Mags Loves Jimi

“They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn't. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.” ― Frida Kahlo

Month: July, 2015

# Untitled 32 (Bitter|Sweet)

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Misery loves company,

Bitter Buddy.

Cushions filled with bones –

a seat at your table.

Please pass the pain;

Raw. Serving ties severed.

A toast to reduced:

“Whether we…” 

&

                             “Shouldn’t he…”

kind of drinks –

Tails for heads (cocks and all)

with Highballs at noon.

For times the smile

could bind (inertia)

                                          & words of war.

Tracking moons

we borrow time

for sorry.

 

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed That Changes Blue #TBT

The more things change, the more the stay the same… a colour story

Eiseman Color Blog

March 26, 2015
OLD
 
Originally posted on May 17, 2010
The world of multi-hued creatures never fails to amaze and amuse with its incessant and often clever usage of color. The Language of Color at the Harvard Museum of Natural History (a display that is no longer available for viewing) there were many examples of birds, mammals, reptiles, fish and insects included, demonstrated and taught how certain specimens ward off danger, defy their predators and relentlessly attract the opposite sex.
•Coral snakes advertise that they choose not to be eaten by wearing bright rings of color
•Milk snakes adapt the same means of warning, even though they are not truly poisonous (but its a great way to get your enemies to think you are)!
•Similarly many species of butterflies imitate their bad tasting relatives in their brilliant patterning of orange, yellow…

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A Love(r)’s Wit

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In Fashion, Race and Representation Matter

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By Margretta Sowah


I love to represent. I represent when my fingers touch the keypad; when I style my look for the streets. I represent when I speak about my childhood, my past – my nationality. Everyone can represent. Everyone should represent. This wonderful and evolving bubble called the Fashion Industry is built on representing; whether persons, muse or ideal. Brands carefully construct, based on research and a little bit of magic, what people will want.

Models are a vital part of this equation. A model is a representation of society (or at least an upgraded version of us) in Fashion. They are the organic link to humanity in a product-based industry. We can relate to them on a superficial and basic level: “You are human… Cool… So am I.” (The original pickup line, I’m sure.) What then, is a girl to do when she dreams of DIOR and Yves SAINT LAURENT – PRADA, yet fingers stroke pages of VOGUE with no realistic reflection of similarity. Wouldn’t she feel unrepresented? Well I did.

Representation matters – it’s important.

Most of us harbour deep-seated fears and judgements about the unknown or unfamiliar. We make jokes stereotyping certain nationalities and customs that can sometimes lead to heinous crimes like what we witnessed in Ferguson. #blacklivesmatter

Racism is alive and breeding. American news and culture reveal problems are not offshore but very close to home. The Fashion industry, sadly, is not too far off these realities. Fashion is a stylised mirror up to society. It’s no secret that there are certain established houses that prefer not to hire Black models, keeping their head count to one or two in their collection; you know, for “commercial” reasons. A list compiled by Supermodel heavyweights Naomi Campbell and Iman stated designers such as Donna Karen, Armani and Chanel; (amongst other market favourites – including a certain former Spice Girl…) were not hiring ethnic models in their shows, putting it down to ‘not suiting their aesthetic.’

Up and coming models like Anais Mali, hailing from the South of France, has been quoted in articles saying prominent modelling agencies have told her; “We already have Jourdan Dunn; one black girl is enough…” It’s not just new faces that endure these hurdles. Joan Smalls, the face of Estee Lauder, was disregarded for jobs because of this stigma of novelty.

This is not the only racist occurrences Fashion has faced. John Galliano was arrested and fined in 2011 for racist outbursts about an Asian man and Jewish woman. While he was not “on the clock” (or of sober mind) when he said these things it still doesn’t change the nature of his mentality. When you represent (there’s that word again) a dominant vocation of society; aiding and elevating women and men through a basic need – to be clothed; where should this line be drawn? Chances are if you have such opinions outside of the office, you’ll have it inside as well.

The Asian market has boomed over the last decade. Designers and brands like Philip Lim, Alexander Wang and Comme Des Garcons have been paving the way in western market for the influx of luxury brands that are gushing to Asian shores. Yet how many designers have Asian models in their shows? The stats are as follows; New York Fashion Week six years ago showed less than 6% of models were Asian. Now these figures are at a little less than 10%. Black models also increased slightly by 2%, but numbers are still less than 8%. Hispanics models – less than 3%. The number of Caucasian models? Almost 80%. These statistics are shameful. Representation matters – it needs an outlet.

Social Media is a great way of representing your ‘tribe’ to the world; sharing ideas, images, successes and opinions. We all belong to a tribe; whether national, cultural, spiritual, musical, or even having #love for a model that represents your heritage. Misty Copeland’s prolific story of perseverance and dedication has blown up the internet. Being a Black woman myself I felt represented by her. Jourdan Dunn, Joan Smalls, Chanel Iman, Tyson Beckford, Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell remind me I’m represented in an industry I love and want to be a part of – Fashion.

Brands take note: visibly seeing your race(s) represented makes the path to purchase easier. I might even consider dropping 5k on a bag if I saw Chanel Iman wearing it… but that’s a different story.

