SA Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2013 opening night

It wouldn’t have been SA Fashion Week (April 11-15) without a nipple or two peeking through sheer fabric, girls on stilts, boys channeling Filipino superstar fashion blogger Bryan Boy with a clutch bag in one outstretched arm and lots of jostling for tickets and attention…

Black Coffee's Congolese Kuba-cloth-inspired collection

Black Coffee’s Congolese Kuba-cloth-inspired collection

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SA Fashion Week Summer 2012 opening night

Rubicon. Photo © www.planetivan.com

Boys with clutch bags, lots of fiery red chic bobs and dresses cut to way up to there with heels to match signalled the opening of SA Fashion Week – and that’s just the scene in the lobby of The Rosebank Crowne Plaza, the site of Joburg’s real fashion week. And phones, darling, lots and lots of smartphones, snapping photos, texting, tweeting, waving in the air, videoing the shows, easing social awkwardness, amusing people during the long wait for it all to start and shining out in the darkness. I tried to remember what we all did before we had them – and recalled smoking Camel filters. Still haven’t decided which would be the healthier habit. Continue reading

New York Fashion Week lands in Joburg

# 199 Shop. The other day I met someone who told me, after I complimented her style, that she is only wearing South African designers. I love that idea and want to take it further.
So to kick off here’s local label Black Coffee’s coat collection fresh from their debut at New York Fashion Week and in store now in Melville.
Gotta get me one of these.
* You can find Black Coffee at Bamboo – “for all things South African” –
53 Rustenburg Road, Melville
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Glass design to make your heart smelt

#176. Hum David Bowie’s “Oh you pretty things” while visiting Smelt, the glass studio in Bamboo Centre, Melville. Lots of jewel-coloured hearts and stars, baubles and lamps.

Glass lamps from Smelt

Glass lamps from Smelt

Bamboo Centre has been around so long I forgot what a Joburg gem it was until a friend told me how she had taken her Cape Town visitor there to impress her this weekend – and it worked. So here goes:

Five more good reasons to hang out at Bamboo include:
Love Books, the city’s newest independent book store where you can order wine by the glass, sit back in your chair and browse an eclectic mix of international magazines not seen in many other local stores
Tinsel, where you can spend lots of moolah (and you will) on great South African designed contemporary jewellery
Black Coffee, where the local design duo who seem to have wowed Berlin and New York sell their crafted couture
Service Station for breakfast (probably the best scrambled eggs in the city) and lunch and any meal in between
and the farmer’s market on the first Saturday of every month (for this one I am relying on good authority because getting there by 7am is not top of my weekend agenda)

So there you have it! What’s stopping you?

* For more on Smelt go here. And to find Bamboo online click here.

Hang it on Joburg’s skyline

#173. Complain about the grey skies, the constant rain, the traffic lights out and the seemingly endless commutes across town. But who wants to do that. With the skyline last spotted days ago I decided to stop relying on nature and get me a more reliable source.

Introducing the skyline by Love Jozi from their store (shared with uber-cool fashion label Black Coffee) at Arts on Main now showing on a wall near me.

Arts on Main

#139. Head downtown to Arts on Main. It’s not often that you have an opportunity to witness a random conversation between two generations of South Africa’s  most talented artists whose work is collected by the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and other major global art institutions. There I was walking through the courtyard at Arts on Main watching William Kentridge lean out of his studio window to talk to photographer Mikhael Subotzky.

My first instinct was to think someone had called casting central and requisitioned two famous artists: “We’re sending Kentridge and that Magnum guy  Subotzky. They can handle this gig.” Continue reading

Black Coffee in Berlin

#128. Watch SA designers rock Berlin. The awesome duo who heads Black Coffee were in Berlin to show their Spring/Summer 2010 collection – part of their prize for winning the Mercedes-Benz SA Award for Fashion Design 2009 which I wrote about earlier this year.

For more on the thinking behind the collection – go The Frock Report. To see more of the collection click here.
* The Black Coffee store is in the Bamboo Centre, cnr 9th Street and Rustenburg Rd, Melville

Black Coffee wins

#84. Head downtown for the Mercedes-Benz SA Award for Fashion Design 2009. A few Fridays ago I headed to the Seippel Gallery in End Street for the announcement of the Mercedes-Benz SA Award for Fashion Design 2009. As a kid I used to accompany my mother on buying trips for her clothing store in that part of town which then housed the city’s “schmatte” trade. A few years later I returned to End Street to my then favourite hangout, Idols, a nightclub that thinking back endlessly replayed Roadhouse Blues by the Doors. “Ah keep your eyes on the road, Your hands upon the wheel…” Continue reading

Xenophobia is so last season

#20. Love Jozi. For all the reasons why people flock here from as far as Kigali or Zagreb, Brussels, Sao Paulo or Asmara. There’s a sense of possibility in a city as unfinished and as brash this one.  Right now I am in love with Bradley Kirshenbaum’s  Love Jozi T-shirt brand which puts Joburg’s heart on your sleeve, and his refreshing take on “Xenocentrism” which plays on the idea of the “foreigner” as belonging to the centre rather than the periphery. Continue reading