Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Starting 2011 Off On A Highly Fashionable Note

Hey There

It's not everyday that a fashion blogger can brag about having contributed to two of the country's premiere fashion mags in one month and honestly... I can't contain the excitement. I tried. It just wouldn't happen. And so, I have to share... I contributed articles to Marie Claire and ELLE for their respective January 2011 issues. Now... Go get your copies!

P.S: My sincerest apologies if I sound like a brag-a-boo. I'm just proud. #thatsall ;-)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Red Carpets Embrace Black Lace

I have an increasingly paralysing desire for black lace. I don't know, maybe a shirt or something? I've even said to my friends that I think I might just end up buying a dress if I can't find anything suitable for me, but lace I gotta have. Well, according to the red carpet, I may not be far off the mark in terms of what is fashionable. Black Lace, baby! I will gladly embrace. Now, how do I make it more suitable for a dude? Trust me I will!
(pics: REX, The Telegraph)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Blog is a Blog, is a Blog

I recently posted about the LISOF Graduate Fashion Shows on The Frock Report. I had been a model in the first show at the event and decided I would blog, predominantly, about the second show and not the first as I had not seen it in its entirety. Surely, I can do this, even when I'm reporting, not blogging, I write only about the shows I've seen and not those I missed.
A reader of the blog then commented, accussing me of being a "pathetic journalist". How I dare I write about one show and not the other? How dare I mention that I had forgotten one of the many designers' names? TimesLIVE.co.za- where the Frock Report appears- was once her trusted source of news and because of my "pathetic" journalism she was having doubts about this now.
Being a trained journalist, I too do feel that a reporter should not forget names. It's an integral part of reporting, but not of blogging. On these pages- and those of the Frock Report- I don't report. Yes, I may give you news, but where as reporting is about the 5W's and H, blogging is a bit more. Blogging is about the person behind the blog and their experiences. We bloggers have no obligation to you to be a trusted source of anything. What I personally do is to try and start debate and strike conversations about fashion. There is no editor to do any fact checking, there is no journalistic code by which I am bound and I therefore feel it is unfair of anyone to read any of my blogs with the purpose of finding journalistic excellence. At work, I'm a journalist, yes. Here, I'm a person just like you, observing and writing. Here, I impart what I can, when I can. This, and the Frock Report, are simply blogs.
When we start expecting bloggers to act like journalists we are treading on thin ice. The two should never be mistaken for the other. Blogs are about people not the public interest. Period!

Monday, November 29, 2010

My Style Find is a Beer

So, off I went to the Food Wine and Design Fair at Hyde Park Shopping Centre this past weekend. I started off- naturally- at the Marie Claire South Africa pop-up store to see what they were up to. I found the lovely Aspasia Karras (editor) conversing with some readers over a glass of champers and joined in. As I earlier reported, behind the scenes footage on Marie Claire fashion shoots was on the screen and Nokia provided a facility whereby one could listen to music selected by the editors of the magazine whilst Black Coffee and LoveJozi displayed their clothes for sale at the stand.
There were many other stands, from wineries to various food stands. There was even a stand where traditional African beer was sold I found a beer! It was a beer of another kind that I found interesting, however.
It's a lovely tasting lager (like Castle on steroids) called Brewers and Union. Upon asking about it I was told it is sold exclusively at Norman Goodfellows or, alternatively, by direct order from &Union Beer Salon/Charcuterie (pigandbeer@andunion.com or 021 442 2770). I am definitely getting me more of this good stuff.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Rethinking Men and Floral Shirts

Pic from Telegraph.co.uk
I haven't been to Durban in a while now, but last I checked the boys down there had a floral print shirt addiction that made me want to puke. On every street corner, you would be lucky not to spot a bloke looking like a bunch of roses. I'm evidently not a floral print shirt fan, but maybe that's because I am put off by how men I've seen wear the damn thing. They all tend to look like they go to the same, unqualified stylist with a BEE-style kind of outlook on fashion.
Well, today I was convinced otherwise. I mean, look at how the dude in the pic above is rocking floral so stylishly. Well, he may be a model, but be that as it may, forthe first time, I am convinced that floral shirts can work for me. This is a Liberty Of London offering. Maybe you, too, can be convinced that floral is not so appauling after all. "Liberty Prints, for Pretty Boys" on Telegraph.co.uk sure did convince me!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How Does A Magazine Come to Life? Ask Marie Claire!

