Sisterhood.

 
The face-less world which we live in has allowed us as women to create an illusion to those around us that we are united in our struggles and of our cause. We throw around statements like “Slay us, we are your dragons” and “Yaas bitch, Yaas” on social media; banding together to celebrate our fellow sisters and defending them whenever the chance comes against some of the problematic behaviours of men. Bring yourself down to the real world and away from the infamous “cloud”, and you find a reality which is very different. Are we even really united? – taking any opportunity to get one up on our fellow sister should the need arise. We find it so easy to insult the next woman instead of addressing firstly, our own insecurities and secondly, the very reason we find ourselves stepping on each other’s toes – men and their own problematic behaviours.
PATRIARCHY: Why does patriarchy make sisterhood difficult to attain?
The oppressor (men) succeeds by getting the oppressed (women) on board, who by accepting it, perpetuates despotism even further. We cannot deny that women are responsible for each other’s oppression because patriarchal norms have been indoctrinated in our psyche. We have given quite a lot of room to the necessity of men. We relate everything we do to men.
 “Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses, possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of a man in twice its natural size’ – Virginia Woolf



 
Sisterhood for me has taken quite a different narrative to the above. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve experienced oppression from women that were once in my life, and even those who weren’t but I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to tell a kinder tale.
Sisterhood in friendship: IT KNOWS NO BOUNDS. IT IS HONEST. IT IS ORGANIC. My friends are my chosen sisters. They didn’t walk into my life unsolicited, I led them in. Much like romantic relationships, friendships have to be built off of similar core values in order for them to be sustained. Respect, drive, loyalty, accountability and honesty are some of the core values that my friendships are based on. The loss of some of my old friendships was due to a lack of one or some of these values from the other party, and as a protective measure that served me, those sisterhoods had to come to an end – it happens.
Something that has helped my current friendships outlive great pains and difficult times is that we moved away from focusing on our differences but have magnified the things that make us similar. We may not communicate every day, in fact we don’t, but we choose each other every day. These are the very women who defend me, wipe away my tears, take care of me when I’m ill, encourage me when I’m at my lowest, lend me money if things are that bad and support my dreams. And at the very same time, these women will not hesitate to scold me, push me and even anger me just to protect me.
The intricacies of friendships will differ from person to person, but I think we can all agree in saying that an alignment in core values is an engine to the up-keep of a sisterhood.
 
Sisterhood in business: For a long time, I maintained the idea that men are the only reason that women in the work place or in business are not progressive – NOT TRUE. There is a sisterhood ceiling. The final barrier to women reaching the top is in actual fact… other women.
We can’t negate existing competition in the workspace, but it seems women often take it more personally than it actually is. And as a result, women could be damaging their own career prospects by over-reacting to competitive behaviour in the office.
BUT… we’re getting there, we’re getting better. Sisterhood in business is not dead, it is just beginning.
 
 
I’ve been fortunate enough to be in business with one of my great friends and I remember when we sat in on our first meeting about our partnership, we made pact that no matter how bad things may get and no matter how hard we may fight with each other, we will not give up on one another. When you’re independent you tend to tolerate less. And I know this not just from myself, but from my sisterhood – it is made up of no-nonsense-taking, independent women who will not hesitate to kick anything that does not serve them, straight to the nearest curb. But we knew we both wanted it badly enough, and we had something good here.
That is sisterhood. It is being able to separate the business and the friendship when need be, not because you’re not friends anymore when you walk into the office, but because business can get uncomfortably tense, that you know when it’s time to be Captain Save Our Friendship.
Sisterhood is far from a trite word one just throws around. Being your sister’s keeper and ‘point guard’ when needed should be a reflex, this is crucial in business. Sisterhood transcends and transforms us for the better. We know that every single achievement, mine or hers, will be celebrated because when I rise, indirectly, she rises too.
 
 Actress Bindu puts it beautifully when she writes:
‘Women who understand how powerful they are do not give into envy over meaningless things, instead they fight to maintain the beautiful bond that is sisterhood. These are the real women who know that we need each other’s love and support to hold out in this world. Love and strength are the essence of being a woman. We must be that light of love that seals the bond and unique beauty of our sisterhood.’’- Bindu

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetimageimageimageimageimageimageTHE PSYCHOLOGY OF MONOCHROME.

