With the increasing popularity of op-shopping and homemade clothing pieces, style on our university campus seems to be burgeoning away from the minimalist, Tumblr-y black and white preferences of the 2010s. Instead, students seem to favour a more playful, colourful and upbeat look, that evokes enthusiastic grins and giggles instead of envious glances. Gabebe’s is clearly part of this shift. With her own caring hands, Gabbie strings together beautiful beads of different shapes, sizes, and colours, producing pieces that are exciting and interesting to look at.
A very welcome, but unexpected consequence that I’ve experienced after donning one of these necklaces is the impact it has on my mood. Usually, the Monday morning commute into uni is enough to have me crabby for a couple of days (shout out to Auckland Transport). However, if I have one of Gabbie’s pieces on, I find I’m a little more energetic and lively throughout the whole day. It turns out that it’s actually pretty difficult to walk around grumpily if you’re wearing a necklace with a smiley face on it. That mood boost is also due to the nostalgic feel of those colours and shapes: my necklace has a bright blue flower, an orange flower, a shiny yellow star, a couple of gaudy transparent crystals, and freshwater pearls. It’s definitely a piece I would have loved as a kid, which is likely why I’m so happy each time I wear it — I’m playing dress up as my inner child.
The pieces look the best when they’re absolutely stacked, leaning into a bright, maximalist aesthetic. They would also make excellent gifts for any forlorn 20 somethings who miss wearing candy jewellery (do you know anyone who DOESN’T fit that description?).
It’s really difficult to quantify what makes a good TikTok. Many commenters would assert that it’s the ability to capture a sort of ‘vine energy’ where complete absurdity meets an ironic detachment. Others would suggest it’s a glorious lack of context for a chaotic group of boys screaming. Indisputably, the true mark of a good TikTok is the group chat test — do you send it on to any friends? @feetpimp69, UOA’s own, passes this examination with flying colours.
There’s such a huge variety of content styles on TikTok, from dances to edits to heavily filtered vanity vids. Owen Zheng 郑锷 leans more into a rant style, providing a pretty cathartic space for his inevitably tired and frustrated Gen Z audience. He catalogues social mishaps, makes fun of other cringy TikTokers, and raves about UNO. It’s intensely relatable, putting words to those menial grumpy thoughts you probably have most days. A particular highlight, especially as someone with a strong kiwi accent, is seeing Owen yell “tomato” at followers who disparage his inflection. If you’re trying to avoid taking frustrations out on those close to you, @feetpimp69 is really worth a scroll at the end of a bad day. Let Owen do the talking for you and go to bed with a cleansed mind.
If there’s anything that you can take from Owen’s videos, it’s that he, usually, hates it here.
“The Secret’s Out” – Rita May
As uni starts to kick into gear, it’s time to reevaluate the tone of your playlists. Over break, you might have indulged in some more fast-paced, excitable tunes. However, as the stressful atmosphere starts to bubble up again, you’ll likely be looking for music that’s a bit more soothing and relaxing. This release promises a warm pat on the back, and more.
With “The Secret’s Out,” Rita May provides a pleasant lullaby while still guiding the listener through engrossing ebbs and flows. The guitar is dreamy and gentle, and complements the bittersweet mood of the lyrics well. The lyrics themselves are understanding and empathetic, articulating deeper anxieties and wanderings that you may have been hoping others experience too. The song has some big ‘look out the window’ energy, with the potential to make a small moment feel big and important. There’s a lovely balance between an accepting embrace of the unknown and a clear apprehension for what might come, making it the perfect track to score your coming-of-age unease. If life was a movie, this would play right before the triumphant redemption (get those tissues ready, team).
Overall, the song is so cohesive, melding the instrumental seamlessly with the lyrical tone. It’ll provide you with a head swaying catchiness that’ll have you hitting replay over and over.