Category Archives: love & lust


These bow-tie-bedecked two-tone wingtips by Comme des Garcons have me slouching all over the show, exhaling theatrical sighs and swoons (not kidding, that’s how I roll when it comes to tuxedo-inspired attire, in particular where accessories are concerned).

Someone recently told me I shouldn’t be so concerned with fashion. I had a private Miranda-in-Devil-Wears-Prada moment, as I took in the accusee’s fashion-conscious chambray and straight-cuts. I get so tired of hearing it, honestly. It is possible to be completely fashion befok and still not be a vapid, shallow creature that blinks, glassy-eyed at the mention of more authentic concerns like the environment, world peace and the economy. I’ll Murakami and Greenpop your ass back to self-righteousville, I will.

AND back to my swoon. Those sleek-stepping Comme des Garcons beauties remind me of this video:


Navy & White

Navy and white – a classic colour pairing that speaks of decorum, ceremony and tradition. Sailor-style collars, lapels, pristine piping and pin tuck pleats, or glossy, embossed gold buttons, double-breasted jackets and high school honours ties…

This selection of navy on white shows that my penchant for the combination was born some time ago, and as Cape Town eases balmily into hot summer nights and blustery summer days, I find it a soothing antidote to the heat. Navy and white elevates prints and gives them an air of cool poise.

Already I find myself reaching for Breton stripes, my vintage navy maxi skirt (whose button-through cut and broad, bow-tied waist always inspire envy) and the sailor-girl dress I bought in Istanbul (an impulse purchase, and one that makes me want to fling on some stripes and a nautical hat while I’m at it). Polka dots, too, a perennial in my wardrobe, gain new coolness in navy and white.

It’s a combination that speaks of European coastlines; bright white buildings against brighter blue seas, bare feet, the whitest teeth, sensual, billowing hemlines. Wow.

Items pictured:

Cream beaded and perforated handbags, both vintage / Velvet bow tie, vintage / Striped t-shirts 2x vintage, 1x Pick ‘n Pay, 1x Mango / Polka dot tops with striped trim, both vintage / Irregular polka dot crop top, H&M / Dainty polka dot pussybow blouse, VAMP / Plaid rockabilly frock, Mango / Pom-pom hat, a gift / Sailor-girl dress, Istanbul

And some navy and white beauties that caught my eye:



Alexa Chung for Madewell


Elizabeth Lau


Your brown eyes are my blue skies.

The eye makeup at Richard Nicoll‘s S/S 12 collection – emphatic little geometric streaks of matte black; half Asian, half Mondrian – are channelling my own makeup for the weekend ahead. An exotic, iconic departure from my trademark cat’s eye.

{Don’t even get me started on the dreamy florals, hooped, Jetsons-esque skirts and lurex/PVC symphony. And, yes, I’m still obsessed with Warpaint.}

Watch the eerie, hypnotic inspiration behind Nicoll’s collection here.

All images courtesy of Style Bubble.

Girl Band

I am officially re-obsessed with this song.

A couple of sizzling hot, doe-eyed brunettes, bra-less and clad in a trifecta of suggestively goth/glam Victoriana-meets-Courtney-Love nighties?

If I’m honest all I’ve ever really wanted was to play bass in an all-girl rock band.

RTD 2011

Rocking the Daisies 2011 was an absolutely epic weekend of live music, happy wandering, old and new faces, bare skin and hours spent blissed out and floating around a dam with a cocktail in hand.

If you are yet to experience the hippiesque radiance of this festival, you best get your derriere there next year. I truly believe that there’s something about it that makes each and every person in attendance the best possible version of themselves for one hot, groove-filled weekend.

{Do yourself a favour and check out Shadowclub, a Joburg-based band that was easily my festival favourite. Rockabilly style, Brylcreemed hair, mad moves and Josh Homme undertones. Yes. Please. Tumi & the Volume, Jon Savage & the Nomads and, of course, Band of Skulls, get a mention for bringing it, too.}

Gimme Bling.

Happy birthday to you / Happy birthday to you / Happy birthday dear blogette / Happy birthday to you.

Today The Pessimiss is one year old exactly!

And what do we do on birthdays? We celebrate. I happen to be a self-confessed birthday lover. No it’s-my-party-and-I’ll-cry-if-I-want-to’s for me. No. I celebrate in advance, celebrate post-date, and celebrate on the day. And my favourite gifts always involve some kind of adornment, usually bling, or headpieces, or platforms, or boots.

And so, in this fine tradition, that is what The Pessimiss will get… embellishment, adornment, bling! Last week I sat down with a designer and a developer to brief them on the birthday present. You will soon lay your eyes on my actual vision for this blog – the way I have seen it all along. You may have noticed my content gradually changing over time – still a little sardonic this ‘n that here ‘n there, but a little more serious, a little more visual, and a lot more consistent. The new visage will, in line with this, come with the kind of content that we all want to share – well-researched, inspiring and rare.

I can’t wait!

PS: Why the rollerskates and confetti and stuff? Why not? It’s ma birfday!

Confetti by Confetti System, rollerskates by Moxi

The Adventures of Ermantrude

My recent discovery and post on textile savant Charlotte Linton has been blogged and reblogged (thanks to the lovely local Miss Moss), so I thought I’d go a little deeper into the story behind Charlotte’s exotic, whimsical prints. The narrative behind her many prints really comes to life in her finely illustrated and painted figures, creatures and other imaginings.

Inspired by antique imagery of naturalists and narratives of colonial exploration (including references as diverse as Hergé’s The Adventures of Tin Tin and archive papers held at the London Zoological Society), Charlotte invented her own fictional muse, Ermantrude. An eccentric zoologist travelling the globe in the earlier part of the 20th century, Ermantrude has a suitably tropical and inspired wardrobe to accompany her on her travels.
Each of Charlotte’s collections is based around Ermantrude’s wardrobe. Mixing cultures and era seamlessly, Charlotte’s aesthetic is tempered with vibrant, eclectic prints that tell of Ermantrude’s many travels.

In Charlotte’s own words, ‘Emphasis is put on practicality and simple cuts enabling the garments to carry eclectic prints that have an ingrained narrative. As the wardrobe of an adventurous young academic, they must be practical, stylish and essential.

Charlotte’s Summer 2010 collection is, I think, perfect for our upcoming Summer. Jaunty ethnic and anthropological prints, vivid colour and easy, glamorous shapes. These print dresses look fit for an urban savannah priestess with a hipflask in her pocket and a compass in her hand.

Follow Ermantrude’s travels here.