Friday, 2 October 2015

Hey guys, so I'm back at the grind. Started uni on Monday and I'm pleased that I've already had quite an inspirational lecture from Architecture tutor and Interior Designer, Dee Skinner. She reminded me of the people from the Wellbeing festival as she kept telling us all to:

"Follow your bliss"

It was all about research methods and she was telling us how we should find ways to meet the people who inspire us and she had done just that with the Dalai Lama. 

So on Thursday my friend Tiffany and I went to Millenium Point for Diaspora Birmingham. It was an art and spoken word event focusing on Black Lives in Britain today. The spoken word artists  Akala, Vanessa Kissule and Sowero Kinch did pieces based on paintings and photography by Olivia Twist, Vanley Burke, Abian Richards and Ines Elsa Dalal. Anyway I must have taken in what Dee had been telling us because I managed to get a photo with Akala afterwards. So he isn't as grand or wholesome as the Dalai Lama (I am pretty jealous that she met him) but it was a pretty good event and something really unusual.

A photo posted by Bee Cullen (@beerosecullen) on

I finished Tansy Hoskin's book and bought a book she slates: 'Green is the new black' by Tamsin Blanchard and 'Naked Fashion' which seems more exciting so I might read that one first. Anyway please enjoy this picture of the back of me, I need to stop wearing black because since I got these Joni's from Topshop I don't wear anything else.

PS. I considered writing a post about the Rick Owens SS16 show but I am still processing whether or not I am scarred for life...

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Hey guys, I start back at uni on Monday and I'm going in tomorrow to present my dissertation ideas (fingers crossed!) but I've just been reminiscing about how great my summer was. I didn't really blog much even though I wore some pretty amazing outfits but I feel like I did all sorts. Quitting my job was the best bit, I spent so much time with my little clique and my Jason, its been so good. I had an amazing time in Spain; went sailing down the Avon with my girls; dressed up for some fancy nights out; enjoyed a thoroughly alcoholic weekend for my baby's 21st, enjoyed some beer festivals in the sunshine; a random day out playing Tennis and a few too many house parties. So I didn't backpack through South America or intern at Elle but I had some perfect times with some perfect people, and that is all that really matters. Anything that nourishes the soul and projects happiness seems good to me.


Anyway I realised that I didn't blog about Shambala and that was a travesty. Shambala is my one true home, set in an idyllic country estate and full of the kindest people, this was my fifth year at the festival. In sanskrit, Shambala means 'place of peace' and I feel like it really lives up to its name, just look at these photos.


Jason and I explored the meadow and the enchanted woodland, took a workshop on how to make solar panels and danced our nights away at the Bollywood Temple of Love. 


I am so glad I took my Polaroid camera because that shot of Jason with his steaming cup of tea is one of my favourite photographs I have ever taken. The weather was glorious on the Friday but showered Saturday and hammered down Sunday. Leaving on the Monday morning we were drenched through but so many good memories!

A photo posted by Bee Cullen (@beerosecullen) on

My favourite act was Akala, he is a social commentator, rapper and poet (fun fact: he is also the younger brother of Miss Dynamite). We saw him perform three times, with the Hip Hop Shakespeare Company, reading poetry in the Wandering Word and singing at Chai Wallah. He is such an inspiration and a gorgeous, intellectual guy whose confidence is contagious. 
A photo posted by Bee Cullen (@beerosecullen) on


Oh and I've gotta mention Hot Chip. This place does homemade beans and every single year their chips with beans and cheese are the most amazing thing ever. There is no shortage of tasty food from falafel wraps to slow roasted beef to dahl but those beans, I would do anything for the recipe.

I truly can't wait for next year to be home again, I hope everyone had a gorgeous summer.

Bee xxx

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Picture a heartbroken girl who has just turned fourteen crying her eyes out and singing her her heart out in a bright pink bedroom with walls covered in magazine and a laptop pelting out the sound of Hinder and the lyrics... 

'I really miss your hair in my face
And the way your innocence tastes
And I think you should know this
You deserve much better than me'

Now imagine the same girl, eight years later, still singing her heart out to the same band at the front of a very packed concert. So this was me last Saturday night. Hinder are a big part of my life, I'm very obsessive but I'm very oblivious so not much music has a profound effect on me but the bands who do are stuck with me for life.

