Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Midnight is quite dramatic, Tlale!

There’s a dramatic draped dress by David Tlale in the July 2010 issue of ELLE, where designers were asked to look through their archives and come up with the most memorable of their designs for the magazine feature celebrating proudly South African fashion. It’s a beautiful, quintessentially Tlale number.

I don’t know about y’all, but my sole reason for fashion as my subject of choice over politics or even entertainment is because it is something that touches every aspect of our lives (not to say the other two don't, but fashion's effect is more immediate). Fashion is an expression of who we are and I love writing about that, provided the necessary stimulation is apparent in a particular dress, shirt, skirt or shoe. I like fashion shows that grip every sense of my being and engage me, hence fashion show production is so important, I believe.
Tlale, in my experience, has never lacked the necessary drama and ability to grip one’s attention. And for this reason, he is probably a role model for many a student designer out there. It was therefore quite a disappointment when I heard that, contrary to the schedule sent to the media by Total Exposure for the current Africa Fashion Week, Tlale would not be showcasing at 9.30pm but at midnight.
It’s the middle of winter and there’s a three hour gap between his show and the one before. I can’t imagine what I will be sitting about doing at the Convention Centre as I wait for the showcase. I’m not sure what Mr. Tlale’s reasoning behind this was, but I am hoping that if I do stay for his show there’ll be zero room for regret. Looking back on his past show I have no reason to doubt that I will indeed be impressed.
With all that said; midnight is quite dramatic. But then again, so is the Tlale brand. We shall see.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Don't (Re)Touch My Marie Claire

I haven't quite begun devouring the pages of my Marie Claire July 2010 copy, which has an exquisite Gossip Girl star Blake Lively cover, but one particular feature that caught my eye as I paged through is one about the retouching of photos in magazine, courtesy of the evil photoshop tool. Okay... maybe its not evil, but the use of it, to portray non-existent perfection is not so wholesome.
To illustrate the extent to which photoshoppers go to create perfect looking celebrities, Britney Spears's before and after photoshop pics are there, and the difference is quite amazing. Kudos to the likes of Jessica Simpson for allowing Marie Claire to photograph and publish their pics sans photoshop, just to let people out there know that the perfection is actually a fantasy. Some of us need to know this in order for us to refrain from tourchering our faces and bodies to achieve the impossible.
I hope Marie Claire SA is looking at doing its own unretouched cover soon. Twould be great, methinks!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Yves Saint Laurent was "difficult and evil"

pic: Reuters

I didn't say it! Tom Ford did, according to The Guardian UK. The late great Algerian-born fashion royal's "dark side" is apparently revealed in a biography by author Marie-Dominique Lelièvre titled "Yves Saint Laurent: Mauvais Garçon", meaning "bad boy".
The book, published early this year, is said to describe a man consumed by a thirst for success that made him a "bully" and drove him to drink, attack staff and do drugs.
This was reported back in March by the Guardian, but if- like me- you didn't know, you do now. Yves Saint Laurent was not such a darling!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Breaking: New Designer at McQueen's McQ Label

Pina Ferlisi is probably a name few have ever heard, but this is a woman with a formidable cv and she's been named the new head of design at McQ, reports.
Having worked for Marc Jacobs and Tommy Hilfiger, Ferlisi was also responsible for the revamp at Gap when she was appointed head of design there in 2005.
When she arrived for work at Gap HQ, then, reported The UK Guardian newspaper, Ferlisi made a controversial statement to this effect;
"You know when you travel abroad and you see someone and you look at how they're dressed and you say, that must be an American? Well, we're going to change that."
Can't wait to see what value Ferlisi is going to bring to the McQ label.



