Monthly Archives: September 2010

Be my Valentin!

I have worn glasses since I was ten, and when I say I have the eyes of a geriatric, I’m not kidding.

Luckily I know my way around my flat, because without my contacts or my spectacles, everything beyond a meter away is a Monet-esque blur. I adore beautiful spectacles, but have worn my contacts every day since I can remember, because the truth of the matter is that my specs are dorky. Not quirky-dorky, dorky-dorky. I wear them first thing in the morning and last thing at night, and the few people that are privileged to have seen them are the same elite guild that have seen my red polar fleece Santa robe (I swear it’s the only piece of polar fleece that I possess! I find the extreme functionality of polar fleece disturbing).

I have been meaning to buy new frames for years, and finally I think I am getting close… I spent an hour ogling the saliva-inducing selection at Extreme Eyewear this week and I have my heart set on a pair of these cat’s eye Anne et Valentins:

Yes, please.

A pair of their sunglasses would not be remiss, either. These tortoise shell babies have my name all over them.

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Rocking the Daisies: A Guide to Festival Fashion & Faux Pas

With Rocking the Daisies little over a week away, I am considering what to pack, and so should you. Or maybe you shouldn’t. I envy those people that decide to go on a whim, pack nothing, float around in layers and have a total party in any case. But I am not one of these people. No, sir. I have had two very different Rocking the Daisies (RTD) experiences, and I thought I would share the small wisdoms that these two years have imbued me with, with you.

First, a brief retrospective on my previous RTD experiences to show you what not to do, fashion or otherwise:

2008

Seduced by the idea of a wild weekend in the wilderness, Olivia and I decided to Do Things Properly. We took two tents (one for luggage, one for us and our food and no I am not kidding). We took sturdy footwear. We took wet weather gear (not of the attractive Kate Moss stylish parka variety; we’re talking the real deal here). We took hats, scarves, thick socks, yoga mats to snooze on, litres of booze and a 3 litre vat of home-roasted veg. I insisted on the veg because I was adamant that we remain healthy even though we planned to binge drink and loll around hungover on hay bales for most of the weekend. A very misguided approach. The veg barely got us through the weekend and all we wanted was pizza to take the brandy-and-coke edge off. Not to mention the fact that we missed the memo about looking tousled and game rather than fortified and READY (for a hike? A church team building excursion?) And all the girls at RTD were flitting around in chiffon florals with cardies and fashion wellies. Lesson learnt.

2009

With a selection of floral pretties, a warm coat, skinnies and a couple of scarves in my bag, I fared well at my second RTD experience. Fashion-wise. Lesson still clearly not learnt on the food front, I took a vat of grated cheese, rolls, snacks and fruit. On the Sunday of the festival, literally on the verge of dying with a hangover, I perched on a cooler box for an hour trying to digest a dry roll crammed with flaccid cheese. Yes, flaccid. Not even the 340ml set could get me on my feet. I looked at the sky and went to a happy place.

2010

Third time lucky. Although I had the best time ever both years, I learnt a couple of thangs along the way:

1. Take your fashion cue from the likes of Alexa Chung, Kate Moss and Emma Watson, all of whom mix chic/sexy with practical. Alexa, in particular, is the queen of the festival outfit. Wellies are indispensible, even at RTD, where it is not necessarily that muddy. Other indispensible items include wet wipes, warm sleepwear, sunglasses, a practical hat, comfortable sleeping quarters, a parasol to keep you cool and cash. Sandals are good for daywear, but wellies by night will enable you to gallop and traipse through wet fields drunk as a skunk, without injury.

2. Pack lightish. Don’t do what I did in 2008 and ONLY take the most practical items, but don’t overdo it either. In 2008 I went to Earth Dance and, because it was my first (and last) trance party ever, I didn’t know what to take. So I took everything. I was wheeling my massive travel bag across clods of earth and grass at twilight, when a nasty hippie shouted to me:

“Oi! Heathrow’s that way!”

I like to think she was a fake hippie who lives in the suburbs and drives a Yaris.

3. Be prepared to rough it on the ablution front. Desperation sends girls out to the vineyards, and rightly so. RTD is pretty good about keeping the loo’s clean, but it is, after all, a three day festival. Otherwise, pay the nice people at Woshbox the going rate. They even have mirrors!

4. Liquid eyeliner. I’m not the type to forego all makeup all weekend. Liquid eyeliner means you don’t need mascara and it’s pretty much indestructible.

5. If you are lucky enough to do so, park your car near to your tent. Keep luggage and food in the car and use it as your personal jukebox and car bar.

6. Make use of all that RTD has to offer, including the amazing comedy tent and all the other good initiatives that are on offer. One year there was an independent film festival and also a Levi’s tent where you could film your own dance-off against artists playing at the festival. This year there is a world music tent, too. Yeah!

7. Don’t make expensive, drunken, irate phonecalls to Paris on your cellphone from your tent in the middle of Darling. Take it from me.

8. Take a camera or a friend that’s snap happy.

9. Party, frolic, groove, sing, fraternize with weird people, eat delicious food from the RTD stalls, have an outdoor wee, get a little dirty, discover a favourite new band, get languid and loll in the sun, just like the good people at RTD intend you to.

Off the cuff


Cuffed sandals are big for Spring / Summer. And I must state that I am not convinced. I could, at a push, deal with these Chloe cuffed gladiators…

BUT I have two concerns:

1. They aren’t exactly ideal for Summer, being that they cover a large portion of the foot and ankle.

2. And here I must quote Seth Green in one of my favourite adolescent films, Can’t Hardly Wait:

“Do they serve an orthopaedic function?”

