Friday, July 22, 2011

The Modern Makoti

Loving Bride Thembi Yabo (cntr) with Groom, Rocking Seshweshwe for the Modern Makoti. Photo Courtesy T. Yabo.

Can we pls talk about the hair? LUV!
Everybody knows wedding plans aren't really seriously underway until the dress design is picked and the bride is fitted. So let's discuss. Modern makotis still want to look chic during the traditional African ceremony. Dresses are becoming ultra-mod as makoti's take creative license and liberty, going more for a wow than granny's interpretation of a true seshweshwe--traditional Sotho--dress.

I see an opportunity for a new kind of Vera Wang. Someone well versed in an African woman's figure (ehmm, did someone say junk in my trunk?), who knows the difference between southern and northern sotho and can cut lace through their teeth (while sleeping nog maal!) Any takers?

In the meantime...lemme shine a light on our hot makotis that take matters into their own hands--and a capable tailor.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Madiba Magic

Beyond that Sailboat lies Robben Island. 

Have been haunted by the sight of Robben Island from the shores of die Kaap since getting here. Imagine. For more than 27 years that island was a blackened blight behind seafog. Today, it stands as a reminder for everything we can be as a nation of individuals. Celebrating Mandela's birthday today, I am inspired by the words of another powerful South African, Ferrail Haffajee. As the on-point City Press Editor challenges, "So you've achieved success, but how are you going to achieve significance?" Mandela teaches us the meaning of an individual's significance. Question is, how are you applying that lesson to your own life?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

CTFW: The Democratic Republic of Fashion

Danielle Margaux
It's not just that blogs have taught us something about the power of democratic fashion, it's also about how they've opened our eyes to how fashion comes alive at the hands of everyday style mavens who create a look of their own from the runway. Everyone from the exotic birds of purchased paradise that line the streets before a headline show Scott shoots (The Sartorialist) to Kimora Fabulosity Simmons (yup, she and hubby Djimon Hounsou showed CTFW madluv) and local Capetonians milling about at Cape Town Fashion Week seems to be saying something about the importance of fashion's relevance. Especially in this everyone a vote/voice that's heard fashion democracy (ie. you are reading this blog!)

How refreshing then to see a theme in CTFW that acknowledges how fashion lives and breathes in this city.  Nothing says Cape laid back chic louder than a soft flowing maxi dress trailing the sea breeze and catching just enough sun (and skin)...Nothing says fashionable more than tipping your designer hat to the women who give your creations new life. Democratic Fashion hitting CTFW. I can respect that. And yup, images courtesy Africa Fashion International.

Leigh Schubert
Thula Sindi

Manly Sexy: Cape Town Leather Gem

They Do Shoes, Don't They? Photo Courtesy The Summit.

Distributing her Leather Butter Charm--if you're in 
Cape Town, Visit The Summit at The Old Biscuit Mill.
Photo, M. Makhene

How is it possible a girl leaves the fine leather capital of the world (Florence) only to discover the best leather goods boutique on the planet (cape town?)... in: The Summit
and rage upon rage! to find that not only is this the sexiest leather line you've ever seen, but it is sweet designs for the other sex?

No matter, androgyny just got something buttery and beautiful added to its list.

Honestly, Cindy Poole's designs for her brand, The Summit, represent the best of a man's man accessory-- high sex appeal without the dolce+gabbana oiled sheen shine. think confident sauve inspired by the 50s hollywood ratpack scene.

And as if that's not enough, Cindy is a gem. Probably the exact type of red-plum lipstick bombshell her ideal client dreams of. I am smitten. I'll take the line of bags and the chick with the red lips (as a BFF of course;)

Cape Blue

Woodstock (formerly Papendorp) in Front of the Biscuit Mill, at the foot of Table Mountain. Photo: M. Makhene

And this is the Cape too. Inside the Biscuit Mill, Saucisse
Boutique is a food emporium that will make any true 
foodie weep. Plum cardimom jam/Springbok carpaccio...
Cape Town has to be so many thing to many. Legendary South African author/poet Antjie Krog comes to mind (Country of My Skull is a must read), with her outsize portraits in word of the mountain's possibilities and melancholic shifts. You walk through hot embers of modernity and feel yourself soaring at how spectacular an African city can be, only to be greeted by a begging 5 year old who is practiced in his craft and chills your smitten self-congratulation. 

