Category Archives: South African design

Go buy the November issue of Wallpaper*, now!

A month or so I was given the incredible opportunity of contributing to the November issue of Wallpaper* Magazine. For the last two weeks I have haunting the aisles at Exclusives and other purveyors of good magazines, and it is officially out! It’s a huge honour for me to read my name (middle name included, of course) in the pages of a magazine that I associate with impeccable taste, strong writing and an appreciation of all culture.

The November issue features Wallpaper’s top 20 reasons to be in countries the likes of France, Portugal, China, Canada, Sweden, and, of course, South Africa. I interviewed and wrote about four Capetonian creatives/platforms that I think are doing things a little differently.

Get your pods on the latest issue of Wallpaper* to find out why Crystal Birch, Cindy Poole from The Summit, Jenna Bass and Hannes Bernard from Jungle Jim and Murray von Hirschberg from Enmasse are giving the rest of the world a reason to keep an eye on our country.

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Oktoberfest.

I don’t usually do these kinds of posts, but I had such a cool weekend that I really feel like sharing it. After a truly abysmal Friday at work (suffering a mild hangover, and with a wounded heart), I decided to short circuit the blueness that was trying to claim me and accept the first invitation that came my way.

The We Love Real Beer Festival it was! Armed with three friends and a hell of a thirst, I joined the rest of Cape Town in Woodstock for an evening of beer swigging, catching up and sausage-eating to the tune of some cool blues. I must’ve consumed several litres of beer and also managed to sneak in a cheese wurst and some spirited head shakin’ to the blues.

Saturday was a delightful grey day, and my brother and I trundled down to The Power and the Glory (or the P and the G as we Capetonians fondly like to call it) for brunch with a friend. The P and the G is truly my local, and I will stand by its hipsterness, The National/Arcade Fire soundtrack it has on repeat and their epic sirloin salad to the death. The P and the G attracts some real aesthetes and it’s just the right size so that I can wear my wooden platforms and not fall on my ass during the trip from barstool to bathroom. It truly is the small things.

From there we went to see the Gabrielle Raaf exhibition at Salon 91, and I bought this little wood and floral brooch. I love the colour so much, and the fact that it’s like a kitsch cameo. It looks like the brooch version of this strange but amazing egg-shaped castanet I bought at a second hand shop a while ago.

An afternoon of lazing, talking, pasta-eating and laughing at old photos with friends in Sea Point was followed by the decision to keep up the good work and get our derrieres down to Swing Royale for the swing party. The Swing franchise is Cape Town’s new answer to a night of good music and dancing that doesn’t include smoke machines, strobe lights and David Guetta.

It was my first time. I wore a silk wrap jumpsuit covered in polka dots over stockings with wingtip-style courts and a vintage bolero. In all honesty, it was so short on me that it looked like a really glam leotard, but I have taken to telling myself I won’t be able to wear things like this in five years time and boy, is it workin’! We danced, a lot, and it was such a festive departure from your average night out. Girls were in full tassels, stockings and suspenders, long lashes and lacquered nails, and boys were dapper in bow ties, brogues and rogueish grins.

Sunday, fittingly, was all about sleep, daydreaming, pizza and music. A real all rounder of a weekend, I must say. And guess what? It’s Rocking the Daisies this weekend! I’m already planning my packing list.

See. You. There!

Mother Clougher

I spent all day yesterday shooting a new segment for 36Magazine at Buchanan Studios, and had the pleasure of hanging out with a bunch of seriously cool and talented girls, including Danielle Clough, Alix-Rose Cowie, Aisha Baker, Barbara Lotter from Babette, Vicky Fenner from Joya, Oriel Barnard from Lisp, stylist Chloe Andrea and makeup artist Toni Greenberg. The segment is called Bright Young Things, and it’s already close to my heart (as well as my chest – watch out for the next issue of 36Magazine, live 17 October for the full, glorious shoot).

Danielle Clough, or Dee, as she is affectionately referred to, is a bleach blonde blur of big eyes, freckles, long legs and mad humour. With limited studio experience, she took to the set with energy, vision and her trademark ability to make things look lush and dewy. She brings edge to everything she does, with a dash of pop culture attitude that appeals to my appetite for nowness. Between talking about starting our own magazine, lip synching to The Spice Girls’ Wannabe and professing a shared admiration for a good work ethic, we realised that we work extremely well together.

The little pair of atmospheric Rah-Rah lips pictured above cemented it for me – Dee created what she calls a personal ‘photicon’ for me in two seconds flat. And then she sashayed gazelle-like onto set in her watermelon frock and killed it for ten hours straight. Watch this girl.

Follow Ms. Clougher on Twitter, Tumblr or on her blog.

