Happy Juxbox

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The road to the Glastonbury  Festival, 1970.

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

– John Lennon.

I read this quote for the first time in a book of John Lennon in my dad’s studio, I was in 5th grade, wore black clothes, patent leather Doctor Martins and listened to Guns & Roses. The girls in my class were into cheerleading, wore dresses or fitted jeans with cropped tops and listened to cheesy pop music from the 90’s, I obviously didn’t fit in, so I spent my evenings after school on my roller skates in the neighborhood, drawing in my bedroom or writing short stories, I think I was happy.

Happiness is a feeling that should come naturally to us when we are kids, it is easier to enjoy the simplicity of life when one is young and naïve, with dreams to pursuit and living in a world where everything is possible.

I spent a lot of time day dreaming in my teenage years, probably too much, I also used to get excited about the simplest and most ordinary things, but there was a time in particular which I remember so well because I felt so content, it was the day I found my dad’s vinyl collection and played something called The Doors, then the Beatles, Rolling Stones and so many more, I was fascinated by the sound and there it was, a whole new world for me to explore.

Music was the thing that brought me closer to my dad, we would stay up late to listen to rock & roll, talk about the psychedelic 60’s and his festival experiences…I was happy.

I have always compared life to a movie, and all our special moments should have a soundtrack, it would be wonderful if we could match all our great experiences to pieces of music, then memories would come to us automatically with songs. I think most of our memorable moments in one way or another involve music, there is a song that probably reminds us of our first date, an unforgettable summer or our time at university, music is deeply intertwined with memory.

For some of us music is a kind of energy and a source of inspiration, in my case it helps me to write and gives me ideas, but it also helps me to relax, a cold evening in winter sitting by the fire place and sipping a glass of wine would be incomplete without a lovely piece of music being played in the background.

As some might say, music makes the world go round, but why is that I wonder, well, perhaps because it has been linked to important events in history and even inspired social movements, and although not music in itself but songs have contributed with defining decades, it also plays an important roll in some cultures and brings people together in an extraordinary way. I’m interested in the relationship between music and historical developments but most of all, its connection to happiness.

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Jimi Hendrix in NYC, 1969.

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Janis Joplin at Glastonbury, 1970.

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The Beatles last concert.

Music surrounds us in our everyday life and I’m only one of many who loves and needs to listen to it every morning on my way to work, who has a passion for gigs and festivals, because it makes me feel happy, it simply makes me feel alive. But is it just one genre of music that makes us feel this way? Or is it music in general? Studies show that listening to “happy” music stimulates the reward center of the brain, causing the production of the chemical dopamine, which is the same chemical produced from eating chocolate, having sex and taking drugs.

Other studies have also shown that music increases concentration, lowers perception of effort and provides ongoing stimulus, therefore it is not a mystery that a long run is definitely easier and more enjoyable while listening to an up beat tune or our favourite songs.

“Music is  a moral law, it gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness and life to everything”.

-Plato.

Some people might find jazz, soul or even classical music their happy melodies, but for me it’s the psychedelic sound of the 60’s, because if I close my eyes I can really just imagine being there and life is sweet, with Janis and Hendrix. Our favorite songs have the ability to take us back in time or to a fantasy, a moment that represents positivity, and even if it brings a feeling of nostalgia it will be predominantly a happy experience, this is just another indication of how powerful our relationship with music really is.

There are people who I truly admire because they are or have been very influential in art, music, fashion and photography history, but I have listed only ten, incredibly talented individuals and their favourite song or album, perhaps it is the song that makes them feel inspired and happy.

I have also listed my favourite song, it’s a melody that captures so many wonderful memories all at once but it’s even more special because of Jim Morrison’s beautiful voice, it’s Soul Kitchen by The Doors.

No. 1 Salvador Dali – Tristan and Isolde by Wagner.

No. 2 Stanley Kubrick – Also Sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss.

No.3 Andy Warhol – All Tomorrow’s Parties by The Velvet Underground.

No.4 Thom York – Unravel by Bjork.

