Do you remember when we were kids, how we dropped 20 Pfennig coins into payphones on the streets, how excitedly we waited for the connect signal to ask our friends if they’d come down to play?

jacket: Barbour
shirt: Sandro
pants: Topshop
shoes: Adidas x Raf Simons
bag: Vee Collective

ICC Messedamm Berlin | Fashion & Style | effordless, cool, sporty, Athleisure, Tomboy | wearing: Sneakers from Adidas x Raf Simons, Vee Collective Backpack in silver, Barbour jacket | Architecture Brutalism

When I think of the analogue past I remember my childhood and feel blessed to have grown up in that time, when private internet connections were still few and far between. Can you imagine that I barely used the internet at all until i was about 15 years old? It was only when I was already a teenager that I gradually discovered ICQ and MSN, and that I started to enter exchanges with my friends in chatrooms. That was long before the iPhone and the likes. A mere 10 years ago I bought my first iPhone – a phone with ‘real’ internet. I had just graduated at that point.
 
Every generation has special characteristics, and I guess people of my generation are the only ones who can rightfully claim be digital natives while still remembering the analogue world without internet. We will be the only generation to experience the full transition from the pre-internet age over dial-up modems to artificial intelligence. And we are the last generation whose life is not digitally captured from the very beginning to the end. Maybe we are the last generation who still takes the notion of privacy as a given.
One day we’ll be able to say:

‘imagine, there is no data from my childhood and my youth other than the childhood photos I shared on my social media for festive occasions.’

ICC Messedamm Berlin | Fashion & Style | effordless, cool, sporty, Athleisure, Tomboy | wearing: Sneakers from Adidas x Raf Simons, Vee Collective Backpack in silver, Barbour jacket | Architecture Brutalism

What a time to be alive.

At the weekend I attended IFA (Internationale Funkausstellung), Germany’s most important fair for consumer electronics and home appliances, where I caught a glimpse of the trends of tomorrow. What really struck me is that almost all appliances and software applications gather data in order to adjust functionalities to the user’s preferences – be it a coffee machine or a digital sleeping mask. The daily household appliances of the near future collect data all the time, with focus on our habits: when do we go to bed, how often do you exercise and how healthy is your diet?
 
Optimization will be more central to our lives than ever before.
And the route towards optimization, it seems, is for companies to get an ever clearer picture of consumer habits.
But where is all this going to lead us?

We are uneasy about the data-goldrush, we’d prefer if others wouldn’t know too much about us, but it seems that comfort always wins. We are all too easily swayed by the idea of not having to go shopping or not having to manually hoover the flat, and we keep using Google instead of DuckDuckGo. And once we get used to a service, it becomes very difficult to break the newly established habits.
 
Our tolerance levels expand every year, we accept more and more that we become increasingly transparent as individuals. And while our personal assistant eavesdrops on us, we kind of stop noticing how the sphere we call private shrinks around us. What does it matter, after all, if some company knows what kind of bread I prefer, right?

How much of a private sphere does each of us need though?

ICC Messedamm Berlin | Fashion & Style | effordless, cool, sporty, Athleisure, Tomboy | wearing: Sneakers from Adidas x Raf Simons, Vee Collective Backpack in silver, Barbour jacket | Architecture Brutalism

ICC Messedamm Berlin | Fashion & Style | effordless, cool, sporty, Athleisure, Tomboy | wearing: Sneakers from Adidas x Raf Simons, Vee Collective Backpack in silver, Barbour jacket | Architecture Brutalism

In my case, the idea of privacy has become pretty restricted already, due to the simple fact that I share my life and my habits not only with the same companies as most of you do, I also share them with a large community. Weirdly enough, knowing how much many people know about my life doesn’t feel particularly strange to me, if anything it makes me feel safe.
 
The thing is, as long as we don’t talk about my fears or thoughts we are alone with these emotions. The positive feedback I get from you as a community is like a safety net for me. It helps me to see in difficult moments that other people can relate to my situation, that others may have gone through similar experiences. I couldn’t say that the idea that you know what’s on my mind, where I live or what my daily life looks like makes me worried in any way. Neither does it bother me if someone knows what my favorite kind of bread is.
 
But my case is slightly different from that of many others, and the main point is:
I decide what I want to share and what not.
 
It is more important than ever before to be fully aware of the fact that the growing number of data that’s available on all of us not only benefits the companies that monetize this personal data (‘if the product is free, you’re the product!’) – it also opens up hitherto unimaginable possibilities to criminal minds. We should ask ourselves: who else, apart from companies and followers, could have an interest in knowing what our daily lives look like?
It’s the little things we don’t think of, like for example a heating app that pre-heats your apartment half an hour before you come home. Convenient for you, very convenient for a burglar as well. Can the answer really be a security app? Is kidnapping actually still possible when each and every step is tracked and traced?
 
