Archive | 2011

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Bird of Paradise Dress

A little something for the party season!

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Rectum. I mean, Aquum.

Apparently we can no longer go to the pub for a few drinks and be content with going home straight after. The last bell goes and you’re left with that bitter taste of jaeger in your mouth after downing two, three, maybe four, shots in a row before the clock strikes 11. The last bell goes and all you can think about is that it’s too early to go back to reality and sobriety. It’s as if it were nearing the end of time and you needed to be heavily sedated, in a comfortable boozy state of mind to spend the rest of eternity in limbo.

It would probably be sensible to make a quick escape at this point, less money spent, less likelihood of liver failure and the chances are that you’ll manage to get enough sleep to feel relatively fresh in the morning. Problem is, though, that you’re way past the threshold; the tiny you on your left shoulder is being so much more persuasive than a couple of hours ago and keeps egging you on to “have another one” and telling you that “you only live once”, until it’s all you can hear and there’s no turning back. You are now on a mission to get wasted, maybe have a little dance, and probably hook up with someone, which you may regret the next day.

But where to go? The Surrey suburbs don’t really cater for a 20-something’s urge to party. Any place worth going means expensive cab rides and, to be honest, it’s usually way too much hassle because it means leaving the two mile radius around us, which includes our local pub and most of our homes – this is a sort of self-imposed rule that me and my friends tend to follow. Then about a year ago, a place called Aquum opened on Esher high street (within the radius). Word got around, people started going there and getting frisky, and now it’s a prime destination for some after-hours banter.

Sounds pretty cool, right?

Wrong. It’s the most heinous place in the world – or at least in the two mile radius. I don’t really know what possess us to go. The reasons stated above really don’t seem like enough. It’s about the size of a shoe box with tacky all-white décor, rude bar tenders and shit music. Because of its absolutely ridiculous size, the capacity is of about 50 people, so if you get there after 11 on a Friday, chances are you won’t be let in, which in itself defeats the purpose of an after-pub activity. You probably have to skip the pub all together if you want to go.

Walking through the doors of that place you get struck by that stale sweat smell that comes courtesy of all the over excited creepers trying to grind on anything with a vagina. The blue and purple bulbs make for some pretty unflattering lighting, which is probably why the girls are way too over-dressed and heavily coated in makeup and towering in 7-inch heels. As a girl, I love putting my good dress and my face on, but there is a time and a place, and it is not Aquum on Esher high street on a Thursday night. There are bottles of Dom flying around with sparklers. Drinks don’t need sparklers; if you really want some sort of glass wear adornment, get a little umbrella. All you can think of as you sip your drink is, who the fuck hired this DJ? You start getting a little pissed off that you even bothered to come, but as the shots keep coming round, so do you.

The absolute worst thing about this god-forsaken place is that you succumb to it, to the dark side. Before you know it, you’re tapping your foot to a JLS song and as if by magic you know all the fucking lyrics which come to you like word vomit. Shortly after you’re backing your ass up on some cutie in the corner or alternatively dancing on the couches, which you know are meant for sitting, but you’re such a rebel at this point that you just don’t care. Then you shimmy to the bar and you’re ordering a bottle of champagne. Why? Why get a bottle of champagne when you’re on the doll, unemployed and living at home with the rents?

Only in Aquum.

Written by: Nicole McLennan

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Ben Charles Edwards: King of the Dark Arts

There is a lot left to the imagination when you watch one of Ben Charles Edwards’ short films, just as when you admire his photographs. His work is so wicked and deliciously macabre, filled with creative genius and valid social commentary. Nicole (my partner in crime) and I Googled him when a friend of ours mentioned he’d be up for doing an interview and immediately we wanted to know more. Who was this guy? Why was he making shorts about banished pig boys with an insatiable fetish for high heels? And why do all his pictures depict the wrath of mankind with satirical overtones and over saturated colours? Everything he creates is full of drama, of morbid hilariousness, and I really couldn’t imagine what he would be like in person. But I really couldn’t wait to find out.

