Iris Apfel, accidental icon

Iris Apfel, accidental icon: Musings of a Geriatric Starlet

The name Iris Apfel is not one that the everyday Joe would know. Hell, my boyfriend didn’t know who she was. But if you have an interest in fashion, wisdom, or are just up to date on the pop culture scene you’ll know exactly who I’m talking about. The bold little lady wearing every colour imaginable, usually sporting at least five chunky bangles on each wrist and always sporting her signature thick, round spectacles and swoosh of red lippy.

She’s everything you want to be when you’re in your 90s.

Young in spirit, she embodies everything wonderful about the fashion industry but at the same time doesn’t conform to any fashion trends or rules. She plays with fashion and accessories wonderfully: putting together the most creative and unexpected ensembles, which is so refreshing when we are used to seeing the black and grey drab outfits or the perfectly co-ordinating ones.

I never want to be an old fuddy-duddy; I hold the self-proclaimed record for being the World’s Oldest Living Teenager and I intend to keep it that way

Iris Apfel

A true icon full of vibrant panache, Iris Apfel shares anecdote, maxims, and passages on all topics from technology, style, interior design, textiles, and all things in-between. Her pearls of wisdom fill each sentence alongside pages of vivid colours and eye-catching prints. Iris embodies everything I wish I will be when I’m older, and not even older but now. Entirely awe-inspiring, I hope to breath fresh-air into my wardrobe with prints and colours in the future; and over all try to be fearless and go with what I like rather than what ‘goes’ together.

Full of practical advice and inspiring stories, this book is a must for anyone: especially women. I think there is a lot of ‘take homes’ for women, especially from Iris’ experience in the workplace and just growing up in general. The insight I have personally gained from this book is something I wish I had come across in my teens -which I honestly think would be the perfect time to read it for anyone. With so much good sense within its’ pages, it is one of those books I wish I could give a copy of to everyone I know. I can’t recommend it enough!

Cheerio for now!

things I have found solace in lately

Hey there. Now I know that everyones social media feeds have been overflowing with content based around what’s going on in the world right now, and that’s fine, but like most others I thought now would be a good time to drop this post into your lap. I always keep a post in my drafts that I can quickly copy and paste anything that I am finding particular inspiring or uplifting; and right now seems to be the perfect time for that. (Keep in mind some of these things are Pre-Covid 19.

this video: now anyone knows that I’m a sucker for some book magic so this video, as simple as it seems, was great to have on in the background as I did bits and bobs last autumn.

Music by Django Reinhardt: On our trip to Wales last August, we discovered Reinhardt’s music in a community cafe theatre in Merthyr Tydfil. Swaying to the sweet tunes a kind worker told us who it was (in an inaudible accent, no’fense) and a quick Shazam later we were downloading his music to listen to as we drove through the mountains. I have been listening to his music ever since, and was even gifted a vinyl of his for Christmas which I often have playing now.

this video, this video from the Vogue Paris YouTube channel: I love these Une Fille, Un Style videos. I don’t know whether it’s where I have been focused on my own living space that has plucked my interest in them or whether it is merely human nature to be nosey that I love them. I think a space can say a lot about the person who inhabits it, and I find it fascinating to see trinkets and what not that people feel attached to or compelled to keep with them throughout their lives.

I also really loved the fact that The Fashion Citizen returned to their little corner of youtube for a few Vlogmas videos, albeit only for a few vids. I absolutely love these girls -I say, quickly glancing up at my copy of their Local Wolves cover on my shelf. I find them so refreshingly human but also inspiring. They never put on airs and graces for the camera which I think is so hard to come by these days on youtube. I also think, having seen them grow through the years via their YouTube channel to now career women is really amazing and so inspiring for us viewers.

this post by Beth over at Toasty. I have been following her blog for years and always had an interest in what she has to say, whether it be on cruelty free beauty products or her views on minimalism however, when it came to her talking about Beauty Banks and donating toiletries she truly felt like a soul sister of mine. Having always felt compelled to help the less fortunate, I have always wanted to go one step further than physically taking my unwanted items to a food/clothes bank or giving someone a hot drink on a cold day. Her post really gave me that extra bit of info to really go forward on this path.

this post by free people. I also really loved this post by them too: Now I absolutely love Free People posts however, overtime they started to move away from the earthy and DIY beauty tips that I loved towards more branding and promotion of some of their items. Now that is great and I don’t dispute it, but these two posts definitely took my back to that more earthy and maybe even soulful time of the BLDG 25 blog.

What have you found solace in lately?

Cheerio for now!

Inspire Me Lately

January through to, really the beginning of, summer is usually a really blue time for me. The weather is unpredictably harsh and bitter which makes it hard to think about sunnier times ahead. As someone whose creativity is fuelled by my mood, it’s very easy for me to feel like I’m in a funk or just feel uninspired during these colder months. Although I have been working hard behind the scenes giving this space a reshuffle, there have been few things that have kept me inspired throughout the past few months.

Jim Reno 

Now I don’t know how I came across Jim Reno on YouTube but I love her. As someone so creative and authentic, her videos are beautiful. Her approach to make up is more so how someone approaches an art form: I love this look, and video she made. I also really love her paint with me videos, like this one: as well as her latest video here too. I find her so inspiring, not to mention her spirit and approach is so calm and creative that you can’t help but feel that little spark of inspiration.

This Video – How To Lose Weight in 4 Easy Steps

My boyfriend sent me the link to this video awhile after we started seeing each other. I have to admit, I was horrified by the title at first, assuming that it was his way of hinting that I needed to lose weight. After actually watching the video, I really loved it. The whole concept of time going by and things changing with it. Lately it’s been something I have been trying to remind myself more and more, especially during bad days.

Lua P

Another Youtuber. Lua P’s videos are very chilled for me but also inspiring. I love her hair and overall style. The style of her videos comes across very personal. Blurred shots and sometimes shaky movements give it what I call a ‘grainy’ quality which I personally love. It gives it a more vintage vibe which, anyone who knows me knows, I love all things vintage. In short – inspiring.

The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Wes Anderson Collection

The Grand Budapest Hotel, by Wes Anderson – of course the film is absolutely beautiful! the entire aesthetic of it is just… well, indescribable, there are no words. However for me, the narration is so inspiring. I have always felt so drawn to focalisers and frame narration (an outsider to the events narrating the story ie. the author narrating Zero’s storytelling of The Grand Budapest hotel and M. Gustave). I have always been drawn to The Great Gatsby for this reason too. I suppose I love the idea that an outsider can take such interest in someone else’s life and retell it with such authenticity.

Steal The Spotlight

Now I realise this Inspire Me Lately has been very youtube heavy but please let me mention just one more youtuber please. I have followed Katie from Steal the Spotlight for years and absolutely love her lookbooks. She recently posted this eighties one

The eighties era seems to be a bit like marmite, you either love it or hate it. The fashion from the eighties isn’t something I would personally be comfortable in or ever wear however, I can appreciate it from a distance. I particularly loved this video of hers as I think she really nailed it. Other lookbooks of hers, like this Game of Thrones lookbook and of course, the Friends one too. She is someone who is incredibly creative in terms of the looks and videos she creates, but also the editing too. I never miss any of her videos and would recommend her to anyone who could do with a little inspiration.

Let me know what has been inspiring you lately.

Cheerio for now!

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Things That Help Inspire Me Through a Creative Slump

Now January can be great for many reasons, most of all it represents the beginning of bigger and better things. For me January can be a little bit of a downer. I wouldn’t say I get the ‘January Blues‘ as such but I definitely feel a little off beat. The only way I can explain it is that while the new year represents a fresh start and great things to come, it also reminds me that it’s still the dead of winter, we’re eons away from summer and everyone is usually strapped for cash after Christmas so there’s little going on. When this happens I feel as though I’m in a stalemate moment and time has stood still. My creativity and excitement for pretty much anything drifts away, and after that everything comes to a crashing halt. 

Regardless of when these moments happen, whether it be in January or the middle of summer, there are always a few things I like to do to kick me out of the funk. 

Ira Glass on the Creative process

I came across this video about two years ago and found it so enlightening and really lifts my spirits each time I listen to it. Over time it’s become a ritual of mine when I’m feeling down on myself to lay on my bed with a face mask on and listen to it on repeat. I also hone in on something different each time I listen to it.  

The Crossroads of Should and Must

If you’re a long time follower, you may have read my book review on the book The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna and if you read that post than you know how much I loved that book. It was an amazing read and truly inspiring. If you want to know a little more about it than head on over to my review or keep reading for a quick rundown. 
 
The foundation of the book is the concept of what you should do with your life versus what you must do. It’s this idea that mundane tasks like having a mortgage and settling down, or taking over the family firm could be things that you feel you should be doing however, on the other side of the spectrum there are those things you simply must do. They are so ingrained in your being and soul that you think about them day after day and the bottom line is you must do it, fulfil them. Elle Luna’s book opens your eyes to who you are. It involves some eye-opening exercises, stories of others journeys to their ‘musts’ and quotes to inspire and keep you motivated. An example drawn on in the book is the story of Mary Ellen Geist’s father, who continued to play his music even while suffering Alzheimers for thirteen years. She said in a letter that even though he had no idea what he did for a living, or where he lived, and he didn’t even know how to tie a tie or make his way to the stage on the day that he performed- his music however, and the performance was perfect. Now that is inspiring. And a perfect example of someones must. Something that is so ingrained on their being that even a plaque tearing apart their mind can’t stand in the way of it. This concept always sets my spirits soaring. 
 
