NYFW: CALVIN KLEIN BY RAF SIMMONS SS18

I tried you guys. I tried really hard. I looked regular ways, sideways, upside down. I just wasn't into it. I'm not someone who gets a kick out of being a Negative Nancy and this is no attempt to bring someone down or their work. There were some great pieces and some amazing looks but, overall, it just wasn't for me and that's perfectly A-OK. If we all loved everything, the world would be a really strange place. Right? Right.

DISHOOM

I've never been to India so I can't say that I've had real, authentic Indian food but I know good food when I see it (and taste it).

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I first tried Dishoom last year but only recently went for breakfast and it was everything that I could've imagined and more.

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MASALA BEANS YOU GUYS. I wasn't ready. 

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"No Petting (heavy)" 

OK, pause for minute. I've only just noticed that the last the word "caste" has been crossed out on the list of rules. I've been aware of the meaning of this word for as long as I've been aware of racial and cultural differences. 

"Half-caste" (*wince*) is a misused, outdated term used in this country to describe people of bi-racial parentage (typically black and white). A quick search on google gave a more accurate definition:

Each of the hereditary classes of Hindu society, distinguished by relative degrees of ritual purity or pollution and of social status

Typically, the caste system was pretty divisive so this is an awesome nod to inclusivity.

[ Note: No apologies for digression. These things are always worth highlighting. ]

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The interiors and the atmosphere are always great and there are so many good options for veggies and vegans. I love sitting and observing the chaos. ORDER THE CHAIJITO.

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This dress is an eBay cop (speaking of which, I'm selling some Alexander Wang, Margaret Howell and Comme Des Garçon pieces here). 

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I was looking for a decent quality slip dress but wasn't prepared to commit to the price in case I wasn't feeling it but this one from Mango (via ebay) ended up being perfect. I styled it over a plain white Dickies tshirt, Gucci Princetown loafers and my favourite Edwin leather jacket (similar here).

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Hats and sunglasses are my favourite way to accessorise. I wear both pretty much every day. This fedora is an oldie from Primark (similar here) but I'd really like to go find a stockist and try all of Janessa Leone's hats. They look so cool! Sunglasses are Monokel.

If you're ever in London and you're stuck for somewhere to visit/want to try Indian food, I'd definitely recommend Dishoom! In fact, I'm headed there this evening...

SAMPHA - LIKE THE PIANO

I can't watch this video because the song is so moving and seeing Sampha singing is it is just all too much. Especially because I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed at the moment. But you should definitely watch it. 

Congratulations on your Mercury Music Prize, Sampha. I'm still not over your set at Lovebox and then seeing you come out with Solange. There is no one more deserving <3

NYFW SS18: RACHEL COMEY

How is it Fashion Month already? And already half way through New York Fashion Week at that?!

Alrighty, you know the craic. I'll be reviewing fashion shows and presentations on my Instagram stories (make sure you're following!) as well as sharing the highlights and the not-so highlights with you here.

First up to bat is Rachel Comey. Leggo!

ALL SUMMER '17

This summer was intense, to say the least. I spent a lot of time, working on bettering myself and furthering my career. There was frustration and some doors were closed but invaluable lessons were learned. You can't put a price on that.

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As we move into September, I look forward to the last quarter of the year with excitement for a couple of trips that I have coming up - NYC and Bali, Indonesia! New York is my home from home from home but I always discover new thing every time I visit. I've never been to Bali before! I cannot tell you how excited I am to explore somewhere new. 

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What're your plans for the last quarter? Where are you going - literally and figuratively?

Ok, gotta go walk the neighbours dog...

(PS: Glossier starts shipping to the UK rill rill soon! Are your pumped? What're you looking forward to getting your hands on??)

Hat - Nike x Skepta

Sweatshirt - Glossier (gift)

Skirt - Edwin Europe (old, similar here)

Sneakers - Converse One Star (old, similar here)

Sunglasses - Monokel Eyewear

SHEER POLKA

Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that I'd be wearing a sheer shirt.  

