Celebrating Tourism Month

Archery in Parys

Trying my hand in Archiery at the Real adventures place in Parys, Free State province. Picture:Paballo Thekiso

My first road trip was with three of myvfriends. We planned the trip from Durban to Cape
Town in three months. We were young and carefree. We divided the trip into two parts with an overnight stay in Knysna.

For dinner we ate sushi for the first time, in a restaurant by the harbour. This was followed by a late night of drinking at the bar at the backpackers’ where we were staying before stumbling to our four-bunk bedroom in the early hours.

The next morning on the road was rough, we were tired, hungover and excited at the same time about reaching Cape Town. We arrived just before sunset at the Green Elephant backpackers in Observatory, our home for four nights.

The staff welcomed us with open arms and we formed friendships that are still alive today. We spent the days sightseeing in the CBD, shopping at the V&A Waterfront, sipping cocktails in Camps Bay and driving up Signal Hill.

2. Quad Biking in ParysPicture:Paballo Thekiso

The nights were spent playing pool in Lower Main Road Observatory and club-hopping in Long Street. Without realising it until the last night, we had spent most of our petrol money. Our parents came to our rescue, but not before scolding us for our irresponsible
behaviour. Memories from that trip remain fresh in my mind.

What made the trip extra special was we managed to save the little money we had at the time for an adventure that would see the four of us bonding… we learnt a lot about each other during the long drive in a small Corsa.

“I would like to think this trip ignited a lust for travel in each of us”

Since then, the four of us have travelled extensively in South Africa, as well as in Europe and the US. Contrary to what some might believe, one does not require a fat bank balanceto be able to travel, be it local or international. However, some saving and smart planning is key.

Common sense goes a long way. For example, buying a plane ticket a few months before you travel will be cheaper than booking the flight the day before you are due to travel.

In the past, I have taken the Greyhound bus to Durban to visit my family and overland trucks to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Namibia for holidays. The experiences are priceless.

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Queening with the BaSotho women dressed in their traditional wear called Thebetha

“Venturing out of your comfort zone and learning about other people and cultures will teach you things about yourself and the world you won’t find in a textbook”

 

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Enjoying a sunset cruise on the Vaal River. Picture by Paballo Thekiso.

One of my favourite Sho’t Left (domestic travels) trip include a visit to Joburg where I caught up with friends and family. On a recent trip there I spent a weekend in Soweto, which is home to some of South Africa’s world famous names, such as Nelson Mandela, and is known for history changing moments such as the 1976 Soweto student uprising.

During my stay there I visited the Mandela house in Vilakazi Street, a buzzing street lined with restaurants and cafés… a not so common sight for a township. There is an electrifying energy that hangs in the air that when I left, I felt empty .

Recently I paid a visit to my home town, but opted to stay at a hotel in the city centre instead of home as they were busy renovating. I saw Durban through the eyes of a tourist for the first time and I became one.

I visited art galleries, museums, took long leisurely walks on the beachfront promenade and discovered cafés where I spent hours watching people. I returned with a new-found appreciation for the city where people have no whims about striking up conversations with strangers. I realised how much I missed this simple act of ubuntu (human kindness) that is still alive there.

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Last week I spent a week in the Free State visiting several towns. It was my first time there and I experienced a number of firsts. I learnt about towns I never knew existed, such as Vredefort near Parys.

I quad biked, I tried my hand at archery and went river rafting on the Vaal River. All these sporting activities were never on my to-do-list of fun things while on a holiday before this trip.

1. L-R Liam Joyce and Nontando Mposo river rafting in the Vaal RiverLiam and I slaying. Picture:Paballo Thekiso

September is tourism month, an annual celebration focusing on the importance of tourism for the economy. The theme for this year is Tourism For All: Promoting Universal Accessibility.

It aims to encourage everyone to explore and rediscover our country. So, round up a group of friends or family for a Sho’t Left somewhere.

Visit:www@shotleft.co.za for more travel inspiration. 

