Why I’m staying home during London Fashion Week

The sun is trying its best to shine, but it’s attempts are thwarted due to the London grey skies. However it is unseasonably warm, ‘only 3 layers of clothing required’ temperature.

Yet, I’m staying home, and contemplating a host of tasks – laundry, ironing, gardening, catching up on telly, sewing, on-line window shopping, drawing … basically anything that doesn’t involve me moving more than an few metres from my home.  On a Saturday. During London Fashion Week.  An event I had been looking forward to for weeks.

I don't like Mondays

Why? Because I just haven’t felt the good vibes to go. Despite the talk, the fashion industry is still one of the most non-diverse in the world. When an industry says they believe in diversity, yet the powerful and the influencers in that industry tend to talk alike, walk alike, think alike, act alike and look alike, I being to wonder if there is any real meaning to their diversity hype.

Yes, I have attended many a LFW event – fashion catwalks, product launches, fashion talks and they have in the most part, been good. I have traveled to parts of London that I would never have visited, seen and met loads of interesting people and generally had a great time, at the time. But afterwards, I have more often than not felt a little underwhelmed. The goodie bag half filled with stuff I would never use in a million years, and the other half never intended for me.

The models with expression-less faces, looking like carbon copies produced from a plastics factory, wearing clothing that seems to showcase the designer’s inner-porn king desires, rather than the art of dress making. What are we saying to our young girls and women? The message I’m getting is that male designers are still the majority, in an industry, mostly owned by men, that uses expression-less and voice-less young girls and women to showcase their work, in order to sell their dreams of youth, and promote their own power and dominance to wealthy middle-aged women. The irony being that some of these women achieved their wealth from their fathers or husbands and have little real power of their own, having being taught that having their own opinion or voice is somehow unfeminine. The myth of equality continues, season after season.

#YouCanSitWithUsLdn - Champagne Twist
#YouCanSitWithUsLdn – plant in blue pot

Recently there have been 3 events (Vegan Life Live, a blogging talk with Ella Gregory and #YouCanSitWithUsLdn) which have made me think about my role in this ever madding world and less philosophically, how to make this corner of the internet reach more people and encourage conversation. Where do I want to take the website? Why do I really want to grow this blog? Why am I willing to get up at stupid o’clock to go to the other side of London, using a sub-par and expensive weekend transport system, it’s raining cats, dogs, rabbits, horses and a couple of hedgehogs, suffering from a bad head cold at the drop of a hat to help promote some ‘new thing’, but take 3 weeks to decide if I should purchase business cards for my own website?

The answers to the questions by the way, I want to take this social network as far as it can go. I want to grow this blog, because I want to be heard, within my own terms and not those dictated to by convention. The 3rd question – well the answer to that is a bit more tricky. And it’s taken me a long time, too long really, to figure out the answer. I’m seeking approval. I want to be accepted, I want validation and I want someone to say, ‘yes you are allowed in this group’. It’s so ridiculous, yet sadly true.

The business card thing was a manifestation of my lack of self confidence. ‘My brand isn’t good enough yet. I’m still on wordpress.com, it’s not perfect, the colour scheme isn’t right yet, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.’ If I was advising someone else, I would have said, “What are you waiting for? Get the darn things printed already. So what if your website look isn’t 100% ready, are you seriously going to wait for that day, because let me tell you, you’re a perfectionist – that day ain’t gonna come.”

So this weekend, instead of going to a number of LFW related events, most of which I know I wouldn’t enjoy, I’m going to work on me. It’s vital to remember that being your best self is a continuing work of progress. You evolve from day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute. You are a living masterpiece, you have to be seen now, not just when you think you’re ready, or worse, when you think the world is ready for you. The world knows you’re ready. You were born ready. That’s why you are here. So go and get seen already!

 

 

February Resolutions – Design Month

Hello,

Continuing with my monthly resolutions series, here is a preview of what’s coming up this February on Champagne Twist.

Design Month, February 2017 - Champagne Twist
February is Design Month, on Champagne Twist. champagnetwist.wordpress.com

February has been designated design month. It’s going to be an exciting mix of fashion, crafts and home decor design. What do you hope to achieve this month? Do let us know in the comments box, and please subscribe for more information.

Check out the my 2017 resolution plans video below.

Thanks for reading.

Ladurée macarons – review

macaron (/ˌmɑːkəˈrɒn/ mah-kə-rohn;[1] French pronunciation: [makaʁɔ̃]) is a French sweet meringue-based confection made with egg whiteicing sugargranulated sugaralmond powder or ground almond, and food colouring. The macaron is commonly filled with ganachebuttercream or jam filling sandwiched between two cookies. The name is derived from the Italian word macaronemaccaroneor maccherone, the meringue.