Another dangerous scenario is a shift of political climate in a country, given that the state obviously has access to a wealth of intimate data, which can be easily abused to facilitate the persecution of those who are or think different. How could we effectively protet ourselves from this kind of state intervention?

Do I want my account number, information about my health or my sexual preferences to be (publicly) accessible?
 
You can probably guess the answer to that one. Even though I’m part of the privileged group of people for whom the public availability of such information would not really make much of an impact, professionally or personally, since I’m in no danger of political persecution or other threats to my existence, I still wouldn’t want this information to be in the public domain. I wouldn’t want to be judged and classified by it.
 
But how much longer will we retain sovereignty over our data?

ICC Messedamm Berlin | Fashion & Style | effordless, cool, sporty, Athleisure, Tomboy | wearing: Sneakers from Adidas x Raf Simons, Vee Collective Backpack in silver, Barbour jacket | Architecture Brutalism

I am in an inner conflict. On the one hand I don’t want to share all this private data, on the other I wouldn’t want to miss the luxury and comfort in this new world of individualised apps and smart technologies. But more than with the present, I am preoccupied with the future.

Contact lenses that transmit health data, appliances that read our brain activity and use that data for digital connection – these technologies are around the corner. So, how do the words brain-hacking, Neuralink and Building 8 make you feel?
 
The future seems within reach now, and looking at the pace of development over the past 10 years I am acutely aware how hazy and inaccurate my idea of the future necessarily is. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for progress. I don’t feel threatened by innovation and development, on the contrary, I believe they can make good on their promise to us to contribute to a better life.
 
The advance of technology cannot be stopped, which makes it all the more crucial that we take an active role in channeling its course, also legally. We should be very conscious of the fact that we are the last generation that can influence the course of it all from a perspective of having known an analogue world. It is our duty, as digital natives, to participate in the discourse, to engage with the risks, the possibilities of protecting our (mental) privacy, and our boundaries.
 
The stakes could not be higher. If we don’t live up to that responsibility, we are putting the very liberty of our thoughts and emotions at risk.

 
 
 

This post is also available in German Russian

After Fashion Week is before Fashion Week. Well, you know what I mean. As soon as the fashion circus has wrapped up, all energy is channelled in anticipation of the resonance to and feedback for the shows. Every season, thoughts and discussions revolve around the same question: which garments and accessories have trend potential, and which don’t? Which pieces will I still be wearing next year? The Fashion Weeks in Berlin and Copenhagen already yielded the first answers, and I certainly found a number of sweet trends. Not only did I find them, though, I went the extra mile for you and re-interpreted these trends with garments from SAKS OFF 5TH (click HERE for their instagram account).

In collaboration with SAKS OFF 5TH

My trend favorites for spring/summer 2019

It won’t come as a surprise anymore when I tell you I’m a huge fan of SAKS OFF 5TH. No matter what you’re looking for, you just always seem to find the right item at SAKS OFF 5TH, also because there every day new arrivals! After all, the brand serves as a platform offering all the major high end brands at 60% lower prices – but without that exhausting outlet atmosphere (that alone is gold in my books). Browsing through SAKS, I found my SS19 faves in no time at all. Before I knew it I had all my favorite garments together, the whole range from floral prints to pastel colored pieces! I’m really into each and every one of the six trends introduced above, and am sure I’ll be wearing the garments well into the next season and beyond.
 
Which of the trends above speak to you? Do you have a personal favorite in the bunch?

Athleisure Wear
From the couch straight to the runway: a couple of seasons ago this look was pretty much reserved for emergency sprints to the supermarket, and quite frankly, even then it was frowned upon. And now we see it on the runways of all international fashion weeks. Sweatpants are back – and so are the matching jackets! Tracksuits are currently undergoing a well-earned revival, and they are really hitting that sweet spot of 90s and 00s nostalgia for me. Brands like Marina Hoermanseder and HUGO have already interpreted the trend – in popping colors, combined with elegant accessories and heels. For me the ideal combination of casual and chic!

Stripes
Stripes are still going strong, and they are here to stay from what I could see. In the spring/summer collections for 2019, the trend is often interpreted in tender shades of blue and nuances of pastel – at times from head to toe! From pinstripes, block stripes or as an element in a pattern mix: the motto seems to be playful experimentation with a healthy dose of chic. In other words: more is more!

