David & Radcliffe

The new contemporary

Style, ConceptZainab Slemang
David & Radcliffe – The new contemporary
David & Radcliffe – The new contemporary
David & Radcliffe – The new contemporary
David & Radcliffe – The new contemporary
David & Radcliffe – The new contemporary
David & Radcliffe – The new contemporary
David & Radcliffe – The new contemporary

At the helm of a promise of greatness lies the distinct character of creativity that can be found in all of us, if only given the chance

When I first sat down to give the images in this post context with the written word, I was going to pen some carefully constructed prose on the democratisation of fashion, the rise of prêt-à-porter (or ready-to-wear) and the state of haute couture in an age of excess and status buy-in. Unfortunately, my brain's capacity to process fully formed thoughts seems to be lacking and my usual eloquent (or so I'd like to think) literary prowess eludes me as I've been surviving on a diet of early morning pancakes, late-night meals thrown together in a state of fatigue and approximately six or less hours of sleep.

The reason for my lacklustre appearance and unhealthy habits (by most human standards, anyway; the rest of my journalism and communication colleagues would laugh at my audacity for proclaiming six hours is too little and that coffee and a bad toasted sarmie is more than enough fuel to get you through a deadline – or two) of late is that I've been doing communications coordination at what, arguably, could be one of the most significant institution openings the African continent has seen, or will see, for many years. In just two weeks, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) will be opening its doors to the public for the very first time and, although I joined the fray at quite a late stage, I can't be more proud or humbled to be a part of such an historic project.

That being said, with two very busy weeks ahead, I've had no time to eat, sleep, breath or think of anything other than press previews, museum memberships, curators, architecture and, of course, art. Oh, the art! Every day, I get to work and walk within a space that houses some of the most gorgeous and compelling contemporary artworks, flown in from across the globe. And each day, there's something new to discover: A giant screen projecting a film that speaks to both human migration and the medium as a carrier of memory and information that takes up an entire gallery room, a series of photographs portraying the concept of being forgotten, a suspended ... wait, I've already said too much (so best you get your hands on free tickets for the grand opening weekend from 22–25 September). 

Getting back to my point of relating these particular images to some sort of context, the Zeitz MOCAA's entire philosophy hinges on that of being inclusive – through its various exhibitions, by granting access for all to these exhibitions, and by its implementation of an education centre and curatorial training programme that significantly includes a Curator of Digital Platforms. With the democratisation of information by technology, the internet itself plays host to numerous artists across various mediums– from music to digitally crafted drawings and photographs. So while this work may not be seen as significant within the context in which it is shown (i.e. the internet), they are in themselves artistic expressions. 

Art – as it is seen through the eyes of art lovers, curators, gallery owners and artists – is a reflection of society, the world around us – whether it's adolescent rebellion, political pressures or outright dissatisfaction with the status quo. And current society's collective consciousness is telling us that anyone armed with a computer, tablet or smart phone can be a creative, an activitist, a writer...

Who knows? Perhaps someday, these ill-informed musings and their obscure connections to imagery may find themselves on the walls of a museum gallery too. And that in itself would play into the ethos of inclusivity.

Image 1: Jeffrey Campbell Lita boots

Image 2: Puma Basket sneaker

Image 3: Black Betty ring

Image 4: The Joinery satchel, Black Betty bracelets and rings

Image 5: Adidas Stan Smith sneaker

Image 6: Black Betty earring

Image 7: The Joinery laptop sleeve, Black Betty bracelets and rings

Photography: Mohammed Hoosain

Beauty: ONQ Makeup

Henna tattoo: Nazeefah Allie

Shifting gears

PersonalZainab Slemang
David & Radcliffe – Shifting gears
David & Radcliffe – Shifting gears
David & Radcliffe – Shifting gears
David & Radcliffe – Shifting gears
David & Radcliffe – Shifting gears
David & Radcliffe – Shifting gears
David & Radcliffe – Shifting gears
David & Radcliffe – Shifting gears

Seven months after making a lame resolution to try new things, the anvil fell hard right atop my head – and I find myself once again contemplating the harsh realities of reality

It's been a crazy two months. I've driven a Jaguar, visited Kenya (a video will be up soon), took a road trip to Knysna (pics to come) and ... been retrenched.

There, I said it. The one thing I never thought could happen to me has happened. Not that it caught me totally unaware either. I'd slowly felt myself being shunned silently as I walked the corridors, stood awkwardly in the elevator, received no response to emails that warranted some sort of acknowledgement. 

So why then has it left a bitter taste in my mouth? And why has it taken me this long to write about it? Because I thought it couldn't happen to me? Because I'd been crowned 'prodigal' after I'd made my return a mere six months after leaving and been promised great things? Hardly. It was more the silent and slow repudiation of my role and the bitter reality that I was no longer needed, too costly for a company that had slowly sucked my soul dry while my family, friends and pets suffered silently in the background as I clocked in days – nay, weeks – of overtime I can now never get back.

