It’s funny to be writing this the day after taking to my Instagram stories for a cry about how hard it is at times to be freelance. That’s the thing about being self-employed, there are lots of really cool highlights, but there’s a lot of uncertainty, self-doubt and imposter syndrome etc, too. I wrote about being freelance a couple of months ago for success.com, you can read it here. Despite my little temporary black hole I found myself in yesterday, September’s brought some pretty cool things with it, too. TBH, writing this has made me feel a millionnnn times better and I guess maybe that’s partly the point of it. We tend to give so much more importance to the negatives than the positives for some reason, and I guess this is partly my attempt at combatting that. From attending Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty launch party to shooting for Marie Claire Arabia and more, highlights of the month below…
Featuring on The Keeping It Candid Podcast
I was invited on to super cool blogger babes Millie Cotton and Sophie Milner’s new podcast ‘Keeping It Candid’ to discuss the subject of L’Oreal firing Munroe Bergdorf for a Facebook post she made in anger in the wake of Charlottesville. We expressed our support for Munroe and debated whether social media is really the place for this sort of discussion as well as the importance of HOW something is said in terms of getting the desired response / point across.
Joining Yasser On BBC Asian Network
I was invited on to the homie Yasser’s show on BBC Asian Network to chat about my career in journalism and more. Absolutely loved chatting with him and he made me feel so comfortable to be broadcasting live (!). I also got to select two tunes to spin; my current faves Yung Bane’s ‘Rihanna’ and Not3s ‘Aladdin’.
Listen back here.
Refinery29 x Nars #PowerMouth Exhibition
Refinery29 is one of my favourite publications at the moment and I’ve very much enjoyed writing for them over the last year or so. This month, they teamed up with Nars to put on a super cool #PowerMouth exhibition in East London. An experiential art exhibition all about beauty, art and female power, the whole thing was hiiighly Instagrammable (lol!) and a real joy to attend. As my friend Marina so aptly put it: “Celebrating lipstick and female empowerment – because you don’t have to pick.”
Haris Nukem ‘Humans’ Exhibition
My friend Julie was casually DM’ing artist Haris Nukem, as you do, after falling in love with his work on Instagram. I joined her in visiting his ridiculously awesome debut exhibition, and we were lucky enough to get a tour from Nukem himself. Aiming to capture our animalistic tendencies (and doing so exceedingly well!) the ‘Humans’ photoseries is a collection of portraits revealing a carnal self to the camera. As Nukem explained, the photos were juxtaposed against a more traditionally ‘beautiful’ image, causing a sort of internal conflict as to which you wished to pay more attention to. Sadly the exhibition has just ended but keep up with Haris Nukem on his Instagram here.
Jeremy Scott x i-D Party
And Fashion Week hit London! I mostly sat it out this year as I’m focusing more on my writing this year, but I did attend a couple of fashion week parties, including the pretty insane Jeremy Scott x i-D party with my friend Eniola. I say insane but really ‘out there’ is pretty much what you’re expecting when it comes to both Jeremy Scott and i-D. With the most original outfits I’ve ever seen and some pumping beats in one of London’s Soho nightclubs, it was a fun night.
Shooting For Marie Claire Arabia
Following on from my ridic excitement to have been featured in the August issue of Harpers Bazaar Arabia (check out the full spread and interview here), this month I was asked to shoot alongside the Abdul sisters for an upcoming issue of Marie Claire Arabia. I wore a gorgeous pink suit from Luvon, nude boots from River Island and Goldie Rox jewellery to take to the streets of Knightsbridge for the shoot. There’ll be an interview about me and my career thus far etc in the magazine too!
Missguided x Jourdan Dunn Launch Party
British supermodel Jourdan Dunn marked her second collection with Missguided with a party at Reign nightclub. Giggs performed, everyone showed up and it was super fun. Check out the collection here.
Shooting With Estrella Galicia And Notion Magazine
I love food so freaking much so it was super exciting to spend the day filming alongside Lily Mercer and Joey for a collaboration with Notion Magazine, Estrella Galicia and Omar of London’s Tapas Revolution. We each got to pick three ingredients that we felt represented us and our creative endeavours (this was a looot more difficult than it may sound!). Omar then cooked a dish based on those ingredients while we chatted away, sipping on Estella Galicia beer before all sitting around a gorgeously laid out table to eat the food he had made. Yeah, a really hard day’s work tbh, haha!
Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty Launch Party
And RiRi absolutely kills the game. Again. This month she unveiled her Fenty Beauty collection to mass acclaim. With 40 shades of foundation, hers is arguably the most diverse and inclusive brand of makeup under the sun. Even a woman with albinism finally found her perfect shade thanks to Rihanna and according to Forbes, Fenty Beauty might just outperform Kylie Cosmetics within a year. Anyway, I digress (kinda). I was invited along to the launch party of Fenty Beauty at Harvey Nichols, where it’s exclusively stocked. It was everything you would expect a Rihanna party to be: there were mini hamburgers, a room full of stacked donuts, candyfloss, oh and the most bomb makeup to date everywhere with makeup artists available to help you find your shade, which they then gifted you with on your way out. Oh, and Rihanna came. I was in the same room as Rihanna *trying and failing not to fan girl*. She was wearing a gorgeous dress from British designer Molly Goddard and she proceeded to do what Rihanna does best: have a good time. Everyone invited certainly did, too.
Norah Jones at Ronnie Scotts
My dad is like a huugee music buff and it’s something I’ve very much inherited from him. He managed to get his hands on a couple of tickets to Norah Jones’ super intimate gig at Ronnie Scotts and I was moreee than happy to join him for the occasion. Seemingly timid beyond measure for someone who has taken home 9 (!) Grammys, Norah kept interaction with the audience minimal, choosing instead to grace us with some hauntingly crooning tunes.
Things I Wrote:
Things I Read:
Mama Can’t Raise No Man – Robyn Travis
I actually bought this book twice. While a quarter of the way through it, my bag was stolen while on holiday with this in it. I was enjoying the book so much, I had to buy it again. An engaging and insightful exploration of black masculinity in today’s society, Mama Can’t Raise No Man touches on growing up in a single parent household, gang culture & the macho mentality, told through a series of highly engaging letters and transcripts to and from Duane, who is in jail (again). A perspective widener & changer and a great read.
How To Stop Time – Matt Haig
The more things change, the more they stay the same. That’s one of the sentiments expertly expressed by Matt Haig in How To Stop Time, one of the most beautiful books I’ve read this year if not ever. Matt has an incredible empathy for the human condition, and is an expert in weaving that into narrative. Fiction, yes, but nevertheless one that teaches you so much about being a human and unpacks questions of time, uncertainty, and living with fear and loss. I genuinely found myself reading slower at the end because I didn’t watch to finish it!