Sustainable Fashion By Studio Five

Spending the minimum to wear an outfit a couple of times VS spending a little more to wear an outfit for many times to come? I will fully admit I am a consumer of fast fashion… sometimes it’s just too easy to order online and have it with you in 24 hours for a very student friendly price, but at the same time spending £30 on an outfit that you will only wear twice before it falls apart maybe isn’t that great a saving after all… I mean clothes are made to be worn more than once right? Not only can it be a false saving at times, fast fashion is also not too kind to our ever so precious environment and this is an issue that inspired sisters Lucy & Kitty Pressland to create not only an affordable clothing brand, but also a sustainable one with clothes that can be styled more than once.

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Studio Five is a fashion and textiles brand based in Edinburgh that prides itself on unique, stylish and sustainable fashion and interior products. Founded in October 2016, Studio Five want to build a brand that expresses their creativity freely and contributes to the slow fashion movement that they are both so passionate about.

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Both sisters graduated in 2016 with honour degrees in Fashion and Textiles from Heriot Watt and Robert Gordon University. During their studies they became very interested in environmental issues in the textiles industry and started researching ways of changing people’s perspectives on sustainable fashion.

The brands inspiration is drawn from the natural world and their line combines illustration, photography and painting to form a collection of genderless, organic cotton tees as well as hand made organic cotton cushions, makeup bags, stickers badges and postcards. Their street-style t-shirts are fun, bold and above all: affordable. They believe everyone should experience the benefits of sustainability and hope to make sustainable fashion more inclusive by making their products reasonably priced.

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Within the first year of business the brand has taken part in several events that celebrate sustainability, ethics and diversity in fashion, such as ‘Fashion Revolution Week’ hosted by Colour Elements and ‘fashionABLE’ hosted by LocalMotive Markets. Studio Five has loved becoming a part of the ethical fashion industry through these events, as they allow new and established members of the industry to come together and talk, learn and celebrate ethical fashion.

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The sisters released their 2nd collection ‘Wilderness’ in September 2017. They were able to expand on their product range and explore new options as they successfully ran a crowd funding campaign for this collection through Indiegogo. This collection uses autumnal colours and explores the wildlife you would find up in the mountains. They have also released a collaboration collection with knitwear designer Joanna O’Brien who is a graduate resident at Grey’s School of Art in Aberdeen. Studio Five collaborated to create a limited edition collection of knitted scarves made from 100% Scottish Lamb’s wool and produced in Aberdeen. Each scarf is completely unique and perfect for the cold months ahead.

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Currently their products can be found on their website and at The Scottish Design Exchange in Ocean Terminal, Edinburgh. They have several markets coming up on the build up to Christmas including the I.D Pop-up Store at the Lighthouse, Glasgow that hopes to be an amazing couple of weekends. Studio Five’s next step is to create a ‘custom’ page on their website where customers can choose any of their prints to be digitally printed and made into jumpers, t-shirts or scarves.

Studio Five aims for all their products to be 100% sustainable and hopes to grow to be a brand that people recognise for their unique designs, great quality and hand made products.

Home grown fashion with a purpose, we love it!

Catch the girls in Glasgow & Edinburgh:

-December 2-3rd and December 16-17th; The I.D Pop-up Store at The Lighthouse, Glasgow

-December 10th; The Flea and Food Market, Edinburgh

Check out more from Studio 5:

Website: www.studiofiveuk.com

Instagram: @studio_five_uk

Email: studiofiveuk@gmail.com

Photography Credit:

Photography by; Ryan Kay and Katherine Harris

Knitted Scarves; Joanna O’Brien

Models; Robyn Spence, Holly Wheelaghan Duff, Jordon Turner and Ellie Turner

Jewellery; Ruth Lesley

Styled by; Studio Five

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Straight and Narrow Isn’t The Only Way

It’s often believed that art school is the way forward when you want to make your first step into the creative industries. Employers are super impressed when they see you went to a prestigious arty educator in the middle of the city, I mean it must mean you’re the best of the best right?

…Not entirely correct. Yes art school is wonderful and congrats if you got a place because it’s bloody hard to get in! But your full creative career does not balance on the fate of you making the cut into your dream school and mega successful artist, Paula Cooper would tell you just that.

