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: March, 2016

Introspection | #SoulSunday

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*Artwork by Amy Judd

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When someone is strong it is easy to forget they may have been gifted with the burden of things done differently (we call them tough times… it is to hear their old cry silently – slenderly, calling out for me).

*We’ve all had some disappointing things happen that shape our view on things. And yet we strut on. I don’t feel so alone. I have no need to be selfish.

I am, though, a captive to introspection.

#SoulSunday

Semantics | Advice to Writers

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The Hardest Thing About Writing Is Not Writing

The hardest thing about writing, in a sense, is not writing. I mean, the sentence is not intended to show you off, you know. It is not supposed to be “look at me!” “Look, no hands!” It’s supposed to be a pipeline between the reader and you. One condition of the sentence is to write so well that no one notices that you’re writing.

 JAMES BALDWIN

 #AdviceToWriters

Diffusion Illusion | Jean Paul Gaultier x Target

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By Margretta Sowah
Twitter – @bohomags


Designer diffusion diversity. Mouthful? More meaningful than meets the eye. The crowd for the JPG x Target runway launch was a melting pot of prints and neutral nautical. The historical venue in the heart of Melbourne – The Royal Exhibition Building, was alight with the clipping of heels on marble floors. Jean Paul Gaultier. Are we ready for this co-branding collection? This is not a melting pot. It is a smelting pot.

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What is it about diffusion and co-branding ventures – Missoni for Target, Hermes for Leica, Coke for illy®  – that amplify sales? Is it the old engineering triangle that comes into play? If it’s good and fast, it’s not cheap? If its fast and cheap, it’s not good? And if it’s cheap and good, it’s not fast? All I know is this; the Jean Paul Gaultier x Target shows good, fast and cheap (as far as branding goes).

According to High Snobiety, “The diffusion line has long been a profitable vehicle for luxury conglomerates to peddle relatively affordable, often heavily-branded versions of their brands’ mainlines to the masses. And while CK, D&G, Marc by Marc Jacobs and the like were in the past effective ways for brands to reach people who wanted to dabble in fashion without having to wear leather sweatpants or go without food for three months, they’re starting to look somewhat outdated now. The world’s luxury houses may be frantically reshuffling their lines in light of declining performance and dwindling profits.”

The Business of Fashion adds to this point, stating; “In addition to accessible luxury brands, consumers now also have the options of shopping fashion from advanced contemporary brands like 3.1 Phillip Lim and Alexander Wang, as well as designer collaborations with mass retailers.

Fashion powerhouse Comme des Garçons stated in the BOF article,“We never liked the idea of diffusion because it kind of waters things down. It dilutes the idea. When you think of every single diffusion line, the name is shorter: Ralph Lauren becomes RL, Donna Karan becomes DKNY.”

The spenders of this decade are mixing trends, cultures and price-points to portray their unique and unfiltered style. The curation of an idea or movement is well researched and assessed before ever taking it to market. Companies are beginning to see there is less of a stigma attached to selling for a wider and diluted market. This is not to say luxury brands are flocking to sign a stitch on the mass or even mid-market arena but, they are aware of their appeal. These insights are transformed ‘from ready-to-wear to Louis Vuitton coin purses, Fendi bag bugs and Prada robot key-rings.’

Jean Paul Gaultier Target
Jean Paul Gaultier Target
Jean Paul Gaultier Target

The lure of huge retail chains like Target is that they have larger volumes units being sold, huge production houses, fast production development and wide variety of selections for the competitive advantage.

Diffusion does not just happen on runways but off them too. The Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival was buzzing with Virgin Australia flight attendants – a shout-out to big money. Yes, it is not just big money circulating an event like this; its Social Media as well.

