Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Inspiring Women In Fashion And Beauty

Women can feel like they are damned if they do, damned if they don't. We are expected to take care of ourselves and take the time to look our best but we're not meant to take too long, think about it too much, be too fond of how we look. We can often be looked down upon if we dedicate our lives to fashion or beauty, for being so passionate about such "superficial" or "shallow" topics.

This, of course, is nonsense. Both fields are home to some of the most talented, creative, business-savvy women. And, in fact, they are often areas where women are more likely to succeed and take on leadership roles.

These women should be celebrated for their hard work, vision and skill, not told that their professions or areas of expertise aren't important. And, while we should, of course, encourage more girls to be scientist and politicians, we should also tell them that they can be whatever kind of woman they want and that all of their choices are valid.

So, I wanted to write a post about the women in fashion and beauty who inspire me every day and teach me about clothes, design, hair, make-up and much, much more besides.

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Design Legend: Vivienne Westwood

Dame Westwood is a force to be reckoned with; from her punk beginnings to continuing to question the status quo and how we treat the Earth today. It is admirable that she is a businesswoman, an advocate for the environment and a talented designer - all at the same time, for many decades. We could all strive to be as cool and awesome as her.

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MUA: Ciara Allen

Ciara Allen is a Dublin-based MUA and blogger with a background in art and who has worked for an impressive list of designers and publications. Not only is her work pretty and painterly but she goes about her career with a grace, kindness and enthusiasm that is inspiring.

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Designer: NATALIEBCOLEMAN/Danielle Romeril

Any regulars here will know that I am a bit fan of both Natalie and Danielle. I always want to support and promote Irish design and these guys make it a joy to do so. Natalie's clothes are whimsical and pretty but also witty and cool and she always makes time to properly chat to people at sample sales and fashion week. Her humility, creativity and sense of humour make her as likable as a person as her clothes are covetable.

Danielle, meanwhile, is such a rising star and really doing us proud. She never forgets her roots and routinely references Irish influences. Her strength of vision and coherent brand identity really make her a formidable designer that I look forward to watching grow further in the future.

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Fashion Illustrator: Kitty Moss

Kitty is an awesome human. When I interviewed her in the past, it became quickly apparent that we were on the same page about a lot of things; including trees, witches and wearing black. Her illustration is spooky and pretty in equal measure and exactly my cup of tea. However, it's Kitty's boundless creativity and wonderful imagination that really sets her apart from her peers.

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Youtuber: Estée Lalonde/Lex Croucher

I love Estée's channel, aesthetic, dog and the people around her. I take her reccommendations very seriously and she is one of the few people that I have consistently watched since I got into Youtube a few years ago. Others I take breaks from, but not Estée. Her taste is impeccable and her videos are beautifully made and often display her creativity and desire to try new things through her editing. However, its Estée's sense of humour and frank nature that make her so damn lovable.

Lex, meanwhile, is kinda my spirit animal. Her dry humour, sarcasm and acerbic wit, especially when talking about beauty/fashion and not taking herself too seriously, are delightful and her commitment to cruelty free brands is admirable. However, the thing that solidified my love for this youtuber is that I once saw a panel in which she questioned the fact that no beauty youtubers/gurus were included in the Becoming Youtube documentary series, despite their sway and popularity. I appreciated that she stood up for their right to their passions and disagreed with women being shamed for "girly" interests.

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Beauty Blogger/Writer: Arabelle Sicardi

Arabelle is a bit of a Tumblr queen who regularly makes me both laugh and consider beauty more deeply. Her analysis of products and discussion of beauty is often akin to poetry or academic analysis and displays the true weight and importance of such topics. Plus: you'd better believe that I buy every damn skincare suggestion she offers.

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Fashion Blogger/Writer: Susie Lau

When I don't know how to feel about a collection - because of dubious references or motivations or because the vision isn't apparent to me - I go to Susie and see if she has written about it. I admire her thoughtfulness and intense passion for fashion, as well as her knowledge and writing and aim to have a career even a little bit like hers.

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Fashion Inspiration: Grimes/Solange Knowles

Most of my personal fashion inspiration comes from men but there are, of course, women who inspire me with their sense of style. Grimes is one of my all-time favourite musicians but I also love how she puts clothes together. She is one of those people with an innate stylishness because, outside the photoshoots and teams of experts to make her glam, in her day-to-day life, she pairs everything from hoodies to sliders with other pieces to make an outfit work for her. That is a true testament to style. Bonus: her love for the environment is another reason to try and be a little more like her.

Solange Knowles is just cool. Like, really cool. The kind that you can't emulate. She is a singer, songwriter, actress and model and is exceptionally talented but she also works colour and texture in an outfit like no one's business. For someone unable to inject colour into my wardrobe successfully, that's a seriously enviable trait. Plus, she could wear a burlap sack and make it work. Some people are just like that.

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Those are just some of the women I admire most in these industries and aspire to be like. Let's celebrate other women! Happy International Women's Day!


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