Hello!

I recently decided to take on something that I always felt limited me, to see if I could break through its bounds – dressing in black , grey and white for two weeks.

Generally, I’m an avid lover of colour (yet my favorite shade is black.. I call it my happy colour, it gets to the point) because different shades and tones symbolize different things to different people, and I always find myself trying to tap into what certain kinds of tones make me feel and what they mean to me.

So this is exactly what I did with the colours black, grey and white.

Colour affects our emotions, entire volumes have been recorded describing these effects. Regardless of your conscious feelings about colour, the truth is our reaction to colour is not only emotional and mental, but most importantly, it is completely individual and unique.  – if psychology teaches us anything.

Now many people believe that black & white are rather the “absence of colour” as opposed to actual colours, so I suggest if that’s you.. keep on reading.

If we explore colour theory, (just as we learnt in junior high school in our Arts & Culture classes) in light frequencies, white is the presence of all colours, and is therefore a colour. Black is not, because without light, everything is black. This is an additive colour theory. However, when thinking about colour in terms of physical pigments, like paint, the tables turn; white is in fact not a colour, where black is the presence of all colours. This is a subtractive colour theory.

If you fancy to read more on this, tap on the following link:  ColourMatters.

Now lets get down to my two week experience.

I found that personally for me, black made me look visually heavy (not in the literal sense). It made me feel bold and mysterious. So I assumed myself visually strong, powerful and authoritative. And it’s for this reason that, sometimes too much black, can be overwhelming. Other general associations with black include intelligence (black rimmed spectacles) and professionalism (black suit and a briefcase).

White and Light. I try my best not to over indulge with this colour because of my own femme insecurities – visually, white adds a bit of weight! Beautiful nonetheless, a psychological “trip” I went through with wearing this colour (It’s a trip that most people go through with white as well), is that I didn’t want to be hugged or touched (not in the snobbish sense of things, believe me) or find myself in a filthy space – so we can safely call it cleanliness and purity. I found that in wearing white, my body language engaged more openly and I was more approachable too.

I also took the liberty of playing with a few grey outfits too. Now I ought to tell you all about this particular experience because it was interesting. Every time I wore grey and tried to draw a sense of feeling or emotion from the colour, I couldn’t. And it came to me that actually, maybe grey is an unemotional colour – the fence-sitter. The colour grey is subdued, quiet and reserved.

From a color psychology perspective, grey is the color of compromise – being neither black nor white, it is the transition between two “non-colours”. The closer gray gets to black, the more dramatic and mysterious it becomes. The closer it gets to silver or white, the more illuminating and lively it becomes.

DESIGNING WITH BLACK & WHITE TO COMPLETE.

Although quintessentially opposite in a cultural and visual sense, white & black should never be tooled against one another to compete, but rather used together to complete –  in professional marketing, design collections and even in branding. It’s often said that opposites attract, where in this sense – contrast creates completion.

There’s more to fashion than what meets the eye!

With love and style,

Lerato x.

Art Direction: Lerato Kgamanyane & Cyril Zuma.

Photography: Cyril Zuma.

All Clothes From: TopShop & Nike.

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Pieces by Pichulik.

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Hair care products by Suki Suki Naturals.

THE SANLAM HANDMADE CONTEMPORARY FAIR.

On the 13th of October, I attended the opening night for the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair.

This was my first one, and it exceeded my expectations more than I could describe.

The fair caters to the crossover interests of a discerning lifestyle: combining the very things that tickle my fancy – such as eating the best local foods, tasting boutique wines and peeling my eyes over the works of some amazing South African designers.

I walked into a magical setting that featured exquisite lighting, inspired dining, inviting retail areas and out of this world landscaping. Oh! Not forgetting, pieces and works that pronounce the craftsmanship of each and every artist and designer.

Two of my favorite designers and crafters that featured at this years fair were   Pichulik (who designs gorgeous jewelry and does ornamentation too) and Suki Suki  Naturals (who locally make Indie, African and all natural hair care products that smell like Gods divinity.. SERIOUSLY!).

