Feature image: Source: @zaakiyahbhika on Instagram

This week my #WCW goes out to an incredibly smart young woman who completely shatters the idea that women in fashion are well-dress she-devils. She’s a fashion buyer in training at the Edcon Retail Academy, a yoga teacher and very dear friend of mine.

Here’s a little bit more about this week’s fashion guru.

Source: @zaakiyahbhikha on Instagram

Where did your fashion career officially begin?

 

“It began in 2014 at LISOF where I majored in Buying and Merchandising, Merchandise Mathematics, Marketing and Trend Analysis. I then completed my honours in Sustainable Design at the University of Johannesburg in 2017. I am currently completing my masters in the digital sphere.”

Do you have a favourite trend right now and if so what is it?

 

“I don’t really have a favourite trend at the moment. I never really follow trends unless I believe in them. I believe that we shouldn’t merely buy into the things that we see because all we’re doing is perpetuating a culture of consumerism and instant gratification. When I do however choose to support a trend, it has to be in line with my values and who I am as individual.”

 

What do you love the most about working in the fashion industry?

 

“I love the constant change and its fast paced nature; there’s never a routine. I enjoy learning about consumer behaviour and how it affects trends, range building and fashion forecasts.”

 

Describe your ideal job

 

“When I started studying, the end goal was always buying but now, I envision a title cross in digital marketing and buying. I also love helping people and growing with them, so my dream job definitely needs to be combination of something that I love and a hobby that I enjoy.”

Source: @zaakiyahbhika on Instagram

When you are confronted with the choice between leopard print and snakeskin, which print wins?

 

 

“Leopard is timeless but this season snake is a massive trend across apparel and footwear and I love it.”

 

Since Jo’burg is your home, where are your favourite places to hang out?

 

“Anywhere with good design, ambience and delicious dessert. I went vegan last year so that’s got me exploring more food options. I am sometimes called the human Zomato so from me to you, here are some stand out spots around this city;

Vegan Connection Market

Fussy Vegan

Iris Garden in Rivonia

Coalition for the best margarita pizza

Keyes Art Mile for the art and food.

How did your fitness journey lead you to teaching yoga?

 

 

“My mom introduced me to yoga when I was twelve. When I decided to take my fitness seriously, yoga was a tool that helped me connect my mind and body. The practise has allowed me to look into myself, love and appreciate my life. Yoga has been a huge support and motivator for me.’’

Source: @zaakiyahbhika on Instagram

Where did you complete your teacher training?

 

“I completed my 200 yoga teacher training hours with Tegan Burger at Tegan B Yoga. It was important to find and work with somebody that I could relate to.”

Where and when can people join your classes?

 

 

Vibrant Vinyasa on Sunday at 8:00

Alternating Thursday at Prima Fitness

People can also follow me on Instagram @zaakiyahbhika

 

Hair Clips

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10/10 copy pasting @fannyekstrand

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Scrunchies and Head Scarves

Shells, beads and mega perspex 

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🐚🐚🐚

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Feature image: Pantone on Instagram

It’s from the sweet calming tones that lie beneath the surface of the sea where Pantone, the Colour Institute draws its inspiration for 2019. This year the colour that is forecasted to dominate both design and fashion spaces is known as Pantone 16-1546, Living Coral.

This shade of peachy pink which offers a lighter feeling than last year’s Pantone 18-3838 Ultra Violet is a flirty pink that almost anyone can embrace.

And since, we’ll be seeing more of this colour throughout 2019, here are some ways to make it work perfectly for you.

Florals and easy flow: You may find yourself ahead of the curve if you’re heavily into combos of peachy pink and florals and if you’re keen on going deeper, explore ruffles and soft satin pieces this season.

In the mix with metallics and deets: It’s easy to love a colour that partners well with others especially striking metallics and earthy tones. Add gold, silver and bronze to your coral ensembles.

Tonal: Keep it solid in monochrome or get creative with your layering by adding darker shades of pink or peach to your look because it only gets better with more colour.

 

With Valentine’s day less than a week away, it’s probably a good time to start thinking about date night and cute gifts for bae, future wife or just yourself.

Source: Giphy

Here’s a list of gift ideas as well as items to set the mood for this coming V-day.

Crystal Clear masks, Maskeraide at Superbalist, R120
Waxfill Candle, MRP Home, R99.99

 

Multi frame, MRP Home, R199
Go 2 portable speaker, JBL at Superbalist, R599
Marc Jacobs fragrance, Superbalist, R809
Printed beach bag, MRP, R259
Casio digital watch, Casio at Superbalist, R1999
Metal phone ring, Typo at Superbalist, R99

Is dedicated my grandmother, Bertha Sizakele Msengana, who is my mom’s mother and the only biological grandparent I’ve known.

She would have been 105 this year on the 7th of July.