Why the definition intro?  Because I think Ladurée need to read it.

I admit I have been extremely late to the macaron bandwagon, as I favour the much more robust macaroons.  But, having heard so much of the craze, I decided at long last to take the macaron plunge.

I selected a set box of 8, and spent time deliberating over the large range of flavours.  I ventured home, taking great care of the precious contents of my thin, green cardboard cartoon.  Sadly, one of the macarons, despite my best efforts was damaged. I think the cartoon provided was too big, easily having enough room for 9 or 10 macarons rather than 8.  Macarons, are delicate in nature and so I’m rather surprised that this was not considered when designing the packaging.

Macarons - champagnetwist.wordpress.com
Macarons

With colourful 8 macarons to try, I invited my friend Lee to pop round for tea and a macaron taste test. A self confessed connoisseur of fine foods, Lee was more than happy to indulge.

Then we tried the macarons … Oh dear! Here’s the table of results …

Champagne Twist - Laduree macarons
Ladurée Macarons

1.Raspberry

Lee – Not bad, not immediately obvious it’s raspberry flavour 3/5

Me – The filling is fruity in texture, but artificial in taste.  Meringue a little disappointing too 3/5

 

2.Rose

Lee – Yuk, don’t like that! The taste is far too strong 2/5

Me – I like it! Nice delicate floral notes, the meringue has a crisp exterior and soft centre 2.5/5

 

3.Vanilla

Lee – Tastes more like coconut! 2.5/5

Me – Nice subtle flavour, but couldn’t tell it was vanilla, which is a bit worrying. The meringue doesn’t taste of much either 2.5/5

 

4.Pistachio

Lee – Can’t tell what flavour this is supposed to be, but I don’t get pistachio 2.5/5

Me – OK, but nothing special, and it doesn’t taste particularly nutty 2/5

 

5.Chocolate

Lee – Best one so far, you can taste chocolate, and its not too sweet 3.5/5

Me – Agree, it’s the best so far, chocolate favour is obvious, but I wonder if they used top quality cocoa. The meringue has a nice flavour 4/5

 

6.Marie Antoinette

Lee – Nice on the palette 3.5/5

Me – Unusual, pleasant flavour, would go well with the chocolate macaron 3.5/5

 

7.Green Apple

Lee – Nah!  That’s apple concentrate, straight out of a bottle 2/5

Me – OMG! How can ANYONE sell something that tastes so bad and call it FOOD! This is supposed to be a treat, not punishment. Oh and the aftertaste, it just keeps on going -2/5

 

8.Lemon

Lee – Didn’t get the lemon immediately, but there’s a hint of lemon in the aftertaste 2/5

Me – I can still taste the Green Apple! The lemon flavour isn’t very strong, and there isn’t any in the meringue that I can tell 2/5

macarons photo collage - champagnetwist.wordpress.com
Macarons

Of the 8, top score went to the chocolate macaron, gaining a combined score of 7 out of 10.  The worse macaron, in a disappointing mix of pretty below average tasting ones, was the green apple favour,  receiving a combined score of zero. In my opinion the green apple macaron is so vile, it should be considered an instrument of culinary torture.

With little change from £15 for 8 macarons, from an establishment that is said to specialise in such ‘treats’, I expected so much more. One passable chocolate macaron does not make up for the rest, which ranged from interesting, but not worth nearly £2, to downright disgusting.

I could have made a lovely cake with £15 worth of quality ingredients.  The cake would easily feed at least 6 people, so it makes me wonder why these macarons are considered so ‘en vogue’.  These macarons may be pretty to look at, but that was mostly at the cost of flavour – at one point the cardboard box they came in looked more appetising.

Overall score: 1 out of 10, and that’s only because of the nice packaging, and the macarons  provided some interesting food photography shots!

Sorry Lee, I owe you a cake.

 

 

 

 

 

London Fashion Week AW 16

Hello,

Just to let you know, I made a playlist of my top ten favourite shows of London Fashion Week AW16. Please click the link below to find out what they are!

What did you like best about this season’s fashion showcase? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Don’t forget to subscribe to both here and my YouTube channel to keep up-to-date with all things Champers!

Thanks for reading, till next time 🙂

London Fashion Week AW16 – the top 5 shows

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 16.30.08

London Fashion Week has just officially ended, so here are my favourite shows from the AW16 season.

Ashish

Osman

Sophia Webster

Topshop

Jasper Conran

Expect to see some of these ideas in my wardrobe over the next few weeks!

What did you think about London Fashion Week? What were your favourite shows? Please comment below. Thanks for reading 🙂