SOUTH AFRICA

THIS TOWN – BY JOSHUA GRIERSON FEAT. LAUREN FOWLER

335723_10151670599795420_1307871944_oI am constantly surprised by people, so I was delighted to discover Lauren Fowler, a Cape Town blogger and artist has some mighty nice pipes too! She accompanied Joshua Grierson for the awesome, heavy and raw song ‘This Town’ written by Grierson about the separate paths of two brothers from a small town. Really magnificent video courtesy of Cheap Seats. Take a look.

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TOMMY HILFIGER SANDTON LAUNCH

IMG_5907Tommy Hilfiger Sandton launched last night and it was quite the success; filled to the brim with fashionistas plus an army of bloggers equipped with cameras. Having done my rounds it’s funny for me to look at the young bloggers stopping every second person for a snap. The launch featured a DJ, models champagne servers, local personalities, delicious catering and great fashion from Tommy Hilfiger of course, and just in time for summer! I even got to meet the wonderful people behind the brand that flew in from Amsterdam. Leaving, we all agreed it was a great event. Go take a look at the collection, the store has been fitted beautifully, I’ll be talking about this brand more in-depth very soon.

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RAD – NEW RETAIL STORE, JAN SMUTS AVENUE JOHANNESBURG

IMG_5644RAD, a new store to open up on Jan Smuts avenue in Johannesburg is exactly what it claims to be. A sister-store to Warm&Glad (equally rad) a coffee and lunch spot with its accompanying array of international magazine/books/vinyls/art etc., (you get it, they’re packing a lot of awesome onto one floor). After having their retail section in Warm&Glad they decided to branch out and thus opened their first stand-alone one-door down. There certainly is a gap in the market as LOOM in Parkhurst and Cape Town closed their doors for good. You can however buy from them online.

The logo for RAD was designed by Jana + Koos and the brand colours (neon yellow and grey) came out of that and are reflected in the interiors. Featuring a host of well, rad brands like SUPER sunglasses, New Balance, Converse and Nuew, they are in discussions with some exclusive brands to join them. There will certainly be expansion in future plus more of an equal split between men’s and women’s products.

Visit www.radthestore.com for now, although this is temporary. The boys are working on an upgraded site and online store  by the new year!

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EXCLUSIVE: INTERVIEW WITH HINDS BROTHERS

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WHAT IS THE HINDS BROTHERS SOUND IN YOUR OWN WORDS?
Aden: I think it is largely based on tradition. We draw from the singer/songwriter influence (Dylan, Lennon/McCartney, Harrison) as well as old and new harmony groups (The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel), with a strong leaning towards a rootsy, organic production (The Band, M Ward, AA Bondy). To draw another comparison to The Beatles – we are different songwriters coming together to enhance each others songs, so Hinds Brothers ends up more than the sum of it’s parts…

Wren: Of course we also have that brother harmony thing going on… We’re a creative foil to each other, and we’re also a great production team.

YOUR TOP THREE ALBUMS OF ALL TIME?

Aden: Jeez that is really very difficult to pin down! But here are a few of our favorites. All Things Must Pass & Living in the Material World by George Harrison, Revolver & Abbey Road by The Beatles, The Band by The Band, Blood on the Tracks – Bob Dylan, Songs of Leonard Cohen, Astral Weeks – Van Morrison

Wren: Songs of Love and Hate – Leonard Cohen, Wasteland Companion – M Ward, This is the Sea – The Waterboys, Aha Shake Heartbreak – Kings of Leon, The Wild the innocent and the E Street Shuffle – Bruce Springsteen, Desire – Bob Dylan

YOUR MAIN MUSICAL INFLUENCES?

Aden: We have both been influenced by our father Kevin Hinds, who was a professional musician through the 70’s & 80’s and was signed to CBS and EMI. The Beatles, George Harrison and Bob Dylan are touchstones for me personally, and one of SA’s greatest ever songwriters Syd Kitchen had a huge influence on my musical life…
Wren: As Aden mentioned Dad is a big influence. I love Otis Redding, Leonard Cohen’s lyrical genius, M Ward and also Bob Dylan.

BRIEFLY EXPLAIN THE PROCESS OF COMING UP WITH, AND ULTIMATELY RECORDING A TRACK:

Wren: The process of writing and recording for us is quite a natural flow and we really just act as channels for the songs we write and ultimately record. We have always recorded at home and tampered with sounds and layering of different textures. ‘Ocean of Milk’ in particular has seen many hours in different recording studios around the country and gave us the opportunity to connect with some great musicians along the way, so there’s been opportunity for a lot of creativity and bouncing ideas around… It seems to happen very naturally, so again there’s that flow that we go with.

