Croatia has now entered the European Union and the FAD Youth Forum welcomed a group of 20 young Croatian girls aged 14-18 over to London to discover all the creativity and culture that the UK has to offer. The London Croatia Creative Exchange is an initiative funded by Youth in Action. During the 14 day exchange, the young Croatians were requested to document their time here through a series of diary blogs…
Making Something Unique
On Wednesday and Thursday we had our first workshop. It was all about customizing our own plain white t-shirts. We were welcomed by four girls from FAD. First we had a short presentation about what customizing is and how to do it. They told us that customizing means altering something to fit your preferences, making it your own. First, we drew sketches and saw some examples of already customized shirts to help us to get hold of our own ideas and express them. The girls told us: “Every single one of you has her own unique style!” Encouraged, we started our work. We were offered lots and lots of different materials and fabrics, buttons, laces, threads, ribbons and glitter in a variety of colours, patterns and textures. After our sketches, and before any real work could begin, we studied all the fabrics and materials we were given and thought about what we could do and which fabrics would work best. It wasn’t an easy call to make because of so many possible choices. When we finally decided on our final concept of the t-shirt, we started cutting and sewing. We had to be careful with cutting because “you can cut easily, but can’t uncut”, as Joanne pointed out! Luckily, none of the girls learned it the hard way. We diligently worked both Wednesday and Thursday, with the help of the FAD girls and volunteers who taught us how to use the sewing machines, which we all thought would be quite a useful skill to use in the future.
As the clock ticked on Thursday we added finishing touches to our t-shirts, a bit anxious that we won’t have the time to finish. Fortunately, we all made it and tidied up, in time for some well deserved biscuits! We’re extremely grateful for this amazing opportunity to be creative and learn something new. We had a lot of fun! WRITTEN BY: NIKOLINA BRADIĆ, IVA PAVIČIĆ, MAGDALENA CVITAN, DARIJA BRTAN
KEEP CALM AND STUDY ON!
Oxford is a city in central southern England. It’s one of the UK’s fastest growing cities, in terms of population. The city is known worldwide as the home town and of the Oxford University, the oldest university in the country. There is a second university also in oxford called Oxford Brooks and many schools. On Sunday morning we woke up very early to catch our bus. Oxford was waiting for us. Two and a half hour trip wasn’t so exhausting because we immediately fell asleep. Luckily the weather was fine. It was a beautiful, sunny day, 25⁰ C. Our friend Rosio, who attends Oxford for her English course, showed us a few Oxford universities, churches and the town centre. We visited Merton College, Corpus Christi College, Keble College, Trinity College, The University Church of St Mary the Virgin and Bodleian Library where we also saw an exhibition of books written by famous people who studied in Oxford University. A couple of girls were in a hall that was used for some scenes in the first and fourth part of the Harry Potter movies. After sightseeing we had time for shopping and we enjoyed the walks in the town centre. We bought a lot of cool “Oxford university” T-shirts and souvenirs. The town atmosphere was positive and relaxing. We could enjoy the performances of various street artists and try delicious homemade ice creams and chocolates. Unfortunately we didn’t have the opportunity to see Oxford students in a hurry carrying their books around (as we heard they do). Their school semester has already finished. “It would be great to come back to Oxford, not as a tourist but as a student of one of the greatest colleges in the world”, said Antonela, 17-year old girl from our group. We arrived back home tired but overwhelmed.
If You’re A Girl, You’re A Model
The focal point of our “Elegant fashion” project was customizing T-shirts. The main idea of the project is to show young people how to be trendy, yet dignified. The message we’re sending is that everyone can wear the style they like and be noticed but still look decent. Our project was not just to customize T-shirts, but we were also required take part in a photoshoot. When we finished customizing T shirts we had to start thinking about accessories, make-up and hairstyles that would look nice with the T-shirts. We had a few days to think about that until we arrived to the site of our photo shoot, East London, at F.A.D.’s (Fashion Awareness Direct) office. We were nicely greeted and given a room to use for the afternoon. With half an hour to dress up, do our hair and make-up and choose accessories we had to work fast to be ready in time. Girls from F.A.D. were also there to help us get ready. They helped us with make-up and to choose colours that would go with our T-shirts. Two photographers took pictures of us on the roof of the building. It was a very urban and inspiring place for great photos. We took a lot of photos in front of graffiti walls, doors, on the stairs and in front of great view on East London. Professional cameras were a bit new to us so it took time to get used to them. First we took some group photos and then individual. The photographers helped us by suggesting some poses and face expressions that look good on camera. We were both nervous and excited but we tried our best and enjoyed it.
