LEGS ELEVEN

Have you ever loved a look or particular style that you just never thought you could pull off? Something you saw girls wearing and looking fabulous in that just didn’t fit into your image of yourself. For whatever reason? If you answered no, you’re lying.

I have countless. Some of them I can appreciate from a distance whilst acknowledging that they’re just not a part of my personal style (whatever that even means because if you know me at all you know I don’t have a singular label for the way that I dress). But there are several that I considered ‘out of my reach’ purely based on my body. Now don’t get me wrong, some of those looks would simply never work on my shape or proportions and that goes for errrrrrbody. We’re all built and formed differently. And all of those forms are beautiful. Truly. But it is important to embrace what you have and what you don’t, and knowing your shape goes a long way in dressing for it in the most flattering way. That being said, most of us are conditioned to a society where one particular body shape is deemed most beautiful. And that ideal is in a constant state of flux (now more than ever with women across the globe and myriad industries championing individual beauty and crushing perceptions). But we’re made to believe that in some way or another, something of ours is wrong. Or ugly. Ugh, society.

Now I am no exception to this rule and even now, well into my journey of self-love and body appreciation (and respect), I have my issues; parts of my body I don’t love and want to change. Mostly, it has always been my legs. It used to be a lot of other things too which I have now come to love, but I still struggle with them damn lower limbs. I won’t lie and say I love my legs. I just dislike them a little less than I used to. Enough that I recently discovered I can wear one of those previously far away, out-of-reach looks I’ve always wanted (coming back to the original idea of this post slowly, bear with me).

My fantastic friend, Candice aka Jessica Blumberg, bought this wrap dress online and when it arrived she found that it just didn’t flatter her body shape (an ok thing to admit, girls) so she passed it onto me. And with a new lease on life in the department of red and wrap dresses, I was no less than f**king STOKED to be gifted this little beauty. A public holiday, warm weather and brunch set the stage for this latest sartorial discovery: the boho-chic mini dress and boots. For years I have wanted to don this Coachella-esque look, and not for lack of trying either, but I was just never comfortable with how it looked. How my legs looked. How I looked, which of course translates to how I felt. But on that Tuesday morning I threw this on to grab a very necessary post-jol coffee and realized that actually I kinda looked good. More importantly, I felt good. So after an unidentified number of Bellini’s and a contrasting blue wall in PoHo, this post was born.

Call it self-confident. Call it vain. Call it empowered. Call it whatever you want because it doesn’t matter what you call it. It matters how I feel.

Studded boots: Zara

Floral wrap dress: Zaful (online)

Sunnies: Rayban

Black bag: Chinese store

Earrings: Cotton On

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“Hollywood Dai Lau”. this place is literally called Hollywood Big Building. I see you, Chinese characters, I see you.

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definitely trying to move for people who actually live here. soz guys.

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still trying to figure out the whole blogger-walking-while-posing thing. not sure I’ve cracked it yet. will keep you posted.

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details shot or me awkwardly talking to the cameraman aka Hannah? you’ll never know..

Until next time xxx

Haute Hoodlum

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BASKET CASE

Happy Tuesday friends and lovers! It’s a fresh week and I’m coming in HOT with a brand new outfit post; shot on location on a recent (and transformative) trip to Bali with two of my greatest loves known forever more as… Candice.

Three mildly outrageous South African girls cruising the magical Indonesian island; you best believe there are stories and photos to last a lifetime. And I had no shame in putting the girls to work on vacation (that’s what friends are for, riiiiiiiight?), asking them to shoot in mosquito-riddled beachside parks and alleyways, from Canggu to Ubud. Sometimes you just cute AF and need that moment to be captured. #doitforthefans

I’ll be posting a Bali-dedicated blog soon, with places to stay and eat – but mostly eat – and general photos of me being an international fashooon superstar. Just kidding. Kinda.

