seeing in colour…

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Yes, this post is going to have many color puns (and inappropriate use of the caps lock).

Today, allow me to school you a bit. In Art class we were taught that there are only three basic hues which when combined, make up every other possible color that we can possibly imagine; red, yellow and blue (which are also called primary colors) when mixed in equal or varying proportions, enable one to come up with every other color that we know. For example, green is a mixture of yellow and blue, orange is a mixture of red and yellow and purple a mixture of red and blue. Now, the tricky bit is if you add more yellow than blue you come up with a shade of green called yellow-green or yellow-yellow-green (which is often confused for yellow) and vise versa.  Now, on the other side of the divide there is black and white. We were constantly debating about these two colors until we were told that they are not considered as colors (at least not in an art class). White is a combination of all colors and black is the absence of color.

As you can see, art is science (or is science art?)

My point? Maybe you’ve heard of the fashion craze called color blocking? No? Well, now you have and because I am tired of arguing with people who do it wrong I have decided to do a whole post about it just so i can prove my point and hopefully, never lecture anyone on color ever again. EVER.
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On a light note, it’s hot out. Too hot. The wind feels like someone’s breath and the sun feels like a ball of fire. Well, technically, it is, but you get my drift, right? Leaving the house feels like walking into a sauna or something hotter like… a frying pan. It’s ridiculous, really. This kind of weather has me contemplating if I should splurge and buy one of those large coca cola umbrellas found in every other outdoor restaurant. Likewise, this heat has me considering buying a big sombrero or any other comically sized hat, just so I do not arrive wherever I am going smelling like something roasted. The funny thing about this Nairobi weather is that it is pretty unpredictable. At times, it’s cold. Too cold. The coolness (coldness?) even gets me budgeting for gloves and snow boots. Never mind the fact that we don’t experience winter in Kenya let alone snow. It’s crazy-the weather, not me.

BLACK to the post.

If you are like me, you probably take more time than the average person to pair your clothes when going somewhere. You fret over the colors you are wearing, whether they are appropriate for the weather, occasion, season, year, millennium, generation… well, once I RED that the color one wears affects the mood they will be in. I guess you can say it’s CYANtifically proven.
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So now, the question arises as to how to pair your colors. Well, there are the basic tips such as:

  1. Save bright colors for when it is warm and wear dull colors when it is cold.
  2. Dull colors create the illusion of slimness while bright colors create the illusion of thickness.

However, there are the more complex ones that everyone should know. So, without further aHUE, let’s get BROWN to business.

HOW TO COLOR BLOCK.
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Color blocking is the art of wearing colors that are not considered compatible but in actuality are compatible. Many go wrong while trying to do this because they do not realize that there is actually a formula on how to do it. It’s pretty simple too. In order to block colors, one wears colors that create contrasting sensations. That simply means you pair a cool color with a warm color (stay with me) warm colors are those associated with sources of heat for example, red, orange and yellow. Cool colors are those associated with nature, for example, blue, green and purple. however, this is not to say that any cool color can go with any warm color. mostly, for a color to block, it cannot have been made from the color with which it is to contrast. (i feel like i have stopped making sense). for example, green, which is a mixture of yellow and blue, contrasts with red. red is a primary color. red does not make up green. its quite interesting really, because different shades of the same color contrast with different colors. back on green. a shade of green called yellow green or lime green as it is often called, contrasts with pink. pink is a tint of red. further, purple contrasts with yellow, orange with brown and obviously, black with white (even if they are the Pluto of colors).

I guess now you understand why I called this post, ‘Seeing In Color.’

Quite intense, right?

But aren’t you pleased I told you all AMBERout it?

I should probably stop with the puns, right?

They are alREDy too much.
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My point must have surely been put across. Dressing requires some thought. Maybe some calculations and what not or maybe even some art classes. It’s up to you, really. But the color block when pulled off well is a beautiful thing.

On other issues…

Why is it this hot? Did someone offend the sun? Did the sun move closer to us? Somehow? whatever the case, that hole in the ozone layer is a reality. This heat, it makes me think of things like that,the ozone layer and tree planting and tea. Hot tea. So hot that it leaves you nauseated from drinking it. I don’t know. How is it even this hot? But the daytime heat is nothing compared to the nighttime chills. I sleep with gloves on. OK, maybe not. But I might. I really might. This January sun has something against us all, or is it just me?

I need some GREEN tea.

