31st Jul2017

ISSA PATIII

by admin

POST

The June holidays came as a blessing after weeks of submissions, exam preparations and, finally, writing the long-awaited exams that one has had cold sleepless nights for. Waking up for the last exam, one obviously has to think about nothing but finishing the exam. Afterwards, one has to concern oneself with how to celebrate finishing one’s exams and, after the celebrations, how one is going to make good use of the month that is given to freshen  up in preparation for tackling the workload that comes with the second semester. Not forgetting that one will miss the Varsity vibes, the Wi-Fi, the buddies that chill with you on the library lawns during break but most especially the weekday Kara Nicha’s specials.

It is very funny how when you are in Varsity you always have money; that’s if you know how save or use money wisely but when you get home you are super. You cannot even buy airtime over R30 and even if you buy that 200MB bundle it will be gone in “ like 2.1 seconds” just like how Bonang Matheba changes her moods.  Thanks to our “ loyal” service providers they don’t just want our money , they sometimes put themselves in our shoes . If you are on Vodacom you will understand what I am on about, yes that Facebook free mode that lets you login to Facebook free of charge but you cannot view any pictures which are posted.

Speaking of Facebook- this reminds me of the hilarious yet creative trends that cooked up a storm of laughs. Starting with the naughty trend; if you have been up and about, you will remember the inseparable  peach emoji which looks like butt  and the eggplant emoji  used to represent male genitalia. A combo that has taken up way before winter introduced itself. These emojis have been trusted to save time and make the message clear as the spirit of lust takes over. I’m sure that they will still be making waves on our interwebs years to come. Now onto the creative side of things; plastics and packaging of various products, including condoms, have turned the fashion industry upside down. People have replaced clothes with these seemingly useless props and turned them into a fashion statement. Plastic has been used to create crop tops, head wraps, skirts, earrings and various other accessories. I guess this is a good way of making use of what has been known as rubbish which pollutes the earth. Pollution is one of the major problems facing our country. With this trend, we are able to see recycling as being both creative and eco-friendly. I hope that fashion designers recognise the new trend because I would like to wear an outfit designed from plastic and, thus, become part of this great initiative.

Ask me about the National Patii songs and I will be able to create a playlist that will last for quite a few days. Starting with Nigerian songs which have made a name for themselves in our local clubs. I’m talking about Davido’s If and the recent Fall which have taken the youth’s playlist by storm. Not forgetting Pana by Tekno, you cannot argue that these African jams have not made an impact on the charts. And the recent kasi songs that will get you of that chair and even remind you of home like Memeza  Gqom by Benny Maverick which when translated to English means “shout” can be called a song of activisim yet hearing that one word “hayi” will get your touching your body like you have been stung by bees . Then we have Ko Mkokotlong by Biblos ft. Fiesta Black which will leave you hitting your back as if you have unbearable pain. However, you cannot publically respond to what the song asks you “Oe batla kae/Ko Mkokotlong” (“Where do you Want it?/ On my back?” ) . As to what the song refers to- it really does not matter ;-). Whether these songs will still be flaming in summer only time will tell.

Become active on social media and you will never get bored of or miss out on any important updates like news, parties, performances and even exhibitions. With a wide range of funny pages such as Wits Crush and Wits Confessions you can never go wrong . As the first week of the second semester passes, I just hope we will all make it out alive because the struggle is real.

 

31st Jul2017

Fashion’s Great Robin

by admin

Whenever you think of superstar journalists, we often think of the ones who cover current affair and international politics. Anderson Cooper, Christiane Amanpour, and others of their ilk are often who we think of whenever we think of great journalists who continuously break ground with their controversial insights into all that is happening in our information-heavy age. But what about fashion journalists? Why would I ask such an insidious question? These are the (mostly) womxn who write about shoes, clothes, fashion shows, and everything else about fashion. In an age where there is increasing geopolitical insecurity and further evidence that we are on the brink of experiencing (man-made) environmental calamities that we are not ready for, it seems incredibly vacuous to write an article praising the craft of fashion journalism.

