Fashion, Photoshoot, Soul

I am not my hair.

img_7621I first decided to get a fringe when I was about 13 years old. I had struggled through my pre-teen years with unruly thick curls, a feature I never saw as anything but an inconvenience (washing and combing was a nightmare). Entering high school at an all girls college saw me instantly compare myself to others around me in a way I never really had before. The grass was so much greener, blonder and straighter. I was brunette, Hermione-Granger-esk and totally uncool.

My youthful decision to get blunt bangs came after a consultation with my local hairdresser, as I begged for a way to disguise my reasonably giant forehead (for which I had been teased about ruthlessly). “Well… a fringe would cover that up!” She said. And I said yep. Let’s do it.

The first year of bangs I have entitled ‘The Battle with the Blow Dryer’, which involved many tear-filled mornings of attempting to get my fringe “like it was when the hairdresser did it!”. This often resulted in a fluffy, half straight fringe teamed with a head of hippy curls (not my finest look). This look was never really mastered until my final years of high school, where I cut my hair into a 20’s bob and straightened the hell out of it. I became defined by this look. People would buy me those little Japanese plastic dolls with the same hair every birthday. My hair became a huge part of my identity, symbolising my leap from lame frizzy teenager to cool, hipster fashion girl.

This look became my secret weapon. I landed roles in commercials, small modelling gigs, always cast as the “hipster girl”. I was often compared to Zooey Deschanel in New Girl (huge compliment!) or the ‘fifty shades of grey girl’ (I’ll take that too). These comments boosted my self esteem in a way I soon came to rely on. I feared being seen with my hair back to an unhealthy degree. I would actively avoid running in to people on the days I was brave enough to go out in public with it pinned back.

This year I turned 25, and something shifted. This ‘look’ I had cultivated over the last 12 years started to feel more and more like a lie. My fringe was something I had hidden behind, and now I felt like it was time to open myself (and my face) up to the world and stop being afraid.

This week has been my first official week of natural hair. I had to throw out my dodgy shampoo/conditioner in exchange for some quality + moisturising products, this will help repair the damage of half a lifetime of heat styling. I don’t have the ringlets I did when I was young, however I still have plenty of thick natural waves. I did cheat a little and have a fantastic colour makeover by a local lady named Chelle’s Cheveux, who lightened my tresses in order to highlight my natural curls.

I’m not going to lie and say I haven’t had a few morning freak outs, especially after going on a coffee break at work and having my usual  barista ask me “is today your day off?” I’ve also had a few people re-introduce themselves to me (awkward) as they literally didn’t recognise me without my fringe.

When I start feeling my ego taking over and that dark voice telling me I won’t be cool/attractive/hipster/popular without my fringe, I stop and check myself. If I can get over this hurdle and a little closer to self love, switching my focus from body image to the things that really matter… I will have so much more energy, focus and passion to invest in my wonderful life.

P.s The beautiful bird dress ($5) and palm tree white shirt ($3) where both purchased this morning from the Wardrobe Warriors Market at Mt Gravatt, which I highly recommend if you’re wanting some outfit updates and don’t want to spend more than the coins floating around in the bottom of your handbag.

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Fashion, Photoshoot

DIY Upcycled Off-the-shoulder Shirt!

It only took me about three hours to become bored out of my mind… and this was day one of my uni holidays. I was lucky enough to be struck by some crafty inspiration after watching a fantastic tutorial on Ann Le’s fashion blog – click HERE for link. She shared an easy to follow video + photos on how to transform a mens shirt into a womens off-the-shoulder top, a style I’ve been coveting for a while but couldn’t bring myself to buy from a fast fashion store.

I hit my local opp shops in Annerley and scored two mens shirts ($3.50 each) which I swiftly took home to start working on. I purchased two because I knew I’d inevitably screw one up (which I did) but hey, I learnt that lesson fast! That lesson was, don’t cut the shoulders too low or you’ll end up sewing the arm holes shut.

I’m so happy with how shirt number two turned out (below) and I loved that I could control how tight the elastic was (so I don’t have to keep yanking it up like others I’ve tried on). It looks great, I feel great in it, and it transformed an otherwise discarded shirt into a cool fashiony thing – which is the best!

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Fashion, Photoshoot

Made in Brisbane

The tables were turned last week when I swapped my usual photographer role and played model instead, wearing Emilias most recent fashion creation. Emilia had to design a unique shirt for one of our subjects, and created a beautiful layered blouse lined with vintage fabric, which I had the pleasure of putting on and prancing about in.

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Fashion, Photoshoot, Sustainable Style Series

Sustainable Style Series Ft Emilia // No. 2

coreectI was welcomed into Emilias home with arms outstretched (literally) and a quaint spread of local strawberries, black coffee and cake. I didn’t expect this project to involve so many treats from my subjects (but I’m not complaining! I feel like a little slow fashion Santa Claus).

Emilia and I were lucky to become new found best friends within our mid-twenties – a very rare thing indeed. However this only strengthened our bond, as we both instantly appreciated how great it feels to meet someone with a common passion and goal (we study Fashion Design together at Billy Blue College) and have consequently helped each other through many nights of tear soaked assessments and creative endeavours. I help her with English, she helps me with technology – a match made in heaven.

What has always impressed me about Emilia is her simple yet completely refined elegance in the way she dresses for uni each day, and she has slowly coaxed me over to the dark side – the beauty of monochrome. When she shared with me that almost all of the clothing she owned was purchased from markets or second hand stores, I did a little dance. I had a new opp-shopping budding now too!

This photoshoot took place in the ancient Queenslander she shares with (11?) other people, a gang of chickens, a crew of ducks and a gorgeous pup named Milo.

F6ABDABD-DA1A-4DE8-96D5-D2CE607A6464 IMG_6135About 80% of Emilias wardrobe is second hand, a concept that wasn’t all that common when she was first getting in to fashion.

Emilia: I found that, when I first started shopping, not a lot of people ever looked in opp shops – but they actually have amazing stuff! I find it way more unique. I also like the fact that most of the time it’s helping an organisation. It’s a win-win.

Her first outfit encapsulates Emilias style perfectly – minimalistic, vintage and androgynous (very Swedish). The grey trousers were picked up for $1 at the Suitcase Rummage in Brisbane, the belt was $1.50 from a thrift store in Sweden as was the $4 turtleneck, and the black cardigan was found at a Lifeline in Wynnum.

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Fashion, Photoshoot, Sustainable Style Series

Sustainable Style Series Ft Jordan // No. 1

One of the ways I stay inspired when it comes to fashion is by constantly admiring the style of others. Feeling the need to stretch my creative legs, I’ve decided to do a series exploring the wardrobes of some of my friends, all of whom acquire most of their clothing via sustainable means (opp shops, vintage, swapping, inheriting). I want to shine a light on the myriad of people doing amazing things for slow fashion, just by being conscious of where and how they shop.

They also all happen to be stylish as hell.

I’m excited to share with you the first of this Sustainable Style Series, beginning with the one powerhouse-of-a-lady… Jordan.

IMG_6014I was welcomed into Jordans home with a display of (what happens to be my favourite) cake fresh from Botanica and earl grey tea + lemon. Heck yes! I was instantly in awe of the plant-filled Queenslander she shares with housemate Jess, the perfect backdrop for our photoshoot.

IMG_6057 I struggled to contain my excitement when I spotted the ladder-turned-wardrobe which housed the majority of Jordans clothing. What’s more amazing is the fact that the ladder itself is second hand, passed on to Jordan by her Grandfather who had owned a construction company in West End.

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