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Paula is a 44 years old milliner based in Paisley with a portfolio that would make your mouth drop to the floor.

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What is millinery I hear you say? Millinery is the art of making apparel for the head… So that wonderful fascinator you wore to your cousins wedding is a perfect example. Paula tells us that she has been creative ever since she was a ‘wee’ girl. Drawing up the wall and on the furniture, she was lucky that her mum taught her how to channel her creativeness into something a little more productive and learned to sew from the early age of 4 years old. Before she knew it she was creating a whole load of stuff from dolls, to clothes, to cushions and even on to jewellery. There was absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind that Paula was going to pursue a creative career.

“Unfortunately I got no encouragement from my school Art Teacher who said I ‘wouldn’t amount to much’ so I didn’t really know where to channel my energy” There is nothing worse than being discouraged by your teacher… and oh how this teacher couldn’t have been more wrong! The John Downes Award for Art, International Milliner of the Year Nominee and Scottish Fashion Awards Accessory Designer of The Year Nominee are only a few achievements to Paula’s name. Although, Paula did admit she felt a little lost after her teacher so cruelly put her down; “I didn’t really focus on making a portfolio for Art School because I didn’t know what course to apply for”. Paula ended up going to study Graphic Design because it was the only course she was accepted on to, she then went on to study printing and worked in a printers for years before deciding to take her career into her own hands and following her dream.

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“I’ve always been obsessed with hats and hairstyles. When I was younger I used to go into Arnotts in Paisley and try all the hats on!” Working in print but knowing her passion lay within the hat-designing world, was undeniably frustrating; “I didn’t even think it was possible for me to ever be involved in millinery though, I lived in a Council Estate in Paisley, no one really did that sort of thing! So I was just plodding along with my Printing job” Deciding to break the status quo Paula signed up for night classes to build a dreamy portfolio while tackling her day job, she was accepted into Millinery studies at Kensington & Chelsea College and completely packed her job in on her 30th birthday; “Best day of my life!”

Shortly after graduating Paula’s career took off taking her to Australia to work with one of millinery’s top designers and now back in her homeland of Scotland she has her own thriving business designing beautiful head pieces, leading workshops and is also a business mentor.

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“Your work won’t amount to much” a prime example of don’t listen to negative people, if you believe in something and work hard there is no reason you can’t follow your dream… I bet Paula wishes her art teacher could see her now.

Success doesn’t always have a straight and narrow road.

Check out more from Paula Cooper:

Website: peacoopermillinery.com

Facebook: @peacoopermillinery

Twitter: @peacooperhats

Instagram: @peacooperhats

LinkedIn: Paula Cooper

Iceland On A Budget

Reykjavik only really came onto my radar when my Canadian friend mentioned it to me and my interest in Iceland surfaced when stunning pictures of hot baths in a snowy landscape started swirling around my social media. It’s weird how Iceland has actually just popped out of no where to become one of the hottest (not literally) destinations to visit… In fact, during my time there I got speaking to a lovely lady who moved there from Columbia and she told me that Iceland was an extremely grey and depressing place before the tourists lit it up. Weird to think, considering my impression of Reykjavik was it’s very modernised and holds a somewhat comforting vibe.

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With a small population of under 350,000 people, I was left in fits of laughter when a local guy at the pub told me there is a website for Icelanders to check that they aren’t related to a person that they have a little love interest in… pretty handy because six months down the line it would be very awkward to find out that you were in fact second cousins. Just wow!

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Stunning landscapes, northern lights and the famous blue lagoon… It’s been said that Iceland is a place for the rich to visit, and to be honest I partly agree with that statement. I bought a bottle of water in a supermarket and converted it back to pounds to realise it was a fiver – just about passed out. However, all crappy currency exchange pushed to the side… Iceland is doable on a budget, you just need to plan and be realistic.

