Reclaiming my Sh!t

 

I haven’t been very honest with myself lately and I’ve been on the outs with myself for some time because of the lack of communication between myself and my self.

Myself being the image that I portray on social media and even the one that I’ve cultivated over years of amassed social exposure/awareness.

My self being the person that I am deep within. The person I’m still learning about and trying to get to know better. The one that all too easily alternates between modes of feeling and quite frankly feels like a mess most of the time.

It’s easy to feel misplaced when you don’t really have any ties to a city or a place you can call home. I grew up in Kenya and although my childhood was calm and pretty fucking good for the most part, it never felt like home. My nationality, the option I choose from the drop down menu is plainly British. My mother grew up in Portugal and it’s where my grandparents and the rest of my maternal side of the family still reside. It’s the country where the fondest of my memories are held and the closest I feel to being home… but that doesn’t matter.

A few years ago I let go of this concept of home being ascribed to a certain place or location, home to me is defined by the people that hold me close. I’m a grandchild of diaspora, Indian in ethnic origin – although the majority of people will claim that I look otherwise – something that low key annoys the fucking shit out of me. Like it’s a compliment not to look like where I’m from? Cool.

I spent a lot of my time growing up wishing I was anything but. Ashamed of my culture because of the stereotypes people would perpetuate. And it took time, a long lengthily time for me to see past the bullshit and actually realise that being Indian was great. I’m from the land of silk and spice, my skin is golden and my culture is so vast and wonderful, so multifaceted that it will take me years to uncover an understanding of just a bit of it. But I didn’t always think like this and it makes me sad because I see so many of us having been through/going through the same shit.

And what makes me angrier is that despite having this tumultuous relationship with myself and my self when it comes to my identity, and attempting to combine these two halves in synergy with each other. Which is an entirely personal process. People will still unsettle me with their value judgements on one over the other. They will feign shock when I tell them where I’m from and then claim that I am too different to be what I am.

I mean apart from the generalised statement of how odd it is that I studied a humanity at university and not a science or business/law related subject. I won’t lie I really had to talk my parents around to accept my choice and I’m not certain they think I made the right one *they definitely don’t think I did. One of the worst things I’m constantly told is, ‘you don’t look Indian’ and to me, that’s like a slap in the face.

For someone that never felt like she belonged anywhere, I’ve had to grow into myself, to fill out the spaces that felt hollow because I felt like I was lacking. Being Indian, being part of an Indian community is something I very much value and treasure as part of my identity. Again, it took me a long ass time to feel that way but once I did, I regained a part of my self. I reclaimed it.

So being told ‘you look South American or Spanish’ – despite knowing that the people that say that shit mean it as a compliment, is a double edged insult to me. First and foremost, Indian women come in many shades, forms and features; they are as multifaceted as their culture. So to state that I am anything other, makes me feel othered, as if women from my culture all have a specific genome that ensures they all look the same.

And I have said this to people before, wherein they’ve started to backtrack and claim to ‘mean it as a compliment’ Biiiiiiih how do I take you saying I look like I’m from another ethnic background as a compliment? You trynna say Indian women aren’t caramel skinned honey’s?? (Not that I’m claiming to be but you know what I mean). Like don’t pass off your internalised passive prejudice against Indians as a compliment, you’re probably unaware that you hold such a sentiment within you and that’s cool. Ignorance is bliss and all that but I will set you straight on it.

But then, there’s also the issue of not being welcomed within the brown skinned community, specifically because I don’t always look like I belong and I’ve particularly felt that through certain social media platforms. There’s such great pages on Instagram in particular that uphold Indian women and celebrate their sisters but despite the array of shades that are out there, there’s certain one’s that are kind of left out of the social narrative. Being too ‘dark skinned’ won’t get you a place on certain social feeds and neither will not looking ‘Indian enough’ and for a community that claims to be all about the brown skinned diaspora/sisterhood – that’s pretty hypocritical.

This has been something that’s circled my mind for a long, long time and it feels heavy for me to put it out on my blog, because, well, it’s personal. But I also want to know people’s thoughts and feelings on the matter.

 

So please comment and let me pick your brain.

