In creating my 1st fashion collection back in 2015 for the Q.A.C. Webstore, my love of art and history came to the life when I had the chance to sit with an elder of the Dogon tribe. Found primarily in Mali, W. Africa, this tribe is known for their wooden masked dances, incredible architecture, and wooden artistic sculptures. However, they are most noted for their mud cloth fabric, often showcasing their ancient knowledge of the stars / universe.
Hey Royal Fam,
Welcome back to another fun "Daily Fashion Fix" post! This week, I'm sharing a super quick tutorial answering the question I receive the most all over my Instagram feed ... How do I create the beautiful headwrap styles that have become a fashion staple in my everyday look? After an overwhelming yes response to a recent Instastory poll, how could I say no?
In the last Fashion Fix post, I talked about my journey to fully embracing my African heritage. Way back when, one of the 1st ways I began to reflect my Ghanaian culture was through adopting West African fabrics and incorporating unique headwraps into my look.
Not long after, and with a bit of practice, these simple headwraped styles grew in their uniqueness ... From basic notted styles
To full wraps styles reminiscent of traditional West African geles (Nigerian wraps worn particularly on special occasions). These big gorgeous wraps not only help celebrate this part of my culture
... But they have become such a part of my life and self-identity, that I can't imagine ever going back to not wearing them at all. It's with incredible pride that I share just some of my favorite headwrap styles with you. This video, was made especially with beginners in mind ... In the hopes that you grow to love them as much as I do!
'Till next time, as always, The Journey Continues!
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Our Editor in Chief
Returning after a long hiatus with a new Daily Fashion Fix post. In his week’s installment, I decided to take another stab at restyling a modest look since moving abroad. That said, my new country of residence, Qatar is no different than many other countries across the Middle East.
Here, modest dress applies to women AND men. Those who practice Islam, particularly the native Qatari people, often dress in traditional full-cover garments called thobes (for men) and abayas + sheilas (for women) .. For non-Qatari residents (like myself) or for visitors passing through
The rule is to cover from knees to shoulders, w/ arms covered preferably to the elbow (but a t-shirt length is passible when outside of work or government buildings) .. Yall, this is DEF a shift from my nudist / bodycon wearing, free-spirit self who loves to push boundaries! ... It's not easy, but I think I'm making it work LOL!
Also, in addition to a quick convo about modesty, I also wanted to talk a bit about these images and the duality of my new city.
As you can see, the location for this week’s post is not glamorous. And that’s exactly why I was drawn to it. This month in honor of Black History Month, I wanted to share content that talks about the other side of this expat experience. From my Instagram alone, I’m sure you’ve already seen lots of photos of beautiful hotels, pools, food, and parties ...
I’ve already made some really great friends here and I’ve have some amazing times thus far, but I also want to share the other side ... The story of expats from other countries working really hard, yet clearly not living the same type of life experiences my friends and I are. While it’s easy to post beautiful photos, I also want to share what’s real. As a black woman, as a Caribbean woman, I myself have had experiences here that were not always positive due to stereotyping and assumptions of class, poverty, etc, based solely on the dark complexion my skin and the history of blackness here.
Clearly said? I want to be able to share authentic experiences of people of color who are in these spaces. It would be inauthentic to myself or the people I’m sharing this journey with, you my online fam, if I chose not to talk about these issues and strictly showed Insta-worthy vacation shots for however long I'm here ... Now, don’t get me wrong, I like those things .. Love them actually. However, it would be irresponsible of me to not acknowledge the huge population here whose labor is the backbone of this society, making this “fancy” lifestyle possible for a very select few. I feel it’s my duty to shine a light on them.
In short, the art direction of this week’s photos were to show this dichotomy .. To show the contradiction .. To show and the beauty against the gritty.
Ok fam, that's all for now. I hope you loved today’s fashion post! ... PS: If you liked the photos, you’ll LOVE the fun lookbook video I put together to celebrate this week’s style! ... Check it out below and let me know what you think!
