Saturday, 24 January 2015

Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman

different ways to wear an oversized t-shirt
People will tell you a lot of things about the end of your childhood like "enjoy it, being an adult is miserable," or "you'll laugh about this later" or "get out my face, stupid kid" and while these are very useful (in the completely useless way almost all advice from adults seems), they don't prepare you for anything at all. Like, how the moments when you and your friends can all start doing things like driving to McDonald's anytime they want and book hotel rooms and cry at a desk job, your heart begins this awful series of palpitations and you spend a lot of time feeling like your eyes are glazed over because every thing's happening so fast and you haven't even had lunch yet and, what, when did everyone learn how to pay rates and taxes?!

So I've come up with a solution for those few that are really nauseated by the future (and by 'those few' I mean all of us because hahaha, we all hate this time nonsense - like when can it end amirite): dress up and eat BBQ chicken while one of your mates drinks out of a chalice marked '18' in rhinestones and glitter. There is no better way to avoid reality than with carbs and refashioning your brother's H&M old-man-who's-never-even-been-to-Hawaii T-shirts into a cute asymmetrical skirt and your favourite bangers by Chris Breezy and Taylor Swift from the 2000s. This approach works well with a net tank top from Mr Price, impractical high heels from Cotton On and as many cuffs, chokers, chains and rings that you haven't lost while crying over ugly conversations with adults that begin with, "WHAT R U STUDYING WHERE R U GOING TO UNI FIGURE OUT UR FUTUR RN TYVM."
alternative black girl outfit floral assymetrical skirt and netted tank top
south african fashion and style blog johannesburg
blonde box braids undercut purple lipstick
I also suggest getting ready with a gaggle of your girls every time you go out because there's nothing better than mentioning that your eyebrows are teensy bit overgrown and having three pairs of tweezers and an eyebrow/lash brush waved in your face before you can say, "I'll just cover it up with a ridiculous amount of concealer."

Also, while my methods of denying/avoiding/evading the future are fun, it's also hours of work. What does everyone else do?

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

A Post About Summer

Every year when summer finally reaches it's head, I stay up late trying to complete a million-and-one things that go hand-in-hand with my new year, new me approach and regret come first day of school when I'm droopy eyed, in a stiff school skirt, confronted by all the same school bullshit and the relief of routine and pattern after a messy, messy summer vacation.

And I don't think about that regret or that I'll have choice words for my brother when he uses up all the hot water because my head's swimming with inside jokes and the colour blue and My So-Called Life's Angela performing a voice-over as I start up an impromptu art project saying, "There's something about Sunday night that makes you want to kill yourself... and that creepy 60 Minutes watch that sounds like your whole life." And that ticking away of your youth, your memories, your 'why didn't I journal this, will it even be real now' is all the more intensified because you're not just looking at a two day weekend and a Monday but it's over thirty days of everyday-is-so-promising-and-beautiful-it's-like-Saturday-on-'roids and now a sea of Mondays where you'll barely remember the time you woke up at 4am by choice to go watch the sunrise or how good your pillows felt after a long trip away.

I've been working on my Photoshop and illustrations and made the above one after stills from Kilo Kish's Locket music video. It's weird how the drawing and the music video seem to capture all my foggy feelings about the end of a not bummer summer and my final year of high school.
Also, happy new year to everyone. I hope 2015 is turning out to be everything everyone wants, even if we're all a little broke right now or sad right now or ridiculously warm right now.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

The WKND Social x @Fiat_SA

Like all good stories, it started at a party. Actually, no, it started during my dad's surprise party clean-up. My friend, Kelicia, was over and in between mopping up red wine spills and lipstick stains off of glasses, we were beside ourselves because we really wanted to go to the final WKND Social of the year but our pint-sized wallets and desire for a pretty boy to treat us to nice things meant that we didn't have any tickets.

