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Things you ought to know

London is a notorious concoction of culture and class – I absolutely love it! Everything about it just takes my breath away – and the fashion is something to truly behold.

I could walk down the tube station absolutely stark naked and no one would think twice, they’d probably just nod at me and then proceed on to their next destination. So while I’ve been walking along cobbled streets and little red telephone booths – armed with my South African accent and a Laminated map torn out of my “Tour guide to London” – I’ve been aggressively ticking off things on my London to-do list. Through my pub-hopping escapades, exhaustative exploring and countless trips on the tube, I can’t help but establish a distinguished style that correlates throughout most Brits. My love of lists has therefore encouraged yet another one:

Things you ought to know before you come to London.

(Disclaimer: the following list is highly opinionated and stereotypical. If you don’t agree – that’s totally up to you !)

 

  1. Never judge a confident London Lass.

The ones who are willing to flaunt their legs in an H&M miniskirt when the temperature is close to snow-fall and the wind is howling directly into their face. Support them. Back them. They have more confidence than you could probably ever hope for in your wildest dreams! Let them be.

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My friend Paula and I trying to get a good shot of the London Eye – clearly we both failed haha

 

  1. Coats.

To be honest I absolutely couldn’t give a blue moon what I look like when I’m in 1’C weather– just as long as I’m warm. I started out wearing 2 layers of thermals (double top AND double bottom), a down-feather jacket, a woolen scarf and my dad’s 30 year old army jacket – and guess what? I was still shivering cold and grumpy as hell. I’m a wuss in the cold, don’t judge, but nothing can quite prepare you for the horrorful wind-breeze that sweeps through London. It’s a cold that hits you to your bones – and then eventually hits you right in the center of your soul. Therefore – do yourself a favour and get a good coat, one lined with animal fur and hot water bottles and even thermal underwear.

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Buckingham Palace Baby! To be honest I found this to be rather disappointing in real life!

 

  1. British men dress well; appreciate it.

Sitting on the tube is like fashion week in itself and I can’t help but be super impressed with the level of eloquence with which British men dress. Most of them have got the rugged-tailored-gentleman look down to a tee– it’s remarkable. As I sat in the tube last week I couldn’t help but acknowledge that British men just do it well – from the quality shoes they wear to the impeccable coats that complete their outfits, it’s a job well done indeed. Tailored clothing is for British men what cigarettes and coffee are for British women.

 

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Portobello Road, Notting Hill

  1. Guys can wear scarfs, too!

I remember when my mum bought my brother a scarf a few years ago – oh dear lord did she get shut down! My brother flat out refused to wear it. Here, it’s more a necessity than anything and it looks so incredible and work-chic.

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Westminister Station

  1. No more flip flops, thanks!

British men have a serious thing for shoes – that much is clear. The uber British lad is always adorned with his leather loafers and perhaps this is a slight improvement to the guys back in SA who wear flip flops even though they clearly shouldn’t let any ray of sunlight see their gruesome toe-nails. I’ll never forget my favourite English teacher in Grade 12 telling us all how she actually left a guy on a date because his feet were just so disgusting, haha I will ALWAYS remember her telling us the story!

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St Paul’s Cathedral

  1. British women don’t care.

There’s a carefree confidence that British women behold that distinguishes them apart from the rest of the world. Since being in London I’ve acknowledged that there is indeed a sense of judgmentalism that is ever-apparent in South African fashion. British women are stoked to wear whatever the heck they want – and I really like that. They unashamedly exhibit their personalities through their clothing, it’s absolutely refreshing to be in a city that just doesn’t hold back.

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Even the Lampposts in London are feasts for the eyes

In all honesty – I have been horrified at some of the atrocities I’ve seen people wear. But I quite like that, too.  London has taught me to shake off my judgmental attitude and learn to appreciate the eccentrics of fashion that London displays to its inhabitants day in, day out. Come here with an open mind (and a large wallet, might I add!) and London will be sure to show you a good time.

I love love love this plaaaaace

Have a lovely week : )

 

HH
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GHOSTWRITER

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 Airports are fascinating conundrums of activity. As a compulsive people-watcher, it’s interesting to observe the buzzing concoctions of human thoughts and emotions and they always have a habit of making me sentimental for some reason!

