MY VIBE: OUT OF DEPTH, INTO SWITCH.

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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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#WERQ

#MRPDENIMCONNECT TOTALLY INVOLVED

Mahlatse James MJ AND STUFF MRP Denim Connect

I stand for denim and forever will. This here is an actual fact supported by my almost-daily uniform. Naturally; when my fam at MRP hit me up to ask for my involvement, I jumped on the course to help lead light the next winter’s sensible wardrobe staple. As a stylopolitan who has related to the work-wear-come-fashion-hoist-crane fabric in many different ways, it absolutely made all the sense that I drew inspiration for my contribution from the streets. Be it styled raw, updated, alternative, in a multitude of colourwashes and cuts, denim remains an everlasting cause for streetwear. In these denim-on-denim styled pics (totally my vibe), I hope to communicate that I will be representing the streets on a full-time basis.

Get Involved!

Share your awesome denim moment on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, using the rad hashie #MRPDenim to become part of the movement and you could win a once-in-a-lifetime experience worth R150 000.

#WERQ

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Mahlatse James, DATSUN GO, MJ AND STUFF

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WHITE NOW.

Mahlatse James in an All White Outfit MJ AND STUFF

Winter whites, summer whites, festive whites and whatever cute little box, we (fashion people) like to create for reasons to wear an all white outfit, I think we all just mean to encase the maturing fact this cleanest form of monochrome is –in its very minimalist appearance, one of the most authoritative fashion staple to possibly outshine fad grades. Okay, I may have gone a little too deep there, but essentially, all I am asserting here is that somehow, in a tastefully twisted conduct; wearing an all-white outfit can suggest fashion intelligence as well as it freely counteracts the inevitable partake in trends. I suppose it has something to do with the egalitarianism and wholesomeness affiliated with all things white.

Stylistically speaking, we cannot deny that #AllWhiteEverything has been having many fashion moments for a couple of seasons. Sometimes updated with a few metallic jewels for a majestic appeal and at times, coupled with tan notes to advocate a casual daytime relevance. It hasn’t been much of a secret that I have suffered from a brutal case of #FOMO whenever an invite to an all-white party miraculously skips my address box because you see; I have major plans to rock out a top-to-bottom ensemble like I did in these pics.

There is absolutely no shame in my game when the aim is to look no less than angelic. My approach here is to play a bit with texture and unfussy proportions as a way to update my fondness for street style. Also because one simply cannot afford to appear… erm… “simple.”

Mahlatse James All whote outfit for MJ AND STUFF

MJ AND STUFF South African Fashion Blog

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#WERQ

#GQSTYLEDIARY DAY 10: A GUIDE TO REAL.

Mahlatse James Look 10

…And it is a wrap. Just like that, this marks the very last of my 10-days-long contribution as daily style diarist for GQ South Africa -such a bittersweet moment but darn it, all so tremendously awesome. Thank you to all who took time out to peek in as I selected merch from my own wardrobe to style into these diverse looks. The final day (Day 10) as seen in these pics was of course an homage to the easiness of the whole task.  I mean, when we get to the crux of it, I do what I do with a great purpose to modify conventional ways of dressing up and what better to meet that requisite than hitting the relatable nerve first?

We live in an age where hard rules are wrecked ever so often and even though I advocate parts of this impression, I am a realist. Yes, I am open to understanding that not all menfolk get to embrace many dress-up options. Here’s what I know for sure about manhood and the effort to make nice with clothing –you know, being that I too am one: comfort reigns above all else. Regrettably, this has a sad tendency to surrender an interest in looking good. The only advice I would give is to ALWAYS consider bringing in hints of personality. Easy as that.

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GQ Style Diary Day 10 Mahlatse James

1. Spiked beanie: Metropolis 2. Bomber Jacket: Mr Price 3. Shirt: H&M 4. Neckpiece: Metropolis 5. Watch: Ice Watch 6. Shorts: PUMA 7. Sneakers: PUMA

1. Spiked beanie: Metropolis
2. Bomber Jacket: Mr Price
3. Shirt: H&M
4. Neckpiece: Metropolis
5. Watch: Ice Watch
6. Shorts: PUMA
7. Sneakers: PUMA

 

Mahlatse James GQ Style Diary Day 10

MR PRICE BLOGGERS CHALLENGE x THE JOGGER

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I love taking part in cool things with really cool people. A little while ago Mr Price thought of me to participate in an exciting challenge alongside some of the country’s finest dude bloggers of our time and the task included personal interpretation of the definite must-wear-right-now item; the jogger.

The retailer’s current mantra advocates the rad statement that Tis The Season To Wear What You Want, In Any Way Satisfying. In short: personal edit is totally a thing right now.

MJ AND STUFF Mr Price Jogger's Challange

In all fairness, all four of us brought it and each blogger’s interpretation seems to be a pretty good demonstration of where we are in our sartorial right now.

In a DM conversation with a Twitter friend yesterday, I found myself having to elaborate further to wear my grey pair the way I did and studying the chat today (and frames from the little street style shoot), it turns out that I too am a bit selfless when it comes to styling. Who knew… ?