It’s definitely something an art lover and one who appreciates authentic craftsmanship, should put on their bucket list.

Till the next post,

Lerato xx.

imageimageimageimageTHE CLINIQUE CLEANSING MILK

Hello my fashion friends!!

Sooo.. With this post we’re dipping our toes in the beauty & skin care side of things.

I recently went to the #CliniqueComesToBraamies event in Braamfontein, and just a side note, their store is AMAZING! It’s so quaint, intimate and refreshing. I really enjoyed that.

What stood out for me though, was how welcoming and how keen the consultants were, in informing the guests about their skin, what it needs, what it reacts best to and the history behind Clinique as a brand.   Literally, 5 star beauty consultations were handed to us.

Bare in mind, my closest reference to Clinique products was my mother (whom might I add is the biggest Clinque stan) which is fairly close, but I always maintained the idea that it was for older women who focus their care on anti-aging, wrinkles, unhealthy pores and all things along those lines. And guess what??? Not at all!

I received this product, which is a cleansing milk (Take The Day Off Clensing Milk), and I was a bit afraid to try it at first, but I eventually gathered all the courage in the world and decided that I’m gonna tell you all about it!

I’ve only used it for a week, and I SWEAR BY IT!

It’s a silky, lightweight cleansing lotion whose solvent dissolves make up easily and quickly, obviously with the help of a face cloth, but is nevertheless a very gentle option for people with skin ranging from normal to dry and even sensitive skin, à la Lerato Kgamanyane. It’s also fragrance free!

All you need is two pumps, rub it gently into your skin and wash it off. It rinses off very well, but leaves the perfect amount of oil on your skin to prevent it from drying out.

Just be careful not to open your eyes whilst washing the cleansing milk off, as like many cleansers it may leave your eyes stinging  for a bit.

But other than that, I urge you to get your hands on this product! It’s lovely on the skin!

imageimageimageimageimageTHE RIMMEL EXPERIENCE.

Hey my fashion loves!

So last week Thursday, bloggers – Lulama Wolf, Lesedi Ramone, Twiggy Mollison, Mpho Ntlatleng and myself were whisked off in style by a cute Rimmel cab to our Rimmel suite in Hyde Park.

All this to go feast our eyes on the 3rd set of shows of SA Fashion Week.

We got threaded in Rubicon Clothing, had out make up and nails done by the Rimmel team and enjoyed the day over some sushi, champagne and macarons (as the French call them)..Yum!

It was a great time spent over great conversation, fashion talks, camera-pose-flick, make up lessons and some anxiety over what we expected of our designers this season.

Thanks so much to Rimmel for the experience! I’d do it 10 times over again.

From me to you, in style,

Lerato x.

 

Photography: Lulama Wolf

Outfits: Rubicon Clothing

Make Up: Rimmel London SA.

 

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Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetVERO MODA.

Hey my fashion loves!

This past week I did quite a cool and simple shoot for Vero Moda x Superbalist  with my friend Luyanda Mafanya (she photographed these images) of Cooking With Luyanda – please follow her blog, http://www.luyandaseatery.wordpress.com if you’re a foodie!

So you can find Vero MODA clothing and accessories on Superbalist! How exciting?

Vero Moda has been around since 1987, but has stayed ahead of the pack by prioritising innovation and the real wardrobe needs of the modern woman. Vero Moda is the brand of choice for the fashion-conscious, independent young woman, who wants to have fun with her look and follow fashion on her own terms. The perfect blend of essentials and trend focused pieces make up Vero Moda’s 8 annual collections, popular with the fashion set across the world. A-list models and fashion icons who have represented the brand in its campaigns include Kate Moss, Alexa Chung, Helena Christensen, Christy Turlington, and Lily Allen, who also has a collaboration line with the brand.

So you can only imagine how stoked I was to be a part of this small project!

Go check out some of their stuff on Superbalist or their own page, Vero Moda on Instagram. I assure you, you’ll love them!

Check out the products on the Superbalist link below.

https://superbalist.com/brands/vero-moda

With Style,

Lerato xx.

All items from Vero Moda.

Photography: Luyanda Mafanya.

Superbalist IG: @superbalist

Vero Moda IG: @veromoda