The History of the Corset Podcast – Part 2

Part two of the two part series created for The Amelia Scott. This podcasts concludes the history of this iconic garment, bringing it up to contemporary dress. Referencing the collection of The Amelia Scott (formally Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery).

The History of the Corset Podcast – Part 1

Click on the link below to hear the first part of my two part duo on the history of the iconic corset. Created for The Amelia Scott, formally Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery, and referencing The Amelia’s wonderful historic underwear collection.

My Mates Create – Part One

All About Bee ๐Ÿ

I’ve known Bianca, or Bee as she’s known to me, since I was 12. We went to Secondary school together and shared a love of dance music, raves, and general mischief. We then worked together for an insurance company in the late 90s but lost touch in mid adulthood. Then dance music and motherhood brought us back together again ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ˜„

Bianca has always been a creative force, but recently she has started to explore this side to her more through photography. Combining two of her biggest passions, photos and the club scene, Bee has been experimenting with street photography, documenting her daily life and experiences, as well as taking professional pics for DJs and promoters. I asked Bee to tell me why her art is so important to her. Here she explains why.

Iโ€™m a 41 year old mother of one son finding art and photography many years after not doing quite as well as I had wanted to in GCSE art. I had good ideas but lacking in confidence I had terrible execution of those projects. I always appreciated art and also loved music and loved sitting going through my parents LP collection pouring over the images on this album covers. One particular iconic image always sticks in my mind- the bright fork of lightening flashing across the album cover – The album being Dire Straights โ€˜Love over Goldโ€™.

A catalogue or rather an avalanche of personal problems last year drove me to

to seek help and heal myself.

I started writing poems and began writing ideas for a childrens book so I knew I needed to express myself creatively, waking up at crazy times in the morning with poems already formed in my head ready to record and write down .

Iโ€™ve been taking photographs for a while so it was there all along but because my confidence was at an all time low I couldnโ€™t put any work out there.

Thatโ€™s a shorted version I guess but I feel like Iโ€™ve found a way to channel the hurt and upset to rebuild my life .

Itโ€™s a positive way of re-directing emotions and a form of therapy as Iโ€™ve also experienced depression and found working on my images calming and I get totally absorbed in creating.

When Iโ€™m out and about I might see an object, a person a certain light that I feel feels right and I get lost in that image and the feeling of that image.

This has really helped me to focus and reconnect with people and life when I thought that I had no hope essentially, I felt that low.

So from my photography/art however you want to label it, itโ€™s connected me to so many people, largely DJs I know , connecting them with other DJs who have reached out to me through my art and Iโ€™ve been getting so much positive feedback from them, other artists and photographers.

To sum it up itโ€™s been a lifeline.

Follow Bee and her photography on Instagram @honeybeephotography2020

Ready for The Roaring 20s? F*ck yes!!!

2009 to 2019 a decade of self care and self discovery.

So I’m now ready to leave you 2019 and start my next chapter. What a difference a decade makes hey? You’ve been been both wonderful and full of wank. But undoubtedly truly transformative.

I’m not the same women I was in 2009. What’s changed? I learned not to give a shit about what other people think. It has been the best present I could ever have given myself and has completely changed my life. It’s allowed me to find myself, understand myself, and finally be free.

It didn’t happen overnight, and I’m not totally there. I still get a pang every now and then of ‘but what might they think’ or a dose of good old comparison culture (that bitch gets us all from time to time) but I am now self aware enough to give myself a talking to and wise up when I’m tempted to deviate from my true self.

I think this happened both consciously and unconsciously. I over came some massive challenges mid decade and when you have any huge hurdle to overcome, and you do, you feel like you can fight again and your whole perspective changes.

Yet despite on paper being ‘an achiever and a survivor ‘ I felt like something was missing. I also thought is this it? Is this whirlwind of a life constantly juggling my family and work really it? I didn’t feel like me. I felt I had to pretend to be someone else. That if I was my true real self I’d be judged. And judged badly.

I worried I wasn’t a good mother. A self made anxiety I’ve had since having my first child at 21. I felt I had something to prove. Like the world was judging me as a mother and a person. The world gym slip mum had been banded around earlier in my motherhood journey, and it made me feel like shit.

I also worried I wasn’t good enough at work. Not as bright or quick or clever as the others. The ones who had been to the top unis, done internships at fancy museums blah blah blah. I worried my house wasn’t big enough or as fancy as it should be at my age. All that bullshit that gets peddled to us.

I thought that I wasn’t from such a nice area, didn’t speak the same, that the fact I liked to go out, was a bit louder and had a love of leopard print, big hoops and bucket load of glitter wasn’t appealing. I thought i needed to contain or hide many things I liked that others around me didn’t. Then I realised that it was just these things that made me me. They made me Jules.

I started to make little changes. I got fitter, ran, eat better, and generally learned to look after my body and mind. I rediscovered my love of fashion and of course raving. I wore what I wanted, ignoring main stream style and making up my own wardrobe. I basically stuck two fingers up to conformity and did it my way.

