ELLE ELLE EDITS
9__STATEMENT LAPTOP BAGS Protect your tech with style
20__ELLE INTERVIEWS wearable tech designer Mary Huang
10__ APPLE & MAC accessories we just can’t resist.
24__BEAUTY AND THE GEEK: the relationship between technology and the fashion industry
13__ELLE LOVES Geeky gadgets, new Macbook anyone? 14__FASHION NOTES: Is wearable technology the future?
30__HAUL COUTURE: ELLE meet the haul vloggers, the internet’s new style gurus
17__TECH SPY SPECIAL: Style on your mobile? There’s an app for that
THE EDITOR’S LETTER Technology is an important part of life. There isn’t a day that goes by without me using copious amounts of tech; listening to music on a morning run, checking in with Mum while I’m waiting for my train, catching up on fashion news on ELLE.co.uk in my lunch breaks- the list is endless. Our lives are saturated with technology. And I’ve noticed recently, that when I go to Selfridges to visit the clothes, I’m not just drooling over DELICIOUS SHOES AND BAGS, but designer USB’s and Blackberry cases as well. Instead of thinking ‘God, I’d kill for that Mulberry’ I’m wondering if my laptop is small enough to fit inside a pink leopard print Marc Jacobs case (it’s on page 10 if you’re wondering). Gone are the days when I used to borrow my Dad’s ancient
earphones, I now want purple Skullcandy ones to match my iPod. Fashion is expanding to include more than just CLOTHES. Designers have understood the need for style in every aspect of live, and nowadays technology is a large part of life. I’ve tried to look deep into the relationship between fashion and technology. From the designers like MARY HUANG who are actually using technology to expand the boundaries of fashion (Fashion Lights Up page 20), to how technology has changed the way we consume fashion (Haul Couture page 30) and how technology has transformed the fashion industry itself (Beauty and the Geek page 24). I’ve come to realise my love for fashion and my love for technology are more interlinked than I thought.
Rachel Knox Editor
ELLE edits T H E FA S H I O N T E C H N O L O G Y E D I T
BAYSWATER SLEEVE, £357 BY MULBERRY
KEYBOARD SLEEVE, £20 BY TOPSHOP BLACK LEATHER CASE, £150 BY CHANEL
DETAIN LEATHER BAG, £150 BY ALL SAINTS
SKULL PRINT SLEEVE, £250 BY ALEXANDER McQUEEN
PINK CROC LEATHER CASE, £195 BY PENELOPE & PARKER
BROWN CROC SLEEVE, £18 BY URBAN OUTFITTERS
POLKA DOT SLEEVE, £22 BY CATH KIDSON
c i h c t i p e e k fe,
PINK PRINT SLEEVE, £68 BY MARC JACOBS
Keep it sa
UNDERCOVER SLEEVE, £18 BY LUCKIES
STATEMENT LAPTOP BAGS
FLORAL CANVAS SLEEVE, £20 BY TOPSHOP
BLUETOOTH HEADSET, PRICE ON DEMAND BY HERMES
BLACK LEATHER BLACKBERRY CASE, £25 BY JAEGER
BLACK LEATHER CAMERA CASE, £30 BY JAEGER
WOODEN USB STICK, £40 HANDMADE BY OOMBS
3D MOVIE GLASSES, £130 BY MARCHON & CALVIN KLEIN
ACCESSORIES PORTABLE SPEAKERS, £40 BY MARC JACOBS
Why not demand style in every aspect of life? Fashion houses such as Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen have taken fashionable accessories one step further; expanding their tech-savy ranges of laptop bags, ipod and phone cases to include technology itself. After all if you’re going to carry around a USB stick it might as well look good. Big brands like these are becoming increasing technology aware; creating irresistible technology add-ons. Marc Jacobs range of products puts fun and energy into simple technology. The label pays tribute to mix tapes with a selection of cleverly disguised USB hubs, putting style into mundane tasks like charging your Blackberry and refreshing your iPod. Our personal favourites are the Marc portable speakers. Other brands
have focused on work wear; Hermes puts their trademark luxury stamp onto Bluetooth headsets, perfectly blending jewellery and technology. It doesn’t even need to be plugged in to charge, you merely lay the headset on its base and like magic it recharges itself. Eyewear brand Marchon are even making 3D movie viewing chic, and have released a range of designer 3D glasses in collaboration with big names like Calvin Klein, Coach, Karl Lagerfeld, and Lacoste. ‘We believe in the fact that anything you put on your face should be extremely fashionable’ says Cristin Lyons from Marchon. Well said Cristin, we couldn’t agree more.
