The walk-in closet

What should every girl have in her closet?

1. A little black dress – obviously! Preferably with some lace or sequins.

2. A killer suit – for the office.. or play

3. A classic winter coat

4. Ganster jeans that say – “I jaast don’t curr”!

5. A designer handbag that you’re too scared to mention the price of.

6. Lots of shoes. Lots!

7. Accessories that define your personality – Jewellery, scarves, sunglasses, hats etc.

8. Amazing lingerie – hopefully one set that matches (but it’s not a minimum requirement. You’re allowed to be creative)

9. Running/Training sneakers – we all need to try and lead healthier lifestyles

10. An outfit that you’ve reserved for the day when you reach your goal weight.. LOL;-)

I believe that clothes should be timeless. You should buy things that you’ll be able to wear beyond the “fashion seasons”. It’s also important to mix expensive pieces with some “ready to wear” easy pieces at times, in order to achieve that “effortless” look. There is no pre-defined sense of style that any one of us should feel compelled to adhere to. It’s all about how the clothes make you feel and how comfortably (operative word), they sit on your body. Quality is critical, no matter the price.

I love just about every item of clothing, shoes and accessories in my closet. And whenever I fall “out of love” with an item, I give it away to someone who’ll appreciate it or to a charitable organisation. It’s advisable that one conducts a “closet review” at least twice a year. One just before summer and the other just before winter.

Today, I’d like to share with you some of my favourite looks. It’s a mix of personal images and some images that I’ve sourced from Pinterest (my other favourite social media platform, after instagram). These images represent what, to me, is beauty, class, style and elegance. All according to the eyes of “moi” (french, pronounced as Mwa).

Enjoy…

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“Don’t Curr” Jeans… #Valentino heels, #celine top.. Too cool for school Source: Pinterest

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A little black dress #Lace #BCBGMaxazria #Luminance Source: Own image

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Every girl should have her own unique style #interestingcombination .. and it works.. #Dior handbag #Louboutin heels Source: Pinterest

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A channel handbag.. Louboutin Heels.. That top and those jeans could be from anywhere .. It wouldn’t even matter .. #mixitup #Effortlessstyle Source: Pinterest

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A girl can’t have too many shoes #Manoloblahnik #Valentino Source: Pinterest

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My latest obsession. Pointed Flats. This makes for the perfect friday look. #fortheloveofshoes Source: Pinterest

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Favourite Sunglasses #JimmyChoo Leopardprint with Gold detail Source: Own image

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Power Dressing at the office Source: Pinterest

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Every girl should try and rock a Tux once in their lifetime.. Source: Pinterest

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Inspired by Angelina’s tux .. #IKKS #ThomasPink … With my girl, Sunshine.. No one does print better.. #Unique #Africanqueen Source: Own image

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Tux Jumpsuit.. Stunning hey?! Source: Pinterest

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My jumpsuit tux.. #whitetuxjacket #ManuelPiperno jumpsuit #Prada handbag Source: Own image

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Ted Baker scarf.. A gift from a very dear friend.. I have an obsession for scarves Source: Own image

For access to more of my favourite looks, follow me on pinterest @VikaShipalana and Instagram @Vikas01cof.

Feel free to also share your pics with me and comment on what you find beautiful in your world of fashion and style!

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Life is beautiful..

Funny how life can derail you sometimes… We somehow think that all advice is good advice and end up deviating from our original plans in order to suit the world’s view or perceptions around what we should and shouldn’t do. Who we should or shouldn’t become… (anyway.. that was just a side thought..)

I’d like to think that I’m quite simple (although some people would beg to differ.. LOL). I love Fashion, pure and simple. Not fashion according to the so called “ready to wear”, “in one season and out the next” type of clothes but rather, timeless garments. Clothes that one can wear beyond one season. Clothes that can be passed down from generation to generation. From one closet to the next.

At church they have a charity initiative called the “Love Wardrobe”, where women can bring their “previously loved clothes” to church to be donated to someone in need. I just love how they’ve framed it: “previously loved clothes”. To me it says, don’t just bring anything. Bring something that you cherish. Something that you believe and know that the next person would be truly blessed by. I think it’s just so amazing and so thoughtful.

So what’s in store, for the upcoming month?

