Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Save The Date!

For all my Cape Town based fashionistas, clear your day/s for the Label Femme Winter Collection event.

Here are the deets:

Thursday, April 25, 2013

In Jigga's Style Circle: Powerhouses Only

Hold Up!

Can a mogul's presence affect your style this much? 

I was going to put up a post on the style power couple that is Justin Timberlake & Jessica Biel, but then I realised that they form a part of Jay-Z's Clique, all Style Power Couples and what's more, all terribly easy on the eye. 

The man attracts class. It's unbecoming. 

The Courtside King and his self-proclaimed Queen:

The High Fashion Surprise:

Alicia & Swizz:

The Not So New Kids On The Block:

Hats off to Jay-Z, proving that you are only as stylish as those around you. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

South African Fashion PR: Nothing But Mediocre

Why South Africa? Why? Why would you make a client pay for services that do nothing to grow their label, expand their brand's reach or showcase what makes their brand's product The Best?

This is my bone to pick with South African Fashion PR agencies, if your client isn't blowing up, you aren't doing enough. 

PR in fashion is not just about maintaining good relations with your consumers, it isn't about merely representing your client when an opportunity arises. The goal of PR is to pursue opportunities that will benefit your client's image, extend their consumer base and put them above their competition, so why oh why, are there so many talented designers in SA who are represented in the most mediocre manner? 

Like, dude, what's with David Tlale's PR girl? Her tweets (or severe lack thereof) compounded with glaring PR white noise shocked me in the time leading up to NYFW. The country should have been on their toes for at least a month before Fashion Week, the twitter-sphere should have been on fire with congrats and motivation and most importantly, Tlale Traffic! But we heard nothing. WHY? Two tweets a day just isn't enough for a designer of that caliber. 

It isn't just David Tlale's twitter rep though, it seems like our designers have no presence outside of Fashion Week, something that needs to change and fast. 

We don't see nearly enough campaigns from our designers, we don't see nearly enough interaction between local labels and consumers. We aren't forced to take notice of the upcoming powerhouses because their representatives act as though they should only do something worthwhile if approached. Where's the initiative? People, you get paid to initiate great things for your clients, so what are you getting paid for?

I do take my hat off for designers who understand that a fan-base goes far beyond being a Diva and engage with their consumers on social media, most notably, Thula Sindi and Gavin Rajah, it gives me hope that SA designers will pull themselves out of this elitist hell-hole and get to know the people they dress. 

A final word to the wise PR agents. 

Make an effort. 

Your number one priority as a PR agent should be to see your client be successful beyond measure. Let your clients' victory trump how much you charge and not vice-versa. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Rayne Fashion: Vintage Vamps Up

Vintage is not something that many South African fashion lovers outside of the Western Cape get to experience, and as a Jozi girl, my first head-over-heels collision with vintage was in Kalk Bay, when a pair of white leather gloves stole my heart. The dilemma for most vintage lovers is finding the sort of garment that goes beyond collectible and crosses over into the category of Timeless. 

So what better way than to reconstruct vintage pieces without forsaking the integrity of the items? And what better person to take on the mammoth task than a Central St. Martins student and LISOF graduate?

Meet Jessica Rayne, founder of fashion label Rayne and savior to vintage fashion yearning to be worn in the modern age. 

Tell me more about the mastermind behind Rayne.

I am the founder and designer of the label.
My team is very small- Just myself and an amazingly talented seamstress.

What does Rayne bring to the table that sets it apart from most labels?

I feel like my main focus in terms of separating myself from other designers is that I play a lot with the relationship between ready to wear (or rather every day wear) and haute couture- I make a point to mix the two notions.

All pieces are one of a kind and in turn are treated like little stories and art pieces- 
that's where the couture element comes in- there is a lot of time and love that goes into each individual piece from sourcing to concept to design- 
The ready to wear element is that the pieces are still 'affordable' and can be worn every day for any occasion.

The concept of reworking vintage pieces is absolutely genius, what inspired the idea?


I have always had a pull towards vintage and antiques- partially because I'm incredibly sentimental and romantic and I think growing up I have been surrounded by collectors of treasures (my mom and gran).

I studied in London for a year which only inspired and added fuel to an appreciation for vintage- it's a big part of their culture. 

