Wednesday, 30 July 2014

ERNEST MAHOMANE SHOW AT MERCEDES BENZ CAPE TOWN FASHION WEEK S/S 2014

There is only one word to describe the absolute fabulous collection of Ernest Mahomane who showed at MBCTFW on Saturday, and that's spectacular ! He dazzled with his sexy feminine dresses sporting flouncy pleated skirts in chiffon gently sloping and flying away down the runway, with a Red so brilliant you could shine light with it. His collection was quite impressive, considering the fact that he was introduced to Fashion Week in 2013!
 
Very industrious young man indeed.....he clearly has a feminine women in mind when taking to the sketch book, and he sure knows how to assert himself by working Black fabric into opulence of this nature!
 
 
 

Monday, 28 July 2014

STYLE TALKS AT CAPE TOWN FASHION WEEK

One normally starts reporting about a show in sequence of events, but since this was such a highlight of the entire weekend during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Cape Town, I just had to start of with the Advanced Style event produced during Fashion Talks. Ari Seth Cohen is no stranger to any of  us girls having an interest in the concept of fashion for mature women. It's a subject neglected as the world perceives fashion as being reserved for young able bodied girls who seem to survive on starch banned diets and who barely fills a size zero. Real women have curves, grey hair, frown lines and buxom, and are confident enough  to display a type of cheek wearing things that are unconventional or thought of as being "to old". Ari's documentary premiered at the event, and  hosts an unusual, although stellar cast of mature women who are not  afraid to tackle life with both hands and embrace age and it's sagging bits like it's something to look forward to. I was completely glued to the screen and found a distinct message of courage and enthusiasm from each and every one of these actresses who are real life women dressing with such conviction and confidence that they make you look forward to retirement.....
 
The man who allows us to think of advanced style as a pleasant and exciting concept is none other than Ari Seth Cohen from the beautiful blog with the same  name. A panel of experts, all involved in the business of fashion, took part in a Q & A session after the show, and continued to motivate young and old with their inspirational responses. Next time I visit my colour technician it might just be to strip of the colour instead of a tint........ Looking at these women, I once again realised the importance of breaking the mould, reminding me to what extent challenging convention contributes to one's self worth and confidence. Let it loose girls.....
 
With Cape Town being the design capital of the world for 2014, I took to the African jungle for inspiration, hence my animal print and textures, finished off with an embellished crocodile bracelet.  After all, fashion week allows for some creative thinking....like Ari takes to his grandmother for inspiration, my neck piece was recovered from my late granny's jewel box.
 
 
 With Jackie Burger, Editor of Elle, South Africa
With Ari Seth Cohen, director of Advanced Style Documentary and blog
 
 
 
The panel, Jackie Burger, Editor of Elle South Africa, and Sasha Muller, designer and entrepreneur.
 
 
Coat - Dan Millstein
Pants - Belle Epoque
Shoes - Valentino
Clutch - Jimmy Choo
Bracelet - Crystal Alligator by Buddabling
Top - Camaieu
Neck piece- Vintage
 
 

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

ORANGE MARMALADE

I take today's inspiration for my choice of colour from a visit to Seville, the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Orange. Although this coat borders on the periphery of Coral Red, I tend to think of it as Orange. I always associated the fruit with the city of Seville but had no idea that the oranges originating from there, are bitter and tart. I can however imagine the association  with delicious sweet Seville Orange Marmalade preserved in a sinfully sweet syrup eaten with goats milk cheese, followed by a chilled glass of Cava......
 
So when somebody brings you a basket of bitter Seville Oranges, make marmalade, they contain a higher level of pectin making them very suitable for this delicacy! No need to mention that the colour of my coat brings sweet memories to the taste buds...... and the closer I get to Cape Town Fashion week, the brighter my choice becomes. Mature skin takes kindly to bright colours, contrary to what our grandmothers may have told us. Besides, there is nothing more energizing than wearing a bright colour!
 
Meandering the cobbled squares and streets of Seville, I could not resist the urge to pick one of these seemingly sweet fruits, and  soon dispelled the perception  of it being sweet ..... I'm not so sure that stolen fruit are sweeter than others....







Coat - Studio W at Woolworths
Geometric Print Top - Woolworths
Pants - Dorothy Perkins
Shoes - Laura Aligiana Milano
Accessories - Zuri

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

ADVANCED STYLE AT CAPE TOWN MERCEDES BENZ FASHION WEEK!

