photographer .

3d artist .

dj / producer .

videographer .

designer .

khadijat .


In a society that places an increasing amount of pressure on women to do the dirty work of smashing glass ceilings while still looking as pristine and ladylike as can be, it can be quite difficult for a girl to find her footing, much less dress the part. Many of us, however, already have an inkling of what kind of woman we want to be: a woman who has the wits to stun into silence, the style to grace wherever she places her feet, and the street cred to back it all up. Femme fatales are so last 50 years ago. Welcome the 21st century dame rebelle. 
I can't say that embarking upon a the journey that is a second decade of life has made me any wiser than I was at the beginning of last week, but I can attest to the fact that growing up stresses me out. Sure, life never really goes as planned, and my dream of graduating college at the age of 17 has long been put to rest, but I'd always felt like I had something to prove to everyone around me. Considering the fact that this feeling is universal, I was immediately drawn to the ideology of the Millenials, which is to ignore all outside influences, look deep down inside ourselves, and find what really makes us happy. I'm all for it, especially because my happiness comes from being presented with a good challenge, and making a proper lady's dress fit into the newly minted personal goal of being a dame rebelle seemed like it would take some work. So, I made a list of essential characteristics my ideal power-getup would have: 
Clean Lines?
Vibrant Colors?
Hard Edge?
Street Cred:
As a bonus, this ensemble marks the debut of an iteration of the ideal spring jacket. Light and airy (check out those mesh paneled sleeves!) no closures to fiddle with or get caught on a textured garment worn underneath,, and, the greatest feature of them all...POCKETS! I'm not talking about a "how nice is it to have this space for my chapstick" pockets, but the kind that are so deep that you thank the gods above for two free hands to tweet while buying a Frappucino. 
In the above pictures, my pockets had in them: an iPod attached to a watch apparatus and earbuds, all pertinent ID cards, eyeliner, chapstick, two tubes of lipstick, one of primer, house keys, a contact lens cases, and a pair of glasses, with ample room for my super bulky phone. I dare you to find a jacket that does all that and more, while still keeping both a fresh silhouette and you looking like you woke up like this. And then feel free to take a peek the price tag.

P.S. I can never stress enough how much more sophisticated, and expensive metallic accents make an outfit look, especially in gold. It feels like you're living life as a multi-million dollar heiress (albeit one who has yet to earn that fortune).

P.P.S. I wanted to joke about how this outfit somehow solidifies my status as a "down bitch," or a girl that can totally hang with the guys while still looking fly. However, I don't know anything about guys or what kind of attire they find attractive, so odds are that I look nothing like the image one would conjure up of such a woman.

Practicing sophrosyne is key for making the most out of any watershed moment in life, and it takes a lot of energy to avoid being riled up about the black and white mindset society has about who a person can be, and what s/he can achieve. You can either be a scientist or a fashionista, but not both; you can be an optimist, a realist, or a pessimist, but not together, and certainly not at the same time. Those ideals are quickly changing, and now, 20 years in the game, I believe that I've come up with the ultimate personal mission statement:
"To search for and initiate positive change in my community, to keep my head, standards, and spirit high, to embrace others and their ideals with the respect I expect for myself, to keep my wits about me as often as possible, to strive towards the strongest version of myself, both in mind and body, and to impart that strength unto others; this is the way of the Dame Rebelle." 
photos by: g.williams
editing by: Khadijat Yussuff
more photos from this shoot

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