Street style and why it will never be me: M.I.A. at Ashish

M.I.A. at Ashish

By Terri Cluckie

Don’t ask me the source of this image because I reblogged it on Tumblr and who ever knows where things truly come from on Tumblr? I’m referring to it now because I still don’t understand the sorcery behind M.I.A.’s literal take on effortless style and how she manages to look so good… AT A FASHION SHOW. Like what is this witchery?

The last time I wore an oversized jumper with leggings and unbrushed hair was yesterday because I hadn’t showered and wasn’t leaving the house so there was no need to make an effort. I only regretted this choice when my Gran paid a surprise visit leaving me mortified as she told me I “stunk” in the most brutally honest yet still loving way that only a Gran can. You know what though, maybe it’s because I wasn’t holding a clutch and wearing a pair of white trainers at the same time… Yeah that’s why she didn’t get it.

It’s amazing how some people are just so naturally cool and how others (me) are so not. Ah life.

[Photo credit: mmatangi on Tumblr]

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24 and pregnant: Figuring it out

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On the fears of motherhood and what comes next.

By Terri Cluckie

When I was in high school it seemed teen pregnancy was rife. Like literally everywhere so we had to do all we could to protect ourselves against this disease because it could bite us all and then our lives would be over. We were constantly prepared for what not to do through fear of what might happen, but not for what do to if it actually did happen – at any stage in life.

Now that I’m 24 and five months pregnant, it seems the tables have turned. Somewhere in the seven years that I left high school, teen pregnancy has all but disappeared and somehow we’re all waiting til we’re in our 30s to have babies – or so the articles I’ve been reading keep telling me. The thing is though I know this isn’t true because I myself know seven women, all different ages and at different stages in life, who have either just had a baby or are pregnant right now.

When I search online for advice on pregnancy and careers, all the wonder women who are featured are older than I am, have already had a start in their careers, are killing it, and even though they struggled, are apparently definitely making it work. I love these stories; they are inspirational but they also make me scared and feel slightly under-accomplished (get over yourself, Terri).

But really, what happens when you fall pregnant and you don’t have your life sorted out already? And how many people are laughing at me for saying that? If Girls and Sex and the City has taught me anything it’s that actually nobody has it figured out, period, but that doesn’t always stop the mind from spinning.

Let me share with you my story. Up until a few months ago I was living in New Zealand as a writer for a publishing company. I am now unemployed and living with my mum back in my hometown in Scotland (my inner comedian actually loves this story). So right now I’m trying to figure out how one adjusts their life when they’ve had to leave one and start another. How do you get your “career” back on track when, 1) You have a tiny life growing inside of you and, 2) Are you sure you even have a ‘career’ in the first place? These are questions I ask myself on a daily basis and it’s a roller coaster because some days my mind thinks, ‘WHY? WHAT? HOW?’ and then other days it’s, ‘Terri, you will find your way. It’s only been two months. You really need to relax.’ But I can’t relax because that’s not what I do.

I’m not afraid to be a mother, I’m not afraid of how much my life is going to turn upside down in a mere four months. I can’t wait to meet my son and each day my stomach grows, it fills me with pride and real happiness. I’m so excited to have a baby with someone I love. What terrifies me is the thought that my son might not have a happy life (a burden that will follow me to my grave now) and the thought of losing myself in the midst of motherhood. These are scary things to me. I’m only 24 and I barely know myself, how am I meant to raise a tiny guy so that he has the best life possible while simultaneously figuring things out for myself?

It would seem I’m also terrified of already screwing up my chance at a non-existent career which is ridiculous because other than write I really don’t know what I want to do with myself anyway. And truthfully, if it weren’t for my baby I would still be stuck in a place that I was actually miserable in. So why is it then that pregnancy has me suddenly terrified of ruining something I didn’t have in the first place?

I could blame a million things but stopping reading articles that don’t relate to me would be a start. I’m usually good at switching off to things I don’t like but when something is playing on your mind that can be difficult – like birthing videos. Why are they always on your YouTube suggestions when you least need them?

Life is full of adjustments and unexpected turns and only time will tell. Maybe not much will change; maybe everything will change. The only thing I know for sure is that I’m going to have an extra best friend to take with me.

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I haven’t figured it all out yet but these are a few sources that get me through the day whenever I’m experiencing a trough on the roller coaster:

1. Jessica Grose – she is a writer of many things, but I mainly read her work at Slate.com where she writes about women’s issues and being a parent. Her articles helped me a lot when I first found out I was pregnant, particularly this one: The Case for Having Kids in Your 20s.
2. Jessica is also the editor-in-chief of Lenny Letter which is another goldmine of information about women from all walks of life, mothers or not. I always find it provides me with guidance even when I’m not looking for it.
3. Tamira Jarrel – a beauty blogger who also happens to be a Mum of two. She doesn’t necessarily talk about being a mother but for me it’s nice to know someone around my age can be successful on their own terms while juggling motherhood.
4. The Pool – a website for women that covers everything. Check out their candid Parenting Honestly section. It’s pretty brilliant.

