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April 2011


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The Question Of Gala Darling

By Amy CT · February 12, 2011 · 5 Comments · 508 Views

Image: HERE

For a very long time, I was a massive fan of Gala Darling, the internet's eternally cheerful, ever-lucky, fabulously dressed sweetheart. She's one of the most popular bloggers in the world for a very good reason - she clearly knows what she's doing - but quite recently Rachel and I started to go off her a little.

I've never really been able to adequetly explain why, so when my friend Katie asked me about her recently, I started thinking.

Why I went of Gala...

I think that the main reason I started to go off Gala Darling is - hilariously and ironically - because of a comment on Fashion Bloggers Why (you can read my articles on her HERE and HERE to appreciate the irony in this to its fullest):

I started to go off her because someone on the internet said she was mean - and, of course, we all know how reliable internet sources are (apparently, I'm a bad fashion writer and a country music obsessive... oh, no, wait, that's all true...!).

The thing is, though, once you have something like that in your head, your views of someone are automatically twisted: it started to annoy me that she was named Amy once upon a time and had had the guts to change it to something else. As many readers will know, I hate my name - and I started to begrudge her the fact that she'd done something about it.

It also annoyed me that she was a "trust fund kid" (something she clearly can't help) and that she is always so bloody happy.

Image: HERE

Why I've changed my mind (again)...

The thing is, though, even whilst I was not liking her, I still read her blog. I still enjoyed a lot of her content. I was still cheered up by the Sad Trombone List and by Radical Self Love. And then, the moment that Katie asked me, I started seriously questioning my supposed dislike of her. How is it even possible to dislike someone when so much of what they do brings joy to your life?

The other day, one of my friends was feeling very down, and wanted to know how she could stop caring what people thought about her. My instant response was to download Love And Sequins #5 - Finding Happiness and Making It Stay and to give it to her. I listened to it myself, too, and it was very interesting, and enlightening, and funny. A lot of it made sense. And, I'd just paid $12 to someone I claimed to dislike in the name of cheering up a friend.

My dislike was starting to become less and less plausible.

Image: HERE

Therefore, in conclusion, and the "etc" bit...

So, after much thought, I've come to the conclusion that I can't dislike Gala Darling. It literally makes no sense. Love & Sequins #5 made so much sense to me and helped me gain so much confidence in myself. Love & Sequins #7 taught me what I'm doing wrong with my blog, and how to make it better. Love & Sequins #10 is helping me prepare to move to Australia next year. A lot of her actual free blog posts, too, make so much sense to me, and make me so happy.

There are a few things that do still grate with me, though: the fact that she turned comments off on her blog after explaining on one of her podcasts that a blog was not a blog without them will never not annoy me, for example. The fact that she is charging for Radical Self Love Month this year, when I enjoyed it so much for free last year, is also a tiny bit annoying.

But, over all, I find it in me to dislike her. It's immature; it's silly; it's childish. I might not openly love everything that she does, but heck, I'm probably going to end up downloading one of her other podcasts in a few weeks, to get me through my train journey to London for fashion week. That would be like walking into a clothes shop, picking up a top you hate, and buying it anyway. It would be plain daft.

What do you think of Gala? I know that she's quite a controversial, "marmite" blogger!


Nature Made You Beautiful!

By Amy CT · January 29, 2011 · 4 Comments · 44 Views

Rachel Charlton and I have just relaunched our exciting Fashion Activism campaign called Nature Made Us Beautiful. We're asking the media to diversify its representation of women - and we need your help to make it happen. You're sure to see a lot more posts explaining this better from now on (we're very tired at the moment!), but if you go to the following places, you can get involved.

We need your support to make this happen.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Petition


Can A Fashionista Be a Feminist?

By Amy CT · January 27, 2011 · 15 Comments · 340 Views

"Thus, feminist dress reformers viewed both feminine fashion itself and feminine interest in fashion as obstacles to overcome on the road to equality"

- Kirsten Pullen, 'Actresses and Whores'


One of the biggest questions I've wondered since I started writing for a fashion magazine three years ago was whether or not it was possible for me to care about both fashion and feminism. Over the years, my views have changed slightly - as I have grown to hate fashion a hell of a lot less - and now I am absolutely certain: of course it's possible for a woman to care about both the way she looks and equality. Why would anyone suggest otherwise?

Of course, there are a lot of things wrong with the fashion industry, and especially in the way that it treats women. Anyone who tells you differently is either lying or ignorant. Models are frequently sexually exploited by those in positions of power over them; air-brushing creates a negative body image amongst (mostly young) women; and the size and health of the models themselves is more than questionable.