After seven days of wallowing in self pity and eating all the food in the house, it struck me. Maybe this wasn't as big a calamity as I'd thought. I'd been treated unfairly, yes, and maybe there were other less qualified people who could have been given the boot instead. But this was an opportunity to pursue more of what I wanted to do, to take a step into the world and try out new things. And if that didn't work out, at least I'd have a nice pay cheque waiting for me as I whiled away my time exploring even more avenues towards my next calling. After all, I'd already reached the pinnacle of my 10-year plan. I'd received my Masters degree, been an editor of not one but two different (and amazing) consumer magazines and eaten my feelings in a box of chocolate squares. Okay, so that last one I would have done anyway but the point is, shifting gears at this point in my life isn't the be all and end all. It might not be as easy as driving the beautiful cars in this post's imagery but my career trajectory is far from over. It may have taken a slight U-turn but it's left me with a newfound sense of confidence and some extra cash. And I'm not going to say no to a spot of shopping, now am I?

Images 2 and 3: Customised K-Way Softshell 2 jacket

Image 4: H&M jeans, Puma Basket sneaker

Images 7 and 8: Customised K-Way Softshell 2 jacket, Truworths gilet, H&M jeans, Puma Basket sneakers

Photography: Mohammed Hoosain/HYVE Collective

Super cars courtesy of Venture South

Supernova

Beauty, ConceptZainab Slemang
David & Radcliffe – Supernova
David & Radcliffe – Supernova
David & Radcliffe – Supernova
David & Radcliffe – Supernova

Not merely trends, purple − and ombré − are smash hits in the hair world

A couple of years ago, the ombré (literally meaning 'shaded' in French) hair trend had just surfaced − and I was all for it! For months, I toyed with the idea of having my hair gradually blending from dark brown to blue but never ended up having it done. Instead, I chopped off most of my locks

Fast forward 18 months and I finally took the plunge, this time opting for purple. Why purple? Well, for starters, the hair colour, like the trend, is basically a supernova. It came on to the scene with a bang and has only increased in popularity.

The colour also goes really well with most outfits (especially those of the black-white-grey variety that I'm partial to). And it plays nice with other purple (and blue) hues, such as dark purple lipstick, metallic purple eyeshadow (seen here on my ear), lilac and purple nail colours, as well as bright purple eyeliner. 

My hair's faded out to a nice grey-ish tint since this shoot but I'm keen on giving it new life again soon. The only question is, should I go for the chop or colour it again?

Photography: Samantha Pinto

Beauty: Megan Wridgway

Hair colour: Tracy Murphy at The Tamed Barber

 

10 Items or less

Zainab Slemang
David & Radcliffe – 10 Items or less
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David & Radcliffe – 10 Items or less
David & Radcliffe – 10 Items or less
David & Radcliffe – 10 Items or less
David & Radcliffe – 10 Items or less
David & Radcliffe – 10 Items or less
David & Radcliffe – 10 Items or less
David & Radcliffe – 10 Items or less

Investing in the age of 'see now, buy now'

I've been having quite a difficult time with fashion lately. From the mass production model of high street stores to the fashion immediacy model, more commonly known as 'see now, buy now', that many luxury brands have adopted, fashion has become saturated with product and imagery. No matter where you look or which platform you subscribe to, we're being bombarded with coats, dresses, sneakers, heels, bags, accessories, basically everything, at lightning speed – and I can't keep up. I simply don’t have the time to look at every single post by a brand, especially when the same images are utilised on multiple channels.

It’s already public knowledge that many high street stores and large retailers have similar styles (what many deem as ‘direct copies’) of luxury brands’ designs – often before the designer items are available to the public. And while some brands have taken these stores to court, most of them don’t for two reasons: there isn’t much copyright law that protects clothing designs specifically and it’s a costly exercise. A lot of brands are also afraid that consumers, particularly millennials and those that have been raised in the age of technology, are in constant search of the next ‘new’ item.

So to counteract the theft of their designs, the loss of profit and the perpetuated fear of losing consumers to something more new and shiny, many designers have taken to the ‘see now, buy now’ model. Luxury brands such as Burberry, Moschino and Tommy Hilfiger have all presented collections that were immediately shoppable online.

Which I suppose is terrific because as a consumer, you won’t have to wait six months for a collection to reach stores, while brands retain some hegemony over their designs as mass-production companies are unable to copy the items then ship before the original designs have even hit shop floors.

The only problem, for me at least, is that to retain a longer commercial value, brands then bombard us with endless imagery and product information for months on end. So how is it different to the old system where constant exposure and endorsement meant consumers saw the same imagery anyway?