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If you’re a ‘skint’ graduate like myself then budgeting is your life right now… but that’s not to say you can’t travel and live a little! Listen up here, because I have five top tips to doing Iceland on a mega budget:

1 – Hire a car:

Sounds like a bit of an expensive thing to start with right? But trust me when I say hiring a car will SAVE money, public transport in Iceland is ridiculously over priced and you need to drive everywhere if you want to see some of the really beautiful parts of the country. We shopped around online and got a very sweet pre-booking price, which meant when we arrived everything was ready for us to pick up and freely roam wherever we pleased. Petrol prices in Iceland are surprisingly reasonable and we had a diesel car that was even cheaper so win WIN.

(To my fellow Brits who worry about driving on the other side of the road, my advice is simple this – grow a pair and do it, it’s really not difficult.)

– Extra tip: don’t hire your car at the airport… That is seriously just taking another £100 out your pocket and burning it right in front of your eyes.

2- Hostels:

I feel as if hostels have this shadey reputation thanks to horror films, BUT honestly they’re not bad at all and especially in Iceland. Now, I was on a mega budget so a hotel or airbnb was out of the question and we stayed in two different hostels during our time there and both were super clean with practical kitchen space and decent sized rooms… Hostels worked out like £12 a night.

-Extra tip: Bring ear plugs… Snoring is not cool.

2 – Bring you own food:

This is also good for fussy eaters! My travel buddy and me packed our cases with food such as cereal, peanut butter, noodles, cous cous and soup… We only ate out once and the money we saved on food we used to explore more of the country.

Extra tip: If you’re road tripping for the day, pack yourself a little snack to save yourself having a f*ck it I’m hungry moment. The budget is real.

3 – Bonus the super market:

Pretty much the only reasonably priced supermarket around so I highly suggest hitting up ‘Bonus’ for anything that you need during your time in the very lovely but bloody expensive Iceland.

Extra tip: The country in general is not very vegetarian/vegan friendly… There is one vegan restaurant in Reykjavik and sadly it was not part of my budget. * cries *

5- Avoid tourist traps:

So my question to you is do you REALLY want to pay the equivalent of £80 to go on a bus journey where you may or may not see the Northern Lights? I can guess what your answer is and that is a big fat NO! Which then leads me back to h-i-r-e a car, simple.

Extra tip: If you want to see the Northern lights you need to travel out of the city so be prepared for longish drives.

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There you have it, how to do one of the most expensive countries in the world on my ever so restricting graduate life wage. Bon voyage!

Illustration In The Realms Of The Bizarre

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“I was always drawing. I drew bizarre things for a child of my age, I watched a lot of horror films – to the dismay of my parents. I am pretty sure they thought I was the child from the Omen for a while.” Well, you know what they say… well behaved people never make history and rebelling against your parents definitely counts as misbehaving. Now at the age of 23, Daniel Macleod has maybe moved on from his days of disobeying his parents, but not much has changed on the creative side, as he is now a freshly graduated illustrator.

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The world of illustration is extremely competitive and in order to be a success you have to be fully committed and completely obsessed with your drawing abilities. Daniel explains he was interested in art and drama at school, but naturally chose to study art, as he just loved it that little bit more. After leaving school Daniel decided to head to Cornwall to pursue his creative career:

“I studied at Falmouth University, which is always either answered with “ah cool! its nice there”, “where is that?” or “oh yeah I’ve been to Farnham”. It was a great university, and such a lovely place to be. I usually think of myself as a city person, however being surrounded by palm trees and crystal blue sea does fill you with a satisfied feeling… I’m still shocked to this day that palm trees grow in some parts of the U.K. Naturally I studied illustration, and definitely saw myself grow as a creative over the course of my study. “

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As an artist it’s important to grow and develop your own unique style. Daniel’s work can be described as abstract and often falls into the realms of the bizarre – which we love. His work has an obvious style to it, making it very easy to recognize his work; “I would say my work gives of quite an emotional feel (as people have told me) and that there is always a story or a sense of narrative running underneath it.” Like most artists Daniel admits he finds it very difficult to describe his work and says it’s down to your own interpretation.

