Monday, March 29, 2010


To conclude... after 3 ultra awesome days I can truly say that each and every designer tackled and dissected summer in their own way.
From the re-introduction to old colours that were forgotten about,
to the use of different material,
to metaphorical motives,
to Tarantino films,
to building apparatus,
to shear fun,
to spookasem,
to motown,
to historical icons,
to summer nights and summer breezes,

but most of all... to the city Jozi.

It's been an inspirational experience!
Well done to each and every designer!
This is me, Paris B, signing out... back in September...
maybe...hopefully...we'll see :)

Paris B

Sunday, March 28, 2010

[Grand Finale]

The last 3 shows of the evening looked at designers DM Classics, Thunderstorm, Darkie, Ephymol and Sylvester Falata. And boy, am I glad I saw these... the ranges were now also focusing on men and their perfect summer range.

DM Classics
Did you ever watch the film Jackie Brown?
You know, that other Tarantino film that didn't get as much spotlight as Pulp Fiction did?
The one with Robert De Niro? Yup. That one.
This range reminded me of that film - really 'cause it screamed attitude and funk.
Designer Dennis Manthata Maponya used brown like you'd never seen it be used.
From light hazelnut ones to that resembling Godiva chocolates
(Hey, no drooling please - it messes up your keyboard)
Men were dressed from head to toe in that which screamed hard-core and professional.
To suit any business (get the pun?)
It brought about this sense of Evening elegance for any night out on the town, the summer air brushing up against his jacket and licking the edges of your evening dress.
With the colours of chocolate milkshakes to classic caramels, Dennis looked at the warm side to summer and the heat in darker, richer, African colours.
AND... he made me smile by reviving the bow-tie
- I honestly think more men should wear them.
From old school biker jackets, to little black dresses, to tuxedos
- it was like James Bond and James Brown were the siblings we never heard about

Above 2 photos: © Planet Ivan - Ivan Naude

Bob the builder, can he fix it? Bob the builder, yes he can!
And yes, yes, yes did designer Thabo Maserumule amaze us with his builder's wear inspired range. Everything down to the last detail was thought out. Every single model had something to do with building apparatus. One would walk in with a hammer in hand, the other with a bag filled with sandwiches and coffee - the worker's lunch.
It was ingenious! Affective, grungy and added to the attitude Thabo wanted to portray.
He brought back the close-to-turquoise blue and clean white.
To me it felt kinda like ice cream soda pop colours with that hard-core builder's cheek intact.
Kinda 70's Motown yet still very modern.
It was interesting that he chose the builder's wear specifically 'cause what I felt that it did, was bring back the question to 'what actually is, a real man?'
The type that builds? Constructs? Changes?
There was this a sense...hard core image established on the outside, yet with this inner soul on the inside. A real man who loves, cares, nurtures and understands.
It screamed masculinity at every chance it got and experimented with a new concept that succeeded in making us smile, laugh and want the term 'real man' in every context.

Above 2 Photos: © Planet Ivan - Ivan Naude

Each year I have the privilege to be blown away by Themba Mngomezulu's work.
And this year proved to be no less.
Darkie combined style and culture this year in a way that old school trends, icons and cultures were revived.
For instance, and thanks to Vincent - who was seated next to me and who I'd just met - the use of the Ndebele culture and art in prints and patterns, revived the culture, which according to Vincent, is slowing dying out and isn't as prominent as it used to be.
This made me smile. Here, you have a designer who isn't just designing clothes, but is multi-taskingly bringing back trends and cultures.
Themba revived the spirit of old historical icons, those who fought for peace and freedom - Malcom X, Martin Luther King Jnr, Gandhi...
all asking the same question repeatedly: Victim, or hero?
It was like a 70's Afro funk revival, so much you'd expect the models to have Afros - but instead screamed attitude and revived a retro Sofia Town.
I then made up the following phrase, Retro African Kitch.
What do you think? I reckon it works :)
There was a revival for this almost golf-like like, the big carrier bags and trippy colours.
It was casual and somewhat Pulp Fiction-y - I dunno, maybe it had something to do with the haunting yet soulful Tom-Watts kind of music.
Full colours to Themba :)

