Monti: Rome's cool, creative quarter

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Traveling to any major tourist destination can always be a stressful situation; weaving in and out of tourist traps, dodging vendors selling goods etc. But...in the middle of the mayhem in Rome, just a few blocks away from the Colosseum, there is a haven for locals and visitors alike...Monti! The streets here are so picturesque, it feels like walking into an Anthropology store in real life. Rows of buildings coloured in pastel shades and hanging vines, the smell of Jasmine flowers radiate off of every breeze...

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...Needless to say, I was completely enchanted by this neighbourhood. My husband and I spent much of our time wandering these winding streets. 

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If you're familiar with Italian customs, then you know about Aperitivo. If not, it's like Italian Happy hour, where drinks are often accompanied by free snacks or a buffet. Here in Monti, the locals gather around the Piazza della Madonna dei Monti with a beer or a wine from the bar across the square. It's an excellent place to gather with friends, or people watch if you're traveling solo. For those interested in a little more structure and more of something to eat, Aperitivo at Analema Cafe has an excellent buffet and a great atmosphere. 

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Have a little time before dinner? It's time to get that perfect "Roma Photograph". Trust me, it won't take long to find a picturesque spot. There's also Gelato right around the corner from the Piazza if it's hot and you need to cool down a little or if you're just in the mood for a tasty treat. Really, is there ever a bad time for Gelato? (No, the answer is no).

I scream, you scream, we all scream... for gelato?

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For dinner there are so many incredible places lining the streets. My husband and I chose to try Urbana 47 (recommended by the Roman Guy) on their Monti travel guide. It's trendy and delicious with rotating daily specials that will blow your mind. In addition to an excellent cocktail selection. 

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Be sure to take a stroll through Monti next time you're in Rome. I guarantee your stomach and Instagram feed will thank you.

LISBON – LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

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We might never be able to explain what makes us connect with certain places or people more than others. This instant unexplainable connection might not happen very often but that’s what makes it special when it does. I clicked with the Portuguese capital as soon as I landed, little did I know that this short trip will have such a big impact on me.

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Lisbon took me by surprise because I wasn’t sure what to expect, and not having much time to explore the city due to a hectic work schedule made the experience a little more intense then I imagined. Nevertheless in the short time I had I discovered a town full of history, taste, color and a lot of soul. I also discovered that packing 4 pairs of heels and no flats is a big (actually make it huge) mistake in an old steeply town that is built from tiny slippery cobble stones.

The emotional souvenir I took from this trip will remain disclosed for now, but what I will reveal is that you will be seeing me in front of those pastel buildings very soon.

Words by Roza Sinaysky @moodyroza

Photos: by Liya Geldman

MUSIC REVIEW: Sloan

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The Canadian rock vets from Nova Scotia, now based in Toronto, have released their twelfth full-length after the longest break between albums of their career. The album, fittingly called 12, features twelve tracks, with each of the four members contributing and singing three songs.

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Bassist Chris Murphy takes the mic on opening track and lead single “Spin Our Wheels” which provides my favourite chorus of the album with a classic Blue Rodeo rock vibe. His other contributions include “Don’t Stop” and “Wish Upon a Satellite” which show off his well-oiled vocals but deliver less of a punch than the opener.

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“All of the Voices”, sung by the bearded guitarist Patrick Pentland gives off a Nirvana vibe minus the vocals, while the single “The Day Will Be Mine” delivers a driven beat and infectious chorus. Pentland caps off his contributions with “Have Faith”, another favourite of the album, with an uplifting message and a harmonic chorus. Jay Ferguson, also on guitar, has the most stand out voice of the group, with a higher pitch that lends itself to a poppier feel on his tracks with a Beatles-like sound.

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Drummer Andrew Scott’s tracks show a Led Zeppelin influence with the slower moving tracks of the album that fail to grab me as much as the others. 27 years into their career, Sloan has proved that they can still pump out a solid set of rock tunes, and with equal contributions from each member, the album keeps you on your toes. 8/10

Music Review: Hey Ocean!

