Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Page3 - Use it for Good

At work, we read papers every morning, to see what’s going on in the world and if there is anything relevant we can use for our clients (I’m a PR gal). I usually pick up ‘The Sun’, because I’m never ready for anything heavy at 9am and The Financial Times scares me a lot. So, I pick it up, open it, and I’m greeted by a gorgeous woman staring back at me, with her top off.

For 9am, this is usually a bit much for me. #prude

But, the past couple of weeks saw a change in the waters. There has been outcry by Feminist movements and women in general, asking for an end to Page 3, stating that showing a woman standing there topless is nothing but blatant sexism, and soft porn in one of the nation’s biggest selling tabloid newspapers is simply unacceptable. Petitions were signed, hashtags were created, and all of a sudden it became news that Page 3 was ending. The movements sighed a breath of relief, and people sung ‘Man! I Feel Like A Woman’ in celebration (this last note was perhaps a fabrication).

But then, all of a sudden, The Sun did this…

It was all an elaborate PR stunt, and the nation felt stupid. Stupid to have believed that such a thing would ever happen without concrete proof. There was no official statement, it was simply word of mouth, and never confirmed or denied. The Head of PR for The Sun then went on to troll journalists fighting for the abolishment of the page. Not cool.

But all this got me thinking. What is so wrong with Page 3?

I interned in The Sun building, and saw the process for hiring Page 3 models. A bubbly, chatty, bright and attractive woman came in, they ushered her into the fashion cupboard and shut the door. 10 minutes later, she emerged and left. Clearly, it was to get privacy so they could snap her without her top on. At first, I felt this was seedy, a bit uncomfortable, and that I was adamantly against Page 3. I felt it was disgusting that women were splashed all over the page with no top on, simply for builders to gawp at on their tea break. It’s the 21st Century, and women should be celebrated for their mind and actions rather than their chest.

But then, I saw another side.

A friend of mine is a Page 3 model, and she is one of the prettiest, sassiest, strongest, girls I have met. She has her own business, her own income, and a pretty impressive CV. So, I thought I’d ask her how she felt about all the publicity page 3 is getting. She said:

Walking into my first page 3 shoot I will admit that half of me didn't know how it would feel being topless in a room full of strangers - it's slightly different to stripping off whilst getting ready with your mates. However I am not one to pass up an opportunity and I am glad I did as that eventually funded me setting up my own business, but this was not the only way it helped me. At first the thought of being around all of these gorgeous girls was a tad daunting but turned out to be the thing that helped me truly find my self confidence. These girls are real, they are not perfect, and they are confident in their own skin. That's what page 3 is about. Beautiful girls flashing a smile and a bit of flesh... and actually, that's what feminism should be about, equality for women and empowering each other to express ourselves how we choose to. 

This got me thinking again, what's wrong with feeling confident? 

Page 3 is confusing. It’s a constant battle between right and wrong, and I’m still not sure where I stand on it. On the one hand, I feel that if women want to do this and feel this is the route they want their career to go down, then go ahead. Why not? They get paid, they feel confident, they want something they can look back on when they’re old. Also, there are so many campaigns about ‘Free The Nipple’, and The Sun openly show this every day…But, alternatively, I do think it is incredibly backwards to have a near-naked woman in the paper, purely for people to gasp at. I also believe that newspapers should focus on news, and boobs certainly ain't news bros...they've been around for years. Get over it.

The Sun also sticks to conventional levels of beauty with Page 3, only showing curvy girls who are beautiful, you never see a woman with a scar from breast cancer, or women who don’t shave their arm pits, or bald women. This goes against the other hard work The Sun do to raise awareness for women’s issues, such as their fantastic work with Coppafeel. Why not use Page 3 to normalise unconventional beauty? Or make poster girls of women who are strong, confident, have overcome adversity, as well as the odd bombshell? This is something that I feel would transform a backwards idea into a completely modern way of thinking, and would be praised.

The main point of this post is to encourage another way of thinking. Whilst I am certainly not backing Page 3, I feel that there is another way we can use this. Encourage change and difference in the world using such a massive platform, and attitudes around us might change. Shows like 'The Undateables' gawking at people's physical differences may not have as much leverage if difference was embraced. Take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. 

