A/W17 Fashion Inspo

The warm weather of summer is just on the horizon and many of us are focused on what we’ll be wearing to keep cool. But there are those who have gone beyond that and determined the fashion trends for Autumn/Winter’17.

Chunky knits, wide-leg pants, off-the-shoulder garments, double denim, leather, metallics and the sexy slip dress were just some of the strong, wearable trends to come from SA Fashion Week (SAFW) held in Joburg recently.
I break down these top trends and suggest how best you wear them.


Brand: Afrikanswiss

1. Double Denim: This has been trending for a while and is not going anywhere. The key here is to pair similar shades of denim to avoid a major fashion faux pas. Afrikanswiss presented a number of denim-on-denim looks which included low crotch denim pants, dungarees, shirts and jackets that can be worn as separates or layered. Wear it as a daytime street-style look with sneakers or pair it with heels or pumps for a sophisticated look.


Brand: Atelier Dajee

2. Metallics: Metallic hues that look like they are straight out of a sci-fi movie are hot for summer and the winter months. The attention-grabbing fabric in metal or gold are available in skirts, sneakers, jackets or as a dress, such as this metallic dress by Atelier Dajee. In summer pair it with equally shiny accessories for a playful disco look or tone it down in winter by pairing it with with wool, denim or chiffon.


Brand: Clive Rundle

3. The Cold- Shoulder: Just because it’s cold it won’t mean that you will have to cover every inch of skin. There is something elegant about bare shoulders for both summer and the colder winter months. Clive Rundle’s layered cape dress is perfect for showing a little skin while still keeping warm. Whether in tops, tees or dresses, just about anyone can pull off the off-the-shoulder look. Dainty necklaces that rest on the collarbone will finish this sexy look.


Brand: Colleen Eitzen

4. Slip Dress: The slip dress trend is picking up speed. Classic and seductive, this dress that almost resembles an underslip is versatile depending on your mood. Colleen Eitzen v-neck dress comes in soft lines that will rest on your feminine curves. The fabrics are often flimsy for winter, so you might want to wear the dress with an ankle-length coat or bomber jacket for a casual look.


Brand: Esnoko

5. Colour: Even the dark and cold of winter calls for splashes of colour to brighten up a day. From saturated earth colours to pastel hues, such as this Esnoko double-breasted coat and pants, don’t be afraid to pair clashing colours.


Brand: Heart and Heritage

6. Chunky knits: Forget the cardigan and skinny scarves. Cosy, chunky knits will be winter’s must-have accessories. This luxurious scarf by  Heart and Heritage can be worn with just about anything, from a suit to a sweater dress.


Brand:  Mieke

7. Wide-legged pants: Vintage wide-leg trousers, especially high-waisted pants are classic and elegant. The wider silhouettes come in Culottes, which are just below the knee, or at ankle length, such as these pants by Mieke . Styling these pants can be tricky so keep it simple with a tucked shirt that will accentuate your figure or a crop top for an edgy look. Heels look better with long, wide-legged pants, while flats can be worn with those at below-the-knee length.


Brand: Vintage Zionist

8. Leather: One can never go wrong with a tailored leather or faux leather garment. This Vintage Zionist jumpsuit is both rebellious and chic. Paired with flats and a beanie, this look is party ready and will work as daytime chic.

All images are by SA Fashion Week: http://www.safashionweek.co.za/

This feature was first published in the Cape Argus on October 7 2016. 

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat: @Nontando58. 



South African concept art and fashion photographer Jordan-Lee Garbutt

Copywrite of Jordan-Lee Garbutt

Copywrite of Jordan-Lee Garbutt

Fashion photography is one of the most sought-after professions but it is also one of the hardest to break into. For every photographer who makes it through the door of the glamorous industry, many others are in line, still knocking on the door. Only a few gain recognition in the various media, which ranges from street photography and portraiture to documentary and glamour photography. South African concept art and fashion photographer Jordan-Lee Garbutt has captured the industry with his latest exhibition, titled The Power of Sound, being showcased at Cape Town’s Mullers Gallery this month.
I chat to him about t his trade and his current work.


How did you get from being an aspiring photographer to doing it for a living? After my studies, I dived head first into assisting. Assisting is the best way to gain experience, learn your craft from top professionals, and see what works in real life. Discovering how to work with people and photo shoot dynamics can only be learnt in the field.


“Putting in the hours of learning your craft, researching your subject matter and approaches, all adds up in the end. I assisted for three years before starting to build my portfolio. I created photo shoots that displayed my ideas, my vision and what I believed in.”

