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The Wardrobe Blog by Katherine Ann-marie - 2w ago
“On Trend or Fashion Faux Pas?” What does fashionable truly mean anymore?

Being fashionable underlines the importance of ‘good’ fashion choices, and the risk of making bad ones. Our measure of style implies there is a given expectation of how we must dress. But what does it mean to be fashionable now?

Wearing Dress from Factorie, Shoes from Novo Shoes, Bag & Headband Thriftstore Items.

What does it mean to be fashionable?

The fear that comes with making style and beauty choices is real. It’s not an accident that we look to fashion icons and celebrities to dictate to us what to wear and how to look. Our desire to be accepted and celebrated for who we are, is a real part of the human experience. It’s part of our genetics to feel connected to those around us. However I believe that the pressure to conform to the limitations of fashion is just another self imposed concept we place upon ourselves when going shopping, making fashion choices, and defining our personal style. It’s common belief that being fashionable is a style that pre-exists, a mould we must fit into and our ability to do so dictates our success or lack of. I have a different view, for me being fashionable is about finding your own personal freedom.

“To break the rules, first you must master them.”
— Anon How do you find freedom in fashion?

Fashion has never been a cage in my mind. Despite this common perception, throughout history the rebellious ones often led the trends that others followed. I feel that fashion is more about conviction, passion and honesty. In fact, breaking the rules can be very contagious. Many women who broke the rules of fashion and style were not only celebrated but altered the future of women’s fashion. The name ‘Chanel’ is one that comes to mind. Living in an era of lavish, ostentatious designs, feeling suffocated by the monotony of repetition that surrounded her, Coco Chanel took the minimilist style of men’s hat-wear and made it her own. Not long after adopting it herself, other women were inspired by her unique aesthetic. The simplicity and beauty in what she saw caught on, and before long her name became a worldwide phenomenon.

How do I create my own fashion freedom?

This is the golden question! Look no further than those that came before us. Coco Chanel is a fashion icon because she embodied this notion. She was a master haberdasher, and understood the subtleties of her craft. She was extremely passionate about the pieces she made, and so with a combination of skill and love she saw possibility where others did not. This, in a nutshell is what I believe the freedom of fashion is all about. Seek to understand your own aesthetic, what sparks joy for you and why. Do some research into the history of fashion throughout the various centuries, and be honest with yourself about who inspires you with their style mastery. I believe everyone is their own style icon, if you spend enough time looking within yourself, for the love of fashion.

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The Wardrobe Blog by Katherine Ann-marie - 2M ago
“Somewhere… beyond the sea!”Beach style: What it is, how to have it and why you need it…

Beaches are a big part of New Zealand culture and our summertime. We are so lucky to be so close to the water, and for many of us we are spoilt for choice of where to go. I am always in awe of the beauty of the New Zealand landscape, but our sun is extreme and I’m all about looking after the health of my skin. I haven’t always felt confident heading to the beach and going swimming since I’m very pale, and burn easily so this summer I’ve been turning that around with my top tips for cute and comfy beach style:

Swimsuit and Hat from Kmart, Earrings from Lovisa, Lipcolour by Rimmel ‘Kiss of Life’.

Dress for your Body Shape

Select swimwear that you feel comfy in and works for your body shape - If you have wider hips and/or a larger bust any styles with little skirts built in, and wrap or twist cuts can be very flattering. Think 50’s! If you have wide shoulders and a stronger build go for solid, thick styles like strapless garments and high-cut briefs. Think 80’s! It can take some time finding the right style, so don’t be afraid to put in some time and energy hunting down the right one, but I compare this process to finding a great bra. Investing in a swimsuit that is flattering and supportive as well as one that makes you feel great - will give you an incredible amount of confidence going in and out of the water, regardless of your size. I remember years ago being continuously drawn to bikini sets much to my demise, and discovering to my horror how difficult it was to keep my bikini in place! If you’ve got cleavage, opt for a one piece with adjustable straps or a halter neck if you have narrow shoulders. Many of them have built in support and won’t come loose in the water. Prints and patterns can work well too for girls with curves, particularly thin vertical lines, nautical prints, or large prints. For more slender body types it’s best to go for bold colours, bikini sets, dainty straps, or boob tubes are also great for enhancing the figure of petite busted women.

Be Sun-Smart

This is extra important for those who are also very pale. Things like baggy tees or sarongs can help to protect your skin from the sun while also keeping you cool and comfortable. Make sure the hat you bring is suitable for a bit of wind as especially our west coast beaches can be very gusty! Caps are practical but not necessarily cute and also don’t protect the back of your neck. Wide brimmed hats are best, and in combination with sunblock, your favourite sunnies, a good spot of shade and the right time of day you can relax and enjoy yourself without getting burnt. 

Swimsuit and Hat from Kmart, Earrings from Lovisa.

Go the right time of day

In summertime it’s more practical, comfortable and enjoyable to visit the beach in the morning or afternoon. Try and avoid midday when the sun is high, it’s uncomfortable to see without sunnies in the water, and the sun is the most dangerous. I prefer to go when the evenings are long and the sun often doesn’t set until 9pm, by then there are also less people and less chance of sunburn too! The water is generally a bit warmer and you can really take your time until sunset. Early mornings are great for the early birds too, with the bonuses of less traffic and if you’re early enough - a beautiful sunrise! 