SKULL USB STICK, £155 BY ALEXANDER McQUEEN
RHP-10 GOLD RUSH HEADPHONES, £59 BY RELOOP
T, POR BS B S O EU JAC TAP RC MIX BY MA £10
MONOGRAM LEATHER iPAD CASE £240, BY LOUIS VUITTON
PAITENT iPHONE CLUTCH£50, BY MICHAEL KORS
LEATHER iPAD CASE £240, BY YVES ST LAURENT
iPAD CASE £400, BY BURBERRY
iPAD CASE £300, BY SALVATORE FERRAGAMO
TARTAN LEATHER iPAD CASE, £350 BY RALPH LAUREN
‘BOOKBOOK’ MAC COVER £70, BY TWELVESOUTH
ROSE PRINT LEATHER iPHONE CASE £60, BY PAUL SMITH
BAYSWATER MINI MESSENGER FOR iPHONE, £167 BY MULBERRY
BLACK MONOGRAM LEATHER iPAD CASE, £350 BY GUCCI
BEOSOUND-8 iPHONE DOCK £895, BY BANG & OLUFSEN
RED LEATHER iPAD POUCH, £410 BY OSCAR DE LA RENTA
APPLE & MAC
Does my iPad look good in th
VAIO PRESTIGE COLLECTION Z SERIES £1,674 BY SONY
DMC TZ10 SUPER ZOOM £279, BY PANASONIC
FISHEYE2 CAMERA, £68 BY LOMOGRAPHY
11-INCH MACBOOK AIR 64GB £867, BY APPLE
TX7 DIGITAL COMPACT CAMERA £349, BY SONY
ES71 DIGITAL CAMERA £89, BY SAMSUNG
S T E G D A G GEEKY XR100 DIGITAL PHOTO FRAME £229, BY SONY
DESIRE HD £40PM, BY HTC
GLITZ CERAMIC CHRONOGRAPH WATCH £219, BY MICHAEL KORS
SAMSUNG GALAXY S £4050, BY DIOR
SAMSUNG GALEXY S £35PM, BY SAMSUNG
BOLD 9780 BLACK £35PM, BY BLACKBERRY
SOLAR POWERED LED BAG, £1000 BY DIANE VON FURSTENBERG
PERFECT FIT JEANS £450 BY BODYMETRICS
WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY FUNCTIONING LIGHT BULB SHOE, £1400 BY CHANEL
LED LIGHT-UP SHOE, £1000 BY EDMUNDO CASTILLO
LIGHT UP HEEL, £2000 BY JIMMY CHOO
HOUSE OF GAGA
PURPLE PAITENT LEATHER DRESS, £5620 BY VERSACE
FASHION TEMPERATURE CONTROL TIGHTS, £25 BY URBAN OUTFITTERS
Must have techno-clothing...
Fashion technology is the future. There is an emerging generation of tech savvy designers out there producing chemically charged designs. From like likes of pioneering designer Diana Eng, made famous as a former contestant on the fashion reality show Project Runway, to smaller, lesser known designers like Anouk Wipprecht who is making waves in the world of fashionable technology. Each designer brings their own take to wearable tech and adds to growing relationship between fashion and technology. We’re not talking about ugly tech sportswear or robotic suits, this new wave of fashion electronics is haute tech. Technology is slowly spreading through the fashion industry, made popular by celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Rihanna and, perhaps most memorable, Katy Perry, who could forget the reaction when she stepped out of her limousine at the MET Costume Institute Gala in a LED dress by Cute Circuit? Eng has made her career in fusing her two passions together. She uses her background in maths, science, and technology to create her lines of whimsically playful creations. Her latest project is ‘Fairytale Fashion’; a line using technology to create a collection of magical clothing in real life. Using conductive threads, digital fabric printers, LED’s, and sensors she has made the impossible possible; inflatable dresses, fabrics with blooming flowers, transforming shapes and changing colours.
