quiestnina

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STAY ALIVE.

I do not even have the slightest bit of a clue in how to start this. Yes, the imagery will clearly not fit the theme of the post, but due to recent happenings in society, it just felt utterly wrong to publish an article about a January blues playlist than actual mental health problems.

The mind is a genius construct of biology, developed over thousands of years, and probably the most complicated network that humanity has ever met. Everything is connected, describes its complexity best. Joy, love, happiness happens there until you are drunk on endorphins. But it also has its dark sides, darker than any dark side you’ve ever had to face. Sadness, pain, loss, self-doubt, hate… the list is infinite.

The mind, embedded in our heads, invisible to the outside.

You only know what’s going on in your own mind.

Never in someone’s others.

You never know what’s going on.

A smile does not mean that they are happy. A tear might not mean that they are depressed. Be mindful with others, your judgement and your actions.

As a person, who had and still has to face a rollercoaster of a constant up and down with her mental health, I was shocked that the media, the pressure of the public eye and the heavy judgement has the power to drive someone to death.

In my lifetime, I cannot imagine, how this would have possibly felt, and my thoughts are with Caroline’s loved ones.

I, personally, even though I do struggle, still and will always count myself as lucky, to never have had suicidal thoughts by myself. Nevertheless, I have encountered people in the past, who were in my close circle of people who were suicidal. Once, when I was very young, a person who was close to me and my family tried to take her life. In order to protect her privacy, I won’t go into detail. All I can remember was that I could not understand it. I was angry that she would do this to herself and the people who deeply loved her. My body numbed the pain about it out, I couldn’t understand her, the world or anything else anymore. After it happened and she survived, it took me a long time to get back into the normal swing of things. Today, I say that I should have behaved in a different way, but I am also a lot older than when it happened.

However old you are, it feels truly devastating. Like someone wants to rip your heart out and hurt it. At the same time, you feel like you are in chains, as you can’t really do anything apart from offering help and support, which means in a lot of cases already the world.

The point that I want to make with this story, that suicide is surprising for everyone around the victim, but not for the victim itself. For them, it seems like the only option to get out of their mind that is killing them.

And as an outsider, you don’t see what battle or war might be going on in their head right now.

You don’t know how long they have already had to fight their demons.

Please never assume or even think that you know more about someone else’s mind than they do. Cause if we want it or not, we actually never know what is going on in another person.

Be nice, be kind, be understanding- you never know.

If anyone who reads this post is clearly struggling, please contact a charity such as Mind charity or talk to someone.

Your loved ones rather have you opened up and sad, than not at all.

You, whoever you might be, you are loved.

Communication is key, and there is a way out of this endless labyrinth where there seems to be no exit.

Trust me.

Nina X

PHOTOS BY FRANKIE LOLA.

I know the imagery does not fit perfectly, but in this case, the words might be more meaningful.

feeling blue

Glitter, gold, and glamour everywhere. Smiles, people packed into a million layers of clothing wherever you look. Besides commercial music, you hear the beeping sound of paying debit cards, on their road into the overdraft. Food everywhere. The media landscape is packed with emotional manipulative advertisements, trying to make us crave things we do not need. Festive outfits, a million for each occasion. And all that fuss just for someone’s birthday who already died. The festive season, for some of us joy, for others the road to depression.

Welcome to January, everyone’s least favorite month, as it is the slight reminder, emotionally and financially that the festive fun is now over. The decorations get taken down, the overdrafts need to be paid back and the festive weight needs to go as well.

I could rant on about how much of a social construct Christmas is nowadays, but there is no point, it won’t change anything.

Welcome to January also means welcome to the blues. Feeling blue. Overwhelmed for what is to come in the following twelve months of the typical year rota, feeling tired from festivities and guilty for not making any new year’s resolutions. Everyone keeps complaining about their pointlessness. For the past 21 years of my life, I have been feeling quite lucky as I never felt the January blues. The January blues felt like a phenomenon to me, an emotion that seemed to catch everyone at some point apart from me.

But this year, it hit me hard.

It might be common knowledge now, at least for people following my social media, that I have moved back again. My time in North America came to an end, the jetlag and the general tiredness kicked in. Having lived in a city with an extreme working pressure for the past couple of months, burned me out. I can’t picture a day I was living in Toronto, having a lie-in or whatever, work became my purpose in life. Coming back to my old life, I needed to take a break from it all, including the internet. It was all too much at once for me. Now, being back for one and a half months now, talking about it feels weird. It feels like I have lived in another world, which I probably have to a certain extent.

It feels like a very intimate time of self-discovery, reflection, and growth and believe me, it is hard to put that into words. One of the most important things this place has taught me is that until you don’t go through something by yourself, you cannot really understand it. Stimulation is not feeling.

Stimulation will only bring you a taste of what things could be, leaving out the ugly parts of the big picture. Toronto was very different from what I imagined it to be. People imagine things different than they are.

Imagination has the great power to take over us, telling us things that aren’t real in the end. My experience was subjective in the end, and I can’t take anyone out of their vision, their imagination of a certain place. That’s what makes it hard to tell people the truth about the experience. The stimulation in our minds overweighs the truth and makes us reject reality. Escapism is a well-practiced activity for everyone.  

I know that this text might feel like gigantic chaos in my mind, and to be honest that is the truth.

But we all know, even the most ginormous chaos will make sense at some point. Life will untwist all its confusing plot twists. Everything will fall back into its constellation. Let it happen.

DRESS: ASOS, JACKET: VINTAGE

Nina x

PHOTOS BY CHLOE DAVIES.

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