Choose the best Beach

Depending on your favourite activities at the beach there are a variety to choose from. For walks, exploring and bringing your pets, the west coast beaches like Bethels and Muriwai are some of the best. Bethells is a huge beach, with caves and rock pools to explore! Although a very windy beach and not ideal for children swimming, it’s sand is black instead of white and home to a  variety of native wildlife. If you’re interested in a leisurely swim, the east cost beaches are best. Particularly Orewa beach which is known for being much gentler and safer to swim at, with beautiful picturesque spots of white sand and deep blue waters. It can get very busy around Christmas and New Year though, so get there early to find parking and a great spot in the shade. If you’re after a great place to sunbathe or socialise, the central city beaches are fabulous. Mission Bay is a popular spot that’s great to get an ice cream at the local Movenpick, visit the playground, various bars, cafes and restaurants sitting right close to the waterfront. If you’re looking for a luxury beach holiday destination, Waiheke Island has a beautiful variety of beaches within walking distance of most accomodation on the island. Most larger beaches have smaller bays nearby, that are great if you’re looking to avoid the crowds! 

Swimsuit and Hat from Kmart, Earrings from Lovisa, Lipcolour by Rimmel ‘Kiss of Life’.

Go Minimal

It might make a great picture but bringing your phone or camera can be disastrous at the beach with the water, wind and sand. Getting sand in any technology especially your phone is the last thing you want, and is surprisingly easy to do. Bring a watch instead of your phone to keep an eye on the time, and only wear minimal jewellery that’s water safe. Tote bags with hidden pockets are great too for putting your cards and keys, and since it’s preferable to avoid public changing rooms, I bring a change of clothes I can put on over the top of my swimsuit afterwards. Loose fitting wide waist dresses are the best! They’re easy to pack and put on in public. Good walking shoes are also super handy - my favourites are the super comfy Deuces from Overland that come in a variety of styles, and are cute and practical especially for the large West Coast beaches. Beach life all the way! 

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The Wardrobe Blog by Katherine Ann-marie - 2M ago
The most beautiful gardens in Auckland…I spend a lot of time working, and when I’m not working I’m busy planning and preparing for new projects. So it makes sense that the few hobbies I have involve venturing out of my house and taking inspiration from the world around me. Walking around some of Auckland’s beautiful gardens is something I love to do in all seasons, when I can take the time.

If you’re looking for the perfect spot for a picnic, a morning walk, somewhere to practice your photography or drawing skills, or just somewhere to relax with friends then keep on reading. I put together a list of my top five favourite gardens and what time of year they are best to visit. 

Westlynn Gardens [West Auckland]

Cost - Donation

Popularity - 2/5

Hours - 10-4pm 7 Days a Week

Best Activity - Exploring and Education.

Westlynn Gardens is tucked away at the back of New Lynn, close to Titirangi Bush. It’s maintained by a team of volunteers and available to visit between 10-4pm every day. Throughout the year there are special events, and some tying in with the large monarch butterfly house that forms part of the gardens. The grounds are medium sized, with a range of native trees and plants. The best time to visit Westlynn Gardens is in the springtime when most of the flowers are in bloom and the greenery is lush. These gardens have a rustic, homely feel and many of the paths are best taken to with sturdy walking shoes. There are some beautiful nooks and spaces here, and great fun to explore. 

Westlynn Gardens Website: www.westlynngarden.org.nz

Auckland Domain [Central City]

Cost - Free

Popularity - 4/5

Hours - [1 April – 31 October] 9am – 4.30pm 7 Days a Week

[1 November – 31 March] Monday - Saturday 9am – 5.30pm and Sunday 9am – 7.30pm

Best Activity - Photoshoots, Picnics, Light Walks, and Exploring.

The Auckland Domain will always be one of my favourite places. With such a variety of areas within itself, including a hot house, tropical gardens, fernery, large open spaces and changing botanical displays, it is impeccably maintained. The best time to visit is in the evenings in summer, when it’s a little cooler but the evening sun lights everything up beautifully. Around November there is a purple Wisteria that blooms near the main pond, and throughout summer the gardens outside the greenhouse are an incredible display of colour. The best port about the Auckland Domain is the Auckland Museum which is in the same space, and other than the beautiful architecture I’m a big fan of the museum, which often has fantastic special exhibits in addition to their regular features. 

Auckland Domain Website: www.gardens.org.nz/auckland-gardens/auckland-domain-wintergardens

Cornwall Park [East Auckland]

Cost - Free

Popularity - 4/5

Hours - [Winter] 7am – 6pm + [Summer] 7am – 9pm

Best Activity - Running, Photoshoots, Picnics, and Walking the Dog.

The best place for a walk, a run, a jog, or a drive through! Cornwall Park is incredible in both Autumn and Spring, with amazing colours. The Cherry Tree blossoms are a large affair, with huge amounts of people and traffic during their bloom in early October each year. I recommend taking a visit in Autumn when most of the trees lose their leaves and turn beautiful shades. There is a lot of space here too, for picnics, walks with your pets, and gatherings of all kinds! The grounds are very large, so be prepared to take your time here. There are also two places to eat here, the central Cornwall Park cafe and the Bistro in two seperate areas and well worth checking out.

Cornwall Park Website: www.cornwallpark.co.nz

Parnell Rose Gardens [Central City]

Cost - Free

Popularity - 3/5

Hours - 24 Hours + 7 Days

Best Activities - Photoshoots, Picnics.

The Parnell Rose Gardens are best in Spring and Summer, and by early summer all the roses are in full bloom. It’s a rainbow of different varieties, and it’s best to visit in the morning or evening when it’s not too hot as it’s relatively exposed. Further along inside the Parnell Rose Gardens are the Nancy Steen Gardens, inspired by English gardens the spring blooms are exquisite. Down the bank of these Gardens is the water’s edge and a little wharf. Perfect for adventures and inspiration, with some of Parnell’s best cafes nearby including Rosies, Chocolate Boutique, and Casa Del Gelato.

