How my Saturn return changed my view on fashion

 

If you’re not familiar with the concept of Saturn return, let me tell you about it in simple terms. Saturn is the slowest planet of the solar system­, it takes almost 30 years to revolve around the sun. That means you are around 30 years old when Saturn goes back to the same position it was at when you were born: that’s your first Saturn return. For example I was born with Saturn in Scorpio, and on the 5th of October 2012 the planet moved back in Scorpio: my Saturn return began, and continued for two and a half years, which is the time Saturn spends in each sign.

A Saturn return is supposed to be a strong moment of change, growth, new responsibilities, but to get there you have to endure obstacles, waits, even losses – hence Saturn’s bad reputation.

In psychology it’s called the 30-years crisis: a moment of deep personal growth that often brings drastic changes to lifestyle, family status, career and personal view of the world.

If you trust neither astrology nor psychology, just call it growing up.

 

I knew nothing about all this, until it hit me. I was feeling frustrated and tired, I couldn’t understand why things were so complicated, slow and hard to achieve, I felt out of place, lost.

Then I read about Saturn return and it sounded exactly how I felt. Small consolation, but I think it helped me going through it consciously and patiently.

­

During the process, I ditched some of my old habits and discovered yoga, astrology, spirituality and holistic medicine. I found myself a lot more empathic about social and humanitarian issues, I even became a vegetarian for a few weeks. But the biggest life-changing step I took during that time was to become a mother. And when my boy came, oh boy!, another 360 degrees revolution happened: stronger than any planet, he took my life to a higher and deeper level, and forced me to question everything with a whole new seriousness.

 

When I started this blog, my dream job was being a writer in a top fashion magazine: living and breathing fashion shows, writing about clothes and accessories, working with luxury brands, getting to know new hip designers.

But all of a sudden something in my dream sounded out of tune.

I started putting everything under the microscope. Everything I was so sure about until then, I wasn’t anymore.

There are many aspects of the fashion industry I started to feel uncomfortable with.

Buying expensive garments and accessories every season, for example, is what the traditional fashion industry wants people to do. But I believe people have to make wise decisions with their money, and there are lots of things I can think of that can make you happier than a $2000 pair of shoes.

On the opposite side of the industry there’s cheap fast fashion, which allows you to accumulate large amounts of stuff you will eventually have to throw away, together with a waste of resources used to manufacture something meant to last so little. Absolute disaster. That behavior has already proven to be killing our planet, which is the only one we have so far to live on, and I can’t stand behind this and ignore the consequences.

I also blame Saturn for depriving me of the pleasure I used to feel flipping through the glossy pages of fashion editorials and gorgeous photo shoots. High-maintenance beauty that is only possible if you have the best professionals around you, from hair and makeup specialists, to a great photographer and photo editor. Women and young girls chase that fake perfection through cosmetic surgery, unbalanced diets, high-maintenance beauty routines. And most fashion brands continue to prefer unhealthy-looking bodies to showcase their creations.

I could not go to sleep peacefully with myself at night anymore if I contributed to this on my blog. It’s easy for me to preach that beauty comes from the inside, given that I’m blessed with a healthy, toned and naturally slim but curvy body (thank you mother nature), but I’d rather want my daughter to have an open heart, a curious look, a thirst of knowledge and take good care of her soul, rather than seeing her competing against other girls to get a job as a model.

Not to mention the cost of fashion shows: why throwing away half a million Dollars for a show, when that money could dress hundreds of people, save lives, rescue thousands of dogs, feed a whole village for a month, start many small businesses in remote areas and change the life of many?

 

But despite my new believes, I still have a passion for beautiful fabric, for well-sewn and perfectly fitting garments, and unique handcrafted pieces. This I know for sure.

How can I reconcile these two natures: the yoga-pants, chakra-balancing-meditation me, and the high-heels, eclectic-outfit, fashion-obsessed me?

One of my new favorite magazines is called Living Now. I could get it for free at the health shop near my house, and I loved its inspiring stories. It’s on there that I read an article about your two natures: heaven and earth, yin and yang. Even his Holiness the Dalai Lama loves his collection of Rolex watches even though he is beyond question a spiritual lighthouse on the planet.

This article explained how normal it is to have two different natures inside us: a mundane one, and a more noble, spiritual one. They may seem in contrast with each other, but they can live harmoniously in us, if we find the way.

After a completely black-or-white approach, I decided I should try to make peace with myself, and find a balance. And that’s when I consciously rewrote my fashion blog pillars.

 

I believe in careful buying: be wise with money, buy the best quality you can afford, stick to what suits your style and body shape, and only buy what makes you feel beautiful.