No.5 Coco Chanel – Qui qu’ a vu Coco dans le Trocadero.

No.6 Julie Verhoeven – Rumours (full album) by Fleetwood Mac’s

No.7 Nick Knight – Heaven Must Have Sent You by The Elgins.

No.8 Daphne Guinness – A Day in the Life by The Beatles.

No.9 Vivienne Westwood – Last Night Was Made For Love by Billy Fury.

No.10 John Lenon – Slippin’ and Slidin’ by Little Richard.

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Inspiration: Viviane Sassen

I have neglected this site for so long. When I started The Style Factory my main intention was to write articles, create stories and document it with pictures, but I no longer have time to write, and it would be terribly sad to see my blog come to an end for that reason alone.

Perhaps I’m taking a break from writing, but still love imagery and music, they have always been my main source of inspiration, and so my blog returns! I will be blogging more from now on, continue to showcase songs or playlist, and photos of all things that catch my eye, inspire me and influence my work as stylist.

I am not a writer, am just really enthusiastic about sharing what I find beautiful and interesting.

Today I want to share some images from Viviane Sassen‘s work. Her use of  colour and geometric shapes, and art and fashion combined create such striking photos, she is more than a photographer, she is an artist, one of many whose work I admire and find divine.

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Fashionable Alice

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Alice is probably the most iconic character having transitioned from a children’s book heroine to muse of many influential artists; film and art directors, fashion designers and stylists, who have reinvented her look over and over again.

The new exhibition The Alice Look at V&A Museum of Childhood marks the book’s 150th anniversary, It explores Alice’s wardrobe from follower-of-fashion to trend-setter through a selection of illustrations, several editions of the book, videos and garments. I found very interesting to see the evolution of her outfits over the decades in all the different publications of “Alice in Wonderland”by Lewis Carol, also in rare editions of the book in other countries.

I enjoyed the exhibition, but I would have liked to see more garments inspired by this iconic character, such as the Vivienne Westwood A/W 2011 Collection,  and the dresses designed by John Galliano for the “What you waiting for” video by Gwen Stefani. The concept for the video is “Alice’s adventures in Wonderland”and “Through the Looking Glass”, and the outfits and styling are incredible. In 2011 Tim Burton’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland the costumes are also very interesting and beautiful.

 Alice Liddell  has strongly inspired fashion and will continue to influence contemporary and future artists, and be a famous character  among generations to come.

 Vogue Shoot by Annie Leibovitz with Natalia Vodianova as Alice Liddell in 2003.

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Gwen Stefani in What You Waiting For video in 2004.

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Mia Wasikowska in Alice In Wonderland movie by Tim Burton 2010.

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Anne Hathaway in the Alice in Wonderland movie.

Anne Hathaway in the Alice in Wonderland movie.

Vivienne Westwood A/W 2011 Red Label Collection.

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Wild Bluebell women fragrance by Joe Malone launched in 2011, inspired by Alice.

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Window Display at the Temperley London  store in February 2015 during Fashion Week, to launch their A/W15 collection.

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 The Alice Look exhibition at V&A Museum of Childhood runs until November 1st.

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Five days of LFW A/W15 Street Style

The madness and buzz of London Fashion Week is over, and so is the fun I had taking pictures of street style.

Five days and thirty five photos later, this is what I liked.

See you in September LFW!

PASTEL PINKS

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FUN ACCESSORIES

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RED & BOLD

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RETRO VIBES

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Alexa Chung & Pixie Geldof

PRINTS

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CHIC & SOPHISTICATED

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Whitney Port

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ALL IN BLACK

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COOL CATS

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FUR

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WHAT THE BOYS WORE

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I am only happy when it rains

I always  think of London as a cold, grey and wet City, it is exactly why I love living here so much.

Today was cold and rainy, and to me it was the perfect weather to go for a walk along London Bridge Pier and take  some pictures.

It was  all about shape and texture,  I also played with my camera settings to get faded and dreamy-like images,  some of these photos could almost be watercolour paintings.

