PRESSURE WASHER ART...

During my exams, I day-dreamed of the glamour of summertime. The sunshine, the sea, the sand. I had visions of all sorts of idyllic day-trips and long nights to come. 

So far, it hasn't worked out that way. 

The highlight of my week was the purchase of a high intensity pressure-washer. Much to my mother's delight, I offered to give it a go, given my new free schedule. The satisfaction of disapearing dirt was pleasing in itself, but the artist in me couldn't resist getting creative. Thus, the dragon was born. Yes, I actually used a garden terrace pressure washer to create a piece of art. Yes, I am actually writing a blog post on it. No, I have definitely not run out of ideas.



All jokes aside, it feels so good to be blogging and getting creative again (even if it is only with high intensity garden tools). 

-LEXI


Why can't we vote in the EU Referendum?

A once in a lifetime political decision is to be made by the UK this Thursday - that is whether or not the UK should remain part of the European Union. There have been countless articles, new reports, debates and claims arguing for both sides. It has been a bitter campaign which has divided the country. Should I be interested? Absolutely. Should I have the right to vote as this a decision that will affect my generation more than anyone else? Yes. Am I and other 16-17 year olds allowed to vote? No.  

(source)

Regardless of the outcome, we younger people will have to deal with the consequences of the decision. Our voices should have been heard in this debate and we should have been involved in the decision making process.

Politicians will argue that young people have not been engaged in this debate and have shown little interest in the issue. I would argue that had we been given the right to vote, we would have been actively engaged and made sure our voices were heard.

I wrote an article last May about whether 16 year olds should be given the vote, highlighting the keen interest in the general election shown by my peers and dispelling the myth, in my view, that young people aren't interested in politics. However, on the EU referendum, there has been some evidence that young people (18-24 year olds) are not engaged in the debate. The Electoral Reform Society published that 21% of 18- to 24-year-olds say they are very interested in the EU referendum, compared with 47% of those over 65. According to this article by The Independent, this is due to 'missed opportunities to educate young people about the benefits of membership'. 

I argued last year that the interest shown in the general election from young people was due to the mass of information spread on social media. With a newfound tool for exposure, every party was able to get its policies heard, and in turn, views were formed. 

Perhaps the lack of efficient and effective internet campaigning is the reason young people are not more interested in this monumental decision.


Lowering the voting age was considered in December last year, but was blocked by MPs in a vote 303 to 253. Despite the fact young people will deal with the referendum result more so than anyone else, Conservative Justice Minister Lord Faulks argued the move could "seriously undermine the legitimacy of the referendum". Thanks very much Lord Faulks. According to this BBC piece, It would have cost £6m for 16-17 year olds to be able to vote. Did this influence the decision not to allow us our voice?

What confuses and angers me most is that 16 year olds were given the vote in the Scottish Referendum. And quite right too, as this was a once in a generation decision. The Electoral Reform Society said that based on the Scottish Referendum, 16-17 year olds have higher rates of turnout than 18 to 24 year olds. I believe that if we were given a vote in the EU referendum, we would have actively taken part in the debate. The fact the voting age was lowered to 16 would, in itself, create such a buzz it would trigger interest in the key issues and spark active debate among young people and across social media.

Do you agree? If you had the right to vote, would you be taking part? Do you want a vote?

-LEXI

REINVENTION

Perhaps it's the fact the majority of my life has been dictated by the school calendar, but Summer has always been a time of reinvention to me, more so than the transition into a new year. It is also this way for the fashion world. Vogue's September Issue is famous for announcing the new season and declaring the latest trends - there has even been a documentary about it. 

This Summer is a particularly significant junction for me. My GCSEs are finally over (I still can't quite believe it) and I'm now moving on to Sixth Form to study my chosen A levels. Whilst I am still attending the same school, the structure of my life day-to-day is going to change A major difference being I'm no longer required to wear school uniform. As you can imagine, for a fashion blogger, this is a very exciting prospect. Since my style has been dormant for the last few largely pyjama filled months, I've decided to make some collages as a way to begin the process of my style reinvention.



DENIM DAYDREAM






A GROOVY SUMMER



Defining Your Digital Identity



We live in the digital age. The age where people have a unique ability to brand themselves and control their image in a way we've never had before. Something as trivial as the instagram bio can define what you want to be in this world, and even help you get there. This is particularly revolutionary for women in the spotlight. Recently, Kim Kardashian posted her nude selfie, which caused a sea headlines and responses immediately, some supportive, others harshly critical. Rowan Blanchard commented on this on her twitter, and said it best:



I think we should be grateful, particularly as women, that we have some power to control our image, and are given a platform to have a voice. 

As my exams come to an end, I'm thinking about the direction I want to take my blog, my career and all that goes with it. I have many interests and passions, many of which I've rejected from sharing on my blog on the basis that conventional wisdom suggests it is better to focus on one or two key things. This has also coincided with a recent, rather cliché, existential crisis of what I want to do with my career, even though I still have a few years of education to go. Yes, I'm thinking about it, and there are so many different paths and directions I could take that I'm wondering what choices I can make now and what impact they will have. 

Living in this age, I have a platform to share my interests, engage with others and develop my digital identity. But what do I do if I haven't really figured out my self yet, let alone my brand?

PLAYING WITH PORTRAITURE

I'm in a daze of textbooks, colourful pens and Dexter episodes. My recent outfits have consisted of a diverse range of pyjamas and gym clothes. My first exam is about two weeks away and I've yet to have any major breakdowns, which I'd consider a major victory. In case it's not evident by my lacking internet presence, I'm currently studying for my GCSEs. It's a little mundane, but it'll be over in just over two months, so I'm not too worried. 

I've lacked the time to create much, but I did play around last night with some self portraits, which I thought I'd share.


Fashion Utopias

A little slice of Fashion Week that I forgot to blog about was the International Fashion Showcase: Fashion Utopias exhibition at Somerset House. I saw a taste of it at the Print Matters press breakfast, but it was lovely to see the other countries' work too.



Above is a stunning display from the Philippines' section. The Phillipine Embassy very kindly invited me to the show, and I was amazed at their designers' edgy creations. In particular, I'm obsessed with this killer red embellished dress by Thian Rodriguez.





It was so nice to see such an eclectic range of designs, each country interpreting the theme in their own way. It was also great to see upcoming designers make their mark on London's fashion scene. If you want to read more about the exhibit, and there is such a cool range that I recommend you do, click HERE and HERE.

-LEXI