WHEN MY BACK IS AGAINST THE CARVELA WALL.

Spitz Gallery MJ AND STUFF Mahlatse James

Straight from the furrow of all things exclusive; you may or may not have seen last week’s social media buzz (the latter probably applies if you have a disordered connectivity) all over the local fashion circles. The great fashion giant that is the Spitz Group hosted a few top fashion media folk (and me) at the amiably striking Spitz Summer Gallery which was set up for one night and one night only, right here in Joho. The evening made for such a spectacular introduction to the superior footwear products coming in stores for the nearing spring and summer seasons.

Gasps and wows were expressed by everyone as soon as we walked in to exist among the magnificently curated instillations showcasing most of the amazing brands housed by the Spitz group. I personally found it all so exhilarating. From the highlight casual conversations with some members of the brands’ profusely proficient team, to versatile moods ignited by every part of the set up. I loved it all and could go forever and deeper into details about that grand evening.

I thought I was photographed in equal amounts at most areas of the #SpitzSummerGallery, you know, to diversify this post. Well, going through the images earlier today I was flashbacked straight to my very own unbounded gasps and wows when I saw and clearly spent half the evening around the Carvela wall. I won’t even get into trying to explain my elation at the time. I mean this shoe is such an icon and no matter how many times I see a pair, Carvela still makes me want to demand a conversation with regulators of my genetic material pool about my saddening inability to can confidently wear moccasins. Imagine an entire wall nailed with all touchable designs of this legendary slipper known to mankind. Some of which didn’t even make it onto retail floors –for reasons which still make absolute sense, considering that at the time explained to me, I juggled listening to every detail in between my escalating thrill… talk about a grand #Throwback to when I had an astonishing opportunity to interview Mino and Marco Bagnoli -the farther and son duo who own the Carvela Factory in Italy.

Mahlatse James Spitz Gallery MJ AND STUFF

South African Blogger Mahlatse James Spitz Gallery

MJ AND STUFF SPITZ GALLERY MAHLATSE JAMES

I mean; #NoTeaNoShade, #ThisIsNotAContest, #ComeOnNow

I mean; #NoTeaNoShade, #ThisIsNotAContest, #ComeOnNow

MJ AND STUFF Mahlatse James Spitz Gallery

A wall of Carvela shoes at the Spitz Summer Gallery MJ AND STUFF

IT CAN ONLY BE SPITZ

SPOTTED: GAL DIGS THE DOUBLE-DENIM SITCH.

Palesa Mahlaba Denim on Denim MJ AND STUFF

The Canadian Tuxedo, The Benoni jean-suit or whatever the (insolent) cool kids dare call it today, a double denim ensemble is totally hot. I will admit; there was a time in my life when I too went with the wind of declaring the pairing of denim threads as something tacky. I wish I could reason for the ill-motivated avowal, but I just cannot -for the love of workwear inspired fabrics, come up with anything. I mean, I actually totally thought that Britney and Justin Timberlake matching light-wash situation from the 2001 American Music Awards was quite rad for that period. Hey, I was a kid moon-eyed and ready to gobble up anything with a remote representation of never-seen-before magnificence. Check my collection of scrapbooks as evidence –all before the “cool” happened.

Fast-forward to today and I am all ready to heave a bleach stained placard in support of the motion to wear jean shirt and jean pants mutually. By the looks of things, it has gone past the fad phase and fashion’s love-child Palesa Mahlaba shows this off in these pics. Seriously, there are countless ways to dial up styles fitting all preferences. I am all sorts of crazy for the unassumingly chic level she is working with here. Bejewelled details on the shirt counter its cut-out details perfectly and the choice to exclude the belt from the pen-rolled boyfriend style jeans stirs up effortlessness. One can’t be mad at the heels pair-up.

MJ AND STUFF Palesa Mahlaba Denim on Denim

Denim on Denim Palesa Mahlaba MJ AND STUFF

Did she #WERQ it or DID SHE #WERQ IT!?

MY TOPMAN PICKS FOR OPPIKOPPI 2014.

