I Need a Break…

 

You know when your iPhone shows the Low Power Mode sign? That’s exactly what I’m going through right now, although I wasn’t supposed to feel like this at all. About a month ago, I presented Project M for a panel of industry professionals, at London College of Fashion. I got good feedbacks, made contacts and had everything to move forward. Except that I didn’t feel like. Maybe it was a sort of exhaustion after months of preparation, a post-Brexit hangover or a sensation that things slow down during summer as everyone is away on holiday (everyone but me! L).  Beyond these factors, I now see how I needed time to think about my life and career choices. So, I made a deal with myself to put the ‘to do list’ on hold for a while…

This time off was useful to reevaluate my objectives, to better understand my professional approach, where and how I want to go and, mainly, to cut me some slack. To understand that my internal judge only sets unreal goals that ultimately undermines my self-esteem has been very important. Another point: keep remembering past situations that apparently didn’t work and think things will always be like this. Really making an effort to let it go, which leads to realize the ‘here and now’ is all that matters. Essential to be less anxious, worried and to get rid of useless negative thoughts.

Above all, I needed this break to finally see that our attitude and our willing to make it happen do make a difference. I just need to make the first move and trust. Yes, maybe the first step is the hardest, but ironically it’s the simplest. The complicated part – studying, planning, creating a project – is done, now all it takes is to open the door and go…

Ps: writing this post motivated me to share more about career challenges, especially when you choose a ‘non-conventional’ one. I’m reading some books and discovering blogs that talk about it and soon will start to better explore the issue here.

Happy Second Anniversary, London!

London became my home exactly 2 years ago. A dream came true, a project cultivated for a long time that finally was turning into reality. A new beginning with new first timers, adaptation, discoveries.

During this period I went back to be a student, was an intern for the first time in my life, decided to go after the work I believe in (not without some stumbles), worked as a sales assistant to hold out while my career doesn’t take off. Made contacts, went to a bunch of networking events. Got clients. Saw an unthinkable Brexit happen and suddenly catch me wondering: “what if they kick us out”? Well, there are another 27 countries in the EU… But I don’t want to leave. Ever.

When I sat down to write this post, millions of emotions from these 731 days came back, and I realized how they, either good or bad, only make me more assured of the decision to move here, only make me see that I’m walking my way and not following everyone else in the road, and that everything is possible when we truly engage.

Yes, missing family and friends will always be an issue – technology helps a lot, and cultural differences will never go away – despite never feeling Brazilian I know I’ll never be English. But, when I look over the window and realize I live here (every now and then, for about 2 seconds I almost doubt it!), the feeling of fulfilment, accomplishment, a kind of victory overcomes anything.

Thank you for those challenging and amazing 2 years, London.

Love,
Mirela

Archetypes: The Magician

From Merlin to Harry Potter, Mary Poppins and Samantha in ‘Bewitched’, our obsession with everything magic comes from a long way. Nevertheless, the Magician archetype is much more than a supernatural figure with a pointy hat and a wand. It is associated with transformation, dreams and change as he believes that to make things happen we only need to rethink our attitudes. Yes, charisma and influence are two key aspects of the archetype and they are decisive to break the positive and negative sides, since its shadow can result in manipulation and a lot of selfishness.

To understand the application in branding terms, let’s focus on the definition of magic: something with the ability to affect our conscience and, consequently, our behaviour. Think about drinks like Red Bull and spirits in general, and beauty brands like Aveda and Kiehl’s created from the traditional use of herbs or apothecaries, or in those that promise to bring a spa to your home, like Clarins. All of them are embedded in feel-good sensations. And, of course, think how technology may help companies to promote themselves as Magicians by exploring apps, augmented reality, 3D etc. This even includes Pokemon Go (up to you to say if it is good or bad!).

In the fashion industry, wearable techs can be a feast for the archetype. Some examples of physical transformation agents would be clothes and accessories that moisturise the skin, warm or cool the body according to the outside temperature. A psychological/spiritual agent could include a change of colour following the wearer’s humour, helping him feel calmer or more active, and the use of gemstones or crystals to balance the mind and bring good vibrations.

The most important aspect of the Magician lies in the understanding of this connection between body and mind, and the ability to dream/imagine/create and put a plan in practice. You just need is a catalyst to bring them together. Those millions of motivational, self-help titles, gurus and influencers who swear can transform our lives in a matter of days, and all the wellness industry, from clean eating to fitness and all kinds of holistic therapies out there are the ultimate evidence of the market demand for the archetype. Remember: there will always be more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy.  Apparently, we need to rely on them more than ever!

Pleasure to Meet: Aerin

She was raised among cosmetics and fragrances and was the style director of her grandmother’s company for years. It was more than natural for Aerin Lauder to take inspiration from Estée Lauder and create a brand where makeup and fragrances have a key role. Launched in 2011, Aerin reflects the lifestyle of its founder, extending to accessories and home products. But of course, beauty is the core of the business and worth of your attention!

Built around Essentials that range from lips, cheeks and eyes palette, like the Weekend and Weekday Palettes, the Multi Color for Lips and Cheeks and the Rose Lip Conditioner, it offers smart and classic products, plus brushes and makeup cases. Meanwhile, the fragrance collections are embedded with references from her travels and childhood memories, like the Rose de Grasse, Tangier Vanille and Mediterranean Honeysuckle lines.

Trying any of the products instantly transports you to a stylish and glamourous world surrounded by flowers and pink tones. So, the next time you are at Selfridges or Harrods, go take a look and practice some serious escapism for a couple of minutes!

Wish list

aerin-beachcream

Beach Cream 

aerin-blush

Multi Color for Lips and Cheeks

aerin-palette

Weekday Palette

aerin-lip

Rose Lip Conditioner 

aerin-cream

Rose Hand & Body Cream 

Icon: Winona Ryder

She is back to our lives thanks to Netflix ‘Stranger Things’, but if you were around in the 1990s, know that Winona Ryder never actually left. A grunge Audrey Hepburn, so delicate and at the same time so rock’n roll, with short hair, flawless features and many variations of dark lipstick (from blood red to burgundy) is the ultimate icon. Like a certain tattoo attested, ‘Winona Forever’….

Dream Spas: Tschuggen Grand Hotel, Switzerland

Holidays in the Swiss Alps. You don’t need to wait for the winter to book a trip to the Tschuggen Grand Hotel and experience all the glamour of the region. To start with, you arrive in great style by boarding a futuristic train. Once there, enjoy the spa with indoor and outdoor pools, sauna, massage rooms, gym and a medical centre with dermatologists and nutritionists prepared to advise you about the best treatments.

Guests can choose among many options of facials, detox therapies, muscle relaxation, aromatherapy and thalassotherapy sessions, and the Tschuggen Massage, which combines 5 different massage techniques. You can also select special treatments using Clarins, Dermalogica or Sensai products. To make it even better, choose to have the therapies in a private suite. Remember: you are in Switzerland, so get into the luxury life!

Archetypes: The Revolutionary

Revolutionary, rebel, outlaw and even villain. The adjectives associated with the archetype are not very flattering, but this doesn’t mean it has a negative approach. Think about how revolutionary minds are important to society evolution and how ‘outsiders’ are irresistibly seductive. At the end of the day, who doesn’t like to break some rules every now and then?

While the Hero fights for a better world or to help the underdogs, the Revolutionary feels like the underdog and fights against this same society who outlawed him. It is probably the archetype that better exposes our dark side, however, it offers a necessary balance, an escape route from the system. Rockers, hippies, punks, grunges… All these movements began as manifestations against the established culture. James Dean became a rebel icon thanks to his role in ‘Rebel without a Cause’ and inspired teenagers all over to cultivate a bad boy attitude. Harley Davidson has positioned itself as a rebel brand by associating its personality with Hell’s Angels and the leather + tattoos look. Vivienne Westwood dared to open a store called ‘Sex’ and sell pieces inspired by sadomasochism, tailored to 1970s London punks. These examples reveal the Revolutionary desire of breaking the rules and scandalise.

Ok, but is it possible to have people shocked in 2016? Yes and no. If we think how society is much more open to so-called daring attitudes, the answer is no. On the other hand, in a world where the politically correct rules and there is an enormous pressure to show a ‘fit for Instagram’ life, one can tell that there are plenty of reasons to rant and rave.

From the branding perspective, the Revolutionary may work pretty well for brands focused on changing the way to consume things. The best examples lie in technology: when Apple appeared in the 1980s, it challenged the rules and dared to think in a different way to use a computer. Skype allowed free calls. Netflix changed how we watch TV and movies, Uber, how we call and ride a cab. The list goes on and on…

Summing up, the Revolutionary awakes our inner rebel and the desire to break the rules. It may be good for companies with innovative products and services, with new ways of purchasing or interaction, surrounded by an ‘outlaw’ attitude.  Think different!

Accessories for Pet Lovers

It all started when I met Hector Browne, the dog-shaped bag from Thom Browne, who strolled around with Cathy Horyn during Paris Fashion Week, last March. Recently, I had the chance to see it up close (in leather, like the picture above) and realised that pets, especially cats, are having a moment as accessories. Here’s a selection for the pet lovers!

Yazbukey cat clutch

Thom Browne Hector bag

Stella McCartney cat cross-body bag

 

Olympia Le Tan Cheshire clutch

Karl Lagerfeld Kocktail embellished glittered acrylic clutch

Charlotte Olympia Kitty flats

 

Beauty Dilemmas: Hair Loss

It is almost like a horror movie. You look around and find hair strands all over: on the bathroom floor, in the tub, in your pillow… And there more you comb it, the more it falls. It’s so nerve-wrecking. Hair loss can be caused by many reasons: from hormonal fluctuations to stress, going through nutritional issues or even too much colouring or straightening.

In most cases, a simple hair tonic or thickening shampoo can help the problem, but I think if it’s really bothering you, checking with a doctor is the best thing to do. In my case, my dermatologist asked for a blood test and diagnosed low iron rates. I took supplements for a while and since then I try to eat iron-rich foods regularly (meat, spinach/dark leaves and beans are the best).

Besides that, castor oil has really made a difference. After a while, I noticed my hair started to fall again and was going to try Viviscal (which seems great but pricey) when I bought some oils (argan, jojoba, macadamia, marula, coconut, avocado and castor) to improve the overall condition of the hair. As I knew the castor one is good to stimulate growth I started to massage it on my scalp before washing (the others I concentrate on the tips), sometimes leaving it overnight. After less than a month, my hair loss had disappeared. It is amazing! I bought mine from Amazon, but it’s not hard to find good quality organic oils in most ‘natural beauty’ stockists. Oh, it’s also great for eyebrows and eyelashes. Try it!

Who’s Who: Tom Pecheux

 

If you have noticed an improvement in Estée Lauder’s  makeup ranges in the last couple of years, Tom Pecheux is the one to ‘blame’. Since he was named creative director in 2009, the French makeup artist has transformed the campaigns’ image and has developed a series of products that renewed the interest on the brand, such as Pure Color Gloss, Pure Envy Lipstick and the Bronze Goddess, Surreal Violet and Blue Dahlia collections.

His secret is simply respecting women’s beauty. With this philosophy in mind, Tom joined forces with 2 other upcoming talents in the early 1980s: Carine Roitfeld and Mario Testino. A decade later, they were ruling the fashion world with memorable images, such as the Gucci ads from the Tom Ford era, covers and editorials for Vanity Fair with the likes of Julia Roberts, Charlize Theron and Madonna, plus princess Diana, a defining moment in Pecheux’s career.

In 1999, he was hired by Shiseido with the mission to select colours and textures for The Makeup iconic collection. The job brought the opportunity to travel around the world and meeting real women during the store events. The ability to balance real life and conceptual ideas is what makes Tom a darling in the industry (he is responsible for Derek Lam, Marni, Ralph Lauren and Balmain shows and campaigns). Sexy and chic at the same time, he is what most women want!