But suggesting that women who care about their appearances are merely adhering to patriarchal constraints, people are belittling the women themselves; is it too much to suggest that we have minds of our own, and can choose to dress as we want to just for ourselves? Must we always assume that everything women do is for the benefit of men?

As the wonderful Hadley freeman said, "It seems similarly anti-female to suggest that in order to be a true feminist, one is not allowed to have any vanity… Patriarchal society or not, everyone likes to look good… Here, one suspects, lies the nub of the anti-fashion prejudice. Good God, women doing something – just for themselves? Spending their own money? Women making themselves feel good just for themselves…? Dear God, cover your eyes, think of the children!” (The book this excerpt is taken from is in my blogiversary giveaway - HERE!)

If the stereotype that fashionistas can't care about equality were lifted, there is a good chance that many more young feminists would be empowered to work in this industry - and just think of the benefits if they did! Although a lot of the fashion industry's major roles are filled by women, it seems like the majority of designers are men, and that even in this "women's industry" a lot of the control remains out of our hands.

If women who truly cared about equality played bigger roles in this industry, surely a large number of its fundamental flaws would just evaporate? Or, if not evaporate, then  slowly begin to filter away?

Do you think it's possible to be a feminist and a fashionista? Are the lines blurred, or are you either one or the other?


PS  - Image credits: edited by me. Photos from 1, 2, 3

PPS: Have you entered my giveaway?! No? Well, it's right here!!

GIVEAWAY - Second Blogiversary!

By Amy CT · January 24, 2011 · 17 Comments · 191 Views

On February 22nd, Confessions of a Fashion Editor will be two years old, and to celebrate I've been hoarding goodies to give away for a long while. None of these prizes have been donated by other people; I have bought them all myself.

What can you win, then?

- A copy of 'The Meaning of Sunglasses, a guide to almost all things fashionable', by the wonderful Hadley Freeman (as reviewed HERE - except that this is an updates version)

- A pretty pretty bookmark to use with your pretty pretty book

- A beautiful floral bracelet from Dorothy Perkins

- Lipgloss, which, however childish, smells like doughnuts!!

- And a magic wand, like all the lovely people at the BSB meet up had in their party bags!

How do you win?

- As COAFE is only two, and just a child really, leave me a comment telling me about your favourite childhood memory.

- For an extra entry, tweet "I want to win @_amyct's lovely blogiversary giveaway at http://bit.ly/hlMQFh"

- For a third entry, follow my blog either on bloglovin', or via the follow box on the side (<--)

- When you comment, tell me how you've entered (and what your twitter name is, too, please!)

The small print:

- You must leave your email address!!

- The competition closes on 22nd February

- The winner will be drawn at random on the 23rd February

- This giveaway is open worldwide

Yipeeee, and happy blogiversary to me!


"What a frightful woman" - fashion on TV (Hustle 7.1)

By Amy CT · January 8, 2011 · 0 Comments · 195 Views

I don't know about you, but I always love it when TV shows feature fictionalised versions of the fashion industry. I don't claim by any means to know a lot about it, but it always fascinates me to see what people think this industry is like. Watching Hustle (series 7, episode 1) last night was essentially like watching every well-known fashion industry stereotype in one friendly, sixty-minute bite.

Predictably, the fashion industry (or, one modelling agency in particular) was the villain in last night's episode, which saw the gang attempt to con Wendy Stanton (Anna Chancellor, St Trinian's, Spooks) after she had taken money from Eddie's beautiful blonde niece with dreams of modelling.

It was based on a well-known industry scam: asking unsuspecting girls to pay for portfolios to start them out on a modelling career with no intention of giving them a job. And, it provided plenty of opportunities for the bad side of the industry to be presented to the viewer. In fairness, the villainous nature of the characters didn't really need to be accentuated at all - it was very much self-explanatory.

The bitchy, unsuccessful former model wants to get herself into the mainstream industry as a model agent. The bright white office, the colourful slightly socially unacceptable outfits and the words "sweetie" and "kisses" make her the archetypal fashion industry witch. Chancellor played it perfectly - but then past experience has shown that she's good at playing the bitch (this is not a comment on her person, I promise - it's just that I've only really seen her in "bitch" roles...)

It was refreshing, though, for a TV show's critique of the fashion industry to focus on a lower-end target. We've all seen The Devil Wears Prada and Ugly Betty - we all know that Anna Wintour isn't famed for her friendliness... but it seems just as likely that the lesser-known people in the act of clawing their way up the ladder are equally heinous.

In true Hustle style, the main characters fluctuated between themselves and their assumed roles - and although Adrian Lester's absurd fashion designer Hillary King played on every stereotype in the book (gay, bright, "OH EM GEE", and far too cheerful), the way that he snapped in and out of character was simply extraordinary.