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Connect with me and follow my adventures on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat @Nontando58. 

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

 

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AW 16, the H&M South Africa way

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Shamiel and I are wearing H& M South Africa

 

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Shamiel wears boots from H& M South Africa and I am wearing their knit dress. The rest of the clothes are our own. 

The cold winter months are here. I am not particular a fan of winter shopping but I do enjoy layering, a long stylish coat and knits. Shamiel Hagee (model and stylist, find him on Instagram: @Shamielsham) and I recently did a really cool streetstyle photo shoot with photographer Ashley Robertson (IG handle: @Majesticaash06).

Wearing the latest H& M South Africa AW16 (http://www.hm.com/za/)  range, we took over the beautiful streets of Cape Town. Here are the dope images we produced. Happy shopping Fashionistas!!!

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How amazing is this dress?!! The fit and material is just perfect. Dress by H&M South Africa.

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Dress and sequins jacket by H& M South Africa.

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Shamiel and I are wearing bomber jackets by H& M South Africa.

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Bomber jacket and knit dress by H& M South Africa

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Jacket and dress by H& M South Africa.

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HM Shoot 1

This is my favourite shot. Until next time SLAY!! Find me on Snapchat: Nontando58.

Bringing the stylish hijab out of hiding

Pics by :Ferdinand Van Huizen- MUA:  Marietjie Hurter-Stylist:Roshan Isaacs

Pics by :Ferdinand Van Huizen- MUA: Marietjie Hurter-Stylist:Roshan Isaacs

The demand for “modest wear” is growing and a number of top designers are now branching out to cater for the untapped market of Muslim women who want to be glamorous and conservative at the same time.

New York-based fashion house DKNY did it first by creating a capsule collection for the Muslim holy month of Ramadaan last year, and other design powerhouses such as Oscar de la Renta and Tommy Hilfiger followed. On social media, several campaigns have been launched such as “I love hijab” which encourages women to post photos of themselves in full Islamic wear. What it has shown is that a number of young Muslim women are choosing to wear colourful and stylish hijabs instead of the traditional black. Roshan Isaacs, managing director and editor in chief for Style Africa Fashion Network, believes that modest wear in the fashion industry is still undervalued.

The online network is a portal for the latest trends in fashion, design and creative talent, and aims to inspire South Africans to buy locally designed and made products in order to develop and promote domestic talent.

“The market for modest clothing is a multibillion dollar industry yet a lot of designers have not tapped into it. Most Muslim women have to get their clothes custom-made in order to be on trend and that needs to change,” says Isaacs.

Isaacs was recently appointed the South Africa country manager for the Islamic Fashion and Design Council (IFDC), the world’s leading modest fashion and design (art, architecture, interior) council representing the Islamic economy and its stakeholders. Her responsibilities include supporting and developing the modest wear fashion industry through services and initiatives intended to expand its platform in the country.

“One of the things I am working on is getting a collection of modest clothing on a runway. Modest clothing is a huge market that exists but has never been seen on a runway here and yet Muslim women are people who represent South Africa as well.

“Also, there are many designers who don’t know how to reach the market and my role is also to connect and train them to understand the market,” says Isaacs.

“Muslim women aren’t often seen in a positive light in our societies, but mostly viewed as oppressed for being forced to wear a scarf. My work is geared towards changing that perception. People wonder how I shop or how I manage to match my scarves with my outfits… I probably have enough scarves for the nation. It’s part of my wardrobe, my attire and so I incorporate them into my outfits,” she says.

Pics by :Ferdinand Van Huizen- MUA: Marietjie Hurter-Stylist:Roshan Isaacs

Pics by :Ferdinand Van Huizen- MUA: Marietjie Hurter-Stylist:Roshan Isaacs

Isaacs is a regular face at South African fashion weeks, and her immaculate fashion sense and colourful, beautifully wrapped turbans and scarves are highly praised and admired in fashion circles. I met her at a contemporary café in Claremont, close to her home from where she runs her online magazine.

