Pursuing natural health & thinking beyond the superficial. Deconstructing Culture.

Posts tagged ‘Fashion’

Burkinis – Attitudes towards them are extreme like wearing a niqab, burka or chador…

Or having to cover your head as many people and mostly females of many cultures do worldwide.

From one extreme to another:

I don’t actually mind burkinis, I really like them. I’m not religious or faithful to one culture but I have always had an issue with ‘modesty’ or ‘dressing appropriately for the situation’ (so that doesn’t always mean ‘modest’ because I ‘dress up’ too) and the weather. I personally don’t like revealing all or being too revealing. It’s usually two body parts (face and hands, and I often wear a hat and sometimes gloves even lace Summer gloves anyway) – I’m strange, I both like and dislike the sun, I think I’m partly Goth. My point is that I’ve always had a problem with swimwear; to me it’s just like going out in your underwear especially bikinis and they just get skimpier and skimpier. Waterproof underwear but still underwear, tankinis and two-pieces with shorts i.e. hot pants, or a tiny frill on a one-piece don’t help – they’re just like tokenism to ‘modesty’ and are more like ‘being girly’. It’s not my thing and I hate the hair removal process that goes with baring any skin for a female as well which if you don’t do you’re subject to additional public shame and humiliation. Somehow body hair on a female = dirty and an inability to be clean unlike men who can supposedly stay cleaner than us.

So over the years I’ve researched burkinis and found I like them as an alternative to normal Western swimwear. They do remind me a little of Victorian swimwear but they’re waterproof and a bit like wetsuits without being as heavy, however attitudes towards them are very Victorian. For example:


Brit tourists in burkinis made to do humiliating walk of shame out of Algarve pool as swimwear deemed ‘not acceptable for pool’

[Written by] Danya Bazaraa

Maryya Dean and her sister-in-law Hina claim they were told they could not wear their burkinis in the swimming pool while on holiday in Albufeira, Portugal.

They say they were told they ‘must wear a bikini to follow Portuguese culture’, during the incident on July 21 that left them horrified.

The family members were also outraged after a maintenance worker at the pool allegedly made Maryya’s nine-year-old daughter stand up to provide an example of what they should be wearing – a regular swimming costume.

Marrya, who suffers with bipolar disorder, says the week-long trip was supposed to be a getaway for her – but they were all affected by what happened.

They had booked a private apartment which had a pool shared with other flats in the complex.

Maryya, who was on holiday with her four children plus her sister-in-law and other relatives, told the Mirror Online: “Given my cultural background I was wearing a burkini.

“I was approached by the building security manager as someone made a complaint that I was not wearing a bikini and therefore not appropriate to be in the pool.

“I was compared to my nine-year-old daughter who was told to stand up out of the pool to see what she was wearing which I found completely rude – I was told I should wear that to swim.

“I was not allowed to wear swimming gear that I am comfortable in and that was actually made for women like me to wear.”

She said she asked the worker to point to a sign which said only bikinis could be worn, but there were no signs in sight. Maryya, 36, from Chessington, added: “The man then started making cultural references and said that Portuguese people wear bikinis and so should we.

“We were embarrassed as we came out of the pool with with four children and people were watching us like we’d committed a crime.”

Marrya’s sister in law, Hina, 31, was also in the pool wearing a ‘covered swim suit’.

The pair of them were not wearing full burkinis.

Hina described her swim suit as three quarter length leggings with a top which had sleeves down to her elbows, but it was water proof and designed for use in a pool.

She said Marrya’s was a regular swimming suit that also came with three quarter length ‘leggings,’ made for the water.

The kids were all in regular swim wear.

Hina said she spotted a gentleman speaking to Maryya’s younger sister, who was sat on a sun lounger at the time.

She claims he was pointing and said it was apparent there was an issue.

Hina went over to see hear what the problem was, as she said it was intimidating being pointed at.

She heard from the member of the maintenance team that they had received a complaint from a resident about them using the pool.

Hina said: “He said it wasn’t possible for me to be in the pool with clothes on, and said I must wear a bikini.

“We told him it was swimwear but he said ‘you have to wear a bikini or shorts. In Portuguese culture, it’s not acceptable.’ He said we had to abide by Portuguese culture if we were in the country.

“We told him we didn’t wear bikinis because we weren’t comfortable in them. It was a confidence thing.

“But he kept repeating ‘you have to wear a bikini’. We were feeling really humiliated.”

