When I started decorating my first adult apartment three years ago I wasn’t necessarily earning adult money yet. I took to second-hand stores, charity shops and Gumtree to source vintage furniture that I could clean up. Don’t undertake the task of restoring lightly, it’s hard work. It was a very satisfying experience, but equally satisfying was purchasing some great vintage furniture someone else had cleaned up.
As blogged before, Modernist is a marvellous place to get mostly wooden-based mid-Century furniture in Johannesburg, but if you’re in the Cape, you’d best visit Vamp. This more quirky and colourful store has a fantastic range of vintage furniture at reasonable prices. There weekly newsletter makes me glad I don’t have space in my house though, otherwise I’d probably start to resemble their store, price tags and all.
They have virtually everything you could hope to find, from sideboards to chest of drawers, single chairs or whole sets. The best part of Vamp is they are available online, on their blog as well as Instagram account.
With the launch of Apple Music I must say I am more into finding new music than ever before. I discovered Aidan Knight, Canadian crooner, via a Tweet or Facebook post from a prior music feature Merival, and had to download all of his music immediately. I was sold after hearing just half of his new single All Clear.
While it certainly looks like a solo venture, Aidan Knight is actually the namesake and lead singer of the band, made up of four other members who took to the woods a-la Bon Iver to come up with a collection of music. They took this album and returned to Victoria in Canada and after a few months had sculpted an album. That was for the album Small Reveal back in 2012. Today, or more accurately this week, the band are celebrating the release of All Clear’s music video, off what I can only presume is their new LP or forthcoming album.
Kris Haigh, the designer of New York based hat label 1K is one of those men who lives their brand. Originally from Halifax in the UK, Haigh now works as Director of Men’s Concept at JCPenney while heading up his own endeavours into the hat industry.
Set against the backdrop of New York City (which alone is cause for following Haigh), his Instagram account boasts 55k+ followers, and offers a look into the life of a trendy, quirky and, well, kind-of-ridiculously-good-looking designer.
He also has the chops for designing head gear. Personally I stayed away from caps because someone told me the lack of air and the added pressure on your head encourages your hair to fall out; that was enough to put me off for ten years. Today however, with a far more casual approach to my dress-sense, I think this would not only serve well as an accessory, but simply too. By checking out Kris’ Instagram you’ll see how he so subtly weaves his hats into mostly two-toned palettes, but basic application. That simplicity speaks volumes of his taste factor and I enjoy his aesthetic very much.
Check out Kris Haigh on Instagram (above) and his online store here.
How is this for a fixer-upper? Built in the mid 1700s, Chateau de Gudanes looks like the stuff out of romance novels; the real life story of an Australian family who decided to buy and renovate this property certainly would make a fantastic movie. Designed by Parisian architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel, this Class 1 Historic Monument resides in the small village of Chateau-Verdun.
The story goes like this: The Chateau was built “on behalf of Louis Gaspard de Sales, Marquis de Gudanes. Gaspard, also known as the “King of the Pyrénées”, was an influential member of the Toulouse Parliament, and ironmaster of the Ariége.” Over many years in the time of the religious wars, Chateau de Gudanes suffered tremendous neglect. Among the many problem areas, the roof collapsed in four places which resulted in severe water damage, mould and destruction. It was said that most of the interior space became rubble due to the ceiling, wall and floor collapse.
While this was happening Craig and Karina Waters were happily going about their lives. Their son discovered the estate online and after four years on the real estate market, and two years negotiating, the Chateau found new owners. Restorations began in November 2013.
The idea is not to create a pretentious museum, as they put it, but rather “a place to visit, reconnect with the earth and people, and restore the senses. It won’t be about overcrowding the walls with paintings or overflowing the floors with furnishings, but will be relatively minimalistic – a place to simply rest, breathe and enjoy the calm.” Can you imagine the weddings they’ll be hosting there? Pretty magical if you ask me.
What an amazing life experience to have? I’ve always had a fascination with the ruins and remains of once-great places. As a writer I’m obviously very drawn to this idea and perhaps in another life this would make a great chapter in my life.
See the video of Chateau de Gudanes below and click here to see their amazing Instagram account.
Craig and Karina Waters. Photo by Carla Coulson, at Carla Loves Photography.
If you’ve ever tried to assemble an IKEA anything, you’ll understand why this video with Ryan Reynolds brings on the lolz. Since he’s on the cover of GQ this month talking about fame, Deadpool and being a father, it was quite fun that they gave him the task of assembling a crib. Even though in complete jest, it’s quite fun to watch. “IKEA is Swedish for Fuck You” See the video below and read the interview with Zach Baron here. It’s a good one.
Anyone who has checked out the music section of this website will know I love me some indie tunes; but I’m also a Swifty, so when I heard that Ryan Adams recorded the entire 1989 catalog I had to hear it for myself. I got as far as ‘Out of the Woods’ before I decided I had to share it.
