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Comfort meets style with #MANO sneakers

By Anna Katina

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Comfort meets style

Hello my friends! As you can see, I try to write more often again! This is my second article this month, whoop! Last week, I introduced you the fair fashion store Akabo, this week I would like to talk about some sneakers… not any sneakers but THE sneakers I got from MANO at Belle Etoile, the shopping centre in Bartringen. So, you must know that I’ve never been a huge sneaker fan. I always wear sandals, from Spring to Autumn, occasionally I wear Converse. And as MANO asked me if I’d like to test their new trainers, I was not sure because yeah – usually, not my kind of footwear. But I accepted because I thought it could be an interesting challenge for me. So they were standing in my room for a week or so and every day I looked at them and thought – what could you wear with these? And then my mum passed by and said: ‘Wow, these are great, can I have them if you don’t wear them?’ Immediately I put them on without even thinking about how and if they would match my outfit xD. I was surprised how comfortable they are!! I felt tall, confident and like I was walking on pillows, perfect shoes for a shooting day! We went to a parc where I needed to take photos for Luxembourg City and my mum said – let’s do outfit photos! OK! When I saw the photos I was like – these shoes… with this skirt, aaaaahhhh – I love it!!!! For the rest of the week I didn’t come out of my new babies. I tried different looks and I liked every single combination! In fact, you can where them with a romantic, girlie look but also with denim shorts!


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When I shared some impressions on my Instastory, people (you my friends!) went crazy! Where did I get them? What brand? #SnekaerGoals,… I thought okok, you need to write about these!! This kind of sneaker is also called ‘dad sneaker’. The trend has been introduced by Balenciaga and the characteristics are the several colour and fabric layers and the oversized sole, the kind of trainers our dads used or use to wear!

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‘Dad trainers are everywhere, but would you wear them?’ Visual answer from Fashion Icons HERE!

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Here is another combination: denim shorts and a hippie cardigan, my kind of everyday look! You can wear the trainers (also available in white) with any colours as they are in delicate desaturated tones. I used to think that sneakers make short legs but now I figured out that it’s the opposite xD.

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So my friends, do you like my new trainers? And the way I combined them? I really recommend them to any girl who likes comfortable shoes which are out of the ordinary and who want to add a few centimetres to their height. Thank you MANO and Belle Etoile for inspiring me every day with fashion news! Kisses, Anna

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Route d’Arlon
L-8050 Bertrange



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Let's talk fair fashion!

By Anna Katina

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Hello my friends! I hope you’re all doing great! I’m currently in the middle of the wedding marathon (and I love it!!). Soon I’ll be in Croatia and Cuba! (Cameras all ready !!). I didn’t write about Tokyo yet and I think about it from time to time because I have so much to tell you about this city but I need the right amount of energy to finally write about this crazy trip. Let’s see.

Now I’m back with a new store review! Last time, I introduced you the lovely The Place. Today, it’s about another store in the city but with a different concept. I am talking about Akabo! Located a few steps from Place de Paris, the shop is a little fashion revolution on the Luxembourgish fashion market!. The founders, Lyne & Karel Lambert, believe in a philosophy of making decisions for daily life called ethical living which concerns consumerism, sustainability and environmentalism.

So what is fair fashion? It’s a about who made your clothes, under which conditions, it’s also about what impact the production has on the environment and the impact of the fabric and components on our health.. Wearing fair fashion is knowing that what you wear is made with respect for humans, animals and the environment – fashion, which you can wear with pride and confidence!

“There were questions we could not avoid, like:

Why are there organic grocery stores, but no shops selling sustainable fashion (bearing in mind that the fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters and violators of human rights!)? Does sustainability always mean odd or do cool and fashionable labels exist? How can we support a fashion revolution? What can we do? “

The store has two points of sale. The Akabo Buttéck and the Akabo Bus. I paid a visit to the bus this week after discovering it at a music festival where I was like – how mega cool is that?!

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The fashion bus

We all know food trucks, but a fashion truck, really?? 😀 The interior design is super cool, the clothing selection is nice and there is something for the whole family! So, where and when can you find the fashion bus? Akabo has a planning on their website where you can track the bus. Usually it’s parked next a Naturata. That day, I found it in Munsbach. And if you would like them to be at an event, you just call them and they’ll come to your party. The next fashion date on wheels is: July 25th in Soleuvre. Infos here.

