Friday, 1 October 2021

Happy 7 Years, Seventeen James! A Life Recap & Plans for the Future

Outfit: Shirt - Custom (similar here) / Skirt - H&M (old, similar here) / Shoes - Tony Bianco

Today marks the 7 year anniversary of this blog. It was seven years ago that this blog came to life, when I was encouraged at university to start one as a place to constantly write and share my passions. Since then, I've been running this blog (not as consistently as I would like) and have loved opening up about fashion, beauty and lifestyle. If anything, this space has brought me closer to fashion, not in just what I wear, but to the world of fashion. I love discussing fashion weeks, designers, trends and so on. For me this space is such an incredible creative output for that. 

I'll be honest with you, I thought I would be in a different place with this blog by now, but as they say "life gets in the way". A lot has happened in the last 7 years; most importantly finishing my Undergrad in Journalism in 2017, and now just a week ago, I finished my Masters in Media & Communications. I haven't graduated yet, but all my coursework and dissertation are complete. I'm genuinely quite proud of myself, especially completing a degree during this pandemic. 

 

Moreover, I've been back and forth between London and Colombo, and then just as I was about to return to London, COVID hit. So yeah, definitely things happened. We all spent countless days in lockdown over the last 18 months, or even more now, so life hasn't been smooth sailing. 

That being said, creating content has definitely been such a wonderful output for me to not only enjoy my passions but to unwind... which is ironic since it's work in a way. I've been utterly grateful to have this blog for 7 years and only hope to have it for another 7 or more. I know I haven't had the trajectory that other bloggers or content creators have had, but I'm happy to continuously learn and grow, finding who I am and the kind of content I want to make as I go along. 

I definitely think in recent months I have figured out where I want this to go and hopefully I can take it there. So I hope you continue on this journey with me as I learn and create more.I have such incredible plans and hope to make loads of different updates and in the near future, but in that time I'll continue to write and create. So follow along here, on my Instagram and my YouTube!

Thank you for sticking with me over these 7 years. I'm grateful for all of you who continue to support, read my words or admire my content. I wouldn't be here without you. 

Here's to the future of Seventeen James. 

Lots of love, 

Emily

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Friday, 23 July 2021

What I Learned From Julia Haart After Watching "My Unorthodox Life"

IMAGE CREDIT: NETFLIX

If there’s something I’m really good at, that may be a shared or common trait in many of us, it’s the ability to binge watch a TV show. It is both a gift and a curse; a gift because well, with the amount of content available in the world right now, you’re able to keep up. A curse because you finish a whole series in one day and then you don’t know what to do with yourself, as well as realising you procrastinated the whole day because you were far too engrossed in the programme. That’s what happened to me yesterday, however there’s a big pro to my binge watching because of the particular series I watched. 


Two days ago, my Mum was glued to her phone watching a series and I think within the first 15 minutes of the first episode, she paused what she was watching, turned to me and said; “You need to watch this show, you will love this lady.” The show? MY UNORTHODOX LIFE. The lady? Ms. Julia Haart. 


I won’t lie, I’d never really heard of Julia Haart, which is astonishing since I’m literally a fashion lover. But I did recognise her when I immediately Googled her upon Mum’s request to watch the show. If you don’t know Julia Haart, she is the CEO of Elite World Group, one of the largest modelling agencies and represents the likes of Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Kendall Jenner and many more. She’s also the creative director of La Perla and the creator the world’s most comfortable heels under her synonymous shoe brand. Needless to say, she’s a boss bitch. There are so many incredible women in the world at the height of their game that inspire me, but Julia? Julia has a story that is unlike any other. 


Julia grew up in a Haredi Orthodox Jewish community in the town of Monsey, New York. The only role for women in this community is to get married and have babies; they don’t get an education, they are not allowed to work, they aren’t allowed to show any skin or even their hair. It’s a world I did not have a clue existed, but needless to say my eyes are open. Her experience and her life is so incredible and shocking to hear about. I won’t give away too much of her story because it’s better you hear it from her whilst watching the series. It wasn’t until Julia was 41, and just days after her eldest daughter got married, that she fled the community for New York to break away from the life and fundamentalism that she was born and bought up with. With only the money she had secretly earned in her marriage selling life insurance, which her now ex-husband was not aware of, Julia took on the world by creating her shoe brand and in the last 9 years, she’s taken the world by storm and built her own empire. She’s not only a boss woman, but a mother to 4 children who she is teaching to find the balance between religion and modern life, and she found true love too. 


I was so inspired by Julia’s story that I couldn’t not write about her. Baring in mind I was having a creative block yesterday, I’m now writing rapidly about this story. Did Julia cure me? Quite possibly. She was so influential for me that I wanted to share with you what Julia taught me after watching the show. 


Take No Shit

Excuse my language there, but honestly there’s no better way to say it. If there’s something you get from Julia from the get-go its that she takes no shit from anyone. Right now, she’s pioneering in the fashion industry to take down the people who are making the place a negative one; for example the “pervs” (in her words) who make models feel uncomfortable and push them too far. She has quietly taken them out of the business in order to protect women in the workplace. If that’s not power, I don’t know what is. And for someone who has come into an industry that is dependent a lot of the time on image and character, Julia has made her stance very clear and that is inspiring. Even when Julia calls our her eldest daughter Batsheva’s husband Ben out for being concerned with how his wife dresses, it was simply brilliant. Something Julia said that resonated with me is; “I don’t care what is, I care what should be.” She is all about making the changes she wants to see, not accepting the world or circumstances as is and I think that’s a mindset we should all afford ourselves. 


It Takes *Nothing* To Be A Good Human

When you look at people in positions of power, influence or money, it’s common that we have the preconceived notion that that person is going to be stuck up or rude. I won’t lie, I am guilty of that, however Julia diminished that trope within minutes, maybe even seconds. She leads with so much kindness, love and selflessness, you kind of want to doubt she’s that wonderful. But as you continue to watch her, you accept that she’s the kind of person who gives and wants nothing in return. She’s just a good human being. She loves her family, she loves her friends, her work, her colleagues and she even loves people she may not know (you’ll see what I mean in a specific episode). I think that’s such an important thing to see. In reality shows, you usually live for the drama and the fights, but what’s so refreshing about this particular show that documents Julia and her family, is that she handles things with grace, kindness and calm. She’s such a joy to watch and I can imagine she would be a wonderful person to know. The way that Julia is ready to help someone without thinking twice reminds me that you should always move through life with kindness.


Accept & Live Your Truth Unapologetically

Julia is true to herself and you can see that through her actions, what she wears, the way she works and so on. The part that really showed me that she is herself always is when she returns to Monsey to pick up her youngest son, and takes her daughter Miriam and her COO Robert with her. Now baring in mind the community has its rules on the way a woman dresses, Julia shows up in an emerald green short and waistcoat blazer look with heart shaped sunglasses and her signature sky-high heels. She immediately stands out from the crowd and the best part is she doesn’t care. It definitely reminded me of my Mum and the way she is, how she’s brought me up. Living unapologetically is how we should look at life. We only have one, why live it in fear of what other people think? It’s also great when Julia reminds her daughter Miriam to live her truth when she says that she’s bisexual and wants to change her surname to Haart. To see the support that Julia gives everyone and herself to be themselves is beautiful and something we can all consider doing more. It also works with the idea of taking control of your narrative, which is so crucial. Julia is definitely the face for that sentiment - be who you want to be and don’t take no for an answer. You write your story. 


It’s Never Too Late To Live Out Your Dreams

This is something I struggle with a lot and I know many of us do. With the year that we’ve had, the pressures we face everyday, comparing and contrasting constantly, we constantly feel like we are never doing enough. I know that I feel that way. I have felt like I should have had more done at 25 and I haven’t. I felt like life is a timeline and that there were deadlines for everything. This is something that has eaten away at me for a long time, and whilst I’ve tried to work through it and push aside the idea that I have to depend on time, it’s not uncommon that I have these moments (more regularly recently) where I just feel like I’m losing time. If there’s anything I learnt yesterday from watching “My Unorthodox Life”, it’s that it is never too late. Julia began her career at 41, she started a completely new life at 41 and look at how successful she is. Julia is truly a symbol for new beginnings at any time. It’s all about when the right moment is for you personally. So maybe you’re not doing what you love now, but who’s to say it won’t happen a little further down the road. So keep working, keep dreaming, keep doing because if you want something, you can have it. Time is irrelevant. Just do you. 


It’s fair to say that Julia Haart has definitely had an influential impact on my life in just a day. I love any kind of inspiration that makes me shift my mindset and helps me to learn more about myself indirectly. I definitely felt a surge of confidence, productivity and creativity after watching the Netflix series. So if you need a bit of inspiration, if you want to learn about an insanely interesting lady, if you love reality TV, if you love fashion, then “My Unorthodox Life” is for you. So basically, it’s for anyone. I would genuinely recommend this show to everyone because it was brilliantly done. I simply want to see more, I want to learn more about and from Julia. I look forward to her book being published so I can dive in further. Can you tell I’m a little obsessed? Yeah, for sure. 


Have you watched “My Unorthodox Life” yet? Do you know about Julia Haart? Let me know in the comments below! And if you do watch it after reading this, do let me know. I’d love to chat about it further. 


Sending you lots of love and I’m hoping you are all staying safe and well!

Emily xx

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Sunday, 4 July 2021

Blue Dress Baby


Dress - via Instagram (similar here, here & here)  / Shoes - Charles & Keith

You know when you see a dress and think, "oh yeah, I need that", then receive it and that thought is just solidified even more? Yeah, that's what happened with this dress. I saw it on an Instagram advert - and yes I know what you're thinking; I never buy off of impulse on an Instagram advert. I'm quite methodical when I make a purchase. I put things on a wishlist and really thinking them over before buying it. But something about this particular dress made me instantly DM the seller and buy it, just like that. And it was probably the best purchase decision I've made in a little while. 

This is one of those gorgeous summer dresses that will stand the test of time for me personally. The sleeves are so statement and elegant, a style which I love, combined with the shift style that can be belted. What is more is the colour; blue is my absolute favourite colour and has been since I was little. It's one that will always live in my wardrobe amongst the classic neutrals. For the summer, I think it's the perfect colour to wear and I think it's a silhouette that I can wear a lot too. 

I can switch out the belt it came with for a brown one and change up the accessories. I can go with gold or silver accents and that's what I love about this colour, it's more versatile than you think. Of course I had to go with a monochrome blue look first because my Charles & Keith mules match perfectly. 

Honestly, I wish I could just go out for a lunch or dinner because all I want to do is wear this piece. It's definitely my new happy dress.

What do you think? Do you like these style of dresses or even the colour? Let me know in the comments below. 

Lots of love, 

Emily xx

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