I hope you agree, and if you don’t that’s ok too. 
Until next time xo

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Interview with Sedge Beswick - ASOS

so, i was lucky enough to grab a couple of minutes with Sedge Beswick, who is the Global Senior Social Media Manager (phew, what a mouthful!) for clothing giants ASOS. as a fellow graduate of Nottingham Trent, i look to Sedge as a sort of inspiration, to show me what i could be if i work hard and persevere in this crazy world of PR & social media. Sedge has recently released an amazing book all about Twitter Lols (you should all buy, it's fab. click here) i managed to ask a few questions about her amazing career so far, and thought i'd share! grab a hot drink and enjoy.

How do you feel University prepared you for your career?
My life plan didn't actually go to plan, I initially wanted to be a sports psychologist but after failing psychology in lower sixth (I got 7%, I kid you not!), I had to have a bit of a rethink. I'd carried on art because I enjoyed it, the initial plan was to drop that subject for upper sixth but psychology had to go. I was your typical teen trying to decide my entire career path, without any actual idea of what I wanted to be/do. I visited a few universities but when I went to Nottingham – I instantly fell in love with the city, it had a real vibe and I immediately knew that I wanted to do something in Nottingham, I just wasn't too sure what it was. I did some digging and Fashion Marketing with Communications seemed quite an open degree. There was a bit of photoshop, editorial, marketing… I felt like it would give me options. 

My final year was the best one for me, on my course – you could choose your final project so whether it was a hypothetical magazine because you wanted to be an editor or a PR brief, it was all for the taking. By this point, I'D gained an incredibly strong relationship with the bar, Coco Tang (Those were the days when I could party as hard as I worked!). I was interested in Facebook, Twitter and blogging… but I hadn't really clicked that there was this thing called Social Media and that it could actually be a job! To comply with the brands guidelines of secrecy and mystery, I put on a live event inline with the launch of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. To get tickets, you had to seek content via social media. To all of our surprise, we sold out of tickets in less than 48 hours which was immensely rewarding. 

The show went without a glitch, I'D networked like no other, negotiated on props/costumes/models, I'D marketed the event, came up with a social content plan. When it came to graduating and the real-world, I'D already picked up so many skills that I could put into play on day one. 

So yes, that course and Trent come highly recommended from me. My top tip would to be to push yourself to actually do something live or physical, rather than a hypothetical project – the stress and panic of things not going to plan is where I learnt the most.

What extra experiences during Uni made you feel that social media was right for you?

One of the lecturers advised the entire course to set up a blog, mine is pretty awful and I stopped blogging when I started at ASOS but that was the real piece of advise that stuck with me, and helped me. Thanks Tim! That's where I got to play around in the digi space and learn about how to gain awareness and visits to my site. 

Did you intern a lot? How did you find the experiences?
I have actually never interned, ever. It's not something that I actually believe in (I'M sure I'Ll upset a lot of people by saying that!). I worked for Red Bull for 3 years whilst I was at uni (Yep, driving one of the cars!) so I made a lot of contacts and picked up a lot of marketing and experiential skills there. The event that I put on as part of my final project helped me with the business side of things and the team there were incredibly patient. Pretty Polly was one of the sponsors of the show and the day after they offered me a 3 month contract to set up their social media and to manage their blogger relations. In order to work in social and the digi space, I realised I needed to learn a thing or two about mobile… I already had a good relationship with Three after I'D entered a competition for them at uni so they got in touch and said they were in the process of setting up a social team, when my three months at PP was up, I moved down south and started working at Three. 

When did it click that social media was more than just a past time?
When I started at Three, we were a team of four. I had the most superb boss who really opened my eyes to the possibilities and the opportunities. At the time, it was as a blogger and as someone working in the social space. I can never put in worlds how eye opening the 18 months at Three were. Now, it really is 247. 

What’s a day in the office like?
That completely varies! At ASOS there's no set day, it's chaotic, energetic and really fun. There's a really positive vibe and no idea is a bad idea so you get to think outside the box, a lot! 