One womxn has changed that perception for me. Robin Givhan. Born in 11 September 1964 in Detroit, Michigan, Ms. Givhan is a celebrated fashion journalism who is currently the fashion editor for The Washington Post. She is the first fashion journalist to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2006. A self-admitted non-fashion insider, she uses fashion as the lens through which she critiques the political game, race, gender, and societal power relations. As an outsider, Robin Givhan has been able to direct some pointed and poignant criticism at the lack of diversity within the fashion industry. Having 10 models of colour out of 200 models may not seem like a big deal but Ms. Givhan does point out that because the fashion industry does determine ideal versions of masculinity and femininity, a lack of representation leaves out a large portion of the world’s population.

Writing for The Washington Post means that her fashion critiques have a pronounced political bent in them. During Barack Obama’s two-term stint as the President of the United States, Givhan did spend a considerable amount of time analyzing former First Lady, Michelle Obama’s fashion choices. In 2009, she criticized Michelle Obama for wearing shorts during a family vacation. Her critical stance has not been permanent as she has spoken about how Michelle Obama, as FLOTUS, was good for fashion as she was “adventurous in her choices and willing to embrace Hollywood glamour” and used fashion in order to tell a complex story about her role in history as the first African-American FLOTUS. In addition to her articles, Robin Givhan has written the book The Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled into the Spotlight and Made History, a volume that chronicles how the famous Battle of Versailles fashion show made America a global fashion superpower and yet, did nothing for the industry’s dismal record in fostering greater diversity.

Robin Givhan’s great journalism lies in her not being afraid of using fashion as the means through which she may speak truth to power. Earlier this year, Givhan wrote an article explaining why she was in favour of certain fashion designers’ decision to refuse to dress the current FLOTUS, Melania Trump. Robin Givhan is the best ambassador for her particular brand of journalism as she explains that her duty is to make her readers less skeptical about fashion. Thus, what she hopes to achieve is to get her readers to understand how fashion is about more than clothing; fashion is a great reflection of how people regard themselves vis-à-vis others in our increasingly globalized world.

Robin Givhan Interview Magazine

08th May2017

Report Card: 2017 Met Gala

by admin

Rei Kawakubo

This year’s Met Gala had one of the toughest dress codes for the attendees. Paying tribute to the avant-garde fashion designer, Rei Kawakubo, the Met Gala attendees had to bring their avant-garde/glamour A-game to the Oscars of fashion. Rihanna stole the show by wearing a Rei Kawakubo/Comme Des Garçons creation that defied definition. Considering that Kawakubo uses design to challenge conventional notions of beauty, Rihanna was arguably the best-dressed guest with a deconstructed Swan Lake number that was paired with a pair of red sandals that were laced all the way up her legs.

Rihanna

Co-host Pharrell William’s wife, Helen Lasichanh, wore a bright-red off-the-runway piece from the design house’s most recent show. The piece had no sleeves or armholes which demonstrated the designer’s avant-garde sensibility. Jaden Smith embraced the spirit of the dress codes whilst remaining loyal to Louis Vuitton by carrying a clutch of his recently shorn dreadlocks. Katy Perry, not to be outdone by Rihanna and company, wore a scarlet red costume by John Galliano for Maison Margiela that was elaborate. Priyanka Chopra wore a Ralph Lauren trenchcoat-dress that brought to mind Rihanna’s bright yellow train dress from the 2015 Met Gala. Met Gala favourite, Solange Knowles, did not disappoint with her Thom Browne shiny puffer jacket- that was complete with a train. Cara Delevingne, dressed by Chanel, painted her bald head with a feathered silver paint that was studded with crystals.

Katy PerryPriyanka Chopra

On the other hand, Kim Kardashian-West was resplendent in a white Vivienne Westwood gown. Her gown had remnants of the white gown that opened Comme Des Garçons show in March. The dress could be seen as part of a performance art project relating to fame, wealth, and femininity in the 21st century. Kardashian-West, in an Ellen DeGeneres interview, recently renounced materialism. The peasant stylings of the dress and lack of over-the-top jewellery was a fantastic accompaniment to her recent denunciation.

