Showing posts from April, 2018

Tame Dog, Wild Print

May I introduce you to Mitzi. My neighbour’s Yorkshire terrier is a middle aged lady of dignified demeanor. She likes to be pampered and cuddled. What she dislikes are noisy dogs who do not know how to behave and other untamed animals.

I trust she doesn’t mind that I press her to my bosom clad in a print of her wild and mercifully distant cousins. I may like leopards much more than Mitzi, not to mention leopard print, but still we get on quite well.

Zanzibar Memories

Ever since I had read Alfred Andersch's novella Sansibar, I longed for this magic island. Eventually I could travel to Zanzibar. I strolled along the ancient lanes of the Stone Town and peeped through heavy wooden gates into secret courtyards. Once in a restaurant I admired the delicate yellow chiffon sari of a lady at the next table. She introduced me to Memories of Zanzibar, her favourite shop.  The blouse I purchased in this treasure trove is made of the lightest silk and the dark blue checkers temper the gold. One has to bring home some glittering gold from the island were the Arab sultans reigned for a long time.                                                                                                                                          

The Stone Town is still a monument to their splendour. Once one had passed the heavy wooden doors there was opulence, laughter and music. The lady of the house showed off her most precious belongings in niches carved out of the thi…

Velvet & Linen

Velvet chokers seemed to be a thing of the past. They spell Belle Epoque. Since young girls found out how becoming they are for your swan like neck they had a revival. Pared with a plain linen dress the choker does not get too cheesy.                                                                                                    

I got the clutch with the pink lips in Miami where nobody is too shy for a bit of show off.

Lazy Afternoon

My predilection for the French label and store Naf Naf is evident. They offer unassuming ware with chic and have a great variation of styles on display. The best of all there is a shop in Marmande the small town famous for their special crop of tomatoes not too far from where I am living part of the year. In season the markets in and around Marmande are a paradise for tomato lovers. The fruits come in all sizes and shapes from golden yellow to nearly black. I use to make tomato sauce from the big fat coeur de boeuf, delicious!

One sunny afternoon in late summer I searched for pants in Marmande’s signature colour tomato red. Shame, they were gone, but the shop attendant showed me the same becoming cut in khaki, soft fabric, frills and a bow, somewhat different from my usual pants. The subdued colour suited better to early autumn, anyway. I found a matching blouse cum shawl on the same street in the old town crammed with boutiques and happily went home for a lazy afternoon on the veran…

Minimalist Gold

The most treasured piece of the South African distant past is the Rhino of Mapungubwe, a small expertly shaped golden rhino found in the North close to Zimbabwe. Mining gold has been and still is the corner stone of the South African economy. Johannesburg was founded in the times of the gold rush and its indigenous name is Egoli, the City of Gold.

To own a piece of African gold besides the Krugerrand is seducing. So, I went looking for some gold jewellery that would not empty my wallet completely. Finally, I found it at the Watershed, The market place of South African handicraft at the V &A Waterfront in Cape Town. There Famke Koene, a young designer who studied in the Netherlands, is interpreting African gold in a minimalistic style. Her pieces are looking cool and they do not consume all too much of the precious metal.             

Aenne Huette from Germany could have been her aunt. She had a similar concept of using gold in  a strictly modern design. There are no precious ston…

Protected by my Household Gods

My personal guardians come from a small gallery in Lithuania. I saw them on an exhibition in Vilnius and travelled some hours up country to meet the artist at her studio. A friend of a friend agreed to take them along when he was going home. As he had not much time I met him on a parking and ordered my taxi driver to look out for a green Opel. He did not hide that he was worried. May be, he suspected me of smuggling weapons or drugs.

Here they are looking at my mixture of African necklace cum German dress cum Malaysian bag not to speak of the belt from Guadaloupe where there is dancing everywhere.

I like to think that my gods are looking benevolently. That’s what household gods are meant to, aren’t they? .

Le Rouge et le Noir

Stendhals novel Le Rouge et le Noir / The Redand the Black was one of the forbidden books in my mother’s rather limited library. That was the best way to make me read the book from the first to the last page when I was a teenager, though not intentionally. I didn’t understand much but adored the book nevertheless.

I don’t often feel like putting on garments of such a strong contrast in colour. When I do so I feel uplifted and playful, the more so as I keep in mind that the pianos on my black and white skirt have been created by the designers of the Swiss label Oscar Rom for their label  Nouvelle femme.  What an intriguing trade mark.

Young Designers

You should not miss out on Young Designers Emporium (YDE) when in Cape Town. Their shops are a showcase of young talent. Dresses, tops, pants, shoes, handbags, you name it. The jump suit intrigued me because of its lovely night blue colour. Sometimes I like to brighten it up with a flowery blouson from Forever New just around the corner. It associates as well with jeans.

Cape Town is a good hunting ground for new and upcoming designers. They come and go as competition is fierce. A walk along trendy Long Street is a must. Some are aspiring at ethnic chic combining traditional South African patterns and beads with modern design. They focus on the new black middle class albeit even more so in Johannesburg. At Egoli, the city of gold, the New South Africa is showing her colours.

Tied Up

This summer La Vie en Rose was the motto of my garden party. Everybody obliged and put something rosé on. Being the hostess I chose a more restrained look and adorned my flowery summer dress newly acquired at the DDP boutique in Marmande with a tie made of pink raw silk I had bought years ago at the men’s shop Terner in Germany.

The pink competed with the intense blue which is the common theme of my garden reflecting in art works and flowers. The Majorelle blue of Yves Saint Laurent’s garden in Marrakech – now a museum - seems to me the right colour for a fashionista. The  metal flowers are part of the art works by my partner Klaus populating the garden. Here, the converted chimney sweepers are competing with the deep blue Tibouchina.

White Meets Brown

I do like black and white for autumn and winter albeit on a bright summer day the contrast can be a bit harsh. On those days I had rather combine white with brown.  The necklace of unpolished amber is adding just that bit of colour to the French skirt and jacket with the poetic name Le Blé en Herbe to break up the strict white and brown.

I happened to see the necklace in the shop window of a jeweller on a harsh winter morning in Vilnius when I was eager to escape from the cold to the light and warmth of a shop. Amber is found everywhere around the Baltic sea. The brooches I found in a shop in Krakov when I visited my elder daughter during her semester at the famous Polish university and the fake tortoise shell handbag is proudly South African.