Pastel colors
Pastel colors have become a real staple in summer collections over the past few seasons. It makes sense, really. In spring we tend to long for softer nuances, we are drawn to looks that express the lightness that characterizes the season. One color in particular has been omnipresent since 2016: “Rose Quartz” was announced as Pantone trend color of the year 2016, and has been considered the pastel trend ever since, with no signs of letting off! Shades of pink have been a recurring phenomenon since 2016, and they once again take center stage at the German Fashion Week, to a warm reception. Marina Hoermanseder, Lana Mueller and Riani are particularly noteworthy for their usage of pink, showing dresses as well as suits in the most tender shades of the color.

Suits
Women in suits project emotional independence and strength. And we’re not necessarily talking about strict two-piece suits here, the standard look that usually comes to mind first when the term comes up. Instead, designers tend to show more experimental takes on the classic idea. A deep red tone, seen at Guido Maria Kretschmer and also at Riani symbolizes something rather assertive, whereas the bright yellow two-piece suit by Marc Cain underscores a lively, optimistic personality trait. This cuts range from classic and waist-fitted to playful and sophisticated, with a notable tendency towards oversize designs.

Floral Prints
Whoever still associates flower prints exclusively with little girl charm is missing the bigger picture. Granted, designs drawing on flower print radiate a certain sense of desire and romanticism, but fashion houses like Gucci and Erdem have long modernized floral patterns. And the range of application is wider and varied: from romantic and playful to feminine and just plain cool.

Geometric Patterns
Rebekka Ruetz is renowned for her unique way of integrating extreme and extraordinary approaches in her designs. This season, she presented her runway show under the motto “Make Love Great Again”. The designer showed a colorful, abstract selection, which may have seemed unusual if one of her peers would have presented it, but was actually quite typical for Rebekka herself. The looks integrated various patterns, in which geometric shapes and the interplay of different colors formed an exciting whole that won me over on the spot! I believe that with this interplay of fashion and geometry we may be witnessing the emergence of a new trend-phenomenon, one that doesn’t build on historic references. In other words, something new is emerging, which can be interpreted freely and without baggage. The elements at work are simple, but the effect is unique and very, very exciting. Whether on a shirt, skirt or accessory, geometric patterns transform every garment into a key-piece, and immediately upgrade every look!

This post is also available in German Russian

Masha Sedgwick | About finding the right work-life balance | nude dress | autumn style | outfit | fashion | effortless | sexy, cool, minimal, feminine

Masha Sedgwick | About finding the right work-life balance | nude dress | autumn style | outfit | fashion | effortless | sexy, cool, minimal, feminine

I know you don’t hear much from me these days. In fact, that’s quite an understatement. And the thing is, I do have time to get the work done, I’m not overwhelmed by work, I’m actually having a comparatively tranquil phase with room for experimentation and ideas. It’s just the blogging side of it all that’s coming up short.

How come?

For many years, blogging was my absolute top priority. I wrote every day, or else I edited pictures and invested all the love I had. This discipline took me quite far in the blogging world, at some points to the very top, but it also taught me a simple truth: the internet is too fast-lived to yield any kind of sustainable success. With time I had to witness how fewer and fewer people, companies etc. were interested in blogs, and in a moment of tearful clarity I had to admit to myself that the effort no longer stood in healthy relation to the success.
 
In the time I need to prepare a blog post I can publish several Instagram posts, stories, podcasts – all that while ending up with more private time for myself on my hand. Here’s another painful lesson I learned: some moments with friends or family are irretrievably lost when one does not choose to experience them.

I needed to free myself.
It was the only way if I wanted to be happy.
But free from what?
 
The answer is: of the self-imposed rules that had regulated the course of my life.

Masha Sedgwick | About finding the right work-life balance | nude dress | autumn style | outfit | fashion | effortless | sexy, cool, minimal, feminine

Letting go was the most difficult part.

You know, blogging is the first thing I found myself to be good at. Before discovering this special medium for myself I was feeling pretty mediocre in life: I was an average student without hobbies or ambition. I didn’t consider myself particularly beautiful, talented or clever. All that gradually changed with the blog. This platform gave me the feeling – for the first time in my life – that I was standing out. Yes, it took me more than 20 years to feel special, and it took me a bit longer still to be proud of myself. But there was also a problem: the more I defined myself through this blog, the more I started to cling to it
 
The fear that I’d slide back into mediocrity, the fear of feeling boring, of dropping into obscurity was just too big. So I increased my pace. Every day anew. Faster and faster. My private life played second fiddle in all this. I lived and breathed for my work, my blog, my status.
Was I happy? Maybe.
But if I take stock of the really happy moments in my life, few of them fall into this period of boundless hustle. I was content in my private life, but not what you could call extraordinarily happy.
I was captive in my own prison.

