Design at a Glance

To describe my Saturday afternoon of the 3rd of March, it would be mixed with various great themes from fresh to innovative but also can be described as inspirational. This is what I experienced from my first Design Indaba Expo. Just stepping into the CTICC conference venue and checking out the stands helped fill a hole with in my creativity. I haven’t been around so many creative people in a while and the exhibitor stands had so many displays from sustainability, hand-made products, fashion, illustrations, ceramics and furniture ect. The awesome entertainment, from the likes of Riaad Moosa. He was a brilliantly stand-up comedian to relaxing you after those long walks browsing on the stands.

As this expo had so much to offer, there were disappointments in-between various exhibitor stands. I found some stands were more of a product placement than being creative & innovative products. Also the food being very expensive. Hope there will be improvement on that side in the future.

There were loads of exhibitor stands I enjoyed like the sustainable engineered products like furniture and laptop stands etc from Raw Designs to amazing wallpaper from Design Kist, as well as Andy Cartwright Homeware innovative products, and the impressive section of the emerging creatives. The one exhibitor from the emerging creatives that stood out without a doubt was Claudette Maskell. An illustrator working with print & fabric with an elegant and simple style in her work. Love one of her print called Mandala and I even ended up ordering one. Looking forward to what else will coming out for this illustrator.

Definitely Design Indaba will be highlighted on my calendar next year including the conference. So loads of saving for me next year!

Juicy Trends

Especially there has be loads of cool trends at the moment in the fashion industry. I quite like the fact I am seeing this is filtering through our summer ranges at the moment since I was in the UK for summer. I am seeing lots of floral, stripes, and cool bright colours. It’s going to be a great summer!

Gok Wan for Sainbury's TU: Ultimate wrap dress Photo: J Sainsbury

Anyhow, I just been reading loads of article from the UK by chance. One thing I came across is Gok Wan doing with the Sainsbury’s TU collection for low prices with two of my favourites pieces are the ultimate wrap dress and oversized shirt, teal – for varies shape sizes. But the rest of collection I could say it’s not all best but refreshing. Since people are usually stuck in the same boring cuts every season. You can say our ‘High Street’ or ‘Low Price’ brands can learn a lot from these examples by introducing a great clothing line at affordable prices. We have closest brand similar to the UK’s Primark or Sainbury’s but they either falling short on quality or low prices for the masses. Since we have the extremes of poverty and wealth gap would take years to get the balance right with the affordable clothing line with quality or even longer with the current state of the financial turmoil.

Another growing trend is plus size models and fashion industry is offering more plus sizes on the increases, which is exciting for the women who usually force fed the waif thin model look. I am so glad this has changed a little since the last time I wrote my thesis called ‘Manufactured Desire’ about seven ago focusing on fashion industry on using untenable beauty and body image.

Nancy Upton's entry

There are always going to be controversies coming with upcoming trends. I read an article about American Apparel’s ‘The Next Big Thing’ competition which models had to submit a binge-eating shots showcasing the American Apparel XL clothing line. One of models, Nancy Upton, submitted a tongue and cheek images that’s pokes fun of the industry or marketers of their delayed support of the plus size models.

The plus-size models also have pressure to loose weight. Examples of recent models who lost weight are Sophie Dahl and now Crystal Renn, who been raised evebrows with her new figure. On the positive note I came across this I Choose Love article about a French model, Tara Lynn, who’s curves are showcasing her natural beauty. I pretty surprise media is still having curvy vs skinny, the issue should be how healthy current weight is good for you.

Tara Lynn on Vogue Italia Magazine

Lastly, rad fashion blogs, Refinery 29  and T Magazine. Check them out.

Recycling at it’s Best!

While I was away on the weekend break in Montagu, two hours drive from Cape Town, last month. I came across stall called The Joshua Tree at Montagu’s Saturday market. The Joshua Tree basically, or mostly, recycle old wood for furniture and frames etc.

I was so impress since this is all handcrafted locally. Also this has given local people, mostly Xhosas include few foreigners an employment. I had an opportunity to chat to a Zimbabwean who works on the product. He was so passionate on what he was doing. And Simon, who runs this project, I briefly chat was exceptional friendly and open about this product. So I can wait to order one of these frames once I’ve done my overseas holiday. In a meanwhile, check out some of the photos taken from their site.