How do you get the person, place or thing that is in front of the camera just the way you want? Conceptualising and planning, 99 percent of the time, every detail of my shoots are planned. I work with stylists, make-up artists and other talented people to help create my “visions”.

It takes a team to create the end result. Collaborating is the only way to move forward, you can only do so much on your own, and other viewpoints, perspectives and talents will transform your idea into something more powerful.

Copywrite of Jordan-Lee Garbutt

Copywrite of Jordan-Lee Garbutt

Which photographers influenced you on your career path? American fashion and portrait photographer Richard Avedon’s career initiated a change in the way I created images and how I looked at choosing to make a living from photography. He managed to balance his commercial work with his personal work and blended campaigns and exhibitions perfectly. That is something I aspire to replicate.

“Gregory Crewdson’s Beneath the Roses changed the way I wanted to create. It revealed the high-end planning and concepts with lighting that resonated with the way I create and how I wanted to create”

What motivates you to continue taking pictures? It really comes from inside. I knew from the first week of exploring photography that this is what wanted to do with the rest of my life.I love what I do, I feel my best when I’m creating. My biggest drive now is trying to initiate a change in people, change their perspectives and open their minds to a new way of thinking. Breaking down social, economic and personal barriers.

Tell us about your photography process? My creative process and inspiration varies but I have a general guide that I like to follow. Everything I create, I think in layers. Starting off with the base concept, everything else is added to that. I see the world in a certain light. I prefer dark tones and playing in the shadows. White, bright and “fresh” images have never resonated with me. I like the mystical, the surreal, and our innermost thoughts.


I’m at the stage where I cannot take images just for the beauty. I have to add an underlying meaning. It has to be thought-provoking.

Copywrite of Jordan-Lee Garbutt

Copywrite of Jordan-Lee Garbutt

Which images would you say have been the most significant in your career? My latest exhibition, entitled “The Power of Sound, has had the most impact. From all the press to being on Top Billing. It has grown my brand, but what I have loved about the project is the way it affects people when they see the images and poems.

Collaborating with poet Mo Libretto transformed the project into something more. The words and visuals complement each other perfectly, proving how important a collaboration is.I

After that, I have two projects lined up. The first celebrates the diversity of South Africa through the 11 official languages and our diverse flora. It’s going to take me all over the country, showcasing our beautiful country and people in a way that has never been done before.


How would you say social media is changing the photography industry? There are two sides to this. It’s made photography and creating a lot more accessible to everybody. People who wouldn’t normally have any interest in photography or visual artistic expression now give it a go. It can just be a creative outlet, or it can help people gain knowledge.

The other side is that it has made everything a popularity contest and it has given people the platform to either spread love or hate.
The amount of “trolling” and bad mouthing has grown exponentially. But everyone is at their own stage of development and skill set, and everyone has their own taste of what is good.

“We should all be helping each other and not put others down to elevate yourself”

Connect with Jordan-Lee at http://www.jordanleegarbutt.com. 

This piece was first published in the Cape Argus on September 7 2016. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat: @Nontando58 

Spring/ Summer #MBFWJ16 top trends


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Designer: Adama Paris Studio. Picture by Rizqua Barnes.

I  have rounded up some of the hottest trends straight from the runway of the
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg (MBFWJ), held in Sandton last week. Identify and style them to suit your personality.

1 Nandi Mngoma x Inga Madyibi
Designer: Nandi Mngoma x Inga Madyibi. Picture by Rizqua Barnes.

1. The Jumpsuit: A tailored jumpsuit can seamlessly take you from the office to a black-tie gala event. No matter the occasion, there’s always a look you can pull off by wearing one. Choose a one-colour jumpsuit or one in print, such as the Nandi Mngoma and Inga Madyibi tribal print jumpsuit. Alter your accessories, chunky or barely-there, and heel height to suit the occasion.

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Designer: Orapeleng Modutle Style. Picture by Rizqua Barnes

2.Couture Chic: If you enjoy dressing up then this trend will be right up your alley. Orapeleng Modutle Style Avenue showcased a collection to die for. His attention to detail and fit is superb, and using luxury fabrics such as chiffon, each piece is delicately put together. This trend will work for a day at the races, a fancy evening party and is for those who are willing to spend a little more on boutique clothing.

3. Head wraps: Head-turning head wraps and head scarves remain the hottest hair accessory. The bigger, the better, just make sure it is neatly wrapped. Adama Paris Studio paired her clashing prints collection with brightly coloured head wraps and bold make-up.

4 Khosi Nkosi

Designer: Khosi Nkosi. Picture by Rizqua Barnes.

4. Prints: This is another trend that is not going to disappear any time soon. Deviating from her usual all-prints collections that celebrate the nubian woman, Khosi Nkosi presented a collection that mixed ethnic prints with modern fabrics. From African to geometric prints, play around by mixing them with different fabrics such as faux leather and denim.

5 Tina Lobondi
Designer:  Tina Lobondi. Picture by Rizqua Barnes.

5.Athleisure is anything from designer leggings paired with high heels to feminine
dresses with fabrics such as denim or faux leather. The trend is being driven by people who are looking for more functionality from their wardrobe and who do not want to compromise on style for comfort. Tina Lobondi styled this printed short jumpsuit with a pair of trendy sneakers… a perfect look for a day on your feet.

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Designer: Marianne Fasser. Picture by Rizqua Barnes

6. Sheer clothing: Wearing sheer fabrics such as delicate chiffon, mesh and lace are best for showing some skin during the summer months. Consider a dress that features a section of sheer fabric, such as this elegant Marianne Fassler dress, right. The trick is to stick to dark colours.

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at @Nontando58

*This piece was first published in The Cape Argus and The Star on August 19 2016. 




A new era for illustrators

Iris Apfel by Caroline Tomlinson

Iris Apfel by Caroline Tomlinson

Fashion photography surpassed fashion illustration a long time ago, but things are changing. Hand sketching and other forms of illustration are dominating the blogosphere and social media, resurrecting the art form.

Talented artists are taking to social media such as Instagram to showcase their work – sketches of runway looks, fashion editorials and famous people, reinterpreted into animation and illustrations.

Professionals and amateurs are changing the way we view fashion.

Madonna by Caroline Tomlinson

Madonna by Caroline Tomlinson

Social networking has spread around the world with remarkable speed, making it easier for people to connect and share ideas, and this has played a major role in the revival of fashion illustration, says Caroline Tomlinson.

London-based Tomlinson has worked with a number of fashion houses, upmarket retailers and photographers including Rankin, Fortnum & Mason, Marc Jacobs and Stella magazine.

Her popular inky, sassy drawings include the faces of fashion icon Iris Apfel, Madonna and rock legend Mick Jagger.

I meet her at 91 LOOP, Cape Town’s newest boutique hostel where she exhibited some of her work.

“There has been a tremendous revival of the art of fashion illustration… It’s definitely a big thing right now on Instagram, which is great because I am super busy right now,” she says.


Former model and illustrator Quentin Jones is one of the people who has a big following and is doing work for brands such as Chanel. “It’s amazing how social media has brought the genre into people’s radar.”

Tomlinson, who is a London art college graduate and now lives between Cape Town and London, was inspired by Roald Dahl books while growing up.

“They represent my childhood and my mom reading them to me at bedtime. That is probably my earliest acknowledgement of the illustration world”

by Caroline Tomlinson

by Caroline Tomlinson

“I went to art college, explored it more and I fell in love with it even more.

“After I did my Masters (degree), my focus shifted more to design but I have since come back to illustration… When you really love something, you can’t get over it.

“I have had my agent in London for over 10 years and it’s been quite an evolution.

“I mainly focus on fashion now, it’s a case of joining all the dots because when I wasn’t doing illustration I was doing a lot of fashion branding or fashion art direction. Now I am doing more of what I love,
instead of doing illustrations for banks, for an example,” she says.


It took Tomlinson about two years to refocus her portfolio from corporate work to fashion, and a move to Cape Town was just what she needed to rejuvenate her creative juices.


“I was in Cape Town, a long way from home and feeling a bit lost creatively. I think that is always the start of a journey when you are feeling a bit lost.

“I didn’t really know that any of this was going to happen, but then it all sort of fell into place and made sense;

“The amazing thing about Cape Town is that it gave me an opportunity to immerse myself in my work. I never had that opportunity in London and I am exceptionally grateful for that. Cape Town has been a huge part of my story and it will always be quite an important city to me,” she said.


Mick Jagger by by Caroline Tomlinson

Mick Jagger by by Caroline Tomlinson

Tomlinson’s signature is solid dark lines of black on white with pops of colour. She uses a mixture of techniques such as ink, charcoal, spray paint, watercolour and pencil.

Her sources of inspiration include visual bookmarking tool Pinterest, among other things.

“Sometimes I get told who to draw, but if I am doing things just for me I go with my instinct. Mick Jagger for example, is someone that I always wanted to draw. Other people such as eccentric fashion legend Iris Apfel and Emma Watson are people that inspire me by what they do, their fashion sense and what they stand for.

“They are strong characters and not superficial. They actually stand for why they are in the world of fashion, they love what they do and why it’s important,” says Tomlinson.


Using so many different mediums of drawing is quite a process, but it’s necessary for a perfectionist like her.

“I sometimes draw something 50 times in different mediums, scan it and then put it all together. What you see is a combination of maybe 40 or so drawings, so that at the end I have that really rich drawing that looks like it’s drawn in pencil and watercolour… which is what I really enjoy,” she says. “I do think that I can play more with colour.

Caroline Tomlinson

Caroline Tomlinson

“When I get back to Europe this summer I am planning do less commercial work for a little while and just push my own stuff because I want to play more with colour. My work has gone quite monochrome, which I love, but it would be interesting to have a bigger pop of colour,” she says.

“My drawings are not too perfect, but I hope you (the viewer) will walk away from them with a sense of energy… they should move you in some way;


“And also maybe with a sense of me, as they are personal. I do expose myself a little bit in my work by the very things that I have chosen to draw and the people that are very much on my radar.

“They (the illustrations) are like these little visual diaries of my interest and inspiration… you get to see a little bit of what makes me tick,” adds Tomlinson.


● Connect with Caroline Tomlinson on Instagram: Caroline Tomlinson

This feature was first published in the Cape Argus on June 20 2016.

Look of the week

Bromwell 1

Photographer: Lauren Young • Photographer

I had fun playing dress up at the Bromwell Mall Boutique in Woodstock. The beautiful space stocks a number of South African designers. Each week I will be selecting my top “Look of the Week” for Fashion Friday.

My first look is this black and white sassy outfit. It’s a classic look with a hint of sexiness. I would wear this to a chic event or party. I love how the cape adds a bit of drama and mystery to the outfit.

Bromwell 3Bromwell 2Bromwell 4

Cape by ERRE
Skirt by Julia M’Poko ‪#‎MokoElosa‬
Bustier by ‪#‎VivianLaw‬

Shoes by Zando

Photographer: Lauren Young • Photographer
Local: BREAD High Tea Lounge

Visit the Bromwell Mall and pick out your top look: http://www.thebromwell.co.za/

Find them on Facebook:  The Bromwell Boutique Mall

Connect with me on Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter: Nontando58  SLAY!!! 

No poser: New York’s Shamayim shoots it like it is

Carmen Solomon by Shamayim

Model Carmen Solomon by Shamayim

Fashion photography is an art form that is part of our daily lives – on billboards, in magazines, books and online. These days, it is no longer just about photographing great clothes or posing with hands on hips and looking down at the camera.

Fashion photographers are changing the game by producing work that reflects a certain kind of attitude and creativity. One who has a carved a name for himself worldwide with his distinct style of shooting, mostly focusing on models of colour, is award-winning New York-based photographer, Shamayim.

His body of work includes fashion editorials, beauty as well as advertising, and has been published in high-end magazines and featured in advertising campaigns around the world.

I spoke to him during his Cape Town expedition, where he worked with several local top models.

Shamayim began his career after noticing the lack of diversity in fashion magazines, he says.

“I noticed that a lot of fashion magazines did not have many women of colour in them. And the magazines that did were mostly men’s magazines… and I just hated the way that they were portrayed”

“I didn’t think that they were shown in a very classy or classic way ,” says Shamayim “I just had an inclination to want to change that. Also, I had a girlfriend I was dating at the time who was a model, and I hated her photos because she was such a beautiful girl.

“She was very classy and all her photos looked trashy… it wasn’t really her fault, but she said that photographers never wanted to shoot black models in a glamorous way,” he explains.


“I picked up this little disposable camera and took snapshots of her and she really liked it. That was about 10 years ago. It has been a process ever since then.”

Eli Cruz

Eli Cruz by Shamayim

“I keep getting better and better at it, creating not only test shoots for women of colour, but test shoots in general… iconic and legendary images, but my priority will always be women of colour,” he says.

Shamayim’s pictures, mostly in black and white, display models in various forms of dance-like poses. Shot at dramatic angles, the images are captivating and different from your average portfolio shots.

