Showing posts from 2012

Memoirs of the Original Hustler

I just finished reading Jane Raphaely: Unedited, and I am so glad that I did.
It offered me perspective into the industry I so badly want to be a part of (magazine publishing), the impact it has on a person's personal life, and the hard work it takes to be successful in this type of work.

When I read it a second time, I might be tempted to write down some notes and put some of Jane's candid, sage advice to work in my own life. The book is inspirational, without really trying to hard to be. It is a story told in a frank tone, with almost no detail left out.

There are many quotable passages in the 349 pages of this memoir. Here's one that I came across in the last few chapters:

                   "The truth is that good magazines demand slow cooking, hard thinking, much polishing and revision. I have been called 'famously picky' and it is a badge I wear with pride. There are some things that you can't be too picky about, and magazines are one"

This for …

Born Too Soon? (Or: "Oh, To Have Been A Teen In the 80s...")

I really wish I had been born in the 80s. Then I would have an excuse to wear really big hair, gaudy jewellery, and oversized, colourful clothing (which is somehow still so stylish).
I would've been so happy then.

The best place to get information on the "spirit of the times" is, of course, in music videos.
These videos from Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston showcase the fashion and the feisty attitudes of women back then. I love every tacky moment.

Janet Jackson - What Have You Done For Me Lately?

Paula Abdul is in this video! (Also, she choreographed it). I see so much of what people are wearing on the streets right now in this: the waistcoats, shirts, leggings and blazers have become wardrobe staples again for a group of nostalgic young people with an eye for fashion.

Whitney Houston - I Wanna Dance With Somebody

I love the black dress, and her shoes. The make-up is so wonderfully loud.
The classic "just jeans and a white T-shirt" look which can be seen in So…

Now Reading: JR's Memoirs

I like to read up on and follow the lives and careers of women who I think are inspirational. It's great for days when I've had one bad assignment after another, the arrows pointing out the the direction of my life have been blown asunder by the winds of life, and I feel like there's no hope. (So, the last 4 months of my life, then).


This weekend I got my copy of Jane Raphaely's memoirs- Jane Raphaely: Unedited. So far, I'm really enjoying reading about the life of the original 'fun, fearless female' (Raphaely was the first editor of Cosmopolitan magazine for South Africa).

This woman lived through the war. The war. Reading about how she and her family struggled through that time of food rations and a volatile political climate- Jane all the while working towards growing into the Jewish part of her identity ("I have never regretted my decision to accept the Jewish soul that took charge of my half-Irish body...")- reminded me that I h…

Lianne la Havas

Lianne la Havas is a London-born singer of mixed Greek and Jamaican descent who sings with the soul, quirkiness and honesty which can be associated with the likes of Corinne Bailey Rae and Erykah Badu.

I'm so grateful to Sabu over at All That Haberdash for introducing me to Lianne. Had I not begun searching YouTube for the above song, listened to it, and loved it, I would never have discovered Forget:

I can't get over the way Lianne arranges the notes in her music, and then sings them so naturally that it actually induces goosebumps. There are no frills here, only talent and commitment to the art.

Lianne has been working hard for the past few years, touring and building her fan base in her native country, but also in places as far as Australia and America.
She needs to play in South Africa next. She and Elle Varner. If I saw the two of them live, I would be content with life- then I would run away to some deliciously deserted island and write reams of poetry about the night th…


I like music, and live or a capella versions of my favourite songs are on a much higher rotation on my playlist than the radio versions. This fact is well-documented. (No, really: it is).

So allow me to share with you Live Your Life, by Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna:

Pure voice, sincere lyrics. Listen and be simple for this 4 minutes.


I've seen these transparent accessories popping up on street style blogs lately:

It's not the newest trend, but then we know that in fashion what goes around comes back around- with a different name, a new colour, and a more impressive marketing pitch. Anyway.
This transparent accessory trend (which extends to shoes, jewellery, and even nails) is something I can see myself buying into.
The first thought that might come to mind is "but then everyone will see whats's in my bag!" I'll admit it's a little intimidating: we don't all have iPhones and YSL lipsticks in our bags. The average woman is probably toting around more bubblegum wrappers, till slips, and tissues in her bag than designer luxury items and expensive vices. 
The point of this trend, as far as I can see, is the "let's see what you've got" challenge: of a clear bag is meant to make you step up. Not necessarily step out to splurge so you can show off, but become more aware …

"I's a Party On your Face, and I'm 'bout to Dance On It"

"Beatdown" is my song of the month- well, one of them anyway- if for no other reason than the fact that it makes me want to dance. Steve Aoki and Iggy Azalea bring out the "party rocker" in me. But then, we already know how I feel about Iggy.

