Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Saggy Pants are butt-ugly but legal," proclaims a US judge

Pic: thesartorialist.blogspot.com

Looking through my blog roll I came across a post by The Sartorialist; apparently a court judge in the US struck off summons brought against a Bronx man for wearing "saggy pants". I promise you; in the US people are taken to court for such. Read this NY Post article about it.
Personally, I think saggy pants are the most unstylish take on style. What is so appealing about anyone walking around with half their butt in the open. Save that for the bedroom, will you?
As Vivienne Westwood says; "You HAVE to wear clothes, so why not wear BEAUTIFUL clothes?"
Saggy-pant-clad lads can make even the best pair of jeans look unattractive. Let alone themselves. Sies!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Craig Native makes a return at Cape Town Fashion Week


A coupla grand in my purse would help. I'll give anything just to catch a glimpse of Cape Town Fashion Week 2010. Being a freelancer, media houses are seldom willing to pay for your travel expenses. So, there goes that!
Well, the list is out and Craig Native (pictured)- whom I've been wondering about for a while- is set to end his fashion week haitus when he showcases alongside other big names in South African fashion from Craig Port (who is becoming my fave menswear designer in SA, but will be showcasing women's wear this year), David West (I need me one of your shirts), Stoned Cherrie (so, it wasn't a fall out with AFI, after all?), Stephanie Morland and Kluk CDGT amongst other established and emerging designers.

Monday, July 26, 2010

My Birthday Gift to Myself

Thanks to a sale at Shesha at The Zone @ Rosebank I was able to get me a pair of these Nike babies on my birthday this past Saturday. I've been eyeing them for over a month and got them at a good time, almost half the price they were when I first saw them! (Why are there so many "at"s in this post?! Ag, whatever!)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pics: What my monthly fashion fix looks like


Yep! Marie Claire, GQ, ELLE SA and UK ELLE. It's probably a bit early to judge because I haven't gone through the mags properly, but I think Marie Claire's fashion spread with Alber Elbaz's muse- model Aminata Niaria- dressed in African designs by Clive Rundle, Eric Raisina and Black Coffee amongst others  (shot in Paris) takes the cake. Sharon Becker's fashion direction (with Louw Kotze as the contributing fashion editor for this particular spread) was quite clearly a coup for Marie Claire. I'm in love!

Clive Rundle

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Should the Williams sisters stick to Tennis and Leave Fashion Alone?

Fashion and tennis go back a long way. The people at Lacoste could tell you that. Even today tennis stars are bouncing all the way to the bank on fashion endorsement deals. I didn't even know this but the Williams sisters also have fashion lines. Word? *clear throats*
Fug Yourself has much to say about that. We are not talking Stella McCartney or Nike Endorsements here. Are these girls actually being serious about fashion when proof of their wardrobe dyslexia is so abound?


*clear throat* once again. Go Fug Yourself for more Williams sisters fashion dyslexia.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Men's Shorts: A Wardrobe Dilemma

2.bp.blogspot.com/.../s1600/shortshorts.jpg

My FTV diet- which is only rivalled by my brother-in-law's son's Disney Channel diet, I must add- is taking me back to a dilemma I have had for many years but had managed to overcome as the years went by; men's shorts! Well... Maybe I didn't overcome it per se, but I think I just convinced myself that I am not a shorts kinda guy.
Really! I have very skinny legs, but I would really love to wear me some shorts. It is so bad a dilemma, I stopped buying shorts back when I was twelve. Even when my mom shopped for me I would always have a fit if she dared buy me a pair of shorts; I'm too skinny for this!
Now, however, I'm back to square one. I really want a pair of shorts and FTV is driving me crazy because it seems like the northern hemisphere's fashion weeks are dictating that this is the summer trend you want to follow. Trend or no trend; I want a pair of shorts. My only worry is my conscious. It will not let me rest if I do indeed go out in public wearing shorts. *sigh*
(I see you, Buhle and I'm loving the look of your blog! Holla!)