The Great Gatsby 
Now this is probably a bit of an odd one but hear me out. It’s not so much the film its more Nick Caraway’s narration of it. The way its so melancholy but also thoughtful and raw. The phrase ‘within and without’ truly makes me think. It makes me take a step back and assess the situation clearer: which, when you are in a creative slump, definitely helps look at the big picture and take something for what it truly is. 
The Pixar Documentary
Again, this is something I wrote a post about which you can read here but I’ll still give you a rerun. The Pixar Documentary is a behind the scenes look at how Pixar happened. It is narrated alongside interviews of everyone involved including illustrators, technicians, family members, assistants, and the three main guys that kicked it all off: the creative scientist Ed Catmull, the visionary entrepreneur Steve Jobs and talented artist John Lasseter. My favourite quote from the documentary is from Steve Jobs who says ‘Pixar’s seen by a lot of folks as an overnight success, but if you look really closely most overnight success’s took a long time’. Those words always strike me more and more powerful each time I hear them. And I mean, of course for that reason this documentary always helps me. It also helps because you get to go behind the scenes of some amazing films like Toy Story, Cars, and my personal favourite A Bug’s Life. 
 
Now obviously these are very specific things for me personally but almost all of these things I actually heard about from other people so I think it’s always good to share and maybe someone will stumble across something they feel drawn to here. And of course, there are more general things that help me get out of a funk like getting outside and exploring somewhere new. One thing in particular which is always quite interesting is hanging around with younger or older people: generally anyone who is quite an age gap away from you. That gap can really make a difference in perspective which can be eye-opening to new things and ideas. 
 
So those are just a few things which inspire me through a slump, what helps you? 
Cheerio for now!

Inspire Me Lately

*side note: I wrote this post two months ago and totally forgot to post it: but I suppose it’s better late than never! 

There’s been a lot of things inspiring me lately, here are a few of them…

  • This video from Jenn at Clothes Encounters. In this video, she recreated looks inspired by famous works of art. I absolutely love this video and the way it mixes art with fashion and almost and quirky, fancy dress element. I also love that she discusses each painting and a little bit about its’ background -as someone who has studied art history, I really appreciated that. 
  • I have listened to The Ladygang podcast on and off for just under a year now. I find that I’ll go ages without checking out my podcasts and then suddenly binge-listening to them all in a couple of days. When this happens I find that I love one or two episodes way more than the others. This time it was the Whitney Port episode and the Ru Paul one. Now as someone who has the box set for the Hills and the City -I loved the episode with Whitney Port, but the episode with Ru Paul was just on a whole other level of inspiring. His words and life views were beyond enlightening for me, and I think I listened to this episode at a point when I truly needed it. One motto that he mentioned which I absolutely fell in love with was ‘Unless they paying your bills, pay them bees no mind‘ -which I mean, is just perfect for me to keep in mind. I’m someone who gets too paranoid about what people think or how they’ll perceive what I do when in reality it doesn’t really matter all that much at all. 
  • I love this video from Violette at violette_fr. I love the way she chooses a different location for each of her videos and her looks appear so polished and well curated. The shots and camera work seems so natural and effortless while being true to the theme of the video. I also really enjoyed this video she produced a while back. 
  • I have also been loving the Youtube videos by Broadly lately. In particular there ones about Coco and Life as a fairytale princess. I absolutely loved the video about Coco. Although it feels quite bizarre for a six-year-old to be able to work Instagram, it is also lovely to see a child be so uniquely themselves without feeling judged or as though they need to follow the crowd. I feel as though Broadly’s videos do not sugar coat topics; they take you behind the scenes and show you the nitty-gritty details of things. For instance, their videos on Bulgaria’s Bride market and the most powerful witches in Romania were so informative but also truthful and respectful of the culture of the subject. I really enjoy their videos and would recommend to anyone who wants to watch something a little more informative or in more of documentary style. 
  • And last, but by no means least, is Paloma’s get ready video featured on Glossier’s youtube channel. I’ve been following Paloma on Instagram for some time now and as a fellow curvy woman, I find her so inspiring. I’d say coming across her instagram and other curvy models and activists, and seeing how at home they are with their own bodies have definitely made me feel a lot more at home in my own body. 
Cheerio for now!