Category Archives: South African fashion

Dia de los Muertos

Today marks the traditional Mexican celebration, Dia de los Muertos, or ‘Day of the Dead’. The Mexicans believe in honoring the dead and find beauty in the macabre – the ornate Mexican sugar skull is the most well known symbol of the tradition. These bright, flora and heart-festooned totems have become popular symbols of otherness in Western pop culture over time, and are more and more frequently incorporated into everything from textiles, to tattoos, art and fashion. This weekend I actually  attended the opening of the Wildfire exhibit at Yours Truly, and fell in love with an engraved wooden skull, one of two, which were the first ones to be marked with red ‘sold’ stickers. My own house has been sharing space with skulls for some time already, and the increasing popularity of the skull motif has done nothing to abate my obsession.

A couple of weeks ago my very own Mexican death skull participated in a Dia de los Muertos shoot for Dossier, and I have the privilege of publishing a sneak preview of it today. Photographed by Antonia Steyn, the shoot was styled and art directed by my dear friend Crystal Birch (with the help of stylist Chloe Andrea), and serves as a visual compendium of local queen of print play Maya Prass‘ work over the last decade. One of Maya’s first interns back in the day, Crystal raided Maya’s Woodstock studio for the purposes of the shoot, and I really think that Maya’s surreal ruffles, neon-on-neon prints and textured boleros give the Dia de los Muertos theme a dose of lusty femininity.

Crystal accessorised each look with insane Ida Elsje jewellery and head pieces (I’m a huge fan – do yourselves a favour and go check out her Church Street studio!), which were recently shown at both the Africa and New York Fashion Weeks. Frida Kahlo-esque braids and matte neon eyes by One League make-up artist Nandi Fourie play up the bewitching symmetry of 16 year old model Katryn Kruger‘s delicate features.

Keep an eye out for the full shoot in Dossier soon – let me just say that Crystal created an epic tiered ball gown of a dress from a mass of Maya Prass ruffled skirts and it is a sight to behold.


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.


Desirable new beauties by local jewellery designer Oh Dear Megan. I like the balance between the delicate chain and the chunkier geometric pieces, as well as the play on symmetry and assymmetry. Available in silver and gold from Mungo & Jemima.



I’m lusting after these glamorous, fan-shaped clutches by local label Missibaba.

They’re so Bianca Jagger at Studio54-esque, and y’all know I’m a sucker for a) all out sequinning b) tassels and c) little bags that are just big enough for my Russian Red, cellphone and keys.

Which is your favourite?

SA Fashion Week 2011

After browsing through the collections shown at last weeks SA Fashion Week in Johannesburg, I gathered some of my favorites into discernible themes. Well, sort of discernible. More like into themes that serve my own purposes, for instance, my current craving for citrus colour due to the impending delight of summer, and my natural predisposition towards things like leather, PVC and tuxedo-esque shapes.

Make of it what you will.

* Click on the image credits to view the rest of the collections online.


I loved ELLE New Talent contender Kutloano Molokomme‘s cultish parade of elaborate red dresses. They were quite Yamamoto-like. Remi Lagos‘ lushly printed kaftan-style maxis caught my eye, and in particular this floaty Aztec number. Rubicon‘s caped frock was Little Red Riding Hood with a dash of 30’s glamour.

Images: 1. Kutloano Molokomme 2. Remi Lagos 3. Rubicon

A Little Waisted

2010 ELLE New Talent award winner Cleo Droomer‘s collection has the online community aflutter and it’s easy to see why. Sci-fi like panels gave tried ‘n tested feminine shapes like dresses with nipped-in waists a future-retro makeover. I was also quite taken with other newcomer Lameez Claasen’s uber long Miu Miu-esque collars and jodphur-inspired trousers, as well as Khumo Manota’s dreamy, feminine layers.

Images: 1. Cleo Droomer 2. Lameez Claasen 3. Khumo Manota

Sheer Story

Cleo Droomer‘s tangerine-piped mac and Tiaan Nagel‘s zip-through sci-fi mini were two of my favorites. I’d quite like to wear them together simultaneously, like some kind futuristic femmebot.

Images: 1. Cleo Droomer 2. Tiaan Nagel


Autumn/Winter is, of course, all about texture, as colder weather makes way for layering and lusher fabrics. From Cleo Droomer‘s PVC dresses, to Vesselina Pentcheva‘s romantic velvets, the collections really came out with some interesting textures. Suzaan Heyns‘ leather waterfall jackets were my highlight, as was Remi Lagos‘ devore velvet maxi. Some people might think it’s frumpy, but give me devore velvet and I’ll be your girl.

Images: 1. Cleo Droomer 2. Vesselina Pentcheva 3 & 4. Suzaan Heyns 5. Remi Lagos

Pants Party

Cropped, structured and pleated – I think Tiaan Nagel‘s version did it best, but I also loved Amanda Laird Cherry‘s skintight take on the look.

Images: 1. Amanda Laird Cherry 2 & 3. Tiaan Nagel 4. Suzaan Heyns

Canary Fever

Designers chalked their collections up with snaps of sign-post yellow – ruffles, accessories, pockets and piping all got treated to a little lemon delight. The true triumph was Mr Droomer‘s yellow PVC frock, with Amber Jones‘ lemon collared pleats at a close, wearable second. I want both! I also loved 46664‘s extremely wearable custard-striped, obi-belted, boat neck dress.

Images: 1. 46664 2. Amanda Laird Cherry 3 & 4. Cleo Droomer 5. Amber Jones 6. Amanda Laird Cherry 7 & 8. Mantsho

All images kindly made available online by SDR Photo

Friends with Benefits.

I am really excited to be working on a shoot for 36Boutiques later this week featuring some of the country’s coolest and brightest young fashion designers. One of them, Vicky Fenner of Joya Collection, produces, amongst other tempting jools, a range of high-end friendship bracelets. Recently I’ve been envying all the armfuls of hippiesque wrap bracelets and braided wristlets that some of my friends wear, but try as I might, I’ll never be a leather wrap person.

I even went so far as to buy what I considered a tasteful and not too Boho version at the Hout Bay market a couple of weeks ago – black leather and braided – no cowrie shells or beading in sight! It is currently languishing on the window sill in my bathroom, and it will probably remain there until it disappears. The ones that all the streetstyle darlings have been stacking up their arms (think Jak & Jil and the like) are (typically) more up my alley.

While Vicky was unveiling her collection of Summer brights, this neon rope and sterling silver friendship bracelet caught my eye. Weirdly enough, I’d been admiring both Proenza Schouler and Lauren Elan‘s takes on the look earlier in the day. It seemed fateful that Vicky had brought them along, and, she reassured me, she’s almost certain I’m the first person in the country to have it in neon. Yeah! Sorry, but there’s nothing quite like being the only one, in many senses of the phrase.


It’s the perfect melange of hippie-ish reference mingled with this season’s neons and a little bit of bling (just so no one makes jokes about my humble Knysna origins).

In my dreams I’d be able to add a Proenza Schouler version to my new little neon – carabiner, climbing rope and all.





Thunder in our Hearts










Thunder in our Hearts is a completely epic  blog written by Amber Jones – she of Mr Price and Wisdom & Youth fame, and similar bold neckpiece addiction and flamboyance. Amber’s choice content and intuitive curation is enough to assure me that we’d be firm friends if we ever met in person.

I was stoked (there really is no better word) when she got in touch and asked me to contribute to her 15 Things – a regular post featuring local fashion lovers and creatives from around the country. 15 things is rather a lot to come up with when asked, because you really do want to produce a list that is well rounded, interesting and not too familiar. As in, people go ‘oh, that old chestnut’ when they read it. My list subsequently includes things like local boys, acoustic versions of  Justice’s D.A.N.C.E. and gangsta chain. I hope you like it.

Alix-Rose Cowie did me a solid, as they say, and took some pictures of me over the weekend so that I was not forced to send Amber any corny Facebook-style shots. Alix did her best to unawkwardize me, and I am really happy with the results, some of which were taken in front of this gothic fiesta shrine that we erected above my bed. I liked it so much that it’s still there. Alix is amazing ❤