And after wholly tapping into my most altruistic self; being in Bali also meant a little shopping. And one piece of which I am now the very proud owner is (a version of) the insanely covetable Cult Gaia Ark in white bamboo. The markets are sprawling with knock-offs of the It-Bag brand and when they’re that easily available *and that cheap* you KNOW ya girl gon’ purchase one. They’re fabulous for Instagram and elevate the simplest of outfits but good Lord are they impractical. Talk about NOT being #fashionandfunction.

However, amongst the saltwater, sunburn and sea air I couldn’t think of a better place to shoot my latest fav fashion piece. Complimented by a beautiful baby blue wrap dress (a silhouette I’m excited to delve into for the summer) from Catarinkie aka Catherine; this lewk was born.

So there you go darlings. A little tropical dip from yours truly. And all the love and thank yous to my sensational Bali Babes Jess and Cath for allowing me to indulge in this frivolity and for being such supporters. #empoweredwomenempowerwomen

Sandals: Mr. P

Dress: Woolworths

Bag: Bali market

Sunnies: Vintage

luckily for me mozzies don’t like this Jewish blood. not so lucky for Jess and Cath #sozgalz

most probably eyeing out the other hotel guests who kept ruining my shots

if I were a queen on Ru Paul’s Drag Race I would call this look ‘serving up step wife goes on holiday and fights with the local cuisine realness’. WHAT IS THIS HAND NINA?

Until next time xxx

Haute Hoodlum

PUFF PUFF PASS

For those of you who were reeled in by the title… soz it’s not what you think (#falseadvertising) but welcome anyway and please stay. For those of you who just missed me while I was gone; fear not because I’m back! And I have treats.

Plot twist; I’m the treat!

I recently teamed up with my incredibly talented friend Alan Redfern aka @visualyzethis (check him out on IG) to shoot one of the last possible winter-ish outfit posts in the 852. As Nelly said; it’s getting hot in here. And with summer fast approaching, it’s time to retire the coats and boots and get ready for 32 degree, 100% humidity, overcast rainy days. And junk boats. Remember the junk boats, Nina. Remember.

So while I could, I wanted to shoot the jacket of the AW’18 season: the puffer. Knowing that this is truly only a trend piece (with it being literally everywhere, in every colour and variation last winter); I stuck with this faded mint poof from local brand Maple because ain’t nobody got time to be dropping dollar on something that you can only wear a handful of times, especially in HK (there was already definitely some undercover shvitzing going on here anyway). I like the idea of playing with volume and aesthetics – a sleek, feminine dress paired with hard, worn boots and a mahooosive jacket, all cinched with another new staple: a belt bag. Aka the cooler cousin of the fanny pack; a trend I first (re)delved into last year over Clockenflap weekend. Except in all honesty that was just a stellar example of a functional, K-Way inspired hiking bag and was in almost no way cute at all. And that’s about all the inspo there was for this post. I loved this outfit. I wanted to shoot. I had Monday off. I have amazing friends. Temperature rising.

Massive shoutout to Alan for stepping out of his photographic comfort zone and shooting fashooooooooon. This wonderful boy has been perfecting his surrealist snaps over the last few years; stretching the viewers’ perspectives in unison with the lines and proportions of the images themselves. He now makes videos too, capturing the beautiful essence of the life we live. You’re so talented chom.

Boots: Zara

Suede dress: Zara

Belt bag: Maple

Puffer jacket: Maple

Necklaces: Mamma Mich

Picasso earrings: Select18

Sunnies: Rayban

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digging for treasure

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a sense of home and connection in these two beautiful Magen David’s from my mamma
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ART. and the pictures are nice too.

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probably needed a tan for this one

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#fashionandfunction

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insert Craig David lyrics here

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Until next time xxx

Haute Hoodlum

DEBBIE DENIM

Anyone who knows me knows that when I first moved to Hong Kong I had a flourishing career as a food critic and certified Snapchat vlogger…

JK I just had a portmanteau with my darling Matt Antinucci and we snapped our two hour lunch adventures through Kowloon Bay #MATINA. And while the days of working together are sadly over; there is a part of Matina that has maintained its prevalence in my life (other than my friendship with mattypatty23): double denim.