It's a simple answer from yours truly: yes, yes and yes, again!
When I first discovered jeggings I thought to myself how lucky girls are that they can wear these super-tight pants that look more like leggings than a proper pair of denim pants.
Well, now, according to the catwalks of Milan (and New York Times fashion reporter Guy Trebay), jeggings for men are a trend to look out for.
I'm personally quite sceptical about giving too much power to the runway as the dictator of trends, simply because such is no longer such a steady fact, but if there's one trend I'll allow any fashion week to dictate to me... This is the one!
I love me some jeggings and I can't wait to get a pair on this skinny frame of mine.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fantastic for Fashion: Press Day

It wouldn't hurt now, would it? A designer, just before fashion week begins, invites journos, bloggers and other style analysts to join him or her for a little session where they present their collection and interact with the media in a more intimate space than the hallways of the Turbine Hall or the Sandton Convention Centre.
I love what SA Fashion Week did in March, where they had media and buyer sessions, which would allow for this to happen but think it would perhaps be better if this is done away from the busy fashion week schedule, maybe the night before a designer goes to show.
This would kill two birds with one stone; industry observers who aren't able to make it to the shows can still give their reviews of the collection and, secondly, a deeper understanding of direction can be given by the designer to those who inevitably go out to the world and crit. At least, then, criticism can be based on the designer's own presentation of what they tried to achieve rather than people having to crack their skulls trying to figure it out and end up giving their own opinion or even worse, not give any exposure to the collection at all!
It's being done elsewhere in the world, I'm not sure why South African fashion cannot follow suit!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cruise Shows, fashion's money spinner

The Financial Times reports that designers in the western world are showcasing collections outside of the conventional fashion week platform. These are in-between season shows organised by the design houses themselves and they are becoming serious money spinners for brands like Dior and Chanel, amongst others.
“These days, we need to show outside Paris. We needed to do something in China," says Sidney Toledano, Dior's chief executive.
The term "cruise shows" was, according to FT, coined back in the '70s when designers would host cruise shows for wealthy customers as they sought new wardrobes during the holiday season.
The growing popularity of these shows is a clear sign of fashion week's declining influence on fashion and methinks South African fashion designers can gain a whole lot through this concept by taking their brands to cities in our country where fashion week has no reach and where their brands are not readily available to consumers. If possible, why not even take the brand to Nairobi or Lagos?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A full life is about living one's passions

A dress from Stella McCartney's 2011 Spring Collection

I’m currently re-reading Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” as my own way of rekindling my relationship with my inner being. One passage I came across teaches a lesson I’ve always known but always need reminding about; “My desires originate from the soul of the universe. The entire universe will conspire to ensure the achievement of my dreams.”

Whenever I recall such life theories I am also reminded to surround myself with my passions. Stella McCartney is not far off the mark. At the presentation for her new spring collection, reports the International Herald Tribune, Ms. McCartney had executives from PETA and “Meat Free Monday” advocates. Being a nature lover, Ms. McCartney is reminding me of this.
I know this is far from what I usually blog about, but I will be sharing more such lessons with you as I go through “The Alchemist” and outwardly reflect my inner self.

Monday, June 14, 2010

DSquared Spine Heels (real skeleton-like heel)

Talking about man-heels, I jumped over to and was greeted by these pics of DSquared creative genius! Spine bones for heels! WOW!
I am loving!

Trendspotting: Men In Heels


I can imagine a goth dude in them, but will the craze catch on?

In the UK, new reports say men are wearing heels. Some have been seen on the red carpets and at fashion shows. And it’s not about drag queens and cross-dressers; these heels are tailored specifically for a man’s foot. Gareth Pugh and Marc Jacobs are wearing heels, but how practical is it for the rest of the male world?
Somehow I see this trend catching on with fashion-forward gender-benders whose favourite hang out spots include Rosebank and the sidelines of fashion week. It’s a fashion fad pushed a bit too far. But, I like it anyhow!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Items: Cardigan and Cuff

I love this pic so much I've even made it my Facebook profile pic. The cardigan(R 300), which is stretchy, with pouch like pockets that stretch for days is a Silverspoon creation I bought at Mili's Pulchritude stall in Parktown North. The cuff(R 300) is from Maria McCloy. I blogged about this a couple of days ago and now I'm wearing it with a grey and black striped scarf from Woolies (R 70) and my favourite pair of Levi's jeans and navy blue moccassins I bought at an Aldo sale last year for R 400.
The cigarrette? Well, that's a Stuyvie, in case you wanted to know.
And, yes, that's me in this pic and I'm blogging about this for the fun of it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Like fashion, the 21st century is definition defiant

What does “a new era of 21st century fashion” mean?