Eng suggests ‘I’ve always been interested in designers who explore cutting edge fashion, working with interesting shapes and experimental fabrics. When I started working with electronics I saw it as a way to explore another outlet for fashion.’ The idea of fairytales and fantasy are popular among these designers, after all technology allows us to take fashion even further than before. Technology extends the boundaries of fashion, Wipprecht says ‘We shaped technology and technology shaped us, it defines who we are as persons. And so does fashion. By placing technology on the body it becomes an extension of the self, so they say.’ A lot of these designers aim to make their fashion an extension of the body. The use of technology is starting to filter its way into high fashion; pioneering designers like Vera Wang and Versace are starting to experiment with wearable technology. Wang’s latest line artfully balances fashion with tech by creating breathtaking luminescent patterns from custom EL panels glowing from inside structured white gowns. Many other designers are playing it safe, testing the use of technology in footwear before branching out into other products. Wipprecht thinks this is due to designers being to afraid of getting it wrong, he suggests ‘I think a lot of designers are kind of afraid of the complexity that technology can bring. You should see it like a playground, a place of experiment, and as you dive deeper and deeper into the technology and systems it rewards you with endless possibilities.’ Fashioning technology is the future of fashion. Being a geek has never been so cool.
The 10 fashion apps you NEED to download
PocketCloset £0.59- Pocket
Closet turns your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad into your personal wardrobe manager. Catalog your clothing and fashion accessories and easily add your own photos. The built-in calendar tracks what you wore in the past and lets you plan what you’ll wear in the future.
Elle Shopping Guide £Free-
Uncover the hottest places to find the latest fashions and top trends, and enjoy exclusive discounts off big brands.
£2.39- the app lets you take photos of your own clothing, organize it by categories, and then help you build outfits, make packing lists, and build custom collages. It’s basicallt a hand-held version of the closet from Clueless!
Love It or Lose It £0.59- Ever
go shopping without your network of yay-and-naysayers? Pick up Love It or Lose It, which allows you to upload a photo to dispatch out to your friends and a community of users who’ll weigh in on your potential purchase.
£freeBrowse through hundreds of street style photos. Updated daily, for style inspiration. Be careful, we know how addictive Chictopia can be!
£free- Gucci’s app lets you view exclusive videos, fashion shows, latest collections, news, events, and store listings, but what’s really got us clicking is their Gucci Beats feature, which lets you mix your own music with samples compiled by Mark Ronson.
£free- You already love DVF’s twitter, but getting the entire brand experience is super easy. Get up-to-the-minute news from the DVF team as well as shop the collection, browse latest runway shows, watch backstage videos, and locate the nearest stores.
£free- Though it’s not a fashion application, we’ve been using Evernote to catalog all the style inspiration we spot on the Internet or in real life. Save, organize, and annotate your images and links for perusal later. Your inner obsessive compulsive will be thrilled you downloaded it!
Trendstop £free- A one stop shop
for all your trend needs; browse through trend reports, style industry news feeds and fashion photo gallery’s by trendstop.com’s professional trend spotters.
Lucky At Your Service Digital Concierge
£FreeLucky’s digital concierge lets you highlight their featured products, track them down, check for availability, and even place things on hold for same-day pickup.
