December 14, 2014

Lifestyle | A Letter To The Haters On The Internet


Dearest Troll,

Are you comfortable? Good. Sit tight because we need to have a word. I'm sick of reading derogatory comments aimed at close friends of mine. I'm bored of seeing you slating celebrity after celebrity. Life’s a bitch but there’s no need to be one on the Internet.

Our generation has been both blessed and cursed with its offerings. We have the knowledge of the universe at our fingertips. We are able to stay in contact and reach out to friends and family, whether they are a few minutes or a few hours away. We can share our skills and teach others, as well as be taught by people from all over the world.  I too get sucked this world that lies somewhere beyond my laptop screen, a dark pit of never ending click and scrolls, GIFs and memes.

So, why is it that you feel the need to use the Internet in a way that is detrimental to others? Good on you for having an opinion but would you say to someone, face to face, that you think that they are a whore; that they’re ugly; that they have no talent? Would you openly mock their life choices or their weight where they could see you doing it?

No, I didn’t think so. It’s easier when you are anonymous isn’t it, hiding behind your laptops, sitting on your sofa, doughnut in hand and X factor on the TV?

You know what’s another thing that is wonderful about the Internet? You can disconnect whenever you want to and engage however you feel necessary, which means that it’s entirely your choice to leave a derogatory comment or send that vicious tweet.

Why is it that you do that? Were you bullied as a child? Is it because you are jealous that ignorant tosser you hate moved up the career ladder a little quicker? Do you wish you had as much money as that dumb celebrity to splurge on more crap you don’t need? Is that the only way you know how to show affection? Or is it all because you are also desperate for attention and craving interaction? Can you possibly explain please because the rest of us just don’t get it.

Can’t you fight for your slice of the limelight by taking a selfie with a dog or Instagramming a piece of cake like the rest of us?

Yours truly,

Millie

P.S. Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake. I shake it off, shake it off. 

December 11, 2014

Fashion | News | H&M Inspired



December is one of my favourite months; every night seems to play host to a party, drinks or a dinner, keeping me me on my sartorial toes. High Street giant H&M has made it that little bit easier with the launch of their party collection, a range of affordable and versatile pieces.

Not only is it a strong collection but H&M has teamed up with a few of my favourite bloggers, who write Zoe London, I Dress Myself and a couple of other great girls. The bloggers styled the the party collection pieces for a shoot, which you can find over on H&M's Inspired Tumblr.

The red jumpsuit is a personal favourite - I recently wore it to a launch party and the compliments flowed in all night long. The silhouette is fitted while the trousers fall loosely above the ankle making for the perfect party outfit.

Head to your nearest H&M by using the store locator here.

This post was written in collaboration with H&M.

December 5, 2014

Music | Introducing | Flashback Shoreditch


As part of Small Business Saturday, a grass roots movement that encourages locals to support the businesses in their communities, American Express sent me down to Shoreditch to check out Flashback, the newest independent record store on the block.
 
Walking into store yesterday was like a breath of fresh air. Unlike any record stores I've ever been to before, it was bright and spacious. Opening only three weeks ago, it's one of three Flashback record stores in London. It's stripped back to basics yet the white walls are lined with every record you could ever want and need. You'll find second hand CDs and new release vinyls upstairs. Downstairs is a bit more fascinating to rummage through; records sourced from all over the world sit in the basement of the store. 
 
"We have brand new vinyl but we don't do new CDs. People walk in the door with them basically," explains Flashback founder Mark Burgess. "We have a good reputation of being fair, knowing what we're talking about and being nice to customers. There are dealers who go out and scour boot fairs and bring in what they can't sell themselves."
 
Mark tells me about the store launch - they had a couple of bands play downstairs and a DJ upstairs to welcome them into the neighbourhood. He explains how he and John Patterson, the Shoreditch store manager, decided to look for a new place around the area even though they were fairly certain that they wouldn't find anything within budget and suitable but the store sort of just landed in their laps. 
 
I ask Mark why he thinks that vinyl has become trendy again - is it the old reliving their youth or the youth reliving the old? "I think when MP3s came in, like any new revolution, everyone was really excited about it," says Mark. "You could download it easily and carry it around and play it on shuffle. I think there's a sort of collector gene in humans. People like to have a physical thing to hold. All the stories of people losing their entire music collection when a harddrive has been corrupted. They're just beautiful things, records. If you're going to have an experience of listening to music, rather than just having something on in the background, it's nice to have some sort of ritual of putting an artefact on and being able to see the sleeve art. It's been popularised too; virtually every Hollywood film I've seen in the past five years has a shot of someone putting a needle on a record."
 
"We get 70 year old guys in and we get 15 year old girls in, whatever music they’re into. They're all interested in vinyl, it's not one particular subculture. It really is a mix. It's not led by people just wanting new vinyl. It's led by all sorts of different things. Bands are now releasing on vinyl. Bands are really excited about getting their albums out that way."
 
Upstairs, there's a Beyonce vinyl sitting alongside Caribou's Our Love - both equally as popular as each other in their own right and much to my surprise, Mark explains that the Beyonce album sells really well. "It used to be that you either like metal or you liked soul or you liked hip hop and there was very little cross over and everyone dug into their camps. I think a lot of the sampling culture and the cross over culture and DJs playing all sorts of stuff - a hip hop DJ will drop in a fusion tune or something like that - and there's been a lot of cross over. It's now cool to like lots of things. It's almost uncool to be fixed into one particular genre."
 
"One of the great things of working in a record shop is that you get turned on to all sorts of other music as well. Naturally, I don't go for sort of hip-hop or soul particularly but people play such wonderful things, they play the best of all genres so, there's stuff that I've never heard and completely dismissed and you just go "Wow, that's amazing" - even if it's a genre I don't particularly like, you can't help but be impressed by stuff."
 
Mark's open-minded personality translates throughout his stores and that's what makes them such a success. They are here to provide everyone with a little something of whatever it is they fancy with no judgement, whether that's Madlib, Joni Mitchell, or Led Zepplin; psychedelic, acid house or country.
 
You can shop small at Flashback Shoreditch this Small Business Saturday at 131 Bethnal Green Road, E2 or online at flashback.co.uk
 
Sponsored feature in association with American Express® - www.amexshopsmall.co.uk

Please note, the opinions shared in this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of American Express.
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