Parnell Rose Garden Website: www.nzroses.org.nz/dove-myer-garden-parnell


Auckland Botanic Gardens [South Auckland]

Cost - Free

Popularity - 5/5

Hours - [Winter] 8am – 6pm + [Summer] 8am – 8pm

Best Activities - Running, Walking, Photoshoots, Picnics, and Walking the Dog.

Of all the gardens in Auckland the Botanic Gardens in Manurewa are the most fantastic. Absolutely huge, spanning 64 hectares it’s an opportunity for a whole day visit. The gardens are sectioned into areas for different types of plant life, including cacti, tropical plants, native bush, forests, the perennial gardens, rose gardens, and many others. The best time of year to visit is Spring and early Summer in December when the perennial gardens are in full bloom. Loads of colours and impressively well tended to the Botanic Gardens are the place to get one with nature! 

Auckland Botanic Gardens Website: www.aucklandbotanicgardens.co.nz/

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The Wardrobe Blog by Katherine Ann-marie - 4M ago
‘There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind…” -C.S LewisI can’t believe how fast the year has gone, it has flown by and now the time has come to reflect on all that 2018 has brought, and everything that is yet to come for 2019. 

A great way to get the new year off to a fantastic start is to clarify your goals and intentions. ‘New Year Resolutions’ are a pretty common way of creating change, but they can be hard to commit to. Whether it’s a lifestyle, career, or personal transformation in your life there is never a better time to start than the new year! But without achievable, measurable goals new year’s resolutions are often just wishful thinking. Below I break down why goals are important, and how to transform your hopes and dreams into reality this year!

Wearing: Playsuit by Forever New, Tote Bag from Sanrio Gift Gate [Hello Kitty Store], Hair Flowers from Kmart, Shoes from Rubi, Hair by Rodney Wayne.

Why Goals are Important 

I’m a busy person with a busy mind. I have a variety of creative projects I am juggling at any one time, as well as commitments in my career and personal life. I often have fleeting ideas or moments of inspiration, whether it’s on how to solve a current problem I am having, or a way to get something new started, or how to improve a current situation. Unless I can connect those decisions to larger picture, and a long term destination my path will be aimless. Life happens. Problems happen. Breakdowns happen, both professionally and personally. Without a set of SMART goals both literally and figuratively, I would be distracted and aimless, and unable to reap the success of my hard work. Declaring and committing to a set of goals in order to life create change is the common sense approach to why New Year’s resolutions can be so inspirational. The problem is how to implement them successfully.

The Problem with New Year Resolutions

New Years resolutions are a great opportunity to reassess yourself and your life goals, and to commit to change for the foreseeable future. The problem with setting them is creating a space in your life in which to keep to them and not jump off the bandwagon days, weeks, or months after making them. What seems like a good idea at the time, may feel differently later on. This is partially because as humans we have a tendency to undermine the potential future impact of our decisions, and this can lead to overcomitting, over promising, or setting our expectations too high that our goals are unrealistic and our new year’s resolutions difficult to keep. To avoid this, try approaching new year’s resolutions with a business mindset, and approach each goal from a wider perspective. Consider the context of your life, your environment, strengths, weaknesses, and your current skills that are relevant to that goal, and this will help you to better keep your resolutions. For example, if I wanted to commit to the gym in a new routine this year - I might consider my environment [How far the gym is from my home, how long it takes to get there, what resources they have, and what resources I need such as comfortable and practical gym clothing], as well as my strengths [I am determined and secretly super competitive], my weaknesses [I am terrible at time management, and get bored easily], and combine that with my relevant skills [I am very pedantic and enjoy focusing on details, I am good at following a plan and exceeding it] These factors all give me a blueprint of how best to approach my goal, the context of how I should create my plan, and my long term approach to enable me to succeed in spite of, and because of myself and my current situation.  Take the time to reflect, be mindful and realistic about your life and your intentions. Then get planning the details!

How to Action New Year Resolutions

Every year, I tell myself that this is the year I finally “Get my life together” and I know I am not alone. No matter how others perceive our success, it’s pretty common to feel like we need to have everything sorted for wherever we are in life. This way of thinking is not only unrealistic it’s also unhelpful. So many of my relations and opportunities have come to me through mistakes I have made, or by wandering off the path I planned and taking a detour in life. This is why I believe that your goals need to be flexible, as well as a few other things. The acronym ‘SMART’ is a common and very useful way to approach goal setting. 


Here’s the breakdown of SMART goals:
S - Specific,M - Measurable A - Achievable R - RealisticT - Time Based 

If you apply this term to any of your goals for your 2019 New Year resolutions, it will help you to ensure that you start them and stick to them to completion! Other tips to get your new year goal setting off to a flying start, is to build your goals from a foundation of other achievements, Keep them simple, and integrate them. 

First Things First

This tip comes from a fantastic and well known book called ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People’ and it discusses the importance of putting first things first. I apply this in a related way to my goal setting. For example, I focus on creating goals that reflect what is “next” in my career. The momentum I find in my work helps to propel me into more complex projects, so I approach my goal setting like a ladder rather than isolated goals. This way, its harder to be disappointed with your progress when you take it in steps, and you’re less likely to give up on your goals! 

Keep it Simple

Ironically, this sounds simpler than it is in reality. I know from personal experience as someone who is always taking on too much that it is hard to keep things simple especially when it comes to goals built from your hopes and dreams. The solution to keeping it simple is in focusing my energy and prioritising the important. New Year resolutions should include these aspects, and be simple to achieve and keep. 

Integrate your Goals

When goals are integrated together, and connected by either routine or proximity they become more attainable. An example of this is integrating your gym time immediately before or after a routine coffee date with a friend, somewhere near by the gym. That way it’s less likely that you won’t go as you’re completing more than one task. 

