apparently)


That in mind, an interesting thing I stumbled across this week is 'Wordstruck', it's a tumblr blog that posts words that can not be directly translated in to English with a close definition. 

Some of them are very adventurous, and of course will make no sense to most readers, but the gifs and art work that accompanies them on the blog will certainly look pretty to close an online blog article. Check them out:

















See more on the Wordstruck  blog here

What do you think about these translations?

Jess xx 


"Bodyguards protect one of the six remaining last standing Northern White Rhinos."

Friday, 28 November 2014

How to winter your nails pretty

20:13 Posted by Jessica 1 comment
An under rated part of everyones appearance is their hands. Hands are one of the most useful parts of your body; for instance, they are probably how you found this article (with the aid of the internet and your eyes of course). Hands are also often romanticised- you can hold hands, stroke hands, grab, touch, tickle and let go with your hands. Equally, they are very strong and interestingly, your heart is the size of your clenched fist. Kind of powerful huh?

How to make your hands feel appreciated? Theres jewellery of course, but lets put your hands in your shoes (not literally guys, come on now) jewellery for your hands is like clothes for your body, you should wear them to look maybe more presentable but you'd much rather stay in your joggers. So a comfy way to make your hands more visually appealing? Treat your nails.

Its much easier in the summer, any colour goes and the sun helps your skin and nails stay radiant, no matter how bare.

But winter makes it all the more difficult for the fresh-bare- I don't care look.

If you are like me, nail polish is a no, its not appreciated at work and my hands on college work means even a Nokia mobile generated polish would crack.

So for me, this Julep tutorial on how to keep my nails winter proof is perfect; Julep is a company that sources high quality ingredients that actually work (not just with the aid of photoshop).



For all you lucky people who can spruce up their nails with coloured polish, here are some of my favourite shades from Julep:

Here are some more nail polish colours by Julep

How do you usually winterize your nails?

Hope you all have a lovely day,
Jess
xx

You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.