Black Coffee Autumn Winter 2012

Saturday, March 31, 2012

It feels almost insincere to go on and on ad nauseum about how ''talented'',  ''edgy''  and ''innovative'' a fashion designer is.  But with Jacques van der Watt of Black Coffee, I'm willing to carry a foldable vom bag that will fit into my purse as precisely as his cuts fit the female form - because his work simply demands that you get up off your cynicism and take it for what it is, very good.

I sat next to Jacques at his quiet presentation at his shop in Melville.  It wasn't what one would call a fashion show, more than a showmanship of his skill.  He was very relaxed for someone who is presenting the essence of his collection to the country's media for the first time--a quality implicit of his experience as a type of creative--somebody seasoned in starting something from nothing and doing it better each time.

I sat squashed between he, wearing an unfamiliar pair of transparent frame spectacles that go with his silver messy mane, and a the glass doors to the Black Coffee store in Melville, where a CNN camera was recording my every move.  Do I sit and watch the the show? Do I tweet? Do I take pictures and notes?  I didn't want to appear as if I'm not concentrating on the vision before me and taking in the sounds of the sea from the audio,  but it was hard to sit and do nothing, what with the camera to my right and Jacques to my left. What kind of journalist am I, I wondered? 

I eventually decided to sit and take it in, writing down sporadic thoughts and feelings when the opportunity presented itself.  The show featured 4 models who to a distant observer could look like they are performing interpretive dance.  The clothing presented was from the summer collection which is only available later this year, a collection he called Oyster, featuring pleat upon pleat, squares, straight lines, rectangles and triangles all purposing a sound repetition to the tune of a Bauhaus architecture aesthetic.  Very defined lines and definite secure shapes, quilting in jackets, dresses, tops and skirts all with a double layer of sheer - sexy but very conservative.

I could have asked him the typical ''what inspired this collection'' kind of questions or what it's all about really, but that's like asking an artist to dispel his process, it would have kind of cheapened it.  So I sat and enjoyed the tip of an ice berg that was not presented at the show.  The following images are the rest of the range which is only available for viewing in a look book or in person at the stores.   The collection was shot by Chris Saunders, who I'm working with on a new blog and we have exclusive rights to publish these amazing images first.  The summer collection look book is on his blog.   Do yourself a favour and go there. I want to say more but I also want you to get to the images part of this blog post sooner rather than later. 

Black Coffee Autumn/Winter 2012


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

SA Fashion Week starts tomorrow and I thought this the most appropriate time to tell you all that just in case I wasn't busy enough, I decided to start a whole new blog with my friend, photographer Chris Saunders.  We are playing around with some names although there is one we really like and are launching it next month. We have started doing some work already.  Using his unique skills with the camera and my fashion eye, we are going to take portraits of fitting people in Johannesburg and wherever the stories take us.

We are going to SA Fshion Week but are not going to focus on the ramp stuff but the people attending, the culture around such events, the undocumented moments such as the smokers corner, people's expressions on the front row, designers with models back stage, people who work in the industry and what they look like when they are at work.  If we see something interesting, we shall get to work, if we don't, we will observe.  On Sunday we spent some time with two really beautiful couples in their homes and we captured their best moments that afternoon.  I do the text, he the images and the two so far are amazing.  I think you guys will like it a lot.  

He took this portrait of me when we first discussed the idea two weeks ago. 

We are also going to do some street style all over, the townships, the city, the suburbs and portraits of people we find interesting, people that are tastemakers in this town.  People whose presence will be felt and talked about 20 years from now.  We are going to capture people in their church uniforms, people waking up after a night out, people at exhibitions.  Just the beautiful people of this town and country.  

What we saw from the cheap seats.

Hives of excitement are about to break out from beneath my skin.  New album out 29 May.  
How cute is this album name? How cute is this girl njee? Sorry for the shit quality of the picture.  

They look really good

In the currentVogue Hommes, Japan.


I'm at least 2 seasons late.  I discovered Boxing Kitten a year ago and am ashamed to say I did not blog about this really really cute New York based label by Maya Lake. Check it out here.  How wonderful is the use of African wax prints? This while we are only making wedding outfits and ball gowns with them. Lateralise it folk.  

Othelo Burning Mix Tape

We like. A lot.  Can't wait till I can download the mixtape on 2 April 


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Blogger Javana Mundy's grandparents


Hot Neneh


Local films are such a treat. I am particularly excited about Otelo Burning because it is distributed by the same clever women (Indigenius Film Distrubution) that brought Viva Riva to South Africa.  Directed by Sarah Bletcher, Otelo Burning is a coming of age story set in Natal in 1989, about a group of Zulu boys that find solace in an unlikely sport for black kids back then - surfing; and it's based on a true story.

I watched the trailer and my goosebumps led me to attempt to download the mixtape/soundtrack, which features the talents of Motif Records' Tumi and Tiago of Tumi and The Volume, Zaki Ibrahim, Reason as well as The Fridge among others.  As it turns out, I can't download it until 2 April.   Damn.  That's ok, I can wait until the film's official release date on 11 May. 


Monday, March 26, 2012

It's hard to believe that these are photographs of what happens when ink meets water.  How amazing?  All I know about the artist is that he is Italian and his name is Alberto Sevesto. You can download these images and make wallpapers from them. 

This is most adorable argument

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I can't. Have you ever. 


I went into Aldo the other day looking for shoes and I ended up really focusing on this really fun and beautifully shot campaign.  Terry Richardson shot it and it features the lovely Lily Donaldson and Matthew Gray Gubler.  It's called Get Lucky.  


