Valentino lost its ‘rockstud’

VALENTINO LOST ITS 'ROCKSTUD'

When you think of ‘Rockstud’, what do you think of?  What is the first thing that comes into your mind?

In the US, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) is refusing to let Italian luxury fashion house Valentino register its ‘Rockstud Spike’. It ruled that ‘Spike’ simply describes Valentino’s products.  A 3 judge panel for TTAB upheld the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) decision in 2018 to refuse to register the ‘Rockstud Spike’ mark as it “merely describes [Valentino’s] goods”. In its April 15th ruling, the TTAB argued that if Valentino does not agree with the definition given by UPSTO there is evidence in support of their argument, that the definition of ‘Spike’ varies. TTAB gave examples of various websites and designers such as Neiman Marcus, Gucci and Farfetch that “..use the word SPIKE to describe [an array of different] embellishments or features on the types of goods identified in [Valentino’s] application”. The board pointed to examples like Prada sandals on Farfetch which are described as ‘Prada Spike Caged Sandals’ and a pair of Louboutin heels on Neiman Marcus’ website as ‘Escapric Spike 100mm Red Sole pumps’.  The TTAB went further and said that  Valentino’s “purses and shoes, as well as those of third parties, contain pointed metal pieces” and “taper to a point or edge and have an elongated shape in relation to the flat surface on which they are attached”. Therefore the TTAB panel came to the conclusion that Valentine’s ‘Rockstud’ fell into this category and that ‘Spike’ just describe a feature of their luxury items.

What words, pictues or ideas came to to your mind when I asked you what ‘Rockstud’ was? Well, with me, I know what the ‘Rockstud’ is because I am an avid fashion follower. Did you know that ‘Rockstud’ refers to purses, bags, shoes and other accessories made by Valentino?  Out of curiosity, I googled the ‘Rockstud’ and straight away it came up with all of Valentino’s Rockstuds.  This is what I found:

Rockstud 1

Rockstud 2

Rockstud 3

You cannot tell me that Rockstud and Valentino are not associated with one another. It is like not having egg in an English breakfast, that is what Rockstud is to Valentino. Rockstud is Valentino’s signature.  We all know Valentino for its ’Valentino Red’, haute couture, glamorous dresses and for dressing the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy, Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lopez. It is a known fact that Valentino makes most its money from accessories ( the ‘Rockstud’ embellishments are all over their accessories). A few years after the ‘Rockstud’ shoes hit the runway, Valentino overall sales doubled- with half of the growth attributed to the ‘Rockstud’ heels. Since its launch, the Rockstuds have sold out every year- in December 2018 Valentino sales had increased  from $590 million in 2013 to $1.4 billion in 2018. Valentino has its ‘Rockstud’ to thank for. The ‘Rockstud’ is a wardrobe staple and a classic, I will never ever get over it.  I mean, everyone and their Mum were wearing it in the 2000s and 2010s. Every shop was doing knock offs and copycats- you can see my Russell & Bromely ones here and here and I also own a pair of Dune sandals inspired by the ‘Rockstud’ sandals. It is a shoe that you can buy in every different colour, different style, trainer, block heel or belt.

So what do you think? Do you think the TTAB made the right decision? My thoughts are: the ‘Rockstud’ is Valentino’s signature just like how breakfast belongs to us the British- sorry but not sorry.

Stay Blessed x

You’re engaged and now what?

The ring is now on the finger. He got it all right- from the 4Cs (clarity, cut, colour and carat) to the proposal, you are the Mrs to be but now what? Planning a wedding can seem overwhelming (I had three, plus other wedding and cultural activities that shall be discussed in the wedding series) with so many tasks to be done. Don’t worry girl, this checklist got you!

The wedding planning processed step by step will be the most helpful thing for you. Breaking down the wedding planning, will keep you organised and keep stress at bay. The advised engagement length is between 12 to 14 months, with some advising up to 18 months. This is because wedding vendors get booked really quickly. I experienced this early on and made sure to stick to my deadlines. It is also the case when it comes to venues. Wedding venues can be booked two years in advance- so get in there as early as you can. My engagement length was 9/10 months, so I had a little less time than average.

So let’s break it down, to the 12 month countdown:

wedding checklist

12 months +

Wedding Counselling

I would advise this for every couple wanting to get married, engaged or even married. You can never go wrong with marriage counsel. Both my hubby and I went to marriage classes held at our churches as well as having one-to-one counselling with my pastor. I would even go so far as it being mandatory in your wedding planning process, having a neutral counsellor who can look at issues objectively as well as giving practical marriage advice really helps.

Get inspired

Dig into your favourite bridal magazines and social media pages for inspiration. I favourited, saved and screenshot several photos on the internet which I drew inspiration from. Some I took and some I did not, it is all about finding what works for you. My sister in law was kind enough to share her friend’s wedding moodboard book with me, which was lovely to go through and get ideas.

Buy a wedding planning journal

Wedding planner, wedding journal, wedding organiser, wedding notebook…however the shop names it, make sure you get yourself one. Whether it is a detailed wedding planner, a simple checklist, or a plain notebook or even a wedding planning app online- whatever option you go with it makes all the planning easier. Having a notebook where you can jot ideas, create to-do-lists in one place, is a life saver. I first started off writing things to do on my phone’s notes, then my mum got me a notebook to jot ideas down. My sister-friend who I grew up with, gifted me with a wedding planning journal which I treasure so much. The wedding journal was such a great help and got me focused early on with its must-dos, checklists and so forth.

