Mahlatse James MJ AND STUFF, Via La Moda 01

I find the concept of “coming full circle” a really frightening and funnily awesome at the same time. Perhaps one has come accustomed to throwing the term around –loose as I do, as a way to find chill feelz because I simply cannot contain the exciting explosion channelled by an opportunity to celebrate pure greatness of my times. The re-launch of Via La Moda’s showroom had me all giddy and fuzzy and fuzzy and stuff on the inside.

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Over the years, I have followed the brand’s beautiful collections of master handmade handbags, always reminding me of the very first time I fell deep in love with it a while ago when I still worked fulltime for a print publication. The business was founded 26 years ago right here in Jo’burg by the charmingly knowledgeable Hanspeter Winklmeyr.

I had the most remarkable of times at the re-launch of Via La Moda’s showroom, alongside a few industry contemporaries  and Hanspeter was once again very generous with his time; taking us all through every single step to creating some of the most sought after bags. A definite set of enviable artisanal skills refined over the years throwing back to his beginnings when he started working in his grandfather’s workshop as a young boy in Austria.

Master at work

Master at work

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*cue a worthy collective and rhythmic stream of ooohhhs and aahhs*

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Every bag and accessory is hand-made according to the highest standards.  Organically tanned raw materials are used in order to preserve the natural characters of the skin.  The skins are sourced from only the best suppliers around the globe, and those who comply with the standards and regulations set in place to ensure ethical practice.

The most precious of ostrich, crocodile skins among many other exotic finishes make up the coveted Via La Moda collections –talk about a perfect marriage of art and science. And, Via Veneta, the more affordable and bang-on-trend range is masterfully manufactured using patent leather, calf and gorgeously soft goat’s skins.

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It is near impossible to walk into the showroom and not wish to leave with one of the stunning pieces. Especially, knowing that the factory shares the same building. I go crazy for Via La Moda. All day every day.



Gert-Johan Coetzee and Christopher Gill 2015 GJC bursary winner (1)

Valued at the total of R180 000, Gert-Johan Coetzee’s eponymous Fashion Design Bursary is now open for applications from students enthusiastic about the next year. The decorated designer is once again on a search for an individual keen for an entry into the fashion industry.

One aspirant designer will not only have their study costs covered for the three-year internationally accredited course at the Northwest School of Design, but will also be personally mentored by Gert-Johan Coetzee, and may ultimately benefit from the brand-new fellowship programme sponsored by Brutal Fruit.

Gert-Johan says he is “looking for someone who displays real passion and an attitude that nothing will stand in their way”. These qualities must reverberate exciting talents quite like qualities possessed by last year’s winner of the bursary; Christopher Gill of Lephalale. The up-and-coming designer is currently close to completing the first year of his studies at Northwest School of Design and is already making exhilarating career moves.

*Christopher has had a recent opportunity to design a gorgeous dress for Villa Rosa actress Dorette Potgieter for the Royal Soapie Awards. Vila Rosa scooped an accolade for Most Popular Soapie in 2015*

*Christopher has had a recent opportunity to design a gorgeous dress for Villa Rosa actress Dorette Potgieter for the Royal Soapie Awards. Vila Rosa scooped an accolade for Most Popular Soapie in 2015*

To apply for the three year internationally accredited qualification commencing in the next year, aspirant designers must complete the online GJC bursary application available on www.nwsd.co.za and submit along with the supporting documents as specified on the website. The closing date for applications is 12 October 2015.

Mahlatse James MJ AND STUFF Gert-Johan Coetzee Bursary (2)

I have always maintained that the fashion pie is big enough for everyone enthused and willing to deliver. So, this has me all so excited for Gert-Johan Coetzee’s mission to uncover fresh talent and invest in their education. What a grand opportunity.




Mahlatse James MJ AND STUFF x JanSport 01

I love going on about my business –as one often does in these fashioning streets- and suddenly realise the awesomeness of my surrounding, which will of course propel me to take full advantage of a situation. Stuff a stylopolitan’s dreams are made of.  I had a moment with my JanSport® backpack, just the other day.

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These pics below are an upshot of yet another one of my preferred Sunday afternoon drives with an aim to meet whatever links day to dusk so speedily. Cheesy? Methinks not.  If anything, this could very well match some other pretty cool well-run camo stories; coming together to handsomely juxtapose my street style reality. I mean, one can’t help but think about the print’s history, its utilitarian relevance and the rendering feature of a backpack stunning as it is practical.

