NEWS AND FEATURE ARTICLES FROM SEMESTER 1
Contents The age old question: Can you truly be friends with benefits? p. 3 - 5
How to achieve the Perfect Christmas Look p. 6-8
Catherine Wright - The Vintage Vixen p. 9-11
Bah Humbug! p. 12
Cultural Quarter Article p. 13-15
SSU Fashion p. 16-18
The age old question: Can you truly be friends with benefits?
Since the beginning of time there has been a secret arrangement which I’m sure many women and men have reached.
With the release of the feature films like No Strings Attached and Friends with Benefits earlier this year women across the world realised that they too were once in that situation - I wish mine had been Justin Timberlake and I’m sure my ‘friend’ wished I was Mila Kounis. But unlike the film I didn’t fall hopelessly in love. So, does that mean if you have the emotional capability to detach feelings and sex that you are a prostitute or a robot? Not necessarily.
We’ve all jokingly - or sometimes not - been called a slag, whore, slut and everything in between. Being ‘friends with benefits’ does not mean you are promiscuous it simply means you have your best interests at heart. All you are doing is separating the physical act which ‘usually’ takes place in a relationship to the emotional part of a relationship. Well you might be thinking how is she qualified to give such advice. Let me tell you I am the Queen of Friends with Benefits land. I live there. I eat there. And occasionally I sleep there.
An example is a boy I had met at a club whilst in my first week at uni, I can’t say I was attracted to him and being 116 miles from home I just wanted to make as many friends as I possibly could besides you can never have too many friends. Maybe my intentions were not as innocent and pure as I have just made out but I like to think they were. Finding out he lived opposite me was a bonus, we could watch films, mess around and do what mates do. Till one night one thing led to another and I haven’t looked back since. When I went home and told my female friends about my recent conquest they were horrified. “Well what’s going to happen now, do you think he’s going to ask you
out?” Then I had to remind them of my age and that it wasn’t 1954, I didn’t need marriage, a mortgage and babies - there didn’t have to be a next step. What if I liked things the way they were? That shut them up but I knew what they were thinking, “He’s using you and she’s going to get hurt so I’d better get the Rosé in.” Then I wondered why is it women that always have this detachment problem?
Men love having the ‘friends with benefits’ scenario because to them its like having all the good points of being in a relationship (i.e sex) and none of the boring emotional stuff. No being dragged around shopping centres for hours and no punishment for not getting you a present/forgetting your birthday. Since you’re already friends it’s like going out with one of the lads except this lad has boobs and you have sex at the end of the night. For a ‘regular’ woman this is sheer hell. ‘Regular’ women, I am not one according to everyone I know are strange creatures - they weep at the Time Traveller's Wife, they love to shop and they want their Prince Charming to ride in on a white steed. I, on the other hand, would rather watch Taken, I would rather be in the pub than go shopping and I would prefer Prince Charming whoever he may be on that day to be in a Corsa VXR.
Now, this is awfully stereotypical, a generalisation of women I am using here. I’m sure there are many women who, like me, love this ‘arrangement’. More and more women are taking control so now it’s no longer a taboo. Well, I say it’s no longer taboo but to the older generation/ people who just don’t understand you are still a slut/whore/slag. Realising that not wanting to be in a committed relationship is not weird at all, it’s perfectly normal and perhaps better for both parties in the long run. I don’t think I need to tell you what happens when someone is more committed than the other in the relationship. Infidelity.
Well does that mean to be friends with benefits you have to think like a man? Yes, basically. Now, this doesn’t mean going full on geezer bird and talking about how many pieces of sweetcorn were in
your poo after last nights dinner. It means being strong and knowing what you want. Think of this as a contract. The terms and conditions are laid out before you proceed so you know where things are heading and just like being in court you have to be honest with each other for this to ever work out.
