Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Conversations in the business of life

The confusion of conversation

“What you think you heard wasn’t what I meant to say.”

What I meant to say
What I thought I said, and
What I actually said

Didn’t come out the way I intended

What you thought you heard, was
What you wanted to hear, not
What was actually said, or
What was really meant

What I wish I had said
And what I wanted you to hear
Is now such a jumble
Of confused thoughts and mixed emotions

The judgements and assumptions surrounding conversations
Move like shifting dessert sands
Each of us an island
Stuck in our own rightness

Unable to listen, frightened to hear, we
Tear ourselves with anxiety
Longing to free our souls’ true words
In honest clarity

Give me the courage to speak from my heart
With love and compassion
And honest intent
May you do likewise and both of us hear, sensitively,
Our realness.

Charlotte Lavine

SAFW Winter Designers - Black Coffee

Jacques van der Watt and Danica Lepen
Black Coffee
Est. Date:

Brief Biography:
Black Coffee consistently gives local fashion a distinctive face with its deeply referential, meticulously engineered and ultimately divergent approach. Their design ethos embraces contrast and re-shapes traditions with an intuitive twist. The result is mysteriously familiar yet refreshingly unique occupying a space somewhere between history and imagination. Black Coffee has shown at South African Fashion Week, Cape Town Fashion Week and San Francisco Fashion Week. The label has been nominated five times for the SA Fashion Awards and has won twice (in 2001 and 2007). It received the coveted Mercedes Benz Art Award for 2009.

Black Coffee in Bamboo Centre, Melville, Johannesburg

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

SAFW Winter Designers - Amanda Laird Cherry

Amanda Laird Cherry
Amanda Laird Cherry
Est. Date:
Design Training:
Durban University of Technology

Brief Biography:
After completing her studies, Amanda worked at a boutique before opening her own business. A year later she was approached by Instinct Surfwear International to run their design studio and after eight years, she launched her own label. In addition to being part owner of The Space stores, she designs for Big Blue under the Cubaverra label.

The Space
India Jane
Big Blue

Monday, November 23, 2009

“While on a patterncutting course in London I had the idea to create wearable accessories.My MA thesis was on the use of craft as a model for job creation, based on beading. As part of my internship, I worked with beaders and from that I imagined products, which I could develop with beaders in a contemporary way. The designs utilise traditional and local beadwork skills, giving the beadwork an unusual form while exploring new techniques. My love is for the fashion side of the product, and I make the crafters skills saleable through an original brand.” – designer Robyn Lidsky – Ruby

“I learnt to craft at the Sabata Church in the Bongweni area of Khayelitsha on Saturdays. Connie my friend took me with her. Dr Steyn the priest and members of the church taught us to bead. I received a certificate as a beader. They also taught me how to make a business and gave me money to start on my own. Afterwards Connie and I went to Cape Town because friends recommended Robyn, who was looking for beaders. Now I am the coordinator of the crafter group, Ruby Beading Circle that crafts for the Ruby label. For new products I develop the samples and prototypes from Robyn’s sketches before instructing the other crafters. It is imaginative work and it sometimes takes four days to make one sample. I have a lot of freedom in my work, which I like.” – crafter Andita Shaweni

Extract taken from nineTAKES – The Fashion Fusion Project, published by Channel F Publishing, R200. Available: or on 011 442 7812

Friday, November 20, 2009

Take Eight - Nine Takes, The Fashion Fusion Project

“The craft project allowed me to add more intricacy to my garments, while crafters gained practical business experience in the world of fashion. Crafting is a manual skill. The crafters have great expertise, and as a designer you need to mentor them to achieve the desired result. The final results were more than I could have imagined. The finishes were up to the calibre of any boutique in Europe. I enjoy beading I have now hired a full-time crafter to add that extra touch that makes each garment an individual one-off piece. They become pieces of art. After my fi rst collaboration on the project I received a large export order from Los Angeles, which we believe will lead to more success. tremendously, since taking part in the DAC Fashion Fusion Project.” – designer Sanché Frolich – Story

“My aunt taught me to bead when I was small and I have beaded ever since. I love beading. For me it is like art, and I cannot go a day without beading. Now I lead a co-operative of six people called Mabogo-a-Dira. Sanché of Story had the brilliant idea of spreading beads over an entire dress, which I thought was excellent. I also beaded bibs. I thought about how I would use the colours with a lot of black and white before I started, because I must love something myself before the client can love it. Now she sometimes sends me unique blouses to bead with a photocopy of how she sees the work, which I then interpret.” – crafter Kefilwe Thlou

Extract taken from nineTAKES – The Fashion Fusion Project, published by Channel F Publishing, R200. Available: or on 011 442 7812