Fondly known as a Canadian tuxedo; double denim is a lot more than just an homage to Britney and Justin or an easy Halloween costume (#neverforget). Denim is a style staple and wearing it head-to-toe not only gives you an instant edge and sense of effortless cool but it harks back to the favoured era of supermodels and It Girls alike: The 90s.

Done right, a double scoop of blue can be truly delicious. But it’s high risk/high reward because if executed incorrectly, this is a look that can leave a bad taste in your mouth (we call that one an extended metaphor here in the biz). No one wants to look like a douchebag – not even Britney and Justin. And certainly not me. I don’t like to categorise my style because I truly believe in the power of fashion to express yourself and your identity, and with so many moving parts coming together to form who I am I find it difficult to narrow that down. Sometimes I’m sporty, sometimes I’m feminine. Mostly I’m just EXTRA AF. This is definitely an edgier, more masculine look so hopefully I’ve pulled it off and don’t look like a an absolute moron. Oh well, haters gonna hate.

If you’re considering playing around with this look for the first time there are some guidelines. The biggest trick here is to differentiate your aesthetics; both in wash and silhouette. Pair a light jean with something a little darker or create proportion by having one piece that’s fitted and one that leaves a bit more room to breathe. You should also keep your accessories more toned down; and if you want to add a pop of colour keep it solid (a plain T-shirt or bold bag is a simple way to achieve this).

Unless, of course, you’ve just bought an outrageous pair of sunglasses at the Ladies Market and you figure there’s no better time to debut them than when you’re hungover and trying to shoot an outfit post.

So here you go, an impromptu OOTD shot by my lovely, hungover/burst-ear-drum/post-yoga-wheel friends in one of my favourite parts of the city. A lot of cars almost ran me over in their attempts to 3point turn so you’re welcome guys. Do it for the fans.

Boots with pearl crossovers: Zara

Ripped boyfriend jeans: Levi’s via Jetrag LA

White T-shirt: H&M

Embroidered denim jacket: Unknown local store

Sunnies: Ladies Market (Mong Kok)

Earrings: H&M

Newsboy hat: Zara

Bag: Maple

extra extra read all about it.

apparently something was really funny here. probably just me laughing at own jokes.

my dad would definitely make a joke about me only paying half price for these glasses.

if you don’t selfie your detail shots are you even a real blogger? (yes, yes you probably are)

thank you three for putting up my ridiculousness and for bearing with my narcissistic instructions.

Until next time xxx

Haute Hoodlum

SILK ROAD SLUMBER

Anyone who knows me knows my steadfast belief in the duality of life. It is one of the core tenants of my approach to all situations – that it is impossible to understand anything without its opposing, seemingly contrasting forces. You can’t recognize good without knowing the concept of evil and you won’t truly feel happiness without having experienced despair. Just as computers rely on binary code, so too do people rely on contradictions to create complements. And yes, that is complements not compliments, look it up.

All of this factors into my love for ampersands (the symbol for “and” and my next tattoo #sorrymom) and names of restaurants/shops/spaces with an ‘and’ in them. It filters even further into one of my favourite sayings and the basis for this blog post; fashion and function. 

Fashion and function is a phrase I use on an almost daily basis, regarding literally anything that is at once aesthetically pleasing and practical. I mean it has gotten to a point where I just say it for sh*ts and giggles now because I love it that much. But any piece of clothing that exceeds its intended purpose and doubles as something else is a win by me. This definitely has to do with my penchant for cutting and altering clothes I become tired of (a hobby that developed at a young age so again #sorrymom). Those 3 t-shirt dresses I hadn’t worn in a year? Now all cute AF cropped tops for BodyJam. Wanted a loose fitting, down-to-my-bellybutton black cami but didn’t own one? Not until 5 minutes before leaving for the jol with a pair of scissors and some tape.

