IMG_8061As we get older, it can be so hard to hold on to our creativity. Even those of us who are the ‘creative types’ can get stuck in our own ruts. Mine is colour, or more specifically lack of it.

Recently, Julie Burstein delivered a talk on how we can kickstart our creativity:

I was so inspired by Julie’s 4 lessons in creativity that I undertook my own creativity audit:

1) Experience: my weakest area. I’m often too busy planning ahead to experience the here and now;

2) Challenge: without poor finances in my younger years, I would never have started creating my own clothes;

3) Limitation: I’m getting better at this, I used to see my poor photographic skills as a hindrance but it’s prompted me to develop my illustrative skills instead;

4) Loss: I always used to draw and paint with my dad; only years after his death did I begin to revisit those skills.
Going forward, I intend to enjoy the creative process and life’s experiences.


Fashion Lessons

The more I explore the fashion lessons that style classics can teach us, the more I’m inspired to experiment with them, the more I realise how much I love fashion. Continuing the theme of reinterpreting classic designs, I’ve been investigating what fashion lessons we can learn from academic dress. Academic dress is iconic the world over; it seems to transcend cultural distinctions.There’s a paradox in these gowns: they suggest formality and order whilst allowing complete freedom of movement. The style and colour are timeless, yet are they wearable outside the hallowed halls of learning?

Forget bearded professors, these classic designs offer drama and fluidity; who wouldn’t want to saunter around in one? Dynamic clothes, as we know, can lift a potentially mundane working day. My eyes have a boredom threshold: there really is a limit to how much clone-like clothing I can be subjected to in any 8 hours. Nothing, not an early finish, nor a great lunch, nor a cancelled meeting, lifts my working day like seeing someone flaunting their own unique sense of style.

Reminiscent of the kimono, or perhaps it’s the other way around, academic dress is surprisingly wearable. Recently, draping and movement have been a recurring theme as you can see from this season’s featured pattern. This time of year it can be difficult to find professional dress which is practical as temperatures rise. Flowing lines in sombre colours are a stylish solution; they are so flattering and really capture the freedom of summer.

Summer Reading List


One of the best aspects of being on holiday is working through your summer reading list. Now half way through mine, I simply had to share some of my favourites. The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce is every bit as enchanting as her first novel, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. When Queenie Hennessy discovers that Harold Fry is walking the length of England to save her, and all she has to do is wait, she is shocked. Her note to him had explained she was dying from cancer. How can she wait? A new volunteer at the hospice suggests that Queenie should write a second letter; only this time she must tell Harold the truth.
My 2015 summer reading list:

  • Anything written by Rachel Joyce
  • Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
  • Still Life With Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen
  • Daughter, by Jane Shemilt

Feel free to share you book recommendations. Happy reading.