Monday, November 16, 2009

Take Seven - Nine Takes, The Fashion Fusion Project

“Our interest is a beautiful garment, something commercially produced, ready to wear and affordable, but with designer touches, lovely fabrics, interesting shapes and amazing graphic design. We work with a group of crafters, most with other jobs, who craft exclusively for us. We send down boxes and give them freedom for their own interpretation. We don’t like controlling the process. Every time a box comes back we get so excited, as we don’t tell them what we want. We only produce the design. It’s magic every time. How does it happen? The energy the crafters bring to the clothes is really important. It’s not so much about the look. It’s the energy. The fusion creates the impact.” - designers Caren and Gina Waldman – Two

“I learnt to craft from my parents, but actually it’s something that grew inside me. Later, I attended courses at the William Humphreys Art Gallery in Kimberley and seminars at Sanlam South African Fashion Week. I like crafting very much. Even at home I craft. I do it continuously. I can’t do without it; it’s like medicine. When I craft, I’m really at peace with myself. I don’t think about anything else. I concentrate on what I’m doing. Then the product is good, and the designer is impressed. Often, I may add to a design – we learn from each other.” - crafter Mary Shuping

Extract taken from nineTAKES – The Fashion Fusion Project, published by Channel F Publishing, R200. Available: or on 011 442 7812

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bright Thursday Nights @ 44 Stanley

Do some summer shopping at The Showroom, 44 Stanley, every Thrusday evening from 16h30 - 19h30 for the month of November. Clothes and jewels are on sale from designers: Anisa Mpungwe, Tameryn Walker for Dollhouse, Robyn De Klerk and Hesti Roodt as Frank.

Monday, November 9, 2009

My BlackBerry - my phone, my computer, my all

Do I own a camera……. no. It is such a relief because , like all gadgets these days, there is such peer pressure to have have the right camera ! Is your camera, the camera of the moment? Do you have the right lens? etc, etc, we all know the story. If you see something amazing the moment has gone by the time you have taken your camera out of your bag…… just to find my camera in my bag is a huge challenge.
On the other hand I love taking photos but really – I do not want to be a professional picture taker. So... my BlackBerry is also my full time camera.
It takes the most beautiful pictures – and because it is always with me I am never running around looking for my camera.
Just look at the pictures I took in Graaf Reinet during the World Mohair Summit…… well it was from the Helicopter – views of the Valley of Desolation.
What an inspirational trip this was.

Clive Rundle's Southwestern Townshipshirts

Some of the beaded townshipshirts.

Such an original!

All the shirts came packaged in Nando's takeaway boxes, they sponsored the yummy eats for the launch. Thanks Nando's!

What a sense of humour!

Felipe Mazibuko

Alinah Missouri

Clive's new store at The Firs, Rosebank

Anna-Mari Pretorius

Last week saw the launch of Clive Rundle’s collection of southwestern townshipshirts at his new store in Rosebank. Visit the new store at Shop 12, the Firs, corner Cradock and Biermann Avenue, Rosebank to view the latest collection.
What Clive says about southwestern townshipshirts:
“South + western + township + shirt looks at taking the white shirt hostage and presenting what a child might like to do with his school shirt and tie and mother’s blazers. Cut the tie in half, loop it, cut one of those blazers to shreds, add an adult touch and sneak out the house, knowing all hell is going to break loose. Mother will discover the extent of someone's scissor genius - but realize it’s in the name of style.”

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Pierneef (1886 – 1957) – could his work inspire fashion today?
I went to Pierneef primary school and it is here that I fell in love with Pierneef. A Pierneef original in each class. Maybe it is during this period that I subconsciously chose minimalism as my preferred lifestyle…. Who knows?

I love the way that he seemingly without any effort make us aware of the uncomplicated lines, shapes, moods, and colours of nature – it is almost as if he photo shopped the clutter out and left us with the essential. II believe that his work has a huge fantasy element to it – one expects magic beings to jump out at you from behind these gigantic forms of nature.

In my opinion the world fashion cycle is moving in this direction again - minimalism with attention to detail and master workmanship. Detail, Fabrication, Design and Workmanship have always played a major role in Couture and high end design. I am convinced that this is the way forward - focusing on detail, simplicity and workmanship – combining design with craft to make each item slightly different from the previous allowing the customer to be individual within the group.

Have a look at this and see what you make of it.

All the pictures have been taken with my fantastic Blackberry – the way to go.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Trends from Li Edelkoort

I am at the International Mohair Summit in Graaf Reinet
The summit was opened by Mayor Sizwe Mngwevu
Brilliant - Li Edelkoort
I could not keep up (hugely disadvantaged by my non journalistic skills) but herewith the words and thoughts I took out from it. Forgive me for misinterpretation and leaving things out but I am sure you will use your creative talent to create the big picture. I just put the words down – make up your own mind… it is always the best way to go.

