Retiring a Pair of Shoes

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My dad bought these shoes for me in 2007, when I was in grade 8. I’ve worn them throughout the weeks for a good ten years. They’ve seen many things. Why just dump them out? Being sentimental, something key for sustainability and connecting with Nature, I decided to put them on display for a while, until, perhaps I’m able to frame them in some way. It’s great to be able to look at a pair of worn out shoes, (that aren’t necessarily completely worn out, although the more worn the better, I guess), and to feel nostalgic for all the places and memories you walked with them in.

If you don’t care much for your shoes, don’t buy them, and don’t just toss them in the garbage. Hack them, and make them into something else (a planter?), or drop them off at a convenient shoe recycling location (Thanks Nike).

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-Le Flâneur

The ‘new’ Renaissance

 

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I was reading some of Vivienne Westwood’s published diary and came across her thoughts on the renaissance era we are currently living in, an era where ancient knowledge is being re-discovered.

During the Renaissance period between the 14th and 17th centuries,  ‘Basic, common-sense “truths” that had stood un- questioned for centuries, even millennia, were eroding away. The Earth did not stand still. The sun did not revolve around it. The “known” world wasn’t even half of the whole. The human heart wasn’t the soul; it was a pump. In mere decades, printing boosted the production of books from hundreds to millions per year, and these weird facts and new ideas traveled farther, faster than had ever been possible.’

Ancient texts dating before the time of Christ that live on in many of today’s indigenous cultures tell us many things about what life is all about etc. that seem to be re-surfacing in today’s trends. Things like, understanding that plants and trees are all networked together and communicate with each other, and that plants and water react to the emotions you share with them. People are cutting meat out of their diets, questioning the ‘status quo’, and demanding sustainable living. Instead of the printing press, today we have the interwebs, accessible to more and more people around the world, helping them, in the same way Pinocchio became a real boy through his educational struggles, become not puppets, but real men and women, boys and girls, who live from their hearts, minds, bodies, and souls.

Carry on, people of the world, be yourselves, be courageous in Love, and in the process of practicing Love you’ll directly be re-connecting to Earth and putting a halt to climate change. #climaterevolution #fashionfutures #love #peace #earth #justbe

 

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-Le Flâneur

Why do I choose to go vegan?

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It’s hard being vegan. Even for someone like me. I ate cheese yesterday, but didn’t realise I ordered it, but I ate it anyways, because it was in front of me, and I was weak. I ate feta and cream at brunch today. There is regret. It takes a lot of effort to be yourself in today’s world. I didn’t forget to thank and pray for the cows and goats though. You can only pray so much however and if you aren’t taking any action the praying probably isn’t coming from the heart.

So it’s ‘Veganuary’, as disgusting as that may sound to some… But hey! The Animal Agriculture Industry is the number one contributor to green house gases and human induced Climate Change.  And if, unlike Trump, you hopefully believe that climate change is real, like me and many others, you’ll decide to go vegan, at least a couple times a week, if not everyday.

Choosing to go vegan however hasn’t just been an ethical issue; being vegan has provided a number of quality of life benefits (aside from making me less anxious and more hopeful that Climate Change will slow down if more people go vegan):

-clear skin

-higher energy levels

-lower food bills (in theory, as meat becomes less and less subsidized, and more vegetables and other crops are planted to feed people and not livestock).

But where do you get your protein from?

When people say that plants have feelings too… Plants don’t show the clear feelings of fear and pain that cows, pigs, chicken, and fish do. Plants don’t quite run away. Plants were designed to be harvested. Humans designed ways to hunt and kill, by choice. Have you ever seen or read about a man killing a deer, antelope or cow just with their teeth? Nope humans aren’t lions.

The milk of other animals was meant for the babies of those animals, not for humans! 

And if you think that the dairy industry in Europe is humane, small dairy farms seem to be quickly disappearing

And unless you really know where your eggs came from…  Don’t eat them.

At the end of the day, since all animals and animal products originate from plants, instead of inefficiently going through animals for nutrients, why not just go straight to plants? Well maybe because more land in the USA, for example, is used for Animal Agriculture rather than edible plant agriculture, so fresh veg is generally more expensive than it ought to be…

Anyways less talk, and more action! Go vegan and plant more vegetables.

Remarks on Citizenship

A ‘citizen is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) as, ‘A legally recognized subject or national of a state or commonwealth, either native or naturalized.’ Citizenship is, ‘The position or status of being a citizen of a particular country.’

Following Theresa May’s speech where she said, ‘If you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere’ indeed makes literal sense in line with the definition above. Yet as the Prime Minister of a nation that was a key player in propelling globalisation in the first place, May does not take into account the semantic leap of what the phrase ‘citizen of the world’ means. The OED defines this phrase as: ‘A person who is at home in any country.’

Indeed, you do not have to be a world elite to be able to feel at home in any country; with the proliferation of refugees in the world who truly are citizens of nowhere, but of the world, this is an insult.

To close it all, aside from semantics, May seems to undermine what it means to be a citizen of a city, state, or nation.

To be a citizen one must actively take part in society, without negligence.

