Vogue Festival over the past weekend

Day One:

Day Two:


Colour Code Tuesday: Spicy Saffron

Skorzch, Spring/Summer 2013, at South African Fashion Week this month.

Skorzch, Spring/Summer 2013, at South African Fashion Week this month.

The golden yellow number seen above is the colour of Saffron yellow. Many people may know saffron to be the spice ingredient used in cuisine, and seen as the hot red colour. Little did you know that the stigma of the original saffron crocus thread is actually golden yellow.


Fun Fashion Fact Friday: Diamonds are a man’s best friend

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Knowing how popular jewellery is in the fashion industry today, it is odd to think that men were the first to wear jewellery, since women are the biggest consumers of it nowadays. Men began to wear jewellery initially as a societal status symbol. Jewellery is a necessity in a women’s outfit today, whether it is the show-stopper or not, just a little touch of jewellery is inevitable. However, men are coming to the party too. More and more men are defining a new masculinity with adapting to jewellery once again. Boucheron make some of the most exquisite jewellery items in the business. The designs are an acquired taste, but the artisan is easily appreciated.

This is the hem of Boucheron.

“An innovator and a visionary, Frédéric Boucheron founded the French art of High Jewellery. More than one hundred and fifty years later, the Boucheron atelier has become legendary and continues to create and perpetuate the savoir-faire of the Maison.”


Colour Code Tuesday: Classy Carmine

“Carmine” is a deep, rich red and has a purple undertone. Carmine is an exquisite colour – very Royal and very modish. It is certainly an attractive colour too. In my opinion, this colour looks best on larger pieces of fabric, or on more clean, simple linear designs; anything that is along the lines of Chanel’s pieces or Valentino’s. The feminine drama of carmine red is evident.

Valentino, ready-to-wear, Autumn/Winter, 2013.

Valentino, ready-to-wear, Autumn/Winter, 2013.


Fun Fashion Fact Friday: Dressing Dolls

Dsqaured2, Spring/Summer 2013, menswear.

Dsqaured2, Spring/Summer 2013, menswear.

Fashion designers did not used to cast models to show their designs. Before the 19th Century all designers dressed dolls in miniature versions of their designs to show to customers. It is absurd, because now the fashion industry thrives on models to portray their designs, in ways of representing the type of woman or man their clothing characterises. Now modelling is one of the biggest businesses in the fashion world and models are more than just moving mannequins. Lauren Milligan, for Vogue UK, writes about the DSquared male models here. I liked this article.


Colour Code Tuesday: Under Where?

Under Where?, Essie Resort 2013 Spring collection.

Under Where?, Essie Resort 2013 Spring collection.

The nail polish brand, Essie, has recently launched its new resort collection for Spring 2013. All four colours are so young and vivacious. Essie has long been my personal favourite nail polish to use; it coats nails very well, and always has a salon finish. The colours are spot-on and the collections are always on trend.

This is the hem of Orchid Purple.

The purple colour of the new collection is called “Under Where?” and is Orchid Purple – originating from the colour of a purple orchid flower.


Fun Fashion Fact Friday: Vintage versus retro

Any item of clothing from 1920 to 1960 is considered vintage.
Any item of clothing thereafter 1960 is considered retro.

Prada SS 2012 ad campaign. Photographed by: Steven Meisel.

Prada SS 2012 ad campaign. Photographed by: Steven Meisel.

Many designers and household brands have taken to draw back on the styles of both the retro and vintage eras. More recently, Prada’s Spring Summer Campaign for women’s wear in 2012 was inspired by retro wear from the 70s. The photographs are amazing and so is the video campaign – pure brilliance.


Assignment: feature article

Durban University of Technology fashion graduate now successful local designer, Ludwig Bezuidenhout, showcasing his collection at The 031 Collection in Durban, 22 May 2011. Photographed by: Fei

Durban University of Technology fashion graduate now successful local designer, Ludwig Bezuidenhout, showcasing his collection at The 031 Collection in Durban, 22 May 2011.
Photographed by: Fei

Over-looked and Overlocked

Excitement is in the air while waiting for the Skype ringtone to play. A feeling of joy and anticipation to hear my friend’s voice comes over me. Minutes pass and still no ringtone. I am wondering if she is coming back from class or eating dinner. Then, her face pops up on my laptop’s screen with the accompanying Skype ringtone. Like the speed of sound, my finger moves to click “answer” and her warm “hi Fei” greets me.

