PS: WE HAVE A NEW HOME.

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Ready and steady, we have moved on and are settled in the new #MJANDSTUFF home. Let it be known that I have zero intentions to neither shut nor fade out this here original abode for the great relationship we have nursed so well over the past half-a-decade or so. We have now progressed onto WWW.MJANDSTUFF.COM! This here page will stay hyperlinked all the time as it houses an important evolution of all of our fashion journey. The move is just the sensible next step for me and to try and tailor-make my content.

See you on the flip side!

See you on the flip side!

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AAH, ABOUT A BAG. A VIA LA MODA STORY.

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.

MJ AND STUFF x Via La Moda 02

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

MJ AND STUFF x Via La Moda 04

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

MJ AND STUFF x Via La Moda 05

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.

MJ AND STUFF x Via La Moda 06

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.

 

GET READY FOR CJC’S FASHION DESIGN BURSARY FOR 2016

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.

 

 

#IOT RADLEY LONDON’S MALTBY STREET BACKPACK.

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!

SAFW SS15 TREND: THE MAXI REDRESS

Left to Right: Rubicon, Sies! Isabelle, Thabo Makhetha, Matte Nolim.

Left to Right: Rubicon, Sies! Isabelle, Thabo Makhetha, Matte Nolim.

What do we want? REAL Fashion! When do we want it? NOW!” The South African Fashion Week has recently sent out wonderful trend report, depicting threads as recently showcased on the Spring Summer 2015 walkway. Magnificently *insert a wide smile on my face*, whilst carrying an unquestionable South African ID, most of these collections –as confirmed by an in-house analytic, come equal to an international echelon. Talk about Glocalisation. Of course I am super keyed up for all this! So keyed up in fact, that whilst watching some of the shows, I too spotted a trend I foresee to be all kinds of attractive when worn by every single type of woman out there.

Left to Right: Erre, Lunar, Erre.

Left to Right: Erre, Lunar, Erre.

Whether in trails a couple of centimetres behind or skims the floor a little bit, the next season’s flowsy and Bohemian-esque maxi frock is nothing short of sexy. I have gathered that the assertion instigated by these designers must signal an appealing proud and refreshing repossession of character for the kind of woman who is likely to wear her femininity in the hemline not far from the ground. There is a delightful sense of effortlessness about the necessity of this redressed movement, yet through an assortment of appeasing designs and bountifully restructured details; maxi dresses exemplifies power at a very soaring degree.

These below are my absolute faves!

SIES! Isabelle

SIES! Isabelle

ALFALFA

ALFALFA

COLLEEN EITZEN

COLLEEN EITZEN

GERT-JOHAN COETZEE

GERT-JOHAN COETZEE

NON EUROPEAN

NON EUROPEAN

MANTSHO

MANTSHO

BLACK COFFEE

BLACK COFFEE

Photos by SDR.

MARCHING FOR THE MIKE PERRY x CALL IT SPRING COLLAB.

CALL IT SPRING x MIKE PERRY MJ AND STUFF

Aaah, the wrap of a month! How is it that we almost never celebrate this foreseeable finale? (I could be the only one). I say this because this past month (March ‘15) came with pretty rad bearings worth commending Mike Perry’s work with CALL IT SPRING.

The Brooklyn based Artist and Designer; Mike Perry has collaborated with the on-trend footwear and accessories brand to create a fresh capsule collection for ladies and men; sneakers, sunglasses, backpacks, five-panel caps and iPhone cases. First of its kind for CALL IT SPRING, the result/ product brilliantly balances a perfect combination of the brand’s endearing design and Mike’s playful aesthetic.

For this range, Mike Perry used an exclusive “Friends” print which is all kinds of fun and colourful. Rad fact: the shapes that make up the print came to the artist while he was sketching alone in a diner in Tokyo. Feeling a bit homesick, he was inspired by his friends to create a unique colourful characters hanging out together.  “My “Friends” print has always been special to me because of how it came about. I’m so glad it found a home,” says Perry. “

I am super excited for this. Better yet; I am amped that the CALL IT SPRING x Mike Perry’s limited edition capsule collection launched and has been in selected CALL IT SPRING stores since mid-March.

Mike Perry x Call it Spring backpack MJ AND STUFF

Mike Perry x Call it Spring MJ AND STUFF

Mike Perry x CALL IT SPRING 5 Panel peak cap MJ AND STUFF

#HotToBag: THE KG WINDIE.

MJ AND STUFF Kurt Geiger winter 2015

I love a good windie, I do. This is definitively all because I spent a great deal of the preceding chills’ spell enveloped in all kinds of wonderful pieces and I certainly do miss my “uniform”.  I don’t think I have ever in my entire life as a fashioning human, been so eager for a winter season to creep in with its crisp temperatures, in many parts because I do believe that tis the season to distinguish the real fashion folk from the rest – the seemingly fervently scantily clad kind, I mean! My other reasons feed an excitement to restock layers. At the moment, I am going crazy in circles for the quilted windie from Kurt Geiger’s winter 2015 collection.

