Mental Health: Beyond Awareness. Dazed on making NHS services work for everyone

Mental Health: Beyond Awareness. Dazed on making NHS services work for everyone

Within the last year I feel like there has been a lot of emphasis on mental health through social media and film/TV culture. It is amazing that such a silent issue, and almost considered shameful by those suffering, is really being pulled into the forefront of society and really propelled in our faces so we can all work together to make a change for the better. I am close to lots of people in my life who have various mental health issues, and I am sure you probably are too. I always enjoy writing posts that are personal to me and that other people might relate to because I can write from a much deeper place and could probably write pages and pages.

Mental Health: Beyond Awareness is a five-day campaign that addresses mental health issues beyond just “raising awareness”. Millennials are the most aware of mental health issues than they have ever been in the past, however our services are letting us down. How can we make sure we make an actual difference and an actual change that ventures beyond making people aware? Richard Crellin, policy and research manager at The Children’s Society  says “There’s a lot more talk in the media, on television…I think children and young people are much more aware of mental health than perhaps in previous generations.”

The problem that young people are faced against is not one of awareness but instead there’s a disastrous dilemma with the services being provided for them. While referrals to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services are increasing, 60% end up untreated. A report by charity YoungMinds this year discovered that 66% of young people said they had difficulty accessing support – 44% found it hard to get a CAMHS referral, and 61% had a long wait for actual treatment. Last year, the case of “girl X” was highlighted, reflecting how despairing the situation is for some people – the NHS were unable to find a bed for a suicidal 17-year-old.

This all comes down to a lack of government support. “The government recently announced some welcome initiatives, but they don’t go far enough. Children’s mental health services need increased, long-term funding, as well as a bigger emphasis on preventing mental health problems from developing in the first place.” – YoungMinds’ Director of Campaigns Tom Maddens. “A very simplistic summary of government activity on young people’s mental health would be ‘all rhetoric and no action,’” says Natasha Devon, a mental health campaigner. “They are unwilling or unable to commit the drastic amounts of funding and policy changes which would be required to make a noticeable difference. Services are stretched beyond capacity. The system is broken.”

Dazed spoke to numerous young people, as well as activists and organisations, to discover the five most important things that need to happen for significant and beneficial change:


You shouldn’t only be able to access services when you’re in a crisis or a critical stage. There’s an average of a three month wait for help when young people are referred to NHS mental health services. Some have to wait for even longer.


The number of sessions and the type of sessions people receive do not benefit them. There’s a major issue with young people missing appointments, over 150,000 were missed in 2016, which is because of how inflexible the service can be.


Being placed on a six week waiting list makes you feel like you are not a priority when you are really seeking help. There needs to be more emphasis put on the care of the individual, seeing the individual as a person and not a statistic, because everyone’s care needs to be different. Nurse Clara agrees. “The transition from child to adult services is very lengthy and stressful for the young person… there should be a bridge-the-gap service, as an 18-year-old should not be treated with the same service a 64-year-old is, they are going to have very different obstacles to face.


Statistics show that young girls are more likely to be hospitalised or prescribed anti-depressants, while boys are more likely to die from suicide. Many males feel pressure to confirm to a stereotype of the strong male. When they reach out and stem away from the constraints of masculinity, unfortunately there are not many routes open to them.


There’s a problem with the way that young people aren’t listened to. It is easy to put everyone into the same category and try and fix them in the same way, but this doesn’t work because everyone’s cases are different and individual and each need to be taken seriously. It is very hard to understand what is going on inside someone else’s mind, so when helping each individual, they need to be treated with immense respect and empathy and provided with whatever help they feel they need.

Outcome photoshoot

Outcome photoshoot

As part of our brand outcomes, we were allocated a studio slot to art direct our own photo shoots. The photo shoot images will be used as our print outcome in order to advertise, market and promote our brand. The notion behind our photos was to create images that express nature triggering past life memories and uplifting your mind. We photographed our models surrounded by flowers and nature, who represent the younger version of our consumer, feeling nostalgic about their past life memories. One model represents Punk, one Hippie and one who felt unrelated to a prominent subculture so that we encompassed both those who were and were not part of a subculture. From our primary research, we learnt that our consumer was part of or at least lived through a prominent subculture movement, which is a significant element of their lives within their memories.

