Last Saturday I spent the day in a whirlwind of Stylist joy. I was at this year’s Stylist Live, an event that feels much like diving into the magazine itself. From catwalk trends to conversations with authors, broadcasters, chefs, and more, it was an incredible pretty and practical day. Here are my favourite moments from the show, and new trends you may not have heard of yet…
Ask a feminist
Feminism isn’t new. Nor is it a dirty word. For some reason there is still a palpable stigma attached to the word ‘feminism’, and even I balk when calling myself a feminist. Earlier on this year I said that I felt like I was the first woman in my family to be offered jobs without critique of my gender, yet there is so much more we can be doing to empower women the world over.
At this talk I learnt that it’s so much more difficult to see where gender differences come about, and ones that still exist in the shadows. Between the panel of Stylist columnist Lucy Mangan, Everday Sexism Project founder Laura Bates, author and journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge, comedian Sara Pascoe, and presenter Gemma Cairney, the topics of consent, sex ed, sexuality, rape, and internalised misogyny. Key quotes included:
“In our society intoxicated women are shamed whereas intoxicated men are applauded.”
“Women should be applauded for exploring their sexuality on the same levels as men.”
“Women should be able to walk around naked and still choose who they want to have sex with.”
“It’s not just women who need to be fighting gender inequality, everyone can be a role model for feminism.”
On the back of this, I’m making it my mission to talk about feminism more, and also support fellow women doing the same. Despite my natural hesitancy, we (men and women) shouldn’t be nervous of other people declaring themselves as feminists, no matter how they express their feminism. This could be as tame as Girl Guides earning their new Breaking Barriers badge, or as wild as Miley Cyrus grinding on yet another inanimate object.
I spent the afternoon whizzing around the venue picking up little presents for myself (everyone deserves a treat or two, right?) These included two Little Ondine nail polishes, a warming sweet potato soup, Itsu Crispy Seaweed Thins, Ombar Coco Mylk, and Estée Lalonde’s new book Bloom*.
In-between all of this I stumbled across the Vita Coco stand and chatted with the staff there, also spotting my new salted coconut face scrub recipe being used! The full recipe is due to come out on their ideas-filled website Swear By It, and I’ll let you know when my DIY is published on there too.
Resting up after this mad dash, I spent half an hour meeting other women at the event and colouring in a Stylist front cover featuring in an avocado in the mindful colouring area. I’ve always been a little sceptical of mindful colouring books, but something just clicked when I was there! We chatted about each others’ lives while peacefully concentrating on shading in with felt tips. On the back of this, I’d love to see communal colouring cafés, or maybe I should just take up an art class?
How to live Danishly
The final foray I made on the day was with W Channel in their Life Lab. We listened to journalist and author Helen Russell talk about her move to Denmark, and learning how the cultural shift taught her how to live more mindfully. Denmark is routinely voted the world’s happiest nation, and her time there (she still lives there and openly admitted it’d be hard to decide where to call home permanently) led her to adopt five new principles in her life: get hygge, address the aesthetics, prioritise your people, play do make, and share.
Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is a frame of mind free of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming, finding pleasure from the presence of soothing and gentle things. As the newest mindful buzzword, it was interesting to see how this fit with Danish culture, such as their minimalist and functional interior design. As Helen said, it’s our responsibility to work out “what we like and don’t like, what makes us comfortable and uncomfortable” and prioritising these. Coming away from the chat, I’d love to read her book to find out how to apply this more to my life!