Friday, 25 March 2016


Here's a little piece I wrote  for The Courier Newspaper on why exactly we SHOULDN'T dress our age... 
(Published with permission)
Like most girls, I spent a large proportion of my early teenage life trying to make myself look older. Ill-fitting dresses, questionable shoes borrowed from my older sister – you name it, I tried it. After a while, much to my mother’s excitement, I realised this style simply wasn’t me, so I gave the game up and began to pick clothes more suited to my personal taste, and most importantly, my age.
You only need to look as far as the British high street to notice the obvious age-centric categorisation of clothing. New Look’s 915 range is evidence enough that as a nation, we’re very comfortable with separating style into categories which are deemed ‘age appropriate.’
However, more and more I’m beginning to notice a rebellion from the sartorial world. On more than one occasion, I’ve passed a girl in the street half my age wearing a similar outfit, and conversely, an older woman whose ensemble I’m desperate to Instagram. We only have to look at Celine’s use of beautiful 81 year old Joan Didion in what was to become one of their most infamous campaigns ever to realise that the fashion world is changing – and leaving the age-appropriate tag on the hanger.
 As I stood in front of my wardrobe the other week, I began to notice a bit of a jump between the styles of some of the pieces hanging in front of me. On the left were a few pairs of dungarees, varying in style and shade, and on my right; a cable knit sweater snatched up from a vintage shop, and an embroidered suede jacket which wouldn’t look out of place on my grandmother’s coat rack. It seems like old habits die hard, but this time, the blurring of lines between ‘old’ and ‘young’ is something I’m entirely happy with.
It seems silly in this day and age to limit ourselves by adhering to an outdated set of rules when we’re lucky enough to have access to technology which connects us with so many others across the world. When we have the means to view the OOTD of a 16 year old fashion blogger from Sweden at the same time as a 60 year old’s via Humans of New York, why stop ourselves from gleaning a bit of creative inspiration from those we admire? Whilst age parameters within context of the law are helpful, I don’t see the benefits in telling someone they can’t wear an item of clothing they love because it doesn’t fit with our idealistic view of fashion.

94 year old Iris Apfel is, in my eyes, just as (if not more) influential in the world of style as supermodel Gigi Hadid, with whom I share my age. I would much rather be a part of a community that embraced the youth for their fresh perspectives, and the elderly for their tried and tested tips than one which rigidly sticks to the culturally constructed parameters of expression we’re accustomed to.
I’m ok with resembling a 90’s mum one day and a dungaree-clad toddler the next, and I’m more than ok with the fact that ageism within the fashion world seems to be a dying trend. 
As Apfel once famously said; “there’s no roadmap to style. It’s about self-expression, and above all, attitude.”
Sara x

Monday, 21 March 2016


Like most people, I first heard of The Japanese House early last year through social media. The fact that Amber Bain and her band’s visual identity was mostly made up of atmospheric landscapes and desolate imagery, and the sudden arrival of debut single ‘Still’ captivated my interest immediately. The ensuing online hype and quick collection of fans after the release of hugely successful ‘Pools to Bathe In’ EP meant that my expectations for the live performance were high, and I wasn’t disappointed.

After seeing the gig live for the first time at the Barfly in Camden late last year, I met Amber and (after one or two wines) encouraged her to come to Newcastle next time she was touring. On a rainy Saturday, my intoxicated wish came true. I was prepared for a similar performance this time at Amber’s O2 Academy set, her very first time in the city, but wasn’t anticipating the sense of fresh excitement that was evident upon entering the venue. 

An eclectic crowd whistled and cheered at the sight of the band, and even as the singer made her way through lesser known tracks, the impressed claps and calls were unwavering. Amber’s confidence in her performance has come along leaps and bounds since the last gig I attended, and rightly so. The pulling together of her trademark layered harmonies and unlikely sound effects live is no mean feat, but one which she pulled off effortlessly.

As she made her way through her portfolio, interweaving melodic, upbeat tracks like ‘Cool Blue’ with the likes of darker, emotional ‘Sugar Pill,’ her band’s support was a credit. The low-key set was evidently well polished and the crowd were visibly leaning in to get closer to the hypnotic sounds produced by the 3 musicians.

While it’s fair to say Amber is a woman of little words, with just a brief chat on stage, she did stop to gratefully thank the crowd for their attendance, with exclamations of it being her favourite gig on the headline tour so far. It was a pleasure to get the chance to be a part of The Japanese House’s project and have a chat with her afterwards, and from the evident adoration displayed by the crowd in Newcastle, I don't think it’ll be the last we see of her.

Sara x 
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