MANTSHO BY PALESA MOKUBUNG

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By far one of the most beautiful collections I have ever had the privilege of seeing at SAFW was Mantsho by Palesa Mokubung for the Luxury Collections SS19. I have never in my life been so grateful to be sitting front row for a show. Her designs are beautiful in their intrinsic simplicity which runs through and connects the entire collection. The lines of the garments are equal parts strong and feminine with strong lines juxtaposed with soft curves and frills.

The dresses are full and voluminous with big oversized sleeves and frills and all of them are brightly coloured. The whole show was a beautifully colourful event with Mokubung creating all her own patterns for Mantsho. The music in the show was also a departure from the usual heavy bass vibes of fashion shows with Palesa instead opting for a classical piece to back her show. Mantsho is definitely clothing made with all women in mind regardless of body shape or height

It has also just been announced that Palesa will be collaborating with H&M and bringing us the Mantsho X H&M collection which will be available in stores from 15 August 2019. She is officially the first South African designer to have their own collection in the H&M flagship stores worldwide as well as all SA H&M stores.

Mantsho is a deserving collection and Palesa is a deserving individual and I simply cannot wait for her collection to hit H&M stores - I look forward to supporting it in a big way. Let’s all do our bit on August 15th to show H&M how much we love seeing South African designers celebrated by selling out this collection.

Congratulations and all my love Palesa X

Photo credit: Megan Smit for Ari&Me

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE MET GALA 2019 SO FAR...

The Met Gala always takes place on the first Monday in May and this year, that very special day is May 6th. The theme this year is hugely exciting (for me at least) ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion’. Now this is all amazing and sounds potentially glittery, outrageous and like a lot of fun but what are we supposed to draw from this theme? Well, the Met this year is inspired by Susan Sontag’s famous 1964 essay entitled ‘Notes on Camp’. I’ll use the quote most commonly cited from her essay “Camp generally refers to outrageous and The essence of Camp is its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration.”

Camp is the embodiment of proud, outrageous and over the top fashion. With the theme and feel of the Met Gala this year, is it any wonder that the co-chairs include Lady Gaga and my favourite boy Harry Styles. Other co-chairs include Alessandro Michele (Gucci), Serena Williams and as per usual, Vogue’s Anna Wintour. The first time I saw this theme I’ll admit I was a little confused. As it so often is, my question was answered by Guilty Feminist host and all round amazing woman, Deborah Frances White who said of camp “Camp is I can’t conform so I might as well live my whole self. You’re not going to like me anyway, I am going to be different anyway. I might as well stick a sequin on it and turn up the Kylie.” (The Guilty Feminist Podcast, Reality TV, 21/01/19)

Am I excited for this years Met Gala? Yes, I am - I am incredibly excited. If there was ever a time to be camp, that time is now. The fashions and trends as well as a more free society allows for camp fashion to caress all of us with its beauty. I think that 2019 might actually be the year to be camp. Camp is acceptable now with Harry Styles as a frontman. Frankly, what’s more camp than Gucci at the moment? Harry, Lady Gaga and Gucci? I can’t think of anything more beautiful. Cal Wilson said on a recent episode of ‘The Guilty Feminist’ about the subject of camp “Watching someone live to the edges of who they are is beautiful. Like using the good crockery everyday.” (The Guilty Feminist Podcast, Reality TV, 21/01/19)

Possibly my favourite thing in the world has been watching the evolution of Harry Styles from fairly stereotypical big-shoed boyband member to gorgeous long haired tattooed rock god and finally to what appears to be the height of himself. He is the epitome of a style(s) evolution done right. I can’t speak for him and I absolutely do not wish to but if I was going to pick a night on which to reveal my true self, I can’t really think of a better night than the 2019 Met Gala. I will certainly be watching eagerly. This will certainly be a night to remember and I cannot wait!

BEST 'TRUE CRIME' PODCASTS

Hi guys

So I get a lot of questions from people about what kind of podcasts I listen to. I have always been a huge fan of true crime most especially unsolved cases and disappearances. Below are my all time favourite podcasts to get your true crime fix. Together, with TCATT, TCATT Unsolved and Crime Junkie, there are 275 episodes of fully fledged true crime to keep you going.