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The store also sells the cutest backpacks. Of course I am already the proud owner of a small Ansvar backpack! About the brand – Ansvar is the first backpack to be certified by both the Fairtrade Standard and the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). In Scandinavia “ansvar” means responsibility. The products are exclusively made from sustainable materials, such as organic cotton canvas (naturally water resistant but they recommend a GOTS-certified impregnation spray to improve the water repellence) and vegetable-tanned leather. Also, the buckles are free from chrome and nickel. I love the size I went for because it may look small, but my camera and additional lenses and accessoires fit perfectly!

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Another cool brand I discovered in the bus is Mud Jeans. Denim, you should know, has a huge enviromental impact. I’m glad to see that brands like Mud Jeans offer alternatives. “Producing one pair of jeans takes 8.000 liters of water, yikes.” Read more about it here.

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So I went for an outfit which is totally me. Pastel colours, short, wide – perfect for work as for a date, casual chic. Thanks a lot to the lovely Jessica who consulted me so well on my choice! I love the fabric of this combination, it feels soft and light! The brand is Lovjoi, they make organic clothing and you always know who has made your clothes because it’s written on the clothing tag! My combo is made of Lyocell – a natural cellulose found in wood pulp. The fiber is fully biodegradable, economical in its use of energy, natural resources and yes – vegan.

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What I also love about my choice is that it is for me a proof that fair fashion is trendy! Many people think that fair/eco/vegan fashion is about basic, simple cuts and colors – well no, you can wear conscious fashion and look trendy at the same time! What do you want more?! 😀

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Necklace from Pictofactum. I love it! I wore it at a wedding in France a few weeks ago and received so many compliments! Pictofactum is a German brand from Berlin. Since every piece is handmade, each one is unique. The ceramic shapes are finished in a variety of different ways. They are gold-plated, glazed, polished and textured. The earring studs are all 925 silver. “Illusion, geometry, asymmetries and the interplay of different colours, surfaces and textures describes the necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets.” The head designer’s most important value is the quality and the origin of her used materials, all made in Europe.

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Bag from Valentino

So guys, I hope I could give a little idea of what the cute Akabo store is about!

Akabo Buttéck

8 rue de Bonnevoie
L-1260 Luxembourg



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Spotted in Luxcity - The Place!

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THE PLACE (to be!)

Hello my friends! I hope you are doing great, Spring is finally here, for real! Whoop! So, full of Spring vibes, I decided to present you a new fashion spot in Luxembourg City. Maybe you know this store already? The name is The Place and it has opened a few months ago (former Marc Jacobs store)! I really wanted to talk about this place, because I love the interior and the brand selection. That’s why I contacted the store manager to tell her that I would love to pass by and create some looks for my blog and Instagram. And here we go, when I was in Rome last week, I shot a first look and then back in Lux, a second one. The Place sells a selection of different brands like Essentiel Antwerp (I love this brand – classic cuts in eye-catching colours and patterns plus wonderful details), Furla, Marc Jacobs, Pinko, Ama Pure, Barbara Bui and Iro. Scroll down to discover the shop from the inside.

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Beautiful light! I love stores with large windows because you can see the real colours of the clothes. I’m also a big fan of this interior design, minimalistic and clean, so photogenic.


I immediately fell in love with this polka dress. If you look closer, you see that among the dots, there are cute little ants on the dress! The dress is availble in mutliple colours and cuts! I took the blue one for the shoot, and a longer one in red is already in my suitcase for Mallorca.. Photo will follow on Instagram!

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The new Marc Jacobs designs are fantastic! I’m glad that the designer moved in a new direction! This shoulder bag is available in many different colours and combinations! I added it to my look in Roma.

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Furla heaven!

The Place Luxembourg

ANNA IN WONDERLAND – a total ‘The Place’ look

So my friends, let’s dress up! The first look I went for is girly and playful, totally me. I looove the collar of the dress, here you can see the beautifl sequin work – can you spot the ants?? ;)) And, how amazing is this dress – bag match, please??? ;P

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Blue is my new pink. You can wear this dress for shopping, a Summer brunch or even a vintage-inspired wedding! To show the beauty of the collar, I recommend to pin your hair up – go for a messy bun or ponytail, nothing complicated !