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I could have completely clashed and contrasted this print against any-and-everything to claim a heavily spirited vibe or even muted it down alongside a single tint. Instead, I thought it a good idea to step up to my JanSport® bagpack and coordinate a look that is mono-tonal in intent and not running short of details that articulate the brand’s authentic and Iconic status.

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My vibe. Completely.

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MJ AND STUFF, Mahlatse James Mio The A Cream

I stand for hydration right now like I ain’t never stood for hydration before. I have even gone as far as invading strangers’ conversations about grooming and go on lengthily about the importance of hydration in everyone’s process of taking-care-of-thyself.  This week, I am going crazy for The A Cream. The firming active body cream with a promise to fastrack one’s skin to fitness.

So very necessary right now –because we all know how our skin stands an unfair chance of thriving against seasonal interchanges. In addition to locking in the much needed moisture, an assortment of ingredients in the A Cream also restore elasticity and firmness.

The A-Cream Lotion MJ AND STUFF #MadeUpMonday


MJ AND STUFF Item Of The Day Radley London Backpack

Throw me in a universe where backpacks are not a thing and watch me loosing what’s left of my mind. It keeps getting better and today my obsession is fed by Radley London’s Maltby Street backpack in retro red.

Radley London Maltby_Street bagpack MJ AND STUFF

I simply must confess though; for a person who deliberately chooses to not see the world as only black or white –even though I do love few things quite as well as that monochromatic Palse Homme check-board check blazer from a couple of seasons ago, I have been a tad too exacting with the belief that backpacks should never ever be messed with. I love all (most) types of bags and am open to newer interesting shapes and stuff, just not the legend knapsack that should be slung behind one’s shoulder blades with the (sensible) option of flinging two straps over and under one’s arms. I write this as a fashionpolitan unbiased and transformed.

Still keeping with the brand’s perfect blend of creative design, quality materials and immaculate craftsmanship; this backpack has me catching serious feelings. Straight out of the Radley London’s most recent A/W collection, the Malty Street features the supple Langton leather for a nonchalant vintage feel that only gets better with age.

Sold! My Item Of Today!


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It goes without saying that the spring season has sprung in my side of the world and even though the bloom fest has not yet done its thing, one’s Instagram feed is near flooded with all types of anguish thoroughly hashtagged with pre #SummerBodies hints and brag rights. Aaah, these darn in-season transitions and the awkwardness of it all. My vibe however, stays confused as the good change has me in a rather awesome haze as far as awkward wardrobe decisions are concerned.

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First looms the social calendar. My gawd, don’t get me started about dressing lightly for high standard fashion missions and somehow adroitly putting together something befitting the inevitable drinks atop an inner-city roof to celebrate somebody’s #CoolKid status without trying too hard. Gotta love it. Then comes the reality of having to deal with a plethora of rad daytime things like launches in far stretching gardens, meetings with clients about possible wardrobe options for the can’t-arrive-soon-enough holidays –yup, we are there. Oh, and of course the actual work bit, which demands nothing less than being on fleek at all times. My life. My vibe. My wardrobe.

Now, the great fun effort of aligning every piece of thread to don oneself in as the season heats up. In these pics, I do think a great trail of juxtapositions come very clear. Set in suburbia –spot the pine trees line parallel to concrete reality and I am somewhere in there championing a refusal to dare deem tan, fawn and brown tones as something reserved for leafy autumns only. Florals are also having their very crucial moment on the longer length H&M shirt and hints of spring via the DUNE London bag (engraved with one’s initials of course) and PUMA’s Faas 500 v3 trainers (hello bloom!).

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Fits a changeover vibe methinks. If you look at it from an irregular point of view that is. Thus it is  #MyVibe

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MJ AND STUFF La Prairie Made Up Monday

I hereby declare that I have now become one with individuals who start their (perhaps our) sentences with “people our age”. Very unaffected, I say this proudly because I never run out of reasons to throw some knowledge on some of the best products partly responsible for people gushing  in disbelieve of my actual age. Right now, I am all about La Prairie’s Anti-Aging Response Booster.

