My 6th Feature In The ‘Independent Fashion Bloggers’ Weekly Roundup

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Getting Ahead

This week we’re getting ahead of the trends by, you guessed it, indulging in hair accessories. Head scarves, headwear, heck, even jewelry. Maybe you’re taking the lax look to a whole new level, and try to wear sweatpants to work? Oh yeah, there’s that too! So, don’t fall behind, read this week’s fantastic roundup!

Links à la Mode: July 24th

Brought to You by: East Dane Coupons Creative Recreation, CarvelaGenetic LA, Campomaggi bagsAcaciaBagguWolford, Solace London, C Wonder, Wu bags & Golden Goose Sneakers

Personal Style Trends @ Berlin Fashion Week S/S 15

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On Thursday 10th July during Berlin Fashion Week S/S 15, I was one of the oh-so priviledged few that got to attend an event that was labelled by London It-Girl, Georgia May Jagger as, ‘the most exciting party of Berlin Fashion Week’.

The party marked the German launch of one of Europe’s biggest fashion chains: RESERVED, a Polish brand that sells trend-led women, men and kidswear.

It was also great to be able to take a few pictures of the Georgia Jagger during the event.  Georgia Jagger was chosen to be the brand’s Fall/Winter amabassador, giving the label the contradictory seductive mixture of having an attainable and easy-going vibe, as well as an elusive rock n roll edge.

I am a huge, HUGE fan of her mother, Jerry Hall.  In my opinion, Jerry Hall is one of the personalities who defined the Razzle Dazzle decade of the 70s.

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033036One of the Highlights of the event, was witnessing the summer 2014 trends as modelled by the stylish guests themselves.

You know it’s not summer until you’ve seen vibrant members from the Print Brigade.

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048‘Love makes you do the wacky’ (Buffy The Vampire Slayer), and here this could be seen by the couples who were so Crazy In Love, they colour co-ordinated their outfits.

013017There was Monochrome Magic in the air, with some sartorialists highlighting their palettes with shimmery metallic hues.

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055Boys exuded the perfect degree of nonchalance in casual tailoring.

046080085076But if someone asked me what trend ruled the day, I’d have to say bejewelled necklaces, ladies necks glistened everywhere on account of the eye-candy they used to adorn their necks.

020041044061And what did I wear? Well, I chose to have fun with it all by mixing a few of the key trends: Monochrome, Prints, Metallics…

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What’s The Worth Of A Blog Follower?

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This question has been on my mind a lot recently and it would be great to have the opinion of other bloggers to weigh in here.  One of the reasons I started and continue with blogging, is the opportunity to interact and engage with readers, be them bloggers or otherwise.  Three years on, I don’t do nearly as much blog promotions as I ought, but I do ensure that on a weekly basis I visit my favourite blogs (sometimes Twitter pages) and leave Comments, Likes and such.

I used to think that one of the testaments to show that your blog was actually being read was the number of Blog Followers you accumulated, without having to send the pleading, Follow Me & I’ll Follow You (to the ends of the earth) tag.  So, when I began to get a new Follower on a daily basis, I got super excited and my heart would skip a beat each time WordPress alerted me to this.  After all, if a fellow blogger Follows your blog, it means she/he is genuinely interested in your content, right?

As my Blog Followers piled up, I thought this would translate into Comments. Did they?  No.  Then after a few weeks, I lowered my expectations and was happy at the possibility of getting more Blog Likes. That didn’t happen.  Then I thought my Followers would crawl out of the woodwork when I did Blog Giveaways.  I was wrong there too.  And now I have 151 Followers, a mere drop in the puddle one might say, but I am very happy with this number as I got them organically. The way I see it, if a quarter of my Followers frequently interacted on my blog in one way or other, I would be bouncing wall to wall.  But this does not happen.

So it makes me wonder, why people Follow blogs these days.  Is following a blog, the equivalent to those guys who like to rack up telephone numbers just for the thrill of it, with no actual intention of following up their pursuit with an actual phone call?  Do bloggers Follow your blog, just so you can follow theirs, making the act a mere Numbers Game?  Or is the act of clicking ‘Follow’ on a blog akin to those guys on dating websites (e.g. OK Cupid) where the men carelessly click they ‘Like’ you, but then never follow it up with an actual message slash never respond when you take the bait and write them?

I don’t know the answers, but I can tell you from my experience, accumulating Blog Followers is becoming as meaningful as an Adam Sandler movie.  So what is the worth of Blog Followers?  Do tell me your opinion on this matter, I’d love to know.