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CITY TRIP – a look for exploring

And here is a second look. Shot in Roma! When visiting a city, I like to feel compfy! That’s why I went for some cool denim shorts combined with a basic top and a long shirt (it’s actually a dress, but I like to wear it with shorts). Also, the Marc Jacobs bag seemed perfect to me for this look – a large strap which won’t slip off so easely, a minimalistc yet colorful design.

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The Place

34, rue Notre-Dame Luxembourg

So guys, what do you think? Do you like my outfits? Have you heard of ‘The Place’ before? Let me know! As for me, I just can’t get enough of their products, looking forward to my next visit! But now I’m off to Mallorca and I will be back soon with a new article – It’s time to blog about my trip to Tokyo in February, sorry for being late with this one! x, Anna


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Current style obsession


Skinny jeans + oversized jumper + mini bag

Dear friends. Yes this post is a mix of hair colours but who cares. Today I realised that my recent outfits all look similar so I decided to feature my current obsession which is based on three things – skinny jeans in black or blue, an oversized jumper with extremely large sleeves and a mini designer bag usually in black. Most of the time I wear the whole thing with Converse.

I love my new mini bag from Prada, it’s probably the most beautiful bag I’ve ever seen.. It is named Cahier which in French means notebook! Inspired by the bindings of antique books, this little beauty can be worn as a shoulder bag, clutch or belt bag! But it’s small.. What fits inside? iPhone and a tiny wallet. Finito. No keys. Or you chose between money and keys. But I love the bag anyways! The other bag is my little Gucci Marmont, here you can easily put your wallet, phone and keys inside. My jumpers are from H&M and Zara, trousers from Zara.




In my previous article, I was talking about Spring vibes – ehmmm well yes, I was propably a bit euphoric, Winter is still in the air but at least I had a good short moment :P. Tomorrow I am giving blogging and styling tips at Auchan (Kirchberg) during their Fashion Week – if you will be around, come and say hi! I wish you a wonderful weekend my friends!


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Spring vibes - let's go outside!

By Anna Katina

Hello my friends! Happy March! Spring is coming, I feel it! Time to breath new life into the fashion category of my blog! So here we go, Spring vibes with bright colours, warm tones and cheeky details, because Spring is my favourite season! Bye-bye Winter depression, scarfs, coats and all the grey stuff – let’s go into the wild, watch the green stuff growing in the parks, eat more vitamins, wear bright colours and enjoy the first bubbles outside (yes, I had my first terrace lunch yesterday at Osteria, awesome!!). So before I share more of this look, I’d like to tell you more about my current collab with the featured brand!


Since the beginning of the year, I visit Vero Moda at Belle Etoile in Betrange once month to choose an outfit that I present on Instagram. I really like this collaboration because this way I re-discovered the brand and its products. I enjoy walking through the store and pick out clothes, change my mind and try different combinations. Also I started trying out new things that are not ‘me’ and I don’t know about you, but I love the results! What do you think of this sporty, minimalistic combination on the right? I will definitely wear it in Summer for coffee dates. I wore this look in Japan last month, the article about this interesting culture is under construction!


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Another look from Vero Moda I went for earlier this year is this trendy match – the checked blazer worn with a white turtle neck. This outfit became my casual look for meetings, coffee dates, shopping – everything. I was looking for a sweet turtle neck and bam! I need to admit, that Vero Moda became my daily clothing partner since we started the collaboration, which is a good sign I’d say 😛 The store in Bertrange is not as big as H&M so you have a good overview regarding the different collections and key pieces. The staff is very warm hearted and helpful. Ask for Badra if you have questions regarding any featured items on my blog, she will be more than happy to help you out!


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So back to my new outfit. This is a total Vero Moda look except for the shoes (Converse) and belt (Gucci)! I’m not a big fan of trousers, especially skin-tight jeans but this pair is super comfortable and elastic! These are my first white pants ever, let’s see how many hours they will survive..YOLO :P. The suede jacket is available in a dozen of colours online – I try not too think too much about it because it’s totally me to buy the same piece in different colours.. Brown is good choice, it’s a warm, classic colour which goes with all hair colours and styles. I added a simple white Tee with a sparkling pink heart pattern because – cute, oh and the gavroche cap! A trendy accessoire of the coming Summer! Paris is currently full of them – black berets and gavroche caps, the most worn headpiece of the past fashion week.

