Safra

Archive for February, 2012|Monthly archive page

Musing: Fashion Knives

In Fashion on February 27, 2012 at 7:37 pm

I couldn’t take my eyes off Sarah Nicole Prickett’s gun. Not that one, the emblazoned Guardian Angel Clutch  by Vlieger & Vandam. On her, it’s cute. She’s blonde, kind of. If I rocked it though, I’d look a straight-up dick squeezer. I’m talking hold, grab and squeeze. Rip. Off. Not a good look. But for some reason, I’m intrigued by the knife version, despite it being way more sinister. Coincidentally, while flipping through The Source’s god-awful fashion pages, I noticed an axe in the layout. It was a gift guide. Yes. I’m quite sure a boyfriend would love to know I’d given him full rights to come at me like Jack Torrance (a la Jack Nicholson in The Shining) for whatever reason he deemed suitable.  If there was any reason at all. Then there’s those lipstick knives floating around classified as “a great stealthy self defense item for women.” Yeah nigga! Haven’t you heard? It’s the year of the blade? Knife-pleat skirts, ‘pocket knife’ sneakers. Violence and fashion. A re-lived trend. But not just any fashion trend, mind you.

Fashion’s always been topsy-turvy. Hypersexual one minute, ultra-feminine the next. Religiously fanatic (Jean-Paul Gauthier, Givenchy), then supremely secular (Imitation of Christ). I could never quite digest its schizophrenic nature. But this violent reference – disguised as self-defense – is a blatant oxymoron in such a fluff filled industry. Do I think it’s tacky? Not really. But I mean, if I get the clutch, which I most likely will, I just know the responses it’ll remit being worn by me: a 6Foot tall black woman known for sporting a straight face and semi-masculine stance. It’s not that I’m thinking too much about it. I know it’s just fashion. But this is, at least on me, a serious fashion statement. Imagine I pulled out my self-defense lipstick knife from my knife-print bag. I mean, holy shit! Fashion just got way too serious!

London style

In Fashion on February 23, 2012 at 8:36 pm

I’m not a negative person. Really. I promise. But more and more, what I’m finding, is that my once virtuous naivety has matured into a “it is what it is” perspective. Maybe I’m just maturing. Once upon a time I had a very negative blog, which almost got the best of my burgeoning career.

To say I’m a burgeoning anything at this point my life, is an obvious understatement. But for some reason, what I’m doing, or trying to do seems to end with me trying to walk through a swamp of alligators. Not the ones you wear as accessories. I’m not depressed. 2011 was a very, very good year. But opportunities were juxtaposed with frustration. However, they came seamlessly. And I was always half in the door. But for some reason. Right now, in 2012, when I should very well have pushed through and created a cozy little space, I’m still half-and-half. I have enough to say, hey, I am good. I can do it. Perhaps I don’t know what I’m up against. Do you know that feeling? You’ve got it, but maybe  you haven’t got it like that after all. Why is it then, when I’m such a good fit, you have to find a reason for me not to be? Maybe I don’t know as much as I think? I mean,  when I talk, I have points to back my shit up. So what’s the problem?  I’ll admit to when I fall short. I get found out. And that’s OK.

Or maybe it’s the sess pool that is London. Or England. UK. Great Britain. A country that encapsulates you, makes you love it, but can equally make you hate the place. A love/hate relationship. So, do I stay, or do I go before things get really bad. Or maybe it’s that simple. When you start to feel so much as an inkling of insecurity, get the fuck out.

London Fashion Week

In Fashion on February 22, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Turned out OK in the end. Started off with a hell of a lot of frustration. Wanted to shout. Wanted to hit. My wits were at their ends. If there’s a time when your patience gets tested… But for some reason, I listened to a lot of Drake’s Club Paradise. Something about the melancholy  resonated with what I was feeling. Then my dogged determination produced some results.

However, I have to admit, fantasies are meant to be relished. My reality is a bit convoluted, now.

Musing: the $10,000+ designer bag

In culture, Fashion on February 10, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Up early and in need of ideas, I read an old issue of Sunday Times Style from my archive. The issue, a spring 2012 fashion week round-up, was nothing I hadn’t read before, but I came to a page I’m surprised I hadn’t noticed. A group of editors gave their verdicts on ‘it’ bags of the moment: satchels, clutches, Middy bags (those loved by the Middleton sisters) and, to my surprise, the super bag. What is that? Well, judging by the title, it ain’t hard to tell.

