Life Detox / Update

Once again, I’ve neglected my blog. To be honest, lately I’ve been on a bit of conquest trying to be a little more spiritual and health-focused (aka. get my shit together). In fact, if I think about my blog – I think fashun, what I want to buy right now, models and more fashion etc etc. It is actually tiring and pretty much depressing to think about – especially when I’m currently on a strict shopping ban. I apologise to myself for neglecting the responsibility to my blog. But from now on, I will focus on other things too. Life isn’t about fashion. As much as I am a genuine, avid lover of beautiful clothes, I don’t want to be consumed by what I love… which is what happens to most people.

Right now, I’m about to be working two jobs – which the workaholic in me is so, so thrilled about! I’ve also kinda pledged to some non-existent allegiance on living out a simpler life. Less chemicals, less “TREND, TREND, TREND” and simply less drama. I’ve made a pact with myself to be responsible for my own happiness and not let anything I love consume me to an overwhelming point. Shit, I sound like a self-help book. But I swear I’m still normal (cool).

1. Right now, I’m all about organic beauty products. I’ve been using incredible products that do not have harsh chemicals and my skin has dramatically improved!! I’m a believer.

2. I still love clothes, don’t get me wrong. But I’m trying to stick with classic, albeit expensive, pieces that I know I will treasure and use forever. I’m selling like 80% of my wardrobe because I simply don’t use them enough – and I could really do with the cash. I still have typical shopper-girl wants though. I just try to ignore it for the meantime, until I get my finances sorted.

3. I have a stronger awareness of my sense of self, and have become a lot more relaxed in showcasing my identity to the world. I’m me. Take it or leave it. For some reason, I’ve been avoiding the showy/ flashy social media scene. I am kinda embarrassed in showing off an awesome new purchase. I’ve been putting my attention towards people these days, and when you take yourself out of the social competition, you’re just happier🙂

4. Nature vs. Artifice = NATURE. This is my new little saying that I learnt in Florence, ironically when I was studying fashion. In everything I do and love, nature will come first and foremost because it is the root of all we’re doing and who we are. Artifice is secondary and complementary.

Okay, hippie Janina is out x

Trend Watch: Day-to-Night (Natalie Wear)

Natalie Wear Outfit Post
I’m so excited to be part of Natalie Wear‘s upcoming blog! In case you didn’t know, Natalie Wear is a Brisbane-based online boutique featuring exclusive pieces from young and emerging designers all around the world. The blog hasn’t launched yet, but it will be soon! For now, here’s a sneak-peak outfit post showing you how you can wear this outfit in different ways. For more information Natalie Wear, simply click here.

How to Avoid Online Shopping… Temporarily

With a desire to procrastinate, a lack of funds and my (currently) unlimited Internet data… I’ve decided to make a personal post involving my favourites in the fashion world, in hopes to stimulate some sort of energy into my derp-mode and solve my what-to-do issue at the moment. Below are my ‘lists’ in no particular order. I’m creepily obsessed with lists. Maybe next time, I’ll explain my love for each label in depth.

TOP 10 LUXURY BRANDS:
1. Chloe
2. Celine
3. Kenzo
4. Saint Laurent Paris
5. Balmain
6. Alexander McQueen
7. Givenchy
8. Prada
9. Mulberry
10. Acne

TOP 10 AUSSIE LABELS:
1. Lover
2. Cameo the Label
3. Viktoria & Woods
4. Tony Bianco
5. Maurie & Eve
6. Alice McCall
7. Shakuhachi
8. Bec & Bridge
9. C&M/ Camilla and Marc
10. May the Label
11. Willow (Yes, I added an eleventh because I couldn’t give up Willow!!)

TOP 10 RETAIL BRANDS:
1. Zara
2. Topshop
3. Country Road
4. Witchery
5. Forever New
6. J. Crew
7. Marcs
8. SABA
9. Kookaï
10. Sportsgirl

My Florentine Love Affair

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I’ve been back in Adelaide for just over a month now, but I already find myself reminiscing about my month-long love affair with Florence. I’m going to be brutally honest here… I initially expected something more out of Florence. I assumed there was going to be more things to do for an average tourist like me. But I found it quite quaint and simple. I now realise that I was expecting some sort of epic grandeur you’d typically see in Rome. Either way, I didn’t truly develop a sense of appreciation for Florence until sometime just before my departure. And now you don’t even realise how much I miss it!

It’s amazing how much you learn about a city in a month. Some may say that’s not even enough time to get a feel for ‘local life’, but I genuinely feel like I know the city well enough (though I’m sure there’s more to discover). As a clueless tourist roaming around Europe, I already knew I had absolutely no sense of direction. But living in Florence forced it out of me and I honestly found it quite simple… I could walk around the entire city and I’d never feel entirely lost. In the end, I became so confident with directions, I’m sure I knew it better than here in my own hometown… of 21 years!

