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An Honours student at Vega- School of Brand Leadership focusssed on brand building and strategy.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Student Style Icons #5: Aimee Plustick

Finding where you fit in, in terms of fashion and style, is always a tough job especially when you are fresh out of high school. I think it is about high time I focussed on the tough style transition that is made from high school to University. So this special style Icon is a first year; a very stylish and confident young lady who hails from the city of lights, Johannesburg.  Her name? Aimee Plustick
Johannesburg is a place that is fundamentally hard to figure out your style. Every girl looks the same: a weave, or  blonde , if she wears glasses trust she will be wearing contact lenses on a daily basis, expensive clothing that generally clings to one’s body and of course a full face of make-up. I must give props, however, to these girls, because looking like that everyday requires a vast amount of time. With that being said, living in Johannesburg, does not give one the freedom of exploration when it comes to style. There is the fear of judgement and of course the ultimate fear that every young woman leaving the protected bubble that is High School has, of not fitting in. But this is why I chose Aimee to be our first fresher to be featured on LBD. She has a whimsical and free sense of style. She has staples which make her distinguishable and this I love! I think that moving to Cape Town was the best thing that Aimee could’ve done for her stylish expression.
When one goes to high school, for those of you for which high school is a distant memory, one wears a uniform everyday and obviously there is no thought process that goes into putting on a uniform every day. The most thought that one may put into getting dressed every morning is :”should I brush my hair or not”, “should I wear the short dress today, since we’re going to the rugby after school?” and “Should I break the rules and wear make-up to school, so you know, I feel better about myself?”. So now at University, one needs to put effort into deciding what to wear every day, because no-one wants to be known as the girl who has purple braids or wears orange All-Stars and green leggings, right? ......RIGHT???
Aimee noted that “Choosing what to wear each day turns out to be quite a time consuming exercise. Worth it? I think so, if you look and feel splendid, then your day will certainly be dandy. Not to mention the fact that we live in the most beautiful city, we need to blend in with the fantastical scenery.”  This is the perfect mentality to have when entering a Tertiary institution. Someone once told me that, even though University gives you the freedom to explore and in a way entitles you not to wear shoes with your outfit, it provides the foundation for the style that one will pursue for the rest of one’s life. I find this statement overwhelmingly true. If you enjoy wearing ‘all-black-everything’ everyday, then you will most likely where black everyday for majority of your life. If you enjoy putting ridiculous colour extensions in your hair, then you will most likely enjoy doing radical things with your hair as your life progresses. It’s the nature of the style game.
 As I have noted in previous posts, it is always important to have style staples that will carry your outfit. These are a few of Aimee’s “Anything navy-striped, Bensimon sneakers (http://www.bensimon.com), leather sling bag, spotty stockings, over sized cardigan, Cath Kidston satchel, daring wellingtons, and a soft woollen scarf.” The items that Aimee enjoys wearing are fun and solidify her style identity. They give her a certain look, which I think can be called, vintage-nautical chic.  This is a great style, that seemingly doesn’t go out of fashion. Stripes are always good to have in your closest as well as leather accessories to place either a vintage or edgy element to your style.
Furthermore I think that it is wise for first years to have a “go to” outfit. This not necessarily an outfit that they wear everyday or twice a week, on the contrary it is an outfit that they can turn to whenever they are in doubt and no matter their mood on that day they should put this certain outfit on and feel great! This is Aimee’s “At the moment: navy high-waisted trousers with a chunky white jumper, pink lace-ups, and a brown sling bag, not forgetting the tortoise shell glasses. Because the classically cool kid always wins.”
Being a fresher makes you feel a whole lot of emotions at once, and figuring out your style in the midst of that is tough. But once it is found, one can most definitely have a beautiful stylish and “dandy” day everyday!
Much love and even More Dopeness
Koosh: The Lil Black

Special Thanks to Aimee!! :)

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Alexander McQueen.... Enough Said....

In light of the Royal wedding that has past I figured that I should pay tribute to the fashion house that designed The Duchess of Cambridge's (Kate Middleton) Wedding gown.

