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museofthemonth

Lifestyle and Interviews

INTERVIEW WITH MATT HENRY FROM KINKY BOOTS

May 8, 2016

DSC00183Cyndi Lauper, sequins, drag, dancing, a little bit of cheese and a lot of sass. Watching Kinky Boots is like attending a kitch-tastic party, by the end of the night the whole audience is up out of their seats, singing and dancing. But at the heart of this musical is a poignant message: you can change the world if you change your mind.

After watching the show at The Adelphi London, I caught up with Matt Henry who stars as Lola. 

Life lessons are one of the main themes in Kinky Boots. What have you personally learned from your experience of performing as Lola?
I have personally learnt to listen more. Its so easy to run away with your own opinions and point of view that you don’t really listen to what people are really saying.

This production features some fabulous drag queens and you all seem like absolute pros, dancing in those killer heels takes serious skill. Have you and the Angels all performed in drag before or is this your first time?
This is my first time performing in drag. I know that Luke Jackson one of my angels was in the original production of Pricilla Queen of the Desert.

Matt Henry (Lola) and Angels in Kinky Boots - photo Matt Crockett

The cast seem like a hoot, once you’ve sang your heart out and slipped in and out of those infamous sequined outfits umpteen times do you all get a chance to celebrate and party together offstage?
We are such a close cast and have such a great time working together. So any excuse to throw an after work social get together is always welcomed.

Your performance as Lola in Kinky Boots was fabulous. It must require an immense amount of self-discipline to maintain such high standards. What is your typical day like?
Typical day –
Vocal rest until 3pm
Eating healthy-  small and often (due to corseted costumes)
Gym -Weight training or Pilates
Massage

What advice would you give to other people with big dreams and ambitions?
It’s your dream so build it yourself. Stay focused. It’s not always going to be easy but learn and grow from every experience negative and positive experience and don’t give up. Nothing happens before its time.

To book tickets to watch the show visit the website here.
Photo Credit: On stage image taken by Matt Crocket, other by me
Lifestyle and Interviews

MUSE OF THE MONTH: INTERVIEW WITH SARA THOMAS, ASOS STYLIST, BLOGGER & WAISTE VINTAGE OWNER

November 22, 2015

LedByLucy-Sara-Waiste-Interview-Vintage-BloggerSara has an expansive collection of bohemian seventies dresses and just as many impressive business accolades to match. Sara is her own #GirlBoss and has carved a successful career through her creative passions. She is the founder of successful online fashion boutique Waiste Vintage, the author of vintage fashion blog Waiste Blog and has also recently been appointed as the vintage ASOS Stylist. I caught up with Sara to find out more about her journey, what advice she would give to others wanting to follow in her footsteps and of course her style rules and vintage fashion icons.

How did you get to where you are now? Tell us a little about the journey  to becoming a successful blogger, opening your vintage store and of course your newly appointed role as a vintage stylist with ASOS.

Well, I actually started in the ASOS studios, my first ‘proper’ job, working in the e-commerce environment as a studio assistant then coordinator gave me all the valuable experience I needed when it came to setting up my vintage shop. The blogging I used to do on the side whilst working there, until I combined this with starting my shop and started featuring my own vintage for sale. And then from my styling through my blog and website I landed the new ASOS styling job!LedByLucy-Sara-Waiste-ASOS-Interview-Vintage-Blogger.jpg4You are lucky (and hard working) enough to have turned your dreams and passions into a career. What advice would you give to other people stuck in the rat race that want to follow in your footsteps?

Thank you. I would say don’t give up on your dreams. Make sure you have a USP and try to stand out with what you are doing to everyone else. You need to get lots of experience but don’t be afraid if you make mistakes, it’s all about learning from them.LedByLucy-Sara-Waiste-ASOS-Interview-Vintage-Blogger.jpg-4Fashion has a cyclical pattern and we often see vintage trends coming back onto the high street, and then they disappear again for a while. Your love for vintage remains forever strong. What sparked your love of vintage and what stops you following the latest trends?

To be honest I just don’t really pay that much attention to trends. I prefer to dress for me and what I like and feel comfortable in, rather than constantly following trends (although it’s great to get some 70s style pieces from the high street at the moment). I’ve always loved vintage, for me it’s all about going to hunt them and never knowing what you’re going to find, that thrill of finding something one-off that no one else has.

LedByLucy-Sara-Waiste-ASOS-Interview-Vintage-BloggerWho are your vintage style icons and what do you think the attraction of them is for women today?

I would say a great vintage icon would be Stevie Nicks, as she not only did (and still does!) have the best style, she’s also an amazing and inspiring woman who has achieved so much. She is just such an empowering female artist.

LedByLucy-Sara-Waiste-Interview-Vintage-Blogger.jpg-2How do you describe your personal style and do you have any key fashion rules?

Seventies style bohemian with a love of patterns and textures. Just always wear what you feel comfortable in, and don’t be afraid to mix it up.

