Carry-on bags takes off

With a simple click away from any vacation destination around the world, air travel has become an accessible luxury pastime for the average person. A recent trend surrounding the ever-increasing popularity of carry-on bags has evolved among travelers. In addition to airlines, bag manufactures have also caught on to this particular consumer development. Opting for more compact travel especially for short-haul destinations does have its advantages indeed: it’s cheaper, quicker and practical. Think about all that precious time you can save from not waiting around for luggage at the ever-so-dreadful baggage carousel. Because lets face it, that’s the worst thing about air travel isn’t it? Or worse yet, your luggage gets lost together with all of your belongings.

Airlines adapting to trend

Major international airlines are starting to take notice and adapting their regulations to the new carry-on trend. One of the significant changes is the “hand baggage only” option, which allows travelers at commercial airlines to purchase cheaper flights if they decide to ditch hefty check-in luggage. In fact, most oversized luggage is equipped with some rollers. But really, who enjoys dragging around a large suitcase through the airport? At the end of the day, it’s simply a nuisance. So what exactly constitutes a “carry-on bag”? Well for starters, there is actually no such thing as a fixed standard size for carry-ons, other than making sure it fits into the overhead compartments. There’s one simple rule. If it doesn’t, say goodbye to your precious carry-on and expect it to end up in the check-in compartment. Moreover, chances are you will have to pay a hefty fee. Nobody wants to be “that person” delaying a flight and getting ominous glares from fellow passengers. To experience hassle-free travel during your next voyage, just follow the baggage guidelines of your particular airline. Some are more lenient while others are stricter with their policies.

Swiss Airlines: The Swiss have a quite strict hand baggage policy. Carry-on bags must not exceed 8 kg in weight with maximum dimensions of 55 cm x 40 cm x 23 cm. Any hand baggage that is too big or too heavy will be taken at the gate and classified as check-in luggage, for which passengers are charged. Therefore, be especially careful here.

Singapore Airlines: Travelers who are seated in first/business class are permitted to bring two pieces of carry-on baggage weighing no more than 7 kg each and not exceeding 115 cm. Economy class, on the other hand, only permits one carry-on bag with maximum weight of 7 kg. As usual, business class does have its obvious perks.

British Airways: Due to more passengers opting for lighter travel, British Airways has changed its dimension restrictions for personal bags from 45 cm x 36 cm x 20 cm to no bigger than 40 cm x 30 cm x 15 cm. On the flip side, this particular airline has a reputation of offering free hand baggage allowances with no limit in weight, unlike its competitors, which is very generous.

EasyJet: This commercial budget airline is known for its bargain flight prices. It is also very lenient with its “unlimited weight” hand baggage policy. However, dimension regulations do apply with the following maximum of 56 cm x 45cm x 25cm. So it’s nice that EasyJet make things so easy.

Demand for travel bags climbs

So after you’ve booked your vacation and researched airline policies, the next step is to purchase that ever-so-important bag. Travel bags have become an essential lifestyle product for many modern-day explorers. From carry-on bags with wheels, to the additional personal item such as purse, backpack or suitcase, there is a variety of choices to suit anyone’s personal taste. The common thread among most travelers is the search for fashionable aesthetic as well as durability and practicality. According to a global market report posted by PRNewswire in August 2015, growth in sales of travel bags is set to surge strongly by 2020. For manufacturers, this opens the door to an ideal opportunity to respond to consumer demands by further improving the design and product development aspects of their product ranges. One of the significant accomplishments in the luggage manufacturing industry is the technological development of decreasing the weight of the product. For instance, polycarbonate resin is a raw material that is incredibly sturdy and – most importantly – very light as well. Baggage that is lightweight is easier to handle and provides travelers with much more convenience. It is no wonder that more fashion companies are seeking to exploit this particular market sector. One such example is Prada, which has recently launched a made-to-order service where shoppers can customize an exclusive piece of travel luggage by selecting from a range of colors and materials.

Indeed, the carry-on baggage market is proving to be an exciting business venture for more and more companies. Heavyweights within the global luggage market such as MCM and Louis Vuitton are facing some serious competition with the likes of Prada, Kate Spade, Ted Baker and Coach, which offer an opulent selection of stylish carry-ons (featured below). Retailers / manufacturers have a chance to really capitalize on this growth industry, as airlines continue to especially adapt their regulations to this growing consumer trend. Lighter and cheaper travel certainly brings out one’s inner wanderlust, while at the same time allowing travelers to keep calm and “carry on.”

