Something to cater to our muslimah readers. This one’s for you. 🙂

As Days Grow Longer, So Do Hems

Published: April 6, 2011, The New York Times Online
FASHION happens by degrees. No banner headlines announce its arrival. (Make way for the mini! Salute the trapeze!) It appears by stealth, like the wisp of cloud that heralds summer showers.

So it was with longer hemlines. You scarcely saw them coming, then all at once they were descending on spring runways, breezing into cool boutiques and alighting on Manhattan streets well in advance of the season. First embraced a couple of years ago by fashion’s early adopters — young urbanites who flaunted maxidresses and flip-flops as an airy alternative to leggings and jeans — long skirts are now gaining traction as the most plainly discernible trend of spring.

Stephanie Solomon, the fashion director of Bloomingdale’s, chimed in: “Below the knee, midcalf, anywhere hovering around the ankles — all of these lengths are trending at the moment. Only now have they started to register with consumers in a big way.”

Those early styles soon spawned successors that conjure Cathy on the moors and a slew of Willa Cather frontier heroines. There are Saint Laurent-inspired rich gypsy and peasant shapes, interpreted for spring by Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld at Fendi and Ferragamo, to name but a few. And there are dance-inflected looks, some that were lent impetus by the flurry of calf-length ballerina skirts on the spring runways.

Even once-skittish department stores seem determined to, well, go with the flow. “Last year on the streets we saw a lot more longer skirts than we offered in our store,” Ms. Solomon, of Bloomingdale’s, said. “We felt we might have missed an opportunity.” This year the store is upbeat enough to have paraded midcalf and ankle-length skirts in a fashion show in SoHo last month.

Just over a week ago, Saks Fifth Avenue filled its 49th Street windows with labels including Gryphon, Milly and Diane Von Furstenberg, showing skirts that dipped below the knees and others that pooled at the ankles, with suggestions for how to accessorize the looks.

“It comes down to dramatic change, which we haven’t seen in a while,” Mr. Cohen said — a change that signals to the consumer that her wardrobe could use a radical update. He went on to predict, “We are seeing the beginning of what could be a three- or even four-year trend.”

True, long skirts and dresses are an acquired taste, one that may be cultivated over time by poring over fashion magazines and scanning the Web for street shots of style-setters like the model Abbey Lee Kershaw, whose filmy ensembles are being emulated by legions of the would-be hip. After a while, as Ms. Solomon noted, your eye adjusts, and suddenly the miniskirt looks passé.

“It takes a while to see yourself in long skirts,” said Kendra Thompson, a communications student in Toronto, who was spotted in Chelsea swathed from the waist to ankles in transparent chiffon. “I never picked up on them until I started to see sheer versions,” she said, referring to diaphanous varieties that appeared on spring runways at Jil Sander, Chloé, Marc Jacobs and Lanvin, among others.

Shopping in SoHo last week, Julia McFarlane pondered adding a longer skirt to her wardrobe. Ms. McFarlane, who is over 60, is drawn to lengths that “cover the gap between the shoes and the hem,” she said, making long skirts a practical alternative to pants.

Or the vagaries of the fashion cycle.

“We’ve been showing so much skin for so long,” said Catherine Moellering, the executive vice president of the Tobe Report, a trend forecasting firm. Gauzy, long-sleeve tops and trailing hems “are starting to look really interesting again,” one indication, she added, of a “a covered-up fashion cycle.”

Covered up, but not prim. Some of the season’s most sought-after skirts are the most daring. Sheer from hip to instep, they offer a hint of raciness. “Last winter we began to see a lot of girls putting see-through floor-length skirts on top of either leather leggings or pants,” Ms. Borissova said.

In the city, long, flyaway hemlines can be tricky, of course. But enterprising fans are buying inexpensive versions at stores like Topshop and American Apparel and taking shears to the hems or sides to free up their stride. For them, such small sacrifices are worth the trouble.

“When you walk down the street, and your skirt billows out behind you, that adds a touch of glamour,” Ms. Knox declared. “There’s really nothing like it.”

Truncated version – Read full article here

1 thing to take out of the article is knowing that as trends dissipate, its key (& more sensible) to amalgamate your style with seasonal it-things that’ll bring out your real attractiveness – and not the pied piper fash hag (Coco Chanel reckons too yo). Sheer skirts are even more tasteful when paired modestly with inner leggings to draw away from looking too much like a tart. All thanks to the Olsen sisters & their much experimental wardrobe! I mean clogs, slouchy slings and floor-sweeping maxis? Who does that right?!

Although it can be tricky matching long skirts into your everyday ensembles – be tuned to choosing the right fabric that complements your body type: generally jersey is best suited for most body types, chiffon for the slender ones. Go bold with colours (albeit selectively, think accessories or cardis) especially with the welcoming burst of spring colours surfacing on fashion glossies! Oui! I personally, like & take cues from Kate Moss & Nicole Richie’s effortless maxi get-togethers.

So my dear muslimahs, fashion is complimentary & should never come in the way of belief & beauty. Step up with a pair of chunky heels for an elongated silhoutte and you’re almost there sister! Helm it with the best garb of both worlds!

