My 2017 Lust List…

Now that we’re almost a quarter of the way through 2017, I am to put it delicately, testing the boundaries of what is and isn’t socially acceptable, in terms of arriving late to a party.  Though the party that fashion bloggers call a ‘wish list’ has slowed to a fizzle, with only the guests that no one knows staying to sup the last dregs of a generic bottle of Baileys.  I have decided to show up, with a Tesco Value packet of Cheese Balls in hand, and a list of this year’s lusts.

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Crawling in at number five is the Fendi Peekaboo.  With luxury handbags I believe that women generally ‘oooh and ahover them.  But instead I have found myself ‘umm-ing and ah-ing’ over this one. Yes, I adore the uniqueness of its twist lock opening, and there is little doubt this bag is what happens when Classic and Modernity decide to mate.  My only concern however, is the spectre of ‘Value Holding’.  As long as you don’t drop a Classic Chanel bag off of Niagara Falls, you can pretty much guarantee you’ll get your money back; perhaps more. Unfortunately, I’m not entirely sure you can say the same of Fendi.  But that doesn’t make this bag any less adorable.  Damn you Karl.

pochette metis

Making a bold entrance at number four is the Louis Vuitton Pochette Metis.  Which is strange, because I took an oath (the oath of fabric) that I would never, ever purchase a bag in the Monogram Canvas.  Thanks to Nicolas Ghesqiere, I am now being forced to eat a mouthful of my own salted words.  Quite simply the Pochette Mettis is a beauty. It’s a pint sized briefcase with a handy strap and don’t get me started on the interior compartments.  What I’m not totally in love with is the zip opening stitched on the bag’s back, which to my eyes looks like a poorly stitched head wound.  Talk about putting ketchup on a sirloin…

kim k

Taking the midway spot at number three is the Kardashian sartorial stalwart the Balmain blazer.  Where to begin with this jacket, where to begin…  If you are shaped like a Coca-Cola bottle, then this jacket is your best friend.  It is a rare thing to find a jacket that can cover a not so small pair of breasts, cinches in at the waist and flares over your booty.  Making a curvy woman like myself, look like a goddess, rather than a fourth rate drag act is no mean feat.  Hats off to the chef; Olivier Rousteing you did this.  No draw backs here, but be prepared to keep this jacket under lock and key if you perchance have a sister or a mother.

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Narrowly missing out on first place is the ‘Working Woman’s’ favourite, the Louis Vuitton Neverfull.  Now that my schizophrenic on again, off again relationship with the house of Vuitton has been brought back into focus, let me tell you why I have decided to include this unremarkable bag.  Chiefly, because it is a workhorse and a throw-around.  The Throw-around bag; every girl needs one.  Or at least that’s how the commercial goes in my head.  But seriously the Neverfull is smart enough for the office, casual enough for the beach and not so luxurious that you don’t mind stashing your vile of hot sauce in it.  What can I say the Neverfull knows how to work it.  If only the PM came with a Rose Ballerine lining…

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At number one is a bag that needs no introduction, it is the Chanel Boy.  When it comes to this bag, words fail me.  Only a German could have introduced a handbag like this to the market, because it truly is an example of precision engineering.  Keeping Coco Chanel’s original hallmarks of elegance and utility; Karl Lagerfeld brought quilted leather and conspicuous consumption to a new generation, and we love him all the more for it.  Let’s hear it for Le Boy

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Mad about Le Boy…

 

 

Presently I am in the deep and lustful throes of an unrequited love.  My object of desire, is certainly guilty of giving me the run-around.  For one I can never ever seem to get a hold of him, and secondly on the rare occasion that we do cross paths, there is a constant line of women waiting around the block for the chance to snap him up.  My prospective lover only frequents the most exclusive parts of town, and frankly I just don’t know if I can afford to take our imaginary liaison any further.