[Photo credits: www.bustle.com and Google Images]

It’s all in your head: Thinking you have style when actually, you don’t

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By Terri Cluckie

My best friend once told me I reminded her of Audrey Hepburn because we apparently share the same quirks. I still take this comment as one of the biggest compliments I have achieved in life so far, and as such, I like to pretend that in my mind I am in fact, Audrey Hepburn.

We both have fair skin, brown hair, excellent eyebrows, and a sense of humour (I’m obviously referring to past-Audrey, may she RIP). But one thing I can’t actually nail is her impeccable style. It’s probably one of the most important things about her in my eyes because she was not just a very accomplished woman, but a very accomplished, stylish woman. And I am not.

I don’t need to go through the style archives of Audrey with you, we all know what she looks like and what she wore. We all also know she would have made a dirty bin liner look good. But humour me for a second. Imagine her in an all black long-sleeved top, cigarette pants and ballet pump ensemble. Classic, easy. You would think. I would think. I mean shit, it’s an all black outfit. The thing I have the problem with though are the cigarette pants because it seems every person on the planet looks good in cigarette pants but me. Like what is wrong with my body that I can’t pull them off? Actually, it’s difficult for me to pull of anything that’s not stuck to my legs which is why skinny jeans have been my best friend since 2007.

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But anyway. I know I can’t be alone when I talk about my frustrations in not being able to manifest my thoughts into reality. You would think it would be easy for me to recreate the above look but my ability to find the perfect pair of black trousers seems to hold me back, as does my ability to put together an outfit apparently. But how can this be true when it all makes sense in my head?

In my head I’m already gliding through town in that outfit just like Audrey would… I’ve also got a friend by my side who takes random candid photos of me for my Tumblr blog just like those others girl… but that’s just all in my head.

This trend of not being able to follow through happens to me a lot in life. It is a concentration thing – not paying attention to the little opportunities that can make big things happen. It’s acting with purpose and it really shouldn’t be as deep as this but it is.

I used to think it was a confidence thing, being too shy to dress a certain way which is something Leandra Medine has even spoken about. That shocked me because I thought she was the most confident person in the world but if someone like her can have quiet days then there is definitely hope for the rest of us.

What I’m pitching here is a pledge to concentrate and be more decisive when I’m shopping – so important in life I know, but I’ll be damned if I continue on through my twenties never really becoming the person I know I can be!

[Photo credits: Google Images]

On Love… A Netflix review

Netflix on Love

By Terri Cluckie

*Warning: I may spoil things*

As a Netflix Original, Love premiered on February 19th and I watched the first episode that night.

Created by couple Lesley Arfin and Paul Rust and super-producer Judd Apatow, the 10-part series follows the story of Mickey and Gus and their turbulent modern-day relationship.

When I watched the first episode it was about 1am and I was having a sleepover with my BF and her baby girl. We were confused and probably sleep deprived but overall unimpressed. I did however prevail a week or so later.

The show, which has been picked up for a second season that they have already started filming, was made purely for Netflix. And you know what the best thing about a Netflix Original is? Undisturbed viewing. Why wait a whole week per episode when you can commit one whole night/ day of your life to a series from the comfort of your ass-shaped couch? That’s what I did, and I seriously think it did Love the biggest favour. I said the same thing about Breaking Bad and I’m saying it here again: being able to watch a series right the way through without the anticipation and the breaks is actually a recipe for success! I wasn’t impressed with Love when I first watched it – I didn’t get it, was it funny? Are these awkward characters for real? But being able to follow their story in one scoop created an uninterrupted journey upon which I could laugh, cry, be jealous of and develop real feelings for.

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I understand the characters now. Heidi is fucking crazy and somebody me and my friends would definitely, secretly want to punch in the throat but actually is so hilarious. Mickey is disturbed and a serious baby/ downer when it comes to movie theme song parties but you know what? We were all making fun of it… And Susan Cheryl: don’t we all want to be that cut throat?

The only reason I watched the show in the first place was because of Lesley Arfin. I’m a huge fan of her writing and admire her gritty take on life. I’m guessing that’s where Mickey gets her pissy attitude from. It really works and guess what, now I love Gillian Jacobs. I love her so much I Instagram stalk her every morning, I dug out her Lenny essays and I binge watch her interviews on YouTube because that’s what I do when I respect someone.

