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ACADEMIC PORTFOLIO 2011


NEWS WRITING


What does fashion mean to you? Today members of Southampton's public shared their personal tastes and influences on their style and fashion sense. As a multicultural city, it has been exposed to an eclectic mix of cultures and personalities which today unfolded in different outlooks and interpretations of what fashion means. There was a distinctive split of fashion preference between older and younger students in particular. The younger generation were keen to describe their fashion icons and influences within pop culture. "I judge people by what they wear so I feel they would do the same with me," said Laurie Walker, a 17 year old performing arts student. Individuality was important Laurie who added: "I like to stand out, especially as I'm close to London, everyone is always trying to out-do each other." Her love for indie rock music was reflected well by her quirky wardrobe choice of a sleeveless, band t-shirt. She added: "I love my Dr Martens, I got them for my birthday and I just wear them all the time. Aspiring fashion journalist Elena Hashtroudi was also eager on giving a good impression: "If you look nice, you feel better about yourself and I like to look nice for other people," she said. The 16 year old had adapted a style from influential role models, Alexa Chung and upcoming music artist Yasmin. "I'm obsessed with Yasmin, I love

how she dresses and she has a blog where she posts all her outfits." Elena admitted to enjoying shopping on her own. "Sometimes there is competition between friends when you're all trying to look as good as each other." Elliot Woodman, 21 a sales assistant from Bedford Place was surprisingly opposed to current catwalk trends. He said: "I just buy what I like, I've got skinny legs so I like skinny jeans. Although mainstream fashion wasn't his favourite he enjoyed taking inspiration from Lookbook, the popular blogging forum. Considering he was not a keen trend follower his leather look leggings seemed spot on for winters key fetishism trend. Although many admitted to not adhering to high-end fashion, their outfits seemed well styled and very on-trend. Natalia Mielczark, also 21, stood nonchalantly outside West Quay shopping centre in her fur gilet and explained: "I don't see myself as a fashionable person, I never prepare my clothes the night before, I just get up in the morning and throw on whatever." Effortless street style is increasingly seen as "cool" which was reflected well by the younger generation. Christopher Mason also had a laid back approach to his fashion preferences: "You have to be comfortable in what you wear, a lot of people may be fashionable but they don't look comfortable," the 26 year old social worker explained. He showed a keen eye for quality saying: "I like All Saints and Reiss and I would spend quite a lot of money on one item as long as it's versatile."


A new Southampton

have started to make people believe it will work.”

Southampton City Council today revealed further plans to develop the new Cultural Arts Quarter.

She was adamant to create a strong community feel: "It's something I'm very committed to and I only do things that I am passionate about and I want to make sure a real mix of arts get put back in to the centre of Southampton." Cafes and restaurants have already been open, generating more business around the complex .

Following the closing down of John Lewis, the Above Bar of Southampton became quieter, but plans to regenerate the area secure it’s future. Jill Lowe the team leader said: “A cultural quarter in any city is absolutely essential.” She has been working on the project for four years after previously taking on several other challenges to rejuvenate art centres. “We know there is a wish to have arts in the middle of the city," she said. The art and culture enthusiast worked at the Mayflower Gantry Centre as a programming officer before realising her forte. Her involvement in a similar project in Salisbury was extremely successful giving the city something to look forward to, she added: "We now have the Civic Square, it is quite stark as it has been rebuilt but it actually just a back drop for what we want to do, we want to have street theatre there and things spinning in and out of the arts complex" Development of the scheme so far has brought a positive upturn to the local, businesses. Ziggy Woodward, co-director of The Arts House, Gallery Cafe a small independent organisation is particularly pleased with the project, she said: “Its is certainly not competition, arts should be working together.” “We aim for it to be a hub of Southampton, a place of excitement and activity,” explained Jill Lowe. Events that took place earlier this year already proved popular with Southampton residents. The Midsummer Dreams event attracted 7000 people to watch a human mobile of performance artists towering over the cultural quarter. The project team leader was very pleased with the turn out: “There has been positive feedback from residents, of course there always some who don’t agree but I think we