 

The man in question, is not really a man; but a Boy, sorry, Le Boy.  Which isn’t really a Boy, but a handbag by Chanel.  Got it?  The Boy, like so many of the best relationships, came into my life suddenly and unexpectedly.  Never fearful of commitment, my affection in Chanel bag world had always been fixed on the Classic Flap.  Ever since Karl threw some Cs on that bitch, I had believed myself sure that the battle for my heart had now been won.  That was of course until the day I first cast my infatuated eyes on Le Boy.

 

They say that love can do strange things to mortals.  Even the most intelligent of our kind find themselves rationalising away the million flaws of their beloved.  In my case I have found myself contemplating the parting of myself from the princely sum of £3480.  Unlike the other inhabitants living in the Metropolitan Borough of Blogging and YouTube; I do not have an inexplicable, inelastic income, which I can whimsically fritter away on designer goods.  I’m always left scratching my head after seeing many a video in which a YouTuber faithfully swears that they are ‘not rich’, ‘they work a normal job’ (If anyone knows of one of these mythical jobs please leave details in the comments section) and that they afford luxury by ‘not going out’.  Despite living a nearly identical lifestyle, I am still sans bag.

 

A lover’s jealousy is a terrible and dangerous thing.  Left unchecked it can lead to moments of temporary insanity and obsession. The Boy is my laptop, tablet and phone backdrop. I feel now would be a sensible time to seek medical assistance; perhaps a cardiologist might help. For each time I see the glimmering form of two golden Cs centred within a Lego inspired clasp, my heart unmistakably misses a beat.  Is it wrong dear reader, that the murky world of ‘Boy Bag Unboxings’ has become an illicit, late night pornographic treat?

 

I realise wholeheartedly that this simply cannot go on for much longer.  My paramour and I must declare our love openly, bringing the midnight activity of Pinterest stalking firmly to an end.  Or we must at last go our separate ways. Of our compatibility, I have little doubt.   I have full confidence that you’d be the perfect companion.  Changing weather and seasons could not dull your appeal.  The brightest sun, nor a brilliant moon would detract from your shine.

 

We’d be great for each other.  There I said it.  I want you more than all of the other useless, over- priced objects of beauty in the world.  I’m willing to pay the cost to make you mine.  After all a wise man once said: ‘You can’t put a price on love.’

‘Post Traumatic Wedding Syndrome’

Of late, the ritual of checking my mailbox has become an activity filled with feelings of anxiety and at times trepidation.  The two-week stomach churning wait for an ‘all clear’ medical test result, did not rank highly among my list of ‘life’s top ten fun things to do’.  Nor did an unnecessarily overwrought and frantic spell of obsession, over the arrival of a ‘dream job’ offer that never came.  Thinking that the highs and lows of of my Post-Traumatic stress had reached their apex, the music of Sesame Street playing as my personal theme tune, I sashayed over to the box. Only to encounter an envelope that would make my blood run cold.

 

I knew it was coming, but like so many of life’s vicissitudes I had put it firmly to the back of my mind.   There it lay sandwiched between thoughts of of Tesco’s opening hours, my ageing grandparents and the suitability of a pink fur coat for British spring time.  Left on my living room coffee table, carefully concealed within a shameful assortment of Topshop receipts its existence remained unacknowledged for two days straight… Until of course I decided to open it.  In the most flowery of words and ornate fonts my presence was requested to celebrate the marriage of one of my dearest friends.

 

Weddings are odd little affairs.  On one hand they provide us humans with a neat little ending of sorts, a storybook conclusion to years of dating.  But on the other they give validity to a gnawing and nagging examination of exactly what we’ve been doing with our lives and worse beg the question: ‘Why are you still single?’  Nowhere was my singledom more apparent, than in the invitations address.  Apparently ‘Your’ (meaning ‘my’) company had been requested.  I kept searching for the ‘plus guest’ nod, but apparently we singletons are to be doubly punished.  Not only are we expected to sit by on the Reserve’s Bench, while our closet friends declare their undying devotion to one another before God.  We must do so alone.  Our wedding attire stamped with a Scarlet ‘S’ for single, while all about us whisper of our tragedy and misfortune.

