Beyonce Brings Us to Yet Again ‘Bow Down’

Beyonce compares herself to Khaleesi…

…and Jay Z was there for everything

Image Credit: CFDA

Last week at the Council of Fashion Designers of America (C.F.D.A) awards Beyoncé received the award for fashion icon and her acceptance speech was everything!

The iconic Diane Von Furstenberg presented Beyoncé with the award, praising her ‘undeniable influence’ and commending beys recent ‘Ivy Park’, athletic line.

Beyoncé glittered in a Givenchy, pinstriped suit and delivered strong ‘Formation’ vibes in a broad brimmed hat.

Hello…. ‘I’m so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress’…. Lemonade anyone?

Replicating on her Instagram the now iconic broad brimmed head bopping scene from her formation music video.

Image Credit: Instagram

She walked the red carpet alone and delivered a speech to the fashion elite reminding them of a time when they didn’t want to dress her. Bey bringing her Mother to tears praising her hard work as a seamstress ‘My mother was rejected from every showroom in New York. But like my grandmother, she used her talent and her creativity to give her children their dreams.’.

Sharing that her uncle and Mother made by hand her costumes for Destiny’s Child and even her wedding dress. Noting that they “individually sewed hundreds of crystals and pearls, putting so much passion and love into every small detail.”

Image Credit: Instagram

Bey deeming the artisanship of fashion with the power to transform and transport. Proclaiming she “felt like Khaleesi. I had an extra suit of armour. It was so much deeper than any brand name”. Ethical clothing reaching realms beyond their superficial qualities. “Soul has no colour, no shape, no form. Just like all of your work, it goes far beyond what the eye can see. You have the power to change perception, to inspire and empower, and to show people how to embrace their complications, and see the flaws, and the true beauty and strength that’s inside all of us.”

Highlighting the power of fashion and the importance of painstaking design and artisanship.

Find the full speech below


Thank you so much, Diane, for the things you just said about me. I feel so much love and I feel so proud. As long as I can remember, fashion has been part of my life. Its effect on me actually started before I was born. Many of you guys don’t know this, but my grandmother was a seamstress. My grandparents did not have enough money, they could not afford my mother’s Catholic school tuition. So my grandmother sewed clothes for the priests and the nuns and made uniforms for the students in exchange for my mother’s education. She then passed this gift onto my mother and taught her how to sew.

Starting out in Destiny’s Child, high-end labels didn’t really want to dress four black country curvy girls, and we couldn’t afford designer dresses and couture. My mother was rejected from every showroom in New York. But like my grandmother, she used her talent and her creativity to give her children their dreams. My mother and my uncle, God rest his soul, made all of our first costumes, individually sewing hundreds of crystals and pearls, putting so much passion and love into every small detail. When I wore these clothes I felt like Khaleesi. I had an extra suit of armour. It was so much deeper than any brand name.

My mother is fabulous and beautiful and she’s here tonight. My mother, my grandmother, and my uncle are always with me so I cannot fail. My mother actually designed my wedding dress, my prom dress, my first CFDA Award dress, my first Grammy dress, and the list goes on and on. And this to me is the true power and potential of fashion. It’s a tool for finding your own identity. It transcends style, and it’s a time capsule of all of our greatest milestones. So to my mother, my grandmother, my uncle, thank y’all. Thank you for showing me that having presence is about far more than the clothes you wear and your physical beauty. Thank you for showing me how to take risks, work hard, and live life on my own terms.

I want to say thank you to every designer who works tirelessly to make people think they can write their own story. Y’all are fairy godmothers, magicians, sculptors, and sometimes even our therapists. I encourage you to not forget this power you have or to take it lightly. We have the opportunity to contribute to a society where any girl can look at a billboard or magazine cover and see her own reflection. Soul has no colour, no shape, no form. Just like all of your work, it goes far beyond what the eye can see. You have the power to change perception, to inspire and empower, and to show people how to embrace their complications, and see the flaws, and the true beauty and strength that’s inside all of us. Thank you so much for this incredible award, I’ll never forget this night. God bless you all. Thank you.”

Words by Bridget McDonnell

 

 

A Map to Modelling

Modelling. We are exposed to it every day through media, fashion and the Internet. Many young people want to try modelling or make it a career often due to the prestige attached, and dreams of the high life, parties and free clothes.