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Enough fashion talk, quick update about work if it’s interesting for you. My new occupation is community management. I run the Instagram accounts of a few businesses in Luxembourg and I love it because it’s a creative job but organisation is primordial! The City of Luxembourg needs beautiful photos during Spring, another great mission I got which I will start next week. And then, we’re almost at my favourite part of the year which is the wedding season! I’m already shaking of happiness and excitement !!!! I can’t wait to shoot the first wedding in May! Each wedding is like Christmas!! Yes, it’s my personal Christmas time. Ok Anna, calm down. So my friends, I wish you all a beautiful Spring, go outside, drink your first bubbles on a terrace like Urban, GoTen or wherever, start a new project if you feel down or start doing sports! (I ran in the woods from 8-9 am this morning, yep. With breaks of course because running is boring but at least I did something haha). Have a nice day!

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Here are some other colours of the suede jacket that I really like:

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Brexit Risks Half A Million More Air Pollution Deaths, MP Warns

The UK could face half a million more early deaths from air pollution after Brexit if the government fails to take robust action, an MP has warned.

Labour’s Geraint Davies says ministers’ current plans to completely phase out petrol and diesel cars by 2040 do not go far enough to mitigate leaving the EU and its commitment to improving air quality in all of its member states.

Toxic air is currently blamed for 40,000 premature deaths in the UK every year – meaning about 500,000 more people are at risk if things continue as they are – and the government’s air quality strategy was branded inadequate by the High Court for the third time last month.

Davies’ call comes as four Parliamentary committees release a joint report on air quality, calling for the car industry to be made to pay towards a new clean air fund.

“Parliament’s new report was jointly produced by four committees and reached cross-party consensus in recognising air pollution as a ‘national emergency’ costing 40,000 premature deaths and £20 billion a year,” he said.

“It points the finger at government failure, having lost in court four times for illegal levels of toxic air pollution. The government must now take urgent action to curb this public health crisis and to comply with international law.”

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has said levels had “improved significantly” since 2010, but that ministers recognise there is more to do.

“That is why we have put in place a £3.5 billion plan to improve air quality and reduce harmful emissions,” a spokesperson said.

Car companies are under pressure to take action.

The report, commissioned by the environment and food, health, transport and environment audit select committees, says car companies must pay towards improving air quality to compensate for past problems and poor health, as well as future safeguarding.

Davies added: “The report also makes clear that Brexit should not be seen as a convenient opportunity for the government to continue to ignore the law and lower standards further.

“It demands the government adopts World Health Organisation Air Quality standards to take leadership instead continuing to make excuses for bad practices.

“The EU Withdrawal Bill purports to transfer EU laws, rights and protections into UK law but fails to safeguard public health from air pollution by excluding air quality standards and enforcement agencies.”

MPs want a proper Clean Air Bill to be implemented to improve basic quality and enshrine access to non-polluted air as a UK right. Poor air quality currently costs the country about £20 billion every year.

Conservative MP Andrew Selous, acting chair of the health committee, said: “Poor air quality has been classified as the largest environmental risk to the health of the British public.

Andrew Selous

“It is even more concerning that children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing health conditions are most at risk.

“Action must be taken to combat this national health emergency. Our report calls for the health sector to play a more vocal role in tackling air pollution at a national and local level, and for a national information campaign to provide clear messages about the risks of air pollution to the public.”

Environmental charity Friends of the Earth submitted evidence to the committee inquiry to help inform the report and said they were pleased with its “hard-hitting” findings.

Campaigner Jenny Bates said: “Friends of the Earth has long been calling for motor manufacturers, as key players in the current abysmal state of the nation’s air quality, to contribute to cleaning up our air.

“We welcome the report’s verdict that manufacturers should cover the costs of scrappage schemes to help switch consumers from the most polluting vehicles.

“While the report rightly notes that to cut air pollution the need for private vehicle use must be reduced, we also need to see the scrapping of schemes which would only increase traffic levels such as the expansion of Heathrow airport, and major road-building projects.”


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We Must Protect Our Rights From Automated Decisions

Imagine a future where algorithms or even supercharged artificial intelligence (AI) make decisions in multiple aspects of your life: your job, your education, your welfare, and even your health.

In this future, the police use algorithms and AI systems to predict where crime will be committed and automated alerts trigger police to despatch vehicles. Police vehicles are fitted with automated number plate and face recognition cameras that identify people on watch lists. Police can ‘stop and scan’ people to verify their identity, using on-the-spot fingerprint scanners to check against crime and immigration databases. Following arrests, an algorithm can assess information held about suspects and decide whether they should be kept in custody.