The Hurt Of Happiness

Hey Ocean! is a female-led alternative pop trio out of Vancouver that recently returned with their fourth studio album after taking a few years off. Singer Ashleigh Ball and guitarist/co-vocalist David Beckingham have been friends since childhood and their shared vocal duties throughout these nine tracks adds quite the variety to the album.

Pop-friendly “Amsterdam” starts the album off strong with arguably the catchiest hook of the nine tracks. “Can’t Let Go” changes pace completely and sounds like a song from The War on Drugs before moving into another pop-strong hook and they take influence from UK bands like Keane and Snow Patrol on the slow burning “Just Enough”.

The title track is a daydream amid it all where Beckingham’s airy vocals float through the somewhat funky verse into a Beach Boys- esque chorus. Bassist David Vertesi takes the lead on “Soul of My Heart”, that gives off a slight The National vibe with his baritone vocals and slow-paced delivery overtop dark guitar.

“To the Sea” is a dismal finish to the album consisting of Ball softly singing over a light piano and aching violin of losing someone to the sea. A pleasant listen with a range of influences led by a talented vocal pairing, Hey Ocean! has made a graceful return. 6.5/10

Sunny Days - A Summer Playlist

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One of my favourite things about summer is listening to happy, upbeat songs. Dancing to The Beatles or Vance Joy while doing dishes instantly makes my day a bit brighter. Here are my top tunes inspired by summer road trips, throwing a frisbee around on Wreck Beach, and sitting around the campfire with friends. Take a listen, and enjoy the sun!

Playground in the Desert: Coachella

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Imagining my childhood I can clearly remember being curious about the ordinary and looking at everything with wonder. Walking through the entrance into Coachella there is a palpable shift in energy, where each individual is filled with this feeling. Coachella, a music and arts festival based in Southern California, is a wonderland for the child at heart. There’s a youthful excitement about all aspects of the festival. The fashion, food, and artwork are all so awe-inspiring, let alone the music. Coachella felt like a playground, a place to be in the moment (besides making sure to post insta worthy photos on social media) and a place to have fun.

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The fashion is unlike normal streetwear, it’s more edgy and adventurous. Every festival-goer expressed themselves through their carefully curated look. From swimsuits to rompers and everything in between, almost every style was on display.

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The food is a whole new adventure, and also played on the idea of nostalgia. Restaurants such as Mom’s Spaghetti, which offered a classic spaghetti and meatballs, brought each individual back to their childhood. Or, Seabirds vegan grilled cheese with creamy pesto offered a new twist on a classic favourite.

And of course the main event, the music, was just as attention-grabbing. Odesza’s performance featured futuristic drones, which moved into different formations throughout their songs. Petit Biscuit performed with a lot of energy, with screens showing space graphics of the universe.

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The artwork was so playful and captivating. The Do Lab stage was a beautifully created tent-like area which featured a flower-like water gun, reminding me of gym class when students would sit underneath a large coloured parachute. Even the Balloon Chain, by Robert Bose, which featured a line of balloons leading to the sky was a marvel. The artpiece Lodestar by Randy Polumbo, was something out of a storybook.

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Coachella is about living in the moment, a huge party set in a desert playground. I’ll definitely be back next year.

Polaroid images taken by Alexa Wenzel.

A room with a view...

Editors enjoy authentic Vancouver views at Sheraton Wall Center & Westin Bay Shore 

During Vancouver Fashion Week, VFW hosts editors who fly in from all over the world to watch the runway shows. This year we partnered with JW Marriott Parq Vancouver hotels to put our editors up in some of the best rooms Vancouver has to offer (see their snaps in the gallery above).

