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Have you ever reached a bleak point in your life when it seems impossible to see the wood for the trees? Are you This time last year, the hills were definitely not alive with the sound of music. I had encountered an experience that left me at one of my lowest points. To get me out of my funk, my brother recommended that I go on vacation. In the end, I settled on Athens, Greece. I saw the trip as a place to go for a short while to fall in love with life again. No pressure, right?! Continue Reading to get tips on how to recharge during vacation…

Vacation Therapy: How to Recharge during Vacation

The streets of Koukaki, Athens

Koukaki, Athens

Koukaki, Athens

Ms Kat et moi in Koukaki, Athens

When booking my trip to Athens, I saw the journey as taking a positive step towards healing my spirit and mind. I was aware that a 4-day trip wouldn’t miraculously solve all my problems.

However, I wanted to be proactive in improving the relationship I had with myself.

In addition, due to a series of unfortunate events in Berlin, my life had shrunk to a dark and narrow short corridor where all I could do was pace back and forth reliving the things that had gone wrong time and again.

The health experts at Very Well Mind believe that,

A good vacation can help us to reconnect with ourselves, operating as a vehicle for self-discovery and helping us get back to feeling our best.

Everyone has a different way of how they like to take a step back and recharge during vacation.

For some to feel rejuvenated, taking on new physical challenges is a must and for others switching off from the digital wold does the trick.

This is what worked for me. July is a peak season to travel, so if you are looking for ways to heal your spirit and mind during your next vacation, I hope my tips inspire you.

Stay With a Positive and Inspiring Friend

The Theatre of Dionysus Eleutherueus

Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus

Modern Athens: Concrete Jungle

I was in Athens for only four days, so I barely scratched the beautiful city’s surface.

However, my trip was made all the more special because of the good friend I stayed with. Let’s call her Madame Kat.

I met Kat during my Berlin glory days when I’d come to Sin City to party. Ms Kat is a talented photographer and the epitome of an artist. She lived in Berlin and we became fast friends.

Fast forward a few years and as I was moving to Berlin to start my new life, Ms Kat was gearing to leave Berlin and return back to Athens. According to her, she had enjoyed her Berlin ride but was eager to come of the Ferris wheel.

When I met up with Ms Kat in Athens last year, I was amazed at how she had done a 360. First of all she had given up alcohol and was in a healthy and loving relationship (which had never been the case in Berlin!).

She was also moving into a gorgeous new flat with her partner and still doing what she loved: photography.

At her very core, she was still Ms Kat, but it was clear to see she was in a much healthier and happier place. That was beyond inspiring to me.

I love it when friends have a good effect on you. When I was staying in Ms Kat’s place, I found that I began to imitate some of her good habits. I tried to eat healthier, I made more of an effort to tidy after myself…

When I came to Athens, I felt fragile and I have to say, Ms Kat took care of me. This is something I don’t have in Berlin. In Berlin, I live alone and as much as I love that, it’s nice to have someone fuss over you.

Do What You Love

Ms Kat @ Acropolis (Shot taken by me)

Acropolis

I am Woman

Beauty in Ruins

Ms Kat is a photographer and I love photography. Over the years, we’ve taken so many pictures of each other.

In Berlin, I have a few contacts to some really good photographers. However, I don’t have a good friend who is a photographer.

So when I was in Athens, I could fully enjoy sharing one of my passions with another like-minded person.

I am also a vintage lover, not just with fashion but when it comes to antiques and decor.

Ms Kat dropped me off in a vintage furniture shop and I had a ball rummaging through their stuff, I even managed to pick up a small souvenir.

Go With the Flow

Acropolis Garden

Taking a Moment

Ms Kat

My trip to Athens was the first time I travelled somewhere and didn’t have a concrete plan of what I’d do when I got there.

In fact, when I entered my taxi at the airport and we were zooming down to my hotel, I began to panick. All I could think was: Biki, what the H.E.L.L are you doing here??!!

Of course with a city like Athens, the sightseeing options are endless but I had done no research before I boarded the plane.

My attitude was, I was going to take each day as it came. I didn’t want to think, plan etc.

Part of this was because, I knew when I came back to Berlin, I would need to take some pretty big steps to get my life in order.

And Now for Style

Go-to Summer Maxi Dress

Flowers n’ Afros

The maxi dress I’m wearing is over ten years old. When I purchased it, I wore it once or twice and then laid it to rest at the back of my closet.

As I was rummaging in my closet for what to pack to Greece, I caught sight of it and dragged it from the darkness into the light.

It was a great choice. The floaty chiffon material meant that I could move around easily. I also love its vintage appeal.

What do you think of my floral hair accessory? If you follow my blog, you’ll know I’m always on the look out for statement hair accessories that add pizzazz to my short Afro.

I think cute pieces like this compliment TWA’s and short hairstyles in general.

In the End…

Sunsets in Athens

What a View

When I was in Athens, I didn’t forget about my troubles. They manifested into an invisible load I carried on my back 24/7. However, when I was in Athens I found that I could carry my baggage better and sometimes, I didn’t feel its weight.

I did come back to Berlin happier and with a stronger plan on how to turn things around. Did I fully succeed? It’s too early to tell. This is why I plan to book another trip to Athens this year, ha!

