Thursday 21 November 2013

Fashion is ART! Samsung #AmazeAfrica instillations at #MBFWAfrica

On Monday, we brought you a review on the #AmazeAfrica show! Click here to read it again!

Today’s post is dedicated to the beautiful Samsung installations which were placed in the foyers of the Pretoria City Hall where #MBFWAfrica took place.

Samsung gave us an opportunity to have a closer look at the garments that was shown on the runway. I was extremely impressed with the attention to detail and how the designers illustrated Africa’s natural genera through fashion.

The instillations were ART, very beautiful and it showed us how CREATIVE and TALENTED African designers are!

Have a look at the beautiful instillations and comments from the designers below:

Jacques van der Watt (SA) & Albertus Swanepoel (SA/USA)

"I was inspired by the texture and form of birds. I used literal and abstract shapes of birds to create graphic interest on the garments.  Working with crafters, feather and wing shapes were abstracted to simple triangles and circles that were applied to the garments in beaded shapes. I also used a classic couture technique of applying individual plumes of ostrich feathers creating a soft texture on fabric with lovely movement." Jacques van der Watt, designer, Black Coffee

"I love feathers, they have been associated with millinery since the beginning of time and I work with them a lot. The ostrich feather trade originated in South Africa, so they are also very nostalgic for me. For #AmazeAfrica I tried different techniques, and different ways to use them: I got the guys on the side of road to bead a feather for me, I made a feather wig, feather pompons. I also brought in ostrich skin - there are trim elements and the ostrich fedora which is lined in shwe shwe." Albertus Swanepoel, designer, Albertus Swanepoel

Anisa Mapungwe (Tanzania/SA) & Doreen Mashika (Tanzania)

"I was inspired by the structure and skin of the insects of the Hymenoptera genus. I especially looked at their colours when in sunlight - the translucence of their wings and iridescent bodies." Anisa Mapungwe, designer, Loin Cloth and Ashes

"I looked at the cultural behaviour of East Africa - the Masaai in particular and mixed this up with the ants' natural habitat. I used recycled materials - sisal and burlap and namibian silks to evoke the colours and trees of their environment. I added recycled brass and created a motif that resembles a futuristic butterfly -  looking at a new world led by insects". Doreen Mashika, designer, Doreen Mashika

LaurenceAirline (Cote d'Ivoire / France) & Missibaba (SA)

"I was inspired by the graphic patterns of snakes. My work is very minimal and the shapes of the reptiles comes through in the drape of the collar and the vent of the coat. There is also a languid sensuality that is conveyed in the deep, rich colours." Laurence Chauvin Buthaud, designer, LaurenceAirline

"I was inspired by the tortoise carapace: the geometric shapes, and the almost primal, boggy colours. I hoped the weave would create a 3-dimensional feeling, and like the carapace, the cover is sheath, protecting the precious inner… There's also a hint of poison snakes in the colours: the neon shots, turquoise on black, and the yellow." Chloe Townsend, designer, Missibaba

Marianne Fassler (SA) & Quamta (SA)

"I like the hard and soft dimensions of the pincushion: this duality of fragility and hardiness is quite emotive. Being an indigenous flower it is also evocative of Africa. They are virtually indestructible, but you wouldn't know that as they have this softness about them, a joy that comes from their colours." Marianne Fassler, designer
"I was inspired by the textures of the pincushion and the weaves of Marianne's garments. The fronds of the flowers come through the prints on the cover. There is also the feeling of the pincushion. We padded the pieces so the interpretation is not just visual, but also tactile: there is a softness to the touch that is representative of the flower.  We wove together the different materials to convey the idea of different seasons, and the journey of seed to flower. By adding the tassels and lanyards it reinforces the idea of the plants flowering and this explosion of colour. "Pieter Janse van Rensburg, designer, Quamta
Projecto Mental (Angola) & Rift Valley Leather (Kenya)

"The butterflies and moths of the Rift Valley have a connection with species from the same kind found in colder climates. Lepidopteran are known to migrate to escape harsh and disadvantageous conditions. Some travelling as far as 4800km, not unlike humans." Tekasala and Shunnuz, designers, Projecto Mental
"Who cannot be inspired by butterflies? They are such astonishing creatures. They take me back to my school years and biology classes; learning the life cycles: the egg to the caterpillar to the chrysalis and then the butterfly. I really looked at the shapes of the pupa and how to translate that into the shape of the bag. Looking at elements of protection and evolution, while bringing in the colours and fascination butterflies engender." Robert Topping, designer, RVL
Taibo Bacar (Mozambique) & Pichulik (SA)

 "We looked primarily at the colours and the shapes of the cycads. There's something majestic and statuesque about this ancient plant and we hoped to bring this through in the sharp silhouettes and asymmetric geometry of our collection." Taibo Bacar, designer
"I was inspired by the textures, form and lines of the cycad. I think it's very interesting the cycad dates so far back, to jurassic times, there is a hardiness to the plant, it has sustained through centuries. I brought in the azure colours as it is the colour of North Africa and Cycads are found in tropical African climes. The leather for the backpack has a texture that is reminiscent of the texture of the Cycad's bulbous stem - and this is also echoed in the shape." Katherine-Mary Pichulik, designer, Pichulik
1981 by Nana Brenu (Ghana/Italy) & Adele Dejak (Uganda/Kenya)

