Our Brave New World

Second Home

Second Home

In a post-recession era where bankers are scorned and traditional capitalists humbled, it has been the start-uppers that are hailed as the new messiahs of the working world. At Google, Facebook and Spotify – and every ad agency, upmarket media company and well-funded digital content platform in between – organic furniture and distressed wood panels prevail; you can pogo your way past your children in the in-house day care; and a gluten-free almond croissant is never more than a wheatgrass shot away.

Welcome to the new temples of creativity, where the suit is akin to blasphemy and employees worship at the alter of enablement. These new workspaces invite you to sign up and join the cult of the brand. In return you’ll receive the opportunity to unleash your creative potential and receive enough perks to cater to your every need, along with a keep cup, tote bag, company succulent and water filter to make sure the whole world knows you belong to them.

But it’s not just major companies that are creating these new habits for homo sapiens. In London, the new working space Second Home has opened in the east. “The old delineation between work and life is breaking down” co-founder Rohan Silva told the Evening Standard and as a result they’ve created a “utopian workspace” where members can meet, discuss ideas, shower, enjoy yoga sessions, dine like kings thanks to a new restaurant, Jago, headed by ex-Ottolenghi head chef and, in amongst this semi-spa-like holiday, produce the best ideas. The space is designed as the anti–corporate haven. It prides itself as a locus for innovative thinking. It is the space where small start -ups can mingle and share experiences, working within their dynamic environment to develop the idea which will one day make them their fortune. That’s the hope, anyway.

There is no doubt that the perks of these accommodating new work spaces are tangible. A free, or heavily subsidised café, helps to save money; extra-curricular activities help to unwind, and curated spaces ensure you can work in the way which enables productivity. And, yet, the idea that these spaces increase creativity or that they truly aid personal development is one which fails to convince.

Work space and big ideas

For have you ever thought that whilst you’re doing ashtanga yoga after work – unwinding in your company’s zen space, complete with faux Japanese furniture and various forms of cactii that you could be benefiting from a different sort of freedom? In their copious choice, these spaces fill the time of employees which could be spent getting out into the world and doing something that they have discovered and chosen on their own; seeing a play, going to an exhibition or going for a hike. Time spent generally getting some perspective on your position in the world and being brought outside of your state of constant in-house mindfulness.

New work spaces may profess to nurture your soul and have your best interests at heart, but this nannying of your daily life only infantalises your individual development. They’re taking care of yourself so you don’t have to, and in doing so are owning their workers on a far deeper level than previous traditional offices. The creative instinct is no longer squashed, it is squeezed out, bottled and sold at a premium price.

Work spaces and ideas of creativity

There’s also an inherent problem with the concept of creativity that these new spaces foster. There’s no denying that a brighter and spacious office is better for the mental health of individuals, but the fact remains that creativity can’t be created.

Genuine creativity isn’t spawned from the power of a vintage chair; nor is artistic vision powered by a green juice and handful of pumpkin seeds. We’ve become so obsessed with aesthetics and ideas of authenticity that we’re perpetually trapped on a surface level. These utopian surroundings provide ample Instagram opportunity, catering to a recipe of ‘how to be creative’ which you can share with all your friends. The truth is though that real creativity comes from hard work and steadfastly upholding your individuality, nothing else. As the Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry said in a recent talk: “Coolness is a form of orthodoxy. It’s a set of rules already coalesced around something. Being uncool is a powerful creative force.” The less you think about being creative, the better.

Indeed, what Second Home and their kind encourage is an additional element of self consciousness to the whole creative process which if anything delays and distracts from any artistic realisation. Blinded by the bright walls, employees perform actions in a curated space weighed down with expectation to deliver their best yet pushing forward without the primal urgency necessary to create. In short what they perpetuate is a creative comedy, in which subscribers act as players in the biggest farce of the 21st century.

And what about the future?

Fundamentally, the problem with all of these new working spaces is that employees are living within the whited sepulchre of someone else’s vision. This isn’t a new concept; it’s been around since the beginning of time. First there was the church and the space it provided for people to devote themselves to an orchestrated idea, and now there are the major brands manipulating you to do the same. But as has been the case for thousands of years, from Pope Julius II to the present day, visionaries who disperse their dreams amongst the world for financial gain rarely have another individual’s best interests at heart.