The budget

It is all about the Queen Elizabeth’s baby (In my Biggie Voice & dropping all the pound emojis). It is time to get out the pen & paper, do some calculations and account for everything. Budgets and finance is not fun I tell you but its the most important thing to consider when planning. You have to figure out who is paying for what and determine your wedding budget.

What’s your priorities? That is the number one question you will need to ask yourself when budgeting. You will need to allocate funds to each potential vendor and service you would like on your day. Research will definitely come in handy when allocating funds. Ask those you know who are newlyweds and ask them how much they roughly spent on vendors and services. I asked friends who had recently got married on what they spent roughly on services, so I could get an rough idea when allocating funds. It is also time to create a spreadsheet to keep track of your wedding funds, do bear in mind though numbers will change as the months go on. For this reason, please allocate funds for things that may pop out of the blue.

Pick your wedding party

Deciding who will be in your bridal party, will be one of the most important decisions you will make during your wedding planning. Remember to choose those who will support you and your husband to be during this time.

The guest list

We all wish we could invite everyone to our weddings right? But we simply cannot. Finances play a big part in how big or small the guest list can be. Now I know also some people out of choice decide to have an intimate wedding regardless of whether they can afford it or not. Your wedding budget and finances will determine your guest list (see why I said wedding budgeting is the most important factor in planning). The easiest way to also creating your guest list is to look at your venue (how many people can it take?) Additionally, who is paying for what? If yourself and your partner is paying for the majority, then you may want to take the majority of your guest list. If it is your parents contributing the most, then they may want to have a say in the guest list also. It all depends on your circumstances but what I will say is that it is you & your partner’s day, have the people you want there to share in your joy. Then the final stage is to go through the list, negotiate, cut and cut some more until you reach the number set for your wedding.

Wedding planner/coordinator

Hiring a wedding planner, will depend on your commitments and finances. I believe a wedding planner can give you the peace of mind that you will definitely need as a bride to be and save you from stress so you can put your mind towards other things. The wedding planner will be your guide and should help with everything, from selecting a venue, to caterers, to tracking your budget, handling logistics and things you can’t even think about. I also believe that you can go without a wedding planner, if you can handle it on your own why not. If you have a supportive circle around you who can help in anyway possible, that is great also. I had a really great support system with my mum, aunties, family and friends who helped every step along the way. I decided to plan the wedding on my own with my support system. However, I knew from the very beginning I would definitely need a wedding coordinator on the day. A wedding coordinator, organises the wedding day and also leading up to the wedding he/she keeps track of vendors and logistics.

Reserve your date and venue

You found the love of your life, you know who you will be marrying but where will you be getting married? Choosing the venue will be another important decision to make. I know I have mentioned ‘this will be an..important to make’ a few times, but trust me this really is. Your venue effects everything from the theme, to the dates you want, to your caterer and to how many people you can have. The best one is that this will be where the biggest chunk of your wedding funds go to. So yes guys, it is really important. Explore different venues, go on site visits and select the one that not only you fall in love with but fits the key factors of the day (guests, theme and budget).

Decide overall theme

What did you always dream your wedding will be like as a little girl? I do not think I had this experience. Yes I talked with friends on how what I would like it to be. However I had no set ideas. When my husband and I decided our themes for our weddings, we based it on colours that we liked and chose to keep it classic and simple (so when we looked at the pictures in 30 years time, we would not think ‘ewww what were we thinking’).

Caterer

As much as your wedding guests love you and want to be there for the most special day, they do look forward to the wedding chops. So go with caterers who you believe who will deliver on the day- whether this is one of the venue’s in house caterers or a private caterer. Also start to have a look at mixlogist vendors and those who will be servicing the bar at your wedding.

Save the dates

Time to send the save the dates to your guests. Exciting times!

11 months

Booked and Busy Vendors- Photographers, Videographers, MUAs, MC/Host, DJ, Hairstylist, Decor & Florist

All the things that make you, your hubby and bridal party look lit, this is it. All the things that make your day lit, this is it. In other words, these are the people that will make or break your day and create the memories that will last forever. Do all the research you can, go to consultations, ask former Brides and Brides to be for their recommendations. Also, let your mind go back to the weddings you attended and enjoyed, ask the Bride and Groom who their vendors were- do not be afraid! Keep in mind the best vendors do book up quickly, some are booked a year in advance. I have personal experience of this, I will tell you that story later.

10 Months

Find the wedding dress

You may already have an idea of what you want. You may not have a clue of what you want either. I did, I had a few. My ideas were very different, so I struggled to think how to get it in all in one…but we shall discuss this later. Finding a wedding dress is trial and error, look for inspiration on the net, on social media and write what you like and what you do not like. You already have met the one and you will find the wedding dress for you.

Do remember to leave some time for a couple of fittings, the advice I received was to have your dress at least 6 months before. This is so you leave time for alterations and fittings that need to be done. Veil shopping can be done also a couple of months beforehand.

Hotel accommodation

If you can work with hotels nearby your venue to get good rates for your guests. We worked with our venue plus other hotels to reserve rooms and get discounted rates.