Paul Rust, or Gus, was the same for me. His smothering love in the first episode drove me crazy and I know we can all relate to that relationship. I’ve witnessed the male blossoming after a serious break-up in real life so it was sweet to watch on-screen. He seems to land on his feet pretty well in a lot of ways even if he does stumble. And his brilliant defence of the things he loves when faced off with his ex-girlfriend pays homage to everybody’s inner geek. It also gave life to my favourite line of the series: “You can’t watch it online – these Blu-rays have exclusive special features, ya bitch!”

The show was created to explore the journey of a relationship and look beyond the “montage” of love we often see in movies. What this means is paring everything back and taking the time to reveal the real guts of a relationship, no matter how awkward and painful.

“Part of our original idea for the show was we wanted to see what relationships were like when you cut into the montage. When you take that out, and you’re just in it… I’ve never seen it before. As a person who’s in a relationship, I’m curious what that looks like… I’m always interested in what’s beautiful about love, and what’s really ugly about it. We just wanted it to be a narrative out of a lot of small moments,” says Arfin in an interview with W magazine.

But the show isn’t just about the couple, it’s about the individual too. I’ve already mentioned Gus’ part in pulling himself out of a break up. I think it’s well played out through his frustrations with work and love and life in general but what I love most is the hints at his “dark side”. It’s almost Walter White but definitely not as extreme (for obvious reasons). Like when he swears at Susan Cheryl when his stint at the writers’ table goes wrong, or when he aggressively throws his beloved Blu-rays out the car window after realising they are merely a box of lies. It’s those moments that give a character depth. He’s not just a nice, nerdy white guy who has impeccable taste in music, he has edge dammit.

Mickey’s journey of dealing with addiction and coming to the realisation of what is right for her life at this moment is drawn out but comes to a climax in the final episode. I’m not sure if I was annoyed at her and Gus’ union at the end though. I did want them to end up together but Mickey had just reached a point of knowing that she had to be alone and then next thing she meets Gus at the gas station and they’re all tongues flying. While I may be having my own inner conflict I do accept that it makes sense that they would end up together. The show is called Love after all – wouldn’t it have been a real tragedy if they didn’t actually get it together by the final episode?

Listen to the incredible (and unofficial) series soundtrack on YouTube here.

[Photo credits: Google Images]

Street style from Paris and why it will never be me

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By Terri Cluckie

A new series where Terri takes you through street style snaps and explains why it’s ok that they’re unachievable.

I think the real elephant in the room with why this will never be me is that I can’t flip people off like that. Mr. A$AP is far too good at ‘effortless’ to give anybody else a chance. Ever since Shia LaBeouf so eloquently flipped off his friend in Disturbia while kissing his girl, me and my besto have had an obsession with the correct finger placement in successfully flipping someone off. It’s something I’ll never accomplish. I also don’t have as much attitude as A$AP (something I’m working on) so I’ve been doomed to fail this look from the start.

Assuming he bought his coat from New Look (my current budget), I am definitely on track… I don’t have a coat like that but I would definitely like one and also like to think I could pull it off. What I couldn’t pull off? The fanny pack hanging from his neck. Don’t think this is technically a fanny pack but I like saying those words so for the purpose of this post: it’s a fanny pack.

His friend, Ian Connor: also so cool. Probably even too cool for A$AP’s profanities. Flannel shirts will forever be in style because they just will be (too easy to wear and not wash) so I’m fine there. It’s the cap I couldn’t wear. Don’t have the right head shape for hats and I know I’m not the only one. His jeans bear a motif I can’t make out, but you know what? That doesn’t matter because regular old denim jeans would do the job if you wanted to recreate this look. Yeah! We don’t need fancy denim to look laid back and comfortable, we just need old jeans and a grubby shirt (and two iPhones and a designer bag)!

[Photo credit: Taken from Phil Oh’s Best Street Style Pics From Paris Fashion Week series on www.vogue.com]

I’m about to out-question Carrie Bradshaw: what even is original anymore?

By Terri Cluckie

I just came across a tweet that goes along the lines of Hedi Slimane being unoriginal; how Saint Laurent is basically just a collection of clothes that you can already buy at American Apparel and Savers and now I feel like I’ve been duped for years.

His “Womenswear Part Two” collection for AW16 is yet to come; it is highly anticipated, hot stuff. Heck even I was waiting on the edge of my proverbial seat but now I’m woke and nothing satisfies any more.