Whilst that does happen for a select few, many other models are very hard working whilst studying and working other jobs to get their break. So if you want to try modelling and don’t know how to even start, Colosoul provides some useful advice and tips!

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/bride-viewing-woman-female-young-1082239/

Ever wanted to try modelling? Sure go for it!  But remember the industry is not as easy as it sounds and it is not just smiling or posing in front of the camera. Like most industries there is often hard work and a lot of organisation behind the scenes. The first thing is to work out your look(s) and why you want to model. This will drive you forward when your motivation is low or you are not sure if you can handle the industry. If you are doing modelling purely for fame and fortune, you generally have the wrong outlook like most industries. Obviously, you can be attracted to that glamorous lifestyle, but having the motivation and hunger to achieve or live out your dreams will be a better, more fulfilling choice.

It is crucial and this will determine your path in modelling. Modelling is a lot of hard work to be successful, and you really need that passion and drive to make something of it. If you don’t know why you want to do modelling or ‘not really that into it’ it will be difficult to progress. 

The next step is building a portfolio. A portfolio is basically a collection of images to show that you can model to an agency or client. A diversity of images is often seen as the ideal portfolio to show a client or agency you are versatile and not just suitable to one sort of look. Starting from scratch can be challenging and of course you could hire many, many great professional photographers to take pictures of you for your portfolio.

This is highly recommended particularly in regards to head shots and portraits, which are often frequently requested photos and used as cover photos on modelling booking websites. So a good headshot is crucial to ensure people in the industry access and browse your portfolio, and hopefully book you too! Once you have a diverse portfolio you can approach agencies for prospective work. There is no right way to do this, but the best approach is to be persistent and confident and have an up to date diverse portfolio that captures the style of modelling you like and something you enjoy doing.

Modelling is a lot of hard work to be successful, and you really need that passion and drive to make something of it.

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/people-male-person-man-young-1229576/

This can be expensive, so if you really want to do modelling and receive paid work, some great starter shots are a worthwhile investment. An alternative if you don’t want to pay or can’t afford photographers fees, is to do trade for print or TFP. This essentially means two creative parties exchanging their skills and talent on a voluntary (not monetary) agreement. For example a common situation would be Photographer x shoots model y, capturing 200 images from the shoot. The model is new and developing their portfolio and the photographer agrees they can have the best 8 images of the shoot to distribute on their social media and other modelling websites. However often in return the photographer will watermark the photos with their brand for copyright protection and self promote the model on their website and social media as well. The model often loses creative and intellectual property of their own images.

Specialities in modelling are also another key point. If you decide you want to do fitness modelling or runway for example will determine your skill set and physique. E.g. fitness models generally need to be athletic and bulky, while runway often restricts models that are too short. The latter also need to correct walking techniques for catwalk. So the former may engage a personal trainer and exercise regularly to achieve their fitness modelling path, where as aspiring runway models should work to keep lean and perfect their modelling work.

Creativity is also very important in modelling. Even when working for a client or agency, and the brief mostly dictates your placement, the setting, costume and lighting you can still have an input. Think spontaneously for things that could work in the shoot, perhaps an old shed, or a different pose. This allows you to think for yourself and express your vision and ideas.

Photographers often appreciate a different perspective and it may result in a better image. Simply matching your dress and behaviour with the theme of the shoot is really important. So if you are doing an Alice of Wonderland spin off, you would likely dress brightly and shoot with a eccentric, gothic facial expression. Of course sometimes clients and photographers can be very specific and you should follow their directions, but a bit of improvisation shows your skills as a model and paints you as dynamic and collaborative.

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/model-fashion-glamour-girl-female-600238/

Modelling is fun, exciting, and a great form of self expression. If you have always wanted to try it, do it! There are enough types of models and different personalities and nationalities out there that there is likely a niche type of modelling for you!

Words by Simon Chitre

 

Shopping With a Conscious: Baby Peppers!

Baby Peppers
Featured Bag by Baby Peppers
Baby Peppers

In a world saturated in technology to the point of undeniable dependence, an Eco friendly, ‘Baby Peppers’, are bringing back the old school authenticity of playtime and products made with one of a kind love.

Based in Bendigo, Victoria and made (inspired) in India, Baby Peppers sole ethos is to provide ethical shopping of ‘slow’ inimitable fashion. That is fundamentally socially conscious.

Products include handwoven baskets, totes, wooden toys, cotton quilts and bedding sets. All organic items are sourced from fair trade and artisan communities, aiding in sustainable income.

