Friday, 5 December 2014

Another Black Hair-Piece

Black hair. A fascinating thing. As someone who has owned and worked on hers for twenty three years it’s also a complicated thing, not the hair itself (though God knows my relationship with my hair is nothing close to simple) but more what it continuously has to undergo; the debates, the criticism, the questioning. To make things clear,  my Honours thesis was on the hair experiences of black women in contemporary South Africa and so I firmly believe that we have been positioned by society and history in such a way that our hair decisions (like it or not) must be analysed with a critical, enlightened lens. However, it gets tiring and that is perhaps why Nakeya’s work is somewhat refreshing. Whether it is those who fervently propose that black hair is  nothing but a physical characteristic that somehow transcends the tempers of our history (and the messages in our magazines) or the more militant black hair patrollers who make it a hobby to speak in absolutes about what it means to relax or to weave, who like to polarise and dichotomise the black hair experience (“traitors who relax on one side of the room, comrades who don’t on the other, please”); this post is not for any of them – though by all means they are welcome to read.

I might be so bold as to say that, like Nakeya and her work titled "Hair Stories Untold" , I am not invested in policing (or polarising) the hair decisions of black women. This post is more about presenting depictions of black hair experiences in their myriad forms, experiences that I (and I am sure many of the black women reading this) resonate with at an almost visceral level. For those of you who don’t know, black women (and their hair) are subject to hegemonic beauty ideals that both define and debilitate us, we are constantly and unfairly set up against a measure of ‘good hair’ ‘nice hair’ ‘hair that people would want’ that is (quite literally) contrary to what we have, what we own and what we look like – in other words, we’re set up to fail.

But this photoset is not a protest for or against our precarious position. It is a representation of the experience. It is a snapshot of the work we put into a part of ourselves that is constantly, tirelessly scrutinised and also constantly misunderstood. For me, Nakeya’s message is simple, she is saying “look at what we do, look at how interesting it is, look at how striking it is”.  True, my mane is policed, performed and politicised but Nakeya makes me think that, despite those things it is almost always rich and always beautiful.

Check out more of her work here

Monday, 1 December 2014

To Friends

Friends are many things; confidants, interim therapists, drinking partners, life partners and co-conspirators but they are also a wonderful distraction from one's (usually stressful) every day life. My few trips to see my close friends form some of this year's most precious memories. Friends afford you the kind of brash sarcasm and flippancy that sometimes can't be accommodated in your professional or academic life; with them conversation can easily move from in-depth topics to spirited chats about how we can't resist Bobby Shmurda's 'Hot N---a' because "that beat!". I live for these moments.
This is a very brief showcase of one treasured weekend of welcome, friend-filled distraction. May there be more and more.

Also, why am I looking into the ocean like it holds the answers to life's questions? I will never know.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Assembly | Revisited

Remember this? Assembly SS15. It was boyish, fun, it was all black and then it was all white (and then wonderfully monochrome). It was basically perfect. 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Pop'Africana || The Return

I was so excited when Oroma announced the return of the wonderful Pop'Africana. Originally a bi-annual print magazine, Pop'Africana aims to illustrate the contemporary African experience and offers an alternative to the overarching perception of African life, art, fashion and general creativity that has become somewhat archaic. I love it because it is beautiful, modern and personal and therefore serves as a refreshing point of reference for creative African empiricism.

The print version can be bought here

Monday, 17 November 2014

Solange | Sanctified Slayage

This past weekend one my favorite human beings, Solange Knowles, married long-term boyfriend Alan Ferguson. We didn't know what to expect (because she is Solange and everything she does is both amazing and unexpected) and then late last night the official wedding pictures were released and everywhere the hearts of heavy-bearded, hippie men broke (because their hipster queen was officially, really unavailable). And now I believe women  are beginning  to rethink their stance on the ideal wedding dress(es) - which we have now learnt can come in the form of a wonderful cream, plunging neckline jumpsuit accompanied by a cape-from-the-gods.
We basically bore witness to sanctified, matrimonial slayage. And we were never ready.
(p.s. Excuse the extensive use of alliteration in my title - it just kind of happened and I couldn't stop myself)

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Missshape x Yasmin Furmie

Missshape recently released a third ambassador's collection featuring Yasmin Furmie; she is an ever growing presence in the fashion scene and is known for outfits that always communicate a love for sophisticated-street wear and masculine undertones. Many of the pieces in this collection are a clear nod to the fashion label's latest muse.
Missshape's recent collaborations have been thoroughly enjoyable; not only are they dynamic with a decided-yet-subtle urban edge but they are also enhancing and diversifying the local fashion narrative. These collaborations are more like a 'creative collusion', a working together for the good of South African aesthetic.

Thursday, 9 October 2014


On a random night a few weeks ago while gallivanting the streets of tumblr and avoiding other far more pressing matters (like my books, it's always the books) I stumbled upon the picture you see above. A wonderful shoot by local photographer/filmmaker Adriaan Louw . The shoot is undeniably beautiful but let's talk about the model for a minute (Giannina Antonette), woman's-crush-Friday anyone? Yoh. 

pictures sourced from  we-are-awesome

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Out and About

It feels so good to post again and wipe off the virtual dust that had settled on this blog. I am excited to share the wonderful, beautiful things I've managed to find over the past couple of months. You will notice that many of these posts revolve around African art, culture and African-inspired fashion which is something that I have taken to recently.

As both a sign of maturation (I turned a year older since the last time I blogged by the by *flicks hair* ) and as a growing interest I am starting to find that I am less intrigued by the 'whats-what' of popular (read: Western) fashion houses, music or literature. Instead I have become more invested in discovering and sharing content with a home-grown, African aesthetic. It's all very exciting and new for me.
I'm also going to try my hand at an opinion piece, why? I'm not entirely sure - I'm simply keen to try it and see what the response is. But also maybe because I just like things.

These are a few pictures that were taken while my dear friend (whom you all know very well by now) Dudu came for a visit and we were loitering around town - as dear friends do.
Stellenbosch does this weird thing where it's pleasantly warm one moment and uncomfortably nippy the next so my outfit is slightly eclectic so as to accommodate equally eclectic weather patterns. Ha!