To keep things in perspective, I’d like to say a Big Thank You to my loyal Blog Followers, who not only Follow but use different ways to interact and communicate on my blog. Thanks for being the fuel in this Choo Choo train.

 

 

 

 

 

Music Video Inspiration: Where Have You Been?

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Earlier this week, I had a party and was faced with the classic, ‘so many options and yet nothing to wear’ palava.  I was also randomly watching music videos on the net.  I then came across Rihanna’s, ‘Where have you been’ video (released from her studio album, Talk That Talk, 2011) which has such strong tribal-inspired images that as if in a trance, the pulsating beat led me to my wardrobe and I ended up picking these pieces for the night.

???????????????????????????????Even though Rihanna’s music video was released in 2012, I still hadn’t gotten round to seeing it, so it was fun to sit down and take in the various stills filled with beaucoup de clashing prints, varying textures, headscarves and over-sized statement jewellery composed of luxe and natural materials.  Rihanna’s stylist for the video, Mel Ottenberg explained that the visual aesthetic of the video was inspired by a ‘voodoo tribe’ vibe.

rihanna1rihanna2rihanna3I have always enjoyed the symbiotic relationship between fashion and music, and this video is just one of the millions of examples that demonstrate how both artforms work so well together.  Although the old-school part of me sees some of the lyrics and music composition as being quite teeny-bopper, I can’t help but move to the strong, pulsating beats that take the song into more tribal regions.

The great thing about inspiration from music videos is- rather like a Pick n Mix sweet shop- you can pick and choose what works for you.  I don’t have Rihanna’s budget and I was going for a night of Major Dancing, so first and foremost, comfort had to take precedence.  This is why I didn’t adorn my arms with a row of strategic placed bracelets and cuffs, but in ode to the music video, I did wear my version of luxe jewellery courtesy of the more affordable Claire’s Accessories!

???????????????????????????????My faux-leather bustier is from Asos, and is very much ‘the gift that keeps on giving’ in my wardrobe.  I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it on their site a year ago.  Just like Rihanna’s costumes in the music video, it shows a mixture of cultures and textures.

The pièce de résistance of my outfit, were my Aztek-inspired culottes which I got from Primark for £10.  I haven’t worn culottes since I was a child, and I must admit I love these ones!

???????????????????????????????To crown of the look, I fashioned a piece of Ankara print material into a turban, slipped into my tan heeled sandals et voila: my look was complete.

011On a side note, it was sooooo hard for me to get pics for this outfit as I had to rely on the kindness of my friends and strangers.  Do you bloggers find this challenge as well?  That sometimes you just feel so awkward and narcissistic cutting into your friends night, getting them to take pictures of you and then even more pictures as the ones they show you are not good enough, then you just have to give up and accept what you are given?

In the end, I had to pounce on some girls in the toilet (oh, yes!!) to take pictures of me.  Luckily it turned out that one of them already knew me as she works for the Press Office I often go to, to borrow items for fashion editorials.  Ahhh, I love Berlin, we are all one big and small cozy family.

Anyhoo, time to play that video again:

 

 

First Day of Berlin Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2015

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There have been a few changes in Berlin Fashion Week that I am not happy about.  First of all, the location changed, it moved from the charmingly central Brandenburger Gate to the further district of Wedding.  And I have a saying, ‘Nothing good can come out of Wedding!!!’  Of course, this is said tongue in cheek but…

Then we have the fact that a lot of the major designers like Hugo Boss keep leaving Berlin to show in other cities.  Yes, I understand the commercial and financial reasons why these designers would actually want to show in the fashion capitals of the world, but if the Berlin fashion industry is ever to grow to its full potential, it needs those designers to give the event credibility, draw in the heavy-hitting press, buyers and so on.

And onto the money aspect, I got majorly disheartened when I was talking to a model and learnt that less than a handful of designers showing were actually paying the models to walk in their collections this season.

So you see, the whole she-bang suddenly started looking rather bleak and pointless.

But I am not one to dwell in gloom, the beat was still going on, and I decided to keep up with it by not going to see the shows but to go to the evening events instead, that were close to where I live!

On the first day of Berlin fashion week (7/7/2014), there was a fashion presentation and showroom at the Club Der Polnishcen Versager, held by fashion designer, Penelope’s Sphere and RB Jewels.

As the sun was shining brightly, I decided to celebrate by wearing a turban.  I havn’t worn one in about a year, as last year I had got so addicted to them.  My Lord, did it feel good to tie one again!!

063??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????071As you can see, I am all about ACCESSORIES! So imagine the kind of elation I felt when I stepped into the showroom and saw these jaw-dropping beauties by RB Jewels from her debut collection titled, L’Art De Bijoux.

073076077079082049041044084035This is just the tip of the iceberg with regards to Natia Bakhtadze’s work, it’s as if the Georgian designer read my mind when it comes to jewellery design.  I love jewellery that screams- GLOBAL TRAVELLER!  Jewellery that shows the artist was so inspired by their trips abroad that they could actually translate their experiences into beautiful and timeless pieces of artwork.

The aptly titled, L’Art De Bijoux is a collection made out of an array of colours, metals, textures, stones and embellishment.  When looking at the collection’s product cards, descriptions jump out at you like: pink neon beads, coral beads, neon crocheted thread, silver and pearl, chain and feathers…Amazing!

And what’s more, considering the craftsmanship that went into creating this collection, her pieces are marvelously affordable with prices starting as low as 22 euros (for a pair of earrings) and going up to about 198 euros for the more complex and layered necklaces.

If I possessed her show-stopping accessories, I wouldn’t keep them in a jewellery box, I would hang them proudly in strategic places around my flat!

I also managed to interview the designer herself, but this will serve as an exclusive for the magazine I work for: OE Magazine, so I can’t dish the dirt on this platform.  I can say that it felt so good when she complimented me on my necklace, that’s a hell of a stamp of approval to me!  It was also great to learn that she was a fellow vintage lover, who was intent on making ‘collectible items’.

I left the event feeling very happy indeed, because I had spoken to like-minded people and felt I had discovered someone truly special and talented: this is the great thing about Fashion Week.

RB Jewels will soon be able to be purchased at her e-commerce store, www.rosebertinscloset.com

087086What am I wearing? Vintage dress, necklace and snake bracelet from Portobello Market (London), Earrings from Claire’s Accessories, tan sandals from Office, gold cuff was a gift, red oversized leather bag is from my Darling Sister, belt is from Just Landed Berlin and turban is made from a piece of material I bought from a Lagos market.

 

 

 

Blog Giveaway: Gorgeous Multi-Coloured Collar Necklace

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My little blog is Three Years Old and to celebrate this, I am getting all Santa Claus-like and giving a lucky reader out there this very fetching collar necklace.  Scroll down to the bottom of this post for Entry Details.

036Aren’t the mix of colours, patterns and shapes divine?  This head-turning necklace is incredibly versatile and can be used to accentuate an ultra-glam piece (for instance a bold coloured evening dress) or used to give a simple outfit pizzazz (e.g. a T shirt and jeans combo).

010I decided to rock the necklace with a black crop top (Topshop), Floral print 50s inspired skirt (H & M) which always makes me feel very ‘Grease Is The Word’ when I wear it), black leggings and a brown pair of heeled sandals (Office).

011018024Taking pictures with this bike (which the photographer spotted) made me wish I could actually ride one, well I had the thought for about one split second, because honestly even though I live in Bicycle City, as of yet, I am not remotely interested in joining the Bike Club.  But I do love the picture I have in my head of me whizzing through Berlin in the hot sun in my ensemble!

028038And now the good part: how to get your mitts on this beauty!  It’s super simple:

1) You must be a Follower of my blog, if you are not click on the ‘Follow’ option on the top left corner of my Home Page.

2) Leave a comment in the comment section below telling me how you would style the necklace with other pieces in your wardrobe. The most interesting description wins!

3) Don’t forget to leave your email address along with the comment, so I can contact you.

4) This Giveaway is open to U.S.A and Europe only.

5) Giveaway closes on Thursday, 10th July 2014, 12 Noon CEST.

Good Luck!

 

 

Stylish Flashback: Black and White Menswear

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This is an image from a Menswear shoot I styled for Andmen magazine (Australia, Print) about six or seven years ago.

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Photographed by Jan Masny

Years on I still love this shoot.  The model is Marko Brozic, he was at Premier Management, London at the time and I remember him being a total inspiration to work with.

When I styled Marko in this Mix and Match outfit, I was thinking of creating my own interpretation of the London Boy and it was a lot of fun to mix and clash various prints and textures.  I absolutely love styling when I can take risks like this!  I wanted to mix chic with punk, which is why Marko is wearing a fabulous black wool cape, Devil May Care DM’s and lashings of black nail polish. Ps can more men wear black capes please?! I find them very Interview With A Sexy Vampire!

In my opinion, this look can inspire both male introverts and extroverts. The extroverts can go to town mixing various prints from head to toe,and a word to the wise, if you want to layer various different prints, reign the whole look in by sticking to a particular colour scheme.  Here for instance, I am using black and white.  Playing with different proportions and shapes is also a good way to go.