Take engagement photos

Time to start practicing before the big day, when yourself & your husband will be the centre of attention. Also, you can use your engagement shoot for wedding stationery & your website.

Create wedding website

Create a personal page with the date of your wedding, ceremony & reception details, transport, accommodation & travel.

9 to 8 months

Register for gifts

Include items that you will need in the journey post wedding, so think household staple items e.g cutlery, glassware & tableware and bedding. Some also request to donate to charity or just tailor their registry to their lifestyles. There is also the option of requesting monetary gifts.

Bridesmaids’ dresses

When it comes to bridesmaids’ dress shopping, ask your girlfriends to come along. The wedding boutique from where I brought my dress, also does bridesmaids’ dresses as well as eveningwear. So I got lucky and did not shop far. I had it in mind for them to get it custom made, but we found it at the boutique. With bridesmaids’ dresses allow at least 6 months, for them to be ordered, fitted and sized to each bridesmaid.

7 to 6 months

Wedding invitations

If you are going custom, make sure you leave enough time to hire a graphic designer, stationer or calligrapher. The wedding invitation gives an important impression as to the theme of the day and that is why you want to get it right. Try to include the themes and colours of your day on the invitation as well. We ordered our invitations from abroad, they worked out cheaper that way and we also did e-invites as well.

Planning your honeymoon

It has been advised by many to have booked your honeymoon at least five months before your wedding date but do start planning before that. Make sure whilst planning, that you check your passports are up to date, that you are clued up on the shots and travel information that you need.

Rental items, Chair Hire, Lighting, Structural and Electrical Items

This may not even be in your head or even on your wedding checklist. Do not forget, I repeat do not forget. If you are having an outdoor wedding, do not forget to book portable toilets. Additionally, your decor vendor may not cover dance floors or chair hire. So double check with your vendors and source other vendors who will take care of this. With electrical items such as projectors and mikes, you may need to also source vendors for this. I left this a little too late, thankfully my venue managed to sort it all out for us.

Hire an officiant

Who is going to marry the both of you? If you are both religious, inform the religious leader of the necessary details. If not find the person who will officiate the ceremony. This is also the time to plan for any legal wedding notices or licences that you have to apply for the country you reside in.

Let them eat cake

Look on the net- instagram and pinterest are a great help for cake designs. Then search for a baker, making sure you read all the reviews (scroll all the way down honey). Also, go to tastings so that you do not end up choosing a baker based on only how the cake looks, you want to love the cake filling as well as how pretty it is. Both yourself and your partner should love the look and taste of the cake, do not be afraid to stray away from the traditional. The cake should express who the both of you are as a couple.

5 to 4 months

Ceremony musicians

Will you have music during your ceremony? It is time to figure this all out.

Arrange transportation

How will be you riding in style? A bicycle, vintage car, motorbike or limo. Also think of your guests if the venue and ceremony are very far apart, maybe hiring a shuttle bus will help. In addition, your bridal party will also need transport.

Book rehearsal dinner

Traditionally, the groom’s family pay for the rehearsal dinner. It is also traditional to have family and friends at this dinner, with a couple of a speeches. We had an intimate dinner with our bridal party after our rehearsal the night before the big day.

Buy wedding bands

One for him and one for her.

Hair and Make up Trials

Have some ideas saved on your phone and done some research before going for your trials. The trials are a time to know what works for you and what does not.

3 months

  • Finalise menu and flowers
  • Order favours/gift bags
  • Buy wedding shoes and undergarments
  • Write your vows
  • Select your readings
  • Finalise your ceremony and reception order

2 months

  • Order/create guest place settings
  • Order/create menu cards
  • Order wedding stationery- table numbers/names, floor plan (seating chart), programme order, welcome signs and guest, guest book and gift box
  • Bridal shower/Hen party/Bachelorette party
  • Buy your small items- cake knife, cake stand, flower girl and page boy accessories, bridal party robes etc
  • Final dress fitting- go with your maid of honour and mother, or whoever who will be helping you dress on the day.

1 month

  • Meet with the Officiant
  • Send out final payments
  • Purchase thank you gifts for the bridal party
  • Give song selections to DJ
  • Create timeline of the day with wedding planner or coordinator

1 week to go

You have finally made it! Only one week to go and all is left is the itty bitty details:

  • Final visit to the venue with wedding planner or coordinator
  • Reconfirm arrival times with vendors with wedding planner or coordinator
  • Send a timeline of the day to the bridal party, make sure also that the wedding planner/coordinator has everyone important on the day (bridal party, parents of the bride and groom) numbers
  • Delegate small wedding day tasks to family and friends
  • Hair treatments
  • Manicure/pedicure and get your nails pretty.
  • Book a spa treatment or something fun before the big day
  • Pack your bags for the wedding day and honeymoon
  • Clean your ring so it is looking extra sparkly on the day- pay a visit to the jeweller.
  • Practice your vows
  • Break into your wedding shoes
  • Clear out your work responsibilities and focus on your wedding

The night before and the morning of

The night before

  • Eat a good healthy meal
  • You should have packed your wedding bag or suitcase (see above). Do not forget to pack things such as medication and survival items (things like needle and thread which your wedding coordinator/planner will also have) and put them all in the car.
  • Get a good night sleep

The morning of

  • Write your partner a note- it can be a text message, whatsapp or however you will like to communicate to your boo. Just something to let your other half know you cannot wait to be with them for the rest of your life.
  • Relax and stay away from stress for example my wedding coordinator took my phone away from me when she saw me on it.
  • Eat breakfast and drink lots of water. I was too nervous to eat and I only managed to eat an apple, I made sure my bridesmaids were eating with breakfast treats I had got for them.
  • The dress and veil to be taken out of bag or box
  • Lay out all your jewellery, perfume and shoes.
  • Thank everyone and be in a joyous mood- it is your wedding day, enjoy.