I’m sitting here in Dubai Airport with my backpack firmly on my shoulders and my heart somewhat on my sleeve.

There’s something incorrigibly emotional about closing one chapter and beginning another! Leaving Cape Town has left me feeling like an unrelenting, tantrum-throwing two year old. However as I’ve sat here with a Quentin Tarantino lookalike sitting crrrreepily next to me, I’ve acknowledged that it’s unquestionably time to have a new city as the backdrop to the best days of my life. I guess I left Cape Town on the most perfect note and I’m now ready to move on and discover a radical way of living; a London way of living.

I don’t know exactly what this year will bring – but all I know is that I will say yes to anything that will force me to step out of my comfort zone. Because, ultimately, comfort zones are for suckers. Comfort zones are the root of all discomfort. There is value in routine, but rewards are hidden in the triumph over obstacles and obstacles are never hidden between the ordinary concessions of too much comfort. So, the underlying message of this – is that perhaps it’s time for the discomfort of the unknown, and ultimately the rewards of the triumph over such discomfort.

I laude you if that made ANY sense to you haha… :)

Anyway, keep up with my blog – this is going to be an exciting year and I have lots planned! I’ve always wanted to live in London – to appreciate the London way of not only living, but dressing too. I’ve admired the eloquence with which British men & women carry themselves and I can’t wait to learn a thing or two. I feel blessed to have this opportunity and I can’t wait to discover a few revelations about the international stages of fashion.

Now it’s time to meet the Queen, swap my bikinis for Beanie’s and kiss my Irish Passport on its toosh.

London, show me what you got baybeeeee!

P.S the title of this post has nothing to do with anything discussed above, I was just listening to that song when writing this and I thought it’d be appropriate because I couldn’t think of a title, haha!

Have a sweeeeet day :) :)
HH X

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Barely there, but perfectly so.

“Real Elegance is everywhere

especially in the things that don’t show”

Christian Dior

Any girl will understand when I say that there’s a certain empowerment that beautiful underwear gives you. It gives you that small push of confidence that’s somewhat demure yet strikingly effective.

On a side note – any girl who is elegant, educated and has some respect for her body should never heavily-depend on showing what her mamma gave her in order to complete her outfit.

Of course, guys will never understand this sentiment, haha!

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Anyway I love this trend of nude chiffon bralets with white lace and think it looks UNbelievable. Will be hunting this down in the coming months.

HH

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MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

“There’s always fashion. It’s a basic human instinct. And it’s very much about humanity and freedom, and it’s not very superficial at all.”

Vanessa Friedman

Cape Town is the epicentre of some of the most stylish and eccentric people on earth. The city’s pulse is beating with an unfathomable amount of colour that I can’t help but consistently stand back and be mesmerized by it. It is Cape Town who has empowered me to appreciate the beauty of fashion– and it is Cape Town who has revealed to me that fashion isn’t as superficial as I’d first thought.

Fashion is dumbed down as an industry of smoke and mirrors – and even though I agree that indeed its depth is certainly not that profound, I acknowledge that it’s much more than merely a concoction of trend forecasts and colour sheet predictions. The industry’s impact on society in general is long lasting and shockingly distinctive. To be honest I used to be embarrassed to be so interested in fashion because I knew that the automatic assumption would be that I was therefore shallow, narcissistic and inauthentic. After getting over myself, I’ve since recognized that fashion is a form of humanity that is instinctual in all of us and more significantly is very much part our freedom of thought and self-expression.

While I admit that my love of clothes makes for an expensive retail therapy habit – I acknowledge that fashion is a form of creativity and expression that goes far beyond what meets the eye. I don’t always intend to heavily analyze people’s dress sense too seriously (I’ll be honest I do find myself looking people up and down in a much too obvious manner sometimes but I’m working on that okay!) but I can’t help but perceive the correlation between one’s personality and their style.

Fashion is a powerful entity that marks society. It’s even traceable through history – from the Egyptians, the Indians, the Incas and the African’s and their tribal-wear. Adorning the body is therefore an insurmountable human need – proving to be nothing superficial at all unless of course you’re excessively materialistic.