Mahlatse James for Topman x Oppikoppi x MJ AND STUFF

The Oppikoppi weekend comes next week and I seem to have lost some senses in keyed up anticipation –festivals do this to me. There is just something really cool about the liberty of spending a few days out in open air with several options to observe moments in history created through music performed live. No prize for guessing that my most fave bit involves some serious fashion served throughout the music fest. Alongside the rubber boots and vellies wearing folk.

In these pics I picked a head-to-toe outfit from Topman SA, inspired by the current festival-chic state of style. Having been to a fair share of outdoorsy music fests thus far, I know for sure that one is bound to meander endlessly throughout the day (and night), so functionality reigned above all else when I decided on what I would likely wear for the 20-years-old Oppikoppi.

Mahlatse James South African Blogger x Topman for Oppikoppi

Since winter is part way through, the basis of my styling is a pair of black denim skinny shorts worn with a black and yellow buffalo plaid shirt layered beneath a wide-weave chunky knit and a black beanie for the cred factor.  The shoe game saw me adopting a pair of part-cheetah print plimsolls which tied in exceptionally with the yellow tint of the flannel shirt. A backpack is also a definite must-have as a carry-all for necessities. Seriously, you don’t need me to tell you about the importance of backpack in such a vibe. Bulking pockets are just not a look. Like, ever. This black leather situation is both stunning and practical.

South African Fashion Blogger Mahlatse James x Topman x Oppikoppi

Oppikoppi x Topman x MJ AND STUFF

Mahlatse James x Topman for Oppikoppi

topman south africa x Mahlatse James x MJ AND STUFF x OppiKoppi

MJ and Stuff for Topman MJ AND STUFF

There you have it folks; my picks from Topman to make up a rad wardrobe for the Oppikoppi weekend. Like it?

There you have it folks; my picks from Topman to make up a rad wardrobe for the Oppikoppi weekend. Like it?

#PUMASelectJozi OPENS. BE AMONG THE FIRST.

PUMA SELECT JOZI LAUNCHES MJ AND STUFF

Something huge happens tonight. This here is a whole grand approach to the long-standing rhyme of pinches and punches for a brand new month. Like a colossal tide, PUMA is set to stun Jozi fans with collections of exceptional creative designs and exclusive collaborations as they open #PUMASelectJozi tonight in Braamies. Excited much? The rad concept store is the second of its kind (globally), following the high-standard success set by the PUMA SELECT in Cape Town.

NEW PUMA SELECT STORE LAUNCHES IN JOZI MJ AND STUFF

#PUMASelectJozi will operate for a year to showcase PUMA’s premium product and collaborations with influential creatives, streetwear labels and fashion houses including Parisian design duo BWGH (Brooklyn We Go Hard), New York illustrator Sophia Chang, London interior design team House of Hackney, and Tokyo’s quirky king of avant-garde sneakers Mihara Yashuhiro.MJ AND STUFF PUMA SELECT JOZI

Great news for you dearest awesome reader; I am giving away 5 sets of double tickets to attend the exclusive launch event happening tonight. Here’s how it will work: Tweet me @Mahlatsej and @PUMASouthAfrica, include the official hashtag #PUMASelectJozi and tell us what you look forward to the most… easy-peasy. This giveaway runs for the next couple of hours and only applies if you will be in Jozi tonight.

PUMA SELECET JOZI MJ AND STUFF

SLOW CLAP FOR THE PUMA x McQ AW14 DEBUT COLLECTION.

PUMA x McQ Debut Collection AW 2014 MJ AND STUFF

Y’all might as well go on and refer to this as PUMA Week all over the #MJandSTUFF HQ. My fam keeps escalating their awesomeness even after a successful PUMA x Brazil line throughout the World Cup. I am dedicating this week, well what’s left of it to include daily posts about the rad activities and product to hit the streets soonest. First up; the main reason to why people close to me must have been exposed to brusque gasps and untimed air-punches alongside many erratic performances from yours truly: The most recent collaborative effort between PUMA and the fab-tastic Fashion House of Alexandra McQueen. The PUMA x McQ Autumn-Winter W 2014 collection to be exact.