Ephymol designer, Ephraim Molingoana took his inspiration from the streets of Jozi, bringing in waistcoats, linen and earthy shades.
His use of thin and light material portrayed summer's care-free attitude perfectly and breathed as the models moved.
There were moments were old 70's flowers were revived in clothing and this one outfit that reminded me of Scooby Doo - probably 'cause it resembled either character Shaggy or the Van they use to catch monsters in.
- Don't mind me, I love that program.
I must hand it to Ephraim for his impeccable detail and exquisite use of light, wispy fabric.
The dull routine of rolling up a sleeve was now changed into a purposeful move of style. The earthy creams, brown and oranges encompassed summer's warmth and the sands of Africa.
His use of shorts and straw hats made the men look ever-so-cool in light, relaxing clothing.
His range reminded me a lot of that of Paul Smiths - which is a compliment might I add.

Sylvester Falata
Last for the evening and for the event was a range from designer Sylvester Falata.
This range looked at exotic and candy-coated colours that aren't normally used.
This experimentation with colour meant that his range was different, new and completely fresh.
He brought in jumpsuits that stoppped at knee length, in bright exotic colours - cool and easy to wear on a hot day.
Remember how we use to take off our jerseys and tie them around our waists? Yeah, that kinda died in 2002 (well at least for me it did) well, Sylvester brought it back in a way that it was super sexy, attractive and showed summer at every chance it had.
The use of thai silk meant that the clothes were uber comfortable and light for a day out - yet it still portrayed masculinity - don't think it didn't.
There was something interesting he did with the shoulders - you know those pointed flat, outward shoulder guards that the ancient japanese and chinese soldiers had? Yeah it was kinda like that - it brought in a whole new look for the male figure, he looked strong, bold and pretty hard-core I'm not gonna lie.
Buttoned sweaters were used, again to shield those light summer winds and chilly, dew-stained mornings.
And to top it all, was the guest appearance of singer Lira - a beautiful women in a beautiful dress.
Radical :)

Back with epilogue bit later

Paris B

[And On The Third Day...]

The 14h00 Show saw the ranges from Colleen Eitzen, Soda and Terrence Bray .Check Spelling
A very casual and easy wearing group of designs might I add.

Oh and by the by, 'cause I happened to be thinking about this just this morning,
If I tend to come across Li Edelkoort Obsessed, just know that the only reason I keep mentioning her is out of shear gratefulness for what she has done to fashion. As a trend forecaster she has really helped improve the standard of our fashion at the retailers. So yes, just so you know.
Oh and all these ramblings are pure opinion - feel free to agree to disagree :)

Colleen Eitzen
What I sincerely loved about Colleen's range is that her clothes defined easy wearing in every sphere. The clothing reminded me of that which I saw the girls wearing in Greece when I went to all the different islands - which basically is what the range encompassed.
The get-out-of-the-water-slip-something-on feel.
It's easy, it's quick and super comfortable. And every now and then the random pair Converse All Stars to bring back that solid grounding and define the line between just lazy comfort and casual summer. There we hoodies and jumpers all ready to be worn the minute you got out of the water or went outside between twilight and nightfall. She used simple cotton stretch to ensure ultimate comfort. Colours of a grey melange against almost hazelnut browns.
Every now and then if you looked carefully, you'd see a thin layer of grey under the brownish black - very clever as it showed a new dimension to colour when the models walked. The clothing rippled ever so slightly as the body moved from space to space. The tops defined ease and versatility as they hung loosely over the shoulders.
From greys, to powder pinks and browns, to hoodies, pockets, jumpers, belts, folds and frills - sitting there in my clothing, I felt uneasy.
I wanted what the models were wearing - it screamed comfort to the point that I could fall asleep in it.
Colleen is setting out to make her summer majorly comfortable and easy.