Here a weekend fix of Oh So Cheap.  It was meant to be for Friday but I was busy doing other things. 

VOTW: If you have the time, the interest and the bandwidth.

Watch this  freakishly beautiful video directed by Andrew Thomas Huang.  It's called Solipsist.  #VideoOfTheWeek


Thursday, March 22, 2012

 Asseblief, one of my favourite vintage peddlers in Joburg as well as young designer Jessica Rayne of Rayne are having a pop up shop next Saturday night at Trabella in Illovo.  Many moons ago or in December 2010, I also hosted a very well attended pop up shop at Trabella.  I hope you support them folks, the clothes look really awesome and it's just good to support small local businesses.  


This look book is of the Asseblief and Rayne ranges that will be for sale at their pop up store next week at Trabella.  I really like what they've done.  This was shot by Steve Marais.  Hair and Make up by Maria de Vos.  Styling by Chris Wagner and Jessica Rayne.  Models are Abby and Claire and the treatment is by Colin O'Mara Davis.  This was shot in Johannesburg and produced by Gaschette


I need to be transported back to Saturday night. What fun. 


How awesome are these handbags?  They are by a Nigerian designer who is based in London. Her name is Funmi and her label is called ReBirth.  I just sent her an email asking if she would be interested in stocking Mememe.  Crossing fingers and hope she says yes.  


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I only found out while it was playing yesterday that the second episode of The Millenials on CNN aired yesterday.  Check it out.  I got advice from my friends to ''work on that face'' i.e. my super serious ''I'm working'' face and I must say, this time I'm much more relaxed. Check it out over hurrrr:

Enjoy xxx


We've got problems

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

South Africans.  SMH.  I was at the post office in Greenside this afternoon and I witnessed something that was short of the Anglo Boer war right there between those rope railings that separate the counter to the customers.  I was standing in a queue in front of two black men. Behind me, 3 white septuagenarians (people in their 70's), two men and a woman.  Everything was cool until another white lady entered the post office and went straight to the counter, avoiding the queue and started talking to the lady at the counter.

She turned around and calmy said, ''Sorry I was here before, I just went to draw money because I didn't have enough, you can ask this lady to explain the situation''.  The black men before me did their business, one left and the other was busy filling in Lotto slips or something but he wasn't paying attention.  One of the Septies, an English Sough African with a hearing aid starts saying that the younger woman who jumped the queue must go to the back because it's not fair.  The lady Septie next to him, wearing a thin red line of lipstick, drawn on eyebrows and a perfectly poised light brown helmet of brown hair, jumps in and says in a very haughty, stiff upper lip accent ''Well I mean, you can't just come in here while we were here first''.  The lady under attack turns around and continues calmly, ''but I was here before and the person behind the counter said I must come straight through''.  At this point, the man right behind me, in a thick Eastern European accent starts talking to the other two going on about how unfair it is and how she can't prove that she was here before because they didn't see her.

I was like WTF? I didn't say anything.  I look at the black guy with the Lotto papers and he has this smirk on his face.  I smile and look at the lady under attack and say, ''Look it's fine, do what you need to do'' because I could see she was getting upset.  The old EEuropean guy comes towards me and asks what's it got to do with me.  Then I say, ''well I'm next in line and you're behind me and there's nothing we can do but wait.  Please guys, it's really not that serious''.  Then the other two Septies just start going off about how she's wrong and they don't believe her and start tauntiing her by talking about her but to each other.  Everybody in the post office can hear this and then BOOM.  Calm lady under attack suddenly goes, ''You horrible horrible people. It's because I'm Afrikaans''.  They don't seem purturbed by her upset and the lady Septie goes ''Oh what a common person, most common I've ever seen''.  Then the English septie agrees, ''Yes, you get people like this everywhere''.  Then the Afrikaans woman starts screaming. SCREAMING. Nee Vok man. Vok Julle. Vok.   You are so rude. I can't believe you''.  At this point, I'm sweating hot hot bullets under my arms and I'm shaking because this is happening right in front of me.  Back and forth and back and forth and the Greek guy eventually says you're a fucking Monkey to the Afrikaans lady.  At this point, she trips over the railings on her way to standing behind them.  She stands behind them and says ''There, go in front, it's yours, TAKE IT TAKE IT.  She is tearing up, breathing heavily and going a rapid red.  When she gets up she stands and there is silence until the EE guy taps me on my shoulder and says, go it's your turn.  I turn around and say directly to the Afrikaans woman, you can go in front of me.  She says thank you, and goes ahead.

I turn around and say to the old people ''Guys, in all seriousness, this is really not that serious.  Everyone needs to calm down.  This is no way to behave.  I have given her my turn and now all we can do is wait for her to finish''.  The EE guy starts shouting at me ''When was she here? It could have been 8am this morning 9am, you don't know. How can you trust her''.  I say ''I don't know and I don't really care, it's ten minutes of my life''. ''It's our lives too, it's our lives that we are waiting''.  I turn around and want to laugh because this situation is totally ridiculous but it's my turn to go to the counter.  The Afrikaans lady finishes and walks past the EE man and says ''Enjoy your horrible personality''.  EE guy grabs the lady by the arm and she says ''You'll hit your wife first before you hit me.  You'll hit your wife'', her voice quivering and ready to cry.  She walks out and I say to the three Septies - ''That is really no way to treat someone.  We are all still here''.  I walk out literally shaking my head.  All the while the staff at the post office are watching this whole thing and not saying anything.  I guess they were also shocked.  We need to work on our issues.