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Not at all. However, I saw this cute top on Lizzy Hadfield of Shot From The Street and loved the look so much that I wanted to recreate it with personal touch (let's not pretend like we were the first ever to create "xyz" look. We all draw inspiration from somewhere!).

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I styled it with a loose fitting, black sports bra underneath (i'm also wearing a regular bra), cropped Khaki's and a leather jacket. Summer weather in London is...unpredictable to say the least so I always layer. 

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This leather cap is from eBay. A few seasons ago, Acne had a satin baseball cap that looked as though it was leather and I decided I needed it. It's been a great accessory whilst growing out my hair. The sneakers are Adidas Hamburg's. 

QUICKSAND

So hyped for the new Quicksand record! If you've not heard them before, they're a dope band from NYC featuring Walter Schreifels of Youth of Today, Warzone, Gorilla Biscuits, CIV...pretty much every important Youth Crew, Straight Edge band that was integral to the iconic New York sound. 

After these iconic hardcore bands came the post-hardcore wave. Fugazi (one of the earliest), Into Another, Quicksand, so many others. If you listen closely, you'll find exactly where the Deftones drew inspiration from for their sound. In fact, Sergio from Quicksand now plays bass for Deftones (RIP Chi) and his addition has been incredible. Oh, and remember Rival Schools? That was Walt's band too. 

I can't believe I hadn't met Walter until recently. It was for sure awesome to see him play in Youth of Today and his new band, Dead Heavens on the same bill. You know when they say "Never meet your idols" because they'll most likely disappoint you? Well that certainly wasn't the case for Walter. My inner hardcore moshpig was stanning so hard. He was sweet and engaging and seemed sincerely interested in meeting lil ol' me.

I'm aware that these music posts might be sounding mad name-droppy but I can assure you that they're not. Just sharing moments of excitement. We often put music and popular-culture personalities on pedestals but that's not something that I've ever cared to engage in, particularly within the hardcore scene.

I just like meeting real ass people and if i dig your music? Well even better.

Follow the new Quicksand Insta and check out the video for their new song, "Illuminati"

H&M STUDIO FW17

It's never news to me when I see pieces from the runway in fast fashion stores - that's the idea of fast fashion, after all. However, it still doesn't sit quite right with me when I can walk through a collection and name the brands that have been "duped". 

Dupes. Duplications. Directlycopiedinabootlegmanner. 

I've spoken about the perils of fast-fashion before and will openly admit that yes, I occasionally still consume from these outlets but I try to be conscientious when doing so. Nothing is new, we all see and learn from the things that have come before us but when X can directly copy Y AND capitalise in the same way or even more? Issa problem. Especially when it's niche, independent designers. The big conglomerates are not without sin, of course (see my previous post re Gucci/Dapper Dan fiasco)  but intellectual property n all that.

A few years back, H&M segmented their womenswear offering by introducing H&M Studio - a slightly more directional, "premium" line (read: expensive, I can't attest to the quality as I'm yet to make a purchase).  It's always caught my eye but it's not available in many of their stores so unless I'm in town, I don't feel particularly inclined to check it out.

Their FW17 offering is probably one of the best Studio collections that  I've seen to date. Here's a peek at the lookbook...

See the full lookbook on Refinery29. Collection launches mid-September.

CURRENT BEAUTY FAVES

18 months ago, my hair was styled in a short, tapered cut with my natural afro hair. I was blonde, pinky blonde and then deep violet. I really enjoyed that style and colour however, the only downside was that the blonde washed me out so, to counter-act, I wore way more makeup that I ever have. 

That's not to say that heavier makeup is a bad, thing I really do love a good, full-coverage face beat. But the upkeep and longterm effects on my skin was....not the best.

Fast forward to over a year since getting rid of the blonde, my skin is balanced and I'm enjoying a natural ~*glow*~. I purged a lot from my makeup collection but kept the necessities and some grail pieces that I couldn't bear to part with. I'm very strict with myself nowadays but I still like to try some new things here and there. ESPECIALLY IN AIRPORTS. I can't resist the duty-free, I'm human ok? Please allow me.

Here are some of my staples that help me achieve that "No Makeup" makeup look so grab a drink and get comfy.