We are the world, We are family
Trends do not move as quickly as we pretend they do.
We are moving to want to be like 2, coupled, share due, pair, not influenced by sex, we look for the other in us and us in the other. People at work – do business together as pairs.
The sum of two people are more than two. There is a small baby boom. Dogs took the place of babies – doggie clothes, food, doggie stores, but now it is changing babies are coming back.
The fathers are in charge of babies. Men are taking care of the education of the children.
New man – slim, romantic, more romantic merchandise more in tune with the female genes.
Men and animals bond big-time globally it modifies their behavior.

Natural products are important

New bond between grand parents and children – less distance that in the olden days. Six pockets kids. Grand parents + grand parents + parents makes six pockets to give and pay for.
Disney World are making space for the grand parents and the grand children visiting together.
Internet – grand children teach grand parents – grand parents pay.
Economic unity between grand parents and grand children.

New kids want the combination between new and old and they know how to mix it with flair.
The family has became the family of choice, family of adoption, family of different culture, family of friends – this will make a difference in the world.

We do not want things the same, we like things to be different. We need the group, the group merchandising is making a come back but with the difference that each piece has something that is different. A Set of chairs – all the same design but all made slightly differently.
New Group – Entering a new phase – the individual will become group, people become the corporation. The individual is giving everything of their best to the group. Everyone does what they can do best.
Pyramid of power is becoming horizontal a person will give themselves to the success of the group. All different, abstract group, group that does not look like a group. This means that we can also make clothes like that - One design but slight differences.
Individualism that we have seen coming to the fore in the past 20 years will become not so important – more competition from groups, others, tendency to family.
We need to bring the designer to the animal with lots of businesses in between to contribute to the end product – we need to know how do you make the players become a family. Bridge the designer to the source. New way of doing business.
Winter Fashion.
Monolog – winter season
Monotones - Grey graceful. Perfect backdrop for accessories
Monocoloured - functional, denim blue denim. Denim becoming modern again .

Monobasic - Beauty of industrial design. Balanced shape.
Monometallics - rivets, nails and buttons will be the detail, metal finishes important
Self-reliance and allure. Russian blue, cat suits,
Monobody - Fitted fabrics discreet damask body hugging, focus on the essential
Monospace. Vehicles absorbing humans.
Robotic – surreal sense of style.
Monotype - Graphic play used with abundance. Play with texture and design.
Silk luxury, Bold brush strokes, Shades of browns. Enormous panel patterns
Monostyle - Black like a moonlight night
Monoculture - In the time of crisis we need to concentrate on what we do best. And forget of the rest.

All business crosses over in good times. Consumers gets confused. People think they can do everything, the airline is doing the catering, then they open hotels, then start a clothing brand, a perfume etc.. Nobody specializes.

Mono music is making a come back, great interest in the concentrated and specialized source. Monoculture are the cultures of the world that depend on one animal as their source. Cultures breed animals for fiber. Pure color of the animal product will be important.
Monography. Story of the farm. Environment will play a much bigger role - rural and farm will come together, scarves and blankets are huge, brick colour. Building society (bricks) – optimistic colors. Grey is the future quest for dialog balance doing two things together, half tones importance period of nuance and osmosis. Obhama black and white (mixed culture) he is getting grey so he is a perfect new age person –
There is a big revival of cardigans.
Business suit coming back to express our seriousness of business
Interest in industrial design – after a crisis people feel guilty – they go mat, on metals, dull. Embellishments will be oxidized – fancy yes but not bling. Consumer will not feel guilty.
The day things get better it will pick up sooner than the past. Metal will be more heavy
Monocracy - Hair fabrications trying to avoid the use of fur. Mohair
Monobody - Female body – honor the body with the corset. Leave the rich of the century see electronic futuristic things futuristic fashions newly colored iridescent
Monotype - Continue to make fantasy but be more graphic. Silk road is still big source of inspiration.
Monospaces - Bleeding color, beautiful
Monostyle - Black is always there – all ok.
Monolithic - Set the clock back on track finally getting us into the 21st century.
Farm will come to the urban city.

In the mood for mohair.
Animal fiber.
How does it blend, take colour easily, how human it is although it is animal.
Fashion want to take flight again. It has been strangled by everything fearful. We want to move into a new direction.
Hairy and fuzzy is in.
Silk has always been big
From big city to small city.
We are asking the following:
Who are we
What do we want
How can we use our roots to go into the future
How can we talk to the other people
How can we reach a general quest for identity.

Natural and alive
From an animal our biggest allies
Hedonistic – private pleasure