SKATTIE CELEBRATES

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

STOP CALLING FKA TWIGS ALTERNATIVE R&B!!!


I’m a journalist by profession, or rather a writer- the title I prefer most- who makes a living working as a journalist. Part of what I do is about defining things and I have to say, as journalists we often fall into the trap of labelling things and more often than not I find that we reach for the easiest words just to get the job done. We call people fashion gurus when they are really just happy snappers of well clad folk on the streets or because they have a blog or they are simply gay men who know a thing or two about looking good. We call people “It girls” because we don’t know what the fuck else to say. It would be easier just to ask the person what they want to be called, really, but we’re too smart for that. Anyway…
The reason I am bringing this up is because late last year I became obsessed with the title “alternative R&B”. I was beyond taken with Miguel, Solange ran my life and the discovery of Kelela and Jhene Aiko made me an advocate for R&B’s “second coming”. Trust me, I was preaching that gospel, as many others were, I suppose. It was only later, just a few months ago, that I discovered FKA Twigs and I don’t think I’ve been as obsessed about something as I am about Miss Twigs. Her music makes me want to just lose all inhibitions and indulge in its psychedelic effect. One thing I know for sure is that her electro-infused, genre bending and somewhat pattern defying sound is NOT R&B and while it is experimental, I feel like calling it alternative R&B is a cop out. The only way that anyone can box her sound within R&B is if R&B and hip-hop is what we’ve decided people of colour are to be categorised as regardless of how they sound. There’s not much sense in that. She’s an artist with a unique sound and it’s okay if we can’t exactly box her because that in itself is an act of reducing her craft to a racial stereotype.
To my surprise, as I thought about how unfair it is that writers and critics have decided that FKA is an alternative R&B artist, a friend pointed out to me that Miss Twigs has herself rejected the label.
"I love annoying sounds, beats, clicks... I don't see anyone else doing that now. It's got loud noises in there, the structures aren't typical, it's relentless. It's like punk; fuck alternative R&B!" That’s what she’s been quoted as saying. Who are we to decided otherwise. In case you haven’t heard anything from this gem of a rock star, click on any of the videos below and then you can tell me just how R&B-ish it sounds because I most certainly can’t hear it. I'd understand if they simply capped it at saying her sound has an R&B sensibility, but that too can be a bit of a reach, I think.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

BLACK BOOK: CAPE TOWN STREETWEAR LABEL 'TRY|ANGLEZ'


One of the many things I appreciate most about living in Cape Town besides the fact that there are numerous little towns and farms one can drive out to randomly to get away from city life is that there's a creative energy I feel permeating in the air and young people of all races are behind it. I know we always say that things are happening in Joburg, but you'd have to be completely out of touch with what is going on in the streets to not know about the creative pot that is cooking out here in Cape Town. It is a world unaffected by the glitz and glam (and VUZU coveting) that one sees in Joburg, it's just young people trying to find a space to not only express themselves, but to create employment, too, which is always great!
Try|Anglez is a streetwear label four friends of mine are working to establish and they have a line of t-shirts, sweaters and jackets they've been selling at markets and other spaces available to them in the Mother City. In the picture above, I am wearing a t-shirt from their range. Not only do I love it, but the compliments were not hard to come by when I was wearing it the other day!
Get in touch with them via Facebook should you be interested in seeing more:


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

SEA, SAND AND LIFE...


It’s the second day of spring 2014 and this morning a package from Bombay Sapphire arrived at my door. I don’t think I have to explain what is in the package because duh! I’ve promised myself that I will be cutting down on alcohol at least until summer begins just so I can focus on having a nicely toned body come time to hit the beach, which is a promise I plan to keep. Unfortunately for me, the weather in Cape Town right now is very much beach weather anyway (rolling my eyes), which is unusual at this time of the year for CT, right? It’s so blazing hot outside, I really feel like a little sea, sand and Bombay Sapphire. Buuuut anyway… This is just me saying “word up” because my posts have been quite scarce lately. Between work and life I just often find myself sans energy for anything else but hopefully, with a new routine I am trying to follow- which includes a lot of exercise and healthy eating- I will once again be the blogging machine I once was. You may have noticed that my posts, lately, while there’s still much about fashion, there’s a lot more about my views on life and social issues like race and gender equality. Well, that’s because when I started this blog a few years ago I was not in my late mid-to-late 20s (I’m 27, if you really wanna know), but as I grow older there is a lot more that matters to me and so I share. Anyway, as I said, just a post to say “hello, sup, howdie”!