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L-R: Glossier Lip Gloss, , Glossier Priming Moisturiser, Bobbi Brown Glow Stick in "Island", Glossier Haloscope in "Quartz" (great for all skin tones), Pixi Rose Oil Blend, Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, Glossier Stretch Concealer in Deep, Mac Mineralise Skinfinish in "Gold Deposit", Mac blush in "Sketch"Nars - Raident Creamy Concealer in "Amande"

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser (gifted): As you know, Glossier will start shipping to the UK this autumn and I am SO. HYPE. I was fortunate enough to be invited to dinner with them a few weeks back and was gifted some key product. I've been keen to try this since seeing Tamira Jarrel talk about the fact that she's gone through numerous bottles and I can concur her sentiment that THIS. IS. BRILLIANT. I have "normal" skin (FYI: no skin type is normal, per se. I'm stating that not dry and I'm not oily) but I'm still very reserved about the things that I put on my skin, particularly cleansers as they can disturb the skin's balance. I've been using this to remove makeup and/or on the days where I take the tube or get really sweaty from cycling. The rich, viscous texture feels luxurious on the skin and, although I'm really not a fan of floral scented products, this has the perfect amount of rose fragrance that doesn't make me want to barf or remind me of old ladies in Marks & Spencers c.1992. It leaves my skin feeling clean - but not stripped, which is important.

PIXI Rose Oil Blend: This is my third bottle of this product. Being dark skinned, I've never been afraid of using butters and oils. As I've grown older, I've become accustomed to what works on my body vs what works on my face. My body can withstand a lot but my face? Not so much. Being that it's summer, I can get away with using the Pixi Rose Oil Blend on it's own. However, in the mornings, I prefer to mix it with my Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturiser. If I cleanse in the evening (which I don't always do because I don't like to strip my face too much), I may use it on it's own but sometimes I prefer to use a toner and leave it at that. 

Glossier Priming Moisturiser (gifted): I'm skeptical about moisturisers and I can recall 2 that I've used consistently - Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion and Khiel's Ultra Facial. Anything else that I've tried just hasn't worked. It's either not permeated the layers of my skin, leaving me feeling sticky, or was so acidic that it made my mouth and lips crack for 3 months straight like the Aesop Mandarin Facial Hydrating Cream did. Nevertheless, I decided to give the Glossier Priming Moisturiser a shot and, low and behold, IT WORKED. You guys, this isn't just hype. Trust me, I'm a self-confessed cynic. I know, I sound like Tony Robbins or something but, f*ck it, mask off. I can use this product on the days where I decide to use a bit of makeup and it keeps everything in place. 

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Glossier Boy Brow in "Black" (gifted) I have very full brows, minus a little patchiness here and there. Boy Brow does a good job of filling in the patches and keeping my brows in place literally all day long. 

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Glossier Haloscope in Quartz (gifted): This is a great, universal highlighter for all skin tones and complexions. I used it here on my cheekbones and under the tail of my brow to accentuate the high points of my face. I'm also wearing...

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Glossier Stretch Concealer (Deep) and the clear lipgloss (both gifted): Both of these give a natural amount of coverage and sheen to the skin. (Note: I use a bit of translucent powder to set the concealer as it has a lot of slip and creases on me). I have hyper-pigmentation so I have to colour-correct before using but I do like that a little of the darkness around my eyes peeks through. It keeps me looking human. On the days where I'd like a little more coverage, I go to my trusty Nars - Radient, Creamy Concealer in Amande and set in the same way.

Mac Mineralise Skinfinish in "Gold Deposit": Shameless Maya and Patrick Starrr put me onto this product. It's been the major key to any additional glow that I've had over the last two years. I can use it on it's own - with or without a base,  over a cream product like Haloscope or with...

Bobbi Brown Glow Stick in "Island": This is a perfect match for Mac's Gold Deposit because they're the same bronze-gold tone. I have really yellow/golden undertones (hence why blonde hair washed me out) so, with a combination of this, Haloscope and gold deposit, I feel like some sort of gilded create. C3PO, perhaps.