Hina said they wore more modest swimsuits for a mix of reasons – religious, cultural, confidence and comfort.

The sisters-in-law said they were the only family using the pool at the time but that people watched the incident from their balconies and they said it was “embarrassing”.

Maryya said they didn’t feel they could use the pool for the rest of their holiday after what happened, despite it being “baking hot”.

She said: “I keep thinking about it. We had to do a ‘walk of shame’ back to the apartment, it was disgusting.”

Firstly it’s just some man not even a lifeguard complaining about them, secondly he’s telling them they have to wear a bikini or shorts like he tells women what to wear, and thirdly he acts like he doesn’t even know what a one-piece if – why a bikini? Men wear t-shirts and/or proper shorts all the time on the beach or a proper shorts and/or a vest in pools. They have the choice to wear more risqué pieces but they have the choice.

I’d wear a burkini and I don’t give a damn, but then I usually wear a leotard with full sleeves and proper shorts in pools anyway (not that I like public pools and chlorine) or full lycra leggings (or shorts with a sarong) on a beach and people have not harassed me yet. That said I’ve not bothered with hair removal at times either. I still get compliments like “little mermaid” even though I’m more obviously dressed for aerobics than swimming but lycra is waterproof and people better not start with me.

Note – not all burkinis have a head covering and I’d think many Western women would find them cute too:

Either way, they look like and are sportswear and if women who wear them don’t mind or at least don’t ban or put down women who wear practically nothing as normal then why should we mind them being ‘decent’ as normal?

We’re finally used to seeing pregnant women on beaches (Madonna being the first obvious public example which sparked a trend years ago, though she has always been an extreme trailblazer in sexuality and gender politics – and I’m not a fan) and in clothing that isn’t too different in style from what they’d normally wear, we’re getting used to breastfeeding women (gawd we do sound backwards as a species don’t we) so why do we have to fight so much about what women wear to swim? As long as they’re not likely to drown (t-shirts banned in some places because of the way they swell in water) what’s the problem? We still see barely any clothing on women in tennis, figure skating or gymnastics for example and I remember judges looking down on me for wearing shorts in gym competitions because everyone else would wear leotards only including low cut, high leg ones even though we were children whilst the boys were allowed shorts and leggings – what is the bloody problem in dressing comfortably? I’ve seen volleyball playing with sticky tape on their arses (kinesiology) for crying out loud – just wear shorts they’ll give you support and don’t act like women’s volleyball and much of women’s televised and most popular sports aren’t about ‘the babes’.

Also remember that not all religious or very culturally minded women wear these and probably never will, many wear regular Western style swimwear and are fine with that and that’s their business but for some of these women if it wasn’t for swimwear like burkinis they wouldn’t be able to go in the water or to a beach at all.


9 Years and Still Trying, Lol! Designing for Fun… Well, Morelike Obsession?

I first started this blog as a creative outlet for fashion design as a hobby/competition and then branched out but I’ve kept up the designing and improved. The design process has gotten more and more convoluted but hey it keeps my skills limber though not my fingers!

The last time I wrote about it was exactly one year ago HERE (no I’m not posting this as an anniversary coincidence 😉 and no I still haven’t won anything, not even gotten through to the first stage/round of acceptance/processing!)

Nowadays drawing patterns and prints from scratch doesn’t really happen and those of us left mainly focus on alterations of base templates from each other.


Art, Design, Pinup, Fashion, Competition, Contest

A Design another Member did for me/tribute back in the day which I still treasure. (The model’s supposed to be me but darker.)


A World Gone Mad, Lost Its Sense of Value

I’ve always hated the amount of money spent [wasted] on things like music videos, films/tv shows (and the way the news and documentaries have become entertainment in style) and things that distract us.

The pointlessness of it is so tiring.

This video brings me to tears.

The song was used as an ending theme to a film called ‘The Coming’ (2008) written and directed by Chad Costen, his first film which cost under $50,000. Still more money than many of us can hope to see or save in a lifetime but pittance for a film and yet like other examples I’ve seen of ‘cheap’ filmmaking (and music videos going into the million bracket) it fares a lot better than much of the mind numbing, sensory overload and badly written drivel that hits our screens. He acknowledges that it has production issues, some of which would make many modern audiences give up on too quickly but the content, story telling and improvement in filming is there as it goes a long. The ending is a bit cerebral and unsatisfactory for some but at least it’s interesting. I roll my eyes at filmmakers who claim they need tens of if not hundreds of millions to make a film now, even fully cgi animated ones in the US and then you see a European one made for less than 10mil at the same standard and sans the unnecessary big celeb vocals. That said, it’s still far too much, it’s like money means nothing to them to spend as long as they make a profit to put it into the next film and luxury lifestyles that fuel more desire for such living and forgetting those who really need it.