The main two buildings will showcase art, film and video, and performing arts, working with several other organisations including Southampton' s universities. The main goal of the scheme is to bring the city's community together through art and culture: "We have a niche market in the middle that which we believe we need to fill. We've got Mayflower, we've got The Nuffield Theatre and we've got Guildhall but nothing where we can have a sort of informal community mix," explained Lowe. One of the many highlights is Sea City, one of the first parts of the developments which will exhibit Southampton as a gateway to the sea, which she was very proud of: "It will be another key part to the jigsaw." The Grade II Old Magistrates' Court building has been in the process of being converted to a new city landmark attraction, which will focus on stories and history behind the RMS Titanic which departed from Southampton's very own harbour. A Special Exhibitions Gallery will be interlinked with to Sea City also showcasing several related galleries and temporary projects. This section of the overall project will be launched in April 2012. Originally the plan was to include the living space of 200 flats, however since the initial designs the developers have changed to Grosvenor and this has been reduced to 36 but the project team leader insisted it was the right move to take "Grosvenor are very practical and commercially minded developers, they recognised that what would really make this place wake up is actually having cafes and other things around but the flats will be really exciting, they will be good urban spaces."


The project aims to attract a diverse audience, Ben White explained: "We definitely want to bring in tourists, we also want to make this something for people that live and study in Southampton."The communications director at Southampton City Council was keen to reach out to a wide community of people to bring the new

complex to life. He added: "It's really important to recognise that public finances at the moment are dire and they're not going to get any better anytime soon so this needs to be a commercial success, it has to make money." Southampton's cultural arts quarter should be completed and open to the public by 2014.


The Apprentice at Southampton Solent University Southampton Solent University Fashion students today were given the chance to show their entrepreneurial flair in a race to sell a new sportswear range. After winning a bid for government funding, the Management and Marketing course teamed up with Product Design students to come up with a new range: 'For Students by Students'. The design process for the SSU collegiate range was initialized over a year ago but launched earlier this year and sold across the university. Today, young entrepreneurs, in groups of 17 or 18 battled it out in an Apprentice style task to gain the highest income. Their pop-up shops were located in several places on campus. Each member was assigned a crucial role in order to maintain a devised strategy to appeal to their target market. Emma Pritchard, the course team leader for Fashion Design said: "Students used key transferable skills for employability in industry". Third year students on the Red, Blue, Yellow and Orange teams endorsed the brand themselves sporting the Hollister inspired tshirts and hooded sweaters. Robyn Kardamash on the Blue Team was particularly keen on the varsity jacket, a key urban trend. Emma Pritchard was proud of the finished garments: "...they very much say casual lifestyle". As it is a sports orientated university, the designers Israr

Jan-Parker and Pascal Matthews focused around comfort and practicality. With top consumer brands such as Jack Wills and Fat Face considered, the teams had to find an innovative approach to attract a large flow of customers. Jodie Colles from the Yellow Team was eager to impress: "We had to make it special with extra added value to compete with the big brands". Blue Team explained their tactics to reach out to a wide market by offering Calvin Klein goody bags as well as gym memberships. Today was just the beginning of 'The Big Sell Off'. Third year students will continue to compete in the battle to stream in the highest income throughout the week and the money raised will go directly to Southampton Solent. So far, the event has been a hit and not just for the customers: "It is a lot of fun and the task gives us an opportunity to think outside the box", explained Amie Wells from Blue Team. With group morale soaring, competition was fierce but the feeling of unity didn’t go unnoticed. The event has given the chance for multiple course and staff collaborations, allowing a wide range of people to get involved. Although the main focus was on pop-up shops, the sportswear range has been sold through other website and retail channels.


FEATURES


To be, or not to be? For two years I have been in a relationship with a boy from a different background, and for two years we have kept it undercover, but the reality behind this Romeo and Juliet romance is that one day, I will have to "come out" to my parents: Should I tell them now so they can tell me I’m not mature enough and I have no idea what I’m getting myself in to, or should I wait and tell them once university is over after having hidden it for another three years?