The internationally acclaimed documentary, ADVANCED STYLE, will premiere at Fashion Week in Cape Town on Friday the 25th July at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. It chronicles the style of mature women aged between 62 and 95, providing living proof of the fact that life does not stop at retirement. These women are remarkably stylish, chic and glamorous,  and all present the spirit of mature style.  They exude glamour, sometimes even leaning towards being theatrical in their way of dressing, but they sure succeed in conveying the message.

Ari Seth Cohen, the brainchild of the blog, gave life to the idea  four years ago when he started capturing these remarkably well dressed women through the eyes of his lens, presenting the world with something that is seen to be reserved to the younger generation. It's a taboo breaking film and it's unusual actresses all make a firm indent in the fashion world, stirring up convention, creating a following at a stage in their lives when most women hang out to dry. It portraits the epitome of style, each with  a unique take on what glamour represents. As one of them rightly said during the film's preview on Youtube, the ones stepping out to the red carpet events do not always know what glamour amounts to, glamour is something that can  be felt and experienced everyday, and not only when you step into a Haute Couture gown. Lounging around in  ripped jeans and flip flops does not define style. Temporary style like Cinderella's do not portrait the glamour that can be found in these jaw dropping outfits created by these phenomenal women. Wearing the glass slippers for one night, do not earn you  the accolades........

Tickets can be booked  for the bumper packed  event hosting the team of Advanced Style during which discussions may be held with Ari and his girls, the creator of this uber chic concept, followed by a cheese and wine reception and premier screening of the film. It  also includes the Next Generation fashion show presented by AFI. 

Go to www.webtickets .co.za/events/fashion-shows/mbfwct-2014 for your reservation!

Moral of the story is, there is no age restriction to glamour!
Take a look at a few of the photographs extracted from Ari's collection:
 
 
 



 
 

Thursday, 10 July 2014

A LESSON IN PERSONAL BRAND COACHING

GETTING STARTED FOR A CORPORATE  CAREER?
LIKE MOST PRESENTATIONS, IT’S ALL IN THE WRAPPING!
STYLE SNIPPETS
The most fun I have shopping, is when I am requested to render help to new entrants to the corporate world and those who start professional careers. Getting your wardrobe started for a serious career is not something that should be taken lightly, at least not once you develop  awareness of the importance of presentation of personal branding and marketing. Since YOU are your single biggest commodity you have to invest in your image by putting your best foot forward in both composure and appearance. If you think that spending so much time considering your appearance thinking and deliberating about wearing the right clothes is not important or vein, think again. Just imagine how you would respond if you went to your doctor and he was dressed like a clown. Like I've said many times before, if you want to be taken seriously, dress accordingly! I would like to share a few notes which may be used as a framework for planning a corporate wardrobe.
 
Here they are:
 
In need of sources or advice about how to dress and what not to wear in an office or corporate environment?
Golden rule number 1: act accordingly and dress the part!
My motto is that unless you want people to laugh at you, don’t dress like a clown. Ever seen people' faces when a street artist mimes the behaviour of a clown? If his object is to make you laugh, he is likely to be dressed in a clown suit.
If you want to be taken seriously, dress for the part and work your way up the corporate ladder with conviction as opposed to using revealing necklines or excessively short skirts.
A women in a corporate suit  always commands respect and allows you to assert authority with dignity, especially in a male dominated environment.
Shoestrings and spaghetti straps belong on the beach, or in a gymnasium. Don’t ever wear it  to the office. Unless it is the subject of your sale, thighs and cleavage belong out of sight in the corporate environment. If you think showing to much flesh might benefit you, don’t be offended if males in the workplace have their attention drawn down South instead of focusing on your ability to manage a large corporation.
 