Kim Kardashian-West

When I first heard about this year’s theme for the Met Gala, I was really excited as it marks the beginning of Rei Kawakubo receiving the recognition she deserves. Kawakubo is a publicity-shy figure who never takes a bow at the finale of her Paris-set fashion shows. At the beginning of her career, Kawakubo’s work was dismissed as being post-atomic. Kawakubo has succeeded in radically challenging everyday ideas in a manner that has been commercially and creatively successful. Kawakubo’s work has evolved over the years. The brand has 230 storefronts and franchise outlets outside of Japan, 17 brands under the Comme Des Garçons brand, three flagship locations in New York, Paris and Tokyo, and an annual turnover of $250m. She has a loyal fanbase among customers and designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Nicolas Ghesquière, Phoebe Philo, and Marc Jacobs . She has demonstrated her genius through starting the pop-up shop trend, and collaborating with famed architects (Future Systems) to collaborate on the New York flagship store in 1998. All of her creative and commercial decisions prove that Kawakubo is a visionary who deserves credit for greatly influencing the modern fashion industry.

 

24th Apr2017

Freedom in All of its Colours

by admin

Black Culture in the UK

Hi everyone,

This week our talented team have written articles that, coincidentally, address all of the complexities within contemporary black culture. Sandiswa Sondzaba shares her excitement over the fashion industry’s recent embracing of past and contemporary black subcultures. Kendrick Lamar has proven to be one of this generation’s most talented artists. Azola Jokweni discusses why he believes that Kendrick Lamar is the greatest rapper of his generation. Molebogeng Mokoka explains why our condemnation of Khanyi Mbau over her decision to lighten her skin complexion is highly problematic. Finally, Jabulile Mbatha critiques King Mswati III’s desire to ban divorce in Swaziland. Our talented writers have illustrated the complex issues that currently come with black culture- in all of its various forms. We sincerely hope that you will enjoy reading these thought-provoking articles.

Have a wonderful week of freedom,

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2017

24th Apr2017

Fashionable Diversity

by admin

All-Black

2017 has been a significant year for diversity in the fashion industry. In February, we had Marc Jacobs debut a collection that was explicitly inspired by hip-hop http://observer.com/2017/02/this-season-marc-jacobs-was-inspired-by-the-history-of-hip-hop/). Jacobs explained that his collection was inspired by the four-part documentary Hip-Hop Evolution which covers the hip-hop industry from the 70s to the 90s and features luminaries like Grandmaster Flash. In his show notes, Jacobs explains that, the “collection is my representation of the well-studied dressing up of casual sportswear. It is an acknowledgement and gesture of my respect for the polish and consideration applied to fashion from a generation that will forever be the foundation of youth culture street style”.

Gucci has seemingly followed in Jacobs’ lead through their pre-fall campaign that features an all-black model cast. The campaign is a tribute to Northern Soul which is different to the sci-fi vibe of the house’s Autumn/Winter 2017 show. The images were inspired by last year’s Made You Look exhibition at the Photographer’s Gallery. The exhibition was highly influential, exploring black masculinity and Dandyism (a counterculture that has also inspired the visuals in Solange Knowles’ Losing You music video). The campaign was further inspired by Malick Sidibe, the iconic 1960s photographer renowned for his black and white studio portraits, and Northern Soul. Northern Soul was a 1960s movement inspired by black American soul music that made clubs like the Wigan Casino famous. The campaign features both dancers and models, showing the splits and backdrops associated with the subculture’s dance style.

Titled ‘Soul Scene’, the Glen Luchford-shot campaign features only people of colour. This is significant considering that the industry has increasingly come under fire for the lack of diversity on runways and advertising campaigns. Runways, particularly, have been criticised for the lack of diverse castings. The most recent incident revolved around the agent James Scully, who took to Instagram to criticise the whitewashed Parisian catwalks and the mistreatment of models at a Balenciaga casting.

Although these are only two campaigns, they demonstrate that fashion is moving in the right direction. Coupled with the historic appointment of Edward Enninful as the new editor of British Vogue, the fashion industry is beginning to embrace diversity. Although some may say that these are just examples of how the fashion industry is embracing tokenism, I would like to argue that this is not the case. We are currently witnessing a black man take the helm at one of the industry’s most influential publications. As written in my previous article, Enninful is serious about increasing diversity within the industry. People like Enninful understand that the diversity-problem is serious as diverse representations are what will make the fashion industry’s influence more sustainable. I believe this we have not seen the last of these campaigns celebrating diversity.