 

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Feminist Flare

 

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T-Shirt – Pimkie

Trousers – Zara

Sliders – Fila

Eyewear – HM

I don’t often shop at Zara but they have done well by me on the last shopping excursion I had (R.I.P Overdraft). These pants are probably my favourite thing in the world at the moment, they give me so much life with the socket buttons at the bottom half that can be fastened to show a sexy bit of leg (and give you a bit of the breeze in warm climates) or kept shut to give a more demure kind of look. They remind me a bit of speed racer (and I just googled the cartoon to see if that made sense) with the colour scheme and I can totally see him rocking these if he were a bit more fashion orientated – I mean the red scarf is still a look and who know, maybe I’ll incorporate that staple into a look with these beauties at some point.

The shirt is a simple little statement that I rock to the core, after all – FUCK THE PATRIARCHY! is definitely one of my favourite phrases (and genuinely, fuck it to hell and beyond). There has been a rivulet of pro feminist protest T-shirts this year, with Marc Jacobs (amongst many other designers) including them within their brands and I have wanted one for quite a while now, so when I saw this simple little number at Pimkie, I thought, why not? I want one, it’s super cheap, let’s get one! So I got it. I think style is an incredibly personal expression of one’s self and I’m with the idea of having my clothes express my thoughts, what I stand for and believe in, as well as what I don’t.

Now I wasn’t partial to sliders for a very long, long time but a good friend of mine (S/O to Princess Fabia) swore by the comfort of hers and I gave it a go with the FILA sliders. I’ve got to admit that she was right, they are by far the most comfortable shoes I have ever had and they’re pretty cute too (and they match the colour scheme of the trousers!). I went pretty bare on the accessories with this one, my fashion shades from H&M were the only thing I had on. And they kind of paint the world in sunlight when they’re on your face – something I appreciated very much in London (Lisbon, not so much)

Overall, I’m just really excited to make the most of my cute ass pants. Look out for more on ModainLondres soon!

 

Pinstripes in Portugal

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Top – H&M

Trousers – PrettyLittleThing (Sold Out)/Alternative – ASOS

Shoes – Topshop

Knotwrap – Vintage

Olaaa from sunny Lisboa!

So, I’ve been a bit slow with the blog recently but this dizzying Portuguese heatwave has had me avoiding any sort of manual/not so manual labour. It sort of sucked the energy out of me for the last week or so but I’ve decided not to let it get to me anymore (also it’s letting up so I don’t really have any excuse to)

This outfit was one of the three I actually wore that day, this heat has got me changing outfits more so than I ever have but it was definitely my favourite. The wide leg vertical stripes are so flattering on one’s figure and have a really slimming effect asides from elongating the length of the leg. Pairing it with a simple ribbed high neck vest then created a sort of effortlessly chic look that I jazzed up with my fish skeleton (moons and suns?) earrings and headband. The latter was a lucky find in a Parisian vintage store earlier this year and only cost me a Euro (vintage stores in Paris are the one people)

The silver accents on the boot buckles with the earrings then gave this look more of a colour coolness that alternatively fit right into the vibe I was feeling at that point. I was feeling very cool ngl – the shade from the tree helped too.

I’ve been having a lovely time in Lisbon so far, it really is a city that captured my heart almost instantly. Although, I won’t lie, I hated it as a child. Having to spend a month or two in another country away from friends and the like wasn’t something I appreciated but it’s grown on me over the years. My mama’s family here definitely helps (they’re all crazy and I love them to bits!)

I’ll have another post up very, very soon.

Until then, ate ja xxx

Colourful Curiousity

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Bardot Top – New Look

Jeans – Urban Outfitters

Shoes – Office

Scarf – Vintage

Olaaa,

This was the second part of my visit to Portobello Market and it’s leaning more so onto the picturesque side of the little (long) road that houses the market. The multicoloured houses made me reminisce of the pretty little Dutch houses I had seen in Amsterdam last year. Although, the colours were slightly prettier pastel shades of blue, green, pink and tangerine. It was all a bit dreamy and I loved the setting of space within those housing blocks.

I’ve got a thing for off the shoulder tops as you can tell from the these posts, nothing makes me happier than feeling the sun on my shoulders and the wind in my hair. Despite London’s temperamental weather it was a good day to be out and about and I just want to pause for a second and shout out my friend’s sister Ruee for taking these great pictures. You’re both real MVP’s and I’d be lost without your direction x (Thanks again for showing me Portobello Market Charlottie!)

