I have been witnessing a paradigm shift in the fashion scene with the spread of gender fluidity which seeks to transcend unyielding social constructs. It is my belief that fashion can be leveraged as a way to rise above conformities. True fashion is an art form that transcends aesthetic and reveals strengths and vulnerabilities. It also affords an opportunity to decolonize space and reclaim agency by being bold, daring and unapologetic.

Power comes hand in hand with awareness. Awareness of self, along with the confidence to rise above ascribed stereotypes. Fashion within this frame can be waged as a political act of defiance against the status quo. To me, fashion was never meant to be a top-down concept, it is an artform design to empower ordinary men and woman to reclaim their identity. It is increasingly jarring for me to witness fashion houses that sorely miss the mark, settling behind luxury instead of guiding the thread to engender constructive discourse. Creating a collection for mere shock values misses the mark for what is shock value without eliciting a sense of self-retrospect (at the very least)?  Do we shock to merely be spoken about?  or do we shock to disrupt the comfortable gaze and make a political statement? Fashion should be revolutionary, rather than complacent. It should be undergirded with an agenda (political or social) to move our society forward.

One artist who understands those tenets is Morrocan designer Amine Bendriouich who amassed massive global attention with his brand ABCB which stands for Amine Bendriouich Couture & Bullshit.   The Marrakesh-based designer prides itself on creating bespoke pieces that are unisex, leaving it up to people to decide how they will dress.  Gender fluidity lies at the heart of his work; his collections are theme-based and designed by local villagers who blend traditional north african berber traditions with global urban influences. His irreplicable talent has garnered the attention of entertaining icons such as Usher and Will Smith, just to name a few.

xx, Kenza

 

 

 

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Image credits by Aurore de Bettignies via vogue magazine

Other images via Amine Bedriouich’s Instagram 

Ever been faced with the difficult choice of having to choose a gelato ice cream amongst an endless selection of tantalizing mouth-watering flavors? Having to rule out other flavors is nearly impossible if not downright cruel. In my case greed always trumps over modesty, especially for an unapologetic foodie like me. Choosing can be a cruel exercise of self-restraint, but fortunately for me, I have found something to indulge that is much more forgiving for my waistline though not necessarily on my wallet.
Enter the wonderful world of Darner, a brand whose sole focus is making your footsies look good and en-vogue. I am at awe with the creative ingenuity of this Los Angeles- based brand whose entire supply chain is not only ethically certified, but stitched with love in LA. I love that darner’s sole focus is on socks, but not just any kind of socks, I am talking about head-turning statement socks designed to tie your wardrobe together.  From dark green crushed velvetberry crushed velvet, lavender crushed velvet to whimsical hues like olive stripes mesh, violet mesh, and green mesh, the choices are quite abundant, but it is the Silver velvet that is the most strikingly opulent to me. It makes such a powerful statement and will leave a lasting impression.

xx, Kenza

  
      
    

Looking fabulous is not limited to a particular season, but fall is one season where fab rules! From bold textures and earthy tones to colorful animal prints, sequins, terra cotta, mauves, dusty roses, burgundy, dramatic colors like silver metallic. Textured clothing such as velvet, corduroy, suede, fringes, and the oh so ever glamorous tortoise pattern that is singlehandedly an enduring trend beloved by the fashion world also play a central role in this season.

      1. Fall is fun and offers the perfect opportunity to be playful, sophisticated and dazzle the crowd, and what a better way to spruce up your glamour one level with this zebra-patterned Carine pocket calf leather from Hugo Matha, a young French designer who has taken the fashion scene by storm.  Be ready to hear a lot more from him in this blog.
      2. I am lusting for those sexy suede fuschia pumps from the iconic paris based shoe designer  Roger Vivier.
      3. This glow purse in tortoise Film from Maryam Nassir Zadeh is absolutely stunning and makes such a Hollywood statement!
      4. I also love, love, love this Alpaca Camel Beret from Brooklyn-based designer laura manoogian and those super cute mesh socks in olive stripes from darner.
      5. Of course, scents are critically essential and not to be downplayed. One of my favorite scent of the moment is the Bal D’afrique eau de parfum from Byredo.
      6.  If you haven’t checked out Zara’s fall collection yet, you should take a peek at their uber sophisticated jewelry collection. those sparkly chain earrings and faux-pearls and coin necklace will ensure you shine at your next vernissage without going bankrupt.  I love Zara for that. I believe that social equity in the fashion world is so critical and that women regardless of social status, education or income should look good and feel their absolute best!
      7. I’m also fond of pastels and this cute nail polish shows how pastel colors aren’t limited to summer.

    xx, Kenza

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credits via: Hugo matha; roger vivier; byredo; need supply and Zara websites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fall brings new change, trends, and warm hues. from burnt orange, olive green with sprinkles of gold, whiskey brown, and burgundy, deep warm colors are here to uplift us, inspire us and energize us. This is a very exciting time for me. The transitional phase of shading off my old skin and looking onward is fulfilling, but I would be remiss if didn’t mention the excitement a new wardrobe brings, new goals, seasonal produce, and drinks (hello pumpkin chai latte) and above all, a reprieve from scorching heatwaves. If you are in LA,  the struggle can be real. So I welcome the whimsical foliage and cool breeze. Speaking of cool breeze, what a better way to tackle the season’s crisp morning with this rich burgundy hat?  Such a statement hat that evokes Parisian elegance and with this Bordeaux Chanel polish, you’ll nail (no pun attended) that French look in no time!

In my quest for all things burgundy, I have also dug up this soft velvet mask.   This fluffy bathrobe and adorable animal slippers will also keep you nice warm and comfy on cold autumn evenings, and it does get frisky during this season.   I’m so here for it, looking forward to a sultry evening, laying on this anthropology Atelier sofa  as I indulge my imaginative mind to  Leila Marouane’s The Sexual Life of an Islamist in Paris, a satirical novel that offers a detailed account of Mohammed, a French Algerian man who has Gallicized his name to score french women. While humorous, the story reflects a contemporary post-colonial narrative of French North African communities in Paris. I’m an unapologetic homebody and true to that spirit, I have to surround myself with comfortable things like this collection of super comfy bedspreads found on H&M home to get me in a Romanesque spirit. Now, this is what I refer to L’art de la relaxation mes ami(es).

xx, Kenza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that summer is just about over, I have been looking for ways to incorporate seasonal elements to foreshadow the upcoming Fall season. Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon this beautiful earthy tone duvet cover set with matching pillows. La Redoute is a French fashion & interior lifestyle and decor brand that has expanded its operation by shipping worldwide.  I also found this other duvet set.  It was a difficult choice, but I ended up going with the first choice given how much I love earthy colors.  I can’t wait to show you guys how this turns out.

Speaking of earthy tones, I ordered online this super comfy wool blend camel coat; I have a feeling that this collection will run out shortly given how reasonably-priced it is.  I might also get the grey one. I have been looking for ways to spruce up my professional wardrobe without trading my comfort. I am Parisian, but I have never liked high heels or stuffy business outfits. When it comes to looking professional at work,  I believe that a nice pair of washed out Levis jeans and a neutral gray coat paired with pink block heels is perfect to look polish, professional without looking too rigid.   Simplicity is key.

xx, Kenza