 

Designing for the greater good

In the past, a lot of people’s generic perceptions of eco-wear revolved around the idea of “hippie-wear.” But thanks to innovative designers and technological development within textile manufacturing, needless to say eco-conscious fashion today offers a variety of stylish goods.

Stella McCartney is a pioneering designer with her advocate approach toward sustainable fashion. Being born into a celebrity family, you automatically win in life. You are most likely to grow up amid a very privileged background, where money can buy you anything. However, despite being the daughter of a legendary musician, Stella’s upbringing was rather down-to-earth than one would expect from a typical rock star offspring. She spent most of her childhood living on a farm with the simple kind of life. Being surrounded by nature and animals, her countryside upbringing proved to be a great influence on her work. She not only raises awareness of global issues, such as the environment and animal rights, but also acts as an innovative thinker when it comes to developing alternative methods of creating a fashion product. Her garments consist mainly of natural fabrics such as cotton and silk and prohibit the use of real leather and fur.

Stella declares war on fur
During the early days of Stella’s career, her fellow peers within the fashion industry viewed her as “obnoxious” for espousing her views on animal rights. She thought there was no excuse for fur during modern times and regarded people in fashion as heartless for not caring about the cruelty involved in producing fur. So she decided to create a little exposé video in 2000 titled “Stella McCartney Fur Farm Exposed.” Obviously, her colleagues in the industry were not pleased at all. The video was produced by PETA and revealed scenes of foxes being deprived of proper care and cooped up in cages at a fur farm in the USA. Lack of food and water, injuries and cannibalism were among the depictions of suffering that were exposed on film. During the debut of her A/W 15 ready-to-wear collection at Paris Fashion Week, Stella sent models down the runway wearing show-stopping faux fur coats – elegant, shaggy, fury, but most importantly synthetic!

Knowledge is key
By providing guilt-free fashion, McCartney strives to create beautiful clothes as well as educate consumers, in the hopes of making a real difference in the world. In fact, fashion courses are aiming to increasingly feature sustainable practices throughout their curriculum. These may not necessarily advocate banning the use of fur all together, but rather provide insight into various issues such as how fur farms really treat their animals. Imparting the knowledge and offering a choice are key, because just how factories really mass-manufacture their goods is still a mystery. Indeed, Stella’s forward-thinking approach toward tackling environmental issues like these is something of which other designers should really take note.

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Fox from fur farm expose

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A/W 15 Stella McCartney faux fur coat

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Designer Stella McCartney

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Project Throwback: Hortinatura

Li Elelkoort’s Bloom Magazine really helped me to develop my conceptual research, where it analyses trends in horticulture and nature with informative and inspirational photography, texts, and relating it to a fashion context. Exploring the horticulture lifestyle in particular encouraged me to look beyond and seek inspiration from elements that were not so generic such as the development of floral prints.

Seeing as my project was nature inspired, the right location  for the photoshoot was really important to me. I wanted to steer clear of creating glossy high-fashion images à la Vogue. That’s not what my collection was about. The whole visual concept had to be paired down. So the shoot took place at this gorgeous near by woods next to my old uni campus. The weather that day unfortunately presented itself as a bit of a challenge. However, we were able to conquer the elements and ended up with a quite successful photoshoot.

To the models, photographers and other crew members who were involved that day: once again thank you. Thank you for making it all possible and allowing me to look back at something I am truly proud of.

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For more images, visit http://www.artsthread.com/profile/geneveanderson/

 

I’m Back

 

Hello WordPress,

Forgive me for neglecting this blog for quite sometime now. I’ve been crazy busy juggling two jobs. One as a Style Advisor and the other as a Freelance Fashion Writer.

This blog was mostly dedicated to my projects and experiences at University. However now that I am no longer a Student, I still would like to use this platform to still write about fashion, art, music etc. From time to time though, I will occasionally reminisce my Uni days through old images and untold stories.

I’ve also decided to give this blog a new look and promise to post more regularly from now on.

Watch this space for exciting things to come!

