red carpet : 2010 emmy awards favourites

Spectacularly Sparkly
Heather Morris (Glee) in Ina Soltani is my surprise favourite of the night!
The glam yet somehow still clean hair & make-up and the little black belt are just perfection on such an all out show stopping gown.
Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter) comes a very close second - does anyone know who designed her dress?
On Jennifer the super low-key styling works a charm.
Maria Menounos (TV presenter) elegantly pulls off a tricky cut-out Ralph and Russo.

Subtle Shimmer
 Kelly Osbourne looks absolutely unbelievable in Tony Ward Couture.
Jane Krakowski (30 Rock) is proportionally perfect in Escada.
Juliana Margulies (The Good Wife) looks a little thin but effortlessly gorgeous in L'Wren Scot.

Colour Wonderful
Jenna Fischer (The Office) is stunning in a slightly altered 2007 tangerine Versace gown.
Kyra Sedgewick (The Closer) also goes for relaxed hair but chooses a lovely berry lip to perfect her Monique Lhuillier look.
She looks better than ever!
I don't love the bangs on Emily Deschanel (Bones) but won't hold that against her lovely ruffle-layered Max Azria Atelier dress.

Magical Monochrome
The longer I look at it, the more I adore Toni Collette (United States of Tara) in this understated Valentino gown. How originally beautiful is the realistic floral print at the hem?
Tina Fey (30 Rock) totally bowls me over in this Oscar de la Renta gown. Her best fashion choice yet!
Kristen Wiig (SNL) looks perfectly pretty in polkadots.

Luscious Lace
Singer Jewel's Zuhair Murad gown is a romantic red carpet dream and quite a classic choice for her.
Dianna Agron (Glee) just manages to carry off a major Carolina Herrera gown.

Grecian Goddesses
Kim Kardashian was the first one in the foto galleries to catch my eye with this perfect fit Marchesa gown - I think she looks fantastic.
Rose Byrne (Damages) also went with a classic up-do to complement her Gucci goddess gown.
They both look utterly divine, but I prefer Kim's curves in this dress shape.

King & Queen
I haven't gotten on the Jon Hamm (Mad Men) bandwagon yet, but him and his girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt are just picture perfect in Armani.

Prince & Princess of Darkness
Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer (True Blood) are just the right couple for Alexander McQueen. 
I wish I loved Anna a little bit more in this dress though, it feels like something's missing?

Just not that into it...

I first thought Emily Blunt was Marion Cottilard in this pale lilac Christian Dior (a compliment for Emily methinks!) and I just can't find any love for this look. It doesn't fit very well and the floral embellishments seem slightly wilted.
All the critics are raving about Claire Danes in Giorgio Armani Prive. With her golden blonde hair and bronzed skin she's almost unrecognisable, but the simple sheath still feels too safe and predictable. The other sparklers outshine her by miles in my opinion.

I love Keri Russel in this vintage Jean Louis Scherrer frock and the gold accessories are perfect... 
For a dinner date. I wish she'd worn something more formal for such a major red carpet event.
On the other hand, I feel like January Jones is over the top in cobalt blue Versace. (There's just no pleasing some people!)
Kudos for the brave choice though and I love the undone hair and make-up to counter-act the drama.

All images from www.instyle.com

fantasy shopping : zanzibar jewel

fantasy shopping : zanzibar jewel

Yes, I'm still fantasy shopping for Zanzibar! I thought that I might prefer something a bit more glamorous this time, so I've been inspired by jewel colours, vivid prints and lots of shimmer.

The key item was the kaftan once again, since I imagine spending most of my time on the beach or at the pool, cocktail in hand. This stunning Matthew Williamson multi-coloured snakeskin print cover-up (R5530) is right up my alley, from net-a-porter. Bikinis under it come in amethyst and orange, both from pret-a-beaute. 

My favourite items also happen to be the most expensive, why is it always like that? The bold floral print Diane Von Furstenberg one shoulder dress is covered in sequins too... an absolute dream of a cocktail dress at R7060. Nicholas Kirkwood for Liberty's fantastic Bounty platform sandal comes in at R6400 but I just know I'll wear it to death!

When I'm not in my Kirkwoods, I have my cheap and cheerful R355 sandals from buckle.com.  Slouching around will be done in my tiny dark wash Rock Revival jean shorts and green McQ skinny jeans. Phillip Lim 3.1 fold-over sequinned shorts takes comfort to the next dressy level. They'll be worn carelessly with little vest tops in bright colours. 

My Acne cobalt blue silk dress goes from day to evening with a mere change of shoes, while a very slinky pure purple Halston Heritage number looks easy-breezy for long evenings on luxury yachts (R3650). I can almost feel the breeze in my hair...


greyscale: elizabeth galloway young designers showcase

Contact Naomi 021 880 0972 for tickets

Foschini Graduate Show : final thoughts

Foschini Graduate Show

There's a natural excitement surrounding the first show at any fashion week, and this year's Cape Town Fashion Week proved no different. The first outfits on the ramp at Foschini Graduates seemed fresh and new enough, and even had me tweeting: "Bold shoulders and no-pants, but it works!" The promising start meandered through some uninspired territory, but I found enough shots of originality to keep me interested in what the kids are up to.