Picture this; you flip through your favourite magazine and on the editor's letter page... BAM! The editor pops out of it and tells you exactly what she would have otherwise written there. You turn to the fashion spread and instead of still pictures, the fashion director is taking you through the shoot and where she sourced the clothes on her models!
Well, technology is not that advanced just yet, but this experience here comes close, I guess. Marie Claire Magazine will this weekend host a pop-up store at Hyde Park shopping centre during the Food, Wine and Design Fair, where readers will be given the opportunity to interact with the magazine editors, fashion designers (including Ole Ledimo, David Tlale and Black Coffee amongst others) in addition to shopping and watching behind-the-scenes footage of Marie Claire fashion shoots whilst sipping wine in the company of true fashionistas.
I don't know about you, but this blogger is definitely going there. It is at least a step towards making what I think is South Africa's best magazine this year that tad more interactive. Interactivity is the future of publishing anyways.
Now, stop picturing and experience!

And the Breakout Man of the Year 2010 According to US GQ is...

It's Drizzy Drake!
Who'd you think it would be?
That boy with a fringe whose name I've forgotten?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Anticipating an evening of style with Simphiwe Dana

Image Courtesy Gallo Record Company

I'm anticipating an evening of great style and good music in the form of Simphiwe Dana on the 1st of December, when she rocks the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City. I'm a huge fan of this exceptional South African songstress and can't wait to hear classics like "Zandisile" and new music like my current favourite "Mayine". According to the press release Dana will "take audiences on a thrilling musical odyssey" in a "musical extravaganza" that will be a "theatrical presentation". If that doesn't say expect a performance you can't miss, I don't know what does. 22 piece orchestra, they say! I cannot wait. Computicket here I come!

The Art of the Magazine Cover

i-D Magazine Cover (frillr.com)

How important is the cover of a magazine? Well, anyone can tell you that it’s the cover that sells the mag, ain’t it? Maybe. But the magazine cover also has another important function, one that only a truly creative editor and photographer knows; it’s not just about selling the magazine, the cover also documents time and it is an art (think Annie Leibovitz, a naked John Lennon curled around his fully clothed wife Yoko Ono). It’s a “marker in time” says Terry Jones, founder and creative director at i-D Magazine, which has some of history’s edgiest magazine covers (stars always have to wink). I-D Magazine celebrates 30 years this year and a book is being published with all 308 covers they’ve had since they were born in 1980. Read about it on Financial Times.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Google a Look

Just bought an item and not sure how to wear it? Worry not, Google's new online store Boutiques.com has you sorted. That's if you bought the item in one of the many boutiques that exist on the portal.
Launched on Wednesday, Boutiques.com is Google's new baby, where one can buy clothes based on looks as worn by various celebrities or bloggers or even ordinary folk who have created their own boutiques; something the website allows everyone to do at the click of a button. It is online shopping, blogging and social networking all in one!

The Scent of Tom Ford

Today I smell better than I possibly ever have. I'm wearing Tom Ford's "Black Orchid" fragrance! After yesterday's opening of the first ever Tom Ford Private Blend counter at Sandton City Stuttafords, I was given a little bottle of the luxurious scent; something I'd have to go hungry for a month for should I buy from my own pocket. Not that I would mind paying close to two grand. The confidence boost in knowing you smell like a million bucks is worth it. The various scents that form the private blend collection are to die for and I'd advise that the next time you visit Sandton City you try them out. If you're rich enough, the collection would make for a wonderful Christmas gift for a loved one... or me, of course. It's love in a bottle!

If it is fame that you seek...

The past couple of years have really redefined what it means to be a celebrity. Paris Hilton stands out as one example of someone who crept into our lives almost overnight and got us asking “who is she? What does she do? Why is she famous?”