How about y’all? What steps do you take to recharge when you are on vacation?

And of course, you can’t go to Athens without hitting the beach, but more on that in my next post ( ;

Till Soon,

Bisous

The post Postcards from Greece: How I Recharged During my Vacation in Athens appeared first on MyFashionS/ashLife - Fashion & Lifestyle Blog by Biki John.

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My FashionS/ash Life by Myfashionslashlife - 1M ago

Hi everyone, I hope you’ve been having a good week. Here in Berlin the temperature’s getting hotter and I’m totally here for it! This post is the penultimate installment of my Lagos trip and I’m finally sharing the Aso Ebi styles at my mother’s 70th birthday. The colour code was pink and siler. Take note, we didn’t come to play, we came to slay. Continue Reading…

Aso Ebi Styles

Traditional African Clothing: What is Aso Ebi?

When it comes to traditional African clothing, the Aso Ebi style is just one piece of the puzzle.

Aso Ebi means ‘cloth of the family’. It is a term used  to refer to a uniform style worn by family members or anyone who wishes to wear the style (that was invited for the occassion). The style is often worn at social events like weddings. It symbolises support, unity and is used to identify guests as part of a group during an event.

Popular Aso Ebi fabrics include lace and Ankara.

Aso Ebi is not just reserved for Nigerians but is a style practiced in other West African countries. However, the name often changes to suit the country.

What are the typical pieces in an Aso Ebi outfit?

This diagram breaks down an Aso Ebi outfit ever so well:

The diagram shows a lady wearing:

  1. Gele: the headtie
  2. Buba: a blouse
  3. Pele: the shawl that goes round the waist
  4. Iborun: scarf/shawl
  5. Iro: the wrapper/large piece of fabric worn as a wrap-around skirt

I wore four out of the five pieces: the gele, buba, iborun and iro. The fabric of my iro and buba is grey lace embellished with faux pearls.

My gele and pele are handwoven Aso Oke’s. Aso Oke is hand loomed cloth woven by the Yoruba people of western Nigeria.

I chose to accessorize my pink and silver outfit with gold jewellery and a pink pedi ( :

Aso Ebi Styles: Old Vs New

Aso Ebi styles come in different colours and silhouettes.

My mother let us have full control in how we wanted our Aso Ebi’s to be designed. Whilst my sister opted for the more modern style Aso Ebi, I in true vintage form went for the old-fashion style (much to my ma’s horror).

I asked my mum what some of the differences were between the more old-fashioned Aso Ebi’s and the modern looks. She told me that the old styles carry blouses with simple round necklines and big sleeves.

In contrast, contemporary Aso Ebi’s have more elaborate necklines. Furthermore, the necklines can be designed in any way the wearer wants. Also, the sleeves have a lot more pizzazz (as you can see from my sister’s pimped out sleeves).

My sister’s wrapper was more fitted than mine and designed to look more like a skirt. My wrap-around material was fashioned into more of a blatant wrapper.

I will try this more trend-focused style one day: the diva in me demands it!

Now can we just pause on how gorge my oldest sister looked? My sister owns her own medical practice and has three children. She is wife, mother, sister, DR and so much more and she juggles her duties and responsibilities like no other.

And when it’s time to slay, you best believe she comes alllll the way through. I find her beyond inspiring.

Aso Ebi: Advanced Style

My ma wore a coral pink wrapper and silver blouse, she didn’t follow the theme strictly as she was the celebrant.

This is what being happy at 70 looks like Peeps ( ;

I took this picture during my mother’s Thanksgiving mass in church. I like the contrast in style and colour between what my ma is wearing and one of our guests.

Aso Ebi Style: Pink and Silver

During my mother’s event, I was torn between wanting to savour the event and capture the event via pictures and videos.

But I had to give myself a stern talking to. Yes, there were so many Instagram moments during my ma’s 70th bash but I wasn’t going to stress myself with trying to capture each one. At best, I just had to store and cherish the memories in my mind.

Do you ever get like that? You’re at an event or holiday and you feel overwhelmed with all the moments you feel you have/need to photograph, film, etc? Ya know coz if it didn’t happen on social media, it kinda never did?

…another image I love because it shows how differently you can wear the Pink and Silver theme.

I am so happy I was able to get the below shot. If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen video clips of the traditional dancing that went down at my ma’s 70th. This image is of me and the dancers from my mother’s Ishan tribe.

In my last and final breakdown of my time in Lagos, I go into my ma’s actual event, so stay tuned!

How would you have worn this Aso Ebi, pink and silver theme? Would you have chosen pink or silver as your dominant colour? Gold, silver, multicoloured beads or gems: what would have been your jewellery of choice?

Do tell, I’d love to know!

Bisous

The post Aso Ebi Styles: Pink and Silver appeared first on MyFashionS/ashLife - Fashion & Lifestyle Blog by Biki John.

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The sun is shining in Berlin and I couldn’t be happier! It gives me an opportunity to sashay shantay in my spring/summer clothes. Today, I want to get into fashion inspiration. Who inspires you? I was in Lagos recently and during that time my mother’s wardrobe- rich with African designs- inspired me. Continue Reading…

African Fashion Inspiration

When I was in Lagos in April, so many things inspired me. This caused me to not only dress differently, but it also changed me emotionally. I was more confident.

