Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Boy Meets Girl: Andrej Pejic

Models have always been a moot point in the fashion industry, they are either too fat, too skinny, too old or too young.  When you think about it, these poor guys and gals have it hard in an extremely judgemental industry.  The flack comes from both sides too, one being the designers and casting agents who’ll want them younger, taller and thinner while the other side (media, consumers, etc) will accuse them of being too young, too tall and too thin.  The subject is a well discussed and debated one with some countries banning models from runways if their BMI’s are too low.

The latest model to blow the minds of designers, magazines and photographers is Andrej Pejic, an Australian model born in Serbia.  This model is not just acquiring the spotlight because of her perfectly symmetrical face, sculpted cheekbones and chiselled body but also because Andrej Pejic happens to be a man.  Designers like Jean Paul Gaultier and John Galiano have been using Andrej on the runway for both their female and male collections.  Andrej has recently featured in and on numerous fashion magazines such as New York Magazine, Dossier, Dazed & Confused and Vogue Australia as well as landing the #98 spot on FHM’s 100 sexiest women.
Follow Magazine#5 Editorial

The fashion world has spent years pushing boundaries with boys dressed as girls, girls dressed as boys and everything in between.  Andrej is a new boundary to be explored and the fashion industry is loving it. 

Personally, I think Andrej is doing a brilliant job of living.  He’s using the industry to his advantage with double the amount of work available to him.  Andrej is also doing a great deed for other men and women who aren’t sure, happy or content with the sex they were born as.  Many could look at Andrej as a pioneer for androgynous men and women who desire to be just as easily accepted.

My only problem with this gorgeous human being has nothing to do with Andrej, my problem is with the designers.  Women have had problems with the ‘ideal’ body type being typecast as tall, skinny hangers for years.  Although some women are naturally like that, many have problems with that specific body type being labelled the only truly beautiful one and I can relate to that.  I don’t know if I praise designers like Galiano (one of my favourites) and Gaultier when their show pieces (Gaultier’s wedding dress for example) are best worn by a man - Andrej.  What does it say about a designer’s ability to dress a woman when the body type he’s displaying it on is that of a breastless, hipless man?
Jean Paul Gaultier's Bride

I completely get the appeal of Andrej, he is strikingly beautiful both as a man and a woman and I definitely wouldn’t say no to an opportunity to photograph his amazing features.  But when exactly did designers stop designing for the female figure?  I’d love to see some of the top female couture designers thrown into a Project Runway challenge where they have to design for women with real figures.  I wonder if they still remember how.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Bow Peep

Being 21, I still have the excuse of not yet having to know who I am. During this “discovery” phase (cough, excuse, cough) I find myself experimenting with different looks, styles and moods with regards to fashion.  Although I’ve tested the limits of very many different looks, some of which I wouldn’t like to be reminded of, I have yet to really give in to my girly side.  But with spring on its way, flowers blooming all around and a lovely brand like Bow Peep, now seems like a great time to give my femininity a chance.

Bow Peep has only been around for a few months but owner and designer, Leila Badsha won me over very quickly after meeting her at the Second City Bowl Fashion Market.  Her stand was beautiful and she was extremely friendly and helpful the minute I stopped to have a look.  Although I had decided to spend as little as possible at the market, her earrings caught my eye and I needed a pair.  As someone who is hardly ever indecisive, I battled to make a decision – they were all gorgeous!  With Leila’s help, we eventually decided to settle for the pair that best suited the outfit I was wearing at the time, making my decision a lot easier.  And even though I’m happy to report I have no buyers remorse with regards to the pair I eventually chose, I do still long for the fifteen other pairs I didn’t buy.

How freaking gorgeous are the products?  Finding the Bow Peep stand at the Hope Street Fashion Market was a positive reminder of what perks come along with being a girl. The Bow Peep website is as elegant as the products it showcases as well as being simple and easy to use with shots and prices of each product – ooo, how I love an organised artsy person. Leila also has a blog in which she visually diarises all the beautiful and interesting things that inspire her and her creations.

For more of her products, visit her website or like her facebook page.  If you’d like to get to know Leila a little better, I suggest giving her blog a read.  All images © Leila Badsha and Christine Watters.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Hope Street Fashion Market

It’s almost weekend, that wonderful time when we’re all happy to be off work and lazing about . . . until Saturday morning arrives.  If you’re anything like me, you’ll have spent all week dreaming of the weekend only to realise by Saturday morning that you’ve made no plans other than ‘sit on your couch and do nothing.’  Not to worry, I have something awesome for you to do on Saturday!

