Saturday, 2 January 2016

Looking Back and Moving Forward: 2015-16

2015 may have been a rollercoaster of a year, at both global and individual levels, but we'll always be able to look back safe and sound in the knowledge that at least one thing remained constant - fashion's fixation with the flare... Whether or not the desire to escape the strictures imposed by social media and skinny jeans on our own century would have been better served by more proactive tactics than that of adopting a nostalgically unswerving dedication to the softly comforting suedette of '70s style garb, it was (and remains) FUN. Bring on the '80s... but not until I've claimed sufficient wear from the floaty maxis and jumpsuits I pulled out of my Christmas stocking, please.

From a more personal perspective, the past year has rendered me - and my life - virtually unrecognisable (as the man who, having taught me for two years up until April, failed to identify me in December, can attest). My continuing commitment to the strategy of treating real life as a Choose Your Own Adventure story has enabled me to tally up a roster of experiences I would never have dreamed of being able to add to my CV twelve months ago. Superlative highs were tempered by profound lows, however, particularly during the year's latter months, marked as they were by the loss of three much-loved souls and the narrow avoidance (thankfully) of that of another. So this year? I plan to carry right on embracing the unpredictable and unknowable in my quest to squeeze the most out of every opportunity that comes my way, no matter how inconsequential - or terrifying - it may seem. Because anything could happen - good or bad. And, however scary that may be, it's also pretty liberating...

2015: My Year in Style

January-March 2015
April-June 2015
July-September 2015
October-December 2015

2015 in 15: It was the year that...

1. The ice rink saw the maximum duration of my one-foot glides increase from <2.5 to >10 seconds, along with my first (somewhat) successful attempts at backwards crossovers and one-foot turns... Meanwhile, the aerial silks, sling, hoop and trapeze also saw some action, and, back on terra firma, I executed my first cartwheel, learnt to Charleston and qualified as a dance fitness instructor.
2. Going vegan for Lent was made more of a treat than a sacrifice by the discovery of delights such as this Brighton cafe's amazing banana-choc cake...
3. Brecht's "Fear and Misery of the Third Reich" saw me transform from nosy neighbour to meatball-pilfering teenage boy within the space of 180 minutes, via concentration camp prisoner, judicial inspector, nurse, factory worker, maid and fisherman's wife.
    4. I went RED for real...
    5. Rocked the runway at my first catwalk show...
    6. And scored a part-time job doubling for Ronald McDonald.
    7. I officially became a fashion and personal stylist, single-handedly styling four fashion editorials, one of which made it into both an exhibition and an ad...
    8. Got the certificate to prove it...
    9. And got paid... to... shop.
    10. I became the Fashion Editor of After Nyne Magazine (and perfected the art of DIY dye-stripping)...
    11. Was invited backstage at London Fashion Week...
    12. And made it onto the masthead of my favourite fashion weekly.
    13. I finally attained the pixie cut of a lifetime's worth of dreams (and nightmares!) when my short-lived (albeit much-loved) lob was lopped off live on stage at my fifth hair show of the year.
    14. I ran 10k... through the woods... in the dark... on Halloween... dressed as Little Red Riding Hood... and sporting a head torch... having done absolutely no training. Come 1st November, things were less spritely fairytale ingenue and more aged cowboy.
    15. I bid a sad farewell to my furry partner-in-crime/spoiled adoptive sibling, when Geri, our beloved feline companion, passed away suddenly during the final weeks of the year, within the tragic ten-day period which also claimed a dear uncle and wonderful grandfather.

    2015 in 15: Micro Trends

    1. That M&S Suede Skirt
    2. The Cord Comeback (+ the Super Sleeve)
    3. Suede on Suede
    4. Flared Co-ords
    5. Victoriana
    6. Flared Dungarees
    7. Lace-up Tops
    8. Skinny Scarves
    9. Trans-seasonal Culottes
    10. Fringing
    11. Boobs
    12. Cropped Flares
    13. The Ghillie
    14. The Pom Pom
    15. The Sock Boot

    2015: Resolutions Revisited

    1. Try out the following:
      • Aerial Hoop
      • Trapeze
      • Aerial Silks
      • Skiing
      • Synchronised Swimming
    2. Go to gymnastics classes every week, schedule-permitting
    3. Practise at home every week - by the end of 2015, be able to:
      • Execute a perfect handstand
      • And cartwheel
      • And back walkover
    4. Take a regular meditation/bioenergetics course
    5. Take dance classes in new styles, inc. lambazouk
    6. Take singing lessons
    7. Go vegan for Lent
    8. Film a YouTube lookbook
    9. Cut my hair again
    10. Keep up the good work re: masterplanning and detritus minimisation

    2016: Resolutions

    1. Try out the following:
      • Synchronised Swimming
      • Swing Dancing/Lindy Hop
      • Zouk
    2. Go to gymnastics classes at least three times a month
    3. Work on upper body strength at home - by end of 2016, be able to:
      • Kick into a freestanding handstand
      • Execute aerial inversions in the absence of abject terror
    4. Give up refined sugar for Lent
    5. Publish written articles in at least two publications - and on at least two new subjects
    6. Style and publish at least two fashion editorials
    7. Pitch my secret pet project to potential investors
    8. Teach at least one dance class
    9. Take singing lessons
    10. Act in at least one play or film project

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