Gucci Campaign

26th Oct2015

Hussein Chalayan

by admin

Sandiswa Sondzaba puts the spotlight on up-and-coming fashion designer, Hussein Chalayan, who combines fashion, technology and art to create decomposable clothing that highlights and brings attention to prominent social issues.

 

Whenever the term haute couture comes up, the usual names are mentioned: Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Gucci, Dior, and Dolce & Gabbana. One lesser known visionary is Hussein Chalayan, a British/Turkish-Cypriot fashion designer. Chayalan is the current creative director of the Vionnet fashion house but he has proven that his creative genius extends beyond the Goga Ashkenazi-owned enterprise.

At the recent Paris Fashion Week, he made waves when he debuted two melt-away dresses for his 2016 Spring/Summer collection. His SS16 show at the Palais des Beaux-Arts, included two models come out in what appeared to be tailored white lab coats in waxy paper. Upon contact with water, the coats slowly dissolved; revealing gorgeous, sparkling couture gowns underneath. This was another example of the designer blending fashion with technology.

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Oftentimes this use of technology is used to make serious statements about the fashion industry. One of his more famous designs is the Table Skirt which was a mahogany table that transformed into a geometric and telescopic skirt. This design came from his After Words collection for Autumn/Winter 2000. This collection intended to make a comment on the dramatic and involuntary aspects of mobility, and illustrate the sentimental aspects of forced migrations. This social commentary is really pertinent considering the current migration crisis that has gripped Europe. What Chalayan’s After Words collection communicated was that the migration crisis is a lot more than policy; migrants are people who seemingly have to adjust to a new way of being that entails existing in a state of constant precarity.

Despite the recognition he has received for his work, which include being crowned ‘British Designer of the Year’ in 1999 and 2000, Chayalan has oftentimes struggled with sponsorship and funding. In 2000, he had to go into voluntary liquidation when he found himself £250,000 in debt after his then-employer TSE refused to renew his contract. He managed to make a comeback in 2001, by presenting a collection without a catwalk presentation. He designed for high-street label Marks and Spencers to make ends meet and he gained some ground when the Swiss jeweller, Asprey, appointed him as their fashion director in 2002. He has recovered from this setback and has gone on to collaborate with Swarovski (with his collection of LED dresses), being appointed as the creative director of Puma, and screening his short-films at the Venice Biennale and at Mode Natie in Antwerp.

Why do I love Chalayan so much? He is a fashion designer who really seeks to blur the distinction made between fashion and art. He is not a “superstar-designer” but his work has, time and again, spoken for him. How many fashion designers have started off their careers burying their Central Saint Martins’ graduation collections in their back gardens so that the clothing may decompose and become an archaeology project? He is a true Renaissance man who, in addition to his design collections and short-films, has created performance-art pieces; displayed his works at contemporary art galleries and museums; created costumes for a production of Così fan tutte performed at Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles; and choreographed his own production.

He is fashion’s international man of mystery who is as transcendent as the clothing he creates. He may not be fashion’s most famous designer but, to use a Harry Potter metaphor, ‘he is the classic Ravenclaw whose intellectual use of creativity knows no bounds.’ As a Ravenclaw myself, I suppose that is why when I read about him I see my spirit animal.

13th Apr2015

No More Plain-Jean

by admin

Relebogile Nyama writes about the ripped-jeans fashion craze.

 

If you take a moment to look at the city’s citizens walking in the street, in the mall, at a music concert, and anywhere else really, you will see one thing…RIPPED JEANS! They are everywhere! It seems as though ripped jeans are fashion’s new “it item,” with everyone from the Average Joe to the self-proclaimed fashionista rocking them. This look comes in all shapes, sizes and colours, including: mom, boyfriend, skinny, highwaisted, and so on, and this look can be pulled off in virtually any of these styles. The nice thing about this look is that it’s not limited to one gender, and males and females can be seen rocking ripped jeans all over the world.

Although, contrary to popular belief, ripped jeans did not emerge recently. The history of ripped jeans is the most unrefined of all clothing items and styles. What is very interesting about this trend is that ripped jeans came to be as a result of people over-wearing their jeans. Before the 1970s, ripped jeans were a sign of being poor and they were associated with people of the working-class who could not afford any other clothes, besides their denim. People continued to wear their denims despite how distressed and worn out they were. Therefore, the ripping and distressing of jeans was not intentional, and back then, no money would be paid for such worn-out clothing.

