quiestnina

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oh well, live a little, my dear.

Sometimes I just prefer the smell of fresh air blowing through my hair. Sometimes, I just prefer feeling things instead of imagining them. Sometimes, I need to live a little before I can write about it. Sometimes, real life feels better than my vivid imagination.

Sometimes, it is time to live.

And now, dear world, this is my return to the internet.

Life in the past 365 days has been a wild mixture of very high ups, but we all know the higher we dare to fly, the harder we can fall. It is all about taking all those risks, that could make your whole life fall apart within moments, just in a blink of an eye. All those juvenile decisions we end up making anyway, we might regret after but not for long as there will always be a way to escape our dear reality, which can be too real to face it sometimes. The past 365 days feel like two completely different eternities, and it feels hard to understand that it was not as long as I feel it was.

From being a wrecked ship lost in an infinite sea of tears, to fixing myself and doing what I can do best apparently, moving across the globe, to a place far away, a place where the memories couldn’t break me once again.

I have had the privilege to live in country number three, and to meet extraordinary people, showing me that the ordinary is different. Everywhere. I visited places, miles away from home, making me feel at home, and making me realise that nothing is what it seems like. I saw places I haven’t even dreamt of seeing at my young age. I saw the glittery snow on the Mount Royal in Montreal, I saw the replica of a European Ski village called Quebec City, I saw the sun shining on the edges of New York’s skyscrapers.

All these where things, I would have never imagined happening in such a short time. It feels like it happened just in the glimpse of an eye. So quick, it is gone as fast as it came, you can’t even realize it, and the moment you try to do so, the moment’s already gone. Forever, engraved in your memory. The place where it will on until every day’s dawn.

Sometimes, you need time to realize that all this happened. Around Christmas, I saw old friends. People I have met along the way, people I used to see on a regular basis. It was one of those frosty winter evenings, when everyone is covering themselves in a million layers of clothing, dreaming of warm interiors, to take off their jackets like a butterfly takes off its cocoon.

This one evening, the windows were blurry, outside you were able to see people breathing, almost like their voices became visible. Me, dressed in something between berry and purple, seeing faces that used to be familiar. Strange, what time can do to people. Everyone lives somewhere else now, building their own lives, hopefully full of joy and happiness. Everyone seemed like they are settling down, living with their partners. Me, not even properly brushed hair, nipping on my pint, hearing stories about relationships and building up a future with someone, felt out of place. Saying goodbye to old friends when you move away hurts to a certain extend. Seeing them drifting away from you step by step, every time you get to see them a little more, is even more painful, I think. They still look like your friend, but in reality, they are the friend of the version of yourself that you used to be.

Sometimes, things drift away. It’s out of our control.

And sometimes, you need to live a little to find where you belong.

After having seen weird and wonderful things in the past couple months, I might have some interesting stories to tell.

Well, I guess I am back on the internet now.

SUIT: &OTHER STORIES, SHIRT: ZARA

Nina x

PHOTOS BY CHLOE DAVIES

Evening thoughts about suburbia, fashion and changes

When I was nineteen years old, two years ago, I purchased my domain and had no idea where this journey would lead me. If I could travel back in time and tell my younger self all the things that are about to happen in her life, she would not believe a single word I would say.

Anyway, I have started this website off as a fashion only blog, but I realised over the years that fashion is just a tiny component of something, that is called self-expression. Fashion allows me to speak without even saying anything. When I was younger, I was very shy, I was even too anxious to post a picture of myself on the dangerous world wide web.

In my suburbia surroundings, the internet was this big bubble full of the unknown, packed with danger. Even though I felt too anxious to express myself on the internet as I do now when I was younger, I always looked for a certain way to escape suburbia.

I felt out of place, and when I occasionally come back nowadays, I have this weird feeling of a homely sense combined with the inner voice telling me “you don’t fit in” constantly. When I look at my old clothes which are partly still residing at my parent’s house, I see emotions of desperation, the endless seeking to feel some kind of belongingness and the unsuccessful try to cover up my bad mental health in quirky garments.

I still love and wear quirky garments but today I do it because I feel it, not because I am trying to hide who I am or what I feel.

A part of me always knew that fashion is a language that everyone speaks in a certain sense, some of us simply care more about it than others.

Looking back, what saved my sad soul back in the day was that there was hope, the hope that out there, people do exist who will not see me as a form of burden, and people who will understand me.

