I am not going off to Cape Town for Arise Cape Town Fashion Week having just returned from my little sojourn on the isles – but fret not dear Frocksters as Jacquie Myburgh promises to keep us abreast of all developments – she will be doing a little blogging from the shows for us . Yay!
In the interim here is a sneak peak of Stefania Morland’s collection -
They have started a really delightful blog which chronicles the day to day travails of the operation. I loved the Richard Branson story. Here they are at a rapid lunch organised at bird in order to make a small promotional film about the brand in the hope of attracting Virgin’s sponsorship for their show.
They certainly look super attractive – Richard you cannot help but go for it….
Which portly Jewish tycoon’s opening was most the most glam? Sol had Jason Bourne, Dirty Harry and Robert De Niro. But would you notice them among the has beens and never weres? Philip Green was more canny: For every Zach Braff there was a Jay-Z, for each James Blunt, a Ronson-Santogold, and for every Philip Green a Kate Moss.
I observe that at the NYC branch Topman is, uniquely, on the bottom. Make of that what you will.
If the Book Lounge, in Cape Town, isn’t the best book shop in South Africa (new books division) I’d like to know what is. The shop is welcoming and lively, the titles are intelligently selected, they serve good coffee and the assistants will laugh at your feeble jokes. Sometimes there’s wine.
And they turn out to be more than reasonably priced. I bought a book from the el cheapo Penguin Popular Classics range. The price printed on the cover is £2. I paid R32. At Exclusive Books they are over R100.
In addition to being soulless and perfunctory, major chains ruthlessly undercut the competition. Exclusive don’t really have competition, so they only get the first bit right.
The Book Lounge is on the corner of Roeland and Buitenkant, Cape Town
Sol Kerzner’s new Cape Town joint will feature a Nobu and a Gordon Ramsay Maze. I have mixed feeling about this.
If we are to import high-end dining brands, who wouldn’t want a Nobu? Even if it’s not what it once was (and in no small part, arguably, because it is now a mass-consumable globalised commodity).
And I’d take the freshness and relative informality of a Maze over the stuffy, excruciating experience of dining at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s.
But isn’t this kind of cooking exactly the kind of thing that Cape Town does so well anyway?
One of my reservations about Cape Town is that it’s stylish in the sense of approximating style. Hang around Long Street at the right time of night, and everyone looks great. But they also look like they’ve just teleported from Hoxton (and held in suspension for six months, to allow for seasonal variations). It’s a triumph of verisimilitude (how different South Africans might look if they sojourned in NYC rather than London).
Don’t get me wrong, I like a pretty surface as much as the next guy, but the soul and the future of SA fashion is Stoned Cherrie not skinny jeans.
Maybe. An obsession with money conjoined with glib sentimentalism is the defining condition of much of Jozi, and the enemy of art. The horrifying prospect of ‘Afro-chic’ – as opposed to African and chic, like Stoned Cherrie – is a phony authenticity, cooked up by marketing departments.
So thank goodness one&only brought in a couple of respected international brands. If Kerzner had attempted to capture contemporary ‘Africanness’, Cape Town diners might be eating between zebra prints and Sun City fiberglass tusks.
If the maturity of a civilization can be measured by how many of its amenities might feature in Wallpaper – and why not? – then Cape Town will soon be asking for its pipe and slippers. A nice example is Loading Bay in De Waterkant, where you can drink good coffee and buy nice clothes behind oversized panes of glass. I was especially taken with their gorgeous Scotch & Soda checked shirts.
They were overpriced, even taking the exchange rate into account, but the saleswoman was so effective I was quickly convinced of the necessity of buying one. The spell was broken when she laughed off my request to see the cheaper Brandy & Coke label.
The more cost-conscious should go to Jay Jays. Their checks are half as good, but a tenth of the price.
(Picture: one 96 five)