Photography and copyright kind courtesy of Phill Taylor.
WhatDonna Karan jacket | Marios Schwab dress | Christian Louboutin heels
WhyI remember falling head over lust for this Donna jacket during an Outnet shoot I was picked to be a part of some time back. I knew I should have bought it right after that shoot but I forgot all about it and when I checked again, it was a goner. The best of jackets are a disco meets all the best times you ever had rolled into one. Still hankering after the one that got away. More dates in the style diary.
WhatGifted Anita Quansah Londonbespoke couture neckpiece | Helen Steele x Joanne Hynes dress worn over a Helen Steele dress | faux leather pants | Karl by Karl Lagerfield vinyl sleeve jumper | Nicholas Kirkwood x Peter Pilotto heels | fingerless leather gloves
WhyThis is a look I wore as documented in a Metro and a London Evening Standard shoot (image one is from The London Evening Standard and two is from Metro. Both as shot by Patrick Marks) about the Karl by Karl Lagerfeld debut collection. That day I was in the mood for Helen Steele’s art like prints. There is a painterly feel to her art prints and wearing these against the backdrop of London felt like being part of large mural.I like playing with volume and was drawn to the proportions of the dresses layered over each other. I was particularly at home with the abrupt length of the longer dress, neither here nor there, definitely not maxi and not really midi either. Even though the dresses are from different lines (with the top one being the product of a collaboration between Helen Steele and Joanne Hynes), they feel like they were born (ok I mean ‘designed’) to be worn together. I’ve said it once before and will say it again that sometimes in the awkward nonsense there is sense. More dates in the style diary.
WhatGifted Oh My Love London dress | hat | ALDO boots | gifted Maria Francesca Pepe M letter necklace
WhyIf a garland wearing woodland creature met a Woodstock festival going-folk loving character and they fell in love, their lovechild would wear my outfit above. The music festival was Lovebox and the Grecian dress could not have been better to celebrate the whirlwind that was headlining act Grace Jones. More dates in the style diary.
WhatLanvin silk pants, satin camisole and gifted J.W Anderson x ALDO Rise heels.
WhyEvery Lanvin design is a party just waiting to happen in itself. Not that they show clearly in these image but these Lanvin pants are like molten pewter. Their drape is why I return to them time after time. I wish I had the foresight to buy multiple pairs. Whenever I’m in the mood for a garment that invokes effortless elegance I reach for them. Their gunmetal-pewter like hue are a bonus too. It is perfect starting point color wise for many a varied outfit. More dates in the style diary.
WhatKenzo floral print jacket | Alexander McQueen dress | Kenzo pants | ALDO Rise heels by Preen
WhyPink pants guarantee good times. This I am sure of. That is to be expected with their loud ‘you cannot miss me’ presence. They are kind of the life and soul of a party. I had to pair their action starting form with something equally enthusiastic and thought the Kenzo floral jacket made for a good match. The life of a party always needs a main cheerleader, a right hand man as it were to champion their cause.
More dates in the style diary.
WhatSpotted pants | Kenzo stripe tunic dress | satin turban | vintage fur fur jacket | Preen x ALDO Rise heels
WhyBecause prints are always happier in the company of other prints. More dates in the style diary.
Photos by Tokyobanhbao
WhatManoush sequin & beaded knit | Nicole Farhi sheer plastic & leather jacket | Theory check pants | Cos oversize check scarf as head-wrap | KARL, Karl Lagerfeld sequin collar | Preen x ALDO Rise heels | gifted Wendy Brandes silver boleyn M necklace (not seen in above shots) | gifted Maria Francesca Pepe gold plated oversize M necklace | vintage silver cross
WhyI had no idea that the sunshine was in full-blown-glorious-summer-territory in Milan before landing there midweek. Those rays made the gold tone beads (each flanked by two gold sequins that jut like butterfly wings) bedecking the cheerful Manoush knit seem that bit more reflective. It was the the same sun dance played by the bright rays on the Nicole Farhi jacket. Like the plastic fantastic glisten of the foil wrapping of candy bathed in sunshine. It was lust at first sight when I first the spring 2011 blue jacket. The frenetic mix of semi sheer blue with accents of plastic (seen in details such as around the cuff and the belt) and leather had a bedlam spirit that felt ‘so off – that it was completely and totally on’. To me I see certain elements of that same spirit in Marc Jacobs’s spring 2012 collection. The Theory pants are a favorite, as are most checks (including the re-purposed here as a turban meets head-wrap). Checks remind me of regimented institutions and uniform; schools, hospitals and so on. That theme has always intrigued me. Not the normal conventions of what they represent but rather the twisted unexpected elements harbored under the surface. There is unlikely fascination in the displacement of that which seemingly connotes normal or ‘safe’. Subjects that are fairly pedestrian and PG friendly in their conventional environs but swiftly take on new form when the bubble wrap is removed and they are taken out of the safety proofed nursery walls. Interestingly that same mood is what I get from Farhi’s jacket. The unassuming trench blueprint is perverted with unexpected fabric and material. It goes from being a simple mid season cover up to offering a voyeuristic peer-through-me experience. The addition of the temporary sequin collar is just what the doctor (or would that be shrink?) ordered. As a stylist translating my personal daily outfits is primarily led by an unconscious mood that I translate visually via garments and accessory. The darkness of the black sequin Peter Pan collar lent further to the twists on the naive. There is a certain craziness about wearing two collars at the same time that has always appealed and helped me visualize further the mood of the outfit. Bedlam met try-me-out-of-my-usual-boring environment with this outfit and I could not resist its lull. More dates in the style diary.
Photography courtesy and copyright of Matthew Hinchliffe of Flyer News
WhatCostume National silk trench | Kenzo tunic dress | spotted crop pants | vintage leather shoes | Gucci belt | Cos scarf as headwrap | Genevieve Jones Four Corner Necklace | Monki bead necklace | Céline bag
WhyThis week I was interviewed thrice. One questioned that cropped up each time was my definition of my personal style. In defining and helping carve the style of others, I rarely turn the microscope inward. So this interview question always affords a pause for reflection. Reflection on what I wear and how I wear it. My response was that my style is an emotive experience, a physical manifestation of my experience and person.
The makings of where I have been. My journey.
The loves, the likes, the places, people, my West African ethnicity and experience meets the cultural assimilation of a Western upbringing…
Elements of each come together in the bright ‘flip through it as fast as you can for the full picture’ book that is my style. It is all the above.
What I wear by way of sleeve, bold lip, wayward or textured collar is a reflection of me with relation to a current headspace.More dates in the style diary.
Photography copyright and courtesy of Skip Bolen. Skip Bolen (who I met at the Thakoon fall 2011 show exactly a year ago) in the hotel’s Ballroom after the Thakoon fall 2012 show feel like joyful abandon. More dates in the style diary.