Our generation has entered a brave new world and as of now are precariously balanced on the cliff’s edge, hovering between falling into Huxley’s nightmare or returning to a golden era. The commodification of creativity, seeded at such a fundamental and individual level while grown to encompass one’s whole environment, does not bode well for our generation’s future moral being.

First published on Imperica, April 1 2015

The Furstenberg Frenzy: Why we love DVF

 All wrapped up: DVF wrap dress creator and glamour monger has us enraptured once again. 

In the last month, Diane Von Furstenberg has launched a new reality TV show (House of DVF), released a memoir, (The Woman I Wanted To Be), and celebrated 40 years of the iconic wrap dress. One of the best fashion designers of all time, the media couldn’t be more smitten with her and admittedly, we’re also head over heels.

What is it about DVF?

She invented the wrap dress, for a start, a piece of clothing which remains effortlessly sexy, flattering and harks back to the 70’s and all the glamour of a bygone era. But more than this, the dress is a statement of what Furstenberg calls “feminine feminism”. Zipless, a woman could be out of it in under ten seconds – and slip it on without disturbing a sleeping man. This arch practicality celebrated the modern woman, post sexual-revolution, for whom casual sex was the norm. The wrap dress is an emblem of female emancipation.

DVF partying at the legendary Rainbow Room in the early 1970s

Beyond a dress: the woman herself

Her story is the ultimate fashion fairytale. Born in Brussels in 1946, just over a year after her mother escaped from Auschwitz, Diane Haflin grew up a free spirit in a well-heeled household. Her intelligence and exquisite beauty attracted the attention of Prince Eduard Egon von und zu Fürstenberg in 1965. She moved to New York a European princess and, without needing to, launched a clothing business. Her designs caught the eye of Diana Vreeland (“absolutely smashing”) and everything went boom. She split amicably with her prince, kept her name and remained in her set: the glistening 70s globetrotters. She partied with Dali and Bowie, was a Warholian muse, and discoed with the stardusty glitterati at New York’s legendary Studio 54.

                                              Furstenberg by Andy Warhol

Not only does Diane Von Furstenberg radiate seduction, but she is, more importantly, one of the few female designers whose personality we know well, above and beyond her clothes. Unlike reticent designers such as Sarah Burton (Alexander McQueen), Clare Waight Keller(Chloe) and Frida Giannini (Gucci), DVF’s renown can easily rival Karl Lagerfeld. When so many female designers stay behind the scenes, Furstenberg uses her god-given glamour to embody the brand; just as Vivienne Westwood‘s provocation embody’s her own. As with Westwood, when you wear DVF you feel part of the set, giddy with Furstenberg’s approval as you saunter down the road.

Nights at Studio 54: Andy Warhol, DVF and Monique van Vooren

“Fear is not an option”

Relatable, inspiring, confident and fun, Diane Von Furstenberg is the ultimate woman’s woman:

”I am the way I am. The thing that makes me happy is I didn’t waste my time in my youth. The biggest advice I can give anyone is that the most important relationship you have is with yourself and then any other relationship is a plus, not a minus. Get to know yourself. And don’t waste your time! Be hard on yourself. You have to be non-delusional in order to like yourself .”

First published on Culture Whisper, 9 November 2014

Helen Lawrence Interview, a chat with the British designer to watch

INSIDER’S GUIDE; Central St Martin’s graduate Helen Lawrence is one of the fashion designers to watch in 2015.

Every year there’s one designer who sets the tongues wagging: Christopher Kane, Simone Rocha, Holly Fulton, Erdem… This year the buzz at London Fashion Week was around young British designer Helen Lawrence.

Fresh from a tenure with Fashion East, the coveted platform for emerging designers, this AW15 was Helen Lawrence’s first solo presentation. Her use of knitwear employs a new aesthetic in which beauty can be found in the flaws of the garment’s structure as well as the seams. The way in which Lawrence’s clothes work with the body creates a new silhouette, working with and against the human form in a rhythm all of it’s own. Lawrence is without a doubt a fashion designer to watch, and whilst her collection may not be for everyone her innovation is impossible to ignore.

For AW15 Helen Lawrence took her inspiration from the tape bound sculptures of artist Phyllida Barlow. ‘I wanted to create knitwear that would in someway bind itself around the body, so I combined elastic and lambswool yarns to create garments that hugged and bulged from different parts of the body.”