Outrageously ‘budgeted’ media also tend to lack imagination (unless it’s the news and they just want to make things up) – thought the time travel genre for example had become stale and everything done already? Think again.

Budgets are made to be broken? No (except for government departments and national events) but it’s not hard to come across contractors, regardless of industry, who when given a fund to use for a project (with in-built auxiliary amounts) will try to use as much of it as possible to prove they needed it. Using up the budget just to ensure the next one isn’t less.

There’s plenty of things to waste money on of course be it the latest gadget which will only decrease in value or fashion. I saw a stunningly attractive coat recently selling for a few thousand dollars (price increased because worn by celebs though overpriced brand labels and non-fair trade sweat shop labour are the norm) but if I really wanted it I could get a second hand taffeta/sari/cheongsam fabric coat, stick cheapo faux flowers on it and  it’d look exactly the same. Seriously, these things are aimed at people who have money to literally throw in a bin and set fire to – other than the vanity and ego in buying from such pricey fashion houses – I think that the designers are secretly laughing at their clientèle. ‘I can charge you whatever the hell I want and you’ll still pay for it!’ I’ve seen items in markets selling at ridiculous prices in department stores, yes the same quality. That’s another lie many people fall for, that the higher the price the better quality. BS. Some decades ago ok, all those vintage and hand-me-down clothes from the 40’s onwards that as long as they are kept well look almost as good as new. Nowadays we have throwaway fashion that whether looked after or not doesn’t last long. I remember a woman scoffing at me for saying the leggings she was promoting weren’t worth the price and doing the usual condescending thing about the quality – I held up a pair of ‘cheap’ leggings next to a pair of hers and showed her the fabric content and she realized. That’s not to say there aren’t brands that are in the higher price brackets that aren’t high quality, that take pride in the products, maybe even individual attention and have tailors with many years of experience who can in one glance tell you your sizes and start ‘fixing’ the clothing your wearing pulling/folding your sleeve cuffs, straightening your collar etc, but it’s not the norm anymore.

A food example? I used to buy high quality olives in multiple types (not the rubbery pizza olives you tend to find everywhere on everything) by the kilo and they lasted months. I paid £4-5 per kilo. Then one day at a Southbank (River Thames, London) open air exhibition which they have regularly (trust me the open air helps for things like the cheese show) they were selling the exact same olives, even the stuffed ones for £20 per kilo. Yep, 4-5x the amount and I wasn’t buying wholesale, I was buying retail from a Turkish supermarket in a multi-cultural area instead of the uber affluent Southbank area where the posh-ness practically oozes on one part and the poverty on the other. The people at the stall and customers were pontificating about how fair it was being based on weight and worth it 🙄 I told them what I thought and they offered me some free food to go away, I didn’t take it but I did sample a piece of ginger which for some reason no one else could tell was ginger (they’d been marinated).

Let’s not get started on property – HOW MUCH above labour and material costs did you say?!?!


Fashion in Film – The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1969)

I haven’t done one of these lighthearted fashion in film posts for ages and since I’m up with nothing better to do (ok there are many better things but I can’t be bothered right now) due to an annoying, pampered Summer Solstice child who due to his birth date and misconceptions got everything whilst I the Winter Solstice child got hell (not that I would want the ridiculously overdone/overkill/pompous life he has either). As usual though, what most people don’t realize and as it isn’t what is purported the Winter Solstice is actually the Light Bringer, and the Summer one the Fore-shadower of Darkness so with people being people separate everything making opposites instead of balance and unity, they put positive connotations and treatment on the Summer and vice versa. Really each day is both for the whole planet (yin & yang) but per location is seen as one Solstice at a time; the Summer being the shining glory/the peak of the empire about to fall and the Winter one more poignant/potent given this planet’s proximity to the moon along with the significance of the sun – ‘darkness and light as one, the light [Summer] chases away the darkness but makes the shadow deeper, the darkness [Winter] holds the light but has light of its own so dark it…’ (Like the way both ice and fire burn.) I’m not saying the Summer Solstice child has it easy but there’s plenty of compensations and indulgence. The Summer Solstice child is selfish, takes and is lauded; the Winter Solstice child gives, is taken from and hidden/made unsightly.