My morning ritual was to go to my mother’s walk-in closet, peruse her various African-inspired garments and choose my #OutfitOfTheDay.

This purple print dress was one of my favourites.

Last week, I discussed what African fashion style meant to me. I like to blend Western and African pieces. I believe this makes the outfit look more wearable and contemporary.

I flirted with the idea of borrowing this dress from my mama indefinitely. In the end, I didn’t because I had to get real. The dress did not fit with the life I have in either Berlin or London.

I used to be a firm believer of dressing for the life I aspired to have rather than the life I was living. The problem with this is you tend to accumulate pieces that take up wardrobe space and pretty much nothing else.

At least, this has been the case for me, more or less.

Inspiring Stores in Lagos

I had very little time when I was in Lagos to hop, skip and jump around. Despite my time schedule, I made sure I made a quick trip to one of my favourite stores, Quinessence. It’s your one-stop destination for African-inspired art, sculptures, clothes, accessories, furniture and more.

When I’m in Quitessence, I’m in my happy place. I adore the layout of the store.

Their artwork isn’t too shabby either. These are some of their eye candy I went ga-ga for:

These 2 pieces were created by the same artist, Chika. I want to marry him. Our house would be like an art museum. The End.

Who Inspires You?

In my last post, I showcased an outfit I bought in my favourite design store in Lagos, Grey Velvet:

Top: Frankie & Co. | Skirt: Frankie & Co.

I got the loveliest surprise when my designer friend – Eric Farr- posted this sketch on his social media pages with the following words,

‘When you see something on a fellow blogger and get inspired to sketch out a couple of looks that you need to add to your capsule collection, you just ride the wave of inspiration!!!! Girl, that pic with the top and skirt, set something fierce off in me today!!! Need to take this further!!!!’

His lovely words made my day and in turn inspired the theme of this post.

And that my peeps is the power of inspiration. It’s like a powerful fluid force that goes back and forth.

One More Dress From Mama

I couldn’t round this post off without showing you another dress of my mother’s. I felt like a Nigerian Princes in this print number. It made me float not walk.

Me with my two Berlin mates who came to Lagos ( :

And Finally…

Do tell me what inspires your style, interior design and creativity? Which cities, Instagram Feeds, cultures…I’d love to know.

Till Soon,

Bisous

The post African Fashion Inspiration: Nigerian Contemporary Style appeared first on MyFashionS/ashLife - Fashion & Lifestyle Blog by Biki John.

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It’s been more than a minute folks, but here I am! I was in Lagos earlier on this month for my mother’s 70th birthday bash.  One of the things I enjoy doing when I’m in the motherland is visiting one of my favourite fashion stores, Grey Velvet. It’s my one-stop destination for African fashion style. And what’s more, unlike some fashion boutiques in Lagos, it’s actually affordable! Continue Reading…

African Fashion Style What is African Fashion Style?

I don’t believe there is a definitive answer to this question. One of the reasons for this is- unlike what the international press would have us believe- Africa is not a country but a continent. This means styles and tradition vary depending on whether you are in the North, South, East or West.

That being said, I do believe there are some features in an ensemble that give it an African flair.

Take this outfits I tried on recently in Grey Velvet for example,

Blouse: Belois Couture | Skirt: Frankie & Co.

Top: Frankie & Co. | Skirt: Frankie & Co.

These outfits show that African fashion style can:

  • Be contemporary/modern
  • Fuse western and African fashion (If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know I like to pair my Ankara skirts with t-shirts)
  • Be wearable
  • Be more than colourful prints

African fashion style can also be subtle and not tick the box of what the public have come to deem as ‘African’.

For example, the skirt I am wearing below is by African label, FIA. At first glance it doesn’t look like what’s been commonly termed as African fashion. That is to say, there is no look-at-me wax fabric (e.g. Ankara print).

Skirt: FIA

However, African designers work with many types of textures to bring their designs to life: lace, Kente (Ghana), Adire (Nigeria), bark cloth, mud cloth etc.

Buy African Fashion

When it comes to African fashion, I believe one of the factors that would make our industry improve  is putting our money where our mouths are.

That’s why when I’m in Lagos, no matter how short my trip is, I find my way to Grey Velvet.

When I visited the store earlier this month, I floated away happily with the pencil skirt and print crop top above. Both were on sale for N3,000 each.

N6,000 works out at about £12, that’s a steal folks!

African Fashion Designers

Here are some other fab pieces that I’d like to own at Grey Velvet.

I wanted to buy the blue sister of this blouse (seen in first image) soooo bad. I still think about it from time to time. Definitely the blouse that got away, sniff, sniff…

Blouse: Belois Couture

J’adore the silhouette and colour of this dress.

Dress: Ejiro Amos Tafiri

How would you wear these bubblegum pink culottes: with the shirt dress or peekaboo blouse?

Shirt dress: ADA by Alter Ego Culottes: Frankie and Co.

Blouse: Marymaii Culottes: Frankie and Co.