Helen Lawrence S/S 15 (credit: London is the Reason)

Lawrence is coming up alongside many innovative young British designers. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, her fellow Central St Martins student, Fashion East compatriot and current menswear superstar Craig Green is someone she has already collaborated with. ‘It was really exciting to translate the fabrics into menswear, which I’d never had the opportunity to do before.’ Lawrence also cites fellow Fashion East-er Louise AslopCaitlin Price and Sadie Williams as the designers to keep an eye on for the future.

What renders Helen Lawrence as a designer that stands out from the crowd is that she is not only interesting from an aesthetic perspective but from a technical one too, with the fabrics that she uses created in house. ‘It’s great to be able to completely control the structure of the material, and how it behaves on the body.’

A Newcastle native, Lawrence has settled in London and shows no signs of leaving. ‘London has a great support network for emerging designers. I’ve been able to create my collections and set up my business with the amazing support from Fashion East, British Fashion Council, and Centre for Fashion Enterprise.’

Designer Helen Lawrence

And whilst instagram is flooded daily with glittering images of life on The Frow, Helen Lawrence has no pretensions of having the time to enjoy the glamour that the fashion industry sells. Dressed in jeans and a baggy t-shirt, snacking on granny smith apples and peanut M&Ms and listening to Fleetwood Mac the designer will be spending the time between now and the next round of shows in September ‘completing the last of SS15 production, starting AW15 production and SS16 sampling.’ 

An easy life it is not, but for this young British designer the hard work is destined to pay off.

Helen Lawrence AW15


CW: Old favourite?

HL: Dover Street Market

CW: New discovery?

HL: Little Ivy’s – Clapton

CW: Best-loved walk or view?

HL: Along regents canal from Broadway Market down through Victoria Park, and over to Hackney Wick. Finished off with a beer and pizza from Crate.

CW: Greatest meal you’ve ever had in London?

HL: Steak at Hill & Szrok – Broadway Market

CW: Favourite local restaurant/bar/pub?

HL: Restaurant: White Rabbit – Dalston and Pub: Talbot, Englefield Road on a Sunday – Best roast dinner!

Hidden gem no-one else knows about? 

HL: Arcola Theatre,  Dalston

CW: Public/cultural/artistic figure you admire?

HL:Phyllida Barlow

First published on Culture Whisper, 16 March 2015

Twin magazine, Issue 10: Woman’s Hour band

Woman’s Hour band

For British readers the idea of Woman’s Hour, the band, conjures up images of Sue MacGregor on synths and Jenni Murray harmonising with Riot Grrl vigour about home births and the gender pay gap. And as formidable as that image is I doubt the world is ready for it. Step forward Woman’s Hour the minimalist four-piece hailed as Northern England’s answer to The XX. The fact that they’re named after the stalwart BBC Radio 4 programme which has given British listeners ‘a female perspective on the world’ since 1946 is sheer accident; they’d always titled tracks after radio shows and when it came to their first live performance, Woman’s Hour made sense – and it stuck.

The band formed three years ago when siblings Will and Fiona Burgess moved from Kendal in the Lake District to London, joining up with former schoolmates Nicholas Graves and Josh Hunnisett. “Music has always been a part of my life,” says Burgess. “But being in London piqued our curiosity to really give it a try.” What began as a bit of escapist fun, soon evolved into something more serious – they were scouted and signed to indie label within two months. But after releasing two singles they found themselves frustrated by the direction they were headed. “What we realised is that it had happened too quickly,” she explains. “And we weren’t really ready for it or in control.”

After leaving the label in 2012 to regroup, they began collaborating with respected 4AD producer Tom Morris. Together, they took a hold of their creative output. “Morris really helped us to be confident about finding our sound,” explains Burgess. And listening to their most recent releases – , and – it’s clear they’ve found it. Burgess’s ethereal vocals are laid over slow-moving beats that recall the pristine pop of Portishead and LA styles of Warpaint – all with an indie dash of celebrated fellow Cumbrians, Wild Beasts.