This fashion house has been reknowned for taking bold leaps in sense of style, trends and often setting the tone of the season to come. I won't say much, because the clothes can honestly speak for themselves. Here are a couple of photographs taken off the Alexander McQueen website from the Pre- Spring/Summer '11 collection and from the shoe and bag collection, which, in my opinion, is to die for!!
Much Love and even More Dopeness
Koosh: The Lil' Black

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Student Style Icons #4: Naledi Radebe

Sometimes the greatest types of inspiration that one can get are the ones that may have been considered the craziest trends in times that have past. Fearless fashion is what I am talking about.  Some people have it within themselves to try out clothing, or a particular era of style because they think it’s cool and not because someone else decided the relevance of the trend.  This ability is one that only a handful of people in our mists are blessed with, and no doubt, most of these people hail from the Mother City, Cape Town.
Everyone who lives in Cape Town after having lived elsewhere for the majority of their lives is always impacted in ways that affect their style, art appreciation and choice of music. I know, I came to University with not much style. I used to come to campus in a t-shirt and shorts every day. But literally, a month into my stay, I realized I had to step my game up. Capetonians have such a presence that oozes confidence and they often have style that is untouchable. If you have any respect for fashion then a different sort of style flame is ignited in you once you’ve lived in Cape Town.  Naledi Radebe, a real Capetonian (as in she grew up in Cape Town), is the perfect ambassador for fearless fashion. It is original and fits in everywhere, and it helps that Naledi is probably one of the coolest people I’ve ever met.  She is a down to earth Bachelor of Arts student that seems to thoroughly enjoy life.
Naledi affirmed my notion that Cape Town changes people, as it did me. She told me something that need not be paraphrased: “Capetonians have an appreciation for mixed cultures and styles. You see it in the food we eat, music, fashion and art. We’re an artistic and creative bunch, having the option of being able to explore different avenues and try this and that; a little hippy, a little beachy, a little nerdy, a little preppy, and a little old school hip-hop. We have such a great diverse range from which to choose. We celebrate. It’s a party for everything”. This last statement, which I agree with full heartedly, continues to solidify Naledi’s style identity.
Naledi’s style, I would say, can be said to be similar to the swagger that Solange Knowles is pushing at the moment, with a definite dash of Zoe Kravitz. Both these celebrities have very distinct and fearless ways of dressing, and have similar influences in their style that Naledi has. Everybody who dresses in a way that is noticeable, makes one wonder what drives their fashion outlook, and on countless occasions including Pop Bottles at Azura in Cape Town at the beginning of the year, as well as the J&B Met 2011, I’ve said to myself “I totally wish I had thought of that outfit”, but I guess this is why Naledi is a student style icon, and I am not.
Naledi tells me that she doesn’t mind what people say about what she wears and that the only opinion that matters in hers. And furthermore she says “If I dig it I’m wearing it, and I will push it as steez (style for those who are not familiar with that term) regardless of judgmental eyes”. Impressive as that statement is, she continued to tell me that she draws inspiration from an era that most of our parents and other fashionistas wish had never happened, the 70’s and 80’s. However, even though they had some very tragic tragic moments of fashion in this era, Naledi continues to point out that “they had it going on”. There was a sense of rebellion that is very attractive in terms of the style of that time, “that was a time when there was a merge of styles from preceding years, so there was room to try a lot. People were outrageous and I appreciate that in their hair, glasses and clothes.” Naledi says.  And after doubting the era from which Naledi derives her inspiration, this above explanation makes sense. The fact of the matter is that, in shops accessories, shoes, clothing and fabric patterns are adopting shapes that were very prominent in the 1970’s and 1980’s. And it may be something that some of the more cautious fashionistas might want to try out.
Even though the 1970’s and 1980’s were colourful and outrageous, it is of utmost importance that when pursuing a style such as this, one must have essential pieces that tie the whole outfit together. And these are Naledi’s: “Leather jackets and belts (I have a couple in different shades). Girls in high- waisted everything goes without saying and of course lipstick- in every colour.” These essentials can most definitely define an outfit for ladies. And for men, Naledi gives great advice “Light denims, preferably skinny jeans, plimsolls or All-Stars and plain white T’s”, and furthermore “grey is a great colour for both sexes”.
For those who are new to Cape Town winter, it would be wise you take notes at this moment in time. Naledi says that this winter “Go aviator on us with a pilot jacket. Grandpa jerseys and woolly everything! Combat boots never die and let’s not forget hooded scarves.”
 If you want to spot Naledi on campus or pushing the ultimate swag on the street, she will be wearing one of the three things, thigh-high socks, sheer stockings or black detailed stockings.
Some may think that it doesn’t take much to adopt a Capetonian style. However, it’s not that easy because style is not just about the clothes you put on, that does not give you swag in any way. What gives you swag is the way you carry yourself. If you believe in what you are wearing and have an air of confidence and fearlessness, no-one can stop you or even dare try and chuckle at you. So like Naledi, try something new, something outrageous and carry it with the utmost swagger and you should be just fine.
 Much Love and even more Dopeness
Koosh: The Lil' Black

Special Thanks to Naledi! You're a super star Ledz!