Wednesday, December 21, 2011


The top I'm wearing in the pic is from "Fly Holmes" at Mr Price; part of the retailer's collaboration with Durban design duo Holmes Bros. The collection is at selected Mr Price stores (has been since the 12th of December) and I was lucky enough to have received this top as a gift from the folk at Mr Price just in time for December. Problem is, it is so hot these days and this is the best vest I have in my cupboard, I don't want to take it off!

Friday, December 2, 2011


You might recognise CHOC from the VUZU reality TV series "Cream Cartell". Well, CHOC is now diversifying into fashion and has established a label called "Water", with a friend.
I ran into him the other day and snapped pics of him carrying a bag from the label. I can't recall what he said "WATER" stands for, but it is more elaborate than just H2O.
And me likey like the bag!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I was recently featured on CNN's Inside Africa, where I discussed African fashion with Nkepile Mabuse.
Check me out in this video...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


My sister recently sent me this pic of her in one of our late grandmother's crochets. I knew grandma crocheted a lot but I had no idea I would want one of her crochets at this point in time. This looks fabulous and so now. I would rock it anytime! In fact, when my sister sent me the pic, I even asked, "where'd you get that? I want one."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Few things bore me like men in suits, especially those who have a belief that once they suit up, it's the epitome of the style stakes. And with that said, best dressed lists filled with men in suits bore the hell out of me. I prefer that men wear their suits in a way that makes them stand out. From the pictures, I gather that the men on this year's GQ list are able to do just that, even though a lot of them don't tickle my fancy, the judges must know something that makes them believe that these men deserve the title of "GQ Best Dressed Man".

Anyways, I was at the event where these men were honoured on Monday and from the top 10, Cape Town-based leather goods artisan Yaaseen Cader and multidisciplinary artist/blogger Jamal Nxedlama are my personal favourites. They don't fall for the whole suit thing and, Jamal Nxedlana in particular (simply because I know him personally), has a distinct and very unorthodox take on style. His dress sense may not be everyone's cup o' tea, but then that's what style is about- individuality. And few people I know are able to stand out like Jamal.
I have to say, style, by definition means "a way of doing things" and I like to see the GQs as a style award rather than simply about how well tailored a particular guy's suits are and if their patent leather brogues are always shiny.

Congratulations gentlemen! This blogger likes the way you do things... fashion wise.



Tuesday, October 11, 2011


So, one of my favourite rock bands in the world was in my Joho this past Saturday and like a true fan I went to the FNB Stadium to check them out. I was with my sister and we met friends at the concert. Did we rock or what? And was I just not adorable in that blue blouse? *wink*
BTW, blouses are my signature piece this summer. I am loving!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Shot from the opening of (Naked Ape) Shaldon Kopman's "Basotho" showcase at SAFW
“It’s a famine of beauty,” Vogue Editor-at-Large, Andre Leon Talley, complains in a scene in the documentary “The September Issue”. And I have no other words to sum up my feelings about the SA Fashion Week Autumn/Winter collections, which closed on Sunday at the Crowne Plaza in Rosebank.

The question that kept popping up in my head is whether or not designers actually think before they put together what is supposedly a collection.

With the exception of Suzaan Heyns, Tiaan Nagel, Shaldon Kopman, Joel Janse van Vuuren and Colleen Eitzen, of all the shows I saw, none were able to see through any obvious vision for their winter 2012 offering. It is utterly depressing.

But then again, thinking back a few weeks, I remember going to the opening of an arts exhibition at Circa Gallery. It was huge and well attended. It was billed as the collaboration of the current ten best South African artists. I remember asking Felipe Mazibuko, whom I had gone there with, where the fashion designers were, because the only two I saw were Ella of Superella and Marianne Fassler. The reason I ask this question is because, as one who often goes to arts-related events, I do expect to see creative people engaging with other art forms beyond the one they’ve chosen for themselves. This, I feel, opens one to other worlds and, of course, inspires creativity. Instead, one only sees designers at gigs where cameras are flashing and shwashwi’s are waiting to find a scoop to lead with in the Sunday gossip columns. Do note, I am in no way prescribing what anyone must do to be inspired, just suggesting one way of doing it.

I’m in no way saying that everyone must come up with a collection to measure up to David Tlale, Clive Rundle or Suzaan. But how dare you expect buyers and the fashion media to appreciate what is obviously something you don’t put your heart into as a designer and then frown upon people when the reviews come back unfavourable? Yes, the ignorant, self-important ones will contend that they are not in the industry to serve the fashion media and I will put it to them that without that very same fashion media- people who also happen to be the most loyal to local fashion, by the way- that take it upon themselves to showcase local talent in an industry where there’s a lot of resistance to filling the fashion pages with South African designers’ work. It is the same fashion media that often alerts fashion lovers to your talent and, you know what, that is what fashion week is about; showcasing to people who will give you that very necessary exposure. Otherwise, why are you there? If you are too good to even pay attention to what is in fact constructive criticism then leave the fashion week stage altogether!