Listen for yourself:

I'm not sure how much of the video makes sense (do any of them make sense these days?), but I just love the lyrics:

What you looking at, do I got something in my eye?
Do I got ish up on my face, or did my hair catch on fire?
'cause you really really staring, am I something that you like?
Geez, ask for my number or you can fly kites.

It's like the perfect description of how I would behave if someone at a party or in a club was giving off irritating vibes. Except she goes on to say that she's going to beat the person who's giving her Crazy Eyes, and I'm not quite that aggressive.

In the end, it's just about Iggy not wanting to be bothered by a girl who can't fend for herself- …

Words Paint A Picture... Of Brandon Hines

Movie soundtracks are my thing. I've mentioned before (more than once) that I'm the girl who goes out and finds out what song was playing in That Crucial Scene, so I can add it to my playlist.
Acting, singing, writing- it's all storytelling, and storytelling is part of what I'm about.

A few months back, I watched Think Like A Man. John Legend, Marcus Canty, and even Earth, Wind and Fire were on the soundtrack for that one, but the one who's music has stayed with me (as much as I love 'Tonight (Best You Ever Had)) is Brandon Hines.

His song 'Fire' was a reminder of how smooth RnB can really be. The sound is mellow and sensual, and Brandon assures us that he's "got that high grade, top shelf kind of love". I was sold.

In Search Of is his free-to-download album, and its 8 songs are a mix of uptempo beats, smart lyrics (a throwback to the days when men used to put a little effort into convincing a woman to give in to their advances), and a goo…

This Is How the Literary Crowd Throws A Party

The Cool Web
Children are dumb to say how hot the day is,  How hot the scent is of the summer rose,  How dreadful the black wastes of evening sky,  How dreadful the tall soldiers drumming by.
But we have speech ,to chill the angry day,  And speech, to dull the rose's cruel scent. We spell away the overhanging night,  We spell away the soldiers and the fright.
There's a cool web of language winds us in,  Retreat from too much joy or too much fear: We grow sea-green at last and coldly die In brininess and volubility.
But if we let our tongues lose self-possession, Throwing off language and it's watery clasp Before our death, instead of when death comes, Facing the wide glare of the children's day,  Facing the rose, the dark sky and the drums, We shall go mad and die that way.
Robert Graves
This is the poem which began the speech by Eloise Wessels, CEO at the NB Group of publishers, at the Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature awards.
The poem is about instilling in children a respect and appreci…

#PUMASocialJozi (Were You There?)

"Braam at midnight sounds like a playground at midday"
And on that playground, things like this happen:
"Vampire 9000" sounds like the name of a really dangerous band, right? But it's really just one guy, who sings with a strange pain in his voice while he clutches his guitar to his chest... Brilliant. The Tidal Waves are a really cool reggae-with-a-hint-of-hard-rock band that I wouldn't mind seeing again, and then of course, Desmond and the Mother-Flippin' Tutus!
They were amazing. All five of them. I can't even do that weird thing girls do when rock bands are around and pick a band member to be a groupie for- they're all equally awesome. Come back to Braam soon, guys!

Aguilera Is Back!

I've been seeing some of the hype around Christina Aguilera and her new song, "Your Body". Usually, the song is mentioned after people have their say on her "weight gain".

Christina hears the comments from critics, and has told that she is comfortable with her body- any style risks she takes are ones which show that she is always true to herself.
Thank goodness Christina stopped pandering to the record label executives who sought to change her, because she is looking spectacular in the video for the first single off of her upcoming fifth studio album, Lotus.

My favourite look is the "trailer park pin-up" from the first few scenes. It looks like a lot of fun to try out. I mean, I would totally wear animal print leggings, ridiculous amounts of costume jewellery, and really high heels- even if it's just for a quick trip to the grocery shop! (No. Not really. My life isn't Jerseylicious- but you know what I mean, right?)

The s…

Words. Read, Write, Return to Dignity.

