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 were 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 sincerity, but more a desire to be a part of the crowd than actually research and identify with the cause. What's the 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 that 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 men while dismissing Nicki Minaj and Rihanna as pandering to the male gaze and passing 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 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 to appease 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.  We've at least 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 greater need for people to take it off it's pedestal and create a counter-culture (see: #IDontNeedFeminism and, like, 70% of Twitter and its trolls).

I hope feminism remains cool, like it has always 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 campaign or a part of the natural timing of things wherein something always has 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.

Monday, 10 November 2014

5 Cool Things on the Internet Right Now

For some reason exam season also translates to a lot of Internet procrastinating time and I've tried to rework that into productivity by curating some of my favourite gems of this here Internet.

1. EVERYTHING Willow Smith
Performing a five song set at Fader Fort's Brooklyn Pop Up along with brother, Jaden Smith and SZA (source)
Willow Smith is the future of music and fashion and general pop culture if you ask me. It's been, what, three or four years since she released Whip My Hair and cut her hair in the super short sides bob that had a lot of respectability police with their panties in a bunch. So I don't know what Kool-Aid Will and Jada are outsourcing from the Pacific Ocean, Willow is only thirteen so I think she's going to have to deal with a lot of people dismissing her success and her fame as either things-her-daddy-paid-for/stuff-her-mom-writes-for-her/the-whines-of-obnoxious-rich-kids-born-with-a-verified-blue-tick-on-their-birth-certificates. It's really unfortunate that a lot of the mass culture is going to make her apologise for her name, something she hasn't necessarily ask for and write her of because she's thirteen and has a better handle on human understanding and creation than people twice her age. Her Soundcloud is a beautiful and addictive mix of punk, alternative R&B and the new wave of alternative hip-hop similar to that of Chance the Rapper and Childish Gambino. I'm quite obsessed with her, her Instagram, her Twitter and all the cool stuff she, her friends and her brother are doing. Speaking of, check out Moises Arias photography Tumblr as well.

Willow's EP 3 is out today on Google Play; it's free for a limited time.

2. The Hair Issue by Miss Milli B
"Biko and Mandela lived and died so that I could make choices as a free black girl, not to live a life restricted by the burden of being strong, resilient and hard done by as a black woman. I just want be young and wild and free like the white hipster kids who are perpetually Instagramming photos of themselves partying as if the world will end tomorrow if they don’t party it the fuck up tonight."

I'm a bit late to the party with the extraordinaire that is local blogger, Miss Milli B but her revamped site and her poignant articles that make use of language, matters and memes I can relate t and enjoy have me hooked.

A while ago she posted The Hair Issue, an interesting read on the links between stylistic and trend related choice and a long history of oppressive voices that influence those as well as the issue of being an educated Black women, uncertain of whether she is choosing to relax her hair simply because it's pretty or she needs a change or is she actually falling victim to a system that promotes the superiority of European standards of beauty.Hair, and pretty much anything to do with black women and black female choice and there seem to be very few articles examining the issue of hair in terms of South Africa and Africa, where it is rather different from its American counterparts where weave and relaxer are a longstanding culture and things like box braids and cornrows are re-surging trends.

3. Sonia Sanchez: A Course on Black Women

Initially, when this popped up on my Tumblr feed I was really reluctant to check it out because I thought it was going to be one of those things that pin-holed Black women as Angry and Mad or something really racist and upsetting that I wasn't ready for and I'm ashamed to admit that because it showed my ignorance as I didn't recognise the name Sonia Sanchez.

This is part of a really beautiful series of videos of an interview with the poet and activist, Sonia Sanchez and in this specific one she speaks about a university course she taught on Black Women and it was more about looking and understanding the culture of Black women in America and the issues that affected them that were rarely discussed like incest, rape and self-hate. Listening to Sonia is such an enlightening experience because there is such a vivid passion to her and she really does care about what her students have to say and what she has to teach and it's inspiring.

4. Under the Influence by Bryan Lewis Saunders
Psilobyn Mushrooms [2 Caps onset] (source)
Butane Honey Oil

"After experiencing drastic changes in my environment, I looked for other experiences that might profoundly affect my perception of self.  So I devised another experiment where everyday I took a different drug or intoxicant and drew myself under the influence.  Within weeks I became lethargic and suffered mild brain damage that fortunately wasn't irreparable.  I am still conducting this experiment but over greater lapses of time and I only take drugs that are given to me."

I was looking at famous self-portrait artists like Egon Schiele and Frida Khalo and a Wikipedia rabbit hole led me to Bryan Lewis Saunders's series of self-portraits, all started and completed under the influence of drugs, ranging from heroin, cocaine and marijuana to xanax, ritilin and ambien.

It's a really experiment that reminds me of everyone's favourite Instagram caption, "Who sees the human face correctly; the photographer, the mirror or the painter?" and if you consider that the only idea of what you look like that you have ever seen is from reflections and film, self-portraits are all really a matter of subjectivity. There is no objective way to reproduce an image of yourself. My friend, Shai, was telling me how she can never resist the desire to arch her eyebrow a teensy bit more or square out her jaw a little bit less when she does a self-portrait and those are based on her ideals and insecurities. Self-perception, man. And, who knows, maybe Saunders's portraits under the influence are quite possibly the most accurate representations of who he is, if you're of the brand of thought that looks at self-portraits as more than just an image but insight into the subject and the painter/photographer than anything else.

This also makes me want to try out more drugs but, ugh, expenses.

5. Rapper, Junglepussy's Twitter
"Junglepussy, a Brooklyn-bred rapper who... has been making a name for acid-tongued anti-scrub anthems, which seem to be her specialty... Junglepussy’s entire artistic oeuvre is one big call-out. And she’s not just speaking for herself—in interviews, Junglepussy makes clear her aim to empower women." - (source)

Junglepussy is the ruling empress of all things Bad Bitch Carefree Black Girl All the Women in the Building Put Your Hands in the Air.  Her Twitter is an empowering and amusing reflection of the attitude I can't wait to fully embody one day when I've attained enough self-esteem, carefree-ness, no-fucks-given and sass. Follow her right now if you want your soul to be saved.

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