Fashion

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

x

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

x

24 – 7 things I learnt at 23

So it is my birthday. Yes, I am 24 (woop woop!) and I have decided to share seven things I have learnt this past year as well sharing an outfit post.

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1) Stepping outside the comfort zone

The year of 23 forced me to be uncomfortable, in other words I had to step outside of my comfort zone. I usually stick to what I know for example the same old meal at Nandos-half chicken and two sides of peri peri chips with perinaise and if I am feeling cheeky a wrap instead of half chicken. As I am sure with you all, you have your routine and patterns that you stick to and find it hard to go against what you are familiar with. We find it hard because it is natural to want to have a sense of security and certainty in life. Coming out of your comfort zone opens you up to risks and the possibility of stress, so we just crawl back to the box that we feel comfortable in to avoid the fear of the unknown.  I decided in the year of 23 things have to change…Rae try something new. For some things it meant going in a whole new direction, for some changing my strategy and doing things I would not usually do. For example all of my friends know how I have a slight technology struggle (a good family friend was shocked to see me with a Samsung Galaxy S7 edge and joked that I need the good old Nokia brick phone ), so I decided to learn ways of using new technologies. Who knows I may even join snapchat in the year of 24? This is very unlikely but who knows. I even recently decided to get some colour in my hair. This is the first time ever that I have gone out of my hair comfort zone-colour 1b-and I love it. I do stray to colour 33, for the braids but only braids.  I even want to try a short dark blonde pixie cut!

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Why go out of your comfort zone?

  • Pushes you to achieve your goals-being uncomfortable forces you to step out and be brave
  • Growth– the challenges and the risks that comes with getting out of your comfort zone will stretch you and push you forward

2) I am the bomb.com

May your highlight shine bright, contour be strong and believe in your slay sis.

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Sometimes life’s difficulties makes it hard for you to believe in your accomplishments and what you have achieved. I will not lie, I am extremely tough on myself and find it hard at times to appreciate my journey. However, someone once told me that ‘there are people who love to be in your position’. I screamed ‘Me, ME, MEEEEEE’… ‘Why would anyone want to be in my position?’ Then people will remind you of what you have done, ‘You have done x, y and z’. I have learnt in the year of 23 not to wait to hear someone tell me that I am the bomb.com. Yes, I still moan and probably will for a while. It is still a learning process for me. Just last week I was having a conversation with my best friend and she told me off for it. So I took out time to write out a list of things that I am most proud of and what I love about me. One thing that struck me is that the journey I am on has made me the individual I am and the person I will continue to be and for this I appreciate it all. You cannot be the bomb.com without overcoming hurdles and challenges. Do not hate the grind, own it and appreciate it. So with this in mind, like Beyonce said ‘I see it, I want it…I dream it, I work hard, I grind till I own it…I slay, hey, I slay’.

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3) Fellowship

I am part of a fellowship where we meet once a month and discuss the word of God. What I love about our fellowship is that it easy to be open and transparent. A member of our fellowship group sent me a voicenote prayer and I was so moved by it. Fellowship is more than just a catch up over doughnuts and talking on occasion about Jesus. What I have learnt in the year of 23, is that the purpose of fellowship are one to share things together and second be there for one another spiritually and physically.

Follow Ladies who Fellowship in the City on Twitter: @LWFITC , on Instagram: @ladieswhofellowship , on Facebook: ladieswhofellowship  and website ladieswhofellowship.com/

4) Life is too short

As cliché as it sounds, it is true-life is too short. Enjoy life, buy those shoes that you have been eyeing for a while.

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5) Take time out

This is one thing that I really wanted to implement in the year of 23, to take time out for myself. Whether its reading a new book, or trying out a new restaurant it is really important to take time away from your routine.

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6) Resilience

The definitions of resilience:

1) ‘the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness’

2) ‘the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity’

Not today, Satan, not today!

