Tag Archives: Cape Town nightlife

Heart, Crazy on You


A perfect song for this Thursday afternoon. This week has been completely manic – a madhouse at work, something cool to do each and every night, and far too much to think about, not to mention weather that makes you want to frolic in the waves, drink caiparinhas, have a Summer romance and stay up really late.

Crazy on You by Heart is the execution of just such a simmering, frenzied build up. Besides the fact that the song just rocks, as does the band, it also forms the accompaniment to my favourite scene in Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides… the one in which good-girl Lux tumbles into the front seat of too-cool Tripp Fontaine’s Camaro and kisses the living daylights out of him, leaving him with wide eyes and a little teenage keepsake. It’s too hot. I need more of this in my life.

Dark hot nights. Make use of them.



Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce, Sunshine of your Love.

Three stylish, stylin’, lanky-legged men – fur gilets, floral shirts, velvet cords, bandannas at the neck and one lush ushanka* to boot.

I’m off to explore all the little hot spots around town that I’ve been missing out on – Deluxe, Church, Field Office, Yourstruly and then on to Fabric City for a special little project and later, PUMA Social Club for Tommy Gun, Haasbroek, Popskarr and PH Fat! See you there?

Have a groovy Saturday!

* Ushanka = the correct term for a furry Russian hat. New word for the day.

How short is short?

I like short dresses.

And short shorts and short skirts. Very short. Eyebrow raisingly short (in some suburbs and establishments). My friends know this. Last week I was telling my friend Olivia about the luscious leather skirt I just ordered from ASOS. “It’s a mini,” I said, to which she responded, “Obviously,” with a touch of obligatory spice. Just a touch. I can’t blame the girl. There have been one or two occasions when I caught sight of myself in a shop window whilst legging it down Long, or in a photograph from a party past, when I thought “What in the name of Jeff Goldblum was I thinking?”

But not often. More often than not I have my party dresses hemmed shorter than average. And with good reason, I would argue. My legs are without doubt my best, most lithe, most shapely attribute, and I am a firm believer I dressing for your shape. The curvier details of my bod remain arcanely concealed behind billowing silk shirts, shirt dresses and artfully sculpted body cons. I would never, for instance, be caught dead in anything of the cropped top variety, nor in a fitted halterneck, boobtube or midriff baring number (Amen).

So what’s all the fuss about? When I started working I was told quite swiftly that my hemlines were too risqué. At the time I actually thought WTF (and a few other expletives), because in my view, said skirts and dresses were modest, knee-length and appropriately demure. Apparently not. But as time wore on, I noticed other girls in the office start to take a little chance here and there. To represent, as it were. And I smiled wanly.


Nee man, Parys



Bietjie kort?


Don’t get me wrong, I like a knee-length, calf-length or even ankle-length hemline just as much as the next girl, but I am particularly drawn to Kate Moss-esque mini’s and Alexa Chung-inspired cutoffs. Anna Dello Russo’s Balmains and Diane Kruger’s thigh-skimming shimmiies are, to me, at once itty bitty and beautiful. There are street sightings, though, that get me doing an extra turn in front of the mirror to check that those cute little halfmoon creases at the bottom of my derriere are not a’showing. I saw a few girls at Rocking the Daisies with them alarmingly on display. As a rule, if, when seated, your bare ass cheeks make contact with the surface that you are sitting on, it is time to consider an extra inch or two of fabric. Furthermore, if you are frequently in danger of exposing your flange, then you should keep an honest friend handy, at least to encircle you with a spare cardi when the going gets, well, muff. Towards the end of Winter I went to Melissa’s on Kloof for a quiet, civilised lunch with a friend. Just as we were about to broach the topic of the buffet table, two girls walked in. One was wearing what could only have been a jersey, over stockings with boots. Those stripes at the top of her stockings were showing, two horizontal shouts of Too Damn Short! Those stripes? They’re sexy when all you’re wearing is lingerie with them over the top and you’re pottering around your room getting ready to go somewhere. Otherwise, they’re just not. And a grandpa jersey doth not a dress make.

Proportion play is big this Summer – Miss Moss micro-minis meet floor length petal-like floats. The trick is to find a balance between the two and always to wear what suits you. I have just added the second maxi dress of my entire life to my wardrobe and love how glamorous it feels to wear something so long and dramatic. A floor length dress can be just as much a head turner as a micro mini can.

And that’s just fine by me.

Borrowed Dresses, Bagel Dogs, Bier

After a sorry start on Friday, the weekend really began with Saturday’s beauteous weather. Olivia and I donned our frocks and headed to the Biscuit Mill to secure Alibaba schwarmas, which have become a firm favourite over the last few months. I like the falafel best, and will put my mini phobia of milling crowds (not ideal when at the Biscuit MILL) on temporary hold just to get my paws on one. Olivia had lent me a most glamorous, flowing, floor length wrap dress that her mom made years ago – navy with a fine white print of little ships interspersed with patterning. We are currently in negotiations to do a little swap for swap, but it’s no easy feat when we both think that everything looks better on us. Vicious cycle. Moscow mules at the Biscuit Mill and some pleasant people watching blurred into an afternoon at the DSK Bierfest.

Last year’s Bierfest, although beset by awful weather, was a total party. I assured Olivia of this as we trudged uphill towards the school, and my confidence was briefly dampened when a Children of the Corn lookalike assured us with bright eyes that we were, indeed, on the right track. Adolescence is such an awkward time, and it always seems that kids of this age are forced to do things like marshall, hand out flyers and take collections. This was not our last sighting, for, as we made our way towards the tent, a roving vendor (aka a child forced to sell German confectionary on the trot) called, in a disturbing, German-accented wheedle: ‘Bagelll doggssss’. That did it for us. We laughed for the rest of the weekend, and my sms alert is now Olivia’s rendition of this poor kid’s sales pitch.

Cape Town’s hip set were out in full force, sipping on jugs of beer, enjoying the authentic German oompah band and fraternising in and around the tent. The female lead singer of the band was dressed in a full Heidi-esque getup, but with Converse high tops and a leopard print scarf. Cool! The keyboardist, in full length suede lederhosen, provided comic relief to the tune of Julius Malema jokes and sexual innuendo during the announcement of the DSK raffle winners. All in all a really fun / funny afternoon with old friends, and the beers did the trick. Olivia and I rounded up Saturday with a pizza at Da Vinci’s, some inspired, drunken tabletop drawings, and a Talking Heads marathon in the car.


It’s really pretty. But… Is it practical?

Words designed to twist a little thorn of indecision into my side. Words that wedge a cleave between my desire and my conscience. It costs half a month’s rent and it’s made entirely of tulle and velvet. It’s worth four dinners out and it’s just a tiny bit too big on the waist…

When I went to watch the first Sex and the City movie, I did so with a mixed group of girls, not all great friends of mine, but all just as keen as the next. And I loved it. My eyes couldn’t have been wider, sitting there in the dark. I swear Keegan’s hand was bruised from all my instantaneous palm squeezes… did you see that?! Did you feel it? The second we emerged from the cool, dark chamber of the cinema, one of the girls launched into a monologue about how expensive the clothes are, and how wasteful it is to spend thousands on couture, which, by definition, is not exactly wearable. How can the makers of SATC justify outlandish gowns that cost $ 50 000 a pop that will only be worn once and then put out to pasture in a museum somewhere?

How about:

Because it is art?


Because it takes my breath away?

Or because you drive a brand new Polo and wear Levi’s and holiday in Antibes? Same thing, sister. Excess is excess. And it gets under my skin and into my bloodstream and makes me fidgety. It makes my veins fizz with longing. Even if this excess emphasizes nothing but a lack. So bad is this affliction that I actually seldom go shopping. I avoid the malls at all cost, only venturing into their corridors when I spot a can’t-live-without online or in the pages of a magazine.

When shopping, they say, it is good to have a voice of reason with you. Someone to talk you down when the heels are too high, the dress is too short, the ruffles are too much. Anyone I have ever taken shopping with me is one of these mediators, these diplomats, for the simple fact that when you say no, I say yes. The very shape of your lips forming the word incites a rebellion that starts in my chest and sleeks up to my head, making it feel light, bright. It makes me high. And that is the long and short of it.