I was 16 years old when she passed away and although I was a few years away from adulthood, I didn’t fully understand the concept of death or what her absence would mean for our family.

I do remember my grandmother as the most loving, gentle, strong, extremely decisive, faithful and faith-filled woman in our lives. I only have a few memories of my visits to her house because there was something so powerfully soothing about her home that knocked me out almost every single time.

Last week, while cleaning up, I  came across a picture of the younger version of her that I wish I had known. My mother tells me that this picture was captured during a time where she was working in a clothing factory by day and running her curtain making business by night. From what my mom shares, my grandmother had an incredible work ethic and the best sense of style in all our family.

My grandmother on the left with a colleague.

As I look back to the time I had with my grandmother, I wish my younger self was better at asking her more insightful questions about her life, what she loved, her career in fashion and her entrepreneurial ventures.

Although, I will never get all my questions answered about her, I am grateful for what my grandmother has left behind in spirit, in memory and of course the dresses and accessories she hand made for me and left for us. I’m grateful that because of her, I had the courage to pursue a career in fashion.

I’m eternally grateful for such a wonderful example.

 

And the lessons I am learning through it…

Every black woman who is at the age to articulate her feelings has a story about her hair. Some love and celebrate theirs while others hate it. Many hide it, while others fearlessly flaut theirs and others prefer no hair at all. Sometimes it boils down to choice and other times it’s not so simple.

However, as I grow I am learning to appreciate that our hair is glorious, in all it’s textures, shades, lengths and styles. I never always felt this way about my hair, as the maintenance of it didn’t always feel pleasant. If it wasn’t my mother squeezing my 5 year old self between her legs to start my weekly protective do for school, it was the relaxer that was always very unkind to my scalp, or worse still, the heaviness of my head after a 6 hour stretch of braiding at the salon or even a burnt ear or two from the hot comb. Seriously, the list of injuries and horror stories is too long to recount.

As a result, at age 19, I decided that the work required to grow my hair and keep it looking decent was far too much for me  and so I decided to chop it and keep it at a length which only required washing once a week, moisturizing every other day and painful but regular combing.

After 5 years, I decided to give the hair growth journey another go and here I am today, with a healthy little afro which would never have made it without the dedicated hands of my mother, barber and stylists.

Anyone who’s on this journey or has taken on the challenge of maintaining natural (chemically untreated hair) has a few lessons they can share about their hair, for now though, here are four lessons that have stood out to me on this year long journey.

This is me in 2014, shortly after cutting my hair

1. Effort and work will always be a requirement

There’s absolutely no escaping this one because even if it looks and feels simpler, some form of work and effort is always required to make a hairstyle/ look work. Although there were less steps required in this part of the process, they were there and needed to be honoured. This initial chop, after many years also gave me the courage to start a fresh, much like how Coco Chanel once said, ‘a woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life’

The second and most dramatic chop in 2017

2. You’re always allowed to explore other options

These have come in the form of wigs and head wraps over the years.

3. Most times you get out what you put in

The process of growing my hair back has taught me the art of working with my hair and not against it, loving it even when I’m feeling as if it’s not co-operating with me. From watching the journey’s of others I have seen that often times your hair much like everything in life will usually reflect the love, kindness and patience you put into it.

The easiest protective hairstyle for natural hair
A snap of what my hair looked like in January after a wash and blow dry.

 

I am still on the journey and still committed to loving this process.

This is for all the babes rolling on a lean budget who have sisters, BFF’s aunties and mamas to celebrate this Capricorn season. Since the beginning of the month, I have counted at least 20 people (including myself) that I know, closely and from a far who have celebrated another year of life.

Needless to say, it can get a little tricky having to keep up with all this post-festive gift shopping, but luckily with the summer sale season still in full swing it is possible to get your girl an adorable and useful gift under R300.

Statement Belts

Statement Belt, MRP, R49.99

 

Aztec weave belt, MRP, R40

Scrunchies

 

 

 

 

2 pack scrunchy set, MRP, R19.99  

Satin Scarves, Shell Earrings and Messenger bags

Soho satin scarf, Rubi at Cotton On, R119.00
Whitsunday Earring, Rubi at Cotton On, R149.00
Mini messenger bag, Zara, R199

 

Homeware

Faux Fur Shimmer Lurex Scatter Cushion, MRP Home, R199.99
Letterpress wooden letter details, Typo at Cotton On, R19.00

Gift bag, MRP, R10

 

So happy shopping and happy birthday month to all my Capricorn people.

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Happy new year! And more happiness to you if you’re making the effort to stick to your resolutions and working towards your dreams.

I’ve made peace with the idea that there is nothing wrong with singing the ‘new year, new me’ tune, if that’s what helps you start something that will make your life better in the new year because there is no shame in trying and failing no matter what others believe.

For me, this year my ‘new year, new me’ comes in the form of a three year gym contract, an entire album on my phone dedicated to fitspo (in other words multiple screenshots of Kayla Itsines’) and a step into a world that is wildly unfamiliar and uncomfortable but promises multiple chances to become stronger.

