Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Fashion Icon Alert: Solange Knowles

Fashion icon alert: And she goes by the name of Solange Knowles. Although hidden behind her sister in the music biz, when it comes to fashion, this woman wins hands down. The waistline braids, the Ankara tribal prints, the multicoloured head ties, we urge to greet her with the term ‘Mama Africa’ – and we’re sure she’d reply.

Ditch the silky straight and go for an afro, or even a fade one hair cut, why not? And she rocks it like no other, cool yet neat and quirky. Arguably she’s an unobvious choice when initiating the ‘style icon’ title. Instantly Rihanna comes to mind or Victoria Beckham, but where their style is so thought out, Solange’s look is effortless.

Putting a Fro against our extension obsessed world is a big step to take and indeed she is not the first - along with her big head ties she could give Erykah Badu a run for her money – but her style says more.

That structured Ankara blazer that she wore for the FashizBlack photoshoot (above) was love at first sight – her monochrome Peter Pan collar ensemble with a dash of leopard print reflects her elegance - and the braided Mohican she achieved in that block coloured outfit (above) shows that ANYTHING is possible.

I love that a plain vest top and leather skinny’s can come alive with the addition of a tribal turban. No fringe, no side curls, just beauty. And putting afrocentric aside for a moment, she is no stranger to the 70’s trend, rocking a pair of palazzo pants like it’s her vocation.

Having a clean-cut fashion sense doesn’t always cut it, and Mrs Knowles depicts this to a tee. We like the crazy prints, we love a bright lip, and we adore the natural look. To me, Solange Knowles is fashionista of the moment. All hail Mama Africa!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Fashion's androgynous face

Miss Monae: Queen of the Tailoring

Miss Chung: No stranger to a good pair of braces

Miss Deyn: Know's how to rock some Dr Martens

His top button was loose and hers was done up, something we have now come to accept. We don’t see it as reversed roles, just that she’s a bit kooky. When did fashion become so androgynous? From bowler hats to brogues, from tuxedo blazers to neckties, he can borrow our clothes and we can borrow his. Madness.

Females no longer feel the need to hold on to that instant sex appeal. At lunch with the girls yesterday, all of them had their blouses buttoned to the top. Cleavage covered, curves discrete and hello tailoring. Having an edge these days says more. It speaks volumes.

Arguably there has always been a bit of androgyny in fashion – models remain boobless and fade one haircuts receive a congratulating head nod. But for so many to embrace this look, it shows that we now look to style icons such as Agyness Deyn and Janelle Monae rather than Paris Hilton and… Barbie.

Alexa Chung can be crowned the queen of androgynous fashion - one dungaree ahead of the game and a brogue too many. She shows however that the masculine look is not unattractive but chic. A female does not have to declare to the ends of the earth that she is female with a corset based body con dress. The swag is in the mystery.

Undoubtedly I will still reach for a body con skirt now and then, a crop top here and there and a waist-defining belt will always be amongst my essentials. Though the fact that ladies no longer feel the need to flaunt their assets so obviously, is a fact to celebrate. Quote of the week? Androgyny is the way forward…