Men like cars, women like dresses, every man must work and every woman must bear children. Rules and stigmas created by a misguided society influenced by a multitude of factors. But in 2017, when so much of what we’ve learned about ourselves has undergone a thorough analysis and caused an avalanche of change, why are some things harder to shake off than others?

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The past two weeks have been a blur. With no day job to encompass my time I’ve taken to hitting the gym full-speed, tiding up the flat and being more attentive to my laundry ( you think clothes in a walk-in clean themselves?) and of course, this blog. I find myself slowly nearing that person who I use to be, one that wasn’t as cynical. Having a full-time job in a place like Dubai is devastatingly exhausting, and attending it often leaves other areas of our lives sparse. But what is the alternative? You certainly can’t pay rent without money and you most certainly can’t get money without a job. Which brings me to my next question, are we as people, so desperate to have a set of rules in our lives that we are willing to sacrifice our happiness for said-rules? Are we so afraid of creating a life that has not been tried on before?

I believe a certain level of discipline goes a long way. But what happens when we are born into a society that dictates a person’s value through the accumulation of possessions, titles, jobs, clothes, etc? We are trained to look down on boyfriends and potential partners who don’t have career goals but are finding an alternative way to live their lives and stay happy. Is that kind of happiness any less-sweeter than the kind that material things bring?

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I recently told someone that ‘Material things aren’t important to me’ to which they masked shock, and said ‘Really, you?!’ to which my response was simple, ‘liking pretty things doesn’t make me materialistic’, I don’t judge people for how they live their lives – or where they live their lives. The prettiest clothes can often mask the ugliest personalities and the most successful humans are often the unhappiest. We are so desperate to distract ourselves from many of the issues in our personal lives that we throw ourselves into work and accumulate things and people that have no real-value, and in the end who does it benefit?

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I believe that success is measured by you. Your success could be raising five kids with a partner that is never at home, or back packing through Europe and waiting tables or even taking night classes to better your English, each is a success within its own right. The choices you make every day to better your life are your successes, not your bank balance. So the next time someone tries to make you feel guilty for travelling your own path be content in the knowledge that you are living this life for you, and much like couture, it only needs to fit your body.

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The Age of Distraction

Fashion, Life choices, Uncategorized

Where Do You Live?

Fashion, Life choices, Uncategorized

There are areas in Dubai that are known to house the westerners; Downtown, Jumeirah, JLT, DIFC and Marina, head to any of these places and you’d feel like you were transported out of the Middle East and straight into New York. Now, that isn’t to say these places don’t have people of colour, but they are few and far between.  This is primarily due to the countries various recruitment agencies that are shockingly still allowed to request your sex, marital status, ethnicity, gender and even a picture, when you are applying for a job. Complete discrimination anywhere else, but here in Dubai, it’s perfectly acceptable. In fact, I could at this very moment screen-shot at least ten job listings that say ‘British national only or US citizens only’, that’s just the way it is. Now, what does this have to do with the aforementioned ‘white zones’? I’m getting to it.

When I started at my role as a fashion writer, that was the first time I stepped onto the metro-train, heading into our downtown offices I would wear my Louboutin’s and tread through the paved concrete outside my apartment, then all the way up four sets of stairs and then a ten minute walk to office. Now, though that I learned two things:

1) $1200 C.L loafers are not for daily metro bouts.

2) The obvious class system.

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You see, I live in Qusais, a mere 15 minutes from Sharjah, and what I lovingly called the ‘Dubai Ghetto’, though it barely scratches the surface of any of the world’s most dangerous cities. When you get on that train there isn’t a single white person. Not a single one, and then as the train starts to move further towards the heart of Dubai, and the buildings start to get that special kind of gleam only money can buy, you notice the change in people. White men, suited and women in stilettos with Louis Vuitton bags. The segregation that is witnessed here, is mostly linked to the higher salaries companies pay to foreigners and yet in the same breath, deign to give to a person of colour, but let’s focus on the societal impact of this on the Dubai community, as opposed to a detailed dissection of the labour laws.

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I can’t count how many people have asked me where I live and pretend either not to know it or furrow their brow when I tell them. What’s shocking is some of them actually don’t know it, because their lives are solely based in the white zones and venturing towards this side of town would terribly upset their sensibilities. What’s even better are the few Asian people that try to pull the same move because they’ve gone to the predominantly white-schools in the white zones and therefore do not understand why anyone would live outside of these sectors. I think where we live, has no real value. A room, a house, a shared flat, these material things offer zero insight into a person’s character, it does however provide a glossy coating to our human shells. One that is unfortunately very important to most.

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To summarize, this isn’t a criticism of anyone that isn’t ‘ethnic’, it’s a small examination of the cancerous effects of discrimination on society. Last night, I decided to go to a bar outside of the zones solely to enjoy the music and have cheap drinks, but several of my acquaintances didn’t turn up when I informed them of the location. In fact, one of them referred to it as ‘Whoe central’, to which my response was ‘There are whoes in Armani tool’, and that right there explains volumes. People would rather associate with that kind of crowd in a glitzier side of town as opposed to ever letting their friends find out that they spent their weekend partying with the coloured folk down in Bur Dubai. At the end of the day, it’s important to take pride in all your accomplishments while staying humble. Living your life in complete honesty will not only help you attract the right kinds of people, but pave the way to a future that doesn’t need a single coat of superficiality.

How do you tackle everyday as a creative person? Do you have a side project, do you work a fulfilling job – do you paint?? Questions; life is full of them. But the most important questions aren’t the ones that get thrown your way by all those annoying relatives, friends who mean well or even your spouse, they are the questions you ask yourself.

How you start everyday and how you spend every minute of that day is solely in your power. Yes most of us do work day jobs (sometimes not in the most pleasant of circumstances) but what truly gets you through it? I for one have the same dream I’ve had since I was a chubby 5th grader who sketched dresses on is notepad; and you guessed it my dream has always been to be a designer. Though that word itself has quite a bit of muck surrounding it these days. It seems to be the fall back profession for everyone with a golden spoon up their bums but let’s be real, for those of us that toiled away stitching our own grad collections and are still paying off student loans it is a daily struggle. But that’s what will make the rewards that much sweeter no? The thought of knowing that you earned every bit of luxury you will enjoy in the years to come?

For those of you that don’t know I started a small clothing brand called Avastave, and it is my baby – a baby that consistently needs a healthy dosage of cash-flavoured elixir. But, one step at  a time. Always remember that you are only in competition with yourself. Marketing schemes and pr agencies should for the most part be left to the large-scale co-operation. In stead focus on building a fan base and a strong brand identity. All of the things I try to do while juggling my career as a fashion writer. Each day that I take the subway train and every car ride or outfit I buy myself with my own money, all of it adds up, it adds up to experiences, minutes, seconds, moments all of which make up 365 days of the year.

Let your life be worth something bigger, allow yourself to dream bigger because no matter where you come from there is always room in this world for the dreamers, the people who have the chops to visualize a better future and then go out there and work everyday for it. You might feel like you aren’t making progress and I’ll be honest some days I sit here like why am I doing this? But you know why, because when you have passion and when you love something it becomes your reality. Always remember that yet another day is a chance to work that much harder for a future that is all the more brighter. D

Another Day

Fashion, Fashion Business, Life choices, Uncategorized