ELLE Magazine August 2010

The ELLE SA August 2010 cover with style icon Kate Moss.
I must say how impressed I am every time I open up a new ELLE copy. The content seems to improve with every passing month. And the beauty sections of magazines I was moaning about? ELLE obviously had similar sentiments. There are actual articles to read and less product selling in this month's beauty section. Fashionistas, including blogger Milisuthando Bongela, show off their wardrobes and Tando Pato writes about her meeting with the new editor of the Times Newspaper Phyllicia Opelt; not quite the devil, but maybe she'll wear that Prada as she has a love for shoes and dressing up.
Arty Mgudlwa, your "follow" does not go unnoticed. Welcome!

Friday, July 16, 2010

What You on About? Men have BEEN rocking Leopard Print


Lol. I stand corrected! After posting a blog titled "Leopard Print for men. Would you let him?" a friend of mine sent me a text message to say although she wouldn't let her man rock any other leopard print, the leopard print vest that Zulu men wear is fine. And the penny dropped! Men have BEEN wearing leopard print and I want to assert this in the fashion circles.
How? I want to rock a leopard print vest and fuse it with my style at the next fashion do I go to. I'm sure the likes of Felipe Mazibuko have done it before, but I'll do it anyway. This, here, is my opportunity to rock leopard print without having the glare of fashion-backward folk on me.
I need to find me that Zulu vest! Pronto!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

There's a special place in hell for fashion bloggers!


Lol. Found this on Bryanboy's blog, through a link he posted. Art critic and founder of Purple Magazine Olivier Zahm, Bryanboy says, wants to "kill all fashion bloggers". This apparently, is in a video that is now posted on Bryanboy.com
After so many years of fashion blogging, what exactly could be Zahm's problem? Is Purple Magazine taking strain? I don't know, but I know many fashion bloggers wouldn't even take such rants, including the picture above, seriously. What we do take seriously, however, is our blogging! *evil laugh*
Don't you just love being hated on?

Magazine Beauty Sections Are Skin Shallow

I read an article in the beauty section of the ELLE UK May 2010 issue. Lord knows beauty sections are not my thing; they simply don’t speak to me with their advertising of beauty products for women. This one article in particular, however, grabbed me and I ended up reading the whole thing. It was a story of a woman who found that her eating habits may be the reason for her bad skin. The many skincare products she has in her cupboard were not helping and what was revealed to her is that the products also need a helping hand by way of a diet that enhances rather than hampers the skin’s natural self-healing abilities.

Amongst other reasons- like value for money, with articles that I can read over and over again and plenty of content- I immediately became an ELLE UK convert and I buy the magazine every month now.
Just a couple of minutes ago I read an article in the New York Times about beauty and ageing titled “Aging Gracefully, the French Way”. It’s contents aside, methinks if magazines can have beauty sections that are engaging rather than being a medium that pushes beauty products at little or no advertising cost to the producer it would add much value to the publications we(ok, maybe just "women" for argument's sake) hold so dear.

Leopard Print for Men... (Would you) let him?

pic: men.style.com

Is it even remotely okay for a man to be carrying a leopard print bag? Is leopard print okay for a man on any item, be it a pullover, pants... anything?
A fashion-forward friend of mine told me I'd seem drag if I did get anything leopard print I would seem drag(I wanted that poloneck Rihanna is wearing in one of her album's publicity shots, if you know what I'm talking about). Somehow the pic above convinces me that even though the poloneck may be a stretch too far, this Gucci bag can do no harm. Plus, this guy is certainly matching it right with his suit and shoes. Me likes alot!
Please do let me know if you think I'm edging towards Queendom! A blog I posted on jeggings for men did get me some otherworldly remarks. And by that I mean I am the one people thought "otherworldly". Lol. But then again, maybe I don't mind ;-)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Digital Print Might Just Drive Me Drag!