Meanwhile, the intelligence agencies use automated programs to sift through billions of communications intercepted from entire populations, home and abroad, every day. Their programs automatically read, listen to, and watch private conversations and web browsing, advising who to subject to more intense surveillance.

That future is here and now.

As the trend for automation takes pace, our lives and indeed our freedoms risk being increasingly governed by machines. New technologies provide great promise in a range of sectors, from science to transport to health – but when automation is used to make decisions about citizens’ basic rights, the risks are extremely grave.

European law provides us with the vital right not to be subjected to automated decisions. However, our Government is abandoning this vital right in the Data Protection Bill currently going through parliament – opening the door to employers, authorities and even the police using machines to make life-altering decisions about us.

Is it right to rely on machines to decide who is eligible for a job; who is entitled to welfare; or even, who is innocent or guilty?

Unsurprisingly, automated computer programs don’t tend to deliver humane solutions.

An automated benefits system in the US resulted in a million benefits applications being denied over a three year period – a 54% increase from the three years before. It often blamed its own mistakes on claimants’ “failure to co-operate”. One such claimant was a woman suffering ovarian cancer. Without welfare, she lost the ability to pay for her medication, her transport to medical appointments, and even her rent. She died the day before she won her appeal against the system.

There are rapid advances in the use of automated systems in the jobs market – but beware that Google’s job advertisement algorithm shows prestigious, high-paying jobs to men more often than to women. Algorithms are common at the hiring stage, searching for keywords in CVs and cover letters, while some even include ‘chatbots’. Many applicants are rejected by this automated system before they even come into contact with a human.

Some algorithms purport to be able to track and rate an employee’s performance, even making firing decisions, supposedly beneficial because they “eliminate human emotional volatility.

The automation of these processes and the online nous required to navigate their blunt interface don’t make it easy for the older jobseeker, nor anyone whose job doesn’t require a digital skillset.

Perhaps even more chilling than being hired and fired by machines is the very real prospect of being policed by machines.

Automated identity checkpoints have recently crept onto our streets, with the controversial introduction of automated facial recognition cameras. The Metropolitan Police and South Wales Police are currently using the technology with watch lists of people they want to keep an eye on – whether it’s petty criminals or people with mental health problems. The Met has used facial recognition cameras for the last two years at Notting Hill Carnival – despite similar technology showing a disturbing likelihood to misidentify black faces.

The Met now even uses predictive policing and has experimented with a commercial product called PredPol, as have forces in Kent, Greater Manchester, West Midlands, and West Yorkshire. The algorithm predicts crime hotspots and alerts police to despatch resources. However, multiple studies have found that PredPol can reinforce biased policing – typically in areas with high numbers of racial minorities. This occurs where crime statistics that represent over-policing are used to predict where crime will occur in the future, resulting in self-fulfilling – and discriminatory – prophecies.

Durham Police has taken an ever greater leap towards automation, using artificial intelligence to decide whether to keep suspects in custody. Their algorithm assesses information about suspects and estimates their risk of reoffending. A similar program used by US authorities was found to incorrectly over-estimate the risk of black defendants more often than whites – despite data on race not even being used. Durham Police recently removed one of the postcode fields in their tool, acknowledging that they risked discriminating against the poor.

We mustn’t ignore the great potential of new technologies to improve our society – but nor must we turn a blind eye to the risks they pose. By automating important decisions about people’s lives, we risk encoding discrimination in place of human fairness and shielding bad decisions with a veil of ‘objectivity’.

Substituting human decision-makers for unaccountable machines allows us to avoid the pressing moral and political dilemmas our society faces.

Automated processing may well support our decisions, but where the stakes are high, they should never replace human decisions.

That is why we’re calling on MPs to change the Data Protection Bill to uphold the vital EU right of citizens not to be subject to automated decisions, where our fundamental rights are at stake. The advent of new technologies forces us to ask some existential questions about our relationship to machines, and on one thing we’re clear – our human rights must always be protected by human decisions.


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Britain First Banned From Facebook

Britain First’s Facebook page and the pages of its two leaders have been removed “with immediate effect”, the social media giant has announced.

In a statement, Facebook said the far-right group’s three pages, including leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen’s, had “repeatedly posted content designed to incite animosity and hatred against minority groups”.

Facebook said it recently gave the page admins a written final warning, but added “they have continued to post content that violates our community standards”.