EMBROIDERED_17Next time you feel like channeling you inner Stevie Nicks or want to time-travel back to the early seventies then Sara’s blog is the place to head.

If you enjoyed reading this have a nosy at the People and Projects section of my blog where I regularly feature interviews with inspirational women working within the creative field.

Lifestyle and Interviews

MUSE Of THE MONTH|SEDGE BESWICK, GLOBAL SENIOR SOCIAL MEDIA & STYLIST MANAGER AT ASOS

October 15, 2015

SEDGE Beswick-LedByLucy-ASOS-Interview-1 I love ASOS. It comes in particularly handy when I’m racing against time to find the perfect fashion fix for an impromptu party. My first step is to look up my ASOS stylist of choice @ASOS_Megan on Instagram to see what she’s been wearing lately, perhaps drop her a tweet if I can’t find the link, then I’ll have a quick browse at the ASOS #AsSeenOnMe hashtag for further inspiration. With next day delivery I can have a quick office fashion show in the morning, select my favourite and return the rest for free. Voilà, I’m all kitted out.

Wowzers, social media has completely changed the way we shop. But who is behind it all? Queue Sedge Beswick, Global Senior Social Media & Stylist Manager at ASOS. I caught up with Sedge to find out more about her role, the pressures that come with managing a 3.3 million strong Instagram account, her career highlights, overcoming #EpicFails and how you too can tweet your way to success…

Tell us a little about your journey to becoming Global Senior Social Media & Stylist Manager at ASOS

I can’t lie, it’s been a pretty fun journey. I actually got into social via a social competition! The entrants had to see who could get the most Facebook friends onto one page within a week, my page was called “Sedge’s Seriously Social Page” and with 8K followers in 7 days, I came in second… and as the lyrics go, “The winner takes it all”. The winner threw an epic competition for Three UK and I thought that was that.

Whilst at university in Nottingham I organised events at a club with a brand strategy that focused on secrecy and mystery. Social played a lead part in the events as it gave us an opportunity for consumers to discover more about the brand, outside of club hours and online. The event was a huge success and off the back of it, I was asked to go to Pretty Polly for 3 months to set up their social. A day or two after graduating, Three UK called and explained that they were setting up a social team, off the back of the competition and my crazy Facebook competition, the winner didn’t take it all, I was offered my first full time job.

Three was incredible, it taught me a ton and most importantly, about the world of mobile which is imperative in today’s world. I had two very geeky years at Three before moving back into the world of fashion (my degree was in Fashion Marketing and Communications at NTU), I’ve nearly done four years at ASOS now, it’s been superb for my development and progression. I’ve learnt a lot and had a few epic fails along the way, that of course, is the joy of social.

ASOS has 3.3m followers on its Instagram feed alone, it must feel daunting to manage such a large account. People are often afraid of using social in case they make a mistake or get it wrong. What do you say to that?

Mistakes are proof that you’re trying! We try to be as relaxed as our 20somethings are when they’re posting onto social, there’s no million and one sign off processes. Social is supposed to be fun, we inject the same level of fun and enthusiasm into our content. I have, however, had one of my biggest social faux pars on ASOS’ Instagram – I was at the NFL, few beers in when I had the “I’m supposed to be looking after ASOS’ Instagram fear. I took my phone out, quickly regrammed a picture of a girl in ASOS jeans with her dog. Threw my phone in my pocket, relieved that I’d remembered to post and carried on drinking/enjoying the game. At the end of the game, I took my phone out my pocket again and felt like Beyonce – I’ve never, ever received to many texts, tweets, WhatsApps, calls… I’d made an epic typo. Instead of saying “Nice ASOS jeans, cute dog too – can we borrow him?”, I’d put “Nice ASOS jeans, cute dog too – can we bottom him?”. Not my finest moment, the call to our customer care team was an interesting one. BUT, we’re only human – these things happen.LedByLucy-Sedge-Beswick-ASOS-Interview-Social-MediaWhat is a typical day like for you at ASOS?

Typically, there’s no such thing as a typical day. ASOS still has a very start up mentality so there’s lots of buzz and excitement, all day, every day. That also means that there’s always a hell of a lot to do so you’ll often be pulled in different directions to deliver the absolute best thing for our 20something audience. A typical day has a lot of meetings, a lot of Diet Coke and the occasional N-Sync song blasting out from someones Spotify account.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?      

Ooo, good question! My biggest highlight was being invited to Number 10, Downing Street to host what they call, an “Inspiration talk” to their digital teams. It was amazing to be invited (& of course, to get the picture outside the door!).

What advice could you give to bloggers that would like to work with ASOS?

Get a social channel, that you love, and keep it up to date. You don’t have to be interested in Fashion, we’re looking for people who are huge lovers of social and really understand the platform, and understand the amount of time it takes to define your tone of voice, create content, engage with your community. I am the ultimate social stalker when I’m recruiting, the worst is when people either don’t promote any social handles or when they do promote them and they’re completely redundant.

