I’m stylish with a Ruff Tung

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I’ve been trying to forge new avenues of potential success for myself; using my vast skill set to customize a career for myself that doesn’t leave me feeling like I’m doing something mundane. I  love media, entertainment, and above all – fashion!

So finding out that I’d won a dress in a competition I’d entered by a fashion label called ‘Ruff Tung‘, was a great feeling.

I got to talking with the owner via texting, and decided to meet up while I was in Cape Town. From reviewing their pieces on the online store Spree website, I figured I’d only be partial to a few of their pieces and have little gumption to become a raving fan.

Oh!How foolish was I in that minute!

I went to the Ruff Tung headquarters

…and proceeded to just fall in love with a new fashion brand. Fooling around in their studio with the different pieces was great fun, and I found that once their dresses were in my hand I could not do anything but love them. I like a minimalist aesthetic, comfort and style; and to find folks who design with that in mind makes me happy.

 Playing with their navy Vanessa crepe dress with sequins detail in black.

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My ass looks sooooo fetch in this dress.

I usually avoid patterns and print like the plague, but I feel so grown up and sophisticated sexy in this dress.

This is their geometric-print black and cream poly spandex dress.

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 Besides their black one-arm jumpsuit, I die for this gown.

I took some time out of fooling around to lounge about Daisy Buchanan style.

Isn’t the gown just incredible in color?

It feels lovely and soft on the skin and flows freely.

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Now that I got a really intimate look at the workings of Ruff Tung I cannot wait to begin our journey together in fashion.

Thank you for the gifts and great experience RT!

For anyone looking to buy some really good clothing items at affordable prices, visit the online store Spree and buy buy buy!

Out and about in Cape Town

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Yesterday I had a really full schedule, but I made sure I met up with my second mommy and had lunch at Beluga.

Dim Sum is apaprently very delicate and is recommended to be served hot. We ordered 3 different kinds of Deep fried Wontons:

Prawns

Mushroom Beef and coriander.

Coriander Chicken

It was a lovely meal and the vibe at Beluga is very relaxed and cool, with a warm formal set up.

The Foundry
Prestwich Street
Cape Town
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After lunch and hitting The Lot’s R99.00c Sale on Kloof street I went to a meet-up with some friends at a place called Yours Truly, and had a depressingly terrible-tasting cocktail while being well-dressed.

Today I wore a knit dress from The Lot and leopard-print pumps from Trenery.

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Afterwards we went to The Cape Town Carnival and got to watch Beatenberg perform. They have opened for Thirty Seconds to Mars during their Cape Town leg of the world tour. I love their sound because it does not have the heavy hand of being authentically African; Its a sound that is contemporary pop house in the South African context.

How you like the glimpses of Cape Town?

I Graduated again!

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Excuse my brief absence from blogging, I’ve been planning my Cape Town trip.

I arrived in the city on the 12th March, and have been running myself ragged renting gowns and meeting up with people…and having bottles upon bottles of good wine with my friend Amanda.

I graduated yesterday for the second time. I seem to be collecting academic accolades like it’s my job.

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I wore a cute strapless dress by a Cape Town-based designer Leandra and now possess my BA(Hon) degree in Sociology.IMG_2921

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Next up: perhaps NYU and Columbia for Masters and PhD respectively. I just need money for it all!

Ollie in London: The Days that followed Fashion Week

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Following London Fashion Week, and the scrumptious food consumed during said week, I turned full-on tourist. I gave up the stiletto heels for functional shoes, big coats and scarves.

One thing I can say about world travel is that once you know what vibe you’re into, you’ll find a mellow way of getting to it in any town or city. London, while rife with contemporary pop culture energy, is a city defined by being historical. It does not have the earthy pseudo-religious tradition of a people, and places,whose essence and chronology is tied to nature, deities, magic and mythos. What it has is a heady hand in the molding of western culture. It has been the base of one of thee most incredible geopolitical military powers in human history. It has been the continental cross-road of language creators and speakers, slavers and those enslaved by more than cruel men, the rich, the poor, the lost, dreamers, vagrants, saints and sinners.