It's widely understood that within some or most Asian families, rules on relationships, particularly for girls can be strict or even not allowed all together until the point of marriage. My mother was never in a relationship until she was 18, when she became engaged to my father. Times have changed since then and my parents are fortunately for me, more lenient than others. My problem is solely on the fact that my boyfriend and I do not share the same background.

My first undercover boyfriend did not work out so well, I was a snotty teenager who of course was going through a phase of constantly feeling sorry for myself. On top of that my attitude towards my parents was short from appalling, I saw my boyfriend, also a boy outside my background as some sort of act of justice on behalf of many other sweet sixteens. At the time my parents did not agree with relationships at "such a young age" and my attitude was even worse, "Yes I should be allowed to have a relationship at this age, and I am definitely not the naive youth you all think I am." He ended up cheating on me with my best friend.

I failed to see that I was making a huge mistake the first time, what makes me think it will be any different this time around, is it true, do our parents really know what is best for us? Lying to them of course comes with harsh consequences, the worst being losing

their trust. It was treated as the worst thing I could ever do, for days we didn't speak and for almost a year after they watched everything I did, I was barely allowed out the house unless it was for school-still, certainly more lenient than other parents. As teenagers my parents were brought up under strict house rules. Sometimes I wonder if they ever quite understood the concept of rebelling. So when they found out I had been seeing him under their very noses I suppose they weren't quite sure how else to react, so part of me still feels like it wasn't that bad.

Regrets? Definitely not. After a summer of teenage heartbreak I grew up, learning so much from the previous year and eventually met my current partner who I am extremely happy with. We share many of the same interests, have lengthy phone conversations on the wildest of topics and trust each other more than anyone else. Without seeming smug, I like to think we have the perfect relationship. Of course as a mature couple we are not completely oblivious to the situation and understand that if it was to progress to a more serious level there would be a lot of controversy against it but this time around it is not about being a rebel. I don't think he and I are the ones that need to grow up, but this whole forbidden relationship thing is something that our families need to grow out of.

Having to hide a relationship from the people closest to me makes things that much harder as we're constantly watching our backs. You'd think that moving away to university would just create a bigger barrier when in actual fact the last three months have allowed us to spend a few wonderful weekends together in a city where nobody knows who we are. Back home that would never happen, but here we could actually hold hands in the city centre without having the constant worry that we would bump in to someone, and when I say someone this could be anyone who knew anyone- Leicester is not exactly the biggest of places. Telling my parents now would risk losing something that I have come to depend on. Even if they were to grant me the permission to be in this relationship, it wouldn't come without a book


of ground rules- no sleeping over, no public scenes of affection in case that someone happens to tell the rest of the family most likely resulting in my disownment!

I can't help but wonder whether the romance of having to keep it hidden encourages a relationship that doesn't realistically have a future; maybe the excitement of it all makes helps to ignore what's really coming. But then why should it be like this to begin with, surely the days of social prejudice and ignorance are over, I was sent to multi-cultural school and I was brought up in a culturally diverse area, I should not be expected to marry the perfect Hindu boy, that just doesn't matter to me.

I really do feel like I am trapped in a modern day Romeo and Juliet. The two of us have been put under this immense pressure and made to feel like we are committing the worst of crimes just because of ancient tradition and ignorance. Although there have been one thousand moments when my emotions get the better of me and I just want to blurt out the truth, I refuse to give them the chance to put me under house-arrest and throw the book of rules at me. I will keep seeing my boyfriend, and keep it away from the attention of my parents. Although one day, when I am no longer "far too young", providing things have progressed with him, I will finally "come out" and let them in to the secret that for so long they had forced me to keep.


Catherine Hepwright She started off selling vintage six years ago, since overcoming family crisis, two car accidents, a disastrous house fire and fighting off depression, her small-time Ebay business has transformed in to Southampton’s favourite vintage boutique. A year on and she is celebrating her business' first birthday, revisiting the ups and downs of her journey so far and all the bits in between.

