s the saying goes, I bleed red, white, and blue. Who knew you didn’t have to be an overly patriotic American for this saying to be true. Though I have only been living in London for nearly five months, I have already adopted it as a second home. Convenient that both my home country and my current country of residence bare the same colors on our national flag, I feel this entitles me to a fluidity in identity alliance. London has warmly (ok overcastly) invited me into its home, and made me feel as though I never want to leave. With vast art, music, and events in constant motion, a diverse culture of people from all over the world collectively pursuing their dreams, and a city thats energy promises endless possibility, why would I leave?
The most common question I get from Londoners, is why I would move from sunny Southern California to grey London. Though I do understand the appeal of beautiful palm trees by the ocean, warm weather, and Hollywood at your doorstep, I beg the question, why not move to London? London is a place where you get the influence of European culture, mixed with a youthful energy of people eager to seize opportunities. It is a place where creativity and individualism has a real platform. A platform that begs for change, new ideas, and supports just that. Especially within the fashion world, a world I am slowly immersing myself into, there is no better time than now to be young, living in london, with a head full of innovative ideas and goals. Where fashion cities like New York, Paris, and Milan favor to the longly established brands, fashion houses, and designers. London, is a place where newcomers are equally respected and supported as much as the next fashion veteran. I feel this will ultimately benefit my future career in fashion, and excites the inner creator in me.
Though the true answer to my fellow Londoner’s question was that I moved here to study fashion, it’s the true heart of the city that will likely keep me here. Now, don’t go thinking I’ve renounced my citizenship just yet. America and California will always be my home, and I will eventually return someday. However, it’s worth considering why so many Americans–and Europeans in general– find the London life so appealing. Though it does get a bad rep for rainy/grey weather and for being one of the most expensive cities to live in the world, there’s much more to love than hate.
I recently met a fellow American from California, Bryan Okynansky, who came to London for the same reason as I. With a masters degree from the University of Nottingham in architecture, he sort of stumbled into the fashion world when he entered into a contest through his University that partnered with an American Footwear brand to create a sandals collection using 3D printing technology. He ended up winning the contest, going on to create his own luxury 3D printed high-heel shoe brand, ‘Shoes By Bryan’. Bryan pulls much of his inspiration from an architectural perspective, designing high heels that resemble intricately structured buildings, and a masterfully crafted custom shoe for clients ranging from 20-45 years old. He shared with me some of his similar views on the acceptance to newbies and new innovation that London provides. It’s nice to be assured by another American, that this new home of mine is truly a place to thrive. I’m looking forward to seeing the new emergers of 2016, and hope to be involved in equally interesting, forward thinking projects over the next few years here.
If you want to know more about Bryan and his 3D shoes, check out his website: Shoesbybryan.com and an interview clip for your viewing pleasures.
The monochrome outfit series I shot a while back near the canals in London, is one of the fun outfit features that will be more prevalent on the blog this year. Makeup and Photography by my wonderful friend Hannah Gallery.
The intended vibe for this look was street-style chic. The leather snap-back gives off a laid back feel, while playing with a contrasted texture of the printed Mango jacket creates a more visually interesting black and white combo. Wearing slick black skinny jeans (Mango), I paired a classic crisp white button up blouse to bring in that chic clean element. Always a good idea for everyday style, you can’t go wrong with a pair of leather pointed ankle boots with a bit of a chunky heel to feel uber cool (seen at Primark). I always tend to dress up the look with a bit of jewelry, so naturally chose a chunky choker as my statement necklace. In need of giving the look a final touch, I throw on a leather side bag (Primark) and top it off with a dark lip and attitude to match. Stay tuned for lots of exciting projects and stories this year on Vervefelicity!
Nothing like a fashion moment, then one where you’ve got a flying jacket. 😛