Besides being an heiress to the Hilton Hotel empire, Paris’s fame is largely credited to her sex tape, something Kim Kardashian, who is now the pin-up girl of the “non-celebrity celebrity cult” can also claim in her "fame portfolio". Who is she? A reality TV star, of course, but why should we care? I think this is a somewhat irrelevant question because the fact is that Kim attracts attention and sells products. In the age of democratization that spans the cyber-universe, fame itself is something everyone and anyone can have. Our very own Mika Stefano did it. The trend is traceable right back to the early years of the decade when one celebrity gossip rambler Perez Hilton shot to fame by virtue of being a blogger. Today, many a “celebrity” claims their fame, in one way or another, through some kind of online venture. If not, all you need to do is to make sure you’re seen at the right gigs, with the right people and viola! You could soon be a magazine cover star! Oh, and do lick some entertainment journalist arse. It will get you miles ahead of others like yourself, if fame is what you covet. Read about Kim Kardashian Inc here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Normal is soooo Overrated!

Me and My "Faux-Hawk do"!
Remember the scene in American Beauty where Mina Suvari's character gets hysterically mad over being called "normal"? I think it is funny how she strives to be different that even the thought that she may not be is daunting.
Personally, I can't claim to be the most unique of characters, but I am often reminded- especially at work- that, dude, there are people out there that find you quite weird! This was never as clear to me as it was when a couple of weeks ago I decided to get rid of my dreadlocks in favour of a faux-hawkish hairstyle (not cut). Every morning I comb my hair up and brush it up on the sides as well to achieve the look. The first time I walked into the office (which is an open-plan space) rocking the do, a bunch of girls were in stitches. Unaware of what it is they were laughing about I went ahead and asked; "Share the joke". Apparently, I was the joke.
"What on earth is going on on your head?" they asked. As you'd probably expect, methinks my hairstyle quite stylish, if I have to say so myself, so the laughter sounded no less than silly to me- especially coming from one of the girls who was wearing a purple sequins top in broad daylight.
The conclusion I came to in my head is that I'd rather be laughed at for being brave and doing whatever I feel necessary with my own hair and style than fall into the category of these girls' chosen box of normal. Why? I find "normal" and her friends (the said girls) to be spectacularly boring and overrated. I do not know what it constitutes; maybe those who find me "funny" are better placed to define what it is.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Do You Love Yourself?

I love me and it's a good thing. Everyone should love themselves! After much contemplation about how I'm going to manage two blogs without boring people with the same content over and over (I am one person after all), I've decided that The Frock Report will be about reportage of fashion and style- which I did on this blog to a certain extent- and Trends Beyond Threads will continue another one of it's functions; being a platform for my opinions on events on the fashion calendar and beyond. What will change from here onwards, however, is that I'll be injecting a bit more of my personality into Trends Beyond Threads (read: you'll be seeing a lot more pictures of this blogger). I hope not to nauseate you with vanity, but simply to share exciting events in the life of this fashion scribe, fashion lover, lover of life and collector of memories. Stay with me. I love me and you, too, might just love me. I hope you love yourself, too.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Trendy Babies, The McCartney Way

Years from now some trendy teenaged girl(or boy) will sit with her friends sharing fashion and style tips. She'll dominate the discussion and with an air of arrogance, proclaim; "I should know. I've been wearing Stella McCartney since I was born!"
Not too sure how I feel about that, but hey... The economic meltdown, in my view, has done very little by way of countering our consumerist mentality as a race. So, so be it! We want, we want, we want and courtesy of Stella McCartney, parents who "want" on behalf of their kids can now get! Mother, you must know, though; I am not trying to go from wearing Stella to wearing some or other department store chain item.
Stella McCartney's long awaited kiddies' collection is out and it is looking very pretty and I am quite sure my sister will "want" for my one year old niece, too.
(pics: publicity shots from Stella McCartney)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Would CHOC Not Just Be Perfect for the GQ Cover?