Cape Town is gorgeous. 
It is cool. 
It is enticing and it is in every way the mothership where everything begins for this country.  

It is also jagged and ugly even in its beauty. Be sure to fall in love with this city. Make sure you sing Cape Town sweet songs of worship as long as you are also willing to pull off the hood and see her for everything she is.  

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Tale of Two Weddings

Groom: Jamie Hince, Bride: Kate Moss 

I've never been interested in weddings, for the simple fact that they have always been carbon copies of each other.

There's the virgin white dress, hair tightly pulled back ,weight loss pre wedding day, pounds upon pounds of cake face ,borrowed jewels, uncomfortable looking grooms and unspeakable bridesmaid's tragedies dresses.

A little sinister perhaps, but sadly true.

Cut forward to 2011 and there's suddenly no shortage of chic and cool weddings.

From the boho goddess Kate Moss' wedding to equally fashion savvy musician Jamie Hince to that other royal wedding from this year, that saw South African stunner Charlene Wittstock tie the knot with Monaco's prince Albert.

There seemed to be something for everyone.

From the girl that wants to dress up and have the 50 foot train dress in a huge chapel to the wedding that's thrown in a friends backyard with a dress designed by a friend (which works out when the friend is John Galliano) and having the couples daughters and their friends nearly steal the spotlight .

Brides take note: the wedding rulebook has been thrown out, staying true to yourself is the new black!

Bride: Charlene Wittstcock, Groom: Prince Albert of Monaco

CTFW Runway Looks

Gorgeousness is made in Cape Town--looks from the 2011 spring collections are just re-enstating a simple fact: Cape Kids got game. 
All photos courtesy of African Fashion International.
Habits by Jenny Le Roux
Gavin Rajah.
Michelle Ludek.

Tart by Cari Stephenson.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Manufacturing Magic: CapeTown

FreeWorld Design Center manufactures Magic in TechniColor

Mom & Daughter. Both Beautiful & Charmingly Shy.

Modern Kaapstad Man. All Photos Courtesy M. Makhene, July 2011.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Innie die Kaap!

Cape Town Fashion Week. Photo Courtesy Africa Fashion International.

Cape Gap. Credit: Culture Ledger. 
Guess who?
MotherCity. Cape Town Fashion Week.

Don't Sleep--posts from the shows to come throughout the week. Want a front row seat? Tune into Live Streaming at Africa Fashion International's site here.

Share your Fashion Week pics with us at and you may just land on our pages. 

Here's to Cape Town Cool & a week of glutenous gastronomy--shout out for the best Cape Malay dinner eva tonight, Biesmiellah in Bo Kaap. Keep Doin It, Cape gap-toothed smile style

Alright Lovelies--Smoochies ;}

Friday, July 1, 2011

Nia Long...I heart you

Glowing at the 2011 BET Awards
While I could bore you to death with the details of why I heart this lady, this picture of an obviously very preggars Nia should pretty much sum it up (for those a little slow on the come up though , see Love Jones, The Best Man and most recently Mooz-lum)

Modern class personified ,this woman makes pregnancy look so effortless and light in 6 inch heels no less!

The 40 year old mommy to be is expecting her baby with Nigerian-American partner Ime Udoka later this fall and I'm expectiing this outfit at her earliest conveniance in my dreams.

Travel Chic

Kim.K covers up after a long flight with oversized shades
Why is it the best place to spot poorly dressed people is ALWAYS the aiport?


One would assume that all the travels might inspire people to atleast try put their best foot forward ,after all when the last time you saw a shabbily dressed person front a vacation ad?

Travelling in style is actually a lot easier than it sounds, and aeroplanes have made huge leaps and advances in the past 50 years, so there's really no need to bring your own snuggy or look like you just stepped off the set of an infomercial for one.

Do like Kim.K and Rihanna by following basic style rules, for a look that's as stylish as it is comfortable.

Nothing is as easy as a maxi dress in the summer heat, cool ,breezy and appropriate for any time of the day.

A pair of flats and a huge pair of glasses will keep your feet comfy and the shades will give your face an instant face-lift.

Rihanna knows the value of a chunky scarf and oversized coat
For a comfy and chic look in the winter, a scarf over just about any outfit, boots and chunky coat will spruce up your look instantly.

After all if you're going to be getting poked and prodded in all sorts of inappropriate ways you may as well look good doing it.