Blaire (21-year-old), like many young South Africans today, has realistic dreams and ambitions. These dreams are often influenced by the exposure we get to the rest of the world in addition to our own country. We are privileged enough to live in a country that is not a 1st world one, but also has the resources and facilities of one. Lifestyles here are often better, speaking for the middle to upper class households, where families are fortunate enough to get access to simple things like DSTV and the internet, to go places that are heard and spoken about, and to shop happily with the current season’s trends. This is the case for Blaire.

Blaire has always been the on-trend young lady. Always conscious about appearance and presenting herself well. This is just another quality that is admirable of her. There was never a doubt that she would not want to study or be a part of the fashion industry in any way. “I want to become a fashion designer or a buyer”, Blaire said.

Today she is still studying fashion design at the Durban University of Technology, and is enjoying it very much. While we were speaking she always had a grin on her face, and genuinely enjoyed telling me about her degree thus far. I found it awesome and found myself glad for her that she loves what she has chosen to study. “We have sewing and we have patterns and we have drawing and illustrations” Blaire told me. This is just the beginning. She went further on to explain that they learn how bigger production lines work by scanning in designs and altering the patterns’ sizes. “Mood boards and story boards are fun and arty” she said. The joy she finds in merely the production of fashion excites me, knowing that whether she becomes a designer or a buyer, South Africa will have produced a driven and inspired young lady.

“One of our projects that we have to do is for SA [South Africa] Fashion Week”, Blaire said, “we have to enter the competition [held by the South African Fashion Week Council] and if you come in the top 10, then you get to be shown at SA Fashion Week.” The fashion colleges in South Africa are all highly successful in providing opportunities.

“It’s quite cool because it kind of gives us a platform to get noticed”, she said. It is great to see that even a government university, versus a private fashion school, reaches out and allows students to gain world-class experiences.

Challenging young, innovative minds is always in the criteria in the fashion industry nowadays. Competition is heightened and it is more difficult to standout. “The topic is transforming. While they [the models] wear it [the students’ designs] on the runway it has to be a dress that turns into a skirt and while they walk down the runway they have to change”, she giggled, “it’s quite hectic”.

South African fashion scholars do not even need to go far and spend excessive money on education, where one can simply get a somewhat more heightened experience and education from a technikon, like the Durban University of Technology. “The third year DUT [students], as one of your projects you have to do it [the annual Durban July Fashion Show]”, she explained, “and mostly the people from DUT win every year”.

From under the delight of talking about success in DUT, a slight hesitation occurred in her voice when I asked her about the frequency of opportunities within South Africa and whether it impairs her own ways of gaining experience. However she told me, “I went to an event in Joburg [Johannesburg] for Mr.Price”, she said, “It was so random I won a competition and I got to go to one of their events”. Elated again, she went on to tell me about a meet and greet with a designer from London who showcased at London and New York Fashion Week.

It is evident that passion is real here. Blaire has a yearning for a successful career in fashion, like many other young South African fashion scholars. Taste is essential, so is vision, but what the South African fashion industry seems to be lacking is a reliable foundation and support system for the youth to build on. Why must we flee the country to become a success when we have the resources here? Is it that our fellow fashion lovers do not give enough respect? Or is it that we do not have confidence in our own? It is all of the above. What we must strive for is to split the seams and break through the doubtful.

Colour Code Tuesday: It’s a fiesta!

Ready-to-wear Fall/Winter 2013, DVF, New York Fashion Week 2013.

Ready-to-wear Fall/Winter 2013, DVF, New York Fashion Week 2013.

This colour is a vibrant, energetic and effervescent colour. It is called “Mexican Pink”, deriving from the colour used by artisans in Mexico, for clothing, fine arts and crafts. The common English name for this colour is “Mexican Rose”.

Mexican Pink became famous through journalist, multi-dimensional artist, and fashion designer, Ramon Valdiosera, during the mid 1940s.



Fun Fashion Fact Friday: Work Wear Turn Staple Item

Levi Strauss was a German businessman. During the California Gold Rush, Levi Strauss produced denim working pants for the people. Still to this day, Levi’s jeans remain to be the largest jeans producer in the world.

Levi's jeans and clothing for women, men and kids.

Levi’s jeans and clothing for women, men and kids.