The importance of fellowship

Here I am, on a Liverpool train back to London, using my time wisely and writing as many blog posts I can squeeze out of my tired little brain.

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As I was thinking of topics to write about, my mind wandered around the same complex subjects I tend to babble on here most of the time. Then, it just hit me: fellowship. It is easy to develop this subject as my inspiration comes from the person behind the camera in these pictures.

Sometimes you will find the most important people in your life where you least expect. People who will be by your side and understand when you are going through a rough patch.

This kind of fellowship is different than the normal comradeliness a colleague might give you, it comes from finding friendship amongst the horsecrap (aka work).

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Through our job, I met this amazing woman and it was love at first sight! We both are very assertive, strong-minded Leos which destiny put together for a reason. There was no denial that we would be close, up to this day it still scares me how much in common we have!

There were times that one of us would be in distress, the other one would always be there, ready to help and never judging. You may say, “oh well, that’s friendship for ya”. I am here to say that yes, but also more than that! Friends and family will always support and help us, but a fellow is the one who will understand your struggles better than anyone else.

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Finding a friend at work creates this special bond that should last for a long time. You both have been through thick and thin together and are basically like an old married couple. This fellowship is what makes a dull job bearable, is the first person you tell about a new project, the person you hope will listen to your personal insecurities and affirm your greatness when necessary.

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Thanks to this fellowship, I have someone to hold me accountable for with my personal projects, someone that supports me or, in this case, takes pictures of my outfit in a parking lot.

Camilla
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Blouse: H&M x William Morris | Trousers: Zara (Similar) | Bag: Staud (Similar) | Boots: Miista (Similar|Similar)

Welcoming autumn

There is no denial, autumn has finally arrived. After a few qualms with the fact that shorter days are on the horizon as the new season starts, I finally succumbed to mother nature and let my woollies free out of the plastic tub under the bed. In the past, I have never seen myself as a ‘summer’ person and truth be told, I dreaded hot days until I moved to England seven years ago.

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Please allow me to expand on this thought; growing up in a reasonably warm country, foggy, wintery and cool days were rare and considerably below average when comparing to what occurs on the northern hemisphere. I love A/W fashion – thick fabrics, structured cuts, trousers, boots – you name it, I’m into it. I do realise that the main corporate to my taste for winter clothes come from my style inspiration, which is very reminiscent of the 1960s and 1970s British and European fashion. When I still lived in my hometown, the look I desired was very hard to obtain as we were lucky to get a 10ºC weather on a winter day.

Funnily enough, things completely changed once I moved to London, experienced a couple of cold winters and fully integrated myself into the culture and British habits. The first year living in the UK, I was hit with a feeling that I have never sensed before. At the time I thought it could be that I just felt a little lost, still adapting into living alone in a foreign country. Later on, I’ve learned of ‘SAD’ (Seasonal Affected Disorder) and I am pretty sure that was what had swayed me.

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Coming from a place where the days are pretty much the same length, no matter the season, it was a shock to my system to see how short they were here in the UK. Granted, I wasn’t neither working or studying on the first winter I spent in London and that meant I was sleeping late and waking up late. I had 4-ish hours of daylight and it would be dark again. Not having time to enjoy the sun made me depressed, which meant I didn’t leave my bed, leading to sleeping until late and therefore, not seeing the sun yet again. It was a horrible vicious cycle, to say the least.

Forwarding years, I can happily report that my life is so far from that reality that I can’t even believe that we were the same person. I managed to get to university, have a weekend job, graduate, have placements, have a full-time job, travel, see family, go through hardships, build amazing memories and so on. My life got busy and although I was overwhelmed at times, it didn’t give me the opportunity to really sink in with the weather and the deemed sunlight from the winter.

Last year things were slightly different. We suffered a big loss in our family and our spirits were shaken, my heart still fragile. As winter approached, I could see a glimpse of desperation in my eye, my actions were flustered and my irritability was up to the roof. The turning point of events was in November when my husband and I went for a day trip to Brighton.