I was reminded the other day about how much I used to love reading:

The friend who wrote that had me remembering how I always promised myself the same thing.
Well, yesterday I went out and tried my luck at the library again, and this is what I found:

Finally, I have my hands on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's bestseller. I'm enjoying it so far, and I want to take it in for all it's worth. The movie adaptation, set for release sometime in 2013, stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Genevieve Nnaji and Thandie Newton. I'm trying to block all the movie spoilers out of my mind so that they don't affect the way I see the story, but I will share this one photo from the set:
I would love to get back to my "one-book-one-week" self. Reading really is one of the things I used to enjoy most- escaping into the lives of characters authors created to tell fantastic stories was my solace.
These days, we have Twitter and Facebook, where people abuse the written word and spread their ignora…

Cleo Droomer for Mr Price

Cleo Droomer is the Cape Town-based designer who heads up Cleo Droomer Creations. He is also winner of the 2010 ELLE New Talent Design Award.
The range he went on to design for Mr Price after his win looked a little like this:

The soft colours and flowy silhouettes had these clothes flying off the shelves. It was also a sign that Cleo Droomer was ahead of the game: the return to femininity and the prominence of pastel colours has been the call of the day with designers for most of this past year.

This time, Cleo Droomer is teaming up with Mr Price for a Project: Limited Edition collection that will cater for women as well as men.

I absolutely have to get my hands on this peplum print dress:

There is also this coral dress:

Add a cropped jacket, a clutch, some chunky bangles and some heels, and this goes from day to night without a problem.

For the guys,  Droomer designed some streetwear which- along with the rest of the collection- was inspired by "youth culture, bright colours an…


Here are a few pictures of outfits I would love to own one day When I'm Big.

Nicole Warne from Gary Pepper Vintage has a style which incorporates preppy and chic. I love the circle skirt feel in the first outfit, and the bags and court shoes are absolute winners for me.

Black Fashion by Javii is a street style Tumblr blog that describes itself as "a collection of images for people of colo[u]r to showcase their fantastic, irreverent, classic and bold fashion ├ęclat". 
There are also features on black designers, and beauty tips for all women of colour.

Other blogs that make me say "I wish I could buy my clothes off of tumblr" are SithaKent and AllThatHaberDash.
Check out these South African gems next time you need a virtual wardrobe overhaul.

Pop. Because Everyone Needs a Little Sugar 'n' Sunshine

Every few months, the pop world reshuffles its playlists, deletes some songs, and adds some new artists. That is what is expected of "bubblegum music"- once all the songs have been played to death and the chewy sweet sounds no longer have any flavour, it's time for something new.
Usually, pop artists are young girls (and boys) who have okay voices, can carry a note, and are able to pull off whatever wild "look" the stylists want for video shoots.  Music lovers who care always hope that the new "hot thing" will last a little longer than that month's bottle of lotion.  I think Jimmy Nevis might be the answer to the question "are you going to stay?"
Recently signed  to Rude World Records, this 20-year-old Capetonian first got my attention when I heard "Elephant Shoes":

I got a distinct Jason Mraz vibe from this cute, quirky song. Apparently, if you mouth the words "I love you (too)", it looks like you're saying "…

Kate Spade

It's Fashion Week season, and while I may not be as clued up about the designers, the front row guests and the after parties as I could be, I do follow some bloggers who do.

I came across this picture of a clutch designed to look like an old-school transistor radio in one of the fashion week reviews:

I love this bag because it's a quirky, modern homage to what was once every music-lover's most prized possession. (No shade on MP3s players and podcasts)
The clutch is a statement all on it's own, but it also fits well with any one of the pieces from this label's Spring/Summer 2013 collection.

On the Kate Spade website, the New York lifestyle brand (which has recently added jewellery, shoes, eyewear and house/home essentials to its product line since its inception in 1993) assures customers:

"we’ve never lost sight of who we are: our spirited approach, commitment to curiosity and passion for sharing our colo[u]rful world still shapes all that is Kate Spade New York…

New Release: I Don't Care

"I Don't Care" is the latest single from the charming and talented Elle Varner. The video was released earlier this week, and it definitely cements her status as an RnB sensation:

The parallel storylines show the way two couples' love has to endure prejudice and ignorance. Parents don't understand, and society judges, but Elle wants us to not place so much importance on that.