And with the rise in sleepwear as a huge trend, I was more than stoked when I realized my new silk pjs could be worn to a) just be cute, b) actually go to bed, c) rock out of the house and d) shoot on the streets of the Mother City. Sure, this realization came whilst changing outfits on the side of Beach Road between the boot and backseat of my best friend Faye Zoetmulder’s car, but apart from the shower that might be where I’ve had some of my best ideas.

So here we go, an ode to the streets of Cape Town and a sleep set that turned heads on them. Plus almost nothing in my life is complete without ice cream and the fact that this vegan beetroot, chocolate and ginger scoop from UNFRAMED perfectly contrasted – and complemented – my turquoise pyjama top is no small coincidence. I told you; FASHION AND FUNCTION.

Thank you once again to my phenomenal best for these rad images and for inspiring a day of creating content and owning my style choices. Oh, and for driving me around town. You are golden.

GET THE LOOK 

Sneakers: adidas Stan Smiths

Ripped Boyfriend Jeans: Pull & Bear

Silk Pyjama Top (part of a set): Forever 21

Sunglasses: Rayban

Earrings: Lovisa

Beaded Bag: Market in India #sozbabesPhoto Aug 12, 9 46 54 PMPhoto Aug 12, 9 41 48 PM

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I know it’s of me but I am literally obsessed with everything in this photo

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if only a man gave me this much to smile about
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the reality of shooting with ice cream is that yes Nina, you will spill it on your shirt.

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you’ve got mail

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secretly trying to scratch that spill off

 

Until next time xxx

Haute Hoodlum

KALEIDOSCOPE

“Fashion and function” is a phrase I use almost every single day and albeit most of the time I mean it in some irrelevant, satirical way it is actually a concept I believe quite passionately in.

As someone with a vested interest in- and genuine affection for fashion (and any display or expression of creativity and design), I often wish that I had an endless supply of new clothes or money so that I could play dress up in fabulous pieces every day. But unfortunately no one has offered me that coveted prize yet and so I have to deal with the fact that I have a budget and a very small Hong Kong apartment. So although I own some more bold, statement items and far too many pairs of shoes and sunglasses, I have a total appreciation for clothes that are multi-purpose and easily incorporated into existing wardrobes and reinvigorated outfit choices.

One such item is the ultimate classic: The LBD. Black is a colour I have, ironically because it is so slimming, only recently fallen so in love with now that I am more comfortable with my body. I’ve mentioned before that I used to wear clothes that were ‘loud’ in order to hide my physical insecurities; but with growing confidence has come the injection of solid, block colours, monochromatic styling tricks and simple lines. This is not to say that I don’t love to play with colour or texture, just that you’ll see me in neutral shades and subtle sartorial combinations more often now than before. So the LBD is a perfect fit. Plus it is so versatile. And while the staple item is already in my wardrobe (or clothing rail if we’re being honest about the size of my HK apartment and two suitcases still in storage); there is a new addition to this aesthetic: The LBS (Little Black Skirt). Thanks to a sale at Zara and a newfound appreciation for simplicity, this skirt will now play the lead in a series of three look posts, with this being the first. I want to show you guys how easy it is to style one piece in multiple ways so that you don’t need to break the bank for new outfits. Plus it aids an individual solution to the problem of fast fashion and wasted consumerism that is already a huge issue (but let’s not get political because between us all I think there’s quite enough of that).

So here we go; Look 1/3 and the final outfit post shot back home with The Queen, Mamma Mich. Just because I love black does not mean I won’t indulge in a little sparkle or a kaleidoscopic backdrop of fun. This is me, after all.

Have fun kids. Watch this space for upcoming posts on how to take one very simple item of clothing and transform it into remixed looks that keep things funky fresh.

Silver Brogues: Zara (but also actually Mamma Mich’s that were a size too small)

Skirt: Zara

Cropped Tee: Topshop 

Watch: Truworths

Sunnies: MAPLE

Bag: Miniso

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juxtaposition is my favourite word in the English language because it encompasses life and also the aesthetics behind this blog post

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sometimes I have to take horrendously stupid photos like this to remind myself that actually I’m more moron than model in front of the camera. unless it’s a Snapchat selfie in which case I’m obviously the best.

