Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Shoot for Simon Cowell's 'The You Generation'

the you generationSimon Cowell has done it again. Hungry to find more superstars, which his talent shows are still unable to fulfil him, he has partnered up with Youtube, to provide a platform for hopefuls to share their videos. Named 'The You Generation', there are different themes from 'comedians' to 'girl bands'. Every fortnight one winner from each theme will get a cash prize and become a finalist to win the overall grand prize.

From Friday May 3rd, they will be looking for wannabe stylists. Skype is sponsoring the global auditions and to enter this competition there are 3 main rules-
*You must incorporate 'candy' into your video
*You must 'upcycle' at least one item
*Your video must not be longer than 5 minutes.

To encourage applications they were looking for bloggers/fashion insiders to front the 'stylists' campaign. I sent the director a link to my blog as I was interested in this opportunity and I found out the next day that I was one of the few bloggers chosen! On Monday 29th April, I headed to Kilburn, London for the shoot (A gorgeous house complete with giant fish tanks was rented for the shoot) I was going to be working with Miggy Dela Rosa, who as well as being a stylist's assistant is also a singer/songwriter and part of an incredible band called Urban Voices Collective 

We were given our brief in which we had to interact with each other, as well as talking through our outfits and other clothes we had with us. We had to pretend to present as if we ourselves were auditioning over Skype. As we were doing so, the photographer took still images of us, so we looked natural and relaxed for the campaign (after all this wasn't a shoot for 'models').  Me and Miggy ended up having a ball talking about fashion and most of the time saying random things off the top of our heads. Thank god we weren't actually auditioning! Within half an hour we were done- even though I wanted to carry on! I had a little sneak peak of the pictures and they came out fantastic. I will share them once they come out!

Miggy's fab leather jacket!
Having some fun
Check out the competition on the official Youtube channel.


Monday, 22 April 2013

Catch My Published Work in The River SE1 Magazine

If you live in the SE1 London area, you've probably seen my name in print. The River SE1 Magazine is the area's local lifestyle magazine and features fascinating territorial stories and businesses along the Southbank. In the latest edition, I've had the opportunity to indulge in and write about my afternoon tea experience at the London Bridge Hotel. I've also written about the critically acclaimed violinist Alda Dizdari and her school of music. I've really enjoyed working with Onclouds Publishers as part of this magazine and hopefully look forward to accommodating more written work in this magazine. If you're in the area, make sure to look out for a copy! Tea and a bit of music? Sounds good...


Sunday, 14 April 2013

Discovering Old University Memorabilia

Unveiling a big blue trunk in my attic covered in dust after two long years, paved way to a whole host of memorabilia from years gone past. Carelessly filled with forgotten items at university, has now translated to souvenirs from an important era of my life...

I was presented this on one of my birthday celebrations. You bet I did every option!....Possibly more than twice....or more than that. Way more...

I got my writing start as 'Features Editor' at The University of Portsmouth's 'Pugwash Magazine'

Totally forgot about this! I walked the runway for my university's 'trashion show' featuring recyclable clothing. I was wearing a dress made from bin bags. Thank god, there's no photographic evidence! 

Taken from Sutton High School's career library. I always hoped to go to university in America. I still kind of do. Obviously I didn't get the memo of 'not to be taken away'. Six years later....

Psychology revision notes! Wished I had concentrated on my academics a weeny bit more!

My American summer before university! I took these pictures to uni to remind me of my fabulous times!

Tonnes of Sociology unit handbooks! 

Writing my daily activities and thoughts. Need to get back into that! 


Monday, 8 April 2013

Suzy lee Weiss' Open Letter to the Colleges That Rejected Her

Suzy Lee Weiss
Thank god! I thought I was the only one who felt slightly inferior and bitter when I applied to university six years ago. But no....a high school senior in America by the name of Suzy Lee Weiss has come forward and written an open letter to the colleges which rejected her, which has now spread like wildfire on the internet- And before you discredit her for being a sour college rejectee, sit tight because she makes a few valid points.

