A Kilo of Vintage Clothes


Vintage Kilo Sale at Motion.
Can you get more Bristol than that? (Not a rhetorical question, my struggle for edginess is ever growing.)

For someone who famously has to be dragged to any clubs that aren’t Lola’s, it was pretty unusual for me to eagerly stand in line outside Motion. It was even stranger to be there in daylight. I know many Bristolians will have been in Motion and seen the sun, surviving in the early hours of the morning, but I haven’t. My record in Motion is potentially 2 hours (and even then, I spent most of the time in the queue for the toilets, dodging the advances of the woman selling deodorant and lollipops.) 


For those of you who don’t know Motion, I’ve just done a quick google search. It’s described as ‘Famed DJs in a matrix of old warehouse spaces with a cobbled front courtyard and riverside area’ which is pretty much the worst description of a club I’ve ever heard. ‘Yeah, Hugo, let’s go to Motion later, can’t wait to stand on some cobbled stones and overlook the river.’

Anyway, on Sunday, we entered Motion, not for a ‘famed DJ’ but for a Bristol Preloved Vintage Kilo. This basically means you are supplied with a bag and grab some old garms, get them weighed and pay by weight, at £15 a kilo. For your viewing pleasure (and a symptom of my epic procrastination leading up to deadlines), I’ve provided some highly aesthetic photo edits (more steps on my ladder to pure edgy goals).

Me thinking of synonyms for 'edgy' 
When you first go in, there are stands selling jewellery. I was initially extremely hyped as a kilo of sunglasses is loaaadsss of sunglasses. It then became evident jewellery is sold separately, at £5 for sunglasses. Admittedly, they did have some pretty cool ones. But, as someone who needs prescription sunglasses, I wasn’t allured by the tinted frames.

The woman in the back was perhaps not so convinced by my photography skills 

We moved in to the second room. It took us maybe 25 minutes to realise it was the main room of Motion. I hate to burst any bubbles, but the main room of Motion is actually not that big. During clubbing hours, it seems like miles to cross the floor, and you will suffer many an elbow to the face and or rib cage, yet actually, as a sober viewer, it’s literally just a normal sized room. Madness.

Actually not so daunting when my eardrums aren't being bombarded

Filled with plaid shirts, fur jackets, Adidas sportswear and dungarees, I could see my future at Bristol becoming ever cooler. However, on closer inspection, the rails did take quite a lot of sorting through before we found anything really wearable. There’s obviously the issue of quality –some things were a lot more ‘old and gross’ than ‘vintage and snazzy’- and there’s the problem of sizes, almost all the denim dungarees were the size of my bedroom, apart from a minuscule one which I couldn’t even get over my thigh. 

If you don't rush to the sportswear rack at a vintage sale, do you even Uni?  

We all managed to pick up some potentials though and went to the back to try them on. It was anarchy, with people whipping off plaid shirts to put on highly similar (but more smelly) plaid shirts. 

(Just to clarify, Tash's expression is that of someone who survived the scrummage at the sports rack to get a vintage Nike shirt.)
In the queue for the changing room, I spotted one girl trying on a top I liked so sauntered over to tell her very politely that if she didn’t like it I wanted it so she should come find me. I thought the conversation went splendidly, but, as I walked back, Ellie said “she was terrified.” So perhaps my poker face isn’t as great as I thought. 

Me hating the fact my housemate has edgier (aka: more fluffy) garms than me

I decided not to try anything on because I felt it was more in the spirit of thrift shopping to just chance it (aka: I was too lazy to take off my trainers and jeans.) The buying process was a surprise. I placed my bag on the weighing scales and the woman cheerfully read out “That’ll be £59 please.”

Maybe if I'd spent less time scaring fellow shoppers and more time trying things on, I would have realised this arty shirt is the size of a small tent... 
Yep, also didn't try this Grandma skirt on before purchase. No one I've shown actually likes it, but maybe I'm a trendsetter?  

Fifty. Nine. Pounds.
Some speedy mental maths (my calculator app) tells me that’s almost 4 kilos. I was visualising a packet of sugar, which surely is quite heavy, so hadn’t thought I’d go over a kilo that much. Then again, maybe other certain Bristol vintage-shoppers are better at said economics as  they are more accustomed to weighing white substances… 

Me deciding to wear this ski coat as a normal jacket because it weighs a kilo

Needless to say, I had to abandon two thirds of my loot and ended up only buying a few items and spending £23. Admittedly, my humungous ski jacket weighs about a kilo by itself and is pretty much useless considering I don’t ski. HOWEVER, can edgy fashion and brightly coloured, slightly strange garms really be called useless!? (Many would argue –shout out to my parents- that, yes, yes they can.)

Weird and useless? Or a staple I'll wear for life? (Probs the former ngl.)
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Magazines I’m Reading This November

Basically an excuse for lots of flatlay photography...

November is a month for cuddling up with a good read as the weather starts to get colder and you just need a little boost to remind you about the positives that come with Autumn/Winter. Here’s a run down of the magazines I’m curled up with this November…

In The Moment

This is currently Issue #4 and is very much in keeping with the zeitgeist at the moment in self-care, ‘mindfulness.’ For those of us who aren’t really into yoga or may have the Englishness of ‘just get on with it’, we’ll probably cringe at the idea of taking a moment to ‘find your happy.’ Yes, this magazine is a little lovey-dovey, but if you go in with an open mind you will find yourself relaxing. 



It’s not all Pinterest-quotes though, there are run-downs of good things to do in England this month, such as wearing pink for Breast Cancer Awareness and where to find outdoor book-swaps with Little Free Library. The pages are also beautiful, with a simple, friendly, artistic vibe. There’s pull out short stories, and a recipe for spiced pumpkin latte. There’s a particular angle on interior design which will immediately get you driving to Ikea to hunt out some hygge cushions. In summary, this magazine is basically all you need to feel a little bit warm and cuddly inside and take some pretty instragrammable flatlays.



Aesthetica

One of the leading magazines in art, design and photography, Aesthetica publishes stunning full-page spreads with prints of contemporary art. 


The glossy pages are filled with angular architecture, bright colours and thought-provoking themes. There is a focus on photography as well as interviews with the artists. This is the perfect magazine to get to grips with important and up-and-coming photographers right now, as well as providing eye-candy for any coffee table.



Renaissance

I initially bought this magazine for my Mum, and, being 19, I’m clearly not the intended demographic, but I’m actually loving it. Their tagline is ‘Exploring the beauty of age. Inside & Out.’ Their models are beautiful older women, wearing their grey hair and wrinkles so well. 



Even though there are articles on menopause (which luckily I’m not thinking about at all!), I really think women of all ages could benefit from a flick through of this mag. It’s honestly so great to see older, untouched faces and bodies on the pages, looking fashion-forward and proud. It’s a boost that’s telling women we can look amazing at all ages, with all body types. There’s also well-written articles about art, travel and cooking. It’s so lovingly put together, and dare I say it, empowering.



Frankie


I have hunted down this magazine for weeks and finally have the latest edition! An Australian magazine, it can be hard to find in more remote cities in England, but it has already become a firm favourite for lovers of art and fashion and quirky throwbacks to vintage patterns. 


With articles about culture, charities and interviews with icons such as Debbie Harry, Frankie is more than just pretty page layouts (although it has many many of these). It will make you want to invest in some adorable dresses and minimal décor, as well as maybe setting up your own company to sell shoes. It also has deeper comments on how to reflect on tragedy and asking older generations about the secret to a happy life.



Oh Comely

Oh Comely, although English rather than Australian, is pretty similar to Frankie. There are sections on art, fashion, and culture, but overall, I’d describe it as a collection of ideas, small passages of writing accompanied by beautiful illustrations and photographs.
There is also a clear feminist stance, with the magazine drawing out important women today, and interviewing up-and-coming female artists. With a book club, recipes, and (in this month’s edition) adorable paper dolls, what’s not to love?   

So that’s my list of my Autumnal magazines, what are you reading?


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What's In A Name?




Anyone who has seen me grimace when asked the dreaded question ‘what’s your name’ will know just how much I’ve struggled with it.

‘Yehudit’, it means Jewish Woman, and relates to the Biblical figure who chopped off a dude’s head. Kinda gory, and not really my style, but a popular Israeli name nonetheless.

Not so popular in England though. I’ve seen countless people freeze when they see it written down, not knowing how to approach it. There’s that feeling of looking at a clearly foreign name and just giving up.

That’s the thing, it is clearly foreign. Anyone with a non-Anglo name will know what it’s like. Because your name is different, it seems to open the floodgates to anyone –from Uber drivers to Starbucks baristas- to enquire about your heritage. Where are you from? No, I mean originally? So you’re English, what about your parents? Oh they’re English too… so… your name…?
It’s not that I mind particularly, it’s just I’m not always in the mood to whip out my passport or explain Judaism.

According to my parents, at the age of 6 or so I decided to cut my name down to Hudi. Though it was mainly a nickname at first, since I was about 14 it’s the only name I go by. It’s still pretty weird, still marks me out as foreign or Other, and people still don’t know to spell or say it. At least I can just say ‘Yeah, sounds like the jumper,’ which I do, almost daily.

Don’t get me started on clubbing. There is something so unappealing about sweaty guys I don’t know yelling above drum & bass ‘WHAT’S YOUR NAME!? DID YOU SAY MILLIE!? WHERE ARE YOU FROM!!!!???’ So most of the time I pick a random easy name like Emma or Lilly for clubs, cafes, and online surveys.


There’s been two occasions in my life where I’ve felt differently, two occasions that changed the resentment and embarrassment I’ve always felt.

One was when I visited Poland this January, something many Jews do to witness the memorials to the Holocaust and often to meet survivors. The memorial in Belzec concentration camp is a huge block of stone with names of all those who died there.  The holocaust survivor, Lesley, who accompanied us stood there and spoke to us about peace and acceptance. Of course we were not thinking about ourselves, but it’s natural when faced with a list of first-names to be drawn to your own. I think we also all felt it was another way to relate to what had happened there.

I spent a while searching for ‘Y’ and then realised with a jolt that they had been translated to start with a ‘J’ instead. There was a huge panel with variations of my name etched on to the block. Jehudit. Jeuda. Judith. Jewish Man. Jewish Woman. I suddenly felt a strong, strong sense of belonging. They may have been Polish and were born 100 years ago, but these were people who shared my name. Their parents, just like mine, had felt proud enough of their religious identity that they would label their child with it. They refused to name their children with Polish or Russian or Hungarian names, despite the potential for discrimination or worse.

As much as I may hate that my name isn’t as easy to pronounce as Jessica or Alice, just like 100 years ago, it serves to remind everyone that for some people, we are not just from where we were born - whether that be Poland or England- we are Jewish too.

The other occasion was in summer, when I went on holiday to Israel. When I got an order at Kosher McDonalds, I didn’t have to say ‘Lilly’. Yeah, they laughed at my appalling pronunciation of my own name (Israelis say Yoo-Deet’) but they knew exactly what I meant. It’s that same sense of belonging, that there is a tiny country in the middle east where I can always call home, where they pronounce my name better than I do.


 I may never be able to find my name on one of those bracelets in London Zoo, or magnets in M&M world, but I bought this necklace from a market in Jerusalem. It’s Yehudit in Hebrew Script and I hope to wear it and be a bit more proud and bit less resentful of the embarrassment I feel when saying it, a bit more grateful of my parent’s choice. I’m not saying I won’t lie to Starbucks baristas, but I’m glad to look down and remind myself I’m not just English but have a piece of Judaism to me as well.


So what’s in a name? Well, I think, quite a lot.

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FILM REVIEW: Loving Vincent

The father of modern art. A troubled soul. A murder mystery?


Loving Vincent, which premiered last night, takes place a year after Vincent Van Gogh’s death and is an unconventional film. Artist biopics are not unusual, Girl with a Peal Earring, Mr. Turna and Frieda, to name a few. Yet this film is different.

The film’s narrative is unusual in this genre, as it is more like a murder mystery or a thriller. The plot is perhaps not one you would stick with in a normal feature film. Armand Roulin (Douglas Booth) is lead on a chase around France as he tries to figure out how Van Gogh (Robert Gulaczyk) went from describing himself as ‘calm’ to taking his own life in six weeks. Largely based on Van Gogh’s letters, it achieved a great deal of authenticity. The story will introduce Roulin to some key figures in Van Gogh’s life, and in his paintings, played by the renowned actors including Chris O’Dowd, Helen McCrory, Aidan Turner and Saoirse Ronan. This wild goose chase (and at one point, a literal chase after a boy through a field) was perhaps a little too drawn out, yet it was handled beautifully, providing us with plenty of stunning paintings of Auvers with its boats and gardens. The music by Clint Mansell was also important here in transitioning between dialogue, and complimenting the complex emotions at play in the artist’s life.
Doctor Gachet (Jerome Flynn), Van Gogh (Robert Gulaczyk), Adeline Ravoux (Eleanor Tomlinson), and Armand Roulin (Douglas Booth) 

However, it is really the making of the film that is important here. This is the first feature length film to comprise entirely of oil paintings. Using over 65,000 frames on over 1,000 canvases, Loving Vincent is disarming in its complexity. It is the perfect tribute to a great artist, an entire film created in his visual language. There are nods to 77 of Van Gogh’s paintings. It would be worth seeing simply for this milestone in filmmaking and the visual arts.

Quite apart from being a beautifully directed film and a real artistic achievement, this is an important piece in its dealings with mental illness. Although it mainly handles the topic well, it may have missed the mark a little as the very premise –How can someone go from calm to suicidal? What could we have done to help? Who is to blame?- is complicated. Indeed, the implication that there needs to be a ‘reason’ for suicide –other than mental illness- could be quite troubling for some.

Christ O'Dowd as Joseph Roulin, Van Gogh's 1888 portrait, and the animated version in the film

The credits are well worth staying in your seat for, as they contrast the actors with Van Gogh’s real paintings. This is a poignant moment, as we really glimpse life through his eyes. Furthermore, we can appreciate just how well this film brought these paintings to life. Jerome Flynn, as Doctor Gachet, is particularly well cast as the artist’s troubled doctor. Van Gogh described him as ‘sicker than I am.’ The painting became famous when it was sold for a record price of $82.5 million at auction in 1990. Van Gogh wrote of it in 1890 that it ‘may perhaps be looked back on with longing a hundred years later…’

Jerome Flynn as Doctor Gachet 

Loving Vincent
is a real work of art that will leave you blinking away the starry night from your eyes. As the first of its kind, sure to be followed by many similar ventures, it is unmissable.

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