Monday, 30 January 2012

Are We Branding Our Children?

Yesterday's Sunday Times Style magazine had an interesting article expressing concern, well maybe not concern but an opinion anyway, about the future of celebrity children.  Spoilt and dressed from head to toe in designer clothing, not much is apparently denied these little darlings.  Not even in school, these children are already a big influence for little more than what they are wearing.  I know the famous are an easy target but even for us mere mortals I wonder what kind of influence does clothing and what it costs have our children?

I was shocked a few years ago when I saw a boy of about 4 or 5 having a tantrum screaming "I want Adidas!" as his mother was attempting to get him to try another brand of shoes.
"That's a lovely dress" I said to a little girl of about 4. "It's from Monsoon" she replied proudly. I know children are clever but do they have to be so brand aware?
I remember either liking my outfit or not liking it but I don't think I was ever made aware of it's brand or cost. 

I have three boys and I'm a very proud mum when it comes to their appearance.  Smart cords, jumpers etc and the least amount of logos as possible! It's only natural to want your kids to look good but do we need to put so much emphasis on it? 

I usually get my kids stuff from Penny's, H&M, Dunnes Store, charity shops and eBay with the odd treat from the higher end stores when there are sales.  I've been complimented on some piece of my kid's clothing only to see a look of almost disgust when I tell them it's second hand.  Is good clothing not simply good clothing or must the label and price tag dictate that?

Kids put their clothes through the wars so I don't understand why some parents would want to pay €40 for jeans or €150 for a jumper for a kid just because it's designer!

I'm not talking about a special occasion but the day to day clothes.  Is it a competition between parents to show they have the money to throw around? How much is a T-shirt worth? Even if it is designer?
Are our children going to grow up thinking they are only worth as much as the clothes on their backs?

Designer children's wear, luxury children's clothing, exclusive children's wear.  We are seeing these words more and more pushed in our faces because it's big money. In fact about 4 billion euros worth.  But what about the children? I know it's all a bit dramatic but while you and I can reason with ourselves, children soak up the message of their environment and they are most certainly a target.

Are we somehow telling our children that the brand of his/her clothes makes them a better person?
That being the best looking one is important?
It's a fine line between instilling confidence and creating a brat who always needs the latest fashion trend.

I suppose if I was rich I might be buying more expensive clothes for my kids but would my kids have to be aware of it? Can't clothes just be clothes?

 I would hope that my children have more interesting things to think about! We are all bombarded by advertising and according to them I should already be dead from all the things I "need" but don't have.  The media really play on a parent's desire to give the best they can to their children but deliver a very twisted message about what that "best" is.  It's not made any easier when your kid is throwing a wobbly in public to get what the want- Pester Power I believe is the term.

We are talking about clothes here but really it's pretty much everything from gadgets and toys to food and haircuts! A lot of it has to do with the cost & value of things, a concept unknown to children but what they learn about it can have a serious impact on how they later learn to reason and manage their money.
I came across an interesting site teaching about money to children.  It gave lots of handy tips about how to help children appreciate the cost and value of things as well as help them manage money even in a small way.

There is only some much that can be done to instill good values in our children but parents are the biggest influence in a child's young life so I intend to do my best to help them keep a good head on their shoulders.  I love fashion and clothes as much as the next girl, maybe a little bit more but that doesn't mean I let it define me or my children.  It will be an ongoing battle, Me v Gucci, Stella, Ralph & co but I'm determined to teach my children that the person is far more important than the clothes!

What do you think?

Mum on a mission - Vievie  Xx

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Feeling Blue

Monsieur Lagerfeld recently showcased a summer collection entirely in blue. Cornflower blue to soft violets and touches of black and white.  While I found the collection a bit boring in that it doesn't really present something new but rather sticks to the the classic Coco style, I loved the blue theme running through it!

Going through my wardrobe I realised I don't really have a lot of blues which is something I intend to fix over the coming months! I did however manage to pull these pieces together for that all blue theme:

Wasn't sure if I was going to like it but I think it looks pretty and sweet.
  I must say I love the all one colour theme and I guess I shouldn't be that surprised as I do tend to do it when I hang my washing on the line! :)

Spotted some lovely blue things on eBay. Now all I have to do is pick one!

Chiffon skirt for about €20 including shipping.

This dress is soooo lovely!
About €16 and free shipping!

Classic shirt for about €10 including shipping

About €25 including shipping. I can think of loads of looks for this little number!

Last but not least. How cool are these? They come in brown and red too but I like the blue ones best!
About €14 and free shipping!