FASHION LIGHTS UP
Visionary, innovative designer, breaker of boundaries- ELLE meets Mary Huang, the young designer taking the world of wearable technology by storm
Ethereal, delicate, and romantic are words which don’t usually come to mind when thinking of tech fashion. Yet New York based fashion designer Mary Huang’s playful fairytale dresses certainly fit this description. Her new collection, Rhyme and Reason, is a series of dresses and scarves made with LED lights, which are certainly putting beauty into wearable technology. The delicate detailing alone makes the collection beautiful; the softly lit glow of lights enhances its design even further. Each garment is decorated with intricate crochet flowers and abstract forms with organza and layering. Every dress is covered with dozens of bright white LEDs embedded inside the fabric using a custom developed wiring system for an invisible finish and specially designed Lithium Poly battery packs provide up to 10 hours of continuous light. Huang believes technology adds beauty to fashion: ‘technology gives us the means to pursue more fantastic ideas. I think a good deal about fashion is about creating magic and creating transformations. With technology we can take that to the next level.’ Huang’s attitude towards wearable
technology is very refreshing. Unlike other tech designers she does not see everyone walking round in flashing inflatable clothes in years to come. But she believes that technology does have an important place in the fashion industry. ‘It’s still the age of the dinosaurs so to speak; the established houses still are the dominant forces in fashion’ she says ‘but with rapidly changing global conditions, the dinosaurs may find they need to adapt.’ Huang studied design and media art in her hometown at University of California before moving to Sweden to study at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. ‘I learnt about computational art, software and electronics and I bring this background to the work I do with fashion’ she says. In an industry where most designers don’t even
other wearable technology designers. She has found the perfect balance in merging old and new craft forms, which she feels is very important. She says ‘I think that it’s great that fashion design still keeps that tradition of craft and working directly with physical materials. Not every fashion designer needs to work with technology, but it is meaningful to me because it is about combining all my inspirations.’ Inspired by the work of Hussein Chalayan, a Turkish designer who created a line of LED dresses in collaboration with Swarovski in 2008, Huang created Rhyme and Reason. The collection explores the use of light as a material to create transformative fashions. ‘I had also seen a lot of LED fashion designs that were more costumes than fashion, and felt there was more potential’ she says ‘I aimed to achieve an aesthetic that is more feminine and romantic. I focused on light, and how it diffuses through different materials. It happens that knit and crochet diffuse the LED light very well; it creates interesting shadows and feels very warm and
‘fashion is about creating MAGIC and creating transformations. With technology we can take that to THE NEXT LEVEL’ use computers, choosing to sketch freehand, measure and sew; Huang’s mix of technological knowledge and beautiful hand-crochet makes her collections stand out from big industry names and
organic.’ What makes Huang different is her focus on making clothes with light not clothes with LED’s. Another quirk of Huang’s which makes her work stand out, is using herself as a test piece. Before finalising a project she always wears a test garment in real life as an experiment. ‘The test piece always turns out to be my favourite, and I wear them out a lot because I’m not worried about ruining them. For Rhyme and Reason my test was just made from an inexpensive organza, but draped and gathered with some elaborate details. I wore it to parties and it was always fun, not only because of the LEDs, but also just because it was com-
fortable and easy to wear.’ By trying out her concepts and ideas herself she can insure everything is wearable. Ease of wear and comfort combined with beauty are the key principles in Huang’s design. ‘I aim for ready-towear. For me, the end goal of all the concepts and technology is still to create clothes that are beautiful, wearable, and ideally machine washable’ she says. These factors are often forgotten with other fashion technology designers and have been a continuous criticism of wearable technology, but Mary’s designs are soft and are clearly designed with the buyer in mind. She adds ‘I’m aiming to redefine what ready-to-wear means, because I think technology is rapidly changing what we expect from products. If you don’t acknowledge ready-to-wear, you’re missing out on the challenges in designing for reality
personalized, custom-made clothes in a more exciting way. The project aims to mediate between the avant-garde and ready-to-wear, between individual users and a designer’s vision. Continuum is a concept for a web-based fashion label in which designs are user-generated using custom software and made to order to your personal measurements. Its seminal collection is a deconstruction of the classic little black dress. The software allows you to draw a dress and converts it into a 3D model, which is then turned into a flat pattern that can be cut out of fabric and sewn into the dress. Not only can the physical dress be purchased through the label, but the cutting patterns are downloadable free of charge for those who would rather devote the time to making their own. Huang is especially excited about this new venture; she says ‘Continuum was a way to explore using technology in the process of making the dress, instead of being directly embedded in the clothes. It’s a different direction to try and explore.’ We’re predicting big things for Miss Huang.