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It was only around the 1960/70s that the view on ripped jeans started taking a turn for the better. These jeans were now considered as an item of expression, rather than that of low economic status. During the 70s, rock bands used to wear ripped jeans as part of their attire. Celebrities such as, The Ramones, were among the first to be seen wearing ripped jeans in the 60s and 70s. Although, as much as ripped jeans were a fashion craze, they did not make an appearance on the runway until much later on; at this stage, ripped jeans instead became closely linked to the idea of rebellion. The ripped jeans trend became popular in mainstream society soon after it made an appearance on major runways. As usual, celebrities began rocking this look first, then ordinary people soon followed suite. This trend has become so big that tutorials on ripping jeans can be easily found on the internet. You no longer have to go to the shop to buy ripped jeans because now you can just rip them yourself.

So what is your take on ripped jeans? Do you say “oh yes” or “goodbye” to this fashion trend?

18th Aug2014

Dress or hide

by admin

za1Zainab Abdulla reflects on some of her experiences of university life.

Walking into my university on the first day earlier this year was absolutely tormenting. After years of binging on every college movie to hit the big screen, my perception of what my university life was going to be like was completely smashed. The problem about comedy college movies is that they sway you to believe that university is going to be the grounds for withered matriculants to blossom into the people they are truly meant to be. I guess that’s what matriculants deserve after surviving the gruelling, confidence-shattering life games of high school.

However, my experience so far was quite different to the college seen in the movies. I feel as though I have been thrown deep into shark-infested waters. As a result, university has ended up being a lot more cutthroat for me than high school.

As a first year Accounting Science student at Wits, I really did not know what vibe or experience at varsity really was. Of course, watching all my favourite college movies like Sydney White and Pitch Perfect I had a naïve expectation of being able to just be myself and finding the people that I was always meant to be friends with. I guess that is partly true, but nobody told me just how serious dressing is at university.

At Wits the Commerce, Law and Management faculties are situated on the west side of the main campus. The west side has a more urban vibe than the east side that compromises of the humanities and science faculties. Life on the east side of the campus appears to be a lot more mellow and friendly. This is thus very different to the west side of the university…

Every day, on West, it seems as though people who place major importance in dressing up surround me. Most of these fancy dressers however conform to mainstream conventional ideas of style and dressing. It seems as though many of their individuality has been compressed like tuna in a can because most just end up looking the same to me. While I am guilty of being partly consumed by the need for approval of my outfit for that day, this need is subtle and links to giving and receiving a compliment, a longer than usual stare or a quick smile. Of course being one of thousands of faces does make the importance of being recognized less important.

Though I always find myself, like many others, trying to sneak away to the restroom a few times a day just to have a glimpse of myself in the mirror and make sure that I am looking fine. However, it seems as though there are others who give a lot more importance to this whole dressing up thing.

While I respect the metropolitan vibe of the environment I study in, it has become quite oppressive. Most Accounting and Law students at the university would understand the scrutiny people face walking on the path in front of the FNB Accounting building. Having walked on that path, I can say that it felt like a very awkward experience as one feels completely under scrutiny. Some of the students that hang out there stand pompously in their cliques, groomed to impress and way overdressed. Standing there with their shades on (It seems they choose to stand as sitting down would tarnish their designer pants) they glare at the different faces that walk past. It’s as if you are under a microscope being analysed in detail. Personally, I think the aura there can thus be described as quite oppressive. Surely, this isn’t a healthy environment of education.

There’s thus also quite a bit of pressure in relation to trying to be myself without the fear of not fitting in. And with the thousands of people on campus, one of the few ways people are able to create an impression is through their dressing. Furthermore, I think people on the west campus tend to make friends with people that kind of have the same dressing sense or vibe as them (this is is just something I noted through personal observations). Of course this is not always the case.

