Category Archives: Fashion

What Lou Wears; 
Top (Topshop), choker (Topshop) and slip dress (here). Shoe’s no longer available.

Isn’t it unbelievable how quickly life can change?

I won’t start of a countdown on Top 10 2016 Moments, but I think we’re all feeling a fast forward feeling this year. It’s like everything’s tenfold, but then this makes the smaller things just that little bit sweeter. The feeling of lying in bed with nothing to do, stretching like a cat in the morning sun, still with some eyeliner dabbled across your eyelids. Raking your fingers through your tangled hair as you make a cuppa, warming up your hands and wandering to your living room, knowing for the day your outfit of a oversized tee and pants as going to stay, maybe with a blanket added to act as a stylish throw. Toast made just right with butter melted in the middle, or eggs with tomatoes and asparagus (this girl adds veggie sausages because #heaven). Long hot showers, good bubbly shower gel, hair masks (God don’t they leave your hair feeling amazing?). Fresh bedsheets, some quiet, a single day to you alone.

Sunday’s are my days to restart, busy weeks leaving me a bit fidgety to the things I’ve missed out during my dashes from uni to work to home. The Restart Days are needed for every Girl Boss, but they don’t have to be filled with game plans of world domination (we’ll get there), but a breather and an extra three hours in bed. The days of quiet to get ready to do it all over again. The ‘it’ including accidental arty #OOTD pictures and easy to wear slip dresses.

Sunday’s and self love. How do you spend yours?

Lou x

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Yesterday afternoon Another Man announced their 23rd cover star – Harry Styles. What followed blew my mind. 

As my feed filled with remarks on Styles appearance in all three covers, with the first and most commercial being applauded, I began to wonder. Why is this artist still viewed as an object?

We know I’m a fan of Harry Styles’ style. This isn’t new.

You can’t demand feminism in 2016 if you still view an artistic photo shoot as derivative just because you aren’t getting hot and bothered over it.

Why does he have to be hot? Why do we
demand this of man, the ‘man candies’ or #mcm to be six packed and
aesthetically pleasing as possible?

 We cry out when women are splashed over the
cover as the New Hot Girl and shriek it’s sexist. But then a magazine cover
comes out with Harry Styles on looking not his usual boyband self. And people
instantly put him down, saying he’s ‘so average looking’ ‘so not sexy at ALL,
I’d rather have Zayn’ or ‘does he think this looks good?’ What if this was
the reaction to a woman like Miley Cyrus at the start of her career post Hannah
Montana? Or Victoria Beckham when she branched into fashion? (Oh wait.)

Another Man magazine is not Sports
Illustrated or Playboy. The covers are not made for you to drool over the cover
stars features in a commercial way. Another Man launched in 2005 to cater to
the ever expanding interest in menswear; both the market and the new found
creativity. Regularly Another and Another man magazine create thought-provoking
articles, incredible imagery, stimulating editorials and show frankly
pioneering fashion in menswear. Therefore Another Man is not a magazine of tat
and fodder. It’s a niche magazine for a niche market – one for the intellectual,
creative, adventurous (and some would say hipster) males. So I could then make
the point to the ladies, this photoshoot isn’t even for you.
And that’s not a bad thing. Men’s
magazines have so few in comparison to women’s on fashion, art and socially
cultural articles. Men are allowed their own stuff. No biggie.
 When you saw those covers did you scoff? Did
you think ‘here goes another boybander trying to be more’ and roll your eyes? The
never ending fight young artists and performers battle against – to be seen as have
in grown up. And yet you’ll
lmao and ‘call out’ magazines if a woman’s breasts are more the central focus,
how exactly does that work? Is it because we think, as women, it’s FINALLY time
for men to feel how women have for years? The pressure to look as physically
attractive, sexy and appealing as possible at every moment of every day if we
encounter the opposite sex. As if it’s a punishment that must be passed on,
this dreaded feeling of being constantly ‘on’ cc appearance, which instead of
being squashed down full stop, we shove onto men. And not any man. A man who’s
in arguably the biggest boy band this planet has seen in generations, the fame
of One Direction was unprecedented. A man who was in the limelight at 16 and
presented as a man whore. 16, the age you have turned legal in the eyes of the
law to have sex, 16, an age we still consider girls young, 16, a situation the
country would have roared back if it had been a girl. 
But it was a boy and he was branded ‘a
lucky lad’ and ‘cheeky’ by the media to get anywhere near Caroline Flack. So
many more women would view this 16 year old boy as a sex object, a boy who
liked cougars. Who –at 16- is readily available. Who still to this day has sat
in interviews and been treated as meat. Gross.
Maybe that’s why people are so
pressed on Harry Styles not being commercially attractive on the three covers
of Another Man magazine. The public has been presented with the image of ‘playboy
Styles’ we forget how exactly is saying that, if there’s any value, if perhaps
Harry Styles is more than who he’s slept with? Like, we demand women to be seen
as more, then we must apply this logic to men as well. You can’t demand
feminism in 2016 if you still view an artistic photo shoot as derivative just
because you aren’t getting hot and bothered over it. It doesn’t work like that.
End of story.
You want feminism then you realise
both sexes are more than their looks and should be treated as such. A celebrity
isn’t just for you to view and be ‘hot’ and ‘attainable’ as One Direction were
presented when they started, the ‘boys that could be your boyfriend, if you’re
lucky’. Are we even still on that PR, even subconsciously?
If one wants art and fashion, real artistic talent and
photography skills to come into the foreground then don’t knock off Harry
Styles before you try it, as it were. If you hadn’t known the celebrity, if he
had been a model instead, the likelihood is you’d see more of an appeal. There
would be exclamations on how he looks like a young Mick Jagger (have you seen
the moodboard for the Another man shoot? Very early Rolling Stones. And like c’mon.
The second cover?). 
Instead what
you’re getting is the deconstruction of an image 5 years in the making. The
very thing that may be familiar to so many, is being shredded and in the
digital age, this image overhaul has been incredibly well documented. 

