Moonchild Sanelly’s tips on finding your own style
When the world catches up with you, change
I had red hair for seven years. I used to wear dresses every day and I had the red hair. Then Rihanna came out with red-red hair and made it look normal, so everyone started having red hair. So I went bald. I moved to Joburg with a brushcut. Then it grew, then I came out with my blue look.
Don’t just be different. Be stylish!
If you’re just different, you can put stuff together to be visible, but you won’t necessarily be stylish, nor will you look good. Your understanding of style can let you be that eccentric person who mixes everything together, but because of your understanding it works, and you look hot! In my varsity days I was in a space where I was just different, different, different. Then I got a better understanding and I’m no longer just inspired by being different. That doesn’t have to be limiting.
Your essence will come through. You don’t have to overplay it
I don’t wear beads. I’ve never worked with tribal print. I rebelled against it. I’ve always said, ‘Look I’m already African. And everything I do will have that in it.’ Since school I’ve refused to do those things.
Process your influences. Don’t copy them
I am aware of the artists who came before, but I don’t want to be “like” anyone. I want to be Moonchild, and anyone who follows Moonchild is like Moonchild. I work at being myself. I’m conscious of it, because I’m never happy being like whoever has existed.
Durban has an effortlessness style, which would be a trend in Joburg. Joburg people think they’re leaders of things. But someone who’s trending in Joburg and someone who just buying bread in Durban, can look exactly the same. So there’s an effortlessness. I don’t know if there’s an awareness. That effortlessness trends when it comes to Joburg.