I had the fortune of spending almost a month in Italy this fall and I will say Rome is among my most favorite cities to visit. Rome is grand and beautiful, each little street and building breaths history.
I had an unforgettable time in Rome this October and would like to share some advice on how to have the most enjoyable time in Rome if you are planning to visit.
A story within a scarf: A sit down with fashion designer Gary James McQueen by Galina Antonova
It’s been 10 years since fashion designer Gary James McQueen debuted his first collection “Life, Death, and Rebirth.” Gaining his inspiration, and dedicating the collection to his late uncle, McQueen amazed audiences with the artistry and storytelling that was visible through his scarves.
McQueen told his tale through three main stories. ” ‘Life’ is based on his love of birds..I combined a Japanese block printing aesthetic with photographs that I took of pigeons ‘Death’ is based on the Ivory trade and the impact this has had on endangered species. I created a kaleidoscope from animal bones, which at first glance looks very ornate and floral until you take a closer look. ‘Rebirth’ is based on the rebirth and cycle of creative energy, which depicts moonlit bodies floating in a black void. “
A decade later we wondered where he is finding his inspiration now? When we reached out to McQueen, he was more than willing to take us into the depths of his mindset that he uses when approaching his work.
“I pull lots of different reference points together that you wouldn’t normally associate with each other to create something new. Sometimes music can inspire a feeling as a starting point than I translate this into a visual narrative in my own way.” But is he producing unique fashion, or is he creating artwork? McQueen tells us “I try to create a gallery experience with each collection combining both art and fashion pieces… and beautiful, Luxurious products..but without an authentic and engaging story behind each of these, they become obsolete..just things without any emotion or spirit attached to them.”
Today, McQueen’s roots are still prevalent in his work as a storyteller via fashion. “It’s so much more than just creating things to wear, it’s about giving authenticity to my creations…Everything starts with the final vision of the fictional character or world I’m trying to create and then this is reverse engineered and separated into art pieces, accessories, and garments.”
These efforts were very much visible at the latest pieces McQueen featured at London Fashion Week. “I had a number of Lenticular artworks and photo shoots on display (the final shots become part of the art for me..it’s about creating new ideas through design and styling). The Bodysuits from my most recent “Solstice” collection were on display as well as my new Kimono Gown which will form my next collection”
McQueen shared how he’s using these same measures in one of his most recent projects, which has been working with Italian manufacturer Ratti. With the support, they’ve given him to develop designs without worrying about minimums. “Going forward we are looking at new constructions and styles of scarves, and I will be introducing a new silk/cotton Bandana soon as part of a high-end street range.” We think that it’s safe to say, we can expect some great work from this collaboration.
So what lies ahead for the designer? Nothing less of what we’ve been seeing, in fact, it appears to be much more.”I have got a new lenticular piece, some sculptures and a one of a kind jewelry piece that I will be revealing soon.” When asked about the timespan of when we can expect this work, he shared”It’s never about having a shortage of ideas..as my late uncle once said..” Give me time and I’ll give you a revolution”.
Copywriting by Ellie Cook
Everything we eat shows up on our skin! So I recommend eating a healthy diet that consists of fresh fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. I try to stick with low sugar fruits such as kiwis and berries. Also, I chose green vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus and avocados, which are full of vitamins and antioxidants that nourish our skin. For lean proteins, I recommend wild seafood, skinless white-meat poultry and nuts. I would completely cut out bread and dairy because they have the most negative impact on our skin by causing breakouts. Avoid processed sugar because diets high in sugar may accelerate skin aging since high glycemic foods break down collagen in our skin which is so necessary for our skin to look young.
Drinking alcohol is actually one of the worst things you can do for your skin. First it dehydrates the skin and takes all the natural moisture out of it as a result your skin will appear duller with wrinkles and fine lines more noticeable. On the contrary, hydrated skin remains firm and intact, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, alcohol also lowers your antioxidant defences which makes you face less resistant to sun damage and free radicals. So alcohol will make your skin saggy, dull and puffy. Limit consumption of alcohol as much as you can.
Lack of sleep causes the stress hormone cortisol to be released which in turn creates inflammation in the skin. Increased inflammation in the skin causes breakdown of collagen and hyaluronic acid which are responsible for glowing and supple skin. Not getting enough sleep affects the moisture levels in your skin by dropping skin's pH levels so your skin is not able to produce the moisture that it needs to remain young and glowing. Finally, when you sleep your body produces melatonin which serves as an antioxidant that fights off dark spots and fine lines. Beauty sleep is both necessary and irreplaceable.
Social media has its benefits, such as staying in touch with old friends and sharing vacation experiences with your followers but it can also cause destruction, anxiety and depression because of comparison factor. Most people do not realize that someone's social media feed is not their reality and it does not portray the actual truth about a person so we have to learn to discount a lot of information that we see on social media. I actually recommend to really limiting the time we spend on social media and most certainly do not go on it first thing in the morning! Instead have a morning routine such as a work out or meditation that puts you in a productive and happy state for the rest of the day. For me, I noticed my diet has a lot to do with how I mentally feel throughout the day so I always try to make healthy choices to maintain the "feel good" on a daily basis .Train yourself to take active approach in managing your mental health rather than just hoping to feel good when you wake up. Learn what affects your mental health in a negative way and put a system in place to deal with those triggers accordingly! It does take work to maintain a healthy and positive state of mind at all times but it's worth putting in because the most important work we can do is work on ourselves!