Anyway, do feel free to share your ideas on how you mix and match your colors. Share your opinion on my tips on how to color block and my extremely long lesson on color. Yes, I am still quite the liberal even in this scorching African sun.

OK. Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

about 2016…

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First of all before I even get down to this year’s first post, I have just had the damning realization that it has been twenty four days since my last post. Wow. Twenty four days is a long time. I mean, in the writing world it is the equivalent of the time it would have taken twenty four seasons of 24 to take place (a season is a day, really jack?) or the time it took us to evolve into humans from our cousins the apes… whichever example you prefer. but its 2016 now. I’m hyped for this new year. I feel like shaking everyone’s hand on the street and congratulating them for seeing 2016. It’s 2016 for goodness sake, why cant I? I should be able to skip on the streets and plant a wet kiss on your baby’s forehead for no apparent reason and with no prejudice.  We are in the age of staggering technological advancements that have left many of us (like myself) dumbfounded at what button to push in order to start any device. But its 2016. God forbid I wake up tomorrow and find myself in the year 1450. (PS: that is way before Graham Bell even invented the telephone) and I wake up in total darkness, no jeans and with no WI-FI. And because it’s 1450, I guess our biggest problem would be the absence of Google and skin tight jeans. Can you even fathom a world like that? I shudder at the very thought of it. But because its 2016, I’m probably in a Cashmere sweater that suppresses the shudder before it surfaces. It’s 2016, my good people. Sarcasm abounds and inappropriate jokes are shared over steaming cups of cappuccinos or whatever else we shall be sipping in 2016. It’s sixteen years into the third millennium and we survived the onset of that too.

Cheers!
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Now, to the post at hand. Among my new years resolutions is to keep up with every trend 2016 will toss at us. All factors considered, of course. I encourage you to do the same. Surely, what we did not have in 2015 or in 1450, we shall get in 2016, right? On the other hand, I feel like I should share the two biggest crimes that should be buried together with 2015, fashion wise, of course. You know its always easier to move forward with a clean conscious from an updated closet. That having been said, lets dive in, shall we?

BAGGY JEANS.

 

For the invention of this heavenly invention, we have Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss to thank for giving us denim jeans or just jeans as we’ve come to know them. Of course, many, like myself, feel that it is our ability as Homo Sapiens, to rock a pair of well fitting jeans that actually separates us from the undeveloped primates with whom we allegedly share an origin with. Maybe you feel its our technology or ability to communicate with speech is what sets us apart but I tell you, put a good pair of skinny jeans on a baboon and it’ll blend right in- you wont even notice its hairy arms.

I joke, of course.

But there are those, who, for some reason can never seem to find a pair of fitting jeans. Therefore, they strut about on our streets with big, loose, baggy, parachute-y (whatever you want to call them) jeans that are fastened with belts. Now to all of you out there, belts are not supposed to make the jeans fit, belts are supposed to hold the jeans in position. Tsk… in an age where we take and sell photos of the moon, three quarters of the earth’s population is oblivious to the purpose of the belt.

On a serious note though, we are four days into 2016. Can we all just buy a pair of jeans that fit? Thank you.

MISMATCHED SOCKS

If you wear mismatched socks, you are probably the kind of person who does absurd things like putting sugar in your cup before you pour your tea or spreading margarine (or butter) on your bread after toasting it. Your life is probably upside down too because of your socks. I’ve never been able to wrap my head around it though, how do people lose a side of a pair of socks? Also, at what point did it become OK to wear mismatched socks? I mean, it’s not like we wear mismatched shoes. So, how come there are those among us with mismatched socks? Where is the correct side anyway? Did one side just pack up and leave one day? Has it called to check up on the side it left behind? No? OK.

Seriously. Could we kindly leave such atrocities in 2015? Or better yet, in 1450? I’d highly appreciate not having to think about your life when I see you wearing a mismatched pair of socks.

It’s 2016. Regardless. I hope you are happy or will be at the end of it all. Even if all you have are mismatched socks, I guess you still deserve to be a bit happy.

 

We are now faced with three hundred and sixty two days of 2016. I don’t know about you but on one of those fine days I’ll just walk up to a complete stranger and shake their hand. It’s 2016 after all. Why not?

That aside, feel free to share with me the fashion crazes you will be leaving behind in 2015. I am still quite the liberal even one hundred and forty years after the invention of the telephone.

