Monday, December 12, 2016

Pinecones & Calling Birds

Hey Guys & Dolls,
Welcome to the third instalment of my final series, ‘This Christmas’. This is a look that I styled for the easy going, laid back girl who always looks great without making a ton of effort.
And though I really love this look, especially the bomber that I bought to replace the one I lost in New York (as seen here), I wanted to talk to y’all about something else.
Around this time of the year, many of us start planning what we are going to buy/receive for the holidays along with what we are going to wear to all those crazy holiday parties. However, there are the few, myself included, who plan for the next year or at least the next quarter.
Planning for the future, which in many case, is often followed by success can sometimes be crippling especially if you don’t know what you’re planning for. I have a mind that resembles ‘safari’ with 25 million tabs open mainly because I hate the uncertainty of what may or may not come next or dare I say it, failure. My plan A has always had a plan B and that plan B has always had a plan A and what 2016 has taught me going into next year by God’s grace is to simplify my plans to avoid disappointment and exhaustion.
For example, when I was 3, I told my Ma I wanted to be a Doctor and that plan was on track up until I turned 18 with the plan B being I can always go into Medical research if that doesn’t work out. Everything I did as a child, a teen and a young adult worked towards making Plan A/B a reality until my plan didn’t go according to plan and for a couple years after that, I was angry and hurt because I was exhausted, I was without a new plan and I was lost. Life basically passed me by.
So what was my next course of action? I wrote down all the things I was great at in order to decide what field I was going to try my luck in next and here I am. I am a Medical Scientist graduate with excellent mathematical prowess hoping to take on the fashion industry next.
I wrote this in hope that it might relate to someone out there whom is feeling lost and ‘left behind’. You are not alone. Yes some people have it figured out and whilst we are so happy for those people, life is about figuring it out for you. It is not a race. If you are in a similar position to where I was, maybe try what I did. Write down all your great strengths; you never know what you might come up with or where you might end up.


Thursday, December 8, 2016


Hey Guys & Dolls,
Welcome back to my blog. As aforementioned, I will be finishing the year with my holiday series called ‘This Christmas’ and if you don’t know what to expect, you should check out my holiday series from last year.
The first instalment of ‘This Christmas’ is called Noel and it’s for the girl who can do better than the classic LBD by donning a LWD to the Holiday parties.
If you are familiar with my blog, you would have seen me wearing the black version of this dress earlier this year in a post called ‘Court of Love’ for Valentines Day. I loved the dress so much that my cousin ended up buying me another one in Ivory.


Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Holiday Gift Guide: For Him & Her

Hey Guys & Dolls,
Welcome back to my blog. I hoped you all enjoyed my last series ‘Act Like a Lady, Dress Like a Man’ as much as I enjoyed styling it. Thank you for all the feedback and social media mentions. I really really appreciate it.
December is officially here which means the holiday festivities are in full effect and as a result, I will be bringing you my final series of the year, which I am going to call ‘This Christmas’. This will in fact consist of a gift guide for him and her as well as outfit inspiration for al of those parties y’all are gonna be attending.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Game of Thrones

Hey Guys & Dolls,
Welcome to final instalment of the ‘Act Like a Lady, Dress Like a Man’ series.
This look was one of my favourite to shoot for a number of reasons. The first being, I got to shop at one of my favourite stores ever. When it comes to classic and elegant aesthetics, MANGO truly is the store of choice. The second reason why I loved this ensemble so much was because of the colour and style of the suit. The colour gave me that perfect autumn/winter hybrid I was looking for without being too dark and the style reflects two trends discussed in my A/W TrendReport. The style of the suits exemplifies the Prince of Wales check that is so popular nowadays as well as illustrates the femininity in what is usually considered classic menswear.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Power Play

Hey Guys & Dolls,
Welcome to the Fourth instalment of the ‘Act Like a Lady, Dress Like a Man’ series. I have been picturing this particular ensemble for approximately 2-3 years. My obsession began when Miroslava Duma, one of my style icons, was pictured wearing something similar on two separate occasions. Although I have seen many women in suits before, I had still never seen anything like it. 
I loved it so much that I made one of the pictures my screen saver. 
In addition to that, Keke Palmer was also styled in a cobalt blue ensemble by Antonio Berardi to the BET Awards in 2014 and I just knew that as long as I was alive, a cobalt blue suit had to live in my closet. 