Aden: Ya, we just try not to swim against the current… Album Cover

YOUR DEBUT ALBUM ‘OCEAN OF MILK’ COMES OUT ON AUGUST 27th AND FEATURES A GREAT SCREEN PRINT FOR A COVER. WHAT IS THIS ALBUM ALL ABOUT AND DID YOUR VISION MATCH THE OUTCOME?

Aden: The cover is an original pen & ink drawing by Dominic Strauss. It’s hard to pinpoint what it is about really – it’s a collection of songs that seem to live together rather well. Themes include being lost and being found, the wanderlust of man, the ocean, and the heart of reality… There is a natural flow through the record, and it has moments of light-heartedness and humor along with it’s deep waters. But it is ultimately a collection of songs, and each song has it’s space and place in the overall picture of ‘Ocean of Milk’.

Wren: I must say the outcome, even though it took a while to materialize, does match pretty closely the vision we had at the beginning of the project – though I have no idea how we got that right.

YOUR MUSIC FEATURES SOME WONDERFUL BACK-UP INSTRUMENTALS, HOW DID IT ALL MATERIALIZE? 

Wren: Ocean of Milk has been in the making for 2 years, working on and off as our budget and goodwill of friends allowed us. We started out with the songs, and just thought about how we would ultimately like to hear them. We were mostly attracted to a rootsy, lush and acoustic vibe, and were hearing instruments like upright bass, dobro, pedal steel, violin, and accordion in our heads… We made notes, and found out the players along the way!

Aden: Very important was to find players who were into the music and could immerse themselves in the songs and their vibe. We ended up recording in 7 studios through Durban, Joburg, Pretoria and Cape Town, featuring 19 musicians on the record including ourselves – it really feels like one of those epic albums you hear about, you know, and you just have to hear for yourself…Hinds Brothers Band Shot

HOW DID THE BAND COME TOGETHER, AND WHAT HAS THE JOURNEY BEEN LIKE TO GET HERE? 
A & W: We have been performing around the country as an acoustic duo for around 4 years now, but have begun embellishing the live show in recent times by adding other artists and  instruments along the way. We’re at a place now where we can perform as a 2 piece, 3 piece, 5 piece or even more, depending on the occasion. We’ve maintained a bit of the ‘jam band’ vibe, and have got potential band members all the way along the journey.

WHAT DOES THE NEXT YEAR LOOK LIKE FOR YOU? 

Aden: It’s hard to say as no-one is ultimately the master of their fate, but we will be touring ‘Ocean of Milk’ throughout South Africa starting with our Durban launch on  Saturday 31st August at Howard College Theatre with an all-star band including Sez Adamson on pedal & lap steel guitars, Richard Haslop on dobro & mandolin, and the ‘ex Landscape Prayers’ trio of Ant Cawthorn-Blazeby (fiddle), Bruce Baker (drums) and Logan Byrne (upright bass). Tickets are available through quicket.com

Wren: We’ve created our own indie record label, South Sea Records, and we harbour hopes of breaking into the international market – Europe, USA, Australia, Canada & Japan… We’ve also got quite a backlog of songs, so we’re already planning the next album, and we should also have an EP ready for release in some months time. Basically I think it’s gonna be pretty busy…

Check the band out at hindsbros.com and on Twitter at @HindsBros

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ADRIAAN KUITERS MBFW CAPE TOWN 2013

Adriaan Kuiters

Adriaan Kuiters unveiled not only a new collection at the recent Mercedes Benz fashion week in Cape Town, it seemed an all-new label. Formerly a definite retail label, there has been a shift to experiment with a more high-end aesthetic in mind. This also marks the start of a wonderful partnership between Keith Henning and Jody Paulsen, who brings in new energy into the prints and design aspect. The Iziko National Gallery was a grand choice to house the new collection; if these images don’t strike you as Paris or Milan menswear then I don’t know what does.

The collection was influenced by basic sportswear, as you can see with the length and fit of the new garments. Longer cuts in both the sleeve and the body of the shirting and more formal tee’s are a far cry from prior fits. This, for me, is a definite nod in the direction of Givenchy, which appears to have been a major influence too. Henning and Paulson include a few of these altered details (the layering style, for one) but they deliver the collection in a more clean and neutral direction, and certainly roomier. While I am very glad to see this change (I felt like he still needed to find his own aesthetic before) it is a mere hint of what the duo are capable of. This is a good thing. Adriaan Kuiters is already pegged as a brand to watch but I’d like to see him delving more into his own aesthetic and moving away from the Parisian influence. That said he was smart with this collection because it is simplistic enough for him to expand on later. Keith Henning also brought his ladieswear to life for the first time under the Kuiters name and I was impressed by that too; neither sexes are easy to design for and they managed a clean and successful collection for both that tied in nicely with each other. Good job, gents.