pics jakandjil.blogspot.com

I think digital print is quite exciting and I always have to pinch myself when I see it in fashion spreads as I think of how wonderful that digital print skirt would be to own. But then I'm a boy. I pride myself in not caring what people think but I wouldn't take it as far as wearing a skirt, just because I can't resist it. Maybe I should just start a museum in my room, buy and store all the girly items I want but can't wear. I think it would be one exciting exercise if, of course, I will not be tempted to put it on like Captain Shakespeare in "Star Dust".
Above are some pics from the Jak and Jil Blog. Tommy Ton, who says he always needs convincing about Miu Miu, took these off a shop window and methinks I like. Maybe I ought to find myself a designer who can interprete all things girl into something I can wear without people thinking "drag"!

Another Thorn in Fashion's Midriff

Pulitzer prize winner Robin Givhan at the Washington Post. Vannessa Friedman at the Financial Times. Suzy Menkes at New York Times' International Herald Tribune.
If you didn't know, you'd probably be asking why I'm naming these journalists. But that's just the thing; these are not just any journalists. They are the fashion editors of their respective titles. These are big newspapers and, OMG, they have fashion editors?!
OMG, because in South Africa, those who run newspapers think fashion is a trivial field that deserves to be featured once in a while, when and if a wire service (like Reuters or AP) has some or other article they think is interesting. Local papers have no dedicated fashion people. If anything, a general news reporter is assigned to cover fashion week and the results of this is what we saw in March with a Sowetan newspaper report that rubbished SA Fashion Week. And hold on... the said journalist was not even there to absorb and professionally dissect the event. She (or he... I'm not bothered to know) must have simply relied on hearsay for her story. And from who? A couple of friends who may or may not know what the hell they were talking about. Pretty, don't you think?
At The Times they have Jacquie Myburgh-Chemaly, a respectable and credible voice in fashion, but she too is a columnist. The Sunday Times Lifestyle section... I don't think they could be bothered. Pulling something out of the wires works for them.
OMG! Because fashion is a trivial field in South Africa!!! Who wants to read about it anyways?
Well, methinks a gazzillion fashionistas who couldn't be bothered about Zuma's latest baby. I'm not condoning their behaviour because I feel it is important for one to know what goes on in their country's politics, but the fact of the matter is that a lot of people would rather spend over a R 100 buying Vogue at Exclusive Books rather than buying our Sunday papers, simply because their tastes are not catered for. Yes, the lack of a National Fashion Council, the many fashion weeks and fashion magazines that seldom engage meaningful with the field are all problems that need to be addressed if fashion is to go anywhere in this country, but the perception fashion is trivial and that her contribution to national heritage is ignored is yet another thorn in fashion's midriff;.
Don't ask me why I chose to post this now, I don't know. It is just something I think about and I think it is absolutely wrong!
In an unrelated matter (before I forget), welcome to the blogosphere, Kepi. To those who've been living under a rock for a while now, Kepi is a member of Smarteez and he, too, has started a blog. Check it out at http://kepimngomezulu.blogspot.com/  as well as a behind-the-scenes on the recent Dazed and Confused Magazine Smarteez shoot, here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Trends: Bare Ankles, Rolled Up Cuffs

pic: nytimes.com

I'm quite sure you've seen it; men rolling up their cuffs and walking around with bare ankles. It seems socks no longer form part of many men's wardrobes, as Jacquie Myburgh-Chemaly noted in her Times column last week. The Sartorialist's blog is further evidence of this trend. The rolled-up cuff which, like many trends, was a faux pas a couple of years ago (trust me, I know. Many of my friends laugh at the fact that I don't wear socks with my formal shoes) is now in vogue and, as New York Times' Eric Wilson notes; "the rolled cuff look of 2009 appears to have become the rolled cuff epidemic of 2010".

