London Tube Strikes!

London Tube The City of London may soon join their neighboring country of France in a tradition of staging a massive transportation strike! Today at 7:00pm or 1900 BST underground transportation will cease to exist… at least until Friday morning.

The strike is due to a dispute is over pay and jobs for workers and involves TFL or Transport for London and RMT a union that wants 5% pay rise and a promise of no compulsory redundancies.

10,000 workers will go on strike and an estimated £100m will be lost from London’s economy. London Mayor Boris Johnson said the strike was “ludicrous and unnecessary disruption”.

The Right to Fight for Life or Death

_45204559_74dd2ce1-0a4d-44a0-9cee-2adc957eb57dAs the topic of euthanasia has in recent years frequently spread accross Europe, Italy braces for a storm of controversy following the death of comatose 38-year old Eluana Englaro.

Right-to-die activists, along with Englaro’s father believe that the 17-year coma patient was rightfully removed from life support after showing no signs of improvement. She went into the coma following a car accident in 1992.

However, some officals of the Roman Catholic Church along with the For Eluana Group believe that Englaro was killed. There is controversy about the length of time it took her to die and the offical cause of her death.

Her death was announced on Monday during the introduction of an emergency Senate bill that may have kept her alive. Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi drafted a decree last week to prevent doctors from disconnecting her life support, but President Giorgio Napolitano refused to sign it.

This controversial issue of the right to fight for life or death is likely to continue in Europe and spark much more debate in the traditionally conservative nation of Italy.

I’m back!

Thanks for hanging in there with me…

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I held a job with yelp.co.uk for the last few months and have been running around Londontown and blogging in a different form! I tried new restaurants, visited boutiques and even danced the night away, all in the name of “work”! Since it snowed today, I thought what better chance to get online and blog…Soon the yelp UK site will be up and you can read some of my reviews!

❤ Chai

Snow Stops London

It rains and pours in the city of London… and in recent hours, snow has started falling!

Snow in London

Snow in London

This uniquely odd weather for Southeast England has thrown those in the city trying to get to work into a panic! The majority of planes, buses and trains attempting to travel across the country have been canceled. Nearly 800 flights were suspended at Heathrow today amid the heaviest snow in 18 years.

Mayor Boris Johnson stated that London is prepared for the weather change and has shut down the majority of the transportation in and out of the city as a precaution and abolished the C-charge for the day.

Mini covered in snow

Mini covered in sno

Despite the snowfall disrupting the roadways, many children and university students enjoyed the day off and the opportunity to make snowmen and throw snowballs.

This winter wonderland won’t last for long, snow is expected for the rest of the week until Thursday, with temperatures ranging from 30 to 40 degrees fahrenheit.

So go out and have a ball, while the snow’s still falling!

Forbidden Fruits and Vegetables Now on Sale

If you live in Europe and you’re use to reaching into the fruit bowl and grabbing a fresh, perfectly rounded piece of fruit, this could soon change. The European Union has voted to allow “wonky” fruits and vegetables into the marketplace.

Restrictions on the size, shape, aesthetic beauty such as blemishes and discolorations will be lifted on 26 different fruits and vegetables including melons, onions, peas, plums, ribbed celery, spinach, etc.

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Although proponents of the lifted-ban believe the rules are outdated and it is merely a time for change, perhaps the reality of the financial crisis is starting to set in across Europe.

Growing up in the “first world”, it’s strange to see oddities in food. We are taught that apples are round, carrots are straight and that lettuce should always be perfectly crisped. However, in most countries around the world, food is eaten for its necessity rather than its beauty. Those who disapprove of the newly lifted-ban will hopefully consider this prior to forming an opinion.

People who have been affected by the massive job cuts across Europe will hopefully appreciate the sale of the wacky, wonky fruit and the potential price deals that come with it… after all, food beauty is only skin deep!

Bold Statements in Fashion

Each year, fashion week comes and goes, with little distinction from past years. Streaks of bright lights fill the runway, as the world looks towards top designers in an attempt to define their own fashion sense.

However, this year as the US presidential election heats up, political banter has made it onto the runway, catching the attention of both the fashion world and the real world.

The New Function of Fashion

Notable designers such as Sonia Rykiel, Versace, Stella McCartney and Jean Charles de Castelbajac are making waves both on the runway and also in the political world. Putting their designs where their mouth is, European designers are not afraid to express their support for their favourite candidate.

According to MSNBC, Donatella Versace described Barack Obama as “the man of the moment,” dedicating her spring/summer 2009 line to political front runner. Versace describes the style of here newest line for “a relaxed man who doesn’t need to flex muscles to show he has power.”

Meanwhile, Jean Charles de Castelbajac’s models are gracing the runway with Obama inspired garments. The Andy Warhol-like designer has placed an image of Barack Obama on the front of a dress, with the back featuring the words “I have a dream today”.

