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Lights…camera…be who you are!

In my previous post I have written about fashion and technology and how the latter is effortlessly taking over the fashion industry.

 In this social media driven society, where people often tend to lose themselves to the pressures of keeping up with their circles, should technology take over who we are, as individuals, and how we look?

 Some of you might be surprised about this article. In a world where you can contour & highlight almost anything, and where Photoshop can be anyone’s best friend I want to talk about going back to basics…

 Am I living in another world? Don’t I want to look perfect? What defines this perfection after all and why do we succumb to pressures on having to look a certain way?

 Let me start from the beginning and explain where all this is coming from.

 I had a photoshoot yesterday and a very talented make-up artist applied my make up.. I looked like a million bucks! My nose was so small and I was looking so…beautiful …trouble is…it was just not me…my nose looked more like Michael Jackson’s rather than mine…

 I half heartedly pursued the with photoshoot…And everything about it was great. However again back of my mind I had this big question mark.. I did not want to look like a beautifully made up glam doll nor did I want to pose like someone I was not. While I was trying to enjoy the experience, it all got to me at one moment and I said STOP. This is not me.

 So we went back to the drawing board and thought about how we could turn this around so that it feels more real and enjoyable.


 Here are my 5 tips for being happy with a photoshoot

  1. Enjoy it! It is your chance to be who you are, cherish who you are and be happy. One thing is for sure…no one will ever look like you because you are unique!
  2. Smile! Tina Fey in Bossy Pants perfectly explains it: “If you are over 24, smile at anytime…its not even about age actually…If point one is covered and you enjoy it then by default you will be smiling, laughing actually, however keep the laugh under control as you are not at a comedy show!
  3. Know your weaknesses and your strong points. For example, I am left handed. Give me something to hold with my right hand and I’ll look as if I m trying to hit someone (joking of course). Lefties, use “your right hand”. Next, look in the camera, pretty ask the photographer to have a big screen where you can see yourself and understand what you like and do not like. You will get there…It just takes time.
  4. Handle what others tell you On the set there will be different people everyone having an opinion about what is right and what is wrong. If you are lucky most will say “you are awesome keep going” If not, some will say, that angle is not good, give me one more smile, don’t frown ,be serious… and so on. So what now? First listen…Very important! You are working with a team of experts and they know what they do! Next stop, review, see what makes sense and what doesn’t. And remember it is you there, it is your day, your photo shoot. With this in mind look again. Do you like what you see? If not what would you change? Explain to the team your concerns…You will be amazed to see just how understanding they are…Then, try again. Like with anything in life good results demand hard work.
  5. Photoshop Technology is there to stay and by no means am I trying to say don’t use it! It is after all a quicker and less painful way to fix your flaws. The only thing I’ll say is: you are who you are and people will see through your “improvements”. Concentrate on bringing out your personality during the shoot, always remember, pictures speak more than words. As for photo shop use it but be kind with your features.. You are beautiful just the way you are! Dare to dream. 🙂


Author: Adriana Usvat

What women want – Convenience & Exclusivity!!

In this fast paced world we live in, have you ever wondered how career women manage to juggle it all and still look like they are on top of the latest trends? I’m pretty sure it’s not as easy as it seems.

Constantly being on-the-go means lack of time which leads to the need to multitask and concentrate on doing multiple things at the same time. This generally results in having little to no patience while shopping.

I often go to a store and quickly look around for 2-3 minutes to find an item that catches my eye. If I don’t find anything, I go back to my phone conversation or email I was attending to earlier, before I got ‘interrupted‘ with having to shop.

For us women, this translates into either finding it difficult to update our wardrobe regularly or doing more routine visits to the usual designer “faves” because it’s convenient and we know what to pick without spending too much time browsing.

So are brands doing anything to keep things interesting for this segment of women – who do not have the time or patience to try something new every once in a while, and who want to avoid the hassle of hunting in each and every shop at a mall? Therein lies a big challenge for brands and designers: to get into capturing these shoppers with short attention spans.

Is online shopping the alternative? Are brands listening?

With this busy life, it is not surprising that 72% of the consumers in the Middle East region have purchased online in the last two years.

7-8 years ago, if someone asked me if I would like my clothes to be delivered to my office, I would have instantly said NO. This was mainly because the idea would completely eliminate the pleasure of going shopping, getting to feel and touch the product for the full experience. However today, if someone came to me with the same concept, I would just say-PERFECT!

The fashion industry is definitely moving towards the ’see now, buy now‘ movement. Fashion houses ’live stream‘ their catwalk shows on their website and social media channels, so that customers can click through to buy clothes as soon as they see them on the ramp. As serial online shoppers we’re more educated and aware of the various styles, fabric choices and trends which help us become savvy and informed shoppers, who can discern quality with our eyes even before the product reaches our hands. I would give credit for this to the information that is freely shared on these shopping websites and by the brands.

So yes, online shopping is great! Very convenient for us ’busy bees‘; but the key still would be what about exclusivity? I do not want to see anyone else wearing what I have bought.

The industry is moving faster than ever, however immediacy may not be sustainable in the long term for big fashion houses. Maybe brands should understand and involve customers and their expectations into the equation along with preserving their individual creativity at the same time. Brands could also maintain exclusivity by offering limited edition products or having limited stock. They can also get deeper into the minds of their shoppers by profiling their customers on personality, demographics and shopping behavior.

MENA’s design industry is expected to continue growing at an average growth rate of 6% by 2019, that is twice the pace of the global design sector. Similarly the online fashion industry within the region is expected to grow at the same pace. Most of the labels have their own online store from which one can easily browse and buy their favorite choices.

Keeping this in mind, I’m sure we are going to witness exciting and innovative ways in which our regional brands will bridge this gap between ’convenience‘ and ’exclusivity’.

Happy International Women’s Day!


Author: Adriana Usvat

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