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A 30 something blogging about her love affair with Fashion.....among other things!

Monday, February 29, 2016

DIY/ DIM Tassel or Pom Pom shoes

If you have been following me on Instagram or Pinterest or even reading me, you would know that I have been obsessed with tassels and Pom poms recently. I had the itch to be making all sorts of things with them. Well today I am sharing two easy diys, I kind of stole from Pinterest. It is tassel or Pom Pom shoes.

It all started when I saw some Aquaazzura shoes on Pinterest that were really cute. But as usual I was not agreeing with the price tag particularly when they seemed so easy to Diy. So I went to score some Pom poms ( available at any stationary stores). And here is the result:

What you need:

- Strappy sandals
- Colorful Pom poms (available at any stationary store)
- Needle and thread ( or u can use plastic thread or elastic thread made for jewelry making)
- Beads ( I recycled some from an old shoe)
- Clasps ( make sure they are wide enough to fit through the straps of your shoes) ( I did not have Clasps at hand so I used fuzzy colored wire)

Step 1: Choose the colors you will use. I used two different color combinations: orange red and yellow, then purple green and blue because I think they compliment my purple ankle strap shoes better.

Step 2: Pass the Pom Pom then beads through the elastic thread using the needle. Make your own combination. I used one bead at the bottom, then the Pom Pom and ended up with five beads on top. When finished, cut the elastic thread way above the last bead so you have enough left to tie around.

Then attach all three colored lines together and add an additional bigger Beads. Make a loop with beads at the top. Then attach the clasp to that loop. If you use a fuzzy wire which is easier to bend, just attach the thread to it.

Step 3: Attach the clasp to the shoes and done. Or wrap the wire to the shoes.

See how easy that was. What I like to most is that you can remove the clasp and put it at the front of the shoes or at the back. Some other Diy out there will have you glue the Pom Poms to the shoes but that will not give you the opportunity to use the shoes as they are ( which I kind of want to do from time to time)

I went overboard and added more pompoms 

PS: You can even add small bells at the end of the Pom Pom to make yourself musical shoes like the Indian anklets.

The second Diy is even easier. I call it the Tasseled shoes

All you need is a pair of ankle straps sandals and tassels (I bought mine at store in M.G.road)

Step 1: Remove the strap from the closure.
Step 2: slide the tassel on the strap and done.

I tried pink and orange tassels because I like how they pop against my purple shoes but you can use any color you like. You can also add as many tassels as you want. The more the merrier. It was a very easy and cheap Diy ( the tassels cost like 5rps each) and now you have a new funky pair of shoes to enjoy!

What do you think? Easy, cheap and fun. A Diy that checks all.the boxes! 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Cultural Appropriation

Hello there, my fellow readers!

I did a stupid thing recently. I was debating on Social Media about a topic that has been out there for a while if you live in the USA. And as a result I have been called names just because my opinion was slightly different from what was the norm. The issue I was debating is called Cultural Appropriation particularly in the fashion industry. For those of you who do not know,  cultural appropriation is the use, adoption or sometimes misuse of one element of a culture by someone from another culture. Most of the time it is done to minoritiy groups by dominant groups. It is an issue because these dominant groups use that element of a culture in such an inappropriate way that minorities see it as a sign of disrespect. Or worse, they appropriate it totally without even acknoweldging its origins. 

The issue was raised recently over two things. First, some fashion magazine was giving advice on how to sport an Afro but apparently it used a White person on the cover of the article. Then weeks later, another mainstream magazine put the Dashiki on its site calling it the "It item". Black twitter screamed foul play. And I got involved into a debate on Instagram just because I said that this issue was redundant and that we should get over it by now. One person particularly went as far as to say that I was assimilated, that back in the slavery days, I would have been a house slave, that my ancestors must have sold slaves, and even my name which is a Christian name of Michelle was a proof of all that (FYI: yes, my name is a Christian and not African but I am proud of it because I was named after my great grandmother who according to all the stories my Father told me, was an exceptional woman). I guess that is what I get for saying what I think on Social Media. But in this blog, I do get to say what I want without being insulted so here is what I think of the entire issue.

White people have been accused of appropriating aspects of other cultures and even making money out of it from music to fashion. I guess sometimes the accusations are true. We all know about Elvis Presley getting rich ripping off black folks songs.The problem I have with this debate over cultural appropriation is that in this day and age we should be celebrating people embracing other cultures and not shaming them for doing so. I love Indian fashion. I like to wear Sarees and Kurtas. How do you think I would I feel if an Indian friend of mine told me I should not even wear them just because it is not my culture? I would feel bad. It never actually happened to me but once an Indian friend of mine saw me wearing a Kurta I had designed and she screamed : "This is Indian!  Where did yo asu get it?". I felt weird but I explained to her that I always loved wearing Kurta ever since I was a teen. And I wanted one so badly I designed the entire outfit.