But, as ever, the truly remarkable thing about this particular episode of Hustle was the stunning script. The detail in them, and the way in which the writers' minds can seemingly be seventy seven steps ahead from the very first moment always astounds me (you can read an example script free here) - and, every time this episode had me grimacing at its portrayal of fashion (which surely can't be that heinous?!), the script went ahead and dazzled me in to submission.

With clever touches such the above (a box in to which the portfolios of "unsuitable" girls were put), and cutting lines like - "She's too fat." / "She's only a size six!" / "Exactly. Tell her to come back when she's got an eating disorder!", I have no doubt that the Hustle scriptwriters are back to their absolute best. Whether their viewers will ever look at the fashion industry in the same way remains to be seen.

What do you think of the way fashion is portrayed in the media? Is it fair?


PS - all images are my own screencaps from the BBC iPlayer version of the show. All credit clearly belongs to the BBC.

New British Style Bloggers Ebook

By Amy CT · January 6, 2011 · 0 Comments · 69 Views


As is our wont, British Style Bloggers created our latest ebook, Christmas With A Cause, too late for Christmas all together. But, we're very proud of it, and many of the articles featured are poignant and salient when it's not Christmas at all.

I came up with the idea for this theme in the French Alps in the summer, and I was so pleased with it that it stuck with me until December finally rolled around: each of our contributors picked a cause or a charity to champion, and we asked readers to donate a little money to it in the true spirit of Christmas - going above and beyond the usual materialism of the season.

Even though that time is past, if you didn't make your donation in December, you can do so any time at all. Pick a charity that means a lot, and donate a tenner, instead of spending it on something you don't really need in what's left of the sales. Have a look at our ideas for some inspiration. Do a little good in the world, and feel all the better for it.

Oh, and if that doesn't entice you, then maybe Mystic Susie's Stylescopes will - they're priceless!


'Ugly Betty' - A True Inspiration

By Amy CT · December 28, 2010 · 0 Comments · 163 Views

Image: HERE

Ugly Betty, one of my favourite television shows ever, came to a close in the UK over Christmas, and I am honestly struggling to put into words exactly how much I'm going to miss that show.

Betty Suarez is, despite what many "fashion people" might think, a true inspiration - to me personally, and to geeky unfashionable girls who may have accidentally ended up in the fashion industry in general. Although how many of us there truly are in this world remains to be seen.

As I watched the final scene of the final episode, I really was fighting back tears; watching this show has taught me a lot of important lessons for life, as well as being truly inspirational.

Image: HERE

Ugly Betty, through the years, has been (in many ways) your typical ugly-duckling-becomes-beautiful-swan story. In a lot of ways, it's just another story about how that high school geek with the frizzy hair and the big heart triumphed against adversity and blossomed into something beautiful. But in many other ways, it's the story of how hard work pays off, and of how you don't have to be stick thin, perfect and ruthless to triumph in fashion.

And, as that high school geek with the frizzy hair (who'd like to think she has a big heart), it's good to know that I might just have a future in an industry I'm growing to love more and more. I'm definitely not a natural fashion writer. In a lot of ways, I abhor fashion; but then, that's maybe the best way to start.

If you hate something, like I did, and like Betty did, you have to work a whole lot harder to make it work for you - and to like it. You have to try a bit more, and open your mind, and you have to take criticism.

And, although I think we can all agree that I've been a terrible fashion writer in a lot of ways, the improvements are startling, too. This blog has been going for almost two years now, and I think it finally found its voice.

Image: HERE

As, apparently, has Betty. In the fantastic final few episodes, almost every loose thread was tied together, and almost every character was given the ending they deserve. Even Wilhelmina, whom we have all loved to hate these past few years, saw her efforts pay off, as she was given the job everyone secretly knew all along that she should have had. And even Daniel developed a work ethic.

The question everyone seemed to want an answer to, though, is whether Betty and Daniel would end up together... and although the romantic in me kind of wants to know what happens now, after the ending we've been given, I have to admit that all in all it worked out magically. Betty got the life she deserved, and Daniel got a chance to prove himself to her - as is only fair, given all her hard work.

So, the moral of the story? Work hard, and you'll get what you deserve. Oh, and fashion's not so bad. Oh, and stay true to yourself. Don't let yourself forget your own dreams.

It feels a lot like these last few episodes were written just for me.

Image: HERE

And the final message? As Betty rode off into her sunset to begin her new life, her father told her about the true potential her move to Britain might hold, and reminded me of exactly why I'm so excited to find out if I'm getting my year abroad next year... I should know in just over three weeks, and I'm so nervous, but excited beyond belief at the same time.