The Hope Street Market, a market I often go to for mojito marmalade, indulgent chocolates and great coffee, is changing things up this weekend with their Hope Street Fashion Market.  This Saturday will host two vintage inspired labels - Dear Dorothy and Mint.   Both labels will be displaying a host of neo-nostalgic pieces that are reminiscent of the past with their individual modern-melancholic styles.

Dear Dorothy

Both Dear Dorothy and Mint will be displaying their Spring/Summer collections, just what I crave towards the end of winter, a reminder that there’s a (warm) light at the end of the tunnel.  Whether vintage is your vibe or you’re just a vigilante who dabbles in the style, there’ll be loads of fashion goodies and great finds at the market this weekend.  I know my bank balance isn’t looking forward to it, but how many items could I possibly buy. . . right?


Be sure to catch the retro rascals this Saturday at the Hope Street Fashion Market.  Find the facebook event here.

P.S. Don’t actually call them “retro rascals,” I just made that up.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Oh Deer. . .

With spring just around the corner, I’m already fooling myself into thinking I don’t need that extra pair of tights underneath my jeans when I go out (I do, by the way).  I do like to keep hopeful and I’m always looking forward, especially when it comes to fashion and trends.  Prints, as we all (should) know are huge and will continue to be during spring, but another important print trend is the single, bold image.  This kind of print is a single graphic illustration on a t shirt, dress or bag rather than a repeat pattern over the whole area.

These kinds of prints are definitely more subjective as your personality will be the final decider on what kind of print you’d go for.  This could be a favourite band, a poetic word and image, an artsy line drawing, an abstract image or a funny copy.  Because there are so many different personality types, there are a lot of different graphic images out there for each or most markets.  A definite trend image this coming season, however, will be the deer.
Quick Silver

Yeah, I know, kind of arb, but the dear is an image that works nicely with the folksy-hipster trend that’s been making its way through fashion lately.  The sparrow, if you remember, has been a strong image in fashion for a while now appearing in repetitive print, large illustrations, accessories and even tattoos.  This coming season however, I predict that bird to have flown making way for the new ‘it’ animal – the dear old deer.
BetterStayTogether from DaWanda

For the boys too

If picked up quickly enough, this trend should extend into accessories like earrings, pendants and brooches.  Enjoy the quirky trend and please send me any images of deer prints you own or have spotted.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Packing for OppiKoppi

I have been excited about OppiKoppi for months now!  It’s this weekend and hosts quite a few thousand people, loads of great local and international bands and for a weekend I’ll be enjoying the farm heat like I used to back in Limpopo.  Last year was my first OppiKoppi visit and I was lucky enough to have gone with a very experienced OppiKoppian.  He organised coffee, tea and rusks for breakfast, braai-broodjies for lunch and wors rolls for supper – It was a breeze compared to other camps.  However, being a dude, he had no advice for me on packing.  “Jeans, T-shirts and nothing white” isn’t exactly festival fashion advice for the more creative.
While OppiKoppi can be done in style with my packing advice and tips, remember it is a dusty music festival and not a fashion show, so don’t overdo it.  Below is a simple packing list for the weekend along with some fashion and beauty tips.  This list should simplify your packing and possibly leave room for more important festival items, like alcohol!


T-shirts, as my OppiKoppian guide suggested, are definitely a basic you need to bring along.  They’re easy and cool to wear and with the right print you can get your personality across very quickly.  Communicating who you are with t-shirts is a great way to sift through crowds and find like-minded people who will share a drink and a smoke with you.  Three different t-shirts or vests are all you need for the festival.  I know it sounds like too little, but remember you’ll have dresses there too.

You’ll need a warm hoodie to bring along too.  You could go for a jacket or coat, but remember it is a dirty festival.  Don’t bring anything too special that could get ruined.  Hoodies are simple, easy and because they zip open, you can still show off your personality (read: assets) ((read: boobs)).

An oversized sweater, poncho or sweatshirt is also a good idea for the weekend.  It’s a great item to sleep in and can be thrown over a pair of tights to become a simple but cute morning outfit while lazing around the camp site.


A pair of trusty old jeans is a MUST! These should be the wingman jeans, the ones that were always by your side.  Don’t bring you high-fashion skinny jeans that are a little too tight as you’ll be running around or sitting on the floor all the time – crack and tummy spillage is not ideal when you’re trying to look cool. Comfortable and reliable is what you want whether skinny, bootleg, straight or high waisted.

A pair of shorts will also be needed at OppiKoppi.  I know a lot of people live in jeans in any weather, but the heat can get annoying in Limpopo, so bring along a pair that’ll go with anything and once again aren’t too tight or too short – sitting on the grass is a big thing at OppiKoppi.

A skirt is another bottom option for the festival.  Midi or short flowing skirts are great options as they can be cool and keep you feeling feminine.  If you’re more a ‘short skirt’ kinda girl, it’s definitely appreciated by the boys at OppiKoppi. But if you have a “thing” about people seeing your underwear while sitting, maybe avoid the short, tight skirts.


Dresses are an easy option for music festivals in general and require very little thinking, something you’ll thank me for when you’re hungover.  Although maxi dresses are very in at the moment and absolutely beautiful, the camping areas are grassless and dusty.  If you’d prefer to avoid dust/alcohol/bodily fluids on your dress hem, try stick to short or mid-length dresses.


If you have any Y chromosomes, you too feel the way I do about shoes.  DO NOT bring your favourite pair to OppiKoppi! Bring comfortable, old, crappy sneakers that know how to withstand all the elements.  A closed pair of shoes like sneakers, oxfords or brogues are a must at the festival, especially since it starts to get cold at night.

An extra pair of sandals is optional if you’d like to mix things up or feel a little softer in your dresses but it’s not necessary if you’re cool with your trusty kicks.


Accessories should be kept to a minimum at OppiKoppi to save time, prevent loss and because too much jewellery at a music festival can make you look like a douche (someone had to say it).  When it comes to jewellery, pick a ring (or two) and a necklace (or set) that go with all of your chosen clothing items.  A simple ring that you can sleep in is a great idea to avoid misplacing it (I find things mysteriously go missing when you’re intoxicated) while a simple necklace can easily be hung in your tent (hooked through zips or mesh).

If you find you’ve forgotten a pair of sunglasses, you might as well go home.  Besides wetwipes, these are probably the most important item on your packing list.  I wouldn’t suggest bringing your designer brand as sunglasses have a way breaking at OppiKoppi.  Rather have a look around for a cheap pair or two of plastic sunnies to wear all day, every day.

As we all know, showering at OppiKoppi or any festival or camp site, is not usually a pleasurable experience.  Luckily, no one there judges you for the lack of personal hygiene.  Wetwipes and deodorant are great ways to stay “sort-of” fresh during the festival, but another great trick is to wear a hat.  Yup, beanies, fadoras, bowlers, caps, beret’s, whatever your preferred style, hats not only keep the sun off your face but are a great way to disguise your soon-to-be dirty hair.


More underwear and socks than you think you’ll need to bring is definitely advisable.  A change of one or both of these items is a great way to feel cleaner.  Thick black tights are also an important item as they can be used to run around in, sleep in, or worn under jeans to keep you warmer.

Batiste is an amazing product I’ll be bringing along this year.  The dry shampoo comes in an aerosol can (also available in smaller sizes for handbags or purses) and removes or disguises the dirt in your hair.  It’s a great replacement for washing your hair as I find with all the dust in the area, washing your hair at Koppi ends up with you having dirtier hair than when you started! Wet hair + dust = dreadlocks.  Batiste is available at clicks and only costs R54.95. If you’d like a cheat item, talcolm powder works just as well although I wouldn’t suggest it for ladies with dark hair.

Another nice trick for OppiKoppi, one my male guide did not think of, is to paint your nails. I know this sounds silly as they’re bound to chip but remember it’s very dirty.  Chipped, painted nails are way cooler than dirty nails, trust me.

There you go, my girls guide to packing for OppiKoppi.  Obviously, all items you pack should blend easily as it makes mixing and matching one less thing to worry about. If you have other suggestions, I’d love to hear them! Here’s the short version for the list obsessed among us (yeah, I’m one of them):

Packing list

3 T shirts
1 Jeans
1 Shorts
1 Skirt
3 Dresses
1 Pair of Thick Tights
Loads of underwear and socks
1 Pair of Closed Shoes
1 Pair of Sandals
1 Hoodie
1 Pair of Sunglasses
2 Hats
1 Necklace
1 Ring

Enjoy Oppikoppi and remember, packing should be fun, not a chore.