In the upcoming month, I’d like to use this platform to share with you what I believe is beautiful, classy, stylish and elegant, according to the eyes of Vika. I’m all about #Femininity, #Elegance and #Effortlessstyle (You must never look like you tried too hard!). As women we need to be happy and confident to be the beautiful, powerful women that God created us to be. Women who are free to express themselves in whichever way that makes us feel bold, confident, beautiful inside and out, and proud to be UNIQUE.

Stay tuned….

Don’t let anything/anyone steal your joy

On the 14th of January, my husband and I went out to celebrate a dear friend’s birthday dinner. It was an incredible evening of fun and laughter with some of our closest friends.

It was just after dessert, I think, when the car guard came rushing into the restaurant to tell us (my husband and I), that someone had just reversed into our car, crashing into it (badly) and then sped off.

I could not believe it. “Who?” “Who’s car?” “Do (did) they know who I am (was)??”.. LOL

All these thoughts went through my mind as I watched the surveillance footage that my husband and his friend, had managed to get from the stubborn security guard at the Hobart Grove shopping centre, which clearly showed a drunken woman stumbling into her car, sitting for a couple of minutes and then proceeding to reverse (very fast, I might add), into my car and then speeding off, almost running over the car guard who tried to stop her.

It was like a bad movie!

What followed was a series of phone calls and meetings with my insurance company, getting an investigator, visits to the police station, meetings between my lawyer and the culprit.. you name it. It was all so very tiring.

My car went into the panel beaters on the 4th of Feb and came out last night. I haven’t driven it in a month. My dear husband drove the rental car for an entire month while I roamed around in his car. How amazing?! .. I felt so terrible initially, but I then realised that this is what he wanted to do for me. He knew that it would make me feel so much better about my situation.

As if that wasn’t enough.. last week Thursday, I had 2 of my laptops (my work laptop and personal laptop which I use to blog) stolen from right under my nose, whilst I was attending the Design Indaba conference in Cape Town.

A couple of friends and I, were busy having a chat after a full day of inspiration (I’ll share more about that it my next blog).. when all of a sudden I realised that my black “design indaba 2014” bag had gone missing.

So anyway.. I started questioning God (of course), about why all these terrible things were happening to me. “Why me Lord?”.. And would spend mornings (during my quiet time) just crying and asking God why my entire world is falling apart before my very eyes. Silly.. I know.. If you consider that it’s just a car, some laptops etc.. All material things that are easily replaceable. .. Some people have real problems… But obviously, it’s very hard to gain that level of perspective when you’re full of emotion and it takes you stepping back and reflecting, to truly appreciate and see the bigger picture.

In my next blog post titled “Grateful” you will see just how all of this was just a distraction…But!.. back to the conversation at hand..

I did some introspection, immersed myself in the word and spent countless hours just speaking to God about everything that has been going on in my life.

It became apparently clear to me..what was really going on!!

It was Spiritual Warfare.. mixed with a bit of a “journey into the wilderness” as my husband would say.

So here’s what was going on..

My car was a gift from God. A gift that I slowly but surely had started to put too much value into. More than it deserved. Having it scarred and broken helped me to see it as a car and not some perfect “idol”.

My laptop was a gift as well in order for me to truly walk in my purpose. I’m sad about it but have found other ways to still share and will not let that be a stumbling block.

So.. what has been the lesson in all this?

Well it’s simple.. (for me anyway)… We know the truth! We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers and rulers of darkness and against spiritual wickedness in heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12). This is spiritual warfare!! But the good news.. is that we’ve already won!! We do not need to toil and stress and worry. We must rest in the Lord. We need to trust in the plans that he has for our lives. Plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to bring us hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

So ya..  I’ve learnt to be grateful for the things I have and stop thinking about the things I’ve lost. And most importantly, with every blow.. I become stronger, wiser and have learnt how to truly and wholeheartedly surrender my all to The Father.

Be Blessed! Rule and Reign in every area of your life.. and don’t ever let anything or anyone trick you into thinking that they are in control or capable of stealing your joy!

Much love..

What a start to the year..

I know I’ve been quiet.. Fine. I’ll apologise.. (not a core strength of mine)..

I am so sorry for breaking my rule. I promised myself that I’d post once a week, and last week, I didn’t. Honestly, I just couldn’t. But, I will make sure that, that doesn’t happen again.

I’ve been (and still am) on a journey of discovery. I am learning new things about who I am daily. It turns out that I’m more blessed than what I’d initially thought.. I have been set apart. And God has great plans for my life. I thought I knew this already.. but each day brings forth a new revelation.

This week I had the privilege of visiting one of the best couture designers of our time. Spero Villioti. I have to say that, being in his offices made me feel like I was being given a snapshot of what my future will look like..

We have so much in common that at one point I stopped and thought to myself, .. How is it possible that 2 people from such different backgrounds, who aren’t even of the same gender, can have so much in common. If you thought that my collection of British Vogue Magazines is a little “obsessive”.. think again. This guy’s collection dates back to  the 1980s..

We even have similar “vision boards”. Have you ever?! When he saw mine, he kept commenting on how he had similar pics on his board back home. Mad right?!.. I know.

He says I have impeccable taste. *blushes*.. And he spoke some truly positive declarations upon my life which I will forever cherish.

Now couple this, with the news that, This past Sunday, my “gorgeous inside and out” Mom was ordained as a Pastor. I’d have to say.. that God is truly doing a new thing in my life.

Stay tuned dear friends.. I have a feeling that I have already stepped into my new season of glory..

Anyway.. I know you all love pictures so let me share with you some of the pics that I did manage to take..

A gorgeous sketch at the reception area

A gorgeous sketch at the reception area

British Vogue Magazines at reception area

British Vogue Magazines at reception area

Wall Paper made out of gorgeous sketches

Wall Paper made out of gorgeous sketches

One day..

One day..

My vision boards and Mood boards. Plus an original autographed sketch by Spero which he made for me in 5 seconds..

My vision boards and Mood boards. Plus an original autographed sketch by Spero which he made for me in 5 seconds..

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My Gorgeous Mom – Pst Zukie Ntshona

What then shall we say to these things.. If God is for us, who can be against us..

I have already stepped into my season of glory. God says that he will make my name great. If he said it, that settles it.

May you also find your purpose and walk in it every day of your life.. You probably already are.. You just don’t know it yet..

Be blessed!

African Print.. It’s not only for the Afro-centric..

For a long time I was fearful of playing around with print. Particularly african print. The thought was extremely daunting.. Where would I start? I wear weaves for goodness sake!!.. How would I credibly pull this off?

It took a dream I had over a year ago (where I was wearing my husband’s white shirt with rolled up sleeves, and a gigantic A-line maxi skirt in african print), for me to realise that it was totally do-able and that I should give it a try. God has a way of revealing the latest fashion trends to me, usually before they hit the market, through very vivid dreams. …I know.. Totally Amazing. Right?!

I went around the office asking my trusted afro-chic ladies to recommend places and brands that I could explore to find my ultimate look. After many recommendations, I finally found the perfect place that suited my style needs. Dainty Frocks! (Check out their instagram page to see the various designs and styles that they offer). Their studio is based in Melville JHB. Nqobile, the owner, is an amazing and talented lady who’s professionalism and level of attention to detail is like nothing you’ve experienced before. They have ready made garments and are also happy and willing to create garments to suit your needs. Their turnaround times, on a very complex piece, are around 3-4 days. Pretty Impressive if you ask me!

There are tons of places, online stores etc. that provide modern african print designs.. A friend of mine, Sunshine Shibambo, swears by Mr Price (not my vibes but I’m absolutely inspired by how they are managing, positioning and growing that brand), and is also the person who referred me to “Stitch & Steel”. Another african gem, based in Maboneng Precinct.

I am quite proud that this trend took the world by storm in 2014. We’ve waited long and hard for the time when Africa would take over the world stage and show other nations what we’re made of. I don’t know how many of you follow the Celine’ brand, but one of their collections last year was inspired by that checkered big red, blue and white bag that people used to use and continue to use when travelling to remote and rural places. Ask me, my husband is Xitsonga and I see those bags everywhere when I travel home to Limpopo. Proof that you can find inspiration from absolutely anything.

If you’d like to buy your own fabrics and play around.. (maybe you’re a talented seamstress or aspiring fashion designer:-)), I’d recommend that you use Vlisco fabrics. They are absolutely exquisite. One of my dear friends, Paulien Eikens, who’s based in Amsterdam, is part of the team that is currently expanding the footprint of the Vlisco brand within the african market. Their fabrics are available to purchase at the newly, revamped Kluk CGDT store in Cape Town, amongst other places. David Tlale’s latest collection, available at Luminance in Hyde Park Shopping centre is also created using Vlisco fabric.

Below are some of the looks that I rocked this past year, and I hope that they’ll provide some inspiration for those who, like me, weren’t too sure on how they could pull this look off..

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At the Annual Grolsch Appreciation Event at The Museum of African Design (MOAD), in Maboneng Precinct. Wearing a Dainty Frocks creation. The top is made out of Vlisco Fabric and the shoes are Jimmy Choo. Got them in NYC a couple of years ago. Timeless!

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Another Dainty Frocks creation. My favourite! Paired with my Tom Ford sunglasses which I sourced from the most exquisite sunglass store at The Palazzo Hotel in Vegas. Also rocking my Louis Vuitton clutch bag which I bought in Paris during my and hubby’s second honeymoon.

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A Dainty Frocks shift dress, paired with my killer Steve Madden heels which I bought at their beautiful 5th avenue store in NYC and my red Prada Saffiano bag which I bought at Selfridges in London a couple of years ago during a trip to watch cricket at Lords Cricket Ground. (Did they really think that I wouldn’t shop?! #boys #smh)

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Rocking a David Tlale collar made out of Vlisco fabric. I bought this at the Design Indaba expo 2014. (The design indaba is one of those events in the annual calendar that you absolutely cannot afford to miss. Particularly if you have a passion for design, arts and culture. The 3 day conference and expo will have you feeling inspired and completely intimidated all at the same time. It’s just what every individual needs in order to get that kick that pushes you towards your God given purpose. .. That and my husband’s inspirational talks of course:-)). I’m also wearing my Stitch & Steel corset which has the most amazing and intricate detail.. a real masterpiece. I don’t know how they made it! ..paired with a dainty frocks pencil skirt. You can never go wrong with a Dainty frocks creation:-)

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The Boss Lady delivering her speech to the Grolsch Swingtop Circle members. (The Grolsch STC is one of the most sought after database/memberships in SA, comprising of the best of what SA has to offer in terms of opinion leading male entrepreneurs and leaders from various disciplines. (Single ladies, do not get any ideas. LOL;-))

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My new obsession.. my ray-ban polarised blue sunglasses which I bought at Sunglass Hut at the Cape Town international airport 2 weeks ago after my annual trip to the L’Omarins Queen’s plate at the Kenilworth Race Course. I’m wearing my G-star Raw denim shirt which I bought in Amsterdam (one of my most favourite cities in the world), with my Dainty Frocks pencil skirt. A Denham necklace which I bought at the Denham Women store at the Nine Streets in Princengracht, Amsterdam and my Ted Baker laptop bag which houses my beloved Apple Mac. This laptop bag was a thoughtful gift from my dear friend Nqobile Ka-Mbonane after I’d told her that hubby had bought me an Apple Mac in order to help me pursue my dreams (or rather.. push me (or shove me.. LOL)) towards fulfilling my purpose!

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The shoes are leopard print pumps which I bought at Socrati in Sandton City a couple of months ago. Socrati is one of the very few stores in SA that always has my shoe size available in more than just one style or pair of shoes.. This specific pair is by Carrano, Brazil. Their shoes are so comfortable, I bought 2 of the same style. *hides*

For more on style tips and inspiration, also check out my instagram page at instagram.com/vikas01cof or log onto Facebook and follow us at Facebook.com/vikashipalana.com

Till next time..

A day at the races…

This past saturday (10 Jan 2015), I attended one of my most favourite events of the year, The L’Omarins Queen’s Plate. It is one of those events where you’re guaranteed to mingle with like minded people (mostly.. LOL), who appreciate the finer things in life, particularly the equestrian lifestyle..

We were hosted by Peroni Nastro Azzuro (a world renowned italian beer), for the weekend, in an all expenses paid trip, which promised (and delivered) what was a splendid weekend of “la dolce vita”..

We stayed at 15 on Orange, one of the top luxury hotels in CPT, and had the pleasure of waking up to the spectacular and “oh so calming” views of table mountain and lions head.

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I had the pleasure of being surrounded by a great bunch of friends, colleagues, media and a few “celebrities”.

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Vika Shipalana, Vista Kalipa, Khanyi Mbau, Bridget Masinga

The dress code for the event was strictly blue and white, and let me just say that the Peroni guests were looking absolutely amazing. With an effortless take on style, the boys were looking dapper in their tailored blazers, bermuda shorts or long pants and the perfect accessories in the form of pocket squares and panama hats.