Amidst the hustle and bustle of Fashion Week there really isn't a moments rest. For our editors it's a round-the-clock week. They spend their days watching the runway and their nights writing the next day's articles. With all this time spent working, our international editors barely have time rest, let alone to see the incredible city of Vancouver. This is why it's important for their accommodation to both give them immediate access to Vancouver whilst allowing them to get the rest they need to keep up with their insanely busy schedules.

At the Westin Bay Shore, Laraine Yu, an editor from Vogue China was able to enjoy the nature of beautiful BC, whilst uploading her latest runway recaps online. Even on a work trip, she was able to get the Vancouver experience right from her hotel room. Over at the Sheraton Wall Center, Clara Meyers (Fashion Week Online) and Liz Black (PS it's Fashion) could watch over the bustling city streets and get a feel for the daily lives of local Vancouverites. Not to mention get some much needed shut-eye in these cozy rooms. 

If you're looking for a place to stay for the next Vancouver Fashion Week JW Marriott Parq Vancouver Hotels has many options including Sheraton Wall Center and the Westin Bay Shore.  Learn more about JW Marriott Parq Vancouver here

Photo Credit:
Sara Milosovic
Alice Sheuerman

Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg

A retrospective exhibition on Murakami at Vancouver Art Gallery

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Takashi Murakami Tan Tan Bo Puking - a.k.a. Gero Tan, 2002 acrylic on canvas mounted on board

Vancouverites, you may have spotted the huge coloured octopus adorning the roof of the Vancouver Art Gallery on your walks along Georgia Street. So what is said larger than life creature? -it's a new major public artwork from Takashi Murakami, a Japanese contemporary artist, whose retrospective is happening right now at VAG. It’s as if Murakami’s work is crawling out of the gallery space enticing us to come inside.

Takashi Murakami Kansei Gold, 2008 acrylic and gold leaf on canvas

Kicking off the spring season in style, Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg is in fact the first ever major retrospective of Takashi Murakami’s work showcased in Canada. Micro Macro, on the hunt for visual intrigue, entered the world of Takashi Murakami for an immersive art experience; just like stepping inside Murakami’s creative, eccentric brain.

Murakami's huge canvases present a massive scale that is truly awe-inspiring, and fills the white gallery space with vibrant brilliant colour, creating a strong impact.

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Takashi Murakami Flowers, flowers, flowers, 2010 acrylic and platinum leaf on canvas mounted on aluminium frame

Featuring over 55 impressive paintings and sculptures, the work makes up a colourful frenzy of energy. Taking a closer look at Murakami’s pieces you can truly value the artist’s role as a cultural commentator with works offering a serious engagement on issues affecting Japan and the larger world today, from media culture to globalisation to the threats of nuclear power.

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Takashi Murakami 727, 1996 acrylic on canvas mounted on board

We took a journey through 3 decades of Murakami’s art from his earliest mature work right through to present day. It was compelling to see the evolution in his designs. We were particularly taken by the 1990s distinctive, anime-influenced style known as Superflat with signature animated flowers. On your visit, keep an eye out for the iconic character Mr. DOB, a self-portrait, who features in some of the works.

Along with Nihonga-style paintings, we were met with huge menacing demon-like sculptures, cartoonish with flared nostrils, who took an ominous presence in the gallery.

Takashi Murakami Embodiment of “Um”, 2014 FRP, stainless steel, zelkova wood, and acrylic

Takashi Murakami Embodiment of “A”, 2014 FRP, stainless steel, zelkova wood, and acrylic

Takashi Murakami’s dedication to exquisite craftsmanship and fun pop aesthetics made for a unique, dynamic showcase. It was a real pleasure to get an insight into the imagination of this influential and visionary artist.

The exhibition closes May 6th so make sure to get yourself down to the gallery. You don’t want to miss out on this vibrant frenzy of colour, a little escapism is good for the soul!

About Takashi Murakami

Takashi Murakami was born in 1962 in Tokyo, Japan. He studied at Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan, where he received his BFA in 1986, his MFA in 1988, and his Ph.D. in 1993. He is the founder of the art production and management company Kaikai Kiki, which evolved from its predecessor, the Hiropon Factory founded in 1996. 

Murakami is well known for his high-profile projects with brands such as Louis Vuitton, VANS, shu uemura, Issey Miyake, Lucien Pellat-Finet, Roppongi Hills and ComplexCon, as well as collaborations with musicians such as Kanye West and Pharrell Williams.

 

Images courtesy of Vancouver Art Gallery.

http://www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/

Vancouver International Film Festival

Style in Film Series

Orson Welles said it best: "Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn."

Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) has curated a Style in Film series at the Vancity Theatre which shines a spotlight on those people who demand it: the artists, the designers, the photographers and their muses...The folks who know their true value and aren't afraid to flaunt it.

Through documentaries which give an insight into the compelling lives of prominent figures in the fashion industry, as well as a stylish comedy, VIFF has showcased a worthy lineup of movies.

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Dries (2017)

First up, a film on the life of Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten. Filmmaker Reiner Holzemer documents the life of Dries over an entire year, outlining into the steps that go into creating a collection, as well as the emblematic fashion shows that bring his collections to the world and have become cult ’must sees’ at Paris Fashion Week.

We delve into the daily difficulties of running an independent fashion label. Dries, a true artist, can be found backstage at his runway shows meticulously adjusting models, proving that every little detail counts. He exclaims he doesn’t appreciate the word ‘fashion’ as he thinks of his work as more as an artform, and this word could never do it justice.

Through the documentary we see a serious but passionate man, who is humble about his work and his life. Dries speaks candidly about his biggest downfall, which is that he is a perfectionist. He seems sensitive to what he sees as flaws; he can’t bring himself to watch his own runway videos, even on receiving the most positive feedback for his designs.

A highlight from the film is listening to Dries talk about The Antwerp Six collective with whom he belongs, a group of fashion designers who graduated from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts between 1980–81, which really put Belgium on the map in the design world. Members include Walter Van Beirendonck and Ann Demeulemeester. Dries explains how at school they really pushed each other to work harder which led to their international success. Dries' aesthetic was the more reserved of the group, with a focus on classic tailoring and couture. He prefers a focus on more wearable garments, to really enhance the wearer’s personality.

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C'est la vie! (2017)

Next on the line-up is C'est La Vie, a French fiction film by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano. This is a stylistic comedy surrounding a serious wedding planner/caterer, Max (Jean-Pierre Bacri), who attempts to create a fairytale wedding for a couple with superior tastes. The most disorganised group of waiters, cooks, photographers and wedding singers in the history of holy matrimonies make the ingredients for a fantastically funny film.

This is a movie about characters, and we get wrapped up in their worlds as they interact with each other during this dramatic event. It's a fast tempo piece, and you can feel the adrenaline of working this wedding which goes on through the night through a series of mishaps and misdemeanours. As the sun comes up you can sense the exhaustion and sense of pride from these coworkers as they manage to turn their bad luck around.

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Love, Cecil (2017)

Lastly, we have Love, Cecil. A lovingly made documentary about the life and work of stylist and fashion photographer, Cecil Beaton. Produced and directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland, who is possibly most well known for her documentary of her relation Diana Vreeland in, "Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel". This film is created with the same warmth and admiration towards Cecil that one might imagine she felt towards Diana. The film is accompanied by excerpts of Cecil's own diaries (that he self published throughout his life). Which he always signed off, Love, Cecil. 

The documentary begins with Cecil's childhood and upbringing. We see an artist in the early stages of his career, gravitating towards the camera determined to create art. Self-taught, he knew how to "get the effect" he was looking for despite his lack of technical knowledge. This passion carries with him through the theatre at University and his close relation with the Bright Young Things (extravagant and dramatic London aristocrats and socialites in the 1920s). It was clear that he is socially ambitious in addition to being artistically ambitious from an early age, with a deep love for beauty and drama. 

A pivotal part of the film was when they focused on one of Cecil's deepest failures; his creation of a distasteful antisemitic "easter egg" that was mistakenly published to Vogue. This was shortly before the beginning of World War Two. Because of this offensive illustration, Cecil was forced resign from his established career at Vogue and British Vogue immediately. This act isolated him from much of the life and work he'd become accustomed to. Once the war started he spent the next six years as a dedicated photojournalist. He worked without ceasing and fell ill many times during the war. Cecil's photographs, some say, swayed the public mind of the American people to join the war effort. He saw this time as a way to make-up for a mistake that he truly felt horrible for. After his efforts in the war, he was welcomed back into the society he'd fought so hard to get into. 

The film gives us a comprehensive view of his life, work, and distinctive personality. There are two things to take away from this film. One, he wasn't the kind of man anyone felt lukewarm about. There were those who adored him and those who absolutely loathed him. And two, he had a deep longing to be loved and accepted. They end the film with the recollection of his death, alone and never to be loved back by the men he adored. He left the world a body of thoughtful, loving, and groundbreaking work. And quite wonderfully, "Love, Cecil" pays homage to that.

Check out VIFF's website for their year round movie listings...

https://viff.org/Online/

Let's Talk Commute Playlists

Your daily commute can really set the tone for your day. If you have a bad experience trying to catch the bus, you might feel like you're stuck playing catch up for the rest of the day. Personally, I think I've nailed my playlist, but I wanted to get a feel for what others are listening to. So, this week I asked around the office to find out what people like to hear while they're on their way to work.  

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PATTI

I usually like old music but I'm currently obsessed with Zhavia and Dua Lipa so I’ve added them on the loop! Especially Zhavia's Killing Me Softly, she has a unique voice that can calm me down (which is quite rare)!

RYO  

Right now, I’m listening to a lot of Hip Hop & Rap music. I listen to the songs Plain Jane & Cocky a lot! I always have Future and The Weekend on repeat, it makes me feel pumped and ready for the workday. When it comes to vocals, I like Maroon 5, Justin Bieber, and Katy Perry. 

FAYE 

Currently, I'm listening to First Aid Kit's new album, Ruins. A little bit of Indie Folk from Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg is so mellow for a commute, especially during rush hour.

I've also recently got into listening to podcasts. I can't get enough of The Joe Rogan Experience! He covers incredibly interesting topics with a wide variety of guests...I feel like I'm learning so much, it's enlightening. It's a simple format...frankly it's enjoyable just to listen to 2 people having a real in-depth conversation.

Deanna - aka damn good commute playlist

Personally, I like to feel like I’m constantly walking through the opening credits in the movie of my life. My playlist includes (but is not limited to) numbers from the movies Baby Driver, Man from U.N.C.L.E., my childhood favourite A Knight’s Tale, and the hit television show SUITS. More than that, it’s a mix of a little old school funk, jazz, and modern hits. 

It’s a playlist made for those fond of daydreaming and walking on the beat. Because I'm 'extra', I've created a little graphic and shared the actual playlist with you guys. Feel free to give it a try next time you're on your way to work. Listen on shuffle for maximum delight by surprise.

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PLAYLIST HIGHLIGHTS

THAT'S IT! - Preservation Hall Jazz Band
GIMME ALL YOUR LOVE - Alabama Shakes
SAY U WON'T - Brasstracks
GOLDEN YEARS - David Bowie
XO COVER - John Mayor
II VENAIT D'AVOIR 18 ANS - Instrumental - Ibrahim Maalouf

Do you guys have a playlist, or artist you like to listen to, to get ready for the work day? Share it in the comments below! 
 

New York, be my Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day

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So, it’s Valentine’s day…. and whilst the world embraces this commercialized holiday with red roses and chocolates or rather Instagram worthy spa weekends and design-your-own-jewellery, I want to go back to grassroots with a simple old-fashioned love letter, an ode if you will. But who will I address it to? New York City!