We have reached the end of my wedding checklist. Now darlings, it is not the be all and end all. Nor is it the ultimate must do wedding checklist. It is just my advice and advice that I have taken from others. This checklist is applicable to what I and many people in my culture describe as the ‘white wedding’. Though people usually have a 12-14 month engagement to plan, many also do not and have a short period of time to plan. You can squeeze in as many things in as you want in your time of planning.

And if you are a bride to be, Congrats darling! Enjoy the planning. If you are a former bride or a newlywed, do you not just miss it all? If you are single and wish to marry, take this all in-there is nothing better than a clued up, prepared and organised bride.

Stay Blessed x

What every Christian woman needs?

 

What does every Christian woman need? Firstly the bible of course, followed by prayer and faith. I also have two things that I believe every Christian woman needs:

  1. The power of a praying woman by Stormie Omartian
  2. The power of a praying wife by Stormie Omartian

what every christian woman needs

The power of a praying woman

This book by Stormie Omartian is for women looking to deepen their walk with Christ. The book covers walking close with God, forgiveness, taking control of your mind, walking in obedience, true worship and many more topics.

In the 30 chapters, Stormie shares her experiences in each chapter, giving us something to learn from and empathise with. It is much easier I believe to understand an experience when someone shares their story personally. It is almost like, ‘yes I have been there too, so you can also do it’. Stormie explains how she was unable to forgive her mother for childhood abuse and also her dad for staying silent. It was only until Christian therapy, that Stormie realised she had not forgived her father.

I also love the prayers at the end of each chapter, which comes along with bible verses based on the topic of the chapter.

The power of a praying wife

I got this book shortly after getting married and also brought the power of a praying husband for the hubby. This book is great for women who are getting married, want to get married or already married. Stormie shares her own personal experiences again, but this time in her marriage and how to stay prayed up in the marriage.

Like the power of a praying woman, there are prayers at the end of each chapter that are very useful and bible verses also.

I recommend this book to every married woman.

 

I hope to get Stormie’s other books too, as the ones I have blessed me so much.

Stay Blessed x

The end of an era- Karl Lagerfeld

 

Fashion Designer Karl Lagerfeld has died at the age of 85. Famous for his groundbreaking designs at Chanel and Fendi, died after a short illness today.

Designer Karl Lagerfeld at Milan Fashion Week in 2017

Picture source: Getty Images

Karl Lagerfeld was born Karl Otto Lagerfeldt in 1933 in Germany. He removed the ‘t’ from his surname as he believed it sounded more commercial. He moved to Paris when he was a teenager, then became a design assistant for the legendary designer Pierre Balmain. Lagerfeld then went on to work at Fendi and Chloe. He is most famous for being the Creative Director at Chanel in 1983, ten years after Chanel’s founder Coco Chanel died. Karl Lagerfeld is celebrated and will be revered forever for bringing back Chanel into the forefront of luxury fashion in the 80s. The iconic designer dressed celebrated figures like Princess Diana, Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Madonna, Keira Knightley, Jennifer Lopez and Kylie Minogue. He is most famous for updating and modernising the classic Chanel tweed suit. The fashion genius was uncompromising in his work which earned him the nickname ‘Kaiser Karl’. Lagerfeld took Coco Chanel’s fashion house and reinvented into his very own. In his book, The world according to Karl, he said “I do what she never did. I had to find my mark. I had to go from what Chanel was to what it should be, could be, what it had been to something else”. Karl Lagerfeld had his own era at Chanel and can be debated to be (in my opinion) as iconic as Coco Chanel herself.

Lagerfeld was also an accomplished photographer who had Andy Warhol and Helmut Lang as friends and was also early on the designer x high street collaborations with H&M. He also shot many of Chanel’s advertising campaigns himself and was a book publisher.

One of my favourite quotes from Karl Lagerfeld was, “I am very much down to earth. Just not on this earth”. This quote alone gives you a deep insight into his character and his views. He was a larger than life character, one with very strong views, at times extremely controversial. My favourite moment from Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, or moments shall I say were watching his collections at fashion week knowing that the set production designs were going to be better than the last. Who remembers when Karl Lagerfeld took us to Chanel’s supermarket during Paris Autumn/Winter 2014/15 fashion week? His set designs were literally works of art.

At the end of his career, Karl Lagerfeld was head of Chanel, Fendi & his own label. Though controversial for his remarks against celebrities such as Adele, his genius is unmatched. He will be remembered for his creative inventiveness but also his problematic remarks. Rest in Peace Lagerfeld. The end of the Lagerfeld Chanel era.

Back to the matter

Happy New Year! Are we still allowed to say Happy New Year? How long is it until you to decide to stop saying Happy New Year? For me it is until January is over, better late than never I say. Plus it has been forever and a day since I have posted, so a greeting is more than over due.

