EMBRACING MY DIVERSITY

November 13, 2017

Hello World,

 

Stop,  hold up wait a minute .... it's my very first blog so here goes...

​In fashion, just like in life everything is certainly not black & white and I hope to show you, that it’s really in the grey where all the fun lies. 

So, I 'm a South African Indian Irish girl – Born in South Africa of Indian descent and have lived in Ireland for over 6 years and fell head over heels in love with this beautiful land.  I guess my bio certainly puts me the grey, right?  Never quite fitting in anywhere I have opted to make everything my very own. 

 

For me, style is a beat, something you feel in your soul – it's instinct, that sort of falling in love for the first time feeling you get when you see something beautiful.  Style will and can never be defined by occupation (I am an accountant) nor wealth but only by creativity and flair.  

Being a brown girl, born in the 80’s in Apartheid South Africa has influenced my style – my swag and confidence is definitely an African thing.  My love of bold colours and prints is a little of MADIBA magic in me.  I swear African fabric and style has a beat and rhythm of its own– it moves you! My love affair with for fabrication or really bling has to do with that Indian in my DNA. 

I love the drape of a saree; the simple elegance of its silhouette can never be matched.  How do I fit the Irish in, you ask?

After many years of longing for my sense of identity, am I African or Indian – or part of the South African Indian Sub Culture?  Living in Ireland ignited in me a sense of who I really am, it’s really where I came into my own – where I discovered that being me was pretty awesome.  It’s where I looked into the mirror and realised that I am so much more than the sum of my parts.  I settled into a comfortable acceptance of me –not what others perceived me to be. I threw off the shackles of a lost identity. I recognised me. I am anything and everything I feel in my soul at a given moment.

 

A little about my visual story then.  Sometimes Cape Town feels quite polarized to me –  such a disparity between the third and first world.  Yes, I am certainly blessed to live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world in a fab home, but I need to feel the heart of Africa pumping blood.  So, I head to my favorite back streets just down the road from a huge mall filled with international brands.  These streets are lined with tiny tailor shops, selling amazing African fabric, cheap Chinese knock off’s and everything else in between!  I love the market vibe, buying vegetables off the pavement makes me happy.  Chatting to locals and mingling with immigrants makes me feel like a global citizen.  Yes, this might not be everyone’s cup of tea and Tegan my photographer wasn't feeling the vibe but well done to her for giving it a try and taking the shot. 

Now finally let’s chat about my look.  I love animal print – and nothing beats a bit of leopard print – I sewed my vest from a textured print fabric and paired it with a seriously ornate lengha style full skirt handcrafted in India.  Finished it off with a modern vibe - with my gold boots from Zara and a vintage denim jacket from my local thrift store.  Ooh and those shades are amazing-my new fav from Cotton On. 

Yes, this look is bold alright and beautiful too.  Why?  Each piece is beautiful in its own right but put them all together and the result is that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts … kinda like me Go on then, shine bright and celebrate the mosaic that is all of you….!

 

DARE TO BE YOU!

LAANI RAANI

Photography: Tegan Smith (@tegansmithphotography)

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