Nevertheless, this discussion reminds me of timeless legend and rebel James Dean. It has been said that he lived by the following words:” Live fast, die young, and have a good-looking corpse”. He died in a car accident at the age of 24. I was very fascinated by James Dean and his bad boy phenotype in the past. There was something compelling about his views

on life and he’s genuine hipster attitude. He was brave enough to not want to live a mediocre lifestyle by conforming to the society around him. I think that’s the main reason I was completely intrigued by him as I read about him in books. I think there is a lot to be said about the quality of lives my generation is leading. Are we really living for ourselves if our actions are premeditated on the reaction of others? I think the pressure of being out casted because of the way we dress, should stop. The main stress of passing and getting ones degree successfully is already overwhelming. Dressing, to me, is considered trivial on the larger scale of our lives. I guess what I have been trying to say, is that I wish that everyone on West campus would just calm down.

29th Apr2013

Shop smart

by admin

Palesa Ramphore looks at the must have fashion items for the winter season

Many women always find themselves going crazy over shopping. Shopping is the one enemy of our pockets, ladies you know this. If in doubt, go without. I rate when you’re feeling great about yourself, you won’t buy unnecessary items, and you will purchase exactly what it is you need and what looks good. Most of the time we find ourselves feeling down about how we look, and then we tend to purchase things that we don’t really need, or already have, and so here are a few pointers on what is essentially budget friendly and what looks good to glam up your wardrobe without hurting your pocket.

Go back to the beginning

Instead of buying a whole new wardrobe every time a new season sets in, remember the basic classic items that are a must have. A white, grey or black vest is one such item. Along with this is a navy or black blazer and a gorgeous well-made pair of trousers are remotely essential. The trick to learn is how to mix and modernise. The smart thing to do is pick what is functional for all occasions.

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Kim Kardashian and Khloe Kardashian Odom rocking the essential items of a basic outfit.

 

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The power of darkness

If you love shopping, then you will know that it can really take its toll on your budget. So be smart about it and go for darks. Attention is always on colour so create a modern mix. Go dark for the bottom and tops. This allows you to play around with colours in your accessories. With this formula it thus becomes difficult for you to go wrong.

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Accentuate what your momma gave you!

Why do women underestimate the waist? By not doing so, focus is created on the negative areas. If your shoulders are narrower than your hips, ladies go dark and plain for the bottom and light and detailed on top. Pattern, shine, detail, skin and bright or light colours all attract the eye, so use them to show off and show case your strong points.

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Vintage, vintage, vintage! Be careful ladies

Vintage catches the eye but it can also reduce the look to “what the hell is she trying to do?” On a serious note though, age matters! Yes, your grandmother’s clothes can look fresh on you if you’re 16 to 25 but don’t hold on to items for too long. In wearing that really old piece of clothes we might just think you don’t want to move on. Vintage always comes back so learn to master the modern mix.

Get out of your comfort zone

Get out of your comfort zone but be smart about it. Determine what you do already have, and what you need and how much you can spend. Shop only when you feel damn good about yourself and dress comfortably. Grab your girls and head to the shops preferably they are less crowded. Give yourself time and try out the clothes in front of the mirrors. Buy for the body you’ve got, not for the one you want.

Glam up your wardrobe with essentials that are accommodating for all seasons. These items are trends that will be forever needed in case you want your outfit.

My list of must haves

-Scarfs

definitely needed, it is an all season item

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-Accessories

Choose just the right amount to suit the outfit. But remember, not too much!

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-Bags

Bags are always part of the package.

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-Hats

Hats are back in very big way. They are definitely a must have.

-Belts

Simple or not, belts are big every season.

-Leggings

These are by far no question. They are a must have.

-Stockings

Stockings are essential because they transform an outfit for any season.

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Stockings. bag and hat

Stockings. bag and hat

 

-Jackets/ jerseys

A good jacket goes with anything you want it to.

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-Boots

These are the very essential and a must have. They are not seasonal and yet they accommodate every season.

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-Beanies

That beanie swagg is a must.

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-Chuck Taylors

Chuck Taylor shoes are all the rage.

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When it comes to shopping, one should purchase items that will rotate all year round, for all seasons. Winter is approaching, so go back in your wardrobe, start mixing and modernising, the smart way. Shop smart and save more.

15th Apr2013

The Artifice of South African Fashion Week.

by admin

Palesa Vuyolwethu Tshandu talks about the recent South African Fashion Week that took place in Johannesburg.