We were so beside ourselves that the idea of entering a competition with Fiat, wherein all Kelicia had to do was book a test drive and then, should she be chosen, get a driver from Fiat in the new (and very adorable) Fiat 500 as well as complimentary tickets to the WKND Social and the WKND Social after-party and a personal photographer. It was way too good to be true and while I rolled my eyes, Kelicia entered.

And she won.

I tried to keep it pretty simple and try some new things, like let the hem of my shirt show beneath my skirt considering we were gonna have a photo shoot for Fiat. My shirt is from a charity shop in Istanbul, my skirt Pull & Bear and my studded creepers from K&B in Istanbul. I crafted my choker in five minutes before we had to leave from some ribbon and, yes, it was a little white-girl-basic, wore a bindhi but considering that it matched my eyebrows I think I can be forgiven.
We also got to hang and take some really bad selfies (I look like a miss-me-with-that-bull meme in every single one) with Tee Tee Is With Me blogger Thithi Ntetha, who also started and runs The WKND Social. Her braids gave me life as well as those really cute boots.
Kelicia with the other winner, Fezile.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Going In Like a Violin

 It's 10 days into December and I've finally gotten over holiday brain (the stupor of carbs all day, carbs with other people all night) and my friends circulating 'ninja, we made it' memes (we're officially done with the school year) and fixed my router and I'm blogging again ish. I've been crazy lax with taking photos of outfits and what I'm doing to my room and I'm not sure whether to try Photoshop the ones on my phone or reshoot or cry. I always end up choosing the third one.

I figured I'd share some journal pages I took photos of and new books.

 Note lipstick in orange is my absolute favourite thing right now along with my namesake perfume from KENZO that smells like how crispy white cottons and silks feel. I just finished A Clockwork Orange - which wasn't too easy because of the intended difficult use of Russian language as slang - and I can't even organise my thoughts beyond 'OMG OMG OMG'. I Love Dick is one of my absolute favourite autobiographies/novels/religious-texts and I finally have my own copy. Jack Kerouac Allen Ginsberg: The Letters and The Ethical Slut are some recommeneded reads from Rookie.
 A friend, during a drunken rant, convinced me that everything I used to love Kanye West for was basically almost everything I've been sleeping on Pharrell for as well. And then some. I'm only halfway through the interviews and editorials and essays and I'm almost ready to forgive Pharrell for being a New Black and having a name I always have to double check in spelling.
 Rose and Vintage's Ellie convinced me to get the Wes Anderson Collection and while I haven't begun to read it, the photos are so pretty and have kept me from focusing on the actual text.
 I found an old Oxford dictionary I used to use religiously in grade five and started cutting up my favourite definitions. I used to be obsessed with trying to learn every single word in it and stunning all my peasant friends with my wealth of knowledge.
 We've been experiencing rolling blackouts so I've found myself with a lot of candlewax art. This is my favourite. I discovered that pouring hot wax over paper and then peeling it off made it rather transparent. These are some weeds I'm letting die in my journal along with a bad watercolour.
 A page I made for the 324th day of the year when I was anxious and felt like I couldn't study anymore. I also heard the Cool Cafe Volume II that day - hence the lungs.
 This is the first page of my August-October journal.
 Stress doodles during English when my teacher brought up the future and university drama.
 Quote from twitter. Compasses because I really wanted (want) some direction in life.

While Photoshopping my selfies, I found this header from Amy Scheppper's old Fancy Pants the blog blog and it matched my feels:

Thursday, 4 December 2014

MRP x Not So Bummer Summer

It's officially and undoubtedly summer and who better to attend outdoor concerts, pool parties, lounging at the beach and picnics with than Mr Price. Scientific fact; almost all South Africans have a ridiculously romantic relationship with December. It's a time of sun burns, short shorts, rooftops, sunsets, outdoor music and celebrating how far you've made it this year. It's a time when everyone gets those piercings, loses a precious leather jacket at Matric Rage (I'm side-eying my sister here), shaves the side of their head and looks forward to hot days and cool nights to remember forever. And you can't make those kinds of memories without being aesthetically prepared to have your life changed forever. Once again, Mr Price got you, fam.