Staying true to ethical fashion, Baby Peppers are notably the first Australian store to partner with Kateson, an American brand that redefines the meaning of ‘pure organics’. Kateson organic garments are hand dyed in plant botanicals and Ayurveda herbs, with coconut husks for buttons, every final detail is completely artificial/chemical free. Perfect for the curious little ones, the all-organic products quite literally make them safe enough to to eat.

One of Baby Peppers most popular items is the Multicolour Sivankan tote, salutes to the vibrant colours of India, featuring deep sea blues and the hues of a summer sun. The baskets and totes are handwoven from recycled polyethylene and ethically sourced from a world renowned fair trade organisation called Baladarshan. Helping single mums living in the slums of Chennai, India. Celebrating not only the arresting colours of Indian culture, but the empowerment of women through supporting their financial independence.

Unlike flashy toys will all the bells and whistles, Baby Peppers traditional wooden stackers, rattles and race cars encourage creativity due to their simplicity. According to Temple University developmental psychologist, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, electronic toys make your child a consumer not a creator.

Your child gets to build his or her imagination around simpler toys, they don’t command what your child does, but your child commands what they do.

Electronic toys that boast brain development not only inhibit your child’s natural problem solving abilities but the chemical compounds and production process cause great harm to human health and the environment

Baby Peppers wooden toys are friendly on the earth and on your health. Every piece is handcrafted from sustainable hale wood, lacquered in vegetable dye and coated in natural shellac. All spare parts measuring bigger than 35mm ensuring they won’t lodge into your child’s throat.

Class favourites include the retro race car, cheeky monkey bowling set and the turtle train family. Drenched in lavishly tactile qualities the turtles are coloured in complementary swirls of lemon, circling the smooth spherical domes of their shells. The cheeky monkeys also come with 6 black capped, polka dot bottomed rascals and two candy coloured bowling bowls.

The charm lying not only in their artisanship but their gloriously, glossy aesthetic – deeming them bookshelf worthy. Where a child’s mess is now a designer décor dream!

All products embody one of a kind appeal. With laborious processes of block printing, hand carving, quilting and creating natural dyes, no two pieces will ever be alike. Their appeal lies not only in their aesthetic, but their ethical production, creating a positive impact on broader communities. Every item tells an honest and ethical story.

Baby Peppers offer free shipping Australia wide plus delivery world wide.

To find out more about their products, visit www.babypeppers.com.au

Words by Bridget McDonnell

Is ‘Healthy’ the New Black?

North West (Image Source: Pintrest)
Gigi Hadid (Image Source: Pintrest)
Rihanna (Image Source: WhoWhatWear)

The gym junkie generation is here and it’s taking the runways by sporty storm!

With the rise of high end designers collaborating with the fitness apparel industry, it might be time to say goodbye to your regular gym gear. The glossy black, mesh tights and candy coloured sneakers are taking over not just our gyms but our regular street garb. The generation of healthy living where coconut cures all bring you the boom of designer ‘athleisure': Athletic wear that women of all ages can wear in non athletic setting.

“It’s a trend. People of all ages are wearing their work outwear all day now, whether it’s leggings with a longer coat and scarf, or…..with a denim jacket and some high heeled boots.” Says Soul Cycle Co founder Julie rice whose clients include Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson and Khloe Kardashian just to name a few.

Whilst this fashion trend allows us to rock our comfy work out gear without a sweat bead in sight; is an undeniable blessing, not all of us are game enough to rock the tights in a club. However one shall not fear as the baseball hat is back and it looks even better with a cocktail dress or if you’re into a bit of a North West style she was recently spotted on the streets of Beverly Hills donning hers with a $3500 fur coat. Not only will you never have to have a bad hair day again but this ‘Norm corm’ trend of reviving the baseball cap pure genius lies in the fact it doesn’t need to match, in fact it shouldn’t match. So whilst we may not be Gigi-Hadid-ready for tights and tank tops, one can still jump on the sporty fashion movement with the humble baseball hat day and night all day everyday with no sun in sight.

Leggings are the new denim – CEO of Nike, Mark Parker, proclaimed at the Women’s Innovation Summit in New York City

This couldn’t be more true as the Nike-Air Yeezy project was undeniably one of the most sought after collaborations in Pop Culture. Since leaving Nike due to creative differences, Kanye West staged an unprecedented fashion show combining the third season of his Yeezy Adidas Spring collaboration with the debut of his new album, ‘The Life of Pablo’. Showcasing a vast array of models mostly African or of a mixed race in variations of neutral bodysuits, hoodies and hooker heels. Offering a modern day all purpose uniform.