MAC Powder Blush in "Sketch": I have naturally defined cheekbones so I don't need to contour at all. I use Mac's powder blush in the colour Sketch to create a little definition and to add a flush of colour to my cheeks. I love this colour, it reminds me of plums and wine. It transcends all seasons which is perfect for me because I don't adhere to seasons when it comes to makeup. Sometimes, a girl wants to rock a vampy lip in high summer. Can I live?! Damn,,

Bobbi Brown Eye Gloss in "Nude": I'm not wearing anything on my eye-lids here except for whatever moisturiser I put on that day and a bit of concealer. I've no idea why but, for some reason, my eye-lids are like mini oil slicks. I think it's because the skin in that area doesn't have pores so the moisturiser just pools on my lids, swishing around. Gross, but I'm also no mad because I'd rather be extra hydrated in that area than have cripsy (no disrespect to my folk who have dry lids. I'm speaking about my own personal preferences here). 

What are some of your grail products? Let me know down below and make sure that you subscribe to IntoTheGloss to find out when UK shipping starts! 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: Products purchased with my own money unless stated otherwise.

 

SOUL OF A NATION: ART IN THE AGE OF BLACK POWER

Back when I visited the Tate Modern in early July, there were posters for a new exhibition - Soul Of A Nation: Art In The Age Of Black Power  and I knew I had to see it. A few weeks later, I took an afternoon of work to go with Emma and...

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...Listen, I'm a 31 year old woman of Afro-Caribbean descent. My parents ensured that my education included black history. MLK, Malcolm X and Nelson Mandela and all of the gory details in between. From an early age, I understood that I had to treat people as I wished to be treated but also warned that I would have to work twice as hard to prove myself because I'm black and that's just the way that the world was. I attended extra curricular black history groups and we had pictures of all 3 aforementioned black leaders on the walls in my house.

We had their autobiographies and I've seen the biopics. I've seen the vessels that carried the people of Africa to the Americas to be sold as slaves. I've seen the welts on the skin of men who dared defied their owners. "OWNERS".  

None of this is news to me. There's still so much that I haven't seen but, let's just say that I've seen, heard and experienced a lot. The details & visuals of the black struggle are engrained in my core & fuel my desire to be a decent human to all people. 

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Oftentimes, the work, art & creative expression of black individuals are overlooked entirely or repackaged & branded as something way more palatable (miley's "twerking", kardashian's "boxer braids"). I implore you all to go & see this exhibition if you can, no matter your race, creed or ethnicity because through all the sadness & horrific tragedy, there is a joyous beauty.

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NEXT STEP UP - FALL FROM GRACE

My taste in music is very eclectic. Here is one of my favourite hardcore records from one of my favourite hardcore bands of all time.

One of the coolest things about hardcore that I've found since being a part of the scene as a teenager is the friends and connections that I've made. That, topped with the fact that you're close to the people who make your favourite kind of music makes it that more meaningful.

I've know various members of this band since I was 18 years old but I first met the singer, JR, after my first, real heartbreak. I was at a hardcore festival in Germany, sleeping when I got a call saying that some friends would be coming to our hotel to use the shower. I was in such a state of emotional numbness, mostly drained but beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, that I didn't even really hear what was being said on the other end of the phone and just muttered "ya sure, whatever. just let me know when they're close so i can put trousers on".

There was a knock at the door. I quickly jumped up, half put the leggings on and hopped to the door. I opened it without looking through the spy-hole and there was my crazy friend, Scotty P (who's band shirt I was wearing). He leapt through the door and hugged me so hard. He was playing drums for Next Step Up on this European tour and I was ecstatic to see him.

Other than Josh (who I knew from Stout), I didn't know any of the real members of NSU so it was nice to meet them, albeit in my dishevelled state. I invited them in, we hung out, caught up and talked about stuff. I remember Scotty and JR being very compassionate, concerned and extending that kind of "you'll be ok kid" reassurance that you get from uncles. 

Later that day, we went to the show together and I watched them play. I was so spaced that I didn't even hear JR dedicate a song to me but I remember feeling really overwhelmed at the sweet gesture from someone who I'd met only hours before.