I had not posted mainly because I was inconsistent and did not want to post here or there. So I am back, back to the matter of blogging. As you know I love sharing my thoughts, views or simply sharing with you news that I love to talk about-fashion, politics, faith and so on ( a little bit of everything).

To start 2019 off, its a fashion post.

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I brought the pinstripe blazer from H&M in the sale at a bargin price, though I am trying to be smarter when it comes to buying, the blazer is a must have. Pinstripe blazers are classics, which can be worn over and over again-with jeans to make it casual or smart trousers for a SHE-E-O look.

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The mini bag is also a new buy, which I got for a wedding to match my dress (I can be extra). And I absolutely adore mini bags, it forces you to bring the necessities only. This is a struggle for me. I am the type to carry everything, for anything that may pop up and for any possible situation that may occur-plasters for paper cuts, antibacterial gel for my hands after a train ride and paracetamol for a headache after a long day. With this mini bag, I am just about able to carry my phone, my lipgloss and maybe my keys. There are cons to carrying a mini bag, but I do not see the mini/micro bag trend dying soon and plus its just cute.

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Before New Year I was getting the ‘Are you pregnant?’ question and my response has simply been ‘Darling, its fat and bloating’. I have been eating good for the past few months without caring. Sometimes its just nice to relax and not care about all the carbs you are eating. Now I am back on the matter and its goodbye oompa loompa and hey sexy 2019. You can even see I am doing the old trick of covering your belly with your hands. I am not even going to hide it, I am embracing it and doing something about it.

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Outfit details:

Blazer: H&M

Polo neck: Old

Skirt: ASOS (old)

Mini bag: ASOS

Shoes: Marks & Spencer

Earrings: Zara

Stay Blessed

x

The art of rewearing: How to repeat outfits and not get noticed?

 

Do you ever repeat an outfit Rae? This question is probably one of the most asked about me. Answer is yes, yes, yes and yes again.

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I believe in repeating outfits, whether its rewearing an outfit from a week ago, a top you wore months ago or a dress from a wedding last summer, repeating your clothes is the way forward (and the way to save your coins). Repeating an outfit without getting noticed is an art form. Why I say this is because when you are like me taking pictures all the time and the dress you wore last month is plastered all over Instagram, you think hmm can I really wear this again? The answer is yes. Plus there is no way I can afford to wear clothes once, hell to the no (I don’t have Beyonce schmoney….yet). Money should not only be the reason as to why you repeat your clothing, sometimes you just love that ASOS little Black dress with embellished sparkle and do not care if you have worn it a dozen times. Think about how much money you have spent on your wardrobe…actually let me rephrase this. I take clothing as an investment, some clothes and accessories I may spend more on because I see myself wearing it for a lifetime whilst others its a quick fix (a season or two). Clothes as anything else you spend on, will be a long term investment or a short term investment. So some clothes deserve to be worn more than once, twice….or fifty times e.g. your favourite pair of jeans.

I am going to give you 5 tips as to the art form of repeating outfits and not getting noticed. Grab a pen and take notes ladies:

P.S The pictures of me repeating the jumpsuit below are taken a year apart. Guess the most recent?

1. Switch it up

Its time to get creative. To make the outfit different to the last time you wore it, add a belt, change the necklace or wear a different pair of shoes.

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2. Layering

Layering outfits is an art form and at the same time it is a money saver. Firstly layering helps create unique looks and secondly it helps make use of all the clothes in your wardrobe. Got a jumpsuit like me and its slightly cold? Wear a t-shirt underneath. Or wear a shirt underneath, throw on a blazer perhaps or even a polo neck in the cold months. The options are endless. If you really wanted to go layer-crazy you could throw them all on. The first time I wore the jumpsuit below I wore it with a white shirt and a blazer jacket. There are no rules to layering, go ahead and layer-crazy.

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3) Know your audience

Went to a gathering last Friday? Going to dinner on Sunday? And will be with different people on both days? Go ahead and repeat the outfit. No one will see. You get my point, its fine to wear the same thing in a short period of time at different places with different people.

4) Change your hair and make up

Who is going to tell that you wore the dress two months ago when you have completely switched up your hair do and make up? Well if you are an observer like me, then maybe yes. If you had a ponytail with the first time you wore your outfit, wear your hair down the next time and the following time in a bun. Same applies with make up-a nude lip one day and then changing to a red lippie with the same outfit will transform it completely.

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5) Back to the Basics

It is easier to remember a bold print than a solid piece. Invest in lots of basics e.g. white t-shirts and jeans, then jazz it up however you want to.

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So there are my tips, there may be observers as I like to call them (I am one of them) that pays attention to everything and will notice one repeating their outfits. But who cares! Be creative, play the art of rewearing and save those coins.

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Outfit with white t-shirt:

T-shirt- H&M

Jewellery-Topshop

Shoes- Marks & Spencer

Bag- Marks & Spencer

Jumpsuit- Marks & Spencer

Outfit with blazer:

Blazer- Old

White Shirt-Old

Shoes-Dune

Bag- Therapy (House of Fraser)

Jumpsuit-Marks & Spencer

Stay Blessed

x

Womanhood at 20-something

 

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I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, a mentor, a mentee, employee, co-founder of a social enterprise and I also blog from time to time amongst other things. I am Rae Dosoo, a 20-something woman. But what am I outside these titles? Who am I without the things that these titles bring? If all these titles were to disappear, would I still be me without it?  Can you say who you are without referring to your titles?