As an avid vintage shopper the only problem that I found was that a lot of the shapes were outdated and unflattering-

This, teamed with a moral concern of factory staff treatment in the industry and environmental factors which are constantly changing and in a lot of ways diminishing.

It was a collection of thoughts and concerns that bought about the creative process behind my label. 

I like the idea of remodelling things and reconsidering their original form- there is an element of art in that. 

I love that each piece has a story, it's come from something which life span is coming to an end and just before it's done with, all the memories of the previous owner drenched into the seams, Rayne gives it another chance, another opportunity to create more memories, more life.

I feel it's important to consider society and the worlds obsession with MORE- alot of my brand is built on the idea of quality & uniqueness- and of course LESS. Staying away from mass production has always been a priority for me.

People like to feel special. I like to create things that are special and precious and in turn make people feel that way.

In college I researched sustainability within the fashion world and that really created an alertness for me with regard to sustainable living and the impact its going to have on the fashion industry- with clothing being a luxury purchase. 

I wanted to almost put out that you don't need to buy more- you just need to be clever about what you have already. Pieces can be changed and remodelled a million times over.
I love that about my label.
I never set out to be a conceptual designer- I was just kind of doing what I loved because it made me happy, but actually I'm really seeing there is a lot behind my label then just pretty clothes. 

What I'm realising more and more that my label is just an extension of myself as an artist- the clothing is my medium.

Is there any particular aspect of where you're located that affects the design process of your garments?

I do believe culture and lifestyle impacts you as a creative- If I think back to the period in my life where I was living abroad, that place made me feel different and dress differently so I'm sure that will in turn impact on your work.

My designs aren't specifically African  inspired or affected but I'm proudly South African and find JHB such a motivating, romantic, beautiful place to live!

If you could give one piece of advice to anyone about to jump into the empty swimming pool that is the fashion industry, what would it be?

                               Work hard.

Be willing to learn and grow- everyone is a teacher.

Just when you think you're ready to give up, you need to push that much harder!

For full collections and stockist details go to rayne.co.za

Friday, April 12, 2013

Muse of the Week: Geek Goes Chic, Pete Cashmore

Women like superheroes, and I've written a few pieces on the phenomenon that is the Masquerading Nerd Effect. Sure, we might pin the hell out of Tom Hardy and Google Channing Tatum's abs more than men Google Adriana Lima's butt, but nothing beats a cool nerd, the ultimate oxymoron, the conundrum of the modern age.

And who better to be Muse of the Week in the digital age than Mashable legend and geek locker-room stud, Pete Cashmore. He's smart, he's funny, and he knows how to rock a suit.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Rina Chunga: Afrocentric Power Dressing

Afrocentricism has been played out and overused over the past year and it's forced me to think about what makes Afrocentricism a relevant trend in fashion. As much as I appreciate Traditionalism, the interpretations that make me giddy are the ones tailored for the modern woman.

Rina Chunga, up and coming designer has built and is building a label that caters to the modern woman, creating a brand of lady I'm keen to see make a statement, The Afrikan Power Dresser

What inspires you as a designer?

music and art are my main inspirations. I like my clothes to make u feel bold, strong and sexy, the same way a good jam does.

Most of your designs are based around Afrocentric prints, does the origin of these prints affect your design process or define it in anyway?

My ready to wear range Chitenge Meisie is built up around African prints and my heritage which is Zambian and South African. I prefer to use fabric brought in straight from Zambia because of the quality and also there are so many more amazing print choices. I like to let the prints sort of guide me as far as mixing prints and choices go

I love the sharp shouldered blazers you've got going, would you say that you make garments perfect for the Power Dressing Woman?

 I love to design for strong women so I definitely would agree that my garments are great pieces for power dressing 

What do you think of the SA fashion industry and where would you like to see it go?

I would like it to be a little more "exclusive", not a "cool kid" go to. Unfortunately fashion is so easily accessible to every fly by night designer. I'd like to see fashion weeks be more strict as far as who they let show. I'd just like to see fashion be treated more like art in South Africa. 

Lastly, if you could wear one designer and dine with one person, what would you wear and who would you choose?

I would dine with Solange Knowles because I'm a little crazy obsessed with her, I have been since she shaved her head. And I would dine with Pholoso Selebogo I heard about her from a friend recently and I find I'm fascinated by her and would love to know more and learn from this young South African wonder-kid.