Shamayim spends most of his time doing international photo shoot expeditions and workshops, working with top modelling agencies, fashion designers and make-up artists in countries including France, United Arab Emirates, England and Egypt.

“I like to concentrate on black and white because it is symbolic to me. I feel like there are two energies in every human being – like low and high vibrations or negatives and positives”

“I really think you can capture that when you take away the colour and just concentrate on the contrast of the negative and the positive. It complements my work more because it captures the struggle between two people.”

“I use the most minimal amount of retouching because I was trained to capture a photograph in the camera, and not after you have taken the photo.

“I fix things you could not fix, like make-up or lighting… I might also sharpen the image a little bit just to show contrast of the shadows, but I am not a big fan of overly retouching,”

The likes of American fashion photographer Steven Meisel and photography duo Mert and Marcus count as some of his biggest influences.

“Outside of them, I don’t really follow too many photographers. I like to create my own style. I do admire many photographers’ work.

“I study film directors – how they light their work and how they direct their cast and actors – more so than photographers.

“English-American film director Christopher Nolan is my favourite film director because he brings realism into his work.

“And, weirdly enough, I like to follow wildlife photographers because they can capture animals in natural poses, being themselves. I like to incorporate that with my models.”

“I want them to be natural, I want them to look fantastic and beautiful, but also I want them to be real,” he explains.

“I would rather see a beautiful woman running through the streets with a gown flowing behind her than just standing with her hands on her hips.

“You can get that from wildlife photography; they are really excellent at capturing motion and natural behaviour,” says Shamayim.

“Cape Town – and South Africa in general – offers an impressive range of diverse model talent,” says Shamayim.

“This is one of the reasons I will be moving to Cape Town soon. South Africa in general has a wonderful pool of where models from all over the world come to build their portfolios.

“I visited almost all the agencies in Cape Town and I was so impressed with the diversity that is represented here. I pride myself in having one of the most diverse portfolios in the industry.

“I shoot men and women from all different cultures. And coming here, I saw that represented in the agencies… which is quite refreshing,” adds Shamayim.

●To see more of Shamayim’s, work see www.shamayim.net or his Instagram page: Shamayim. 

This feature was first published in the Cape Argus on January 6 2016. 


Snaps of Joburg

by photographer Austin Malema

by photographer Austin Malema

This is the last of four instalments in the series, titled ‘Photographers tell a story of their cities’,

Austin Malema is a video editor and photographer based in Joburg.

Austin Malema is a video editor and photographer
based in Joburg.

What is the concept behind this shoot? To capture the inner city of Johannesburg and show that it is not as ugly as people perceive it or make it out to be. The city is beautiful, with different views and great places to visit that are also safe.

What makes your city special? Johannesburg has so many hidden gems that you can discover at Maboneng and Braamfontein, the inner city where there are amazing views of the city. The one thing that makes the city special is that behind every corner there are breathtaking views and you discover beautiful locations almost every day. Snaps of Joburg

Tell us what most people often overlook when visiting your city?
They often overlook exploring more of the the inner city, the heart of the city. Places like the Carlton Centre, also known as the Top of Africa… it has spectacular views of the city from four different corners. Walk the streets with a friend or a tour guide around Bree, Newtown and Braamfontein, find rooftops and take pictures.

by Austin Malema

by Austin Malema

What inspires you? I am inspired by the different stories you find everywhere you go in the city. By the beauty of it, from the Bree Street taxi rank to the view of Johannesburg from the M1 and from the different rooftops.

What makes the good picture stand out from the average? A great subject and composition will make a picture stand out from the rest. My city is a great subject because it does not move and I can shoot as many pictures as possible until I capture the right one.

How would you describe your photographic vision and style, and what kind of look do you try and create in your photos? My style is urban photography. I always try and capture the beauty of the city at different times of the day. I love going on rooftops or anywhere were there is a view of the of the Johannesburg skyline.

by Austin Malema

by Austin Malema

How important is it for a photographer to “connect” with his subjects to bring out their true self? It is very important… so they both understand each other to get the best out of each other.

Photographers like to show their audience something in their pictures, what do you hope to inspire in other people with your work? I hope to inspire people to get out of their houses and get back to walking the streets of the city and see its beauty.

by Austin Malema

by Austin Malema

If you could visit and photograph any place in the world that you haven’t been to before, where would that be?
It would be Manhattan in New York City. The city has beautiful buildings and
views that are easy to capture.

This feature was first published in the Cape Argus on May 19 2015.