After trekking it from work, I finally made it to Old Street tube station in Shoreditch, and I found myself thinking about this hub of artistic and talented people that populate this side of London, and how appropriate of a backdrop it is to meet this Ben character. Running up the stairs to Bens flat, I was devastated that my other wing (Nicole) was missing. A little sweaty and out of breath from the long walk/jog, I give a little knock on the door. Expecting to see just Ben and our old friend Burns, who initially introduced us to him, I was surprised when I walked in to find quite a few other bodies there. I was slightly taken aback and a little wary of the video camera in my hands, I half expected a few eye-rolls or awkward looks but I felt none of that.  They were all so welcoming and friendly, I felt very much at home.Feeling like I’d stepped into Andy Warhol’s studio from the 70’s, with a larger-than-life artist surrounded by inspiring muses, I was fascinated by the creative buzz in there. There was a big projector screen in the living room used for spontaneous screenings and slide shows; some of Ben’s paintings and crazy objects hung from the walls.  Ben graciously glided across the room and introduced himself to me, poured me a gin and tonic and sat a few of us down for a screening of his newest creation ‘Animal Charm’.

Ben began his career as a nightlife and celebrity photographer in London and L.A. After a living in California for a while, he decided to jump back across the pond to his hometown of Woking in Surrey – quite the contrast. The glam and glitz of the Hollywood hills is scarce, or pretty much non-existent, in the dull and dreary Woking town centre. Beautiful people and gorgeous weather were no longer in the agenda. “I love Woking”, he says. “It’s wonderful for what it is but there’s a lot of women in velour tracksuits and worn out trainers.”

It was here that he met the fat girl who would inspire his short film ‘The Town that Boars Me’.  People watching, sitting on a bench in Woking, Ben suddenly saw this huge, 20 stone woman bounce past him in a pink tracksuit.  I guess he must have been staring a little too much because she turned around and yelled in that comical cockney accent, “What you looking at? You want a photograph?”  Well yes, that’s exactly what Ben wanted and exactly what he got!  Still good friends today, Ben took masses of inspiration from the fat girl in pink.  “I didn’t even know I wanted to make film, I was quite happy taking silly pictures.” But before he knew it he had met this girl, got inspired by the picture he took of her, and thought, “I need to see you in motion!” And thus he made the transition into filmmaking. The stills were no longer enough, and he co-wrote and directed his first creation in 2008.


Asking Ben where he gets his inspiration from brought out a series of hilarious and fascinating comments.  He started by saying he didn’t really know the origins of his ideas, and that’s a fair answer because it is quite an unconscious thing when you’re inspired by something.  “As a child, I liked things like ‘The Hilarious House of Frightenstein’,” he reminisces. “I have these memories of ghoulish people and things in the shadows.”  He takes a lot of inspiration from his surroundings, the people he hangs around with and the things that he likes, especially music. Ben also has his fair share of small obsessions; it could be an image, a feeling or a particular line in a song.  “There’s a Paul Simon song called ‘Call Me Al’ and I was obsessed with it for maybe 2 years, I couldn’t get it out of my head. I get these obsessions with things, this one got so bad I decorated the lyrics down the whole stairwell of the house.  I painted over it cause people assumed it was a bit strange!” Strange? Perhaps. But that’s one of the coolest things about Ben. He carries through with whatever is on his mind, as if he needs to see it take shape and form into something that is tangible and visible. A true artist.

Ben has an uncanny ability to look at everyday moments and transform them into something larger than life.  He takes simple ideas that you wouldn’t necessarily think twice about and turns them around to mean something profound. For his most recent project, Ben has made a series of short films for the Balenciaga museum in Spain, one of which is called ‘Appetite’ featuring Princess Julia.  The moment that sparked his inspiration for this film was when he saw a dirty old man in a café gorging on a plate of greasy sausages and bacon.  Any of us would probably just have winced and turned away, but Ben turned this moment into something creative.  He juxtaposed the situation by filming a beautiful blonde woman in a gorgeous ball gown going to town on a plate of sausages and bacon in front of her, eating them, rubbing them over her body, seemingly enjoying it.  Ben likes to create these contrasts verging on the ridiculous. He likes to push that boundary to make people think.  This short film, ‘Appetite’, he explains, came from a mere “..interesting thought.. just a moment” but he has managed to turn it into a piece of art that makes the audience question notions of beauty and stereotypes.

One of Ben’s muses is Al Joshua, who just so happens to be his flat mate and close friend. Al does a lot of Ben’s music but is also a musician in his own right.  He is the lead singer and guitarist of the band Orphans & Vandals.  Ben describes Al’s music as “somewhere between Tom Waits and Bob Dylan”, and he’s not wrong.  On the recurring topic of the evening, inspiration, Al says, “you have to be like a magpie, anything shiny that catches your interest you have to pick up on, its all about chance and instinct.” A little more reserved than Ben, they compliment each other perfectly.  They have big plans to do some collaboration and are in the process of writing a synopsis for a feature film called “Set the Thames on Fire.”