Monday, July 12, 2010

Raf Simmons's "Bubbleboy" Avant-Garde Man

pics from men.style.com
Tight upper body silhouettes; pullovers, sleeveless shirts and waistcoats with zippers that stretch from the neckline to the belt line like an embedded tie along the middle. Loose fitting pants; what I like to describe as the “bubbleboy fit”. If Raf Simmons’s 2011 Spring collection is anything to go by, then this is where menswear is heading. Yes, the normal, perfect-fit suit and tie dress code was present on the ramp, but I never pay attention to such. It’s always the new take on what already exists that excites me. Check out Raf Simmons’s 2011 spring collection on this GQ slideshow. I love my skinnies, but this here I think I like.

Luxury Brands make web retail debut

a page from Hugo Boss's online store, from nytimes.com

Marc Jacobs will soon be retailing its products on the web following the slashing of prices by department stores as they tried to weather the tumultous effects of the global recession. Luxury brands feared the loss of exclusivity and have now seen the light; direct sales to customers over the internet.
Jimmy Choo, Hugo Boss, Vince, LancĂ´me, St. John, Theory, Kiehl’s, Lilly Pulitzer, Donna Karan and La Perla are all- according to the New York Times- either already selling or are in the planning stages of making a retail presence on the web.
Methinks it was only logical and maybe this will bring them more clients from places where, although spending power is available, these brands are simply only accessible through boarding a plane to the nearest fashion centre. Problem is; some of these companies are refusing to give discount sales on the web. This might be detrimental to an otherwise brilliant idea.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

African Fashion Awards: A Premature Idea

Robyn Cooke is obviously plugged in and evidently felt that the brouhaha over the winners at the African Fashion Awards needed to be addressed. If only AFI was as optimal an organization as they should be, they too would have felt the need to address this. But then again, they never addressed other issues like Stoned Cherrie’s pulling out of AFW, choosing to give a half-assed explanation to the effect that AFI and Stoned Cherrie came to an agreement. What’s up with the secrecy? They obviously learnt a thing or two from Motsepe’s many political connects: the biggest media dodgers of all time.

Anyhow, Cooke’s attempt at explaining what went on behind closed doors during the judging process is posted on her blog yet somehow I still feel that it doesn’t satisfy one main question; what criteria was used in the judging process? Most of the winners were awarded due to a unanimous vote and some, as she mentions, were as a result of her co-judges being convinced that, Michael Jackson- for instance- deserves an “African Fashion Award” for being a style influencer (?????).
In the African context, what does define a “style influencer”? And how in the good Lord’s name does one come to the conclusion that Michael Jackson (God bless his soul) is deserving of this accolade? And as for Grace Jones being the style icon of the year *crickets ringing in my ears*…
I don’t know; somebody tell me I’m just being a criticism addict because I am seriously failing to understand. More than anything, however, I think this African Fashion Awards concept is one that was hastily hatched. This vast continent has a fashion industry that is highly segmented. Even within a single market, like South Africa, there are many challenges that bring about segmentation (and the many fashion weeks are one cause of this cancer). How then do we seek to bring together under one banner the successes of the industry across the diaspora? The Africa Fashion Week concept itself should have been allowed to grow and for the industry to come together, designers familiarized with the fashion community continent wide and the surprise element when a Nigerian designer- for example- takes the accolade for best African designer- or whatever- can be curbed.
Right now, someone sitting in Nigeria can surely not find a reason in their minds why Clive Rindle or Black Coffee is more deserving of an accolade than his favourite Nigerian designer.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Africa's Treasures exploited by the World

pics from cp-africa.com (stoned cherrie)

A little after I wrote an article titled "Is African Fashion Ready for the World?" (ifashion.co.za) an article was published in the Financial Times about "Africa's influence in the fashion industry". My interest in this particular subject is brought about by the fact that we oftentimes fail to find beauty in ourselves, resulting in the mimicking of international trends. Which is a pity because the very same people we try to mimick, looking to them to set the standard, are the same people that look to our traditions and colourfulness for inspiration.
This article in the Financial Times attests to this fact.
Many have misinterpreted what I'm saying with regards to this subject. My argument is quite simple; we regurgitate the seshweshwe and Xhosa garb way too much. This is why I was very impressed with Heni's "Voortrekker" concept at Africa Fashion Week. There's a lot more to this continent and we need to be the pioneers in the fashion interpretation of ourselves. It's a shame, though, that Paul Smith, Kenzo and Diane von Furstenberg often beat us to it.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A display of the unnecessary, the stylish and the spectacular at AFW