Venturing out of Heidiland

Three years ago, I decided to leave my little nest in Switzerland and embark on a journey to a place called Bournemouth. Growing up, I got to appreciate picturesque scenery of mighty Swiss mountains and elongated lakes, as well as to indulge in abundant amounts of the finest Swiss chocolates. Even though I was pretty content with my life, I still had this hunger for something new lingering in my belly that “Heidiland” wasn’t able to satisfy. Since graduating from high school, I have developed this desire to move to the UK to attend university, not only for educational purposes, but also to pursue my aspirations of facing new challenges in new surroundings whilst hoping to embrace new people in my life.

Culturally, I was already familiar with UK popular culture growing up thanks to having access to British TV channels. However, there was so much more that I learnt about the culture once I started living there. It’s different when you are a tourist. Usually most tourists would flock to places like London and spend about a week there, only getting to know a small fraction of the culture, rather than experiencing what it’s like to actually live in the UK.

For instance, one of the phrases I became familiar with during Freshers Week back in 2012 was “fancy dress.” As someone who grew up speaking US English (I’m technically American), I initially associated the term with black tie / cocktail-like events. But in fact, I was in for a treat once I experienced my first fancy dress. The term misled me since I didn’t expect to attend a night out dressed as a purple haired witch accompanied by two wild cats, Princess Fiona and a lurking ninja. I soon learnt that dressing up was quite a popular thing amongst students in England.

Whilst expanding my culinary taste buds and being introduced to things such as crumpets, Jaffa Cakes and marmite, I have had debates with some of my British friends about certain meal-time phrases. For instance, one of the most popular debates was the whole “pudding vs. dessert” ordeal. Now as a proud speaker of US English, I was pretty patriotic about this one. Pudding is a type of wiggly dessert, but the term doesn’t describe ALL other desserts. I have embraced all other aspects of UK culture, but to this present day, I simply refuse to call dessert “pudding”! Sorry, just no…

I was compelled to not only adjust to cultural changes, but also get used to living away from home for the first time. But not just me: 49 other students in my halls of residence building had to do the same! Having to adjust to a new living space with complete strangers can be a bit daunting. Naturally, your initial thoughts consist of light-hearted fears such as “will I make any new friends?” “What if they don’t like me?”

However, those people around me who started off being complete strangers – mostly those who resided on the same floor as me – became the most integral part of my first year at university. And thanks to having that commonality of not knowing one another, friendships developed and so did the celebration of birthdays, Halloween, bon fire night, Christmas, building forts out of cardboard boxes and ordering from Pizza Hut on a weekly basis.

Getting used to a new environment and finding a new routine is the beauty of starting a new chapter in your life. You will have successes, you will have f***-ups, but most importantly you will learn. You will learn about yourself in ways that you would have not been able to without being obedient towards mommy and daddy. You will understand what responsibilities come with independence whilst enjoying the taste of its freedom.

And now I am a graduate who is embarking on a brand new journey. These days, I have a job working as a style advisor in luxury retail and on the side doing some freelance fashion copywriting. The memories, friends and lesions: university was a time that I will forever cherish. The day I threw that graduation cap up in the air, was the day I began a brand new chapter in my life.

P.S: I promise that I won’t neglect my blog again xxx

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Savage Beauty – haunted or enchanted?

Back in March, I decided to take a break from my busy schedule at the time and head up to London to see the highly anticipated Alexander McQueen exhibition at the Victoria Albert Museum. I recall when tickets were first released that my fellow fashion friend and I didn’t hesitate in purchasing them!

We were among the lucky ones because the site crashed for others trying to order their tickets online. Let’s face it, though, as soon as this exhibition was first announced pretty much ALL fashion enthusiasts went all fan girl! It’s no wonder the site crashed in the first place…McQueen left such a strong legacy behind that it was only justice that his work be honoured and celebrated at one of London’s most prestigious museums.

“London’s where I was brought up. It’s where my heart is and where I get my inspiration.”
-Alexander McQueen, January 2000

When first entering the exhibition, visitors were greeted by a video montage of the late designer’s head morphed into a skull. Each room created an ambiance of theatrical gothic romanticism captured by the garments’ essence of what “Savage Beauty” is all about: pure, bold, outlandish pieces that despite historical references define 21st century fashion.