Suburbia has something bittersweet in itself, people go there to seek peace and detangle themselves from the toxic energy that they have experienced before, but instead of peace they get boredom. Suburbia has been idealized in several commercials, and to be honest, it might be the right thing for certain people, who need that kind of security, stability and boredom. Not everyone is hungry for mad adventures and regrets with a passion to create out there.

To me, my suburbian roots will always feel terribly connected and far away at the same time- I moved away, lived in various places and I had the chance to see so much. It still feels mad to me, that I had the chance to see more than my mother did in her whole lifetime. If suburbia taught me one thing in this entire time I lived there, it was the determination that I never want to spend my whole life in only this one place, it is simply not for me.

Fashion was my form of escapism, and when I started studying it, my escapism became my job. For the first time ever, I was surrounded by people, that love the same thing as I do, I was not the alien anymore. Before going to uni, I kept this online space mainly about fashion, as I needed a world to escape into. After having managed to keep it alive for more than two years now, I feel like this blog about so much more than only clothes. I mean, I have so many more interests than garments itself, so I really want to start to share it all over here, and not only focussing on one. I feel like, especially after the past couple months where I realised a lot about myself, I am so much more than only that “fashion girl”. Of course, I adore fashion. All my life long, it is my strongest act of commitment, and I am beyond grateful for all the opportunities it luckily gave me now and in the past. Right now, I feel like there is simply so much more to talk about, maybe that is a part of growing up.

If you read until here, thank you so much for reading all these words that just poured out my heart, it literally means the most to me.

DRESS: AND OTHER STORIES, BLAZER: VINTAGE, BAG: ZARA

Nina x

PHOTOS BY ASHLEY LOUISE SMITH

The scary S-Word

By far, starting this off, I am more of a sinner than a saint. And I know a lot of people, especially those who know me, will now bust into laughter, imagining me with two giant Topshop bags, walking up and down the Highstreet. If you are doing this, mate we’re in the same boat, I also can’t believe that one of the biggest fast fashion consumers is writing a few words on sustainability.

Honestly, I don’t know where to start. It feels like an endless, lost and long road I am still very much lost on.

Sustainability is a truly scary word, everyone is watching everyone. I am still scared about the whole thing by myself, as I am just trying my best. I am by far not where I should be.

Before climate was such an emerging topic around me, I would have probably never even mentioned the word “sustainable” on my blog. Being very honest with myself, I do not have a lifestyle that anyone who is more or less educated would call “sustainable”: I love limited edition paper coffee cups, I fly around couple times a year, I am the queen of impulsive asos orders and if there was a Topshop loyalty card, believe me, I would have the gold version.

Last year, my obsession with cheap fashion and being able to buy whatever I desired to on a very little price, kicked off and I went mad. Everyone goes mad in some aspects of life- and me, the tiny human, with a complicated soul which tends to obsession and addiction, went completely mad. I don’t even have any other words to describe my behaviour, and analysing it, I used fast fashion as a medicine to full fill a hole in my soul.

I was feeling empty all the time, not pretty enough, not worthy enough, I was always seeking validation and maybe my brain thought that I would get that if I keep up with the latest trends. Buying clothes was my coping mechanism, constantly telling myself that if I buy one more item, I will finally feel fine. The truth is, I felt fine months later, when I finally stopped in being careless with myself.

With this post, I definitely do not want to start a perfect instagramalike minimalist lifestyle and keep posting pictures of nearly half empty rooms in order to get validated. Everyone who knows me just a tiny bit knows that I am more of a maximalist.

However, my fast fashion binge buying behaviour, did obviously not lead to anything very good: when I moved out my flat in Manchester over the summer, I had a lot of storage boxes full of clothing, plus an insane amount of stuff stored at my parent’s house.

Looking back in the day, the thing that fascinated me about fashion when I was younger was the aspect of self-expression in it. Honestly, it still is, and it forever will be. When I first dived into the crazy world of garments, I was of course targeted to everything that was not available on my doorstep in my tiny ass village.

When I travelled to cities, I spend hours in an urban outfitters, and if I even only left with the most basic black denim skirt (which I would have probably found in a charity shop for a lot less money), I was happily fulfilled because of the experience and it felt like something special.

Moving to a city, going into an urban outfitters is not that special anymore. What used to be miles and miles away is now in short walking distance, and living independently, you do not have to ask your parents before every purchase like you did when you were 15 years old.