What’s more is that fashion as an art form in itself has the intense power to evoke social transformation and experiment with ideas surrounding sexuality and body image. The thing that really bothers me though, is that people are very supercilious towards fashion. The industry consists of many hard-working, talented and highly intelligent people who take what they do very seriously. There is a huge amount of responsibility that goes into sending clothes down the runway season after season. The ordinary person sees nice clothes, but the industry professional sees a myriad of talents and languages sewn together to express an underlying message.

When I look at labels such as Dolce and Gabbana, Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors I appreciate the power of fashion because these labels have empowered not only a select few women, but generations of them.  The ordinary (well-endowed, might I add!) consumer of fashion powerhouses often satisfies themselves in the untold empowerment and confidence that these expertly made clothes give them. Whether it is rich unemployed housewives seeking comfort in the therapy of shopping or independent women who work hard for their capital – it’s undeniable that there is a certain power that all people seek through clothing.

Fashion has also transformed into a hybrid of technology and art – with houses such as Hermes merging with companies such as Apple for their new iWatch. That’s groundbreaking because it’s a testimony to the power of fashion: fashion is no longer merely what we wear anymore. It’s what we see, what we do and most importantly: how we do it. The fashion industry in the UK alone is worth over 28 Billion pounds – making it bigger than even the automotive industry!

Ultimately, fashion is an elevated form of art that speaks of society far more than perhaps we give it credit for, and this is why it’s not as superficial as you’d perhaps first thought.

I can’t wait to learn more about the fashion industry this year. I am living in London (moving there this week!) and I plan on doing lots of writing yeaaaah! Bring on 2016 baybeeee!!!

Happy New Year fashion bunnies :)

Lemmeno your thoughts

X

Nailed It.

They say that your interpretation of life changes when you start to write and I’ve come to accept that perhaps it’s true. Even though I don’t really consider myself to be much of an established “writer”, I acknowledge that I have one thing in common with most wordsmiths; an incomprehensible obsession with observation.

Once you start writing, you become acutely alert of everything about a person, a piece of writing, a song, a title – you can never merely react; but you develop a sense of interpretation that painfully notices everything. All this suddenly dawned on me today while I was sitting in Exclusive Books, reading Alexa Chung’s masterfully written work.

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I’ve always had a knack for honest people with strong opinions and that is why I’m absolutely appreciative of Chung’s book, “It“. Her book is so remarkably origional and stands out from the crowd of other self-obsessed autobiographers who can’t see beyond their own success.  The collage format of the book is entirely unique and absolutely random – paying tribute to her personality and establishing her writing voice in an uncommon manner.

In a world driven by superficiality and self-fabrication; it’s refreshing to find Chung to be so unapologetically real and honest about the fashion industry.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who’s interested in Fashion.

Hope all you fashion bunnies are having a goooood weekend :) :)

HH xx

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How to avoid looking like a Daisies cliché

Festival fashion tends to be a monotonous cycle of floral headbands and extra extra short shorts.  We all know that dressing for a festival like Rocking the Daisies is somewhat challenging; you need to be equipped for the possibility of encountering four seasons in one day – all the while carrying around minimal baggage and hopefully looking marginally stylish in the process.  So while you read this – put down your halo of daisy’s and listen uuuup.

How can you dress appropriately for Daisies without looking like a sartorial punch-line?  Below I’ve picked out my top festi-fashion faux-pas in a bid to save the rest of you from the ignominy of the Daisies cliché….

PUT DOWN YOUR DAISY CROWN

Is there anything more exhausted than the flower crown at Daisies? No. It needs a nap desperately. Unless you’re under the age of 9 or are a flower girl at a wedding – the flower crown is not for you. I personally do like a flower crown – but to Daisies? How original.

If you absolutely must wear something on your head – opt for a head wrap, head chain or a hat.  Braided hair also looks phenomenal. You see? Actually not that hard.. :)

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Hat: Cotton On

NO MORE BACKPACKS

If I could have counted how many of the same regurgitated Mr Price Backpacks there were at last year’s Rocking the Daisies I would sooner die – the waist bag is therefore a much better alternative. We all know that the fanny pack has been rebranded and it’s crazy how fashion has the ability to create a stylish version out of something defined from an era so long ago. Also,You can dance and not have to painfully hold on to your things. Love love LOVE!