West was notably the first non-athlete to collaborate with the brand, leading the way for a plethora of celebrities, such as Kate Hudson’s ‘Fabletics’ fitness line and Rihanna for Puma, along with the good old ‘KingKylie’ [Jenner].

“Wearing high end sports clothes has become a new status symbol”, says Sally Dixon, a former fashion editor and founder of a premium sportswear company. With this rise of the fashion parlance athleisure tapping into the current wellness craze it’s now ultimately cool to be healthy. According to figures from the global summit last year the healthy living industry is now worth $3.4 trillion globally, almost three and a half times larger than the worldwide pharmaceutical company – meaning drugs are out and Qinuoa is in!  Girls rejoice trackies are no longer a sin!

Words by Bridget McDonnell

Wearable Technology

Image source: FitBit
Photography by Edgar Meritano
Image Source: Jean Baptiste Paris via Flickr

Wearable Technology – either you hate it or you love it!

It’s made significant progress in 2015, but it still has a long way to go.

Have we reached peak wearable technology? According to Mashable, wearable smartwatches still have a way to go before it can replace analogue wristwatches. Chief Industry analyst, Marcel Cohen, at the NPD group believes that even though fashion still has to catch up, 2015 was the year consumers became savvier and believers of wearable technology.

“What we’re seeing in fashion is that no one wants to get behind now that fashion technology is so hot,” Cohen said in an interview with Mashable. “You don’t want to be second in the technology world, which is why we’re seeing gimmicks more than technology”

Consumers want form, function and style when they want to spend money on an investment piece but there is little room within the wearable market, dominated by fitness trackers and smartwatches, for consumers to be able to find items that fit their needs. Smartwatches still look traditionally masculine, with smartwatches targeted at women falling within typical “gender-ascribed” marketing gimmicks. Quite simply smartwatches promise much but nothing specific.

Compared to fitness trackers, smartwatches are failing to capture the female demographic because they are simply over complicated, whereas fitness trackers (which are popular in the female demographic as well) embrace simplicity. Fitbit CEO James Park, in an interview with The Verge, explained that the most common reason for women not wanting to buy a smartwatch is that “they’re very overwhelming; they do too much.”

If smartwatches embraced simplicity and was able to enhance the wearer’s ability to express their personal identity, then smart watches might just have a shot of capturing the female market. Yet this isn’t to say that the wearable technology market is just about smartwatches and fitness trackers. Over the past few years, fashion has started to embrace wearable technology.

OMSignal, the brand behind Ralph Lauren’s PoloTech shirt, recently brought out the OMBra, which aims combines fitness tracking with sports bra.

“If you look at the wearable market since the beginning, it really started with activity trackers, and women were driving that adoption.” OMSignal co-founder and CEO Stephane Marceau said in a Forbes interview.

“Right now it’s about sport, the future is about wellness, but over time it’s about monitoring and preventing heart failure and other health issues. The future of wearable technology is about the disruption of the clothing industry, but its impact on healthcare will be even larger.”

It isn’t just sport companies embracing wearable technology, it’s also airline companies. Recently Easyjet partnered with CuteCircuit to update their uniform. CuteCircuit is internationally well-known with their fashion lines, with Katy Perry wearing CuteCircuit’s clothes in her appearance at American Idol in 2011. Using LED light patterns, or tweets scrolling across bags or mood-coloured skirts, CuteCircuit marries technology and fashion in a symbiotic manner.

Love it or hate it, the wearable technology market is growing and we’ll see leaps and bounds made over the next few years.

Words by Sophia van Gent

The Horrors of Hazelwood

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Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hazelwood_Power_Station#/media/File:Hazelwood_Power_Station_seen_from_the_air.jpg
Power Plants /Image Source: http://environmentvictoria.org.au/index.php?q=replacehazelwood
Hazelwood is not a name you associate with horror folklore, however it is the name of one of the world’s most dirtiest, polluting coal fuelled power plants in Victoria, which sadly we rely on at a state and national level for our energy production. This is a true modern day horror tale in light of climate change and the need to produce energy from cleaner and greener sources. We explore the history of Hazelwood, its environmental impacts and the recent mine fire, which caused significant problems for the Government and the local community.

