Going crazy for Korean fashion – Made in Korea

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“When I shop, the world gets better, and the world is better, but then it’s not, and I need to do it again.
(Confessions of a Shopaholic-the movie)”
― Sophie Kinsella

I like to think I am a fashionable woman and well-dressed majority of the time. I would describe my style as quirky mixed with a girly charm. I am not girly in manner, but I love shoes, handbags, make-up, jewellery, lots, and many clothes. What girl doesn’t love to look good or a shopping spree?

My friends refer to me as a shopaholic and having far too many clothes. However, a girl can never have too many things and there are days where I cannot find anything to wear.

My love of Korean fashion developed on a trip to Camden Market in London and Notting hill. I discovered a stall, which sold incredible girly dresses and quirky jackets and knitted cardigans. I was hooked on the clothes and every weekend I stayed in London, I made a quick stop to the different stalls. My favourite purchases are a blue three quarter sleeved long cardigan with army style buttons. It looks fab with a pair of jeans or teamed with a skirt and dress. I also bought an adorable yellow floral print dress, which reminds me of summer and lifts my mood whenever I wear it.

This year I decided to make a trip to one of the fashion capitals of the world Tokyo. The bright lights, Harujoko, and Lolita girl’s fashion had always fascinated me. I decided to make my journey more exciting and added in two-day stop to Seoul, the capital of Korea for some retail therapy.

I fell in love with Seoul as soon as i entered the airport. The airport was huge and it offered free Wi-Fi, free charging booths, free laptops to surf the net. I hopped onto a metro and headed to Itaewan the ex pat and tourist neighbourhood. I discovered countless boutiques selling all Korean made clothes, jewellery, and bargain prizes. I bought an incredible Channel inspired leather bag with a chunky chain and cute ballerina pumps.

“I love shopping. There is a little bit of magic found in buying something new. It is instant gratification, a quick fix.”
― Rebecca BloomGirl Anatomy: A Novel

What I noticed the most is that the Koreans have a natural effortless style. Both the men and women took pride in their appearance and they loved shopping almost as much as I did. For my second night, I stayed in Myeondong and walked around the market, which came to life at night with hundreds of stalls all selling Korean made products. I discovered that the Koreans love shopping so much that the shops and department stores in namdaemun are open until 4:30am. Yes, I did shop until the early hours of the morning and purchased a black wool coat with orange and red collars and a real fur collar. I could not get enough of the 1,000’s of stalls selling everything I could possible want and need. I only wished I had a bigger suitcase and more money. After my shopping spree, I headed to one of the many 24-hour coffee shops and ordered a chocolate soufflé and hazelnut latte. Shopping makes a girl hungry.

Armed with my suitcase full of Korean goodies I boarded my plane and bid farewell to the city of fashion that is true to its own people and style.

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Commuters nightmare…

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Muslim girl's life experiences

London is a commuter’s nightmare and getting from A to B, can sometimes take longer than travelling to another city.

You can catch the tube and be forced to get up close and personal with your fellow commuters. Eye contact is avoided on the tube as is making polite chitchat. So where do you look? At the countless Viagra, phone and insurance ads? Alternatively, do you look at the celling or at the floor? Most choose to look down. As you look down you notice people’s shoes. You see designer, sports, simple, crazy and Primark’s finest shoes on display. Some you will admire and think damn I want those shoes, whereas others you will think, did you leave the house without looking at the mirror this morning. Have you never heard of shoe polish? So, if you’re travelling by tube ensure your shoes are on trend and clean. There is…

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What is the true cost of beauty? Time or money?

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vanityWe all want to be beautiful and desired. When we walk down the street, we secretly want people to admire the way we look. How often do you look in the mirror, smile at your reflection, and think yes, ‘I am hot stuff’?

Enter any supermarket, department store and chemist and you will see thousands of products all designed to enhance our appearance. We can make our teeth whiter, our eyes sparkle, our lips plumper and our face slimmer. We are spoilt for choice with expensive and cheap products all offering to make us look and feel like a million dollars. Beauty today can be bought to the highest bidder and comes with a hefty price tag and money back guarantee. For a few hundred pounds, you could have hair like Cheryl Cole and lips like Angelina Jolie.

The quest for perfection has never been greater. Every day we are surrounded by images of perfect women with amazing big bouncy hair, long luscious lashes, never ending legs and flawless skin. The pressure to look great all the time is high and we are tricked into thinking that a few magic creams will turn us into a supermodel.

How much do you spend on beauty products a month? Statistics show that the average woman will spend £18,000 on her face in a lifetime. For that amount of money you could buy a car, travel around the world first class, buy a new wardrobe or put a deposit on a house. Most women on average buy 38 products a year for their face. How many beauty products have you bought in the last month?

According to a survey by Marks and Spencer’s the average woman takes 21 minutes to get ready. Just how vain are we? Would you ever leave the house without make up on? Would you let someone see your face naked? Most women wear some form of make up every single day and won’t leave the house without mascara on. Max Factor claims to sell three of its best-selling False Lash Effect Mascara every minute across Britain and two Lancôme mascaras are sold every second worldwide. Women will resort to tinting their lashes, using several mascaras, applying fake lashes and individual lashes in the quest for long luscious lashes.

We all look better with a bit of slap on. However, does the desire to look good make us vain? Alternatively, are we afraid that if we go bare faced, we will frighten people or they will know what we really look like? Do we see make up as a comfort blanket and a mask which allows us to appear more confident and be whoever we want to be. One day we can look vampy, the next day we can look fresh or girly. Make up allows us to create a new look for ourselves and be someone else for a day.

What makes us vain and how do we define vanity? Are we vain if we constantly check ourselves out in the mirror and won’t go out au natural? What’s wrong with wanting to look good for ourselves and creating a new look. Surely, we are allowed to look and feel confident and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be beautiful.

But, do we have to spend a lot of money to look perfect? Or is it just a mind-set fuelled by the media’s obsession with airbrushed size zero models. Surely, we should be happy with what god gave us and realise that we are all beautiful in our own unique way. Who says we have to have legs like Naomi, hair like Beyoncé and a face like Gisele to look amazing. The question we need to ask ourselves is, how important is looking good to us? Is looking good, worth sacrificing hundreds of pounds or time?