How Balenciaga Shaped Fashion

Cristóbal Balenciaga’s craftmanship, legacy and impact on the fashion world until this day is celebrated in a temporary exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, which will leave you swooning over the designer’s work and projects through the years.

The ground floor is dedicated to Balenciaga’s craftsmanship, his workrooms and it explores the experience of being one of his clients, with testimonies from various wealthy women who swore by his designs. The exhibition follows a chronological order, emphasizing Balenciaga’s Spanish roots (with dresses inspired by fabrics from northern Spain, gowns associated with bullfighting and flamenco dresses) and the reflection of his Catholicism in his designs. However, Shaping Fashion focuses on this designer’s last decades, a period in which he released a series of controversial, yet innovative, designs – the baby doll dress and the unsexy sack.

Balenciaga experimented with form, fabric and the human body as an abstract object, and that is something that can be seen in this exhibition, on designs like the famous Envelope Dress.

This designer is called by many contemporaries The Master, a nickname that is brought to life through this perfectly put together exhibition. As you can observe in Shaping Fashion, it was Balenciaga’s training that set him apart and made him truly a master of haute couture. Unlike most fashion designers, Balenciaga began with the fabrics and designed around them – “It is the fabric that decides”. If you are someone who admires this designer’s work, you’re in for a real treat, with the display of some of his technical drawings, sketches, fabric swatches, reference photos and historical pieces, such as the 1961 green evening dress that opens the exhibition.

The famous 1961 green dress that opens the exhibiton. Photo by the New York Times

In order to replicate some of Balenciaga’s work and show his intricate designs and chosen patterns, the V&A joined hands with students from the London College of Fashion, and artist Nick Veasey produced X-rays to look at how his designs were constructed and to see the details that are not visible to the naked eye.

The details of the design of Balenciaga’s evening dresses

The upper floor looks at Balenciaga’s legacy and his impact on later generations of fashion designers, which is still interesting, but you’ll notice that the main focus of the exhibition and the place where you’ll want to spend your time is the ground floor, admiring the Master’s evening gowns and simple but structured dresses. Nevertheless, Balenciaga influenced every Fashion House – see the examples of Yohji Yamamoto and Calvin Klein in the 80’s and 90’s, and Phoebe Philo, J.W. Anderson and Rick Owens today. The exhibition isn’t associated with today’s Balenciaga brand, which was revamped in the 1990’s, but highlights the similarities between one of Cristóbal’s 1951 designs and a lady suit elaborated by Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga in 2016.

Similarities between Cristóbal Balenciaga and Demna Gvasalia


“Haute couture is like an orchestra whose conductor is Balenciaga”, as Christian Dior said, is the statement that perfectly sums this exhibition up. Allow yourself to dive into his impressive and innovative work, learn more about the Master himself and see how his influence was felt worldwide in the fashion industry in this outstanding exhibition curated by Cassie Davies-Strodder.

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion

  • On now until Sunday, 18 February 2018
  • Daily: 10:00 – 17:30 (last entry 16:15)
  • Friday: 10:00 – 21:30 (last entry 20:15)
  • Room 40 of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London
  • £12.00

Lecture Notes: Mobile Media

WEEK 5 – OCT 24

  • Mobile media is becoming the number 1 source for news, which can be seen in a graph that shows that in the middle of 2015, mobile use had crossed over computer use when it comes to news source.
  • When it comes to access to news, a different graph shows that social media crossed over printed newspaper in 2014.

Type of video per platform:

  • short-texted videos are the most popular ones and you see them the most on Facebook, which has a tool that allows the video to start playing on mute the moment it appears on your feed

Duration of videos per platform:

  • the majority of online videos last between 1 to 4 minutes
  • the shortest videos are the most popular ones on Instagram, as this social network is known for its short clips


  • 16:9 provides a much wider, bigger space to work with – it’s more cinematic, creating a more panoramic view
  • square is better for close-ups and personal perspectives

Video content:

  • Politics – 24%
  • Lifestyle and celebrities – 22%
  • (…)
  • Science and tech – 5%
  • Sports – 2%


  • Health and Education – 23%
  • (…)
  • Business – 18%


  • Lifetyle and Celebrities – 26%
  • (…)
  • Art and Culture – 18%


  • Politics – 37%
  • (…)
  • Health and Education – 17%


  • Politics, Health and Education, Business – 20%

Sub-topics: Trump (14%), Kids (10%), Food (7%), Fashion (7%), etc.

Farm Girl: the countryside comes to Notting Hill

Now occupying a place on the list of London’s go-to’s for the perfect Sunday brunch, Farm Girl is hidden away in the heart of Notting Hill, providing a lovely, quiet and nutritious, but most importantly, delicious, food experience.