Some of the post-production has been inspired by how Punk and Hippie graphic design would have looked like at the time, to intensify the sense of nostalgia when our consumer looks at the images and feels immersed by them.

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The Punk text and typography reflects Punk mindset but is also relevant to our brand story. These two photos show the development of the editing process.

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The Hippie model and imagery are overlayed to symbolise how immersed and captured he is by his memories and how he is reliving them in his head and body.










Group shot of all three models merged together.




Met Gala 2018

The Met Gala, formally called the Costume Institute Gala, is an annual fundraising event for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City. It signifies the imposing inception of the Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibit. Each year’s event celebrates the theme of that year’s Costume Institute exhibition, and the exhibition sets the style for the dress code of the night. The Met Gala is the biggest event on the fashion fundraising calendar. Founded by publicist Eleanor Lambert, the event was first held in 1948 to stimulate donations from New York’s high society. The most famous faces from the industry of fashion, film, music and art gather to raise money for the Met’s Costume Institute and commemorate for the magnificent launch of its latest exhibition.

This year’s exhibition theme is Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. It took curator Andrew Bolton several years to convince the Vatican to give its approval of the theme that explores divine inspiration in fashion. It is possible that Rome’s reluctance stemmed from concern that the exhibition, and its outrageous outfits, would devalue and belittle religious imagery. Had Islam been chosen as the religious theme, all hell would have broken loose. So why is it different for Christianity to be ‘satirised’? Some of the imagery chosen to be translated into the costumes were images of mystical suffering such as in Lana Del Ray’s dress. Is it right that the attention of the event was more to do with human beauty than sacred beauty when the purpose of the exhibition was to showcase scared works of art that don’t usually leave Rome? Was it not more to do with the religion of Hollywood ego, which excluded reference to the meaning? Nevertheless, it has shown the Catholic church to be in a good and tolerant light, as no violence has been provoked, and the bible states Christians to welcome humour. “Fashion reflects the world around us and nobody understands that more clearly than Andrew,” Wintour told the press. “When I go to these fashion exhibitions. I’m always so amazed to see people from all sides of the globe and all walks of life really studying the exhibitions, understanding that fashion does not operate in a vacuum.” The fashion industry has found its success purely because it nods to powerful emotions and desires. Fashion is a vehicle for obscuring the boundaries between things that you have the ability to change and the things you don’t. Religious imagery has utilised the same boundaries for a long period of time by evoking and conjuring the invisible into life.

My favourite interview of the night was with the actor Lena Waithe, who wore a rainbow flag cape to signal to the Catholic church’s complicated relationship with the LGBTQ community. “The theme to me is, like, be yourself…You were made in God’s image, right?”

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Cultural Appropriation

It feels like there’s not a day that goes by without opening up social media and reading about a recent issue surrounding cultural appropriation. Whether it is the latest fashion collection or a group of millennials, there is always someone to call them out and accuse them of violating a cultural minority by using their cultural and religious traditions, fashion, symbols, language for their own purpose. Is this “political correctness gone too far” or actually a very serious issue?

Gucci was recently criticised for styling turbans on white models. Multiple Sikhs condemned this act as a significant indication of disrespect by highlighting that the turban is a symbol of faith and was not designed as a fashion accessory. In other cases, Victoria’s Secret was deplored for using a native American style headdress on one of their models. Many Coachella-goers have been attacked in the past for wearing native American style headdresses. Marc Jacobs was also held under fire when he used dreadlocks on mainly white models, to which he responded: “[To] all who cry ‘cultural appropriation’ or whatever nonsense about any race or skin colour wearing their hair in any particular style or manner – funny how you don’t criticise women of colour for straightening their hair.” Famous artists such as Beyoncé, Selena Gomez and Katy Perry have been reprimanded for wearing henna, bindis – essentially dressing up as a geisha which disrespects religion. Just this week a girl has been condemned on social media for wearing a traditional Chinese dress to prom. She simply responded saying “To everyone causing so much negativity: I mean no disrespect to the Chinese culture. I’m simply showing my appreciation to their culture. I’m not deleting my post because I’ve done nothing but show my love for the culture. It’s a fucking dress. And it’s beautiful.”