Even though I was able to appreciate the stunning craftsmanship and intricate details applied to the garments, I couldn’t decide whether I felt haunted or enchanted by McQueen’s creations. With pointy horn-like shoulder pads, bondage-like leather head masks or real crocodile heads, it wasn’t exactly like stepping into happy rainbow “Care Bear” world… but rather entering a world of romantic exoticism, where musical elements lure the audience into the charm of unfamiliarity from one room to the next. Accompanied by avant-garde installations and performance art runway video footage, this certainly wasn’t like any other fashion exhibition I had ever visited!

If anyone has the opportunity, I would recommend visiting Savage Beauty before it ends on August 2

Sadly, I wasn’t able to take any of my own photos (security guards), but below are some credited Google search images of the exhibition:

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WE ARE THE UP-AND-COMING TALENT

“I do believe that British students are flourishing because England has the best educational system, providing art & design students with the freedom to think, to dream and to do.” Alber Elbaz

From 30 May to 2 June 2015, East London’s Truman Brewery transformed itself into a fashion venue for up-and-coming talent. Founded in 1991, Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) celebrates the creativity of students and graduates from the most prestigious creative arts universities in the UK, specializing in areas such as fashion design, pattern cutting, styling, marketing and communications. This annual event showcases catwalk shows, exhibition stands, workshops and live industry talks, allowing guests to witness the development of a new generation of the next “Alexander McQueens”, and ”Susie Bubbles”.

The first time I ever attended GFW was back in 2013, working as a backstage dresser for my university’s catwalk show. I recall how hectic but exciting it was dressing up models in clothes that were made by the blood, sweat and tears of hardworking third-year students. At that time, I was thinking to myself that this could potentially be me. Where I’m from, fashion graduates don’t really have such a huge platform to endorse themselves and network with industry professionals. Moving to the UK was something I knew would give me tremendous opportunities to learn, grow and interact with fashion in ways I never thought would have been achievable.

Now, flashing forward to GFW 30 May 2015: I was there.

I was there as a guest, student, supporting friend and fashion enthusiast. Sadly, however, I wasn’t there as a catwalk participant. However, I was still going to see my own university’s show! The garments that graced the catwalk were a once-upon-a time vision – a vision that started off as a sketch and design development that ultimately led to the final product.

Despite not being given a catwalk, that didn’t stop me from endorsing myself and further expanding my existing fashion network. During my wandering around the exhibition, I came across some lovely people from one of the event’s sponsors called The Edit.

First launched in February 2015 during London Fashion Week, The Edit is a fashion shopping App that offers a unique and portable “browse-and-buy” experience. This Tinder-like App enables users to “swipe right” if they like what they see and “swipe left” if they don’t. By securely linking the App to PayPal, shoppers are able to enjoy a quick and hassle-free purchase by discovering over 80,000 products by desirable brands including Topshop, River Island, New Look and Adidas. This innovative e-commerce App has recently been voted as one of the top-five fashion Apps, according to Marie Claire. At GFW, The Edit created an interactive stand and also hosted the GFW Street Style Competition, where on each day, visitors of the event were able to have their picture taken and put to vote on The Edit’s Instagram page. In addition to the Style Competition, users were able to vote on the collections of the graduates who make it into ‘The Best of Graduate Fashion Week’ show on the final day of 2 June. Some of my friends are hopefully going to get nominated for that!

Indeed, GFW does provide an excellent platform for fashion graduates and exciting innovative companies! However, let me tell you this my fellow soon-to-be fashion graduates: Just because you weren’t given the opportunity to step into the spotlight at that particular moment, doesn’t mean you aren’t ever going to ultimately prevail! I wasn’t given any press coverage, but still managed to build my own platform myself. At the end of the day, no matter how “big” or “small” you are now, ALL of us in this graduating class of summer 2015 are definitely the up-and-coming talent in the fashion industry of the future.

PS: Tuesday (June 2) is the last day of GFW!! So if you are in the area, please go say hello to my friends at the AUB stand and have your picture taken from The Edit and download their APP! http://www.theeditapp.com/

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C’est moi!  https://instagram.com/geneve_chalonne/

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Catwalk (For more designers see http://www.catwalking.com/archive/seasons/graduates/2015/BA/BOUR )

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