Liam and that Kid

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

This photograph tops the list of my favourite street style moments of 2012. Worldwide.  It was taken by Liam Lynch at Str Crd, September 2012 in Johannesburg.  Please note the composition of this kid's outfit, the multitude of what I assume are kaleidoscopic prints against the muteness of the fashion castaway that is that Joburg tourism jacket. Don't get me started on the vintage school bag that has been adorned with a printed Ndebele inspired facade.  I respect this kid's consideration.  There are many youths who are having their fashion moment in Joburg and indeed Southern Africa.  Bowties, mohawks, washed out denims and an easel of colour combinations are their weapons of choice but a lot of it looks rehashed watered down versions of the original, the original that set out to be original and thus, it is sans originality - the existence of which is highly contentious. 

A perfect example of what I speak of is the faceless sneakerhead on the left.  He looks cool and hip but they are a dime a dozen these days.  The kid on the right is not only clearly interested in looking good, he has considered the placement of those various women's pins, that feminine gold bangle on his arm, the chains on his neck and that expensive cap he is wearing in a way that conveys fashion's role in conveying meaning and expression.  What I speak of is effortlessly expressed in his face, which does not yearn for an onlooker's attention or affirmation.  You give it.  I wish I could meet this young man. Thank you Liam. 


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Regular readers of this blog probably know my obsession with my favourite trolls and their style.  Beyond that though, I have always found their general movements around their celebrity, their billion dollar empire and their seriously serious career as fashion designers well balanced and very respectable.  I read this WSJ article about them recently and was so inspired by the integrity in their label The Row.  I tried on a pair of The Row sunglasses when I was in Paris.  I was happy for the experience.  

A little lesson

Trusting in the provisions of the universe is the most amazing gift we are perpetually offered as humans. Someone broke the motor that controls the remote at the block of flats where I live and my gate remote to enter and exit the building doesn't work. 10 min ago I was on my way back from visiting a friend and I knew I was gonna have trouble going into the building, especially because it's so late. The streets at this time are dead quiet and everybody is already tucked in at home but en route I was driving behind this car thinking, "I wish this car was going to y building". Drive drive drive and every corner it turns, is the corner I have to turn to get home. As he turned the last corner I thought, what are the chances? Low and behold, the car was going to my building and I entered the building as a tailgater in disbelief. But the point is exactly that. When I left my friends house, I said to her, I'm not going to worry about getting into the building although I should. Worry is prayer for something you don't want. The universe always hears us, it's us that have to listen and trust.

What is a weekend?

At last, the product we have been waiting for!

Friday, October 26, 2012

This video was a fortuitous find.  Yesterday I was invited to an all girl blogger breakfast organised by Sony for their Xperia U Smart Phone targetted at women!  What makes this phone specific to women I asked them? Because it lights up PINK, they say and even changes to other colours depending on the colour scheme of the picture you're looking at on your phone. Wow, what revolution, what pioneering in technology! Thank you Sony, for helping me fulfill my feminine destiny.  But on the real, thanks for the manicure!  


Thursday, October 25, 2012

                                                                                                                                                                      I was almost over this African print thing and thought I'm going to jump off the bandwagon before it hits the mass! But then I stumbled upon these on Miss Moss and salvation by the marriage of La Lesso and Pichulk prevailed.  These (and others) bags are the the result of a collaboration between inter-local design house La Lesso and Cape Town based designer Katherine of Pichulk, which I found out today stocks MeMeMe Cape Town (hawu and not Joburg).  I'm in love, these are great and I will do my best to try and get them to stock MeMeMe with these wonderful bags, failing which you can just get them on their website 


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

via Kris Atomic - not sure how true it is for South Africa though!




Get your tissues out. This is the saddest song EVER and I've never even lost a lover in this way! Only my dad and I was a mess when I heard it the other day.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Photographed by Steve Marais. Clothing and styling by Jessica Rayne. Make up by Kelly Fuchs at Infidels and all round coolness by Manthe. 


I woke up this morning with the intention of blogging about The 2012 GQ Style Awards which I attended for the first time last night.  But I've been listening to beautiful music and reading wonderful heart warming articles and I would like to maintain my good mood for the day.  