So, all that remains to be said, Betty, is good luck, we love you, and we'll miss you. You truly were an inspiration.


- A -

Feel-Good Friday - Fashion Prospectus 2010

By Amy CT · December 3, 2010 · 2 Comments · 39 Views

So, the pictures are in from the Forge Press photo shoot I blogged about a while back - and they look amazing. The issue went out today, which means that my write-up is online and that when I have a little bit more time I can scan in the pages to show you all.

It's Clothes Show Live tomorrow so I'm rushed off my feet - but for now, all the photos are beneath my article in a flickr gallery for you all to gawp at :)


- A -

Backstage Pass: Forge Press Christmas Fashion Shoot

By Amy CT · November 23, 2010 · 8 Comments · 192 Views

Having spent three years as a Fashion Editor, I'd never actually experienced a fashion shoot... until today! I was asked to do some backstage 'photography' and interviews with models, MUAs, hair stylists and photographers at the Forge Press Christmas photo shoot.

It was an insanely early start in the freezing cold today because the wonderful girls who edit the Lifestyle section of Forge had managed to get us in to Firth Court, the old red brick building at my university, for a few precious hours... and the setting, it has to be said, was stunning!

The red brick matched the colour theme of many of the outfits that the stylists had put together, and is it just me, or is the scene in the photo above, with all the preppy, pouting faces on the steps, not a little bit reminiscent of 'Gossip Girl'?

The theme of the shoot was a "secret" Christmas party - so we had a lot of balloons, bubbles and all sorts of party poppers that no one appeared to be able to work! As Firth Court houses many of the science labs and offices of the university, people were coming in and out as all of the photos were being taken, and a lot of them seemed more than a little perplexed by all of the glitter, and pouty people (I even spotted our Union President at at one point!

I have written a "proper" write-up of the shoot, which will be in the paper and on the website in a couple of weeks' time, when it next comes out - so I'll scan the pages in and add a link so that you can all see the professional photos that resulted from the shoot... as opposed to my dreadful, shaky efforts taken on my friend Katie's camera (thank you Katie!).

I think I should also say that all the styling, photography and modelling was done by students - and that Katie-of-the-camera is in the right in the photo above, and is the one with the Minnie Mouse ears in other photos... she makes me look like a dwarf anyway, but in the heels she had on today, I felt like I actually was the shortest person on the planet!

I have to say, too, that today reminded me why I started blogging in the first place. It reminded me why I used to love it, and what it is that I love doing more than anything else. I had a fabulous morning, and I really hope that the photos we end up with reflect the passion everyone put into them - and the fun we all had!

Thanks to Kate and Vicky for letting me come, and to Katie for lending her camera!


- A -

Product Review: Redfoot Shoes

By Amy CT · October 28, 2010 · 3 Comments · 360 Views

Image: HERE

I can't lie to you; ever since I discovered CocoRose London last year, I've wanted a pair of those fabulous fold-up-and-stick-'em-in-your-clutch shoes for nights out - especially since I've started wearing heels a lot more at university.

So, when I found out that Redfoot Ladies' Shoes were offering complimentary pairs of shoes to bloggers and press with Press Passes at Britiain's Next Top Model live last Friday, I got really excited - there's nothing a blogger likes more, after all, than being able to write a lovely, honest review about lovely, honest people who've entrusted them with samples.

The story starts out well, then... But it turns, pretty quickly.

As a blogger, I'm young. I don't look too professional, and, because my printer wasn't working last week, I didn't have business cards either. Apparently, then, even with a Press Pass and a Press Pack and a reporters' notebook, I wasn't eligible. So, I slunk away, all depressed, and ready to write a ranty blog.

My friends, though, were less willing, and told the event organisers about how Redfoot had treated us. When they heard, the lovely people at BNTM Live declared that Redfoot were "out of order", and cordially pointed out that, as bloggers, we could slate them. Maybe, then, it would be a good idea if they gave us some shoes?

Which, eventually, they did...

I eventually receieved a pair of complimentary Redfoot Zebra Taylor shoes (above), which are exactly as I had imagined; foldable, comfortable, easy solutions to the nasty night-out ouchies. Although the colour isn't exaclty my ideal choice, as a complimentary gift, I can't complain!

The only criticism I have of the product itself is that of Harriet (http://whereisharriet.blogspot.com/), who said that her pair went a bit manky after being worn in the rain - but they are just cloth, so that seems logical.

All in all, then? The product is as expected. The service, however, was not. I'd definitely stick with CocoRose if I were you.


- A -

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