Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Being Big in Japan - Girls Season 5, Episode 3

 "I don't even really care about people in America anymore." - Shoshanna, Girls Season 5, Episode 3: 'Japan'.

There's a quote floating about Tumblr or the world or something about how you can be your truest self once you don a mask. The moment you adopt some sort of anonymity or disguise is when you are not hindered by the presence of the outside world's gaze (and judgments) nor your own inner monologue that has dictated who you are, who you should be and how that affects what can and can't go on in your life. You wear a mask and you flirt with the wrong kind of boys because you are no longer you. You keep your Twitter avatar as an egg and troll people on the Internet because you're no longer constricted by the fact that your boss could see it. You move to a different country and engage in sadistic sexual acts because no one (you know) is watching.

That's what I loved about the latest episode of Girls, as well as what made me realise that despite my desire to be a Jessa (minus the being a shit friend thing) (she's just so cool, you know), I'm very much a Shoshanna. From her incredibly fast speech (which she's, like, never been told about before) to her apparent commitment-phobia (God, watching Scott trash his 'Shosh is the Most-sh' sign and flowers broke me), all her outfits (that halter top over a blouse thing was inspiring) and, finally, running away from her problems in America to become her best self in Japan; where no one knows her, no one ties her down, no one has checked boxes of who Shosh has to be.

Which isn't to say that Shoshanna moves to Tokyo (and that rad apartment) and completely transforms in a "New Year, New Me" style -- she is still very much Shosh: spoiled, self-involved and redeemably inconsiderate. But she also appears to be gaining the growth and experience that everyone constantly tells you your 20s is all about, she's making beautiful memories and exploring the world. And at the same time, she's somewhat abandoned her (not so great, IMO) friends in America and her very lovely boyfriend, which while the romantic in me wants to strangle her (SHOSH IS THE MOST-SH, you guys), I completely adore and admire.

Now that I'm, like, totes growing up and adopting my own Tokyo Shoshanna in college, where I'm given the freedom that means I don't really have anyone watching or anyone to answer to, I admire the idea of dedicating your youth/20s to self-service and self-interest. Not so much in the way that would leave me a vacuum of callous narcissism and apathy, but one that would mean that I am the first person I take care of.

At the end of the day, my own well-being and growth and development should be my number one priority. I am the only person I really have in this world, and while some days are very hard, I'm actually beginning to like my Tokyo Shoshanna and I want to make sure she's OK.

I hope Lena Dunham gives us more Japan adventures for Shosh, as well as a lot more screen time for Yoshi (like, omg, so many heart-eye emojis) and less of Marnie's "marriage" or her ridiculously white tourist pronounciation of Ecuador.

Also, while I didn't really care much for the non-Shosh aspects of the episodes, I would like to add that I loved the pseudo-Elementary tie in (more Lucy Liu all the time please), Elijah's general Elijah-ness ("Try ones with a coy smile... like you know a cake is coming later,") and while extremely childish, Hannah's comments when she was deleting Fran's ex's nudes were absolutely hilarious ("Oh, hey, indie nipples,").

Thursday, 18 February 2016

All White Sucks

Kim Kardashian is not to be trusted.

Olivia Pope is not to be trusted. Country club members on tennis courts are not to be trusted.

Anyone who regularly wears all-white ensembles is very clearly a psychopath or privileged enough to have a mousy assistant who serves them red wine in sippy cups and puts down sheets when they're about to take a seat. In addition, anyone who regularly wears all-white ensembles enjoys having everyone look at them sideways when they choose to stand a metre from walls, inspect surfaces supposedly for sitting and ask for the driest dishes on the menu.

See, to live an all-white life is to continually struggle. Sure, you're super aesthetic and an Instagram wet dream but you will die inside. Your once adorably clumsy friend with a thing for cranberry juice is now your enemy. You can't enjoy outdoor excursions with your friends because you can't catch any of the jokes, preoccupied by the thought of grass stains. What is the point of being oh so crisp, so clean, so minimal when you can't even enjoy lunch with your friends because everyone thinks you're a priss for putting down ten serviettes before you sat.

Wearing all-white means you must sacrifice your life for the aesthetic, essentially doing everything for the Vine.
My mesh top is from H&M, tennis skirt Mr Price, Rubi/Cotton On flats and one sock is Reebok, the other addidas. My choker and marabou cuff are handmade by yours truly.

Anyone wear all-white ever? Why do/would you like to suffer like that?