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The Wardrobe Blog by Katherine Ann-marie - 4M ago
The True Meaning of the Holidays…The holiday season can be a polarising time. I love this time of the year, and all that it brings. Some of us embrace it but there are some that hate it. Whatever your feelings toward the holiday season, don’t let the myths around Christmas and New Year bring down your capacity for embracing it with joy. Whoever you are spending your time with, make it meaningful with a few ideas for inspiring holiday gratitude.  Common Myths about the Holiday Season

Rampant consumerism is something that I’ve seen discussed frequently in recent years over Christmas and the holiday season. Mostly the negative opinions that have surfaced associated wth buying gifts, tradition, and spending time with family. The holidays are seen by some as a time of unnecessary and excessive spending, stress, and pointless tradition. This time of year was very important when I was growing up, but now I feel that the foundations of the holiday season have changed. I am hesitant to take pride in the gifts I bought over Christmas, especially how much they cost, and what I have spent. It’s undoubtedly true that companies and brands would prefer us to spend a lot of money on their products and activities for gifts and spending over the holiday season. It’s also true that while many of us take a break from work spending time with family is on the to-do list, but some people feel that it’s overrated. So before we rebel against buying gifts for the sake of ethics, and make an appearance with family for the sake of obligation, I feel it’s important to look at the intent behind these traditions, what they mean and why they are in fact, important for us too.

The Importance of Tradition

Tradition is more than habit, or being part of a community. Tradition is important for us. Gift giving, and spending time with family are good for us because they remind us to be present, to draw our attention away from the daily grind and actively choose what is important. Nurturing the relationships we have with those around us is the opportunity that the holiday season brings. This is important because it give us an opportunity to create memories about what we are grateful for. Gratitude is not just a feeling but it’s a behaviour, and is created through taking action. Holiday plans are a reflection of our understanding of the ones around us. What we choose to do with others shows how well we know, love and appreciate them. Gift giving is not just about buying a thing because we are supposed to, it’s about taking the time to think about the person in mind, taking the effort to get to know them in the time leading up to the holidays and considering what’s truly important to them. The money and time we spend on others and our plans is a reflection of this knowledge, and a celebration of the year that is past. The amount of money spent does not matter. What I think is important is to make this time meaningful. 

“Memories can be symbolised, solidified and remembered by the gifts we give. “

Gift giving and spending time with family go hand in hand as holiday traditions. That’s because in my mind spending time with the ones we love enable us to understand and learn about them, talk about what is new in our lives, and through sharing we create more memories together. These memories can be symbolised, solidified and remembered by the gifts we give. I don’t just believe that we should embrace the giving of gifts, I think it’s essential. The “languages of love” are a funny thing, if you’re not familiar with what these are do a little research as it’s well worth the read for self discovery. Gift giving is one of the common languages of love, and it happens to be one of mine. Gifts are important to me, I take great joy in shopping for others, with others, and for myself. Although modern media may have you believe that there is shame to be had in going on spending sprees for the ones you love, I dare you to put that perspective to one side and instead consider the experience of the person who will receive the gift, when they open it and the time they keep it. 

Planning with Purpose

Embracing tradition means planning with purpose. Selecting gifts, making time and planning activities with family requires forethought and preparation. The holiday season is not so much about how everything turns out, as it is in the intent behind. My career requires that I am working most of the time and don’t get a holiday break, but for those that do it’s a beautiful time to make plans that reflect your love for those closest to you. Whether it’s your parents, children, siblings, friends or special relatives. I’ve put a little list together of holiday plans other than gifts you can incorporate into your agenda.

  1. Eating out, or eating in! Food and the preparation of it, whether it’s enjoying the atmosphere of your favourite restaurant or cafe, or cooking a planned meal together is always a good time for a foodie. If you know someone who loves to eat, (and let’s face it, who doesn’t!) then the possibilities are endless in summer, don’t forget about picnics too! [If you love eating out, take a look at my list of Top 5 Auckland Cafes here!]

  2. Action and Adventure. There can be so much fun living on the edge! Whether it’s camping, exploring, hiking, or fast paced activities to share with your favourite people planning a ‘doing’ activity can be a great way to show you enjoy the time of those around you.

  3. Relaxation and Time Out. Spas, massages, or relaxing in the sun can be a fantastic and low-key way to make the most of your holidays if you know someone who also enjoys a little bit of pampering or would benefit from relaxation time. Book a bach, hire a car and go on a roadtrip, or spend the weekend at a luxury hotel!

  4. Get Creative. For those that embrace the unique and artistic, getting a little creative during the holidays is a great way to spend time with loved ones. Bring your camera, paints, or art materials and take a trip your local beach, gardens or park. Take photographs or paint what you see there together, something I enjoy doing myself- it’s also very therapeutic and gives you lots to talk about and memories to share later! 

  5. Do nothing. Sometimes, ironically doing nothing with the ones we love can be the most fun of all. Take a trip to see your family and spend a day talking and catching up. Planning doesn’t always work for everyone and there are times when the best times are discovered along the way…

    Happy Holidays everyone! 