TRUE CRIME ALL THE TIME

On ‘True Crime All The Time’ most commonly referred to as TCATT, hosts Mike Ferguson and Mike Gibson also known as Gibby guide you through the most fascinating of true crime stories including the likes of Russell Williams, Fred and Rosemary West, Gary Alan Walker and Richard Ramirez to name but a few. They give as much time and thought to the lesser known cases as they do to the most famous

Mike and Gibby both have very interesting and often very different takes on the murders and their perpetrators. This podcast is always a fascinating listen, full to the brim with interesting tidbits of information and very well researched throughout. These two manage to be respectful of how awful the murders they talk about are and still include a healthy sprinkling of humour throughout.

Talented guys with a brilliant podcast! A real must listen of you are a true crime fanatic like me. Find them here on apple podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/true-crime-all-the-time/id1179629560?mt=2

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TRUE CRIME ALL THE TIME UNSOLVED

Probably my favourite of all the true crime podcasts out there, TCATT Unsolved is also hosted by Mike Ferguson and Mike ‘Gibby’ Gibson (see above).

Unsolved delves into all the weirdest unsolved crimes and murders of our time. As with TCATT, Mike and Gibby guide you step by step through the crimes sparing none of the details. They tell the stories of the victims of these unresolved crimes, look into the facts that surround the case and all the suspects. All while maintaining a light but respectful tone and a bit of humour throughout.

Just as good as, in fact probably better than TCATT and my absolute favourite listen: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/true-crime-all-the-time-unsolved/id1195484262?mt=2

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CRIME JUNKIE

This weekly podcast hosted by Ashley Flowers and co-host Brit Prawat will definitely give you your true crime fix for the week. Ashley has a brilliant way of telling the stories in such a way that you feel like you are with friends discussing the case. The storytelling is well thought through with a good balance of facts and speculation.

Ashley and Brit both have great voices for podcasting and tell the horrendous stories in a brilliant and caring way. Generally, Crime Junkie is great for lesser known cases and unsolved crimes.

Crime Junkie is out every Monday for your true crime fix: https://crimejunkiepodcast.com and on apple podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/crime-junkie/id1322200189?mt=2

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OSCAR NOMINEES 2019: THE CATEGORIES WE ALL CARE ABOUT

Well, here they are, the Oscar Nominations for 2019. The Oscars will take place (as per usual) at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sun, 24 Feb at 5:00 pm GMT-8.

BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR

Personally, I think its between ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘A Star is Born’ and ‘Black Panther’. I have heard great things about ‘The Favourite’ as well but those are my personal top three. Ultimately, If it was up to me, I’d have to choose Bohemian Rhapsody. Luckily for the other movies, my biased ass Freddie loving opinions don’t get to pick 😂

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Ladies and gentlemen, the nominees for performance by an actor in a leading role are as follows from left to right. Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in ‘Vice’, Bradley Cooper as Jackson Maine in ‘A Star is Born’, William Dafoe as Vincent Van Gogh in ‘At Eternity’s Gate’, Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and Viggo Mortesen as Tony Lip in Green Book.

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

The nominees for performance by an actress in a leading role are, from left to right. Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo in ‘Roma’, Glenn Close as Joan Castleman in ‘The Wife’, Olivia Coleman as Queen Anne in ‘The Favourite’, Lady Gaga as Ally in ‘A Star is Born’ and Melissa McCarthy as Lee Israel in ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me’.

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Nominees for Actor in a supporting role are as follows from left to right. Mahershala Ali in ‘Green Book’, Adam Driver in ‘BlacKkKlansman’, Sam Elliott in ‘A Star is Born’, Richard E Grant in ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me’ and Sam Rockwell in ‘Vice’.

