Black Lives Matter
Last week I did not post on this blog, and limited my interactions on social media. It felt so frivolous and secondary to discuss and share things like vintage, interiors, fashion and flowers, when people of colour are literally fighting for their lives as the black lives matter movement is able to come to a head. As many Australians attended protests and demonstrations on the weekend, I thought deeply about how I can be a better ally in the Black Lives Matter movement.
I believe that black and brown lives matter everywhere. There is no excuse to think any differently. The rampant racism that exists in western culture is not OK. It is our ancestor's fault that the world currently functions like this, and it up to us to rectify it. The silence I have witnessed over the last fortnight from various powerful white people I know and follow is astonishing. I say if you have any privilege, persuasion or following you must use it for good and to better the lives of other people who have not been afforded the same luxuries of us white people.
This does not mean you need to change who you are or what you’re into. The question I’ve posed to myself is not to alter the content I put out into the world in order to follow a trend, but rather to find ways to follow and express the things I am passionate about whilst embracing and referencing a more diverse group of people who deserve as much space as anyone else. It is far from a hard task and I will acknowledge now that I have not made enough of an effort to do this previously.
I remember doing a fashion PR internship in London and at the time I was taken aback by my colleagues in the Marketing department, a few of whom were women of colour themselves, on how they didn’t seem to do anything to select models who represented a more diverse range of people when they had the power to do so. All of the models in the campaigns that the brand was putting out at the time resembled one very obvious type of beauty (and also the type of women that the CEO of that company wanted to shag). It seemed crazy to me but made me realise that the consumers really are who drives content. So let’s ask for more. Beyond that we must question our core beliefs and values. We can change the way we think and act. We get to choose what we do next.
If you share my interests, I suggest you check out the following pages and brands. They are all run by people of colour, and they are all fucking fabulous. I also suggest watching B Jones Style recent IGTV episode, where she interviews three women of colour who are involved in the fashion industry, on their personal experiences of racism and how they'd like to see the fashion industry become more inclusive. I also found this article by House Beautiful really eye opening, on the experience of being a black interior designer. Many of these things I’ve come across via what other people have shared on Instagram, which demonstrates the power of sharing.
Do have a look of the work by Oye Diron, an NYC based art director and photographer. His work is seriously fresh, a little bit nostalgic and overall rather captivating. I am obsessed!
Image via Oye's Instagram.
Seriously sexy, Anya Lust is a sultry lingerie brand based in the states. Personally I am lusting over anything they make with marabou or dainty chantilly lace. Delicious.
Image via the Anya Lust Instagram.
My obsession with New Orleans creatives continues as I've come across the work of Parrish Lee. He creates the most incredible headwear, often our of mere ostrich feathers. Follow him on Instagram here.
Image via Parrish Hatter Instagram.
Sheila Bridges is already an interior design icon, having set up her Harlem studio in 1994. Her style is so unique yet incorporates many traditional elements. She never shies away from being playful in her work either. Very chic.
Image of Sheila's 'Harlem Landmark' project via her website.
Like almost everyone these days I'm rather smitten with raffia - in fashion or interiors. I came across this Ghanian bag brand today, named AAKS, and my wish list is already overflowing. I don't think I've ever seen woven bags that are so bright and joyful.
Image via the AAKS website.
Fashion Textiles Indigenous Australian brand LORE is really just getting started, with an online shop coming soon. Shannon Brett has founded this textiles initiative which honours indigenous iconography and creates jobs for indigenous communities in Australia's North. I cannot wait to shop the collection soon.
Image via LORE's Instagram.
NYC accessories label, Mateo New York, creates chic and simple jewellery that you'll want to keep forever. Do have a look at their classic bags too, so many investment pieces here.
Image from Mateo New York's website.
I love following pages dedicated to vintage icons. One favourite black icon is certainly Josephine Baker. Pictures of her always seem like they're moving, as though she's still dancing beyond the grave. She also was the first black female actress to star in a major motion picture, which is astounding for many reasons. Follow the Instagram account @joesphinebaker_collection for more.
Image via the @joesphinebaker_collection Instagram.
Pin Ups of Colour is a fabulous place for pin up inspiration with diverse representation. Do follow them for imagery of gorgeous gals who you'll no doubt want to follow too.
Image via the Pin Ups of Colour Instagram.
Since moving to Australia I have seen a lot of local art but nobody has struck a chord with my like Glenda McCulloch. In the last week I have seen her work be shared on many other Instagram pages. And I'm not surprised as her work is so beautiful the the pink palette she often uses can't help but evoke the feminine energy in anyone.
Image via the Cungelella Art Instagram.
English Country Style
Paula of Hill House Vintage already has an undeniably huge following, and there is a reason for that. Her take on English country style is unique and universal, no doubt why her eye appeals to so many. Follow her for her inspiring imagery and inspiring lifestyle.
Image via the Hill House Vintage Instagram.