I must say a large and heartfelt bravo to Another Man, for
creating such stimulating and intriguing covers. They show more layers than an
X-Factor boy band member, a new side to Mr Styles we’ve only glimpsed at and I’m
excited to know more. Bye heartthrob, let’s see the Styles of now.
And frankly, if a man can work a Gucci floral suit I think he’s more than what you think he is. Just food for thought.

Lou x

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“Nobody will stop you from creating. Do it tonight. Do it tomorrow. That is the way to make your soul grow – whether there is a market for it or not! The kick of creation is the art of creating, not anything that happens afterward.”

– Kurt Vonnegut
I came across this quote and it started a musing, one that holds no weight most likely, but one I’ve tossed and turned inside my head for a few days. Letting it stew/bake/mould or however we phrase it. I like bake the best, my friend Cesca frequently says she’s letting an essay ‘bake overnight’ before she looks at it again.
The Art Of Creation. Creating On The Internet. The Process Of Makin’ Stuff. It’s a weird thing, a new concept to most since blogging and YouTubers sprang almost out of nowhere in mainstream media recently these past few years. The power of creation on the Internet knows no bounds and welds large amounts of power, as we’ve seen, the power of an #ad and the character performing to a brief. The hundreds and thousands, even millions that are distributed across our Wide Web has many blogs and Youtube channels springing up, podcasts are made daily, ebooks distributed on the reg’. So you’re making content for your #onbrand and you’re wondering, what happens next?

So you’re wanting a part of this cash cow now.

I alluded in a recent post Why I Took A Break From Blogging. It’s very easy to get caught up in the numbers and the expectations, the ‘potential’ of your blog and the people who have made a career out of theirs. And then a broken laptop stopped me from posting when I really wanted to post. Never should something like creation start from a want for money or being famous. It doesn’t work like that. You don’t get ‘fame’ as a mark of success, it’s an add on some get. Not all. When we think of fame, we think of people written about in rat mags; movie stars, writers, designers, DJs, singers and models. But we don’t think about the work before that. We don’t think about the reject. The emails that come through, the ‘sorry but no’ which are uttered time and time again. We’ve put fame on this pedestal, this all knowing ‘being’ of perfection and luxury and riches, a God of today for those who tossed religion aside.
When you are creating, as Kurt Vonnegut put it, you are creating for the kick of it. You are creating because you have to, because your soul is commanding you to do so, because there is joy when you create which nothing else can compare to. Creativity is fashioning something out of nothing and feeling accomplished you did it, not because someone saw it and told others. The creation for others is an insult to creativity itself, the creation for glory and fame will show in your work and prove false in the eyes of an audience. Cecil B. DeMille once said “creativity is a drug I cannot live without” and I think that is the thing that sums it up.
We are pushed to see so much about #content and #onbrand and #ad we forget the beginning, middle and end of such things is creation. Creation is not made to pay the bills. It is you and you alone who must work to pay your bills.
Cameron Diaz spoke about happiness in this video here and touched on fame, saying

“People have this idea, especially in America that if you’re famous, you’re successful. You’re happy. I don’t do what I do because I want to be famous… If you’re looking for fame to define you, you will never be happy.”

Fame may come as a result of creation, hard work and success but it does not come if you’re intention is fame itself. I think all creatives desire a certain level of success, and that success being recognition, not from being lucky but from working their ass off. If you put your best efforts into something, you want it to be noticed. However that will not happen if you’re intentions are not authentic and your need to create is has moneybags for eyes.

I think many forget that. I think our mind lapses concentration when our desire go from the need to create, to the need to make money. To pay our bills. I think we fail to remember that fame and a high bank account is not the only aspiration to have in life. There’s more to it.
And I think maybe, focusing on free stuff and how many #ads you can #promo or that Insty fame, doesn’t send out the message people should care enough to click.
You do you, and I will do me.
Lou x
Want to send an email? Contact
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Hey whats up hellllooo

It’s been quiet on my slice of the Internet, hasn’t it? While I’ve missed writing (omg SO much) I won’t exactly make an apology. Why?