The Hazelwood power station is a brown coal fuelled power station located in the Latrobe Valley in Victoria, Australia approximately 150km east of Melbourne. Opened in 1971 it is jointly owned by two large energy corporations: GDF SUEZ Australian Energy (72 per cent) and Mitsui & Co Ltd (28%). The power station is fuelled with up to 18 million tonnes of coal each year from the Hazelwood mine. (1) (2). It supplies between 20 and 25 per cent of Victoria’s energy requirements and 5.4 per cent of Australia’s energy demand.  It uses a gigantic 27 billion litres of water a year. That’s almost as much water as the whole of Melbourne uses in a month, which is a valid reflection of the poor environmental record of this plant (3).

Hazelwood was set to be shut by the Victorian Government in 2005, however the mine’s license was renewed until 2030 in what environmentalists rightly called a ‘tragic decision’, allowing access to 43 million tonnes of brown coal deposits in a realignment of Hazelwood’s mining license boundaries (1)(4). The agreement did require Hazelwood to reduce their estimated emissions by 34 million tonnes and cap its total greenhouse output at 445 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over its life. Investment in renewable energy will allow the mine to operate within its cap and extend its life (1).

Despite this agreement to improve the environmental measures of the mine the World Wide Fund for nature (WWF) states Hazelwood is one of the most polluting of all major power stations in industrialised countries. This disastrous result means Australia is directly contributing to climate change through increase greenhouse gas emissions, and increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (5).

The mine has continued polluting and damaging our environment since its opening and subsequent license renewal in 2005.  However it came to the forefront of the media and public in February 9, 2014 after a fire occurred in the Hazelwood mine resulting from embers from a nearby bushfire. It burnt for 45 consecutive days sending heavy smoke and ash over surrounding towns in the Latrobe Valley, mainly the township of Morwell with a population of approximately 14,000 (6).  An increased in deaths was reported across the Latrobe Valley during and after the fire with many residents also suffering health concerns with complaints of sore eyes, respiration and breathing problem and headaches.

‘…Hazelwood is one of the most polluting of all major power stations in industrialised countries. This disastrous result means Australia is directly contributing to climate change through increase greenhouse gas emissions, and increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere’

An enquiry was launched by the Victorian Government to determine the cause, impacts and recommendations of the fire to prevent such a tragedy occurring again (7). The enquiry has determined there was high chance the mine fire contributed to the increase in deaths and health problems suffered by residents (8).Whilst the cause of the mine fire was due to a nearby bushfire’s embers spreading to the open cut coal mine, the issue is that due to the abundance of coal stores this resulted in the formation of very hazardous smoke and ash adversely effecting residents. Had Hazelwood been a clean energy plant and the same bushfire had fronted the plant, it is likely the damage to the environment and people’s health would have been far less severe.  Sadly, not willing to admit corporate responsibility GDF Mine owner GDF Suez highlighted two words in the enquiry’s report — no “absolute proof” (concerning the link between the fire and the adverse health residents of the Latrobe Valley residents) (9).

Whilst Australia still cannot decide on an emissions trading or carbon capture scheme and the environmental concerns Australia facing seems to be off the political and public agenda for the moment, it sadly appears this heavily polluting plant will retain its license. The government is reluctant to close the plant due to the easily accessed mass reserves of coal for hundreds of years and our reliance on it as an energy source both within Victoria and Australia, as we correctly do obtain a majority of our energy from Hazelwood. And despite too of course the recent public health crisis resulting from the mine fire.

So of course to shut it down means we have to replace it with something else right? Many environmental groups advocate how Hazelwood can be transitioned into a clean, green energy production site. Environment Victoria states within two years using a combination of renewable energy, energy efficiency and as a transition gas and fuel we can cut greenhouse gases, create new jobs and shut Hazelwood (3). Many other organisations also support this transition including Alternative Technology Association, Environment Victoria, Friends of the Earth, Moreland Energy Foundation Ltd, Victorian Climate Action Centre and Yarra Climate Action Network (10).

Shutting Hazelwood ultimately makes so much sense from an environmental, economic, social and ethical perspective. It is abhorrent we are operating one of the most polluting power plant in the world in Australia while the rest of the world transitions to greener and cleaner energy. We must keep pressuring and rallying the government to close this antiquated giant and move our energy sources into the progressive 21st century.   

Words by Simon Chitre