Adriaan Kuiters Adriaan Kuiters Adriaan Kuiters Adriaan Kuiters Adriaan Kuiters Adriaan Kuiters Adriaan Kuiters Adriaan Kuiters Adriaan Kuiters Adriaan Kuiters Adriaan Kuiters Adriaan Kuiters Adriaan KuitersIMAGE SOURCE: SDR PHOTO

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SERGEANT PEPPER S/S 2013 CAMPAIGN PREVIEW

DSC_3582 DSC_4057 DSC_4226 DSC_3004 DSC_3465 DSC_4117Here is a preview for upcoming SS13 Campaign from Sergeant Pepper entitled Motorcycle diaries. It features familiar face Wes Shankland and Izaan Venter for the campaign. The full lookbook and video will be released next week.

Campaign was shot by: Tink Photography

Models: Wesley Shankland & Izaan Venter

Video: Alan Patrick

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HOW JOZI GOT ITS COOL BACK

BY JORDAN MAJOR

Over the last few years I have witnessed the steady rejuvenation of Jozi’s CBD. At the beginning of the resurgence it was seen to be hallowed ground for the creative and alternatively inclined. There would be huge events where Diplo or the Bloody Beetroots were playing, and it was a time before Spoek Mathambo was Spoek Mathambo. I remember going out to ‘town’ for the first time felt different,  if not special in some way. I am of the opinion that each city has its own personality, in some way or another, feeding off the energy of its inhabitants. I have been fortunate enough to travel extensively to some incredible cities, where the more urbanised – such as New York and London – possess similar but nonetheless unique environments. Still, there’s nothing like being in the middle of Braamfontein and being able to witness and appreciate the glory of its current restoration.  

Without a doubt, this is a city of untold potential and defined character. Often described as the ‘City of Gold’, it exudes a certain vigor that’s intrinsically linked to its history, citizens, and – without a doubt – its future. These are some of the locations that truly epitomize the new Johannesburg and its urban cool:

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MABONENG PRECINT / ARTS ON MAIN

This multifaceted project in downtown Jozi was once seen as a no-go area and has now become one of the city’s most popular urban playgrounds. The Maboneng Precinct is an ‘urban neighbourhood’ comprising of retail and office spaces, bars, restaurants, lofts and apartments, as described by the owners and developers responsible for its new life. Aesthetically speaking, the neighbourhood is clean and modern in a stylised industrial fashion.

Occupying a large stretch on Fox Street, the Maboneng Precinct is definitely worth a visit. I recommend going to watch one of the great selections of films at the resident independent cinema, The Bioscope, or going to have a drink at Pata Pata to listen to some great live jazz, to later visit the Living Room rooftop bar. To complete the package, the neighbourhood offers a new place to call home in the form of artisan lofts and apartments, the ultimate cherry on top of urban Jozi living.

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BRAAMFONTEIN

Writing a piece about the re-establishment of Jozi’s cool without mentioning Braams is out of the question. From humble beginnings as the hipster hunting-ground, Braamfontein has evolved into a thriving community where people from all walks of life come together. An ordinary Saturday expedition can begin at the newly established Father Coffee, where you’ll be greeted with an amazing minimalist wood-paneled space and some of the best coffee in the city. Next stop can be the now famous Neighbourgoods market with its diverse selection of brilliant food stalls (do try the artisan pizzas or the Spanish paella.) If you’re looking for another addition to your wardrobe you’re in luck. At Neighbourgoods there are clothing stalls that house a few favourites such as Adriann Kuiters, bluecollarwhitecollar and Chapel to name a few.

Another factor of Braamfontein that can be appreciated is the fact that almost everything is within walking distance. Although most of the developments are situated in either  Juta or De Beer street, the area is growing and new spaces are expected to open in the next few months.  Neighbourgoods 1Neighbourgoods 2

Your next stop should include the intimate and quirky 70 Juta complex, where you’ll find the brilliant Kalashnikov gallery, as well as the Stevenson lower down. Kalashnikov houses works by South African and international artists that specialize     in contemporary and fine art, with great installations for display most will be able to appreciate this unbelievable gallery. Hop over to the Lomography Embassy Store where they specialize in selling one-of-a-kind analogue cameras and film as well as fashion pieces and books.Father CoffeeAs fun as Braams can be in the day, it really comes alive at night. Start off with a drink at Kitcheners, one of Jozi’s oldest establishments. Renovated quite recently the venue has still kept most of the original decor and finishes, which only adds to the atmosphere. Expect an eclectic, diverse group. Next door you’ll find Great Dane, which is fast becoming a Saturday night standard. If you’re going for the first time, be sure to hop between the two. You  also needn’t  worry about parking, as there is security on constant patrol.