I’ve taken time a way from creating content at #Predicaments because I’ve felt uninspired, lacklustre and downright OFF. While I’d love to put some blame on Saturn being in retrograde (planets do that and it *can* affect us. Weird right?), I’m happy to say it’s mainly me and my darling brain. But like, some of Saturn’s too.

I don’t think one should ever put content out there when they’re uninspired. It shows up as unnatural, I feel uncomfortable reading a thing I know someone spent writing as they grinded their teeth together, late at night, swearing how the images JUST WON’T CONTRAST RIGHT. We all understand the need to pay bills and put ‘your best food forward’ yet, I’m not doing this to pay bills or build a business. I’m doing this for a joy, a sense of accomplishment, to see my words out there and people deciding if they like it or not. Letting me know they like it… or not.

I LOVED how many of you let me know what you thought of the red dress, those of whom bought it you made my day! It’s so cool to think someone somewhere saw my post and it inspired them to buy the dress. It’s like we’re a little group huddling together, swapping favourite bargain clothes but also chatting away on social issues, how we feel. I adore that people come here for some escapism, like I do with so many blogs.

The time I’ve taken away from the blog was just to get my mindset back to what’s important. I’ve been neglecting stuff I need to sort out and become more organised with my life. You know those lulls of creative lacking? I’m suffering from that more than FOMO over those sunny beach Instagrams.

So I’m writing this to tell you that It’s Ok To Take A Break.

The Internet loves to tell you “treat yourself like you would yourself!” “more self love!” “eat that ice cream girl!” or “do what makes YOU happy, not anyone else!!”
And that’s great, because self care and self love comes in all shapes and sizes, just like we do as human beings. But I don’t like how quickly problems are fought to be solved. Like we’re wasting our time trying to figure out why we’re feeling a certain way, just what is causing it and how can we fix it?
It’s like we can’t have time to ride the wave because everyone else is giving their 5 cents.

Because we have this vast space to connect with any and everyone, we let a lot of people into *our* space without knowing exactly how harmful they can be. For a few months now I’ve been suffering from TMP, also known as Too Much Positivity. That’s when calls for “positivity only plz” start to drown out the “okay but wait a minute” voices. It’s as if we’re holding the tools to become more socially and economically aware, but there are articles on Justin Bieber quitting Instagram (I don’t care? Does anyone?) to inspiring quotes, which are really just some words put in quotations that aren’t really that deep.
It’s all too easy for us to write a funny sarcastic tweet on just how shit 2016 has been, or how Kylie Jenner dropped a bomber on us about -realising things- but the political makeup of the world is changing dramatically (I still hate Brexit and Boris) and we’ve lost so many to shootings in these 8 months alone. I sometimes can’t sleep because I’m so worried about the future of me, of us as a race and then I’m bombarded with tweets or Instagrams of happy quotes. Finding those who express their sadness, their fears to be swept under a mountain of gooey ‘positivity’ when really, stuff can be shit. And stuff can’t be solved in a pint of ice cream or a hot bath. I still wake up in  a world where so   much happens and people won’t listen to others because “Positivity Only please!!”I could be ‘caller out’ as bitter, when really I might be raining on someone’s parade for an hour.

I understand in a time of your life when things feel dark, demanding positivity as important is something as important as your mental wellbeing. However, I cannot let myself drown in Positivity just because an Instagram account posts Motivational Quotes! every three hours. Just like you can lose yourself in darkness, you can submerge yourself too deeply in positivity. I got to a point I feared making mistakes, because I wouldn’t be doing the ‘right’ thing. The ‘good’ thing. I’d worry about expressing emotion and couldn’t listen to ‘negativity’ because if I did it would highlight how much I was ‘failing’ when that’s complete rubbish. Not being constantly ON doesn’t make one a failure. It means we’ve got to slow down and take a step back. Breaks are important. We have to remember to take them.

Too Much Positivity can leave you feeling like a “Professional Cynic”. If there was a job as Professor of cynicism, I would have it. These past few weeks have contested to that; sometimes seeing all of the Encouraging, Positive and #GIRLBOSS quotes wouldn’t do anything to me but scoff, transforming into Tracey Beaker with my mind in a constant state of “BOG OFF!” when presented with Etsy quotes.

Sometimes you just need a break to let yourself know it’s okay. It’s okay to take a step back. It’s okay to slow down for a while. It’s okay to be frustrated, even if being told it’s okay makes you want to scream. And it’s okay to be confused, because being confused isn’t being a failure, it’s just being confused. Stop being so hard on yourself. It’s not always you, because there’s 7.48 billion people on the planet and the Universe can’t focus on you all the time. Sometimes it’s a bad day. Feel it. Accept it. Then just, let it go.

I’m happy to be back writing, I hope you’re happy to see me on your homepage.

Lou x

Want to send an email? Contact
Twitter; @LouiseRamsay_ click here 
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