COLOUR ME UP

Over the past few years, the term minimalism has been flung far and wide in every fashion and lifestyle source and used as inspiration in many ways. This it word is incorporated into fashion, beauty, interior design, lifestyle and even food. However, in a very particular way. The popular aesthetic surrounding minimalism seems to be a toned down colour scale of black, white, and neutrals. And while I am an advocate of these colours (making about 70% of my wardrobe), I have to profess that it can be somehow overdone when minimalism is dictated as only in this form. As a lifestyle, I very much respect and understand the ideals of minimalism and the beauty of possessing a few things that spark joy as opposed to a larger number of things that are usually not accounted for. An idea which I believe truly resonates with Islamic beliefs and practices.

However, discrediting people with colourful tastes that do not fit into the grey scale and trendy form of minimalism can be, quite frankly, unaligned with many cultures. My Nigerian heritage in particular, which is full of colour, bold prints, matched with flamboyant headpieces and jewellery to top it off, popular across many tribes in the country. In addition, for a lot of people, minimalism stems from financial and social difficulties of simply not having enough, and are thus forced to get by with the very basic needs. Or even in some dire conditions, almost nothing at all. Poverty really is the bane of the existence of many.

Essentially, it is okay to have a wardrobe that looks like the amalgamation of the rainbow and every hippie tie-dye shirt and still hold minimalist beliefs. As long as each and every pair defines necessities that spark joy for the individual in self-expression. Personally, I certainly am not explicitly a minimalist or maximalist (some of us are too eccentric and complex to categorise), and while I tend to tread more along minimalist lines, it would be exceptionally hypocritical of me to adopt and sustain this grey scale narrative of minimalism that contradicts the visuality of my cultural heritage. So these two outfit combinations go out to all my colourful creatures that can’t seem to rule out colour from their closets.

  1. GREEN

 

2. RED 

 

Photography: Muhammed Umar

Styling: Aisha Umar

EID AL-FITR 1438

As Ramadan has come to a very rapid end, so has the time for reflection began. The overall sentiment among Muslims during this time of year is to ponder on the accomplishments made during Ramadan, and the shortcomings (many of which plague us with regret).  That menacing feeling of, “I should have read more Qur’an”, and something along the lines of “I should have taken less naps” always seem to reoccur every Ramadan, but alas, the important part is not leaving Ramadan empty handed. And either way, full confidence, and satisfaction in our holy acts and worship would be a bad sign right? I mean, BE HUMBLE.

On to more trivial yet very important subjects, is my outfit for this Eid celebration. I decided on this very colorful ensemble to compensate the fact that Eid was not celebrated at home with family and friends this year.

cries in responsibility and adulting

 

Styling – Aisha Umar

Photography – Abdulgaffar Umar

 

EVOLVE

The belief that the only constant thing in life is change, is absolutely true. Whether for good or bad (especially in light of current political affairs all around the world). The confirmation of this truth is evident every year when we get a year older and some serious reflection on the past year ensues. Growing older is a daunting idea that almost everyone has to come to terms with. Our worries vary as well obviously, whether it is for vanity reasons, current life situation or financial stability. These are all the horrors that haunt most of us, however the common agreeing factor amongst everyone is the inevitability of death, and the constant movement of time.

This realization puts us under some serious pressure, like some real heat.

Being at the age where it seems like someone is getting married every other week, and you actually know people that have kids or thinking of having kids, allows the feeling of aging really set in (and I’m only in my early twenties). Although the sayings “You’re only as old as you feel”, or “Age is nothing but a number” are all true. It doesn’t change the realities of this inevitable outcome.

The good news is, the context with which we take it all in is what really matters. Embracing aging is a good thing, I mean, it’ll happen anyway. Aging gracefully garners more respect and admiration as well, why not do it in style. We age, we evolve, we grow, we bloom, we learn and eventually succeed (mixed with some falling, failing and wailing along the way), but overall we get to the finish line!