I think "Yes" and he would be a fresh addition to that Best Dressed List!
Anyways. I know I haven't been posting for a long time now (a week is very long on the blogosphere, people can forget you almost immediately). The reason for this is that I have started blogging for The Frock Report on TimesLIVE, as I previously announced. Please do check it out and don't stop dropping by. Stay with me! Trends Beyond Threads ain't going nowhere!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Milisuthando Bongela Marie Claire November Blogger

The November issue of Marie Claire debuts a new feature called "About a Blog" and my friend and fellow blogger/journo Milisuthando Bongela became their first pick. Few people know how robust the South African fashion blogosphere is. Yes, names like Bryanboy, Rumi Neely and Diane Pernet ring a bell with many, but ask them who Seth Rotherham (before he was named GQ's Best Dressed)  or Tiisetso (Urban Mosadi) is and crickets are bound to end the silence. Although Mili has had much exposure through the likes of ELLE Magazine and other publications- which is good for blogging in South Africa- bloggin in this country remains unsupported by the masses. This is indeed a great initiative!


I should've posted this on Monday, but didn't. But these pics can't go to waste now... So...

Fresh from the box, these are Cream Cartel member CHOC's new shoes as he got ready to attend the GQs!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010


1. Seth Rotherham, Blogger
"You can't do better than shopping in the US- great for timeless essentials"

2. Larry Cohen, Professional Footballer
"I just wear what I feel comfortable in"

3. Themba Mngomezulu, Darkie Clothing Founder
South Africa's worst dressed man is "all politicians. They put the country to shame."

4. Mokotjo Mohulo, Fashion Designer
"Fashion is an illusion. A way to make people see you the way you want them to"

5. Shaun De Wet, Model/Businessman
"There's nothing worse than seeing someone dressed as though they took the exact look off a mannequin"

6. Siyabonga Ngwekazi, TV Presenter and Radio DJ
"Style is not a game. To me, at least, this thing is a science"

7. Guy Ndlovu, TV Personality
"If I'm going to wear anything baggy it's going to be a tracksuit"

 8. Tyrone Arendse
"My dress sense is classic, but I include one or two unusual accessories"

9. Andrew McDade, Marketing Manager
"The people at work seem to think my rolled-up trousers and no socks look is quite amusing"

10. Spoek Mathambo
Shop "Joburg's city centre, you will find stuff there that you won't find anywhere else"

Other men in the top 50 that are worth mentioning include:
DJ Kenzhero, DJ
Mpumi Mcata, Rockstar
Sandile Zungu, Businessman
Ephraim Molingoana, Fashion Designer
Steve Tanchel, Fashion Photographer
...and many more as listed in the November issue of GQ Magazine


Vogue Paris

Many will undoubtedly disagree with my position in this regard, but I truly believe that skinny male models that have largely defined the past decade of menswear are much easier to relate to than the beefcakes that preceded them (and still continue to dominate the ramps in South Africa). Am I being subjective? Totally!

I’m a skinny man with no interest at bulking up and models with slabs of steak for chest muscles and arms the size of meatloaves have no appeal to me. There’s nothing like a skinny boy in a tailored suit. A tailored suit on a bulky brother, on the other hand, can make any design look silly. They look like the letter “V”. I’m not sure if “V” is something I’d like to look like. Proportion, proportion, proportion!
In an article about the return of the “handsome, mature models” (“beefcakes” in my language) Guy Trebay of the New York Times states that the image of the “Dior man was so influential that it spawned a host of imitators and, not incidentally, exiled a generation of conventionally handsome and mature models from runways into the gulag of catalogs.”
The said “Dior man” was introduced to fashion by the head designer Hedi Slimane just after the turn of the century. In my opinion, the “beefcakes” should remain in the catalog exile. Their bodies are as symbolic of fantasy as thin female models are of anorexia.
I’m not condoning “skinny” as de rigueur or anything like that and probably wouldn’t mind healthy young men on the ramps of international fashion weeks and product ads, but the beefcakes? I do not support their return.

Return of the Frock Report

This is a post I'm really excited about. Remember when Jacquie Myburgh-Chemaly announced that she would no longer be penning her weekly fashion column on TimesLIVE? I posted a blog lamenting the situation and her blog- The Frock Report- on the same newssite also grinded to a halt, remaining idle for the past two months now.
Well, the column is yet to be revived but the blog is on it's way back with Sarah Badat and (wait for it...) yours truly as the new Frock Reporters.
It is a great honour for me to be part of a blog that has previously been run by two women- Visi Magazine editor Jacquie Myburgh-Chemaly and Marie Claire editor Aspasia Karras- that I have the utmost respect for. Sarah and I hope to keep the Frock Report exciting for it's readers and to really inspire dialogue about fashion and style all the time.
I haven't made a decision about what will happen to Trends Beyond Threads, but for now, it remains. Do keep coming back, but do also check out The Frock Report. We haven't yet made our first update, but will be doing so as soon as the technicalities have been taken care of.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fat Ain't Fancy!