To read ELLE Magazine fashion editors, Poppy Evans and Asanda Sizani's views on the matter, click here

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


About a year ago I met a lady by the name of Romy Stander, who runs a small business, making bags out of recyclable materials in collaboration with underprivileged women in Diepsloot. Her label is called “State of the Nation” and how wonderful her bags are.

Romy Stander, clutching a bag from her State of the Nation label

This past Sunday, David Tlale opened the doors to his first store at Sandton’s Michelangelo Towers Mall and reminded those present that we, too, as Africans are talented. “We need to start believing in our own,” he said. When someone on Twitter tweeted about legendary British designer Vivienne Westwood’s gravitation towards “African”, sighting her new collection of bags made by women in Kenya, out of recyclable material I remembered one of the campaign pics, in which Westwood is surrounded by a number of those bags which are no different to the bags Romy and the women in Diepsloot make, Tlale’s words came back to my mind. I also thought of a huge ad inside my local Woolworths store which reads something like “fashion designed for you in New York”. Well, something along those lines anyways. When I first saw it I was absolutely shocked. It’s probably good for their marketing but I was taken aback by what, in my mind, perpetrates the idea that what is local is inferior. You might think I’m being slightly pedantic here, but really, such things often slightly raise my temperature as I think of how our inferiority complex impact negatively on the local industry. Soon, people will wear those Vivienne Westwood bags proudly, because, one, it’s an international luxury brand and, two, they’ll feel like some sort of slacktivist whose money has not only gone to Westwood’s purse but also to those poor women in Kenya and, three, it’s all recyclable, baby. Two ticks for social responsibility. Do add another tick by recognising that on your doorstep, Westwood’s concept has been done! We’ve been having it!
Click on the pic to link to the State of the Nation website.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011



This blogger was lucky enough to be one of the privileged few to get an invitation to meet and break bread with one of the global fashion industry's most recognisable bloggers, Bryanboy. He is in the country for the week and will be handing over the blogger award at the Marie Claire Prix d'Excellent de la Mode awards tomorrow and how incredible it was to meet someone I have followed quite closely for a couple of years now. This morning we were given the opportunity to speak to Bryan about his success as a blogger, his trips around the world and commercialising what remains, for him, a very personal blogging experience.
While most of us see him as the posterboy of the fashion blogosphere, he says he doesn't see himself as a force. "I think it's all hype," he said this morning.
It was truly a great morning and thanks a mil to Marie Claire magazine and Sunglass Hut for affording me this opportunity. Truly fab!

Bryanboy sharing his blogging experience

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Almost everyone in the fashion industry has sung the “National Fashion Council” chorus at one point or another. And now that it is finally becoming a reality, it may be time for all to sit down and look at what this council really means for our fashion industry.

A model struts it in Black Coffee at SAFW in March this year
iFashion reports that the council may be up and running as soon as December this year, but when one thinks that December is actually three months away now, surely there must be some sort of model the government is looking at for the establishment of the council. The impression I get from reading the iFashion report is that, although much time and effort has gone into researching what the fashion council should be, those tasked with making it a reality still have no clue what they want to do.
Now, let’s not be critical for the sake of it, but if I may, let me just point out a few things that should raise the alarm bell when one earmarks December as the date at which the council will be launched.
According to the report, it is envisaged that the national council should have no jurisdiction over regional bodies, namely the KZN and Cape Town Fashion Councils that already exist. I’m not sure what informs this idea, but I foresee unnecessary chaos.
The findings of the research into a possible model for the NFC were presented by UKZN Professor Justin Barnes, who works for B&M Analysts, the company commissioned by the DTI to do the research.