When I became so fascinated about fashion and self-expression through garments back in the day, I was never flashed by fast fashion, as I considered it as mainstream. I adored vintage clothing, whichever city I visited, I went to various vintage stores. I loved how unique the pieces are and that you might by chance catch an item that only you will have. I remember very vividly how I dragged my parents around stores in Paris or Amsterdam as a horrible, moody teenager. In my defence, I still have those pieces.

As I adored vintage so much, I kept browsing depop and etsy for ages to find gunne sax seventies dresses- I still do, I still haven’t found one in an affordable price range hahah.

Bringing it back to be beginning, I realized that especially last year, I have spent a fortune on fast fashion. This lightbulb started to light up in my head very suddenly at some point in the last few months. Spending time in north America, where thrifting is more accessible than back home, I have just realized how vintage shopping fulfils my fashion craving soul a lot more than anything else.

DRESS AND BAG: DEPOP

Also, I realized how much I love supporting small brands, making the world of retail a bit brighter, colourful, and diverse.

And again, I am not blaming anyone with this. The only person I am blaming is myself, for handling carelessly in order to fill up my inner emptiness. I am still very far away from being a saint, and being honest, I will never be one. My wardrobe is still packed with a lot of items of fast fashion brands, but I simply try to minimise the amount of times I shop there.

NECKLACES: VINTAGE, CHOKER: NEOPHYTE JEWELS

Every little step counts.

No one of us is too small to make a difference, as Greta would say it. Not even in the crazy world of fashion. Let’s use our power together and try and make one.

Nina xxx

PHOTOS BY ASHLEY LOUISE SMITH

JOURNAL NO 2

Hello Hello,

Holy mother of god, I actually started a format, the lovely journal, around two months ago, and today, mark this day in history, is the first time ever that I am actually continuing a format that I started once! For all those who have big question marks on top of their heads now, I used to be the queen of inventing formats and series, especially when I started blogging, but never continued them!

As always, you are very welcome to have a cup of tea or coffee whilst reading this (I am having tea if anyone out there on the planes actually cares about that).

I know stripping my thoughts on the internet might not be the most casual thing to do, especially now, when I am applying to career relevant internships and literally my future employer could read this, hello, so welcome to my creative mind, very pleased to have you here.

Ever since my last journal, of course, how else should it be- a lot of stuff happened. Alright, let’s start spilling the tea. So, when I was writing my last journal, I was not feeling very well, in fact I was lost in this new universe I was wandering around, called North America.

I have spent my entire life dreaming about North America. A place that is far, a place that is better, a place where my heart won’t be broken.

North America was my personal North Star. The thing I kept achieving for. Whilst dreaming myself out of reality, my mind goes crazy creative ways, and imagines things way more ideal than they are in the real world.

I have lived in many places all over, so I thought very confidently that North America won’t be a problem, it will be pure pleasure.

What I felt when I came here is very hard to put into any form of expression, I was mainly shocked what my mind was able to create and to my suborn surprise, it had nothing to do with the reality.

Some people call it cultural shock, but I would not necessarily call it like that in my case. It was more the act of realisation that I have spent years creating a world in my head, a world that is better than the world we have. It might exist somewhere, but for now, it rests in my imagination.

Living overseas can be difficult, but I personally find this phenomenon more strange than difficult. Of course, I have missed my friends, family and my home- there was no such day when I did not think about them.

I personally just don’t feel a physical sign, like pain, of myself that there is literally an entire ocean between myself and them. I have learned, when these people are close to your heart, the distance does not matter.

However, life is strange, surprising and weird at so many stages. Nevertheless, I feel beyond grateful to have the opportunity to explore various weird and wonderful parts of this world.

Moreover, I travelled a bit around as I luckily had some time off. I finally got the chance to see Montreal and New York City, which still seems absolute unreal to me. All this, my life since two years seems like this great big adventure, and not like this unmanageable depressive chore, which I used to feel like it was.

Both the places I have seen, utterly beautiful in their individual way. Montreal, a city that combined French and British culture at once.

It has those beautiful French styled cafes with the chairs that never sit quite lethal on the pavement, scented with the smell of strong coffee and cigarettes, in an environment of art deco architecture and modern brick walls.

My Airbnb host described it as Paris and Brooklyn’s baby.