I sacrificed my private life for what I took to be my calling, and phrases like “no, sorry, I can’t come, need to finish a post” were among the most worn in my standard repertoire. Until at some point people just stopped asking if I’d like to join them for dinner, for a birthday get-together, or wherever. They already knew my answer.
 
I had arrived at a paradoxical situation. The more I felt I had arrived in the community, the lonelier I felt in the “real” world. I needed to rethink my priorities and break out of this prison I had ended up in if I wanted to be happy again. That, in turn, also meant I’d need to sacrifice a part of the identity I had clung to.
I believe that when we speak of work-life balance we often forget that the perfect equilibrium between extraordinary private happiness and outstanding professional success does not exist. You can’t be all things to all people at all times. Sure, on channels like Instagram (especially there) it often looks like successful people tend to be blessed with happier private lives as well, but I have barely ever met anyone who actually struck a healthy balance in that respect. In the end, there are always sacrifices to be made.

The only equilibrium one can reach is that between sacrifice and benefit, the balance between pain and gain.

Masha Sedgwick | About finding the right work-life balance | nude dress | autumn style | outfit | fashion | effortless | sexy, cool, minimal, feminine

Masha Sedgwick | About finding the right work-life balance | nude dress | autumn style | outfit | fashion | effortless | sexy, cool, minimal, feminine

Let me give you an example: to this day I feel pangs of guilty conscience because I’m not posting on the blog frequently enough. It feels like I owe you, my readers, something. But this guilty conscience is far outweighed by the private happiness I have been blessed with for some time now, in the form of a new relationship and new hobbies. My ambition took me a long way in my professional life, but it ultimately did not point the way to happiness.
 
Finding the right work-life balance, day by day, is like an inner conflict we are challenged to resolve over and over again. And we should not frame this conflict in purely negative terms either. I have found a much more conscious approach to using my time, which also means I experience it much more intensely. I work so much more efficiently than I used to. And when I take the time to live my private life, I do that much more consciously as well.
I try to create real memories.

I have become so much better at distinguishing between the private and the professional spheres, and I know where to draw the lines. Indirectly, this is actually starting to benefit the blog again. I HAVE TO write much less than I used to, but I find that I WANT TO that much more often.
 
Curiously, the result is that I am more relaxed about it all, more capable of taking life and work as it comes, without need for this desperate struggle for success. And that’s the real irony in all this:
now that I stopped fighting, now that I freed myself of the shackles of my own rules, now that I do a much better job of being conscious about when and how long to work, I am not only happier but also more successful than ever before.
Coincidence? I don’t think so.
 
Maybe this is the work-life balance everyone’s talking about?

 
 

This post is also available in German Russian

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The Author

Masha Sedgwick ist ein persönlicher Fashion und Style Blog aus Berlin. Neben Mode schreibt die Fashionbloggerin auch häufig über Themegebiete rund um Beauty, Lifestyle und Reisen und gibt wertvolle Tipps, ob zum perfekten Make up, der täglichen Haarpflege, dem besten Hotel oder für den schönsten Städtetrip überall auf der Welt. Der Blog existiert bereits seit 2010 und dank der anspruchsvollen Bilder und persönlichen Texten gehört Masha Sedgwick mittlerweile zu den erfolgreichsten und reichweitestärksten Modeblogs in Deutschland, hat es auch zu internationaler Bekanntheit erreicht und wird regelmäßig im Print und Fernsehen gefeatured.

Masha Sedgwick is a personal fashion and style blog from Berlin. Besides fashion she also writes about beauty, lifestyle and travel and gives valuable tips, whether it's the perfect makeup, daily hair care or the best hotel. Masha Sedgwick runs her blog since 2010 and thanks to its high quality in text and image the blog Masha Sedgwick is now one of the most successful fashion blogs in Germany.

Маша Седжвик – автор личного блога, посвященного моде и стилю. В центре ее внимания не только модная одежда – она часто пишет на темы, связанные с красотой, образом жизни и путешествиями, освещает модные тенденции, а также дает ценные советы – например, как сделать идеальный макияж, как правильно ухаживать за волосами, как выбрать отель или куда поехать в отпуск. Блог Маши Седжвик существует с 2010 года. Благодаря интересным текстам и качественным фотографиям он стал одним из самых успешных блогов о моде в Германии и постепенно приобретает популярность за ее пределами.

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