Somebody near my studio is busting out reggae freedom tunes today, inspiring a revolution/freedom/power theme:
Reflecting on being in Berlin, one thing has become apparent – people don’t talk about the holocaust, ever. In South Africa, it’s similar. People don’t talk about apartheid everyday either. But in both countries, although history isn’t an everyday conversation topic, the street names are a reminder. The ones that caught my attention here were named after Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Marx and Karl Liebknecht (below). I grew up hearing their names. Weirdly, the topic of my parents’ first argument (both 18 at the time) was: Rosa Luxemburg’s more organic and people centred approach vs a Leninist approach to the party and state. Wild.
Now let’s forget about German radicals and politics for politics sake and head to South America for purely superficial reasons, because although Marx and his contemporaries were immaculately dressed, his fans over in Cuba had more style, charisma and je ne sais quoi (even old Fidel Castro in his younger days):
The first time I saw her was in 1993. We were at the same school in Johannesburg, South Africa and she’d just won a race in a swimming gala. She was beautiful, popular and supercool, but at the same time seemed down-to-earth. Eclectic and striking in her personal style from a young age. No surprise then that her mum (below) was an international model in the late 80s (post having two kids) and a muse to a fashion designer.
Biancas’s been in the world of TV and film (MTV, Channel O, Ster Kinekor) and fashion for a long time: styling, designing, marketing and being a top business woman. She also worked on two of my favourite movies Tsotsi and Bunny Chow and most recently a movie called Fanie Fourie’s Lobola. Watch all the trailers here for a window into the world of South Africa:
A few years ago she ran a fashion label irreverently named Tee and Whisky, her platform to design clothing and accessories, and work as a stylist. You can almost feel the blazing Joburg heat and feel the dryness in the air in these photographs of the designs:
So, last year she got engaged in Bangkok and this year, with her now husband Khaya Sibiya, she launched a fashion label called Punk & Ivy.
I love their playfulness with prints and textures, representing a multi-layered contemporary South Africa.
Last Wednesday I went over to my local screenprinters SDW to use their open workshop facility. Armed with my design, a bag full of blank T-shirts, I was ready to get to work. But the in-house expert Matthias advised me that what I had done was too fine and detailed to print properly. So off I went, reworked it and returned on Friday to create what you see here. Printed with my own hands, once the woven labels arrive, these T-shirts will be for sale in the soon-to-be-existent shop, available in S, M, L on brushed cotton American Apparel T-shirts.
Here are a few photographs from some of my favourite South African blogs. The first one is a portrait of blogger Urban Mosadi aka Tiisetso Molobi, an incredibly talented designer/photographer and one of my best friends, modelling a bag she designed.
The world around me – textures, colours, contrasts. These ropes and chains and tyres are from the harbour in Kalk Bay, Cape Town in February. The sun beating down a noisy silence. The canal sunsets are from near Gorlitzer Park, Berlin. The snow melting in April, the sky making watermelon-citrus promises.
Lawyer turned pop chef. The Asian American restauranteur, born in Washington DC to Taiwanese parents, mixes and remixes his love for food, writing, hip hop, and social, cultural and political issues. He makes cooking look alpha like fighting off armed gangs with his bare hands, hosts a show on Vice called Fresh Off The Boat and owns Baohaus, which he describes as “isn’t just a restaurant, it’s a futuristic YMCA where brothers in snap backs and nike boots can find that motivation… Our families came on boats, but now we on a space ship, fuck with us.”
I recently spent a night with a few Columbian and Polish friends in Berlin, shouting Nostrovia! as we slammed down vodka shots to the sound of Die Antwoord playing in the background. After Mandela, it seems the most famous South Africans are the Die Antwoord crew. Their philosophy: “People are unconscious and you have to use your art as a shock machine to wake them up”.
Back in the day, Yolandi Visser and Waddy Jones (Ninja) as Max Normal and with their daughter Sixteen:
Necessity is the mother of invention, so they say, and especially true in the story of Kent Lingeveldt. A skater, photographer and founder of a longboard company in Cape Town called Alpha. He couldn’t afford to buy a longboard so decided to make his own. And his homemade board was such a hit, he set up his own business making them. That was over a decade now. Each board is handcrafted and he uses his passion for longboarding to effect positive change in the world by being an inspiring example of “It doesn’t matter where you come from, but where you want to go”. You can read more about him at Creative Nestling or visit the Alpha homepage.
Hello and welcome. My name is Parusha and I’m a designer from South Africa living in Berlin.
Today is the 27th of April 2013. It is an exciting day for two reasons. Firstly, in South Africa, it is Freedom Day. Exactly 19 years ago, the country had its first democratic elections. My parents and grandparents voted for the first time ever. The 1994 elections marked the end of apartheid, the dawn of democracy, Nelson Mandela as president. I was 12. It was a euphoric time as we entered a new world of possibilities and freedom. Viva!
Inspired by the idea of freedom and going beyond boundaries, the second exciting point of the day is that I am launching this blog. Here, I will share inspiration from around the world: art, design, history, ideas… And, you’ll get to see my whole process of experimentation and adventure, plus all the highs and lows, as I create design products to wear and use in the home. If you want, you can also follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, and like my page on Facebook.
OK. Good bye for now chaps. Hamba kahle. Totsiens. Auf wiedersehen. Stay wild. Stay free. Until next time…