‘Being a citizen was a big thing in Ancient Greece. Education was their tool for making a good citizen that would be helpful in decisions and war. Each citizen would feel that they had a share in the decisions, which were their right and duty. And that is what it meant to be a citizen in Athens, Ancient Greece.’

Did citizens act on voting ‘Leave’ for Brexit? With the amount of people who openly stated they wished they knew more about its consequences, let alone even bothered googling its consequences before making a decision, the amount of negligence that occurred during that historic moment makes it clear that true citizens of the United Kingdom did not vote; vulnerable human beings uneducated about the world by their government were merely brainwashed by whichever camp spent more £ on marketing.

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P.S. Whenever you see someone who is meant to be serving the people wearing patent leather boots and red gloves (Think Pope Benedict XVI)… Think twice.

Flâneur-ing: West London

Walking through the memorial by Hyde Park Corner

Bumping into a protest for peace in Syria

Walking through I felt the sound of fighter planes in the sky. As a civilian, London felt in that moment like a safe haven because of its borders in a world that’s seemingly at war. Are borders real? What are borders?  The world is full of contrasts. In architecture too. Without contrast we can’t see.

Esperanto

People often ask me why I can speak a number of different languages and why. Ideally I’d like to learn all spoken languages of the world in order to communicate with all verbal communicators of the world (not to exclude those non-verbal speakers).

I was happy to have been told about the Esperanto language by a German friend over a Diwali celebration the other evening (talk about cultural mixing). Esperanto of course means, hope. It is a language originally constructed to help unite all people of humanity regardless of culture, that is often most conditioned within our minds through spoken language.

To learn a bit more about Esperanto and its cognitive effects check out this TED talk.

My first stanza

[inspired by the Nowness ‘My first appartamento’ series ]

A true designer awakened to his or her inner purpose doesn’t only design products to fulfill material desires, but simply designs life for transcendental sentiments that in turn won’t cause any suffering. When a true designer designs his or her own living space, it becomes a temple, a sanctuary, a place of refuge. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just thoughtful.

| Snappets of my first stanza (room) at the Sir John Cass building in E. London |

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Leo at Broadway Market

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When a good friend you went to college with in Upstate New York, tells you, when you meet in Taiwan, to meet one of his friends from Taiwan (who’s studying Fashion) when you’re in London… It’s always amazing to meet up and realise the global network of humans today.

Write about what you wore today…

I find it quite enjoyable to reach into my wardrobe through my mind and pick out what I’m going to wear. Ever since I started memorably choosing my own clothes about 12 years ago, I have developed my own intuitive system for putting my look together.

My wardrobe is a well-kept library indexed in my mind. At the moment it is rather small and mobile, but it is remarkable at what one can do by mixing around a few primary colours on a palette.

The impulse that pushes me to reach into the mental representation of my wardrobe in my mind stems first from what feeling or feelings I project onto the occasion that I am preparing to dress for. After the feeling or feelings have been confirmed, the feelings then intuitively lead me to a number of garments that throughout my experiences with them, associate with that or those particular feeling or feelings.

Indeed, as I previously described my wardrobe as a well indexed library in my mind, each of the garments in my wardrobe are like a book with sentimental values, stories, and information embedded into their fibres. The ‘words’ embedded into my garments develop over time through a multitude of my senses in response to the garments themselves, in addition to the places and experiences I have had wearing them.

Throughout this intuitive phase of bringing together feelings and garments, the physical limitations of the weather (both meteorological and astrological) come into consideration. If the weather doesn’t quite match, the intuitive look creator/ research engine in my mind recalibrates until a match is found between the wearables chosen for their sentimental values, and the weather patterns for the day.

When the mental search and selection is complete, I then reach into my physical wardrobe and make sure that the clothes I have mentally selected are ready to be worn. I then assemble the look onto myself and peer into the mirror for a good thirty seconds and make sure that the physical look in front of me matches the look that I calibrated in my mind.

If on rare occasion I see something off with the physical look assembled onto my body, I make the proper adjustments, either rolling up a few sleeves or pant cuffs, swapping sunglasses, tying up the hair instead of letting it down, or changing the top or shoes completely after a last minute rapid fix-up search and selection from the mental library of my physical wardrobe.

When the shoes are on completely, the scents set, the eyes and the nose checked for any debris, and the look is deemed completed and ready for movement, I then proceed to look into my own eyes in the mirror, smile, tell myself I look great, and then proceed out to the occasion.

Today (rather 27 days ago), I was feeling light, flowy, and a bit magical. High on life as per usual. I wore a large flowy priestly men’s top, similar to a kurta, by Biasa, a small boutique in Bali founded by Italian designer Susanna Perini. Given the unblocked rays of sunshine outside, I paired the long shirt with a vintage pair of Lucky Brand faded blue jeans, metallic silver Onistuka Tiger high top sneakers, a John Hardy silver chain bracelet, a slim silver ring, my chanting beads from Thailand, and my father’s light reversible grey cotton-black linen Shanghai-Tang jacket. Looking in the mirror I knew the look sat well with my intuition, and by the time I stepped outside, it suited well with the weather as well.

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