First impressions count. Now decide what impression you would like to make. Your line of business is the first cue and point of departure. Nobody wants to see a nursery school teacher in high heels and minis, nor do we expect a women in a corporate outfit to be in a flimsy flirtatious dress or casual attire when at work.
Looks are deceiving, so don’t mislead your clients or business associates by creating the wrong impression, if you do so, you loose sight of the object, and you loose the deal.
Grooming for success is as much a part of marketing as the wrapping is to a birthday present. If your voice does not carry well, consult  a voice coach or join Toast Masters who teach you how to speak with confidence and in a manner towards creating a captive audience. Remember, practice makes perfect, so if you are a young lawyer, nothing gives you more exposure than trial work where you have to address a presiding officer and conduct oral inquiries and present argument in full view of an audience!
Dress for success. If your aim is to retire as the CEO of an organization or as a senior partner,  rehearse for the part in the right costume, the right attitude and perfected tone of voice!
If you  fail to plan, you plan to fail, so give it some thought before you venture out in your new heels!
The way you present yourself, is the way you will be considered.
Although not all office environments require formal attire, some professions like law and        finance do require more formal styles commanding more authority, with Navy Blue and Black being the primary   colours for being taken serious and allowing you to blend into the environment and to meet  expectations. 
The human race can be brutal. People have pre-conceived ideas of what you should look like in the corporate  environment. Don’t take this lightly, unless you don’t  consider your future in the organization as important.  
Never under estimate the power of dressing for success. It’s one of your major marketing tools. If all else fails, buy a pin striped suit in Black, kit yourself out with a pair of stiletto heels, and get yourself a copy of Simon Rademan's "The Style Bible" available at big bookstores across South Africa. Now all you have to do is take to the chairlady's seat......
A few blogs to consider:
http://www.forbes.com/2010/10/29/fashion-blogs-professional-women-forbes-woman-style-working-wardrobe.html
Where to shop for corporate office wear in South Africa:
1.            Jo Borkett;
2.            Jenni Button;
3.            Studio W at Woolworths;
 
4.            Queenspark;
 
5.            Habits;
 
6.            Stuttafords;
 
7.            Zara;
 
8.            Daniel Hechter at Truworths;
 
Just in case you wondered if I abolished make up for the career look, it was not intentional! This is my "don't mess with me" look.....
 
 
Pin Stripe Blazer - Jo Borkett (old)
Skirt - Country Road
Boots - Witchery
 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

HINT OF SUMMER

With a particularly harsh winter and continuous rain, it's hard to get an opportunity to snap a few pictures for style posts outdoors. When the sun shone for a brief while, I grabbed the opportunity to take up my position for a few snapshots of colour. Winter is somehow associated with deep and dark colours, but a flash of colour somehow alleviates the impact of cold weather. It's fun to always ad an unexpected element to your style, making it your own, and paving the way for followers who take inspiration from others. Besides, it ads a little energy to winter, announcing that summer will be back soon....I barely settled into position when the packing clouds burst down in rain again, causing me to run for cover. With that said, I am imprisoned indoors, planning some more energetic colour schemes....and maybe celebrating summer in a far away place.....No wonder in Indian tradition, Holy festival of colour is held by painting the town Red to celebrate spring! Now let's find the map, India is after all on my bucket list.......

Coat- Zara
Turtle Neck - Woolworths
Printed Pants - H & M
Shoes - Flexisole

Sunday, 6 July 2014

THE GREAT GATSBY

Although we do not always identify the object of our inspiration on a conscious level, most choices are made having regard to subconscious influences. I take great inspiration in movies, particularly the older classics in which costume dress feature strongly.There can be no denying that my love for the Great Gatsby inspires my fondness for two tone shoes. Dianne Keaton is probably the pioneer of the dandy look, perhaps also encouraged by the elegance of the Gatsby era. Coco Chanel however paved the way for women to challenge convention by introducing the boyish loo, making it feminine in spite of being a little androgynous. 

My quest to find a pair of high rise Brogues in Black & White took me far and wide, but came to an abrupt end when I took to on line shopping and googled my way through the world's clothing stores. This was one of the most timeless finds ever acquired and in line with my style motto to concentrate on classic pieces that lasts longer than the season. They seem to be quite a show stopper, getting a lot of admiration as I go along.  If this era's elegance appeals to you, invest in a pair of multicolour Brogues and ad a little fun to your look. Don't be surprised by a stranger asking you about them....They seem to be quite versatile as you can dress them up or down.They work remarkably well with the 50's style tailored fitted suits with the pencil skirt ending mid calf and the jacket tucked at the waist, accentuating the hourglass figure.  I just saw a Yellow pair, but don't quite think they're going to be as gorgeous, perhaps funky. So how do you style the dandy look?






Jacket - Truworths Limited
Palazzo Pants - Studio W at Woolworths
Shoes - New Look
Turtle Neck - Truworths
Handbag - Celine Boston Tote
Sunglasses - Vintage Miu Miu
Neck piece - Zara 
Belt - Hermes