One of the most popular phrases back home is, ‘No Wahala’ (i.e no problem/no worries). I saw it imprinted on cards, cushions, clothes…

I wanted this dress like a fat kid loves cup cakes, it’s midi length and fitted as F.

Dress: Kiki Kamanu

A perfect example of contemporary African fashion style.

T-shirt: Lago Laid Back (LLB) | Skirt: Frankie and Co.

Grey Velvet is a luxury boutique that stocks womenswear and accessories from Africa’s finest.

Browse their online store here, and note that as well as shipping within Africa, they cater to International markets in Europe and America. Keep updated on their latest arrivals via their Instagram.

Which is your favourite Grey Velvet outfit? Do tell, I’d love to know.

Till soon,

Bisous

All images featuring models are courtesy of Grey Velvet

The post Grey Velvet, Lagos: My Go-To Store for Affordable African Fashion Style appeared first on MyFashionS/ashLife - Fashion & Lifestyle Blog by Biki John.

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Now that the strong winds from Siberia have ceased blowing their freezing wrath across Berlin (Yipee!), it’s the perfect time for me to delve back into the latest fashion trends that reflect the dawn of spring.  More than anything, the beastly weather we suffered made me look forward to the prospect of spring and all the sartorial benefits it has to offer.

If the Spring/Summer 2018 catwalks are anything to go by- we’ll be welcoming the warmer weather by shimmying in outfits adorned with flirty fringe. Continue Reading…

Latest Fashion Trends: Spring/Summer 2018 Style

If you always felt you had the spirit of a 20s show girl residing in you just waiting for an optimal moment to burst out- this spring season is the time! During the Spring/Summer 2018 season, a plethora of designers put their spin on this sassy trend.  Céline punctuated their modest and chic clothing with long tassels, Nina Ricci took a more colourful route and experimented with fuschia pink fringe, Loewe, Balmain and Acne Studios had tassels dangling from the hems of their clothing.

All in all, designers in all fashion capitals of the world put their own stamp on this look-at-me trend by adoring skirts, bodices, accessories, sleeves, hemlines et al in statement fringe.

Fringe Binge

For those of you that follow runway shows avidly, you’ll know that some runway trends are just that- for the runway. Reason being, unless your profession involves you performing at concerts and the like, some runway styles are just too ‘out there’ for civilians.

At first glance, the fringe trend can be cast aside as a fleeting trend for extroverts. There is some truth in that- the ‘Cow girl meets the Wild Wild West’ vibes that fringe exhibits can give of an impractical fancy dress vibe. However, I believe that if one buys tassel pieces wisely- you can wear the trend all season round.

Tips On How To Wear The Latest Fashion Trend: Fringe

Tip 1-Wear fringe according to your body type

If you are an extrovert, then you will be part of my More is More tribe and as much as I love to fly this flag, I do have to warn you to exercise some caution when experimenting with this trend from head to toe. This means that if you wish to wear a dress, skirt or top that drips in long fringe, it will look more flattering depending on your height and natural body shape.

Tip 2- Play with proportions

This is what I did with my outfit, I am wearing a black jumper embellished with studs and fringe and I chose to streamline the outfit with a figure hugging leather skirt. If one is not careful, fringe can overwhelm your body frame and make you appear larger than you are. As I have more thighs than a bucket of KFC chicken, you are unlikely to see me wearing fringe around my hips or a long tassel maxi skirt.

Tip 3- Experiment with fringe accents

If you dwell in Minimalist Ville but like to do a drive by More is More City every now and again, you can still be part of the Fringe Gang. Accessories adorned with fringe are a great way for you to dip your toes into the waters of this latest fashion trend.

So have fun with this new fashion trend by purchasing a metallic bag dripping in chain mail fringe or go down the more bohemian route by buying a pair of colourful shoes with multicoloured tassels. Either way, you’ll be making a fabulous fashion statement.

Stylish Side Note

I for one, am totally about Fringe Swag and this Mango jumper remains one of my favourite spring buys.

I don’t know about you but I’m loving the whimsy glam appeal for Spring/Summer 2018 Trends. Not so long ago, I spread the word that look-at-me sequins would be all the rage in the up coming season and now we have the trend’s younger sister- Fringe- trying to compete.

I also had so much fun working with the photographer for this shoot. The weather was horrible as you can see from the muddy ground and when I was in the basketball court feeling all model-like (Ha!), some ruddy boys ran in which brought the shoot to an abrupt halt!

However, despite the weather and the general public not playing ball, my love for this outfit and the photographer’s good spirits made me enjoy the shoot and I love the results.

P.S. I call this look my Brandy Braids– the style reminds me of her old-school hairstyles.

What do you think of the latest fashion trends? Will you be investing in some fringe pieces? Do tell, I’d love to know.

Till Soon,

Bisous

Credits- Jumper: Mango, Skirt & Beanie: Topshop, Shoes: Vagabond, Bag: Zara, Sunnies: Prada

Photographer- Sabrina Von Heide

The post Latest Fashion Trends: Fringe Benefits appeared first on MyFashionS/ashLife - Fashion & Lifestyle Blog by Biki John.

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This year I plan to focus on more work-related topics on my blog. Between what goes on behind the scenes to create my blog photography and the steps I’m taking in my career- I’d like to share what I’ve learnt from my achievements, as well as my ‘Homer-DOH!’ mistakes. I hope someone can learn from them.

