It’s no secret that I’m a huge kimono fan. It’s also less of a secret that I love a loud statement piece. When I came across H&M’s collaboration with Nicki Minaj, I was PUMPED. I love Nicki for several reasons: her loud yet chic sense of style, and her even more beautifully crafted intense musical sound. The fact that her collection at H&M had an Asian-inspired twist made it even more lovable. I often get described as intense, and I don’t take it as a negative. If you’re reading this and can relate, this post’s for you.
Intensity often gets a negative connotation, and I hate that. I feel that without it, we cannot truly appreciate or respect the passion of ourselves or others. There is beauty in intensity: fashion, art, writing, and our own feelings. I’m consistently drawn to artists of all kinds that embody such a genuine energy: Lady Gaga, Grimes, and Tarantino to name a few. I’ve always been a lover of intense films and music, from an emotion-filled record to classic horror movies. They contain so many different layers of humanity. I sometimes get asked why I love violence, and the answer is I don’t like it at all, I simply find it to be a fascinating and real side of our world. Lady Gaga articulated it perfectly.
I’m also going to reveal another fact about myself: I studied Taekwondo for the majority of my childhood, from 2nd grade through high school. I’ve always had a bit of a temper (blame the Irish in me, haha), and it turned out to be not only a way to work out, but also taught me how to control emotion and my actions under stress. Martial arts often get a negative connotation as well, being a form of violence, however, their teachings couldn’t be farther from that. One of the tenets of Taekwondo is discipline. While we were taught sparring techniques, it was taught to be kept in our back pocket, and not used boastfully. Yup, think Karate Kid. It’s formed me into who I am today: a mentally strong yet capable person. However, when backed into a corner, you can bet I’ll fight back.
This is the mindset I’ve visualized in my next OOTD Novela. When the world pushes you, it’s important to never lose sight of your inner discipline. Rather, feel all the feels inside, and form them into something better. One of my favorite musical artists, Grimes, is changing the way we look at intense or “scary” things and showing the beauty within them. Intensity and aggressiveness can be considered beautiful and shouldn’t always be synonymous with scary. She responds to the media with such personal discipline, refusing to fit a certain stereotype, and stay true to her craft. This is a mindset I respect, and one we should all take into consideration. We are most beautiful when we are genuinely ourselves, and that’s exactly what makes us special.
This outfit is a compilation of some of my most favorite brands that beautifully portray a more intense vibe. If I could live in Ultracor and Fenty all the time, I would. Additionally, H&M consistently has such great edgy pieces at an affordable price. I tend to keep my more trendy pieces in this category, and they make a great addition to a higher priced outfit. My challenge to you: pick a piece of this outfit that most speaks to you, and style it to bring out your own inner fighter or inner Nicki Minaj. Have fun with your style, and take a risk! You never know what you might learn about yourself!
Kimono: Long Kimono, H&M x Nicki Minaj
Leggings: Ultra High Silk Bolt Legging, Ultracor via Carbon38
Shoes: Cleated Creeper with Ankle Strap, Fenty x Puma (on sale!!)
Primer: Perfect Canvas Serum, c/o Ren Skincare
Foundation: Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation, Fenty Beauty in 210
Highlighter: Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter, Fenty Beauty in Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal
Blush: Air Blush Soft Glow Duo, Marc Jacobs Beauty in Lines & Last Night
Eyes: Eye-conic Multi-finish Eyeshadow Palette, Marc Jacobs in Frivoluxe
Liner: Long Lasting 12 Hour Liquid Liner, Sephora Collection
Lips: Le Marc Lip Creme, Marc Jacobs Beauty in Slow Burn
Photos by Rachel Radcliffe Photography