She offers me a cup of tea and sits down happily opposite, re-adjusting her eclectic outfit of a thirties house coat and a beautiful maroon midi-skirt, she stands up and curtsies slightly fanning out the pleats: “This is actually called a placement print at the bottom of this skirt-there you go, teaching you a little something about fashion.” It's funny she should mention the word fashion, so many see it as something that is constantly moving forward, but Catherine stays committed to her retro roots.

'For a Monday morning she’s certainly perkier than most, and although she seems fiddly and self-conscious I’m slightly intimidated as she strokes her large leopard fur coat- which is not real might I add. She chatters on about her hectic morning of stock listings I can’t help but let my eyes wander around the treasure box clothes and accessories. As she lifts her large, eighties spectacles to sweep back the tendrils of hair from her eyes, my focus returns to the smile on her face.

Before I say a word Catherine is already talking about the store, she clasps her hands together motivationally as though to start a task: “Right, well start with the name, Hepwrights, that’s not my actual name, my name is just Wright. The Hep is derived from three things; Audrey, Katherine and fifties hepcats like hipsters."

Catherine's love for vintage all began from a young age. "I was about your age and back then I was a big girl and there wasn't much available for us at the time." But she managed to make it work, it seems like the cool thing to do these days it make it work, whether you really need to or not. The term 'Vintage' is now constantly used to describe garments or accessories with even the slightest old-fashioned feel. "It's used as a marketing tool." She finds no pleasure in buying anything new especially from the dreaded high street. "It does not appeal to me, it simply does not, a lot of our power we get from expressing ourselves through clothes is taken away from us." She frowns slightly as though she is holding back a passionate rant about the cheap modernisation of the real vintage. "West Quay had a vintage weekend with 50s style swimming costumes but they were all from John Lewis, and Primark have a range they claim to be vintage, all you have to do now is throw in some floral prints here and there and it's vintage!"

She was formerly an office worker for Southampton City Council, but her lifelong passion had always been fashion so it only made sense to open a store but in the beginning she sold a range of unique, handpicked items on Ebay. As a team, her and her best friend Donna rummaged through jumble sales religiously to find the perfect items. She jumps very slightly from her seat and shuffles forward in excitement before unconsciously reaching over to the railing of garments beside her and rubbing the fabrics softly between her fingers, it’s clear a lot of thought has gone in to choosing what she sells. "It may look all together very sorted but I am putting it together day by day.'

Eventually they established their business as a brand called 'Spybabies Vintage'. Then Donna’s music career began to kick off but by now Catherine was too attached to let it all end so she decided to find her own


property where she would manage the business herself. “Donna didn’t want me to keep it as Spybabies because that was our thing it was personal to us so I had to come up with Hepwrights.� She tells her story as though it happened all yesterday, not necessarily rehearsed but it was clearly something that meant a lot to her.

As a child Catherine spent a lot of time in theatre, dressing rooms as her mother worked as a small time actress. I suppose even now she likes to play dress-up, pulling together outfits from different eras to create that signature eccentric look she pulls off well. She also spent a lot of time with her step-mum. "She was a very rubbish mother, but a very glamorous woman, every month she would collect her Vogue magazines and I would flick through looking for things I liked then put the look together myself." I expected her to be an anti-Vogue sort of person but it's clear she has an all round love for fashion. "I like to say I have a

fashion business rather than a vintage business, it's very homemade and cobbled together"- a perfect description for her wonderfully cluttered store.

Hepwright's is her prize possession in which she has put her heart and soul in to. Anyone that walks in to her shop steps in to the real vintage experience, everything is recycled from the clothes to her chest of drawers she calls the counter. "I never think about what I can buy, I think what can I use," She says enthusiastically. Well known for her eccentric ways and unique style, her vintage or should I say fashion store is the talk of the town and rightly so judging by the hard work she put in to it all. "I am quite sharp, I'm pretty good at maths and shit." So what's next for Catherine Wright? "Well, it's been five years since I started planning the business, five years is the longest I committed to anything ever! But it's all a journey, you want it get it right."


