Spend enough time in the fashion blogosphere (say, half an hour?) and you’ll discover the same ladies are swooned over as style inspiration. Alexa Chung. Zooey Deschanel. The Olsen twins. Although I can see the Bambi-legged, gamine appeal of these lasses, I prefer to seek inspiration elsewhere.
And recently, that has been from Yolandi Visser of Cape Town rap-rave rabble-rousers Die Antwoord. They call their style zef, which – as I understand it – is a South African version of white trash. Not being familiar with South African society and its subcultures, I’m not the person to deconstruct the group and their music. This blog is probably a better place for that.
As well as having some mad rap skills, Yolandi has got style. Beneath her overbleached mullet and NSFW mouth there’s a conventionally pretty young woman. But Yolandi doesn’t want to be conventionally feminine, and instead creates her own identity through her baggy t-shirts, clashing colours and That Haircut. Could we call it postgender? I don’t know if I want to overthink it that much, so let’s just call it next-level. Whether she’s leaping around on stage in a Roger Ballen inpired jumpsuit or performing in white contacts and a coat made from toy rats (in the Evil Boy video), she always looks next-level.
I’m not planning to start running around in gold leggings and a chopped up t-shirt (a look better suited to being on stage than the rainy streets of Manchester), but when I look at Yolandi I do want to embrace my inner zef. Even just a little bit.
Bonus round! Here’s a portrait of Yolandi and her bandmate Ninja from W Magazine. I think they look amazing.