Like most of us, Morenike Ajayi’s year did not go to plan. The 22-year-old fashion obsessive, who can usually be found working on the influencer marketing team at a global online luxury fashion platform, was – instead of power-suiting her way through her central London office job – locked down in her flat, all dressed up with nowhere to go.
Cue: @moresque__, an Instagram styling account that creates memes showcasing what a flakey Aquarius would wear (towering pink heels, a strappy denim halter top with matching straight leg jeans). Or how a styling intern travelling on the L train on the hottest day of the summer should dress – in an overly warm black crop top and midi skirt combo, complete with a large silver Telfar shopping bag.
“I started Moresque in the middle of lockdown because I missed going out and styling my own outfits,” says Ajayi. “I didn’t want to be limited by my wardrobe, so I decided to make it so I can style whatever I wanted to online.”
Pairing new season Balenciaga, Christopher John Rogers, and Rick Owens, with accessories from the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Bottega Veneta and Fendi, each post stitches clothing cut outs with complimentary make-up looks made for the modern Black woman.
But what truly sets Moresque apart from other online styling accounts is the detailed characters that Ajayi builds in the captions. Running 200 words strong, each post records the ins and outs of the imagined person’s life. Case in point: a dom on holiday at her pay pig’s summer home in the Dominican, or a high-flying PR executive who ends up being wined and dined by a multi millionaire who has a wife and kids (and so she swiftly deletes his number).
“I get a lot of inspiration from Sex and the City and the Call Her Daddy podcast as I am obsessed with them both,” Ajayi explains of the ideas behind her signature captions. “They really are just random – I get one idea then create a whole story around it.”
We asked Ajayi to curate five looks to get us through the rest of the year. Meeting your lover after months of virtual hook-up sessions? Scroll down for the perfect look. About to Zoom into an ex at a virtual birthday party? Ajayi is at your service with a look that screams “not gonna happen”. What’s that, you’re a Capricorn working from home and wondering what to wear? We’ve got you covered.
Family party with the heat turned up
“She’s going to her family’s annual end of summer gala. She has been in lockdown for so long that she is happy to finally have the chance to wear all the clothes she acquired over this period. She wears the gloves to feel better about the fact that she will have to interact with a lot of people, but they give the vibe of Marilyn Monroe from Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, so it works. At the gala she has been eye fucking this man for about 20 minutes but neither of them have made the first move. All of a sudden, she is enveloped in the most seductive musk she has ever smelt, and she feels a hand on the small of her back. He looks down at her and goes, “I thought I should introduce myself,” and she finds herself blushing immediately. They get to talking and the energy between them is electric. He matches her banter perfectly and they have the perfect mix of teasing and flirting that she feeds off of. At midnight they leave the party and head to her house. She feels like the modern Cinderella except that instead of losing her glass slipper she loses all control in the backseat of the car home.”
Virtual hook-up vibes
“She has been talking to someone that her friends jokingly call ‘lockdown lover’ for about a month and they are going to have a virtual hook-up session tonight. She rubs scented oil on herself as she listens to Tonight by Summer Walker, getting herself in the mood. She paints her nails fiery red – which she knows he loves because it matches her skin tone perfectly. She does her makeup: the perfect no-makeup makeup that gives a slight flush on her cheeks and makes her lips look plump and naturally bitten. She tests the camera angles so that she gets the right balance of giving him enough to make him want more. She dims the lights in her room and puts on her feather robe as she plans on seductively taking it off as the phone call commences. The phone rings and she thinks to herself, ‘Let the games begin.’ ”
Birthday girl who's unavailable
“It is her birthday and she has decided to celebrate with a zoom party. She hasn’t let the fact that she can’t celebrate with all her friends stop her and she couldn’t let this dress that she bought before everything happened not be seen for another year. As they are all reminiscing and recalling their memories with the birthday girl, she hears a familiar voice say, ‘Happy Birthday Baby’. She searches for the speaker and sees her ex on the screen, holding flowers and smiling that smile that she has grown to hate as it never fails to make her heart melt. He then goes on to recall the memory of their first date when they stayed past closing time in the little Italian restaurant down the road and slow danced to They Can’t Take That Away from Me by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Her heart immediately stops beating. She abruptly ends the call. Confused and weirdly excited, she wonders how he got the memo to show up on the call. Her mum confesses that they have been speaking for some time and he really wants to get back together with her. She immediately feels betrayed and exclaims that it will never happen because he was an asshole! That night she drifts off to sleep remembering how happy she was and how romantic the whole evening had been, smiling fondly to herself.”
Capricorn craving attention
“In true Capricorn fashion, she has taken working from home to the next level. She has set a routine for herself that means she always catches the 6am runners on their route as she stares at them and promises herself, she’ll join in ‘tomorrow’ while sipping her coffee. She has mastered nail art as her favourite manicurist has been closed for months and has gotten really creative with the designs she can do. She decided to spruce up her virtual work meetings by playing around with different eyeliner looks, seeing what people notice and what they don’t. She loves her mid-day routine of reading her favourite book – currently An American Marriage by Tayari Jones – and people watching out of her window. Her days end with a dance party around her apartment, mouthing all the lyrics to My Life Would Suck Without You by Kelly Clarkson and drinking her favourite white wine.”
Lonely girl seeking revenge
“She has been quarantined by herself for months and declined most of her friends’ requests for FaceTime sessions and zoom get-togethers. This weekend she finally decides to re-emerge into normal society and agrees on a country getaway. All her friends will be there, as well as the guy she ghosted going into lockdown, so she goes online and buys the cutest summer mini dress she can find and an epilator to match. During their stay she starts to notice that pre-lockdown bae and her friend have been extremely cosy and is surprised that she kind of cares. They disappear mid evening and she starts to think that this is more than a coincidence. She goes looking for her, armed with an excuse as to why she needs her and stumbles across them having sex in one of the spare bedrooms. Stunned, she sulks back to the rest of the group wondering whether her epilator’s vibration settings work on more than just legs.”