Jozi, your future sure is looking bright.

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THE IKEA PS CABINET FROM NEVADA FURNITURE

ikeapscabinetI pinned these images some time ago, as I do with most things that interest me. But more than that I actually wanted one of these cabinets in my home. IKEA South Africa, under the name of Nevada Furniture, sorted that out for me. In fact, for the last month “IKEA SOUTH AFRICA” has been my number one search, so even though I told my friends and shared this news with my readers, there are still thousands of people who have no clue that you can purchase IKEA here. Cape Town just got their first showroom but fear not, they are in the midst of plans for Johannesburg to get their own.

SO HOW DOES IT WORK, EXACTLY?

You log onto IKEA.co.uk, view their catalog and save the ones you love. Then go to Nevadafurniture.co.za and place your order. They go once a month and order both for the showrooms and for requests. I opted for the latter and was pleasantly surprised how efficient the service was. You’ll get your purchase within a 6 week period depending on customs. Nevada Furniture does have a mark-up but keep in mind there are import costs so I think they are quite fair, also just consider that you cannot get IKEA anywhere else in South Africa. You can see my PS cabinet over here on Instagram.

Building it was actually fun and didn’t take that long. One can enjoy the satisfaction of completing this job because sometimes they can be complicated to install. I have decided to order a second one so go beside it. They are available in red as well, for R1899!

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COURTESY OF DESIGN FILES AND DESIGN SPONGE. OTHER IMAGES COLLECTED FROM PINTEREST WITHOUT TRACEABLE CREDITS.

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EXCLUSIVE: INTERVIEW WITH JEAN-PHILIP GROBLER OF ST. LUCIA

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I have been a fan of St. Lucia since this last New Years Eve. A friend played it and I was floored to find out St. Lucia, in all its advanced awesomeness, was a man New York based, but South African born-and-raised. So here is what you need to know: Jean-Philip grew up in the Drakensberg Boys Choir, then spent three years studying music in Liverpool, now he resides in Brooklyn where he is penning St. Lucia’s debut album. Neon Gold will release the album later this year. Formerly a singles-only label that launched releases Passion Pit, Ellie Goulding, The Naked & Famous and helped launch the careers of countless others.

I caught up with Grobler tonight and he graciously interviewed for Man of the Cloth. Here’s what went down:

WHAT IS ST. LUCIA IN YOUR OWN WORDS?

There are so many ways that I’ve thought about this, but to me, when I’m making the music, it’s about the feeling the music evokes. That feeling, to me, is the meeting point between happy and sad, melancholy and ecstasy.

YOUR TOP 3 ALBUMS OF ALL TIME? 

1. Radiohead ‘OK Computer’
2. Fleetwood Mac ‘Tusk’
3. Mew ‘And The Glass Handed Kites’

YOUR MAIN MUSICAL INFLUENCES?

I’m influenced by a lot of different music across the board, but the music that really deeply affects me is the music that has some kind of intent that is deeper than just making a pop record or making something weird. It’s music where the creator was trying to transcend the boundaries of their genre or perceived confines as an artist. For example, I feel that Kanye West really did it with his album Yeezus. That quality or result normally brings along a sense of conflict with it, and so it’s that conflict that you can hear in the music that really gets me. That being said, I also love a really well written and produced pop song, and the new Empire of the Sun album is full of them.

BRIEFLY EXPLAIN THE PROCESS OF PUTTING TOGETHER A TRACK

It’s pretty much train of thought all the way through the entire process, from music to lyrics to production. I really try not to think too much about what I’m doing for as long as humanly possible, but then there is always an editing process that comes at the end that’s very important, and in many ways that’s the most difficult part because you’re switching brain hemispheres from being a hoarder to basically having to sift through this pile of stuff.

8099161071_cb6c8cc7bb_zWHAT HAS NEW YORK DONE FOR YOUR MUSIC? 

