Pantone Editorial – Cherwell Fashion

This past term at Oxford, I’ve been involved in the Fashion section of the University magazine, Cherwell. The theme of my first shoot was pantone, focussing on the new colours of the season; fresh pastels and soft shades. The shoot took place on Holywell street, one of my favourite places in Oxford. Holywell Street is home to the King’s Arms pub and Turf Tavern, an amazing Japanese restaurant ‘edamame’ and beautifully bright and colourful lines of houses in front of which the colours of the clothes played off brilliantly.

 

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Inspired by PANTONE’s 2016 picks, this week’s editorial features swatch-like compositions inspired by our favourite colours of the season.

CREATIVE DIRECTOR / Jasmin Yang- Spooner

ASSISTANT CREATIVE DIRECTOR / William Hosie

PHOTOGRAPHY / Fien Barnett-Neefs EDITING & DESIGN / Hope Sutherland

MAKE-UP / Phoebe Bradley

HONOUR POLTURAK / LUKA NIKOLIC HEATHER WINSOR / PATRYK WAINAINA SARAH HUGHES / ANDREAS HANSELE

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Cycle Series I – Florence

Florence is famous for its picturesque cityscapes where every step is postcard perfect, steeped in art and history. It’s also the home of some of the most enticingly succulent food Tuscany has to offer (Florentine steak!) The city itself is inevitably touristy, but no less beautiful; the sights and sounds and smells – and tastes – are not to be missed, and crowds can be avoided by planning your trip beforehand. But after 3 full days of intense sightseeing, I was ready for something different.

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My family and I stayed at a boutique hotel (Ville Sul’Arno), a 45-minute walk from the city centre and closer than most hotels to the surrounding hills. Our aim was to cycle to a town called Fiesole famous for its views over Florence, Roman baths, ruins and houses of prayer.

Being a history geek at heart, I quickly wiki’d the town and discovered that it was (probably) founded by the Etruscans, a pre-Roman civilisation of Ancient Italy, and had been conquered in 283BC by the Romans before they built Florence. Its strategic and scenic position on the hill makes for an absolutely breathtaking view, and I can definitely see the attraction in the beautiful bath town where the sweeping vistas were inspiration for any site of faith and contemplation. 
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Although Fiesole is a short bus ride away from the city, I set off with my father and brother to brave the hills on bike (leaving my mother in the spa below!) We’d heard it was a tough climb, but in the 30+ degrees heat, the 40 degree hillside was almost unbearable.

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We pushed past the monument to the Giro d’Italia (Italy’s answer to the Tour de France) about halfway along our route, and were overtaken by notoriously rowdy Italian motorcyclists screeching around the vicious mountain road bends, terrifying us helmet-less and timid tourists. Even as someone who likes to stay active and adventurous, it took a good 2 and a half hours and a hell of a lot of willpower for me to get to the top without giving up!

Yet a lot of sweat, endurance and a refreshing gelato (or two!) later, we had parked the bikes and could admire the view.

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Above, the central plaza. Below, the gorgeous pastel buildings that frame the sloping lanes that lead to a viewing platform that surveys the valley.

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The iPhone and Gopro photos I took at the time cannot do the view, the breeze and the massive sense of achievement I felt, half the justice it deserves. All I can say is, even when you’re on holiday and not necessarily aiming to be travelling adventurously, throw something – an activity, a challenge or a physical goal – into your trip, and it will be all the more satisfying for it. I promise.

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Botanical Wonders – iPhone Photography

Growing up in Cambridge, the fondest memories I have of junior school were lunchtime trips to the University Botanical Gardens. Captivated by the scents and exoticism of the carefully nurtured natural wonders there, I watched nature programmes like BBC Planet Earth, Blue planet and promptly fell in love with David Attenborough. With the revival of Planet Earth II, I was reminded of the reason I became fascinated by botany in the first place.

 

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(above: Cambridge desert, mountain and jungle greenhouse sections)

The combination of human and natural aesthetic is what really draws me toward the greenhouses especially. I love how the skeletal frame of the metal and glass contrast – and complement – the softer colours and shapes of the natural fronds and flowers that are cultivated inside.

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(above: Oxford jungle, corridor and water greenhouse sections)

I visited Cambridge in April and Oxford in July, so although the external displays are seasonal, the greenhouse interiors stay pretty constant throughout the year. I even recognised some of the same plants and layouts in Cambridge as were there 10 years ago!

Overall, I prefer the Cambridge Botanical Gardens – although there is a certain degree of nostalgia for me when visiting, the gardens themselves outside of the greenhouses are bigger and more ordered with a greater variety of areas and diversity of plants than in Oxford, which is smaller and modelled more like an English Garden than a Botanical one.

Great Wall 2015 – iPhone Photography

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Organic, jagged, untamed, private. These are not words used often to describe places near Beijing, a body-packed engine of commercial drive. But the ‘Wild Wall’ at Jiankou, a 2 hour journey from the capital, is just this. Rising out of the rock, the wall is slowly being reclaimed by the craggy mountains, leaf by leaf. It’s truly an artwork, a synthesis of natural and manmade powers have forged this Wall.

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‘Jiankou’ itself is the lowest point of this part of the Wall. Nestled in the heart of a valley above a small village, it is a half-day hike west of Mutianyu, a refurbished section that has become the most popular tourist destination in the area.

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Colours are perhaps my most vivid memories of the Jiankou pass. The rocks along the pathways here have been polished white with hikers’ footsteps. In summer, it is lush green from head to toe; but in April, for 1 week each year, you may be lucky enough to witness the blooming cherry and peach blossoms blanketing these peaks.

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