Recently, I’ve had a few Skype interviews and today, I’m sharing 5 essential Skype interview tips that will make you feel more prepared for your next video call interview. Continue Reading…

5 essential Skype interview tips
Some of the video interview tips I mention may seem like common sense but believe me when I say common sense is not so common. In one of my most recent Skype interviews, things almost went Pete Tong because I hadn’t followed one of these Skype Dos. The tips below are based on the assumption that as a job candidate, you have done all the necessary ground work for the job position to ensure you know the company, your CV, work experience and achievements back to front.
1) Select a quiet location
Even when you are prepared, interviews can be nerve-racking and a noisy environment whilst you are being asked interview questions will throw your concentration off and likely make you not respond to questions in the best possible way.
If you plan to interview in a flat with other people, ensure they are aware of your interview time so they are unlikely to enter your room or space at that time.
In addition to this, ensure that all your tech gadgets are silenced.
2) Ensure the location is appropriate
Bear in mind that when you are asked for a Skype interview, you are not only being assessed on your knowledge, your interviewer is likely to interested in your common sense. Consequently, choose a location that is video call- friendly. This entails making sure there is good lighting, the walls behind you look decent and your environment is tidy and minimal.
3) Dress the part
When faced with choosing what to wear for a video interview, remember- yes you’ve not got the job yet, but in a Skype interview you should dress like you do. For Skype interviews, some people prefer to look office-smart from the waist up as that is what is visible on camera to the interviewer, I prefer to look the part from head to toe. I find that it alters my confidence, changes how I sit and the like.
4) Your Skype picture and name should be office-friendly
First impressions are everything, how seriously do you think you are going to be taken for a job if your Skype name is Down4WhatEva? Or if your Skype image is a picture of you grinning brazenly in a bikini on the beach holding a cocktail? Be conventional- use your name as your Skype username and the image you choose should reflect the job position you are applying for.
5) Avoid tech glitches by doing a test run
This I had to learn the hard way. On the day and time of a recent Skype interview, I sat down waiting for the call and it never came. I began to panic, I tried calling the HR on Skype and it wouldn’t go through. The sweat beads on my forehead multiplied, I then called the HR on my phone as a last resort. At that point, she informed me that she had been trying to Skype call me and I let her know that I hadn’t heard her calls. Then in a desperate attempt to salvage the situation, I told her I would shut down my laptop and put it on again.
People, when I shut my computer down and attempted to restart ut, my laptop chose that opportune (!!!) moment to ‘configure Windows’ and as this goes from 0 to 100%- I knew it could take up to 5 minutes, which in interview time is 5 centuries.
I then had to call my interviewer on my phone again and she asked if we should postpone the interview and I apologised profusely and said I’d like the interview to carry on as scheduled. She then gave me a time of when she would have to leave for another appointment.
In the end, I made her time deadline, my laptop worked fine once the configuration process was over, we had the interview and I passed to the next stage of the interview.
Do you know how I could have avoided all that hullabaloo? By shutting down and restarting my laptop in enough time before the interview. It was a lesson well-learned.
It’s also a good idea to test call a friend or relative before a Skype interview to make sure your sound, lighting, background and the like are A-Ok.
Those are my 5 essential Skype interview tips to ensure you are on-point before your Skype interview, can you think of any more video interview prep tips? If so, put them down in the Comment section below.
Also I shared my Skype interview horror story, do you have any of your own? Do tell I’d love to know.
Stylish Side Note
If you read my posts regularly, you’ll know I’m a fan of finding stylish ways to add pizzaz to all-black outfits.
This time around, I added prints and statement metallic accessories to my all-black ensemble.
By the by, this is the first night-time shoot that has appeared on my blog, I’d love to do more- what do you think?
Credits
Bolero Jacket- R Sales, Blouse- Peekaboo Vintage, Skirt- Gift, Floral crown- Stephanieverafter
Photographer- Patricia Santos

The post 5 TIPS TO PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR SKYPE INTERVIEW appeared first on MyFashionS/ashLife - Fashion & Lifestyle Blog by Biki John.

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Who doesn’t love a bit of sparkle in their wardrobe? The glitz ‘n’ glamour that comes with the festive season may be over, but thanks to sequins being one of the hottest trends of the S/S 18 season, we can continue to get our shine on. Continue Reading to see how to recreate the uplifting sequins trend in dreary winter.

How To Do The Sequins S/S 18 Trend In Winter

S/S 18 shows like Ashish, Tom Ford, Halpern and Marc Jacobs sent their models down resplendent in glittery pieces. Some designers took a bolder route and adorned their fabrics in sequins, whilst others chose to subtly decorate their accessories with sequins. It was like each designer had a touch of Studio 54 fever and I’m totally here for it.

Sequins symbolize a lust for life and oozes glamour, this may make it an overwhelming trend for some. Here are some of my tips on how to wear the S/S 18 trend in winter.