It was so stupid, looking back to that day, but my shoes were hurting me, I didn’t find anything I liked at the shops and all the cafes were too busy to sit on. We had barely made a dent to our itinerary and it already started to get dark – boom, I broke down. I cried, I felt horrible and worthless, I cursed the weather, my shoes, and my poor husband. As we sat down for tea in one of our favourite restaurants in Brighton, I apologised to him, I didn’t know what was going on with me at that moment. We talked over our tofu and lo and behold, I came to recognise that I wasn’t ok, but that was actually, ok.

SAD can really eat you up, but only if you let it do it. Once I identified the cause of my distress, I soon changed the outlook I was giving my life. Words are easier said than done, obviously, and I didn’t magically felt better or started to sing jolly Christmas songs like Elf. I did though, understood that small things shouldn’t be leading me to feel so bad, so defeated. We can’t change the way the world is, days will be shorter and the wind will bite your cheeks, that is inexorable.

What we can change is the way it affects us. People don’t suddenly feel depressed just because the weather is gloomy, there are underlying factors that make them exteriorise their emotions through SAD. Having the strength to reflect that in myself is something I am still learning, but I know that every year I am getting better at it.

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Therefore, I am welcoming autumn in my life this year. I am embracing the shorter days, the freezing cold mornings and grey skies. I will make the most of it and I will look forward to dressing up with my favourite pieces. Let me shed my worries the same way the trees will shed their leaves, one by one, slowly, but surely.

Camilla
XX


Top, Culottes, Handbag: Vintage | Boots: Miista | Barrette: Accessorize

Keeping up with the ‘Grams

I started this blog because I felt compelled to do something creative in my spare time and because I love the idea of being able to share my thoughts and inspiration around fashion and personal endeavours. It all started in a very nonchalant way, but I saw myself drawn to a rabbit hole of comparison that I initially thought I would be exempt from. In a matter of weeks, not only I tried to act a certain way when presenting my identity online, but I also spent money on frivolous items I would normally stray away from.

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A few days ago I listened to the latest episode of The Fringe of It podcast discussing influencers, their words really resonated with me. I went ahead and read the articles mentioned, which were “I Don’t Want to Convey Perfection Online, But Must I Bare My Soul?” by Pandora Sykes, “As The Government Cracks Down, We Go Inside The Murky World Of Influencer Marketing” by Vicky Spratt and Brittany Bathgate’s blog post “For The Love of Clothes”. I also added a few posts by Alice Catherine to the list, as I find her writing remarkably insightful and honest.

Reading Grazia magazine’s article, I agree that sometimes we can feel caught up by influencer marketing at its best, making us want to consume in an almost frantic manner. Alice has dabbled about the topic here, where she talks about emerging fashion trends on Instagram and how they can affect our purchase decisions. This is one part of the ‘grey area’ of Social Media that affected me considerably, as I felt alluded to a consumerist mindset that I don’t want belong to.

The pressure to ‘keep up with the Johnsons’ (a.k.a. Instagram) made me distance myself from my original identity and values. I constantly compared myself to others: from physical appearances to the content I was able to produce. I have mentioned before how insufferably perfectionist I can be and I recognise how much that affects the way I show myself to the world.

I am not happy with my ‘wobbly bits’ and am extremely self-aware every time I post something online. I needed a break so I could step away from that toxic environment I created and that is precisely what I’ve done.

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The other section of said ‘grey area’ discussed in the podcast and articles is regarding the ongoing demand for influencers to constantly show their vulnerability. Brittany expressed her feelings brilliantly in her blog post and I feel exactly the same about it: sometimes people are just not sharers in a deep personal fashion all the time, and that’s ok.

What I am trying to portray in this flow of thoughts is, in the end, quite straightforward. I want to connect with people and reach an audience while being true to myself and everyone else on the way. I want to share those ‘wobbly bits’ without being judged by strangers and especially by me. I guess that what I am saying is basically that from now onward, I will try to utilise this space with a more honest approach, being it deeply rooted or not. Liv Purvis has started a new project that inspired me to let go and showcase my vulnerabilities, The Insecure Girls’ Club is like a safety net for us who look for a place of acceptance.

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I am also pledging myself to stop condoning to too many superfluous consumerist practices, which means that most things you will see here from now on will be either vintage or second-hand, but I hope that will inspire you to do the same!

 

Camilla

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Blazer: Vintage (Similar|Similar)| Top: Vintage (Similar|Similar) | Trousers: & Other Stories