Beyond their sparse sound, what marks out Woman’s Hour is their knack for creative collaboration. Taking inspiration from the immaculate artwork of Kraftwerk and The Beatles’ The White Album cover by artist Robert Rauschenberg, this is a group for whom visual identity is equal to sound. Most notable is their recent collaborations with <Deutsche Börse Photography> prize-winning artists Oliver Chanarin and Adam Broomberg. “It’s a dialogue that happens pretty naturally,” says Burgess of the creative process. “Their work is concerned with questioning and critiquing the role of photography.” Using stills and film Chanarin and Broomberg, who recently exhibited at MOMA, help visualise the Woman’s Hour’s sound. The imagery often comes from the past: eccentric Eighties self-help and self-defence manuals with titles from to .  Such re-appropriation – taking a historical picture out of context to give it a completely different meaning – is pertinent to both artists and band. “We share an interest in the politics of photography and its role in everyday life,” says Burgess. “Our music tends to touch on emotional vulnerability. So a self-defence manual for women is a visual manifestation of that.”

Woman’s Hour’s most recent video stars Vilma, a deaf actress who signs to the song, interpreting the music through a series of vibrations. Hers is a visceral, not a literal, translation. The concept came about after Fiona saw two people signing to one another on the street. Here, imagery and sound combine to create something akin to performance. “It’s a look at how language can become dance,” says Burgess, who has just completed a masters degree in Theatre and Performance studies. “It’s about the performance in everyday life and how to express the rhythm of feeling.”

It’s no surprise that the performance artist Laurie Anderson is one of Burgess’s cultural heroines. “I’ve always found her really inspiring,” she says. “ is such a great song – and a perfect example of how music and performance art can connect. She managed to blur the lines between music and art in a really unique and powerful way.” Patti Smith too is a model for the band’s pursuit of an identity beyond their music. “It’s so comforting to know how Smith survived as an artist in the Seventies,” she continues. “She didn’t just see herself as a musician, but as a poet, a painter and an artist.”

The band’s debut album is the perfect description of their carefully crafted creative process. As seamless as their sound has become – this is a group who aren’t afraid of the grind. “We went on a real journey to put this album together. There was a lot of labour involved,” Burgess admits. “Some of the tracks were completely reworked, taking on totally different guises before we were all happy. But you work on something because you love it. For me the creative process is always going to be a layering of ideas.”

Conversations is out now on Secretly Canadian



Woman’s Hour’s top ten summer sounds


Animal Collective –

“Euphoric summer track.”

Gardens & Villa –

“Great garden. Great villa. Where’s the pool?”

Toots & the Maytals –

“This song invented summer.”

Jurassic 5 –

“As close to an LA summer as we’ll get.”

The War On Drugs –

“The best jam band.”

Bruce Springsteen –

“The boss is in charge of the summer.”

Tomas Barfod –

“For when the sun goes down.”

Juan Maclean –

“Slow-burning house track”

Kurt Vile –

“A sprawling sun-stricken hazy jam”

Diiv –

“Blissed out summer vibes.”

 First published in Twin, issue X, 2014

Vogue feature: Drama’s Ones to Watch

THIS year has been a big one for a whole host of exciting new British acting talent; from actress Alicia Vikander (Anna Karenina) and Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones) to brothers Luke and Harry Treadaway (Clash of the Titans and The Lone Ranger respectively). But who are the ones to watch out for in 2015? Here’s Vogue‘s crop of homegrown stars set to take the acting world by storm, both here and across the Atlantic.

The Girls


Morfydd Clark

Last year Olivia played two lead roles at Shakespeare’s Globe – both receiving critical acclaim. She has just been offered the lead in the feature Blowing Louder than the Wind opposite Corinne Masiero. Olivia also starred in the acclaimed feature, Father of My Childrenwhich won the Jury Special Prize at Cannes in 2009.

One of this year’s Screen International Stars of Tomorrow, Aimee-Ffion Edwards caught our attention when she starred in Jez Butterworth’s play Jerusalem in 2009. If you don’t catch her in on the big screen in Queen and Country, out this winter, you’ll certainly see her on the small one – either in Peaky Blindersopposite Cillian Murphy, or in Wolf Hall opposite Damian Lewis (both on the BBC).

Playing a young Angelina Jolie in Disney’s Maleficent is a dream for any actress, yet this, coupled with taking the lead role in Wildlike, topped off an incredible year for 18-year-old Ella Purnell. Next year looks set to propel her to even more dizzying heights when she plays a young Jane in Disney’s Tarzan.