These days, the shows I choose to go to are few and far between but I still enjoy seeing bands in the same way that I did when I was first getting into hardcore. They've been covered by many bands, my favourite being Dying Fetus' cover of "Bringing Back The Glory"

NISHINGGAAAAA!🤑

FILM DUMP

It's kind of weird to think that I was born a long time before the digital age. All of the pictures from my childhood are on film. Seeing photographs of my parents, grandparents, great and great great grandparents on film is my favourite part of going to Anguilla or paying a visit to my aunts'. 

Where I can, I love to take both film and digital. I have my dad's camera (with case & lenses in tact) from when he first moved to England and studied photography at college. I also have an old Kodak camera that was found in my grandad's house after he passed away. I don't want to use these as they're heirlooms but I'm definitely going to buy one soon. 

In the meantime, here's a film dump from 3 disposable cameras that I developed - some pictures date back to 2014 from a camera that I actually got in 2012 (?!?!?). 

Enjoy!

 

 

A GLOSSIER WEEKEND

In case you’ve been living under a rock/have never heard of a technological communication phenomenon commonly referred to as The Internet, you may not have heard of Glossier – a skincare and beauty brand created for the regular, degular folk by Emily Weiss who started the brand as an extension of the beauty blog Into The Gloss. It’s literally that brand right now and it's definitely your fave’s fave.

Assuming that you have been living under said rock/have never heard of The Internet (or maybe you’ve just been busy? That happens too), it may have gone unnoticed that the cult beauty brand recently started international shipping and will be shipping to the UK VERY SOON.

To give us a taste of things to come, Glossier held a series of events in London last weekend starting with a dinner at the incredible Carousel in Marylebone. The neighbourhood isn’t somewhere that I frequent often so it was nice to head there a little early and wonder around (& put plasters on my blisters in the street because who told me that I could wear heels all day?). There were matte black Lambo’s, Ferrari’s, no rubbish bins (trash cans) and hardly any of the streets had pedestrian controlled crossings…(what!?). To put it bluntly, it’s bougie. But, I mean, “do it look like I was left off of ‘Bad n Bougie’?”

Upon arrival, we were greeted with champagne (wassaaaappppp?!) introduced to members of the team and had a chance to ~*mingle*~. I knew no one else attending and I was a little apprehensive about heading to something like this alone (for the same reasons noted here ) but it was great to connect with so many sweet girls, all with their own story, their own hustle, but we bonded on our excitement for Glossier finally coming to London, great food aaaaand Real Housewives of Atlanta.

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The following day, there was a pop-up showroom with a similar set up to the HQ in New York. It was open to the public and people could come and test the products in person before buying with e-Comm launches later this year. I know we’re not doing “wishlists” rn but lemme cop that Priming Moisturiser Rich, the Super Serums, the Mask Duo and the Generation G lipstick in Zip tho!

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The final part of the weekend involved a live Glossier Top Shelfie with Glamour Magazine’s beauty director, Alessandra Steinherr and a talk with Emily which I wasn’t able to attend but I caught bits here & there on the ol’ Instastories and it looked really fun.

Everything that this brand has done so far has kept my watching. From the high-quality product to the affordable prices (even with my "ok" salary, I ain’t got La Mer shmoney, mmmk?) and a strong sense of brand identity, I’ve been continuously impressed and I’m for sure excited to get my hands on more!

Thank you, Team Glossier for a dreamy evening, for the flowers and very generous gifts!

Check out Into The gloss, make sure you sign up to the mailing list and follow @Glossier on Instagram so you get the info first and to see videos of campers being launched into a lake. Yep, I said it. Don’t ask questions, go, go, go!

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MAISON MARGIELA - HAUTE COUTURE FW2017

I'm just going to say direct. I struggle to get my head around couture. But with a brand like Margiela, it all makes sense because Margiela (& a handful of other brands) IS couture to me. Let's take a look a the FW17 Haute Couture collection, shall we?

I THREW AWAY MY WISHLIST

"In the bin" is probably something I say at least 35 times per day. If someone's in trouble, they're "in the bin". Too turnt? Wasted? In. The. Bin. I even learned how to say it in French - Dans la poubelle - because my French friend found it hilarious.