Obviously things donâ€™t always go to plan so you must also know when the contract should be terminated, and if typed burnt. As soon as you feel that tinge of pain in your heart when s/he leaves and your head starts to tell you that you can be together STOP. Indeed, some of the best relationships have started on a friends with benefits status, however, this is rare, donâ€™t believe the movies. It may be worth having a chat at this stage but whatever you do, do not just carry on as it will only end up with an awkward situation, no benefits and maybe even no friend. Another time for termination is when either party gets a new partner. Itâ€™s definitely time to call it quits, run like a cheetah. I know how it is all too easy for the arrangement to overspill into a new relationship but things will only get incredibly messy and may result in a brick through ones car window, maybe even in the face.
So, you can truly have friends with benefits all you need is honesty with yourself and your friend. If that fails then a contract definitely should be drawn up.
How to Achieve the Perfect Christmas Look
Its New Years Eve. You have just gotten out of the shower and opened your first of many bottles of wine. Your friends will be arriving soon to have some pre-drinks and so you can inspect each others outfits. Then you realise you are standing in a dressing gown, with wet rats tails for hair and a bare face. Obviously you are not going to go out like this but what are you going to wear? How are you going to do your make-up and what the hell are you going to do with that mane? Hiding under your bed to avoid going out is not an option.
We’ve all been in this particular predicament but a few simple tips will help you so you don’t have that last minute panic. You don’t wan to end up going out in your old LBD which you have worn so many times before that people predict you’ll be in it.
Firstly, we’re going to leave that LBD for another occasion. It’s New Years Eve and you want to look your absolute best. You are entering a new year. You want to catch the eye of that man so you don’t end up kissing one of your friends instead of a gorgeous Oliver Cheshire look alike - well, close enough.
When choosing your apparel remember it’s not all about sparkles. Just because it’s the Christmas period it doesn’t mean you have to look like a walking disco ball. You want to attract a man, not a magpie. It’s not all about dresses either, South at Littlewoods do a flattering leather pencil skirt which will scream sex appeal. Pair that with a prim blouse and 6 inch courts or go full on sexy with a Topshop’s velvet studded body, some gold rings and some statement shoes. Preferably leopard print. Or if you don’t fancy a skirt go for some eye-catching shorts or trousers. Leather, velvet, feathers, patterned - anything goes. Try mixing it up and instead of going for the old ‘one pattern/ texture rule’ mix leather shorts with a a velvet top or wear a pattered pair of trousers with a
patterned blouse. Perhaps even try a jumpsuit. Jumpsuits look nice. But then a couple of drinks later you’re in a cubical desperate for a wee and you are cursing that day you bought that thing. And for those of you who just can’t bare to tear yourself away from a dress - I know sometimes we just want to get our legs out - then try a fitted body con number to showcase those curves. ASOS have a gorgeous range of Victoria Beckham-esqe dresses. Or maybe a maxi dress with a thigh high split if you’re going to somewhere upmarket.
Now for the hair. If you want to have your hair down then waves should be your port of call. Nothing is more seductive than big, bouncy waves. This can be achieved with large barreled tongs. Then brush out with a large bristle brush for Hollywood waves to rival Scarlett Johansson. A couple of spritzes of hairspray and then you are ready to do the slow motion hair flip over your shoulder like in the Pantene adverts. If you want your hair up then there is so many options. A messy fishtail braid always bodes well - if you can’t do it see YouTube for a tutorial - or a ponytail. Depending on your outfit of course. A low ponytail oozes sophistication, whilst a mid-to-high ponytail is a bit more playful. And you know a ponytail can easily be turned into a neat or messy bun if it has to. And finally for those of you blessed to have the bone structure to pull off short hair, I think a hair accessory will do the trick. A big statement bow or an embellished Alice band. The secret ingredient to add to all of the above hairstyles to make them New Years Eve worthy is backcombing. This creates masses of volume - remember your hair can never be too big.
