Bilkish Vahed

The Woman Inside

Tag: Self

Personal Style Matters

You know how some days you get dressed, look in the mirror, and feel an inner click – yes! Something about your whole look just screams “you-ness.” On point-ness. 

I look exactly like me, I tell myself, grinning inwardly. 

It’s not that each item of clothing is special or designer or whatever, but somehow in the achieved silhouette, the combination of just so details, the colour spread, the mix of fabrics, textures – what’s been struck is the outward chemistry of me – in my eyes, at least. 

And those are the only eyes that matter, since the good feeling in me is what I exude for the whole world to pick up on and feel and know.

Personal style is far from frivolous. It’s an eloquent, powerful language that we use to express who we are in/to the world. That’s important. But way more important is the secure, sure-footed feeling that comes with feeling in sync with oneself.

Tailored Self Possession


Chancing upon Dior’s Pre-Fall 2018 advertising photographs, I’m seduced by the elegance of clean-lines and refined silhouettes. Ensembles that scream: soignée. Luxurious fabrics and sleek tailoring that drape the body. An air of confidence and self-possession oozing from every frame.

Jennifer Lawrence photographed by Brigitte Lacombe for Dior Pre-Fall 2018

jennifer-lawrence-brigitte lacombe-dior-fall-2018

The words rolling around fashion magazines to describe this collection are – tailoring, menswear staples, gender fluidity, androgyny, identity.

All suggested by the fact that the muse for this collection was none other than French photographer Claude Cahun, whose self portraits were an on-going, layered de-construction and re-construction of self, gender and identity.

Which all just confirms, and adds to the story of – the intimate relationship between clothes and the expression of the self.

You & Me



it took me a long time

to see, to finally see

that you never really liked me

not all of me, not me


only a part of me

some part  that enticed you

you wanted a part of me

but there i stood grotesque

oozing all of me


you chipped away

chiseled, hacked and sculpted

tweaked and reshaped

i became your sticky version of me


flickers of awareness

darted in my dreams

skipped and slipped and tripped

disappeared unseen


it took me a long time

a long time to see



When my eyes were averted, you slunk around me

Spinning a tender lattice of awareness

Wilfully piercing my consciousness, forcing me to awaken

When my eyes were averted, you wanted me.


Irresistibly I turned and looked back at you

Smiled, said something, let my eyes laugh into yours

You drew back surprised, disoriented, your radiant face darkened

When I looked back at you, you closed up on me.


Stunned, confused, awash in shame, I collapsed in a heap, grew small

What had I done, I called out to the night, what had I done?


Effulgent comprehension arrived slowly and in its wake,

Indignation, purple anger, rage bubbled and frothed until

Raucous laughter burst forth, my blood ran warm and

I grew large, enormous, and full.



I miss the letters you used to write me,

Chock-full of aliveness and vitality,

Brimming, luscious and uncensored,

Tales of your day to day in raw openness let slip,

Unheeded into the soft container of our affection.


Abruptly a sliver of discomfort has slipped between us,

You write me posts, comments, tweets, texts,

You write to me and to all of them at once,

The silent ones who watch and listen are now a cryptic presence,

Between us, in the midst of us.


The murkiness of otherness has altered your voice, changed you,

But I know the colossal beauty and brilliance of your unfettered self,

I want you back, I want you back again,

Unconstrained by the cameras and the din.

I miss you. I miss hearing from you.

Fell in Love

I fell in love one day, on a pavement, outside a café, with a man

I laughed wryly and knew, it was my soul

Mr Darcy of today is Prince Charming, he has to be

Glamour, riches, undying true-love, romance.

I laughed wryly and knew, it was my soul

A turning point

Glamour, riches, undying true-love, romance

Odd, unusual I thought, but no doubt significant.

A turning point

The crunching of my tricycle  wheels on gravel

Odd, unusual I thought, but no doubt significant

Leave the tides of memory alone.

The crunching of my tricycle wheels on gravel

Mr Darcy of today is Prince Charming, he has to be

Leave the tides of memory alone

I fell in love one day, on a pavement, outside a café, with a man.

© 2019 Bilkish Vahed

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