About New York, I don’t even have words to describe this mekka of cultural madness and curiosity. It is a magical place, definitely one of the best places to visit in North America. It is just beautiful, full of things you love, things you never know existed, and things you will fall in love with.

DRESS: VINTAGE, JACKET: VINTAGE, SHOES: DR. MARTENS, BAG: ZARA

I finally fulfilled my lifelong dreams of seeing all the places I wanted to see, for example Beacon’s Closet (it is the best vintage shop on the planet) where I got this dream of a dress from. Isn’t it lovely.

I read amazing works of literature. I read “Just Kids” by Patti Smith, very beautifully written. After I read it, I went to Robert Mapplethorpe’s photography exhibition in the Gugenheim Museum. It really touched me. As humans, art reflects our magic, and when artwork touches us, we are touched by magic itself.

Also, I read “normal people” by Sally Ronney- very well written novel, she lets you fall in love again, and you will feel again how it felt when you experienced it the first time.

Alright, now, drinking tea, finishing off some work and applications, I hope you have enjoyed these words, if yes, I appreciate it that you take interest in my life.

I suppose I have said enough now, so until the next one. Have a good one.

Nina xx

PHOTOS BY ASHLEY LOUISE SMITH

Two years and fifty days.

This day two years and fifty days ago, I was nineteen, in my final year of a high school that was full of people who were as dramatic as the daily mail, and I was a walking ball of anxiety.

On this day, it was probably covered in gold leaves twirling around me like a fresh autumnal breeze, I published my first post on this blog.

It still feels crazy that my humble self, who mastered being inconsistent at everything managed to keep this platform alive for over two years.

Alright, back in the day, I never dreamed, not even in my wildest dreams that I would have a consistent online presentence for such a long time. To be honest with myself, I thought I could keep this up for a maximum of six months, then I will probably break down, constantly being afraid that people in school would talk about what I do and give up in the end.

Today, I can’t imagine a life without this platform. My constant form of expression, progress and the visual proof that no matter how hard you fall, you will always be able to stand up again.

I remember very vividly; how afraid I was about showing my face online before I started posting. I was so damn anxious about it. I thought all this is about my style and my outfits, so nobody will be interested in seeing a face behind all this. I worked out a million methods on how I could possibly hide my face, aka not showing it at all. As you can see, I ended up showing my face, probably because it looked simply hideous when I tried to crop off my face.

I have spent ages in trying on keeping this blog as impersonal aka as neutral as possible, so nobody could ever attack me on anything.

This took a lot of energy and did not make me less anxious, I constantly felt like I am hiding something, I felt like I was creating an online version of myself.

Feeling like I was pretending to be someone that I am not, on my blog, a place where I am supposed to be myself. It made me lose the joy of writing and sharing, and I was drowning in the famous writer’s block on top of it all.

This lasted very long, I mean I kept posting on the most irregular basis for ages, as I did not know what the hell I could write about. I felt that everything was too personal, and I did not see a sense in just talking about what I am wearing.

Looking back, my anxiety held me back from so much. I am sharing my experiences in order to normalise it- I genuinely feel like we should talk about it more to show each other that we are not alone in this chaos. Let’s hold on to each other.

However, in those two years and fifty days so much happened- I finally left hell’s kitchen aka high school (to my English teacher who told me I couldn’t write for shit- we are always wrong at some point in our lives), I moved countries twice, I finally started doing what I really love and I am slowly learning how to take care of myself.

Today, back in the day, two years and fifty days ago, I published my first outfit post, wearing the exact same dress as in this post, the only difference is probably the way I style it nowadays and the fact that I don’t have that hideous haircut anymore (I just look weird with shorter hair lol).

It is not a crime to wear a dress for two posts. It is not a crime to have a repetitive outfit on Instagram. Let’s be honest with ourselves and simply stop caring about what these mysterious “others” could say- they will talk anyway. And on top of that you are no one until you are talked about, so see it as a compliment.

Before two years, I never thought I’d have the courage to publish images of myself eating cake. I thought I will live with an eating disorder for the rest of my life. Things change. Time passes. You’ll get better.

DRESS: SISTER JANE (OLD), JACKET; VINTAGE, SHOES: DR MARTENS

I also never thought I’d do a cheesy birthday post for a website. I hope I am on the right track to create something real.

Thanks for taking your time to read this, always.

Nina xx

PHOTOS BY ANAELLE. THE REST BY MYSELF.