Isaacs was born into the world of fashion as one of four daughters of Abobaker Isaacs, a talented designer who owned a fashion academy and designed for the likes of Gucci.

“My family tree includes Indian and Irish blood… my background is completely mixed. I feel like I am authentically South African because it’s the only country I know and I love it’s diversity… My one sister looks like an Arabian queen and the other one is a redhead. We are a very diverse family,” she explains.

“My father did couture and his parting gift to his daughters was our wedding dresses. He designed each of our wedding dresses and the nice thing about it is that he did it in a way that personified the relationship he had with each of us.

“Mine was gold with a high Victorian collar, which is what I love… I love the Victorian era.”

Pics by :Ferdinand Van Huizen- MUA: Marietjie Hurter-Stylist:Roshan Isaacs

Pics by :Ferdinand Van Huizen- MUA: Marietjie Hurter-Stylist:Roshan Isaacs

Launched in 2013, the online network is run by a team of industry experts who are passionate about promoting South Africa’s fashion talent, Isaacs explains.

“I have been in the broadcasting and media industry for about 20 years and it wasn’t giving me the fulfilment that I craved… of developing and training young people. My ‘aha’ moment came when I was standing in front of a magazine shelf and didn’t see any magazines which appealed to me as a South African.

“Besides being a Muslim woman, there weren’t any magazines that portrayed authentic South African fashion. Everything there was a syndication of the magazines from all over the world. I felt that we are not the East or the West, but are authentically African and have something to offer the world. That is why Europe and Indonesia are interested in what we have to offer, but we are not showcasing that,” says Isaacs.

“Building the company’s credibility in the fashion industry was of high importance. The company is now solely run by me – from curating to selecting stories, writing, social media and attending events. But when it gets too much I reel in my reinforcements who are always ready and willing to contribute wherever possible,” she says.

“I love media and I love broadcasting and so I married the two and created Style Africa Fashion Network as a media platform… It really was not about profitmaking but about exposing the industry to the rest of the world and building the country’s design label,” says Isaacs.

“My challenge is getting funders to see the investment opportunity in helping Style Africa market our proudly South African design industry and having them share the same passion and drive as I and so many South Africans do.”

Roshan Isaacs’ top 5 fashion tips

●I love turbans and scarves, not only draped on my head but used as a blouse. When I need to pack light for a holiday, an array of colourful scarves make for amazing blouses which you can fix up yourself with no buttons, stitching or zips required.

●Play around with colours – sometimes we think certain colours won’t go well together but when you play dress-up for the day, try colours which complement, contrast or are mismatched. You will find a new outfit created with colours you least expected would work.

●For an elegant and chic look, stick to clean lines and make a statement with colourful, bold or even edgy accessories – be it a bag, belt, shoes or earrings.

●Dress your size – it’ll fit and look a hundred times better than a body bulging at the seams of a tight-fitting outfit or you looking bigger in an oversized garment.

●No matter what you wear, always finish it off with confidence and a smile.

●Roshan Isaacs hosts The Modest Chapter for the IFDC on www.youtube.com and is also a presenter at the Voice of the Cape radio station. Visit the Style Africa Fashion Network at http://www.styleafrica.co.za or follow her on Instagram@RoshanIsaacs.

*This feature first appeared in the Cape Argus on November 9 2015.

Fashion creative blogs for Africa

Photo by Mark Manual May

Photo by Mark Manual May

Shiraz Reddy is a familiar face on the local fashion scene. From fashion weeks to fashion soirées, Reddy is there, always impeccably dressed. His passion for supporting and celebrating local creatives and designers is infectious and sets him apart from his peers. Having his hands in different pots – such as PR and events co-ordinating, broadcasting, blogging and styling – makes him a fashion and entertainment all-rounder.

