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Bethany Morrison

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For the past year and a half, I have learnt so much interning under Shakaila Forbes-Bell. When I first came across the opportunity in 2017, I was nearing my last semester of college and I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do after college. Before Shakaila posted the News-writer intern opportunity, I had reached out to her some months before. From there I had expressed my concern on whether or not I felt Psychology was truly for me. Her response gave me a sense of enlightenment and she urged me not to give up on the field, because for her in the beginning she stated she was unsure about a future career in psychology, yet she persisted and carved out a sector for herself.

Shakaila was able to incorporate a field that she loved with a field she was undecided with and gave a presence into the world of Fashion Psychology and continues to do so. Fashion Psychology as a field isn’t as popular as it should be, but I genuinely believe it will get there one day. From my internship with Fashion is Psychology, I was introduced to research I wasn’t even aware existed, my favorite being the Lip stick effect! If people knew the Psychology behind things we use in our daily lives, they’d probably be very intrigued.

To continue, I truly appreciated the interviews I was able to partake in, as well as conduct. In that position, I was able to put myself out there and email people in the field of Psychology who had no clue who I was. Sometimes it was a hit or miss, but it always worked out in the end and that’s one thing I’ll always remember. Fashion is Psychology gave me a different outlook on life and it made me rediscover my love for writing and communicating with different people to hear their many opinions. In the near future, I hope to collaborate with Shakaila and her company, and have her apart of where Psychology will take me in the future.

This is not goodbye, but a see you later

In order to fully discover the impact that fashion and clothing has on our wellbeing, we took one quote from psychiatry professor, Raphael Bonelli and we asked two established figures within the Mental Health Community three questions to delve deeper into the link between choice of dress and mental health.

What were your initial thoughts after reading this quote?

I found this quote insightful as it merges the worlds of the psychology of fashion with the psychology around mental health and wellbeing. I believe that the quote is powerful because it highlights those subtle changes that can be present for someone who may be experiencing difficult times and whose mental health is not at its best. It’s relatable. 

I think we all can think about times when we wanted to stay put in our pyjamas, not want to wear makeup or even drag on the nearest thing we can find when we aren’t feeling great. In contrast, we can think about when we make an extra special effort to dress well to impress, celebrate occasions or look great on 

holiday. Whether we like it or not, particular types of clothing does communicate many things about the person we are or the person we would like to be and it is all a part of our identity and how we feel about ourselves.

As a mental health advocate, would you say that the appearance of others, is always deemed as a cry for help?

Not always. It also depends on how well you know the person. For example, I have a friend that absolutely loves fashion and always dresses to impress and if suddenly one day I saw her dressed less than how she usually presents – I may ask questions because that would be so unlike her, but for another friend who isn’t too concerned about appearance, I may not ask that question.

I have also worked in mental health settings and hygiene and appearance can become one of the clear signs that someone is experiencing something. With some things like depression a sense of helplessness and loss of interest in activities can present itself in our appearance.

One may feel like there is no point in making an effort to present well as they may believe for example that they won’t be going out anyway or they don’t have any loved ones to impress or enjoy activities with anyway. The loss of motivation can impact on our appearance and how we value ourselves, but this isn’t always 100% true for everyone.

How do you think style of dress impacts people within the mental health field?

Working in the world of Psychology, I can say that from people I have come to know, some are very intentional in how they present themselves. Some choose to be simplistic and some have a set wardrobe of clothing – almost like a uniform. Myself, I choose to be 100% expressive in what I wear when working with clients and young people especially. I am aware that I represent something and I communicate something.

For me, it is important that people can relate to me and don’t feel closed off. I love to wear bright colours as I find it creates a warm atmosphere with people I work with. I find often people are suddenly relieved when they see me because they often have felt they were going to be met with someone who presents as very “authoritative” which can be a scary experience if it is your first time accessing mental health services. I think Psychology is such a person-centred profession and so professionals should just dress in a way that is suitable but also presents who they are as a person too.

 

❝Many people have no idea that their clothes can play such a significant role in their mood 

Astin Wangel-Brown is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Los Angeles. She has received specialized training as a Certified Couples and Family Therapist. She uses her expertise in relational therapy and evidence-based solution focused treatment in supporting clients to clarify, create and act on goals for desired change.

As a therapist, how much does the appearance of others impact your assessment of them?

There are so many social factors that impact appearance and how appearance is perceived that judging one’s mental health on appearance should only be one part of a much more involved assessment. With this being said, yes I might at least become curious about possible symptoms such as depression if a person is disheveled and maybe even anxiety if the person is impeccably groomed.