So everybody has that band that they fell in love with in their teenage years, some people are embarrased of it, some people totally go off it and some people embrace it and I am the latter. I wished Hinder would tour the UK for so many years but they're from Oklahoma so I'd almost given up hope when I saw that they announced their When The Smoke Clears European tour. I died inside and I messaged my friend basically saying I was buying two tickets anyway so she was welcome to the one because I HAD TO BE THERE. I wasn't sure about the new lead singer Marshal Dutton, I mean Austin Winkler had been the front man and the focus of all their videos and never having seen them live before I didn't know if I'd feel as attached to them. So yeah, my friend and I made the weekend into a little birthday present for her staying at the Ramada in town then going to the Mind Body and Spirit Wellbeing Festival the next day. I was buzzing and the day came I couldn't wait. I'd been listening to the new album with Duttons voice and I loved it, they still sounded like Hinder and I knew all the words, I was so ready expecting a few oldies but mostly the new album. 


They played two songs from the new album though not my absolute fave, but I let them off because they played every one of my favourites from their previous albums. I can't describe how epic they were on stage, they were all so happy and genuine and as frontman, Dutton was sensational. He sang into the crowd, perfect eye contact with everyone especially my friend Leanne and I. They were recording for the video of their new single and they used a go pro and recorded us singing into the mike which was awesome. There wasn't an ounce of disapointment, all the bands I love are amazing live but it was probably one of the best gigs of my life. Leanne and I both got plectrums that the band threw out which had their signatures on.

So at the end I queued to get a tshirt and the new album on CD and they came out to greet us. They signed my CD and Marshall had a selfie with me and then I even got a cheeky kiss off him (be still my beating heart). Anyway I've literally been on cloud 9 ever since. I am stupidly and unreasonably happy. I could hardly sleep at our hotel and I had a dream that we met the band when we went down for breakfast :')

So yeah anyway Leanne and I went and did some amazing meditation and sang mantras in a tent at the festival hosted by the most beautiful woman cherub. We drank smoothies and watched a belly dancing performance, tried Kam Alive raw chocolate and did some seriously strange OM chanting. It was just the cutest weekend and I've been sat writing this post and researching my dissy and all I want to do is relive the concert again. 

Peace and positivity always, even when it feels the most difficult, it will be the most rewarding!

Bee xxx

Monday, 14 September 2015

So I wrote out a really long blog post about two weeks ago about how I had 'fallen out of love with fashion' but it was difficult to make sense of the inner workings of my mind and so I didn't post it. It had been forever since my last post (which wasn't even about fashion) but basically, some of the books in my last post helped shape those feelings of being apathetic about the industry.

I have been researching, reading articles and books, attending talks and workshops all in hopes of figuring out what I really want to write my dissertation on. I've always been a social justice warrior and I'm proud of that, I'm proud that at 14 I wore a 'Nobody knows I'm a lesbian tshirt' over the top of a knock off Viv Westwood boobs tshirt and faux-flashed all the homophobic b**ches at my all girls school. It grinds you down though, trying to look after the world and the people in it when they really don't want looking after or to help anybody else. The majority of people leaning to the right or slapped wam bam in the middle of the political agenda shudder at the thought of words like 'peace, love, equality' and berate anyone who fights for these things as if it is an impossible task not worth anyones time. Well I think it is important and it is worth every second of my time to fight against sexism, racism, homophobia and all the injustices in the world that lead to pain and suffering.

So I gotta misquote that 'the bastards got me down' and I really shouldn't let them. The world is full of endlessly good people who will help you and love you. I was struck by this Givenchy show, which honestly did seem so inclusive compared to the norm. The models, men and women, were a beautiful variety of skin colours with background music of buddhist chanting. The show opened to the public showcasing flowing, lingerie fabrics and lace with a gorgeous calm atmosphere of love and acceptance. So the clothes were down right glorious if you can forget for a little while the misrepresentation of size on the runway which leads to eating disorders among models; the multi-million dollar consumerist advertisement that is this fashion show; the corporate greed and the realization that Givenchy is owned by LVMH who have been called out for animal mistreatment (most notably the mass farming of crocodile for their skins to make Louis Vuitton handbags), tax evasion as well as other humanitarian issues along the supply chain of all the many fashion business they own.

