Vanessa and Vienna, February 2014

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Obligatory ‘on the plane’ window shot

Recently I travelled to Vienna to see one of my old friends who I had not seen in person in 10 years. As a fashion student I need to be constantly creative, this is hard for me because my creativity comes in strong, short bursts rather than one long continuous flow. So I thought 8 days away soaking up culture with one of my closest friends would be just what I needed for a re-charge, it was amazing. Vanessa’s family made me feel so welcome and like I was right at home and not in a foreign country, which was a welcome change from the only other time I’ve been abroad, in Barcelona (blog post to come soon!). Having lived in a student house for 4 years, and with my Mum about 10% of the time for the summer, it was lovely to be welcomed in to quite a large family who are all very loving and caring. Vanessa lives in the 22nd district, which is the largest district in Vienna, the city is massive so it takes a while to get anywhere, the journey usually includes a bus ride and a metro or two.

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Me and Vanessa, first picture together ever, on the subway

It was quite cold when I visited, but it didn’t stop us from getting out and about in town, admittedly I did not take enough pictures, and had Vanessa keep telling me to take photos! We saw some fantastic things, went to a food market that was so cheap and so fresh and we went to a very interesting dinner with one of Vanessa’s friends, Anna, who I got on with very well with, and two American girls, who I didn’t really have anything in common with; for example, they were at university near New York, one of the cities I am absolutely DYING to visit, and so I was genuinely interested in hearing about it, I asked one of the girls what it was like and waited with baited breath for her answer, which was, “It’s a big city.” Of all the things I have heard about New York, in my opinion, you’ve got to be pretty fucking boring to sum up the Big Apple by saying “it’s a big city”. Other than that everyone seemed to be very friendly and I loved the European custom of the two cheek kisses, and after a week I started to get used to it instead of awkwardly bumping heads with people!

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Me outside Vienna State Opera

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Vienna town hall/ “Rathaus”

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St Stephan’s Cathedral, Stephansplatz

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1st District shopping

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Vanessa at her university campus, Universität Wien

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Tram outside an old theater

I was particularly excited about the trams as I have never seen one, let alone been on one! I thought they were much smoother than buses, cheap and fast. Transport in Vienna was very easy to negotiate, even for an indoorsy English girl! For just €15.80 you can get travel on ALL Viennese public transport for a week, including trams and the metro, whenever you like, and it’s much cleaner and easier than the London Underground (sorry, England). Also I found that everyone assumed I was from London and were shocked and disappointed when I explained I lived about 250 miles South of there!

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Vanessa using the very helpful solar powered hand warmer at the tram stop

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Austrian Parliament

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Me outside Austrian parliament

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Trip to the Vienna International Centre

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Schonbrunn Palace

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Palace grounds

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Notice how the trees are cut to grow in uniform

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View of Vienna from the Gloriette

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Gloriette

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Me and Vanessa at the Gloriette

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Hundertwasser House

Actually an apartment building for affordable housing this building is stunning as a piece of art let alone a home.

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La Belle Epoque

A costume taken from The Phantom of The Opera that was performed in the state opera. It was displayed in Swarovski in the centre of the main area for shopping and was accompanied by a flickering chandelier to set the tone for the scene in which it had been used.

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“Lucy” from the Natural History Museum

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Glass skull cast from our ancestors

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Scary Dinos

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Venus of Willendorf

A sculpture dating back to 28,000-25,000 BCE, made from limestone and red ochre, she is a wonderful little thing to admire and also has alot of connotations behind what people found to be beautiful in her time.

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Various Mineral images to be used for current Bjork project

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My visit to Vienna was a magnificient experience, I ate so much schnitzel, frankfurter, kaiserschmarrn and knodel, I went to Aida and tired Sachertorte and real apple strudel, I got lost on the metro, I left my friend on the metro and panicked, I failed to communicate well with anyone in German, I got upset when I couldn’t understand my friends in German, I met extraordinary people and I felt right at home. I would love to go back someday, I got so much inspiration and the horrible coach journey to London was so worth it!

Lockdown – Crysalis Project

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Photoshop work I did for an international project the whole college is participating in, Crysalis. Work was adapted from traditional lace patterns and I took my inspiration from Stephen King’s “The Shining” focusing on mental health and metaphorical prisons.

An Open Apology To All The Girls I’ve Been Mean To

The Belle Jar

I’m sorry for all of the times that I’ve said that I’m not like other girls, implying that there was something defective or inferior about being a girl. I’m sorry for how hard I’ve tried to be “different,” not because being different felt authentic but because I was afraid that I would never measure up to you.

I’m sorry for all of the times that I’ve made fun of traditionally feminine things, like make-up and pretty clothing. I’m sorry that I derided these things as stupid and frivolous – the fact that I did that says more about my own insecurities than it does about anything else.

I’m sorry that I called you a slut. What I meant was that I was jealous that boys wanted to sleep with you. What I meant was that I was jealous of how comfortable you seemed to be in your body, how easily you…

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