What recent project are you most proud of?
Probably becoming a published author. I always think of weird and wonderful things but never actually do them. The book was the first thing outside of my day job where I thought about it so much, I had to do something about it. As I started writing it, the thought terrified me… this could actually happen! I have self taught myself throughout, from Podcasts to Twitter conversations, lots of reading to full-blown stalking people for tips and tricks, there were so many hurdles with the book – I didn't know how to publish, I didn't know how to get legal sign off or what success would look like as I had no benchmarks, it was truly out of my comfort zone. I am VERY glad it's done though, I have my life back. Ha! 

Other than that, being invited to Number 10 Downing Street to host an inspiration session on social media was up there. That was a real wow moment for me… I obviously got the selfie outside! 

I was also just nominated as one of the Top 50 most influential people working in social media by The Drum, that was a massive pat on the back! 

Have you ever been fully star struck with any of ASOS’ celebrity collaborations?

To be honest, I don't work too closely with the celebrities that we get in. Everything I do can be done online, so there's been a few fun Hangouts. Highlight being when Azealia Bank's flashed me her nip ;) 

What inspired you to write your new book?
The Ultimate 140 Twitter LOLs is mainly aimed at students, it's a lighthearted and quick guide to nailing your approach to Twitter. I lecture at a number of universities and there's often frequent questions, all of which I chat through in my book. I always remember the long lectures, the ones where you're hungover and can only think of going for a McD's and bed so everything external that I do, I try to keep it relatable and fun which is where the idea came from. I then have an incredible friend, Jeevan, who the books dedicated to – without him, I highly doubt I'D have found the time, patience or effort to complete the book so it was my way of giving him something back. 

Can you summarise it in 5 words?
Educational with lots of LOLs

What advice would you give someone hoping to emulate your career?
Choose a social channel and keep it really up to date, have a look at what works/what doesn't/what others are doing in that space. For me, that's now Instagram but at the time, it was blogging. Then, go to talks/listen to Ted Talks, chat to people on Twitter… making those relationships and learning from people who are ahead will really help to set you aside from your competitors. 

And finally, who do you regularly stalk on social media?
Ooo, I love a good stalk! Ha. People who I learn from are the likes of Bruce Daisley/Pete Cashmere/Justin Cooke. I'M intrigued by Zuckerberg so I'M always looking out for his book recommendations or posts, that man seems to really make the most out of the hours in the day. From a brand perspective, it's the Oreo's, Coca Cola's of this world who are really innovating the social space. 
My one to watch is @ThatsWattsup - he's a fantastic writer, he really has his hand on what's happening in the social space and he's so young! 

Then, of course I like to stalk a few hotties on Instagram, it makes the day go quicker ;

hope you enjoyed :) next interview is with a fashion PR professional! until next time xo

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Missguided Active Wear

(1 / 2 / 3 / 4 + 5

ahh january. the month of new gym memberships, promises to cut carbs, and a whole new fleet of people on the treadmill. if any of these apply to you, then welcome to the fitness crew. 
let's do it in style.

missguided have recently released their highly anticipated active range, allowing us to finally turn the gym into a catwalk. the range boasts bright colours and just plan cool products that will make you WANT to go to the gym, rather than sticking on your plain leggings and vest top with your boring trainers. from marble effect coordinates, to sassy bras that will leave you feeling like you want to bare all on the cross trainer, the new range makes me want to go to thy gym everyday... even if it is to showcase a new outfit. 

my personal favourites are featured above, i love the blue tie dye effect, and i usually wear leggings in the gym opposed to shorts, so i'm a big fan of the black with a pop of pink. i also adore the high waisted briefs with bra, however i don't think i'd walk around the gym just in them. i'm not beyonce just yet, and i may give the old guy doing weights a heart attack.

prices are ridiculously reasonable, and gyms these days are as why not join a gym, as rock up feeling confident and sassy. you can do it. 

until next time xo

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

interview with nikita karizma - fashion designer

so, here is the first of an exciting new series of posts for fashionfumblings! i will be posting interviews every week with a fashion professional, whether that's a designer...a PR expert...a social media guru...a stylist... anyone whose career is inspiring and interesting for you lovely readers!

first up, i've interviewed the amazing Nikita Karizma, an upcoming fashion designer who has already carved herself an incredible career. Nikita has worked with l'oreal, colour catcher, the hard rock cafe, little mix, amelia lily, and also had work featured in fashion bibles such as dazed&confused, dazed digital, gloss magazine, elle let's just say, this lady is a force to be reckoned with + a pretty big deal. i was lucky enough to chat to Nikita about her career so far, hope you enjoy!