Colleges tell you, "Just be yourself." That is great advice, as long as yourself has nine extracurriculars, six leadership positions, three varsity sports, killer SAT scores and two moms. Then by all means, be yourself! If you work at a local pizza shop and are the slowest person on the cross-country team, consider taking your business elsewhere.- Suzy Lee Weiss

My little brother is now receiving university offers and I can see how excited he is-(boy they grow up fast!). But it wasn't until his personal statement was re-written at-least ten times, to the point where the heroic man on the piece of paper didn't sound like my cheeky brother at all. In fact he was depicted as an angel who never put a foot wrong. I also found his years of volunteer services hard to recall- But hey! If this was what it took for him to get into university, then I guess he was this make-believe character indeed. Sod the 'just be yourself' advice Weiss and the application process to higher education refers to. Being yourself won't give you an offer of institutional acceptance.

I too was a heroine and my future was set to be a rosy array of money, intelligent fame and immense happiness. As my superhuman personal statement began to take form, on the other side of the screen- there I was, an overweight, lazy, anti-social ball of clutter, promoting my supposed extra-curricular activities, natural academia and advanced social skills. In reality, team sports made me cringe, I considered day-dreaming my favourite subject at school and had such a strict Muslim upbringing that even if I wanted to, I wasn't allowed go out after school or the weekends at all. 

For starters, had I known two years ago what I know now, I would have gladly worn a headdress to school. Show me to any closet, and I would've happily come out of it. "Diversity!" I offer about as much diversity as a saltine cracker. If it were up to me, I would've been any of the diversities: Navajo, Pacific Islander, anything. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, I salute you and your 1/32 Cherokee heritage.- Suzy Lee Weiss

Speaking of religion, Weiss makes another valid point about universities wanting to accept diversity, much to the dismay of her white middle-class upbringing. However, critics of her letter have pointed out that ethnic minorities have found it tough to gain admission into universities on the same par as their English counterparts. True fact from the critics. Those ethnic minorities who do make the grade, really ARE rocket scientists, ARE fruitfully intelligent and ARE paving way for this worlds leading professions. They're becoming eminent leaders and I believe it's due to this view from the top that Weiss touched upon race. Applying to the top universities in the UK wasn't an option for me, because I knew I wouldn't have a shot in hell within the rat race. My alternative view that Muslim women CAN succeed creatively has always been more important to me. 
As far as the universities
I applied for were concerned,
 I was bubbly, outgoing
and great fun to be with. 

My conclusion? Yes I agree that higher education is sugar coating the road to success and when many fail to nab lucrative university places- the sense of failure is far greater than it should be. We're lead to believe that the application process is easy, because 'being yourself' is easy. The high school institution has caught up and are now telling students to lie in the portrayal of themselves. What next? Giving shy children cans of red bull for their secondary school admissions to bring out their hyper talkative selves? How much do you REALLY know about yourself at 17/18 anyways? I'm 23 and still learning new things about myself. My only legitimate concern for now though...I hope my brother survives this weird attempt for making him become someone he's not. 

Read her full letter on The Wall Street Journal 

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Trying Out Blue Hairspray!

Having blue hair fuels me with a sense of intrigue and impulse yet also a sense of commitment phobia. I'm no Cher Lloyd or Little Mixer, Jade Thirlwall who's 'blue do' suits the style of the professional persona. I worry that if I go in on a permanent non-traditional hair dye my future prospects may be limited, especially since I'm still in the installation stage of my career. Even a cute bubblegum pink look may be too extreme, let alone grungy rebellion blue.

Satisfying these cravings of subtle blue locks are fulfilled with 'Colour Xtreme Hair Art Spray' (£2.99) This product is perfect for adding a few blue streaks to your hair colour on a casual basis. Step in the shower after, and it washes off with ease. My initial application was a major source of trial and error- I sprayed it into my hair in a dim room and noticed that I couldn't see much, so I sprayed more, and more, and more. However, moving to a more well lit room a couple minutes later, the blue was clearly visible. In fact, it seemed illuminated to the point where I started to panic that I had over done it. But soon I realised the blue offset my ashy black hair well. It looked easy, breezy and no fuss. Nowadays I may not overdo it like my first try, but whenever I'm in an unconventional mood, I'm able to add a few streaks to my hair with ease.

The only downside to the product is that it doesn't last as long as you would like it too. Also, us girls subconsciously touch our hair a lot, and I noticed my fingertips were blue- which wasn't exactly a nice look. It also got me paranoid about my clothing turning blue. So all I'm asking for with this product is a little staying power. But other than that = DREAM product!

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