Category Archives: Fashion

Welcome to the next chapter of #Predicaments, otherwise known as The New Era. A place to indulge in the low-brown pop culture, ease into high-brow think pieces, wonder in disbelief over disillusions and sigh over fine tailoring. Relish in escapism and revel in fashion tales. In short www.predicamentsoflou.com is going to be a manifestation of my own thoughts and pearls of wisdom, odes to girl-bossery and a corner for contemplations. The interior and exterior of myself. #Predicaments has been a place i've found solace, however this satisfaction for writing has grown from this little bubble of Blogspot and transformed into what you're reading on now.

 

The Main Mood's Of Lou; serious I-think-this-is-modelling-right? face and laughing like a loon. 

As frank as I always am with you, I must confess how negligent i have been with my previous Internet corner. And although some would argue I am not obliged to explain myself, I feel explaining will help me understand as well. Does that make sense? I often fear my rambles are just long monologues of stream of consciousness that wiggle to their own desire of direction, rather than circling back to a conclusion. Anyway, I digress. This past year I've hd the opportunity to write as a columnist at my university newspaper, The Strathclyde Telegraph. Which has been un-fucking-believable.  And every month I would sit down and write. About anything and everything, forcing myself to think of subjects not relevant to simply me, get out and think about what university students as a whole would be interested to read. Because we always want to read the things that we're pulled towards, an itching in our soul saying 'hey this might help us with X'. So I wrote about body image in winter, the stress of deadlines, the fear of failure among a manner of things. Stuff we individually might knock off or toss aside because we think it's too 'understandable' it therefore lacks in value (spoiler; it doesn't). I wrote in a way I'd want to read it, as the no bullshit friend who straight talks you back to sense after the third breakdown that week. I stopped using the 'I' because I didn't want to talk about me anymore. And I think that's when I started to crumble, just a bit.

You see, around my second column Donald Trump was elected President. And then later, he became President and in this period of two months (how was it only two months?) there were a lot of think pieces and a lot of jokes on SNL and a lot of panic. Nerves were wearing down, and for good reason. And it was sort of like my Twitter feed had erupted like a volcano and there were so many tweets of horror and then later, of sarcasm and then Teen Vogue started to boss it, so hope started to bloom. And the #Womensmarch brought me to tears, because things started to feel very possible again and the power of women blew my mind away. Through all of that, I became overwhelmed with third year university coursework and deadlines, juggling classes on top of a job, on top of a social life, on top of simply having time to b r e a t h e. Not to say I didn't have a social life before, but it's sort of magnified and there are so many more people in my life, who I adore and make me laugh, especially at work where it shouldn't feel like escapism so much, but it does. I took some time out of the headspace of a writer because I needed to just do my thing, take a break from stuff I didn't feel the 'need' to do. Because i never want this to be brought down to a mind-numbing obligation, because if I'm to claim the title of Writer I should be doing it through the want to create, nothing else.  And I've adopted this new thing of having fun, for fun sake and only fun, which I'm going to write about because I think now more than ever we've got to get out of our heads and have fun... Have I said the word fun enough?

Anyway. As you can appreciate dear reader, life has been a bit of a whirlwind since I turned 20; I'm not writing to you as a 21 year-old who feels a lot like she's 19 again, in the best way. Third year university has been so many things, I can't think of the words to do the madness justice just yet, and it's not even finished. But what I can say for now is that I have been struggling to decide if my voice is 'enough'. If what I think should be expressed in more than 140 characters and how important it is to get a piece 'right'. How important words are and how conscious I am of everything I say, the gravity it possesses, or lack thereof. I guess you could say that fear people talk about, over doing the ~thing~? I got that, for a while.

But I had also grown out of the space I was occupying. The new #predicaments is a space big enough for everything I want to do and want to say, dare I say it 'worthy' of my words? Well I'm not the person I was when I began blogging, so I think I can have the self-assurance my words have grown in strength the same way my sense of self has. Actually I don't think - I know. And I'm getting (got?) over this budding fear of everything and anything between 'perfect' and 'justified'. Our political and economic climate is a shaky one and the 'woke' celebrity is something increasingly demanded, so this has created a domino effect across all creators, even someone as small as myself. But we're to kid ourselves if we think anyone knows everything. We can't just go and create villains out of everyone, especially ourselves. It's like attempting to find water in the desert, to believe somewhere there are people who have answers and manage to say the most perfect things. We're all just doing whatever we need, and want, to do to keep going. Whatever your religious beliefs, the idea of a deity living among us, able to save us as frankly appealing that sounds, isn't one that will aid us. There's no black and white answer to things, it's all grey. And there will never be one size fits all, for now. But that doesn't mean we have to punish ourselves for not sorting it all out at once. It takes a while to find matching socks after a wash when they all look the same. We can take the time.

I've taken the time. And I'm ready to speak again, on the high-ranking and the trivial.

 

Welcome to The New Era; Predicaments of Lou.

 

I hope you enjoy it.

Lou x

 

 


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

Want to send an email? Contact louisenicoleramsay@gmail.com
Twitter; @LouiseRamsay_ click here 
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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

Want to send an email? Contact louisenicoleramsay@gmail.com
Twitter; @LouiseRamsay_ click here 

Instagram; @LouRamsay_ click here
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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 louisenicoleramsay@gmail.com
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