What is your opinion on the first sentence of Bonelli’s quote?

So it’s actually the first sentence that I struggled with most. On one hand, yes, absolutely, withdrawal and disinterest are primary symptoms of depression and this commonly manifests with us not showering or getting dressed for the day or not being

invested in our appearance at all. Some symptoms of psychosis can manifest in us layering clothes and using objects and materials that are not meant to be worn to dress ourselves. So yes, there is truth to this statement!

How do you think style of dress impacts people within the mental health field

Again, because I think appearance and dress should be looked at psychologically and socially at once, it feels difficult to answer this simply. I think therapists also practice mental health and wellness daily for themselves and their dress can be affected by how they are feeling just like anyone else. 

I believe dress and wardrobe education is necessary for empowering people to choose the clothing items that make them look and feel like their best self. Without this information, many people have no idea that their clothes can play such a significant role in their mood or that their wardrobe telling a story about their mood.

What Must Fashion Do to Safeguard Models?

Two years ago, casting director-turned-whistle blower James Scully delivered his plea to end the “cruel and sadistic” treatment of models to an audience at VOICES 2016, BoF’s annual gathering for big thinkers in the fashion industry held in partnership with QIC Global Real Estate

[Business of Fashion]

Dolce & Gabbana Publicly Apologize for Their Recent Racist Ad Campaign

Co-founders of the Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana, Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce, aren’t new to controversy, however, they are unfamiliar with the concept of an apology. That’s why it came as somewhat of a shock when the designer duo released a video on Friday morning, muttering the words “Dubi bu qui,” which is the Mandarin phrase for “sorry.” 

[InStyle]

Fashion Brands and Their Socio-Political relevance

Fashion matters. It matters to the economy and to most of us personally but it is often viewed as a frivolous or vain industry and people fail to see how far-reaching it really is. Globally, the industry is valued at $3 trillion and it’s the second biggest worldwide economic activity for intensity of trade – employing over 57 million workers in developing countries, 80 per cent of whom are women.

[The News on Sunday]

Trawling for trash: the brands turning plastic pollution into fashion

Fishing nets and discarded plastic are finding their way into wardrobes around the world thanks to a rise in the number of fashion designers using materials made from recycled ocean waste.

Brands including Gucci, Stella McCartney and Adidas are increasingly partnering with organisations such as Parley for the Oceans – which raises awareness of the destructive effect of ocean plastics – and sourcing materials regenerated from companies such as Aquafil, the textile manufacturer that transforms ocean waste into sustainable materials such as Econyl.

[The Guardian]

Women in Ireland Are Posting Images of Their Underwear to Protest Rape Culture

Women in Ireland posted photos of their underwear on social media last week to protest the events of a controversial rape case. The images were accompanied by the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent, and many accused Ireland’s judicial system of promoting rape culture. The rape case that prompted the movement drew international headlines after the attorney for the 27-year-old male defendant used the 17-year-old accuser’s lace underwear in her defense argument.

[Teen Vogue]

Marie Claire Wants Its Fashion Editors to Drive E-commerce Revenue

Marie Claire has launched Marie Claire Edit, an aggregator site where readers can shop from retail partners like Selfridges, Gucci, Prada, Net-a-Porter and Topshop, as well as follow the trends of the title’s fashion editors.

The site, developed by parent company TI Media to boost the publisher’s e-commerce revenue, also holds native ad and display spots that will run on the Marie Claire Edit site and Marie Claire’s main site. 

[Digiday]

The 6 Beauty Lessons to Steal Right Now From Paris Fashion Week

Qui n’avance pas, recule. It’s an old French saying that translates to “who does not move forward, recedes.” And it’s a phrase that lends itself well to the wide spectrum of imaginative, of-the-moment beauty looks that designers put forth at Paris Fashion Week

[Vogue]

Fashion Designers Boldly Embrace Their Chinese Heritage

On the fifth day of New York Fashion Week, Sandy Liang treated her Spring/Summer 2019 presentation’s attendees to a visual feast of traditional Cantonese fare at her father’s restaurant, Congee Village, on the Lower East Side. Models posed alongside fried rice, sautéed lotus root, rice porridge and fried noodles, casually eating the food as show goers snapped photos. Beef chow fun had never looked so hip.

[Business of Fashion]

10 Fashion and Beauty Buys For Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Talk about feeling pretty in pink—these 10 fashion and beauty finds all give back to a crucial cause. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and pitching in has never been easier.

[Forbes]

Why Did Walmart Buy a Plus-Size Women’s Fashion Line?