The look is completed with the make-up. Now I know I said “Just because it’s the Christmas period it doesn’t mean you have to look like a walking disco ball” but I make an exception for the eyes. A glittery eye will catch the light with just a little flutter, it’s also a statement people know you’re not just going to Tesco for your weekly shop, you are going somewhere a bit special. Mac do a wonderful range of glittery eye shadows in a shade to suit every skintone. It’s best to concentrate the glitter in the inner corner of the eyes if you’re not feeling too brave but if you really want to go for it
go all over the eye socket. In addition to that the eyes have to be smoky and mysterious so when you give that man a wink he starts to quiver. This is achieved with a slightly darker shadow running along the crease of the eye socket. Next line your eyes with eyeliner or eye pencil, then comes the part that will really add some glamour and that is fake eyelashes. Pick some nice big ones so people notice but not the overly long drag queen ones that make you look like you’ve got two cat tails above your eyes. Complete the look with some blusher or bronzer to contour your face and a nude lipstick or gloss.
Now you’re party worthy all you need to finish the outfit is a clutch and some heels. Always do heels. It’s New Years Eve, even if you have broken your foot put a heel on the other, it will instantly give you longer legs. Don’t do kitten heels unless you’re a grandmother. And definitely don’t come home until you’ve danced the night away, pulled that bloke and got so stupidly drunk that you predict you’ll be nursing the mother of all hangovers come New Years Day.
Catherine Wright - The Vintage Vixen The shop has the musky smell you would expect from clothing steeped in history. There stands a woman - she has an air of confidence and eccentricity. She is one of those expressive people who speak using their hands to get their point across. You can tell she expresses herself through her clothing too and today and her outfit definitely speaks for her. She is wearing a long, black, 1920s/ 1930s kimono jacket with lace panels, it is the kind of jacket you’d expect Louise Brooks to dance seductively in. This is paired with a burgundy maxi skirt trimmed with a wintery floral pattern. Her accessories are an important part of the outfit. Her gold belt is reminiscent of a WWF champion belt and in juxtaposition sits a dainty bow necklace - which was formally a brooch - in gold of course. One of the first things you notice is her thick rimmed glasses creating an angular black line around her eyes.
You may not recognise her as Catherine Wright, maybe as Catherine Hepwright. Catherine is the owner of Hepwright’s, a vintage shop in Bedford Place, Southampton. The name Hepwright is a portmanteau of Wright, her surname, and ‘Hep’ which has derived from three things: Katherine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, and The Hep Cool Cats. Catherine said: “I wanted a name which sounded like it had been around forever.”
Catherine’s love affair with vintage clothing started at a young age. Catherine describes herself as being a ‘big girl’ in her youth which meant she used to buy her clothing from jumble sales and alter them to suit her stature. All she wanted to be was to be a,“Miss Selfridge girl,”the popular girl of the time. Catherine calls herself “strange” because she went to gigs by herself, her first gig being Elvis Costello where she wore
morning suit trousers, cricket boots and a man’s jacket that she’d
customised with green lurex lapels.
Catherine has always been around clothes. She sites her early influences as being her mother, who was an actress, and her glamourous Step-Mother. Because of her Mother’s acting career she grew up around the theatre and she distinctly remembers lacing up her corsets back stage at the tender age of nine. She was also a great seamstress. Her Mother’s influence in theatre may subconsciously be what led her to get a job as a Wardrobe Maintenance and Dresser after failing her A-Levels, although, she claims she did not intend to go for it she was just in desperate need of a job. Now she sees that it was in fact one of, “The best two years of [her] life.”
Although Catherine has been wearing vintage for most of her life she only started selling it seven years ago with her friend, Donna, under the name of Spy Baby. One day Catherine and Donna discovered they had many old clothes that they no longer wore but still loved. So they decided to start selling items on over eBay to make some extra cash. After a mere £250 investment Spy Baby vintage was born. However, their first sale was not even a vintage one. It was in fact a skirt in French Connection which had been photographed on a celebrity that had gone in to the sale. They bought three skirts and sold them on at a profit.
When Donna lost interest in vintage she left the partnership to focus on her music career , and that is when Hepwright's was formed. Catherine rented some office space in Southampton to make a home for all her beloved vintage items. Still, Catherine’s aim was not to open a shop but a website. She never dreamed it could fit into her chaotic lifestyle as single mother to Bill, now 19, and Grace, now 11.