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The Wardrobe Blog by Katherine Ann-marie - 5M ago
“There is always room at the top” - Daniel Webster

In my experience talking about the subject of jealousy, I have found it to be received as a rather controversial topic. Many people seem afraid or ashamed of themselves when they are jealous, as if it is somehow inherently unnatural. Especially amongst creatives. Jealousy though is a normal emotion, and part of the human experience. Like every emotion, it can fuel unhelpful behaviours, or it can be used to motivate us toward understanding our true needs and wants in life. Here I give you my reasons below why you should start listening to your inner thoughts and feelings, and learn to love your green eyed monster…

Dress: Portmans | Shoes: Novo Shoes | Earrings: Lovisa Jewellery | Hair: Rodney Wayne Northwest

My Perspective on Jealousy

My truth about jealousy is that as a child growing up I experienced a lot of it. At the time it was fustrating mostly because I didn’t understand why I felt the way I did. I had a lot of ideas I wanted to realise, both creatively and in my personal life and when I saw others realising theirs it was often painful, because I felt so far from my own. New Zealand is the land of opportunity but it is also home to tall poppy syndrome. I have witnessed many people actively expressing their desires for others to fail, as a way to make themselves feel less insecure. It’s something that needs to change. So I believe the first thing to understand about jealousy, is that it is an inherently good thing simply because of it’s intensity. Jealousy and passion go hand in hand. I look back on my past now, and see that every time I was feeling envious of someone it was because they were connected to something I felt very strongly about. Where there is jealousy there is love, and some people may disagree with that sentiment but I believe that the first step to overcoming your own feelings of envy is to first embrace them. Jealousy tells us that we believe in something, we care a great deal about something, and the fact we exist for that greater purpose is beautiful because there is a deeper meaning to life that we are seeking. Jealousy is a great big flashing sign, outlining the destination on your map in life, love and vocation.

Jealousy vs. Inspiration

Secondly, jealousy occurs because in some way we are not fully aware of what life requires of us to attain our object of desire. It comes from flawed thinking, believing that we are ‘owed’ certain things in life, work and love. But all things must be earned in whatever form, and herein lies the power. Jealousy is comparative by nature. Initially this can feel like a bad thing, as we are taught not to compare ourselves to others, focus on our own paths and ignoring others around us and their success. But I feel differently, and I feel our focus should be on how we compare ourself to others. Jealousy signals to us what we want, it can also show us how to achieve it. When we feel envious for what someone has, instead of hiding from that feeling, envy can be turned into inspiration. By embracing it, we can view jealousy as a window to our own future rather than the object of someone else’s grasp. Now all the success, and beauty in others is reflected in us, and our potential within. This way, jealousy doesn’t cripple our choices, it opens us up to experiencing the joy in what others have created, and using that passion to recreate it for ourselves.

“Comparison is the thief of joy” - Theodore Roosevelt

How to Embrace Jealousy for Yourself: A Step by Step Method

Understanding jealousy as an emotion and as a tool is useful, but theory is pointless without the ability to put it into practice! So I’ve put together a step by step process on how to work through your own feelings of jealousy when you experience them, and you can learn from your feelings and start to embrace them!

  1. Mindfulness. The process of turning envy into inspiration starts with paying attention to when, and how you feel jealous. Keep a diary, or make a daily list of times and situations when you felt jealous, what triggered it and whether there are any common themes. Take a few weeks to observe your own experience.

  2. Explore it. Get curious, discuss your discoveries with a friend or someone you trust so that you can explore your feelings in hindsight, and pinpoint what it was that made you feel jealous. I find it helpful to focus on ways of being. How was the person you were jealous of “being”, and how/why do you wish you were that way/had that too?

  3. Be Honest with Yourself. Once you’ve discovered the cause of your feelings, and identified the nature of what it is you wish you had, be honest with yourself about what it requires to get that thing or be that way, by asking yourself: Do I really want to create this in my life? Am I prepared to put the work in? Do I want to put the work in? Is this truly important to me?

  4. Commit. Once you’ve answered those questions, commit to your decision. Now that you’ve paid attention to the feeling, you can either actively choose to let it go. If you decide you don’t truly want the object of your envy, you can focus your energy on new paths. Or if you decide you really do want to create this for yourself, you can commit to making it happen in your life! Embrace the journey ahead of you by realising your passion with an earnest mindset.

  5. Be Flexible. Keep an open mind, check in with yourself from time to time. I have found that although sometimes jealousy can signal a desire to achieve a certain goal, after some time that can change as do wants and needs. Be prepared to let things go if you need to, it’s okay to change your mind as you go through life, and what you commit to at one time may be different down the road. The joy is in the journey and success or failure is never the end, it’s just a label.

  6. Acknowledge. Lastly, keep yourself on the forefront of mindfulness by actively choosing to acknowledge and appreciate other’s success, and allow yourself to feel inspired by others. Instead of a win-lose scenario, I view it as a win-win. When others succeed, then we celebrate. It is possible, it has been done, and now you know you can do it too!

What do you think? Let me know your thoughts on jealousy below, and any tips you have for working with it in the creative life! You can follow more of my creative philosophical musings over on Instagram

Love my images? If you'd like to get in touch regarding photography, please contact me on my business website:

THE UNDEFINED PHOTOGRAPHY

www.theundefined.co.nz

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The Wardrobe Blog by Katherine Ann-marie - 6M ago
Creative Block: A Blogger’s EnemyRecently, I have been struggling with the dreaded creative block.

The term is often referred to as ‘Writer’s Block’ but it can affect anyone who is artistic, photographers, writers, painters, designers and bloggers. I like to plan much of my work in advance to try and work around this problem, but my workload demands consistency. At times I ride the wave of inspiration, everything flows easily. During other times I find myself stuck with a paralysing fear of either starting a project, or finishing it and becoming increasingly more frustrated about how to solve this. It’s something that is not often talked about, I believe this is because many of us invest our pride in being competent, or at least being perceived this way. Creative Block is the arch nemesis of productivity, so upon conquering my own I felt it was time to write down my thoughts in the hope that it would help you, my fellow reader and your creative sparkle. 

What is Inspiration?