The booster is designed to work from within to build up the skin’s surface layer and create a smooth, line-free appearance in just two weeks. I am a little obsessed here. Because it is NEVER too early to start fixing stuff up – a little lesson I have learnt from my dermatologist lady. The beauty of the product is that it is formulated for men and women of all ages.

One definitely needs to find a solid way to keep one’s aunts out of one’s bathroom cabinets.  #Just Saying

One definitely needs to find a solid way to keep one’s aunts out of one’s bathroom cabinets. #Just Saying

La Prairie’s commitment to pushing the envelope to find the rarest, most beneficial ingredients is evident in the serum’s list of ingredients that includes plankton extract harvested in Brittany, France; silver vine extract from East Asia; and doses of ginger and liquorice. The result is a light-weight, silky smooth, low-viscosity gel serum

The other best part about La Prairie’s Anti-Aging Rapid Response Booster is that the serum has been formulated to use everyday as part of skincare routine.

I am for it, and so is my skin.



The spring season hasn’t even done its thing yet and I am already drinking from the fountain of cool-Kid-Juice, being one with these streets –all jolly-jumpy and stuff. Well, I do suppose I have ample reason to be springing off scorched grass (not the cool-kind-juice drinking bit. that is all because I am a liker of things). Anyway, yes, I am completely all about the dancing, the jumping, and the breaking out in song unheard of at the random of occasions because my jean-pant game has just seen an upgrade.  Wrangler’s newest Greensboro release, aptly named Bait Blue has me done in.

The fit  is regular in the rise, with a slightly higher back than the front to offer a comfortable yet modern look and feel. Through the thigh the fit is regular for comfort and a trim look. Key to the Greensboro’s fit is a slight taper from the knee to the bottom hem – giving the impression of a slimmer leg, for a clean, modern, standard fit. Available in 1- 2% stretch denim for comfort and freedom of movement.

I am always championing the renowned brand’s #KnowYourFit campaign and the Greenboro is definitely pioneering a new standard in the jeans department. I am all for the guarantee with a casual quality strategy, so I wore my pair to the park the other day. Seen in these pics, coordinated for a look I hope conveys a fresh-out-of-winter vibe…

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Mahlatse James Wrangler Jeans MJ AND STUFF

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Mahlatse James Fashion Blogger and stylist MJ AND STUFF 01

This here is just another one of those posts featuring a rather lengthy sequence of images snapped totally unplanned. #TrueStory, the back-tale is set around a very regular midmorning, on a very regular Tuesday, en-route to source wardrobe for a celebrity client. Now, that bit is not very regular! Let’s just say there was a proper five-minute-thirty-seven-second long and spirited haul between   the styling partner dude (come snappographer) and I, about whether or not it is at all important that I take an entire hour out of my day to try and best capture an outfit that is most certainly not intentionally curated for either side of a camera.

No prize for guessing who “won” that round. Crazy, especially since these here photographs are not even half of what we ended up with.

If I really, truly must get into it; I suppose it is unavoidable that one of my primary themes right now in life, centres on “lines”. Be they visible to a dispassionate eye or able to pique an interest of whatever type stylopolitan, I am with lines.

Still in the business of making it my own, here I dialled up comfort first and never ever flirting with an interest to compromise on the style front. The PUMA XT1s served that aspect extremely well, worn with my other pair of tailored shorts (these I inherited –read snatched- from my young cousin when he was in boarding school, it was his uniform at some point. I threw on a skinny Banana Republic crock belt and my fast-becoming-fave flannel shirt from MRP. I cannot quite decide on which of the pieces here qualifies as the conversation piece for this look, I will however, give major props to one of my proudest and newest go-to item; this navy blue mid-length topcoat from H&M always comes in handy atop almost everything and has fast become my fail proof shield slash barricader to the random cold fronts.

Totally vibe ya ka. Translate: My Vibe.

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MJ AND STUFF Street style 02

No idea who she was. Not sure if I even got to ask for her name and I may or may not have creeped the jeepers out of her a bit when I unceremoniously yanked out my cam and aimed for her, right in the middle of a street, on a rather busy day in Braamfontein. All because I spotted the startling faux fur detail on her leatherette sling bag -Lady lovers her skin game alright. Yep, I went an caught a full set of feelings for the carrier and much like a habitual quintessential blogger bloke, I thought it sensible to share.  You are most welcome. Now for the hunt… do pardon the pun, I simply meant the search for anything remotely close to this piece and of course, just as environmentally safe!

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