Farm Girl is located in the perfect area, in the beginning of Portobello Road, right after the typical Notting Hill pastel coloured houses. As you step through the white painted doors you will come across the outdoor space, with individual pastel pink tables and wooden communal ones as well, decorated with lots of greenery. The inside of this Australian café is quite different from the outside of it, with turquoise tiles on the walls, pendant lights and a bar filled with freshly baked goods. 

When it comes to breakfast, everyone knows Australians do it better, which is no surprise as you go through the Farm Girl menu – it includes all day breakfast (so you can order an açaí bowl in the middle of the afternoon if you feel like it), healthy lunch options and a variety of both warm and chilled drinks. From avocado toast to yogurt and açaí bowls, poached eggs and matcha lattes, this location is the dream of every Instagram foodie.

The most popular choices and the ones I would recommend the most are the berry pancakes, topped with coconut shreads, strawberries and maple syrup, and the avocado toast, which comes with a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds and a poached egg. 

Everything about this café screams Instagram and its trendiness is reflected on the only bad thing about it – the long 30 minute wait for a table; longer, even, if you’re like me and insist on having an outside table as an excuse to have a pastel pink background for your #sundaybrunch photos.

With this being said, add this trendy brunch place to your next weekend plans – indulge on comforting and delicious food in an atmosphere that instantly transports you to the sunny Melbourne café scene.

Farm Girl:

Monday to Thursday – 08h30 to 16h30
Friday – 08h30 to 16h30
Saturday & Sunday – 09h00 to 18h00

59a Portobello Rd
London W11 3DB

Analytics: a 21st century tool

Analytics is a modern and powerful tool that is being used by newsrooms all over the globe to get inside information on what the most popular topics are and what their readers want, helping them grow their audiences, increase engagement and improve newsroom workflows.

Nowadays, digital media organizations are actually developing their own forms of editorial analytics in order to get insight into their page views, number of clicks, most popular topics, etc. Tools such as Stela, an instrument created by The New York Times which collects data form multiple sources and centralizes it in one place, help news organizations achieve their own personal goals.

In fact, the 21st century obsession over analytics and data has led to the creation and emergence of people whose task is to grow and develop audiences, with job titles like Audience Development Editor and Audience Engagement Editor. These developments are useful in pursuance of gaining a stronger understanding of how people consume, share and discuss their context.

However, the use of analytics has made news organizations obsess over the data, the numbers and graphs, changing the working methods to make sure the content that’s being published gets the widest reach possible. Most often than not, newsrooms rely on clickbait to get their page views up and advertise the most popular stories instead of the most important ones.

Photo by OSO Web Studio

Filter bubbles: can we escape them?



In the last decade, social media has transformed itself – the modern society revolves around social networks, which are now the majority of the population’s primary news sources. People can get their daily dose of updated information simply by scrolling through their Facebook feed, going through publications of pages that they follow.

This has led to the emergence of concepts such as filter bubbles and echo chambers. Websites like Facebook, Twitter and Google analyze the user’s past activity and make assumptions by selecting information based on this analysis and presenting it to the user. This way, he’s presented with information he’s genuinely interested in. On the other hand, this selection of ideas can cause isolation from opposing viewpoints, as the user only has access to views he agrees with.

“(…) the internet is highly effective at bringing like-minded groups of people together — and terrible at creating space for differently minded people to debate.” (via The Verge)

As an attempt to exemplify this, I’m going to take my personal case. When scrolling through my Facebook feed, I often come across posts by Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, fashion bloggers, lifestyle magazines and the mandatory news websites – BBC and The Guardian. By analyzing my own case, I can tell that I am more inclined to read about fashion, lifestyle and general news, which means I stay away from other areas of knowledge and culture, like sports and economics, for example.

However, I believe it’s important for someone to have at least superficial knowledge of most areas of interest, so the solution would be to read more about topics that I usually wouldn’t go for.

Filter bubbles are the most noticeable when it comes to politics, hence why this concept was so popular during the 2016 US Presidential elections. The conformation of someone with a certain political view means that most of the time they only interact with people who share the same view as them and this will consequently lead to their isolation from other perspectives and viewpoints. To get the best point of view possible, especially in politics, a person should be aware of every single perspective and interact with people with opposite viewpoints. Only this way will someone make the best decision, having in mind every factor that might affect their lives.

Shoreditch’s very own Taste of Italy

The House of Peroni returns once again to the streets of East London with a traditional Italian experience inspired by the citrus fruits and the typical Amalfi Coast lemon harvest – Infused with Italy.

As soon as you step into the pop up location of the House of Peroni, you are immediately greeted with an Italian aroma, the fresh and zesty citrus, and a complementary drink, whilst stepping straight into an Italian street food market.

It’s a rather unique experience, as the open space is divided into small sections, allowing the visitor to experience different sensations.

