Hellooo World…

It’s been almost 2 months since my last post, yet it feels like ages! Believe me when I say, I’ve been hating myself for my recent lack of posting. In all fairness though, ‘posting regularly’ was one of my New Year’s resolutions, and well its almost a given that one would fail at keeping to those idyllic self-promises…well most of us anyways…incidentally, ‘quit smoking’ was one of my other resolutions and well, lets just say that one isn’t going too well either. Failed resolutions aside, the honest truth is that my day job has been killing me since I got back this year, and while I despise having to give so much of myself to it, I cannot deny the fact that it puts food on the table or rather fashion in the closet (in my case). Besides if you’re going to fail at following through with anything, which usually involves dirtying those clean slates that come fresh with the New Year, then you might as well make sure that you look your best while doing so! There’s simple no other way!

In terms of new fashion for Durban, sadly, not much is going on right now, and God forbid that this be the trend for the rest of this year! All round, store SALES are rife, which isn’t particularly fun if you’ve bought most of what you wanted when they came out months ago, at full price! But if like me, you happen to stumble into a SALE, I guarantee that you are bound to find something that you probably don’t like very much but think you might appreciate with time…lots of time…

SALES are however not to be underestimated! I must admit that I find them to be an excellent opportunity to buy gifts for others, especially others who you ordinarily wouldn’t like spending that much cash on. Now I’m not saying that you should purposefully go off to some SALE and buy the first name brand items that catch your eye, just because they’re 50% off; on the contrary, SALES require time, patience, thought and most definitely a good eye. Ask yourself, is this a clearance SALE or is there anything wrong with these items. Trust me, you will be amazed at just how much low-grade damaged clothes get sold as supposed bargains to unsuspecting SALE shoppers. But atlas, not all SALES are evil; I guess…they can be refreshing, sometimes humbling, and maybe even good for the soul. And while I do realise that most of what I’ve said on this matter probably makes me sound like a pompous brat, and maybe that, I am; I feel it necessary to admit that my other New Year’s resolution was to ‘be more candid’, especially if it means risking people’s utter denial on certain matters, which in the greater scheme of things, is actually doing them a favour!

So I guess all that’s left to say, is indulge if you must and enjoy while it lasts…Oh and brace yourself, because the end of a SALE marks the start of a new season, with a whole lot of new fashion! Till next time…which I’m hopeful, is sooner rather than later!

New Year…2013…

Well, whataya know…it is the start of yet another new year…and while I’m sure that everyone has reveled in the fact that it’s fresh slates all-round, presumably if you’re reading this, then you’re well past your hangover and still sticking to your new year’s resolutions! I myself am feeling brand spanking new and somewhat saint-like…however long that lasts!

On a serious note though, I sincerely hope that 2013 has lots of awesomeness in store for us all, particularly on the fashion front, and most particularly for Durban! While 2012 marked some good progress, especially with the arrival of Zara, Mango, Topshop/Topman; I can only hope that 2013 has more exciting surprises in store for us…it better! BTW…could that be a pun…my ‘figures of speech’ seem to have evaded me!

Otherwise, I shall continue to enlighten and hopefully, somewhat entertain on all of Durban’s fashion and fashionable resources…to you my adoring audience! Oh I’m just over-doing it…I don’t presume to be that good! I’m still drunk on the prospects of the New Year and maybe some whiskey…And on that note, I shall wrap this up…

So from me, & ofcourse ‘Durban Fashion’, to you…Happy New Year my friends!

Christmas…Memories & Tradition become the Fashion of the Season

Now what could I possibly say about Christmas that hasn’t already been said. That said, there is no denying that for most of us, the holiday marks a special meaning to us each. For me, that meaning lies in the togetherness of family & friends and the continuation of traditions that make the time truly special and memorable…Christmassy!

I always remember the Christmas that I was 6 and still living in that magical period where I believed in the enchanting fantasy of Father Christmas. That particular year, I had really wanted a wheelbarrow, a kid one! I feel it necessary to add that, to this day, I have no idea what possibly motivated me to want one…but alas, I was a kid and I’m sure I must have had really good reasons at the time! Anyways, my Mom and Pop assured me on Christmas Eve, that because I was such a good kid, (and really, I always was!) Father Christmas himself, was going to deliver my wheelbarrow, amongst some other presents that very night. Naturally, I went to bed in the best of moods and with the hope that I may just stay awake long enough to witness the delivery in person.

