To the icons who shaped my style

Mika Williams.

As a little girl I was obsessed with my great-aunt Janet Bowers’ closet; as it was filled with the most glorious blouses, tweed suits, pants, faux fur jackets and waist coats.

I was so amazed at the craftsmanship and quality that occupied her wardrobe that I would sit, legs dangling, on her bed and watch her create the most fascinating ensembles; the smell of her Estée Lauder perfume wafting through the house. We would often, sit and page through old photo albums and I recall feeling inspired by the beautifully adorned women and men of District Six.

Their creative self-expression through fashion seemed like a stark contrast to the political climate of the 1960s.

It taught me, that no matter how oppressed or difficult their lives must have been as apartheid’s forced removals loomed, they possessed an intrinsic quality: unfaltering dignity. Oh and if you are wondering what happened to her closet? She gave it to her fashion protege: me.

And as my other fashion icon, actress Sarah Jessica Parker said: “I like my money right where I can see it… hanging in my closet.”

I hope you all enjoyed reading my column this past year. May the next year usher in bigger and shinier things. You can send your fashion tips to mika.williams@inl.co.za