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Zee Fashionista: April 2012


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I've been following Jessica Virgin's blog, Vintage Virgin, for a while now, and I am obsessed with her. She is a vintage junkie with insane style and a bunch of cool tattoos to boot. A stay-at-home mom with that style and that body - c'mon!

I absolutely need her Nasty Gal UNIF Hellbound 10 inch (yes, 10 inch!) boots in my life.  Do yourself a favour and check her blog out here (don't you just love the photography?). J'adore.

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Silence please

I request only a moment of silence for the beauty that is these Chloe Sevigny for Opening Ceremony boots. Ah, I need Anjelica Lorenz, of Mode Junkie's, shoe collection in my life!


Ah, yet another Photoshop scandal.

This time the protagonists are Elle Brazil and their May 2012 cover-star, Coco Rocha. Now we're all aware that the public and celebrities alike have complained many times that fashion magazines are generally too heavy-handed when it comes to the use of the Photoshop airbrushing post-production tool (think: the reactions to Kate Winslet's slimmed down figure in January 2003 British GQ spread, or the different shades we saw of Beyonce in a 2008 L'Oreal ad versus the 2009 Glamour Russia cover). This time, however, the complaint is from the model herself, Coco Rocha, about the use of air-brushing elsewhere.

Coco took to her Tumblr to say:

“As a high fashion model I have long had a policy of no nudity or partial nudity in my photo shoots. For my recent Elle Brazil cover shoot I wore a body suit under a sheer dress which I now find was photoshopped out to give the impression of me showing much more skin than I was, or am comfortable with. This was specifically against my expressed verbal and written direction to the entire team that they not do so. I’m extremely disappointed that my wishes and contract was ignored. I strongly believe every model has a right to set rules for how she is portrayed and for me these rules were clearly circumvented."
Will magazines ever learn...

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"Everyone is after vintage now"

"Hey, I love your jacket. Where'd you get it?"

"Oh, thanks. It's vintage."

How many times have you heard that response?

If you go to any flea market today, you're bound to find a stall selling 'vintage' clothes. Talk of vintage clothing is ubiquitous in the blogosphere. Every Tom, Dick, Harriet and her posse is quick to claim that their clothes are all vintage, which begs the question - are vintage clothes just a load of second hand junk that the media have put a spin on and which we now think is fashionable, or are vintage clothes genuine, rare, 1920 to 1980 designer pieces only? Is the label 'vintage' just a license for shops to raise prices?

But, first, what exactly does it mean to describe something as vintage?

The term 'vintage' was originally associated with the year wine was bottled. In reality, wine gets better is ages; therefore when it gets ‘vintage’ it's quality is magnified. The word got into general usage when old cars were marketed to novelty collectors, who indicate interest to pay how much it would take to own such collectibles. Years passed by and dealers of old or second-hand clothing used the word to relate to their own merchandise. Initially, the term vintage clothing was used to refer to old clothes. Currently, numerous buyers and sellers use the word vintage to describe previously owned or second-hand clothing aged 25 years and more.

Jane Aldridge, of Sea of Shoes, in vintage Lillie Rubin. The tweed jacket of the mannequin is vintage Chanel, while leather jacket with the lion medallions on the other mannequin is vintage Moschino.

Here's is an interesting take on the "are vintage clothes passé/are passé clothes vintage?" debate by Catherine of Hepworths Vintage Fashion.

What we are seeing I think is the cresting of the "Vintage" wave driven by mainstream fashion marketing for about five-ish years. Vintage clothing originated as the preserve of the chronically groovy - Hendrix in his military jacket, Courteney Love in her satin nighties, Kate Moss in a 1920's beaded thing. Trawling the old school vintage shops was a luxury reserved for arty farties/the fashion confident/people who had the time.
It is no coincidence that the Vintage trend has risen alongside the growing cult of the Stylist, which in itself comes from the shift towards exposing the workings of pop culture. Pop stars used to dress themselves. Then it got slick & they had help. Then the help became stars themselves - Exhibit A: Gok. Then there's the "Street Style/What I Wore Today" blogs: The Sartorialist, Susie Bubble etc, who have made fashion inspiration accessible. And the professionalising (word?) of the charity retail sector, which has made second hand shopping desirable to people who would not have entertained the musty rummage fests of my teens, has also had its influence.
I could go on. Old/vintage garments/accessories have always been used in fashion. They just got commoditised.
Enter the High Street Retailers.
Under the guiding hand of brilliant marketeers - Top Shop et al. I'm looking at you - the idea "Vintage" became a high street trend; a mix of the "bunting & cupcakes" aesthetic (yawn) and a look fetishising Festival wear. The zenith of the madness for me came when West Quay shopping centre here in Southampton held a Vintage Weekend promotion I wrote about it here. John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, H&M, East; not a second hand garment to be seen.
The nature of the fashion business - every business - is change or die. So "Vintage" as an idea was bound to get boring. It is a necessary moment if consumers are going to be tempted into rejecting one trend in order to adopt the next. To spend.
But here in my world - where vintage is simply a definition of age & not any particular style, we will continue to use our nouse & flair to identify beauty in old garments and offer them back to a new generation to wear in new ways. And we will be fine. We may need to find a new word for it though - any ideas?

 How do feel about the use of the term 'vintage clothing'? Can we call 90s clothes 'vintage' or should we indeed have a new word for 'vintage'?

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Hey Riri

Rihanna at Coachella 2012

We love those!

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I see through you

I don't know what I like more - the rings or the transparent mani. Beautiful.