Being only 6, I guess it was inevitable that I fell asleep, but luckily or rather unluckily for me, that night I was awakened by a sound…Could it be Santa, I wondered! Suddenly I was filled with excitement, as I thought for the first time in my life, I may have not slept through the arrival of Father Christmas! Overjoyed, I got out of bed without even checking my hair (which lets face it, one shouldn’t dream of doing nowadays) and ran straight down the passage, into the lounge, where the Christmas tree was up and sparkling…and there was my Dad, dressed in his PJs, a little bit tipsy from his nightcap, strategically placing gifts around the tree, and he didn’t even have the decency to wear a fake Santa outfit in doing so!

Suffice to say, my Pop was and still is the worst liar, and so he couldn’t even come up with a quick enough excuse to quell my obvious suspicion; and in his defense, I was a pretty smart kid, and was most certainly able to recognize a charade (or should I say, lack thereof) when it was staring me in the face! After about a minute or so of me staring intensely at my father, and he looking back and forth from me to the unmistakably wrapped wheelbarrow, fumbling for the right words to explain his way out of it; we both came to the same realization…’I no longer believed that the presents under the tree were from Santa Clause, nor that you had to be well-behaved in order to receive them’.

Admittedly, I wasn’t too crushed by the whole thing, for as much as I loved the notion of getting presents from a fat, red-clothed, white-bearded, ho ho ho’ing man who rode a magical, reindeer-driven sleigh; I was also a bit skeptical about having such a man in the house! That probably stemmed from the fact that I was incredibly mature for my age, or so, I’ve always been told. Besides, what was there to be sad for, I had still gotten what I wanted, my very own wheelbarrow, which was green if anyone was wondering; and I also discovered that presents were given to us by none other that our dear folks, and so really, it didn’t matter if you behaved or not!

Nevertheless, in the few Christmases that came thereafter, I went along with the whole thing for the benefit of my little brother, and I have to admit that it was great fun, indulging his beliefs by staring out at the stars before bedtime, trying to trace the sky for a hint of Santa on his sleigh. The whole exercise, almost made me believe again! But ofcourse, in time and without the help of my dad, might I add, my little brother eventually outgrew the childhood belief as well.

Now that I’m older and have for the first time put this memory of mines onto paper so to speak, I suddenly realise that for a man that doesn’t really exist, Mr. Santa Clause, imagined or not, has helped to shape my beliefs and experience of Christmas in its totality. My belief in the man helped me to recognize the joy that comes with receiving gifts during this festive time. My realization that the man is nothing but a story used to inspire the ‘Magic of Christmas’ into the hearts of children the world-over, fortified that that joy is actually because of your family and friends, your loved-ones, who, let’s face it, know you far better than some fat guy from the North Pole. And while Christmas traditions, like most traditions, may evolve and change, like fashion but not exactly so! The one tradition that will always remain the same is the joy of family and friends gifting each other…no matter how sucky some gifts may be…apparently, it is the thought that counts!

My other favourite traditions during this festive time include:

  • Putting up our tree together as a family on Christmas Eve, which generally turned out disastrous when we were younger, much to my mothers distaste!
  • Then ofcourse, having my mom redecorate it all over at the end.
  • Watching the Christmas-stealing antics of Jack Skellington and the rest of Halloween Town’s misfits in Tim Burton’s, ‘The Nightmare before Christmas’ on Christmas Eve.
  • Hearing, reading or watching the story of how Scrooge went from ‘Bah!’ & ‘Humbug!’ to ‘A merry Christmas to you!’ in Charles Dickens’, ‘A Christmas Carol’. The same applies to Dr. Seuss’ ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’.
  • Sparing a thought for the ‘Little Match Girl’ and the plight of Gerda on her quest to find Kay in ‘The Snow Queen’.
  • Watching Christmas Specials on TV on Christmas morning…I really do love Mr. Bean’s Christmas with Teddy and that massive turkey which becomes his headpiece; plus slamming the door on those carolers, priceless! Also, not forgetting the ‘Home Alone’ movies.
  • Indulging in a Christmas family feast…My mom’s delicious stuffing for the bird, absolutely yummy!
  • And ofcourse, celebrating the day in honour of the Baby Jesus, and the significance of his birth!

All in all, Christmas for me is a fashion that comes along once every year, shrouded in memories of old…some that bring a smile to your face, like my dad and the wheelbarrow, and watching the stars with my little brother; some that make you sad, like remembering those who are no longer with us, like my grandpa who nevertheless lives on in memory; and some that are bittersweet, like the one year I was very little and was convinced we may just have a white Christmas, but ofcourse it never snowed, and it never does, because this is Durban! But apart from embracing old traditions and indulging in those beloved old memories, Christmas is also a time for making new ones…ones to add to that continually growing box of Christmassy delights.

This year we have a puppy for the first time in my entire life and his first Christmas with us has already been one to remember! Lets just say, it was quite a workout keeping him out of the kitchen, what with all of the aromas that were being cooked up in there. That said, I can only hope that your Christmas was as blessed and as memorable as mines…

Happy Christmas my friends!

Madame Zingara…2012…A truly magical experience that will leave you wanting more!

It’s Moulin Rouge, meets Cirque du Soleil, with just a hint of the Chinese Circus, and ofcourse tailor this with a South African touch reminiscent of the Sophiatown jazz age; all housed within a 1920s baroque tent by the name ‘Victoria’; and what you are left with is a truly unforgettable night, with the most amazing of Madams…

All photos courtesy of or by permission of the Madame

All photos courtesy of or by permission of the Madame

Just to give you a bit of insight on the Madame’s touch in Durban, her first road show was ‘the Rosario’ held in 2008, followed by the ‘Love Magic’ tour of 2011, and ofcourse her current run which is the ‘el Milagro’ or Spanish for ‘the Miracle’ and by gosh, it certainly is! All shows are held at the Suncoast Casino within the ‘Victoria’ which has a certain life-like quality about her; and features a range of different, truly extraordinary acts, that are cleverly woven between a 4 course culinary spectacular that ensures your taste buds have as much fun as the rest of your senses.

If you’ve already experienced the magic of Madame Zingara, do count your lucky stars; if like me, you’ve been more than once, count the cosmos; and if you haven’t already…well there may just be a small window of opportunity, as I have it on very good authority that seats are available…however limited they may be…for shows up to and including the final special New Years Eve extravaganza of 2012. So do hurry up and contact Madame Zingara for bookings on 0861 623 263 or visit www.madamezingara.com for more details…and maybe with a little bit of luck and some magic, you will soon be having the night of your life!

Unfortunately the Madame’s run in Durban ends on the 31st December 2012, so their New Years Eve show promises to be a real show-stopper, as it includes internationally acclaimed DJ Dino Moran who is guaranteed to heighten the music experience of the show with his talents; taking you into 2013 with a real bang…so do be sure to wear your dancing shoes.

…Then I’m afraid, it’s off to Cape Town with the ‘Theatre of Dreams’. So really this post is more of a tribute to their spectacular sold-out shows, and especially to the fact that it provided Durban residents with the perfect opportunity to have a wild and outrageous Fashion’s Night Out. I certainly did…

So whether you decide to go as a cancan dancer, a geisha, a Charlie Chaplin inspired chap, a gladiator or even Cleopatra herself…I have been thoroughly assured that there are no limits to your dress-up, unless ofcourse you decide to pitch up in your birthday suit, which may or may not be distracting to the artists who require their utmost concentration in their marvelous feats of strength and flexibility…which, without giving away too much, includes the likes of contortionists, acrobats, aerial performers, singers and a few weirdly wonderful characters; all of which will simply take your breath away, cause your jaw to repeatedly drop in awe, and leave you giggling like a school kid!

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Now ofcourse, this being Durban, there are always bound to be those people that don’t like to dress-up, so to speak (damn them!)…And generally I don’t bother about such types, but if you happen to be going to Madame Zingara, I implore you, please don’t spoil the fun for others by pitching up looking your regular boring best! If for some life-threatening reason you did, there happens to be a really nice novelty store within the tent, fully equipped with face masks, top hats, Chinese hand-fans and the like; as well as an inspired face painter who will readily transform you into a skeleton for the night, amongst other things…so I urge you to use the opportunity to return the favour and get yourself made up for the Madame, as I guarantee that she is definitely going to be her very best for you! That being said, Madame Zingara’s official policy with regards to dress code is to wear whatever you feel comfortable with. I say, why not use the opportunity to let loose and be something that you otherwise normally wouldn’t be…indulge, have fun with it, become apart of the show as opposed to just viewing it!

Ultimately, if you love Durban and Fashion, all the more reason to experience the magic of Madame Zingara in the Zulu Kingdom. So if you haven’t, do try your very best to see the show! Also, if you miss out in Durban, nothing is stopping you from heading to Cape Town…I’ll allow it, seeing as the Madame is exceptionally satisfying but still leaves you with a desire for more! If you would like to keep track of her whereabouts by the way, do subscribe to her website. But otherwise, the show offers a truly enchanting time that you are guaranteed to remember for a long time to come…and if like me, you had that childhood dream of joining the circus…your time with the Madame may well just give you the sudden inspiration you need, to do so! Adieux!