Mahlatse James Mr Price Jogger MJ AND STUFF

You see, the gleeful Twitterer went on beautifully about how he loved that I “kept true to my expressive aesthetic” –hello Future Trinomic Slipstream Lite Zebra– “whilst skilfully exposing a relatable item” –the jogger in this regard- “and seemingly observed last season’s black and white details in my pre-autumn layering” –see the button up tee worn atop a black shirt.

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Bless his eye for details and thank you Mr Price for this awesome challenge. The Jogger is now available to purchase over HERE.

TO TOP COAT OR NOT TO TOP COAT…?

South African Fashion Blogger Mahlatse James MJ AND STUFF

Okay, this is going to read a tad odd and somewhat contradictory in parts. First, I am writing a post about top coats in the heart of South African summer. Secondly –the crux of this post really, I think I am split-minds about the whole motif of draping one’s coat over one’s shoulders sans the simple act of just dragging your arms through the jacket sleeves.  To a certain degree, I do believe that the trend is a little passé and that is bluntly because I kind of #WERQed it a lot last year. (Check out the pic from my proudest street style shoot, photographed by @TsholoDaFellow in June 2013). The look –if/when done well, definitely suggests an unquestionable level chic –in an “I simply had to dash a across the street in this drizzle when my assistant tossed this number across my shoulders” kind of way. In the same breath I have seen many interpretations, people flinging on crop-jackets/ appliquéd cardigans and mandarin collared jackets atop outfits that could have #WERQed very well. Even though I sometimes chant with team #ToHellWithSetFashionRules, I have to strongly advice against a draped top coat if you really must have functionality. Rather opt for a cape… if you really, truly, absolutely must!

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In these pics I guinea-pigged myself and threw on a tailored blazer on an already layered look and went to a sundownder’s occasion on the inner city rooftop –you see, they just didn’t have coat hangers and a good fortune went into buying this blazer in the first place.  I tell you, it was cute and everything, but I couldn’t really hug people because I feared the possibility of seeing my sheath slowly sinking in open air through multiple floors in slow motion – so I did the air kiss and a wink from a distance thing. As if that was not enough to signal a royal #Ain’tNobodyGotTimeForThat, I put myself through an entire evening of limited contact with almost everything else. No nibbles, no light-ups and no random High-Fives -my hands could only handle a half-full flute (which didn’t make any of these shots) in one and a folded satchel in the other. The thing is, I am not completely damning the trend altogether. No, if anything I am pretty open to #WERQ the trend sometime again… once it makes sense.

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#WERQ

 

MALL ROGUE ON THE LOOSE.

Mahlatse James of MJ AND STUFF

OMG, I love malls right now. I am crazily obsessed with all the space in shops (minus overly familiar shop assisting people… they petrify the crap out of me), I appreciate the fact that there seems to be very little chances of tripping over thinly haired child-humans clinching enormous teddy bears whilst vocally competing with deafening neon blinging toys and for the love of me, I can finally get to navigate the food court and experience the ultimate pleasure of gathering a four course meal from three different eateries. Bliss I tell you. *shout out to all the festive holiday clans* I am all about randomly expressing my current affinity for shopping malls so much that I got completely blank-starred sans a blink when I frenziedly yapped to a total stranger inside one of those right-on-the-odd corner accessories huts. It turns out that not everyone is keen to break out in chorus ala the first two seasons of Glee, neither are they crazy about the idea of an indiscriminate flash-mob nor a zealous chat about unpredictability of the much anticipated awards season… who would have thunk it?  Anywaaay, let it be known that I don’t just aimlessly roam around a multitude of badly waxed flooring. No, I am a stylopolitan on a serious mission. I spend hours at end sussing out merch likely to go on the seasonal end of Jan sales –see, smarts go a long way. Thankfully, I have mapped out an enthralling navigation plan for my looming shopping weekend; I know exactly where to go, what to get and size options too. As far as “timing” is concerned, I made sure to include imperative intervals for berry smoothies, enveloped fries, trips to the car and maybe squeeze in a few more fitting room sessions.  See you at the mall later?

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Mahlatse James in the Mall

Mahlatse James South African Fashion Blogger MJ AND STUFF

REAL TALK…

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Compliments of the new general calendar year! How bizarre is this!? For someone who deals words and threads for a living, I am probably facing my most tricky double-challenge yet. First; I am short for words and secondly, I have not left this couch for the entire first day of the year… bizarre I tell you. As much I can draw the too-hectic-a-life-on-the-fashion-lane card, the honest fact is; I kind of convincingly went hard on the festive holiday vibes. I hungout, chilled and partied like there was a cheque and a rail of one-of-a-kind designer gear on either side of my front door. All this was to celebrate wrapping up a great year that was 2013 and to quote one well-wishing note I got from my PUMA fam; “not quite world domination, but pretty close”. It’s all thanks to you dearest awesome readers… seriously, you guys rock hardest and have played an astoundingly prominent role in shaping certain aspects of the past rad year. If I could, we’d all link up for a young kiki to chat on and on about shoes and bags and belts and hats and stuff. Well, that should be considered a note mailed out to the trusted universe. Right now, I want to tell you just you great you all are as verified by remarkable folk at WordPress.com via their annual blogging report. You see, I can’t really give you exact figures because, erm, my reps wouldn’t like that very much, however, I simply must share the well graded degrees of comparisons and give props where it is rightfully due. Here goes: since the concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people and this blog’s readership literally doubled from last year’s stats; according to WP if MJ AND STUFF was a headlining concert at the famed Opera House. We would be talking about 15 000 SOLD-OUT performances *enter an overwhelmingly euphoric round of applause*. As far as content is concerned; it seems that most of the readers across a reach spreading over 155 countries much prefer posts with a local favour, closely followed by my casual take on fashion at a global standard. For that, please do receive my dependable Hi-5’s. Thank you. Thank you muchly and I pledge to serve no less than some sickeningly fresh and sensible stuff throughout 2014.