Micro-minis… moving on now. 😉

Some picks.

“Tak perlu kata apa apa, senyummm… Ay cantik luar cantik dalam cantik dengar sini. Kalau cantik senyum cantik mesti cantik lagi!”

Saccharine Kisses,
Mashel Hamsah

// Photos via streetstyleaesthetic, jakandjill, streetstylepeeper, garancedore & carolinesmode


This post is an ode to current events, both occurring out there and in here – mon coeur. Here’s a little get-to-know so read on. (Yes, let’s shake things up this lunar new year shall we?) 🙂

The passing weeks in roundup seemed somewhat daunting and jarring. We’ve seen the worst of storms defended by a veracious influx of disasters at every part of the world thinkable. Borderless like the realm of digital expansiveness I sow my seeds to everyday, I feel my emotions clocking in extra reflections, compassion & prayers to the affected. Seamlessly, I hope amidst my spatial flaws, God delivers them, aid the stricken and brings forth some resonance for a newfound affirmative action.

As much as I’d like to tell you about the amazing red carpet showstoppers at the award season (wait Natalie Portman looked beyond ethereal in Azzaro), how can we not be moved by the sheer intensity of the times today. Ignited by a furore of fresh protests in Egypt to oust President Mubarak as we speak, rising inflation, the ‘truthful’ slurs of condescend towards Muslims & their social implications; garnering a contrast of dissection ranging from my personal favourite Alfian to the cultural analysis stance of Prof Marraci, a brutal curse-laden outcry (pun totally intended) & even the radical impervious slant of PAS (oh seriously, has the world gone mad!), right down to (holds breath) the binge transfer signings of El Nino & David Luiz – can’t help but to scream “LIVE AND LET LIVE”!!! Gah, such IS life today. How vexing!

So this got me thinking of my place in all this…

Having brought up in a middle class family, things weren’t served on a silver platter. You work damn hard for everything; education, freedom, to your very first Chanel bag. That’s when humility befriends you in return for fighting patience and being thankful of the decree & pre-ordainment God presented you with – be it the bittersweet tantamount adoption & exploration of personal traits & experiences, conscious & subconsious acquisition of priceless knowledge or religious guidance i embarked, disembarked and reattached firmly to again. Enough hardships to make one sturdy, enough joys to weather the coldness, enough teachings to fully realise the penultimate value of life – faith. I can only imagine how hard it is for those toiling hardship & unrest everyday like its groundhog routine.

Of course I fell countless times, made much nubile mistakes (like flying halfway across the world for love at 21, or not acing my university days cause i was too enveloped in constant distraction), erred more than i really should but… on hindsight, what happened shed light that things as those will come to pass and someday everything in life as we know it will perish.

In today’s context, you’ll find that it’s imperative to hold your ground (hopefully cultured & collected) and be prepared. I suppose it’s about achieving a golden balance, moderation not excess.

Fast-forward, am fundamentally stronger now post-disaster but I do sometimes get a tad gnarly when people talk about changes – the kind of recurring feeling that surprises you almost sadistically. Being stringently shoved to concentrating solely on floating future plans or rehashing on religious accountability from praying to wearing tudung, eating at non-halal places to maksiat – for the wrong reasons will backbite – especially when your soul, mind & combined actions are not aligned to His favour. Learn to change for yourself first, learn to pursue higher for Him and Him only and then time will narrate. So be brave & have faith! 😉

Since then I remind myself to be in cahoots with my speech & actions, refrain thyself from being hypocritical & count zee blessings regularly. InsyaAllah, make it happen!

You see, our recompense is with Allah so don’t be too disheartened by whatever happenings that inflict you. 1 thing I’ve gathered this past learning curve: Don’t. Be. Sad. No really, it truly turned my life around! Pick this up and start reading like now! That’s maturity drumming into you like a compulsive beat – its deep I tell you!

So how’s that for an introspection? Lol, hearthardcore isit not. If you also share similar interest in fashion or other marbles in life such as personal development, write to me and tell me your stories. I’d really love to hear from you! Perth has fed this story sharing habit and manifested it to something quite fetching!

Ok, before we’re off for the lunar new year celebration or mini-holiday (hello Pullman Putrajaya! woots!), come and sway to my favourite music picks below. No REALLY pinch me, i have ZILCH fashion smashion rant for this post! Badass!

On another note, some gist of what I talk about in this post will be a new underlying initiative of BAP in 2011! Oui, exciting much righttt?! To our chinese readers, here’s wishing you an awesome Gong Hei Fatt Choy welcoming the year of the Rabbit!!!

Till then, cheerios!

An ol’ school rock crooner mum dedicated to me. Aww she’s a gem!

Hello Nike + iPod’s Power Song of the month! Project Make-my-body-nimble 2011, watch out!