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

The nominees for Actress in a supporting role from left to right. Amy Adams in ‘Vice’, Marina de Tavira in ‘Roma’, Regina King in ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’, Emma Stone in ‘The Favourite’ and Rachel Weisz in ‘The Favourite’.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM OF THE YEAR

Incredibles 2” Brad Bird, John Walker and Nicole Paradis Grindle

“Isle of Dogs” Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson

“Mirai” Mamoru Hosoda and Yuichiro Saito

“Ralph Breaks the Internet” Rich Moore, Phil Johnston and Clark Spencer

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller

ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING

Once again from left to right: “BlacKkKlansman” Spike Lee, “Cold War” Paweł Pawlikowski, “The Favourite” Yorgos Lanthimos, “Roma” Alfonso Cuarón and “Vice” Adam McKay

JANUARY: MONTHLY MUST HAVES

Welcome to my January #MonthlyMustHaves in fashion. These are the pieces that I’m lusting after for this month - all of them are on my ‘to buy’ list. I thought this would be a nice way to share what’s currently stick in my wish lists and shopping baskets due to complaints from my bank account 😂

All images have direct links so that you can shop the pieces. I don’t get paid if you choose to buy them - they aren’t affiliate links

Happy Reading and indeed, happy shopping xx

ZARA

COTTON ON

 

THE FIX

SHOES

GOLDEN GLOBES 19: BEST AND WORST DRESSED

BEST DRESSED

In no particular order…

WORST DRESSED

Also in no particular order

2019 RESOLUTION: BE MORE FREDDIE

I’ll make one thing clear…I am absolutely not a fan of New Years resolutions - I think they’re pointless and put way too much pressure on you. I do however, believe in positive change. I wanted to make 2019 the year I didn’t make any new years resolutions…I seem to have failed that resolution as well 🤦‍♀️. If that isn’t irony then I don’t know what is.

So, the reason that I believe that 2019 is in fact the year to be more Freddie? Well Freddie was always honest and always himself. He was the most beautiful character not because of looks but because of much more. Freddie had substance - he didn’t always fit in and he actually didn’t care at all. He made wildly bold clothing choices and pranced around stages. Freddie brought so much joy through his life and his music and honestly…who wouldn’t want that for a year, for a life.

"I won't be a rock star. I will be a legend." -Freddie Mercury

What Freddie had in droves was confidence in who he was and what he did. We all need a bit more confidence in our lives. Confidence (not arrogance) is such a beautiful thing to behold. You see so little confidence these days especially in women. We spend so much time judging ourselves, our outfits, our decisions, our likes, our dislikes and our bodies that we forget to enjoy ourselves. Part of the beauty of confidence is that you kind of forget yourself a little bit. Think about the difference between how a little girl and a woman approach a mirror…yep the little girl has confidence because she isn’t looking for flaws. So when you approach a mirror, approach it like Freddie did - like you are the most wonderful person in the world darling and the mirror should be honoured to have you.

“You can be anything you want to be, just turn yourself into anything you think that you could ever be.” - Freddie Mercury

Next up is knowing that you can do and be anything you want to be. If you can think of it and believe it…you can do it. You can wear absolutely anything that you want. You can forget silly rules and silly people. You can put just about anything behind you as long as you know that what’s important is what’s ahead of you. Be you-tiful darlings

 “Dullness is a disease.” - Freddie Mercury

Don’t go out and live a mediocre life…don’t have a mediocre year because you are scared. You will absolutely never be dull as long as you are yourself, as long as you are honest about who you are. You don’t need to disappear, you deserve to wear bright colours if you want to and take up space in the world. You are only ever dull when you are trying to hide who you are which ironically, most people tend to do in a bid to be liked. So don’t try to impress people - you do you boo.


“If I die tomorrow I will not regret. I really did everything I could.” - Freddie Mercury

Live without regrets. So often we live in the past way too much of the time. We go over things that happened and things we might have done differently. Live in the present and do everything you have the chance to. Say yes to a lot more and challenge yourself…you never know what you might find out. If you died tomorrow- would you die happy, fulfilled?


 “I love the fact that I can make people happy, in any form. Even if it’s just an hour of their lives, if I can make them feel lucky or make them feel good, or bring a smile to a sour face, that to me is worthwhile.” - Freddie Mercury

So often we destroy each other. We don’t live to make each other happy - we don’t strive to see other people smile. How much more wonderful would the world be if we all strove to make one person smile. That is indeed a worthwhile life to live. Ask one person how they are, greet someone or give someone a genuine compliment. If you are at a complete loss, resort to playing Queen 👑


“Oh, I was not made for heaven. No, I don’t want to go to heaven. Hell is much better. Think of all the interesting people you’re going to meet down there” - Freddie Mercury

This final quote just happens to be one that I love and its so outrageous and so Freddie so I thought I’d leave it here with - speak your mind and be honest about who you are. Say what you want to say. Honestly is the best policy even if that you’re about to say is outrageous.