This is a fascinating question with many answers. I would describe it as a golden sparkle that embeds itself in all things, others might describe it as an inner awareness, or as following a ‘muse’, some believe it’s innate, and many cultures such as the Greeks had their own interpretation that inspiration was in fact something from the Gods, a spiritual process and journey bestowed from above. Whatever you believe inspiration is, it’s incredibly frustrating and detrimental for any artist that can’t find it. The key to keeping it, is about recognising what it means for you.

The Importance of Purpose

I used to believe I found inspiration in the potential, what is yet to be. Recently I have discovered I find inspiration in fact, within purpose. Much of this comes from various philosophies around life itself, and the way we live. Chasing happiness is an empty journey in comparison with following inner purpose and meaning. What is purpose you ask? Well, that is different for everyone. I don’t believe there is any correct answer, only what you personally connect with. For me, my purpose is seeing a future in my work and what I do. Knowing that others will benefit from it, feeling the generative impact of my creations gives me purpose and fills me with inspiration to continue. When I am working on a project without the end in mind, I become listless and unmotivated, losing inspiration. I have discovered that my inspiration comes from being able to answer the question of ‘Why’ I do something, not the ‘How’. As artists it can be so easy to get caught up in the how of our doing, how we will make something work, how it will be ‘good enough’, how we can improve, how it can be fulfilled. But without a why, the how becomes meaningless, and our vision becomes like a moving vehicle without a driver. There are simple ways you can assist yourself to stay focus on the ‘why’, and keep in mind that in order to hold on to this mindset, you need to be flexible when the why evolves and changes as your project does.

How to Find Inspiration

Here are a few tips and practical ideas for exploring, defining and reminding yourself of why you create, to grow your inspiration and keep it. 

  1. Create a Vision Board. This is a fabulous idea for anyone, whether you are starting out on a creative venture or already deep in one, a vision board provides a tangible and handy way for you to refer to your goals, your purpose and a visual reminder of why you create. Have a search through www.pinterest.com and make a digital board, then print out the images and attach them to a cork board in your work or study space. Update it as you move through your journey! I will be creating a blog post on how to do this more in depth in future so keep an eye out!

  2. Make a list of your projects you are working on, troublesome or productive and write a mission statement for each. How is what you are doing in alignment with your vision? Sometimes what we are doing, falls out of connection with our original purpose and we lose motivation. it can be as simple as resetting your mind about a project, and remembering where we started!

  3. Look to the Past. Find your old work, previous projects you’ve completed and really enjoyed or found to be successful. Pull them out and ask yourself what you enjoyed about them, what kept you motivated, why you continued with them, and what you gained from them. Apply this to your current creative situation. 

  4. Talk About It. For me talking is a therapeutic way of discovering what I really think. I’m a very visual person and I think in pictures, so talking to anyone who will listen either friends or family about my dilemma is a great way to be presented with a new perspective and question my situation in ways I wouldn’t have alone. Find those who will challenge you, and won’t accept resignation. A second or third perspective on the project at hand can provide you with the awareness for the project’s purpose. 

  5. Observe your Role Models. Make a list of other individuals in your field who are doing what you want to be doing. What is their place in the industry? How did they create it? Why are they still doing it? What is it about what they do that inspires you? Answering these questions about others can really help you to identify that in yourself. 

Being Self Aware

Most of the problems I encounter come up as a result of not being self aware. As artists having a defined purpose and mission can assist with maintaining a sense of self awareness, to know where we fit in the world. I have learned that my purpose is built on the foundation I provide for it, and if I’m not ensuring that my life is well rounded and my mind, body and spirit are taken care of, a bigger purpose is the last thing on my mind and so becomes almost impossible to achieve. Look after your body, to nurture your mind, and take the time to be present to your mind, so you can fulfil your spirit. Enjoy the creative journey!

Love my images? If you'd like to get in touch regarding photography, please contact me on my business website:

THE UNDEFINED PHOTOGRAPHY

www.theundefined.co.nz

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The Wardrobe Blog by Katherine Ann-marie - 6M ago
The Joy of FashionI can still remember my first encounter with fashion that shaped my goals as a creative. I was twelve years old, on a sunny summer day. Wide eyed, watching an episode of ‘Cardcaptors’ a Japanese Anime for the very first time.

For those of you who are not familiar with the show, it consists of the main heroine Sakura battling various enemies adorned in a unique outfit throughout each episode - handmade for her by her lovely and insanely talented friend Madison. The creativity and beauty of each outfit was so inspiring to me at the time. I had never before seen clothing or style as something that was quite so, free. I became obsessed with drawing outfits, clothing and ideas experimenting with how creative I could be. It was from this point that I began learning about what ‘fashion’ was throughout High School, in particular ‘high fashion’ as an art form and the couture designers of Europe such as Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Christian Lacroix, and Dolce & Gabbana. For me, fashion was a playground of artistic adventure. Over the next few years I discovered how much of an art form fashion truly is, and the distinction between trends and designs that made history for their aesthetic, pioneering a new way into the future of style. 

Above: White Linen Dress from ‘The Dorothy Collection’ with Choker and Clips from Lovisa. Hair by Rodney Wayne Northwest.