I think that when people take another culture’s ‘identity’ and style themselves that way or design a collection around it, it is mostly because they are inspired by this culture and this appearance and they want to show their love and appreciation for it, but it does depend on the context in which this happens. If this takes place in a context that ridicules and shows them to be inferior then it is wrong. It is mostly important that these cultures are credited and acknowledged and not just used to boost the status and image of the person using the culture for their own benefit. Artists such as Iggy Azalea is a white girl with blonde hair who presents herself as a rapper. She has been accused of picking and choosing from black culture, not caring about the community and ignoring larger issues. She was not born into this culture and doesn’t derive from this background so it is vital she acknowledges and credits the culture she is earning her living from. She gets to profit off of her white appeal while simultaneously selling a black sound. She is making a huge career for herself by mimicking the vocal patterns and phrases of a Southern black girl. “Our mainstream culture does not really know how to handle this and in an age of digital media – we have a perfect storm.”

Updated brand concept

Updated brand concept

Since the initial idea stage at the beginning of the project, my group and I have altered various elements of our brand. Some ideas we had were interesting but didn’t quite work for this particular project. We have completely changed who our consumer is because the initial story we were trying to communicate wouldn’t have realistically reached and significantly impacted the consumer we wanted to target. We wanted to create a fragrance aimed at young people to inspire them to spend much less time on their technological devices and reconnect with the outdoors, however it wouldn’t have been logical because that specific consumer just wouldn’t want to stop using technology and wouldn’t care about us. So we were at a dead end and needed to mind map some new ideas. Over the break, I wondered how our brand would work if we were targeting the complete opposite type of consumer in terms of age so I brainstormed some ideas for the older generation, around 70+. By changing the consumer and tweaking some sections of the brand story, we seemed to secure a more clear and understandable story.


  • Our brand will work with care homes to provide elderly people, who have lost a certain amount of mobility, with a bespoke scent infused painting of a green outdoor space that they have a personal connection to.
  • We want to reconnect them with an element of their lives that they are missing, through memory and nostalgia.
  • We empathise with the ‘elderly’ not feeling appreciative of being referred to as ‘old people’. We want to make a conscious decision to not patronise them by creating a category for them based on their age, because we know that all people of this age still feel young at heart and mentally and emotionally live their lives irrelevant to whatever number defines their time spent on Earth.
  • The painting will be designed specifically for each individual and commissioned only for them, based on what information they have told us about their personality, their cultural interests and their memories in which they want to be reflected in the painting and the scent accords that will be used.
  • The memories and style of art that makes the painting will most likely represent the person’s previous life which doesn’t have anything to do with the age they are now. We want them to aspire to our brand and not feel patronised.


The painting may metaphorically reflect the consumer’s personality and previous lives in order to trigger their memories with the atmosphere and colour palettes as well as the actual content/subject. For example, if a consumer considers themselves as a previous ‘rebellious’ character who could have been present in the Punk scene, they might have their painting done with darker and richer colours and a stormy and powerful mood. The scents would also reflect the atmosphere, colours and content of the painting in order to best trigger emotions as powerfully as possible and in the preferred style of the consumer. Another consumer might prefer something more literal than metaphorical, such as a perfectly redone scene that they can admire and picture themselves exactly in that location. The painting will aim to reflect the consumer’s character and memorable green space in the most personal way in order to best stimulate and evoke their memories.

Brand benefits

  • Restorative effects of nature support mental health and well-being. We want to assist as much as possible to help our consumers maintain strong mental health and be a vehicle for reuniting them with nature and restoring their memories to help them feel connected and uplifted.
  • In older adults, studies show that physical activity in green spaces can be linked to better moods, decreased chance of depression, reduced stress levels and improved cognitive function. Studies show that the frequency and amount of time spent in nature correlate with feelings of mental restoration. A high exposure to natural environments (green space and gardens) in communities was associated with fewer mental disorders among older people.
  • By providing our consumer with sensory engagement with nature, we can help stimulate reminiscences of places and people, and evoke past sensory experiences to enrich everyday life and maintain a sense of self.

