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

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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.

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.

 

 

MY VIBE: OUT WITH BAIT

Mahlatse James MJ AND STUFF BLOG MY VIBE POST

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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VIBE YAKA: SHORT TO THE COAT.

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.

Mahlatse James Fashion Blogger MJ AND STUFF 02 (1)

Mahlatse James Fashion Blogger MJ AND STUFF 02 (2)

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SPOTTED: ONSIE SITUATION DONE RIGHT

MJ AND STUFF STREET STYLE

#FACT: A one-piece day is a good day per my observation. Be it a delicately detailed and dressier jumpsuit version as worn by Miss Eda Rose or a street style relevant leather dungie as done major justice by the darling Miss Mantsoe Pout, I am always all set to cheer up the wearer of a “onsie”.  And, no, my raison d’être for having picked these images of these charming young ladies is not completely based on their decision to #WERQ the heck out of a black ensemble. Well, not entirely.

Y’all know I am a huge fan of these vibes.

MJ AND STUFF Street Style Mantsoe Pout

Eda Rose MJ AND STUFF Street Style

#IOT MJ COLLECTION TIE CLIP

MJ Collection Tie Clip MJ AND STUFF

OMG!! Fate is literally just dealing me all things grand right now. There is a new men’s jewellery sheriff in town and I am officially obsessed. MJ Collection (Perfectly rad name. LOL) is a refreshing classification of an elegance that can cross elegant and luxe bounds seamlessly. Founded by two brothers with an undeniably sharp enthusiasm for men’s fashion, the accessories brand is dedicated to hook the South African man up with trends au fait.

 As much as I have seen the rather large collection of 100% leather bracelets alongside beaded arm candy designed with semi-precious stones and Swarovski elements, some exciting lapel pins and earrings I am dying to wear, I picked this metal scissors tie clip as my Item Of Today. One of the toughest picks I have ever had to make and with such difficulty, I decided on this piece based on the reality that I only have two tie clips in my accessories cave and could do with a spirited member.

Classic, modern and stands a good chance of achieving heirloom status! I am for it.

 

SPOTTED: TREVOR’S PERIPATETIC JUSTICE IN THREADS FORM.

MJ AND STUFF x Trevor Stuurman Fashion Moment SA Menwear Week

There is just no way to speak about Trevor Stuurman and not marvel at the impressive career this youngin’ seems to have carved for himself. The blogger-come-social-media-darling kid keeps winning industry hearts and it is no secret that I too dare claim to be among the besotted followers of his remarkable missions. For someone who appears to put an equal measure of striking presence behind and afore the scenes; Trevor has finally served to stylopolitans’ forever peeled eyes with a #FashionMonent that will go down in history as a strong verification of his position on fashion’s vacillating table.

The noteworthy fashion moment I speak of had me in an intense state of excitement (no jokes), the minute he shared a pic on Instagram a little over ten days ago. Self-styled to filth (totally a good thing) during the sophomore SA Menswear Week, @Trevor_Struurman gave me a look expressly themed within settled ethereal tones and played with fluidly tailored lines, all whilst nailing a fit sensible for a nomadic spirit. This signifies just where he is in his life/career right now -every bit a jet-setter, informed and of course overflowing with personality.

When we all knew!

When we all knew!

Trevor Stuurman Details MJ AND STUFF

Trevor Stuurman x MJ AND STUFF Street Style

Everyone deserves a notable fashion moment and this here was Trevor’s and my-oh-my what a moment it was!!

#WERQ

MY VIBE: RARELY STAYING WITHIN “THE LINES”!

Mahlatse James Sports Luxe MJ AND STUFF 01 (1)

“Clean lines here, uneven lines there and messy lines over there”! Who went and told everyone about the existence of “lines” within the fashion industry? #NoTeaNoShade, all I am saying is; six out of ten times I engage with people about the trials and revels in my line of work (see what I did there!?!), they all quickly claim to categorize a certain look by first identifying these said lines. Don’t get me wrong, the clear altitude of EduFashion is highly appreciated, but I much prefer to form relationships (short lived as some prove to be, as soon as the reality of the industry knocks in) with individuals who are open to seeing style as more of a spirited expression and less of “what it should be”. This comes from a bloke who shops wherever the heck he wants and yes, for-the-love-of-PUMA-Trinomics, I do value the unequivocal importance of trends as a guide to understand why we wear what we wear and for those serving diligently within the fashion industry to connect from a knowledgeable point of view. With the same belief, I campaign for nothing if not the strong advantage of a personal edit when it comes to styling oneself. I say take what you can from what is expertly researched and try by all means to be present in that decision because this way, not only would we be working towards bridging the classist gaps, we would also be likely to avoid wasting valuable time chatting overpoweringly about the “lines” which are really just a mere choice.  Don’t let me go any deeper…

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It is known that I am not much of a gym or sporty person (yet) –one: my hand to eye coordination does not function beyond seeing SALE sign and exercising plastic rights. Two: I have only ever seen the inside of a gymnasium less than ten times in all of my life because even with an instructor I cannot for-the-love-of-me quite gather interest in learning how to pilot some machinery. Still, this does not mean I will be missing out on the linkage between fierce fashion and sports allied elements. With this look, I aimed for just that and much like everything in my life, I did it my way. Studs, CHECK. Sleeveless waterfall knit, CHECK. A layered selection of necklaces, CHECK and from the waist down, you might as well call me “Mr Sports Luxe” with a high-end shopper in tow.

Mahlatse James Sports Luxe MJ AND STUFF 01 (3)

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#WERQ

ITEM OF TODAY (#IOT): MISSIBABA’S ICONIC POSSUM!

MISSIBABA ICONIC POSSUM BAG MJ AND STUFF

I have managed to go through life thus far trying to explain my “abnormality” as a result of dreaming in technicolor. Truth is, I spend all the little time I have (when not creating), dreaming about bags and belts and bags and hats and bags and shoes and bags and shirts and bags and pants and bags and dresses and bags and blouses and bags and all kinds of accessories and bags and stuff. Yup, the baglady could possibly have a rival if my carrier-obsessed ways are anything to go by.  Today is all about MISSIBABA’s gorgeous Possum.

MJ AND STUFF MISSIBABA'S ICONIC POSSUM BAG AS ITEM OF TODAY 14-07-2015

The local luxe brand stays leading in the business of serving some seriously stunning high-end game with their much-adored collections. Not running short of classic references and unassumingly casual in its design and overall appearance, the Possum is the second (of five) styles revisited by Missibaba as a commemorative endeavour to mark the label’s 10th anniversary –one is revealed every month. *insert all the glee known to mankind here*

 Do mark my words; this bag might very well be the IT product for all of 2015, not only because it is literally what most fashion people speak about but also because it makes all the sense to almost every kind of person keen for a functional piece of art which stands a good chance to be present for tales across generations.

Definitely worth being awarded the #IOT2015/07/14

This here should be a regular feature on this here blog space. #DecisionMade. One will try to find an item that has me spinning round-and-round with unrestricted excitement. My reason to wake up and take on each day’s vibe, if you will.