Friday, February 20, 2015

bluecollarwhitecollar: "It's all about life, passion, a shirt and a tee."

Some of my favourite buys come from niche boutiques, bluecollarwhitecollar being one of them. Today I got the opportunity to chat to Simone van Kraayenburg in Rosebank. She is the Regional Manager who delightfully told me the tale of the brand.

   Simone van Kraayenburg 
Bluecollarwhitecollar opened their first shop in Cape Town about 6 years ago, they also have a stall in the Neighbourgoods market in Cape Town, a store in Brooklyn Mall,  and they now have a store at The Zone in Rosebank. Simone mentioned that they have a few other stores too and are looking to expand the brand even further by opening, up to eight new stores this year; so be on the look out. She also said that in the near future they are looking to expand to London!

The creative minds behind the brand are Paul van der Spuy and Adrian Heneke who are both based in Cape Town. Their mantra goes "It's all about life, passion, a shirt and a tee," this is exactly what their store is in a nutshell. When walking into bluecollarwhitecollar you are always greeted with a warm smile. Dim lighting not only fills up the room with a retro and vintage flare but also the vinyl records and record player that are displayed around the store. The walls are filled with vintage frames and quirky finds that the designers find on their travels when sourcing material for the store.


They source material from overseas places like Thailand, India and Mauritius and then design the garments and have them made here in SA. They will be showcasing a collection at SA Fashion Week too that I'm pretty excited about -look out for retro, 40's, 50's and 60's themes. They do both men's and ladies shirts and they have retro men's tees too (which I'm loving at the moment) with symbols that both Paul and Adrian take a liking to, such as golf and motorbikes.


One of my weird and wonderful character traits is taking something that's menswear and turning it into something more feminine, that's exactly what I did with the mens tees I purchased from the store:

My look:
Tee: bluecollarwhitecollar
Heels: Forever New
Necklace: Lovisa
Sunglasses and wallet: Cotton On
Bag: Accessorize
Blazer: Zara
Make-up: Mac
Hat and pants: given to me as a gift

Another tee I purchased from the store recently: "PART WOLF."

Some food for thought: the store doesn't pay for advertising at all but often gets approached by magazines and media members for articles which gives them exposure. These are all on display in the change room of the Rosebank store.

This is my favourite in store poster:
By Paul van der Spuy
Lastly, this brand is definitely one of my go-to resources for quirky finds.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

SAFW Designer Pop Up Shop:

Over the weekend, I visited Eastgate mall after receiving an invite from SA Fashion Week to attend their Pop Up Designer store. Rails of  merchandise from various South African designers , both emerging and established, were set up at the entrance of Edgars.

I was pleased to see some of the usual designers whose shows I watch at Fashion Week, such as Sies!Isabelle, Rubicon, Colleen Eitzeen, JJ Schoeman and Black Coffee. There were also some new designers and brands on show.

The established designers:

My friend Naayrah & I with JJ Schoeman

Black Coffee. Remember this from the last SAFW?

What caught my attention from the Rubicon rail was these A-line skirts and dresses that each had a different texture detailing on them. This pop up store was the perfect place for anyone to purchase proudly South African designer garments at affordable prices due to such a wide offering.
The designers and brands new to me:

 Left: Designer of T'niche
Right: Designer of Ariella apparel
(New start up designers to watch out for in the SA fashion industry.)
Tercia Naidoo pictured left designed an amazing cape which I will most probably be wearing to SA Fashion Week in March. There will be a showcase of a 15 piece super hero inspired collection at SAFW, which is why I would like to wear the cape, to appreciate the theme in a trendy way (WATCH THIS SPACE).

Loubna is a painter who paints on canvases but then translates her paintings onto garments for her brand, Loayo.