As you may well have gathered, I am expecting the absolute worst.  The mournful glances, the two handed interrogations from gloating couples and best of all having my hand held by well meaning Cloak Room attendants who softly utter the words ‘don’t leave it too late.’  (Yes, that did really happen.)  In order to counter the slings and arrows of being the sacrificial lamb at the centre of an unsolicited pity party, I will be attending the wedding in fancy dress.  No, not as the back end of a pantomime horse, in case you were wondering.  But as the glorious and resplendent Mrs O.  No one does dignity quite like Michelle Obama. I intend to sashay towards my church pew, clothed in a Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress (which I don’t own) paired with a Chanel Boy (also a work in progress).  Completing the look with a top note of the other famous Mrs O.  Sunglasses please.

 

Luckily the wedding is not until June, giving me ample time to tick the missing items off my luxury shopping list.  Though already I can hear the demanding and shrill voices of justification; ‘you spent how much on a bag?’ I believe my top rated wedding rebuke is the one that goes something like this: ‘Tom and I used to spend like that, but now we have kids.’  It’s an oldie but nonetheless a goody.

 

I realise I am coming across as somewhat of a ‘Debbie Downer’.  But truly I am happy for my friend.  I’m elated, ecstatic if you will… over the moon, as they say.   I think that is what’s called over egging the custard Coran.  Perhaps you’re right.  Maybe I am a little jelly.  While my poor, miserable, single, self is stuck here calling Harrods to find out when my dream bag is in stock, planning a girl’s holiday and wondering if £1400 is too much for a jacket.  Couples the world over ask ‘why they can’t get their partner to clean the bathroom?’, ‘what happened to their joint account?’  And most pressing of all ‘Who ate the last biscuit?’  Yes, it truly is terrible being single…I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.  Now, I’m sure you’d all like to join me in a roast toast… ‘To the bride and groom…’

The Beautiful Black Man and the Beast

 

Without giving too much away, I’m now at the age where the group of friends (call it a pool if you will) I once had in my twenties, has now been whittled down to a puddle subjected to a Sub-Saharan summer’s day.  With the majority of my girlfriends having succumbed to the casualties of marriage and babies, I feel as though I have been left as the proverbial last (wo)man standing.  While I wish my friends nothing but the best, I can’t help but crave to have my own ample slice of the pie we call happiness.

Growing up in a quiet mostly White Middle Class suburb, I, along with my friends, hit life’s key markers.   University, travel, decent(ish) job, but as the token only Black girl in our group I seem to have taken home the coveted prize of also-ran in the game of love Monopoly.

The dearth of ‘Good Black Men’ and its effects on ‘Good Black Women’ is oft spoken about, and has (almost) become part of African Folklore.  Edging out ancient African proverbs espousing the wisdom of ‘de lion’ come new sayings speaking of the pain of ‘de single Black woman’!  Okay, I’m erring on the side of silly but you catch my drift.   To put it plainly; I simply cannot kiss anymore frogs.  The road to becoming someone’s better half has been pathed with rogues and vagabonds.  One experience in particular with a rogue (or was he vagabond?) disturbed me so deeply, I feel that I must share it.

I am certainly not in the habit of man bashing, but in the last few years I have developed a growing awareness of a mutant strain of men.  Their emergence seems directly linked to the popularity of one A$AP Rocky.  The men in question are defined by their aesthetic charms, the fitness of their bodies, the acquisition of stylised designer clothes, the delicate form of their features and to all this they add a generous sprinkling of self-absorption.  Even Narcissus would have to fight to get hold of a mirror in their presence!  Sound familiar at all?  Yes, my date had all the symptoms of one suffering from what I like to call Beautiful Black Man Syndrome.  Disclaimer:  my date, (let’s call him John) artfully concealed his true nature, in our earliest encounters.