However, the 48 year old has had a bumpy road on the way to success. In close proximity she had to deal with two car accidents; her house burning down; her son being ill and her daughter needing heart surgery. She also battled depression. But all these things didn’t send her into a downward
spiral, they contributed to her success and she feels like without all the hurdles she had to endure she probably wouldn’t have been able to sign the lease on her shop on September 27th 2010.
For the shop Catherine took inspiration from stores such as Liberties and Selfridges. She even took a trip to New York to visit the shop of her favourite stylist, Patricia Field, to gain some insight. Much to her disappointment she wasn’t there. Hepwright’s definitely has the eclectic New York feel to it. She wanted to have a ‘proper’ vintage shop, which to her is at least 25 years old, although she calls her business a ‘fashion’ business and not a ‘vintage’ business because she’s interested in clothing and as she says, “They just happen to be old.”She adds: “I run an adoption agency for clothes, everything is a one and you have to find the right person to go with it,”this shows that vintage clothes is more than just a job for Catherine - it’s a passion.
Catherine admits to feeling “shallow”that she does gets excited when she sees celebrities in her clothes, Vivienne Westwood who is one of her favourite designers, would be the celebrity she’d love to see most. Having just celebrated Hepwright’s first birthday she is adamant that her work is not yet done, her goal is that in five years - when her lease is up - she’ll be able to sell it if she wanted to. She is also interested in supporting creativity.
Overall, Catherine Wright the person and the businesswoman seem to be pretty similar. Catherine describes herself as a Labrador - friendly, calm and independent - but much to her dismay her friend describes her as a Spaniel - hardworking and manic. This “bonkers vintage lady,” as she describes herself, has actually come very far. From the depths of depression to business owner and inspiration.
Bah Humbug! It’s that time of year again. The tree is up, the log fire is on and everyone is excited and in a good mood. And I hate it. I haven’t really identified with the Christmas sprit even as a child. This has earned me the nickname Scrooge. The thing I most despise about christmas is shopping. The one sport in life that I excel at and I can’t do it for a whole month. I don’t mind a busy shop, believe me, but come the Christmas period people go crazy, like they’ve been possessed by an evil, Christmas poltergeist and nothing will stand in their way to get the perfect present. People will fight to the death just to get their boyfriend a nice jumper or their Nan a box of chocolates. The worst kind of shoppers are the ‘Yummie Mummies.’ These women believe they own the path way because they have a pram. I can’t begin to moan the amount of times I have nearly had my ankles hacked off by a pram being pushed by a crazy mother who thinks she’s Lewis Hamilton in the Grand Prix. So now I have to resort to shopping online just so I don’t come home from a shopping trip with 20 new bruises. This leads me to my hate of Christmas clothing. If you’re looking for an item of clothing and it hasn’t got a print of a snowflake or reindeer or it’s not red, green, or so gold and sparkly that it damages your corneas when you stare at it, then you won’t find it in December. Retailers seem to think because it’s Christmas you have to look like a Christmas tree. Then there is the cheesy festive music that you just can’t escape. If it’s not being played in a shop, or at your work then your neighbours playing it on full blast with the window open. How many versions of Mariah Carey All I Want for Christmas is You can there possibly be?! Now she’s brought out one with Justin Bieber. That’s just a step too far. I already have to contend with 80s Christmas songs and now Justin Bieber too. Ear plugs have never seemed such a worthy investment. The one thing I do like about Christmas is you can get away with practically anything - within reason of course. By suddenly saying, “It’s Christmas” it seems to make things acceptable. For example, going to the pub in the middle of the day and getting absolutely smashed, so smashed in fact that you are sick in a shoe and you try to wear it again. On your head. But those two words “It’s Christmas” make it perfectly fine. You’re not an alcoholic you’re just getting into the festive sprit and there’s nothing wrong with that. It works when you ruin your diet too. When you go overboard with the abundance of good food “It’s Christmas” means it’s expectable to be an absolute pig and burst out of your dress. Besides your New Years resolution is to go on a diet and join the gym - for the 5th year running - so it’s excusable. ENDS
Cultural Quarter Article
Southampton City Council today unveiled plans for the regeneration of Southampton through the erection of a Cultural Quarter.