At least I respect the linage and craftsmanship of the Birkin bag.

 

I’m not talking of the mythical Hermès Birkin bag (I say that because it’s virtually impossible to get), but these brands by celebrities-turned-designers who believe a tiny bit of clout is reason for an atrociously priced piece of luxe. As if. Some established designers also revel in the liberties. Take a $16,900 (USD) Croc Small Tomodachi Bowling bag by Zagliani. Zagli who? Or the $21,580 Namaste Big Hobo by Valextra. Valex what? I suppose that’s the point. Never mind that they resemble something I probably passed walking past the dump of accessory racks at marked-down department store Winners. As for the Olsen twins – owners of the coveted The Row brand – and their Python Tall Day Tote for $19,000 (USD), ladies, you make beautiful stuff, I’ll give you that, but you’re not Chanel. Oh! And yes, Ms. Posh Spice with her Alligator Victoria bag for $25,776 (USD). And society wants to get down on rappers for wearing diamonds in their mouths?

 

 

Kanye West and his diamond encrusted teeth. Which one’s worse?

These bags are the equivalent to cougars with too much botox and collagen injections. Yes, I say this because they are. To be honest, though I am a fan of real fur – which I wear for warmth – the idea of wearing a crocodile on my shoulder seems absurd. Actually, a little climatic story, I bought a vintage fox fur scarf from e-Bay. vintage, from the 1950s. I wore it on the tube. This woman sits beside me and says ‘Poor thing’ in this patronizing manner. I snap back ‘oh so poor’. She says ‘I suppose it’s too late now.’ First of all, wench, my fox fur vintage stole costs about as much as a new pair of sneakers. And yes, my vintage furs, which I would only ever buy, are doing just fine. Fresh new animals? No. Never.

Back to the current issue at hand. All that would be missing is a leopard print one piece and Sergio Rossi heels. To say it’s offensive is mildly put. This exorbitant price is the cost of someone’s yearly wage in a first world country.  It’s tuition fees. It’s a down payment on a mortgage. Why, on this earth, should I pay this ludicrous price for something that depreciates in value once you make the purchase. Not like I don’t swoon over a couture concoction, that’s my job. But there’s a reason fashion is a fantasy. The problem is when it becomes a reality. Animals are killed, labour inflation, 1000 per cent mark-up all so can prove your place within an elite society.

Victoria was tired of spending money on the Birkin, so she made one herself.

You know, I was thinking I’d rather wear diamonds in my mouth. But then again, with the exploitation and corruption of people and resources – i.e., Africa – for that rubbish, it doesn’t fare any better.

 

One of the editors concluded (after barely being able to use it) that for  Beckham’s retail price, the bag had better rub her feet and sing her to sleep. If you ask me, the bag had better be lined in 24 carat gold and come with Ms. Beckham herself. Non-negotiable.

Dear @nickiminaj : Your tour rider will give you diabetes

In luxury on February 4, 2012 at 2:28 pm


Nicki Minaj looking beautiful via Wonderland magazine

Dear old Nicki, new Nicki, whichever one fits.

No. I don’t think you’re a diva at all. I don’t really understand the hype. There’s nothing wrong with wanting fresh pink or white roses (though I would have requested red, they smell nicer) in your tour rider (which I think is fake). And I appreciate the modesty – a humidifier, contact lens solution – but my problem is this: despite your mild attempt at eating fruits and tea with lemon wedges, your rider is full of junk. Dasani water is full of salts and gross.

Perhaps you can take my suggestions for next time.