iFashion further reports:
He presented a proposed framework that placed a National Fashion Council Industry Board overseeing a CEO that would then implement a four pronged approach to the South African fashion industry. Barnes put forward the NFC’s primary objectives as encouraging and implementing the international profile and exposure of South African fashion; mentoring and monitoring the phased development of SA designers; celebrating and recognising individuals, organisations and the industry in its entirety through competitions and recognition of achievement; and facilitate educational standardization and accreditation.
All good, all well, but Barnes goes on to say that he “sees no place for fashion week owners on the board of the council as they have vested interests in the industry that may cause complications”.
This means Lucilla Booysen, who convened SA Fashion Week back in 1997, as well as AFI, who organise Joburg, Cape Town and Africa Fashion Week will not be included on the board.
For me, this in itself is the complication. Is the point of creating a National Fashion Council not to unite South African fashion behind one vision?
Barnes, himself, reportedly notes that “the market wanted more foresight and planning when it came to the timings of fashion weeks and that they should exist more as a merchandise offering for the big retailers rather than an entertainment entity”.
Yes, fashion week has to stop being a place to be seen and start being more business focused, which I think SAFW, specifically, has tried to make a reality for quite some time now. Yes, we do need some foresight and planning in the timings of fashion week. Secondly, let’s not shy away from it, we need to get a structure and get rid of the fifty fashion weeks chaos currently in place.
I interpreted the report as saying that the NFC doesn’t want to meddle with fashion weeks, yet it wants to have a say in them.
If I am indeed correct in my interpretation, then this council really won’t know what the hell it is doing. The industry needs a unifying force that will kick commercialism out the window and force the current owners of fashion weeks to work together, under the NFC’s umbrella. The commitment to building the fashion industry will only be illustrated by a willingness to pull together under the auspices of a non-profit. Failure to do so will only exhibit greed. We must reject the commercialisation of fashion week at the expense of designers and the broader industry. Yes, there are many other concerns that the NFC is addressing in it’s current, proposed form, but it would be a mistake for them to think that the issue of fashion week does not spill out into the rest of the industry. It affects editors, buyers and, most importantly, the designers themselves and the springing up of fashion weeks every year creates a notion that it is some sort of party, thereby fuelling the false idea of fashion’s frivolity. We need uniformity but this must not push researchers and even the government, however noble its desires, to rush into something that may turn out more chaotic than the present situation.

Monday, August 22, 2011


For the first time, Marie Claire has included a blogger category in its annual Prix D'excellence De La Mode Awards and one of my favourite local bloggers, Malibongwe Tyilo of Skattie What Are You Wearing, takes home the prize. Just to give you a glimpse into his work, here are some shots of yours truly, shot by Mr Skattie What himself (that's Mali). His blog is, for me, the one place in local fashion you have gotta be seen at!

Sunday, August 7, 2011


We have a relatively young industry that still struggles with many things, including its own identity. For this reason, even though it has become a lot better these days, fashion directors and editors struggle to find (or sometimes even get) locally produced fashion to put in their editorials.
The supply chain is rather dodgy and designers are just not getting their business models to work. That’s if they even have business plans to start with. For the most part, I doubt they do.
However important these points may be- in my books anyway- what I’d like to tackle here is what I encountered this past week with a True Love fashion spread that I believe should have never made it into the pages of a magazine that we have all seen rising from fashion mediocrity to being a respectable (in some respects) voice in the industry, thanks to its current editor Sbu Mpungose.
I’ve often complained about the level of content space that magazines and even the media at large afford the industry and I can’t see how anyone could dispute that True Love was addressing this in their own way.
In their August issue, however, I was dumbfounded when a friend of mine pointed out that one of the fashion spreads was a cut ‘n paste of one done by American Vogue creative director Grace Coddington, about 18 months ago.
The shots, the poses, the entire story behind the shoot, were an almost literal remake (rather than being a take) of Coddington’s shoot. Some have pointed out how there is nothing wrong with referencing global magazines, and I have, rightfully, defended the concept of referencing. In doing so, however, one does have to differentiate between that and copying. What True Love did here was to copy and claim Grace Coddington’s concept as that of the stylist responsible.
This is rather disappointing and a blow for the integrity of the fashion editors’ profession, but beyond this- for me- it highlights a failure to cultivate South Africa’s rich heritage and storytelling traditions in conveying our talent for using fashion to tell stories, as I believe any good fashion editor should do.
I believe everyone in the fashion industry, for it to grow to its full potential, should be held to the highest standard, be it designers, stylists, fashion editors, publicists and even us, the fashion media and blogosphere. No one should be immune to criticism and we should often exhibit our love for the industry by participating in forums of discussion to evaluate and improve whatever it is we do.

Saturday, August 6, 2011



American ELLE









Wednesday, July 20, 2011



   “All they want are freebies and to be seen. They just want fame, they don’t actually care about the story,” says the High-Snobiety of media traditionalists, feeling threatened by the one-man media machine that is the blogger. After reading a Mail & Guardian article about the grief (oh, shame) of food journalists who hate bloggers within that industry, I just cannot believe that such discriminatory beliefs still exist.
   My frustration is not what this sort of self-importance stands for, but the ignorance that, on the face of things, sounds like a professional trying to protect the integrity of journalism. See, media people tend to want to cluster bloggers into one category and have such a hate for them that they get left behind as their prized profession evolves right under their snooty noses.
   As a professional journalist myself, I know that the blogosphere cannot be ignored. It has that power to push such idiotic behaviour into a very dark and lonely corner I call “Archaisia”.
   I am in no way insinuating that arbitary excuses for bloggers be embraced, but I am saying that, out there, are some really credible bloggers, a lot of whom could not be bothered about the story, in actual fact!
   Some just want to capture the moment with their lenses. Some just want to muse about their entertaining lifestyles. Others, well, should never be given the light of day. Learn how to differentiate!      
   Better yet, get your own blog and do what you think should be done rather than complaining about a situation you can actually change. Lead the way and take that integrity you want to see into the digital age.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


