LA LA LAND

My yearning to visit L.A has been present ever since I set foot into this country. The desire to confirm the alleged magic of the city has always been on the back of my mind. After doing the rounds with some of the big cities; NewYork, and Chicago, I had to end last year (and also going into this year) with one final lap, L.A.

The magic of L.A is real, it has been confirmed, although definitely not as glamorous as it has been all hyped out to be. The glamour extends within the limits of Beverly hills, Hollywood, and a few other neighbourhoods, the rest of it looks like a quaint ghetto with palm trees and hints of Mexican architectural heritage. The general city of L.A, I believe, can’t exactly be called a city. Like a real city. The stretch of the entire city is enormous, with a small patch of skyscrapers in-between considered downtown L.A, the rest is spaced out and demands driving or copious über-ing to get around.  Life is decelerated and slowed down into a spell of casualness, comfort, and chillin’. Now, that is to say for some, obviously, not everyone spends their days eating brunch and talking about yoga and hiking. The hustle is there somewhere.

While I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t actually seen the film La la land (it’s on my to-do list for the coming week), there is no title more befitting for this article. La la land, is a refuge for all creative souls and those that may not necessarily comply with the “status-quo”, it is a nest for the rebellious that dare to be themselves, in the most creative and unapologetic manner. While also being a home for film enthusiasts, beauty gurus, and an enclave for the American model and celebrity culture. It is all these things at once. Maybe that’s why I like L.A, despite the nauseating obsession with image and frivolity, there is substance, activism, and acceptance of difference. 

 

My time of two and a half weeks in L.A was much needed, it served as the perfect escape to just be. Some of my highlights were Santa Monica Pier, La Brea, LACMA, Hammer, Peterson automotive Museum – (I did all of the museum hopping, typical) and the entirety of Beverly Hills, where we stayed and engaged in embarrassing amounts of picture taking and a little shopping. You know, typical tourist behavior, as you do.

 

Photography: Muhammad Umar and Aisha Umar 

OH LA NAVY

I remember as a kid whenever I was asked what my favorite colour is, I would without hesitation say blue, and I also had a purple phase in my mid teenage years. However, I would never succumb to the stereotype, pink. I guess that was always the little rebel inside me that refused to admit that, “pink is for girls, and blue is for boys.” Rebellion aside, I truly love the colour blue, and all the variations of hues and shades it has to offer across the spectrum. From baby blue and pastel hues, to rich, deep, and royal blue. Navy blue is decadence in a color.

Gladly for me, one of my favourite tones has resurfaced to the trendy scene, the rich and plush navy blue. This colour is currently all the rage alongside other rich gemstone colours like emerald green and beautiful rubies.

The layers of the top half of this outfit appear like I have three pieces on, a cropped sweater, a pleated shirt, and a white button down shirt. The pleated shirt and cropped sweater are actually attached as one piece from Zara. The white shirt underneath is an added layer I manually attached for a bulkier and smarter look. I am not one to “dress for my body type”. I like bulky, loose fitted layers to my outfit, not only for modesty reasons but really also for the aesthetic. The navy blue trousers with white striped panels along the side tie the colour combination of the ensemble well. Almost seeming like the outfit came in a set intended to be paired together. I adore the dainty, lady-like, white and blue mini bag, and the simple black heeled sandals elongate the bottom half of the outfit. Like the cherry on top, or bottom in this case.

 

Photography: Muhammad Rabiu Umar

Styling: Aisha Umar

LUXE

Luxury as a concept has spread exponentially on the web space. Now, while bloggers and digital influencers are the main conveyors of this “luxe lifestyle”, there are certainly those that express this concept with more down to earth and real perspectives. I admire luxury, it is the idea that the best of the best in quality is what we adorn ourselves with, a world where money is no object. Ideal right?.. wrong. While luxury in terms of clothing and accesories is something I very well aspire to, being consumed by logos and brand names is flirting with the dangers of consumption that bring discontent and ungratefulness to the heart. Making it important to clarify the simple line between need and want, a deep understanding of both categories makes life way easier. Seriously, trust me on this one.

To embrace this idea of luxury, I created this look that is seemingly expensive, however utilizes pieces from the highstreet that express a clean and luxurious outfit. This tunic with the stunning yellow that might be mustard yellow (I’m not well versed on psuedo sophisticated colour names), that is detailed with epaulette sleeves makes it very unique and convenient for adjustment. The faux croc maroon bag paired with the dark lip, that is the Milani liquid matte lipstick, gives the outfit a higher level of sophistication.

Luxury is a notion that is not only for the “rich”, but a concept that us regular folk can also associate and aspire to. Approached with mindfulness and honesty, luxury can be a driver of hardwork and ambition. Most definetely can be a good thing, like with most other material things that surpass necessity. Dessert can be good to satisfy that sweet tooth craving you’ve been having, however, over indulging can also be the cause of your stomach ache. You feel me?

The constant given is being honest with ourselves on why exactly we want that Gucci Dionysis bag that everyone and their mum owns. For show off? maybe. The aesthetic? most definitely.  The better justification remains the latter though, things should remain exactly just that, things. Approach luxury for not only the quality, but the aesthetic that truly expresses character and personality, fashion should be fun, not a competition to own all the trends. It’s all just clothes, bags, and shoes anyway, atleast you have them.

 

Photography: Muhammad Rabiu Umar

Bag: Zara

Heels: New Look

Lipstick: Milani Amore Matte Lip Creme in Flirt