So instead I will fish from the pond of positive and sensible things and tell you about V.I.N.T.A.G.E Cru - the adorable dance crew that's currently making waves on South Africa's small screens, stages and any surface that can accommodate the seven dancers and their bodacious personalities.  I had the pleasure of meeting these guys in June when W Magazine interviewed them for an article they were doing on Johannesburg.  

We were all crammed in a dirty booth at Kitcheners on a freezing Tuesday evening and I was watching this gaudy scene with awe as they shyly articulated the spelling their names out to the Tim, the writer.  The first feeling I remember feeling while listening to them tell their story was the feeling of being old.  They are between the ages of 18 and 24 and they are so much more confident and sassy about themselves as I was at that age.  The second feeling was warmth.  They made me feel so good about being African.  Their take us or leave us alone attitude is palpable in how they strut instead of walk and how all of the boys can out-neck and out-hairflick all the girls when they speak. I see them around town whenever I'm out, one can't really miss them, especially when they are in a group.  They admit they face hostility from taxi drivers and heterosexual men whenever they have to go to Noord or Bree Street Taxi Rank because of how they dress but they feel safer in bigger numbers.

Their mama bear as they call her, is Manthe Ribane, one of the lead dancers and someone who has a future as bright as her daily ensembles.  I first met Manthe in 2008 when she was 20 years old.  She was one of the people that showed up to Maponya Mall when I asked a group of these sassy dressing Soweto kids that I had been seeing all over town to all meet me on a Sunday afternoon because I thought they were interesting and I wanted to do a story on them.  That day, the Smarteez as a subculture was born and Manthe and her friends were the perfect prototypes of a new generation of young South Africans, ones that didn't have the burden trying to be anything else but their young free selves, living in a society that begs for and celebrates the self awareness of youth.  This is what she , Robyn, Errol, Lee-Che, Tarryn, Fallon, Ashwin and Lebo represent, the freedom that was hard fought for.  Despite major problems that we still face in education, employment and health care in South Africa, the spirit that dances with these dancers tells a different story, the story we all want to see about who we are.  When I watch this video, a smile races to my face so fast that all I think of are the eternal words of Thembi Seete ''I don't know what can I do with myself''.  

I stole these pictures of them from Facebook. 

Manthe, the original Smartee is their stylist. 


You deserve love. Not just any kind of love but, like big “I think I’m going to puke if you touch me (in a good way) and regress into a 16-year-old psycho if you don’t text me back” kind of love. You deserve to feel like a sexual being and have someone around who wants to see you naked all the time and doesn’t mind that you have cellulite or that your stomach has terrifying pockets of fat because bodies are flawed and you better deal with it, bitch.

You deserve to be proven wrong, to be brought back to life by someone’s kindness at a time when you thought that no one would ever love you again. The song does not remain the same. Lo and behold, the person you like actually wants to date you and now you know that you’re not the hideous monster you thought you were. Your faith has been restored. You’re lovable. You have the relationship to prove it.

You deserve to have high highs again, even if that means experiencing the occasional low. You forget the euphoria you often feel when you fall in love. You know on a certain level that it feels amazing but you forget the specifics. Like, how your life immediately becomes a stupid Taylor Swift song and your heart does somersaults over something as simple as a sweet text message or phone call. Every ounce of maturity and pride you’ve carefully cultivated over the years disappears and suddenly you’re just another person who’s fallen in love and is acting like a smitten teenager. It’s totally embarrassing but you’re too happy to care.
You deserve to do annoying couple-y things like making each other mixes, walking down the street hand-in-hand, making out in bars, and posting stupid pictures of the two of you on Facebook. Yes, everyone will hate you but, screw it, you’re in love! You’re owed this experience. You’ve never been that annoying person in a relationship, or at least you haven’t in awhile, so why not just go for it and let everyone know you’re in love? Your internet presence will suffer but who needs validation from the internet when you have a real life person giving you a scalp massage before bed every night?