This is the decade that I got me back. The judgement of others mattered less until it didn’t matter at all. I concentrated on me and found who I was as an adult, and as a woman, by just paying attention to what actually made me happy. I realised I’d spent the last 20 years from my first pregnancy being incredibly hard on myself and not listening to what I needed. Denying who I really was.

Our society loves martyrs. It loves to make women feel guilty and praise sacrifice. The patriarchal bullshit that encompasses us points like a judgey naggy finger. You’re fucked no matter what you do. If you work, stay home, have sex be celibate, be thin be fat. It’s never right and it’s never enough. But get this. None. Of. It. Matters. Repeat. It does not matter not one fucking bit.

Our choices as women, as mothers are ours. And ours alone and the only person you need to answer to is you. Sure you’ll make mistakes but who doesn’t. Your human not a stepford wife robot.

So if you do one thing this year. Learn to not give shit. This is not narcissism. This is self care. If you don’t know what you need how the hell is anyone else meant to know?

Happy 2020 lovers. Here’s to continuing cause a ruckus is wherever we go ๐Ÿ˜˜

The Bikini ๐Ÿ‘™ – Love It Not Loathe It

The humble bikini it can be your summer best friend I promise. No matter what your shape and size there is a two piece out there for you. Let me tell you more….

Of course there are also some wonderful one piece swimming costumes and the choice these days is huge – they certainly don’t have to feel frumpy and matronly. Yet for me the bikini holds some special magic and here’s why:

You don’t get as hot and sweaty as in a one piece

There are so many more styles to choose from

You get to show off more of your wonderful body (and yes all our bodies are wonderful)

You get to feel free

There can be less tan lines

They’re super glamorous and when you get it right, make you feel amazing

So how to get it right? Well firstly let me be quite clear. There are no rules here. This is YOUR choice. Bugger the don’t wear a bikini because I’m this size, had babies, over 30, too fat, too thin malarkey. No. If you want to wear one, wear one. And the one you wear needs to make you feel comfortable and glamorous.

For some of us, this does require a bit of work and adjustment to the mind set. If the bikini fills you with dread here are some steps to take. Try on different styles until you find one that makes you happy. Like I said there are no rules. I’m not going to say if you have massive knockers only go for underwired supportive jobs. Nope. If you want to show of those glorious assets in a triangle top then do it!

Equally if you have small boobs (like me) don’t feel you need to add padding (unless you want to of course) and don’t be scared of more revealing tops. All boobs are beautiful in all their many variations of shapes and sizes ๐Ÿ‘™๐Ÿ˜Š

Bottom wise, high waisted are super flattering on most figures and have a fun retro feel but can make you quite hot ๐Ÿฅต

However my go to bikini happy place is a triangle string. I find them super comfy and versatile (easy to make strapless if you tie the neck string round the back). New Look always have a great selection at super prices ๐Ÿ™Œ

Halter necks are also very glam, and bottoms can come at a variety of waist shapes and styles. Don’t think the Brazilian or thong shapes are just for 20 something bums. Nope. They can be for you too. Have a play in the dressing room and see what works for you.

Also think about accessories. They can totally add to your glamorous beach look and give you more confidence. Try a pretty sarong, scarf, or kaftan.

Add a hat, bracelet, earrings, turban or headwrap. Just like for any other outfit you can dress bikinis up or down ๐Ÿค—

No for the harder bit. The mindset. We have it drummed into us from such a young age that we have to be bikini perfect to wear one. Magazines, tv, insta and models all looking slim, toned and airbrushed to shit. None of this is real. Repeat now – none of this is real!!!!

Bodies cone in all shapes and sizes. And our own bodies change over time. They are meant to. We are not meant to look cryogenically frozen for all eternity. They are meant to move, wobble, dimple and be strong. They also look totally different depending on how we move, stand, and sit. Depending on what we eat, whether we have our period or not and so many other factors. This is normal.

Of course we should look after ourselves ,eat well, exercise and moisturise, but as part of our normal routine. We should not have to change the way we look to put on a bikini.

If you think this, then you need to have a social media cull. You need to have a feed that shows you real women, different shapes and sizes and different ideas. Some great instagram accounts to follow (if you don’t already) and that continue to inspire me with bikini and body love are below:

@stylemesunday

@theslumflower

@rubyrare

@thefttimes

@sulkydollstyling

@womenwithsparkle

@livethreesixty

@myageisirrelvant

@astridiwantyouinmylife

All these women are bad ass queens who rocked the shit out of there bikinis this summer. Like me they still have body hang ups sometimes. Some of us are further along our self love and body acceptance journey than others. But all of them love their bodies for what they are, and celebrate them for their uniqueness.

So I hope this post inspires you to get that bikini on and make some memories. The kids are not going to see a wobbly belly, they will see their mum having a wonderful time with them on the beach. And your mates, partner and anyone else who sees you will think, wow ๐Ÿ˜ฒ look at that babe rocking her own unique summer vibe ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ‘™

Most of my bikinis here are ages old so I’ve had a quick scout on two of my favourite high street brands (New Look and ASOS) for some inspo available below. Good luck and remember how beautiful you are ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ‘™

Big love Jules xx