PUMA x McQ

Back-flips were spun (by me of course) when news of the contemporary brand that is McQ and my hommies at PUMA came out because when two great labels come together, thrills of epic proportions are bound to happen. You might have seen my fervent hint all over my facebook page a few weeks ago. True to form, the AW14 collection embodies the unmatched rebellious spirit known to best be represented by McQ and PUMA’s progressive and design-led ethos which have been nothing short of incredible for over 65 years.

The collection combines Burton’s gothic fashion styling with PUMA’s use of sports performance-inspired constructions – traditional athletic shoes are transformed by designs influenced by human anatomy, with ribcages and tendons creating cage-like styling on iconic sports trainers.

McQ Climb Mid_357159_03_high

Whatchu know about the ultra-awesomeness of a classic white sneaker...

Whatchu know about the ultra-awesomeness of a classic white sneaker…

PUMA x McQ Climb Lo _357160_02_High MJ AND STUFF

I am crushing all over the collection for a couple reasons. One: all of it is insanely AH-MAZING! Two: for proving that more often than not, intelligent collaborations need not compromise on reputable aesthetics in order to come up with designs that will go down in history. Three: I have been losing sleep over the McQ Run Mid sneaker, which is originally an athletic shoe given additional structure with heavy use of PUMA’s moulded TPU, laid over premium mesh and nubuck to create a rib-cage effect.

Seriously, these BEASTS are #EVERYTHING!!

Seriously, these BEASTS are #EVERYTHING!!

Do check out http://www.pumaselect.co.za to keep up to date with the landing of these kicks to a store near you.

 

 

HOW WE DO WHAT WE DO WHEN WE DO IT FOR A GOOD PIC.

Mahlatse James South African Fashion Blogger MJ AND STUFF

Was there ever a time when people ran a mile in a different direction at the flicking sound of a blogger’s camera? I don’t recall ever falling into such a category. Is it even possible for one to turn down an opportunity to freeze-frame a so deemed “money-shot”?  I decode the idea as pretty improbable, only because I happen to derive crazy amounts of gratification from being on either side of the camera –it comes with doing what I do. I understand that I am probably nowhere near being knighted for the mastery of photo-snapping images of my wildest dreams, but this does not halt me from double spinning ever so often and throwing scrupulous air-punches every time I experience moments with a beautifully clad subject, at an ideal location and an overall set-up to warrant a pic I could confidently share with the rest of the world. Without sounding like a creepy stalker, I also always chuckle a little when I observe some of the people I know partake in this pleasurable practice of wielding out cameras at a sight of awe-inspiring subject matters. There is an unexplainable degree of strong-willed precision brought to the table when one spots, aims, flicks and check to assess their product. It’s one of those inter-reversible fun things. These are just a few of my favourite people doing what they do, of course captured through the lens of yours truly. Happy Friday y’all.

Bloggers MJ AND STUFF 01

Lawrence from PREVIDAR MJ AND STUFF

Eunice Driver MJ AND STUFF

Pholoso Nkosi MJ AND STUFF

Tsholo Mothibi MJ AND STUFF

-can't not take a breather to strike a good pose-

-can’t not take a breather to #WERQ a good pose-

YET ANOTHER WALLOP OF SUMPTOUSNESS.

Mahlatse James Mj and Stuff

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but my posts have been a few and apart of now late, coupled with busyness I had committed myself to, all for a stylish shift you will notice a little later *winks*. The painful bit was the unceremonious inability to share with you all the wonderful thoughts and ideas I have had, ramming into my system throughout the last three weeks. A fan of the blog also sent in mail and howled about a rigorous “famine of fashion” I have put her under. This post is just a twinkle of what has been on my radar…

Just this past Sunday, I honoured an invitation to join the well-heeled and attended this year’s Land Rover Africa Cup Finals at the 80-year-old Inanda Club. I told y’all I am expanding an appreciation for sport. In addition to feeding my curiosity for equestrian vibes at a prestige level, I got all fuzzy and stuff on the inside after witnessing that there was a theme –everybody who know me, know here I stand when thumped with a theme-. The invitation summoned A Touch of Gold and having spent a great deal of this winter with my fashion eyes fixed on all things OPULENT, this was to be a festive fair of fabulousness.

