Anyone who knows me knows my steadfast belief in the duality of life. It is one of the core tenants of my approach to all situations – that it is impossible to understand anything without its opposing, seemingly contrasting forces. You can’t recognize good without knowing the concept of evil and you won’t truly feel happiness without having experienced despair. Just as computers rely on binary code, so too do people rely on contradictions to create complements. And yes, that is complements not compliments, look it up.
All of this factors into my love for ampersands (the symbol for “and” and my next tattoo #sorrymom) and names of restaurants/shops/spaces with an ‘and’ in them. It filters even further into one of my favourite sayings and the basis for this blog post; fashion and function.
Fashion and function is a phrase I use on an almost daily basis, regarding literally anything that is at once aesthetically pleasing and practical. I mean it has gotten to a point where I just say it for sh*ts and giggles now because I love it that much. But any piece of clothing that exceeds its intended purpose and doubles as something else is a win by me. This definitely has to do with my penchant for cutting and altering clothes I become tired of (a hobby that developed at a young age so again #sorrymom). Those 3 t-shirt dresses I hadn’t worn in a year? Now all cute AF cropped tops for BodyJam. Wanted a loose fitting, down-to-my-bellybutton black cami but didn’t own one? Not until 5 minutes before leaving for the jol with a pair of scissors and some tape.
And with the rise in sleepwear as a huge trend, I was more than stoked when I realized my new silk pjs could be worn to a) just be cute, b) actually go to bed, c) rock out of the house and d) shoot on the streets of the Mother City. Sure, this realization came whilst changing outfits on the side of Beach Road between the boot and backseat of my best friend Faye Zoetmulder’s car, but apart from the shower that might be where I’ve had some of my best ideas.
So here we go, an ode to the streets of Cape Town and a sleep set that turned heads on them. Plus almost nothing in my life is complete without ice cream and the fact that this vegan beetroot, chocolate and ginger scoop from UNFRAMED perfectly contrasted – and complemented – my turquoise pyjama top is no small coincidence. I told you; FASHION AND FUNCTION.
Thank you once again to my phenomenal best for these rad images and for inspiring a day of creating content and owning my style choices. Oh, and for driving me around town. You are golden.
I have been looking for cool, well-fitted dungarees in the right wash and cut for ages now. I have envisioned entire outfits. But I had, until recently, yet to find the pair of (and from) my dreams.
Then I stumbled into Cotton On and voila! The pair I have had in my head is now in my wardrobe. Dungarees – or overalls – have been creeping into the trend reports for the past few seasons; mostly thanks to the exponential rise in the power of street style. They have been rediscovered, reworked, and re-appropriated and I could not love them more. Dungarees, when done right, are incredibly versatile. You most probably imagine them as SUPER casual and you’re right, they can be. But you can also dress them up and look extremely chic. Denim is such a fashion staple and, in all its forms, has assimilated from the working man’s uniform to a core item in any fashionista’s wardrobe. And its versatility is in living proof here (and in the fact that I went out that night in my evening look).
That was the goal of this look book – showing you how to transition from day to night in a pair of good ol’ dungarees (or dungareegees as I have started calling them. It makes me feel like a little Italian woman lost in a Super Mario game). It saves time, money and the process of thinking up entirely new ensembles.
Niks and I shot this at the new Haas in Buitenkant and if you haven’t been there I suggest you jump in your car and head on over immediately. It is the coolest space with the most delishstixx coffee and quirks and gimmicks to keep you entertained for hours.
I’m actually pretty proud of this post to be perfectly honest; so I really hope you enjoy scrolling through it as much as I enjoyed producing it.
Sliders: Mr Price
Dungarees: Cotton On
T-shirt: Cotton On
Leather sandals: Zara
Dungarees: Cotton On
T-shirt: Cotton On
Blazer: Mamma Mich’s Vintage
Bag: Taylor Covington
Hopefully you’ve managed to find some inspiration in this post, or at the very least some fun. It is just fashion, after all.
Firstly, I would like to apologize for my absence on the blog over the past few weeks. The end of February saw me moving out of my apartment and ending my current work contract; neither with any fillers or replacements (or stable Internet) for the month of March. Never fear though, because it is all just temporary while I undertake a TEFL course for my next adventure: teaching English in Hong Kong!
I will be moving to Hong Kong in the beginning of May so this gypsy life is really just an interim situation while I prepare for what is sure to be one of the greatest years of my life.
But back to business. Because while I may not have been posting, that by no stretch means that I have not been working on the blog. My beautiful bestie (who is leaving me for America this week so forgive me if you see me on the streets balling my eyes out) played photographer and we spent a full day shooting various outfits for your future sartorial enjoyment. A lot of you have really enjoyed my red carpet rants, and I loved putting those posts together, but this is a fashion blog after all and I think it is sometimes just as entertaining to see me struggling to take myself seriously and (very) awkwardly presenting some style inspo and tips for your existing wardrobe.
So here we go…
The little black dress (LBD) is one of the most iconic pieces in fashion history, sitting front row alongside the class white shirt, jeans that fit your body shape and a camel trench. It should be a staple in any woman’s wardrobe and is easily adapted – the LBD comes in myriad styles, silhouettes and fabrics and can fill any role which you feel it most beautifully fits. It has longevity and malleability, which is exactly what makes it such a timeless choice.
This LBD is one of the best purchases I have ever made. I bought the dress in New York last year on a trip that really altered and influenced my current style and has formed a key piece in my revised wardrobe. Being immersed in fashion, both at Conde Nast College in London and on the streets of New York City, impacted how I saw myself and how I want to be seen. That, coupled with my introduction to the working world (and thus, slightly more disposable income to spend on clothes [serious emphasis on the slightly]) has brought me to where I am now – investment purchases and more frequent visits to Zara, Mango and Woolworths (albeit often without tangible results which is a huge relief to my bank account). Don’t get me wrong; I still love a discovery of trend-based treasures from Cotton On and Mr P. However, where I can, I prefer to invest in a) pieces that will last longer and can be incorporated in several ways into different outfits b) a more neutral palette with pops of colour and c) clothes that have a sense of “edgy chic”. Yes, those two style elements can be placed together. Remember, I’m only 23. I love fashion, I love experimenting with it and I believe it should reflect who you are and who you want to be, and my life is just too full of vibrance that forbids me from being a black, white and grey girl only. Soz.
This dress if the perfect amalgamation of those elements. It’s black, a classic cut and quite simple, but has its own youthful edge that brings it back to who I am and what I want to express. Plus, it is from H&M which just goes to show that style does not have to cost a fortune.
It is because of the simplicity of the dress that I chose to shoot in the eclectic, colourful Bo Kaap. Bo Kaap is one of the most aesthetically incredible parts of this city. There is an energy about it that is so stimulating and inspiring. Plus it forms the perfect juxtapositional backdrop to my LBD. At least, I think so.
I am still an exceptionally awkward model of my own clothes so please be kind.
Leather sandals: Zara
Sunglasses: Zara (from my wonderful mamma)
Then Nika and I stumbled upon the most unexpectedly phenomenal green house. A few days prior to this shoot, my aunt and number one fan, Lynn Levy, asked me what I think the colours for winter are going to be. Among my answers (the usual monochrome, grey and camel interspersed with more navy, mustard – my worst – and dark berries) was green. Emerald green to be precise. Then we came across this house. Bo Kaap, you are so on trend!
I really hope you enjoyed this outfit post. If you did, leave a comment and tell me what you thought! It’s the only way I can improve your experience of the blog.
Keep a look out for more content coming your way,and hit the follow button to get first notice of new posts!
Last night (Thursday); I was invited to my second Zomato Meet Up for Food Bloggers held at Eighty88Ate – the restaurant at The Cape Hollow Boutique Hotel which juuuuuust so happens to be my neighbour. And you know what they say; love thy neighbour.
Zomato is an incredible company to be partnered with – starting out in India and expanding globally at an exponential rate. The Cape Town team has also grown in leaps and bounds in the last few months and it is really awesome to be a part of their extended family. 2015 is going to be a big year for Zomato, already launching their partnership with Uber – a worldwide campaign that launched in February, with the initial rollout happening simultaneously in London, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. 2015 is also going to be a big year for me, personally, and for the blog so WOOP.
But back to the event…
10 people, including 2 Zomato reps, is the perfect number for an intimate dinner that still allows you to meet new people and make new foodie friends. Plus it is exclusive enough that you feel special, and everybody loves to feel special.
We met at the bar at Eighty88Ate – a restaurant that has just seen a complete makeover thanks to the beautiful renovations at the hotel. Immediately served champagne – that’s 10 points right there, Zomato – all the bloggers introduced each other, although most of us had an idea of who was who thanks to the strange world of social media and the Internet.
Once we were seated at “the perfect table for 10″, head chef Sunet introduced the food & wine pairing menu, going through each dish and the combination of flavours; as well as explaining what Moskonfeit is – ‘when the farmer has pressed the grapes and made the wine, he has leftover skins that he throws away. Then, when he isn’t looking, his wife collects the residual grapes and makes jam with them. I have used that jam instead of the usual apricot jam in your bobotie parcels. It’s very Cape Town”.
So, first course.
Three small, but perfectly portioned starters: Oysters with Pineapple and Red Onion Salsa, Parmesan-Crusted Asparagus Crisps with Roasted Garlic Aioli and Beef Carpaccio Canapés; each served with a complimentary wine pairing.
Now let me just express my situation here: I have never had an oyster. I have never wanted to have an oyster. Oysters creep me out.
I ate an oyster. The foodie/blogger pressure is REAL and everyone was reveling in how great the oysters were and I was just sitting their, shaking in my Zara heels. Luckily, another girl was also an Oyster virgin (so was Dave, our token guy, but he just slurped the slimy thing without any fuss so I am not counting his experience as valid here). So, with much pep talk, I did it. I had a frikkin oyster. It was slimy and chewy and gross but I did it and that’s done. Goodbye.
Anyway, the starters were all delicious (although the asparagus could have been hotter, as my adorable PE friend, Jenna Manthe, pointed out). But all-in-all, a great start to the evening and really beautifully displayed. Oh, another thing is that I don’t drink red wine (like, ever) and last night I had THREE GLASSES. All different and all, I must admit, quite delicious. Not too strong or too bold, or two ‘red-winey’, but smooth and delicate and lovely when sipped after their corresponding dishes.
So now I eat oysters and drink red wine. Good Lord, I’m fancy.
Drinks and conversation both flowing; the first of the second course plates was served: Moskonfeit Bobotie Phyllo Pockets and another red wine. Now let me tell you something; this is not jou ouma se bobotie wat jy’t op die plaas as a kinder geeet. This is gourmet bobotie that is presented below a tower of crystalized noodles and tastes even better than jou ouma s’n. YES I SAID IT. Eighty88Ate beats granny. Flippin delicious, full of flavour and all wrapped in a crisp, crunchy phyllo pastry pocket. DELISHSTIXX.
Then, a small palate cleanser that tasted like the birth child of a lemon and a pineapple (I mean that in the best way) cleared our taste buds in preparation for the next dish: Braised Lamb Shank in Red Wine Sauce on Garlic Cauliflower Mash (#banting). I am not usually a fan of lamb, and especially lamb shank. Anything on the bone freaks me out and I do my utmost to avoid it. Now obviously I couldn’t refuse the food and, as I have mentioned, being at a table with foodies changes things and makes you think you can/should try new things (hence my third glass of red by this point). It is probably a good thing though, to be surrounded by like-minded individuals who appreciate food as much as you do but may do so in a different way or over alternative flavours that makes you sit up and think “hey, it can’t be that bad”. The lamb was actually delicious, although I still struggled with the sinewy texture and didn’t clear my plate like the rest. The cauliflower mash was also super tasty and I LOVED the bowl the dish came in. Classic.
And then dessert. OMFG. A trio of desserts – something I really dig because then you get to enjoy multiple tastes and textures without getting too much of one type. This is actually one of my favourite ways of eating in general, but is particularly conducive to dessert when there are rich, indulgent flavours that you can get over quite quickly (I don’t have a sweet tooth – I prefer salty, savoury flavours. Give me the lime green Pringles over chocolate any day).
Rose Terrine (my number one choice), Chocolate Brownie in a mini-cup of Chocolate Ganache and Sparkling Wine Jelly. The latter literally exploded in your mouth and fizzed and popped and was like a firework on your tongue. All accompanied with a dessert wine that was juuuust too sweet for me.
I think it goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that I was extremely full and EXTREMELY SATISFIED. Looking at the menu at first, I was a little nervous as to what I would actually enjoy eating and drinking because so much of it is not what I usually go for. But that is what these foodie meet ups and Zomato is all about – exposing you to new foods and flavours and encouraging something a little extra, a little unexpected.
The evening was a total success and a lot of fun, and I also got to bust out my brand new Canon 1200D so YIPPEE HOORAY.
Thanks again to Zomato, and especially Jenny Coulson for the invite, and for creating an absolutely awesome experience.
Today is my first day back at work so naturally I am using my time to create this blog post – which should have been done a few months ago but the end of last year just got way too hectic and then I spent the summer livin’ la vida loca so my bad. But it’s here now and that is all that matters.
The launch of the ELLE Fashion Cupboard took place on the 27th of November at the new ELLE offices just off Kloof Street in town (and quite literally up the road from my apartment); the second of its kind after ELLE UK which is quite remarkable. I was lucky enough to attend due to a competition on Instagram that asked followers to post pictures of store fronts and visual displays they loved or found interesting. After going through my camera roll I realized I am slightly obsessed with window displays and posted a casual eight images. IN A ROW. But no worries because they were clearly cool enough to garner the ELLE Belle’s attention and win me a spot at the launch.
The ELLE Fashion Cupboard is an awesome initiative because its a space that is as versatile as it is beautiful. Newly appointed ELLE South Africa editor, Emilie Gambade, introduced guests and explained the value in having this kind of space in fashion – a place where designers, brand and consumers meet and collaborate; a studio space for shoots and styling projects; a unique showcase for new collections or designer pieces (such as ELLE Rising Star Tamara Cherie Dyson’s winning range); and a potential yoga space for the ELLE team. Personally, I wouldn’t mind getting into downward dog in a space that light and beautifully constructed. Emilie also mentioned the importance of the reader and how the Fashion Cupboard allows insight into the daily life in the ELLE office through social media posts, interviews and a Go Pro style time lapse of the activities taking place between those walls. Interaction with the reader is essential and the ELLE Fashion Cupboard is the kind of playground that brings everyone together.
The event was really wonderful and it was quite special to be so intimate with the pieces from Dyson’s capsule collection that won her the coveted 2014 ELLE Rising Star title. Guests were treated to champagne and delicious canapés, funky beats and selfie sticks on top of the priceless opportunity to speak to the ELLE Belles and welcome their new home.
Here are just a few snaps of the launch but you’ll be able to see more on the various ELLE platforms as the Fashion Cupboard becomes a more utilized space…
It has been a while since I have had a Saturday where I am not working in Joburg (read Soweto) or, when I actually am in Cape Town, too hungover to leave my bed.
This last Saturday was quite the exception, however. I woke up fresh and early after a Friday night in and an amazing sleep. This is a very, very rare occasion for me and so I decided to make the most of it and, along with my beautiful friends, headed out for a day filled with adventure and magic. There is something quite extraordinary about Cape Town always, but there is an extra special something in the air on a Saturday morning. People are out and about everywhere, having so much fun and making plans as they go. There are numerous markets, activities, exhibitions and adventures to be had no matter what your idea of a good day out is. Cape Town, you bloody treat!
We headed to The Oranjezicht City Farm at about 11am for the first stop of what was to be one helluva day. The market and farm is absolutely incredible – such a buzz and so beautifully executed with the most stunning products on offer; from fresh blooms to the best burgers I have had in a looooong time (and if you know me, you know how much I love hamburgers so I am not just going to praise one for shits and giggles. I may be very nice, but I will call a spade a spade in this regard). What is really fantastic about OZCF is how open and light it is – nestled in between ancient, MASSIVE trees (one of my top favourite things in life) and with natural materials in place of furniture – hay bales for seats for instance – the market itself really enhances the organic feel of the food and produce.
I started off with a freshly squeezed green juice and samples of fresh cut beef biltong while still meandering the various stalls and their delectable offerings. But when it came to what to have for lunch, for once in my very decision-riddled life I knew exactly what I wanted: an Inside & You’re Out Whiskey Burger (sans bacon due to being part of the Chosen People). And oh my hoooooooly hell it was phenomenal! I even got a fresh batch of rocket picked straight from the farm itself to add to my wholesome, natural food experience. Big ups to these guys though because my burger was seriously AHHH-MAZING and they were just as entertaining and fun to deal with.
After the market and a stroll/photo shoot through the farm, we headed to The Woodstock Exchange to check it out (why it has taken me this long is literally beyond me because it is the coolest place ever) and have some coffee at Starling & Hero Bicycle Café where we sat and chatted and wandered around, taking in all the creative energy that Woodstock has to offer. Cape Town is filled with these little gems and I cannot wait to explore my own city more.
Finally, we frolicked over to La Vie in Sea Point to meet up with other friends and ended up drinking strawberry jam jars and getting too drunk to drive home and so found ourselves drinking wine in a friend’s incredible loft apartment that is full of some extraordinary art and overlooking the rooftop pool of Mavericks. You can imagine my surprise at how my day turned out after leaving the house at 11am for an organic market.
Days like that make me so unbelievably happy because you just do what you want, when and with whom and you make the plans up as you go – always resulting in the biggest adventure and the best memories.
This is not an outfit post, nor is it a food review but rather it is an enormous shout out to the city of Cape Town for being so effing cool all over and all the time.
Sometimes we get so stuck in our little lives that we forget that we are blessed beyond measure to live in the most magnificent city in the world. So next time you have a free morning or some extra hours; put in the effort to explore and discover The Mother City because jeeeeeeezus she is a belter.
Denim Jacket: Cotton On
Floral Cap: Mr Price
Sunglasses: Vintage Store in Nottinghill
Black Sling Bag: China Market Joburg
ps thank you Niks for letting me steal your phone and directing me around the pansie patch for these photos. I love you.
I’ve been back in Cape Town for just over two weeks now and every single day I am reminded of how absolutely magical this place is, especially with summer on its way and the consequential shining sun, blue skies and the glow off the water as you drive along the coast. This past weekend we were treated to perfect weather and an array of Mother City-mazing activities – from warrior races to gun runs and multiple glasses of wine in between. And despite being slightly hungover on Saturday (thanks to a Friday night dealing with stock exchange-esque price drops at HQ); I spent the day indulging in Cape Town’s beauty. My lovely cousin Jayd and I took a stroll along the Sea Point Promenade and it occurred to me that it was the perfect spot for a photo shoot.
Combined with the natural beauty of the ocean (and the juxtaposed green leaves of the palm-tree-lined promenade), one of my favourite new pieces from London formed the foundation for this blog post.
Now you may (or may not) have noticed the art-inspired collections and runways over the last two seasons (if not, check out one of my previous posts on the influence of graffiti in fashion). Most noticeably was Prada’s collection last year where actual prints were ‘copied’ onto fabrics, but the broad brush strokes and primary colours have trickled through to other designers, down to the high street and now our own local stores such as Woolworths and Mr Price.
The art movement can be quite a bold one to embrace, so why not try pairing (down) your Picasso prints with a denim jacket or keeping your colours neutral? The print should be exaggerated but worn with simplicity and a feeling of fun.
So if you’re wondering how to incorporate this look into an existing wardrobe, here’s a little inspiration and guidance…
Brush Stroke Shift Dress: H&M London
Denim Jacket: Cotton On
Foldover Sling Bag: China Mart Joburg
Sunglasses: Vintage Store in Nottinghill
Thank you Jayd Levy for being the cutest photographer (above and beyond being one of my best friends who happens to be my cousin).
I am still figuring out how not to look like a total dork in front of the camera so have a little patience (and a little laugh).
Remember, this is fashion – so HAVE FUN!
Here’s hoping you now feel a little more confident in adopting the art-inspired trend or that you at the very least enjoyed my awkward modeling attempts.
“Art exists that one may recover the sensation of life; it exists to make one feel things”.