Whilst both looks are pretty amazing, I really couldn’t decide in what direction I wanted to take my styling in regarding this look hence why I let the weather decide. Furthermore, there was so much more I wanted to do with this look details wise that time didn’t quite afford me but I am looking forward to doing it when I revisit this look during my archive series sometime next year. I feel like the colour is so loud and vibrant that it doesn’t need much accessorising. The suit pretty much accessorises itself.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Hey Guys & Dolls,
I am so excited to introduce the third instalment of the series, “Act Like a Lady, Dress Like A Man” because it allowed me to revisit items in my closet I have had since I was 18 years old.
I really love this look because it allowed me to express my femininity whilst exploring my masculinity. In addition to that, it sits on the fence in the sense that, it can be classified both casual and smart simultaneously and finally, it is an outfit that transitions from day to night effortlessly.
What more can a girl ask for?


Friday, November 18, 2016

Lady Wood

Hey Guys & Dolls,
Welcome back to my blog. Today’s post brings you the next styling from the ‘Act Like A Lady, Dress Like a Man’ series and is modelled after a single, off Tove Lo’s album, which goes by the same title.
According to Tove Lo, “Lady Wood is a good way to express balls- and as a woman, I don’t have any so Lady Wood describes that. It’s like a girl getting a hard-on.”
There is a confidence that comes with putting on a suit that is somewhat indescribable which is why the title of this post is so befitting. I am not a man, that is true but when I have on a suit, I don’t care that I’m not a man. I don’t care that I repeatedly get told that it is a man’s world. I don’t care, PERIOD.
In a suit, I am so ballsy. In fact, the world is my playground. I am inspired to go after what I want, fight for what I want and ultimately get what I want. That right there, Ladies and Gentlemen, is called AUDACITY and that is what wearing this outfit gave me.
So to whoever is reading, wherever you may be, get some balls and go get yours. I am Destini Monet and you have been reading ‘The Black Mannequin.”


Monday, November 14, 2016

'Sometimes The King is a Woman'

Hey Guys & Dolls,
Moving on from the AW16/17 trend report, I thought I’d create a series titled 'Act Like A Lady, Dress Like A Man' based on the Battle of the Sexes trend illustrated in the trend report.
The first look in the series is titled ‘Sometimes the King is a Woman.’ When I was a little girl, I read all the fairy tales and watched the movies and aspired to being a princess/damsel in distress waiting for this knight in shining armour to come and save me. As I grew older, the narrative would change slightly based on my cognitions, my environment, and my circumstance and as the narrative changed, so did my knight in shining armour.
‘Sometimes the King is a Woman’ is a phrase that I live by because it gives me the opportunity to save myself everyday. Sometimes it is from others, other times, it is from myself. Regardless of which situation is presented, it is my opportunity to be empowered, to govern, to break barriers, to conquer fears, to establish the kingdom I want; A kingdom where I’m not a victim, a kingdom where I am not dependent on anyone or anything to save me because sometimes the king isn’t just any woman. Sometimes the King is me.


Thursday, November 10, 2016


Hey Guys and Dolls,
I am so excited to be collating and presenting the trend report for what’s gonna be hot throughout the next 4 months. A perusal of various runways and collections showcase trends that are so far removed from each other with the only thing they have in common being something I can only describe as electric audacity. Most of these trends have seen before but they’ve resurfaced with modernisations that push boundaries and offer elements of edge that defies the typical autumn/winter expectations.

I am so excited to introduce y’all to the biggest trend of AW16/17. This trend is androgyny at its peak as it uses masculinity to accentuate subtle femininity. This trend uses style to introduce gender ambiguity and a lack of specific sexuality or rather, the appearance of multiple genders in one.
In specific instances, the trend sees women in masculine suits with nothing but a sparkly bra underneath to accentuate their femininity. In other instances, the work wardrobe gets an update with women opting for the power suits and bold pinstripes paired with comfortable flats such as oxford brogues and oversized jumpers underneath.


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Alexa Chung X Destini Monet

Hey Guys and Dolls,
I am so excited to be blogging again. It feels weird to be typing this post, editing photographs and so on after so many weeks away but I tell you; there is no other place I’d rather be.
It hasn’t all been a total loss. In the time that I was away, I finally (kinda) figured out what I wanna do with myself.