Starting with another collaboration with British designer, Henry Holland and his technicolour-haired music, DJ Chloe Norgaard - a line that features everyone's favourite trend at the moment: active wear. It's clashing conversation starting prints, breezy fabrics for the girl who can't be tied down too long and all at liveable prices for the funemployed, wanting to be fabuluxe. It doesn't just begin and end there. Mesh tops, fleece joggers and graphic vests. Think wrapped jumpsuits, quirky statement tees and our favourite ugly sandals like jellies and strappy grandad sliders. Don't be afraid to check out the graphic print shirts and shorts in the guys' section either.

Fancy Mr Price bitties aren't just limited to cool kids brave enough to step outside in the heat, you can also shop from the website or the Mr Price App which also happens to ship internationally.
source // shop the look
source // shop the look
source // shop the look

Disclaimer: This is a paid post. My views, however, are still my own and I would stand by them whether or not I was being paid. But, like, I also like to eat. Dignity intact though.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Feminism: the Cause Du Jour

feminism is cool
Maybe it's my inherent hipster cynicism to dislike anything that becomes really popular and over saturated in mainstream media, but it's starting to seem like feminism is incredibly on trend. Suddenly, every third or fourth female (usually white) celebrity is 'coming out' as feminist, Tumblr is chock full of glitter feminist badges and anti-misogyny mini-skirts and the angry Twitterati is picking fights constantly over T-shirts and 'females these days' comments. While I'm glad feminism is no longer the angry lesbian third party, I'm not sure this is necessarily a good thing.

Hipsters always get a bad rep for "liking [things] before they cool" but they are onto something with that. The moment a cause gains notoriety (think Kony 2012 and #BringBackOurGirls) it means everyone's quick to adopt it and tweet their blessed little hearts out but without any genuine interest, more a desire to be a part of the crowd than actually research and identify with the cause. What's point of Becky, Sue and Sally all identifying as feminists when they're quick to applaud faux-feminist events, see Chanel's runway last month, or do very not feminist things in the name of feminism (like this) or perhaps when it's time to do something very difficult or uncool, drop feminism altogether. And that's the thing about trends; they fade.

Perhaps it's not feminism itself is becoming trendy but more the breed of white, cisgendered oriented feminism that's becoming popular. To quote a recent Tumblr post I saw, "Yeah, she's cute but is her feminism intersectional?" It's great that you want gender equality and equal pay but none of that means squat when you're quick to praise Miley Cyrus for embracing her sexuality and Emma Watson for trying to accommodate feminism for me but dismiss Nicki Minaj and Rihanna as pandering to the male gaze and pass a blind eye to Lilly Allen's use of black female bodies as sexual objects.

However, yesterday I attended a debate of feminism and gender relations in South Africa (here) and a recurring them throughout the discussions was that there is no such thing as a perfect feminist. And, you know what, does it really matter that a celebrity donates millions to an orphanage because of the press but that progress and awareness comes out of their selfish act? What I'm saying is, not all of us arrived to feminism through reading The Second Sex or listening to Pussy Riot before it was cool, some of us learnt about it through trashy teen lit, our boyfriends or Tumblr but we've arrived to the party, it doesn't matter who invited us, just that we're here and we brought dip.

Maybe it's going to have to take feminism being hotter than those stupid Chanel espadrilles everyone bought last year to bring about some serious change. Trendiness means awareness. Trendiness means we're having conversations about street harassment and rape culture, we're creating spaces to talk about our 'bad' feminist woes (see: like all of Rookie). Trendiness means we're a little closer to progress.

I just hope that feminism's coolness right now doesn't mean capitalist (therefore patriarchal) debasement and spark up a need for people to take it off it's pedestal and create a counter-culture (see: #IDontNeedFeminism and, like, 70% of Twiitter and its trolls).