It’s surprising that Adams took on the task of reimagining the biggest selling pop album in what, a decade, but I’m glad he did. It’s thoughtful and romantic and means even the three of you who don’t like Taylor Swift can enjoy her music adapted to an entirely different genre. He has found a way to reinterpret an already 80s sounding album and give it this wonderful, tinny and nostalgic presence. It felt like I was hearing an old Bruce Springsteen track. ‘Let me record 1989 like it was Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska.’ is precisely what he told Rolling Stone. When I first saw his new album was entitled 1989 I thought it really ballsy. Of course it never occurred to me he’d pull a move like this, but it highlights two things: showcase Taylor Swift for the incredibly talented songwriter she is, and put Ryan Adams in the spotlight for knowing how to sing a god-damn song beautifully.
The album, which was vigorously endorsed by Taylor on social media is available on Apple Music right now. Or sample the tracks on YouTube here.
There’s that David Gandy in his underpants again. Additional pieces to the David Gandy for Autograph collection from M&S (that’s Marks & Spencer for those of you in America) have just been released. The latest pieces we’ve seen from David Gandy for Marks & Spencer really is the perfect compliment to both brand and the face of the brand; the personification of masculinity meets elegance. Talk about living the brand.
Modelled of course by David, these photographs (snapped by the incomparable Mario Vivanco) indicate the new direction taken by Marks & Spencer in their partnership with the British Supermodel. They are sophisticated, classic and are no doubt on my wish list. Who doesn’t want herringbone underwear?
Look forward to loungewear, sweat pants and sweatshirts, in addition to full pyjama sets and who knows, maybe even another swimwear extension to follow.
Click here to see the existing range of David Gandy for Marks & Spencer.
So it turns out this South African born singer/songwriter Troye Sivan is amazing. I didn’t read any of the Spud books and the movies never appealed to me either, but when I saw Taylor Swift give him love in Twitter I thought to check out his music. With just under 3 million followers on Instagram I guess you already know who he is. He’s tight with Sam Smith and Cara Delevingne and he’s even modelled Saint Laurent. I really need to get online more.
His latest single ‘Wild’ has a new video in which we see the brewing of young love. It’s quite fantastic to see extremely talented people living authentic and open lives while enjoying huge success. It makes it a great time to be whoever you want to be.
Stokperd is a custom furniture store from Cape Town. Owned by Monya Eastman, each piece comes with its own name and story. Not only does Eastman offer beautifully made furniture, you can take those ideas of your ideal coffee table or shelf and get them to make it a reality in, 9 types of wood. From headboards to quirky side tables, retro cabinetry and desks, Stokperd really has a marvellous selection to choose from.
Monya also has a fantastic decor blog that offers a look inside some of the loveliest homes in South Africa, some of which even include her pieces. I’ve always loved the eclectic look of a Cape Town home, such worldly character and charm. Certainly as beautiful as any of international homes you see online today. The Stokperd blog can be found here, but do visit her Instagram account too.
One of the best things about the internet is growing access to people you would otherwise never see. Aren’t we all voyeurs in some way, don’t some of you watch trashy reality shows about people who are just famous for being famous? It doesn’t have to be based on entertainment though, social media offers a variety of platforms with which to hear about and see the on-goings of every kind of person you could be interested in. I personally like to follow a few celebrities and models to see just how normal they are. Others are just nice to look at.
I’ve scoured the feeds and come up with 5 models to follow on Instagram today. It’s a real tour around the globe, too.
1. Dimitris Alexandrou, Greece
Why? He loves animals and cares about the environment.
Yesterday we got access to Thom Browne in the studio. Thanks to the New York Times, this series allows us to see what settings different designers work in. I find it particularly interesting as it can show off the designers personality and how that has an effect on their end-product.
The studio, which comprises mostly of marble walls, terrazzo floors and blinds (in grey and white), certainly works as an extension of the brand, Browne even comments that grey is his collection staple.
From the interview:
“I think the tailoring aspect of what I do is very in tune with the way that I live, and my office, and my store, and even my house, because of the uniformity of it, and the rigidity. Especially for women, I love to keep pushing the idea of uniformity, and not so much choice. I think there’s something really refreshing when things don’t change too much.”
Did you watch the Ellen DeGeneres Lip Sync Battle? Ellen was a clear winner with her rendition of Rihanna’s Bitch Better Have My Money, but the winning didn’t stop there, I had my eye on her style too. You know, it’s not uncommon for women today to borrow from the boys and we are long passed the days of keeping to the rules; androgyny is nothing new. It’s time we took a page from Ellen’s book.
Dressed in a fantastic green pant suit with a buttoned up (but untucked) printed shirt and Chelsea boots, Ellen even showed up Justin Timberlake. I searched and searched and couldn’t find the maker of this fine suit (even though she’s worn it before here) but there are loads of alternatives available, just check Pinterest out to see what I mean.
Who doesn’t love Ellen? Exactly. I’ve always loved her style and think she’s arrived at the perfect place of staying cool and keeping true to herself. Want this look? Simply put on your favourite slim-fit suit, swap out your plain shirt for a tonal and fun alternative and add either a Chelsea boot or a desert book. For a casual approach leave your shirt untucked or add a slick belt and tuck it in.