OK. Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

while at the barber’s…

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Going to the barbers can be a real treat or your worst nightmare. It depends on you. Well, relatively. I like imagining it’s like placing your head on a guillotine and trusting that your executioner (your barber) is using a rubber blade as you both planned in the waking hours in your holding cell which, by the way, is located somewhere in rural France. Okay, maybe it is not as dramatic as that but it could be. It could. Barbers have this power… they can make or break you. Literally. They decide whether for the next few weeks you’ll call in sick to work and hide out in your house in a hat waiting for your hair to grow back out…such power. That is why it is paramount to learn how to behave around them. You do not want to piss off a barber (or anyone else for that matter who holds a sharp machine to your skull). Seriously. On the other hand, you do not want to seem too meek thus giving the leeway for your head to be used as a tester.

So, you are probably wondering, ”what then shall I do while at the barber’s?”… luckily for you, I had time to spare. Therefore;

WHAT NOT TO DO WHILE AT THE BARBER’S

  1. DO NOT be the lab rat.

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Barbers are skilled people – artists even. And like all skilled people, they itch to try out all their new ideas. Now, the targets are usually people who say the following words, ”I just want to try something new,” or, ”I’m not really sure what I want.” If ever you find yourself saying any of the above, realize that you have signed your death wish, sealed it and kept it in a vault. Your death wish at that moment is more certain than than the sun’s location. Heck! your death wish is more solid than the earth’s crust (which is pretty solid by the way). You are deader than the first man to die. Is there even a word like that? deader? In short, you are doomed. For you, its 2012 (the movie) all over again. And we already survived that. Once was enough.

When you walk in to get your hair done, have a plan. Sketches even… if you can. Try a portfolio if you wish but have something solid. Especially if you are actually trying out something new that your barber is not used to. If you try to describe what you want, you just might fail. Many have. And the results are only funny to their friends, funnier to the barber but never to the victim. You do not want to feel that tinge of hate for your barber when he announces, ”all done!” and you can barely recognize yourself because of the squirrel nestled on your head.

Don’t laugh. Serious business this is.

2. DO NOT change barbers.

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It’s pretty simple, really. If you try out a  barber and they pass the test, keep them. Love them. Feed them. Take their kids out on holiday. Pay their rent. And if ever you and your barber find yourselves on the rough side of town and a shot is fired, take a bullet for them. A barber is a friend. Think about it, who knows the uneven ridges on your head but never tells a soul, doesn’t even make fun about it? When you walk into the barber shop and obnoxiously demand that the fur on your face be trimmed albeit all you have are three chin hairs (one of which is slowly dying of an unknown disease), your barber quietly pretends to be shaving your chin though in reality he is just tracing the shape of your lips. So that you don’t get offended. You. The customer. Even when you too loudly declare, ‘No Shave November’ as your status, he doesn’t even giggle. Not even a snicker. Such loyalty… your barber probably knows the number of gray hairs you have even when you deny their existence. Nevertheless, he never breathes a word.

Going to the same barber can save you a lot of pain (embarrassment as well). For one, you already know the rates of your local barber therefore, you know how much to carry. Meaning, you can even plan ahead of time. Secondly, your barber knows just what you like. If you like a head massage after he is done or if you like to be talked to, advised – whichever. You do not want to go to a barber who will drench your head in spirit after he has taken out all your hair. Such are not even barber shops, those, my friend, are kinyozis.

LOL.

3. DO NOT fall asleep.
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OK, so maybe you were up all night doing whatever and you are exhausted. Deadbeat. You go in for a shave, trim or whatever and once that cloth has been tied around your neck you get snug. You nod off. That’s OK. It happens. But think twice before you fall asleep next time. First, that is not only dangerous but you also do not want to have an ‘accident’ occur as you nap. Of course the ‘accident’ I speak of are numerous from unevenly trimmed hair to a completely shaven head. In case you wake up from your siesta and find your locks on the floor next to your goatee and you look ten again hold in your outrage and pinch yourself in the arm. You brought it upon yourself. Yes. Yes you did.

Seriously though, you do not want to fall asleep and put yourself at the mercy of a person with a weapon.

No. Nay. Nada.

4. DO NOT say a word.
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Okay, I probably have you a bit confused with that. What I mean is, keep it brief. As I’ve mentioned countless of times, I cut my hair, recently too, so you have to trust me on this. Especially if you are going in for a trim. Do not say, ”I want a couple inches taken off” or ”I want it a bit shorter”. It really doesn’t matter what you say cause all barbers will hear the same thing, ”shave it all off! Don’t even leave the babies,” (baby hair) and so it shall be. You will either have to buy a big hat or move to another town. Or city. Or country. Your choice, really. Those are your only options.