A well-versed fashion insider told me after the show that he found the student collections repetitive and badly made. This commenter laid blame strictly at the judges' doors, for their lack of leadership in rewarding design that he found far too commercially minded for a young designer show. These are still only students and while they aren't subject to the constrictions that realistic, commercial fashion dictates, he believes their imagination should be given free reign, that they need to fuel their creativity first as it will inevitably be reigned in later.

Historically, I've had qualms over the validity of these competitions, exactly because I found the student designs of the past to be too fanciful and outright ridiculous, favouring creativity heavily over wearability. (You can read what I wrote on the subject in 1998 here.)
But his train of thought did bring me to wonder what the student designs of a young Alexander McQueen or the Mulleavy sisters of Rodarte looked like. Surely they didn't start off conservative and safe before ending up as the front-runners of original, thought-provoking design?

Finally though, after spending hours looking over the show galleries, my own opinion leans favourably towards the competition and its' purpose. So in opposition to my critic friend's opinion, I'll conclude that with the recent collaboration of the CTFC and Foschini, there does seem to be more sense, worth and promise in these shows than ever before.
I can see many of these young designers finding success in reality fashion design or even starting up their own labels if they carry on maturing in concept and execution from here on.

This brilliant little collection by last year's winner, Nadia van der Schyff illustrates the point perfectly.

Ricci Janse van Rensburg (Cape Town College of Fashion Design) opened the show with strong silhouettes in a mix of matt and metallic grey fabrics. Bold shoulders have been all over the international catwalks for a few seasons, but show no signs of abating. Dolce&Gabbana grabbed fashion headlines with their under-to-outerwear granny pants for Spring / Summer 2010 but I have yet to see it look good anywhere outside a Beyonce video.

Chantel Marais (Cape Town College of Fashion Design) showed a cohesive collection with a definitive handwriting of detailed, fluid tailoring. And more granny pants.

My original judgement on the two winning collections stands: Darren Dewaal's collection stood out firstly by virtue of it being menswear, but then the quality of construction and attention to finishing details seemed noteworthy too. A utilitarian poncho with some special fold & button detail was nicely fashion forward and original.
Natashjia Fonnie presented the most professional-looking womenswear collection, with her safari-luxe looks for city gals in a muted pallet. A simple shift dress got an injection of design with extra fabric along the side and a bow tie. Simple but with just a little nod to originality.

Janet Norman : Foschini Fashion Executive
Jackie Burger : Elle Magazine Editor
Stefanie Vieira : Cape Town Fashion Council Executive Director
Shamieg Sabans : CPUT Technology Station Clothing Technologist

Joint Winners
Natashjia Fonnie - Cape Town College of Fashion Design 
Darren Dewaal - Northlink College

cape town fashion week : social gallery

One Media Launch, a Launch Party, twenty-two Shows and an After Party... We were very busy fashionistas and socialites for a few days there! I could hardly imagine a whole week like this, though I'd never say no to a NYFW invite?

The Media Launch was an officious affair at the CTICC, where the Chairperson of African Fashion International, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, welcomed us and urged everyone to wear and shop South African. A task made easier by the AFI Fashion Boutique that was set up right there in the CTICC all through Fashion Week.

I felt a little bit lost when I first arrived, but decided to bite the bullet and introduce myself around. Just my luck then that the person I randomly chose to approach first ended up knowing everyone and everything there was to know! Thank you Bryan Ramkilawan, Design Lecturer at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and board member of the Cape Town Fashion Council. A highly accomplished fashion professional and a gracious guide to a blogger's first Fashion Week.

He introduced me to Charl Reineke of the Cape Times Fashion Forum, Stefanie Vieira (Executive Director of the Cape Town Fashion Council) and some lovely folks from Foschini: Alex Harris, Nicky Mitchell-Coyles and Dawn Ngwenya. Thanks to all of you for being kind and helpful.

The official launch party was held at Brio 1893. From an elegant jazz band when we arrived to live and loud hip hop performances later on, the night steadily progressed from chic mingler to crazy party. I ran into Sylvie Hurford and Robyn Cooke in the bathroom where Robyn promptly declared that three Boyfriend Blazers in one bathroom must be some kind of record!

Launch Party @ Brio 1893:

Marli (Threads) and Werner du Toit (Handsome Husband)

Hair extraodinaire Candice Taylor (Redken), Kim Henderson & Priya Pilay (Redken)

Right: Lovely, friendly Dawn Ngwenya (Senior PR Coordinator : Foschini)

Dylan Van Vuuren (Deon Redman Productions & Fair Lady Style Intern contestant) Sylvie Hurford (L'Oreal Make-Up Artist)
Robyn Cooke (O Mag Fashion Editor & Style Guide CT Blogger) & Marco (Manofthecloth Blogger)

At the shows:

