By: Angelina Kali
SUPPORT INDEPENDENT FASHION RETAILERS LIKE THE CHERRY MOON
If you are like me, you appreciate choice and don’t always want to wear what everyone else does. Independent fashion retailers provide me with the opportunity to express my femininity as well as my individuality. It is a completely different experience to shop in an independent outlet such as The Cherry Moon in London compared to most large e-commerce or high street department stores. My experience is that one also tends to get a far better customer service from independent outlets as they view you as a customer in the true sense, rather than merely as a wallet.
What makes The Cherry Moon – located on fashionable 253 Kings Road in London – stand out as an independent fashion retailer is that they have taken the shopping experience to a whole new level. They stock a wide array of fashion from the best international designers to suit even the most discerning fashionistas. New collections are regularly brought in to ensure an exciting and avantgarde shopping experience.
After having chosen your outfits, you will be spoilt for choice in what to accessorise your new outfit with. In the basement, there is an Aladdin’s grotto of accessories from fabulous handbags to stunning jewellery.
You can even have a complete makeover from top to toe by some of London’s best make-up artists, as The Cherry Moon has a beauty studio upstairs. They can make complete transformations to simple touch-ups, as well as provide make-up advice and even lessons. If you like your new Cherry Moon Cherry Moon Ice Garden look, why not have your photograph Ice Garden taken at their professional photo studio, so you can share it with your friends and family?
This kind of level of service is unique. This is why I like to visit The Cherry Moon whilst I am in London. If you can’t make it to London, you can always visit their online store at www.thecherrymoon.com. And this is why it is so important for us fashionistas to support independent fashion retailers. They provide us choice, better customer service and a comprehensive shopping experience. You can always follow me on Instagram for fashion and style tips as well as my latest designer purchase from my favourite independent shop, The Cherry Moon.
ICE GARDEN A.508 IS THE LATEST HOT BRAND EMERGING FROM THE ASIAN FASHION CAPITAL OF SOUTH KOREA
Working as an international fashion model can be frustrating at times to say the least. But it can also be very rewarding, especially when I come across affordable chic brands like Ice Garden from South Korea. Ice Garden A.508 is so cool; it is the latest hot brand emanating from the Asian fashion capital. I’m betting that many of you don’t know much about South Korea outside of being familiar with the brand Samsung, or the song “Gangnam Style” by PSY. But the fashion emanating from this side of the planet is taking the world by storm.
As soon as I saw the handbags by Ice Garden A.508, I just had to have one. They are just so desirable – delicate, feminine, yet very avant-garde. How can you not fall in love with their petite pastel coloured box bags, or their seriously fun and quirky bucket bags? iCE GARDEN A.508’s aesthetic is known for its distinctive use of geometrical shapes and fluid lines, derived from personal emotions and literary inspirations.
These beautiful bags are available at the aforementioned “The Cherry Moon”, over at 253 Kings Road, SW3 5EL, London, United Kingdom.
The creative and avant-garde ethos of the label can be garnered merely by its name, which is derived from a Tudor City apartment, unit #508 in New York City where founder Sophie Chung had lived, and thus became the inspiration for her label. Whilst originally specialising in handbags and leather accessories, Sophie Chung has recently launched her women’s wear collection. She has the amazing talent of combining retro with avant-garde styling, which makes her creations so contemporary and always modern. Follow them on social media at: @icegarden_official.
GIANNI SALVATORE Comfortable Elegant Casual Wear
Although many may think that (because I am a fashion model) I am always dressed up whenever I leave my front door, I – like many others – don’t always feel like dressing up. Whether it’s in the evening or on a Sunday, I like to wear something comfortable at home whilst doing chores or working on my laptop. Sometimes I just need to take my dogs for a walk or pop over to the local convenience store. So if I don’t want to change but don’t want to look like a slob either, my solution is to wear something that I classify as “Comfortable Elegant Casual Wear”.
My definition of “Comfortable Elegant Casual Wear” is comfortable clothing like sportswear that has been designed for comfort whilst providing a sense of heightened style and elegance. Clothes that you would be equally happy wearing relaxing in front of the TV as you would be having an al fresco lunch in Knightsbridge. Modern dress sense has become far less formal which has meant that there are some designers who have attempted to fill this segment of the fashion market. Whilst many have been less than successful in their attempts, there are a few who have really elevated comfortable casual wear to luxury chic.
One designer who has captured my imagination is Gianni Salvatore. Beautifully crafted with high quality fabrics and design details, they are surprisingly affordable. I just love the look and feel of his new velvet tracksuit – which is available in rich, sumptuous velvety black, burgundy red and dark blue, and his stunning pastel pink tracksuit available on AK Premier.com. I am not sure if the glances I get when I wear his tracksuits whilst walking the dogs are for my cute Chihuahuas, or for what I am wearing – or perhaps both. If you are looking for something comfortable to wear at home that you can look chic in when popping out, I highly recommend you to check out Gianni Salvatore. And the high standing of the brand can be evidenced by Mel B of Spice Girl fame travelling with her Louis Vuitton luggage in his two tone tracksuit.
SANOSIA HANDMADE EMPOWERING WOMEN
As a designer from the Arab world, the significance of what she does has an added importance, according to SanosiaHamade. It is not just about designing stylish and desirable clothes; it is also about empowering women through her designs to express their individuality and personality. Whilst clothes don’t make or define a person, they definitely convey a distinct message to the outside world that is, “this is who I am and I am not afraid to show it”.
With an international background – having been born in Libya, raised in Lebanon, lived in Italy, and her personality shaped by Kuwait – Sanosia Hamade has been able to fuse classical Arab and western styles into contemporary chic designs that convey the inner confidence of all who wear her clothes. This is exemplified by A-list celebrities like Rita Ora and Beyoncé who have expressed their admiration for Arab fashion. Its beautiful detailing showcases the craftsmanship that has gone into each and every garment. Sanosia’s clothes make the powerful statement that whoever wears her creations deserves to be respected.
Sanosia’s latest summer collection is an assortment of delightful ultra-feminine summer dresses, reminiscent of 50s swing dresses fused with Arab patterns for a contemporary international chic look. Pastel blue, lemon yellow and peach hues provide warm summer tones. Think of yourself having a stroll along the seafront at sunset, and you will easily picture yourself wearing something from her latest collection.
Shop at “The Cherry Moon”
253 Kings Road, Chelsea, London
LOOK AFTER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH DURING LOCKDOWN
Only recently have people really begun to take mental health seriously. Prince Harry has been one of the most high profile proponents of looking after one’s mental health. Even the most optimistic person will have bad days when it can be difficult to remain positive. This issue has become even more pronounced during self-isolation and lockdowns throughout the world. Humans need interaction with others as we are social beings. So retaining a positive mindset during these trying times is essential for one’s mental health.
There are a number of things you can do to keep your mind healthy. Let’s start with the “easy” thing first, which is to make sure you get a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep has a number of bad side effects and even makes you more prone to illnesses and stress. It might not be easy to relax in order to get a good night’s sleep when under duress. I take herbal tea but some might prefer a little nightcap to help with sleeping.
So once you have ensured that you have gotten proper rest, you have to fill the rest of the day with something that interests you or challenges your mind. Thankfully, social media and new technology allow us to easily keep in touch with our families and friends. But there are other things you can also do. Now when you are stuck at home, one of the obvious things is to develop a list of things you have thought about doing – like reorganising your wardrobe, some home improvements, or major spring cleaning. Now would be an excellent time to do that especially as it focuses your mind on something constructive.
Another thing to keep you occupied is to think about what other people did before all of this technology. Read a good book; not only does it keep your mind busy, but also broadens your horizons and knowledge. With so much time to spare, perhaps take up self-learning, whether it is to improve your job prospects or something that you are interested in; like learning a new language. There are so many virtual courses available, and they are rapidly increasing in order to cater to heightened demand.
There is of course online gaming. This is probably one of the things that will keep your children occupied and stave off their boredom. But too much has been proven to be bad, so you need to limit the amount of time spent on this activity. Whilst space might be scarce, there are ways to keep fit even in restricted spaces. Read my blog on how to keep fit during lockdown. If you are alone and need motivation, join an online exercise class or a fitness class on YouTube.
Whatever you do, look after both your mental as well as physical health until the situation improves. Stay safe, be smart, and don’t take unnecessary risks with your health and wellbeing.
Stay Fit, Sleep Well
There is understandably so much negativity around right now. What’s worse is that negativity tends to generate more negativity. Let’s try to be more positive even in times of adversity. Whilst in lockdown, we now have a lot more time on our hands. So let’s focus on how we can be more constructive with the extra time that we now have.
The one thing that we can all do that is greatly overlooked is to get more sleep. Most scientific studies show that we need at least 8-9 hours of sleep per day. There is an obvious reason as to why we all need sleep, which is that sleep allows the brain and body to recover from the damage done whilst we are awake. The more active we are, the more free radicals are in our system, which can cause damage to proteins and even to our DNA. We need to slow down the oxidation process in order to allow our body to naturally heal, which we do through sleep. And if you are not convinced, think about how larger animals live much longer than smaller animals (between species). The reason is that the hearts of mammals in particular have an inherently built clock which limits it to roughly 1 billion heart beats during its lifetime. Larger animals have much slower heartbeats than smaller animals, and thus generally live much longer. So if you want to live longer, live life at a slower pace whilst eating healthily, not smoking, and exercising moderately. There are plenty of benefits from sleep which include the reduction of stress, the reduction of inflammation, the improvement of memory and attention, as well as overall better mental health.
Another way of slowing down the oxidation process in your body is to practice yoga. Yoga has been proven to enable the practitioners to better control their breathing and slow down their heartbeats. There are so many other benefits from practicing yoga. Even just an hour of yoga a week will help you increase your flexibility, increase muscle strength and tone, improve respiration, as well as enhance cardio and circulatory health. So being in lockdown is a perfect time to start practicing yoga if you have never tried it before. It doesn’t need a lot of room and there are plenty of excellent online yoga courses.
You may now be confused; in that if a faster heartbeat means that you will live shorter lives, you may wonder why you should exercise then. Like most things in life, everything in moderation. Exercise will help keep your heart healthy as it is a muscular organ. If not looked after, it will start to deteriorate which is just bad. Bodybuilders who stop pumping iron observe that their muscles quickly turn into sagging fat. By exercising moderately, it reduces the chance of heart attacks by limiting the build up of fat in your arteries. It also improves your oxygen intake by enabling the lungs to process more oxygen from each breath. And the brain needs a lot of oxygen to work effectively.
Good sleep and keeping fit will keep your brain healthier and thus make it more likely to enable you to look after your mental health. Before this pandemic, few people were concerned with mental health. But being confined to a small space for most of the day, either alone or without friends and family, has made mental health a major concern for many – and rightly so. So ensure that you sleep well and exercise moderately. It will give you a fighting chance to come out of this pandemic stronger mentally and better positioned to live a more fulfilling life once this pandemic is over.