When you go in for a little snipetty- click-click, indicate using your hands or fingers, the length you want to be trimmed off. Show them how far they should go then stay vigilant. Barbers and even hair dressers work better with sight.

5. DO NOT do everything at once.

OK, so you’ve cut your hair, then you’ve dyed it and even put the straws in all at one go, then what? When it comes to hair, take baby steps. If you are going to cut it, cut it first then give yourself some time to see how it looks like. Let yourself get used to your new image. You never know, in between the experiments, you might get a creativity strike and come up with a better idea. Besides, your head isn’t going anywhere. Unless of course, it found another pretty head and they run away to get married. Heads these days, am I right?

 

in conclusion, next time you drop in for your weekly shave, or monthly (no judgement) remember what you read on the internet.

Regardless, I am a liberal. Tell me what you think. Is there a crucial tip that I did not share? How do you handle your visits to the barber? Go crazy in the comments section.

OK. Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

why I want Lupita’s closet…

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She might just be the fastest born star we’ve ever known. I mean come on, how many people graduate from Yale only to win an Oscar for a role on a movie co- starred by Brad Pitt. More people know her than the name of the movie she was awarded for. Even fewer people have watched it. And an even a smaller percentage have enjoyed it. But that is none of my business. By now you can probably tell I’d go on and on (about Lupita; not the movie). However, aside from her fast escalation to fame, Lupita’s is well known for her amazing sense of fashion. Now, you might be wondering why of all people I chose to do her first… For starters, she’s Kenyan (technically) and I am Kenyan as well( so is Obama, just putting it out there). And if we’ve learnt anything about Kenyans following Obama’s election as president, we love associating ourselves with the spotlight. You could say we are a bit like moths; just glow and we’ll follow. We’ll even claim you as a fellow kinsman, tribe mate, village mate, whatever…  ( brother Obama , sister Lupita), don’t underestimate our creative power. We’ll tie down your success to the pencil we helped you with way back in kindergarten and rightly so. I reckon.
           
            Anyway, I just felt that I should point out the numerous similarities between Lupita and I (Lupita and me?). Now, after this blog post I fear the paparazzi might stop me on my way to Kariokor to snap a photo of me as they might mistake me for her because of all our damning similarities. Heck! A deranged fan may demand an autograph from me as I sit in a matatu minding my own. But I won’t mind. I’ll just sign something indecipherable in my to die for penmanship.

      I joke. Of course.
                                                                        As I mentioned in my previous post, I cut my hair. Make no mistake, I had that whole Rapunzel thing going on with hair so long it took a whole village to plait it. And it was good hair too. We had a relationship so solid, couples came to us for advice. Nevertheless, i cut it. Now, as many of you know, Lupita rocks what we call the ‘box’ cut.

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The reason why this works so well for her is because of her long face and well defined jaw bones not to mention the high cheek bones. Now, this type of cut is considered quite masculine however, numerous people we know (read celebrities), have rocked this style that is quickly being claimed by women as their own. So, next time you pass by the barber shop and you feel that little voice urging you on to try it. Listen to it. Especially if you have the features described above. Dare yourself. Rock the ‘box’ cut. Of course short hair also gives the illusion of a longer and slimmer neck. Further, short hair accentuates the face’s greatest features such as cheek bones, jaw bones, shape of eyes, eye colour etc. There is a whole world on how to style short hair from the rugged afro, perm, curly kit, straws, to colour, cuts, dreadlocks and many more. So go crazy.
          
          Now aside from furry affairs, let’s get down to why am gaga over Lupita’s closet.
    
          My respect for Lupita’s fashion sense came when she was sported (was it in New York?) carrying one of these…

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A kiondo.

           Of course they call it differently but I know a kiondo when I see one. Now, you are most definitely aware that at this moment Africa is trending. From fabric patterns, lessos, ornaments and most recently kiondos.

     A kiondo serves the same purpose as a handbag only its more stylish and has that touch of gold that even Midas couldn’t reach. It is most definitely more feminine looking and feeling. It also comes in a wide array of colour. So yeah, you can have one for each day of the week. Or even year. No one can stop you. Except the bank. Again, none of my business.