What to wear this Christmas It's that time of year again, there are only two weeks to go and unlike last year's last minute palaver you've done all your shopping apart from one thing - your festive wardrobe: With not much time left, Cosmo shows you how to get festive for the office party, dinner for two, or just a family dinner without looking too...well, Christmas-y! Here we piece together three crucial outfits for work, friends and family to get you in the celebratory mood. Without a doubt all the women in the office will be competing for the best- dressedaccording-to- the -amount -of -attentionyou- get prize, after all you only ever see each other in the same weekly wardrobe. Now's your chance to be the one they will all the nattering about on Monday morning. You need to remember you see these people almost every day so be you may need to be a little daring ( note: little daring) to turn a few heads. Remember daring does not mean expose a little extra flesh than you usually would, keep it professional but feminine. Zara has a wide range of party pieces to choose from but one of our favourites has to be their sheer, metallic tint blouses. With a pair of Topshop's cropped tailored trousers and a pair of court shoes you can't go wrong. One of Cosmo's favourites this season has to be the metallic look, seen on many catwalks throughout fashion week, but don't worry we can help you get the look without the designer prices so you won't be spending any more money than you really need to. When working with metallic, accessories need to be kept minimal, too many bracelets

or never ending chain necklaces will over do it. Instead opt for a chunky statement necklace or clashing clutch for a touch of sophistication. River Island is perfect for a sequined dress with a simple cut but if you're not so keen on a whole dress, try Topshop for perfect pieces to finish off an outfit. A silky blazer style jacket will make lift your outfit in a subtle yet chic way. Dinner for two is always a little bit harder because you're trying to impress one person in particular. Don't attempt to wear that mini dress you bought last year stashed away somewhere in the back of your wardrobe with the price tag still on it- trust us, it's there for a reason so resist giving in to that dress you still call your "emergency outfit". Without a doubt a cocktail dress is perfect for the occasion; short or long, strapless or asymmetric it will be sure to get him wanting to come home for dessert! If you're willing to throw in a little extra cash, try Reiss for a sophisticated sexy look. For a free flowing, romantic dress with a splash of colour head to Monsoon. Their easy to wear look lets you style it simple with a pair of strappy heels. Remember not to wear your favourite pair of killer heels, he will not be impressed if you wobble over to the candle- lit table barely able to contain the pain of your burning soles. Teamed with a pair of Oasis' chunky stud earrings you're look will be complete. However, if you decide to let your luscious locks loose, charm him with a pretty bracelet to catch his eye as you play suggestively with you tousled hair. Spending the day at home does not mean you can't have the stylish Christmas you wanted, we have a range of toned down looks for your cosy family dinner. Maybe


they'll get to see you a little dolled up for change instead of your usual joggers and tshirt slouched on the sofa watching 'How to look good naked' on a Saturday morning. Avoid anything with a pussy-bow, especially if you will be putting a hand in with the roast- nobody likes stuffing mixture stained chiffon blouse dipped gravy. A round neck, knitted jumper paired with black leather leggings means you can eat all you want instead of eating however much your new, skinny jeans let you. Plus, this look can be easily dressed up with a pair of those musthave chelsea boots from New Look if you're heading over to the local pub later. This season H&M have won us over with their soft, non-itchy, chunky knits that won't result in you dipping in to that tempting overdraft. For a easy, comfortable look try Mango for a flattering playsuit- ideal if you don't want to shop around for more than one thing. With tights, this cute little number looks dressed up but feels dressed down. Definitely a better option if you were planning on spending most of the day in your onesie (please don't). Jewellery is not necessarily a crucial if you're at home but us girls love to dress up so throw on your favourite charm necklace or treat yourself to a tan, leather strap watch from Urban Outfitters- they're so addictive you'll want one in every style!

With all our favourite looks in one you should have no trouble picking out yours this Christmas, but remember girls, whatever the outfit, wear it with confidence, class and a little bit of sass!

Academic Portfolio 2011  

A selection of work from 1st year of Writing Fashion and Culture BA(hons) at Southampton Solent University

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