When someone says “… but is it practical?”…

It’s like they’ve dropped something effervescent into my heart.

Fat Back Soul

Having heard murmurings of a hip new watering hole on Long, I set out in search of Fat Back Soul on Friday night, and ended up getting more than I bargained for. A meander away from Royale and the Waiting Room, Fat Back’s is fast becoming the joint of choice for Cape Town’s stylish and soul-lovin’.

Getting in is the only obstacle presented by the oldschool blind-striped façade of the place, as the bouncer told me on both Friday and Saturday that there was a ‘private party’ going on inside. This turned out to be untrue, which I discovered when Carina, an old school friend and Fat Backs’ resident long legged door lady, did me a favour and ushered us into the amber, mirror-lined parlour that is Fat Back Soul. Sexy lighting and retro fittings form the bar’s molten belly, with a shiny, beautifully stocked bar to keep the patrons primed.

Apparently Rui Esteves of Brewer’s & Union and Vida fame makes up one half of the Fat Back’s partnership, and it shows, because each and every detail has been selected by someone with a fine eye for retro cool and downlit luxeness. I especially love the girls’ bathroom – one of the cubicles is fitted with a curve of mirrored panels, a kaleidoscopic sweep of Blow-like kitsch under diffuse light.

But best of all, for those with a sweet spot for downright groove, is the music – an irresistible slide of Motown, funk and soul classics, from Stevie Wonder, to Earth Wind and Fire, Marvin Gaye and Al Green. And it seems that they take requests, within reason – I chanced a foolish Boney M request and it was met with a firm ‘nay’. It’s really great to go somewhere in Cape Town and be able to get down to some real oldschool music that has yet to morph into some kind of fixed weekly playlist. People were really getting into the groove, with some unbridled white-boy-jitterbugging and heartfelt frugging. Loved it! In fact, I liked it so much that I went back on Saturday night, too, and it was even more groovy. Saturday saw some very stylish men and women lighting up the dancefloor and swigging their Berne’s and Steph Weiss’s on the leather lounge areas.

The dress code is stylish, but laid back – although not as laid back as somewhere like Neighbourhood or Julep. You could definitely get away with a serious party frock. In fact, my next trip to Fat Backs most certainly involves my new sky high ruby babies (see previous post).

I spotted one dress, a calf length sweep of a thing with a deep racer back and dramatic cut aways on the straps, worn over a long sleeved Tshirt. Didn’t get a good enough look!

If you want to do some interesting people watching, see something new or you’ve got a latent love for Stevie like I do, put on your grooving shoes and head on over to Fat Back Soul.

Here’s some musical inspiration to get you in the mood for some Fat Back Soul two of my most favourite songs ever.

{Please note the white people gettin’ down in both cases, and especially the more stiff ones, who seem completely unaffected by the groove and utterly oblivious to the fact that they are in the presence of Stevie Wonder and The Sugarhill Gang. Ongelooflik.}

White girls with braids: That’s all.

White girls with braids. White girls with cornrows. White girls with braids, cornrows and beaded embellishments.

This phenomenon has long seduced white girls the world over, particularly when holidaying in

a) Africa


 b) The Caribbean

The fascination seems to stem from the idea that one must ‘do as the locals do’ and really get into the cultural experience. Really though, white girls with braids are a subculture all of their own. Often sighted on Long Street at places like Cape to Cuba or even Joburg / Marvel, it genuinely surprises me that people are still doing this. If possible, I take a sneaky photo when they aren’t looking (when they’ve flung their braids to one side to down a Springbok or gyrate near the DJ box), because surely at some point they will become extinct?

Bo Derek famously pioneered the look in 10, and was never taken seriously again.

And Monica wore them to Barbados in an episode of Friends and was so sucked in by the ‘authenticity’ that no one would come anywhere near her and her crown of cowries.

Heidi Klum wore them (avec cornrows) to her and Seals’ renewal of their vows, which, tellingly, was a White Trash wedding. Seal wore a mullet and Heidi’s locks were the cherry on top of a white lace catsuit. For me, this says it all.

White girls with braids.

It’s a love / hate relationship.