According to DigiDay.com, “When you’ve got physical retail and e-commerce, all the pieces must work together […] The Internet has driven that point. Now, fashion shows are streamed runway-side on Periscope, emerging indie brands like Revolve can blast into the mainstream retail industry, and the designers themselves, like Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs, can share behind-the-scenes peeks into collections (and their personal lives) on Snapchat and Instagram. The Web has shed a clearer light on the fashion industry, previously nontransparent to outsiders, and as a result, the previous unattainability of high-end designers is lessened, along with the need for a diffusion brand.”

Jean Paul Gaultier Target
Jean Paul Gaultier Target
Jean Paul Gaultier Target

If this holds true, in regards the relationship between the Internet and the public perception of high-end designers, then why do we as a society love what is good, cheap and fast? The Internet has unquestionably aided in the accessibility factor— if it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind; so why not saturate the viewers with the message?

What is Jean Paul Gaultier’s message? Maybe dressing for less is better than not dressing at all? Maybe being chic has a lot to do with confidence as well as appreciation and knowledge.

In the words of JPG himself, “I would like to say to people, open your eyes and find beauty where you normally don’t expect it.”

I have to admit, Target is not where my mind goes when the word beauty is uttered but I think the rest of the congregation would agree: this collaboration is a match made in consumer heaven.

 

 

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This article was 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/jean-paul-gaultier-for-target/#ixzz43nopVtLN

The Power of Body Positivity

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By Margretta Sowah
Twitter – @bohomags


“This is the society that we live in. This is the climate of judgment and shame that you encounter when you share images of human nudity as art. It’s punishable for you to share images from classic works of art or a figure drawing class or even a mother breastfeeding her child. Censorship on Facebook is just a reflection of the bigger battle you face when you draw, paint or photograph a naked human being. We do not create this body of nude art to shock, offend, or arouse a mindless lust. We create so that all of us may come to see our shared humanity as a miraculous work of art. What do you think? Is your naked body obscene? Is it a crime to share artistic images of naked humanity? Reclaim your experience of human beauty!”
– Christa Maier, The Model Society

A positive body image is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle well into your old age. Body image is a melting pot of your personal values, beliefs, perception, thoughts, words and actions involving your body and its outward appearance. How we perceive ourselves paints a vivid picture of how we relate to others, navigate through situations and the influence our minds have on our actions. It is not just a physical task. This is emotional, mental, spiritual. When we have a negative body image there are many health risks that can affect how we interact with others and how we nurture our inner self. There are two main factors contributing to the rapid incline of illnesses related to body image: The media and The mind.

The media

Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia, Body Dimorphism, Depression, Anxiety and other obscure forms of self-harm stem from a distorted perception of the own body and how others view it. This is a vicious cycle of highs and lows, the fractured thinking of always trying to reach an unattainable goal of perfection. According to HeartofLeadership.com, ‘nearly a quarter of girls age 15-17 would consider undergoing plastic surgery. 13 percent of girls age 15-17 acknowledge having an eating disorder.’ This is a human soul searching for approval. We can all fall prey to this broken record of ‘not being good enough’, ‘not being sexy enough’ or the crème de la crème, ‘not being thin enough’. We want and hope to look amazing and desirable naked. We are at our most vulnerable but we are also at our strongest, too.

LYNX, a UK company specializing in body spray, became marketing gold with the slogan, ‘The Lynx Effect’. Flashy, flirty and deeply rooted in phallic symbols. The body wash and catchphrase became a pop culture hit, integrating quickly into an essential part of the male grooming routine. LYNX’s mission statement has always been; ‘Building confidence and preparing men for success, our range has expanded into all aspects of male grooming – including shower gel, eau de toilette, anti-antiperspirant, shampoo and hair styling. Infused with a sophisticated fragrance, every one of our products is designed for the modern man.’ Preparing a man for success. Does this mean smell is as valid as sight? What about touch? If you are being touched by women it means you are successful and therefore automatically endowed with a positive body image. This is just not the case. Men suffer as much from mental and emotional illnesses relating to body image as women do. There is a higher rate of male suicide. According to LifelineAUS there are 200 ATTEMPTS at suicide a DAY! How many do you think are image related? It is hard to detach ourselves from the self.