Haven’t you ever fallen in love with a place?

My recent trip to New York Fashion Week with Micro Macro was jam-packed with runway events. But in my off- schedule moments, taking a breath between shows, I got to spend time exploring the city and taking in the energy of the place. After decoding the public transport system, it seemed the city was full of open-ended possibility. From trawling through vintage stores to gazing upwards at the gargantuan towering buildings kissing the sky, I found myself in a new world.

The city is like a playground, alive with sound and movement. The activity and commotion on the streets allows for endless discovery. In New York people-watching is like a refined sport, you can get lost in it. I often thought about all the stories taking place across the city in any given moment, all the lives meshed together, tied with the common ground that they share. It's extraordinary.

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Although this was just a blip in time, the lively atmosphere of the city gave a lasting impression. The rush, the sounds, the people...New York, I love you.

Images by Ryo Nozaki

NOBODY IS PERFECT

An Italian eatery in New York.

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New York Fashion Week is a hectic time. Darting about from runway to runway can often leave you feeling tired and in need of a quick pick-me-up. During our fashion week frenzy we made a happy discovery of a cozy East Village brunch spot to refresh and renew in between shows.

The strength of the menu really caught our attention- a choice of a Classic or Bottomless brunch with all you can drink Mimosas and Bloody Mary's! From Buttermilk Pancakes, Brioche French Toast, to Brick Oven Purgatorio Eggs, there is a wide selection of mouthwatering bites to choose from. The Eggs Scandinavian was a delight with smoked salmon, tangy dressing on salad greens, and eggs with beautiful molten yokes and creamy sauce. The food is fresh and tasty, reflecting the company’s ‘farm to table’ approach. In house Italian chef Pasquale Osterico was born and raised in Napoli and is dedicated to celebrating natural flavours and delivering fresh ingredients to the table.

The fun staff and bottomless drinks make for a warm, lighthearted atmosphere. If you find yourself in East Village, Manhattan, we recommend a quick bite at 235 East 4th Street. The décor is homely and eclectic with mismatched dining chairs and exposed bricks, fully expressing the concept of perfection in imperfection...after all Nobody is Perfect.

 

https://www.nobodyisperfectnyc.com/

Images by Ryo Nozaki.

NAIL YOUR MORNING ROUTINE

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In the words of one of my childhood heroes, Anne of Green Gables, 'Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it yet.' I try to apply this principle every morning. It’s a renewal of my daily life, a way to step out with my best foot forward. Personally, I’m a self proclaimed morning person. Sleeping in on the weekends amounts to getting up between 7 and 8am! But, no matter what time you wake up, your morning routine can be essential to setting up productive and happy days.  

With January and the new year now come and gone, I like to make a conscious effort to continue with self improvement goals. Here are a few tips for nailing your morning routine...

DESIGN IT FOR THE LIFE YOU WANT TO HAVE

Treat your schedule (morning or not) like a friend and not an dictator. Schedule the things you want to do, not just the things you have to do. Does your ideal morning start with a cup of coffee and the morning paper? Great! Write it down and schedule an intentional time to do it! Knowing that you’ve set time aside to do this can make it more enjoyable. You know you won’t be rushing to get out the door, or feel behind later. What if you try to milk every last minute of sleep before you have to reluctantly roll out of bed? That’s okay too!

There are things that I have to do in the morning like take a shower, brush my teeth, put on makeup,  do something with my hair, eat something,take out the trash before leaving etc. My approach is to find out approximately how long it takes to do each necessary task, and then set them in the most logical order. For example, since I let my hair air dry, the first thing I do is take a shower.

If you schedule extra time in the mornings, depending on your beliefs and priorities, it can be a great way to meditate, reflect, visualise or pray. Personally, if I start the day thinking of a few key things I’m thankful for, it puts me in a really positive headspace.

YOUR MORNING STARTS THE NIGHT BEFORE

For me, this idea is a life saver. Any task that involves decision making, I do the night before. I get my lunch ready, pack my bag, and set out my outfit. It frees up time to do more of what I enjoy in the morning. It also saves valuable willpower energy, allowing me to have a more productive day overall. If you’re interested in sleeping in as much as possible, this is also a great plan. You can even get an extra half an hour (or more!) by planning ahead even just a little bit.  

embrace TRIAL AND ERROR

The first renewed routine you try may not work for you, but you can tweak it here and there to get it just right. Experiment with the times that you go to bed and go to sleep. As you test out new routines just remember to be self aware. It’s good to push yourself, but if something is not working out your body will tell you. Listen! 

What's the most essential part of your morning? 

Resources on productivity, morning routines, and sleep: 
https://blog.trello.com/best-productive-morning-routines
https://sleep.org/articles/keep-body-clock-on-track/
http://clairediazortiz.com/category/productivity/

FILM REVIEW: A PERFECT 14

A film about women reshaping the world.

Where? A film preview at the historic Cultch Theatre in Vancouver, a red carpet event with local influencers, media, film industry and fashion models including the main subjects of the film.

What? The first film of its kind, a feature length documentary about plus-sized models.

With a focus on 3 plus-sized models from around the world (Elly Mayday -Canada, Laura Wells- Australia, and Kerosene Deluxe-The Netherlands), A Perfect 14 follows personal journeys whilst taking a broader look at the harsh beauty standards in the modelling industry.

At some parts cutting and emotional, the film really makes you feel for these women and the struggles they overcome. A Perfect 14 grips you in showing you elements of culture that you're not normally exposed to, going behind the scenes and shedding light on issues prevalent in the industry.

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Being excluded from the world of ‘human coat hangers’ or the industry standard of 34"-24"-34", these women have faced discrimination in their work and personal life, but as their stories unfold we watch them overcoming ever more challenges. As the filmmakers Giovanna Morales Vargas and James Earl O’Brien explain at the preview event, their shooting style is very raw and unscripted, so they were not entirely sure what to expect or what drama was going to unfold in A Perfect 14.

During the filming Elly Mayday, a Canadian Plus-sized model from Saskatchewan, was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer. As viewers we get a glimpse into her journey from recovery to runway. It is incredibly inspiring to watch Elly embrace the baldness and the scars, really solidifying her mantra to be happy with your body the way that it is, and to believe in yourself. The film ends with Elly fulfilling her dream of becoming a model in New York. Her story feels so touching as it’s so genuine, and plagued with difficulties.

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“Women are as strong as hell”-Elly Mayday
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Another palpable feeling we sense in watching this doc is frustration. Ironically, plus-sized model Laura Wells explains how on shoots she often resorts to wearing ‘fat pads’ to fill out her size 14 body to a size 16 (UK), adding to her stomach and thighs. On these occasions, her body isn’t deemed large enough for ‘plus size’. This sense of irony is also illustrated through Elly’s story, when as her cancer treatment takes its toll, and she loses weight, some plus-sized model fans condemn her, exclaiming through social media that she is now too skinny. Through this turn of events, the message of the documentary runs clear, you have to foster your own source of self-love. As plus-sized model Kerosene Deluxe explains ‘we don’t need validation from other people to feel self-worth’ encouraging the audience at the Cultch, to practice ‘radical self-love as a form of anarchy’.

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A Perfect 14 is an incredible reflection of the strength of these women, showing us how to be warriors, how to be strong. We see the beauty of imperfection fully realised. The film also demonstrates the positive side of Social Media as a network to boost our sense of personal wellbeing, to look out for one another, and to come together to make a change for a more inclusive industry.

Kerosene Deluxe’s top tip for a boost of self-love- 'make a list of things that make you, you!'

How do you foster your feelings of self-love?

Film stills courtesy of http://www.aperfect14.com/