I have a real passion for educating people on social, and careers in social so I’ve written a book, 140 Ultimate Twitter LOLs, which is aimed at students and I often mentor and lecture at universities across Europe (currently typing whilst stranded in Florence due to a storm, post talk).

Favourite Instagram profiles and blogs to follow and why?  

I’m all about Instagram, that’s my platform of choice. My favourite accounts are:

  • ASOS_Ashley: Okay, I’m biased but there aren’t enough great streetwear and menswear Instagramers out there. Ashley has a real eye for a strong pair of sneakers.
  • FatJewish: No explanation needed, just look at the feed. That guy has me in stitches, daily.
  • SRSLYsocial: Also, biased but I’ve just launched a t-shirt company focused on social slogans, we’ve got 9K followers in 9 weeks so I’m pretty chuffed and our engagement rates are amazing, our first line sold out in 24 hours. If you haven’t seen the tees yet, check ’em out here.
  • FashionGrunge: Mainly because I’m Kurt Cobain obsessed but also because this account has such a clear aesthetic and interest (that obviously taps into my own).

SEDGE Beswick-LedByLucy-ASOS-InterviewFor those of you that are new to LedByLucy you may want to have a nosy at the People and Projects section of my blog where I regularly feature interviews with inspirational women working within the creative field. You may also like the Fashion and Beauty section which does what it says on the shoe box😉

Lifestyle and Interviews

MUSE Of THE MONTH: THE CLOTHES HORSE

September 10, 2015
LedByLucy-TheClothesHorse1
There are so many different kinds of fashion blogs. At one end of the scale are those that share their daily rants and raves from their bedrooms, accompanied by iPhone snaps with #NoFilter realness. Then at the opposite end of the scale is Rebecca’s blog, The Clothes Horse. Her ethereal posts are carefully curated using the woodlands and beaches of Northern Ireland as the backdrop for her stylised photography. Scrolling through her posts is like reading a never ending fairy tale with daily doses of magic.

I caught up with Rebecca to find out about how she became the protagonist in her own online fairy-tale, what she dreamed of doing when she was growing up, the thought process that goes into creating a post and what her dream shoot would look like…

LedByLucy-TheClothesHorse3
Your photographs always seem to tell a story. Some remind me of fairy tales, others vintage fashion photography and then stylised films too. What is the process that you go through to create these looks and themes? 
Part of it just happens organically. I watch a lot of old films and I read a lot growing up so these influences are still with me. Sometimes I’m just out on a walk and I see something and it’s very fairytale-esque, I don’t have to plan the image it just happens. It probably helps that I’m an American and I just moved to Northern Ireland; I see things differently than a local who drives by rock walls and castle ruins every day, for me it’s very old world and romantic while to them it’s just mundane. Being new to an area always helps, you see things more romantically than the locals and since I grew up moving every few years I’m sort of constantly in the state of being new and appreciating my surroundings because I’m not accustomed to them. If I break down the process then it usually starts with an outfit; once I have the outfit I think about what sort of settings would highlight it and then I go for a walk–I have some images in my mind but I also walk around and see what I can find. Sometimes I had a flowering bush in mind for a set and when I get there the plant died or the light is wrong, so I just walk or ride my bicycle a little farther and try to find a better fit. If I lived in a city I think my style would be completely different because I do pick out clothes thinking “this would work in the woods/countryside” or more literally I’d look at stilettos and think “where am I going to wear those?” because so many of the roads I walk along are dirt or gravel.
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What was your dream job as a 17 year old?
I wanted to be a “fine artist;” in my head that was really the dream to make a living doing art but the sort of art that belongs in museums and exhibitions. Even back then I remember my art teacher recommending that I look into illustration because she thought it suited my talents and interests more, but I felt it wasn’t as “cool” and “special” as fine art back then! Of course shortly after that my family moved and the next school I attended didn’t really have any art program so when college rolled around I was completely off the art track and trying to find a new goal! Now I’d probably love to get into illustration!
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If you had access to an unlimited budget what would your dream shoot look like?
Oh gosh there are so many dream shoots I’d love to do. The wardrobe would probably be Valentino, the location would probably be Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany (it looks like a Disney castle), and I’d love to get some of Tim Walker’s old props out for it as well! He’s created giant moths, cameras, and monsters for some of his shoots and I’d love to borrow a few for my own pictures. That’s really the next level–finding a way to create giant props to use but I wouldn’t even know where to store them once I built them!
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 So if ever you are in need of a little bit of sparkle on a dull day you know where to head.
For those of you that are new to LedByLucy you may want to have a nosy at the People and Projects section of my blog where I regularly feature interviews with inspirational women working within the creative field. You may also like the Fashion and Beauty section which does what it says on the shoe box 😉