This collection screams beauty, love and acceptance which are all real, achievable things but we need to fight against the corporate gain and fight for the world we live in and the sentient beings who live on it. So lets just say, I haven't for a second fallen out of love with fashion, I love clothes and how they make me feel, I love style, my own and that of other people but I don't like the system. I don't really like the way it treats people or tricks them into throwing away a whole season worth of clothes because its not on trend anymore. So here is a snippet of my unpublished, unfiltered post from two weeks ago...

'So the 70s trend is still in, I read an article on Drapers this morning that went along these lines ‘Oh em gee, aren’t we all bored of suede and fringing and seventies crap by now? I want something new and exciting to compulsively whine over and satisfy my over-consumption and waste my hard earned money’. The article even spoke about the famously on trend M&S skirt which came out in March and was hailed as their fashion saviour. I was lucky enough to be part of the buzz while on placement at the buying and merchandising company who M&S sourced the skirt from. Apparently there is a new suede coat coming out for winter and the idea is to… SHOCK HORROR… update your wardrobe rather than buy a whole new one! Can you imagine?!?!!?!! Five years ago, all I ever did was gaze at Elle magazine and dream of writing about that new cool jewellery trend or the stand out pieces from fashion week but now I flick through them unenthusiastically. Same old shit you see? The magazines got inside my head and made me believe that fashion had to change every season. I just want to say, guys, don’t take it so seriously. It hurts my soul to see girls dressed in their minimal wardrobes of black and white, just to be 'on trend'. Especially young girls, this is the time to go crazy, experiment, find yourself, put down your brand-spanking-new, white, knee-length waistcoat and try to think back to what you liked to wear before the fashion media told you what was cool... I mean can you even remember? The world is based on who conforms and who doesn’t, I mean sure, non-conformists inspire but they go through so much aggro to have their personal style normalised for the masses without reward. Think about those hippies who were the inspiration for this seventies trend that the fashion media are 'oh so sick of'. Hippies actually did so much for fashion in the sixties and even today, yet they are still looked down on and ridiculed for their drastic ideas about free love and their ability to evoke hope and challenge the social norm.'

Now personally, I'm proud when people refer to me as a hippie, even if they mean it backhandedly. So you guys, DO NOT let the bastards get you down and be positive about yourself and fight for what you believe in, because you never know, it might catch on and start a trend ;D

Thanks for reading my rants, Bee xxx

Saturday, 25 July 2015

So in my last post I explained how I was reading 'This Changes Everything' and it is a really enthralling and scary perspective although very much the reality of how the world isn't really working towards a better future and economic interests are clouding our humanity. I'm on page 200 and there is a whole lot of information in this book, I do not doubt the five or so years Klein spent researching. Anyway, I wanted to talk about some of the books I've read recently or intend to read. I always read a lot when I was a kid but haven't really read many books since I left college other than the odd holiday book. I did read the first two hunger games within about 2 days one holiday and then searched every shop for the third only to find it in Greek which was pretty unhelpful. Anyway my newest order arrived today, Judy Juanita's 'Virgin Soul' set in 1960s America and told from the perspective of an eighteen year old woman fighting for liberation alongside the Black Panthers. I fell in love with the cover let alone the storyline so I'm quite excited to jump into the 300 or so page book soon.

Before Klein's book, my boyfriend and I spent a night in reading and I managed to finish 'Animal Farm' in about two hours whilst he reread 'Of Mice and Men'. I enjoyed it and the comparisons between the farm and the Big Brother presence in 1984; the constant battling between who's side are fighting against us or with us; and the willingness of people/animals to forget or rewrite historical atrocities. 

I've been meaning to read Life of Pi for a while, I refuse to watch the film until I've read the book so I took it to Spain with me but spending every second with my best mate meant very little reading time. I am undecided about Tansy Hoskins book because the cover brings a shiver to my spine, maybe its the hideous yellow shade against the grey background or the recreation of old fashioned, illustrated magazine covers... Something just doesn't feel quite right and having read mixed reviews on the book, I'm intrigued to see whether the content trumps the cover and my expectations.

Now last but not least, Russell Brand is such a hot topic at the moment, the Sun's inane tirade against him is as comical as it is absurd. The guy doesn't think he is jesus, yes, he is a terrible narcissist which he freely admits but if you watch his youtube videos or TV appearances, he just wants the best for people and what is honestly wrong with that? (Obviously it is wrong for people like Rupert Murdock and his control over the masses, his greed and oligarchy but that's a whole other blog post). I think Brand is a pretty good guy even if he is a millionaire, even if he is a recovering drug addict, even if he isn't actually that funny as a comedian... So I've gone and spent £3 on his book and I hope to find some revolutionary and spiritual insights.