I've noticed with summer fashions coming in it's nearly all blondes in the mags (really annoying!) but blue always looks great on brunettes so I'll be making an effort to wear it a bit more!

Enjoy! -Vievie Xx

Thursday, 19 January 2012

How to Wear Pastels

Pastels haven't been on trend for a long time now but I'm really happy they're back for the next couple of seasons. Cotton candy pink, banana yellow, mint green, baby blue - all as sweet looking as they sound!   Here are a few ideas and tips on how to wear them:

You can't beat a simple jeans and white T-shirt.  Penny's have a great selection of colours but you can find these just about anywhere at the moment.

Go for a 50's inspired prim and proper look like Louis Vuitton and go head to toe in one shade.
If you want to wear pastel for an evening, pair it up with black or navy accessories like belt, bag and shoes.

Keep it fresh and modern with simple lines and wear bright red or at least a deeper shade of lipstick to avoid looking washed out especially if you have fair skin.

Layer up your pastels but keep it fuss free otherwise you'll end up looking like an explosion in a
Carebear factory!

If you don't like head to toe pastel, than mix it up with black, navy, burnt orange or red for a look that's a little more tough and less sugar sweetness overload!

Here's my pastel look.
Jeans from Penny's, top from H&M, shoes and bag from Aldo.
If this is still all too much for you than try a little pastel handbag, shoes or nail varnish for a discreet nod to the trend.
I'm really liking this trend and I think it can suit everyone so don't miss out!
-Vievie Xx

Monday, 16 January 2012

Best Dressed at the Golden Globes

Um, uh, well what can I say? The truth? I wasn't particularly blown away by this year's attendees so really the best dressed in my opinion are the best of a limited lot! Lets get on with it shall we?

One of the few dresses I actually liked.  Emma Stone really stands out in this dress with a belt that gives it a hard edge. However below we have Lea Michele wearing what kinda looks like a figure skating outfit that doesn't allow for much movement!
Next we have Piper Perabo. I liked this dress.  She was totally hyper but I like the dream like effect of it.  If your gonna go all out than go for it!
Not that I don't like it but I see this more as the coolest mother of the bride outfit but certainly a more feminine choice than usual for Tilda.
I like both of these dresses but I'm not sure about the head piece.  They remind me of those things people put around little baby girls heads to make sure they are not mistaken for a boy.  Charlize has so much going on I'm not sure where to look.
One thing is for sure, this year's Golden Globes (and other such like events) are not about bling. In fact most didn't wear necklaces and the jewels that were there were quiet and discreet. Is it the recession? A return to cleaner looks? Either way don't get it wrong if you have a big event remember it's about the dress not the bling!

Angelina looks beautiful as usual and yet I can't help but see it as the latest look for a new Special K breakfast cereal.  Is this a one off or does this mark a return to the matchy matchy rule of lips, nails, clutch and shoes?  I have to say she looks better on her own.  Brad could have done with a little snip snip of the hair to match the slick clean classy look of his leading lady.
I liked both of these with the exception of a few details. First, this green dress is simply beautiful but could have done with a contrasting clutch.  Second, it seems all wrong but I actually like the dress Elizabeth McGovern is wearing but I think the whole look would have been better with a slick and sharp hair style.

I'm not crazy about the shapes of these dresses but the colours are undeniably lovely on Frida and Nathalie although I think this year we saw lots of safe colour choices in nudes and blacks and green seems to have been the jewellery colour of the evening.
I would be hard put to pick a favourite only because I didn't really see anything that made my jaw drop but here is the one I think was the loveliest and the worst:
Shailene Woodley (who?, ya exactly) looks beautiful in this stunning dress.  It could have done with a little something, it's a bit safe but for me this was the dress of the evening.
This must be THE worst dress if the night.  Like the biggest pen ink leak ever! The tie dye look will never have a place in the realm of beautiful and this mess is no exception!

An overall boring and bland selection due to who knows what but this year will definitely not stand out as remarkable and I hope these people have something better for us come Oscar night! Is it me? I know I'm a little hard to please but the great thing about doing a blog is not having to pretend to like something because I'm being paid to write about it.  I'm not getting paid for this so I'm sorry they will just have to do better next time!
I leave you with a few interesting, can't make up my mind, extra pics - Vievie Xx

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Colour Your World

I've got the sniffles and I'm cold so I thought some colour would cheer me up.  Not that you can tell from this picture. More like I'm starring at the wall in a daydream about the rich tapestry of life!
"Ahhh yes, that rich tapestry of life!"
Meanwhile, back at the ranche....