For my #OOTD, I chose to wear this rainbow-striped sequin-embellished number from Zara. Believe it or not, I bought this same dress three times. That’s my insurance in case shit happens and that’s how much I love this sequined wrap number. I intend to wear it until I’ve one foot in the grave, better yet- bury me in it, but I digress…

1. Wear a polo neck and tights underneath your sequins dress

If you’re like me, you just can’t wait for spring before you wear your sequins dress, I mean with global warming, who knows when it will actually get warmer! That’s why I chose to wear a polo neck and wool tights underneath my dress. Wearing these winter pieces allows me to have fun with this sparkly trend.

Layering your sequin outfit with a polo neck and tights is also a good way to take the sequins trend from day to night. When the sun sets, before you hit the dance floor, whip of that polo neck and set that club on fire!

2. Use black as your base colour

The warmer it is, the more inclined we are to experiment with bold colour and print, however, if you feel your sparkly outfit is too bright for winter- using black pieces to layer your outfit is a great way to tone down your magpie factor.

Black separates work exceptionally well as a neutral colour to set off your rainbow brights. This is why the dark shade makes a great base colour when paired with a colourful stripey number like my dress. It also makes your overall look more polished and chic.

3. With accessories, less is more

When you have an outfit that oozes high-octane glam from head to toe, you don’t want to wear accessories that compete with it. In this case, less is more dhhharlings. This is why I opted to wear no necklace and instead chose statement earrings and a few rings.

What do you think of the sequins trend, will you be getting your sparkle on? Do tell, I’d love to know!

Till Soon,

Bisous

Photographer- Sabrina von der Heide

Credits

Dress and shoes- Zara, Sunnies- Prada

The post How To Do The Sequins S/S 18 Trend In Winter appeared first on MyFashionS/ashLife - Fashion & Lifestyle Blog by Biki John.

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On Tuesday, 16th January, Styleranking had their biannual fashion blogger event, that is held during Berlin Fashion Week. This A/W ’18 season, it was their FashionBloggerCafé WHITE EDITION. As a fashion blogger, one may often wonder what the benefits are of going to blogger-related occasions. I particularly enjoy going for Styleranking’s blogger events because it’s a great opportunity to meet fellow bloggers, network with fashion and lifestyle brands and oh yes, their goody bags don’t hurt either. Continue reading…

What are the benefits of fashion blogger events?
  1. The opportunity to work with new brands

My makeup brand collaboration with ARTDECO came about because I connected with ARTDECO’s team at Styleranking’s previous blogger event. Personally, I like to build a relationship with a brand in an informal surrounding like a fashion blogger event. It’s also a great way to ask certain questions (e.g. who to send your pitch to), so you have all the required information to make a strong collaboration pitch.

For Styleranking’s latest blogger edition, I was pleased to discover online fashion brand Orsay. Orsay stocks a great array of clothes and accessories. Speaking of arm candy, how cute are their accessories? That cat-bag is such a fashion Instagramer must-have!

2. Get inspired by street style trends at fashion blogger events

In today’s world, there are several platforms that can be used as personal style reference points. However, sometimes nothing beats being inspired by seeing what people are wearing first-hand. Now and again, I have been known to buy bits and bobs- a pair of metallic brogues there, an embellished bag here- based on how certain people have put their ensemble together at events, parties etc.

It’s been a while since I’ve crowd watched and during Styleranking’s fashion blogger event, I let my eyes feast upon what Autumn/Winter pieces influencers were rocking.

If I had to name one recurring trend I saw, it would have to be statement outerwear pieces- both men and woman alike adorned themselves in fabulous look-at-me coats and jackets.

3. Networking: Sometimes, it’s not what you know but who you know

Are you a fan of fashion blogger events? If you go to them alone (as I often do) it can feel a bit like a hard slog…all that networking…saying who you are and what you do repetitively and seeing if the person’s eyes you are speaking too lights up or glazes over and begins to dart anxiously around the room looking for more erm, useful contacts.

I would advise fashion blogger newbies to go to fashion blogger events in their area because it’s a great opportunity to build relationships with fellow bloggers and who knows what opportunities can come from your endeavours. It’s also a good way to speak to like-minded people and get ideas like new podcasts to join or photographers to get in touch with.

One of my highlights from this event was sharing a taxi ride with blogger/model Carolin Lauffenburger, I really enjoyed discussing fashion-related topics with her like- the hard work that goes into maintaining Instagram Followers/Likes et al. What I liked most about Carolin is she seemed very down-to-earth; after being a full-time stylist and working with models for close to a decade- trust me, this is something I don’t take for granted!! I also thought it was super cute that she was married to a photographer who often takes pictures of her. And I’ll repeat what I said to her when I found this out- LUCKY BIIIIIITCH!!!!!

Bloggers, when you don’t have a hubby, boyfriend or friend to take your pictures, you know the struggle is #RealerThanReal!

Check out Carolin’s Instagram here.

What did you wear, Dear?

I was in a low-key kinda mood, so I wore predominantly black clothing and spiced my outfit up with gold accessories and bold red tights.

Till soon, Bisous!

The post What Are The Benefits Of Fashion Blogger Events? Styleranking’s Fashion Blogger Event appeared first on MyFashionS/ashLife - Fashion & Lifestyle Blog by Biki John.