UPDATE! - For full details on my trip to the Bin Jelmood Museum, which discusses the history of the Arabic slave trade her in Qatar as well as modern manifestations of slavery and indentured work ... Tap HERE!
‘Till then, as always ... The Journey Continues!
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Our Editor in Chief
It's rare these days that one particular piece make me completely speechless. After years of hard shopping and millions of pieces later, I found it. A dress so rare and amazing that I couldn't pass it up. On a trip back to my hometown last year, I came across, now wait for it .. A one of a kind .. Handmade ... 1950's vintage dress .. Straight from Ecuador! squeals in fashion nerd ... PS: did I mention the dress was in perfect, nearly untouched condition? ... Omg! swoons
What I love about this dress, is not just the rarity of it, but also the heritage. Throughout this dress are patterns and images of the indigenous Inca people. Briefly, the Inca were a members of an empire which spanned South America from Columbia to Argentina before the arrival of Columbus and other colonialist.
With over 10 million subjects, the Inca dynasty was the largest empire of its time! In addition to their development of 30 languages, commission of national roads, and temples, the Inca developed a distinct style of art that remains recognizable to this day.
Below, are a few of the shots I took in Central Park over the weekend wearing this amazeballs dress, along with images of ancient gold / bronze Inca artifacts found depicting the Inca people's sacred sun god deity. They considered themselves "Children of the Sun". As you can see, these same patterns and images were incorporated into my dress.
In short? This dress is exactly what I mean when I say that my personal style is a collection of global vintage with a modern aesthetic. A mint condition, handcrafted vintage item which also happens to acknowledge and celebrate a powerful ancient culture? ... How could I not!? ... Regrettably my fashion loves, this dress will not be listed in the Q.A.C webstore!
I've fallen hopelessly and completely in love with it! LOL There are some fashion finds that are absolutely priceless. :]) .. No worries, when the Q.A.C shop launches with new pieces this June, you'll totally forgive me. Even more global pieces awaits! ... 'Till then? As always, the journey continues!
To learn more about the powerful and vast ancient Inca culture click HERE
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Our Editor in Chief
Greetings culture lovers!
It's 65° degrees here in NYC today, so you know what that means ... Either global warming is going into overdrive this week, or Spring is almost here!! .. I'm going to think positively and go with Spring LOL. That said, I took advantage of the amazeballs weather by grabbing my camera and shooting downtown! .. Hope you enjoy!
While original shuka wraps were crafted with sheepskin or calf / animal hides, around the 1960's the Maasai people replaced traditional shuka with modern fabrics created from cotton woven in various tartan-like (think Scottish plaid) patterns. Additionally, in keeping with tradition, the modern fabric now used still maintains the overall vibrant red coloring found in the first shuka capes
Originally, created by taking and processing red ochre clay from the earth, historically, the red coloring in shukas held important significance in not only helping tribesmen camouflage from wild animals by blending into the terrain .. But also serving as a warning signal to aggressive animals when discovered (warding them off) as warriors set out on the hunt.
Today, shukas can be wrapped and worn in countless ways, as its style often varies by the creativity of the wearer. For a bit of style inspiration, check out my modern take on rocking shuka cloth in this week's post! As you all know, I love all things vintage. For this look, I brought together a plush butter leather 1980's crop jacket ... A simple body-suit .. And a pair of super distressed high-waisted vintage mom jeans. Can you tell I wear these a lot?
No seriously, they're probably going to fall apart any minute with all the fraying, but I can't let them go .. LOL! Shoes included these gold booties I was gifted by my mom, practically unworn from last winter. They honestly had to grow on me style wise, because I wasn't originally a fan (sorry mom!) .. But I'm so glad I decided to keep them. LOL .. And there there you have it! A few classic basics paired up with a unique statement piece and you have a really cool look all your own.
Interested in learning how I created some of these folded fabric looks? Tap HERE to view my Q.A.C tutorial, where I show you how to replicate my top five favorite wrap styles! ... Thanks for stopping by. ~ xo