Author Archives: illithablog

And the Winner is……the results from the Vodacom Durban July 2012

So, I admit, I didn’t make it to the races this year, but still felt it important to document some of the fashion, as this an important fashion event of the year!

I have just found some images that I would like to post, courtesy of Reuters, Jackie Clausen, Game Plan Media, Khaya Ngwenya and Thembinkosi Dwayisa.

Amber Bozalek, dressed by Saine Pieterse

Joanne Sydney, in this stunning print, from the Style Network – love it!

Farahnaaz Dastagee, dressed by Shaunice Smith, so elaborate, so very Durban July

Saving the best till last….Sharde Visagie’s beautifully inspiring head piece, dressed by Lavashni Valjee. Love Love Love – reminds me of the headdresses Marie Antoinette use to wear.

This is one VDJ I was sad to have missed – what incredibly inspired pieces that stemmed from a truely memorable theme!


Those of you that went – I do hope you had a fantastically amazing time xx



A Material World?

“Seven billion people, the latest count. Concern for the planet, the energies mount. This event is red, that’s for sure. But support for green, is part of the cure.Spare a thought, for Mother Earth. Need to save her, for all we’re worth.
Sustainably harvested, natural, organic. Alternative fibres, no time for panic.
All these words, what do they mean? For a start, change your routine.
Reduce, respect, reconstruct, ‘My Dear’. Recycle, repair, rethink, ‘Monsieur’.
Show support, through what you wear. Or what it’s made of, concern with flair. Glitz and sparkle, are definitely in. The overall impression, is what will win. So for this day – Love red! Think green. Your earth-friendly ensemble, will steal the scene! “

The theme for this years Vodacom Durban July (VDJ) is a Material World. Which is rather relevant in today’s society, designers are not only embracing this theme for the horse race, but also in their current and future collections. Colleen Eitzen has used scrapes of fabric found in her factory for one of her pieces, for Winter 2012, as a way to apologize to “Mother Earth for the pain (she) put her through daily” while creating her collections.

Fashion is always part of the show for the VDJ, and this year is no exception. The fashion show this year is 3 fold;

Invited Designers: including David Tlale, Colleen Eitzen and Gideon



Fashion Challenge:  open to anyone outside of the Durban area, emerging, established and students

& Young Designers: with 9 out of 10 finalists from DUT, and Nonetethelelo Shelembe from PMB School of Fashion.

Look out for designers Celeste Swart and Lara Klawikowski, whose story boards definately captured my attention…I am looking forward to seeing the final garment.

Gideon, another designer in this years Invited Designers show, is “…looking forward to seeing the fine line between elegance, fabrication, style and the inevitable avant-garde…” As am I. So many people tend to over do it at the VDJ, which I suppose comes with the territory. But for me, style is always important, no matter what the theme is.

“…A unique perspective and tends to be fantasy driven…” Suzaan Heyns, on the VDJ

Till next time xx

Online Retail – The New Generation

Type online retail into your google toolbar, and what do you find? My first 3 listings were Take-A-Lot, Kalahari and Want-it-All. But these 3 sites, aren’t selling fashion – or anything that I would like to buy online. What I am looking for is inspiration, interior decor, or a pair of shoes that I can buy while on my lunch break in the office. I don’t want to walk around endlessly through the shopping centres looking for something that might catch my eye, (who has the time these days?) I want to do a search on the internet, and find exactly what i am looking for in the shortest possible time.

2012 is the year for new ideas, new possibilities, growth! It is becoming apparent in the retail industry that sales are leading towards ecommerce – with major retailers going online to look for customers. Why pay unnecessary costs when you can sell everything on a virtual scale? Look at international online shopping, like ASOS, TOPSHOP and RIVER ISLAND, almost all retailers offer an online version of what is being sold in their traditional store.

I saw this image on Facebook today, and it made me think. Traditions are changing with the times, everyone is getting more tech savvy, its time retailers and designers take advantage of these changes, and start selling their goods through the internet portal and using social media to drive sales.

Keep your eyes on your computer screen, this time next year, retail will be see through new dimensions!

Till next time xx

Haven of Fashion – in the Southern Suburbs

Nestled amongst a bridal store, a stationery store, and a few fast food outlets, lies a sanctuary of South African fashion boutiques. I am pleased to announce that shopping in the ‘burbs is becoming far more fashionable than before. Shop owners have seen some potential in having a branch close to schools, and universities,  a Woolworths and the suburbs. In the same block as the big names such as Mr Price, Truworths and Edgars, lies some very trendy fashion savvy boutiques, such as Wardrobe, Cloak and Dagger and Mungo and Jemima.