Lauren Fowler at The Fringe

Last night I trundled down the hill for the media unveiling of Lauren Fowler‘s window displays at The Fringe on Kloof. If you’re a Gardens or Tamboerskloof native you may have noticed Lauren being super industrious in the window over the last little while. Every day for the last week I have wondered what she was busying herself with, and when I received the invite (social media VIP, hey shoo wow) I was excited to go and check out The Fringe’s new permanent home.

The result of Thessa Bos and Chantelle Louw‘s series of pop-up shops featuring some of the country’s best design and art, The Fringe is overflowing with locally made beauties, from Skinny Laminx textiles, to Shirley Fintz ceramics and Metaxia jools. Magpie that I am, I was particularly drawn to the jewellery, but I also have a soft spot for quirky ceramics, and The Fringe has lots of both. Of late I have become a lot more conscious about supporting local design, and I would recommend The Fringe as a real treasury of South African products, as well as a surefire choice if you’re on the hunt for a thoughtful, unusual gift.

Lauren’s windows are a great visual summary of her keen eye for the unusual, and for combining newschool wit with oldschool practice. Her much-loved wall hoops, prints and originals are all for sale at The Fringe, and I loved the way she transformed her hoops into a family of makeshift dreamcatchers – kind of like a collection of strange, floating halos. She was wearing – and I say this with a bitter heart – a vintage dress made from black velvet, vintage lace and what looked like a gloriously sculptural taffeta skirt. The tight bodice, cap sleeves and lush velvet had me admiring it through narrowed eyes (sorry, Lauren).

Here are some of my favourite pieces from the wares on display:

Metaxia jewellery.

Sessi Bee ‘man bowls’ (featuring all manner of cool dudes, from sailors, to bikers, to wizards and shamans!) and ceramic lorry necklaces (I’d like a man in one of these).

Molo Mimiartwork embroidered and sewn from patches of reclaimed fabric and tapestry.

Cerise vintage pumps.

Digital prints by Colin Payne.

Glamorous earrings by Smith (especially the ones that look like they have chillis dangling from them).

Lucky 7’s wall hanging by Simple Intrigue.

Perspex colour rings by Kooky, which would look oh so cool dangling en masse from a gold or silver chain.

Find The Fringe on Kloof at 99B Kloof Street, near to Arnold’s, and make sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter / Follow Lauren on Twitter

Stefni’s Seven

I recently got in touch with a fellow Garden Route girl, Stefni Muller, and found out a little more about the inspiring bespoke jewellery that she spends her days creating.

Stefni and I were friends of friends during highschool, both privy to the idyllic, seaside upbringing that Knysna afforded us. Knysna kids, many will tell you, are a little different. When I discovered Stef’s eclectic range of thoughtful, handcrafted rings and pendants in Knysna last year, she did nothing but reaffirm my belief in the importance and authenticity of locally conceived products.

I asked her 7 questions because 7 is my favourite number, and because I have a persistent love of alliteration that I will always find a way to include.

1. Tell me a little bit about yourself – who you are, what you do, the
things you love.

I’m still trying to figure out who I am. I don’t think that journey ever ends, but if I had to sum it up in a few words… creative surfing traveller head over heels in love with dogs! I am most comfortable in outdoor spaces, where I can hear or see the ocean, and I’m most at home when I can feel the sand beneath my feet.  Adventure and exploration is the key element to my creativity, it keeps me and my work raw and humble. I feel that my products should be honest.

2. You grew up in Knysna. How much of an influence has that had on the style of your jewellery?

I actually lived in Pretoria for the first 13 years of my life and moved to Knysna at the age of 14. Knysna has had a major influence on my work in general, but mainly because I had the privilege of living the lifestyle that ultimately fuelled my creativity… it’s all about the lifestyle.

3. How did you come to be a jewellery designer? What has the journey until today been like?

Jewellery Design and Manufacture wasn’t my first choice. To be honest, I didn’t even know anything like it existed.

I enjoyed working with my hands immensely but it was the hardest four years of my life. I struggled to express myself in metal, and there wasn’t much freedom in the design or manufacturing process.

I stuck it out and got the degree, but I was on the first plane out of here and swore that I’d never pick up a paint brush, or make jewellery again.  I spent two years following the summer between South Africa and England and it was absolute bliss.

After a two year break I was more passionate than ever before.  I had needed to refuel.  I woke up one morning, had my last cup of tea saluting the ocean in front of my house on the English coastline, booked a plane ticket home and opened my own creative studio trading under Stefni.

I can’t say that jewellery design was what I’ve always dreamt of doing, but looking back I wouldn’t change it for the world.  I now am a diverse creative with the privilege of balancing my time between a few disciplines I am absolutely passionate about.