A small bit of business news could be easily overlooked, but it says a lot about the failure of the self-help industry and its close bedfellows, fitness and dieting programs. Walmart just announced the purchase of ELOQUII, a plus-size women’s fashion start-up that has had great success selling online fashionable clothing for women who wear size 14 and above.

[Psychology Today]

How Beauty Bakerie founder Cashmere Nicole went from food stamps to launching a multi-million dollar cosmetics brand

Before Cashmere Nicole Cirillo founded Beauty Bakerie, she was a single parent, struggling to make ends meet. Now, the 34-year-old makeup mogul is empowering women across the globe through her inspiring life story. Ulta, the nationwide cosmetics store, will soon stock her products.

[abc News]

Fashion’s Obsession with Youth More Bankable Than Ever

One of the pushbacks against Hedi Slimane’s Celine debut seems to be that he has effectively replaced Phoebe Philo’s grown-up, self-assured, sophisticated woman with her teenage daughter. A gawky, rebellious waif straight from central casting who stays out all night in barely-there clothing is the French house’s new message. But of a collection which the designer had entitled “Journal Nocturne de la Jeunesse Parisienne,” what did we expect?

[Fashion United]

 

Rihanna Is Bringing Savage X Fenty to New York Fashion Week

After taking a season off from New York Fashion Week, everyone’s favorite singer-turned-fashion impresario is officially returning to the #NYFW schedule. This time Rihanna is bringing her line of lingerie and intimate accessories to the Catwalk with a Savage X Fenty presentation on September 12.

[VOGUE]

Inside Glossier’s Plans to Shake the Beauty Industry

The community driven beauty brand is planning to create a social-selling website to carve out the larger slice of the global beauty market.

[Business of Fashion]

From Homelessness to Fashion Modeling

Meet Aaron Philip, a black transgender teenager who recently signed a modeling contract; and tell us how you deal with racist remarks. For a long time, being online was where Aaron Philip felt most confident. She began documenting her daily life on Tumblr when she was 11, writing about her love of anime and the experience of growing up in New York City with cerebral palsy. In those days, Aaron got online with a MacBook and a personal Wi-Fi hot spot at a homeless shelter in Manhattan, where she lived with her father after her medical bills became too expensive.

[NY Times]

Virtual Models/Influencers are Landing Major Jobs & Making Real Money in the Process

In early 2016, Louis Vuitton started a trend, one that had nothing to do with styling or silhouettes, handbags or footwear. It had to do squarely with models. The Paris-based fashion house tapped an anime character, Final Fantasy’s female heroine, Lightning, for its Spring/Summer ad campaign.

[The Fashion Law]

 

Jordyn Woods Launches Size-Inclusive Activewear Line and Gets Kylie Jenner’s Stamp of Approval

Jordyn Woods is following in her best friend Kylie Jenner’s footsteps and launching her own business. The model, 20, has been secretly designing her debut fashion brand SECNDNTURE for the past year and she finally unveils it to the world today. The size-inclusive, street-style activewear line features bold designs at affordable prices in sizes XS to 2X.

[People Magazine]

 

 

Is your workwear making you look LAZY? Fashion Psychologist reveals the four office clothing personalities-and which one is the perfect fit for your job

With the end of summer looming, thoughts are turning to our back-to-work wardrobes. And whether you work in a stuffy office, classroom or trendy studio space, what you wear to work each day can speak volumes about your personality. Now London-based fashion psychologist Professor Carolyn Mair has lifted the lid on the secret signals your outfits could be sending to your colleagues.

[Daily Mail]

In order to discover more about the psychological impact of makeup, The Psychology of Fashion Blogsat down with three up-and-coming make-up enthusiasts Youtuber/Model Yana Carr, MUA/Youtuber Jordyn Reina and Influencer Chelesia Anderson to discuss their personal relationship with makeup and how it affects their everyday lives.

Fashion Psychology
Yana (IG @goldynaps)

What does makeup say about you?

Yana: I don’t think my makeup says anything particular about me. I don’t really view it as a part of my identity. I just use it to highlight my features.

Makeup is an art and is meant to enhance the features we already have. How does that make you feel?

Yana: I’d disagree with the idea that makeup is meant to do anything in particular. As an art form it doesn’t have a specified purpose that can be nailed down with a few words. While I certainly use it to enhance the features I already have, not everyone views makeup in that way; it can be used to mask and transform and probably has an abundance of other purposes.

Studies have shown that, men perceive women who wear makeup to be more prestigious, whereas women see other women as being more dominant. Agree or disagree? 