Anyway The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1969) is basically a film about a uni (though the maths questions they get are secondary school level) student who gets a lot smarter than he is and more popular than he should be by accident (caused by his own stupidity, how could he not know that and still get into uni-level Physics)? A bit like being born into a wealthy family and becoming a z-list celebrity in reality but A-list status without merit. Starring Kurt Russell, he did other films like this for Buena Vista/Walt Disney such as The Barefoot Executive (1971), Now You See Him, Now You Don’t (1972) and The Strongest Man in the World (1975). They’re also akin to the Flubber films.

This film features some beautiful suits.

The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes 1969 Fashion Film Clothing Suits

This was his most boring suit in the film but it gets better

The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes 1969 Fashion Film Clothing Suits Suiting

There’s an abundance of polo/turtle necks in this film, just the way I like it.

The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes 1969 Fashion Film Clothing Suits Suiting

Bright colours and prints

The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes 1969 Fashion Film Clothing Suits Suiting

The former look doesn’t suit everybody though and he switches to the darker pinstripe for the evening.

The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes 1969 Fashion Film Clothing Suits Suiting

The university challenge host look dapper.

The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes 1969 Fashion Film Clothing Suits Suiting

And again.

The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes 1969 Fashion Film Clothing Suits Suiting

A suit being tailored.

The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes 1969 Fashion Film Clothing Suits Suiting

Not quite the colour/print scheme I would go for but what they hey.

The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes 1969 Fashion Film Clothing Suits Suiting

Can’t get those beautiful suits dirty lol.

The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes 1969 Film Dune Buggy

Isn’t this the coolest buggy?! Why does a student even have a dune buggy o_o

It's bit too lean and mean for four adult males though, they make it look like a clown car and can't do its ability justice - it's better for me! :D

It’s bit too lean and mean for four adult males though, they make it look like a clown car and can’t do its ability justice – it’s better for me! 😀

Thankfully there are no MIB Men in Black suits in here though one borders it (the mafia, casino owning guy above avoiding the paint) – but at least he’s not wearing sunglasses. What is with that ridiculous look, the whole suit or half suit with leather/ette outwear and/or gloves – they look like dumbasses (oh wait…)

I liked the way that the makeup for the guys didn’t cover their freckles and moles as is normal to do nowadays like they’re some kind of imperfection or something to be embarrassed/ashamed of (not talking about large, ‘disfiguring’ ones where professional makeup really does help people feel better and more confident.)

Also throughout the film Kurt stuffs his face with food, lucky b*stard (albeit gross food). Ha if he lived in a place that gets cold from mid-late August and freezing through to mid-Spring he’d not only afford heating but ramp it up! I have swollen fingers from typing as usual and they’re almost numb with the cold, thankfully kitty is no longer hogging my bed so I can sit down again!


Mad Hatter Day

Mad Hatter Day?


Yeah apparently.

Ok, fine – light hearted post time and one in which I can poke fun at myself. Drag out the old photos and generally think “Ay caramba! What did I used to look like?” then look at oneself (ok imagine, looking is too painful) in the mirror and think “a lot better than I do now! Uh I look and feel like I’ve been burned alive, buried, and drowned but not necessarily in that order, but like hell about covers it.” Why can’t I go back to looking the way I did when I was pre-17.5, at my very best! Talk about majorly quick downhill acceleration, by the time I was 19 I was a mere shell of myself! (All these pics are age 20+) Now I’m almost 33, let me die by 45 so I don’t end up looking like a walking mummified person or creature from the something, somewhere or other. P.S zombies and vampires need not apply.

Unfortunately I don’t have any pics of exquisite millinery but these crusty old candids will have to do, except…

What’s that on my head, that didn’t quite make it into the photo that time?

Historical 074

Haha the best headgear ever! So it stamps, claws, bashes, bites whilst knowing where your pressure points are and makes your limbs go numb, tries to dictate the direction, tries to pluck your eyebrows, picks at your dead skin/spots and screams in your ears but hey I prefer live with personality than dead and stuffed. There is definitely such a thing as evil fashion.


