Thursday, 31 October 2013

IL2L Blogger Event

While I wouldn't call myself a fashion blogger, I really do enjoy reading lots of fashion blogs and spending hours shopping online in search of that perfect outfit. So when online fashion boutique iL2L invited me to their blogger event a few weeks ago, I RSVP'd pretty quickly.

Although I was vaguely aware of iL2L before the event, it was great to actually meet the people behind the online brand and have a chat about some of the things that go on behind the scenes. Being able to try on some of the leather jackets was also a bonus, as that can be one of the drawbacks of making a big purchase online.

Everyone enjoyed the cupcakes and Bellinis, but the hair and makeup ladies were probably my favourite part of the event. I've had some awful 'makeovers' in the past where the makeup artist just doesn't listen to you at all so I was a bit nervous, but Abbie was great and I was so happy at the end! I loved the vampy ombre lip and my skin has never looked so flawless. I haven't been able to recreate it since.

To match the makeup I requested a big quiff and ponytail from hairstylist Charlotte who also did a great job with my thin and flat hair. A lot of hairspray was used! It was such a shame that I had nowhere to go after the event apart from home. I felt very glammed up sat on my sofa watching TV.

Thanks to the marketing team behind iL2L for such a fun event. I had a fab time and enjoyed chatting with some fellow bloggers. I shall also cherish my personal fashion illustration (such a nice little touch) and the leftover cupcakes that I was burdened with...

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

A Trip To Blackpool

Blackpool is definitely one of those places that I just assume everyone from the north has visited, so when my best friend from uni said that she'd never been, a trip to the seaside was soon on the cards.

Blackpool has a bit of a bad reputation, but when I was a kid I didn't care about some of the run down shops or questionable souvenirs, it had big rides, candyfloss and flashing lights. To me it was a paradise and I happily spent hours putting two pences into the slot machines just to win a plastic keyring. 

The regeneration of the pier in recent years has definitely helped its appearance, and we enjoyed strolling up and down / running away from massive seagulls.

I am wearing the snuggliest coat in these pictures. It's from Miss Selfridges and it is just perfect. Exactly what I have been looking for in a winter jacket for such a long time. 

As it's soon approaching Halloween, we also took a visit to The Blackpool Tower Dungeon, which was a bit of an experience! Some of it was funny, some of it was cringey and some of it was quite scary! The whole thing was definitely aimed at families with younger children, although there were a couple of 'adult jokes' that would have gone straight over their heads. Some great special effects added to the creepiness, but overall it was just a bit of fun. Apart from the ride at the end - which was truly awful but we got a hilarious photo out of it.

After our visit to the dungeon we headed to the central pier for some seaside treats (chips and gravy, and sugary donuts) and headed back to the train station as it was getting dark. 

I really love some of the above shots - I just love the innate 'northern' quality of them. It's also made me become more interested in portraiture, as I normally feel really embarrassed taking pictures of people without them knowing! 

Thank you Blackpool, you are lovely to take photos of!
Disclaimer - The Blackpool Tower Dungeon gave me two guest tickets for review purposes, but I have given an honest review of my experience.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Do I Have to Wear Fishnets to Play Roller Derby?

In short - no, but the longer answer is one that I've been thinking about for a while now.

For some people the stereotype of roller derby as a performance sport made up of face paints, costumes, personas and eyeliner is what attracts them to it in the first place. It's somewhere where you can become someone else on track, dress up and be part of a tight knit group. It welcomes those who feel excluded from more traditional sports for one reason or another. Overall, it just looks like a lot of fun.

And it is, but as the sport tries to put more of a focus on its athleticism rather than its uniform, do we have a responsibility as skaters to move away from the fake names and fishnets?

With these included it can be hard to explain to the uninitiated. The fake names don't sound dissimilar to some you would find in a burlesque line up, whilst the short shorts are, well, pretty short, which makes it difficult to get people to focus on the blood, sweat and tears involved rather than the amount of leg on show. Throw in some loud music being played over the bouts and the skate outs and flags, and it begins to smack of a staged performance.

But what's so bad about women turning to costumes, make up and fake names to boost their confidence and feel good about themselves? Isn't that what we've always done? Should we think less of those who have to rely on a bit of war paint to feel confident in comparison to those who just skate in a pair of sports leggings and get on with it? For some people maybe just the lacing up of the skates is all that they need to boost their confidence, but for others there needs to be a physical mask and transformation before they can happily skate out.

You could argue that instead of seeing this act of dressing up as a form of liberation and empowerment, it's just another example of how we, as women, have internalised the idea that the main priority for each and every one of us is our appearance. And more importantly, how others see us. So then this dressing up is really always for the audience rather than the skater? Also, why does female empowerment seem to be synonymous with getting undressed? Can't we do it with our clothes on?

However, this notion is in the same category as the supposed idea that women only wear makeup for men (or just anyone they want to find them attractive, I guess) but this is an argument that is constantly refuted, as people repeatedly say that they wear makeup for a number of reasons and attracting a mate is not the raison dĂȘtre. Sometimes they just like it. Sometimes it just makes them feel nice even if no one sees it. And sometimes it's just really pretty.

At the moment the WFTDA rules for uniforms in flat-track roller derby don't really go beyond team colours, numbers and not having safety pins on your shirt, and I don't know if they should. To take away the punny names and personas would be to take away something of the underground/grassroots essence of roller derby itself. I guess it's always been a bit edgy and different and that's why people find comfort and community in it away from mainstream sports. If it's struggling to be taken seriously in the world of sport because of others' preconceptions then why should roller derby have to change to fit in with that rather than the other way around? Who decides what makes a 'true sport' anyway? The definition of sport is just 'an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment' which definitely applies to roller derby.

If it's the fishnets and face paints that is encouraging more women into sport and inspires confidence, then why not? Because we need to make it easier and more accessible for women to take up a sport.

So if dyeing your hair purple and wearing rainbow socks is your thing, then that's cool with me. If you don't know the difference between eyeshadows and eyeliners then that's cool with me too. It's all about freedom of choice and maybe we should just leave it at that.

Latest Instagrams

© The Stones Inside My Shoes | A UK Lifestyle Blog. Design by FCD.