Yana: I feel like most women wear makeup, and that doesn’t really change my perception of them. I think it depends on the extent to which the makeup is being used. Someone who constantly wears a full face of makeup on a constant basis would make me view in a certain light, but I don’t think dominant would necessarily be the word I’d use to describe them. I’d more so be curious as to whether they feel like they need to wear makeup, or if it’s just something they’re passionate about. In terms of the perception of men, I feel like most women of importance have an image to uphold, and generally people want to portray themselves as flawless. Makeup aids that perception, so I feel like it makes sense that men view women who wear makeup as more prestigious.

What’s your favourite makeup product and why? 

Yana: Mascara. I have blonde eyelashes, so, despite being long and full, they’re basically invisible without mascara.

Jordyn (IG @jojobeauts)

How does makeup make you feel?

Jordyn: Makeup makes me feel transformed. I can become anyone or anything I want to be. I was always obsessed with magical girl animes and transforming feminine superheroes as a child and perhaps that translated into my adult life. My favorite aspect of makeup is the before and after transformation. Because it has an effect on how we act and perceive ourselves as well. 

Are men in makeup changing the world?

Jordyn: Men in makeup are certainly changing the world. It is helping dismantle the modern day stereotype that makeup is purely a feminine feature of life. Anybody should be able to enjoy the beauty and transformative properties of makeup, REGARDLESS of gender. As a gender non-conforming artist. This is obviously incredibly important to me. 

What’s the best advice to give for a non-binary makeup slay

Jordyn: Find your style, who you want to become, and just go for it. Makeup has no rules, only strong suggestions.

 

If you had to choose only one makeup product to wear, which would it be and why? 

Jordyn: WHY must you do this to me. The makeup forever flash palette because I can get basically a full face of makeup if I tried. It just wouldn’t last very long because I’d have no powders to set the creams.

Chelesia (IG @chelsandyy)

How does a good beat (whether it’s a natural beat or a glam beat), how does your preferred choice make you feel?

Chelesia: It makes me feel more confident and presentable depending on the occasion. I feel more put together. I rarely wear makeup but when I do I prefer a more natural beat. I am comfortable with my bare face, but it makes me feel good that I can use makeup to help enhance my features.  

Studies have shown that there is power in wearing red lipstick. A red lip is linked to authority, prowess and assertiveness. Do you agree that men are drawn to that and why? 

Chelesia: Yes, I believe that some men are drawn to that because a red lip is bold and typically men like a confident woman. A red lip gives off that impression. It’s expressive and makes you feel empowered. Red is bright and I agree that men are attracted to women who wear that color. It’s captivating, it gets their attention. Men are visual and are drawn to a women’s lips more than other facial features. A red lip can signal arousal and is very sensual for a man.    

In one study, foundation has been concluded as the one product that makes a difference in female attractiveness. How about seeing a man or a non-binary individual with foundation on, how would you perceive it? 

Chelesia: I would perceive it as normal. Nowadays it’s common for men or non-binary individuals to wear foundation. Men can wear it if they want, anyone can use it. Makeup is a form of art, it’s how people express themselves. It’s fun to create a new look and it can be a great self confidence booster to some people.   

What makeup product can’t you live without and why? 

Chelesia: I can’t live without liquid foundation. On days when I need a light or full coverage foundation has always been a staple product for me. It helps to even out my skin tone, hides all my acne scars and blemishes leaving my skin looking extra smooth.   

Do you feel the same? What impact does make-up have on your mental well-being? Let us know in the comments below!

Our main goal at The Psychology of Fashion Blog is to provide interesting and informative research on all things Fashion Psychology. Help us to continue to provide this free service by giving a small donation. Thank you for your continued support!

Serena Williams Launches Her Own Clothing Line

Serena Williams just won her first professional tennis match after giving birth to her daughter Olympia, but somehow her French Open win isn’t today’s biggest Serena-related news. So here it is: Serena Williams is launching her own direct-to-consumer fashion collection of sportswear and evening wear. As if that wasn’t enough, every piece is under $250 (£188). At a preview of the line, which launches today with 12 items and will have additional releases throughout the summer and autumn, Williams explained the philosophy behind the Serena collection. [VOGUE UK]

Sadness Does Not Discriminate: Reflecting on Kate Spade

On Tuesday, June 5th, Kate Spade was reportedly found dead in her Upper East Side home (link is external). She leaves behind her husband and 13-year-old daughter. Hundreds of celebrities (link is external) and fans (link is external) alike have shared their reactions of shock, heartfelt condolences for her loved ones, and unfortunate mental health lessons in the aftermath of her passing. Does Not Discriminate: Reflecting on Kate Spade [Psychology Today]