One of the lessons I learnt in the year from 23, is to never let a setback to hold you for too long.

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7) God is everything

I knew this before, but he has proven it even more in the year of 23.

What I was wearing:

You all know by now, I love all things M&S-some things are really cute and not everything there is ‘granny’. You can transform a dress, or a shirt for example by the way you style it (this is a blog post for another day).

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Here are the details:

Dress: Marks and Spencer

Leather Jacket-Marks and Spencer

Corset Belt: Vintage (Have a read of a post where I was talking about corsets)

Shoes- Marks and Spencer

Earrings: Topshop

Bag: Marks and Spencer

Hair: Pride and Prestige Hair

Stay Blessed

x

The year of corset

One of the biggest trends for A/W 2016-17 was the corset trend. The corset in the 1800s was originally worn to reduce the waist, to enhance bust and hips and to make a fashionable silhouette. It has a history of 350 years before the 1800s and it has been attributed to Catherine de’ Medici, the wife of King Henry of France. The corset has undergone many changes since then and has evolved to a garment whereby it may mimic the traditional look but does not change the shape of the body. The corset in the 1800s was associated with femininity and now its back for aesthetic and style purposes.

It is now being worn in different ways, over baggy dresses and t-shirts, coats or full on corset dresses. No longer do you have suck in, worry about your organs crushing, its now a nice addition to your jumper or shirt.

Sere how I have worn the corset trend:

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The corset is an oldie from Zara, a couple of seasons ago.

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The corset was at the centre of Miuccia Prada’s Autumn 2016 show, the designer pretty much layered the corset over everything, from wool coats to jacquard dresses.

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Celebrities who have been crushing over the return of the corset include Kim Kardashian West, Gigi Hadid, Hailey Baldwin, Rihanna, Kylie and Kendall Jenner.

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Gigi Hadid

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Rihanna

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Kylie Jenner

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Kendall Jenner

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I apologise about my shoes not being tied, *sighs*.

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Outfit details:

Corset-Zara

Culottes- Marks and Spencer

Shoes- Kurt Geiger

Bag-Marks and Spencer

Choker- Topshop

 

Images: Me, me, me (renaissanceideal.com), www.vogue.co.uk , www.glamourmagazine.co.uk and www.elleuk.com

Stay Blessed x

All Shades Of Red

 

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An almost monochromatic look-I was battling on whether I should wear red trousers and I thought it would be way too much. Way too much! So I decided on a pair of flirty culottes I brought in the ASOS sale during the Christmas holidays.

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Do you have items of clothing that you just avoid? Bootcut jeans? Leggings? Jumpsuits? Mine, until recently was culottes. I felt that culottes did not suit my petite frame but I have found a couple that I love.

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Every now and then, I switch it up from my trusted studs. I should wear big earrings more often but I just have this fear that it will get caught onto something and my ears will fall off. Don’t ask me how this fear began, I do not have the answer.

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Here are more pictures of the outfit below:

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Outfit Details:

Polo neck- Marks & Spencer

Culottes- ASOS

Boots- Kurt Geiger

Bag-Chanel

Earrings-Topshop

 

  Stay Blessed! x

Smokey Roses

 

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Embroidery has made its comeback and is one of the biggest trends of Autumn 2016-17. Designers have added embroidery designs over shirts, jeans, dresses, tops, shoes and even handbags. Embroidery can be seen throughout Gucci’s Autumn collection, with Alessandro Michele as creative director Gucci has once again become fashion’s ‘it’ label. From Gucci’s coveted denim jackets to its embroidered and appliquéd Dionysus handbags, the Italian luxury house has grown to new strengths with the high street following in its foot steps.

Embroidery can be seen on the high street from pinstriped shirts as seen here with my outfit to bomber jackets and boyfriend jeans.