The scene

A cold Johannesburg night with unforgiving windstorms and persistent rainfall blowing you into submission & taking with them the last bouts of your dignity. Winter was slowly rearing its ugly head and the fashion folk at Crowne Plaza in Rosebank were to be the victims of mother-natures worst atrocities. If the weather was to be any indication of the night’s events then one would be forgiven for thinking that dread & gloom would be the order of the day. This however was far from the truth as South African Fashion Week not only warmed the hearts of style curators but it also provided cathartic relief from the long week that was. To someone on the outside it might have looked like a run-off-the-mill-event. It wasn’t overtly spectacular like Paris, New York or Milan Fashion Week, but there was a like-ability & familiarity to it, something that shouted: “I am proudly South African Mchana, look at the label”. The hotel nestled the heterogeneous crowd of fashion bloggers, writers, editors, buyers, designers, art kids & wanna-be-cool kids from the 11th to the 15th of April, for the Spring/Summer 2013 collections. Each day offered a representation of disparate collections from individual or group shows (depending on where you are on the fashion hierarchy) which either become nostalgic reminders of former international fashion shows and a classic case of: “been-there-done-that-got-the-t-shirt” or induced an Oprah-esque “AHA” moment. Each day was an opportunity for the style curators to offer the audience their brains (well, at least the right hemisphere) on a silver-platter.

DAY 1

With the usual round of air-kisses and fake smiles, the artifice of fashion week begins with a collection by Sheer Glamour: an assortment of various designers all paying homage to South African Fashion Week sponsors, because what is a world without our beloved capitalists? Terrence Bray used inspired art nouveau and orientalism to capture glamour and feminine elegance with his collection, an exotic prettiness, even making Queen Nefertiti re-consider her title as “the most beautiful one in the land.” Subsequently, design house Stoned Cherrie sculpted a Jozi cityscape using prints, hues of ochre, coral and greens thus re-creating the urban jungle, with the modern day Tarzan adorned in a suit. In contrast, Rubicon unearthed one of the other prettier, less traditional uses of ox blood by combining it with hints of floral femininity to express an African mood in design, thus claiming her stake at the forefront of African fashion.

Stoned Cherry

Stoned Cherry

 

 

Stoned Cherry

Stoned Cherry

 

 

Rubicon

Rubicon

 

 

Rubicon

Rubicon

 

 

Rubicon

Rubicon

DAY 2

The second day of this three-day event was more of a media circus. With the ground floor of the hotel housing popular South African personalities, it comes as no surprise that the air was thick with pretence. The clothes however suggested otherwise. With Lana Del Rey’s song: National Anthem providing as musical accompaniment the KwaZulu-Natal Fashion Council provided much needed aesthetic relief from the pedantic collections of top South African designers. Haroun Hansrot’s collection was dominated by ostrich feathers, sequencing and intricate beading details, which reminded you of a Rio carnival minus the “peekaboo-I-see-you” aspect. Lunar, however dominated DAY 2 with their pure, authentic, weightless, collection, which made you want to sing lullaby to yourself. Blogger Milisuthando Bongela described the collection charmingly when she said: “The collection is for grown up women, who don’t swear, whose hair is always clean and always eats a healthy breakfast”, highlighting the refined nature of the collection.

Lunar

Lunar

 

 

Lunar

Lunar

DAY 3

The last day of South African Fashion Week was a spectacle of male oriented fashion labels, including: Skorzch, Luxion Kulca & Ephymol, each with a unique design aesthetic to welcome the age of sartorial enlightenment and to promote the feminine man. Storzch stayed true to his design aesthetic with the use of natural, warm & neutral hues in an attempt to reiterate his Xhosa heritage. Design house Loxion Kulca, however took the style curators down memory lane with 1990’s Kwatio group TKZee with Fela Kae. The military look overwhelmed the audience as the architects of style history re-introduced the cameo, pleather, studs and an all round hard look. If the clothes however, were not to your liking then the male models provided much anticipated (I’m assuming) eye-candy leaving the crowd *swooning & wooing* for more & proving that in the business of fashion, handsome is as handsome dresses.

Skorzch

Skorzch

Skorzch

Skorzch

Loxion Kulca

Loxion Kulca

Loxion Kulca

Loxion Kulca

Loxion Kulca

Loxion Kulca

Ephymol

Ephymol 

Ephymol

Ephymol

Ephymol

Ephymol

 

 

 

 

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