Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Vie Loves Peter Pilotto x Target

In complete & utter LUST with this collection!!!  This is the preview of the Peter Potinello's SS14 collection for Target which will be available in stores next month.  Even more thrilled because that should be right around the time I get to the states for my next trend trip so I will definitely be spending a few hours and a lotta dollars inside a Target store.  I love the new wave of high end designers making their work accessible to the "mass-market".  It's what I love most about fashion and retail in the first place.  Fashion should not be something that exists on distant runways and in abstract photo-shoots.  It is art, but not the kind that lives on clean white walls in the corridors of silent galleries. It should be for the people and people should be able to use & mould fashion to express themselves thereby extending the art so good on all the designers who are making this possible! 


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Is Black "the new black"?

The name Lupita Nyong'o is on everyone's lips right now and rightfully so.  I have only seen short clips of the critically lauded film she has recently starred in, "12 Years a Slave", but her performance seems worth talking about.  
She actually first caught my attention as one of the faces of the SS14 Miu Miu campaign – I had no idea who she was and after a bit of research was thrilled to find out that not only is she exceptionally beautiful, but is also an extremely talented actress who is making it in mainstream Hollywood, and as if on cue, my inner-cynic surfaced as I questioned whether, that is in fact the case. 

As a fellow cocoa coloured nappy haired girl myself I wonder if someone who looks like her will forever be relegated to playing the role of the "slave girl" or at best, the exotic over-sexed Bond villain ala Grace Jones circa 1985.  This is such a 'tired' discussion that has been had by so many before me but what makes it relevant is that to this day, NOTHING has actually changed in terms of the images of beauty that exist in mainstream pop culture.  Are the consumers; you, me, our husbands, boyfriends etc, ready to shift our own perceptions of what a "leading lady" looks like & embrace a bald pitch black "Colombiana" or "Olivia Pope"?  Have we reached the stage where female musicians will no longer feel the need to don floor length blonde weaves/ wigs to make it to number 1.  It's so ridiculous when you look at it from the other side & try to imagine Katy Perry or Julia Roberts needing to wear an afro wig and get a nose job to make their noses flatter & wider to get a good role.  Have we, through actresses like Lupita Nyong'o, in some small way, traversed that mental prison cell?  

I'm reminded of an interview I once read where Bonnie Mbuli, a successful South African actress & personal friend, was interviewed about why she had returned to South Africa after trying her hand in Hollywood and she said, I paraphrase, that she was struggling to find roles that suited her chosen aesthetic & that to cut it in Hollywood she would effectively have to "sell out" to make it which, she wasn't willing to do.  Are the days of selling out done or is the rise of Lupita Nyong'o just indicative of the film industry's need to create another batch of "Colour Purple" actresses for this generation's "conscious films"?  
Honestly, it could be a bit of both… maybe, one day it's a black US president and the next day a short dark brown bald chick on the "Hollywood Highest Paid Actresses" list.  We live in hope.  

Monday, January 13, 2014

The fetch-est movie ever!!!

I am so excited about it being the 10th Anniversary of 'Mean Girls' this year; the timeless classic cult movie written by Tina Fey & starring La Lohan, Rachel McAdams & Amanda Seyfried.  I caught it on TV randomly on Friday night & got so excited (yes, that's my life now - couch bound on a Friday night).  If you have never watched this flick you should log off the internet RIGHT NOW & head to the closest DVD store and watch it, THEN, and only then, may you may continue reading.  
I remember watching this film for the first time shortly after its release in 2004 and thinking that this is what all us 80s babies who grew up reciting Clueless quotes had been waiting for since 1995. I related especially with Lindsey Lohan's character in the film because she reminded me of a younger version of myself arriving in South Africa in 1999 after having spent the greater part of my formative years in Dakar, Senegal.  Coming back to an all-girls school in "the big city" was like landing on a whole new planet in the middle of a civil war.  There's a part in the film where a random song comes on the radio & Cady, Lindsey Lohan's character is asked by Regina (Rachel McAdams) 

Regina: Cady, do you even know who sings this?