Okay. I promise I am not trying to be controversial or anything, but just trying to stay real.
A lot of my friends think I am "fattist"- they think I discriminate against overweight people- but the truth is that I don't. I do however express my concerns with regards to weight. Yes, I'm skinny and I am not condoning some sort of crazy diet to people for them to look like me. I'm not perpetrating some fashion industry propaganda about weight, but the simple truth is that fat kills!
If you don't believe me, maybe some of the stories that contestants in this new reality show called "Dance your Butt Off" (which I think should have been "Dance that Flab Off") will be sharing with viewers will actually make people realise that fat is bad. I've read about the stories in a press release sent to me and I am convinced that being overweight is not only a murderer, but it also impacts on self esteem and healthy relationships altogether. One of the contestants, with whom I am a bit familiar, has a great personality that forces one to believe that he has embraced his weight and walks around with pride, but his story on this show tells the exact opposite. Fat people don't actually enjoy the attention they get when they hit the dancefloor because, quite frankly, the attention is not brought on by their skills but by the comical nature of a big person dancing which I honestly find upsetting. Fat people allow themselves to be turned into these "funny" objects by embracing something they actually are not proud of.
Fat simply isn't fancy! I don't care what you may think Beth Ditto represents.
I can't wait to see these men dancing it off, because that's what should be encouraged.
That's all!
"Dance Your Butt Off" is on SABC 1 on Tuesdays at 6.30pm

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Stiaan Louw's Designs on the cover of Wallpaper Magazine

Just a day ago it was Mpumi Mcata appearing in The Sartorialist and today, the Cape Town Fashion Council reports that South African designer Stiaan Louw's menswear is on the cover of Wallpaper*. How exciting!
It is part of the November 2010 edition of the magazine which sees covers being tailormade for their various markets. Viva Stiaan and local design, I say!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Oh, Lawdy!
This is probably a South African first;one of our very own on Scott Schuman's iconic blog, The Sartorialist. If you make it on this blog, you've caught the eye of someone TIME Magazine once named in the top 100 of design's most influential figures. Hence I say "Oh, Lawdy!"
I wonder if Mpumi will make it to GQ's Top 10 Best Dressed Men this year. Well, we'll see next Monday I guess.
Oh, Lawdy!
Check it http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com/2010/10/on-streetgrandpa-cardigan-new-york.html


Oh, what a lovely day spent with Marie Claire SA and a lot of other beautiful people to honour the late great dame of contemporary Zulu music- or the rock star, as writer Bongani Mandondo put it- Mama Busi Mhlongo.
Speaker after speaker, including fashion designer Marianne Fassler and Mam' Tu Nokwe, gave testimony to what a beautiful soul Mam’ Busi was and in celebrating her life laughter, sadness and pride was shared by all at the late afternoon tea at the Malva Store on Arts on Main. I had the most splendid of times and hope, as Mpumi Mcata of BLK JKS put it, that more initiatives will be convened not only to honour those who are no longer with us but those who still live among us, contributing to South Africa’s cultural landscape as Mam’ Busi did.
After the tea we were all treated to a 5 minute clip of the last song Mam’ Busi recorded; a collaboration with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, which Nicola (a very nice lady who took care of Mam’ Busi during her last days) said would probably be released soon.
Congratulations to Marie Claire (and Felipe Mazibuko, who hatched the idea of this honorary tea alongside editor Aspasia Karras), Estee Lauder and all the beautiful people who came out to celebrate a national treasure. And thank you to the Marie Claire team for a lovely time at the Troyeville Hotel afterwards. A special day indeed!
In Busi Mhlongo we haven’t lost a legend but we’ve gained a cultural icon for an ancestor.


Visit http://www.marieclaire.co.za/ for more pictures
Thanks to Zodwa Kumalo-Valentine for some of the pics above ;-)