FROM THIS CAMP WITH BOTTOMLESS GRATITUDE

FROM THIS CAMP WITH BOTTOMLESS GRATITUDE

#5WITH NIQUITA BENTO.

NIQUITA BENTO MJ AND STUFF

In case you’ve missed it, Niquita Bento has recently been named the Elle Style Reporter in association with Blackberry ® for 2013/14. Serving as the most deserving successor for Trevor Stuurman, she is the newest the newest member on our table -the fashion bloggers’ table and I can almost put some of my designer gear up to bet against anyone who dares to question her future in the industry. I caught up with her to try for a small Q&A and I have rounded up to believe that she has a good head on her shoulder and just like many of us stylopolitans, she truly shares a passion for fashioning hardest. Here goes…

MJ: Let’s get straight into it. What sets you apart from Trevor Stuurman –last year’s winner of the Elle Style Reporter in association with Blackberry®? 

NB: Trevor really set the bar high as the first Elle Style Reporter in association with BlackBerry. I followed his journey throughout the year and it is evident that he grew, fine tuned his work and emerged himself in the ELLE brand. I hope to follow in his steps and maintain these standards. These are big shoes to fill but I’m going to give it my best. My work is different to Trevor’s, my work is grounded in composition and because of my love of architecture I bring this into my shots so my work is definitely layered and strongly conceptual. Like Trevor, I aim to push boundaries.

MJ: Do you look to other bloggers for inspiration or reference points? If so, please do name-drop.

NB: Julie Sarinana from Sincerely Jules. She’s constantly updating her blog and on top of her game, as well as having a clean and well designed layout which I think is really important. She also uses her instagram and social media to keep her readers in the loop and they feed into her online strategy. I think it’s important to have a 360 approach.

MJ: What was your most favourite challenge throughout the contest?

NB: Challenge three was my favourite challenge. We were asked to collaborate with a South African fashion or accessories designer, and be inspired by their journey and tell their story through our work. We had to capture fashion in motion by sharing our chosen designers story and their inspiration. I enjoyed this challenge the most because it pushed us to think further about what we were shooting. Being able to capture the design process of a young fashion designer from idea to reality was a learning experience and an inspiration.

*see the rad pics from the challenge below*

MJ: What do you predict is the future of your blog and what changes are you looking forward to the most? 

NB: My blog will be primarily focusing on fashion in South Africa, as well as internationally. My aim is to portray this in the most aesthetically pleasing way and with a strong point of view. I basically want my blog to be a visual journal of the fashion stories I encounter on my style reporter journey. My focus is to report for ELLE and add value to the ELLE online platform, my own blog will remain a personal take on what happens around me.

MJ: How will you keep your signature whilst trying to maintain the Elle Point of View? 

NB: I believe that my work will always be a reflection of myself and my thinking. I think its very important to always stay true to you and your own personality. This is what makes your work original. I am excited to be mentored by Ed Suter and to learn from the ELLE team and to absorb all there is to learn during my journey. Ultimately, the ELLE footprint is style with substance and that is what I am all about.

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BUSY BUSY BUSY STYLIN’

Mahlatse James wearing Alexander McQueen for PUMA Sneakers

I’ve never been one to quite bumper sticker writings squiggles; still, I can’t help it but co-sign to a belief that this whole growing up business should have come with a manual. I am having one of those weeks where survival is dependent on thoughts about wishing to split myself into as many pieces as possible. I am have committed to more than a handful of check-ins, heck some days call for 3 plus. Don’t get me wrong; I am not whining, no ma’am I am far from complaining, I chose this fashionpolitan business. Funny story, this so happens to be one of the weeks when my family is going through a “we miss you MJ” vibe and I just can’t help but chuckle whenever I respond with one of my mom’s trusted pay-off lines; she would always tell you that she is truly busy, busy, busy, just before she left you having to deal with a dialling tone in your handset. Classic, that lady. One other challenge about this busy, busy, busy state is the motivation to continue stylin’ hard and these pics here remind of the last time I felt this way. This outfit was put together a while back for a friend’s birthday dinner party and it came together quite well I must say. So let this be a lesson;  considerable stylin’ should never be compromised, despite how busy, busy, busy one may be.

Mahlatse James South African Blogger Alexander McQueen for PUMA MJ AND STUFF

Mahlatse James MJ AND STUFF