Next year promises to be an exciting one for Kaitlyn. She plays the leading role inMen, Women & Children, which has been accepted into the Toronto Film Festival, and has just wrapped a starring role with Catherine Keener in the indie film The Greens Are Gone.

The Boys

vogue6 vogue5 vogue4

Osy Ikhile

Osy has spent the year shooting leads opposite Nicholas Hoult and Robert Sheehan in Kill your Friends and Jet Trash respectively. He is currently shooting a grown-up’s version of Tarzan, featuring Alexander Skarsgard and Margot Robbie, in which Tarzan is called back to his former home in the jungle (scheduled for release in 2016).

Ben Lloyd–Hughes

It’s no mean feat to rival the charm and flair of Jude Law, however that didn’t stop this bright young thing when he played his rival in Henry V earlier this year at the Noël Coward Theatre. With a leading role in the West End already behind him, Ben can next been seen in the forthcoming BBC series Life in Squares.

Callum Turner

This up-and-coming actor has already had a busy 2014. He’s appeared as Bill inQueen and Country and has just finishedFrankenstein alongside James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe. Look out for him on this side of the pond in Channel 4’sGlue and catch him soon in Jeremy Sauliner’s new American feature Green Room.

Tom Holland

Having already been named as a Breakthrough Brit by Bafta, it’s only a matter of time before this 18-year-old becomes a household name. With a role in The Impossible already under his belt, Tom will now take centre stage in the highly anticipated Channel 4 adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, directed by Peter Kosminsky.

Dominic Sherwood

Few people could get away with playing a young Mick Jagger, but Dominic Sherwood is one of them, in Not Fade Away. Look out for Dominic’s next feature film Take Down (rebellious students take matters into their own hands when the campus is taken hostage by criminals), alongside Ed Westwick.

Another side of Alexander McQueen: We talk to his friend, the photographer Gary Wallis

INSIDER’S LOOK: Five years after Alexander McQueen’s death, photographer Gary Wallis celebrates the designer in a personal exhibition at Proud Chelsea.

McQueen by Wallis

McQueen by Wallis

A new exhibition of Gary Wallis’ photographs is opening at Proud Galleries next month. McQueen: Backstage – The Early Shows, chronicles the start of Alexander “Lee” McQueen’s influential and tragically short lived career.

India Doyle talked to Gary Wallis about his work and experiences with Alexander McQueen.

There are three shows celebrating McQueen in March: Savage Beauty at the V&A, Alexander McQueen at Tate Britain, and then there is McQueen: Backstage – the Early shows, an intimate and personal exhibition at Proud Chelsea of photographs of the designer taken by his friend and collaborator Gary Wallis.

In the hype and excitement surrounding the show a the V&A, it is Wallis in fact who is most aptly placed to provide insight into the real McQueen. His forthcoming exhibition  ‘McQueen: Backstage – The Early shows’ at Proud Chelsea does just that.

Gary Wallis befriended Alexander “Lee” McQueen first at Central St Martins. Wallis says that even though he went on from his foundation to specialise in graphic design, he was always hanging out in the Charing Cross Cafe of the old building (the college has since moved to Kings Cross) with the fashion students – of which McQueen, who was completing his MA, was one.

A young Alexander McQueen 

Central St Martins was an exciting place at that time, spawning some of the most influential fashion designers working today. Major names such as John GallianoMatthew Williamson and Stella McCartney all came up through the ranks in the late eighties and early nineties; it was a time of massive creativity and freedom, when art school was buzzing with innovation.

In amidst this hub of creative output McQueen still managed to differentiate himself, producing clothes that have rendered him one of the most celebrated British fashion designers of our time.“It is not enough to just try and be shocking, it has to mean something and be backed up by hard work, creatively and skill.” Wallis reflects on McQueen’s success, citing the designer’s previous experience on Savile Row as a time which gave him unparalleled technical skill. “He could de-construct anything”.

When McQueen asked Wallis to photograph his graduate collection, Jack The Ripper Stalks His Victims in 1992, neither of them anticipated what would follow. What happened in fact was to shape McQueen’s entire career trajectory. Isabella Blow, Alexander McQueen’s avid supporter, widely influential socialite and fashion muse bought the entire collection in a move which  consequently propelled the designer into the spotlight for the first time.