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Cover(ed) baby

Lensed by Matthew Brookes, model Saskia de Brauw covers the April/May edition of L'Officiel Netherlands.

 French actress and singer, Vanessa Paradis, looks all rebellious on the Interview Russia's May cover. Has she really split with Johnny Depp, anyway?

Liya Kebede graces the May cover of Harper's Bazaar Spain glad in sophisticated pieces from Gucci's Spring 2012 collection. 

Quite simply, Candice Swanepoel is one of the most beautiful models today. That face, that body... Ok. Ok. Maybe I am just a bit biased about the matter considering that she is South African... Either way, Ms Swanepoel exudes serious glamour on the June cover of Vogue Japan in a Gucci sequinned flapper dress that fast becoming a cover staple. J'adore.

Victoria Beckham sizzles on this Chen Man-shot Harper's Bazaar China May cover. Is she just not getting even hotter with age?

I'll be honest. I didn't really care much about this cover. It's Guinevere van Seenus on the beach for Vogue Germany's May cover. Alright. Cool.

But - she is wearing some Lanvin jewellery. Now that is cause for this cover to be on Zee Fashionista.

What? It's Lanvin. You know I love Lanvin, now...


Cheap and chic

I recently spent a good hour looking for some items to buy in the Johannesburg CBD, and with a little patience, just look at the gems I found. Oh, and they were pretty cheap too - everything here is under R50 (that's under $6 or just under €5). Budget buys, ladies and gentlemen. Budget buys.



Caught in her web of style

Natasha Ndlovu, of Snow Black Blog, kills me every time with her amazing style. The absolute beauty that is this Kenneth Jay Lane ring - insane! I can't. I need this ring in my life.


How I met your mother

Wow. Now this is how all mothers should look. You know - dressed in head-to-toe chic Burberry and Fendi ensembles, walking around town with sky-highs on, ponytail waving in the wind, and super well-behaved kid on hip.

Right. Ok. Maybe that might just happen only in a perfect world.

Unless you're Victoria Beckham, or course. That is exactly who model, Maryna Linchuk, channels in this Vogue Russia cover shoot. Lensed by Alexi Lubomirski and styled by Ekaterina Mukkhina, Maryna is the embodiment of the super stylish mom.

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Pieces by PAP

The fact that my life is currently extremely hectic as a result of a grueling Philosophy graduate degree, I am only just now blogging about Siyabonga 'Scoop' Ngwekazi's 'Pieces by PAP' (Parental Advisory Productions) clothing launch I attended in Joho (aka, Johannesburg) two weeks ago - I know, cray.

Now if you've ever watched one of the numerous shows that Siyabonga has presented over the years here in South Africa, then you'll know that the man sure can dress. These pieces are just only the beginning of what promises to be even more great clothes that are sure to be a favourite in the urban youth market. Fittingly, each of the pieces are available at the DopeStore at R850 a pop. You just have to admire Siyabonga's great work ethic - those pants with the Ndebele print - c'maaan! J'adore.

(Last four pictures from Urban Mosadi)


How to lead a life less ordinary

We all have days when we look in the mirror and sigh with disappointment at what is looking back at us. But with a few simple changes to our lives, we can all look and feel amazing again, and what better time to make those changes than in spring?

Top of the rule book is taking care of number one. Eat well, exercise regularly and don’t feel guilty about spending a bit of time on yourself – whether that involves having your hair done, giving yourself a pedicure or just relaxing in the bath. Allowing yourself these luxuries will help you to feel so much better about yourself, and about life.

What we look like has a huge impact on how we feel inside. So take advantage of all the wonderful new spring fashions on the rails this month and refresh your wardrobe with some flattering, bright new items. Look through your old clothes and throw out anything that you don’t feel great in. That old pair of jeans that doesn’t really fit anymore? Definitely time to go!

Buy something fun and summery to lift your mood.
Evening maxi dresses are really in this season – available in loads of different colours and patterns – and are super flattering, covering up a multitude of figure issues. You’ll feel better straight away!

There’s nothing like a new hobby to make you feel young again. Start a dance class – whether it’s tango, ballroom or salsa – and enjoy getting fit and meeting new people the fun way. If that’s not your thing, why not think about joining a cookery class? It’s the perfect excuse to organise a glamorous dinner party for you and your friends.

If life is dull, do something about it. A quick fix is to grab your suitcase and passport and jet off on holiday. And whilst it may not be easy to just drop everything with family and work commitments looming over you, it’s easy to start planning something to look forward to. It doesn’t matter where it is – as long as it’s a place to turn your phone off and finally get through that book that has been sat on your bedside table collecting dust for the past year.

So, next time you catch yourself heaving a sigh, remember that injecting some fun and glamour back into your life doesn’t have to be as difficult as it may seem.



Behind the scenes

Check out the behind-the-scene video of my Glamour South Africa 'Class of 2012' feature on Glamour TV here. The clothes were amazing!


I've got friends with style

This is my buddy Nomsa 'Sasa' Moloi who is the first of my friends that I'll be featuring in my new 'I've Got Friends With Style' series of posts.

Now Sasa and I have been vibing since high school. She is an advertising student who is not only beautiful, but also has an incredible sense of style to boot - she is real vintage goddess. I mean, that red dress... Dude, I. Want. It!

Sasa's planning on starting up an advertising agency soon and if you ask me, I reckon she should very well be one of the models too - these pics are gorge. Be sure to follow her on Twitter and Facebook for some guranteed crazy laughs and brutal honesty.

P.S. Sasa - ok, I'll concede that you just love Theophilus London more than me. I still love you though!

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