For one, there are a lot more channels for brands to disseminate their message, whether that message is to buy, to spread awareness or to simply build a relationship. But it also means the same message is distributed across multiple channels – in magazines, on websites, via the radio and television, and on social media.

And while this is highly important (how else would you get your message to consumers and ensure your product sells?), it also means your audience will eventually become bored of seeing the same thing over and over again. Even with Instagram’s new algorithm that shows posts I may have missed, I still find myself scrolling past images from accounts I voluntarily followed. Not because I don’t like their content; because I’m tired of seeing the same content.

So what’s the solution? Well, brands have already started by offering 'customised services' – personalised clothing, unique experiences et al. – via their brick-and-mortar stores. And while this is amazing (because hey, who wouldn’t want a customised jacket bearing their name?), it isn’t enough to keep an audience happy. The content being disseminated also needs to be relevant and interesting – otherwise we millennials will simply hit that Unfollow button.

Having worked in media, researched digital media and spoken to colleagues in the industry, I think brands should start creating content specific to each platform and its audience. After all, the middle-aged mom with four kids that loves scrolling through Facebook is not the same as the twenty-something career woman who shops from her Instagram feed. Finding out who your audience is on each platform and then creating content for their needs will retain a loyal following and possibly even increase the return on investment, whatever your end goal.

And once you know the type of content your audience enjoys, you can keep feeding them more of it (mind you, in small doses) without the fear of losing them to something new. Because, in my experience, a brand that offers less in terms of output but more in quality is something worth investing my time and money in.

Image 1: Zainab wears: The Bridal Edit dress, stylist’s own shirt, H&M jacket and Prada sunglasses. Lindy wears: H&M top and trousers, and model’s own necklace

Image 2: Puma top, model’s own blazer and Prada sunglasses

Images 3 and 4: Puma bralette, H&M jacket and trousers, Prada sunglasses and model’s own ring

Images 5 & 6: Lindy wears: Puma bralette, H&M jacket and trousers, Prada sunglasses, and model’s own ring and boots. Zainab wears: H&M dress, model’s own vest and headband, Prada sunglasses, and Jeffrey Campbell boots

Image 7: Stylist’s own jacket, model’s own headband and Prada sunglasses

Image 8: H&M top and trousers, and model’s own necklace

Images 9 & 10: The Bridal Edit dress and Prada sunglasses

Image 11: Zainab wears: The Bridal Edit dress, stylist’s own shirt, H&M jacket and Prada sunglasses. Lindy wears: H&M top and trousers, and model’s own necklace

Photography: Rizqua Barnes

Photography assistants: Sam Samaai and Mohammed Hoosain

Styling: Chandre Mophethe and Zainab SvR

Beauty: Lindy Lin and Megan Wridgway

Models: Zainab SvR and Lindy Lin

Location: Wembley Superette

 

 

 

 

More than just a flower girl

StyleZainab Slemang
David & Radcliffe – More than just a flower girl
David & Radcliffe – More than just a flower girl
David & Radcliffe – More than just a flower girl
David & Radcliffe – More than just a flower girl
David & Radcliffe – More than just a flower girl
David & Radcliffe – More than just a flower girl

'Peace, love and unity, may have been left behind in the Seventies but, along with flowing caftans and flowers in our hair, protest movements for the greater good are seeing a revival

We millennials are a fickle bunch. One day protesting all manner of discrepancies − #FeesMustFall, #ZumaMustFall, femicide, #MenAreTrash − and the next, rallying up the troops in support of everything from the #CapeStorm and #KnysnaFire to #ReclaimTheCity. 

But that's not to say we don't care about the causes we tout from week to week. It just means we believe we can make a difference in the world, no matter how small. And no, we're definitely not the 'flower children' of the Seventies, proclaiming peace, love and unity for all; I'd like to think we're a lot wiser than that. But with the state of our nation, and possibly the global climate, right now, there are many causes that are close to our hearts. This presents somewhat of a dilemma as we can't afford − emotionally, physically or financially − to support them all.

That being said, this is a love letter to the youth. Those that are young and those that are young at heart. Just like the youngsters of 16 June 1976, no matter what cause − or causes − we choose to believe in, we also have to believe that our actions will make a change, however slight. So no matter how you're celebrating Youth Day 2017 − be it in the company of friends, helping the homeless or disadvantaged, feeding the sick, walking a shelter animal or putting a smile on someone's face  your actions have an impact. You may not see it now, but those you touch with your presence definitely feel it. And that's something worth supporting.

All garments: Lalesso and Osei-Duro at Merchants on Long

All shoes: Brother Vellies

Photography: Samantha Pinto

Stylist: Chandra Mophethe

Beauty: Zainab Slemang van Rijmenant