The mind

Your body is not a battleground. It is not a minefield or boobie-trap. Not just a piece of meat – well-done, with a side of judgment. Our bodies are not meant to be seen as a category in a size chart for easier purchase. Despite what we have been taught about sexuality, society is quick to condemn equally.

In the battle for equality between genders and cultures, there is one great equalizer  – men and women are judged and judge the body with a fine comb. Women are objectified in an obvious, overt way. Advertisements geared to promote the perfect shaved leg, bikini playground – the designer vagina. The perfect hair texture, colour and length – because you are worth it. The perfect ‘summer body’ whether by diet pills, meal plans or various ways to keep physically fit – because you should always just do it.

Men are constantly reminded that they must make something financially of themselves and with that comes the pursuit of the perfection – Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘The Vitruvian Man’ comes to mind. Adonis. Superman. Ryan Gosling… Is it healthy to expect your future husband to have an amazing smile, six-pack, little hair, big hands and butt? No, not in and of itself, but we are bombarded with mental and physical expectations of the male body and what it should do and can do… not to mention the age old debate – does size really matter? Men are under as much pressure as women to fit into the lens of society’s body image receptor.

The message

I look at the naked human body as a ‘house’ and the clothes are the ‘furniture’. Our houses can always be renewed, revamped, remolded because we have a foundation – all the cool stuff happening inside our skin. But what happens when we don’t tend to our house? Or we are too busy grooming our house that we forget to step outside it; take in the fresh air and see that a house is not a home unless there is love is being nurtured in a healthy way within those walls. Corny? A little..

We may even go outside the walls. We peek at the neighbors house and garden, wishing we could have what they have (‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ was taken from ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ – to compare yourself with others as a benchmark for success). We wonder if the grass is greener, or on a diet. If you are experiencing body image pressure or growing pains please understand this: the grass will always be greener when you water and nurture it – dig deep, bloom wide.

victoria secretgal

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This article was 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/power-body-positivity/#ixzz43nngnl2t

Just the way I like it | World Poetry Day

To the writers, poets, artists, creatives and everyone in-between.

#WorldPoetryDay

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Further reading (via The Guardian):  The medium is the message – the power of public poetry

Are You Experienced? | Advice to Writers

 

You Are On the Lookout for Experience

You are on the look out for experience, strength, and hope. You want to hear from the horse’s mouth exactly how disappointments have been survived. It helps to know that the greats have had hard times too and that your own hard times merely make you part of the club.

JULIA CAMERON

#AdviceToWriters

Shades and Tones | Advice to Writers

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Try to Write About the Darkest Things in the Soul 

 

I talk about the things people have always talked about in stories: pain, hate, truth, courage, destiny, friendship, responsibility, growing old, growing up, falling in love, all of these things. What I try to write about are the darkest things in the soul, the mortal dreads. I try to go into those places in me that contain the cauldrous. I want to dip up the fire, and I want to put it on paper. The closer I get to the burning core of my being, the things which are most painful to me, the better is my work.

HARLAN ELLISON

#AdviceToWriters

True Notes | Advice to Writers

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Always Carry A Notebook

 

Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea forever.

WILL SELF

#AdviceToWriters

Types of INFPs

Tell me more about yourself…

Cultural Disasters

Shut up and listen to my meaningful noises Shut up and listen to my meaningful noises

INFPs are generally described in key buzz words which are supposed to somehow encapsulate the broad spectrum of idiosyncrocies. Words like “Dreamer” and “Idealist” come to mind. If you googled INFP, the first thing Personalitypage.com will tell you is that INFPs have a rich inner world and care more about people than the average folk. It also says that we have trouble dealing with reality and logic. While all these things are true in the abstract, I just want to make it clear that our stack of cognitive functions operate so paradoxically that what churns up tends to manifest in different people differently, making for a bunch of interesting types of INFPs who are a product of their environment and their particular habits. Here are the different types of INFPs (as I see them). Yes, they are somewhat caricaturized but that’s generally…

