Tag Archives: South Africa

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.


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.