Above Photo: © Planet Ivan - Ivan Naude

Here's what I have to say about designer Anna-Mari Pretorius, way to go with the prints.
Basically, she used prints like faded cartoons of cows and animals - not lots of them all like overlapping, but printed rather big on a dress. It was cheeky, fresh and radiated fun.
(see pics below if you still don't get idea)
She used draw-strings as subtle detail in that you can use it as a belt, a necklace etc. There was this fresh tangerine orange that when juxtaposed against a light, smooth grey, created this 'wow-ing' effect that brought in summer's secrets and scents. The orange was used in strips - either across the shoulder, or at the bottom of a dress. She brought in that Coldplay / Sgt Pepper's jacket where you fasten it across - Very Old School - in a good way that is.
The use of vertical lines in fabrics that ran down a dress brought in that fluidity that the dress encompassed and the structured chaos that Summer brings. (how about that for an oxymoron?)
Anna-Mari explored the art of digital printing onto natural fabric - this is where the animal cartoons come into play - which was genius because it brought about a sense of childlike innocence into this mature femininity of summer.
The printing was faded and subtle so as not to over-do the print that it became too kitch.
(if you get my drift?)
The range was also somewhat sporty and sexy at the same time.

Above Photo: © Planet Ivan - Ivan Naude

Terrence Bray
Designer Terrence Bray explored the dry colour range that we come across in our sub-Saharan neighbouring countries like Namibia. It brought about that dry African feel that was also part of a hot, desert-like summer. The colours reminded me of those found in a Pot-Puree bowl or the dusty surface of a seedpod. Khaki greens were met with rich, dry oranges and browns.
The range encompassed a raw, organic earth feel and the light, dry climates we experience in summer.
Maybe it was the Toto music - I guess the rain's down in Africa - that made me think like this.
Damn Toto.
There was an elegance that Terrence brought about in the hidden folds and sharp lines that made up the dresses. High waisted dressed with belts around the middle meant you could look both professional but easy-going at the same time.
It gave women a complete different sex appeal.

Above Photo: © Planet Ivan - Ivan Naude

Back with the Grand Finale later

Paris B

Saturday, March 27, 2010

[Good Evening, Summer]

Well hello there :)
Back again, I promised, with updates on the last 3 shows for a fine, hot, evening in the over-lit Jozi.
Dude, when I mean hot, I mean hot.
The next 3 shows saw designers like Two, Chimera, RjKay Creations, Karen Monk Klijnstra, Gugulam and Loxion Kulca by Ole Ledimo.

First up were the sisters Gina and Caren Waldman. And might I add, was I glad to see some swimwear. I begun to think that people didn't swim in the summer anymore. Gold bikini's, bold and out there. Sexy enough to make you look like you're 'foreign', exotic and definitely something that just walked off the beach in Cannes. The girls brought in that juxtaposition between Beige and Cream, that dark secret-bearing grey and light baby pink.
(My darling mother calls it Nipple pink - I can't help but find more appropriate words)
- By the way, if the adjectives are getting too much, just shout, I'll try better the matter.
Comfortable material was used so that it stretched easily when you walked. Material was left cut as-is and it brought in this ragged chic look against the solid colours. Colours were somewhat industrial and clothing was left to breathe.
Two reinstated simple, yet affective, minimalism.

Chimera showed me 2 awesome knew things: one being that of the many faces the colour purple possesses and 2, the beauty of folds - a lot of them.
Designer Bekky Beukes looked at using more than just one belt and how 3 of the same thin belt can be used around a waist. Her clothing was loose and comfortable with the every now and then coat or jacket to shield those sudden summer gusts. There was the use of thinly pressed/creased fabric to create this throw of shear comfort and a hoodie that just falls into place. I liked her use of high-fastened boots and overlapping layers and folds so as to create that cheeky summer evening look. There was also the use of beads in this one dress where they were hung on strands, hundreds just moving with the dress. It was here where I remembered Edelkoort's reference to rain and as the model walked, with the sound of swooshing as the beads brushed one another, I remembered those beaded curtains that are used in doorways and the sound they made when people brushed past them. It was like hearing a rain stick again :)