Rosey & Vittori
We stumbled across this street wear label from Cape Town, that had mainly sporty menswear but Naayrah and I both fell in love with this “Haute” tank and purchased it for ourselves. They are set to be launching a new women’s range soon. Here’s the link to their site:
Last but definitely not least,
Rings and things:
My new favourite accessories brand. They had everything from moustache watches, quirky rings and these amazing sunnies that I purchased. Have a look at their online store for more. I’m just about itching to make my next purchase already.
The sunglasses i bought.

What was on show.

My look:
Vintage top: Asseblief
Bag: Cotton On
Heels: Mr Price

If this pop up store was anything to go by, I simply cannot wait for SAFW.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Fashion Talk

I was approached by Haseena Omar from the Bella Donna Finishing Classes to give a talk about fashion to a group of young girls. The talk took place on Wednesday the 11th of Febuary and I really had such fun doing it. I gave a talk to the grade 10 girls from St Teresa's about my fashion journey.

I spoke briefly about my history, winning the Parktown High School for Girls Fashion show in 2012 which fueled my ambition to begin studying for a career in fashion at LISOF. I also gave them some insight into my blog and why I love blogging. “I love going to fashion industry events, meeting new people and asking celebrities if I can take selfies with them,” I giggled and told them about how I was so afraid to take a selfie with Randall from SA Idols at SA Fashion Week.

I was so impressed by these girls and their knowledge of the fashion world as I spoke about trends and asked them questions about styling. We did a mini styling work shop where I brought a basic white tee and asked them to help me style it. Some came up with trendy ways to put the look together with dark blue or ripped jeans and others thought up ways to make it look more dressy, with high waisted maroon jeans or a pencil skirt with heels. These were the ways I chose to demo the white tee for them:

Every day:
Blue boyfriend jeans and trendy sneakers with the white tee.


A black blazer, heels and a tan formal long pants, with the white tee.

Or for a girly approach, a black knee length a-line skirt paired with tan heels, with the white tee.

We also did a make-up workshop where I taught them how to do “the perfect red lip”:

1) Use concealer on your lips for long lasting lipstick
2) Outline the lips with a lip pencil for neat symmetry
3)I blended Mac 'Ruby Woo' and Revlon 'Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain' to get the perfect shade of red for her skin tone
4)I finished off with a copper lip gloss from the brand Iman 

Overall I enjoyed talking to these girls so much that instead of my intention to inspire them, they inspired me.

At the end of the class I asked if anyone had any questions and one of the girls asked me insightfully “Where do I see myself in ten years?

I was a bit overwhelmed and impressed, not expecting such a mature question from a learner of just grade 10, but I answered and told the class that I would like to be either a buyer for a major fashion house and travel or go into the magazine industry, I would also like to start my own brand.

I'm quite excited to get to where I want to be and in doing so see what the future holds.

My look:
 Hat: Gift
Skirt: CPS CHAPS Thailand
Shoes: CPS CHAPS Thailand 
Top: Hand-me-down 

Monday, February 9, 2015

The bag lady:

What is it about bags?
When girls are little all they ever want to do is walk around with a little handbag, whether it’s their mums hand-me-down or a dolls bag, nothing will replace the feeling of pride they get from holding onto it. Although it doesn’t stop there, as girls mature into teens and then into women their desire for a handbag quadruples, I know that mine has.
Why? It is no longer a matter of functionality but an accessory piece. Yes, we all have bags for school, campus or work but the look of the bag plays just as big a part in our lives as the necessity of it. The humble bag which came about since the 1900s was initially meant for men but developed into an accessory piece for ladies thereafter. Although, the man bag has now resurfaced as a major fashion trend, so both sexes seem to be indulging in the trend.

Some fun facts about bags:

“The word “handbag” was first used in the early 1900’s to describe men’s briefcases.

Hermes introduced the first handbag with a zipper in 1923.

Gucci began using cane handles in the 1940’s, during WWII, because of the leather shortage.

Based on a survey in 2007, men are actually more likely to choose a handbag based on its brand than women are.