“As a result, in accordance with our policies, we have now removed the official Britain First Facebook Page and the Pages of the two leaders with immediate effect. We do not do this lightly, but they have repeatedly posted content designed to incite animosity and hatred against minority groups, which disqualifies the Pages from our service.”

The statement also said: “We are an open platform for all ideas and political speech goes to the heart of free expression. But political views can and should be expressed without hate. People can express robust and controversial opinions without needing to denigrate others on the basis of who they are.”

In December last year Fransen and Golding were also suspended from Twitter, amid the social media platform’s crackdown on ‘hateful conduct’.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated. Check back for the fullest version. Follow HuffPost UK on Twitter here, and on Facebook here.


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Creating ‘Immersive Art’ at Juku New York’s Subterranean Cocktail Bar

“Coming down here you’ll feel one level removed from reality,” explains contemporary artist Jonah Freeman of the new cocktail lounge beneath Japanese restaurant Juku at 32 Mulberry Street in Manhattan.
Freeman and his creative partner Justin Lowe have transformed the intimate space into a trippy work of experiential art that begins after the stark concrete entry hall of the bi-level restaurant, which opened in Chinatown in the fall and offers a casual Izakaya menu as well as the traditional chef-selected Omakase dining experience.
A fluorescent pink curtain of PVC plastic strips marks the cellar bar’s entryway — a brightly fluorescent-lit set of stairs, which Freeman and Lowe have crafted to look like a “strange wellness spa” complete with fake pharmaceuticals and advertisements with actors dressed as zombies doing yoga and shilling health products.
“The idea is to prepare you for one thing and then once you come in, it’s wholly different,” continues Freeman. “The flow from room to room is always considered. We often think of it like a cinematic cut where you jump in time and space with either a hard cut or a soft fade. [This space] is a hard cut — a smash cut, really.”
This garishly lit stairway leads into

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‘A uniform for intellectuals’: the fashion legacy of Marimekko

Designed in the 1950s to bring colour to a postwar world, Finnish design brand Marimekko is enjoying a fashion moment – with a bright and breezy Uniqlo collaboration

‘I really don’t sell clothes, I sell a way of living.” No, these aren’t the words of fashion’s current tastemakers, the likes of outgoing Céline designer Phoebe Philo or, say, Gucci’s alchemist Alessandro Michele. Actually, they were spoken way back in 1963 by Armi Ratia, the founder of Marimekko. The Finnish design house has been brightening up ways of living with bold artistic prints since 1951, when Ratia transformed her husband’s oilcloth company into one producing cheerful, bold but elegant printed designs.

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Stephen Hawking Dead: Eddie Redmayne Leads Tributes To The 'Astonishing' Man He Played In 'The Theory Of Everything'

Eddie Redmayne has paid tribute to Stephen Hawking following the death of the British scientist at the age of 76.

Eddie won the Best Actor Oscar in 2015 for his portrayal of the professor in ‘The Theory Of Everything‘.

He described him as having a “truly beautiful mind” and added that he was “the funniest man I have ever met.”

Actor Eddie Redmayne has paid tribute to Stephen Hawking. Eddie played the professor in the 2014 film, The Theory of Everything.

— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) March 14, 2018

In a statement shared on social media, he said: “We have lost a truly beautiful mind, an astonishing scientist and the funniest man I have ever had the pleasure to meet. My love and thoughts are with his extraordinary family.”

The death of renowned British physicist at his home in Cambridge was announced by a family spokesman in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

In a statement, his children Lucy, Robert and Tim said: “We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today.

“He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.

“His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world. He once said, ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ We will miss him forever.”

‘The Theory of Everything’ (2014) charted the onset of his illness and his early life as the brilliant student grappling with black holes and the concept of time.

Other stars also paid their respects on Twitter…

Goodbye #StephenHawking Thank you for being – amongst everything else – a great laugh.

— David Walliams (@davidwalliams) March 14, 2018

What a privilege it was to know Stephen Hawking. His work elevated us to the extra-ordinary; his life pushed down a terrible, limiting disease so that he could enjoy the full joy of the ordinary. In both, he was a triumph of what can we, as humans, can achieve.

— Dara Ó Briain (@daraobriain) March 14, 2018

Saddened to hear that professor Stephen Hawking has passed away. A genius in the true sense of the world and a quite extraordinary man. #ripstephenhawking

— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) March 14, 2018


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Brexit Didn’t Cause The Pressures On The NHS, But It Will Make Them More Difficult

Forget the red bus, with its claims about what leaving the EU would mean for the health service. In reality, the potential impact of Brexit on the NHS was hardly discussed during the EU referendum campaign.