I like London for the architecture.

I used to read about the twisted vines of mapped cobbled roads that lead to tiny gardens and houses of parliament. I read of the bleeding and mangled bodies of Jack the Ripper’s victims found in the streets of London, or near the river Thames. I’ve read fanciful tales of vampires that meet to indulge in decadent debauchery in London’s most exclusive back door haunts. I’ve seen paintings of the outskirts of London where misty depressing moors stretch out to the dusky horizon. I’ve seen films recreate the many centuries and historical events that have made an impact in the continuity of human existence – all tied to London.

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Since I was an adept hand at the public transport system, I took a bus ride to get to Buckingham, and was told by the attendant the last stop for my bus was Trafalgar Square. I located an Information office in the area, proceeded to get my bearings as I threw question after question at the Information officer about every landmark and tourist spot in London, and finally went on my way. I decided to walk. Trust me, its part of the tourist experience, makes it much more flexible to maneuver directions and is a gift to you when you discover some amazing nestled wonders while pounding pavement. I walked from Trafalgar to Buckingham – through various parks and regally named streets and pathways.

I was in my Trenery leopard pumps when I stepped on the Jubilee Walkway, looked up at Buckingham

…and felt nothing.

Don’t get me wrong, its got an overwhelming untouchable gated vibe which speaks to the fact that it is the residence of royalty. But unlike the drawings, paintings, long-winded words in old books etc. It did not inspire the same reverence I’d had having never seen it. I guess, in part, it was due to the presence of us tourists. We take away from its ‘shine’ and leave a grey curious spectacle to be seen. I’m also super peeved I didn’t get to tease a Palace guard like I’d planned.

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Following that experience I walked through to the gold statue Victoria fountain, snapped some pictures, passed various royal properties and monuments to arrive at The National Gallery.

The National Gallery was everything I’d hoped. The paintings,drawings and mosaics I had only before studied in high school textbooks, were in front of me. In dried up, cracking paint and smudged coal and pencil was life. It was the past, present and future etched on canvas for billions to see through the eyes of the artists and through to their makers. From seeing Da Vinci’s work to Van Gogh, and Tintoretto I witnessed the famed hopes and despair of generations, I saw architecture, food, clothing, humanity, evolution, religion and even nautical talent being celebrated.

I didn’t get a chance to re-create the Bond/Q scene from the film ‘James Bond: Skyfall’ though, and that irked me a lot.

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Have you guys ever seen the view of Trafalgar Square? I can barely describe it. You’d have to witness it yourself to understand.

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square

Anyway, while standing trying to digest what I’d experienced at the gallery I saw a familiar piece of home – a building with Suid Afrika carved above the high pillars. I saw my flag and a poster advertising South Africa, and understood it to likely be an embassy or tourism office. Felt good to spot a little of home there.

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Lil bit of home spotted earlier by Trafalgar Square.

Lil bit of home spotted earlier by Trafalgar Square.

After that I looked up trying to find my next target – Big Ben. I literally just started walking straight towards it. Along the way I found a Sherlock Holmes pub with its front glass sandblasted with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes’s iconic portraits.
Obligated selfie was necessary.

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Also got to see the theater known as The Playhouse, and while walking I got thee most incredible picture of the London Eye.

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I arrived into the vicinity of Big Ben with a hectic amount of human and vehicle traffic. I saw Big Ben and the House of Parliament up close. That piece of architecture gave me little butterflies in my tummy. It was just purely awesome. It turns out that I’d arrived right before a political debate would commence, and outside the building political commentators, general media and reporters in the midsts of interviewing, were all queued up to enter the chambers. Intriguing that the people lined outside preparing to strike against certain political figures within had less of the vibrant vehemence South African people have when striking.