“There is a lot of organic growth in the fashion industry at the moment. And instead of fashioning your brand to be like the next ‘top US retail brand’, South African designers and the industry as a whole are going back to our African roots, taking what we’ve grown and exhibiting it in the clothes we wear and the conversations we have about fashion. Also the trending fashion phrase is ‘prints is the new black’,” he says.

This is evident in Reddy’s latest fashion editorial titled Print Party, which features a mesh of bold and clashing prints and textures. The editorial currently on his blog, The Boy on the Park Bench was shot at the University of Cape Town with model Lesala Mampa.

“The editorial was inspired by the rich prints, textiles and the artistic flair I saw on the runways of SA Menswear Week and Cape Town Fashion week. The amazing African prints and textures on show took my love for prints to the next level.For the shoot I created wearable and attainable looks.“

“I always aim to educate my readers about ‘how to wear prints’ and the art of wearing ‘print-on-print’. I chose the UCT upper campus because of the negativity that has surrounded the campus of late… I saw it as a way of highlighting the greatness that still lives among those trees and walls,” says Reddy.

Also always try to keep the garments within their natural beauty as far as possible without losing the essence of the design and the location we’re shooting at,” he says.

Photo by by Mark Manual May

Photo by by Mark Manual May

The Boy on the Park Bench is the story of a boy sitting on the park bench observing his surroundings and sharing what he sees, explains Reddy, a Varsity College Pretoria graduate.

“I started the blog in 2010 as a way of expressing how I felt during a trying time of finding my feet in Cape Town and my chosen career path. It was a cold winter day and I was sitting in a park around the corner from my then flat in the southern suburbs.

“I decided that it was time for me to express myself and share my thoughts as a way of ‘dealing’ with what I was going through.

“I made the conscious decision to use it (blogging) as a way of expressing my honest opinion on fashion, the industry and its ever-changing dynamics that I get to experience first-hand on a daily basis. I blog for those who appreciate it but don’t have the time or resources to actively be a part of it,” Reddy says.

Describing himself as a braveheart because he is not afraid to take risks and to go where where others are too scared to go, the 28-year-old Reddy’s love for the creatives started at a young age.

“My parents always ensured we looked good and never skimped on buying my siblings and I the best clothes. I always appreciated new shoes and the opportunity to get all dressed up and to show off amongst my peers. At around age 9 I already knew the importance of a crisp white shirt and what it could do for your school uniform and any outfit in-general;” he says

Shiraz Reddy

Shiraz Reddy

“I’ve always enjoyed styling myself, planning outfits with my sisters and friends days before wearing them… I still do this to this day,” he says.

Reddy is inspired by photographers Trevor Stuurman and Theodore Afrika’s ability to capture beautiful imagery, as well as recording artist and producer Pharrell Williams’s sense of style and work within the fashion industry.

His list of notable fashion designers include Mzukisi Mabane of Imprint, Adriaan Kuiters, Craig Port and hip hop artist Kanye West.

“They push the envelope to spite stereotypes. I am also inspired by nature… how letting something grow organically can turn into a beautiful living thing. And the streets of Cape Town, how people here aren’t afraid to express their creative personalities through fashion,” says Reddy.

Photo  by Mark Manual May

Photo by Mark Manual May

One of the key things to making it as a creative in South Africa is to stay true to yourself, he says.

“Being adventurous when no one trusts you and trusting your own gut will go a long way. “Also, it’s not easy to get individuals and  brands to invest in your creativity because most are influenced by international trends and many are reluctant to help you pioneer new trends and ways of doing things;

“These for me are definite challenges. However, sticking to your guns, working like a beast and not forgetting the struggles and what you want to achieve and, that if you don’t do the work, no one else will, should lead you to maintaining a successful creative career.”

Photo by Mark Manual May

Photo by Mark Manual May

His message for aspiring fashion stylists is: “Never doubt yourself because then the client and team will doubt you too. Trial and error is okay… learn to accept mistakes but do your research well in advance and as detailed as possible… because God is in the detail.”

