Wishing Tata Madiba a very Happy 94th Birthday. May God continue to bless us with his presence.
Love, your children in South Africa and all over the world.
We often ask ourselves or others this ridiculous question about what style really is, we search for wrongs and rights, and who has it and who doesn’t – but how does one progress to such conclusions without understanding the word or rather the meaning of style first?
A plain and simple definition of style, according to my trusty Oxford Mini-dictionary that was published in 1991 (Old, I know) – is that the noun “style” is a manner of writing, speaking, or doing something – so in simpler terms style is the manner in which we as people present ourselves in any aspect of our lives.
The affinity between style and fashion is strong and unbreakable. When we use the term to refer to someone as “stylish” or to someone as having “style” – What are we really saying? Are they fashionable or do they actually have style?
In my own, possibly viable opinion – everyone over a period of time either gets brainwashed by the media about what style is conceived to be (in most cases getting caught up with trends, fashion, etc.), or they form their own conception on how to view, and appreciate style.
I believe style is exactly that – a person staying true to his or her self, naturally having a vying way of making even the most awkward of garment items look good together as a whole. A stylish person to me is someone who doesn’t necessarily follow trends, but rather contributes to the innovation of one. Someone who doesn’t allow the media to dictate what he/she should be wearing at that specific moment for that specific reason, but rather wears what they feel like when they feel like it.
With reference to that last sentence, anyone can throw on anything and claim they have style – but that’s just it, you can’t willingly command style to be in your possession that day or moment, like most things in life you either have it or you don’t. I also feel, that style comes from inside, but resonates through a person’s manner in doing things, clothes for example is a means of self-expression like art or music. Style is having that untaught ability to put on clothes effortlessly, make items with no relation to one another look beautiful – style is a lovely thing. It knows no age, or colour – nor brand, or price – it is just what it is.
And, for those without style, well… that’s what stylists are for.
Scouting street style these past few days also opened up my eyes to a whole new world and idea of thinking – believe me when I say the most poorest of people have the most exuberant attitudes towards style. Which brings me to this – everyone has style deep within them waiting to erupt (and some are just lost causes, I commend you for trying though), all I can say is that you should stay true to yourself, and bask in your style for what is it.
We live in a world where we are getting to express who we are more and more each day. You can express your style by any means possible. Some may not care about style in a fashion sense – but as the late and great Yves Saint Laurent once said: “Fashion fades, Style is eternal.”
After years, this song is still as golden as when it first came out.
Like the title says, you either hate it or love it…
Some of my favourite street style snaps from Tuukka Laurila. Some beautifully shot subjects, in unusual settings.
Photos: Tuukka Laurila via hypebeast.com
As you may or may have not noticed – yesterday I featured something new on my blog titled “On The Streets”. So what is it, you ask?
Well, it’s a feature I’ll be posting on my blog, sanely getting to know random, inspiring individuals, I know or meet on the streets – that are normal folk like you and I, with an infectious sense of character and a captivating sense of style.
Let me know what you think in the comments, and if you think you have style like no other, and would like to be featured – by all means mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: One of my favourite photos by Tommy Ton (jakandjil.com)
Name: Don, Graphic /Web Designer – (@Don_LK)
Describe your style? What inspires it?
– My style is simplistic. Clothes that fit me well, that is casual with a neutral colour palette. I wear bright colours in my outfit choices when I feel like being expressive. Honestly, comfort inspires my style. I usually pick out one item in my closet and dress around it – so basically it’s what item of clothing I feel for the day. E.g. I’ll dress around a sneaker, or check hoodie, etc.
What are your favourite brands or clothing items?
– Hmmm, favourite brands. I love sneakers so Nike’s are my favourite, Vans are great too. In terms of clothes, I do like Adidas Classics, and items specifically include baseball jackets and hoodies which I love, other than that button up shirts are awesome, that fit well and create a sleek smart casual look. Shopping wise, I shop where they sell great clothes.
What type of music do you listen to?
– I love rap and rock. I spend most of my time listening to music.
Three hot artists you can’t get enough of?
– J.Cole, Mac Miller, and The Foo Fighters.
Three songs you’re feeling right now?
– One Mic – Nas
– Sideline Story – J.Cole
– The Take Over, The Breaks Over – Fall Out Boy
What do you do in your free time?
– I spend a lot of time with people, and go out with friends. I occasionally play soccer, and enjoy playing pool. I also spend a lot of time listening to music, and occasionally, writing it.
Words you live by
– My favourite words are from Kobe Bryant, he says “The guy said NBA players are one in a million. I said, ‘Man I’m going to be that one in a million.’ Not that I believe I can be in the NBA or something, but I live my dreams.”
As my – now forgotten – dream ended, and the beautiful winter sunshine crept into my room, I awakened, accompanied by the delicious smell of my Dad’s traditional Sunday breakfast.
