Monday, 11 March 2019


When the ethics about a design says "comfortably chic or "modern classism, the brand receives my undivided attention. I caught onto this brand after having visited a website with runway pictures of all South African brands, and stumbled onto garments that resonates very well with my own ethics of shopping. Made to last, this is indeed. Somerset Jane is a brand that hails form 2011. She subsequently established herself as a well known designer with her garments being sold at numerous stores across the country, regretfully not yet in the Western Cape. Her style certainly denotes classic designs with the emphasis on a timeless, well cut and figure hugging garment. She claims to have developed quite dramatically since it's inception. The cross over Black dress certainly compliments the female shape, and is definitely made to last! Drop by her website to view more of the collection at

Wednesday, 25 October 2017


The Ruff Tung label is no newcomer to the fashion scene, and for those who seek comfort and style blended into perfection, this is the go to label. Their collection recently received an applause  for it's awareness of the curvaceous figure, hugging the female shape to compliment and flatter the fuller figure. They are most successful in finding harmony between voluptuous figures and style and very well in touch with the real need for all sizes.
They subsequently extended their collection to also provide for the fuller figure, acknowledging  the need of women with buxom. After all, style does not come in any particular size. Women with fuller figures and voluptuous curves also want to be fashionable and trendy, and so the Inclusive range was born. They stunned the audience during the previous Fashion Week with their collection of awe inspiring botanical and floral prints, literally having me drooling. Their design ethos is to celebrate and reflect authenticity which led them to the size inclusive range. It represents a perfect balance between aesthetics and comfort, creating harmony by adding to confidence of every women, regardless of size.

"Casual sophistication is always the focus of our design as we draw inspiration and energy from the women we dress." Ruff Tung

 Photographs courtesy  AFI




With florals abound there is no escape from this beautiful collection by Erdem to be launched on 2 November 2017 at selected H&M stores. Infused with a touch of Englishness, it reminds me of a country garden. It represents feminine, tailored silhouettes with flattering fitted suits, the pants are cropped to elongate the legs. Luscious and luxurious fabrics allow these pieces to become timeless classics. I can imagine Lady Mary looking very regal in the lace top with pleated collar and cuffs. Not being able to resist the fabric, I have my eyes focused on the floral suit..... With it's evocative prints, it is most covetable. Watch the beautiful campaign film by Baz Luhrmann here.


Friday, 14 July 2017


The moment you walk into the Coast & Koi studio of Caryn Wilensky's shoe emporium, you feel like Cinderella. Born of humble beginnings, starting out small, this brand is going from strength to strength. She studied shoe design and worked as a buyer for Gucci and Louis Feraud at Holt Renfrew Department store in Vancouver for many years, developing a very  keen eye for style. Her collection started out with ballet pumps and soon grew to a tall order from a store in Plettenberg Bay. Not knowing how she was going to meet the order, she has turned it into a huge success and now produces shoes that are the subject of envy. She gets her inspiration from looking at a piece of fabric, and other times a creation is born from the minds eye.  Every pair is a one on one and represents a collectors piece with an element of Africa seen in the animal print and detailed bead work. Stepping into these works of art, is like spending a day in the life of Cinderella, as each pair is meticulously hand crafted in Cape Town, allowing one to slide into it, elongating the foot and giving it a very slender appearance. Caryn now produces pumps, brogues, sandals, boots and espadrilles. The studio is filled to the brim with spectacular shoes, varying in colour and style, each pair being bespoke. There is something theatrical about each pair, and not a single one looking like any other pair. Caryn is adept on continuing her designs with an element of fantasy, with each pair created to thrill. I left the studio in envy of this powerhouse and her creations. Coast and Koi can be found at Seapoint, Cape Town. 


When a media release is as well curated as this one, it would be a travesty to re-write it, so I would like to share H&M's announcement with you straight from the horse's mouth, then keep an eye on the blog to have a preview of the look book as soon as it is released! No visuals required for a story this great! Here it is:

Today H&M announced its big secret: the next exclusive designer collaboration will be with ERDEM, the London based must-have designer loved by celebrities and fashion insiders alike. H&M is also pleased to reveal that the visionary film maker Baz Luhrmann will bring the collection to life through his unique storytelling. ERDEM x H&M will be available in selected stores as well as on, on the 2nd of November.
For H&M, Erdem has designed a brand-new collection for women and, for the first time ever, a collection for men. Erdem believes in the power of beauty, exploring historical references and personal narratives in every piece he makes. For ERDEM x H&M he will reflect and reinterpret the design themes from some of his most celebrated collections, playing with the prints, textiles and delicate craftsmanship that have made his name.

"I am so happy to collaborate with H&M, and to explore my work on a whole new scale including a menswear collection which I have never done before. It’s also such a thrill to work with Baz Luhrmann, one of the most important storytellers of our time," says Erdem.
"For me, fashion is always about more than just clothing, it is a form of expression - a stand alone art form. I am excited to be collaborating with ERDEM and H&M to reveal the story of this unique collection," says Baz Luhrmann.
"From the moment we started talking with Erdem about the collaboration, I was captured by his vision. For ERDEM x H&M he has created an enchanting world full of beauty, delicacy and rich details. These are special pieces you will want to wear forever," says Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s Creative Advisor.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017


You've probably heard me saying that you need not spend a fortune to look pretty decent (although it helps to expedite the process if you spend an embarrassing amount of money on a pair of shoes or coat, but then it should be made to last, and no doubt, with a conscience). Over the years, I have learnt to mix high end extravagance with high street stores, creating my own signature look,  reducing my boredom level with stuff bought at shameful prices, pacifying my own conscience at the same time, and making one little difference, one purchase at a time!

One should still be mindful of buying quality as opposed to quantity to get optimum wear out of anything. It is Vivienne Westwood who stated that one should buy less but better. It's also a social responsibility to contribute towards sustainable fashion. Although H&M has long been known for the concept of fast fashion, and perhaps to a large extent they still remain churning garments out by the minute, they do produce a gorgeous and more exclusive range under the Studio or Conscious Exclusive Collection label annually, becoming progressively more conscious of the real price of fashion. My primary concern when buying anything anywhere is quality, and no doubt, the true distance it's travelled to get to store. Very few of us have ever given any thought of the real cost of fashion, taking into account the cotton production, pollution, the amount of water required to generate and grow cotton, landfill and wastage,  the carbon footprint and working conditions of those who make our clothes.

No garment should be made to last only one season, causing you to have to discard it or hand it down  to charity stores after one season. H&M's Conscious Exclusive Collection 2017 was launched in April this year, and made to last.  With a little luck I managed to get my hands on one of few works of art, made entirely from recycled yarns and material, presenting itself as a collectors piece as seen below. Now feast your eyes on some of these gorgeous garments exhibited at Jackie Burger's Salon58 Soiree event held during autumn this year, and take a stroll down the gallery of inspiration as presented during the event at MoMo Gallery, Cape Town. Can you imagine a dress being made from marine waste? H&M could, and produced a dress that left us all in awe. Hosted but none other than Jackie Burger, the morning was a great opportunity to participate in the  discussion on the concept of mindful living. It left a lasting impression. Think before you act, not only when you shop, but pay attention to what you eat, how you interact, and learn to live in the moment. Now shop with a conscience and spread the joy, while I am rushing to slip into my beautifully adorned jacket, all for a good cause. Take some inspiration by the way Jackie Burger curated this jacket to create a look of note.
Jackie Burger, Salonniere
Barbara Lenhard with Carla van der Merwe