I found this term in a Suzy Menkes article and at face value it seems like straight forward English. When the first decade of the current millennium came to an end last year, I remember the frenzy that gripped many commentators as we all sought to define the past ten years. It was a conundrum probably faced by the world for the first time since the ‘20s when all decades became known as the subsequent derivatives of ten.
Fashion has also seldom found itself in a place where a particular decade cannot be identified with a certain look. With that said, what does “a new era of 21st century fashion” mean?
I’ll tell you what methinks!
Methinks we are at a point where a lot of things escape definition albeit the continued existence of trends; something that will never go away. Microtrends are waning as macrotrends dominate an era where collectively we fit into trends but individually defy mass definition. Phew, am I still making sense?
The article in which I found this Suzy Menkes line is not about this but rather what she defines as “One new Theory for Affordable Fashion”. Go ‘head and read it. You can never go wrong with Menkes; always thought provoking as she’s done with me and my questioning of “a new era of 21st century fashion”. It simply cannot be boxed like disco and the ‘70s, but it can be placed in a category of a time when very little can be indefinitely defined.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Nike in South Africa

Nike, the sportsbrand that is driving my friend Emmanuelle insane with their exceptional and innovative sneaker collections, was in South Africa to open a football training facility today and yours truly had the honour of meeting the president and CEO Mr. Mark Parker.
I had a little chat with him courtesy of Dazed and Confused about Nike's relationship with Africa and the training facility, which is Nike's contribution to the Soweto community. The centre has four world class pitches and a club house that is fit- in my opinion- to host a splash of a bash. In other words, it is of transcendent beauty. A truly spectacular gem which I'm sure was not cheap to design judging by the ultra cool interior.
The centre also offers an HIV/Aids counselling program as part of the life skills program that Nike is offering at the facility.
I took an Aids test there and got Nike laces as part of their "Lace Up, Save Lives" campaign in conjunction with (RED). I'm happy to announce that the result was a positive experience for me.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Grace Jones is a man... Well, the 21th Century Version of Jones is

pic from
"Is Grace Jones too easy?" Jean Paul-Paula answered when asked who his style icon is in a New York Times TMagazine interview last year. Jean is a Netherlands based blogger, model, stylist and magazine editor and he oozes androgyny.
He came to my attention through the abovementioned interview, which also featured Bryan Boy and Yu Masui, a London based fashion writer. These boys are androgyny defined.
Check out Jean Paul-Paula's blog Jeaniuss for frequent updates on his escapades and photo shoots.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Pulchritude, my dictionary says, is a literary term  meaning "beauty" and it is also the name that fellow blogger Milisuthando Bongela called her fashion and accessories stall at Parktown North's Food Market this past Saturday.
On sale were items from Black Coffee, Two and Silver Spoon as well as some ethnic jewellery that Maria McCloy sources from Lesotho and Durban. I got myself a beautiful Silve Spoon cardigan that you'll see some time soon, once I become comfortable with posting pics of myself on this blog.

My friend Emmanuelle browsing through the rails

My sister got herself a Loin Cloth and Ashes dress, as pictured and it was overall a beautiful morning.

Mili at her stall with a glass of champers.
Pulchritude, indeed!

Jessica Alba for ELLE Korea

She's the stuff liquid dreams are made of. That's if you're into that sort of thing anyways, but anyhow... it's Jessica Alba, looking smashing in Alexander McQueen for an ELLE Korea spread.
Check out the slideshow at Huffingtonpost for more.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

LaQuan Smith for AFW

LaQuan Smith, the New York designer described earlier in the year by New York Times writer Ruth La Ferla as an industry “Outsider on the Doorstep” is due to show a collection at Africa Fashion Week at Sadton’s Convention Centre on the 1st of July.

Turned away by a number of fashion schools, LaQuan has made leaps out of obscurity to become a celebrity fashion favourite (Rihanna and Lady Gaga amongst others) and does his thing without the backing of major finance or machinery. He drafts his own patterns and cuts the fabric himself. He has no studio, or at least didn’t at the time of his interview with the New York Times.
I am super-excited about LaQuan’s Africa Fashion Week appearance and can’t wait to see why Rihanna and Lady Gaga think this man is the future. And he’s only 21! Wow.