The CFDA Awards 2018 Winners

On Monday, the Council of Fashion Designers of America celebrated the industry’s biggest players at the CFDA Awards 2018. Pre-announced honourees included British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful OBE, who received the Media Award in honour of Eugenia Sheppard, Diane von Furstenberg, who was presented the Swarovski Award for Positive Change; Carolina Herrera, who took home the Founder’s Award in honour of Eleanor Lambert; Narciso Rodriguez, who was awarded the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award; Donatella Versace, who was recognised in the International Award category; and Naomi Campbell, who was crowned the CFDA Fashion Icon.[VOGUE]

 

 

From armour to icon: How women’s suits became cool again

Women first wore suits to mirror the men in their male-dominated workplaces. But in the now-casual office, women are redefining the suit in their own image. In her eight years rising through the ranks of J.P. Morgan, Joanna Dai spent her days–and late nights–in starchy business suits. In the male-dominated world of investment banking, the blazer and matching trouser set was like a suit of armour. [Fast Company]

‘Skinny Privilege’ and Who Deserves Fashion

Recently a Cut fashion story sparked a small conversation on Twitter. It was a piece by one of our editors about how she wanted a high-necked, ruffled, below-the-knee “prairie dress.” This seemed innocuous enough — prairie dresses, though certainly not a look that everybody likes, are widely available this summer. Lindsay, who wrote the story, expressed her love for the trend and found a bunch of options for people who might also want to buy them. We should have known better, because fundamentalist-Mormon-type cotton dresses are one of those divisive fashion items that Balkanize the internet. [The Cut]

Vogue Arabia Hails ‘Trailblazing’ Saudi Women

Vogue Arabia dedicated its June issue to the “trailblazing” women of Saudi Arabia by putting a glamorously dressed daughter of a former king behind the wheel of a red convertible on the front cover as the kingdom prepares to become the last country in the world to allow women to drive. Such an image — Princess Hayfa bint Abdullah Al Saud sitting in the driver’s seat outside the city of Jeddah, wearing leather gloves and stiletto booties, hair peeping out of her white abaya — could until recently have triggered a backlash. [Business of Fashion]

Meghan Markle and the Bicultural Blackness of the Royal Wedding

“Who are your people?” is the question that repeatedly came to me as I watched Doria Ragland, Meghan Markle’s mother, sitting a few feet away from her daughter at Saturday’s royal wedding. A common expression among southern African-Americans when greeting a stranger, it is never simply a matter of bloodline or individual biography. [NY Times]

'It really was a black service': world reaction to royal wedding

It wasn’t just the black preacher, though Bishop Michael Curry’s fiery address evoking Martin Luther King and the misery of slavery certainly packed a punch. There was also the cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and the spiritual – This Little Light of Mine – sung by a black gospel choir. There was symbolism stitched in to so many elements of the wedding service chosen by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex that spoke to her mixed-race heritage. [The Guardian]

What Does The Royal Wedding Color Scheme Mean? This Is The Symbolism Behind The Décor

From the cake to the drinks to the dress to the flowers, tradition informs every part of royal wedding preparation. While Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have broken tradition with a number of their wedding plans, the royal wedding color scheme was likely carefully chosen to marry the couples’ taste with royal traditions. [Bustle]

100 Models Urge The Industry To Sign A Legally Binding Contract Against Sexual Harassment

One-hundred models have joined together to launch the Respect Programme, a legally binding agreement to protect models and end sexual harassment within the industry. Led by Model Alliance founder Sara Ziff, who announced the agreement yesterday at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, the aim is to create an environment of mutual respect between agencies, brands, models and the stream of creatives, such as freelance photographers, stylists, make-up artists, hairstylists and assistants, that make up the fashion industry’s supply chain. [VOGUE]

How 13 Reasons Why Successfully Grapples with the #MeToo Movement

When 13 Reasons Why premiered on Netflix last year, there were no expectations that the streaming service would order another season. Originally pitched as a straight adaptation of Jay Asher’s 2007 novel, the show covered that book’s entire plot within its first 13 episodes. But the massive cultural popularity of the show—partially fueled by the controversy surrounding its treatment of sensitive subjects—meant that Netflix couldn’t resist going back to the well. [Vanity Fair]

What Should French Fashion Do With Its Unsold Clothing?

Two years ago, France was the first country to pass a law preventing supermarkets from throwing away or destroying unsold food. Under the country’s circular economy roadmap, lawmakers are planning to do the same for clothing. [Business of Fashion]