"Given the brief, on seeing the Coleoptera beetles, their hard, shiny exterior and fascinating ‘oil in water’ like colours, the Ankole cow horn immediately sprang to mind. Wanting to rejuvenate African luxury, as well as representing the beetle in a contemporary, stylish manner, the shape of the beetle was stripped down and focus remained on the body. In keeping with wanting to create luxurious pieces, black leather was chosen. The black leather is clean cut and bold: minimal – and the horn clasp is reminiscent of the body of the beetle itself, hard, polished, captivating. Horn has been introduced in to every piece from the Samsung #AmazeAfrica collection to remind us of the beetle’s hard, shiny exterior. Recycled brass also played a role in the creation of the pieces, in keeping with the luxury brief, giving the pieces that extra luxurious edge, adding the colour gold." Adele Dejak, designer, Adele Dejak
"I was inspired by the delicateness of the beetle’s wings and its hard exoskeleton, translating this into armour-type garments but with a soft feel, using silk organza to simulate the wings and silk gazar and techno wool to simulate the exoskeleton of the beetle." Nana Brenu, designer, 1981 by Nana Brenu

Image Credit: Brett Rubin

Monday 18 November 2013

#AmazeAfrica brought to you by Samsung - MBFWAfrica

MBFWAfrica is done but our coverage of fashion week is NOT! This week we bring you a review of the #AmazeAfrica fashion show brought to you by Samsung.

If there is a company that understands the link between technology and fashion it is Samsung! Inspired by Samsung’s global Accelerating Discoveries and Possibilities philosophy, #AmazeAfrica drew together 14 fashion and accessory designer collaborations into seven partnerships, mining the generous supply of exceptional design talent spread across the continent.

More than 500 people were present at the #AmazeAfrica show. Talk about an AUDIENCE! The designers drew their inspiration from the natural genera found at Pretoria’s Ditsong Museum of Natural History.
Marianne Fassler and Quamta
They looked at the dual nature of the pincushion - the hard and soft structural elements and the emotional evocation of resistance presented by the indigenous African flower.  Using the 'chinabag' motif as an appliqué and weave, Marianne intimated the permanence of the flower. Pieter Jansen van Rensburg, Quamta designer, picked this up as a motif for Samsung Note 3 covers and pouches, weaving in his own signature exotic leathers.
Nana Brenu and Adele Dejak
For #AmazeAfrica Brenu looked to the hard and soft elements of the beetle's exoskeleton - interpreting the protective casing through silk gazar and techno-wool, offset with soft silk organza mimicking the fragility of the wings within. Both designers looked to the silk 'oil in water' colours of beetles. Dejak used recycled brass and Ankole cow horn to hint at the shape of the beetle as features on her luxurious black leather pouches.


LaurenceAirline and Missibaba

They created looks inspired by the yellow of the coral snake and the geometry of the tortoise carapace. Chauvin-Bartrand of LaurenceAirline used the finest wool and wool blends to create minimal soft-tailored winter coats worn over her signature geometric shirts and slim-leg pants. Missibaba hand-wove different textured leathers to create a single slip of a laptop casing.

Taibo Bacar and Pichulik

They looked to the ancient Cycadala for inspiration. Inspired by hot summer nights, offset by a cool verdant palette, Taibo's collection has a touch of Robert Palmer-chic; stretch-satin body-hugging looks with asymmetric cut-out detailing and exposed zips. Pichulik's accessories, in soft mustard suedes, brilliant Azure and textured fawn leather hark to the exotic of North Africa while shapes mimic the silhouettes and textures of the prehistoric plant.
Doreen Mashika and Anisa Mapungwe
They looked towards a futuristic world inhabited by ants and wasps.  Doreen used burlap, sisal and Namibian silks to intimate the ants' natural living environment, while Anisa incorporated textured taffeta and a hexagon shaped mesh, presenting a literal representation of the world of bees. In a move away from Anisa's signature print, she underpinned all her looks with a metallic stretch viscose bodysuit.
 Projecto Mental and Rift Valley Leather
Inspired by the hallucinatory colours of the moths and butterfly genus, Projecto Mental also looked at their migratory patterns, creating a slim, modern silhouette. Rift Valley Leather picked up the print motif, transferring it to simple, padded man-bag inspired by the initial stage of the butterfly's lifecycle - the pupa.

Jacques van der Watt and Albertus Swanepoel

The feminine stature of feathers inspired an elegant silhouette offset in a simple, yet striking, red, white and black palette. Black Coffee's sophisticated lines follow a graphic and literal interpretation of the Avialae genus. Both designers used the feather as an element of fabrication - Swanepoel ironing, twisting and fixing it, following an old millinery technique, while van der Watt employed the traditional couture technique of individually applying feathers to a silk tulle, creating a new old-school luxury.