Within its European heritage, Kurt Geiger continues to distinguish its range with finer details and intricate stitching. And I figure that this windbreaker epitomises the brand’s tailored and structured motif for this year’s winter. Every single detail carries through an efficient level of sophisticated luxury. Super updated and can (should really) work across all types of wardrobes, all because of its ceaseless benefits. i.e. an ability to can (and should) sculpt one’s torso.

Kurt Geiger Winter 2015 MJ AND STUFF

It is my definite #HotToBag item right now.

HAPPENING RIGHT NOW: #DESIGNERSAMPLESALE

MJ AND STUFF Designer Sample sale

I have never not answered this question, yet, to my (frustration masqueraded as) surprise; people who have known me since before I made a profession out of my fashioning tactics, still never tire of asking where /how/when I hook up designer gear. Okay, I agree, these things can sometimes be treated as “underground” cabals and I suppose never quite open up for everyone to attend and possibly get to acquire these (sometimes –one-of-a-kind)  clothing items. Well, as suggested by the flyer here above, a small collective of local designer are hosting a sample sale in Melrose Arch, starting right now, all the way until the coming Saturday’s evening. Some of the local designers are clearing out their archives and everything is priced to go –up to 90% off. Participating top names include Thula Sindi, Gert-Johan Coetzee, Sies! Isabelle, Kluk CGDT, Cult Collective, Anmari Honibal, Fundudzi by Craig Jacobs and of course SUZAAN HEYNS.

I think I might be experiencing whatever level of thrill  comes beyond #ThreadCrazy.

I think I might be experiencing whatever level of thrill  comes beyond #ThreadCrazy.

See y’all there.

THE OTHER PUMA x McQ RUN MIDS. LOVE.

MJ AND STUFF x PUMA x MCQ

It is very rare that I am short for words. Not me. It is near impossible really. And it feels a bit like being swept out by a tide of awesomeness so massive that I couldn’t even afford a gasp –in case I miss parts of the rush. The second offering from PUMA’s collaboration with the London bred label;  McQ (House of Alexandra McQueen) is all sorts of major and despite the actuality that the ravenousness in me wishes for every single piece, I am contentedly stuck on obtaining the Spring-Summer 2015 version of the Run Mids sneaker. First for the mere truth that I loved them last season, wore the heck out it as seen HERE and of course for the new bright colourway.

I cannot even speak of my obsession. It is a love thing.

I cannot even speak of my obsession. It is a love thing.

NO GETTING’ OVER KAT VAN DUINEN’S AW’14.

Kat van Duinen lookbook  MJ and Stuff

I think I am in love. No, I think I know I am in love. This assertion could in part be because I am not the kind to recover from the Valentines’ Day merriments. Whatever the cause, in my blistering head; this wistful love story stars me, a Kat Van Duinen woman and of course, her Autum Winter 2015 wardrobe. She is near-perfect I tell you. As per the newly published lookbook (a rational follow-up to the #SAFW premiere), in addition to her incontestable mystique, this tall, lithe and poised human/character/woman/person is swathed with in luxurious furs draped over her stunning frame. see? Wonderful!

Kat Van Duinen Lookbok AW 2015

Kat van Duinen has been slayin’ the fashion streets since 2010 –yes, I used “slay” because social media links have been having me in all sorts of ways these days; I have even become something of an expert at using #Hashtags to communicate a full paragraph. Spastic and all. Anywho, as I was sayin’ Kat van Duinen has been slaying the fashion game since 2010 with her eponymous brand increasingly gaining momentum in the chic graded luxury lane and captivatingly balancing the ever so insatiable fashion demands. All whilst fully committed to an ethical approach. This campaign for the A-W ‘15 collection is verification cut to please the eye. And believably, the wearer too.

Kat van Duinen lookbook 1

This KVD woman’s tale goes: Beads glint and glimmer as they catch the light, like frost sprinkled on bare trees. All around you is black –winter has taken its icy brush and washed everything in its cold, ebony hue. Feathers pointed, stiff –crown models (i.e. the wearer) with the feeling of icicles, stopped in their tracks by the season’s chill. Sable feathers flow throughout the collection –an ode to the picture of the crows lining fences and stark branches gazing out across a cold, barren land hauntingly still… frozen. Glistering classy organza overlays catch your eye, hinting of frozen lakes and water stopped in time by a gelid winter’s morning. How can anyone not fall crazy over heels for this human in this setting? I just secretly want her skull crystal embellished over coat. #ThereISaidIt

A piece after my heart!

A piece after my heart!

Kat van Duinen AW 2015 Lookbook

KVD Lookbook AW 2015

Kat van Duinen AW 2015 as seen at SAFW

KVD AW 2015 Lookbook

#WERQ