With the President of the United States of America being black and talented creative’s fighting for their right to be represented, this should reflect the respect their races deserve. It boils down to ethics and inclusion at the end of the day, not the monetary value – but hey, that doesn’t hurt. When the Fashion Industry decides to break these restrictions on inclusion and representation we can focus on issues that affect us as a whole… like global warming or some other inconvenient truth.

Representation matters. Fashion is a tribe in itself; pushing a message, a way of life. Racism is, without a doubt, holding back the Fashion Industry from doing its job – to sell (inspire) a dream.

This tribe has spoken.

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This article is written by Margretta Sowah; a freelance writer and Fashion Marketer based in Sydney. All opinions expressed are her own. She cannot be held liable for bad taste.  She also likes to spin yarn from time to time. Read more: http://www.allmyfriendsaremodels.com/race-and-representation-matters/#ixzz3fSGIswrl

The Art of Self-Promotion (As told by a dreamer)

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By Margretta Sowah


“What makes you different from the rest?” This can be a confronting question to answer – the curse and lure of SELF PROMOTION (tooting your own horn, in other words.) In my personal experience, there are two types of categories that make this topic interesting and controversial. Having discerned these differences – excusing my blatant stereotyping and generalising – there are those that love hearing their own praises and those that love singing their own praises. One does not discriminate over the other – both are valid entry points for the elusive and tricky task of Self Promotion.


Arguably these are times of the maverick – independent thought provokers who are influencing instantly. Viral videos can spell overnight success for innocent and humorous commentators. With celebrities and artists; whether recording, performing or traditional modes, there is a need for clear and direct points of view. Beyonce is probably the most notable African American recording artist of the millennium. Her relatable and beguiling mixture of talent, tenacity and force has her claiming the title of a Black Super Nova. Self-professed “shy girl” Queen B has never been one to toot her own horn – though she is not afraid of speaking in facts. If you were to ask her how she juggles the fame and praise she is quick to defend her humble roots.

Through her album; I AM: SAHA FIERCE the world was able to see her alter-ego which became a vehicle for her. Beyonce also dropped a full two disk album in 2014 (let’s not pretend we don’t know at least one person who still owns a Sony Discman) with no PR or marketing magic, let alone a single post. A stunt like that is virtually unheard of the in the world of Pop music and no one saw this coming. Well played Queen B, well played.

Is it easier to sing your own praises when you have an alter-ego to hold the weight of your accomplishments? This is not just a luxury for singers. Writers can use fake names, designers are under an umbrella of a huge conglomerate company and there are those with different social media profiles (CatFish, though that’s a bark of a different kind).

Kanye West is known for his controversial statements and experimental music. It is no secret that Mr West loves to talk himself up; making comparisons to Steve Jobs, Walt Disney and even Jesus Christ. Should we applaud him for his moxie? It depends on how you feel about self-promotion. His wife, Kim Kardashian, is a perfect example of how self-promotion and marketing can be done by yourself with multimillion dollar results. Her unabashed and consistent engagement with her ‘fans’ keeps her in the public eye. Her offer is a glimpse into a glamorous and interesting personal life; promotion and curating the way she wishes to be seen by the public.

Is there a difference between Beyonce and Kim in the case? Both are happy to sing their own praises, but one does it often and intensely. Mind you, Kim does not have the talent of performing that Queen B has strengthened over time and Beyonce doesn’t have the freedom Kim has to pursue a multitude of opportunities.

We know the beauty industry is a competitive business. Models are constantly being weighed – no pun intended – against one another for bookings. It is no surprise in the age of Instagram that models are taking their careers to different heights by promoting their lives. Naomi Campbell is no shrinking violet. Known for her vivacious personality; striking looks and biting tongue, Kate is never one to back down from a challenge or afraid of telling everyone her attributes. Kate Moss, on the other hand, has never been interested in taking interviews or selling herself – at least verbally – but those close to her are quick to say what a pleasure she is to work with because of her youthful spirit.

Finding pleasure in validation is only half of the equation when choosing to Self Promote. We are told from an early age speaking about personal accomplishments reeks of arrogance. Having looked into the different ways in which people relate to the world (in true pop psychology), it’s not what you say, but how you say it. It’s not what you do, but how you do it for your own personal circumstances.

There are a few universal rules to Self Promotion that if adhered to can aid with the pride and pleasure of selling yourself to the right market. Censorship is important; being modest will allow others to transcend your message – life is best when there is mystery and wonder so we can anticipate more from each other and from ourselves. Being obvious in the delivery of your talents (whatever you bring to the table – professional or otherwise) solidifies your objectives, dreams and promises. The most daunting part of the process is perhaps picking a lane of interest and running wild in it. There is definitely a quiet dignity in refining and moulding yourself in the eyes of the public – a lifelong adventure that is not as easy as creating something you love and putting it out there.

No matter which of the two types you may fall into – sometimes it’s a combination of both – there is no denying that it comes down to you. Remember, tooting your own horn is just another way of letting people know you’ve arrived when done with a healthy dose of humility.

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This article is written by Margretta Sowah; a freelance writer and Fashion Marketer based in Sydney. All opinions expressed are her own. She cannot be held liable for bad taste.  She also likes to spin yarn from time to time. Read more: http://www.allmyfriendsaremodels.com/the-art-of-self-promotion/#ixzz3fS4o04eY