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The next day I took several trains to reach my destination – Abbey Road Studios. Anyone familiar with The Beatles, or general Brit pop culture would know its significance. I spent 10minutes there poking about (with permission within reason).
I then went outside in the rain and re-enacted The Beatles album cover taken on Abbey Road. The inhabitants driving by actually understood, and with sardonic smiles let us tourists do our thing for a while.

Enter the home of The Beatles music

Enter the home of The Beatles music

Abbey Road. Moment of Silence to appreciate The Beatles ;)

Abbey Road. Moment of Silence to appreciate The Beatles ;)

Abbey Road. Moment of Silence to appreciate The Beatles ;)

Abbey Road. Moment of Silence to appreciate The Beatles ;)

One train ride later I bought an umbrella and walked myself to the 2nd place I’d been most eager to visit since landing in Britain – 221b Baker Street. Yes, building owned by one Mrs Hudson and the home of one Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. It brought my eager beaver fangirl out and I shivered at being in a place where one of my all-time favorite novel-to-television characters had been written to exist.

I made sure to leave with a business card in case I was ever in the need of the Consulting Detectives skills.

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I got to see the BBC headquarters – the juggernaut that had birthed so many of my favorite television shows.

BBC HQ

BBC HQ

I didn’t care how much it would cost, nor the health issues I’d incur walking through the rain and waiting hours in queues – the number 1 place to visit while in London, for me, was Platform 9 3/4. If you read my letter to J.K Rowling you’ll understand the prolific role Harry Potter books have played in my life. Being in any place in London that celebrates, profits or further delves into the realm of that book franchise’s world is a dream come true.
I got to see the wands of each character, and I found my wand to be The Elder Wand (because only a person as wicked as I is deserving of wielding that wand without repercussions). I saw all the Harry Potter memorabilia – Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem, the golden egg from Goblet of fire, and Tom Marvolo Riddle’s diary (sans Basilisk fang- which leaves me worried). I donned my Slytherin scarf, grabbed my wand, my cases and my owl (named Nymeria) and sped across through the wall at Platform 9 3/4.

Best. Moment. Ever.

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The James Bond ‘Bond in Motion’ Museum I went to after, was a nice way of rounding things up though.

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Funny story though: The place I’d booked at forgot I’d wanted to book for a last night. Scary thought not knowing where you’re gonna crash right?
Not!
I spent the last day browsing designer pop-ups at London Fashion Weekend, and went to Starbucks and spent hours blogging and social networking after. Then I simply got an Uber London cab(which is just a sublimely efficient service) to the nearest train station and had a comfortable trip to Heathrow in a near empty train, in the dead of night, without fear that I’d be attacked or something.
I chilled at Heathrow for a couple of hours, got a refund on the remaining cash on my Oyster Card(I still think the public transport system structure there is amazing), and used up my 4 hours of free Wi-fi at the airport Skyping with mom, and Instagram’ed how comfy I was reclining in an airport cafe couch while waiting for my departure time.

Shout-out to the Etihad Airline. I had a really surprisingly comfortable first trip abroad, and look forward to any that follow. Their personnel’s uniforms are so chic guys, and they kept them pristine for hours on end. We had a medical emergency on the flight and the personnel handled it so well. Kudos!

The man at the Immigration desk when I first entered London Airport said in a mocking tone: “Oh! You only have £300 to spend? You know that won’t get you far in London right?”

I spent 10 Days in London with a trip budget of R20 000.00c and I enjoyed myself and survived. I did everything I wanted comfortably. I’d love to see if I could manage that in destinations across the globe.

Anyone wanna sponsor the challenge?

Let’s promote the notion that global travel isn’t an impossible feat for normal people with low budgets and big holiday dreams. It’s all about how you plan!

London Fashion Week 2015: Event Review

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I expected more.

I expected to be awed by an unparalleled sense of decadent historical nostalgia, contemporary style innovation and pure wonder at the annual spectacle that celebrated British fashion and implied subsequent creativity.

