Wednesday, October 15, 2014

MISSSHAPE x YASMIN FURMIE


Missshape today launched its third ambassadors collaboration, this time with Yasmin Furmie. I really have no clue who Miss Furmie is but I do like what they've done here. The Missshape signature remains along with the minimalist, sporty vibe first initiated in the debut Ambassadors collection featuring Anthea Poulos, but this particular drop takes it a little further with miss Furmie's style as the foundation, of course. In case, like me, you are wondering who she is and what it is about her style that Missshape found inspiring, the media release describes her as someone with an "unusual" fashion story:
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"...from her modelling days in Sydney and LA, to her involvement in social work projects and now, as a figure who is becoming ever more present on the South African fashion scene. It is hard not to notice Furmie, she has developed her own language through a sophisticated dress-code that moves from refined street wear, to sharp menswear inspired styling and her contemporary take on the “new look”. It was this language that formed the basis of the new Ambassadors collection..." 

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Art Direction & Design  - Lex Trickket 
Photography - Vatic Studio (Brett Rubin & Nicole Van Heerden)
Styling -  Yasmin Furmie 
Make Up - Tamaryn Swartz 
Model - Adera Kachienga 
Production - Vatic Studio  (Brett Rubin & Nicole Van Heerden)

Monday, October 13, 2014

INSPIRED STYLE, INSPIRED SOUNDS


Took some inspo from Solange to put my outfit together yesterday and I must say I felt really good. If you visit her blog here the first image that appears on there is what I tried to interpret here for my skinny little self. I love that clothes make me feel good. It's my favourite thing about them, this ability to make you feel superhuman, like there's actually nothing standing in the way between yourself and greatness!
The blouse, which is totes just... cray, amay, is a vintage find. Think I got it for something silly like R20 at a store in Rosebank (not Jozi, Cape Town) and those amazing shorts are from the Studio W collection at Woolworths. I saw them once and knew I absolutely had to have them. Thank heavens I don't have gender anxiety about clothes. The pants are womenswear, but for me, naturally, there's no such thing. The entire store is an open floor for me! Thank you adidas for the Stan Smiths and, of course, Sunglass Hut for those pretty Prada shades.
Anyway. Miss Knowles is not only responsible for inspiring my totes cray, amay look but she's also responsible for my discovery of the band Chromeo. How cool are they? She features on one of their tracks titled "Lost on the Way Home". I'm totally obsessed with it and hope you will like it, too. I'm all about sharing, so here's a Soundcloud... Take a listen and tell me if this shit ain't da biznis...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

AFRICANS SHAPING THE GLOBAL FASHION INDUSTRY, ACCORDING TO BOF.COM

THE FOUNDERS OF THE KENYAN-SOUTH AFRICAN LABEL LALESSO
ARE CONSIDERED BY BUSINESS OF FASHION AS GLOBAL
FASHION INDUSTRY SHAPERS

Lupita Nyong’o, Johann Rupert and his daughter and owner of Merchants on Long Hanneli, the Lalesso duo and Nigeria’s Omoyemi Akerele are among the 13 people of African descent who make the businessoffashion.com BOF500 list for 2014. The annual list claims to be about the “People who are Shaping the Global Fashion Industry”. In basic terms, these are the people the website believes are the global fashion industry’s most influential and these are the people they think are changing the fashion landscape.
I agree to some extent with some of their choices but I also disagree with many. To be quite honest, I don’t know how much research goes into this thing but I think the African names on this list are mostly there because of the attention they get from the global fashion media (let’s not go into the media’s coverage of Africa, that’s another new, very long blog post). The list has very little to do with people who are really the movers and shakers of the status quo.
It doesn’t take much research to find out who the chairman of Richemont (Johan Rupert) or his daughter Hanneli. Let’s not even speak about Lupita Nyong’o because… Hollywood. It does, however, take a lot more than Googling or reading your favourite blogs to find out who is making a difference in any industry; who is shifting perceptions, who is creating jobs, who are the innovators who are ACTUALLY shaping what the future will look like for the "globe" and not just America and Europe. I’m not playing anyone’s contributions down here because contribute much, they do, but I honestly feel that when it comes to this continent BusinessofFashion.com really did a lousy and pretty much lazy job of finding out what is going on. The only way that these are the only Africans who can be considered to be contributors towards the shaping of the global fashion industry is if what is happening in this continent is not regarded as part of what is rolling out in the said “global” fashion industry. The only way is if Africa is really not considered by the editors of this website as being part of the “globe”.
Anyway…
This is the full list of Africans who made the cut:

SOUTH AFRICA
Hanneli Rupert, businesswoman & owner of Merchants on Long and Okapi
Johann Rupert, chairman of Richemont
Adrian Joffe, President of Dover Street Market
Alice Heusser & Olivia Kennaway
Ian Moir, Woolworths Chief Executive (listed under SA even though he is of Australian origin)