My Experience with the Business of Fashion Design: The Wardrobe

For a long time fashion to me was an expression creativity and unique thinking. A way to share a mood, a feeling, a facet of personality, or a commentary with the world. Now it’s become more than that, it’s also pure self expression. It’s a raw and honest way of communicating with the world who I am and what matters to me. Developing personal style is about refining and distilling the elements of your own aesthetic down to the most essential, so the way I dress now is a simple interaction of what I define to be ‘beautiful’. I did a personal vlog about this idea a little while back over on my Facebook page where I explore this idea, you can check it out here. A few months ago I shared about my past adventure creating my own little label, what I created and my business failings. As inspired as I was, throughout university I encountered a similar experience of shared mindset among artists; an inability on the part of many to embrace new ways of thinking and celebrating alternative style. I completed one year at Whitecliffe university [You can read my full story here] and then I worked in retail for a few years before starting my photography business, which I now operate full time. During this time I created The Wardrobe as a label and my first collection called ‘The Dorothy Collection’. Pictured below is one of my hand-embroidered linen dresses and matching stockings, an ode to my past. At the time I felt I achieved my artistic goals and blended a combination of quaint femininity - something European Couture designers influenced, and a quirky sense of playfulness. This was something that Japanese pop culture, particularly the anime scene contributed to. The Wardrobe as a label was my first delve into the fashion scene, I created about half a dozen pieces and accessories - some of which I still wear now. I realise looking back on this collection that I was ahead of the trends at that stage, and I’ve since witnessed similar ideas appear and with great success. I started an Etsy store but ultimately my biggest failing was that I didn’t believe in my own work enough to push it further. This was why I dropped The Wardrobe as a label, and moved it forward years later as a blog instead. Now, with my experience in the photography and fashion industry I see an opening…

The Present Day New Zealand Fashion Industry

Fast forward to 2018 and the New Zealand Fashion Industry has seen many changes. Most of which are too large for this article and require a dedicated blog post, but one of the most notable I have witnessed is a return to the appreciation of traditional forms of production. A reverence and value for the hand made in fashion and accessories. Etsy was one of the flagships of this movement, providing artists with a platform to provide to a growing audience that values these things. At the time I created The Dorothy Collection, this was only starting to emerge. Now even at Fashion Week 2018, I saw many elements of craftsmanship: Embroidery, Applique, Stencilling, Beadwork, many intricate methods of clothing and accessory production is now coming to the forefront of high end fashion. This is largely I believe as a move away from the stale nature of mass-produced fashion.

The Issues facing New Zealand Fashion Designers Now

With the emphasis on the new and exciting, I believe we are seeing the end of individual trends catering to a fast paced mass market, and we will begin to see a welcoming of timeless design, for longevity and a culture of future thinking individuals. With the world moving so fast now, the fashion industry will need to provide pieces that are more classic in nature, minimal, catering to our ever changing lifestyle and a focus on capsule collections and pieces that take consumers across seasons with little effort. Rather than having what we want when we want it, a stigma of the millennial generation - I feel the way of the future will be having everything we want, all in one, through the vehicle of versatility. This will create a space for personal interpretation and style. A reflection of a generation that values self expression and freedom. That’s where I want to go. The concept came to me in a dream, the name ‘Katie Marvel’ and reflects my inner wonder of style through beautiful craftsmanship.

Above: White Linen Dress from ‘The Dorothy Collection’ with matching hand embroidered stockings.

The Future: Katie Marvel the Label

With an emphasis on timeless design, and an inter seasonal approach the need for quality and longevity will be paramount. I am very excited about getting back on the fashion boat, and I am currently working on a new collection for my new label ‘Katie Marvel’. A celebration of childlike wonder in fashion. I see a collection of pieces that are both minimal but striking, timeless and elegant but innately feminine. I have always loved colour, however it is applied and the joy is always in the detailing. Follow along on my Instagram and Facebook to join my fashion journey as I make this vision a reality, the sister of The Dorothy Collection with a focus on wearability and versatility for the brave, the free and the joyous. Sometimes in life, timing is everything.

Follow me over on Instagram for all the details on my upcoming Fashion Journey: www.instagram.com/thewardrobe.co.nz 

Love my images? If you'd like to get in touch regarding photography, please contact me on my business website:

THE UNDEFINED PHOTOGRAPHY

www.theundefined.co.nz

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The Wardrobe Blog by Katherine Ann-marie - 6M ago

A Makeup Monday Tutorial…

Makeup Monday goodness! My intention behind this look was originally to create a ‘fresh faced' makeup look that had a ‘no makeup’ feeling to it. It ended up being a cute twist on 90’s girl vibes with a little more creative flair. I decided to create a full freckles look, and keep the rest of the face relatively natural, and it turned out super! Many of you have been interested to see how I create these looks from start to finish, so just scroll down to see the full pictorial and details of how I did it.

Would you like to see more Makeup Monday adventures? Follow me on Instagram at @thewardrobe.co.nz ♡

Eyes: Modelrock lashes Lips: Rimmel London ‘Stay Matte’ Lipcolour in Pink Blink.

For these faux freckles, I experimented with a few different colours to give them more depth. Sometimes fake freckles can look so flat and I wanted them to look more legitimate. There’s plenty of rad techniques online for how to make faux freckles but I was really happy with how these turned out!

Instagram: www.instagram.com/thewardrobe.co.nz

How-To Faux Freckles: First, moisterise and prime! Make sure your primer and foundation work together, and you can ensure this by using the same brand + line. I use “MAC Studio Fix” as the colour is perfect for my pasty skin and the coverage is lightweight and really smooth. I also use my Phoenix Cosmetics blending brush to get a great application. Then I fill in my brows…

Instagram: www.instagram.com/thewardrobe.co.nz

Once my brows are complete, I use my Thin Lizzy concealer (The best concealer around) to carve out the brows and give them the perfect shape. After that, it’s time for eyes and for this simple eye look I went for total coverage in white which makes my lashes pop! No blending or other colours, just full eyelid with white or a pale shade. Next I apply mascara and my fav wispy lashes!

Instagram: www.instagram.com/thewardrobe.co.nz

For lips I use my new favourite shade - Rimmel ‘Stay Matte’ Liquid Lipcolour in Pink Blink. Love this shade, it’s so versatile for us pale girls, as it has a natural feel but really enhances your lips enough. For the faux freckles I used a combination of my lip brush, and the end of a bobby pin with four different colours. Black and brown eye creams, and nude and maroon lipcolours! I layered each starting with the brown and finishing with the maroon, the different colours gives the illusion of varying degrees of freckles. Voila!