●Reddy’s blog link: https://theboyontheparkbench. wordpress.com

This feature was first published in the Cape Argus on October 9 2015

The Ruff Tung legacy lives on through a designer duo.

It has been almost two years since fashion designer Jean-Paul Botha died at age 43. Botha, the founder and creative director of the Ruff Tung label, was one of the country’s most sought-after fashion designers in the ’90s, whose creative talent saw him develop his brand from an edgy label to a high fashion house that enjoyed appearances at several major fashion weeks across the country.

But then the Durban-born designer’s death left a huge gap in the fashion industry. Fast forward to today and Botha’s Ruff Tung legacy lives on through the talented designer duo, Bridget Pickering and Ludwig Bausch. Last month, the fashion house staged their first runway showcase – since Botha’s death – at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town (MBFWCT).

Picture by SDR Photo

Picture by SDR Photo

We interviewed Pickering and Bausch at their office in Kenilworth. Mentored by Botha, Pickering started out in the industry as a story board designer for a trims and accessory business.

“I played on the edge of fashion in my early years, but I became serious about my career once I moved to London. My first role was for the iconic store Liberty where I was introduced to the world of incredible designs,” she says.

For Bausch, a Durban University of Technology fashion and textile design graduate, his first job in fashion was as Botha’s pattern maker. Now at the helm of what was his creation, the designers described their MBFWCT showcase as a “defining moment “ for the brand.

“The show was our official launch as a local Cape Town brand and more importantly as a tribute to Botha,” says Pickering

“We received an emotional standing ovation, proving that Botha’s creative legacy and DNA lives on through our continued hard work and in every design element of our collection,” she adds.

The talented designer duo, Bridget Pickering and Ludwig Bausch. Picture by SDR Photo

The talented designer duo, Bridget Pickering and Ludwig Bausch. Picture by SDR Photo

What were your inspirations for your SS16 collection? Our collection titled Mirror Mirror on the wall – Reflections has inspired our passion for print on print this SS16 season. A simple silhouette viewed “through the looking glass” to create multiple angles to dress multiple shapes, the designs offer women a dynamic balance between looking effortless, comfortable and stylish all in one piece. We have specifically developed our own prints for this collection, creating an inspirational visual feast through a kaleidoscope of shapes – an eclectic mix of monochrome, directional print blocking and always a bolt of vibrant colour. Simplicity is always the focus in our designs, creating a modern energy for the modern Ruff Tung woman.

How did you select the materials and colours? Our past and present has had a long love affair with statement prints. Tamarind Textiles came to the rescue with some beautiful prints exclusive to Ruff Tung. A strong design trait of ours is to colour and print block to create a flattering silhouette for our women. We believe that our prints and statement colour, deep cobalt, will set us apart from our competitors and make us the go to brand for woman of all shapes and sizes.

Describe the woman you envision wearing your clothes? Our designs, like the woman we dress, are ageless. The Ruff Tung women have busy lives, they want to have fun while looking good. Effortless and no fuss styling is key and our modern Ruff Tung woman appreciates this. We sell frocks, casual sophistication, easy-to-wear fashion and classic with a contemporary twist.

Who are your most influential fashion designers, and why? Our current influential designers are American fashion stylist Rachel Zoe for her effortless style, designer Diane von Furstenberg (DVF) for her business prowess and longevity, London’s leading retail marketing consultant Mary Portas for her ability to dress “real women” and Victoria Beckham for being a late fashion bloomer and taking the fashion world by storm.

Ruff Tung Lookbook

Ruff Tung Lookbook

What is your opinion on “high fashion” and do you aspire to becoming a popular high-end fashion label? We would love to be popular and be the go-to designer brand.

“Our aim would be to provide the combination of an affordable ready-to-wear collection, plus a “high end” more exclusive offering for those special luxury pieces.”

