Procrastination – Little Sticks Of Wood

Die Zahnstocher The Toothpicks Procrastination

 

Procrastination can be very productive… Like creating little works of art with stuff flying around your desk…

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One Year Anniversary Of Rana Plaza Collapse: A Great Web Docu And How High Street Retailer Practices Affect Us

Web Docu The Guardian Bangladesh Rana plaza Fashion Revolution Day

While we speak of high street retailers let’s remember the people who died one year ago at the collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh.

To freshen up your memory I highly recommend this touching interactive web docu by The Guardian. You can decide the pace of the clips yourself while at the side bars the creators present facts in an innovative way.

The web is full of discussions about production conditions in the garment industry, but I don’t really see word spreading to the streets. Well, we should be concerned because bad conditions don’t just happen in lands far far away. Retailers like Primark are taking it up to the next level and continue their exploitive philosophy right here where you live.

In order to become even cheaper than for example H&M, wages and conditions in stores are low, too. (More info in this German docu) And that is where teenagers or students work… Nice concept…not! : get them to work for less and by luring them with fast fashion, let them reinvest the money right away in your company again!

Yes, to a certain degree the costumer is to blame as theoretically he is in charge to decide where he takes his money. But actually it is a misconception to think he is free in this decision. On one hand many people just have no time to inform themselves and then source out what not only will suit their personal needs but also meet ethical standards. I try that very often, sooo time consuming! In most cases companies simply just take advantage of the fact that humans behave in a special way and lead us into shallow consumerism. People are so detached from the whole process of production how can anybody expect them to do the right?

Also companies want us to believe that the ‘greedy’ costumer is demanding low product pricing. But that is simply not true. Nobody asked for cheap clothes which even won’t stand one wash cycle. We were perfectly fine with store concepts before and people would be willing to pay more. But have you seen shopping streets these days? There are only stores of big corporations and no matter if high street or middle sector brands, their garments come from the same manufacturers somewhere in Bangladesh or China and similar. There is little and less choice. And I don’t think that like 100 Euro for a jacket probably produced under slave conditions is cheap. Sure, it’s less than I would pay for a designer piece but at the end not that bargain… It is the companies who insist on their high margins! No matter how high or low the price at the end companies keep their margin and often this is much higher compared to actual design brands. No wonder haute couture and even prêt-à-porter make their main money through accessory business.

As governments still fail to do their job and set a regulatory framework, informed costumers have to push the more. Besides supporting local and fair brands you can always tweet or message companies via Facebook, we all know social media is very powerful. Or take part in campaigns like Fashion Revolution Day and petitions on change.org just follow them and be on track.

On Wearing A Knock-Off But Praising The Original

My Barbour Knock Off from Zara, Taking a walk at Stavenhof in the Eigelstein quarter, Köln

Do you wear designer knock-offs? If you’re buying from high street retailers chances are high that you do.

Most people including me would never be caught wearing an obvious fake, like the ones sold during vacations at tourist bazaars. But they’re perfectly fine with knock-offs from high street chains.

It is convenient because as a regular consumer you are so detached and the price is oh so tempting. In many cases knock-offs can be flattering for a brand and are anyway out of competition as for most people a ZARA trapeze bag is as close as they will ever get to Céline. It gets quickly into non-fun zone when not so expensive or newcomer brands get copied.

I admit this is sadly the case with my jacket here:

Barbour Copycat From Zara Stavenhof Eigelstein Köln
My everyday attire. Talking a walk Im Stavenhof at Eigelstein quarter.

Maybe some of you will recognize the similarity with the traditional Barbour wax jacket, the characteristic outerwear of British aristocracy and newly riches all around the world, and really, I have to say it’s a perfect copy. ZARA only skimped on quality, not on design and still it served me good during the two years I own it.

Creative goods like garment design are hard to protect and though laws in Europe have been changed in favor of designers since 2002 it remains hard to proof a copy-cat at court. At some occasions smaller designers reportedly have relied on social media causing shit storms through their supporters.

In Germany an original Barbour sells around 300 Euro which is in my opinion reasonable priced. But still compared to the 100 Euro I spent for the copy-cat a lot of money especially when you consider that I am a student with low income and needed a jacket mostly for wearing at my job in archeology where you crawl around in the dirt all the time. A Barbour wax jacket is a staple under from me much admired old school archeologists and since I spent some time with a particular Italian scholar who looked incredibly stylish and well equipped with his, no matter in what circumstance we got into, I am OBSESSED.

