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Exotic edge


Natanga Smith-Hurdle

Exotic edge

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GiGi Ma’at stops traffic, literally.
Since her photo shoot took place in Bridgetown, that sentence should be taken both ways. Gigi has her hands full and when she finally sat down with WE, this blogger, singer, poet, hair stylist (Paul Mitchell-trained), designer and wardrobe stylist told why her sense of style makes people sit up and take notice.
Gigi Ma’at is the moniker that she prefers to use and the name fits perfectly. It has an exotic appeal – just like her definition of her personal style – “a transient nomadic cohobblopot of opulent appeal and exotic aromatic style flavour”.
Gigi studied law and sociology at the Barbados Community College, and it was there she became fascinated with fashion – the thought of putting together different ensembles for school – after following a strict uniform code at high school.
With no formal fashion education, she jumped into putting what was going on inside her mind artistically onto a moving canvas; she became a stylist and worked on campaigns for various magazines, such as MPeople, and on various photoshoots for musicians and models as well as on sets.
She has her own style secrets but admits she would be lying if she said she didn’t draw inspiration from others.
“A lot of editors and bloggers inspire me and I draw a lot of inspiration from everything – coral, cells, random people. The best perk in being a stylist is expressing myself without limitations.”
Being a stylist is not a glamorous job, says Gigi, and far from what you see on television. There are, of course, limitations: “I am misunderstood a lot. I am constantly changing my look because I enjoy pushing my imagination beyond its limits. Sometimes people assume that because I look a certain way . . . I will make everyone look like me. I celebrate and thrive on individualism.”
That said, what makes an outfit stand out for Gigi is the person wearing it. She loves wearing flannel, and every week can be seen changing her look: from a neo-Mohawk to a bob; short hair to no hair; from a classic 1950s-style frock and kitten heels to oversized neckpieces layered on.
Her fashion advice: “Wear what you feel comfortable in. It makes you feel and be more confident. And every now and again, push your limits – it’s exhilarating!”
Her favourite accessories are watches, eyewear and shoes . . . every colour is to be explored!
Gigi has her eyes set on fashion journalism and one day would love her star client to be Kanye West.  “I know everyone loves to hate him but one must admit he is a fantastic style icon – so versatile and so honest . . . he wears clothes impeccably.”
Even though she uses style as her medium, Gigi is deeply inspired by music as well as visual and performing arts, and has used those elements as a sense of self-expression in her mode of dress.
Gigi says she loves making people feel beautiful. Her philosophy is heavily based on balance and a strong sense of self.
Gigi wants to be remembered as someone who allowed people to see the beauty in themselves, not in comparison to some “unreal caricature of a person”.
Barbados, stand up and take stock of Gigi Ma’at. If you didn’t know . . . now you know.
 

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