You have quite big shoes to fill: how do you ensure that the label still represents Jean-Paul Botha’s legacy? We have registered the business as “Tribute by Ruff Tung”, so not only are we a daily working tribute to the man who opened the fashion doors and gave us this opportunity, but we are working to achieve all the goals and aims that we agreed to as a team before he passed away.

Botha and ourselves started to streamline the business from a niché occasion wear brand to a more retail commercial business and this is what we will continue to do.

“We design with an honest approach to what women want.”

Picture by SDR Photo

Picture by SDR Photo

Picture by SDR Photo

Picture by SDR Photo

What can be done to encourage people to buy local or support local designers?
We don’t feel that the average consumer knows how many talented local designers are out there. Local fashion publications need to promote local more… it would be amazing to see a larger variety of local brands in the press.

There is a place for both local and international brands, but the more we support local, the more positive the impact on local manufacturing industry.

What trends do you currently see in the fashion industry?

“The current trends include the boho look and we are seeing a lot of off-the shoulder action, jumpsuits, as well as statement prints.”

What are your future plans for the brand? We will continue to build on our business, branching from E-tail into more retail opportunities. There is a demand for effortless, chic plus-size styles and we are all about dressing women across the fashion board.

What advice do you have for other aspiring fashion designers?

“This fashion business is not for sissies, so get a good background in business and a good mentor who will show you the business from the ground up.”

●Ruff Tung is sold at online shops E-Tail, Spree and Zando, and several shops nationwide such as The Bromwell.

This feature first was first published in the Cape Argus on September 29 2015. 

Nomadic culture inspires Ricci Janse van Rensburg latest designs

Photo by Sivan Miller

Photo by Sivan Miller

The brand  Ricci JvR is well known in South African fashion circles. Now the fashion brand by Cape Town designer Ricci Janse van Rensburg has gone global, launching its “Neo Native” collection with New York-based fashion tech lab Nineteenth Amendment.
Created as an alternative to traditional industry business models, the Brooklynbased high-fashion platform connects emerging designers from around the world with consumers and retailers. The garments are sold online and are manufactured in the US on behalf of the
designers. Janse van Rensburg answers questions about herself, her brand and her “Neo Native” collection.

Ricci

Ricci

Why did you become a fashion designer? Since the age of 12, I have been dreaming up my own designs and walking around with a sketch pad drawing outfits for my friends and princess dresses for my Barbies. I guess to me it was never really a decision I had to make, it was made for me way before I even realised it. I simply stepped into something that has always been a big part of my life and I was lucky enough to make a career out of it. I have always been mesmerised by fashion – the way it can influence how you feel, how you carry yourself and simply how you can express yourself through clothing.

How did you develop your interest in fashion design?  Curiosity, creativity, a need to express myself, passion and a fascination with people all played a large part in developing my interest in fashion.

Also, the fact that fashion has the ability to boost your confidence, change your mood and the way other people perceive you, what is socially acceptable. All these elements further fuelled my fascination and passion for this industry.

What was your first job? In retail at a clothing boutique in Tygervalley Centre. I only worked there over weekends and some afternoons. I worked there for almost three years. The job helped me to understand the retail side of the industry a lot better.

Photo by Sivan Miller

Photo by Sivan Miller

What were your inspirations for the designs you created for Nineteenth Amendment? The nomadic lifestyle has always been an underlying source of inspiration to me. I am mesmerised by the raw beauty of nomadic tribes/cultures and exploration of the unknown.

“To me, strong lines, textures and layering played an extremely important role in the design of this collection. I like to incorporate an unexpected element when styling to keep it more interesting.”

The nomadic influence can definitely be seen in my garments especially in the finishes and focus on detailing.

For this collection, I focused on comfortable clothing – layered and styled in an effortless way. The silhouettes are relaxed, soft and draped with roomy, romantic volume.

How did you select the materials and colours you used? It is all about combining textures. I looked for unusual fabrics and trims to complement the vision I have created for the collection. With this collection I tried to choose as many environmentally friendly fabrics as possible.