Africa Fashion Week- an event largely plagued by obvious disorganisation- came to a spectacular end with a circus themed Kluk CDGT showcase. Clowns prounced around, a ballerina tippy-toed and a gymnast hung acrobatically on threads hanging from the ceiling as models strut in gold, silver and all-round shimmery garments- leopard print, tight silhouettes, patent suits, harem pants and various timeless dresses.

The build-up to this came with a less spectacular, yet undeniably stylish Thula Sindi showcase where tight mini-dresses graduated to classic Thula Sindi flowy, multi-frill and pleated, glamorously bedecked dresses and suits that scream corporate glitz. The Thula Sindi woman is obviously a boardroom kind of missus.
This was followed by a Carducci showcase that I failed to see a point to. Are shows not meant to be just that- shows?!! In my books a fashion showcase is the exhibition of looks offered by a particular brand in a particular season. As to why Carducci felt that showing us the various colours in which their men’s suits come boggles the mind. The Carducci women’s show followed suit, ending with a showcase of LDBs. We understand that Carducci has LBDs on offer for the season. Do we need to see all the LBDs though?
In hind-sight the last day of Africa Fashion Week brought a mixed back of the good and the slightly unnecessary. Questions remain as to why Stoned Cherrie and Stiaan Louw pulled out and methinks the rumour that, in the case of Stoned Cherrie, a Ghana world cup match was the reason is absolute garb!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

LaQuan Smith's inner woman

LaQuan posing with a fan, I suppose

"It's an expression of the woman inside of me," said 21 year old New York designer LaQuan Smith, who will today showcase a collection at Africa Fashion Week. I was with former ELLE editor and now Times Columnist Jacquie Myburgh-Chemaly when we spotted the tall American and decided to go over to him for a chat. The outgoing LaQuan began telling us of his love for fashion, his muse (nightlife), Rihanna and how she embodies his brand as well as how all 20-something (forgotten the precise figure) pieces that will form his collection tonight were done in his bedroom in Queens with very little more than his "ten fingers".
I first read about LaQuan in a New York Times article and blogged about it and it was such a great pleasure to meet the New York fashion underdog in person. And what a sparkling personality indeed! Hope the show will be much similar.

"African time" and little much else at Africa Fashion Week

The 2nd annual Africa Fashion Week got off to a not-so-smooth start last night at the Sandton Convention Centre with shows delayed by 45 minutes. I missed the first show, but managed to see the second one; a display of glitz and shimmer by Nigerian designer Deola Sagoe. Her cocktail dresses were an exhibition of workmanship with lots of detail in the form of sequins and mermaid-like frills and pleats, at times. Deola, I gathered, places very little emphasis- if any- on Afrocentricity rather going for modernity.
Up next was Soucha and Heni. I found it hard to find a particular theme behind Soucha's show, which came first in the back-to-back showcase. The menswear in the show, for me, was a regurgitation of Heni's menswear line shown at Joburg Fashion Week; androgyny, dropped crotches (harem pants) and mostly bare chested models.
I opted to miss the next show and instead stood around sipping wine and chatting to various people as we all waited for the famous midnight spectacle, as we were promised, of David Tlale's show. Originally scheduled to take place at 9.30, Tlale wanted to show at midnight "because there's lots to set up", the producer said. He added that AFI had insisted that they showcase at the venue rather than outside as Tlale had done in January for JFW.
I have to mention that saying my breathe was taken away would be a lie. I found myself falling asleep at times; tired and serenaded by the orchestra that accompanied the 60 models, who never once came out a second time in a different outfit. The females had butterlfly masks over one eye, owing to the inspiration of the collection. Tlale obviously spared no cent for this showcase.