What makes us different/matter

  • We matter because we provide sensory engagement with nature that stimulates reminiscences of places and people in a very personal and nostalgic way to evoke past sensory experiences and to enrich everyday life to maintain a sense of self.
  • We matter because we are trying to prevent mental health deterioration.
  • We matter because we are targeting people who are more fragile and less able than others and want to make them feel uplifted again by reconnecting them with times in their life where they felt their most liberated and alive.
  • We are different because we have identified a consumer which other brands haven’t had the innovation to go near.
  • We are different because we are purely bespoke to each individual consumer and each scented painting is completely personal, custom and intimate to each person.


Primary: 70+, retired, married or widower, interests including gardening, reading, art, textiles, storytelling, listening to music (dancing when younger and better mobility), shop at places such as M&S, possessions include treasured jewellery, watches, art, perfume, food they eat included roasts, fish and chips, fruit sprinkled with sugar.

Secondary: Who will buy the product for someone else. This is most likely to be a family member and also the people who run the care homes.

Consumer cultural interests

Art: We have identified various styles of art that the consumer might want their painting to be in. We have looked at famous 19th century landscape paintings by Constable, Turner, Monet, Van Gough, Friedrich and more. We have looked at other styles as well such as more abstract art because our consumer will have lived through a time where there was lots of self-expression and individuality. This generation rebelled against society and fought further for rights and equality. Therefore, the consumer might want their painting to reflect their cultural interests and preferred artist style. We have looked at prominent artists from this time period such as

Architecture: We have looked at organic and nature inspired architecture to get inspiration for how nature is translated into other forms of artistic expression.

Fashion: We have also looked at fashion designers and campaigns that have also used nature as their inspirations to understand how nature is translated into another form of artistic expression. This included Alexander McQueen, Iris Van Herpen, Issey Miyake, Chanel, Gucci and more.

Music: We have researched what styles of music our consumer listens to and listened to in their earlier life. This included a range from Morecambe & Wise, to Doris Day, to Elvis Presley, to The Beatles, to The Rolling Stones.

Film and Literature: We have looked at what film and literature they might have liked which included writers such as Tennessee Williams and Audrey Hepburn films.

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Currently we are considering creating an event for our outcome. We want to create an exhibition event in the care home that presents each individual’s painting. This will be an opportunity to help the consumers socialise and feel active and give them the chance to tell each other about their memories and what their paintings entail. It will be an event for them to engage with each other and hear people’s stories and feel uplifted and enriched by feeling like they have a purpose. We also want to include something else that is interactive; we have been discussing ideas around possible gardening workshops that is part of the day’s event to provide them with the opportunity to reengage with a nostalgic and memorable connective activity that they are now missing from their lives.


Possible methods and routes of promotion for our brand will include tv, radio, newspaper and sponsors. For our secondary consumer, who will be younger, we might be more likely to find them on some forms of social media and advertising in magazines and travel to-and-from work locations.

Gif seminar

The more that I explore the elements of fashion communication and promotion, the more I realise my interest in digital art and moving imagery. In one of my recent seminars we learnt how to make our own gifs on Photoshop. I really enjoy the seminars where we get taught software skills because I always learn something new and feel how creative I can be. The first gif that I made didn’t work very well. I tried to capture the sequence of blowing a dandelion and all of the white fluffy and fuzzy part parachuting into the air. The images I had weren’t good quality and I didn’t feel like I was using a creative idea and unusual sequence of images. I tried a second one and used some of the imagery that was provided by the lecturers. I took one that has a really unique pattern and I was probably drawn to it because it reminds me so much of Bridget Riley. I also took some imagery of people and cut out a figure which looked like they were moving and positioned in an asymmetrical pose. I noticed how the background pattern looked like a black hole and as if it was spiraling into the distance, which reminded me slightly of Alice in Wonderland falling down the rabbit hole. I played around positioning the figure trying to make her look like she was being sucked in by the force of the patterned swirls.

Once you get to learn the basics, you can start to add in colour and substitute colours for present colours. I’m going to try to learn how to Photoshop different colours and try to make this gif even more surreal by altering more visuals.