Describe the woman you envision wearing your clothes? I don’t design for a specific woman in mind, but I design various pieces and then combine and style it to create the final look. The design process and realisation of each piece is important. Therefore I focus on individual pieces at a time. I do, however, try to design diverse pieces, ensuring that no matter your taste – you would find something in the collection that would suit your style.

“It is important to make every client who wears my garments feel amazing and confident.”

Who are your most influential fashion designers and why? Locally, Joburg-based designer Suzaan Heyns. I just love her conceptual approach to fashion. Internationally, brands like Balmain and Viktor & Rolf inspire me for their exceptional concepts, intellectual approach to fashion and unconventional elements.

Photo by Sivan Miller

Photo by Sivan Miller

Of all the creations you’ve created, does one stand out as your favourite and why? I don’t have an all-time favourite piece. I guess this is purely because I always try to challenge myself to grow, to become better, to expand my comfort zone, to experiment and to give my best. Each piece represents a different stage of the design process and therefore I consider them all valuable as an ongoing design process.

Who’s your style icon, and why? Businesswoman and interior designer Iris Apfel. Her confidence, boldness, refreshing and fun approach to fashion is simply captivating. I figure that when it comes to getting imaginative, there’s no-one quite as inspiring as this 94-year-old.

Sivan Miller

Photo by Sivan Miller

What’s the best part of working in fashion? Always being able to be creative, being surrounded by creative and like-minded people and to have the freedom to express myself through every garment that I design. The entire process from researching trends, finding inspiration, designing and manufacturing to shooting campaigns and seeing clients wearing my designs.

What do you think of the talent of young South African designers currently in the industry and who are some of your favourites?

“There are more than a few incredibly talented designers in South Africa with very strong aesthetic signatures.”

Some of my favourite of the new generation of designers are Selfi, Lara Klawikowski, Adriaan Kuiters, Shana Morland and MaXhosa by Laduma.

What can be done to encourage people to buy local or support local designers? We have a lot of talent, enough to compete with international fashion designers; it is just less explored and exposed.

“The entire world looks at Africa for inspiration… why not use this to our advantage?”

It will largely benefit our country not only financially, but also mentally, if people start appreciating our diverse culture, authenticity and everything we have to offer. It’s about creating conscious consumers and understanding where your clothing comes from, and also believing in the designers behind it.

Photo by Sivan Miller

Photo by Sivan Miller

What are your plans for the Ricci JvR brand? My focus is on developing my brand into a more established and recognised label, both nationally and internationally, and maybe opening a boutique at a later stage and expanding on my current collection.

For now I will be working on new collections for Nineteenth Amendment and continue working with my clients here in South Africa.

What do you think of eco-fashion? 

“The fashion industry leaves behind a huge environmental footprint, from the pesticides used in growing cotton and the leached chemicals from the toxic dyes, to the landfill impact of clothes that wear out and the energy required to produce each piece.”

Buying clothes labelled under the Fair Trade Act is sustainable on several levels: you can be sure it was produced under safe working conditions, it’s sweatshop- free, and the person who made it earned a fair wage. Therefore, eco-fashion is very important for various reasons.

Photo by Sivan Miller

Photo by Sivan Miller

This feature was first published in the Cape Argus on September 15 2015

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town (MBFWCT) 2015 Trends Report

Tuelo Nguyuza By SDR Photo

Tuelo Nguyuza By SDR Photo

Flirty and feminine dresses and skirts in bold colours are back, and women will find themselves renewing their relationship with neon, eye-popping brights this spring and summer.

Designers Danielle Margaux, Habits and Lazuli led the colour revolution at a fashion event held in the city at the weekend. Their designs came in crop-tops, jumpsuits, kimono-style dresses and boho gypsy skirts. Another trend, as seen on the international runways, is wearing sneakers with dresses, skirts and suits, and presentations by local designers Adriaan Kuiters, Jody Paulsen and Leigh Schubert showed us how to get the trend just right. Kuiters and Paulsen’s collection, inspired by the artistic patterns of David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein and Sol Lewitt, presented an impressive sportsluxe collection of soft, neutral and bold prints paired with sneakers. Schubert paired romantic floral dresses with palladium sneakers.