Monday, August 25, 2014

#DURBANFASHIONFAIR JUMPSUIT CENTRAL

DESIGNER: ALFALFA MLAMBO 
It was Jumpsuits galore at the 2014 Durban Fashion Fair which wrapped on Sunday at the city's International Convention Centre. From the established to emerging designers, jumpsuits quite clearly became one of the most popular items on the Durban runway as I observed from the front rows of the Fair, now in its third year. 

DESIGNER: KWEZI NKOMO
DESIGNER: NOKWANDA NGCOBO
DESIGNER: SIBONISO ZONDI
DESIGNER: SIBU MSIMANG
DESIGNER: SIBU MSIMANG
DESIGNER: YOLANDI WESSELS 
DESIGNER: ZARTH

Thursday, August 7, 2014

THE HILARIOUS MAIDS OF SOUTH AFRICA

Busisiwe wakes up in the wee hours everyday to catch the bus to town where she works as a domestic. These are the rules: she’s gotta be at the Smiths at 6am, wake the kids up and get them ready for school. She must pack their lunch tins and make sure that by the time Mrs. Smith is ready to jump in the car and take them kids to school, the kids are ready. On her first day at work, about a decade ago, Busisiwe was handed a uniform: blue tunic, black shoes. She has to tie her hair in a doek. Nobody wants her lice up in their shit. Go on cover that shit up, Busi.
Busi is uneducated. She dropped out of school while she was in Sub A because her father had died and her mother needed help in the home. As she grew older and had her own kids, helping out in the home was no longer enough. She too had to go and find a job and what else can she do except find a family in the ‘burbs to work for as a domestic?
The Smith kids find it funny that Busi’s ass protrudes through her blue tunic and why the hell does she have black skin like that? Her hair looks like that steel wool she uses to scrape the pots. It’s all just ugly!
Busi can’t discipline the Smith kids. Even when they make fun of her protruding ass and the fact that she can’t read she has to smile, keep her mouth shut and carry on with her work. Part of her job is to keep little Johny and Amy happy. If they want to laugh, she must act like the clown that she is to them and play along.
Busi hates the fact that she has to wear this stupid uniform and the fact that sometimes, when she is busy cleaning Johny wants to ride on her back and play cowboy while she plays the horse.
Even though she might want to protest: “Ndiyaqhelwa apha!” Busi knows that the madam will be on hand to reprimand her for not letting the kids be kids, even if it is at the cost of her dignity.
Busi is a peculiarity for little Johny and she provides much comic relief with her reactions whenever she sees something shocking on the TV, she makes this funny “Yhuuu” sound.

That Busi is goddamned funny. She’s a peculiarity. She’s not like mother Smith with her pretty hair that blows in the wind, her nicely toned body, pretty clothes, fair skin and that smell of expensive perfume. 
Busi, too, would love to be pretty and sometimes, as she cleans up after Mrs Smith, packing away the madam’s beauty kit and stuff Busi will look at herself in the mirror and take that doek off. She'd comb her hair and admire it’s kinky beauty. She will smear on Mrs Smith’s red lipstick and even put on the madam’s mascara. She’s even toyed with the idea of putting on one of Mrs Smith’s pretty cocktail dresses just to see how it would sit on her. But Busi knows her place and how dare she want to equate herself to Mrs Smith! She can never be as pretty. Not with that protruding ass. Not with that kinky afro, not with her thick ass lips and round nose fit to make her a hesitant clown.
She is so funny, she makes an excellent Halloween costume. Oh, wait! Let’s just have a party where we can all dress up as Busi. I bet it could be hilarious. 