And I am sure to buy me the original soon but two years ago I simply couldn’t resist the low price and decided to sort of test-drive the knock-off first. The one million pockets are so useful and I wore it in every weather condition and not only to work. Surely in winter I needed to layer underneath a lot. Also I have to point out that the coating wasn’t wax but rather consisted of something synthetic which held snow and rain at bay, too.

Now, slowly it starts to build a patina with holes which other than at the original ain’t cool. While I would keep an original Barbour my whole life and hand it down to my grandchildren, or so, this jacket I think, I will have to throw it out soon if decline continues as fast.

The knock-off was still a success for me and enabled me to see how good design influences function. I think this is crucial as it reveals with overtaking a design you don’t just simply steal the appearance of a product but also the whole concept of it. I can imagine how even better the original jacket of this British heritage brand must be! Sorry Barbour for not coming to you in first place!

And again it proofs that especially with classics you are definitely better off saving a little and spending the money on the original. There is a reason it’s a classic, no…?

What do you think of obvious fakes from high street chains? Is it ok when they copy not so über-expensive heritage brands?

The Color You Should Really Try On Your Eyes

On my last post I mentioned the green liquid eyeliner from & Other Stories and how much I long for it.

You may now think, green eyeliner… how difficult to use or does it even look good? Yes, if you opt for a darker one with no shine it will suit each and any type of skin and eye color.

A black feline flick will always be classy allurement however dark green is not less elegant but also a fun change for your everyday makeup.

& Other Stories YouTube channel once had that great application video but they took it down for whatever reasons. Thankfully Lisa Eldridge never fails us and she has a 10 minute tutorial on how to create a great eye with green liquid liner.

You could apply a regular flick for everyday or amp it up like Lisa with going full over the lid and if you follow her directions it is really doable. The full eye is great and I would never do that with black because that’s just so intense. With big eyes like mine it would be total black abyss whenever closing them.

I really hope & Other Stories still offers the liner when it opens up its store otherwise I will try this one from Bourjois although the color seems more pale.

Bourjois waterproof eyeliner kaki urbain

Sadly the Eyeko one which Lisa recommends is not available in green anymore and as far as I remember my favorite liquid eyeliner brand Guerlain doesn’t offer it, too. And maybe I have to take a visit to Kiko again, between their wide range of colors there should also be something for me.

Going Crazy About & Other Stories

By now every shopping addicted girl in the city has heard that & Other Stories is opening a store in Cologne soon. News broke to me last week and I got sooooo excited!!!

Seriously H&M is doing really great with this brand and I already own quite some of their stuff. Last year in Paris I checked the beauty collection and the leather goods and found almost everything convincing so I order them online without worrying too much. The clothes didn’t impress me as much though. They were mostly heavy synthetics and I’m usually not a fan of that. But then in December I immediately needed an affordable dress and & Other Stories was the brand of choice. A good choice, yes! The dress fits perfectly, the seams are neat and although a polyester fabric it doesn’t feel cheap or uncomfortable on my skin. Finally a store that can fill the gap for nice little dresses in this city which FCUK left when they closed down a few years ago. Also a quick look at their site proofs me that they have added a series of cotton and silk dresses by now, too. Oh, I love silk so much I hope it is not produced too scandalous, heard some bad stuff about the use of pesticides again.

Some time ago they had this great green liquid eye liner. It is marked as sold out online but maybe it will be available at the store. Gonna check that out at first definitely.

All the time we have to look over to you in the States for all the cool brands that you have there but for once we’re first! What do you think of & Other Stories, should they set up more stores?

Edit: Location will be Ehrenstraße 43.

 

 

Weekend Stops

Mark Jenkins Richmond, Va
Mark Jenkins, Richmond, Va via

Tonight exhibition opening at Ruttkowski68 gallery:

Mark Jenkins ‘Terrible Horrible’

I’ll be there with my friends and have a look at the life-like sculptures. If you still haven’t made any plans, come and join us.

And tomorrow you can go to the Finissage of Wohlan! Noch Einmal!. Remember my post about the opening?

Or how about taking part at some urban management? At Jack in the Box concept presentation for the Güterbahnhof Ehrenfeld starts at 2 and will go until 9 in the evening.

Now, have a fun weekend!!!