Regardless of my prodding, sadly they didn’t want to divulge any information about the feature.  I can say, however, that we can expect more of Ben’s signature visual style, but apparently the stories won’t be as crazy as his previous films.  Less pigs raping prostitutes and fashion designers killing their competitors and making coats out of their skin.  “It’s fun for a short and it’s fun while your young because you get away with that nonsense, but sooner or later I’m going to have to make something that people want to pay attention to.”  Well if all this has just been him having fun, imagine what he can be capable of in the future.

Ben talks about his work very passionately and you can really see that he loves what he does.  What strikes me the most about Ben, though, is his personality; he is so captivating that it really makes you want to know more.  He’s very at ease with himself, very confident.  I asked him how he would describe his work in three words and half joking, half not he came out with, “very, very, good!”  Obviously he laughed it off afterwards but maintained that, well why would he waste all his time doing it if he didn’t like it?  If he saw his work somewhere else he’d think, “fucking hell, that’s good!”  And he is exactly right, if you don’t like your own work, why bother?

Ben’s personality, as well as his talent, has gotten him to where he is today.  He has gotten so far and knows so many influential people that want to work with him because he is so charismatic and infectious. It’s an exciting prospect to see what he will come up with next, and Little Wing will most definitely be keeping an eye on this guy because he is set for a meteoric rise.

Written and Filmed by: Hana Difrawy
Photography by: Chris James Edwards (iiinside.com)

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Truly Unbelievable 3D Pavement Drawings

The Personal Thoughts of Hana Difrawy...

On a daily basis, I am on the lookout for things that inspire me; a lot of things catch my eye.  People never fail to be the ones that impress me, whether they are musicians, artists or just fabulous characters; extraordinary things really make me smile.

It is slightly rare though that I am as taken aback as I was when I witnessed Julian Beever’s work for the first time.  This artist has truly taken chalk drawings on the pavement to a whole new level, and that level is 3D.

I mean we all ventured into a little bit of pavement art when we were young, hop-scotch, the odd bumble bee drawing and all that jazz, but I never would of thought of making it into a career; clearly I should of.  I would love to witness one of his drawings in person and get one of those cool pictures interacting with the drawing.

As you can see, there are all different types of drawings that he does, from coke bottles and laptops that appear to be popping up out of the ground to full on scenes that look as if the pavement has fallen in to reveal a terrific fantasy world below, a world which would be perhaps much more exciting than what's above ground in our reality.

Complete awe is what I feel when I see Beever’s new 3D creations, at first I simply couldn’t fathom them in reality, but he has made a believer out of me, a believer that geniuses do exist!  Julian Beever, you are quite the genius, you have left me quite speechless.  I would relish the opportunity to meet this man and discover what goes on in that brain of his for him to produce such masterpieces.

He has managed to gain almost 9000 likes on facebook and everyone seems to be talking about him, globally!

This is one guy that Little Wing will continue to follow, I don’t think I could ever get tired of his 3D pavement drawings, it is just such a spectacular idea and he executes each of his masterpieces with such class.

Follow this link to discover more of his work

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A Balinese Photo Diary

The Ngrupuk Festival

The island of Bali is nestled in the largest Islamic state in the world, Indonesia. However, it differs from the rest of the country in that approximately 92% of the Balinese population are Hindu. Ceremonial life in Bali revolves around ritual and artistic creation.

 

 

 

 

One of the most important fixtures on the Balinese calendar is Nyepi, the day of silence. On the eve of Nyepi, the Balinese streets are transformed into a visual spectacle with the Ngrupuk parade. Balinese belief works within a dichotomy of positive and negative forces. The Ngrupuk parade is performed to ward off negative influences and create an equilibrium between the positive and negative forces in life.

 

 

 

 

Balinese Hindus make Ogoh-Ogohs, beautifully constructed statues made from bamboo and paper-mache. The Ogoh-Ogoh embody negative energy, a manifestation of evil and darkness. The main purpose of making the Ogoh-Ogoh is to purify our environment of any spiritual pollutants. They are paraded on a convoy, taunted and reviled, then finally burnt in a symbolic act of purification. My experience of the Ngrupuk ritual was in a small fishing village in the North East of Bali, called Tulamben.

 

 

 

 

Lying in the shadow of the menacing volcano Mt Agung, Tulamben is a popular scuba diving location. It benefits from the rich waters of the Bali Sea, boasting a world famous wreck in the USAT Liberty and is abound with marine life. The area surrounding Tulamben offers incredible natural beauty and breathtaking sights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life in Tulamben revolves around scuba diving with most locals involved in the industry in some respect, working within a co-operative. Hinduism and ceremonial life play a big role in the village. On the eve of Nyepi, on a hot, humid day in Tulamben, the Ogoh-Ogoh were led through the village on bamboo stilts in a procession of the young and old. At the front of the procession, children carrying wooden torches led the way through the village.

 

 

 

 

Surrounding the Ogoh-Ogoh, song and dance created a frenzied ritualistic display. The beating of drums and various percussion instruments gave the parade a unique soundtrack. The animation and passion involved in this parade belied its modest size and scale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throughout Bali such parades can involve thousands of people and huge collections of Ogoh-Ogoh statues. Tulamben's parade, whilst modest, was undoubtedly impressive. The energy on display during the parade was captivating. Although the festival has a significant spiritual importance for the locals it was far from exclusive, the smattering of tourists were welcomed and encouraged to be part of proceedings.

 

 

 

 

 

Me and a few friends from our dive centre, ''Dive Concepts’’, followed the procession and our initial trepidation of being uninvited voyeurs was soon forgotten. We got lost in the crowd, dodging children hurling water missiles and swinging wooden torches on fire.

 

 

 

 

 

The atmosphere was frantic, at one point a Westerner handing out sweets was mobbed by a group of children like a swarm of bees, leaving her disorientated and sweet-free in seconds. Moments later, one child accidentally set another alight with his torch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thankfully, those around him weren't too distracted by their sugary bounty and soon extinguished the flames. These events typified this adrenaline-fuelled occasion. Madness and exuberance in equal measure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My lasting memory of the Ngrupuk festival was the positivity and happiness of the people there. I remained in Tulamben for a few months after the event and became good friends with some of the locals. I can attest to the stereotype that the Balinese emanate positivity.

 

 

 

 

 

Life here moves at a contented snail's pace. The Balinese ethos of ''a need to protect oneself and one's health by surrounding oneself with happiness and harmony'', may sound like an idealistic, rose-tinted view on life, but hey, personally, I've always suited pink Aviators.

 

 

 

 

 


Spot me on the left amongst the madness..

I wasn't lying about the Aviators.

 

Written and Photographed by: Jake Chard

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DJ Hedegaard remix — Smoke Weed Everyday

The Personal Thoughts of Hana Difrawy...

I've always had a place in my heart for the legend that is Snoop Dogg, I mean I use his language daily fo sheezey weezey and Dr. Dre has to be one of the most legit people in the Hip Hop business today.  When "The Next Episode" was originally released as a collaboration between Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, it was one of those songs that you listen to until you kill it, memorising every word along the way.. I did that.


I would hear the song every once in a while in club or at the pub and still know all of the lyrics, choosing only appropriate times to preform them of course.  And THEN, I was at our local pub last weekend for the usual SNR (Sunday Night at the Runner), when "The Next Episode" made an appearance through the speakers from someones i-pod, but oh no, this was no normal version of the song.  Suddenly a bit of sexy reggaeton was remixed into the groove, it caught me by surprise and definitely got me on my feet within less than 3 seconds.. that's pretty quick.. I was impressed.

I grabbed the owner of the i-pod and demanded to know how and where I could get it, so I did.  And here I present to you, the brilliant remix of "The Next Episode" by DJ Rasmus Hedegaard!!!  Look out for this geezer, he is a fabulous DJ and knows exactly how to work those decks to get you dancing and shaking everything you've got, check him out at: rasmushedegaard.com

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Metronomy: True Contenders

Last year we saw Metronomy rise to the occasion. Their world-wide English Riviera Tour was a complete success, proving to be top contenders in the music scene and towering above the melting pot of generic, boring and predictable alternative/electropop stuff out there. Little Wing was lucky enough to witness their very last show, the grand finale of the tour, at the Royal Albert Hall. We were mesmerized, to say the least, and thought that this is most definitely a band worth writing about.So, on a warm autumn evening in early October, Hana and I rocked up an hour late (as per usual), power-walking through the tunnel at High Street Kensington tube station, which by the way always seems like the longest tunnel in the history of tunnels. As we briskly walk up the stairs onto the street, Hana lights a cig and I pop a pill (Cold&Flu All in One – I had a terrible case of tonsillitis) and we leg it to the Albert.

To be completely honest with you, neither of us were die-hard Metronomy fans at this point. I’d heard of them about a year ago through my friend Lien, who actually bought the tickets but sadly couldn’t make it, and Hana had heard of them…24 hours prior to the actual gig. Needless to say, we were excited to be at a concert because we were in dire need of some live music for our ears, but we didn’t really know what the hell to expect. The result was a more than pleasant surprise –Metronomy is composed of four hugely talented musicians with a whole lot of stage swagger.

We caught one of the opening acts after getting a few bevvies in at the bar; an awesome foursome based in East London called Django Django. It’s a little difficult to really describe what they are all about. Not really electro-dance and not quite punk-funk, this band is definitely different and one to watch out for. They had a cool vibe, mixing live instruments with recorded electronic sounds, but you really have to listen to them yourselves to gather some sort of conclusion about their bizarre, yet oddly captivating soundscape. They definitely got us going, though!

After a short interval, and another whiskey and coke, it was time for Metronomy – that is of course after a rather unusual, muffled and far too long, introduction by a recorder quartet. They opened up with the title track to their third album, The English Riviera, and a brilliant mix of old (from their second LP, Nights Out) and new followed suit. It was a strange setting for a band that usually propels their listeners into a dancing frenzy, and the angst was palpable as spectators sat with their hands on their knees, edging off their chairs bit by bit to drummer Anna Prior’s pounding beats. Soon enough, producer and front man Joe Mount, with the help of super talented Oscar Cash on the keyboard and effortlessly cool Gbenga Adelekan on the bass, fired up the hall with Holiday and The Bay. People were buzzing, propping up from their seats bopping on the spot or rushing as far front as the ushers allowed.

About half an hour in came out favourite bit, when they played The Look. Not only was it one of the favourites, but Mr Cash got wheeled on stage in a movable keyboard contraption, playing that unmistakable tune. It was visual and audible perfection!

And so, midst a pumped up (mostly hipster) crowd, there we were, witnessing a sell-out, stellar performance that will stay with us forever. The lighting was also immense; it sucked you into the powerful synth of Metronomy’s music. It’s clear that these four are going places; it was hard not to be impressed. If you haven’t been to one of their gigs, go! I seriously recommend them.

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A Lesson of Expression Inspired by the Great Lady GaGa

The Personal Thoughts of Hana Difrawy...

 Well, there have certainly been been mixed views about Lady GaGa ever since she started to become widely known, I personally believe this is because people just don’t know how to read her!  I certainly don’t understand a lot of the things that she does, but I do know that I find her extremely creative and intriguing.
I have chosen to showcase Lady GaGa as a particular musing for us because she encompasses a lot of what Little Wing is about.  Lady Gaga is an outrageous fashion icon, a misunderstood (at times) artist and an amazing musical talent, someone who is not afraid to experiment and break boundaries… really break boundaries!I love the fact that she is so random and confident with what she does.  She expresses herself in so many ways, through fashion, music and stage design.  GaGa is not alone however, she has a crazy creative team behind her, known as the ‘Haus of GaGa’, they are a group of artists and designers who help to come up with some of GaGa’s famous creations.  Although she has all of these creative people to help her, when it comes to the performance or the public appearance, GaGa is the one showcase the work of these artists and herself, she is the only one there to take either the praise or take the slaughter!

In my opinion, GaGa is an inspiration because of her confidence and her creative expression.  Most of us would say that we do express ourselves through our clothes, music choice, even the way we walk, talk and carry ourselves.  It can be said however, a lot of us are much too safe with our choices.  If everyone had a little bit more of GaGa’s fearlessness in them, I believe the world would be a much more creative, interesting and forgive me for bieng so blunt.. FUN place to live in.

I put it to everyone reading, try and overstep your boundaries of expression just one step further and see where it takes you, it may just give us all the extra boost of confidence to jazz up our current selves!

Check out some of the Haus of GaGa's amazing creations at: www.haus-of-gaga.com


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Q&A: College Fashionista’s Amy Levin

Six years ago, circa 2006, people armed with just a computer, an internet connection and plenty of ideas began to partake in the fashion blogging phenomenon. Thousands of personal on-line logs were kept, updated on a daily basis, adorned with pictures, filled with confessions and thoughts. Bloggers gained a cult following almost immediately, as they provided the ever-growing cyber audience with a nice alternative to the mainstream media. Many of these blogs have grown to become businesses or helped the bloggers themselves make a name for themselves. Amy Levin was one to capitalize on the so-called "blogging revolution." As the founder and editor of CollegeFashionista, a site dedicated to cataloguing college/university fashion all around the world, she has taken fashion blogging to another level. She is one heck of a lady; an entrepreneur of the highest calibre. Little Wing caught up with her to ask her a few questions...

Hi Amy! Thanks so much for talking to us! So first off, how did College Fashionista begin?

CollegeFashionista started as a personal blog of mine during my senior year at Indiana University. After several internships in various sectors of the fashion industry, I felt I was most passionate and excited about photography and writing. I decided to channel those interests into a personal blog at my university. One thing led to the next and after picking up momentum by friends reading my blog I decided to expand this hobby into an actual company. When I graduated in May 2009 I spent the entire summer planning for our August launch of CollegeFashionista. I brought on investors to help start my idea, build a website and all the other elements that go into a company. In August 2009 CollegeFashionista launched at 5 schools. We are now at over 200 schools worldwide.

Why was London your big inspiration?

As a child I travelled immensely and had been to London several times but it was during my Junior [second] year when I actually lived in London that I became extremely inspired by this city. The way people dressed on the streets is what really caught my eye and I often found myself taking inspiration from looks worn by my peers at uni or on the streets for my own wardrobe. It was from this experience that I decided I wanted to document the college demographic. College is such an interesting time in our lives because it’s the first time most people are away from home and really figuring out who they are. A lot of this comes through in your wardrobe and I felt it necessary to showcase this to the world. Hence CollegeFashionista. I still hold a very soft spot for London and always go there to get re-inspired.

Did you always want a career in fashion?

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love fashion or want to pursue a career in it. I wasn’t sure what sector of the industry I was going to be involved in but I always knew I would end up in the fashion world.

How much did the blogosphere facilitate your career?

My entire company and brand is web based so without the blogosphere CollegeFashionista would absolutely not exist. I also started CollegeFashionista as the blogging world was beginning to explode which always plays a key factor in the success of my site. Now the market is very saturated and to start something new takes a lot of innovation, but it’s definitely still doable.


Do you think that blogs are important to have if you want to be seen/heard in the fashion business?

Absolutely. Social media is such an important part of creating a brand whether your brand is online or not. It’s the best way for a brand to communicate with its consumers and to get feedback immediately. I don’t think social media or the new way of media is going anywhere so for a brand to fall behind on this is putting that brand at risk of missing out.

How has CollegeFashionista made an impact on the fashion scene?

CollegeFashionista shows real fashion worn by real people. It allows college students to see what their peers are wearing all around the world and to take tips and advice from this demographic for their own personal wardrobe. Often fashion can be very intimidating and I believe CollegeFashionista shows the more realistic, obtainable side of fashion and how real bodies are wearing clothing.

Many people seem to think that blogging has broken down the barrier to the seemingly impenetrable industry that is fashion. Do you think that with what you are doing you have contributed to this?

I think like any industry, fashion is competitive and difficult to break into. I do think blogging has taken away a lot of that behind the scenes glitz and glamour we all use to dream about. Now people can see exactly what happens in Vogue’s offices through editor Twitter handles, reality TV shows, Tumblr, and other platforms like these. I don’t think that it’s “easy” to get into the industry now I just think people are more aware of the various sectors of the industry and what jobs really do exist. This industry is still beyond competitive and will only allow for those who are driven, dedicated and talented to survive.

Do you think that the ‘social order’ of fashion reportage is changing due to influential young bloggers, like yourself?

I think bloggers in a sense are the celebrities of our generation. It’s very surreal to see bloggers like Bryan Boy sitting alongside Beyonce at Fashion Week. It’s encouraging to know that the industry is changing and no longer do you have to be a traditional celebrity to make it to the top.

Do you feel that you (and other bloggers) are contributing to the journalistic aspect of the fashion industry with what you do?

Of course! Bloggers are the journalists of our generation. Bloggers are providing content, lots of it, on a regular basis. While it might not be in the traditional form it used to appear in blogging, it is definitely still journalism.

Did you ever feel that as CollegeFashionista became more of a business and gained important links to brands you lost the authenticity and ‘street cred’ that is usually identified with a blog?

Not at all!

Written by: Nicole McLennan

 

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Meet Two Inspirational Young Women

 

One sunny afternoon, somewhere in the United Kingdom, Little Wing met two very inspirational youths, both unique and compelling in their own ways.  Showcasing these two characters together was a last minute, but so it turns out, a perfect decision.  May Calamawy and Yasmeen Al-Naif are very different in many ways but manage to live together in total harmony and somehow bring out the best in each other.  These two girls live together in Dubai and both come from very diverse backgrounds.  May is half Egyptian, half Palestinian and Yasmeen is half Iraqi, half English, both are 24 years old.  Just by knowing their backgrounds you can be sure that they have travelled around a lot, met many people in different walks of life and heard many differing opinions about how life should be lived.  They have both taken all of their experiences in their stride and from this become well-rounded and enthusiastic young women.  Even though they have had similar up bringing’s, May and Yasmeen have grown up with separate ideas and differing ambitions.


May Calamawy is a strong minded person who knows exactly where she wants to go in life and knows the path that may take her there.  Everyday, she continues to take steps towards her ultimate goal of becoming a successful Actress and is already making a name for herself in Dubai.  May has made her own opportunities in her career, which is something to be particularly admired about her.  She has created and maintains a personal blog called ‘May’s Mad Tea Party’ where she writes about her thoughts, inspirations, goals and posts funny anecdotes.  From this alone, May has gone on to receive so much attention that she has bagged many an acting role and some free merchandise for advertising on her blog.  These rewards come from her sheer determination to publicise her own talent and personality; something that takes a large amount of confidence to do.  Using all of the media that is so easily accessible to us in this modern and technical century, May has taken full advantage and used it to benefit her career.  With the kind of ambition and perseverance that May holds, one can know that she will go far in her career.  May’s blog acts as her continually updated, creative and insightful CV.  To be inspired, visit her blog at: www.maysmadtparty.blogspot.com

Although May has known exactly what she wants to do in life at the tender age of 5, not everyone does, the journey to the decision of what to do with ones life can seem just as daunting as the journey of building one’s career.  For many youths in this generation, knowing what you want to do in life is a very tricky decision indeed whether your 18 or 28; especially with the amount of career choices there are these days.  From the entertainment industry to the ever-growing Internet industry to old-fashioned manual labour, there is a huge burden upon youths to decide what to do.


Someone who has taken this into consideration and overcome it by living for the now is Yasmeen   Al-Naif.  Yasmeen has experienced, just like many of us have, the uncertainty of what to do in life and how to get there.  Yasmeen, however, instead of dwelling on this thought over and over again to find the perfect solution, she grasped at a possibility that looked good for now.  She tried out banking for a while but wasn’t happy and didn’t quite enjoy it; she felt she needed more out of her career.  When visiting family in Dubai, Yasmeen was looking for a change.  She took a chance and applied for a couple of jobs in Dubai, a few days later one was hers and the change she was looking for had arrived.  That job was in Media and Advertising, something that she may have thought of in passing but never really dreamed about.  Over time, however, Yasmeen became good at her job and started to really enjoy it.  Sometimes, you have to grow into your career by going with what seems to be a good choice and seeing if you like it.  If it so happens that you become knowledgeable at what you do, you may start to enjoy it; after all we all love to do what we are good at in life.  This is a concept that Yasmeen demonstrated, she loves what she does now but also still maintains that when she decides its not for her she will move on to the next idea and see what’s best for her at that time.  She never wants to be held down and prefers to ride the waves as they come instead of forcing anything.  A different approach to May’s but one to be admired just the same.

Both May and Yasmeen demonstrate two different but equally effective ways of building their lives in the way that they choose.  Although they may not always agree on everything, they both appreciate each other’s way of approaching things, whether it be the dishes or their careers.  The key, it seems, to getting along with someone who is different than you is to understand and accept everyone’s views for what they are, and to use this knowledge to help yourself, rather than attempting to compete against it.

Written, Filmed and Photographed by: Hana Difrawy

Have a look at May's latest venture, she is one of the originals for the Stoli campaign in Dubai!

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Professional Rugby Player Orlando Stott

On a visit to the south of France, a member of Little Wing grabbed the chance to interview a professional rugby player who is living a dream which he has been chasing since the age of 10. Orlando Stott is now 25 years old and has been playing professional rugby for 2 years now.Since a young age Orlando and his family have always loved sports and encouraged each other to play. Growing up, I suppose most of us do dabble in a bit of activity here and there but for many the novelty of it will fade away in time and be taken over by responsibilities of work and such. Orlando, however, has broken the typical mould and continued to play sports and actually has managed to make a good career out of it so far.

Orlando grew up in a small village in the south of France called, Romaneche-Thorins. Starting to play rugby in the youngest team at school, he quickly realised how good he was after receiving praise from his coach and teammates. From this young age, he watched the professionals play on television and could only dream that one day he would play for the big teams. He has made this dream come true. Achieving his dream of being a rugby player, however, has not come without persistence, ambition and confidence on his part.

Going into playing professional sport is a very highly sought after but a very fragile career. One has to ponder over the question of how long it will last and what will happen afterwards should it fall through. Orlando decided to prepare himself for the worst before even starting his rugby career, which in many minds was a very wise decision. He decided to go to University in Bristol, England and get a degree so that he would be in good stead for a job should he ever have to stop rugby. While he was there he proudly continued playing rugby at a good level, for the Dings Crusaders in Bristol.

In the process of going to university, sadly his opportunity at playing professional rugby was delayed. When asked whether he regrets taking those four years out to do a degree he replied, “yes and no, I’m so glad that I have a degree to fall back on but will never know where I could be now if I had gone straight to playing rugby after school”.


After completing his degree, Orlando decided to pursue a career in rugby, he cleverly discovered that in France there is a lot more money circling around for players than there is in England. So at the despair of many of his english friends, Orlando made the move to France. Currently, he is a starting winger/fullback for Valence D’Agen, a federal 1 rugby team based in the south of France. In the coming years he hopes to achieve a higher rank in rugby and aspires to keep climbing higher on the rugby ladder whether it be in France or in England.

When his time eventually comes to leave the sport behind, Orlando will then happily use his degree to become a businessman of sorts and will work hard at whatever gets thrown his way, all the while knowing that he went for it and enjoyed a great few years on the pitch, under the flood lights.

For now, Orlando is continuing to follow his dream of playing rugby as he enjoys it more than anything in the world, and if you can make a living doing something you love? It would be a crime not to.

Written, Filmed and Photographed by: Hana Difrawy

View some footage here of Orlando Stott in action!

 

 

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Unemployed? No, I’m an intern

As we all know, times are tough at the moment. It’s never fun talking about unemployment figures, tax and benefit reforms, the likelihood of a double-dip recession and all other doomsday-esque factoids about our modern society; but I guess most, if not all, of these things are harsh realities which affect a large portion of the population. These are things that are hard to escape and, seemingly, are only going to get worse in the few years to come.

A news headline which has been haunting me for the past two months is that employment for 18-25 year olds has plummeted to an all-time low and that the UK is experiencing the highest unemployment rate in 17 years. So according to the BBC, one in five of us “youngsters” are neither in education nor working nor training. That actually scares the shit out of me. I try to ignore it and tell myself that if I believe it, it’ll become a self-fulfilling prophecy whereby I get lazy and just blame my redundancy on David Cameron and all those damned Tories, and end up having heated political conversations with my parents.

I say fuck it. There MUST be something out there. I, my friends, have not lost hope quite yet. I have nearly finished my Masters, and for nearly a year now I’ve been interning here, there and everywhere, from magazines to PR to sales. This isn’t me writing this to say, “Hey guys, look how awesome I am! I’m an intern and I try really hard, wooo!” Nope. Because, first of all, anyone who’s done placements before knows how belittling it can be; and secondly, placements are a euphemism for free labour, so there’s nothing to brag about here really. I just refuse to render myself useless because I still need to feel that this whole “Life” thing is going somewhere. I’ve been called naïve or been told, “Good for you, sport!” with a little wince and a pity pat on the back, as if what they truly wanted to say was, “Good luck, kid. But grown up life actually sucks.” Well, maybe, but I like to think that if I want something badly enough and work myself down to the bone then I’ll eventually get somewhere. And if I want it that badly it's only because I love to do it. I like to think that I have it in the locker, as my friend likes to put it.

I haven’t got a concrete offer from any of the places I’ve interned for. I’m pretty sure I’ve harassed secretaries and bombarded editors with my CV a few hundred times. But I’ll wait. And in the meantime, I’ll continue getting coffees and deliveries; running like a madwoman around the office trying to find that very specific shirt in a stockroom stacked full of unlabelled containers that has to be sent to Vogue ASAP; or transcribing that four-hour long interview in three hours, all the while trying to make myself be heard, known and liked in the hope that they’ll turn around and say, “Hey, you. Yeah, the one carrying three boxes and three times your body weight. We’re keeping you on. Here’s your desk and your contract. See you Monday.”

Written by: Nicole McLennan

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Hana

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Nicole&Hana

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Nicole

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