On Monday night, I went out to Pata Pata, where the words service and customers have no meaning. I went there to watch Tumi and Reason perform at Monday Blues. The gig could have been muuuch better organised but once the artists were doing their thing, I forgot about how long we had to wait for it to start. Luckily I had Stix and Akua and Tha to keep me company. How great does my friend Stix look? So great in fact, that today, the W team asked me to call him up for something else they have up their fashionable sleeves.
Tonight, after one glass of wine, I told Tim that I love him. It's true, I met him on Sunday and he is really wonderful. Tonight was his birthday and we went to a wonderful restaurant called District 6 in Emmarentia. This is him wearing a Babatunde cap giving us his best ''It's my birthday bitches'' face. I literally almost crashed my car tonight laughing at his every word on the ride to District 6.
I mean I stopped trying to dress up on the second day because I knew that no matter how hard I tried, I could never look as amazing as she did. So I decided to just take it all in and enjoy what was presented to me each day in the last four days. And was it a feast. Today Haidee wore the following: Celine. Lurex sweater. Adatacher Jacket. Eric Loubsher Necklace, Raoul Skirt and Celine boots and Prada sunglasses. Today we met some fashion people. This was at 44 Stanley where we spent some time with Tiaan Nagel. He is so clever.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
These men. These clothes. These pictures. Misha was going through some pictures on his computer and I happened to look over his shoulder and saw these. It was at this point that I asked him what the fucken fuck and that's when he told me about Adrien Sauvage. Mr Adrien Sauvage is English designer of Ghanainan origin. He is supremely talented in the skill of cutting a suit for a man. It's a pity that I can't touch and feel for myself because I am not in London, but if these razor sharp looking gentlemen are anything to go by, then I am sold. Oh and he took these pictures himself. The end. p.s. Yes that is Yesiin Bey also know as Mos Def.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Hey you guys,
Sorry I've been M.I.A. I really have been missing in some serious action. For the past couple of days, I have been fixing, that means in rough terms, being the local producer for a story for W Magazine (www.wmagazine.com) on the fashion, art and culture of Johannesburg. A team from the magazine is here this week and we've been visiting and interviewing some of the city's most proficient creatives. It's a pity it's a 2000 word story because I feel a little shit about not being able to meet and feature more people.
Anyway, so I've been eavesdropping on the interviews and learning a lot about how to interview from Tim Murphy, who is a freelance writer for W and other publications such as The New York Times. Stylist and writer, Haidee Findlay-Levin, who is South African but has lived in New York and London since the early 90s and is doing this for W is also here. I die a little inside everytime I see her because of how much more awesome her clothes are that anything I've seen in real time in Joburg. She is a walking editorial. Oh and she has done some work for my favourite magazines, The Gentlewoman and Fantastic Man. The photographer on the job is South African born and LA raised but Paris based Misha Taylor. He is just a tall glass of joy, pleasure and talent. I feel very privileged to be ''mingling'' with them. Oh and the other local fixer is Geza aka Gareth Cowden of accessories label, Babatunde.
This is a bad picture taken at a time when the light was not the greatest after Market on Main. On the left is Tim, Haidee (duh) and Misha on the right. The issue featuring Joburg is the September issue coming out in August. There will also be an online supplement to the story with more content and more pictures. I will post the link when it's up.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
These silly boys. They are so cool. First I liked the video and now the song is a monkey on my back. Sebenza by LV and Okmalumkookat won't get out of my mind. Local music is finally getting there. This video was first launced on Dazed Digital, the online portal for Dazed and Confused, that being one of the most awesome magazines in the world. Eish, you'll also notice some Skhothane's doing their stupid thing in this video. This was recorded before the 3rd Degree expose on them. Their whole thing works in this context I think. See for yourself. This video also happens to be the directorial debut for my good friend and photographer, Chris Saunders. Well done for all your sebenzaring boys!
Ok, I'm not going to try and be cool about this. I won't downplay the value of this album just to be cool because I know Zaki or her people. I got it on Monday and have been playing it in my car, at the shop, in my office. It's really good. Here's the video to the first song that was on repeat and repeat and repeat. The album is called Every Opposite and it's her first official album and it's about R120 from good music stores. In a month's time it will be available at Mememe.
Looking through these images is probably the most excited my eyes have ever ever been. I remember a friend who had been to Benin in West Africa, telling me about how crazy and utterly mind-blowing the voodoo culture there is and I didn't really believe her to the extent she meant for me to because I obviously had no way to imagine this is what she was talking about. A friend sent me this link from believe it or not, The Guardian.co.uk. Their photographer Dan Kirkwood attended the annual Benin (which I hear is the home of voodoo) Voodoo Festival.
It features priest and voodoo practitioners (for lack of a better term) from Benin and other West African countries like Nigeria and Burkina Faso. And these are the kinds of clothes (again, I find that I am limited in finding the appropriate description for these err, African cassocks?) they adorn at the festival. I don't even really know what Voodoo is. All I remember is watching Weekend at Bernies as a kid and praying that nobody would ever make a voodoo doll of me, against me. I'm sure it's not that bad but looking through these pictures sure does make our Sangoma's look like they are High School Musical and these guys are The Craft or Scream. I am going to read up about this festival and the country of Benin.
I can't believe their garb is even real. I wonder what the embellishments are made from, how they are made and what the spiritual significance of the fact that you can't see any of their faces is. It's both scary and awe inspiring to look at. This led me to discover the work of photographer Phyllis Galembo, who has spent the last 20 years photographing such festivals and other spiritual and religious practices from countries like Brazil, Cuba and Jamaica among other African countries. Her work is so interesting, it doesn't deserve a one liner at the bottom of an article about something else, but here are some examples of her work. I wonder if this can be classified as fashion.
I don't know where these beings are from. I don't know if I would be brave enough to see them face to face but I am in serious awe. These images are from a website called Svrta.
Monday, June 18, 2012
I'll start with the pretentious side of me that's dying to acknowledge the grubbyness of my outfit. I was actually doing some good so it cancels out the need to look good. Ok, now that that's out of the way let's get to the more interesting and certainly more important aspect of this post.
On Saturday June 16 2012, I joined the Umuzi Photo Club, a really great organization that promotes youth activism through media. It's a 3 year old organization founded by an American (although his passport could state that he is Iranian) named David Dini. I only recently discovered it but they have done some pretty dope things in the name of ameliorating the fate of local youths. Please visit their Facebook page to find out more about the Umuzi Photo Club, you'll like it.
For the first time ever, I actually did something relevant on Youth Day. I joined the Umuzi team and about 30 high school students from Bonato High School in Hillbrow and we posted these posters on every piece of empty wall space we could find in Hillbrow.
If you live in South Africa, you will notice that this is a play on those ubiquitous A5 size posters that litter the walls and poles of any major city. You know, the ones that promise that Prophet Mashimbe from Malawi or the like can do any of the following in 30 minutes: bring back a lost loved one, get that job you've always wanted, enlarge your penis, make sure you get rich quickly, punish your enemies etcetera etcetera. The Umuzi posters are also a non-threatening and really creative response to the backstreet abortion posters that are all too familiar.
The people of Hillbrow responded well to these, especially the safe sex posters and I just hope that the fun we had putting these up will result in positive change for the people that come across them. I felt really good doing something positive and spending time with young people that we trend analysts spend way too much time talking about and not really engaging with. I took some pictures at the event but the ones that Chris Saunders, David Dini and Andrew Levy took are muuuuuuch better. I need to be less shy about using my camera. Here are a few of them, for more please visit the Umuzi Facebook Page.