Lots of colour & comfy material- perfect for a miserable day like this!
Feel like hot chocolate and home made rice crispy squares!
Listening to Nothing Down to Earth by Galerie Stratique
Have a nice weekend! - Vievie xx

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Growing Up Too Fast?

As I went to pick up this month's ELLE magazine I had a little pause for thought moment while looking at the cover.  Dakota Fanning. She's 17.  I'm not all together comfortable with this.  I'm buying a woman's magazine and there is a child on it trying to look like an adult.  I've changed my mind.  I don't want it anymore.

Maybe it's because I'm getting older or because I now have children of my own but more and more I'm noticing young girls being posed as and talked about as if they were adults. 
I feel uncomfortable as to what I am supposed to be thinking. 

I'm not sure I would want my daughter looking like this or looking at this (my sons either).
Whatever message these sort of images are sending about beauty, youth & possessions I don't feel are positive or appropriate.
To the older (about 27 and up at this stage) the message seems to dish out a selections of complexes regarding age and beauty. To the young it seems to be holding out an ideal of empty values and issues they are clearly not ready to understand or handle.
Why does the media seem so anxious to make girls grow up so fast? I wouldn't say it's out of concern for their welfare and self esteem. 
So am I just being funny about this?  Has having these sort of images slipped into our magazines caused us to become indifferent?  Or do we have an unsettling feeling that we just keep to ourselves because otherwise we "don't get it"?
In any case it's not something I want to get used to or OK with.
What do you think?

-Vievie Xx

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

My Girl Tuesday

It's so mild lately I can't believe what I can get away with in this weather!

Trousers & top, both Penny's.  Shoes - Dunnes and the bag is a vintage find.
Love the combo of light minty green and deep rich wine red!

I'm looking forward to wearing this top again with white jeans come spring. 
I'm seeing apple green all over the runways lately.  Not too much but in jumpers, bags, scarves etc.  Would love to get a jumper like this one:

Also like these little cuties from ASOS:

For the ultimate in green style, watch The Wizard of Oz or Great Expectations with Ethan Hawk and Gwyneth Paltrow.  Green is (amongst other things) the colour of hope and sure, what would we do without hope?
-Vievie Xx

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Worth It?

Flicking through the Sunday Times Style magazine this week, as I do every week, I came across something that actually caused a sharp pain to shoot through my brain.  I'm not easily shocked by the price of fashion as I realise there is a pyramid system where the most exclusive and expensive items are at the top where we little people cannot touch them.  I know my place in the world and pride myself in finding stylish, good quality items at bargain prices but this made me a little sick to my stomach.

8 January 2012 Style magazine page 6, bottom left corner: Summer 2012 Stella McCartney textured look jumper - £4,285.

I had to look at it several times for the numbers to register. Look at the jumper, look at the price.  Look at the jumper, look at the price. Jumper, price. Jumper, price. Ouch.

Tasteless is the word that comes to mind.  Does it look nice? Yes.  Is it designer? Yes. Yet I can't help but wonder how some people sleep at night.  If it were handcrafted by blind tsunami surviving orphans using pure gold thread from the melted down jewels of Elizabeth Taylor's recently auctioned collection I can see how this price might be justified but that's not the case is it? (if it is, someone please tell me as it would be terribly embarrassing!)

Since when is fashion justified? Not often I suppose but at times I do worry about the message it gives.  This is not about a luxurious garment for a special occasion. This is clearly not about quality. Neither is it about design.  This is a big "I'm up here and you're down there".

There are fashion items I can't afford and will never be able to afford and there are those it must be said are not worth affording.

This is like the class snob selling you a piece of chewing gum for 50 times what it's worth and you buying it to prove you can.  To prove you can buy something completely unnecessary for a price that means something to most people. It doesn't elevate the value of the purchased item but only serves to minimise the people who can't  afford it.

I like nice clothes.  I like designer clothes and I know they come at a price but some things cost more than money and shouldn't be paid. 

Fashion serves many purposes and pleasures but this one is having a laugh at your expense.
It's a shame really. It's a lovely jumper.  Don't worry, there will be others.  Ones you can look good in and feel good about!

This viewpoint was brought to you by a normal human being - Vievie Xx

Friday, 6 January 2012

Casual Friday

It's Friday. It's me and the kids. It's gotta be casual!
I think subconsciously I'm desperate for a bit of sun as I seem to veer towards bright colours lately! Pretty soon you might find me rocking myself holding one of those blue lights that mimic the sun.  I'll start with a vitamin B complex and work my way up! Hope you have a nice weekend lined up!
Amusez-vous! Vievie xx