Joburg fashion week launches supermodel

#174. Wonder why in the fashion world three or four days constitutes a week and why this hasn’t caught on in the world of work. Actually in the fashion world three or four days constitute a universe in which a front row seat is your ticket to beyond-mere-mortaldom (ask Sonia Booth, wife of South Africa’s most famous white soccer player, Matthew – and I mean that in the nicest possible way. For the full story on former first princess Sonia read this from TimesLive), you no longer kiss people on the cheek (it’s all in the air dahling) and you hoik up your skirt so short that if your grandmammy was still alive she would be chasing you around the house with a dishcloth trying to cover up what G-d gave you (oy! She left home without her pants). And then there’s the heels, darling. So high this year as to give even the casual observer vertigo.

fundudzi's crochet dress

fundudzi's crochet dress

As for the fashion models, well they’ve mastered walking by sending their legs far out in front of them (the rest of me will be there in a minute darling). This year I made it to one show only, that of my friend Craig’s fundudzi label and got a great view of the rest on ifashion, the home of SA fashion online. I loved the fundudzi show for its pretty hues and draped fabrics and its fab crochet dresses (I have a soft spot for craft). The show also had some interesting storytelling flourishes which included a model repurposing a lampshade for fashion’s sake. Kinda cute.

But catching the rest online meant that I missed the second debut of Oxe, South Africa’s original supermodel. I feel particularly close to her. She’s from Witbank. I think of it as the really far East Rand. Her, Charlize and I were seaprated by nothing more than a few wagon wheel fences and lots of ceramic Mexicans lying next a cactus.

Oxe recently set up a blog and its worth following at Just to give you a taste:

“Some of you, sadly, won’t remember the day I was crowned Miss Witbank – a day that not only profoundly changed my personal destiny, but one that changed the destiny of the entire country. From the moment the tiara, encrusted with the Cullinan diamond, was placed on my head – the way the rest of the world perceived the tip of Africa, changed irrevocably.

Literally overnight, the west, the east and the north – saw the country’s beauty not in the stampede of a thousand wildebeest but in the demure smile of a 15 year old beauty pageant queen. No longer was the world’s focus on the republic’s gold and platinum resources, but on the unquantifiable loveliness of a coal miner’s daughter.

New York, Paris, London and even Tokyo – suddenly woke up to the unblemished aesthetic of an African violet and greedily reached forth to claim her as their own. I speak here of myself, of course – OXe (a necessary pseudonym used to protect my real self from the often cruel and callous world of celebrity).”

This is Oxe at work.

No doubt a super model worth watching … and it’s one way to secure that front row seat.

* For Simon Deiner’s beautiful fashion week photos (the crochet dress photo is his) click here

One thought on “Joburg fashion week launches supermodel

  1. Oh what wonderful times we had, sliding down the mine dumps on our flattened Omo boxes. When I last saw Charlize, she mentioned that the Witbank Coal Miners Union had been the inspiration for North Country. It would be amazing if we could get together for a lunch some time. Reminisce over a Vida vetkoek and freezo. And, of course, sign you up as a patron on the OXe foundation. Air kiss. Air kiss. OXe

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