Thursday, April 24, 2014

Emma Stone Style from Spiderman 2 Promotional Tour

You know we need a round up the delightful Emma Stone's tour wardrobe from the Spidey promo juggernaut last week. My favourite are almost certainly not the same as others. Because, you see, I ADORED the slightly weird Valentino and Chanel gowns that she wore on the red carpet in Paris and Berlin. They are kinda granny-chic. Definitely more hipster. And for sure more girl-fashion than something to attract the guys. And those of you who don't understand that, are not my people. Fact.
But I also liked the extremes of the black and white. The Dolce and Gabbana lace look is pretty and the black Lanvin is a bit daring and dangerous. This may be more other people's cup of tea. And I get that. But they are not my absolute favourites.
I was definitely swayed by Emma's high-low off duty vibes. I am always going to be a sucker for a spangle jacket paired with jeans. Love it.
And then we need to talk about the Erdem day-time dress. With spangle. And A CAPE. Yes, people. This has to be my favourite favourite because it has A CAPE. I love a cape. Forever. Do you?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Perfect Trousers: Let Me Introduce You

Look, I am sure that these won't work for EVERYONE. But for most ladies they will, and I feel it would be remiss of me not to tell you about the most perfect trousers that I have ever found. To the point where I have pretty much replaced three quarters of my trouser wardrobe with them. Not. Even. Joking.
I have kinda kept that a secret for a while, so I must actually apologise. And they are definitely not cheap. You need to look at between R900-R1300 for a pair. But for a PERFECT fit you can't actually put a price on that. And they come in a selection of prints and colours. Something for everyone.
I have khakis, green print, black and gold jacquard, blue and navy jacquard (as below) - and plain black of course. And that is really just the start of my collection. I aim to add a few more for next season too. They are from Banana Republic - at Stuttafords around the country. And if you go and visit them for no other reason, go there for these trews. Obviously they have pockets. And are cropped to the ankle so there is no issue with wearing them with my favourite flat pumps. I mean, just perfect. I pop them on and go. You can too. Start saving up now. If they are good enough for Olivia Palermo....well, let's all be having them.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, Australian Tour Round Up

Last week, Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, wrapped up her visit to New Zealand (with her husband Prince William and her son, the adorably squigy-faced Prince George) dressed in a repeat wear of the blue Rebecca Taylor skirt suit.
She had also just worn another repeat, which was the red skirt suit by Luisa Spagnoli, and thusly demonstrated how much sharper and chic-er her style had become over the past year.
Thankfully on arrival in Australia it was all new. A very modern and fashion-forward shift dress by Roksanda Ilincic was the first choice for Sydney - all very yellow in Australia's national colour. Frankly I LOVE this look. It is the most fashionable of all her looks on tour and I think it is a dazzler.
Kate continued her trend-setting ways by wearing a gorgeous Diane von Furstenburg that sold out instantly globally. In minutes. DvF is good for Kate as it is safe fashion - and always falls nicely above the knee which is more youthful for her. Nice.
It was onto another favourite after that, with a world-pleasing LK Bennett dress that was also worn this week by the Mindy Project character, Mindy Lahiri. It is definitely pretty so that won everyone over. And I liked the fit too. Very good.
It was off to the beach and the Easter Show next and Kate wore a delightful eyelet dress by Zimmermann - an Australian design duo. I loved two things about this: first the incredible construction on the dress; and second the much more youthful take on the wedge sandal. YES. Thank you. And before anyone criticises Kate for wearing shoes to the beach - she was AT WORK. It was totes appropriate.
A very similar dress was worn to the Zoo the next engagement. This was actually a repeat wear from her tour of Asia last year and no one has a clue who made it yet. Still. But whatevs. Pretty.
An immaculate Alexander McQueen dove grey coat was next for the Easter service. And this is FLAWLESS. There is nothing to say about this, other than a different pair of shoes perhaps. Otherwise it is perfect.
And the Easter weekend then finished off with a blue Stella McCartney rewear of the blue shift dress. Simple and does the trick. Also it appears that the family colour is blue. A lot. Funny.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spree.co.za Winter Lookbook Event