What I got was something that paled in comparison. I don’t count it to be a fault on my part for putting London Fashion Week on such a pedestal. The British Fashion Council markets and continuously praises itself for delivering near perfection in its  annual fashion events. I was not at fault for expecting perfection;nor does the fact that I come from a country still adolescent in its foray into being formidable fashion deliverers, discount my opinion as valid.

I spent a brief amount of time at Somerset House on the 19th in an attempt to sort out my press credentials, and map out the event location so I do not get lost and find myself out in the literal London cold with barely a know-how of how to return to a warm safe haven.

Day 1 of Fashion week was good because I had a wide-eyed wonder at the efficiency of the events entire planning and execution – despite being angered at my media accreditation debacle that took negotiations and pleading, cross-continental phone-calls and an impassioned speech delivered by me to the poor sods simply doing their jobs, to sort things out. Every one at the event was always moving, posing, social networking, or running after people to get releases signed. There were the British Fashion Council and Vodafone personnel dressed in white hats and black uniform they’d likely been advised to wear in a way that showcased their slim silhouettes, while at the same time remaining comfortable. Wi-fi pins were spoken in whispers, and the charging points at Somerset House set up by the official sponsors Vodafone meant the bloggers and general media hardly had a need to worry about low batteries that meant their content was delayed in being sent, and being kept out of the fashion loop because technology had defeated them.

I got invitations from Jean-Pierre Braganza, and another one illustrated by Tezo Kyungdon Lee, from J.JS Lee for their runway show at the British Fashion Council’s Courtyard Show space – a show which had opened up London Fashion Week Day 1. I found it my favorite immediately because of the collections aesthetic – J.JS Lee had managed to take already ordinary clothing items like A-line skirts, dresses and formal shirts, and use about 10 shades of grey, pasty yellow and fuscia pink to reconcile her tomboy childhood with crisp innovative design, and androgynous tailoring that breaks the stagnation of formal and informal apparel when styled right.

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The street style revealed orange to be this seasons staple color, and the Brits showed that their usually famed dour disposition could be lightened with bags, shoes and accessories in amazingly bright shades of color like sunshine yellow and variations of blue. Some attendees embraced meticulous tailoring, while others preferred to don apparel that nears the realm of Cosplay (costume playing) – because I somehow cannot find it in myself to deem actual doll-heads on jackets to be stylish – pardon my disdain.

I could likely dissect each attendees outfit and find merit and something terrible in it all, but for each person that wore something eye-catching, I found something nice in their look – whether it be some intense face metal bling, or whether it be the coats that had me contemplating changing nationalities. The winter coats, British fashion houses like Burberry are known for, are worn with such awe-inspiring coolness in London. Real fur and faux fur coats, scarves, shawls etc. were not exempt from making appearances as attendees rushed all over London for numerous shows. Fellow fashion aficionado Arian Humirang kept it popping each day with his looks. Clothing was not the only tool used by the Fashion Week attendees. Make-up and hair played a huge part in showcasing the individuality of attendees, and their particular brand of style.

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My Day 1 was finished off by attending the Royal Fashion Day at Middle Temple Hall, where there was an exclusive showing of off-schedule fashion designers works like Luca MicheleReka OroszBlack Rose CollectionElena RulFabrizio Poker, Beauty SecretInnu, and MODO Fashion Society – an event which would likely receive rave reviews due to the serving of some rather tasty alcoholic beverages. I found the bulk of the designs by the different designers to be very much more of the same. There was nothing new, and it was only the jackets made by Elena Rul that I found absolutely awesome.

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Day 2 began with the Pavane show at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. I found the over-all show interesting thanks to the studio venue and the models make-up, and the clothing to be unassuming garb – dark palettes and apparel cut to slim forms and thereby ostracizing quite a group of larger potential customers by sheer design alone.