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As working ladies, we know that looking the part can go a long way in boosting our confidence in the office. I don’t know about you but some mornings, I don’t want to spend oodles of time putting chic separates together. Instead, I’d rather quickly slip on a versatile work dress and quite literally- go about my business.  Office dresses come in different get-ups- A-Line dresses, wrap dresses, shirt dresses…there are many styles to choose from when selecting the perfect work dress. Continue Reading…

How to Elevate Your Go-To Work Dress this Winter

For the purpose of this article, I settled on this lush green midi dress from Zara and the essential tips I am about to share with you will do the trick for most smart dresses you choose for the office.

Layer your work dress with a blazer

Nothing quite channels your inner boss like a structured blazer. Blazers have a come a long way since their more conservative old boys’ clubs days, punctuated with asorted house crests. Now, due to the creative restructuring from household brands like Gucci, Chanel and Prada- blazers play an integral role when we want to juxtapose our feminine outfits with a razor-sharp masculine touch. I have a particular liking for oversized blazers with statement buttons. Feast your eyes on this fab selection of blazers.

A polo neck adds a sleek finish

Every fashion lover knows that in winter, polo necks are an essential winter wardrobe staple. Whether you wear these cozy knits on their own or underneath a dress- polo necks give an ensemble a sophisticated and preppy touch, which is perfect for the workplace.

Punctuate your office dress with statement shoes

‘Workin’ 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin’, belted out Dolly Parton, well if you can have some fun on the way with your office style- it certainly helps to brighten up an otherwise mundane day. Don’t tell me you’ve never been having a bad day at work and then looked down south at your new embellished footwear and given an inner smile!

Accessorize as far as your office dress code allows you

Now ladies, if you work in a corporate environment, you will have to dial back your accessories but remember, jewellery in an attractive minimalist style will take your work attire up a notch. However, if you work in a creative sector like PR or fashion, then you can experiment more with statement jewellery.

Style your work dress with a statement coat

Even though we take our coats off as soon as we get into the office, our outerwear office style plays an integral part in making us feel the part as we make our way to and fro our respective work places. As you know I am a fan of maxi coats, currently, I’m healthily obsessed with trench coats and love the way my coat’s camel hue compliments my forest green mid-length work dress.

I hope these tips breathe new life into your work attire!

Now, back to me- what do you think of my Princess Leia-inspired braids? I’ve been mulling over the idea of braiding my hair but was terrified of letting another hairstylist butcher my hairline. Well, as you can see from my hairstyle, I’ve succumbed for the time being. Can you believe that the hairstylist had braided all my braids together in a bold mohawk plait (and charged me extra for it!!) and it came undone the very next morning. Grrrr! Thank the Lord, I’m creative because I was able to whip this style up with my butterfly hair clips!

Have a good week! ( :

Credits

Jacket and dress- Zara, Shoes- Office, Rings- I Am Accessories

The post Office Style – How to Elevate your Go-To Work Dress this Winter appeared first on MyFashionS/ashLife - Fashion & Lifestyle Blog by Biki John.

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In all the 10 seasons with 236 episodes of the iconic 90s TV show, Friends- they never quite tackled this conundrum. ‘I’ll be there for youuuuUUUUU…!!’ belted out The Rembrandts in their cheerful (1 hit wonder) and uplifting tune about friendship and comradery. Well, sometimes friendships don’t quite go as The Rembrandts told us- in a blink of an eye, a good friend can ghost you. Quiet as it’s kept, I used to  think that ghosting was something guys (translation- assholes) did, but over the years I’ve come to realise that this cruel trend doesn’t just exist in the dating world. Continue Reading…

What is ghosting?

First things first- what is ghosting? In the dating world, it basically means when a potential partner abruptly cuts contact with you in the cowardly hope that you get the hint. When it comes to friendships, ghosting occurs when one person in the relationship goes M.I.A  indefinetely, that is he/she abruptly ends the friendship without communicating their decision to the other party. It is important to note that in this article, I am not speaking about circumstances when a friend does an act so heinous (for e.g. stealing a large amount of money or a friend’s partner) that the other party is left with no choice but to cut ties off immediately with no explanation.

But how can you tell when you’ve been ghosted or if a friend is just really busy? Oh believe me, there are clear signs- for example if after a couple of months you realise that they are at events with your mutual friends and all but ignore you, when you try and arrange to meet up with them but they are always too busy and more importantly- never give you an open window of availability. Honeybug, no one’s that busy. Also if you realise that it’s always you reaching out to that friend and they’ve not taken the initiative to check up on you for months and you live in the same city- then the hills are not alive with the sound of music.

But it doesn’t end there, a rising trend I’ve experienced personally and read about is that after this person ghosts you, every now and then he/she floats into your life via social media by, for example- Liking a social media post or giving a non-committal comment that’s not more than four words.

The funny thing (not ha-ha funny), is if you turned to your girlfriend distraught and said something along the lines of, ‘I met this great guy, we’ve been dating for a few months and all of a sudden he ghosted me. I’ve tried to reach out to him for an explanation but he keeps ignoring me. However, every now and then, I can see he has Liked my Instagram post, what do I do?’ She is likely to tell you to cut your losses and move on, and when she is referring to the guy she is probably going to do so using a couple of colourful swear words. Does this change when the offending party is a good friend? Emphasis here on ‘good’, in this article I am referring to a boy or girl you have struck a meaningful relationship with, someone you’ve interacted significantly with for well over a year.