In my previous post, I mentioned that I had been gifted with a few items from the ArchiveByAlexa collection and I will be showing you how I styled some of these items in this post.


Wednesday, November 2, 2016


On the 3rd November, the KENZO X H&M collaboration will be going live both in store and online, at 0900 hours and as previews have suggested, will bring luxe street wear, bold graphic prints and the famous embroidered tiger motif right to the high street at affordable process.

According to Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative director at H&M, “We can’t wait to share with everyone the world of Kenzo X H&M, with all of its creativity, fun and love of fashion.”

“It would be really great to take the pieces from the archive and celebrate those pieces along with pieces we created in our first collection and have a true collection and have a true conversation between us and Kenzo Takada.” –Humberto Leon

The creative Directors begin by saying, “With this collaboration with H&M, we want to think big, push the boundaries and bring the new energy of KENZO to everyone around the world.”

“In the five years that Carol and I have been at Kenzo, we’ve wanted to make sure that our customers know that we didn’t invent this brand,” Leon explains to Vogue. “We’re almost hitting the 50th anniversary. What Kenzo Takada began was so revolutionary; it’s what attracted us to the brand to begin with. The idea is to celebrate where he began and where we’ve taken it– not only the archive of what he did but what we’ve worked on. We’re taking a look at how the two can merge in a true conversation.”

Furthermore, Leon added: “There’s a femininity, there’s fun. There’s a tactile approach to techniques and embroideries, embellishments. Those are things he worked hard on. But it’s not how any of the other French houses approached it. He was very youthful in his technique.”

Just like the Balmain collection (which can be viewed here), this collection is audacious and invigorating. It is extremely animated, colourful, bold, youthful, vibrant, energetic, fun and adventurous. I could go on and tell you how much attitude is being expressed with this collection in many other words and it still wouldn’t be enough. What I can tell you is this, IT IS NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED. I love that the campaign featured all artists and creatives such as Chance the rapper, Iman, Rosario Dawson, Isamaya French, Amy Sall, Oko Ebombo and so on to be ambassadors which reflected the diversity theme the directors were going for and again paid homage to the shows Kenzo Takada presented on the runway during the 70s and 80s. These shows usually featured dancers, performers and even make-believe weddings.
Finally, whilst I love the fact that they’re delving into the archives for inspiration and influence, I can’t see it amassing the same frenzy that past collections such as Balmain and Karl Lagerfeld, have brought to the fashion event, as the collection really isn’t for everyone. I believe that it has to appeal to your personal style for you to go out of your way when purchasing anything from the collection because lets face it; who really wants to be dressed head to toe in leopard and zebra prints. However, there are pieces included in the collection that are very wearable and if you simply just want a collectible, I will opt for the pieces with the tiger motif on them.

If you haven’t seen the ads/campaigns, below are the featured pieces from the launch.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

#ArchiveByAlexa II

The 1st of November sees the launch of Alexa Chung’s second collaboration, the Winter Archive by Alexa, with Marks & Spencer with the collection spanning 27 pieces inspired and influenced by archival designs which have all been named after streets in Leeds were Marks & Spencer was established in 1884 and modernised according to the current fashion trends.

According to Steve Rowe, Executive Director of General Merchandise at Marks & Spencer, “Marks & Spencer’s history is vast and quality design has always been paramount; therefore using our expertise and classic designs and Alexa’s unique eye and approach to style, our collaboration was born. He went on to describe it as “A new womenswear collection, curated by Alexa, with heritage firmly at its heart.”

“For this second collection, I wanted to focus on a more luxe evening wear vibe to lead us into the winter party season, and was thrilled to once again discover an abundance of inspiration within the Marks & Spencer archive.”

As previously stated in my first post regarding the collection (which can be read here), This collection is aimed at Millenials rather than the typical M&S customer and with that been said, it isn’t as everyday wearable as you would expect as some pieces, I can only envision Alexa wearing.
However, in partnering with the brand, they will make millenials rethink the M&S brand appeal. I have been gifted a few items from the brand which I will try and get up in a post for y’all so keep a look out for that.