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I was reading an article on a fashion and lifestyle website that was giving tips on how to wear clothing with embroidery, it said that whenever you wear an embroidered piece the rest of the outfit has to be simple. I disagree! You know me I am a playful conservative (talking about clothing here…not politics). I always like to make my looks interesting, whether its playing with different textures or styles. Here I matched it to a skirt with frills-the weather was dull enough my outfit can’t be boring too!

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I adore Solange and her style, her hair looks for her album ‘A seat at the table’ was beautiful. Her album cover reminded me of the 90s when as kids we would put so many clips in our hair and we thought it was so cool. Well, I did anyway. My brother hates me reviving my 90s obsession with hair clips, but hey ho I like it. Plus its so useful, if you you have unwanted flyaway hair and you cannot be bothered with hairspray or gel.

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And I know you are probably tired of seeing these heels of mine, I wear them all the time-spring, summer, autumn and winter. Rain or Sun-I have them on. They go with everything and I love them.

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Outfit details:

Pinstriped Shirt with Embroidery Details- Marks & Spencer (Limited Collection)

Frilled Skirt-ASOS

Bag- Marks & Spencer

Shoes-Marks & Spencer

Hair clips- H&M

Stay Blessed x

Look over your shoulder

There is nothing to be alarmed or frightened about I am talking about one of the season’s hottest trends, the off-the-shoulder silhouette. It brings attention to the shoulders without showing too much off.  Its flirty, its cute yet grown up, its sexy but not attention grabbing.

What I love about off- the- shoulder trend, is that depending on the style it hides the food belly. And it is so versatile you can dress it up, you can dress it down-there is no limits on how to style it.

Here is how I have styled it:

Outfit 1

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I adore these glass-heeled sandals, I think they are my most worn shoes.

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Lets get it right. The off-the-shoulder didn’t just pop up in 2016, it made an appearance in Summer 2015. In fact the off-the-shoulder trend has been on and off since the 1800s, Brigitte Bardot made it famous in the 60s and I love how fashion’s it girl, Olivia Palermo’s voluminous ruffled off-the-shoulder-tops.

Outfit 2

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My mum made this off-the-shoulder top for me.

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These pictures were all taken with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (I did not have the canon out with me), the camera on this phone is super-duper I tell you.

Outfit details

Outfit 1

Top-H&M

Skirt-Marks & Spencer

Choker-Topshop

Shoes-Marks & Spencer

Outfit 2

Top-Made my mum

Skirt-Look above

Choker-Topshop

Earrings-Topshop

Shoes-Kurt Geiger

Bag-Kurt Geiger

Stay Blessed x

Roll n Lace

Happy Sunday! Hope you all have had a great weekend. It was my brothers birthday this weekend (they are twins) they are 18! I am so proud of them and how far they have come. They have a blog focused on men’s fashion, check it out here www.uptothepoint.wordpress.com.

My outfit today was mixing old and new. The polo neck, dress and stole are new, the coat and the shoes are all old. I love this dress, in my mind already I have got an idea how I will wear it next time. I could wear it to a wedding on its own- the style on the back of the dress is cute.

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What I wore:

Leather Coat-Vintage

Polo Neck- Marks & Spencer

Dress- Marks & Spencer

Stole- Marks & Spencer

Shoes- Russell & Bromley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay Blessed

x

Suede Shearling

The 70s is one of the biggest trends this A/W 2015-16 season. One of the key pieces making waves, is the shearling coat. The shearling coat comes in different colours, textures-many stores and designers have got a shearling coat in their 2015-16 collection.

When I first tried on my suede shearling coat on, I told my mum I felt like I was going to Antarctica (because of the warmth and length of the coat) and a woman nearby laughed. The coat is snug, covers me up well and it is so so so warm. It is a coat for bitter cold temperatures. When I first wore it was not that cold but because I love it so much (and I wanted to do styles haha) I wore it immediately.

