Nekesa Mbadiwe, a third-year journalism student, lives in 350 sq. ft. of strewn papers and lacey ankle socks. Her closet is as efficient as it gets for a small bachelor apartment. Tall, IKEA-grade metal racks stand as a centre fixture in her living space, displaying different facets of her eclectic taste and personality through her clothing.
For the interview, she’s wearing the newest addition to her closet, a ‘50s-inspired dress with fine white embroidery. “I love dresses, if you haven’t noticed already. I love the fit and flare silhouettes,” she says, giggling.
Mbadiwe’s favourite dress, a colourful, interesting piece that fits “just right,” defines her whole personality. With its contrasting patterns and colours, it combines all aspects of her multi-faceted style and showcases her creative side.
Apart from her personality, Mbadiwe’s style come from her family. “My mom and grandmother also have a huge influence on how I dress now. My grandmother gave me a lot of her jewelry,” she says.
When it comes to her look, Mbadiwe finds herself inspired by history. “For a lot of people fashion is based on an icon, but the way I dress goes throughout eras.” Her favourite eras are the ‘20s, ‘40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s. “I want the way I dress to celebrate my femininity, and those eras really highlight that.”
Mbadiwe spends every Sunday planning outfits for the week. Using an app called Stylebook, she take photos of items in her closet, creates outfits for herself. “I love the fact that I can separate my clothes into different fashion eras,” she says.
It also helps her keep track of all the items in her expansive wardrobe. “I can safely say I own at least 60 dresses,” she says.
Here are a few of her favourite looks she’s created:
Nekesa buys at least two pieces every month to add to her collection and says she’s not stopping any time soon.