Leather jackets and furs and pussybows with rockstar hair; it all looks so pretty, so punk and so everything I love to dress in. But it is original? What even makes a successful collection? What makes a designer? Is it the wearability, the buy-ability, the originality of their designs? These are the questions I’m now asking myself in search for an answer to the most important: should I even like fashion any more or is it all a lie because I’m being fed regurgitated trends season after season?

I’ve had this thought a few times this past month after watching quite a few disappointing shows and I often think like this when I read reviews from critics. Cathy Horyn for The Cut recently said of the Eckhaus Latta show in New York, “each style that came out last night was unique, and, in a way, a more refined offshoot of things they’ve done before”. The thing is though, everything is an offshoot of things done before, it’s just sometimes people like it and sometimes people yawn.

For so long the conversation re. the style definition of the naughties has been that there really isn’t one. Fashion is so fast today that a decade-defining style just really doesn’t stand a chance. I mean we have skinny jeans but what are they against floral shirts and flares? More importantly what will we wear to fancy dress parties in years to come that are themed “The 2010s”? A onesie? Fuck off.

Maybe we’re beyond definitions though. Maybe repetition is all we can look forward to because it has all been done before and what – we’re just gonna stop Fashion Month? Don’t think so.

One tweet may have unravelled Saint Laurent for me but there is still hope for the rest of you. Fashion Week will go on without me and you should too! The point is this though: if nothing is new anymore… Then stop buying clothes because you already have everything. Just kidding. It’s this: it’s down to the individual to find originality in what they wear. The beauty of fashion is creativity and being able to reinvent yourself through the clothes on your back. Saint Laurent might show another leather jacket on Monday, but you know what? How many leather jackets is too many leather jackets anyway?

[Photo credits: http://www.vogue.co.uk]

Sunday round up: A London and Milan mash up

By Terri Cluckie

Cramming a week full of shows into one post is ambitious so in this week’s round up I have picked my favourites from the tail-end of London and the majority from Milan.

Burberry kicked off my Monday and I watched online while pretending I’d been invited like I usually do. My Mum watched with me from the couch and it was all sweet. Jake Bugg is excellent live, I’ve been told that before. I liked the collection but thought the model casting was severely un-diverse. Not unique to Burberry I know, but it’s a serious conversation that actually needs to happen in the higher echelons. Look out for our post on runway diversity in the next coming weeks.

On a lighter note, Victoria Beckham said her latest collection for Victoria, Victoria Beckham, was for “girls who want to have fun… But not too much fun”. Woaw-kay there, Vicky. I get it. The collection was saturated with florals on either dark navy or black or serious colour; jumpers and miniskirts in what looks like really thick fabrics; chunky gingham prints in trouser suits; block colours in mint, purple and orange; cropped aviators and jackets with chunky knitted collars. I guess you could say it was guarded fun… but not too guarded.

Ashish was anything but guarded fun. It was a runway show in the form of an afro-wig topped rainbow. It was fun, everything you couldn’t wear to the office and it made me smile. Poppy Okotcha opened the show in a baby pink sequinned top-cropped trousers combo. The colours graduated through each look in jumpsuits, strappy dresses, trouser suits and slogan-bearing jackets.

I must have an inner magpie because I’m only using Gucci for their sparkles. Their runway show was an eclectic mix of colours, something I love about Gucci. It’s fun and playful but in a mature way, ya know? Definitely clothes a grown woman would wear but not ones that are drowned in darkness. I like that. That makes me want to creep out from the shadows and actually wear something other than grey. But back to the collection. It was quite a mix. One minute we’re in full pink, the next we’re librarian brown. The glasses were cute; the multi-coloured tulle skirt beautiful; the black and white retro trouser suit a throwback. The critics loved it and I did too; something for everyone – literally.

Marni, Marni, Marni. I went to school with a person who had the surname Marni and I was always jealous of him. The collection was so grown-up, unlike myself in high school, but that’s an Italian thing it seems. The arch cuts in tops, capes and cropped jackets are very translatable into the everyday (I’m thinking Zara will do a good job in picking this up for the high street). Balloon sleeves on jackets and shirts, even dresses, add an elegant and understated touch.

It’s funny. The first look I seen from the Jil Sander collection was a silver metallic dress on Instagram. It’s amazing. It’s my favourite piece from the collection, but apart from that and a pink metallic knee-length dress, it’s really the only thing I liked. This made me think about the power of a single image and the power of social media. Had I viewed the collection on vogue.co.uk alone, I think I would have passed up on writing about the show entirely but because of that one dress scrolling by, I stopped and decided to pay attention. In the sea of colour that currently swamps Milan, the show was blacker than ever which is actually perhaps a refreshment… Am I just moaning because I don’t have glitter or colour to coo over?

Read last week’s round up here.

[Photo credits: vogue.co.uk]