4. Describe your jewellery  – who do design it for and who do you envision wearing it?

Raw and honest.  I’d like to think that there is no pretense in my work.  That’s the way I approach the manufacturing process, too.  I melt my own metal, roll
it myself and make everything by hand.  I takes much longer and is more labour intensive, but it gives my product a truthfulness that machinery doesn’t come close to.

I don’t make jewellery for the money, but rather for the love of who it will end up with. I would like those who have a close connection to nature to wear my jewellery; those who still know the worth of thought-provoking, handmade things.

5. What materials do you like to work with?

Brass is a favourite. Silver at times.  And then all things found!  On the street, at second hand markets, or on the beach.  I like to take things that served a specific purpose but are no longer of use and celebrate their existence within my jewellery. I also incorporate a lot of fabric and thread… they are key elements in my work.

6. Are there any other designers/artists/crafters either locally or
internationally that you admire?

Faith47, Andrew Thomas Breitenberg from One Street Herald and Banksy (to
state the obvious) are graffiti artists that I admire, all of whom challenge societal rules, expose the truth, share and inspire. Artists? There is only one… Peter van Straaten… need I say more? (He is also my ultimate!)

7. What inspires you?

The ocean, adventure, photography, old school anything! Foreign language films, travelling, third world countries, mountains, sunshine, rain… I LOVE it when it rains and it seems like everything gets purified, cleansed and renewed.

Fabric also inspires me. You will lose me in a fabric shop. I don’t need it but I will buy it! The English coast surfing scene is also so beautiful.  And most of all my dog and partner in crime in most adventures, Roxy dog. The list can go on forever… every day is an artwork waiting to happen!

Stefni’s range is available at French Kisses in Knysna and Plett, at T&Co in Cape Town, and at Gatsby & Gold in London. She has previously exhibited at the Design Indaba, Kamers vol Geskenke and at the Food Wine Design Fair.

Do yourself a favour and go check out the rest of Stefni’s incredible one off pieces on her website. I am particularly partial to her gorgeous heavyset rings, each of which is crafted from sleek, matte metal and studded with some or other arcane, compelling keepsake. She takes the things that we stumble upon and put in our pockets and gives them another life.

All images by Cornelius M. Muller

Crown wishlist

I’m making rather a song and dance of my 25th birthday, because, as you may know, it falls on the 25th of this month. If I weren’t so bloody busy at present, I’d be making an entire week of it (daily Deluxe coffee dreaming, nightly Death by Chocolate Magnums, and perhaps a little confetti here and there)…

For, when else does one get to do self-indulgent things like decorate one’s desk, refer to entire weekends as ‘my weekend’ and entertain the idea of rooms filled with glossy pink helium balloons or surprise cupcakes studded with little marzipan skulls? Indeed.

Amidst all of the outlandish dreaminess (and work) I have found the time to assemble a mini wishlist of locals-only beauties that I feel are crown-birthday-worthy. Note that I’ve kept it local – none of my usual ‘OH look at that Carven collar’ or ‘I’d die for that vintage YSL frock’ nonsense.

Prudent, nê?

1. These silver heart earrings by Ida Elsje are both brash and bashful and I love them.

2. Okay, so this is homeware, but this red Deco-style cabinet from Vamp Furniture is perfection.

3. This look combines two of my favourite things: a well-tailored blouse with sartorial quirk, and one of The Summit’s leather bowties, which I mooned over here and here. The blouse is called the Neptune, and it’s from Selfi.

4. I’ve been gazing longingly at the teardrop mirrors from Dokter & Misses for some time now.

5. These glorious penis print (yes, penis print) linen veldskoene are the result of a collaboration between rebel artiste Beezy Bailey and local cobbler Ninon Louw. I love the colour palette and the irreverent print. I’ve no idea if they’re for sale in real life, but one can dream.

6. The Missibaba Lovely Rita clutch in buttery yellow with tan accents and loop detailing is Indiana Jane perfect.

 

Migrant/Migrate

I awoke this morning to a gleaming little surprise in my inbox – the article I wrote about Gregor Jenkin for Schön! some months ago was finally published.

I collaborated with talented photographer, Brett Rubin, who originally shot these images (with styling by Wanted magazine’s editor, Gary Cotterell) for Wanted. The article is a snapshot look at Gregor’s aesthetic and his interest in returning to old methods of creation and manufacture. The ‘wildebeest’ tables pictured in the images are from an installation entitled ‘Migrant/Migrate’, which I find both barren and beautiful – compelling combination. Have a look a the article as it appeared in Schön! below:

A great start to the weekend, and I also received some really exciting news yesterday about a fashion-related job offer. I’m not ready to divulge all the details yet, but suffice is to say it comes pretty close to being my dream job. Thank you universe!

[You can have a look at my previous article for Schön! – also in collaboration with Brett the great – here]