KENYA
Lupita Nyong’o

NIGERIA
Omoyemi Akerele, MD: Stylehouse Files

MOROCCO
Sydney Toledano, CE: Christian Dior

TUNISIA
Azzedine Alaïa, Designer
Jean Touitou, Founder of APC

GHANA
Edward Enninful, W Magazine Fashion & Style Director

ETHIOPIA
Liya Kebede, Model & Businesswoman

EGYPT
Susan Sabet, Publisher 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

THE 90s THROWBACK


Crop tops, flatforms, dungarees, checks and the sporty aesthetic that has engulfed fashion over the last few seasons continues into this summer as the 90s take a stranglehold on fashion. In the streets and all over tumblr and store rails t-shirts emblazoned with logos and joggers seem to be having a huge moment. Party scenes resemble 90s hip-hop videos as if FUBU is still cashing in and TLC are still an R&B supergroup. Don’t be surprised if kids suddenly started wearing doo-rags again!
Stylist and former fashion editor Bee Diamondhead has noted the return of the 90s in fashion and says brands have been quick to embrace this with their offering.
“Rihanna released her first River Island collection last year and it was quite reminiscent of 90's R&B starlets Aaliyah, SWV, TLC and so on,” she says. “Lots of denim in dungarees and heavy two-tone baggy jeans, crop tops and the like are everywhere. We've also seen the return of the flatform and sneaker wedge with sports brands like adidas and Puma embracing that. I mean Miley Cyrus lives in her flatforms!”
“You see a lot of young girls these days in their denim cut-offs, box braids and extra long acrylic nails; all 90's trends that have made their way back.”
Sports luxe specifically, spearheaded by designers such as Alexander Wang has perhaps been the most visible indicator of just how strongly the 90s are the latest fashion obsession.
Flux Trends Senior Analyst Nicola Cooper notes that in terms of designer fashion, the trend can be traced back to 2012 and names like Alexander Wang are among the pioneering designers for what is essentially a throwback- something fashion loves indulging in.
This year it has been seen on runways with mesh, initially favoured by Isabel Marant and was the fabric of choice on catwalks from Altuzzara and again to Alexander Wang with  manufacturing details featuring exposed zips, nylon straps, d-rings and aeroplane clasp belts,” she says.
“As we know the 90’s were all about gyms, sweat tops, platform sneakers and hip hop. We are borrowing a substantial amount from the decade with the platform sneaker reemerging and prints by Jeremy Scott and Converse paying homage to cartoon icons such as The Simpsons, Mickey Mouse and South African designers such as Suzaan Heyns collaborating with Disney. Hairstyles such as the box cut paying tribute to Will Smiths ‘Fresh Prince of Bellaire’ oversized garments and limited edition sneakers being high level priority.”
Local designers are also dabbling in the 90s trend albeit with a local twist to suit the local consumer as buyer Felicity Spies notes. “We have definitely seen a renewed obsession with white this season as anyone who attended Cape Town Fashion week will attest to. White is very signature 90s,” she says. “However, there is still the signature sense of artistry, colour and playfulness in all our local designer collections. I think the 90s can sometimes take itself too seriously.”
Spies notes local brand Guillotine and their focus on bright block colour dresses and vests that can be paired with white jeans and chunky heels as an example of easy styling.
“AVANT is keeping it clean and elegant with black column dresses and white draped wrap dresses but even they could not resist introducing a juicy tangerine shade and a splash of metallic gold.”
But the trend is not limited to clothing. Piercings are the accessory of choice for cool kids from the Cape Town city bowl to the streets of Joburg.
“Young starlets are wearing chokers and getting lots of piercings,” says Diamondhead. “As much as parents hate them and they scare children away, the septum ring is everywhere. There’s also the multiple ear piercings which was huge in the 90s. I think as long as we have starlets like Zoe Kravitz, Kylie Jenner, Miley and Rihanna being so popular the trend should stick around for the next season or so.”
The nature of trends is such that other influences beyond just the runway and celebrity trickle down are at play. The 90s trend and the comfort factor that it brings with it is a reflection of this nature.
Cooper says the recession and global economic meltdown of 2008 fueled the trend towards a preference for comfort. With this preference comes the need for slightly casual dressing hence the manifestation of the sporty silhouettes.
“Post recession period with many people working from home: these individuals long for something comfortable to work in and in addition to this have the ability to represent a professional attitude should they want to attend a meeting,” says Cooper. “The combination of tradition sport silhouettes with high-end finishes and fabrics has therefore resonated soundly with this consumer typology.”
This article was originally published in the September 21, 2014 edition of the Sunday Independent LIFE...

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.