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good Lord but I love this woman and her commitment to my vanity
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ok fine PE. sometimes you have cool shit.

Until next time xx

Haute Hoodlum

 

 

BACK TO BASICS

A few years ago I would never have thought I would be comfortable in tight jeans, a T-shirt and a cropped denim jacket. Hell, I wasn’t even happy with that a year ago.

I have never liked my body. I have been overweight and out of shape pretty much my whole life. I used to wear loud clothes that were either completely ill-fitted because I chose trends over what suited my body; or I would hide under baggy pieces and garish prints because then you wouldn’t pay attention to what was underneath. And while its cute when you’re a chubby little freckle-face with curly hair at 7 years old; when you move to a new country at 24 that novelty has worn off.

But Hong Kong, despite it’s challenges, has been incredibly good to me in so many ways. And one of those ways is that I grew into comfort with myself, I became more of the woman I aspire to be and I learnt to be kind(er) to myself. Now while this is a lesson I am still learning and although there have been some setbacks; something inside me has changed. I have grown to love parts of my body and take care of what I put into it and how I treat it. Mind, body, spirit is a real thing and I think sometimes it is easier to gain control and consciousness of your inner self when you’re focused on and looking after your outer self.

As I mentioned in my previous post; I am going through some changes in my life (who isn’t?) and getting ready to start a new, albeit second chapter in Hong Kong. Coming home to PE  was coming home to grounding. I needed to get back on track and build up a foundation that has been shaken a bit in the past few months. I’ve spoken about needing a creative outlet and how this blog is a part of that; but so is getting dressed in the morning for me. I know it probably sounds mad to some people, superficial too; but fashion is such an important expression of identity for me. Putting outfits together and wearing something I am excited about has a direct effect on how I feel about myself and my presentation to the world. “Look good, feel better” kind of vibes, you know? But fashion doesn’t have to be outlandish to make an impact, and while I am at this point of building myself back up to where I want to be, there is a certain power that comes from not only wearing clothes I never used to think would fit, but wearing them with quiet inner confidence. Now that I’ve embraced more of my physical self and found that some previously unconsidered pieces do actually look good; basics have become staples and staples have turned into style. Sure, my personal style is definitely still evolving. In fact I don’t think I even have a specific look; but there is a general movement towards dressing for me and my body and that is a wonderful thing.

So there we go, this outfit is nothing fancy nor is it sartorially creative. It is simple, with a twist – because after all, it’s me and this is so much fun. But this is certainly an ensemble that I am only now coming to appreciate, placing its value in its simplicity. Don’t get me wrong; there has been plenty of fur and rediscovered old gems strutting their stuff throughout Port Elizabeth, but sometimes the most basic look can be the most effective.  And what is more basic a location than LITERALLY your very own back garden? Ya-huh.

I hope you guys enjoy this one and that somehow this post reminds you of your own strength and power. The world is in flux; so this is me telling you you’re magic. Go on.

Boots: Prato at Edgars (shoes that didn’t make it Hong Kong for round one and were rediscovered at the back of my closet three weeks ago)

Jeans: Pick ‘n Pay (yip you read that right)

T-shirt: H&M

Denim Jacket: Cotton On

Bag: Zara

Specs: Mr Price

Lipstick: Viva Glam by M.A.C (stolen from Mamma Mich)

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I have been looking for the perfect cropped denim jacket ever since I used to steal Meryl’s in Hong Kong and take all the compliments for it.
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this shot is actually me pulling my pants up but hey it worked. good eye, mich!

 

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I mean you can’t see my eyes but YOLO

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thanks for shooting this with a cracked wrist honeyyyyyy.

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those shoes were so dirty after this. ugh shame the things we do for fashion.

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BYE FELICIA!

 

Until next time xxx

Haute Hoodlum