One of my expectations going overseas to study in Italy was the amount of shopping opportunities I would be able to have. I was slightly disappointed with the shopping in Florence. I learnt early on in my studies that there was no huge shopping centres that I could go to. At one point, I came across some Melbourne students asking locals for any shopping centres. I had to break their hearts. Though in the end, I didn’t mind this at all. It reminds me that I’m in Italy and not in some sort of Westernised civilisation where shopping centres dominate society. It’s refreshing.

Honestly, what I miss the most about Florence are all the tiny little things… Simply walking around the city at night, past the picturesque River Arno and across the Ponte Vecchio Bridge makes me feel somewhat liberated and relaxed. I miss the excitement of finding a really good gelati hotspot and spotting cheeky Florentine signs. I miss the livelihood of the city, even during the night. I miss seeing the Duomo almost everyday! I miss the warm hospitality of the many Italians I’ve came in contact with. Perhaps, I’m biased because I genuinely feel so familiar with Florence, I miss the familiarity of it all. I never thought I’d grow to love Florence after my initial expectations were let down, but I now know that I’ll definitely be back. Florence, I miss you!

Trend Watch: Winter Chic

Winter Chic

I’m back on it! One of my favourite things to do for my blog is to make outfit collages courtesy of Polyvore. It’s safe to say I’ve only just settled into the Australian winter, after experiencing blazing Italian heat. I only wish I had more coats and boots! Here is what I would wear provided I had the money and the time to shop for such items. I’m obsessed with Karen Walker eyewear and I’ve been craving a pair of simple and clean leather boots at the moment. Sigh. There’s no point since Autumn is coming up! I’m still obsessed with the black-and-gold trend which is evident through the watch and Michael Kors bag. Boyfriend jeans are big at the moment and I love the way it creates a relaxed look. And of course, nothing ever gets past a basic white tee. Love!

Polimoda Summer Course 2013 Review

My time at Polimoda was short but sweet. After saying my final goodbyes to all the amazing people I got to meet during my Europe tour, I flew straight from Paris to Florence to start a Fashion Writing summer course. It’s safe to say I didn’t even get a chance to recover from the party atmosphere of my tour and was instantly thrust into study-mode.

Before deciding to take up a summer course across the world, I noticed that I could not find a genuine and decent review of the Polimoda summer courses and the amenities that the school offered. Here is a review for those hoping to find more information on the school and hopefully it helps you decide on whether you wish to take up a summer course in Florence, Italy.

Administrative support: While the admin staff are friendly and welcoming, I felt that they were slightly unorganised and unhelpful when it came to personalised issues. It took a while for them to confirm any sort of timetable for me and I wasn’t told of the orientation day until it was a week or two before the scheduled start of my course. Being an international student coming from Australia, I needed to be organised and well-prepared. I ended up missing this orientation day due to my scheduled tour and planned flights that I’ve already committed to. I feel that they needed to be a bit more considerate to the needs of international students who needed information at least a month beforehand. When receiving the first information on computer log-ins and other matters, some people missed certain papers in their booklets. I’ve also heard a few other stories about issues with printing and the lack of help available from the staff. Verdict: 4/10

Teaching staff: I would have to say the teaching staff at Polimoda is well-rounded. Two teachers stood out to me as incredibly passionate, knowledgeable and, to my surprise, inspiring! Of course, there is the odd teacher that does not actually have a fashion-based background but can still teach us what needs to be taught (i.e. fashion communication). Verdict: 8/10

Course content: Most of the courses had about 5 subjects for each. In these subjects, you will meet other students from different summer courses. For the Fashion Writing summer course, we had the following subjects: Sociology of the Imaginary, Fashion Writing, Fashion Communication, Art Directing and Aesthetics. I could write an entire individual review for each of these subjects but really, the only subject I truly enjoyed was Aesthetics. It was a creativity-driven course that inspired you to draw unrelated connections to fashion. Fashion Writing, the course that was obviously the most important subject, helped me to understand how successful fashion writers should operate. Overall, the courses provided a glimpse into the world of fashion from different areas and perspectives. However, it should be noted that since it is a summer course, the teachers will not invest in you the way they do with their Masters’ students. There is no course outline given at the start of the month and everything is done in a freelance manner. Verdict: 7/10

Amenities: You were given a username, along with a personalised wi-fi code and you could access the printers and computers at the school. There is also a resourceful library that was big enough to discover everything and not small enough to limit you. I adored this library because of the amount of interesting books it stored! It was quite possibly the only library I could never be bored in. We were given what we needed and I’m content with that. Verdict: 8/10

And there you have it. Hopefully this helps others out there to decide whether Polimoda is right for them. Polimoda is a highly reputable fashion school, particularly in Europe. You’re also able to network with people around the world who are already in the industry in some way. After this, I am considering a masters’ course in the far future related to styling. These courses only run for about 6-9 months, so it’s really not a huge time commitment. Fashion Writing was an eye-opening course and I’m glad I got the free time to explore Florence a little bit more!