I hope I captured some of the beauty the lovely winter lays over London.

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Happiness…this way!

It was Sunday morning, I did the usual thing when I woke up, checked Facebook. I scrolled down my newsfeed very quickly and the only thing that got my attention was one status; How to find happiness? It made me think about my personal happiness and inspired me to write this post.

Sometimes we lose motivation, get bored of our lives or what we do, make bad decisions that take us to a dark road, or we simply we face difficulties that consequently change our outlook on life. When we are in that state of mind it is easy to forget what being happy feels like, but the turning point is when we realise how short the days are, how quickly time is passing us by and here we are, spending our existence being miserable.

It is simpler than we think to switch that button on our brain to feel hopeful again, we just have to take baby steps and think of all the small things that make us smile.

How to find happiness? Well, I wish I had the right answer, but to me you find it when you decide to open your mind and appreciate everything around you, people; friends and family, and living; enjoying every day. When you wake up early enough to see the sunrise and all the amazing pinks and yellows in the sky, or when you read a book that totally changes your perspective on life, wearing your favourite outfit, listing to a beautiful piece of music, being in a room full of your loved ones, or even writing in your blog that has been forgotten for several months.

We live in an extraordinary universe, but we sadly spend too long with our eyes shut.

I take pictures of anything I find beautiful and inspiring, of what I love and appreciate about my every day life, and when I feel down I have these images to remind me how lucky I am for having such beauty around me.

This is how I find happiness!

A Beautiful Sunset, Lisbon

Reds and yellows in the sky

Sunflowers in Columbia Flower Market

Columbia Flower Market

My Sunday Morning

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A powerful message, a man standing in the middle of the street giving away his art.

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Berlin

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Wearing quirky sunglasses

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A cafe in France

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My Friends

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Sophie’s magical house in France

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Randomness

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Arty Shows

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The Sky

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Winter

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Montmartre, Paris

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Happy Notes, “The Paul Smith’s Exhibition” in London

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Surreal Places

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A candy sky in the early hours

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Yoga by the Sea

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Mexico City

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Being Playful

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Beautiful Architecture

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Dressing Up

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A Full Moon

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Live Music

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Interactive Art

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The Colour Pink

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A walk at night along the Southbank

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My Nephew

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London

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Mexico Lindo y Querido

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It has been another great trip to Mexico City to visit my family, and while I was there for a short I simply had to wander around the City with my camera to try to capture some of its magic.

My opinion about Mexico City is not of a native Mexican girl who simply adores her country and ignores all its political issues, high level of crime and corruption, of course it has that, but also an immense beauty that can’t be explained or described, you have to be there to understand its charm.

I left for Europe a long time ago, but every time I visit it awakes a part of me that I sometimes think it has died, my Mexican roots will always be there but the love and appreciation for my culture  seem to fade away at times, until I go back and I’m reminded of how lucky I am for having grown up in such an interesting place, of  rich culture and history, full of mystical places and mysterious Aztec legends of their gods.

Mexico is tradition,  food, religion, tequila y mescal, friendly people, colour, humor and  music, this country has  a piece of my heart and I think that if you ever visit it you might leave  a piece of yours behind.

La Santa Muerte on the streets of the city centre

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Mexican crafts at the Ciudadela

Mercado de la Ciudadela

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“La Casa Azul” Frida Kahlo’s beautiful house in which she grew up and later on lived with Diego Rivera, it is located in Coyoacan, it’s now  a museum and at the moment is exhibiting some of the most iconic outfits and jewellery worn by the artist.

La Casa Azul

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La Condesa, this area is popular for its quirky bars, mezcalerias and cool shops.

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This bar has an amazing selection of Mexican beer only

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Coyoacan

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Food at La Coyoacana

Road Trip to the Marquesa

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The most delicious Pina Colada I have ever had served in a beautifully decorated pineapple

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Wandering in one of many food markets in the city

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Cactus/Nopales

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Chiles

Fruit at the market

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Chile Heaven

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Mexicans are carnivores

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