‘I aimed to achieve an aesthetic that is more FEMININE and ROMANTIC.’ and the potential to be meaningful to the way we live.’ At the moment Huang’s pieces are made to order; as each garment is handmade every dress is slightly unique. It is only during production that the technology which makes Huang’s fashions stand out becomes a hindrance. ‘My work requires a lot of specific hand labour and untraditional techniques, so this is a problem I haven’t solved.’ Once her production problem is solved, she will be free to develop new work and take larger orders. So what does the future hold for her? Huang’s latest project is ‘Continuum’; an interactive technology that she is hoping will reinvent the fashion design process, it was born out of her interest in bringing back some of the heritage of
BEAUTY AND THE GEEK: THE LOVE AFFAIR BETWEEN FASHION AND TECHNOLOGY Ralph Lauren 4D
Technology is the NEW BLACK. Rachel Knox gives you the low down on the top five most INNOVATIVE fashion labels out there Unsurprisingly, topping the list is tech-loving Burberry. Creative director, Christopher Baily is a huge technology advocate and is making sure the label is one step ahead. Last season saw a first in the fashion world; fashion runway shows digitally streamed for the whole of the online world to see; but Burberry upped the ante by streaming their shows in 3D. The live show took place at the Chelsea College of Art, during London Fashion
Next up is Ralph Lauren. Back in November the label put on an extraordinary display treating Bond Street and Madison Avenue to a ‘4D experience’. The sensory experience filled the street with ambient sound and even a mist of Ralph Lauren fragrance as the facade of its two flagships light up with projected images of giant models and polo players towering over the crowds at four stories tall. The stunt was one of the most impressive
Dior is at third. The fashion house has taken a completely different route than the others, by partnering with LG to create a stunning range of luxury mobile phones. Handcrafted in France, the Dior Phone is an elegant combination of high fashion design from Dior and top of the range technology from LG. They come with a hefty price tag but the designs are completely irresistible, our favourites are the Swarovski crystal model and the
‘one of the MOST IMPRESSIVE feats of digital advertising in HISTORY’ Week, and then streamed to private 3D events in Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Dubai, and Tokyo. The 3D glasses-clad audience watched the show from custom screening spaces designed by Bailey. Guests really were able to get the front row experience, as well as them experiencing first-hand the atmosphere and energy of the runway. The label has also embraced the internet; later this year Burberry will launch a bespoke trench service where online customers can design their own. The wardrobe staple has been the Brit label’s bread and butter for years, not to mention the most coveted piece around for fashion fans, so it seems like the perfect way to give the label a strong online presence.
feats of digital advertising in history, and put Ralph Lauren in the forefront of fashion innovation. The label also has a very successful website, where online customers can customise the iconic Ralph Lauren polo shirt and by selecting different styles, colours, and personalised patches and monograms.
Online users spend
crocodile skin. Also helping Dior reach third place is their ‘Lady Dior’ campaign, an online viral video campaign which kept Dior fans hooked trying to uncover the mystery of Lady Dior, the fashion world’s equivalent of the stig. The campaign was highly successful and proved Dior knows what they are doing when it comes to technology.
on fashion sites than on any other website.
Coming in fourth is lesser known luxury menswear designer Simon Spurr. The label is very technology aware, ‘technology is paramount to any brand, whether they’re established or young brands like myself’ he says ‘technology is something we all need to embrace, it’s the way forward.’ At last year’s fashion week in New York Spurr collaborated with digital media company Cisco, to develop a Spurr popup shop, and always look for technological ways to forward his label. His love of all things technology also kick-started the use of technology for in store promotion which can be seen everywhere; from iPads in Allsaints to television screens in Selfridges. Spurr pioneered the trend with a digital sign in the window of Saks Fifth Avenue which allowed passers-by to view his design process and runway footage.
The Spurr pop-up shop
‘Technology is something we all need to embrace, it’s the way FORWARD.’
Louis Vuitton comes in at fifth. The label was named a ‘digital genius’ by Luxury Lab, a research company who annually ranks the luxury industry’s iconic brands by their digital IQ. Louis Vuitton has embraced the web and its customers have shown the love right back. Their online site, which is full of stunning visuals, interactive content, and brand heritage, was first in class on the LuxuryLab rankings. The brand is also in the lead when it comes to social media; over 200,000 Twitter users follow the label and CEO Yves Carcelle. Louis Vuitton has an impressive number of promotional stunts under their belt, but the most innovative was back in 2009 (hence the fifth place position). Their campaign ‘A Journey Beyond’ which celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo, marked the first time a fashion brand appeared on television and cinema screens.
A Journey Beyond
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HAUL COUTURE Rachel Knox meets the HAUL VLOGGERS, the new wave of internet based style inspiration...