Let’s see who can make the best impression of Busi. Don’t be shy. She really doesn’t mind it. Busi has long come to terms with the fact that she’s not beautiful, her big bum is funny and her face is ugly. We’re only just making fun of her and her unfortunate situation. If she takes offence, well, you know, she simply lacks a sense of humour.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

FASHION'S FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH: MBFWCT 2014 HIGHLIGHTS

Re-imagined Amish headgear at Loin, Cloth & Ashes

It's always exciting to see young people coming into the fashion scene and shaking things up a little bit. That's what I think happened at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Cape Town this past weekend. The younger designers, for me, did much better than a lot of the established names, who are quite frankly just wasting everyone's time with their same ol', same ol'. Get a stall at Neighbourgoods or something, just don't come to fashion week to show us what you showed us last year and the year before and the year before that and the season before that and... you get the idea. 

Loin Cloth & Ashes
Anisa Mpungwe of Loin Cloth & Ashes is not so emerging anymore but one can't help putting her on this list because if it is going to be called Fashion's Fountain of Youth, her work fits the description perfectly because youth is what her collections inject into the often very tired scenes that one often has to endure day-in and day-out as fashion week rolls out. Everyone knows: LCA always brings it and this year was no different! Her Afro-Amish collection brought together the simplicity of the Amish dress code with the diversity of urban African youth culture giving a fresh spin to flirty summer dressing and switching up the print game we've come to know as her signature.

Nicholas Coutts 
I was most impressed with Nicholas Coutts fashion week debut where the ELLE Rising Star winner came out guns blazing with bold colours, structure and beautiful textures. His collection stood out the most out of all the AFI Next Generation designers, in my opinion, even though- I have to say- the rest also stood their ground. I think the standard in this emerging talent segment keeps on rising and that's exactly what one wants to see. If I may add, I think it is great that Ernest Mahomane, who was part of the New Generation line-up, was retained after showcasing last year because I think the more we get familiar with the younger designers and not rush through them like we are on some sort of assembly line, the better. It's best for the industry if we get more familiar with the emerging designers while gradually introducing new designers instead of replacing the entire group every single year. What that has shown us in the past is that people generally fall away into obscurity in the sea of other little known designers. How's a bitch meant to breath when he be out here getting choked up?
Of course these designers are not perfect (show me anyone who is emerging whose collection is entirely perfect) but they definitely show great promise and that is worth applauding!

Lara Klawikowski
I also liked Lara Klawikowski as I usually do. I love her in-tucking technique and how she used fabric to reflect the concept of a flower growing in ice, the theme she told me she was exploring with this particular collection.  
Speaking of the fountain of youth and in spite of the fact that she is no longer a youth, I think Marianne Fassler's collection was one of the most fun to watch. It was easy, full of optimism and was one hundred percent the best way to open this fashion week. The clever clashing of prints and the Afro-urban aesthetic, as I told the designer after the show, reminded me of Durban. 

Marianne Fassler
It seems I wasn't too far off the mark because she said it was a lot about taking this Afro-urban aesthetic to the beach. I just had to mention that in this post even though it is about the younger people I think the spirit of Fassler's collection warrants a mention!


Images: Simon Deiner/SDR photo

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

KILO KISH x MAISON KITSUNE


I discovered Kilo Kish on Soundcloud a few weeks ago, as one does, and I've been listening to some of her music every now and again. Because I'm a sucker for indie music I've gone and Googled her only to find this shoot she's done with French fashion/record label Maison Kitsune.
So, as I often do, thought I'd share her music alongside this lookbook, which I like. Sorry Tom Burke, but this ain't about you right now. #bye
Here's her "Homeschool" EP.
More Maison Kitsune pictures below.










Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A VERY SKATTIE CELEBRATION


A bit of a delayed post on my part, but fuck it...
Last week Thursday, Malibongwe and I hosted the first of what will be a series of parties-cum-exhibition celebrating emerging South African creative talent. The first, as you probably heard, was Unathi Mkonto, an illustrator based in Cape Town. Unathi has been illustrating privately for years and while we were busy working on the second Skattie Magazine edition, we thought it would be great to take a new spin on how art and creativity are celebrated.
The result was an amazing party held at Blank Projects in Woodstock in association with Art South Africa Magazine. Spier Wine Farm, BOS Tea and Bombay Sapphire were gracious enough to sponsor some drinks for our guests and the support shown by the creative community here in Cape Town was just nothing short of amazing! A friend of ours, Zandi Tisane, pointed out that what this event, and the accompanying downloadable zine which is all about Unathi and his work, did for her was to remind her that it's not "our culture that is boring but the way we engage with it". I could never have said it any better, because it's true and for Mali and I it was very exciting to learn that there is indeed space for us to contribute positively to the creative landscape which I think is bursting with talent that is often overlooked or not given any space entirely. We look forward to hosting the next party/exhibition and exposing talent that we are excited about.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to come jam and sip with us. We look forward to hosting all of you and, hopefully, many more people again. Please visit Skattie What Are You Wearing to see the pictures from the party and keep your ears to the ground for future events... Coming sooner than you probably expect! Please click on the banner above to download your free copy of the zine.



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

WHAT DOES COMING OUT "THE CLOSET" MEAN ANYWAY?

SINGER SAM SMITH
IMAGE: VIA ROLLINGSTONE.COM

How to alienate friends you thought were otherwise okay with the fact that you’re gay? Talk about gay sex, of course! Well, okay, maybe “alienate” is a bit of an exaggeration but, yes, people find it to be a cringe worthy subject. Even some of the biggest and self-proclaimed so-called fag hags are not quite comfortable with the subject of what it is their bent friends do between the sheets.
Let’s be honest: try as we might to make it seems as if we are accepting of homosexuality- yes, that word that makes me feel like I’m somewhat deformed- the truth is that most people really just don’t want to engage with the subject but act as if it’s all good! What better way is there of ignoring something than to act as if it doesn’t exist anyway?
I don’t know how I feel about this kind of approach but it feels like a little bit of a cop out to me. You know, it feels a little like ignoring a problem in the hope that it will go away. Earth to you; the gays are here, they've always been here and they are not about to go away!
Anyway. I’m thinking about this in the light of what is perhaps a new wave of gay celebrities who really just don’t give a toss what it is the airheads and Jesus lovers have to say about sexuality. These celebrities are gay and that’s that! They don’t rub it in nobody’s face but they don’t hide it either. They are simply living their lives in the same way that anyone would want to live their lives- freely! While the media will often mislead you into thinking these people “came out” of the closet, the truth is that if you follow the stories of how these celebrities “came out” it really isn’t a “coming out” at all. It is simply an individual talking about who or what they are attracted to. Think Sam Smith who allegedly “came out” by stating that his album In the Lonely Hour was the result of a dude’s unrequited love. Think Nakhane Toure who sings about his Christopher without batting an eyelid. Was it not the same thing with Frank Ocean? There are several other examples I read about and think: “Oh, so… How exactly did this person actually come out? Did they stand on some podium and say that big old swear word: “Hello world, I am gay”?”
What does coming out mean to begin with anyway? And why is a necessity?
For the media, using headlines like “Sam Smith Comes Out” serves the purpose of selling papers and generating pageviews, of course, even if it is far from the truth. 
Don't get me wrong. I am not entirely opposed to the idea of coming out. A lot of gay people swear by it and I have no reason to believe that their reasoning behind this is invalid, but I also find it to be one of those things that reinforce the notion that heterosexuality is the norm and gay is the otherness. I also truly believe that a lot of people live in the proverbial closet because of the scary prospects that are attached to coming out. Why can’t you just live and let people take the cue from you? We know the answer to that. Why not talk about your relationship with a member of the same sex as if it is no different from a hetero romance (because it really ain’t, it’s all love)? We know the answer to that, too.
Both scenarios are probably too much to ask because as much as one wishes it was so, gay really isn’t the new normal. It remains an old anomaly that, like race and other prejudices, now benefits largely from silence disguised as acceptance.