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While waiting in the queue at Freemasons Hall where the Fashion Scout Catwalk schedule shows were, I saw some folks wearing some really lovely accessories – from icy white and silver bling to 50s Stepford wife ensembles. I didn’t appreciate much in the Mimi Tran show, and the Soojin Lee show had an enviable stylish front row and an average collection set to a beautiful backdrop and soundtrack. The Coral infusion of the designs was the only thing singularly likable about the pieces.

Probably the show I was most eagerly anticipating was the invitation-only Zeynep Kartal show where the trend of gold-bar everything was remade into silver, and the red carpet designs of Stéphane Rolland, Cavalli, Humberto Leon for Kenzo, and Elie Saab were regurgitated – much to my disappointment.

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Day 3 began with the Kiev Fashion Days A/W Showcases including comfy babydoll cuteness by Anna K, relaxed yoga-like flowing cotton fabrics in pale violet and grey mixed tones by Pentatonica, and ethereal music setting the tone for moody ‘I’m walking in moors dramatically’ designs in the Dinara Nurlan show.

Xiao Li’s runway showcase was a fun show with apparel that looked like it was mocking pattern design with its neon color palette prints in childish cut-out designs. While I may not like the 3-D neon effect of the pattern designs, I loved the weird form the clothing took that made it seem odd to wear but really warm and comfortable. Given that I was experiencing the London winter, any warmth I experienced or saw likely triggered conscious bias.

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Seeing Alexa Chung, Kendall Jenner, Cara Delevingne and Emily O’Hara Ratajkowski at the Topshop Showspace was pretty cool. Thy dressed impeccably and kept their make-up game simple and smokey.

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Day 4 began with Huishan Zhang’s runway show at the Rosewood London Hotel which I attended with the Mess Magazine team and Arian Humirang. We liked everything we saw – a diversity of color and design – new, insofar that it had thee most luxurious fabrics and combinations of embroidery and fabric mixes.

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Dora Abodi’s Unicorn on the runway probably made the show before it even began. I liked the leather jackets the most, but the attendees were way more interesting.

Day 5 began with a show that blew my mind because I love excess occasionally – MARKO MITANOVSKI! The collection was basic black and took item inspiration from Lady Gaga’s wardrobe and made them more dramatic, wearable, and stylish. For a second I questioned the “Blackface” make-up direction because I refuse to condone any form of racism, however, I saw that it in no way referenced non-white people in a negative way. The black make-up/paint was a creative direction that showcased the apparel better and spoke to the collections inspiration. It reminded me alot of Charlize Theron’s raven witch costume design in Snow white and the Huntsmen.

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I finished off my London Fashion Week with an invite-only blogger evening hosted by Maria Grachvogel at her London shop. The Champagne and Macaroons helped ease me into feelings of contentment while I browsed her shop. There was a particular cream chiffon jumpsuit that stood out for me. I loved its lines and its romantic feel. The whole event was intimate and made networking quite nice.

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The Summary:

My first experience of London Fashion Week was overall “Okay!”. I got to see what First World planning and execution is when it comes to fashion events – It’s incredible. I found the attendees to be 80% austere, super stylish in their own way, and eager for photo ops and passing about business cards, but not eager to properly engage and network.

Probably the thing that left me most disheartened was the general ambiance and the British Fashion Council’s approach to the event – that this is a business. They went through the motions of London Fashion Week without anyone enjoying the actual event. I understand that this is in part, a business. However, the very fabric of Fashion Week is composed primarily of an exploration and celebration of creativity, and not solely an endeavor to further the premise of business profitability. No one basked in the feats of incredible design, in the fact that thousands had traveled from all across the globe to be at this place for these moments in the life cycle of British fashion.