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TREND: DAD SNEAKERS

Go anywhere near a major highstreet retiler and you'll see their telltale bulky shape. These are not going for the prettiest shoe award but they sure are in for the long haul in terms of fashion.

We've all seen them and they're absolutely everywhere lately, from Zara to Mr Price, anywhere you go, you'll see the chunky trainers everywhere. I vividly remember my mum having a pair of sneakers which looked a lot like the chunky sneakers of today although perhaps they were a bit more wedge than the chunky sneakers we are seeing today. This chunky 80's/90’s revamp is currently the biggest thing since sliced bread and I'll admit that I couldn't be happier. I'm a petite girl standing at only 5 ft 2 and I'm more than happy to admit that I just adore the boost in height the chunky sneaker gives. I'm also absolutely on board with the dress/skirt and chunky trainer look. I always think it looks really fresh and it's a bit more of a chilled and toned down look. These trainers are a far cry from what has been the ‘fashion’ sneaker previously. They are nothing like the sleek, flat soled Stan Smiths or Adidas Superstars of yesteryear. These are sneakers with presence and personally, I hope they’re here to stay.


If you're looking for the culprits of starting this ‘ugly’ trend, look no further than Balenciaga. They were the first to bring us a bold, shoe with a bulky silhouette in the Triple S. Before you could so much as draw breath, all of the It girls were wearing it. Originally, I thought that there was absolutely no way this was going to catch on. Then I walked into Topshop and saw a pair and then into Zara and then I just knew that the trend would take off. There are many negative things you can say about fast fashion high street stores but one thing you can’t say it that they are behind the times…they are never behind the times. Topshop brought out the chunky trainer in white and grey and boom! they sold out, just like that and as they added more colours, on it went, they were almost constantly sold out. Then Zara came on board with a slightly higher price tag than Topshop's 49 pound and suddenly places like Primark and Mr Price joined the fray. Even Adidas and Nike have joined the chunky sneaker brigade with their Falcon and Tekno shoes respectively.


If you're looking for a pair of your own: 

GERT JOHAN COETZEE A/W 2019

Gert Johan Coetzee is probably the most famous of all the South African designer with 180 000 followers on Instagram. Gert has always been known for making the most beautiful dresses and gowns. His design is extravagant and beautifully tailored for the female form. His collections are always a sight to behold and an extravaganza of fashion.

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This year marked Gert’s 8th year showcasing with SAFW and he definitely brought his A-game. Not only did he show his usual calibre of elaborate and showstopper red carpet and bridal gowns but he also added a ready-to-wear Gert line, a menswear collection and his new ‘Gert’ men’s underwear collection.

Gert has revealed that this new collection for A/W 2019 is inspired by his travels and love for luxury and Italian style. This collection has built on his previous work with McDonalds where he explored a more playful and pop art like feel in his collection.

I have to say that out of all of Gert's many, stunning collections, I feel that this one is my favourite to date. It is eccentric enough to stop traffic whilst remaining reserved enough to be wearable on a day to day basis. I may also be a bit biased about this collection because walking the runway among models were some of my closest friends.

I have picked out a few of my absolute favourite, which I immediately fell in love with, some of which I want to own with my whole heart, I’m not sure how well my bank account will take it though 🤦‍♀️.

First is this amazing suit which was Maps’ second outfit. As per usual with Gert, the tailoring is sublime.

For me, the fabric reminded me of Michelangelo’s paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The print just screams Renaissance with its fresco like appearance and cherubic beings.

I’m pretty sure that this is one of my favourite suits ever.

Whilst I’m on the topic of that amazing suit, I would like to state that I am completely in love with this skirt and jacket variation on the theme and I would very much like to own it and wear it literally everywhere I go (see third image below)

Then my favourite of all, these amazing pants.You remember those ultra cool carpets that some kids had? The ones with roads and trees and road signs? Well this is the pant equivalent of that and I want them…badly. This was absolutely my favourite item of the entire show and i’ll be frank, I just want these pants in my closet stat.

Images from the entire show are below for you to browse through.