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How do you find your womanhood as a 20-something juggling different ventures and hustles, discovering new paths, understanding others as well as yourself and still excepted to evolve into your roles as a woman? I know so many questions and so little answers. But that is alright, it is absolutely fine. It is okay to not know it all and have it all. I am the type of person wants to do everything and learn everything. However as much as I try to, it is not possible to do so. There is only so much you can do in 24 hours for yourself and then it gets harder once you add the titles you have. Someone I really really really admire told me that doing it all, you will crash and burn. She also told me trying to live up to the expectations of the titles you have or titles you want, you will never ever be you.  A good sister-friend of mine posted a touching instagram picture and one thing touched me that she said “…what really defines us through it all is our attitude and character”. Let who you are drive you and not the titles bestowed upon you. You are a FRIEND because you are loving, You are a BUSINESS OWNER because you are entrepreneurial, You are a MENTOR because you are caring, You are a MENTEE because you love to learn and You are an EMPLOYEE because you are hard-working. Your job can be taken away and who are you after that? Are you still the go-getter, hard working and resilient person that you once were when you had the job?  You could lose all your friends but are you going to lose all the love you have? When trying to seek who you are behind all the pomp and glitz, ask who am I truly?

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Let’s talk about expectations. There will always be an expectation with everything you do and every role you carry out. As you are x, you must do x and because you are from x you will go to x. Not every expectation that the titles bring for example being a daughter, friend, partner or a girlfriend will you fulfil every expectation that the other person in the relationship will have for you. You are bound to disappoint someone’s expectations and your very own. The person I really really really admire told me as well to take out some out for yourself, so you realise that not only can you always carry out every expectation but some roles that you carry will have to come first at times. So for example your friends and family may not see you for a while because you are busy at work or working to progress further in your career or your studies-whatever the case may be. This does not mean you are less of a daughter, less of a friend, less of a sister, less of a partner or less of a girlfriend. It just means you are prioritising. Those around will understand if you cannot be there every time for whatever reason, but you can be there in other ways. And please express this! Let your people know that you may be ‘ghosting’ or you have to take time out.  This means you are managing the expectations they have of you and your very own.

You have the power to design and choose how you wish your womanhood to be. Define your own womanhood at 20-something. You cannot let the pressures of the titles that you have given yourself or others have placed on you to forget who you really are.

I wouldn’t be me without adding a recent OOTD. Enjoy!

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Outfit Details:

Top-Marks & Spencer

Trousers- Can’t remember where they are from. Sorry

Shoes- Russell & Bromley

Jewellery- Topshop

Bag- Marks and Spencer

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Stay Blessed

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To The Left

 

To the left, to the left everything you own in a box to the left…

What does Beyonce have in common with Bernie and Jeremy? They all are not afraid of shifting people to the left.

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Whilst Beyonce was singing about sending a man packing “everything you own in the to box to the left”, Corbyn and Sanders have always had a different “left” on their minds which is moving the political landscape to the left.

With recent political events such as Brexit, Trump becoming President, the rise and fall of Le Pen in France it appears that politics has turned all the way right. However there is not one sole reason as to these events, issues such as Brexit are multi faceted and not everyone who voted to leave the EU would consider themselves as right-wingers. Political commentators have been discussing the emergence of right, but what about the left? There has been a talk of ‘the left being dead’, after the American elections last year and from the Tories winning with a majority in the general election 2015. There were questions as to why both Labour and the Democrats, who had enjoyed power for a period of time were losing support from their core members. Both parties had taken their core support for granted in recent elections.Bernie Sanders, ‘America’s Jeremy Corbyn’ and his equivalent ‘Britain’s Bernie’ both have tried to address these issues and to engage with those who their parties had left behind.

Is ‘Bernie’ Jeremy and is Bernie ‘Jeremy’ ?

Both Bernie and Jeremy have lead anti-establishment campaigns in the hope of convincing the the working class, the average Joe, minorities, the young and women; that their left-wing movement is the best political choice to make. There are striking similarities between the men, they both have opposed inequality and their theme is redistribution of wealth and income from the very few to the majority. Additionally, both men though old have been able to connect with the young (Sanders is 75 and Corbyn is 68) which is something that the other politicians on their election campaigns could not do. They both have offered policies that are appealing to the young e.g. Labour promising to abolish university tuition fees during the recent election and Sanders’ plan to make tuition and fees free at public colleges and universities.  They also both know how to run effective social media campaigns, you only have to look at how their supporters rallied around  #FeeltheBern and #JezWeCan. A difference to point out is that Sanders is not a party politician, he was the first independent to be elected in the US House of Representatives in 40 years and Corbyn has always been a party man (this can point be debated with his voting record with Labour).

During the general election, Bernie Sanders praised Corbyn’s campaign and his efforts to reshape Labour and the UK. He shared his commonalities with Corbyn and said,  “What has impressed me-and there is a real similarity between what has he done and what I did-is he has taken on the establishment of the Labour party, he has gone to the grassroots and he has tried to transform that party…and that is exactly what I am trying to do”. He further added that he was impressed by Corbyn’s willingness to speak about class issues that affect not only the UK and America but the world.