What made you choose fashion as a career?
My family work in the fashion industry so I was brought up working in the creative environment.  

How did university shape you as a young designer?
I studied at London College of Fashion. It was a brilliant university.  The tutors, facilities and creative friends I've made have really impacted the start of my career

Did you intern? How did you find it?
Yes, I interned in menswear design for F&F.  It was an insightful experience into the corporate side of fashion.  Focussing on clothes to sell to a mass market taught me the importance of commercial design. 

What was the pivotal moment that got you noticed?
When Little Mix and Amelia Lily wore my graduate collection on the X Factor finals. 

What inspires your collections?
London and popular culture mostly.  I love immersing myself into documentaries and subject matter outside of fashion, learning about the world and being curious which sparks off ideas easily.  

How was it working with the X Factor?
After I graduated from LCF in 2011, the X Factor gave me my first paid commission so it is the reason I had the funds to launch a business without any other start up investment.  I am based nearby their studios so it was a brilliant experience working with their team in my first steps out of university. 

How does it differ working on set (for press) and working on live TV?
Music artists often have quick changes on tour and are performing with a lot of movement so their clothes need to be durable with quick changing fastenings.  Photoshoots are all about the perfect shot so for my campaigns I am very involved with hair, make up, lighting and the full production.  

Is there a particular project that sticks out for you as your proudest moment?
I loved seeing Poppy Delevingne and Chloe Norgaard in my clothes! I have been quite lucky to have worked very talented individuals so it is hard to pick out a moment. 

Have you ever been truly star struck when working with celebrities?
No.  If I got star struck around celebrities I wouldn't be able to do my job very well.  I recently worked with Will I Am who is very cool and inspiring in person.

What advice would you give to someone hoping to become a designer?
Work experience!  Universities teach you skills but it's the work experience that you need to under the industry.  Intern every holiday, the industry is very competitive whether you chose employment or starting a business so soak up as much experience as you can whilst you are a student.

What is fashion to you?
Wearable art.

And lastly, what trends should we look out for this season?
Individuality.  Look to small brands and designers to make your wardrobe more unique.

hope you've enjoyed! you can see more of Nikita's work on or tweet @NIKITA_KARIZMA :)

until next time...i'll be interviewing the global social media manager for asos! xo


Sunday, 11 January 2015

nike liberty // basic comforts

when it's rainy, cold and windy, do you really want to be prancing around in tight uncomfortable thin clothes? no. you want to be in your snug coat, favourite jeans, and your new trainers. which is exactly what i'm doing. this outfit isn't perfect, isn't special, but it's one i love. the black puff jacket teamed with ripped jeans + the new nike liberty's is a combination you can't argue with. each piece of this outfit is well-loved and well-worn. 

a winner during this january blues period. maybe the glitz + glamour will come out in february?

until next time xo


Friday, 9 January 2015

is this 21?

I’m 21.

Should I be more adult? Should I be more chilled out? Has it really been 10 years since I started secondary school? Is it weird that I feel that same as I did at 13? Is it weird that I still have pants from when I was 14? Whatever happened to Topshop Girl Boxers anyway? Is it strange that I don’t think I will move out for years? Is it taboo to think that I probably won’t get married or have kids until I’m 30? My mum was married at my age, why aren’t I married? Do I want to get married? Would I ever go on Don’t Tell The Bride? Would I stay with my husband if he spent all our money on going to Vegas? Would I be a bridezilla? What is marriage anyway, Kim Kardashian got married 3 times before she found Kanye.