Talking more about his work, Daniels tells us that he wants people to be drawn to his illustrations both aesthetically and emotionally; “Even though I always have an idea or story behind a piece I love people to see them and create their own idea of what they feel as everybody’s view of art is completely different.” Letting inspiration flow from anywhere – the people he meets, the films he watches or even the music he listens to, Daniel also has a keen interest in history and can sometimes refer to historical events within his work and would like to continue doing so in the future; “I do however, sometimes just have an idea zapped into my head from god knows where (whoever is doing that thank you!)”.

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Looking back, he recalls his work always having an illustrated approach and his way of thinking suited illustration perfectly. During his foundation course he studied Visual Communication, this really allowed his creative mind to go wild and he was able to figure out a design process; “it was a long time coming but I finally got there. My process consists of brainstorming, and then creating a pencil drawing that I then digitally colour. I am constantly learning new skills or ways to alter my process though so it is always on the move. I am also a big fan of texture, and constantly go through period of being addicted to a certain kind.”

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Talking about goals for the future, Daniel discusses his fascination with editorial illustration, as he loves the fast pace nature and the very open topics you can tackle within it; “being a fan of conceptual thinking this would suit me. I would also love to try my hand at poster design and book design as I feel my style would fit in well with those.” Talking short-term goals though, Daniel is taking any opportunity he is offered for collaboration and work to start the beginning of his ‘grand ole’ illustration career.

Although still taking his first steps into the industry, we were curious to know what his advice would be to someone who is in the same position as him or even thinking about studying illustration, Daniel leaves us on this note:

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“I would say just stick at it. Don’t feel let down by rejection, and learn to take criticisim as it is really your best friend. I would also say stay true to you, but be open to change. I personally feel that art in any form is an extension of yourself, and it is okay to take inspiration from others but never feel like you need to become them. Find your own niche and nurture your style and self.”

You do you.

Check out more of Daniel’s incredible illustrations:

Website: danielmacleodillustration.com

Instagram: @danielmacleodillustration 

Shop: Society6

 

 

 

Sweet Treats – Just in Time for the Weekend!

Not only are these cookies so mouth-wateringly delicious, they’re also vegan friendly! What better way to spend the weekend than indulging?

Ingredients:

  • One ripe banana
  • 2 cups of ground almonds
  • 1 cup of oats
  • ½ tsp. of baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. of your choice of nut butter (I recommend almond or peanut butter, both work great!)
  • 2 heaped tbsp. of coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. of your choice of syrup (I recommend agave or maple)
  • Coconut sugar
  • Chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 170c.

Mash a ripe banana with a fork until it’s smooth. Next, in a bowl, mix 2 cups of ground almonds, 1 cup of oats and ½ tsp. of baking powder. Add the mashed banana to the bowl, as well as 1 tbsp. of your chosen nut butter and mix together.

Then, in a sauce pan, heat 2 heaped tbsp. of coconut oil, 1 tbsp. of your choice of syrup and coconut sugar. The coconut sugar makes the caramel so the amount of sugar is dependent on how much caramel you want. Keep on low heat until the sugar starts to combine and turn slightly golden in colour. (swapping caramel for chocolate in the batch pictured below!)

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Once you have the colour, add the melted ingredients to the bowl and mix all together. It should all stick together perfectly. Then simple shape them how you want on a baking tray with grease-proof paper and bake for 15 minutes!

Once 15 minutes is up, let them cool and ENJOY!!

This recipe is great because it’s so versatile, swap the caramel for chocolate, ginger or

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For more

tasty recipes and inspiration follow Hannah on Instagram: @laceycoconut

 

 

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Stargirl – Megan Lilly

“WOMAN ARE MADE TO BE LOVED, NOT UNDERSTOOD.”

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With a funky electronic rhythm and unapologetic lyrics, we can’t stop obsessing over artist Megan Lilly and her new single ‘Stargirl‘.

Megan tells us that the song is inspired by being ‘that girl’ with the septum piercing and kicker boots in mayfair: “Imprisoned in the image of what a female should be. I can’t, won’t and do not have any desire to fit the bill. I am not the norm, love me anyway?”

Beautiful voice with a strong attitude. LOVE.

Want more from Megan?