Cady: Um... The Spice Girls?
Regina: I love her. She's like a Martian!

That was how I felt for A WHILE; like a martian of sorts.  I remember my friends asking me if there were malls "where I came from" and looking at me in horror when I responded by saying that there wasn't a single mall & we used to go on desert walks for fun.  
Learning to navigate "girl politics" and get up to speed with who & what was "hip & happening"  after a childhood of blissful seclusion was like taking a 6 week crash MBA course but I survived & here I am, unscathed and definitely a little stronger.  
So Happy 10th Birthday "Mean Girls" - thanks for the free "education" and for the endless hours of laughter I have enjoyed at your expense.  

Ooh, I almost forgot!! I stumbled upon this Mean Girls inspired jewellery collection by LA based label Stella & Bow which is so cute.  Took me right back to being in Std 4 (grade 6) swopping friendship bracelets with my main chicks!! Haha!! The folly of youth! 


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Marc Jacobs x Miley Cyrus... sigh... whatever...

Not happy about the Marc Jacobs x Miley Cyrus SS14 collabo.  Don't get me wrong, I love Miley as much as the next pop culture vulture but she just doesn't feel like a good fit for this particular collection.  They tried to make her look all "dark & twisty" (in the words of Meredith Grey) when she's actually all "pop-py & twerky" and it all just seems really contrived.  It's as if Marc & the gang were playing a game of "pin the tail on the donkey with the most twitter followers" and "tag!!" she was it! You wonder why they didn't just use Cara Delevigne who did a fab job modelling in the runway show AND is a well loved "it" girl in her own right. 
Not to compare (but yes to compare); you then have the glorious Balmain & Ri-Ri collabo on the other side of the spectrum which is just glorious… did I mention how glorious it is?!?!!!! I am actually not a Ri-Ri fan (#TeamBey) but this collaboration just FEELS like it was written in the stars.  It is glaringly obvious that Ri-Ri is not only the face of the campaign but the muse and the inspiration for the collection which makes it that much more perfect.  
So, what have we learnt from this "tale of two Designers" kids? Brands need stop thinking that just sticking a famous face on things will automatically make them sell.  I mean in all honesty, the sales of the SS14 collection will probably not be hindered in the slightest by the use of Miley's face but there are some consumers, such as myself, that value brand authenticity and credibility and once a brand demonstrates that it could lack these vital characteristics, you can count me out! 
Anyway, here are some pics so you can make up your own mind!

Miley looking all emo & stuff
Some shots from the collection...

Enter Ri-Ri... 


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

To 2014 and Beyond!!!

The beginning of every year is always characterised by crashing waves of optimism and a reinvigorated dedication to self betterment and this year is no different.  What DOES make this year different is the vigour with which I believe people will be pursuing their goals.  So many people that I spoke to during December exclaimed just HOW hard 2013 had been either financially, emotionally or otherwise and how relieved they were to see the back of it & I fully echo those sentiments.  This year, it's not just about the usual empty promises; get skinny, get rich, get married, find the cure for cellulite etc. but rather about taking a holistic look at the type of woman I want to be for myself and for those around me.   Drawing inspiration from the 3 books I read this holiday; "The End of Men and the Rise of Women" by Hanna Rosin, "Lean In" by Sheryl Sandberg & "It's Rising Time" by Kim Kiyosaki cemented so beautifully by Beyonce's amazing self titled visual album, it's safe to say, I am in it to win it this year. 
I know what you're thinking and "no", I am not re-thinking my sexual preferences or becoming a ruthless man-basher but rather, I appreciate that there has never been a better time in history to be a woman and it is my duty to those who came before us & made this possible to make the most of it. 
I would like to end the year knowing that I achieved my full potential in everything that I set out to do;  I didn't 2nd guess myself or talk myself down, I looked fear square in the face as I marched past it flicking my hair,  I spoke every true word that I wanted, I helped others to grow as I grew with them, I took care of my body, my mind & my spirit and most importantly I embraced the fact that nothing happens if you don't get the f*ck up & make it happen.  
Happy 2014!! 

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