Some of them look like ankle braces and/or bandages.

A case of the walking wounded?

Just a thought.

Skoenlappers!

While I was at home I took some snaps of Kim’s shoe closet, because she has a really lovely and varied collection. Each pair of shoes was bought as a result of complete and utter infatuation, which she has been surrendering to (to my father’s amusement) for years.

She loves colourful, cheeky (often impractical) shoes and I think they are the perfect analogy for her irreverent sense of humour and individualistic style. The brightness of her shoe collection next to my safe array of greys, navys and blacks left me lusting after a pair of ruby reds to carry me into Summer. I promptly pranced to the Waterfront, and while tempted by a well-priced pair of scarlet sandals at Zoom, found myself instead drawn to a Lulu Belle necklace made of crayon-coloured links, perfect for this season’s palette (debut today – will tweet a pic later!)

The shoes:

I’ve always loved these blue & white woven slingbacks – bought by Kim on holiday in Buenos Aires years ago. They have an old world feel to them.

Newly acquired leather brogues from Zoom, these are a current favourite.

Furry leopard pumps bought at Caramel in Knysna, extremely cosy.

Terra Plana heels bought at French Kisses, Thesen Island in Knysna. 100% ethical, eco-friendly pod covers. We like.

http://www.terraplana.com/

These Errol Arendz babies remind me of Liquorice Allsorts. Love the colours! Another Kim favourite.

These patent leather cherry T-bar pumps are from Accessorize and are so cute that they come in kids sizes.

Nude uber-heels from Dot Perkins. Yet to be worn due to extreme height, but often tried on.

Adorable fabric mary-janes from Pure Solid 13, one of our favourite local stores. Together my mom and I have quite a collection of their wares, including offbeat tux shirts, pumps, trinkets and dresses. Check out their new shop on Kloof Street near Melissa’s!

Colourette

Matte fuschia lips – the perfect complement to a brazenly saturated palette at Jil Sander.

All this colour is getting me primed for Summertime toes in sandals with beach brights and party dresses. Yes!

* Images courtesy of The Sartorialist

Flower Bomb

Erdem’s Spring/Summer 2011 collection is the prettiest poppy-infused tale of texture and high-tea-time dresses. Especially love the shot of the ever so slightly mismatched floral print trouser and blouse symphony. Imagine seeing that in the middle of a city! What a reprieve.

* Thanks again to Miss Katy Mills for slipping these gorgeous little petit four-frocks into my inbox in the middle of the night (via Style Bubble).

Va-va-vintage!

I spent this weekend in my hometown, Knysna, soaking up all the Garden Route goodness, along with substantial amounts of red wine, Patron, good coffee and Knysna hospitality.

And I also managed to sneak in a visit to one of my favourite vintage haunts, Sam’s of Knysna. That makes it sound fancy, which it really is not, but Sam’s treated me well this weekend and I want to return the love. The problem with being a workin gal is that whenever I return to Knysna it is either a weekend or a public holiday, which means all the vintage shops are closed! They seem determined to keep odd hours and make it difficult for me to pillage them. If this means that the secrets of their treasures stay hidden for longer, then I suppose it is a good thing that the old biddies that are the keepers of the kaftans and kitsch are so fickle and pushy.

Many times I have dashed into the charity store minutes before closing time, the tires on my car still warm from the N2 tar, and either had dirty looks cast my way, or piles of ugly polyester and knick knacks foisted upon me.

Once, and I tell you this story because it is FUNNY, I was lingering in the shoe section of one my favourite haunts, when one of the biddies at the front of the store held a hideous pair of skorts up to the light and, gesturing to me, said to her blue rinse consort, “Evelyn, won’t this be perfect on that young girl?” Evelyn politely and audibly nixed the idea, saying that I was too HIPPY for said skort. Hippy? Not the long-haired, beaded variety, the type with big hips. You can understand my irritation, considering that I have always been utterly and regrettably hip-less. Having endured taunts from friends about my lack of derriere and hips in highschool, I fixed Evelyn’s pal with a dirty look of of my own and left in empty-handed defiance.

But I digress.

Look at the beauties that Sam’s yielded!

Nude leopard print blouse (sucker for leopard print since birth) accompanied by 50’s full pleated skirt that I have stolen from my mom. The fabric is beautiful and stiff and inspires twirling.

My new absolute favourite, cropped black velvet jacket with wildly puffed shoulders and tuxedo-style points in the front. It basically combines all of my favourite things in one jacket. I am in love with it.

Velvet evening coat – extremely plush and luxurious with cropped sleeves and a big velvet-covered button at the neck. I love the length, it’s quite unusual. This is going to be a treasure-forever piece. The inside is cream, quilted and ancient. Love at first sight.

Oh oh ohhh… this was a strange and lucky find. The label is in Japanese, but the entire dress is printed with Serengheti animals, giraffes, specifically! Truly bizarre, but I abolutely love it and feel that it’s one of those fateful unions. Love the contrast of the tight, silky ruffled neck with the jersey knit, and the very fitted almost corporate style with the fabric.

So basically, I am delighted. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, and you land the vintage jackpot, then it is a happy weekend indeed.

And for those interested, the results of my Big ‘Do (thanks Lourens!) :

* The dress I am wearing is a sight to behold, a handmade evening gown from the 40’s in the most beautiful fabric ever, with a low-low back and the most elegant cut. I wore it around the house this weekend, just to get a chance to live in its beauty for a while, because occasions very seldom come round for her to be worn.