Best friends Raya and Amy take to the streets for a 70s-inspired shoot
Words: Rosie Goddard | Photographs: Jedd McNeilage
As Raya and Amy drape themselves over one another on their shoot, you can’t helped but be entranced by their ethereal beauty. Through the lens, they could be taking part in a Sofia Coppola-directed Chloé ad set on the streets of Cape Town.
In person, they’re a light-hearted and utterly refreshing duo. Raya (fashion and content editor at A Fashion Friend) and Amy (freelance photographer and blogger) met on a bloggers’ trip to Mauritius a few years ago. As Amy tells it, she knew they’d be best friends when, on the last day of the trip, they “decided to stay up all night and watch YouTube videos. We ended spooning in bed, eating snacks, and broke into the hotel pool”.
Like a blonde and brunette version of yin and yang, these two have different takes on everything from tea to tassels but they still flow seamlessly into each other, finishing each other’s sentences and describing the other in a way that’s effortless, endearing and in no way clichéd.
The same can be said for their style. While they’re the first to say that they have a “soft, dreamy, tent-dress approach to fashion”, they interpret this in different ways. “The word’s overused but I’d say my style is eclectic,” says Raya, “I love the 70s but I prefer to focus on pieces rather than trends, ever since I went normcore for a whole winter and my Mum thought I was troubled. I love natural fibres, leather, sack dresses, boots, and also what I like to call the witchy spellbound look”.
According to Raya, Amy can be defined by one item: the suede A-line skirt. If you’ve visited her fancypants blog, you’ll know that she looks damn good in one. Amy, the quieter of the two, smiles serenely and adds that she enjoys “anything soft, pretty, loose and comfortable. I also love lace-up tops. I don’t read too much into trends, I suppose I’m into the floral, bohemian look. Nothing bodycon or too sexy”.
What’s interesting about these two is that their wardrobes are filled with many of the same items, but they’re never styled the same. They’ll often buy things in different colours and textures. “She’s more high fashion, and prefers city styling” muses Amy, before Raya jumps in to describe Amy as “more beach. But Noordhoek beach obviously. Not Camps Bay”. Couldn’t have said it better myself, but before I get carried away and share their plans for a medieval fiction book club (current members: 2) and the fact that they both HATE avocado, let’s get to the real point of this post; their gorgeous 70s-themed shoot and their tips for getting each look.
Raya: We were freezing at this point but I love this look because A Knight’s Tale is where I’m at right now. I’m all about lace-up tops and tan hues. Tan and white are such a fresh combination.
Amy: People assume you need to tuck a top into an A-line skirt, and I always used to but I never do anymore, and it looks so much better.
Raya: It’s so easy, fresh and effortless.
Raya: Suede jackets are great because they’re so easy to throw on.
Amy: I’d suggest upsizing for both – you don’t want either of them to be too tight. And a little tip: don’t go wearing too much suede in the middle of summer, you might overheat.
Raya: Also, roll up the sleeves on the jacket.
Raya: For this look we were extras on That ‘70s Show. But it’s a lot more American varsity 70s than some of the other more gypsy-inspired looks.
Amy: I thought I was going to hate this look but it actually ended up being my favourite one – the bell bottom dungarees were really flattering. And I’m now a fan of slogan tees.
Raya: You just like anything to do with napping.
Amy: True. Also, fold the dungarees over – you don’t want it to look like you work on a farm.
Raya: And wear a looser top so it doesn’t look 90s.
Amy: I’m so in love with tan right now and the longer tassel is beautiful against the saddle shape.
Raya: I think it’s more of a cognac. Amy can’t pronounce the word ‘cognac’.
Amy: Yes I can! You want to wear a bag like this over and across the body.
Raya: And pair it with easy, statement accessories. I’m obsessed with Pichulik.
Amy: This look is a perfect example of how our styles are similar but also really different.
Raya: Amy’s dress is more of an empire cut, and made from a soft floaty cotton fabric while mine is chiffon, has a high neck and cinched waist. Lady Mary Crawley vibes. The patterned dress is the easiest way to get the soft bohemia look.
Amy: Yeah, it’s like a good basic.
Raya: These boots are great; they’re more mod 70s, very Studio 54. The monochrome design and pointed shape are very on-trend.
Amy: Also loved these three-tiered shift dresses. We’re all about living the sack life.
Raya: Yeah, tenting 101. But in all seriousness, they’re very comfortable and flattering with a heeled boot. I love bold accessories but you can also layer up the jewellery.
Amy: And if you don’t want to go all-out floral, these dresses are a great alternative.
Raya: They also work well with a hat and gladiator sandals.
Raya: This was my favourite look – I’m obsessed with the breezy, big sleeves of the top.
Amy: A white blouse is also a staple for summer, and surprisingly I loved wearing the flares.
Raya: They were so flattering, and always try to go for a high-quality pair like these; ones that you can revisit in 20 years time and pray to God that they still fit.
So now you’ve seen their favourite 70s-inspired looks, what are their ultimate tips for styling up the decade?
Raya: Don’t force yourself to wear something like flares if you don’t feel comfortable.
Amy: Keep your hair loose, layer up the jewellery and find yourself some lightly tinted sunglasses.
Raya: Also, soften your energy.
Amy: Yeah, be a nice human being. Be softer. Give hugs.