Bohemian Style - Mixing the Past with the Present

Often when I go out....Ok wait, just to clarify, "often" means pre-COVID when I could belt out some Karaoke when the desire hit and be onstage flaunting “my wares”! as they say.

I digress.

Often people would comment on my unique style and ask me about my outfit. I’m a Bohemian at heart. I love mixing old funky pieces and simple, often black, basics. My “go-to” wardrobe consists of old cool pieces like robes and kimonos or a flowy bohemian or Moroccan caftan. I love vintage lounge wear. Sometimes just some jeans and a vintage t-shirt or simple black v-neck sweater. Always with a vintage jacket or coat. I have an affinity to 70s long pimp coats, I must say. I love mixing unexpected things together.

And then the jewelry. More is more. I’m ALWAYS wearing a Hamsa piece. Always. It’s a protective talisman I always wore growing up as a Moroccan Jewish woman. The symbol is tied to my culture. I’m obsessed. Since the passing of my father this year, I’ve felt a re-connection to my roots which led me to start a new business selling, designing and sourcing Hamsa’s. I love jewelry. I love layering. I often wrap my unruly curls, or they fly free. I told you I’m a bohemian ... or rather a BoSHEmian (the name of my vintage Etsy store)

You can read my bio on my site www.hamsaalek.com and a bit more of the meaning of the name.

So why “bohemian”? what about that word resonates with me .

When I was in my late teens and early 20’s, a student at University of Toronto, waiting tables in funky restaurants, living downtown in the cool little Italy neighborhood, wearing interesting clothes like a vintage 50’s dressing gown robes paired with Birkenstocks (truth be told I love barefoot or comfortable shoes always). I had a lot of musician friends, artist friends, writers, poets. We often hung out in our apartments listening to Nina Simone and talking about existential issues and thoughts and life. I was a dreamer. A singer, a gypsy, a thinker, a lover of beauty, and intellectual. I would get passionate about the little things like the smell of coffee, the taste of food, the last song, it’s sounded so good. My Moroccan Jewish Dad would call me “the bohemian” in the family. I am I didn’t have Google of the time I didn’t really know what that “meant”. It conjured up images of poets and writers in cafés. It wasn’t until much later when I was opening my vintage business and looking for a name that I stumbled upon a definition of bohemian. It felted right. Yes I am. In every area of my life I am a bohemian. That word was the word my dad, of blessed memory, always used to describe me. He knew me before I knew me if that makes sense. My vintage business took that name except I called it “The boSHEmian” (thanks to the help of my sister Rina for blurting it out). That shop is on Etsy. Www.theboshemian.com

True to form I’m always changing and doing new things. My baby is my Hamsa shop. That is my heritage mixed with my sense of fashion. I have so much planned for this year! I’m feeling more in touch with who I am and who I was before the world and life had its way with me.

Who am I? I am still figuring it out. Single Mom; Daughter; Sister; Entrepreneur; Former Academic; Former HR professional; Vintage collector and dealer; Jewelry designer and creator; Lifelong singer; The list goes on. And I just turned 50! Yay me!

I believe in dressing for who you are and what you feel ... not necessarily what “fits in”. Be you. Be comfortable and shine. Stand out. Clothes should be fun and make you feel great.

 

Debbie Elfassy

 Business Links

IG: @Hamsa.alek
IG: @theboshemianvintage
IG: @2jewesses