In 2010 Guinness awarded Mouawad for creating the most valuable handbag in the world the Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse ($3.8M).

It is said that the average woman owns 6 handbags. (Yay or Nay)

The average women’s handbags weigh 5.2 pounds. (What do we carry?)

22% of women said if they could only splurge on one designed item, it would be a handbag. Only 9% said they would choose shoes.”

I own over thirty handbags and I'm always looking for new ones to add to my collection. Here are some of my favourites:

“Tres Chic”

The definition of this famous phrase emulates the bag perfectly. “Tres Chic” meaning very fashionable is exactly what this clutch is to me. I saw this bag in Cotton On and added it to my must have list immediately.

“My handbag”

One of my favourite trends of the moment is the Moustache trend. My little nieces, knowing this about me, spotted this bag whilst on their holiday in George at a market. I loved it instantly!

”The awesome bag’’

This past December I was looking around for the perfect beach bag when I came across this bag in Factorie. The typography trend on apparel and accessories is huge currently and I find myself enjoying the quirkiness of it too. Cute and quirky, this is my "go to" beach bag.

“The bicycle bag””

The moments when I find some of my favourite accessories and clothing are the moments when I’m not actually looking for them. I walked into Cotton On two weeks ago and spotted this bag. I use it for campus but also on the weekends because its so versatile and vintage at the same time!

‘’The Thai bags”

If you have ever visited Thailand before, you would know the shopping is amazing. These were some of my favourite Thai buys. If you are looking for bags like these in Johannesburg with a similar aesthetic visit Rozanne and Pushkin, Rosebank.
My look today: Mesh top- Edgars, Pants(yes its a pants)- CPS CHAPS Thailand, Shoes- Mr. Price.
"I love...'' bags "...I'm superficial, whatever." ;) 





Monday, February 2, 2015

Asseblief Vintage Sale

Everybody loves sales but this sale was one for the books. Asseblief, a vintage brand which has a stall that can be found every Saturday at Neighbourgoods Market in Braamfontein, hosted their annual “fill-a-bag” sale this past Saturday. The sale took place in Melville, in a little dance studio with tables topped with piles of vintage clothing.

I arrived at around 9 a.m. with the sale set to start at 10 a.m. The way the sale worked was that you were allowed to fill two bags of clothes per person; as long as the bag could be tied closed once you have filled it up, all the clothes in the bag were yours for just R100!

Usually time limited sales are very chaotic, but I found that the Asseblief sale was very well organized and so I felt pleasantly satisfied with my experience thereafter. Only a handful of people were allowed into the studio at a time to browse and select their items, we were among the first to go inside.  My strategy was to collect any item that looked remotely to my liking; before checking out I sorted out the clothes into what I actually wanted and what I wanted to leave behind. I walked away from the sale with ten amazing vintage pieces of clothing, a few jackets, blazers and dresses later I left the sale, a happy customer.

Outfit details: dress: Cotton On, bag: Cotton On, shoes: Zara

The owner of Asseblief, Chris Wagner, seemed pleased at the turn out for his event. He wore a trendy black dungaree and watched on as we all went crazy filling our bags. He chatted to me at the counter and said excitedly that Asseblief is now expanding to open their very first store in Cape Town. The online store will also be launching soon so be sure to keep an eye out for that or if not visit the Neighbourgoods market to get a feel of what the brand is all about, before the next sale at least.

Chris Wagner.

Meet Derick, he was also working at the vintage sale with Chris. I spotted him with original Jeremy Scott sneakers and couldn’t resist taking a picture.


 Here are some of the items of clothing I bought:

Being a creative, I intend to further enhance these garments by adding on a few of my own ideas of trims like unusual buttons or zips. I also plan on finding classic linings and additional fabrics to tweak the coats I bought, making them “new vintage.” Hopefully I will be able to do so soon while juggling campus and running a home. However for now, I am already anticipating the next sale.