‘Hollister and Abercrombie are having this big, massive sale where everything is 40% off the whole store. So, I’m gonna show you what I got, I’ve really gone all out’ brags SoCalAshleyDanielle, a shopping obsessed teen haul vlogger from the US. She’s your typical hauler: recording herself with her webcam, she posts videos on her YouTube channel, showing the world all of the clothes and makeup she bought that week. Ashley is one of the leading haul vloggers, and like other successful haulers she has landed a lucrative deal with a top American brand, can you guess who it is? Yes, it’s Hollister and Abercrombie. Hauling has become huge, especially in the States. It’s an internet phenomenon quickly raking in bigger and bigger view counts; some of these individual videos clock tens of millions of views. YouTube is currently tracking close to 150,000 of haulers posting dozens of vlogs. It’s easy to judge these girls: they’re perky, materialistic, and they have big wardrobes. But the vloggers who make these videos take fashion seriously. While a lot of their hauls are based around the high street, they know exactly what is on trend and where to find it. Hauling originally started in the US with a lot of their haul girls turning into YouTube celebrities, the trend
has now spread to the UK where British girls have quickly fallen suit. Samantha Maria is the quirky brunette behind BeautyCrush, a big name in the world of haul vlogging. She studies fashion styling in London and certainly knows what she’s talking about. As one of the leading British haul vloggers BeautyCrush currently has 80,000 followers. Samantha is a big fan of haul vlogging: ‘I love to watch other peoples hauls; it gives me ideas and inspiration. You can relate to what vloggers buy and can go out and see or buy the same thing in the shops. I like to see what other people are buying at the moment .’ You can see from her vlogs that she has a real love for fashion, and British style in particular. She suggests ‘I think British style tends to be slightly more quirky and ‘out there’, it ranges from preppy looks to vintage to grunge. I think in the UK, especially London, people tend to be more experimental with style and so you can see that through British hauls.’ As an
‘As one of the leading British haul vloggers BEAUTYCRUSH currently has 80,000 followers’
aspiring beautician, beauty and cosmetic products feature heavily in Samantha’s videos. All of her hauls are split between clothing and beauty, which distinguishes her channel from all of the different haul channels available. ‘I get a lot of questions and requests from my subscribers about which beauty products I use, so I always keep my videos up to date with all of the latest products I buy. Some of my favourites are Benefit’s high beam, BarryM raspberry nail varnish and MAC blacktrack fluidline.’
Samantha has made quite a name for herself since she started vlogging in 2009, but is reluctant to admit to making any money from brand promotions. It seems British brands haven’t clued up to the promotion possibilities these haulers provide. High street giant Topshop admit that they have not contacted any of the haulers to talk about publicity, but surely it can only be a matter of time. Samantha’s best friend Lexi has also hit big in the world of vlogging. Her YouTube channel SoTotallyVlog has over 7000 subscribers, with her average video gaining over 10,000 hits. Vlogging from inside her huge walk in wardrobe, her video’s give you more than just access into her shopping sprees, but style advice, look books and makeup tutorials as well. ‘I try to post a new video at least once a week’ she tells me. ‘ Most of my
vlogs are hauls but I also do outfit compilation, as my viewers seem to enjoy those videos the most. I also do some beauty videos from time to time.’ Haulers have been criticised and labelled big headed show-offs, but you only have to watch a few videos from one of the really successful vloggers to see this is not the case. Lexi is very careful in making sure she does not come across as arrogant, she does not reveal with any of her fans what she does for a living or how she affords any of her hauls (which often add up to many hundreds of pounds); she prefers to keep her videos about the fashion they fea-
else lives life and appreciates fashion. It inspires them to put on an outfit they wouldn’tusually have the courage to put on, or gives them tips. I enjoy watching other channels for inspiration, and I think it’s the same for my viewers.’ This is certainly true, the haul vlogs are practically style forums, with followers requesting video’s of the haul vlogger’s jewellery or handbag collections, asking style advice and discussing trends with each other. Do not underestimate the haul vloggers. They know what they’re talking about.
‘people are interested in seeing how someone else LIVES LIFE and appreciates fashion’ ture. ‘I think haulers have a really bad reputation, but for the most part we’re just girls who are really into fashion. I’m not trying show off about how many handbags I have, I just want to talk about fashion’ she says. What is the attraction to these vlogs? Alexia believes they provide inspiration, she suggests ‘I think it’s because people are interested in seeing how someone