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




I was not in the least surprised when BOKEH SA FASHION FILM FESTIVAL announced it's international media partnership, as it has become an institutional event of note. The last festival was a huge success and once again presented itself as a showcase of substance to the Fashion Film Industry. I feel an incredible sense of pride sharing the media release with you.

"After a successful four years of promoting both local and international fashion films the Bokeh SA International Fashion Film Festival is now proud to announce a media partnership with leading US media company FNL Network, a fashion and lifestyle 24/7 news network, thereby generating massive international reach for this exciting South African based festival.

 FNL Network can be found in the US on 60-million-plus household’s decoders, including those now deployed by cable operators such as Comcast, Charter, DirecTV and FilmOn TV and within the next month it will be launching on Amazon Prime.

 This partnership comes after significant year on year growth for the festival. 2017 saw an expansion to incorporate four satellite events, which included key talks and workshops by leading industry experts and two sold-out glittering Red-Carpet Awards evenings, with over 40 international film makers in attendance as well as the who’s who in the local fashion and film scene.

 This year also saw a significant growth in quality film submissions with almost 600 films submitted from 58 countries of which 160 were screened.

 President of FNL Network Rocco Leo Gaglioti comments, “I am very excited to be working with the very talented film maker and founder Adrian Lazarus of Bokeh Fashion Film Festival. This partnership will enable FNL Network to showcase all the films and coverage from the Bokeh Fashion Film Festival on our TV series Film Corner. This will put all the amazing talent pool from the festival in USA homes of 60-million-plus internet-connected set-top boxes!”

The expansion has been so successful that the festival plans to roll out a Bokeh 101 event every month preceding the end of year Gala Events. There will be ten events in total each year and they will be hosted in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.

 The main Gala Event will now be split over two separate weekends in both Cape Town and Johannesburg in April 2018.

 This global interest has attracted additional new partners and sponsors keen to participate in this targeted lifestyle activation, which will soon be announced."
 Rocco Leo Gaglioti


For further information, images, links to videos or to arrange an interview contact:

Luxury Brands

Michelle Reitz