Fashion’s Night Out…

Now I’ll be the first to admit that Durban doesn’t really have very many formal events that warrant a ‘fashionable night out’…so to speak. That said, Durban is renowned for its night life which mostly revolves around restaurants, clubs and bars…But lets face it, an evening all depends on what you as an individual makes of it…and this is especially prevalent in Durban, where sometimes casual can be overdone and its not shunned upon to wear your gym clothes outside of the gym! This I suppose is where one’s fashion lifestyle comes into play! For me personally, I have a golden rule, which is ‘never leave home without looking your best’, irrespective of whether it is to work, to the movies or to a night out with friends. My primary reason for this is because, when you look your best, you are more confident with yourself and as such you are able to have a better time, doing whatever it is you are meant to be doing…yes, even working! Also, you never know whom you might bump into when you’re out and about, especially at Night! So rather than set yourself up for an awkward situation, just take some time to spruce yourself up…that way, if your photo gets taken for the social page or if your mug shot is required for that matter, you can rest assured that you at least look decent. It was Yves Saint Laurent after all who said, “Dressing is a way of life”…so rather than waiting for the perfect Durban event to do so, dress like it’s a Fashion’s Night Out, every night that you go out, and I guarantee that the city will eventually become your fashion event!

So I guess all that’s left for me to say on the matter is, ‘Happy Dressing!’

Gossip Girl…The End of an Era…xoxo

While older generations may have had The Great Gatsby, the middle aged had Sex and the City, leaving us youngsters and probably the most technologically advanced of the lot, with none other than Gossip Girl…which sadly drew to a rather swift and neat close this Monday evening that passed (17th December 2012), after six drama-filled seasons. As for those of you who were wondering…Yes, we do have Gossip Girl in South Africa!

As far as I’m concerned this show needs no introductions, and while it may not be everyone’s favourite cup of tea, or champagne as I’m sure those Upper East Siders would prefer, there is no denying that Gossip Girl was an absolute fashion telenovela!

Whether it was Chuck’s bow tie antics, Blair’s haute couture eliteness, Serena’s boho-chic meets girl-next-door effortlessness, Jenny’s gothic extravaganza, Lily’s regal style, Nate’s crisp-collar demeanor or Dan’s ‘I’m a Brooklyn writer with really fugly hair’ preoccupation…this show has inspired an entire television generation of fans and their wardrobes.

Closets aside, I myself, found it to be particularly insightful in terms of what not to do in a relationship, what not to do at dinner parties, what not to do in public and most especially, what not to do with supposed friends who like pretending to be Russian a la Georgina Sparks. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that the storylines may not have always been worthy of Fitzgerald and at times could be quite petty, but what it sometimes lacked in substance, it most certainly made up for with the oh so trendy clothes and the highly complementing music, which let’s face it, is all a show really needs nowadays.

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Ultimately the show was an ode to a younger, elite, more fashion conscious New York City. That being said, I can totally understand why some might argue, what a show like this could possibly mean to Durban…my answer is simple…Durban may not have as much haute couture as New York City (okay so maybe we have none by comparison), but the players are essentially the same! And this applies to every city in the world, really…which I have to admit, is a thought that I draw some deep comfort from…

Durban audiences and the rest of South Africa for that matter can expect the show to wrap up in the next couple of weeks (consult your dstv guides for details). As for the identity of the infamous Gossip Girl, I’ll never tell…that’s one secret you are just going to have to wait to find out!

Until next time…oh no, there isn’t going to be…xoxo

iTunes Hits South Africa…December 2012…We have finally arrived!

It was Shakespeare who said, “if music be the food of love, play on” (taken from his play, Twelfth Night). Ofcourse, the music of the day, back in Shakespeare’s day, would have been some Elizabethan string number…if only the famous playwright or Gloriana Regina herself, knew of the music genres available today, I guarantee they would be turning in their graves! Then again, if they only knew how easy it was to download music, movies, TV shows and apps from the Apple iTunes Store, and that too, directly onto your apple device of choice, they may just be doing the Rock n Roll!

All in all, the genres are endless, the prices reasonable and in addition to the international catalogue, local artists are also featured, thereby allowing them a pirate-free platform to sell their music…I certainly think it’s about time!

Probably one of the best features of this new and improved iTunes, as they’re calling it, is that with iCloud, you will be able to automatically download content from iTunes directly onto all of your devices…as well as access this and past content on any device, ‘wirelessly and without syncing’…so that you can access them anywhere, anytime, at your convenience…

If you have iTunes, definitely check it out or see the Apple website for more detail…But essentially you gotta love the beautiful simplicity of Apple and their products! May Steve Job’s legacy continue to amaze, entertain and inspire us and the generations to come…Just like Shakespeare, but maybe minus all of the metaphors!