7 January, 2019
January, 10, 2019
January, 14, 2019

While I feel like this journey is going well so far (see pics above), I’ve decided to add some of my other personal resolutions that may possibly impact the way that I dress this year.

Here are some resolutions to become a “better, clearer me” in 2019

Keep the flow going: I knew I had a lot of stuff that was no longer serving me but I had let it sit anyway. I’ve determined to thank the old stuff and let it go (thanks to my sister), to the bin or to someone who can use it better. This rule not only applies to my clothes but to relationships, opportunities, thoughts and everything else in my life that’s reached expiry.

Ditching the black: Black for me, in clothing terms, relates to comfort and it’s always been my safe zone. I don’t know what yours is or looks like, but now I’m open to more of what exists and I’m currently leaning towards light shades of pink.

Yes to prints: Yes to trying things that stand out, often.

And finally

Less impulse buys: And more thoughtfulness and focus on the things that I actually really want and not what will yield short-term satisfaction.

Please feel free to share some of your NY resolutions or goals with me in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you.

 

I recently returned from a brief girls trip and now that I’m back, I know that basking in the sun wouldn’t have been this cool without these 6 things.

Floppy Hats

The wider the brim, the better as your entire face and shoulders will be shielded from the relentless rays.

Floppy hat, MRP, R99

Sunscreen

Regardless of your complexion, sunscreen is an essential one cannot do without on long days out.

Sunglasses

A large part of enjoying the summer sun includes protecting everything that needs protecting, your eyes included. Also, you can choose as many options as you like.

Cateye sunglasses, MRP, R59.99

Kaftan

This, I found to be the perfect cover-up for the walks from my room to the pool. It also provided comfort and protection when the sun felt too harsh on my body.

Flamingo cover up, MRP, R139.99

Bottled water

Long days in the sun require a heavy dose of hydration. Water is always the best option and less sugar you consume on a warm day, the better you’ll feel.

Pool float

This device takes the number one spot. It allows you to ease into the water and enjoy a good read.

Pool float, Big Mouth at Superbalist, R399

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This week marks the official end of the summer holidays and the the start of the 2019 work calendar for many of us. While the festive season slowly slips away into the distance and the realities of deadlines, traffic and hard core adulting become unavoidable, it’s easy to hit a slump.

As with anything, you can trust the online self-help community to offer countless methods for beating the post holiday blues, but one thing that is as effective as always (obviously, only coming a close second to an end of season sale binge) is of course a return to the basics, the essentials or the ‘building blocks’ to any balanced wardrobe and killer street style.

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When it comes to getting clear about the basics, simply imagine not buying or thrifting a single garment or accessory for the next 365 days. If you’re sure that what you already have in your possession will see you through the next sun rotation with enough desk to dinner and off-duty looks that never go out of fashion, then you’re good.

However, there’s no harm in going over a checklist or creating your own to ensure that you have all that you need, so here goes;

The working girl’s ultimate checklist for essential items:

  • Items should be versatile and outlast the ever changing seasons.
  • All about prints? Make polka dots, stripes and wild florals your go-tos.
  • Make quality over quantity your thing, items that need to go the distance should be of premium quality, so make room in your purse to spend a little extra on nice things that last.
  • Accessories that work with almost all your outfits.

Dresses: You seriously cannot go wrong with a dress collection that consists of a perfectly fitting LBD, a fluid midi, a light weight shirt dress and a flowing maxi.

Long sleeve shift dress, Superbalist, R379
Logo Printed Tunic, Zara, R599

Tops: A button down shirt is the ideal go-betweener for a suit up day or the off-duty jeans and slides day. A quirky slogan tee is guaranteed to lift your mood no matter how bad the day.

Rebecca shirt – orange & white, Cotton On at Superbalist, R399
Statement t-shirt, MRP, R99

Bottoms: For the corporate girl, a pencil skirt is a sure staple. Make sure to switch up the texture every so often. Wide and slim leg trousers, denim jeans and checked skirts are fail safe options for a winning collection.

 

Pencil skirt, Zara, R339
Skinny jeans, Mango, R399

Jackets: Oversized blazers, and biker jackets are timeless pieces that make for the best transitional pieces, great in summer and equally perfect in winter.

Oversized denim jacket, Missguided at Superbalist, R899
Biker Jacket, Forever 21 at Superbalist, R849

Shoes: A balanced shoe collection ranges from courts to medium heels, flats and sneakers.

Ankle strap heels, Butterfly Feet at Superbalist, R399
Classic Cortez, NIKE at Superbalist,
R999

Accessories: Your accessories are probably your hardest working items and therefore need to be the most durable and stylish.

Cateye, Rubi at Cotton On, R179
Boxy cross body, Rubi at Cotton On, R299