So, I threw away my wishlist. Not my Amazon wishlist, that's mostly comprised of books, things that I need for my house or nail related products that are absolutely necessary. I mean the excel document (avec formulas because I'm a psycho) of expensive stuff that I like but really don't need, nor can I afford. 

Last summer, I read Hal Elrod's Miracle Morning and, for a few weeks, I was really inspired to create the life I wanted for myself. I made moodboards, visionboards, meditated, worked out, made lists and meditated on the things that I wanted. Things like a Mercedes G Wagon, a sick flat in London, more shmoney, THINGS.

There were other, less materialistic things on my meticulously photoshopped moodboardT like "getting better at Yoga" and, to be honest, that's the only thing that's materialised. My Yoga has improved a lot in a really short space of time, thanks to dedication and my two amazing teachers, Laura & Holly!

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I think I've shared this before but when the other things didn't materialise, I became disheartened and switched off.

"Fuggit".

I've maintained yoga, gotten rid of a lot of things and tried to declutter but I still bought a lot stuff.

After a very emotional June (I'm so glad to see the other side of Gemini season), I took a moment and decided not to become overwhelmed by what can only be described as dumb sh*t. I would trawl through Instagram, taking screen grabs of my fave accounts, ladies with dope style, dope shoes, dope bags, dope things. I didn't understand why I was unable to obtain those things, even though I work hard? But, I mean, how hard am I working? Does doing a little extra here & there constitute hard work? Yes, pat yourself on the back, congratulate yourself and treat yo'self for damn sure. "Always give credit where credit is due, Jimmy?" (- Chopper).

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I've been experimenting...

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HOWEVER, since turning a corner at the beginning of July and meditating every day, I've become a lot more calm. It's given me headspace to evaluate where I am in my life, where I want to be and I'm slowly figuring out the path I'm going to take, without the distraction of said things

Yes, I love clothes and shoes and bags and designer fashion but wish list, for now, you are not my priority. You'll remain dans la poubelle until further notice and, if I'm able to cop some red Gucci loafers or some Celine sunnies or a cute bag along the way? Well, that'd be cool too, I guess.

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With that said, I took a day away from my to-do list to spend time with my dude and see some art. We hit the Tate, ate some lunch and took a stroll around The City on a quiet Sunday evening, sans millions of tourists. 

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"Monument" by Susan Hiller

THE STORY OF OJ

If you're not familiar with the OJ Simpson story, check out The People vs OJ and then watch OJ: Made In America.

Then, when you've had your head spun, go and check out Jay-Z's new record, "4:44".

Hov's lyrics are always peppered with quips that keep me chuckling but the sombre picture he paints on this track is poignant to say the least & straight facts at the most. I've only just gotten around to watching the animated video for "The Story of OJ" which addresses the absurd spectacle that is the OJ Simpson story, the black experience & also touches on the racial muss that is Disney. i've shared the video on my blog. 

I find 4:44 to be particularly cathartic and an insight into the complex identity of the black male. It's also an example of a mature and creative approach to facing your demons AND a reminder that we're all human.

I'm not sure how anyone could cheat on Beyoncé and I haven't completely forgiven you Jigga Man......................yet but you came correct with this one. 

CHANEL - HAUTE COUTURE FW2017

Oh, Chanel. Chanel, Chanel, Chanel...Or should I be saying "Karl, Karl, Karl"? 

There's this weird pressure on girls and women to aspire to be that girl that has the CHANEL 2.5 bag, the ballerinas, the perfume. Don't get me wrong, I like it but I'm not sure that I LOVE it.

The classic quilted bags are so beautiful, the footwear is great and I rinsed Mademoiselle in my early 20's. I even love going to Paris and seeing the older Parisian ladies, tottering around with their perfectly maintained tweed jackets.

I hate the boy bag, No.5 is gross and I struggle to part with money for the things that I DO love. It's not like I even have 3 bags to spend on...a bag but you get what I'm saying?

With that said, Karl seems to be keeping things...ticking over. The last few shows have been at incredible venues with beautiful installations and this season was no different. Peep the gallery below to see my review of the collection! 

Images via Vogue.com