Looking Good in Nina Magazine
Guest Editor, Mehrnaz Allawi
I am Naz Allawi, wife and mother of two grown-up daughters. I live in London.
“Empowerment for me has always been about having the confidence to be myself. I don’t apologise for who I am.”
As a young girl growing up in Iran, I saw a generation of women who loved to be women. They dressed in the most beautiful clothes, habitual visits to the dress makers and hairdressers of Tehran. Their skin glowed effortlessly and their make-up was minimal. This is how I fashioned myself. However, I could no longer afford the dress makers or the designers and so my search for the same began but on a budget – you can see some of my ideas here ( but I have shared even more on www.nina-iraq.com).
Throughout my life and even when my children were young, I have always believed it was imperative that I should look and feel good about myself. Thirty years ago there were not many discount stores or outlets so I contented myself with fur trimming my gloves and coat collars and changing the buttons on my pullovers and dresses to add that glamour high street stores lack. It worked! I think the best compliment a friend paid me was that I make Benetton look like couture! I think most women would agree that when you are dressed well you feel empowered and more confident. You must never be afraid to be yourself and not the person other people expect you to be. Carry your clothes with confidence whether they have a label or not. You are the label.
Fashion on a budget
You don’t need to pay a fortune to look good. Flair and originality as well as a sense of self can go a long way. You also need to know where to look, though. I love bargain hunting so thought I’d share some of my finds.
In my picture you can see me wearing a Ralph Lauren suede skirt fromTK Maxx (£75), and shirt from Theory in Harvey Nichols sale (£99), not bad for an outfit that should have cost over £500. You can see what a difference my fashion jewellery makes also.
The black Varsity type cropped jacket is by Proenza Schouler, but only cost £199 in TK Maxx, instead of the usual £500 – 600. The white dinner shirt belonged to my father and I just added my own detail ….cuff links and brooch, both of which you can find very cheaply in any department store or charity shop.
My Fashion Secret:
A shop I love is a shop in Beirut called Orient 499; everything is handmade and exquisitely unique, from jewellery to clothes to home-ware. I got my burgundy shoes from there – you can also purchase on the internet: www.orient499.com. You might also like to look at the great clothes Mona Mourad creates at www.mokalondon.com.
And Finally, A Little Health Tip….
Recent studies have confirmed what we’ve always known: sugar is addictive and poisonous in your system. So, whenever you see “add sugar” in any recipe, substitute agave nectar (found in all supermarkets) or Sucanat (found at wholefoodshops). These are great alternatives.
Please click on www.nina-iraq.com/lookinggood to see a couple of my favourite recipes.