“It was something new for all of us. We have all discovered a hidden part of us and a new way to express ourselves.” -Marcela, 17 After seeing the photos we realized that our work paid off. The photoshoot was a great experience for all of us and we had a good time. WRITTEN BY: LEONA BRADIĆ, VALENTINA LINARIĆ, MARCELA VRČEK, IRENA KINDER
London- “A Fashion Mecca”
“Everyone is always in a rush, eating and drinking, talking while walking. There are a lot of different styles and cultures but that doesn’t stop everyone from being accepted! Absolutely everything is upside-down and inside-out! “ Fashion is a part of our individuality. It is a way of non-verbal communication. When we dress we also send message to people around us. We believe that a person is a unity of body and soul. The way we dress shows what we believe. While walking down the streets of London we have discovered great variety of styles due to ethnic variety of London’s population. London is a heart of fashion. That is another reason why Londoners are so stylish. Zagreb, the city we come from is a little bit monotonous when it comes to fashion. On the other hand, London is an example of big fashion diversity. In the City we saw business people, dressed up formally. Men wore black, grey or blue suits. Most of them wore ties. Some carried business suitcases in their hands. We were stunned with how relaxed they were. They often combined their formal look with a typical socks. Women wore long skirts with blouses or jackets. We are staying in a family home in the Islington neighbourhood. It consists of a lot of different cultures and religions. We saw a lot of Muslims who were dressed according to rules of their religion. We visited Camden Market where we saw a lot of artists who expressed themselves by what they were wearing. A lot of them wore flowery and dotty patterns, but in an alternative way. There were a lot of goth and punk people as well, with their shops just next to romantic stores with lace dresses. We were fascinated by the variety of cultures and styles in London, especially because there aren’t that many differences in Zagreb. We loved how everyone is accepted and there isn’t much discrimination despite such huge differences. “There are literally girls in flowery dresses walking next to guys with blue hair wearing black skinny jeans and eyeliner, amazing!” Karla said. WRITTEN BY: NIVES VUČIĆ, LUCIJA CVITAN, GRGURIĆ LUCIJA, KARLA ĐINĐIĆ
Colour Me Beautiful For Who I Am
On Tuesday afternoon we went to Dawliffe Hall. There we met Molly Holloway, a fashion adviser who owns a studio and works with women helping them to learn something about fashion and themselves. She had a presentation for us called “Colour me beautiful”. She taught us how to present ourselves in the best way by telling us about colours and different styles.
In the beginning she displayed various coloured fabrics and pictures of different body types. She started talking about characteristics of colours; if a colour is dull or bright, dark or light and its undertone-orangey-yellow or blue. She explained that all colours don’t suit everyone. It depends on our skin, hair and colour of our eyes. Some people look better in darker colours, some in brighter and some look great in both. Throughout the presentation she asked each of us to stand up and showed us what suits us best in terms of colour and style. When she finished talking about the colours, she moved on to body types and style tips. She showed us five different types of body and taught us how to balance body proportions. We learned a lot of tricks that can help us hide our imperfections. We also learned how to apply blush according to the shape of our face. That makes the face look more alive. In the end we wanted more tips and opinions, so we all had questions for her. Why wear something that doesn’t suit us just because everybody uses it? Why try to be like another person if we can be ourselves? That’s what we learned from this presentation. We need to embrace ourselves for who we are and not what other people want us to be. After the presentation one girl from our group, Milagros said: “We don’t need to be perfect to feel perfect!” WRITTEN BY:LORENA MILETIĆ, MILAGROS BRRIO, DORA MATEK, NINA DADIĆ