The Cultural Quarter will create a new buzz at the end of Southamptonâ€™s town centre, a buzz that was lost when West Quay Shopping Centre was built. The Cultural Quarter will feature: City Art Gallery; Sea City Project; New Arts Complex; Guildhall Square; BBC South Broadcasting House; City Library and Archives; The New Guildhall; The Millais Gallery; The Mayflower Theatre; Historic City Centre Parks and Southampton Solent University.
It is hard to fathom what the Cultural Quarter will bring to Southampton but in short they can be described as the following: The City Art Gallery will have a collection of 3,500 works of art; the Sea City Project will focus on the story of the Titanicâ€™s fatal voyage; the New Arts Complex will include a multi-purpose performing arts centre and performance space; the Guildhall Square, which is already a feature, is already a flexible open area which is a place to socialise or it can be used as performance space; the BBC South Broadcasting House will house studios for local news programmes; City Library and Archives will be a good learning environment with courses, internet access, books, DVDs and CDs; the Guildhall will be the heart of the Cultural Quarter and it will see performances from muscians and comedians; the Millais Gallery is a public art programme run by Southampton Solent University which will allow the public to get more involved with the arts and finally the Mayflower Theatre which will be home to many productions such as operas, musicals and ballets.
Jill Low, the Project Team Leader of the Cultural Quarter, has a background in the arts and has been working on this project for four years.“We know there was a wish to have arts in the middle of the city, we want it to be a hub.” Inspiration for the Cultural Quarter came from galleries in places such as Nottingham, Hereford and Walsall.
The project which will cost £20million in total, Southampton City Council has invested over £2million of public money whilst a further £7.2million was invested by the Arts Council, an increase from the original£5.5million. An additional £1.2million will be coming from fundraising. Ms Low said: “The reason why the council have invested this much is because they’re absolutely positive that it will be a economic regeneration into the middle of Southampton, which is very much needed in that area too.”
The Cultural Quarter may be costing a large sum of money but it will create new jobs and housing. There will be approximately 36 flats which Ms Low described as: “Good, urban spaces.”Ms Low then goes on to explain the upcoming job opportunities, “What we’re saying is that there are 175 million public and private investments going into the area, more than 2000 extra jobs.”
On the whole it seems that the response from local businesses and the public have been positive although Ms Low added: “There’s always the ones on the Echo website saying it can’t be done and shouldn’t be done.”
Ziggy Woodward, Co-director of the Art House - a non-profit cafe, said: “So far all I can make out that’s going to be in it is flats and shops so I don’t really see how that fits into an Arts Quarter.” Overall Ms Woodward believed the Cultural Quarter would have a positive impact on her business, “It’s a bit dead up here. When West Quay was built all the business got stifled into the centre of town and when John Lewis went it became like a desert up here.”
There has already been performances like the circus which did bring a lot of people in, it depends on the crowd.” The Art House cafe survives by working with volunteers. They usually hit their target apart from in August when people are away which is why The Art House hosts many artists and musicians but Ms Woodward said: “We should be working together rather than in competition.”
Another business which will be in the heart of the Cultural Quarter is Turtle Bay restaurant. Natalie Southern, 25, from Southampton and a waitress at Turtle Bay said “I think the building of the Arts Quarter will only make us busier because we get really busy anyway from big events in the square and Thursday’s late night shoppers.”
SSU Fashion Southampton Solent University Fashion students are out in full force today to promote the new line of Sports wear. Emma Pritchard, Fashion and Marketing Course Leader said the look they were trying to go for was popular “casual lifestyle” alá Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister. Jodie Coles, 25, is on the Yellow Team and is in her third year of the Fashion Marketing and Management course.
“Because there are brands like Jack Wills we thought students might prefer to buy them so we had to make something students will want to buy and wear.” The influence of such brands is evident in the clothing style and they seem to have achieved their mission statement “for students, by students”.