Last week online retailer spree.co.za launched their winter lookbook and men's wear collections at an event in Cape Town. This is my favourite look from the incredible show put on my Deon Redman, animations by Colin O'Mara Davis and conceptualised and styled by my darling Chris Viljoen. Our conversation went thusly, CV: "did you like it?" SG: "loved it obvs. Especially that Carolina Herrera look." CV: "thanks for noticing."
The thing that Chris does SO WELL is taking some quite cool items, mixing them up with some quite ordinary basics, stirring in some international styling trends and cooking up a vibe that is unparalleled in South Africa. To be fair, he achieves EXACTLY what the site says, which is bringing the fashion off magazine pages to life and making them available to buy for us ordinary people. Amazing.
I stole these pictures off Skattie What Are You Wearing blog. If you don't read that blog, my fair peeps, you are missing out on the most irreverent take on fashion in the land. Just saying. But he managed to get a pic of me in my Loin Cloth and Ashes skirt having a down-time chat after the show. So I thought I would share it with you.
Aside from that, I recommend you check out the winter looks from spree.co.za. Boys may have to stick with the modern basics for now, until their men's wear buyers bring things up to the more daring and exciting standards of the ladies wear. But ladies, this is winter at your fingertips. Everything you need is here. Start shopping now!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Michelle Williams for Louis Vuitton: The Lockit, The Capucines and The Alma

I absolutely adore the combination of Michelle Williams and Louis Vuitton. She makes iconic LV simultaneously accessible, beautiful but totally unattainable. It's her fragile, exquisite countenance. That's what does it. You can have it, but it comes at great sacrifice. Or something like that. Whatever it is, it works. And she is back for them this season.
Obviously I am going to love the more insouciant of the images. That's just how I roll. I am super down with 'undone-doneness' and a bit of tongue in cheek. So obviously the suitcase image is my best.
But bold colour also works so well in this permutation. The red. The yellow. The orange. Stunning combinations and a sense of unison within the clashing colours.
But the neutrals work just as well. And of course it doesn't escape my attention that the 'Victoria-Beckham-hold' of handbag has made it's way over to LV.
I love this campaign - obviously - and I really hope that there is more of this pairing to come. I am looking forward to it already. Wonderful.
Photographer: Peter Lindbergh
Hair: Sam McKnight
Stylist: Carine Roitfeld
Makeup: Stéphane Marais


Click on any of the pics for larger views of these gorgeous images.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Original Swimming Party - The Blue EP

Last week I went to the launch of a new album. I seldom cover music on this blog as it is usually about fashion. However, now that I blog less frequently, I feel that I need to use it for all the stylish things that I do in my life. My food. My exercise. My music. And of course, my fashion. So the reason why this album launch - from new band The Original Swimming Party - was so notable was three fold:
1. It took place at The Fugard Theatre. An amazing and unexpected space that was civilised and beautiful in equal measure. The location leant a lot to the genteel, soporific and lush sounds that we heard. This wasn't something that you could appreciate in a dodgy club, the sophistication in the sound, the production and the resultant output needed a much more suitable venue. Which was found at The Fugard. Well chosen.
2. The sound was gorgeous. Just wonderfully multi-dimensional and nuanced. There was so much depth to the sound that you could literally drown in it. Which is I think something of what is reflected in the name. It felt exactly like a watery party of sound. Also there was a lot about crying in the lyrics. And sounds of waves rolling over rocks at the shore. So, lots of water. And the best thing is - as I sit here listening to it as I write - you can download the EP for free from their website: http://originalswimmingparty.com/ and enjoy it yourself as you work, read, write or drift off to sleep. It is really clever music, but you don't have to be feeling at your smartest to enjoy it. Genius.
3. And rounding out the three worthwhile take-aways from this launch was the really, truly original bit: the integrated animations and visual effects. Oh my goodness, this was nothing like I had seen before, and it was totally charming. Visual effects can get lost in their own smartypants-ness. These didn't. They added to the performance, turned our heads, made us FEEL something. It was the perfect marriage of sound and sight. And if The Original Swimming Party continue to mesh these in their performances then we really have something special on the SA music scene. Something that is going to make every performance worth attending, every new move something to look out for. There were less than a hundred people at the launch, less than a hundred people who know that we witnessed something amazing and fresh and cool. So why don't you download the EP, listen to the music and look out for the next performance, it will be worth it.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, Tour of New Zealand Style