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When has fashion made a difference

When has fashion made a difference

Fashion is more than just clothes and appearance. It has one of the largest platforms in the world to connect people and project voices. When I think of fashion I think more about culture, movements and way of living rather than pretty dresses. Fashionable means more than just being on trend; to me being fashionable means that we are representing and influencing fair and moral things in relation to culture, activism, politics, society as well as fashion – being on trend with what we humans need to do to make the world a better place to live in for every person. Popular style means having taste in intelligent and well-informed views on the world as well as the latest designer shoe collections. So this is where fashion can use its platform and comment on world issues and contribute to insightful advances and influence its followers.

Vivienne Westwood

Westwood’s AW15 show simply promoted “VOTE GREEN”. The manifesto went on to say that we are currently “controlled by the 1% of the world population who are in power. They preach consumption, and they preach war, and they’re taking us into disaster. We are in incredible danger. There is no point in voting for the others.” Westwood also made a powerful statement for men in her AW15 menswear show, where models with bruised faces represented eco-warriors on a mission to save the planet. Westwood donated £300,000 to the Green Party. She has also launched Climate Revolution, a campaign to address climate change issues. “Climate revolution is the ultimate revolution; if we don’t win that, there won’t be many of us left.” Her acts of support for the cause include cutting off her famous red locks, donating £1 million to rainforest charity Cool Earth, and assembling celebrities in aid of Greenpeace’s ‘Save The Arctic’ work. In 2011, Westwood delivered her Ethical Fashion Africa campaign which focused on empowering female workers. She designed a range of bags which were made by women in the Nairobi under ethical labour conditions and the bags were made from discarded materials such as safari tents. Westwood described her stance and work as “not charity, just work,” noting that the project “gives people control over their lives,” unlike charity, which “makes them dependant.”


Karl Lagerfeld

Lagerfeld’s Spring/Summer 15 consisted of a feminist protest march for the finale of the Chanel show which stirred up the fashion landscape to the extent where everybody had to form an opinion.”Today’s Chanel show was only the most public demonstration that fashion is marching hand-in-hand with feminism,” Sarah Mower commented. Karl revealed personal reasons behind his choice “My mother was very much a feminist and I thought it was something right for the moment. I couldn’t care less if people are for or against. It’s my idea. I like the idea of feminism being something light-hearted, not a truck driver for the feminist movement,”. The response to shows that take stances like this illustrate the industry’s ultimate power and that fashion has the ability to be an emblem of global influence and communicate a message to a world beyond clothe lovers.


Rick Owens

Owens’ Spring/Summer 14 collection was shown on a group of women which challenged the norm of what we expect from models. An army of female step-dance crews of all difference colours and sizes transformed the catwalk show into a buzzing atmosphere and an arresting moment; they made a stark change from the typical silent and bored-looking models. The confidence and certainty to take such a vital issue in today’s society, an issue that continues and continues to affect people’s everyday lives, was a bold and influential statement that other designers need to follow and promote more rapidly. The reality of the type of models designers choose is non-existent and creates a very exclusive world that denies the majority of people that make up our society. This attitude doesn’t make the meaning behind clothing collections aspirational or desirable.


Bridget Riley

Bridget Riley

Bridget Riley is one of the artists that I constantly feel inspired by with all of my work. I took inspiration from her for lots of my fashion and textiles a-level. I specifically love the bold contrast minimal colours that contribute to the optical illusions, created by simple geometric shapes and arrangements.

In 1956 Riley saw an exhibition in London that hugely impacted her direction and influenced her. The exhibition was of American Abstract Expressionist painters and was the first exhibition of its kind in the UK. The show featured American abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock. While she was still finding herself as an artist, she spent two years studying Neo-impressionist painters and pointillism. Her first Op Art paintings were only in black and white and were constructed with simple geometric shapes. Her art wasn’t based on theory but guided by what she saw with her own eyes.

I find the shapes and designs fascinating to look at and I could stare at them for hours (maybe not hours because the illusions would probably give me a headache). Even though I love the simpler designs, I am more pulled by the complex designs. I find it greatly stimulating and astonishing how you can take an assemblage of simple and basic geometric shapes, lines and circles and construct them together in a very complex and strategic formation.