What do you do when you’ve been ghosted by a good friend?

In no way am I an expert on this topic, I wrote this article to share my experience in this area in the hope of starting a conversation with people who’ve experienced being ghosted by a good friend or by people who’ve been the ghosters. Over the last two years, I’ve been ghosted by two/three good friends and from my personal experience, it can cause a special kind of sadness, confusion, frustration and pain.  Dr Jane Goldberg, a psychoanalyst explains that, ‘Part of the reason why this pain is so different is because it awakens long-buried memories that harken back to your earliest years, when you had so little control over things in your life.’

As there are always two sides to every story, my advice is- when you feel you are being ghosted by a close frieind, reach out to that person in a non-confrontational way to try to find out what caused him/her to pull a Houdini on you. This is no easy feat and it’s something I had to learn how to do with age. When you feel abandoned or rejected by a friend, it can be difficult to verbalize those feelings to the friend in a calm and rational manner.

Over a year ago, I reached out to two friends in particular who had ghosted me, with both friendships before I contacted them I retraced the footsteps of our relationship to see if along the way, I had done or said something to prompt them to vanish and I had come up with nothing. The interesting thing is when I spoke to both friends, they had a similar reason as to why they had ghosted me. They claimed to have been unaware that they were avoiding me/cut contact and assured me that I had not done anything wrong to them. And with both friends after that conversation, there were no awkward vibes and we carried on as before. Happy ending, right? Wrong.

The funny thing (again, not ha-ha funny) is within a year, both friends ghosted me again. Our friendship went from regular meaningful interaction (e.g. phone calls, meet ups) to them giving me the odd Instagram Like or what I find even more odd- watching my Instagram Stories. I believe social media definitely has a part to play in the ghosting trend amongst friends because it can give the illusion of keeping in touch, when in reality nothing could be further from the truth. But more on that topic some other day…

So from my personal experiences, if you’ve been ghosted by a good friend, I do think it’s a good idea to reach out to them in a respectful and considerate manner. Who knows, perhaps they are going through something traumatic and them pulling back has nothing to do with you, maybe you did do something that made them pull all the way back… But I’ll be honest with you, in my opinion, once a good friend ghosts you, they’ll do it again. If a good friend shows you they have the capacity to cut off contact from you indefinitely, without respecting your feelings or the friendship enough to give you closure. If they are able to leave you hanging dry like that- that says a lot more about their DNA make up than yours and it should raise some serious red flags. In the words of Maya Angelou, ‘When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time’.

Ghosting- When to make exceptions

 When it comes to ghosting, I make exceptions when the person has told me they are going through a tough time. You may think that once a friend gives you such an explanation, this does not qualify as ghosting and you may be right but it can feel like it is. I have a friend and we were once close, but then life happened and for health reasons and others she cannot bring herself to tell me yet- she fell of the radar. Every now and then she drops me a message, like on my birthday and you know what? Whenever she is ready to communicate more with me- I’ll be there for her. Our friendship will never be the same as before but that’s life and I accept that. I make an exception for this friend because she respected me and our friendship enough to explain her situation and limitations before she pulled back from our friendship.

How to survive being ghosted by a good friend

If you reach out to your good friend to test the waters and find them icy, it’s best to let it go. This is far easier said than done, however, in the words of licensed clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula, ‘If the friend was so deeply offended by something you did, but could not tell you, and instead just disappeared, it speaks to a relationship that really doesn’t have good bones’. She goes on to say, ‘It is a coward’s game to just walk without saying anything’.

There is a popular saying that the best way to get over a guy is by getting under another one. When it comes to friendships, the best way to come to terms with the loss of a friendship is to do some reflecting, try to be a better friend to your existing good friends/ and make an effort to make new ones. When it comes to making new friends under challenging circumstances like lack of time etc, I wrote an article on the topic which will give you ideas.

Last year, I pushed myself socially, for instance, I went to events on my own and when I met people I clicked with, I took active steps to get to know them- for example, inviting them for lunch etc. I also made the effort to check in more with my close friends living in Berlin and internationally. Doing acts like this helped me move forwards and move on. I saw the fruits of my labour at the end of the year (yes labour, keeping a friendship takes work); for my birthday last month, I was able to have an intimate lunch with a group of friends in my flat and then in the evening,  I met with another group of friends for drinks and dancing. For my age friends-wise, this is enough because as I’ve grown older, I realise it’s quality over quantity.

Now I’d like to hear from you- have you ever been ghosted by a good friend? If you have, where you ever able to go back to the way things were with that friend? What tips do you have for people who have been ghosted by a close friend? Are you the ghoster, what made you do it? Do tell, I’d love to know.

Credits- White fur jacket, embellished beanie, silver bag and black lace blouse- Zara, Black leather skirt- Peekaboo Vintage, Boots- Tamaris, Rings- I Am Accessories, Tights- Calzedonia

The post The One Where Your Good Friend Ghosts You appeared first on MyFashionS/ashLife - Fashion & Lifestyle Blog by Biki John.

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