By default, I’d get out of bed and commence with the day’s activities, but this day felt like an odd “It’s time to clean your room day.” And no, I don’t mean “drawing the curtains – fluffing your pillows – making your bed” kind of day, but the kind that required you to dismantle your fancy display and see how much of dust you’ve managed to obtain since the last time you “cleaned” your room.
Now, normally someone like a domestic worker would do this, but to me there is something much more personal about bedrooms. A piece of paper may mean nothing to a stranger, but to the owner it may mean the world, and finding little or big things we haven’t seen in a while has a way of taking us down memory lane once more. Naturally I’ve been carrying out this duty since a very young age, and each time was difficult.
Each time, something had to be let go of. I believe the older you get the more you understand why you have to let go of certain things, and it therefore becomes much easier.
Whilst operation “Clean Room” was underway, I found my first pair of Adidas™ “RESPECT M.E” by Missy Elliot sneakers, I got these when I was 16 (2006) – a limited edition pair and I love(d) them. Its sleek and monochromatic colour scheme makes it a sneaker that is timeless to me, and that I can continue to wear till it gives in, which doesn’t seem to be anytime soon.
Finding this sneaker just made me realize what a sneaker junkie I really am, I’ve collected whatever Converse™ sneaker amongst others that I could from the time I was 13 years old (2003), owning about 5 unique pairs, I’ve only worn each ± 7-10 times in their life span, and maybe even less. They still fit me, and smell like they’re brand new.
Do you also personally clean you room? What interesting things do you find?
In the midst of my personal preparation to enter the ELLE Style Reporter competition in the July issue of ELLE South Africa’s magazine – I’m keeping my eyes more opened than usual. Street style is so diverse, and come fashion week everyone’s uniqueness is pumping out of their veins and into their garment choices more than before.
The images are not mine, but rather from the WGSN site and I only felt it fair to share, because I think they’re so inspiringly cool.
On 27 March 2012, I had an interesting day. Okay, I don’t remember much of that day, but I do remember the evening.
My cousin had a friend over for dinner, and whilst we wined, dined and enjoyed lovely desserts, nothing that was about to hit me next, remotely passed through my mind. That moment existed entirely by itself. No past or future interruptions. Just the present.
The next day for me was an early one, and far away from home in unfamiliar territory, I wanted to be prepared. I silently crept away from our dinner, went to the room, took out my clothes and just casually glanced over to my cell phone as I always do.
What did I miss? A few missed calls from my brother.
Now, I don’t usually panic, but in today’s day and age when people start calling you and don’t resort to communicating via social networks, then you know something’s up. Something either great, or not so great.
In this event, it was something not so great. My brother questioned and insisted it was true, I did not believe him. He said “Go onto Facebook.”, and there it all was, sympathetic messages and those three letters separated by full stops “R.I.P”, that we all dread.
I still could not believe it, I tried calling a friend I stopped speaking to for months, whose phone was off, then I tried other friends and when I finally got through to someone, my questions had been answered and I knew the saddest truth, I’d ever know.
My friend, T.Y.C, of seven years passed away, he died, in a horrible car crash. He’s gone.
I fell to the ground in shock, and cried my eyes out. I could not and still cannot believe it. His presence is within me, but he is lost.
He made me feel like a million bucks, he loved me and I loved him back like I have never loved anyone. When I thought about my future, he was in it. He always told me “Chanelle, my love, you’re going to be THAT GIRL in my first music video.” , and I’d always shyly respond “Yaaaa, Thato.”
I miss him so much. Somehow I couldn’t make his memorial or funeral. Life got in the way and as deeply filled as I am with regret, I know he forgives me, above all it was not meant to be.
The lessons I’ve gained from his being and death is to live for today, love, smile, laugh, be happy, be kind, forgive, and to mostly be yourself.
I frequently zone out and stare into space, thinking about him and it is as if he’s looking right back at me. I cry. I cry a hell of a lot thinking about him, reminiscing.
I yearn to tell him that I love him, and that I appreciate him. The tiniest things he did for me impacted my life like you can’t believe. He kept our friendship gold, without seeing or hearing from me for 2 years, when we finally reunited – it was as if neither of us left.
I know his soul roams about all his loved ones, and that he’s watching over all of us. BUT, I still cannot fathom that he’s not here. He’s not here. My friend whose hand I once held, voice I once heard, smile I once appreciated, is not here. Someone I could easily communicate with, is not here.
Have you lost a close friend or loved one? How did you react or handle it?
I’m waiting for the day till T.Y.C, walks up to me and says “Here I am”, till then he will always live in my heart, mind and soul, and his death will be a lesson I hold dearly to my thoughts & the way I live.
Love those around you unconditionally, live today as if tomorrow does not exist.
With Love, Chanelle.