Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Aztec-Inspired!

I know the whole Aztec trend has been around for a couple of years now but the Aztec and Tribal prints add a funky twist to any outfit and this season it’s all about combining and layering! If you are looking to add a splash of colour in that wardrobe, get yourself a lovely blend of geometric pattern.  Inspired by ancient culture this trend is sure to create an ethnic vibe with any piece.  from tanks, dresses, shorts, leggings and skirts you cant go wrong.

 





 









































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Friday, 20 April 2012

Hot Trend to try - Print mixing

When it comes to fashion these days, there are no rules.  We’ve seen it all: Plaids and polka-dots, florals with animal print, sequins and sneakers, geometric patterns and graphic prints with stripes.…

Get crafty and let your imagination run wild. Mix and match all the season's fantastic print trends.   
Print mixing is one of the more difficult trends to pull off.  But when done right, mixed prints can look wildly high-fashion.







  1. Colours are important
During your first attempt at mixing patterns, try mixing a piece that has a lighter or neutral colour with one that is bolder or more eye-catching. Let the colour of one piece pop, while the other piece creates an aspect of “calm” instead of having 2 colours that are almost competing for attention.
Another good colour tip is to pair prints that are within the same colour group. The boldness of the prints will not seem as sharp if the other prints are closer to the same colour.

 2. Dots and Stripes work well together

May sound odd, but they create such a contrast to one other that it actually works when done the right way. This is usually a good way to start mixing prints before jumping into more complex prints such as tribal or animal prints.

    3. Proportion, Proportion, Proportion

Knowing how to play with the size of the patterns is important. Certain sizes can create an illusion of something being smaller or larger than it actually is. For example, pairing thin stripes and thick stripes can create a balance, emphasize your waistline and distract the eye from certain areas.

   4. Option To Separate

One easy way to wear prints and not feel as if the look is too overbearing, separate the prints with a solid item. For example, if you wear a printed top with a printed skirt, then wear a basic belt or cardigan. The separation of prints decreases the boldness of the mixed prints but you still get the same edgy effect.

   5. Test out textures

Mix pieces together and figure out which combinations are pleasing to you and what you are comfortable in. At the end of the day, your comfort in the look is the most important.

Are you a fan of this fashion trend? 

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Monday, 16 April 2012

South African Fashion Designers – The problems we face.

While there is certainly no lack of design talent in South Africa there aren’t many South African brands that make it big on the international stage.  Why is this?  Below is my take on some of the reasons why.

Availability of fabric

It is very difficult getting hold of fabric from South African suppliers that is affordable, high quality and unique.  This is especially difficult for South African fashion designers that are just starting out. While it is possible to source fabrics from international suppliers the cost, effort and large minimum order sizes become a real problem.  This is why you see so many South African designers using the same fabrics.  It’s not because they lack imagination, it’s because that’s all they can find!

Competing on price

The other day a friend bought a top at Mr Price for R45.  R45!!! you couldn’t even buy enough fabric from local suppliers for a top like that.  This excludes manufacturing costs, marketing costs, overheads and heaven forbid a tiny slice of profit.  It is very very difficult to compete on price if your manufacturing operation is based in South Africa.

Competing on Quality

Ok, so competing on price isn’t an option.  What about quality?  Again this is a problem.  The majority of South African CMT’s don’t specialise in highly complex high quality manufacturing.  We already spoke about the availability of fabrics.  It is very difficult to justify I high price tag on a dress that is made from the same fabric found on every second hanger in YDE.

Low volumes

The next problem is the volumes of orders.  Many of the problems go away when you start moving your production capacity overseas.  There are two problems with this though.
1. Most large international suppliers and manufacturers have large minimums.  Not a problem for large established brands but for a new designer it’s a show stopper.
2. We want to be proudly South African, it’s a shame that we have to move jobs and business out of the country just to remain competitive.  Minister of trade and industry I am looking at you to help solve this!

Lack of support from big retailers

Recently Woolworths has made some good moves to support South African Designers but the majority of the large retailers work against the new up and coming designers.  Any range supplied to retailers and boutiques have to be exclusive, they also have a very specific target market.  This means it is very difficult to break out once you are in and also makes it difficult for any brand that doesn’t fit in the demographic.

Lack of business skills

There is a tremendous amount of design talent in South Africa, the problem isn’t in finding the talent.  The problem is often the lack of business skills required to take a small business to a profitable enterprise that is sustainable in the long term.  Things like financial knowledge, marketing, pricing models, general management skills.  All these things are critical to take a good designer and turning them into the owner of a successful business.

What do you guys think?
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(scarf + hood = snood)

Buy yourself a snood (scarf + hood = snood) this winter.  It can be styled at various lengths and even worn, as the name suggests, as a hood!  A snood is a single tube shaped scarf that has no loose ends and just simply slips over your head for all day comfort. I love the snood because of its versatility and style. Wear your snood with everything: jackets, coats, even evening dresses







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