My advice for future London Fashion Week attendees:

  • Know the fashion event dates months in advance and constantly re-check the sites for updated dates.
  • Get business cards made for yourself with your name, number, email and website.
  • You get a good idea of where things falter and where people succeed when you have numerous comparisons to make. So attend Fashion Weeks on your own turf first. I found I rather enjoy Fashion Week’s in South Africa because we are everlastingly still in possession of that wide-eyed wonder when it comes to fashion, and that is something worth savoring.
  • If you’re a person prone to wearing strange things during fashion weeks, make sure you go to the fashion event’s location the day before it begins so you have a good idea of where you can stop to fix things inconspicuously, where the bathrooms are located, where the charging ports are, where your base will be to meet people should you or they get lost etc. Sometimes you just need a place to take off your stilettos – I make sure I case a spot out with cushions every time.
  • Eat before your fashion day stars. Things get hectic during the day. You may not anticipate it, but you could be doing interviews and photo shoots thanks to your great street style.
  • If your media accreditation for an event doesn’t come through, make sure you have contingency plans. As a back-up I got the list of PR companies handling the different fashion houses shows and requested tickets. Ensure the following are covered before you send the email to the PR Companies:

Have a publication commission you to cover the event. Get the Editor to write you a commissioning letter with the publications letterhead on it. Get the publications statistics in a separate letter and perhaps a breakdown of how you plan to write-up or photograph and publish.

Acquire a list from the organizers on the PR companies handling the fashion designers ticket distribution.

Have an idea of where you will be staying for the duration of the event.

Make your email to these PR agencies brief, and informative, and attach the various documentation with the email. Add the address you will be staying at for the duration of the fashion event so that they may post tickets to you.

  • They may look at you weirdly but smile, and compliment someone if they’re wearing something nice – even if you have no ulterior motive. It’s just a cool thing to do.
  • Say “Please” to the celebrities you take pictures of. I’ve seen paparazzi stampedes and they kind of scare the celebs guys. If you say please you might get some of the most perfect shots purely from the celebrity being shocked into freezing; Happened with me and Alexa Chung.
  • When getting photos taken of you, or when  you are taking photos of them, exchange cards and at the end of the day send an email so as to remind the person of the situation and not lose track of things. You’re working in the realm of media and things move super fast, as does memory loss.
  • Even when you’re just ordering coffee, browsing a shop or networking in the queue awaiting a runway show – You are selling yourself! That sounds prostitute’y but what I mean is that everyone is a potential connection whenever and wherever you are. Don’t annoy someone by bombarding them with information, but should they be willing, converse with them in a way that shows you find them interesting and that you too are a person worth knowing. I scored half of my tickets and business connections at Fashion Week just by talking (which we all know I love).
  • Please find pleasure in whatever you’re doing. Whether you are writing about an event, photographing it, working as a liaison, simply being an attendee or a PR guru – find your bliss and help make the event a success by transforming the ambiance into something palatable by sheer force of emotion. It’s not nice attending something where everyone seems depressed and just tired of this sh*t!

For the full album of street style pictures and runway show pictures, visit my Facebook page.

My looks for each day of London Fashion Week

Stay tuned. 
Next story is my round-up of my trip to London from a tourist angle.

London Fashion Week: Day 5 Look

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Sorry about the delayed post.

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This look was an impromptu gettup.

I had not factored a Day 5 into my wardrobe plan-out.

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I’m wearing my durable black Levis skinny jeans, a vintage leather jacket from Babette, a poloneck, a vintage crocodile skin clutch bag, Woolworths heels, and beaded bling.

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Sunnies from Spitfire.

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Street style pictures taken by Daniel Nicol-Wilson of Picxcells.

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Healthy glow going on with my skin.

Last day was utterly dour at London Fashion Week!

London Fashion Week: Day 4 Look

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I figured I’m a sucker for pain because come day 4 of London Fashion Week I deigned to wear high heels again.

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Today I wore Forever New sunnies, a clutch bag by Shiko from African beadery, Black skinny jeans from Levis and a leather jacket from Woolworths. The rest are vintage pieces collected over time.

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This ring was an impulse purchase I love.

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Front row #FlexxinIMG_2417

Whoever said unicorns don’t exist needs to reevaluate their existence. I even got a photo with one.
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Maintain eye contact when tryna push the sexy!
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The Dora Abodi show unicorn and I.IMG_2425