Courtesy of The Telegraph Newspaper

Courtesy of The Telegraph Newspaper

Castelbajac told the Telegraph, “I made it because for me, Barack Obama is the most charismatic leader in politics today,” he went on to explain, “He is incarnate of hope, changes and youth. The ovation the dress received amazed me – as did the amount of insulting letters I have received from the United States. But I’m pleased to see that fashion has become such a powerful medium.”

Other Statements in Fashion

Prior to the start of this year’s election, fashion has long contributed to societal commentary.  In the year 2005, Dior launched a “Dior not war” and “Dior for peace” campaign, sending models down the runway with John Lennon’s song “Imagine” playing in the background.

Courtesy of Google Images

Additionally, music icons such as P-diddy have created affordable clothing lines with the Vote or Die slogan. Marie Claire has teamed up with Armani Exchange to create a political t-shirt saying “Think fashion makes a statement… Try Voting.” Although in the end it is up to the voter to decide, these bold and moving iconic statements are ingenious in creating buzz.

Chai C


Sources:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/main.jhtml?xml=/fashion/2008/10/29/efobama129.xml

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/25332218/

http://blogs.wsj.com/runway/2008/10/02/stella-mccartney-a-designer-for-sarah-palin/

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/06/versace-dedicat.html

http://media.www.blackcollegeview.com/media/storage/paper928/news/2004/10/08/LifeStyle/Political.Passion.Fashion.That.Makes.A.Statement-2472557.shtml

The Changing Face of Fashion


Fashion shows in Paris, London, Milan and New York each year are graced with glittering lights. Industry icons, alongside the rich and famous gather together in hopes of celebrating a renewed sense of style and glamour often absent of diversity.

Aside from Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks, few top models of ethnic origin have the privilege to grace international catwalks during fashion week. The process of elimination often begins well before a model walks through a fashion house’s front door.

Breaking the Trend

Famous photographer Steven Meisel and Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani have crossed race barriers in order to create the first Vogue Italia All Black Issue. Debuting in July 2008, the All Black Issue was available in four collectors covers featuring Liya Kebede, Naomi Campbell, Jorden Dunn, and Sessilee Lopez.

Vogue All Black Issue Covers, Courtesy of Google Images

Vogue All Black Issue Covers, Courtesy of Google Images

The issue sold out nearly instantly, causing the publisher Condé Nast to reprint and distribute 40,000 additional copies. Those possessing a coveted issue of the July 2008 Vogue Italia could turn over a 60dollar plus profit on Ebay.

Edward Enninful, a black Notting Hill-born Vogue editor told the Guardian newspaper, “for years, the excuse proffered by advertising agencies for not signing black models to lucrative contracts, and by magazine editors who failed to feature women of colour on their covers, was a supposedly factual, ‘they don’t sell’.”

A New Era in Modeling

Tyra Banks told tv.com “when I look at young black models today, I hope they can just walk through the doors like everyone else”. According to Dean and Dan Caten of Dsquared2 fashion, the type of models often wanted for a show is usually predetermined prior to castings. Some of Dsquared2’s shows have broken the mould by featuring Rhianna and Channel Iman.

In previous years, established designers often create a standard definition of beauty. Gucci, Chanel, Prada, etc. have long chosen models identical in shape, height and colour, with very little consideration for diversity.

However, with the influx of new faces such as Jordan Dunn and Chanel Iman, it seems the old ways of fashion forgetting diversity have started to change.

Naomi Campbell, a high fashion runway veteran has decided to personally combat racism in fashion. Campbell is vowing to set up her own modeling agency in her home country of Kenya. According to the Telegraph Newspaper, Naomi has “attacked the fashion industry and glossy magazines for sidelining black beauty in favour of fair-skinned models”. The opening of her new agency will be an attempt to redress the balance”.

In an interview with the New York Times, Vogue Italia visionary Meisel conceded, “I thought, it’s ridiculous, this discrimination. It’s so crazy to live in such a narrow, narrow place. Age, weight, race – every kind of prejudice.” As a decade in this new century has nearly ended, there is renewed hope that barriers in the fashion industry will also soon pass.

Photographer Steven Meisel, Couresy of International Center of Photography

Photographer Steven Meisel, Couresy of International Center of Photography

Chai C

Sources:

http://news.softpedia.com/news/All-Black-Vogue-Italia-Preview-88490.shtml

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2008/jul/27/fashion.pressandpublishing

http://shop.ebay.co.uk/items/__Italian-Black Issue_W0QQ_nkwZItalianQ20BlackQ20IssueQQLHQ5fBINZ1QQ_dmptZUKQ5fMagazinesQQ_trksidZp3286Q2ec0Q2em301?_trksid=p3286.c0.m301

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/06/18/style/0619-BLACK_index.html

http://nymag.com/daily/fashion/2008/06/uveiled_italian_vogues_allblac_1.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/2213181/Naomi-Campbell,-Iman-and-Jourdan-Dunn-grace-Vogue-Italia%27s-all-black-issue.html