Ok GAHHH, here’s just 1 favourite pick – he’s so dapper! EPIC FAIL already. ;p

Peace Y’All!
Mashel Hamsah

// Photo via thesartorialist

This is for the real women; the true triple threats, the inspiring unrelenters, the everyday champions who doesn’t seek recognition and yet is glowing with nothing but notability & empowerment. This is for the women who are awesomely cultivated in their own ways, in conditions that may seem traverse or only-God-knows-testing. This is for you, just because I am heartened and humbled by the blessings & support I get from the best women (or not) in my life – my mother, my girls, my cat… and my muse. And because of that, I really just felt the urge to channel my unlikely cosmic pheromones breakout – to a true bone in me.

This is as bloody random as I can get on a Monday, on a BAP posting! It’s a bizarre concoction of worldly happenings, of wrongly condemned anti-semitics, of vehement natural disasters, of football rush, of beautiful souls and of silver linings (gah, must be all the books I’m reading!). In 1 word, i think it’s called a feeeling.

Syukur alhamdulillah. Lovely pictures below to follow your week ahead. 😉

My favourite pick – such sublime, modest beauty indeed.

Mashel Hamsah

// Photos via

HELLOOO 2011! Here’s to glad tidings and good faith from us at Camp BAP!

Let’s begin the year with some gorge heels to sheepishly tickle your fancy and then head out to neutralise those obsessive cravings for shoes (yes we’re terribly guilty of that ourselves)! With the intoxicating seasonal sale going on now, you’ll also be able to get inspired versions at real knockout prices! However, please do exercise some sensible shopping and assert yourself tough love discipline – to only buy what you can afford. Being responsible and financially in control is a morally conscious trait we oughta impart isit not? D’accord, d’accord. 🙂

Miu Miu Suedes

Studded Loubs! faints

Givenchy Woven Wedges

Alexander McQueen Suede Peep-toes

To die for Lanvin Sneaks!

Bad-ass Jimmy Choos Two-tone Patent

Alluring Amethyst Suede Loubs (my timeless perennial favourite)

ROFL, courtesy of our Creative Evangelist Lind!

Smiles Up All-day!
Retired House-Raved Catwoman,
Mashel Hamsah

// Photos via

You’re considered superficial and silly if you are interested in fashion, but I think you can be substantial and still be interested in frivolity. – Sofia Coppola, when discussing the topic of her movie Marie Antoinette (2006)

As we’re off vacating our lives for the upcoming holidays, catching up on missed resolutions or clearing bygones – BAP is sending pocketful wishes of good health, wealth and faith your way this New Year. We’re delighted with 2009 & the firework of experiences it brings! Hopefully the services we’ve rendered thus far makes you just as happy as we do (we really do) prepping for your gorgeous outfits. Thank you, thank you ameen. 🙂

This year we’re celebrating two-oh one one quaintly and unabashedly lazed on a tropical resort (or so I like to think albeit the monsoon). I’m sure it’s gonna be totally liberating & rad!

Before we chill the season away, be golly and giddy up to some of my favourite picks. Have merry fun y’all & God bless!

Olivia in Lanvin Sneakers!

Kina Grannis, love this woman… her voice is spellbounding! Listen to her talented raw rendition of Fireworks – it’s festive and’ll blow you away I promise!

Au Revoir,
Candy Canes, Virgin Pina Coladas & Kisses!
Mashel Hamsah

// Photos via Streetstylenews, Garance, Hijablicious, Worldarchitecturenews & Adidas Originals

Bonjour, sorry for the lack of updates thereof! Being the last day of November, we find a compelling need to update on what’s been happening here in Camp BAP! Pardon our francais, work & life (or some balance shrinks like to preach) has been majorly time consuming that we’ve got to put our aviators off duty. And no, I’m not referring to Real Madrid’s obscene trashing last night either. 😉

For most parts when the other half, Lind, is busy globetrotting – I find myself inspired with fashion, travel affairs and being a better muslimah. My mini version of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love found me exploring the intricacies of myself & allowed me to face my vices head on. This not forgetting the numerous life stories I’ve heard, swopped & shared – wardrobe compliments too! Read here for some of my inspirations.

Think biker jacket paired with Stella McCartney for Target cigarette pants & a cerulean satin scalloped top, graced with gorgeous chiffon hijab over a hot brew of  caramel macchiato… and wait, sharing a story of love that’s so near yet soo far! AMAZING or what?! Truly, I feel blessed. I suppose above it all, a due revelation tore open and I found myself succumbed to being a slave to Him, in a foreign land, where really all I could muster is the glory of His creations. It was… masyaAllah exactly what I needed ameen.

Rant aside, moving on to BAP – we’re taking on some exciting personal jobs to help you ladies get primmed up for the festive office parties / cocktails / brunch and what have you. Oui! Interesting I must say, and an even more interesting ensembles to play & dwell deep in distraction with.

I leave you with some musings before we leave lovely November for greater, better things to come. We’ve got something pretty awesome lined up (and half garish really) so do look out for new things strutting your way. Here you go, some caffeine to kickstart your December for a wicked Winter!

Alast, Guns N’ Roses with a song I’m heavily infatuated with. Very apt is it not? 😉

Beaucoup d’amour gentil et les baisers,
Mashel Hamsah

// Photos via Jak & Jill, Sartorialist & StreetstyleAesthetics

Ciao Italia!


– Collage by Linda Norman

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