SoundCloud – @meganlillymusic

Instagram – @meganlillymusic

Facebook – @meganlillymusic 

Twitter – @meganlillymusic

Collaborative Collage With Donna O’Hanlon

“I am a bit of a dreamer with an active imagination and I needed an outlet for my ideas.”

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Glasgow based artist, Donna O’Hanlon landed herself the dream job title of ‘photographer’ at one of the UK’s biggest high street shoe retailers and although her creative career is off to a flying start she has no plans of letting herself get carried away with ridiculous aims: “I’m kind of a realist when it comes to my career goals – I work hard, expect little and any success is a huge bonus.”

Donna first gained enthusiasm for image making whilst working in darkrooms at her secondary school. However, it was only in 2013 that she decided to go for her degree and commit to a career in photography: “I would say really think about whether you’re dedicated enough to pursue a long term career in a creative field because it’s hard work and there is no guarantee at the end of it that you’ll get a job.” Furthermore, discussing what keeps her so engaged with her chosen discipline, Donna mentions the extremely relevant topic of mental health: “I think that my passion for photography and image making in some part comes from my issues with mental illness – producing creative work is an excellent distraction from the ‘noise’. It’s no coincidence that mental illness is prevalent in the creative industries.”

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Studying at City Of Glasgow College and then on to The University of the West of Scotland, she has successfully got her foot in the door of the industry and when asked what is the key to landing your first real gig as a fully trained professional we were thrown back with the word that will always haunt you as a creative, ‘networking’. She explains that it is vital to get as many people as possible to see your work because you never know when a job can pop up. With that in mind she also goes on; “It’s important to keep working and improving/adding to your skills. Even if you sometimes feel as though finding a job is an uphill struggle, it’s important to keep the momentum going through your work.” And we say a hell yeah to that statement.

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Producing collages, particularly for the fashion genre – Donna’s work is naturally somewhat abstract and heavily influenced by her research within Dadaism, Cubism and the work of other collage artists she admires: “I admit that I’m not the best at describing my work, which is mostly collaborative. I ask for inspiration and ideas from my team members, carry out research for the concept and produce work based on my research.” As a photographer and collage artist Donna has to work within a collaborative environment on a regular basis and we couldn’t help but ask what would be her dream collaboration: “If I’m only allowed to pick one person it would have to be Viviane Sassen. I love her use of colour and simple compositions.”

Talking directly about the project that is featured, she was influenced by the Memphis Movement that originated in Italy in the early 1980’s, producing a very retro and nostalgic outcome. This was an extremely collaborative project and Donna tells us of how she was able work with some of the most amazing creative talents from different disciplines.

Fashion Designer: J.R.M Design

Graphic Design: Gabriele Tropiano

Make Up: Fiona Park & Lola Bell

Modelling: Robyn Baillie, Heather Sanford & Sarunas Kilius

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The creative industry is forever changing and it could be said that there is no such thing as a stagnant job position when you are an artist. Like Donna previously said, you need to keep up momentum and when asked what her plans for her future career are, she explains that the thought of freelancing stresses her out. She goes on to say she would actually like to land a permanent role in a gallery or even something similar to what she is currently doing, while producing her creative projects for exhibition and publishing on the side: “Being a successful artist with a style that is identifiable is the end goal.”

Still at the beginning of her career, we can’t wait to see what other collaborative and non-collaborative projects Donna produces. With a great start in the industry and a bright career ahead of her, Donna leaves us with a word of advice that she says she feels very strongly about:

“Be nice to everyone. I don’t care if it’s the most famous photographer/artist in the world or the person who cleans your office! Today’s intern could be tomorrow’s commissioning editor.”

Well said.

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Quick Fire Questions With Donna O’Hanlon

Favourite Quote:

‘Creativity takes courage’ – Henri Matisse

Favourite Artist:

The Spanish collage artist Ernesto Artillo

Tunes you listen to while working:

Upbeat tunes in the studio to keep the energy up for everyone and chilled tunes whilst editing.

If you weren’t an artist what would you be?:

I would be a musician but I can’t play anything!

Tea or Coffee for a productive day?:

Coffee……definitely coffee.

Keep up to date with Donna O’Hanlon’s work on her Facebook & Instagram.