This project is the brain child of graduates Israr Jan-Parker and Pascal Mattais who looked into each university course to see how they could help with the project. The collection was developed in collaboration across the university including the staff.
Mark Wing put together the FABSE copyright assignment. Students from BA(Hons) Fashion Design designed the sportswear; Elliot Cotgrove, studying Product Design, was behind the pop up shops; the students studying an MA in Media and PR designed a crucial internal marketing strategy, and Lorraine Mankoo, an MBA student in FSBE, devised a marketing strategy report.
Team leader Miss Coles said that getting to this point was “difficult but rewarding, it’s hard really to get 18 people motivated.” However, this isn’t all for nothing, the winning team receives an unknown prize plus small extras such as a boat trip or a gym membership which makes the competition for teams fierce.
Amy Wells, who is also on the Fashion Marketing and Management course and on the blue team said: “We are all really competitive. Although we don’t know what the prize is we really want to win. And it’s not just for the prize because the money raised goes to help everyone really.” This view was echoed by fellow blue team member Robyn Kardamash who also thought that it was paramount that they win. She added: “I want to win but I’m not sure if people will want to buy the clothes because it’s quite expensive and it’s not
something like Abercrombie where people will know the brand straight away.” On the other hand Beth Webb, 18 and a Film Student purchased a hoodie recently and said: “I didn’t mind the price because it’s so warm and thick.”
The predicted best seller is the t-shirt and it seems to be a favourite among the Fashion Marketing and Management students. Among the sportswear are jogging bottoms, hoodies, t-shirts and the popular varsity jacket. Prices start at £10.99 and you can find the teams dotted around the university campus.
The money goes to the university funds and the project was funded by the university’s strategic development fund, that aims to increase employability in the curriculum.“It is important for students to get as much experience of the real world as possible,” added Emma.
Southampton shoppers today revealed what fashion meant to them.
Elliott Woodman, wearing a cardigan from a charity shop; a t-shirt from ASOS and trousers from H&M revealed his fashion secrets. Mr Woodman, 21, of Wilton Avenue and a Photography student at Southampton Solent University said on the subject of inspiration: “I get a little inspiration from The Look Book,” and “If I see something I like I buy it or if I see someone down the street I think, oh that looks nice together.”
Natalia Mielczark, 21, a waitress at the Grand Harbour Restaurant described herself as a person who isn’t very fashionable, and someone who desires comfort more than fashionable attire. She said: “I don’t wear high heeled shoes, I just like comfortable clothing.” This is evident in her choice of clothes as she wears a faux fur gilet from Primark, which she had borrowed from her mother, with
leggings and tan boots complete with tousled hair. Miss Mielczark added: “I just wear what I’m in the mood for,” which gives her look a very relaxed vibe.
Laurie Walker, 17, a Performing Arts student and living in Southend, Essex said her style is heavily influenced by the bands she listens to as she was wearing a Private Video Company t-shirt; trousers from River Island; Dr Martens and a Topshop cardigan. Other influences included her friends as she said she often looks at what they are wearing. Miss Walker added: “I judge people on what they wear so I feel like they judge me and because I live near London everyone’s trying to out do each other.”
In contrast, Miss Walker’s friend Rachael Reed, 17 and a Sales Assistant from Bitterne, had a different attitude to fashion, usually shunning the high street for designer labels. “I’m going to buy a coat which is £200 because it will wear nice and it’ll last. I’d rather buy one nice item than five average ones.” She added “I earn more than most of my friends so they can’t buy some of the things I have.” Miss Reed wore a Ted Baker bag and a Primark jacket which she had customised herself. She explained: “I always look different to my friends but if I go out on a night out then I dress for boys.”
Following on was the young Elena Hashtroudi, 16, a student and part-time waitress from Bournemouth. Miss Hashtroudi’s views on the subject of fashion were: “It’s really all I care about...if you look nice you feel better about yourself.” Miss Hashtroudi who wore trousers and a hat from H&M and a top from a charity shop also spoke of her style inspiration. “I look at what Alexa Chung wears quite a lot.” She also expressed her dreams of going into fashion journalism.