Adriaan Kuiters and Jody Paulsen by SDR Photo

Adriaan Kuiters and Jody Paulsen by SDR Photo

Industry experts and fashionistas converged on the V&A Waterfront’s Watershed and North Wharf for the annual Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town (MBFWCT).
Twenty-four of the country’s top designers unveiled their spring and summer 2016 collections with multiple shows over the three-day period.

The collections included a range of ready-to-wear pieces, sports wear and swimwear, as well as wedding couture.

Noticeable trends included shoulder-baring silhouettes, and prints and patterns such as stripes, lace, floral and African prints on everything from dresses to jumpsuits. 

David Tlale by SDR Photo

David Tlale by SDR Photo

The collections included arange of ready-to-wear pieces,sports wear and swimwear,as well as wedding couture.Other noticeable trendsincluded shoulder-baring silhouettes,and prints and patterns suchas stripes, lace, floral and African prints on everything from dresses to jumpsuits.

Highlights included the David Tlale showcase held on Saturday morning at the Gallery MOMO in Buitengracht Street.

The fashion guru launched his bridalcollection, combining sheer and see through silhouettes in powder blue, yellow, multi-coloured animal print and metallic emerald-green for the adventurous bride.

“We are breaking all the rules of the traditional bride, but we are still keeping it chic and bold. “People have been brainwashed to wear white dresses with your typical lace adorned with Swarovski crystals to look like Cinderella,” says Tlale.

“Launching bridal-wear was a natural progression as a brand. “We are known for high-end couture and beautiful ready-to-wear pieces and it’s time we started embracing our brides because we have had big business on bridal wear that we never launched,” he
adds

David Tlale by SDR Photo

David Tlale by SDR Photo

Christiaan Gabriel du Toit of Klûk CGDT opted out of the traditional runway show, instead staging an exhibition at CAAM Collective Gallery at the De Waterkant Fringe.

The exhibition, KLuKCGD Tartisan, held in collaboration with Levi’s, includes photographic
prints by 10 of South Africa’s leading fashion photographers, among them: Trevor Stuurman, Sivan Miller, Neil Roberts and Simon Deiner. It runs until Saturday.

KLuKCGD Tartisan exhibition by SDR Photo

KLuKCGD Tartisan exhibition by SDR Photo

“This is a huge denim season and although it is something we toy with often, we have never really experimented with the options.

“We also wanted to show our clothes in a different way, something more lasting that allows the client to get a longer impression of the garments,” says Kluk.

“We chose the creatives based on our experience with them. “They are energetic
and passionate about what they do, they have been proactive in their careers and this excited us. “We also love the diversity in their work and personalities and it was important to let them shine,” he says.

Regarding the trends for the summer, Du Toit says that these are so diverse that they always take a southern hemisphere perspective on what is happening internationally.

“We take trends as a guide, not a bible. We know our customers and their lifestyle and their likes and dislikes and tailor the trends to suit them. “We love fabric and sometimes that dictates what we make.”

This feature was first published in the Cape Argus on August 5 2015.

Stefania Morland by SDR Photo

Stefania Morland by SDR Photo

Marianne Fassler by SDR Photo

Marianne Fassler by SDR Photo

Marianne Fassler by SDR Photo

Marianne Fassler by SDR Photo

Marianne Fassler by SDR Photo

Marianne Fassler by SDR Photo

Lazuli by SDR Photo

Lazuli by SDR Photo

Imprint by SDR Photo

Imprint by SDR Photo

Imprint by SDR Photo

Imprint by SDR Photo

Imprint by SDR Photo

Imprint by SDR Photo

Here are a few backstage pictures by photographer Neil Roberts.I love his cool unique style. Visit www.nrm.me for more of his work. 

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