If you haven’t the ads/campaigns, below are the featured pieces from the launch


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

New In V

Hey Guys & Dolls,
A big massive Welcome back to my blog whether you’ve been rocking with me since day one or you’re new to the family.
I know I haven’t blogged in a while and usually when I miss a few posts, I usually just make them up the next week but to answer all your questions, I have been so swamped with work.
If you know me, you know I have a 5 day working week and my days off are what I spend making sure my blog is up to date but throughout September, I have had two 12 days working week back to back with only two days off in between which I naturally spent sleeping, LOL and as a result, I could not create anything.
The next three months are going to be extremely busy for me workwise and personally, as I usually use the last quarter of the year to strategize how I can achieve the goals I had set at the beginning of the year as well as what I expect outta myself for the year ahead and how to accomplish these. However, I promise to try and stay on top of things.
Finally, I will leave you with what’s new to ‘The Black Mannequin’ closet this month.

The first thing I wanna show y’all is this grey leather hardback lined notebook which I purchased from M&S a few weeks back. Initially, I wanted a black leather notebook like the ones you see in Moleskin but once I saw the grey, it was love at first sight.
I must have been crushing on grey cause a few weeks after I bought the notebook; I came across not one but two grey nail polishes from Leighton Denny. I swatched both colors on my nail and took a poll amongst friends, co-workers and snapchat followers about what color I should get and 99.9% went for the dark grey. As I personally couldn’t choose between the two, I ended up picking up both.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016


“Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game.”

Hey Guys & Dolls,
I was sat alone in my room this week when it dawned on me that I wasn’t really taking chances anymore and when I had deciphered through the whys, the answer was a hard pill to swallow.
I had developed this mind-set where I was only playing to win which meant if I had a shadow of a doubt that I could lose, I was riding the bench. I had gone from first string to sitting on the sidelines watching everyone play. I had become a spectator of the sport because I was scared to play, scared to fail. However, I remember Napoleon Hill saying, “One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.”
Scared as I was to fail, I realised that I was even more afraid of never achieving my dreams. It finally dawned on me that I could only avoid my fear of failure by doing nothing and being nothing and who the hell wants to wake up just to exist when you can wake up and LIVE. You can wake up to achieve.
So here I am, giving myself permission to fail because no great success was ever achieved without failure.

Baseball Cap: 9FORTY
Jumper: River Island
Skirt: Alexa Chung X Marks & Spencer
Boots: Dr Martens

I am Destini Monet and you have been reading ‘The Black Mannequin’.

Saturday, September 3, 2016


“It was heartfelt, it was heartbreaking. It was extreme joy, it was bone-crushing grief. It was fiery hot, it was icy-cold. It was true love sprouting... it was true love dying.

It's like we were both trying to hold onto something that was slipping through our fingers, and we didn't understand why.”

Hey Guys & Dolls,
Welcome back to my blog. September is here, which means there is a lot going on. We have people going back to school, we have Autumn/Winter launches and most importantly, we have Fashion Week.
September is almost as hectic as what I like to call my life. I am so busy doing everything and nothing with nothing tangible to show for either. As a result, I have decided to hide myself in a color palette that makes my current state of angst, poetic.

Hat: Marks & Spencer
Choker: H&M
Necklace: Topshop
Vest: River Island
Leather Jacket: ASOS
Denim: Marks & Spencer
Boots: Marks & Spencer

How do you like my fit? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

I am Destini Monet and you have been reading ‘The Black Mannequin’.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Checks & Balances

Hey Guys & Dolls,
Today’s post is going to be showing y’all my last OOTD for August. I have had a ball experimenting with casual pieces and trying to find my casual style. I have trialled and tested pieces that I wouldn’t have given a second look as well as pulling out old favorites I have had for years but haven’t got much wear out of. Either way, I really hope that y’all were here for the looks I have put together this summer and it isn’t about to stop yet cause I have a new series coming up for y’all and I am so excited. I really cannot wait for y’all to see it.

Choker: H&M
Bralet: Marks & Spencer
Denim Top: Topshop
Sunglasses: Ray Ban (Sponsored by the Bank of Barnel)
Skirt: H&M
Heels: ASOS

What do you think of my fit? I would love to hear from you all. I am Destini Monet and you have been reading ‘The Black Mannequin’.

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