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.
“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)
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)
Denim Jacket: Cotton On
Specs: Mr Price
Lipstick: Viva Glam by M.A.C (stolen from Mamma Mich)
Is it too late now to say sorryyyyyy? Cos I’m missing more than just my blogging (da da da da dadadaaaa)
I know, I know; it has been months since my last post. And really there is no excuse because I have the same hours in a day as Beyonce and HOT DAMMMM look at how much that goddess accomplishes with her time. But here’s what I discovered over the last few months and some of the realizations I’ve made about moving forward. Let’s get real…
Life got busy and the countdown out of Hong Kong began and I neglected the blog. And I could feel it. The lack of creative stimulation and focus is something I really missed and to be perfectly honest I only have myself to hold accountable. Things happened, people happened, travel happened. And somewhere along the line, despite how genuinely happy I was (and still am), I lost some of my spark. But now it’s time to get it back; and Haute Hoodlum is one of the ways I’m going to do that. So while I’m home in PE I’m going to work on new content for you guys, but also for me. Because I’ve realized that as silly as this blog can be sometimes, it is an outlet that keeps me feeling alive (along with all the magic surrounding me because of the incredible people and experiences I’m lucky enough to have along with me). This is not a whine nor is it a self-pitying rant, just an honest expression of how we tend to let life get in the way of doing what sets our soul on fire. Social media makes us all look like we are living the dream, and don’t get me wrong I have a SPECTACULARLY WONDERFUL life. But sometimes you get a little stuck, or feel a bit down, or you go through something that knocks you just enough to put you off. And that’s ok, because that causes growth – if you allow it to turn into progress rather than letting it defeat you. Don’t stay down. Get up. Get yourself back on track. Whatever you do that makes you happy, or scares you or challenges or inspires you – do that. Do it often. And with your whole heart. Because you are the only person that creates your true happiness; a happiness that manifests itself through the people you attract into your life and the adventures upon which you allow yourself to embark.
Woah ok. Life lesson over. Right, back to this post. While I’m out there work work work working and creating; here is something to keep the groove flowing. Nothing serious, just a throwback to the 852 because I cannot wait to get back there. Hong Kong, I’m coming for ya!
This post was shot on the Star Ferry Tour because why wouldn’t you photograph your outfit when you’re dressed like a sailor on a boat in the Victoria Harbour? Exactly. Ma-hoo-sive shout out to my phenomenal cousin Jayd and to Lloyd for helping out and coming to visit HK – sharing that crazy little island with you guys was the ultimate and I love you.
Here’s to getting your groove back and finding whatever it is that drives you, and embracing it.
Sneakers: Adidas Stan Smith Originals
Sunnies: Vintage Shop in Nottinghill (now lost to Vietnam)
Culottes are in. There’s no escaping them. They’re here and baby, they’re here to stay.
I have seen girls wearing them and looking tres chic, but never in a million years did I think I could pull them off, mostly because I thought they were hideous. It has taken me ages to find a pair that works (after mustering up the courage to even try them on).Trends are fickle things; they are splattered across magazine pages and Instagram accounts but they are impersonal. Until you try them. Some trends are easier than others because they are in line with your current style choices or don’t veer too far from your existing wardrobe. But some trends are trickier, and seem a world apart from what you’re used to. There are those trends that, albeit totally different from your norm, jump out at you and beg you to try them on. And then there others that you know immediately are not for you and you bypass them, regardless of their popularity. Culottes are the former trend. And trying them on was the hardest part of the adoption process (followed closely by finding a pair that didn’t make me look a lesbian hockey coach).
So here I am, culottes on and ready to take on the fashion world. I also bought a pair of patent black court shoes from Woolies (my new favourite place on Earth) to pair with the pants; because getting this look right is all about proportions. They’re wide-leg and hit you just below the knee which, for a girl with my body shape, means I need to elongate my legs with a pointy shoe and keep the top simple and fitted. I also went all black to create a more slimming silhouette, adding a necessary dose of colour in my accessories – a stack of beaded bracelets bought from various craft markets in South Africa and inspired by the utterly fabulous Jerri Mokgofe from According To Jerri.
I shot this look at The Donkin Reserve in my hometown of Port Elizabeth (the city was ‘formed’ by Sir Rufane Donkin and named in honour of his wife, Elizabeth, who loved it so much). Shout out to my beautiful Bulgarian, Maria, for playing photographer for the day. “You’re so nice”.I hope you enjoy this one and I hope that it inspires you to try something new, even if it doesn’t manifest into anything more than a giggle in the changing room.
Jersey: Mr Price
Beaded bracelets: Craft Markets
Hat: River Island
I had great hopes for the hat’s role in this outfit but they don’t call PE the Windy City for nothing.
Lipstick: Ruby Woo by M.A.C
Stay tuned for more on the blog, because there is a lot coming your way!
I have been looking for cool, well-fitted dungarees in the right wash and cut for ages now. I have envisioned entire outfits. But I had, until recently, yet to find the pair of (and from) my dreams.