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The ladies looked absolutely amazing, with a variety of “inspirations” for their looks. Some went for the modern, sophisticated, fitted look

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Whilst others decided to break the rules and go for the latest, “hot off the runway” looks from our local designers (side-eyes model and presenter, Bridget Masinga)..

I on the other hand decided to draw inspiration from the bohemian, hippie, “boho chic” look, which I’m completely obsessed with at the moment, and decided to mix that up with a little inspiration from the 1920s (enter.. “the great Gatsby”)

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I sourced my dress from the most amazing little antique store on long street called Long Street Antique Arcade. The bikini underneath is a Lisma crotched bikini, in Bamboo Turquoise, from a boutique called Mememe, also located on long street. For more of their amazing designs, you can go to facebook.com/lismadesigns.

The shoes are Salvatore Ferragamo heels (sorry, I just had to.. *wink*), and I later changed into one of my silver “Michael Jackson flats” (as I like to call them) by Steve Madden, both of which I’d bought a couple of years ago in New York.

My gorgeous hat was made by an amazing team of people, whose work is truly inspiring and is definitely set to take the world by storm. Their boutique, situated at 143 Upper Harrington Street in Cape Town, is called “The little hattery” and trust me when I say that, they can create just about any hat that you can think of, and do it in record time. Mine was created within 48 hours and hand delivered to my hotel. Have a look at what they created:

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Absolutely Exquisite!! (if I may say so myself)

You can also find them on facebook at facebook.com/thelittlehattery.

For more pictures on who wore what at the Queen’s plate, check out my instagram page at instagram/vikas01cof and also follow the hashtags #peroniweekend #LQP #Queensplate on instagram, twitter and facebook

Ciao..

#fortheloveoffashion

The Peoples Choice Awards

The 41st Annual People’s Choice Awards were held at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles yesterday (7 Jan 2015).

Some of the winners of the “favourite” categories include:

MOVIE ACTRESS: Jennifer Lawrence
MOVIE ACTOR: Robert Downey Jr
FAVOURITE MOVIE: The Fault in Our Stars
DRAMATIC MOVIE ACTOR: Robert Downey Jr
DRAMATIC MOVIE ACTRESS: Chloe Grace Moretz
COMEDIC MOVIE ACTRESS: Melissa McCarthy
COMEDIC MOVIE ACTOR: Adam Sandler
DRAMEDY: Orange Is the New Black
TV DRAMA: Grey’s Anatomy
COMEDIC TV ACTRESS: Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting
COMEDIC TV ACTOR: Chris Colfer
HIP HOP ARTIST: Iggy Azalea
DAYTIME TV HOST: Ellen DeGeneres
TV ICON: Betty White

So that’s great news… We, however, were more interested in “who wore what” on the red carpet…

I’d like to share some of my favourite looks with you.. These are largely based on my own personal style and my obsession with detail and world class craftsmanship..

The 41st Annual People's Choice Awards - Arrivals

Giuliana Rancic in Tony Ward dress and Gianvito Rossi shoes

The 41st Annual People's Choice Awards - Arrivals

Sarah Hyland in Christian Siriano with Stuart Weitzman shoes

The 41st Annual People's Choice Awards - Arrivals

Bella Thorne in Giorgio Armani

The 41st Annual People's Choice Awards - Arrivals

Portia de Rossi in Zuhair Murad jumpsuit and Giuseppe Zanotti shoes

I’m pretty sure that you had some of your own favourites. Feel free to share those with me, either on this blog or on my instagram page (Instagram.com/Vikas01cof)

#fortheloveoffashion

My love for Valentino..

For as long as I can remember, I have had this love for Couture.. particularly Valentino Haute Couture ..

Whenever I pick up a British Vogue or Harpers Bazaar UK magazine, I am guaranteed that there’ll be a Valentino Couture garment that I will fall head over heels in love with.

Over the years, I have collected tons and tons of these 2 magazines in order for me to look at the Valentino Couture garments that they’ve featured and collect them for future indulgence..

Today I’d like to share some of my favourite looks with you… Pay particular attention to the detail in each garment..

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Valentino Spring 2014-couture

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Valentino Spring 2014 Couture

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Valentino Couture Collection

They are absolutely breathtaking… I’m sure that you’ll agree..

For more indulgence.. you can log onto their website at http://www.valentino.com