To find local designers, such as Found Clothing, Mignon fashion and Bow Peep, pop into Cloak and Dagger, the latest boutique to open its doors on Vineyard Road, Claremont.

For more established designers like Missibaba and Take Care, visit Mungo and Jemima. around the corner on Cavendish Street

While Wardrobe stocks a variety of vintage labels and South African designers side by side.

So for all your South African designer kicks, take a drive down Vineyard and Cavendish Street soon, there’s no need to even go into the shopping center, everything you need is situated right outside!

Till next time xx

Your Statement Handbag

Which handbag are you going to buy this season? For most women, the handbag is the most essential accessory, and the best way to make a statement in winter.

An old-time favourite of mine is the saddle handbag. I am just loving the latest Missibaba saddle, which can be found online, or in various stores along Long Street.

While having a stroll down Long Street, pop into Journey, where you might be able to find a cheaper alternative to the gorgeous leather Missibaba saddle bag…

I am also loving this satchel bag from Missibaba

Satchel bags are a big trend at the moment, and its big enough to keep all our much-needed accessories!

I am just loving these international bags from Michael Kors, and Derek Lam

Note the snake-skin on the Michael Kors handbag, another DO for this season…If you want to find a cool snake-skin clutch, visit your nearest YDE, where a spotted a couple in my last visit.

If you aren’t liking the leather in the above handbags, you might be interested in looking for a handbag that has an interesting graphic print such as this Carven multi-coloured clutch.

till next time xx

From Prada to Zara…

From Prada to Zara, Singapore has it all! This city is an array of cultural diversity, and fashion extraordinaire. What a treat its been to traverse the streets from chinatown to orchard road. I have yet to visit Haji Lane and Little India, where I hear one can find the best off beat trends in both clothing and music.

I have been here for just under a week visiting my sister, and exploring the city, and very excited to say that I have so much more to see. As Singapore is a season ahead of South Africa, being in the Northern Hemisphere, I get to see first hand whats in store for us for Summer 2013. With Prada taking the 60’s trend to another level in pastels and prints, and Gucci oozing glam and disco trends, we have a lot to look forward to. The stand outs for me have to be the neon colour palette, and the ikat print (a dying technique said to have originated somewhere in South or Central America, used to pattern various textiles) that is cropping up in almost every store. Something else to look out for, is crochet, which has been knocking on the doors of most South Africans lately.

A typical juxtaposition of old and new in Chinatown. With the traditional shophouse that is common to the streets of Singapore in the background, in stark contrast to the typical cheap mass produced knock offs that are common to all Chinatowns across South East Asia. A row of shophouses in Ann Sian Hill, Chinatown

Quite a distinct difference between the shops in Orchard Road, and the small traditional shophouses in Chinatown.

My favourite store at the Paragon Shopping centre, on Orchard Road.

Next week, I promise, I will writing something a little more relevant to South Africa.


Till next time xx

YDE vs Mungo and Jemima

Its been a great cold, long weekend, with some movie watching, red wine, and good food, not to mention some much-needed retail therapy.

After browsing through the various stores at the V&A Waterfront, I have to point out 2 stores; MANGO, and YDE. As much as I love to punt South African fashion, this time, I have to vote on the imports – Mango’s Winter collection trumps that of YDE by far! Young Designers, what is happening? All that I saw were bandage dresses (a trend from 2009!) and slouchy T’s and blouses. Where is the sophisticated look that I have been seeing on the runway? Where is the 60’s trend that I have been going on about to anyone willing to listen? And a coat? Nope, have not seen one. I came across a few beautifully tailored jackets in electric blue and camel, but apart from that, I was left wanting. I have to point out that there were a few good pieces in amongst the out of season blouses and dresses. Namely, the prints and colours. Some of the designers have managed to tap into the print trend this season, from polka dots to geometric shapes, there is something for everyone, as well as chosing the right colour palate for winter. As Yanga mentioned in her blog – we don’t have to wear neutrals in winter, its time to celebrate some colour in our wardrobes.

MANGO on the other hand has some really beautiful trench coats and capes, as well as some straight leg trousers in navy, black, camel and beige (perfection in my eyes, I had to buy a pair) at a price of only R399. As far as wearing international brands go – this one has a green light from me. Included in their range were some stand out scarves, jackets and skirts. I suppose most of these pieces that I am pointing out are maybe for a more sophisticated person, but I do believe that trends today are moving more towards this sophisticated look rather than the bohemian slouchy casual look of 2010 and 2011.

If you want to find some stunning trends for winter 2012, designed by South Africans, pop into Mungo and Jemima on Long Street, where the buyers have outdone themselves this year, with the right colours, the right prints, and the right style!

Here is some inspiration…

Till next time xx