I checked into Rahim Rawjee’s industrial chic QSL Hotel in Milpark last night for a couple of days. Less is more here with attention given over to the important stuff like friendly, efficient service, really comfortable mattresses, great linen and super fast wi-fi. As a premium tailor to SA’s jet-set — his glamorous Row-G studio is upstairs — Rawjee is well versed in all of the above, comfort and fine cloth but says the establishment is a little edgier and more representative of his personal “street style”. A contemporary suit and sneakers look would be the best way to describe the house style and I’m feeling right at home.
I’m reminded of the heady ‘old’ days of SA Fashion Week back in the late 90s and early 2000s. I’ve beautiful, bold images of elaborate productions and conceptual designs from the likes of Clive Rundle, Strangelove, Black Coffee and of course Row-G. On my BA flight up to Joburg I was enjoying my other favorite read, High Life. Apart from their superbly off-the-beaten-track view of the world including a marvelous Dallas guide by Annie Clark aka St Vincent, the September issue has a brief interview with photographer Jean-Marie Périer. His current exhibition in London includes iconic shots of 60s rock stars but possibly more familiar are those of the most creative couturiers who became the new rock stars of the 90s. I recall the powerful image of Jean-Paul Gaultier dressed as “the Pope of Fashion” and I tend to share Périer’s view that: “These were the last years of the happy times…People were not scared of anything.”
For as long as I can recall, Lidewij Edelkoort, one of the world’s most famous trend forecasters has been a guest at the annual Design Indaba, peddling her multifarious forecasts to the delight of hungry homemakers and unimaginative designers. She is without doubt an incredible storyteller and the creator of the most seductive imagery, which might even put the most talented Instagrammers to shame — there is good reason why her annual trend publications are bibles to brand strategists and designers the world-over.
With the changing media landscape, everyone is now a photographer/commentator and we are easily captivated by imagery on social media. In the plethora of portraits normally of the selfie kind one does find the unique, individualistic style statements of the current generation. Refreshingly perhaps, Edelkoort believes we are going to see some change. Through ‘Portraits of Time’, her latest work for Rado, she identifies four style statements which not only accompany the Swiss watchmaker’s latest collection but also reflect the shifting zeitgeist.
“Society is developing a taste for portraits, moving away from the ubiquitous selfie and symbolising a moment of great focus, where the essential becomes coveted and quality governs,” she says. “In this moment of great focus, four themes emerge: poetry, memory, comfort and design – all of which center around quality, durability and a discovery of personal style.”
The selfie is dead. Long live the more considered (read: indulgent) portrait?
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