I hope feminism remains cool, like it always has been, and y'all take this wicked ideology to the streets and pledge allegiance to pro-choice and anti-anti-mini-skirt legislation.
But, hey, do you think that the rise in feminism in popular culture is due to it's recent trendiness, like Beyonce's ***Flawless and Emma Watson's He For She or a part of the natural timing of things wherein something always have to give? Or do you have any other thoughts on this topic? Or do you maybe want to send me a cookie? (Yes, you do.) My comments section is always open for rants. So is my Twitter.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Cut Your Hair Today, 7/11 Your Life Tomorrow

Change your hair, change your life. The more you change your hair, the less boredom and dead ends you'll run into. This is osmosis. How you say, science. Fact. Don't look it up, though, just take my word for it.

I'm no stranger to cutting, burning and manipulating my hair into an array of new looks that correlate into new outlooks on life. Just this year I went from a relaxed pixie cut (here) to a perm (here), box braids (here), to a very frustrating weave (here), to a more annoying weave (here), to cornrows (here) and then dreadlocks (here).

But, lately, I've reached a dead end lately in my life and projects. The only sane and reasonable thing to do, it seemed, was bring in a major change to my life and so yesterday morning I decided to cut my hair and then spent last night freaking out over how short it was and how so, so irreversible it is. Plus sides to cutting my hair, however: I get to go through 2012's nightmare of, :"oh my god, you cut your hair" (like I hadn't noticed, ay?) and "whyyyy would you cut your hair?"

I think everyone should make the very regrettable yet empowering decision of cutting your hair way too short.

Firstly, as a black woman, it's a very political decision because you're out right defying the monopoly European beauty standards that require long, straight perfection.
Secondly, as any woman at all, you're sticking your tongue out to patriarchy's restrictive beauty ideals. Thirdly, you get to reintroduce yourself to yourself. Not only do you look like a new person to other people, your reflection is a complete stranger who - hey - have you ever noticed how chiseled your jaw actually is and that your eyes are almond shaped? You wouldn't have met that handsome she-devil behind that mop you've been possessively conserving for the past three years.
Lastly, and most important to remember - it grows back. Just like most great things in life, like life, hair is temporary. At the very least, scaredy cat, dye your hair a really damaging and what-a-dumb-kid-I-was colour like fuchsia or teal.
I also feel a lot closer to my deity, Solange (who had the greatest wedding ever and now I can really never hope to get married ever) right now.
the shadows know the truth
i miss u & u just don't care.
With my new hair came some inspiration in the form of Lazy Bones Illustrations. The really cool cat behind the blog, Miranda, uses Microsoft Paint as her medium. Her illustrations, well her medium more than anything, reminded me of the dramatic illustrations I used to make for the short stories and novels I wrote as a kid with Microsoft XP. MS Paint is also such a really millennial and innovative medium too. It's not like how almost everything has been done in terms of paint (a la the Impressionists and Cubists) or how sculpture has been reinovated time and time again, you know? There aren't any limits to what is possible yet with MS Paint and that makes it rather exciting. The MS Paint artist also can't procrastinate with the excuses of not having enough turpentine, clean brushes or paper. All you need is electricity and the sheer hope that this doesn't blind. Also, a lot of patience as well because MS Paint is really frustrating (i.e trying to fill in a tree and then messing up your whole canvas with hot pink).
These are some of Miranda's most recent MS Paint illustrations. I am still actively combing through her Tumblr for more pretty things.
Come Back/Don't Go (source)
Tanning (source)
Poolside Views {a drawing about when you leave the party to be alone for a bit} (source)
All Strippers Go to Heaven (source)
In other important news, Beyonce released a music video/homage to the based god of turnt up/that lifestyle collection/everything important ever that had my whole Tumblr posting a collective 'YAAAS, Bey, YAAAS' and trying to hold down their snatched edges. Bey's reaching her peak in my eyes right now. She's just entering the penultimate phrase of being a free woman. She's successful, healthy, her weave ain't crooked and she's just having fun with her life.
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