The Leave camp specialised in vague pledges of extra funding. And, for their part, the Remainers managed to come up with only one healthcare benefit of EU membership in their campaign leaflet: the fact UK citizens have the right to access free or cheap healthcare abroad.

Nor was healthcare an important direct determinant of how people voted. However, since the referendum its salience has risen, not least because of severe winter crises.

Given the all-pervasive nature of Brexit in contemporary political debates the two have, unsurprisingly, been discussed in tandem to a greater extent than prior to the referendum. The trouble is, these debates have, in the main, been stubbornly superficial in nature.

Our report digs deeper and reveals some troubling findings. Let’s take just three issues: money, staff and patients.

Peter Levell and George Stoye explain some of the misconceptions about the impact of Brexit on the public finances.

In the same way that considering your headline salary isn’t a true reflection of your income, taking the UK’s gross contribution to the EU – the infamous £350million per week – is not the way to understand what money will be available to the NHS after Brexit.

Quite apart from being inaccurate, the figure is likely to lead to unrealistic expectations among the public about what effects Brexit will have on the NHS.

Taking into account the UK’s rebate and EU spending in the UK that the government has pledged to continue, the true figure available will be closer to £150million per week.

But this doesn’t take into account the hit to the economy most economists expect from Brexit over the medium to long term, or the areas where the UK might want to keep paying into the EU to take part in EU projects.

These are likely to more than wipe out any saving from the UK’s EU contributions.

For the NHS, as for all public services, this will mean fewer funds available for spending increases. The government could raise taxes, increase borrowing or divert money from other services, but Brexit is unlikely to come with a dividend for the NHS.

On staff, Tamara Hervey and Sarah McCloskey, reveal the scale of our reliance on EU nationals. Around 200,000 EU27 citizens work in the health and care sectors, including 10% of all NHS England doctors, 100,000 social care staff and 20,000 NHS England nurses.

The worry is twofold. First, that the NHS can’t hold onto the staff it already has – and there has already been a steep drop in registrations of EU nurses. And, second, that the future immigration system (whatever that turns out to be, and I’ve given up holding my breath) will be too restrictive to bring in the skills the NHS needs.

The government’s commitment to reduce low-skilled immigration could affect a whole swathe of NHS jobs if defined too broadly. For example, senior care workers and nursing assistants fall into one of the lower-skilled categories, as do security guards, launderers and cleaners. All of these could be vulnerable to restrictions, putting pressure on already understaffed organisations.

For patients, there is equal uncertainty. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is currently the basis for treating EU nationals across the EU, and it is far from certain whether the UK will be able to negotiate access to it in future, especially on current terms.

The government wants to retain the same benefits as now when outside the EU, but this may be unrealistic.

We need to be clear about the implications of not retaining the EHIC. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has estimated that the cost of treating UK citizens abroad without it will be about £160million.

Worst affected will be the elderly and those with serious conditions, for whom buying insurance to replace the EHIC will be more expensive, and potentially unaffordable. The elderly are already the biggest spenders on healthcare and losing the EHIC would exacerbate this.

Overall, the EU has limited direct competence over health policy, although it is committed to considering the health impacts of its actions in all policy areas.

Therefore, the effects of Brexit, whether positive or negative, will mostly be indirect. Changes to economic, trade and immigration policy in particular will have knock-on effects on health care provision and public health.

Understanding these effects, and the interconnections between different policy areas, is vital if Brexit is to be a success from a health perspective.

Moreover, the sheer scale of the challenge that Brexit presents makes effective action in other areas of public policy much more difficult.

Not least, its all-consuming nature means real care must be taken to avoid falling into the trap, pointed out by the House of Lords, of allowing the political cycle to take precedence over long-term planning.

We do not claim to be able to accurately predict the future, not least as the nature of Brexit itself remains stubbornly opaque.

Ensuring a well-functioning health service, and protecting public health, after Brexit is by no means impossible, but the challenges are significant. Our report represents our attempt to identify them. Forewarned is forearmed.