I should have known that a romantic liaison with John would have been a miss- step of gargantuan proportions after our first (almost) date. A text sent kindly requesting he meet me at a location closer to my home town (I have no car) and a little further from his, was met with this response verbatim:  ‘I could but, I think it would be cheaper to have drinks here.’  I know right, hardly the stuff fairy tales are made of.  Make no mistake, I made sure that he felt my ire and for obvious reasons I declined his enticing cut price offer.

A later chance meeting in the office kitchen, meant that the wonderful John was able to explain away the many (many) faults of his text.  Inwardly I thought how many single, childless black men, holding a BA and a Masters with their own flat (and own hair) are there left in the world?  Of Course I caved, and I stood in line, like a dummy, for a second helping.

At his suggestion, I agreed, though unwillingly to meet at his local pub.  The pub was part of a chain, nation renowned for their cheap prices and sterile atmospheres.  In short it was the McDonalds of the beverage world. (Oh Coran, Coran, Coran).  A promise was made, that our next date would be of the extravagant/salubrious kind and since I didn’t have a car, John would foot the bill for my taxi home. His offer had all the appearance of what they call a ‘win, win situation’, or so I thought.

The evening began with an explosive and emotional foray into my date’s disappointment at a recent, but unsuccessful job interview.  With scenes rivalling that of a Greek Tragedy, arms flailed about the table as he repeatedly asked me ‘Do you know who they picked?  Do you know who they picked?’  Later he looked me dead in the eyes and uttered the following words: ‘I’m very fragile you know’.  Who doesn’t want a partner who leads with the masculine trait of fragility?  But don’t worry it gets better.  Apparently a great believer in the virtues of self-promotion, John felt no hesitation in telling me of his conviction that he was in fact the ‘total package’ and that though I had seen pictures of his six-pack on Instagram, it was ‘even better’ in real life.  Other high points included him calling me ‘not very bright’ asking me ‘what makes me moist?’ ‘Did I remind him of Jean-Michel Basquiat?’ and the question that every woman wants to hear on a first date ‘do you want to make a baby?’  I won’t even bother mentioning his mid date declaration of: ‘I really want to go and smoke weed’.  Of course I was invited back to his flat to partake of the illegal activity, but I took this final insult as my cue to exit.  My carriage awaited me, or so I thought.  John in the highest (or lowest) form of flakery now asked that since I had gotten paid on that day, and he didn’t get paid until the next month, could I now pay for my taxi home, and he would refund me the cost at a later date. There really are no words.  No like really, there are no words.

I’ve never been one to shy away from a little self-deprecation and though many laughs were had owing to the overwhelmingly bizarre nature of the date, as I settled the fare for my taxi ride home I could not help but feel an intense wave of sadness sweep over me.  Ignoring his obligatory ‘I had such a good time’ evening text it dawned on me that this man, beautiful as he thought he was, felt so comfortable and confident in offering me, this woman, absolutely nothing.  He wanted me to play the role of a sponge, soaked and stained in his own misery, frustration and delusion.  His declaration of fragility, obscured and overshadowed my femininity.  If he as the man in our union had committed himself to weakness, then by default I would have to draw on a strength that would sustain the both of us.  With strength bestowed unwillingly upon me, his natural conclusion was that I of course could fend for myself, hence the self -funded drive home.  My date had decided that he would play the part of one to be objectified, admired and fawned upon.  This would be his sole and meagre contribution to the evening; and in that moment I realised that the roles of Black men and Black women had been cruelly inverted.  He would not provide, nor would he mark himself as a pillar of dependency.  His frailty would be my burden to carry and protect, with his aesthetic raised above on a pedestal for my worship. In short he would take up the woman’s helm and I the man’s.

It was the bitterest of pills to swallow, but I suppose these are the inevitable results of a generation of men parented by MTV.  Clearly they have not yet received the memo that ‘cool’, as far as I’m aware, is a non-tangible asset.  As for me the search goes on…and on…and on.  There will always be a line around the block of frogs waiting to be kissed.  Only next time I’ll be sure they have my cab fare ready.