Then I stumbled into Cotton On and voila! The pair I have had in my head is now in my wardrobe. Dungarees – or overalls – have been creeping into the trend reports for the past few seasons; mostly thanks to the exponential rise in the power of street style. They have been rediscovered, reworked, and re-appropriated and I could not love them more. Dungarees, when done right, are incredibly versatile. You most probably imagine them as SUPER casual and you’re right, they can be. But you can also dress them up and look extremely chic. Denim is such a fashion staple and, in all its forms, has assimilated from the working man’s uniform to a core item in any fashionista’s wardrobe. And its versatility is in living proof here (and in the fact that I went out that night in my evening look).
That was the goal of this look book – showing you how to transition from day to night in a pair of good ol’ dungarees (or dungareegees as I have started calling them. It makes me feel like a little Italian woman lost in a Super Mario game). It saves time, money and the process of thinking up entirely new ensembles.
Niks and I shot this at the new Haas in Buitenkant and if you haven’t been there I suggest you jump in your car and head on over immediately. It is the coolest space with the most delishstixx coffee and quirks and gimmicks to keep you entertained for hours.
I’m actually pretty proud of this post to be perfectly honest; so I really hope you enjoy scrolling through it as much as I enjoyed producing it.
Sliders: Mr Price
Dungarees: Cotton On
T-shirt: Cotton On
Leather sandals: Zara
Dungarees: Cotton On
T-shirt: Cotton On
Blazer: Mamma Mich’s Vintage
Bag: Taylor Covington
Hopefully you’ve managed to find some inspiration in this post, or at the very least some fun. It is just fashion, after all.
Firstly, I would like to apologize for my absence on the blog over the past few weeks. The end of February saw me moving out of my apartment and ending my current work contract; neither with any fillers or replacements (or stable Internet) for the month of March. Never fear though, because it is all just temporary while I undertake a TEFL course for my next adventure: teaching English in Hong Kong!
I will be moving to Hong Kong in the beginning of May so this gypsy life is really just an interim situation while I prepare for what is sure to be one of the greatest years of my life.
But back to business. Because while I may not have been posting, that by no stretch means that I have not been working on the blog. My beautiful bestie (who is leaving me for America this week so forgive me if you see me on the streets balling my eyes out) played photographer and we spent a full day shooting various outfits for your future sartorial enjoyment. A lot of you have really enjoyed my red carpet rants, and I loved putting those posts together, but this is a fashion blog after all and I think it is sometimes just as entertaining to see me struggling to take myself seriously and (very) awkwardly presenting some style inspo and tips for your existing wardrobe.
So here we go…
The little black dress (LBD) is one of the most iconic pieces in fashion history, sitting front row alongside the class white shirt, jeans that fit your body shape and a camel trench. It should be a staple in any woman’s wardrobe and is easily adapted – the LBD comes in myriad styles, silhouettes and fabrics and can fill any role which you feel it most beautifully fits. It has longevity and malleability, which is exactly what makes it such a timeless choice.
This LBD is one of the best purchases I have ever made. I bought the dress in New York last year on a trip that really altered and influenced my current style and has formed a key piece in my revised wardrobe. Being immersed in fashion, both at Conde Nast College in London and on the streets of New York City, impacted how I saw myself and how I want to be seen. That, coupled with my introduction to the working world (and thus, slightly more disposable income to spend on clothes [serious emphasis on the slightly]) has brought me to where I am now – investment purchases and more frequent visits to Zara, Mango and Woolworths (albeit often without tangible results which is a huge relief to my bank account). Don’t get me wrong; I still love a discovery of trend-based treasures from Cotton On and Mr P. However, where I can, I prefer to invest in a) pieces that will last longer and can be incorporated in several ways into different outfits b) a more neutral palette with pops of colour and c) clothes that have a sense of “edgy chic”. Yes, those two style elements can be placed together. Remember, I’m only 23. I love fashion, I love experimenting with it and I believe it should reflect who you are and who you want to be, and my life is just too full of vibrance that forbids me from being a black, white and grey girl only. Soz.
This dress if the perfect amalgamation of those elements. It’s black, a classic cut and quite simple, but has its own youthful edge that brings it back to who I am and what I want to express. Plus, it is from H&M which just goes to show that style does not have to cost a fortune.
It is because of the simplicity of the dress that I chose to shoot in the eclectic, colourful Bo Kaap. Bo Kaap is one of the most aesthetically incredible parts of this city. There is an energy about it that is so stimulating and inspiring. Plus it forms the perfect juxtapositional backdrop to my LBD. At least, I think so.
I am still an exceptionally awkward model of my own clothes so please be kind.
Leather sandals: Zara
Sunglasses: Zara (from my wonderful mamma)
Then Nika and I stumbled upon the most unexpectedly phenomenal green house. A few days prior to this shoot, my aunt and number one fan, Lynn Levy, asked me what I think the colours for winter are going to be. Among my answers (the usual monochrome, grey and camel interspersed with more navy, mustard – my worst – and dark berries) was green. Emerald green to be precise. Then we came across this house. Bo Kaap, you are so on trend!
I really hope you enjoyed this outfit post. If you did, leave a comment and tell me what you thought! It’s the only way I can improve your experience of the blog.
Keep a look out for more content coming your way,and hit the follow button to get first notice of new posts!