MJ AND STUFF Blogger Mahlatse James

South African Blogger Mahlatse James

MJ AND STUFF Mahlatse James

Well, I kind of went with several strokes of gold –as you can probably tell in these pics -the shoes, the belt and the braiding on the bolero. I suppose I had to bring it from interesting and dissimilar bends, you know, for all those cheerless individuals who just can’t seem to execute a theme so precisely requested.

Mahlatse James Fashion Blogger MJ AND STUFF

MJ x CIPO AND BAXX: DETAILED DENIM DEALS.

MJ AND STUFF CIPO AND BAXX JEANS

If you had told me over a decade ago that there would be a period in my life where I go all shades of crazy for embellished jeans, I would have blank-starred the heck out of that conversation. As fashion does, I too came a long way to loving a whole lot of details on my jeans. Yep, the decision to look beyond the currently reigning thrill of ripped denim pants has been made and I am all in. After consulting a few dependable sources, the only sense centred on unique styles offered by Cipo and Baxx.

Designed in Germany, Cipo and Baxx jeans are nothing short of a paroxysm of detailed personality. Not the overwhelming kind, just enough to add on forming an identity and, well, visibly stand out from the crowd all while looking every bit like an informed stylopolitan.

I totally understand how bringing one of these babies into one’s wardrobe could require a bit of persuasion (this is me assuming the rad role of an educator here). The way I see it, there are only two points worth considering when styling a pair of your choice. One: you could look into the darling preferred theme of wearing everything else in very minimal tones. You know, so as to allow the jeans’ detailmania a revel in supremacy. Dignified; an easy option, but oh-so dignified. The second option: I will promote to the very core. You see, I believe that choosing embellished items like these sometimes calls for one to step up to the plinth and rid of all pressures. They key is to integrate them into your wardrobe as you would with any personality piece.

 In these pics below, I wore five different pairs as I would throughout the week when I go about my business.

Thoughts?

DAY 01: Daytime launches.

Mahlatse James Cipo and Baxx Jeans

MJ AND STUFF CIPO AND BAXX 02

DAY 02: Sundowners with the boys.

Mahlatse James wearing Cipo and Baxx Jeans

MJ AND STUFF CIPO AND BAXX 03

DAY 03: Thrifting for accessories.

Mahlatse James Fashion Blogger MJ AND STUFF CIPO AND BAXX

MJ AND STUFF CIPO AND BAXX 04

DAY 04: Brief meetings with a client.

MJ AND STUFF Mahlatse James Cipo and Baxx Jeans

MJ AND STUFF CIPO AND BAXX 05

DAY 05: Sourcing and stuff.

MJ AND STUFF CIPO AND BAXX JEANS MAHLATSE JAMES

MJ AND STUFF CIPO AND BAXX 01

Official Stockists of Cipo & Baxx in South Africa: Johannesburg: Cipo & Baxx concept store - The Zone (Phase 2) @ Rosebank (011-4479225) Hydraulics - Sandton City (011-8848538) Hydraulics - Eastgate Shopping Centre (011-6222711) Hydraulics Clearance Store - Eastgate Shopping Centre (011-3465056) The Ghetto - The Eastrand Mall Republik -The Oriental Plaza Attitude Fashions - Southgate Mall Pretoria: Queens Lifestyle - Corner Andries & Church street Vereeniging: Sedgars - Market Avenue  Durban: The Style Network - Umhlanga Rocks Drive XS Lifestyle Empangeni: Gear-up - Sanlam Centre (035-7724468) Stanger: Tootels Exclusive -53A King Shaka street (032-5511140) Online: Zando - www.zando.co.za

Official Stockists of Cipo & Baxx in South Africa:
Johannesburg:
Cipo & Baxx concept store – The Zone (Phase 2) @ Rosebank (011-4479225)
Hydraulics – Sandton City (011-8848538)
Hydraulics – Eastgate Shopping Centre (011-6222711)
Hydraulics Clearance Store – Eastgate Shopping Centre (011-3465056)
The Ghetto – The Eastrand Mall
Republik -The Oriental Plaza
Attitude Fashions – Southgate Mall
Pretoria:
Queens Lifestyle – Corner Andries & Church street
Vereeniging:
Sedgars – Market Avenue
Durban:
The Style Network – Umhlanga Rocks Drive
XS Lifestyle
Empangeni:
Gear-up – Sanlam Centre (035-7724468)
Stanger:
Tootels Exclusive -53A King Shaka street (032-5511140)
Online:
Zando – http://www.zando.co.za

DINING WITH RON ZACAPA.