       I know you might be thinking, “so what if Lupita has a kiondo? That doesn’t mean I should necessarily go out and get one for myself.” And I guess I understand your reasoning. I mean, she also has an Oscar award, doesn’t mean you should go out and get one for yourself. But what if I told you that Michelle Obama also has a kiondo stored away in one of her numerous closets in white house?

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What she is carrying my good friends is called a kiondo.

      Case closed.

    Maybe you thought I was going to delve into the gorgeous blue dress that lupita wore as she received her Oscar award. Or maybe the beautiful orange dress she donned at the Global Awards. True, they were all lovely. But true style is seen in small things such as a kiondo.
 
       Yap.

       But I am a liberal. Talk to me. Let me know what you think in the comment section. Which celebrity has a good sense of fashion, what hair style are you currently keeping up with – or trying to. Whichever, I won’t tell.
  
      OK. Thanks.

   

          
          

      

let’s define it first…

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When I was younger, nothing was more unbearable than going clothes shopping. See, I was a fat kid even daddy called me Piggy, and nothing ever seemed to fit me and my belly. Yeah, we were two separate entities back then. My other sisters loved shopping but then, they were so skinny everything fitted them perfectly. But no, this is not one of those posts where  I am going to talk about years of scarring and whatnot… God knows we have read too much of those anyway.

ARKADEEZ has been a dream of mine since I was seventeen. I wish I could say since I was a little child, but you and I, both (you and me?) know that would be a lie. Oh! by the way am only eighteen. (why do we say that… only eighteen?) Anyway, I have given it a lot of thought and I have finally come up with the perfect definition of fashion. Brace yourself, it has nothing to do with ill fitting clothes and nay, it has nothing to do with sagging jeans either. However, in order to capture your attention, I shall reveal the definition at the end… Hey! maybe I should employ such petty trickery in all of my posts…. mwahaha! (evil laugh).

Random fact- men’s shirts have buttons on the right, while women’s shirts have buttons on the left… So, you’ve probably rolled your eyes because you are thinking, ”who on earth does not know that?”. My random fact is not so random? But that was just a decoy. Now to the real random fact;

“hey! Kevo”

“yeah… Shiks?”

“Did you know that when you meet someone, the first thing you notice subconsciously is their shoes?”

“What! That is a totally random fact. I did not know that.”

Now, away from this totally irrelevant fact that has nothing to do with this post and this poor example of a dialogue, let us flash back.

There was a fashion craze that I was totally in love with back in the day… and yes, I am allowed to use that phrase too. Hipsters. Our wazungu cousins call it the bell bottoms. Ah… you gotta love these people. They add sophistication to everything. I can just imagine an Englishman with those one eyed spectacles buying those hipsters for his darling.

“Do you have those BALE BO-OMS in a size two?” LOL

Now, back to the post at hand, what really did make the hipsters a real hit? I reckon it was the illusion of shape that they gave the wearer. To the ladies, the hipsters made the hips look rounder and the knees look slimmer. Thus the illusion of fuller hips. Also, there was something indefinably cute at seeing shoes peeping out through the bottom of those broad bottoms. But that is beside the point of this post. More interesting to notice, was the confidence those hipsters gave the wearer. It did not matter what the hipsters were paired with, it made the wearer feel like the world was on their shoulders. Heck! Whenever I wore my hipsters, I felt like I could walk up to the mayor and ask for the keys to the city. Never mind we don’t have those in Kenya- not cities, mayors.

Well, of course, I exaggerate.

Now, to my point. Fashion is not just about clothes. I mean, sure, clothes is an integral part of it but it is not all of it. I recently cut my hair and when anyone asks me why, I say its the new fashion. It’s the new trend. Its the new craze. Now, right there, that’s the difference between trends and fashion. Trends come and go. But fashion? That stays forever. Its timeless.

Now to my definition. Fashion is simply class. Shocked? I bet you are. It’s that simple. Class. In the sense of hair, shoes, make up… everything. It does not matter if I am dressed in an Elizabethan robe, if I got style then that’s fashion. Now, maybe I should do another post and define style. But I just wanted to put my point across that fashion is not just about trends. As in, yeah, trends play a role but fashion is not just trends. Fashion is trendy though and if you think about it long enough, you’ll realize that there is a difference. A big one.

Nevertheless, I am a liberal. Talk to me . Let me know what was your favorite fashion craze. Share your own definition of fashion in the comment section… duh. Where else would you do it?

OK. Thanks.