Borrow clothes and accessories from friends and family, and share yours with them: this way you will be able to vary your look without overspending, and be ready for a special occasion without buying something you’ll only wear once.

When something has served its purpose, or doesn’t fit anymore, or it’s been sitting in your wardrobe for too long, consider re-using it for a different purpose or donating it to a charity.

And as for fashion brands I write about, I will favour companies that have a sustainable conscience. I can focus on the good, I can give space to who is doing well and trying to change the business, and in that way I’ll be doing it myself too.

I have also decided to include in my blog home styling and kids decor, with bits of my everyday life. This is more in line with my new sense of style and ethics.

Although there’s still a lot of work, in my opinion, to make fashion sustainable, I believe I can give my unique contribution to the world in this area.

And similarly to the famous Elsie De Wolfe quote, this is my new motto: I aim to spread beauty and style to make our lives even better while being respectful towards people, animals and nature.

 

I am going to make everything around me beautiful.

Advertisements

Ten 2014 calendars to buy online

The new year is here. It brings wishes, resolutions, and new exciting events to look forward to.  For me this year it would simply be a renovation and a baby – no big deal! But first of all: let’s get a new beautiful calendar, both for motivation and time-tracking. Here are some of my favourites, and you can click on the links to buy them!

Wanderlust calendar

Travel photography

http://www.etsy.com/au/listing/159833786/sale-wanderlust-2014-calendar-travel?ref=br_feed_17&br_feed_tlp=home-garden

Chicks in hats calendar

Sweet chicks

http://www.etsy.com/au/listing/160119314/chicks-in-hats-wall-calendar-yearly-2014?ref=br_feed_26&br_feed_tlp=home-garden

Chalkboard vinyl calendar

Chalkboard effect

http://www.etsy.com/au/listing/66436196/chalkboard-wall-calendar-vinyl-wall?ref=br_feed_38&br_feed_tlp=home-garden

fragile pocket calendar

Pocket size

http://fragilepocketcalendar.tumblr.com/

Peppa Pig

Peppa Pig

https://shop.abc.net.au/products/2014-peppa-pig-organiser

Beach calendar

Beach

http://www.etsy.com/au/listing/163006578/2014-beach-calendar-beach-photography?ref=br_feed_49&br_feed_tlp=home-garden

apple perpetual calendar

Perpetual

http://www.etsy.com/au/listing/115959304/apple-calendar-perpetual-wood-block-red?ref=br_feed_32&br_feed_tlp=home-garden

Vintage typewriters

Vintage typewriters

http://www.calendars.com/2014-Art/Vintage-Typewriters-2014-Wall-Calendar/prod201400001538/?categoryId=cat00005&seoCatId=cat1260076

Cute animals calendar

Cute animals

http://www.etsy.com/listing/118414831/2014-calendar-cute-animal-a4

yoga

Yoga

http://www.etsy.com/au/listing/171555692/yoga-calendar-2014?utm_source=google&utm_medium=product_listing_promoted_en_au&utm_campaign=paper_goods_mid

Jewellery organising: sorted!

How well is your jewellery organised?

I’ve been looking for the perfect way to store and display mine for ever. I’ve tried a bit of everything: boxes, trays, hanging bags, coat-hangers, trees, drawers… even a totally home-made built-on-door wire system. Now I think I’ve found the one.

These are my top-7 requirements for a great jewellery organising system:

  • I need to have all of my jewellery sorted (not just “what fits on the tree”)
  • I want to see everything at one glance – in order to make the best possible decision and don’t forget about pieces I own
  • the jewellery pieces need to be separated from one another (I don’t want to end up with a nest of necklaces tangled together anymore)
  • jewellery needs to be easy to reach and put back at its place
  • protected from dust, or at least easy to clean

NECKLACES AND PENDANTS

Organize all your necklaces with this simple hanger

Organize all your necklaces with this simple hanger

This is a beautiful hanging system made with timber and hooks. I had mine handmade by Veronica, you can purchase one or make it yourself with the right equipment (timber, hooks, drill, sanding paper, paint)

  • custom-painted so it fits in with the bedroom style and colour pallette (for me white and black stripes)
  • custom-built to a 13-hooks size, so it holds as many necklaces as I need
  • necklaces and pendants are separated, tidy, easy to see and easy to access
  • for dust protection, I hung it under a shelf.

What doesn’t work: flat storage systems (they take too much space and get too dusty); jewellery tree (it’s either unstable or monumental, and it limits the number and length of necklaces you can display).

BANGLES

Hang up a timber double wine box to store your bangles

Hang up a timber double wine box to store your bangles

I found the best bangles organiser in a timber wine box. It’s the perfect shape and size, and you can entirely costumise it to your needs – I used a 2-bottles box, but you can use a single, or even a triple one.