It is probably gonna take me quite a while to get through them all but I'm chuffed that I'm back to reading more. Unemployment means lots of time to relax but even so I'm off to do the ironing, then some yoga and then continue changing everything with Naomi Klein.

Bee xxx

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Hi guys,

Sorry I haven't really posted in a while, been busy doing yoga, reading, drinking excessively with my friendship clique and enjoying my summer. 

Updates on my life:

I have officially joined the Green Party, I'll be honest, I voted for them in the GE but never got round to committing entirely until a few of my friends made me realise, why not? I strongly agree with their policies, I believe in their anti austerity measures, their environmental standpoint, affordable housing and a living wage for all. I also feel like the other parties are far too right wing for my beliefs, having been failed by the Lib Dems on student loans and the labour party by their incessant effort to steal tory voters by means of voting for austerity.

I'm honestly looking into Druidism, the summer solstice was such a beautiful time and I honestly feel more at home within nature and travel than in any corporate world. If you want to see a powerful (and slightly erotic) portrayal of Mother Nature with beautiful cinematography then look no further than Conservation International's short film, 'Nature is Speaking'. Julia Roberts slays (slay/slayer is my new phrase and I have honestly no idea where it has come from) so I'll let her speak for herself.

I've started reading a book that changes your whole perspective on climate change, aptly named 'This Changes Everything' written by an amazing young woman, Naomi Klein. It looks at the interconnection between Capitalism and Climate Change and the reasons why climate change deniers reject a concept widely recognised by 97% of Climate Scientists worldwide.

I also read Animal Farm, basically 1984 with pigs, interesting really, there will always be a ruling class? I don't know but I hope pigs don't take over the world. 

I'm still unemployed, I'm living off my student loan and although I'm starting to feel pressure to get another job, I'm also pretty happy and feel quite free. 

All of these things are influencing the research I'm doing for my dissertation which I start at the end of September when I return for my third year of uni. I've ordered Tansy Hopkins book, Stitched Up, and am excited to read her stand point on 21st century fashion and social, political, economic and environmental impacts.

Here are a few cheeky polaroids from Bournville Ale and Cider Festival and you can see my cute outfit against the glorious sunset.  I picked up the jazzy crop in Topshop (which is a unusual as I rarely find anything that looks good on me or that I can afford) and my usually conservative boyfriend liked it! I know women don't dress for men, and I'd probably have bought it even if he had spat at in disgust. Yet he actually liked this crazy, orange and yellow, uber seventies top and I was so proud! I paired it with my old school car boot Calvin Kleins and the cutest little clogs I got for my birthday.
A photo posted by Bee Cullen (@beerosecullen) on

A photo posted by Bee Cullen (@beerosecullen) on

Hope ya'll are good, never stop being a social justice warrior, its what they want!

Bee xxx

Sunday, 28 June 2015

So I had a really good night on Friday... Another 21st birthday celebration... It was fabulous until I dropped my phone down the toilet and lost everything. IF YOU ARE READING THIS STOP AND BACK UP EVERYTHING ELECTRONIC THAT YOU LOVE. I've been under the impression for the past four months since getting my new phone, that my photos were backing up to the cloud (or the htc version of it) and my trusty SD card. This was not the case.


Photos from my 21st birthday, my anniversary week away in our log cabin, photos from Spain, and we need a moment of silence for all the selfies that were lost.


So I've moped around, and yelled at my boyfriend and at my mom and dad and now I'm letting it all out through typing pretty damn aggressively but honestly, it hurts to lose memories. Photos are the trigger for memories using our poor 10% of brain capacity (I watched Lucy the other day, mainly for Scar Jo but it was pretty awesome, somewhat unfathomable but Morgan Freeman was in it too so anything sounds truthful when he speaks it, anyway she takes a drug that gradually builds up her brain capacity to 100 and lets just say, **** goes down).

Now, I am praising the lord for the Facebook uploads and my trusty Polaroid camera <3

Good old Polly saved the day and I've got so many gorgeous photos that can't be erased from a crappy electronic device. Instant film, what a wonderful gift to the world.

I apologise for the lack of photos in this post but check out some I scanned in from my friends birthday, think they sum up a messy but altogether memorable night.

 Bee xxx

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