I feel like it has really opened my mind to a lot of different possibilities. I’ve really found myself here, and in a strange way it helped me to rediscover my roots by being detached from them. I realized that I’d had a somewhat unique life journey, and that in order to make my mark on this music world I needed to let all of those influences flow out of me unedited. And so, I let go. And New York helped me do that, but in the beginning the music scene really scared me to death because of its’ perceived ‘coolness’ and ‘jadedness’. But you just need to blaze through all of that and not give a shit.

YOUR MUSIC IS CERTAINLY A FAR CRY FROM ANYTHING LOCAL AT THE MOMENT. IN FACT, IT IS SO RELEVANT TO INTERNATIONAL MUSIC THAT YOU HAVE A CLEAR SHOT AT WORLD-WIDE COMMERCIAL SUCCESS AND THAT HAS YET TO HAPPEN LOCALLY IN A MODERN SENSE. WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING DIFFERENTLY? 

God, I really don’t know. I’m just doing my thing. I think in a way I described it in the above answer. I just let go and let all of what is me just flow out without being self-conscious of the results. Actually, saying I wasn’t self-conscious is kind of a lie because it definitely wasn’t easy doing that. You know, in the beginning you imagine that people are going to judge you for doing that. And I just couldn’t help it that what was coming out of me was this joyful, happy (yet still melancholic) music, and in a lot of circles that’s not considered ‘cool’. But, that’s who I am and I have to live with that and fight for that. I have to fight to be taken seriously even though I’m a happy person who makes happy music. Sorry, I deviated a bit from the question there. But, I really don’t know if I’m doing anything differently, I just know what I’m doing, and I’m trying to be as true to myself as possible and trying my best not to care about outside opinions.

WHAT DOES THE NEXT YEAR LOOK LIKE FOR ST. LUCIA?

If all goes well and to plan it’s probably going to be insanely busy with a lot of time on the road. I’m really, really hoping that at some point in the near future we’ll be getting a call to come back to SA to do a tour. I would love nothing more.

Odgen Theater-Denver, CO-Feb 1st 2013

IMAGE 1 COURTESY OF SHERVIN LAINEZ, IMAGE 2 JAIME FERNANDEZ AND IMAGE 3 VINH NGUYEN

VISIT THE ST. LUCIA SITE FOR MORE

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LOOM OPENS IN BREE STREET, CAPE TOWN

No stranger to coolness, Bree street has adopted yet another fashion store in the form of LOOM. We already love our Jozi version so it was about time that Cape Town got access to a host of international cult brands too. Menswear struggles in general but the niche market that Anthony Keyworth has tapped into will surely survive in Cape Town. After all, Bree street is where “card carrying hipsters” migrate. Owned and run by Loom de Nimes, the company that we can thank for Paul Smith (their neighbors in Bree street too), have come up with another great looking store, better than even their Johannesburg store in my opinion. The colours are awesome and the merchandising superb (Paul O ‘Donnell is a genius– I can say that because I worked with him). Keyworth collaborated with Tonic designs on this one.

Check it out if you’re fans of APC, Commes des Garcon, SUPER sunglasses and sneakers in their most limited edition and collaborated forms.

IMAGES FROM WE ARE AWESOME.

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DISCOVERIES OF THE WEEK

My fashion… cleanse, has me on Pinterest alot. Yes, go back and click that link, my Pinterest is awesome and needs following. While I’m there the darting from one picture to the next has me seeing a lot of amazing things and since this blog is overhauling slowly (there will lots of fashion in my future, don’t worry) I wanted to start sharing them from time to time. That said, I never saw the appeal of Pinterest, but you should try it out properly as you will soon see that inspiration really does strike rapidly there.

THIS ARTWORK BY ZIPORA FRIED

FANTASTIC ILLUSTRATIONS BY BRUCE MACKAY 

THESE VINTAGE SUITCASES BY GLOBE-TROTTER AT MR. PORTER

DISCOVER AND DELIVER’S EVERYTHING

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THE MODERNIST – PARKHURST, JOHANNESBURG

Anikesh Ramani and Gavin Thomas are the owners of my favorite store in Johannesburg, MØDERNIST in the trendy area of Parkhurst. I would drop some serious dollar on this place if it weren’t for my own obsession with restoring furniture. In fact, my interests in decor started as a result of buying a beautiful headboard from these gents only last year. The Modernist came about after a good client (Anikesh) got into business with Gavin, who owned Wasteland at 44 Stanley at the time, they expanded on the business model and voila, Modernist. Their pieces are well made, fit perfectly into a modern day aesthetic and are not horribly expensive. The great news is they are now producing their own pieces in the style of their reclaimed furniture. Make sure you stop by for a look.

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