The car I’m posing next was surprisingly enough, a really kitschy cab and I for one would love to be driven around in it. It made me feel happier the instant I set eyes on it with its meticulously decorated exterior. Inspirationally flower power orientated, it was full of vibrancy and in my opinion was quite soulful. So, I guess the name of the cab (company?) Karma cabs was fitting haha.

Before I get off track, the boat neck top I’m wearing was actually very comfortable and sat easily on my shoulders. I know a lot of the time we can get apprehensive about boat neck/off the shoulder tops due to their penchant to ride up, definitely not a problem with this particular fit! A real bargain at £17.99 too!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the last two posts on ModainLondres, I’m off on holiday starting tomorrow so the next few blog posts will be set in sunny Lisbon. The city that forever has my heart in its grips. And before I forget, I tried my hand at curating a little look video for this post (which I couldn’t post on this blog for some reason) that is currently up on my Instagram.

Here’s the link: https://www.instagram.com/reinha.n/ or for ease of access, you could just click onto the Instagram link that’s on the side panel of my blog for a look see 🙂

Have a wonderful day xxx

Fashionstyleology Illustration Exhibition

On Saturday the 14th of September, the renowned Gallery Different played host to FASHIONSTYLEOLOGY’s fashion illustration exhibition titled “Illustrating Dreams”. On showcase was the work of five incredibly talented London based artists helping to bring together their diverse backgrounds and illustrating styles for the public to see.  In short it was an evening that inspired many through the work of the celebrated artists.

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The ever so lovely Dorotea  Posphihajl’s illustration’s was one of the first I noticed on the gallery wall. Second to what makes her one to look out for apart from her vibrant personality is her sense of style. She was sporting one of her own designs from her new Kaftan collection and is set to launch her newly established brand Dorotea P London soon which focuses on eclectic traditional Middle Eastern garments with a European twist.

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To be a Fashionstyleologer is to be one who utilizes a variation of skill sets when it comes to fashion. Be it photography, styling, blogging and/or writing. The philosophy of Fashionstyleology is embodied in Dorotea’s fashion illustration above as different elements such as paintbrushes, pencils and scissors etc. represent the figures Edward scissorhand-esque ‘fingers’.

Katarina Voloder who first caught my eye because of her enviously long legs got her name cemented in my mind when I saw her artwork. The bold graphics she told me took her a few hours to draw and were perfected through her experimentation with signature prints that usually find themselves on accessories. The end result is an eye-catching illustration whose edgy dynamism does not overshadow the feminine detail.

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Next on the wall was the highly reputable Alina Zamanova. Her intricate designs combined with her one of a kind prints caught many people’s eyes that evening. The illustration that she’s standing next to on the left was crafted using the British music scene as a muse whereas the artwork on her right was created as a representation of the well-known blogger, Ivania Carpio (Love aesthetics). The minimalist color scheme of her illustrations makes them appear solid enough yet the elaborate details provide layering to her work, which never fails to excite.

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Then came Orch Eratli paying homage to homegrown British talent. Orch’s illustrations are of a picture book style design and use watercolors as the main material and thus are set apart almost instantly from the rest on the wall. Orch commented that he draws what is in his mind and exaggerates the clothing on his illustrations to put across his vision to others. Below is his favorite illustration that was on display on the night titled ‘The Man in the Scarf’.

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The fifth illustrator whose work was exhibited in the gallery was none other than the self-confessed part time insomniac Nas Abraham.  His artwork combines the resources of digital print alongside others such as oil paints and color pencils. In speaking to him about his artwork, it seems his versatility is key to the reason as to why his illustrations capture ones eye and emanate an almost 3D-like effect. His illustrations were labeled Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3; which is how long it took for him to complete them. Below is Day 1.

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The five illustrators were handpicked from a talent pool by Fashionstyleology having being scouted through various mediums – Alina Zamanova for example was contacted through Instagram.  Artists were then mandated to come up with innovative ideas for the final illustrations over a period of four days. Not only was this a remarkable feat given the timeframe but the end result is almost awe-inspiring as the talent and creativity is nothing short of brilliance. The culmination of these five artists and their illustrations made for an excellent night and one that I will not forget. They are definitely one’s to watch out for!