You deserve compassion, understanding, oral sex, long, lingering make out sessions, and spooning. You deserve to feel safe and spoken for. Most importantly, you deserve passion. Big, messy, disgusting, and beautiful passion. Having that means you’re living and loving with a capital L. You’ve unlocked the secret. You get it now.

You only live once so why don’t you love a lot? Time is too precious to sit around and deny yourself this kind of romantic fulfillment. When you think of all the time you’ve wasted closing yourself off from human connection, doesn’t it make your heart sick? We were built to love. Go do your job, dammit! 

This article is by writer Ryan O'Connell and I found it on Thought Catalog via my friend Akona Ndungane on Facebook. I hope you read each sentence as slowly as I did.  I read this four times before deciding to share it.  Peace!


Monday, October 22, 2012

As I'm sure you have been reading in the papers and on the social networks today, award-winning legendary South African photographer, Alf Khumalo passed away yesterday at the age of 82.  You can't say you know the story of South African popular culture without taking from its cauldron of images that were captured by the greatest documenters of our beautiful and ugly history, the likes of Jurgen Schadeburg, Peter Magubane, David Goldblatt, Kevin Carter and of course Alf Khumalo.  

These men and their work will forever be etched into our history because they were brave enough to tell stories that were never meant to be seen by the world. Of course it was not all about doom and uncovering the evils of apartheid, but about capturing the resilience of black South Africans, all the joys they still experienced at night clubs, shebeens, on dancefloors and in their dining rooms despite their reality. I haven't seen his entire body of work, hopefully there will be a retrospective by some clever gallery or organisation now that he is no longer here, but these are among my favourite images by him. The first is of the newly married Winnie and Nelson Mandela with their first child Zenani.  The second is of a group of ANC supporters outside the court during the famous Rivonia Trial in 1963 at which Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment. The third is of Winnie Mandela outside that same court during the trial. 

Of course he did not only photograph famous people, he made a name for himself by photographing ordinary people, one of whom was Cassius Clay, who he only discovered was super famous after having photographed him in London.  Death is the end of the labyrinth that is life.  I believe it is only worth it if you leave something for people to remember you by.  Alf Khumalo's efforts will ensure that we never forget who we are and where we come from.  And for that, we thank you Mr Khumalo. Go well. For more images by Alf Khumalo, try these sites or buy his books, Alf Khumalo: South African Photographer and Mandela: Echoes of an Era


How the simple placing of one part shape and one part colour can transform a boring staircase to a pathway of joy.  These beautiful staircases are made by a group of artists from Beirut, Lebanon.  Talk about Street Style. For more of these beautiful staircases, click here 


Friday, October 19, 2012

So apparently the geese are letting loose on Saturday with the first The Wknd Social party at Puma Social in Braamfontein. Not really sure what the Wknd Social is but blah blah fish past just press PLAY!!!


The grass is greenest

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

On Sunday my friends and I went to an amazing Jazz performance at Nirox by Herbie Tsoali and friends where works by sculptor Paul du Toit were on exhibition. It was my first day back in SA and my first opportunity to wear my Prada Sunglasses since I got them (thank you Sunglass Hut) before I went on my trip. I didn't have a single day to wear them in Europe because it was raining the whole time so actually, the only reason I woke up on that Sunny Sunday was to wear them.  This is my beautiful and dear friend Lauren Jill Petersen. The trousers are Jane Sews at Mememe, top Miss Selfridge and my Janet Jackson inspired earring is from Lalibela, Ethiopia. And no this is not going to be one of those blogs where I break down my outfit to you on the daily, it's a once off.


One night I went out to Great Dane and while getting a drink at the bar, forgot what I wanted when the barman finally came to me because I was staring at this creature!  Then one day I was surfing the waves of the net and found The Capital of Cool, a blog about this girl Rharha and her illegally rad looking friends, Zandile Nkomo, her brother and her boy friend, Cape Town based musician Petit Noir! Anybody who can wake up and get away with looking like this deserves a medal of honour against visual pollution.  She always looks great and if you think that's it, check out their site, her personal blog and look at her jewellery, under the label Drone Jewel$. By the way her name is Rharha and she is half Thai and half South African and sometimes stays in England and sometimes in Thailand and sometimes here. I mean really.