Have they moved ‘everyone to the left’ ?

Sanders and Corbyn have a lot in common as discussed above, but has their anti-establishment movement resonated with the majority? Have they shifted everyone to the left or will Bernie and Jeremy have to pack their political boxes to the left?

Let’s talk about Bernie.

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According to Morning Consult’s poll, Mr Sanders is here to stay. A poll released on July 11 Senator Bernie Sanders was the most popular politician in the Senate with a 75% approval rating. In like manner, Fox News conducted a poll in April and found Sanders was the highest favourable politician at 61%. In addition, PolitiFact supported the claim Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in the United States even though he lost to Hillary Clinton. This evidence supports the argument that Bernie Sanders along with his views and policy proposals are liked and supported by the American people. In March, Bernie told a crowd in ‘Trump Country’ West Virginia that “healthcare was a right” and this was met with a round of applause. Bernie spoke to Trump supporters in a rural town hall on a number of topics like climate change, healthcare, free higher education and this was met with warm reception. This demonstrates the ‘Bernie effect’- he has been able to speak on issues that everyday people care about. This also supports the notion that the country is moving towards the left and more are open to progressive policies. In a June poll by USA Today found that only 12%  of Americans support the Senate Republican health care plan. Sanders remarks at the NAACP convention that the Republican’s healthcare “…legislation is overwhelmingly opposed by the American people” reflects USA’s Today’s findings.

Though he is loved by his supporters, the love is not the same within the Democratic Party. Following Clinton’s loss to Trump, Bernie Sanders has lead the resistance in the Democratic Party by pushing for progressive reform in the party and rallying against the Republicans’ health care plan. Some within the party are critical of Sanders policies and have opposed his plans for example Bernie’s medicare plans. This fall out has lead to cases where there has been in fighting between the two factions within Democrats at state level. So, has everyone moved left in the Democratic Party? A majority of the Democrats in the Senate did back Bernie’s bill that would raise the federal minimum wage in contrast to $15 in contrast to in 2015 when he introduced it only 5 senators supported it. Leading Democrat Senators such as Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker have all expressed their support for ‘Medicare-for-all’. This highlights the clear shift within the party, when only in 2016 last year Hillary Clinton said single-payer “will never, ever come to pass”. Polls have now showed that there is an increase of 19% of Democrats who want to see a single-payer system . In this poll by Pew Research Center 60% of Americans believe the federal government is responsible for covering healthcare for all. Even now 33% favour a single-payer system to health insurance, which is up 5% since January of this year and 12% since 2014.

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There is now more support than ever for single health insurance run by the government rather than a mix of private companies and government initiatives. The Democrat party needs to now get behind Sanders and his new way of doing politics, otherwise they will be in disarray again in the upcoming mid-term elections and in 2020. Voters have taken a liken to Sanders’  sincere engagement in politics and how he reaches out to everyone. This is a strategy that all Democrats should seek to learn from to differentiate themselves from the Republicans.

There are claims that Bernie is to run again in 2020 however he has said that it is “too early” to talk about. Donald Trump, would lose in 2020 if Bernie Sanders was to run according to Public Policy Polling. Trump would lose to Bernie by a 52-39 margin (poll also showed Trump would lose Joe Biden by a greater margin and a 7 point margin margin by Elizabeth Warren). Just like Trump, Bernie is an outsider  to the ‘establishment’ as an independent senator. This is to his advantage as he has and will continue to gain popularity with those who feel underrepresented by the Democrats and the Republicans. Sanders’ popularity driven by activism, is another similarity shared with Jeremy Corbyn. The left is not dead in America folks, its a new left, a left that rejected Hillary and a left that focuses on those left behind. Its Bernie’s Left.

Let’s talk about Jeremy.

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We know how Corbyn has faced criticism from his peers across other parties but also within Labour and at times his own Shadow Cabinet. Following the general election, his popularity has surged with a poll conducted shortly after the election showing Labour five points ahead of the Tories at 46%. It also showed Theresa May approval rating had gone down by minus 17 and in contrast Corbyn had gained 17 points. Jeremy Corbyn surprised all political commentators by gaining 34 seats including constituencies Kensington and Chelsea and Canterbury which were under the Tories previously.  The Labour leader benefited from the youth vote and his policies that connected with the general public. In a recent poll by the Evening Standard , Jeremy Corbyn has taken his best ever rating and overtaken Theresa May. Forty-four per cent of adults are satisfied with Corbyn compared to May’s 34% and  her government’s 28%. This poll highlights the strong dissatisfaction with May and is the lowest rating for any modern-day Prime Minister after an election. It also shows that Theresa May has become more unpopular than the early days of Corbyn’s Labour leadership. This all demonstrates that there has been a shift in the left but to what extent? Is it only because of the poor performance of May during the election campaign and dislike for the government’s policies for example its refusal to raise public sector wages? We will only truly know if there was to be another election and then can observe whether his popularity will translate into votes. Also, maybe we will see whether that has been a true shift to the left in Labour and the general public has taken place if May was to resign with a more popular Tory to replace her.