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I brought the coat from Marks & Spencer (click here to buy), from the Winter Sale which is still going on now. One thing I must draw your attention to is the length of the coat. On the model the coat appears to be shorter. If you are short like me, I would advise you to go in store if you can and try it on before making your final decision.

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From L-R:
Stay Blessed x

Dashiki Reflections

This is not going to be one of my usual fashion posts where I will be talking about the outfit alone. I want to discuss a little about the outfit and much more on 2015.

I wore this dashiki dress in the summer, I was not going to post it but my dear sister-friend convinced me to put it up. Summer time is my favourite time of the year, I love the weather and you can wear more interesting and colourful things (you already know how I love colour and lots of it). I wore this dress before actually way back in sixth form, during a Black History Month event that I was involved in, so to my brothers who think I copied them, lies you tell twinnies.  Please do follow and check out their blog www.uptothepoint.wordpress.com

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Outfit:

Dashiki dress- Made in Ghana

Wedges- Dune

Necklace- Wallis

Bangle- John Lewis

Bag- Modalu

Looking at the pictures again made me reflect on the year 2015. This year has been an interesting one, a mix of highs and lows. Through it all, one thing that I am most thankful for is growth. I am not where I was last year, I have grown in certain areas of my life. Firstly my walk with Christ has grown and matured, I am not where I used to be in 2014. At the beginning of this year I said to God, I want more of him. I was tired of just receiving the word from other people, waiting for encouragement from others and wanted to have a personal relationship with him. Secondly, my friendships and relationships have grown. Growth in friendships does not just mean you increasing your friendship group, it means bettering individual friendships and also allowing people into your life who are positive .This year I met someone and within three months we became so close. I truly believe God put her in my life, because at that time I was praying about something and when she walked into my life she answered my prayer with one bible verse. Why I say God put her in my life is because at that particular time I felt like God was not listening to me and she gave me a bible verse to mediate on. She had no clue that the verse she gave me was the answer to my prayer until later on.  Additionally, this year some people that I have known for a while have been cut off (not necessarily drama)  just some people are there for a certain time and you move on.

Thirdly, I learned this year that a ‘private life is a happy life’. I have always been private and will continue to be so. I do not like letting the whole world know my business and in particular in 2015 learnt not everything that happens in your life needs to be told. This relates to the first growth point, this year God told me to stop running to people when I was always disappointed or when I was rejoicing. There were times when I would pick the phone up and dial the number he would say,  ‘Rae put the phone down and speak to me first’. The first person I have learned to run to is God with everything and as the song says ‘Jesus be the center of it all’. This does not mean that you should keep everything to yourself, it is just striking that important balance. It depends on the type of person you are, some are extremely private and some blab out everything- its important to find the middle ground

Fourthly this year, I have learned to ‘launch out’. Many of us have wonderful ideas and visions, but because of fear we hold ourselves back. Late this year, I told myself I will no longer do to that myself. I am going to live life in such a way, that if I have an idea I will set out to do it. I encourage all that if you have been thinking about a venture you want to get into, or a new career or to set up a business or whatever it may be do it! Don’t wait for others to give you the go ahead otherwise you will be waiting forever. Many of us are sitting on ideas that could potentially be great but I encourage you to look into your hands. Ask yourself what are these hands good at doing? Are your hands good at drawing? Use that artistic ability. Are your hands good at writing? Use that creative ability.

What for 2016?

This time next year I will be reflecting back on the year and thinking of what I have done, what I achieved and what I could do better. I think reviewing yourself is so important, it gives you a fresh mind and the urge to do better. However do not wait to the end of the year to review yourself, you can have reviews throughout the year.

What to expect from the blog in 2016? More great posts on fashion, faith, politics, law, business, art etc. There will be a post a week (sometimes more than one). With the fashion posts expect more than ‘what am I wearing posts’ or ‘OOTDs’.  I love discussing with friends the history behind fashion and the business of fashion, so I will be writing more posts on that. This goes with other blog posts too.

Stay Blessed x