Ron Zacapa Launch MJ AND STUFF

I have decided! My weekend posts will from now on always be about other aspects of my life because, you know, I am a certified liker of things and I do have a life outside of fashion too. Contrary to popular belief…

Mahlatse James Ron Zacapa DWEleven 13 Garth Warwright

Over a week ago, I was invited to join an intimate crew of influential humans for an exclusive evening of fine dining at the well awarded DWEleven- 13 whilst learning about the marvellous Ron Zacapa Rum. What a treat. The knowledgeable Gareth Wainwright took to the role of hosting and expertly educated a few of us about the beverage’s welcomed footprint in the country alongside lip-smacking cuisine designed to match.

MJ AND STUFF Ron Zacapa dinner Mahlatse James

No prize for guessing that the Ron Zacapa sprung right up my alley –it must have something to do with my part-Caribbean hereditary. That said, I must stress that Ron Zacapa is a truly rare brew because unlike moss standard rums, the premium spirit is handcrafted in high altitudes, about 2300 metres above sea level in the mountains of Guatemala. The masterful and slowed maturing process is cared for under Lorena Vásquez’s strict guidance and having been gifted with my own bottle (with my name engraved in gold no less) I now understand the concentrated awesomeness invested in this rum.

Ron Zacapa Dinner MJ AND STUFF

Great evening of great sippies and of course preamble relations.

Great evening of great sippies and of course preamble relations.

THE SUIT I GOTTA HAVE… LOXION KULCA SS 2014.

Loxion Kulca

Ladies and gentlemen I am a firm believer in fate. This is in no way a novel realisation; it’s just that for a very long time I threw the trusted old “let’s leave it to fate” card whenever doubt seemed to weigh down an exaggeratedly stretched judgment… well, that and the lacklustre seasons when there are just no SALE signs anywhere. This declaration comes after an intense deliberation (with the rhythmic voices in my imaginary walk in) over a suit from Loxion Kulca’s current runway range as first presented at the South Africa Fashion Week Spring-Summer 2014 collections.

I remember every second following the moment I saw male model Manyano Mahlakata stepping on that ramp in that particular show, wearing the suit of my dreams. Must rank among the toughest couple-of-minutes ever, because never in my entire life as a frower, have I ever employed that much tactic to try and control a possible fit of gasps. We’ve established that I am a budding suit person and since it is known that I am not much of a traditionalist in this regard, I know without a shadow of doubt that this outfit is PERFECT –an abundant amount of details well attended to, devoid of crazy and dramatic pomp and ceremony.

I walked out of that show still buzzing and animatedly gushing until I thought to toss the idea of ever wearing it into the flooding “fate” crate. On the following day, I had a wonderful opportunity to engage with the fashion house’s current Creative Director; Olebogeng Ledimo in between shows and my excitement could just not be contained even though he told me that the suit of my dreams is likely to go directly into archiving. Can you imagine what happened to my heart?

A couple of months later I saw it again. This time worn by a different model and showcased at the Sanaa Africa Fashion Show, still looking like the piece of wearable art that should be hung in my closet and reserved for super special occasions and dinner table tales for my children and their children’s children.

I have since had some time to think about it. As a matter of fact, I’ve used all this time to think about it and I know for a fact that dear old fate wants to cut me a deal resulting in me owning this suit. Heck, I even went a bought shoes to go with it.

Loxion Kulca

As seen at the Sanaa Africa Fashion Showcase.

As seen at the Sanaa Africa Fashion Showcase.

Now to attain it…