Ask Biki…

Ask Biki...

Ask Biki? What Are The Best Tips For Vintage Shopping?

Tips On Buying Vintage

Reader Question

I like the looks of retro-inspired celebrities like Dita Von Teese and shows like Mad Men, but I find the idea of vintage shopping very intimidating.  I enter a vintage shop and I feel very overwhelmed because I’m trying to work out the sizes, avoid pieces with stains or smells and the like.

Could you give me a vintage shopping guide?

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Ask Biki? I’ve Lost The Belt For My Trench Coat, How Do I Replace It?

Peekaboo Vintage Print Silk Scarf

Reader Question

I had a bit of a wild one last night and discovered I lost the belt to my favourite beige trench coat the following morning.  I’m absolutely gutted… It’s pretty unlikely that I’ll find a matching belt to replace it, but I’m not ready to let go of my jacket: do you have any ideas on how I get a replacement belt? HELP!

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Ask Biki...

My Career&Personal Goal Mantra: ‘This November Is My January’

In a nutshell, as October drew to a close, I decided that I would approach the month of November like it was January, i.e. I’d start working on my Career & Personal Life Goals for 2016.

All in all, towards the end of the year, I find that certain landmark events (like my birthday in December, the end of a year, the start of a new one) open the doors of self-reflection. And honestly, as the years have gone by I’ve not always received what’s standing on the other side of that door with open arms. This year I decided I really wanted to change that. I didn’t want that pressure in December of analyzing 2015, feeling morose about what I hadn’t achieved, drawing up goals for 2016…  This year, in the spirit of one of my all-time favourite Lenny Kravitz’s songs- ‘It Ain’t Over, Till It’s Over’- I decided that before the final curtain call for 2015,  I’d use it’s last 2 months to take the steps needed to ensure I felt a sense of accomplishment when the year bowed out.

I’m thinking, if I end 2015 kicking ass, that means I’ll enter 2016 swinging,right?

So how has my thought process actually translated into action?

  • Well take my blog for instance, I want to re-eeeeverything it.  With regards to rejigging the content, I’ve spent the better part of this month doing a lot of research to that effect and making the necessary changes.  I’m also currently working on revamping it aesthetically with my website designer and developer and I recently created a Facebook page for my blog.  I had originally planned to start this project in Jan, with an announcement along the lines of: New Year, New Blog etc but then I realised that me getting a blog that’s more reflective of the Creative I am now and my new career goals has been a long time coming, so it was best to get on that shit, Pronto!
  • In a bid to cement my status as an African Fashion Ambassador next year, I’ve decided to edit both Part 1 and Part 2 of my fashion TV show by mid Dec.  Initially because of my work schedule, I had flirted with the idea of airing Part 1 of my Fashion Special in Dec and then waiting till the New Year before editing Part 2. But now, I’m gunning to get both done and dusted this year.
  • Keen to test the employment waters in Berlin next year, this month I re-jigged my CV and have started researching the companies I’m interested in.
  • It’s not just Work, wErk, Work: I’ve some personal goals too.   During my 20s when I lived in London, I got so immersed in being a fashion stylist and writer, that I slowed down majorly when it came to developing my other skills: cooking, languages, fitness….I’m working on undoing the damage done. For instance, I want to improve my physical stamina and flexibility and to that end, I go for dance or aerobics classes three times a week.

Moving along, don’t you love it when you have an idea or decide on a new course of action and then as you’re surfing the web, you see someone has written an article that liiiiike totally speaks to you?  This is what a happened a few days ago when I stumbled on a fantastic article written by Zahra Barnes titled, ‘How To Achieve Your Biggest Goals By The End Of The Year’. I was already immersed in a philosophical, ‘Wax On Right Hand, Wax Off Left Hand’ state of mind, and feeling decidedly smug about my- Let November Be Your January- mantra and Zahra’s article further strengthened my resolve.  It gives great tips on how to set the wheels in motion to achieve the goals most important to you in a short time frame.  I’ve found it super helpful and come back to it often, because each time I finish reading it, I want to rip my clothes of, bare that S on my chest, pump one arm up to the sky and lift off to the heavens shouting, ‘Lets GO!!!’.  Erm…

And back to you: how are you feeling about the year nearly coming to an end? Will you make any resolutions for 2016? Which one of you will take on November/December like its January?

PssSST, here’s a Teaser Shot from my upcoming TV Fashion Special which I’m currently editing:

Ankara Print Skirt




Ask Biki...

Ask Biki: How Do I Get A Fashion Magazine Editorial Internship?

Devil Wears Prada Film Images

I recently got this lovely email (word for word) from a girl (German) who assisted me during a Berlin-based fashion shoot I styled for JNC (print magazine based in Germany).

For privacy reasons, I have hidden certain names, but everything else stands…

Hello Biki,

I thank you very much for your conversation with xxxx xxxx from the Superior Magazine! I applyed as an “editor intern” and know I got the chance to write articles and infos about fashion, Berlin hotspots and maybe I can work as styling/shooting assistent for them 🙂
So thank you very much! I wish you the best.
Kind regards,
xxxx xxxxx
This email prompted me to write a post to give advice to those seeking out an editorial internship at a fashion magazine.  And my advice is strictly based on how ‘Ms X’ got her internship.  Those who are seeking/applying for magazine fashion internships know there are many ways to skin that cat, but I’m focusing on giving tips based on how Ms X got her internship, so you can add that to the many things I’m sure you are doing.
A bit of a background story to how I came to receive this email is: after my JNC fashion shoot where I met/worked with Ms X, she stayed in contact with me by sending me emails asking if I had any fashion shoots coming up she could assist on.
I did let her know that I was focusing on other sectors of fashion, and didn’t spend as much time in Berlin anymore, but that when I was in Berlin, I would let her know if and when anything came up.  Now, most people would have stopped contacting me, but Ms X didn’t. More importantly, her tone was always polite and sweet.
So this year, when she emailed me, although I had no fashion shoots lined up, I was so impressed by her consistence that when I was having a meeting with the editor-in-chief of SUPERIOR magazine (Berlin-based), I brought up Ms X, asking if the mag had any internship availabilities.  When he replied in the affirmative, I told him of Ms X, and told him to look out for her email.  I then gave Ms X his email address to contact him with and the rest is …
Based on Ms X, my advice to magazine internship seekers are:
1) Assist a fashion stylist. Why? More often than not, fashion stylists have good relations with fashion magazines and can always refer you, providing you’ve done a good job whilst assisting them.
2) After you’ve finished assisting a stylist on a shoot, make sure you stay in regular contact with them asking if you can be of help in the future.  And here like, Ms X, you have to be persistent and patient. A lot of busy stylists get dozens of emails from stylist assistants.  To stand out, I suggest you send regular emails keeping things polite and straight to the point.  I would also advise to keep up to date with that particular stylist’s latest work, so you can butter them up with praise.  This goes a longer way than you sending them images of your latest work.
3) There are many ways to get in touch with top stylists, one way is to assist at a fashion show as a dresser. Ms X met me as she was one of the dressers for the launch of Africa Fashion Day Berlin (a partnership with the official sponsors of Berlin Fashion Week, Mercedes-Benz).  I was head stylist of the event.
Another good way is to research the top creative agencies in your district, find out which stylists they represent and then make nice with your Search Engine to find out the stylist’s contact details so you can message them directly.  In my day this would be via email, but now you can use Twitter, Facebook, the stylist’s blog etc. This is much better than contacting the agency, as your email is very likely to be ignored.
Best of luck Ms X!
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