Matt Bevington is a research assistant at The UK in a Changing Europe. The UK in a Changing Europe has released its report Brexit and the NHS today


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Good American to Expand With Maternity Jeans

MAMA MIA!: With so many pregnancies taking place in the Kardashian-Jenner family, this appears to be a natural next step.
Good American, the Los Angeles-based fashion brand offering founded by Khloé Kardashian — who is pregnant — and Emma Grede, are getting into maternity action. On Thursday, they will introduce the brand’s first maternity denim line dubbed Good Mama on
The collections, including core and fashion-forward styles, feature two flattering fits for women at all stages of their pregnancy in sizes 00-24. Prices range from $149 to $179.
One of the styles is called The Honeymoon, which is designed for the first, growing months at the beginning of pregnancy. The fit is offered in a mid- or low-rise and features two, non-restrictive elastic panels at the waistband that don’t leave marks. The second is The Home Stretch, which was designed with an ultra-soft-belly cocoon which allows coverage near the end of the pregnancy.
Good American launched in 2016 at Nordstrom with a line of premium denim. The company has since branched out into bodysuits, sweaters, skirts, sweats and accessories. The collection is manufactured in the U.S. The company has dabbled in brick-and-mortar with a temporary shop within VFiles in New York’s SoHo, and

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The Blurred Lines of Fashion and Technology

The Blurred Lines of Fashion and Technology

As technology becomes more advanced and integrated with our lives, some of the biggest names in tech – Amazon, Apple and Google – are taking steps towards fashion with their voice-controlled cameras, smartwatches, and smart jackets. Similarly, some of fashion’s giants, like Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel and Zac Posen from Marchesa are experimenting with tech in their designs. This includes the use of 3D printed pieces and cognitive dresses that change color with social media activity.

It’s clear that fashion and tech are melding, and in the near future high-tech fashion will be more than just a cute stunt. It won’t belong before native app design leads to fashion applications that do more than just let users browse product catalogs.

Thanks to the development of 3D printing, you may soon be able to print your own shoes at home having bought the design online direct from the fashion house. Fabrics woven with sensors could enhance or even replace the need for your smartphone, and your jewelry could help you manage your stress.

3D Printing Fashion

Adidas is one of the front-runners with this technology thanks to project Futurecraft, which began in 2015. Not only are they looking to be able to 3D print their sneakers on a large scale, but also the potential for customization is huge.

The plausibility for having your foot measured perfectly in store – including contours, exact pressure points and gait – would allow for designs to be tailored exactly for individuals. Customers could then purchase the tailored design and print the shoes themselves, or have the 3D prints created by Adidas and delivered within 24 hours.

Sponsored athletes already benefit from exact tailoring; 3D printing could make this available to consumers on a much wider scale when the technology becomes accessible over the coming years.

Conductive Fabrics

Google has partnered with Levi’s for project Jacquard to create a denim jacket that has 15 conductive threads woven into the sleeve, allowing wearers to activate certain functions on their smartphones. A Bluetooth cuff links the smartphone to the jacket enabling for a range of interactive functions to take place with a simple gesture: for example, brushing or touching the sleeve to play music or tell the time.

The weaving technology has numerous other possible applications, and Google is working with designers and developers to explore how the sensor-laden fabric can be used in other materials to enhance everyday life.

Smart Jewelry

For the past three years, smart jewelry has been building a following. Big brand names like Swarovski have been working alongside tech companies to create beautiful pieces that do more than just add a touch of bling to your outfit. Swarovski and Misfit’s Shine is another take on activity-tracking accessories that follow wearers’ everyday activities, and provide better understanding of sleep patterns.

Other clever designs like Senstone are unisex and can be worn as a pendant, clip, or bracelet. It records voice memos, translates them into text, then organizes them for you in an app on your smartphone. An LED light indicates it’s recording, but other that’s the only clue this fashionable piece incorporates high-tech features.

The Fashion-Tech Future

At the moment, much of the wearable tech available to consumers ultimately relies on a smartphone. Experts like Kate Sicchio, assistant professor at New York University for integrated digital media sees the future as being a ‘more embedded’ one. This refers to an age where fashion moves away from using a smartphone as the brain of the technology, and onto having small micro-controllers in our garments.

Doing so will allow our clothes to collect data more efficiently and without the need for an additional device. Once this begins to happen, a real breakthrough in fashionable tech will be close at hand. It will take an innovator who can think outside the existing fashion-tech box, and a continuing partnership between fashion and technology companies.


Author: Rae Steinbach

Article Date-Dec2017

Publish Date-Feb 2018

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