Moonchild have developed a sick collection of waist bags – you should definitely check them out.

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Waist Bag: Moonchild

FRINGE – BUT NOT TOO MUCH FRINGE

I’ll be honest – this is the first fringed item of clothing that I’ve ever owned! Frills and tassels just personally aren’t my style – but they suit so many people and this ongoing boho trend fits in so well for festivals and the sort. This dress was only R89,99 from Mr Price (click here to check it out online) and the reason why it’s perfect for Daisies is because it’s nailing two trends at the same time: Fringe detailing and high slits.

Maxi dresses are perfect for festivals! They’re long, so you can easily sit on the floor. They’re light, so you can brave the heat. And most importantly they’re super comfortable. 

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Dress: Mr Price, Bag: Moonchild, Shoes: Mr Price.

I won’t lie these slits are pretty high, haha. I know that fringe detailing is a festival favourite and has been a massive trend throughout the Spring/Summer 2014 collections – but that doesn’t mean that everything you wear must feature fringe of some sort. Be careful not to look like an extra from Disney’s Pocahontas. 

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REFLECTORS

I’ve always disliked reflectors because I can NEVER recognise anyone when they’re wearing them. But I really like the range and styles of reflectors that are on the market at the moment. Maybe think twice when you’re buying your Ray Bans… :)

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Channeling your inner free spirit does not require you to be running  through the grass without shoes on, wearing a floral headband and waving a South African flag over your head. When it comes to festival fashion, there is no need to be so literal.

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While there are certain looks that have been so overdone that they’ve become complete and utter clichés – feel free to take my advice with a grain of salt. At the end of the day I think you should wear whatever the hell you want when you’re singing along to Milky Chance (he’s my absolute favourite singer, consider yourself very fortunate to be listening to him).

I will not be at Daisies this year but if you’re going I hope that you have the best best time.

Don’t do drugs. And make good choices. Be safe kids!

Holly eeeeooouuut

XX

What it’s like to be a Marketing student and fashion blogger

*This article can be found on the Red And Yellow website.


It’s crazy to think that 7 Billion people will have experienced this day in a different way. So much can happen in one day; you can fall in love, you can lose a loved one, you can have an accident or perhaps even become an overnight success. I’m one of those soppy people who lives each day as it comes – but I’ll give you a rough idea of what goes on in my chaotic and busy day as a student!

I was actually influenced to study marketing by my roommate from last year. I’d always perceived marketing to be as simple as “make it look nice and people will buy it” – but I soon realized that there’s so much more behavioural analysis and statistical data behind consumerism than I’d thought and I’m infinitely appreciative that I gave it a go.

There’re two pieces of advice in particular that you should know before studying marketing: love people and be an independent thinker. Before Red and Yellow (R&Y) I wasn’t always open to other opinions and it’s shown me that loving people for their individualism essentially enables you to work successfully in not only a team; but life in general. Loving people will help you become a better team player and will enable trust to flow within your group – two essential parts of a successful marketing unit. You won’t always get the group you want, but that’s life!

Secondly, you’ll never contribute considerably to a team if you merely go with the flow. Being an independent thinker will highlight you as an asset to your team and will make you effective in any facet of marketing that you assign yourself. You’ll never make an impact in the marketing industry (or in the larger sense, society) if you’re a conformer. Therefore, develop an independent approach to your work and you will be rewarded. Creativity and ingenuity are at the forefront of every project — merely ‘following the crowd’ will never enable you to create an effective and long-lasting marketing strategy.

My journey to R&Y is rather extraordinary because I never saw myself as one for the marketing world and studied Film and Media Production at UCT. One of my UCT projects included a blogging assignment – we were instructed to create our own blogs and had six blog posts with which we had to prove our English proficiency. It was then that I realized the significance that fashion holds in society; regardless of one’s race, size, gender or academic capabilities – every person has their own individual approach to fashion.

Much like most love affairs I was of course hooked from the get-go and my blog (https://hollyhocksblog.wordpress.com) has become somewhat of an obsession. I’m grateful that I kept my blog quiet until only a few months ago because I’ve been able to analyse my direct audience (who knew I had a following in the U.S and Norway?) and sharpen my online marketing skills. I try not to overthink when writing my posts – I prefer for them to come naturally rather than be a forced attempt to appeal to a mass audience and I think that this translucency is what appeals to online readers. The best article I’ve ever written has been as I’ve jumped out of the shower and was completed in 10 minutes (my towel unsteady and my hair still sopping wet, haha!).

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(The first public blog post I wrote, “New kicks made me think“)

Any advice I would give future bloggers would be to understand how to communicate effectively with people. This is because at the end of the day you need to speak to an audience in a way that not only resonates with your true character but also appeals to their own lifestyles and that is the hardest, yet most important part of blogging. Therefore understand people and you’ll understand blogging.

Secondly, have a large circle of friends. It has been pivotal in not only keeping an open mind to life – but fashion, too. The other day someone asked me where I get inspiration for my blog posts from – and my answer is people. People are more inspirational to me than any expensive fashion show or trendy retail shop. I may not be similar to the people whom I spend time with or dress like them, but I draw massive creative inspiration from them. I personally connect strongly to people who are independent thinkers because those are the people who are impactful in society and who will go on to change the world in some way.

The fashion industry tends to be remarkably shallow and therefore I always intend for my posts to be multifaceted and meaningful – consisting of adventure, humour and social observation in addition to fashion. So if you’re planing on becoming a blogger – determine first how your writing will set you apart from the million other writers.

That leads me to the subject of Red and Yellow..

Behind the scenes at R&Y we have certain rituals. Firstly,  Origin is the watering hole of our supreme animal Kingdom! It’s slightly perturbing how much we abuse this coffee shop because one moment it’s a gentle café on the corner of Durham Street and the next it’s turned into a raucous shouting house of boisterous students.

Another ritual of sorts includes our Whatsapp group. Our underground group of 30 is titled “The A-Team” and tends to be much more of a tool of abuse than a means of communication between students. This explains why when one person’s phone goes off a resounding chorus of “pings” usually follows. It even consists of mandatory traditions such as capturing all members eating a banana (I don’t think I need to explain the reasoning for this). Unfortunately there are much too many members that are ready to catch you when you fall – I’m still recovering from an awkward modelling photo that one of the guys found and forced as the group icon for considerably too long. Hazardous nights on the town, boring guest-lecturers and embarrassing fashion malfunctions – nothing escapes the discussion on this group.

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The last ritual I will disclose with you is The Taproom. It’s mandatory that we all congregate for beers on the unreliable benches of Devil’s Peak Brewery after Friday presentations. This is often where awkward tipsy comments are made and regular personal jokes resurface once again. No presentation slip-up is ever forgotten and you’ll probably hear me laughing at the guys’ comments from a mile away.

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Coming from an all-girls private school and all-girls UCT Residence – it’s been refreshing to bond with people who remind me not to take life too seriously. The banter is akin to that of any KZN boarding school and it’s no wonder that amongst this herd of anarchic men there’s usually only two or three of us girls.

Currently – I don’t have much free time. If I’m not at R&Y, I’m either blogging about fashion or blogging for an Italian coffee company, Emozione Coffee and I’ve just signed a contract to be a fashion journalist for a company from Hong Kong. Hence, time is a massive luxury to me! These last few months have absolutely blown my mind! Beyond the fact that my view rates have exceeded my expectations, I’ve also been asked to be the face of an eyewear company in Cape Town. Blogging has therefore been a platform that has provided me with so many opportunities. And I’ve only just begun – so I can’t wait to see where this will lead me! But if you’re thinking of starting a blog – just know that the chances of you becoming an instant success are very slim. Society’s attention span is dwindling as the months go by – you need to be well-educated about what you’re writing on and you need to be passionate about it. There are so many good writers out there – you need to be better!

In my free time I’m either eating or frowning at my Macbook – examining my various blog’s view rates while Soundcloud blares through my ears. I’ve had sleeping problems since I was little and therefore I head off to gym every evening to let off some steam and burn off the chocolate I probably ate at lunch (a day without chocolate is a day without sunshine!).

Every day brings with it new challenges and surprises but by the time my head is on the pillow, I intend that mine has been filled with love and lots of laughter. So I guess that’s my one-day amongst 7 billion others… :)