It's time to review week one of the tour of New Zealand by Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge. What has she worn and what are the key trends that we can extract from this show so far? Well, we can start with my favourite favourite. That's the Jenny Packham black dress with the white / silver detail on the shoulder. I love it. It is impeccable and there is nothing I would change. Not even the hair annoyed me. I know. Amazing.
Sticking with the black and white theme, Kate arrived in a Max Mara wrap dress that we have seen before. But quickly moved onto her first official engagement with Prince George in a black and white woven Tory Burch dress that I think is a brilliant. The colour is on trend and a nod to the national colours. The fit is immaculate. The design is modern. This is a real winner.
Then there was the selection of solid, bold colour coat dresses. This is VERY much in keeping with HRH The Queen's style, interpreted in a modern way. Clever girl. There is also an array of hair styles. Hallelujah! Some variety is always good, although of course my favourite is the pony tail. YES!! The pill-box style hats are cool and modern and the hem lines are getting a tiny bit shorter with each successive coat dress. I like this. It's a bit cheeky. The red is by Catherine Walker, the light blue is Alexander McQueen, the green is by Erdem and the bright turquoise is by Emilia Wickstead, a designer born in New Zealand. Most are very contemporary British designers who bring something more edgy to a traditional royal tour wardrobe. Although of course her shoes remain totally classic.
For the more relaxed events Kate has gone formulaic. Her standard J.Brand skinny deep indigo jeans are paired with her navy Zara blazer and those Stuart Weitzman wedges I abhor. I do love the Me + Em Breton stripe top and the new blue and white checked shirt. But the wedges and the Sebago boat shoes are just awful. No?
Let's not forget that Kate is a sporty chick. She participated in coaching a kids rugby team - in a cool Jonathan Saunders knit jumper and Mint Velvet sneakers - and beat Prince William on the seas in a yacht race. Good girl. Not just a pretty face, glorious locks and polite smiles. Kate has gumption. And that's the nicest thing I have ever said about her. Also she has fun no matter what. I admire that more than anything. Bring on Week 2 of the tour. I can't wait to see what she wears next.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Emma Stone in Dior, Balenciaga and Valentino

The lovely Emma Stone is busy travelling around the world promoting her new Spiderman movie. Her outfits have not been completely awe-inspiring but they have been nice. My favourite of which has been this Christian Dior bold fuchsia print dress and matching velvet shoes. Love it. The Valentino mod shift is cute too.
The Balenciaga sleeveless coat look is divine of course, but when Emma insists on being so easy, breezy lovely and happy with everything she does, well, then everything she wears looks good. This, friends, is a life lesson. Be happy and joyous and you will always look good. Perfect.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Quest for Miley-Abs: Welcome to Somersault Pilates

Look. Just like you, I have spent an inordinate amount of good, hard-earned cash over the years on completely wasted gym membership. Then thankfully one day I got a slap upside the head. I got really sick and suffered with terrible rheumatoid arthritis as part of my condition. And so I eventually took the plunge and cancelled my membership. After a year and a half of not going once. Yup. I was one of those people. Idiot. And I swore I would never join a gym again.
But when I went into remission a few years later, I needed to get my body moving again and was a bit stuck on how to go about it. I thought ballet was the answer. And, in part, it is. I love ballet. It is without doubt the most dignified way to work up a sweat. I attend adult ballet classes at the Cape Ballet Centre next door to the iconic Mount Nelson Hotel. But about six weeks ago I managed to tear a calf muscle whilst showing off doing jetés. Again, idiot. But it was all fine. I had a back up plan.
You see, my friend and fitness and Pilates instructor extraordinaire, Justine Seymour was on hand to guide me. And she deserves a MEDAL OF HONOUR for putting up with me over the past six months. I went to her, totally unfit and still recovering from arthritis and demanded that she give me Miley Cyrus abs. I mean if Miley can do a bit of Pilates and then scamper around in next to nothing day after day, well, that seemed a pretty good way to go. Also, with my various aches and pains and, eventually, ballet injury, I needed a lot of hand holding with my fitness regime.
It needs to be said that I am also a pretty demanding exercise client. I like a lot of attention. I like to be excellent, and told as much. I also like to get things right and get very frustrated when I don't. But Justine and her team take all this in their stride. They have been around for a while, you see. Old hands. And I like old hands. Old hands make me feel safe. Old hands make me feel like Miley abs are doable.
She works us hard in Pilates class but you can feel the difference almost immediately. You improve quickly and regularly, which is SO SATISFYING. And everything else in your life becomes easier. Like walking up hills and getting out of bed in the morning. The basics. And whilst I have no clue as to whether I have Miley abs yet (can't tell under my well-nourished layer of plumpness) but I do know that I have started to get a set of oblique muscles that I never had before.
I will also tell you that, Justine, at her Claremont-based Somersault Studio, and her new Kloof Street studio, will also give you guidance on eating well, especially for fitness. For as long as I have been doing Pilates, I have also largely adopted her eating strategy as well. I try to eat a degree of Banting (low carb, high fat) for most of the time as it really serves the exercise. It all works well together. Fitness nirvana.
Anyway, many of you who have met me before will have noticed that of late I am looking a bit different. And it is down to this quest for Miley abs, and all the assistance I have had on the journey. I still have some way to go, but only six months in, things are looking significantly better than they ever did when I was armed with a gym membership. So, if you fancy joining me on my quest for Miley abs, and are based in (or visiting) Cape Town, just give Justine a shout.
Somersault Studio operates from two beautiful Victorian buildings in Cape Town - The White Lotus at 79 Kloof Street and Somersault House at 59 Grove Ave, Claremont. I go to the White Lotus Wellness Centre, where Justine is offering Pilates classes daily and will add fitness and running groups soon. 
Class times are: 
Monday & Wednesday: 5.30pm & 6.30pm
Tuesday & Thursday: 6.30am, 7.30am & 9.00am
The rates are:
1 class per week: R440 per month
2 classes per week: R800 per month
Traveller package: R1200 for 10 classes valid for 6 months
Pay as you go: R140
Individual sessions: R350 per hour