The early shows: Highland Rape collection, 1995 

Isabella Blow continued to play an important role in McQueen’s career, hanging out backstage during his first professional shows with friends such as Vogue contributing editor Plum Sykes who modelled his early  designs. “It was just a really happy time” Wallis remembers fondly.

For Wallis, this friendship also marked the start of an illustrious photography career which saw him photograph backstage not only at the McQueen shows but also at designers such as Matthew Williamson. His insider’s view, which invites the audience to look beyond the glamour of the catwalk also marks the launch of his book: Archive: McQueen: Backstage – The Early Shows. A future release of a wider compilation of backstage shots will potentially follow later on.

Jodie Kidd models in the Highland Rape collection, 1995

And what does he think of the other exhibitions opening, isn’t the V&A’s title a bit sensational?

I actually like the title Savage Beauty, I think the contrast and contradiction is something Lee would have liked.”

McQueen: Backstage – The Early Shows will open at Proud Chelsea 4th March – 5th April 2015.

The book, Archive: McQueen: Backstage – The Early Shows will be released on Big Smile Publishing on 3rd March 2015.

First published on Culture Whisper, 19 February 2015

Dont Walk Review 2014

March 1st marked the 2014 edition of the annual DONT WALK fashion show. Now in its 13th year, the show originated as a response to the September 11th attacks but has grown to embody a spirit of young, intelligent and creative responses to society and its issues more generally.


This year the show was committed to supporting two grassroots charities. The first, Anichra, is a charity that focuses on conflict prevention. The second, Coalition for Work With Psychotrauma and Peace, is based in Vukovar, Croatia and aims to tackle the mental suffering of the war in the Former Yugoslavia.

What differentiates DONT WALK from traditional university fashion shows is the theatrical and performance element of the event. This year the show exceeded expectations. Working on a two part structure, the first half saw an energetic and visually impressive opening. Here complex and powerful lighting, large white canvas frames and futuristic costumes combined to open not only the show, but an engagement with one of the main themes, that of peace and non violence. In this way the creative expression directly engaged with DONT WALK’s chosen charities. Similarly the beginning of the second half engaged with ideas of female and minority empowerment through strong and confident costumes and choreography. These opening scenes were beautifully wrought, creatively enacting the themes in a mature and thoughtful way.

Both openings gave way to a lively and tightly choreographed series of routines, in which the models showed off the clothes with confidence and a clear sense of enjoyment. As usual, the audience interaction only added to the energy and atmosphere.

This slick production was supported by the talented Theo Borgvin Weiss and Calum Bryant. Their set carried the pace of the performance with an eclectic soundtrack that begun with the quirky Venetian Snares, dipped into some disco, Azelia Banks and Fatboy Slim before closing with Midland. What is more, the diversity of sound harmonised with the clothes and theatrical element, carving an exciting atmosphere within a large setting.

As ever, the designers in the show reflected the urban and young vibe of DONT WALK which seeks to act as a platform for up and coming brands, as well as for more established designers. Notable amongst those shown was St Andrews and Brooklyn based company IIA. Their statement that the brand culture “is a collective of young individuals that follow something that they are passionate about” comprehensively embodies the ethos of DONT WALK. Creative director Alina Abouelenin also produced beautiful designs for both men and women, especially as seen during the second half which is a testament to the range of her talent.

And yet in spite of all there was to be praised in terms of artistic and creative activity, certain elements concerning the venue dampened the overall response to the evening. Most notably was the cold. There is cold, and then there is the freezing, unshakeable chill that the audience endured in their bones at the Bowhouse, St Monans. The venue, which came complete with a muddy floor, was almost the perfect setting for an urban and grungy show such as this. However the space could have been better utilised; the fact that the bar was located so far away from the main area and the cramped arrangement of the tables were two notable examples of this. It is a shame that this logistical issue detracted from the impressive display and hard work that had clearly gone into the show.


Fundamentally however, DONT WALK 2014 saw yet another inspiring collaboration between members of the St Andrews student body. Since 2001 DONT WALK has raised over £130,000 for its charities; it is exciting and enjoyable to watch as our generation seeks creative and artistic solutions to implement change for the better.

Images copyright: Gala Netylko

First published on The Huffington Post, 10 March 2014