Jersey scarf - Sandaga market
Dashiki print tee - gift from my Dad
Army green shirt - thrifted from Hubby then pimped
Jeans - Brandmart
Shoes - Westside

The shirt was gifted to my son, but it was so big I appropriated it!

I do not know how it happened but this Dashiki print was all over my country the last couple of years. Everybody was wearing them! It was on dresses, shirts, skirts, shoes and bags. I wonder who made it trendy again?

I guess where many people have problem with cultural appropriation is that White people do not acknowledge the origins of things they use. Most of the time, they do not even know what meaning it has. Afros and Dashiki were a symbol of protest in the 60s, of political and cultural movement. The Dashiki is not something as frivolous as a trend, it stand for something. And to now see it worn so casually and without any respect for what it represents, it hurts.

The other thing that some African Americans point out is that the White people tend to appropriate everything that is good about African American culture such as rap music, cornrows but they never get engaged in the struggle. Some even went so far as to finger Iggy Azelia who is an Australian (white rapper) who raps like she is from the South (of the USA) but never says a thing about African Americans causes such police shooting and brutality.

 Funnily enough most people in Africa were not rocking the Dashiki  for the same purpose as African Americans. For them, the Dashiki is a traditional garment, that became everyday clothing. The print that we all recognize today may have originated in Easter Africa. My Dad told me that the Dashiki used to be called "Addis Abeba" (and not Dashiki), the name of the capital city of Ethiopia, because it was believed, it originated from there. It arrived in the US after an American interested in African culture started manufacturing and selling it there. But it became popular when African Americans starting to wear it as a symbol of going back to their roots. As Africans, we could also say the Americans culturally appropriated our Dashiki and made it something entirely different. Just because it was a black person doing it, does not make it any less of a cultural appropriation. But we do not do it, right? And frankly, I am not sure we care that much. Or at least I do not. 

I get it. Trust me! I get it. I would hate to see some White people rock something that was ours and pretend like they made it happen. But we cannot get mad every time it happens. At some point, we should start to laugh about it. Believe me, there are more important things to be frustrated about in this world. As for myself, I do feel proud because if they appropriate something of ours, it is because it is good and they like it so dang much. You do not steal something that is not worth stealing. So, rock your Dashiki with pride and let others do the same if they want to. But if they overdo it, acting like they own it, just school them and move on!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

DIY/DIM Lace sleeves swing dress (In time for Valentine's day)

This dress that I am about to showcase was in no way intended for Valentine's day as I do not have plans that day ( yet). But since it is approaching, I think it would be inspiring for those of you who have a something something planed on that day!

This dress is a mix of scarps. It comes from two different fabrics: one in lace and the other one in Lycra. The Lycra was originally an asymmetric Kaftan and trumpet skirt that my Mother in law gave me back in 2002. But I never wore it because it hanged on my body in a sexy way. I gave the skirt away but kept the Kaftan. However I never got to wear it either. Fast forward to 2014, I turned it into two capes for my sons on Halloween. Since I still had the capes with me, I thought I would make a jersey dress similar to the two I constantly wear. Inspired by this tutorial, I started to cut the fabric only to find out that I did not have enough to make sleeves. No worries, I dug in my scarps' bag and found a lace fabric that was left over from the first girl's dress I ever made for Design school back in 2013.

Me and my friend's daughter who is modeling my lace eyelet dress.

And voila, a perfect easy to wear swing dress!

Beret - Cial
Scarf - HM
Lace sleeves swing dress - Did it myself
Jeans - Gift
Shoes - Zara then Diy (read how here)
Pearl necklace - Did it myself
Watch - Gift

 I stitched the entire dress by hand because I could not stitch it on my machine. I could not figure out what tension and what kind of needle to use. It took me an entire morning but it was very relaxing. I added the sleeves using my machine first the following day, and then by hand. I think I am getting the hang of adding sleeves. They are still a bit too big but I am fairly happy with the result. I left the dress as it was at the bottom because I do not think hemming it would turn out nice.

Giving a Parisian vibe with this beret and pearl necklace.

This newly diy pair of shoes makes me so happy!

Epic fail on "blowing a kiss" pause! But I am still sending you all my love.

I do like this dress but I am still a bit self conscious about wearing it outside the house. Maybe covering it with a scarf like on the pictures might help. Nevertheless it is really an easy to do, easy to wear kind of dress. Do try it!

Happy Valentine's day y'all!
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