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Nataraja 1993 Bridget Riley born 1931 Purchased 1994




My favourite collage artists at the moment

My favourite collage artists at the moment

I really love coming across new images that make me feel incredibly inspired. One great thing about Instagram is that it is full of people promoting their artwork and designs which is excellent for someone like me who is always on the look out for new imagery and styles of art. At the moment I am particularly interested in collaging and layering peculiar and unexpected images with each other. I saw some of this at the exhibition I went to at the Nottingham Contemporary, which is in one of my previous posts, and I instantly power walked straight over to them when I saw them from the other side of the room. I have come across a few artists on Instagram that create this type of work so I have gathered a few of my favourites.

I love how vivid and immersive each image is. I love how there are nods to nature throughout and how nature is considered the ultimate form of beauty. The surreal and other worldly feeling amongst each artist’s work makes me feel inspired because I love the use of symbolism and metaphorical language, whether it is art or literature. Anything to do with fashion or art or architecture that is exotic and organic and surreal, like the recent Alexander McQueen campaign or La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, always grabs my attention and makes me feel extremely in awe. These are the kinds of images I always remember.

The first section of images is from the Instagram account bushbabymade, “I like to create dreamy little worlds to let your imagination roam in”. Website: I feel a sense of female empowerment and freedom. I also like the positive and uplifting emotions and the feeling of pure fun and enjoyment. The compositions work really nicely and I love the colour palettes, whether they are vibrant and lucid or calmer and more pastel.

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The next set of images is from rosiesayersdesign. Website: I really like how each image is in their own world and tells a different story, whether its embracing natural female beauty in an exotic and tropical style, a small town with wonderful magnified views of the galaxy that shines light on the beauty of the world we live in and how our world functions and surreal compositions of under water life and structures among the mountains. I like the sense of bringing together and pulling closer two opposite heights of nature; magnifying the solar system and magnifying the coral at the bottom of the ocean when we can’t see it with our own eyes unless we get much closer – these works create images of simply what is in our world and what is always there, they just appear surprising because we can’t see them naturally with our human eyes because they are too far away.

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The last set of images are from sarashakeel. “I want my Instagram to be a source of light during such a dark and vicious time”. I find these images quite breathtaking; particularly the sunset ones out of the plane window. I love the juxtaposition of the environment the fish and fair ground ride have been placed in. It is a really nice feeling to envision happiness, peace and life beyond the clouds in the most beautiful landscape and the heavens. It makes me feel dreamy and comfort. I also really like the contrast of environments and locations of the bath image and galactic flying saucer image. They feel magical, mysterious and supernatural.

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Fashion muse – Marisa Berenson

Fashion muse – Marisa Berenson

Seeing as I am a fashion student, I want to improve my knowledge of the history of fashion. Obviously, as a fashion student, I have a profound interest in fashion, but I also have a deep interest in history too, whatever the form it may be. I studied both history and history of art at A-Level so I am always intrigued when it comes to merging two of my favourite subjects together. In a recent lecture, I was confronted with a powerful presentation of important icons and creative influences from previous decades. I was particularly stricken by Marisa Berenson so I wanted to expand my knowledge about her work and her life. I think I was caught by Berenson due to her Bohemian style in most of these photos and simply just her beauty jumped out to me. I have quite a particular line between someone who is pretty and someone who is stand out stunning. If I looked like her and dressed like her I’d be pretty content with myself. I also found I was inspired by her life guided by the mysticism and spirituality of India. India is a place among other Asian countries that I would love to visit and experience the way of life.

Marisa was born into a world and family of style. Her grandmother was Elsa Schiaparelli, the Italian-born designer who transformed the fashion landscape with her Surrealist designs. Once she was scouted, she transformed from a shy and self-conscious teenager into one of the most successful models of her age. I like how in her photos, her inner self is still visible and you can still sense her timid and modest nature. I found these responses provocative and in some way relatable.

What has acting taught you about yourself?
I used to be very shy. I still am to an extent. Acting helps you connect, be whatever you choose to be – forget about yourself.

I have read you quoted as saying that you love elegance in fashion.
I must tell you that elegance is not about buying a very expensive dress or suit. It is not about spending money. Anybody can be elegant. It starts in the spirit: it is a certain grace, an elegance of the heart. That is important. It is an indefinable quality. It is in the way someone walks, talks and carries themselves – in life too.


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