All you need to do is remove the sliding top, drill two holes in it, and screw it into the wall. I left it raw for a natural look, but you can paint it, or cover the inside with wallpaper trims.

  • bangles fit perfectly
  • variable storage capacity: you can choose the wine box in size you need, and even add more later on
  • the thin bangles are stacked together around a velvet jewelery sachet
  • protected from dust thanks to the horizontal panels
  • everything is visible
  • all bangles are easy to access

What doesn’t work: the typical horizontal-velvety-cylinder system makes you take bangles out in order to reach for those not on the extremes, occupies a lot of space because you have to have it on a flat surface, and it’s more exposed to dust.

EARRINGS

Collect and display all of your earrings on a canvas, then pop it against a wall.

Collect and display all of your earrings on a canvas, then pop it against a wall.

Earrings are a big deal for me. The play a key role in your look because of how close they are to your eyes and mouth.

My previous storage systems failed miserably, and I often had to give up on my first choice because I could only find one of the two earrings.

This is my best solution ever: just buy a cheap canvas in the shape and size of your choice, poke holes in it with the earrings themselves, and display them exactly as you want them. Then, sit the canvas on a desk/chest of drawers, and against the wall. I intentionally don’t recommend screwing the canvas to the wall, because you need to comfortably fit a hand between the canvas and the wall, to get the earrings on and off.

To select the perfect shape and size of canvas that works for you, I recommend laying down all your earrings neatly on a table first.

      • you are totally in control of the personalised storage capacity
      • the pair is together forever (no more looking for “the other one”)
      • it fits all different shapes and lengths of earrings: small studs, long pendant, wide chandeliers… You just need to poke holes where you want them!
      • totally inexpensive solution (I paid $6 for it) and easy to make (no tools and no skills required)
      • easy access to every earring just moving the canvas from the wallthis system works
      • best for fish-hooks or post earrings

To organise your loop earrings, I suggest:

  1. punch 2 holes at the top (or bottom) of the canvas, aligned on a horizontal line (one will be at the very left, one at the very right hand extreme of the canvas);
  2. have a cord or string going through the holes and fix it with 2 knots at the back so that it shows like a straight line from the front;
  3. hang your loop earrings on it.

What doesn’t work: jewellery boxes, loose storage in a big bag, fixed-size jewellery trees and hanging systems.

RINGS

Rings organized in recycled candle jars: completely see-through and protected from dust

Rings organized in recycled candle jars: completely see-through and protected from dust

I store my rings in recycled candle glass jars.

  • all rings are visible through the glass
  • maximum protection from dust
  • minimal surface space taken
  • no cost at all: just take an empty candle jar with lid and wash it from any wax residue with warm water

DELICATE ITEMS

Put your brooches, precious bracelets, delicate earrings in fabric or clear plastic bags before storing them in a jewellery box.

Put your brooches, precious bracelets and delicate earrings in fabric or clear plastic bags before storing them in a jewellery box.

All of the above applies for custom jewellery (not your most valuable items). Some pieces, though, need extra care, and I store them separately.

Brooches, the few bracelets I own, anything fragile/timber/paper/lace, together with pieces I don’t normally wear but I keep just in case I’m going to need them for a dress-up party, are individually stored in fabric sachets or sandwich bags, and then collected in nice timber jewellery boxes. This is not a very practical solution as you will need to remember what is stored separately, but it’s definitely worth it if you want to give delicate pieces a longer life.

 

And this is how everything comes together:

The whole jewellery organising system: bangles, necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings.

The whole jewellery organising system: bangles, necklaces, earrings, fragile pieces and rings.

A merry Aussie Christmas – gifts suggestions for the Southern Hemisphere

A merry Aussie Christmas - gifts suggestions for the Southern Hemisphere

Meggie Beer complete paste collection $29; Molton Brown Marine Sea moss energising wash $39; Le Tan coconut lotion SPF 30+ $9.99; Palm Beach Collection candle $37.95; Kikki-K Winterland gel pen $4.95; The Cook’s Companion book $130; Thomas Sabo stud earrings $99; David Jones reindeer ornament $15; Mrs Darcy flamingo cushion $72; World Vision gift: a goat will give a family milk, cheese and yogurt, $40; Jollie Gourmet Dog Treats lamb cookies $11; Arras Brut Elite Chardonnay Pinot Noir NV bottle $55; Havaianas gummy lights $50; Fortnum & Mason Lucifer’s ginger and chilli biscuits $25; Mud Australia neutral 3-piece table setting $124.