Soweto’s photography collective

Pimville

The photographs make you look twice. First because they are pretty, stylized shots, speaking the language of fashion photography, and then again because of their setting.

Pimville, Kliptown and Orlando in Soweto, Alexandra are not usually names that conjure the hipster lifestyle, freedom, beauty, or high fashion. Continue reading

Joburg street art and the Rasty factor

Sunday morning in Maboneng – Joburg’s hipster haven on the east side of the city. Urban regeneration comes in the form of a peanut, banana, date and soya milk smoothie. Maboneng has arrived. What could have been a fantasy is now a high-priced and much in demand reality.

And outside Uncle Merv’s shake shack our little crew is getting bigger. It could be the start of a joke… One editor, one photographer, one blogger and two tour guides meet over a smoothie to wait for Rasty…

Rasty with his work. Photo by Wesley Poon for Sunday Times


Continue reading

Material, the movie

Thursday night we headed north to that weird Montecasino (where the sky is always blue no matter when the sun sets, and those cobblestones make enemies out of great heels) for the premiere of Material, the movie that made Barry Ronge cry and that has people declaring that we finally have a local film with the potential to rival a Leon Schuster blockbuster at the box office.

I hope so.

Continue reading

Joburg master class with David Goldblatt and Ivan Vladislavic

#215. Explore the double negative. I spent last Saturday at the Goodman Gallery listening to Ivan Vladislavic and David Goldblatt in conversation about their limited double edition [TJ and Double Negative] with the delightful Marlene van Niekerk [author of the award-winning Triomf and Agaat] who had been coaxed from Stellenbosch to speak with the “masters of Joburg”. Both of whom, in her words, have a commitment to the “the reductive mysteries of things as they are”. Warm, full of wit and nuance, the conversation took some interesting turns 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
Continue reading

Sue Pam-Grant’s latest exhibition

#192. Take in Sue Pam-Grant’s latest work. The writer, performer and theatre director has over the past few years turned to fine art – with some amazing results. She has a shop in Melville next to the Bamboo Centre that I often drive past. Although to call it a shop isn’t quite accurate as its window reveals an ever-changing tableau of the artist’s work. A living breathing installation that masquerades as a shop. Always intriguing, and entertaining while you sit sandwiched between cars in Joburg traffic waiting for the light to change. Continue reading

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.

Joburg's inner city hijacked by truth

#142. Confirm that real life can be far more interesting than fiction in this city. Last week I interviewed Peter Harris, author of In A Different Time, at one of my favourite bookstores Boekehuis in Melville. Harris’s true account of the dramatic tale of the Delmas Four with its intrigue and suspense and myriad coincidences is a plot fiction writers dream of creating, remarked someone in the audience.
Big news this morning is the arrest of a prominent attorney for assisting a crime syndicate to hijack inner-city buildings. This after watching “Jerusalema” last week, a movie set in Johannesburg that I had long been wanting to see. 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