Safra’s tour rider demands (if I were to ever have one):

  • Two dozen fresh red roses;
  • Joe Malone set of Red Rose scented cologne, body and hand wash, body moisturizers and candles;
  • White tea and pomegranate from Harrods set up;
  • Two platters of organic blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, pomegranate seeds, sliced blood oranges, ruby grapefruit, purple grapes, and sliced apricots;
  • One glass jug of freshly squeezed orange and ginger juice;
  • One glass jug of freshly squeezed detox juice: beetroot, funnel, carrot, celery;
  • Three glass jugs of freshly squeezed orange and carrot juice;
  • 3 Cases of 1.5 litre bottles of Evian water;
  • Poached eggs with pumpernickel bread (served hot), lots sliced avocados, and spinach;
  • 12 Chicken Shawarma wraps (served hot) with tomatoes, lots of hummus, green olives, purple onions, letter,and garlic sauce;
  • Minestrone MUST BE MADE EXACTLY AS FOLLOWS rich tomatoes with chunky pieces of carrot, leek, onion, tomato and celery with elbow pasta and garnished with green pesto and fresh baby leaf spinach. Please contact the British food chain EAT to confirm;
  • Two large bowls of ‘Big Salad’ from Toronto restaurant Fresh (avocados, jalapenos, black olives, spinach instead of cucumber, baby tomatoes, carrots, red pepper, and hulled hemp on salad greens);
  • One on-site masseuse who specializes in reflexology and Indian head massages;
  • One large platter of assorted cheeses (MUST have blue cheese) with fresh French buns and flat bread served hot;
  • One large platter of Jumbo shrimp, Oysters, shellfish, salmon, mussels and calamari.
Please note: If none of the items requested are on site the engagement will be cancelled immediately.

Notice the difference?

Musing: @LANVINofficial sneakers from @SSENSE

In Fashion on February 3, 2012 at 1:28 pm

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Water Serpent Tennis sneakers. View it from all angles at SSENSE

I don’t have a lot of time. I have a busy day ahead. But I wanted to take it back. My kicks have been lacking as of late. I used to plaster this blog with shoes. Then I fell off. Perhaps because I don’t have the resources to buy kicks as often as before. Yeah, I’m watching my spending. Could also be that shoes I’m coming across are not really saying much these days. Well, until I saw these faux snake skin (made from grained leather) lovelies by Lanvin. Wanna know where I spotted them? SSENSE, one of the hottest stores in the world, and from my homeland. Canada, for those of you that don’t know already. 

Actually, because I’m so smitten, I’ve got a whole collage of some crazy-sexy-beautiful sneakers I’m adoring on my tumblr

I have faith again. 

Dear @Drake : You, me and the ugly sweater

In Fashion on February 1, 2012 at 8:47 pm

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Drake with one of the original Sweater gods. Image by Getty.

We’ve all been there. I’ve had more than my fair share of ugly sweaters. Mine started with my Dad’s Bill Cosby-esque collection of patchwork knits conjoined by tacky strips of leather.  My grandmother also used to knit sweaters. And a ‘family’ friend named Paula. When they gave me their oversized, totally unfashionable concoctions, I politely – with internal disgust – accepted their gifts. But you know what, when worked under my stylish staples: a classic GAP denim jacket being one, they didn’t look so bad. I did however, run out on my luck as a Shop Assistant for Canadian fashion boutique Jacob. A turn of events almost caused me to loose my job.

It was Christmas season. I was 17 and bougie (stuck up) as hell. I was a greeter. Bad enough I hated saying ‘hi’ to people who walked into the store. I was forced, literally, to wear their exclusive Christmas knit: an embarrassingly bad sweater covered in snowflakes and reindeer. I almost cried. I was defiant. My manager had to pull me aside and talk to me. Considering I can remember this, obviously it had to have scarred me. But suddenly, as of late, I find myself thinking these Christmas sweaters are cool. Could it be because of Drake?

I think not. Drake can’t rock a sweater any better than I can. And while his notoriety has made him something of a knit authority, his sweater skills don’t match that of the everyday fellas who wear the sweater with natural ‘swag’.

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Bernhard Willhelm wears a knit like no one’s business. Via In the moment

So, is this really an open letter to the current Underground King? Could be. Perhaps he needs to step his sweater game up. As part of VIBE’s 20 questions, one of the questions asked if the urban(e) i.e., mundane brand COOGI would give Drake a campaign. Are you kidding me? Drake might be hood, but he’s not destitute.

So, Drake, here’s an ode to the godfathers – past and present – who wore the knitted sweater with more zeal than you. Perhaps you’ll look good enough to get snapped by a style blogger this year. And I’m leaning more towards The Sartorialist.