This was one of the best shows at MBFWAfrica! I think the menswear were stronger on the runway but once you looked at the Samsung installations which were displayed in the hall after the show (see my next post) you could see the intricate detail on the women’s wear. Samsung gadgets also made an appearance on some of the looks, which I liked as they showed how technology and fashion complement each other.

Image Credit: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

Sunday 17 November 2013

Experience at the FNB WhiskyLive festival

Last week Thursday (7 November 2013) I had the pleasure of attending the FNB WhiskyLive festival in Sandton City thanks to Lion's Wing Brand Communications. I was amazed by the number of whiskeys that one could taste. There was quite a few well-known brands which I drink on a regular basis. I enjoyed tasting the different whiskeys at the festival - especially the expensive ones!
After walking around and visiting most of the stands, my favourite was of course the Chivas Regal stand. This is because:
  • Chivas Regal provided us with the REAL gentleman experience!
  • The queues were not THAT long!
  • The stand was big enough to accommodate everyone as the night progressed. I never felt ‘cramped’ whilst visiting the Chivas Stand.
  • They had the most beautiful girls – entering the gents who haven’t previously designed their suits on the Chivas microsite (
  • They also had a shoe shiner to ensure our shoes shine ‘bright like a diamond’ before we left!
Here are some pictures below so that you can see:



Friday 15 November 2013

#FashionFriday – Lookpost: Inspired in London

London is one of my favorite cities in the world. Whenever I visit the city, I always feel inspired! Inspired to be more creative; inspired to dream BIGGER and inspired to reach my goals regardless of the stumble blocks life puts in front of me.

Look at the two girls taking ‘selfies’ in the background. They make the picture so much more interesting and really cool!

This picture was taken in Regent Street by Lana Goltsberg. Lana is a talented US based photographer. You can see her work here:

Thank you Lana for capturing this moment so perfectly!

And for those who want to copy my style, I am wearing:

Jersey: Topshop (Topman)
Joggers: Billionaire (YDE)
Sneakers: Nike

Monday 11 November 2013

Gavin Rajah Couture Collection, MBFWAfrica

Gavin Rajah opened MBFWAfrica in serious style! Guests were whisked off to Illyria House in The City of Tswane (Pretoria) where he showcased his 2014 couture collection. The collection was breathtakingly beautiful. For this collection Rajah drew his inspiration from the roles which veiled women played during the wars as depicted in Arthurian Legends.

There was this incredible attention to detail in all the pieces he showed. We loved the serpentine print skirts and dresses, the jackets and the gowns. This collection set the standard high for MBFWAfrica.

Well done Gavin!

Image Credit: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

Thursday 7 November 2013

Chivalry - The Gentleman's Drink

A few days ago I received a bottle of Chivas Regal 12 Limited Edition by Patrick Grant, as well as a recipe for a cocktail called 'Chivalry'. The cocktail, which is aptly named, is the embodiment of the Chivas Regal brand in a highball glass.  The words luxury, brotherhood and chivalry sit comfortably on the tip of the tongue of those who taste this drink.
As a modern gentleman, I try to prove the saying “chivalry is dead” as an untrue myth.  That being said, the “Chivalry” cocktail and all that it’s made of was something that I just had to try it out for myself.  Needless to say, I LOVED IT!  This is a crisp and refreshing cocktail that has the smooth taste of Chivas Regal 12, which is complimented by apple, lemon and elderflower flavours.
I can truly say that ‘Chivalry’ is alive and kicking, as well as the name of my new favourite cocktail! In the true spirit of gentlemanly behaviour, I thought it only right that I share it with you, my fellow gentlemen, so here is the recipe for you to try it out:
Glass: Highball
Garnish: Caramelised Apple Crisp
Method: Add the ingredients to a tall glass and stir
45ml     Chivas 12yr
45ml     Apple Juice
45ml     Sparkling Mineral Water
10ml     Fresh lemon Juice
5ml       Elderflower cordial
PS: This is an amazing guy-code-approved cocktail for us guys who don't want to be caught with a 'pink drink' in our hands - lol!
Give it a try and let me know if you love it as much as I do!
PPS: Swag Craze is giving away a bottle of Chivas Regal 12 Limited Edition by Patrick Grant. Follow us on twitter @swagcraze1 for more information!

Tuesday 5 November 2013

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Africa - AFI Fastrack in a Nutshell

Three talented up-and-coming designers – Alexa Liss, Eleni Labrou and Hugo Fleur – showed their capsule collections during MBFWAfrica. AFI Fastrack is a graduate fashion platform which offers emerging designers a chance to be exposed to the market though fashion week. It provides growth opportunities to participating designers through seminars, workshops and career education.

We loved the collections of the emerging designers so much that we decided to bring you more pictures. This will give you a different view as we will show you what went down behind the scenes and on the runway!

To read the collection reviews of the talented designers, click on the links below: