13 October 2015

The Making of a Graduate Collection - Behind the Scenes of Sickly Sweet Suburbia SS16

Photograph by Jack Codling
   As promised, here is a glimpse into my last year at uni studying fashion design & the build up to my graduate collection! If anyone out there is also studying fashion, I expect you are constantly told how quick your final year will go - they are not kidding! It was an intense amount of work for only 9 months, with little sleep towards the end (6am-12pm was my working day in the last couple of weeks to show day) & with many worrying thoughts that I'd never finish the collection, dissertation & portfolio. But I did it!!! And despite everything, it was worth it to see my collection come to life on the catwalk & to share my hard work with everyone around me. So I introduce to you Sickly Sweet Suburbia SS16...
   You may have guessed by reading my blog or following me on social media, that I am a huge fan of 1950's Americana - it was just so feminine, so sexy & was such a good starting point for a narrative collection. My initial inspiration was the colours & set design of TV program Pushing Daisies, mixed with the mysterious narratives in William Eggleston's & Gregory Crewson's work. This soon lead to my six persona's, from the Hopeless Romantic to the Bold & the Beautiful - the innocent, sweetly naive housewife to the wickedly charming, spiteful & cunning suburbanite.
 Photographs by Abbie Stern
   My toiling & pattern cutting process... I love the creative freedom of pattern cutting & how you can really control the figure & silhouette through it. For this collection I created the patterns from scratch myself, which were then taken to fittings to make adjustments & develop before the final stage.
   For this collection in particular, colour was extremely important. I wanted each piece to reflect the nature of my characters, to range from sweet & feminine to sickly, jarring & OTT. The chosen colours then had to be matched with the digital printer's colours for my prints & with my wool choices for my textured skirts. Print & texture is another detail I love to include in collections, to really create stand out, one of pieces. So my next step was to create my prints & experiment with placements.
Photograph by Abbie Stern
   This skirt... It took around 3 weeks to create, which involved cutting all the wool lengths, mixing the perfect ratio of colours & finally sewing each piece to net. But it was worth it in the end.
 Photographs by Abbie Stern
My final collection & the fashion show photos.
Photograph by Mitchell Severs
   A few photos, illustrations & CAD's from my portfolio, if you would like to see the entire collection in detail, please do visit my portfolio.
 Photographs by Sam Taylor
    During this project, I was also very lucky to work with some extremely talented photographers & film makers, of which you can find their portfolios & links by clicking on their names. This particular set of photos were taken from a short film, currently being edited, which featured my entire collection. I will share the film with you when it is ready! But for now, thank you for taking an interest in my work, it means a lot to me! If you would like to purchase anything seen here, work together or even have something designed especially for you, please contact me.
Produced by Eloise Rudd.    Directed by Anna Ling.    Production Design by Georgina Devine.    MUA & Hair by Jo Budden.    Photographs by Sam Taylor.

11 October 2015

Fit Tip Weekend : 8 Tips on using Green Tea for Weight Loss (Part Two)

   Hope you enjoyed my 8 Health Benefits of Green Tea post a couple of days a go, but as promised here is part two - on just how you can use green tea to help aid weight loss!
1. Drink Often
This has to be a routinely thing, otherwise you'll see no effect. Try drinking at least three a day for weight loss aids - either half an hour before or after a meal, to help break down your food effectively. A tip I learnt from Women's Health though - do not drink it (or water) just before a meal to fill you up, as this is actually diluting your stomach acids, so digestion will be less effective & therefore you could end up storing more fat. Just remember not to add milk or sugar to the tea, as you will be preventing the full effect.
2. Kick Start the Metabolism
Ideally you should drink a cup first thing in the morning, this will not only give you energy & focus your brain, but the tea's thermo-genic properties will kick start your metabolism for the day, which will burn excess fuel (from food) faster. It will also slowly start to burn the fat stored around our body, which will aid the weight loss.
3. A Natural Detox
As discussed in my last post, green tea is a natural detoxifier. It uses antioxidants to cleanse the body of harmful toxins, while breaking down fat cells for easier digestion. This not only leads to a healthy liver, but also cleans out your digestive system and can in turn reduce fat stores & bloating around the tummy. Also by drinking more water (within the tea), you will feel the benefits of hydration.
4. Exercise with it!
Not only does exercise burn calories, but it also increases the metabolism, which is especially good first thing in the morning. Exercise will maintain a healthy & strong body, while there is evidence that it also increases weight loss when teamed with green tea.
5. Balance your Diet
This is extremely important. Your body needs every type of food group for a different reason & by cutting something out - for example carbs - it can actually do more harm than good. Instead of looking healthy, your body will be lacking energy & vitality. Instead keep a balanced, controlled diet. If you want to cut something out, try cutting out processed foods & replacing them with natural ingredients, even 'fat free' processed food is not as good for your body as natural ingredients. Equally, skipping your meals has the opposite effect to what you might think - by starving your body of nutrients & fuel, it will start storing fat more whenever it gets food, as it can not know when it's next source of fuel is coming. In this case, controlled & often is better.
6. Banish Unnecessary Snacks
There is a difference between needing a snack in between meals for energy or craving a snack because of boredom. It is perfectly ok to have a healthy (or occasional naughty) snack between meals, but if you find your craving food for no reason, green tea can really help fill that void & banish the habit of snacking for the sake of it. I know my weak time is at night watching TV, but try replacing that bar of chocolate with a green tea & if you're still hungry, then have that healthy snack.
7. Be Patient
This isn't a quick fix to loose pounds before the weekend, this is a healthy life choice. As with healthy eating & trying a new workout plan, it will take a few weeks to truly see the effects, but you should be feeling healthier from the inside before then. Just be patient & make this a ritual. Remember, green tea is only an aid to weight loss, it will not help you lose pounds without a healthy diet & exercise.
8. Say Goodbye to Bloating & Excess Water
With it's detoxing effects, you will naturally start to feel less bloated, which can often be the cause of feeling frumpy or like you've put on a little weight. It will also flush out some of the excess water weight that your body is carrying, which will once again make you feel lighter.

9 October 2015

Fit Tip Friday : 8 Health Benefits of Green Tea (Part One)

   Firstly welcome to my first of many health & fitness posts! If anyone follows me on instagram, they'll know I do love my fitness, it really motivates me & makes me feel great. So I have decided to share this love with you on my blog!
   So I know I am a little late to the tea party here (lol), but I have just this week discovered the wonder that is green tea. Up until now, it was just another one of those funky tasting teabags, but it turns out that they're much much more. The health benefits definitely out way the taste, especially if you check the labels & make sure you're buying quality tea (price doesn't necessarily play a factor, just check the labels & navigate past all the fancy branding) - as they'll be packed full of antioxidants & as a result, health benefits too! However, as it turns out, they actually taste quite pleasant, considering I dislike flavoured/milkless tea! So here are the top 8 health benefits of drinking Green Tea at least twice a day!
1. Weight Loss - Perhaps it's most famous benefit. Green tea can be a great aid to weight loss, due to it's thermo-genic properties, which causes your metabolism to heat up & consume food at a faster rate. It also creates the feeling of fullness, which suppresses the appetite. Find out how best to use green tea for weight loss in Part Two of my green tea benefits... Coming soon!
2. Rich in Antioxidants - Ten times the amount found in fruit & veg in fact! But why are they so good for us? Antioxidants help keep our cells protected from modules known as free radicals (a byproduct of normal metabolism, but can be increased by smoking, drinking & certain cemicals we digest). Eating foods rich in antioxidants can in turn keep the heart healthy, lower the risk of infections & also some cancers. It also has an anti-ageing effect on the skin!
3. Reduces Cholesterol - Green tea contains tannins, that naturally lower the cholesterol by reducing the low-density-lipoproteins (bad cholesterol) in the body - which can lead to a build up of plaque in the arteries, causing blockages. Green tea helps prevent this!
4. Healthy Skin & Shiny Hair - Antioxidants are also beneficial for healthy looking skin, hence why green tea can now be found in some skin care & suncreams. It can help reduce spots & slows down premature ageing. Meanwhile it also stimulates hair growth by balancing testosterone levels in the blood & the vitamin C & E within helps make hair shiny & soft.
5. Manages Blood Pressure for a Healthy Heart - For one it is lower in caffeine than coffee & regular tea, preventing high blood pressure. Also if you drink green tea for an extended period of time, the antioxidant flavonoid naturally helps to manage blood pressure, as well as helping to relax blood vessels & prevent blood clots. However, if you are already taking medicine for high blood pressure, green tea can prevent the pills from working properly - so check with a doctor if applicable.
6. Reduces Stress & Depression - The polyphenols in green tea help maintain a steady supply of glucose, which is great to stimulate the brain. Meanwhile the antioxidant theanine helps to lower stress & anxiety levels, as well as acting as a natural anti-depressant.
7. A Natural Detox - As well as digesting food faster & more efficiently, green tea can help cleanse the body of toxins, breaks up fat stores in the body (which are built up from unhealthy fats, of which the body has a hard time digesting) & can flush out unwanted water weight. It also helps maintain a healthy liver, by flushing out harmful free radicals & helping break down fat cells, to create less pressure on the liver.
8. A Natural Energizer - With lower amounts of caffeine than coffee, it helps to boost energy in a much healthier way, that allows the body to have more focus & prevents the crash you sometimes get after high amounts of caffeine. It also contains amino acid L-theanine, which increases brain function & the ability to focus.
   But remember, to reap the rewards, you have to give it time & make green tea a ritual rather than a flying fancy!!!
   For ideas on brands, I opted for Clipper Tea, as they were reasonable in price & listed the energy benefits (of which I definitely feel). Fair trade or organic also indicate good quality tea leaves, so they should be a safe bet. I have also been recommended Lipton Green Tea. If you would like to try something more expensive, Teapigs are a leading brand for healthy green tea. They also have a powdered tea that you shot each morning, which has the antioxidants & energy power of lots of green tea bags in one shot! This is called Super Power Green & is £25. If you have any more questions, reviews or suggestions of your green teas, please leave a comment bellow :)

5 October 2015

My Month in Photos - September 2015

Autumn leaves, redesigning my portfolio & a field full of geese on holiday! So this is what I've been up to in the last month or so that I've been away. 

4 October 2015

One Year Later - I'M BACK!!!

   Wow, I can not believe it has been a whole year since I have blogged! It has been a pretty hectic year though. Since I last spoke to you, I have designed 600+ designs, spent 3 1/2 weeks making an insane wool textured skirt (photos to come!), written a 6000 word dissertation, redesigned my blog, portfolio AND business cards (again), completed a graduate collection, had a fantastic relaxing summer & finally I GRADUATED!!!! So I gathered I would put my new found freedom to good use & invest my time in an old love of mine... my blog. As I mentioned, it has had a revamp (which you may notice, it's quite drastic), but I believe it is now a reflection of a new chapter in my life. My blog will now not just be about fashion, but all aspects of art & design, as well as fitness & lifestyle too, so I may share & inspire with a few more interests of mine. But for now, I will leave you with a glance of what I have been doing - design wise - for the past year. And I promise, this time I will blog before the year is out ;)