2016

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2016 has been the year of uncertainty - I will not write an increasing amount about all politics that have filled this year with worry, but it is worth mentioning that Trump/ Brexit/ the Italian referendum/ Aleppo, let’s just say the entire Middle-Eastern conflict will, to be politically-correct, be challenging. Good news is, Obama, in his final weeks as president, is setting a variety of laws in motion to protect the environment, which will be quite hard to overturn. Just yesterday I got the news that China will ban all ivory trade at the end of 2017, so there is hope!!
My biggest hope for the next year is that it will not be guided by uncertainty, fear and ignorance (as this year has) but by humanity, strength and intelligence. And by intelligence I mean the kind that can see the bigger picture. 

On a personal level this has been a year of extreme ups and downs, but as the year comes to an end, I feel full of energy and ready for all that is to come. If there is one thing I have learnt it’s that life has a funny way of connecting all the dots, all that happens is good for something. And by that I don’t mean that everything happens for a reason, as if it was already planned, but everything that happens, bad or good, will somehow play the role of supporting character (quite literally) in your life. Everything that should happen, will. Everything that shouldn’t happen, won’t. 
The next thing I have learnt this year is that your mind is an incredibly powerful thing, it will believe anything you tell it. And that’s why it’s your best weapon, use it wisely. In the last few month I’ve done a little experiment with my self, to prove the aforementioned theory. Personally I always put myself down, thought I’m not good enough and apologised to others almost for my mere being, I hide and am insecure. So I stopped. Every time I thought to myself I couldn’t possibly do something I did it anyway, every time I was shy I forced myself to think positive thoughts about myself, look that person in the eye and smile. Always smile, because it’s actually scientifically proven that when you do you’re brains nervous system get’s the message that your are happy and you will slowly start to notice that you are in fact happier. Every time someone pays you a compliment, don’t deny it, say thank you in a humble way and pay a compliment back, people will see it in your eyes if you are humble or not, there is no need to obsess about it. Being humble is good, great in fact, but you have to find the fine line between that and actually seeing your strength. In our society we are often raised to never say something good about ourselves for fear of being vain and arrogant, but why not say something that is good about us, why do we have to hide? We shouldn’t! We should be proud of who we are and I truly believe this can still be done in a humble way. Once you stop apologising and hiding for who you are you will find a new freedom, and honestly I’ve noticed that your new found confidence is really appreciated by others. People like seeing a strong, confident (yet humble) person standing in front of them, it somehow transmit a positive and inspiring energy. 

Talking about strong people, we have lost so many incredible legends this year that have all in some way had such a great influence on my life, so I felt like I had to in some little way commemorate them. From Bowie’s escapist performances into Ziggy Stardust, to his sense for fashion and costume and the understanding that fashion is a tool for self expression that can also be used in a fun way. And this goes without saying - his music.
Someone I aspired to meet one day but time once again caught up is Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia and queen of merging social and environmental issues such as women’s rights, domestic violence, sustainability and many more with fashion. She recognised the power and the impact this industry has to once in for all swipe away it’s reputation for frivolity whilst always upholding a standard of beauty. She was also one of the biggest pioneers for new talents and new entrepreneurs, it didn’t feel like she (unlike so many others in the industry) was threatened or intimidated by them. How sad that I will never be able to have a conversation with her about sustainability and the changes we can make. Her thoughts on the matter will have to live through the interview by Livia Firth for Interview Magazine
We lost the queen of Italian fashion and the Prince of music, quite literally. Yesterday I was sitting in a cottage, on a lunch break from skiing, and Purple rain came on, needless to say - the entire place lit up singing the refrain as if possessed by some higher power and when we all noticed what had just happened we all started smiling at each other. This is what music does and this is what your legacy will forever do, dear Prince. 
Sadly George Michel didn’t wake us up before he went, went but this christmas (and all to come) he gave us his heart which will forever live on through his songs. 
Perhaps they will all be dancing together in heaven having the most fabulous parties of all times (and dimensions). Cheers to you.

One of the most exciting things I have done this year is launch this platform, which originally started as a space for me to express myself through my passions, until three months in I realised what I was actually doing (or not doing). Fashion is about a fantasy world to escape into and to experiment with, but it shouldn’t be built on other peoples sufferings. Too much pain is being inflicted on millions of garment workers and the environment just for the thrill of a one-wear-LBD. And in the wise words of Maya Angelou “we are only as blind as we want to be”, so I decided a few months back that I wasn’t going to be blind and I hope that in the year(s) to come I can show you that you can be part of the change without sacrifices. 
After the festivities have calmed down a little and the holidaze has worn off I will introduce a new page on the blog with a lot of features that will help keep you informed and enable you to participate in the discussion. More details too come soon #staytuned
In the few months that I have changed my worldview I have found a little community that thinks like me and tries on whatever scale to make their own footsteps as meaningful as possible. I have also found people who were incredibly open minded and open to hearing about the issues and discussing them, without the fear of their well established system being rattled - how beautiful. And this feeling of community and discourse with people all over the world is precisely why I love social media! Lets keep spreading the love and make our lives as impactful as we can. 
As I am writing this I realise my biggest wish for the new year is for people to be the change this world NEEDS. Think beyond your own box. Think big. Dream big. Be active. Care. Love without limits. 

As per usual William Shakespeare’s words are to live by and I have repeated these to myself for many years now, but they have never seemed more accurate than now: “If after every tempest come such storms, may the winds blow till they have wakened death.” 
2017 bring it on, we’re ready! Lots of love from my corner of the world to yours x

Jil Carrara