Action for Happiness
The festivities kicked off with Henry Holland and I giving our best pre Christmas grin to Clothes Show Live audiences! In the picture to the right (thanks to Mass photography), I'm test-driving my new Ada Zanditon neck piece, a Sadie Clayton spacer skirt (which I wish you could see) and high shoes, for the first of five day marathon in which I attempt to get round the colossal indoor car park that is the NEC for the 26th annual Clothes Show Live. With 180,000 visitors, I have lots of people to meet.
As Educational Ambassador, I host expert talks with a great range of contributors, one photographer even raced home from Australia to contribute. And I met some amazing young creatives in our packed seminars on career confidence, which got me feeling the future of fashion is in safe hands. I get to chat with a whole host of people in fact - who would have thought Peter Andre appearing at CSL along with a bevy of boy bands and TV types, would have been interested in the work I do on body image, as co founder of All Walks Beyond the Catwalk?
I met loads of young designers and shopped for my Christmas wardrobe. AND ALSO are now amongst my new favourites in casual chic. This adorable twosome have created a thriving business out of individual short run textile designs. I've featured my current everyday wear here.... I love it so much that I'm enclosing a link to the site here ONLY with the understanding you'll flock to their website...but not COPY ME...there are lots of other marvellous designs after all!
At home later, my friend Bhavik, director of another Made in England label, Jack Masters knitwear brand sent me a special present, which I opened on Christmas day...his and hers multicultural Christmas jumpers, these are only the very same ones receiving incredible national press (Guardian, Metro, Independent amongst others) for the brilliant idea of putting all the symbols of faith and belief from Islam, Christianity and Judaism to Yin and Yang and the Atom on one jumper. NICE ONE! I made it my business to get them a mention in i-D too and I hope they got some take up. Get your order in for next year here...who knows they may even do an update.
With Christmas over (I slept and put on some very necessary weight) and looking at 2015, and its opportunities, I'm reminded of a talk I attended as part of my MSc study in Fashion Psychology, given by Professor Paul Doolan on the importance of understanding how to action happiness. Last year was the toughest I have faced in my 34 years of full time practice and took me to the very limits of my abilities to stay sane. 2014 shall ever after be known as the Anxiety and Pressure year. And for what? This is a question I have asked myself from the safety of a refreshed mind and spirit.
So for 2015, I am channelling the happiness that comes with doing small, slow things, not big heroic things. I've packed away "Zena the Warrior," my now defunct archetype and will aspire to a more sedate way of doing things. Perhaps i should get some Hilary Clinton energy into my life and of course time for family, friends and fun...Ah sweet relief...bring it on.