You can’t fail to look cool (ok maybe I do up there, fine I do) when you’re in the company of a parrot, they look gorgeous no matter the angle or lighting, even with feathers out of place they look stylish – it’s like a whole new look. Me, jealous? No way, they’re too adorable for that. Feisty and fabulous. Brains, beauty, brawn and brilliance they’ve got it all.

Me and Harry

Ok I actually look cool in that one and no that is not a corset or ‘waist trainer’ as they’re called nowadays. I’m against most corsetry and disfiguring garments in general (except support items like bras and back braces) especially if worn for hours and regularly. I put up with torture contraptions like high heels for ‘special occasions’ but even then they’re chunky and soft. That’s a wide belt in the pic and it was just my size instead of being too small and called my size; I like all my organs in place and functioning properly thank you.

Back to my candids with not so mad but pretty bad and some normal hats, I couldn’t put you or myself through scrolling down separate pics so I put them together to hopefully mask their inadequacies and highlight their good points of which I’m still trying to figure out. The background is nice!

Oh wait, but first you see this hat below, it gets special mention because it and I were practically inseparable for years despite all the jeering I got from strangers (seriously). I had a bag of ribbons to adapt its look for my outfits as well! I finally had to give it up after someone decided it folded nicely and put it in his bag, that marked the beginning of the end.

Green Gold Sequin Outfit


(Those are not white tights in the main pic, they’re gold but didn’t show in the pic, I’m not that style challenged though that’s not obvious in some of those pics… Those stetsons, why? Youth is wasted on the young.)

Anyone remember this? The ‘Big Brain Bar’ full of humungous hat patrons, some concealing small people with guns in said hats.


August Prints – Clocks and the Night Sky

So Mum had the idea of clocks and I thought great idea, I’ve been wanting to do something steampunk so let’s have a go.


After the complex ones above I thought I’m taking a break; my elbows, wrists and back are killing me from this ridiculously tight sitting space/position and I hate staring at the screen measuring and counting every millimeter, converting into cm and inches, re-checking the millimeters and using multiple grids/rulers to do so. I’m doing something simple! So I ended up with randomly placed moons and stars but then Mum came along and goes something like “Is that it? It look so childish, fix it! No here, move it you’re useless let me have a go” and started doing what she usually does which is draw messily all over my work (which I’ve learned to quickly create new layers for and save my previous ones and if she’ll let me new images altogether) but she showed me that even more random was better and so I finished it off (hey she’s the genius, the tedious, ongoing, laborious bits are my designated area).




August Prints – Dazzling Florals

I came up with one flower and one was all it took. It was weird, it usually takes upto a day to make one design after figuring out what to do in the first place. Drawing all the ‘bits’ from scratch takes an age (painful elbows from leaning on the table to prove it.) People not into graphic design don’t realize that if you’re not using stock images and altering them then making your own is a real mission. Every line has to be smooth, no colour bleed, each shape accurate, in place, every layer of blending, shading, layers upon layers of light and dark and sometimes they have to be scalable! So it was a real surprise to Mum when she left the room for less than 5min, came back and I’d made this flower out of two previously made shapes. That helped obviously since I didn’t have to re-shade and make them 3d-ish again but still I’d started out without even knowing what I was going to draw. She’d played around with the basic shapes for a while but hadn’t come up with anything before she’d left.


Border Prints (the really busy one was Mum’s ultimate bouquet idea).








August Prints – Posh Stripes and Snowflakes

Now I love pinstripes as much as the next person but as you can see from the July Prints post onwards I decided to change things up a bit and be unique, I hadn’t seen spaced stripes with spaces and/or in between or overlapping details on clothing. I’ve lived in London most of my life and I’ve seen a lot but not those so I went for it en masse. The only similarities I’ve seen are really wide strips on period furniture which are great but people aren’t shaped like walls, lampshades or couches – though some leave indentations on them after long use!

Originals, though I changed them a little bit for use.



Then of course I figured snowflakes are amazing works of nature where each is different, but easier to use one from my own imagination.



August Prints – Hearts and Roses

Not Valentines? Ah, who cares! (Worked on these with Mum; I drew, she was the ideas woman and we both did placement.)





Just some Prints I Designed Recently – July

I called these ones my DNA prints, my re-imagining of that structure. I was trying to figure out what to do with this one, and then went for a much more wearable alternative.

Original idea/inspiration:


I had another but it was too Aztec looking so went with these: