Want to know what I took a shine to this week? Read on to see a few of the pieces which caught my eye…
If you want to purchase or take a look at any of the items - click on the image and it’ll take you directly to the page you’re looking for
Jersey: R399 from Zando (*marked down)
T-Shirt: R220 from T-Shirts for Change (*marked down)
Jeans: R 259 from Zando (*marked down)
Handbag: R459 from New Look via Zando
Boots: R329 from Zando (*marked down)
Sunnies: R100 from I am Trend (*marked down)
Which means that the whole outfit comes in under R2000
Tiny handbags have become a massive trend and, if you’re wondering how on earth these tiny bags which have, realistically, little to no usage value, came into our lives…well Jacquemus is to blame. Yes, this minuscule, totally useless bag trend is proudly brought to you by Jacquemus direct from the AW 19 runways in Paris.
These bags which are basically the size of keyring charms are now, obviously, being foisted on the rest of us by fashion’s elite. This one (left) is too small to fit more than a couple of coins let alone your brand new iPhone XS Max and that’s…sad given the $486 price tag.
Don’t get me wrong though, due to being a self confessed whore for fashion, even with the complete lack of use value, I love them. The price tag however, I’m not so obsessed with to be honest; a young woman named Anais asked me the other day for some reasonably priced tiny bag reccomdations and I had…nothing.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I did a bit of research and found some mini bags with a much more palatable price tag and i’ve decided to pop the list I came up with on here as well due to the surprisingly large response to the instagram stories. Ive arranged them from highest to lowest price in a variety of different styles x
*None of these links are affiliate links and I make no money at all from you buying these because South Africa ;)
Missguided via Superbalist
This bag is sort of like an awkward Chanel/Dior/Louis Vuitton/Gucci hybrid which, very surprisingly, works. The quilting is very Chanel-esque which gives the bag a super cute, almost preppy feel.
Measurements: 12cm x 16cm x 7cm
Similar to the designer options shown below:
Missguided via Superbalist
Basically Louis Vuitton look alike for those of us who have less than abundant bank balances. It’s diet Louis Vuitton basically - LV for the everyman…whatever toy want to call it… I adore it myself.
Measurements: : 12cm H x 16cm W x 8cm D
*The actual designer bags are below and if your budget allows - go for there real thing by all means 😉
BRAE MINI BAG
This little bag is basically a camera bag in portrait mode instead of the usual landscape format (if that makes any kind of sense to you then congrats I guess).
This one seems to be based mostly on the Prada Saffiano mini bag (below)
Measurements: 17cm H x 11cm W x 9cm D
TAMI STUD DUFFLE MINI
NEW LOOK VIA SUPERBALIST
This cute little bag is one of many very cute little duffle bags - i’ve linked a couple more affordable ones below for you guys if this particular one doesn’t appeal.
These mini duffles are based on the Fendi ones which are also linked below in case you can afford them.
MORE DESIGNER DUPES
DESIGNER MINI DUFFLE BAGS
BUCKET BAG FROM THE FIX
Bucket bags have been around for a while now but this season, they’ve somewhat shrunk and are slightly more boxy and structured than they have been.
Similar bags on the runway were from Prada and Versace both of which are linked below (along with a yellow one from Michael Kors which isn’t that similar but…)
RECTANGLE QUILTED MOON BAG FROM THE FIX
If there was ever a dupe of the ever popular Gucci Marmot Leather Belt bag, this is it. It’s pretty much the closest one I’ve seen and one thing I really like about it is that it’s without the metal detailing that so many Gucci copy cat bags have.
It’s a simple moon bag and again, tiny and super cute
15cm Length x 11cm Width
Once again, the original designer bags are linked below
SOME OTHER OPTIONS
It’s absolutely no secret that Harry Styles is a style icon for both men and women and I am a dedicated fan of him and his ‘Styles’ lol
If you’ve ever wanted to dress like Harry but weren’t entirely sure how to go about it without looking like a cross dresser who got it wrong - this post is for you.
Well, luckily, I have all the answers right here for you. I’ve put together two outfit ideas to match Harry’s corduroy airport outfit.
One is a little more ‘girly’ with a shirt dress instead of trousers and the other, is…as close as you can reasonably get.
Outfit 1 Items:
Corduroy shirt dress: R649 MissGuided oversized corduroy shirt dress available from Superbalist
Tights: R189 Falke 50 matt tights available from Superbalist
Vans: R799 Old Skool available from Superbalist
Outfit 2 Items:
White Shirt: R249 (*50% off on date published) Oversized Safari Shirt (White) available from Superbalist
Black Jersey: R486 (*25% off on date published) Split back Cardi available from Cotton On
Corduroy pants: R499 Queenspark Corduroy Pants available from Zando
Vans: R799 Old Skool available from Superbalist
Though I’ve always enjoyed reading and being wrapped up in a new universe, there are few books which I could realistically credit with changing my life. The other day, someone asked me what my favourite book was and, at first, I couldn't choose. Then I went back through my memory and thought of the books I have a tendency to go back to the most, often in my darkest times. These books, which are individual and yet have a similar intrinsic message are my crutch and I very much recommend reading them. They are filled with beautiful prose and brilliant life advice - these authors, all female, have seen me through the most difficult times in my life and whenever I read and re-read these books, I never feel alone. Here is the first of those books…
How to be a Grown Up by Daisy Buchanan
It is an incredibly rare and beautiful thing when you find a book which you relate to on a deep and personal level. Daisy Buchanan has managed to write that book which I think just about every woman can relate to.
As a young woman in her twenties, I often feel like a failure- whether I just feel like i’m not doing enough or i’m actually failing at a job or just life in general. It is often the case that everyone around you feels like they too are failing but simply pretend that everything is going splendidly because they assume that you are doing better.
Daisy’s book has acted as an emotional crutch during a time when I thought I would just break into a million little pieces at any second, this book held me together. I have it on Audible and I have (proudly) listened to it at least 10 times and perhaps more.
I remember when I listened to it the first time, it made me laugh and cry and consistently nod my head in perceived recognition of my feelings. Finally, someone understood me and I wasn’t alone. I went back to this book whenever my life was coming apart at the seams which was, unfortunately, quite often.
I lived in the UK for a year and I think I must have spent at least a solid three months crying (not consecutively thank god). I got fired from my job and cried and walked through Brighton feeling worse for wear and completely morose - I genuinely felt low and like I completely lacked value. I was sure that nobody would ever hire me again and that it was inevitable that i’d be forced to be a disappointment not just to myself but also to my parents who would, undoubtedly, have to look after me for the rest of my miserable life. My flat in Brighton was large, cold and lonely - I couldn’t get the heating or the water heating to work for the entire duration of my stay there - it was, I felt both a failure and a disaster. The flat was too expensive and did my low emotional state no good. What I didn’t know while I was in the UK was that I actually had bipolar disorder but that’s a story for another day….
Through all of my tears and headache, one thing kept me going and that was listening to Daisy Buchanans book. When I woke up with a panic attack a few nights ago, I knew where to go and that was directly to Audble and the comfort of ‘How to be a Grown Up’ For me listening to or reading this book is like falling into the arms of loved one after a particularly long and difficult day. It’s easy to find refuge in the pages of this book and know that you are not alone.
Here are some of my favourite picks from Mr Price - lots of them are new in but there are also a few cheeky discounted pieces thrown in…enjoy X
*All images are from Mr Price and all of them are linked in the caption box below the image
This Monday was the first Monday in May and that only means one thing…The Met Gala or the Met Ball - whatever you wanna call it, its one of fashion’s biggest nights. This Met Gala is not like the rest, ‘Notes on Camp’s’ Met starts off with not the usual red carpet but a bright pink carpet . In the essay, 'Notes on "Camp,"' Susan Sontag says 'the essence of Camp is its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration.' Something so bad that it’s good and it was definitely good…
Anna Wintour, Editor-In-Chief of Vogue (holder of my dream job) who has chaired the Met Gala since 1995 arrived first to the fabulously camp pink carpet wearing a beautiful pale pink, flower embellished Chanel gown with a full on pink and black feather shawl.
The look was spectacular and pretty bold for the usually fairly reserved Anna. However, she really brought her A game to the carpet following the theme beautifully whilst still maintaining her personal style.
Anna also didn’t wear her trademark dark sunnies for the carpet and instead opted to show off her make-up - a rarity.
Harry Styles, to absolutely nobody’s surprise, wore Gucci. I think that a lot of people were a bit disappointed with Harry’s outfit, there was a big expectation that he’d wear one of his usual flamboyant floral Gucci suits. Instead, he wore black head to toe and somehow, in true Harry fashion, managed to avoid comparisons to Zorro.
Harry’s stylist, Harry Lambert said about the outfit, “I think everyone was expecting Harry to be in sequins, bright colours and a crown, but we decided on a different type of 'camp' that hopefully would surprise,”
Then of course we have the single pearl earring and what design house is it from? Gucci of course - who else. The single pearl earring really elevated Harry’s outfit and gave it the finishing touch, je ne sais quoi if you will. And, Harry…a single earring in your right ear? Is this our baby finally telling us a little something something? If you aren’t quite sure what track i’m on…I’ll guide your mind a little (click me you little rebel). So, there’s that - Harry never does anything without a team of publicists and media superstars thinking it through before hand so we can only assume that he knew exactly what he was saying. Stylist Harry Lambert said that he found the earring last minute and thought it would complete the look perfectly; and a little birdie told me (okay, it was a woman who spoke to him at the Met Gala 🤥) that he pierced the ear himself - utmost control.
Over the years, we have seen our boy go from boyband superstar dressed in awful (but in a cute way) purple sneakers to a Chelsea boot clad fashionista. His solo world tour was a real stepping stone in terms of his fashion and I really love the direction Harry Lambert is taking Harry Styles’ style in (that was complicated - 50 points if you managed that). I got so caught up in the earring thing that I forgot to mention that Harry also wore high heeled boots with his ‘free the nipple’ heavy ensemble - style star.
Lady Gaga does the most with not just one but four outfits in one. She started the evening off in a bright fuchsia parachute dress with full male dancing ensemble fitted with black tuxes and umbrellas. Then stylist, Brandon Maxwell unbuttoned and removed the dramatic dress to reveal a beautiful old Hollywood style black dress before further stripping her down to a slinky fuchsia number until finally, she went full on Paparazzi/ Fame Monster era stripping down to glitzy fishnets, bra and pants which she rocked with some of her trademark sky high boots.
The multi faceted outfit was interesting as it really drew the line between the old, OTT gaga who wore sky high stilettos and a meat dress and the ‘new’ Gaga who is all about silver screen glamour. The whole ‘strip that down’ thing did it for me up until a certain point. It kind of lost me at the glitzy underwear outfit but I can appreciate where they were going.
Many of my friends weren’t too complimentary about Serena Williams’ outfit at the Met Gala saying things which were mostly close to “she looks like big bird”. I for one disagree, I actually loved the outfit (armchair critic and all that).
She wore a very vivid yellow and pink Versace dress which I felt not only suited her skin tone really well but the ‘blossoms’ (i’m being liberal here) match the carpet (lol 😂- I hope you got that otherwise i’m an idiot laughing by myself). The dress and shoes are also very much in line with the current '‘in-colour’ Gen Z yellow. The main thing for me though was that she looked very comfortable and very much herself. Yes, the dress is over the top - it’s the definition of ‘camp’ thank you very much.
I have no clue who the stylist behind this outfit was, I could probably find out but ultimately that sounds like a lot of effort and I was never ready - sorry. However, whoever it was who put it together, it’s a great look. The other thing I really loved was that Serena wore trainers to the Met Gala so she was undoubtedly the most comfortable guest there (female in any case) and it was a lovely ode to her previous work with Virgil Abloh of Off White. If I seem to have gone off my rocker and you have no idea what i’m talking about, Serena did a collaboration with Off White called the ‘Queen Collection’ which was designed by Virgil. In any case, now you have that (possibly useless) information, the sneakers she wears here are ‘Volt’ Nike X Off White Air Force 1’s.
The final co-host of this year’s Met Gala was Mr Gucci himself, Alessandro Michele. Alessandro, if you’ve never heard of him, is the creative director of Gucci. He’s the guy behind Gucci’s over the top, maximalist aesthetic which I am so very in love with. He has, according to CNBC, grown Gucci's brand value the most of any luxury fashion label with the brand’s revenue up 30 percent.
In what was possibly even less of a surprise than Harry Styles wearing Gucci, Alessandro also opted for a Gucci look (shock). In any case, he looked perfectly camp in a bright pink Gucci…suit thing? The blouse is heavily ruffled and very vibrant and Alessandro, like Harry, opted for heels, heavily ringed fingers (Gucci) and an over the top head piece.
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
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!
I actually wasn’t going to post about Paris Haute Couture week but after seeing Iris Van Herpen and Viktor and Rolf's incredible collections, I couldn’t resist.
So, below, you’ll find a little gallery of the very big statements that Viktor and Rolf brought to the runway in Paris. It’s official, Viktor and Rolf are the official kings of irony. Lets all just take a moment for the fact that the very first dress in the gallery literally says ‘No Photo’s Please’ and what is everyone doing? Taking photo’s of the dress 😭 dead.
A few of my all time favourites are the ‘Trust Me, I’m a Liar’ dress which I want to wear literally everywhere I go al la Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. Also if someone would like to gift me the ‘Sorry I’m Late I Didn’t Want To Come’ dress, that would be perfect.
Anyway, the likelihood of that happening is very slim so I’ll have to settle for drooling over my keyboard 😂
All images are credited to Getty Images.
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
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
In no particular order…
Also in no particular order
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.
If you have a bookworm on your Christmas gifting list, this is the gift guide for you. I am an avid reader myself and all of these are books that I have read and that I love deeply. Each book on here has made it to this list because I think it has a very special message to give and is a must-read. Please note that these books are in no particular order 😉 Also this post is not sponsored by anyone although I wish it was…Exclusive books - hit me up 🤙
HOW TO BE A GROWN UP BY DAISY BUCHANNAN
R 195.00 -R 231.00
I have this in audio book format on Audible and I have listened to it over and over and over again. Daisy is an absolutely brilliant writer and this book is a testament to how great she is. It is such an honest recollection of the trials and tribulations she has gone through and those which we go through on our journey to adulthood.
I have listened to this book often when my life seems to be going downhill at an impossible speed and I simply don’t know what to do - I reach for this book. I have cried on the streets of Brighton and put on my earphones and listen to this book and it has stopped my tears.
If you feel like you’re failing at being in your 20’s, you aren’t - you aren’t failing and you’re not alone. I have laughed and cried my way through this book. I know I will keep reading it because it resonates so strongly. This is to date one of the most important books I have ever read and I strongly recommend it as a gift…what’s better than a book which tells you that you’re doing fine and you aren’t alone.
ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE BY GAIL HONEYMAN
R 185.00-R 236.00
What an absolutely brilliant and engrossing book. I absolutely loved this book and so much of it rang true for me. When we first meet Eleanor, she is most definitely not fine and is 100% stuck in a rut. She scorns other peoples need for human connection and distances herself from everyone.
This is the quintessential 'don't judge a book by its cover' lesson. In the beginning, Eleanor seems very odd and difficult to relate to (even if we've all shared her thoughts on humanity once or twice) but once you get to know her and learn about her story and how well she has actually coped with everything she's been through, you develop a new respect for her as a character.
The book follows Eleanor’s journey from her thoroughly traumatic past to a future where she might have a life rather than just a mere existence. This book is a brilliant commentary of how connected each and every person is. How any act of kindness, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem to you at the time is vital. Eleanor learns about love and friendship and how people improve each others lives just by being there. Alongside Eleanor and her snide world view, we learn how vital it is to look upon each other with kindness.
Whilst Eleanor Oliphant is most definitely not completely fine, she is one fantastically different, vibrant and brilliant heroine. In short, this book will make you want to invite every single person you know round for a cup of tea and a hug...even the weird ones.
Buy it here:
THE GUILTY FEMINIST BY DEBORAH FRANCES-WHITE
Probably the most important book of our time written by one of the most brilliant women of our time. Deborah Frances-White is the writer and comedian behind ‘The Guilty Feminist’ podcast which has had more than 50 million downloads.
Deb is most definitely a thought leader of our time and her opinions are so beautifully thought out and balanced. Feminism gets a very bad wrap but since the #MeToo movement more and more women are coming out of the woodwork to join the feminist movement.
In the Guilty Feminist podcast, Deborah created a safe space for women to include themselves and feel heard. Since I started listening to the Guilty Feminist, my opinions and world views have changed substantially for the better. I have started to understand that I am not alone in what I go through day to day. It is amazing to hear incredible women who ordinarily, you wouldnt get to hear. Women who have incredible and thoughtful opinions that the world needs to hear and without people like Deb and her podcast and book, they wouldn’t have a platform.
My favourite episodes of the Guilty Feminist (although I love very single episode that has been made) if you want a flavour of Debs comedy:
Buy it here:
THREE THINGS ABOUT ELSIE BY JOANNA CANNON
R 245.00 - R 267.00
“There are three things you should know about Elsie.The first thing is that she's my best friend.The second is that she always knows what to say to make me feel better.And the third thing... might take a little bit more explaining”
84 year old Florence lives in a flat at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. She has had a fall and while she lies there on the floor of her flat and wonders whether anyone will come to help, she tells us her story.
Florence has lived a long life and she has a best friend, but not the kind of friend where you’re only friends for a few years. Florence and Elsie have been best friends ever since she can remember.
But there’s a secret that Florence has been keeping her whole life, something terrible that she did when she was young. She wonders whether that secret might die with her.
As we go on the jouney of long forgotten memories with Florence, we find that things aren’t always what they seem, friendship is vital and that we are more than our biggest mistake. Life affirming and beautifully written, this is a must read for fans of long journeys and battenburg cake.
Buy it here:
PURPLE HIBISCUS BY CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE
R 155.00 - R 308.00
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie must be one of the most powerful writers of our time. She is also one of the best speakers of our time (just pop her name and Ted Talk into Google and you’ll see what I mean).
Purple Hibiscus is so beautifully written and is so immensely powerful. I read this book in all of one day and I physically could not put it down.
In the book, we follow Kambili, a fifteen year old girl who lives in Nigeria. She has, it is obvious, an abusive and strict father who makes and dictates all the rules. Her days are structured around schedules created by her fanatically religious father and she has never known laughter or happiness.
During a military coup in Nigeria in which her Father seems to be suspiciously deeply involved, Kambili and her brother are sent off to stay with her Aunt who’s house and life are the complete antithesis of the life they have come to know. Their Aunt lives a free life which is filled with love and laughter and family fun. In her Aunt’s fun filled house, Kambili discovers that the life she and her brother have been leading is not normal at all and that her faithful family isn’t exactly what it seems to be.
Read it because its a really heart bracingly beautiful book and I could not put it down. Read it all in a day.
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HOW TO STOP TIME BY MATT HAIG
R 280.00 - R 304.00
How To Stop Time is honestly one of the most incredible books I have had the privilege of reading. Matt Haig must be one of the best authors of our time. The attention he pays to not just a single character but multiple different characters, each with their own story, their own history. Every single character in how to stop time is unique and 3 dimensional. They are those characters that you come to love and by the end of the book, you don't want to let go of.
This is one of those books that makes you think, the type of book which keeps the brain ticking over and thinking. It is such a difficult book to describe, how could I possibly describe something which fits into pages so beautifully and yet, as you read, brings about new realisations not just about humans in general but about yourself and who you are.
The book is split into sections which all correspond and correlate perfectly. We always come back to present day London and thus the comparisons between history and what is happening in our world right now are that much stronger. Here, we follow Tom Hazard who, whilst he may look like an average 41 year old, has a dangerous secret. He has a rare condition which means he lives much longer than other humans.
Tom constantly has to change his identity in order to survive in secrecy and won’t allow himself to get attached to any humans because he is afraid of loosing them. We follow Tom on the road to finding his child who has the same condition and who he hasn’t seen in years. How To Stop Time is a beautiful story about finding the truth and finding yourself.
Buy it here:
HOW TO BE HAPPY BY EVA WOODS
'How To Be Happy' is an absolutely brilliant book which explores the fact that it is often the smallest things which make the biggest difference. The difference between actually living, feeling and being alive and simply existing. The book explores the way so many people just trudge through life, always settling and never really happy. It explores the difference between living your life waiting for the storm to pass and dancing in the rain.
When we meet Annie, she is the prime example of someone who is trudging through a miserable and unhappy life. She is so deeply unhappy and has been hurt so many times that she has literally forgotten what it's like to be happy. She lives her life out as if it were just a movie playing before her eyes, stuck in a rut, going to work everyday to do a job which brings her no joy whatsoever with people she doesn't particularly like. She lives in a uniform of black and is in general, just miserable and lonely. Her mum has just been diagnosed with early onset dementia and is stuck in hospital. Annie visits everyday even though, most of the time, her mother cannot remember who she is.
The day we meet her is the day on which her life is set to be changed forever is, for all intents and purposes, a 'normal' day. Annie is at the office in the hospital trying to change her mothers address so that her post will go to Annie instead which, though it sounds easy is proving difficult if not impossible. Then she meets Polly who is the epitome of happiness, a rainbow on legs and the complete opposite of Annie.
Polly, Annie learns quite quickly is dying...terminal cancer. She has been given 100 days to live and is trying in earnest perhaps for the first time in her life to actually start living. To use up the small amount of life she has left in her to do all the things she really wants to do. Polly is trying to fit 35 years of living into 100 days. She is wearing all the clothes which she has but has never worn because they just weren't quite right for the occasion. Polly is like a living rainbow, throwing joy around everywhere she goes, inspiring others and being bright and cheerful. Somehow, Polly manages to drag Annie into her '100 Days Of Happiness' and through those days spent together, they learn from each other.
They form a beautiful friendship in the short space of time and together, they do everything from going up the shard to dancing in a fountain. Polly gives Annie her friendship and in doing that essentially, teaches Annie how to live again while she herself is dying. She shows Annie how to move on from the past, shows her that everyone is dealing with something and battling their own demons. They help each other to move past what has happened to them and along their way, they re-kindle old friendships and spark new ones.
They teach each other lessons about life like that you're never completely alone in your suffering, that other people suffer silently alongside you. When you only have 100 days left to live, you make every moment count. Make sure that every single thing you do adds something to your life, adds value. Through Polly, Annie learns how to live again, how to forgive and how to love and let people in. Annie takes from Polly hope...
This book is unforgettable and a brilliant life lesson wrapped up in an absolutely beautiful and heart-warming story. It's the sort of book that every single person should read. To remember how lucky you are to have this day, to have no cap on your life. To have the freedom to dance in the rain (or a fountain) to sing out loud and to stop being afraid, maybe just eat what you want. Nobody lives forever...The most brilliant and life-affirming book I have read in a while and really well worth the read or listen:
Buy it here:
TWEEXY POLISH HOLDER
For the girl who loves to have perfectly manicured nails, this is the perfect gift! It’s not too pricey either at only R175. The perfect little gift or stocking filler, it comes in three colours so it doesn’t have to be pink ;) Tweexy claims that it fits all fingers and nail polishes.
For that girl who collects mugs (I am one of those girls much to my parents disgust). I am absolutely in love with this mug, it’s hilarious…and true. I would really like to own all the mugs in the world but a combination of my parents’ lack of agreement and the lack of space in the kitchen cupboards says no. If however, you are gifted a mug…well how could you refuse a gift. Bring on the gift mugs guys.
DISNEY DRINK BOTTLE
Everyone knows someone who is absolutely obsessed with Disney. I’d say this is one of the cutest (and most useful) gifts on the list. Even the cap has ears…how can you not love it? It’s cute, it’s pretty and it’s pink. The perfect gift for the Disney obsessed girl. It’s also really great that it’s metal because it’ll keep your water (or vodka…whatever floats your boat) cooler for longer.
I actually struggle to think of a better gift to receive than this one. What kind of person hasn’t dreamt of being a mermaid? I mean you get to be snuggly, warm and a fucking mermaid…what more could you ask for this Christmas? Also, would you just look at the pretty colours they’ve used? Typo is an absolute must visit for Christmas gifting this year. They really have gone all out and their range suits everyone which is an absolute blessing.
HARRY POTTER SLEEP TEES
As if it needed mentioning that I already own this. As you all know, I am a Slytherin and proud of it. I saw this sleep tee in Typo and I knew I had to have it. I love that Typo have done these sleep tees for all the houses and not just for Gryffindor. I’m so bored of seeing Harry Potter merch that only represents Gryffindor. I men come on…we’re real fans so of course we’ve been sorted and we ain’t all in Gryffindor. I have this, I love this and I recommend this heartily. The packaging it comes in is also so lovely.
Another Typo gift on the list. I am obsessed with their novelty earrings. I own a pair (unsurprisingly) it’s actually beginning to seem like this is simply a list of my favourite things…it is I guess because how else can I recommend things? Anyway, these are such a cool statement piece to wear and they certainly attract attention. I wore their ‘Fabulous Bitch’ pair and I’ve literally never had such positive responses to my earrings before.
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:
I always wondered why those lyrics from 'Wicked' struck such a chord with me and I think I eventually found out tonight. I was one of those girls who was consistently single instead of constantly in a relationship. I was never 'with' anyone. Not because I particularly chose to be single but because two things happened simultaneously. One, no guys ever asked me out and two, I was always working.
Now I say working and you're probably thinking of scholarly work, That's not the truth, though, I didn't particularly enjoy school and I wasn't very good at following orders, perhaps a major reason that I work for myself today. No, I was always striving for excellence within myself. I was born a perfectionist and anything I do, I want to be the very best at. When I was singing, I wanted to be the best singer in the world (I’m not) and my passion for progression towards perfection dictates that I work until I’m the best. That being said I was also quite a home body. I wasn't really the type to go out drinking every weekend. Call it whatever you like but I hated clubs and my parents hadn't attached a stigma to alcohol so from a certain age I was allowed to drink at home with them and so I guess I never really saw any reason to rebel against them. The opposite was true of my school. Good God, I rebelled in school. The heavy duty rules like no drugs or smoking I never had a problem with but the idea of controlling the colour of our shoes, stockings, socks and hair ties - the stupid rules, those I adored breaking.
Now on to the topic of why nobody ever asked me out, I wouldn't say I'm an ugly looking person but I'll leave that to you judgemental internet people (haha) to decide since there are pictures of me all over this site. I can, however, come across as rather intimidating and it really is just who I am. It's more that I am a bundle of nerves than anything else really and the sheer fact that I get hugely uncomfortable. I would say that the more that I like you, the more awkward I am around you. If I don't know you, we can chat for days but the second I know you better and I have to start watching my Ps and Qs, I flounder.
I often find myself asking the question after an event, launch or meeting, does he/she like me. And whilst lightly considering this might be important for personal development, it's not really a viable thought path unless you give each and every person you meet a questionnaire. Then the question arises, do I care and indeed should I care. I mean, would I re-adjust my attitude for every negative comment in the metaphorical questionnaire? The simple answer is no, I wouldn't. I mean, would you? How would you sift through all the comments and ticks and crosses in order to decipher whose opinion is worthwhile and valid and whose is not? You shouldn't need a questionnaire for that though should you? You could simply ask the people you care about for their opinion and if the same thing keeps coming up, maybe you need to re-evaluate. I mean, what do you care if Jack going down the street thinks you're a bitch if he's never met you? I am quite comfortable with who I am and long term I would want a man to stand next to me and be proud to stand with me for exactly that.
Something else hit me like a ton of bricks tonight, I really like men who are slightly or entirely out of my reach.I would say that you don't quite meet my tastes if you aren't a bit on/off with me. If you reach for me, I tend to lunge in the other direction. Strange? Maybe, but in reality, people are always falling for people who are out of reach for one or another reason. I mean, movie stars are a prime example of that are they not?
As a blogger, I am consistently dealing with what I call 'heaving room syndrome'. It's the idea that when you are in a room which is full to the brim with people, you are still alone. Realistically, if you came alone, you are there alone even when you are absolutely surrounded by people. Whilst simply being alone doesn't equate to loneliness, over time, it seems to morph quietly from one to the other. Seeing something pretty and not having anyone to turn around to and mention it, that's all. Every time I attend an event (alone) that's just how I work best, I sort of dream of someone being along for the ride, right by my side for the evening. Someone who is mine but there entirely for me because so far, the people I have invited along have done nothing but embarrass me. For me, the very idea of someone standing with you, just quietly and being 'yours' in a crowded room is romantic. And perhaps romance has changed then? Or at least it has for me.
Tonight in a room full of creative people, maybe three of whom I knew and knew me, I suddenly realised that I am in fact in love but not with a man, rather the idea of a man, at least right now. This realisation begs the question, how do you know when you are falling for someone vs simply falling for the idea of them? I don't know but I do know this, I am in love with the man who loves me exactly as I am, warts and all. So right now, no, I'm not that girl but I'm my own girl and today, tonight, that's enough...
I'm enough, You're enough, It's enough
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.
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.