After feeling like you have just been transported to the streets of this Mediterranean country, you will come across Bar Mercato, where you can acquire and taste the highly acclaimed and distinct Italian beer, Peroni Nastro Azzuro. With a drink in hand, head over to the Trattoria – choosing from a small menu that perfectly combines Italian street food and Italian citrus, brought to life by critically-acclaimed chef Francesco Mazzei, indulge on delicious treats such as fettuccine with pink pepper and lemon zest, pumpkin and orange crochette, lemon and rosemary meatballs and fresh tomato, mozzarella and basil pizza. Next to the street food there’s an authentic Italian fruit market, the Fruttivendolo.

Stepping into the second room, allow yourself a second drink at Bar Citrus, the central space, as Italian house music provided by DJ’s from Early Sound Recordings fills the room, creating the most pleasant environment for cocktails and treats with friends. Bar Citrus is where you’ll experience previously undiscovered combinations, as brewers serve you the most recent development by Peroni – Peroni Ambra, “a limited edition variant inspired by the apperitivo occasion which combines Peroni Nastro Azzuro with the sharpness of rare Italian Chinotto fruit”. Hidden in the corner of the room there is a Salumeria, serving bite sized treats – small cones of Italian salumi and formaggio as well as artesian products such as pastas, tinned fish and olive oil.

For the perfect end of this adventure through the transalpine streets, return to the first room, where a dessert stand will be waiting for you, serving you the creamiest ricotta and bergamot gelato.

Visit The House of Peroni – Infused with Italy:

  • 3 – 10 Shoreditch High Street E1 6PG
  • 5th – 15th October
  • 5pm -11pm weekdays, 12-11pm Saturdays, 12-9pm Sundays
  • Closed Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th
  • Free entry

How do digital developments change journalism?

The development of the internet and the digital world has transformed modern journalism in a revolutionary way, changing the way people access the news and increasing the news publishing speed.

Nowadays, everyone can be a journalist – people can capture and save content with their smartphones, a much more practical tool than a camera. This has led to the emergence of self-publishing platforms that are possible due to blogging websites – everyone is able to upload content and share their opinions.

However, does this have a negative impact on traditional journalism?

The immediate answer is yes. The constant development of online media publishing is a threat to printing press industries. Nevertheless, the digital world has vastly increased distribution, as not only are the news available to a much broader audience, but also digital publishing has reduced the amount of time that it takes to produce and publish new content. Whereas a few years ago an update on a news story would only be published the following day, nowadays the same update can be published online as soon as possible.

It’s the evolution of journalism – the digital age has separated the concept of “journalism” from the simple act of running a newspaper.

Photo © Malawi Nyasa Times

Camberwell Yards: Camberwell’s Regeneration

Plans have now been set for a new shopping and dining centre in Camberwell, the new up and coming area of southeast London.

Inspired by Boxpark, a temporary pop up complex which is very much beloved of hipsters in areas such as Shoreditch and Croydon, Camberwell Yards will provide fourteen units dedicated to food and beverages, community use, independent businesses and it will even have a central communal area for flexible use.

However, how is this new project going to affect Camberwell, its local residents and businesses?

The area’s locals are thrilled about the idea of having something different and new in which they can spend their time and believe Camberwell can only benefit from this unique concept.

Nicola, 44, considers that “it would be good because a lot of people that live here would normally go to other areas and it might integrate other people as well”. Colin, 53, seconds this idea – “It’s going to regenerate, bring more money and different people. Hopefully with this development we’ll also get an underground train because that’s what Camberwell needs”.

When it comes to local businesses, this project will provide opportunities for them to contribute with food and drink to the new project

Summing it up, Camberwell Yards is a great opportunity to regenerate Camberwell, attracting more people to the area and increasing its economic value. It will hopefully be finished in time for summer next year.

Photo © Phiadon Press

Clinic //2: the dark side of technology

Organised by Vitamin London, a digital shop based in Central London, in association with the London Design Festival 2017, Clinic //2 is a unique exhibition meant to represent the impact of technology in our reality and the darkest side of the digital world.

It’s an immersive exhibition purposely created for the audience to reflect on the influence that the development of all sorts of technology and networks have had on our day-to-day lives, upbringing and relationships. According to Jacob Beckett, founder and creative director of the Multivitamin Group, “Clinic //2 unveils unique artworks and immersive installations demonstrating the bridging of technology and reality”.

Featuring the works of artists such as Jasmine Pradissitto and Mandy Hreus, Clinic //2 manages to attract the audience’s attention with powerful and meaningful pieces that stand out due to their originality. In addition to that, the dark lighted exhibition provides a virtual reality experience that allows people to think about the evolution of technology and how it has affected our personality and emotions – “U store data but do u store love?”.

The exhibition is open from the 20th until the 24th of September from 11am until 6pm on the 3rd floor of the Oxo Tower Wharf, in London.