The introverts can dissect the outfit and choose to wear each garment separately, e.g. a classic black cape, a statement print Tee shirt, a striped cardigan, a checked pair of shorts and so on.

Image Credits

Black wool cape- Carolyn Massey @ Topman
Black and white striped cardigan -Religion @ Selfridges
Black and white print t-shirt- Nom De Guerre @ Harvey Nichols
Black and white shorts and leggings @ Beyond Retro
Striped scarf @ Topman
Dm’s- Dr Martens @ 17-19 Neal St.
All jewellery @ Topman

Fashion and Life Inspiration: Plus Size Women

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These women are inspirational because they have risen above various body and clothing challenges, and taken control of their identity. With trial and error, they have learnt how to work the hell out of what they’ve got with creativity and pizzazz.

Regardless of what size you are, the following videos and images will leave you feeling inspired.  Hopefully they will also make you change the way you see yourself, not just in the ‘fashion world’ but in life.

DOMINIQUE ECHEVERRIA

This San Francisco-based six foot Latina, is known for treating fashion like a game, and having lots of fun with it!

CONTESSA STUTO

Her style may not be for everyone, but there’s something fearless about her which I really like.

Heyfatchick.tumblr.com

Heyfatchick.tumblr.com

Thefatapplenyc.com

Thefatapplenyc.com

KEISHA DAVIS

Keisha believes that being bigger amped up her creativity when it came to fashion  because she had to overcome the challenges she faced being a style-conscious plus-size girl.

Watch this and if Keisha doesn’t bring a smile to your face then check your pulse…

http://stylelikeu.com/profiles-2/closets/keisha-davis/#!ISLKQ

GABY FRESH

And saving the fabulous best to last, Gaby is one of my favourite bloggers, when I started blogging 3 years ago, hers was the first blog that really gripped me.  Well, the title alone grabbed my attention, she used to call her blog: Young, Fat and Fabulous, and I loved it!  I could really identify with her rebellious spirit, to me she was saying: Fuck You Fashion Industry, Your market may not cater to me, but I’m going to find a way to wear what I want, the way I want!

Whether dressed in smart or casual wear, this lady knows how to work it like no other.  Looking through her blog you will see she manages to incorporate a lot of the popular trends into her wardrobe, she just runs with it and scores each and every time.  And to do this she thinks outside the box, she will cut sleeves, turn a dress into a top, wear a maternity dress and do whatever she pleases to satisfy her sartorial cravings.  Every now and again when I need a stylish push, or want to have the guts to wear something, or I just want to read about how she is coming along in her career in leaps and bounds: I turn to her blog.  I don’t see a lady who is Size 18, I just see pure inspiration.  Don’t you?

www.gabyfresh.com

www.gabyfresh.com

gabi1gabi3gabi4gabi5gabi6gabi7gabi8OMG, are you handling all this fabulousness?  There’s M.O.R.E!

gabi9gabi11Summer’s here and a lot of us women, shy away from baring our bodies by wearing bikinis on the beach.  Me included, but when I see the above picture, I do think twice.  I do think, Ok this year, I just might do it!

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All Gabi Fresh images courtesy of Gabifresh.com.

Now you know who I find the most inspiring, who does it for you on this list?  Do tell, I’d love to know!

Nigerian Art Exhibition

I recently went to a Nigerian Art exhibition, it was held at the primary school that I do work for.  When I went, I didn’t expect to see anything that I’d actually want to buy, Kiddie Art is all well and good to go, ‘Awwwww…’ too, but unless it is done by your kids, one isn’t actually compelled to buy the stuff!  Bygones.

???????????????????????????????Now to start my African Art Quest from the beginning: ever since I got my flat in Berlin, I’ve been looking for African paintings for my walls.  In particular, I am determined to have a portrait painting of a Nigerian lady above my bed.  Perhaps, if I go searching far and wide, I can find such a piece in Berlin, but I’m intent on buying a painting in Nigeria itself.  I’m determined to support our local art folk.

Here are some of my favourite pieces I saw at the exhibition that day:

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072Whilst making the rounds at the exhibition, I couldn’t help but notice that the art works that captured and held my attention the most were all done by the same child: Nicole.  Here is a painting she did that I love, I even asked her how much she would sell it to me for.  Then I recanted my proposal, as I thought it was something she should hold on to, to look back on.  Isn’t it beautiful, she is only eight and has such a deep understanding of colours…

071 Hmm, or did I do the right thing?  Looking at it again, I really want this painting!!!!!

Anyhoo, I do have these two S-wonderful paintings which I bought at the event:

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???????????????????????????????It was painted by the Primary school’s art teacher with the assistance of his best students, of course that included Nicole!  The pièce de résistance is, both paintings cost about the equivalent of £10. YeesSS! BARGAIN!!

I call both pieces, An African Sunset, and when I frame them, I will mount then on the wall as a set piece.  I just love the fiery orange in both paintings.  Orange is one of my favourite colours, as you can see from my POP Orange nail polish on my toes.

And now for the ground breaking news, see the heels on my patent wedges? They’re Prada by the way and used to be my mum’s until I saw them, now they are mine!  Anyhoo, I haven’t worn heels in about 8 years (long story). But after looking at last year’s Christmas pics where I wore this dress with flats, I decided it was time to learn how to start walking in heels again! E no easy O! I was skidding all over the place like a baby hippo on skates but I have to stick with it.  Now some of you Sky High Heels Experts, may be looking at my wedged heel and think to yourself, ‘What the hell is the big deal?!’, but trust me when you have worn only flats for about 10 years, any remote heel is likely to knock you off balance!

Which is your favourite art piece and why?  I love giving paintings names, what would you call the paintings I bought?  Do tell, I’d love to know!

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Afro Hair Ambassador

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What is an Afro Hair Ambassador? It’s someone whose Afro hair is so fabulous that they effortlessly promote the beauty of Afro hair (when it’s looked after properly!). They are a representative (of sorts), of Natural Hair and all its glory, ergo they are Afro Hair ambassadors in my book.

To get the ball rolling in this Hair Series, I’ll start with a friend of mine (let’s call her Belle!) who I recently got to dish the dirt on how she got and mantaind her heavenly natural curls.

isabel1Why did you decide to go natural?

I decided to go natural because my hair was no longer growing. It had also become very thin with no volume and I started to suffer from alopecia on my sides due to tight braids and weaves.

How long did it take to grow your hair to the length we see in the pictures?

It took four years.

What products do you use to prevent hair breakage?

When it comes to hair breakage, I don’t think it’s about products but about methods. I rarely shampoo my hair and when I do, I use Herbal Essences, Hello Hydratation shampoo. I only shampoo my hair once a month; instead of shampooing, I co-wash my hair once a week using Herbal Essences, Hello Hydration conditioner or ORS’s replenishing conditioner. I also try to deep condition my hair at least once every two weeks with Le Klair Cholesterol’s, hair strengthener and conditioner.  Because co-washing can cause buildup, I sometimes rinse my hair with apple cider vinegar after washing and conditioning my hair.

After I have washed my hair, I use the LOC method: I apply any oil e.g jojoba or castor oil and then I apply a cream. Because I do twist-outs a lot, I use twist creams like, Aunt Jackie’s Curls & Coils, Curl LA LA Defining Curl Custard.

What is your step by step process when creating your fab Twists?

It depends, if I am not bothered about length then after shampooing and conditioning my hair I do the LOC method and twist the hair.  After that, I apply perm rollers or flexi rollers on the ends.  I also make sure the hair is dry before opening the twists.  If I want length, after shampooing and conditioning my hair I apply leave-in conditioner (e.g. Cantu Shea Butter) and then Afro Doo Groo’s, Serum Triple Repair and Shine.  The latter protects my hair from the heat when I blow dry it.  Whilst doing this, I take care not to apply too much heat.  After blow drying, I use the Twist cream and twist my hair, and again I use rollers.

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What struggles do you deal with, with your hair and how do you combat them?

Split ends and dry scalp. To keep split ends at bay, I sleep with a satin scarf and I trim my hair regularly.  To prevent my scalp drying out, just before going to bed, I do a hot treatment with apple cider vinegar or mustard oil.  I saturate my hair and scalp, wrap it in cling film, wrap a warm towel around the head and go to bed.  When I wake up in the morning, I wash my hair.

How do you keep your hair so thick?

I think my hair is naturally thick, but I use castor oil a lot!

When was the last time a stranger reached out to touch your hair?

I can’t remember really, but often colleagues and friends touch my hair and comment on how soft it is.

What is your favourite Go-To hairstyle at the moment?

I love the puff with well defined twists

What is your no. 1 hair goal?

To grow my baby hair fully and have shoulder length hair.

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Want to have gloriously thick hair like Belle’s or/and do Twists?  Then make sure you follow her hair Do’s and put her recommended products on your shopping list.

Belle’s Hair Product Shopping List

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