The Popcrush review of the video went on to make mention of the way Elle shows fans her more sensual side. It works: her music is about relating experiences, and having listeners go on a journey with her. It's music that speaks to everyday situations.

I enjoyed the video: just like with Refill and Only Wanna Give It To You, the execution of the idea behind the song is impeccable, and even those who would rather look at the clothes (her wardrobe people do the work of superheros) or other shiny things in the background will not be disappointed.

Perfectly Imperfect is going to go far- I hop…

Mona Phansi! (Jealous Down)

About a month ago, AKA released a new single called "Jealousy".
Days before it was even first played on radio, he and his team had people hyped up on Twitter and had fans going crazy waiting to hear it. I'm sure on that day, people who never listen to the radio left their couches and headed straight for the nearest "wylens" (wireless radio).

It is an insanely catchy, incredibly produced song about Mr Forbes's success over the past 2 years or so.
AKA does what rappers do best- brag- but in a way that shuts up all the naysayers and makes the fans proud at the same time. He's not looking to fight with anyone about whether or not he deserves his success, he's merely stating that he's worked hard, and now he's enjoying the rewards.
People who have a problem with that just need to calm down.

For the past few days, the team has again been getting people excited about some new work- this time the video for Jealousy.
After posting behind the scenes p…

Dirty Bass

Once in a while I hear a song that makes me want to go straight to a club and dance like my reputation doesn't matter.
That's what the girls in this Far East Movement video are doing, and the small voice of the Party Girl in me is saying "this is your jam..."

Of course, that voice is quickly shut out. Especially since I know I am definitely not the type of girl who goes out in public in a bikini top and an obnoxious gold chain, and little else. NO. But, I mean, it's fun to watch sometimes.
After all, what's a hip-hop video without outrageous displays of debaucherous lifestyles...?

Oh My Dayum, I'm Singing about My Lunch!

This guy's burger was so good, he had to sing about it:

Apparently, this video was edited using Songify, which is an android application that turns speech into music.

It has already spawned quite a few covers, and it really did lift my spirits a little. I could watch it over and over again (and so could a lot of other YouTube users, who even went as far as making an hour long version of this!)

This is how good food should make you feel. I fully support the Oh My Dayum movement!

Desmond and The Tutus

"Formed December 2005, Desmond & The Tutus plays an 
infectiously awesome blend of Rock 'n Roll, Indie, Kwela,Pop 
and Genius. You will have fun or else you will die. Not 
because we're going to get all offended and poke your eyes 
out with sharp sticks or anything but rather because you'll be 
trampled to a bleeding pulp by all the happy dancers 
jumping around like little crazies" (quoted from their MySpace page)

A while back, the song Kiss You On The Cheek was on high rotation on radio, and Tattoo is also a really cool song. At the moment, I'm obsessed with Zim Zala Bim, the song which comes off the album that these crazy fools actually made an informercial for (warning: Dobson gets really irritated with the rats and starts using some... colourful language):

The video is a sort of audiovisual version of those dubious (and most times downright hilarious) pamphlets that people give out at just about every street corner in Johannesburg.  You know the ones: they&#…

National Book Week

I never know that one of these "national weeks" is coming up, unless I read about it on a blog or hear about it on radio. I mean, when was the last time anyone you know consulted an actual (paper) calendar about anything?
Besides, these types of days only appear on some obscure government website, so very few people know about them anyway.

The point is, the Department of Arts and Culture has declared the 3rd to the 8th of September this year is National Book Week:

South Africa commemorates National Book Week every first week of September, it is an initiative of the South African Book Development Council (SABDC) in collaboration with the Department of Arts and Culture.
The commemoration coincides with International Literacy Day on 8 September. The main purpose is to encourage reading to the general public, increase awareness of the importance of reading for the development of the nation and to promote publishing industry skills for the benefit of South African and African autho…

Spring Cleaning

Cleaning is not just about housework, it's also about changing a few things about one's daily life.

With the temperatures getting higher, hemlines moving further and further up past the knees, and the revival of the weekend traditions of braais and ice-cream happening all around, I decided it was time to finally do something about the way this blog looks.

This look is much cleaner, and now you can see who it actually is behind all this mad raving, (I'll change it to a new embarrassing as often as I can) and click on "Join" to build the community and show your loyalty- which I have been increasingly grateful after these two and a half years.

Comment on the new look, and on what you would like to see before next spring below! :)