Bernie and Jeremy have not been afraid to move everyone to the left, whether its within the party they represent or the general public. It can clearly be seen that that there has been a strong shift towards their views with more supporting their policies and ideas. However politics is cyclical, all it takes is one event to shift the conversation back towards the right again. For now Bernie and Jeremy can keep their boxes in and press forward to the left.

 

Images: Channel 4 News/Youtube , Pew Research Center , BBC , CNN

Stay Blessed

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Balenciaga, Balenciaga, Balenciaga

What does 2 Chainz and Molly Goddard have in common? An appreciation for all things Balenciaga. From music to fashion there is a deep respect and admiration for one of the most influential and important designers of the century, “the designer’s designer”, Cristobal Balenciaga.

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I recently went to the “Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion” exhibition at Victoria & Albert Museum, showcasing over hundred couture pieces created by the mastermind himself. The exhibition also displayed his influence on fashion, from his protégées to contemporary fashion designers.

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Cristobal Balenciaga was born in Getaria, Gipuzoka (a Basque province) in Spain on January 21 1985. His mother was a seamstress and he learned the trade by spending time with her whilst she worked. He became a tailor apprentice at the age of 12 and was sent to Madrid by his patron where he started his formal training as a tailor. Balenciaga is celebrated as one of the very few designers who who not only designed but used his hands to cut and sew. Referred to as “the master of us all” by Christian Dior, and the ‘King of Fashion’ his talent is treasured still today. His skills gave me an edge over other designers, making him popular with the ‘it crowd’ of his time. He was famous for his structural designs and reshaping the women’s silhouette in the 50s (to the point many dresses in the 50s were dilutions of his designs).

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Balenciaga built his career first in Spain, by opening a boutique in Madrid and then the fashionable seaside resort of San Sebastian. His designs were favoured by the Spanish elite, from the royal family to the Spanish aristocracy. After the Spanish civil war, Balenciaga decided to move his business to Paris, the fashion capital of the world. In August 1937 he put on his first runway show at his Avenue George Atelier, showing a collection heavily influenced by the Spanish Renaissance. Balenciaga incorporated influences from the Catholic church and from periods in European history to his designs.

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The exhibition was split into two sections, one looks at his garments and the second section which is separated by stairs shows the impact he has had on contemporary fashion designers.

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One thing I have noticed about Balenciaga’s work was how timeless his pieces are. You could totally have rocked his clothes made from the 40s, 50s, 60s and wear it today (even in 50 years it will still be wearable). The way he was able to capture all elements of femininity, elegance, grace and at the same time he was experimental and innovative.

This has gone on to influence many designers which is displayed in the second phase of the exhibition.

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I would definitely recommend everyone to go and see the exhibition. It completely blew my mind how every garment Balenciaga created had an extensive thought process. His artistry is flawless and my admiration for him has grown even more after going to the exhibition. If you only look at his protégées, who were under his wing, he deservedly owns the title of ‘Master of Couture’ (and no one yet has beat him in my opinion). Oscar de la Renta, Andre Courreges, Emaunel Ungaro and Hubert De Givenchy-were all his protégées- went on to build successful couture houses this therefore highlighting the greatness of Cristobal Balenciaga.

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For more information, please see the V&A Website here: Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion at the V&A

Enjoy some more pictures that I took of the exhibition below:

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Stay blessed

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Ladies get into formation- The power of friendship #raeturns24

 

In between getting my girls into formation (by know you know that I am a fan of the Knowles family) and eating my Singapore noodles with sweet and sour pork at Grand Imperial London, it was reaffirmed that my friends are the ish.

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I like to observe  people (I like to think it as one of my gifts lol), so I often sit back in silence and study people’s behaviour. If you catch me being quiet (when I am around my friends which is never ever), I am taking notes in my head. What I noticed on this day was my friends at the table were getting along with each other so well as if they had known each other for years. Some of them it was their first time meeting each other and some first time seeing each other in a year (from my birthday lunch last year). It just goes to show what an amazing bunch of girls I have, they come from different walks in life and different stages in my life.

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(23 Birthday Pics taken with iPhone and Samsung)

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I am very appreciative of my girlfriends, some pictured and some not. They have helped me through the good and the bad. My highlight of my birthday was seeing this and realising this, for this I am thankful.

I was stressed out during the time of planning my birthday activities, yes waterworks came and went. Plans sprung up and then they failed I was all ready to give up, “It is only 24, I cannot be bothered” but then my friends forced me to do something. It makes me think when it comes to wedding planning what will I do, if small small 24 birthday planning I am doing Amazon river tears . I guess that’s when the wedding planner steps in eyy.

Why I think friends are important?

1. Support– Your friends will be your biggest cheerleaders, support your ideas and dreams. Encourage and motivate you to be the best you can be.

2. Laughter is good for the soul- Who else are you going to be catching jokes with uncontrollably, often at the most silliest of things?

3. Growth– Your friends will help you point out your faults, offer constructive criticism, keep it real with you when no one else will, tell you what you are doing right.

Have a read here where I talk about more about the power of friendship

Enjoy the rest of the birthday mixtape:

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P.S Thank you to my girls who went through the impromptu birthday photoshoot with me. I have always wanted a formation picture and thought this would be the perfect opportunity. Looking forward to year of 25 and #Raeand…19 #Meetthe….19 where we will capture even more friendship memories 🙂

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Stay Blessed

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