To celebrate the finished look, I put together a little photoshoot in my bedroom. For anyone interested in how I did this, I will be doing more tutorials on photography and lighting over the next few months especially on working with natural light! Send me a message on Instagram, or leave a comment with what sort of information you’d like to see and learn about!

My favourite part: This look was one of the first where I didn’t shade my eyes at all - just a plain base pale colour of white, with lashes. It worked really well and I’ve seen it done a few times in combination with other aspects of the makeup being dominant such as bright lips or in this case faux freckles! It makes the look really easy to do, and I’ll definitely be doing more in future with this simple ‘One colour eyelid’ kind of vibe. Great for beginners and as long as you define your brows, makes for a really striking look!

The Photoshoot: The lighting and setup for this shoot consisted on my pink backdrop, I use half rolls of coloured paper backgrounds from the brand “Savage” and this time I hung it from my wardrobe. My bedroom is North facing and has white walls, so the light is directly on me, but also bounces from the walls on my left and right. Creating a bit of a lightbox. I usually hold a silver reflector beneath me to light my face better, and that always works really well. It’s a great practical way to enhance your photos without editing, or tricky setups.

Love my images? If you'd like to get in touch regarding photography, please contact me on my business website:

THE UNDEFINED PHOTOGRAPHY

www.theundefined.co.nz

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The Wardrobe Blog by Katherine Ann-marie - 6M ago
Three unique makeup looks…Every Makeup Monday I create a new look on my Instagram stories sharing the transformation from before to after.

I enjoy showing all the details of how I work, and the process involved in every look. So leading up to Halloween, each of the three days beforehand I created a new look each day. A traditional version of Elsa as a Snow Queen, a Ghost, and a Flower Fairy. I’m especially proud of my last look as it was the most unusual and also the most tentative to make. Below is a little run-down of each look for Halloween…

Monday: Snow Queen

For my first look, I started with moisturiser, primer and foundation as usual. Currently my favourite foundation and primer is from MAC cosmetics. (Studio Fix). Then I used my brow pencil, and added more fullness to my brows with my brow powder before carving them out with concealer as usual! After playing around with a fantastic little face paint palette I bought from BodyFX, I added white paint to my lashes and a light wash over my eyes before adding a layer of shimmery white eye shadow over the top of both eyelids. Then I used my eyeshadow blending brush to add a light blue, deep blue, and dark blue to the mid, upper and outer crease of the eyelid. I applied the face paint to my brows and false lashes, and once it was dry I applied them to the edge of my eyes and also added a line of white face paint around the lash line at the top to cover the lash band. Finally, I added glittery gems on the outer corner of my eyes in clusters and added a little blush in a light pink to my cheeks. The lip colour is a matte shade and I added a dab of gloss to my bottom middle lip to finish. My hair is my new favourite wig from Donnalove hair, which I plaited to complete the look! This wig is fabulous, has everything you need and is just so beautiful for so many looks as every look this week was created using it.

Tuesday: A Ghost

This idea came to me while I was mulling over the traditional Halloween concepts that have been executed and how there are still so many classic looks that aren’t recreated very often! My vampire look in collaboration with Phoenix Renata was one of these, which you can check out here. This look was difficult to plan, but I liked the idea of using a veil in the place of a sheet to create that ghostly feel. It worked really well, and although I changed the lips the way it turned out was really beautiful and creepy!

I started with my usual moisturiser, primer, and foundation, but this time I also did a wash of white face paint over my entire face to make myself a little bit paler. Then I added white matte eyeshadow in the inner corners of my eye, before applying a grey to the mid section and black in the outer corner, blending it out and round to underneath my eyes as well. I used a dark brown for my brows, I wanted them to look black and heavy, making my hair look extra pale! My aim was to do an artistic play on the cartoon ghost portrayal - under a sheet with black eye holes cut out! Then I added lipstick but blended it out from the inner lip, before adding gloss all over and white face paint to create the little crosses under my eyes. I also added false lashes to define my eyes a little more. I finished with a little contour but no blush, to make my cheeks look a little more gaunt, it worked really well!

Wednesday: Flower Fairy

This look was the most unusual and was also the hardest to put together. I’d seen some inspiration on Pinterest but nothing quite like what I was aiming for so after I created a sketch to make it clear for myself what I was after I started with the usual moisteriser, primer, and foundation then started on my brows. I wanted a pixie sort of look, so I brushed up my brows until they were spiky, and used eyelash glue to hold them in place flat to my skin. Then I brushed them with white face paint, before blending deep to soft pink eyeshadows across my brows from the inner corners. After that I blended spots of various pinks across my face, by the corners of my eyes and not symmetrical either! I also applied a soft pink to my nose with a ton of highlighter on the tip. Cute! I kept my eyes white, blending it up to my brows. Then I used eyelash glue to apply various sized fake flowers to my face. I had to sit and hold them for a rather long time to encourage them to stay! I cut up my white lashes I created on Monday for my Snow Queen look and applied those to add lift, then added little white dabs of facepaint across my cheeks, eyelids, and above my brows. I finished the look with a nude lipcolour, my favourite nude lipstick from Phoenix Cosmetics.

For more ‘Makeup Monday’ action, head over to my Instagram here where I share weekly looks including raw images of the entire process and little videos and chit chat along the way!

Love my images? If you'd like to get in touch regarding photography, please contact me on my business website:

THE UNDEFINED PHOTOGRAPHY

www.theundefined.co.nz

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