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Bad Representation | Making Sure You’re Looked After

Twitter – @bohomags


When you embark on a career in entertainment or the arts, representation is paramount. Having a team around you can elevate a lot of stress by allowing you to focus on what you do best. Publicists, agents, stylists and a PA are like the immediate family. If that is the case then a manager would be the Mother and an agent would be the Father. Representation and management are there not only for financial security but also peace of mind. So, before you begin the exciting journey of fame and fortune, its good to have a sense of what you need and why.

Deal or no deal?

Signing or agreeing to any legal document can be daunting – something that is not meant to be taken lightly.   The terms and conditions, which 95% of us don’t read in their entirety (I know I don’t), are to outline what is expected of you and the other party. Just as though you were choosing the right partner, a contract most definitely needs careful consideration. Though there are endless stories of shonky deals within the entertainment industry, we can’t brush this with a broad stroke – most deals that go awry are situational, not par for the course.

Kesha, the woman who ‘wakes up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy’, has been in-broiled in a legal battle regarding her contract with a subsidiary of SONY owned by music producer Dr Luke; a mentor who allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted her for many years. I think the world (or those who care) took a deep breathe when the verdict was given. Kesha told reporters: “All I ever wanted was to be able to make music without being afraid, scared or abused.” Though Dr Luke strongly denies all the allegations, this is a cautionary tale for the very real and addictive lure of fame. Just because we are presented with options doesn’t mean they are opportunities.

Kelly Cutrone, PR extraordinaire (The People’s Revolution) and who was also on The Hills and The City on MTV, told Racked.com, “You better have a f*cking great contract or you’re gonna get f*cked. I’ve learned a lot about the law from being in this for so long. I’ve learned a lot about accounting and getting stiffed the hard way. There’s a very serious back end to this business which is accounts receivable […] I want young people to know the business.”

The reality of any business is there may not be 100% understanding; contractual or otherwise. When dealing with your money, your time and your talent in this world of greed and corruption it is well advised to get a second opinion. The glittering approval of a contract being offered to you is amazing! Exciting! A remuneration for the hard work put in thus far, but it will mean nothing if the contract does not benefit yourself.

Investing in your future

According to ‘The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Being a Model’ by Roshumba Williams, “If you want to become a model—any kind of model—it’s important to know how an agency works so you get the most out of the agency’s personnel in terms of managing your career. Modeling agencies have their own hierarchy, and staff members tend to be very protective of their duties and titles. You need to know the chain of command and follow it, or you can cause problems.”

Representation is not just about diversity. Though it would be great, personally, to see more African models in ad campaigns and runway shows, I know most of this comes down to the right management and representation. Choosing the right management speaks not only as you as an individual but as your own commodity – your brand.

Model and body-positive believer, Carrie shared with her fans in her blog post, ‘I have more to offer than my body’, in her journey of self-love and discovery, “Just a 3 weeks ago when I made my debut back to life, I spoke with a girlfriend of mine. She, also a model, inspired me to write about this. I am no longer with any of my agencies. Its been a bit of a mission as I want to share it with everyone, but it is still a constant struggle.” Carrie, who is looking into managing herself, hits a very real nerve. The role of representation and management is to uplift, uphold and open doors for you. If you feel those things are not being nurtured then take a few moments to ask yourself, are you really being represented or just re-presented each time you step into a new option? The two are far from the same.

The trick is to keep finding a home for your skills and talents. The right management matters because it guides you in the right direction. Waiting for the right opportunity is better than following the wrong option – the road back is long and can be disheartening.

Look for those who bring out the best in you, professional and personal. You can’t go wrong for long when you are in the right place.

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This article was 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/model-management/#ixzz437qLHVrl