So, South African Tourism was generous enough to take this blogger to the Mothercity for Cape Town Fashion Week. But my stay in Cape Town was not just about threads, but also lots of wine and sightseeing. SA Tourism took me and a couple of other journalists and bloggers on different tours each day and out of these, my most favourite was the fashion tour, where we went to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology's clothing and textiles campus to learn about things like grading. They showed many machines that are used in manufacturing clothes; from a machine that uses software to cut patterns to the chemicals used to grade textiles. Oh, and there was also one that welds textiles, allowing one to stitch a garment without any actual stitching. Trust! It's true.
We also went to see a couple of stores in town, which was a lot of fun, bar the fact that I was too broke to shop.
I was a bit of a happy snapper (just a bit) and I brought back these pictures of some of the places and interesting spaces.

The view from my hotel room at The Pepper Club hotel

A wonderful restuarant you should definitely eat at next time you go to Cape Town
It is called "The Kitchen" and is situated on Main Street in Woodstock
The food is just amazing!

Me & You is a collaborative designer space, housing six designers
I thought this is a wonderful idea that Joburg designers need to start looking at

Designer Thulare Monareng's concept store "The Fashion Deli"
Monareng also allows other designers to stock their clothes here
She also stocks one label by two Capetonians who apparently refuse to leave the suburb of Observatory
Their label is called "Intsangu"...

The rails at Stefania Morland's store

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Right Royal Affair

This year's Vodacom Durban July could be the subject of much excitement as people get ready to dress up like Emperors, Princesses and probably Queens. It's a wonderful theme, but what worries me is how people may interprete it.
It is, of course, one that can get one's mind racing uncontrollably as they ponder an inspiration- Kate Middleton, the Queen herself or maybe even King Shaka of the Zulus? I am scared!
Over the past couple of years the fashion at the Durban July got designer Gideon quite perplexed. So "hurt" was he with the trivial standards that fashion at the races had descended to, he wrote a letter to a Durban newspaper complaining about it.
"Being a Durban designer, I feel proud to be from Durban and hold events such as this one very close to my heart. The July was always South Africa’s most elegant and sophisticated race day, however in the past few years I feel it has degenerated into a farce on fashion," he was quoted as saying.
Royalty and elegance go hand in hand for me. So, why not try something along these lines....
Pic: T Magazine, New York Times

Monday, June 6, 2011

It doesn't have to be Fashion Week!

At the risk of sounding somewhat insistent on the subject of the many fashion weeks that exist in South Africa, I have to share my thoughts about the wonderful event I thought Durban's Fashion Extravaganza, held at the weekend, was.
While some seem to believe that the words "fashion week" can and should be attached to any event with a runway, models and whomever claims to be a fashion designer, a Durban-based company decided to take a different route, introducing what they called the "homecoming" of the coastal city's fashion talent.
Never mind the sheer genius of holding the event on the Moyo Pier- it was bound to garner a lot of interest- the idea of bringing together some of SA fashion's biggest names, showcasing in an event that also featured young, unknown talent from the city, is something I think other groups or individuals, across the country, who organise pseudo-fashion weeks should try to emulate.
No, I'm not saying cut and paste the damn idea, but rather find something unique about their various cities and centre the event around that.
There are many ways, as I have said many times before, of contributing to the growth of South African fashion. Fashion is one industry that embraces diversity and change than probably any other I can think of. Bore fashionistas with a lack of originality and you've already lost our attention. This may be something anyone mulling a Bloemfontein Fashion Week ought to consider. Well, that's just an example. All I'm saying is; it doesn't have to be another "fashion week" to be a fashion event.

For a report on the established designers' show, called Fashion By the Sea click here

Sunday, May 22, 2011

If I tumble, will I fall?

Over a month has passed since my last post on these pages. I'm at an experimental phase. I'm falling hard for the opportunities offered by my new tumblr blog and would like it very much if you could come with me on the journey, by visiting Stylediction, my tumblr blog.
Otherwise, I am also active on The Frock Report
Sartorial blessings, always!

Monday, March 21, 2011


Blogger Yvan Rodic of was recently in Cape Town and, of course, he did a little facehunting in Kaapstad before jetting off to his next location. Here are a few happy snaps he took of the Capetonians...

Check out for more

Emanuelle Alt's First Cover

"It's important to have something to read," French Vogue editor Emanuelle Alt told WWD recently when discussing her take on the title. Alt replaced controversial editor Carine Roitfeld, who left the title late last year. April 2011 is Alt's first as Editor-In-Chief.