Am I fat? Why is that girl I met once 5 years ago who I stalk on Instagram thinner than me? Does she eat less than me? Why don’t I eat better? Why don’t I go to the gym every day? Why can’t I avoid jam doughnuts like her? Would that mean I have abs and can pose in a bikini on Instagram and get more than 50 likes? Did my boyfriend like her photo? Why did he like her photo? Why didn’t he like my latest selfie of me pouting, but he liked her photo? Should I take more selfies? Do I need the new iPhone to take better selfies? Should I start eating 800 calories a day? Why does everyone like avocado? Why don’t I like avocado? What am I missing?

Do I like my job? Of course I do, how else will I get money? How else could I buy shiny shoes and ridiculously expensive eyeshadow? Should I be travelling like everyone else? Why can she afford to go travelling and I can’t? What am I missing in Thailand and Australia? Will I ever be able to travel? Should I be finding myself? What does it mean to find myself? Does it mean smoking a lot of weird stuff and wearing floaty skirts? If that’s it, I’m not sure I’m that fussed…

Am I superficial? Should I care less about the way I look? Do I wear too much make up? Should I buy that foundation that makes your skin ‘selfie ready’? Should I stop caring so much about selfies? Is my hair ok? Would I pull off purple hair? How do I get rid of this purple hair? Would my Mum let me have purple hair? Where did she get her skirt? Why can’t I ever find anything nice? Why is everything so expensive?

Will I ever be able to get drunk on a Tuesday night again? Will I ever drink a VK again? Is there ever going to be a happier time in my life than dressing up as Tinkerbell and singing S Club 7? What does my degree even MEAN? Will anyone ever ask me about Postcolonial literature again? Will I ever write an essay again? Is it sad that I want to write an essay? Why do I hate Freshers so much? Why is it the minute I graduated I became incapable of staying out past 2am?

Why do I have so many questions? Will my twenties stay this confusing?

Who knows?

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

fashion fumblings 2.0

(this is me - shaking things up)

there's change in the air folks. it's been coming for a long time, but it's only now that i've realised what it is i want to say. this may seem like a classic 'new year, new start' post that most blogs have up at the moment, but i am fo realz guys. fashion fumblings is gonna change.

for a while i've felt that the classic outfit post has been done. i feel like it's had its day, and it's time for fashion blogs to get savvy. i want my blog to grow with me, and i am now in a new chapter of my ever so fun life called post-university. which means a new job, new prospects, and new adventures. i can no longer spend my days (sadly) taking photos of myself, prime selfie-lighting time is 2pm, and these days at 2pm i am werkin'. 

i want this to be the kind of blog people come to for laughs and genuine fashion information. the kind of blog people refer to when they're sharing posts on facebook, the kind of blog you leave thinking you've had a good time on. i want it to grow with me, and i want to continue being proud of the content i create.

so think big. think interviews with fashion industry experts. think opinion pieces on big fashion news. think general life advice from a 21yr old who is finding her feet. and, of course, think the odd outfit post when i find something particularly fab.

i started this blog when i was 19 and in my second year of university. i turn 22 this year and i am in my first full time role as a social media exec for a PR agency. 

let's grow together.

until next time xo

Saturday, 3 January 2015

princess pad

so, after what seems a lifetime, i am FINALLY back in my house!!! at the moment it is still in development mode, decoration needs to be done etc etc but it's most definitely liveable and finally feel like home again :) i thought i'd do a quick post showing you my new princess pad of a bedroom. obviously it needs decorating, new floor etc, but i absolutely love it!

my favourite part of my new room is all my amazing new furniture which, i hope you agree, beyond beautiful. it was very kindly donated by a family friend, and it's the kind of stuff i could only dream of having, so i feel very lucky to have it for my own. i love my gorgeous new bed, especially with my fairy lights, it was very cheap from b&m which has amazing home stuff you should check out!

my dressing table and mirror is my pride and joy. i've never had one before and it's an absolute dream. i DO have candles around it, but i'm not realllyyyy allowed them granted we had a fire, so these were blown out after the photo was taken (ok mum and dad??!). 

to make it feel a little more like home, the wonderful people at squaresnaps sent me some polaroid photos of me and my friends. i debated how to hang it, but in the end i found an amazing frame and popped them all in there with some pretty stickers :) it's lovely to have some of my favourite photos hanging already.

i hope you enjoyed my room tour. i will document all the decorating as it comes! stay tuned. until next time xo

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