For further info, please contact justine@somersaultstudio.co.za

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dita Von Teese Style Review

This past month has seen Ms Dita von Teese out more than usual. I know many people hated this violet Maria Lucia Hohan gown due to the colour. But frankly I am in awe. Obviously on anyone else it would be an aberration. But on Ms Dita it is a sensation. Just look at the way in which the dress hugs and moulds to her body! Incredible.
Dita was also awesome at the launch of her lingerie collection in the US. Once again she was back in black - strapless of course to showcase her ligit figure, all completely made for lingerie.
And then there was her 40s style perfection of her tweed, leather and velvet skirt suit that she wore to the Christian Louboutin showcase event. I mean seriously. Does it get better than this? Utter commitment and perfection from a style icon. One of my favourites.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Anna Kendrick's 2014 Style Review

I was never really bothered by Anna Kendrick. And then I saw her on So You Think You Can Dance and she was super cool and funny. And then I saw Pitch Perfect. And I was done. But as much as I liked her, I wasn't that mad about how she dressed. Until January 2014. Things really picked up then, culminating in this adorable Kate Spade jumpsuit that she wore this week. And my very favourite outfit she has ever worn as far as I'm concerned - this Hervé Léger by Max Azria with the emerald green accents and accessories. Bliss.
Anna's style revolves around some key designers. She favours Tory Burch for sure, with several of her most recent outfits being from this label. Simple, clean and appropriate for her tiny dimensions.
J. Mendel is another of her favourites, especially for red carpet events of cocktail type. Again, she gets them fitted to her proportions - and considering she is TINY, this is going some. Fit is so important and Anna really has some to understand this and proportion. Brilliant.
Another of her favourite designers is Carolina Herrera, and she has not only embraced the pouf skirt by CH but the black and white trend has made a real impression on her wardrobe of late. Other outfits include Milly and more Tory Burch.
Christian Dior has made it's first forays into Anna's wardrobe this year. I'm not sure it is as successful as the classic American designers, but it is very pretty in a cocktail dress.
And then there is Monique Lhullier - a firm favourite in Anna's repertoire. She has always worn this label and this year has been no exception so far.
I must mention that one of the hightlights of Anna's year so far has been her outerwear. She has taken Miu Miu on board as well as Carolina Herrera. I love these looks and they totally inspire me.
Another highlight of the year was Anna's various outfits for the Grammy Awards. Obviously the yellow Markus Lupfer was the stand-out star. Amazing. And the Azzaro gown was beautiful. I also really enjoyed the gorgeous little floral number from Topshop with the cut outs.
Anna's Oscars dresses (ceremony and Vanity Fair after party) were sensational. The gown for the ceremony was J.Mendel - safe choice - but the after party gown was a phenomenally successful Atelier Versace floor sweeper that was one of the best.
Anna's look at the Sundance Festival was awesome and a red tartan shirt went onto my must-have list for winter immediately. Love this.
And I have to say, a girl that likes a bit of black and navy is one after my own heart. Cute outfits, great attitude always, excellent fit under tricky circumstances, a head of red hair and a fantastic sense of humour. Anna Kendrick just got herself an invitation to guest at my fashion fantasy book club. Good girl.