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Sahara Nouveau Via SA Menswear Week

Not more than four days ago, my creative design teacher expressed how lucky I was to be interested in designing menswear in this day age because of how much it's all changed since she was making men's clothes. For one, sex and gender issues are at such a fore in our popular culture that designers have more leeway to explore gender neutrality and some even moving towards postgender (Gypsy Sport comes to mind here). In addition, the idea of functionality being the defining trait of what makes menswear is taking a backseat to more notions of decorativeness and aesthetics that women's clothing fully embodies (think of the amount of prints, patterns, silhouettes available to women, versus the often solid colours and linear cuts of men's clothing).
Of course, this isn't to say that functionality is being abandoned to the scale that it often is in women's clothing. In fact, current menswear is made all the more innovative and interesting by the meeting point of aesthetic and function, or as Vogue's Maya Singer puts it: Practical Peacocking.
While designers use soft, girly colour palettes or maxi-skirts and assymetrical hemlines, there's a harder emphasis on straighter, harder line, dramatic movement, and toying with structural fabrics. This idea of functionality has kept more avant garde designs from appearing completely dandified or cross-dresser lite but retained a signature look exclusive to menswear. 
From NY Menswear Week and London Collections Men, I've seen  the Rude Boy or Dark Prince aesthetic (a la McQ Alexander McQueen and Siki Im), abstracted atheleisure, postmodern deconstruction by way of Greg Lauren and a new clean cut Mr Man look (think Public School) or a rougher, street smart prepster like the Theory or Orley man.
Interestingly enough, local designers at South Africa Menswear Week didn't blindly follow suit as many popular designers are prone to do. While the influence of international aesthetics like the Rude Boy and prepster could be seen, they only served to enhance an inherently South African look: a look that varied from a haute couture safari adventure from an African gaze (like Jenevieve Lyons), initiation/bush school retreats (Pilgrim), references to South Africa's huge Eastern/Arab/Persian culture (Imprint) to pop cult, Internet culture tones like in Dicker, Maxivive and Blanc.
Clockwise from top left: Dicker //  Dicker // Blanc //

Clockwise from top left: Maxivive // Augustine // Maxivive // Blanc
Clockwise from top left: Blanc // Blanc // Taf the Taylor // Jenevieve Lyons

Clockwise from top left: Jenevieve Lyons // Jenevieve Lyons / Jenevieve Lyons // Maxivive

Clockwise from top left: Maxivive // Dicker // Pilgrim // Imprint

Clockwise from top left: Imprint // Maxivive // Martin Kadinda // Martin Kadinda

Clockwise from top left: Martin Kadinda // Imprint // Augustine // Augustine // Dicker // Dicker

Martin Kadinda.
Clockwise from top left: Blanc // Pilgrim // Pilgrim // Taf the Taylor

All photos are from SDR Photo.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Do What You Want When You're Popping

A few new developments:
1. I just started fashion school.
2. I cut my own bangs a day before school started. (I have no idea if my hair will stand the constant heat.)
3. Real life is hard.

Things that have not changed:
1. Shirts are still being worn backwards, cardigans still double as V-neck tops.
2. I still only own one belt.
3. Real life is hard.

Shirt: Identity | Skirt: Mr Price
(Above is my first day of school outfit. I left my house in such a panic (late as always) and didn't notice that my prints weren't matching up in colour.)

Part of me is completely thrilled to have a reason to wear makeup every day, plan outfits the night before that I scrap each morning and actually take my hair out of its bun every morning. This part feeds into my general new beginnings, new life excitement where I'm meeting new people, creating memories and making new friends every single day. But, wow, it's exhausting being a real person.

As much as I enjoy already having a signature everyday makeup look and wearing clothes that were meant for growing, teenage girl bodies, I am so tired. Orientation Week was only three days but I feel like I've just trained for and complete the Comrade's Marathon. I am very ready to retire. I also like to dig my own grave by being my most adult self by deciding to visit the latest Museum of African Design exhibition last Thursday night. I put aside my school/real-life fatigue to enjoy walking around the gallery in a pencil skirt and discussing mise-en-scene and drinking dry white wine.

The exhibit was really cool, by the way. Unfortunately my camera died two minutes in and I couldn't capture the magic of the Angolian art on display. I do suggest that anyone in Joburg makes a visit quick, quick.
Cardigan: thrifted | Skirt: Mr Price | Socks: Factorie | Bag and Creepers: somewhere in Istanbul | Harness: Glitter Betty
For my second day of school, before I got home in this black-and-red ensemble, I wore a nondescript green t-shirt and high-waist short-shorts. I remembered that morning that I was meant to be trying minimalism out for a while. And once again it came out hella basic.
Romper: Mr Price | Harness: Glitter Betty | Belt: my dad | Jewelry: Glitter Betty | Socks: Mr Price
Day/morning three was hard on account of my having been out the night before and only coming home in the AMs (but side note: how cool am I now) (hahaha, still not very cool, I know). I wore this romper which was almost my uniform in December just because of how easy it was to wear and dress up/down.
Upon looking at these photos, I realized I was very barely trying out  a new aesthetic but updating something I'd already done before (bangs, backwards shirts, high hemlines).

 Anyway, I should probably be preparing for school or whatever tomorrow.
Also, I think I deserve major daps for not titling this post "This Ain't High School" or including Nicki Minaj's High School or Beyoncé's Schooling Life.

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