The 20h00 show saw designer Gugu Mlambo Msomi revive the beauty and shear erotica that the colour red possesses.
Sjoe, that did sound a 'lil steamy didn't it? Don't get any ideas now...
Anyways, moving on..
Gugu's rich range revived a sense of soul in fashion. With the aid of her roots and the insight into what women really want, Gugu created outfits that screamed sex appeal and helped represent the 'woman of our time' - as she puts it.
Her materials danced as the model's walked and her skirts and one piece dresses screamed Proudly bold and proudly woman.
(insert re-enactment of scenes from 'First Wives Club' here)
She had a skirt that looked like it came into contact with Edward Scissorhands and was then left, complete flirtatious cheek intact. She hit us with a bright, arrogant red dress that against the white ramp made the people behind me ghasp - seriously I like totally heard them, no jokes.
Her range screamed summer and her dresses licked the models' ankles.

Karen Monk Klijnstra
I'll give you R100 if you can say that 5 times over fast.
- Ok maybe not.
Lemme just put this into perspective what happened first. I heard Rapper Jack Parow in the background and thinking no-one saw, rapped along, in Afrikaans, when bam!
South African Flag Jacket baby! Black shiny Lycra pants and a jacket that was the national flag.
I was thinking,
'Feels damn awesome to be South African'
And that's exactly what Karen wanted you to say - well more or less along the same lines. Her range encompassed the word cheeky, and played around with the fun that summer actually brings. The nostalgia of looking through photos of you and your friends skinny dipping or the time you got sunburnt on the beach in Cape Town - wait a second, that sounds awfully familiar....Mhmmm
The range was flamboyant and exuberant. Using vivid colours of all kinds, she reminded us that summer is colourful too. So colourful in fact, that one thinks of fresh summer fruits and rain forest toucans and the exotic reef fish you saw snorkeling once (or in the tank at the dentist).
In Edelkoort's words 'tropical fishes are floating canvases of modern art, waiting to be transformed into bathing suits, luxury beach bags and towels'.
I was reminded of the psychedelic madness that was the 60's and 70's, the album covers of Santana's Abraxas and the Beatles' Sgt Peppers. She used two tone dyed denim and placed colour right next to each other so sharply that you saw two tone Ying Yangs split down the middle.
Karen played around with patterns and even a shocking, tennis, ball yellow suit. High-five Karen!

RjKay Creations
Last of this show was the work from designers, Reggie Molamu and Paledi Segapo.
In the words of the boys, this collection 'refected attitude and a thrill with oestentatious silhouettes'. And with the range being named Untitled patterning and prints were used in a way that you sat awe struck wondering what to call it. They looked at green!
Finally! I missed this colour.
African patterns and textiles brought in Edelkoort's inspiration from patterns in the sand left after the flow of tides. The boys brought back blue in its innocence and the use of dots. Not polks dots but small white dots on a white dress - not seen from far but admired from close up.
They revived netting under the layers of dresses and the models looked like Ballerina's.
And finally, men's wear! From low cuts trousers, to shorts to shirts, Rjkay made men look elegantly masculine.
Shear ethno-chic boys :)

Loxion Kulca
Loxion Kulca never ceases to bring alive the African, tribal roots that have influenced fashion. Always confidently changing and adjusting, this summer range had attitude! The last show for Day 2 started with zulu warriors coming in, DIY backpacks and cultural bangles and jewellery. Except with the cheek of wearing all star takkies! Loxion style!
Young and fresh designers Ole Ledimo and Wandi Nzimande revived kitch leopards and the 80's disco colours. Anything casual, hip or funky was right in front of you.
And if funky isn't for you, they brought in industrial, raw overalls that screamed attitude and originality.
The range succeeded in bringing back that party vibe of going out at night or in the day, proudly representing your country and the spirit of being African - no matter your history.
I felt pretty proud.

Last day today, back after 2

Paris B