Marli du Toit (Threads) Bryan Ramkilawan (CPUT Lecturer & CTFC) & Martine Schmidt (Helma Trading)
@ David West
Charl Reineke (Cape Times Fashion Forum) & Unidentified Beautiful Lady in a Gorgeous Dress
@ Michelle Ludek & Doreen Southwood
Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe (AFI) looked absolutely stunning in a Tart dress
Next to her is Robyn Cooke (O Mag & Style Guide Cape Town)
@ Suzaan Heyns & Coppelia

 Timo Mykoniatis & Stefanie Vieira (CTFC)
@ Stoned Cherrie Featuring Love Movement

 Kim Henderson & Marli du Toit (Threads)
@ Stoned Cherrie Featuring Love Movement
Designer David Tlale in his perennial shades & Super Stylish Fashionista
@ Stoned Cherrie Featuring Love Movement

 L'Oreal Ladies proving they're worth it by looking lovely at all times!
Karen Taylor & Sylvie Hurford (both from L'Oreal)
@Stoned Cherrie Featuring Love Movement
Karen Taylor & Sylvie Hurford (both from L'Oreal)
@ Woolworths Emerging Designers

 Francisca Herloff-Petersen, Claudine Samuels & Michelle: stylish Purr girls
@Wild Fig, Take Care & August

The ever-gorgeous Cara Burger & Felicity Mtetwa (Both from AFI)
@ Undacova & Ruff Tung
Nicky Boy (36Boutiques) & Khandiz Towill (Make-up Artist) brighten up all the black
@ David West
Michelle McLean David Tlale & Mark Gooding
@ Craig Port
Designer Errol Arendz doesn't look a day older then when I met him at SA Fashion Week 1998
@ Craig Port

 Jo-Anne Strauss (Top Billing Presenter and popular MC) lets her accessories do the talking
@ Craig Native

Giddy smiles from Marishka with the Very Long Legs (Glamour) and friend for the final show
@Craig Native
Final Show of Day Three and starting to show signs of fatigue!
Marli du Toit (Threads) & Phrosné Ras (Link Creations)
@ Craig Native

After Party @ St Yves:

Cara Burger (AFI) Gary Stemmet (SDR Photography) and Tatum Keshwar (Miss SA 2008)
@ St Yves After Party

Photographer extraordinaire Fanie Nel (FanJam Productions) & model Zilke Goosen
@ St Yves After Party

Sarah Chuot (right) and fellow models doing what models do best, looking good!
@ St Yves After Party

Candice Taylor (Redken) Phrosné Ras (Link Creations) & Marli du Toit (Threads)
@ St Yves After Party

All images by the awesomely talented and professional yet remarkably sweet and humble 
Simon Deiner and Gary Stemmet of SDRPhoto - thanks guys!

Onicka van der Sandt and Helga Klizanie of Total Exposure were my little angels in disguise for the entire Fashion Week, how can I ever repay you ladies?
And with that it was all over, I was hanging up my heels...
Till the next one? 
See you there, sweetie dahling!


fantasy shopping : zanzibar spice

Zanzibar Spice Island

I've been doing a little fantasy shopping for an upcoming holiday to Zanzibar.

In my suitcase of dreams the cheapest little number is the stripy shorts from Forever 21 at R170. My gorgeous Missoni kaftan tops the bill at R6780 but it was the kaftan that inspired this entire wardrobe -  so worth it! My favourite items are the red silk jumpsuit from By Malene Birger and the chartreuse Loeffler Randall bustier jumper. I've decided to stay elegantly chic poolside in a plunge front one piece from Issa and a high waisted Zimmerman bikini straight out of Dr. No. 

My Alexander McQueen skull t-shirt (R2455) and silk scarf (R6555) are little indulgences I allow since he is my favourite designer.  Alexander Wang's striped drapey shorts looked too comfortable to skip, and add instant street cred. Animal print leggings and 3.1 Phillip Lim's peachy cotton trousers will keep mosquitos at bay at night. A couple of loose slouchy t's combine nicely with all of the above and a Thurley dress with lace panels at the back covers me for a slightly more dressy night out.
Streetside a fabulous flat sandal from Debenhams (see I can do high street too!) and a L.A.M.B heel (on sale at heels.com) sees me ready to hit the road to Stone Town.

i really really wish i could be in NYC on 9 september...



cape town: rarely worn sale 3

Save your pennies, save the planet
Fri 3 Sat 4 Sun 5 September 2010
Gate 1 Victoria Junction Prestwich Street Green Point Cape Town


foschini design awards - sketch to catwalk

Because of my constant focus on originality vs wearability, there's nothing more exciting to me than being afforded a little peek into the design process. Foschini and the Cape Town Fashion Council partnered with heat magazine to give the public access to the sketches of the six finalists of the Foschini / Nokia Fashion Design Awards 2010.

These beautiful drawings illustrate the magical illusion that is the driving force behind a young and growing fashion industry: a young girl reaps an image from her imagination and with a lot of hard work and a tiny bit of fairy dust, models are sashaying down the catwalk in her dream designs.

 Mubeena Omar

Rene Burger

Yolande Maree

Third Place: Alschke Mielmann

Second Place: Melissa Franken

First Place: Jenni Venter
Sketches from heat magazine
Images: Simon Deiner for AFI