Sunday, 30 September 2012

Pink, anyone?

Victoria's Secret migrated to London a good month ago although only today did we manage to actually see what all the fuss is about. Let us begin by saying that we were never enamoured with the brand to begin with.  It remained Stateside thus our days were left free from the critique of neon lace and padding.Victoria's Secret

First, credit where credit is due: the store looks fantastic.  Low lighting (very Abercrombie & Fitch - that's both good and bad) which creates the boudoir feel a lingerie store should really have and the staircase leading to the second floor is mirrored giving a crystal effect...and that's where it stops. Pink threw up in there. In the beauty hall the colour pink went on an all night bender (on an empty stomach) and proceeded vomiting on every available surface. Why in this day and age is 'girly' still associated with pink? [Living Dolls by Natasha Walter has an interesting section on this particular stereotype]  Even a fragrance called ‘something Noir’ (so… black, yeah?) is in a pink bottle. Cool. I see your logic.

Victoria's Secret inspires many different responses ranging from fandom to pure feminist hate. We're definitely leaning towards the hate but not because we can't afford the lingerie. Which we kind of can't but that's a different story. When I first walked in I went straight to feeling up the bras to see just how padded they were. VS is known for the ridiculous amount of extra 'help' they include in their bras taking their angels from frame suiting A/B cups to hyper bouncy D's.


More neon lace, many sparkles. It was difficult to spend time in there because some of the lingerie seemed to be aimed at young teenagers not women but the padding is definitely to accentuate the secondary sexual characteristics or BOOBS that women have. Some of the lingerie is nice, let that be mentioned. Pretty pastel lace or sexy black numbers which do not bear crystals or super padding do exist, though the few elegant pieces are drowned out by the loud screaming of hot pink and shimmering thongs. So you kind of give up.

VS is caught in a trap of its own making whereby they continue to push the same airbrushed ideal of a woman whilst preaching diversity and body acceptance. Just look at the I Love My Body campaign. When you’re paid to look that way of course you’re going to love your body. What about the people that are actually shopping at VS? How can an average woman or young girl watching the advert relate when the message behind it seems to be 'you can only love your body if it's tiny and has big breasts'. Therein lies the dichotomy.

The aspirational aspect presented by the brand is toxic because more often than not it inspires self-loathing or triggers insecurities. I have felt this myself, watching the VS show with sheer fascination about the size of the wings and the toned waists sashaying down the runway. Adriana Lima caused a furore when she said that the last few days before the show she has no solid food to help define the muscles, she later said it was a misunderstanding and appeared with coffee and cake backstage. However the wheels were set in motion. No solid food for days - that's what it takes to have and love a body like that.

Further still is the issue of photoshopping because even these so called 'perfect women' are retouched to define exactly what perfection means to Victoria's Secret narrowing that ideal into unreachable territory.

Victoria's Secret is not healthy for women or men for that matter. Unfortunately a few bloggers will not be changing the mind of a global corporation any time soon. 

Basically VS: you're tacky and I hate you. Sidenote: Mean Girls time.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Food, Glorious Drink!


Today started with a brief phone chat and then the decision to have brunch followed. Where did we go? A shack - bin adjacent. No, really. Dirty Burger is essentially a shed not too far from Kentish Town station. It's hidden behind another restaurant (searching is part of the fun) and is opposite a gym which adds to the perverse pleasure of eating a delicious, cheese and sauce dripping burger.


Wash your hands in a basin, arm yourself with napkins and dig in as no cutlery is provided. Pay for your drinks and grab them from the fridge. A near perfect place. We've had a Dirty Burger, we'll be back for the Dirty Breakfast.


10 meters away we decided to kill two birds with one stone by checking out Pizza East. We had desert and coffee. So much coffee! Also, fashion week planning took place. Basically some shopping is in order.


Welcome to Aces&Eights. We've lost count of how many afternoons, nights and early mornings have been spent here so we thought it would be a good idea to introduce this one early on. The pizza rocks as does the jukebox. The cocktail list is concise but gets the job done. Favourite? Has to be a Parma Violence (gin, lemon juice and creme de violette). If you have a bra you're not that keen on you can trade it for free drinks. It's up to you to work out if that's a feminist choice or not. Warning: alcohol may alter your judgement. Not that we would know, we have church on Sundays.  


Monday, 10 September 2012

Dream Style: September

Playlist: September

by Z

1. Heartbreaker - Alabama Shakes

2. Sensible Heart - City&Colour

3. Flume - Bon Iver

4. Angels - The XX

5. Little Black Submarines - The Black Keys

by M

6. Moment of Clarity - Jay Z

7. Welcome to Jamrock - Damian Marley

8. Bad Girls - M.I.A

9. Slow Jamz - Kanye West

10. Knockin' on Heaven's Door - Guns'n'Roses

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Let Us Begin By Saying...

With the heat (hopefully) fading fast and rails of faux fur and leather flooding the shop floors two London girls prepare for London Fashion Week. And launch the project which has been talked, sometimes slurred, about over various cocktails for a year. So...Welcome to ZHEM?! What you're about to witness is a journey (!) an adventure as lived and loved by two fashion enthusiasts. Beyond this lies the "real world" which we're also aware of so ZHEM extends to books, feminism and having a damn good time... Did someone say 'Happy Hour'?


Moodboards will be a recurring feature on our blog; it's a mixture of the things we're feeling this particular month. September is something both of us (Z+M) have been looking forward to as it marks the official beginning of autumn and muted colours...and knitwear...and bearded men...and you get the picture(s).

Pssst...The next week or so will comprise of us trying to navigate the tricky world of cobbles and heels. Wish us luck. Z+M